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On Iverson on Glasper (Pause): Everyone Wants Everything, Even If It's Different

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

This past summer, a friend of mine went off to the island of Mykonos for a few weeks of, well, let's just say it, some good ol' fun debauchery. The Mediterranean isle is kind of a gay paradise. I talked with another friend of mine at the time about the place, what he told me second-hand of the open culture there. I noted that it must be nice for these people to have a place of their own to be open and free, unencumbered, not have to worry about being seen as a categorical other. (To a limited degree, I think of it like my time at Morehouse College as a young black man who has to worry much less often about the white gaze, able to develop my authorial voice and broaden my personality.) I asked if there were a similar island like Mykonos for lesbians. My friend said there wouldn't be such a thing, that culturally, such openness isn't prone to them. I found such an idea completely ludicrous, to the point that it lingered in my head for days until I spoke with him again on the subject. It seemed crazy because the idea of empathy involves a rather simple concept-- everyone wants everything, even if it's an altered, personalized version of those things. If you want something elemental, someone else probably want some version of that elemental aspect of human existence, too. Of course lesbians would want an island. What subset of people who have been marginalized wouldn't want their own place? The rules of engagement there may be different, but to say a group of people wouldn't want their own place defies logic. Everyone wants everything, even if it's a different thing. Oddly enough, I can't help but think of this in reading Ethan Iverson's interview with Robert Glasper and Iverson's subsequent response to the backlash surrounding it.

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DD Horns - 's/t'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Back in November, we hipped you to the California quintet DD Horns led by trumpeter Danny T. Levin & tenor saxophonist David Moyer. The group is releasing their debut self-titled album at their Bandcamp where you can pay any price this week. The album produced by Chris Schlarb and recorded in one shot with no overdubs is a tight affair with a good deal of groove.

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Harriet Tubman - 'Araminta'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Harriet Tubman, the trio of guitarist Brandon Ross, bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummer J.T. Lewis, have been weird for twenty years now. Their free jazz essence is certainly an acquired taste, however it's also a free jazz rooted in soul that makes their music so memorable. In the latest album, Araminta, out this Friday on Sunnyside, the band brings along trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith for a raucous collection of songs full of fiery energy, even when the burners are on low. Really, Araminta is truly great.

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Extended - 's/t'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

A piano trio, a good one, can come from anywhere. The cleverness, the connecting, the perfect sense of anchoring, the snappiness that makes the piano-bass-drums trio such a classic sound even when it moves forward, it all comes from signature, and there are signatures everywhere. New Orleans signature sounds have a ragtag sense to them, rough around the edges from centuries of lovingly performing the act of loving. That kind of signature can make for a pretty good piano-bass-drums trio. Extended -- Oscar Rossignoli on piano, Matt Booth on bass, and Brad Webb on drums -- have all the attributes of a clever New Orleans piano-bass-drums trio. (And it's part of my signature that I'm a sucker for those.)

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Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau - 's/t'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Mandolinist Chris Thile and pianist Brad Mehldau have been playing together for a little while now. I got to see them play together in Austin back in 2013 and was certainly impressed, wondering why this hadn't happened before. To steal from my exposition of almost four years ago, "The master piano player, known worldwide as a game changer in the jazz genre, seemed the perfect fit for the man recognized by the nebulous MacArthur Foundation [in 2012] for stretching the boundaries of bluegrass music. Thile always had a jazz sound to his frenetic, mellifluous style of plucking and Mehldau always had a little bit of everything else." This same rationale still applies now with the release of their double album out now on Nonesuch.