HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL YOU LOVERS AT THERE!
My Funny Valentine - Written by Rogers & Hart
My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day
Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
But don’t you change one hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day
I must admit that I am a hopeful romantic. I believe in the Power of Love to inspire, soothe and help bring us all together. In 1967, the Beatles released a single called, “All You Need is Love”. They had stopped touring the year before and made a video which premiered on TV when it was released. Many of us believed in the sentiment that Love is what we all need. Part of me is what some would call “an old hippie”. The hippie movement often gets disparaged in the press, mostly by folks who weren’t around to experience it when it was real. I still believe in Love and the Power of Music to bring us together. There are too many haters out there, sarcastic, cynical, liars, cheaters, bullies, etc. pointing their fingers at others and saying they are the enemies. This is not true. We know who the enemies really are. Taylor Swift says that the haters will hate and the players will play. Don’t be a hater, be a positive player, shake off the chains of hate and embrace Love. Please. It feels better. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, celebrate it by finding someone who needs to be loved. Love is all we really need. - BLG/DMG
The Downtown Music Gallery 29th Anniversary Celebrations will begin in 2020 & Will Continue throughout the year! May 1st is our Actual Anniversary! Every In-store throughout the Year Helps Celebrate the Spirit of Creative Music Performed Live.
Sunday, February 16th:
6pm: NICK FRASER / TONY MALABY / BRANDON LOPEZ - Drums / Tenor Sax / ContraBass!
7pm: CHERYL PYLE / ROBERT DICK - Flute Duo!
8pm: ERIN ROGERS - Solo Sax - New CD on Relative Pitch Records!
Sunday, February 23rd:
6pm: LAURENT DAVID Solo Electric Bass
7pm: JOE McPHEE & RAF VERTESSEN - Reeds & Brass / Drums
8pm: LELE DAI - Solo Sewing Machine
Sunday, March 1st 2020:
6pm: LUCIANO PAGLIARINI and MICHEL EDELIN - International Sax & Flute Duo!
7pm: JUAN PARRA CANCINO / JONATHAN IMPETT - Rare Appearance by Belgian Duo!
8pm: HANK JOST - Solo Alto Sax!
Sunday, March 8th:
6pm: IMPLICIT ARCHES: KURT GOTTSCHALK - Guitar / MIGUEL FRASCONI - analog synth / WILL GLASS - Drums
7pm: DARREN JOHNSTON - Trumpet / PETER HESS - Woodwinds / ADAM DOTSON - Flugel-Bone!
8pm: TOMCHESS - Oud / ZACH SWANSON - ContraBass!
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. For the next month we have four triple bills in a row! More & more creative musicians want to play here at DMG and we are honored to have them. If you can, please do come down to capture the spirit of creative music live!
Remember THOMAS CHAPIN Today!
Today, 2/13, just happens to be the day Thomas passed away in 1998, 22 years ago. Unbelievable. He was only 40! We miss him still and always will!
You can check out his website to remember him, listen to some music or watch some video performances at www.thomaschapin.com
DMG Recommended Gig of the Week:
GARY LUCAS & FRENZ at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater!
Next Wednesday, February 19th at 7pm:
with Jason Candler (Hungry March Band) alto sax, Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) bass
and Billy Ficca (Television) drums!
and special guests Chinese vocalist & erhu virtuoso Feifei Yang,
Polish chanteuse Anna Podolak and UK vocalist Pierre Roxon.
This show, which covers the waterfront musically, is a teaser for Mr. Lucas’ forthcoming double CD 40-year retrospective album "THE ESSENTIAL GARY LUCAS”, released April 15th on Rare Lumiere / Knitting Factory.
Joe’s Pub is at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan, and the show starts at 7pm.
This Week’s Great Discs Begin with This treasure:
TIM HODGKINSON - Under the Void (ReR Megcorp ReR TH4; UK) Three fascinating contemporary classical compositions from Henry Cow alumnus Tim Hodgkinson for flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, violins, violas, cello, bass, piano, percussion, virtual strings, accordion, Siberian frame drums, gongs, viola, electronics, bowed cymbals, lap steel guitar, Yamaha DX21 and bass clarinet - an iconoclastic hybrid of materials, real, virtual, imaginary and observed that flatter and puzzle the ear, drawing from many disciplines and taking a phenomenological approach to sound. More rock than academe, Tim Hodgkinson studied social anthropology at Cambridge, and co-founded HENRY COW in 1968. He has a long involvement in improvisation, and came back to anthropology in the 1990s to research music and shamanism in Siberia. Hodgkinson works regularly with the Romanian Composer Iancu Dumitrescu's Hyperion Ensemble and his compositions have been performed by numerous ensembles in many European contemporary music festivals. His composition Fragor appeared in the Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island. As a writer, he has published articles and reviews on improvised music, musique concrète, spectralism, the ethnomusicology of shamanism and the aesthetic problems of the impact of new technology on contemporary music. His book, MUSIC AND THE MYTH OF WHOLENESS was published by MIT press in January 2016. I haven’t got my promo yet so I can’t review this disc until next week. I do find Mr. Hodgkinson to be one our greatest composers, each piece he writes, he works long and hard so it often takes time to absorb the depths of what he does. Looking forward to being challenged by this disc. - BLG
THREE GREAT DISCS FROM ICP REEDS MASTER MICHAEL MOORE:
THE NDR BIG BAND with MICHAEL MOORE SEBASTIAN STEIN / FLORIAN WEBER / TOM RAINEY / et al - Sanctuary (Ramboy #34; Netherlands) The NDR Big Band began as a radio studio ensemble (or jazz workshop) in 1955, based in Hamburg, Germany and was renamed in the NDR BigBand in 1971. Radio broadcasts of this ongoing ensemble began in 1958 and have featured dozens of American and European guest soloists. Over 60 years there have been many guests composers/conductors: Michael Gibbs, Abdullah Ibrahim, Albert Mangelsdorff, Charles Tolliver and Gebhard Ullmann.
ICP reeds master and composer, Michael Moore, says his was honored to get this opportunity to work with this legendary big band. Hence his arranging here is consistently superperlative. For this session Mr. Moore chose ten songs from his long career as a composer, bandleader and reeds great. I own just a a handful of discs from the NDR BigBand and recognize just a few names here like Florian Weber (discs on ECM & Intakt) and Downtown All-Star drummer Tom Rainey. The opening piece, “Sweet-Briar/Southwesterly” begins with some of the tastiest clarinet I’ve heard in recent times: lush, exquisite, poignant, absolutely sublime. The muted trumpets and other horns also superbly cast as warm waves all floating together. “Igor” is dedicated to Igor Stravinsky and it pivots between haunting written segments and collective improv, all warmly woven together. On “Brunheiras”, the clarinet is again surrounded by layers of luscious horns in the first half, then electric guitar (Sandra Hempel) and electric piano (Florian Weber) take over for a fine bluesy section and short inspired feature for Tom Rainey’s drums. “Odin” has a clarinet & sax led (superbly played by Fiete Felsch) section which some more breathtaking horn arrangements surrounding the central reed. Mr. Moore calls “Shotgun Wedding” Ellingtonian and that makes sense since the horn arrangements are just incredible: alive with several layers of lush intersecting lines all carefully held together. Each piece here has something special, magical going on: solos which sail elegantly or powerfully over the intricate swirling waves below, swinging hard at times, different subsections all tightly swirling together in a grand fashion. I am always searching for great large ensemble/big band music to check out and this disc featuring some of the best I’ve heard in a long while! Are you a fan of Maria Schneider or Gil Evans or even Duke Ellington? Then you should really check this disc out and be blown away. We are need some inspiration and this is where it can be found. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GERRY HEMINGWAY / BARRE PHILLIPS / MICHAEL MOORE - Slips (Ramboy #36; Netherlands) Featuring Michael Moore on alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet & bird whistles, Barre Phillips on contrabass and Gerry Hemingway on drums. Recorded live at Splendor in Amsterdam in March of 2019. All three of these gentlemen are American born expats who have been living in Europe for a number of years. Contrabass legend, Barre Phillips, moved to England in the mid sixties and has been living in France since the seventies. ICP reeds master, composer & multi-bandleader, Michael Moore, has been living in Amsterdam since 1982. Percussionist extraordinaire, Gerry Hemingway, moved to Switzerland a few years ago to teach. Has living in Europe, changed or enhanced the way any of these musicians play music? Things to ponder while we listen to this disc. This disc is on Ramboy, a label run by Mr. Moore which features different bands, all led by Moore, all different depending on the personnel, writing and arranging of each project. This disc is some what different as it is an all improvised affair, which makes sense since all three are master musicians.
The music here is warm, superbly recorded and relaxed. The tone and texture of the clarinet and bowed bass are often close in sound and often indistinguishable. This makes for some extraordinary interaction or dialogue. Mr. Hemingway also does a great job of bridging the other two voices or spirits. There is a certain type of magic that great improvisation taps into, a way of transporting us into another place where we communicate with each other on a higher level that can’t be explained with just words. There are sections that really work well… Mr. Moore plays what sounds like a lovely, ancient melody on his clarinet while Mr. Phillips bows these long drone-like notes underneath, the vibration is completely sympathetic as if Nature itself were talking to us through wood, metal, strings & horse-hair, bringing us (musician and listener) closer together. Yes, it sure does feel good. Another thing that works so well is this: Phillips starts bowing quickly at on point with Hemingway tapping out a matched rhythm, Moore comes on and plays this folk/dance like melody on top, this stretches one theme from one section into the next section, connecting several parts together like humans walking together, seeing someone they know and reaching out to give them a hug, before parting and returning to the ongoing stream. I avoided glancing at the Daily KOS (bad news dept.) while listening to this disc since I didn’t want to be distracted. The end result is that I feel much better about life listening to these special spiritual beings communicating on this high level. Where is that smiley face emoji when we need it?!? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MICHAEL MOORE FRAGILE QUARTET with HARMEN FRAANJE / CLEMENS van der FEEN / GERRY HEMINGWAY - Cretan Dialogues (Ramboy #35; Netherlands) The Fragile Quartet is Michael Moore on alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica & compositions, Harmen Fraanje on piano, Clemens van der Feen on bass and Gerry Hemingway on drums & percussion. This quartet seems to reach back around a decade with three previous discs out on Ramboy, the only difference in personnel being Gerry Hemingway (currently living & teaching in Switzerland) replacing longtime cohort Michael Vatcher (currently living in NYC on & off). While both Mr. Moore and Mr. Hemingway are American born expats, the other two members of the quartet are Netherlands-based where Mr. Moore has been living for some forty years. Both Mr. Fraanje and Mr. van der Feen, can be heard on discs from other Dutch masters like Ernst Reijseger and Ernst Glerum.
This disc starts off with two three part suites known as “Cretan Dialogues #1 & #2”. On “Lolapalooza”, the alto sax and piano loop around each other in solemn, subtle cycles and then slow down to a hushed gracefulness in “Fenix Blue”. I like the way things are stripped down for “The Meliae”, slow, spacious and calm. Eventually Mr. Hemingway spins some quick hands-on-the-drums lines, revving things up a bit. Mr. Moore’s superb clarinet is featured on “Europa”, playful yet sublime, well-matched by Mr. Hemingway’s soft spinning drums. Mr. Moore calls “Eugenia Uniflora” a Brazilian waltz and it does have that swaying groove while the piano and drums speed up together with Moore adding some juicy melodica fragments. Excellent. Some of the magical glue here is provided by drum wiz Gerry Hemingway who often juggles a variety of approaches to his drumming. Both musicians have worked together on occasion over many years and know how to balance the more subtle side with the occasional eruptions. When the eruption finally takes place as it does on “A Little Box of Jazz”, it sounds as if the quartet are about to explode, coming close to losing it but not ending up in total chaos. There is a certain elegant spirit that Mr. Moore exudes here, his pure, tasty clarinet tone one of the best in his class. More refreshing and free of the everyday anxiety of modern life. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ELLIOTT SHARP’S TERRAPLANE - Kick It Six (zOaR 055; USA) Featuring Elliott Sharp on electric guitars, lap steel & console steel guitars, mandola, mandocello, basses and drum programming. Although Elliott Sharp is more often known for more extreme/experimental guitar playing, he is also a longtime lover and creator of the blues. After a decade of playing noise/extreme guitar with ISM and Carbon, I recall hearing Mr. Sharp on the first domestic album by The President, playing some phenomenal blues/jazz/rock guitar. That opening solo knocked me on my ass and it still sounds great today. A decade later (in 2008), Mr. Sharp produced a duo album with vocalist Queen Esther called ‘Hoosegow’. This was mostly a blues record with Mr. Sharp mainly on acoustic guitar. Mr. Sharp soon organized his own blues/rock band known as Terraplane. Terraplane have been around since 2009 and have around nine releases so far, all great and with varying personnel. A couple of years ago (in 2017), Mr. Sharp released an odd duo record Terraplane vocalist Eric Mingus, with Mr. Sharp playing all of the instruments including drum loops and some percussion. For this new record, Mr. Sharp again plays all of the instruments, some sampled drums provided by some percussionists that Sharp has worked with in the past. This is a studio project with Mr. Sharp playing everything himself: assorted guitars, lap steel, mandola, basses and drum programming. The drum samples here are something else that Mr. Sharp had worked out for many years, for different projects. Starting with “Freq Wave”, Sharp takes this twisted, repeating drum pattern and turns it inside out. He adds several layers of guitar parts. Each of the 8 pieces are blues-like with layers of guitars, slide, steel, notes bent in all sorts of different ways. Folks often think of the blues as one thing, on a pattern, slow and depressing. On this disc, every song is very different, so many layers, so many licks, so many different guitar sounds. Mr. Sharp often starts with an infectious, somewhat funky bass groove at the center with appropriate drums shuffling underneath. Above the grooves several layers of interlocking acoustic and electric guitars provide the heft of the forward motion. On top there are one or two lead lines, sometimes somewhat psychedelic with inspired soloing in the center at the top of the mix. Sharp loves to add unexpected guitar fragments to mix, each one different sonically yet often blended into a rich, tasty mix. The vibe moves through different moods from dreamy to scary to celebratory to ancient, the entire history of the way the blues moves or inspires us. There is a constant sound of surprise since we never know where we will end up and we feel we have been taken away by the time this disc comes to grand close. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
A CELEBRATION & APPRECIATION OF THE ALLMAN BROTHERS!
I had the good fortune to hear The Allman Brothers play twice at the Fillmore East in 1970 & 1971. The first time was with Dreams (with the Brecker Brothers & John Abercrombie) up first and Canned Heat headlining (they sucked!). We had front row seats for that night (cost $5.!) and the Allman’s blew us away. The next time at the Fillmore was in March of 1971, opening was the Elvin Bishop Group and closing was Johnny Winter And (both pretty good). The Allman Brothers were amazing that night and it was recorded and released as ‘At the Fillmore East’, considered to be one of the greatest live rock albums of all time. I caught the Allman’s three more times in the early seventies, including Watkins Glenn in 1973 with the Dead & The Band, an incredible triple bill and considered to be the largest crowd ever. The Allman Brothers eventually broke up due to drugs, alcohol and ego problems and hence I gave up on following them, becoming a prog & jazz snob in the interim. I did see them one more time in October of 2008 when they played with the Dead at Penn State in a concert for the election of Barack Obama. They sounded great at that gig as did The (reunited) Dead! Hence, I remain a longtime fan of the original Allman Brothers Band, they were one of the greatest (jam) rock bands of their era! The below CD is the second tribute to the Allman Brothers from this band.- BLG / DMG
THE J. & F. BAND with JAIMOE JOHANSON / JOE FONDA / TIZIANO TONONI / BEPPE CARUSO / et al - Cajun Blue (Long Song 153; Italy) This is the second disc from the J. & F. Band, an unlikely congregation featuring co-leaders Jaimoe Johanson (from the Allman Brothers) on drums and Joe Fonda bass & vocals plus Tiziano Tononi on drums, Beppe Caruso on trombone, David Grissom on guitar, Pee Wee Durante on keyboards, Alberto Mandarini on trumpet, Gianluigi Paganelli on tuba, Pacho on percussion, Fabio Treves on harmonica and Lamar Williams, Jr. on vocals. This is the second Allman Brothers tribute that the J. & F Band have done, the first one was released in 2018 and it was a 2 CD set with Raoul Bjorkenheim on guitar. This tribute is just a single CD, is just as adventurous and more focused in some ways as the first one. It was recorded in Milano, Italy and features a few Italian musicians who you should be familiar with: Tiziano Tononi, Beppe Caruso and Alberto Mandarini, as each can be found on a dozen plus discs each.
As an original Allman Brothers fan, I was so glad when this disc arrived in the mail earlier this week. This disc is really long, nearly 80 minutes, and has only seven songs and like the Allman Brothers, these guys are here to jam! The title track, “Cajun Blue”, was written by Joe Fonda and it is soulfully sung by Lamar Williams, Jr., perhaps the son of the second Allmans’ bassist?!? The groove is good & greasy and will get you up & dancing pretty quickly. The great jamming kicks off on “Jazzica”, which based on the Allmans’ song, “Jessica”. The ancient, infectious melody is introduced by the horn team (trumpet, trombone & tuba), the vibe is most heart-warming and enhanced by some great organ and electric piano. One of the best things about the original Allmans was the double guitar interplay of Duane Allman & Dickey Betts. It turns out that the music itself was also strong and feel with some great blues/rock spirit. Hence the music here is also filled with that great spirit/sound/vibe, so infectious, so fine. The midsection of this disc is a righteous Albert King Medley, which starts off with a great, lowdown, blues-drenched version of “As the Years Go Passing By”, which features some great vocals from Lamar Williams, bluesharp by Fabio Treves and lead guitar by David Grissom. Another great thing about the Allman Brothers was that they loved to jam or improvise like their jazz brethren. The last piece here is called, “We Night Riders” and it is 21 minutes. It captures the spirit of a great jam with sections of free improv all swirling together with sections of blues/rock/ jazz jamming. Ummmm, so good! Are you depressed or angry about the world we are currently living in…?!? Well then, get down & get funky and groove to this disc. Have a party with your homeys and invite your neighbors. Buy this disc and inspire yourself and your friends as well!!! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DOCTOR NERVE with NICK DIDKOVSKY / MATT HOLLENBERG / MIKE KENEALLY / ANDREW HAWKINS / RENE LUSSIER / HENRY KAISER / ROBERT MUSSO / KEVIN HUFNAGEL / SHAWN PERSINGER - LOUD (Punos Music; USA) Doctor Nerve are New York’s longest surviving progressive (rock/jazz) band, starting in the early 1980’s and first recording a few years later. Their leader & founding member is Nick Didkovsky, who plays guitar and is a formidable composer and an inspiring professor. This release is a bonus disc, which includes four songs from their recently released limited edition LP. Aside from those tracks, this disc features eight great guest guitarists who provide inspired solos, one per track. You should recognize most of their names from their varied bands: Hollenberg (from Cleric & Zorn projects), Keneally (Zappa sideman), Musso (Machine Gun & Laswell collaborator) and Hawkins (Blind Idiot God).
The Doctor Nerve tracks are up first and they intense, tight, strong and well executed. Besides being a longtime prog-meister, Mr. Didkovsky is also an old metal-head. Hence, his music blurs the lines between those genres. “If You Were Me Right Now I’d be Dead” kicks things open with brutal prog-rock guitar power chords and screaming horns. On “Painting with Bullets”, the horns play some tight counterpoint lines with some effective rock’n roll piano underneath, a screaming guitar solo from Nick and more tight horn blasting before it ends. I dig the way these songs are written with several interconnected layers moving together. Solos are kept short while the varied moving parts connect in the right places. What is interesting about this disc is the way each of the eight guest guitarists take their distinctive solos within the the framework of the four new Doctor Nerve songs. These are variations on the themes and it takes some time to hear how each one approaches these songs. If you wish to get just the digital version of this album, go here: https://doctornerve.bandcamp.com/album/loud. Otherwise you can order the bonus CD from your friends at DMG here. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THREE NEWER DISCS FROM WEST COAST GREATS VINNY GOLIA and NATHAN HUBBARD:
Going back more than a decade, I became a fan of a quartet from San Diego known as Cosmologic. I caught them at the Guelph Festival where they collaborated with Bill Dixon and dug their four discs on the Circumvention and Cuneiform labels. Cosmologic broke up when the members of the quintet graduated from the University of California at San Diego. All four members, Jason Robinson, Michael Dessen, Scott Walton and Nathan Hubbard, live in different places and have started their own projects. Their percussionist, Nathan Hubbard, has worked with Peter Kuhn and led his own large ensemble in recent years. It turns out that Mr. Hubbard also runs his own label, called Castor & Pollux Music. We have just gotten in three of their releases, all great, see below for reviews…
VINNY GOLIA / STEUART LIEBIG / NATHAN HUBBARD - Next Outpost (Castor & Pollux Music 048; USA) Featuring Vinny Golia on piccolo & alto flutes, sopranino & soprano saxes and B-flat & bass clarinets; Steuart Liebig 6-string fretted & fretless basses and Nathan Hubbard on drums, marimba & percussion. Recorded in March of 2019 at Teatro University in Ensenada, Mexico. These are three master musicians from L.A., two of whom, Mr. Golia and Mr. Liebig, have been collaborating for many years. Mr. Golia is probably the older member of this trio, has been living in L.A. since 1970, running the great Nine Winds label for nearly as long and teaching as well. Electric bass great, Steuart Liebig has worked with Mr. Golia on three previous discs for the Cadence and Red Toucan labels. Mr. Hubbard was once a member of the great Cosmologic from San Diego and has a previous duo disc out with Mr. Golia.
The sound and performance on this disc is extraordinary. Mr. Liebig starts off on his 6-string fretless bass playing those harp-like flourishes while Mr. Hubbard swirls around his drums like a restless whirlwind while Mr. Golia spins out lines on his soprano sax furiously. Mr. Liebig uses some devices as well as playing some electronics at times, so it is hard to tell what he is doing at times. Mr. Hubbard is a good match for the other tow musicians whether he is playing drums, cymbals, marimba or other percussion. There are quite a bit some inspired improv here, a strong dialog between three inspired musicians. Golia takes off on bass clarinet midway, bending a stretching out notes carefully while. You can tell that Mr. Golia and Mr. Liebig have worked together in the past since they do such a splendid job of weaving the wares together, exchanging ideas, completing each others lines. Mr. Hubbard is also well chosen, often laying back and playing skeletal sounds creating an inspired shadow dance for his two compatriots. I dig when the trio speeds up, their lines interwoven at a furious, intense rate, soon soaring higher as they evolve. The trio take their time and often experiment with the tones, textures and playing . Bending and twisting notes into to focused fragments consistently connected on several levels. This is a particularly strong improv date remains fresh and exciting throughout its hour plus length. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NATHAN HUBBARD / VINNY GOLIA - Hunter’s Moon (Castor & Pollux Music 043; USA) Featuring Vinny Golia on flutes, alto, sopranino & G mezzo-soprano saxes, contrabass sax, clarinets & basset horn and Nathan Hubbard on percussion, field recordings and samples. Recorded live at Bread & Salt in San Diego in October of 2016. This looks to be an early collaboration with multi-reeds great Vinny Golia and percussion wizard, Nathan Hubbard, formerly of Cosmologic. Mr. Golia moved to L.A. in the early seventies, started the Nine Winds label and collects & plays dozens of reed instruments. San Diego-based drummer, Nathan Hubbard, also collects & plays a myriad of percussion instruments, as well as using samples & other recordings. Both of these musicians are masters of their vast array of instruments and sound fabulous together. This disc consists of one entire 70 minute concert/set, the sound is superb, clear, warm and engaging. It begins with flute and mallets on the drums, slowly adding other percussion and/or samples. Mr. Vinny slowly plays one instrument at a time, changing the vibe as he explores each reed. He picks up the mezzo soprano next and the tempo get faster, more intense. Both of these players are well-matched, tightly playing their lines together, soaring higher and higher as they go. Each reed that Mr. Golia plays takes the duo in another direction. The tubas or contrabass sax is a rarely heard instrument so that hearing Mr. Golia play it midway through this disc is something else, that low-end grumble takes us into some darker waters. Golia switches to alto sax midway, altering the vibe several times as he explores different aspects of the history of that reed. Bebop licks, ballad lines, speeding up, slowing down, concentrating on each note, bending and carefully twisting certain notes, field recordings or samples add an element of placement to the ongoing flow. A woman’s voice on a PA at an airport perhaps in one section. This set takes us a journey which slowly changes as the duo explore sounds together. Long, thoughtful and ever-engaging. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NATHAN HUBBARD ER QUARTET with G.E. STINSON / STEUART LIEBIG / ALEX CLINE - Lattice Trust (Castor & Pollux Music 042; USA) Featuring Nathan Hubbard on vibes, toy piano, mbira-frame, radio samples & field recordings; G.E. Stinson on electric guitar & electronics, Steuart Liebig on electric bass & electronics and Alex Cline on drums & percussion. This session was recorded live at the Open Gate Theatre in Eaglerock in December of 2014 and released in 2017. Eaglerock is a suburb of northeast L.A. so perhaps this is where Mr. Hubbard now resides since the other members of of this quartet are indeed L.A.-based musicians, all of whom we know know well since they have worked at length with Vinny Golia and Nels Cline. I must admit that I am always glad to hear guitarist G.E. Stinson, one of those marvelous longtime L.A. legends who so rarely hear or read about. We just had an old Wayne Peet Trio effort on (from Nine Winds in 2010, found in a box in the back of the store) with Mr. Stinson that sounded quite a bit like the Tony Williams Lifetime. No easy feat!
The opening track is also the title piece and it is nearly 30 minutes long. Stinson and Alex Cline have a long history of playing together and adding electric bass great Steuart Liebig makes this group even better. This long piece sounds like an improvised prog/jazz/rock epic with all members swirling in waves together. Mr. Hubbard moves from vibes to bells to keyboard to samples adding an ever-shifting layer to cosmic flow of the spaced out power trio of sorts. While the guitar, bass and drums often sail together, Mr. Hubbard’s vibes add an element which focuses things, his solos are like stories unfolding with interaction between different members of the trio/quartet. Late last night I was listening to an old CD from Acid Mothers Temple which sounded great probably due to the piece of herbal brownie I had ingested earlier. This disc sounds somewhat like the one from AMT! Eventually, the quartet break into a great organic, funky groove, features some strong vibes from Mr. Hubbard. All four members of this quartet are master musicians and each one gets to stretch out at different times. There is a feeling of calmness at there center yet they take off and soar from time to time as well. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NATHAN HUBBARD SKELETON KEY ORCHESTRA With JASON ROBINSON/DAVID BORGO/KRIS TINER/JEFF KAISER/MICHAEL DESSEN/ et al - Furiously Dreaming (Orenda 0031; USA) This is the second disc from Nathan Hubbard’s Skeleton Key Orchestra and both are 2 CD sets. A number of years ago, I had the good fortune to check a San Diego-based quintet called Cosmologic at the Guelph Jazz Fest and have been a fan ever since. I believe that the band split up when their members graduated UC in San Diego. I have followed each of their careers since each has been involved with a number of strong solo offerings. Nathan Hubbard was the drummer of Cosmologic and it seems as if he stayed in Southern California and organized an impressive 50-piece orchestra. Its members include Jason Robinson (reeds) & Michael Dessen (trombone) from Cosmologic, Jeff Kaiser (trumpeter & head of pfMentum label) plus a some members of the San Diego creative music scene like Kris Tiner, Ellen Weller, David Borgo and Andrew Pask, whose names I recognize from discs on Circumvention, Nine Winds or pfMentum. This double disc set was actually recorded over three years, from December of 2007 to December of 2010, but not released until 2016. This is a massive ensemble which includes 6 reed players, 10 brass, 3 or 4 keyboardists, 5 guitarists, 5 strings, 3 bassists, 7 percussionists, turntablist, electronics, 5 vocalists & 2 poets. Each disc of the two CD set consists of four long pieces. Commencing with “Crows on the Roof”, throttling, drum led salvo with steaming saxes and guitars. Several layers of horns, guitars and electronics criss-cross and inter-connect tightly. There are a few fascinating sections going on here: a sly soprano sax solo over a cushion of percussion, a somber spoken word section with spurts of simmering reeds and steel percussion. For those of you are concerned about having vocals here, do not fret: the chorus vocals are used like other instrumental sections and are never on top or covering any of the other musicians. Even sections that sound free or chaotic seems to have written or directed sub-sections that expand and contract, erupt and calm down. Since none of the soloists are listed, it is impossible to tell who is soloing, not that it really matters since solos are kept to a minimum. What is more interesting is the way certain written or directed subsections rise above the occasional storms below, keeping the balance between the extremes just right. There are a few short poems spoken that seem to to tell short stories or at least set the scenes. What I find most interesting is that although there are some fifty musicians & vocalists, things never get too dense and no one steps on anyone else. This disc reminds me of a great novel that cover a lot of ground. All of the scenes are somehow connected and unfold in a linear, thoughtful way. This is a a rather modest masterpiece which will take some time to fully absorb since there is so much to consider going on on several levels. As soon as the first disc was over, I had to check out the second to see now much further the Skeleton Key Orchestra could go. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $14
DAVID LEE MYERS - Ether Music (Starkland ST-227; USA) Electronic music’s long, rich, and storied history mandates that whatever technology is accessible during the font of creation ultimately stamps the music with a pronounced and definitive imprimatur. David Lee Myers, under both his nom de disque Arcane Device and his given name, pioneered the use of a self-generative feedback technology to usher in an entire strata of multivalent soundworlds years before artists like Toshimaru Nakamura and his no-input mixing board became something of a standardized electroacoustic improv trope. But where Nakamura prefers more on-the-fly examinations of distortion and noise, Myers is the consummate sonic sculptor, taking a painterly approach keen on focus and skill that belies his technological methodology. Yes, similar experiments were conducted by David Tudor and John Cage in the 60s during academia’s love affair with all things avant-garde and radical, but no one else has so thoroughly built a catalog of idiosyncratic, innovative recordings as Myers. That he is able to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate the very fabric of his feedback system’s electrical waves takes an adroit hand, and imagination to boot. The album’s title of Ether Music, defining how Myers’s circuits forge their own indefinable aural characteristics, seemingly borne out of the very air itself, is something of a misnomer, lest the casual listener think this is all merely another slice of colorless ambient paperhanging. On the contrary, the works here are anything but passive or static. As his array of feedback systems erupt, Myers’ wrestles with a complex network of sliders, faders, switches and patchbays, finessing, shifting, and ‘composing’ the attendant noises until they form a dazzling cartography of mysterious islands. Tracks such as the molecular ballet of “The Dynamics of Particles” and “Growth Cones” not only betray his progenitors’ influence (Ussachevsky, Dockstader, Stockhausen, et al) but could easily situate themselves on Louis & Bebe Barron’s Forbidden Planet soundtrack, such is the stark, alien contours that undulate throughout, suggesting entire interstellar communities of fluorescent objects and inimical critters. Aficionados, historians, curious listeners, and anyone seeking contemporary analogs to the above-mentioned artists need look no further than Myers’s work; his stature in the field is indisputably secure, generations be damned. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE with PEK / MIKE GAGLIANONE / BOB MOORES / ERIC WOODS / MIKE GRUEN / JOEL SIMCHES / YURI ZBITNOV - Call of Cthulhu (Evil Clown 9236; USA) Featuring PEK on alto & tenor saxes, clarinets, mussette, flutes, guanzi & exotic percussion; Mike Cagianone on soprano, alto & tenor saxes, game calls & percussion; Bob Moores on piccolo trumpet, guitar & synth; Eric Woods on analog synth & gongs; Mike Gruen on electric bass & processing; Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion and Joel Simches on processing & mix. The Metal Chaos Ensemble is just one of a half dozen Leap of Faith offshoot projects, although they have become quite prolific with some two dozen releases over the past five years. The core members remain PEK, Yuri Zbitnov and Joel Simches, with a revolving cast of 3 or 4 other occasional members.
This disc begins with a short, serious sounding spoken word intro, which works since it is not too serious or prog (fairy tale?) like. I believe it is Mr. Zbitnov doing the recitation. Longtime Leap of Faith drummer, Yuri Zbitnov, soon gets into a great, tribal, martial groove which hold things together as the other members slow add their space rockin’ sounds: electric guitar, electric bass, electronics and assorted percussion. PEK gets a chance do some more serious sounding spoken words which sound somewhat spooky, the vibe dark and a bit sinister at times. Things calm down a bit and then the tribal groove begins again with some a couple of reeds slowly erupting on top. The overall vibe here is some sort of space rock vibe. It turns out that there are a series short spoken word sections with Zbitnov and PEK trading places, back and forth. I found this disc to be pretty funny overall, too much to be taken too seriously. Musically, some of this reminds of a Gong or Acid Mothers Temple-like space jam, balancing with moments of darkness and semi-serious vocal bits. This might be the only (out of 100 discs) Leap of Faith or offshoot project with an extreme sense of humor going on. I found this disc to be quite enjoyable if you don’t take the vocals too seriously. Unlike anything else from the strange folks up there in the Boston area. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TORBEN SNEKKESTAD / AGUSTI FERNANDEZ / BARRY GUY - The Swiftest Traveler (Trost 187; Austria) An exciting new international trio initiated by Scandinavian saxophonist Torben Snekkestad, accompanied by two esteemed international players in the field of improvised music: the Spanish pianist, Agustí Fernández, and the British double bass player, Barry Guy. The music they create together is situated somewhere between free improvisation, free jazz, and contemporary classical music and it's executed with lightning fast interaction and explorative, innovative sounds and textures. Personnel: Torben Snekkestad - tenor and soprano sax, trumpet, clarinet; Agusti Fernández - piano; Barry Guy - double bass. Cover design by Lasse Marhaug. Recorded at "LOFT" in Cologne, June 2018 by Stefan Deistler. Mixed and mastered by John Fomsgaard at Karmacrew.”
DECOY: ALEXANDER HAWKINS / JOHN EDWARDS / STEVE NOBLE WITH JOE MCPHEE - AC/DC (Otoroku 023; UK) “Two totally infectious sets from Decoy -- the trio of John Edwards, Steve Noble, and Alexander Hawkins -- reunited with pocket trumpet and saxophone player Joe McPhee on the closing night of his four day residency at Cafe OTO. In the eight years between the recordings which make up AC/DC and their last release Spontaneous Combustion (ROKU 002CD, 2014), Decoy and each of its members have been practicing individually at the very top of their form. Coming together again in such celebratory circumstances and in the good company of a fantastic crowd set the scene for a very special night. As they begin, Alexander Hawkins casts a needling surface between his Hammond organ and John Edwards's loose splatters and slaps of low-end bass. McPhee skitters over them with his pocket trumpet by way of introduction; Steve Noble strikes his rims in anticipation. The first set sees moments of frenetic free jazz peel off into weirdo soul territory and when switched to saxophone halfway through, McPhee's romantic lyricism is utterly beautiful. When a groove sets in, Hawkins's B3 ascension in harmony with an ever-powerful Edwards-Noble rhythm section sees the room thicken and swirl to the point of giddiness. There is one unreal part at 22:22 where we're sure you can hear Edwards's bass vocalizing. Regrouped for a second set, Steve Noble's metallic textures meld with detuned arco bass to create an unholy atmosphere, ripe for Hawkins to play out the eerier end of the Hammond. When McPhee sounds a sax motif the band catches it quickly and it's soon wickedly morphed and stretched by each player, recurring to absurdity in a stoned-out funk free for all. The whole recording bleeds enthusiasm and joyful imagination and is a brilliant document of an unforgettable evening. Decoy are a limitless band who play nowhere near enough.
TRILOK GURTU - God Is A Drummer (Jazzline/PÖ 77075; Germany) God Is A Drummer is the new studio album by master drummer Trilok Gurtu. Throughout his illustrious career, master drummer and world music pioneer Gurtu has stood at the confluence of where Indian classical music, Western jazz and funk, African music, and Brazilian music meet. It's been part of his modus operandi for five decades -- making music that defies easy categorization. On God Is A Drummer, his 20th recording as a leader, the uncommonly open-minded musician pays tribute to some fallen colleagues and role models who have guided and inspired him along the way. Leading his dynamic, Hamburg-based group of trumpeter Frederik Köster, trombonist Christophe Schweizer, Turkish-born keyboardist Sabri Tulug Tirpan, and electric bassist Jonathan Cuniado, Gurtu acknowledges the impact that legends like keyboardist and Weather Report co-founder Joe Zawinul, Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, jazz drumming great Tony Williams, and his mother, the Indian classical singing star Shobha Gurtu, have made on his musical life. Dedicated to his own guru, Ranjit Maharaj, God Is A Drummer is a stunning showcase of matchless precision, dazzling solos, passionate vocals, percolating rhythms, and deep-rooted grooves. Regarding the title, the leader says, "I named it that because without the drummer, nothing will move. And without movement, the world will stop. The Earth rotates, which is movement. The waves in the ocean, the leaves falling from trees, people talking to each other -- it's all movement, it's rhythm, it's energy. So, with every movement, I say, god is a drummer." Liner notes by Bill Milkowski - longstanding contributor to DownBeat and Jazzthing magazines.
THE HELIOCENTRICS - Infinity Of Now (Madlib Invazion 037; USA) "The UK's cosmic, psychedelic-funk ensemble issue their first album on maverick producer Madlib's label, Madlib Invazion. The Heliocentrics' albums are all confounding pieces of work. Drawing equally from the funk universe of James Brown, the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone, the sublime fusion of David Axelrod, Pierre Henry's turned-on musique concrète, and Can's beat-heavy Krautrock, they have -- regardless of the label on which they've released their music pointed the way towards a brand new kind of psychedelia, one that could only come from a band of accomplished musicians who were also obsessive music fans. Drummer Malcolm Catto and bassist Jake Ferguson are the Heliocentrics' masterminds and producers, and they are obsessive weirdos in today's musical climate, searching, progressive humans who are often out-of-time with current trends. They have been playing together for nearly two decades and their collective drive is to find an individual voice. The Heliocentrics search for it in an alternate galaxy where the orbits of funk, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, avant-garde and 'ethnic' music all revolve around 'The One'. With Madilb's label Madlib Invazion for Infinity of Now, the Heliocentrics have returned to develop their epic vision of psychedelic funk, while exploring the possibilities created by their myriad influences -- Latin, African, and more."
UT - In Gut's House (OUT Records 005; UK) "Radical No Wave pioneers Ut reissue their critically acclaimed In Gut's House album -- their second studio album originally released in 1988 on Blast First Records, now fully remastered with original cover artwork, song lyrics and band photos. It made the year's NME 'Top 50 Albums'. Ut is a radical rock group founded by Nina Canal, Jacqui Ham and Sally Young in Dec '78. Originating in the downtown NYC No Wave scene and inheritors of the collision between rock, free jazz and the avant-garde, they exploded the rigidity of conventional rock, constructing songs through collective improvisation, swapping instruments and rotating the role of singer / director. Migrating to London in 1981, Ut played with bands like The Fall and The Birthday Party and released music on their own label Out Records, including Live At The Venue in 1982, the Ut EP in 1984, the Confidential 12-inch in 1985 and their first studio album Conviction in 1986. Ut became a favorite of BBC's John Peel and recorded sessions for his show in 1984, 1985 and 1987."
OSCILLATORIAL BINNAGE - Agitations: Post-Electronic Sounds (Sub Rosa 495; Belgium) Oscillatorial Binnage's Agitations: Post-Electronic Sounds is an 11-track album of post-digital, post-electronic music. The recordings are deeply acoustic -- no electronic processing features anywhere. The sounds are produced by the experimental manipulation of repurposed recycled objects subjected to electromagnetic force fields. The "infinite world of the real" offers up richly unpredictable effects, with fields of vibration producing psychoacoustic flourishes, along with spontaneous, arbitrarily microtonal and harmonic compositions. Agitations: Post-Electronic Sounds constitutes a series of sonic exercises based around one principal philosophy: that systems of electromagnetically-resonated physical objects can lead to complex electronic-sounding tones that emerge acoustically, progressing themselves in surprising non-linear dynamic states, providing pointers for further actions upon the objects. Techniques usually associated with electronic music, such as modulation, wave-shaping, filtering, etc., are here applied to acoustic physical systems via prods, cranks, levers, gears, and jacks. The bulk of the recordings were made at La Borde Basse/Studio Midi-Pyrénées in 2013, with additional tracks recorded with electromagnetic-force-field resonated oil drums at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, and upgraded reconstructions of Luigi Russolo's Futurist intonarumori at Mount Pleasant, Clapton. Starting with fallen dry leaves, found pottery, and brass junkets, the experiments progressed to combinations of interconnected objects, including industrial springs, clamps, woks, rods, hand-held brass bells, earthenware, dry leaves, stones, pitchforks, feathers, paper, plastic receptacles, lamp-post doors, wicker baskets, grilles, bottles, barrels, and much more. The album forms an acoustic exploration into the alchemy of found objects, and the origins of inspiration. London-based electroacoustic quartet Oscillatorial Binnage have been giving workshops and performing live experimental improvised music together since 2004. 16-page booklet.
"While music in general drifts every day further from real strings, drums and vinyl, into the virtual world of files, Oscillatorial Binnage reaffirms the origin of sound in physical things that shake, rattle and hum -- the pre-industrial caterwauling of post-electronic music." - Nicolas Collins (author of Handmade Electronic Music)
RASHIED ALI / FRANK LOWE - Duo Exchange (Survival Records 501; USA) "Duo Exchange was the flagship release of Survival Records. Percussionist Rashied Ali and saxophonist Frank Lowe were both in a hurry to ignite their careers as leaders, and this record lit the match. Survival Records was a joint venture between the duo, and the recording sessions done at Marzette Watts's studio were the maiden voyage of their partnership. They went in to capture the vehemence bursting forth nightly in the downtown lofts, and the results were furious, brutal, and poignant. With the release of this album in 1973, Ali and his family and Frank Lowe and his family all became executives and clerks helping to get the word out. And getting the records out -- at loft shows and Village record haunts. The message of untamed tenor saxophone and Ali's drums should sound familiar: That's the combination that made jazz history in Ali's 1967 duets with his then-employer, John Coltrane. What eventually came out as Interstellar Space is its own pinnacle of the genre, but its release was still a year off when Duo Exchange was issued to the public. Mixed and mastered from the original tapes, this expanded 2020 edition restores sections of the original record inexplicably excised from the CD release in the nineties, and expands on it with more than double the playing time of the original LP with fascinating outtake versions that rephrase the familiar tracks. 2xLP gatefold tip-on jacket, pressed on RTI Vinyl."
2 LP Set $44
RASHIED ALI QUINTET with DEWEY JOHNSON / RAMOND MORRIS / STANLEY COWELL / REGGIE JOHNSON - Live At Slugs (Survival Records 551; USA) "Preserved on two reels in Rashied Ali's tape archive, this document may have been only the second time that Ali had led a band in public. The band membership is stellar and unprecedented, and the tunes they play predate all known segments of Ali's career as a composer or bandleader. Ali was still officially on the job as Coltrane's drummer when he assembled this cast for perhaps as little as two sets of music in the Spring of 1967. It appears to be the earliest documented activity for the late tenor saxophonist Ramon Morris, who had thoroughly absorbed the lessons of John Coltrane, post 1961. Trumpeter Dewey Johnson had his peak moment of fame two years prior, appearing with Coltrane on the orchestral Free Jazz masterpiece Ascension. Pianist Stanley Cowell was just emerging as a distinctive voice among the open-minded 'Young Lions' of the day, on his way from Marion Brown's quartet to groups led by Max Roach. Bassist Reggie Johnson was already familiar with Slugs; he had worked there, alongside Ali and Cowell, across the previous two years. This stereo recording gives us a front row seat -- with all the grit and mayhem from those heady times. Meticulous remastering from the original tapes has polished this bit of East Village verité into a riveting, glistening-but-raw pearl from the black underground of the Sixties. 2xLP gatefold tip-on jacket, pressed on RTI Vinyl."
2 LP Set $44
NATE MORGAN with JESSE SHARPS / DANNY CORTEZ / FRITZ WISE / et al - Retribution, Reparation (Outernational Sounds 011; UK) “Outernational Sounds present a reissue of Nate Morgan's Retribution, Reparation, originally released on Nimbus West Records in 1984. A core member of the circle around Horace Tapscott, pianist Nate Morgan was a key member of the Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra, known as The Ark. Here is the second of his two LPs for Nimbus West. His first, Journey Into Nigritia (OTR 008LP) had been a declaration of arrival laced with energies drawn from Cecil Taylor and Coltrane. One year later, in 1984, with nods to Herbie Hancock ("One Finger Snap") and Ellington ("Come Sunday"), Retribution, Reparation was a confident statement of purpose. Politically charged with pan-Africanist Black nationalism, and titled with uncompromising directness, the album focusses the sound world of the Ark into a surging, restless masterpiece of spiritualized modal jazz. Danny Cortez on trumpet and Jesse Sharps on saxophones comprise an explosive frontline. Fritz Wise and Ark regular Joel Ector hold down the rhythm section. Morgan's forceful, Tyner-like chords and virtuosic solos bind the music together. From the poised drama of the opening dedication to Tapscott's U.G.M.A.A. organization, through the propulsive militancy of the title track, "Retribution, Reparation" spreads the word: "Advance to Victory, Let Nigritia Be Free!"
WERNER DAFELDECKER - Parallel Darks Room40 447’ Australia) “Viennese born, Berlin based electro-acoustic maestro Werner Dafeldecker creates an intense and beautiful musique concrète journey on Parallel Darks. He examines perspective, extreme subjectivity and the specters that haunt our auditory worlds. What are the bounded limits of sense? How is it we come to know the world and moreover how is it that we share that experience collectively? Where are the points of mutual understanding and how can we approach the spectral aspects of our sensing of the world? It's these questions that have shaped the approaches used by Werner Dafeldecker on his first fully fledged electro- acoustic outing. Parallel Darks charts out a divergent, yet relational sound field that reflects an intensity of practice that Dafeldecker has cultivated over the better part of three decades. Concerning himself with sounds that often lie at the periphery of our listening, Parallel Darks layers dense spatial textures into a tightly woven sonic fabric. Calling on materials collected through field recordings, analog synthesis, and through his extended instrumental techniques, Dafeldecker seamlessly draws together these sources, creating an at times blurry harmony between elements that might otherwise appear incongruous or in contest. The sound world Dafeldecker creates is one that is simultaneously musical and profoundly abstract. As potential elements of harmony emerge, they are pulled away through various dynamic interjections, which the draw the focus of the ears. There is no one singular plateau of sound, rather a constant deepening, a beautiful abyss of spectacular pressure and vital acoustic darkness. Recorded across 2018 and 2019, each of the editions two pieces dwell on sounds' capacity to be a specter. Parallel Darks uses sounds at the very threshold of perception that suggest uneasy acoustic spaces and haunted zones within which the rules of listening in the everyday must be abandoned. In these zones, Dafeldecker carefully crafts hidden sonic relations that call for an intensity of listenership.
"It compares music and reality. The music functions like an observer: the music observes reality. And it is precisely the limits of this approach that make us realize something about the observation instrument. The music, the culturally created, thus becomes a metaphor for perception. A perception that can in no way do justice to what has been perceived, and in this failure can tell us all the more about the limits of our perception and about the process of creating reality in perception." - Peter Ablinger
EDDIE FLOWERS & THE WAX-LIP-SWAMP-DUB - Eddie Flowers & the Wax-Lip-Swamp-Dub (Feeding Tube Records 489; USA) "Eddie Flowers is a legend of the American rock sub-underground. Starting as an Alabama-bound fanzine scribe back in the early '70s, Eddie drifted to Bloomington to lend his presence to the Gizmos in the days before 'punk' was codified. Next, he turned up in L.A., where he founded the legendary acid squawlers, Crawlspace. Crawlspace was a thoroughly nuts collection of loosely rotating heads, who existed from 1985 into the new century. They played few actual 'shows,' but still managed to churn out endless documents of their music making. Still, Crawlspace's few vinyl offerings are exquisitely fucked, and include some of the first heavy deployments of Can-generated riff-pulsing heard anywhere on the scene. Anyway, L.A. has a way of eating its children, and Eddie was darn near gobbled by the Sunshine Monster before he was spirited away to Indiana by some old and solid friends. Once there, he lost no time getting a new 'situation' together, and this album is its first graspable evidence. The music created by The Wax-Lip-Swamp-Dub unit is thick with acid-haze (generated by a real random assortment of instruments) and powered into fields of Can-like glory by the superb drumming of Tyler Damon (previously heard on (Manas III (FTR 330LP, 2017)). Eddie's vocals sprawl across the top of it all, giving an entirely new meaning to R. Meltzer's phrase, 'blabbermouth lockjaw of the soul.' The vocals here are all that, but they lay out like a beatnik rattlesnake frying happily in the Texas sun. It is a beautiful trip. Hint to travelers: the higher you fly, the better your view" - Byron Coley, 2019. Edition of 300.
The following MICHAEL MOORE / RAMBOY CD’s are now on sale, all are great! Reviews down below
MICHAEL MOORE With AB BAARS / MICHAEL VATCHER - “Fragile” (Ramboy 25; Netherlands)
MICHAEL MOORE FELIX QUARTET With WOLTER WEIRBOS / WILBERT DE JOODE / MICHAEL VATCHER - “Felix Quartet” (Ramboy 33; Netherlands)
MICHAEL MOORE QUINTET With ERIC VLOEIMANS/MARC VAN ROON/PAUL BERNER/OWEN HART - “Osiris” (Ramboy 22: Netherlands)
MICHAEL MOORE FRAGILE QUARTET With HARMEN FRAANJE / CLEMENS VAN DER FEEN / MICHAEL VATCHER - “Live in Chicago” (Ramboy 32; Netherlands)
ACHIM KAUFMANN & MICHAEL MOORE / HERBIE NICHOLS - “Furthermore: Play Herbie Nichols” (Ramboy 31 C; Netherlands)
ACHIM KAUFMANN & MICHAEL MOORE - “Something Nothing” (Ramboy 31 B; Netherlands)
ACHIM KAUFMANN & MICHAEL MOORE - “Nothing Something” (Ramboy 31; Netherlands)
MICHAEL MOORE QUINTET With ERIC VLOEIMANS/MARC VAN ROON/PAUL BERNER/OWEN HART - “Osiris” (Ramboy 22: Netherlands) Featuring Eric Vloeimans on trumpet, Michael Moore alto sax, clarinets & all compositions, Marc van Roon on piano, Paul Berner on bass and Owen Hart, Jr. on drums. This is ICP reeds master, Michael Moore's new quintet and I can't say that I familiar with any members of this group previously. It turns out that Eric Vloeimans has a disc out on Timeless and Owen Hart has recorded with Ernst Glerum. The title track in an elegant, dreamy piece with lovely harmonies for the clarinet and trumpet and some sublime playing from the piano, bass & drums. Michael has some superb songs here, and this marvelous quintet plays them beautifully. The frontline of Michael's alto sax or clarinets and Eric's trumpets work together perfectly and at times sound like one instrument as they play these dreamy tunes tightly together. There is just too much great music here to mention, each piece has layered of intricate parts that are so well crafted, yet there is immense charm, nothing forced, no showing off. A few of these pieces are so subtle, it is hard to believe that Mr. Moore can do so much with so few notes. "North Star" reminds me of what Morton Feldman might do if he wrote for a small jazz group, each note is carefully stretched out in space. I love the way this quintet breathes together as one force. On "It's a Long Road", first the bass and then the piano the lead in navigating the tune, then Michael's ever auspicious alto and Eric's trumpet all seem to complete each other's lines as they flow naturally forward. The writing here is one of a master craftsman composing for a perfect quintet. - BLG
MICHAEL MOORE FELIX QUARTET With WOLTER WEIRBOS / WILBERT DE JOODE / MICHAEL VATCHER - “Felix Quartet” (Ramboy 33; Netherlands) Featuring Michael Moore on alto sax, clarinet & compositions, Wolter Weirbos on trombone, Wilbert de Joode on bass and Michael Vatcher on drums. Since moving here last year, Amsterdam-based drummer, Michael Vatcher, has been working with several Downtown greats including an amazing new quartet with Fay Victor, Jaimie Branch & Luke Stewart at the Vision Fest earlier this week (5/26/18). After some three decades in Amsterdam, Mr. Vatcher is here to add his organic poly-rhythms and hand-made percussion to some of New York’s finest. Like ICP Reeds wiz, Michael Moore, Mr. Vatcher is an American ex-pat who has is integral to the Dutch creative music scene. In addition to Mr. Moore & Mr. Vatcher The Felix Quartet does feature two Dutch musicians, ICP’s Wolter Weirbos on trombone and Wilbert de Joode on contrabass. This disc was recorded live at Felix Meritis in Amsterdam in 2014. “Ramses” begins very quietly and slowly builds with an infectious walking bass-line at the center, the clarinet and trombone swirling graciously around one another. Mr. Moore does a fine job of crafting pieces where the two horns play intricate, ghost-like harmonies while the rhythm team play skeletally underneath. “Big Dog” reminds me of one of those Mancini-esque, film noir soundtracks, all we need to do is snap our fingers to the sly groove. While the two horns dance tightly together or around one another, the rhythm team seem to expand and contract organically. On “Lower Forty”, the horns seem to be chasing each other, tossing lines back and forth before they arrive at a piece called , “Cry”. It is here where Mr. Moore’s haunting alto and Weirbos’ fragile trombone are backed by Mr. Vatcher’s delicate hammered dulcimer. So nice! Similar to what Moore and Weirbos do in the ICP Orchestra, both horns work their way through jazz history, swinging, sparring, playing blues licks and creating creating sympathetic spirits together. I love that prayer-like solace of the closer, “Tis Abay”, so calm and solemn. A perfect to bring things to a elegant close. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MICHAEL MOORE FRAGILE QUARTET With HARMEN FRAANJE / CLEMENS VAN DER FEEN / MICHAEL VATCHER - Live in Chicago (Ramboy #32; Netherlands) Featuring Michael Moore on clarinet, alto sax & compositions, Harmen Fraanje on piano, Clemens van der Feen on bass and Michael Vatcher on drums & hammer dulcimer. This appears to be the third disc by this particular quartet. Both Michael Moore and Michael Vatcher, both former US expats living in Amsterdam, have been working together in several bands over many years, with Jewels & Binoculars, perhaps being the most beloved. “Triptych” starts things off with a most enchanting, lush sound: exquisite clarinet, soft hammered dulcimer, ghost-like piano and bass. The music has a sublime, elegant chamber-like quality with Mr. Moore’s lovely clarinet at it most haunting. This disc was recorded live at Constellation space in Chicago, the sound is superb. On “A Wall/Shrink”, Mr. Moore’s alto sax is both lush and tart simultaneously, a rich, rather ancient tone made by those sax masters of yesteryear, kind of like the voice of an old friend who makes you feel good in his or her presence. One of the things that makes this disc and band so fine is consistently sympathetic interplay between both Michael’s, balancing the sly with the most thoughtful, always weaving several streams together. Certain songs move effortlessly from swinging to spinning to spacious chamber-like austerity. Considering that this disc is some 73 minutes long, there is way too much great music to comment on. There are a few pieces which really stand out: on “A Few Seconds (of Overwhelming Harmony”), there is an eerie, ghost-like presence (a bowed cymbal?) going on, a calm drone at the center hovering… My favorite piece is called “Seascape”, which does sound like we are drifting on a boat at times. The vibe is trance-like and feels like a good way to wind down. Michael Moore hasn’t played in NY in quite a while, so perhaps it is time for Mr. Zorn to give him a residency at the New Stone. In the meantime, grab this disc soon. It is marvelous. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12
MICHAEL MOORE With AB BAARS / MICHAEL VATCHER - “Fragile” (Ramboy 25; Netherlands)Featuring Michael Moore on alto sax, clarinets & compositions w/ Harmen Fraanje (piano), Clemens van der Veen (bass), Michael Vatcher (drums/glass harp), and guest Ab Baars (clarinet). "Fragile" refers to the precariousness of human relationships and our eco-systems. All of these were written during a summer tour of 2007 and are about the caring folks who support the traveling musicians in a variety of ways. What struck me most about this disc is the often laid-back vibe and haunting melodies. I am not familiar with the pianist (Harmen Fraanje) or bassist (Clemens van der Veen) here, although I do know drum wiz Michael Vatcher from his superb work with Jewels & Binoculars, who played in our town this week (4/19/08) and were just incredible. Starting with "Paint as You Like," we enter a lovely, elegant world that is poignant, with some delightfully restive clarinet by Mr. Moore. On two of these pieces, fellow ICP reeds wiz, Ab Baars, is added on clarinet. "Yahoo Day" features just Moore and Baars and is a delightfully quaint piece for two hushed reeds. The title piece, "Fragile" starts with Vatcher playing glass harp, which sounds as if he is rubbing glasses softly. I love the way that Mr. Vatcher insinuates the beat by playing just a minimum of taps of his cymbals. Moore plays some mighty fine bass clarinet on "Bagdad," which has a Monkish melody and elegant piano from Harmen. Every piece here is precious and filled with haunting melodies and is exquisitely played. At nearly 70-minutes long, it does take a bit of patience to appreciate this long dreamy journey. The riches are indeed great when you take the time to savor this entire treasure chest of enchanting songs. - BLG
ACHIM KAUFMANN & MICHAEL MOORE / HERBIE NICHOLS - “Furthermore: Play Herbie Nichols” (Ramboy 31 C; Netherlands) Featuring Achim Kaufmann on piano and Michael Moore on alto sax & clarinet. Pianist Achim Kaufmann and reeds player Michael Moore first recorded together with Dylan Van Der Schyff as well as playing in Achim's quartet who have a couple of discs out on the Leo and Red Toucan labels. Amsterdam-based US ex=pat, Michael Moore, has been a longtime member of the ICP Orchestra and runs this, the Ramboy label, which just released three somewhat different duo CDs with Moore and Kaufmann playing both written and improvised material in different amounts 'Furthermore' features all written music with eight songs from Herbie Nichols, one by Andrew Hill and one by Mr. Kaufmann. Along with his contemporary and friend, Thelonius Monk, Herbie Nichols was one of the most distinctive pianists and composers to emerge during the bop and post-bop era. Unlike Monk, whose songs have long remained popular and covered by a wide variety of jazz & non-jazz musicians, Herbie Nichols tributes are much harder to come by. This disc has an infectious, playful vibe that makes me feel good inside now that I am not trudging through the snow to get to the store. Mr. Moore has a luscious, warm tone and sounds consistently charming tone throughout, occasionally adding some slight bent note spice here and there. I was listening to a Gerry Mulligan/Johnny Hodges disc last night and I can hear some of that superb Hodges/Ellington magic in Mr. Moore's tone/playing. Both musicians play with a certain elegant touch which I find most enchanting. It is hard to tell that Mr. Kaufmann's "De Glazen Muur" was not written by Herbie Nichols since it has a similar sound. Even on clarinet, Mr. Moore has an exquisite, delightful tone. I really dig when the duo stretch these songs beyond their regular structure like they do on "Wildflower". Although this disc is consistently charming, I look forward to checking out the other two duo discs that we got in the same time as this one. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ACHIM KAUFMANN & MICHAEL MOORE - “Something Nothing” (Ramboy 31 B; Netherlands) Featuring Achim Kaufmann on piano and Michael Moore on alto sax & clarinet. For this disc, there are 11 compositions by Moore and 3 by Kaufmann. Both Michael Moore and Achim Kaufmann are fine composers and have done a good job of providing strong material for this session. Although neither men have recorded very many duo records (Kaufmann & Thomas Heberer and duos with Alex Maguire & Fred Hersch), they sound quite perfectly together here, weaving their luxurious playing together. Mr. Moore's warm, thoughtful tone often stands out and reaches deep into our hearts, pulling delicately at the strings. Mr. Kaufmann is a perfect partner as he is also a mature, thoughtful and quietly dynamic player. After a long walk in the cold, this music has a way of warming me up and making me smile and feel good. If I were to name this disc, I might call it "Something Special' because to me, it is quite endearing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ACHIM KAUFMANN & MICHAEL MOORE - “Nothing Something” (Ramboy 31; Netherlands)Achim Kaufmann on piano and Michael Moore on alto sax & clarinet. Twelve improvised compositions by Moore & Kaufmann and one by Kaufmann himself. Unlike the other two duo discs released at the same time as this one (31A & 31B), this disc was recorded over a few days at two different studios in February or 2012 and May of 2011, both studios are in Berlin. This disc is also different since it is almost exclusively improvised in the studios. The duo get to stretch out more and push each other further out at times. Mr. Moore's golden tone (often warm and always thoughtful) and Mr. Kaufmann's elegant, focused piano keep each other within a certain sympathetic compatablity. There is a balancing act of sorts going on with one member of the duo providing a center while the other harmonizes or adds odd spice. For "As eavesdroppings in a story", Mr. Moore plays his alto with a ghost-like bent-tone which makes things feel scary for a bit. I noticed that certain notes which are carefully bent have a way keeping things off-balance or unpredictable to where things will end up. Similar to a play unfolding with two characters exchanging ideas or having a dialogue that makes sense but we still don't know what the ending will bring. Quietly (at times) fascinating, nonetheless. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for February, 2020
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 - MARC RIBOT - FEB 11 – 15
8:30 pm - Marc Ribot (guitar) Nick Dunston (bass) Jay Rodriguez (sax) & Chad Taylor (drums)
8:30 pm - Marc Ribot (guitar) Shahzad Ismaily (bass) & Ches Smith (drums)
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - LINDA MAY HAN OH - FEB 18–22
8:30 pm - TRIO - Fabian Almazan (piano) Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) Linda May Han Oh (bass)
8:30 pm - TRIO - Ganavya Doraiswamy (voice) Rajna Swaminathan (mridangam) Linda May Han Oh (bass)
8:30 pm - Linda May Han Oh Quintet - Ben Wendel (tenor sax) Matthew Stevens (guitar) Fabian Almazan (piano) Eric Doob (drums) Linda May Han Oh (bass)
8:30 pm - QUINTET - Sara Serpa (voice) Jeremy Viner (tenor sax) Fabian Almazan (piano) Tom Rainey (drums) Linda May Han Oh (bass)
8:30 pm - Aventurine - Greg Ward (alto, soprano sax) Fabian Almazan (piano) Allan Mednard (drums) Curtis Stewart (violin) Sara Caswell (violin) Benni Von Gutzeit (viola) Jeremy Harman (cello) Linda May Han Oh (bass)
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:
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 8:00 PM 9:00 PM
CHRIS COCHRANE with Kevin Bud Jones, Sarah Bernstein and John Thayer
Chris Cochrane - guitar
Kevin Bud Jones - electronics
Sarah Bernstein - violin
John Thayer - drums, percussion & electronics
Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 8:00 PM 9:00 PM
CHRIS COCHRANE with Gordon Beeferman, Stuart Popejoy and Brian Chase
Chris Cochrane - guitar
Gordon Beeferman - Organ
Stuart Popejoy - bass
Brian Chase - drums
HappyLucky No. 1 is located at
734 Nostrand Ave, near Sterling
easy access from the A/C/2/3/4 trains
The Weekly Bushwick Improvised Music Series:
Monday February 17th
7pm Ras Moshe - tenor saxophone/flute
Faye Kilburn - theramin
Laura Feathers - electronics
Dave Miller - drums
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Sandy Ewen - guitar
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
9pm David Haney - keyboard
Hilliard Greene - bass
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Matt Lavelle - trumpet
Reggie Sylvester - drums
9:45pm Santiago Leibson - keyboard
Lisa Hoppe - bass
Dayen Seok - drums
10:45pm Nick Fraser - drums
Tony Malaby - saxophones
Darren Johnston - trumpet
Michael Bates - bass
11:30pm Noa Fort - vocals
Vinnie Sperrazza - drums
Simon Jermyn - guitar
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2020 - 8:00 PM 9:00 PM
CHOI / SACKS DUO
Yooni Choi - Voice
Jacob Sacks - Piano
MARTY EHRLICH Upcoming CONCERT:
Tuesday, March 3, 8PM one set
Oscar Noriega, Ned Rothenberg,
Andy Laster , Marty Ehrlich - Alto Saxes
Seeds Brooklyn Performance Space ($15 donation )
617 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn | seedsbrooklyn .org
Sounds of Justice
THE SUN RA ARKESTRA Led by MARSHALL ALLEN!
THE WILLIAM PARKER’S CURTIS MAYFIELD PROJECT!
Wednesday, March 4, 7:00pm
The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street
The 25th Year Celebration for the VISION FESTIVAl is approaching fast! Join us on March 4th with the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen and the return of William Parker's Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield.