Monday, January 29, 2007
Music I Liked And Didn't - 1/29/07
VANDERMARK 5: Four Sides To The Story: Recorded At Alchemia Nov. 23, 2005 DLP (Not Two) - This is a deluxe, limited edition, double LP boxset (with a 16 page 12” x 12” book of color photos and a Ken Vandermark interview), which documents the V5's 2005 gigs in Poland. It features eight live versions of material from the "Color Of Memory" and "A Discontinuous Line" releases. This set captures the quintet in the early days of its current incarnation, featuring Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello. As is always the case with the great Vandermark 5, this is compelling music of a wide scope, informed by the best Jazz traditions, as well as Free Music, even incorporating elements of rock and funk to create their own unique, modern take on the Jazz idiom. Overall, an outstanding package that documents solid performances from one of the best, most innovative groups on the scene today - excellent!
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Other Notes -
Thanks to the fine folks at the Italian imprint, Qbico, not only for their ongoing series of excellent and "envelope pushing" releases, but, also, for using text from the Sonictroubadour's recent review of the latest release by Faruq Z. Bey on their website. One slight correction, however, Sonictroubadour did not, as they claim, name "Infa 'A" as one of the Top Ten Jazz Albums for 2006. Not that I didn't enjoy it quite a bit nor that it wasn't "officially" released in 2006, but I didn't get my copy until 12/30/06 and did not post my review of it until 1/1/07, so, at least for my purposes, it will be considered for 2007 honors, not 2006.
Also, I should note for the record that Sonictroubadour does not receive advance promotional copies of anything! I purchase all releases reviewed here with my own money once they hit the stores. Therefore, reviews of new releases may not be quite as timely as those in print mags or bigger, better established music sites (who often get releases a couple of weeks before their "street date", so the item can get hyped before it goes on sale!), but I do try to do my best to keep things as up to date as possible. For example, I did post my review of the latest album from Ghost on its 1/23/07 release date.
The lack of freebies does have some benefits, too. Because Sonictroubadour is not beholden to any industry operatives, readers can feel confident that, for better or worse, they're getting my honest, unadulterated opinions in all reviews. I don't have to fear being cut off from the promo gravy train if I publish an unflattering review of a particular release. And I'm old enough and confident enough that I'm not susceptible to "peer pressure" and, therefore, I'll never publish a positive, but untrue, review just to maintain "cool points". That all being stated, I do not want to give the wrong impression that I feel my opinions, as expresssed in my published reviews, are necessarily better or more correct than other (possibly divergent) views, as they are still, in the end, only my personal opinions. I'm just trying to provide some perspective on factors that potentially impact the formation of both my reviews and reviews readers may see on other sites.
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