Phil Freeman

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Ugly Beauty

The Month In Jazz – June 2020

Ten years ago, Darius Jones flew across the New York jazz scene like a comet. His debut album as a leader, Man’ish Boy (A Raw
Phil Freeman | June 19, 2020 - 2:52 pm

The Anniversary

Mer De Noms Turns 20

I had no idea who A Perfect Circle were the first time I heard them. I was at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2000,…
Phil Freeman | May 22, 2020 - 11:45 am

Ugly Beauty

The Month In Jazz – May 2020

It’s easy to get comfortable with your idea of what jazz is, when it’s happening right in front of you. But when there are no…
Phil Freeman | May 20, 2020 - 12:08 pm

Ugly Beauty

The Month In Jazz – April 2020

Since my last column, there has been a wave of deaths in the jazz world, many of them related to COVID-19. Here are the ones…
Phil Freeman | April 21, 2020 - 9:45 am

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Thundercat It Is What It Is

People don’t talk about George Duke enough. The man was a goddamn genius. After leading his own group for a few years, he began playing…
Phil Freeman | March 30, 2020 - 12:20 pm

Ugly Beauty

The Month In Jazz – March 2020

I had planned for this intro section to be slightly longer, but you know what? I’m not willing to risk my life for you people.
Phil Freeman | March 20, 2020 - 12:01 pm

Ugly Beauty

The Month In Jazz – February 2020

If you ever get the chance to watch Tyshawn Sorey play the drums, take it. Sorey is a brilliant composer — his albums Koan, The
Phil Freeman | February 20, 2020 - 3:22 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – January 2020

Has Winter Jazzfest peaked? When I was out exploring the annual weekend marathon (105 performances spread across 11 venues), it felt significantly less manic and…
Phil Freeman | January 20, 2020 - 1:19 pm

Ugly Beauty

The 20 Best Jazz Albums Of The 2010s

Where jazz is concerned, the 2010s could be divided almost precisely in half: BK (Before Kamasi) and AK (After Kamasi). The burly LA saxophonist's triple…
Phil Freeman | January 9, 2020 - 8:53 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – December 2019

Henry Threadgill, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2015 album In For A Penny, In For A Pound, has reunited his band Zooid after…
Phil Freeman | December 20, 2019 - 11:10 am

List

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

The Anniversary

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

Comments from Phil Freeman

Just you wait. There's a ridiculous amount of fantastic records coming out this summer, including some by artists I'd basically sworn off and others I've been waiting for full-length albums from for what seems like forever...
+5 |
June 19, 2020 on The Month In Jazz – June 2020
Yeah, Stanko was a tremendous talent. I loved those records, and his later stuff with New York musicians as well.
+2 |
June 19, 2020 on The Month In Jazz – June 2020
Funny story: Revolting Cocks couldn't originally get permission from the publisher to release their version of "Physical" (the writers actually threatened to sue), so they had to write entirely new lyrics, in the process turning it from a sex song into something more like AC/DC's "Night Prowler." Many years later, the version with the original lyrics showed up in a boxed set.
+6 |
May 22, 2020 on The Number Ones: Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”
Careful what you wish for. You'd get a 3000-word rant about why all black metal is shit, followed by 10 broooootal slam death albums that I chose for their cover art featuring neon-colored demons tearing cartoonishly proportioned women in half against sci-fi landscapes.
+2 |
May 21, 2020 on The Month In Jazz – May 2020
I saw Sanders this past December. He's interesting live now, because he doesn't do the raw screaming thing that much - a lot of the show is more like 1950s hard bop, and he proves that he can really play the shit out of the horn, that the giant tyrannosaurus roar is just one tool in his kit.
+5 |
May 6, 2020 on The Number Ones: Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes”
Just start with their debut, King Of The Dead. The first song includes the lines "He's the hero of the atom age/Born in a test tube, raised in a cage." What more do you need to know?
+9 |
April 30, 2020 on The Month In Metal – April 2020
This song was featured prominently in the first season of the show The Americans, as one of the Russian secret agents used to listen to it in his car - somehow, early 80s pop-country was one of the things that made him think America might not be all bad.
+9 |
April 24, 2020 on The Number Ones: Eddie Rabbitt’s “I Love A Rainy Night”
You have my attention...
+1 |
February 20, 2020 on The Month In Jazz – February 2020
I'm sort of in the same boat as you - I've heard Zero Tolerance For Silence and his collaboration with Ornette Coleman, and a couple of his more recent records, but I wouldn't call myself a fan. This one's really impressive, though.
+5 |
February 20, 2020 on The Month In Jazz – February 2020
I've never been much of a Cure fan, but I saw them on this tour and was surprised by how heavy they got, and how many long, loud guitar solos Smith took.
+1 |
February 15, 2020 on Bloodflowers Turns 20
That was a fantastic album. And I got to see him play at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, which was amazing.
+1 |
January 9, 2020 on The 20 Best Jazz Albums Of The 2010s
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