Monday, April 24, 2017

Dessicated


Do I look tired to you?   I feel compelled to leave a few notes in this space before I embark on a recuperative respite south of the border.


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I reviewed a concert by Dan + Shay for The Kansas City Star on Friday.

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I attended concerts by Bill Frisell and Jack DeJohnette on Saturday.  My impressions are published at Plastic Sax.

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I reviewed Quality Hill Playhouse’s production of “As Time Goes By” on Sunday.

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Look for new rounds of my weekly music previews for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine here.

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Hyborian’s Vol. 1 is my favorite Kansas City metal album in recent memory.

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Spoek Mathambo’s Mzansi Beat Code is allegedly only 58 minutes long.  I don’t believe it.  Brimming with hundreds of fresh ideas, the project feels as if it lasts several hours. Albums don’t often stump me, but I’m overwhelmed by Mzansi Beat Code.

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I don’t appreciate Joey Bada$$’s insurrectionary Land of the Free nearly as much as a few of my pals.  RIYL: Noam Chomsky, A$AP Rocky, Amy Goodman.

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I’ve been waiting for pianist Christian Sands to make an album as solid as Reach.  RIYL: Christian McBride, promise realized, Gerald Clayton.

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Rhymesayers uploaded footage of a 2007 Atmosphere concert at First Avenue.  Here’s  ”God Loves Ugly”.  As longtime readers of There Stands the Glass know, I can’t get enough of that stuff.

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Damn gets better with each listen.  If you’re not already on board, the video for ”DNA” is a good entry point.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Concert Review: Salif Keita at Town Hall

I was disappointed when I checked the live music listings after I snagged a cheap flight to New York City.  No Henry Threadgill.  No Cecil Taylor.  Not even Wadada Leo Smith would be playing while I’d be in town.

During my previous trip to New York City, I heard Joyce DiDonato light up Carnegie Hall (my review) and sat a few feet from Dave Douglas, Lee Konitz, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh and Ches Smith at the Jazz Standard (my review). While I experienced nothing quite as momentous on my visit earlier this month, I didn’t go wanting.

I heard the artist known as the Golden Voice of Africa perform for hundreds of Malians in a historic venue built by suffragettes.  It was a quintessential New York City experience.  I uploaded a snippet to Instagram.  Super-fan Banning Eyre reviewed the concert for Afropop Worldwide.


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I reviewed a concert by In This Moment, Motionless In White, Avatar and Gemini Syndrome for
The Kansas City Star.

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I wrote an extended concert preview about Mastodon for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

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My weekly music previews for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine are here and here.

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I named Alicia Solo KCUR’s Band of the Week.

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I laud Kansas City’s new lounge band Agora at Plastic Sax.

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Allan Holdsworth has died.  Feels Good To Me might be the last prog/fusion album I enjoyed before the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Clash changed my outlook.

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Orchestra Baobab’s Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng is the leading candidate to be my all-purpose album of the summer. My next-door neighbors have already heard it twice as I’ve worked in my driveway.  RIYL: life, Buena Vista Social Club, love.  Here’s ”Foulo”.  (Tip via Big Steve.)

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Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng is light and breezy, but Vieux Farka Touré‘s Samba is loud and brassy.  RIYL: 1970s’s-era Carlos Santana, dancing, Ali Farka Touré.  Here’s ”Homafu Wawa”.

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Damn isn’t To Pimp a Butterfly or Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City.  So what?  It’s still essential.  Kendrick Lamar remains the #rapmessiah.  Here’s ”DNA”.

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I’ve always loved Decoy.  Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah successfully updates the 1980s sound of Miles Davis on Ruler Rebel.

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Rodney Crowell’s Close Ties is a mishmash of great and cringe-worthy- songs.  ”Nashville 1972” is both.

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Howard Shore’s Two Concerti, ably played by Lang Lang, is a noble failure.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Concert Review: Chris Brown at the Sprint Center


Chris Brown is still a jerk.  I was considering rejoining #teambreezy when I purchased a $30 cheap seat for the infamous star’s return to the Sprint Center on Tuesday.  My potential change of heart was completely thwarted three hours later when the spectacle concluded with a series of resounding explosions.  With no corresponding visual effects, the gratuitous blasts seemed specifically intended to damage the eardrums of fans.

On stage about an hour, Brown sparingly doled out his brilliant talent.  Even so, he remains equal parts Michael Jackson and Rick James.

An elaborate production that incorporated a few of the most appealing elements of the recent stage shows of Drake and Kanye West made me feel as if my $30 ticket was a bargain.  I just wish I’d left five minutes before the show ended.

Aaron Randle reviewed the concert for The Kansas City Star.


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I wrote an extended concert preview about John Mayer for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

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I write weekly music previews for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

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I named Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle KCUR’s Band of the Week.

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John Geils Jr. has died.  I sold and marketed Geils’ solo blues projects in the 1990s.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Concert Review: Lawrence Brownlee and Eric Owens at the Folly Theater


Lawrence Brownlee’s powerful singing and enthralling emoting impressed me as I sat in the rear balcony of Carnegie Hall two years ago.  When I discovered that I could secure front row seats for my cousin’s April 6 show at the Folly Theater at an 80% discount, I jumped at the deal offered by the Harriman-Jewell series.  I was rewarded for my nominal investment with my favorite show of 2017 to date.  Yet it was Brownlee’s fellow opera star Eric Owens who I most appreciated during the program of arias, Great American Songbook tunes and gospel selections.  Less flashy but more stirring than Brownlee, Owens reduced me to tears as he delivered “Give Me Jesus.”  Jovial duets on uptempo selections like the ridiculous “Dolores” caused my face to ache from smiling so strenuously.  Libby Hanssen reviewed the concert for The Kansas City Star.


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I reviewed Kris Kristofferson’s return to the Uptown Theater for The Kansas City Star.

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I reviewed Judah & the Lion’s concert at the Uptown Theater for The Kansas City Star.

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I wrote extended concert previews about Radiohead and Chris Brown for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

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My latest rounds of weekly music previews for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine are here and here.

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I recently designated Second Hand King and Katy Guillen & the Girls KCUR’s Band of the Week.

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Donny McCaslin floored me at the Folly Theater on Friday.  My notes are at Plastic Sax.

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I did some work with Lonnie Brooks in the 1990s.  The Chicago blues artist was a warm, generous man.  Brooks died last week.

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Until I read his obituaries, I didn’t know that Arthur Blythe was married to the one-time Kansas City based vocalist and actress Queen Bey.

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“I took my roof off at the red light!”  I’m not too proud to admit that I can’t get enough of Rick Ross’ noxious Rather You Than Me.  Here’s ”Trap Trap Trap”.

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I ordinarily don’t have much patience for newly recorded mainstream jazz albums.  Heads of State’s All in One is an exception.  The septuagenarian saxophonist Gary Bartz is in top form.

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Raekwon’s The Wild may be the strongest album by a Wu-Tang Clan member other than Ghostface of the last five years.  Here’s ”This Is What It Comes To”.

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F*cked Up’s “Year of the Snake” has restored my faith in 23-minute songs.  RIYL: MC5, kicking out the jams, Dwarves.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)