Sunday, June 28, 2020

June Recap: A Monthly Exercise in Critical Transparency

The absence of Ambrose Akinmusire, Armand Hammer, Hum, Norah Jones, Ingrid Laubrock/Kris Davis, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Sara Serpa, Teyana Taylor, Kahil El’Zabar and 6lack on the following lists reflects the crushing avalanche of outstanding music released in the past four weeks.

Top Five Albums
1. Moor Mother and Nicole Mitchell- Offering
My review.
2. Brad Mehldau- Suite: April 2020
Quarantine-era solo piano from the modern-day Gershwin.
3. Bob Dylan- Rough and Rowdy Ways
God might smite me if I failed to recognize the prophet.
4. Bobby Watson- Keepin’ It Real
My review.
5. Run the Jewels- RTJ4
A timely torrent of rage.

Top Five Songs
1. Beyoncé- “Black Parade”
Ankh charm.
2. City Girls- “Jobs”
I won’t apologize.
3. Megan Thee Stallion- “Girls in the Hood”
Another hot girl summer.
4. John Legend featuring Rapsody- “Remember Us”
Hot buttered corn.
5. John Prine- “I Remember Everything”
Tears.

Top Five Livestreams
1. Alicia Keys and John Legend- Verzuz battle
2. Bang on a Can Marathon- Iva Bittová, Roscoe Mitchell, Terry Riley, etc.
3. A Night For Austin- James Taylor, Alejandro Escovedo, Bonnie Raitt, etc.
4. Roots Picnic- Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, Black Thought, etc.
5. Kandace Springs- Blue Note at Home

I conducted the same exercise in May, April, March, February and January.

(Screenshot of Alice Coote in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel by There Stands the Glass.)