apoplectic apastathetic

Reviews 72
Soundoffs 102
News Articles 1
Band Edits + Tags 19
Album Edits 54

Album Ratings 1836
Objectivity 81%

Last Active 01-01-70 12:00 am
Joined 01-01-70

Review Comments 7,840

02.28.23 REC ME: [H I P H O P] (March 2023 -:- C 01.31.23 REC ME: electronic (b-sides)
01.30.23 REC ME: JAZZ (Feb 2023,,, Chapter 2) 01.10.23 RACE TO 1000 COMMENTS (sput-apocalypse
01.02.23 REC ME: electronic (Jan 2023, Chapter 1 11.14.20 Asleep's Top 40
11.08.20 Radio fodder12.01.19 Asleep's Decade Retrospective Extravaga
11.13.19 Rating Purge Anyone?07.08.19 Greatest Albums of All Time
01.06.19 Some things I dug in 201808.04.18 Life Affirming List
07.17.18 Visiting France / Bday06.24.18 WHOOA, WE'RE HALFWAY THERE
05.31.18 Repurposing Genres05.13.18 Disheveled
05.09.18 201805.08.18 Gimmie Grooves
More »

REC ME: JAZZ (Feb 2023,,, Chapter 2)

Hi. My name is Ben. I know nothing about [JAZZ] music. To educate me, pls rec albums. I will listen to 1 album a day in February 2023. I will then describe the album that I have heard in this list. Kind regards, Ben
1Bill Evans
You Must Believe In Spring

[Ryus] -a- 1st Feb 2023 -a- GOOD MORNING it's February time for jAAZ. This is exactly what I was hoping to find from this list (yay). Tasty, restrained, piano forward, classic, easy listening, no nonsense, free spirited and cool as a cucumber. Closest reference point for me would be something like Ryo Fukui's Scenery, but ig that's more bebop (some of Ryo's cuts are certainly more energetic and less patient? help i don't know how genres work). This also has a touch more darkness nestled between the spring flowers. Love the melodic interplay between the bass and keys too, not just rhythmic e.g. on The Peacocks (does that make sense? help i don't know how music works). How does his earlier stuff compare? Is it worth the deep dive into his original trio, around the time he worked on Kind of Blue? ANSWER MY QUESTIONS. Needs more time, but I'm currently a fan. [4]
2Makaya McCraven
Universal Beings

[another sloth] -b- 2nd Feb 2023 -b- Freeform, percussive, NOT free jazz territory but BIG jam rock vibes. Has a lot of quote unquote authenticity and swagger to it (particularly re the live flourishes and production). Gr8 contemporary counterpoint to 1. Chunky and enjoyable, but also difficult to grasp, in part because it is LOOOOONG tho jfc SLOTH my guy why are you rec-ing 90 min projects on a listen a day list you dastardly motherhecker? [also looks at 21 and 24 and cries.] [3.5]
3Eric Dolphy
Out to Lunch!

[VlacDrac] -c- 3rd Feb 2023 -c- Oh boy this is way beyond my pay grade. I do not have the musical vernacular to comprehend what this is and what it is doing and why and is it good I don’t know eek!! I enjoy the xylophone(?) and flute tings, but am mostly just overwhelmed. Sensory overload has continued on subsequent listens. Quirky and cute but also aargh. [3]
4John Coltrane
Blue Train

[VlacDrac] -d- 4th Feb 2023 -d- First impressions: good! I love a love supreme. This doesn’t feel quite as supreme or multifaceted, but it’s a lot more immediate and, erm, nice! Again, I still feel out of my depth, but I’ll settle for quite enjoying it for now (a love supreme took 10+ listens to sink in, so I’ll give this time too). [3.5]
5Dave Weckl Band

[OxME] -e- 5th Feb 2023 -e- Oh thank the LORD something easy and accessible lol. Cheese-stuffed glorious drum-forward fusion nonsense and I’m here for it. Weckl is ridiculous on the kit, as are the rest of the group at their respective things (give me those bass/keyboard/drum/sax/guitar solos nom nom nom). Beautiful production too, so breathable and open. Contains enough fromage to feed my gf for a week (she is le French) but endearing in its goofiness. I am a sucker for the funk. [4]
6Art Blakey

[Sniff] -f- 6th Feb 2023 -f- Already love Art Blakey, Moanin’ is my jam (the album and the track). The title track on Mosaic is bananas good, just full on fire from everyone involved, amazing drumming from the man himself; sounds like a Mario Odyssey boss track or some shit. Rest of the album suffers by comparison but is still noice my kinda tempo et al. Hard bop big funks etc. [3.5]
7Nina Simone
Wild is the Wind

[granite] -g- 7th Feb 2023 -g- There’s a loud, angry love/dependency/desperation/vulnerability packed within these walls that I was not expecting. Nina’s vocals just have so much conviction and weight and depth to them, it brings the soul-laid-bare lyrics to life. The subtle, reserved backing instrumentation is also spot on. “Four Women” is intense, mad that it was banned under the banner of, itself, being racist which is ridiculous. Of all the records here, this is the biggest and most pleasant surprise so far - I didn’t think this was ‘for me’ (I mean, it’s not) or that I’d therefore appreciate it, but I do. [3.7]
8The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
Here Be Dragons

[MoM] -h- 8th Feb 2023 -h- DOUBLE TROUBLE WEDNESDAY we’re jamming this and Bohren & der Club of Gore - Sunset Mission because MoM has good taste and tbh I just felt like it.

Here Be Dragons be giving me GY!BE vibes which I did not expect. Moody, noire, bleak but with light shining through the cracks. Cinematic, too; definitely has a narrative ebb and flow.

Sunset Mission be that chain-smoking, neon reflecting of a car window, 1920s NYC moonlight, tuxedos for everyone BaNgEr my goodness this is a sexy sexy album. A lot looser in its composition than Here Be Dragons, far more ambient-y (and jazzy, for that matter) but sticks the landing just as well in terms of how soupy THICK it’s atmosphere is.

Both [4] hell yes dark/ambient/doom jazz is the shit.
9Portico Quartet
Knee Deep in the North Sea

[Sniff] -i- 9th Feb 2023 -i- SLAPS. Love this. Perfect segway record between the vibes on the electronic list and this. Supple, soulful, beautiful, brilliant. The hang on this is just gorgeous. [3.7] with room to grow.
10Nara Leao
Dez Anos Depois

[brainmelter] -j- 10th Feb 2023 -j- Well I did not expect this lol. A 70s double album of Bossa Nova standards from the heart of Brazil is about as far as I think you can get from my comfort zone, yet I feel very at home here. The production quality is gold-tier, the vocals reserved and breathy and YES. I enjoyed my time far more with LP1 vs. LP2 - I think the spindly acoustic arrangements work better, generally - but the whole thing is lush. Oddly getting vibes somewhere between Ichiko Aoba, Saya Gray and Mount Eerie (my closest touch points are far away lol). Big fan, gonna play this in all sorts of different orientations and contexts to see which songs pop the most. [4]
11Tigran Hamasyan

[Relinquished] -k- 11th Feb 2023 -k- Initial impressions: this is metal as fuck whaaaa. Gorgeous piano Mr. Guy I like this, and the Arminian touches are v interesting (maybe another deep dive I need to do). Also has Meshuggah ish tendencies which is bizarre. Vaguely proggy too, with a maybeshewill era post rock flamboyance to it. Very good, almost excellent - wished it showed just a touch more restraint as the atmospheric vocal-forward bits are some of the best. Likely a grower. [3.5]
12Sun Ra

[DANcore] -l- 12th Feb 2023 -l- Feels like it’s going for a far more digestible take on 3. Soothing space-age bops. Much better than the Sun Ra I’ve heard before (Discipline 27-II, rendered literally unlistenable by spoken-word bollocks about the universe being a thing, that mired an otherwise great LP … I digress). Fundamentally old-head jazz to my ears, with some funky overtones. I can dig it. Genuinely, genuinely fantastic in places - love the opening moments of the closer and then eek he almost does the shite full on YOOOO THE UNIVERSE DUUUUDE DID YOU KNOW thing (as mentioned on the electronic list, afrofuturism and associated vibes are not my thing). Will keep an eye on this and see if she blooms. [3.5]

EDIT: listening experience improved by (a) porc’s insight (b) hearing 13 (v helpful afrobeat ref point) and (c) playing it LOUDER (the dynamics seep out a lot better). Will likely bumpy bump rating in coming days.
13Fela Kuti
Sorrow Tears and Blood

[Ars] -m- 13th Feb 2023 -m- Amazing. Not heard a drop of afrobeat before but this funks all the way to the top my god. The story behind this 2-track release is also tragic - legit protest music, ugly consequences and all. A discog I’ll likely peek in more detail. [4]
14Eddie Palmieri
Unfinished Masterpiece

[MoM] - n- 14th Feb 2023 -n- The best thing on this list so far and it has literally NO ratings CHECK IT!!

Having erroneously filed Salsa under the "meme" category in the consistently overloaded cabinet of tosh that is my brain, I will be the first to admit that I am an idiot and this is fantastic holy heck. So palpably emotional and visceral argh yes yes YES, the way the piano sounds like someone slammed your neighbour's fcukign face into the keys is brilliant, love the vibrant vox, love how the first few tracks start out digestible and catchy dance numbers with the occasional flourish and then the LP's back end blooms out into all sorts of hefty, technical, moving shit (the 10 min monster of "Cobarde" is crazy, and how it transitions into the utterly bewitching (basically) piano-solo of "Random Thoughts" is just WHAAAAA!!!?!?!). So good. [4.3]
15Snarky Puppy
We Like It Here

[Manatea] -o- 15th Feb 2023 -o- 4.3?! Fuck off. Very good though.

Has that clean groovy slaps all night long vibe down to a tee, with a whiff of chunky math rock in the lane of "You Slut!" or "Alpha Male Tea Party". A touch too shiny and smooth for my taste; lacks the messy passion and grit of something like 14 or even 5, which this is more aligned with. The mix is also unusual - this sounds live, which is damn impressive for how tight these tracks are, but sometimes things feel placed incorrectly (I want the drums to pop more and wish the distorted guitar really fucked me up when it kicks in (it doesn't)). Will definitely return to this though - it doesn't put a single foot wrong for the whole 50+ minutes, but also lacks that je ne sais quoi. [3.5]
Nafs at Peace

[pizza] -p- 16th Feb 2023 -p- SLAPS s l o w l y. SLAPS c a l m l y. SLAPS s o o t h i n g l y. Feels less mechanical coming off of the immaculate 15 - has a lot more bumps and scrapes and personality. Undoubtedly, however, less """impressive""", in some sense - the low key vibes do be a double-edged sword. The deets: I particularly enjoyed the tempo-shifting shenanigans on "Straight Path", proper cyclical hypnotic rhythm stuffs on "Mostly" (kinda funky innit) and the title track closer is the clear winner of the pack (giving me classic jazz vibes with that lead motif). Love the touches of flute and Sarangi on this too - not something I've heard done quite like this before. The more I pay attention to the lil dance the drums do, the more I dig this. Very cool 2021 release. [3.5]
17Electric Masada
At the Mountains of Madness

[Jonathan] -q- 17th Feb 2023 -q- JONATHAN you have single HANDEDLY derailed the ENTIRE fucking MOMENTUM of this list YOU arse. I have been stuck on this album for days, which I mean entirely as a compliment ... and I've only got through the first disc (eek). So much to chew on, even without peaking the second hour and a bit of music. Wild and metal as fuck and freeform and joyous I love it yes yes yes. An artist who I definitely need to check the entire discog of but also fuck that where the heck am I meant to find all of this un-streamable music hep hep hep. [rating TBC]
18Avishai Cohen Trio
Gently Disturbed

[milo] -r- 18th Feb 2023 -r- Sublime. Love piano forward buttery smooth jazz like this w/ that fucky time signature quirkiness and a chewy, jam centre. Still sipping on this due to the fact of the catching up required by 17 (fuck you jon) but I am a thank, fan you Milo.

With another spin under my belt: giving me (better) GoGo Penguin vibes (in a good way). Just damn good. Probably a 4 but I'm a lil bitch. [3.7]
19Herbie Hancock
Head Hunters

[Ars] -s- 19th Feb 2023 -s- Bops like nobody's business. The first track is the purest funkiest jam of all time (probably) it took all my willpower to resist jumping on top of my office cubicle this morning and dancing dancing dancing to this impeccable groovy swing. Again, much more time required to unpack before giving it the sleepy boi seal of approval or a kick in the dick, but currently am loving this ... actually, nah, fuck that, it's brilliant. Sticking with my flaccid guns. [4]
20Pharoah Sanders

[z00sh] -t- 20th Feb 2023 -t Holy hecking shit I did not realise I liked yodelling that much. What an absurd album (in an entirely un-pejorative sense). I've always found avant-garde jazz too obtuse and off the wall and dense, but this just screams with emotion and sincerity and graspable things. Oddly giving me vibes somewhere between Fishman's 'Long Season' and Animal Collective's 'Strawberry Jam'. Gripping and fresh and good. [4]
21Kamasi Washington
The Epic

[MetalMarkJK] -u- 21st Feb 2023 -u- Mr Mark you are a dick and I love you. Rec-ing a 3 hour triple album jazz epic (heh) on an 'album a day format' list is cruel. V. cool album so far though. Having now finally heard all 3 LPs (as at 25th Feb lol) ... thoughts: love the big SCREM sax tones when Kamasi goes AWOL - v emotive spicy et al. Also love the choral touches, so much so that I wish there were more. The production leaves a little to be desired, sometimes, particularly having listened to this in tandem with 22 (more on that later). All in all, tho, a really thoughtful love letter to the genre in its variety and scope which is sweet and touching and good. Covers an absurd range and depth of emotions and colours and tones. Lower in quality on a track by track basis than a number of the other recs on this list, but there is SO MUCH goodness here (I mean it is 3 hours jfc) that, yes, I’ll concede, it feels worthy of the modern jazz classic status it seems to have attained. [4]
22Charles Mingus
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

[z00sh] -v- 22nd Feb 2023 -v- FULL DISCLOSURE i have heard this before (and the Erectus album with the long word before it), but it didn't click back then (circa 2017?). I fucking love this now tho. w/ more jazz under me belt, ig I speak the language a little better, and can therefore interact with this on a halfway meaningful level (i hope). The tempo shifts and production are what immediately shine, as well as the juicy depth of each individual performer's performance, and the cute repeating motifs, and the percussion ... the PERCUSSION holy shit its beefy and metal and TIGHT. Very very good. Closer is magic sauce (last 6-ish mins feel like the 60s blueprint for 'Overkill' wtf). Probably a 4.5+ but I feel like I'm only just learning this dance and am conservative and am sorry. [4.3]
23Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld
Never Were The Way She Was

[dedex] -w- 23rd Feb 2023 -w- The opener on this is GOAT tier. The rest is quite good. Weird modern jazz ambient thing going on. Kinda feels a lil underbaked but what the hell do I know. Pleasant, lil hypnotic, very accessible, welcome break from some of the more challenging recs here, but also less interesting, and a touch monotonous at its worst. [3.5]
24Miles Davis
Bitches Brew

[Manatea] -x- 24th Feb 2023 -x- On a complete other ethereal plane to pretty much anything, ever. The dark, gloomy, gloopy, sumptuous, weird vibe is acquired and tasty. Putting the t/t so early in the track list feels like a cheeky gatekeepy move by Davis, idk, probs not, but I found basically everything after 'Bitches Brew' a lot easier to digest and just relax and sink into. No doubt oodles of lil spicy details I've missed and will delve back in for. No fucking way I can rate this yet tho lol, but heck me am intrigued muchly. [TBC]

Update (06.03.23): I have decided this gets by as a [4] on cool points alone. will continue to jam over the next few years (lol) and see if a more analytical/reasoned opinion forms.
25Yusef Lateef
Eastern Sounds

[DANcore] -y- 25th Feb 2023 -y- [3] I do not know why I think this is a [3] but I currently think its a [3] and will provide reasoning as to its [3]ness in due course thanks.

Update (02.03.23): this isn't a [3] holy shit what planet was I on when I first heard this?! Uber supple romantic patient delicate etc. For candle-lit dinners and evenings spent sad and alone alike. Gorgeous. [3.7 baby]
26Mahavishnu Orchestra
Visions of the Emerald Beyond

[Komp] -z- 26th Feb 2023 -z- Has that early career Deep Purple hazy hard rock mixed with yum yum jazzy proggy shenanigans nailed down. Feels a little surface level (more right hemisphere than left) having listened to this alongside 24 and 27, but far more immediate and graspable and foot happy and tappy in a gud and yes kinda way. [TBC] will check their earlier releases I think, so you know its goooo.d...d and got me by the testies.
27Cecil Taylor
Unit Structures

[Ryus] -abc- 27th Feb 2023 -abc- I have heard Cecil before, so this was less of a shock than it could have been lol. Reading Ted Gioia's 'How To Listen To Jazz' helped a lot with this - I'd originally approached Free Jazz as a 'turn all your senses to 11 and try take it all in all the details everything EVERYTHING must follow it all' kinda way, but instead tried to engage with this closer to how I'd assimilate an ambient piece and just vibe in the colour and tone of the thing, while also appreciating the lil hints of dialogue even I can pick up between the band members (a horn thing that the drums play off that the keys then play off that the horns then play off awww). Will indulge in this some more and some more yum. [TBC]

Update (02.03.23): Has become a lot easier to navigate with repeated listens; there is more structure here than I'd realised. Takes on a more carefree hue, as opposed to dissonant and erratic and stress-inducing. [4]
28Ornette Coleman
The Shape of Jazz to Come

[another sloth] -xyz- 28th Feb 2023 -xyz- It's funny, I'd kept this for last as I remember hearing it a few years back and just not getting it (too 'out there', too 'abstract', etc.) so thought it'd be a good list litmus test. Now, oddly, it's turned out to be one of the easiest listening albums here. I don't know if that's, in fact, a testament to how well this list has served me as a jazz crash course, or just that I completely misjudged Coleman when I first heard his spicy debut. *SHRUG*. Either way, this slaps the house down. It's hard bop roots just about stay true throughout the proto- free jazz haywire warbling. Hella emotive and direct in comparison to 27. The crunchy compactness got me reaching for the replay button after each listen. Nice. [4]

CLOSING THOUGHTS: Jazz was a much tougher beast vs. electronic. Lots more history, lots more apparent prestige that my mind had to process, lots more musical and cultural things to grapple with. I'm still learning, ig. Peace.
Show/Add Comments (136)


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2022
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy