Trying to post this the way I used to... with images, videos, etc., but kind of hating the way things are set up. So here's a list... lots of good stuff, from a broader encounter w/good stuff:
Rothko Chapel (ECM)
Kim Kashkashian, Sarah Rothenberg, Steven Schick, Houston Chamber Choir, Robert Simpson performing Morton Feldman, Erik Satie, John Cage
Rothko Chapel’s excellent program draws together work of contemporaries John Cage and Morton Feldman, along with Cage’s beloved Erik Satie (I’ve wondered what Satie would think of Cage’s response to his work). Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel” grounds the program and extends the connection to the visual arts, as the work was created for Houston’s Rothko Chapel and reprises a program performed for its 40th anniversary in 2011. The following stops between Cage and Satie give context around both a shared musical disposition and a historical trajectory of innovative 20th century arts, the relation to the prior century, and the clear affect on music today.
Divers (Drag City)
I’ll jump on the praise wagon. Divers has beautiful lush songs with intriguing instrumentation, a large sound palette, and enjoyable lines drawn through Americana/country and anglo folk, all filtered through Newsom’s idiom. The album’s enjoyable with typical distracted listening, but it took a focused, doing-nothing-else sitting to take the impact of the songs/lyrics and enjoy the depth and direction of the arrangements.
Cory Arcane (Raster-Noton)
A lot of strong techno albums come and go, but few stand out from the crowd. Kangding Ray delivers an album of superb sound design, sounds ranging from sensitive and exploratory to pummeling, and a playful approach to rhythm, showing that there are still more places to go with this music beyond lo-fi regressions (which I can appreciate) and wrenches in the gears.
The Conduct of Jazz (Thirsty Ear)
It is good. Shipp has a strong voice.
A Small Prometheus (Emego)
Weird patterns, rhythmic clipping, minute phasing, tiny sounds, and sometimes large atmospheres. This type of noise-oriented music is rarely this engaging. If I was working on stuff I’d be going for something like this.
Winter Light (ACT)
Scott Dubois feat. Gebhard Ullmann, Thomas Morgan & Kresten Osgood
There have been so many “beautiful” jazz albums lately, but this one stands out. So much atmosphere and interplay, with guitar and bass textures/pads, brushed drums. Despite the percussion it reminds me of Carta da Amor. Really like this.
Mette Henriette (ECM)
Where did this come from? This album pushes across pensive, free, hot, and texture-telescoped sax worlds. Many modes in a striking narrative/program. Really exciting album.