"Black Day In July"
By Gordon Lightfoot, released 1968
From the album, ‘Did She Mention My Name’
Black Day in July
Motor City madness has touched the countryside
And through the smoke and cinders you can hear it far and wide
The door are quickly bolted and the children locked inside
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
And the soul of Motor City is feared across the land
As the book of law and order is taken in the hands
Of the sons of the fathers who were carried to this land
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
In the streets of Motor City there's a deadly silent sound
And the body of a dead youth lies stretched upon the ground
Upon the filthy pavements no reason can be found
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
Motor City madness has touched the countryside
And the people rise in anger and the streets begin to fill
And there's gunfire from the rooftops and the blood begins to spill
Black Day in July
In the mansion of the Governor there's nothing that is known for sure
The telephone is ringing and the pendulum is swinging
And the wonder how it happened and they really know the reason
And it wasn't just the temperature and it wasn't just the season
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
Motor City's burning and the flames are running wild
They reflect upon the waters of the river and the lake
And everyone is listening and everyone's awake
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
The printing press is turning and the news is quickly flashed
And you read your morning paper and you sip your cup of tea
And you wonder just in passing is it him or is it me
Black Day in July
In the Office of the President the deed is done the troops are sent
There's really not much choice you see it looks to us like anarchy
And then the tanks go rolling in patch things up as best they can
There is no time to hesitate the speech is made the dues can wait
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
The streets of Motor City now are are quiet and serene
But the shapes of gutted buildings strike terror to the heart
And you say how did it happen and you say how did it start
Why can't we all be brothers why can't we live in peace
But the hands of the the have-nots keep falling out of reach
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
Motor City madness has touched the countryside
And through the smoke and cinders you can hear it far and wide
The door are quickly bolted and the children locked inside
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
Black Day in July
Sometime in the late 1960’s, I went to visit my Aunt Marjorie in Greenwich Village, NYC (where she lived for many years), with my family. My Aunt Terri was there, sort of Aunt Marjorie’s adopted daughter. Terri was my father’s kid sister and always was & still is a favorite of mine. She was only a handful of years older than me, but I felt we were kindred spirits as she went to college in the late sixties, just a few years before I started college in 1972. We had our first series music conversation about different bands, singers & songwriters that we dug that day. She mentioned Gordon Lightfoot and asked if I had heard of him. Not very much. She mentioned the above song and that it had touched her. I sought that record and heard that song and it became a favorite of mine as well. I can still hear it in my mind and it reminds me of some of things currently going on now.
The last few weeks have been some of the most disturbing, dispiriting, nerve-wracking, scary, ugly and hard to fathom events of any period that I’ve lived through. I grew up with and have long attended protests, which always help when we want to share our feelings of our unjust world. I love the feeling of solidarity between those who attend these protests. The fascist behavior of our Fake Prez & his complicit allies, the rampant police brutality, the looting and the Fake F*x News, are all too much to deal with especially after being stuck inside in our own prisons for the last 2-3 months. I am back at the store on Tuesdays and perhaps Fridays, but we aren’t really open for business yet. You can still order and come pick it up if you wish, but please call first. I dearly miss going to live gigs, especially our Sunday series which always made my week better. I am unsure when those shows will return. WE WILL SURVIVE, at least some of us will! - MC BruceLee
THIS WEEKS NEWSLETTER BEGINS WITH SOME HEALING MUSIC FROM OUR OLD PALS:
THE TISZIJI MUNOZ TRIO!!!
TISZIJI MUNOZ / DON PATE / RA KALAM BOB MOSES - Drop Dead (Anami Music 062; USA) Featuring Tisziji Munoz on guitar, Yaka Don Pate on contrabass and Ra Kalam Bob Moses on drums. This session was actually recorded in July of 2006, but was shelved at the time to take care of some sonic problems. It has been a few years since we had any new discs by Cosmic Guitar Master, Tisziji Munoz, hence, this disc has just been released into our difficult world situation and feels like the Sonic Medicine that we can all use. Tisziji Munoz has released around fifty discs since his first album came out in 1978 on India Navigation, around the same time he was playing with Pharoah Sanders. The majority of Munoz releases, most of which have been released on his own Anami Music label, have had the same rhythm team members for many years: Don Pate on bass and Rashied Ali or RaKalam Bob Moses on drums. Mr. Munoz claims to have been influenced by the ancient masters, John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, who he has played with on & off throughout the many years. Munoz has also often worked with different pianists/keyboardists: Bernie Senensky, Marilyn Crispell, John Medeski and longtime friend Paul Shaeffer. On occasion, Munoz will also add a saxist like Dave Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, as well as with Pharoah Sanders.
This disc however, titled ‘Drop Dead’, features just a trio with Don Pate and Ra Kalam Bob Moses and it is indeed a rarity amongst Munoz releases. This consists of just four pieces, all between 7 and 16 minutes long and all were written by Mr. Munoz. The first, “Protect This Dead Relative from Ignorance”, starts slowly & calmly but picks up quickly. Munoz has a unique way of playing these lines, building up the inner tension, reaching up higher and higher as he goes. Bassist Don Pate, plays that heartbeat-like pulse at the center of the cyclone while the guitar and drums play those long frenetic lines tightly together. Munoz will often hold on to a singular note or short line of notes, carefully tightening up, bending or caressing that special note or phrase. The bass and/or the drums will then repeat that note/phrase, giving us a place to hold on to while Munoz reaches even higher. The opening of “Bestow the Light of Fearlessness”, has a lovely, solemn, ancient sounding melody. Once the trio states the theme, they again start to build. The bass slowly repeats that melodic fragment while the guitar & drums join forces, the lightning-like licks increasing in tempo and intensity, often astonishing. “The Presence of Clear Light” has the trio slow down even more, the vibe is ever so peaceful. Munoz takes his time, carefully bending certain notes, making each one count, there is an almost hidden melody going on, which you don’t often notice when the tempo increases to another furious stream. Midway through this long piece, start to play another somewhat familiar bluesy fragment which has a way of tugging at our heartstrings. What I like about this piece is the way it builds to a furious crescendo and then slowly glides down to the original sense of calm. There seems to be a battle going on here, between death and life or between Mother Nature and HuMankind. Whenever I get together or communicate with Tisziji Munoz or Ra Kalam, we always great each other with the word “HU”. It is similar to the word “shalom” which is Hebrew for “hello, goodbye & peace”. Whenever we use that special word, it is as if two cosmic spirits meet, greet and respect each other’s presence. Do not take the word lightly, only if you do feel that that righteous spirit is there. HU to you from the land of the truly Free Spirits. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Any of you who know me well, know that my three favorite (progressive) bands of all are The MOTHERS OF INVENTION (1960’s version), SOFT MACHINE (Vol. One - ‘Bundles’) and HENRY COW (everything!)! Hence, I have long collected anything I could get from any of these seminal, ever-evolving bands. This is quite a bit of material and I continue to find things in my search. Below are two Henry Cow or related discs that I am now checking out.
FYI, CHRIS CUTLER, drummer, lyricist & concept man for Henry Cow and THE ART BEARS, as well as founder of Recommended Records has an ongoing radio/on-line series that I always find to be most fascinating. It is called PROBES and it is up Chapter 27, the chapters are released once or twice a year.
Here are the links: https://rwm.macba.cat/en/research/probes-27
LUIGI RUSSOLO & CHRIS CUTLER / NICK SUDNICK / et al - Intonarumori: Leri Ed Oggi (ReR Megacorp 1913; UK) New and old compositions for Luigi Russolo's legendary Intonarumori. After publishing the Art of Noises in 1913, futurist painter Luigi Russolo designed and built a revolutionary family of new noise instruments - large black boxes with acoustic horns, crank-handles and levers that could produce 'roars, thunderings, explosions, hissing, whistling, puffing, whispers, murmurs, mumbling, muttering, gurgling, screeching, creaking, rustling, buzzing, crackling and scraping'. These are heard here in the first and only recordings of original works for orchestra and intonarumori, composed in the 1920s, and four specially commissioned works by Chris Cutler, Andzrej Karpinski, Nick Sudnik and Alessandro Monti. Exquisitely packaged in a threefold digipak featuring four impressive paintings by Futurist Ivo Pannaggi. MUSICIANS: NICK SUDNICK - Founder of legendary Rigan experimentalists ZGA (1984). Inventor and builder of many varieties of Zgamonium, featured here. ANDRZEJ KARPINSKI - Polish drummer and visual artist, founder of experimental rock band Reportaz. CHRIS CUTLER - Drummer with Henry Cow, Art Bears, Cassiber, Pere Ubu... ALESSANDRO MONTI - Venetian musician and producer of ambient classic The Wind Collector. PIETRO VERARDO - Professor of early music at the Benedetto Marcello conservatory in Venice, historian, and scholar of futurist music.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read about this disc in a new release catalogue last month. I always give the benefit of a doubt to Chris Cutler, (Henry Cow & Art Bears founding member), since anything he is involved with (either hearing or reading) is always worth exploring. Considering that the original Intonarumori instruments were first built in the early part of the last century by Luigi Russolo, destroyed in WWII and then carefully recreated years later by Professor Peitro Verardo, I wasn’t so sure of what to expect from this disc but a great deal of work has gone in to the making of this completely singular release. Allesandro Monti taped eight of the Intonarumori and then sent copies of the his tapes to three percussionist/composers to add to; Chris Cutler (UK), Nick Sudnick from ZGA (Russia) and Andrzej Karpinksi from Reportaz (Poland). Each of these three approach the recorded sounds differently adding to their own unique sounds/approach. The blend of the Intonarumori (invented more than a century ago) with more recent musicians is quite striking. Mr. Karpinsky adds electro-acoustic sounds, hybrid drum set and processed vocals, the outcome is incredibly strange yet compelling, a distant mutant voice floating in the background with industrial sounds and soft pounding drums. Karpinsky samples the sounds of Polish highlanders and other sounds hard to determine yet still most effective. Chris Cutler plays all acoustic percussion which fits perfectly with the sounds of the Intonarumari, which are acoustic instruments. The sounds are minimal, careful and well-integrated. Cutler is a master of those ultra-subtle sonic percussive sounds, hence the recording by Bob Drake captures each nuance superbly. Nick Sudnick is a member of the Russian prog/noise/industrial band ZGA, who I’ve caught up at the FIMAV fest twice, many years apart. He plays zgamoniums, which he invented & built and which have layers of guitar-like string string which are plucks or struck with varied pieces of metal or wood. The duo of the zgamoniums and Intonarumaori also sound like they were made in heaven or hell, and work well together, it is hard to tell them apart! There are two pieces written for Orchestra & Intonarumori which were composed in 1926 & 1927 and are included here. They are somewhat more restrained but fit well within the diversity of this collection. The final piece is by Alessandro Monti, who recorded the Intonarumaori and adds his own computer sounds. This piece again blends the sounds of inventions made more than a century apart and again does a great job. This entire disc sounds like we are entering a new world of sound and it felt great to be transported to somewhere else today. Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG - June 11th, 2020
OFFICER! with MICK HOBBS / BILL GILONIS / KEISUKE MATSUI / et al - Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes (Klanggalerie GG 312; Germany) Officer! was founded by Londoner Mick Hobbs. His roots were in the Rock In Opposition scene of the late 70s and early 80s. Initially he worked as guitarist in The Work, subsequently he became closely associated with This Heat and their Cold Storage Studio in Brixton, working with artists like Family Fodder, Catherine Jauniaux or Zeena Parkins. The band's first album "8 New Songs By Mick Hobbs" came out in 1982 on cassette only. It was followed by the second album, "Ossification". The third album, "Cough" was recorded and released in France in 1985. It is often overlooked in the band's discography, a fate that many cassette releases share. "8 New Songs By Mick Hobbs" and "Cough" have been collected to form the CD "Earlier Music", which is also available from Klanggalerie. "Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes " was the band's fourth album and came out as a vinyl LP in 1988, released by the band themselves. It was recorded in France and England between 1986 and 1988. Performing on the album are Antoine Gindt, Bill Gilonis, Claudia Schmid, Daniel Koskowitz, Felix Fiedorowicz, Keisuke Matsui and of course Mick Hobbs. Hobbs is a songwriter with a gift for plangent melody, ingenious arrangement and lyrics at once caustic and courtly, playful and profound.
I was ever so pleased when the Klanggalerie label released a CD by Officer! last year, one of the more obscure British bands. led by Mick Hobbs and which included Bill Gilonis & Tim Hodgkinson (both from the Work), Catherine Jauniaux, Tom Cora (Skeleton Crew, Curlew & The Ex), Jad Fair (Half Jap) & Jason Willett. From the late seventies til the late eighties, there hundreds of bands from the US, Europe, Japan and elsewhere that emerged and blurred the lines between established categories. Officer! were one of these and it is difficult to place their unique sound. Somewhere between Swell Maps and the Deep Freeze Mice, we find this sort of oddly unique British charm, especially that enchanting British accent in Mr. Hobbs’ voice. Although this disc starts with what sounds like a pleasant pop ditty, things change pretty quickly. Things are not what they seem as odd quirky bits drop in from time to time. The first song, “Coma” has an odd, somewhat twisted, unexpectedly strange psych guitar solo before it fades away. I like that many of these songs are stripped down to just a few ingredients: recorder, thumb piano, soft synth & guitars and those silly vocals, all add to their unique charm. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
KARL EVANGELISTA with TREVOR WATTS / ALEXANDER HAWKINS / LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO - Apura! (Astral Spirits AS 130; USA) Featuring Karl Evangelista on guitar, Trevor watts on alto & soprano saxes, Alexander Hawkins on piano and Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums. I hadn’t heard much about Filipino-born, Bay Area-based guitarist, Karl Evangelista, aside from his contribution to the $100 Guitar Project comp, which was released in 2015. For this sprawling two CD set, Evangelista has gathered a stellar crew with two Brits, Trevor Watts (SME, Amalgam & Moire Music) on saxes and Alexander Hawkins (Decoy, Convergence Qt) on piano plus the legendary South Africa drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo (The Blue Notes, Brotherhood of Breath). The title of this disc is “Apura!” which means “Very Urgent” which is the same name of a seminal album by The Blue Notes, legendary South African avant/jazz heroes that left their homeland during the heights of Apartheid (in 1963) and almost never looked back. All members of the amazing band have since passed away except for their drummer, the incredible Louis Moholo, who finally went back home a few years back, when his father passed away and he became the head of his clan, adding a second Moholo to his name.
The title piece is first and right away, I can hear that wonderful, free, spirited magic going on. Pianist Alexander Hawkins, has been working with Mr. Moholo for many years now in several of Moholo’s units, including a great duo (CD on Ogun). For many of us, there is nothing better than free music when all of the musicians are connected on the same wavelength. It sounds like a fascinating animated conversation which goes through a variety of organic twists and turns. For “Heto Buhay Pa”, things calm to some more insect-like UK improv, slower and still focused into tight fragments. Both Moholo and Trevor Watts’ music career stretches back the the mid-1960’s, so both are well-respected elders and bring many years of experience to what they do. I can hear some ancient sounding spirit/song/sound throughout this piece called, “Utang Na Loob”, which seems to be emanating from Mr. Hawkins’ powerful spiritual-sounding (very South African) piano work. This gives Evangelista a perfect opportunity to play some stunning lines which are pushed or directed by the turbulent piano and drums wind storm. Part of the magic glue that holds this together is the superb playing of Moholo, he sizzling cymbal work creates this eerie, dreamlike sound throughout while the rest of the quartet ride on a series of waves, the direct of which changes depending on who is on top in each section. One of the smart choices that Mr. Evangelista made was to break things up into two different trios and quartet pieces, giving all four members chances to stretch out at length and combine forces with the other members when the time is right. When I first got this disc last week, I thought that releasing a 2 CD set as one’s debut release might be a bit indulgent. But now after listening to the entire set, I can see and hear why it is this length. All four musicians are master improvisers and since each one has so much creative spirit & ideas to draw from, everyone finds ways to weave so many fascinating streams of interaction and solos. There is a sense of calm at the center here, as if no one is in a rush to go anywhere, just to converse and create. Improv disc of the year?!? No doubt! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $15
BRANDON SEABROOK with COOPER-MOORE & GERALD CLEAVER - Exultations (Astral Spirits AS 132; USA) Featuring Brandon Seabrook on guitar, Cooper-Moore on diddley bow and Gerald Cleaver on drums. All three members of this trio were once part of a quintet called Black Host which was led by the ever in-demand drummer/composer Gerald Cleaver. The main difference being that there is no sax or bass in this group and that Cooper-Moore plays one of his own invented instruments here instead of keyboards. Besides being an incredible pianist who often works with William Parker, Cooper-Moore, has a long history of inventing his own unique instruments. The diddley bow has just one string which Cooper-Moore plays with different objects and which sounds like a mutant bass, somewhere between an electric and an acoustic instrument. Guitarist and occasionally banjo-player, Brandon Seabrook, is one of those Downtown masters who is in between many categories and/or genres, it is impossible to tell which direction any session he is involved with will end up. You could also say similar things about drum wizard, Gerald Cleaver, who is in dozens of bands and situations, most recently releasing a disc of his electronic music has been released. Strange times, indeed!
One of the things I like the most about Mr. Seabrook is his ability to explode at a moments notice. From the gitgo on “Flexing Fetid and Fecund”, the trio is off and soaring with Mr. Cleaver’s steady, train-like beat holding down the bottom while the guitar and diddley bow both exchange their tight, frenetic, fractured lines together. On each piece, Mr. Cleaver kicks off a different groove or repeating rhythmic pattern, giving Seabrook and Cooper-Moore a chance to add their own frantic yet connected lines. Cleaver constantly varies the inner groove so that the guitar & diddley will change the way they approach each section or piece. Mr. Seabrook often reminds my Eugene Chadbourne in the way he coaxes these super-quick, frantic lines which seem untethered to a regular theme yet which somehow make sense once we step back and see the overall churning storm. The trio slow down for “Essential Exultations”, with Seabrook creating this eerie effect with quick strumming and echo effects. I am unsure how much sixties psych/rock that Mr. Seabrook has heard in his life but I seem to hear some of his guitar sounds and effects which sound like those employed by those psych guitar heroes from the 1967 era. One difference is the way he articulates those quick notes one at a time at astonishing speed, even when the trio quiets down he still lets those licks loose. On the last piece, “Absurdities in Bondage”, it sounds like the trio is about to break into “Willie the Pimp”, it does have a similar and melodic line. What I dig about this disc is that it reminds me of an old, loose rockin’ jam which is fun and in between any regular categories. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JEREMIAH CYMERMAN with BRIAN CHASE - Systema Munditotius - Vol. 1 (5049 Records 008; USA) Featuring Jeremiah Cymerman on clarinets, synths, electronics, percussion & foley and Brian Chase on drums. Mr. Cymerman is one of the most ambitious of all of the current Downtown composers & musicians, always working on different projects and/or bands. Aside from being a gifted experimental clarinetist, Cymerman has worked hard in the studio to capture his own music as well as recording concerts for different musicians for documentation and release. I’ve caught Cymerman doing all sorts of improv with many different Downtowners & other great players: Evan Parker, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley and Christopher Hoffmann. His best work emerges when he gets to spend time composing, preparing and spending time in the studio as either of his Tzadik CD’s will show. This piece, “Systema Munditotius - Vol. 1”, was originally composed for four clarinets and two drummers and I was fortunate to have heard at The Old Stone several years back. Due the pandemic that has kept most of us at home for the past nearly three months, Mr. Cymerman has decided to finish this piece as a duo with him playing all of the parts, along with just one drummer, the ubiquitous Brian Chase. The piece begins with what sounds like a singular clarinet drone/tone which very slowly is manipulated, while there is a layer of minimal drums rumbling underneath. It is hard to tell where the clarinet(s) and the electronics, as the central sound is carefully altered throughout. Midway through the first long piece, we hear two or three clarinets all buzzing around one another. Several clarinets kick off “Part III”, all vibrating together, each layer expanding in different ways with select electronics weaving in & out, a snare drum simmering underneath. What this piece seems to involve is this: each piece starts with a singular tone/drone which is carefully altered with bits of electronics and/or effects used while the central tone is slowly stretched out. One must listen closely since things change so slowly and it is hard to hear how many layers are going on simultaneously. On the final piece, “Part VI”, JC close mic’s his clarinet so it sounds like we are almost inside that long, dark tube. It feels like we are a large spacious place where the sounds are like select shapes on a big canvas, the canvas being inside our collective minds. It sounds like JC is playing a large bass clarinet or perhaps something even deeper in sound. Percussionist Brian Chase does a fine job throughout, playing minimal sounds which are closer to chamber music in subtle nuance. I’ve heard this piece live and have enjoyed quite a bit but I like this version better since Mr. Cymerman has more control over the way the sounds are sculpted here. Superb! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LARRY POLANSKY - These are the Generations (New World Records 80819; USA) “The title of this recording has multiple meanings for its composer, Larry Polansky (b. 1954). These are the generations… is a translation of the Hebrew title for the second work on the program, Eleh Tol’d’ot, the first words of the thirty-fifth verse of the first book (B’rey’sheet) of the Torah. Beyond referencing Polansky’s Jewish heritage, the phrase reflects this particular collection of works on several levels. The compositions included stem from different generations of Polansky’s musical output: Some were composed in the 1980s while he was teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California (Eleh Tol’d’ot, Sacco, Vanzetti); some while living in New Hampshire when he was a Professor of Music at Dartmouth College (Glockentood II, 22 Sounds); and others are recent compositions completed in Santa Cruz, California, around the time of Polansky’s retirement from the University of California, Santa Cruz (five songs for kate and vanessa, kaddish (ladder) canon).
The performers on the recording are similarly of different generations. Some have known and worked with Polansky since the 1980s or earlier; others are much younger and began working with him as graduate students within the last few years. Moreover, some of these works use some form of algorithmic composition while others use more conventional approaches to composing music. In some pieces, the musicians themselves must enact some kind of procedure to generate the sounds or structures they are to play.
Finally, the works presented here demonstrate Polansky’s deep understanding of the history and techniques of experimental music in the United States. Within these compositions one can find compositional approaches that span styles from the Ultra-modernists in the early twentieth century to advanced computational algorithms not yet possible in that era. Through these works Polansky somehow manages to integrate older and newer styles of experimental composition into a cohesive voice that despite, or perhaps because of, its eclecticism and diversity is unmistakably the music of Larry Polansky.”
HOWARD RILEY - Three is One (ASC 98; UK) Featuring Howard Riley on three pianos, overdubbed. Of the five great elder statesmen of British jazz piano whose careers stretch back 50 or more years, (Stan Tracey, Michael Garrick, Howard Riley, Gordon Beck & Keith Tippett), only Mr. Riley and Mr. Tippett are still with us and still recording. After a few duos records with Keith Tippett, Jaki Byard & Elton Dean in the 1980’s and a rare quartet date called Sleeper, Mr. Riley has concentrated mostly on solo piano offerings. This is the 10th solo disc since 1974, aside from the fact that one of these was a 2 CD set and another, a six CD set. Mr. Riley decided to do something different for this session, he plays three pianos by overdubbing two. Riley started by improvising solo piano and then going back adding another couple of piano parts. What we hear is the main or first piano in the center of the stereo spectrum and soon another layer of lines comes in playing around whatever is in the center. The main theme is easy to follow and sounds somewhat familiar, the other piano comes in slowly adding just colors here and there, nothing too dense. On the long second piece, “Still Life”, Riley places some stark, suspense-filled lines while softly adding some ghost-like spurts in the distance. Since the piece is stark, he is able to add occasional fragments here & there, using the pedal to let certain notes quietly resonate. Things pick up on “Familiar Strangers” with certain notes criss-crossing. I love the way things expand on the title track, the notes getting more dense as they evolve, certain phrases remind me of Keith Tippett. Riley uses something to mute the strings inside one of the pianos on “Confessing”, sounding like certain strings are broken giving this a strange effect. The longest piece is called “Haunted” and it is the most cerebral, taking its time to unfold through some sparse yet effective sections. It takes a while but I did start to notice a theme of sorts going on, certain short lines, repeated and then twisted into another shape. Even with the occasional appearance of two or three pianos, Mr. Riley likes to take time to add parts when he feels they are needed. For the last piece, “Heroes”, he alternates several lines, adding counter-phrases selectively, as things expand and contract, the balance right on the money. This is one of the most thoughtful, focused and nearly orchestral piano (trio) sessions I’ve heard in a long while. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BOBBY SPELLMAN NONET with DAVID LEON / ELI WALLACE / BEN STAPP / et al - Revenge of the Cool (Sunnyside 1586; USA) “Initially assembled to perform the timeless classics from the Birth of the Cool, the Bobby Spellman Nonet has evolved into a vehicle for Spellman’s colorful 21st Century compositions and arrangements, and a laboratory for his experiments in the Lydian Chromatic Concept.
Bobby Spellman is a jazz trumpeter, composer, educator, and theorist known for his eclectic musical style, dynamic performances, and experiments in contemporary jazz theory. A native of Boston, Bobby currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he leads several groups including his "Revenge of the Cool" Nonet, Dingonek Street Band, and his free-fusion unit, the Voodoo Club. In addition to working regularly with his own ensembles, Bobby has performed across the Northeast U.S. with Motown legends the Temptations and the Four Tops, reggae juggernaut John Brown's Body, and with experimental jazz groups including the Either/Orchestra, Charlie Kohlhase's Explorer's Club, and the Ed Palermo Big Band. From 2009-2016, Bobby served as composer and co-leader for the experimental Afrobeat collective Big Mean Sound Machine, touring extensively and releasing over six full-length albums of original music. Bobby was the first-prize winner of the 2019 Ithaca College Jazz Composition Contest with his original piece for large ensemble and solo trombone, "The Kingdom of Aksum."
Born and raised in the Greater Boston Area, Bobby was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles from an early age, eventually gravitating toward the free jazz and improvised music prevalent in the Boston jazz scene. Bobby earned a degree in Philosophy before pursuing a Master’s degree in jazz trumpet performance at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he had the opportunity to study improvisation with John McNeil and Jerry Bergonzi, ensemble performance with Dave Holland, Bob Moses, and Joe Morris, and George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization with Ben Schwendener. Bobby's interest in the Lydian Chromatic Concept led him to continue his studies in jazz theory after graduating from NEC, and he continues to explore new paradigms in music theory in order to integrate disparate styles of music and bridge the gap between tonal and atonal musics.” - Sunnyside
One of the distributors that I do quite a bit of business with is called Naxos, which distributes mostly modern classical labels as well as Intakt, Hatology, Challenge and few other avant/jazz labels. Their monthly new release catalogue is upwards of 200 pages so it takes me a while to go through it every month. Another thing I like about Naxos is that they provide us with almost every requested promo that I ask for, perhaps a half dozen every month. This helps to find more challenging music and I spend alot of time listening to everything they send. Whatever I order from them to sell is what I find to be the most interesting discs that I’ve discovered and heard, usually several times. Last month, during the lock-down, I heard three discs which truly blew my mind, they are listed below so if you want to be blown away, do check any or all of them. - BLG/DMG
HYPERCUBE with ERIN ROGERS // SAM PLUTA - Brain on Fire (New Focus 250; USA) New York based ensemble Hypercube (Erin Rogers, saxes; Jay Sorce, guitars; Andrea Lodge, piano & accordion and Chris Graham, percussion) releases "Brain on Fire," including works written for them by Sam Pluta, Philip Schuessler, Erin Rogers, Dennis Sullivan, and Nicholas Deyoe. Building on a growing repertoire anchored by Louis Andriessen's iconic Hout, Hypercube emphasizes the experimental, avant-garde potential of this quartet instrumentation with impressive performances and a cultivated ensemble sound. HYPERCUBE has built a reputation on high-energy performances with impressive execution. The NYC-based quartet embraces the boundaries of chamber music, featuring cutting-edge works for saxophone, guitar, piano and percussion, while spanning electric and acoustic worlds. “Jarring, compelling” (Washington Post) “fearless and flawless… some of the most exciting playing I have ever heard.”
Ms. Erin Rogers plays sax, composes and has a great solo sax disc out on Relative Pitch from a few months ago. She also played a solo set here and made some new fans that night. Ms. Rogers is also a member of this quartet, Hypercube, and she wrote one of the five pieces here. Another piece here was written by Sam Pluta, who also plays electronics and is a member of the Wet Ink Ensemble. Pluta’s piece, “America Tokyo Daydream IV”, is incredible and reminds me what I like best about modern chamber music when it is filled with surprising twists and turns, each sound carefully placed and tightly connected. Extraordinary and rather Zappa or Zorn-like in the way it keeps shifting dynamics throughout. Another highlight here is Ms. Rogers’ “Casino (Remix)”, which is also explosive and is constantly shifting through various lines all the way through. The other three pieces come from composers I hadn’t heard of before now, but all are equally fascinating. This disc is a bit longer than an hour and I have listened to it in its entirety several times and it just keeps getting better! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ZOSHA DI CASTRI // TALEA ENSEMBLE / INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ENSEMBLE / JACK QUARTET - Tachitipo (New Focus Recordings 227; USA) Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri releases this stellar collection of music for various instrumentations, featuring the JACK Quartet, pianist Julia Den Boer, Yarn/Wire, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, and the vocal ensemble Ekmeles. Her compositions are an expression of a searching artistry, mapping her explorations into the nature of experience onto musical parameters, including structural organization, timbral vocabulary, and text setting. Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer/pianist/sound artist living in New York. Her work, which has been performed internationally, extends beyond purely concert music including projects with electronics, installations, and collaborations with video and dance. She has worked with such ensembles as the BBC Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the L.A. Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the NEM, Ensemble Cairn, and the groups included on this album among others. Zosha is currently the Francis Goelet Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia University and was a fellow at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris during 2018–19, while working on this recording project.
LUIGI NONO / SALVATORE SCIARRINO // SCHOLA HEIDELBERG/ENSEMBLE AISTHESIS - Parole E Testi (Divox CDX 21701; Austria) Experimental vocal and instrumental compositions from the second half of the previous century, closely connected in text and thought with Italian poetry, convey an impression of the philosophy and compositional methods of the two musicians Luigi Nono (1924-1990) and Salvatore Sciarrino (b. 1947), which were similar in several aspects. The title of the album, Parole e Testi, is thus meant quite literally. The singers of SCHOLA HEIDELBERG under Walter Nußbaum – accomplished performers of new vocal music – sing Nono’s chant Sarà dolce tacere on a text by Cesare Pavese (1960) as well as Sciarrino’s ensemble pieces L’alibi della parola (1994) and Tre canti senza pietre (1999) – both setting verse from various sources. Nono’s early compositional art, which culminated in Polifonica – Monodia – Ritmica for six instruments and percussion (1951), is performed by the Ensemble Aisthesis from Heidelberg in 2005 in the reconstructed, unabridged version which Nono originally created (presented on album for the first time here). The abridged version, in which the work had its world premiere at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music under the baton of Hermann Scherchen in 1951, completes the release as a bonus track.
2 CD Set $18
We listed the below CD by MULATU ASTATKE about 6 weeks ago, but it sold out before we could from our distributor. Anyway, this disc will finally be here mid week next week. The dozen of you who ordered will of course get your copies, anyone else, let us know & we will get more.
MULATU ASTATKE & BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE - To Know Without Knowing (Agogo 135; Germany) This is Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience's second album together. A grooving transcontinental gem, recorded in Melbourne, Australia, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Filled with the warmth of the mentorship and friendship of their creative partnership honed over a decade of performing together in Africa, Australia, and UK/Europe. Mulatu Astatke is the father of Ethio-jazz and one of Africa's most influential and enduring musical figures. Black Jesus Experience is a community of artists, centered around a twelve-piece global-funk-machine born of Australia's vibrant multiculturalism. Mulatu and Black Jesus Experience met in Addis Ababa in 2009, embarking on both a musical relationship and a friendship that has led Mulatu Astake to describe Black Jesus Experience as, "My favorite backing band" and, "...they're family." Mulatu's great contribution to music has been to combine Jazz and funk grooves with Ethiopia's distinctive pentatonic scales. His musical genius is the sensuality and sophistication with which Mulatu contrasts these minimalist scales with richly chromatic harmony. But Mulatu's equally great contribution has been to share both his enduringly unique modernity and Ethiopia's timelessly spiritual music with the world. Black Jesus Experience treasure the special relationship of generosity, mentorship and collaboration they have been privileged to share with this master musician. To Know Without Knowing is the product of this gift.”
LUANGWA TO LIVINGSTONE - Music from Zambia - Chikunda, Nsenga, Soli, Cewa, Tonga, Ila, Leya (SWP Records 053; Netherlands) “Four albums of glorious Zambian music from the easternmost part of Lusaka Province down to the southernmost part of neighboring Southern Province -- recordings from the confluence of the Luangwa and Zambezi rivers to the Victoria Falls. Disc one - Chikunda/Nsenga/Soli/Cewa (SWP 054): the music of the Chikunda people has never been recorded before, great drumming and beautiful songs by their Nsenga and Soli neighbors, sparkling kalimba in the Cewa tradition. Disc two - The Complete Kalonda Band Recordings (SWP 055): the legendary popular Southern Province group recorded in 1995 and 2002. Leader and guitarist John Simubba died in 2005, allegedly killed by witchcraft. Disc three - Southern Province Mix (SWP 056): a vibrant mix of traditional music of the Valley Tonga, Plateau Tonga, and Ila peoples, including warm examples of the homemade guitar and the mother of berimbau -- the kalumbu bow. Disc four - Leya Ceremony and Songs (SWP 057): from the immediate vicinity of the Victoria Falls -- only true name Shungu Namutitima -- come these ceremonial and traditional songs of great intensity and deep meaning of the Leya people. Mediabook; Four-CD set including 48-page booklet.”
4 CD Set $40
MUSIC FROM BAROTSELAND - Recordings in Zambia's Western Province - Lozi, Mbunda, Nkoya, Luvale (SWP Records 058; Netherlands) “Four albums of glorious Zambian music from Western Province, also known as Barotseland. Zambian central government refers only to Western Province and consistently attempted to bury the notion of Barotseland. But the sense of nationhood persists in Barotseland, which leads to a strong sense of identity and that is heard in the music. Disc one - Siyemboka Music (SWP 059): the complete party that is siyemboka music, with a large silimba xylophone, drums, and joyous singing, is synonymous with Barotseland. Disc two - The Barotse Guitar (SWP 060): a specific guitar style, derived from the tuning and harmonics of the old kangombio lamellophone tradition, a beautiful sound waiting to get discovered. Disc three - Kangombio Silimba Jazz (SWP 061): a mixture of jazzy music from Zambia's Western Province -- with plenty of improvisation and individualistic identity: a virtuoso xylophone soloist, the cracked voices of the last kangombio players, and a swinging dance band. Disc 4 - Drums, Voices, and Sticks (SWP 062): a collection of fine drumming and beautiful vocals, sometimes accompanied by sticks on wood, sometimes by friction sticks. No compromises here, this is hardcore! Mediabook; Four-CD set including 48-page booklet.”
4 CD Set $40
HAYVANLAR ALEMI - Psychedelia In Times Of Turbulence (Subsound Records 069; Italy) “In the spring of 2017, Hayvanlar Alemi closed themselves in a studio in a small Italian town for a few days and recorded material for multiple future releases. Psychedelia In Times of Turbulence includes the heavier compositions that came out of these sessions, and marks a further stage in the band's 20-year history with a more layered production and an emphasis on slower, progressive compositions that carry elements from drone metal, stoner rock, and psychedelic doom, while subtly preserving the overtones of the band's brand of globally-informed folkloric psych rock. This album presents the side of Hayvanlar Alemi which tends towards the darker without losing color, and tends towards the somber without losing vitality, with songs that surrender to gravity but refuse to touch the ground.
Hayvanlar Alemi is an instrumental psychedelic, folk-rock band founded in Ankara in 1999. Throughout the years, the band has developed a style of its own, inspired by the innovative musical heritage of Turkey but also informed by the traditional and popular styles of the globe, blending together scales and rhythms of Asia, Africa, Middle East, and South America with surf, dub, stoner rock, and free improvisation. The ensemble's music has been released under labels such as Sublime Frequencies (USA), Unrock (Germany), and Glitterbeat (Germany), and received positive reviews from publications such as Wire, The Guardian, and Uncut. Hayvanlar Alemi has most recently released the compilation 15 Golden Adventures on Shalgam Records (Turkey), which includes a selection for beginners culled from the band's releases between 2008 and 2016. Psychedelia in Times of Turbulence, on Subsound Records (Italy), is highlighted by influences of doom and drone metal. Hayvanlar Alemi records and tours mostly in a power trio form consisting of Özüm İtez on guitar, Hazar Mutgan on bass, and Işık Sarıhan on drums, occasionally joined by Gökçe Başar on second guitar.”
TWO SUPER RARE UNRELEASED DISCS FEATURING CECIL TAYLOR:
CECIL TAYLOR - Poschiavo (Black Sun Music 15046; Earth) Very rare unreleased solo piano set recorded on May 14th, 1999 in Poschiavo, Switzerland. Like many of my avant/jazz loving friends, I am a Cecil Taylor fan/addict for life. Mr. Taylor started out in the mid-to-late 1950’s playing standards, as well as Thelonious Monk covers, his music evolving into the freer terrain as he grew. He worked with Steve Lacy, John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Roswell Rudd and Denis Charles in the late fifties before hooking up with Jimmy Lyons & Sunny Murray and recording his classic ‘Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come’, which was live from 1962 and considered to be first free/jazz piano trio offering. I’ve heard Mr. Taylor live dozen times live since he played at my college in 1974 up until his last performances at the Whitney Museum Downtown in 2016 and have collected his many records. It has been a long while since we have anything new and/or unreleased from Mr. Taylor but now we get two discs at around the same time. I bought both ’Silent Tongues’ and ‘Indent’ when they were released in the mid-to-late 1970’s, both solo piano albums and both fabulous, plus I’ve heard Cecil solo live perhaps a dozen times throughout the many years. I still savor those early solo piano albums and what I can remember of those gigs. I had never heard of this disc or the Postchiavo Festival in Switzerland. What is rather strange is that our distributor tells us that this is an import label but the address on the back says it is from Tucson, Arizona, perhaps that is where it is distributed from.
This disc sports well-selected cover art by Lucio Fontana, as well as several of Mr. Taylor’s poems in the enclosed booklet. Mr. Taylor is in extremely fine form here, tossing off those wonderful fractured lines, balancing those dark low end spidery lines with those upper (right hand) cascades. There is something magical, something demanding about the way Mr. Taylor plays, he keeps shifting between several themes or lines, fragments of melodies which I recognize from the many times I’ve heard him live or on record, along with bursts of whiplash-like frenetic exclamation points. I can hear Mr. Taylor’s unique vocal sounds in the background as he pushes himself (and us) further and further. I love when Mr. Taylor slows down to play those more fragile fragments and then quickly builds up to another frenzy of activity. For those of you who love what Mr. Taylor does, this is a most rewarding release. 54 & 1/2 minutes long and a masterwork by an incredible fallen hero who passed away in April of 2018. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CECIL TAYLOR & TONY OXLEY - Conversation with Tony Oxley (JazzWerkStatt 420480; Germany) “Cecil Taylor said that Oxley‘s playing excited him like no drummer since Sunny Murray, perhaps even more so. His shift to a more European sound first became evident in his choice of Oxley as his drummer for the Feel Trio. In the late 80s and early 90s he became Taylor’s preferred drummer and - after a break - this continued until his death. They performed in Taylor’s last official recording Ailanthus / Altissima: Bilateral Dimensions Of 2 Root Songs , and when he toured Europe, it was often with Oxley as a duo (I saw them twice, in Moers in 2008 and in Neuburg/Donau in 2011). This album was recorded at the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic in February, 2008.
Taylor was attracted to Oxley’s playing because of his unique sound, centered on a selection of different cymbals. His more fine-grained approach combined with Taylor’s supersonic technique resembles a musical shower of shooting stars. Oxley uses a highly original drum set consisting of regular (but higher pitched) drums and cymbals to create “intricate soundscapes” giving the music more of a vertical than horizontal sound. Taylor’s choice of Oxley also tells us much about Taylor’s musical philosophy since 1988. Oxley’s aesthetic is based more on modernist classical timbres than Sunny Murray’s, whose style is - in spite of his free approach - still rooted in a jazz tradition. Oxley’s background puts him closer to the percussive works of Edgar Varèse, particularly with his complex and imaginative micro-divisions. Taylor’s playing has almost always had a strict on-the-spot, definite, forward-looking phrasing, and by choosing Oxley he became the connection between modern jazz/blues and European classical traditions.
All this can be heard on Conversations with Tony Oxley. Again, Taylor uses small riffs which he reconstructs and expands, processed in his runs and shifting them to different registers. In the second part of the piece there are many staccato chords, again the basis for the development of certain riffs, but now more aggressive, and as they escalate the typical clusters come into play. Taylor needs some time before he reaches full intensity but as soon as he’s there he’s able to keep the improvisation at an incredible level. Yet there’s also a softness, a more romantic side to his playing that became more pronounced since playing with Oxley, especially towards the end of his life. On this album Oxley foils Taylor’s runs and staccato chords with short drum rolls, but when it comes to dynamics he follows the pianist’s guidelines. Oxley dances around Taylor’s clusters tenderly and puts them even more to the center, cutting through them at once. Especially in the more intense parts of the piece, Oxley uses his whole lower array of plastic, woodblocks, mutant cowbells, little bongos, the snare drum and the hi-pitched toms, creating a metallic mist and symphony of crispy clicking, a poetic and subtle means of communication. As to volume, Oxley is a more subdued drummer when he plays with Taylor (unlike Murray), but his timing is excellent, knowing when to set priorities without pushing himself to the fore. In this performance as elsewhere they are complimentary, which is why their cooperation worked over so many years. Their music is about the exchange of cultural experiences and the sensitivity of sound – different musical languages, but mutually inspiring. Oxley often anticipates what Taylor plans (particularly as to dynamics) and is able to react immediately. Kaja Draksler has noted that Taylor’s “sensibility in terms of dynamics is an important aspect of his playing. By using its extremes within a split second, he is creating rhythmic illusions and simultaneously unfolding a vast color palette”. No other drummer except Tony Oxley was able to match that range in such a sympathetic way.” - Martin Schray, FreeJazzBlog
THE METERS - Gettin’ Funkier All the Time - The Complete Josie/Reprise & Warner Recordings 1968-1977 (SoulMusic Records 9089006; USA) Six CD set. Among the most sampled groups of the '60s and '70s by a slew of top rap and hip-hop artists of the '90s and beyond, the legendary New Orleans band and Grammy Lifetime Achievement awardees The Meters created an instantly recognizable sound through almost a decade of recording, initially for the Josie label and then for Reprise and Warner Brothers. Group members guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr., drummer Joseph 'Zigaboo' Modeliste and keyboardist/singer Art Neville formed the core of the band, later augmented by Art's younger brother, percussionist/singer Cyril who joined The Meters in 1975. This wonderful 116-track, 6-CD SoulMusic Records' box set showcases The Meters' entire recorded output for Josie Records (1968-1971), Reprise and Warner Brothers (1972-77). In addition to their eight full albums, this luxurious package (with a 40-page booklet) includes non-album singles, bonus material, single edits and a rare 1977 mix of 'Disco Is The Thing Today', available for the first time on CD.
6 CD Set $40
MERLE TRAVIS - The Singles Collection 1946-56 (Acrobat 9096; UK) Merle Travis was a significant personality and influential country music stylist as a singer, songwriter, and notably as a guitarist, to the extent that he had an instrumental technique named after him, called "Travis picking", which many musicians who came after him sought to emulate, not least among them Chet Atkins. His music was rooted in his home state of Kentucky, with the lives of its inhabitants, most notably the mining community, providing him with a rich source of material for his songs - hits like "Sixteen Tons" and "Dark As The Dungeon" reflected those origins, providing hits for other artists as well as himself. He recorded a few sessions for different labels before he began recording for Capitol in 1946, and was with the company until the end of the 1960s. This excellent-value 84-track 3-CD set comprises a significant proportion of his A and B sides for Capitol during the initial decade or so of his time with the label, which represents the core of his career as a chart artist, during which time he had all but one of his country chart entries, and all of his Top 20 hits. The recordings cover the gamut of country styles, showcasing his talents as singer, writer and guitarist, and the set naturally includes his No. 1s "Divorce Me C.O.D." and "So Round, So Firm, So Fully-Packed" , plus his other Top 5 hits "Cincinnati Lou", "No Vacancy", "Fat Gal", "Missouri", "Steel Guitar Rag", "Three Times Seven" and "Merle's Boogie Woogie". It's a substantial showcase for one of modern country music's true pioneers
3 CD Set $20
EDITH PIAF - Ein Leben in Chansons (One Life For The Chanson)(Delta 10108; Germany) A great selection of the 18 essential recordings of France's national chanteuse and one of the country's most widely known international star. Edith Piaf (born Édith Giovanna Gassion, December 19th, 1915 -- October 10th, 1963) was the French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, and film actress noted as France's national chanteuse and one of the country's most widely known international stars. The music of Edith Piaf was often autobiographical and she has specialized in chanson and torch ballads about love, loss, and sorrow. Her most widely known songs include "La Vie en rose" (1946), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "La Foule" (1957), "L'Accordéoniste" (1940), and "Padam, padam..." (1951). Since her death in 1963, several biographies and films have studied her life, including 2007's Academy Award-winning La Vie en rose -- Piaf has become one of the most celebrated performers of the 20th century.
KASSEL JAEGER / JIM O'ROURKE - In Cobalt Aura Sleeps (Editions Mego 272; Austria) Second outing from Kassel Jaeger and Jim O'Rourke following the release of Wakes on Cerulean on Editions Mego in 2017 (EMEGO 223LP). Covering a vast terrain with delicacy and poise this new release unveils a spectral showcase for all manner of deep abstraction. The first side positions itself somewhere between stoned komische synth and more nuanced electroacoustic tactics, all weighted by a melancholic undertow. The second side builds on the tension of the former as an undulating drone teases all variety of matter to rise and fall amongst the foreign space it inhabits. The effect creates an enormous sense of deep space before subsiding into a smaller more anxious flickering world. All manner of machines fold into play; digital machines, industrial and analog machines. The seemingly random yet ordered nature of events is reminiscent of the behavior of the natural world providing this machine driven release with a convincing organic feel. Whether invoking mirrors, distant galaxies, or a pond of frogs, it is a delightful challenge to focus and locate what is nature and what is nurture. To play this loud is to immerse oneself in a fascinating journey which carries the listener through an array of dizzying emotional states.”
AKI ONDA - Nam June's Spirit Was Speaking To Me (Recital 073; USA) “Recital label head Sean McCann on the record (2020): "A spellbinding tribute from one multi-faceted artist to another. New York-based artist Aki Onda (b. 1967) conjured a transduction to the Korean multi-media pioneer Nam June Paik (1932-2006). Aki himself describes the project: 'Nam June's Spirit Was Speaking To Me occurred purely by chance. In 2010, I was spending four days at Nam June Paik Art Center in South Korea for a series of performances and had plenty of free time to wander . . . I have always felt a close kinship with him as an artist, and so it was a great opportunity to immerse myself in his works and ephemera. It was that night I made the first contact, via a hand-held radio in a hotel room in Seoul . . . Scanning through the stations, I stumbled upon what sounded like a submerged voice and I began to record it in fascination. I concluded this was Paik's spirit reaching out to me. The project continued to grow organically as I kept channeling Paik's spirit over long distance and receiving cryptic broadcasts/messages. The series of séances, conducted in different cities across the globe, began in Seoul in 2010, and continued in Köln, Germany in 2012, Wrocław, Poland in 2013, and Lewisburg, USA in 2014. The original recordings were captured by the same radio which has a tape recorder, with almost no editing, save for some minimal slicing and mastering. Paik is known for his association with shamanism, a practice that constantly surfaces in his works all through his career. In an interview, he stated 'In Korea, diverse forms of shamanism are strongly remained. Even though I have created my work unconsciously, the most inspiring thing in my work came from Korean female shaman Mudang.' . . . These recordings also became a way for me to explore the mythic form of radio -- a medium which is full of mysteries. The transmissions captured may be 'secret broadcasts' on anonymous radio stations. There are in fact hundreds of those stations around the world, although the numbers dwindle as clandestine messages can now be sent via encrypted digital channels...' Nam June's Spirit is a beautifully formed homage, I cannot think of any other like it. An intimate, flickering language discovered through the air." Includes 20-page art booklet including rare photographs of Nam June Paik from the set of Michael Snow's film Rameau's Nephew (1974), two essays on radio-wave phenomenon (by Onda and Marcus Gammel), and a remembrance of Paik by Yuji Agematsu. Edition of 250.
NAUJAWANAN BAIDAR - Volume 1 & 2 (Feeding Tube Records / Cardinal Fuzz 527; USA) “Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records release Naujawanana Baidar's Volume 1 & 2 as a double-LP vinyl. Naujawanan Baidar (Farsi for Enlightened Youth) is the project of artist and musician N.R. Safi (The Myrrors). With roots in the now-endangered sounds of 1960s-80s Afghan cassette culture, Naujawanan Baidar filters the traditional music of Safi's paternal heritage through a labyrinth of buzzing drones, tape manipulation, and fuzz-drenched percussion, warping both traditional and popular forms into a tangled mass of tape-saturated noise inspired by the very medium that once carried them. Traditional folk instruments (both acoustic and home-amplified) like the rubab, armonia, sorna, and tabla, twist and melt into blown-out electrical storms, proving that one does not necessarily need guitars or any other standard western instrumentation to channel the trance-like energy of rock and roll. Although the end results may sound far removed from the original artists that helped inspire them (legendary performers like Ahmad Zahir, Beltoon and Hamidullah, or Salma Jahani) there is something to be said for this "new" or "imagined" form of contemporary Afghan experimental music. Had the dusty backstreets of pre-war Kabul birthed an experimental music scene paralleling German's krautrock movement, one can imagine that the results might have sounded a little something like this. These tracks were cut over the course of 2017 to 2019 as a sort of sonic notebook, documenting the evolution of the project as it first took shape. Though the majority were originally conceived of as nothing more than demos or impressionistic sketches, the spontaneous and ramshackle approach of the tapes was eventually deemed more than befitting the spirit of the project. Naujawanan Baidar both reaffirms its ties to a relatively hidden (to outside eyes at least) cultural history while at the same time pushing outwards into new and unexplored territories. Originally released via Radio Khiyaban on cassette (the packaging and artwork on both cassette releases was a direct homage to 1970s Afghan tape design).”
2 LP Set $32
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 month 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:
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
who runs the New York Noise website and helps to promote creative music from hundreds of different musicians! At the beginning of April, Jessica convinced me not to go to the store and stay at home & work from there/here. Thanks to Jessica, Frank Meadows and Charmaine Lee, I have taken their advice seriously and I remain safe and alive (at home) while the store continues to do mail-order. Thanks Jessica, I do appreciate your tough love, this is what it takes sometimes to get the elder folks to break with their usual routine or habits and think more clearly about life.
This is from Jessica Hallock, please do check it out, there is so much to explore here and I know some of you are bored and need some inspiration/distraction:
Livestreams are obviously no replacement for live shows, but they're all the community we have right now––so experimental music calendar NYC-Noise.com now provides links to livestreams (with artist / curator donation info); a roundup of local musicians' releases; COVID-19-related resources, including links to grants, petitions, & a local venue donation list; & an Instagram account (@NYC_Noise) promoting artists and releases. Please let me know about your livestreams &/or new records at www.nyc-noise.com/submit.
From INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY:
Every Week for the entirety of this pandemic/lockdown INGRID LAUBROCK & TIM RAINEY have been posting a new duo offering. I have listened to every one of these as they were sent out and am much impressed by the way this duo continues to evolve and work their way through many ideas. You can check out each one here:
This is from good friend DON WHITE from Texas and who goes to the FIMAV Fest every year:
Two Live Sets with Experimental Guitarist SANDY EWEN:
They Who Sound Special Delivery - Sandy Ewen, Houston, TX, 5/30/20:
Etched In The Eye with Sandy Ewen - Guitar, Objects, Danny Kamins - Alto and Baritone Saxes & Robert Pearson - Keyboards
Space HL, Houston, TX, 12/19/19: https://youtu.be/zO19zhPrQhI
STREAMING SESSIONS FROM THE EARLY GROUP:
JON ROSE / ROBERTO ZORZI / ROGER TURNER / ANDREA CENTAZZO / GERRY HEMINGWAY / ARTURO STALTERI!
A friend of mine named Mauro Stocco from Italy is co-producing a series of streaming sessions by the following musicians:
12th JON ROSE www.facebook.com/events/1520424481459326
19th ROBERTO ZORZI - DANILO GALLO
26th ROGER TURNER
03rd ANDREA CENTAZZO
10th ALVIN CURRAN
17th ARTURO STALTERI
24th GERRY HEMINGWAY
The EARLY GROUP is proud to present two unissued videos by Jon Rose, recorded specifically for this event. Due to some unavoidable bandwidth issues affecting the transmission from Australia, the videos were pre-recorded and will be streamed, instead of the live performance originally conceived.
The event will be broadcasted at two distinct times (8.30 pm for USA/Europe and 8.30 pm for Australia), to allow the audiences to follow at an acceptable daytime.
All the proceeds from this streaming session will go to the Artist. We look forward to meeting you!
Links to the Jon Rose sites:
This is from Kevin Reilly at Relative Pitch Records:
JAMES BRANDON LEWIS Live at The Spectrum, In Brooklyn:
Support your favorite artists on Friday through bandcamp.
They are waiving their revenue share.
TJG ONLINE PRESENTS
LIVE FROM THE JAZZ GALLERY ARCHIVAL PERFORMANCES
This new series Live From The Jazz Gallery is where we will be posting videos & audio from past live shows. The donations received from each show will be shared directly with each artist, another way to show support for our musicians during this period of drastic loss of income.
Check this out: https://www.youtube.com
THOMAS SAYERS ELLIS is the leader of the great Poetry/Music/Confrontation Band HEROES ARE GANG LEADERS a/k/a HAGL.
HAGL has a website that you should check out at: www.heroesaregangleaders.com
for the latest intersection of music-minded words and word-minded music and while you are there also check out The Lokotown Reverb where classic overlooked Oral Literature, Studio Recordings and Live Performances are given a fresh look!
GIANTHOLOGY is a forum for writing not whining, aesthetics not agenda, ideas not issues, vision not victimhood, GIANTHOLOGY is edited by the members of Heroes Are Gang Leaders.
Send 2 to 4 unpublished works to HeroesAreGangLeaders@gmail.com.
Lokotown Reverb #8 / Bob Holman's In With The Out Crowd / Reverbed by Xavier Cavazos
The RUBIN MUSEUM Daily Offering:
Check it out at: https://www.instagram.com/rubinmuseum/channel/?mc_cid=0176fb37a6&mc_eid=39c235b0f4
Over the past few weeks, uncertainty has become a prominent part of everyday life. Although the unknown can be unsettling, we can find inspiration in the ways performing artists tap into impermanence to fuel their creativity.
ROULETTE AT HOME:
Music on the Rebound presents a Live Stream Mini-Marathon: Claire Chase plays works and commissions by Steve Reich, Mario Diaz de Leon, Felipe Lara, Du Yun, Dai Fujikura, Pauline Oliveros, Phyllis Chen, Pamela Z, and more
ANAIS MAVIEL: https://vimeo.com/343494136
MEREDITH MONK: https://vimeo.com/325756188
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
We at NATIONAL SAWDUST
are thrilled to announce the launch of the Live@NationalSawdust Digital Discovery Festival, a weekly program of free live performances, interviews, and artist development.
Check it out at: https://live.nationalsawdust.org/?mc_cid=92234165f2&mc_eid=12e3f9406e
From BOB DOWNES, amazing UK flutist, currently living in Germany:
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. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836