Help Ingrid Laubrock’s Tuition Fees

Source: GoFundMe.

The disastrous and life-changing situation we found ourselves in last year has had a terrible impact on performers. Our foreseeable future is uncertain. After much soul-searching, I have decided to apply to a master’s program in composition. I have always been both a performer and a composer, and my hope is to concentrate on the latter as we await to see what the post-pandemic life holds for us. A master’s program will not only give me more tools as a composer, but will also earn me the official qualifications to teach at college level. I am a mature musician with over 30 years of practical experience and would love to mentor younger students.

I was just accepted at the prestigious Vermont College of Fine Arts for a masters in music composition. However, the course is currently out of my price range even with the partial scholarship of $24,000 they offer.

This program is particularly attractive to me as it is low residency. This means not only that I can stay in NYC, but also that, once performances start again, I will be able to continue to work to support myself while studying.

AMN Picks of the Week: Brody & Chang / Smith, Ewart & Reed / Ghosts of Electricity / The Black Stone / Yig

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.

Benjamin Louis Brody / Ian Chang – Floating Into Infinity (2021)
Smith / Ewart / Reed – Sun Beams of Shimmering Light (2021)
Ghosts of Electricity – The Guildford Tree Vol. 1 (2020)
Various Artists – The Black Stone – Music For Lovecraftian Summonings (2021)
Various Artists – Yig – Cryo Chamber Collaboration (2020)

Daevid Allen Family Trust Launches

Source: Daevid Allen Family Trust.

In 2015 Gong legend Daevid Allen sadly passed away at the age of 77. He is survived by his four sons Toby, Orlando, Tali, & Ynys. Prior to his passing Daevid set up the “Daevid Allen Family Trust” or D.A.F.T. for short for his children. The aim and focus with D.A.F.T. is to preserve Daevid’s legacy of Poetry, Music & Hand Drawn Illustrations for the fans and future generations in one place.

And now we are happy to announce that 2021 is the year to be D.A.F.T! First of all, the web store …. is now open selling a wide selection of official D.A.F.T. merchandise and music. Secondly, we are also happy to announce that there will be a box set coming soon called “Deya Dreaming” which is a collection of unreleased music from Daevid’s time in Deia, Mallorca.

2021 promises to be a busy year with a lot more stuff to come!

The 2020 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll Results Published

Source: The 2020 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll. I am pleased to say that I was able to participate in this year’s poll (along with 147 of my closest friends). Fun stuff indeed. You can find my individual ballot here if you scroll down a bit.

Below are the results of NPR Music’s 8th Annual Jazz Critics Poll (my 15th, going back to the poll’s beginnings in the Village Voice). These are the jazz albums that lit up a dark, unsettling year. Maria Schneider’s Data Lords was the critics choice — no surprise, though relative unknown Sara Serpa’s victory in the Vocal category in a year when both Kurt Elling and Gregory Porter released new albums was. A Thelonious Monk concert recorded at the unlikeliest of venues — a Northern California high school auditorium — in 1964 was voted the year’s prize rara avis (my catch-all designation for reissues and never-before-issued finds), and the 23-year-old alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins’s Omega ran away from the pack in Debut.

RIP Bobby Few 

Source: The Wire.

The first pianists who engaged in the avant garde jazz movement of the 1960s faced an overwhelming situation tied to two foundational figures of the music. On one hand, Ornette Coleman had set a standard for groups to dispense with the piano altogether. On the other, Cecil Taylor had carved a new path for the instrument, but one that led to his own, strongly individual music. During the music’s first decade, there were few pianists who found a space to develop an original voice between these two poles. Bobby Few, who died on 6 January 2021, was one of them.

Catalytic SoundStream Launches

Source: Catalytic Sound is a Chicago-based label that specializes in all kinds of interesting unconventional sounds. It is launching its own paid streaming service. Here is the blurb for the lowest-level of membership:

By becoming a Soundstream member, you cast a vote for independent musicians and against the power of the corporate streaming industry. Despite their reliance on the creativity and labor of musicians, streaming services pay artists almost nothing for their work, and treat musicians as cogs in a content-production machine.

The Catalytic Soundstream is our solution to this systemic imbalance: an artist owned and curated, subscription-based streaming service that pays Catalytic Sound co-op musicians 2/3 of net income generated through listeners’ subscriptions. Independent record labels represented on the Label Radio tier will also compensate their artists a proportional amount.

Subscribe to the Soundstream and gain instant access to a rotating selection of over 90 albums from Catalytic Sound artists and our friends at Corbett vs. Dempsey, NoBusiness Records, Relative Pitch Records, Astral Spirits, and more.

RIP Kali Z. Fasteau

Source: Slipped Disc. There has been very little coverage of the death of Kali Z. Fasteau – in fact, we just found out about it. Still not much out there over a month later.

We’ve been notified of the death of Kali Fasteau, a much recorded composer who appeared on more than 20 albums. She played at least a dozen instruments and sang in a high soprano voice.

RIP David Darling 

Source: Echoes.

The world is missing a unique sound. Cellist David Darling left the planet on January 8th. Born in Elkhart, Indiana on March 4, 1941, he was 79.

David Darling was a musician who was always open to a new sound, a new way of thinking about music. Classically-trained and jazz-converted, he played with The Paul Winter Consort in the 1970s, appearing on classic albums like Icarus. His cello is the instrument that first voices the Ralph Towner melody of the famous title track from that album. He released about 20 solo albums on the ECM, Narada, Relaxation Company, and Hearts of Space labels, and in the process, became a leading exponent of ambient chamber music.

AMN Picks of the Week: Rhonda Taylor / Kuzu / Sabled Sun / Circles 44

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.

Rhonda Taylor – Afterparty (2020)
Kuzu (Rempis / Dorji / Damon) – The Glass Delusion (2021)
Sabled Sun – 2149 (2021)
Circles 44 – Cratere (2020)