Phil Freeman

Phil Freeman

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I remember reading somewhere that the "Chinese music" gibe came from Louis Armstrong, of all people. I almost included that in my writeup, but forgot about the Camarillo stuff so left it out.
It's always weird to me how albums are split between the Jazz and Contemporary Instrumental categories. Christian Scott's Axiom, and Jon Batiste's Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard, are nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, not Best Jazz Album. I mean, "Live at the Village Vanguard" is right there in the title! That shit is a jazz album, full stop.
I've been a Judas Priest fan since I was 11 years old, when Screaming For Vengeance came out, and I've interviewed Halford twice. He's one of the best interview subjects any music journalist could ask for. He listens to your question, thinks about it, then answers in full, lucid paragraphs. Also, he's incredibly nice and friendly and generous. Seriously one of the best human beings on the rock/metal scene. Definitely looking forward to reading this book.
Yeah, it really is great; unfortunately, I couldn't write it up for the column because my wife designed the cover. (Might find a sub to write it up for next month, though...we'll see how packed the list is.)
Yeah, it's really, really good and I need to point out that if you buy it on his Bandcamp page you get a total of 14 tracks (the physical CD only has 9).
Roots Magic are amazing. I sometimes wonder whether people give them the side-eye because they're a bunch of Italians "covering" free jazz and Delta blues tunes, but they really do make the material their own. I love all three of their albums.
Yeah, that one is definitely recommended to fans of all the acts you mentioned and maybe Hot Rats/Grand Wazoo-era Zappa, too. Really good stuff. I've been a fan of hers for a long while.
I get that projecting an image of wealth and luxury is crucial in a lot of hip-hop, but referencing *gout* is kind of a weird choice.
I ranked all of Yes's albums here a few years ago: https://www.stereogum.com/1802728/yes-albums-from-worst-to-best/franchises/list/ Here's (part of) what I had to say about 90125: >>Musically, 90125 (named for its catalog number) is incredibly, gleamingly '80s. Howe's galloping prog boogie is completely absent, as is Squire's thunderous bass; the dominant instrumental voices are Rabin's high-gloss guitar and Kaye's bell-like synths, while Anderson's vocals are soaked in reverb and echo. This is a big album -- the stomping "Hold On" sounds like it's being blared at you through a stadium PA, while "Our Song" sounds like a training montage from a Rocky sequel. The most fascinating elements of the album, though, are those that are most obviously Trevor Horn's doing. "Leave It," one of the big singles from the album, is stacked with massive drum machine thwacks and some of the very same Fairlight stabs that would pop up on Art Of Noise singles a year later. They're present to a lesser extent in "City Of Love," too, decorations at the margins of as dense a slab of corporate "hard" "rock" as has ever been recorded. 90125 is as un-Yes-like as it's possible to be; it's much more reminiscent of 1980s "supergroup" projects like the Firm and the Power Station than anything its members had done before. But approached in that spirit, it's fascinatingly bizarre, and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" remains a kick-ass single.
Realization and Inside Out were paired on a single CD quite a few years ago - I don't know how available that reissue is anymore, but it's worth seeking out.

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