This Weeks' Great Releases Begin with this one:
JOHN ZORN // STEVE GOSLING / SAE HASHIMOTO / JORGE ROEDER / CHES SMITH - Heaven And Earth Magick (Tzadik 8378; USA) "'Heaven and Earth Magick' showcases Zorn’s fabulous and compelling blending of classical virtuosic instrumental writing with the improvisational world of Jazz. Completely notated works for piano and vibraphone brilliantly performed by Steve Gosling and Sae Hashimoto are set against a dynamic improvisational rhythm section of Jorge Roeder and Ches Smith. An exciting new musical world filled with an exhilarating sense of drama and a mischievous wit. Zorn’s unique mastery of instrumental writing and wild improvisational conducting skills are here in all their thorny complexity. Essential!"
WILLIAM PARKER // CISCO BRADLEY - Universal Tonality - The Life and Music of William Parker (Duke University Press; USA) I just finished reading this book last week and I am about to start reading it again. I have long admired the work of William Parker, as a contrabassist, composer, multi-bandleader, ethnic-instrumentalist, team-player and ever-imaginative collaborator. I recall first checking out Mr. Parker in a string trio at Studio Henry around 1980, although there is a good chance I caught him at a Studio Rivbea Festival in the late seventies, where he has few dates as a sideman. I also knew that William Parker grew up in the Bronx and worked with some of the free/jazz giants (like Frank Lowe) way before we met. But that's about it. Journalist/professor/promoter, Cisco Bradley has done a marvelous job at illustrating William Parker’s long musical/artist journey, his family’s history and the many musicians, bands and projects he has organized or been involved with. The big revelation for me is that ever since discovering the power of Creative Music, Poetry, other Artwork and Dance, Mr. Parker has been on a journey for self-enlightenment with the hope to inspire others around him and around the world. Artistically speaking, everything that Mr. Parker works on: music, poetry, artwork and even surviving through difficult times is all connected to his original vision of rising above the poverty of his youth in order to connect with a better Vision of the future through creating Art for anyone willing to listen and think about what they are hearing. Although many folks think that Mr. Parker plays mostly “Free/Jazz”, this is just a part of what he does. His music and poetry embraces many different worlds. William Parker has a vast back catalogue of legit releases, so much that there is a large book just covering his discography. This book connects all of the dots so that's how we learn about everything WP does is part of one vast life-work.
While reading this book, an immense WP 10 CD box set was released (see below), which I have been listening to closely since it also captures an immensely diverse world of varied music. If you don’t already have this, you should consider getting this as well. Peace. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Book $30 [385 pages/soft cover edition]
WILLIAM PARKER with JASON KAO HWANG / MARA ROSENBLOOM / ERI YAMAMOTO / HAMID DRAKE / COOPER-MOORE / JEMEEL MOONDOC / MATT MORAN / BEN STAPP / et al - The Music of William Parker - Migration of Silence / into and Out of The Tone World (Centering 1020-1029; USA) This is a most ambitious project that Downtown Composer/Contrabassist/Multi-Instrumentalist/Multi-Bandleader/Poet/Visionary William Parker, has undertaken so far. A massive ten CD set in which each disc has different personnel, concept and sonic flavor. Most of it was recorded over the past 2 years (2018-2020) and all but 1 piece is/are new songs to take in. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG - full review here: https://downtownmusicgallery.com/search.php?id=2021_01_14_11_19_27
10 CD Set $85 [1st 1,000 copies now sold out & we have none, 2nd printing in around 6 weeks]
MATTHEW SHIPP & EVAN PARKER - Leonine Aspects (Rogue Art 108; France) "At the antipodes of battles, the music of this duo is both delicate and precise. Featuring: Evan Parker - tenor & soprano saxes and Matthew Shipp - piano.
CD $16 [Due to arrive in the next few days, haven’t heard it yet]
MATTHEW SHIPP - The Reward - Solo Piano Suite in Four Movements (Rogue Art 0106; USA) Every few years, Matt Shipp announces that he is retiring from recording any more records and then another 4 or 5 releases come out over the next year or so. I always take these announcements with a grain of salt, however I am glad that Mr. Shipp continues to produce a variety of strong recordings. Mr. Shipp has recorded more than a dozen piano efforts over his long music career which started in the late 1980’s. Mr. Shipp decided to do something different for this record so he composed a suite in four movements, one per LP side. The 1st Movement is called, “Rhythm Hymns” and it has an austere, solemn, somewhat dark undertow. Mr. Shipp takes a fragment of a line and then embellishes it by playing it once or twice and then filling in the currents which point to it and away from it, connecting everything to a continuous undertow, sometimes heard, sometimes buried. As soon as I recognize certain lines or ideas from previous records, Mr. Shipp moves on to another theme. Each part (or song) each of the four suites has a central theme or kernel, which Mr. Shipp carefully states, then expanding it, letting select chords resonate, as the waves get deeper. Sometimes Mr. Shipp speeds up and casts off some quietly frenzied lines, still grabbing those thematic fragments and turning them inside-out or twisted into another shape. The second movement is called, “Inward Force” and Mr. Shipp again states an opening theme before he starts stretching out his lines. Some lines are thoughtful and tender while others dark and probing but always resolve into something triumphant. At the beginning of “Inward Force”, Mr. Shipp plucks the strings inside the piano and mutes them as well at times. He repeats a couple of dark chords and lets them reverberate like ghosts in our minds. There is delicate balancing act going on here between the dark and the light, the more melodic and occasionally haunting themes, between spaciousness and density. The third movement is called, “Energy of Piano’s Desire”. The vibe gets somewhat deeper and darker here, when Mr. Shipp starts churning those dense chords at the bottom end of the piano and then sprinkling some more gnarly single knots at the other end. One of great things about this album, as well as a number of records on Rogue are the liner notes from the late Downtown poet Steve Dalachinsky, who passed away in September of 2019. Mr. Dalachinsky was a great poet and he captured the essence of the music which emanated from the Downtown Scene from the late eighties onwards. His length poetic liner notes here are extraordinary just as the music inside truly is. This incredible 2 LP set shows Matt Shipp at the height of his creative powers. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 LP Only Set $30
SYLVAINE HELARY with ANTONIN RAYON / BENJAMIN GILBERT / CHRISTOPHE LAVERGNE - Glowing Life (Ayler Records 164; France) Featuring Sylvaine Helary on flutes, compositions & voice, Antonin Rayon on Hammond B3, Moog synth, piano & clavinet, Benjamin Glibert on electric guitar & electric bass and Christophe Lavergne on drums. Around six years ago, French flutist, Sylvaine Helary, left us with her self-titled trio record. Not having heard of her before her first visit to DMG, I was knocked out by her disc. It didn’t sound like anything else I had heard as it was in between categories, featuring some crafty keyboards by Antonin Rayon and equally fascinating vocals by Ms. Helary, sung in French and similar to two of my favorite singers, Robert Wyatt & Dagmar Krause. This is Mr. Helary’s fourth disc as a leader and she is still working with keyboardist Antonin Rayon, who has collaborated with Marc Ducret and Dominique Pifarely. I hadn’t heard of Benjamin Glibert before now although their drummer, Christophe Lavergne, did work with Louis Sclavis.
The opening piece is called “Apres la pluie” which means “After the Rain”. It starts off slow and mysteriously but soon kicks into a crazed chorus of a repeating vocal line, then back to the slow ballad-like song with poignant vocals by Ms. Helary and simmering organ from Mr. Rayon. “Thinking to Dance” has some effective spoken words (in French) by Ms. Helary over a some prog-like organ & guitar-led passages which later turn into some sixties-like French chanteuse pop for a short stretch. Things slow down a bit for “Glowing Life” which is a long, superb flute solo with some extraordinary keyboard (Moog!) interplay. Later in the same piece, there is a section that sounds like Soft Machine when Robert Wyatt was the vocalist, most enchanting! The final piece, “Where it Begins”, is the longest piece, and Ms. Helary uses the (English) words of PJ Harvey, which are mostly spoken rather than sung. This piece unfolds slowly and is spacious, skeletal and filled with cautious suspense. The piece goes through several sections and at times sounds like a soundtrack to a film, moving from scene to scene. I like the way Ms. Helary’s and guest vocalist, Mark Thompkins’ voices change and are utilized in different ways throughout this entire piece, speaking quickly, altered voices like some weird ghosts haunting a house or quickly conversing at times. I get the feeling that it will take some to figure out exactly how things disc fits together and what is being said or expressed in each section. My favorite records are the ones that reveal something new with each listening and this disc sounds like a contender. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE LOCALS with PAT THOMAS / ALEX WARD / DOMINIC LASH / EVAN THOMAS / DARREN HASSON-DAVIS - Play the Music of Anthony Braxton (Discus 103; UK) Featuring Pat Thomas on piano & melodica, Alex Ward on clarinet, Evan Thomas on electric guitar, Dominic Lash on electric bass and Darren Hasson-Davis on drums. This disc was recorded live at the Konfrontation Festival in Nickelsdorf in 2006. British keyboardist, Pat Thomas, remains difficult to pin down since each project he is involved with is so different. As a collaborator, he has worked with Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne and Lol Coxhill, but as a leader he has written music for orchestra and has done tributes to Thelonious Monk & Derek Bailey. For this project, Mr. Thomas has organized a fine quintet with two better known UK musicians: Alex Ward & Dominic Lash and two lesser known quantities: Evan Thomas and Darren Hasson-Davis. The six pieces performed here come from Anthony Braxton’s early (late sixties/early seventies period: “No. 6c & e” to “No. 115”. The first piece, “Composition No. 40b”, has a rather cool, funky slightly fractured groove, something that most fans wouldn’t associate with Mr. Braxton’s music. Very odd yet somehow it works. The el. guitar, clarinet and piano are all spinning around one another with some of those spiked notes crisscrossing just right. “Composition 6c” is kicked off by quick, slapped el bass and again has a funky groove with some wacky piano and clarinet interplay. Go Alex Ward, hit that licorice stick! Although “Composition 115” starts off with some modern classical like piano & clarinet, bassist Lash soon starts hitting that bass for another avant/funkish groove. Mr. Thomas takes one of those over-the-top free piano solos, which reminds me of when I caught Mr. Braxton playing piano at the old Knitting Factory, way back when and looking like the nutty professor. Mr. Braxton has very rarely used electric bassists for his own projects so this is indeed an odd choice. For “Composition 23b”, Dominic Lash plays a twisted, angular bass line while Evan Thomas also plays some inspired el. guitar bent notes with some selective use of distortion. Strangely enough, “Composition 6i” has a reggae/dub-like bass-line at the center, another oddity for Braxton’s music. Throughout this disc, it is Pat Thomas’ piano that is most featured, inserting twisted lines which are often in counter-play with what is going on around him, as well as taking some wonderful free solo which at times switch direction unexpectedly. Pat Thomas kicks off “Composition 23g” with some melodica before the song warps into a cerebral dreamworld with clouds of free-spinning clarinet, el. guitar and fragmented piano. I felt as if I was losing balance and starting to sink a bit in some sonic quicksand yet the clarinet in the center of the storm, provides a quirky raft to hold on to. If I hadn’t known in advance, I might not recognize that this was the music of Anthony Braxton. The overall vibe and inspired playing makes this a worthy winner of Creative Music devoid of unexpected turns of direction. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG CD $14
CECIL TAYLOR / TONY OXLEY - Being Astral and All Registers—Power of Two (Discus 106; UK) When longtime collaborators Taylor and Oxley get together, the sonic ecosystem that results from their meet-up congeals into a perfect storm. This is not a glib description. Recorded live in 2002, the eruption, eventual flood of, and literal torrent of notes raining down from these two births a tornadic force that is at once overwhelming and dazzling to behold. And this comes from the relative safety of your listening space; imagine being there in person, swept up in the maelstrom. Taylor was 73 at the time of this recording, and the fact that he hadn’t lost a step across the decades was nothing short of remarkable (Oxley, a mere youngster then at 64, nevertheless packs the same wallop). Two massive performances span roughly thirty minutes or more in length, epic trawls buttressing and redressing the free jazz idiom that both players, with pronounced felicity, helped originally usher in. The duo’s synergy has regularly aligned as a metaphorical exchange of their instruments, Taylor’s knack for attacking the piano with percussive abandon, Oxley deconstructing his kit to ignite an eighty-eight ‘key’ fury. The opening set’s notes drizzle unsystematically until the sky opens and those notes finally downpour, Taylor hanging fire with characteristic gusto, creating a funereal atmosphere on the lower registers while tickling out glimpses of sunshine in counterpoint, Oxley thunderstriking his partner with a barrage of rims and cymbals that prod the pianist on to ever more intensive, ecstatic heights. In contrast, and after the previously untethered, orgasmic experience, the second piece's commencement assumes the air of a quiescent, late 60s post-bop date, Taylor scurrying on tiny mouse feet while Oxley navigates around the edges. This changes soon enough, and in quite exuberant fashion—you simply can’t hold either of these two in abeyance for long. Taylor’s landscape alternates between a blur of white treble and gangly bass, Oxley responding in kind as he rifles through his index of metals, both players stretching to the breaking point the very membrane of their instrument, raging against the dying of the light. The stuff of legend, this. Unmissable. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
VARIO 34 with GUNTER CHRISTMANN / MATS GUSTAFSSON / ALEXANDER FRANGENHEIM / THOMAS LEHN / PAUL LOVENS - Vario 34-3 (CvsD 073; USA) Vario 34 features Gunter Christmann on cello & trombone, Mats Gustafsson on soprano sax, Thomas Lehn on live electronics, Alexander Frangenheim on bass and Paul Lovens on drums. I remember when I first bought a stack of FMP records from Owen Maercks when I was staying in Berkeley, CA in the late 1970’s for a month with my pal Jon Drogin. Aside from Evan Parker (who I had seen live in London in December of 1975), I didn’t recognize most of the names of the other European players. I knew those records were pretty rare and well-worth picking up for a fair price. I soon discovered musicians like Peter Brotzmann, Han Bennink, Alex Von Schlippenbach, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Louis Moholo, Irene Schweizer and many others. It took a while for me to figure out that these European musicians had their own way of playing “free” and “composed” music. I noticed that there were a bunch of trombone players who were re-inventing the way to play trombone: Paul Rutherford, Albert Mangelsdorff, Connie & Johannes Bauer and Gunter Christmann. I had heard a handful of albums by Gunter Christmann, who also plays cello and then he seems to have fallen off my radar. It turns out that Christmann has continued to record sporadically and often under the name of Vario. It turns out that there have been some fifty plus versions of Vario starting in 1979. Hence, this is Vario 34-3, a quintet of musicians from different parts of Europe and from different generations. It also turns out that Mr. Christmann has played with each member of the quintet previously in one form or another.
The cover of this disc looks quite a bit like those old FMP albums from the 1970’s. The music was recorded live in Germany on two days in August of 2018. I dig the combination of bowed cello & double bass with soprano sax, subtle electronics and Paul Loven’s distinctive insect-like percussion. Mats Gustafsson, who can often be a maximalist, free-blaster, in bands like The Thing, sounds great playing quieter, more fractured soprano. At times, it is hard to tell the difference between the bowed strings and the soprano sax as they sound very similar. The 9 pieces range from duos to trios to the full quintet although I wouldn’t have noticed the difference until I read the liner notes. Although Mr. Lovens plays drums, he is more focused on select minimal percussive improv while Thomas Lehn often takes his time to insert his own electronic spice, sometimes minimal and other times more dense. I find this music to be pretty fascinating and more like that old school Euro improv that I was more accustomed to so many years back. I am a longtime fan of Paul Lovens, who I’ve heard with Cecil Taylor, Eugene Chadbourne and the Evan Parker/Von Schlippenbach Trio. Lovens sounds especially strong here and is often at the center of a subtle storm. Excellent throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS & ANLA COURTIS - Protozoic Rock Express (Public Eyesore 144; US) Both Phil Todd, aka the eclectic and unplaceable Ashtray Navigations, and Anla Courtis, late of Argentinian experimental band Reynols, have spent considerable years probing the outer limits of sound. Courtis in particular has quite the refined, if bent, ear, attaching himself to like-minded collaborators (Lasse Marhaug, Pablo Reche, Tore H. Bøe) and as well as those of unlikely provenance who gamely twist each other’s inclinations (Makoto Kawabata, Christof Kurzmann, Gunter Muller). Todd’s explorations similarly reflect a restless work ethic and mojo that is anything but consistent; he’s equally traded in industrial musique concrète, lo-fi psych-rock, face-slapping noise, collagist surrealism, electroacoustic improv, and much that is considered strange, obtuse, and fringe. In other words, these two were made for each other, and this multivalent recording showcases a marriage made in heaven. Divided into three related but separately constructed segments, Todd and Courtis find a meeting point where their aesthetic demands share common ground. The first section, all tingling raw materials soldered with modular tool-and-die, is like taking a subway ride in to the abyss, where shrouded entities skulk the darkness planning apocalyptic ceremonies, their visages mere shadows in the windows, dirtied hands manipulating cracked and broken circuitry. Part two reveals Todd’s stark guitar thrums, which eventually become subsumed in the droning matrix beggared by Courtis’s random acoustics and Todd’s thickening electronic processing, embroiling the coarse, grey atmospheres in a drone resembling nothing less than a great, mutating didjeridoo summoning forth primordial gods. A slowly evolving sinewave achieves critical mass on the powerline axis of part three, the duo exorcising their demons in an empty, industrial wasteland. Thankfully, the entirety of this music resists the desire to become either mindless noise or blank aural wallpaper; its ragged textures suggest something more prickly, scouring, denser. Brillo ambient? Seemingly static but always changing, the finely-sculpted worlds on display reveal how Todd and Courtis stimulate our cerebral cortexes on a visceral level, rather than bludgeoning us into submission, with truly engrossing results. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
RAFAL MAZUR with GUILLERMO GREGORIO / ARTUR MAJEWSKI / SATOKO FUJII / NATSUKI TAMURA / RAMON LOPEZ - The Great Tone Has No Sound (Listen! Foundation FSR 28-2020; Poland) Featuring Rafal Mazur on acoustic bass guitar, Guillermo Gregorio on clarinet, Artur Majewski on trumpet, Satoko Fujii on piano, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and Ramon Lopez on drums. I’ve become friendly with clarinetist, Guillermo Gregorio, since he moved here from Chicago some half dozen years back. He often plays here at DMG and I recall him telling me how much I enjoy playing with Polish bassist Rafal Mazur.
This ambitious 4 CD set features a solo (by Mazur), two duos (with Gregorio & Majewski) and a quintet (with Fujii, Tamura, Gregorio & Lopez). Acoustic bass guitars are still relatively rare instruments and I have only seen a couple on stage (Jerome Harris, Stomu Takeishi & Jonas Hellborg). Teh first disc features solo acoustic bass guitar, a rare treat which has only been done earlier by Bill Laswell & Jonas Hellborg. The sound of this instrument is unique, somewhere between an electric fretless, an acoustic bass & an acoustic guitar. Mr. Mazur has quite a few tricks or sounds up his sleeve, yet uses a minimum of effects to alter his sounds. It is more the way he plays each note, carefully bending certain notes and playing a variety of chords and sound combinations. The only comparison I can make is this: Hugh Hopper’s first album is called ’1984’ (extraordinary!)and features quite a bit of solo electric bass and it does sound like this at times. Mazur is ultra nimble and is often sliding up and down the neck, rubbing strings and playing some harp-like flourishes in a dazzling fashion. It sounds like Mazur is bowing the strings, altering between plucks, string bends and arco buzzing. Whereas some solo efforts sound a bit indulgent, this one sounds like a series of related stories or scenes for the mind’s eye movies floating inside (y)our heads. Even when things calm down to a more minimal section, there is some enchanting yet subtle sonic foliage going on. It makes sense that Mr. Mazur begins this adventurous 4 CD set with a solo disc since he has other musicians on the other three discs. The solo bowing is especially cosmic sounding, as if he bending time or space with a bent sound.
In my ongoing search for the best clarinet performances of the 20th century, I’ve listened to and listed more than 100 clarinet players from many different scenes. In the past week or two, I’ve been checking out some modern classical clarinet pieces from Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Elliott Carter, Arvo Part & Duke Ellington. I know that Mr. Gregorio knows his history and appreciates the above composers, his own playing draws from similar streams. Former Chicago-based clarinetist, Guillermo Gregorio, now lives here in NYC and plays at DMG a couple of times a year. He always delivers a thoughtful performance. On Disc Two, there is a duo of Mr. Mazur and Mr. Gregorio. The sound and balance is superb and the two are consistently engaged, pushing each other in sometimes frenzied dialogue. The sections of bowed bass and careful clarinet slurs and bends is particularly engaging & focused. Each musician sounds like they are balancing on the head of a pin yet still connected. Wow, what an incredible duo! The last disc features a quintet with Satoko Fujii on piano, Guillermo Gregorio on clarinet, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, Rafal on bass and Raymon Lopez on drums. This was the first time that Mr. Gregorio played with Ms. Fujii and Mr. Tamura, while Mr. Mazur and Mr. Lopez once recorded with UK trumpeter Percy Pursglove. Mr. Tamura, musical & life partner for Ms. Fujii, is one of best under-recognized trumpeters alive and like Mr. Guillermo, both gifted improvisers who can dig deep into their vast array of ideas/sounds. The intense and at times frenzied interplay is often extraordinary, at times pushing Gregorio out of his comfort zone and into more treacherous depths. The rhythm team here is also something else, strong, spirited and focused. There is a section here where Ms. Fujii is rubbing something inside the piano, creating a cosmic drone while the rest of the quintet also reverberate with the drone, expanding and contracting, gaining and losing balance, going for the flow or current which runs through everything we hear here. It is a transcendent moment and makes all feel good to be alive and share that special moment together. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
4 CD Set $45
M. CAYE CASTAGNETTO - Leap Second (Castle Face 136; USA) "Influenced by a life split between Lima, London, and Twentynine Palms, Peru-born M. Caye Castagnetto's Leap Second is an intriguingly personal and hard to classify debut album. The album is a thick collage of samples Caye recorded with different artists and musicians, including Beatrice Dillon and the late Aileen Bryant, that spans five years in the making. There is something in Leap Second that tracks the speed of bodies, how they approach and retreat. The ten tracks are speedy and languid, thick ruffles, and dirges. In parts it feels like one's stumbled upon a forgotten incredible '70s folk record but that feeling gets broken quickly by clever sleights of hand. Caye's balladry is angular, time is elastic. Each song is a fresh cape. How dandies really mean it, so masc- that it's fay, how the only moment is this one and it's just passed, etcetera."
HISTORIC, ARCHIVAL, REISSUES & RESTOCKS:
PAT PATRICK AND THE BARITONE SAXOPHONE RETINUE with CHARLES DAVIS / RENE McLEAN - Sound Advice (Art Yard 014; UK) Limited restock. "Of all the saxophones, it is our opinion that the one with the most distinctive sound, warmth and range that can reach into that of other saxophones, is the baritone sax." As composer, bandleader, and full-time member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Pat Patrick was a visionary musician whose singular contribution to the jazz tradition has not yet been fully recognized. As well as holding down the baritone spot in the Arkestra for 35 years, Patrick played flute and alto, composed in both jazz and popular idioms, and was a widely respected musician, playing with Duke Ellington, Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane, with whom he appeared on Africa/Brass (1961). But he is best known for his crucial contributions to key Sun Ra recordings including Angels and Demons at Play (1967), Jazz in Silhouette (1959), and The Nubians of Plutonia (1967), among dozens of others. But as a bandleader, Patrick only released one LP -- the almost-mythical Sound Advice, recorded with his Baritone Saxophone Retinue, a unique gathering of baritone saxophone masters including Charles Davis and René McLean. First issued in 1977 on Sun Ra's legendary Saturn Records imprint, Sound Advice is a deep-hued exploration of this special instrument, a lost masterpiece of Arkestrally-minded Ellingtonia on which higher adepts of the lower cosmic tones are heard in rare conference. Unissued since original release, this unique jazz masterpiece now returns to the limelight. Released in collaboration with the Pat Patrick estate. Remastered and restored sound. Liner notes by scholar and musician Bill Banfield.
SPOTLIGHT ON EARLIER 20th CENTURY ANTHOLOGIES/COLLECTIONS:
MILES DAVIS & JOHN COLTRANE with - All of You: The Last Tour (Acrobat 7076; UK) Miles Davis' tour of continental Europe during the spring of 1960 marked the close of his five year association with John Coltrane. Although the controversial saxophonist had already embarked on his own bandleading career and had been lured back to Davis' group only reluctantly, creative sparks flew the instant the band took to the stage. Night after night stunned audiences witnessed the trumpeter and his star sidemen reinventing their regular repertoire like never before. As the tour progressed through Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Holland, several of the bands appearances were broadcast or privately recorded, with the resulting tapes soon becoming sought after collector's items. This new Acrobat release compiles various recordings made during the trip, documenting the extraordinary creative alchemy of a legendary partnership about to disintegrate. In addition, the collection features a revealing backstage interview with John Coltrane, recorded in Sweden. The release also includes an in-depth essay by saxophonist and writer Simon Spillett.
4 CD Set $25
BILL MONROE & HIS BLUE GRASS BOYS with LESTER FLATT / EARL SCRUGGS / CHARLIE MONROE / et al - Early Years 1937-1949 (JSP Records 7712; EEC) “Born in 1911 on a Kentucky farm, Bill Monroe was the youngest of eight. The three youngest brothers formed a trio, Birch on fiddle, Charlie on guitar and Bill on mandolin. Bill made quick progress. He quit school aged 11. By 14 he was a full time heavy wagon driver. And he was getting experience in local dance bands. In 1927, Birch and Charlie left for Detroit to find work. They made extra cash by playing for fellow southerners. In 1929 they got Bill a job with their company. In 1932, the brothers joined the WLS Barn Dance as dancers. They revealed their musical skills and were soon radio regulars. In 1933, Charlie was offered a spot on the Texas Crystals radio show, broadcast from Shenandoah, Iowa. Bill went too. Despite its success, Texas Crystals axed the show in 1936. The Monroes moved to Crazy Crystals. A hectic round of radio and dances ensued. They were signed to Victor's Bluebird label. The ten sides recorded at their first session were probably part of their radio set - nearly all were 'one-take' cuts. Of the ten sides, What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul was a huge hit. Regular recording dates became part of the schedule. Monroe product was released every four weeks. But in 1937 Bill and Charlie, mutually hostile in spite of their success, split. Bill gained a slot on a small radio station in North Carolina. The band he created - the Bluegrass Boys - generated a buzz on radio and at dances. Finally Bluebird signed him. The records he made justified their confidence. The wartime recording ban didn't hinder Bill's fame - he made regular Opry appearances - and in 1945 he was back in the studio. The 1946 and 1947 line-ups, with Flatt & Scruggs in the band, are exceptional. In the 1960s, after a slip in popularity, the folk revival helped him re-establish his leading status. During his life he celebrated 50 years on the Grand Ole Opry, performed at the White House and worked almost to the last. He died in 1996.
4 CD Set $30
CHARLIE CHRISTIAN with BENNY GOODMAN / LESTER YOUNG / ‘HOT LIPS’ PAGE / - First Master of the Electric Guitar (JSP Records 909; EEC) As demonstrated here, Charlie Christian hugely influenced the transition from Swing to BeBop. After realising the electric guitar's melodic potential, he introduced rhythmic and harmonic complexities that bridged swing and modern jazz. Virtually every jazz guitarist that followed is in his debt. He was Dallas-born in 1916 into a musical family - his mother played piano in silent movie theaters. When Charlie was two the family moved to Oklahoma City. After playing in a family band Charlie moved on. By 1937 he was playing the electric guitar and leading a jump band in Oklahoma City. In 1939, promoter John Hammond was in Oklahoma City for Benny Goodman's first Columbia sessions and caught Charlie's act. Hammond talked a reluctant Goodman into auditioning Charlie and Goodman recruited him. He was a sensation - in weeks established as the first great jazz soloist of the electric guitar. He was a fixture of Goodman's sextet for the next two years. The amplified guitar enabled Charlie to produce single-note, lightly picked melodies which were based on riffs that, like tenor saxophonist Lester Young, had an easy Kansas City feeling. He could also achieve 'sustain', making the guitar sound like a voice or a horn. Charlie moved with Goodman to New York. After working nights with the sextet, Charlie would look for jam sessions. He sniffed out Minton's in Harlem - which would become the cradle of bebop. At Minton's Charlie played more freely than with Goodman - his fellow musicians included Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk and Kenny Clarke. Charlie impressed them all by improvising long lines that emphasized offbeats, and by using altered chords. Jam sessions could last until 4am. This demanding lifestyle probably wore Charlie out. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis in the spring of 1941 and died a year later. Here we find Christian in his pomp - mainly in Goodman formations, but also jamming with Lester Young and 'Hot Lips' Page.
4 CD Set $30
BENNY GOODMAN with CHARLIE CHRISTIAN / TEDDY WILSON / LIONEL HAMPTON / COOTIE WILLIAMS / COUNT BASIE / RED NORVO / FLETCHER HENDERSON / GENE KRUPA / et al - The Benny Goodman Small Bands Collection 1935-45 (Acrobat 9103; UK) Clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman was one of the giants of the swing era, with his orchestra pioneering the genre in the late '30s and riding the big band wave through into the post-ear era. However, he also greatly enjoyed playing in more flexible small jazz groups, where his superb technique had more of a chance to shine. This great-value 70-track 3-CD set brings together a significant proportion, but excluding vocal performances, of the titles he recorded in Trio, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet and Septet environments the heyday of his swing orchestra, often recording with artists drawn from the current incarnation of his bands. It comprises recordings on the Victor, Columbia and Okeh labels, and not surprisingly features a host of significant jazz personalities, including Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Christian, Cootie Williams, Count Basie, Red Norvo, Slam Stewart, John Kirby, Fletcher Henderson, Johnny Guarnieri, Georgie Auld and many more. It's a thoroughly enjoyable anthology of small band jazz that defies being categorized, ranging across both well-known standards and original compositions, and allows us to hear Benny and his colleagues swinging and improvising in some star-studded line-ups.
3 CD Set $20
Way back around the turn of the millenium, I got a call from my friend Henry Kaiser, asking if I could help promote his Guitar/Guru TISZIJI MUNOZ. I hadn’t heard of Mr. Munoz at that point but when he sent me a few of his CD’s, I was astonished, he was just incredible! Munoz was one of the great free/jazz guitar players that I had heard plus he was a spiritual adviser to many musicians. It turned out that Munoz had played with Pharoah Sanders in 1977 (for the rare ‘Pharoah’ album on India Navigation) and then had his first album, ‘Rendezvous with Now’ (same label) released in 1978. A decade later, Mr. Munoz started own label, Anami Music, which has released some 50 recordings since then. I have long promoted Tisziji Munoz and have gotten him gigs at the Knitting Factory, Tonic and The Stone, each one cosmic in its own way. Munoz was releasing quite a few discs over the years, but slowed down during 2020, since members of his family were ill from the current plague. Hence, we were out of contact for most of that year. Tisziji’s longtime drummer, Bob Ra Kalam Moses, took over distribution, so we’ve gotten three new discs in the past six months, all wonderful! We finally restocked a dozen of our favorite Munoz titles that we’ve been out of for a while, they are listed below and there are reviews for each further below. I spoke with Tisziji on New Years Day and we talked for a long while about the state of our world and the need to do some healing. Munoz’ music is Healing Music so check some to be taken away. Since this year is the 30th anniversary of DMG, we are determind to do a concert with Tisziji Munoz and His Cosmic Crew! We can hardly wait… - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TIZIJI MUNOZ SPIRITUAL ELECTRIC JAZZ GUITAR DIETY - 10 Cosmic CD’s back in stock:
TISZIJI MUNOZ With HENRY KAISER / MARILYN CRISPELL / MARK DRESSER / LUKAS LIGETI - Auspicious Healing (Anami 018; USA)
TISZIJI MUNOZ With MARILYN CRISPELL / RASHIED ALI / DON PATE - Breaking The Wheel Of Life And Death! (Anami 019)
TISZIJI MUNOZ With PHAROAH SANDERS / RAVI COLTRANE / RASHIED ALI / PAUL SHAFFER / DON PATE - Divine Radiance Live! - Village Underground, June 10 2003 (Anami 030; USA)
TISZIJI MUNOZ With BERNIE SENENSKY / DON PATE / BOB MOSES / PAUL SHAFFER - Great Sacrifice: Maha Yajna (Anami 014; USA)
TISZIJI MUNOZ QUARTET With BERNIE SENENSKY / DON PATE / BOB MOSES PHAROAH SANDERS - Mountain Peak - Featuring Pharoah Sanders: Live At The Van Dyke, Schenectady NY 1998 (Anami 037; USA)
2 CD Set $20
TISZIJI MUNOZ With BENIE SENENSKY / RASHIED ALI / PHAROAH SANDERS / DON PATE / et al - Present Without A Trace (Anami 011; USA)
TISZIJI MUNOZ With RASHIED ALI / JOHN HICKS / PHAROAH SANDERS / DAVE LIEBMAN / DON PATE / et al - River of Blood (Anami 010; USA)
TISZIJI MUNOZ With PHAROAH SANDERS / DON PATE / RASHIED ALI - Spirit World (Anami 012; USA)
2 CD Set $20
TISZIJI MUNOZ & PAUL SHAFFER With JOHN LOCKWOOD / RA-KALAM BOB MOSES - Taking You Out There! Live at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca Cola February 7 2011 (Anami 040; USA)
2 CD Set $20
MUNOZ CD Sale with Reviews:
TISZIJI MUNOZ With HENRY KAISER / MARILYN CRISPELL / MARK DRESSER / LUKAS LIGETI - Auspicious Healing (Anami 018; USA) Great Coltrane inspired guitarist's quintet w/ Kaiser, Crispell, Dresser, and L Ligeti! Wait'll you hear their take on Brahm's Lullaby! "The phenomena of Tisziji. Hey, he's the real thing! A musical master and a wise and compassionate man. As a leader, he got the group to transcend itself. As a guitarist, I watched and heard him create incredible music through his instrument as if the guitar were invisible. When Tisziji plays he invokes new lines and ideas of that moment. He does not play licks or prepared ideas, he reaches out there and grabs new things and lays them out for us to hear, with humor, passion, severity, playfulness and warmth. He is one of a handful of jazz players who is not afraid to play the truth as it comes to him. When you see and hear him play you can feel that the walls between this world and other worlds are just a bit thinner for you, the listener. The music from this session illuminates for me a bit more of that intangible, spiritual side of music-making than many other projects I have been involved with. I point it out so explicitly here because I hope that you will enjoy it in that context." - Henry Kaiser "This wonderful release features an all-star quintet of Tisziji and Henry Kaiser on guitars, Marilyn Crispell on piano, Mark Dresser on contrabass and Lukas Ligeti on drums. This first time quintet of five kindred spirits was organized by our pal and West coast guitar god - Henry Kaiser and he chose these players extremely well. This powerful cd begins and ends with a glowing, lovely duo of Marilyn and Tisziji on piano and guitar, although they had never heard each other's music, they work as a perfect duo - both heavily inspired by John Coltrane's heavy vibrations. "Auspicious!" the opener, is a touching ballad - somber and elegant, just the right way to begin our journey. The flood gates open wide on "Shenia Letticia Munoz" with a powerful trio erupting out of Trane-land, Marilyn building in harp-like waves, Mark's dense thumping, throbbing, slapping bass and Lukas' fierce rhythmic storm ever expanding as Munoz begins them spiraling, cascading lines reaching up higher and higher into the clouds and beyond. Eventually Marilyn takes over soloing also in McCoy-like waves with devastating results! This must be the most lyrical and most jazz-like of many Munoz cds, the pace is more calm than usual. On "Teardrop" the quartet once again begin with a slower pulse as Tisziji's guitar starts to build and levitate, the notes quickening to lightning-like flashes. Henry doesn't enter our journey until the fourth piece - "Prayer for Tolerance" in which Tisziji opens with a strange reed sound or sample, once more that calming vibe is at the center of this tune and Munoz takes the first tale-spinning solo as the heavens part, Henry continues the same vibration with his own distinctive (processed) sound as group winds down to more peaceful terrain, another work of luscious warmth and beauty. Both guitars and even some synth by Munoz weave frenetic bliss on "Orange Chocolate Mint Medicine in G Humor". The high point here is "Brahms' Lullaby" which has a gorgeous, old fashioned melody to start and reminds me of what Coltrane did to "My Favorite Things" or "Chim Chim Cheree". Tisziji takes the first mind-blowing solo - fragments of lines burning, blurring, buzzing and ascending ever upwards! Both Henry and Marilyn also take astounding solos as the heavens open up and the sun shines through. The final piece "Healing " is another piano and guitar duo and it is a refreshing, rare and precious lullaby to help us glide into a somber, peaceful dream-like world. " - BLG
TISZIJI MUNOZ With MARILYN CRISPELL / RASHIED ALI / DON PATE - Breaking The Wheel Of Life And Death! (Anami 019) Great Coltrane inspired guitarist's quartet with Marilyn Crispell, Don Pate, Rashied Ali "I want to extend my deepest gratitude and spiritual grace to Rashied Ali, Don Pate, and Marilyn Crispell, who have professionally and psychically supported this creative effort from the beginning. Their sympathetic and joyous playing on this project made it easy for me to sustain the level of consciousness expressed and implied by this transcendent music." Tisziji Munoz "Featuring Marilyn Crispell on piano, Don Pate on bass, Rashied Ali on drums and Tisziji Munoz on guitar, bells and compositions. Henry Kaiser put together a session for his guru and guitar-god Tisziji Munoz last year with a hand picked group that Henry chose for both guitarists to play with - this astonishing encounter was released a few months ago as "Auspicious Healing" and featured Marilyn Crispell on piano. The cosmic Coltrane vibe that Tisziji and Marilyn both share was brought together again a few months later for a powerful quartet date with Munoz' often regular rhythm team of Don Pate and former Coltrane-collaborator Rashied Ali. I just witnessed Marilyn playing in a trio with Barry Guy and Gerry Hemingway the other night at Tonic and she consistently blows mind with her ultra-deep playing. From the very first piece on this CD "Divine Urgancy" Munoz opens with that tone which gets the spirits flowing and trio around him float in cosmic space as time stands still. The title track comes next - a slow and mysterious Trane-like modal thing which takes its time to ascend higher and higher spiraling upwards as Tisziji lets those notes cascade like waves of energy flowing. Marilyn's solo comes next and it ever so elegant and beautiful, hushed and graceful that Munoz slows down the vibe to almost a standstill. Marilyn opens "Lemuria" with one of her superb harp-like solos which transcends up into the heavens as the tune itself grows from the innocent intro melody into another stellar region amongst the stars. The longest piece is "The Elder of the Mysteries" another tune in which the quartet sounds as if it is playing in slow motion as Tisziji starts to bend those notes upwards higher and higher one level at a time - Marilyn also taking a dream-inducing solo as well and a fine solo as well from Don Pate on acoustic bass. On this piece in particular there is some amazing call and response between the guitar and piano - notes that caress each other and us as well. The pulse picks up on the final long piece "God-Fire (Pyramid)" where Tisziji unleashes swarms of notes which crash over us in waves of urgent force. Marilyn also takes a spectacular piano solo - the forces of the gods to be reckoned with as she also spins notes in crashing waves, like a torrential rainstorm. Eventually the guitar also answers the call and explodes together with the piano as one cosmic force. Almost too much for us mere mortals! " - BLG
TISZIJI MUNOZ With PHAROAH SANDERS / RAVI COLTRANE / RASHIED ALI / PAUL SHAFFER / DON PATE - Divine Radiance Live! - Village Underground, June 10 2003 (Anami 030; USA) Featuring Tisziji Munoz on guitar, songs & vision, Pharoah Sanders & Ravi Coltrane on tenor saxes, Paul Shaffer on piano, Don Pate on bass and Rashied Ali on drums. It seems hard to believe that this incredible live set was ten years ago in June of 2003! What is even more amazing is that this special concert was organized through the hard work of Paul Shaffer, ace keyboard player and longtime bandleader for the weekday night David Letterman TV show. Mr. Shaffer met Mr. Munoz on the streets of Toronto more than forty years in 1969 and they have been friends ever since with Mr. Shaffer helping out his inspiration whenever he can. Although the often mysterious and misunderstood Mr. Munoz remains under the radar at times, those with their ears to the ground recognize his amazing guitar playing and transcendent music. One of Tisziji's main inspirations has been the sax playing, music of and spiritual journey of John Coltrane. Hence, Mr. Munoz played and recorded with Trane-collaborator Pharoah Sanders in the early seventies, as well as later working Trane's last drummer Rashied Ali. Coming full circle is Ravi Coltrane, son of John, who along with Pharoah Sanders and Rashied Ali, who were a part of the special cosmic gathering. All of the stars were aligned on this night at the now defunked Village Underground, a truly cosmic all-star sextet took the stage and blew all of the minds in attendance. What we have left is a 70 minute CD which you should be holding in your hands to help you enter another world, healing music for all of those who need to healed, whether they recognize it or not. This is the sh*t! There are those who don't take Paul Shaffer seriously since he is a well-recognized figure on major network TV, the sideman or fall-guy for David Letterman. Shame on them. I've caught Mr. Shaffer with Munoz on several occasions as well as on record. Paul is a most impressive keyboard player and he shines like everyone else in this special sextet, every solo stunning. What I love about this disc and that concert is that the band takes their time, slowly building upon a firm foundation, one great solo at a time. What I find so interesting is that Munoz inspires his bandmates to play their best, better than they often play with their own bands since is filled with that burning, inner-flame. Whenever Pharoah or Ravi take solos, Tisziji and Paul exchange lines, pushing each other and the soloists higher and higher. Besides the great sax solos, the interplay between the guitar, piano, bass and drums is consistently astonishing. For those of you who need that spirit/force/jazz tapestry, this is your medicine to take it and heal yourself! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TISZIJI MUNOZ With BERNIE SENENSKY / DON PATE / BOB MOSES / PAUL SHAFFER - Great Sacrifice: Maha Yajna (Anami 014; USA) Tisziji Munoz Live! Great Sacrifice Finally! Monster electric jazz guitar god Tisziji Munoz returns with three completely mind blowing, spiritually invigorating releases in one short blast of time!! First, there is this astounding live set from the Knit from March 5th of this year presented by DMG; second there is a new studio date with a double rhythm team pounding the spirits behind our man Munoz and soon there will be a Bob Moses' Coltrane tribute called 'Love Everlasting' on Billy Martin's Amulet label. The live cd is completely transcendent - no doubt the electric jazz release of 1999! It was Henry Kaiser who introduced me to Tisziji's music and who introduced Munoz's phenomenal quintet from the stage that night. What I find odd is that the that the sound in the room of that set was just not right, but the sound, balance and playing on this cd is just incredible. Tisziji's firey ensemble features the extraordinary playing of Bernie Senensky on piano, Don Pate on contrabass, Bob Moses on drums & special guest synth seasoning from Paul Shaffer. The quintet explode the spirits on each of the eight pieces - four of Tisziji's originals and four standards, including two Coltrane tunes. Tisziji's originals are fueled by possessed, haunting melodies - that same cosmic vibe found in Pharoah's "The Creator has a Master Plan." Munoz has special way of taking a standard - corny ("So Near, So Far") or cool (Jobim's "Dindi") and torturing the melody with distortion & speed that still sounds possessed. Lesser known Canadian piano wiz - Bernie Senensky is amazing throughout, with his McCoy-like thunderous solos, he deserves more credit. Paul Shaffer has also been a long-time friend, supporter & musical cohort for Munoz and is often not taken seriously because of his long-term gig as band-leader on the David Letterman Show, but his sonic synth seasoning on this cd is great spice - oft sparse with that Sun Ra-like cosmo-ambiance. Both Don Pate's bass & Bob Moses' drums continually join forces and weave power & rhythmic energy from the bottom on up - they too are gods! What really pushes this over the top is each massive electric jazz guitar solo that Tisziji unleashes - going for the jugular, where the heavens part - notes exploding at lightning speed, torrential rains, overwhelming us all. Munoz claims Coltrane as a main inspiration, this makes perfect sense with same level of intensity, devotion of spirits, sheets of sound - It's all too much! Witness the powerful force of the 'Great Sacrifice'! This live cd captures his quartet plus guest in perfect balance - electric jazz that runs the voodoo down. Each member of the core quartet has a strong sound - Bernie Senensky's McCoy-ish powerful piano playing, Don Pate's delightful elastic support on contrabass, Bob Moses' massive, earth shaking, uplifting propulsion on drums. Even special guest Paul Shaffer's synth playing adds just the right amount of (Sun Ra-like) spacey seasoning to this delectable stew. This band sounds completely possessed - burning spirits, pushing each other & us up to the heavens! There is a relaxed vibe at the beginning of most of these tunes, but it soon erupts with every incredible solo! Munoz' solos are a marvel of high speed lines beyond belief, but with a grittier and more spiritual tone than most fusion guitarists would ever use. This music is filled with torrential energy! There are those pieces where his solos just keep going higher & higher... and the set ends with Tisziji (and everyone at the gig) howling to unleash the pent-up exploding spirits inside each of us and set them free! This entire set & release flows like a force of nature, peaceful at first before a distant storm builds until the guitar's lightning-sheets of sound overwhelm us once again. And then it's back to that burnin' acoustic piano jazz trio that also dazzles us with it's swinging storm force. This release sounds to me like the gig of the year (century?)! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TISZIJI MUNOZ QUARTET With BERNIE SENENSKY / DON PATE / BOB MOSES PHAROAH SANDERS - Mountain Peak - Featuring Pharoah Sanders: Live At The Van Dyke, Schenectady NY 1998 (Anami 037; USA) Featuring Tisziji Munoz on guitar, Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax, Bernie Senensky on piano, Don Yaka Pate on bass and Bob Ra-Kalam Moses on drums. Are those goose-bumps erupting on your arms and the back of your necks?!? (They are on mine!) Finally, we have a contender for the "cosmic" release of the year! Pharaoh and Tisziji: a Match Made in the Heavenly Cosmos! Whoa! 'Mountain Peaks' is a stunning live, two disc, two set release, recorded in Schenectady, NY where Mr. Munoz used to live. It captures Mr. Munoz's fabulous quartet with their special guest, the legendary Pharoah Sanders, at their best, soaring together to those 'Mountain Peaks'. There are only seven songs played here, four standards and four originals by Munoz or Sanders. Commencing with "My Favorite Things", perhaps John Coltrane's most popular cover, taken at calm yet hypnotic pace. Tisziji, Pharoah and pianist Senensky all take long, slow-burning, dream-like solos with some amazing interplay between all three, notes spiralling around one another like a school of fish swimming in a stream. One of the oldest and most often played standards is "Body and Soul", made popular by Coleman Hawkins and played by hundreds of saxists, (and many other instruments) worldwide. The version here features a long, lovely, warm-toned solo from Mr. Sanders which is a stunning gem! Mr. Senensky, Mr. Pate, Mr. Munoz all take sublime, elegant solos, keeping the flow going righteously. When Munoz plays his original songs, this is when the fireworks really take out. The group ends the first set with "Purification by Fire #2", which is almost too much. The opening solo by Tisziji erupts from the first note with both Tisziji and Pharoah both unleashing those sheets of sounds that John Coltrane invented nearly fifty years ago. What is even more astonishing is the playing and support of Munoz' longtime rhythm team: Senensky on piano, Pate on contrabass and Ra-Kalam Moses on drums. The colossal power of the entire band is phenomenal with Pharoah letting out a few (vocal) screams to show the exhilaration going on. Toronto-based pianist, Bernie Senensky, is another under-recognized secret weapon, often playing those streams on the piano in a similar way to McCoy Tyner, a member of John Coltrane's legendary quartet, which Pharoah often sat in with. The second set kicks off with a half hour version a two standards in a medley: Jobim's Dindi" into Coltrane's "Lonnie Lament" back into "Dindi" again. "Dindi" is an old Brazilian song which was popular in the early 1960's. Munoz has a special way of playing these old chestnuts with his own bittersweet tone. Mr. Sanders' splendid, graceful tone and playing also add some magic top this superb medley. Once more than bands ascends together reaching higher and higher into the stratosphere. The piano trio by itself gets a chance to stretch out here and again do a marvelous, most cerebral job. It is again lift-off time on the last two Munoz originals, "Final Words" and "Visiting This Planet", which was also one of the highlights of the second set with Medeski a few weeks back. "Visiting This Planet" is a most appropriate title since it does take one directly to the stars or other planets along the way. Although everyone here solos with power and passion, it is those solos by Munoz that really push (us & them) the to the limits. The final song is an ecstatic version of Mr. Sanders' theme, "The Creator Has a Master Plan", with Pharoah singing and sounding just right at delivering those spiritual, uplifting words. It is a perfect ending to perhaps the most "cosmic" CD of the year. Nothing else comes close! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $20
TISZIJI MUNOZ With BENIE SENENSKY / RASHIED ALI / PHAROAH SANDERS / DON PATE / et al - Present Without A Trace (Anami 011; USA) Once I started listening to each and every Tisziji Munoz release, I realized was great/cosmic in its own way. My Favorite one, after hearing more than a dozen was this one. Why? The opening piece, has this triumphant, adrenalin rush, heart pumping uptempo riff that somehow reminds me of “King Kong” by the Mothers of Invention. As soon as I hear that riff, I am soaring high in the clouds, way above the earth and heading for the stratosphere. Just f*cking incredible! - BLG
‘Present Without A Trace’ is another classic example of Tisziji's spontaneous 'on the spot' composing and intense improvisation. It is a marked progression from the hauntingly beautiful River of Blood CD, and demonstrates Tisziji's ability to take negative, emotional conflict and transform it into powerful, beautiful and peaceful musical resolutions. It is for the few. This 1997 recording is Tisziji's second project with Rashied Ali on drums and percussion and features Pharoah Sanders on The Dance of the Visionaries. Creative accompaniments are provided by Bernie Senensky on piano and Don Pate on bass.
TISZIJI MUNOZ With PHAROAH SANDERS / DON PATE / RASHIED ALI - Spirit World (Anami 012; USA) The Spirit World double CD is a masterpiece, offering the listener an unusual series of meditations featuring the often volcanic, majestic and always creative Pharoah Sanders on various saxophones. These original 'on-the-spot' creations further demonstrate Tisziji's creative mastery of the music medium to include surprising ventures into yogic and Eastern sound effects. This is the third in the historic 1997 trilogy with Rashied Ali on drums and percussion, and includes radical contributions by Bernie Senensky on piano and Don Pate on bass.
2 CD Set $20
JANTAR - Sempronia (Feeding Tube Records 544; USA) "Fantastic new LP by this Brooklyn quintet, most of whom are deeply involved in the legendary Sunview Luncheonette scene. The roots of Jantar lie in a nameless experimental duo formed by Chad Laird and Tianna Kennedy in 2005 or so, but this duo has evolved into a working band with two distinct creative strategies. One of their aims in make 'experimental easy listening music,' which involves working angles that are similar to film music, although perhaps with a bit of Stereolab poured on top. Their other mode is more overtly rockoid, and that was the intent when they recorded Sempronia in the summer of 2017. While the sounds here do have moments of cinematic heft, the main thrust has a sheen that reminds me of updated examples of Canterbury classicism (specifically Soft Machine, Hatfield & Gong) as well a certain sophisticated element of the West Coast underground of the early '80s (Monitor, Romans, Fibinaccis, etc.) Without any kind of the nostalgic twaddle that haunts most contemporary stabs in the Canterbury direction, Jantar's music uses elements of the sound to create new kinds of rock. Meaning it's informed by such bands rather than indebted to their four-eyed legacy. Great keyboard tones, rhythm clumps, vocals and all else. The music on Sempronia is a wonderful convergence of a lot disparate threads that manage to meld together better than anyone could dream. As sweet and smart as any pie. Honest." --Byron Coley, 2021
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 Flute Player CHERYL PYLE:
join us online this Sunday for music,
covid 19 has redefined call and response, improvisations and music at 4:00 .
healing wishes , and thank you for listening,
Beyond Flute Group
Cheryl Pyle , Michael Eaton, Judi Silvano, Sam Newsome,
Haruna Fukazawa, Claire de Brunner, Gene Coleman
Here's the meeting ID, passcode, and link :
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 572 797 8491
please mute your audio and video on zoom during the music , thank you
This one comes from experimental vocalist Viv Corringham:
Remembering John Russell:
February 21st 2 pm GMT
We have all been all deeply saddened by the loss of John Russell, excellent musician and founder of long-running London music series Mopomoso, who passed away on the 19th of January. Our February online episode will be devoted to celebrating the musical life and legacy of the man who started this wonderful Mopomoso community. Mopomoso TV is the sister project of the live Mopomoso events, which can be found at Mopomoso.com.
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 of Creative Music, unique instrumentation, the history of recordings and lots more. Please take some time and listen to these, they are most enlightening.
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:
HENRY KAISER Continues with his Weekly Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page:
#45 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlkVBCOMu4E
#44 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afG82qVOEmg
#43 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVUUVOjZ6Bc
#42 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgVSkDLAQp4&pbjreload=101