HATFIELD & THE NORTH - Self-titled First Album - released 1974
“Licks for Ladies” / “Bossa No Chance” / “Big Jobs No. 2”
Now it's time to finish your wine –
Try to sing a sober song after all that din
And even though we may be having quite a laugh
Bashing bass and drums is really rather daft
Compared to harmonies – although they may sound twee
They're really what my lady friend can relate to –
And her mate too...
Just in case you think it's a waste –
In the end, choosing notes to see if they make friends
A D# minor flattened 5th will go to C
Dotted crotchets usually divide by three
We don't really know now exactly what we mean
Still we had the gist of it till the chords changed...
An interesting thought came over me:
I'd feel better somewhat wetter, drinking tea in the sea
And dream of you – and your nice black knickers...
A bed in the sky would make me higher up
Than sleeping under this bush
If I had a magic broom, I'd rev it up
And out in space I would whoosh
I'd ask you to be with me there too
Do anything you would like to do...
I like singing spaces not bricks
Intervals and all the holes in between
I like making big mistakes –
Knickerless girls being understood but not seen
But I've got a nasty cold today... (sniff)
I've run out of words to say "arbitrary" (Arbitrary)
Took a trip through the night just to get here
Tried being myself recently;
But I try my best to make it sound nice
And hope that the music turns you on
Like it's turning on me –
Should be a laugh certainly
Now through the medium of the Manor Mobile
I would like to sing this song in the Hatfield style
Thank all the mothers who made cups of tea –
If they didn't care for us, we wouldn't be here
To sing our songs and entertain
Plug us in and turn on the mains!
We have to leave here tonight
I hope that it will sound alright
But we're trying hard to make it sound nice
And hope that the music turns you on
While you're drinking your tea –
Do have a laugh certainly!
The first Hatfield & The North album was released in 1974 when I was at college and it became a favorite of my roommates at Glassboro State College. Hatfield were a quintessential Canterbury band whose members had the right pedigree: Phil Miller from Matching Mole, Dave Stewart from Egg, Richard Sinclair from Caravan and Pip Pyle from Gong. Like Soft Machine, the first & foremost Canterbury band, this album flowed continuously, from song to song without any breaks. So, when we listened to it, we had to listen to an entire side without break or distractions. Also, like many Canterbury songs, the lyrics are self-referential about the song itself, the way it was created and a sly wink at the lack of serious intent. This is part of its charm. I love that they mention and sing the actual notes they are playing midsong, “A D# minor flattened 5th will go to C”. Hatfield & The North only made two studio albums and both are Canterbury classics. Both were reissued by Esoteric over the past few years and have much better sound than the original Virgin CD reissues. There is an instrumental on Side 2 called, “Shaving is Boring”, which is for me, one of the greatest space-rock jams ever! So why not do a doobie and launch off for parts unknown in your own spaceship while listening. Thanks to all of you who have commented on my choice of lyrics that I put at the beginning of each newsletter. “Inspiration!” the Dead sing on ’Terrapin Station’, it is what we all need more of. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATTHEW SHIPP!! MATTHEW SHIPP & WHIT DICKEY
IN PERFORMANCE & CONVERSATION
Tonight Dec. 10, at 8pm ET
Live stream on our Website, YouTube & Facebook
Matthew Shipp - piano
Whit Dickey - drums
Celebrating Matthew Shipp's 60th birthday and 30 years of performing with Whit Dickey. Go here: https://www.artsforart.org/onlinesalon.html?utm_source=Audience&utm_campaign=224e0e9b59-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_15_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3be2db18a2-224e0e9b59-15665769
This Week’s Dynamite Discs Begin with This Previously Unreleased Canterbury Treasure:
SOFT WORKS with ELTON DEAN / ALLAN HOLDSWORTH / HUGH HOPPER / JOHN MARSHALL - ‘Abracadabra In Osaka’ (MoonJune; USA) Perhaps if there were a "progressive mantra," it might be embodied by my drive and determination to always keep moving forward and looking ahead -- that same 'go for it'-type attitude which so many great MoonJune artists carry with them into live performances and recording projects. That said, a person cannot gauge progress without reflecting back on the road traveled which carried him to a given point in life. The music on this album brings back a lot of fond memories, but it goes far deeper than that: the band, itself, was a result of some of my earliest efforts in the music industry; efforts which served as an impetus for carrying the entire 'MoonJune' concept forward.
As many of you reading this are no doubt already aware: I first met Elton Dean back in the mid '80's, while still residing in Italy. In what some might refer to as "fate" or "destiny" (and it would certainly be difficult to argue against it, in this instance), Elton and I reconnected again, a decade-and-a-half or so later, via two mutual friends – ethnomusicologist, Verna Gillis, and her husband, the legendary jazz trombonist, Rosewell Rudd. Fittingly, it happened on the first day of the new millennium: January 1, 2000.
Reflecting back on that day, it truly was the start of a new era in my life. Had Elton's and my paths not again crossed, I seriously doubt that not only would 'Soft Works' never have materialized, but more than likely I wouldn't have started MoonJune Music Bookings & Management or the MoonJune Records label, either. It seemed like a dream, at the time: getting to assist and produce the very musical artists I had long idolized. Looking back, it still bears that same resemblance. 'Dreaming,' in fact, is central to this story. Not long after reconnecting with Elton, the two of us met with John Marshall and Hugh Hopper (whom I had the privilege of meeting, 5 or 6 years earlier), and corporately began dreaming about a potential Soft Machine reunion!
The dream continued the following year, when LA jazz / rock journalist, Ken Kubernik, introduced me to another of my heroes: legendary guitar icon, Allan Holdsworth. Knowing his previous history with the band, I naturally viewed Allan as the missing piece to the Soft Machine reunion puzzle. I told him of our (Elton, John, Hugh and myself) ambitions and offered him the position as the band's fourth member – which he promptly accepted.
Shortly thereafter, I met back up with Elton and 'Soft Works' was born. In collaboration with Ken, "Abracadabra" (up until now, the lone release by this exquisite lineup) was the first project I ever produced.
Unfortunately, the career of the late, great Allan Holdsworth had its fair share of peaks and valleys. After a total of 11 dozen in Japan and Italy, and festival gigs in the US and Mexico, Allan decided to bow out. [Shortly thereafter, he was replaced by UK guitar virtuoso, John Etheridge, which gave birth to 'Soft Machine Legacy.' (... and which has more recently adopted the original 'Soft Machine' moniker.)]
Throughout the world, demand for the band was instantaneous and fevered. My reflections on this period are always bittersweet. There was a ton of potential that unquestionably was left unfulfilled by Allan's departure. Conversely, seeing what started as a promising vision of hope become a reality served as the motivation and impetus for all things MoonJune!
My magical encounters with Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper and Ken Kubernik led to meeting John Marshall and then, ultimately Allan Holdsworth. Although sadly short lived, the creation of this progressive supergroup fundamentally changed my entire existence. Despite the lone studio album and only a small handful of live performances, the progressive genre is graced by our foresight to have recorded several of these shows. "Abracadabra In Osaka" represents the best of these recordings: serving as a living testimony of true musical icons - the group which unknowingly became the seed which would sprout, grow and blossom into MoonJune Records and MoonJune Music.” - Leonardo Petrovic, MoonJune founder
2 CD Set $25 [Limited Edition with Deluxe Packaging]
JOHN ZORN // STEPHEN GOSLING - The Turner Etudes (Tzadik 8376; USA) “An epic suite of short pieces for solo piano inspired by the later sketches of the great English painter J.M.W. Turner. Subtitled Images and Impressions for Piano this expansive suite includes a variety of styles and forms including études, preludes, color studies, seascapes, moonscapes, nocturnes and impromptus. One of Zorn's longest compositions, this major new work for solo piano is brilliantly performed by Stephen Gosling, a long time Zorn specialist and one of the best new music pianists in the world. Drawing inspiration from Ligeti, Scriabin, Bach, Glass, Busoni, Debussy, Bartók, Berio, Feldman, Xenakis, Cecil Taylor, Schoenberg and more, this is one of the most stylistically diverse piano suites ever written.”
ARTHUR DOYLE TRIO With CHARLES STEPHENS / RASHIED SINAN - Nature Boy (Homeboy Music; UK) Featuring Arthur Doyle on tenor sax, bass clarinet & flute, Charles Stephens on trombone and Rashied Sinan on drums, recorded live at Studio Rivbea, NYC in August of 1972. Cosmic reeds wizard, Arthur Doyle (1944-2014), remains a near mythic figure amongst the gods of Free Music. One of the most intense, over-the-top and often considered crazed of all the Free Jazz Giants, Mr. Doyle’s recorded around two dozen discs as a leader or collaborator, practically none of which are in print. Mr. Doyle did work with other legends like Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, Noah Howard and Rudolph Grey (in the Blue Humans). The only thing currently in print is Milford Graves’ ‘Bäbi’ CD on CorbettvsDempsey. I was fortunate enough to have heard Mr. Doyle twice, once with the Blue Humans and once at Tonic with the Q-Bico Allstars. The music on this disc is one 30 minute version of the standard, “Nature Boy”, which is twisted into all sorts of strange yet compelling ways. The trio features Mr. Doyle on tenor sax, bass clarinet & flute, Charles Stephens (from Sam Rivers, Sun Ra & Archie Shepp bands) on trombone and Rashied Sinan (from Ahmed Abdullah & Frank Lowe sessions) on drums. I have played this disc over and over and over again. This is fire-breathing, Free Jazz, Spirit Music at its very best! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LTD Edition CD-R $25 [Last 10 copies & that’s it!]
ANDREA CENTAZZO & ELISABETH HARNIK - Duophonic Landscape (Klanggalerie 346; Germany) "Elisabeth Harnik, an Austrian based pianist and composer has created a multi-faceted body of work by blurring genre boundaries through various collaborations in the field of improvised music, interdisciplinary projects and contemporary compositional works. She studied classical piano and later -- with Beat Furrer -- composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz. As an improviser she works within an electro-acoustic inspired sound-world, using specific preparations and extended techniques while pushing the limitations of the piano. Amongst others she has collaborated with Frank Gratkowski, Dave Rempis & Michael Zerang, Joelle Leandre and Ken Vandermark. Andrea Centazzo is an Italian-born American composer, percussionist, multimedia artist and record label founder. In the 1970s he played percussion in avant-garde jazz with John Zorn, Steve Lacy, and Don Cherry and became 'a leading figure in the European avant-garde'. Centazzo has recorded over 60 LPs and CDs, and has composed 350 musical works of diverse types, in addition to writing eight musicology books. He founded the Ictus label with his wife Carla Luigi in 1976. The music for Duophonic Landscape was recorded in a winery in Gorizia, Italy, in 2019. 'The improvisations on this recording radiate with life and provide an expansive look into the deeper reaches of our minds. Each one completely engaged me, spurring my imagination in so many ways, taking me to new places that created landscapes with some vivid and unusual scenery. It was a fun listen by two master improvisers and the perfect antidote to another day in the confines of the Corona-Virus Blues. The power of improvisation. Its where it's at my friends', says musician friend Steve Swell about the recordings on this album."
RICHARD SINCLAIR’S CARAVAN OF DREAMS with RICK BIDDULPH / ANDY WARD / JIMMY HASTINGS / DAVE SINCLAIR ALAN CLARKE / MICHAEL HEUPEL - Caravan of Dreams (New Platform 10; UK) Supreme bassist & vocalist Richard Sinclair was a founding member of Caravan (No. 2 Canterbury band after Soft Machine), whose first five albums (1968-1973) are all stone cold classics, and then, even better, was Hatfield & The North (Canterbury all-star quartet with members from Egg, Matching Mole & Gong), whose two studio albums ‘Self-Titled’ & ‘Rotter’s Club’ are essential, astonishing Canterbury at its best and then Mr. Sinclair ended up in a mid-period version of Camel, another charming progressive outfit. In the 80’ & 90’s, Sinclair moved from solo sets to his trio, Caravan of Dreams, a duo with Soft Machine fellow bassist Hugh Hopper (!!), a superfine quartet with Phil Miller (Matching Mole, Hatfield & National Health), Alan Gowen (National Health) & UK jazz drummer Trevor Tomkins. I see that Mr. Sinclair is on a couple of more recent discs (w/ Todd Dillingham from 1992 and The Relatives in 2013), that I didn’t know about until now. Hence, Sinclair has only done five solo or leader efforts in his 50 year career.
So… This disc was first released in 1992 and features Richard Sinclair - composer, vocalist, guitar & bass, Andy Ward (from Camel) on drums, Rick Biddulph on bass, Jimmy Hastings (brother of Pye from Caravan) on saxes & flutes, Dave Sinclair (cousin of Richard & Caravan founding member) on keyboard, Michael Heupel on flute and Alan Clarke on harmonica (1 track). Aside from writing most of the songs here, Mr. Sinclair had help from two old friends contributing quirky lyrics: Hugh Hopper and Pip Pyle (Gong/Hatfield/NationalHealth/Brainville/Bash!/Eqipe Out/Etc.).
Considering that I’ve been a longtime Caravan fan (starting 1968, hearing “Place of My Own” on WNEW-FM), as soon as I hear Richard Sinclair’s distinctive warm, charming voice, I am ever enchanted. The opening track, “Going for a Song” has that instantly recognizable voice with those delightful Canterbury/Pataphysical self-referential lyrics by Pip Pyle! Already we are off to a perfect start. The lyrics to “Only the Brave” by the late Hugh Hopper mention all of the members of the original Caravan, as well as Daevid (Allen of the Softs & Gong fame), more Canterbury mythology. What makes this record so fine is the way Mr. Sinclair captures the positive vibes that were much more prominent when his career began in the late 1960’s. There are several layers of magical glue which holds this disc together. I see that the sun is shining out today (12/10/20), so thanks to this disc and the warmth glowing outside & inside, I feel so good to be alive. Thank you Richard Sinclair & your mates. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MICHAEL CHAPMAN with ACHIM REICHEL / STEFFI STEPHEN / KEIF HARTLEY - Pleasures of the Street (Mooncrest 106; UK) Featuring Michael Chapman on guitar & vocals, Achim Reichel on lead guitars, Steffi Stephen on bass and Keef Hartley on drums. “Michael Chapman fans are having a field day at the moment as Secret Records continue with their program of album reissues. Pleasures Of The Street was recorded and released in 1975 with a band comprising Achim Reichel on lead guitar, bassist Steffi Stephen and drummer Keef Hartley. Two gigs were played over the weekend at Onkel Pö’s in Hamburg and the eight tracks from the original album are bolstered by five bonus cuts including three alternate versions.
That the gigs were actually played, let alone an album made, seems like a miracle. Michael’s wife Andru caught measles somewhere on the tour and had to be quarantined; Reichel didn’t learn the parts Michael wanted and was pretty much mixed out of the album; Stephen got off with Hartley’s girlfriend and the two were at musical loggerheads. Michael wasn’t happy but, hey, this was rock’n’roll.
The album opens with three solo acoustic tracks. ‘Party Pieces’ is mostly about drinking and booze plays a large part in the record with ‘Firewater Dreams’, ‘Sea Of Wine’ and ‘Hero Returns’ adding to the narrative. ‘Among The Trees’ and ‘In The Valley’ are as close to pastoral as Michael gets with the former displaying his ability to play two different parts simultaneously.
The band first appears for ‘Shuffleboat River Farewell’ – the first take – and there are two of Michael’s biggest hits of the time: ‘Wrecked Again’ and ‘Deal Gone Down’, the latter arguably the best track in the set and it benefits from two versions. The second take is the longer and to my ear Michael sounds happier – perhaps he’s glad that it’s nearly all over. The same is true of version 2 of ‘Shuffleboat River Farewell’. From what could have been a complete disaster Michael Chapman and co-producer Max Hole put together a decent album and Pleasures Of The Street still entertains forty-five years on. You can’t argue with class.” - Dai Jeffries
GEORGE COLEMAN QUINTET with DANNY MOORE / ALBERT DAILEY / LARRY RIDLEY / HAROLD WHITE - In Baltimore (Reel to Real Recordings 005; EEC) “Tenor saxophonist George Coleman is an artist who plays with both proficiency and comprehension, but has been under-recognized as a major figure in post-bop jazz. In this Reel To Real 180 gram LP release, co-produced by Cory Weeds and Zev Feldman, Coleman and his cohorts trumpeter Danny Moore, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Larry Ridley and drummer Harold White showcase their talents in a previously unreleased live session recorded at the Famous Ballroom in Baltimore MD on May 23, 1971.
Prior to this initial outing as a leader, Coleman had gained some measure of recognition with the Max Roach Quintet 1958-59, and the revamped Miles Davis Quintet 1963-64. Fast forward to the new millennium and Coleman was part of a quartet with fellow Memphis native, pianist Harold Mabern until the Mabern's death in 2019.
Side One has two long tracks, John Lewis' "Afternoon In Paris" and Clifford Brown's "Sandu." The former has become a standard part of the jazz repetoire. All the players are given lengthy solo spots starting with Coleman. He begins with an interesting pattern of extended melodic figures, that float and swing over the rhythm section. Moore comes along using the upper register of his horn building his musical edifice of melody and harmony. Eventually the two horns exchange fours for several rounds, before White does his thing after which the front line takes the number out. The second track is a readily recognizable bluesy theme that Moore showers with a burst of perky grooves. All the while Dailey is comping in the background using block chords in a Red Garland fashion. Coleman's expressive solo has a smokey quality that builds powerfully while Dailey's excursion shows a combination of his single note touch coupled with thick block chords.
Side Two leads off with George Gershwin's " I Got Rhythm" opening in a rapid-fire fashion, and is the advent in a run for the wire pace throughout the number. Coleman charges through the composition at lightning speed with the chord changes all a blur. The tempo changes considerably as Coleman dives into Johnny Green's "Body And Soul" with Moore sitting out. Given the opportunity to carry the composition, Coleman is full value for the money as he shows he is a deceptively complex harmonist. Dailey has a brief solo wherein he slows the tempo to demonstrate his lyrically buoyant playing.
The final track is another Clifford Brown classic, "Joy Spring." Although at a slightly brisker cadence than Brown's original version, it still captures the intent of the composer through Coleman's exploration of the composition's harmonic shapes. Moore has a brief but bright solo and Dailey spins out some bop lines with effortless cool.” - Pierre Giroux, AllAboutJazz.com
PASCAL COMELADE - Le Cut-Up Populaire (Version Augmentee)(Because Music 5676465; France) “Pascal Comelade has been working for three years to achieve his brand-new album. Not only it features all of his musical obsessions and trademarks, some long-time partners and friends such as Richard Pinhas and members of his former backing band Bel Canto Orquestra but for the very time in 45 years, ladies and gentlemen there is "quite a long piano solo" and a string quartet in the album. CD version, with different title: Le Cut-Up Populaire (Version Augmentée); 28 songs, includes four bonus tracks exclusive to the CD.
LOUIS PHILIPPE & THE NIGHT MAIL - Thunderclouds (Tapete Records 481; Germany) “Key figure of the baroque pop/chamber pop genre Louis Philippe's musical output seems to follow a spasmodic timetable. This year has already seen the release of The Devil Laughs (PICI 019CD/LP), his critically acclaimed second collaboration with Young Marble Giant Stuart Moxham, now followed by Thunderclouds, on which he is joined by The Night Mail, a three-man band made up of Robert Rotifer (guitar), former Acid Jazz artist Andy Lewis (bass), and ex-member of Thrashing Doves and Death in Vegas, Ian Button (drums). Philippe and Rotifer have been close friends for many years. At the end of the first lockdown period, Rotifer went to see Philippe at his flat to go through the endless pile of musical sketches the latter had amassed during his prolonged hiatus. In early September the whole band finally got together for two rehearsals before decamping to Rimshot Studios in rural Kent to record the backing tracks for all thirteen songs as well as overdubbing strings (played by violinist Rachel Hall from Big Big Train) and trumpet parts (by Shanti Jayasinha), followed by another session overdubbing vocals, keyboards, percussion, and some more guitars, expertly engineered by Andy Lewis at Rotifer's home studio in Canterbury. The result is an album that evokes that city's fabled brand of whimsical prog just as much as Philippe's deep roots in French song-craft and a shared love for the autumnal side of sunshine pop. "Living on Borrowed Time", a catchy, bass-driven, sounds like the theme tune to a lost Lemmy Caution movie. While the album's title track cloaks the anticipation of a coming storm in heavily jazz-tinged Wyattesque chords magically rising out of the singing noise emanating from a building site next to Louis Philippe's Shepherd's Bush home, light-footed waltzes like "Fall In A Daydream" and "Once In A Lifetime Of Lies" manage to make London feel like Paris, before the closing track "When London Burns" invites the listener onto an imaginary dance-floor where an anglophone Michel Polnareff meets disco boffin Biddu. In between all that, you traverse the eerie aural cityscapes of "Alphaville", the wide dynamic range of two song suites ("The Man Who Had It All" and "Rio Grande"), the Tropicalia/folk-flavored subtlety of "The Mighty Owl", the surprising gospel grooves of "Love Is The Only Light", the arresting stop-and-start dramatics of "No Sound", the unexpected Celtic tones of "Do I" and the equally loony and beautiful semi-instrumental "Willow".
MARTIN ESCALANTE and ELOE OMOE with SAM ROWELL / TIM LEANSE - Martin Escalante and Eloe Omoe (Sploosh 22; Mexico) Featuring Martin Escalante on sax, Sam Rowell on bass and Tim Leanse on drums. There is a long history, starting in the mid-fifties, of jazz saxists who pushed the limits of their playing with a variety of extended techniques: John Coltrane, John Gilmore, Ornette Coleman, Marshall Allen, Albert Ayler, Roscoe Mitchell, Peter Brotzmann, Evan Parker, John Zorn, Thomas Chapin, Tamio Shiraishi, John Butcher & many more… Since the nineties, those extended technique saxists have become more common with many more reeds wizards popping up all the time: Chris Pitsiokos, Virginia Genta, Michael Foster & Mette Rasmussen… Mexican saxist, Martin Escalante, is also a part of that ever-growing list and played at DMG last year, coaxing out some incredibly twisted sounds from his sax. Since we saw him last, Mr. Escalante has kept busy recording with a variety of little known musicians and recently sent us a box of 5 CD’s and an LP duo with Otomo. I can’t say that I had heard of either members of the rhythm team here who are named after Eloe Omoe, a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra from the seventies. It turns out that Mr.’s Rowell and Leanse are Boston-based musicians with a couple of discs out on obscure labels like Animal Disguise and Infrasound.
From the opening free blast, this music is extreme and intense! The bassist has a throbbing, mutant, low-end throttling sound, with all three members erupting on the verge of total cosmic chaos. Escalante’s unique sound is pretty scary, molten, rip-roaring, note-bending, brutal and almost too much. I like when things slow down a bit so the trio can take their time to erupt at a slower pace. Escalante does a great job of focusing his bent-note extremes into more precise shrapnel while the bassist works his way through some distortion devices and feedback. This is brain-frying music at its best. Not for the faint of heart. Are you ready for it? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MARTIN ESCALANTE / JESSE WARD / OLIVER STEINBERG - Torn Ham / Caracol Carnivoro (Sploosh 21; Mexico) Featuring Martin Escalante on sax, Jesse Ward on guitar and Oliver Steinberg on acoustic bass, recorded at Torn Ham Studios. Mexican experimental sax blaster, Martin Escalante, recently sent us (December of 2020) five new CDs and an LP (duo with Otomo). Mr. Escalante seems to be on a mission to work with extreme / little known improvisers from different places, playing with different personnel on each of his six newer releases. Unlike the other Escalante CD I reviewed yesterday, this one starts out quietly with contrabass and sax, working together closely and building in tempo and intensity. Mr. Escalante has his own fractured sound which is somewhere between early John Zorn and Chris Pitsiokos, twisting his notes inside-out, controlling his high-end multiphonics. The guitar soon comes in and works well with the bass, the two have been working together for a while and it sounds that way. Although this disc appears to be all improvised, it is well-paced and played in a more relaxed way. Guitarist Jesse Ward, sounds like he is playing an acoustic guitar with a pick-up and little of now devices to alter his sound. Ward often lets his notes ring and slowly fade not unlike Derek Bailey at times. This disc shows an entire other side to Mr. Escalante’s playing and works well on several levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PEK SOLO - A Quartet of PEKS - Unifications (Evil Clown 9255; USA) Featuring PEK on clarinets, saxes, flutes, double reeds, guzheng, melodica, synths, tons of percussives, etc. As the pandemic/lock-down rages on, more folks are trying to keep safe, busy and healthy in their own homes. Leader of Leap of Faith and various Evil Clown offshoot units, Dave PEK, has done a number of solo sessions at his own Evil Clown Headquarters over the past few months and now has a half dozen solo CD’s out. This is the third one I’ve reviewed in the past month. PEK has quite a collection (45 ) instruments here, some common ones and a few rare ones (daxophone, guzheng & englephone). I like the way PEK has mastered the art of recording by selectively adding layers with occasional effect the live overdubbing and mixing. Hard to believe there is only one person doing everything we hear. First we hear soft, suspense-filled gongs with subtle electronics, the looping of certain electronic sounds with one or two reed instruments floating in. PEK usually solos on one instrument at a time: bass sax, a double reed, flutes and other reeds or percussion adding another layer of eerie electronics and effects. Oddly enough, this sounds like an organic, electronic score which unfolds in a natural way with short solos or instrumental breaks well woven into the hypnotic tapestry. This sounds like a more restrained version of some tasty, spacey krautrock with Embryo-like ethnic spice. Hard to belive that this is just a solo effort but it is and it is consistently engaging, well-balanced, thoughtfully paced and well-executed. Another outstanding effort from the ever-expanding Evil Clown catalogue. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ADHELM - Yasam Rose (Tak: Til/Glitterbeat 102; Germany) ”Adhelm's compositions investigate the spaces where insistent nature and bleak urbanity meet. The result is a compelling admixture of resonant percussion, processed field recordings and spectral electronics. His adventurous compositional processes and experiments echo musique concrète, Cageian indeterminacy, and the deep listening ethos of Pauline Oliveros.
"I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river Is a strong brown god -- sullen, untamed and intractable, Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier; Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce; Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges. The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten; By the dwellers in cities -- ever, however, implacable. Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder; Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated; By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting." --T.S. Eliot, from The Dry Salvages (No. 3 of "Four Quartets")
"This album comprises two pieces inspired by T. S. Eliot's The Dry Salvages. Yasam Rose imagines a day-in-the-life of the vessel of the same name that works along the lesser known part of the Thames. The ship sits small and alone in the river it traverses, occasionally kissing the vast banks which stir with trade and gossip. Navigating murky and muscular currents, it surveys the bleak flat landscapes scarified by dense clusters of industry. From wider waters, where sea-faring ships sit so tall they dwarf even the Yasam Rose, it travels upriver where scatters of Wren's London echo from the banks. A passage through rain thick with traces from a metropolis forgetting its bucolic past. Spek explores East London's once dense and thriving industry as it recedes into the Thames' estuary. Still kinetic with trade, some areas lie defunct and dilapidated as nature strives to claim them back. Spek is red with rust and spattered by the sludge of low tide. Wind-swept, battered and cold, the machine of industry fights on as nature howls, whirls and lashes against it." - Beni Giles (aka Adhelm)
The Big ReR Records CD SALE:
ReR or originally Recommended Records, was and still is the best label for progressive, experimental and avant-garde music. It was founded by Chris Cutler (in 1978), drummer/composer for Henry Cow, the Art Bears & News from Babel and Mr. Cutler is still at the helm. The label has slowed down as far as new releases are concerned although they have produced a number of essential box-sets over the past few years: Henry Cow, Peter Blegvad, This Heat, Sun Ra, Biota and Faust. Unfortunately, most of them are not in stock at our distributor at present but no doubt we can special order them in the future.
Over the past few years, ReR has reissued a number of older titles that had been out-of-print and reduced the cost of each. We will list all of those reissues, 10 per week for the next four weeks. Our distributor has anywhere from 3 to 50 copies of each title at present and I believe that none of these are actually out-of-print but that remains to be seen. As far as I am concerned, everything on ReR is worth checking out if you like to be challenged by the music you listen to. CHRIS CUTLER also has an ongoing radio show/podcast called ‘Probes’, that is transmitted once every few months. I have listened to each and every one over the past few months, mainly on the train coming to the store, and they have made my train rides so much more interesting. I still learn things about the history of modern music from each of these shows so please give them a listen when you can. Here’s the link: https://rwm.macba.cat/en/probes_tag
ReR RECORDS CD SALE First Week:
AMM with CORNELIUS CARDEW / KEITH ROWE / LOU GARE / EDDIE PREVOST - Ammusic (ReR AMMCD; UK) Originally recorded and released in 1966 on the Elektra label in the UK, this has long been considered one of the early high-watermarks of contemporary improvised music/sound. AMM were one of the first completely non-idiomatic free improvising ensembles, and this was their very first release, which was truly startling for 1966, & is still pretty damn revelatory over 35 years later! Out of print for over 20 years, this includes 30 minutes of bonus material from the original sessions, recorded on the 8th and 27th June 1966 in London. This really was decades ahead of its time. With Cornelius Cardew, Lou Gare, Eddie Prevost and Keith Rowe.
AFTER DINNER - Souvenir Cassette And Other Further Live Adventures (ReR ADR1; UK)A Limited Edition collection of exquisite live interpretations of songs by Japanese pop genius, Haco, taken from the band's first and second European tours in the early 1980s - technically innovative events at which they set up 5'1 sound systems at every concert. Powerful, delicate music featuring exotic as well as conventional rock instrumentation, and the extraordinary voice of diminutive diva, Haco. Includes previously unreleased materials. Powerfully played and beautifully recorded with full documentation, new photographs, technical diagrams and an introduction by Haco, who oversaw the project. Re-mastered by Bob Drake.
ALQUIMIA - Dead Tongues (ReR ALQ1; UK) Atmospheric, evolving, intricate and layered; a suite of fine compositions and carefully crafted sounds. Consistent creation of another place, another time. 'Imagine a classical composer writing a gothic symphony for a multi-faceted electronic musician, who in concert was aided by Mayan musicians, a haunting, often operatic singer, & a psychic intermittently channeling the spirits of the dead - that pretty much sums up this fascinating album.''- Goldmine.
BIOTA - Tumble (ReR BCD; UK) Tumble album for sale by Biota was released Nov 04, 2008 on the ReR USA label. This album contains two distinct projects from Biota recorded between the fall of 1988 and the spring of 1989. Tumble, the longer of the two, has recurring hints of various flavors of American pop music, and in particular the music of the American West. Fingerstyle guitar is at the center of "Things Seem Like Just Happen," and the first half of "Wire Talker" is a twisted jig with bagpipes, kazoos, and concertina. Tumble CD music contains a single disc.
BLAST - Altrastrata (ReR Blast1; UK) Altrastrata album for sale by Blast 4tet was released Aug 05, 2003 on the ReR USA label. Blast's fifth release, Altrastrata, sees them back to the quartet lineup of their earlier albums and with one new member aboard in Italian drummer Fabrizio Spera (best known for his free improv work, in particular as part of the experimental electro-acoustic group Ossatura). Some people saw in A Sophisticated Face the summit of this group's art, but others were mildly annoyed by its excesses. Altrastrata CD music contains a single disc with 8 songs.
BRAINVILLE 3 with DAEVID ALLEN / HUGH HOPPER / CHRIS CUTLER - Trial By Headline (ReR V3-1; UK) Three old hands out of Soft Machine, Gong and Henry Cow stretch already elastic musical material into various shapes, tie it in knots and generally have a good time. Compiled from recent concert recordings in Berlin, London and Tel Aviv, this clutch of extended songs should be to the taste of anyone familiar with the protagonists, or who longs to hear a little more straightforward instrumental playing in place of computers, heavy production and highly sanitized post-production.
CHRIS CUTLER / ZEENA PARKINS - Shark! (ReR CZ1; UK) Live recordings of the Zeena Parkins/ Chris Cutler duo.From the much lauded Queen Elizabeth Hall concert and club Link in Bologna, two very different knife-edge tours through sound and structure landscapes; from rollercoaster to glider. 'Indescribable but wonderful. Quite superb. I would have been happy listening for ten times as long' Gibralter.
JANET FEDER - Speak Puppet (ReRJF1; UK) No one until now has proposed an amalgamation of the music of Bert Jansch, Leo Kottke, John Fahey, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and Karlheinz Stockhausen. By attaching beads, rings & other objects to her acoustic guitar strings, Janet has managed just that. Janet is a classically trained guitarist & her technique is excellent; she has just chosen to use it in a special way! There are some duos (including one with Thinking Plague's Mike Johnson) & interesting remixes here, but the focus is squarely on Janet's guitar. Some tracks remind me a bit of Harry Partch's early works for guitar. Unusual & recommended!
5 UU’S with DAVE KERMAN/BOB DRAKE/SANJAY KUMAR THOMAS DIMUZIO/SCOTT BRAZIEAL - Crisis in Clay (ReR 5UU2; UK) Crisis in Clay album for sale by 5uu's was released Mar 04, 2014 on the ReR USA label. In this incarnation of 5uu's, leader-drummer Dave Kerman (of Thinking Plague, U Totem, and Present) was surrounded by Bob Drake (also Thinking Plague, Hail) and Sanjay Kumar (U Totem). Crisis in Clay buy CD music Electronician Thomas DiMuzio provides sonic textures for four tracks and Scott Brazieal appears on vibes once. Crisis in Clay songs The band's previous record, Hunger's Teeth, dated back to 1994. Crisis in Clay was worth the wait, since 5uu's delivered what can be considered an essential album to any fan of complex rock that goes beyond the standard progressive rock format. Crisis in Clay CD music contains a single disc with 16 songs.
JON ROSE with OTOMO YOSHIHIDE / JOELLE LEANDRE / LAURA NEWTON / LEE PUI MING - Shopping Live@Victo (ReR JR4; UK) “Yes, we're still shopping - this is an unexpurgated copy of the Victoriaville concert (Radio recording) with group: Lauren Newton, Joelle Leandre, Otomo Yoshihide and Chris Cutler. In my opinion the wildest and most dizzying version on record. Unfolding chaos with luminous performances - viz, Lauren's hair-raising interpretations and vocal event, Joelle's oscar-winning bag lady performance, THE CAST for maintaining an atmosphere of knife-edge confusion. All human life and a whole lot of other stuff too. High quality radio recording with nothing cut or edited - nightmarish, and funny. Glad I was there.''
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 ONE COMES from PAUL DUNMALL, British Saxophone Colossus!!!
I haven't done any gigs since March but I have a done a couple of recordings so if your interested there's a video of one below which goes on line 7.45pm November 26th it was organised by TDE promotions/Fizzle may you all stay well. - Paul
Here's the link: https://youtu.be/GjbY7tTeH7k
THIS COMES FROM JOURNALIST & AUTHOR OF THE ESP BOOK, JASON WEISS:
The French saxophonist Etienne Brunet (studied with Lacy a bit in the ‘70s, & in fact it’s thanks to him that Saravah put out Lacy’s Scratching the Seventies, which he edited; later played with various people like Jacques Oger, Jac Berrocal, Fred Van Hove). So, if maybe you’re inclined this time to list it in your newsletter, Etienne has just posted a duo set, “Wifi Long Distance Call” (39 min.), Etienne on bass clarinet, with percussionist Shyamal Maitra, mostly on tabla.
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
HERE IS A RECENT SOLO SET FROM FORMER DMG All-Star Saxist CHRIS PITSIOKOS:
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 ARTS FOR ART:
Upcoming Live Stream Salon
December 17, 8pm
Parran / Ross / Smith
JD Parran - contra-alto clarinet
Dave Ross - guitar
Warren Smith - percussion
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