The Wrap-Up: Using a liberal definition of the phrase “Bird is the Worm News”

July 21, 2012


Some miscellaneous updates on Bird is the Worm of a music nature:


  • Trumpet man Dave Chisholm and Multi-media artist Matt Glass teamed up on some cool promo videos for Chisholm’s last release Calligraphy.  I talk about them on eMusic’s 17 Dots blog HERE.
  • For eMusic members, I point out that Esbjorn Svensson Trio‘s debut album When Everyone Has Gone (Dragon Records) popped up on the site.  Details found on my eMusic 17 Dots post HERE.
  • I added a new Page to Bird is the Worm, which will track the albums I think are the best of 2012 in Jazz.  You can read all about it HERE.
  • I added a Facebook “Like” button to my site.  You can access it from any page, on the right hand side of the screen.  While you’re perusing my site, go and hit that button for me.  It would be nice to amass some gargantuan numbers both in terms of Likes and Subscriptions (which you can find at the top of the right hand column on every screen.  Subscriptions are free, and you can set how often you get an email from my site.)
  • For news about recent events regarding the AllAboutJazz Download of the Day, you can read about it on my discussion thread on the AllAboutJazz forums HERE.
  • If you’ve been written up on Bird is the Worm, and you haven’t received a Download of the Day invitation from me, this is either because, one, I haven’t had time to do it yet, or, two, I did send it, but you had old contact info and haven’t looked in that account.  Either way, if you’ve received print on Bird is the Worm, please feel free to submit a track for feature date consideration HERE.  If I’ve written about you on this site, then I already think your music should get spotlighted, so the AAJ download of the day is just additional promotional punch for you.
  • If you’re an artist, I recommend confirming that your contact information is easy to find and current.  Every week that I send out various emails regarding a potential review of an album, invitations to be featured as the AAJ download of the day, various other content like interview request, etc. and, invariably, there’s always a couple artists who do not get invited because I couldn’t find any contact info for them or the contact info was for a dead email account.  Those are missed opportunities there, y’know?
  • You can find the newest featured free AAJ download of the day tracks HERE.
  • I’m going to occasionally re-mention that if you’re an artist with an album set to Name Your Own Price, whether it be on bandcamp or elsewhere, and you would like review consideration, read this Bird is the Worm article HERE and then follow the instruction to make a request in the Comments box below that article.  I have begun a new Bird is the Worm series that features reviews and tiny reviews of jazz albums set to NYOP.  Thus far, we’ve got about six different albums reviewed for this series, with more to come.
  • In Notes From The Holler news, I broke my site.  I’m hoping to fix it this weekend.  I think I know what I have to do, and hopefully it’ll work.  Which will be helpful, because suddenly there’s all types of shows in Kentucky I want to get the spotlight on.
  • Some music I’ve been listening to that didn’t get any print this week, but will in the upcoming weeks… Jack Davies, a Don Cherry re-issue, Jessica Williams, and various artists from the Chicago free jazz improv scene.


I think that about wraps things up.



Tiny Reviews: Dave Chisholm, Bill McHenry, Markus Pensonen, & More

December 31, 2011

Tiny Review recs of new Jazz releases, featuring:  Dave Chisholm, Bill McHenry, Markus Pesonen, Quinteto Ricardo Pinto, Ely Guerra, and Peter Bryngelsson.


The recs below were built off the skeleton of the recommendations I make as part of my weekly contribution to the Emusic New Arrivals article.  I do the jazz recs for it.  Emusic lets me copy it onto my blog 30 after it’s posted on their site.  When I post on Bird is the Worm, I add album art, audio (when available), additional links, and if I’ve had the opportunity to give the album additional listens, modify my opinion a bit and tighten up the original language.  So here it goes…

Let’s begin:


Dave Chisholm – Calligraphy

An interesting sophomore release from trumpeter Dave Chisholm. His debut album Radioactive was a successful big band affair with sweeping melodies and unapologetic turns of drama and melancholy. For Calligraphy, Chisholm scales down to a quintet, and he zooms in on the heart of his melodies, leaving a result of an album that is more post-rock than jazz.  Imagine Mogwai recording a jazz album, and you have a decent idea of what’s contained here.  It’s really quite beautiful, and it’s a fascinating look at different facets of Chisholm’s source of creativity.  A nice meeting point for jazzers and post-rockers to come together. Recommended.

It’s Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Rochester, NY scene.

Go visit his site. There’s a bunch of cool promo videos for the album.

You can stream the entire album (and purchase it, too) on his bandcamp page.

Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist.

Available on Emusic.


Bill McHenry – Ghosts of the Sun

There is something deceptively propulsive about this album. Listen to it, and it comes off as a laid-back affair filled with soft tunes and casual rhythms, but much how gentle waves on a calm sea can carry an inattentive boat far away from its resting place, so is the effect of Bill McHenry’s compositions on the listener. Engaging without fussy complexities, moving despite a whiff of nonchalance, the album is an experience. Features Ben Monder, Reid Anderson, and the dearly departed Paul Motian. Outstanding.

Released on the Sunnyside Records label.  Jazz from the Brooklyn scene.

The entire album can be streamed on McHenry’s bandcamp page.

Available at Emusic.


Markus Pesonen Hendectet – Hum

The Markus Pesonen Hendectet throws their instruments at the listener all at once. Waves of sound come crashing in, one after the other, eleven pieces consisting of an army of woodwinds and brass, strings, accordion, and percussion. Hints of melody, however, tease with the promise of warmth. That promise is honored halfway through the album, gentle ballads, a rousing cover of Charles Mingus’s “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, and a nifty rendition of the Beatles’ “Day in the Life.” Absolutely thrilled with this album. Highly Recommended.

NOTE:  I’ve written a review of this album for eMusic, found here.

Released on the Unit Records label.  Jazz from the Copenhagen and Berlin scenes.

Available on Emusic.


Quinteto Ricardo Pinto – Sintra Project

Intriguing debut album by this Portuguese jazz quintet. Couldn’t find much online about this group, but I’ve been terrifically enamored with its steady drive and moody ambiance. A balancing act between a pleasant swing and determined rock-like rhythms, in addition to some nice harmonizing between horns and woodwinds, this recording would likely get slotted under nu-jazz, which means it’ll appeal to Indie fans and modern jazzers alike. Nice little recording.

Your album personnel: Ricardo Pinto (trumpet), Bruno Margalho (alto sax), Daniel Hewson (piano), Francesco Valente (double bass), and Rui Pereira (drums)

Released on the FEWG Records label, a digital music label focused in jazz and experimental electronic music. Jazz from the Lisbon, Portugal scene.

Available on Emusic.


Ely Guerra – Invisible Man

Recent Grammy nominee Ely Guerra hits the emusic site with seductive little set of piano trio songs. Ely’s vocals are the kind I like… seemingly effortless, not pushy, and no emotional cheap shots. It’s a delicate affair from beginning to end, pretty straight-forward without any real surprises, but when it’s boiled down its barest elements, it’s a pretty album that’s a very nice listen, and I felt compelled to mention it.

Released on the Homey Company label.  Jazz from the Guadalajara, Mexico scene.

Available on Emusic.


Okay, this one probably shouldn’t even be filed under jazz, but it’s just too damn cool not to mention…

Peter Bryngelsson – Wunderbaum

Founding member of old-school prog rock band Ragnarok, Peter Bryngelsson puts together an album of field recordings, sax, banjo, electric, acoustic, and slide guitars, harmonica, strings, various percussion, and a Hohner Claviola. It’s almost too easy to use the word ‘cinematic’ to describe this album, but easy sounds good to me right now. Fans of Ennio Morricone, Devotchka, Marc Ribot, and John Fahey should spend some time investigating this album. Too cool.

NOTE:  I’ve fallen in love with this album since first hearing and writing about it above, so I’ll be writing a full-length review right after the new year.

Released on DOS Records.

Available on emusic.


That’s it for today.



Here’s some language to protect emusic’s rights as the one to hire me originally to scour through the jazz new arrivals and write about the ones I like:

New Arrivals Jazz Picks“, courtesy of, Inc.
© 2011, Inc.

My thanks to emusic for the freelance writing gig, the opportunity to use it in this blog, and the editorial freedom to help spread the word about cool new jazz being recorded today.