Okay, let's just be real. I have to ask. Is Bobby Avey tone-deaf? Is the young pianist, praised in certain jazz circles as an innovator and a sharp voice, just so brilliant that he doesn't actually hear melody? Does he know what it is? Does he care? Over his body of work, I have asked this question time and again why Avey constantly makes what I consider unlikeable music. We know unlikeable music. Those tonally off, minor all around, completely unnatural sounding hodgepodge of notes that just must be too smart for the rest of us. I have quite a few snobbish tendencies, no doubt. Bobby Avey still makes unlikeable music. However, perhaps he does care, to a degree, what a melody sounds like, maybe in a mathematical sense, throughout his latest album, Inhuman Wilderness, out June 24 on Innervoice Jazz.
I feel adrift. My external hard drive seems beyond repair, computers can't even recognize it, and I'm staving off reformatting it and losing the music I have, let alone the current flux I'm in slowly acquiring the newness that ever comes in. Yet I strive on, still bringing the newness to the airwaves that I can.
The Line-Up for 6 Mayl 2016
I was worried a couple years ago when Chris Schlarb, the band/cult-leader of the Psychic Temple, told me he was going in a more folk/pop direction in the next album. I was doing a lot of juggling of balls back then when I was hosting Schlarb's show in San Antonio in 2014 in support of his solo album, Making the Saint, but I'm not sure if Pet Sounds entered into the conversation (which if it did, is a bit of a shame, since I had woefully yet to hear the album back then). Nevertheless, vocals were mentioned, something a little less familiar was around the corner. This was said in the midst of him embarking across the country on his own, experimenting with what the results of touring can be, putting himself out there as an artist and a businessman, and revealing his talent as a guitarist, craftsman, vocalists, and teepee builder (though his psychic temple, the frame in front of which he performed his solo shows, seemed more half a teepee, more a teepee). This work seemed foundational to the work that he would bring to the rest of his band in III, the aptly named third release from Chris Schlarb and the Psychic Temple.
In a display that largely plays out like an iTunes visualization, trumpeter Adam Meckler and his quintet roll out the new video for "One Creaking Birch Tree" off Meckler's new album, Wander. It's an album of post-bop swirliness that's certainly off this era, coasting along on Midwestern charm. It's a steady ride with mostly lengthy compositions that involve a lot of hunkering down. Check out the video for "One Creaking Birch Tree" after the jump.