Thursday, January 16, 2014

Paco's Top 6 Possibily Jazz (or Possibility Jazz) Picks of 2013

Dear hired hands!

Here's the next list of my lists. It's Jass Time! This Jazz though is mostly in the "Free" vein or experimental. Some of it might not even be considered jazz by some (barbarians!). This list will mostly appeal to those of you who like the last experimental drone list. anyway...

1. Jeremiah Cymerman - Sky Burial (5049 Records)
This is a sweet beast of a record. Jeremiah Cymerman rocks the Clarinet (yes the clarinet!) and "Electronics.  He is joined by the always reliable former chicago mainstay (he moved to new york now) Matt Bauder also on Clarinet, Electronics, and Sax, and then sweet new york trumpeters Nate Wooley and Peter Evans. To be honest, although those 3 are some of the best sweet dudes in contemporary experimental Jazz, I'd never heard of ol Jere' here. But I will definitely be paying attention from here on out. This baby is a sweet ride all the way through. It's an incredible sound texture weaved by these fellas. Nice JOB! Also there's a song called "Skull Bowl".


2. Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile (Constellation)

This is more likely to be liked by more people than than my first choice and is much more clearly "JAZZ". But its also still very wild and adventurous. This is the second release in Chicago/New York's Matana Robert's incredible "Coin Coin" series. The music is what she terms, "panoramic sound quilting". and that is pretty much what it sounds likes, a mashup of spoken word, historical narratives, re-framed historical phrases and cliches (both of word and music). It kind of sounds like someone's insane black history/jazz grad school project, but without any of the dryness which that may conjure. Excited to see where this project goes.


3. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light (Constellation)

Oh Colin, the favorite saxophone player of everyone who doesn't know the name of any other living saxophone players. I kid, I kid. Well, it's probably true, However, fortuantely for us, he's good enough that we don't need to give a care about that. Most of you probably already know this album. If you don't, then get in the know right now. This might be my favorite of the 3 "New History of Warfare" releases. This is also not what many people would refer to as Jazz. Regardless, its powerful and transcendent and still unbelievable that these things are recorded solo. Geez, Constellation Records, while don't you just release all the best albums of the year?

4. Arve Henriksen - Places of Worship (
Rune Grammofon)

This ones got some appeal. You should dig it. It's not loud or wierd like this other music. It's almost ambient.

Trumpeter Arve's 2007, "Strjon" is one my favorite albums of all time and a super underrated classic.

This is not as good as that, but it is still "Arve Henriksen good". First thing to know is that ol' Arve has the best best best trumpet tone ever. Also This is a very Norwegian feeling record. It's also very meditative, which is good as per its theme/title. Occasionally it might go a slightly a little too new agey for some of you, but you should not fear it my friend! Mostly, man that trumpet!

5. Ches Smith and These Arches - Hammered (Clean Feed)

Alright after that interlude of quiet good times, let's get back to some action packed noisy times. This album is good. Surprisingly good actually. It really gets you. You think you know where its heading then its like wait oh yeah you love it and then you do. How's that for incisive music criticism?
"These Arches" are apparently Andrea Parkins on Accordian/Electronics, Tim Berne on Alto Sax, Mary Halvorson on Guitar, and Tony Malaby on Tenor Sax. Ches Smith is a drummer and drummers leading Jazz groups often seems to be a good thing. Now honestly, I had only heard of Tim Berne before, but now I realize I'm an out-of-it fool for not knowing the rest of these people particularly, Ches and Mary.
Anyway basically this is a solid group which I hope puts out more stuff. They play very well together. Also some dang good melodies here, actually catchy sometimes. Like I said before this album gets better as you listen more. Still might be too Chaotic/noisy for some of you. oh well.

This video is a song on the album but live and the sound quality is not particularly great so I kind of don't want to post it. But anyway you get the idea.

6. Craig Taborn Trio - Chants (ECM Records)

Craig Taborn you guys. Also Craig Taborn making somewhat straight ahead "normal" album with a drums/bass/piano trio. Also Gerald Cleaver is on those drums. This is a much more subdued album than most of the list here (except Arve H.'s). It's also probably the most likely to not be considered "Not Jazz" by someone. Jazz! Hey Check it out. It's a bit long sometimes. I'd really like to see this trio live.

This video is not the album but live and seems to have been recorded on VHS or something. anyway it will give you the feel of it.

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