2017 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part I

It’s that time again. We gather best-of-2017 lists from around the web and provide links here.

Sure, we haven’t reached the end of the year yet, but some intrepid individuals just cannot be held back. The AMN Best of 2017 is coming in early January. Stay tuned…

The Quietus’s best of Jazz 2017

Exclaim!’s Top 10 Improv and Avant-Garde Albums best of 2017

FTAM Productions favorite albums of 2017.

Italy’s Giornale della Musica’s top 20 jazz releases of 2017.

Sterogum’s best jazz albums of 2017.

San Francisco Scene: December 15-22, 2017

English: Fred Frith performing at Mills Colleg...

Source: Bay Improviser.

Friday, December 15

Fri 12/15 7:00 PM Adobe Books [3130 24th St SF]
Tyler J. Borden – https://tylerjborden.com/
Anastasia Clarke – http://anastasiaclarke.info/
Sally Decker – http://sallydecker.net/
Chris Whitley – http://www.christopherwhitleyviolin.com/

Fri 12/15 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
David Harrington & Friends

Fri 12/15 8:00 PM The Lab [2948 16th St SF]
Wadada Leo Smith: CREATE
A festival dedicated to the music of Wadada Leo Smith. It is a source for premiering new and existing works, and the celebration of information through seminars, video and film presentation. This is to instill information that will address the historical and inspirational sources of the new works.

Saturday, December 16

Sat 12/16 3:00 PM Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts [1537 Euclid Ave. Berkeley]
Clarinet Thing: Ellington & Others
Clarinet Thing will be performing suites by members and arrangements of works by Ellington, Monk, Herbie Nichols, Carla Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, and others.

Sat 12/16 8:00 PM The Lab [2948 16th St SF]
Wadada Leo Smith: CREATE
A festival dedicated to the music of Wadada Leo Smith. It is a source for premiering new and existing works, and the celebration of information through seminars, video and film presentation. This is to instill information that will address the historical and inspirational sources of the new works.

Sunday, December 17

Sun 12/17 7:30 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Doors That Only Open in Silence (open participation workshop in free improvisation)
The monthly series of improvisation research at Temescal Arts Center continues. Bring your instrument or come to listen. No advance notice needed — just show up. Small groups will be randomly assembled from submitted names immediately before each group plays. We try to keep transition time between groups at a minimum. Audience & participants encouraged to donate some cash for space rental. Over by 10pm.
Early session meets at 5 PM to work on The Witness by Pauline Oliveros, and Search & Reflect by John Stevens.

Monday, December 18

Mon 12/18 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Andrew Jamieson: Holidays Deconstructed
“Holiday” music. By experimenting musicians.

Mon 12/18 9:30 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society: John Krausbauer & T.J. Borden Duo

Tuesday, December 19

Tue 12/19 8:00 PM The Independent [628 Divisadero San Francisco]
Charlie Hunter Trio featuring Silvana Estrada
Harry Duncan

Wednesday, December 20

Wed 12/20 8:00 PM Peacock Lounge [552 Haight]
Michael Gendreau, Victoria Shen & Josh Thomas, Vankmen, Painting with Statue
Michael Gendreau
Where other kids saw buildings, Gendreau (Crawling With Tarts) saw speakers in need of proper inputs. Recording infrasonic vibrations of interior spaces, he would then sound the structure’s resonances as an additional instrument in his site-specific compositions. What he achieves is vibration beyond sound, to sense time and space abutted in their infinite dimension in a materialist darsana, where sentient bodies are resonantors sine qua non. Recently returned from performances in Taipei as audre (with Jorge Bachmann), Gendreau here kicks free of ensemble to work a heavy all modular darkness, no laptops and no beats, as he develops new compositions and new means to record them. Don’t miss this chance to plumb the depths of structures within structures within forms within time.

Thursday, December 21

Thu 12/21 8:00 PM The Back Room [1984 Bonita Ave Berkeley]
Sheldon Brown/Ben Goldberg Quartet, featuring Michael Vatcher

Thu 12/21 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
8:00 pm Plutonian Burritto
Charles Pagano – percussion, Scott Bazar – guitar, electric pitchfork, electronics
9:00 pm bran(…)pos

Thu 12/21 8:30 PM Starline Social Club [2236 Martin Luther King Oakland]
Fred Frith Trio w/ IMA & Watkins/ Peacock

Friday, December 22

Fri 12/22 8:00 PM Gray Area Art And Technology [2665 Mission St. SF]
Antidote Tour – Daedelus, Mono/Poly, Free The Robots

Jazz in NYC This Week

English: Tyshawn Sorey at moers festival 2010

Source: The New York Times.

SHOKO NAGAI and SATOSHI TAKEISHI’S VORTEX with BRIAN DRYE QUINTET at iBeam Brooklyn (Dec. 16, 8:30 p.m.). One could say that Ms. Nagai, a pianist and accordionist, is defined by her dynamics. She can play clusters of dissonant or oddly harmonized notes with a rolling momentum and a tonal sensitivity that become their own comforting logic. That’s especially the case when she’s working with the percussionist Satoshi Taeishi. Here the duo appears on a bill with the accomplished trombonist Brian Drye, whose quintet features Charlotte Greve on alto saxophone, Jonathan Goldberger on guitar, Matt Pavolka on bass and Jeff Davis on drums.

ERIC REVIS at the Jazz Gallery (Dec. 20-21, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). A bassist of bracing power and relentless solidity, Mr. Revis this year released a powerful album, “Sing Me Some Cry.” Central to its appeal was his rugged, protean tug-of-war with the pianist Kris Davis and the drummer Chad Taylor. That rhythm section appears at these shows — along with the alto saxophonist Darius Jones and the tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry — where Mr. Revis will debut a set of new compositions commissioned by the Jazz Gallery.
646-494-3625, jazzgallery.nyc

SARA SERPA AND CITY FRAGMENTS at the Cornelia Street Cafe (Dec. 15, 8:30 and 10 p.m.). Ms. Serpa, a Portuguese vocalist with a crisp, round tone, typically sings without words; she knows how to cut an unexpected melodic path while still conveying confidence and comfort. City Fragments is an ambitious project featuring two other vocalists, Sofía Rei and Aubrey Johnson, as well as the guitarist André Matos, the cellist Erik Friedlander and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Here they will perform original material Ms. Serpa composed in response to the work of Luce Irigaray, a feminist linguist and philosopher.
212-989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com

STONEFEST at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium (Dec. 17-19, 7 p.m.). The Stone, the beloved avant-garde performance space on the Lower East Side, is transitioning into new digs at the New School, where it will move permanently at the end of February. In anticipation, the university is hosting a three-day festival, featuring a potent lineup of improvisers, at its Tishman Auditorium. On Sunday, the headliners include the guitarist Mary Halvorson’s quartet and the pianist Craig Taborn. The following night, the Kris Davis Trio will play, along with a large band performing John Zorn’s “Cobra,” an improvisation-driven composition. On Tuesday, the drummer Milford Graves leads a trio and the inventive trumpeter Peter Evans gives a solo set.

Classical Music in NYC This Week

Source: The New York Times.

‘THE BOOK OF DREAMS’ at National Sawdust (Dec. 17, 4 p.m.). The premiere of a new work by the composer David T. Little is always worth exploring, and his operas — “Dog Days,” “JFK” — reveal him to be an especially powerful composer for the voice. “The Book of Dreams: Chapter Sand” is a song cycle for baritone and electronics based on poetry by the surrealist Sonja Krefting. David Adam Moore is the singer here, in a production directed by Vita Tzykun.
646-779-8455, nationalsawdust.org

JACK QUARTET at National Sawdust (Dec. 21, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.). The American premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s String Quartet No. 9, from a quartet that has developed a particularly strong relationship with the composer. Like several of his more recent works — including “in vain” and the String Quartet No. 3, “In iij. Noct” — this one takes place in darkness.
646-779-8455, nationalsawdust.org

Free Jazz, Coltrane and Sun Ra 

Source: Medium. A primer on

English: Sun Ra at New England Conservatory, F...

free jazz with a focus on two of its greatest.

Composer/players like Shepp, Pharaoh Sanders, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler created solos and improvisations that could evoke devastating pain or ethereal beauty, often within the same freewheeling piece. Undoubtedly free jazz was a tense, iconoclastic music full of angular contradictions with no quarter given to listeners seeking the sonorous classic jazz sounds of just a few years earlier.