This is the kind of week when it kills me to be so far from home. I already missed the Bang on a Can, now missing both big NYC festivals (including the Hancock/Shorter superband) and Guillermo Klein at the Vanguard. Aaargh. I plead ignorance on Senor Klein, and still have grave reservations about that 90's Smalls scene, but the buzz is substantial, and he can write. (TBP have a long interview with Klien that's fun)
Anyhow, I do, have my IPod, and have started absorbing the previously mentioned Virgin haul. The early returns:
Keystone- My favorite Dave Douglas CD in quite some time, possibly since Charms of the Night Sky. This is the first record where I've heard a DJ (here DJ Olive) integrate wholly into a "jazz" combo. (Having Jamie Saft turning every imaginable sound out of a Wurly helps. And no, I don't know Dave's Mahler stuff, it's on the neverending list.) It is disconcerting, however, to have these very modern, electric soundscapes accompanying a rather primative (technologically, not artistically) black and white film. That took a minute to get used to, but once I did, it was a lot of fun.
D'Angelo Live- It's a shame this is so expensive as an import, because it's great. The band is soooo tight. I'm usually not knocked out by backing vocals, but it's Angie Stone leading the parade, and that makes a huge difference. I remember seeing the Voodoo tour live, and this earlier show, possibly because it's less of a spectacle, even sonically, is more satisfying.
Thunderbird- I wanted to like it, I really did. I'm a big Cassandra Wilson fan. But I think one of the great strengths of her singing is how elastic it is, and here that clashes with the almost inherant stiffness of sequenced beats. I haven't given up on it, but so far it's kind of an uncomfortable listen for me.
Mulligan Quartet Live- lots of fun. Nothing earth shattering, but a lot of fun...