Album Review: Ras Moshe and Stefan Cristoff- Rêves Sonores à Alwan

Awesome new album from Montreal’s Howl! Arts collective listen to it here and enjoy my complete rundown of the tape.

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“In the realm of contemporary music, free jazz and electronic sound art have run in similar directions.  The idea that an architect of sound can evoke a meaning that is rooted in traditional musical phrasing, yet free from the traditional systematic approach to organizing pitch and rhythm is the basis behind both art forms.  Despite the similarities in mentality and phrase structure, the contrasting sound aesthetics valued in each musical style provide for ideas that communicate without producing a sound leaning more towards one art form.  On Rêves Sonores à Alwan, the newest release from Montreal’s own Howl Arts Collective, Saxophone player Ras Moshe, Pianist Stefan Christoff, and producer Nick Schofield have joined forces resulting in a piece of music that explores the expressive possibilities of sound in both an electronic based community as well as a more jazz rooted conception.”

Read the rest here



Ida Toninato_Wanderers-Ear Worms

check it out on bandcamp

Ida Toninato begins here premier album on Kohlenstoff Records with am eerie Baritone saxophone drone piece that drips with maturity.  Wanderers is a perfect overview of Toninato’s knack for capturing her observer.  Although some of the other tracks on the work are made dense with various sound effects and electronic work, the first piece is her talent at its most raw.  The drawn out melodies wrap you in their purity throughout the seven minutes with subtle echoes filling out the lower frequencies.  The darkly tinged mood evoked by this overture perfectly sets up the aesthetic for the rest of the tracklist.



Kweku Collins-Nat Love_First Impressions

Young Chicago rapper Kweku Collins has been attracting attention with his solid single Stupid Rose, a song that features Collins’ bouncy flow over a smooth D’Angelo sample.  Upon my first listen of his recently released album Nat Love, I was impressed by Collins’ unique approach to the mellow rap sound.  His beats are simple yet warm with soul.  His flows laid back but syncopated in a standout manner.  I was particularly attracted to the tune Death of A Salesman.  The vocal layering works really well with the beat and the catchy hook. Also, Collins’ lyrics about his “Uncle Sam” seem to make points about race in America.  Sometimes his relaxed manner seems a bit lazy and some songs felt a bit like filler, but overall Good album.




David Bowie-Blackstar_Quick 100

It’s hard to put all my feelings about this into one paragraph (it’s still more than 100 words) but I love this album.  Good job Bowie.

Deep into the night on January 10th 2016, I was listening to Kanye West single “Real Friends,” about to go to bed.  My attention for the weekend had been focused on the brilliant new David Bowie record.  With the help of jazz musicians Donny McCaslin, Ben Mondor, and Mark Guiliana (among others), Bowie had crafted what he referred to as his version of Kendrick Lamar’s jazz induced Hip hop.  With the epic title track, Blackstar, Bowie once again managed to apply his songwriting style to a whole new image and aesthetic.  I was especially taken aback by the surplus of McCaslin solos and interesting electro-jazz beats throughout the piece. I was also intrigued by the way Bowie applied his modern jazz sounds to some of his classic chord progressions.  On January 10th, one little update from Consequence of Sound changed my whole idea of what this record meant.  Bowie had written his goodbye.  The Starman had supernova-ed in a departure only Bowie could have possibly pulled off.  Lazarus had been changed from the dark look at Bowie’s mortality into his assent into another place.

“Look up here, I’m in Heaven”

Goodbye Sir.


Listening 4/27

Some old some new today.

Anderson Paak- Malibu

  • this album has been put on my phone I turn it on very frequently now

Weezer- White Album

  • I’ve honestly listened to most of this every morning this week

Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo- Live

  • awesome playing all around I (obviously) really like the presence of Wadada Leo Smith on this particular record
  • look out for this one on CKUT‘s Jazz Euphorium tonight

William Parker Orchestra- Essence of Ellington

  • rare case of a good tribute album
  • not just a bunch of old guys playing the same charts a bunch of older guys would’ve played 20 years ago
  • really new idea of what Ellington was

David Bowie- Blackstar

  • RIP

Kweku Collins- Nat Love

  • like the single Stupid Rose
  • checking the whole thing out now


Kristoffer Lo-Front Row Gallows View_Ear Worms

(side note this video might not work in certain countries)

Kristoffer Lo is an avant-garde jazz musician out of Norway who has achieved greatness on his new album The Black Meat.  Recorded in a lighthouse with the aid of pedals and amplification, The Black Meat reflects the dark nature of its cover with it’s menacing droning pieces that grow and swell.  The first song on the album, Front Row Gallows View, spurs from a singular sustained Tuba note that seems to be pitched up.  Over the 10 minutes, Lo keeps the listener mesmerized with his massive low pitched entities that further the impact of the never-ending sustains.  The rest of the album continues the aesthetic of the first piece resulting in a moving overall piece.