High Rotation #2 — Because what’s life without records?

A baker’s dozen of what’s on Bradley’s personal jukebox…

  1. Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile, Continuum (ECM, 2016). Swiss keyboardist-composer at a “zen-funk” peak, pairing his highly rhythmic quartet Mobile with a string quintet to kaleidoscopic effect.
  2. Sonar, Black Light (Cuneiform, 2017), Static Motion (Cuneiform, 2017) and Flaw of Nature (Ronin Rhythm, 2012). Hypnotic, ultra-refined instrumental avant-rock – as if the Eighties incarnation of King Crimson had been taken over by watchmakers. All three records run like one long song.
  3. Grant Green, The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark (Blue Note, 1961-62/1997). Short-lived guitarist Grant Green at his best, with the even more short-lived pianist Sonny Clark by his side. The 10-minutes-plus “It Ain’t Necessarily So” – complete with Art Blakey’s excited exhortations – is one of my all-time favorite performances of anything.
  4. Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins (RCA, 2017). Harmony-laced American art-rock, not unlike a 21st-century Crosby, Stills & Nash.
  5. Gavin Bryars, New York (GB Records, 2011). A set of the singular English composer’s works for ensembles of percussion – dark-toned, dulcet, addictive.
  6. William Parker, Meditation / Resurrection (AUM Fidelity, 2017). Double-disc set featuring live-wire recordings of the ever-heavy bassist’s main bands: his Quartet (with new trumpeter Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson) and In Order to Survive (featuring mystical pianist Cooper-Moore), both with saxophonist Rob Brown and mighty drummer Hamid Drake.
  7. Tony Allen, Tribute to Art Blakey and The Source (Blue Note, 2017). Afrobeat drum innovator’s Blue Note debut EP is a wonderful tribute to his prime jazz hero, all famous Jazz Messenger tunes played with an African accent; the full-length follow-up comprises originals in a similar Afro-jazz vein.
  8. Psychic Temple, Plays Music for Airports (Joyful Noise, 2016). Chris Schlarb’s West Coast art-rock collective refracts Brian Eno’s ambient classic through the jazz-minded prism of Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way.
  9. Mark Eitzel, Hey, Mr. Ferryman (Merge, 2017). American Music Club founder’s most fully realized solo release yet, with his deep songs getting the wide-screen production they deserve, thanks to ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler.
  10. Galactic, Carnivale Electricos (Anti-, 2012). One of the most irresistibly funky examples of New Orleans modernism released in this century, the butt-shaking band abetted by various singers and rappers in a Mardi Gras mood.
  11. Pissed Jeans, Why Love Now (Sub Pop, 2017). Feral Pennsylvania art-punk influenced by the late, great Jesus Lizard, albeit less motoric and with a feminist stance. Dig “The Bar Is Low.”
  12. Gary Peacock with Marc Copland and Joey Baron, Tangents (ECM, 2017) and Now This (ECM, 2015). State-of-the-art jazz piano-trio interactivity, with the veteran bassist as primus inter pares.
  13. Federico Mompou, Complete Piano Works (Ensayo, 1974/Brilliant Classics, 2004). Four discs collecting the Spanish composer’s recordings of his own magical piano pieces, made when he was in his 80s.