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For the Record: January 29, 2021

Keeping tabs on new recordings of interest to the new-music community, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, and digital-only formats—including an Album of the Week by Chicago composer Hali Palombo.
For the Record: January 29, 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.

New from John Zorn: Bagatelles by the Boxload

The first in a series of boxed sets devoted to John Zorn’s 300 Bagatelles. (Photograph courtesy Tzadik Records)

Never is a word that seems to be absent from John Zorn’s vocabulary, and we’re all the better off for it. From March to May in 2015, the eternally restless composer, performer, and scene organizer composed 300 diverse new compositions, which he gathered up under the banner Bagatelles. Zorn tapped a wide range of artists and bands to play these pieces all over the world, frequently in extended marathon concerts. Throughout, he maintained that the pieces were not meant to be recorded, but rather to live in the moment as experiences that couldn’t be reproduced.

But perhaps it was tape traders and torrent fiends Zorn had in mind, because his Tzadik label has just announced a new series of 4CD box sets devoted to preserving the Bagatelles. Each box will contain four contrasting sessions; the first, due in February, features discs by the Mary Halvorson Quartet (with Miles Okazaki, Drew Gress, and Tomas Fujiwara), cellists Erik Friedlander and Michael Nicolas, guitar-bass-drums trio Trigger, and laptop magician Ikue Mori.

Rather than going through conventional retail routes, the boxes will be sold through Tzadik’s Limited Run site, where the first box is available to pre-order in standard and autographed editions, here.

Album of the Week

Hali Palombo

Hali Palombo
Cylinder Loops
(Astral Editions)

Hali Palombo, a composer and media artist based in Chicago, specializes in making new pieces from unconventional or archaic sources: cited on her website are “a large personal library of CB and amateur radio recordings… Morse code, wax cylinder samples, and field recordings she has taken at various midwestern points of interest.” For Cylinder Loops, her debut release on Astral Editions (the quirky/cool younger sibling of Austin free-jazz/avant-garde powerhouse Astral Spirits), Palombo fashions sounds drawn from the extensive UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive, a digital collection drawn from the more than 10,000 wax cylinders held by the University of California, Santa Barbara Library, available to stream and download. (The story of the collection and its preservation is fascinating.)

Using voices and instruments captured gingerly in wax more than a century ago, Palombo fashions playful loops – 12 of them, just over 18 minutes in total length – that conjure prewar innocence and novelty enshrouded in quietly insistent surface noise, transfigured by Palombo to emphasize human presence while also heightening a sense of distance. Hauntology suffuses these fleeting apparitions. But instead of the wistful pain and creeping dread evoked by The Caretaker in his kindred work, Palombo tends to summon friendly ghosts—even whimsical ones, like the spectral banjoist who plucks the “March of the Toreadors” from Bizet’s Carmen in “Loop 7.”

It’s mesmerizing, memorable stuff, not quite like anything you’re likely to have heard before, and it leaves you hungry for more.

New This Week

Jim O’Rourke (Photograph: James Hadfield)

Theo Bleckmann & The Westerlies - This Land (Westerlies)

Henry Birdsey - Half-Dragged (Other Minds)

Buke and Gase/So Percussion - A Record Of (Brassland)

Christopher Cerrone - A Natural History of Vacant Lots - Andy Meyerson (The Living Earth Show)

Loren Connors & Oren Ambarchi - Leone (Family Vineyard)

Aaron Cupples - Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (PAN)

Adrián Demoč - Hlaholika - Apartment House, Students of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (Another Timbre)

Max Eilbacher - Max Eilbacher (Ultraviolet Light)

Signe Emmeluth - Hi Hello I’m Signe (Relative Pitch)

Graham Fitkin - Mesh - Icebreaker (Rookery Hill; remastered digital issue of 1992 Argo recording)

gabby fluke-mogul - threshold (Relative Pitch)

Michael and Peter Formanek - Dyads (Out of Your Head)

Davíð Brynjar Franzson - voice fragments - Stephanie Aston (Carrier)

Julius Hemphill - The Boyé Multi-National Crusade for Harmony (New World; 7CD box of previously unreleased archival recordings)

Ethan Iverson with Umbria Jazz Orchestra - Bud Powell in the 21st Century (Sunnyside)

Yvette Janine Jackson - Freedom (Fridman Gallery)

Clarice Jensen - Ainu Mosir (130701)

Alina Kalancea - Impedance (Important)

Catherine Lamb - Muto Infinitas - Rebecca Lane, Jon Heilbron (Another Timbre)

Joe Lovano Trio Tapestry - Garden of Expression (ECM)

Shai Maestro - Human (ECM)

Josten Myburgh - Sculthorpe Studies (Another Timbre)

Jim O’Rourke - Best that you do this for me - Apartment House (Another Timbre)

Jim O’Rourke - Steamroom 53 (Steamroom)

Hali Palombo - Cylinder Loops (Astral Editions)

William Parker - Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World (Centering)

Thollem’s Astral Traveling Sessions - Thollem/John Dieterich (Astral Spirits)

Thollem’s Astral Traveling Sessions - Thollem/Valsamis/Greenhill/Kim (Astral Spirits)

The Underflow (Mats Gustafsson, David Grubbs, and Rob Mazurek) - Instant Opaque Evening (Blue Chopsticks)

Michael Winter - single track - Liminar (Another Timbre)

Just Announced

Roscoe Mitchell and Mike Reed (Photograph: YouTube)

February 5

Ashley Bellouin & Ben Bracken - String Songs (Debacle)

Jeremiah Cymerman/Charlie Looker - A Horizon Made of Canvas (Astral Spirits)

Clare Hammond - Variations - compositions by Karol Szymanowski, Helmut Lachenmann, Harrison Birtwistle, John Adams, Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, and Sofia Gubadulina (BIS)

Michael Gregory Jackson - Frequency Equilibrium Koan (self-released; 1977 live recording)

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė - Saudade - performances by Gabrielius Alekna, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (Ondine)

Stephen Vitiello - Soundtracks for Lynne Sachs, Volume 1: Film About A Father Who; Tip of My Tongue (Room40)

Peter Zummo & Tom Hamilton - Slybersonic Tromosome (self-released; reissue of 1999 Penumbra CD)

February 12

Alvin Lucier - Music for Piano XL - Nicolas Horvath (Grand Piano)

Montgomery and Turner - Sounds Passing Through Circumstances (Astral Editions)

February 17

Taylor Ho Bynum - The Temp - Coast Jazz Orchestra, Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, and guests (self-released)

February 19

Roscoe Mitchell & Mike Reed - the Ritual and the Dance (Astral Spirits)

February 21

Benoît Delbecq - The Weight of Light (Pyroclastic)

February 26

Thollem’s Astral Traveling Sessions - Thollem/Susan Alcorn (Astral Spirits)

Thollem’s Astral Traveling Sessions - Thollem/Alex Cline (Astral Spirits)

Thumbscrew - Never Is Enough (Cuneiform)

March 3

Taylor Brook - Star Maker Fragments - TAK Ensemble (TAK Editions)

March 5

Kuzu (Dave Rempis, Tashi Dorji, and Tyler Damon) - The Glass Delusion (Astral Spirits)

Hafez Modirzadeh - Facets (Pi Recordings)

Andrew Weathers & Hayden Pedigo - Big Tex, Here We Come (Debacle)

March 12

Robert Honstein - Middle Ground - Kate Stenberg (Other Minds)

Various artists - Resonant Bodies - performances by Charmaine Lee, Julia Bullock, Pamela Z, Sarah Maria Sun, Tony Arnold, Arooj Aftab, Kamala Sankaram, Caroline Shaw, Gelsey Bell, Rachel Calloway, Lucy Shelton, Anaïs Maviel, and Sofia Jernberg (New Focus)

March 26

[Ahmed] - Nights on Saturn (communication) (Astral Spirits)

Lukas Ligeti - That Which Has Remained, That Which Will Emerge (Col Legno)

April 2

Chaz Knapp - Organ Drunes (figureight)

April 9

Christine Ott - Time to Die (Gizeh)

April 16

Lea Bertucci - A Visible Length of Light (self-released)

June 18

Don Cherry - The Summer House Sessions (Blank Forms)

Don Cherry’s New Researches featuring Naná Vasconcelos - Organic Music Theatre: Festival de jazz de Chateauvallon 1972 (Blank Forms)