by Country Joe & the Fish from ‘Electric Music for the Mind and Body’ (1967)*
I'm stuck on the L.A. freeway
Got rain water in my boots
My thumbs done froze, can't feel my toes
I feel a little destitute
Wheels throwing water all over my axe
And Mr. Jones won't lend me a hand
Up come two cats in a Cadillac
And they say: 'Won't you hop in, man?'
I went flying high all the way, all the way.
The one that's driving's got a bowler hat
The other's got a fez on his head
They turn around and grin and I grin back
But not a word was said
So I took out my harp and I played 'em a tune
I could see they were diggin' it
Then the one with the fez, well he turns and he says
'We'd like to help you make your trip.'
I went flying high all the way, all the way.
He said: 'We can't leave him out in the rain'
'He just might freeze and die'
'So why not put him on a plane'
'And send him home in the sky?'
So they took me to the L.A. airport
Laid twenty dollars in my hand
Well, I paid my fare, I'm in the air
Flying back home again
And I went flying high
All the way, yeah all the way, all the way
You know I went flying high all the way
Don't you know I went flying high all the...
* I turned 13 and was Bar Mitzvahed at the end of June in 1967. I soon started to buy (long playing) albums for the first time, one or two a week during the Summer of Love (1967). My first purchases included: the Mothers of Invention’s ‘Freak Out!’, the first album by Love (self-titled), ‘Fresh Cream’, the Rolling Stones’ first greatest hits (‘High Tide & Green Grass’) and Country Joe & the Fish’s ‘Electric Music for the Mind and Body’. These albums changed my life, my perspective on music and its effect on our culture.
Many of these albums still sound marvelous and mysterious today, more than fifty years later. I became friends with the author & producer Sam Charters a few years back, before his passing. In one of our first conversations, I mentioned that he produced my favorite psychedelic records of all, the first Country Joe & the Fish album. He laughed and said he was the only in the studio not tripping… an exaggeration, perhaps? The song above captures a certain time when many of us felt the need to fly high… in a plane or by other means - BLG
This Week’s Menu of sonic Delights are:
Dave Holland with Evan Parker / Craig Taborn / Ches Smith! 9 from FMR: Glasgow Improvisers Orch: Evan Parker & Marilyn Crispell! Two Paul Dunmall / Phil Gibbs Qts! Two from Ian Brighton! Two from Pat Thomas! John Heward / Lori Freedman / Joe McPhee / Barre Phillips..!
Morton Subotnick! Alvin Lucier! Phill Niblock! Burnt Sugar Compilation! Two from Quinsin Nachoff: Dave Binney & Matt Mitchell Mark Helias & ! Historic Discs from: John Coltrane! Billie Holiday! Lee Perry & King Tubby! And more!
Upcoming Sets at Downtown Music Gallery - FREE, every Sunday at 6pm
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
7pm: EMILY DENISON / ANDREW FURLONG - Trumpet / Bass
Sunday, February 3rd:
6pm: JESSE DULMAN QUARTET: RAS MOSHE / DAVE SEWELSON / LEONID GALAGANOV / JESSE DULMAN
7pm: THE BEYOND GROUP: CHERYL PYLE - C Alto Flutes / MICHAEL EATON - Soprano Sax /
CLAIRE de BRUNNER - Bassoon / GENE COLEMAN - Bass Flute & Piccolo
Sunday, February 10th:
6pm: XANDER NAYLOR / RYAN DUGRE - Guitar Duet
7pm: OUTSIDE WORLD: HAZEL RIGBY / BEN SCOTT / TAYLOR ADAMS
Sunday, February 17th:
6pm: LIOR MILLIGER / HILLIARD GREENE / JOE HERTENSTEIN
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
ANNOUNCEMENT to All Drummers who have played here at DMG!
We are soon going to be losing our Gretch drum kit which will go back to the rehearsal studio from where it came. We still have two drum kits left but both are not very good. Plus our hi-hat stand recently broke!?! To any drummers, if you can donate any parts, drums, cymbals, hardware, etc., please do so and let us know. Former Dutch drummer Michael Vatcher is currently living uptown and helps out here on Mondays. He will be helping us take better care of what we have as far as the drums and gear. Thanks for your time and any help. - BLG
This week's Dynamite Discs begin with this Amazing 2 CD set:
DAVE HOLLAND With EVAN PARKER / CRAIG TABORN / CHES SMITH - Uncharted Territories (Dare2 Records 010; USA) Featuring Evan Parker on tenor sax, Craig Taborn on piano, organ, keyboards & electronics, Dave Holland on bass and Ches Smith on drums. British-born bassist Dave Holland has been living in the US for a half century, since coming here to play with Miles Davis in 1969 (where he played electric bass). Mr. Holland soon hooked up with Chick Corea, Anthony Braxton & Barry Altschul to form Circle, also collaborating with Sam Rivers for his seminal trio. Mr. Holland’s first date as a leader featured both Mr. Braxton & Mr. Rivers, remains a classic today, is called, ‘Conference of the Birds’. Since then, Mr. Holland has had a series of great bands, big and small. When Mr. Holland was still living in London, he collaborated with early Company/SME musicians: Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Kenny Wheeler & John Stevens. Mr. Holland and Mr. Parker have remained friends ever since and have long talked about collaborating. They finally did in May of 2017, adding two important Downtown musicians: keyboard whiz, Craig Taborn and the great percussionist, Ches Smith. Mr. Holland had never played with either of these two before but did select them wisely. Besides being a master bassist, Mr. Holland is a gifted composer and bandleader. For this lengthy two disc set, Holland wrote one song and Ches Smith, two. Other than those three pieces, everything else was improvised in the studio, which includes a series of duos, trios and quartet improvs. Hence, everyone involved gets plenty of chances to stretch out. The good news is this: the legendary, well-loved sax giant, Evan Parker, who has been recording and touring in the US less frequently in recent times is in especially fine form here. Had I not known that most of this was improvised I might’ve thought otherwise since these four musicians have a group sound and explore a variety of approaches and combinations. I just caught Craig Taborn on three of his five nights at The Stone last week (Jan 8th-12th, 2019), he was consistently amazing! He is a master musicians no matter which keyboard he is playing, here playing piano, organ & electronics. I am working me way through the first disc now, impressed at the diversity and unexpected twists and turns. I will check out the second dis later today. A supreme endeavor to be sure. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $17
Nine Amazing New Discs from the Mighty FMR Label:
GLASGOW IMPROVISERS ORCHESTRA Featuring MARILYN CRISPELL & EVAN PARKER RAYMOND MacDONALD / GEORGE BURT / MAGGIE NICOLS / GINO ROBAIR / et al- Parallel Moments Unbroken (FMR 520; UK) Each CD features two performances from the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (GIO), (from 6/29/14 & 12/01/13), with varying yet shared personnel. Each of these two large ensembles have some 20 for CD-1 and 28 members for disc 2. Scottish saxist (soprano & alto), Raymond MacDonald, composed and directs each ensemble, doing a marvelous job of weaving layers of directed improvisations. This is the 9th release by GIO and each previous one is worth investigating. Previous featured guests have included: Barry Guy, George Lewis, Lol Coxhill and Maggie Nicols.
Both parts of “Parallel Moments Unknown” were commissioned by the BBC, “Part 1” recorded in December of 2103 and “Part 2” recorded in June of 2014. Even with 20 musicians on disc 1, things rarely get very dense. Saxist Evan Parker and pianist Marilyn Crispell are the featured guests here (each on one part) as well as a number Glasgow’s best improvisers: Neil Davidson, Adam Linson, George Burt & Graeme Wilson. On the second part, the orchestra is expanded to some 28 musicians and guests include: Maggie Nicols (voice), Gino Rpbair (percussion) and Corey Mwamba (vibes). Even with so large an ensemble, there is a strong focus, an impressive balance several extremes, loose and tight, dense and sparse, calm and intense. Everything here unfolds organically, another most impressive endeavor from the wonderful Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $18
PAUL DUNMALL / PHILIP GIBBS / JAMES OWSTON / JIM BASHFORD - Inner and Outer (FMR 513; UK) Featuring Paul Dunmall on tenor sax, Philip Gibbs on guitar, James Owston on bass and Jim Bashford on drums. This is a studio date from August of 2018. Since moving to south France a number of years ago and with the demise of Keith Tippett’s Mujician quartet, Paul Rogers is no longer Paul Dunmall’s most consistent collaborator. The amazing but under-recognized guitarist, Philip Gibbs, is now found on more discs with Mr. Dunmall than anyone else (70 at the last count). Although the bassist here, James Owston, is a new name for me, the drummer, Jim Bashford, has appeared on four previous discs from Paul Dunmall. What makes this session different is that there aren’t many previous sessions where Mr. Dunmall plays tenor only and where he and Mr. Gibbs share the frontline together. Both Gibbs and Dunmall are in strong form here and kicked higher by the powerful, turbulent rhythm team. Just incredible! I dig when things calm down for the second piece, the guitar and sax still burning quietly together, exchanging lines, always connected somehow. Phil Gibbs sounds as if he hasn’t played in a while and is making up for long time by erupting with furious, frenetic lines which are played in a restrained fashion. At times, Mr. Gibbs and the drummer erupt tightly together, linking their lines into a colossal, free-ish exchange.
PAUL DUNMALL / JULIAN SIEGEL / PERCY PURSGLOVE / MARK SANDERS - As One Does (FMR 512; UK) Featuring Paul Dunmall on tenor sax, Julian Siegel on tenor sax & bass clarinet, Percy Pursglove on bass & trumpet and Mark Sanders on drums. UK saxophone colossus, Paul Dunmall, has a knack for finding other great saxists to work with and putting them in situations which will allow them to stretch out. Here is a short list of previous sax collaborators: Evan Parker, Jon Irabagon, Tony Malaby, Elton Dean and soon Alan Skidmore. I don’t know British saxist Julian Siegel very well although he can be found a number of discs from UK labels: Naim, Babel and Vocalion. Trumpeter Percy Pursglove is yet another Dunmall discovery and can be found on a half dozen previous discs from Dunmall. Master drummer, Mark Sanders, is always in-demand having worked with Evan Parker & Jah Wobble, as well as dozens of discs with Dunmall and cohorts.
This disc starts out quietly, the quartet taking their time to build up the intensity. Mr. Pursglove plays mostly bass on the first few pieces, working together with drummer Mark Sanders, the two providing a strong undercurrent for both saxes. Mr. Sanders’ consistently creative drumming is always at the center of what is going on here, balancing both saxes no matter what they do. Sanders is especially impressive when he switches to mallets, listening closely and weaving rhythmic currents within the innards of the quartet. One of the things I dig most about this session is that there is little over-the-top double tenor blasting. The playing is often more cerebral yet consistently spirited no matter where they go. Mr. Siegel sounds great on bass clarinet and gets a couple of chances to stretch out at length. Another marvelous session from Paul Dunmall and his ever-changing crew! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
IAN BRIGHTON With RADU MALFATTI / PHILIPP WACHSMANN / MARCIO MATTOS / ROGER SMITH / JIM LIVESEY - Marsh Gas (FMR 521 / Bead 3; UK) Reissue from 1977, originally on the legendary & obscure Bead Records label. This is series of solos, duo, trio & quartet from the great yet British avant/jazz guitarist, Ian Brighton, with a fine cast of seasoned improvisers: Radu Malfatti (trombone), who went from intense improv with Barry Guy to extreme minimalism of the Erstwhile/Wandelweiser schools; Philipp Wachsmann (violin), Roger Smith (acoustic guitar), Marcio Mattos (bass), and Jim Livesy on alto sax.
The music on this disc is based on a quirky short story written by Mr. Brighton and described in the liner notes with a handful of cartoons inside as well, illustrating the tale. This music does capture a certain UK free music, plink-plonk, focused, stretching out time by slowing things down at times… Ian Brighton sounds a bit like Derek Bailey although he rarely goes as far out as DB. His guitar is always at the center of these solo, duo, trio & quartet pieces. There is a distinctively British approach to improv which was invented in the mid-1960’s and has evolved ever since. This music captures that sound/approach, very carefully constructed, almost scientific, with no reference to traditional jazz or pop melodies. Much of this is stripped down and skeletal with occasional flurries from the the trombone, either/both guitars, bass and/or alto sax. The are sections where the rubbed strings, twisted breath sounds from the trombone and sax create an combination of sounds. It will be interesting to compare this disc with another Brighton session, a sextet from 40 years later, released at the same time (2019) as this old, rare, historic reissue. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
IAN BRIGHTON With PHILIPP WACHSMANN / FRANCOIS CARRIER / STEVE BERESFORD / NEIL METCALFE / MARCIO MATTOS / TREVOR TAYLOR / JON SEAGROATT - Imagination (FMR 497; UK) Featuring Ian Brighton on electric guitar, Philipp Wachsmann on violin & electronics, Francois Carrier & Jon Seagroatt on saxes & bass clarinet, Neil Metcalfe on flute, Steve Beresford on piano, Marcio Mattos on bass, cello & electronics and Trevor Taylor on percussion & electronics. The great British improvising guitarist, Ian Brighton, retired from playing for some three decades, returning to the studio or stage in 2016. This sessions combines some of Mr. Brighton’s old cohorts like: Philipp Wachsmann, Marcio Mattos and Trevor Taylor with some newer players like Neil Metcalfe and Francois Carrier. This is a studio date recorded in June of 2018, forty years after another session just resiiued and listed in today’s newsletter. No doubt you should recognize most of these names from a variety of previous sessions from leaders like Evan Parker, Paul Dunmall, Elton Dean and Eddie Prevost.
“As it Is, As it Was” is quiet, sparse, filled with suspense and space. Even with some eight musicians involved, there are some solo, duo, trio and larger combinations featured here. The number of players on each piece increases throughout this disc, as the disc evolves. Some of this music does capture that British “insect music/plink plonk” sort of aesthetic. Cautious and cosmic at the same time. Although Mr. Brighton is on every track, his playing doesn’t dominate the proceedings yet he does seems to be central to the vibe or focus. I wouldn’t call this lower-case improv although the subtly does take some getting used to. Are they play in slow motion sometimes or is my anxiousness distracting me?!? Mostly superb, nonetheless. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
VALID TRACTOR with PAT THOMAS / DOMINIC LASH / LAWRENCE CASSERLEY - On the Validity of Tractors (FMR 515; UK) Featuring Pat Thomas on piano & electronics, Dominic Lash on bass and Lawrence Casserley on signal processing. This is an odd trio of three UK musicians from different scenes/backgrounds. Keyboard wiz, Pat Thomas, is impossible to pin down since he can be found on some 50 records working with: Steve Beresford, Eugene Chadbourne, Circuit and the University of Errors. Bassist Dominic lash is much younger and has worked with the Convergence Quartet, Alex Ward and the Wandelweiser Collective. Electronics & processing explorer, Lawrence Casserley has worked at length Evan Parker, Barry Guy, Viv Corringham and Adam Linson.
The sound here is most eerie: minimal, fractured piano, acoustic bass and electronics. Sparse at times, cautious, mysterious, hypnotic, ethereal to dramatic, soundtrack to a suspense thriller., disorienting, to explosive, with some unexpected tight twists and turns. At times the processing or electronics will sample a sound (piano or contrabass) and then manipulate those sounds in strange yet captivating ways. Quite like a soundtrack to a strange yet compelling film. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SHOCK TROOPS With PAT THOMAS / PETER McPHAIL / RICHARD CHAPMAN / NEIL PALMER / GEOFF SERLE JOHN McCULLOUGH - Central Dada Time (FMR 514; UK) Personnel: Pat Thomas on keyboards & electronics, Richard Chapman on guitar, Pete McPhail on wind synth, Neil Palmer on turntables and Geoff Serle on drum machine, samples & production. The only members of this unit with whom I am previously familiar are Pat Thomas and Geoff Serle. I know of Geoff Serle from his collaborations with David Cross and Elliott Sharp from many years ago. Quietly mesmerizing, slowly swirling, crackling, subtle electronics, very sparse at times, 60’s or 70’s-like tape manipulations or samples. There is a piece where there a distant funk line (on an old drum machine?) with weird, goofy electronics, laid back jazz guitar, sampled tablas. There is something both cheesy and cool about the use of an ancient drum machine or sampler, since practically no one uses them anymore. What I do dig about this is the way different layers of samples and/or electronics are used to make a fascinating, yet disorienting alien environment. So nice to hear those old hip hop samples from a time when they were still fresh and not overdone. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DANIEL VACZI MULTET - Reticular (FMR 517; UK) Featuring Daniel Vaczi on sopranino & alto saxes, piano, player piano programming & compositions, Janos Aved on soprano & tenor saxes, Marton Fenyvesi on electric guitar, Balazs Horvath on double bass and Zsolt Sarvari Kovacs on drums. Although the instrumentation is the similar to Henry Cow (1972-1979), the music is more calm, less agitated, often in slow motion with interesting, odd interlocking parts. With some occasional mellow to explosive player piano segments!?! The guitarist varies between very controlled and fractured solos as well!?! The best parts feature some solid complex writing and playing, with some occasional sparse, reflective moments. Often the rhythm team of the guitar/bass/drums will plays these repeating riffs while either or both saxes spin their lines around one another or together. Guitarist Fenyvesi does a fine job of playing these spiky guitar parts, repeating certain parts and then splintering them into assorted related fragments. This music is progressive in its own more restrained way and doesn’t quite sound like any other band. Impressive yet rarely if ever over-the-top by any means. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE FORESTRY COMMISSION With BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA / ALEXANDER FRANGENHEIM / ANTONIS ANISSEGOS - Frost Burning (FMR 470; UK) Featuring Biliana Voutchkova on violin, Alexander Frangenheim on contrabass and Antonis Anissegos on piano. Review next week.
Two Gems from The Fine Folks at MODE Records:
JOHN HEWARD QUINTET With JOE McPHEE / LORI FREEDMAN / BARRE PHILLIPS / DANA REASON - (Mode/Avant 19; USA) Featuring Lori Freedman on clarinets, Joe McPhee on alto & soprano saxes, Dana Reason on piano, Barre Phillips on bass and John Heward on drums. Montreal-based drummer, John Heward, was also known as a visual artist, his long career as an avant-garde pioneer stretching back many years. Although he recorded infrequently, he does have a handful of discs with saxists Steve Lacy, Jean Derome, Glenn Spearman, Joe McPhee and Joe Giardullo. This disc was recorded live in Montreal in September of 2014 and is a rarity amongst Mr. Heward’s other recordings, a quintet as opposed to previous duo and trio sessions. For this date, Mr. Heward organized an international, all-star quintet with Joe McPhee (from NY state), Lori Freedman (currently living in Montreal), Barre Phillips (living in south France) and Dana Reason. Ms. Reason is the only name here that I don’t know so well, although she teaches at Oregon State U and has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Philip Gelb and Joelle Leandre.
One of the things I like most about John Heward is that his playing is often, quiet, sensitive, careful. This disc open with just contrabass and soon drums, slowly rising from spaciousness to subtle ascension. Each player comes in one at a time, cautiously finding their way, with Ms. Freedman’s clarinet floating in first, then the piano, the density slowly escalating. When thing begin to heat up, Mr. McPhee on soprano sax, Ms. Freedman on clarinet and Ms. Reason on piano, erupt together and reach for the skies. Both reeds players here, Freedman and McPhee, work quite well together, combining forces and swirling around one another in magnificent tandem. I hear them once play a duo set at the Vision Fest and was knocked out by that set. Ms. Reason also sounds marvelous throughout, whether adding to the sparse or frenzied sections which unfold in the most organic of ways. This disc is quite long at 77 minutes but I listened to it in its entirety and was sitting at the edge of my seat throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MORTON SUBOTNICK // SOOJIN ANJOU - Volume 4: Complete Piano Works (Mode 306; USA) “This release brings all of Subotnick’s piano music together on one disc for the first time, along with four first recordings. All supervised by the composer.
“Liquid Strata” is an important work in Subotnick’s oeuvre. Here the electronic component is what he calls “ghost electronics,” and this is the first of 11 Ghost Pieces. In these works, Subotnick sought to address technology in a way that highlights rather than compromises the inherent features and strengths of acoustical instruments. This was an alternative to music for instruments and tape or to simply utilize the processed sounds of an acoustical instrument as an electronic sound source.
In the “Ghost Pieces”, the Buchla synthesizer is triggered by its original touch sensitive ‘keys’ plus the expressivity of the human voice was used to articulate gestural shapes (for example a complex crescendo/diminuendo). In the Ghost Pieces, Subotnick pre-recorded the vocal “energy shapes” on tape. These audio signals were played back (but not heard), combined with sine tones, and sent to an envelope follower. The voltages generated trigger Buchla-produced pitch, amplitude, modulation and stereo panning.
All of the Ghost Pieces are to be performed live on a proscenium stage, with speakers in front of the performer. “The performer should be hardly aware of what’s happening, but just playing for you. The electronics are doing something else, beyond what the performer hears from the instrument. They suggest another dimension….”
“The Other Piano” is a continuation of the Ghost Pieces. The composer refers to the electronics as “a quadraphonic sound painting [spread] throughout the auditorium, done on the spot, intuitively, by a sound painter. … one always hears the real piano and the transformations are a fantasy, changing in time and space, whirling around the room …”
Subotnick drew conceptual ideas for Falling Leaves from Scarlatti sonatas, a “sense of Scarlatti, but not derivative,” particularly repeated notes, the virtuosic crossing of hands, and the idea of cadences.
The early Preludes Nos. 1 & 2 are post-Webern influenced works. Prelude No. 4 is the first piece where Subotnick worked with the Buchla synthesizer. The electronic component is composed onto stereo tape, which is played alongside the live piano. - Mode Records
ALVIN LUCIER - Ricochet Lady (Black Truffle 045; Australia) The recently composed "Ricochet Lady" (2016) is the only work for solo acoustic glockenspiel by the American experimental composer Alvin Lucier. Following in the manner of his pieces "I Am Sitting In A Room" and "Vespers", "Ricochet Lady" embodies Lucier's approach toward sound's individual function and mobility within space. This CD defines this approach through four realizations recorded in four dissimilar spaces, ranging from the standard to extraordinary: a university rehearsal hall with walls of drywall and glass, a chapel made of oak and stone, an empty forge and foundry warehouse for steel railway wheels, and a 36-meter tall dilapidated cement grain elevator. Never one to shy away from convention, Lucier intensifies each performance by instructing that the glockenspiel be placed against a wall or other reflective surface where the soloist systematically traverses the entire range of the instrument in rapid, repetitive patterns, actively disseminating the glockenspiel's sustain, clicks, and interferences throughout the space. In doing so, the glockenspiel maps the unique acoustical characters of each space as each space helps to compose the piece. Created in close collaboration with Trevor Saint, a rare (if not the only) specialist of experimental music for glockenspiel, Lucier has further enhanced the sophistication of this re-imagined instrument while maintaining his devotion to letting spaces speak. Presented in a stunning digipak with liner notes by Alvin Lucier and Trevor Saint. Design by Lasse Marhaug. Mixed and mastered by Matt Sargent at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. (For an optimal listening experience it is recommended that these recordings be played at high volume).
PHILL NIBLOCK - Music For Cello (Important Records 443; USA) Phill Niblock's Music For Cello collects three pieces from the '70s and early '80s, performed by cellist David Gibson. This CD includes a 16-page unpublished interview with Niblock. Since the late sixties Phill Niblock has been composing long-form acoustic drones with a focus on the rhythms and overtones that rise from closely tuned instruments. His highly original and influential music is an exploration of timbre, microtonality, stability, duration and psychoacoustic phenomenon.
"3 To 7 - 196' is very direct, aggressive, and gritty. The overtone patterns that are produced by the proximal pitches become more prominent with louder volume. So please, play this piece very loud. This was the first piece of mine in which the musician was precisely tuned, in which I chose exact pitches in hertz. We used a sine wave oscillator and frequency counter for the tuning. 'Descent Plus' has four cello tones descending one octave over twenty-two minutes, from 300 hertz to 150 hertz. David Gibson played these tones without lifting his bow from the strings, constantly retuning. I made four different scores, manually changing an oscillator to which he was tuning, for each track's recording. For the revision, we added six more tracks, with David playing long tones which were not descending. The second part of the recording was made nearly twenty years later. 'Summing II' (one of four parts) is mellow and sonorous. David plays two strings simultaneously, one of which is retuned for each successive recording of that pair of tones. This is a mix of an eight-track tape. It's better played loud also." - Phill Niblock, from the liner notes.
BURNT SUGAR - THE ARKESTRA CHAMBER - Twentieth Anniversary Mixtapes - Volume One, Volume Two & Volume Three (Trugroid Avant; USA) It seems hard to believe that the almighty Burnt Sugar Arkestra has been around for 20 years now. With some 18 discs under their collective belt, as well as another dozen solo or off-shoot projects as well: Greg Tate, Avram Fefer (Rivers on Mars), Morgan Craft & Ben Tyree… I have long loved this band, since the beginning of their recorded legacy, through more than a dozen performances, ever-evolving… The core members: Greg Tate, Jared Nickerson, Bruce Mack, Mazz Swift,Qasim Naqvi, Mica Gaugh, Paula Henderson, Lewis Flip Barnes… Plus a large revolving cast of great players: Pete Cosey, Vijay Iyer, Melvin Gibbs, Steve Bernstein, Okkyung Lee…
This massive three CD set features more than 200 minutes of music from across their two decade reign. Burnt Sugar blend many of the best elements of creative/Downtown/post-modern: Miles-like voodoo jazz/rock, funk, hip hop, drum n’bass grooves, Funkadelic funk/psych jamming, hypnotic repeating riffs, layers of echo-plexed vocals… Tons of guests like Vijay Iyer, Matana Roberts, Vernon Reid, Andre Lassalle, Ronny Drayton, Beans and more. They even break into some heavy punk/funk madness at times! Founded by guitarist, journalist, visionary, Greg Tate, have long employed a half dozen guitarists: Morgan Michael Craft, Kirk Douglass, Rene Akhan, Andre Lassalle and Ben Tyree. In some ways Burnt Sugar are an amazing jam band! Always setting up some great grooves with spirited solos from guitars, strings, horns, keyboards, turntables and on special occasion great, sly vocals. Tired of sitting around and complaint about the state of our world?!?! Who isn’t?!? Burnt Sugar a great job of helping us feel better with their festive, phat slammin’ groove! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
3 CD Set $35 or Single Volume CD - $14 each
QUINSIN NACHOFF’S FLUX With DAVID BINNEY / MATT MITCHELL / KENNY WOLLESEN / NATE WOOD - Path of Totality (Whirlwind Recordings 4733; USA) Featuring Quinsin Nachoff on tenor & soprano saxes & compositions, David Binney on alto & C melody saxes, Matt Mitchell on piano, Prophet 6, harpsichord & harmonium, Kenny Wollesen & Nate Wood on drums & percussion, plus some guests: Ryan Keberle & Alan Ferber on trombones. As of now (January or 2019), there are around a dozen discs which share the same personnel: Michael Bates, Michael Herring and Quinsin Nachoff, all Canadian-based originally, plus NY saxist David Binney on many of the same discs. Formerly Toronto-based saxist, Quinsin Nachoff, is currently living in Brooklyn and has a handful of releases out as a leader. This release is an ambitious effort (2 CD set) with a formidable quartet or quintet with two drummers. There are some 8 guest musicians including a brass quartet, multiple keyboards and a tap dancer. One of the things that makes this quintet unique is that there is no bassist, which Mr. Nachoff has done on a could of previous discs. The title track is first and has a cyclic, almost M-Base-like churning groove. On the epic length piece, “Bounce”, drummer Nate Wood kicks things off and whips up a rhythmic storm before the interlocking sax and keyboards take over. Philly keyboardist, Matt Mitchell, once worked with Thinking Plague (prog greats from Colorado), and been an integral part of bands with Tim Berne, Claudia Quintet, Dave Douglas and Kate Gentile. His playing here on piano or synth (or harpsichord or harmonium), is an important part this quintet, play quite austere or even expansive at times. The quartet play with dream-like elegance on “Toy Piano Meditation”, Mr. Nachoff’s tenor solo warm, haunting and sublime. For “March Macabre”, the quartet is expanded with another sax, two trumpets & two trombones. The work is rather march-like with a haunting pulse at the center, Mr. Mitchell takes an affective harmonium solo midway, before a chorus of woodwinds takes over, expand as they pile up layer upon layer, Nachoff taking a strong soprano solo midway, later a tap dancing solo and another inspired alto (?) sax solo in the last part of the next piece. On the last piece, “Orbital Resonances”, features several looping sax & horn lines which sound somewhat M-Base-like. Both drummers play on two pieces, at the beginning and end of this long work and they sound great together churning their tight spirals together. Instead of any sort of traditional prog-like sound or approach, there is a more progressive undercurrent going on in the Downtown Scene thanks to leaders/composers: Matt Mitchell, Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock, Kate Gentile, Dan Weiss, etc. These folks are transcending pigeon-holing and expectations but drawing on an ever-expanding series of diverse influences. Check it out! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $18
QUINSIN NACHOFF’S ETHEREAL TRIO With MARK HELIAS / DAN WEISS - Ethereal Trio (Whirlwind Recordings 4706; USA) Featuring Quinsin Nachoff on tenor & soprano saxes, Mark Helias on contrabass and dan Weiss on drums. “It's interesting how modern jazz performers come to the music from very different circumstances than those of players of bygone eras. Instead of learning their craft in a bar or bagnio, they went to a conservatory to sharpen their chops. What they lack in perceived street-smarts (the outdated 1950s hipster delusion of jazzman as junkie), they make up for with a richness of talents and a knowledge of modern music. All this can be said of saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff. He can compose music for contemporary classical chamber ensembles, play jazz with a small "j," or fire off improvisational jazz with upper case letters.
His Ethereal Trio genesis was a piece he composed for the Penderecki String Quartet and a saxophone trio, "Stars And Constellations: Scorpio." Performing separately from the strings, he found this working trio of bassist Mark Helias and drummer Dan Weiss allowed him to write intricate pieces that morphed into improvisational masterworks, as evidenced in the trio's debut recording.
Each player brings a wealth of knowledge and talent to this trio. Helias has performed with the likes of Anthony Braxton, Abbey Lincoln, Anthony Davis, and Andrew Cyrille, and those are just the greats that begin with the letter "A." Likewise, Dan Weiss is the go-to New York percussionist for Rudresh Mahanthappa and Matt Mitchell. Both have written music for large ensembles. The music here can best be described as impeccable, but not pristine, as in classical music. The three create a back-and-forth, much like the Harlem Globetrotters weave a basketball exhibition, making the unassailable, defenseless.
The disc opens with "Clairvoyant Jest," a slick-hip swing/pause/swing piece that chases effervescence as a theme. The music here is well crafted to allow for varying time changes (a specialty of Weiss and Helias) and it gives plenty of space for each musician to enunciate. Where we once expected soloing, here the players engage in something more conversational. The piece "Gravitas" sets up a stunning saxophone flight against bowed bass and Weiss' brush and cymbal explorations. Where a padrone- led recording might eschew equal time, Nachoff fosters it. Without the trio's name, it would be anyone's guess who's session this was. And more power to the saxophonist for his generosity. "Subliminal Circularity" is the recording's popular choice with Weiss working his kick drum like a funky marching band and Helias chasing, then being chased. Nachoff's saxophone playing is as thoroughly modern and unsoiled as say, Mark Turner's, and we also hear flavors of Joe Lovano in his playing. Highly recommended.” - Mark Corroto, AllAboutJazz
STUART MASTERS - Union Chapel & Elsewhere (Hi4Head Records 024; UK) Featuring Stuart Masters on acoustic & harp guitars. We never really know when that next next gem will drop in our laps, hence I was surprised to get this disc in the mail. The small but dedicated UK label, Hi4Head, has released mostly discs from Trevor Watts, Barry Guy and John Stevens, with a rare unexpected detour. Stuart Masters is a UK-based guitarist who I hadn’t heard of before now. This is his second disc for this label. When I play this disc at the store, folks often ask if this is John Fahey or Leo Kottke, two favorites of mine that I did catch live in the 1970’s and whose records I still collect. Commencing with “Around Yu”, Masters launches off into that Kottke-like facility, sparkling and spinning out a web of notes. This disc is recorded live in three locations and the sound is lush, superb, warm and enchanting. Mr. Masters uses a slight bit of delay, adding an exquisite sound of suspense as certain notes hum and drift through the air. On “Humbug”, Masters sounds as if he has lifted the melody from from a spaghetti western perhaps (rather memorable), churning it out, rocking somewhat as well. Mr. Masters has a unique way of hitting the strings, giving them a percussive sound, as well as letting certain notes ring out and hang in the air with a strong element of suspense. There are two well selected covers here by fellow acoustic guitar heroes: John Renbourn and Michael Hedges, two very different acoustic guitar masters and who Mr. Masters draws from their approach to make is own. Considering that this disc is only 28 minutes long, I played it over ands over again. I am still astonished by his playing. He should be unknown for very long. Bravo! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STUART MASTERS & RISHI RANJAN - Agam (Hi4Head Records 011; UK) Featuring Stuart Masters on acoustic guitar, oud & violin, Rishi Ranjan on sarod & rebab, Mani Singh on tabla and Dave Engel on percussion. Thanks to the folks at the Hi4Head label, we recently got in copies of a solo acoustic guitar disc from a young musician known as Stuart Masters. I hadn’t heard of Mr. Masters until a promo CD showed up in our mail last month. Hard to believe that I hadn’t heard of this crafty picker before now since he is in a class with Bert Jansch, Leo Kottke and John Fahey.
This is an earlier CD from the young UK acoustic guitar master, Stuart Masters, which was released in 2013. What is interesting about this disc is this: each instrument comes from a different culture or tradition: acoustic guitar (the West & everywhere else), oud (North Africa & the Middle east), violin, sarod (India) and rebab (Afghanistan). The opener, “Reb-oud-akech” features a traditional Moroccan melody which is played by the acoustic guitar, a sarod (Indian plucked instrument) and hand percussion. The groove and Middle-Eastern melody are especially infectious! Rather than showing off any virtuosic playing, it is the combination of the instruments that are so well selected on each piece and they way the glen together to make these magical songs. The title piece, “Agam”, which means “without sorrow”, has a most memorable melody that you will not forget anytime soon. I can hear what sounds like a tambura in the background, adding an exotic, hypnotic vibe to the proceedings. The main theme is played on the oud I believe which sounds wonderful with the sarod, unlikely combination which works well especially since the notes played are bent in similar ways. When both Masters and Ranjan double up the melody near the end, tis is when the simmer starts to boil. Everything slows down for the sparse, spacious piece, “Midday”, the eerie oud and hushed sarod, caressing the exquisite melody together. The last three songs were written by Bade Baba Allauddin Khan, founder of Maihar Gharana (a school of North Indian classical music). Each song here is completely enchanting, a unique hybrid of several cultures selectively combined. Although 30 minutes seems to be the right length, I did play this disc dover and over again throughout the day and night. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Historic and Archival Discs from:
JOHN COLTRANE with STAN GETZ / WYNTON KELLY / OSCAR PETERSON / PAUL CHAMBERS / JIMMY COBB - 1960 Dusseldorf (Jazzline/PO 77002; Germany) Original master concert recording from March 28th, 1960 in the city of Düsseldorf, Germany, recorded at the Apollo Theater, a theater which was converted into a TV studio by WDR. Previously unreleased, respectively released for the first time in 2010 -- a release in the WDR The Cologne Broadcasts series. Personnel: John Coltrane - tenor saxophone; Paul Chambers - bass; Jimmy Cobb - drums; Wynton Kelly - piano; Stan Getz - tenor saxophone; Oscar Peterson - piano. Credits and liner notes by journalist and radio host Karsten Mützelfeldt, in English and German. Executive producer - Franz-Josef Schwarz; Mastered by Thomas Sehringer.
BILLIE HOLIDAY/BUDDY DEFRANCO QUARTET - Live In Cologne 1954 (Jazzline/PO 77015; Germany) Original master concert recording from January 22nd, 1954 in Cologne, recorded at the trade fair area Kölner Messe, Halle V, West Germany. Previously unreleased, respectively released for the first time in 2014 -- a release in the WDR The Cologne Broadcasts series. Credits and liner notes by journalist and radio host Karsten Mützelfeldt in English and German. Both, Billie Holiday and the Buddy DeFranco Quartet, were part of the package tour entitled Jazz Club USA to perform in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Germany in January 1954. It was Billie Holiday's first European tour and the story goes that the star was badly beaten up by her husband the night before the Cologne show and had Billie Holiday to appear on stage wearing dark sunglasses. Personnel for Billie Holiday: Billie Holiday - vocals; Carl Drinkard - piano; Red Mitchell - bass; Elaine Leighton - drums; Personnel for the Buddy DeFranco Quartett: Buddy DeFranco - clarinet; Sonny Clark - piano; Gene Wright - bass; Bobby White - drums. Executive producer - Franz-Josef Schwarz. Mastered by John Cremer.
K.LEIMER - Useless Epitomes (Palace of Lights POL 001-2019; USA) "Originally released in 2008, The Useless Lesson and Lesser Epitomes have been revisited, remixed, remastered and expanded with the 40-minute bonus EP Three Adaptations. K. Leimer founded Palace Of Lights in 1979. Leimer's work has also been issued by Autumn, First Terrace, Les Giants, Invisible Inc., Origin Peoples and RVNG. His early cassette work is included in the critically acclaimed VOD box set American Cassette Culture and will be included in Cherry Red's upcoming Noise Floor series. Leimer has been actively producing music since the mid 1970s -- his current catalog includes eighteen solo albums plus collaborative albums with Savant and Marc Barreca. His work is included in the collection of The British Library."
2 CD set $18
LEE PERRY & KING TUBBY - Cloak & Dagger (Clocktower CTCD 1035; Canada) "Once again Clocktower bring you the massive and powerful tracks, such as 'Cloak & Dagger' DJ style led by King Tubby and Lee Perry. And they've also included the slow style of 'Cloak & Dagger' which you will never stop listening for generations to come, young and old. Then the following tracks of 'Blackboard Jungle' with two incomparable versions that will open up your ears to the greatest musicians on bass and drums, etc. We from Clocktower say listen, enjoy, party, and dance to all the fine production. We have compiled this for all who loves reggae music production beyond compare. Music of life." --Alfred Newman Not a reissue, a new compilation of early Lee Scratch Perry material, not previously issued in this form. With tracks recorded from the early '70s with material from Clocktower 7" only releases, etc.
USTAD SAAMI - God Is Not A Terrorist (Glitterbeat GB067; Germany) Ustad Saami's God Is Not A Terrorist is hypnotic, unvarnished recordings by one of Pakistan's most revered and iconic classical singers. The roots of Saami's music go back to the 13th century, but its message is contemporary and universal: "to sing is to listen." Produced by Grammy Award winner Ian Brennan, God Is Not A Terrorist is volume five of Glitterbeat's acclaimed Hidden Musics series. "75-year-old Ustad Saami risks his life daily in Pakistan to keep alive his microtonal, pre-Islamic, multilingual (Farsi, Sanskrit, Hindi, the ancient language of Vedic, gibberish, Arabic, and Urdu) music. Handed down by his ancestors for over a thousand years, he is the only practitioner of Surti left in the world; when he passes, this music will die with him. Extremists resent his work as they do anything else pre-dating Muhammad. In the land where Osama Bin last hid, Master Ustad Naseeruddin Saami has spent his entire life mastering the nuances of every given note. It has been said that India always had a region where all of the greatest singers came from; that place is Pakistan. "To sing is to listen." These are the words of the master. The translation of his last name, Saami, even means "to hear." For him, everything centers on one note. From that, all else grows and music is seen as a sixth sense for people to better communicate with each other. With great precision, Saami utilizes 49 notes versus the West's mere seven. The scale was founded by a mix-raced royal whose lifelong endeavor was to make peace with duality through art. This predecessor of qawwali music is called khayál, the Arabic word for "imagination"; in it the melody carries the meaning. The lyrics are almost incidental during these call-and-responses. It is the uneven pitches that the master values as being the most searching; those with even numbers are too stable. The master shapes the notes with his hands as he sings like conducting a Theremin. Most masters now hide their knowledge, possessively passing their skills down through family only. Subsequently, traditions have died and withered. Master Saami's mission is to share his knowledge with the world, so that the music may live on freely." --Ian Brennan. LP version on 180 gram vinyl, includes download.
JODI - POP ESPONTANEO - Homemade Psychedelic Funk & Fuzz-Pop from Paraguay, 1969-1975 (Out-Sider 069; Spain) Psychedelic garage, proto-power pop, and psych-funk from Paraguay circa 1969-1975. Pop Espontáneo includes a selection of previously unreleased recordings by Joern and Dirk Wenger's duo Jodi, registered at their state-of the-art 8-track home studio in Asunción, Paraguay. Living in their own isolated world and free from any commercial pressure, Joern Wenger, a kind of Paraguayan Brian Wilson or R. Stevie Moore, created a particular, ahead-of-its-time sound, using electric guitars, fuzz boxes, Moog, Mellotron, Clavinet, Farfisa. In 2016, Out-Sider unearthed and reissued the first Jodi album, Pops De Vanguardia (OSR 056CD/LP), originally released in 1971, which is probably the first DIY lo-fi garage/psychedelic album from South America. Now, Out-Sider present this incredible collection of unreleased recordings which were hidden in Joern Wenger's basement for several decades. RIYL: Beatles, Kinks, Shoes, Jan Hammer, United States Of America, Cleaners From Venus, Ariel Pink, Guided By Voices, Beat Happening, Tropicalia. Superb sound taken from the original master tapes; includes insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes by Eduardo A. Elizalde Pietruczyk (aka Bubbling Minds). CD version includes three bonus tracks.
DAWDA JOBARTEH - I Met Her By The River (Sterns Africa 1130; UK) There is a quiet confidence to I Met Her By The River, Dawda Jobarteh's third album for Sterns Africa. While the kora master's technique is prodigious, it's always subservient to the song. And although the songs contain beautiful moments of contemplation, they are never facile or saccharine. Their beauty and intricacy connote no loss of power or slackening of intent. The excellent support of his longtime friends and sidemen notwithstanding, this new album is definitely the work of a singular artist. Jobarteh's repertoire choices reflect both his birth and history in Gambia and his life and home in Denmark. In songs such as "Karang Folo" and "Sidi Yella", you hear the musician who is the grandson of the world-renowned kora player Alhaji Bai Konté; the youngest son of Amadou Bansang Jobarteh, the favorite musician of Gambia's first president; and the nephew of Dembo Konté and Malamini Jobarteh, the kora duo that Sterns first recorded in 1985. Elsewhere you hear other traditions and styles that Dawda has effortlessly absorbed into his own. "Jeg Gik Mig U Den Sommerdag" (which translates from Danish as "I Went Out On A Summer's Day") has a Scandinavian melody that dates back at least to the 17th century and words set in the 19th century, and has since become a perennial summertime favorite in Denmark. But Dawda Jobarteh has more than two sides to him. A world traveler, he appreciates the multifarious cultural influences beyond his personal West African-Northern European axis, and so it shouldn't be surprising, really, that he plays Mongo Santamaria's jazz classic "Afro Blue" on an electrified kora, or that he delivers an exquisite rendition of Adele's multi-million-selling pop hit, "Hello". And then of course there are his own highly original songs, such as the album's title track, a wistful kora solo, or "Begging Boys", a clear-eyed, heartfelt piece of social commentary. Dawda Jobarteh is, after all, a 21st-century citizen of the world -- as everyone is. I Met Her By The River, the third album by the Gambian composer, has been described as "absolutely beautiful", "a gorgeous synthesis of the old and the new", and "a joyful noise from a man right at home in very different musical and geographical places."
AMIRA KHEIR - Mystic Dance (Sterns Music 1129; UK) Amira Kheir, "the diva of the desert" -- as Le Journal du Mali dubbed her and the BBC World News echoed -- has finished her third album, and it has already received a warm welcome. Her first release, View from Somewhere (2011), introduced "an identity that transcends geography," as African Business observed. Songlines described the album as "bold and poetic -- beautiful and fearless." With that, she embarked on three years of performing in settings that ranged from intimate folk clubs and jazz clubs to prominent concert halls and several of the world's most celebrated festivals, earning reviews such as "a charming performer -- comfortable with both high drama and intimate balladry" (The Independent) and "a stunning set infused with many influences but anchored in the sounds and identity of her homeland Sudan" (Fly Global Music). Back in London -- her adoptive home for the past decade -- she recorded her second album, Alsahraa (STCD 1122CD, 2014), in a church with a small acoustic group. "Amira Kheir sings from the heart and soul," Inside World Music praised, and fRoots lauded her "engaging presence" and "lovely honey 'n' spice voice." Ms. Kheir's new album is an elegant collection of traditional songs and dances and original compositions for acoustic and electric instruments in which even the Kurt Weill-Ogden Nash classic, "Speak Low", fits comfortably. The latest issue of Songlines describes Mystic Dance (a five-star "Top of the World" selection) as "an album that hangs in a shimmery ether somewhere between Afro-Latin jazz, desert blues and ancient Sudanese music," and declares "whatever it is, we love it." So will you.
New on Neos Records:
CHAYA CZERNOWIN / EMMANUEL NUNES / MARTON ILLES / EIVIND BUENE / ANDREAS DOHMEN - Donaueschinger Musiktage 2017 (Neos 11826-27; Germany) The Donaueschingen Festival has been documented regularly by NEOS for many years. In the 2017 edition, the premiere of "Un calendrier révolu for 14 instruments" by Emmanuel Nunes is a particular highlight. Nunes, who composed the extensive work in 1968/69, only authorized its performance shortly before his death in 2012. Of course, the winner of the 2017 orchestral prize is also included: "Ez-tér (Es-Raum)" by Márton Illés. Compositions featured: Emmanuel Nunes - "Un calendrier révolu" (1968/1969); Eivind Buene - "Lessons in Darkness" (2017); Andreas Dohmen - "a doppio movimento" (2016/2017); Márton Illés - "Ez-tér (Es-Raum)" (2014/2017); Chaya Czernowin - Guardian (2017).
2 CD / SACD Set $30
HANNS EISLER / ALBAN BERG / KATHARINA WEBER / JURG WYTTENBACH / et al - Vom Sprengen des Gartens (Neos 11809; Germany) Performed by Katrin Frauchiger, soprano and Katharina Weber, piano. Intensity and precision of expression alongside brevity of form are particular sources of fascination for the soprano Katrin Frauchiger and the pianist Katharina Weber when it comes to the composition and interpretation of songs. Here they come together with Jürg Wyttenbach. With their rather simple character, his eight duettini are not entirely typical of his work, but in these pieces, all of which last between 34 and 71 seconds, he reveals himself once again as a master of concentrated theatrical effect. His cycle "Drei kurze Gebete an die japanische Göttin der Barmherzigkeit Kannon Bosatsu" ("Three Short Prayers to the Japanese Goddess of Compassion Kannon Bosatsu") is tailor-made for the Frauchiger-Weber duo and dedicated to them. Aside from Wyttenbach's songs, the CD also includes works by the two performers, as well as rarely-performed longs by Hanns Eisler and Alban Berg's "Seven Early Songs", rounding off the selection with musical contrasts. Songs by Jürg Wyttenbach, Katrin Frauchiger, Katharina Weber, Hanns Eisler, and Alban Berg. Personnel: Katrin Frauchiger - soprano; Katharina Weber - piano.
ERHARD GROSSKOPF - Plejaden - KlangWerk 11 (Neos 11801; Germany) "I build a house of time proportions and sounds, and hope that the music moves into it" says Erhard Grosskopf, "not like substance into a form, but rather like the spirit into the soul." The approach to time and proportions is such a central theme in Grosskopf's music because he usually eschews traditional formal structures. This CD features two large, roughly half-hour orchestral works laid out in very different ways, played by renowned performers: the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester conducted by Johannes Kalitzke, and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin conducted by Vykintas Baltakas. Also features Ursula Oppens on piano.
MARTIN HERCHENRODER - Winternachtmusik - Music for Violoncello and Piano (Neos 11815; Germany) The compositions gathered on Winternachtmusik feature piano and violoncello as solo instruments as well as in combination; they all were written during the last 25 years. They are all related and can be performed next to each other or, in some cases, even simultaneously. All these pieces are character pieces, they develop an individual, very precise atmosphere, and all of them describe a development: sometimes linearly, sometimes with interruptions; at times, with vehemence and like an explosion, at other times, tentatively and barely noticeable. The duo composition "Stücke über den Tod" (Pieces about Death) dates from a period where Martin Herchenröder's music openly commented on political and social issues. Personnel: Friedrich Gauwerky - violoncello; Severin von Eckardstein - piano.
Martin Herchenröder, composer, organist, and musicologist, is a professor at the University of Siegen. His compositions have been performed in Europe, Asia, and America by renowned artists. Besides concert tours as an organist his teaching activities brought him to almost all continents.
CHARLES UZOR - Mimicri/Pieces with Tape (Neos 11821-22; Germany) The "mimicri" cycle is a central piece by the composer Charles Uzor, in many respects the quintessence of his work since the mid-2010s. Uzor, who was born in Nigeria and moved to Switzerland (where he now lives) at the age of 57, has engaged since 1995 with the music of Machaut and methods of defamiliarization using fixed media. "The phenomenon of concealment strikes me as a survival strategy", says Uzor, transferring the principles of disguise and mimicry as found in nature to his music. He not only takes nature as a formal model, but also borrows sounds from it and changes them, for example birdsong, which he electronically pitch shifts down eight octaves. The main part of the cycle, "Nri/ mimicri", is scored for Ondes Martenot, percussion quartet, and fixed media, with additional parts for piano and fixed media or only the latter. The world premiere recordings on this CD also include vocal music and chamber music in a variety of instrumentations. All in all, this double-CD offers a multi-faceted overview of Charles Uzor's work from the 2000s on. Performers: Caroline Ehret - Ondes Martenot; Ute Gareis - piano; Isabel Pfefferkorn - soprano; Elena Zhunke - violin; Illya Buyalskyy - piano; Percussion Art Ensemble Bern; Ensemble La Notte; SWR Vokalensemble, Rupert Huber - conductor.
2 CD Set $30
GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT / WOLFGANG VON SCHWEINITZ / PHILIPPE DE VITRY - Ars Nova - New Music (Neos 21802; Germany) Performed by Helge Slaatto - violin and Frank Reinecke - double bass. The music of Guillaume de Machaut and Philippe de Vitry was radically new over 650 years ago; Vitry himself coined the term "ars nova" for it. Now, Helge Slaatto (violin) and Frank Reinecke (double bass) show how closely the power of this music was connected to the common intonation system of the time, based on pure perfect fifths, which lead to highly tense thirds. Wolfgang Schweinitz examined this system for a long time and became one of the pioneers of just intonation. "Plain Sound Study I" can be considered the quintessential result of this work. Using the tiniest microtonal distinctions, for which he even developed his own notation system, he creates a music consisting purely of intervals derived from the harmonic series. The Slaatto-Reinecke duo, who have been specialists in just intonation for many years, draw a fascinating line from the Ars Nova of the 14th century to the new music of our time. Personnel: Helge Slaatto - violin; Frank Reinecke - double bass.
SIR RICHARD BISHOP & W. DAVID OLIPHANT/KARKHANA WITH NADAH EL SHAZLY - Carte Blanche (Unrock 013; Germany) It took more than just some time and imagination to believe that Carte Blanche, this piece of astonishing contemporary music by some of the most talented and able musicians of the international avant-circuit, could be realized. Karkhana, a highly explosive mostly Middle Eastern/Mediterranean ensemble -- Sam Shalabi (Land Of Kush, Shalabi Effect, Dwarfs Of East Agouza), Sharif Sehnaoui ("A" Trio), Michael Zerang (Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Jaap Blonk, Vandermark, etc.), Mazen Kerbaj ("A" Trio), Maurice Louca (Dwarfs Of East Agouza), Tony Elieh, Umut Caglar (Konstrukt) -- is weaving a tapestry of sound for Egyptian songstress Nadah El Shazly's voice to slide deep into. On the other side, two grand seigneurs of underground, ex-Sun City Girls and Rangda guitar whirlwind Richard Bishop and W. David Oliphant (Maybe Mental) play it loud. Far Eastern post-industrial. Very heavy, sharp, and crystal clear. Ripe. Carte Blanche will be released as a one-time pressing. It is released as a part of Unrock's Saraswati Series. Vinyl cut by Peter Koerfer at Ivory Tower. Extra-heavy deluxe cover, printed cardboard insert. 140 gram vinyl.
KEIJI HAINO / JIM O'ROURKE / OREN AMBARCHI - Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen (Black Truffle 011; Australia) Very limited repress; LP version. "Begun as a one-off collaboration in 2009, the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi has now become a solid working group, refining its craft through a series of annual concerts at Tokyo's legendary SuperDeluxe. Much of their recorded work has focused on their intense, ritualistic take on the rock power trio of electric guitar, bass and drums. Presenting the entire first set of the trio's March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the second set will follow on Black Truffle later this year), Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen is their fifth release and blows the instrumental palette wide open for a single continuous piece focused on acoustic strings, synth, flute and percussion. Featuring one of Haino's most delicate and moving recorded vocal performances, the opening section of the record takes the form of a spare duet between O'Rourke's 12-string acoustic guitar and Haino's kantele (a Finnish variant of the dulcimer), behind which Ambarchi provides a hovering backdrop of wine glass tones. While on previous releases the listener has often sensed that Haino was firmly in the driver's seat, here O'Rourke takes center stage with an acoustic guitar performance that takes the lyricism of John Abercrombie or Ralph Towner and refracts it through the free improvisation tradition of his mentors Derek Bailey and Henry Kaiser. The atmosphere of meditative, abstracted song is reminiscent of some of Haino's greatest recordings, such as the legendary Live in the First Year of the Heisei volumes recorded with Kan Mikami. After this stunningly beautiful opening sequence, the performance moves organically through a number of episodes, including a dramatic central passage in which Haino moves to synth and drum machine, crafting a current of raw electricity that unfurls slowly over the gently pulsing foundations of Ambarchi's cymbals and builds to heights of manic intensity. When Haino later turns to wooden flute, Ambarchi answers him with nimble hand-drummed percussion in a passage that calls to mind Don Cherry's liberated combination of free-jazz improvisation and non-Western musics. The trio's move away from the power trio dynamic bespeaks a risk-taking and questing spirit that refuses to be satisfied with repeating past glories, and yet the organic, immersive flow of this single improvisation attests to the intuitive bond that has formed between them over the last five years. Exuding the signature mystery and emotion of Haino's greatest works, this release is perhaps the strongest statement yet from this acclaimed trio, and holds out a tantalizing promise for everyone hooked on their continuing exploration of 'those things said to be as of yet unseen.' --Francis Plagne; Design by Stephen O'Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning artwork by Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug.
PAULINE OLIVEROS - Reverberations 1 (Important Records 470; USA( In 2012 Important Records released Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970 (IMPREC 352CD), a historic 12-CD box set compiling much of Pauline Oliveros' early and unreleased electronic work. Reverberations 1 is the first release in an ongoing series dedicated to releasing the entire 12-CD box set on vinyl. Organized chronologically by studio, the complete Reverberations not only documents Pauline's earliest electronic music but it also functions as an early history of electronic music itself. Pauline Oliveros -- composer, performer and humanitarian -- was an important pioneer in American music. Acclaimed internationally, for four decades she explored found, forging new ground for herself and others. Through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation she has created a body of work with such breadth of vision that it profoundly effects those who experience it and it eludes many who try to write about it. In partnership with the Pauline Oliveros Trust, Imprec will be releasing essential titles from Pauline Oliveros' catalog on vinyl including the complete Reverberations box set, Tara's Room, Sounding/Way (with Guy Klucevsek), and many more.
2 LP Set $35
JAC BERROCAL / DAVID FENECH / VINCENT EPPLAY - Ice Exposure (Blackest 071; UK) Jac Berrocal, David Fenech, and Vincent Epplay return with Ice Exposure, their second album for Blackest Ever Black. A sequel and companion piece of sorts to 2015's Antigravity (BLACKEST 011CD/LP), its title couldn't be more apt: sonically it is both colder, and more exposed -- in the sense of rawer, more volatile, more vulnerable -- than its predecessor, capturing the combustible energy and barely suppressed violence of the trio's celebrated live performances with aspects of noir jazz, musique concrète, no wave art-rock, sound poetry, and spectral electronics all interpenetrating in unpredictable and exhilarating ways. While there are moments of great sensitivity and even a cautious romanticism, the prevailing mood is one of anxiety, paranoia, and mounting psychodrama: close your eyes and Ice Exposure feels like a dissociative Hörspiel broadcasting from the seedy backstreets of your own troubled mind. Before he picks up an instrument or opens his mouth, Berrocal's unique and compelling presence can be felt: a combination of studied, glacial cool and anarchic, in-the-moment intensity that has served him well over a long and storied career. Now in his eighth decade, it comes with an added gravitas, perhaps, but no less energy or vitality. On Ice Exposure, his lyrical, instantly recognizable trumpet playing is a key feature -- see especially the ghostly, dub-wise take on Ornette's "Lonely Woman", the dissolute exotica of "Salta Girls", and the sublime echo-chamber soliloquy "Opportunity". But more often it's his voice that commands center-stage, whether casually discharging surreal poetic monologues or moaning in animal despair -- a vocal tour de force that transcends language and culminates in the Dionysian frenzy of "Why", Berrocal's half-spoken, half-howled exclamations jostling with David Fenech's slashes of dissonant guitar, over Badalamenti-ish, panther-stalk drums. Fenech and Epplay are responsible for Ice Exposure's inspired arrangements and vivid, vertiginous sound design. He and Fenech fashion a remarkable mise-en-scene for Berrocal to inhabit, one that embraces cutting-edge electronics while also paying homage to the best traditions of outlaw jazz and libidinous rock n' roll. On "Blanche de Blanc", Berrocal's voice is framed by a groaning, ghoulish orchestra of industrial drones, while "Equivoque" evokes the most humid and hostile Fourth World landscapes and "Panic In Surabaya" lives up to its name, a hectic, pulse-quickening concrète collage that leaves you gasping for air. Ice Exposure is a triumph of a group mind, an underworld dérive as life-affirming as it is unnerving and psychologically precarious.
RUEDI HAUSERMANN - Galerie Randolph (Black Truffle 042; Australia) Black Truffle present the first-ever vinyl reissue of Ruedi Häusermann's Galerie Randolph, a masterpiece of solo multi-tracking originally released on CD by Unit Records in 1995. Born in 1948 and residing in the medieval Swiss town of Lenzburg, and virtually unknown outside of the German-speaking world, Häusermann is a multi-instrumentalist and enormously prolific composer who works primarily in the medium of absurdist music-theater. A virtuoso wind player and free improviser who also composes for traditional classical instrumentation, his work is characterized by subtly surreal humor and the unlikely combination of extended technique and simple, at times almost child-like, melodic ideas. Named after his rehearsal room in Lenzburg, Galerie Randolph uses an enormous array of instruments to craft a work of singular compositional vision. Each of the twelve pieces begins from the same two elements: a woozy, sliding scatter of tones played on a home-made contraption stretching two guitar strings between the top of Häusermann's alto saxophone and an amplified cup, and a series of uneasy block chords sounded on accordion and reeds. On each piece these two elements (whose pitch gradually raises throughout the record) are complemented by entirely different material, all of it played by Häusermann. Ranging from layered flutes to one-finger piano melodies to unintelligible vocals to musique concrete interjections to free jazz saxophone explosions, these additional layers combine with the endlessly returning idée fixe of the foundational elements to create a truly dream-like listening experience, a gently deranged realm in which you lose all sense of linear time. Calling up the most unlikely combinations of possible predecessors -- Erik Satie, Gerry Mulligan, and Helmut Lachenmann perhaps -- Galerie Randolph ultimately defies comparison. Almost unknown except to a select group of cognoscenti such as Jim O'Rourke, yet destined to become a cult classic, Galerie Randolph is an instance of that most rare thing: music the likes of which you have never heard before. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Presented in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with gorgeous archival images by the composer; Design by Stephen O'Malley; Edition of 500.
KINGS AIGBOLOGA BUCKNOR - Katakata (Hot Casa 062; France) Hot Casa present a reissue of Katakata by Kings Aigbologa Bucknor, originally released in 1978. Amazing Afro-beat album from a disciple of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. A sublime spiritual and political session recorded at Phonogram studio (Lagos, Nigeria) in 1979, on a 16-track. After the critically acclaimed second album released in 1979 and reissued in 2017, African Woman (HC 050LP), Hot Casa present the first and really hard-to-find vinyl reissue of Kingsley Bucknor. Also known as "King Bucknor", the famous Nigerian producer, arranger, and singer delivered two brilliant, hypnotic and long traditional Afro-beat tracks. All the ingredients of the "Afro-beat" definition are here: killer drums, straight riff guitars, hypnotic bass, heavy horns chorus, strong political lyrics with beautiful melodies. Ultra-rare, unique, and essential.
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for January of 2019:
THE NEW STONE
Is Located at the New School’s Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th street - just east of 6th ave
January 2019 at the Stone
THE STONE RESIDENCIES / KRIS DAVIS / JAN 15–19
8:30 pm - Capricorn Climber - Ingrid Laubrock (sax) Trevor Dunn (bass) Tom Rainey (drums) Mat Maneri (viola) Kris Davis (piano) Special Guest Jen Shyu (voice)
8:30 pm - Terri Lyne Carrington (drums) Val Jeanty (turntable) Tony Malaby (sax) and Kris Davis (piano)
ONE NIGHT ONLY! TUESDAY JANUARY 22 - LAYALE CHAKER
Raised on the verge of several musical streams since her childhood, Layale Chaker studied at the National Higher Conservatory of Beirut, Conservatoire de Paris and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Her album "Inner Rhyme" is out on In a Circle Records on January 18 2019 and blends jazz with the 12 classical Arabic poetic meters.
8:30 pm - Layale Chaker & Sarafand - Layale Chaker (violin) Jake Charkey (cello) Phillip Golub (piano) Nick Dunston (bass) Adam Maalouf (percussion)
A very special CD release concert presented by Johnny Gandelsman of the music of Layale Chaker. One night only! DONT MISS THIS!
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - JEN SHYU - JAN 23–26
8:30 pm - Jen Shyu (vocals), Trevor Dunn (bass) & Joel Ross (vibraphone)
8:30 pm - Jen Shyu (vocals) Ikue Mori (electronics) Mat Maneri (viola)
8:30 pm - Jen Shyu (voice), Linda Oh (bass) & Val Jeanty (electronics)
8:30 pm - Jen Shyu (voice) Tyshawn Sorey (percussion)
THE (NEW) STONE is located in The New School’s Glass Box Theatre
All Sets at The New Stone start at 8:30pm Tickets: $20
There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone.
Only music. All ages are welcome. Cash Only at the door.
A serious listening environment.
The Stone is booked purely on a curatorial basis
Spectrum is at
70 Flushing Ave, Garage A,
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Friday 18 January
7 PM - Lauren Lee - Curious Beings
8:30 PM - Simona Premazzi
Saturday 19 January
7:30 PM - Jennifer Gersten, violin; Laura Davey, piano
9 PM - Teodora Stepančić - Piano
Sunday 20 January
7 PM - 13th century Spanish death-sea-miracle cantiga band with no name
Elliot Cole, Dylan Greene, Sian Ricketts and Tracy Cowart
Friday 25 January
7 PM - Ambient-Chaos
Saturday 26 January
7:30 & 9pm - Brandon Lopez Trio with Steve Baczkowski and Gerald Cleaver
Bushwick Improvised Music Series Continues:
Monday January 21st
7pm Anders Nilsson - guitar/electronics
Sarah Bernstein - violin
Hampus Öhman-Frölund - drums
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
9pm Jon Panikkar - drums
Rodney Chapman - saxophones
Stephen Gauci - saxophone
Yutaka Takahashi - guitar/electronics
Eric Plaks - electric piano
Leco Reis - bass
9:45pm Aaron Rubinstein - guitar
Ben Stapp - tuba
Raf Vertessen - drums
10:45pm Dan Kurfirst - drums/percussion
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Stelios Mihas - guitar
11:30pm Aaron Quinn - guitar
Nolan Tsang - trumpet
Ben Cohen - saxophones
James Wengrow - guitar
Britt Ciampa - drums
Monday January 28th
7pm Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Rose Tang - keyboard
Ras Moshe Burnett - tenor saxophone/flute
Sean Ali - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
9pm Kevin Murray - drums
Kaelen Ghandhi - alto saxophone
Dave Sewelson - bari saxophone
William Parker - bass
9:45pm Sean Conly - bass
Michaël Attias - alto saxophone
Tom Rainey - drums
10:45pm Colin Avery Hinton - drums
Ingrid Laubrock - saxophones
Todd Neufeld - guitar
11:30pm Andrew Furlong - bass
Emily Denison - trumpet
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
William Hooker in 2019
William Hooker event
*“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 Jan 23rd, 2019 at 7 pm
Saturday, January 19th
Music Now! at Scholes Street Studio
7pm - Sumari with
Matt Lavelle-Trumpet & Bass Clarinet
8pm - Music Now! with
Ras Moshe Burnett-Reeds
Dafna Naphtali-Voice & Electronica
Leonor Falcon Pasquali-Viola
Matt Lavelle-Bass Clarinet
9pm - Lee Odom Ensemble with
Jen Giammanco-Electric Bass
10pm - Music Now! with
Salim Washington-Tenor Sax
Ras Moshe Burnett-Tenor Sax
Refreshments and light snacks available
Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn
The J, L trains to Lorimer St.
718-964-8763 / www.scholesstreetstudio.com