Meet on the Ledge by Fairport Convention, 1968
We used to say
That come the day
We'd all be making songs
Or finding better words
These ideas never lasted long
The way is up
Along the road
The air is growing thin
Too many friends who tried
Were blown off this mountain with the wind
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again
Yet now I see
I'm all alone
But that's the only way to be
You'll have your chance again
Then you can do the work for me
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again
By Fairport Convention, written by Richard Thompson and released in December, 1968.
There is something poignant, something timeless about this song. It still touches me whenever I hear it. It taps into a universal feeling that we all share. Where is the ledge that we will meet up on and will we see all of our friends?!? I think we will… - BLG
Upcoming Sets at Downtown Music Gallery - FREE, every Sunday at 6pm
Sunday, February 24th: The REGGIE SYLVESTER Double Header:
6pm: ED KELLER / REGGIE SYLVESTER - Guitar & Drums Duo!
7pm: RETROGRADE ESP CD Set: MATT LAVELLE & REGGIE SYLVESTER!
Sunday, March 3rd:
6pm: AVANT-GARDE WORKING CLASS: JOE DALEY & JESSE DULMAN - Tuba Duet!
7pm: KAREN NG & HENRY FRASER - Sax & Clarinet / Bass!
Sunday, March 10th:
6pm: JESSICA / TONY JONES - Sax Duo - Two CD Releases Celebration!
7pm: THOMAS HEBERER / JOE HERTENSTEIN - Trumpet and Drums!
Sunday, March 17th:
6pm: SARAH BERNSTEIN VEER QUARTET: SANA NAGANO / LEONOR FALCON / NICK JOZWIAK!
7pm: JARVIS EARNSHAW / DANIEL CARTER / ZACH SWANSON - Sitar & Loops / Woodwinds / Bass
DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy. You can check the weekly in-store sets through our Instagram feed
OUT-Standing New Things from:
Anthony Braxton GTM 12 CD Box Set! Eric Dolphy’s Musical Prophet 3 CD Set! Cleric performs Zorn! A Couple of Dave Douglas/Greenleaf Gems! Rudy Royston Quintet! Moppa Elliott 3 Band/2 CD set! Nick Didkovsky & Tom Marsan Chord II! Two from Leap of Faith & Metal Chaos Unit!
Two from Elsewhere: Michael Pisaro 5 CD Set & Gil Sanson/Lance Austin Olsen! Biliana Voutchkova Trio! Cecilia Lopez! Russ Lossing Trio! The Ace of Cups! The Sleaford Mods! Back in stock: More Amalgam! Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra w/ Evan Parker & Marilyn Crispell! Etc..!
NEW BRAXTON HOUSE EPIC 12 CD SET PRE-ORDER SALE!
These Deluxe Box Sets will be here sometime next week.
If ordered before the end of February, you can take $5 off the price PLUS we will include 1 FREE CD of Mr. Braxton’s Early Ghost Trance Music [GTM].
ANTHONY BRAXTON // TRI-CENTRIC VOCAL ENSEMBLE - GTM (Syntax) 2017 (New Braxton House 908; USA) “A twelve CD box set of Anthony Braxton’s complete Syntactical Ghost Trance Music (SGTM) - the subset of Braxton’s revolutionary Ghost Trance Music compositional system written especially for the human voice. The recording also introduces the Tri-Centric Vocal Ensemble - a twelve member choir featuring some of the most exciting and accomplished singers in creative music.
The recording is available digitally and in a limited edition 300-copy pressing, a deluxe 12-CD box set with a 32-page booklet with extensive liner notes by Braxton and production notes by co-producer and ensemble member Kyoko Kitamura. This is the most complete documentation to date of Braxton's Syntactical Ghost Trance Music System, recorded for the first time in its entirety in a sonically pristine studio setting. Each disc features a complete composition. While SGTM is one of the rare systems in which Braxton neither conducts or performs, the recording was made under the composer’s careful guidance.
Calling it “the Rosetta Stone of my music systems”, Braxton describes Syntactical Ghost Trance Music as a “creative sonic experience” and “a structural networks of infinite paths and/or directions”. The composer has long been fascinated by the potential of the human voice, as evidenced by his massive ongoing Trillium opera cycle. However, SGTM eschews the narrative logics of the operas, instead offering intricate and rhythmically complex written lines with syllables, numbers and words, sometimes sounding like a string of activation codes, sometimes like an alternate language. The performers have an infinite number of real-time choices to make within each composition. From the pulse-driven first species to the graphically-enhanced accelerator class, SGTM and the Tri-Centric Vocal Ensemble demonstrate new possibilities for vocal choir music where composition meets improvisation, ensemble members become conductors, and the line between sounds and singing blur to form a sonic tapestry of voices unlike any other.
All of the members of the ensemble have worked extensively with the composer in the past - from duo recordings and small ensembles to the recent recordings of Braxton’s operas Trillium E (Wallingford’s Polarity Gambit) and Trillium J (The Non-Unconfessionables) - so the performers are deeply fluent in Braxton’s unique performance practice and sound world. They also carry an extraordinary body of individual credits and associations, ranging from jazz and improvised music to opera and contemporary classical to popular music and singer-songwriting. The recording is dedicated to ensemble member Michael Douglas Jones, who sadly passed away in the time between this recording and the release.”
12 CD Set $125 [LTD Edition of 300]
Pre-orders before Feb 28th, can take $5 off.
ERIC DOLPHY with WOODY SHAW / SONNY SIMMONS / PRINCE LASHA / BOBBY HUTCHERSON / RICHARD DAVIS / et al - Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance Records 2035; USA)Multiple woodwind-ist Eric Dolphy (1928-1964) is one of the most prominent "What If" guys in jazz. What if he'd lived beyond his 36 years—he died unexpectedly of undiagnosed diabetic complications. What if he'd been able to nurture his distinctive musical vision to a full flowering? What if—like his sometimes co-conspirator, saxophonist John Coltrane in his move from Prestige Records to the Impulse! Records, he'd connected with a major label that would allow him a free artistic license and distribution/advertising support?
Not that Dolphy was without big label exposure. He recorded Out to Lunch (1964) for Blue Note Records, in addition to two more that came out on the label after his death. So, it was three releases with the big guys in a five year, forty-albums-released time span.
Now Resonance Records—a label responsible for finding lost treasures of pianist Bill Evans, guitarist Wes Montgomery, The Three Sounds, organist Larry Young—has taken two late-period and somewhat obscure Dolphy outings, and packaged them with eighty-five minutes of unreleased Dolphy, and called it Musical Prophet: The Expanded New York Studio Recordings.
‘Iron Man’ (Douglas International, 1963) and Conversations (Douglas International, 1963) make up the first two discs of the three-disc set. A pair of previously unissued tunes close Disc 1. A bonus track closes Disc 2. Disc 3 is all previously unreleased Dolphy, drawn from the same July 1 & 3 sessions in 1963 that resulted in the two albums.
Somewhat obscure? Perhaps, but then—with the exception of the previously-mentioned Out to Lunch, Out There (Candid, 1960), and perhaps Last Date (Verve, 1964), all Dolphy discs can be considered obscure. It's a sort of "small-label guy curse."
Some consider these albums a stylistic shot across the bow that would announce the genius of 1964's Out to Lunch. Maybe, but these sound somewhat different. On the more up-tempo tunes, there is a waving harmonic attitude. When horns and brass are playing unison, it's not quite unison; it's slightly—sometimes more than slightly—skewed. Something that harkens to New Orleans, or—to compare it to rock/pop sounds—what the group The Band was doing vocally on tunes like "We Can Talk" from Music From Big Pink (Columbia, 1968) or "Jawbone," from their brown album, The Band, (Columbia, 1969), or their ramshackle backing vocals on Bob Dylan's "Quinn The Eskimo" and "Minstrel Boy," from Self Portrait (Columbia, 1970).
Dolphy was a distinctive stylist, his solos looping off like inflated balloons set free with their stems untied, shooting off on the up-tempo tunes in circuitously-swirling, erratic real-time flights, like a panicked bird; sometimes (on the ballads, and especially when he's playing bass clarinet) in a languid, elastic slow motion. On alto sax and bass clarinet he's probably the most recognizable jazz voice in a blindfold test.
Also, there are more horns here than on the one horn, (Dolphy) and-a-rhythm-section quartet line-up of Out to Lunch. Here it's Dolphy plus another alto sax, a bassoon, another flute, trumpet, and tenor sax—which gives the proceedings a more orchestral feeling with the mingling of the voices. As with all Dolphy work, the sound is a loose-jointed, rambling listening experience, not too far off from that of pianist Cecil Taylor's Unit Structures (Blue Note, 1966), though not that far out.
As for the third disc, It's seven alternate takes from those two recording sessions from which Iron Man and Conversations were compiled, all more than worthy of inclusion in this celebration of Eric Dolphy, recorded a bit under a year before his passing.” - Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz
3 CD Set $30 [The first 10 order can take $2 off of each]
CLERIC [MATT HOLLENEBERG / NICK SHELLENBERGER / DAN KENNEDY / LARRY KWARTOWITZ TIMBA HARRIS / LUDOVIC BEIER] // JOHN ZORN - The Book Beri’ah Vol 2 - Chokhma (Tzadik 5102; USA) At the forefront of the new rock complexity, Cleric is one of the most cutting edge bands out of the experimental Metal community. Here they put their hand to nine compositions from Masada Book Three. Masada fans since they were in their teens, the band has put an extra measure of creativity into this project, weaving the tunes into insane arrangements of epic proportions. Outrageous, exhilarating and intense music that combines Metal with modern classical, jazz and the Jewish tradition. You have never heard such sounds in your life!
I don’t listen to much contemporary metal outside of bands like SunnO))))) & Earth or Orthrelm & Vomit Fist. Cleric is/are obviously a metal band whose music is extreme, even brutal at times. They do a great job of playing Mr. Zorn’s music, tight, powerful and somewhat progressive as well. The screaming vocals, which rarely overwhelm the rest of the music, are a bit difficult to deal with at times. Overall, myself & Frank M at DMG were both blown away with this torturous, intense work. This disc comes from the beyond diverse Zorn ‘Book of Beriah’ box set. Last month, singer Sofia Rey’s Book of Ber’iah CD came out and was most charming, the complete opposite of the new Ber’iah CD. Incredible but not for the squeamish. - BLG/DMG
A COUPLE OF SUBSCRIPTION-ONLY SERIES DISCS from THE SUPER-FINE FOLKS at GREEN LEAF!
Trumpet master, composer and multi-bandleader, DAVE DOUGLAS, started the Greenleaf label in 2005 and has produced some 60 plus releases of his own and other folks’ music he is proud of promoting. As a longtime friend and admirer of everything Dave does, DMG has carried as many of his physical releases as is possible. With the decline of CD’s sales increasing, Greenleaf started a subscription series of releases, some virtual, some download-only and some in both formats. If you dig what Mr. Douglas does as a musician and composer, I urge you to become a subscriber (https://greenleafmusic.com/subscribe). Greenleaf has released some real gems over the past few years which are mainly for their subscribers only. Since Mr. Douglas and myself are longtime friends, I was able to do a little coaxing and have gotten just a dozen copies of the two following CD’s. Will this be the only copies that we will get?!? Not sure yet, so these are first come, first serve only. After we sell out, you will have to subscribe to get these in the future, which I feel is a good thing to do anyway. We can’t hold these for future orders but we will try to get more if we can. - BLG
DAVE DOUGLAS / SUSIE IBARRA / MARC RIBOT - New Sanctuary Trio (Greenleaf 053; USDA)
CD $20 [LTD Edition/Subscription Series]
DAVE DOUGLAS With WADADA LEO SMITH / OLIVER LAKE / FRED FRITH / MATT MITCHELL / KRIS DAVIS / ANDREW CYRILLE / YASUSHI NAKAMURA - Metamorphosis (Greenleaf 0061/Paperback Series Vol. 6; USA)
CD $20 [LTD Edition/Subscription Series]
RUDY ROYSTON With JOHN ELLIS / GARY VERSACE / HANK ROBERTS / JOE MARTIN - Flatbed Buggy (Greenleaf 1065; USA) Over the past few years, Rudy Royston has become the drummer of choice for many leaders: Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Jon Irabagon, Fred Hess and many more. Mr. Royston has also been growing as a bandleader & composer, with an earlier disc out also on the Greenleaf label called ‘Plugged In’, which is both very diverse (stylistically) as well as equally successful. Mr. Royston has again organized an eclectic quintet of all leaders on their own: John Ellis on bass clarinet & saxes, Gary Versace on accordion, Hank Roberts on cello, Joe Martin on bass and Mr. Royston on drums & compositions. As far as I can tell only Mr. Ellis and Mr. Versace had played together previously. The opening piece is called, “Soul Train”, which doesn’t seem so apt, yet there is is something immensely charming about the lovely, somber harmonies for the frontline of clarinet and accordion, which are backed by some tasty plucked cello, acoustic bass underpinning and subtle drum grooves. Since there is no lead guitar or loud sax up front, it is the quirky writing that stands out. On “Hourglass”, as well as throughout this disc, there is this sunny, uplifting little melody which just makes me smile and feel good. Like the first ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. “Bobblehead” has a great, difficult, boppish theme in which the accordion, cello & soprano sax (Trane-like) all play their tight lines together. One of the things that makes this disc so fine is the way the bass and drums play together, they are constantly shifting together as one rhythmic unit. Speeding up, slowing down and swinging effortlessly throughout. There seems to be a sort of folky, organic vibe to the music here, warm, sunny and most charming. All acoustic and refreshing. Often a subtle, sublime gem with some unexpected twists and turns. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MOPPA ELLIOTT With SAM KULIK / CHARLES EVANS / NATE WOOLEY / DAVE TAYLOR / MATT NELSON / BRYAN MURRAY / AVA MENDOZA / RON STABINSKY / JON IRABAGON / et al - Jazz Band / Rock Band / Dance Band (Hot Cup 55; USA) For as long as I’ve known bassist/composer/bandleader Moppa Elliott, he has had a twisted sense of humor which is even more apparent in his solo projects than his longtime all-star band, Mostly Other People Do the Killing. Being a post-modern, 21st century bandleader, he also wears his diverse creative spirit on his shirt sleeve. For this double disc set, Mr. Elliott has organized three new bands, all completely different genre-wise. Mr. Elliott, who is from Penn. originally has a habit of naming songs after towns in Pennsylvania, both known and obscure. He continues this practice here.
Advancing on a Wild Pitch is his jazz band which features: Sam Kulik on trombone, Charles Evans on bari sax, Danny Fox on piano Moppa on double bass & compositions and Christian Coleman on bass. You should recognize a few of these names: Sam Kulik from his work with Talibam and Charles Evans, from his discs on the the Hot Cup label. Starting with “Oreland”, the quintet embrace an older jazz style, sort of post-bop and somewhat funky. The swinging groove is infectious and there are spirited solos from Evans’ bari sax, Kulik’s trombone and Fox’s piano. Shades of Horace Silver or other Blue Note funkiness, this is fun! On “Herminie”, Moppa keeps the gleeful spirit alive with rich harmonies for the bari & and trombone over a tight, piano-led rhythm team. In a blindfold test, it would be difficult to tell when this song was recorded - fifty years ago, perhaps, no problem. Moppa Elliott has a way of showing that whatever (jazz) genre he works with still has validity and a way of exposing creative craft in arrangements and solos. It seems sad that a so-called 24 hour jazz station like WBGO doesn’t search for and play the more obscure gems found in the wide world of jazz.
The ridiculously named Unspeakable Garbage is Moppa’s rock band and features under pseudonyms: Nick Millevoi on guitar, Jon Irabagon on tenor sax, Ron Stabinsky on keyboards, Moppa on electric bass and Dan Monaghan on drums. No doubt you recognize most of these folks: Millevoi from Many Arms, Irabagon & Stabinsky from MOPDTK and Monaghan from Big Five Chord. According to Moppa, “Rocks, MD” is based on a melody for a hip hop song called “Rocks”, but named after a town in PA. The songs features some smoking’, funky tenor sax from Mr. Irabagon, uncharacteristic but not not too unexpected from this super diverse sax colossus. Once again, Mr. Elliott writes songs which are infectious, party anthems. So put on your dancing shoes and get on down! In an earlier era before we had what came to be called fusion, there was rock/jazz that was intended to be fun and make us feel like dancing or at least nodding our heads to the slamming grooves. This quintet embraces that vibes and makes me smile. Plus we also get some burnin’ solos from Irabagon’s tenor and Millevoi’s electric guitar thrown in for good measure.
Acceleration Due to Gravity is Moppa’s dance band and it features: Nate Wooley on trumpet, Dave Taylor on trombone, Matt Nelson, Bryan Murray & Kyle Saulnier on saxes, Ava Mendoza on guitar, George Burton on piano, Moppa on el. bass and Mike Pride on drums.
2 CD Set $15
NICK DIDKOVSKY / TIM MARSAN - Chord II (Punos Music; USA) This features both Nick Didkovsky and Tim Marsan on electric guitars. This is the second disc from this trio, their first one came out just a few months ago. I’ve known NY-based guitar great & composer, Nick Didkovsky for some three decades. Mr. Didkovsky still leads NYC’s longest running progressive band, Dr. Nerve, and was once a member of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet. Didkovsky has several records as a composer, as well as being a strong improviser: check out his work with Paul Rogers & Kevin Norton or Michael Lytle & Gerry Hemingway. Check out Vomit Fist, his metal duo/trio with his son. Tom Marsan, Nick’s collaborator here, turns out to be a member of two metal (?) bands: Delta Garage & Superjail. “Signal” kicks this disc off with both guitars howling together, quick strumming, churning waves resonating together, a whirlwind of activity, dark and somewhat dense at times. On “Our or Us”, both guitars sound like mutants was they strum slowly over and over. The distortion is thick, disorienting,relentless and powerful. Since there is no rhythm team, the guitars are untethered from a brutal pulse yet still throb together. Too much! The textures of the distortion slow change or mutate, it is hard to hear individual notes since the notes blur into one another. It sounds as if the howling guitars on “Dust” are about warp into some other creature. On “It Fails Me”, it sounds as if the notes are warping out and being twisted inside-out. There are so many layers going on at one, a kind of shimmering effect that seems to be in between definable states. Again, there seems to several layers pulsating, bent notes blurring and droning heavily together on “Yellowing”. I hear some heaving rock guitar riffing buried beneath the waves. On the cover of this CD is the horizontal metal shafts from the front plate of a heating system/bower with eerie drippings hanging down. Kind of like an alien or science fiction creature. Most appropriate for disturbing sounds found within. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LEAP OF FAITH with PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / YURI ZBITNOV / ELINOR SPIERS - Order of Ramifications (Evil Clown 9199; USA) This is a smaller quartet version of Leap of Faith which features: PEK on alto, tenor & bass saxes, clarinets, tarogato, English horn, sheng & assorted percussion; Glynis Lomon on cello & aquasonics, Elinor Spiers on violin & percussion and Yuri Zbitnov on drums, metal & percussion. This disc was recorded at Evil Clown HQ on November 11 of 2018. Dave Peck’s large Leap of Faith empire has just dropped another half dozen discs discs upon us as they do a few times a year. This is no surprise since they have passed the 100 mark and are still pretty prolific.
This is a studio session and features just a quartet, the core trio of PEK, Ms. Lomon & Mr. Zbitnov plus newer member Elinor Spiers, who has been on a few recent LoF CD’s. As a quartet it is easier to hear who is playing what: mostly reeds, two strings and assorted percussion. Starting off quietly, the suspense runs deep. The music here is stripped down so we just hear the two strings and percussion for a while. Ms. Spiers erupts half way through this long set, with quick, intense lines while Pek also unleashes layers of interweaving fragments. Mr. Zbitnov usually plays drums and often keeps the rhythmic flows going, lays back here and plays more minimal cymbals & bells. Ms. Spiers is a gifted violinist and throughout the second half of this long set she is featured at length, taking long & winding solos, with some strong interaction from Ms. Lomon’s equally impressive cello and Zbitnov’s spinning brushwork. A number of the Leap of Faith discs I’ve reviewed in the past can get pretty dense at times, depending on how many musicians are involved. Not so much here, things are often more minimal and the pace is slower at times. Subtle yet still engaging, nonetheless. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE With PEK / ERIC ZINMAN / YURI ZBITNOV / STEVE NIEMITZ / SYD SMART - Luminiferous Aether (Evil Clown 9205; USA) The Metal Chaos Ensemble or MCE feature this time: PEK on carnets, saxes, melodica, synths & percussion; Eric Zinman on synth, balafon & log drums; Yuri Zbitnov on drums, metal, orchestral percussion; Steve Niemitz on drums, tabla, balafon, wood & metal; Syd Smart drum, theremin, etc. and Joel Simches on signal processing. The MCE seem to be the most prolific of all the Leap of Faith offshoot projects with some 15 previous releases. The personnel changes from session to session, with just a trio on some discs (PEK, Zbitnov & Simches). This session was recorded at Evil Clown HQ in January of this year (2019, just last month) and this version is a sextet. All six members play a variety of percussion: brontosaurus bells, cymbals, crotales, balafon, log drums, metal & wood. Two of are elders: Syd Smart (for Raphe Malik & Ted Daniel) and Eric Zinman (for Linda Sharrock), who have been around for a long time, but remain under the radar. Mr. Zbitnov does a creepy spoken word recitation to start things off, it is short and slowly the percussion and synth swirl softly together, building, layer by layer. PEK selectively chooses one reed or double reed at a time, taking solos on each while the percussion, synth(s) and processing weave their way around one another. Everything is well-recorded, the subtle layers of percussion slowly getting more dense. The sextet mix tribal drumming with eerie synth sounds and spacey cymbals, metal or balafons. Although all of this music is improvised, Mr. Pek always assembles ensembles who listen, react and contribute selectively. Rarely do things get too dense. Mostly, everything flows together organically although, the echo effects also keep the vibe mesmerizing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MICHAEL PISARO With ANTOINE BEUGER / JURG FREY / RADU MALFATTI / MARCUS KAISER / ANDRE MOLLER / KATHRYN GLEASMAN PISARO - Nature Denatured and Found Again (Elsewhere / Gravity Wave 016-020; USA) Featuring Michael Pisaro - composition/concept/production, Antoine Beuger on flute, Jurg Frey on clarinet, Marcus Kaiser on cello, Radu Malfatti on trombone, Andre Moller on electric guitar and Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro on oboe & English horn. Like everything that is released on Erstwhile and its sister label, Elsewhere, a good deal of time and consideration goes into each and every release. Although the prolific composer/conceptualist, Michael Pisaro, has some three dozen plus releases on labels: Erstwhile, Gravity Wave (his own) and Wandelweiser, this 5 CD box set seems to be his most ambitious project so far. Besides selecting six special musicians/composers, most associated with the Wandelweiser collective, Mr. Pisaro also utilized six outdoor listening stations to record each musician, as well as recording the outdoor environments, in an area known as Neufelden somewhere near the Grosse Muhl River in Austria. Wandelweiser artists have been utilizing the set ups at The Station since the summer of 2007 with installations, exhibitions and concerts. Each musicians reacts to the environmental sounds in their own way. Over a five day period the musicians would try difference activities: Day 1: listening to the environment; Day 2: playback of the previous day’s recording into the same environment; Day 3: solo performance of selections from Antoine Beuger’s “Auch Da”; Day 4: playback of sine tones and Day 5: a musician plays “sleeping scales” (written by Mr. Pisaro) while a recording from Day 3 is played back. Each of the five discs was taken from a different year, the fourth disc is just sine waves and field recordings without the musicians being involved. I’ve listened to these discs one at a time, listening closely and contemplating their sounds as they evolve. It sounds like Mr. Pisaro is magnifying the environmental sounds: wind, fire, birds, crackling, rain, humming, distant drone(s)… from calm to a near violent eruption (popcorn or a storm?). There are four sections, the first just manipulated field recordings, the other three feature from one to three musicians recorded in one of the stations. The environmental sounds are often fascinating if you listen closely. Pisaro does a fine job of taking these sounds, expanding and manipulating them, like twisting taffy with our hands and molding them into something new and marvelous. Besides all of the great sounds/music here, there is a lovely 25 page color booklet which pictures of the different stations and a long explanation of the what went into making this tour-de-force. The one thing I noticed the most is that the sounds forced me to listen more closely, since more was revealed the more closely I listened. This is indeed a deep listening treasure. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
5 CD Set $65
GIL SANSON / LANCE AUSTIN OLSEN - Works on Paper (Elsewhere 006; USA) “Think about how you respond to looking at a work of abstract visual art. What elements do you fixate on the most? The colors, or lack of them? Light, or its absence? A feeling of volume, or of emptiness? A sensation of motion, or of complete stillness? Nearly all of those quantities and qualities might come into play; what’s certain is that your own personal response is unlikely to duplicate exactly that of another viewer.
Now, imagine using that work of art as a musical score. In effect, that’s what’s happening on Works on Paper, a beautifully mysterious new release from the consistently edifying young label Elsewhere. The album, issued as a two-CD set and in a variety of download formats (including high-resolution lossless files), presents the newest developments in an ongoing partnership between two unique and distinctive creators: Gil Sansón, who resides in Caracas, Venezuela, and Lance Austin Olsen, a London-born artist based in Victoria, British Columbia.
These artists represent different generations and life experiences. Sansón, born in 1970, has fashioned an impressive oeuvre of electro-acoustic work, drawing upon improvisation, text scores, graphic scores, digital collage, and more. “His audio work,” one recent biographical blurb said, “emphasizes the nature of sound and its capability to transcend stylistic boundaries.” Olsen, born in 1943, came to sound art relatively late; in a 2014 essay, the writer and concert producer Jesse Goin enumerated “Olsen’s half-century of painting, 40 years of zazen, and 15 years of musical practice”—“footprints of my journey,” in Olsen’s words. A great deal of his work, though certainly not all of it, has been documented by Infrequency Editions, the label Olsen founded in 2001 with his longtime artistic partner and collaborator, Jamie Drouin—yet another composer and visual artist. (Goin wrote that essay, incidentally, to accompany Scores & Markings, a fascinating collection of works created by sound artists, including Drouin, in response to Olsen’s visual scores.)
A connection between Sansón and Olsen, which had started as a long-distance collaboration in 2014, grew closer when a painting by Olsen served as a wrap-around cover illustration for Sansón’s splendid 2015 recording, Immanence, a Life.
Their first true joint creation, A Meditation on the History of Painting, came in 2017: Olsen used field recordings, amplified copper plate and engraving tools, a wax cylinder recording, guitar, voice, and even an amplified iron park bench to realize Sansón’s graphic score. The piece was issued in 2018 on the album Dark Heart, a crucial introduction to Olsen’s music, released as part of the consistently illuminating Canadian Composers Series on the English label Another Timbre. (The redoubtable listener and writer Brian Olewnick, in a characteristically perceptive review, helpfully describes Sansón’s score and textual pointers.) Works on Paper expands on that initial collaboration’s fascinating, elusive abundance. The first disc features two distinct realizations by Sansón of Olsen’s Pra Min, a 2017 visual score consisting of a sequence of collages. For “Pra Min #2 – Works on Paper,” Sansón employs acoustic guitar, melodica, cello, electronics, amplified objects, field recordings, and samples—of the pianist Dante Boon playing two Sansón compositions, and of Sansón’s own performance of an Antoine Beuger composition with the soprano Anna Rosa Rodriguez. Crucially, Sansón also employs A.F Jones – the sound artist and recording engineer who facilitated last week’s album of the week, Alloys – who delivers in plainspoken manner a narrative of unknown origin, detailing rich but fleeting impressions and snatches of memories.
It’s a lot to take in, but Sansón deploys his palette with the same attention to color, contrast, and detail that Olsen used in fashioning the score. That’s not to suggest Sansón’s performance is a literal translation of Olsen, but rather an accurate impression of qualities evident in Olsen’s art. It’s also not the only available interpretation of the score—not even by Sansón himself, who uses his own voice, electric guitar (unplugged and plugged), melodica, amplified objects, electronics, and field recordings in “Pra Min #1 – Fail Better.” This alternate view of Olsen’s score shares some features in common with its disc mate, but feels more intimate and tactile (claustrophobically so at times), with harder and coarser surfaces and textures.
Disc two likewise features two interpretations by Olsen of Meditations, a 2017 graphic score by Sansón, part of which is visible on the album’s front cover. In a fitting instance of symmetry, the first version you hear is more elaborate, populous, and self-referential; the second more solitary and bare. “Meditations #3” opens with a sample from an old classical recording – a men’s ensemble from an opera, I presume, though determining just what has proved elusive – rendered gelatinous through pitch alteration and other manipulations. Aural components in this realization include guitar, shruti box, amplified objects, wax cylinder recording (presumably the source of the men’s chorus), and samples from a recording of his own graphic-score work Craig’s Stroke.
Around three minutes in, the acoustic expands and grows more present; “Okay, don’t hit me,” Olsen says, unemphatically—a motif that recurs elsewhere in the piece, both prominent and not. As in Sansón’s visual collage, with its wolflike crimson figure spattered like a blood stain above a supine block of text, Olsen’s music renders indistinct notions of foreground and background, focus and context. Common to both score and interpretation is a heady sense of dislocation and everything-at-onceness. “Meditations #3” grows edgy and coarse midway through, sharp contours lending a feeling of anxiety that never wholly departs. The work’s final minutes seem to hold tension and resolution in tenuous equilibrium.
As on the previous disc, the second track on this one – “Meditations #2” – is starker, sparer, and more uneasy than what came before it. Olsen limits himself to guitar and amplified objects, though some echoes, flits, and squelches defy easy assignment to any particular sound source. Not quite 10 minutes in, droning sustained chords begin to supplant the nervous, itchy sounds that started the piece. These long tones hold sway for a meditative nine minutes or so, after which the insect music returns to close the piece.
Needless to say, the four performances featured on Works on Paper can be enjoyed simply as richly detailed, lucidly balanced, grippingly paced sonic excursions, with no heed paid to the elaborate relationships between these artists and their idioms. But for anyone interested in aural manifestations of visual stimuli – and especially in gauging how artists who know their collaborators well still can produce wildly varying responses – this beautifully produced release will provide endless contemplation. To borrow an idea from Heraclitus, the set offers compelling evidence that you can’t view or hear the same art, twice.” - Steve Smith
2 CD set $22
THE FORESTRY COMMISSION with BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA* / ALEXANDER FRANGENHEIM / ANTONIS ANISSEGOS - Frost Burning (FMR 470; UK) Featuring Biliana Voutchkova on violin, Alexander Frangenheim on double bass and Antonis Anissegos on piano. This disc was recorded in a studio in Berlin inFebruary of 2016. A couple of months back, I reviewed a triple CD by Biliana Voutchkova and Michael Thieke on the Elsewhere label, the first release for an ambitious new label run by Yuko Zama and a kind of sister label to Erstwhile. I hadn’t heard of the Bulgarian-born, Berlin-based violinist as of yet, but that triple CD ended up on several best of/recommendation lists. I do know more about the bassist here as Mr. Frangenheim has worked with Tony Bevan, John Butcher and Gunter Christmann. The pianist here, Antonis Anissegos (Greek?), has worked with Floros Floridis, Frank Paul Schubert & Chris Dahlgren, as well as performing John Cage’s “Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano” for the Wergo label.
Considering that this is an international trio, the sound is well-integrated, the sound is well-balanced, the playing consistently inspired. The playing often erupts is spurts with some tight, well-woven interaction. What makes this most magical is the way one person will play a phrase or line which is then joined by another player who completes and extends the line as it morphs into something else. There is a section on track 5 where the rubbed strings and prepared or playing inside the piano blend into a slow moving amoeba of sorts. Hard to tell who is playing what but still transcendent. Considering that this is an all acoustic chamber trio, it is still far out and adventurous. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA will be playing in NY next month so here is a list of her dates:
March 14, 8pm, Convergences, 67 West St., Brooklyn, NY
Biliana Voutchkova solo
March 15, 8pm, Ibeam, 168 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Kevin Reilly presents
The Biliana Voutchkova / Susan Alcorn duo
March 19, 9pm, Experimental Intermedia, 224 Centre Street, NY
Biliana Voutchkova / Al Margolis aka If Bwana, solo and duo
March 20, 9pm, Areté Gallery, 67 West Street #103, Brooklyn, NY
Biliana Voutchkova / Hans Tammen duo
CECILIA LOPEZ // JOE MOFFETT / CHRIS McINTYRE / JEAN CARLA RODEA - Red / Machinic Fantasies (XI Records 140; USA) Cecilia Lopez's work is a perfect combination of flavors that slowly reveal themselves as you spend more time enjoying it. It has marvelous layers of sonic explorations that slowly unfold and draw you in. Red is more than a musical composition. It roots lie in its physicality. Nestled on a large cargo-like cable web are an array of small speakers and contact microphones. As this web sways the speakers and microphones come in and out of proximity and form an evolving feedback network, which slowly reveal themselves as a myriad of permutations accompanied by sympathetic synthesizer tones. Zero-input mixing works seem to be very popular now, but Red takes feedback further, beyond the electronic domain, by its use of a multi-faceted instrument creating a sonic architecture intertwined with the resonances of acoustical spaces. Her Machinic Fantasies, a kind of performed installation, explores another set of instruments she has constructed using two hand-rotated, 55-gallon drums each having a speaker inside with multiple cutouts that act as acoustical filters. Her sound materials, derived from field recordings to spoken word and live acoustic/electronic instruments, are fed into the oil drums and emanate through the holes and are at the same time amplified using microphones placed near the rotating holes. Driven by a detailed score, this recording resulted from a music commission at Roulette in Brooklyn, New York combining the two rotating drum instruments with instrumentalists Jean Carla Rodea, Julia Santoli, Christopher McIntyre, and Joe Moffett. Machinic Fantasies also has multiple dimensions with the resonances of the performance space excited by the instruments, the musicians weaving their sounds into the space from different locations, and the ongoing physical rotations of the spinning drums to create a swirling almost hypnotic music.
2 CD Set $16
DAVID LANG // MAYA BEISER - The Day (Cantaloupe 21135; USA) “the day” (2016) is the first of two tracks in David Lang’s latest release with longtime Bang On A Can collaborator Maya Beiser. It is a piece for spoken word and cello which despite its simplicity, is unmistakably intended to utilize the quality of a studio recording. This is something that Cantaloupe and co. have always done well, recording concert-ready pieces in a way that feels like they were made for recordings, rather than positioning the recording as an afterthought to performance. Beiser’s characteristic full and metallic (her instrument is made of carbon fiber) cello is layered in beautiful tumbling legato counterpoint, and her vocabulary with Lang’s melodic pointillism is clearly well honed and develops naturally across the disc. The text by Lang is delivered by Kate, a well-celebrated mainstay of the New York theater and film scene over the last few decades, and a founder of The Wooster Group. Cursory research into Wooster Group draws obvious parallels between their ambitions in theater and Bang On A Can’s in music. The text is a highly poetic and nostalgic series of quick recollections from across the narrator’s life, ranging from “I got married” to “I picked up the phone” and “I started chemo”. The text rescues itself from melodrama and distributes emotional weight evenly through a deadpan delivery, and takes seemingly random jumps through time and space. This allows Beiser space to really dig in and play up the vibrato and go for the jugular with aggressive beauty.
“World to Come” (2003) is a solo cello piece that borrows plainly from techniques of additive minimalism, but employs processing techniques that turn the bottom notes in Beiser’s phrases into billowing clouds of resonance that sound confusingly like vocalizations. Here again, she is utilizing multi track techniques, and while her technique and sound aren’t compromised, this piece drags a bit in the middle section. This is probably due to the swatch of looped music for string instruments over the last 16 years, which becomes impressive when you consider that this piece was written right before live multi-tracking became so pervasive.” - Frank Meadows, DMG
RUSS LOSSING TRIO - Motian Music (Sunnyside; USA) The late drummer Paul Motian left quite an imprint on the jazz world, with over one hundred compositions to his name, and numerous artists releasing covers of his songs, as well as tribute albums and performances since his passing in 2011. Some of those have included Jeff Cosgrove's self-released 2012 album For the Love of Sarah, the Carl Michel Group's Music in Motian (Play on Records, 2018), a string quartet release by Joel Harrison titled String Choir: The Music of Paul Motian (Sunnyside, 2011), as well as a 2012 Sunnyside solo tribute by pianist Russ Lossing titled Drum Music.
The effect his former colleague had on Lossing has clearly failed to diminish in the years since that previous tribute, as the entire length of Motian Music is comprised of songs originally composed by the late drummer, albeit with Lossing's personal touch. That touch often means sourcing Motian's original melody but improvising heavily around it. One such example of this is "Abacus," the second track on the album. At the thirty-second mark, the melody kicks in, easily singled out through the song's length. The trio plays in such a way however, that it seems as if Lossing is trying to communicate with the late drummers composition rather than simply playing it. Paul Motian once stated, "I like the way Russ Lossing plays my music" and it's easy to see why here. Rather than simply giving old tunes a modern update, he interprets them anew, most likely in ways neither his old friend nor even he himself could predict.
Russ Lossing's piano is very much the sound of a singular voice sculpted through his background of improvisational jazz and classical music. Bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Billy Mintz had recorded with Lossing for over a decade before this release, as early as 2007's Oracle (HatOLOGY). The effect this experience has had is that the trio is cohesive, never thrown off by their leader's unpredictable nature. Having played since age seven, he offers a clearly and confidently defined approach to his chosen instrument. One of a line of records inspired by Paul Motian but certainly not the last, Motian Music is a fitting and worthy tribute to one of jazz's most important and celebrated drummers. - Peter Hoetjes, AllAboutJazz
MIHO HAZAMA with STEVE WILSON / JAMES SHIPP / JASON RIGBY / et al - Dancer in Nowhere (Sunnyside 1546; USA) This is Ms. Hazama’s fourth disc for the Sunnyside label, she continues to mature as an arranger & composer for her own large ensemble. Ms. Hazama’s large unit has some 14 musicians plus a few guests: Lionel Loueke on guitar & Kavita Shah on vocals. Ms. Hazama is an unpredictable composer and each piece seems to explore different genres or forms. “Today, Not Today” opens and it swells with orchestral waves, with short solos from the trumpet (Jonathan Powell) or strings sailing on top of the waves. Sam Anning’s powerful contrabass kicks off “The Cyclic Number”, the bass is often at the center of the tight, throbbing rhythm team. I love the way Ms. Hazama has several layers of connected lines moving together, drummer Jake Goldbas is in especially fine form here, keeping up an endless dialogue the swirling horns & strings interwoven above. Ms. Hazama writing often evokes the feeling of gliding on the wind, the currents taking us along for an organic journey. Just when you think you have an idea of where this will go, something surprising occurs: the tasty, sad, non-verbal voice of Kavita Shah on a couple of tracks and outstanding drumming by Jake Goldbas, which turns on a dime time and again. There is too much great music here to describe it all so I will let you check it out yourself. If you have progressive, large ensemble tastes, then this one if for you! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* ACE OF CUPS with BOB WEIR / JORMA KAUKONEN / JACK CASADY / TAJ MAHAL / BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE / et al - s/t (High Moon Records 10; USA) “From 1967 to 1972, the Ace of Cups were at the epicenter of the ‘60s cultural and social revolution. From the Acid Tests to the protests, from the free concerts in Golden Gate Park to the ballrooms of San Francisco, they shared stages with everyone from The Band to the Grateful Dead, and were chosen to open for Jimi Hendrix the week after his groundbreaking performance at The Monterey Pop Festival. Despite eliciting music industry interest for their exceptional songs, sublime harmonies and exuberant live performances, the Ace of Cups never got the chance to make a record…until now.” - press info
While growing up as a child in the 1960’s, I listened to music as much as possible since it was an integral part of my environment. Although I started out mainly listening to rock music, the music that moved me the most was a blend of folk, country, blues, jazz, world, classical, ethnic and avant music. This was before there was too much pigeon-holing and marketing constraints, hence great music was whatever touched you the deepest. Since discovering the Mothers of Invention is 1967, a new world of sounds was opened to me. It never seemed to matter if a band was well-known or unknown, if you dug what they were doing, you were glad to be a part of their audience (out come the freaks!). Often it was the more obscure bands & musicians who we felt proudest to know about. Which brings us to the Ace of Cups…
I recall reading about the Ace of Cups in the late sixties, being a big fan of all of the Bay Area bands: Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver, Country Joe & the Fish, Moby Grape, etc. The Ace of Cups were a rarity, an all female rock group, who embraced the diverse creativity found in many of their Bay Area cohorts. They opened for The Band’s debut gig at Winterland in 1969 (50 years ago) and were well loved in their time. They continued for five more years but sadly never recorded an album. Strangely enough, a half century later, the Ace of Cups debut album is finally here! Thanks to a number of special friends, producers and assorted rock royalty (Bob Weir, Jorma Kaukonen & Taj Mahal), the deluxe 2 CD set captures them in their wonderfully diverse glory. There is something magical going on here, Mother Earthly, from sublime to funky to rocking’ out. And everything in between. It snowed here all day today (2/21/19) which was a drag, the music here though provided some serious sunshine and good vibes. Can’t wait to listen again in the store and turn some folks onto this modest treasure! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD set $20
* The Legendary Ace of Cups will make their NY Debut at the Mercury Lounge next Tuesday, February 26th at 7pm with lots of groovy guests!
SLEAFORD MODS - Eton Alive (Extreme Eating 001; UK) Sleaford Mods are one of the most important, politically charged and thought-provoking duos currently making their mark on the UK music scene and beyond. They are now poised to release their fifth studio album entitled Eton Alive. The new album, which features 12 new tracks from the prolific artists, was recorded in Nottingham. The record will be the first release on Jason and Andrew's newly formed label Extreme Eating and their first album since parting ways with Rough Trade Records.
"Eton Alive speaks for itself really. Here we are once again in the middle of another elitist plan being digested slowly as we wait to be turned into feces once more. Some already are, some are dead and the rest of us erode in the belly of prehistoric ideology which depending on our abilities and willingness, assigns to each of us varying levels of comfort that range from horrible to reasonably acceptable, based on contribution. So after the digestive system of the Nobles rejects our inedible bones we exit the Arse of Rule, we fall into the toilet again and at the mercy of whatever policies are holding order in the shit pipe of this tatty civilization. It is here our flesh regenerates as we rattle into another form, ready, and ripe for order". - Jason Williamson on Eton Alive
CD $15 / LP $22
SPECTRES - Composing Listening (Shelter Press 001; France) [228 page Book] Published with the support of INA GRM. Composing Listening features texts by: Félicia Atkinson, François Bayle, François J. Bonnet, Drew Daniel, Brunhild Ferrari, Beatriz Ferreyra, Stephen O'Malley, Jim O'Rourke, Eliane Radigue, Régis Renouard Larivière, Espen Sommer Eide, Daniel Teruggi, Chris Watson. This book has been conceived as both a prism and a manual. Following the "traditional" arc of electroacoustic composition (listen-record-compose-deploy-feel), each of the contributions collected together here focuses in on a personal aspect, a fragment of that thrilling territory that is sonic and musical experimentation. Although the term "experimental music" may now have be understood as referring to a genre, or even a particular style, we ought to hold on to the original use of this term, which was based more on an approach than on any particular aesthetic line to be followed. The experimental is first and foremost a spirit, the spirit of the exploration of unknown territories, a spirit of invention which sees musical composition more as a voyage into uncertain territories than as a self-assured approach working safe within the bosom of fully mapped out and recognized lands. 228 pp; thread-sewn softcover; one color offset; Size: 135x200cm; Language(s): French, English.
Back in Stock:
AMALGAM [TREVOR WATTS/JOHN STEVENS/KEITH TIPPETT/KENT CARTER/LINDSAY L COOPER/TERRI QUAYE] - Innovation (FMR 119; UK) Finally one of the gems of my vinyl collection has been resurrected on CD! An historic meeting between giants Stevens (Spontaneous Music Ensemble), Watts (SME and Moire Music) and Tippett (Ovary Lodge at the time), with four tunes written by John, and one by Trevor which makes especially good use of the two bassists of Kent and Linsay (Mr. Lindsay L Cooper, the bassist, not Ms Lindsay Cooper the composer/double-reed player from Henry Cow). Recorded in late '74 and released on the Tangent [UK] label, this has been an expensive collector's item should you even [rarely] spot it on eBay, GEMM and other sites.
AMALGAM [TREVOR WATTS/STEVE HAYTON/PETE COWLING/LIAM GENOCKEY] - Another Time (FMR 116; UK) Trevor Watts (alto & soprano saxophones), Steve Hayton (guitar), Pete Cowling (bass guitar), Liam Genockey (drums). First time outing on CD for this classic Amalgam recording originally released on Berlin's Vinyl Records in 1976. Trevor Watts heads a highly experienced line up which includes Steve Hayton on guitar, the bass guitar of Pete Cowling and the confident drumming of Liam Genockey and features six mostly Watts composed original quartet pieces
AMALGAM [TREVOR WATTS/DAVE COLE/COLIN McKENZIE/PETE COWLING/LIAM GENOCKEY] - Samanna (FMR 125; UK) Trevor Watts (Alto and percussion), Dave Cole (guitar), Colin McKenzie (bass guitar), Pete Cowling (bass guitar), Liam Genockey (drums) Continuing FMRs collaboration with Trevor Watts, releasing, for the first time on CD, the British saxophonist, back catalogue.
AMALGAM [TREVOR WATTS/DAVE COLE/HARRY MILLER/LIAM GENOCKEY] - Deep (FMR 120; UK) “7th album by the superb British Jazz / Improvised Music ensemble Amalgam, one of the precursors of British / European Free Jazz scene in the late 1960s and 1970s, founded by saxophonist Trevor Watts. On this album the lineup is a quartet, including guitarist Dave Cole, bassists Harry Miller and drummer Liam Genockey, which marks the second phase of Amalgam, characterized by the dual saxophone – guitar frontline. The music is written entirely by Watts. This album was originally released on the tiny German independent Vinyl label, and was unavailable for many years, which is now rectified by this CD issue. With the guitar and double electric bass the sound of the band becomes even more close to Fusion, but the extended improvisations and the virtuosity of the performers are still the same as always. This is again quite an accessible Amalgam album ever and easily enjoyed both by Jazz and Fusion adventurous music fans. This is still a classic and brilliant stuff as always!” - Jazzis
AMALGAM [TREVOR WATTS/WILLIAM KUHNECOLIN McKENZIE/LIAM GENOCKEY] - Mad (FMR 267; UK) Featuring Trevor Watts on saxes, Willem Kuhne on electric piano, Colin McKenzie on bass and Liam Genockey on drums. Recorded live in 1977. This is the 9th Amalgam disc released on FMR and each one has been a different and distinctive gem. Amalgam was saxist Trevor Watts' ever-evolving band both during and after he left the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. Amalgam had first an acoustic period with bassists Jeff Clyne or Barry Guy and guests like Keith Tippett. Their electric period featured the same rhythm team of Colin Mackenzie on electric bass and Liam Genockey on drums with different electric guitarists Dave Cole, Steve Layton and even Keith Rowe from AMM. 'Mad' seems to be the one Amalgam disc with an electric piano, Willem Kuhne, replacing the electric guitar. When Trevor left SME, he moved more into the (cosmic) groove. Hence, the electric version of Amalgam always had a great groove in the center of whatever they did. Although you can tell that this disc was taken from vinyl, the sound is still just right. The rhythm team has a consistent, joyous, somewhat funky vibe which is both in-the-pocket and mutating at the same time. Trevor does a fabulous job of riding the groove and soloing with infectious glee on top. "Jive" is fast and furious tune that approaches that over-the-top fusion intensity level. With the rhythm team slamming hard, Trevor spins cascading lines of notes as if he is running a race or being pursued some monster about to swallow him whole. Mr. Kuhne also takes a smokin' solo, giving Trevor a run for his money, as does bassist Colin Mackenzie. . The second side of the album, consists of the two-part "Berlin Wall" and "Mad". On "Berlin Wall," Trevor almost sounds like a horse as he solos (whinnies) on top of another slower yet still celebratory groove. Drummer, Liam Genockey, was also a member of Trevor's next band, the Moire Music Society which included African musicians as well. Listening to this creative groove wonder, I can hear the connection between Amalgam and MMS. I dig the way the sax and piano are always interconnected, soloing and working their way around one another seamlessly. Amalgam is/are a powerful quartet that must've really been a joy to witness live, too bad we can't just jump into a time machine and check them out live. In the meantime, this disc will have to do. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
AMALGAM [TREVOR WATTS/KEITH ROWE/COLIN McKENZIE or GEORGE LYLE/LIAM GENOCKEY] - Wipeout [3 CD Box Set] (FMR 111; UK) Trevor Watts (alto & soprano saxes), Keith Rowe (guitars), Liam Genockey (drums) plus Colin McKenzie (bass) or George Lyle (bass). Another important first-time-on-CD release for Trevor Watts' Amalgam. This excellent 3CD box set was originally released on Impetus in the early eighties. The three discs feature live recordings of twelve original Amalgam performances and features excellent guitar improviser Keith Rowe and regular drummer Liam Genockey, plus the electric bass work of Colin MacKenzie and George Lyle. [Note: This had to be transferred and mastered from vinyl as master tapes were lost] This has to be one of the strangest and most incongruent bands that emerged from the British free/jazz scene that began in the mid-sixties. Trevor Watts started out with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, an influential group that he founded with John Stevens that developed their approach to "free music". In the seventies, Trevor put together Amalgam, another highly influential band that combined the best elements of that era: jazz, rock, fusion and freedom in their own unique and often rhythmic way. For this version of Amalgam, AMM's guitar-on-table sonic explorer, Keith Rowe, was asked to play in a more rhythm-oriented way. According to a discussion I had with Mr. Rowe last year, he claimed that he went out and bought a solid-body rock guitar solely for this tour and learned some rock guitar riffs. Anyone who is familiar with Keith Rowe's distinctive sonically manipulated sound, will be shocked to hear this triple disc set. The band actually rocks hard and powerfully with Trevor's alto sax wailing on top. Liam Genockey is an amazing drummer who adds passion, fury and rhythmic finesse to this band. He went on to work with Trevor Watts in other bands like the Moire Music Group, as well as in Steeleye Span. While the rhythm team kicks some serious butt, Trevor and Keith, push each other higher and higher, both wailing and bending their notes together into a colossal hurricane. One of the most important, unexpected and joyous releases of the year! - BLG
3 CD set $25
GLASGOW IMPROVISERS ORCHESTRA Featuring MARILYN CRISPELL & EVAN PARKER RAYMOND MacDONALD / GEORGE BURT / MAGGIE NICOLS / GINO ROBAIR / et al- Parallel Moments Unbroken (FMR 520; UK) Each CD features two performances from the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (GIO), (from 6/29/14 & 12/01/13), with varying yet shared personnel. Each of these two large ensembles have some 20 for CD-1 and 28 members for disc 2. Scottish saxist (soprano & alto), Raymond MacDonald, composed and directs each ensemble, doing a marvelous job of weaving layers of directed improvisations. This is the 9th release by GIO and each previous one is worth investigating. Previous featured guests have included: Barry Guy, George Lewis, Lol Coxhill and Maggie Nicols.
Both parts of “Parallel Moments Unknown” were commissioned by the BBC, “Part 1” recorded in December of 2103 and “Part 2” recorded in June of 2014. Even with 20 musicians on disc 1, things rarely get very dense. Saxist Evan Parker and pianist Marilyn Crispell are the featured guests here (each on one part) as well as a number Glasgow’s best improvisers: Neil Davidson, Adam Linson, George Burt & Graeme Wilson. On the second part, the orchestra is expanded to some 28 musicians and guests include: Maggie Nicols (voice), Gino Rpbair (percussion) and Corey Mwamba (vibes). Even with so large an ensemble, there is a strong focus, an impressive balance several extremes, loose and tight, dense and sparse, calm and intense. Everything here unfolds organically, another most impressive endeavor from the wonderful Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $18
KIDD JORDAN / ALVIN FIELDER / JOEL FUTTERMAN / STEVE SWELL - Masters of Improvisation - Recorded Live in New Orleans (Valid 1016; USA) Featuring Kidd Jordan on tenor sax, Steve Swell on trombone, Joel Futterman on piano and Alvin Fielder on drums. This set was recorded live the Old US Mint in New Orleans in January of 2017, just a little over a year ago. Legendary New Orleans saxist Kidd Jordan will be 83 in May of his year (2018) and will be performing in the Vision Festival on May 23rd for his yearly visit to NYC. Mr. Jordan performs at nearly every Vision Fest and has often utilized the talents of fellow Southerners pianist Joel Futterman and drummer Alvin Fielder. Both Futterman and Fielder rarely come to New York, except for the Vision Fest. They are joined here by another strong and ever-spirited player, Downtown trombone master Steve Swell. Over the past couple of decades, Mr. Swell has kept busy leading different bands and collaborating with Peter Brotzmann, Ken Vandermark, William Parker and many others. The title of this disc, ‘Masters of Improvisation’ is most appropriate since all four members are longtime improv masters. Things start off tentatively at first but soon the quartet take off, weaving a tight yet free tapestry, with several layers of swirling waves crashing one upon one another. This Free Spirit music at its best, each musician is integral to the focused quartet untied sound. During the epic-length “Residue”, they even sound as if they are about to break into a blues or gospel like section but soon move on through some more contemplative ascending vibes. By the end of this disc and set, I felt as if I had been transported to another place, a place where giants roam, get along and combine forces to make the world a better place. OUT-standing! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LINEKRAFT - Engineering Analysis of Inner Death (Hospital Productions 602; USA) Linekraft is the premier industrial performance unit arising from today's contemporary Japanese underworld. Although active in the industrial stratosphere for many years, Linekraft has quickly developed a reputation as the leading industrial act from Japan through a series of stark, violent, and nihilistic live actions. The roots of these activities surround the lost tradition of "metal junks", a succession of organized and disorganized physical strikes on various oil drums and canisters with long and short metal bars. This existential scrapyard is sped up, slowed down and stained through tape manipulation and layered, replayed, cut apart and reversed in psychic torment of old school analog processes. From this Kafka-esque cage of uninhabitable obstacles an alien and dehumanized voice of pure oscillations cries out equally in anger and despair. Resembling moments of Pacific 231 live recordings from the early 80's. Engineering Analysis of Inner Death is the first full length for Linekraft and it shows he has arrived on record with the same atmosphere of his brilliant performances in the flesh. For fans of Esplendor Geometrico, Vivenza and White Hospital. Deluxe vellum sleeve; clear vinyl.
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for February of 2019:
THE NEW STONE
Is Located at the New School’s Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th street - just east of 6th ave
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - JEFF ZEIGLER - FEB 19–23
8:30 pm - Re:Volver -— Cello, Electronica & the Mayan Apocalypse
Jeff Zeigler (cello)
8:30 pm - Hae Voces Jeffrey Zeigler - Kristina Dutton (violin) Majel Connery (voice) Jeffrey Zeigler-cello
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - JIM BLACK - FEB 26–MAR 2
8:30 pm - Endangered Blood - Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet) Oscar Noriega (alto sax, bass clarinet) Trevor Dunn (acoustic bass) Jim Black (drums)
8:30 pm - Jim Black Guitar Quartet - Jonathan Goldberger (guitar) Keisuke Matsuno (guitar) Simon Jermyn (electric bass) Jim Black (drums)
John Zorn's Stone Commissioning Series presents:
PETER EVANS featuring MAZZ SWIFT and RON STABINSKY
Wednesday, February 27th at 7pm / doors at 6
At National Sawdust in Brooklyn
8:30 pm - Not Bloodcount - Tim Berne (alto sax) Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet) Michael Formanek (acoustic bass) Jim Black (drums)
GRAND OPENING OF THE STONE BROOKLYN SERIES AT HAPPYLUCKY NO.1!
TWO BENEFIT IMPROV CONCERTS - MARCH 1 and 2 AT 8PM—734 Nostrand Avenue in Bushwick
John Zorn (sax) Michael Nicolas (cello) Ikue Mori (electronics) Mary Halvorson (guitar) Brian Marsella (keyboards) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Ned Rothenberg (sax) Ches Smith (drums) Tomas Fujiwara (drums) Jim Staley (trombone) Jon Irabagon (sax) Chris Tordini (bass) Brandon Lopez (bass) Miles Okazaki (guitar) and special guests!
TWO classic Stone Improv Nights to celebrate the opening of The Stone Series at HappyLucky No.1 in Brooklyn! Located at 734 Nostrand Avenue near Sterling the beautiful gallery space is easily accessible on the 2, 3, 4, 5 or the A and C trains.
8:30 pm - Jim Black BunkySwirl - Elias Stemeseder (piano, keys) Jim Black
3/2 Saturday (VP)
8:30 pm - EYEBONE - Nels Cline (guitar) Elias Stemeseder (synths) Jim Black (drums, laptop)
THE (NEW) STONE is located in The New School’s Glass Box Theatre
All Sets at The New Stone start at 8:30pm Tickets: $20
There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone.
Only music. All ages are welcome. Cash Only at the door.
A serious listening environment.
The Stone is booked purely on a curatorial basis
Spectrum is at
70 Flushing Ave, Garage A,
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Saturday 23 February
7 PM - Joseph Franklin
8:30 PM - Kuba Chichoki Album release concert
Sunday 24 February
4 PM - NYC Composer Collective - Ten new works by ten eclectic composers - the New York City Composer Collective shares a Sunday afternoon of premieres in their debut show as a group. Come hear the sounds of electronic color music, solo viola, horn treatises, chamber jazz, whacky art song, and who knows what else!
Composers will include:
- Sequoia Sellinger
- Felix Jarrar
- Noah Becker
- Andrew Yoon
- Steve Williams
- Jonah Udall
- Nick Dunston
- Frank Spigner
- Natalie Braginsky
- Cat Toren
Bushwick Improvised Music Series Continues:
Monday February 25th
7pm Patricio Jijon - bass/loop effects
Serkan Ozkaya - drums
Uran Kamper - saxophone
Juan Carlos Aleman - guitar/electronics
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
9pm Lena Bloch - tenor saxophone
Waldron Mahdi Ricks - trumpet
Larry Ogi Jaz Roland - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
9:45pm John Loggia - drums
Bonnie Kane - sax/flute/electronics
Ben James - percussion
Cyrus Shaoul - guitar/electronics
10:45pm Chris Stromquist - drums
Matt Bauder - saxophones
Shawn McGloin - bass
11:30pm Brian Kastan - guitar
Juini Booth - bass
George Spanos - drums
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
Tuesday, February 26th
Music Now! At The Brooklyn Commons
7pm - The Zodiac Saxophone Quartet
with Charles Waters-Alto Sax
Lee Odom-Soprano Sax
Claire Daley-Baritone Sax
Ras Moshe Burnett-Tenor Sax
8pm - Music Now! Expanded with
Ras Moshe Burnett
Lauren Lee - Piano
Gene Coleman - Flute
Matt Lavelle - Trumpet, Bass Clarinet
Lee Odom - Reeds
Charles Waters - Alto Sax
Jessie Cox - Drums
James Keepnews - Electric Bass
Food and refreshments available at The Commons Cafe
The Brooklyn Commons
388 Atlantic Ave.(btwn Hoyt st. & Bond st.) - Downtown Brooklyn