By Nina Simone from ‘In Concert’ released 1964
The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it
Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi, goddamn
Can't you see it
Can't you feel it
It's all in the air
I can't stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer
Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi, goddamn
(This is a show tune, but the show hasn't been written for it, yet)
Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day's gonna be my last
Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don't belong here
I don't belong there
I've even stopped believing in prayer
Don't tell me, I'll tell you
Me and my people just about due
I've been there so I know
They keep on saying "Go slow!"
But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
Washing the windows
"do it slow"
Picking the cotton
"do it slow"
You're just plain rotten
"do it slow"
You're too damn lazy
"do it slow"
The thinking's crazy
"do it slow"
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don't know
I don't know
Just try to do your very best
Stand up, be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi, goddamn
(I bet you thought I was kidding, didn't you)
Picket lines, school boycotts
They try to say it's a communist plot
All I want is equality
For my sister, my brother, my people, and me
Yes, you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you'd stop calling me Sister Sadie
Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You're all gonna die and die like flies
I don't trust you any more
You keep on saying "Go slow!"
But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
"do it slow"
"do it slow"
"do it slow"
Do things gradually
"do it slow"
But bring more tragedy
"do it slow"
Why don't you see it
Why don't you feel it
I don't know
I don't know
It seems hard to believe that the above song premiered in 1964, more than 55 years ago!?! Some things never change or change too slowly or perhaps they do make us consider the ongoing racial injustices and what we can or should do about them, then and now! Something to ponder. Check out Nina Simone’s version here: https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=“Mississippi Goddamn”By Nina Simone&atb=v203-1&iax=videos&ia=videos
DMG supports Black Lives Matter! DMG supports all Immigrants (all of us are Immigrants except for Native Americans), Women, Children, Families, Fathers & Mothers, Sisters & Brothers, Grandmoms & Grandads, Aunts & Uncles, Friends & Neighbors, Folks All Colors, All Religions, Whatever you Believe In or Not, All Creative Musicians & Creative Artists, Frontline Workers and Backline Workers, Unions, Freedom Fighters, Farmers, All Servers of the Common Good, Workers of the World, Good Police, Positive Leaders, All Casualties of All Wars and Anyone who Inspires us to Rise Above all of the BS which can Hold Us Down! Only Love Can Conquer Hate!
DMG does not support Satan’s minion: the haters, the liars & climate deniers, the fascists, the dicktators, the dividers, the bullies, the nazis, the white supremacists, the fake patriots, all fake news (f*ck Fox news), all racists, sexists, misogynists, conspiracy theory creators & their believers, multi-death corporations, polluters, gangsters, war criminals, rich white opportunists, religious extremists of all sorts, tea party nitwits and anyone who is guided by Greed alone. Stop pointing your fingers at the fake targets, we know who the real enemies are! - BLG at DMG
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JOHN ZORN!
Tomorrow will be John Zorn’s 67th birthday so DMG is raising a toast to our Main Man! I met Mr. Zorn in December of 1979, more than forty years ago when both of us were around 25. It took me a while to figure out what he was doing on saxes & bird calls, that he was a fine bebop saxist and a completely original composer. It was his Game Pieces that really inspired a new generation of Downtown Musicians to improvise/compose in a new way. Thanks to Irving & Stephanie Stone (an old couple I met at his early shows) and Fred Frith for helping me to take Mr. Zorn unique playing, compositions & directing more seriously. Recently a newer friend of mine, Matt Vernon (famed Dead Archiver, that I met at The Stone), has been helping to archive my 3,000 cassettes of live concerts from 1976-2005. Over the past few months, I have listened to several dozen early John Zorn gigs, as well as many other early Downtown concerts. I am checking out every Game Piece in chronological order and this is helping me to understand the great jigsaw puzzle-like mysteries of Mr. Zorn’s vast music career/journey.
I still attend as many Zorn concerts as is possible and those of us at DMG still listen to each and every Zorn release as they come out practically every month. We are still listening to last month’s Zorn CD, “Les Maudits’, over and over. It is one of the weirdest and most intense recent efforts from Mr. Zorn but one of his many great discs. Starting tomorrow, Friday, we will be playing a great deal of Zorn’s vast catalogue over the next week: Acoustic Masada, Electric Masada, Naked City, symphonic & chamber works, string quartets, solo organ recitals, solo sax (The Classic Guide to Strategy), the Dreamers (post-surf, exotica…), the Book of Beriah, choral music, filmworks series, tributes to Morricone and many other composers, poets, philosophers and artists of all sorts. John Zorn’s label, Tzadik Records passed the 850 mark this year and no other label has captured/documented so much engaging music. Another great thing that Mr. Zorn has achieved is building a community of Creative Musicians through his performance space, The Stone, his record label and composing several books of songs (Masada Songbook - 650 songs! & the Bagatelles Series, as yet unrecorded), which have been recorded & performed live by many different musicians & bands. I asked Mr. Zorn earlier this year how he does so much and he said, “I never sleep”. He seems to live to create. He is an ongoing inspiration to many of us so let’s drink a toast and help him celebrate his birthday and hope he has many more. We love you bubbie! - Bruce Lee, Frank M & John M from DMG
THIS WEEK’S DYNAMITE DISCS BEGIN WITH THIS TREASURE:
PIERO BITTOLO BON’S BREAD & FOX - This is Sour Music (Trouble in the East 013; Germany) Featuring Piero Bittolo Bon on alto sax & bass flute, Filippo Vignato on trombone, Glauco Bendetti on tuba, Alfonso Santimone on piano and Andrea Grillini on drums. This is a studio recording made in Berlin in November 2018. This disc came in the mail earlier this week unexpectedly. The label is based in Germany and mostly features the work of Alberto Cavenati and Gerhard Gschloessl. What is interesting about this is that although the label is based in Germany, this quintet here appears to be all Italians. I do recognize the names of the leader, Piero Bittolo Bon, from the two dozen discs on several Italian labels: Auand, Long Song and El Gallo Rojo. Trombone player Filippo Vignato & pianist Alfonso Santimone also appear on several records from the same Italian labels as Mr. Bon. This seems to be the second disc from Bon’s Bread & Fox band, an earlier one was released in 2017.
This disc begins with “Egosurfer’s Delight”, the longest piece and which has the alto sax, trombone, tuba & piano all playing tight circular interconnected lines around one another in a marvelous fashion. The writing here is what makes this so great, as it has those Zappa-esque quirky, complex interlocking lines all going on throughout, yet is also retains a sense of humor at the center. Mr. Bittolo Bon likes to split the quintet into connected parts where one instrument (like the piano) will play a pulse while the others double up to play other related parts. On “Extreme Menstrual Monster…”, the piano taps out a soft pulse at the beginning while the trombone & tuba play somber low-end suspense-filled harmonies. Eventually the flute and then the alto sax join the harmonies, stretching things out until the piano erupts in a later section. What this reminds me of is this: Tim Berne meets Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music with similar circular repeating patterns perhaps a bit more sped up. There are very few solos going on here since there is more about the compelling writing & ensemble playing. This is without a doubt the CD of the week. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CONFERENCE CALL with GEBHARD ULMANN / MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS / JOE FONDA / DIETER ULRICH - Prism (Not Two MW 1004; Poland) Featuring Gebhard Ullmann on tenor sax & bass clarinet, Michael Jefry Stevens on piano, Joe Fonda on contrabass and Dieter Ulrich on drums. This is the 10th (?) release from Conference Call, an international quartet that has been around since 1999. The reeds, piano & bass chairs have remained the same throughout with a number of great drummers passing through their ranks: Han Bennink, Gerry Hemingway & George Schuller. This is their outing with a new drummer, Dieter Ulrich, who used to play with Day & Taxi, Oliver Lake & Omri Ziegele. All three original members contribute songs. Since all members of this quartet live in different places and have separate ongoing careers, each once contributes to the diversity of playing and material written. Hence, each piece provides a difference and balance of ideas. The title track is lovely, hushed and haunting, laid back and tasty, like the sun going down and casting a mellow spell on those watching. Things speed up on “Listen to Dr. Cornel West”, which erupts at a furious pace and features some strong bass clarinet work and some especially riveting bass-work throughout. In the second half, the quartet break into a memorable, churning, uplifting theme, like a ray of sunshine shining through a cloudy day. Things slow down to a drifting pace on “Variations on a Master Plan”, which is spacious and filled with suspense. “Sal’s Song” sounds like bluesy, gospelish late night simmer song. Mr. Ullmann’s tenor and Mr. Stevens’ piano have never sounded more soulful than here. Joe Fonda’s “The Bee”, has a few different themes or currents moving around one another simultaneously which takes some time to appreciate since it keeps the flow off balance at times. This is a great disc overall and seems to have several layers of ideas going on above and below the surface, hence it will take some time to fully absorb. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TOMEKA REID / JOE MORRIS - Combinations 2020 (Rogue Art 0102; France) Featuring Tomeka Reid on cello and Joe Morris on guitar. Cello & guitar duos are relatively rare although I do recall a few: Derek Bailey & Dave Holland (on cello - 1971), Tom Cora & Fred Frith (a/k/a Skeleton Crew, late 1980’s), Diedre Murray & Fred Hopkins (1992). Since moving to New York in recent years, the young & in-demand cellist, Tomeka Reid, keeps getting busier and working in many projects, as well as leading some of her own bands. Here’s a short list of recent collaborators: Joe McPhee, Dave Rempis, Nicole Mitchell, Alexander Hawkins and Makaya McCraven. Ms. Reid also leads her own great quartet plus is a part of another strong quartet with Kyoko Kitamura, Taylor Ho Bynum and Joe Morris. On going gifted elder guitar hero, Joe Morris, also keeps extremely busy, often working with an ever-increasing array of present & past students. Most of these pieces were created in the studio with three select covers included: “Chicago” & “New York” by Leroy Jenkins and “Rainbow Gladiator” by Billy Bang. Both of these musicians were respected elders of the Creative Music World and both have passed away, leaving Ms. Reid and Mr. Morris to carry on in their wakes.
The first thing I noticed about this disc is how well these two musicians work together. They both have similar acoustic/electric string sounds which are close in texture, timbre and careful approach. At times. it is hard to tell them apart especially when Mr. Reid is plucking or even strumming her strings. Leroy Jenkins’ “Chicago” has a forlorn, solemn melody which is most sublime and touching to listen to. The duo strips things down and add some poignancy to make this even more quietly stirring to hear. This pieces features a stunning guitar solo from Mr. Morris with Ms. Reid playing some fine bass lines underneath. On a number of these pieces, the duo do a fine job of pushing each other further out yet connecting on several currents at the same time. This is some daredevil improvising going on here, consistently fascinating and often leaving us at the edge of our seats. Mr. Morris is a longtime expert at coming up with unexpected sounds (by striking notes in his own unique way) and then twisting or bending the flow in odd ways. On “Percussive Play”, he moves into some strange waters by rubbing his strings with a pic or object of some sort. Ms. Reid is featured on “New York” and especially enchanting playing that sad, lovely melody, with Mr. Morris also taking a superb, sublime solo as well. The final piece is Billy Bang’s album title song “Rainbow Gladiator”, which gets a strong, inspired reading. Ms. Reid switched between strumming and plucking the bass lines while Mr. Morris takes another strong, spirited solo. This is grand ending to a consistently engaging work. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOEL FUTTERMAN TRIO with JIMMY LYONS / ROBERT ADKINS - In-Between Position(s) (Silkheart SHCS 163; Scandinavia) Featuring Joel Futterman on piano, Jimmy Lyons on alto sax and Robert Atkins on drums. This session was recorded live in Newport New, Virginia in April of 1982 and has been long out of print. I have never seen an original copy of this recording and I have seen just about everything that Jimmy Lyons appears on. Alto saxist, Jimmy Lyons, was one of the greatest, most singular of all saxists, some who bridged several eras of modern jazz, from bebop to the freer terrain. Mr. Lyons was Cecil Taylor’s most constant collaborator, from 1961 until his death in 1986, at 54. Aside from his work with Mr. Taylor, Jimmy Lyons ran his own band (10 albums from 1969 to 1985) as well as playing with a handful of other leaders or collaborators like Andrew Cyrille, Eddie Gayle and Joel Futterman. Mr. Lyons did record with Mr. Futterman for 5 records, all of which are currently out of print. The drummer for this set is Robert Atkins, someone I know very little about, although he did work with Marian McPartland, Buddy Tate & Charlie Ventura.
Joel Futterman is a national treasure, one of the greatest living Free Jazz pianists, one of the few left who can pick up the mantle from the late Cecil Taylor. Mr. Futterman has played at the Vision Fest for many years, so we have gotten to see & hear him on many occasions. He is always astonishing to check out live. The set here was recorded live in April of 1982, in front of an audience of around 250 people. This long (67 minute) work was composed by Mr. Futterman and dedicated to his father who had passed away in 1974. It does have a theme which is stated by Futterman when it begins with the rest of the trio quickly jumping in, the deep spiritual waters flowing like crashing waves. Both Futterman and Jimmy Lyons erupt with those furious criss-crossing lines spinning, the drummer also providing an immense undertow. It sounds as if the alto sax & piano are dancing on the same razor edge, the same flame burning around them, joined tightly together with the drums and trying not to fall in the swirling rapids surrounding them. Things eventually slow down while the trio takes their time to play the theme and then rework it, bit by bit, each instrument taking part of the theme and developing it in separate yet connected orbits or currents. What I started to notice after a while was this: the trio is working with the original theme and slowly playing it in different ways, slowing it down, taking it apart and speeding it up. The entire piece seems to move in organic sections or waves that evolve together over the duration. Although I hadn’t heard of their drummer, Robert Atkins, before this disc, he sounds like a perfect choice and plays superbly throughout! His solo in the last section is extraordinary and sounds like an extension of what came before and what comes after. I wonder whatever happened to him? This disc shows that Free Jazz played by masters can be a magnificent endeavor. It evolves in a similar way to the best of chamber jazz, well played and well thought out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FRANK GRATKOWSKI / DARREN MOORE / WILBERT DE JOODE / YONG YANDSEN / ACHIM KAUFMANN / KOK SIEW WAI - Kay-El (Lao Ban 08; Japan) Featuring Frank Gratkowski on alto sax & clarinet, Yong Yandsen on tenor sax, Achim Kaufmann on piano, Wilbert DeJoode on bass, Darren Moore on drums and Ms. KOK Siew Wai on voice. Last year an American saxist named Rick Countryman who has been living in the Philippines for around a decade, sent us several discs of his. Since then I’ve reviewed a half dozen discs with Mr. Countryman and a handful of different Asian musicians, each one a good example of inspired ‘Free Jazz’. Two of the musicians that Mr. Countryman works with are tenor saxist Yong Yandsen and drummer Darren Moore. Mr. Moore recently contacted me about carrying some of the CD’s from this, the Lao Ban label. For this disc Moore is working with three European musicians: Frank Gratkowski (from Cologne, Germany), Achim Kaufmann (based in Berlin) and Wilbert De Joode (based in the Netherlands). The wild card here is a singer called Kok Siew Wai, who is a new name for me. Each of the six members here are on either 3 or 4 pieces each.
Right from the opening, we know that there is something special going on here. Ms. Sai, who studied in the US (University of Buffalo, 1998-2006), is an integral part of this ensemble, twisting her voice quietly and carefully and interacting just right with the clarinet, piano, bass and drums. The two reeds and voice exchange ideas quickly with some strong piano bass & drums interaction going on as well. Although each piece has different personnel, all the pieces seem to fit together since the inner spirit of intense improv burns throughout. Even when all six members play together, things rarely get too dense, everyone knows enough to lay back and converse when the time is right and no one ever steps on each other’s toes. Although three of the six members are European, the overall sound is more like a successful blend of international improv at its best. There are some truly transcendent moments here, like on “Panggong”, when the high voice, bowed bass and high pitched reeds all swirl together like into a ghost-like cloud. Extraordinary! When we hear music like this, we know that freely improvised music is an international language that crosses all borders, bringing the musicians and listeners closer together, like one spirit/force. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PHIL MINTON & DIEB13 - With, Without (Klanggalarie 342; Austria) "Phil Minton is a jazz/free-improvising vocalist and trumpeter. He is a highly dramatic baritone who tends to specialize in literary texts: he has sung lyrics by William Blake with Mike Westbrook's group, Daniil Kharms and Joseph Brodsky with Simon Nabatov, and extracts from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake with his own ensemble. Minton is perhaps best known, however, for his completely free-form work, which involves 'extended techniques' that can be as unsettling as they can be mesmerizing. His vocals often include the sounds of retching, burping, screaming, and gasping, as well as childlike muttering, whining, crying and humming; he also has an ability to distort his vocal cords to produce two notes at once. Dieter Kovačič aka Dieb13 is an Austrian improvisational musician who mostly works with turntables. Since the late 1980s he has been experimenting with cassette players, vinyl records, CDs and hardiscs. He has a duo with Billy Roisz which combines electronic music with experimental filmmaking. Their first collaborative album has been recorded live at various festivals, including Wels Unlimited, Disobedience Ljubljana or Instants Chavires, Montreuil."
KLANGFORUM WIEN with TRISTAN MURAIL / GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS / NICOLA SANI / et al - Scelsi Revisited (Kairos 15030; Germany) “In the project Scelsi Revisited Scelsi's legendary tape material is for the first time reflected in the medium of art: seven composers (Ragnhild Berståd, Georg Friedrich Haas, Fabien Lévy, Tristan Murail, Michael Pelzel, Michel Roth, Nicola Sani) were commissioned by Klangforum Wien to create new works from Scelsi's tape music. The results on this album are quite heterogeneous: they range from the meticulous analysis of the source material and its transfer into the emerging composition to free artistic commentaries. Scelsi Revisited is a conceptual extension of the historical collective working method, thereby accentuating the plural: Scelsi, c'est nous!"
2 CD Set $30
LEAP OF FAITH with PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / ERIC ZINMAN - True Representations of Reality (Evil Clown 9247; USA) Featuring PEK on saxes, piccolo, clarinets, mussette, bassoon, accordion, melodica & sheng; Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Eric Zinman on prepared & regular piano, synth, & percussion. Since the pandemic shut down & shut in many folks around the world, longtime ongoing ensembles like Leap of Faith had to cancel many gigs and mostly record at Evil Clown Headquarters. Of the last batch of five Evil Clown label discs, this is the only recorded live at Studio 234 in Cambridge, MA. Leap of Faith have lost two longtime members over the past couple of years, hence their personnel has also thinned out a bit. This is a special version of LoF with three elder members: PEK & Glynis Lomon, who are on practically every Evil Clown disc plus the great free/jazz pianist, Eric Zinman. I’ve become a big fan of the the under-recognized piano hero, Zinman, hearing him with Linda Sharrock, Ted Daniel & Francois Tusques, over the past decade.
As is often the case, this disc starts off quietly with just melodica, cello, some ghost-like voices and percussion. The trio take their time to stretch and take long & windings solos: cello, bassoon and later piano with occasional percussion sections. In the second long piece we hear some inspired free piano different bursts of interaction from the cello and assorted reeds. Later there are sections when we hear a swarm of strange vocals underlined by piano, bits of sax and skeletal percussion. Things get more interesting when we hear some intense free-for-all criss-crossing outbursts later on in the disc. This is one of the better Leap of Faith discs with a number of truly explosive moments throughout the long & twisted journey. Great Googely Moogely, Batman, this is some mighty crazy sh*t!! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PEK - Solo - Schism (Evil Clown 9246; USA) Featuring PEK on clarinets, piccolo, saxes, guanzi, mussette, flutes, melodica, accordion, Korg, theremin, daxophone, balafon, game calls, mallet kat, Abelon mixes and a ton of assorted percussion. Last year PEK’s label Evil Clown passed the 100 mark of compact discs and is now closer to 125 releases. While most of the releases are varied versions of his ongoing ensemble, Leap of Faith, there are many offshoot projects as well. One of the infrequent discs are PEK’s solo discs. Like most his previous solo discs, this was recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters. Mr. PEK is known to be a collector of many different reeds, percussion, synths and other odd instruments and here he plays nearly 60 different sound making items. Although this is a solo project, PEK loves to add layers of sounds with synths, resonating percussion and overdubbing (Abelon mix?). This disc opens with suspense-filled gongs, other throbbing percussion and a double reed of some sort (mussette perhaps). PEK does a fine job of looping certain sounds, bari or bass sax, gongs, rubbed percussion surfaces, synths and creating a hypnotic blend. There seems to be a few looped lines of parts going on at once while PEK plays a solo on top. PEK does a marvelous job throughout this disc of keeping things interesting and engaging, whether dense or calm, cool or agitated, noisy or beyond noisy into some more extreme areas. This disc is 79 minutes long and I listened to the entire thing today (9/3/20). It is pretty amazing for the entire length. A solo effort par excellence. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
KUTIMAN - Wachaga (Siyal 011; Israel) “New eagerly awaited album from the maverick Kutiman, based on field recordings he made in Tanzania of local musicians, then manipulated, layered and expanded in his home studio. People have been living around the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro for millennia. One day in 2014 another jeep pulled up, in a rural neighborhood where many people from the Wachaga nation live, work and play. This jeep contained Ophir "Kutiman" Kutiel, the producer, multi-instrumentalist, and filmmaker who is get-stopped-in-the-supermarket famous in his home country despite being terminally shy of the spotlight. Kutiman carried microphones, video recording equipment and a request for creative collaboration to Tanzania -- and he left Wachaga with a set of recordings. Some of these were of everyday sounds and some contained special sounds: school children from the city of Arusha playing drums or the dancers who wore bells to add a percussive element to the movement, like the metal plate in a tap dancer's shoe. This fourth studio album is a combination of the material he collected on his 2014 trip with recordings made with saxophonist Shlomi Alon, trumpeter Sefi Zisling, and trombonist Yair Slutzki, alongside his own playing and studio wizardry. He was listening to a lot of spiritual jazz during the recording, and in a departure from his usual cut-and-paste style, played on top of the recordings. Horns and synth melodies spiral across borrowed rhythm patterns and chants which provide the bedrock around which Kutiman builds his own musical dwelling, creating new pathways of jazz, psychedelia and circular meditative zone-outs. Returning home from his trip to the self-organised kibbutz community where he lives in the western Negev desert, he began dipping into the recordings to see how he could use them as a starting point for his own musical and visual explorations. Fast forward six years, and there's Wachaga, an audiovisual feast which contains nine tracks and nine kaleidoscopic video pieces, named after the 2.4 million Tanzanians who live mostly on the southern and eastern sides of Mount Kilimanjaro. RIYL: Khruangbin, Kamasi Washington, Strut Records, Soundway.”
BENNY CARTER with DIZZY GILLESPIE / ROY ELDRIDGE / BARNEY KESSEL / PHIL WOODS / CHARLIE ROUSE / BARNEY BIGARD / BILL HARRIS / FRANK ROSOLINO / OSCAR PETERSON / EARL HINES / ]RAY BROWN / GEORGE DIVIVIER / SHELLY MANNE / MEL LEWIS - His Eight Finest Albums (Enlightenment 9187; EEC) Born 8th August 1907, Benny Carter - American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader - was, with Johnny Hodges, the pioneer of alto-sax. From the beginning of his career in the 1920s he was a popular arranger, having written chart hits for Fletcher Henderson's big band that shaped the swing style. He had an unusually long career that lasted into the 1990s. During the '80s and '90s, he was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, which included receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. But it was during the period from the mid-1950s until the early-1960s that Carter produced his finest albums, during which time he bought in a staggering array of up and coming jazz musicians to accompany him on such. Indeed, his '55 album, New Jazz Sounds (Nogran, 1955) featured such names as Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich amongst its line-up. Likewise, his follow-up, Urbane Jazz (Verve, 1957) featured Roy Eldridge on piano and double bass, and Alvin Stoller on drums. Jazz Giant (Contemporary, 1958) was among Carter's very finest releases, of which jazz critic Scott Yanow said, "a particularly strong septet session" and stated, "This timeless music is beyond the simple categories of 'swing' or 'bop' and should just be called 'classic.'" The record featured the likes of Ben Webster, Andre Previn, Barney Kessel and Shelley Manne among its line-up and the album remains a favourite among fans and critics alike. This 4 CD set contains eight of Benny Carter's best ever records, all beautifully remastered, and presented elegantly in this new box set. Providing a superb starting point for those beginners wishing to extend their musical appreciation of this maverick genius, and a welcome reminder for those already somewhat versed, this compilation will prove a delight for anyone and everyone ready to swing.
Albums included: ’New Jazz Sounds’ (1955), ‘Urbane Jazz’, ‘Jazz Giant’ (1958), ‘Swingin’ in the 20’s’ (1959), ‘Further Definition (1961), ‘BBB & Co.’ (1962), ‘Sax ala Carter!’ (1960).
4 CD Set $16
RECENT REISSUES FROM THE GREAT ATAVISTIC LABEL:
ALEXANDER VON SCHLIPPENBACH’S GLOBE UNITY ORCHESTRA with PETER BROTZMANN / EVAN PARKER / WILLEM BREUKER / GRED DUDEK / MANFRED SCHOOF / ALBERT MANGELSDORFF / PETER KOWALD / DEREK BAILEY / JACKI LIEBZEIT / MANI NEUMEIER / et al - Globe Unity ’67-’70 (Atavistic 223; USA) Since The Beginning Of The "Free Jazz Era" In 1960 At That Time, We Played Almost Exclusively In Small Groups - I Was Fascinated By The Idea Of Playing Our "New" Music With A Large Ensemble. A Compositional Commission From Rias-Berlin For The Berliner Jazztage 1966 Made It Possible For Me To Pursue This, And I Was Able To Put Together A Big Band Of Some Suitable Musicians I Knew, In Which Two Already-Existing Groups (The Manfred Schoof Quintet And The Peter Brotzmann Trio) Provided As It Were A Double Nucleus Of "Globe Unity" (As My Piece Was Titled).
The Premiere Performance, In November 1966 In The Berliner Philharmonie, Was A Sensational Success, Because The Press Outdid Themselves Equally In Extravagant Praise And Hysterical Vituperation. With This, The Globe Unity Orchestra Was Founded And Began Its Career, Which Lasted More Than Twenty Years. The Compositions Presented On This Cd Originated In Radio Commissions For The Donaueschinger Tage Fur Neue Musik ("Globe Unity 67") And For The Berliner Jazztage ("Globe Unity 70"). The 67 Piece Is Based On The Systematic Application And Expansion Of The Procedures Already Used In Globe Unity 66. In This Respect, "Globe Unity 70" Is Determined More By Aleatorics And By Semantic Information For The Players.”
STEVE LACY QUINTET with STEVE POTTS / IRENE AEBI / KENT CARTER / KENNETH TYLER - Esteem - 1975 (Atavistic 260; USA) This rarity was recorded live in Paris in February of 1975 and features Steve Lacy on soprano sax & compositions, Steve Potts on alto & soprano saxes, Irene Aebi on cello & violin, Kent Carter on bass and Kenneth Tyler on drums. This band was in residence at La Cour des Miracles, a club in Paris throughout most of February and December of 1975. This amazing 78 minute disc features six mostly long pieces, some pieces heard on other discs in much different form and a few never heard anywhere else. This band burns from the first note of "The Crust", with an incredible, smokin' sax solo from Steve Potts. The rhythm team here is also in fine form, both Kent Carter on contrabass and Ken Tyler on drums, who played with Cecil Taylor in 1978. The under-recognized Steve Potts, who played with Lacy for many years, is a perfect partner and plays powerfully throughout, often sounds as if he is about to explode. "The Uh Uh Uh" is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix and features some bent harmonies for the saxes and Irene's cello, as well as an odd rhythmic scheme. Although the playing is inspired throughout, these are taken from cassette recordings and the sound isnot that great. The title track begins with some intense high-pitched, double sax squealing, bent bowed strings underneath and selective percussive punctuation. Both completely focused and totally far out, this remains one of the finest offerings we've heard from the late and much-missed Steve Lacy. The saxes and strings almost sound like bagpipes as they drone strange harmonies together. "Flakes" features some extraordinary cello from Irene, proving that she should be regarded amongst the best of those out/jazz string players like Abdul Wadud. "The Duck" is another twisted gem with both saxes doing some duck-like squawking at the beginning. The piece builds in waves as strings are plucked quietly beneath the saxes which keep erupting over and over. Too much! One of the most challenging Steve Lacy discs ever, are you ready for it?!? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOE McPHEE - Nation Time (Atavistic 201; USA) Excerpted from KEN VANDERMARK's Liner Notes: "Joe McPhee mapped out a stylistically expansive set, one that embraced methods as diverse as those developed by Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Grant Green, Cecil Taylor & Sonny Rollins on the three tracks encompassing NATION TIME. Joe & his band, through vision and work, made these various approaches their own. NATION TIME represents real "FREE JAZZ": the freedom to pursue sounds & rhythms that inspire players to improvise with individual vitality & passion - no matter what different kinds of music are represented. McPhee knew this four decades ago, as did many of the other musicians whose ideas can be felt in the vibrations on this album. It's about time we all caught up to Joe McPhee's inclusionary tactics. He called for them almost 40 years ago when these tracks were recorded, and yet many people still haven't figured out that music IS free when the ears become free to listen without preconceptions & prejudice.
FULL BLAST with PETER BROTZMANN / MANIOS PLIAKAS / MICHAEL WERTMUELLER - Black Hole Live In Tampere (Deluxe Tour Edition)(Atavistic 195; USA) Full Blast is German saxophonist Peter Brotzmann's trio with Marin Pliakas on bass and Michael Wertmueller on drums. This is the final tour stock of the limited edition 2CD edtion of "Black Hole" containing the bonus CD, "Live in Tampere." Shades of Brotzmann's "rock" band Last Exit (sans guitar) are evident, and Full Blast also frequently conjures the essence of Brotzmann's landmark early free recording "Machine Gun" in it's visceral intensity. "Black Hole" lives up to it's moniker- and as such, is not recommended for the faint of heart, and after sensational performances at Brotzfest Tokyo and the hallowed Berlin & London jazz festivals, more high voltage is on undoubtedly the way. Undoubtedly one of the heaviest things released in the 21st century, so far. "These three men don't just rattle the house, they bring it down." - Tom Sekowski, Gazeta
2 CD Set $25
GLENN BRANCA with THURSTON MOORE / LEE RANALDO / BARBARA ESS / DAVID ROSENBLOOM / NED SUBLETTE / et al - Indeterminate Activity Of Resultant Masses (Atavistic 46; USA) Long Rumored, Long Awaited And Essentially First-Time Issue Of This Incendiary Branca Masterwork, Recorded In 1981 At Nyc's Radio City Studios- During The Peaked Out Early Era Of Glenn's "Guitar Army" Ensembles- And Shortly After The Release Of The Ascension Ep On 99 Records.
Featuring Contributions From Soon-To-Be Sonic Thurston Moore & Lee Ranaldo, As Well As Branca Mainstays Craig Bromberg, Barbara Ess, Jeffrey Glenn, Sue Hanel, David Rosenbloom And Ned Sublette, Indeterminate Also Contains Two Other Pieces: John Cage's Infamous Anti-Branca Interview With Wimmertins, Captured At Chicago's Navy Pier Back In 1982; And A Gorgeous, Previously Unreleased Composition "Harmonic Series Chords", Performed By The New York Chamber Sinfonia In 1989. This Potent, Apocryphal Missing Link In The Master's Discography Has Finally Been Made Available For Public Consumption!
BACK IN STOCK FROM MICHAEL MOORE’S RAMBOY LABEL:
MICHAEL MOORE FRAGILE QUARTET with HARMEN FRAANJE / CLEMENS van der FEEN / GERRY HEMINGWAY - Cretan Dialogues (Ramboy #35; Netherlands) The Fragile Quartet is Michael Moore on alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica & compositions, Harmen Fraanje on piano, Clemens van der Feen on bass and Gerry Hemingway on drums & percussion. This quartet seems to reach back around a decade with three previous discs out on Ramboy, the only difference in personnel being Gerry Hemingway (currently living & teaching in Switzerland) replacing longtime cohort Michael Vatcher (currently living in NYC on & off). While both Mr. Moore and Mr. Hemingway are American born expats, the other two members of the quartet are Netherlands-based where Mr. Moore has been living for some forty years. Both Mr. Fraanje and Mr. van der Feen, can be heard on discs from other Dutch masters like Ernst Reijseger and Ernst Glerum. This disc starts off with two three part suites known as “Cretan Dialogues #1 & #2”. On “Lolapalooza”, the alto sax and piano loop around each other in solemn, subtle cycles and then slow down to a hushed gracefulness in “Fenix Blue”. I like the way things are stripped down for “The Meliae”, slow, spacious and calm. Eventually Mr. Hemingway spins some quick hands-on-the-drums lines, revving things up a bit. Mr. Moore’s superb clarinet is featured on “Europa”, playful yet sublime, well-matched by Mr. Hemingway’s soft spinning drums. Mr. Moore calls “Eugenia Uniflora” a Brazilian waltz and it does have that swaying groove while the piano and drums speed up together with Moore adding some juicy melodica fragments. Excellent. Some of the magical glue here is provided by drum wiz Gerry Hemingway who often juggles a variety of approaches to his drumming. Both musicians have worked together on occasion over many years and know how to balance the more subtle side with the occasional eruptions. When the eruption finally takes place as it does on “A Little Box of Jazz”, it sounds as if the quartet are about to explode, coming close to losing it but not ending up in total chaos. There is a certain elegant spirit that Mr. Moore exudes here, his pure, tasty clarinet tone one of the best in his class. More refreshing and free of the everyday anxiety of modern life. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GERRY HEMINGWAY / BARRE PHILLIPS / MICHAEL MOORE - Slips (Ramboy #36; Netherlands) Featuring Michael Moore on alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet & bird whistles, Barre Phillips on contrabass and Gerry Hemingway on drums. Recorded live at Splendor in Amsterdam in March of 2019. All three of these gentlemen are American born expats who have been living in Europe for a number of years. Contrabass legend, Barre Phillips, moved to England in the mid sixties and has been living in France since the seventies. ICP reeds master, composer & multi-bandleader, Michael Moore, has been living in Amsterdam since 1982. Percussionist extraordinaire, Gerry Hemingway, moved to Switzerland a few years ago to teach. Has living in Europe, changed or enhanced the way any of these musicians play music? Things to ponder while we listen to this disc. This disc is on Ramboy, a label run by Mr. Moore which features different bands, all led by Moore, all different depending on the personnel, writing and arranging of each project. This disc is some what different as it is an all improvised affair, which makes sense since all three are master musicians. The music here is warm, well-recorded and relaxed. The tone and texture of the clarinet and bowed bass are often close in sound and often indistinguishable. This makes for some extraordinary interaction or dialogue. Mr. Hemingway also does a great job of bridging the other two voices or spirits. There is a certain type of magic that great improvisation taps into, a way of transporting us into another place where we communicate with each other on a higher level that can’t be explained with just words. There are sections that really work well… Mr. Moore plays what sounds like a lovely, ancient melody on his clarinet while Mr. Phillips bows these long drone-like notes underneath, the vibration is completely sympathetic as if Nature itself were talking to us through wood, metal, strings & horse-hair, bringing us (musician and listener) closer together. Yes, it sure does feel good. Another thing that works so well is this: Phillips starts bowing quickly at on point with Hemingway tapping out a matched rhythm, Moore comes on and plays this folk/dance like melody on top, this stretches one theme from one section into the next section, connecting several parts together like humans walking together, seeing someone they know and reaching out to give them a hug, before parting and returning to the ongoing stream. I avoided glancing at the Daily KOS (bad news dept.) while listening to this disc since I didn’t want to be distracted. The end result is that I feel much better about life listening to these special spiritual beings communicating on this high level. Where is that smiley face emoji when we need it?!? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE NDR BIG BAND with MICHAEL MOORE / SEBASTIAN STEIN / FLORIAN WEBER / TOM RAINEY / et al - Sanctuary (Ramboy #34; Netherlands) The NDR Big Band began as a radio studio ensemble (or jazz workshop) in 1955, based in Hamburg, Germany and was renamed in the NDR BigBand in 1971. Radio broadcasts of this ongoing ensemble began in 1958 and have featured dozens of American and European guest soloists. Over 60 years there have been many guest composers/conductors: Michael Gibbs, Abdullah Ibrahim, Albert Mangelsdorff, Charles Tolliver and Gebhard Ullmann. ICP reeds master and composer, Michael Moore, says he was honored to get this opportunity to work with this legendary big band. Hence his arranging here is consistently superb. For this session Mr. Moore chose ten songs from his long career as a composer, bandleader and reeds great. I own just a a handful of discs from the NDR BigBand and recognize just a few names here like Florian Weber (discs on ECM & Intakt) and Downtown All-Star drummer Tom Rainey. The opening piece, “Sweet-Briar/Southwesterly” begins with some of the tastiest clarinet I’ve heard in recent times: lush, exquisite, poignant, absolutely sublime. The muted trumpets and other horns also superbly cast as warm waves all floating together. “Igor” is dedicated to Igor Stravinsky and it pivots between haunting written segments and collective improv, all warmly woven together. On “Brunheiras”, the clarinet is again surrounded by layers of luscious horns in the first half, then electric guitar (Sandra Hempel) and electric piano (Florian Weber) take over for a fine bluesy section and short inspired feature for Tom Rainey’s drums. “Odin” has a clarinet & sax led (superbly played by Fiete Felsch) section which has some more breathtaking horn arrangements surrounding the central reed. Mr. Moore calls “Shotgun Wedding” Ellingtonian and that makes sense since the horn arrangements are just incredible: alive with several layers of lush intersecting lines all carefully held together. Each piece here has something special, magical going on: solos which sail elegantly or powerfully over the intricate swirling waves below, swinging hard at times, different subsections all tightly swirling together in a grand fashion. I am always searching for great large ensemble/big band music to check out and this disc featuring some of the best I’ve heard in a long while! Are you a fan of Maria Schneider or Gil Evans or even Duke Ellington? Then you should really check this disc out and be blown away. We are need some inspiration and this is where it can be found. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BACK IN STOCK From the Great STRAW2GOLD Label on DVD & On CD:
DEREK BAILEY // ROBERT O'HAIRE, director - Playing For Friends On 5th Street: Live At Downtown Music Gallery (Straw2Gold 02; USA) 51 minutes/NTSC. Dedicated to Irving & Stephanie Stone. Filmed and produced by Robert O'Haire. This monumental in-store performance was one of the true highlights of the 11 years that DMG survived and prospered at its original space at 211 East 5th St. We've done nearly 1000 in-store sets since we opened our doors in May 1991, but this one was VERY VERY special! When Derek Bailey told me that he would like to a solo set at DMG, I was honored and amazed. He had just gotten a new acoustic guitar, the 'guitar of his dreams' as he put it, and wanted to try it out in front of some friends. It took place December 29th, 2001; he recorded his Tzadik 'Ballads' CD that very same week, as well as playing on the latest version of Zorn's Cobra. Advertising was done just cryptically and mainly word of mouth; our old store couldn't fit more than 35 for a regular gig, but over 60 people crammed in for this! Derek was immensely charming, both playing that lovely new acoustic guitar in his own phenomenal and unique way, and even told a couple of short tales for everyone's amusement - you just have to hear how he quit his job as a clerk in a musical instrument store [the mountain of guitars]! Our good friend and longtime Chadbourne documenter, Robert O'Haire, has done a fabulous job of capturing this intimate set just right. (Never thought I'd see my own smiling face (bottom left) on the cover of a DVD!) - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
EUGENE CHADBOURNE & JIMMY CARL BLACK - Jack and Jim - 2001: A Spaced Odyssey (Straw2Gold 001; USA) Featuring Eugene Chadbourne on guitar, banjo & vocals and Jimmy Carl Black on drums & vocals. Recorded live in Rotterdam, Holland on September 9th, 2001. This set was originally released as a CD-R, with the video version thought to have been lost. Dr. Chadbourne (aka Jack) and Jimmy Carl Black performed together for many years, often touring Europe and occasionally in the States. I caught them a few times at The Stone and was mighty pleased to do so. Many of you know Jimmy Carl Black as the original drummer for the Mothers of Invention, the most influential, underground rock band of the sixties (1965-1969). When Frank Zappa broke up the Mothers in 1969, Jimmy Carl Black formed Geronimo Black and later the Grandmothers as well as working with Captain Beefheart. This DVD is 99 minutes long and contains 24 songs! Like many older music freaks in their sixties, both Dr. Chadbourne and myself, owe a great debt to the original Mothers of Invention. Due to being only 15 in 1969, I had only one opportunity to check out the Mothers live at the Atlantic City Rock Festival in August of 1969. The duo cover many songs from either Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart, so it is great to finally hear these songs live! Some highlights include: “Willie the Pimp” & “Mom and Dad” by Zappa and “Orange Claw Hammer”. “My Human Gets Me Blues” and “Click Clack” by Beefheart. There are a number of inspired covers as well by Jimi Hendrix, Willie Dixon and Merle Haggard. There is a good deal of humor involved, something we desperately need in times of darkness. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
EUGENE CHADBOURNE & JIMMY CARL BLACK With THOMAS HEBERER / BRIAN JACKSON / TONY TRISHKA - The Jack & Jim Show - Live at The Stone, NYC (Straw2Gold MA-02) This DVD captures the best songs from three nights of a Eugene Chadbourne residency at The Stone in 2007. It features Dr. Chadbourne on guitar, banjo & vocals and Jimmy Carl Black on drums & vocals plus one guest per night: Brian Jackson (from Gil Scott-Heron band) on piano & vocals, Tony Trishka (bluegrass legend) on banjo and Thomas Heberer (ICP Orchestra) on trumpet. Only Doc Chadbourne could organize this unique collection of creative musicians from vastly different scenes. For several years, Dr. Chadbourne toured with Jimmy Carl Black, drummer/vocalist/character for the Mothers of Invention and the Grandmothers. Considering the original Mothers were perhaps the most influential progressive/humorous/creative of all sixties rock band and personal favorites of me & many of my friends, it was wonderful to hear Jimmy Carl Black on so many occasions. Out of the 23 songs performed, 19 of them are well-selected, super-diverse covers: besides songs by the Mothers and Captain Beefheart, Jack & Jim & Co. perform songs by Jimi Hendrix, Phil Ochs, Neil Young (“Cortez the Killer”!!!), Slim Harpo, Jimmy Reed and Sir Doug Sahm. What I have always dug about the good doctor is the way he chooses songs from many genres, eras & philosophies and connects them musically and lyrically somehow. Throughout, Mr. Chadbourne takes a number astonishing electric guitar solos at a low volume which are no less incredible. Jimmy Carl Black is a perfect foil, playing laid-back yet crafty drums, adding occasional backing vocals and even singing lead on a few songs. His rendition of “Willie the Pimp” is just phenomenal! This disc is more than two hours long and was consistently compelling throughout. One complaint for those who care is that there is no menu or way to view this without watching the entire program. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
EUGENE CHADBOURNE'S G.O.I.D.With BRIAN RITCHIE/VICTOR DeLORENZO/BRIAN JACKSON/MOLLY CHADBOURNE//ROBERT O'HAIRE, dir - G.O.I.D. (Get Out Of Iraq Now): April Fool's In Holland 2006 (Straw2Gold 03; USA) 09 minutes/NTSC. 3 hour bonus MP3 materials on the same disc Eugene Chadbourne spent the '80s playing with such "new wave" icons as The Violent Femmes and Camper Van Beethoven, along with his seminal group Shockabilly. These two concerts feature The Violent Femmes' Brian Ritchie and Victor DeLorenzo. Joined by Brian Jackson, who made his mark playing with Gil Scott-Heron, the G.O.I.N. Quartet plays an impressive set of moody jazz and pointed protest in Amsterdam's beautiful Bimhuis Theater. The G.O.I.N. band is quite simply one of the most solid in Eugene Chadbourne's long career. Without a doubt, the concert captured herein is nothing short of excellent. The DVD features the band smoking live and speaking out in conscience on twenty-one tracks (21) with a range of cover tunes from the likes of Albert Ayler, Gil Scott Heron, George Gershwin, John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. As well as originals written by Dr. Chad played with his amazing band. This DVD includes 109 minutes of beautiful and scenic concert footage from Amsterdam's Bimhuis Theater. It also includes three (3) hours of additional audio material from the entire Bimhuis concert as well as select tracks from the Plusetage concert. This material is in MP3 format and is easily transferable from the DVD to a home computer and then to MP3 players such as ipods for portable use. This DVD most importantly captures an enigmatic performance of friends and compatriots enjoying themselves onstage making a pointed political protest against an unjust war. The tunes they choose and the message brought forth from the music is beautiful, and defiantly a call for peace. April Fool's In Holland 2006 Dr. Eugene Chadbourne- guitar, banjo, vocals Brian Ritchie- Electric washtub bass with no washtub, one string bass, shakuhachi flute Brian Jackson- piano, and flute Victor DeLorenzo- drums Molly Chadbourne- vocals & birdcalls Recorded March 31 & April 1 2006 at Bimhuis & Plusetage by Robert O'Haire Produced and Directed by Robert O'Haire 109 minutes - stereo-DVD-NTSC- All Region
JOHN SINCLAIR & HOLLOW BONES With ELLIOTT LEVIN / RAS MOSHE / ANDERS NILSSON /ALEX OBERT / MICHAEL WIMBERLEY - Honoring The Local Gods (Straw2Gold 06; USA) Featuring John Sinclair - poetry, Elliott Levin & Ras Moshe on saxes, Anders Nilsson on guitar, Alex Obert on acoustic bass and Michael Wimberly on drums. John Sinclair has long been a legendary figure in America for a variety of reasons. He has lived through many skins as a poet, author, original manager for the MC5, revolutionary, outlaw who was scapegoated & did time & was championed by John Lennon. Mr. Sinclair is also a jazz scholar and radio personality. Over the past decade he has been fronting different spontaneous music ensembles as collaborators for his incisive words. I was honored to have him perform at the first DMG location on 5th St and have checked him out live on numerous occasions. This disc was recorded live in November of 2009 at Local 269 and recorded & released by our good pal Robert O'Hare. For this set, Mr. Sinclair gathered an all-star ensemble of a number of Downtown's favorite musicians. Sinclair has a voice like an ancient prophet, his words closer to the essence of jazz than anyone I've heard in recent memory. The band spins around him magically, spiritually and never overwhelming the words. The bowed bass and guitar swirl around one another sympathetically on "Consequences" before the saxes come slow burning underneath while Sinclair talks about the righteous influence of John Coltrane. The pieces flow into one another like waves upon waves growing organically. Sinclair does a tribute to Thelonius Monk ("Monk in Orbit") and tells a strange story about Allen Ginsberg introducing Monk to LSD. Hmmmm. The band play lines from different Monk tunes like "Rhythm-A-Ning", "Ruby, My Dear" and "Nutty", morphing from one section to the next. Both Elliott & Ras play some powerful tenor, solos & together while the great Anders, Alex and Michael rhythm team stretch out and search for the miraculous lift-off. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
RAS MOSHE With DANIEL LEVIN / MATT LAVELLE / CHRIS FORBES / JAMES KEEPNEWS / TOM ZLABINGER / et al - Outsight (Straw2Gold 07; USA) Featuring Ras Moshe on saxes, Matt Lavelle on trumpet & bass clarinet, Chris Forbes on piano, James Keepnews on guitar, Daniel Levin on cello, Tom Zlabinger or Max Johnson on bass and Dave Miller or Lou Grassi on drums. Ras Moshe is an out/jazz historian, a fine reedsman who plays tenor & soprano sax & flut and a busy bandleader who often collaborates with a number of Downtown's best musicians. This disc documents a couple of different sessions and is very long (78 minutes!). It captures a certain Downtown aesthetic with six pieces all but one over ten minutes in length. "I Hear You" opens with a fine, simmering intensity, free but no screaming. I know all of the musicians involved here from various sessions and all sound inspired. The ever-amazing cellist, Daniel Levin, is on all but one track and sounds consistently wonderful, occasionally sounding like the legendary Abdul Wadud, switching from intense bowing to smoking pizzicato, back & forth, time & again. This entire disc was recorded and mixed by Robert O'Hare who did a fine job. The sound is warm, often relaxed and consistently well-balanced. The relaxed nature of this disc makes it easier to enjoy and take in at length. Matt Lavelle has switched to alto clarinet in recent times so I believe this is what he is playing here, getting better all the time. These musicians often sound as if they have been playing together for a long while, comfortable, connected and filled with uplifting spirits. I've listened to this disc in its entirety twice and thought it was/is pretty solid throughout. The Ras Moshe Ensemble will be back at DMG on July 7th, 2014 In the meantime, check out Downtown's best free form freaks. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
ALVIN LUCIER - Vespers (Blume 017; Italy) "This is the fulfillment of a dream for a new kind of music. There is nothing like Vespers in the literature of music. It is a completely new way of defining what music is, and the definition is given to us in a purely realized form." --Robert Ashley
Alvin Lucier is among the most important, influential, and radical of the second generation of the post-war avant-garde composers. First released as Lucier's contribution to the Sonic Arts Union's lone LP, Electronic Sound (1972), Vespers is a work generated by two equal actors: the performers and the space that they occupy. Conceived following a chance encounter with hand-held echolocation technology "the Sondol", a pulse oscillator that emits short, sharp pulses at variable repetition speeds, producing echoes from the reflecting walls of a space to register relative location and orientation. Written as a poetic "prose score", for the realization of Vespers, each performer is equipped with a "Sondol" and asked to move blindfolded within a defined space, moving from one point to the next using only echolocation, taking what Lucier describes as "sound photographs" that reveal discrete details of the given area. Despite the radical leap it presented within the history of the sonic arts, Vespers was not the first of Lucier's works that began to specifically address the relation between sound, perception, and space. Chambers, composed the year before in 1968 and embedded with the wry humor which lingers below much of the composer's output, explored the theme on a brilliantly miniature scale. As a total work, Chambers contends with the relationship between the knowing and understanding of what we hear, our perception of the source of a sound, and its relation to space. When viewed in the immediate context of Vespers, it presents as an unexpected inversion of what was to come. While it plays on the relation of sight and the sonic actor, what is seen and unseen takes on a dynamically different role. For the realization of Chambers, battery-operated radios, tape recorders, and various kinds of electric toys are hidden in paper bags, shoes, kettles, a suitcase, and other small resonant spaces, which not only limit the perception of these object to their sounds alone, but take on the role of acoustic actors on the sounds within, each space becoming as individual and distinct as the object it contains. Newly designed obi-strip/insert with an introduction by Robert Ashley, liner notes by Bradford Bailey and Gaia Martino. 160 gram, dark blue vinyl; edition of 300.”
MILES DAVIS GROUP with GARY BARTZ / KEITH JARRETT / MICHAEL HENDERSON / NDUGU LEON CHANCLER / MTUME / DON ALIAS - Live at Berliner Jazztage, Berlin, November 6, 1971 (Alternative Fox 046; UK) “A legendary show from the Miles Davis Group recorded from SWR in Germany in 1971, and featuring a breath-taking line-up including no less than Keith Jarrett on electric piano and organ. Live at Berliner Jazztage in Berlin on November 6, 1971.
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA with JOHN McLAUGHLIN / JERRY GOODMAN / JAN HAMMER / RICK LAIRD / BILLY COBHAM - Live at Chateauvallon, August 1972 (Alternative Fox 047; UK) “A great set from John McLaughlin and company, recorded live for German public radio in 1971. Double vinyl set; edition of 500.”
2 LP Set $24
IANNIS XENAKIS - GRM Works 1957-1962 (Recollection GRM 007; Austria) Recollection GRM assembles Greek experimental composer Iannis Xenakis' works for Groupe de Recherches Musicales circa 1957-1962. "Concret PH" (1958) was assembled for the Brussels World Fair. The industrialist Philips commissioned Le Corbusier's famous "Philips Pavilion": "I'll create an electronic poem for you, he said. Everything will happen inside: sound, light, color, and rhythm." Iannis Xenakis designed the architectural blueprint and composed "Concret PH" meant to psychologically prepare the public for the show created inside, accompanied by a musical piece by Edgard Varèse. The 400 speakers that lined the inner shell were meant to fill the space through the sound sparkles of "Concret PH" and achieve a joint emanation of architecture and music, conceived as a whole: the roughness of the concrete and its internal friction coefficient found an echo in the timbre of the sparkles. "Orient-Occident" (1960) was originally composed for a film by Enrico Fulchignoni for UNESCO. The film describes a visit to the museum comparing artifacts produced by various cultures and highlighting their interaction, dating back to ancient times. From an abstract point of view, the composer regards this work as a solution to the problem of finding highly diversified means of transition, meant to link a type of material to another. One indeed witnesses a varied gradation of mutations, interplays, overlaps, cross-fading, sudden shifts, and hidden junction points. "Diamorphoses" (1957-1958) portrays continuity and discontinuity within evolution. Here are two aspects of being, whether in opposition or in communion. In "Diamorphoses" this antithesis was illustrated sections of sound strongly opposed to others, and particularly in organizations of continuous variations of average or "statistical" heights. "Bohor" (1962): Bohor (referring to Bors the Younger, Lancelot's cousin), is a character from the medieval cycle of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. "Bohor" is dedicated to Pierre Schaeffer. The author deliberately abstained from giving any descriptive information on his piece, letting the listener choose an imaginary route for himself. This release presents the 1968 version, revised by Iannis Xenakis himself and as yet not made available to the public. "Even though Iannis Xenakis never made 'musique concrète' in the sense given by Pierre Schaeffer, the GRM was a locus for experimenting with his ideas about sound and sound structures. These works, composed between 1958 and 1962, show a boldness as advanced as in his orchestral approach. The relationship between Xenakis and Schaeffer was often tense. It nevertheless entailed mutual recognition and respect towards each other's musical approach. Schaeffer found the piece disproportionate in terms of intensity but was indeed pleased by the dedication. The four pieces presented here, all produced at the GRM, undoubtedly demonstrate the experimental intent and the strictly 'physical' character of Xenakis' music, in that it provides the audience with a listening experience of a rare intensity." --François Bonnet & Christian Zanési; Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, January 2013. Layout by Stephen O'Malley. Executive Production by Peter Rehberg.
OSIBISA - Black Magic Night (Trading Places 54036; UK) Trading Places present a reissue of Osibisa's Black Magic Night, originally released in 1977. Esteemed Afro-rock fusion band and world music pioneers Osibisa have enjoyed a long reign, with unwavering popularity, despite numerous line-up changes. Saxophonist Teddy Osei, drummer Sol Amarfio, and flautists Mamon Shareef and Farhan Freere had all been in the highlife band The Star Gazers in Ghana, and were joined by Osei's trumpeter brother, Mac Tontoh, in spin-off group, The Comets; after moving the London in the early 1960s, Osei formed short-lived fusion band, Cat's Paw, and after convincing Tontoh and Amarfio to join him in London, Osibisa was formed with the Antiguan guitarist and vocalist, Wednell Richardson, Grenadian bassist Spartacus R, Nigerian percussionist Loughty Lasisi Amao, and Trinidadian keyboardist, Robert Bailey; a contract with Mercury brought greater exposure. Always strong in live performance, this excellent double-LP set was captured at London's Royal Festival Hall in 1977, with the group delivering spot-on renditions of their best-known works, from the extended opening invocation of "The Dawn" to the irresistible grooves of "Welcome Home" and "Sunshine Day." Gatefold sleeve.
2 LP Set $24
FRED UND LUNA - Im Weltenraum (Compost 570; Germany) “Space music of an outstanding and extraordinary kind: just as you would expect when two mannequins leave their boutique in Karlsruhe/Germany in their mind's eye to go and see places where they haven't been before. Im Weltenraum, how they call their new album, is Fred Und Luna's next step in their ever-changing series of "elektrokraut/krautelektro" music. A charming and fascinating voyage through an endless universe of phantasmagorical soundscapes, repetitive rhythms, catchy melodies, and even a side trip to Acid House Land. After their Gluck Auf on Optimo Music (OM 034EP), where they started with a journey through motorik krautland, followed by a trip to a both atmospheric and boppy soundgarden on their album Im Klanggarten" (Bigamo, 2017), an intoxicating journey into deep blue areas on Im Tiefenrausch (COMP 537CD/LP, 2019) and tribal dancefloor spots on Im Tanzrausch" (COMP 538EP, 2019), Fred Und Luna are now on the traces of spaces, unknown worlds and unknown time zones, accompanied by Patrick Pulsinger, both a mix master and a master of mastering. Who are Fred Und Luna? Fred Und Luna are two mannequins living in a fashion boutique in Karlsruhe, Germany. They serve as muse for musician, lector, poet, and photo/video maker Rainer Buchmüller. Inspired by his doll friends and his love for German electronic music of the past decades, Rainer Buchmüller under the alias Fred Und Luna produces his self-created genres elektrokraut and Krautelektro: both a modern combination of repetitive rhythms, beautiful melodies, electronic soundscapes, and elements from the krautrock era. Under the name of Ariston Baton, Rainer Buchmüller also writes and performs sound poems and concrete poetry”
2 LP Set $23
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 FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
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:
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
ARTS FOR ARTS Presents:
FREEJAZZ WORKS IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Because of You
We surpassed our $50,000 Goal
Your Donation Made the Difference
What an amazing community! Your continuing support in the face of all of the challenges that are facing us is really impressive. Together, we raised over $60,000, including over $30,000 in small donations.
We continue to post weekly Artist Diaries (https://www.artsforart.org/artistdiaries.html) and special archival footage on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/ArtsforArt?sub_confirmation=1&utm_source=Audience&utm_campaign=987d803b9c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_08_18_04_51&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3be2db18a2-987d803b9c-85161517. So there will be plenty of amazing music and art to see and inspire.
On September 7th and September 12th, Arts for Art will present Live Outdoor Events at La Plaza in The Clemente. They will be carefully presented, socially distanced, inspiring FreeJazz performances. Look forward to more information coming soon.
Wishing You Strength and Justice with Compassion.
Patricia Nicholson Parker
Founder, Arts for Arts
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:
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:
https://roulette.org/rtv/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-c19eeaa4fd-302668229#!/grs/0/id/92
https://roulette.org/event/joel-ross/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-c19eeaa4fd-302668229
https://roulette.org/event/nels-cline-from-cage-to-cunningham/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-c19eeaa4fd-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
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