* Aram Shelton’s Fast Citizens — “Big News” — Two Cities (Delmark, 2009) … A band that used to be fronted by drummer reeds player Keefe Jackson but is now considered to be of rotating leadership, according to the CD cover. Shelton’s turn, at first glance, adds more abstraction to the mix, but it’s still a good free-jazz band with a rich late-’60s influence and a penchant for crazy solos, especially when it’s Fred Lonberg-Holm’s turn (cello). Looking forward to giving this one a close listen later on.
* Noah Creshevsky — “Red Carpet” — To Know and Not To Know (Tzadik, 2007) … I’m not familiar with Creshevsky’s modern-classical work. This particular piece is a manic jumble, apparently built of spliced-up segments from a chamber ensemble. The music sounds like it was active and jumpy in the first place and becomes even more so after Creshevsky’s edit. Big three-minute fun, and it even ends on a traditional, classical-sounding final note.
* Gordon Beeferman — “No Meat” — Music for an Imaginary Band [7″] (Generate, 2009) … One of the three aforementioned 7″ vinyl releases we got from Generate. This one’s a jazz septet that puts the emphasis on the horns in a post-’60s setting. I may end up spinning both sides quite a lot.
* Komeda Project — “Ballad for Bernt” — Requiem (WM, 2009) … I don’t know the music of Krzysztof Komeda. I do know the name, and that he’s a Polish film composer and jazz musician. So, I don’t know how typical this set of Komeda compositions is. As with the Herbie Nichols Project, the Komeda Project bears the goal of presenting its namesake composer’s music. This album doesn’t have the heaviness that I’d assumed Komeda would bear (that’s prejudice about Eastern European moods on my part); songs I’ve sampled have had the strong, traditional air of a midsized jazz ensemble. Even this one, which evokes a bit of a sad mood but doesn’t get despairing.
* Zevious — “Glass Tables” — After the Air Raid (Cuneiform, 2009) … Prog with a touch of menace in the guitar. A fairly heavy trio that favors the loud. Made for a very good pairing with the new Henry Threadgill album.
POP NOTES: Chloe Makes Music makes pretty solo guitar-and-vocal songs, bright and with a not-too-introspective vocal outlook. (“You have been stuck like a penny for months in the couch…”) ….. Greyboy Allstars aren’t really pop; they’re funky groove jazz that happens to feel poppy in the context of my shows. They’re tied to the acid-jazz ’90s but presented music with more depth than most acid jazz had. We had tickets to give away to a show of theirs, so I gave ’em a spin.