On The Turntable

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    John Sinclair Presents Detroit Artists Workshop

    John Sinclair Presents Detroit Artists Workshop :: Community, Jazz and Art in the Motor City, 1965-1981

    You probably know John Sinclair’s name from his status as a legendary Detroit activist and MC5 manager. But he also worked with trumpeter Charles Moore to put on a wide variety of Detroit Artists Workshop shows that highlighted some of the best local jazz talent. This new compilation gives us a glimpse of the sweet sounds that went down over the years.

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    Misha Panfilov

    Misha Panfilov :: Atlântico

    Estonian composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Misha Panfilov continues to operate in his own diaphanous waters where waves of funk, jazz, and exotica crash upon mystic sands of psychedelic rock and kosmische music. Recorded in the archipelago of Madeira, his latest album, Atlântico, shifts tectonic plates of space and sound, leaving a decidedly more spiritual and serene landscape in its wake.

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    Airto & Flora

    Airto & Flora :: A Celebration: 60 Years – Sounds, Dreams & Other Stories

    Compiling thirty tracks across just about as many years (1964 through 1996) from the various solo and collaborating outings of the duo (now in their sixty-first year as union), the set examines their evolving alchemy of samba, bossa nova, jazz-fusion, and outré-funk excursions.

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    Legion Of Mary

    Legion Of Mary :: Oriental Theatre | Milwaukee, WI, 1975 WZMF

    Legion of Mary, the short-lived bay area live outfit that was home to players Jerry Garcia, Merle Saunders, John Kahn, Martin Fierro and Ron Tutt. Performing around 60 shows between July 1974 to July 1975, the band’s spirited performance at Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre in April of ’75 is one of their best in circulation, and one that, thus far, has yet to see an official release.

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    The Malombo Jazz Makers

    The Malombo Jazz Makers :: Down Lucky’s Way

    Recorded in 1969 but unreleased/unknown until now, Down Lucky’s Way is a little hard to describe — minimal modal folk jazz? Maybe! Guitarist Lucky Ranku called it “healing music,” and that might be the most right on. The gentle but propulsive groove, the free-floating melodies, the comradely interplay … it just makes you feel better. Highly highly highly recommended.

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    Jake Acosta

    Jake Acosta :: Rehearsal Park

    Jake Acosta’s Rehearsal Park is made up of two long pieces (27 and 17 minutes, respectively) that feel warm and accessible but somehow somewhat unclassifiable. RIYL Oren Ambarchi? Oscillating grooves, interlocking melodies, unexpected string and horn sections, free-flowing rivers of sound — it reveals hidden layers and buried textures the more you get into it.

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    John Fahey

    John Fahey :: Voice of the Turtle

    … though John Fahey would employ a similar strategy on America’s second side (after a dose of fretboard gymnastics on “The Waltz that Carried Us Away” and “Knoxville Blues”), with “Mark 1:15,” it is “Voice of the Turtle” that comes across as the true pivot point for the guitarist as a composer. And it was just that, which he was becoming. From revivalist interpreter, to experimenter, to composer of, perhaps, the most fundamentally American works.

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    George Winston

    George Winston :: December

    ‘Tis the season. George Winston’s 1982 collection of seasonal solo piano recordings. Via Windham Hill Records.

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Jake Acosta :: Rehearsal Park

Another great one from Ryley Walker’s Husky Pants label, which has quickly become a reliable source for sweet sounds both old and new. Jake Acosta’s Rehearsal Park is made up of two long pieces (27 and 17 minutes, respectively) that feel warm and accessible but somehow somewhat unclassifiable. RIYL Oren Ambarchi? (Ryley describes it as “If Glenn Branca went to Hampshire. If Phish was black dice.”) Oscillating grooves, interlocking melodies, unexpected string and horn sections, free-flowing rivers of sound — it reveals hidden layers and buried textures the more you get into it.

James Elkington :: Me Neither

Me Neither, the new album by James Elkington, has the appearance of library music as it is made up of a series of 29 brief instrumental pieces, the shortest of which is 36 seconds long. Elkington is known for his solo work, being a member of Brokeback, and supporting artists such as Jeff Tweedy and Richard Thompson. The new album is a departure from Elkington’s previous singer-songwriter material as most of the tracks feature a theme played on the acoustic guitar, while others are ambient soundscapes with found sounds such as sirens and avian chirping.

Fabiano Do Nascimento :: Mundo Solo

Fabiano do Nascimento seems weary of the “Brazilian music” label, at least when it ties him to particular artistic expectations. He prefers to aim for an impossible universality than to ever be pigeonholed to an ideal of national sound. His new solo material, out via Brazilian music aficionados Far Out, complicates this ambivalence.

Aquarium Drunkard Book Club :: Chapter 27

Welcome back to the stacks. It’s Aquarium Drunkard’s Book Club, our monthly gathering of recent (or not so recent) recommended reading. In this month’s stack: tales of aliens in upstate New York, the life and times of American folklorist Harry Smith, yet another (worthy) Dylan tome and the paranoid end of the 1970s. Your librarians are Justin Gage, Scott Bunn, Tyler Wilcox, and Jarrod Annis.

Diamonds From the Deepest Ocean :: Bob Dylan | Blown Out On The Trail

Diamonds From the Deepest Ocean is a new series exploring classic Bob Dylan bootlegs from the CD era. Before broadband internet, YouTube, and bottomless hard drives overflowing with FLACs, many Dylan fans relied on the grey market to gain entry into the world of unreleased Dylan. This series celebrates those tangible treasures and wonders: “What’s lost when you can have it all?”

Now playing: Blown Out On The Trail (1988)

John Martyn :: Live At Leeds

When John Martyn set up shop at the Leeds University Refectory, the place was still smoking from legendary sets laid down there by The Who and The Groundhogs just a few years prior. Little did he know, Martyn was about to complete the Leeds trifecta. Live at Leeds finds Martyn barrelling headlong into the uncharted reaches of his own expansive trajectory, flanked by Pentangle’s Danny Thompson on bass and Spontaneous Music Ensemble founder John Stevens on kit.

Jonathan Rado :: For Who the Bell Tolls For

“For Who the Bell Tolls For” begins with a choice. Many are the albums that hum and hiss at their beginnings with the sounds of the studio. They transport us into and out of the creative process with a wink and a nudge as if to say the beauty you’re about to hear is the product of process, of mistakes and retakes, of many parts becoming a sum. Jonathan Rado makes such a choice, punctuating it with the muffled expletives of trying to get things right before things start rolling in earnest.

Bob Seger System :: Mongrel

At some point, every ‘music person’ hits that developmental phase in taste-building that sent them looking for the ‘before they got big’ early era of every artist they were interested in. Maybe that early starving artist period does offer some glimpses into genius, if not ingenuity and survival. Bob Seger is one such artist.

Jim Pepper :: Pepper’s Pow Wow

The first song you hear on Pepper’s Pow Wow is the first song that Jim Pepper ever heard. “Witchitai-To” is a Comanche chant that his grandfather brought home from his duties leading peyote ceremonies in the Native American Church. It first appears on the album as a faithful recreation of the way Jim must have originally experienced it: chants, foot stomps, a turtle shell rattle.

Chet Baker: Live at Pub Le Dreher (Paris, France 1980)

February 29, 1980, captured live at Pub Le Dreher — Rue Saint-Denis, Paris, France. Flanked by Maurizio Gianmarco (tenor sax), Dennis Luxion (piano), Ricardo del Fra (bass) and Donny Donable (drums), the near 45 minute set finds the 51 year old Baker in healthy form as he leads the quintet through five tunes including a vocal via the John Klenner and Sam M. Lewis penned “Just Friends”. Sublime.

Lewsberg :: Out And About

Is this band the Dutch Yo La Tengo? Eh, that is probably an oversimplification — but maybe I’ve got your attention now. Lewsberg’s latest, Out And About, definitely shares a bit with YLT’s brand of winsome indie pop (more than a little Feelies in there, too), but there’s plenty of originality and imagination here, too. Half-spoken, half-sung girl/guy vocals, straight-ahead Moe Tucker thumps, alternately chiming/chugging/fuzzy guitar …