DMG is an Antidote to Fake News and Alternative Facts (a/k/a Lies)
Check Out Our Weeks Worth of Musical and Other Sonic Delights from These Folks:
Elliott Sharp / Mary Halvoson Marc Ribot! Peter Evans / Christian Lillinger / Petter Eldh / Wanja Slavin! The Ben Goldberg School! Brian ENO’s Reflection! Louis Sclavis / Dominique Pifarely / Vincent Coutois! Myk Freedman / Patrick Breiner / Kenny Warren!
Happening with Thollem McDonas! Debo Band! Qwanqwa! The Runcible Quintet: Neil Metcalfe/John Edwards! Paolo Bacchetta / Piero Bittolo Bon! Plus Archival Discs from Arthur Lee & Love! Arthur Blythe 4 Essential Albums = 2 CDs! Joe Harriott & Co.! Bob Downes With John Stevens! Cluster! Trad, Gras,Och Stenar! More and More!
The FREE DMG Weekly New Music In-Store Series Continues on Sundays with:
Sunday, May 14th:
6pm: BEAKER: ALEC HARPER & TYLER GILMORE - Tenor Sax & Electronics
7pm: SIWEI GONG - Solo Pipa (Just added to schedule)
The Legend of Downtown Music Gallery on film! DMG turns 26 years, this month! Check out our history/documentray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MAbS09Cv8M
THE DMG 26TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES OF SONIC CELEBRATIONS Continue with:
Sunday, June 4th at Downtown Music Gallery:
6pm: THOMAS HELTON / JAIMIE BRANCH / MICHAEL EVANS!
7pm: KALABALIK Returns: RAOUL BJORKENHEIM / ANDERS NILSSON / GERALD CLEAVER!
Monday, June 5th at ZURCHER GALLERY (33 Bleecker St, east of Lafayette)
7pm: Debut Gig: RAOUL BJORKENHEIM / JOE FONDA / GERALD CLEAVER New TRIO!
Monday, June 19th at THE STONE:
Bruce’s Birthday Celebration & Concert of Spiritual Jazz!
7pm: UNBROKEN: LOUIE BELOGENIS / SHANIR BLUMENKRANZ / KENNY WOLLESON!
8:30: FRANKLIN KIERMYER QUARTET Featuring:
JOVAN ALEXANDRE - Tenor Sax / DAVIS WHITFIELD - Piano / OTTO GARDNER - Bass!
July, 2017 is the 50th Anniversary of the Passing of John Coltrane - We Embrace his Spirit!
Saturday, July 15th at DMG: Super Rare Solo Performance by:
6pm: HENRY KAISER - Solo Electric Guitar!
DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a former Buddhist temple & beauty salon. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Cosy
Two Great New Discs from Intakt, Due in Stock Shortly!
ELLIOTT SHARP / MARY HALVORSON and MARC RIBOT - ERR Guitar (Itakt 281; Switzerland) “Last summer in Elliott Sharp's recording studio in Manhattan, New York guitarist Sharp spent a day with guitar colleague Mary Halvorson and another with Marc Ribot, legendary guitarist of Tom Waits, The Lounge Lizards and Marianne Faithful. The result was a series of recordings that could only be created by friends. They represent the great art of guitar playing by three exceptional musicians looking for new sonic adventures in search of the sound of our time. "I hear in their playing both a step into an unknown future and wild growth from a deep past," says Elliott Sharp. "The contradiction is resolved in improvisation - the transcendent sonic path of the now."
PETER EVANS / CHRISTIAN LILLINGER / PETTER ELDH / WANJA SLAVIN - Amok Amor - We Know Not What We Do (Intakt 279; Switzerland) “You are gonna love this quartet", writes American journalist Kevin Whitehead. "This quartet was preceded by the Starlight trio of the Berlin players Christian Lillinger, Petter Eldh and Wanja Slavin, but Peter Evans is obviously a full partner in a new band. He brought some prime material, and shows uncanny range. His improvising is airy and abstract, tuneful, and tinged with the blues. His lines and Slavin's can be disarmingly lovely; the blend is bright and fizzy.
The rhythm section is earth to their air: the nutty precision of abstract beat music echoes in Eldh's eloquent stutters and way of covering highs and lows in a single line, and in Lillinger's clarity at high speed; his sticks on snare can sound like dried peas poured on a metal sheet, every stroke distinct. Yeah, they're all great, but this music is about how they come together, showing creative tradition some crazy love: amour run amok.” - Kevin Whitehead, Liner notes
BEN GOLDBERG SCHOOL With KASEY KNUDSEN / JEFF CRESSMAN / ROB REICH / DAVID EWELL / HAMIR ATWAL - Vol. 1: The Humanities (BAG 012; USA) The Ben Goldberg School features Ben on clarinet & most compositions, Kaset Knudsen on alto sax, Jeff Cressman on trombone, Bob Reich on accordion, David Ewell on bass and Hamir Atwal on drums. Slowly but surely West Coast clarinet hero, Ben Goldberg has been dropping new discs from his modest BAG label and leaving us with a dozen gems to savor. Besides collaborating with heavy hitters like Myra Melford, Nels Cline and Carla Kihlstedt, Mr. Goldberg has long tapped into a thriving Bay Area scene which is constantly growing with new and under-recognized musicians popping up all the time. With a title like ‘Vol. 1 - The Humanities’, it sounds as if Goldberg has organized a school of his own and hence this is what he has called his new sextet. A few of these names sounded vaguely familiar to me so I checked it the DMG database to find where these folks’ names had appeared before: Jeff Cressman (for Peter Apfelbaum), Rob Reich (Darren Johnston & forTin Hat) and Hamir Atwal (Mike Sopko & Invisible Guy with Goldberg).
‘The Humanities’ begins with a side-long (17 minutes) chamber piece called, “Time is the New Space”, a long, lovely, warm work with a sublime solos from Cressman’s trombone and Mr. Atwal’s drums. What I dig most is the tasty harmonies for the clarinet, alto sax, trombone and accordion. It sounds as if Goldberg took the circular, playful lines of Dixieland and modernized them without ever going too far out. Each member of the sextet gets a chance to solo and each solo is a modest gem, laid back yet still absorbing. The one cover here is an old country tune by Merle Travis, called “Nine Pound Hammer”, which I know from an old Merle Travis cover comp that I loved from the Shanachie label. The sextet does a charming version that doesn’t quite sound like country music at all. Mr. Goldberg’s marvelous clarinet is often in the center of the lush frontline, playing with a tart, bittersweet tone which is most distinctive. Today (5/10/17) feels like the first real day of Spring, since is sunny & cool. The music here has a similar sunny yet cool and uplifting quality. Like Dixieland, Goldberg keeps things interesting by having two or three members of the sextet soloing together at times, their circular lines like several spinning orbits somehow connected. Although this music is often calm at the center, there are some rich and inspired sections where the arrangements and playing shift into unexpected area and then are resolved thoughtfully. Grace under pressure, perhaps? Another gift from the BAG catalogue. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BRIAN ENO - Reflection (Warp 280; UK) “Reflecting is an act of selfishness done for the benefit of others. Why look back on the past with an intent to understand it if there isn’t a desire to use that uncovered truth to impact others more positively in the future? We reflect to understand, yet what’s learned in the process can only be savored by the grueling process of tracking how we got there. Because of that, reflection is a singular act, something only the person doing it can benefit from in full, but if used correctly, our reflections help the world at large.
On his 19th studio album, Brian Eno tackles that by chasing time at large. Reflection is his latest ambient experiment to shine the sophistication built into the genre. For Eno, ambient music is about creating the endless, about writing songs with an eternal coda. The 54-minute singular piece that is Reflection chases this, of course, in written conception, but also through its physical release. The album is available on CD, vinyl, and streaming platforms like most are. It’s also available on an app Eno created in tandem with iOS and Apple TV that allows the music to change endlessly, breaking the written form and drawing closer to that goal of endlessness via ambience than ever before.
In sound, the single-track release capitalizes on instruments that toy with time. A single note on the chimes will ring for what feels like forever. Another electronic pad is tapped, bouncing around until it rolls quietly to a stop. The waves go on forever, each getting its time in the spotlight upon initial appearance but then merging with the rest, a type of communal peace through a desire to rest or, dare we say, reflect. Eno achieves this by patterning several sonic materials and filtering them through algorithms to vary their relationships, encouraging permutations that feed into a single stream. Then, he listens. And he listens again. Eno changes notes here and there, but he waits until the music finds a wholeness, a type of bone-cracking stretch that never quite stops.
Reflection is admirable in the proximity in which it approaches its goal. In the end, reflections only hold worth to those who can see themselves in their image. Reflection is the type of ambient music that is both accessible and deeply difficult to understand. To some extent, Eno has mastered that balance over the years with his ambient installation albums. This record sees him reach for a broadness that encompasses every listener: the elder with a wrinkled forehead from stress despite entering retirement, a teacher who prefers grading papers at midnight to teaching classes at noon, a preteen boy encircled in peach-flavored vape smoke laying in the park. Eno created another landscape that allows listeners to question how they fit inside its scope — and since this one is nearly endless, more listeners than ever before can walk in Eno’s footsteps.
That’s not true of all minimalism. Naturally, a genre of soothing notes and layered hums is easy to fall into. Eno does that here, but his movements, on occasion, bleed together in a way that allows a listener to forget what they were staring at. For most of the record, that works to its benefit. Getting lost helps you connect feelings that otherwise stand on their own. Like any good Eno record, this allows you to feel consumed, wrapped tightly in a blanket, left to cozy up inside yourself since the world has already decided to cozy up outside of you. Sometimes you forget what you were examining, which is an added feeling of loss many never seek, but the record’s highs make up for that.
Once again, Eno reminds listeners to experience in their own way, on their own time, to their own image. The music takes shape as a lazy river, half an hour after workers turned off its water guns and tipping buckets, a few towels left at the amusement park’s edge to soften the sound. The water is still, but technically moving. Occasional water droplets fall from the edge of the plastic faucets. A breeze blows between the handles on the plastic float. Listeners are free to stare at what they choose as the music tugs them along, but Eno determines the pace and mindset in which they do so. We may not see it from his point of view, but that’s for the better. On Reflection, Brian Eno chases the endlessness of thought through music and comes to terms with that same endlessness simultaneously — and by doing so, he allows listeners to do the same.” - Nina Corcoran, ConsequenceofSound
LOUIS SCLAVIS / DOMINIQUE PIFARELY / VINCENT COURTOIS - Asian Field Variations (ECM 2504; Germany) Asian Fields Variation marks the first time that clarinetist Louis Sclavis, violinist Dominique Pifarély and cellist Vincent Courtois have recorded as a trio. Sclavis summoned the project into existence, but this is a democratic group of creative equals: “I proposed that we make a real collective, and each of us composes for the programme.” For a ‘new’ group, it has a lot of pre-history: Sclavis and Pifarély have played together in diverse contexts for 35 years, Sclavis and Courtois for 20 years, but they retain the capacity to surprise each other as improvisers. “We’re drawing also on a lot of different playing experiences, and we’re continually bringing new things to the project. We keep going deeper.” The album was recorded at Studios La Buissonne in Pernes-les-Fontaines last September, with Manfred Eicher as producer, and it is issued on the eve of a major French tour. International festival dates follow in summer 2017.
MYK FREEDMAN With PATRICK BREINER / KENNY WARREN / JASON VANCE / ADAM HOPKINS / CARLO COSTA - And the MykFreedmans (Happy Lucky No. 1; USA) Featuring Myk Freedman on lap steel & compositions, Patrick Breiner on tenor sax & clarinet, Kenny Warren on trumpet, Jason Vance on banjo, Adam Hopkins on bass and Carlo Costa on drums. Lap steel guitar is a relatively rare instrument, which can be found on the occasional roots/folk/rock session, but almost never on a Downtown or other jazz session. I can recall just Nels Cline and Dave Schramm (from Yo La Tengo) playing lap steel once in a great while. Myk Freedman is the leader of this sextet and once had a duo CD with Alan Sondheim, another relatively obscure musician who once recorded for ESP. Mr. Freedman plays just lap steel here and has organized a fine sextet with a few Downtowners, some of which with small but not unknown resumes. Perhaps the best known here is Patrick Breiner, who is a member of the Battle Trance quartet and has recorded with Will McEvoy. Both Kenny Warren (for Nashaz, Nook & Ben Stapp) and Carlo Costa lead their own bands.
The opening song, “At Whom the F*ck are you Looking At?”, has a rather charming, klezmer-like melody with clarinet leading the band, although Mr. Freedman does take a great, twisted lap steel solo. Even on laid back songs like, “Clock Watchers”, Freedman takes a fine rather twisted solo which seems to come from another weird planet. “Junkshop Virginia” sounds like a late night, bluesy dirge, sort of New Orleans style with sly, fuzzy psych guitar, greasy tenor sax and salvation army style trumpet. There is something down home going on here, with Mr. Freedman’s lap steel reaching out from the more normal sounding confines of the rest of the music and adding his own subtle yet peppery spice. “Pretty Ugly”, which is also the name of a song by Thelonious Monk, has a most memorable melody that recalls one of those songs I used to sing in Hebrew School as a kid. The overall mood of this disc is more relaxed and laid-back, which seems odd when Mr. Freedman’s takes one of those bent-note solos, yet it all remains connected no matter what. Although Patrick Breiner ( tenor sax & clarinet) and Kenny Warren (trumpet) do take some swell but somber solos, it is worth the price of admission to marvel at the bizarre, inspired lap steel solos from leader Myk Freeman. I predict even better results next time. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HAPPENING With THOLLEM McDONAS / ED PETTERSEN / JEFF LEDERER / PETE ABBOTT COOPER-MOORE / WALTER EGAN / FREEDY JOHNSTON / MARY GAUTHIER / FAY VICTOR/ et al - A Movement in 12 Acts (ESP-Disk 5012; USA) Featuring music performed by: Thollem McDonas on piano, Ed Pettersen on guitar & effects, Jeff Lederer on tenor sax and Peter Abbott on drums. The long list of singers include: Freedy Johnston, Mary Gauthier, Fay Victor, Walter Egan, Suzy Bogguss, Cooper-Moore, etc. Considering that the legendary ESP (Disk) label passed the 50 year mark, in 2014, they have long championed the avant-garde/experimental side of music, long before any other labels devoted themselves exclusively to weird music of all sorts. Their founding father, Bernard Stollman, passed away last year, but they have continued to find and promote music and sounds that so few know anything about. So, it should come as no surprise,that this disc features 12 different vocalists from varied backgrounds (pop, jazz, rock & folk), singing words of protest. The libretto was written by Ed Pettersen and the music by Thollem McDonas. Guitarist Ed Pettersen organized the Guiseppi Logan Project a few years ago while Thollem McDonas is known for being one of the furtherest out and most original pianists on the current scene.
Each of the twelve acts or movements featured a different vocalist, some known and some little known. The music here is stripped down, just piano, guitar, sax and drums with a featured singer. Each act or song, tells another sad story, often describing what has happened the common folk of the US after our recession in 2008 & 2009. Each vocalist seems most appropriate for the words they sing, the stories they tell. Some sing wile others do spoken words. On the piece, “The Politician”, Mr. McDonas’ voice is sped up and slowed down while spewing the usual insincere words of many political figures. The music is often stripped down bare essentials, free and bluesy in parts, creating a stark thoughtful view of the world we are still living in. The words here are sobering, well selected, thoughtful without any hysterics or left/right agenda. Since every act has a different vocalist, it is the words which unite the spirit here. Each act illustrates different parts of local world: the shrinking middle class, the Occupy Movement, homeless folks, protest and resolution. Although some of this is bleak (like real life), there is a certain strength, spirit in the center which brings us together to try and fight for what we think is right. Compared to what is going on right now in the US, there is still some hope for better days once we unite against the religion of greed. This captures a certain era (not that long ago) all-too-well. A toast to better times, let’s find a way to get there again and not give to fear and the lack of hope. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
QWANQWA - Volume Two (FPE; USA) Qwanqwa “takes traditional music and rocks it up a bit” (Byron Coley, The Wire) and “for sure is an incredible experimental traditional Ethiopian rock group that deserves to be played in every living room, at every party and on every radio station from Gondar to Santa Cruz.” (Addis Rumble blog). If you’ve heard the golden age of Ethiopian pop as immortalized by the Ethiopiques series some more recent releases on Mississippi records, and wondered why no one was rocking like that in the now – you can stop wondering. They’re doing it. You just didn’t get to hear it yet. Qwanqwa bridges generations and continents, making a huge sound that you can only hear if you’re here, right now.
Groovy and familiar, yet stimulating and heady, the tunes swim through your aural consciousness, providing equal parts enjoyment and confoundment. Qwanqwa vibes with appreciators all types, be it indie blog-followers, jazz enthusiasts, afrobeaters, music theory heads, hippies, or coffee drinkers reading the New York Times.
Inter-generational and inter-continental, Qwanqwa consists of Ethiopian musicians Mesele Asmamaw (electric krar), Dawit Seyoum (electric bass krar), and Samson Sendekou (percussion), and American violinist Kaethe Hostetter (also of Boston-based Ethio-funk band Debo Band), who formed Qwanqwa after moving to Addis Ababa in 2012 to fully immerse herself in the ocean that is Ethiopian music. Volume Two is their second album, recorded at Langano Studios in Addis Ababa in 2014.”
DEBO BAND - Ere Gobez (FPE Records 13; USA) “The Ethiopian 11-piece band's sophomore effort is a big, brave roar of an album, reaching and surpassing the heights of their excellent 2012 self-titled debut. The struggle to pronounce some of the more difficult Amharic consonants and constructions—difficult for English speakers—will often meet with an encouraging exclamation of “gobez”! Translations for the word range from smart to brave to courageous to talented to witty. Debo Band’s saxophonist, leader and ethnomusicologist Danny Mekonnen translates the phrase “Ere gobez” as a “call of the lionhearted—it's a term used to inspire.” It’s certainly an apt label and message for the Ethiopian 11-piece band’s second album, a record the reaches and then surpasses the heights of their excellent 2012 self-titled debut.
Because not only do the varying definitions of gobez fit the range of music on this record, but the music of Debo Band is that of a big, brave roar, song after song. This is a powerful, and, perhaps, inspirational record: it certainly inspires dancing, filling spaces and capturing a dynamic live sensibility. It’s no surprise that this is a band that takes up a great deal of room. With so many members, some in Boston, some as far away as Addis Ababa (violinist Kaethe Hostetter established a String Center in the Ethiopian capital), Debo is true to its name, which means “communal labor.” The community of Debo Band includes a bold, shimmery horn section, complete with sousaphone, but also slick guitar, a tight rhythm section, orchestral strings, an accordion and, on occasion, a masinquo—a one-stringed Ethiopian fiddle. There’s a quaver in lead vocalist Bruck Tesfaye’s voice that is in keeping with Amharic-language singing style, but it is a powerfully pure energy that sits on top of each song, rising along with all the other instruments.
If you know anything about Ethiopian music and musical traditions, it’s most likely that you have a good relationship with the over two-dozen edition strong Éthiopiques series, lovingly curated by France’s Francis Falceto. The series focuses on the 1960s and ‘70s, and Debo Band certainly draws from this era, but they also pull from more recent times as well as from funk, rock and pop. Debo’s material is reinterpreted and reconsidered, pushed through a creative process that remains true to source as well as their own specific sound (7 of the 11 tracks on the album draw from previously existing works, which are well cited in the liner notes).
There is an adaptation of Somali Dur-Dur band song “Rafaad iyo aaxo” (originally performed in the mid-'80s) on “Kehulum Abliche” and Debo Band dips into Okinawa, Japan in “Hiyamikachi Bushi” (a song composed almost 60 years ago). Ere Gobez provides numerous examples how Debo Band seems to taking part in conversations that are happening in multiple spaces and places at different times. Heck, “Yalanchi” sounds almost like a smooth groove that might, just might, be in good company with some Yacht Rock luminaries.
For those unfamiliar, it’s valuable to note that the specific rhythms of songs such as “Oromo” and “Ele” draw upon the musical cultures of the Oromo and Gurage. The infectious spring of these two tracks is undeniable. It’s near impossible not to dance to, even if you aren’t familiar with the exact dance styles necessary, though it’s certainly fun to take a little YouTube trip to find out the level of skill and control involved in Oromo as well as Gurage dancing. By doing so, one can understand just how important the big sound and speed of the songs function for dancing. And it’s hard to imagine any of the band members standing still during the recording of this record. Or anyone who will listen to Ere Gobez or see Debo Band live either. Each track seems to bounce around the room, pulling the listener along with it.” - Erin MacLeod, Pitchfork
More Recent Discs from FMR to Savor:
THE RUNCIBLE QUINTET with NEIL METCALFE / ADRIAN NORTHOVER / DANIEL THOMPSON / JOHN EDWARDS / MARCELLO MAGLIOCCHI - Five (FMR 437; UK) The Runcible Quintet features Daniel Thompson on acoustic guitar, Neil Metcalfe on flute, Adrian Northover on soprano sax, John Edwards on double bass and Marcello Magliocchi on drums. I recognize most of the members of the Runcible Quintet from previous sessions like: Neil Metcalfe (for Paul Dunmall, Olie Brice & SME), Daniel Thompson (Alex Ward, Francois Carrier & Michel Lambert) and Jphn Edwards from way too many sessions (100 ) to name here: Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill & Decoy). It turns out that drummer Marcello Magliocchi can be found on at least a half dozen discs from: William Parker, Joelle Leandre and Steve Potts. Even Adrian Northover can be found with the Remote Viewers and DHA. This is a marvelous mixed quintet with folks older and younger, all seasoned improvisers with varied backgrounds. This was recorded at Iklectic, a studio recording from the way it sounds, superbly balanced and close mic’d. All instruments are acoustic and the blend is quite right. From insect music to UK free improv, both inside and outside of the tradition established by the founders of SME and Company. The flute and soprano sax often move in similar ways, notes carefully bent together and around one another. When the quintet finally hit their stride, the energy erupts in spurts which are focused and intense and then calming down to a more hypnotic dream-like state. Another jewel from the FMR gault. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMGS
PEDRA CONTIDA - Amethyst (FMR 445; UK) Featuring Angelica V. Salvi on harp, Miguel Carvalhais on computer, Nuno Torres on alto sax, Marcelos dos Reis on electric guitar and Joao Pais Filipe on drums & percussion. This disc was recorded live at a restaurant/space called Salao Brazil in Coimbra, Portugal. Thanks to labels like Clean Feed, Creative Sources, Leo and FMR, there is a never-ending cast of creative musicians from all over to discover if you have the time and money. Guitarist Marcelo dos Reis is the one name I know previously from his recordings with Open Field with Burton Greene and Theo Ceccaldi. The instrumentation here (harp, computer, alto sax, el. guitar & percussion) intrigued me from the gitgo, but it turned out even better than I imagined. Starting with angelic acoustic harp, ultra-subtle electronics, hushed sax and minimal eerie percussion (bowed cymbals?). By thew second track, “Chalk”, things kick into high gear: tight, focused, intense, building quickly as the pulse quickens and then slowly winding down, the energy flowing like a large canoe with five men with riding the rapids together. Each of the five pieces unfold organically and take their time to expand and soar. I dig when thing calm down to a subtle, spacious, soft resonating calm on the last track, a great way to bring our journey to a gracious landing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PAOLO BACCHETTA With PIERO BITTOLO BON / GIACOMO PAPETTI / NELIDE BANDELLO - Egon’s (Auand 9051; Italy) Featuring Paolo Bacchetta on guitar & compositions, Piero Bittolo Bon on alto sax & clarinet, Giacomo Papetti on electric bass and Nelide Bandello on drums. The Auand label has been around since 2001 and released some 60 discs so far! Although certain musicians have been regulars for Auand, new names continue show a surprising array of talents from an ever-increasing Italian jazz scene. Guitarist Paolo Bacchetta is a new name for me, although saxist Piero Bittolo Bon & drummer Bandello can both be found on a dozen discs from the El Gallo Rojo, Long Song and Auand labels. Right from the start, this music has a relaxed demeanor, subtle, elegant guitar with soft fuzz-bass counterpoint. “Canteen” sounds like a prog band laying back with some hushed, haunting guitar and bass clarinet playing exquisite harmonies. “Yellow Cape” features some fine bittersweet, pinched note alto sax, well matched by Mr. Bacchetta’s restrained yet probing guitar. The music here has its own logic and never swings, the way most jazz usually does. The title track, “Egon”, has a unique jazz/rock sort of groove which doesn’t quite sound like anyone else that I can think of. It is always great to hear well-crafted music that falls between the cracks of jazz and rock and modern classical, not sounding quite like anyone else. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Historic, Archival Recordings & Reissued Discs:
ARTHUR LEE & LOVE - Complete Forever Changes Live (Rockbeat 3355; EEC) Baby Lemonade had been performing as LOVE since 1993, once playing in a club where only three people, with one being the sound guy, showed up, so playing in the Glastonbury Festival was a very big deal...and Arthur knew it. As mercurial as Arthur Lee could be, he showed no concern in playing before 65,000-and-growing Glastonbury concert-goers, who all came to see if Arthur Lee & Love could pull off Forever Changes in a festival setting. The talent and abilities of each musician on that stage was unparalleled and Rusty, Love's musical director was the link between the amazing ensemble of Swedish string and horn players and this loud, kick ass, take-no-prisoners rock-and-roll outfit. The blend was perfect. It was Mozart meets Thin Lizzy. After a really cool introduction, and with the sun squarely in their eyes, they hit the stage and rocked the crowd with "Your Mind & We Belong Together." Somewhere in the middle of a guitar solo, one of the speakers blew, creating a noticeable drop in volume and tone. Guitarist Mike Randle simply asked the monitor dude to "Crank the guitar in my monitor!" and kept going. Arthur introduced the Stockholm Strings & Horns and they went down the line, playing every song on Forever Changes, in the order it appeared on the Album, a 36-year-old album played with the energy of a new release. By the time we'd hit the last notes of that one, the sun was setting and left this beautiful orange and red trail of clouds in its dust. At the end of the set, Arthur thanked everyone and then said, "This next song is called Seven... and Seven... and Seven...1! 2! 3! 4!" The band tore into that first A minor chord, echo fuzz bass, tremolo reverb, and machine gun snare like it was the end of the world. Arthur stepped to the microphone and spat out the words like it was the end of the world. Love came to Glastonbury with the hopes of just playing well and having a good time, but they left with so much more than that.
ARTHUR BLYTHE With JAMES BLOOD ULMER / STANLEY COWELL / ABDUL WADUD / FRED HOPKINS / STEVE McCALL / JAMES NEWTON / JACK DeJOHNETTE / et al - In the Tradition / Lenox Avenue Breakdown / Illusions / Blythe Spirit [2 CD Set](BGO 1242; UK) With the recent passing of alto sax giant Arthur Blythe, a chapter in the book about the Loft Jazz Scene has come to an end. When Mr. Blythe moved to NY in the mid-seventies, his playing was a breath of fresh air, his distinctive tone on alto sax and his powerful playing undeniable. I recall his first gigs in the loft space like Studio Rivbea, Soundscape, etc. He consistently knocked me out. After two fine albums on India Navigation and one on Adelphi, Blythe was signed to Columbia, one of the first new loft scene great to end up on a major label. This double disc comprises the first four records he did for Columbia (1978 - 1981) and each one is essential! The second one, ‘Lenox Avenue Breakdown’ was and is his masterwork and featured some burning guitar from James Blood Ulmer, as well as the awesome Cecil McBee/Jack DeJohnette rhythm team. All for albums are long out-of-print on CD so don’t hesitate to grab this gem as the BGO label has spotty distribution in the US. - BLG/DMG
2 CD Set $20
JOE HARRIOTT & CO. With TUBBY HAYES / PHIL SEAMAN / JOHNNY DANKWORTH / et al - Helter Skelter (Acrobat 4392; UK) The legend of saxophonist Joe Harriott is full of stories of isolation and disenfranchisement, received wisdom being that both his music and personality were simply a shade too incendiary to ever fit comfortably within the conventions of the day. While there is no doubt that Harriott's 1960s experiments with free-form improvisation and his ground-breaking fusions with Indian music did set him apart from his colleagues, his was not a talent easily pigeon-holed. Nor was he always as far from the establishment of British Jazz as some histories maintain. Featuring several rare sessions, this new Acrobat CD finds the great altoist in a variety of settings, including a quartet set highlighting his ballad playing in the company of future doyen of British TV and film scores, pianist Max Harris, hitherto only available on a much sought after EP; a session combining a stellar line-up of Melody Maker poll winners - again long out of print; a previously unissued guest appearance with the German Kurt Edelhagen big band and, finally, another truly all-star session under the direction of John Dankworth, which finds Harriott alongside a dazzling list of other notable British jazz leaders including Kenny Ball, Chris Barber, Sandy Brown, Tubby Hayes and Humphrey Lyttelton. Complete with period photographs - several of them never before published - and an extensive booklet essay by award winning saxophonist and author Simon Spillett, this collection is a mandatory listening for all fans of the Golden Age of British Modern Jazz.
BOB DOWNES With JOHN STEVENS / DARYL RUNSWICK / DEREK HOGG / et al - It’s a Mystery (ReR BDOM 1; UK) From solo to 65-piece wind band-Constantly engaging & inventive..a fascinating window onto a (sadly) vanished aesthetic. Bob Downes was a name you'd see everywhere in the late '60s/early '70s - always up to his neck in something interesting and experimental. Last year I tracked down a composition of his for Alphorns for the Probes series (it will be in No. 22) and a few months later he sent me an unreleased recording of his 1970 Dream Journey, a great dance composition that speaks volumes about the general musical climate of the time (it's for 3 percussionists, two flautists, saxophone, trumpet and bass). I asked if there were more and we soon shuffled this compilation together, which covers a lot of ground: from solo to 65-piece wind band, recording experiments to library music and the years 1970 to 2004. And, of course, Alphorns. Several tracks feature the legendary John Stevens, classical percussionist Derek Hogg and bassist Daryl Runswick. It's constantly engaging, inventive and a pleasure to listen to; and it's also a fascinating window onto a (sadly) vanished aesthetic.
LP Section for Those Vinyl Freaks:
CLUSTER - Konzerte 1972/1977 [LP CD](Bureau B 240LP; Germany) The two authorized recordings presented on Konzerte 1972/1977 vividly conjure up the atmosphere, perhaps even the magic, of a Cluster performance back in the day. One took place in 1977 during a science fiction festival in Metz (France). The other dates back to an earlier show in Hamburg's Fabrik venue. Cluster played three gigs in the city in 1971/1972, including the one partially included on 1972's Cluster II (LR 335LP). Cluster shows routinely lasted six hours or more, luring both the band and the audience into a state of intoxication, no doubt acutely enhanced by the intake of certain substances. The buzzwords of the moment were: psychedelic, magical, ritualistic, corresponding more or less to the Dionysian hedonism which pervades certain styles of contemporary music culture today. It is worth noting this context as useful background when listening to the live recordings presented here. In the beginning, Cluster's music was rough, brutal, and spontaneous, created with the most rudimentary tools. Unlike many of their colleagues in this pioneering age, Cluster did not use any synthesizers, sequencers, or high-end amps. But this proved to be their strength, rather than a disadvantage. Roedelius and Moebius played in the truest sense of the word, untroubled by mechanical processes. They used their machines but were not dependent on them. Intuition was the dominant force, the risk of potential failure was readily understood to be as much a part of their vibrant art as success. Perfection had become a concept associated with convention. Indeed, anyone who was lucky enough to witness Cluster play in the 1970s will testify that things sometimes went badly wrong. But mostly they did not, and then the real magic was tangible. A utopian, previously undiscovered world of sound was created in the presence of the beholder. The sound quality of these two documents is average. A successful performance was considered more important than a perfect recording thereof. As listeners, this should be accepted today. Konzerte 1972/1977 provides a short journey into the nascent heart of Cluster's creative universe, just after the big bang.
LP CD $23
TRAD, GRAS OCH STENAR - Tack For Kaffet (So Long)(Subliminal Sounds 118; Sweden) The long-awaited new album from the legendary pioneers of transcendental psychedelic rock music and DIY culture in general. Tack För Kaffet (So Long) is a tribute to the deceased band members and dearest friends Torbjörn Abelli and Thomas Mera Gartz. It becomes something of a farewell show for the old Träd, Gräs Och Stenar because all the old and new members, including founder Bo Anders, Torbjörn and Mera, and Reine Fiske (Dungen, The Amazing), are all contributing to this album. The sounds were captured on tape in their music workshop in the countryside and consists mainly of improvised moments where the sounds travels beyond time and space, something that has been TGS hallmark over the years. Perhaps there's a form of melancholy over some of the album, much depending on how cruelly and suddenly Mera and Torbjörn passed away, but also on a little lighter and crazier whim. Everything is recorded live so there are no euphemistic circumstances, rather everything is pared down, bared bone drones, sounds traveling in the magical improvised unknown with no makeup, just as life can be when the feeling has control. A manifestation of improvised timelessly organic music and free creation. Real life!
2 LP Set $30
MADRIGAL - Madrigal (Suliminal Sounds 115; Sweden) Last copies -- OFFICIAL RSD 2017 release. Subliminal Sounds present an updated reissue of a sought after psychedelic rarity, Madrigal's self-titled album, originally released in 1971. Finally, the mysteries can be dispelled and the true and amazing history of this unique record can come to light. The great, lost grail of the NYC freak underground! Trading hands for $3-4000 on the rare occasions it is offered, Madrigal has grown into a legend among fans of psychedelic drone music. Here's what the book Acid Archives (2006) has to say: "... A rather amazing do-it-yourself descent into the murkiest depths of the early 1970s underground. It's two guys sitting in what sounds like a boiler room, equipped with a drum machine, an electric guitar & bass and some oscillators, hot-wiring themselves into the lysergic flow of the now. The music drones and cavorts while incomprehensible screams and dialogue lurk in the background, as heard through a locked door. The atmosphere is as thick as in a nightmare..." But Madrigal's strongest achievement may be the seamless shift from the harrowing visions of machinery and faceless suffering on side one into a string of dark, haunting folk-rock numbers on side two, a transition as natural as if these were simply the two sides of the same unclassifiable coin. Pioneering at the time and still unique today, vague parallels could be made to Suicide, The Patron Saints and Velvet Underground's third LP (1969), but first and last, Madrigal can only be understood on its own. Presented here, remastered for superior sound and, for the first time, with the original artwork; Comes with a deluxe 12-page booklet with an in-depth interview with the creator of the album, and lots of never before seen photographs; Limited edition of 600.
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for May of 2017
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - JESSE HARRIS - MAY 9-14
8:30pm: Julian Lage (guitar) and Jesse Harris (guitar, vocals)
8:30pm: - Petra Haden and Jesse Harris Group; Petra Haden (vocals, violin) Jesse Harris (guitar, vocals) Will Graefe (guitar) Jeremy Gustin (drums) Ben Davis (bass)
8:30pm: Music For Chameleons (new Jesse Harris album performed live)
Jesse Harris (vocals, guitar) Will Graefe (guitar) Jeremy Gustin (drums) Ben Davis (bass)
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - SATOSHI TAKEISHI - MAY 16-21
830 pm - Gordon Grdina (Oud), Ljova Zhurbin (Violin) & Satoshi Takeishi
830 pm - Michael Attias (Alto Sax) and Satoshi Takeishi (Drums)
830 pm- Erik Friedlander (Cello), Nate Wooley (Trumpet) & Satoshi Takeishi
830 pm - Shoko Nagai (Piano, Moog and Electronics), Satoshi Takeishi (Drums and Electronics)
830 pm - Shoko Nagai (Piano, Moog and Electronics), Jonathan Goldberger (Guitar), Tsutomu Takeishi (Bass), Satoshi Takeishi (Drums)
830 pm - Ned Rothenberg (Clarinet), Fay Victor (Voice), Satoshi Takeishi (Drums)
830 pm - Vadim Neselovskyi Trio plays Get Up And Go - Vadim Neselovskyi (piano) Dan Loomis (bass) Ronen Itzik (drums) Sara Serpa (vocals) - Get Up And Go CD RELEASE CONCERT BY THIS BRILLIANT UKRANIAN BORN PIANIST! DONT MISS!
All Sets start at 8:30pm Tickets: $20
There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone.
Only music. All ages are welcome.
Cash Only at the door. There is no phone.
There is no food or beverage served or allowed
just a serious listening environment.
The Stone is booked purely on a curatorial basis
The CORNELIA STREET CAFE - 212-989-9319
29 Cornelia St in the heart of the West Greenwich Village, NYC
Friday May 12
9:00PM & 10:30PM CHARLES ALTURA QUARTET - Charles Altura, guitar; Aaron Parks, piano; Matt Brewer, bass; Justin Brown, drums
Saturday May 13
9:00PM & 10:30PM DAN WEISS TRIO = Dan Weiss, drums; Jacob Sacks, piano; Ben Street, bass
Sunday May 14
6:00PM LEE FELDMAN HIS PROBLEMS - Lee Feldman, vocals, piano; Monica Bauchwitz, violin; Ben Gallina, bass; Bob Windbiel, guitar
8:35PM NEW BRAZILIAN PERSPECTIVES: FABIO GOUVEA QUINTET, CD RELEASE - Fabio Gouvea, guitar; John Ellis, tenor sax; Hélio Alves, piano; Scott Colley, bass; Alex Kautz, drums
Tues May 16th
8:01PM JESSE SIMPSON: THE SIGUENZA SETTLEMENT CD RELEASE PARTY - Justin Carroll, keyboards; Sean Wayland, keyboards; Keisuke Matsuno, guitar; Jesse Simpson, drums
Wednesday May 17
8:01PM ISTMO TRIO - Magos Herrera, vocals; Vitor Gonçalves, accordion; Rogerio Boccato, percussion; Gilad Hekselman, guitar
Thursday May 18
8:01PM IGOR LUMPERT & INNERTEXTURES - Igor Lumpert, tenor sax, accordion; John Escreet, piano; Gerald Cleaver, drums
Friday May 19
9:00PM & 10:30PM KINAN AZMEH CITY BAND - Kinan Azmeh, clarinet; Kyle Sanna, guitar; Josh Myers, bass; John Hadfield, percussion, drums
Saturday May 20
6:00PM JASPER DUTZ QUARTET - Jasper Dutz, alto sax/bass clarinet; Anthony Pearlman, piano; Tony Lannen, bass; Connor Parks, drums; special guest Chris Fishman, piano, synth
9:00PM & 10:30PM FRANCISCO MELA & THE CRASH TRIO “FE” - Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Leo Genovese, piano; Gerald Cannon, bass; Francisco Mela, drums
Sunday May 21
8:30PM JANE IRA BLOOM TRIO - Jane Ira Bloom, soprano sax; Mark Helias, bass; Bobby Previte - drums
Shapeshifter May, 2017:
7pm: Niko Seibold Big Band // Farewell B.B. Fest; Saxes: Daniel Dickinson, Kushal Talele, Michael Brinzer, Niall Bakkestad-Légare, Niko Seibold; Trombones: Beserat Tafesse, Grant Smith, Armando Vergara, Andrew Karboski’ Trumpets: Tony Speranza, Stuart Mack, Rémy Labbé, Oriol López; Drums: Mareike Wiening, Piano: Robbie Lee, Bass: Noel Mason, Guitar: Hugh Stuckey
8:15p - Take Off Collective
Ole Mathisen: Sax
Marko Djordjevic: Drums
Matthew Garrison: base
A is for Accordion
The Four Bags (7PM)
Anti-Social Music (8:15 PM)
9:30p - Noah Kaplan Quartet "Cluster Swerve" Album Release Concert
Noah Kaplan (tenor and soprano saxophones), Joe Morris (guitar), Giacomo Merega (electric bass), Jason Nazary (drums & electronics)
7p - Voyager - Neshamah in collaboration with Alon Ilsar
Bruno Råberg - acoustic bass
Layth Sidiq - violin
Bengisu Gokce - violin
David Wallace - viola
Naseem Alatrash - cello
Shapeshifter is located at
18 Whitwell Place in Brooklyn, NY
R train to Union stop
Friday, May 26th 8:00 PM
8pm: Deric Dickens and Friends
9pm: Aaron Quinn, Guitar / Deric Dickens Drums Duo
Ben Cohen Tenor Saxophone
Dustin Carlson , Guitar
Tim Cohen, Drums
Tuesday, May 30th 8:00 PM
Jermyn/Drye/Wolleson Anna Webber’s “Rectangles”
8pm – Simon Jermyn/Brian Drye/Kenny Wolleson
Simon Jermyn – Bass
Brian Drye – Trombone
Kenny Wolleson – Drums
9pm – Anna Webber’s “Rectangles”
Anna Webber – Saxophone
Marc Hannaford – Piano
Adam Hopkins – Bass
Mark Ferber – Bass
Friday, June 2nd 8:30 PM
Innocent When You Dream: The Music of Tom Waits CD Launch
8pm - Brian Drye – Solo Trombone
8:45pm - Innocent When You Dream
Aaron Shragge – trumpet/shakuhachi
Ryan Anselmi – tenor sax
Myk Freedman – lap steel guitar
Mike Gam – bass
Deric Dickens – Drums
Innocent When You Dream brings a new element to Waits’ music while remaining true to its essence. The quintet interprets Waits’ stylistically diverse repertoire by creating instrumental versions of his most memorable songs. Using lyrical content and mood as the starting point for exploration, the band moves beyond the realm of covers creating a distinctive sound that draws from Jazz, rock, blues, World music and the avant-garde. The quintet regularly performs in NY area, LA and has been featured at notable Jazz clubs: The B-Flat (Berlin), Upstairs (Montreal) and The Rex (Toronto). Their first record “Celebrating The Music of Tom Waits” was release on Jazz Collective Records (2010) and their second recording “Dirt In The Ground” will be available May 2017.
Friday, June 9th 9:00 PM
Eva Novoa Trio
Novoa / Gress / Gray
Eva Novoa, piano & compositions
Drew Gress, bass
Devin Gray, drums
Novoa / Kamaguchi / Takeishi
Saturday, June 10th 8:00 PM
Eva Novoa, piano & gongs
Masatoshi Kamaguchi, bass
Satoshi Takeishi, drums
8pm & 9pm (2sets)
Friday, June 23rd 8:30 PM
Satoko Fujii KAZE
Kappa Maki – trumpet
Christian Bezos - trumpet
Satoko Fujii – piano
Peter Ménard – drums
I-Beam is located at 168 7th Street in Brooklyn, NY 11215 - Directions: SUBWAY: Take the F or R trains to 4th Ave & 9th Street. Walk down 4th ave to 7th street. Make a left on 7th and walk past 3rd ave. We are located on the ground floor, the grey doors to the right of the stairs of #168.
GREENWICH HOUSE SOUND IT OUT SERIES:
Sound It Out series @ Greenwich House – Concerts, January-June 2017
Saturday, May 20, 7:30 p.m. – Double album release show!
André Matos David Ambrose/Russ Meissner Sextet
André Matos, guitar solo
David Ambrose, double-bass; Russ Meissner, drums; Loren Stillman, alto saxophone; Matt Renzi, tenor saxophone; Nate Radley, guitar; Leonard Thompson, piano
Greenwich House Music School:
46 Barrow Street, just west of 7th Avenue South in
New York City’s West Village;
www.greenwichhouse.org / 212-242-4770
Bushwick Improvisers Collective Concert Series
Every Monday starting May 1st. Steps from the Jefferson stop L train
Cutting edge improvised music, full bar, great pizza, all ages. Check it out!
Monday May 15th - *OutNow Records Showcase*
6:30pm Aron Namenwirth - guitar/banjo, Blaise Siwula - woodwinds, Adam Dym - woodwinds, Erik Plaks - keyboard, John Loggia - drums
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone, Adam Lane - bass, Kevin Shea - drums
9pm Yoni Kretzmer - tenor sax, Sean Conly - bass, Tomas Fujiwara - drums
10pm Eyal Maoz Ensemble
Monday May 22nd - *Curated by Ras Moshe*
6:30pm Aron Namenwirth - guitar/banjo, Adam Dym - woodwinds, Erik Plaks - keyboard, John Loggia
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor sax, Adam Lane - bass & Kevin Shea - drums
9pm Ras Moshe- reeds Dafna Naphtali - electronics Sean Conly - bass Dave Miller - drums
10pm Lauren Lee - vocals Charley Sabatino - bass
Downstairs @ Artichoke Bar & Pizza
Corner of Wyckoff Ave & Troutman St, Bushwick
All Ages/$10 cover - gaucimusic.com/bushwick-series
New Revolution Arts 31
Saturday, May 13:
8 pm--Nina Dante & Brandon Lopez
8:45 pm--Tayllor Johnson (poetry)
9 pm--Joanna Mattrey, Leila Bordreuil, Sean Ali
10 pm--Jamal Moore
New Revolution Arts
7 Stanhope Street
J/M/L Trains / B38/B52/B54/B60/Q24 Buses
Please share to spread the word!!
100% of donations go to the artists
New Revolution Arts is a loft series in Bushwick featuring cutting edge experimental jazz, improvised, and creative music, poetry, and visual art.
Fire music at the Legion in May!
9 pm--Josh Sinton's Ideal Bread with Sam Newsome, Adam Hopkins, Devin Gray
9:45 pm--Jessica Ackerley Trio with Matt Muntz, Zack O'Farrill
10:30 pm--Cataclysmic Commentary: Eli Wallace, Ben Cohen, Dave Miller
$10 for 1 set, $15 for the night!
G/L Trains to Williamsburg
Fire Music at the Legion is a music series co-curated by Yoni Kretzmer and Cisco Bradley. It is supported, in part, by www.jazzrightnow.com.