A peek inside the newsroom: It’s our final week of deadlines for editing and producing the summer issue of Mother Jones magazine (subscribe! Gift it!). Pages are coming together. Entering this last stretch of days is, for me, as the copy editor with final eyes on proofs, an exercise in how sharply I can stay focused and alertly I start the week. Which takes, as a matter of course, music. Three Recharges:
Carlos Niño’s impressionistic new ballad “Pleasewakeupalittlefaster, Please” is floating before it’s grounding. A saxophone paddles under hypnotic piano chords in the spirit of earlier Niño music that caught a Pitchfork reviewer as “emanat[ing] from Alice Coltrane’s ashram.” The image works. Niño lives 10 miles from where Coltrane’s ashram stood before it burned down in California wildfires. I visited Coltrane there to record one of her last interviews. “Pouring into my spirit” is how she described her sound, and Niño shares that expressive ethos. The day she exited this realm, he recorded a live tribute in her honor. See if his latest moves you.
Giggle the Ozone’s newest is blazing, imploring, with richly textured vocals. The trio is Dylan Sparrow, Jesse Krakow, and K. Abrams, produced in collaboration with Colin Marston, and it’s a remixed collection that almost didn’t happen at all. “I found the master tapes by accident after thinking they were gone,” Sparrow tells me. The discovery prompted a striking sound; it’s all here, the uptempo drive of “Zenith Age,” the Roy Orbison inflection of “Wing How Yard,” and the climate portraiture of “Evacuate.” A stunning recharge start to finish.
Marshall Allen turns 97 next week. The venerated saxophonist’s celestial sound and membership in the Sun Ra Arkestra are honored this Sunday at a live gig in Cottage City, Maryland. The celebration is “Out Music in Outer Space.” “Seemingly boundless energy” is how the writer Nate Chinen framed his music. Energy building, booming, all needed for the week ahead.