Category: Music

Glenn Dickson’s “Wider Than the Sky”

Clarinetist Glenn Dickson, master of klezmer, has made a solo recording, “Wider Than the Sky,” that’s been on perpetual repeat at our home office. Using over-dubs and electronic digital effects, Dickson fills the aural soundscape with a rich melange of chordal textures supporting the melody. His celebrated virtuosity is subsumed here to long, elegiac musical...

Claire Dickson’s “Starland”

The music on Claire Dickson’s new recording, “Starland,” was conceived on a tall ship anchored in the Arctic Circle, where the dialectic between desolation and endless possibilities is truly otherwordly. Using sequencers, multi-tracking and plenty of air space, and moving gracefully from ambient to melodic, wordless to poetic, her songs evoke a sense of place...

Craig Taborn’s “60 x Sixty”

The prolific pianist-keyboardist-musician Craig Taborn has bequeathed to the world a fascinating (and addictive) conceptual recording called “60 x Sixty.” (It’s technically a Pyroclastic Records release, but free to experience and enjoy.) Comprised of sixty compositions, each one minute in duration, the suite of sounds rotates and shuffles with each play, updating periodically with new...

Dan Blake’s “Da Fe”

Does righteousness have a sound? Can good intentions be heard in the language of music? Saxophonist/composer Dan Blake’s new recording, Da Fe, attempts an aural answer to those questions, and the results are convincing. A Buddhist, social justice warrior, and former member of the Esperanza Spalding band, Blake’s values are deeply humanist and compassionate; on the...

Cowboys & Frenchmen: “Our Highway”

“Our Highway,” the new multi-media project from the jazz quintet (trio + two reedmen) Cowboys & Frenchmen is a monument to the boundless power of creativity. Rather than merely record an album of their brilliant modern music, the group has made a film — a purposefully trippy film, befitting the notion of travel and motion...

Two Approaches to Jazz Drumming

For two consecutive weeks, we’ve been treated to compulsively listenable new albums by two excellent jazz drummers, Raphael Pannier (“Faune”) and Matt Wilson (“Hug!”). In many ways, the recordings couldn’t be more different. Pannier is a next generation virtuoso surrounded by other jazz killers — Miguel Zenon, Francois Moutin, Aaron Goldberg — whose spectacular modernist...

Accelerate Every Voice

Aficionados of the weird and wonderful, rejoice! Pianist-arranger Cory Smythe’s “Accelerate Every Voice,” gives new meaning to term “original music.” The recording offers strange and alluring sounds emanating from electronic keyboards and loopers, but the main sonic source is a quintet of human voices orchestrated into a collage of aural splendor that’s hard to describe...

D’ Rok THE Menace

Psychonauts rejoice! Instead of bragging about his money and hos — indeed, he announces his intention to “embrace imperfections” and view life through his Third Eye — the rapper D’ Rok THE Menace applies his mad skills to the ethereal charms of LSD, DMT, and magic mushrooms. He’s a stone cold killer, murdering his ego....

Bodied

We regret that the sensationally smart, funny, and illuminating feature film Bodied has a title that offers little clue to what the film’s about. Namely: battle rap. This sub-culture of popular culture is both fascinating and ripe for satire, and the brain trust behind the movie — producer Eminem, writer Alex Larsen and director Joseph Kahn...

Adam Rudolph’s “Ragamala”

Drummer, composer, and master sonic collagist Adam Rudolph assembled 40 celebrated musicians from his Go: Organic Orchestra and the Brooklyn Raga Massive. The result, now available on all formats, is an epic, milestone recording called Ragmala – A Garden of Ragas. Beyond category, “Ragamala” is one of those musical projects that’s better heard than described....