@@@ David Bowie: Blackstar (ISO/Columbia, 2015). I’m checking out one of two tracks from Bowie’s new jazz record. From what I hear it has more to do with prog rock and electronic music than it does jazz. There is a brief sax solo, but this biscuit is three seconds shy of 10 minutes long and it might change. And it didn’t, it’s really just a few pubes reminding one of jazz and then a lot of art school rock and I found it to be sleepy and not very compelling.
@@@ Steve Coleman: Synovial Joints (Pi, 2015). Another record off the Slate jazz critic’s best albums of 2015. The tunes are energetic, intricately arranged, but a little dry/nerdy. At least this first tune. It’s a large ensemble recording which is interesting — alto sax and other horns, a few string players, piano, bass, and drums. And others but listing them is boring. I thought there were moments where the intricacy of the arrangements came together and the tunes lifted off (I especially felt the sixth tune, Synovial Joints Part IV — Head and Neck) but those moments were not constant. I coulda used some swing and I somewhat think of this as jazz musician’s music.
@@@ Erik Friedlander: Ostcalypso (Skipstone, 2015). I saw this record here on this Slate jazz critic’s best of 2015 jazz albums. The writer tends to be a bit of a wet noodle and not surprisingly this is pretty conservative jazz. Not quite wet noodling, but tres brunch-y. In my opinion a jazz record can be smooth sounding and pretty but still sport some surprises. This is pretty standard improv, nobody’s feelings get hurt, and it is might I say cute? The playing is crisp and energetic, but not very adventurous.
YTD recordings listened to: 22
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 15
Not good music: 7
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves