5 min read

For the Record: May 21, 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 from The Westerlies and Conrad Tao.

For the Record is a weekly 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 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.

Can Comes Alive

Can live in Soest, 1970. (Photograph courtesy Spoon/Mute)

Exciting news on the archival front, as the groundbreaking German avant-rock band Can launches a series devoted to concert recordings. Live in Stuttgart 1975 arrives next Friday, May 28, on the band's Spoon imprint via Mute Records.

This promo clip provides a sense of the sound quality (nice!) and the groove (deep!), and you can read lots more in a new review by Sasha Frere-Jones, published this morning on 4 Columns.

Wadada Speaks

Wadada Leo Smith (Photograph: Michael Jackson)

Two new releases from trumpter, composer, pedagogue, and philosopher Wadada Leo SmithTrumpet, a three-disc set of glowing soliloques, and Sacred Ceremonies, comprising discs of duos with bassist Bill Laswell and percussionist Milford Graves, plus a third featuring the trio – are out today on the Finnish imprint TUM. Alas, the label remains absent from Bandcamp; you'll have to seek streaming illumination elsewhere.

To mark the occasion, cue up a new podcast from Burning Ambulance, in which journalist and critic Phil Freeman chats with Smith about projects old and new. Then watch Smith play with one of his most insightful collaborators, keyboardist Vijay Iyer, in the world premiere of RequiemX, billed as "a suite inspired by the life & work of Malcolm X"—but don't delay, because the video's only available through Sunday, May 23. While you're there, be sure to catch the pair chatting with pianist, composer, and educator Anthony Davis.

Album of the Week

The Westerlies (Photograph courtesy of the artists)

The Westerlies & Conrad Tao
(Westerlies Records; DL)

Here's a gorgeous session I didn't see coming, but might as well have, so well matched are the participants. The Westerlies – trumpeters Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands, and trombonists Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch – are a Seattle quartet known for mixing chamber-music precision, poise, and delicacy with improvisational zeal and a deep vein of Americana. Conrad Tao attracted attention initially as a classical piano prodigy with a deep passion for new music, innovation, and community building, but lately has demonstrated a penchant for composition and media art, as well as a fiery devotion to social justice.

Bricolage comprises nine recorded performances (one in three parts) from a two-week retreat in rural New Hampshire during June 2019. The music is atmospheric and unpredictable, subtly shaded and vividly textured, patently democratic. It's never exactly what you'd expect from four horns and a piano, but it might be exactly what you'd anticipate from these four horn players and this pianist.

New This Week

Ralph Peterson Jr. (Photograph courtesy Onyx Music)

Chris Cerrone - The Arching Path - performances by Chris Cerrone, Timo Andres, Lindsay Kesselman, Ian Rosenbaum, and Mingzhe Wang (In a Circle)

Lao Dan - Unreleased (TakuRoku)

Julius Eastman - Evil N****r; Gay Guerrilla - Kai Schumacher, Patricia Martin, Mirela Zhulali, Benedikt Ter Braak (Neue Meister)

Bryan Eubanks & Xavier Lopez - Natural Realms (Sacred Realism)

Keiji Haino/Jim O’Rourke/Oren Ambarchi - Each side has a depth of 5 seconds A polka dot pattern in horizontal array A flickering that moves vertically (Black Truffle)

Sylvia Hallett - Bolt and Latch (TakuRoku)

Nick Hoffman - Parallel Bars (Pilgrim Talk)

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

The Mighty Cloud - Especially Songs (Sacred Realism)

Harzoon Mirza - Pathology in Three Parts (TakuRoku)

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

Rachel Musson - Dreamsing (577 Records)

Ralph Peterson - Raise Up Off Me (Onyx)

Wadada Leo Smith - Sacred Ceremonies (TUM)

Wadada Leo Smith - Trumpet (TUM)

Andrew Tasselmyer - Piano Frameworks (Disintegration State)

Unscientific Italians - Play the Music of Bill Frisell, Vol. 1 (Hora)

The Westerlies & Conrad Tao - Bricolage (Westerlies Records)

Just Announced

Mario Pavone (Phtograph: Steven Laschever)

May 28

Steve Noble/Farida Amadou with Chris Pitsiokos - Space 1 (TakuRoku)

Steve Noble/Farida Amadou with Alex Ward - Space 11 (TakuRoku)

Steve Noble/Farida Amadou with Yoni Silver - Space 111 (TakuRoku)

Vonnegut Collective - 48 Hours - compositions by Tullis Rennie and Thomas Adès (MFR Contemporary Series)

Alex Ward - The Trade (TakuRoku)

June 4

Sam Dunscombe - Outside Ludlow/Desert Disco (Black Truffle)

Dan Rosenboom, Billy Mohler & Anthony Fung - Refraction (Orenda)

June 11

Alvin Curran - The Works (Our Swimmer; 1980 recording)

Melaine Dalibert - night blossoms (Elsewhere)

Inna Faliks - Reimagine: Beethoven and Ravel - compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven, Peter Golub, Tamar Hendelman, Richard Danielpour, Ian Krouse, Marl Carlson, David Lefkowitz, Paola Prestini, Timo Andres, and Billy Childs (Navona)

Billy Harper - Black Saint (Our Swimmer; 1975 recording)

Yan Jun/Zhu Wenbo - twice (Erstwhile)

Stephan Micus - Winter's End (ECM)

Musica Elettronica Viva - Spacecraft (Our Swimmer; 1967 recording)

Anastassis Philippakopoulos - wind and light - performances by Anastassis Philippakopoulos and Jürg Frey (Elsewhere)

Keith Rowe - Absence (Erstwhile)

June 18

Michael Harrison - Seven Sacred Names - performances by Michael Harrison, Roomful of Teeth, Tim Fain, Ashley Bathgate, Caleb Burhans, Payton MacDonald, Ina Filip, and Ritvik Yaparpalvi (Cantaloupe Music)

Mario Pavone - Isabella (Clean Feed)

Mario Pavone Dialect Trio +1 - Blue Vertical (Out of Your Head)

June 25

Eli Keszler - Icons (LuckyMe)

Gabriella Smith/Gabriel Cabezas - Lost Coast (Bedroom Community)

July 9

Attacca Quartet - Real Life - compositions by The Halluci Nation, Louis Cole, Mid-Air Thief, Flying Lotus, Squarepusher, Daedelus, and Anne Müller (Sony Classical)

July 19

Frédéric D. Oberland - Même Soleil (Iikki)


Thanks for reading the first Night After Night newsletter built and distributed on its new platform, Ghost. If you were signed up for the newsletter in its previous incarnation, whether as a free or paying subscriber, you should have received this one automatically.

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Thanks for your patience, and continued thanks for joining me on this journey.