Phil Freeman

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2019 In Review

The 10 Best Jazz Albums Of 2019

This wasn’t a year of radical transformation in the world of jazz. There was no single breakout star, and no explosion like the sudden realization…
Phil Freeman | December 9, 2019 - 3:00 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – November 2019

People often talk about particular jazz labels having an aesthetic, a through-line that encompasses most if not all of their releases. Very few labels have…
Phil Freeman | November 21, 2019 - 2:31 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – October 2019

Let me tell you about an amazing band you’ve probably never heard. Over the past few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with the George Adams/Don Pullen…
Phil Freeman | October 25, 2019 - 1:18 pm

Sounding Board

A Tribute To In The Court Of The Crimson King, Released 50 Years Ago Today

When King Crimson's debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King was released, they'd been together less than a year. The original lineup --…
Phil Freeman | October 10, 2019 - 9:30 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – September 2019

There's always one more thing in the vault, it seems. This month, a previously unreleased John Coltrane session will appear, and much like last year's…
Phil Freeman | September 20, 2019 - 10:35 am

Sounding Board

Rubberband, Man: Digging Into Miles Davis’ Newly Unearthed Lost Album

In 1955, Miles Davis signed with Columbia Records. For the next 30 years, the label rode with him through a series of artistic evolutions, from…
Phil Freeman | September 5, 2019 - 12:52 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2019

One of the most fascinating things about avant-garde jazz and improvised music is the methods people use to impose structure, while still allowing plenty of…
Phil Freeman | August 23, 2019 - 12:36 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – July 2019

Turbaned organist Dr. Lonnie Smith performs at the Jazz Standard a couple of times a year, it seems. I like some of his recent albums,…
Phil Freeman | July 19, 2019 - 10:23 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2019

There's a hip-hop scene in Nashville, but it would be a stretch to say that that's what the city is known for, right? When you…
Phil Freeman | June 26, 2019 - 11:47 am

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

Comments from Phil Freeman

Because Power Metal has actual songs on it. Pantera imitating Judas Priest > Dimebag Darrell making a bunch of angle-grinder noises while Phil Anselmo grunts and roars like Mike Williams shitting a peach pit. Pantera Albums, In Order Of How Often I Actually Listen To Them: 1. Reinventing the Steel 2. Cowboys From Hell 3. Power Metal 4. Vulgar Display of Power 5. Far Beyond Driven 6. The Great Southern Trendkill
+6 |
December 9, 2019 on The 10 Best Jazz Albums Of 2019
Yeah, I really liked the David Ware, the Miho Hazama, the OK:KO, and the Cochemea. Haven't spent enough time with the Joe Martin yet, but I do like him.
+3 |
December 9, 2019 on The 10 Best Jazz Albums Of 2019
I saw their 10th anniversary tour. Fuck, I'm old.
0 |
November 26, 2019 on Circle Jerks Reuniting For 40th Anniversary Tour
It really grew for me. I disliked every track as they emerged, as singles, but when I heard the whole album they all suddenly snapped into place. It really is a fantastic album-as-album.
+2 |
September 20, 2019 on The Fragile Turns 20
I've been listening to them since 1989. As good as the early albums are, I'm kinda burned out on them, and I feel like the newer stuff doesn't get the appreciation it deserves.
+6 |
September 20, 2019 on The Fragile Turns 20
1. Hesitation Marks 2. The Slip 3. The Fragile 4. The Downward Spiral 5. Broken 6. Pretty Hate Machine 7. Not the Actual Events 8. Bad Witch 9. Add Violence 10. With Teeth 11. Ghosts 12. Year Zero
+3 |
September 20, 2019 on The Fragile Turns 20
I saw NIN at Madison Square Garden on (what I believe was) the second leg of the Fragile tour. A Perfect Circle opened (pre-Mer de Noms) and Marilyn Manson came out to sing "Starfuckers, Inc." with the band. It was fantastic.
+13 |
September 20, 2019 on The Fragile Turns 20
Try Live Around The World too. It's compiled from a bunch of different shows from different years, but it proves that Davis's live bands were strong as hell in those final years.
+3 |
September 5, 2019 on Rubberband, Man: Digging Into Miles Davis’ Newly Unearthed Lost Album
It's a fucking brilliant album. I ignore lyrics about 95% of the time; with her, I pay attention, and am constantly amazed. The music is fantastic, too; the harp and French horn(!) on the title track absolutely kill me. And it's a goddamn master class on how to record vocals.
+15 |
August 29, 2019 on Premature Evaluation: Lana Del Rey Norman Fucking Rockwell!
Not out till 9/27. It'll be in next month's column.
+4 |
August 23, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2019
The Ahmed album is *really good*. (All-female roster, I believe. I'll have to double check. But either way, it rules.)
+3 |
August 23, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2019
Yeah, Gould is a serious talent.
+2 |
July 19, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – July 2019
Went to see JD Allen's new trio in a tiny Brooklyn bar last night. His new drummer, Nic Cacioppo, is wild to watch live: he remains almost expressionless while playing, just staring off into the distance, but sometimes he opens his mouth and sticks his tongue out seemingly for no reason. But his playing is *intense*; he took a long solo on a tiny kit that reminded me of Billy Cobham.
0 |
June 27, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2019
Yeah, Graves' stuff is nuts, and it seems like it's only going farther out.
+3 |
June 26, 2019 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2019
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