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DMG Newsletter for June 19th, 2020: Rest in Peace KEITH TIPPETT!

"Cat Food"

Lyrics by Peter Sinfield, music by Robert Fripp & Ian MacDonald
First appearance on King Crimson’s ‘In the Wake of Poseidon’ album

Lady Supermarket with an apple in her basket
Knocks in the manager's door;
Grooning to the muzak from a speaker in shoe rack
Lays out her goods on the floor;
Everything she's chosen is conveniently frozen.
"Eat it and come back for more!"

Lady Window Shopper with a new one in the hopper
Whips up a chemical brew;
Croaking to a neighbour while she polishes a sabre
Knows how to flavour a stew.
Never need to worry with a tin of 'Hurri Curri':
"Poisoned especially for you!"

No use to complain
If you're caught out in the rain;
Your mother's quite insane.
Cat food cat food cat food again.

Lady Yellow Stamper with a fillet in a hamper
Dying to finish the course;
Goodies for the table with a fable on the label
Drowning in miracle sauce.
Don't think I am that rude if I tell you that it's cat food,
"Not even fit for a horse!"

“Cat Food, cat food, cat food, again!” This bizarre little song opened up the second side of King Crimson’s second album, ‘In the Wake of Poseidon’, which was released in May of 1970, fifty years ago last month! I actually remember hearing it on FM radio when FM radio was still open to all sorts of weirdness, early progressive rock oddities and didn’t care about categories or sales potential. There were many things about this song which made it enchanting and beyond pigeonholing: the strange, sly post-modern lyrics, Robert Fripp’s distinctive guitar and perhaps, the freest, most far out piano playing heard in pop or rock music up to that point. That piano part was played by someone known as KEITH TIPPETT, who had recently become friends with Mr. Fripp and who ended up playing on the next two Crimson albums: ‘Lizard’ & ‘Islands’. I have long thought that 1970 was the turning point in modern music when rock and jazz caught up and joined forces to create something new. A number of my favorite records were released in 1970, see the list below.

BLG Top Favorite Albums of 1970:

1.MILES DAVIS - Bitches Brew (Columbia) 2 LP Set
2.SOFT MACHINE - Third (Columbia) 2 LP Set
3.KEITH TIPPETT GROUP - Dedicated to You, But You Weren’t Listening (Vertigo)
4.JOHN SURMAN / BARRE PHILLIPS / STU MARTIN - The Trio (Vogue Records) 2 LP Set
6.MIROSLAV VITOUS - Infinite Search (Embryo)
7.KEVIN AYERS & THE WHOLE WORLD - Shooting at the Moon (Harvest)
8.CARAVAN - If I Could Do It Again, I’d Do It All Over You (London)
9.JOHN McLAUGHLIN - Devotion (Douglas)
10.FRANK ZAPPA - Chunga’s Revenge (Bizarre)
11.PATTO - Patto (Vertigo)
12.ROLLING STONES - Let It Bleed (London)
13.KING CRIMSON - In the Wake of Poseidon (Atlantic)

KEITH TIPPETT, Rest in Peace

Last weekend, I received a number of e-mails from various friends, letting me know that KEITH TIPPETT had died. Mr. Tippett was 72 at the time of his passing and he was for many of us, one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. Like many King Crimson fans, I first heard of Mr. Tippett from his piano playing on a song called “Cat Food” from Crimson’s second album, ‘In the Wake of Poseidon’, released in 1970. That same year Mr. Tippett’s second album as a leader was also released and it was called, ‘Dedicated to You, but You Weren’t Listening’ (the title of a Soft Machine song from the previous year). I finally discovered and bought a copy of that record in late 1975, while I was going to school in London. It changed my life and has remained my favorite avant/jazz album of all time! I attended school in London (Trent Park College) from September of 1975 until the end of January of 1976 and saw & heard as many concerts as I could. I was lucky and honored to have interviewed and become friends with a number of my music heroes: Robert Wyatt, Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge, Dave Stewart, Phil Miller, Gary Boyle, John Marshall, Roy Babbington and Keith Tippett. During that stay in London, I caught Elton Dean & Keith Tippett several times in different groups, being blown away on each occasion. My favorite (Tippett) gig being with John Stevens/Trevor Watts/Keith Tippett/Jeff Clyne at the Plough. I interviewed  Mr. Tippett at Ronnie Scott’s in December of 1975 and he was somewhat depressed about no longer being on a supportive record label and not playing live as much as he should.

   I soon became a KEITH TIPPETT fan-addict after listening to ‘Dedicated to You…’ over and over and playing it for as many of my friends as possible. I played it the other day at DMG for Frank, and we both were smiling at how incredible it still sounds today! Consider this, Mr. Tippett’s music career started off in 1969 with his first album, ‘You are Here, I am There’, ‘Dedicated to You’ came out in 1970 and then he organized a huge fifty piece orchestra known as Centipede which included members of Soft Machine, Brotherhood of Breath, Patto, King Crimson, Blossom Toes and his wife Julie Tippetts (formerly Julie Driscoll). Centipede’s one and only double album, ‘Septober Energy’ was released on RCA UK, a major label and was another milestone effort! Check it out if you can. Word is that RCA hired a plane to transport Centipede to festivals around Europe and I have long heard stories about some of the ridiculous things that took place on those flights… Mr. Tippett then put together a small trio/quartet known as Ovary Lodge, again redefining free/jazz with cosmic spirit music. Since then, Mr. Tippett has had more than fifty releases, each & every one well worth hearing and owning. In 1992, Mr. Tippett finally made his way to the USA and played a concert at the Old Knitting Factory, in a duo with Andy Sheppard and with a UK string quartet, thanks to the prompting of my former boss and future partner, Manny Maris. This was Mr. Tippett’s only appearance in the US ever! Thanks to Michel Levassuer, Mr. Tippett also played a solo concert in May of 1994 at FIMAV, a festival up in Victoriaville in Quebec. Mr. Tippett organized a quartet known as Mujician in the nineties and they also played at FIMAV several years later. Their personnel featured Tippett on piano, Paul Dunmall on tenor sax, Paul Rogers on contrabass and Tony Levin on drums. They were spectacular at that gig and all of their discs are equally wonderful. Mr. Tippett once more was invited to FIMAV to present his orchestra Tapestry which included some of the finest members of the UK Creative Music Scene: Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall, Louis Moholo, Paul Rutherford, Julie Tippetts. It was another phenomenal concert that anyone who attended will never forget. Around 2016, I was able to attend another Keith Tippett solo show at Cafe Oto in London, thanks to my pal Mike Panico. At the end of the first set, Mr. Tippett received a standing ovation and looked astonished. He said that he had lived & performed in London for many years but had never received an ovation until now. He wiped a tear from his eye and said he was touched by the standing, cheering crowd. This entire week, I have been listening to all of my Keith Tippet albums & CD’s, mostly in chronological order. I want to raise a toast to this very special musician & cosmic spirit, KEITH TIPPETT! Check out his music if you need some inspiration. - BLG/DMG

My old partner Manny Maris worked long & hard on a Keith Tippett complete discography which was linked to our homepage. When our website was re-designed it was left off. We are working on setting a new page for our website which will feature pictures, discographies, lists and links to concerts we have sponsored throughout our long history. Until that new page is set up, here is the link for Keith Tippett discography by Manny Maris:    


This Week’s Dynamite Discs Begin with the Unstoppable PETER BROTZMANN:

PETER BROTZMANN / FRED LONBERG-HOLM - Memories of a Tunicate (Relative Pitch 1104; USA) Featuring Peter Brotzmann on tenor & alto saxes, tarogato & B-flat clarinet and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello & electronics. Has longtime road-warrior & sax master-blaster, Peter Brotzmann, slowed down a bit over the past few years?!?! Unlikely! The last time I caught him live was in a trio with Heather Leigh & Haino Keiji at Victo last year. Great set. After many years living in Chicago, experimental cellist, Fred Lonberg-Holm moved back to the East Coast, Woodstock area, a few years back and coming down to NYC to play from time to time. He has been working with Joe McPhee, Matt Shipp, Kirk Knuffke and Michael Bisio, since moving here. Brotzmann and Lonberg-Holm do have a long history of playing together in Brotz’s Chicago Tentet as well as the aptly titled Wold Man’s Band and the ADA Trio. This seems to be their second recorded duo offering, the previous one on Atavistic from more than five years ago. The title of this disc, ‘Memories of a Tunicate’, refers to a type of sea life known as a tunicate or sea squirt. The titles of the tracks are different types of tunicates. What does this have to do with the music? Probably not too much.
   This disc starts with a celebratory tenor sax blast from Mr. Brotzmann which sounds like a clarion call, soon Mr. Lonberg-Holm adds some intense bowed, scraped & plucked cello, both instruments sound great together, bending and twisting their notes in similar ways. What I like about this is that both players seem to enjoy pushing each other further out, while somehow staying within a focused inner cloud-like barrier. Here is what I find most interesting: Mr. Brotzmann’s sax tone is strong, focused, singular, somehow warm and easy to identify, we can tell that he has been playing in this way for many years. It is the cello and electronics that often go further out here, while Brotz occasionally brings us more inside at times. This is a marvelous duo, constantly exploring their ranges and bringing us to new places, unsure of where we will end up next. There are some more extreme moments going on here which make me feel somewhat disoriented and exhilarated at the same time. I dig when Mr. Brotzmann switches to clarinet, still twisting those notes into odd shapes while Lonberg-Holm also provides a series of fractured sounds, rather like an electric guitar or so other torture/power-tool device. If you feel the same way that I do, that we are often surrounded by bad (fake) news, then you need a soundtrack for all of those eruptive feelings. This my friends is the soundtrack you need so do dig in. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG            
CD $14

NICOLE MITCHELL & LISA E. HARRIS / BLACK EARTH ENSEMBLE with JULIAN OTIS / ZARA ZAHARIEVA / BEN LaMAR GAY / TOMEKA REID / AVREEAYL RA - EarthSeed (FPE Records 027; USA) The Black Earth Ensemble currently features Nicole M. Mitchell on flute, electronics & composition, Lisa E. Harris on vocals, theremin, electronics & composition, Julian Otis on vocals, Zara Zaharieva on violin, Ben LaMay Gay on trumpet & electronics, Tomeka Reid on cello and Areeayl Ra on percussion. This is the third Nicole Mitchell project which was inspired by the novels of Octavia Butler. For this one, Ms. Mitchell collaborated with  filmmaker, performance artist, composer & vocalist, Lisa E. Harris, as well as a new version of her own Black Earth Ensemble. This disc was recorded live at Fullerton hall in the Art Institute of Chicago in June of 2017. Starting with some spacious flute, whistling and electronics, we are off and gliding. The opening vocal piece, “Whispering Flame” is somewhat disturbing, with mutant voices, minimal cello, trumpet & flute, bubbling up from a swamp of quicksand. I know that the composers consider this to be an opera, but it is more stripped down, the voices Ms. Harris and Mr. Otis work well together, with none of that dreaded operatic sing-songedness that we find in much older operas. Plus the use of the (mostly acoustic) flute, cello and trumpet fits perfectly with the voices. Considering that much of this is rather skeletal in sound, it forces us to calm down and listen closely to what is left. The ever-amazing cellist Tomeka Reid gets a chance to stretch out on the mostly instrumental “Whole Black Collision”, which also features some mysterious electronics, twisted vocal weirdness and strange trumpet sounds. I love when the vocals take off on “Phallus and Chalice”, some odd yet wonderful going on here as the voices, cello, flute & trumpet all swirl tightly together. I get the feeling that there is more going on here than meets the ear so that I must listen to this again to hear several layers. This entire disc flows together organically, with weaving together short written sections with layers of voices, minimal electronics and occasional bursts of free-sounding  interaction. Several questions and observations emerge about the future of the Planet Earth. Time to consider our fate together. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG              
CD $15

JASON KAO HWANG with KEN FILIANO / ANDREW DRURY - Human Rites Trio (True Sound Recordings TS 03; USA) Featuring Jason Kao Hwang on violin, viola & compositions, Ken Filiano on contrabass and Andrew Drury on drums. It seems that Downtown string wizard, Jason Kao Hwang takes his time in between releases in which he is the leader, having around a half dozen discs under his own name in the past several decades. This is aside from his work with Anthony Braxton, William Hooker, Butch Morris and Joe Daley. Mr. Hwang has been using the rhythm team for several of his discs as a leader (around 15 years), bassist Ken Filiano and drummer, Andrew Drury. This disc begins with “Words Asleep Spoken Awake, Parts 1 & 2”. The trio jumps into a great groove right from the opening tag, repeating that festive line over & over with Mr. Hwang soon taking an inspired and intense solo. I can tell that this trio has been together for a long while as they soar tightly together and consistently maintain a jubilant, festive spirit. On the second part of the opening piece, the tempo increases to boiling point and it sounds as if the trio is about to fly apart, jeez, too much! Midway through this piece there is an incredible bowed bass solo from Mr. Filiano, one of Downtown finest and most in demand contrabass masters. Things slow down for the next piece, “Conscious Concave Concrete”, which is more stripped down and has Mr. Hwang playing most of the song on just plucked strings in a rather bluesy swagger. There is an epic piece here called, “Battle for the Indelible Truth”, is consistently explosive and moves in short tight bursts with some brilliant violin which is on the verge of going too far at times but keeps coming back, eventually mellowing out in the second half for a more calm conclusion. The last piece, “Defiance” bristles with a more restrained sort of defiant vibe, as if it is trying to both push us and hold back whatever is bottled up at the same time. One can fill in what they want as far as how they feel about the skeletal way that things unfold here. This disc was completed during Covid-19 pandemic and is dedicated to the doctors, nurses and other frontline workers who are doing their best to save lives. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG      
CD $14

I recently did a large order with our main distributor in Amsterdam and got in 16 new titles and one reissue. I only do these orders once every year or two but am always impressed by the number of great releases from many Dutch musicians, many known and some unknown to me.  This newsletter will list half of those titles and the rest will be in next week’s newsletter.

ICP ORCHESTRA & NIEUW AMSTERDAMS PEIL - De Hondemepper (ICP 062; Netherlands) “The road to this collaboration starts at the 1985 Holland Festival, when Hoketus—the flinty post-rock new-music ensemble founded by Louis Andriessen—premiered “Rokus de Veldmuis” (Rokus the Fieldmouse) by Misha Mengelberg (1935–2017). As Hoketus pianist Gerard Bouwhuis recalls, it generated some minor grumbling within the band; the chipper first movement appeared to mock Hoketus’s hard-edged seriousness. But the second half—“Een hutje van gras” (A Little Grass Hut)—was a wow: a hurtling triple canon including, Gerard notes approvingly, “this long middle section where ‘nothing’ happens, just a nice beat with irregular patterns: Misha goes Reich.”
   That earworm stuck in his mind, for decades, ultimately leading to this pooling and piling on of ICP—the 10-piece orchestra Mengelberg founded, now with Guus Janssen on piano—and Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, flexible ensemble co-piloted by Bouwhuis and violinist Heleen Hulst. (This sextet version has Hoketus vet Patricio Wang on chromatic panflute and mandolin)
   Misha Mengelberg was good at thwarting expectations. Seven years before “Rokus” came the opulently melodic “Dressoir,” for another hammer-head ensemble Andriessen founded, Orkest de Volharding (who’d record it twice). This grabbag of short contrasting episodes—including a can-can, processional, sentimental plaint, dippy romp, and wake-the-sleepers closer—is superbly played here, a real charmer.
   Mengelberg never fit comfortably into the worlds of post-bop jazz or modern composition; he was too gifted a diatonic melodist and too instinctive a saboteur of elegant or elaborate forms. But music so tuneful and subversive inspired acolytes drawn into ICP (tutored by the master to follow his thinking) and admirers without, such as Andriessen, Bouwhuis and Janssen. And then in the new century, Misha like other oblique geniuses put down for decades as a nutter, was belatedly lionized in time to savor it a little.
   De Hondemepper spans Mengelberg works for various reading and improvising units: a Compleat Misha. The melded collective doesn’t feel like ICP with add-ons, or NAP augmented by ICP’s strings and reeds, but something new. The NAPsters dig into those finely wrought instrumental parts (Misha taught strict counterpoint at the conservatory after all). It was only prudent for them to consult ICP’s experts in Mengelbergian articulation, (self-) deprecatory gestures, and timing. With Han Bennink at the drums, tempos and time feel would be certified correct.  
   Four pieces honor Misha’s key influences, starting with his father. Karel Mengelberg composed his “Trio” in 1940—around when precocious Misha composed his first piece. (We hear the lento movement.) Thelonious Monk’s tone poem “Reflections” is heard in Michael Moore’s orchestration of Misha’s arrangement, with a panflute lead, and pocket jazz solos from bassist Ernst Glerum and tenor Tobias Delius. Guus Janssen’s chart for Herbie Nichols’ “Cro-Magnon Nights,” deploys triple clarinets, and forceful cro-mag horn howling, plus solos by Moore, Janssen and NAP’s bassoonist Dorian Cooke, who swings a bit herself. Ab Baars’ “Pools and Pals,” with its ICP-style swinging and open improvising and horn-section interventions, eventually tips its hat to Duke Ellington’s/Billy Strayhorn’s pirouette “Depk.”
   Generations ago, when Dutch jazz and classical musicians began teaming up, they could drag each other down, reaching no consensus on phrasing or intonation. But Dutch ensembles (think Ebony Band) kept mixing jazz and classical repertoire and musicians, gradually raising everyone’s game. Dutch composers who smudged the jazz/classical line became common, and new compositional procedures/games infected their rowdy jazz-club bands, increasing improvisers’ resources. (Guus and Misha shared numerous musicians: Bennink, Moore, Glerum, Baars, Wolter Wierbos….) Working with a rigorous reading ensemble, ICP steps up: Moore’s clarinet covers the oboe part in Karel’s trio, the Wierbos/Thomas Heberer brass section is crisp on “Dressoir”’s fanfares, and the merged Pool/Peil strings tighten up—though saboteur Tristan Honsinger reserves the right to use his cello as disruptor gun, the way Misha used piano.
   ICP, to be clear, is itself a mixed ensemble; violist Mary Oliver (like other ICPers) came from the realm of new composed music, and maintains a dual perspective. “Personally, this was a wonderful project for me,” she says. “I’ve played ‘A la Russe’ with Tristan and Michael, but playing it with NAP’s Dorian and Mick Stirling was a new lesson in interpreting its phrasing. The improvisations were a lot of fun: you could see on their faces how much they enjoyed getting out of their comfort zone and into our world. We all were invested in upholding Misha’s humor and power.”
   The proof is in the music. To hear “De Hondemepper” (Dog-Swatter: sexton tasked with shooing dogs away from church) or ICP deep tracks from 1990 and 1986, “Vieze en lekkere luchten” and the Purple Sofa suite (à la Guus, exploiting percussionist Bart de Vrees’s bright colors and Bennink’s dark drive) is to confirm that Mengelberg’s serio-comic, natty-anarchic, ugly beautiful archaic modernist music remains elusive and beguiling as ever. Now that he’s gone, we are lucky there are folks who know how to play it right, and are ready to pass that knowledge on. The circle gets wider. – Kevin Whitehead, February 2020
CD $16

ALL ELLINGTON with OSCAR JAN HOOGLAND / JOOST BUIS / WILBERT DE JOODE / ERIC BOEREN / FRANK ROSALY / JODI GILBERT / et al- All Ellington (PB 010; Netherlands) “When Eric Boeren assembles a cast of musicians to play the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn you know it won't be your father's Ellington. Well, unless your father is very, very hip. You probably already expect this, knowing Boeren has been a mainstay of the new Dutch swing for decades. With his All Ellington tentet, he relies on a cast of skilled improvisers to enliven music written and recorded fifty, sixty, seventy and even eighty years ago.
   The music is formulated as a series of medleys with songs bridged together by way of improvised passages. Opening with what sounds like the pulse of a car alarm going off, the music kicks into a tightly arranged version of the 1939 Juan Tizol & Jimmy Mundy ballad "Night Song" before an improvised interlude of extended technique ushers in Jodi Gilbert's wordless vocalese of "Strange Feeling" which then morphs into the Strayhorn lyrics. The medley next includes "Sonnet For Sister Kate" from Such Sweet Thunder. Boeren mixes and matches Ellington from various decades to great effect. He borrows another composition, "Sonnet In Search of a Moor" from 'Such Sweet Thunder' later in his medley that also includes "Lament For Javanette."
   The sounds are inspired by the thrill Ellington's music possessed back in the day and, refreshingly, the pieces are not performed simply as repertory music. That is because Boeren and company have been performing this music on a regular basis since 2013 and, after a 2017 week-long residency, they further refined their approach, as is evident here. For Ellington-philes, the adaptations of the lesser-known pieces are the gems. Other listeners can savor covers of the familiar "(In My) Solitude," "Black And Tan Fantasy," and "Sophisticated Lady." The latter piece opens with Wilbert de Joode's bowed bass, then articulated vocals and Giuseppe Doronzo's lush baritone saxophone, before congealing into an ethereal improvisation. Drummer Frank Rosaly suppresses any big band urge to grandstand, sticking with a support role, but adding minimalist accents and inflections. Did I mention there are also fantastic solos from Boeren, Joost Buis, and let's not overlook Oscar Jan Hoogland´s piano interpretation of Ellington? This music will either bolster your love of Duke, or send you back deep into his catalog.” - Mark Corroto, AllAboutJazz
CD $16

OCTOBER MEETING 2016 with JOACHIM BADENHORST / ALEXANDER HAWKINS / OLIE BRICE / OSCAR VAN HOOGLAND / METTA RASMUSSEN / SUSANA SANTOS SILVA / KAJA DRAKSLER / CHRISTIAN LILLINGER / JASPER STADHOUDERS / ADA RAVE / et al  - Live at Bimhuis (BIM 11; Netherlands) Featuring Joachim Badenhorst on bass clarinet & tenor sax, John Dikeman on tenor sax, Mette Rasmussen on alto sax, Ada Rave on tenor sax, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Alexander Hawkins & Oscar Jan Hoogland on piano, Olir Brice on contrabass, Ziv Taubenfeld on bass clarinet, Kaja Draksler on piano, Jasper Stadhouders on guitar, Onno Govaert & Christin Lillinger both on drums and several others. October Meeting is a legendary international improvisers festival which took place in Amsterdam 1987 and 1991 and was run by Huub van Riel. Mr. van Riel was also the artistic director of the Bimhuis performance/ venue for 40 years, an important creative music hotspot in the Netherlands. The October Meeting which took place in 1987 and 1991 featured Americans like Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Sunny Murray and John Zorn collaborating with some giants of the European Creative Music Scene: Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Fred Van Hove and Han Bennink. In 2016, Mr. van Riel, organized a new edition of October Meeting which featured some 21 European musicians, all of whom were under 35 years of age. I recognize the names of about 2/3 of these musicians. All three October Meeting’s had the musicians get together beforehand to try out different combinations and strategies, so that the resulting music wasn’t totally improvised on the spot throughout. I looked forward to checking this 2 CD set out, since I was already a big fan of Joachim Badenhorst, Susane Santos Silva, Alexander Hawkins, Metta Rasmussen and Chritian Lillinger, plus hearing some 7 newer voices is also a great thing.
   Disc 1 starts with a quintet with 3 bass clarinets (Badenhorst, Joris Roulofs & Ziv Taubenfeld), Reiner Baas on guitar and Onno Govaert on drums. Right from the start, there is some magic going on as the three bass clarinets sound marvelous together playing what sounds like partially written chamber music. The guitar and drums are used minimally at first, adding bits of punctuation to the rhythmic & melodic flow. It is what all three bass clarinets do together that makes this so special, adding layers of lines, weaving in and out and adding righteous harmonies throughout the 10 minute piece. The second piece features a female quartet with Rasmussen & Ada Rave on saxes, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet & Kaja Draksler on piano. Extraordinary looping and crisscrossing of lines from the three horns with shrewd prepared piano from Ms. Draksler. I especially like when the horns speed up and trade quick lines while Drakler spins a quick web of muted notes on the piano, as well as when the slow down to a more dreamlike section. I’ve heard & enjoyed Swedish-based vocalist Sofia Jernberg (born in Ethiopia) from her work with Fire! Orchestra, Seval & Sten Sandell. Ms. Jernberg is featured in a duo with UK pianist Alexander Hawkins on the third piece “Gigi’s Lament”, which is an exquisite sort of ballad and is breathtakingly beautiful and most haunting. Ms. Jernberg is in fine form here, singing perhaps in Ethiopian and is most mesmerizing. “The Dog (That Bit Me)” features a quintet with Rasmussen, Silva, Hawkins, Petter Eldh on bass and Christian Lillinger on drums. This piece erupts right from the first notes with that free/jazz spirit/music sound, both horns burning together with Mr. Hawkin's powerful piano pushing the quintet higher and higher. Saxist (tenor & soprano) Yedo Gibson is a relatively new name for me although he does appear with Naked Wolf who have a CD out on Clean Feed. Mr. Gibson is part of a fine quartet with Hawkins on piano, Olie Brice on bass and Mr. Lillinger on drums. Their piece here features some strong free playing with all four members taking off together and soaring and eventually sailing back for a more restrained conclusion. The great vocalist. Sofia Jernberg, is featured in a quintet next with Badenhorst, Raphael Vanoli on guitar, Petter Eldh on bass and Gerri Jager on drums. This piece is slow, spacious and sparse with haunting, suspense-filled results. I had never heard of guitarist Vanoli before now but I do dig the cool, dark sounds he makes on this track. The last piece on Disc 1 is an odd sextet with 3 clarinets (Badenhorst, Roelofs & Taubenfeld), a fine cellist/vocalist named Harald Austbo (another new name to me) plus two acoustic bassists (Brice & Eldh). While one of the bassists plays the central groove, the clarinets swirl around in different combinations, the cello plucked along with his strange, animated yet compelling voice. Every piece on Disc 1 is a winner, can’t wait to get to Disc 2. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG                        
2 CD Set $16

BLUE LINES SEXTET with ADA RAVE / BART MARIS / WOLTER WEIRBOS / MICHIEL SCHEEN / RAOUL VEN DER WEIDE / GEORGE HADOW - Live at Bimhuis (Casco 005; Netherlands) Personnel: Ada Rave - soprano & tenor sax, clarinet preparations; Bart Maris - trumpet, pocket trumpet, cornet, bugle, piccolo trumpet; Wolter Wierbos - trombone; Michiel Scheen - piano ; Raoul van der Weide - bass, crackle box, sound objects and George Hadow - drums. The Blue Lines Sextet is led by pianist Michiel Scheen, who composed half of the songs here, while most of the other pieces are group improvs. I know of Mr. Scheen from the work he has done with Maarten Altena and Butch Morris. Longtime ICP trombonist, Wolter Wierbos, is another busy player who has worked with many: Available Jelly, Sean Bergin and Frank Gratkowski. Trumpeter Bart Maris has worked with 1000 (3 CDs) and prog bands: Univers Zero and Blast. Even the two rhythm team members are relatively familiar having both worked by American-born, Amsterdam-based saxist John Dikeman. Michiel Scheen wrote half of the fifteen pieces here, the rest of which are improvs plus a couple of striking covers by Charles Mingus and Charlie Haden. It is often hard to tell the written pieces from the group improvs since both seem to move in unexpected ways. Each time we get a grip on a certain fixed point or charted section, the sextet erupts. Mr. Scheen has written some interesting music here which often starts one way then suddenly switches direction. There is a haunting, simmering version of Charlie Haden’s “Silence”, which features some hypnotic horn work from all three frontline brass and reed players. Whether playing charts or not, you can tell that this sextet’s members are listening closely and engaging in tight, spirited dialogue. The version of Mingus’ classic “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, is stretched out with selective free sections added, adding some mystery to what we think will happen with this familiar song. What I like most about this disc is the seamless way that most of the pieces unfold, impossible to tell the written from the unwritten segments. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG  
CD $16

FRANK ROSALY’S TODOS DE PIE! with JAAP BLONK / JEB BISHOP / NATE McBRIDE / BEN BOYE / ALEX FARHA / NICK BROSTE / et al - Todos Depie! (Kontrans 864; Netherlands) Featuring Frank Rosaly on drums & vocals, Jaap Blonk on vocals, Ben Boye on Fender Rhodes & piano, Alex Farha on cuatro & electric guitar, Cameron Pfiffner on flute & tenor sax, Jeb Bishop & Nick Broste on trombones, Nate McBride on double bass and Ivelisse Diaz, Mata Fernandez, Kenia Guerra & Jessica Rodriguez on percussion & vocals, with most folks doubling on electronics. This disc was recorded at Electric Audio in Chicago in August of 2012. Chicago drummer, Frank Rosaly, has worked with most members of the Chicago Creative Music Scene: Dave Rempis, Jason Stein, Josh Abrams & Jason Adasiewicz. The one thing he hasn’t done much of is lead his own band, just 2 previous discs that we know of. For this unique disc he has organized an eclectic ensemble with a couple Chicago regulars like Jeb Bishop & Nate McBride, experimental Dutch vocalist Jaap Blonk plus a host of musicians, some of whom I hadn’t heard of. The title of this disc, ’Todos De Pie!’ translates into “Everybody Stand Up!”. It turns out that Mr. Rosaly was born & raised in Arizona to Puerto Rican parents, but didn’t learn Spanish due to the racism his parents had experienced. He did here the Latin music of Tito Puente as a child and was blown away by it and became immersed in Cuban music. He moved to L.A. and studied with Ornette’s drummer Billy Higgins who taught him to reach people through music. He ended up in Chicago and became an integral part of the Chicago avant-jazz network. His fascination with Cuban music continued to grow and eventually led him back to working with music from Puerto Rico. He finally organized an ensemble to play the music he longed to do. This is the result. In 2016, Rosaly moved to Amsterdam where he still lives. At the suggestion of trombonist, Jeo Bishop, he decided to add experimental Dutch vocalist Jaap Blonk. Certainly an odd choice.
   I wasn’t so sure what to expect but I admit that I was fascinated nonetheless. The music here has an infectious, uplifting, some familiar sound with layers of clanking percussion and enchanting near goofy chorus vocals. “Que Dulces Son las Cancioines”, has a layer of haunting electronics and moaning trombones before it breaks into a power more rocking groove. All of the songs here are covers yet they are twisted into some odd shapes. The melodies sound somewhat normal but often are stretched in unexpected ways. Jaap Blonk, who I have mainly heard doing extremely weird things with his voice is not on top in the mix, but still fits as a part of front and back-up vocals. It turns out that four of the percussionists here are from a Chicago folkloric band known as Las Bom Pleneras, who specialize in two of Puerto Rico’s most famous rhythms. I find this disc to be quirky yet somehow enchanting in its own unique way. You got a sense of humor and like to groove to some infectious latin music, then this disc is for you! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG          
CD $16    

XAVIER PAMPLONA SEXTET with MICHAEL MOORE / ZIV TAUBENFELD / RAOUL VAN DER WEIDE / et al - Play the (Casco 006; Netherlands) For younger musicians drawn from all over to Amsterdam’s perennially hardy improvising scene, the 1970s when Willem Breuker’s Dutch sound broke out internationally is a distant era. And as movements recede in time, secondary figures and worthy compositions get forgotten. So bassist Raoul van der Weide has assembled an intergenerational septet to play some Dutch classics as they should be played. He’s got fellow second-generation A’dam improviser Michael Moore on clarinet, plus fourth – or fifth – generation colleagues: English drummer George Hadow, Raoul’s frequent partner since coming to town in 2012; the All Ellington band’s Italian bari saxist Giuseppe Doronzo; bass clarinetist Ziv Taubenfeld (who has recorded with Raoul and George in the quintet Zwerv, and studied with Moore); Scottish trumpeter Alistair Payne; and the scene’s new piano dynamo, Poland’s Marta Warelis. (Thus no one in XP7 was born in Holland – Raoul spent his first eight years in France.) There are two vintage tunes each by Bert Koppelaar, Guus Janssen and the leader, and one each from Tristan Honsinger and ringer Fred Katz – tunes too good to ignore during the improvising.
   For Van der Weide – Xavier Pamplona is an alter ego, Raoul with another life – it’s a personal tour. Born in 1949, he came up in the 1970s alongside second-generation mainstays Paul Termos and Guus and Wim Janssen. They all got priceless lessons playing (with Peter Cusack, during his two years over) in the Punt Uit Band of character and eccentric trombonist Koppelaar. Among his quirks: he could not come in on an upbeat, and thus often trailed a hare’s hair behind the band. They relished the chaos, which informs several Termos and Guus Janssen compositions where beats go awry. Koppelaar had come up in brass and circus bands, and was in and out of Breuker’s and Misha Mengelberg’s windy collectives in the late 1960s and 1970s; ICP and (later) a Maarten Altena quartet recorded Koppelaar’s “Kwik, Kwek, Kwak” (the Dutch names for Donald Duck’s nephews, incidentally).
   Bert’s “Hawkwind” here has a cha-cha main theme, then breaks into too-happy swing for the middle eight: it wasn’t just Breuker writing ‘em zany back in the day. You don’t miss trombone; the swerves and blares from low reeds and trumpet have it covered. The Koppelaar suite “Ambitus Cyclus” has plenty of thematic material to sustain an 18-minute treatment. First comes a euphoric bring-on-the-jugglers fanfare (which grows softer at the bridge), a singsong melody you can bend around the block and bring it home good as new. Then a Tizol-y habanera, where Payne brings Armstrong peel and rasp; then a slow quiet episode with even slower circular-breathing bari like a plane circling; something like a spiritual, with trembling western-saloon piano; a martial riff theme with plenty of room for obbligatos; yet another bouncy tune to get them swinging, whose dips into the lower register launch Taubenfeld into matador Dolphy’s bull-ring. Here and elsewhere there’s collective improvising in the Dutch style: not too much, varied in dynamics and color and texture, and more apt to subvert written material than neglect it. Which is to say the players get the message. Payne’s Pops exuberance may owe something to Eric Boeren’s declamatory horn. Doronzo and Taubenfeld look for all the colors the big reeds can give up.
   There are plenty of opportunities for riff, paraphrase and informal rondos in these over-and-over strains, also including Raoul’s circusy start-and-stop “Feitenleid.” Honsinger’s tarantella-interruptus “Luce nel scuro” (first recording?) sounds like Stravinsky’s “Histoire du Soldat” village band hitting the applejack. The A strain of Raoul’s “Culture Boy” resembles a certain Nat Cole evergreen, but then the B strain goes off. The players atomize these strains in turn and then reassemble them – the band’s general m.o. Michael Moore’s assertive high clarinet can take command on rare occasions when a firm hand might help, and he gives us a glimpse of his Procope vibrato. He’s all over, exhortatory, and featured in a polite chamber trio on an untitled “Someday My Prince”-ish waltz attributed to Fred Katz, a tune Guus and Ernst Reijseger used to play in duo.
   They also revisit Guus standbys “Koto a gogo” – built around an elementary hip-hop beat Wim Janssen loved to drum, which has a little more clavé in it in Hadow’s telling – and the jolly bouncing earworm “Jo-jo jive” which suggests what Guus learned from Misha Mengelberg. Some enterprising American bandleader might champion Janssen’s book of intricate playful tuneful compositions for improvisers. It’s a trove.
   Fast-fingered Warelis can play straight and discreet, bonk out the block chords, rattle the strings like Anton Karas’s zither, spackle the keys like Nancarrow, play percussion under the hood, and unreel snaky singing right hand lines. She can mix up all that and more very quickly, as if it’s all one big language. She’s attentive to developing motifs but isn’t afraid to drop them and move on. You’d have to search a while to find another (bassist’s) self-produced record where the leader’s mixed so modestly, but then XP7 isn’t really about him. The band swings, they’re tight when they want to be, and in high spirits. A delightful record. – Kevin Whitehead, Point of Departure
CD $16

QUARTET NL with BENJAMIN HERMAN / PETER BEETS / RUUD JACOBS / HAN BENNINK - Quartet NL (ICP 055; Netherlands) Quartet NL features Benjamin Herman on alto sax, Peter Beets on piano, Ruud Jacobs on bass and Han Bennink on drums. All of the music on this disc was composed by legendary Dutch pianist and composer Misha Mengelberg. Mr. Mengelberg and the equally legendary drummer Han Bennink founded and have led the ICP (Instant Composers Pool) Orchestra since the mid-1960’s. Mr. Mengelberg passed away in 2017, the ICP Orchestra has continued. I am a longtime admirer & friend of Mr. Bennink but I must admit to not knowing about the other members of this quartet before now. It turns out that Dutch saxist, Benjamin Herman, has some 25 albums, as well as another 20 records as the leader of the New Cool Collective. Pianist Peter Beets also has more than a dozen discs as a leader, a half dozen with the Beets Brothers and has performed in a duo with Chick Corea. Bassist Ruud Jacobs is another elder musician like Bennink and has worked with Albert Mangelsdorff and Bernt Rosengren. Jacobs is actually more well known as a diverse record producer, including co-producing Jan Akkerman’s prog rock opus, ‘Aranjuez’.
   This session was recorded live in April of 2016 in Tivoli, Utrecht in the Netherlands. This disc starts off with “Driekusman Total Loss”, which sounds like a bebop standard. The quartet swings their tushes off with wonderful, infectious solos from the sax and piano. Mr. Bennink is playing brushes on this song, something he is a master at and sounds swell, later switching to sticks and swinging profusely. “Blues After Piet” is a blues yet grooves with a most infectious glee. Like both Mr. Bennink and Mr. Mengelberg, the pianist here, Mr. Beets, sounds like he knows his jazz history, dipping into old school lines and adding those occasional sparkles of more modern phrases. His solos are filled with loads of Monkish twists and turns and are a consistent delight to hear. I really dig the infectious, jubilant spirit of “Hypnochristmastreefuzz”, which includes some hilarious background vocal sounds by Mr. Bennink as well as one of those rambunctious older sounding drum solos from the early days of jazz history. In the middle of “The Laughing Dwarf”, the quartet leaps into double time, which adds an element of surprise if you think you know where the song is going to go. “Who’s Bridge?” is the name of a trio album from Misha Mingelberg and the title song is done here and includes a delightful alto solo from Mr. Herman, as well as some super fine trading lines. “Rollo” was a nickname I had at college, as well as one of Misha’s most popular songs, which I’ve heard ICP Orchestra play on several occasions. This disc closes with a great version of “Rollo 2”, which had me snapping my fingers throughout and smiling at the vibe it produces. The piano solo here by Mr. Beets is also something else as is the bass solo. A perfect way to bring this great disc to grand close. It has taken me a long time to reach back and appreciate the more mainstream, swinging sounds of the fifties and beforehand. I am finally there and feeling great hearing these ancient sounds. It makes me feel good inside as well. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG          
CD $16

JORIS ROELOFS & HAN BENNINK - Icarus (ICP 059; Netherlands) Featuring Joris Roelofs on bass & b-flat clarinets and Han Bennink on drums, C clarinet, balk & piano. For more than fifty years, Han Bennink, has been the co-founder of the ICP Orchestra, which started as a duo/trio with Misha Mengelberg & Willem Breuker and now includes a dozen other world-class musicians. Aside from the ICP Orchestra, Mr. Bennink has also collaborated with many European, American, African, Asian and Japanese musicians, as well as leading a handful of his own bands. Mr. Bennink thrives in different situations, whether swinging hard, playing free or adding surprising elements of odd, unique humor. For this disc Mr. Bennink works with a young clarinetist named Joris Roelofs, someone with whom I was not familiar except for a recent October Meeting 2 CD set from 2016. The duo play mostly their own improvised music aside from a few covers by Eric Dolphy (who Han worked with in 1964), Charlie Haden and Kurt Weill. The music here covers a wide range of jazz history which is constantly evolving. The duo of bass clarinet and brushes is especially charming, as is the solemn laid-back version of Eric Dolphy’s “Something Sweet Something Tender”, which features some exquisite bass clarinet from Mr. Roelofs. Mr. Bennink does a great job of matching wits with Mr. Roelofs no matter where they go. I love the way Bennink concentrates on just one drum or cymbal at a time, sometimes just soloing on his snare. No matter what Mr. Bennink does, playing with his hands, playing a shaker, just drum sticks (sometimes stuck in his mouth) or a cymbal, he always makes the duo work as one united force. Mr. Bennink sounds like the perfect partner since he can go anywhere and dip into many styles or genres, no matter what. The cover tunes here are especially charming, especially the closing version of Haden’s classic, “Song for Che”, which resonates with exuberance. There is something intimate going on here with none of the occasional (visual) fireworks that Bennink lets out at some of the gigs I’ve attended. Whenever I meet up with Han Bennink, he gives me a hug and picks me up. This always makes me smile and feel good to be alive. I get the same vibe from the music here. This is what we all need: a big hug from our Dutch friends. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG       
CD $16


SAMM BENNETT / ELLIOTT SHARP / NED ROTHENBERG - Semantics (Klanggalerie 306; Germany) Semantics were Ned Rothenberg on alto & tenor saxes, bass clarinet & prepared bamboo flute, Elliott Sharp on double neck guitar/bass, violinoid & vocals and Samm Bennett on drums & electronic percussion. Between 1980 and 1985, the early Downtown Scene erupted with dozens of new bands & combinations of musicians: Material, Massacre, Curlew, Fall Mountain, Microscopic Septet, Lounge Lizards, ISM, Golden Palominos, V-Effect, Skeleton Crew, DNA, Shockabilly, The Scene is Now and many more. John Zorn's evolving game pieces as well as numerous musicians continually regrouped in different combinations to try out new ideas at an ever-increasing pace. Some bands lasted for just 1 or 2 gigs while others lasted for many years. Semantics were one such band which made just two albums and existed for just a few years. Semantics were Ned Rothenberg (from Fall Mountain & solo sets) on reeds, Elliott Sharp (from ISM & Carbon) on a double-neck guitar/bass and Samm Bennett (Third Person & Chunk) on drums & sampler. This is their first release from 1985 and this is the first time it has been reissued on CD.
   One of the great things about this trio is that Samm Bennett was a unique sounding drummer providing interesting grooves on his drums as well as playing more odd grooves with his sampling drum pad. His grooves are central to the success of this trio. Both Ned on alto sax and Elliott on guitar/bass lock into that central groove and play those repeating patterns over and over. Mr. Bennett sounds like he is influenced by some Afro-beat music: the same sort of infectious, gleeful, festive and dance-oriented vibe which is part of Fela’s or King Sunny Ade’s own party-like thing. Each piece seems to have a slightly different theme or repeating groove. On “Small Business”, Mr. Bennett speeds up and slows down, allowing Sharp & Rothenberg to add their own interlocking lines or drop out when they feel like. While Bennett keeps a different groove going on each piece, both Sharp and Rothenberg add another layer of occasionally brutal solos on guitar and sax or bass clarinet. On “Split Shift’, Mr. Sharp’s distinctive guitar tapping and Mr. Rothenberg’s unique bent-note repeating sax lines are featured over Mr. Bennett’s slow, dark pounding groove. For “Vliet’s Van”, obviously inspired by Capt. Beefheart, Sharp plays some superb (Beefheart-like) slide guitar, with yet another infectious groove at the center. Mr. Rothenberg went on to organize his own Double Band with two saxes, two basses and two drummers. This sounds like where the idea for that band started. Considering that this album was released in 1985 (35 years ago), it does sound like the period in which it was created. Many Downtown bands (Material, Ambitious Lovers, Lounge Lizards & original Golden Palominos), did have some funky elements at their core, which allowed some of their audience to dance if they felt like it. This disc sounds much better or at least different than I remember. It was indeed a glorious time of ever-evolving bands appearing, disappearing and mutating into whatever came next, always full of surprises. So glad that this disc is back. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG        
CD $15

ELLIOTT SHARP // JACK WOMACK with QUEEN ESTHER / JEDADIAH SCHULTZ / RYAN QUINN / SONJA PERRYMAN / CY FORE - Binibon (Henceforth 110; USA) Featuring: Elliott Sharp, guitars, saxophones, bass, synthesizers, clarinets, percussion, drum and sample programming; libretto by Jack Womack. The Binibon was a cafe and 24-hour hangout on 2nd Avenue at 5th Street in the East Village, a nexus for artists, musicians, neighborhood characters and bohemians true and faux. It was a place in which I spent many an hour drinking bottomless cups of terrible coffee during 1979-81, meeting people, reading, hatching projects, observing, listening. Typical guests at the Binibon might include various No Wavers and Lounge Lizards; bebopper Jimmy Lovelace and free-jazz gypsy Don Cherry; Jean-Michel Basquiat; William Burroughs; Quentin Crisp; Kid Creole, Coatamundi, and Coconuts; Johnny Thunders; Keith Haring; Allen Ginsberg; Liquid Liquid; avant-garde filmmakers, actors and directors famous and non-. I was friendly with the all of the staff at Binibon and the events that unfolded affected me greatly. Jack Henry Abbott was a talented writer, as well as an imprisoned killer who became the protege of author Norman Mailer who helped sponsor his release into a halfway house on 3rd Street. He was well-known in the neighborhood and in the local press. I was in the Binibon that summer night in 1981 after a gig and left just as Abbott was entering with his entourage and found out about the murder a few hours later. This tragic event shocked us all and came at a time of transformation in the neighborhood, its culture, its daily life, its real-estate, and its future. Soon after, I began thinking about how I might tell the story of this event. This work is the result of over 20 years of memory and reflection. The song 'Irreversibility' was written that summer shortly after the murder. It seemed appropriate to include it within Binibon as it well reflected the mood of the 'hood at that time. I knew that Jack Womack was the perfect writer to translate this project into words and asked him to create a script in 2004. We first presented the work as a series of readings at the 2005 Howl Festival. It was presented again in this form at Roulette in 2007 which led to The Kitchen commissioning the work for a full theatrical presentation. I soon met Beth Morrison who was to become my producer and through her, Tea Alagic who became the stage director. I'm grateful to all of our collaborators and supporters who helped bring BINIBON to life. Listening just to the audio documentation of the performances led me to this manifestation of Binibon as a radio play.
CD $8

ZOOT SIMS with AL COHN / HANK MOBLEY / JOHN COLTRANE / BOB BROOKMEYER / ANNIE ROSS HARRY EDISON / RED GARLAND / MOSE ALLISON / FREDDIE GREENE / PAUL CHAMBERS / TEDDY KOTICK / ART TAYLOR  - The Rare Albums Collection (Enlightenment 9184; EEC) “Zoot Sims had an extraordinary recording career which began in the late 1940s and which continued until the mid-1980s, shortly before his death. This 4 CD collection features eight albums from his heyday, on which he performed as leader or co-leader, and which best illustrate Zoot's majestic approach to music and his quite stunning musicianship. Coming from the period 1953 - 1960, among its features are the finest albums Sims made with Al Cohn, the quite stunning Tenor Conclave, made with John Coltrane, Hank Mobley and Al Cohn, and - among several other masterpieces - A Gasser, made with vocalist Ann Ross. Certain to delight both newcomers to the great man's work, and those already smitten by this celebrated Jazz-man, this compilation works on just about every level and is certain to become one of the most popular compilations of Zoot Sims' finest music.”
4 CD Set $16


MISHA MENGELBERG - Pech Onderweg (ICP 58 NL; Netherlands) “The English translation of this album title is "trouble on the road," and this seems to be the theme of the first two performances on this collection of solo piano pieces. Superficially it may seem a bit too easy for a musician known for avant-garde playing to approach this subject. Whatever the trouble on the road might be, surely more than a few avant-garde clichés spring to mind for a musical equivalent. Yet there are no clichés in Misha Mengelberg's piano playing, other than his own, the main one of which is to stop playing and smoke a cigarette. Whatever image this attitude might create of a lax, uninvolved player would be forever dispelled by the first of the "Pech Onderweg" portraits, in which a totally concentrated Mengelberg unleashes a performance that seems to taunt the listeners with aspects of so many different kinds of piano music, at the same time carefully developing and filing each for later use, perhaps in this piece or perhaps in the next century. The second of these road hazard performances is more of the same, plus this time he skillfully weaves a boogie woogie theme in and out. This wets the appetite for "Wie Jeuk Heeft, Als Moet Men," something do with scratching and itching, in which the pianist comes up with a fascinating probe of jazz piano, particularly the Thelonious Monk style. The balance of the record continues with superior performances -- it can truly be said this pianist was on the case for this, unbelievably a live performance at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam. The "Suite Banana" on the second side is where this artist's perverse humor forms a lather around the keyboard, although he also hams it up on the "Raspodie Soliee Bref," expertly mixing in moments of sincere sentimentality. While fans of Mengelberg must enjoy the comic side of his talent, complete with extemporized percussion, mouth noises, and drunken-sounding singing, this time around there is also a sense of deep gratitude for such a solid, personal, and emotionally captivating performance having preceded it.” - Eugene Chadbourne, AllMusicGuide
LP $17

SAMARA LUBELSKI & MARCIA BASSETT - Morning Flare Symmetries (Feeding Tube Records 520; USA) "The fourth album that Samara Lubelski and Marcia Bassett have recorded as a duo -- the second for us, following 2017's Live NYC (FTR 302LP) -- is much less about drones than some of their previous work. Morning Flare Symmetries blares like a ram's horn blown as a call to angelic battle. Everyone has been unanimous in agreement that this improvising duo has achieved a new highpoint in the musical histories of both Samara and Marcia. They each have deep roots in the East Coast sub-underground, with a whole dang lot of band names between 'em, but in this configuration they just continue to get weirder and better on every outing. The string blend they manage to invent is a hugely psychedelic wave that washes over everything in its path. And when you're enveloped in its massive flow, you are hauled along by sonic forces that are way beyond your control. Some parts are soothing, others are eruptive, but they work a really amazing push-pull on your brain, so that the individual sections don't feel competitive so much as complimentary. Like thousands of tiny thumbs urging your spirit to free itself? Sure, why not? I absolutely encourage you to check out all of their albums. but this new one is a particular killer, so maybe you ought to start right here." --Byron Coley, 2020
LP $24

YOUTH MEETS JAH WOBBLE - Acid Punk Dub Apocalypse (Cadiz Music 184; UK) "Post-punk innovators, Jah Wobble and Youth have teamed up to release a new album Acid Punk Dub Apocalypse. Recorded over the last year by the former Public Image Ltd founder and renowned producer and Killing Joke bassist and features a host of special guests and collaborations. It's a truly inspired collection of tracks. The new long player also includes singers and players such as Rhiannon, Blue Pearl, Alabama 3's Aurora Dawn, Lara Smiles, broadcaster and author Vivien Goldman and The Orb's Alex Paterson."
LP $30



If you have a link, for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at Many of us are going stir crazy staying at home so if you want to inspire us and help us get through these difficult times, please show us what you got. I listed some these last week but have also a few more.



This is the section where I usually recommend upcoming concerts in the NYC area. As far as I can tell there are no upcoming shows anywhere around here, except perhaps on-line. All places I usually frequent are now closed for the foreseeable future. And everyone is worried about the near future, their health and their sanity for their friends and family. I am trying to come up with something inspirational to put out there but I am also very worried about myself, the store, all of the creative musicians that we need and support, as well as everyone else who has lost their jobs.  

 I have been at home at my old apartment in New Jersey, cleaning, reorganizing my collection, finding lots of doubles, listening to dozens of records, CD’s,cassettes and DVD’s. And working on my ongoing series of discographies and assorted music lists.

   Over the past month a number of musicians have been putting up some music on-line for anyone to check out. I know that many of us are going a bit stir crazy so it is time to do some soul searching and serious listening. Here is a list of some music links to check out:



who runs the New York Noise website and helps to promote creative music from hundreds of different musicians! At the beginning of April, Jessica convinced me not to go to the store and stay at home & work from there/here. Thanks to Jessica, Frank Meadows and Charmaine Lee, I have taken their advice seriously and I remain safe and alive (at home) while the store continues to do mail-order. Thanks Jessica, I do appreciate your tough love, this is what it takes sometimes to get the elder folks to break with their usual routine or habits and think more clearly about life.

This is from Jessica Hallock, please do check it out, there is so much to explore here and I know some of you are bored and need some inspiration/distraction:

Livestreams are obviously no replacement for live shows, but they're all the community we have right now––so experimental music calendar now provides links to livestreams (with artist / curator donation info); a roundup of local musicians' releases; COVID-19-related resources, including links to grants, petitions, & a local venue donation list; & an Instagram account (@NYC_Noise) promoting artists and releases. Please let me know about your livestreams &/or new records at



Every Week for the entirety of this pandemic/lockdown INGRID LAUBROCK & TIM RAINEY have been posting a new duo offering. I have listened to every one of these as they were sent out and am much impressed by the way this duo continues to evolve and work their way through many ideas. You can check out each one here:


This is from good friend DON WHITE from Texas and who goes to the FIMAV Fest every year:

Two Live Sets with Experimental Guitarist SANDY EWEN:

They Who Sound Special Delivery - Sandy Ewen, Houston, TX, 5/30/20:

Etched In The Eye with Sandy Ewen - Guitar, Objects, Danny Kamins - Alto and Baritone Saxes & Robert Pearson - Keyboards

Space HL, Houston, TX, 12/19/19:




A friend of mine named Mauro Stocco from Italy is co-producing a series of streaming sessions by the following musicians:




The EARLY GROUP is proud to present two unissued videos by Jon Rose, recorded specifically for this event. Due to some unavoidable bandwidth issues affecting the transmission from Australia, the videos were pre-recorded and will be streamed, instead of the live performance originally conceived.

The event will be broadcasted at two distinct times (8.30 pm for USA/Europe and 8.30 pm for Australia), to allow the audiences to follow at an acceptable daytime.
All the proceeds from this streaming session will go to the Artist. We look forward to meeting you!
Links to the Jon Rose sites:


This is from Kevin Reilly at Relative Pitch Records:

JAMES BRANDON LEWIS Live at The Spectrum, In Brooklyn:

Support your favorite artists on Friday through bandcamp.
They are waiving their revenue share.


THOMAS SAYERS ELLIS is the leader of the great Poetry/Music/Confrontation Band HEROES ARE GANG LEADERS a/k/a HAGL.

HAGL has a website that you should check out at:
for the latest intersection of music-minded words and word-minded music and while you are there also check out The Lokotown Reverb where classic overlooked Oral Literature, Studio Recordings and Live Performances are given a fresh look!

GIANTHOLOGY is a forum for writing not whining, aesthetics not agenda, ideas not issues, vision not victimhood, GIANTHOLOGY is edited by the members of Heroes Are Gang Leaders.
Send 2 to 4 unpublished works to  

Geoffrey Himes’s poetry has been published by December, the Delaware Poetry Review, Salt Lick, the Baltimore City Paper, the Loch Raven Review, the Bhubaneswar Review and other publications. He has co-written songs with Si Kahn, Walter Egan, Pete Kennedy, Billy Kemp, Fred Koller and others.  He has written about popular music and theater for the Washington Post, New York Times, Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, Paste, Downbeat and others since 1977. His book on Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the U.S.A.,” was published in 2005

The RUBIN MUSEUM Daily Offering: 

Check it out at:

Over the past few weeks, uncertainty has become a prominent part of everyday life. Although the unknown can be unsettling, we can find inspiration in the ways performing artists tap into impermanence to fuel their creativity.



Roulette TV: Nick Dunston

In early 2019, Roulette TV sat down with bassist and composer Nick Dunston ahead of the first concert of his year-long Van Lier Fellowship. In addition to the interview, this episode features live performance footage of Dunston's quintet Atlantic Extraction and the world premiere of The Floor is Lava! written for five double basses. Dunston also premiered La Operación—a multi-movement composition written for soprano voice, two alto saxophones, two double basses, and two percussionists—as part of his fellowship in the same year. Check out: Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229

Playlist: Excerpts from the Black Avant-Garde - Tracks by Tomeka Reid, Reggie Workman, Diedre Murray, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Henry Threadgill, William Parker, Matana Roberts from the Roulette concert archive. - Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229

Ridgewood Radio
The weekly stream on WFMU features concert recordings by Roscoe Mitchell & Francesco Filidei, John Oswald/Miguel Frasconi/Marvin Green, and Wadada Leo Smith’s Nyabinghi Arkeztra from 1991 at Roulette. Tune in: 1. Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229
2. Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229


ARTS FOR ART Presents:

Friday, June 19, 8pm Celebrating Juneteenth
Lee Mixashawn Rozie / Rick Rozie / Pheeroan akLaff

Lee Mixashawn Rozie's music celebrates the fusion of Afro-American and Indigenous music of the Americas, stretching from Bebop to Conga to Funk, Ragtime to no time, freely spanning styles and labels driven by the inner pulse of creativity that we call jazz. Juneteenth celebrates the official end of slavery in the U.S.  But we are still fighting the ongoing assault on Black Lives.

Mendoza / Drake / Lane / Nelson - Filmed June 14, 2019 at Roulette, Brooklyn

Ava Mendoza assembled this special ensemble with Hamid Drake, Adam Lane, and Matt Nelson for a one-off performance at Vision Festival 24.



are thrilled to announce the launch of the Live@NationalSawdust Digital Discovery Festival, a weekly program of free live performances, interviews, and artist development.
Check it out at:


From BOB DOWNES, amazing UK flutist, currently living in Germany:


My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs on each episode. Here is the link:


This is from British pianist ADRIAN NORTHOVER who is a member of the Runcible Quartet & Quintet and The Dinner Party, both with CD’s on FMR, reviewed here in recent months.

There is the London Improvisers Orchestra Bandcamp - we have been
releasing an online project each month in lieu of our regular live gigs.

Also the Horse Improvised Music Club Bandcamp - we have been posting up
recordings from the monthly club sessions.

The Horse Improvised Music Club
(based in Waterloo, London) is also doing live streams - The next
session is Weds 17th June 20.30 pm GMT.

On IKLECTIK YouTube channel:
On IKLECTIK Facebook page:

This session will feature:
Matilda Rolfsson (percussion SE), Ida Løvli Hidle (accordion) (NO).
Susanna Ferrar (violin),Pascal Marzan (guitar),Tracy Lisk (drums)(US).
The Bohman Brothers
Jonathan Bohman and Adam Bohman (voice,objects,cassette)
Emil Karlsen (drums)(NO)
Caroline Kraabel (alto sax) John Edwards (double bass). plus archive footage with Steve Beresford, Richard Sanderson and Jerome Poitier