Just Dropped In
Written by Mickey Newbury
Covered the First Edition with Kenny Rogers, released as a single in early 1968
Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in
I woke up this mornin' with the sundown shinin' in
I found my mind in a brown paper bag within
I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in
Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in
I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawlin' out as I was a-crawlin' in
I got up so tight I couldn't unwind
I saw so much I broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in
I said I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in
Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah… what condition my condition was in
What was it about Texas psychedelia from the 1960’s that erupted through so many great bands?!? Was is in the water, the air or just the drugs folks were taking? The above song was a hit for the First Edition in early 1968. The lead singer for the First Edition was Kenny Rogers, who went to more middle-of-the-road fame & fortune. The songwriter was Mickey Newbury, an underrated singer/songwriter who also penned “An American Trilogy”, which was covered by Elvis Presley. The Newbury record that that song came from was called ‘Frisco Mable Joy’, a concept record of sorts and is still considered a classic by aficionados worldwide. Here is a short list of my favorite Texas sixties psych bands: 13th Floor Elevators (whose lead singer Roky Erickson recenty passed away), Red Crayola, Moving Sidewalks, Fever Tree, Sir Douglas Quintet, Bubble Puppy, Lost & Found, Power Plant, Endle St. Cloud and Southwest F.O.B. My advice: read the words to this song and think twice before dropping any psychedelic drugs. - Brother Bruce Lee G.
The Downtown Music Gallery 28th Anniversary Celebrations began on May 1st & Continues!
Every In-store This Summer Helps Celebrate the Spirit of Creative Music Performed Live.
Sunday, June 30th:
6pm: MATT MOTTEL - From Talibam! Rare Solo Set! Mystery guests? Maybe…
Sunday, July 7th:
6pm: RAF VERTESSEN / ANNA WEBBER / ADAM O’FARRILL - Drums / Reeds / Trumpet
Sunday, July 14th:
6pm: NICK LYONS
Sunday, July 21st:
6pm: LARUM Featuring: CHET DOXAS / MICAH FRANK - Woodwinds / Cassette Deck/Electronics
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
Recommended Gig of the Week:
William Parker’s IN ORDER TO SURVIVE *
With ROB BROWN / COOPER-MOORE / WILLIAM PARKER / HAMID DRAKE!
CD Release Celebration!!!
This MONDAY, JULY 1st at 7pm
At ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn
18 Whitwell Place, 11215 (R train to Union St)
This Week’s Sonic Treasures Begin with This Classic Effort:
FRED FRITH - Woodwork / Live At Ateliers Claus (Klanggalerie 308: Germany) “Fred Frith is one of the most important musicians of our time. He was born in Sussex, UK and now lives in California, USA. He first came to attention as one of the founding members of the English avant-rock group Henry Cow. He was and is also a member of groups like Massacre, Art Bears, Skeleton Crew or Cosa Brava. Over the past 40 years Fred has collaborated with outstanding musicians like John Zorn, Tom Cora, Bill Laswell, Carla Kihlstedt, Henry Kaiser, Phil Minton, Brian Eno, The Residents, Marc Ribot, Lol Coxhill, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, John Butcher, Laurie Anderson - the list could go on much longer. In 1974 Fred Frith released his landmark album Guitar Solos, a glimpse into what he had been doing with his guitar. It was improvised and recorded within four days and presented an experimental and innovative way of playing the instrument. Frith relocated to New York in 1980 and quickly became part of the downtown avant-garde scene, something he found very liberating as he could be himself instead of living up to what other people were expecting of him. Fred also started composing music for film, dance and theatre. Mr. Frith moved to Germany in 1993, thus bringing John Zorn’s Naked City to an end. After a few years in Stuttgart, Germany, Frith went back to the States where he is now professor of composition at Mills College. Back in 1982 Recommended Records Japan released a live LP of solo guitar improvisations. Now, in 2019 we are proud to present you a new solo guitar album, recorded live in concert in Brussels as part of a European tour. You can hear how Fred's playing has developed in those nearly 40 years, and as usual, this album was engineered by long time collaborator Myles Boisen.”
Two Colossal Releases from AUM FIDELITY!
* IN ORDER TO SURVIVE With WILLIAM PARKER / ROB BROWN / COOPER-MOORE / HAMID DRAKE - Live / Shapeshifter (Aum Fidelity 110/111; USA) Featuring Rob Brown on alto sax, Cooper-Moore on piano, William Parker on contrabass & shakuhachi and Hamid Drake on drums. Although master-bassist & composer, William Parker, has led several bands over his 40 music journey/career, In Order to Survive is/are perhaps his most enduring of the lot. Beginning in the early 1990’s, their first album was released on Black Saint in 1993, the personnel featured Rob Brown, Cooper-Moore and Mr. Parker. They’ve had a series of drummers ever since then: Denis Charles, Susie Ibarra and then Hamid Drake. They’ve only produced four discs in 25 years, aside from the a more recent collection called ‘Wood Flute Songs’ (an 8 CD set, compiling various Parker projects, NLA). William Parker has been working with each member of this all-star quartet for many years, across several different groups.
Right from the gitgo, we know something special is taking place. The quartet is united as one force, weaving organic lines tightly together, the spirits flowing, breathing as one. The interplay between the sax and piano is often stunning, with wave after wave by the rhythm team crashing upon the distant shores. Mr. Parker and Mr. Drake collaborate quite a bit so we can hear the way they are consistently connected, expanding & contracting, swinging quickly and then slowing back down to that cosmic heartbeat pulse. Ever member of this wonderful quartet shines here and gets several chances to solo and stretch out at length. Summer (of 2019) began last week, so I would say that this disc is a gem to help us get through the simmering, sizzling days ahead. This mighty quartet only plays on rare occasion, hence next Monday, July 1st, they will be at Shapeshifter in Brooklyn. Back where this treasure was recorded in July of 2018, just one year ago. Buy this disc and try to make that gig next week. We need some inspiration for these trying times! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $20
WHIT DICKEY TAO QUARTETS With MATTHEW SHIPP / ROB BROWN / WILLIAM PARKER and STEVE SWELL / MICHAEL BISIO - Peace Planet / Box of Light (Aum Fidelity 108/109; USA) This 2 CD set features two different quartets led by drummer, Whit Dickey: Peace Planet features Matt Shipp on piano, Rob Brown on alto sax and William Parker on contrabass and Box of Light features Rob Brown on alto sax, Steve Swell on trombone and Michael Bisio on contrabass. Whit Dickey has long been an original, one of the greatest of all free/jazz drummers. His work with David S. Ware, Ivo Perelman, Matt Shipp and Kirk Knuffke is consistently creative, as are the the half dozen discs he has as a leader. I always look forward to his own discs since he has a way of both supporting, collaborating and uplifting whomever he works with.
This new 2 CD set might just be his finest one yet since it shows him working with two different quartets, each great in different ways. Peace Planet features three musicians who Mr. Dickey has worked with for many years, especially Matt Shipp & William Parker, who were also members of the David S. Ware Quartet, way back when. The Peace Planet Quartet sound like they have playing together of eons, united together as one dynamic force. The interplay between Rob Brown and Matt Shipp is astonishing, they’ve been collaborating for more than thirty years, they move together in layers of swirling currents with great support of the equally liquid, flowing bass & drums underneath. Over the past few years, alto sax great Rob Brown, records and plays live rather infrequently. Hi playing in each of these quartets is very different due to who he is working with. Mr. Brown’s tart, spiraling circles are well matched by Mr. Shipp’s rolling piano lines. I love the way things slow down to a somber simmer on “Seventh Sun” and “Ancient Monument”, an old-school, haunting ballad-like detour which is most effective, time slows down until we feel that calming inner pulse. This is followed by “Suite for DSW” (David S. Ware), where the sparks start to erupt once more as Rob Brown & Whit Dickey begin pushing each other higher. Mr. Dickey pulls off a fine, expressive, slow moving drum solo near the end of the first disc, no fireworks, but directly from the heart.
The Box of Light quartet features Rob Brown on alto sax, Steve Swell on trombone, Michael Bisio on acoustic bass & Mr. Dickey on drums. Just this week, we got in a new Rob Brown Quartet disc which also includes trombone master Steve Swell. I don’t recall ever having the members of the Box of Light Quartet play together before now. Whereas on the new Rob Brown Qt CD (Rogue Art), the quartet are playing piece by Mr. Brown, this disc seems to be mostly improvised, just no less engaging. The interplay between Mr. Brown and Mr. Swell is ever-evolving as they toss lines back & forth, play tightly around & with one another. The rhythm team of Mr. Bisio & Mr. Dickey also keeps things interesting by also exchanging lines and roles, supporting & pushing Mr. Brown & Mr. Swell together and separately. Bassist, Michael Bisio, can often be found playing in duo and trios with Matt Shipp, another longtime Whit Dickey collaborator. Mr. Bisio is a great choice since he is a master of free improv and is always listening closely, interacting with the rest of the quartet and taking the occasional inspired solo. After Mr. Bisio takes a strong solo on “Ellipse: Passage Through”, which leads into some incredible alto sax & trombone sparring, exciting and intense and backed by Mr. Dickey’s sprawling, explosive drumming. This disc shows the awesome power and craft of free/jazz ay it best! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $20
ROB BROWN QUARTET With STEVE SWELL / CHRIS LIGHTCAP / CHAD TAYLOR - From Here to Hear (Rogue Art 0090; France) Featuring Rob Brown on alto sax, Steve Swell on trombone, Chris Lightcap on contrabass and Chad Taylor on drums. Downtown alto sax giant, Rob Brown records and plays live relatively infrequently so having three CD’s released all at the same time is even rare still! I caught the set by this quartet at the recent Vision Festival on June 14th of 2019 and was blown away! Rob Brown is also all over both 2 CD sets just released by Aum Fidelity: In Order to Survive and two different Whit Dickey Quartets! A must for this those who worship at the alter of Free Jazz!
INGRID LAUBROCK / SYLVIE COURVOISIER / MARK FELDMAN / TOM RAINEY - TISM (Rogue Art 0082; France) All-star Downtown quartet featuring two fabulous couples: Ingrid Laubrock on tenor & soprano saxes, Mark Feldman on violin, Sylvie Courvoisier on piano and Tom Rainey on drums. The set by this wonderful all-star quartet at the recent Vision Fest (6/16/19) was also outstanding! No doubt that this disc also captures this quartet at their best.
JOHN McLAUGHLIN & THE FOURTH DIMENSION / JIMMY HERRING & THE INVISIBLE WHIP - Live in San Francisco (Abstract Logix 089; USA) “If you're a concert-goer of a certain age (and ilk), 2017 and early 2018 have proven fairly remarkable. Whether "last waltzes," overdue reunions or just plain old-school tenacity, many titans and heroes of the jazz-rock/prog era—such as Brand X, King Crimson, Soft Machine and Dixie Dregs—have been making the rounds in some major markets and stomping the terra. But foremost among them all may have been the John McLaughlin / Jimmy Herring Meeting of the Spirits tour.
Huge, yes for being billed as McLaughlin's farewell tour of the States with his formidable 4th Dimension (and a co-bill with guitar wonder Jimmy Herring's Invisible Whip) but even more monumental because it promised the first (and likely last) substantial unpacking of his legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra repertoire in decades—something swarms of McLaughlin fans have awaited for just as long. Add that it would be performed by the combined forces of both groups and there was a mass salivation among MO devotees that Pavlov himself would have marveled at.
To those who missed the chance to witness this live, all is not lost. Happily, the final, 73-minute, combined-band set of MO material—recorded on the penultimate night of this historic tour—has been preserved on Live in San Francisco.
There's an undeniable thrill transmitted in the opening blasts of "Meeting of the Spirits" on this record. Embodied in them are not only the first bracing salvos heralding the MO's birth in 1971, but also the promise of their long hoped-for reincarnation. From those notes on, that promise is gratifyingly fulfilled.
Much in the same way as the aforementioned King Crimson's recently-expanded touring unit has now afforded upgraded live versions of 70's catalog pieces (previously available only on recordings that may suffer from dated sounding technology and production values), the 9-piece Meeting of the Spirits band delivers deft new readings of these MO staples with expanded depth and modern sound quality. It's also easy to draw parallels between the very full sound and capabilities of this double ensemble and McLaughlin's previous expansions of the MO from it's original quintet format—(the addition of the London Symphony on Apocalypse (Columbia Records, 1974) and that same base quintet augmented to dectet on Visions of the Emerald Beyond (Columbia Records, 1975) with the additions of string trio and 3-piece horn section). What quickly becomes apparent though, are the advantages that nine virtuosic, improvisation-capable musicians have over a quintet with orchestra (or mini-orchestra) in tow. At very least, it's an added boon to have so many different talented voices to turn to in such solo-rich environs. At best, this ensemble may represent the most capable expanded vehicle for this material yet—and McLaughlin definitely uses it to great advantage.
Playing-wise, McLaughlin himself is in solid form on Live in San Francisco, searching, finding, pushing, then soaring. He doesn't sound like a 70-something legend getting ready to retire but rather a vital contender with an added half-century of gravitas behind his notes. That said, Jimmy Herring is a shrewd choice for tandem guitarist for this project. Not only does he share the sizable guitar load but his playing is a refreshing foil in style, tone and texture to McLaughlin's. Moreover, Herring has the chops and exploratory fearlessness to go toe-to-toe with McLaughlin (not to mention such honest love for the repertoire as to occasionally insert subliminal homages to McLaughlin's original solos into his own).
Other fruits of this double ensemble abound here as well. Though never appearing in MO editions, the dual-drummer format is a major enhancement, at least with drummers as talented and sensitive as Ranjit Barot and Jeff Sipe. Having both Gary Husband and the lesser-known (but wonderfully adept) Matt Slocum on keyboards really adds to the firepower and overall sonic largesse, but there's also no denying they boost each other's performance—(see their scorching trades on "Trilogy"). Having two bassists can be a decidedly dicey proposition, but the absence of bottom-end muddle suggests there were clear delineations of duties negotiated beforehand. And although the bass role in the MO was traditionally (and necessarily) one of anchor, this 9-piece provides for such multiple reinforcement that bassists Etienne Mbappe and Kevin Scott are free to occasionally take flight also, with some remarkable moments surfacing from both throughout. The only role not doubled outright was that of violinist—a responsibility handled impressively by multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby. Also occasionally adding vocals and supplemental keyboard, he may indeed be the surprise MVP of the recording. His essential and thrilling violin performances—especially on "Lotus on Irish Streams" and "Earth Ship"—clearly put him on a par with the formidable former holders of that key MO chair.
The titles chosen for this set, while obviously not being able to comply with every rabid MO fan's wish-list, include plenty of obligatory stalwarts (such as "Dance of the Maya," "Birds of Fire," "Meeting of the Spirits" and "Eternity's Breath") and are bound to satisfy. So too the tackling of the epic "Trilogy," with its 13 minutes of compositional twists, turns, and windfalls of virtuosic displays from all members, is sure to please even the most jaded MO-head. More notable though are a couple wonderful inclusions from Visions of the Emerald Beyond's oft-neglected B-side, "Be Happy" and the ethereal "Earth Ship"—the latter providing some of the album's most contemplative moments as well as lovely contrast to the ample gravity and heat on Live in San Francisco.
As rewarding and vital to the success of this album (and indeed these concerts) as the presentation of faithful, incendiary versions of this material may be, it's the departures that kick the whole up a notch. The konnakol injections "Be Happy" and "Trilogy" receive are as exciting and seamless as they are symbolically integral to McLaughlin's post-MO career. Also exciting is the treatment of "A Lotus on Irish Streams," in which the original acoustic, meter-less, chamber-like piece is recast into a flowing electric ensemble vehicle; underpinned by a dynamic rhythmic framework and augmented by a middle improv section, all without sacrificing the tender beauty of the original. The final and arguably most important "departure" is what this assemblage brings to these interpretations. While maintaining a tangible reverence for the originals, they imbue these songs with their own stylistic fortes to marvelous effect, making this feel less a tribute than a re-awakening.
After hearing this album, one can only speculate why McLaughlin waited so long to revisit the treasure trove of groundbreaking MO material. To many, it seemed as if he was channeling his mentor Miles Davis' refusal to look back. Perhaps, like Davis, it was something he would only do as a big finish to an illustrious and relevant career. Perhaps revisiting the material wasn't enough if it couldn't be further elevated. Perhaps the type of realization promised by the talents in this double-group configuration finally represented the offer McLaughlin couldn't refuse. Or perhaps it was just time... Live In San Francisco suggests that all of the above may be true.” - Mike Jacobs, AllAboutJazz
Two More Post 60 Celebration CD’s from Satoko Fujii:
SATOKO FUJII / RAMON LOPEZ - Confluence (Libra 202-057; Japan) Featuring Satoko Fujii on piano and Raymon Lopez on drums. This session was recorded at Samurai Hotel in NYC in December of 2018. Last year (2018), Ms. Fujii turned 60 (known as kanreki in Japan) and celebrated by releasing one CD per month for the entire year. Ambitious, no doubt but par for Ms. Fujii who seems to be pretty prolific nonetheless. She has slowed down a bit this year (CD-wise) and has released two discs so far. Ms. Fujii has recorded a large number of duo sessions, many with her husband, Natsuki Tamura, as well as with Paul Bley, Myra Melford, Mark Feldman and Joe Fonda. Duos with drummers are a rarity, aside from Tatsuya Yoshida. Hence Ms. Fuji chose one of the best improvising drummers in Europe, Spain actually, and known for collaborating with Barry Guy & Agusti Fernandez, Joachim Kuhn and Ivo Perelman.
This disc is superbly recorded, the balance between both musicians is perfect, the sound lush, warm, most enchanting. It often sounds as if there is one person playing since every sound is so carefully crafted, sublimely nuanced. The sound of Mr. Lopez’ drums are especially melodic, well-crafted, always reflecting whatever notes or sounds that Mr. Fujii is playing. Ms. Fujii is a master improviser and has a gift for crafting improvised music which sounds like it was partially or at least directed. She is always telling a story or creating emotional scenery to go along with our own lives. Mr. Lopez is the perfect partner for this ongoing, story-like journey. At times, the duo erupt intensely together yet remain connected as the currents rise and fall. If you want to hear the way a great duo works, this is an excellent example. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SATOKO FUJII - Stone - Solo Piano (Libra 201-056; Japan) Featuring Satoko Fujii on solo piano, recorded at Samurai Hotel in NYC in September & December of 2018. Although, the immensely prolific pianist & composer, Satoko Fujii, has upwards of a hundred discs, her solo efforts are relatively rare. This is only her sixth in her 25 year career. This disc was inspired by Ms. Fujii’s grandmother, who lost her hearing near the end of her life and then heard music in her head unlike anything else she had heard before. I often find that Ms. Fujii is more a magician or sorceress, as much as she is a musician. The music here seems to glow or hum or resonate in its own way. It sounds as if Ms. Fujii is rubbing something, a string or a bow or some small object against the strings inside the piano. There is a good deal of silence and suspense here as Ms. Fujii takes her time and concentrates on just a few notes or sounds at a time. Eventually Ms. Fujii starts to play some haunting, lovely melodic phrases, a few at time, letting us savor each one, muting certain strings to give things a different sound. The names of the 15 pieces often come from different types of stones, giving the pieces a more organic quality to consider. Ms. Fujii is obviously tapping into the cosmic (or organic) flow so that we also can ride the waves of currents that are running below the surface. This disc sounds like a soundtrack for a dream created in moving waters at the bottom of the sea. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
IRO HAARLA / ULF KROKFORS / BARRY ALTSCHUL - Around Again - The Music of Carla Bley (TUM 054; Finland) Featuring Iro Haarla on piano, Ulf Krokfors on bass and Barry Altschul on drums. “Iro Haarla’s Around Again is the second Nordic tribute to influential and prolific American pianist-composer Carla Bley, released in recent years and follows the reeds-piano duo of Fredrik Ljungkvist and Mattias Risberg (And Now The Queen, Lilao, 2016). Haarla, a composer and bandleader in her own right, known for her role as arranger and co-composer of seminal Finnish drummer Edward Vesala work (her late husband), suggests fresh interpretations of Bley’s early compositions, some were covered by the duo of Ljungkvist and Risberg.
Most of Bley’s compositions covered by Haarla’s Around Again were featured on Paul Bley Trio iconic album, Closer (ESP Disk, 1965), described by Haarla as “one of the most important recordings of all time” and Bley as her “favorite pianist”. But Haarla has no intentions to adopt the interpretive perspective of Paul Bley, one of the first musicians to play Carla Bley’s compositions (and her first husband). She comments that Closer and Paul Bley solo piano album Open, To Love (ECM, 1973) made a lasting impression on her as a young student. Haarla enlisted to the recording of The Music of Carla Bley veteran drummer Barry Altschul, who has played in Bley’s Closer and on many other albums of the Paul Bley, in addition to her close partner, double bass player Ulf Krokfors, who initiated this project.
Ms. Haarla sheds a new light on some of the most enduring compositions of Carla Bley, somehow more introspective, delicate and thoughtful than the powerful, upbeat and often whimsy, early perspective of Paul Bley. Haarla’s new interpretations sketch Carla Bley, as Haarla herself, as an independent and strong-minded composer that refuses to employ conventional compositional strategies or to subscribe to common genre conventions, a rare phenomena “in the macho world of American jazz”, as Haarla adds. These compositions, recorded in Helsinki in November 2015, were written on just one page of notes or even less, and represents different aspects of Bley’s one-of-her-kind personality - humorous and ironic, restless but playful, dreamy yet determined, open to improvisation and inviting totally different musical personalities. Haarla succeeds to distil the elusive, poetic, haiku-like essence of each of the 12 compositions of Bley, even though she has often chosen a traditional narratives of head-solos-head. She plays with great sensitivity and manages to sound emotional and cerebral at the same time, as she makes these compositions her own but still meditates on their mysteries simultaneously.
Haarla’s Around Again offers a sparse version of “Closer”; contemplative but engaging cover of “Vashkar”; charges the iconic “Ida Lupino” with a strong and transparent, lyrical vein, turns “Olhos De Gato” into a schizophrenic waltz filled with nervous steroids, enjoys an open, playful interplay on “King Korn” and plays “Utviklingssang” as a folk song. “Jesus Maria” that closes this album, one of the earliest compositions of Bley, is performed with reverent, spiritual mode. All these compositions are performed with profound melodic flow and with open senses of time and space. Altschul blends organically into the intimate, conversational and patient interplay of Haarla and Krokfors. His subtle playing always highlight surprising melodic games deep inside Bley’s compositions, as his imaginative solos introduction on ““Olhos De Gato” and “And Now, The Queen”.
‘The Music of Carla Bley’ is released with a beautiful art work of Finnish painter Ole Kandelin, insightful liner notes of Haarla, Krokfors and Altschul, an essay on the music of Carla Bley by Amy C. Beal, author of Carla Bley (University of Illinois Press, 2011) and the recorded history of each of Bley’s compositions. You need such a beautiful gem at your home.” - Eyal Haruveni, FreeJazzBlog.org
Three Fabulous Discs from the Great Experimental Label, Relative Pitch:
HOOK, LINE & SINKER with TRISTAN HONSINGER / AXEL DORNER / TOBIAS DELIUS / ANTONIO BORGHINI - Fishy Business (Relative Pitch 1090; USA) Featuring Tristan Honsinger on cello & voice, Antonio Borghini on double bass, Axel Dorner on trumpet and Tobias Delius on tenor sax & clarinet. This sessions was recorded in Berlin in May & June of 2018. Although cellist, Tristan Honsinger, is a longtime member of the ICP Orchestra (based in the Netherlands), he is originally from New England. He rarely records albums as a leader although he is/was a member of a trio with Nicolas Caloia & Joshua Zubot. Mr. Hansinger appears to be the leader of this quartet as he wrote 4 of the 9 pieces here. He has also selected a fine quartet with fellow ICP member, Tobias Delius, trumpeter Axel Dorner, German-born, super-prolific & diverse plus bassist Antonio Borghini from Italy but currently living in Berlin and working with Aki Takase, Wadada Leo Smith and Gunter Baby Sommer. Mr. Honsinger has selected a unique quartet of musicians/instruments here with no drummer in tow. “Of Giants and Fleas/Ahoy” features some quirky vocals/lyrics from Honsinger which are just one element of this odd yet charming piece. It is a chamber piece of sorts with several lines moving around one another if tight, odd orbits and weird words which will take some time to figure out. When Tristan sings “Ahoy” several times, it is as if we are all on a boat together wondering what will come next..? There are five improv pieces, each of which give the quartet a chance to stretch out and combine forces. Mr. Honsinger uses his voice and/or words selectively as part of the improvisations, punctuating or adding strange spice to the already odd twists & turns. What I love about this session is that there are a number great moments when unexpected combinations erupt with surprising, occasionally startling results. Who or what was that…?!? I kept thinking throughout. There are of course some completely hilarious moments as well when things sound like they are coming for a loony bin but this is par for the course from Mr. Honsinger & Co. For those of us, who love to be shocked or at least surprised by where things end up, this disc is rewarding yet demanding experience. I believe that this was one of the efforts that Mike Panico worked on before his untimely passing last year. This disc is in his memory. Special thanks to Kevin Reilly for making sure it was released! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ZEENA PARKINS / JON LEIDECKER a/k/a WOBBLY - Triplicates (Relative Pitch 1086; USA) “Triplicates' is a series of improvisations between Zeena, playing her singular electric harp, and Jon, playing an instrument that generates electrical circuit feedback. Their outputs are routed to a series of simple listening devices, machines designed to sing along with the melodies they believe themselves to hearing, although they are often fascinatingly wrong. it quickly becomes difficult to determine the boundaries of each participant’s contribution: acoustic source, electronic conductor, or triplicate.”
MICHEL DONEDA / LE QUAN NINH - Thirty Ways to Avoid Talking (Relative Pitch 1084; USA) “Soprano player Michel Doneda and Le Quan Ninh are celebrating a 30 year playing relationship. Doneda's playing can be at turns lyrical, playful, or raucous, and can switch from the liveliness of street melodies to circular breathing, microscopic sounds, or shrieking outbursts. Ninh plays regularly in ensembles in forms that mix improvised acoustic & electroacoustic music, 'performance art', dance, poetry, experimental cinema, photography and video. Listening is their main discipline. "It’s our discipline. To listen to everything and maybe to enjoy in a way, but not necessarily, it’s about appreciating. Just to have this presence of so many qualities of sounds, because there is always something happening.”
NATURE WORK With JASON STEIN / GREG WARD / ERIC REVIS / JIM BLACK - Nature Work (Sunnyside 1554; USA) "Nature Work was born out of the desire of two talented musicians to work together more closely. Jason Stein and Greg Ward boldly added the incomparable talents of Eric Revis and Jim Black to give their ensemble an unpredictable and intriguing blend of strength, intelligence and adventure, which can be heard on the new recording, Nature Work. There is a place in improvisation where it is in the service of the music to shut off the conscious mind and let the subconscious takeover. Bass clarinetist, composer, and improviser Jason Stein thinks of the work of the subconscious as a natural expression and, thus, considers the act of playing and composing as “nature work.” There might not be a better example of this process than with Stein and saxophonist/composer Greg Ward’s collaborative ensemble, Nature Work. The Chicago based Stein and Ward are well known in the more expressive corners of the jazz world. Focusing on the bass clarinet, Stein has gained notoriety for his breadth and skill on his horn, not to mention his activity in numerous ensembles. Ward has also made a name for himself as an exceptional player and composer. Stein and Ward are inheritors and explorers of the boundaries between composition and free improvisation stemming from the legendary work of Chicago’s own Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, as well as the Ken Vandermark-born, DIY school of eclecticism in music, with a focus on improvisation. The two woodwind players have known each other and have played in a multitude of musical settings over the past decade. Stein and Ward really began to gel as they toured with Mike Reed’s Flesh and Bone ensemble from 2016 to 2018, which led them to look for the right opportunity for putting their own group together. Long having been a fan of bassist Eric Revis (Branford Marsalis Quartet and Tarbaby), Stein invited him along with the dynamo drummer Jim Black (Human Feel, Alax No Axis and Tim Berne’s Bloodcount) and Ward to play a couple of gigs in Chicago. Four individuals from various places (Chicago, Los Angeles & Brooklyn/Berlin) came together to perform high-energy, creative music and Nature Work was born. The concept around the ensemble seems simple: gather talented musicians who are comfortable at the crossroads of composition and improvisation and create inspired music. The true test is finding musicians who have a natural connection, though they may not have ever played together before (as was the case with Revis and Black). The dynamic of the two horn players matched with the steadfast solidity of Revis and the rhythmic fluidity of Black allow the ensemble to create music that is at times intricate and at times unhinged, but all in the service of creativity. The compositions on the album are split between writers Stein and Ward. Nature Work used the two performances as rehearsals for their recording session at the beginning of January 2018 at Electronic Audio in Chicago. The program begins with Ward’s jittery “The Shiver,” which provides an intricate horn duo over a driving rock rhythm that unexpectedly breaks into swing. Led in by a poignant Revis bass solo, Stein’s “Hem The Jewels” reimagines one of sax legend Julius Hemphill’s compositional themes before opening up for some impressive solo performances. Stein’s “Porch Time” is based on complicated rhythms as the ensemble leans on Revis’s time keeping to propel it over Black’s deliciously manic drumming. Ward’s “Zenith” features the contrast of Black’s off-kilter drums versus the low end horns. Stein’s “Opter Fopter” takes its name from his daughter’s catch-all title for all illustrators and is a colorful example of the dynamic and expressive range of the ensemble. Ward’s “Cryptic Ripple” is quietly pulsing until it explodes with the kinetic energy of free improv, while the saxophonist’s “Tah Dazzle” is a buoyantly direct piece that allows the soloists to soar over the driving rhythm section. Stein’s “South Hempstead” has a junkyard mentality picked up from the streets of the town the bass clarinetist lived in on Long Island. The recording concludes with Ward’s softly swelling “Rise,” which builds into an impressive display of interplay and passion. Nature Work is a collection of fervent improvisers who bring a great intensity and willingness to the interpretation of the compositions of Stein and Ward while adding their unique improvisational voice to the collective sound."
For more than a year saxist, Stephen Gauci, has been running the weekly, Monday night music series in Bushwick, Brooklyn at the Public House. The series usually runs from 7 pm until at least midnight and has some six sets per night. From what I’ve heard, it is more of a musicians hang and very few folks stay for the entire 5plus hour night. It does give a chance for some two dozen musicians to play & experiment in unique combinations. A couple of months back, Mr. Gauci also started his own label to both document some of the sets in that series, as well as starting a studio sessions series as well. Mr. Gauci has just released his second batch of releases and here this are:
SEAN CONLY / MICHAEL ATTIAS / TOM RAINEY - Live at the Bushwick Series (GauciMusic 03361; USA) Featuring Sean Conly on acoustic bass, Michael Attias on alto sax and Tom Rainey on drums. All three members of this trio have worked together in different sessions and often for the Clean Feed label, hence they sound as if they have been playing together for several years. The set was recorded by Jon Goldberger and mastered by Yoni Kretzmer and he sound is superb. There is swell, spirited, tight, spiraling flow going on here. At times, I swear I hear the trio quoting from a Monk-like standard but perhaps it is my imagination. Master-drummer, Tom Rainey, is in constant motion, spinning his web or flow with the utmost craft. Michael Attias, is strong, solid saxist & composer, whose dozen to so discs are all consistently strong. He seems to be underrated at times yet consistently has great discs and plus great sets whenever I check him out. The ever-amazing Tom Rainey is at the center of this trio and is again consistently splendid throughout. Another marvel from the GauciMusic label! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STEPHEN GAUCI / ADAM LANE / KEVIN SHEA - Studio Sessions, Vol. 2 (GauciMusic 03360; USA) Featuring Stephen Gauci on tenor sax, Adam Lane on contrabass and Kevin Shea on drums. Aside from running the great/demanding 95-6 sets) Monday night series at the Bushwick Public House every Monday, Steve Gauci has started his own GauciMusic label. There are two series, the Live at Bushwick Public and the Studio Session series. This is the second CD from the studio session series and it features Steve Gauci’s mostly weekly unit with Adam Lane on bass and Kevin Shea on drums. Often, when she is in town, Sandy Ewen, also sits in on guitar (in-lap), wildcard for any free/jazz ensemble. All three members of this trio are either leaders on the own, or members of other strong units like Mostly Other People Do The Killing or Talibam! Check out any of Adam Lane’s dozen discs on Cadence or Clean Feed as a leader and you will be consistently knocked out. Although Steve Gauci has worked long & hard on a round, warm tone on tenor, he seems to revel in pushing himself further out by playing with a number of powerful free players.
Mr. Gauci erupts, the set is off & running with some solo unaccompanied tenor, blasting up a storm, yet completely focused, from inside Trane-toned warmth to some shrieking, Pharoah-like note-bending squeaking. When the bass & drums kick in, the trio solidifies into one equal force. Mr. Lane plays a strong, mesmerizing, bowed bass solo midway through the first long piece, the rest of the trio slowing down to enter the haunting, subdued section before building back up and erupting once more. On the second long piece, Gauci balances the inside & outside tones together, starting with a long, warm tone before his volcanic ascent. This is a titanic trio, the water level getting higher, simmering at first and eventually boiling. Hard to believe that this trio (plus) plays almost every Monday… will wonders never cease?!? This is a snapshot of just one great night, well-preserved for posterity. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
YIMBA RUDO with KEVIN NORTON / JIM PUGLIESE / STEVE LaSPINA - "Yimba Rudo" (Barking Hoop 012; USA) Yimba Rudo is a trio with Kevin Norton on vibes & percussion, Jim Pugliese on drums & percussion and Steve LaSpina on double bass. It has been a long while since we’ve heard of a new recording from ace percussionist/composer/professor Kevin Norton, perhaps five years. I know that Mr. Norton teaches at William Patterson College and still plays the occasion gig. Mr. Norton is joined by another percussionist, Jim Pugliese, who we also have heard from in a while but I do recall his work with Marc Ribot, Marco Cappelli and Steve Swell. Plus Mr. Pugliese was once a member of EasSidePercussion which similar instrumentation to this trio. Bassist Steve LaSpina has worked with folks like John Tchicai, Jack Wilkins and Jerry Hahn.
Each member of this trio contributed compositions to this disc. The opening piece is called, “Reconcile the Classical View”, and it reminds me of the way the Modern Jazz Quartet started by playing bebop (with Dizzy Gillespie) but soon evolved into a modern classical sort of ensemble. Bassist LaSpina is featured and takes a short yet impressive bass solo. There is no one lead instrument here, which is an unexpected delight as the trio is always shifting through different patterns or combinations. Each piece shows a different way of using the trio, it is more about the way things are composed rather than allowing for very many solos. One of the things that I like most about this is that much of this is not too complex or difficult to enjoy. Each song seems to have something enchanting, thoughtfully constructed throughout. I love when Mr. Norton bows or rubs the keys on his vibes, giving them a magical aura, most hypnotic. Great music for a lazy day and it fits just right with the chirping birds outside my kitchen window. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
The Elsewhere label is run by Yuko Zama, who is married to Erstwhile label founder Jon Abbey. The music from both of these labels is connected on several levels. The art work was created by Davis Sylvian, always fits perfectly with the music which is found within. I have only had time to listen to these three discs once so far as I am in the middle of reviewing another dozen discs for this newsletter. It takes time to further absorb and understand all of the music found here since much of it is extremely subtle. I hope to review all three discs for next week’s newsletter when I have the time. I am currently listening to the disc by Melaine Dalibert, which is a personal favorite.
Three More Sonic Treasures from The Marvelous Elsewhere Label:
MELAINE DALIBERT - Cheminant (Elsewhere 007; USA) “This is French composer/pianist Melaine Dalibert's third solo piano album, following his well-received 2018 album 'Musique pour le lever du jour' (elsewhere 002) and 2017 album 'Ressac' (at111). 'Cheminant' contains a diverse array of Dalibert's unique compositions for solo piano, ranging from the up-tempo rhythmic 'Percolations' performed masterfully by Dalibert's right hand, to the slow, prolonged meditative 'Music in an octave' and 'Cheminant', to the kaleidoscopic 'Étude II' with the repetitive hammered chords, and lastly his latest piece 'From zero to infinity' dedicated to post-minimal composer Peter Garland.
All five pieces were composed by Dalibert in 2017-2019, reflecting his current interest in questioning how the harmonic shifts could affect the listening experience with subtly evolving chords through a scale or different tones, creating a similar state to vertigo. Diverse as they may seem, all five pieces attain delicately balanced harmonization of rich layers of the woody, warm direct tones of the piano, overtones and resonances, blended to form a complex harmonic beauty exquisitely delivered with Dalibert's virtuosic piano techniques.” Sample clip on YouTube:/youtu.be/GlpX45HtpaQ
There is something special going on here. As I listen to the first piece, “Music in An Octave”, I hear one chord being played slowly over and over, the notes shimmering in the silence between the strikes. The fan in my kitchen hums quietly while those chords are continually struck over and over. I took chair yoga earlier today which helps me quiet down my often racing, anxiousness. That same sense of calm is also found here with the music which unfolds just as slowly, thoughtfully, each chord well placed on the silence. Take some time and you will be reward for your patience. - BLG/DMG
SHIRA LEGMANN / MICHAEL PISARO - Barricades (Elsewhere 009; USA) “This album contains LA-based composer Michael Pisaro's recent composition 'Barricades,' a 63-minute piece for piano and electronics. Consisting of thirteen studies (piano pieces, some with electronics) and two electronic interludes, the piece is performed by Israel-based pianist Shira Legmann, with Pisaro on electronics.
"Barricades has a distant but decisive relationship to the keyboard music of Louis and François Couperin. The title refers to 'Les Barricades Mystérieuses' by François Couperin – and to the technique of overlapping, interlocking voices, creating a thicket or web-like texture. I have loved the music of the Couperins since college, but it was when Shira sent me some of her favorite music to play, and 'Les Barricades Mystérieuses' was among the scores, that the idea for this piece began to crystallize. The process of writing and working on the piece with Shira was one of watching the barricades, which I pictured as a network of twisted vines, unravel." (Michael Pisaro)
Legmann's clean, supple yet solid piano sounds, employing a wide dynamic range, add a sense of organic life to the composition. Her whispery nuances and mysterious atmosphere, intertwining with Pisaro's underlying sine tones, create a compelling balance between coolness and emotion, distance and closeness, and result in a tranquil yet captivating contemporary work with an echo of the French Baroque.”
REINIER VAN HOUDT / BRUNO DUPLANT - Lettres et Replis (Elsewhere 008; USA) “This album contains six pieces written by French composer/artist Bruno Duplant, all composed and realized by Dutch pianist/composer Reinier van Houdt. Duplant's scores 'Lettres (pour Reinier van Houdt)' (2017) are three letter-form scores personally addressed to van Houdt containing letter sequences distributed across the page. 'Trois replis d'incertitude' (2018) are also three letter-form scores but with the notion of 'repli' (meaning 'fold' in a Deleuzian postmodern baroque sense as well as 'withdrawal' of incertitude and reactionaries toward the neglect of ecology, humanism, and culture). Duplant's scores also reflect Mallarmé's notion of textual space and chance, leaving a large room for the interpreter/performer.
Van Houdt’s realization of these scores are like his ‘reading’ and ‘replying to' Duplant’s scores, with composing three ‘Lettre’ pieces with multi-layered recordings of his piano sounds, and three ‘Repli’ pieces with his piano recordings and his field recordings. Van Houdt’s delicately nuanced piano sound, translucent overtones and rich resonances increase nostalgic colors and melancholic shadows as the record develops.
“I composed my realizations around the fundamentals of reading and writing. The Lettres are connected to melody spelled out and read in all directions propulsed by memory and gaze. The Replis are connected to the harmonies from a place as they permeate and unravel through the metaphorical holes made by writing, linearly arranged again with recordings of a walk along the river that traverses this place. Letters cannot be erased, they affirm the materiality of language. Words (like music) are not envelopes containing clear messages, nor are they loaded guns as Sartre would have it. The possibility of meaning is rooted in the dark side of language where destruction and meaninglessness precede all possible worlds.” (Reinier van Houdt).
Our old friend, Executive Producer for the Ever-Expanding Auand label, Marco Valente, just came to visit and left us with a half dozen promos. Although, Auand started out as a modern jazz label which featured a handful of domestic & Downtown musicians: Tim Berne, Bobby Previte, Steve Swallow & Cuong Vu, it seems to primarily include the cream of Italian creative musicians in recent times. Since Auand switched American distributors a few years back, I haven’t heard very many of their recent discs outside of a few used copies that came our way. What I find most intriguing about Auand is that they are impossible to pin down to just jazz & rock influences, they seem to blend many different streams… Auand has recently passed the 84 number in their catalogue which also includes another 16 discs from their piano series.
BEPPE SCARDINO with PIERO BITTOLO BON / et al - BS10 Live in Pisa (Auand 9079; Italy) Featuring Beppe Scardino, Piero Bittolo Bon & Dan Kinzelman on saxes & bass clarinets; Mirko Cisilino & Mirco Rubegni on trumpets, Glauco Benedetti on tuba, Gabrio Baldacci on guitar, Simone Graziano on Fender Rhodes & synth, Gabriele Evangelista on double bass and Daiele Paioletti on drums. Bari saxist & composer, Beppe Scardino, has appeared on a dozen discs the El Gallo Rojo and Auand labels over the last few years. Although all of the 10 players on this disc have somewhat familiar names, there is one who is on more than 20 discs that we know about: saxist, Piero Bittolo Bon, bandleader for Rollerball and other bands on Long Song.
Mr. Scardino wrote all but one of songs here, the one cover is Coltrane’s demanding work, “Giant Steps”. The BS10 are of course a tentet with his horns, 3 reeds & 3 brass, plus guitar, electric piano, double bass & drums. “Agosto 14” kicks things off with some dark, brooding electric piano, quiet fuzzed guitar and a chorus of churning horns. Guitarist Gabrio Baldacci is in fine form on this piece, his solo a scorcher in the Marc Ducret-like vein. The writing for the six horns is something else, tight, dark, stirring, layers with great solo popping up. Mr. Scardino’s bari solo on “One for KD” is just incredible. Although this disc was recorded live in Teatro Sant; Andrea in Pisa, Italy, the sound is superb. Warm yet bright and not brittle like most digital recordings. Mr. Baldacci takes a completely sick guitar solo on “1001”. There is a long section on “Tre” which consists of layers of subdued, ghost-like muted horns (backwards?), which recalls Nucleus or Soft Machine from some 50 years ago (1970). The electric piano or synth and at times laid-back electric guitar, give this disc an older, classic quality from the early days of jazz/rock. Here’s something interesting, I just a reviewed a couple of fabulous discs from Manfred Mann Chapter Three from 1969 & 1970, both are great and sound much like some of the music found on this disc which was released in 2018. Strange scenes in the Italian goldmine!?! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SATOYAMA With LUCA BENEDETTO / CHRISTIAN RUSSANO / MARCO BELLAFIORE / GABRIELE LUTTINO - BS10 Live in Pisa (Auand 9084; Italy) Satoyama features Luca Benedetto on trumpet, Christian Russano on guitar, Marco Bellafiore on double bass and Gabriele Luttino on drums. Oddly enough, none of the names of the fellows in this quartet, Satoyama, a found in my own Italian Jazz database. Hmmmm. The title of this disc, “Magic Forest”, and the cover image of a bridge into a cave in a mountain give this a more prog-like image. The opening piece is somber, moody and filled with suspense. The music on the next song is charming and reminds me more of Stereolab but a bit further out with tasty trumpet from Luca Benedetto. Cuong Vu like?!? Nope, too sunny. The music does have a rather dreamy quality. At one point, the guitarist plays a Steve Hackett-like soft sustained tone solo which is charming. There are songs here which evoke the spirit of being in a desert, like a tumbleweed or ghost. The vibe here is more about creating a mood rather than doing very many solos. What I do like about this disc is that it is often very laid back, somber, quietly haunting in its own way. Although the quartet has the instrumentation of a jazz group, they sound more like a subdued rock band. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Historic & Archival Recordings:
HORACE TAPSCOTT with the PAN AFRIKAN PEOPLES ARKESTRA / GREAT VOICE OF UGMAA With PHIL RANELIN / MICHAEL SESSION / DWIGHT TRIBBLE / et al - Why Don't You Listen? - Live at LACMA, 1998 (Dark Tree (RS) 11; France) “Unless you’re a hardcore jazz aficionado, you might not know the name Horace Tapscott. But to several generations of L.A. musicians — including breakout saxophone star Kamasi Washington — the late pianist and composer is a near-legendary figure. “I grew up in Leimert Park and his footprint is all over that area,” Washington said in 2015 of Tapscott’s importance to his South L.A. neighborhood. “We all learned his music and his philosophies from the elders who played with him that are still with us. Horace is one of the most important figures in the foundation of music in L.A., from both a purely musically and socially conscious perspective. My dad took me to hear [Tapscott’s] Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra many times and I played with them after Horace passed away.” If Washington’s sound — specifically the large-scale, spirit-lifting jazz-meets-gospel-meets-R&B documented on his 2015 breakthrough The Epic and its 2018 follow-up Heaven and Earth — has a patron saint, it would have to be Tapscott. From the early Sixties through his death in 1999, the pianist helped to anchor a community-driven L.A. scene, bringing together musicians, singers and poets in both the Arkestra (the name nods to a group led by Tapscott’s like-minded predecessor Sun Ra) and an umbrella group called UGMAA, the Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension. A new archival release, Why Don’t You Listen?, captures the ensemble that inspired Washington and his peers in the form of a 1998 Arkestra concert at the L.A. County Museum of Art, reportedly the final time Tapscott was healthy enough to play piano with the band live. Released by Dark Tree, a French label named for a Tapscott piece, it joins a wealth of other Tapscott and UGMAA work now available digitally. The album’s near-15-minute title track makes for a fine introduction to Tapscott’s expansive approach. While much of the Arkestra’s available output focuses on the leader’s intricate instrumental writing, which ranges from funky to free, “Why Don’t You Listen?” spotlights the voice. On the piece, co-written by Tapscott and Linda Hill, a nine-member choir known as the Great Voice of UGMAA — directed by Dwight Trible, who remains committed to Tapscott’s mission — sings out stirring variations on a central question: “Why didn’t you listen to the sounds of truth?” After a brief, expressionistic piano intro, the vocalists sing out a somber opening (“Go forth my seed / And spread the truth …”). From there, the tempo picks up, and the singers begin calling out a series of jazz icons — “Why didn’t you listen to Bird and Trane … ?/ Why didn’t you listen to Lady Day?” — over an insistent pulse, complete with hand percussion, booming brass and emphatic shouts. Around the five-minute mark, the piece breaks into brisk post-bop swing, with the soprano sax of Michael Session swooping over top. A solo vocal episode and a slashing drum feature by Donald Dean lead back into the “Why didn’t you listen …?” refrain. The track’s blend of somber, gospel-like textures with upbeat, unfettered improv does have precedents in jazz — Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, grand Charles Mingus works like “Meditations on Integration” — but Tapscott clearly developed his own rich aesthetic. Throughout Why Don’t You Listen?, it’s easy to hear why up-and-comers like Washington were so struck by his vision — and following that thread to Washington’s own work, equally plain to hear the echo of an earlier L.A. jazz revolution.” - Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone
WAYNE SHORTER with LEE MORGAN / MILES DAVIS / WYNTON KELLY / CEDAR WALTON McCOY TYNER / HERBIE HANCOCK / PAUL CHAMBERS / REGGIE WORKMAN / RON CARTER / JIMMY COBB / ART BLAKEY / ELVIN JONES / TONY WILLIAMS - Early Albums & Rare Grooves (Enlightenment 9166; EEC) Among the most celebrated and respected saxophonists of the post-bop age, Wayne Shorter's influence on the entire jazz spectrum remains as potent and relevant today as ever it did. Having come to prominence with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the late 1950s, and played in Miles Davis' 'second great quintet' from the mid-60s, Shorter is remembered best as one of the founding members of the legendary Weather Report. However, the albums on which he served as leader, released between 1959 and 1964, best represent the output of this iconic musician, bandleader and composer. This 4CD boxset highlights the early, albeit crucial, years of Wayne Shorter's solo career, both as bandleader and as contributor. A true pioneer in jazz, this collection serves as both the ideal starting place for those new to the great man's work, and as a delightful reminder of its depth and color, for those already familiar.
4 CD Set $18
PROCOL HARUM - Broken Barricades: Remastered & Expanded Boxset Edition (Esoteric 32673; UK) This expanded edition of the album has been newly re-mastered and features 36 bonus tracks (32 previously unreleased). They include the complete live concert for WPLJ FM in New York City from April 1971, the entire session for the BBC Radio One show "Sounds of the 70s" from October 1971 and a previously unreleased Swedish radio concert in Stockholm, also from October 1971. ‘Broken Barricades’ was the fifth album by early British progressive band, Procol Harum, released in 1971. It is the last of their five seminal great albums and a personal favorite of Procol Harum. This 3 CD set contains 2 & 1/2 discs of unreleased live material from the same year. Procol Harum have long been one of my favorite sixties bands and I caught them a handful of time from 1969 through the early seventies. They were always wonderful live and they remain still strong today, more than fifty years after their debut in 1967. If you consider yourself an early proghead, then you probably own all of their initial released. Each of the first five have been reissued in recent years with loads of bonus tracks, so dig in… - BLG/DMG
3 CD Set $30
MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE With MIKE HUGG / BERNIE LIVING / STEVE YORK / CRAIG COLLINGE - Volume One 4 Bonus Tracks (Petbrook LTD/Mann 001; UK) Originally a jazz keyboard player from South Africa, Manfred Mann moved to England in the early 1960’s. He formed jazz/blues band called the Mann Hugg Blues Brothers in 1962. They morphed into a R&B, pop band called Manfred Mann and started having hits in 1966. Mike Hugg was their first singer, followed by Paul Jones (with hits like “Do Wah Ditty Ditty” & “Pretty Flamingo”). Jack Bruce even joined for a bit and was followed by Mike D’Abo (hit: “The Mighty Quinn”). The second version of Manfred Mann (a/k/a Chapter Two) broke up in 1969 and Mr. Mann decided to do something he had long wanted to do, put together a more jazz-oriented rock band, first called Emanon and then Manfred Mann Chapter Three. The first album by Manfred Mann Chapter Three was released in later 1969 and their debut gig was in October, the same month the first King Crimson album was released. ChapterIII featured Manfred Mann on organ, Mike Hugg on piano & vocals, Berning Living on alto sax, Steve York on electric bass & acoustic guitar and Craig Collinge on drums plus a five man horn section including Clive Stevens, Nick Evans & Harold Beckett! Listening to this album now, fifty years later, it still sounds, fresh, unique, inventive and an unlikely combination of voodoo lyrics, odd, quirky yet somehow charming singing, burning, immensely inventive sax solos from Bernie Living, a tight, intense, fire-breathing horn section and even more. What I find most interesting is that there is no lead guitar here, just an acoustic on a few tracks. Electric bassist, Steve York (formerly of East of Eden) is often at the center of this band, his bass sounds magnificent, powerful, glowing. Whenever I play this album for anyone who has never heard it, the reaction is always the same: “Holy sh*t! This is amazing! How come I’ve never heard of these guys?” I still get goosebumps when I listen to this record. All 11 of the songs written by Mr. Mann or Mr. Hugg, together & apart. There is one song which was a minor hit for the Yardbirds earlier called “Mister You’re a Better Man Than I”.
Starting with “Traveling Lady”, which has one of the dark, hypnotic bass lines, great, unique, slightly twisted voice. The horn section is magnificent and the mind-blowing sax solo just too much! It has that unbelievable Gary Windo-like immense sound and wail. Who is that guy and what happened to him? I recall that he did play with Mike Westbrook. Mike Hugg has one of those unique, somewhat pinched voices, British voices that I find completely charming. Under-rated electric bassist, Steve York, takes an extraordinary solo on “Snakeskin Garter”. There are a couple of wonderful instrumental songs written by Manfred Mann which place the band amongst the best of the British prog/rock/jazz bands of this period. One is called, “Konekuf” and it has yet another incredible, heavy blasting sax solo from Bernie Living! “Sometimes” sounds like it was written for the previous version of Manfred Mann, yet it is still an exquisite blend of summer folky psych with unique arrangements. “Devil Woman” has that early (Gris-gris) Dr. John-like voodoo/psych sound with equally devilish vocals from Hugg, a great chorus of soulful women swirling with the layers of horns. No horn band I can think of has a sound quite like this one. There are some eleven songs here and each one if great! They don’t make them like this any longer! We just got a handful of copies so… - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE With MIKE HUGG / BERNIE LIVING / STEVE YORK / CRAIG COLLINGE / CLIVE STEVENS / DAVE BROOKS / SONNY CORBETT / DAVID COXHILL / BRIAN HUGG - Volume Two 3 Bonus Tracks (Petbrook LTD/Mann 002; UK) I bought this album as an import cut-out in the early 1970’s, mostly because I dug earlier versions of Manfred Mann and I thought that the cover was totally cool. It has remained an underground favorite of mine ever since. It was released as an import LP only in 1970 and now that I’ve heard & absorbed all or most of the progressive, jazz and rock music released that same year, it makes more sense as to where it fits in British progressive history. Important/influential/seminal albums of 1970 include; Soft Machine - ‘Third’, Nucleus’ first 2 albums, Miles Davis’ ‘Bitches Brew’, King Crimson’s ‘In the Wake of Poseidon’…
Like the first album by Manfred Mann Chapter Three, all of the songs were written by Manfred Mann or Mike Hugg, together and apart. And like the first album, it is Mike Hugg’s singing & songwriting that are at the center of most of these pieces with strong arrangements for the horns from both songwriters. Every song features immensely haunting vocals, voodoo-like lyrics, powerful, majestic horn section arranging & playing. And once again there is no lead guitar, a rarity for any progressive rock/jazz band. Instead, we get the phenomenal electric bass playing of Steve York at the center of every song. There are a number of extraordinary solos here as well: Bernie Living on alto sax, Clive Stevens on soprano or tenor sax and Harry Beckett on trumpet. This disc remains the crown jewel of early UK progressive music. Some of the songs written & sung by Mike Hugg are on the more charming, mellow side, but whenever those horns come in the temperature rises considerably. This album ends with a side-long piece called, “Virginia”, which shows how well the band did with stretching out and adding elements from a variety of progressive streams. Great progressive music is timeless, hence this still sound fresh, creative and surprisingly undated today, nearly 50 years later. A must! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
KEIJI HAINO & CHARLES HAYWARD - A Loss Permitted To Open Its Eyes For But Three Hours And There Glimpsed, Finally In Focus A Mystery That Begs Earnestly... (ThirtyThree ThirtyThree 004; UK) Full title: A Loss Permitted To Open Its Eyes For But Three Hours And There Glimpsed, Finally In Focus A Mystery That Begs Earnestly, "Ask Me Nothing" Now, Once More The Problem Is Yours Alone. Experimental music pioneer Keiji Haino, one of the most mysterious and influential figures to emerge from the Japanese psychedelic underground, teams up with Charles Hayward, British drummer and founding member of This Heat and Camberwell Now, on a new live album released on ThirtyThree ThirtyThree. A Loss Permitted... comprises a live recording of the duo's improvised performance at the Copeland Gallery in London in July 2016, presented as part of ThirtyThree ThirtyThree's performance series Japan: London. The result is fascinating: a mix of air synths, distortions, improvised Japanese poetry and warped guitar sounds. Sedate harmonica and guitar sections give way to cosmic din or an equally unnerving silence, in a performance All About Jazz described as having "no sense of logic, only silence where the tension seemed to build, then finally release". It's not the first time Haino and Hayward have worked together -- Hayward's rare album Double Agent(s) (1998) documents their improvisational sparring live in Japan in 1998. Both are restless collaborators: Haino has played with Derek Bailey, Tony Conrad, Jim O'Rourke, Pan Sonic, and Stephen O'Malley, as well as in his own groups Fushitsusha, Nazoranai, and Nijiumu, among others; while Hayward's collaborators have included Fred Frith, Thurston Moore, and Laura Cannell. A Loss Permitted... sees these two visionary musicians revisit their partnership, creating a sound that is at turns contemplative and ferocious - and always completely compelling.”
GERONIMO BLACK - Freak Out Phantasia (Munster Records 387; Spain) “These previously unreleased live and studio sessions are a loose exercise in spontaneity, and sheer art, which has been lost in the mists of time. Geronimo Black, a truly underrated band from Los Angeles, had existed long before its self-titled debut album released officially by UNI Records in February 1972. Composer, arranger, keyboard player, and founding member Andy Cahan, who also part of Dr John's band at the time. Despite the fact that nearly all his players were part of the busy schedule of the evolving Frank Zappa's band Mothers Of Invention, Cahan attests that "it was a real band with every intention of getting a record deal. Of course, since Jimmy Carl Black, Ray Collins and Bunk Gardner were from Zappa's original band, that was a big selling point to record companies." Talking about the songs on Freak Out Phantasia release, which preceded the first official album, Andy mentions that The Beatles were his main influence. Also, he namechecks other luminaries such as The Zombies, Kinks, Loving Spoonful, Hendrix, Cream, Dave Clark Five, and The Beau Brummels. The live output found on this release is part of their non-stop gigging system. It's worth pointing out that around that time, they were playing gigs with The Eagles, Delaney & Bonnie, The Byrds, Eric Burdon, Joe Cocker, Ike & Tina Turner, The Standells, Canned Heat, Southwind, Taj Mahal, Little Feat, and many others. Some songs herein included were recorded in a prison. Even doing very well on their live adventures, in terms of breaking through in sales, Geronimo Black never had the same lucky destiny of many of their Californian contemporaries. Singing a record deal with Uni Records around Christmas time, they were essentially deemed a tax right-off and were billed thousands of dollars on no income. Back to the present, some highlights of Munster Records' compilation include "Topanga Canyon People" and "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" (both live recordings showing their total intensity and stoned freak-out atmosphere, recalling Zappa's sound, which obviously they were part of). "Let Us Live" is a superb song, with a bluesy-pop-twisted Southern rock vibe. An alternate version of "Siesta" is another key song, and in some ways resembles "Flute Thing", a classic instrumental by The Blues Project. Now it is time to enjoy these recordings because they "reveal the raw passion and excitement we had on stage", as Andy concludes. Includes CD with four bonus tracks.
LP CD $25
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & THE MELTING PARAISO U.F.O. - Wandering The Outer Space (Buh Records 086; Peru) For the first time on vinyl, Wandering The Outer Space marks a new period in the sound of the Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., thanks to the incorporation of new members. Released on CD during the first South American tour of the Japanese masters of psychedelia, Wandering The Outer Space is released here on LP format. The band at the time of this recording were: Jyonson Tsu (voice, midnight whistler), Kawabata Makoto (guitar, bouzouki, fretless bass, organ, synthesizer, tapes, speed guru), Higashi Hiroshi (synthesizer, noodle god), Mitsuko Tabata (guitar, guitar-synthesizer, voice, kisses & hugs), Satoshima Nani (drums, another dimension), Wolf (bass, tapes, space and time), and Cotton Casino (voice, astral mama).
"Buh Records has injected kind of Krautrock-flavored exaggerated, sadistic, sexadelic speed addiction titled Wandering The Outer Space by legendary Japanese psychedelic rock band. Exactly as before, plenty of distorted, dissected guitar explosions by Makoto and Mitsuko (Mitsuru), violent, offensive, a tad gentle space-synthesizer blasters, and critical plus serious rhythm section-oriented spacequakes can be heard on a full stomach, veiled in a delightful sleeve with such a colorful, hyperdynamic pic upon it." --Keishiro Maki Progarchives”
UMM KULTHUM - The Twinkling Star (Fantome Phonographique 1021; Italy) Fantôme Phonographique present a reissue of Umm Kulthum's (Oum Kalthoum) The Twinkling Star, originally released in 1961. Kalthoum is a legendary Egyptian vocalist and one of the biggest celebrities of the 20th century Arab world. She was dubbed "the voice of Egypt" and "Egypt's fourth pyramid", and is considered a national treasure. This 1961 album originally released on Parlophone is one of the finest examples of her vocal ability and a beautiful example of mid-20th century Egyptian popular music. Kalthoum counts among her legion of fans none other than Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, Bono, and Youssou N'Dour, along with most of the Arab speaking world, and this LP is one of the finest of her career. An absolute legend!”
JEANNE LEE / RAN BLAKE - The Newest Sound Around (Down at Dawn 138; Italy) Down At Dawn present a reissue of Jeanne Lee and Ran Blake's The Newest Sound Around, originally released in 1961. The long-awaited vinyl reissue of this debut masterpiece. Produced by "Third Stream" genius Gunther Schuller, The Newest Sound Around stands as one of the most original and creative vocal-piano duet albums in jazz history. This is deep, intimate, and atmospheric music that naturally flows through transformed jazz standards, mournful gospels, and highly imaginative originals. It's time to rediscover Jeanne Lee's enchanting voice and Ran Blake's unique piano style and this is the right album to start with. "Full of love, care, and humanity. They always dance through melodies with devotion and intelligence, and the feeling of their music is always intimate." - Danilo Pérez
JOHN COLTRANE - A Jazz Delegation From The East (Down at Dawn 139; Italy) This great document consists of two different 1956, Hollywood, studio sessions with the young John Coltrane leading a true jazz delegation from the East, in other words a NY/Philly-based quartet featuring young lions such as pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. These are good solid blowing sessions, originally not even scheduled for a release and consisting of fine and surprising renditions of Charlie Parker's "Dexterity", Benny Golson's "Stablemates", and Cole Porter's "Easy To Love", plus three originals by Coltrane, Chambers, and Drew.”
KEITH FOUNDATION BLACK DISCIPLES - Hi Yo (Tabou 123; Jamaica) "Former lead singer and main songwriter for the roots Reggae trio Foundation back in the late 80's, early 90's, Keith Foundation is releasing Hi Yo, his first solo album. Arranged by Robbie Shakespeare, this decidedly roots Reggae LP contains 6 songs in what the Jamaicans call the 'discomix' format: each song is followed seamlessly by its dub version to showcase the Black Disciples' artisan-like musicianship in a dub style and complement Keith's superb vocals. Recorded at Anchor in Kingston, Hi Yo features the nucleus of the legendary Black Disciples (Burning Spear, Justin Hinds, Ken Boothe...), reunited for the first time in 40 years: Robbie Shakespeare (bass, guitar), 'Horsemouth' Wallace (drums), 'Chinna' Smith (guitar), and Robbie Lyn (keyboards). Hi Yo was recorded in just two days the old school way, with this dream team playing live in just one raw take on a Monday, while the vocals were finalized the following day. The album was then mixed and dubbed by sound wizard Gaylard Bravo with Guillaume Bougard."
TOMCATS - A Tu Vera (Munster Records 393; Spain) "The Tomcats' story begins in Ealing, West London, where Tom Newman (vocals, guitar), Peter Cook (lead guitar), Alan James (bass), and Chris Jackson (drums) first began playing together as The Dreamers. When Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies opened the Ealing Club in 1962, it became a magnet for young blues enthusiasts, many of whom would go on to form their own R&B groups, including The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and Manfred Mann. Evenings spent at the Ealing Club had a similar effect on members of The Dreamers, who soon afterwards retooled their repertoire and rebranded as The Tomcats. Another Ealing-based group, The Second Thoughts, were thinking along the same lines . . . It was inevitable that their stories would eventually entwine. In 1964 The Second Thoughts recorded some demos at a studio in Rickmansworth. However, the band parted company shortly afterwards when three of the members (Tony Duhig, Mickey Holmes, and John 'Speedy' Keen) headed for Spain to accompany the French nightclub singer Teddy Ray. When they returned to England a few months later, they immediately set about putting a new band . . . Meanwhile, The Tomcats had also broken up, so it was only natural that the remnants of the two bands join forces. Initially called The Thoughts, the new group featured Tom Newman, Tony Duhig, Mickey Holmes, Jon Field, and Speedy Keen. Soon afterwards Speedy was replaced by original Tomcats drummer Chris Jackson, at which point they decided to readopt the Tomcats name . . . Philips signed the band, which resulted in the release of four EPs in 1965 and 1966. While the majority of the songs were remakes of recent hits, The Tomcats deliver them with enough guts and gusto to make them more than worthwhile. The group also chose to cover a few Spanish numbers, most notably 'A Tu Vera', a song best known by the iconic singer, dancer and movie actress Lola Flores. The Tomcats transformed the dramatic flamenco torch song into a wild, fuzz guitar-spattered rocker. They also recorded the title song to one of her movies, 'Ay Pena, Penita, Pena', updated with a throbbing bass line, thumping jungle drums and a stinging fuzz guitar solo. A small handful of original numbers were also scattered across the four EPs, including the moody ballad 'Running At Shadows', 'It Ain't Right', and the Mersey-style 'Don't Ask For Me'. While in Spain, The Tomcats were cast in a comedy film, Operación secretaria, performing the thrilling punk R&B number 'Two Minds In Tune'. That song makes its first appearance on vinyl here, along with a fine version of Reverend Gary Davis's 'Cocaine' and a rowdy original number, 'Don't Let It Go'." --Mike Stax - check out: forcedexposure.com/productView.do?id=104217
2 LP Set $35
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for June of 2019:
THE NEW STONE
Is Located at the New School’s Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th street - just east of 6th ave
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - WADADA LEO SMITH - JUNE 25–29
8:30 pm - Red Autumn Gold/Silence - Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet) Mariel Roberts, Okkyung Lee (cellos) Erika Dohi, Gabriel Zucker (pianos)
8:30 pm - Ritual Light, a Cosmic Luminous Wave-Field - Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet) Bill Laswell, Melvin Gibbs (basses) Hardedge (electronics) Pheeroan Aklaff (drums) Lamar Smith (guitar) Brandon Ross (guitars) Mauro Refosco (percussion)
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - PAULINE KIM - JULY 9–13
8:30 pm - LEMMA—Music by John Zorn - Pauline Kim Harris, Christopher Otto (violins) Ches Smith (drums): Passagen for Solo Violin / Apophthegms for Two Violins / Ceremonial Magic for Violin and Drums
8:30 pm - ORIGINALS—Music by Pauline Kim Harris - Pauline Kim Harris (violin, piano) Lauren Cauley (violin) Annaliese Kowert (violin) Andrew Yee (cello) John-Paul Norpoth (bass) Thomas Buckner (baritone) Melanie Genin (harp) The Bang Group (percussion) every.thing collective (vocals) Jesse Stiles and David Behrman (electronics)
8:30 pm - Music by Pauline Kim Harris / Spencer Topel - Pauline Kim Harris (violin) Spencer Topel (electronics); Pre-release event for August 2019 Solo Album Debut on Sono Luminus—SHäˈkôn [WORLD PREMIERE] DEO [WORLD PREMIERE]
8:30 pm - RESPONSES to the Bach Chaconne—Music by Pauline Kim Harris, Missy Mazzoli, Elizabeth Hoffman, Yoon-Ji Lee, Annie Gosfield and John King; Pauline Kim Harris (violin); Pauline Kim Harris A Spiral Is A Line (2019) WORLD PREMIERE Missy Mazzoli Dissolve, O My Heart (2010) Elizabeth Hoffman morsels (2018) US PREMIERE Yoon-Ji Lee Shakonn (2014) Annie Gosfield Long Waves and Random Pulses (2012) John King C-H-A-C-O-N-N-E (2013)
8:30 pm - DRUMS x VIOLIN x PERCUSSION—New music by Pauline Kim Harris, Jessie Cox and James Ilgenfritz; Pauline Kim Harris (violin) Jessie Cox (drums) Billy Martin (percussion) Brian Chase (drums) Alex Cohen (double kick bass drum) Ricardo Romaneiro (drum machine)
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
JOHN ZORN Presents The STONE SERIES at Happy Lucky No. 1:
2 night residencies
Friday, June 28th & Saturday, June 29th, 2019 - 8:00 PM 9:00 PM
Maria Grand: Saxophone
Hwansu Kang: bass
Savannah Harris: drums
Maria Grand: Saxophone
Hwansu Kang: bass
Savannah Harris: drums
Happy Lucky No. 1: 734 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11216
646 623 0414 / www.happyluckyno1.com
by subway: Take 2, 4, or 5 trains to Franklin;
Take 3 train to Nostrand Ave.
Take A or C to Nostrand Ave.
Bushwick Improvised Music Series Continues:
Monday July 1st 7pm Reggie Sylvester -drums Ed Keller - guitar Joe Ravo - guitar 8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone Adam Lane - bass Kevin Shea - drums 9pm Dave Miller - drums Daniel Carter - woodwinds Robert Boston - keyboard Tom Kotik - electric bass 9:45pm Adam Caine - guitar Daniel Carter - woodwinds Billy Mintz - drums
10:45pm Jeff Davis - drums Kirk Knuffke - cornet Jonathan Goldberger - guitar
11:30pm Darren Johnston - trumpet Michael Coleman - keyboard Kim Cass - bass Michael Vatcher - drums
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue , Bushwick
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
$10 suggested donation
WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2019- 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
THE MARA ROSENBLOOM TRIO
8:00pm & 9:00pm Sets
Mara Rosenbloom - Piano & Composition
Sean Conly - Bass
Chad Taylor - Drums
FRIDAY, JULY 5, 2019 - 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
BILLY MINTZ BAND
Adam Kolker - Sax
Richard Perry - Sax
Noah Bless - Trombone
Roberta Piket - Piano
Hilliard Greene - Bass
Billy Mintz - Drums
SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2019 - 8:30 PM 10:30 PM
Art Lande - Piano
Will Bernard - Guitar
Bruce Williamson - Woodwinds
Brian Drye - Trombone
Mike McGinnis - Woodwinds
Matt Wilson - Drums
IBEAM in BROOKLYN, NYC
168 7TH STREET
BROOKLYN, NY, 11215