KFJC 89.7FM

Sumrra – “7 Visions” – [Clermont Music]

Cousin Mary   5/15/2022   12-inch, Jazz

This fine piano trio from Santiago de Campostela in Spain looks at stellar time from different viewpoints in this album. Very accessible but unusual. The piano lead sometimes seems more in line with classical etudes than jazz riffs. I was curious about the language on the cover, it appears to be Galician rather than Spanish or Portuguese. Manuel Gutierrez on piano, Xacobe Martinez Antelo on double bass, Lar Legido on drums.

Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra – “Night of The Purple Moon, The” – [Saturn Research]

Cousin Mary   5/15/2022   12-inch, Jazz

1970 recording where the Arkestra is down to no more than 4 members, with some solo keyboard pieces. The first track on each side is a bit more accessible than most Sun Ra, while the remaining tracks soon launch into outer space. Sun Ra plays the Moog synth and also the Rocksichord electric harpsichord. Just when I thought the KFJC library did not need another Sun Ra album, this comes along to prove me wrong. With John Gilmore, Danny Davis and Stafford James.

Van-anh Vanessa Vo – “Three-Mountain Pass” – [Innova Recordings]

Cousin Mary   5/9/2022   A Library, CD

Vo is a Vietnamese-American from the Bay Area who is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, specializing in instruments related to traditional Vietnamese music. This album is a treat, giving us a chance to hear such things as the đàn tranh (16-string zither) and the bamboo xylophone T’rung. Selections include Vo’s compositions, a familiar piece by Erik Satie played in an unfamiliar way, and track 4 where she plays with the ever inventive Kronos Quartet. Really lovely and listenable, highly recommended.

Schwob, Danielle Eva – “Out of The Tunnel” – [Innova/American Composers]

Cousin Mary   5/2/2022   A Library, CD

Danielle Schwob is the composer, arranger and recording producer for this wonderful set of music. The ensembles vary – a string quartet, trios, duo, and solos. Very lovely sounds, good energy. I think some pieces were used for dance. Remarkable compositions played by virtuoso musicians. A new (to me) modern classical composer to watch.

PGM – Instrumentation noted on back of CD

Parker, William – “Painter’s Winter” – [Aum Fidelity]

Cousin Mary   4/25/2022   CD, Jazz

William Parker on bass and Hamid Drake on percussion give a whole new definition to the term rhythm section, sometimes swinging, sometimes not. Parker’s turns on trombonium and shakuhashi (especially on track 4) are splendid. Daniel Carter’s trumpet, sax, clarinet and flute carry and set the themes. Elegant and original!

Dean, Dan – “Fanfare For The Common Man” – [Origin Classical]

Cousin Mary   2/14/2022   A Library, CD

These are familiar classical pieces, although not really war horses, that Dan Dean performs using only the variations of his voice to represent a variety of instruments. The result is polyphony that must have been an enormous amount of work. The elements of fun and feeling do not replace the originals that vary from piano solos to large orchestral symphonies. This is a novel musical experience.

Faust, Maria – “Machina” – [Stunt Records]

Cousin Mary   2/6/2022   A Library, CD

Composer and alto sax player Maria Faust is a native of Estonia. This album suggests mechanical sounds and is said to be based on elements of water and the sea. Unusual instrumental combination of the alto and tenor saxophone, cello, piano and two basses. Jazz meets experimental meets contemporary classical. Compelling and poignant, highly recommended.

King, Ben E. – “Spanish Harlem” – [Atco Records]

Cousin Mary   2/6/2022   12-inch, Soul

This was Ben E. King’s first solo album after his success as the lead singer of the Drifters. A big production with orchestra accompaniment, it features his huge hit Spanish Harlem. The other tracks are well known Latin American standards, sort of a unique choice for a soul album. The lyrics in Sweet and Gentle concern his cha-cha compulsion. King’s gorgeous voice carries it all.

Men In Grey Suits – “Village Eater” – [Self Release]

Cousin Mary   11/27/2021   A Library, CD

Another great album from this Hawaiian surf band. (Men in Grey Suits is a surfer term for sharks.) Very well played, composed and arranged. Lots of variety in tempo and mood. Their debut album “Return of the Cnidarians” got lots of play on KFJC and I expect the same for this one.

Field, Ken – "Transmitter" – [Neuma]

Cousin Mary   8/27/2021   CD, Jazz

Ken Field (Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and other projects) plays sax, overlaying and processing the six tracks on this solo effort. Very atmospheric and beautiful, sometimes mysterious and occasionally experimental. The instrument is recognizable at times, but also morphs into a very different sound as it loops and echoes. A pleasure to hear!

Par Avion & Perro Agradecido – "Perro Avion" – [Self-released]

Cousin Mary   8/19/2021   7-inch, A Library

This collaboration between Mexican cumbia band Perro Agradecido (Grateful Dog) and Southern California instrumental surf band Par Avion happened in Mexico City in March of 2020. Great energy, wonderful Latin influence, excellent guitar and terrific percussion. Like track four says – cero miedo (no fear)!

Dynotones, the – "Dynotones, The" – [Kornyfone]

Cousin Mary   8/6/2021   A Library, CD

This terrific Orange County surf band’s 1999 recording takes its place on the shelf of the KFJC library! Some covers such as the great High Wall, some originals – excellent playing and energy.

PGM: Track 14 Blood and Sand ends at 4:40, then silence, then a hidden track starting at 6:40 – a ripping live rendition of Jack the Ripper.

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