Gabriel Jermaine Vanlandingham-Dunn

Review: Blacks’ Myths Self-Titled Debut

My grandfather’s name was Mason E. Guthrie and he was born in a small town called Gastonia, North Carolina, in the 1920s. I don’t know much about his childhood, save for a few family legends and what he told me during an interview I conducted with him when I was in middle school. He and

Review: Eris 136199 by Han earl-Park, Catherine Sikora, and Nick Didkovsky

It has been about 24 hours since a speeding car struck me in North Philadelphia (9/21/2018, approx. 8pm). The fact that I can sit down and write about it so soon afterward will hopefully enlighten the reader to how fortunate I am to be here to compose this for you . . . and more

Review: Luke Stewart – Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier

This week I had the great pleasure of viewing Yo-Yo Ma’s Tiny Desk Concert on NPR’s website. I’ve been a fan of his playing for years, especially his rendition(s) of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites (of which I was introduced to through the legendary cellist Pablo Casals[1]). Like most of the series, the worldly performer

Review: Marc Edwards-Mick Barr Duo – The Bowels of Jupiter

Duo records are made for the patient listener. There is typically a special kind of intimacy unfolding that invites interpretation or alienates those within earshot. Depending on the genre (loose use of the term here) and the methodology of the musicians, great ideas can become historic documents or forgotten works. Consider John Coltrane’s Interstellar Space

Review: Alan Braufman – Valley of Search (India Navigation, 1975, reissued 2018)

At the height of the 1960s through 1970s Cecil McBee was a very busy man. The bassist extraordinaire had appeared, probably, on hundreds of Jazz LPs ranging from unknown to classic. Just scrolling through my personal record collection, or his Discogs page, can boggle the mind of any collector, or new jack to the game,

Review: Chad Taylor – Myths and Morals

One phase of life ends and another takes it place. The area in the middle is where the pulling apart and gluing happens. It can be quiet, it can be lonesome, but it will always be. There’s peace found within the process for some, depending on their level of experience and frequency related to change.

Review: Sons of Kemet – Your Queen is a Reptile

Take One “I don’t know if I should hug or slap the shit out of you.” My now deceased stepfather once said this to me after he picked me up from the local precinct after being arrested my one and only time. This message rings in my head quite often in my adult life, and

Review: Nicole Mitchell & Haki Madhubuti – Liberation Narratives

Talk of the elders and the ancestors has popped up a lot in my sphere recently. So much so that it has taken me the better part of a month to sit down and focus on how to express the wave of emotional African-based experiences that have come my way. Two spiritual readings in the

Review: Patrick Shiroishi – Tulean Dispatch

What do you think of when you hear the word solitude? Do you think of your lonely moments during difficult times in your life? Does the hauntingly beautiful composition by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, and Eddie DeLange come to mind (especially Billie Holliday’s 1952 version)? Or do you think of solitude as space, or mood,

Review: Irreversible Entanglements (2017)

As a youth, I received a lot of talks from the elders in my family. Many of these talks circled around growing pains that were to come in my life and the assurance of how little control that I would have over some of them. The topics ranged from sexual consent, economic (in)stability, and educational