@@@ David Krakauer: Ancestral Groove: Checkpoint (Table Pounding Records, 2016). A virtuoso clarinet record I got to via Slate’s best jazz records of the year over here. This first tune is not really jazz. The drums are mixed high like a rock tune and it’s a partyistic vibe and not a jazz vibe. He’s accompanied by an electric guitar player, bass and drums. I enjoy Krakauer’s playing but the jazz fusion/funk flavor of the band is not great for me. This a late night talk show band kicking it.
@@@ Mary Halvorson: Away With You (Firehouse, 2016). Guitarist Mary Halvorson has gotten big respect and this record has appeared on multiple best of 2016 lists. I find her playing to be solid but not as breathtaking as what the marketing may suggest. I like the arrangement of this first tune but it’s a tad heavy on smartness and a tad light on soul. Let’s peep more. I like the sweetness of this second tune’s melody, but I’m having the same feeling. This is math jazz, there are some really nice passages here but I would rather listen to a Joe Morris record.
@@@ Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 3 (Run the Jewels, 2016). I want to love Run the Jewels, Killer Mike is the bomb. I don’t love the arrangement on the opening tune. I like this second tune more. I like the rhymes but I don’t love the sounds and the arrangements. I’d dig fewer synths and more muscle on the sounds like the rhymes.
YTD recordings listened to: 12
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 8
Not good music: 3
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, Acid Arab, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis