“Illegal Smile” by John Prine
From his debut album, ‘John Prine’ released in 1971
“When I woke up this morning, things were lookin' bad
Seem like total silence was the only friend I had
Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down and won
And it was twelve o'clock before I realized
That I was havin', no fun
Ah, but fortunately I have the key to escape reality
And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while
Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone
No I'm just tryin' to have me some fun
Last time I checked my bankroll, it was gettin' thin
Sometimes it seems like the bottom
Is the only place I've been
Chased a rainbow down a one-way street, dead end
And all my friends turned out to be insurance salesmen
Ah, but fortunately I have the key to escape reality
And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while
Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone
No I'm just tryin' to have me some fun
Well, I sat down in my closet with all my overalls
Tryin' to get away from all the ears inside my walls
I dreamed the police heard
Everything I thought, what then?
Well I went to court and the judge's name was Hoffman
Ah, but fortunately I have the key to escape reality
And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while
Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone
No I'm just tryin' to have me some fun
Well done, hot dog bun, my sister's a nun”
I recall seeing Kris Kristofferson live in Wollman’s Skating Rink in Central Park in the summer of 1971. He was the same bill with Janis Ian. During his set, he introduced a song by saying something like this, “Journalists and record company folks often toss around the epitaph that so & so is the next Bob Dylan. This always makes me smile, but is rarely true. I have just heard a new songwriter from Chicago named John Prine. He is about the closest to being the next Dylan, than anyone else I’ve heard.” The above song opens John Prine’s first, self-titled album from 1971. I remember thinking that Mr. Kristofferson was right when I bought that album sometime that year. I have been listening to that record recently and marveling at the songs, especially the lyrics. Every time I play it, I still crack up, laughing. In case you haven’t figured it out, the “illegal smile”, that Mr. Prine sings about is from getting stoned on some herb, something that was pretty much commonplace for many of us freaks and normal folks as well during that period. Mr. Prine went on the make many more records through the years, many of which I still enjoy. But, it is that first that still makes me smile whenever I listen to it. - BLG at DMG
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, November 24th:
6pm: THOMAS HELTON - Solo ContraBass
7pm: REGGIE NICHOLSON - Solo Drums
Sunday, December 1st: No In-store
Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend, Bruce visiting his Mom, Sis & Step-Family in FL!
Sunday, December 8th:
6pm: SAM HARNET - Mandolin / SANA NAGANO - Violin / ZACH SWANSON - Acoustic Bass!
7pm: PEACH and TOMATO: SANA NAGANO and LEONOR FALCON - Strings!
Sunday, December 15th:
6pm: TODD CAPP MYSTERY TRAIN: KURT RALSKE / LELE DAI / FRANK MEADOWS / TODD CAPP!
7pm: RONIN PHASING: PATRICK BRENNAN - Solo Alto Sax!
8pm: M - violin/electronics / N - guitar/electronics / HANS TAMMEN - Buchla!
DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy. You can check the weekly in-store sets through our Instagram feed
DMG Recommended Gig of the Week:
Eric’s House of Improv Presents:
November 23, 2019 at 8:00
TRIO XL: JOE McPHEE / TOMAS ULRICH / ROSI HERTLEIN / JAY ROSEN!
At 244 Rehearsal Studios (244 West 54th Street, 10th Floor)
This Week’s Dynamite Discs Begin with the Seminal Box Set:
HENRY COW with FRED FRITH / TIM HODGKINSON / JOHN GREAVES / CHRIS CUTLER / LINDSAY COOPER / GEOFF LEIGH / DAGMAR KRAUSE / PETER BLEGVAD / ANTHONY MOORE / GEORGIE BORN ROBERT WYATT - The Henry Cow Box Redux: The Complete Henry Cow (ReR HCCBRX 1; UK) 17 CDs, 1 DVD and 250 pages of histories, testimony commentaries and photographs - in a sturdy box. This collection brings together in an inexpensive and definitive edition the full contents of all earlier Henry Cow releases, with the addition of a further 60 page booklet of newly unearthed, or commissioned, band commentaries, pictures and other documents prepared specifically for this box - as well as re-mastered versions of all the studio CDs and a rare previously not for sale bonus CD - Cabinet of Curiosities. This collection offers a major retrospective of one of Britain's most resilient and elusive bands - and a redress to the rather over-tidy story told on their 5 officially released LPs. Like Frank Zappa or Harry Partch, Henry Cow were mavericks, working without compromise at the edge of their field and systematically breaking the rules and conventions that restrained it. In the 40 years since they disbanded, their work has acquired a formidable reputation, leading finally to this definitive collection - which replaces a chaotic mass of degraded bootlegs with properly mastered, carefully selected and thoroughly annotated lost projects, compositions and performances.”
17 CD’s / 1 DVD / 250 Page Booklet - $110 [1st 10 customers get $5 off)
HENRY COW // BENJAMIN PIEKUT - The World is a Problem (Duke University Press; USA) Sometime in 1973 when I was at college, I got a call from an old record collector pal named Bob Grohl. Mr. Grohl had the best collection of obscure British rock albums ever and he turned me on to many bands. He told me that he had just gotten a record by new band and that it was too weird for him but that I would probably enjoy it myself. He gave me a copy when we got together later that month and I kept playing Henry Cow’s debut album, ‘Leg End’ over and over. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of this band before and that their record was a masterpiece of progressive/rock/jazz/experimental/modern classical influences. My favorite bands in the sixties were the Mothers of Invention and Soft Machine, Henry Cow sounded like they were an extension of what I dug about both of those bands: a unique sound blending all the things that I dug about the progressive side of creative rock music at that point. The first two albums by Henry Cow still captivate me, more than 40 years later. When I was at Glassboro State, my roommates and myself listened to those Henry Cow records, as well as records by the Mothers, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, as well as lots of avant jazz, early fusion and modern classical. This was our diet. I wrote to Henry Cow through their label, Virgin Records, and a got a letter back a couple of months later from Chris Cutler, Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson. We kept reading those letters over & over, to get a better idea of what motivated them to create such unique music. I ended up befriending each of them, checking them out live on various occasions. Fred Frith moved to NY from 1978 through 1992, so we many chances to talk at length and hear him live with many members of the Downtown Scene which he was an integral part of. I have also had several chances to talk with Chris Cutler and Tim Hodgkinson through the years, even getting to a chance to ask Tim about the words to “Nine Funerals of the Citizen King”, a song from the first Henry Cow record which I have been trying to figure out ever since I heard it. I am currently reading Benjamin Piekut’s book, ‘Henry Cow - The World is a Problem’, which is nearly 500 pages long. Although it seemed at the time, that Henry Cow, who began in 1968 and didn’t have a record until 1973, came out of nowhere, this is obviously not the case. Their music was always complex, whimsical and impossible to pin down or pigeonhole. Mr. Piekut has obviously worked to hard to tell their multilayered story interviewing all of the living members and assorted associates. Hats off to Mr. Piekut and a spiritual toast to the ongoing legacy of Henry Cow, all members past and present. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Nearly 500 Page BOOK $30 [$5 off, if you also purchase that Henry Cow Box listed above]
BORAH BERGMAN / WILBER MORRIS / SUNNY MURRAY - MONKS (Some Real Music 005/6; USA) Featuring Borah Bergman on piano, Wilber Morris on contrabass and Sunny Murray on drums. Recorded April 30th, 1996 in NYC. Sensational unreleased studio session from three giants of free jazz covering five songs by Thelonious Monk plus a 30 minute tribute to his holy spirit.
With the passing of free/jazz piano giant, Cecil Taylor, in April of 2018, it time to consider then other free/jazz piano masters who were often cast as with Mr. Taylor’s shadow. One of the first pianists I discovered who followed his own path, creating new strategies/techniques for “free” piano, was Borah Bergman (12/1926-10/2012). I recall listening to Mr. Bergman’s first two albums on the Chiascuro label in the mid-seventies and being knock out by his approach. Word is that Mr. Bergman worked long and hard, often practicing with his left hand only, in order to completely ambidextrous. I became friends with Borah in the late 1980’s, talking with him for long periods of time and listening to him rehearse in his apt uptown. He once asked me to recommend some Downtown saxists who could keep up with his ultra intense playing. I suggested Thomas Chapin, Louie Belogenis and Elliott Levin (from Philly), and he contacted & rehearsed with each of them. He eventually recorded two discs with Mr. Chapin and I once heard Bergman play live in a quartet with Louie Belogenis. Although, I would say that Mr. Bergman rarely got the recognition he well deserved, he record around thirty records between 1975 & 2008. Unfortunately, most of those discs, aside from two on Tzadik, one on FMR and an earlier one on Some Real Music, are long out-of-print. Which brings us to this disc…
One of the most impressive things about Mr. Bergman is that although, he was most selective, he did collaborate with many other giants: Anthony Braxton, Peter Brotzmann, Oliver Lake, Bobby Bradford, Evan Parker, Connie Bauer, Lol Coxhill, Joe McPhee and many more. For this rare piano trio date, producer/label man, Joe Chonto, was able to bring together two other heavy players: bassist Wilber Morris (11/1937-8/2002) and drummer Sunny Murray (9/1936-12/2017). This is an extraordinary trio. This is what is most interesting: the majority of releases by Mr. Bergman are variations on free/jazz. On rare occasion, Bergman has actually covered or adapted music like cantorial melodies for his solo disc on Tzadik, ‘Meditations for Piano’.
For this 2 CD set, this all-star trio, plays the music of Thelonious Monk, five songs, stretched further out, as well as one long (nearly 30 minute) tribute to Mr. Monk. This disc begins with two versions of “Well You Needn’t” and ends with yet another version. From the gitgo, the trio plays that familiar theme and quickly takes off spinning freely, with Mr. Bergman repeating the theme with his right hand, speeding it up and turning it inside-out. The rhythm team do an amazing job of spinning tightly yet freely with the piano. Mr. Bergman himself sounds like he is creating inner hurricane with powerful waves with the rhythm team occasionally laying out while Borah unleashes some powerful torrential currents. Mr. Bergman’s intense two handed playing seems to the inspire the trio play full on, often with two currents crashing together and around one another, Bergman’s left hand interacting with the bassist while his right hand erupts with the drums. The results are most exhilarating, it does take some time to get used to. There is an incredible bass solo midway through the second version of “Well You Needn’t”, explosive, completely riveting! This is only the first of several inspired solos from the often overlooked bass great, Wilber Morris. Legendary drummer, Sunny Murray, is said to have invented what folks call “free/jazz drumming” way back in the early 1960’s when he was working with Cecil Taylor. Few drummers could keep up with Mr. Bergman’s intense, crashing waves, Mr. Murray does a phenomenal job, no matter how far out Mr. Bergman pushes things and takes a number of extraordinary solos as well. I have played this disc several times at the store over the past few days and have watched folks here either marvel or be overwhelmed by the bristling intensity. This 2 CD set is a masterwork of free/jazz at it very best. Are you ready for it?!? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $16 [LTD Edition / on sale until 12/1/19 or as along as our supply of 50 lasts plus the first 50 customers will also receive a free bonus disc featuring: Borah Bergman/Kidd Jordan/William Parker/Michael Wimberley, from the same label!]
DAVE DOUGLAS With JEFF PARKER / ANNA WEBBER / TOMEKA REID / NICK DUNSTON / KATE GENTILE - Engage (Greenleaf; USA) Featuring Dave Douglas on trumpet & compositions, Anna Weeber on reeds, Jeff Parker on guitar, Tomeka Reid on cello, Nick Dunston on acoustic bass and Kate Gentile on drums. I haven’t heard this CD yet although I did see this all-star unit at the Zurcher Gallery earlier this year. I thought that set was lovely, something completely touching, inspiring which brought a smile to my face. - BLG
“ENGAGE is a direct descendant of UPLIFT, the 2018 set of compositions dedicated to positive action. We will be following up with all the organizations and causes invoked in that piece. And engaged in community and activism. People showed up in 2018, and our hope is that this trend will continue. We are going to need to be engaged to make the changes that will save our environment, our equality, our sciences and humanities. My hope is that everyone, in every field, will be involved and engaged in this work. Writing and performing these pieces is a reminder to myself not to get mired in the negativity — to stay positive and engaged through music daily.
We’re digging into that optimism musically in these pieces. The compositional rule was simply to build them all out of major triads. Each of the twelve pieces approaches that in a different way, and they were built for this collaborative and communicative ensemble with Anna Webber (alto and bass flutes, tenor sax), Tomeka Reid (cello), Jeff Parker (guitar), Nick Dunston (bass), and Kate Gentile (drums).” - Greenleaf
CD $18 [In stock shortly]
CLARINETS with ANTHONY BURR / OSCAR NOREIGA / CHRIS SPEED - No Pressure (Skirl 048; USA) Featuring Chris Speed on clarinet, Anthony Burr on bass clarinet and Oscar Noreiga on bass clarinet & clarinet. Recorded at Conrad Preby Concert Hall at UC in San Diego, March of 2017. Last night (11/19/19), I caught this clarinet trio at The Stone and was knocked out by their performance. As some of you may know, I have been on a mission for the past few years, trying to listen to every great clarinet player of the 20th century. I compiled a large list (over 100) and I am still listening and searching for anyone I might’ve missed. If you want a copy of that list, write to me at the store and ask.
This is the third disc from The Clarinets, a trio which features the classically trained/professor (UC-SD) Anthony Burr on bass clarinet, Downtown all-star Oscar Noreiga (Snakeoil & Endangered Blood) on clarinet & bass clarinet and former Downtowner (now living in L.A.), Chris Speed (Bloodcount, Pachora, Skirl label founder), on clarinet. Ever since hearing Eric Dolphy play bass clarinet when I first bought jazz albums in 1972, I am a freak for bass clarinet. There has been an ever-increasing interest in bass clarinetists over the past decade, with a handful of musicians who concentrate on bass clarinet only: Jason Stein & Rudi Mahall come to mind. The title track features the warm, wooden tones of two bass clarinets and regular clarinet, played slowly, with some somber drifting drones. The soft, suspense-filled lines are most enchanting. I dig the sparseness of this music, nothing is rushed and the tone of the clarinets is often sublime. The music is often subtle, precious and slow moving, closer to chamber music than jazz. The relaxed calm nature of this music sounds sounds most thoughtful and rather hypnotic. It sounds as if three ghosts/spirits have take over and are showing us the way to a more laid back existence. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS with HENRY KAISER / BRANDON SEABROOK / MATT NELSON / TIM DAHL / WEASEL WALTER - ‘Imminent Death’ (ugEXPLODE 77; USA) Featuring Henry Kaiser & Brandon Seabrook on guitars, Matt Nelson on soprano, alto & tenor saxes, Tim Dahl on bass guitar and Weasel Walter on drums, percussion, guitar & electric sitar. The Flying Luttenbachers are an ongoing ensemble/project founded by drummer/composer/label-head, Weasel Walter. They formed in 1991 with Hal Russell and Ken Vandermark amongst the early members. Weasel Walter is the only permanent member with nearly two dozen other musicians amongst their history. Their ever-evolving music is often extreme, noisy and over-the-top with influences as varied as avant-jazz, no wave, punk, death metal, prog and math rock. What I’ve always dug about them is this: each & every one of their nearly 20 releases are quite different so we never know what to expect to other than brutal intensity. The current version of the band features: Brandon Seabrook, Matt Nelson, Tim Dahl and Weasel Walter, plus special guest Henry Kaiser added on guitar on most of the tracks. Before moving to Brooklyn a few years back, Weasel lived in the Bay Area and worked with Mr. Kaiser in several different projects during that time.
Strangely enough, this disc begins with a rather psychedelic (Creedence?!?) groove and mind-numbing guitar solo from my man Henry Kaiser, churning rhythm guitars from Seabrook & Weasel… and its called, “Praalude”. When Matt Nelson takes off on alto sax midway, the intensity increases a notch to two. Things slow down on “Get the F*ck Out”, which features some mighty fine bass clarinet * soprano sax from Matt Nelson and more mind-blowing guitar from Mr. Kaiser. Weasel with quite a bit of restraint here, even when overdubbing a bit more percussion, allowing the reeds and guitars toss off some furious lightning-like trading. At times, it sounds like Mr. Kaiser’s guitar is sped up to superhuman proportions. (something fusion-doctors off claim about Olly Halsall, when they hear the first Patto album’s long solo on “Money Bag”. The central melody has a simple repeating riff, while both Nelson & Kaiser take long, frenzied, almost-too-much solos. Guest synth player, Dr. Brad Laner (from Savage Republic, Medicine & LA Free Music Society), sits in on “Grants, Residencies and Trust Funds”, a strange, spastic, frantic, slow burning, mind-blowing ditty! As dense and as intense as things often get, it is Weasel’s marvelous production that streamlines and focuses the sound when it might sound like it is about to go into the red, distortion zone. At way past 70 minus, there is almost too much to take in, in one sitting so perhaps it is better to listen to one or two in one sitting. “White Wine and White Lines” actually has one those great punk/funk grooves, although turned up to full intensity, it does sound like it was inspired by some white lines. This disc is one of the most brutal and yet somehow inspiring of all the bands I’ve heard in recent memory. It is not for the faint-hearted. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Three Newer Titles from the Fine Folks at NORTHERN SPY:
CUP with NELS CINE / YUKA HONDA - Spinning Creature (Northern Spy 117; USA) “A project from musical and marital partners Nels Cline and Yuka C. Honda, CUP is a delightfully strange affair that merges exploratory improvisations for guitar, percussion, electronics, and voice with more structured art-pop songwriting. While the two New Yorkers have performed and recorded together in a couple of different formats over the years, they make their formal debut as a duo here with Spinning Creature, a seven-track outing on the Northern Spy label. Outside of being Wilco's guitarist (easily his most visible gig), Cline has been a fixture of outsider music since the 1980s, nimbly applying his collaborative expertise to facets of avant-garde and punk while leading a variety of his own jazz combos. After moving to the U.S. from Japan, Ms. Honda established her own reputation among New York's experimental and noise rock scenes before blowing up in the mid-'90s as one half of food-describing indie pop heroes Cibo Matto. Aside from being married to each other, the duo's artistic chemistry makes a lot of sense; both are versatile musicians who've kept a toe in the pop world, but seem happiest letting the sparks fly in a more undefined environment. As CUP, their musical personalities mingle in just the right amount of push and pull, resulting in a playful, sometimes off-putting set that seems to emphasize their individual approaches in a way that still feels harmonious. Over Honda's lush but fractured soundscapes and glistening chimes, Cline opens Spinning Creature with a series of dreamy vocal incantations and, of all things, a bamboo flute solo, lending an almost meditative air to the sublime "Every Moment." The eerie jazz-glitch rhythm of "Berries" has Honda's fingerprints all over it, as do the loopy dance beats and headphone-thrilling sound design of "Soon Will Be Flood." Woozy closer "As Close as That" features some extremely tasteful and subtle guitar work from Cline while Honda lays a cloudy synth bed underneath and plays in the margins. Whenever one or the other's individual traits becomes apparent, its partner is there in the background, supporting and anticipating the next move. The two come together most soundly on the album's title cut, an artful gem of circular folktronic pop with a curiously inviting melody sung in unison. Pleasantly weird without being pretentious, CUP defy easy categorization and their debut pops like the collision of two beloved nonconformists.” - Timothy Monger, AllMusicGuide
FAY VICTOR with DARIUS JONES / MARIKA HUGHES - Barn Songs (Northern Spy 121; USA) “When Fay Victor found herself struggling to break into New York City’s jazz scene in the ‘90s, the singer and composer took a gamble on moving to Amsterdam to hone her voice and develop her improvisational instincts—a move that transformed Victor from a straight ahead jazz singer into a daring vocal improviser. Over 20 years later, Victor has revisited these Amsterdam compositions for Barn Songs, her tenth album as a bandleader. Recording alongside cellist Marika Hughes and alto saxophonist Darius Jones, the experimental project came to fruition in a tumble-down barn Hughes owns in the northern foothills of the bucolic Catskills Mountains. The trio turned the building into an organic recording compound for three days, complete with passings birds and squirrels adding naturalistic ambience to the mix. Remarkably, the songs Victor wrote while living another life in another country reveal themselves to be prescient commentary on the modern way we live today.” - Northern Spy
Three from the Chicago Underground Scene:
JASON STEIN’S LOCKSMITH ISIDORE with JASON ROEBKE / MIKE PRIDE - After Caroline (Northern Spy 099; USA) Locksmith Isidore features Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Jason Roebke on acoustic bass and Mike Pride on drums. This appears to be the fifth release from Chicago bass clarinetist Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore. Mr. Stein runs several bands but this trio is his most consistent as far as personnel and focused playing. Mr. Stein wrote but two of the pieces here with one group improv and a cover of John Coltrane’s “26-2”. This disc was recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago in July of 2017. An obviously avant-garde outfit, this trio made history by doing a tour of large arenas opening for the famous comedian, Amy Schumer, who is Mr. Stein’s half or step sister.
Although it has become a bit more common in recent years, Mr. Stein plays bass clarinet only. The legendary figure, Eric Dolphy, was the initial influence for Mr. Stein, something we can still hear in his playing. The opening piece, “As Many Chances as You Need”, kicks off with a sort-of funky, Thomas Chapin-like groove with Mr. Stein burring it up on his bass clarinet. The trio has a playful quality even while playing some of those difficult charts, shifting tightly through different tempos with quick trusts & turns to be navigated. The trio do a nice job of covering one of the more obscure Coltrane pieces, “26-2”, swinging it hard, the groove pumping just right. The well worn rhythm team are/is consistently strong, focused and inspired and the trio has a strong, tight, focused group sound. Something that impresses me here is that if you listen closely, you often here several layers moving at the same time. There is an elastic, buoyant rhythmic center which expands & contracts, swings quickly and then moves back to a more relaxed pace at times. Certain pieces sound free from the outside yet reveal intricate woven patterns emerging from time to time. Diverse Downtown drummer, Mike Pride, is in particularly fine form here, pushing hard and keeping the trio consistently balance no matter how hard they soar at times. This entire disc is a winner! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TIM DAISY’S VOX 4 with JAMES FALZONE / FRED LONBERG-HOLM / MACIE STEWART - Roman Poems (Relay Records 026; USA) Featuring: James Falzone: clarinet, Fred Lonberg – Holm: cello & electronics, Macie Stewart: violin & piano and Tim Daisy: drums, marimba & percussion. Vox 4 is Chicago drummer and composer Tim Daisy's latest version of his decade long new music ensemble Vox Arcana. This new version, which adds Macie Stewart (violin and piano) to the mix, along with longtime colleagues Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello) and James Falzone (clarinet) continues the group's explorations in improvised and composed sound-making derived from a wide array of influences from the worlds of visual and sonic art.
‘Roman Poems’ is a suite of seven new compositions composed by Tim and performed as part of his annual birthday celebration at the Elastic Arts Foundation in Chicago. ‘Roman Poems’ is dedicated to the great Italian poet, filmmaker, writer and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975)
RAFAEL TORAL / MARS WILLIAMS / TIM DAISY - Elevation (Relay Records 027; USA) “Featuring: Mars Williams: saxophones, toys & busted-up autoharp, Rafael Toral: feedback, modified amplifiers & electrode oscillator and Tim Daisy: drums, percussion & radio. Rafael Toral, born in Lisbon, 1967 has been intrigued by the potential of sound and the functions of music since he was a teenager. As a producer, composer and performer, he has been deeply involved with Rock, Ambient, Contemporary, Electronic and Free Jazz music in different periods of his life.
Working with electric guitar and electronics, in the 1990’s he created a blend of Ambient and Rock and recorded acclaimed albums like Wave Field or Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance. By the early 2000’s he arrived to a sense of accomplishment about his previous 15 years of work, also realizing the world needed a different creative response. He decided to start something new, as radically different from the previous phase as possible. In a transition to vulnerable action, he launched the alien-sounding Space Program in 2004, using experimental electronic instruments. It was an ambitious long-term project exploring an approach to electronic music based on silence, through decision making and physical gesture, in a way inspired by post-free Jazz. The resulting music, “melodic without notes, rhythmic with no beat, familiar but strange, meticulous but radically free – riddled with paradox but full of clarity and space”, has been described as “a brand of electronic music far more visceral and emotive than that of his cerebral peers”.
In the last 15 years he’s been thinking and practicing an understanding of silence as “space”, with a clear function in music creation but also as a metaphor for social relationships and a statement on information and sensory overload.”
ANDROID TRIO With MAX KUTNER / ERIC KLERKS / ANDREW NIVEN - Road Songs (Orenda 0043; USA) The Android Trio features Eric Klerks on 8-string guitar & compositions, Max Kutner on 6-string guitar and Andrew Niven on drums. A few years ago, we got in a promo CD from an L.A. band called Evil Genius, a sort of power trio with odd instrumentation: guitar, tuba and drums. I reviewed that disc, which called ‘Bitter Human’ on the consistently engaging Orenda label, and sold a bunch of copies. A couple of years later in 2018, we got in a second disc from Evil Genius and was knocked out once more. Both discs are highly recommended, especially if you dig strong new voices on electric guitar. Mr. Kutner moved here last year and has played at DMG on a couple of occasions since, including a great duo with our old pal, Gregg Bendian, on drums. Another great West Coast guitarist, Henry Kaiser, sought out Mr. Kutner and recorded a duo CD for the Iluso label which came out around a year ago in December of 2018. Mr. Kutner played a solo set here last Sunday (11/10/19) and was most impressive at layering sounds and using devices in sly ways. It was one the best solo guitar sets I’ve seen/heard in many years.
Mr. Kutner left us with trio CD that he had done in 2017 with two other (L.A.?) musicians, Eric Klerks on 8-string guitar and Andrew Niven on drums. I hadn’t heard of either of his collaborators before now. 8-string guitarist, Eric Klerks wrote all of the songs on this disc so I would assume he is the leader of this trio. Right from the start, I am most impressed at the way these songs are written and arranged. “Diminished Returns” has the 8-string (bass?) guitar playing these great patterns with the drums in tight circles. Mr. Kutner seems to playing those marvelous, guitar solos, stinging out certain notes and using a unique sounding effect with some occasional wah-wah seasoning. I dig the way one guitar plays those repeating riffs tightly with the drums while the lead guitars takes one inspired fuzz/wah solo after the other. The use of the wah wah recalls the playing of Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix from way back when both had power trios and were using those effects for the first times. Around half of these pieces are low-key, with refreshing skeleton guitar playing the written parts and tasty, often stunning but not over-the-top guitar solos. On the last song, “Kopanista”, the rhythm guitar plays a series of story-like chord which keeping changing throughout its 8 minute length while Kutner (?) plays a long, mind-blowing guitar solo. An extraordinary conclusion for a superb and hopefully not (for long) forgotten gem from just 2 years back. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LEONID GALAGANOV COLLECTIVE VISION with AQUILES NAVARRO / ZACK CLARKE / CHRIS IRVINE / ANAIS MAVIEL - Danger & Friends (RR Gems; Estonia) Featuring Leonid Galaganov on drums & compositions, Zack Clarke on piano, Chris Irvine on cello, Aquiles Navarro on trumpet and Anais Maviel on voice. Former Russian-based drummer, Leonid Galaganov, moved here and has been collaborating with Jesse Dulman, William Parker and Zack Clarke. Mr. Galaganov was played here at DMG with Jesse Dulman and William Parker and has recorded with pianist Zack Clarke for his second discs for the Clean Feed label. This release was recorded in Harlem, NYC in August of 2017. This projects features trumpeter Aqiles Navarro who is in a recent band called Irreversible Entanglements. Ms. Anais Maviel is a marvelous, experimental vocalist, who also lives here and has worked with William Parker on occasion. I know very little about cellist Chris Irvine outside of his work with Zack Clarke.
This is a strange release. There are times when the voice, piano & cello are playing what sounds like written passages which morph into freer sections. Ms. Maviel’s voice is mostly just sounds and not words and is used as just one of the several instruments. The music is often stripped down to bare essential and occurs in connected spurts. The vibe here is often subdued, with things unfolding slowly, organically… it is as if we are working into a story or scene and things are happening around us but we have to wait to see or hear what will occur next. Eventually the pace picks up and the piano, cello & drums all swirling together. The sound here is good and what one would expect from a cassette recording. No digital BS (brittleness or limited bass sound), but still warm and clean. This reminds me of the recording I made back in the seventies and eighties which sound pretty good today. _ Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Three from West Coast New Minimal Contingent - COLD BLUE - In stock next week!
MICHAEL BYRON - Bridges of Pearl and Dust (Cold Blue Music CB0057; USA) Composer Michael Byron has a long and storied history with Jim Fox’s Cold Blue label, a near twenty-year timespan that has seen the two release some truly marvelous sounds together. This fifteen-minute soliloquy of transcendent vibes marks one of three recent entries in Cold Blue’s series of CD EP editions. Performed by vibraphonist Ben Phelps, what on surface appears to be mere improvisational vamping soon reveals itself as a sturdy, and studied, work of crystalline gamelan, dewy and golden-eyed, the rush of timbres and cascading notes resembling a chorus of suspended chimes played by heavenly winds. Phelps renders such a rich palette of textures in seemingly effortless fashion, so nimble and light of touch one can visualize the striking of plush candy-colored mallets across his index of metals. Simply a marvelous piece of minimalist, prismatic, neo-chamber music. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
ROBERT CARL - Splectra (Cold Blue Music CB0056; USA) The harp possesses a very broad timbral dynamic, and in the right hands, can be an extraordinarily expressive instrument; when set outside of ‘conventional’ genre boundaries, the imagination’s the limit. On Splectra, composer Robert Carl, aided by fellow Cold Blue alumni Matt Sargent, seek to stretch the innate characteristics of the harp via some discrete digital processing and an innate sense of melodic drama. As performed by Alison Bjorkedal, this two-part composition comprises another of Cold Blue’s short but sweet EPs, a format that label owner Jim Fox takes particular pride in; conciseness seems to be the better part of valor. In this case, Bjorkedal’s colorful performance highlights the sharp tension and release inherent in the harp’s taut strings. Divided in two sections, "Splectra Part One” reflects the carefully wrought, more spacious prepared piano works of John Cage, as small clusters of stately notes roam blissfully within the soundfield. The shorter “Part Two” revels in its cousin's systemic melancholy, punctuated by sudden, more emphatic handstrikes and coarser tones. The digital embellishments are subtle in their execution, but bring just enough resonance to make this a notable, compelling work. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
MATT SARGENT - Separation Songs (Cold Blue Music CB0055; USA) Matt Sargent surely gets around the Cold Blue offices these days. In addition to working with Robert Carl on the Splectra EP, he’s found time to indulge his own compositional muse via the epic, seventy-three minute piece found here. Performed by the Eclipse Quartet on violins, viola, and cello, Sargent explains in the digipak liners that the album gets its title & modus operandi from “a collection of 54 variations on four-voice hymn tunes from a 1770s series of works by William Billings…the Eclipse Quartet accompanies and interacts with itself, playing both quartet parts via overdubbing.” In the trading and looping of various string motifs and the overarching sound that results, the Quartet’s resulting symphony might be one of the most heartbreaking works of post-modern classical music in recent memory. Mournful passages drip with an ache that’s almost physically palpable; when some sense of hope is glimpsed, it is quickly overshadowed by a cadre of violas drenched in a poignancy that is nigh on devastating. Sargent’s deft production emphasizes the Quartet’s weaving of numerous wraith-like filaments that bring a disarming ethereality to the recording, yet it’s the work’s fundamental emotionalism that makes it such a passionate experience. Powerful, wrenching stuff. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
ROBERT ASHLEY - Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) (Lovely Music 5002; USA) Like John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (1678), Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) is an allegory for an individual's self-realization. The opera takes its imagery from the history of the Jews --beginning with their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and ending 500 years later in the United States. Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) was first conceived as a recording for Nonesuch Records (1991). Ashley followed with three other operas, making up a quartet or tetralogy under the name Now Eleanor's Idea (LCD 1009CD), and all four operas were performed often during the first half of the 1990s.
The opera was revived in 2018-19, with a new cast: Gelsey Bell as Linda; Brian McCorkle as Don, Mr. Payne, and Companion; Paul Pinto as Junior, Jr.; Aliza Simons as Now Eleanor; Dave Ruder as The Doctor; Amirtha Kidambi as Mr. Payne's Mother; Robert Ashley (on tape) as Narrator I; Amirtha Kidambi and Aliza Simons as Narrator II. Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) was presented by the Kitchen, February 7th through 16th, 2019. Live Sound and Processing: Tom Hamilton. Live cast recording by Eric Sherman and Tom Hamilton. CD mixed by Tom Hamilton.
"Improvement is engrossing because Ashley was one of the finest American prose writers of the 20th century and his writing was made thrilling Thursday night by the beauty of the performance. These new artists incorporate Ashley wholly in their musical experience, taking the work beyond the objective presentation of the opera's means, style, and form. Thursday night they were as characterful and plainly human as one will experience on the opera stage. Gelsey Bell was exceptional, the warm glow of her voice a colorful contrast with Ashley's pleasantly parched midwestern twang. She expressed vocally Linda's mix of befuddlement and optimism, her sense that her own life is a mystery -- and through some imperceptible means she outlined Linda's aging while always sounding the same. Hamilton's digital reconstruction of the original audio was superb, true to the source material and with the subtlety Ashley requires, while also having ample open space, depth, and vividness. He was just as much a member of the ensemble as the artists on stage, and just as vital to the human feeling that grew throughout the performance to a gentle but moving coda at the end of the evening." - George Grella, New York Classical Review, February 8, 2019
2 CD Set $24
PSYCHIC TV - Trip Reset (Sweet Nothing 061; UK) “Trip Reset: A Story of a Lost Album Re-Awakened by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Psychic TV featuring The Angels Of Light. "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" was written originally by Pink Floyd. Originally released on CD only in 1996. Features full lyrics and extensive liner notes from Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. A biodelic configuration illuminating hallucinogenic songs.”
LUSTMORD - First Reformed (Vaultworks 331; USA)”Lustmord is a Welsh electronic musician, composer, and sound designer based in Los Angeles. Active since 1980 he has released a prolific body of work across various labels such as Touch, Hydra Head, and Blackest Ever Black. Often credited for starting the dark ambient genre with his Heresy album in 1990, Lustmord's music has been described as sweeping and profound, a vast dreamlike soundscape that utilizes organic and real-world scenes as source material. Lustmord albums have been made from caves, crypts, car crashes, cosmological activity, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the site of the first ever nuclear detonation.
Lustmord has announced the launch of Vaultworks. Originally an imprint intended to release short editions of live CDs at his live shows, it is now launched as a wider platform for his work in general. Kick starting a planned series of new releases and reissues is the first time vinyl and CD release of his soundtrack to Paul Schrader's 2017 film First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, and Cedric Kyles. The release features extended versions of the score formatted as a standalone album. CD version has tracks formatted to crossfade into each other for a continuous listening experience.”
OISEAUX-TEMPETE with G.W. SOK / GARETH DAVIS / et al - From Somewhere Invisible (Sub Rosa 490; Belgium) Edited and mixed between Montreal and Paris, From Somewhere Invisible summons the fever of experimentation and the powerful sound of the game coming together in the service of a luxuriant and psychedelic drift. Synthetic brass meets hammered rhythms, string electrics with cracked electronics, saxophone cries and laughter at a pulsing and seminal bass. Created in 2012 by multi-instrumentalists Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul, Oiseaux-Tempëte (Storm Petrels) is a constantly evolving collective that, embracing the freedom of improvisation, transcends borders and cultures, straddling the intersection where amplified music (post/kraut/free-rock, jazz-punk, avant-garde, experimental electronics) collides and finds common ground -- a refuge. Sensitive to the beating of hearts, hypnotic beats, and explosions of materials, Oiseaux-Tempête embrace the community of collaboration, regularly inviting to the studio and tour friends, like: the electronic producer Mondkopf, the Dutch performer G.W. Sok (The Ex), drummers Jean-Michel Pirës (Bruit Noir, The Married Monk), Sylvain Joasson (Mendelson), Ben McConnell (Beach House, Marissa Nadler), British bass clarinetist Gareth Davis, contemporary Ondes Martenot player Christine Ott , and musicians Charbel Haber & The Bunny Tylers, Sharif Sehnaoui, Fadi Tabbal, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Youmna Saba, and Two Or The Dragon. At the end of November 2017, Oiseaux-Tempête flew to Canada at the invitation of Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Jerusalem In My Heart). The program for the quintet (Frédéric, Stéphane, Jean-Michel, Mondkopf, and G.W.Sok): two concerts in Montreal and Toronto in support of the collaborative project Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart (specially reformed for the occasion), fraternal encounters buried beneath the Canadian snow, and to finish, a mysterious two-day studio session in Montreal's legendary Hotel2Tango. Radwan shifts from the recording controls to the buzuk, the spiraling strings of Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt. Zion) a welcome surprise. With usual urgency, Oiseaux-Tempête rushes with joy towards the invisible outcome. The fourth studio album and seventh release on the Belgian avant-garde label Sub Rosa, From Somewhere Invisible embraces the new. Leaving aside for a while the logbooks of long journeys and the field recordings of the previous albums, the music of Oiseaux-Tempête unfolds as a twilight and prophetic orchestra around G.W.Sok's punctuated voice. The poems of Mahmoud Darwish, Ghayath Almadhoun, and Yu Jian question the modern man and his double, the strange and foreign, the fragmented real, the violence, society and its mirror.
MATTIAS UNEBACK - Voyage Beneath The Sea (Subliminal Sounds 130; Sweden) Join Mattias Uneback (known from Ìxtahuele and The Test Pilots) on a fantastic underwater exotica adventure in sound. Sail the high seas, explore their depths, marvel at their strange and colorful inhabitants. Beneath the waves and through the depths, forgotten worlds lie waiting. Bioluminescent creatures that have never seen the light of day, ancient beasts of gigantic proportions, sunken continents and underwater caves all await you. The Voyage Beneath The Sea album project is about composing music based on underwater fantasy worlds, as well as actual places. A musical discovery below the surface of the ocean; the mysterious unknown and one of the last outposts still uninhabited by man, but also the cradle of all life on our planet. You travel in to the deep sea, as a parallel to, and parable with, the exploration of outer space, as well as the inner worlds of the mind and the subconscious. This is visionary music inspired by the space-age underwater themed exotica recordings of the early 1960s as well as the peculiar aquatic library type albums of 1970s. The songs are amusing and entertaining one moment, dramatic and fierce the next, but most of all: serenely beautiful. The production of the album has been an important process for Mattias and he feels it has seriously widened his views as a musical and composer. Using a variety of both classical and novel instruments; from exotic percussion and full-scale orchestra and choir to vintage electronics, Mr. Uneback paints a vivid and living tableau for the receptive listener. This is exotic orchestral seduction for those willing to embark on a journey of imagination. Submerge yourself in the sounds!
YEDU-BLAY AMBOLLEY - 11th Street, Sekondi (Agogo Records 131; Germany) Gyedu-Blay Ambolley was born on the 11th Street in Sekondi, Ghana 72 years ago. On the cover photo, on the right side, is the house of his birth, which was also his parental home. The Ghanaian legend's latest release 11th Street, Sekondi shows off a pride in his heritage, and his honed talent for mixing highlife with other genres like rap, Afro-funk and disco Ghanaian highlife. 11th Street, Sekondi is his 31st album since his debut in 1973. The charismatic stage personality, no stranger to mixing humor into his music and who has performed alongside Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and highlife bandleader Ebo Taylor, has been a record collector's staple since his appearance on the seminal Ghana Soundz (SNDW 001LP, 2002), which re-introduced the world to his trademark Simigwa style. Highlife, which started in Sierra Leone and Liberia, took hold in Ghana in the 1940s as a coming together of the musicians fed up with the foxtrot and quickstep parties originally hosted by English colonists. It began with big band horns and happy lyrics, popularized by artists such as E.T. Mensah, before opening up in the '50s and '60s with a wave of guitar-driven, socially conscious and more danceable Afro-funk hits -- a product of the easy movement of people between Nigeria and Ghana. It was then that Ambolley's trademark baritone vocals burst onto the scene, under the tutelage of close personal friend Taylor. Ambolley's latest album, named after the area of West Ghana in which he grew up, is a look back at the area and musical styles that shaped the musician's life. "Black Woman" is a funky number that opens the album with Ambolley on a tenor sax solo, while tracks like "Little Small Girl" showcase his renowned James Brown-influenced vocal flourishes. Soul, jazz, blues, and comedy are present -- in keeping with his fervent belief that music must always be entertaining for the listener. The album is the second of his to be released German label Agogo records, after the acclaimed Ketan (2017). It also stays true to highlife's social ambitions, with reflections on the misguided pursuit of European ideals ahead of African values. Ambolley's career has been filled with accolades, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charles R Drew University in Los Angeles, and formal recognition from the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington DC for producing the first ever commercially recorded rap album.”
MAMADOU KELLY - Les Bateaux (The Boats)(Clermont Music 027; USA) “In the early 1970s, a devastating drought brought famine to the West African Sahel. This environmental disaster destroyed the region's agricultural and livestock economy. Millions of people were affected. International relief efforts tried to send emergency aid. "Les Bateaux", the title track of this album, recalls those hard years. It paints a scene of Malian villagers standing on the banks of the Niger River anxiously awaiting the boats carrying food. Mamadou Kelly remembers those years as he calls out the name of each boat's longed for appearance over the horizon. Kelly sings about life. He praises and thanks those who do admirable things. He evokes the spirits of collective memory. Seemingly simple, upon listening, his songs reveal multi-layered complexity. He is a master of the desert blues. His group on this album includes longtime colleague Aly Magassa (electric guitar), Kande Sissoko (ngoni), and Hamadoun "Afo" Guindo (percussion). They are joined on tracks by Malian musicians Adama Sidibe (balafon(, Madou Diabate (violin), and Hama Sangho (backup vocal), as well as American friends Jacob Silver (bass), Cindy Cashdollar (lap steel guitar), and David Rothenberg (clarinets). Les Bateaux was recorded live in Bamako and New York. The tracks were mixed in New York and Los Angeles, and mastered in New York. CD version contains four bonus tracks including a techno remix by David Harrow as well as Dave Cook's remix of two tracks from Kelly's recent EP, Ni Allah.”
STEVE LACY, ALVIN CURRAN & FREDERIC RZEWKI - Threads (Alternative Fox 021; UK) “Alternative Fox present a reissue of Steve Lacy, Alvin Curran, and Frederic Rzewki's Threads, originally released in 1977. Playing in Dixieland jazz bands during his teens and then passing through some Kansas City jazz acts, New York-born alto saxophonist Steve Lacy became associated with the avant-garde jazz movement from the mid-1950s, playing on free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor's influential debut LP and early work by the Canadian pianist Gil Evans, before serving a long tenure with the idiosyncratic improv pianist Theolonius Monk, whose work he would continue to reference throughout his career. Visiting Europe from the md-1960s, starting with a trip to Copenhagen with pianist Kenny Drew (who made the Danish city his home thereafter), Lacy later travelled to Italy to form a quartet with Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava (who had earlier played in Argentinian sax player, Gato Barbieri's group), plus South African exiles and former Blue Notes members Johnny Dyani on double bass and Louis Moholo on drums. Lacy subsequently moved to Paris, which became his permanent base from 1970, leading a sextet there whilst also exploring the limits of the alto saxophone as a solo instrument. The disparate and often discordant album Threads was recorded in Rome at Mama Dog studio in 1977 for filmmaker-turned-record producer Aldo Sinesio's Horo Records label; comprised of six of Lacy's own compositions, the album saw Lacy supported by Alvin Curran on piano and Frederic Rzewski on flugelhorn, synthesizer, and percussion, the pair both longstanding members of the experimental group, Musica Elettronica Viva.”
SOLORIENS NATIVE UNITY QUARTET FEATURING MARSHALL ALLEN - Aerials and Antennas (Feeding Tube Records 472; USA) "This first vinyl offering by a sporadically 20-something years unit, still extant, originally assembled under the name Cinema Soloriens by filmmaker/musician James Harrar in 1993, to play accompaniment to his films. The line-up usually includes legendary Sun Ra alto master (and current Arkestra leader) Marshall Allen with Harrar (who is also known for his work with Arthur Doyle and Daevid Allen), plus whoever else is tapped. For this date, recorded in Nashville back in 2016, the quartet was completed by a pair of under-documented musicians from the Atlanta underground -- jazz percussionist, Kenito Murray, and new music-oriented bassist, Maxwell Boecker. Together, the quartet unspools out two side long gushes of splotchy pan-generic FLOW. The music this stuff most resembles (if you really need a genre peg to hang it on) is probably jazz. The blend of electronics and reeds certainly brings to mind warped passages of many private press early '70s improv LPs, although most of those ended up devolving into funky traffic jams. Anywhere on Aerials and Antennas, the music starts to do something that might be described as 'simmering,' things quickly get weird. A horn takes off for Saturn, a voice starts mumbling as though spare change was just one prayer away, or the electronics emerge from wherever they were hiding to begin alien discussions. Not sure if there was a film shown with this or not, but the effect is cinematic. There's a great and blobby light show going on in my head the whole time it plays, never quite deciding which direction its audacious motion is headed, but always looking for an exit door otherwise hidden by the dull planes of reality. Nice work. Aerial and Antennas makes for a gloriously stoned listen, as mysterious in its motives as that second Charlie Nothing LP. And what the fuck was that one about?" --Byron Coley, 2019 Edition of 500.
MIKE COOPER - Oh Really!? (Trading Places 54006; UK) The guitarist and singer-songwriter Mike Cooper was a key figure in the British blues boom of the late 1960s. Born in Reading in 1942, Cooper began playing guitar as a teen in local skiffle groups. After seeing Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee perform in 1961, Cooper caught the blues bug and began to play the harmonica and formed The Blues Committee, supporting John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Alexis Korner, and Long John Baldry, while Cooper was also performing solo. Acquiring a lap steel guitar in 1963, he studied Blind Boy Fuller's work and in 1965, teamed with Dave Hall to support Bert Jansch, Al Stewart, and others; after releasing work on the Kennet, Sydisc, and Matchbox labels, Cooper soon began incorporating country blues aspects into his work, drawing from Son House and Mississippi Fred McDowell, as well as non-blues artists such as David Bowie, John Martyn, Roy Harper, and Dave Van Ronk. Then, in late 1968, Cooper was approached by producer Peter Eden, resulting in debut album Oh Really!? for Pye; aside from agreeable covers of Son House's "Death Letter" and Blind Boy Fuller's "Bad Luck Blues", the rest of the disc is pure Cooper, with his deft picking accompanied by Derek Hall's guitar work only on "Leadhearted Blues" and "Electric Chair". 180 gram vinyl; 45rpm.”
ABRONIA - The Whole of Each Eye (Feeding Tube Records/Cardinal Fuzz 498; USA) "Massively ripped sophomore LP by this Portland OR psych sextet. Half of the line-up has shifted in the two years since their great debut album, but the same berserk stack of musical elements remains on the table. A lot of bands who fly the psych banner these days have a minimalist view of the music, and choose a sort of post-shoegaze lassitude to present their 'vision.' This can be astoundingly great, of course, but it also fails to address the central gobble-crazed nature of true psychedelia. Many of history's greatest psych outfits were hewn from bizarre hybrids of disparate parts. Frankenstein monsters in search of sacred ecstasy. One gets the same vibe off of Abronia. Totally unexpected bits pop up amidst their rhapsodic jamming, conjuring shards of memory as disparate as Relf-era Renaissance, Joseph Byrd's United States of America, and even (at least in spots) real early Siouxsee. These are just a few examples of how wide Abronia cast their net. Their instrumental brunt moves from neo-prog to folk rock to thunderheads cast in the same mold as the Sensational Alex Harvey Band's (I shit you not!). Taken together, these freakishly disparate elements mange to create a gorgeous and simmering whole. If you aren't tripping to Abronia now, I suggest a change of lifestyle." - Byron Coley, 2019
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for November 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 - CHRIS SPEED - NOV 19–23
8:30 pm Chris Speed Solo Tenor Sax
8:30 pm - Chris Speed Ensemble - Aurora Nealand (vocals, soprano saxophone) Shane Endsley (trumpet) Angelica Sanchez (piano) Chris Tordini (acoustic bass) John Hollenbeck (drums) Chris Speed (sax, clarinet)
The Stone is closed for holidays between November 23rd & December 2nd, 2019
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
The Stone Series at HappyLucky No. 1 is Curated by John Zorn
The Stone Series: Friday, November 22, 2019
STEPHAN CRUMP with Ellery Eskelin, Adam O’Farrill and Patricia Brennan
Ellery Eskelin - tenor saxophone
Adam O’Farrill - trumpet
Patricia Brennan - marimba & vibraphone
Stephan Crump - acoustic bass
The Stone Series: Saturday, November 23, 2019
STEPHAN CRUMP with Kris Davis and Eric McPherson
Stephan Crump - Acoustic Bass
Kris Davis - Piano
Eric McPherson - Drums
8PM CONCERT / $20 ADMISSION
HappyLucky No. 1 is located at
734 Nostrand Ave, near Sterling
easy access from the A/C/2/3/4 trains
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2019 - 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
SACKBUT SATURDAYS: KALIA VANDEVER JOE FIEDLER
Kalia Vandever Quartet (8:00 pm)
Kalia Vandever - trombone
Lee Meadvin - guitar
Nick Dunston - bass
Connor Parks - drums
Joe Fiedler Trio (9:00 pm)
Joe Fielder - Trombone
Pete McCann - Guitar
Jeff Davis - Drums
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019 - 8:30 PM 10:30 PM
LEFT BOMB BAY FOLK TREE
Left Bomb Bay
Eli Wallace-piano, synth
Walter Stinson-bass & compositions.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2019 - 8:30 PM 10:30 PM
MICHEL MAURER’S MERIDIAN: THE SHAPE OF NOON, ALBUM RELEASE CELEBRATION.
Alex Levine - guitar
Peyton Pleninger - tenor saxophone
Ben Rolston - double bass
Michel Maurer - drums, compositions
IBEAM BROOKLYN, 168 7TH STREET, BROOKLYN, NY, 11215
Bushwick Improvised Music Series Continues:
Monday November 25th
7pm Thomas Helton - bass , Jon Irabagon - saxophones & Colin Avery Hinton - drums
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone , Adam Lane - bass & Kevin Shea - drums
9pm CD RELEASE PERFORMANCE! Aron Namenwirth - guitar , Daniel Carter - woodwinds, Zach Swanson - bass & Joe Hertenstein - drums
9:45pm Jake Henry - trumpet, Aaron Quinn - guitar, Brian Krock - alto saxophone/clarinet & Jessie Cox - drums
10:45pm Nick Lyons - alto saxophone, Daniel Carter - woodwinds , Adam Lane - bass & Vijay Anderson - drums
11:30pm Jacob Elkin - trombone Jay Rozen - tuba
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
Saturday, November 23rd, 2019, 7pm
Blank Forms presents:
NATE WOOLEY - Seven Storey Mountain
Seven Storey Mountain VI features Nate Wooley (trumpet), C Spencer Yeh (violin), Samara Lubelski (violin), Ben Hall (drums), Chris Corsano (drums), Ryan Sawyer (drums), Emily Manzo (keyboard), Isabelle O’Connell (keyboard), Ava Mendoza (guitar), Julien Desperez (guitar), Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar), and the voices of Mellissa Hughes, Kamala Sankaram, Anne Rhodes, Charlotte Mundy, Bridget Hogan, Daisy Press, Anaïs Maveiel, Christina Kay, Shannyn Rinker, Aubrey Johnson, Gelsey Bell, Yoon Sun Choi, Lisa Karrer, Dafna Naphtali, Amirtha Kidambi, Jasmine Wilson, Samita Sinha, Ariadne Greif, Nina Mutlu, and Erica Koehring directed by Megan Schubert.
Blank Forms at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
346 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011
Thursday, December 12th at 8pm:
Pre-Hanukkah Smackdown with
At Drom (85 Avenue A between 5th St. and 6th St. in the heart of the East Village)
Klezmer-rockers Golem team up with 10-piece Jewish Afrobeat big band Zion80 and klezmer-bhangra fusion ensemble Sharabi for a pre-Hanukkah smackdown at Drom, one of New York City’s premier world music venues: Drom: 85 Avenue A between 5th St. and 6th St. in the heart of the East Village. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door
Three of the most innovative and exciting bands in the NYC Jewish music scene will be playing at Drom in the East Village on Dec 12. Golem has been klez-rocking for nearly 20 years and recently performed on Action Bronson's Vice TV show 'That's Delicious.' Zion80 mashes up Jewish music with Nigerian Afrobeat and jazz and has been called 'a truly spiritual experience' by the NY Times. Sharabi is the world's only Yiddish-Punjabi klezmer-bhangra band, led by Grammy winning trumpeter Frank London and Grammy-nominated percussionist Deep Singh.