“I Must Have Been Blind”
By Tim Buckley from ‘Blue Afternoon’ album
Here I am believin' words again
Here I am tryin' to find your love again
Here I am down on my knees again
Prayin' for a love
That we used to know
Both of us know
How hard it is to love
And let it go
Both of us know
How hard it is to go on living that way
When so few understand what it means
To fall in love
And so few know how hard it is to live without it
I must have been blind
I must have been blind
Lord, I must have been blind
To hold something real
And not believe it
To live in her life
And never trustin'
To give all you know and never feel it
To hold back each day
Until it dies away
Both of us know
How hard it is to love
And let it go
Both of us know
How hard it is to go on
Living that way
When so few understand what it means
To fall in love
And so few know how hard it is to live without it
I must have been blind
I must have been blind
Lord, I must have been blind”
The above song comes from the Tim Buckley’s ‘Blue Afternoon’, from 1969. It was his fourth of nine studio efforts. For me, his real masterpiece was ‘Goodbye and Hello’ (1967), the definitive folk/jazz/rock/psych released at the end of the Summer of Love. I urge you to listen to it on a great stereo, the production is just incredible. After that Buckley made four albums in the next two years, on three of which, ‘Happy Sad’, ‘Lorca’ and ’Starsailor’, he leaps off into the freer regions of improvising, stretching out his incredible, distinctive voice and pushing it to its limits. In the middle of that emotional storm of experimentation, he recorded, ‘Blue Afternoon’ which is a lovely, haunting, laid back, solemn, sort of jazz album. Another masterpiece but much different than anything he did before or after. “I Must Have Been Blind” was on a sampler album called ‘Zapped’, which Frank Zappa put together when he was running his two labels, Bizarre and Straight. That song has always touched me deeply, something about searching for love, finding it, losing it and then trying find it again. I listened to ‘Blue Afternoon’ last night, sipping on some wine and trying to unwind and forget about the things that give us the blues nowadays. Yesterday was Earth Day so I went out on the roof of my building, sat on a chair, did some yoga and let the Sunshine & breeza wash over me. Took a picture of the Sun and put it up on InstaGram. Celebrate Mother Earth, she is our own true Mother. And listen to some Tim Buckley for inspiration. - BLG
HENRY GRIMES Passes, Another Giant of The Creative Music Community
Last week I heard about the passing of the great bassist, Henry Grimes, age 84. Mr. Grimes was a legendary jazz contrabassist who played with many of the avant/jazz giants of the 1950’s & 1960’s: Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and Cecil Taylor. After a decade of activity, recording and performing, he disappeared in the early seventies, having moved to California, losing his bass and giving up on playing music. For many years, no one heard about him and it was assumed that he had died. Eventually in 2002, a social worker and jazz fan discovered that he was still alive and had lost all contact with the Jazz World. The next year he came back to NY and played at the Vision Fest. With the help and guidance of Margaret Grimes, who became his wife and soulmate, Mr. Grimes was back and playing many great gigs. Since his return, Mr. Grimes performed and recorded with many more giants: a trio with David Murray & Hamid Drake (Ayler Records), Dennis Gonzalez Band (Clean Feed), Marc Ribot’s Spiritual Unity & Trio (Pi Records), a trio with Paul Dunmall & Andrew Cyrille (Porter Records) and many more. I recall a number of great sets with Connie Crothers, Dave Douglas, Cecil Taylor, William Parker and Andrew Lamb. Over the past decade I’ve gotten the opportunity to speak with Mr. Grimes several times and he was a most gentle, generous spirit, his smile always radiated positive vibes. He will be missed by many of us, those who still cherish Creative Music in its many wondrous forms. - BLG at DMG
AMAZING RECORDS with HENRY GRIMES from the 1960’s:
1.ALBERT AYLER - Spirits Rejoice (ESP 1020) 1965
2.HENRY GRIMES TRIO with PERRY ROBINSON - The Call (ESP) 1965
3.DON CHERRY - Complete Communion (1966), Symphony for Improvisers (1967) & Where’s Brooklyn? (1969)(all on Blue Note)
4.CECIL TAYLOR - ‘Conquistador!’ & ‘Unit Structures’ (both Blue Note in 1966)
5.ROY HAYNES QT with ROLAND KIRK - Out of the Afternoon (1962) (Impulse!)
6.SONNY ROLLINS with COLEMAN HAWKINS - Sonny Meets Hawk! (1963)(RCA)
GREETINGS TO ALL OF OUR HOMEY’S FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
Jeeeeeez! These are some difficult times! This is the first time, aside from Hurricane Sandy, that I’ve been home for more than a week and unemployed since 1982!?! It is now in its fourth week and I realize how much I miss interacting with other humans, friends and family. Yes I have kept busy, still cleaning, cooking, reorganizing my LP & CD collection, doing some serious listening, reading and writing. More than anything else, I miss going to gigs, especially the weekly in-stores at DMG which are more like weekly rituals or inspiration sessions. After going through several hundred records, many hidden away or just hard just-to-reach, I have a better idea of just what unknown treasures I have. Been listening to vinyl almost exclusively, upwards of 15-20 albums per day and discovering so many more Creative Musicians worldwide in my very own collection. I have listened to nearly 170 albums since I started and have kept a journal of what I’ve heard and the many musicians & composers that I’ve finally discovered. I/we will sent that journal out next week just to give you something to read, consider and discover for yourselves.
Thanks again to our many customers still ordering music from us, we do appreciate your ongoing support. Due to problems with the USPS, Fedex & UPS, we are still backed up a bit as far as some of the new CD’s listed in the previous newsletters, as well as confirmations. Your patience is greatly appreciated. Frank & Charmaine are working diligently to keep DMG afloat at the store so again special thanks to them for their hard work!
NEW THINGS FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 24th, 2020:
CHAD TAYLOR TRIO with BRIAN SETTLES / NEIL PODGURSKI - The Daily Biological (Cuneiform 467; USA) As the debut recording of an ensemble rooted in deep and abiding friendships The Daily Biological is a creatively roiling conversation. The unusual trio of drums (Chad Taylor), saxophone (Brian Settles) and piano (Neil Podgurski) creates tough and engaging music that unfurls in kinetic conversational bursts.
Mr. Taylor is probably best known as co-founder of the Chicago Underground Duo with trumpeter Rob Mazurek (and the numerous Underground iterations. A professional on the Chicago scene from the age of 16, he’s worked with many of the most celebrated artists in improvised music including Fred Anderson, Pharoah Sanders, Nicole Mitchell, Matana Roberts, Ken Vandermark, Darius Jones, James Brandon Lewis, Jaimie Branch, Derek Bailey, Marc Ribot, and Peter Brötzmann, and has also led numerous acclaimed ensembles of his own.
The absence of a bass means all three players sometimes step into the low-end role. A musical problem to be solved “we all approached it differently,” Taylor says. “All of our tunes explore different ways to utilize a trio without a bass. You need to be really strong in your playing.”
Part of the reason the music feels so lived in is that Taylor traces his friendships with Settles and Podgurski back to their mid-1990s undergrad years in the New School in New York City. Years later, determined to start playing together again they set out creating a body of music for a specific grant. When the grant didn’t come through, Taylor felt so strongly about the budding ensemble that he spearheaded the quest for gigs and recording opportunities.
It’s hardly news that Taylor is one of jazz’s most dependably inspired drummers. The Daily Biological should turn many more ears onto his vivid imagination as a bandleader and composer, opening a new window into his expansive musical vision.
TATSUYA NAKATANI / SHANE PARRISH - Interactivity (Cuneiform 469; USA) Featuring Shane Parrish on guitar and Tatsuya Nakatani on percussion. Tatsuya Nakatani is an avant-garde percussionist and composer, active internationally since the 1990's; Nakatani tours extensively, performing over 150 concerts a year. He teaches master classes and lectures at universities and music conservatories around the world. Originally from Japan, he makes his home in the desert town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Nakatani creates his distinctive music centered around his adapted bowed gong, in consort with his hand-carved Kobo Bow and supported by an array of drums, cymbals, and singing bowls. Within this contemporary work, one can still recognize the dramatic pacing, formal elegance and space (‘ma') felt in traditional Japanese music.
Shane Parish is a guitarist from Asheville, North Carolina, who is known for his work fronting the electric and aggressive, avant-technical duo Ahleuchatistas, who mix influences of jazz, progressive rock, avant-garde, and experimental to create a unique sound and who have toured internationally and have released 8 albums. Additionally, he is simultaneously known for his dexterous, finger-style acoustic guitar work, informed by Americana masters such as Fahey and Basho but also reflecting his own wide range of musical interests as well as his continuing study of folksongs from all over the world.
‘Interactivity’ is the second album by the duo. The master percussionist and guitarist have been collaborating for nearly a decade, performing improvised duets in Parish’s hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, whenever Nakatani’s annual world tour brought him through the Appalachian Mountain town. Both musicians are lifers, committed to advancing their respective crafts, and the passage of time has allowed their musical growth to push their collaboration to new heights and possibilities.
Interactivity was recorded in performance at Static Age in late spring, 2018 and finds both players at the top of their game in a live setting, featuring telepathic communication, deep listening, texture, and explosive energy.”
DAVE SEWELSON / STEVE SWELL / WILLIAM PARKER / MARVIN BUGALU SMITH - More Music for a Free World (Mahakala Music 20-002; USA) Featuring Dave Sewelson on bari sax, Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on contrabass and Marvin Bugalu Smith on drums. This is the second disc from this Downtown All-Star Elder Statesmen Quartet. Both Dave Sewelson (Microscopic Septet & early bands with Robin Holcomb) and William Parker (multi-bandleader) I’ve known from the early days of the Downtown scene in the early 1980’s, when they began working together. I’ve known trombonist extraordinaire, Steve Swell, for almost as long, way back when he worked with Walter Thompson, Perry Robinson and (Joey’s) Baron-Down. The real elder cat here is Marvin Bugalu Smith who has worked with Sun Ra, Archie Shepp and Charles Mingus. This is a studio effort recorded in Brooklyn in December of 2018 and it consists of three long pieces. The first piece is called, “Memories”, and right away we are off, the quartet is soaring together. This disc was recorded by Jim Clouse, one the best studio men around. I have can several conversations going on at the same time, the bari sax and trombone swirling around one another, stretching out, soloing together, hitting those lower notes together, tight and connected. Contrabassist Parker and drum wiz, Bugalu Smith also sound connected to several inner pulses. My old pal Steve Swell sure does sound wonderful when he solos, ever inspired and ready to erupt. He and Sewelson are great sparring partners, their energy is infectious. The ever combustable William Parker sounds especially calm here at the center of the storm providing the cosmic pulse when need be and then bringing things to a standstill midway before things build up once again. Mr. Bugalu Smith is a master drummer and is in great form here, balancing the thread between the interplay of the frontline horns and inner pulse William Parker provides as the quartet resonates together, expanding & contracting, breathing together as one force of nature. The second piece is called “Dreams” and the organic flow continues. I love the way Sewelson will start off with one line repeating it slowly, Swell will pick it up, answer it, repeat it and then the two will toss their lines back and forth while the dynamic rhythm team will also provide ongoing, ever-evolving elastic support. When Mr. Swell speeds up, the temperature starts to rise, the vibe gets more intense, but then calms back down for a soft landing in the an oasis of peace. I find this music to be most inspiring, four humans working/playing together creating a better world where all of the parts are aligned. Right now the Sun is shining through my kitchen window and radiating warmth. The music here has a similar vibe. Let’s resonate together and rise like free spirits. Where’s the smile-faced emoji?!?! - Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG
TURBULENCE with PEK / BONNIE KANE / BOB MOORES / ERIC DAHLMAN / MIKE CAGLIANONE / JOHN LOGGIA - Friction Coefficients (Evil Clown 9243; USA) Featuring PEK on clarinets, alto & tenor saxes, contrabassoon, sheng, flutes, game calls, daxophone, theremin, etc.; Bonnie Kane on tenor sax, flute & electronics, Bob Moores on trumpet, synth, electronics & percussion, Eric Dahlman on trumpet, trumpet, electronics & voice, Mike Cagilianone on soprano & alto saxes, game calls & percussion and John Loggia on drums & Englephone. Recorded at Evil Clown HQ in February of 2020. The current version of Turbulence is a sextet with tow newer members: saxist Bonnie Kane, who used to live in NY & play in Woo, and drummer John Loggia, who recently took the place of Yuri Zbitnov, now retired from all Evil Clown projects. As time evolves, members of Turbulence and Leap of Faith, get to know one other so that certain musicians or sub-groups emerge, creating new combinations or alliances. Both trumpets start to weave around one another in the first section before soft percussion and electronics provide a cushion underneath. Nice to hear so much activity with much restraint, busy yet calm at the center. While Mr. Zbitnov used to be more rambunctious, Mr. Loggia does a great job of holding back and letting the rest of the ensemble erupt at their own pace without pushing things too much. Hard to believe that there is a sextet here as things rarely got too dense. Sometimes I want to there to be more happening then there is so I have to try restrain my expectations and adjust to the pace. It is me or them? Then things pick up and I/we are again soaring together. It is then when Turbulence hits their stride and I feel better to go along for the ride. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PEK - Solo Precedents (Evil Clown 9238; USA) This is a rare solo effort from PEK, fearless leader of Leap of Faith and their many offshoot projects. Considering that there are more than 100 releases on the Evil Clown label between Leap of Faith, Metal Chaos Ensembles & Turbulence, the PEK solo efforts are the rarest of the big batch. This is also a two disc set, another rarity for the Evil Clown label. On the first disc, PEK limits himself to 1 (plus loops) to 5 instruments, instead of the usual mass of 20-25 instruments that he has collected over time and plays on most Leap of Faith sessions. For the first piece, “Events”, PEK plays just bass tromboon with multiple effects and a gong. From what I can tell that unique hybrid instrument looks like a bass trombone with a bassoon’s double reed attached. The gong comes first and then a series of brass/reed (an odd blend of sonorities) tones and drones which are extended and manipulated with effects/delays. The central sound here is slowly repeated, the odd/blend sound is carefully stretched out, the effects or delay adding a most mysterious aura. On “Precursors”, PEK plays several flutes, slide whistle & a gong with delays & effects. He does a good job of taking his time, concentrating on one flute or whistle and occasionally looping or adding effects. The third long piece, “Antecedents” features just contrabass clarinet again with loops and or effects. The contrabass clarinet is large and unwieldy (check out how it looks) and difficult to play. It seems that more folks are playing it over the past few years: Josh Sinton, Ben Goldberg and John McCowen, to name a few. It does have a unique deep-toned low-end sound. We can now add PEK to that list as he works his way through the range of sounds on that large, difficult reed thing. PEK often plays just a long grumble-sounding tone while slowly adding the occasional gong or another layer of the odd bent-note reed sound with loops or delays. For the second disc here, PEK brings his arsenal of some 25 instruments, mostly reeds & odd percussion, as well as daxophone, lops, effects and samples. This disc is quite long, nearly 72 minutes of non-stop exploration. Although it is a solo effort, PEK does use loops, delays, effects and adds samples of his previous solo efforts found on Disc One. Again, PEK takes his time concentrating on one instrument at at a time, often odd instruments like contrabassoon, taragato, mussette, brontosaurus bells and sheng. There is a good balance between the single instruments, loops and samples, which PEK has refined over time, knowing when to bring in or add effect, loops or samples. 72 minutes seems like a long time but the thing is many of us do have some time on our hands, staying at home and trying be safe. This is an exercise in patience and endurance which I think does work well. Just have to sit still and not be distracted by the usual BS. The rewards are great! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $15
ZEA & OSCAR JAN HOOGLAND - Summing (Klanggalerie 327; Austria) "Oscar Jan Hoogland is the sound of Amsterdam in person. He plays in the Muziekgebouw (Amsterdams main hall for modern composed music) as well as in the Bimhuis (Holland's main jazz venue) that is literally attached to it, as in its parking garage. He is an instant composer, pianist and inventor of his own instrument. As the last student of the late pianist, composer and improvisor Misha Mengelberg he tears like a tornado through the Amsterdam jazz and impro scene, plays with legends like Han Bennink, organizes concerts, ad hoc theatre and performances in all holes and corners of Amsterdam. Arnold de Boer moved in the early nineties from the Frisian village called Makkum to Amsterdam to study and to be able to see a concert every night. At the local drumband and harmony orchestra Hallelujah Makkum he learned to play drums and trumpet, but once in Amsterdam he switched to guitar and started his own band Zea. The headstrong mix of jumpy indie rock, beat punk, sample pop, noise and lo-fi dub got picked up far outside the lowlands and since the release of Zea's debut album Kowtow To An Idiot Zea tours all over the world. Arnold sings in Dutch experimental/punk band The Ex and gets highly involved in organizing concert nights and festivals in Amsterdam including a monthly night at the Paradiso, called K-tsjoem, and many nights at local DIY venue OCCII, where he becomes very active and part of the collective. For the K-tsjoem night at the Paradiso Arnold invites Oscar Jan to come and play with his new band. It's the beginning of a series of invitations back and forth, between indie and impro, that still continues and that resulted in recording the album by Zea Oscar Jan Hoogland, called Summing. A hypnotic groove under a playful song next to an arabic melody on an improvised sound collage; the music is built with independent parts, all recorded in one take. The songs are percussive and move on the polyrhythms of two parallel switched turbines."
RICARDO RICHAID - Travesseiro Feliz (Far Out Recordings Faro 216; UK) “On his debut album Travesseiro Feliz (Happy Pillow), Rio de Janeiro based artist Ricardo Richaid melds his tropical heritage with his love for psychedelic music, jazz, and rock. He also takes inspiration from the many Brazilian greats -- Caetano Veloso, Arthur Verocai, Ivan Lins, Joyce, Hermeto Pascoal, Marcos Valle, and Azymuth (to name a few) -- who he has worked with as an engineer, assistant, and producer, in Rio's former RCA studio, Cia dos Tecnicos. Heavily influenced by Brazil's fabled Tropicalia movement, Richaid is also the grandson of Brazilian actor, singer, and Disney star Aurora Miranda (Carmen Miranda's younger sister). Describing his sound as "Industrial Tropicalism", Richaid's music is undoubtedly a product of his environment: warm, hazy and beautiful, but reflective of the current mood of his homeland, lamenting the political, economic, and ecological crisis. The unconventional time signatures and sunny jazz-folk meets post-punk aesthetic are adorned by Richaid's studio smarts. Travisseiro Feliz features notable names from across Rio's music spectrum, including percussion sensation Marcos Suzano (Gilberto Gil), experimental pop artist Ana Frango Eletrico, and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jose Ibarra (Milton Nascimento's touring group). On interlude track "Formigas" you also hear a few verses of Ricardo singing with his seven-year-old daughter, Nina. Carrying forward the Tropicália torch, the opener "Maracas Enterprise/Frio da manhã" is a two-part journey through Richaid's sonic approach, weaving together interlocking horns, chorus drenched guitar, and fuzzed-up synth stabs. A perfect example of Richaid's industrial tropicalism, "Largado Nu" mixes soft, acoustic guitar, and flutes with harder-edged synths and electric guitars, while "O Velho Cai" is beautiful jazz-infused folk, with fretless bass and saxophone singing around the vocal harmonies of Richaid and Liza Machado. Living with his grandmother Aurora Miranda until the age of seventeen (featured in Walt Disney's Three Caballeros film, and happens to be the first human being to kiss Donald Duck), Ricardo would listen to his father playing chromatic scales and bossa nova melodies on the saxophone; his mother's Brazilian classical piano; or his punk rock brother slamming the drums. This eclectic musical upbringing led a teenage Ricardo to learning his trade as the bassist in a short-lived hard rock band, which disbanded when Ricardo began to dig deeper. Alongside engineering some of his musical heroes in Brazil, Richaid has played in bands like Mara Rúbia and nitú, from Rio's underground experimental psych and jazz scenes.
MINOY - In Search Of Tarkovsky (Cold Spring Records 273; UK) ”Minóy (1951-2010), a major figure in DIY noise music, produced some of the most remarkably engrossing, beautiful, and imaginative work-of-art albums released on cassette in the 1980s. Created in 1986, In Search Of Tarkovsky is dedicated to the late Russian director, Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris (1973), Stalker (1979), Andrei Rublev (1966), etc.) A unique world of musical expression, with dense audio abstractions where the origin of any particular sound isn't quite discernible. A form of labyrinthian, droning collage electronics, otherworldly and dreamlike, at times nightmarish, at times sad, but always bold and deeply affecting. Composed after the director's death, it contains many trademarks of Minóy's style: manipulation of shortwave radio, use of spring reverb to get those strangely echoing, claustrophobic environments, and then the howling vocals, piling-up and distorting. Minóy plainly mourns the director's death but in such a unique way there is nothing to compare it to. Two long-form, elaborate pieces (just under one hour), essential to Minóy's aesthetic of "cinema of the ear". This is the first Minóy material ever to be reissued. Unavailable since the original cassette release, these tracks have been remastered from the original archive files and are presented for the first time on CD. Matte-laminate digipak.”
SONOLOGYST - Ancient Death Cults And Beliefs (Cold Spring Records 270; UK) “Profound, ritual dark ambient and apocalyptic drones from Italy's Sonologyst. The veneration of the dead plays an important role in mythology and (nature) religions. It is inspired by fear for wrath of the deceased, and by obtaining their council and favors. A large part of the religious life concentrated therefore around the death cults. This led to the erection of huge monuments (mastabas, pyramids, grave-temples, and rock-graves) in Egypt... but in ancient China, Mesopotamia, and India the dead were also honored by impressive monuments and elaborate rituals. Although the death cults and burial rituals may be different among the nature religions, the reasons are the same; either affection towards the deceased or else fear for the soul wandering in the vicinity of the corpse and which must be appeased (with offerings, prayers, incantations). Common is also a form of cannibalism where the body is eaten in order to obtain some of the strength of the deceased. The mummification of the dead, which originated in the belief of life after death, was an important part of the death cults too. Ancient Death Cults And Beliefs is a deep musical investigation of those cults and beliefs in ancient times. Presented in a matte digipak. Evocative, ritualistic artwork by Abby Helasdottir.”
KHOST - Buried Steel (Cold Spring Records 278; UK) “Buried Steel is the fourth album from Birmingham industrial metal duo Khost, following the 2017 release Governance (CSR 237CD, 2017). Themes and sonics of Buried Steel range from granite and impassive to dream-like and somnambulistic, in keeping with the promise -- and threat -- of the title, dwelling on slow, infallible ruination: a gravitational downthrust upon misshapen monuments and structures which are mangled, overgrown and increasingly forgotten. A monochrome landscape where nature reclaims and redefines us as time passes. Recording of the album was marred with events such as an electrical fire which damaged some equipment. As a result, a number of tracks on the album had to be pieced together from damaged analogue elements such as reel-to-reel (Khost reel-to-reel RIP). From this point, the dynamic of some of the songs was altered, shifting their eventual outcome, particularly the tone of ambient work on Buried Steel. Guests include Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire, Wrangler), Syan, Eugene Robinson (Oxbow), Manuel Liebeskind, Daniel Buess (16-17, MIR), and Stephen Ah Burroughs (Tunnels Of Ah, ex-Head Of David). Six-panel digipak with artwork contributions from Talitha Bell, Syan, and Craig Earp. Includes a remix by Mothboy.
ARCHIVAL & HISTORIC RECORDINGS, REISSUES and RESTOCKED ITEMS:
CLIVE STEVENS with JOHN ABERCROMBIE / RALPH TOWNER / STEVE KAHN / RICK LAIRD / BILLY COBHAM - Atmospheres (ESC Records 3750; Earth) Saxman/keyboard player Clive Stevens from Bristol, England, was among the earliest to explore the nexus of jazz/rock and electric jazz in his two 1974 albums. And both releases, "Atmospheres" and "Voyage to Uranus" have stood the test of time. "Atmospheres" was finished in one day with no rehearsals in New York City. This was a super session of the highest level with bassist Rick Laird and drummer Billy Cobham´s only recording together outside John Mclaughlin´s Mahavishnu Orchestra.The world class guitarists Steve Khan and John Abercrombie feeding off of each others´ incredible talent, Ralph Towner on electric piano/ring modulator in awesome form and Harry Wilkinson added later on percussion.
LEE 'SCRATCH' PERRY - Lee Scratch Perry Presents The Full Experience (Doctor Bird DBCD 052; UK) "By the late Seventies, Lee 'Scratch' Perry was at the height of his creative powers, producing a succession of spellbinding recordings from his compact Black Ark studio in Kingston, Jamaica. Among his finest, yet most underrated work from this period were various projects involving one or more of three female singers: highly respected South African-born Aurella (Aura) Lewis, US-born vocalist Pamela Reed and a young, ambitious British performer, Candy McKenzie. Collectively known as the Full Experience, much of the trio's work for the producer remains unissued, but in 1977, a couple of 12" singles gave the record buying public a taste of their extraordinary talents: 'Disco Fits' c/w 'Breakfast In Bed' demonstrated MacKenzie's developing abilities as a solo artist, while the enthralling 'Disco Devil', on which the she, Lewis and Reed together backed the producer, revealed the range and power of the three singer's combined voices. Yet astonishingly, the remainder of the trio's work from this period failed to immediately see issue and it was not until 1988 that five recordings from an abandoned Full Experience album were finally gathered on a French mini-LP. Two decades on, Candy McKenzie's showcase LP also finally surfaced and it is the recordings from both of these collections, along with the aforementioned 'Disco Devil' that comprise this celebration of recordings by arguably Jamaica's finest ever female vocal trio Annotated by official Lee Perry biographer, David Katz and featuring four tracks new to CD, this is an essential purchase for all fans of the legendary producer, female vocals and classic roots reggae."
ALL ABOARD THE C.N. - Rock Steady and Boss Reggae Sounds 1967-1968 (Doctor Bird DBCD 054; UK) "Having previously showcased Clancy Eccles' output from 1969 and 1970 on Freedom & Fire Corner and Foolish Fool & Herbsman Reggae, the music-maker's influential rock steady and proto-reggae recordings provide the focus for this brand new collection. Recorded between mid-1967 and late 1968, the tracks range from major Jamaican hits to painfully rare obscurities, performed by an equally diverse assortment of performers that include virtual unknowns alongside such eminent artists as Alton Ellis, Eric 'Monty' Morris, Ernest Ranglin and Eccles's long-standing friend and associate, Lee 'Scratch' Perry. With 17 tracks unavailable on any format for decades, this fascinating compilation is a must for fans of rock steady and boss reggae, with the set superbly demonstrating the ever-developing sound of Jamaican music over a period now widely regarded as the most compelling in its history."
RETURN OF THE TOKOLOSHE MEN - Demented Sounds from the 60s Teen Scenes of Jo'Burg, Cape Town, Durban and Beyond! (Rubble Rubbox 013; UK) Isolated and shunned by the western world, South Africa's rock music scene was buried under the ugly weight of politics and the brutality of the Apartheid system in place at the time. Nearly 60 years later, in a country still struggling to find its identity, we can look back and examine the small, but flourishing music scene of South Africa. Operating under the harsh iron grip of the regime, young groups emerged, driven by the sounds of rock n' roll and freedom. Back in 1971, Clive Calder, one of rock's premier custodians, reflected on his journey to success through the 1960s: "A handful of bands produced highly creative music and young South Africa welcomed them with open arms. Gullible powers retaliated by banning or restricting their artistic influence and radio stations ignored them!" Return Of The Tokoloshe Men smashes preconceptions and breaks through the shackles of political divide and hypocrisy. Featuring over 150 ultra-rare, original recordings from 1964-1972 with detailed liners that reveal the behind the scenes stories with a plethora of original memorabilia, Return Of The Tokoloshe Men is a precious insight into another world, still unknown to many. Includes full-color, 88-page, perfect-bound booklet with detailed group biographies and rare images.
6 CD Set $45
DON DIETRICH - Option (Feeding Tube Records 506; USA) "FTR is proud to present what is only the second solo album by Borbetomagus' sax giant, Don Dietrich. Crazily, Option documents the FIRST solo performance Don ever did. It was recorded in 2019 as part of the OPTION series in Chicago, where Dietrich appeared at the invitation of Ken Vandermark (who also wrote the liner notes). The cover photo shows one of Don's polycarbonate sculptures, after which the album is partially named. Twisted, compressed, and strangely inviting, it is emblematic of the eruptive ruckus Don creates using amplified tenor sax and effects pedals. This music possesses some of the same cerebral overload as the sounds Dietrich invents inside his long-lived trio. But without the specters of Jim Sauter's sax and Donald Miller's guitar, the sonic envelope here feels somehow less hermetic. There are no sneak attacks from his brothers about to happen. The shape of the solo improvisations here are under his control. The pedals allow Don to make all sorts of un-sax-like textural moves. A few spots bubble down into solo electronics that would not be out of place on a Basil Kirchin LP. But most of Option has a crazy flow, constantly bending and folding back on itself, in order to make the sound richer and darker. Like a black hole star, Don sometimes seems to be pulling raw sounds out of the air towards himself. It's a totally wild process, and something we hope you will enjoy, before you file this title as a JAZZ record. Which Don says is where it belongs. And who are we -- really -- to argue?" --Byron Coley, 2020 Edition of 300.
TOD DOCKSTADER - Aerial 1 (Important 457; USA) “Tod Dockstader's Aerial series, an electronic/drone masterpiece, is cherished among fans of the artist's work. 15 years in the making, the Aerial series is sourced from his life-long passion for shortwave radio. Dockstader collected over 90 hours of recordings, made at night, and comprised of cross signals and fragments plucked from the atmosphere. Opening with airwave drones, Dockstader gradually allows elements to slowly come and go, summoning an ominous atmosphere of ethereal clouds. Malignant placidity continues, giving the feeling of eavesdropping upon late-night audio activity not unlike discovering number stations while sweeping the dials. Backward voices, deep echoing choruses of conversations flowing under the surface, ocean sounds, pulsing electro-rhythms, all seem to be created via the collaging of many hours of source recordings. A masterwork of collage and juxtaposition by an overlooked pioneer of American electronic music. Artwork by John Brien. Audiophile quality double-LP; edition of 500.
Dockstader on the Aerial project (September 14, 2003): "I've written before of my interest in shortwave radio, in the notes to the Quatermass CD (SR 233CD). Also, in the notes to the Omniphony CD (which has my first 'Aerial' mix, 'Past Prelude,' in it), I mentioned 'The Aerial Etudes,' which was my working title for what became the three CDs you have. And, at the end of an interview with Chris Cutler (which can be found in the 'Unofficial TD Website'), the piece I mentioned I was starting to work on at the time became Aerial). When I was very young, people got most of their entertainment from radio. They called it 'playing the radio,' as if it were a musical instrument. That's what I've tried to do in this piece. About this time, a few people encouraged me to look into using a computer for this work. I'd never used one, but I saw it would allow me to keep my mixes digital -- no more transfer losses. So, at the end of 2001, I got a computer and an editing program for it, and spent what seemed a long time learning it. I began selecting mixes and loading them into the computer in late March, 2002. Out of the 580, I selected 90 'best' mixes -- eventually reduced to 59, the ones on the CDs. Finally, in assembling the CDs, I followed David Myers' suggestion to allow each piece to flow into the next -- making a continuous journey to the end."
2 LP Set $35
KONSTANTIN RAUDIVE - The Voices of the Dead (Sub Rosa 066; Belgium) “For many, the first traces of the Raudive Tapes were in William Burroughs's fictions and articles. The fact is, these mysterious magnetic tapes, which capture the voices of the dead, and were recorded by the Baltic scientist Konstantin Raudive, are not a fiction but a reality (in this case, not judging their scientific objectivity). These tapes, as rare as H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon, are now in Sub Rosa's archives.
What you'll find in this record: 1. Two introductions by Konstantin Raudive and a large session of examples from his archives (July 1965); 2. Nine extracts from the Gerhard Stempnik experiments -- a musician of the Berlin Philharmonic and close friend of Raudive (tapes from 1980); 3. A Raudive celebration including unpublished material by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky/That Subliminal Kid, David Toop, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Calla, and Carl Michael von Hausswolff. They have all composed an exclusive piece of music based on the Raudive material. It goes from a close examination of the material itself to a more evocative mood.
Who was Doctor Raudive?: Dr. Konstantin Raudive, a student of Carl Jung, was a Latvian psychologist who taught at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, before devoting the last ten years of his life to electronic voice phenomenon (EVP). He published in his book Breakthrough in 1971. His early collaborator F. Jurgenson, whom he met by the very beginning of 1965, awakened Dr. K. Raudive's interest in EVP research. Raudive spent endless hours for the thorough study of Jurgenson's books (Voices from Space, 1964 and Radio-Link with the Dead, 1967). From an overwhelming database (ranging about 72000 samples!), Raudive's mother seems to be statistically the most frequently reported contact personality. She usually addressed her son in the Latgalian dialect. Includes color insert.”
LETHA RODMAN MELCHIOR - Tretetam (Feeding Tube 523; USA) "We discovered the experimental work of the late Letha Rodman Melchior through her husband Dan. Our first release was the amazing Mare Astrale LP (FTR 432LP, 2019), and we have now reissued 2009's Treteman as an LP. Tretetam was actually the operating handle Letha originally used for her sound collages. And this music was first issued on CDR as Tretetam's eponymous debut for the Finnish Ikuisuus label. A few other releases appeared under this soubriquet before she began using her own name on such projects. Letha displays her absolutely original approach to musique concrete from the very beginning of her investigation of the form. Using field recordings, found sounds and invented instrumental passages, she creates bizarre landscapes blending natural and synthetic elements into a seamless whole. Then she tales our hand and leads us through the maze with whispers of comfort echoing across the boundless spaces. The journey she leads is as intoxicating as any you'll ever take. Close your eyes and lean back into it and just go... you can thank us later. Incredible." --Byron Coley, 2020 Edition of 250.
JEN POWERS / MATTHEW J. ROLIN DUO - Powers/Rolin Duo (Feeding Tube Records 524; USA) "Hot on the heels of last year's Matthew J. Rolin LP (FTR 502LP, 2019), here is a new duo recording featuring Rolin's acoustic twelve-string and the hammered-dulcimer of Jen Powers. They've had a couple previous cassettes, but I've never seen 'em! If you have, I can offer you something fine in trade. As with his first LP, Rolin's command of his guitar is quite wonderful to hear. He uses the whole breadth of the twelve-string's harmonic potential, which creates a wide surging stream of sound. Powers' work with the hammered dulcimer (an instrument we hear far too rarely these days!) utilizes a similar approach, which means we are afforded access to wide aural river into which we can dip our aching heads. A more soothing splash will be hard to find. Matt and Jen have been playing together since early 2018, when Rolin relocated from Chicago to Columbus, where they are now based. They've also worked as a trio with Jayson Gerycz playing singing bowls and like, but the tape of that session has eluded me thus far as well. Still, this duo record is a wonderful dive into their sound. The music is open and upful and filled with a kind of joy that seems in short supply these days. Recorded by Lisa Bella Donna (of the great underground prog band, EYE), mastered by Brian Sulpizio (Ryley Wakler's guitarist of choice, among other things), the debut LP by the Powers/Rolin Duo is an object of power and beauty. Let it shine, motherfucker. Let it shine." - Byron Coley, 2020 Edition of 250.
THE SLOWEST LIFT - Plutonic Shine (Feeding Tube Records 499; UK) “Vinylization of last year's cassette by UK duo, The Slowest Lift. Comprised of Julian Bradley (Vibracathedral Orchestra, etc.) and Sophie Cooper (whose Divine Ekstasys LP, (FTR 342LP, 2018) is a dang classic), The Slowest Lift has been producing high-quality avant-pop form-waffling for several years. Their eponymous debut album was on VHF (2017), and Plutonic Shine continues their drive into the heart of some very weird beast. Sophie's vocals sometimes breath like the air itself, although they can also surface as distorted puffs of lung-powered color, melodically-oriented, but trapped by no ordinary sense of song structure. The instrumental portion seems to be built with electronics and guitars, which create mounds of sound for the vocals to hide behind and dodge around. Although the sound is as 'now' as any hep cat could wish. there is really very little to date this music archeologically. The basic tools for what The Slowest Lift do have been around for decades. It is what Julian and Sophie choose to do with these tools that will knock that beaver hat right off your head. Gorgeous stuff." --Byron Coley, 2020 Edition of 250.
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link, for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com. Many of us are going stir crazy staying at home so if you want to inspire us and help us get through these difficult times, please show us what you got. I listed some these last week but have also a few more.
MORE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING AROUND FOR THE WORLD TO END OR GET BETTER:
STILL STIR CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
This is the section where I usually recommend upcoming concerts in the NYC area. As far as I can tell there are no upcoming shows anywhere around here, except perhaps on-line. All places I usually frequent are now closed for the foreseeable future. And everyone is worried about the near future, their health and their sanity for their friends and family. I am trying to come up with something inspirational to put out there but I am also very worried about myself, the store, all of the creative musicians that we need and support, as well as everyone else who has lost their jobs.
I have been at home at my old apartment in New Jersey, cleaning, reorganizing my collection, finding lots of doubles, listening to dozens of records, CD’s,cassettes and DVD’s. And working on my ongoing series of discographies and assorted music lists.
Over the past few weeks a number of musicians have been putting up some music on-line for anyone to check out. I know that many of us are going a bit stir crazy so it is time to do some soul searching and serious listening. Here is a list of some music links to check out:
ROULETTE AT HOME:
JAIMIE BRANCH’S FLY OR DIE: vimeo.com/407212407/822e55b8ee?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=4343421e80EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-4343421e80-302668229
JOE McPHEE - March 21st, 1999: roulette.org/event/joe-mcphee-2/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=4343421e80EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-4343421e80-302668229
ZEENA PARKINS / April 20th, 1987: roulette.org/event/zeena-parkins-3/?utm_source=Roulette Maste List&utm_campaign=4343421e80EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-4343421e80-302668229
GREAT ARTICLE ON MARSHALL ALLEN, PHILLY’S FOREMOST HOMETOWN HERO:
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs on each episode. This afternoon he is doing a tribute to the great Hal Wilner at 3pm.
Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836
From BOB DYLAN - New Song “Murder Most Foul” nearly 17 minutes long! Outstanding!
From RANDY NEWMAN: Stay Away - new song
From Tuba Master JESSE DULMAN - This is a 24 minute documentary
Much of this takes place at Downtown Music Gallery and it really made me feel good!
From INGRID LAUBROCK:
From HENRY KAISER:
Outdoor Festival in Toronto, June 1971
Tisziji Muñoz featuring Lenny Breau on guitar
Lenny’s solo opens the piece, Tisziji’s solo closes the piece.
Bernie Senensky, piano, Michael Malone, trumpet
Michel Donato, bass & Clayton Johnson, drums
Check it out here: https://www.tisziji.com/treasure
nice article with many good points about music docs
From JOSH SINTON, Wonderful Baritone Saxist & Bass Clarinetist:
“Stone Cold Classics of 21st Century Saxophone Repertoire.”
From MATT HANNAFIN: currently living in Portland, OR
From the Extradition Series (Portland, OR) and A Place to Listen (Victoria, BC):
From BOB DOWNES, amazing UK flutist, currently living in Germany:
JOHN RUSSELL & ROSS LAMBERT: A Duet (for the Hundred Years Gallery)
To support the Hundred Years Gallery (in London) during the covid-19 crisis we are releasing this guitar duet recording from Ross Lambert and John Russell.
The MICHAEL MUSILLAMI TRIO 2 just did a quick European tour.
Here is the personnel:
Michael Musillami guitar
Jason Robinson saxophone
Thomas Heberer trumpet
Joe Fonda bass
George Schuller drums
Here are 3 live clips:
From Clarinetist Extraordinaire BEN GOLDBERG:
Tomorrow Never Knows. Something tells me art will be fine, even though humans are in trouble at the moment. But right now art is precluded from its important work of gathering us together. So musicians are in a weird situation. Concerts, tours, festivals, and in-person teaching disappeared quickly. In the initial shock my thought was, I don't know what to do but I can record music at home. So on March 19 I began recording a new song every day. I made an album on Bandcamp where you can listen to the songs for free. It's called PLAGUE DIARY. The philosophy here is "use what you've got" (is there ever another option?) -- for me that means clarinets, a synthesizer I can't figure out, and rudimentary recording ability. Because it's a diary I am trying to use the recording process as a sketchbook, and an opportunity to mess around. ("Don't forget to mess around." -- Steve Lacy, as quoted by Kirk Knuffke.)
PLAGUE DIARY is now sixteen songs and I hope it has something that can be of use to you. A link to the album is at the bottom of this email, under the mysterious photo of my parents. Here’s the link: https://ben-goldberg--bag-production-records.bandcamp.com/album/plague-diary
THIS FROM THR GREAT GERMAN SAXIST & COMPOSER GEBHARD ULLMANN:
At this point there are obviously no upcoming concerts to anncounce.
However these things are new:
NEW WEBSITE - my completely new website is up now. (thanks to Riccarda Kato and Ralf Dick)
Take a look at the media section with a lot of new sound and video links
BANDCAMP SITE - through my bandcamp site a lot of CDs (including some from the 80s) are available digitally for the first time.
I’ll keep building building it up so come back from time to time.
Included is also some exclusive music like a Solo recording from last years Berlin Solo Impro Festival, some film music I did in the 90s and a festival recording with Paul Bley and Andreas Willers from 1991.
NEW CD - Conference Call will release its 3rd studio recording entitled ‚Prism‘ on the Polish Label NotTwo Records by the end of may. This project has been working for 20 years and released 10 CDs of which more than one received 4 or 4 1/2 star reviews in Downbeat magazine. Michael Stevens on piano, Joe Fonda on bass and Dieter Ulrich on the drums.
NEW VIDEOS - in these times without the real deal, live concerts, I would however like to include some links to recent new videos of projects:
BassX3 (Gebhard Ullmann bass clarinet, Chris Dahlgren and Christian Weber - double basses and objects):
1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTc_MCdz_bc (Transatlantic Drone)
2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-O2yU7kC_M (Ornettes’s Closet and Related Objects)
Das Kondensat (Gebhard Ullmann winds and electronics, Oliver Potratz basses and electronics, Eric Schaefer drums and electronics):
1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpARHg1CeOo (Dubbing with Guy)
2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4X2pd5lutk (Human Body Upgrade)