Phil Freeman

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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

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2018

I saw Fela Kuti live. It was late in his career, in the summer of 1990 (he died in 1997), and he had long since…
Phil Freeman | August 24, 2018 - 2:18 pm

List

10 Great Aretha Franklin Deep Cuts

I had tickets to see Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall once, a few years ago. The show was cancelled, and the make-up date…
Phil Freeman | August 16, 2018 - 2:10 pm

Sounding Board

Still Sick After All These Years: The Grunge Era Kicked Off In Earnest 30 Years Ago Today

On August 1, 1988, the grunge takeover of the world began. That was the day that Sub Pop Records released Mudhoney's debut single, "Touch Me…
Phil Freeman | August 1, 2018 - 10:55 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – July 2018

Earlier this month, I went to Newark to meet violinist Regina Carter. She was in town to serve as artistic director of an all-female jazz…
Phil Freeman | July 27, 2018 - 2:09 pm

The Anniversary

Autechre LP5 Turns 20

I came to Autechre through Nine Inch Nails. In 1992, Trent Reznor and his manager John Malm formed Nothing Records to release the Broken EP…
Phil Freeman | July 16, 2018 - 12:05 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2018

I had been planning to attend the Vision Festival, which had an absolutely amazing lineup this year, in Brooklyn last month, but had to abandon…
Phil Freeman | June 22, 2018 - 2:28 pm

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Kamasi Washington Heaven And Earth

For decades, a small subset of jazz musicians has mistakenly believed that chasing R&B and pop trends represents a path to commercial success. In reality,…
Phil Freeman | June 19, 2018 - 1:31 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – May 2018

Repertory can be a fraught subject in jazz. Obviously, there are artists whose compositions have become standards, re-interpreted by artist after artist over the decades.
Phil Freeman | May 25, 2018 - 11:30 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – April 2018

Cecil Taylor died on April 5, less than two weeks after his 89th birthday. It would be impossible to condense his artistry into this intro,…
Phil Freeman | April 20, 2018 - 11:32 am

Sounding Board

Remembering “Hipster Metal” & The Sword’s Gods Of The Earth 10 Years Later

Remember hipster metal? Beginning in about 2005, a mini-wave of hard rock and metal bands popped up, to great acclaim from magazines -- there were…
Phil Freeman | April 2, 2018 - 12:25 pm

Comments from Phil Freeman

>>“Come Together” is a better song than “You Can’t Catch Me” The hell it is. I will accept - even aver - that Elvis's cover of "Promised Land" is better than Chuck Berry's original. But this song is a cup of cold piss compared to "You Can't Catch Me."
+5 |
December 6, 2018 on The Number Ones: The Beatles’ “Come Together”
This is an amazing list, and I love the logic behind it. The only record I've heard is Agrimonia - which rules - and I'm definitely gonna check out some of the others. (Not the Immortal, though. No Abbath, no Immortal. This is a hill I will happily die on.)
+2 |
December 6, 2018 on The 10 Best Metal Albums Of 2018
Hate Eternal never clicked for me until the album before this one, but man, they are really incredible right now.
+2 |
November 1, 2018 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – October 2018
I haven't seen either, but I've seen another Guiliana-led band and he's a lot of fun. I'm thinking about going to Ronin's NYC show next week.
+2 |
October 27, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – October 2018
I've seen that photo of McNeely for years, but didn't know much about him myself until his passing - honestly, when I heard that he died this month, I was shocked, because the guy in that photo should have died in like 1959, from a heroin overdose or from drinking shots of whiskey with mothballs in them the way Hank Williams used to.
+4 |
September 21, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – September 2018
I feel like Flipper's "Sex Bomb" would make a good "bonus beat" for this entry. "She's a sex bomb my baby yeah!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hd4SSRajlc
+1 |
September 12, 2018 on The Number Ones: Tommy James And The Shondells’ “Hanky Panky”
I just interviewed Latin music legend Eddie Palmieri - he's got some Morris Levy stories to tell.
+2 |
September 12, 2018 on The Number Ones: Tommy James And The Shondells’ “Hanky Panky”
Ah, you're right. I blended "To Live Is To Die" and "Dyers Eve" in my old, broken brain, obviously...
+5 |
September 12, 2018 on Death Magnetic Turns 10
You know I had to check out a rap song called "Rehearse With Ornette." I like it. It reminds me of a cross between Cannibal Ox and New Kingdom. Will buy.
+6 |
September 12, 2018 on Armand Hammer’s Paraffin Is A Disorienting Rap Masterpiece
The Pig Destroyer is...just another Pig Destroyer album. I listened to it a couple of times and felt basically nothing. When you consider that Terrifyer was one of the greatest albums of the 2000s, there is really nothing to "note" about Head Cage. I wish that wasn't the case.
0 |
September 5, 2018 on Album Of The Week: Spiritualized And Nothing Hurt
That Deracinated album is great, though if I'm being honest, my favorite broooootal death metal album of the month (and I bought three) is Ages Of Atrophy's The Great Ascendancy Fraud, which is also on Inherited Suffering.
+1 |
September 3, 2018 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2018
Just FYI, I don't often plug it here 'cause it feels weird doing so, but I have a podcast and the most recent episode includes an hour-long interview with Mitchell. https://simplecast.com/s/9961b979
+1 |
August 26, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2018
The old-timey, Balkan/klezmer elements didn't really appeal to me. They executed it well, but I just don't like that kind of music.
0 |
August 26, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2018
Smalls, the Jazz Standard, and the Jazz Gallery are the three places I go to most often. http://smallslive.com http://jazzstandard.com http://jazzgallery.org
+2 |
August 24, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2018
It's definitely worth a listen. I really, really loved the first Darcy James Argue's Secret Society album, Infernal Machines, felt like they fell off a lot on the second one, and thought the third was good again - this one reminds me of Argue's debut, in that it combines real air-pushing big band stuff with loud rock elements in a way that respects both equally.
+1 |
August 24, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2018
Dude. Almost exactly one year ago, I not only did a Creed retro feature, I fucking INTERVIEWED SCOTT STAPP AND MARK TREMONTI. http://www.stereogum.com/1959429/last-of-the-multi-platinum-post-grunge-bands-creed-talk-my-own-prison-at-20/franchises/sounding-board/
+6 |
August 17, 2018 on Devil Without A Cause Turns 20
I was watching the documentary about the Wrecking Crew last night. What a fantastic story. Those guys (and one woman) played on fucking EVERYTHING. From the biggest pop/rock hits to the rankest lounge-act cheese. Once you watch that movie you realize that a staggering number of the big "bands" of the 1960s were in fact vocal ensembles.
+8 |
July 20, 2018 on The Number Ones: The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”
Another tremendous "black metal plus a bunch of other stuff" record comes out this week - Imperial Triumphant's Vile Luxury. It's got horns, Glenn Branca/Sonic Youth guitar clang, a bunch of guest vocalists including Yoshiko Ohara from Bloody Panda, and it's fucking awesome. Highly recommended.
+2 |
July 11, 2018 on Album Of The Week: Deafheaven Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
My pre-order landed in my PO box this morning, thankfully.
+3 |
June 22, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2018