Ball of Confusion - As Sung by the Temptations, 1970
“People moving out, people moving in
Why? Because of the color of their skin
Run, run, run but you sure can't hide
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
Vote for me and I'll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on
Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher (and the saints)
And it seems nobody's interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to my nation
Ball of confusion
That's what the world is today, hey, hey
The sale of pills are at an all time high
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky
The cities ablaze in the summer time
And oh, the beat goes on
Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything
And the band played on
So, round and around and around we go
Where the world's headed, said nobody knows
Oh, great Googamooga
Can't you hear me talking to you?
Just a ball of confusion
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today
Woo, hey, hey
Fear in the air, tension everywhere
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles new record's a gas
And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation
And the band played on
Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors
Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills
Hippies moving to the hills, people all over the world are shouting
“End the war” and the band played on
Can't you hear me talking to you?
It's a ball of confusion
That's what the world is today, hey, hey
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya”
Classic Psychedelic Soul Music from 1970!
Written by Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong
What has changed since then?!?
Important New Sounds from:
Art Ensemble of Chicago 21 ECM CD Set! New from Clean Feed: Fred Frith / Philip Greenlief Trio! The Way Ahead! Zack Clarke 5! Francesco Cusa & the Assassins! Acid Mothers Temple! Mohsen Namjoo / Anders Nilsson Qt! Xander Naylor’s ‘Transmission’! Merzbow!
Tiger Hatchery! Aki Onda & Akio Suzuki! Lionel Marchetti & Cat Hope! Plus Historic Discs from The Velvet Underground! Art Blakey & Jazz Messengers! Count Basie Orchestra! Eric Dolphy Rare Live Quintet! Max Roach! Modern Jazz Quartet! Wes Montgomery & Stan Tracey!
LP’s from Eugene Chadbourne & Sunwatchers! Bruce Russell! Denis Tek & the Visitors! Marc Cunningham’s Blood Quartet! And even more Sonic Gems!
Upcoming Sets at Downtown Music Gallery - FREE, every Sunday at 6pm
Sunday, December 16th:
6pm: HUMAN RITES TRIO: JASON KAO HWANG / KEN FILIANO / ANDREW DRURY - Strings/Bass/Drums
Sunday, December 30th: Nearly New Years Celebration!
6pm: BEN GOLDBERG and Friends!
Sunday, January 6th:
6pm: JORGE NUNO / ARON NAMENWIRTH / REGGIE SYLVESTER - Two Guitars & Drums
7pm: WILL GREENE - Guitar / JESSE HEASLY - Electric Bass / RAF VERTESSEN - Drum
Sunday, January 13th:
6pm: DISSIPATED FACE 2019: STEPHEN POPKIN / KURT RALSKE /
DANIEL CARTER / WILL DAHL / BILL MILKOWSKI
In memory or our guitarist Michael Lublin who passed in 2018
Sunday, January 20th:
6pm: MATANA ROBERTS and DARIUS JONES - Alto Sax Duets - First Time Duet!
7pm: RaaDie: LORENZ RABB - Trumpet & Electronics / CHRISTOF DIENZ - Zither & Electronics
Sunday, January 27th:
6pm: MATTEO LIBERATORE / JON IRABAGON / TOM RAINEY - Guitar / Saxes / Drums!
DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy. You can check the weekly in-store sets through our Instagram feed
DMG Concert Pick for this Week:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19th at 8pm
THE HOUSE OF IMPROV PRESENTS:
LOTTE ANKER - Alto Sax
CRAIG TABORN - Piano
GERALD CLEAVER - Drums
at The Kirov Room
244 Rehearsal Studios
244 West 54th St - 10th Floor, New York, NY 10019
CHECK OUT A PRIOR PERFORMANCE AT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcSZpu6BBuA
Starting off This Week with Another Essential Box Set:
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO - And Associated Ensembles (ECM 2630; Germany) This is a 21-CD limited and numbered edition issued as the standard-bearers of Great Black Music prepare to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Both the Art Ensemble of Chicago and ECM Records were founded in 1969, and there have been many shared experiences. As Roscoe Mitchell says, “It has been amazing to have taken this journey together.”
With their first ECM album, the widely-acclaimed Nice Guys, the Art Ensemble’s revolutionary and poly-stylistic “ancient to the future” mix of musics - from the deeply spiritual to the fiercely experimental - was illuminated in new detail in Manfred Eicher’s panoramic production, and the stage set for many adventures to follow. These included the albums Full Force, Urban Bushmen, and The Third Decade with the classic AEC quintet line up of Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Famoudou Don Moye. All of Bowie’s and Mitchell’s subsequent ECM recordings are also gathered together here. Charismatic trumpeter Lester Bowie is heard here with his Brass Fantasy group, with Wadada Leo Smith and with Jack DeJohnette. Multi-reed master and primary AEC conceptualist Roscoe Mitchell appears with his Note Factory band, with the Transatlantic Art Ensemble co-founded with Evan Parker, and with an historic trios project recorded at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Along the way, numerous distinguished creative musicians including: Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, Craig Taborn, Vijay Iyer, Matthew Shipp, Tyshawn Sorey, Fontella Bass, Charlie Haden, Kenny Wheeler, Corey Wilkes, Gerald Cleaver, Phillip Wilson, George Lewis, William Parker, John Abercrombie, Eddie Gomez, and many others, in ECM recordings made between 1978 and 2015.
This beautifully-designed box set incorporates a 300-page book reprising all original album covers, liner notes and poetry (by Joseph Jarman), as well as quotes from Art Ensemble members and the press, new texts by Craig Taborn, Vijay Iyer and George Lewis, a preface by Manfred Eicher, and an introduction by Steve Lake. Plus: many photographs (some previously unpublished), archival documents, and more.
21 CD Set 300 Page Booklet $110 [We just got a half dozen in and will have more soon)
Last Great Batch of Releases from the Amazing CLEAN FEED & SHHPUMA Conglomerate!
DRONE TRIO With FRED FRITH / PHILIP GREENLIEF / EVELYN DAVIS - Lantskap Logic (Clean Feed 505; Portugal) Personnel: Evelyn Davis - pipe organ, Fred Frith - electric guitar and Phillip Greenlief - alto and tenor saxophones. Wonderful news coming from the Bay Area, even considering that the participants in this ad hoc trio originated from elsewhere—one from Detroit, another from Heathfield / England and the third from Los Angeles. The recording of Lantskap Logic took place at Mills College in Oakland, where Fred Frith directed the Improvisation program until he retired this year and specifically at the Mills Chapel, both for reasons of sound and for the chapel’s pipe organ, the favored instrument of in and outside pianist, improviser, composer, vocalist, synthesist and teacher, Evelyn Davis. Like Frith, Davis works on multiple fronts, from alternative rock to avant jazz and experimental music, in groups like Frankenixon, Cheer Accident and Chiromancer. Frith was one of the founders, at the end of the Sixties, of the “rock in opposition” band Henry Cow, and established a reputation as one of the great revolutionaries of the grammar and the lexicon of both the electric and the acoustic guitars. They have a like-minded companion in Phillip Greenlief, a prolific composer and saxophonist whose biography includes solo performances and collaborations with figures as diverse as Wadada Leo Smith, Meredith Monk and They Might Be Giants, as well as fronting electro-acoustic ensembles and inter-disciplinary orchestras. What emerges from this partnership couldn’t be more Californian: the intensity of listening in response to space and sonority, the reconciliation of elegance with free expression, the ecstatic eclecticism. Yes, profane improvised music can be as beautiful as a sacred hymn.
THE WAY AHEAD with ANDRE ROLIGHETEN / KRISTOFFER ALBERTS / NIKLAS BARNO / OLA HOYER / MATTIAS STAHL / TOLLEF ØSTVANG / et al - Bells, Ghosts and Other Saints (Clean Feed 507; Portugal) Personnel: André Roligheten - tenor saxophone and clarinet, Kristoffer Alberts - alto and baritone saxes, Niklas Barnö - trumpet, Mats Äleklint -trombone, Mattias Stahl - vibraphone, Ola Høyer - double bass and Tollef Østvang - drums. The title says it all: here is music conceived under the influence of Albert Ayler, author of seminal free jazz pieces like “Bells” and “Ghosts” and one of the most celebrated interpreters of a gospel hymn specially cared by the likes of Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino, “When the Saints Go Marching In”. The name of the band (The Way Ahead) has the same referential weight: the way to go is in front of us, and you’ll find it while walking, as the poet (Federico Garcia Lorca) wrote. On the back there is history, and beyond you have the unknown. Each direction feeds from the other. The procedure could describe the respect that the present day American jazz has regarding its past, but this septet is Scandinavian, reuniting some of the best musicians active in Norway and Sweden. This explains why “Bells, Ghosts and Other Saints” seems simultaneously so familiar and so strange: the connection to the American jazz tradition is solid, but it comes without a cultural vinculation. As Europeans, Roligheten, Alberts, Barnö, Äleklint, Ståhl, Høyer and Østvang don’t feel the obligation to reproduce the exact parameters of the chosen materials, preferring it ́s re-creation. The free jazz paradigm is free from itself, not to refuse it on the process, but to face it with fresh ears. The results are as much intriguing as they’re astonishing.
ZACK CLARKE with CHRIS IRVINE / CHARLOTTE GREVE / NICK DUNSTON / LEONID GALAGANOV - Mesophase (Clean Feed 502; Portugal) Personnel: Zack Clarke - piano and electronics, Chris Irvine - cello, Charlotte Greve - sax, clarinet, flute, Nick Dunston - double bass and Leonid Galaganov - percussion, waterphone & shakuhachi. Mesophase is a term used in physics describing a state of matter that is neither liquid nor solid, sharing properties of both while defining a state unique unto itself. By extension, the concept can also apply to a reconciliation of emotional polarities or conflicting ideas. Zack Clarke leverages the idea of a mesophase as a vehicle for musical expression through the synthesis of disparate musical forces. His album “Mesophase” unites the natural and the human-made, bringing together acoustic and electronic elements in profound and unusual ways. The result is a music that is not defined by genre, taking essential elements from improvisation, electronic music and through-composed writing. With this combination of approaches, the pianist and composer from New York creates harmonic and melodic forms that translate through multiple mediums. Clarke refers to the process of creating the album as “feeling less like construction and more like a discovery and translation of something that is already there.” After the initial success and critical acclaim of his first Clean Feed release, "Random Acts of Order," Clarke takes a bold and significant step forward with this record, as he expands his previous approach to electro-acoustic music through the incorporation of a score for an ensemble of musicians. Performed by some of New York City’s finest up and coming improvisors, the outcome is a vibrant palette of unique instrumentation and modern synthetic sound that delivers a powerful and thought-provoking listening experience.
This is the second discs from pianist/composer Zack Clarke for the Clean Feed label. The frontline features Chris Irvine on cello and Charlotte Greve on sax, clarinet & flute. The rhythm team features Mr. Clarke on piano & electronics, Nick Dunston (recently working with Dave Douglas) and Leonid Galaganov on (Estonian drummer working with William Parker, Jesse Dulman & Kyoko Kitamura. “Curtain” starts with haunting flute, eerie electronics, hypnotic cello, erupting plucked bass, boisterous piano and free, spinning percussion. The electronics are used sparingly, just adding elements of eeriness or suspense. Even when sections of the quintet sound like they replaying freely, there subsections more focused or partially written or directed throughout. Much of this is closer in sound to modern chamber music than it is to jazz. This is an outstanding effort on several levels.
FRANCESCO CUSA & THE ASSASSINS meets DUCCIO BERTINI - Black Poker (Clean Feed 504; Portugal) Personnel: Francesco Cusa - drums, The Assassins: Giulio Stermieri - Hammond, piano, Flavio Zanuttini -trumpet, electronics, Giovanni Benvenuti - tenor sax plus the Florence Art Quartet Duccio Bertini - keyboards (on “Elegia”). “Here is a record of crossed challenges. A band (The Assassins) with a vocation to improvise freely is co-operating with a classical chamber string ensemble (Florence Art Quartet) specialized in the interpretation of written compositions, determining a very special way to combine two different musical worlds. Drummer Francesco Cusa assumed that task as a composer and an improviser and asked for an experienced partner in order to establish the necessary arrangements and applied strategies, someone who works either with jazz big bands and symphonic orchestras, Duccio Bertini. Italian creative jazz may not be widely known outside of its frontiers, but considering what “Black Poker” show us, we wonder why this happens. The music is organized by parallel planes and these frequently imply the gradual re-composition of the original ideas, in a constant renewal and adaptation of all the parameters. Always searching for the best combination of what comes from the two quartets, without “jazzifying” the strings or turning classical the jazz combo, what you find here is pure gold. That something which defines a good poker player “who deals with hazard and parsimony”, to use Cusa’s own words.”
HAMAR TRIO With KLAUS ELLERHUSEN HOLM / HERNANI FAUSTINO / NUNO MORAO - Yesterday if Here (Clean Feed 501; Portugal) Here is an example of a specially well succeeded cooperation between a notorious representative of the Norwegian scene (Klaus Ellerhusen Holm) and two of the Portuguese one (Hernâni Faustino and Nuno Morão), combining the recordings of live presentations in a couple of spaces dedicated to creative music in Portugal, Salão Brazil (Coimbra) and SMUP (Parede). If you’re a Clean Feed fan you already listened other titles documented in both venues, by the likes of Steve Lehman, Ken Vandermark’s and Adam Lane’s Four Corners, Fredrik Nordstrom Quintet, Daniel Levin Quartet, Zanussi 5, Angles, Harris Heisenstadt’s Canada Day and others. “Yesterday is Here” has the same relevance, and it equals what you know of Holm from the bands Honest John, Ballrogg and Abaft the Beam, of Faustino from Red Trio and of Morão from The Selva: music committed to «celebrate the moment», to paraphrase Derek Bailey, only answering to the appeal of spontaneity and intuition, in a very natural and even organic way. The framing is in jazz and experimentation, meaning that everything else that may happen disregard labels and any sort of categorization. A party for your ears, in short
ANTONIO RAIA - Asylum (Clean Feed 485; Portugal) Personnel: Antonio Raia on tenor sax. A chuckle or a grimace of memento, a shiver of rage or the same, but due to a steamy game and, most of all, a urge. Let the whole world in, and turn it out into an exploration, a clash of fire with this crooked, wooden, coppery, galvanized sort of dragon. You cannot help but tailoring a path, especially if necessary to ultimately represent yourself, so you can either choose a so called neutral recording studio, in order to dry up and focus every shift, or seize live connections with people, a not so aware public capable of supporting the crystallization of that once in lifetime show. To build Asylum up I've gone for the 3rd option: me (and my instrument) and Renato Fiorito along with his 10 mics, aiming to portray 1000 m of mere space.In the very core of Nap les, the whole Filangeri Asylum former dining hall played with us, in a harmony of wood and tuff, an everlasting patient background for the shifting valzer of thousands, a living, breathing, sizzling organism, bouncing notes and fragments of past and future lives, but also ticking together with leaving, stopping or passing by folks' steps.Looking forward to welcome and share freedom with a world in need of it, now more than ever.
FLAVIO ZANUTTINI OPACIPAPA with PIERO BITTOLO BON - Born Baby Born (Clean Feed 506; Portugal) Personnel: Flavio Zanuttini trumpet, compositions; Piero Bittolo Bon - alto sax, Marco D'Orlando - drums Recorded by Fulvio Zafret in Trieste (Italy) at "Casa della Musica" during the concert organized by "Circolo del Jazz Thelonious" the 24th of January 2018’. A trumpet (by Flavio Zanuttini himself, the mastermind behind “Born Baby Born”), an alto sax (Piero Bittolo Bon) and a drumset (Marco ’Orlando). Nothing more: no bass to deepen the rhythm and no harmonic instrument, be it a piano or a guitar. Just “meat and potatoes”, as Eugene Chadbourne states on his liner notes, dismissing in this meal the possible contributions of a fried egg, some buttered peas or a salad. And yet, you can hear a bass doing rhythmic and harmonic work, and this because the trumpet, the sax and the drums incorporate the bass parts, in a phantom-like way. The drummer do it naturally with the to-toms and the bass drum, but you wouldn’t expect that from the horns. Or do you, considering that they’re played by superlative instrumentalists? A few years back, Zanuttini dared to play the music of Don Cherry, and he managed to get very close to the original trumpeter, while keeping his own musical personality. The Italian musician has a long curriculum as an orchestra player, in that context knowing that he’s an individual contributor of something bigger, but that’s what explains his will to go beyond the conventional roles when he’s a soloist in a small group. Curiously enough, the “basslesstuttoless» (Zanuttini’swords) trio Opacipapa puts themselves in the middle of two traditions, the free improvised one and the carefully organized of the great historical big bands. The music either swings, like if we’re still living in the Fifties, or go to the post-free jazz stratosphere. Frequently, it swings when visiting the other side of the cosmos.
RICARDO TOSCANO QUARTET FEAT. JOÃO PEDRO COELHO, ROMEU TRISTÃO - Quartet (Clean Feed 503; Portugal) Personnel: Ricardo Toscano saxophone, João Pedro Coelho on piano, Romeu Tristão on contrabass, João Lopes Pereirweroe on drums. The prodigal son of Portuguese jazz is finally on record. Since his teenager years until he became a young man (25 years old in 2018) we get used to only hear him on stage, improvising with the tunes of American masters like Charlie Parker, “Cannonball” Adderley, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, among many others of different times in the “jazz continuum”. Now, we can seat at our homes and listen to his superb alto sax playing his own compositions. With one exception: Herbie Hancock’s “TheSorcerer”. Ricardo Toscano managed to interpret the tradition simultaneously with the same authenticity of the originals (really? really!) and with a remarkable freshness of approach, as if an old standard was something completely new. He keeps doing it, but the inevitable (considering his superlative capacities) happened: he’s playing now his own inner world, born from Toscano’s many auditions of the jazz patrimony. Or patrimonies, because this force of life is a fundamental contributor to the avant / groovy music of Marco Barroso’s Lisbon Underground Music Ensemble, also known as LUME (Fire in English), at the same time dedicating himself to the compositions of the late Bernardo Sassetti and beginning partnerships with free improvisers like Rodrigo Pinheiro, Miguel Mira and Gabriel Ferrandini. Step by step, with no urgencies and refusing to be obfuscated by fame and success, Toscano oppened his space of action and is now a more complete musician. This CD, named after the quartet he founded with the like minded (and like aged, like talented) João Pedro Coelho, Romeu Tristão and João Lopes Pereir
a, marks a new beginning in his ascensional path. It’s impossible to know what the future brings to him, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be great.
TIMESPINE With ADRIANA SA / JOHN KLIMA / TO TRIPS - Urban Season (Shhpuma 044; Portugal) The musical identity of this trio remains consistent with their eponymous debut album, released four years ago – exemplified by fluctuating tonal centers and the interaction made of convergences and divergences. And yet, its components are now more clear, because the music feels more transparent: it sounds an American folk music from another dimension in the multiverse, a folk music filled with twisted and bizarre – but very explicit – rock and jazz elements. No wonder: the guitar is played by one of the top rock musicians in Portugal, Tó Trips, founder and member of the country-fado-rock-jazz band Dead Combo; the bassist is John Klima, an intermedia artist from Redondo Beach,USA, for some years living in Portugal, who in the past was involved with the pop-rock group later identified as The Presidents of the United States of America; the zither, the electronics and occasional field recordings are manipulated by a veteran of Portuguese experimental and improvised music, Adriana Sá. She has specialized herself in the interaction of her instruments and body with reactive software, and once again we see his in “Urban Season”: her playing of the zither, with hands or bow, ignite all the electronic processing and found sounds as if by magic. And magical, mesmerizing and mysterious the music is indeed, very different from everything else you heard before.
SATOKO FUJII ORCHESTRA TOKYO With SACHI HAYASAKA / NATSUKI TAMURA / et al - Kikoeru (Libra 215-055; Japan) This is the 12th and final Satoko Fujii release for her 60th birthday celebration of 2018. It just arrived today so I will review it for next week’s newsletter! Why wait since you know how great it will no doubt be.
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & THE MELTING PARAISO U.F.O. - Sacred And Inviolable Phase Shift (Bam Balam Records 060; France) Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. return with Sacred And Inviolable Phase Shift. One of the greatest Japanese psychedelic bands has a new studio album.
* MOHSEN NAMJOO With ANDERS NILSSON / SEAN CONLY / YAHYA ALKANSA - Axis of Solitude (Daf Daf; USA) Featuring Mosen Namjoo on vocals, setar (traditional Persian lute) & acoustic guitar, Anders Nilsson on electric guitar, Sean Conly on electric bass and Yahya Alkhansa on drums. For the past year or so, ace guitarist Anders Nilsson, has played here at DMG with Fackpamp, his duo with Hampus Ohman-Frolund plus a different guest (Charles Waters & Sarah Bernstein) for each gig. Each of these gigs has been spirited & inventive, but in different ways depending on the third person. Considering that Mr. Nilsson has had a half dozen projects through the years, each one demands a different challenge. A few months ago, Nilsson left us with this disc from a quartet, who are led by Mohsen Namjoo, an Iranian singer, songwriter and music scholar. The drummer, Yahya Alkansa, is also from Iran while the bassist, Sean Conly, is based here and has discs out on Clean Feed & who has worked with Yoni Kretzmer, Amanda Monico & Michael Attias.
This disc was recorded live in Dallas, Texas in December of 2016. What is the “axis of solitude” of the CD title? Mr. Namjoo mentions that the year he migrated from Iran, 2016, was the loneliest year of his life hence the title. Namjoo sings in his native language and has a strong, compelling voice. On the opening song, there are several voices, which are linked together and enhance each other with shades and harmonies. Mr. Namjoo’s setar (a Persian lute) or acoustic guitar provide a strong accompaniment to his voice and songs. The ever volatile Anders Nilsson, adds strong, often rocking’ electric guitar to these songs, the voice and guitar pushing each other in a jubilant fever pitch at times. Mohsen sounds as if he is crying on “Delaa Didi”, a song I found both sad and most touching, as if he is pouring out his heart. The other thing that I found most compelling about this disc are the harmony vocals, provided by the other band members I suppose. Although I don’t understand the words that Mr. Namjoo sings, the songs and performance are consistently compelling, the feelings at the center shine through no matter what. The handful of guitar solos from Mr. Nilsson are the icing on the cake here, add that stunning rock guitar magic/edge to the already strong ingredients. In a year where I have heard very little music with vocals, aside from Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello & Mary Halvorson’s ‘Code Girl’ disc, this disc might just be my favorite vocal release of the year. The music here seems to combine a variety of eastern European, middle eastern and other influences difficult to pinpoint. Great music for the holiday season, as lonely as it seems to be at times. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* The Monsen Namjoo Band will be playing at Symphony Space on Saturday, January 12th, 2019
XANDER NAYLOR With ELIJAH SHIFFER / SHARIK HASSAN / SAMIR CHATTERJEE / DAN WEISS / et al - Transmission (Chhandayan; USA) Featuring Xander Naylor on guitars & effects, Elijah Shiffer on alto sax, Mat Muntz on bass, Samir Chatterjee on tablas (2 tracks), Dan Weiss on drums plus Astrid Kuljanic - voice (2 tracks), Sharik Hassan on piano and a string quartet. Gifted guitarist, Xander Naylor, has played both solo and duo sets here at DMG over the past few years, as well as releasing a fine solo electric guitar disc earlier this year. Mr. Naylor has just left us a new disc featuring seven musicians plus a string quartet. No doubt you know drummer Dan Weiss, who has several great discs out on Pi Records and collaborates with just about everyone. Another relatively known quantity is tabla player Samir Chatterjee, who has worked with Ned Rothenberg & the Cosmosamatics. Aside from saxist Elijah Shiffer, who has played at DMG on a couple of occasions, the other names here I don’t really recognize. “Pirate Bay” sprints open with some furious, Alan Holdsworth-like licks featuring Mr. Naylor’s impressive soloing over a strong, tight piano-led rhythm team. Naylor plays mostly just acoustic guitar on “One Field/Many Fields”, but adds a layer of spacious echoplex to give things a more cerebral side. “Ghost Logic” blends an intense Mahavishnu-like energy/tempo/furious licks with pulsating string quartet lines a minimal vocal flourishes on top. When things slow down for “Benaulim Dawn”, we get some tasty laid back guitar which increases in tempo throughout, an impressive acoustic bass solo and intricate skeletal drums. “Pass/Return” erupts into some powerful Mahavishnu-like dark energy with the string quartet enhancing the quick licks by Mr. Naylor. “Transmission” has an almost early jazz/rock sound with some great fractured guitar lines (matched by the sax) erupting on top of the loose groove. The last track, “Time Apart”, has a soft, suspense-filled vibe, lush and restrained, a perfect way to wind things down to a cerebral conclusion. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MERZBOW - MONOAkuma (Room40 419; Australia) "I think the first time I heard Merzbow must have been 1994. I remember not really knowing what to make of it. It was effortlessly deep and aggressive, but also emotive and lyrical in the way the waves of sound would erupt and decay. It wasn't easy then to discover information about artists, but within a few months I had learned as much as I could. In the mid 2000s, I had the chance to meet Masami Akita, aka Merzbow and present him live when I was co-producing the What Is Music? Festival. It was a pretty special event; the first (sonic) meeting of Merzbow and Keiji Haino took place here in Brisbane. Merzbow's solo performance was as transformative an experience as hearing his music for the first time. MONOAkuma is a live recording made in Brisbane in 2012; this was the second time I had the pleasure to present him live in Australia. To me, this performance epitomizes the physiology of Merzbow's sound work. He creates in absolutes; sonically he generates a tidal wave of frequency that sweeps across the spectra with tireless frenzy. Merzbow's capacity to conjure a massive swirling mesh of analog and digital sources is without comparison; his work is one of intensity, a seething, psychedelic and utterly visceral noise-ocean. What MONOAkuma represents is a resolution of Merzbow's work across both analog and digital noise mediums. Here, he brings together his formidable pulsing analog noise and his more recent digital approach. On MONOAkuma, he resolves these modes of operation into an ontology of noise in the absolute. There is no question - this is about the body and the ears being overwhelmed. In those moments of being wholly consumed comes an incredible bodily sense of euphoria that is a truly unique and profound experience. MONOAkuma which epitomizes Merzbow's 40 years as the most important noise musician of our time, demonstrating the intense and complex audio world he's created. It's the perfect starting point from which to wade into the noise ocean that is Merzbow's vast output." --Lawrence English. All proceeds from MONOAkuma will be used to fund research and preservation attempts for the Tasmanian Devil; which in recent years has suffered greatly due to effects of a transmissible facial cancer.
TIGER HATCHERY - Breathing In The Walls (ESP-Disk 5013; USA) Chicago power-jazz trio Tiger Hatchery proudly comes out of the ESP-Disk' free jazz tradition, as Mike Forbes's playing makes clear, but there's an added noise-rock edge, especially in Ben Billington's aggressive drumming, that keeps the sound modern. Andrew Scott Young does much more than lay down the bottom, emerging as an equal member of their glorious cacophony. Their 2013 ESP release, Sun Worship (ESP-DISK 5003CD/LP), earned huzzahs from press and free-jazz aficionados. Personnel: Mike Forbes - saxes; Andrew Scott Young - basses; Ben Billington - drums. RIYL: Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann.
AKIO SUZUKI & AKI ONDA - Ke I Te Ki (Room40 499; Australia) Room40 release Akio Suzuki and Aki Onda's Ke I Te Ki. "Akio Suzuki and I have been performing together frequently for the last five years; we have a tendency to perceive sound as space, or to always consider sound in relation to space. We don't usually hear sound sources as they actually are, since they are always modified by a space's acoustics and its reflections, absorptions, and attenuation. Sound is affected by the conditions and characteristics of a particular setting. We respond to the extra acoustics of these phenomena. Our ears have to be wide open, constantly adjusting to ever-changing detail. In performance, we opt for opens space where the audience can surround us or position themselves throughout the space. We also like tailoring site-specific performances to unusual locations, creating a dialogue between us and the environment. Ke I Te Ki was recorded in New York City in 2015 at The Emily Harvey Foundation - a SoHo loft-style art space that was once the studio of Fluxus founder George Maciunas. It is a historic building of New York avant-garde culture, and the last of the artist co-ops that Maciunas created in New York City. We had one day of preparation for the multi-track recording, performing for two nights surrounded by a limited but packed audience. The loft is itself quite constrained, and Akio and I needed a significant portion of the floor to place our gear and roam around. Microphones were everywhere, since our sounds diffused across the space. My role was to set an assortment of "scenes" with field recordings, sustained drones generated by an industrial electric fan, and electronic tones and pulses from radios, et cetera. Akio then built upon these with layers of melodies and rhythmic patterns, while we both engaged in fabricating distinctive texture and timbre. Akio kept changing his instruments, bringing surprises and sudden changes, creating contrast and powerful tension. Ke I Te Ki in Japanese means the sound of an alarm, or a whistle to call attention to a hazardous event. We hoped to develop our style by adopting a set of self-imposed rules related to the multi-directional soundscape, acoustical response to the space, and implementation of visual elements. Akio suggested the name Ke I Te Ki as a reminder to push ourselves further. It was a lesson for us in questioning 'norms' and exploring other possibilities." - Aki Onda.
LIONEL MARCHETTI & CAT HOPE - The Last Days Of Reality (Room40 RM 4102; Australia) Room40 release The Last Days Of Reality, featuring Decibel performing the works of Lionel Marchetti and Cat Hope. "I first met Lionel Marchetti in Australia in 2010. Decibel were touring our Alvin Lucier program, and Lionel was on the same bill performing a live performance set manipulating electro-acoustic materials with dancer Yoko Higashi. I was so taken with Lionel's performances that I asked him if he would write a piece for Decibel. I didn't realize that he hadn't done something like this before. The first work was Première Étude (Les Ombres), communicated as a text score, and premiered in 2012. I was asked by Lionel to make some recordings of ocarinas, harmonicas, and folk instruments; I sent these to him to be featured in the live performance. For this piece, the part comes from speakers beside each performer, and a bass amplifier beneath the piano. Like his own performances I had seen the year before, the work was naturally performative, with unique speaker and performer configurations. It was a remarkable combination of electronic, spatial, acoustic and textural music. The performers use the partition Concrète as a score. I visited Lionel in Lyon in 2014, recording flute improvisations in his studio. He used these as a basis for Une Série De Reflets, again communicating via text instructions and each performer having their own dedicated speaker to interact with. Pour Un Enfant Qui Dort again requested flute sounds that were time part of the live performance as well as the partition Concrète. The next work saw a more 'compositional' collaboration; The Earth Defeats Me began as a graphically scored work written by me and recorded by Decibel. That recording was used to make the partition Concrète which is now an embedded as part of the score. These works exist as live performances, but also as singular Concrète works, without the instruments. Working with Lionel has been remarkable; he has a singular way of thinking about sound and its relationship to works and images. These pieces enable the acoustic instruments to be part of that, extending the ideas in the partition Concrète, using them structurally and texturally, as well as being part of them. It is music that concerns itself with the incredible power of sound, but from the most delicate and dream-like perspective." - Cat Hope.
ERIK GRISWOLD - Yokohama Flowers (Room40 4101; Australia) Room40 stalwart Erik Griswold returns with Yokohama Flowers, his latest collection of works for prepared piano. For over two decades, Griswold has been crafting a particular and utterly personal language around his instrument of choice. His preparations, which are in a state of perpetual refinement, are like a kind of lens; it is through them that a certain audio reading of his instrument is made possible. It's understandable, then, that Griswold would be inspired by the work of Australian experimental film maker Louise Curham. Like Griswold, she too reveals a very personal reading of her surroundings through a range of preparations and expanded techniques. Discovering her work through a series of collaborations hosted by Room40, Other Film and other groups, the pair slowly developed a strong approach to joint performance. In many ways, these recorded works reflect upon those performances. Similar to her filmic works, which maintain an unfamiliar, yet tangible beauty; Griswold's compositions remind us that the piano is never truly knowable, or known. Each composition collected here reveals another detail or way of knowing the piano. The preparations release something in excess of the instrument itself. It's in these extensions, these ruptures of familiarity, that the language of the piano is born and reborn. It is a state of perpetual discovery and resolution, framed in composition. Griswold on the music: "There's a mystical aura surrounding my old piano. I imagine the 19th century workshop in which it was hand-crafted and the German parlors in which it played Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Satie, or Joplin. I imagine its journey from Stuttgart, by ship to Sydney harbor, and overland to the semi-tropical heat of Brisbane. Playing it I feel connected to its 131 years of history -- the people, places and music that have come before. The beautiful, hand-treated Super 8 films of Louise Curham are a perfect visual counterpoint to my music. In her Yokohama Flowers (2018), a sense of fragility, intimacy and nostalgia emerges from the superposition of location footage with delicately hand-drawn and painted layers. Her method closely mirrors my own, which combines tactile exploration at the piano keyboard with layering of foreign materials (preparations) onto the strings. By altering and repurposing old technologies in this way, it is as if we are squeezing the last drops of nectar out of these fading flowers."
HARIPRASAD CHAURASIA - Ajanma (Granvat 008; Belgium) Hariprasad Chaurasia celebrated his 80th birthday this year; a good moment for Ajanma, this unique solo album by the world legend bansuri master form India. Chaurasia is an Indian virtuoso flautist in the Hindustani tradition, born 1 July 1938 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. Ajanma takes a unique place in the discography of the North Indian flute legend. The recording was captured in a small sixteenth-century church in Rhoon, Netherlands in June 2014, which is well-known for the character and quality of its acoustics. This double CD is comprised of two solo improvisations accompanied by a tanpura and a short piece of flute without the usual tanpura drone. The deliberate omission of a percussion accompaniment allows Chaurasia to take his flute on an intimate journey, carrying the listener through the honesty, density of color, and lyrical architecture of the world of sound. Chaurasia's patience and the purity of his musical mind enable him to use his flute to illuminate the landscapes of the listener's imagination, making this recording a truly profound, intimate and meditative communication with the maestro.
GILLES GOBERT - Chamber Electronic Music (Sub Rosa 466; Belgium) Sub Rosa presents Gilles Gobert's Electronic Chamber Music. Musical genre: trans, hybrid, crossbred, mongrel, whoreson, mixed, unclean, intricated, blended, interracial, bastard, harmonized, bouillabaisse, pandemonium, disorder, bewilderment, muddled, disarrayed, tangled, distraction, shambled, discorded, abashed, fuzzy, foggy, plaything, rejoicing, orgasmic, thoughtlessness, salad, undisciplined, inordinate, coded, slanged, talk, privacy, nearness, disobedient, unruly, confidante, imperfect, tainted, red. A subtle mix of electronic composition and contemporary touches.
Gilles Gobert: "I compose and play electronic/mixed music with different groups like the laptop duo [KNAPP], the LAPS Ensemble or individual instrumentalists (Nao Momitani, Véronique Delcambre) and I'm part of the SMOG organization staff. I also realized several projects with the visual artist Inger Elisabeth Gleditsch. Currently I'm a professor of electronic composition and mixed music at the Royal Academy of Music of Liège and lecturer-assistant at the Royal Academy of Music of Mons (Arts2). From these last years date some scores of vocal music, instrumental or mixed music (instruments, voice and electronics), created at, among other festivals, Ars Musica, Images Sonores, Transit, Syntax (France), Warsaw Automn (Poland), and the Spark Festival Of Electronic Music And Art (USA)."
Archival & Historic Recordings:
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - Live at the Boston Tea Party '68 & '69 (Spyglass 8 CDBox1; UK) Spyglass presents Live at the Boston Tea Party '68 & '69, The Velvet Underground on an eight-disc collection bringing together four performances at the legendary Boston Tea Party. Lou Reed once described the venue as his favorite place to play, and finds the quartet tearing through a series of extended and reworked versions of their classics, with fiery guitar interplay throughout, as well as performing numerous tracks from their recently released self-titled third album (1969). An essential collection of a great band at their most vital, it's presented here as over forty tracks for the first time together, professionally re-mastered with background notes and images. Packaged in clamshell box.
8 CD Box Set $45
ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS - Live In Moers 1976 (Jazzline/PO 77025; Germany) Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers' Live In Moers 1976 is an original master concert recording from Moers Jazz Festival (Germany) retrospectively released for the first time in 2016. Live In Moers 1976 is a part of the WDR's The Cologne Broadcasts series, executively produced by jazz historian Dr. Bernd Hoffmann. Both formats include musician credits and liner notes by journalist and radio host Karsten Mützelfeldt in English and German. Arthur "Art" Blakey (October 11, 1919-October 16, 1990) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader who made a name for himself in the 1940s in the big bands of Fletcher Henderson and Billy Eckstine. He then worked with bebop musicians Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. In the mid-1950s, Horace Silver and Blakey formed the Jazz Messengers, a group that the drummer was associated with for the next 35 years. Blakey was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame (in 1981), the Grammy Hall of Fame (in 1998 and 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1991. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz calls the Jazz Messengers "the archetypal hard bop group of the late '50s". Engineered by Franz-Josef Schwarz and re-mastered by Dirk Franken, vinyl cut by John Cremer. Jewel case with slipcase and additional eight-page booklet.
COUNT BASIE BIG BAND - Live in Berlin 1963 (Jazzline/PO 77026; Germany) The Count Basie Big Band's ‘Live In Berlin 1963’ is an original master concert recording from Sportpalast Berlin. Live In Berlin 1963 is a release in the WDR The Cologne Broadcasts series produced by jazz historian Dr. Bernd Hoffmann. William James "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904-April 26, 1984) is an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. WDR (West German Broadcasting Cologne) is the German public broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine- Westphalia with its main office in Cologne. Engineered by Franz-Josef Schwarz and re-mastered by Dirk Franken, both formats include musician credits and liner notes by journalist and radio host Karsten Mützelfeldt in English and German. CD in slipcase with additional eight-page booklet.
Restocks & A Rarity:
ERIC DOLPHY QUINTET With HERBIE HANCOCK / EDDIE ARMOUR / RICHARD DAVIS / EDGAR BATEMAN - Gaslight, 1962 (Get Back 2027; Italy) Featuring Eric Dolphy on alto sax, bass clarinet & flute, Eddie Armour on trumpet, Herbie Hancock on piano, Richard Davis on bass and Edgar Bateman on drums. Super-rare, illegit live date with good but not great sound. Outside of a casket full of live (and studio) sessions from John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, there are not many live recordings from Eric Dolphy as a leader. This quintet features two relatively little known musicians: trumpeter Eddie Armour (who recorded with Mingus the same year as this) and drummer Edgar Bateman (who worked with Ted Curson, Walt Dickerson & Khan Jamal).
“A 1962 broadcast originating from the Gaslight Inn in New York Ciry is the source for this live Italian bootleg. Eric Dolphy leads a pickup group with Herbie Hancock and Richard Davis, along with drummer Edgar Bateman and trumpeter and flugelhornist Ed Armour [and Joe Carrol vocals on one cut]. Dolphy is heard almost exclusively on alto sax, though he does get in a few typically adventurous solos. The leader's memorable flute makes the nearly twelve and a half minute "Left Alone" the most valuable track. There are also performances of his originals "Miss Ann" and "G.W." Singer Joe Carroll dominates a rather forgettable bluesy treatment "Oh, Lady be Good!" in which Dolphy is only featured briefly on bass clarinet. The broadcast is faded with DJ Alan Grant's voice-over on top of an incomplete rendition of Dolphy's "245." This long unavailable LP, later reissued on CD by the now defunct Stash as Live in New York.”
MAX ROACH With BOOKER LITTLE/ COLEMAN HAWKINS / JULIAN PRIESTER / ABBEY LINCOLN / OLATUNJI / et al - We Insist! Freedom Now Suite (Candid 79002; USA)Recorded in August 1960, the year in which black Americans' struggle for civil rights reached critical mass, We Insist! was the first of several jazz-as-protest albums explicitly to voice the growing demand for equal rights. Conceived as a suite by Roach, its composer and arranger, the album features a shifting cast of players, with only Roach and singer Abbey Lincoln heard throughout. Three of the five tracks feature lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr., sung by Lincoln, who is joined on 'All Africa' by Nigerian conga player Michael Olatunji. Veteran tenor saxophone legend Coleman Hawkins makes a powerful statement in 'Driva' Man,' which also features stirring solos from trumpeter Booker Little, trombonist Julian Priester, and tenor saxophonist Walter Benton. The ensemble's focus is razor sharp throughout, honed by Roach's virtuosic drumming, and Abbey Lincoln's screams during her husband's drum solo in 'Triptych: Prayer / Protest / Peace' will send chills down your spine. One of the all-time 'free jazz' classics finally available again. On 180 gram vinyl. "This is a classic. At a time when the civil rights movement was starting to heat up, drummer Max Roach performed and recorded a seven-part suite dealing with black history (particularly slavery) and racism. "Driva' Man" has a powerful statement by veteran tenor Coleman Hawkins and there is valuable solo space elsewhere for trumpeter Booker Little and trombonist Julian Priester, but it is the overall performance of Abbey Lincoln that is most notable. Formerly a nightclub singer, Lincoln really came into her own under Roach's tutelage and she is a strong force throughout this intense set. On "Tryptich: Prayer/Protest/Peace," Lincoln is heard in duets with the drummer and her wrenching screams of rage are quite memorable. This timeless protest record is a gem." ~ Scott Yanow, AMG
MODERN JAZZ QUARTET with MILT JACKSON / JOHN LEWIS / PERCY HEATH / CONNIE KAY- ‘Round Midnight (Candid 79564; USA) This disc was recorded in 1956, where were the early years for the Modern Jazz Quartet on a European tour and were only available through illegitimate sources before this release. I must admit that I am a longtime diehard fan of MJQ and now have over 50 of this discs. The quartet play a few (bebop) standards here like "How High the Moon", "Willow Weep for Me" as well as Christmas song, "God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen". Originals by John Lewis and Milt Jackson are also featured: "Django", "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West" and MJ's "Ralph's New Blues". Although the sound quality could be a bit cleaner with a little less audience sound, the playing is consistently superlative. - BLG
WES MONTGOMERY With STAN TRACEY / RICK LAIRD / RONNIW STEPHENSON - Body and Soul (Candid 79104; USA) Previously Unreleased! Wes Montgomery made just one tour of Europe in 1965 and he was a sensation. Spring of that year found him enjoying a residency at 39 Gerrard Street in London's Soho district - the address of the original Ronnie Scott Club (The Old Place). Backing him were three superb musicians - Stan Tracey on piano, bassist Rick Laird and drummer Ronnie Stephenson. The rhythm section laid down exactly the right groove for Wes to display his awesome talents. The Quartet worked as a cohesive unit throughout. "Bloody Marvelous" - said Ronnie Scott
LOUIS HAYES SEXTET with GARY BARTZ / JOHN STUBBERFIELD / CHARLES TOLLIVER / MICKEY TUCKER / et al - The Crawl - Recorded Live at New Birdland, NYC (Candid 79045; USA) Since the early 1970s, this legend has worked mostly with his own groups and his sextet on this impressive live set includes talented saxophonist Gary Bartz and trumpeter Charles Tolliver. Tenor and soprano saxophonist John Stubblefield, pianist Mickey Tucker and bassist Clint Houston complete the band. Welding these gifted musicians into a band are the swift and sure hands and feet, lightning reflexes and razor sharp mind of Louis Hayes whose early influences were all the best (Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones). “Veteran modal and post bop stylists from the 1970s are featured on this enjoyable CD. Trumpeter Charles Tolliver, altoist Gary Bartz, tenor saxophonist John Stubblefield, pianist Mickey Tucker and bassist Clint Houston along with the drummer/leader are all heard in fine form even if Tolliver and to a lesser extent Bartz had not yet lived up to their great early potential. Bartz is brilliant during his feature spot on "Autumn in New York," Tolliver shows that he was still full of strong ideas, Stubblefield sounds quite original on both tenor and soprano and the rhythm section is superb. In fact bassist Houston often steals solo honors and his speedy patterns behind the horns are always worth listening to closely. With interesting modal originals to blow on, in addition to a blues and a pair of standards, this live session from 1989 has many memorable moments.” - Scott Yanow, AllMusicGuide
TED CURSON & COMPANY With CHRIS WOODS / NICK BRIGNOLA / JIM McNEELY / DAVID FRIESEN / STEVE McCALL / et al - Jubilant Power (Inner City 1017; USA) Featuring Ted Curson on trumpets& compositions, Chris Woods on alto sax, Nick Brignola on bari sax, Andy Laverne or Jim McNeely on piano, David Friesen on bass and Steve McCall or Bob Merigliano on drums. I recall seeing this sextet play at Carnegie Hall for a Newport/New York Fest and they were amazing! I also bought their album the same year (1976) and was equally knocked out. A true classic date in the Charles Mingus vein. - BLG
ARIWO - Ariwo (Mañana Cuba 002; USA) Ariwo are a Cuban/Iranian four-piece focused on the rich intersection between electronic music, Afro-Cuban rhythm and Iranian mysticism. Ariwo, their debut album, is the second release on Manana Records, launched as part of the !K7 Collective and inspired by 2016's groundbreaking Manana Festival in Santiago, Cuba. The band brings together Iranian electronic music composer Pouya Ehsaei and three of London's most influential Cuban musicians: Irakere and Carlos Acosta's Latin Grammy-winning percussion virtuoso, Hammadi Valdes, Yussef Kamaal and Sierra Maestra lead trumpeter Yelfris Valdes, and godfather of London's Cuban scene, Oreste Noda. To the band, the project's goal is to "connect our native musical traditions to electronic music in a way that pushes beyond traditional Cuban and Iranian identity, creating a sound that does not belong to any specific culture." The word "Ariwo" means "noise" in Yoruba, an African religion that came to Cuba during the transatlantic slave trade and heavily influenced the island's musical development. For the three Cuban musicians in particular, Ariwo is about shining a light on the incredible and largely unrecognized cultural heritage that resounds through the barrios of Havana, Matanzas, Guantánamo and Santiago de Cuba. Ariwo features genres like yambú, songo, guaguancó, and changüí, as well as echoes of Havana's legendary conga processions. Ehsaei programs his electronics and processes the instrumentation live, constantly changing the intensity to create a real-time dialog that elevates these rich ancestral traditions. RIYL: Irakere, Miles Davis, Carl Craig, Ondatropica, Hugh Masekela.
OUTSIDE WORLD - Less and Less Visible (Self-produced; USA) Personnel: Hazel Rigby - bass/vocals & electronics, Ben Scott - drums, vocals, guitar & electronics, Taylor Adams - guitar & electronics plus Eve Essex - sax. Ben Scott, from Outside World, just dropped off two cassettes and mentioned being influenced by Henry Cow, which is always a good sign. Strange, post-punk to no wave, with some prog-like, angular guitars, odd, chilling sort of deadpan voices, late seventies-like, closer to This Heat or Pere Ubu than H. Cow. Near spastic, stop & start motion, interlocking guitar parts… somewhat chilling or disturbing. The two guitars hum and use selective bits of feedback at a more restrained level. I dig the female vocals on “Human = Garbage”, which again recall an earlier No Wavish era. The electronics & effects are used sparingly and add a strong, skeletal, quirky, unpredictable side to this music, making things hard to pin down to any style or genre. There is a long stretch of electronics which sound like old analog equipment like a modular synth which is listed in the liner notes. I dig the way the guitars are used here, more for textures and moods, rarely if ever soloing. Both guitarists here don’t quite sound like any other guitarists I can think of, often adding the element of surprise to just where they are coming from and going to. There are a number of unexpected twists here: a short section of hard rock blasting, quaint yet odd harmony vocal bits here and there, “I don’t like the rich” they chant at one point and rich, a tight, mutant synth & drums segment. This cassette is one one of the most enigmatic pieces of music I’ve heard in quite some time. It is in a class or world of its own making. The fact this this release is on cassette only actually makes some kind of sense since the band sounds like they exist in a bubble from the late seventies. Pretty f*cking incredible considering that I haven’t heard about them before now! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
OUTSIDE WORLD - Started Itself (Self-produced; USA) Personnel: Ben Scott on drums & field recordings, Hazel Rigby on bass and Taylor Adams on guitar. The is the second release from a local band called Outside World, whose drummer, Ben Scott, came to visit the other day, leaving us with two cassette-only releases. I reviewed the other cassette first (‘Less and Less Visible’) and was knocked out by there unique post-punk/no wave/somewhat proggish blend. Although Mr. Scott admits to being influenced by Henry Cow, I hear more This Heat or Pere Ubu, in their distinctive sound.
This cassette he claims to be more improv based and includes no vocals. Noisy, intense and explosive at times, yet somehow tight (directed?) and focused. Guitarist Taylor Adams is consistently expanding his sound with different eruptions, strumming furiously, adding layers of fractured notes while the rhythm team plays with more restraint underneath. Similar to Haino Keiji’s power trio Fushitsusha, but not as brutal. If you are a fan of primal No Wave/Noise bands like Mars or DNA, than this is the band for you! Guitarist Adams like to bathe his guitar in waves of feedback, but without losing control of the noise. On the second side of this cassette the trio slows down and mellows a bit but keeps the same disorienting vibe at the center. The bassist takes a strong solo midway with the guitar and drums swirling quietly around her. The overall vibe here is one of quiet desperation or things on the verge of falling apart. A very effective way of creating a somewhat dark, grey day, swimming in a river of molasses upstream against the tide. Floating on quicksand but not drowning in despair. A sort of soundtrack for the precarious times that we are living in now. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SUNWATCHERS AND EUGENE CHADBOURNE - 3 Characters (Amish Records 050; USA) "Sunwatchers teamed up with Eugene Chadbourne for two days of recording in October 2016 which resulted in Sunwatchers And Eugene Chadbourne's 3 Characters. These sessions were dedicated exclusively to the music of the Minutemen, Doug Sahm and Henry Flynt. Having never played together before, all the songs were completed in one or two takes and the recordings reflect an urgency and immediacy that audiences have to come to expect from these musicians. The three characters invoked on these recordings offer models for our current political and societal struggles. Creating a music that is both personal and political, artistic and activist, these three figures were/are soulful and practical examples of the artist-as-laborer, addressing a call for social justice and musical spontaneity. Chadbourne and Sunwatchers have taken up this struggle, touring and recording, writing and collaborating, throughout their respective careers. Pushing this ethos out into the field and on this recording, 3 Characters is a reverential labor of love, where musical labor becomes a form of both love and resistance. Mike Watt joins the conversation with spoken interpretations of lyrics, poetry, speeches and assorted agit-prop. Having Watt's contemporary voice alongside so many songs that he wrote and defined suggests this, and all artistic collaborations, function as part of a long continuum that inform future callings."
2 LP Set $28
BRUCE RUSSELL & NOEL MEEK - Classical Music (Feeding Tube Records 405; USA) "You know that old phrase, 'Teach a penguin to cuss, and you'll never have to buy another comedy record' I'm sure you do. But what about its codicil? 'Teach a guitarist to play synth, and you'll never have to buy a new age record?' If you know that one, you might well be put off by the fact this album features one of New Zealand's most wickedly post-tongue guitar players fiddling about with oscillators and analog synths (in concert with a guy who does this stuff all the time). But you need not fear. The only New Age being brunted about here is the same one Fahey disemboweled back in '97. An ornery cuss, it has lived in the cracks some-damn-place, only re-emerging now that it has been called forth by Bruce Russell and Noel Meek. Much of the sound on Classical Music (how Fahey would have loved everything about this record!) makes me think of Chris Marker's classic film, La Jetée (1962). As you certainly recall, the central motif in that film is the main quay at Aéroport de Paris-Orly, where visitors gather to watch the jets land and take off (just as I did at New York's Idlewild Airport when I was a kid). Well, particularly on the second side, this record is a jolt of aural déjà vu for me. If I close my eyes I can almost see a parade of 707s and DC-8s careening around the flats of Long Island, missing collisions by what seem like a series of miracles to me. Mr. Russell's last LP for us was 2016's Howling and Instability at High Volume Settings (FTR 219LP), and it is a sheer pleasure to realize how unstable he can be on instruments besides the guitar. Mr. Meek is wildly successful at this as well, and the combination is as bracing as an early morning slap of Old Spice. Step up for blast of Classical Music-style reality today. You'll be oh-so-glad you did." - Byron Coley, 2018. Edition of 250.
BLOOD QUARTET - Until My Darkness Goes (Feeding Tube Records 414; USA) "The second LP by Mark Cunningham's current Spanish outfit, Blood Quartet, marks a directional shift from their 2016 debut LP, Deep Red (FTR 283LP). On Until My Darkness Goes the quartet abandons pure instrumentalism, including a few vocal takes by drummer Cândid Coll strewn amidst the album's various tangles. There is also a much more aggressively rockist focus shown at times. Rumor has always been that this is a firm part of the band's live trip, but recorded evidence of it has thus far been scarce. Of course, most of Until My Darkness Goes is in the same great vein as Deep Red. Noirish trumpet drifts across a rotten cityscape, batting down noise guitar rats that pop up from open manhole covers like goddamn Whack-a-Moles. But there are other things going on as well. "Surfing Rueda" sounds like some sort of unholy collaboration between the Raybeats and Sonic Youth. "Stress of Her Regard" plays like Robert Wyatt doing his version of hard rock vocals in front of the Tony Williams Lifetime. "Velvet Love" curls through the air like a smoky reconsideration on Eric Burdon & the Animals' soft-psych phase. It's crazy how fast this record drifts from style to style, although Blood Quartet always touches back to their basic Chet Baker meets Pete Cosey conception. The whole album is a collection of wild moves, as you might guess from the fact they cop a Stones quote for its title, and even name a track after the Representative from Corwood. I can't wait to hear what these guys get up to next, but for now we've all got plenty to digest. So dig in." --Byron Coley, 2018. Edition of 250.
MAXINE FUNKE - Silk (Feeding Tube 434; USA) "Silk is the fantastic third LP by Maxine Funke, a New Zealand musician whose first recordings were with the legendary $100 Band (Funke, Alastair Galbraith, and Mike Dooley!), whose music was drifting experimental dust of a very high order. Maxine's first two solo albums, Lace (2008) and Felt (2012) (originally released as CDR on Galbraith's Next Best Way and a lathe on Epic Sweep, respectively), were reissued by Time-Lag to great acclaim in 2016, securing her place in the upper echelons of contemporary folk inventors. With the release of Silk, Ms. Funke manages to create an album that merges both of these style threads. Many of the tracks are cast in an intimate mood congruent with artists like Sibylle Baier, Barbara Manning, Myriam Gendron, Joanne Robertson, and other women who have pulled sweetly dark sounds from pockets of deep emotion, abetted largely by acoustic guitar. On a few other tracks, electronic instrumentals hearken back to her work with transceivers in the $100 Band days. The balance between these posts is delicately intoxicating. A readymade classic from start to finish, Silk travels a brilliant series of spaceways with grace and assurance. We should all be so lucky." --Byron Coley, 2018. Edition of 400.
STATE CHAMPION - Send Flowers (Feeding Tube Records 416; USA) "Although I have lately taken to associating Louisville's Ryan Davis with the maniacal blurt of Tropical Trash, I am reminded by the release of the fourth State Champion LP, Send Flowers, that this is his original mothership. Send Flowers is State Champion's most fully realized Beard Rock expression to date. The surrealist underpinnings of Ryan's lyrics are heavier than ever, but that is balanced by the band's most epiphanically tasty licking. The pieces fit together with such easy organic grace, it's tempting to suspect they're simple. But the closer you listen to the parts the more complex they appear. This begins with Ryan's words, which are sung so gracefully you have to concentrate to pick up on the timeless phrases he invents here, but when you pay attention they jump up and just about bite you. The same thing goes for the instrumentation, which initially passes as a mere recreation of lost Topanga threads, but surpasses those bounds with the something approaching the same assurance as the David Lindley-led band on Terry Reid's River LP (the transcendent Beard Rock masterpiece). Send Flowers will almost surely be misapprehended by lazy farmers and the cows who follow them. It may also be anathema to folks who primarily head-link it to Tropical Trash, but for anyone who digs the new generation of singer/songwriters out there, from Wooden Wand to Ned Collette to the legacy of the Silver Jews. Peel slowly and see." - Byron Coley, 2018.
THE VISITORS - The Deniz Tek Collection Vol. 1 (Wild Honey Records 036; Italy) "Wild Honey Records is proud to present a new series of releases, following the career of rock'n'roll icon Deniz Tek post Radio Birdman. With this collection, we will reissue (sometimes for the first time in vinyl!) all his solo and band material post '78, with new material, liner notes, and graphics and bonus tracks. We begin with the long-awaited reissue on vinyl of the legendary Visitors LP. From 1978 to 1979 The Visitors were Deniz Tek on guitar, Mark Sisto on vocals, Ron Keeley on drums, Pip Hoyle on keyboards and Steve Harris on bass. Their style was a dark mixture. The band being 3/5ths Birdman, including the chief songwriter, was essentially what the next phase of Radio Birdman would have been, had the band continued on. At the same time, the sound of the band was more like the early Birdman days with the single guitar and keyboard format. The music was hard and heavy, while maintaining a melodic sense unusual in those immediate post-punk days. The Visitors recorded a session's worth of demos at the 8-track Palm Studio in Sydney, essentially playing their entire set live in the studio direct to tape. From this source tape, recorded in one day with minimal overdubs, came a 12 inch vinyl EP, a full length LP, now impossible to find. Now it's finally time for a much needed reissue, complete with the bonus track 'Skimp the Pimp'."
SUNFLARE - ON (feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz FTR 420; USA) Feeding Tube Records and Cardinal Fuzz announce, at last, the long-awaited Sunflare album, ON. After three previous releases of brain-frying, high volume, pedal-to-the-metal freak-outs, Sunflare are at last back to bring some serious brain-buzzing, primitive punk scorch to a prevailing M.O.R. psych scene in need of some serious face melting. Hailing from Lisboa, Portugal, Sunflare are a scorchin' power trio specializing in high-energy Psychedelic Speed Freak wipe-outs. ON is here to fry minds with a driving rhythm section that brings new meaning to the word relentless and a guitar player that is perpetually freeform feedback soloing over every second committed to wax via the gnarliest of fuzz and wah-wah pedal abuse. Over two sides of vinyl there is never any let up as Sunflare deliver a blazing eruption of ear-piercing sound. With ON also comes a second LP of the long out-of-print "C30 - Red Tape" release (only ever available as a cassette back in 2010). As soon as you put this on, you will see why both Feeding Tube and Cardinal Fuzz were so desperate to include this as part of the ON package and commit it to vinyl at long last. If you like High Rise, Comets On Fire, and drinking petrol, then this is the band and record for you. ON is presented in a 320 grams wide spine card sleeve; comes with a download code.
2 LP Set $30
SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU - Pianisme (Sub Rosa 457; Belgium) Sylvain Chauveau on Pianisme: "Piano always had a central role in my discography and this selection of short pieces showcases what might be my musical signature: quietness, slow pace, long resonances, a close as possible to silence. Music to be played at night."
Pianisme is a collection of unreleased and out-of-print piano works composed and recorded since 2004. Most of them are part of soundtracks for feature films by French director Sébastien Betbeder (from 2007's Nuage and the very rare short film Nu Devant Un Fantôme, whose music was completely unpublished until now). Also released for the first time: "In The Twilight Of Paris" (written the day after Luc Ferrari's death, as a quiet homage to a composer whose works have often been part of the Sub Rosa catalog) and "Soñando", straight repetition and variations on a minimal pattern, created for choreographer Christian Rizzo's 2010 show L'Oubli, toucher du bois. Performers include Sylvain Chauveau, Pierre-Yves Macé, Olivier Lageyre, and Rasim Biyikli.
OCTAVIAN NEMESCU - Gradeatia - Natural 1973-83 (Sub Rosa 467; Belgium) Nemescu was born in Pascani, Romania in 1940. He studied composition with Mihail Jora at University of Music in Bucharest. While still a student, he imposed himself as part of avant-garde movement in Romanian music composition. After 1965 he produced works of the "open creation" type, a blending of conceptual and environmental music. He involved himself after 1967 in the Romanian spectral trend. Starting with the work Concentric (1969), his creation received archetypal vocation by cultivating an aesthetic of the essential. Octavian Nemescu cultivated the archetypal goals on all parameters and musical forms. He is the author of Implosive Music and of Imaginary Music. He composed Multi-, Post-, Non- and Pre-Symphonies. Later, he became interested in music with initiation character, developed in a non-spectacular, ritualistic atmosphere, as a chance to reinvigorate the old mysteries and as a modality of awakening from biological, mental and spiritual sleep. Gradeatia was composed in 1982, commissioned by the Electroacoustic Music Studio in Gent (Belgium), where it was elaborated. It was conceived as ambient music for Voronet Monastery in Moldavia, as an electronic-audio fresco paralleling the existing one, embracing the idea of mural-visual consistency. It happened in a historic moment when the communist regime in Romania demolished many churches, and was conceived as a protest to these actions. Natural was composed in 1973, in its first version, and again in 1983, in a final version. This music has a spectral aesthetic orientation and at the same time, process-based and archetypal orientations.
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for December of 2018:
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - IKUE MORI - DEC 11–15
8:30 pm - Mephista - Ikue Mori (electronics) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Susie Ibarra (drums)
8:30 pm - Ikue Mori (electronics) John Zorn (sax) Jim Staley (trombone) Brian Marsella (keyboards)
CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS
CLOSED UNTIL JANUARY 2
THE STONE COMMISSIONS
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 26: NED ROTHENBERG - TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS
In collaboration with National Sawdust The Stone presents a series of World Premieres the last Wednesday of every month through 2018.
7pm at National Sawdust in Williamsburg. For details check https://nationalsawdust.org/event/jazz-stone-commissioning-series/
THE STONE AT RUSS AND DAUGHTERS CAFE! THURSDAY DECEMBER 27: MARK FELDMAN
ONE SET AT 8PM — ADMISSION FREE! The Stone is proud to present music at Russ and Daughters Cafe at 127 Orchard Street the last Thursday of every month! Drop by for smoked fish, pickles and great music!
THE (NEW) STONE is located in The New School’s Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th street - near 6th ave
All Sets at The New Stone start at 8:30pm Tickets: $20
There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone.
Only music. All ages are welcome. Cash Only at the door.
A serious listening environment.
The Stone is booked purely on a curatorial basis
The CORNELIA STREET CAFE
29 Cornelia St - 212-989-9319
In the heart of the West Greenwich Village, NYC
Friday Dec 14
8:35PM ANDREW RATHBUN QUINTET, CD RELEASE: CHARACTER STUDY - Andrew Rathbun, saxophones; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Gary Versace, piano; Jay Anderson, bass; Bill Stewart, drums
Saturday Dec 15
6:00PM AN EVENING OF SONG, POETRY, AND MUSIC - Barry Wallenstein, poetry; Alan Rosenthal, piano; Ken Filiano, bass; Robert Silverman, trumpet; Jeremy Carlstedt, drums; Vincent Chancey, french horn; Kaori Yamada, hand drum; & Jeffery Cyphers Wright
8:35PM ANDREW RATHBUN QUINTET, CD RELEASE: CHARACTER STUDY - Andrew Rathbun, saxes; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Gary Versace, piano; Jay Anderson, bass; Bill Stewart, drums
Sunday Dec 16
6:00PM CONCEPT LAB VOLUME IV - Seth Boustead, piano; Talia Dicker, cello; Irene Fitzgerald-Cherry, violin; Miles Massicotte, piano; Gene Pritsker, electric guitar; Roger Tréfousse, piano
8:01PM HELIO ALVES QUARTET - Helio Alves, piano; Vic Juris, guitar; Edward Perez, bass; Matt Wilson, drums
Tues Dec 18th:
6:00PM ANIMALS IN MY EAR - Adam Fisher, cello, vocals, compositions; plus special guests
8:00PM CYNTHIA SOL - Cynthia Sol, vocals; Jesse Elder, piano; Alex Wyatt, drums; Richard Padron, guitar;
9:30PM JOE PINO QUINTET - Joe Pino, trumpet/flugelhorn; Philip Weberndorfer, guitar; Santiago Liebson, piano; Emiliano Lasansky, bass; Andrew Kushnir, drums
Wednesday Dec 19
8:01PM KYLE NASSER QUINTET - Kyle Nasser, tenor, soprano sax; Rich Perry, tenor sax; Ethan Iverson, piano; Pablo Menares, bass; Jeff Hirshfield, drums
Thursday Dec 20
8:01PM ALEX LORE QUARTET - Alex LoRe, alto sax; Glenn Zaleski, piano; Desmond White, bass; Allan Mednard, drums
Friday Dec 21
8:35PM GILAD HEKSELMAN & FRIENDS - Gilad Hekselman, guitar; Joel Ross, vibes
Saturday Dec 22
8:35PM GILAD HEKSELMAN & FRIENDS - Gilad Hekselman, guitar; Colin Stranahan, drums
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018 - 8:30 PM 10:30 PM
LENA BLOCH'S FEATHERY
Lena Bloch - Saxophone
Russ Lossing - Piano
Cameron Brown - Bass
Billy Mintz - Drums
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018 - 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
KAZUKI YAMANAKA QUARTET
Kazuki Yamanaka (alto saxophone)
Russ Lossing (piano)
Cameron Brown (bass)
Gerald Cleaver (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.
Bill Laswell concerts
Dec. 14, 2018 (fri) @ Nublu, NYC
Peter Apfelbaum (keys, sax) Brandon Seabrook (gt)
Bill Laswell (b), Mark Guiliana (ds)
The Bushwick Improvised Music Series
Continues on November 12th @ Bushwick Public House!
Monday December 17th 7pm John Loggia Ensemble Hans Tammen - buchla Eric Plaks - keyboard
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor sax, Ron Stabinsky - hammond B3 & Kevin Shea - drums
9pm Billy Mintz - drums, Roberta Piket - piano , Hilliard Greene - bass, Rich Perry - tenor sax, Adam Kolker - saxes & Dave Scott - trumpet
9:45pm Adam Lane - bass , Richard Tabnik - alto saxophone, Jay Rosen - drums
10:45pm Michael Larocca - drums, Kaelen Ghandhi - alto sax, Jonathan Milberger - tenor sax
11:30pm Lisanne Tremblay - violin, Michael Formanek - bass & Colin Hinton - drums
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
The Jazz Gallery Presents:
Saturday, December 8th:
Stephan Crump – acoustic bass
Kris Davis – piano
Eric McPherson – drums
sets at 7.30pm 9.30pm
Tues Dec 11th:
Harish Raghavan – bass
Joel Ross – vibraphone
Immanuel Wilkins – saxophone
Micah Thomas – piano
sets at 7.30pm 9.30pm
Tues Dec 11th:
ERIC REVIS GROUP FEATURING JULIUS RODRIGUEZ
AT THE NATIONAL JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM
THE JAZZ GALLERY MENTORING SERIES VOL.5, ED.3
Eric Revis – bass
Julius Rodriguez – piano
Andrew D’Angelo – saxophone
Nasheet Waits – drums
The Jazz Gallery is Located at:
1160 Broadway, 5th fl
between 27th 28th streets
New York, NY 10001 USA
DECEMBER SHOWS for Eli Wallace - Keyboard Wiz & Composer:
Sunday 12/16 Outskirts Piano Series II, Brooklyn NY (I’m curating this one)
7pm: Sam Yulsman, solo piano
8pm: Mara Rosenbloom, solo piano
Friday 12/21 Vamp, Oakland CA
8pm: Rob Pumpelly - Drums
Rent Romus - Saxophones
Eli Wallace - Piano
9pm: Ero Guro
Tom Weeks - Alto Saxophone and Compositions
Mike Srouji - Bass
Robbie Pruett - Drums
Patrick Talesfore, Jr. - Drums
William Hooker in 2019
“360 Degrees of Straight Liftoff” w/
Bob Holman, William Parker, Raymond Nat Turner, William Hooker.
Bowery Poetry Club - 308 Bowery, NYC.,
Sunday, January 13, 2019 3 PM $10.00 Admission.
Info and tickets – 347-898-7223.
William Hooker event
Live Music / Silent Film - * Solo drums -“Symbol of the Unconquered” – Oscar Michaeux (1920) a Silent film….
*“QuartetMOON” – w/ Jon Irabagon, Mara Rosenbloom, Adam Lane, William Hooker – New music in the free jazz tradition…..
Shapeshifter Lab – 18 Whitwell Place , Brooklyn , NY. -
Wednesday 23rd, 2019 7 pm. General admission $8-$15.00
tickets and information - 646-820-9452