More on How to Get Reviewed on Avant Music News

First of all, let me admit that we have been receiving an incredible number of submissions of albums for review over the last 7 months or so. While this is not a bad thing – artists seem to be using their downtime during the pandemic to record as well as dig through archives of older material – it does mean that our already-overwhelmed queue has never been deeper.

As a result, there are some very, very good submissions that will not be reviewed, even though these albums are quite deserving of more attention. Sorry. There is not much that can be done about that. In an economic sense, there is more demand for reviews than supply of reviewers.

But if you’d like to maximize your chances for review, please take a look at our submission guidelines from 2017. Since then, we have noticed a few additional things that can easily be done to make it more likely that we listen to and write about your music. Most of these suggestions involve ways that you can help us save time in processing submissions so that we can spend more time writing about them. (Eventually, I’ll be integrating these points into the guidelines.)

  • Don’t spam us with off-topic music in the hope that we write about it. A surprising number of submissions fall outside of the types of music we cover. While we make no qualitative judgment about such submissions, we generally delete them after a quick listen. But this takes time, perhaps a few minutes per submission, and we often receive a couple dozen of these per day.
  • Submit MP3s. If you submit WAVs or FLACs, we have to convert them. It means that we generally will not listen to the recordings until the conversion is complete. Exception: If an individual reviewer asks for non-MP3 encodings or physical media, please honor those requests. But submissions to our main email address should include links to downloadable MP3s.
  • Get your metadata right. We play digital files on systems that use metadata for indexing and search. If your files have incorrect metadata – or none at all – we may not be able to find your music. Metadata should clearly identify the artist, album title, and song titles. The rest is optional.
  • Do not embed or link album cover art into digital files. This really screws up Microsoft Windows file management tools as well as some media players. We often have to manually edit MP3s with embedded art in order to remove it. Again, more time spent doing something other than listening to your music.
  • Do not contact us on social media. We use Facebook and Twitter in largely a “write-only” fashion and do not check our inboxes on these platforms every day. If anything, Avant Music News is going to be reducing its social media presence in the future, so please make submissions via email.

All of the above may seem like minor nits being picked, but the volume of submissions results in us spending hours per week managing, sorting, and queuing these submissions. Anything that you can do to reduce our efforts in this regarding is going to increase the likelihood that we spend more time listening to and possibly writing about your music.


AMN Picks of the Week: Berne & Mitchell / Ward, Verhoeven, Serries & Roberts / Stellar Death / Tàlveg

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Because of current events, these postings may be coming more frequently than once a week for a while.

Tim Berne / Matt Mitchell –  Spiders (2020)
Ward / Verhoeven / Serries / Roberts – Imaginary Junction (2020)
Stellar Death – Fragments of Light (2020)
Tàlveg – Arbori (2020)

AMN Picks of the Week: Junk Magic / Jarguna / Rapoon / Ouroboros is Broken

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Because of current events, these postings may be coming more frequently than once a week for a while.

Junk Magic (Craig Taborn) – Compass Confusion (2020)
Jarguna – My Temple (2020)
Rapoon – Call Fires to Cloud (2020)
Ouroboros is Broken – In C (2020)

Roy Ayers & Fela Kuti: Music Of Many Colours 

Source: The Wire.

When Los Angeles born vibraphonist Roy Ayers and saxophonist/political iconoclast Fela Kuti linked up in Nigeria toward the end of 1979, the spirit of Pan-Africanism was already deeply woven into their respective bodies of work. After spending much of the 60s exploring a pleasantly cool hard bop sound, Ayers and his band Ubiquity blossomed in the 70s. Albums like Mystic Voyage, Red, Black & Green (its title a reference to the Pan-African flag created by Garvey) and Everybody Loves The Sunshine were wildly popular for their fusion of jazz funk, new age spirituality and the African-inspired Black consciousness of the day.

Henry Threadgill Chosen as NEA Jazz Master

Source: NPR.

Those four 2021 inductees — saxophonist, flutist and composer Henry Threadgill; drummers Albert “Tootie” Heath and Terri Lyne Carrington; and radio host and jazz historian Phil Schaap — will each receive $25,000 along with their title. The NEA Jazz Masters fellowship, awarded every year since 1982, is the nation’s highest honor reserved for living jazz artists and advocates. Selections are made through a public nomination process, followed by an expert panel review.

Newsbits: Sopko, Laswell & Sorey / Sun Ra Arkestra / New Horizons Compilation / Navarro & Holmes / Rachel Musson

The new release from Mike Sopko, Bill Laswell, and Tyshawn Sorey is reviewed.

The new Sun Ra Arkestra release is also reviewed.

A new compilation of South African jazz is reviewed.

Another review, this time of the new Aquiles Navarro / Tcheser Holmes release, is out.

And finally, we have a Rachel Musson interview.

Keith Jarrett Health Update

He had been scheduled to return to Carnegie the following March for another of the solo recitals that have done the most to create his legend — like the one captured on the recording “Budapest Concert,” to be released on Oct. 30. But that Carnegie performance was abruptly canceled, along with the rest of his concert calendar. At the time, Mr. Jarrett’s longtime record label, ECM, cited unspecified health issues. There has been no official update in the two years since. But this month Mr. Jarrett, 75, broke the silence, plainly stating what happened to him: a stroke in late February 2018, followed by another one that May. It is unlikely he will ever perform in public again.

RIP Kevin O’Meara

Percussionist Kevin O’Meara, 40, has died. O’Meara was an active member of various music communities in the Baltimore-Washington area and was notable for playing with Baltimore’s Dan Deacon Ensemble and with DC area improvisational group Colla Parte. He played live dates and recorded with both groups, appearing on the Deacon ensemble’s recordings “Bromst” and “America” and on Colla Parte’s “Periplus” and “Sound Is Invisible Color.” In addition to performing in twenty-one countries, he was a member of Baltimore’s art and performance collective Wham City and created visual art as well as music. In recent years he lived in West Virginia, Hawaii, and Maine as well as in Baltimore.

RIP Gordon Haskell 

Source: Louder.

Gordon Haskell, who played bass and sang for King Crimson in the early 70s has died, aged 74, according to his official Facebook page. Haskell, who had featured in school friend Robert Fripp’s pre-King Cirmson band League Of Gentlemen, as well as psychedelic pop band Fleur de Lys (during which time he shared a London flat with Jimi Hendrix) sang Cadence And Cascade on 1970’s In The Wake Of Poseidon, and sang and played bass on the follow-up, Lizard (also 1970).