Within that flurry of activity, the small operation drew a fine line through a new era of jazz spiritual. Not a narrow line, but a fine one, a bold and exceptional line. Harp/bass duo Dezron Douglas and Brandee Younger’s Force Majeure included arrangements of tunes by Alice and John Coltrane and the Stylistics; drummer Makaya McCraven continued his beat-heavy Universal Beings groove with an album that included contributions from Parker and Younger; and clarinetist/singer/songwriter Angel Bat Dawid followed her stunning 2019 debut with a live album and a 7-inch. All of those drew from a history of Black consciousness in American music without seeking to dress soul and jazz as period pieces.
The label has also built a strong identity from synergy between artists. Singer/composer Damon Locks, for example, did the cover art for the McCraven and Irreversible Entanglements releases, and Dawid is a key member of Locks’s exciting vocal group, Black Monument Ensemble.
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CHAIRMAN AT THE BOARD: RECORDING THE SOUNDTRACK OF A GENERATION, by Bill Schnee. Backbeat Books, 2021. 219pp. $24.49, hardcover; $21.49, Kindle e-book.
NAD C 298
ELAC Alchemy DPA-2
Fun with Moose and Squirrel
’Cause, it’s hard to say what’s real / When you know the way you feel —Flaming Lips, “One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21,” from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Marten Parker Trio Diamond
The bijou sub We have inherited an infinitely vast library of recorded musical art, the majority of which is well-recorded but has yet to be fully and completely reproduced.
Clearaudio Concept Active Wood
Focal Aria K2 936
DCS BARTOK DAC/HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
THIS ISSUE: Herb Reichert on the dCS Bartók; Ken Micallef reprises his Schiit Sol review, trying it out with some better ancillaries.
Classical Rock / Pop Jazz: Record Reviews
In its sixth year, International Anthem seriously stepped up production. 2020 saw the Chicago label releasing a fast succession of rewarding albums, including a standout disc by Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and adventurous jazz by Rob Mazurek and the collective Irreversible Entanglements.