Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
Books:
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
Writings:
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  Contact
  What's New?
    RSS
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Burnt Sugar [extended]

  • Blood on the Leaf: Opus No. 1 [Trugroid, 2001] A-
  • That Depends on What You Know: Fubractive: Since Antiquity Suite [Trugroid, 2002] A-
  • That Depends on What You Know: The Sirens Return: Keep It Real 'Til It Flatlines [Trugroid, 2002] ***
  • That Depends on What You Know: The Crepescularium [Trugroid, 2002] Choice Cuts
  • Black Sex Yall Liberation & Bloody Random Violets [Trugroid, 2004] ***
  • All You Zombies Dig the Luminosity [AvantGroidd, 2017] ***

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: Blood on the Leaf: Opus No. 1 [Trugroid, 2001]
Like most major writers, Greg Tate--the young Ironman turned older-than-that-now Ionman--pursues music at his peril. When I've heard him play guitar in public, I've only wished he'd go finish his novel--or, better still, write more about music. So call this dimly mastered Black Rock Coalition spinoff living criticism. It's electric Miles with soul, "Maggot Brain" with a Ph.D., the Hendrix-Evans band of dreams, the underwater funk some hear in A.R. Kane. With due respect to badmuthashutyo guitarist Morgan Michael, Mandarinsprechen banshee guitarist Rene Akhan, and unstemmed crimson tide guitarist Kirk Douglass, the standout player is piano virtuoso Vijay Iyer, and let us now praise Human Switchboard and Freedy Johnston stalwart Jared Michael Nickerson, though Tate hisself wrote the basslines. But the ensemble is all, and the opus subsumes its parts. A-

That Depends on What You Know: Fubractive: Since Antiquity Suite [Trugroid, 2002]
If electric Miles could make the double-LP his métier, why shouldn't eclectic Greg try triple-CDs? Especially since he's got the humanity and business sense to sell each disc singly. This Lester Bowie tribute is the hit because within the permissive parameters of Burnt Sugar's art-ensemble ambience it's the loudest and fastest, and because the blood never leaves its pulse. As does happen on these discs, the best theme was written elsewhere (by Monk, with Miles immortalizing). But the whole thing will fill your earhole from the moment its chant-and-percussion rises out of the ooze. MVP: pianist Vijay Iyer. A-

That Depends on What You Know: The Sirens Return: Keep It Real 'Til It Flatlines [Trugroid, 2002]
atmosphere gathers fitfully into song (and rap), then disperses beautifully ("[Bas] Kiss," "Two Bass Blipsch") ***

That Depends on What You Know: The Crepescularium [Trugroid, 2002]
"If There's a Hell Below" Choice Cuts

Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: Black Sex Yall Liberation & Bloody Random Violets [Trugroid, 2004]
wish Tate edited his music like he edits his copy (which doesn't mean perfectly, believe me) ("Funky Rich Medina," "No Direction Home I"). ***

All You Zombies Dig the Luminosity [AvantGroidd, 2017]
Greg Tate's permanent floating black-bohemian-nationalist big band speaks its truths to power and its beauties to the grays ("The Charmer," "Yung Black & Vague," "Black Fros Black Gold") ***