DownBeat Announces Winners of 2019 Critics Poll

Source: DownBeat. Highlights include:

Historical Album: John Coltrane, Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!)

Flute: Nicole Mitchell

Guitar: Mary Halvorson

Electric Bass: Steve Swallow

Drums: Brian Blade

Percussion: Hamid Drake

Miscellaneous Instrument: Tomeka Reid (cello)

Record Label: ECM

Rising Star–Alto Saxophone: Darius Jones

Rising Star–Drums: Allison Miller

Rising Star–Female Vocalist: Sara Serpa

Rising Star–Composer: Kamasi Washington

Rising Star–Arranger: Kamasi Washington

Rising Star–Producer: Ambrose Akinmusire

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Johs Lund and Henrik Pultz Melbye – Play Baritone Saxophones (Svala Records / Aether Productions, 2018) ***½

Heart of the Ghost – s/t cassette (Pidgeon, 2018) ****

Gerrit Hatcher – Parables for the Tenor (Astral Spirits, 2018) ****

Steve Baczkowski/Brandon Lopez/Chris Corsano – Old Smoke (Relative Pitch, 2019) ****

Recent Releases from Ayler Records

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – Be Known – Ancient Future Music (Spirit Muse, 2019) ****

Flamingo – Loud (Relative Pitch, 2018) ****

Albatre – The Fall Of The Damned (Sshpuma, 2018)

Meredith Monk’s ATLAS in Los Angeles Reviewed

Source: I Care If You Listen.

On June 11, 12, and 14, 2019, the Los Angeles Philharmonic closed their 2018-2019 centennial season with Meredith Monk’s groundbreaking work, ATLAS: an opera in three parts, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. It was the first time 1991 that the opera has been produced.

ATLAS’ narrative isn’t uncommon: it parallels Homer’s Odyssey, or Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, and closely follows Joseph Campell’s stages of the monomyth. By contrast, the unfamiliar and quite radical aspects of the work are found in how Monk’s compositional aesthetic and methodologies advance the fully-realized narrative.

A Guide to the Discography of Brazilian Noise Artist Cadu Tenório

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Cadu Tenório learned about dissonance early. His first acoustic guitar, given to him by his uncle, had a large hole in the top, covered with adhesive glue. “It was impossible to tune the guitar in a conventional way,” he says, “so I had little choice but to start making noises with it.”

Tenório has been making an awful racket ever since. The Rio-based Brazilian musician has created a sprawling, clattering discography, influenced by industrial and experimental performers such as Throbbing Gristle, Stockhausen, and Masonna. Like many noise musicians, he’s also been influenced by technology itself; as a child, he’d spend hours recording his broken guitar along with radio programs, toys, or room noises.

A Beginner’s Guide to the epic music of King Crimson

Source: Treble.

An interesting question: How, in 2019, do you introduce King Crimson? After all, the seminal and arguably foundational progressive rock band (more on that later) is 50 years old now, just recently added to Spotify for another generation of fans to dig into and is—oh yeah—one of the most cited/influential bands in the world. Chances are if you are on this site you’ve heard of the group already and likely own some albums; even more likely is that you’ve heard a group that cites them. Kurt Cobain famously listed Red (more on that one later, too) in his published journals as one of his favorite albums of all time while Tool have cited King Crimson as the most influential reason for their shift from the heavier end of grunge toward progressive metal. Everyone under the sun loves the group, from progressive rock peers Yes and Genesis (the Mellotron you hear on “Watcher of the Skies” is the exact same one you hear on In the Court of the Crimson King, by the way) to math rock groups like Battles and The Jesus Lizard. Which is wonderful as a fan of music but particularly daunting as a writer.