Phil Freeman

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The Anniversary

Supernatural Turns 20

"Man, it's a hot one."
Phil Freeman | June 14, 2019 - 9:31 am

Sounding Board

I BEHELD THE DIO HOLOGRAM, AND AM RETURNED TO TELL THEE

Dio was the first concert I ever went to, and the only one my dad ever took me to.
Phil Freeman | June 10, 2019 - 12:11 pm

Interview

Carlos Santana Reflects On 50 Years Of Making Music And His New Africa Speaks

Carlos Santana has a lot to celebrate in 2019. It's the 50th anniversary of his band's self-titled debut album, which was released on August 30,…
Phil Freeman | June 3, 2019 - 2:11 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – May 2019

Ahmad Jamal will turn 89 on July 2, and he doesn't perform live very often anymore. So when the opportunity to see him play at…
Phil Freeman | May 24, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – April 2019

Earlier this month, I saw a show that wasn't just a great night of live music, it was a model that other musicians, clubs and…
Phil Freeman | April 26, 2019 - 1:53 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – March 2019

Shabaka Hutchings is very tall. I'm gonna guess at least 6'5" and maybe 6'6". I'm 6'2", and he loomed over me when we met last…
Phil Freeman | March 22, 2019 - 11:03 am

Sounding Board

The Dirt Is A Terrible Movie About Terrible People

It's hard to imagine a less of-the-cultural-moment movie than The Dirt, the story of Mötley Crüe's rise to fame and fortune. The 2001 book on…
Phil Freeman | March 22, 2019 - 10:16 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – February 2019

Hey, remember the Grammy Awards? Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, all that stuff? I didn't watch -- hell, I haven't even heard any of…
Phil Freeman | February 22, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – January 2019

It's goddamn January and jazz artists are trying to smother me already. I got sent two 12-CD sets this month.
Phil Freeman | January 28, 2019 - 11:19 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – December 2018

This month's column is a little different than the ones before it. Since December is a pretty thin time for new releases, I've decided to…
Phil Freeman | December 21, 2018 - 12:18 pm

2018 In Review

The 10 Best Jazz Albums Of 2018

The last few years have been a wild time to be a jazz fan. On the one hand, legendary players and crucial figures in the…
Phil Freeman | December 11, 2018 - 1:00 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – November 2018

Trumpeter Roy Hargrove died early this month of cardiac arrest at 49. He had been admitted to the hospital for a longstanding kidney problem.
Phil Freeman | November 23, 2018 - 10:44 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – October 2018

On September 14, pianist Matt Mitchell (whose name has popped up in this column several times, including below -- he's on Jonathan Finlayson's new album)…
Phil Freeman | October 26, 2018 - 11:39 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – September 2018

Pianist and composer Randy Weston died on September 1, at 92. His playing style was strongly influenced by folks like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Earl…
Phil Freeman | September 21, 2018 - 2:01 pm

The Anniversary

Death Magnetic Turns 10

It's difficult to talk about Death Magnetic, which turns 10 today, without talking about St. Anger. So let's start there.
Phil Freeman | September 12, 2018 - 11:51 am

Comments from Phil Freeman

I'm not sure whose combination of vocal style and general persona I hate more, Neil Sedaka or Frankie Valli. It's really too close to call, because they're both The Fucking Worst.
0 |
June 25, 2019 on The Number Ones: Neil Sedaka’s “Laughter In The Rain”
Yeah, the credits on Discogs are eye-watering. If this album *didn't* go multi-platinum, if it had tanked like the two or three before it, it might have sunk his career for good.
+7 |
June 14, 2019 on Supernatural Turns 20
This was a really good piece. I listen to a shit-ton of 70s rock, all the way down to super-boneheaded stuff like Cactus and Mountain, but have never heard Frampton Comes Alive! Might need to remedy that this afternoon.
+5 |
June 6, 2019 on Frampton Comes Around
I'm basically obsessed with Santana's early 70s jazz-fusion period, so getting to ask him about that stuff was one of the main reasons I requested this interview. But the new record is really, really good.
+2 |
June 4, 2019 on Carlos Santana Reflects On 50 Years Of Making Music And His New Africa Speaks
Ryan Porter - Kamasi's trombonist - has a new album out next month, too. It's good.
+4 |
May 24, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – May 2019
I've been in a 70s fusion space myself lately (Jean-Luc Ponty has been getting a lot of headphone time this past week). Corea's got a new Spanish-tinged album coming out soon; I haven't checked it out yet, but it'll be written up here for sure.
+4 |
May 24, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – May 2019
I was seriously sitting there with my jaw hanging open by halfway through the set. The way Riley and Badrena were going at it, I was thinking, some of these old people in the audience are gonna stroke out before this is over.
+4 |
May 24, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – May 2019
Ooh! Ooh! A new Tool album! Spoiler: It's gonna sound just like the last one...with a strong chance that 13 years later, their conspiracy-theory/Bill Hicks-superfan BS will have curdled into full-on Joe Rogan-ism. Get excited!
+15 |
May 8, 2019 on Tool’s New Album Is Out 8/30
When I studied audio engineering about 15 years ago, the professor asked each of us in class what we thought was a really well engineered album that we'd like to emulate, and my choice was Grand Funk's self-titled "red album." Listen to it - it's just three guys in a room, but every instrument is perfectly balanced with its own space in the mix, and it all comes together and sounds fantastic. Grand Funk were dumb as shit ("People, Let's Stop The War" is one of the dumbest songs EVER), but they were also glorious.
+9 |
April 19, 2019 on The Number Ones: Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band”
The first and last tracks are some of the most beautiful music they've ever made.
+7 |
April 18, 2019 on Stream Sunn O)))’s New Album Life Metal
I'm reading Bunk right now. It's a fantastic book. (I've never read anything by Albert/LeRoy.)
+2 |
April 7, 2019 on Watch Courtney Love In The First Trailer For JT LeRoy
I wanted to like Shellac. I really did. I *LOVED* Big Black in high school (when they were more or less new). I liked Rapeman, too. But Shellac, from their first singles on, have just done nothing for me.
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March 26, 2019 on Album Of The Week: Brutus Nest
Brutus is so much better than Shellac it's not even funny. Shellac is the musical equivalent of a surly shrug; Brutus is fists gripping your lapels and screaming hot breath in your face. This album is amazing.
+15 |
March 26, 2019 on Album Of The Week: Brutus Nest
I'm old. I first heard Mötley Crüe in 1983. Every album has two or three good songs. But this is an ugly, stupid story that didn't need to be told - and certainly didn't need to be told this ineptly. It took them over a decade to get this thing made, and it looks like they shot it in two weeks on a budget of $5000 max.
+14 |
March 22, 2019 on The Dirt Is A Terrible Movie About Terrible People
My shoulda-been-bigger hair metal nominee is Junkyard, a band that featured Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Bad Religion) on guitar. Their first two albums are actually decent blues-rock with extra hairspray.
+4 |
March 22, 2019 on The Dirt Is A Terrible Movie About Terrible People
I saw GB with Sick Of It All and Judge at City Gardens in Trenton, NJ the week I graduated high school, in June of 1990. It was one of the best shows I've ever been to.
+4 |
February 2, 2019 on Gorilla Biscuits Guitarist Alex Brown Dies At 52
Diamond hired Ronnie Tutt, the drummer from Elvis's TCB band (who were amazing), a couple of years after Elvis's death and used him live all the way through 2018.
+4 |
January 14, 2019 on The Number Ones: Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie”
Thanks for the slamz list. I just bought that Posthuman Abomination record.
+3 |
December 28, 2018 on The Black Market: The Year In Metal 2018
Aerosmith were seriously great ...until they got clean. Every album from the debut through Night In The Ruts fucking smokes, and I'll even stand up for half of Rock In A Hard Place, but literally everything they've done since getting back together in 1984/85 has been runny dogshit.
0 |
December 21, 2018 on The Number Ones: The Guess Who’s “American Woman”
Yeah, like I said, I only got to the Redman record a few months after it came out, but it really won me over instantly. It rules.
+3 |
December 21, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – December 2018