Well, it's been a busy couple of days of listening. Here's the latest list of the releases I added and didn't add to my music collection:
HOWARD, NOAH (QUARTET): At Documenta IX CD (Boxholder) - More Jazz "back fill" from the catalog of the great Noah Howard in his best setting, the quartet. Solid live date, featuring excellent support on piano by Michael Joseph Smith. Not the definitive Howard document, but good to have it in the collection.
JESU: Silver CD-EP (Hydra Head) - Sonically similar to their other material, but certainly the weakest of the three Jesu releases. Still, two of the four tracks are really good, which makes this release worth having.
MECCA NORMAL: The Observer CD (KRS) - Thought provoking, emotion evoking songs delivered in Jean Smith's unique style!
VA: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of 2CD (Yazoo) - Despite all the hype and deluxe packaging (including artwork by R. Crumb!), this isn't the be-all/end-all of rootical Americana 78 collections. Still, enough moments of interest to be of merit.
Did Not Add
ACKLEY, BRUCE (TRIO): The Hearing CD (Avant) - Another Jazz "back-fill" title on Avant that I picked up cheap. Now I know why it was in the cut-out bins and I hadn't bought it before. Good personnel and solid playing. Just didn't hit the mark with me for whatever reason, possibly even just a Jazz overload recently, in which this release was merely comparatively weaker than other titles I added.
BARON, JOEY (+ BARONDOWN): Crackshot CD (Avant) - Interesting trio concept - drums, trombone, and sax. Players I enjoy and respect - Baron, Swell, and Eskelin. Unfortunately, this never gets very "out there" (the drumming is particularly boring, which is really surprizing since this is a drummer-led trio!) and, as a result, failed to satisfy sufficently.
GROWING: Color Wheel CD (Trouble Man Unlimited) - Should be renamed Boring. If I didn't know that the friend of mine who recommended this to me (and whose musical tastes I, generally, respect) was completely straight-edge, I'd swear he must be smoking crack to have extolled the virtues of this turkey to me.
NO NECK BLUES BAND AND EMBRYO: EmbryoNNCK CD (STAUB 067CD) - Marginal 70's Krautrockers, Embryo, join the often entertaining, NNCK, around the campfire for a percussion-oriented circle jerk that falls flat, IMHO.
VALLEY OF ASHES: Cavehill Hunters' Attrition 3LP (BVF VA) - Lots of similar late-night improv folk racket going around lately, from Jackie-O Motherfucker to that whole North Eastern crowd. Some of it works for me and some of it doesn't. I'll even admit that it's often hard to describe why some hit while others miss, but this one definitely missed me. Bordering on being a waste of vinyl and surely a waste of $30+!
Still lots more to go through (new OM, Major Stars, and so on), so more updates/mini-reviews coming soon!