Whack Jazz

WTF?! Wednesdays: Eugene Chadbourne, “Electric Rake” (2005)

WTF?! Wednesdays: Eugene Chadbourne, “Electric Rake” (2005)

My introduction to guitarist/raconteur/wise ass Eugene Chadbourne came out of a short stack of records borrowed from a co-worker. This would have been back in the early 90s. There were things like Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and Henry Kaiser in that pile.

photo credit: Peter Gannushkin

One Track Mind: Thumbscrew [Mary Halvorson / Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara], “Cheap Knock Off” (2014)

Made up of three highly distinctive voices in the world of jazz and avant-garde music, Thumbscrew should probably collapse under the weight of its star power

photo credit: Stefan Bremer

Raoul Björkenheim / eCsTaSy – eCsTaSy (2014)

My first encounter with the dazzling whack jazz guitar wizardry of Raoul Björkenheim came via one of his many projects, the Norwegian-Finnish alliance power combo Scorch Trio (Luggumt, 2004).

WTF?! Wednesdays: Fred Frith, “No Birds” (1974)

WTF?! Wednesdays: Fred Frith, “No Birds” (1974)

Many years ago, I made a mix tape specifically for use on long drives in my pickup truck. No, it was not filled with country music.

Xiu Xiu – NINA (2013)

Xiu Xiu – NINA (2013)

Xiu Xiu vocalist Jamie Stewart enlists Ches Smith and These Arches to record a Nina Simone tribute record. The resulting NINA is one of the weirdest records of 2013.

WTF?! Wednesdays: Sun Ra and his Astro-Infinity Arkestra, “Strings Strange” (1966)

WTF?! Wednesdays: Sun Ra and his Astro-Infinity Arkestra, “Strings Strange” (1966)

The music Sun Ra never disappoints. His “Arkestra” had the ability to swing like crazy in conventional contexts as well as more “out” presentations.

WTF?! Wednesdays: Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, “Improvisation #2″ (1985)

WTF?! Wednesdays: Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, “Improvisation #2″ (1985)

To the statement that “Nobody sounds like Derek Bailey” comes the snarky reply, “Just who the hell would want to sound like Derek Bailey?!”

John Frusciante – Outsides EP (2013)

John Frusciante – Outsides EP (2013)

A solo effort in the most complete sense of the word — John Frusciante plays all of the instruments, and even designed the cover art for Outsides — this EP also reflects a singular creative genesis.

Book of Three (Taylor Ho Bynum, John Hébert, Gerald Cleaver) – Continuum [2012] (2013)

Book of Three (Taylor Ho Bynum, John Hébert, Gerald Cleaver) – Continuum [2012] (2013)

Given the stature within improvised music circles of Taylor Ho Bynum (trumpet), John Hébert (bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums), any new release by these guys should be greeted with great interest

Mike Pride – Drummer’s Corpse (2013)

Albums with as many songs as a 45 single are bound to be interesting, and that’s undeniably the case for Mike Pride’s dual epic numbers compiled into his upcoming Drummer’s Corpse album.