"Please Mr. Postman"
This was a hit single for the Marvelettes in 1961
And covered by the Beatles and the Carpenters
(Wait) Oh yes, wait a minute, Mr. Postman
(Wait) Wai-hey-hey-hey-it, Mr. Postman
(Please, Mr. Postman, look and see) Whoa yeah
(Is there a letter in your bag for me?) Please, please, Mr. Po-oh-ostman
('Cause it's been a mighty long time) Whoa yeah
(Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine)
There must be some word today
From my boyfriend so far away
Please, Mr. Postman, look and see
Is there a letter, a letter for me?
I've been standin' here waitin', Mr. Postman
So so patiently
For just a card or just a letter
Sayin' he's returnin' home to me
Please, Mr. Postman
(Please, Mr. Postman, look and see) Whoa yeah
(Is there a letter in your bag for me?)
Please, please, Mr. Po-oh-oh-ostman
('Cause it's been a mighty long time) Whoa yeah
(Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine)
So many days, you've passed me by
You saw the tears standin' in my eye
You wouldn't stop to make me feel better
By leavin' me a card or a letter
Please, Mr. Postman, look and see
Is there a letter, oh yeah, in your bag for me?
You know it's been so long
Yeah, since I heard from this boyfriend of mine
You better wait a minute, wait a minute
(Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Whoa, you better wait a minute
Please, please, Mr. Postman (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Please check and see
Just one more time for me
You gotta wait a minute (wait), wait a minute (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Oh you better wait a minute, wait a minute
Please, Mr. Po-ostman (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Don't pass me by, you see the tears in my eyes
You better wait (Wait)
Wait a minute (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute
(Wait, wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Please Mr. Postman
I remember this song fondly when I was just a child, hearing it on AM radio and then hearing it again by the Beatles on television, probably in 1964. Were those simpler days? Perhaps. The US postal service is currently being threatened by our Fake Prez (if that term bothers you, just go back to your regular Fake (Fox) News propaganda station). We need the US Postal Service to help deliver all of the essential mail, letters from friends & family, prescription drugs, unemployment & social security checks, packages of things we need to help us get through life. I have been in contact with many friends, family members and customers at DMG, many of whom are having problems with the mail. Our local PO for the store is struggling but still getting and sending our packages where they are needed. Currently, DMG is waiting on packages from Poland, Lithuania, Japan, France, Italy, Portugal, Chicago & Mass. All are being slowed down or held up and we can’t even trace some of them. This is frustrating for all parties involved.
I have been thinking a great deal about how much we need our postal service to continue to serve us as we get through the current mess. I can remember getting the letters in my life that had special meaning to me: from Boyscout camp as a kid, a loveletter from my first girlfriend, my draft/lottery letter, that letter from three members of Henry Cow when I was at college in 1974 (we are still friends to this day!), loads of postcards from my travels in the US, England and Amsterdam and many more. Downtown Music Gallery is now doing mostly mail-order business and we need a healthy worldwide postal service in order to survive. PLEASE SUPPORT THE POSTAL SERVICE! We need them! DMG would like to give a shout out to Postman Steve, our friend and longtime postal service fellow. - Your friends at DMG, Bruce Lee, Frank M. & John M.
Check out this message from the US Veterans Administration:
RARE CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM OUR PAL CHRIS PITSIOKOS:
Second edition of the waterfront series I am doing in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Saturday AUGUST 15TH, 7pm
7pm: Chris Pitsiokos Solo alto saxophone
7:40pm; Tim Dahl (electric bass and voice) and Azumi Oe (Butoh Dance)
8:30pm: Lullady (aka Lele Dai) performs a new piece on various objects
Come enjoy this art, dance, and music on the beautiful Red Hook waterfront. The weather forecast looks great.
It is in the parking lot at the end of Pioneer Street in Brooklyn, across the street from Pioneer Works, and right next to the Red Hook Ferry. It's also at the juncture of Connover Street and Pioneer Street. Help spread the word!
The concert will of course be safely socially distanced--in fact we have someone volunteering who will help make sure everyone wears a mask and stays apart.
Two On-Line Concerts from GUITAR MASTER HENRY KAISER:
Earlier this week, my good pal, Henry Kaiser called and was excited about finding these two long lost concerts which features longtime Grateful Dead guitar, singer & songwriter, BOB WEIR plus other members of The Dead. Like Henry, I am also a longtime Grateful Dead fan, although I don’t consider myself to be a Dead Head since I think I have more discriminating, ever expansive taste in diverse Creative Music. These videos were just put up earlier today so I haven’t checked them out as of yet. I can’t wait to sip some saki later today and be swept away…
INTRO Number ONE:
December, 1979 is the month & year that I first caught John Zorn performing a duo with Fred Frith and soon thereafter another duo gig with Eugene Chadbourne. In 1980 I became aware of an underground scene that was based mostly in the East Village and heard: Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Elliott Sharp, Tom Cora, Charles Noyes, Mark E. Miller, Ned Rothenberg, Bob Ostertag, Bill Laswell, Phillip Johnston, William Parker, Daniel Carter, Arto Lindsay, Ikue Mori, Bobby Previte and many more. Forty years ago this year was the birth of what came to be known as the Downtown Scene. I had already been going to dozens of Loft Avant Jazz gigs throughout the seventies and catching many of my Avant/Jazz heroes, as well as members of progressive, new wave, No wave, funk, ethnic and bands/musicians beyond established categories. Over those forty years, I have watched this scene evolve, grow, mutate and constantly change due to the elder members of the scene and all other Creative Musicians who have become part of the scene by living here or even visiting and playing here throughout the many years. The Downtown Scene started with a few dozen little known musicians and artists and now includes hundreds of musicians worldwide who continue to create contemporary art to inspire and feed us through these dark times. A number of the original members of the Downtown Scene are still with us, still searching, still creating… You will see that their many of their names below in different reviews.
THE DMG NEWSLETTER STARTS OFF WITH THIS ESSENTIAL DOWNTOWN BOX-SET:
INTRO Number Two: I first met Kurt Ralske in line at a Fred Frith show around 1981 when Kurt was in High school. We met at many concerts during that era and became good friends. I was friendly with many local & Downtown musicians and had jam sessions at my parent’s house (in Linden, NJ) whenever they went on vacation. Turns out that Kurt played guitar and had organized a band called Dissipated Face from his hometown in Long Island, an odd combination of rock/punk/prog/noise/jazz/psych/reggae and they played my house on several occasions much to the consternation of my other older jazz snob musician buddies. Dissipated Face were immensely ambitious, playing as many types of music that could take work with and playing gigs anywhere & everywhere. I helped them to get gigs and they often made me proud! I had played rock drums in highschool and hand-percussion later so we all would jam as much as we could whenever we had the opportunity. Besides being a gifted guitarist, it turned out that Kurt was a gifted songwriter/studio man and signed to 4AD, who released 3 albums under the name of Ultra Vivid Scene. Great pop/psych albums, check them out. Oddly enough, after Ultra Vivid Scene folded, Kurt put away his guitar, got married, had kids and has taught video at several colleges through the years. A few years ago, Dissipated Face founder, Steve “X Dream” Popkin, reunited the trio in order to play some shows. DF have played here at DMG a half dozen times since then with Mr. Ralske, Mr. Popkin, Daniel Carter, Bill Milkowski and Will Dahl. These are all improv shows and I am happy to have them here. Kurt has since switched to cornet & soprano sax. Both Kurt and Daniel Carter have also played with yours truly in my old improv unit called Suburban Bohemia, who play around once a decade and are members of Todd Capp’s Mystery Train. Kurt has decided to put together an ambitious 4 CD box-set documenting four of these related units. Check out the listing below…
TODD CAPP / DANIEL CARTER / KURT RALSKE / CHE CHEN / ANDY HAAS / LELE DAI / FRANK MEADOWS / TALICE LEE / BARRY WEISBLAT / ANDREW LAFKAS / AUSTIN COVELL - Todd Capp’s Mystery Train / Ekstere Daniel Carter / Treatise on the Fragility of Knowledge (Noncept Records CD 105/106/107/108; USA) Collective personnel includes Kurt Ralske on soprano sax & cornet, Daniel Carter on reeds & trumpet, Lele Dai on lap steel & theremin, Talice Lee on violin & voice, Andy Haas, Barry Weisblat & Austin Covell on electronics, Frank Meadows, Che Chen & Andrew Lafkas on bass and Todd Capp on drums.
Both Todd Capp and Daniel Carter were members of the Loft Jazz Scene in NYC during the late 1970’s and have been playing together ever since. Saxist Andy Haas moved to NY in the mid 1980’s, becoming friends with John Zorn & Louie Belogenis and later working with Radio I-Ching and Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood. Kurt Ralske used to play guitar with Dissipated Face in the 1980’s and formed Ultra Vivid Scene in the 90’s. You might recognize other members here from disparate backgrounds: Che Chen from 75 Dollar Bill, Andrew Lafkas who worked with Bill Dixon and Frank Meadows who works here at DMG and who is also a member of Library of Babel. Each of these four discs was recorded over the past three years with slightly different personnel, the only constant is Kurt Ralske, who also did the recording & mixing. CD 105 features Daniel Carter with Ekstere: Talice Lee on violin, Kurt Ralske on soprano sax, Che Chen on bass and Todd Capp on drums. There is a lovely, spacious, cerebral vibe going on here. It feels as if we are floating in space without any gravity to hold us down, moving like ghosts in slow motion. There is a cosmic drone at the center of this sound, created by the violin, reeds and trumpet, it expands and contracts similar to the way we breathe.
Todd Capp’s Mystery Train has been together for several years, the personnel changes slowly with Daniel Carter and/or Kurt Ralske amongst the ongoing line-ups. Daniel Carter has had some health issues over the past few months and had a knee operation not too long ago. Hence he is not on the discs here called, ‘Zok! (CD 108). The personnel here features Kurt Ralske on soprano sax & flute, Lele Dai (rhymes with lullabye) on lap steel & theremin, Frank Meadows (DMG manager) on bass and Todd Capp on drums. Both newer members, Ms. Dai and Mr. Meadows have been playing with Mystery Train for the past year, with some sets taking place here at DMG. I’ve caught Lele Dai on several occasions and her reputation as a gifted improviser continues to grow. On this disc, both Ms. Dai & Mr. Ralske, work well together, spinning layers of lines together while the rhythm also spins a tight web, a dense rhythmic cushion underneath. Over more than four decades, Todd Capp, once a part of the sprawling Loft Jazz Scene, has continued to evolve, once playing some heated free jazz and now still being free while playing with other improvisers who come from diverse backgrounds, often choosing to work with younger electronic pioneers. Mr. Dai is the wild card here, carefully placing ghost-like fragments in the mix from her lap steel or theremin, both instruments rarely found in free/jazz combos. Another cosmic date from the ever-evolving Mystery Train. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
4 CD Set $20
NOSTALGIA 77 Featuring KEITH & JULIE TIPPETT / GARY BOYLE / MARK HANSLIP / FULVIO SIGURTA / RIAAN VOSLOO / ADAM SORENSEN - Nostalgia 77 Sessions Featuring Keith & Julie Tippett (TruThoughts 183; UK) Featuring Keith Tippett on piano with blocks & stones, Julie Tippett on voice & bowl, Gary Boyle on guitar, Mark Hanslip on tenor sax, Fulvio Sigurta on trumpet & flugelhorn, Riaan Vosloo on double bass and Adam Sorensen on drums.
'Nostalgia 77 Sessions Featuring Keith & Julie Tippett' sees prodigious producer Nostalgia 77 and close contemporary Riaan Vosloo (Nostalgia 77 Octet, Twelves Trio) collaborating with legendary British exponents of avant-garde contemporary music, Keith and Julie Tippett. The result of this intriguing and fruitful marriage of youth and experience is an arrestingly beautiful album of fresh, original material that spans blues, jazz and soul and is threaded through with experimental flourishes that defy categorisation.
Benedic Lamdin (Nostalgia 77) is making a name for himself as one of the most talented producers of modern jazz music around, both as a solo artist and with his Nostalgia 77 Octet. Having won Jazz Album of the Year and the John Peel Play More Jazz Award at the BBC Worldwide Awards, he counts Gilles Peterson and Laurent Garnier among his most ardent fans. Earlier this year, he produced the debut solo album of rising chanteuse and Tru Thoughts label-mate Lizzy Parks.
Lamdin's introduction to Keith and Julie Tippett's music was a dusty copy of their 1971 'Septober Energy' LP (written for the 50-strong band Centipede), and the sheer wealth and freedom of creative endeavor enjoyed by that pioneering group of musicians resonated strongly with him. The Tippetts' oeuvre spans more than four decades at the forefront of musical creativity: Julie (formerly Julie Driscoll) was the voice of Brian Auger's r'n'b group in the '60s, also releasing a host of solo hits that walked the line between soul and r'n'b, while Keith was the pianist at Ronnie Scott's and led his own acclaimed free jazz groups. Their work together includes such ensembles as Mujician and Centipede, and has seen them release records on Polygram and RCA among other world renowned labels. As one of the foremost European vocalists in the field of contemporary jazz and improvised music, Julie is widely regarded for her use of the voice as an instrument, unlocking a versatility and range that is quite unique.
Currently, both Keith and Julie Tippett are committed to sharing their passion and experience with an emerging generation of musicians through educational projects; it was on one such teaching initiative that Riaan Vosloo found himself working with Keith and the seed that grew into the 'Nostalgia 77 Sessions' project was sown. Recorded in a remote location in rural Wales, the album finds the common ground between these four exceptional musicians. The double A side 7" single, "Film Blues" // "Rainclouds" (out 15th December 2008) has picked up early radio support on such diverse stations as BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Barcelona's Scanner FM. Edgy harmonies and richly layered vocals with powerfully reflective lyrics, and a continually building backdrop of instruments, make for a deeply bluesy vibe imbued with the spirit and flow of free jazz. Elsewhere on the album, you'll find electrifying percussion and a luxurious tenor sax sound that shines in tantalising extended solos, then melts back in with the richness and depth of Julie Tippett's beguiling voice. The closing track, "New Inner City Blues" is a lament for our times and encapsulates the combination of pedigree and modernity at work on this record."
OKUDEN with MAT WALERIAN / MATTHEW SHIPP / WILLIAM PARKER / HAMID DRAKE - Every Dog Has Its day But It Doesn’t Matter Because Fat Cat is Getting Fatter (ESP-Disk 5037; USA) Featuring Mat Walerian on alto sax, bass & soprano clarinets & flute, Matt Shipp on piano, William Parker on double bass & shakuhachi and Hamid Drake on drums & percussion. This is the fifth disc that Polish reeds wiz, Mat Walerian, has been involved with for the ESP-Disk label. Starting with a duo with Matt Shipp, then a trio with Mr. Shipp & Mr. Drake, another trio with Shipp & Mr. Parker and then a quartet date with Shipp, Walerian, Michael Bisio and Whit Dickey. Aside from being a formidable reeds player and playing mostly all improvised sessions on these previous discs, Mr. Walerian decided to write out some charts for this ambitious two CD set. The opening piece, “The Forest Council” starts off with cerebral solo bass and soon adds some haunting clarinet, terse, minimal piano and hushed, distant drums. This long piece has a sublime, trance-like vibe. “Thelonious Forever” does have a Monk-like theme although the quartet play it ultra-subtle restraint which slowly builds in intensity and tempo, leading to an impressive slow burning alto solo from Mr. Walerian. “Magic World” is a three part suite which is nearly 40 minutes long. This long piece also starts off most celebrally and is spacious, with mesmerizing bass clarinet stirring up the depths as the quartet softly soars together. The quartet has grown together over time and now have their own group sound. I am indeed most impressed and have been enjoying sailing and soaring along with them. Join the adventure today! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $14
SAINKO NAMTCHYLAK / NED ROTHENBERG / DIEB13 - Antiphonen (KlangGalerie 339; Germany) Featuring Sainko Namtchylak on vocals, Ned Rothenberg on alto sax, clarinet & shakuhachi and Dieb13 on turntables. On the many experimental vocalists, both past & present (Joan LaBarbara, Phil Minton, Diamonda Galas, David Moss, Julie Tippett, etc.), Tuvan-born vocalist, Sainko Namtchlylak, may be the most extreme or perhaps, far out there! I’ve caught Ms. Namtchylak with a number of great improvisers: Evan Parker, William Parker, Hamid Drake & Ned Rothenberg, she always seems to be up to the task of jumping into the action and pushing it out there. For this trio offering Sainko is joined by longtime collaborator Ned Rothenberg on reeds and Dieb13 on turntables. I’ve known reeds wiz, Ned Rothenberg, for forty years now, ever since hearing him with Fall Mountain in 1981 at Studio Henry, as well as one of my earliest solo sax sets and duos with John Zorn. Check out the recently reissued Semantics CD (w/ E Sharp & Samm Bennett) or Ned’s Double Band (w/ Thomas Chapin), for some of his early great projects. Turntablist, Dieb13, has worked with Mats Gustafsson, John Butcher, Efzeg & Burkhard Stangl.
This disc was recorded live at the Music Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria in November of 2019. Mr. Rothenberg is a master of solo reeds which often incorporate circular breathing and extended techniques of multiphonics. The opening track begins with Rothenberg playing a repeated pattern on clarinet, while Ms. Namtchylak creates strange sounds with her voice, digging deep into the depths of invented language/odd sounds. Dieb13’s equally effective turntable/recorded sounds are carefully manipulated and weave their way around the reeds & vocal tapestry. As strange as Ms. Namtchylak’s vocals are, she often adds a more fragile yet probing human element to this mesmerizing collage. Things move into darker, more disorienting waters soon enough as Sainko starts to stretch her voice further out while Ned adds a more familiar sound on clarinet, the balance has gone the other way. Dieb13 is the wildcard here since we can often (but not always) recognize the sounds of Sainko and Ned, while Died13 inserts selective sounds which are often altered in odd ways. What amazes me about this disc is how well these three musicians work together as one combined force. Each is integral to the group sound. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FRANCOIS HOULE 4 with GORDON GRDINA / MARK HELIAS / GERRY HEMINGWAY - Recorder (Songlines 1632; Canada) Featuring Francois Houle on clarinet, Gordon Grdina on guitar, Mark Helias on contrabass & clarinet and Gerry Hemingway on drums. It has been a couple of years since we’ve heard from Vancouver-based clarinetist, Francois Houle. This is the 5th time that Mr. Houle have recorded together with another Vancouver musician: Gordon Grdina plus both are/were members of Mr. Grdina’s Box Cutter band. The difference here is that this is the first time that Houle and Grdina together are using an American rhythm team, although Grdina has long worked with a number of Downtown players in the past: Helias, Matt Shipp and Hank Roberts. Mr. Grdina has worked with Mr. Helias several times previous, while Helias and Mr. Hemingway have been members of BassDrumBone for some 40 plus years.
A great deal of thought went into the creation of this music for this disc. This seemed very much apparent the first time I heard this disc earlier this week. I have had a longtime fascination with clarinet players and I especially like those who transcend categories and come up with new challenges for each recording or project. Francois Houle has long been at the top of that list. After a short double clarinet into, the quartet takes off on “The Black Bird”, a quick, tight, intricate, clarinet & guitar themed feature with equally impressive rhythm team support. There are six short interludes between each longer piece here which are often more somber and reflective. Each of the longer pieces involves a different challenge or structure. On “Big Time Felter”, the clarinet & guitar play a quirky opening theme and then give master-bassist, Mark Helias, a chance to stretch out a bit. When the quartet come back together midway, they play a complex written passage together. What this reminds me of most is John McLaughlin’s ‘Extrapolation’ album (rec in 1968), one of many favorite jazz albums of all time. The often under-recognized guitarist, Gordon Grdina, is in especially fine form here and shines throughout this entire disc. The eight interludes (including pre & post) turn this disc into a suite-like offering, which works quite well overall. On a few of the interludes, Mr. Helias also adds clarinet, playing a line or drone while Mr. Houle interweaves his parts on top. Very cool. On the title track, the quartet getting some darker, more turgid waters when Mr. Grdina adds a bit of distortion for sporadically while Mr. Houle plays these difficult lines interwoven nicely throughout. Every week we get upwards of a dozen new CD’s to review and promote. And every week we get at least one disc that is extraordinary, this is that disc this week! -Bruce Lee Gallanter,DMG CD $15
BLOODMIST with JEREMIAH CYMERMAN / MARIO DIAZ DE LEON / TOBY DRIVER - Phos (5049 Records; USA) Bloodmist features Jeremiah Cymerman on clarinets, pedals, Soma Lab Lyra-8 & Moog Mother 32 (synthesizers, I assume), Mario Diaz De Leon on Ciat-Lonbarde Tetrazzi (analog oscillator device found here: https://ciat-lonbarde.net/tetrazzi/index.html) & drum machine and Toby Driver on Sorretino 5-string electric & fretless 4 string basses. Although Bloodmist have been around for a decade or so, this is only their second disc, their first was released in 2016. What they have in common is this: each member of the trio has recorded for the Tzadik label and each one has several solo or composer projects, as well as assorted collaborations. All three are also sonic manipulators who work hard at crafting their sounds. On the first track, there is an ominous drone humming deeply in the center, with eerie, percussive, floating sounds drifting in and out. The overall sound is one of dark, spooky ambiance. There are a number of electronic sounds which are used sparsely and carefully, bent or manipulated sounds on the clarinet, subtle drum machine fragments and selective use of soft feedback. You must listen closely to this disc, since things seem to happen on an ultra subtle-level at times plus there is more going than some of the dense would have us think. The name of this band, Bloodmist, seems appropriate, since I get a similar feeling of uneasiness or disorientation while listening and the title of the disc, ‘Phos’ refers to “the light”. Which light? Perhaps, the one that is at the end of the tunnel that we are all waiting for. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JON HASSELL with RICK COX / EIVIND AARSET / MICHEL REDOLFI / HUGH MARSH / JAN BANG / JOHN VON SEGGERN / ADAM RUDOLPH / PETER FREEDMAN / et al - Seeing Through Sound - Pentimento Volume Two (Ndeya 7: EEC) “Jon Hassell returned from a nine-year absence with 2018’s Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume One), an album of cracked electronics and flinty miniatures. While he had always operated at the fringes of experimental, world, and jazz music, in his time away, artists like Destroyer, Oneohtrix Point Never, Visible Cloaks, Sam Gendel, and others had brought his sensibilities toward more popular acceptance. Leaning into familiar ideas while also forging ahead, Seeing Through Sound (Pentimento Volume Two) is the far warmer of the two works, despite titles that allude to Iceland and Saturn’s frozen moons. In its most mesmerizing moments, Hassell slips into memoirist mode, allowing old tropes from his past to flicker back to life.
The telltale drums on “Moons of Titan”—like a distant rainstorm, yet interior as a pulse—will be familiar to fans of Hassell’s early ’80s work like Dream Theory in Malaya, as will the high trilling of his horn between them. But there’s more space for an ethereal electronic haze to rise, making it feel even more dreamlike. “Delicado” and its skipping CD rhythm are closest in texture to Volume One, full of neo-noir ambience shot through with Hassell’s lyricism, cool yet unpredictable, a Chet Baker hologram on the fritz.
On the longer tracks that bookend the set, Hassell works with a wider canvas to immersive effect. The eight-minute “Fearless” lies somewhere between Oval’s Systemisch and Miles Davis’ “He Loved Him Madly.” A quintet piece featuring violin, electric guitars, and bass clarinet (though you’d be hard pressed to identify each liquified element), it allows Hassell plenty of space to growl and wax elegiac as the music ever so slowly dissolves. On “Lunar,” each element warps around Hassell’s horn and harmonizer, creating a sound that feels both triumphant and nauseous, as if flag-planting on a distant planet just as your oxygen runs out.
“Timeless,” another eight-minute composition, originally appeared on the Dreamy Harbor compilation for Berlin’s Tresor, where Hassell was slotted alongside techno luminaries like Terrence Dixon, Juan Atkins, and Moritz von Oswald. Gently reworked here with additional percussion from Adam Rudolph, quivering strings, and glissades of piano, the piece bubbles and flutters, neither rising nor increasing in intensity, but growing more exquisite as it goes along. Back in April, Brian Eno started a GoFundMe for Hassell, who as a cancer survivor is at high risk of severe COVID-19 infection. Hassell is now out of intensive care, but he’s still well short of his fundraising goal, and one wonders how much more music lies ahead for the octogenarian artist. In that light, the fittingly titled “Timeless” takes on additional resonance as a portrait of the master musician, unbowed and still considering every expressive breath.” - Andy Beta, Pitchfork.com
SONAR with DAVID TORN - Tranceportation [Volume 2] (Rare Noise Records 114; Earth) “In 2018 avant-garde guitarist David Torn fell in with some good company, the Swiss group Sonar, founded by guitarist Stephan Thelen. The result was Vortex (RareNoiseRecords), featuring Torn, who, in his words, contributed: "Textural events that can sometimes go on for minutes...and then the solo voice becomes almost like the cherry on top."
Sonar is a two tritone guitar, tritone bass and drums quartet. Torn makes it three guitars. Their music, like that of Thelen and company's Swiss compatriot, pianist Nik Bärtsch, is a meticulous rhythmic machine—crisp, crunchy chords and insistent beats, a tension / release dynamic heavy on the tension side of the equation. Almost robotic sounds.
Torn and Sonar followed up Vortex with Tranceportation (Volume 1) (RareNoiseRecords, 2019), and now offer up Tranceportation (Volume 2), recorded at the same sessions as its predecessor. Where Torn's contributions to Vortex were in-the-moment reactions to the music he was hearing—he was originally brought in as a producer, became transfixed by what he heard and decided to add his instrumental artisty to the mix. But the music for the two Transportation sets was composed and arranged with Torn's guitar and live looping magic in mind from the get-go.
The success of this music can be attributed, in part, to the different musical approaches of Torn and Sonar, where Sonar's style can be likened to the precision electro-mechanisms of a space station, while Torn's sounds are like the asymmetrical washes and wavelengths of a solar wind reflected earthward off of the clouds about Mercury.
Tranceportation (Volume 2) is a hypnotic groove fest, twenty-second century cyborg dance music for those enhanced organisms manning that space station. Sonar's Stephan Thelan recommends a comfortable chair and earphones for the listening experience, but it sounds just fine coming in through the recycled atmosphere.” - Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz
MAX NAGL - ≥:≤ (Rude Noise 28/2019; Austria) Featuring Max Nagl on saxes, clarinet, sampler, synth, percussion, kalimba, autoharp, balaphon, etc., plus Max Nagl, Jr. on piano, guitar, bass & beats (3 tracks). Austrian alto saxist, Max Nagl, has been recording for more than 20 years, once lived in NY & had a Downtown quartet known as Big Four and runs his own Rude Noises label, which have 28 titles as of now. Although Mr. Nagl usually records with other Austrian musicians, he has released a couple of other solo discs. The main thing I like about Mr. Nagl is this: every project or band he organizes is quite different, hence we never know what direction he will take. This disc starts of- with what sounds like ancient, new-wavish synth, soft drum machine beats and distant (sampled?) spoken words. What this reminds me of is an early Eno-esque charm, child-like or Penguin Cafe Orchestra at times with selective seasoning from background noise guitar or occasional sax spurts. This disc seems to deal with creating moods, some quirky, some cheerful, some not so much. In some ways, this also reminds me of the childlike charm of the Young Marble Giants, who used just a plain voice, simple el. bass and somewhat cheesy organ to create their own simple yet graceful world. Nagl uses a melodica at times, an instrument which never gets written about, yet it is often used in tasty, creative ways. A soundtrack for a short fairy tale? Perhaps. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
UZ JSME DOMA - Moravian Meeting (KlangGalerie 338; Austria) "The show on this album was performed in Olomouc, Czech Republic, at the Moravian Theatre, in the year 2010. The Ceasar gallery organized a retrospective exhibition called 'The Residents Residence' in Olomouc. The exhibition contained art, constumes, masks and other artifacts of The Residents and Uz Jsme Doma were asked if they could create their own versions of The Residents' songs, and play them to support the exhibition. As Randy, the Residents' singer, was invited for the opening and staying in Olomouc for a couple of days, it was a good opportunity to have him on one stage with Uz Jsme Doma. 13 songs were chosen, partly by Miroslav Wanek and partly by Randy. Miroslav turned the original arrangements into the UJD sound with full respect to The Residents style and mood. He was able to use his own experience with this kind of work - in 1981, during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, he discovered recordings of The Residents and covered them with the punk band he was then involved with. The Residents are an American art collective best known for their avant-garde music and multimedia works. Since their first official release, Meet the Residents in 1974, the group has released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, three CD-ROM projects, and ten DVDs. They have undertaken seven major world tours and scored multiple films. Uz Jsme Doma are a progressive rock band from Prague, Czech Republic, who originally formed in the Czech border town Teplice in 1985. Cited musical influences include The Residents, The Damned, Pere Ubu, and the Rock in Opposition movement. The band has released seven studio albums, two live albums, a best-of package and a DVD containing live footage and a documentary film about the history of the band, which discusses its artistic significance and chronicles its dozens of lineup changes in its long career."
DANIEL SCHMIDT - Abies Firma (Recital 070; USA) “The second album by the American Gamelan composer and instrument builder, Daniel Schmidt, following In My Arms, Many Flowers (R 017CD), his majestic debut on Recital. Abies Firma lies next chronologically, collecting works from 1976 to 1991, considered the second phase of his compositional form. "We were like children playing with new toys," Daniel recalls of the early days of American Gamelan music. "Though, as we moved into the 1980s, I moved away from Javanese traditional formalism completely, no longer using a constant stream of notes." Daniel became a father twice over in the early '80s, transforming his compositional voice, finding himself open to new affects. Notably, the Sierra fir species, 'abies firma' -- "These trees gave me a sense of rising and rising, all their branches reaching toward sun and sky. Looking at them across open spaces, I felt myself part of their upward striving. The tall mountain trees became rising themes and arpeggios, sometimes even sweeping across the six octaves of the gamelan." This album holds a variety of recordings including an especially immersive tape-delay piece for the rebab, a bowed Javanese instrument. A sort of Eastern Frippertronics weaving the stereo field. Another standout is a semi-improvised flute and gamelan work, ebbing in slowly like a night's wind. "Accumulation" and "Abies Magnifica", the spirited opening pieces, exemplify the precision and dexterity of Daniel's group, The Berkeley Gamelan, who at this time were constantly performing around North America. Two pieces on the album were co-composed by Schmidt and the late Lou Harrison, who helped conceive of the American style of gamelan and enjoyed a similarly long and varied musical career. "Unempins to Sociseknum" is based on arranging Harrison's social security number against Schmidt's unemployment insurance number. A window into the cooperative spirit and experimentation of the late 70s. LP comes with a CD including the additional piece "One White Crow," a three-part tapestry of melodic fragments which epitomizes the second phase of Schmidt's composing; a divergence from both Javanese and European music. Daniel states, "William James once said that one white crow would suffice to overturn science's assertion that all crows are black. I felt myself to be 'one white crow' amidst the prominent, established musical styles." Includes 20-page booklet holding program notes, scores, and a new essay on American Gamelan by Jay Arms. Includes bonus track "Cypress", recorded in 1987.”
OPENING PERFORMANCE ORCHESTRA - Radio Music Extended (Based on John Cage's Radio Music)(Sub Rosa SR 496; Belgium) “The composition Radio Music Extended, performed by Opening Performance Orchestra, draws upon the concept John Cage brought to bear in his piece Radio Music from 1956. In collaboration with the Tesla Museum in Trest, whose collections include unique exhibits of radio electronic and audio-visual devices, the 72-minute piece Radio Music Extended came into being during a private live performance in July 2018. The seven members of Opening Performance Orchestra and two alternating guests operated 13 historical radio sets, dating from between 1935 and 1961. Over the past 60 years or so, the content of the broadcast band of the airwaves has significantly changed, yet the acoustic environment has remained highly variegated, providing a novel quality of sound. Used radios at eight workstations for the performers: Empo Radio, Major 413 (1940) Tesla Jalta 28063 'T61' (1961) Bezdra Special 47 (1947) Philips 450 A-14 (1938) Tesla 420U (1956) Iron Brno, Penta (1941) Blaupunkt Ideal Radio, S6640 (1940) Microphona MK304 (1935/36) Philips BA21 1U Grandezza (1954) Tesla 306U Talisman (1954) Tesla 406U Vlatva (1952) Resla Copélia 1107A (1961) Resla 409U (1954).”
SITI MUHARAM - Siti Of Unguja (On the Corner Records 005; UK) “Siti Of Unguja tells the story of pioneering women, of the "golden voice" of Siti Muharam, heiress to the singular legacy of her great grandmother, the mother of taarab, Siti Binti Saad. On The Corner Records teases this first taste of a landmark recording that the label embarked upon two years ago on Zanzibar. Siti Of Unguja has a transformative atmosphere, brimming with romance, passion and protest. Zanzibar is an island archipelago that lies six degrees south of the equator and 30 miles off the East African coast out in the Indian Ocean. It is known for its spices, traditional Dhow sailing boats, and being a mercantile trading capital of Swahili culture. The modern history of Zanzibar can be animated through the life and legacy of one artist, Siti Binti Saad. Born in 1890 in the small fishing village of Fumba, on Unguja (Zanzibar's largest island), she became the first Zanzibari recording artist and her recordings sold in tens of thousands across the Swahili world. The tracks recorded for Siti Of Unguja demonstrate Siti Binti Saad's eclectic influence on Zanzibari taarab and her great granddaughter, Siti Muharam imbues the compositions with feeling. Siti Muharam's golden voice carries the poetry and invents a timeless passion. It is Muharam's deep humility and love that brings the spirit of these two women together. With Sam Jones at the controls, taarab's conservative layers were opened up and given more than a little wiggle room. Under the direction of Matona, the recording of this album paid homage to Siti Binti Saad's innovations by bringing back the percussive Kidumbak style of music that originated on the streets of Zanzibar. By stripping back the typically dense string section of taarab a space was created for Muharam's beguiling timbre that is gilded with emotion. Liner notes by Pete OnTheCorner.”
ASHER GAMEDZE - Dialectic Soul (On the Corner Records 009; UK) “On The Corner Records announce the release of Dialectic Soul, the debut album from one of Cape Town's most cutting-edge, visionary artists and musicians, the drummer Asher Gamedze. This is jazz at its most spiritual, most progressive, and most appealing form. As Asher himself says: "Dialectic Soul is about motion and a refusal to remain static or stay still. It's the commitment to be continually moving." Recorded live over two days at the Sound and Motion Studios in Cape Town with renowned musicians -- Thembinkosi Mavimbela (bass), Buddy Wells (tenor sax), Robin Fassie-Kock (trumpet), Nono Nkoane (voc) -- Dialectic Soul is breathtaking in its musical vitality and expression of soul seeking truth. By incorporating the concept of the total art for this project, it fits perfectly within On The Corner's aesthetic of music, art and vision for creative innovation. Label art director Victoria Topping created the sleeve design working with Asher's drawings and concept. Asher continues: "My composition 'state of emergence' introduces the themes that constitute the album; free drums representing autonomous African motion, the saxophone reflecting deeply and honestly on the violence of colonialism, the teachings of Coltrane, Steve Biko, Makeba, and Malcolm X and others inspired the music's positive manifestations of resistance. Fundamentally, it is about the reclamation of the historical imperative. It is about the dialect of the soul and the spirit while it moves through history. The soul is dialectic. Motion is imperative. We keep moving." Gamedze is best known for his work with Angel Bat Dawit on International Anthem.”
EIGHT ROUNDS RAPID - Love Your Work (Tapete Records 467; Germany) “Southend stalwarts Eight Rounds Rapid release their third album Love Your Work on German label Tapete Records. Rooted in the infamous Canvey Island R'n'B tradition, Eight Rounds Rapid channel the fervor of Dr Feelgood, Wire, Gang of Four, and Public Image Limited with their gritty tales of the Essex underworld. The band's debut album (2014) gained excellent reviews from the likes of Uncut, who called it "edgy, drugged-up thug punk." Mojo gave the band a 4-star review and Classic Rock said the album is a "welcome blast of no-frills, bullshit-free excitement." Eight Rounds Rapid supported Wilko Johnson on two major UK tours, and have had airplay from BBC DJs Mark Radcliffe, Gary Crowley, Gideon Coe, and Steve Lamacq. Second album Objet D'Art (2017) also received critical acclaim. Mojo praised it's "high octane rebelliousness and cheeky wit" and guitarist Simon Johnson's "trashy, thrashy guitar, a cacophonous hybrid of his dad Wilko, Johnny Thunders and early Pete Townsend". The band's songs are rooted in traditional rhythm and blues, but impulsive guitar from Simon Johnson (Wilko's son) and acerbic delivery from singer David Alexander make the act sound like John Cooper Clarke and Mark E Smith fighting in a Southend bus depot. The line-up also features Jules Cooper (bass) and Lee Watkins (drums). Recorded under the specter of a global pandemic, Love Your Work reflects feelings of confusion, angst and isolation -- all delivered with singer David Alexander's trademark sneering dry wit. The customary low life and underground subjects are still the only language they know, but this album is as much a commentary on contemporary music confronting modernity as it is a collection of musical compositions. The new album grapples with the folly of nostalgia while singles "Love Don't", "Tricks", and "Eating" ramp up the energy levels. Violent low lives and losers populate the songs as usual, but David Alexander now draws himself closer into view, with "Aging Athlete", a metaphor for a musician searching for legitimacy in a dull landscape. Music as duty. Love your work.”
HISTORIC & ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS:
CHARLIE PARKER with DIZZY GILLESPIE / MILES DAVIS / HOWARD McGHEE / LUCKY THOMPSON / WARDELL GRAY / JJ JOHNSON / BUD POWELL / DODO MARMAROSA / ERROLL GARNER / DUKE JORDAN / MAX ROACH / et al - The Birth of Bebop - Celebrating Bird at 100 - The DIAL Recordings (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1111; Switzerland) This is the first of two volumes featuring the legendary Charlie “Bird” Parker, alto saxist extroardinaire, composer and co-founder of the modern jazz stream known as “bebop”. When World War II ended in 1945, the age of the Big Bands, that my parents danced to also came to an end. At the same time, musicians like Bird, Dizzy ‘Diz’ Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, created a revolution with a new style of music, as well as influencing clothing, slang and other art forms, breaking away from the past. Instead of dancing to big bands, bebop groups had their listeners spellbound and seated at tables. I went through a period in the mid-to-late seventies when I listened to as much bebop as I could and bought dozens of albums by Bird, Diz, Monk, Miles Davies and the many musicians who played this music and were influenced by it. This disc features the Dial (label) sessions from 1946 & 1947, six different sessions with evolving personnel. The two most constant members were Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, with the first half of this long disc recorded in Hollywood, CA, when Bird was visiting there, getting busted for drugs and spending six months at Camarillo State Hospital. This collection has some 24 tracks and is 72 minutes long. Most of these are studio recordings so the sound is also mostly superb, unlike some of those live, bootleg records that were too plentiful. I am listening to this disc for the third or fourth time this week and it still sounds fresh and inspiring more than 70 years after it was recorded. Hatology has done a great job of putting this collection together. If you have heard any or enough great bebop in your life, this disc and Volume 2 are the perfect place to start. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CHARLIE PARKER with DIZZY GILLESPIE / MILES DAVIS / BUD POWELL / DUKE JORDAN / JOHN LEWIS / CURLEY RUSSELL / TOMMY POTTER / MAX ROACH / - The Birth of Bebop - Celebrating Bird at 100 - The Savoy Recordings (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1112; Switzerland)
MASAYUKI TAKAYANAGI NEW DIRECTION UNIT with KENJI MORI / NOBUYOSHI INO / HIROSHI YAMAZAKI - April is the Cruelest Month (Blank Forms 008; USA) Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a maverick Japanese guitarist, a revolutionary spirit whose oeuvre embodied the radical political movements of late '60s Japan. Having cut his teeth as an accomplished Lennie Tristano disciple playing cool jazz in the late '50s, Takayanagi had his mind blown by the Chicago Transit Authority's "free form guitar" in 1969 and promptly turned his back on the jazz scene by which he was beloved. Takayanagi had found a new direction, an annihilation of jazz and its associated idolatry of hegemonic American culture. Aiming his virtuoso chops towards the stratosphere, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the art of the freakout, laying waste to tradition left and right, most notably via the all-out assault of his aptly-named New Direction For The Arts (later, New Direction Unit) and collaborations with like-minded outsider saxophonist Kaoru Abe. His innovations on the instrument parallel those of Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey and paved the way for the Japanese necromancy of Keiji Haino and Otomo Yoshihide, but even at its most limitless hurdling Takayanagi's playing is propelled by the dexterous grasp of his foundations, to which he paid tribute with elegant takes on flamenco and Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman." Culled from 1975 sessions by the New Direction Unit, April Is The Cruellest Month was originally slated for release on ESP-Disk before the label's untimely demise that year. Part of the period of Takayanagi's career which he termed "non-section music," one can only imagine how its unholy racket might have altered an international understanding of Japanese noise. On "We Have Existed" and "What Have We Given?", the classic lineup of Takayanagi with Kenji Mori (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) prove that free improvisation was thriving well beyond western Europe with a set of dilapidated, spacious clanging, Takayanagi's squalling feedback and Mori's Eric Dolphy moves undulating atop the joyous clamor. The cataclysmic "My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart" is another story altogether. Infernal sheets of contorted sound find the berserk instrumentalists hopelessly entangled as they urge the explosion deeper and deeper into ecstatic oblivion. Rivaled in intensity only by John Coltrane's The Olatunji Concert (1967), Peter Brötzmann's Machine Gun (1968), and Dave Burrell's Echo (1969), April Is The Cruellest Month deservedly sees the light of day on the vinyl format for which it was originally conceived, marking the first issue of Takayanagi's music outside of Japan.”
LENNIE TRISTANO - The New Tristano (Atlantic 8122-79573; Japan) Tristano's piano solos are challenging and ambitious on these unaccompanied solo works, recorded between 1960 and 1962 (all except "You Don't Know What Love Is" Tristano originals). The variety and sheer amount of ideas, plus the facility of the lines and the overall performances, are impressive. This is a superb presentation of Lennie Tristano's work.” - Ron Wynn, AMG
Critic Ira Gitler stated that the album is "a remarkable tour de force". Pianist Alan Broadbent described The New Tristano as "the greatest solo jazz piano album bar none." The Penguin Guide to Jazz indicated that, "Howsoever the conjoining of technique, interpretation and feeling may work for the listener, this is remarkable piano jazz, and the contrasting ballads of 'You Don't Know What Love Is' and 'Love Lines' suggest a world of expression which jazz has seldom looked at since." - Wiki
KARL BERGER with JAMES BLOOD ULMER / CARLOS WARD / RAY ANDERSON / MARK FELDMAN / DAVE HOLLAND / et al - Conversations: Duets with … (In & Out 77027; Germany) Lest anyone forget what a wondrous vibraphonist and pianist Berger is, this recording is a welcome reminder. The musical conversations are a series of duets with various longtime friends, including alto saxophonist/flutist Carlos Ward, bassist Dave Holland, guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer, vocalist Ingrid Sertso, trombonist Ray Anderson and violinist Mark Feldman. The music is completely tonal, lively within subtle constructions, and thoroughly enjoyable. With Ward, Berger conjures up a more spiritual side on the lustrous alto sax/piano Berger original duet "At Last," while Ward's pitch perfect flute is an organ of sheer beauty alongside Berger's vibes on the 6/8 paced "Out There Alone." If you've heard Holland and Berger's trio sessions with Ed Blackwell (Transit and Crystal Fire on Black Saint) you know these two are in tune with each other's every move, evidenced on the beautifully conceived vibes/bass unison & counterpoint of "Presently" or the lengthy piano/bass lament "Still." The distinctly unusual combination of Berger's piano extrapolations and Ulmer's electric guitar crops up on "North" with Ulmer choppy and Berger agreeable, or the more bouncy "South." Anderson leaps into a couple of standards, with Berger's piano on the extraordinarily spontaneous, well paced "Bemsha Swing," and a less calypso/more swinging with vibes take of "St. Thomas." Feldman's features have him hunting, pecking, and effectively searching for fresh harmonic vistas, weaving in and out of the languid piano and melody of "Lover Man," or the free and fanciful vibes/violin tandem in the palpable swing of the improvised piece "Another." In oblique or inquisitive words and scat, Sertso joins Berger's similarly stanced vibes on "Why Is It That It's Not?," whereas in a light, airy mood they give perpectives on "Freedom Getting There," Berger's lithe piano providing all the answers. While close to Berger's best, it certainly is his most universally accessible recording. Easily recommended to the max, but definitely check out the Berger-Holland-Blackwell trio CD's as perfect companions pieces, and equally perfect, fully realized musical statements.” - Michael G. Nastos, AllMusicGuide
CECIL TAYLOR & TONY OXLEY - Conversation with Tony Oxley (JazzWerkStatt 420480; Germany) “Cecil Taylor said that Oxley‘s playing excited him like no drummer since Sunny Murray, perhaps even more so. His shift to a more European sound first became evident in his choice of Oxley as his drummer for the Feel Trio. In the late 80s and early 90s he became Taylor’s preferred drummer and - after a break - this continued until his death. They performed in Taylor’s last official recording Ailanthus / Altissima: Bilateral Dimensions Of 2 Root Songs , and when he toured Europe, it was often with Oxley as a duo (I saw them twice, in Moers in 2008 and in Neuburg/Donau in 2011). This album was recorded at the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic in February, 2008. Taylor was attracted to Oxley’s playing because of his unique sound, centered on a selection of different cymbals. His more fine-grained approach combined with Taylor’s supersonic technique resembles a musical shower of shooting stars. Oxley uses a highly original drum set consisting of regular (but higher pitched) drums and cymbals to create “intricate soundscapes” giving the music more of a vertical than horizontal sound. Taylor’s choice of Oxley also tells us much about Taylor’s musical philosophy since 1988. Oxley’s aesthetic is based more on modernist classical timbres than Sunny Murray’s, whose style is - in spite of his free approach - still rooted in a jazz tradition. Oxley’s background puts him closer to the percussive works of Edgar Varèse, particularly with his complex and imaginative micro-divisions. Taylor’s playing has almost always had a strict on-the-spot, definite, forward-looking phrasing, and by choosing Oxley he became the connection between modern jazz/blues and European classical traditions. All this can be heard on Conversations with Tony Oxley. Again, Taylor uses small riffs which he reconstructs and expands, processed in his runs and shifting them to different registers. In the second part of the piece there are many staccato chords, again the basis for the development of certain riffs, but now more aggressive, and as they escalate the typical clusters come into play. Taylor needs some time before he reaches full intensity but as soon as he’s there he’s able to keep the improvisation at an incredible level. Yet there’s also a softness, a more romantic side to his playing that became more pronounced since playing with Oxley, especially towards the end of his life. On this album Oxley foils Taylor’s runs and staccato chords with short drum rolls, but when it comes to dynamics he follows the pianist’s guidelines. Oxley dances around Taylor’s clusters tenderly and puts them even more to the center, cutting through them at once. Especially in the more intense parts of the piece, Oxley uses his whole lower array of plastic, woodblocks, mutant cowbells, little bongos, the snare drum and the hi-pitched toms, creating a metallic mist and symphony of crispy clicking, a poetic and subtle means of communication. As to volume, Oxley is a more subdued drummer when he plays with Taylor (unlike Murray), but his timing is excellent, knowing when to set priorities without pushing himself to the fore. In this performance as elsewhere they are complimentary, which is why their cooperation worked over so many years. Their music is about the exchange of cultural experiences and the sensitivity of sound – different musical languages, but mutually inspiring. Oxley often anticipates what Taylor plans (particularly as to dynamics) and is able to react immediately. Kaja Draksler has noted that Taylor’s “sensibility in terms of dynamics is an important aspect of his playing. By using its extremes within a split second, he is creating rhythmic illusions and simultaneously unfolding a vast color palette”. No other drummer except Tony Oxley was able to match that range in such a sympathetic way.” - Martin Schray, FreeJazzBlog
MATT SOWELL - Organize or Die (Feeding Tube Records 541; USA) "Minneapolis guitarist, Matt Sowell, is another of the many great players we were first introduced to at the Thousand Incarnations of the Rose festival in Takoma Park, MD. Matt played a richly dark and brooding set at Rhizome, with a style deeply indebted to the American Primitive tradition. His set had the raw strength of Fred Gerlach, the precision of Peter Lang, showed a country/blues influence that seemed to reference Fahey, and possessed the raga-meets-ragtime eclecticism of Jack Rose. We were blown away. Later, talking to Matt while we watched Mark Fosson play in the bandshell, we talked about what he's up to. He's a family guy, a committed union member, and an all-around nice fellow besides being a killer guitarist. He said he'd get in touch when he had something together that might make a good LP, and we are proud to present the results. Organize or Die is both a call to collectivism as a way to fight crony capitalism, as well as a damn lovely record. Matt's technique and compositions continue to blend raw power, delicate note placement, and wild imagination into a unique alloy. While it's easy to close your eyes, lean back and know you are listening to a record in the great Takoma tradition, the borrowings here are solely of tone and mood. The specific approach is all Matt's. This allows his work to be familiar and all new at once. In this sense, he's akin to every new generation of finger picking guitarists who have found something special in the syncretic blend of traditional and modern that Fahey head-birthed. But Matt's playing is illuminated by a very special kind of light. And we think you are gonna dig it like crazy." - Byron Coley, 2020
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
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 DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com. 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.
MORE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING AROUND FOR THE WORLD TO END OR GET BETTER:
STILL STIR CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
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:
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
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 NYC-Noise.com 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 www.nyc-noise.com/submit.
THIS IS FROM GUITAR MASTER HENRY KAISER:
I have been recording video performances weekly and they get posted on Thursdays on the Cuneiform Records Youtube page.
Earlier this week, my good pal, Henry Kaiser called and was excited about finding these two long lost concerts which features longtime Grateful Dead guitar, singer & songwriter, BOB WEIR plus other members of The Dead. Like Henry, I am also a longtime Grateful Dead fan, not really a Dead Head since I think I have more discriminating, ever expansive taste in diverse Creative Music. These videos were just put up earlier today so I haven’t checked them out as of yet. I can wait to sip some saki later today and be swept away…
once in a while they are historical old thangs from my video archive and I will be doing more collaborations with other improvisors. I plan to keep this up until there are live gigs again so there will likely be a lot more of these best, Henry
This is from West Coast Bassist & Composer LISA MEZZACAPPA:
I'm writing to invite you to check out a project I've been cooking up (and talking about!) for a few years now, that's finally beginning to see the light of day. It's a podcast, and an opera - and the first episode is released this week. The amazing and hilarious Beth Lisick wrote the libretto, and we collaborated on the story. It's set in chatrooms in the early 1980s. We plan to release eight season episodes next year.
Also it's free! You don't need to set up any accounts or give anyone your credit card # or remember any passwords or accept cookies to listen. (If you do listen and you like, I'd ask that you please SUBSCRIBE to the podcast wherever you listen to it, give it some stars, or review it, so I can prove to potential sponsors that we have an audience. It would mean a lot!)
You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Deezer, the smart phone app Pocket Casts, and all the other podcast phone apps.
libretto, episode credits, bios, donate: www.theelectroniclover.com
ARTS FOR ARTS Presents:
FREEJAZZ WORKS IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Tony Malaby / John Hébert / Billy Mintz On_Line Salon
The Under the Turnpike Trio
TONIGHT August 6 - 8pm ET
Upcoming On_Line Salons
Thursday August 13 Matt Lavelle - trumpet Daniel Carter - reeds, trumpet Mara Rosenbloom - piano Warren Smith - percussion
Thursday August 20 Matthew Shipp - piano Bobby Kapp - drums William Parker - bass
Thursday August 27
Melanie Dyer - viola
Gwen Laster - violin
Charles Burnham - violin
Ken Filiano - bass
The Steve Circuit by Yuko Otomo & Matt Mottel:
Anthology Film Archives with Andrew Lampert
This Summer, 2020, ISSUE and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council present The Steve Circuit, an episodic series of videos and digital artwork dedicated to the late beloved poet Steve Dalachinsky developed by his wife, painter and poet Yuko Otomo, and interdisciplinary artist Matt Mottel. Born in Brooklyn in 1946, Dalachinsky was an unforgettable fixture within particular strains of experimental music, poetry, and art—and at cultural happenings and gatherings of all kinds in Lower Manhattan and beyond. Dalachinsky was an important figure to many. He passed away September 16th, 2019.
Steve’s art was created in tandem with the public life he lived. The places he inhabited—arts venues, community gardens, the New York Public Library neighborhood branch, his Spring Street sidewalk store—were all part of his daily routine. He was influenced by the culture he witnessed. He created his art both in public and at home. Late at night, in his apartment, after returning from film screenings, art openings, and multiple concerts, he returned to his collage artwork and to type up the poems he had written by hand during the day out in the world.
Over the course of six events throughout the Summer, 2020, these historical sites will be revealed in a weekly online presentation. Each week, videos made by Otomo & Mottel will be streamed pairing Dalachinsky text, recordings, and artwork, with additional artistic collaborators who were part of the Dalachinsky orbit. The online cultural map and presentation will provide a “virtual polaroid snapshot” of Downtown New York’s cultural history.
In addition to Otomo and Mottel, the series will feature contributions from Vito Ricci & Lise Vachon, Andrew Lampert, Jean Carla Rodea & Gerald Cleaver, Tom Surgal & Lin Culbertson, William Parker & Matthew Shipp, Lee Ranaldo & Leah Singer, and Loren Connors & Suzanne Langille.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TERRY RILEY - June 24th!
Here is a new version of Terry’s “In C” (Covid Version)
Organized by Benjamin Miller in Detroit
COVID ENSEMBLE: John D Morton electric Guitar Pulse, Ben Miller acoustic-electric-bass guitars, Mike Khoury violin, Molly Jones flute, Kevin Gosa alto-soprano saxophones, Roger Clark Miller jaymar toy piano, Mike List marimba, Thom Monks vibraphone, John Keith wurlitzer and Clem Fortuna accordion.
1 hour long and truly transcendent! - BLG
From INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY:
Every Week for the entirety of this pandemic/lockdown INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM 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: https://youtu.be/zO19zhPrQhI
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: www.heroesaregangleaders.com
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 HeroesAreGangLeaders@gmail.com.
Thomas Sayers Ellis
Fri, Aug 7, 7:28 PM (6 days ago)
to Alberto, Lisa, Steve, press, Steven, william, Bruce, geoffrey, Piotr, Philip, fastspeakingmusic, Alexandra, Randall, Bonita, Bob, Zev, Guy, siddhartha, Tim, Bill, Ben, Justin, justin, Matteo, Matthew, Cait, XAVIER, CA, Connor, Hamid, Nick, Tristan, Gio, Alexandre, Pierre, Jennifer, Jeffrey, Michael, quincy, Marc, Marcello, Michael, Ron, George, Cisco, Nick, Mike, Donald, Dieter
Italian Poet Nazim Comunale has three poems on GIANTHOLOGY! Translations by Fulvio Giglio.
ROULETTE AT HOME:
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:
https://vimeo.com/342125717?utm_source=Roulette 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. - https://soundcloud.com/roulette_intermedium/sets/blackavantgarde?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229
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. https://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/93933?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229
2. https://roulette.org/event/wadada-selasie-leo-smith-2/?utm_source=Roulette 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:
Oliver Lake Big Band:
Vincent Chancey Trio:
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: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836