New Stuff for This Weeks Begins with This Dynamic Disc:
EDDIE PREVOST / OLIE BRICE / HENRY KAISER / BINKER GOLDING / N.O. MOORE - The Secret Handshake with Danger - Vol. One (577 Records; USA) “Eddie Prévost, a preeminent musician in the UK improvised music scene and founding member of legendary AMM, might be equally renowned for his generous, decades-long mentorship. Both talent and Prévost’s mentorship are on display in this new album, The Secret Handshake with Danger, Volume one which features five musicians (Binker Golding on Saxophones, Henry Kaiser on Guitar, N.O. Moore on Guitar, Olie Brice on Double Bass and Eddie Prévost on Drums) improvising from a lifetime of collaboration. The album’s two extended tracks are largely influenced by Miles Davis’s On The Corner electro-jazz era, but the volume is entirely spontaneous composition, recorded and mixed in a single day in a Westpoint London studio, hours before the official national lockdown. The tracks stretch from classical arrangement to avant-garde electronic manipulation at disorienting speeds and exhilarating rhythms, navigating the confusion with confidence and trust. A second volume, recorded during the same session, will be released soon.”
CD $15 [LTD Edition of 500 copes]
MIKE COOPER / DUCK BAKER - Cumino in Mia Cucina (Confront Core Series 19; UK) Featuring Mike Cooper and Duck Baker on Spanish guitars. These two gifted guitarists come from very different backgrounds and have taken different routes to get where they are now, as far as their playing and where they ended up living. Mike Cooper started out in England, played folk music on acoustic guitar in the sixties and evolved through diverse currents: Hawaiian music, free music and other in-between the categories of whatever. Cooper has been playing lap steel for many years in his own unique way and has been living in Rome for many years. Born in DC, Duck Baker moved to San Francisco in the early 1970’s, where he made his reputation playing fingerstyle acoustic guitar in many styles: Irish & Scottish music, American Folk, ragtime, gospel, as well as lots of other jazz music. Mr. Baker eventually ended up playing “free music” with Eugene Chadbourne, Henry Kaiser & John Zorn in the late seventies. Mr. Cooper & Mr. Baker met at fellow guitarist Stefan Grossman’s house around the same time and eventually played together.
These acoustic guitar duos were recorded in Mr. Cooper’s kitchen (hence the CD title) in Rome in 2010. The sound is especially warm and superbly captured. Although this music is free, there is quite a bit of focused yet frenzied interaction. While one guitarist plays a series of fragmented melodies, the other will stretch out, bending & twisting notes, rubbing the strings or tapping on the body of the guitar. There are also a number of lovely, poignant moments as well in between the freer more abrupt excursions. The ongoing balance between the assorted extremes reminds me of the way life is, a melody floats in (like listening & dancing to The Dead in my kitchen) which is surrounded by all sorts of extended technique weirdness (like an interruption of reading bad news on-line). There is an obvious dialogue going on here, communal ideas, going back and forth, in a most fascinating way. It sounds like two older folks dancing with one another, with graceful moments, freer moments and occasionally coming close to stepping on someone’s toes, as the duo moves across some boundaries. Most extraordinary! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANDREW BARKER / JON IRABAGON - Duo Anemone (Radical Documents 031; USA) Featuring Andrew Barker on drums and Jon Irabagon on tenor sax. Drummer Andrew Barker moved to town from Atlanta when he was a member of the great Gold Sparkle Band, co-led by Charles Waters. Barker & Waters have continued to collaborate after Gold Sparkle split up. Both were members of William Parker’s Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. Over the past decade, Mr. Barker has been working with Daniel Carter, Ed Ricart and Virginia Genta. A bit young but no less accomplished is saxist Jon Irabagon. Saxist Mr. Irabagon also came to town with a band: Mostly Other People Do the Killing and has kept busy working in a variety of contexts: Dave Douglas, Mary Halvorson, a trio with Mark Helias & Barry Altschul and loads more. What’s interesting about Mr. Irabagon is that he switches between alto, tenor, soprano & sopranino saxes and is a master of each one. Mr. Irabagon also had a trio with Mick Barr (guitar) & Mike Pride and then a duo with ace drummer Mike Pride.
For this duo effort Mr. Irabagon plays tenor sax while Andrew Parker plays drums. One of the things about Mr. Irabagon’s previous band (MOPDTK) is their ability to employ and transcend categories (mostly jazz). Starting with “Learnings”, the duo swings tightly together with Mr. Irabagon playing those Trane-like tailspinning lines and Mr. Barker also spinning his own Elvin Bishop-like cascades. Irabagon launches into an intense solo sax section in which he really cuts loose, when the drums re-enter, the intensity goes up another notch. For the title track, the duo lay back and play a slower sort of ballad. The piece slowly increases in tempo, building higher as it evolves. Irabagon bares down, carefully bending the notes at the higher end while Barker plays some powerful mallets-on-toms underneath. For “Book of Knots” the duo stretch out even further with some odd bent-note vocal-like sounds from the sax while the drums play some more restrained, more suspense-filled sounds. This entire disc sounds like a suite and covers a good deal of ground. Both musicians sound like kindred spirits so listen close and be taken for a ride. - Bruce Lee Gallanter,DMG
BENOIT DELBECQ - The Weight of Light (Pyroclastic Records PR 13; USA) Featuring Benoit Delbecq on solo piano. I’ve long admired the work of French pianist Benoit Delbecq, whether working with European musicians like Evan Parker, Sam Blaser or Joelle Leandre or working with Canadian players like Francois Houle, Andy Milne & Gordon Grdina. Although Mr. Delbecq has done a number of duos, trio, quartets & quintets, he has done just two solo discs until now. Mr. Delbecq has long worked inside the piano, placing objects to mute the strings and tapping on the strings with other objects. On the opening piece, “The Loop of Chicago”, the sounds are both percussive and melodic at the same time, ritualistic sounding, all acoustic and carefully executed. Delbecq is often balancing between the melodic and percussive fragments, creating two intersecting lines simultaneously. The muted strings have an interesting way of resonating, as if a ghost was playing a jewelry box. The rhythmic cluster of notes and tapping of a wood block make for some odd bedfellows, like a dance of moves flames flickering yet still making sense. It seems obvious that Mr. Delbecq has been working long and hard on his inside-the-piano playing since he has created another world or sonic landscape which doesn’t quite sound like anyone else’s terrain. He has found a way of making time slow down so that we have to hear his world in a new way or with new ears. There is something very hopeful about creating a New World from fragments of the previous one. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FIRE! with MATS GUSTAFSSON / JOHAN BERTHLING / ANDREAS WERLIIN / GORAN KAJFES - Defeat (Rune Grammofon 2217; Norway) “Fire! tracking new paths and reaching new levels of excellence, still honoring their 12-year-old vow of presenting a fresh approach to improvised music. Their debut album, You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago, was released in 2009 to wide international acclaim. "The basic strategy of pairing the expressive energy of free jazz with a sturdy sense of groove has yielded something potent and self-contained" --New York Times. Between this and Defeat there´s been five albums, including collaborations with Jim O'Rourke (2011) and Oren Ambarchi (2012). No two Fire! records sound the same, but with Defeat they have taken their biggest leap so far, with Mats Gustafsson giving the flute a prominent place in the sound image, a surprising and most successful move, his both expressive and ornamental approach given ample room to breathe, especially on the two long tracks bookending the album. In places more subdued than on previous efforts, but with the distinctive bass figures and hypnotic mood fully intact. There are some lively stretches with guests Goran Kajfes and Mats Aleklint, bringing to mind their big band offshoot Fire! Orchestra, albeit on a smaller scale. For over 20 years Rune Grammofon have made a habit of releasing music that is beyond easy classification, in later years typified by Hedvig Mollestad, Elephant9, and Krokofant, but cemented by Fire! and their exploratory curiosity and deep love of music in general. Many have tried to compare the trio to other groups, but listening to Defeat you realize how futile this is. Given the above there´s no doubt there are many influences at play, but the resulting brew is in a class by itself. Personnel: Mats Gustafsson - flute, baritone sax, live electronics; Johan Berthling - electric bass; Andreas Werliin - drums; Goran Kajfes - quarter-tone trumpet; Mats Aleklint - trombone, sousaphone, horn arrangements.
ELEPHANT9 - Arrival Of The New Elders (Rune Grammofon 2218; Norway) After a solid run of five studio albums and 2019's two double live albums, Psychedelic Backfire I and II, Elephant9 had taken their groovy mix of high energy rock and power jazz as far as they could. In this respect, Arrival Of The New Elders comes as a welcome and most timely addition to their recorded output. More varied, mature and reflective, don't let the self-ironic (?) title mislead you, they are as groovy as ever, but more structured and less jam oriented, with the longest track clocking in around the seven-minute mark. Rather short, by their standards. Having built a solid live reputation even before their brilliant 2008 debut Dodovoodoo, the trio boasts what is probably the strongest rhythm section in Norway, complemented with keyboard magician extraordinaire, the one and only Ståle Storløkken. And boy, does he excel himself on this album, notably with more focus on the Rhodes than before. That said, this is nothing if not another strong group effort from what has been a very tight unit straight from the outset. Seven brand new compositions from Storløkken and one from Nikolai Hængsle make way for what Rune Grammofon consider to be their finest and most cohesive album to date. Arrival Of The New Elders was recorded by trusted stalwart Christian Engfelt, with early Dungen producer Mattias Glavå handling the mixing duties. Ståle started his musical journey in Veslefrekk with Jarle Vespestad and Arve Henriksen in the '90s, soon morphing into Supersilent with Helge Sten on board. He's also a member of Møster! and Humcrush, and have collaborated with a number of artists, most notably Motorpsycho. Nikolai is also a member of Bigbang, Needlepoint and Band Of Gold and has appeared on a couple of hundred records. The same goes for Torstein, an associate member of numerous bands ranging from pop and soul to free jazz. But Elephant9 has always been their special baby. Personnel: Ståle Storløkken - Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, grand piano, Eminent 310, Mellotron, Continuum; Nikolai Hængsle - electric bass, electric and acoustic guitars; Torstein Lofthus - drums, percussion.
METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE - Atomic Tuna (Evil Clown 9262; USA) Unsure what an atomic tuna is (Fukushima fish?), but Dave PEK and his band of mercurial men sure do raise the temperature hereabouts to radioactive levels. Cursory round-up: PEK features his usual noggin-explodin' assortment of noisemakers, from reeds of various makes and models, to percussives sculpted in colorful tinctures (log drum, xylophone balafon, chimes, tibetan bells, temple blocks, etc.), and a mad scientist’s lab of analogic van der graafs. Fellow MCE members Mike Gruen and Yuri Zbitnov provide electric bass/signal processing and yet more percussive adornment respectfully, but the whole of everyone’s contributions are engulfed so completely in the ensuing morass it’s impossible to tell who does what. And that’s the beauty of it all. The digipak cover notes this latest MCE missive as the ‘power trio edition’—that descriptor doesn’t disappoint. Waxing and waning, bobbing to and tro, thrusting and parrying, Atomic Tuna is a masterful study in group/sound dynamics, where shapeshifting improv yields a bevy of miraculous gifts for the ear as the trio travels the spaceways. The surprises are fast and furious: roughly eight minutes in, a slinky groove of near-funkadelia escapes your woofers, followed by PEK’s elastic hornswaggle and blurts of tie-dyed moogfog that wouldn't sound out of place on a Musica Elettronica Viva side. Those electronics arise with stealthy menace about half-way through the recording, augmented by the group’s steely interplay of woods, hand-held shakers, crotales, and, yes, metals, the wild abandon of the proceedings recalling nothing less than the 70s heyday of improv-era King Crimson. The Ensemble appear to have a never-ending supply of tricks up their sleeves; for all intents and purposes, even across an already voluminous catalog, this latest is one of their best yet. Pretty fearsome stuff. - Darren Bergstein
PEK SOLO - Elaborations (Evil Clown 9263; USA) Coming hot on the heels of the previous three-disc extravaganza Semantic Notions, Elaborations seems to have found Dave PEK taking something of a breather. Opening with a sharp crash of cascading bells, PEK appears to be ushering in some ancient ceremonial rite that only he is privy to. Indeed, there is a pensive, shamanic quality to this hour-plus travelogue that is one of the artist’s most introspective, meditative works yet. Snatches of silence are peppered throughout, as PEK coaxes the listener to enter various, tone-shifting dreamstates. Though ‘minimalism’ is hardly the word to describe anything Evil Clown thrusts upon the world, Elaborations certainly comes closest. PEK chooses his instruments and their placement in the stereofield carefully, almost gingerly; from those entrancing initial chimes to the foghorn sonorities of wood flutes, and goat horn, and onto his usual seancé-wrecking sax, PEK alternately fulminates and soothes, and it is that very unpredictability that maintains your attention and interest across this vast aural expanse. The oil-slick swirling mass on the CD cover ideally reflects his mutable processes; coupled with his indomitable spirit and ever-impressive command of more than a baker’s-dozen of instruments, the worlds PEK conjures never cease to amaze. Even more tellingly, the use of space across Elaborations, both figuratively and literally, gives this recording a sense of potency that shows yet another side of PEK’s singular vision, be it the ritualistic atmospheres burning like sonic incense or the Coltrane-ian flights of fancy that are practically his birthright. Vital, daring, uncompromising music. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
TREPPENWITZ - Sister in Kith (Discus 105; UK) Just when you think that the standard jazz piano trio concept is, to paraphrase a Brian Eno maxism, “a dead fish”, along comes something to shake your beliefs to their core. Treppenwitz aren’t mere one-hit wonders, however; this is their third go-‘round at reinventing legacy and subverting cliché, and damn if it doesn’t come to a frothy head on this buoyant long-player. Pianist Matthew Aplin for one is armed with the art of improvisation but his influences are tougher to pin down; he can tickle the ivories with the same furious abandon and tonal diversity as Keith Tippett throughout the nine-minute run of “Sound Logic / Sound Magic”, but as the piece’s second half proceeds, settles down into a more probing, methodical discourse that can be positively Tyner-esque. Bassist Tom Riviere plays with a jocularity that is equal parts bravado and bluster, whether keeping straight time across the post-bop shuffle of “Brimful” or marking out his territory with a pronounced and strident pizzicato across “Watching the Arc of Bats”. Drummer Steve Hanley makes quite the brash noise, tumbling down the proverbial stairs on the opening salvo “Staircase Stomp” or knowing how to cymbal-ize his kit to achieve the most dramatic effects, particularly as he maps out contours on “Sockeyed / Loose Laces” for his comrades to follow. No matter its component parts, Sister in Kith is a synergistic effort through and through, oscillating from serenity to free expression with an alacrity that belies this young trio’s collective years. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
THE TELESCOPES - Song Of Love And Revolution (Tapete Records 480; Germany) The Telescopes have been described by the British music press as "more a revolution of the psyche than a revolution of the sidewalk"; a thread consistent throughout a body of work spanning over 30 years. The Telescopes have constantly pushed at their own boundaries to unravel new pathways of existence, coloring outside the lines of all expectation to reach beyond the realm of natural vision. With a legacy full of eureka moments, intravenously fed through a crack in the cosmic egg, The Telescopes invoke the kind of altered perceptions that time has shown not only withstand repeated listening, but reveal something new whenever one ventures into the depths of their highly influential artistry. At the core of their being, The Telescopes are an all-embracing concern, in every sense, a constant revolution of the psyche exploding endless spores of sound, carriers of warm transmissions seeped in aural innovation that spiral around ones inner receptors to induce a series of auditory illusions that completely immerse the listener in the grip of their own imagination. The most revolutionary act we can all perform is to stand by our calling, to keep doing what we do, for the reasons we are conceived to do so, no matter what. Some call it "The New Weird" but call it what you will, it is born of love. The Telescopes are one of the very few artists that are living proof that this revolutionary act is possible to evolve and sustain free from artistic corruption. Songs Of Love And Revolution is a solar burst of trance inducing rhythms gripped at the helm by a wall of throbbing bass held in place by a swarm of encircling guitars. Lashed to the mast of this whirling dervish, incantations abound to dispel what is bound. This is the 12th album by The Telescopes, music for a four-piece ensemble that will never sound the same twice in any given environment or to any set of ears.
PEGGY AHWESH & BARBARA ESS - Radio Guitar (Ecstatic Peace E# 86; USA) RIP BARBARA ESS (1948- -2021). The only release of her music we have on hand is this old/classic 2002 CD on ECSTATIC PEACE. Radio Guitar is nine tracks of fantastic music and noise utilizing radio sound and electric guitar as realized by artists Peggy Ahwesh and Barbara Ess respectively. Filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh came of age in the 1970s with feminist politics and the experimental film underground. She started working with Super-8 film in her teens and went on to make feature films, including Splice This (1999) and Girls Beware (1997). Her work has been shown at Rotterdam, Osnabrook, and The New York Film Festival. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the NYSCA Film Production Grant, Jerome Foundation Grant, and a grant from Art Matters, Inc. She has taught at Bard College since 1990. Barbara Ess has been performing music in NYC since the 1970s w/ such famed no-wave groups as The Static and Daily Life as well as The Glenn Branca Ensemble and Y Pants, a trio of women playing music on toy instruments. She has also been a member of Ultra Vulva. She has also worked as a publisher of Just Another Asshole -- a series of anthologies of artists works in various formats. She also works as a visual artist, making and showing large-scale photographs. A book of her photo work, I Am Not This Body, was published by Aperture in 2001.”
MAPSTATION - My Frequencies, When We (Bureau B 367; Germany) "... My Frequencies, When We is the eighth Mapstation album Stefan Schneider has released since 2000. Hailing from Düsseldorf, the electronic music artist and producer finds inspiration in African and South American folklore, dub, and, naturally, krautrock, taking his time to process his responses in a consistently thoughtful manner, never resorting to cliché. He has also found time to pursue other projects in recent years, one with electronic music pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius for example (2011), another with visual artist Katharina Grosse (2017), whilst continuing to release interesting music from a variety of musical spheres on his own Tal label. Recorded between March and August of 2020 in Corona-induced isolation, there is a sonic homogeneity to My Frequencies, When We. For the first time in years, guest musicians are conspicuous by their absence. Schneider himself assumes vocal duties on 'The City In'. He has also pared down his equipment list: an analog tape loop device, Roland 808 drum machine, Novation Peak synthesizer, a guitar. Schneider thus sticks to the philosophy he revealed to an interviewer this summer: 'Simplification of the means is something I strive for. I have come to realize that my music loses intensity when I add in too many elements...' 'Intensity' does not necessarily translate into 'danceability'. Yes, there are hypnotic African grooves on 'Flute Channels' and the ingeniously rhythmic, imaginary world music of 'Taro Zing Ta' has much in common with Jon Hassell, Marja Ahti or DJ Residue, but these do not reflect the full spectrum. For the most part, the rhythms are as rudimentary as those found in folklore, tottering and stumbling along. There are gentle reminders of kraut-elektronik (Conrad Schnitzler, Cluster, Neu!) and discrete reconfigurations, with the aural current of the Rhineland flowing nearby. 'Outside Arendt' presents two parallel worlds in which synth melodies and crude beats are destined ne'er to meet; the same is true of the musical box frequencies and basic rhythm of 'Train Of Gerda' or the poetic juxtaposition of idyll and concrete on 'Actual Possible': each instrument goes at its own pace, MIDI connections do not lead to synthesis. This is music for the digital diaspora, mystical, sweeping frequencies, performed reductively. In its finest moments Mapstation succeeds in crafting minimal-kraut-elektronik which runs as deep as it floats on high. Electronic house music one might say, at once homely and strange." - Olaf Karnik
MALI - The Art of Griots from Kela, 1978-2019 (Musee D’Ethnographie de Geneve 119; Switzerland) “About a hundred kilometers south-west of Bamako, on the left bank of the Niger River, the Malian village of Kela is known to be home to a large community of griot musicians (jeliw) mostly belonging to the Diabaté family. Their art is recognized throughout West Africa and many griots come from all over the world to stay there, sometimes for several years, in the hope of becoming immersed in it. The six pieces for voice accompanied by guitar or traditional koni lutes were recorded in 1978 (tracks 3 to 6) and in 2019 (tracks 1 to 3), in the same traditional dwelling, which still serves as a "studio". The accompanying booklet contains the testimonies of several important musicians who took part in the recording, and evoke key elements of their universe. Recordings by Bernard Mondet (1978) and Vincent Zanetti (2019). Digipack, notes and booklet in French and English.”
CURVED AIR - The Albums 1970-1973 (Esoteric Recordings 42749; UK) "Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of a new clamshell boxed set featuring all four of Curved Air's classic albums recorded between 1970 and 1973. The Albums features newly remastered versions of ‘Air Conditioning’, ‘Second Album’, ‘Phantasmagoria’ and ‘Air Cut’, along with bonus tracks 'It Happened Today' (single version), 'What Happens When You Blow Yourself Up' and 'Sarah's Concern', all originally issued as singles."
One of my favorite British progressive bands was/is Curved Air. I caught them twice in the early seventies, once at the Fillmore (opening for Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and once at the Academy of Music. Lead singer, Sonja Kristina, has a wonderful, warm, exotic voice while the band featured the crafty violin work of Darryl Way and the creative keyboards of Francis Monkman. The first four albums are all essential early prog along the lines of Genesis or Yes, while Curved Air never really sold out (e.g. went commercial). I caught a reunion version of the band in England about 5 or 6 years ago with the Strawbs and both bands still sounded great more than forty years after their birth. Essential music for serious prog fans and curiosity seekers. - BLG/DMG
4 CD Set $30
TANGERINE DREAM - Pergamon (Esoteric Recordings 1026; UK) "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the re-press of Tangerine Dream's classic live album Pergamon. Recorded in January 1980 at the Palast der Republik, East Berlin, the album was originally released in East Germany in 1981 under the title Quichotte. The documented performance was one of the first by a western band in East Germany and earned Tangerine Dream many new fans in Eastern Europe. Featuring a line-up of Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and newly recruited member Johannes Schmoelling, the album was later released outside of East Germany under the title Pergamon (after the impressive museum in East Berlin). This Esoteric Reactive edition features the original album artwork and includes a lavishly illustrated booklet and essay."
EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND - Speak Down The Wires: The Recordings 1975-1982 (Esoteric Recordings 42750; UK) "Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of Speak Down the Wires, a re-mastered four-disc clamshell box set of the four albums issued by the Edgar Broughton Band/The Broughtons between 1975 and 1982: Bandages, Live Hits Harder!, Parlez Vous English and Superchip: The Final Silicon Solution. From the release of their debut album for EMI's Harvest label in 1969, Wasa Wasa, the Edgar Broughton Band were trailblazers for the counterculture and rock music with a social conscience and could even be seen as godfathers and influencers of the later punk movement. Hailing from Warwick and featuring Edgar Broughton (guitars, vocals), Steve Broughton (drums, vocals) and Arthur Grant (bass, vocals), their hard-hitting approach over a series of albums for the Harvest label earned them many loyal fans and several hit singles (including their anthem 'Out Demons Out!')."
4 CD Set $30
GUIDED BY VOICES - Propeller (Scat 049; USA) "Propeller was the fifth album by Guided By Voices, and was intended to be the group's last. Released as a limited edition of 500 LPs in 1992, the album featured handmade covers and blank labels to keep expenses as low as possible. Their other albums hadn't sold much, why would this one? Robert Pollard had a family to support and his musical aspirations had not exactly been a boon to their bank account. As fate would have it, the band wound up releasing an album chock full of gems Pollard had stockpiled, and for the first time sounded distinctly like the band that fans have since come to love. Propeller also marks the return of Tobin Sprout to the GBV fold, along with an increased songwriting presence. From anthem-to-be 'Over the Neptune' to the effortless melodies of closer 'On the Tundra,' Propeller is a hell of a ride, and remains one of the most important albums in the band's discography. The vinyl edition has been out of print for a decade, and features different cover art than previous pressings. The CD edition has been out of print for a minute as well, and is now housed in digipak format, also with a new, unique cover from one of the original pressings. And for the first time Propeller is available on cassette."
MASAHIKO TOGASHI / STEVE LACY / DON CHERRY / DAVE HOLLAND - Live at Yubin Chokin Kaikan Hall, Tokyo on May 14, 1986 (Victory 25AH986; Japan) “For this historical concert held at the Yubin Chokin Hall, in Tokyo on May 14, 1986, the legendary Japanese drummer Masahiko Togashi brought together an amazing line-up with such modern jazz luminaries as Steve Lacy (soprano sax), Don Cherry (pocket trumpet), and Dave Holland (bass). This particular album consists of four previously unpublished tracks (on vinyl), including some highly regarded Lacy's compositions such as "The Crus"" and "Quakes" and Don Cherry's African flavored anthem called "Mopti". The Lacy-Cherry frontline flies over the agile, airy rhythm section of Holland and Togashi and the interplay between the four master musicians sounds loose and relaxed. This is a must-hear for any post free jazz fan.”
LP $25 [LTD Edition/Last Copies]
75 DOLLAR BILL LITTLE BIG BAND with CHE CHEN / RICK BROWN / SUE GARNER /JIM PUGLIESE / et al - Live At Tubby's (Grapefruit 003; USA) "NYC's 75 Dollar Bill began its prolific career in 2012, after percussionist Rick Brown -- a veteran of the indie underground (Fish & Roses, Run On, V-Effect) -- and noise scene guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Che Chen -- connected via MySpace. Since that initial jam session, when Brown began experimenting with his signature plywood crate drum rhythms, they have released three LPs and a clutch of self-released cassette and digital releases. Last year's double album I Was Real received serious critical acclaim -- The Wire calling it 2019's Album of the Year. On their first live album, Live At Tubby's, 75 Dollar Bill assembled a unique 'little big band' [Sue Garner on bass, Cheryl Kingan on sax, Steve Maing on guitar, Jim Pugliese on percussion and Karen Waltuch on viola] for the small Kingston, NY club show. Recorded on the last day of their spring tour, the record puts a new perspective on themes from their body of work: a little more intimacy, a little more freedom, a little more controlled chaos. Brown's idiosyncratic rhythms are all the more hypnotizing in Tubby's cozy setting, and Chen's furious guitar work cuts and hums with sounds seemingly only attainable on stage. It's an album both challenging and immediate. The expanded 75 Dollar Bill's affinity for improvisation and the avant-garde even leads to a rousing take on the Ornette Coleman classic, 'Friends And Neighbors' that feels right at home in their own repertoire. The listener can't help but feel present and part of the communal joy and catharsis being shared here in this room. This performance at Tubby's turned out not only to be the last show of their tour, but the last show possible as the pandemic hit. Originally offered as a digital only release on 75 Dollar Bill's Bandcamp, Live At Tubby's now documents a highlight and closure of sorts; this kind of musical improvisation and community interaction being on hold for the foreseeable future. This double album on Grapefruit will have to tide everyone over until it can all happen again."
2 LP Set $28
SUN CITY GIRLS - Live at the Sky Church - September 3rd, 2004 (2182 Recording Company; USA) Limited restock, last copies. The first new Sun City Girls release since Funeral Mariachi (2010), Live at the Sky Church is a performance that melds their signature alien-jazz improv, Asian-tinged psychedelia, and Middle Eastern meditations together with their ranting psychodrama. An audio and visual recording from Seattle in 2004 shows a group that is both aware and committed to its history, while still demonstrating the power of the experimental to drive an enormous cudgel through the heart of those who believe to have all the answers. Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company has had a long history with Sun City Girls, most of which, the Girls were unaware of. While the label were not at the show, their attempt to help continue to put a part of Arizona's musical history in the appropriate context convinced the Girls that a bunch of subversives from a town no one admits to being from to be the right people to put this document into the world. Society rarely documents the things that matter, and the label hopes to change that with this release. It is a document that now stands to the interplay between three friends before that history would be sunset way before its time. As the recording begins, you already realize the experience will be too short, but what the fuck are you supposed to do but celebrate that it happened. The Girls came from Phoenix, Arizona, but now have traveled the world exploring sound, documenting travel, and attempting to be the emissaries that should represent these union of states. Live at the Sky Church illustrates this history and attempts to provide a manifesto without dictating the experience. Will you listen? Includes DVD. "LONG MAY THEY ISOLATE." --John "Inzane" Olson (American Tapes, Wolf Eyes, etc.)
LP DVD $24
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link, for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com. Many of us are going stir crazy staying at home so if you want to inspire us and help us get through these difficult times, please show us what you got. I listed some these last week but have also a few more.
MORE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING AROUND FOR THE WORLD TO END OR GET BETTER: STILL STIR CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
This is from Jessica Hallock, please do check it out, there is so much to explore here and I know some of you are bored and need some inspiration/distraction:
Livestreams are obviously no replacement for live shows, but they're all the community we have right now––so experimental music calendar NYC-Noise.com now provides links to livestreams (with artist / curator donation info); a roundup of local musicians' releases; COVID-19-related resources, including links to grants, petitions, & a local venue donation list; & an Instagram account (@NYC_Noise) promoting artists and releases. Please let me know about your livestreams &/or new records at www.nyc-noise.com/submit.
Here is a new SEAN ALI / MEGHAN DESMOND Music Video Collaboration:
Here is the video: https://vimeo.com/516694455
Here is just the audio:
Sean Ali plays acoustic bass and has played a number of solo & duo sets here at DMG. His bass playing is unlike anyone else I’ve heard and each set was fascinating. Meghan Desmond is one of my best friends and gig-going buddies. She was saved from a normal life by Downtown Music Scene Weirdness. Inspired by the music she heard, she picked up a camera and started to experiment. She has come a long way in the last few years, doing record covers, and photo/video collaborations with assorted Downtown Artists. Check out this new one, I think she and Sean Ali have really hit their stride! The video is in black & white and both the sounds and images are quite haunting so beware! - BLG/DMG
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 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 #29
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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0-qbKTem9o - Tribute to Milford Graves
#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