This Week’s Great Discs Start with Two from INTAKT:
FRED FRITH / IKUE MORI - A Mountain Doesn’t Know It’s Tall (Intakt 352; Switzerland) A Mountain Doesn't Know It's Tall. The title reflects the mood of this duo record of Fred Frith and Ikue Mori – playful, poetic, mysterious and open. The guitarist and the sound-artist have been working together for forty years. Live excerpts from their work are documented on Fred Frith's 3 CD box set Live at the Stone (Intakt CD 320).
In January 2015, Frith and Mori met in Germany to record the music for a radio play for Werner Penzel, the filmmaker and longtime friend of Fred Frith, for his film Zen for Nothing. After finishing their work, they used the free studio day to record their first duo album together. Influenced by the film music and inspired by the long friendship 15 pieces were created that are both wonderful sound sculptures and fascinating dialogues.
Fred Frith writes: "Air moving through ears and hair and lungs and pores, through songs,and scrapes, and scraps of this, that and the other." And Ikue Mori writes: "… it was about playing with the every-day noises that arise when cooking, playing ping-pong, and especially when laughing. There is a lot of joy in working with these recordings, interacting with them and making music."
MARK FELDMAN - Sounding Point (Intakt 354; Switzerland) The New York violin virtuoso Mark Feldman presents a new solo album, a portrait of the artist now, some twenty-six years after his first solo CD. Sounding Point contains six of his own compositions as well as one piece each by Sylvie Courvoisier and Ornette Coleman. Coleman's 1987 Peace Warriors is one of three pieces in which Feldman skillfully employs overdubs.
The American jazz critic Kevin Whitehead writes in the liner notes: "In my 30 years following violinist Mark Feldman, no record I know shows him off better than Sounding Point. He's made much great music in groups, but solo play gives him maximum elbow room, fully exposing the richness of his sound, his distinct personal voice, and his sensitivity to sonic texture and pacing, all at the service of musical storytelling. Take for example the shortest piece here, the improvised "Rebound." He starts with a simple gesture, the bow's horsehairs bouncing lightly on the strings, a gesture he periodically returns to (and ends with), between scenic flights: high notes and trills, bracing close-interval wailing on adjacent strings, a burst of percussive pizzicato, falling glissandi, whispered notes barely bowed… Fancy stuff. Yet those expansions and contractions, and the contrasting dynamics, sound natural as breathing."
BEN MONDER / TONY MALABY / TOM RAINEY - Live at the 55 Bar (Sunnyside 1600; USA) Featuring Ben Monder on guitar, Tony Malaby on tenor & soprano saxes and Tom Rainey on drums. This disc was recorded live at the 55 Bar in NYC on March of 2020. This trio has been playing together for a number of years and has had a regular residency at the 55 Bar. The 55 Bar is a funky room on Christopher St. in the West Village that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019. As funky as it is, it does have a dedicated audience although advertising is pretty minimal. Mr. Monder and Mr. Malaby have worked together previously in different bands led by Paul Motian, Guillermo Klein and Scott McLemore. Monder & Rainey also worked together with Australian sax Rob Burke in 2019. This hour-plus live set is fully improvised and broken into three long parts. One of the things I like most about Mr. Monder is that he a master of various effects pedals. The first piece starts with Monder playing a series of echoed swirls with the tenor sax & drums also playing their circular lines together, the tempo & intensity slowly increasing as the piece unfolds. By midway, Malaby takes a stunning, rip-roaring solo while Monder plays some throttling metal-like power chords, the sustain getting thicker as the piece fades away. Things lighten up somewhat on the second and longest piece when Mr. Malaby switches to soprano sax with Mr. Rainey playing some ballet-dancer-like brushes. Again this piece escalates as the trio soars higher and higher throughout the near 30 minute excursion. The hypnotic sound of Mr. Monder’s guitar is somewhere between progressive, avant-jazz and jazz-rock, a most distinctive blend, is some ways closer to space-rock than jazz. “Part III” jumps into the deep end pretty quickly, the intensity level over-the-top right from the start. As this piece evolves it slowly calms down to a more restrained, cerebral conclusion. This is a consistently strong date that feels like a journey to space and beyond with those occasional more rocking moments to spice things up. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FIVE WONDERFUL NEW & RARE DISCS from the Great Folks at Corbett Vs Dempsy!
INSTANT COMPOSERS POOL with MISHA MENGELBERG / WILLEM BREUKER / MANFRED SCHOOF / HAN BENNINK - Incipient ICP, 1966-71 (CvsD 068; USA) The untold early history of Amsterdam's seminal collective. Founded in 1967 by three of European free music's leading lights – pianist Misha Mengelberg, drummer Han Bennink, and saxophonist and clarinetist Willem Breuker – the Instant Composers Pool (ICP) was simply one of the most important vehicles for experimentation and improvisation in the history of creative music. Culling ideas and materials from jazz, modern and contemporary classical music, Fluxus, traditional music from the Balkans and elsewhere, as well as avant-garde theater, ICP was ahead of the pack in numerous ways, presenting a kind of irony-tinged, amalgamated version of free and structured improvisation – or instant composition – that would be a hallmark of subsequent movements in New York's downtown scene and elsewhere in Europe in decades to follow. Based on twenty years of deep research, Incipient ICP (1966-71) picks up the story just before the group's foundation, with previously unreleased recordings of groups led by Mengelberg in 1966, among them a performance of their notorious piece "Viet Cong," with Breuker joining the Mengelberg Quartet. The only tracks in this 2-disc set that have been commercially released – and only on the enormous 53-disc box set – come from studio sessions in 1967, featuring a mid-sized band with German trumpeter Manfred Schoof as special guest. These beautifully recorded tracks suggest the dichotomy between projects led by Mengelberg (two pieces) and those led by Breuker (four pieces), a schism that would grow until Breuker left the band in the mid 1970s to found his own group, the Willem Breuker Kollektief. Three more tracks led by Mengelberg in 1969 feature American keyboardist and composer Frederic Rzewski, as well as an incredible spotlight on Frans Brüggen's unusual amplified double-bass recorder. The final suite comes from a 1971 date led by Breuker, sans Mengelberg and Bennink. Moving more toward his Kolletief concept, Breuker leads a drumless quintet through his own cabaret-inflected pieces – featuring Lodewijk de Boer's hardcore electric viola and brother Peter Bennink's alto and soprano saxophone – as well as Albert Ayler's "Angels." The deluxe package sports contemporaneous photos of the players by Pieter Boersma.
2 CD Set $20
VARIO 34 with GUNTER CHRISTMANN / MATS GUSTAFSSON / ALEXANDER FRANGENHEIM / THOMAS LEHN / PAUL LOVENS - Vario 34-3 (CorbettvsDempsy 073; USA) “Since its first iteration in 1979, Vario has appeared in some fifty different versions, with a great variety of musicians, also actors, dancers, and filmmakers. It's the brainchild of Günter Christmann, a powerhouse of improvised music in Germany whose influence is out of scale with his acclaim. Since his emergence on the scene in the early 1970s, including appearances on classic FMP outings such as Rüdiger Carl Inc.'s King Alcohol and the eponymous Peter Kowald Quintet LP, as well as membership in groups like Globe Unity Orchestra and later King Übü Orchestrü, Christmann's trombone, cello, and bass playing has provided an icon of commitment to the cause of uncut improvised music, and his solo music is unparalleled. But Vario is perhaps the most central of his activities, focused on the shifting dynamics of group interplay. Vario 34 first performed in October, 1993, bringing Christmann and his contemporary, brilliant percussionist Paul Lovens, together with a triad of young upstarts – saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, live-electronics specialist Thomas Lehn, and bassist Alexander Frangenheim. This quintet performed together for the third time in concerts on successive nights in Berlin and Christmann's hometown of Hannover in August, 2018, two gigs that were beautifully recorded. Vario 34-3 shows the strength of Christmann's concept – a Vario ensemble is neither ad hoc nor a "working group," it's a slowly evolving organism, in this case one that has grown and changed along with its participants over the span of a quarter century. The results are high-caloric free music, brilliantly hued and textured, explosive and microcosmic. Mini-LP-style gatefold CD package with cover drawing by Christmann.”
ROY ASHBURY / LARRY STABBINS DUO - Fire Without Bricks (CorbettvsDempsey 067; USA) “The duo of saxophonist Larry Stabbins and percussionist Roy Ashbury was a mainstay of the London improvised music scene in the early 1970s. They recorded their lone LP, Fire Without Bricks, in 1976, and issued it in a tiny edition on the cooperatively run Bead label. Stabbins has toggled between more pop oriented projects like Working Week and Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra and adventurous free music in bands led by Peter Brötzmann and Tony Oxley. Born in Wolverhampton and based initially in the Midlands, Ashbury gets less attention than his music deserves, but he, too, was an important figure in the period of the London Musician's Co-operative; he had left the scene by the mid-80s and worked in Media & Film Studies at St. Mary's College. The duo's music is super intimate and rooted in free jazz – sometimes recalling great American saxophone/drum twosomes, or the other major touchstone of its time from closer to home, Evan Parker & Paul Lytton, but it has its own distinct flavor. Stabbins unique approach to tenor included a flinty quality and willingness to go all in on registral extremes with direct instrumental interplay on soprano, while Ashbury deploys a vast battery of metallics from chimes to chains, wood blocks, shakers, and bowed cymbals, all augmenting his minimal basic kit, which he approaches as a series of brilliant flourishes and almost Gagaku-like extended soundscapes. Their sound on this studio recording is an important untold part of the development of British improvised music. Mastered from pristine tapes, initially planned as part of John Corbett's Unheard Music Series, this reissue has been in the works for nearly two decades. Featuring facsimile cover from the original Bead issue.”
VAN DYKE PARKS - The Histories (Old Black Joe)(CorbettvsDempsey DS002; USA) “Few musicians have had the word "legendary" affixed to theirs as many times as Van Dyke Parks. A great songwriter and musician in his own right whose cult classic LPs Song Cycle and Discover America helped expand the notion of what music of the Americas really meant, Parks has left an indelible mark on contemporary music, not least through his ornately imaginative production and arrangement, including landmark projects with The Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson, and Joanna Newsom, as well as LPs produced for the Esso Steel Band and the Mighty Sparrow. For a 2020 installation piece titled "The Histories (Old Black Joe)," Philadelphia-based artist David Hartt invited Parks to make an original arrangement of the Stephen Foster song "Old Black Joe." The kaleidophonic result constitutes the A-side of this 7-inch single. With a collage-like feel featuring lush orchestration that's classic Parks, the track jump-cuts from mood to mood like Carl Stalling and features an explosive steel guitar part and a parting cameo by the Esso Steel Band. The B-side is a beautiful arrangement of "Souvenir de la Havane" by the pioneering pre-jazz American Creole composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Cover art and design by David Hartt.”
7” Single $7
CLAIRE CHASE // TYSHAWN SOREY / NATHAN DAVIS / PAULINE OLIVEROS / GEORGE LEWIS / VIJAY IYER / DU YUN / MARIO DIAZ DE LEON / JASON ECKARDT / ROOMFUL OF TEETH / et al - Density 2036 (Corbett VS. Dempsey 076; USA) “In 2013, Claire Chase instigated a project designed to cultivate an entirely new body of work for flute. A MacArthur Fellow, Harvard professor, and indomitable musical force who cofounded the International Contemporary Ensemble, Chase began commissioning work, with the idea of doing so until the centennial of Edgard Varèse's seminal flute solo "Density 21.5," in 2036. This deluxe four-CD set is the first fruit of these commissions, realized in the first three years of the project, featuring 18 works by 16 composers, including the multi-part album-long composition "Pan" by Brazilian-born Marcos Balter. Composers wrote for all members of Chase's flute family, from piccolo to "Big Bertha" (her contrabass flute), as well as electronics, voice, and a handful of other instruments. Tyshawn Sorey performed percussion on his contribution and Suzanne Farrin played Ondes Martenot on hers; Roomful of Teeth collaborate with Chase on one piece, and sound designer Levy Lorenzo handles electronics throughout. Participants come from a wide range of creative contemporary music circles; they include Richard Beaudoin, Nathan Davis, Jason Eckardt, Dai Fujikura, Vijay Iyer, Felipe Lara, Mario Diaz de Leon, George Lewis, Pauline Oliveros, Pauchi Sasaki, Francesca Verunelli, and Du Yun, as well as the historical work by Varèse. The exquisitely detailed recordings of Density 2036 were made at the Meyer Sound Laboratories in Berkeley and session-produced by Matias Tarnopolsky over the course of four years, with no overdubbing or corrections, presenting Chase's incredible musicality in all its glory. This monumental program comes packaged as two double-CDs, sporting cover art by German artist Jorinde Voigt (with whom Chase has collaborated) and liner note essays by Suzannah Clark, John Corbett, Jennifer Judge, and Steven Schick.”
4 CD Set $30
TRISTAN MURAIL // L’ENSEMBLE VOLTA - Les Nuages De Magellan (Attic Tan ReR V10; UK) ReR's third collection featuring the ondes Martenot and the most experimental, in part because the Spectralist composer Tristan Murail, to whom this CD is dedicated, was himself a student of - and performer on - the ondes and, in these pieces, he explores some of its less conventional byways. These works are united here for the first time, performed by a new generation of musicians more attuned to the raw, less academic approach to sound that Murail himself favored. Works for solo Onde, two Ondes, Onde and Piano, two Ondes, percussion and electric guitar.
EVELYN GLENNIE // KARL JENKINS / NED ROREM / ALEXIS ALRICH / CITY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF HONG KONG - Concertos for Mallet Instruments (Naxos 8.574218; USA) I’ve been a fan of Dame Evelyn Glennie (as she is now called), since hearing her duo CD with Fred Frith more than a decade ago. I have been searching out her records ever since but didn’t realize that she had worked with pop stars like Bjork, Sting and Bela Fleck and won three Grammy’s. Not that I would’ve cared. I recently asked for and got a promo of this disc and was glad to hear. As far back as 1968, when Frank Zappa wrote music to vibes & marimba (Artie Tripp & Ruth Underwood), I am a big fan of these two rich percussion instruments. I can’t recall hearing vey many (any?) concertos for the marimba so I was eager to hear this disc. I know two of the composers here (Jenkins & Rorem), but not the third one. The composer I hadn’t heard of is Alexis Aldrich and his piece, “Marimba Concerto” is first and it is the longest (33 minutes). Mr. Aldrich claims to be influenced by American minimalism, but I hear much more going on and not that much repetition. This piece starts off most tranquilly, building ever so slowly, the sound of the marimba sublime, warm, glowing and advancing in complex lines. Karl Jenkins played keyboards & woodwinds in two seminal British jazz/rock bands: Nucleus & Soft Machine. He was more successful writing jingles and New Age symphonic music afterwards. His piece here is called “La Folia”, written in 2004. The piece is based on Baroque music of Arcangelo Corelli. Ms. Glennie’s marimba playing sounds playful, thoughtful, sublime, exquisite, her central midway is solo stunning. American composer, Ned Rorem, is known as the master of the Art Song. His work here, “Mallet Concerto” was composed in 2003 (at age 80) and features Ms. Glennie on marimba, vibes, xylophone & glockenspiel ( 1or 2 parts for each) along with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. It is interesting to hear a xylophone featured on “Another Minotaur”, an instrument which rarely gets to solo. Mr. Rorem’s composing is bold, rich in textures, taking advantage of the entire orchestra with sweeping strings, austere woodwinds, majestic brass, delicate double reeds with a number of short yet superbly played solos from each mallet instrument. After a couple of listens, I heard the way things unfold, the way certain themes develop. Much of this disc is on the subtle side of my usual more avant excursions, yet it remains a gem nonetheless. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SIX MORE GREAT DISCS From LISTEN! FOUNDATION:
ELISABETH HARNIK & STEVE SWELL - Tonotopic Organizations (Listen! Foundation 24; Poland) Featuring Elisabeth Harnik on piano and Steve Swell on trombone. This disc was recorded live in Vienna, Austria in November of 2019. Over the past five years, I’ve been checking out Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik. She can be found on discs collaborating with Fay Victor, Ken Vandermark, Dave Rempis and Andrea Centazzo. This disc is fully improvised and each piece is called “Tonotopic Organization, No’s #1 - #8”. Downtown trombone giant, Steve Swell is a great partner since he is one of the diverse and creative musicians to emerge from the NY scene. From the gitgo, the duo are tossing phrases back and forth at an astonishing rate, not unlike a heated conversation between two respected elders. Mr. Swell is in fine form here, playing the occasional blues lick here and there before erupting into some intense interaction, as well as some softer dialogue. There are sections when the duo are pushing the envelope: Mr. Swell tapping on his horn and bending notes in different ways while Ms. Harnik plays inside the piano, tapping on the strings with certain objects. There are a number of marvelous moments throughout: Swell carefully breathing into his trombone, slowly bending & twisting each note while Harnik taps out select muted notes from the piano. There is something extraordinary going on here, as both musicians work their magic, creating sounds which connect on several levels and take their audience along for the ride. As I look out my kitchen window (2/10/21), I can see a couple of birds hanging out on the roof of the building next door. After standing stationary for a bit, they take off and start flying around one another. The music here seems equally organic and seems like a perfect soundtrack for the two birds outside. It is a wonderful thing to behold. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ALEXANDER HAWKINS / MARCO COLONNA – Dolphy Underlined (Listen! Foundation 25; Poland) Featuring Alexander Hawkins on piano and Marco Colonna on clarinets. Over time, jazz has developed the habit of attributing curious nicknames to its protagonists, resulting in a colorful bestiary of descriptors. For a start, it's a world teeming with ‘cats’. We also find the Bear, Fox, Hawk, Rabbit, Stork, Frog, and perhaps by way of climax: Bird. For our subject, however, the discourse changes, and we have to deal with fantastical zoology: that of Borges, of Kafka's Odradek, Cortázar's Adberkukus, or Tommaso Landolfi's Vipistrello.
We have to do this because ERIC ALLAN DOLPHY Jr., born in Los Angeles in 1928 and died in 1964 in Berlin, is one of the most unclassifiable musicians to have navigated the skies of modern jazz. On bass clarinet, he staked out an unprecedentedly virtuosic territory within the Afro-American improvisational practice; he liberated the flute into spaces similarly exotic to those contemporary ‘densities’ of Edgar Varese or Gazzelloni (as a result of the latter’s attendance at Darmstadt); and finally, on alto sax, although it was the instrument on which he was perhaps most rooted in the (Parkerian) tradition, he transgressed the bop vernacular with his intervallic and rhythmic logic. His instruments represent the plumage, the claws, beak and fangs which could not be categorized among the known species until the appearance on the scene of our man.
Moreover, with some exceptions, his compositions cannot be pigeon-holed. With their unpredictable harmonic relations, wide compass, awkward and sudden gaps (all the while with a certain 'songfulness'), and their orchestration, which above all in the last works, such as Out To Lunch and Other Aspects, sees him bringing jazz into the territories of ‘Total Music’, these compositions can be defined as the natural habitat for the imaginary animal Dolphy (whilst a potentially treacherous one for his collaborators).
Having said that, the reflection on how it is possible to face and "capture" the spirit of this Phoenix par excellence comes spontaneously. It is an intrinsic difficulty shared with a few other composers of the time, who decided in the 1960s to delineate a language in which references to common jargon, automatism, and the mainstream often lost any effectiveness: in this sense, as for Dolphy, so with Monk, Ornette, Lacy, or Don Cherry, to name but a few.
BERNARD SANTACRUZ & MICHAEL ZERANG - Cardinal Point (Listen! Foundation 27; Poland) Featuring Bernard Santacruz on contrabass and Michael Zerang on drums & percussion. I have long admired cultural organizations which bring musicians or other artists from different backgrounds and getting them work together, creating a bond. The Bridge is one such organization and it facilitates collaborations between French and American Creative Musicians (mostly from Chicago). The Bridge often does workshops in different places and also has their own recording label, known as The Bridge Sessions. French bassist, Bernard Santacruz and Chicago-based percussionist Michael Zerang were part of a group called Sonic Communion, whose disc was released as Bridge Sessions 01. Mr. Santacruz has a long career in Creative Music having worked with Denis Charles, Frank Lowe and Charles Tyler in the early part of his career. Chicago percussion wizard, Michael Zerang, has also been around a long time and played with many of Chicago’s finest & Europeans of note: Ken Vandermark, Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee and Scott Fields.
Contrabass and drum duos are certainly not as rare as they once were as we’ve seen records from Willam Parker & Hamid Drake, Mark Sanders & John Edwards. This disc was recorded in a studio in October of 2019 and the sound is superb, close mic’d and well-balanced. The bowed bass and rubbed drums or cymbals sound similar in textures at times. Mr. Santacruz plays one of those ancient Spirit Jazz riffs on “Nefertari”, while Mr. Zerang plays subtle eerie percussives in the background. There is quite a bit of sympathetic interaction here, stripped down yet still riveting. There is some strong dialogue going on here, sometimes quiet yet most expressive at the same time. What I like most about this is that the playing here is modest and somewhat melodic, we here the subtle, skeletal groove of a rhythm team without anyone soloing on top. So we the complete the rest of the picture by ourselves, with our own imaginations. Very nice indeed. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANNA KALUZA / ARTUR MAJEWSKI / RAFAł MAZUR / VASCO TRILLA - The Night of the Swift (Listen! Foundation 23; Poland) Featuring Anna Kaluza on alto sax, Artur Majewski on cornet, Rafał Mazur on bass and Vasco Trilla on drums. This is the second disc a Polish quartet once known as Tone Hunting, with a CD out on Clean Feed from 2013. The one difference is that they replaced their original drummer with Vasco Trilla (from Barcelona), who has a solo disc out on FMR and a duo out on CF. Acoustic bass guitarist, Rafal Mazur, is the one musician here whose can be found on nearly two dozen discs with Agusti Fernandez, Keir Neuringer and Liudas Mockunas. This disc was recorded at the University of Zielona Gora in Poland in December of 2017. Although this is an all improvised date, there is more going on here than just that. The interplay between Ms. Kaluza on alto and Mr. Majewski on cornet with the rhythm team is often dazzling, shrewd fireworks, focused and intense. Mr. Majewski seems well schooled in the diverse history of creative cornet craft, from Don Cherry to Bobby Bradford top Rob Mazurek. I dig the way Kaluza and Majewski are always matching wits, criss-crossing lines, spinning tightly around one another while the rhythm team also is in constant motion, providing an ongoing rhythmic undertow. This is an immensely strong, well-crafted and thoughtful date which doesn’t quite sound like just free/form jamming, there is much more going on than that. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE OWL With MARCIN HALAT / MACIEJ GARBOWSKI / KRZYSZTOF GRADZIUK - Featuring Pablo Held - ImproCode (Listen! Foundation 23; Poland) Featuring Marcin Halat on violin, Maciej Garbowski on double bass and Krzysztof Gradziuk on drums plus guest Pablo Held on piano. This is the second disc from The Owl, the Polish trio with the same instrumentation of the Revolutionary Ensemble (violin, bass & drums) plus their special guest Pablo Held, a German pianist who has a dozen discs out with his own trio on the Pirouet label plus three dozen discs as a collaborator.
This disc is broken into 9 pieces, three written by Mr. Halat and the rest were improvised in a studio in Koln. Things begin with “The Land”, a lovely, sad, solemn sort of ballad with some exquisite slow moving violin and piano both playing in a dream-like haze. Each of the the improvised tracks are called “Impro” I-VI and they are strong and spirited. Although this is the first time that Mr. Held recorded with this trio, they sound like a quartet that has been working together for a long while. Mr. Halat plays acoustic violin on this disc, so this is an all-acoustic quartet with superb sound. Much of this music is stripped down, ultra-subtle, spacious, sublime and haunting. Another written piece, “Improcode” has a lush, enchanting melody that wouldn’t sound out of place on Keith Jarrett Quartet record. There is something so relaxed, calm and yet quietly engaging going on here. At times the quartet soars higher together flying on a magic carpet high above the ground and riding on the wind like birds. A pure delight. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PAULI LYYTINEN / MACIEJ GARBOWSKI / KRZYSZTOF GRADZIUK - Swords (Listen! Foundation 19; Poland) Featuring Pauli Lyytinen (from Raoul Bjorkenheim’s Ecstacy) on tenor sax, Maciej Garbowski (from The Owl) on acoustic bass and Krzysztof Gradziuk on drums (also from The Owl). T”his set was recorded live at the Institute for Music Performance in Katowice, Poland in August of 2019. “The ability to improvise is the driving force in human nature. To be able to create something new, one needs to improvise. While improvising we operate outside the box and use some of our unused brain capacity (which is according to many scientists overwhelming 90% of our total capacity). In musical improvisation you have very similar parameters as in life in general, to be able to succeed you need to trust and listen to each other and understand the big picture by learning new things all the time. That said, I was privileged to get to know and play together with these two great Polish improvisers, Maciej and Krzysztof on a warm late summer evening in Katowice. Magical things happened on this beautiful first encounter. I´m especially happy by the variety of tunes, sounds and textures we created during our session.”- Pauli Lyytinen, Helsinki 10th of June 2020
The rhythm team here play in a fine Polish trio called The Owl and they do sound like they’ve been working together for a while. There is quite a bit of spirited interaction going on here, sometimes skeletal yet tightly woven together. It seems as if this trio is in no hurray to wail or soar, it is more about a calm, restrained, thoughtful energy. Even when the trio does take off, they sail at a moderate pace taking their time to get to where they are going. If you want to hear the restrained side of free/jazz, focused and organic, than this a great place to start. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $18
DWIKI DHARMAWAN with BORIS SAVOLDELLI / MARKUS REUTER / ASAF SIRKIS - Hari Ketiga (MoonJune 107; USA) Even in as impressive a roster of talent as can be found on MoonJune Records, some artists stand out more than others. For me, Indonesian keyboard player Dwiki Dharmawan is one of these. Increasingly improbably, every new release from Dwiki is not just more enjoyable and impressive than the last, but almost exponentially so. This may well sound a little hyperbolic, but it’s hard for me not to turn to exaggeration when I continue to be surprised when yet again Dwiki follows an impressive album with something even more impressive again. In actual fact, while there is more than a year between Hari Ketiga and the previous album, Rumah Batu, they were more or less recorded back to back over three days in May 2017. This sequel of sorts has been long awaited, because MoonJune Maestro, Leonardo Pavkovic stated early on that the music recorded in La Casa Murada (in Indonesian, Rumah Batu) on the third day (in Indonesian, Hari Ketiga), on which only Dwiki and drummer extraordinaire Asaf Sirkis remained from the previous two days, would make a fine album. Joining Dwiki and Asaf on this Third Day are renowned Touch guitarist Markus Reuter (who seems almost omnipresent in this year’s MoonJune offerings), and vocalist Boris Savoldelli.
‘Hari Ketiga’ is worth it for either of the first two (of three) suites on the first disc alone – both of which run at around half an hour long, which is longer than some albums that have been released this year. Act one, The Earth, also serves as a convenient (or perhaps lazy) way to review the album, as if you like this track you’ll like the album as a whole, and if you don’t – well, you probably won’t. Almost everything that is great and wonderful about Hari Ketiga can be found here on this first track. Great cacophonies of improvised sound, in layer upon layer of spacey sound and electronic effects, with Boris’s unconventional and otherworldly vocals floating over the top, and Dwiki’s tinkling of the ivories centring the whole composition, and seemingly providing the only Earthly sound. His playing on this track is absolutely amazing, not just for his talent, but for how impactful it is by how it appears in the mix. Throughout the album Dwiki shows a versatility that is greater than anything else I’ve heard from him so far.” - Nick Hudson, The Progressive Aspect.net
2 CD Set $18
JR SAMUELS - Hand of God (Dear Life Records 010; USA) In Jon Samuels oeuvre the sun rises in the East, the West, the Sudan and the backseats of father's 74 "Sedan". On this recording, his 2nd entirely instrumental acoustic guitar foray, Mr. Samuels knowingly walks the loneliest road, for it's the truest path towards catching the divine. Recorded one afternoon on the porch of his Philadelphia nest, these ten vignettes sparkle and sway like driftwood against an East Coast river bed. Opening with "Doomer", this tuneage is anything but; North Indian glissandi, articulations, and melodic jewels shake hands with Delta rough and ready tumbleness; from 1:12 to 1:17 we have an unexpected turnaround that would make Ralph Towner proud. "Ezekiel's Wheels" has a churning, water wheel motion that develops like daylight; from yellow to grey to black; yet even in its darkest hour there is optimism and surrender in the unknown. Mr. Samuels has a deft touch and technique; he carves an aching sonority from the six string soul machine that while recalling the great masters we all know and love, draws from a creative wellspring all his own. His guitar neck often wrestles like a tricky boatline, pushing and pulling toward the desired/inspired moment. And the splendid payoff is well worth your investment. Highly recommended! Edition of 75 (cassette only). - John J Mori, for DMG
SUN RA QUARTET with JOHN GILMORE - The Sky Is A Sea of Darkness When There is No Sun To Light The Way/Somewhere in Space (Art Yard 45003EP; UK) Side B: Sun Ra Quartet featuring John Gilmore's "The Sky Is A Sea Of Darkness When There Is No Sun To Light The Way" is cut at 45rpm (recorded in 1978). The Other Side B: "Somewhere In Space" is cut at 33rpm, alien vocal version (recorded in 1957). Pressed as a heavy weight single 70gram with a picture sleeve.
7” single $17
BROTHER AH - Divine Music (Manufactured Recordings 043; USA) Five LP box set version. "Following the reissues of Brother Ah's three studio albums in 2016, Manufactured Recordings is proud to present Divine Music, a collection of three unreleased albums from this jazz visionary: The Sea (1978), Mediation (1981), and Searching (1985). Moving from rich spiritual jazz to more meditative ambience, Divine Music further explores Brother Ah's unique sound and musical vision. Released as a 5xLP box set, Divine Music includes an extensive interview with Brother Ah by Pitchfork and Resident Advisor contributor Andy Beta. Recommended for fans of Laraaji, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Popul Vuh, and the recent new age renaissance. The renowned French horn player known as Brother Ah (aka Robert Northern) is one of the most prolific and respected musicians in the history of jazz music, with a recorded output spanning more than 40 years. Born in 1934 and raised in the south Bronx, Brother Ah was playing jazz trumpet as early as fifteen years of age. Following a classical French horn education at Austria's Vienna State Academy, he emerged in the late '50s and established himself as a skilled and consistent session musician, playing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and numerous Broadway theater orchestras. Brother Ah recorded well into the '60s with some of the most illustrious names in the genre, including Donald Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Gil Evans and, perhaps most influentially, Sun Ra. In 1969, Ah formed his own group, The Musical Sound Awareness Ensemble, and released several works under his own name from 1974 onward. In the late '60s, his interest in non-western music developed, and his '70s and '80s recordings, incorporated elements of Eastern and 'Third World' music, fusing them with jazz structures."
5 LP Box Set $100
BLACK SAINT/SOUL NOTE BOX-SET SALE: According to our distributor there may be a few copies of the below box-sets left in Italy. The turnaround time is down to 6-8 weeks so we might get more or not. We have just 2 copies of each of the below boxes. So order quickly or you might lose out.
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS With ROSCOE MITCHELL/GEORGE E LEWIS/AMINA CLAUDINE MYERS/BAIKIDA CARROLL/LEROY JENKINS/ANDREW CYRILLE/THURMAN BARKER/JEAN-PAUL BOURELLY/MARTY EHRLICH/CRAIG S HARRIS/BOB STEWART/HOWARD JOHNSON/ABDUL WADUD/JOHN PURCELL/FRED HOPKINS/WAR - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Spihumonesty/Mama And Daddy/Blues Forever/Rejoicing With The Light/View From Within/The Hearinga Suite/Blu Blu Blu/Think All Focus One [8 CD set] (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1021; Italy)
8 CD Set $42
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS With ROSCOE MITCHELL/GEORGE E LEWIS/AMINA CLAUDINE MYERS/BAIKIDA CARROLL/LEROY JENKINS/ANDREW CYRILLE/THURMAN BARKER/JEAN-PAUL BOURELLY/MARTY EHRLICH/CRAIG S HARRIS/BOB STEWART/HOWARD JOHNSON/ABDUL WADUD/JOHN PURCELL/FRED HOPKINS/WAR - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Spihumonesty/Mama And Daddy/Blues Forever/Rejoicing With The Light/View From Within/The Hearinga Suite/Blu Blu Blu/Think All Focus One (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1021; Italy)
9 CD Set $45
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)
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/JOHN BUCKINGHAM - 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 [9 CD Set] (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1009; Italy)
9 CD Set $45
GIORGIO GASLINI With ANTHONY BRAXTON / EDDIE GOMEZ / GIANNI BEDORI / GIANLUIGI TROVESI / FABIO MORGERA / CLAUDION ALLIFRANCHINI / MAURIZIO CALDURA / et al - Complete Dischi Della Quercia Recordings: Murales/New Orleans Suite/Free Actions/Graffiti/Sharing/Live At The Public Theater NYC/Ecstasy/Four Pieces/Indian Suite/Monodrama/Skies Of China (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 5001 ,Italy)
11 CD Set $48
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) (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 5001; Italy)
5 CD Set $35
ANDREW HILL With CLIFFORD JORDAN / RUFUS REID / BEN RILEY / ALAN SILVA / FREDDIE WAITS - The Complete Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1039 ,Italy)
4 CD Set $34
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)
9 CD Set $42
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 $36
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 $36
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
ROSCOE MITCHELL With HUGH RAGIN/MATT SHIPP/WILLIAM PARKER/SPENCER BAREFIELD/JODIE CHRISTIAN/MALACHI FAVORS/STEVE McCALL/MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS/ et al - The Complete Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1036 ,Italy)
9 CD Set $45
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 $36
GIANLUIGI TROVESI - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: From G To G/Les Hommes Armes/The Village Fair/Around Small Fairy Tales/Electric Five/Missa/ Baghet/Cinque Piccole Storie/Nivola (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1032 ,Italy)
9 CD Set $45
MAL WALDRON QUINTETS With WOODY SHAW/CHARLIE ROUSE/SONNY FORTUNE/RICKY FORD/REGGIE WORKMAN/ED BLACKWELL/EDDIE MOORE - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: The Git Go and The Seagulls Of Kristiansund: Live at the Village Vanguard September 16 1986/Crowd Scene/Where Are You? (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1014; Italy)
11 CD Set $45
KENNY WHEELER With JOHN TAYLOR/STAN SULZMANN/DAVE HOLLAND/STEFANO BATTAGLIA/JOE LaBARBARA/BILLY ELGART/EUROPEAN MUSIC ORCHESTRA/ et al - The Complete Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1037; Italy)
5 CD Set $35
WORLD SAXOPHONE QUARTET - Complete Black Saint-Soul Note Recordings: Steppin' With The World Saxophone Quartet/W.S.Q./Revue/Live In Zurich/Live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music/Moving Right Along (BlackSaint/Cam BXS 1015; Italy)
6 CD Set $35
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 post comes from HEROES ARE GANG LEADERS, Poetry/Jazz/Funk/Creative Music Ensemble.
They sponsor other poets well worth checking out: RICHARD LEACH:
This comes from SCOTT ROBINSON - multi-instrumentalist and head of ScienSonic Records. Scott’s recent quartet disc with Milford Graves, Marshall Allen & Roscoe Mitchell is one of the best discs of the year! Get your copy soon!
This one comes from WILL GLASS
who once played here at DMG in a trio with Kurt Gottschalk and Miguel Frasconi.
Lexiglass is a duo, myself on drums and Alexis Marcelo on keys. (Alexis is known in creative music for his work with Yusef Lateef, JD Parran, Malcolm Mooney, Mike Pride and Adam Rudolph). We have been around since 2014, often as a backing band for hip hop artists uptown, and sometimes as an improvising, instrumental hip hop band. We have released three tapes of mostly covers of artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep and Madlib. This EP is archival picks, including a memorable show at Resonance Cafe in Montreal--a rare moment for us with Alexis on a nice piano.
This comes from CHRIS CUTLER (Henry Cow, Art Bears & REcommended Records)
Chris has a podcast called Probes and this is Episode #28.2
During the earlier part of the pandemic/lockdown when I started going back to work at DMG in June, I listened to all of the Probes podcast series and on the train coming and going to NYC. Each one is fascinating as Mr. Cutler Probes the many aspects Creative Music, unique instrumentation, the history of recordings and lots more. Please take some time and listen to these, they are most enlightening.
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 organized by TDE promotions/Fizzle may you all stay well. - Paul
Here's the link: https://youtu.be/GjbY7tTeH7k
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: