I’m Jason Boucher, and welcome to Nocturnal, a weekly newsletter about sound + music where I highlight some of the best new music, podcasts, and streaming video. I’ll be dispensing related links about music and film news that I hope you dig. I don’t know about you, but I get excited for new records, reissues, soundtracks, and live music—so I’m sharing with you! My hope is this newsletter increases awareness of the extraordinary music & art communities all over the world, even if it’s just a smidgen. Questions? email@example.com
Today in the newsletter: New Jazz from Madlib, Space rock from 90s Michigan, a classic jazz reissue, podcasts, TV, and a few gripping articles you can’t miss! Also, my latest radio show and playlist…
But first, it’s once again the holiday season and a time for hope. The solstice is Monday, December 21, Hanukkah begins on Thursday December 10, Christmas is Friday, December 25, Kwanzaa begins Thursday, December 26, and New Years Day is Friday, January 1. The days will get longer and brighter after the Solstice in more ways than one—there’s also good news about a coming COVID-19 vaccine and we’ll have a new administration on January 20, 2021. There are many things for us to be hopeful about as we head into 2021. For more good news, check out justgivemepositivenews.com.
🎧 Here’s what new music releases, or reissues I’m listening to this week.
Jahari Masamba Unit, ‘Pardon My French’ (Rappcats)
This album shows off the incredible knowledge and amazing talent of Madlib. He’s a historian, a musician, producer, and this latest ‘Jazz Universe’ release shows how deeply talented both Karriem Riggins and Madlib (a.k.a. Otis Jackson Jr.) are together with thirteen tracks, all with French titles and stretching the spectrum of jazz, both spiritual and avant-garde with some acid jazz, too. Now available on CD and digital, but the vinyl is sold out.
We would have called it Spiritual Jazz but Phil Ranelin told us to call it Black Classical Music. - Madlib
Various Artists, ‘Southeast of Saturn’ (Third Man Records)
I couldn’t get enough space rock in the mid-90s and it seemed that most of the cool bands in this genre were from Michigan. Was the shoegaze-y and drone sound best done by those in and around Detroit? My favorites included Windy and Carl, Füxa, and Auburn Lull who all appear on this tripped out, space-filled compilation from Third Man. Limited availability on vinyl but checkout Bandcamp for the digital download. One of my most memorable shows was seeing Windy and Carl in 1997 at a warehouse in Providence, Rhode Island as part of the original Terrastock festival.
Sonny Clark Trio, ‘The 1960 Time Sessions With George Duvivier and Max Roach’ (Tompkins Square)
Sonny Clark was one of the best piano players in jazz when he passed away at age 31. He began his career with Dinah Washington, but also played with John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Charles Mingus, Jackie McLean, and so many more… This 2018 reissue by Tompkins Square Records includes the original Time album re-mastered from the original tapes, plus many alternate takes on the vinyl. You might be able to find the vinyl on eBay or Discogs, but the digital release is available on iTunes and Bandcamp.
This Week’s Reading List
Podcasts To Peruse
The Watch List
Nocturnal: A Sound + Music Experience is delivered fresh each Tuesday evening through an ominous freeform cloud featuring hubbub from then and now. Listen live Tuesday evenings on WSCA, or the next day via Mixcloud.
November 24th playlist:
Joe Bataan “Call My Name” 7” (Vampisoul)
Stone Alliance “Amigos” Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In NYC: Experiments In Latin Music 1970-77 (SoulJazz)
Cryptacize “Peg” Unusual Animals 7″
Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy “Deacon Blues (feat. Bill Mackay)” (Drag City) *
The Mountain Goats “FM” Sweden (Shrimper)
Turin Brakes “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” Xerox EP (Cooking Vinyl)
The Carbonators “Light of the World” Conversation EP (St. Clements Records) *
The Ramonetures “Blitzkrieg Bop” Munster Records Goes Hi Fi (Munster Records)
Gruppo Sportivo “Superman” 10 Mistakes (Ariola)
David First “Energy Prayer” The Best We Can EP (469178 Records DK) *
Earth “Cats on the Briar” Full Upon Her Burning Lips (Sargent House)
Om “Gethsemane” Live at BBC Radio 1 (Drag City)
Boris “Kuruimizu” Amplifier Worship (Third Man Records) *
Miss Bliss “Grey” Southeast of Saturn (Third Man Records) *
Thee Oh Sees “Don’t Blow Experiment” Panther Rotate (Castle Face) *
Deadbeat “Huey Lewis Dub” (BLKRTZ)
See you next week… - JB