Back in the ’80s, there were only two major Tuareg guitar bands. One of them was Tinariwen from Mali, the other was Takrist Nakal from Niger. And the leader of Takrist Nakal was named Abdallah ag Oumbadougou.
Now, for the first time, a compilation of his songs is being released on vinyl by Petaluma Records. The two-LP set features songs from Oumbadougou’s albums along with outtakes and demos. It’s the sound of guns and dust, of mudbrick buildings baking in the heat, of the mosque at twilight.
Incoming transmission from Hopeton Overton Brown, better known as Scientist. As a protege of dub pioneer King Tubby, Scientist represents dub’s third generation—at least that’s how his 1981 collaboration with Tubby and Prince Jammy, First Second, and Third Generation, puts it. These days he’s living in Los Angeles, where he joined host Jason P. Woodbury for this all-new episode. Prepare to cover a lot of ground, as we move from his origins at Channel One and Tuff Gong to divine messages, run-ins with Lee “Scratch” Perry, aliens and angels, simulation theory, his suspicions about modern cannabis strains, the digital vs analog debate, and much more.
Jessica Pratt returned last week with a delicately stunning new tune called “Life Is,” the first taste off her forthcoming new album, Here in the Pitch. The track, which has been on serious repeat, finds Pratt orbiting a Blossom Dearie-like sphere—its big 60s girl group backbeat, staccato strings, and kaleidoscopic production accompanying her on an existential carousel.
His sophomore outing, Chet Sounds’ Changes Happen to Everyone, Everywhere, released this past fall, is a vibrantly slinky and saturated musical trip that rolls along the bayou and floats amongst the cosmos in equal measure. Performed, produced, and mixed by the Australian-based Chet Tucker in a shipping container on his family’s property in the Sutherland Shire, the album takes a lo-fi glossy and groove-laden trip across 70s-am pop, yacht rock, private press outsider folk, library funk, and Rundgren-esque psychedelia.
A hypnotic energy courses through Juana Molina’s 2019 EP, Forfun. The story goes that the songs here were reimagined from an improvised set Molina performed in 2018, after her instruments and pedals were misplaced in transit to a festival. Stripped of almost all of her bells and whistles, she more than compensated, conjuring frenetic new sounds.
Out jazz has always had thing for lost continents. Sun Ra had Atlantis. Don Cherry had Mu. Miles gave us both Agharta and Pangaea on the same day. Even Lee Morgan’s most adventurous record has us searching for new lands. “There are,” said Sun Ra, “other worlds they have not told you of.” And jazz often obliquely advanced its social and political critique of contemporary America by conjuring secret and unknown civilizations—beneath the oceans or beyond the stars.
As such, Ontario keyboardist Pierre Chrétien and alto saxophonist Zakari Frantz had to know they were tapping into the deepest utopian imagination of the radical jazz tradition when they named their unit Atlantis Jazz Ensemble.
Pulp Jazz draws on long-traduced, sometimes crassly commercial, musical forms—jazz-funk, exotica, new age, sci-fi schlock, lounge music and library—and channels it all into deeply funky, low-key psychedelic groove music. More than that, like the best pulp, it somehow comes out sexy as hell, slinky and dangerous. Aquarium Drunkard has been here for it. The world could stand to be a shade groovier. And when we were asked for a mixtape of the primo stuff, we were more than happy to oblige. It’s what we do.
Let’s hope this fresh wave of fusion doesn’t reignite the jazz wars of old. But we’re down to fight if it comes to that.
Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard returns with a new installment of Chad DePasquale’s New Happy Gathering — freak-out funk, moody pop & avant-folk, plus a few tributes to some recently departed heroes. Then, Tyler Wilcox’s Doom and Gloom from the Tomb offers up some moody, ambient jazziness, gathered (mostly) from late 2023 and early 2024. Sunday, 5-7pm Pacific Standard Time….
Since moving from Montreal to the bilingual city of Gatineau, Nick Schofield has scaled up his solo project into an ensemble. On his latest album, the electronic voyager glides through 12 short songs. Fans of kankyō ongaku may be used to sidelong odysseys, but Schofield’s compositions fade in and out in five minutes or less, allowing for a panoply of melodic song-sketches.
A veteran of such well-loved post-punk outfits as Autoclave and Helium, Mary Timony’s Untame The Tiger emerged from a season of suffering. But it’s far from a downer, surfing waves of survival with folky melodies and punky bursts of energy.
Collected here are five selections from a private stash of stage recordings, capturing the band at the Shaboo Inn in Willimantic, CT, London’s Rainbow Theater, and a pair of dates on its extraordinary tour of Brazil in the summer of ‘74. Beyond the blistering performances featured therein, the Brazil tapes are a notable document of guitarist Dominique Gaumont’s brief time with the band – a tenure that began on March 30, 1974 (as captured on sides 3 and 4 of the Dark Magus LP) and lasted through the fall.
Via satellite, transmitting from northeast Los Angeles — the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays. All tunes via our ongoing Lagniappe Sessions series …
34.1090° N, 118.2334° W
Discoveries like Way Back When (as well as the truly astonishing excavations the Jazz in Britain project has been putting out these last few years) illustrate how dramatically the UK jazz scene was metamorphosizing at the turn of the 1970s. There was a creative feedback mechanism at work, as innovative ideas from at home and abroad—American electricity, the European avant-garde, Canterbury prog and a homegrown free improvisation tradition going back to AMM and Cornelius Cardew—were instantly assimilated and refined.