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For the Record: April 9, 2021

Keeping tabs on new recordings of interest to the new-music community, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, and digital-only formats—including a newly announced Julius Eastman series from Wild Up.
For the Record: April 9, 2021

For the Record is a weekly round-up of new and pending recordings of interest to the new-music community: contemporary classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined, on CD, vinyl LP,  cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.

This list of release dates is culled from press releases, Amazon, Bandcamp, and other  internet stores and sources, social-media posts,  and online resources such as Discogs.   Dates cited typically correspond to initial U.S. release, and are subject to change. (Links to Amazon, used when all else fails, do not imply endorsement.)

After publication, new listings are incorporated into On the Record: The Master List, a continuously compiled and updated resource exclusively accessible to paying Night After Night subscribers, found here.

These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to nightafternight@icloud.com.

Please note that all opinions expressed herein are solely my own, and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Getting Wild Up with Julius Eastman

Julius Eastman (Photograph: Jim Tuttle/The University at Buffalo Music Library)

Brilliant news arrived this week from the protean, idiosyncratic Los Angeles new-music ensemble Wild Up, which announced the start of a new series of recordings devoted to music by the iconoclastic composer and performer Julius Eastman, to be issued on the New Amsterdam label. Much has been written about Eastman in recent years, thanks in large part to the diligent effort of composer/scholars like Mary Jane Leach and Kyle Gann. Here’s a succinct introduction, from the Wild Up website:

Julius Eastman was young, gay, and black, when it was even more difficult to be young, gay, and black in America. He swerved in, out,  and through academia, downtown experimental music, discos, European tours, sex clubs, and Carnegie Hall. He died at 49 in Buffalo, New York, less than a decade after the New York City Sheriff’s Department threw most of his scores and belongings into the winter snow of the East Village.

What remains of Eastman’s music has been played with greater frequency since the 2005 release of Unjust Malaise, a three-CD set on New World Records, and the appearance in 2018 of Gay Guerrilla, a foundational anthology of writings about Eastman, edited by Leach and Renée Levine-Packer. In some cases, partly lost works have been painstakingly recreated. One work, Femenine, initially released in a 1974 archival recording by the S.E.M. Ensemble on the Frozen Reeds label, is beginning to take on serious momentum: vibrant, distinctive new recordings by Apartment House and ensemble 0 & Aum Grand Ensemble have appeared during the last two years.

Femenine is also where Wild Up is starting its Eastman recording venture. The work’s irresistible pulsations and spirited improvisations ideally suit this group, which has just taken on a handful of significant new members including cellist Seth Parker Woods, flutist Isabel Lepanto Gleicher, and saxophonists Erin Rogers and Shelley Washington. (Woods serves as a leader on the recording, along with the extraordinary pianist Richard Valitutto.)

Sessions held in 2019 to document Femenine also rendered accounts of two more works well known to Eastman aficionados, Stay on It and Joy Boy. In a casual telephone chat earlier this week, Wild Up music director Christopher Rountree mentioned some of the other works that will be included in this multi-volume survey, which will be rolled out over the next few years: some pieces well known to Eastman followers, others comparatively rare. Since we weren’t on the record (no pun intended), I’m not going to leak any details here. Suffice it to say that, all told, this series will be a substantial addition to the slim existing catalog—stay tuned for further details.

New This Week

Lucian Ban (L) and Abraham Burton (Photograph: Cornel Lazia)

Akropolis Reed Quintet - Ghost Light - compositions by Stacy Garrop, Michael Gilbertson, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Theo Chandler, Marsha Music, and Jeff Scott (New Focus)

Balmorhea - The Wind (Deutsche Grammophon)

Gavin Bryars - A Native Hill - The Crossing/Donald Nally (Navona; CD due June 25)

Abraham Burton & Lucian Ban - Blacksalt (Sunnyside)

Jean-Baptise Geoffroy - Stress Hydrique (Dinzu Artefacts)

Anna Heflin - The Redundancy of the Angelic: An Interluding Play (Infrequent Seams)

Vijay Iyer - Uneasy (ECM)

Lisel - Mycelial Echo (Luminelle)

Hubert Kostkiewicz - Emergetyki (Dinzu Artefacts)

Christine Ott - Time to Die (Gizeh)

Leo Suarez - Circle Tension (Dinzu Artefacts)

Just Announced

Three-Layer Cake (L-R Mike Pride, Brandon Seabrook, Mike Watt) (Photograph: RareNoise Records)

April 16

Tom Rainey Obbligato - Untucked in Hannover (Intakt)

Irène Schweitzer/Hamid Drake - Celebration (Intakt)

April 23

Arooj Aftab - Vulture Prince (New Amsterdam)

Tim Brady - Actions Speak Louder – Act 1: Solos and a Quartet (Redshift Music)

Tim Brady - Actions Speak Louder – Act 2: v-Orchestra (Redshift Music)

Tim Brady - Actions Speak Louder – Act 3: Voices (Redshift Music)

John Zorn - Chaos Magick (Tzadik)

April 29

gabby fluke-mogul, Jacob Felix Heule & Kanoko Nishi-Smith - non-dweller (self-released)

April 30

Konstantia Gourzi - Anájikon - performances by Nils Mönkemeyer, William Youn, Lucerne Academy Orchestra, and Minguet Quartett (ECM New Series)

May 7

Noah Haidu - Slowly: Song for Keith Jarrett (Sunnyside)

May 14

Francisco del Pino - Decir (New Amsterdam)

Three-Layer Cake (Brandon Seabrook, Mike Pride, Mike Watt) - Stove Top (RareNoise)

May 21

Catherine Lee - Remote Together - compositions by Jordan Nobles, Dana Reason, Taylor Brook, Julian Snow, Matt Carlson, and Catherine Lee & Juniana Lanning (Redshift Music)

Ikue Mori, Brian Marsella & Sae Hashimoto - Archepelago X (Tzadik)

May 27

Scott Ordway - Nineteen Movements for Unaccompanied Cello - Arlen Hlusko (Acis Productions)

May 28

HUMANBEING (Rossano Baldini) - HUMANBEING (RareNoise)

June 4

Gerald Cleaver - Griots (Positive Elevation)

June 11

Dustin O’Halloran - Silfur (Deutsche Grammophon)

We All Break - Path of Seven Colors (Pyroclastic)

June 12

The Raybeats - The Lost Philip Glass Sessions (Ramp Local; RSD vinyl premiere)

June 18

Hprizm - Signs Remixed (Positive Elevation)

Curtis Stewart - Of Power - compositions and reimagined works by Charlie Parker, Johann Sebastian Bach, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Childish Gambino, John Coltrane, Niccolò Paganini, Elektra Kurtis, Eugène Ysaÿe & Stevie Wonder (Bright Shiny Things)

Wild Up - Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine (New Amsterdam)

June 25

Min Xiao-Fen with Rez Abbasi - White Lotus (Inside Out Music)

Denny Zeitlin & George Marsh - Telepathy (Sunnyside)