Album Reviews

Review: Patrick Shiroishi – Sparrow’s Tongue

Bonds. We all have them, yet some are stronger than others. Then, there is the fascinating way that every generation sustains them and creates new bonds while exploring existing ones. Since reviewing Patrick Shiroishi’s Tulean Dispatch in 2018, I’ve learned that he and I have quite a bit in common. Two of the main things that

Review: Wendy Eisenberg – Its Shape Is Your Touch

Wendy Eisenberg’s Its Shape Is Your Touch, released in late October, opens with a a confident, open exploration of tones and technique. She uses the guitar to create sound that, at times, does not even resemble that of a guitar. Her touch is gentle. As the opening track concludes, I am reminded of an instrumental lullaby album

Review: Artaud – Cábala

Cábala tells the story of two horses, one that runs to be wild, free, and limitless, and the other who is old and dying but is calm because he knows he will be joining the earth. Although written in the description of this record, it is clear through the two pieces that Artaud, the Peruvian

Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool Documentary Retrospective

According to the Center for Disease Control, somewhere between the years of 1988 and 1990, the rate of HIV-AIDs infection among African Americans first exceeded those of whites and would remain so until today. At the dawn of the 1990s, Black america would find itself in the midst of a full blown health crisis with

Review: Cataclysmic Commentary

Hit ‘play’ and the first track on Audience Participation is consistent with its name. Cataclysmic Commentary’s debut record was released in March. The band is comprised of Ben Cohen on saxophones, Eli Wallace on keyboards, and Dave Miller on drums. “Surprise Kitten Explosion 5000” draws us into a space of free sound, wild and vibrant.

Review: Giannouli/Thorne/Garden – Rewa (Rattle Records, 2018)

Less than a day after Tania Giannouli (piano) and Rob Thorne (taonga puoro) first met, they recorded the eleven tracks that make up their album, Rewa. Along with Steve Garden’s sound manipulations, treatments, and mixing, the three create an expressive flow of music informed by the ancient cultures of Greece and Aotearoa (the Maori name

Review: Ensemble Fanaa’s Self-titled Debut Record

Slow, quiet breaths fill the room. Our breather is alone, deep in his own process. There are times when he himself has to check in . . . with himself. “Am I breathing ok?” he might ask, introspectively at the moment. After a few minutes, he is joined by another. The pounding of the companion’s

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: Sun Ra – Of Abstract Dreams (Strut Records, 2018)

About a third of the way through Robert Mugge’s classic 1980 documentary, A Joyful Noise, a group of young men on the street talk about mythic Sun Ra and his Arkestra’s presence in their neighborhood in Philadelphia’s Germantown section. “I live a few doors from Sun Ra, it’s a nice group . . . I see

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