Title song from the Grateful Dead Album (released 1977)
Music by Jerry Garcia, Lyrics by Robert Hunter
Lady with a Fan (Part 1)
Let my inspiration flow
In token rhyme suggesting rhythm
That will not forsake me
Till my tale is told and done
While the firelight's aglow
Strange shadows from the flames will grow
Till things we've never seen
Will seem familiar
Shadows of a sailor forming
Winds both foul and fair all swarm
Down in Carlisle, he loved a lady
Many years ago
Here beside him stands a man
A soldier from the looks of him
Who came through many fights
But lost at love
While the storyteller speaks
A door within the fire creaks
Suddenly flies open
And a girl is standing there
Eyes alight with glowing hair
All that fancy paints as fair
She takes her fan and throws it
In the lion's den
"Which of you to gain me, tell
Will risk uncertain pains of hell?
I will not forgive you
If you will not take the chance"
The sailor gave at least a try
The soldier being much too wise
Strategy was his strength
And not disaster
The sailor coming out again
The lady fairly leapt at him
That's how it stands today
You decide if he was wise
The storyteller makes no choice
Soon you will not hear his voice
His job is to shed light
And not to master
Since the end is never told
We pay the teller off in gold
In hopes he will come back
But he cannot be bought or sold
Terrapin Station (Part 2)
Inspiration move me brightly
Light the song with sense and color
Hold away despair
More than this I will not ask
Faced with mysteries dark and vast
Statements just seem vain at last
Some rise, some fall, some climb
To get to Terrapin
Counting stars by candlelight
All are dim but one is bright:
The spiral light of Venus
Rising first and shining best
(Oh) From the northwest corner
Of a brand-new crescent moon
Crickets and cicadas sing
A rare and different tune
In the shadow of the moon
And I know we'll be there soon
Terrapin - I can't figure out
Terrapin - if it's the end or beginning
Terrapin - but the train's put its brakes on
And the whistle is screaming: Terrapin
At a Siding (Part 3)
While you were gone
These faces filled with darkness
The obvious was hidden
With nothing to believe in
The compass always points to Terrapin
Sullen wings of fortune beat like rain
You're back in Terrapin for good or ill again
For good or ill again
It is true that I have become obsessed with certain aspects music, serious listening and exploration of sonic ideas, spending a good deal of time exploring different ways of understanding what makes music work and the affect it has on those who listen closely. Last month, I listened to a couple CD’s by early Genesis, ‘Foxtrot’ and ‘Selling England by the Pound’. While listening, I thought how quaint and somewhat dated they sounded, definitely of their time. Yet for me, they still ring true and close to my heart. I also listened to a few early Yes CDs. I was thinking about the way the lyrics were like fairy tales, exploring English folkloric myths. The music also has a prog-like sound due to the sustained tones of the guitars and keyboards (like early synths) and majestic arranging. I caught those bands many times during that period, as well as King Crimson, Van Der Graaf & Gong (both in London, late ’75). I still love that music although I rarely listen to it nowadays. As a longtime Grateful Dead fan, I have been going through several periods of admiration and occasional disappointment. Hanging out with the late Mike Panico over the past decade, I’ve become a big Dead fan once again, checking out The Dead, Furthur and Dead & Co., on different occasions. Over the past few years, I have been listening to assorted live versions of my favorite Dead live/jam songs and listening to them in chronological order. It remains fascinating for me to watch/listen to each of these songs evolve, especially since the Dead never play the same song the same way twice. I have become a bigger fan of the Dead’s studio output over time, although the Dead claimed the disliked recording in the studio. Outside of a few clinkers, I really dig all of the Dead’s studio songs. I remember when ‘Blues for Allah’ came out in 1975 and thinking the Dead were moving into a more progressive direction and then ’Terrapin Station’ came out in 1977, even more progressive in sound, it is still a favorite of mine. Although side one contains “Estimated Prophet”, “Passenger” and “Samson & Delilah”, which I dig, it does contains two klinkers (for me). When I heard “Terrapin Station” on the radio several times, bought the album and played it over & over, I thought that the Dead had hit their Creative/Progressive peak. I have been playing this song daily for the past couple of weeks and I am still marveling at it, musically and lyrically. For me, the guitars and synth/keyboards are coming directly from the great prog era of Genesis plus the vocal choir and string/orchestra also are most majestic sounding. What is interesting is that I had given up on Genesis and Yes by that point. I hadn’t really thought about the lyrics until recently and am finally starting to dig deeper. What is and where is Terrapin Station? I am trying to figure that out. We are all searching for something… love, respect, honesty, recognition, positive energy and strength to survive and prosper. If the compass always points to Terrapin, then where is it pointing and how do we get there? The search continues… - BLG at DMG
THIS WEEK’S GREAT DISCS BEGIN with Two Discs from the Mighty TZADIK Label:
JOHN ZORN // JAY CAMPBELL / MICHAEL NICOLAS JORGE ROEDER / CHES SMITH - Azoth (Tzadik 8375; USA) "Jay Campbell (JACK Quartet) and Michael Nicolas (Brooklyn Rider) are two of the greatest cellists in new music. Long-time members of Zorn’s inner circle, here they perform four compositions written expressly for them. Featuring two works for solo cello and two works for cello and rhythm section, the music is filled with spectacular leaps, intense textures, dizzying tremolos, hypnotic ostinatos, scordatura and more! As always, Zorn pushes the envelope of what is technically possible on the instrument and Mike and Jay come to the plate full force, exhibiting a new level of virtuosity in these breathtaking and dramatic works. With Ches Smith on drums and Jorge Roeder on bass this is a cello recital unlike any other!” - Released November, 2020"
RED FICTION with JASON SCHIMMEL plus EYVIND KANG / JESSIKA KENNEY / MILLER WRENN / PETER VALSAMIS / SHAWN BALTAZOR - Visions of the Void (Tzadik 7819; USA) "With a command of countless genres and a vast list of credits, composer/guitarist Jason Schimmel is a musical polymath whose talents know no bounds. A long time member of Trey Spruance’s legendary ensemble Secret Chiefs 3, his brilliant guitar work embraces a wide variety of traditions and styles, from blues, jazz and surf rock to Balkan folk and heavy metal. Visions of the Void is his masterpiece, an intense program of eclectic music that jumps quickly and seamlessly from one style to another. Years in the making, this is powerfully imaginative instrumental music by an all star ensemble of masters at the top of their game." - John Zorn
Personnel Jason Schimmel - guitars, bouzouki, keyboards, sitar, sound fx, Ryan Parrish - tenor and baritone saxes, bass clarinet, kaval, Trevor Parrish - trumpet, flugelhorn, Max Whipple - accordion, bass, Rusty Kennedy - bass and Mike Lockwood - drums. Guests include: Eyvind Kang - viola, Jessika Kenney - voice, Peter Valsamis - percussion, Shawn Baltazor - drums and Miller Wrenn - contrabass.
SUSAN ALCORN QUINTET with MARY HALVORSON / MARK FELDMAN / MICHAEL FORMANEK / RYAN SAWYER - Pedernal (Relative Pitch 1111; USA) Featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal steel, Mary Halvorson on guitar, Mark Feldman on violin, Michael Formanek on contrabass and Ryan Sawyer on drums. Most music fans know about the pedal steel guitar from the 1,000’s of country songs that emanate from the airwaves in the US and around the world. Less recognized are jazz, swing, country-rock and even more progressive bands that also employ pedal steel players. I’ve noticed that ever since the seventies, due to pedal stealers like Sneaky Pete (Flying Burrito Bros.), Rusty Young (Poco), Glenn Ross Campbell (Juicy Lucy) and Buddy Emmons, the instrument has continued to evolve more & more. For more than two decades, Susan Alcorn, has been pushing the boundaries of playing pedal steel further & further, from free/jazz/rock/country to microtonal explorations to her superb tribute to Astor Piazzolla (’Soledad’ also on Relative Pitch).
Although Ms. Alcorn has recorded some two dozen discs with varying personnel, this is her first band/quintet release and she has organized a strong Downtown all-star unit. Moreso than most instruments, the pedal steel often evokes the sound of the desert, a vast open space out west, hot, dry, spacious, eerie. The opening piece, “Pedernal”, evokes many layers of ghosts slowly dancing together with the slow swirls of the steel guitar moving in circles of smoke. Superb, sublime and immensely haunting. Ms. Alcorn’s steel guitar floats carefully at the center of the quintet with with violin and guitar playing lush harmonies together, all three players nuanced just right. What is most interesting is the way had Ms. Alcorn has gotten Mr. Feldman and Ms. Halvorson to lay back and play with more subtly and grace than they usually play. “R.U.R” actually reminds me of the some of that western swing sound in places with some incredible interplay between the steel guitar and violin. “Night in Gdansk” is one of the most haunting, cerebral and hypnotic pieces I’ve heard in recent times, with several ghosts popping up, dancing with one another and then floating away. “Northeast Rising Sun” actually starts with handclaps and has an most infectious melody that will be stuck in your head for some time to come. There is something immensely gripping about this music, as if we have wandered into a new world which is filled with hope and promise of better days ahead. This is my current favorite CD which I will no doubt return to over and over again. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FAY VICTOR'S SOUNDNOISEFUNK with JOE MORRIS / SAM NEWSOME / REGGIE NICHOLSON - We've Had Enough! (ESP-Disk 5042; USA) The second album by this all-star quartet Far Victor's SoundNoiseFunk -- both on ESP-Disk' -- was recorded over two sets mixing planned and freely improvised music. It is a cry of frustration, but also determination and celebration. Frustration with the state of our country, determination to do something about it, and celebration of the power and joy of spontaneous creativity. There are so many things contributing to this album's joyousness in the face of adversity: the funky grooves that Joe Morris and Reggie Nicholson sometimes lock into; the sonic derring-do of Newsome; the breath-of-life singing of Faye Victor that balances radical and traditional, naturalness and craft. Most of all, the way the players' talents mesh into a greater whole. Recorded in concert at Firehouse 12 in New Haven on October 25, 2019. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Greg DiCrosta. Produced by Steve Holtje. Credits: Fay Victor - voice, texts, compositions; Sam Newsome - soprano saxophone; Joe Morris - electric guitar; Reggie Nicholson - drums. Design & layout by Jochem van Dijk. Liner notes by Fay Victor.
FOUR NEW DISCS from The MATCHLESS Label:
JOHN BUTCHER / EDDIE PREVOST / GUILLAUME VILTARD - Iklectik Live One (Matchless 103; UK) Part of the Iklectic club's "Meetings With Remarkable Saxophonists" programmed by drummer Eddie Prévost and double bassist Guillaume Viltard, here meeting John Butcher performing on tenor and soprano saxophone for a masterful concert of free improvisations, energetically turning the "Electric", "Light", "On", "Click" through 4 extended and remarkable conversations.
N.O. MOORE / EDDIE PREVOST / JASON YARDE - Nous (Matchless 102; UK) Part of the Iklectic club's "Meetings With Remarkable Saxophonists" programmed by drummer Eddie Prévost and double bassist Guillaume Viltard, here meeting John Butcher performing on tenor and soprano saxophone for a masterful concert of free improvisations, energetically turning the "Electric", "Light", "On", "Click" through 4 extended and remarkable conversations.
EDDIE PREVOST BAND with GEOFF HAWKINS / GERRY GOLD / MARCIO MATTOS - Bean Soup and Bouquets (Matchless 101; UK) Their 1st album released in 1977 on Spotlite Records label, the free jazz quartet led by Prévost on drums, Geoff Hawkins on tenor saxophone, Gerry Gold on trumpet & flugelhorn, and Marcio Mattos on double bass, released two live albums on the Matchless label before disbanding; this live album from Cata OTO in London in 2020 reunites the band for a solid concert 42 years after.
DANIEL KORDIK / EDWARD LUCAS / EDDIE PREVOST - High Lver Reflections (Matchless/Earshot ME-1; UK) The Earshots duo of Daniel Kordik on modular synthesizer and Edward Lucas on trombone reprise their meeting a year earlier with free improvising percussionist and AMM legend Eddie Prévost, drawn by the natural resonance of the All Saints Church in Essex, England, recording these electroacoustic improvisations of astonishing sonic properties and astounding technique.
METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE with PEK / YURI ZBITNOV - Don Quixote (Evil Clown 9249; USA) Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters and featuring PEK on clarinets, saxes, shenai, contrabasson, flutes, melodica, fog horn, guzheng, bass, el. cello, daxophone, narration and a wealth of percussion and Yuri Zbitnov on drums, englephone, chimes, crotales, bells, aquasonic, foghorn, kazoo and narration. After disappearing for a bit, longtime Leap of Faith drummer, Yuri Zbitnov is back and is playing with just one of the offshoot units: Metal Chaos Ensemble. The Metal Chaos Ensemble are an ongoing offshoot project of Leap of Faith with PEK and Yuri Zbitnov as almost always constant members. Since the pandemic started in March of 2020, PEK has had to strip things down to less members and recorded mainly at home in the Evil Clown Headquarters. For this disc PEK seems to be playing even more instruments (49!?!) than he usually does.
This long disc (nearly 80 minutes!), starts with gongs and narration which soon turns into dark, probing bass sax and powerful, ritualistic drumming. Things move into some intense, cosmic, over-the-top free/jazz blowing… ritualistic cymbals and gongs with thick echoplexed reverberations. I dig the way things flow with PEK and Zbitnov always working tightly together. PEK & Zbitnov work their way through different saxes, clarinets, melodica, thunder sheet, short bits of narration and a variety of odd percussion. This is a long journey through a series of cosmic scenes which slowly evolve. There are some scary and even dark sections on this long disc yet it works well as a whole. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CHARLES MINGUS with ERIC DOLPHY / CLIFFORD JORDAN / JOHNNY COLES / JACK WALRATH / GEORGE ADAMS / DON PULLEN / JAKI BYARD / DANNIE RICHMOND - @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 (Sunnyside 1570; USA) “The great bassist and composer Charles Mingus had his diehard supporters and detractors. His explosive intermingling of devil may care attitude, imposing character and aggressive music was sure to rub some listeners the wrong way and was just as likely to attract adventurous fans. But his genius could not be denied; it just may have taken some time to break down barriers.
A good way to examine this change in listener attitudes is to investigate the differences in critical appraisals from two performances in the port city of Bremen, Germany, a decade apart. The initial performance in 1964 introduced Mingus’s firebrand ways to an unsuspecting audience while his 1975 appearance was met with the expectancy of jazz royalty. The performances appear in their first official release remastered from the original source tapes on Charles Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975. Sourced with permission directly from Radio Bremen, this is the music's first official and remastered release. Includes a number of never before published images from the 1964 concert.”
Charles Mingus’ Sextet from 1964 were one of his greatest groups and toured Europe several times that year. I have more than a dozen recordings from that and a few previous tours and treasure every one. Unreleased legit recordings from that era are relatively rare and this one is the cream of the crop. The personnel was: Eric Dolphy on alto sax, flute & bass clarinet, Clifford Jordan on tenor sax, Johnny Coles on trumpet, Jaki Byrad on piano, Mingus on contrabass and Dannie Richmond on drums. The first disc contains two long tracks, “Hope So, Eric” (also called “So Long, Eric”) and “Fables of Faubus”. These two great pieces are suite-like, with several connected sections. Each member of the sextet gets a chance to solo and stretch out. When Clifford Jordan starts his long sax solo on the lengthy opener, the band is playing at a slow, moderate pace which finally speeds up later while the solo tells a long story, the rest of the sextet moving in tight waves (faster/slower/faster/slower) around him until Mingus himself takes a long & feisty bass solo with some strong interplay from longtime Mingus drummer Dannie Richmond. Another classic Mingus fave is “Fables of Faubus” which refers to the racist Arkansas governor, who sent in the national guard to prevent racial integration at a high school in Little Rock in 1957. Each and every solo by the late, great Eric Dolphy is a marvel of invention and fire. The sextet do a great job of covering Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady”, Ellington being one of Mingus’ heroes. The sextet really show their prowess and craft on the three long pieces, “Parkeriana”, “Meditations on Integration” and “Fables…”, with many more inspired solos and ensemble interplay. The third & fourth discs from a decade later, with a George Adams (tenor sax), Jack Walrath (trumpet) and Don Pullen (piano) frontline and the same two rhythm team mates, show this quintet to be equally marvelous and inventive. I caught this same quintet at the Village Vanguard around a half dozen times in the early to mid seventies and thought they were amongst the greatest jazz groups ever. This quintet also plays “Fables of Faubus” as well as the bebop standard, “Cherokee”. And, this quintet is in equally amazing form here as well. This four CD set is something else entirely, a treasure chest of Mingus Creative Music! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
4 CD Set $30
MIKE WESTBROOK with JOHN SURMAN / ARNE DOMNERUS / LENNART ABERG / RUNE GUSTAFSSON / Et Al - Love and Understanding / Citadel / Room 315 - Sweden '74 (My Only Desire Records 003; EEC) Featuring Mike Westbrook - composer, conductor & electric piano, John Surman - baritone & soprano saxes & bass clarinet and the Swedish Radio Jazz Group which includes Arne Domnerus on alto sax & clarinet, Lennart Aberg on tenor & soprano saxes & flute, Rune Gustafsson on guitar, Georg Riedel on bass, etc. I have long been fascinated by a number of British jazz composers & large ensemble leaders like: Neil Ardley (New Jazz Orchestra), Michael Garrick, Michael Gibbs, Graham Collier, Chris MacGregor (Brotherhood of Breath), Keith Tippett (Centipede, The Ark), Barry Guy (LJCO) and Mike Westbrook. Each of these men started in the 1960’s and have had long & winding Creative Music careers ever since. I bought my first Mike Westbrook album, ‘Marching Song’ (2 LP set from 1969, his first effort), when I was attending college in London in late 1975. I hadn’t heard of Mr. Westbrook as of yet but I read a chapter about him in Ian Carr’s essential book about modern British jazz called “Music Outside”. I bought the record mostly based on the personnel which included a number of my favorite British saxists: John Surman, Mike Osborne, Bernie Living, Alan Skidmore, Nisar Ahmed Khan and Brian Smith. The record turned out to be a classic of modern British avant/jazz large ensemble music, I still go back to it from time to time and marvel. Mr. Westbrook has had quite a long career with more than 2 dozen records under his belt, each one with varying personnel from solo piano to duos to some great fusion bands and large ensembles. I collect everything of Mr. Westbrook’s that I can lay my hands on. Recently, a customer of ours from England, sent us a package of signed items and a newly released CD by Mike Westbrook.
The new Westbrook offering is called, ‘Love and Understand, Citadel/Room 315 - Sweden ’74’ and it was indeed recorded in Sweden in 1974. What has long been fascinating about Westbrook is that although he has written for and employed the cream of British modern jazz musicians, his music is never tied to any one genre, drawing from rock, modern classical, opera and whatever he feels might work. Mr. Westbrook and Mr. Surman actually started out working together in Plymouth, UK, in 1958 and both eventually moved to London in 1962, still working together. Surman left Westbrook’s band in 1968 in order to work on his own solo career. Westbrook soon formed a sort of fusion/jazz/rock outfit called Solid Gold Cadillac. Out of the blue, Westbrook got a commission to write for the Swedish Radio Jazz Group and that is how this concert/recording came to be. Thanks to old customer & friend of DMG’s named Jan Elvsen, who sent a box of modern Sweden jazz albums to the store a few years ago, I’ve been getting appreciate Swedish jazz legends like: Georg Reidel, Jan Johansson, Arne Domnerus & Lennart Aberg. Mr. Westbrook went to record these same songs with an all-star British ensemble in 1975 for RCA, which is considered to be his first masterwork.
The first thing I noticed about this disc is how well it is recorded: superbly! After the introduction, the large ensemble launches into “Construction” which features some inspired solos by Swedish guitar great Rune Gustafsson and an amazing spirited soprano sax from Mr. Surman backed by a powerful, tight orchestra with Westbrook’s electric piano holding down the fort. On “View from the Drawbridge”, it is Westbrook’s arranging of that solemn, haunting music that really runs deep and somewhat majestic in sound. “Love and Understanding” has a great infectious riff which you will not soon forget plus a few great solos from Lars Olofsson on trombone and Lennart Aberg on soprano sax. “Pastorale” is an aptly titles piece with some lovely harmonies for the horns and a splendid solo from Bertil Lovgren on trumpet. This entire hour long plus suite flows nicely in waves and is enchanting throughout. Although the Swedish Jazz Group is a 17 piece large ensemble, the group sound smaller, more modest yet still rich in harmonic ideas. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STEVE POTTS with AMBROSE JACKSON / JEAN JACQUES AVENEL / KENNETH TYLER / CHRISTIAN ESCOUDE / KENO SPELLER / et al - Musique Pour Le Film d'Un Ami (Souffle Continu Records 062; France) “Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Steve Potts's Musique Pour Le Film d'Un Ami, originally released in 1975. In 1975, Steve Potts left Steve Lacy for a time to compose Musique Pour Le Film d'Un Ami following the proposition from the film's director Joaquín Lledó. With guest musicians of quality and from vairied horizons, the saxophonist recorded a soundtrack ranging from modal jazz to free funk and from dirty grooves, to java wah-wah with disconcerting elegance. Rather than blaxploitation, Potts and his group offer us their mixploitation made in Paris which would be recognized way beyond the boundaries of La Défense. If you have never seen Sujet ou le secrétaire aux 1001 tiroirs (1975), Steve Potts will allow you to listen to it. The film was made by a friend of his, Joaquin Noessi, a pseudonym of Joaquín Lledó, for which the saxophonist composed the music in the mid-70s. It was recorded in Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Potts was joined by the musicians he played with regularly at the time with Steve Lacy (Jean-Jacques Avenel, Ambrose Jackson, Kenneth Tyler) but not just them... Because, on Musique Pour Le Film d'Un Ami, you hear funk musicians (pianist Frank Abel and percussionist Donny Donable, both also expatriates, who played in the group Ice), nimble French musicians (Elie Ferré and Christian Escoudé on guitars, Joss Basselli on accordion) and unclassifiable men-of-all-seasons (Keno Speller on percussion and Gus Nemeth on double bass). The production was assured by another iconoclastic figure: Jef Gilson. It was an eclectic team, and they made an eclectic album, as shown by the track titles. Steve Potts just has to shake it all up and let the notes pour out: modal, (even cosmic, jazz) free funk, dirty grooves, cool jam sessions, bistro boogie, java wah-wah... Musique Pour Le Film d'Un Ami is a shattering album of shattered atmospheres. Remastered from the master tapes. Restored artwork. Licensed from Steve Potts.
NEGATIVLAND - The World Will Decide (Seeland 034; USA) "Negativland's mirror image sequel to last year's True False, The World Will Decide turns the focus away from the very human inability to accurately define reality, and towards the technologies being built to do a better job at it. But if sorting true from false seemed like a full-time job back when all one had to keep track of was one's own mind, life alongside the machines built to connect everyone only seems to multiply the uncertainties. On The World Will Decide, those uncertainties are made almost deliriously danceable: a netweb of densely sampled voices melting speech back down into music and back again, into what everyone can agree are the real questions -- did that firefly really land on your finger? Would you like to be arrested? Does this app connect you to people, or replace them? Is this post an example of inauthentic behavior? Do people have to die? Or, as one of the many sampled voices on this work assures the listener: we can really feel like we're here."
MICHAEL CHAPMAN - Sweet Powder & Wrytree Drift (Mooncrest 107; UK) "2xCD booklet in six-panel digipack with sleeve notes by Andru Chapman. These two albums are part of a clutch of albums Michael made when he was between record companies and which he recorded for his own production company Rural Retreat Records. Rural Retreat West Virginia, on the old Virgin Creeper Line, was the subject of one of O.Winston Link's famous 'train' pics of whom MC is a huge fan."
2 CD Set $25
DENMAN MARONEY CD SALE!
I have long been fascinated by great pianists and am always in search for those who are dazzling or unique in their approach yet rarely get the recognition they deserve. New York City has long attracted many great pianists of jazz, free music, progressive and modern classical tendencies. Most of us know the bigger names: Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell, Matt Shipp, Sylvie Courvoisier, Cooper-Moore, Borah Bergman, Craig Taborn, Angelica Sanchez and Kris Davis. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Over time I’ve discovered/checked out so many lesser known phenomenons, the list just keeps growing. Here is a short list of great pianists you should know about: John Blum, Chris Forbes, Marc Hennen, Greg Murphy, Daniel Kelly, Shoko Nagai and Denman Maroney.
One of the first Stockhausen albums I bought in the mid-seventies was by a trio called the Negative Band which consisted of Earl Howard, Denman Maroney, David Simons and Michael Jon Fink (rel on Finnadar in 1975). I am not sure when Mr. Maroney moved to NYC but I have been hearing him live and on record since the nineties. Maroney has been exploring sounds inside the piano ever since he was in the Negative Band and has come up with his unique approach to coaxing sounds from the piano innards. He once explained to me at The Stone how the type of metal piece he uses inside the piano has taken hime a long time to figure out its unique qualities. Late last year Mr. Maroney moved to Europe and recently a friend of his dropped off a couple hundred of his different discs. There are ten titles listed below, each one has a review. They are all worthy of further study. Some we have only 3 or 4 copies while others we have upwards of 50 copies. Check them out if you want to be challenged. - BLG
MARK DRESSER / DENMAN MARONEY With ALEXANDRA MONTANO / MICHAEL SARIN - Time Changes (Cryptogramophone 124; USA) Mark Dresser has recorded with Ray Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, John Zorn and countless others. As a composer and bassist, his innovations and contributions to the evolution of jazz are legendary. On Time Changes, he collaborates with pianist Denman Maroney, drummer Michael Sarin, and vocalist Alexandra Montano to create a recording of unbridled depth and beauty. "Mark Dresser and Denman Maroney have covered a lot of territory in their 16 years of frequent collaboration, but this may be their most successful attempt at synthesizing diverse moods and concepts. While the experimental, challenging side of their musicality is de-emphasized on Time Changes, this program is a delirious swath of contemporary musical aesthetics "integrated not segregated"--to use Dresser's own words. These guys have invented fresh new ways to go way OUT while still being gloriously, heart-achingly, toe-tappingly IN; sometimes it feels like they've hidden a Kagel composition in the interstices of a jazz ballad. What's so special about Dresser is how he's developed an incomparable vocabulary of extended technique on doublebass, but he'sfound a way to incorporate this goldmine of timbral and dynamic detail into a conventional jazz context instead of the more straightforward and common approach of playing these techniques for their own sake.Dresser is no stranger to the latter approach of placing sound discoveries on center stage to speak for themselves and I personally find that musical direction endlessly rewarding as a wellspring of new musical parametrizations and forms, but it's a rare and joyous occasion to hear this kind of microstructural avant-gardism elevate an older form like jazz. And, wow, is this music elevated; it's floating in the celestial spheres of creative jazz. Accounting for its title, the album is highlighted by complex and innovative rhythmic interaction, an area of compositional investigation that Dresser and Maroney have both pursued to rare depths. Michael Sarin is a master of intricate post-jazz drumkit and he not only nails the tricky details of timing in these works, but also offers a degree of timbral detail that matches Dresser and Maroney. At times they deliver the sort of staggered, off-kilter, punchy, tightly wound, cyclical rhythmic structures that would appeal to fans of the RIO tradition in avant-rock (Nimal, Univers Zero, Henry Cow, etc) in addition to fans of the robust avant-jazz tradition of intricate "heads" (Chapin, Berne, Masada, Threadgill, etc). This album is a showcase for Maroney's flexibility; he freely moves between precise, economical keyboard parts and his famous "hyperpiano" vocabulary. On "Pulse Field" he treats the piano as the giant zither it is, with buzzing darts and clusters of high-pitched microtonal plucking. Even when the trio is in their post-Euro-improv/serialist zones, they favor repetition and fairly smooth timbres that sustain the album's subdued, gentle flow and nearly romantic mood of lush prettiness, which finds its peaks in the four tracks featuring mezzo-soprano female vocalist Alexandra Montano. As much as I love the contrasts from track to track that make it an intoxicating and varied total-album experience, I'd be just as happy to hear Montano's heavenly voice on every track! "Between 17th and Bliss" is not only the highlight of the album for me, but this miraculous triumph of creativity and beauty is probably the most gorgeous piece of music I'll hear all year. Towards the end an understated bass, piano, and cymbal composite gracefully glides down a breathtaking, shimmering arch with Montano's lilting, slow melodies. It's one of those moments where I feel truly transported by music. Transported to where? Perhaps an expansive flower garden on a warm day with a gentle breeze carrying the ephemeral scents of fresh blooms. At times, Montano recalls the pastoral, floating moments of Aina Kemanis' vocals in the Alex Cline Ensemble, and on "M.C." she rivals the darting, light bliss of Flora Purim's work with Airto Moreira and Chick Corea. Every track on Time Changes is stunning and every note feels perfect. It's a masterpiece rendered with audiophile recording clarity and presented with Cryptogramophone's customade lavish packaging and artwork." - Michael Anton Parker
CD $6 [Out-of-print!]
DENMAN MARONEY With NED ROTHENBERG / REUBEN RADDING / MICHAEL SARIN - Gaga: The Art Of The Quartet (Nuscope 1020; USA) Featuring Denman Maroney on Steinway B Hyperpiano, Ned Rothenberg on alto sax, clarinet & bass clarinet, Reuben Radding on double bass & bass guitar (1 track) and Michael Sarin on drums. Denman Maroney has had a completely unique and distinctive approach to playing acoustic piano, that he has worked on for more than a decade. Denman's contribution to each of the discs that he has worked on with Mark Dresser, Ned Rothenberg, Mat Maneri, Earl Howard and Hans Tammen, has never been less than stunning. This is Mr. Maroney's second disc as leader, his first a fine disc on New World from last year and he has chosen his ensemble most selectively. Ned Rothenberg has a great duo disc out with Denman on CIMP and is part of Denman's quintet for New World. Reuben Radding is one of downtown's finest, most diverse and busiest bassists working with the likes of Daniel Carter, Mary Holvorson, Jack Wright & Ursel Schlicht. Similarly, Michael Sarin, also gets around, having played with a host of downtown greats like Mario Pavone, Thomas Chapin, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford and Brad Shepik. I knew from the start that this was going to be fine disc. "Fowler's Blues" opens and is an odd minimal bluesy song with Denman playing most skeletal and Ned playing even less notes, while Michael spins more quickly on brushes. The mid-section has Denman cautiously muting the piano strings with as he plays those eerie rubbed string sounds. There is something quite elegant and charming about this piece. I love the way Denman combines the that twisted Latin-like groove on "Frogs" while playing those bowl-rubbing notes inside the piano. The title track, "Gaga" is the longest and it is a spacious, haunting and minimal piece. Michael's melodic mallet work is featured as the rest of the instruments just add occasional punctuation. It is as if there is a couple of intersecting stories going on simultaneously in slow motion and then building in tempo slightly as it unfolds. When Ned finally comes in, his own playful sound to the sly, oddly funky vibe. The thing I dig most about this disc is the strange yet charming melodies that Denman has written. Each piece seems to have a theme that is quirky, unpredictable and yet, oddly charming. "Kilter" reminds me of a merry-go-round as it accelerates and then slows back down. "Social Security" sounds suspiciously like a Thelonius Monk theme with a theme that is instantly memorable. In a way, I can see/hear how Monk could be an inspiration for this quartet as Denman does write those quirky slightly twisted songs. This disc is not what we might have expected from an experimentalist like Denman Maroney, although it is just as engaging nonetheless. - BLG
MARK DRESSER / DENMAN MARONEY - “Live in Concert (Kadima 18; Israel) Featuring Mark Dresser on contrabass and Denman Maroney on hyper-piano, recorded live at last year's (2008) Vision Fest. The final show of the first night featured the longtime duo of Denman Maroney on prepared piano and Mark Dresser on contrabass. This duo has worked together in different combinations for more than a decade, and you could tell by the way they explore sounds in similar ways. Denman works inside the piano with metal bowls and uses other objects to mute and manipulate the strings. Mark as well is a master of exploring odd and unique sounds on his acoustic bass. They both bend their strings in ways that make it hard to tell who is doing what without looking closely. Their set unfolded in an organic way with a variety of eerie sounds that were not always melodic, yet remained effective and fascinating nonetheless. Their set had a dream-like quality with odd twisted sounds floating in a hypnotic haze. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $20 [4 left / Out-of-print!]
DENMAN MARONEY With THEO BLECKMANN / SHELLEY HIRSCH / HERB ROBERTSON / et al - Music For Words, Perhaps: The Poetry of W B Yeates and Wallace Stevens (Innova 717; USA) Featuring Theo Bleckmann & Shelley Hirsch on vocals, Herb Robertson on trumpets, Denman Maroney on hyperpiano & compositions, Arthur Kell on bass and David Simons on percussion. This is a departure from just about anything we've heard from Mr. Maroney in the past. Denman is most often recognized as a great pianist who continues to explore unusual sounds often produced by rubbing objects inside the piano, which he refers to as "hyperpiano". For this disc, Denman has taken the poetry of W.B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens and has written his own music for the words to be sung by Theo Bleckmann (Yeats) or Shelley Hirsch (Stevens). The title piece, "Music for Words, Perhaps" is from a poem by Yeats and it features the duo of Theo Bleckmann and Denman Maroney. It is a long work (36 & 1/2 minutes), broken into 10 parts. Denman's piano playing, Theo's voice and the music itself are consistently adventurous and engaging. The words are printed in the booklet, so we get a chance to consider what wonderful poetry it is. On "The Second Coming", Denman does an impressive job of coaxing eerie sounds out of his manipulated piano while Theo sounds like a mildly disturbed spirit. This piece works since the words and music, voice and piano, exist as one strong integrated spirit. "A Thought Revolved" was written by Wallace Stevens and it features the great voice of Shelley Hirsch with strong quintet backing. Again, it is Denman's exuberant piano playing that keeps this piece so invigorating, adding the ever crafty trumpet of Herb Robertson and Shelley's distinctive voice to the brew. The words are again filled with fascinating ideas and images and Shelley does a special job of bringing them to life with her humor and her unique vocal spice. It is great to hear a new direction explored by Denman Maroney, especially since it is so successful on a variety of levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
DENMAN MARONEY / DOMINIC LASH - All Strung Out (Kadima 35; Israel) Denman Maroney on hyperpiano and Dominic Lash on contrabass. British bassist Dominic Lash (Convergence Quartet) spent six months in NY last year and collaborated with a number of Downtown musicians as well as playing an excellent duo set here at DMG with Alex Ward. Denman and Dominic met at a trio session with Tim Hodgkinson at The Stone. Experimental pianist Denman Maroney is one Downtown's most distinctive improvisers hence this, an intense duo session. This well recorded studio session bristles with focused energy and engaging explorations. Denman specializes in muting the piano with different objects inside from bowls to a small rectangular block of metal. There are moments when Denman stretches the strings and thus give the feeling of being kept off balance, like we are about to fall. Dominic also bangs on, bows and bends his strings so that their sounds are not that unlike. The further they go out, the more fascinating the sounds become. Denman seems to have a scientific approach working on a certain section of the piano or a certain sonic area, slowly altering the sounds as he goes. Sometimes they strip the sounds down to minimal excursions and then slowly build them up again. This is an immensely gripping effort of improvised excavation at its best. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
CD $8 [Out-of-print!]
DENMAN MARONEY - Double Zero: Hyperpiano (Porter 4063; USA) Featuring Denman Maroney on hyperpiano. Last month (in November of 2011) when Jeff Gauthier from the Cryptogramophone label was curating at The Store, I caught the great duo of Vinny Golia & Denman Marony play two sets on two different nights. Vinny played assorted reeds while Denman was playing inside the piano with selected objects. In between sets I had the opportunity to discuss at length with Mr. Maroney the development of his technique for working inside the piano with specific objects (mainly metals) that he has used for many years starting with a recording he made with the Negative Band of two Stochausen pieces while attending Cal Arts in the early seventies. I now have a better idea of how certain sounds are made with his unique 'hyperpiano' techniques. Maroney has recorded a number of duos (Mark Dresser, Mat Maneri, Earl Howard & Ned Rothenberg), but has also done solo recordings. This is the 2nd of his hyperpiano-titled recordings [the first was released on Monsey]. Although the basic sound of prepared piano is recognizable, Denman focuses in on certain ideas and then expands and explorers certain textures and sounds. The first piece sounds like ping pong balls being bounced on the strings or clock gears winding down slowly. Sometimes Denman will play bent melodies on the keyboard while rubbing the strings inside with certain metal objects. The overall sound is like a fractured fairy tale. Mr. Maroney explores a different themes or ideas on each piece, often nuance by nuance. In between eruptions of varying dissonant sounds, certain melodies or fragments of are strategically employed. All in all, Denman works like a scientist or a jeweler with precise attention to detail unearthing exotic gems a few at a time. Although it sounds as if he is exploring alien terrain, it still makes sense and reveals fascinating worlds within worlds. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
CD $8 [Out-of-print!]
MiND GAMeS with ANGELIKA NIESCIER / DENMAN MARONEY / JAMES ILGENFRITZ / ANDREW DRURY - Epherema Obscura (Clean Feed 432; USA) Featuring Denman Maroney on piano, Angelika Niescier on alto sax, James Ilgenfritz on double bass and Andrew Drury on drums. Although all three of the men on this disc are from varied backgrounds, each is a veteran of network which stretches back more than thirty years. Hyper-piano explorer, Denman Maroney, can be heard on some thirty discs with Mark Dresser, Mat Maneri and Ned Rothenberg, playing solo, duo, trio and quartet formations. Sincd moving here from the Pacific Northwest, percussionist Andrew Drury also keeps busy working with Eyvind Kang, Jessica Lurie and Jason Hwang. Mr. Ilgenfritz studied at UC San Diego before moving back here to play with Trio Caveat and Eric Eigner. Can't say that I've heard of Ms. Niescier before this. 'Mind Games' is half group improvisations and half pieces written by individual members. I really dig Denman's "One Off or Two" which has quirky, cheerful, somewhat Monk-like melody which I could almost whistle. Immensely charming. The improvised pieces have that twisted, bent-note, inside-the-piano exploration that we should expect from this quartet. Focused and quite intense with an intricate weaving of several strands simultaneously. Different duos or trios collide yet remain interconnected on some level. This makes for some exciting, edge-of-your-seating listening. Mr. Ilgenfritz's "Social Hypochondria" (great title!) keeps switching gears unexpectedly throughout as if it can make up its mind what it wants to be but makes sense in the end. I find this tune immensely charming with a certain quaint sound that is hard to describe. The final piece is an epic length work written by Ms. Niescier. In the first section the piano, bass and drums all seem to be bowed or rubbed with mysterious results. This piece is sparse and unfolds slowly and cautiously. When Angelika enters the piece turns into a somber ballad with some warm, lovely alto sax sailing softly on top. This piece deals more with creating a dream-like mood with some occasional eerie ghosts floating by. Rather than an entirely haphazard improv affair, this disc seems more pre-planned and well thought out at that. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
STEVE OLSON / DENMAN MARONEY / OSCAR NORIEGA - The Ruthless Shapes Of Paradise (Release It 2; USA) Featuring Steve Olson on drums & percussion, Denman Maroney on hyperpiano and Oscar Noriega on alto sax & bass clarinet. This disc came in the mail the other day (7/27/15) and I was impressed, especially since I hadn't heard of the the leader, Steve Olson, before this. His two collaborators are well established members of the Downtown network for many years. Denman Maroney has a completely unique approach to playing inside the piano and I've heard him with the likes of Mark Dresser, Ned Rothenberg, Robert Dick and others. Over the past decade, reeds wiz, Oscar Noriega, has become one of the most in-demand collaborators, working with Tim Berne, the Clarinets and Endangered Blood. I caught Endangered Blood the other night at I-Beam and the band was wonderful, especially the solos from Mr. Noriega. This trio met for the first time in the studio when this was recorded, yet there is something quite magical about the way they work together. It is rare to hear Mr. Noriega do an all improvised disc but the remains cautious and focused throughout, taking their time to explore the subtle nuances of improv. Wow, this is really something else. The suspense, sublime balance and elegant interplay is superb. As this disc unfolds, the tempo and layers of lines increase and various interconnections take place. When Mr. Noriega plays alto sax here, he sounds like his bandmate Chris Speed on tenor, hushed and often haunting. Mr. Maroney also takes his time, coaxing a variety of subtle, odd and effective sounds from inside the piano. Otherworldly, mysterious vibes pervade. Even percussionist Steve Olson seems to have a scientific approach, often delicate yet knowing when to expand and contract. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $20 [3 left / Out-of-print!]
MIGUEL FRASCONI / DENMAN MARONEY - Gleam (Porter 4047; USA) Miguel Frasconi uses a menagerie of glass objects to create music from a uniquely imagined tradition. These objects are struck, blown, stroked and otherwise coaxed into vibration. Miguel has worked with the likes of renowned composers, John Cage, Brian Eno and James Tenney, and his studies have ranged from the music of Indonesia to the Fluxus movement. Denman Maroney plays what he calls 'hyperpiano,' which involves bowing and sliding the strings with steel cylinders, Tibetan prayer bowls, rubber blocks and CD cases to create a unique sonic vocabulary. Denman also uses a system of temporal harmony based on the undertone series that allows him to improvise and compose in several tempos at once. With their release of 'Gleam', these two visionary musicians come together to take the listener through a dream like landscape of otherworldly sounds.
CD $8 [Out-of-print!]
MORE GEMS From the DMG SALE CD SECTION:
ELLERY ESKELIN / SYLVIE COURVOISIER - Every So Often (Prime Source 5010; USA) Featuring Ellery Eskelin on tenor sax and Sylvie Courvoisier on piano. Although this extraordinary duo has not play in New York very often, they have done a bit of touring, playing in Vancouver, the Oregon Festival of Music, Baltimore, the Earshot & Penofin Jazz Fests, Baltimore, Hell's Kitchen Fest and of course, The Stone. Both Ellery and Sylvie remain amongst downtown's finest musicians and composers with a variety of projects and bands that they work with. The also have a trio disc with Vincent Courtois being released on CAM in Italy which we still await. I expected great things from this duo and I was completely knocked out by the results. There is some immense concentration going on here, a dialogue that goes back and forth and combines/blends ideas. On "Moderato Cantabile" the duo play a series of magical cascades, waves of notes building, caressing and slowly ascending, finally fading into silence. A superb beginning. Sylvie is quite a musical sorceress, she makes every note count. Whether she is playing inside the piano or on the keyboard, nothing is ever superfluous. On "A Distant Place" Sylvie seems to playing a few different inter-connected lines simultaneously while Ellery shifts between the lines providing a focal point of entry into ever-changing logic that holds this piece together. I love how on the title piece, the duo strip things down to a more skeletal approach so that each sound shimmers in the space between the notes. This duo exchange is a treasure chest of successfully contained ideas that just keeps getting better each time that I listen to it. I hope to see them live someday, but this disc still blows my mind in the meantime. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
CD Sale $5
ELLERY ESKELIN With ANDREA PARKINS / JIM BLACK JESSICA CONSTABLE / et al - Quiet Music (Prime Source 4010; USA) The trio of Ellery Eskelin tenor saxaphone, Andrea Parkins keys and accordion, and Jim Black drums; joined on some cuts by Jessic Constable voice, and Phillipe Celda piano and organ. "Quiet Music" is a double CD package containing music written by Ellery Eskelin (with one exception) and developed on several tours of Europe and the United States. For this recording Eskelin chose to work in one of France's most prestigious recording facilities, Studios la Buissonne located in the south of France near Avignon. Eskelin had worked with engineer Gerard de Haro some years previously on a project led by drummer Daniel Humair and was impressed enough with the engineer's work and reputation of the studio that he took two days during the band's spring 2006 European tour to record the fourteen pieces of music that are presented here. The sound is stunningly clear, warm and deep. Eskelin's compositions for this recording range from trio pieces that explore his fondness for musical non-sequiturs to quartet pieces with Jessica Constable exploring novel methods of organizing improvised musical thought to a number of double keyboard quintet pieces with the addition of Philippe Gelda that open up completely new vistas for this band. "Quiet Music" also includes a composition written by French composer and early music specialist Olivier Marcaud entitled "la Berceuse d'Angela". It originally appears on a collection of children's lullabies from around the world. In this version Philippe Gelda and Jessica Constable deliver gorgeously pristine, almost medieval sounding vocals suspended over the band's otherworldly improvised textures.
2 CD Set $7
JOE McPHEE / LASSE MARHAUG - Harmonia Macrocosmia (Smalltown Supersound/Actions 302; UK) "Joe McPhee is a legend of modern music, which from the release of the classic Nation Time album almost 50 years ago has had an incredibly diverse career that's spanned a wide range of expressions, from jazz and improvised music to experimental and electronic free music. McPhee's life in music could basically be read as a map of leftfield music of our time, but after all these years he refuses to stand still or lock back with any sense of nostalgia. After 30 years of making electronic music Lasse Marhaug is now synonymous with Norwegian noise music, with hundreds of releases and countless collaborations and projects to his name, including music for film, theatre and dance. In the last ten years he has also made a name as a producer for other artists, including Jenny Hval and Okkyung Lee. McPhee and Marhaug has known each other since the early 2000s, but only in 2015 did they find time to record together as a duo. The result is Harmonia Macrocosmica, an album that the two considers a science fiction inspired work. For McPhee it can be read in the linage of his 70s work with John Snyder, as well as collaborations with Pauline Oliveros and the Nihilist Spams Band. Marhaug of course is well versed in this field, but McPhee's sax and voice puts his electronics in a whole new perspective. The pair also found inspiration in early electronic music and vintage science fiction films, with McPhee describing going to the cinema in the 50s as a kid to see Forbidden Planet and being blown away by its electronic score as the start of a lifelong love of cosmic music."
Various: EVAN PARKER / MATS GUSTAFSSON / JOE McPHEE / PETER BROTZMANN / THE THING / KEN VANDERMARK / LEAN LEFT / YOSHIMI O / FREE FALL / SONIC YOUTH / CHICAGO TENTET / LASSE MARHAUG / et al - Actions for Free Jazz (Smalltown Superjazz 250; UK) "Smalltown Superjazzz was a free-jazz subsidiary label to Smalltown Supersound from 2005-2012. The label has been dormant in the years 2012 to 2019, but is now reborn as the AFJ-Serie. The AFJ-Series represents a new start -- built on the foundation and heritage of the Superjazzz label. AFJ-Series is short for Actions for free jazz. This was the slogan for Smalltown Superjazzz and was borrowed at the time from Don Cherry & Krystzof Penderecki's The New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra track "Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra" from the 1971 album Actions. AFJ-Series is a series and a subsidiary label within Smalltown Supersound. AFJ-Series is proud to release this compilation which features music from 40 releases, spanning almost 20 years on Smalltown Supersound, Superjazzz and the AFJ-series. The idea with the compilation is to bring the Superjazzz era into the AFJ-Series, but also to leave it behind -- and start fresh. A requiem and rebirth combined. The idea came from Mats Gustafsson and was inspired by the famous 1964 ESP-Disk' sampler, which with its hard edit approach has become a classic in its own right. The task of selecting, editing and structuring the material was given to Lasse Marhaug, who has been part of the Smalltown family for more than 20 years. Marhaug spent months plowing through the entire catalogue, and while the main goal was to give a total overview of Smalltown's wide range of releases in the improvised/jazz/free music field, Marhaug's choices and juxtapositions almost plays as a new piece of music. So here it is -- 40 tracks of total freedom. Or the universality in music of improvisation as Derek Bailey called it." Features Thurston Moore & Mats Gustafsson, Evan Parker & Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, The Thing, The Thing with Ken Vandermark, Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love, Two Bands and a Legend, Peter Brötzmann & Paal Nilssen-Love, Christian Marclay & Mats Gustafsson, Free Fall, Joe McPhee & Paal Nilssen-Love, The Thing & Cato Salsa Experience, Offonoff, Lean Left, Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid &Mats Gustafsson, Diskaholics Anonymous, Yoshimi & Mats Gustafsson, Free Fall, Mats Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen-Love, Peter Brötzmann & Mats Gustafsson &Paal Nilssen-Love, The Thing with Otomo Yoshihide, Original Silence, Diskaholics Anonymous Trio & Mats Gustafsson &Sonic Youth with friends, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, The Thing with Jim O'Rourke, Paal Nilssen-Love & Håkon Kornstad, Aotearoa Snuff Jazz Sextet, Joe McPhee & Lasse Marhaug, EYE & Mats Gustafsson.
BRUCE DITMAS - Visioni Sconvolgenti (DEAD-CERT 010; UK) “Limited restock. With roots in the early developments of modular synthesis and free jazz and revered amongst the most discerning collectors of international jazz, electronic music, and American avant-garde, the experimental drummer known as Bruce Ditmas occupies a firm branch on contemporary experimental music's family tree. As the one time romantic partner (and artistic collaborator) of sound poet Joan La Barbara (later to be Miss Morton Subotnik) and the stand-out session drummer for both Robert Mason's mutant synth Stardrive project and Gil Evan's legendary Jimi Hendrix tribute band, Ditmas is best savored as the first recorded solo artist to utilize Robert Moog's lesser-known Moog Drum controller -- an instrument which over the course of two 1977 independent LPs (Aeray Dust and Yellow) would become synonymous with his blooming reputation. Raised in Miami, nurtured in New York City, and willingly exploited internationally, Bruce's public life as a child prodigy-cum-world jazz crusader (drawing similarities with the likes of France's Jacques Thollot) has seen him spread his select discography over many imprints, including Joan La Barbara's own Wizard Label, Enja, and ECM -- socializing with sound designers like Suzanne Ciani and collaborating on projects penned by Annette Peacock, Paul Bley, and his long running collaborator Enrico Rava. Spending the last thirty years travelling between America and Italy as a full-time jazz musician whilst working with inter-communal music initiatives, film directors, and theater groups, Bruce has retained the same maverick passion and macabre creative influences channeling brutalism, futurism, science fiction, and psychological horror through his percussive mantra and avant-garde approach to instrument manipulation and recontextualization. The selected titles on Visioni Sconvolgenti are extracted from various recordings made over the last three decades, comprising field recording techniques and percussive manipulation resulting in gritty tonal soundscapes and angular sonic sculptures, while drawing theoretical comparisons with European proto-industrial units like Germany's Faust, Swiss electronic jazz pioneer Bruno Spoerri, Czech sonic illustrator Milan Grygar, and sprawling generation of Parisian musique concrète informed anti-melodic luminaries. Reflecting a lifelong career in active melodic drum exploration and vivid existential sound design, Visioni Sconvolgenti provides an alternative, darker, meditative, glimpse into the work of a proactive composer at his non-conformist best in the uninhibited confides of his own home analog studio. Artwork by Andy Votel. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering.
10” LP $17
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.
HERE IS A RECENT SOLO SET FROM FORMER DMG All-Star Saxist CHRIS PITSIOKOS:
JOE FONDA & THOMAS HEBERER DUO
LIVE Stream this Friday, November 13th at 8pm EST
THIS IS A GIG ANNOUNCEMENT FROM VIOLINIST SARAH BERNSTEIN:
FRIDAY Nov 6, 8-10 pm EST
The Fuse Factory Electronic and Digital Arts Lab: Frequency Fridays
Fatal Gaze 8 pm
Post Vivo 8:30
Sarah Bernstein 9 pm
Id M Theft Able 9:30
This is from Thomas Sayers Ellis of HEROES ARE GANG LEADERS:
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
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:
ROULETTE AT HOME:
https://roulette.org/rtv/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd- Dr. Chadbourne! EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-andc19eeaa4fd-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
This One from FLUTIST Extraordinare BOB DOWNES: