For the Record is a regular round-up of new and upcoming 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 For the Record: The Master List, a continuously 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that all opinions expressed herein are solely my own, and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
Keeping this weekend's edition tight since I'm writing this in San Francisco, where I'm struggling hard to adjust to the time difference—and working in two far-flung time zones simultaneously far more than I'd intended, to be honest. I'm here for the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, which is off to a cordial start, and spent a little bit of my afternoon talking about how important the work of Gary Giddins and John Rockwell had been to my formative career path with Rockwell sitting nearby to my left and Giddins directly beside me on the right. Good stuff.
The image above is a reminder that today is Bandcamp's third-annual Juneteenth fundraiser; from midnight Friday to midnight Saturday Pacific time, the sales platform will donate 100 percent of its sales share to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The jury may still be out concerning the broad impact of Bandcamp's recent acquisition, but it remains heartening to see a continued adherence to principles of social justice and equity.
This shouldn't be mistaken for Bandcamp Friday, as it's not the artists who'll see the extra funds this time around; still, it's one hell of a noble cause, and as fine an excuse as you might need to order that new deluxe Fela reissue, or that big ol' Anthony Braxton box set you've been meaning to get around to.
Album(s) of the week.
Wadada Leo Smith
String Quartets Nos. 1-12
RedKoral Quartet with Wadada Leo Smith, Alison Bjorkedal, Anthony Davis, Lynn Vartan, Stuart Fox, and Thomas Buckner
TUM; 7 CDs
The Emerald Duets
Wadada Leo Smith with Pheeroan akLaff, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, and Jack DeJohnette
TUM; 5 CDs
An efflorescence of Wadada Leo Smith releases on the Finnish label TUM, which started last year in observance of the trumpeter, composer, and bandleader's 80th birthday, continues with the release of two further multi-disc sets.
I won't claim to have made it all the way through the cycle of Smith's twelve string quartets over the last few weeks of sporadic listening, though I'm not far off since No. 10 is playing as I type this. Nor will I claim any thorough comprehension of these works, all of which I'm just getting to know. But what a privilege it is to get to discover this vital, varied, and fascinating oeuvre through polished, committed performances by artists who've worked closely with the composer.
A lot of ground is covered in the far-from-repetitive encounters with Pheeroan akLaff, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, and Jack DeJohnette comprising The Emerald Duets. The strength of these musicians assures you won't sense any spareness or lack, and it's especially fascinating to hear how Smith varies his approach to accommodate the strengths and specifics of his partners.
New Yorkers likely know already that Smith is an honoree at this year's Vision Festival, the first night of which includes a duo set with akLaff, a RedKoral Quartet set, and a significant premiere dedicated to the victims of terrorism aboard Flight 93. I'm seriously sorry to be missing this June 21 performance, even more so after hearing these two recordings.
(Now, can we please have TUM on Bandcamp?)
New this week.
Anteloper - Pink Dolphins (International Anthem)
John Cage - Choral Works - Latvian Radio Choir/Sigvards Klava (Ondine)
Megan Alice Clune - Digital Auras (Longform Editions)
Foodman - Percussion Oyaji (Longform Editions)
Alexandra Grimal - refuge (Relative Pitch)
Kimia Hesabi - Nemāno Gaona - compositions by Gity Razaz, Alireza Mashayekhi, Showan Tavakol, Bahar Royaee, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Mozhgan Chahian, and Alireza Mashayekhi (New Focus)
Nailah Hunter - Forest Dwelling (Longform Editions)
James Kallembach - Antigone: The Writings of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement - Lorelei Ensemble/Beth Willer (New Focus)
Lisbeth Quartet - Release (Intakt)
Sarah Plum - Personal Noise - compositions by Kyong Mee Choi, Jeff Herriott, Mari Kimura, Eric Lyon, Eric Moe, Charles Nichols, and Mari Takano (Blue Griffin)
Sam Prekop - Saturday Sunday (Longform Editions)
PUBLIQuartet - What Is American - compositions by Rhiannon Giddens, Vijay Iyer, and Roscoe Mitchell, and improvisations on themes by Antonín Dvořák, Fats Waller, Ornette Coleman, and others (Bright Shiny Things)
Scanner - The Homeland of Electricity (DiN)
Daniel Schmidt - Cloud Shadows (Recital)
Matthew Shipp - World Construct (ESP-Disk')
Wadada Leo Smith - The Emerald Duets - performances with Pheeroan akLaff, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, and Jack DeJohnette (TUM)
Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets Nos. 1-12 - RedKoral Quartet with Wadada Leo Smith, Alison Bjorkedal, Anthony Davis, Lynn Vartan, Stuart Fox, and Thomas Buckner (TUM)
Günter Baby Sommer and the Lucaciu 3 - Karawane (Intakt)
Colin Stetson, Elliott Sharp, Billy Martin, Payton MacDonald - Void Patrol (Infrequent Seams)
Marta Warelis - a grain of Earth (Relative Pitch)
Wild Up - Julius Eastman Vol. 2: Joy Boy (New Amsterdam)
John Corigliano - To Music; Troubadours; Symphony No. 2 - Eliot Fisk, Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose (BMOPsound)
Johnny Gandelsman - This Is America: An Anthology 2020-2021 - compositions by Clarice Assad, Kinan Azmeh, Layale Chaker, Christina Courtin, Olivia Davis, Nick Dunston, Adeliia Faizullina, Rhea Fowler & Micaela Tobin, Rhiannon Giddens, Marika Hughes, Maya Miro Johnson, Bojan Louis, Dana Lyn, Angelica Negron, Ebun Oguntola, Tomeka Reid, Terry Riley, Matana Roberts, Aeryn Santillan, Tyshawn Sorey, Anjna Swaminathan, Conrad Tao, Akshaya Tucker, and Kojiro Umezaki (In a Circle)
Moor Mother - Jazz Codes (Anti-)
John Cage - Hymnkus; Thoreau Drawings; Two - Apartment House (Another Timbre)
Allison Cameron - Somatic Refrain - Apartment House (Another Timbre)
John Lely - Meander Selection - Apartment House (Another Timbre)
Tim Parkinson - an album - Apartment House (Another Timbre)
Kory Reeder - Codex Vivere - Apartment House (Another Timbre)
Anthony Davis - X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X - Davóne Tines, Odyssey Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose (BMOPsound)