HUNGRY FREAKS DADDY
From The Mothers of Invention’s Debut album ‘Freak-Out!’
Mr. America, walk on by
Your schools that do not teach
Mr. America, walk on by
The minds that won't be reached
Mr. America, try to hide
The emptiness that's you inside
But once you find that the way you lied
And all the corny tricks you tried
Will not forestall the rising tide
Of hungry freaks, daddy
They won't go for no more
Great mid-western hardware store
Philosophy that turns away
From those who aren't afraid to say
What's on their minds
The left behinds
Of the Great Society
Hungry freaks, daddy
Mr. America, walk on by
Your supermarket dream
Mr. America, walk on by
The liquor store supreme
Mr. America, try to hide
The product of your savage pride
The useful minds that it denied
The day you shrugged and stepped aside
You saw their clothes and then you cried
"Those hungry freaks, daddy!"
They won't go for no more
Great mid-western hardware store
Philosophy that turns away
From those who aren't afraid to say
What's on their minds
The left behinds
Of the Great Society
Hungry Freaks, Daddy” was the opening song on the first Mothers of Invention album, ‘Freak -Out’, which was released in November of 1966. I bought ‘Freak-Out!’ in the summer of 1967 at age 13, just after I got Bar Mitzvah’d and became a man (according to Jewish law). I bought that album based on reading a review of I read Hit Parade teen magazine which said that it was the weirdest record they had ever heard and that it should be avoided by those with weak hearts & minds. Plus the cover really did freak me out. At first, I didn’t quite get it and was confused by some of the lyrics and strange (avant-garde) music. But I kept listening until I realized that it was absolutely brilliant on many levels. I had truly become a “freak”. The name of the Mothers’ fan club was ‘United Mutations’ and I am a lifelong member. Later on that same year, I remember my mother telling me that my favorite band was on the Steve Allen Show that evening. I found that hard to believe but she was right. I was flabbergasted when the Mothers (7 piece version) came out and played, “Hungry Freaks, Daddy” on television, looking completely freaky and unlike any other so-called rock stars. After the song, Steve Allen got Frank Zappa to sit down and talk about the lyrics to the song. Zappa repeated all of the lyrics and said something like “we are all sheep, do not believe the propaganda they are telling us. Quit school and go to the library and educate yourself. Question authority, question everything you are told.” The Mothers of Invention were and still are my favorite 1960’s rock band of all time. I still play their records (1966-1969) and they still make me crack up. They are way more influential that most would believe. They are the beginning of what became “progressive music”. Yes, I am still a freak and I still question things as much as possible. Hungry Freaks Unite! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, United Mutations Member since 1967
This Week’s Groovy Freak-Out Music Series Begins with this Astonishing Two CD Set:
* INGRID LAUBROCK with ZEENA PARKINS / CORY SMYTHE / SAM PLUTA / JOSH MODNEY / ROBERT LANFERMANN / EOS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA - Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt (Intakt 355; Switzerland) "The album 'Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt' follows Ingrid Laubrock's landmark orchestral album Contemporary Chaos Practices from 2018. Ingrid Laubrock presents on this double album five compositions in double version. On the first album, the EOS Chamber Orchestra Cologne interprets Laubrock's compositions. The soloists are Cory Smythe (piano), Sam Pluta (electronics), Robert Landfermann (bass), Tom Rainey (drums) and Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone). On a second album a filigree ensemble around the core trio of Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe, Sam Pluta and the guests Adam Matlock, Josh Modney and Zeena Parkins play the same five compositions. The two albums of Laubrock's works contrast, diverge and complement each other. Ingrid Laubrock writes: “While the small-group versions were composed first, I did not just re-arrange those compositions for the orchestra but rather re-imagined them. As I wrote the large-scale pieces, I often zoomed-in on a detail in a small-group version to generate a materially different large-group piece.” As a whole, the two albums paint fascinating musical panoramas, inspired by the composer's dream worlds, characterized by Laubrock's ability to compose and the individual colors and shades of the soloists."
Since the pandemic lockdown began in March, saxist/composer Ingrid Laubrock and her music/life partner drummer Tom Rainey have been posting weekly music sessions on bandcamp. They are currently up to Episode 34 and each one is around 15-20 minutes long. I eagerly await each one and have heard them all. I am fascinated by this ongoing music diary by two of Downtown’s best Creative Musicians, which include covers by their fave composers, as well as free improv. Ms. Laubrock never ceases to amaze me as she is a constantly evolving composer, musician and multi-bandleader. Her new disc, ‘Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt’ might just be her most ambitious offering yet. Each disc of this two disc set features a different unit: the EOS Chamber Orchestra (with guests) on Disc One and the Ingrid Laubrock Small Ensemble on Disc Two. The music here is based on a dream diary that Ms. Laubrock has been working on since she met a medium in London, back before she moved to NYC. There are three main soloists featured on both discs: Ms. Laubrock on tenor & soprano saxes, Cory Smythe on piano & 1/4 tone keyboard and Sam Pluta on electronics. I decided to listen to the small ensemble disc first which also include: Adam Matlock on accordion, Josh Modney on violin and Zeena Parkins on electric harp.
“Twice Dreamt” begins with piano and electronics swirling together in a dream-like state. Ms. Laubrock has the tenor sax and piano playing a series of complex, tightly written parts which grow more dense as the piece evolves. As it goes, the piece gets stranger, somewhat disorienting with fragments of el. harp, accordion and violin, all woven together carefully, the sound expanding and contracting, fading in and out of different segments. There seems to be a few different themes or connected fragments which pop up, emerging and submerging from the ocean/dream of inner currents, with well crafted written parts which give this music an overall structure which becomes more obvious over time.
2 CD Set $30
* KEITH TIPPETT with JULIE TIPPETTS / PAUL DUNMALL / CHRIS BISCOE / KEVIN FIGES / BEN WAGHORN and THE APOLLO SAXOPHONE QUARTET - The Monk Watches the Eagle - A BBC Recording (Discus 102; UK) Featuring Keith Tippett - composer & conductor, Julie Tippetts - solo voice & text, Paul Dunmall - soprano sax, Chris Biscoe - bari sax, Kevin Figes - alto sax & Ben Waghorn - tenor sax plus the Apollo Sax Quartet: Tim Redpath - soprano sax, Rob Buckland - alto sax, Andy Scott - tenor sax and David Roach - bari sax. This is a serious work written by the late master-pianist Keith Tippett with words by & featuring the voice of his wife, Julie, one of the greatest of all British singers. This is more of a modern classical work than a jazz work with incredible arrangements for and featuring the BBC Singers. Mr. Tippett, who has long been my favorite pianist, is conducting rather than playing piano. The music, however, is as powerful as any of his other recordings. He uses the voices and eight saxists in an awe-inspiring way, as one wonderful force, all parts perfectly integrated into the whole. The chorus often sounds angelic, with multilayered vocal tapestry.
JAH WOBBLE & BILL LASWELL with INVADERS OF THE HEART / PETER APFELBAUM / HIDEO YAMAKI // et al - Realm of Spells (Jah Wobble 400711; UK) "Spirals, the long awaiting collaboration from 2 Bass Guitar giants. Jah Wobble, bass guitar icon, founder member of the legendary PiL, long time solo music adventurer, writer, poet and artist. Bill Laswell, legendary bassist, composer, band member, music producer and engineer to many. Between them they have recorded over 100 albums, as solo artists, band members and guest projects. The list of artists they have worked with is a veritable who's who of the music business. It was inevitable that these 2 bass giants would once again team up to record more music. Accompanying Wobble and Laswell are Wobble band, fantastic, immeasurably talented and tight, The invaders Of The Heart and also guests Peter Apfelbaum and Hideo Yamaki. Realm Of Spells is an extraordinary meeting of two revolutionary bassists and musical imaginations and as you would expect, this is a recording that recognizes no genre boundaries - jazz, rock, world - just great music on it's own terms." - this was released in June of 2019.
"Spirals , the slow reveal, cyclical but eventually coming to a point . ‘Realm of Spells ‘ is for me the point . Maybe the last time I will get to work with Bill. For me personally, this record embodies and contains a lot of the basic approach I had right from the beginning , especially in regard to playing the bass. The circumstances of our trip led to me using a Fender P bass for the first time in years. All the early PiL stuff plus Full circle with Holger and Jaki was played on Fender P. I was taken back to that beautiful naive beginning . At that juncture some pristine mathematical truth shot like a ray of vajra light from deep space . Bill’s one of those rare individuals who sets the scene with his presence alone . That presence carries a lot of power. As well as welter of musical wisdom and experience . Me and the Invaders, (George, Marc and Chungy) are blazing like a comet at this present time . G, M and C , prove themselves top drawer players on these recordings . Bill understands that band intensity. (How could he not, having worked with The master, Miles Davis). He can focus on the fine detail that exists within the Musical Maelstrom . And suitably highlights that baroque detail in his characteristically, unfussy yet stylistic way. Bill’s productions stand out like a beacon, compared to most. Clean cut lines of design, but never anodyne and removed from the passions. As well as The Invaders of the Heart, RoS features Hideo Yamaki and Peter Apfelbaum. Two musicians I’d long wanted to play with. They augment this record perfectly. They both have a unique voice. RoS is on the anti clockwise spiral. That’s the esoteric one ." - Jah Wobble
CD $20 [We have only 10 copies of this disc & we might not get any more - BLG]
ORCHESTRA OF THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE with MARTIN ARCHER / JAN TODD / YVONNA MAGDA / ANDY PEAKE / LORIN HALSALL / TERRY TODD / WALT SHAW / STEVE DINSDALE - 05 (Discus 101; UK) Orchestra of The Upper Atmosphere features: Ms. Jan Todd on vocals, lyrics, harp, electronics, 12 string guitar, etc., Martin Archer on saxes, saxes, flute, organ & mellotron, Yvonna Magda on violin, Andy Peake on Rhodes electric piano & synth, Lorin Halsall on double bass, Terry Todd on electric bass, Walt Shaw on percussion and Steve Dinsdale on drums. This is the 5 disc from this unique UK octet. This disc is pretty long (79 minutes) and is filled with many wonders. "Changeling" has a spacey, prog-like sound complete with the ancient psych/prog sound of a mellotron and sparkling synths. Instead sounding cheesy or dated, the music has a fresh, old school progressive rock/classical/jazz sound which is most enchanting. There are no vocals on the first two songs for those who care. Although this is an octet, the music is still stripped down nicely. The main sound here is mostly: electric piano, synths, saxes, violin, bass and drums with occasional processed vocals floating on top. This disc was recorded live in a studio and has some especially warm, charming sound. Practically all members of this ensemble play synth or electronics, yet these sounds are well blended, never too dense or too weird, the way some experimental music can be. "Pillared Space" is an epic album length work (42 minutes), which has some hypnotic, spacey sounds with layers of floating synth(s), soft voice, electronics, mellotron, another keyboard, flute and skeletal drums. Drummer Steve Dinsdale sounds especially inspired here, whipping up a rhythmic cushion underneath the octet. This piece has a section later on for some charming proggish female vocals and 12 string acoustic guitar. The dreamy aspect of this music actually feels nice, calm at the center with some occasional cosmic swirls. Good music to drift away to, especially after a day of venting frustration from the right wing propaganda media which has pervades from our cellphones and computers. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* MARS WILLIAMS with NYC GROUP: STEVE SWELL / NELS CLINE / FRED LONBERG-HOLM / HILLIARD GREENE / CHRIS CORSANO plus CHICAGO GROUP: JOSH BERMAN / JIM BAKER / KENT KESSLER / BRIAN SANDSTORM / STEVE HUNT / et al - An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4 - Chicago vs N.Y.C. (Astral Spirits 154; USA) Today (11/18/20) it was very cold outside (mid-thirties) and I could feel the chill in my bones as I walked outside with the wind bearing down. I know that Thanksgiving is next week but it feels like Christmas is on it’s way as well. We just got this wonderful double disc of Ayler/Xmas cheer in and it makes me smile and have goosebumps all over. Chicago saxist, Mars Williams, has been organizing a series Ayler/Xmas groups for the past few years in different cities with different personnel and this is the 4th recorded release. I have seen & heard a few of his New York area groups and last year a group of friends called the Independent Promoters Alliance (with Eric Stern, Matt Vernon & myself), organized an amazing double bill at the DiMenna Center with Farmers by Nature and Mars’ NYC Ayler/Xmas band. The gig was a good deal of work to organize and Matt even hired engineer/producer Marc Urselli to help with the live sound and record both sets. We wanted to close the year with something special/memorable and we did just that with some 140 folks in attendance. Both sets were astonishing, even better than we expected. A few weeks later, our good & local concert promoter Eric Stern passed away due to ongoing health issues. This disc is dedicated to him and I’m sure he would be proud of it.
The NYC group featured Mars Williams on tenor & soprano sax & toys, Steve Swell on trombone, Nels Cline on guitar, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Hilliard Greene on contrabass and Chris Corsano on drums. Listening to this disc, the first thing I noticed was how well this is recorded: just right! Each Ayler/Xmas set begins with “The Hannukah-Xmas March of Truth for 12 Days of Jingle Bells with Spirits in NYC”, a medley of sorts with Ayler’s “March…” and Christmas melodies all rolled together. There is something ever-so festive and uplifting going on here, the blend of free/jazz spirituality and Christmas is special. The always incredible Nels Cline takes the first solo and really cuts loose bending & twisting his notes inside-out. He is followed by Mr. Lonberg-Holm’s cello, also going for the glory of cosmic free/jazz release. In the next section, Mars on tenor & Steve Swell on trombone exchange some rapid fire interaction with the melody of “Jingle Bells” erupting and then being taken apart. Things finally calm down for an exquisite version of “Oh Tannenbaum”, which starts slowly and later moves into a more festive trot with a wonderful unaccompanied trombone solo which is soon joined by equally festive tenor and the rest of the band coming in to increase the good vibes to breaking point. The second long piece here is called “Noel Omega…” which also includes fragments of Christmas songs like “Noel” and more marching Ayler melodies as well. This is a stellar line-up that played together for the first time that night, which makes this music even more astonishing. When you listen closely, you hear how each member of this sextet is well-selected. The ever-amazing drummer, Chris Corsano, is great throughout but just one part of this solid sextet. There is a strong section of space music featuring ocarina, toys, quiet el guitar with effects, spooky trombone, an arco bass and simmering drums cushion. Completely OUTstanding on so many levels! Special thanks to everyone who volunteered that night, the sound people, the enlightened audience of friends & family, all of the musicians who played, Matt Vernon for his persistence/vision and especially to the my close friend, late Eric Stern, for helping making this and two dozen other intimate concerts of Creative Music in comfortable surroundings over the past couple of years. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $17 / 2 LP Set $17
JOE CASTRO with GORGE HANDY / PAUL BLEY SOLO & TRIO / RAY ELLIS / NEAL HEFTI ORCHESTRAS / BOB COOPER ENSEMBLE / PAUL CHAMBERS / PHILLY JOE JONES / LAWRENCE MARABLE / LEROY VINNEGAR / NAT & CANNONBALL ADDERLEY / TEDDY EDWARDS / BILLY HIGGINS / PAUL MOTIAN / et al - Passion Flower for Doris Duke (Sunnyside 1391; USA) “Sunnyside Records presents the second boxed set of recordings from the archive of pianist Joe Castro, a diverse collection featuring incredible and never heard performances from legends like Paul Bley, Paul Motian, Leroy Vinnegar, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones and many more.
The initial Joe Castro boxed set, Lush Life – A Musical Journey (Sunnyside, 2015), provided an insight into the world of the pianist’s early meetings with the greats of jazz at home recorded sessions. These recordings included Buddy Collette, Chico Hamilton, Teddy Wilson, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims and Lucky Thompson. The box also included a couple of sessions recorded for potential release on Castro and Duke’s Clover label, including a Castro Big Band and the Teddy Edwards Tentet.
The second boxed set of recordings from Joe Castro’s collection, ‘Passion Flower – For Doris Duke’, highlights his collaborations with a vast array of incredible musicians. There are fine home recordings of jam sessions, studio recordings of Castro’s Atlantic Records releases, recordings of projects of friends and productions that were done under the aegis of Clover Records, the label that Duke and Castro founded and briefly ran.”
I have been working my way through this box set for the past week, 1 CD per night. Before the first Joe Castro box came out on Sunnyside a few years back, I hadn’t heard much about Mr. Castro before then. L.A. jazz pianist, Joe Castro, was one lucky man, having married Doris Duke, once of the richest women alive. He ended up living in a vast mansion (castle?), started his own label and recorded many other jazz musicians, many living on the west coast. Disc 1 features four different Joe Castro Trios, playing mostly standards (by Ellington, Gershwin & Cole Porter) and a couple of originals. Mr. Castro’s trios sound mighty fine, swinging their way through a variety of jazz & blues tunes. Castro set up studios in both LA (Falcon Lair) and in New Jersey (Duke Farms). Disc 2 features 10 tracks by Paul Bley, solo & trio with Hal Gaylor & Lennie McBrowne at the Duke Farms from 1956. This is early & previously unreleased Paul Bley and it is great to hear him playing all standards before meeting Carla Bley, whose songs he did mostly once they married. The second half of this disc features George & Flo Handy duo & with a 12-piece orchestra. Mr. Handy was mainly known for his arrangements of bebop songs for big bands in the forties. Flo Handy is a singer and sounds pretty good here with some enchanting arrangements by Mr. Handy. Disc 3 is next but this is all I have time for today. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
6 CD Set $45
TANI TABBAL TRIO with ADAM SIEGEL / MICHAEL BISIO - Now Then (Tao Forms 03; USA) Featuring Adam Siegel on alto sax, Michael Bisio on contrabass & compositions and Tani Tabbal on drums & compositions. I have had my eye on drummer Tani Tabbal for a long time, checking him out collaborating with Roscoe Mitchell, David Murray, Spencer Barefield and Griot Galaxy. A few years back, I contacted Mr. Tabbal and got in a half dozen discs from his own Tabbalia label, each one a gem. Mr. Tabbal organized this, his own trio, which features saxist Adam Siegel and Downtown contrabassist supreme Michael Bisio. Mr. Bisio one of the best and most in-demand bassists of the Downtown Scene and can be heard with Matt Shipp, Ivo Perelman and many others.
This is the third disc for this trio and I can hear now they’ve evolved over their time together. Both Mr. Tabbal and Mr. Bisio have split up the composing between them, so both influence the direction & sound of this trio. The opening song, “Arrested Confusion”, features Mr. Bisio’s bass pumping quickly at the center of a storm, the sax and drums swirling tightly around him. Things slow down for “Just Woke Up”, the trio calmly dealing with life in slow motion, carefully walking through the ruins to find some shelter. “Khusenaton” has a tasty melody that I felt like singing along to as soon as I heard it, most infectious. “Sun Ra History Ra Mystery” is a true Saturnian gem, slow, sly and mysterious with that bass throb at the center, exquisite mallet playing by Tabbal and dreamy alto sax floating on top. The title track is an explosive, rip-roaring free/jazz tour-de-force, the trio really take off. This is a most majestic, focused and inspiring trio release. Super-duper Spiritual and Special! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
METTE RASMUSSEN with IKURO TAKAHASHI - Painted (Relative Pitch 1109; USA) MoE is a quartet featuring Mette Rasmussen on alto sax, Havard Skaset on guitar, Guro Skumsnes Moe on bass & vocals and Ikuro Takahashi on drums. It used to be that most great acclaimed jazz or new music saxists were men but over the past decade, we’ve seen/heard a number of woman saxists who are just as strong and creative: Lotte Anker, Ingrid Laubrock, Louise Jensen, Erin Rogers and Mette Rasmussen. I’ve caught Danish saxist Mette Rasmussen on several occasions, which include an early gig here at DMG. She now has around ten discs out, all on different labels: For Tune, Trost, Feeding Tube and Clean Feed. This is her second disc for the Relative Pitch label. The other members of this quartet, I know of much less about, although it seems as if Mr. Takahashi is not under-recorded considering that Discogs lists more than fifty of his often obscure releases. Guitarist Havard Skaset has worked with Frode Gjerstad while bassist Guro Skumsnes Moe has worked with Lasse Marhaug and John McCowan.
The music begins with an intense blast of brutal, post-punk, no-wave skronk with Ms. Rassmussen’s fire-breathing alto blasting on top. The music is tight and sounds rather harmolodic. Midway, the tempo slows down to a more sprawling, moderate tempo blast with what sounds like Mette on (what sounds like a) soprano sax. The vibe here is one of furious, note-bending blast. The frenzied, hardcore strumming of the guitar is on the verge of erupting or coming apart at the seams. The music stirs up feelings of disorienting, note-scrunching, punk/noise insanity and is almost too much at times. The quartet slows down to some cosmic sludge later on, throbbing electric bass at the center of the sax-led storm. At times the sax and screaming voice reach for the same scary notes at the same time. During my hardcore, no wave and post-punk days, music like this was more common. Nowadays, it is less common but seems to be coming from a a similar noise/fest frontal assault. Guitarist Havard Skaset rubs his guitar strings until the blister and erupt. Things slow down even more on the final track, with both Ms. Rassmussen and the guitarist bending and twisting their notes into mind-bending shrapnel. I haven’t heard any music as brutal and in-your-face as this in many years. - BLG at DMG
MAX NAGL 5 with MARTIN EBERLE / PHIL YAEGER / GEORG VOGEL / GREGOR AUFMESSER - Pdorvk (Rude Noises 030; Austria) The Max Nagl 5 (MN5) features Mr. Nagl on alto sax & compositions, Martin Eberle on trumpet, Phil Yaeger on trombone, Georg Vogel on piano and Gregor Aufmesser on bass. Austrian saxist & composer appears to keep busy leading several different bands/projects of assorted Austrian musicians as well as the occasional solo effort. His ongoing Rude Noises label has just hit their 30th release since they began around 1996 with even more earlier discs on Extraplatte,Leo and Hat labels. Most of the music on this disc was composed by Mr. Nagl as well as the opening piece by Anthony Braxton. The other members of this quintet are most-likely also from Austria, Mr. Eberle & Mr. Yaeger, are both found on some previous discs Max Nagl. The opening piece, “23B” was written by Braxton and it has the quintet playing their lines tightly together like some uptempo chamber group. The piano & contrabass are the rhythm team which outline the piece and hold the bottom together and later features a sterling, quick-witted piano solo. It is Mr. Nagl’s shrewd composing that is on full display here. On the title track, the two horns, piano and bass are again playing through some challenging chamber-like parts while the sax, horn & piano all weave in their own odd lines in between the written parts. Each piece consists of three members of the quintet playing unison lines while one member solos with the bass usually holding down the center. The more or the closer I listen, the more I hear some ingenious way that Mr. Nagl as added some unexpected twists or spice to what we think might happen. One the highlights here is pianist Georg Vogel who takes a number of truly inspired solos. Special thanks to Max Nagl who sends us these gifts from the Creative Gods once or twice a year and keeps us serious listeners ever-engaged. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
“New York is Alright if You Like Saxophone(s)” so sang LA HC/punk band FEAR in the 1980’s. As long as I have been studying jazz (around 1972), I have gotten to hear and often befriend many great saxists and like Fear say, NYC is where they come to do their thing and explode. There has been wave after wave of inventive saxists doing their thing in the Big Apple throughout the 20th & 21st centuries. I try to check as many of these reed wizards as is possible and have heard most of the greats. In the last decade, we’ve seen/heard these folks come to town: Chris Pitsiokos, Ingrid Laubrock, Michael Foster, James Brandon Lewis, Anna Webber and Sam Weinberg. After reviewing a great recent trio disc with Sam Weinberg, Weasel Walter & Henry Fraser, Mr. Weinberg just dropped off two more new disc…
SAM WEINBERG / HENRY FRASER / TYLER DAMON - Foment (Amalgam 17; Earth) Featuring Sam Weinberg on tenor sax, Henry Fraser on contrabass and Tyler Damon on drums. Downtown saxist Sam Weinberg and bassist Henry Fraser have been working together for a while, this is their second trio disc. Chicago drummer,Tyler Damon, is in a great trio called Kuzu with Dave Rempis and Tashi Dorji. I caught Mr. Damon in a trio set with Dave Rempis in one of those Eric Stern concerts last year (2019). This disc was recorded at Slate Arts in Chicago in April of 2019. This is a strong, intense, focused and free trio. The sound is most organic, warm and acoustic. There are two long pieces here. The trio get freer and more intense as each evolves. Midway, they really hit their stride with Mr. Weinberg holding on to and stretching out certain notes, bending them into focused fragments. when the trio slows down, they sound more cautious and often fascinating, concentrating on more fragile sonic excursions. The second long piece here, “Bait”, features more of this introspective weirdness and is more unexpected in the way it moves or works. Bassist Henry Fraser has become one of the better experimental bassists in the ever-evolving Downtown Network and his contribution here is something else. Check it out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SAM WEINBERG / HENRY FRASER - Bust (Renfusa Records 009; USA) Featuring Sam Weinberg on tenor & soprano saxes and Henry Fraser on double bass. I reviewed a recent trio disc by Mr. Weinberg, Henry Fraser and Weasel Walter, which was pretty great. Mr. Weinberg just left us with two new discs of his, a duo with bassist Henry Fraser and a trio with Fraser & Chicago drummer Tyler Damon. Bassist Henry Fraser has been busy over the last few years with Chris Pitsiokos (CP Unit), Nick Sanders and Dre Hocevar. This disc was recorded at two studios in Chicago & NY in April of 2019. On the very first piece, “Holly Hargus”, it is difficult to tell what exactly we are listening to. All the close mic’d sax notes are carefully bent into odd shapes, perhaps some are just the mouth-piece being used. Mr. Fraser engages in cautious, arco bass, short-bent notes way before the deep bass notes creep in. If you think that Chris Pitsiokos was the only Downtown saxist to be dealing with the Zorn or Tamio-like multi-phonics, you would be wrong since I’ve heard other saxists like Eric Rogers, Mike Foster and Sam Weinberg also experimenting in similar territory. It sounds like Mr. Fraser is bowing a piece of metal or perhaps another part of the bass but not on the strings while Weinberg plays similar timbral sounds so that it is Daniel Lanois, Dylan does have at least two gems, ‘Oh Mercy’ (1989) and ’Time Out of Mind’ (1997), which are as great as any of his early treasures. Since then, he has been rather inconsistent with some great and not-so-great records. Which brings us to this new one…
Earlier this year, just as the pandemic kicked in & we were all prisoners at home, Dylan released a new, long, epic-length song called “Murder Most Foul”. Surprise, surprise! I was very long and winding and was thematically based on assassination of President Kennedy in November in 1963. Dylan, whose voice was once an acquired taste, sounds like a wise old man with a world-wearing voice telling a long tale about what he and anyone else of the boomer age has gone through since the early 1960’s. Mr. Dylan stacks up many old memories, the Beatles, Woodstock, the hopes and fears that many of us felt and then bringing us back to the senseless murder of a great president, a lingering mystery in the fabric of American history that knows the answer to. Dylan takes many lines from famous rock and pop songs, as we weave our way through our troubled history. Dylan keeps adding snippets of lyrics with current events as we ghost walk through our history. Dylan has a master’s way of interweaving so many lines and historic moments that certain phrases stand out and we hang our own ghosts or interpretations on them. On the last two long verses, Dylan tells the cosmic DJ/narrator to play many songs, most of which we recognize. He mentions so many songs & singers that we get overwhelmed with our ever-changing common his & herstories. What I began to notice after several listenings was/is that there is a distant narrative going on that is like life itself for all us, especially now when we are surrounded and bombarded with too much information and bad news. The Kennedy assassination was the first thing I remember as a kid (age 10) that seem to effect everyone. It was a rip in the fabric of time, a wound in our democracy that has never completely healed. This song captures that moment and brings up to our current situation. Disc Two is just this one long song by itself which makes perfect sense it stands out as one epic piece to be savored one listen at a time.
Disc One features nine other songs, with Dylan backed by his longtime members like Charlie Sexton & Tony Garnier (Dylan since 1989) plus musicians I’ve heard of like Matt Chamberlain, Bob Britt (worked with Delbert McClinton) and Donnie Herron (Dylan collaborator since the early aughts).
2 CD Set $17
THE LAST BLACK SAINT / SOUL NOTE COMPLETE RECORDINGS BOX SET SALE:
Kinda dramatic, do you think?!? Sometime in July of this year, we listed & sold a bunch of those great Black Saint/Soul Note Complete Box Sets. I took orders for a dozen of their 45 titles that were released so far and have gotten some more orders ever since. So, four months went by since I placed an order but due to many factors (worldwide pandemic problems esp in Italy), postal delays, etc. Our order just arrived and these are the titles we have left. Will these be the last copies!?!?! Who the ***** knows? I will include a list of what is left next week and try and one do one last order if it is possible.
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS with GEORGE LEWIS / DOUGLAS EWART / ANTHONY BRAXTON / LEROY JENKINS / ROSCOE MITCHELL / ABDUL WADUD / HENRY THREADGILL / JACK WALRATH / STEVE McCALL / et al - The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note - Volume 2 (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1041; Italy)
9 CD Set $40
ED BLACKWELL With DEWEY REDMAN / CHARLIE HADEN / DON CHERRY / KARL BERGER / REGGIE WORKMAN / DAVID MURRAY / et al. - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Wall-Bridges / Old And New Dreams / A Tribute To Blackwell / Transit / In Willisau / Morning Song / From Bad To Badder (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1030; Italy)
8 CD Set $38
LESTER BOWIE With THE LEADERS [ARTHUR BLYTHE / CHICO FREEMAN / KIRK LIGHTSEY / CECIL McBEE / DON MOYE]/AMINA CLAUDINE MYERS / MALACHI FAVORS / PHILLIP WILSON / et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: The 5th Power/Out Here Like This/Unforeseen Blessings (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1027; Italy)
3 CD Set $28
ANDREW CYRILLE With DAVID S WARE / JIMMY LYONS / JEANNE LEE / TED DANIEL / JAMES NEWTON / ANTHONY COX / LISLE ATKNISON et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Metamusician's Stomp/Nuba/Something In Return/Special People/The Navigator/X-Man/Good To Go (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1023; Italy)
7 CD Set $35
BILL DIXON With TONY OXLEY / ALAN SILVA / BARRY GUY / WILLIAM PARKER / PETER KOWALD / MARIO PAVONE /MARCO ENEIDI / FREDDIE WAITS / LAURENCE COOK / et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: In Italy Vol 1 & 2/November 1981/Thoughts/Son Of Sisyphus/Vade Mecum I & II/Papyrus Vol 1 & 2 (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1009; Italy)
9 CD Set $45
CHARLIE HADEN With OLD AND NEW DREAMS [DON CHERRY / DEWEY REDMAN / ED BLACKWELL] / CHET BAKER / ENRICO PIERANUNZI / GERI ALLEN / PAUL MOTIAN / BILLY HIGGINS - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Old And New Dreams /A Tribute To Blackwell/Etudes/Silence/First Song (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 5001 ,Italy)
5 CD Set $32
JULIUS HEMPHILL With ABDUL WADUD / FAMADOU DON MOYE / OLU DARA / WAREN SMITH / MARTY EHRLICH / JAMES CARTER / TIM BERNE / SAM FURNACE / FRED HO / et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Raw Materials And Residuals/Flat-Out Jump Suite/Fat Man And The Hard Blues/Five Chord Stud/Chile New York: Sound Environment (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1019; Italy)
5 CD Set $35
STEVE LACY With ROSWELL RUDD / HAN BENNINK / MISHA MENGELBERG / GEORGE LEWIS / BOBBY FEW / BEAVER HARRIS / et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Trickles/Revenue/Troubles/Regeneration/Change Of The Season/Dutch Masters/The Condor/The Cry (2 Sets)/Vespers (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1033; Italy)
10 CD Set $40
OLIVER LAKE With BAIKIDA CARROLL / MICHAEL G JACKSON / CHARLES EUBANKS / GERI ALLEN /BORAH BERGMAN / REGGIE WORKMAN / FRED HOPKINS / PHEEROAN AkLAFF / ANDREW CYRILLE / et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Holding Together/Prophet/Clevont Fitzhubert/Expandable Language/Edge-Ing/Dedicated To Dolphy/A New Organization (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1026 ,Italy)
7 CD Set $35
GEORGE E LEWIS With DOUGLAS EWART/ROSCOE MITCHELL/LEROY JENKINS/MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS/ABDUL WADUD/ANTHONY DAVIS/RICHARD TEITELBAUM/STEVE LACY/MISHA MENGELBERG/HAN BENNINK/ERNST REIJSEGER/HARJEN GORTER - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Shadowgraph, 5 (Sextet)/Jila-Save! Mon - The Imaginary Suite/Homage To Charles Parker/Change Of Season: The Music Of Herbie Nichols/Dutch Masters (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1022; Italy)
5 CD Set $35
JIMMY LYONS With ANDREW CYRILLE/WILLIAM PARKER/JEANNE LEE/RAPHE MALIK/ENRICO RAVA et al. - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Wee Sneezawee/Give It Up/Burnt Offering/Nuba/Something in Return (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1028; Italy)
5 CD Set $35
DAVID MURRAY With JOHN HICKS / DAVE BURRELL / REGGIE WORKMAN / FRED HOPKINS / RAY DRUMMOND / RICHARD DAVIS / ED BLACKWELL / SUNNY MURRAY / RASHIED ALI / WILBER MORRIS / STEVE McCALL / JOE CHAMBERS / et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings Vol 2: Sweet Lovely/Morning Song/I Want To Talk About You/The Hill/A Sanctuary Within/Body And Soul/Windward Passages (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1024; Italy)
7 CD Set $35
MAX ROACH With CECIL TAYLOR / M'BOOM / ANTHONY BRAXTON / ODEAN POPE / CECIL BRIDGEWATER /JOE CHAMBERS / WARREN SMITH / Et al - The Complete Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1038; Italy)
6 CD Set $35
SUN RA with BILLY BANG / JOHN GILMORE / MARSHALL ALLEN / DANNY RAY THOMPSON / PAT PATRICK / JAMES JACKSON / CARL LEBLANC / BUSTER SMITH / et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Reflection In Blue / Hours After / Mayan Temples / A Tribute To Stuff Smith [4 CD set] (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1031; Italy)
4 CD Set CD $40 [last one]
MAL WALDRON QUINTETS With STEVE LACY / ANTHONY BRAXTON / WOODY SHAW / ENRICO RAVA / CHARLIE ROUSE / SONNY FORTUNE / RICKY FORD / CHICO FREEMAN / REGGIE WORKMAN / DAVID FRIESEN / ED BLACKWELL / EDDIE MOORE / ED THIGPEN / JUDI SILVANO / KIM PARKER et al - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings - Volume 2 (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1043; Italy)
11 CD Set $45
THE LP DEPARTMENT:
HORACE TAPSCOTT - Songs Of The Unsung (Survival Research Svvrch 017; Italy) Survival Research present a reissue of Horace Tapscott's Songs Of The Unsung, originally released in 1978. Distinguished Los Angeles-based jazz pianist Horace Tapscott is probably best-known as the founder of the Pan-Afrikan People's Orchestra of PAPA, also known as The Ark, though he began his career as a trombonist, working with Lionel Hampton and others during the late 1950s. The 1978 solo album, Songs Of The Unsung, released in small number on pianist Toshiya Taenaka's Interplay label, features Tapscott alone on piano, delivering a superb set of freely interpreted jazz tunes, including an unfettered reading of Lester Robertson's "In Times Like These" and Cal Massey's "Bakai," along with two of his own heartfelt originals. Licensed from the Horace Tapscott Estate.
BLACK UNITY TRIO with ABDUL WADUD / YUSUF MUMIN / HASAN ABDUR SHADID - Al-Fatihah (Gotta Groove Records GGR 2020; USA) “The Black Unity Trio was: Joseph Phillips (Yusuf Mumin): Alto Sax, Ron DeVaughn (Abdul Wadud): cello, bass; Hasan Abdur Shadid (Hassan-Al-Hut, AKA Hasan Al-Hut): Percussion. "Black Unity Trio - Al Fatihah quite possibly was the first independently released free jazz record ever. Originating in Oberlin, Ohio as the Black Unity Quartet, and ultimately becoming the Trio (Abdul Wadud, Yusuf Mumin, and Hasan Al Hut), the group recorded Al Fatihah in December 24, 1968 at Agency Recording Studio (which was located upstairs in the building housing the legendary Agora Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio). The album ultimately was released in May 1969 in an edition of 500 copies. The album has been legendary among collectors, producers, and DJs in the past several decades, and has been sampled numerous times on other releases. Much mystery surrounded the origins of the album, as well as the status of the musicians, until 2020 when The Wire published an interview with Hasan. Many underground jazz purists know about the intense, though relatively short-lived hotbed of avant-garde jazz in Cleveland, Ohio during the mid-to-late 1960s. Clubs such as Leo's Casino, Jazz Temple, The Doan Club, Le Cave and a few private clubs saw many young avant-garde jazz acts during this time period. I first learned of Black Unity Trio when seeking out tapes of Albert Ayler playing at Le Cave. From that point forward, I had a mission to seek out the members and see if they would be interested in making a vinyl reissue of Al Fatihah. Most of my efforts ran into dead ends, and it did not take very long to learn that the members, perhaps, were content with letting the record fall into the annals of crate digging history. Then in 2019, I received a phone call from someone referring to himself as 'Ron'; who wanted to bring some tapes by the pressing plant. Whenever I get a call on the subject of tapes, my first question is 'how old are the tapes?'. The caller replied 'late 1960's''. Of course, this perked my interest even more, so I asked what sort of material was on the tapes, to which he replied 'Oh, spiritual jazz''. 'Really?'; I replied, even more interested than ever - particularly since the caller id showed a 216 area code phone number. Then he proceeded to say 'it's called the Black Unity Trio''. I about dropped the phone; 'Are you serious, I have been trying to get a hold of you guys for a year!' I replied. Ron (Abdul) was surprised by that statement. But, it led to months of additional conversations with both he and Yusuf about how to get the record back into the world, and eventually I was introduced to Hasan as well. After many phone conferences, we were able to come to an agreement to reissue this seminal free jazz record via Gotta Groove Records' OHWax series. Yusuf personally brought the original 1968 master tapes to Cleveland in early 2020, and we have been working on the audio restoration and package details ever since. We have spared no expense in making this reissue. Our friend Grammy-Award recipient Paul Blakemore's restoration and remastering work cleaned random ticks from the original source, as well as greatly improved the balance to bring out some of the instrument subtleties which were barely, if at all audible, in the original pressing. We also used Gotta Groove's proprietary GrooveCoated stamper plating technology -- This involves an additional electroforming step in the creation of the metal stampers used to press the grooves into the records. GrooveCoated stampers have a lubricious surface which helps high frequencies in particular to be held more intact during the course of manufacturing, verses traditional stampers. This is a record I am truly proud and excited to be working on, and I look forward to a new generation of vinyl listeners to have access to it." - Matt Earley, Executive Producer.
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 COMES from KEVIN REILLY AT RELATIVE PITCH RECORDS:
MATTHEW WRIGHT // EVAN PARKER / MARK NAUSEEF / TOMA GOUBAND - Matthew Wright’s Locked Hybrids (Relative Pitch; USA) “I’m sending a head's up for tomorrow's release of Matthew Wright's Locked Hybrids. It's the first digital-only release for the label. It was assembled in Wright's studio during the lockdown and made entirely from samples of Evan Parker, Toma Gouband and Mark Nauseef collected during a 2018 recording at Arco Barco in Ramsgate, UK. Using a mixture of software editing and Wright's own brand of improvised mixing with turntables and laptops, the resultant music is a blend of experimental hip hop, sonic art, improvisation and digital composition. The release will coincide with a new Locked Hybrids commission for hcmf// that will stream from the festival website (https://hcmf.co.uk/) on the weekend of 20th-22nd November. Excerpts from the RP release will also feature on the UKs BBC Radio 3 New Music Show during that weekend.
Download Only Release at https://relativepitchrecords.bandcamp.com/album/locked-hybrids
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND & EXPERIMENTAL PHOTOGRAPHER MEGHAN DESMOND:
I hope everyone is doing well despite all the madness?! I just wanted to share a music video I made recently with guitarist, Drew Wesely. It was my first time doing a project like this and I couldn't have been more proud and excited to work with Drew. I felt a deep connection to the music, so it was an extremely rewarding experience. I hope to continue to collaborate with more musicians in the future and with the unfortunate decline of live performances and live streaming leaving much to be desired, maybe the timing is right for this sort of thing? Lots of love and big hugs to you all! - Meghan
I have watched this video a couple of times and find it fascinating both visually and sonically. Do check it out. - BLG at DMG
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 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:
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:
As the saying goes: "If you can't beat them, join them"
ps - someone made a scathing comment concerning a vid of Robert Dick.
So... sent BEEHIVE BLUES to that person
Her comment inspired me to spontaneously put this vid together.
This is Robert’s vid where I pasted it: MACHINE GUN 8Jimi Hendricks
Misty Uren (URINE?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knqyh7IG6Zk