Space IS The Place! Next stop Jupiter! Do the Thing, Do the Thing, Do the Intergalactic Thing! The Satellites are Still Spinning as We All Take Off to Visit SUN RA on his Home World!
SUN RA with JOHN GILMORE / MARSHALL ALLEN / DANNY DAVIS / PAT PATRICK / DANNY THOMPSON / ELOE OMOE / LARRY NORHTINGTON / CLIFFORD JARVIS / LEX HUMPHIES / JUNE TYSON / KWAME HADI - Egypt 1971 - Heliopolis and Cairo, December 1971 (Strut 209CD; UK) “Sun Ra's 1971 trip to Egypt came about almost as a snap decision, with Mr. Ra tacking last-minute additional dates onto the end of his second European tour with his Arkestra when he found uncommonly cheap airfare to Cairo. Quickly arranged concerts took place in Cairo and were originally documented in the form of three albums released by Ra's Saturn label: 1972's Nidhamu and Dark Myth Equation Visit, and 1973's Horizon. Egypt 1971 collects the sounds from these piecemeal releases as well as the rest of the previously unreleased audio from the Egyptian concerts, finding the Arkestra in an especially intense form during a phase that was already among their most creatively boundless. The excitement in the group performances is palpably electric on songs with chanted vocals like "To Nature's God," "Why Go to the Moon?," and the Arkestra calling card "Space Is the Place." Over the hours of audio collected on Egypt 1971, Ra and his group traverse multiple executions of their space-age jazz outside of the more structured group songs. Bright improvisations from the entire band and more spare sectional duets are bridged by moments of Sun Ra exploring early synthesizers in a way that would define this phase of his output. "Space Loneliness No. 2," in particular, breaks down to Ra alone at the synthesizer, finding the outer reaches of the instrument and the cosmos, as he breaks both jazz theory and sound itself into unrecognizable molecules over the course of the nearly 12-minute piece. It's great to have the entirety of the Egyptian concerts collected in one place on 'Egypt 1971', offering a snapshot of what was no doubt a jet-lagged and slightly unhinged moment in the group's history, but still stood as astonishing and otherworldly.” - Fred Thomas, AllMusicGuide
4 CD Set $25
IRENE SCHWEIZER / HAMID DRAKE - Celebration (Intakt 363; Switzerland) Piano-Drums Duos are the preferred playing arrangement of pianist Irène Schweizer. Her mastery of duets with important drummers of contemporary jazz are documented on numerous Intakt CDs. Han Bennink, Pierre Favre, Louis Moholo, Günter Baby Sommer, Andrew Cyrille and Joey Baron among them. The Chicago drummer Hamid Drake, born in 1955, and Irène Schweizer, born in 1941, have performed together on numerous occasions both in Europe and Chicago. Together they have appeared on the Intakt CD "Irène Schweizer-Fred Anderson-Hamid Drake". At the 40th anniversary festival "Kontrontationen in Nickelsdorf" (Austria), Schweizer and Drake were the highlight of the event. A celebration of the moment and a declaration of love to South African songs along with their thrilling energy and rhythmic lightness produced a firework of improvisation. A parade of successful interplay. The CD Celebration is released on the occasion of Irène Schweizer's 80th birthday (June 2nd), accompanied by a catalogue of the pianist's works on Intakt Records.
TOM RAINEY OBBLIGATO with RALPH ALESSI / INGRID LAUBROCK / JACOB SACKS / DREW GRESS - Untucked in Hannover (Intakt 360; Switzerland) With ‘Untucked in Hannover’, Tom Rainey's top-notch quintet Obbligato presents a third album of a collection of jazz standards – with Jacob Sacks on piano replacing regular pianist Kris Davis for this live recording. Wonderful jazz tunes like Stella by Starlight or I Fall in Love Too Easily are interpreted in an open dialogue with stunning joy of playing and improvisation. And though standards are the modus operandi of Obbligato, their approach is intended to be less conventional, less reverential and certainly less solo-centric than many other bands that tackles with Standards.Obbligato sometimes plays with the essences of famous jazz standards in an implied way, sometimes in a teasing and mysterious way, but always in a tantalizing way.
"Close your eyes, imagine sitting in the front row of your favorite jazz club, sit back and enjoy Obbligato playing pieces from the Great American Songbook in a way you've never heard them before: and by one of the most inventive and inspiring live bands of the last decade," writes Laurence Donohue-Greene in the liner notes.
THREE GREAT ONES from RELATIVE PITCH:
SUSAN ALCORN / LEILA BORDREUIL / INGRID LAUBROCK - Birds Meets Wire (Relative Pitch 1098; USA) Featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal steel, Leila Bordreuil on cello and Ingrid Laubrock on tenor & soprano saxes. Recorded by Colin Marsten at Thousand Caves Studio in Queens in April of 2018. This is an interesting combination of three women improvisers from very varied backgrounds. Originally Texas-based pedal steel sorceress, Susan Alcorn (currently living in Baltimore), has truly moved in leaps & bounds over the past few years with a number of superb releases: a solo tribute to Astor Piazzola (on Relative Pitch), a fabulous all-star quintet disc from last year plus being a member of the Mary Halvorson Octet. Ingrid Laubrock is equally ambitious and just keeps getting better as a saxist, composer (check out any of her great discs on Intakt) and juggles several great bands. Cellist, Leila Bordreuil, I know less well, although she played at the store with Chris Pitsiokos and she has a solo effort and two duo efforts with Lea Bertucci and Michael Foster.
The music begins with a series of drones or long tones, all three instruments interweaving into a fascinating blend. Although most folks often associate the pedal steel with country music, Ms. Alcorn long ago has evolved past any regular expectation of weepy steel guitar. Her sound is unique, drawing from an assortment of unexpected ghost-like swirls. Ms. Laubrock also loves to push herself exploring some of the more extended sax sounds: different drones, bird-like squeaks and even jazzy phrasing which flow in different patterns. Ms. Bordreuil seems to be taking her time to weave her way into the slowly shifting waves, bowing, buzzing and shimmering in assorted layers. The variety of sounds that emanate from Ms. Alcorn’s pedal steel really pushes her partners into some unexpected areas. On “Canones” (a traditional song), it sounds as if the trio are playing this sad, solemn ballad that will bring a tear to the eye if you have a tender heart. There is something quite lovely going on here, a most haunting vibe in which time slows down and we are left with a calm, dreamy vibration. This disc also ends with another traditional song called, “Indigo Blue”.
MAGDA MAYAS’ FILAMENTAL with RHODRI DAVIES / ZEENA PARKINS / ANGHARAD DAVIES / MICHAEL THIEKE / CHRISTINE ABDELNOUR / et al - Confluence (Relative Pitch 1120; USA) Personnel: Magda Mayas on piano & composition, Angharad Davies on violin, Anthea Caddy & Aimee Theriot on cellos, Rhodri Davies & Zeena Parkins on harps, Michael Thieke on clarinet and Christine Abdelnour on alto sax. This disc was recorded live at Music Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria on November 8 of 2019. I was recently thinking about the long history of female jazz pianists/improvisers starting with Mary Lou Williams, Marian McPartland, Amina Claudine Myers, Connie Crothers & Irene Schweizer. From the late eighties & nineties, we saw another wave of great women pianists like Satoko Fuji, Sylvie Courvoisier, Angelica Sanchez, Kris Davis and certainly a unique stylist/composer like Carla Bley should be included. More recently we’ve seen another group of extraordinary women pianists: Eve Risser, Kaja Draksler, Paula Shocron and Magda Mayas. All of these women’s playing has evolved over time with certain ones (Ms. Courvoisier, Ms. Fuji, Ms. Risser & Ms. Mayas) experimenting by playing inside the piano as well as on the keyboard.
I’ve heard several previous CD’s by Magda Mayas playing with Tony Buck, Chris Abrahams & Jim Denley and know that she is a strong improviser. For this session Ms. Mayas has composed and directed an octet, as well as playing the piano. I know of about half the names here from previous discs: Zeena Parkins (longtime Downtown dynamo/explorer), Rhodri Davies (from IST), Michael Thieke (clarinet ensembles & Magic I.D.) and Christine Abdelnour (duo w/ Chris Corsano & trio w/ Bonnie Jones & Andrea Neumann). Which brings us to this gem…
The score of this near 50-minute work was based on 12 photos taken over an hour of merging waters of two rivers in Geneva, Switzerland. And like the water, this music flows most organically. Soft, careful, buzzing drones, hums and inside-the-piano percussives. The overall vibe here is post-lower case, minimal yet consistently focused and connected like those flowing waters. In order to truly appreciate this, one must listen closely with no distractions as the cautious sounds flow around one another in several connected currents. As the piece evolves, the density grows slowly, with varied layers of vibrating strings, chirping reeds, subtle percussive sonics all connected and flowing together. There are moments when the piano sounds like a somber gamelan ensemble and sections where it sounds as if we are in a forest with birds or insects chirping around us. Today (5/12/21) feels like one of the first days of Spring, sunny yet breezy. This music fits that sublime, magical, natural vibe so I was swept away by what I hear here. Marvelous indeed! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CRANES with MATTHIAS MULLER / EVE RISSER / CHRISTIAN MARIEN - Formation
JEN SHYU & JADE TONGUE with AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE / MAT MANERI / THOMAS MORGAN / DAN WEISS - Zero Grasses: Ritual for Losses (Pi Records 88; USA) Featuring Jen Shyu on vocals, piano, percussion, Taiwanese moon lute & Japanese biwa, Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet, Mat Maneri on viola, Thomas Morgan on bass and Dan Weiss on drums. I have long admired the work of Jen Shyu, since she works hard on every project whether in concert or in the studio. This is Ms. Shyu’s 5th disc as a leader and she continues to reach deep into her own past and present, finding a balance between her own herstory and things which affect in our everyday lives. ‘Zero Grasses: Ritual for the Losses’ is dedicated to Mr. Shyu’a late father who passed away in April of 2019 and on the “mourning and reckoning for women and people of color who have been treated unfairly due to racism, sexism and the blind ambition of some. Ms. Shyu has also chosen a fine Downtown all-star quintet to work with. This disc starts with a suite in four parts called, “Living’s a Gift”, with lyrics supplied by Mimi Broderick’s 6th, 7th & 8th grade school choir. Ms. Shyu overdubs a few layers of her voice into a chorus, the words have a nice childlike innocence. The music is busy filled with images and ideas from when we were children. “Lament for Breonna Taylor”, an innocent black woman who was murdered by policemen. The piece is solemn and thoughtfully constructed by words by Ms. Taylor’s mother. There is a sad turbulence at the center of this piece, which captures the sadness of this tragic occurrence from March of last year (2020), just over a year ago and still fresh in our minds. “A Cure for the Heart’s Longing” was translated from Javanese and features some swirling viola, trumpet and tasty vocals upfront over a churning yet stripped down rhythm team. Ms. Shyu seems to have several voices or characters to expose. At times, she sounds like Joni Mitchell in an earlier part of her career yet this is only one of several voices that she possesses. I can hear some Julie Driscoll/Tippetts in her as well. Both Joni & Julie are amongst my alltime fave singers so this disc makes me smile. Ms. Shyu reads from her diaries as a child talking about a sad incident of early racism and about how life is so confusing. Although this is a personal journey that Ms. Shyu is going through, I am reminded of similar dark times from my own youth when I was called a “dirty Jew” and was threatened because I kept my hair (an afro) so long. None of us like to be reminded of going through racist remarks when we were young. Sometimes the so-called melting pot does really melt so the ignorant call us names. Sad but still something we still deal with today. Mr. Shyu stirs up the pot inside all of us, the ingredients congeal at times. Sometimes we can feed our inner hunger, sometimes not so easily. I love this disc since it captures some things which many of us are going through or thinking about. I know I have thought long and hard about racism, division, misinformation and the fake news that divides us even further. Thank you Jen, for giving me, giving all of us something to think about. We are all part of our current situation and only we can make it better by trying to understand and be nice to others outside of our family and friends. There are no strangers to fear only other folks who we’ve not gotten to know yet. Remember that. Peace always. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
When I sent out an invitation to some 100 musicians to transmit a five minute video or audio files, I had two things in mind: since it was/is the 30th anniversary of DMG, I wanted these files to show the immense diversity of Creative Music that we’ve long promoted and give these artists a chance to express themselves during a time when all of us has had to be alone, stay indoors and not to go or perform in concerts for over a year. Drummer/composer Devin Gray recently came to visit and left us with nine (!) discs which he has worked on for the past 1-2 years, releasing all of them over the next month or so. Each one has a different group of musicians and the first three are here now…
THREE MARVELOUS DISCS from DEVIN GRAY’S RATAPLAN LABEL:
DEVIN GRAY’S ALGORHYTHMICA with MARIA GRAND / MARA ROSENBLOOM / CARMEN ROTHWELL // DEVIN GRAY’S META CACHE with KIM CASS / JEREMY VINER / ELIAS STEMESEDER (Rataplan; USA) This disc consists of two different groups or sessions on the same disc. The first group features Jeremy Viner (from Battle Trance) on bass clarinet, Elias Stemseder (from the Jim Black Trio) on piano, Kim Cass (for Matt Mitchell, Sam Ospovat & Noah Preminger bands) on bass and Devin Gray on drums. Meta Cache play one piece which sounds like it is being driven by a drum machine-like repeating groove with a thick, pulsating bass line and a hypnotic bass clarinet on top. The next piece features Maria Grand on tenor sax, Mara Rosenbloom (keep your eye & ear on her!) on piano, Carmen Rothwell on bass and Mr. Gray on drums. Ms. Grand, who once worked with Steve Coleman, is a strong saxist herself and this music has that circular M Base-like pattern, a concept that Steve Coleman helped to invent. All the lines in this quartet are played tightly together, which is no easy feat and a marvel of inventiveness. This quartet starts off on their second piece together and then slowly unwinds with certain lines still moving tightly around one another. Although there are two groups on this disc, they sound very similar since the composing binds them as part of one continued sound. This entire disc is under 16 minutes long so I played again a second time as soon as it ended. Another fine gem from Devin Gray’s new 9 CD batch. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DEVIN GRAY’s FASHIONABLE POP MUSIC with RYAN FERREIRA / JONATHAN GOLDBERGER / CHRIS TORDINI - Fashionable Pop Music (Rataplan; USA) Personnel: Ryan Ferreira and Jonathan Goldberger on guitars, Chris Todini on bass and Devin Gray on drums. Current Downtown historians should recognize all of the members of this fine quartet: Ryan Ferreira (in Tim Berne’s Snakeoil), Jonathan Goldberger (w/ Chris Lightcap, Bizingas & his own Surface to Air) and Chris Tordini (for Tyshawn Sorey, Chris Speed & Michael Dessen). When this disc begins, it is the contrabass of Mr. Tordini's that is really pumping up a storm at the center with both guitars playing some dark churning rock/jazz lines around him while Mr. Gray provides a strong rhythmic anchor. The bass plays a hypnotic, near reggae-like groove which locks in with the drums while the guitars play some select, sustained, noisy shards. This music has a dark undercurrent and is often stripped down at times yet it builds organically through different sections. Instead of much single note soloing by the guitars, they work in waves cosmic strumming, more space-trip like than any anthemic rock dervishes. The second long piece also starts out quietly with eerie guitars pulsating together like dancing ghosts. Once more it is Tordini’s contrabass that is at the center here, slowly building into a somber groove. Both guitars start to play a series of sly lines together, moving between swirls and single note spikes, all connected into a great jazz/rock stream eventually calming down to a soft yet spooky final section. This is the first of nine new gems from Devin Gray’s wonderful Rataplan catalogue! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DEVIN GRAY with DAVE BALLOU / RYAN FERREIRA - Socialytics (Rataplan; USA) Featuring Dave Ballou on trumpet, Ryan Ferreira on guitar and Devin Gray on drums. Ambitious drummer Devin Gray has a knack for organizing a wide variety of inspire sessions, each with different personnel and a different approach. Most of his recently released batch of nine discs feature trios, one duo and one quartet. Each trio has different personnel with no-one else in common except for Mr. Gray himself. Trumpeter Dave Ballou has worked with Devin Gray previously in a trio & quartet as well as for Adam Hopkins. Snakeoil guitarist, Ryan Ferreira, is also on a more recent quartet disc with Mr. Gray called, ’Fashionable Pop Music”. The opening piece here, “Streambait”, is skeletal and filled with suspense. I like that the music here is stripped down a bit with few solos. It is more about creating subtle combinations in different ways. Assembling fragments into a small body of water like leaves falling on a pond. Mr. Ferreira, who usually plays long repeating lines in Snakeoil, here creates eerie, spacious sounds which seem to breathe and hang or float in the air. Mr. Ballou also has stripped down his playing to just a handful of restrained rustles which also float on the breeze as it blows through my kitchen window. Mr. Gray is also an integral part of this trio as he frames the events with a sublime percussive cushion, often using mallets in a masterful way. There is a relaxed sense of calm going on here that keeps us feeling less bound to the earth which is a good place to be. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DISCOVERING THE GARCIA PEOPLES!
I have been on a long, never-ending journey to discover music which inspires me on a variety of levels. First it was the Beatles & the Rolling Stones & the Animals (circa 1964), then protest lyrics and other words which help explain what was going on around us. Starting around 1966, I started to notice a change as the music evolved quickly as psychedelic, ethnic, blues, country and jazz started to influence rock & pop music. Thanks to bands like the Beatles, Stones, the Mothers of Invention, Jimi Hendrix, the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Love, the Temptations, Chambers Bros. … those psychedelic sounds erupted on AM radio as a long line of hits. I can still remember hearing all those hits, buying all those singles and listening to those songs over & over & over. I still feel drawn to protest music (the words) and lyrics which make observations about the world around us and even more, I still love and search for psychedelic sounds, music and effects which alters the way we see and hear things. Plus I believe the Psychedelic music evolved into what was called Progressive as the sixties turned into the seventies. With Progressive Music, early Jazz/Rock and Canterbury Music becoming my favorite music of all, throughout the seventies and onwards. There have been several waves of psychedelic & garage bands which have erupted around the planet over time ever since. I continue to search for those bands/musicians that help us to transcend our everyday anxieties. Which brings me to…
A couple of years ago, I started to hear about a handful of bands who were on the next wave of Psychedelic Transcendence: Solar Motel, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, David Harrington and Garcia Peoples. I decided to give these bands a chance and I am so glad I did. Last year I bought three discs from Garcia Peoples, who are from Rutherford, New Jersey, just a few counties from where I live in Rahway. I decided to play just one CD at a time and started at the beginning with ‘Cosmic Cash’. Holy sh*t!!! Now that I’ve listened to four of their studio albums, I am convinced that I’ve found that long lost psychedelic/progressive treasure. We just got in all four studio discs and the first two are listed below:
GARCIA PEOPLES - Cosmic Cash (Beyond Beyond Beyond 047; USA) Featuring Tom Malach & Danny Arakaki on guitars, Pat Gubler on keyboards, Derek Spaldo on bass and Cesar Arakaki on drums. ‘Cosmic Cash’ is the first full length disc from Garcia Peoples, after a mini-album called ‘Howl House’, which was released in 2014. ‘Cosmic Cash’ was released in 2018. The only member of the band that I knew previously is keyboardist Pat Gubler who used to work with Tower Recordings and P.G. Six. Right from the beginning, I knew that I was hearing the Next Big Thing for Old Hipsters like myself. Wow! Right away, I am uplifted by the voices, guitars, electric piano, the groove, the not-so-mellow vibe. “Time will show you how!” “We’ll follow you into a darnedest Star”. This music makes me want to dance and sing along and smile! “Where the rhythm meets the sea”. I love the way the guitars take those Philip Glass like riffs and add other layers with different interlocking parts all connected in a most jubilant way. The vocalist occasionally does have some Bob Weir in his voice although even though they might be named after Grateful Dead’s longone leader, they don’t really sound like the Dead. Yet I can still hear some Dead influence buried beneath the surface. I hear quite a bit of diverse influences/sounds: pop/psych, roots rock, new wave, positive vibes, instantly catchy, yet still engaging. Just when you think you have these folks pegged, they surprise you. “Show Your Troubles Out” starts out with a charming intro before it launches into a great, throbbing rock anthem complete with some swell wah-wah guitars. Yes! And then they lay back with “Four Walls”, with some lush vocal harmonies, and more heartwarming melodies. The band really rocks hard on a suite which begins with “Cashing Out”. The cosmic double guitars (with some phase-shifting) seem to be coming from Amon Duul II or Gong but at a more adrenalin-pumping pace! There are several layers of guitars going on here, criss-crossing lines… “She was a dancer classically trained at Julliard”. For me, it doesn’t get any better than this. Joyous music for dark times, what more do we need?!?!?! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GARCIA PEOPLES - One Step Beyond (Beyond Beyond Beyond 059; USA) “Welcome to the sound of Garcia Peoples at full speed. Without losing a ray of sunshine or a drop of dew, One Step Behind is the first major statement by the malleable Brooklyn sextet. The 32-minute title cut highlights the twin guitars and songwriting of Tom Malach and Danny Arakaki and, instead of pointing itself towards one possible future for the band, just zaps itself square into the thick of it. Encompassing a range of moods and scenes in one flowing arc (plus a coda), it’s less a piece of music to listen to than it is a zone to occupy, a portal for all open-eared heads.
The band’s third album in a year-and-a-half, One Step Behind is unquestionably their boldest yet. Formed in New Jersey by Malach and Arakaki, the band took a few years to find their flying shape, solidifying into a lineup with Danny’s brother Cesar on drums and Derek Spaldo on bass by mid-2016. Ramping up their acceleration around the time of their 2018 Cosmic Cash debut, they’ve blasted through residencies and new songs and sessions and collaborations, leaving a trail of live tapes in their wake, along with the crashing power of 2019’s Natural Facts follow-up, and scaling ever upwards. It’s been a little dizzying to watch. You’re jamming with who? Even so, One Step Behind might still come as a surprise to those who’ve been keeping up with the tapes.
Recorded and assembled at Black Dirt Studio with Jason Meagher (Jack Rose, Steve Gunn), “One Step Behind”--and One Step Behind--opens with the newest auxiliary Garcia: Tom’s father Bob Malach. A veteran sax player with a CV that includes Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Miles Davis, the Asbury Jukes, Arto Lindsay, Barbra Streisand, and Steve Miller to (seriously) name just a few, the elder Malach contributes twin overdubbed saxophone parts, channeling Terry Riley--soon joined by Tom and Danny in interlocking guitar bliss--before blowing it out at the end. In between comes Danny’s floating song, more jams, and wild organ by Pat Gubler, ascending from auxiliary collaborator to full-fledged Garcia, and providing a linkage from the Garcias’ millennial jams to the freaky lo-fi sound scenes of ‘90s Massachusetts.
It’s not quite the literal flip, since the title piece sprawls over onto the back of the LP, but the second song on the album--only eight minutes--is another new move for Garcia Peoples, too. Written and sung by bassist Derek Spaldo, moving over to piano for the first time, “Heart and Soul” is a more contemplative place for the band. Appearing on record for the first time is Andy Cush, who occupies the bass chair for most of the band’s shows, Spaldo now dwelling outside of regular gig range. Intending to record Spaldo’s gentle song as a short postscript, “Heart and Soul” grew into its own soundspace, as Garcia Peoples’ songs sometimes do. Gubler plays flute, and they go full glow.
With a stash of live recordings accumulating at the Live Music Archive, Garcia Peoples’ music is very much a living entity. Since the release of their previous two albums, songs have started to expand, jam suites have grown, and experiments have been undertaken. The first part of 2019 has seen Garcia Peoples back Philadelphia guitarist Chris Forsyth (an expanded Solar Peoples Band has hit double-drummer overdrive several times now), and joined with guitarist Ryley Walker. They’ve improvised on WFMU, and jammed with the sounds of ocean waves and falling rain at strange late night happenings. Probably something else new and wonderful and weird has happened in the Garciaverse since I wrote this.
Whether or not you thought you knew Garcia Peoples’ music, One Step Behind is something new and beautiful, for new heads and old. No matter where you stand--behind, beyond, or another plane altogether--One Step Behind is ready. For those about to get on the Bus, we salute you.” - Jesse Jarnow, Brooklyn, NY
TASSOS CHALKIAS - Divine Reeds: Obscure Recordings From Special Music Recording Company (Athens 1966-1967)(Radio Martiko 008; Belgium) Epirótika! Greek psych folk as a soul medicine. A shepherd's fever dream or spiritual jazz from an ancient world... The moment you fall in love with Epirote music, a new musical universe will open up to you. This ancient psychedelic folk with jazzy improvisations from the North West of Greece is unique and will touch your soul so deeply that epirotika aficionados always remember the place and the moment when they got to know this hypnotic and mesmerizing music. In a similar way to the music of Alice Coltrane or Mulatu Astatke, it can take you out of the here and now -- the pure beauty of the magical epirotika sound can make your mind drift off to otherworldly places. The hard to find recordings of Tassos Chalkias presented on this album are seen as some of the most outstanding expressions of this distinctive musical genre. Includes a 12-page booklet with the illustrated biography of Tassos Chalkias.”
ENA TEFARIKI - Oriental Shake, Farfisa Madness & Rocking Bouzoukis from the Greek Laika Movement (1961-1973)(Radio Martiko 007; Belgium) Monster grooves, driven by a perfect symbiosis of fiery oriental rhythms and the deep, relaxed heartbeat of the bass line, with virtuosic, intoxicating solos on bouzoukis, Farfisa organs, clarinets and violins. This is the sound of laika, Greek-oriental pop music from the '60s and early '70s that sets every dancefloor on fire. These 20 carefully selected songs serve as an introduction to this mind-blowing music for the non-aficionado, as it is the first album of its kind to be released outside of Greece or the Greek migrant communities. The extended and illustrated liner notes take you back to the heyday of Greek pop music and put this cultural movement into an historical perspective. Features Vassilis Vassiliadis, Stelios Kazantzidis, Litsa Diamandi, Stratos Dionisiou, Dimitris Xanthakis, Michalis Menidiatis, Panagiotis Michalopoulos, Podromos Tsaousakis, Katy Grey, Vangelis Perpiniadis, Ria Norma, Manos Papadakis, Babis Tsetinis, Charoula Lambraki, Vassilis Tsitsanis, Panos Gavalas, Sofia Kollitiri, Theodoros Sinaidis, and Giota Lydia. Includes a 16-page booklet with illustrated liner notes. Gatefold sleeve.”
2 LP Set for $36
MARCELLO GIOMBINI & ENZO BARBARINO - Transvitaexpress (Soave 027; Italy) Soave presents a reissue of Marcello Giombini and Enzo Barbarino's Transvitaexpress originally released in 1974. A psychophonic tale of the afterlife. One of the weirdest Italian albums ever released, Transvitaexpress is the sonorous realization of an idea that had been developing in me for some time and to which the encounter with the poet Barbarino gave the decisive push. Giombini's obscure trippy psychophonic masterpiece that rides in electronic and musique concrete using two ARP 2600 synthesizers, organ and electric piano. Obi strip.
"I used the 'tape-sound' technique, that is the organization and integration of sounds, noises, speech, song and rhythm, of which the resulting sound, being the result of electronic manipulation of the sound events themselves, is audible, therefore repeatable, only by means of magnetic tape. The sound material is, in part, reportage, so the work often takes on the character of a 'disc-truth', in part it is a faithful reconstruction of parapsychological events. We have defined this work 'Psycho-phonic tale' in fact it is a sound experience, that is, a journey into the world of sounds of an 'afterlife', rooted in us due to childhood, ancestral reminiscences, superstitions, legends, anxieties, utopias and above all fear. Fear of the mystery, fear of the unknown. Transvitaexpress is therefore the sound representation of these cultural and existential limits, and is therefore a critical, liberating, provocative work. I certainly do not expect, and perhaps I do not want someone after having listened to tell me that it is 'beautiful'. Transvitaexpress is the name of a train full of ... that travels in an afterlife so 'beyond' that it coincides with the most central point of my ego. Perhaps the most logical 'end-continuation' of life, the least imaginative, the least corrupt. The distortions, things that are too, or too little, defined, realistic situations, clichés, monotheisms and captions are embedded in the most traditional dream fabric, the most suitable in my opinion to promote approaches with the mysterious, with the esoteric, with the magical." - M. Giombini
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.
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.
Jazz Habitat presents this Friday 5/14, 7pm
the record release concert of
DAN BLAKE’s Da Fé (Sunnyside Records)
in which he pays tribute to the spiritual leaders and political activists who’ve offered him hope while adding his own singular voice to the optimistic chorus of those crying out for solutions. The recording, recently called "One of the most relevant and musically rich albums of 2021 in any style of music" (Alan Young), and concert features:
Dan Blake (tenor & soprano sax)
Carmen Staaf (piano/keyboard)
Leo Genovese (piano/keyboards)
Dmitry Ishenko (bass) &
Jeff Williams (drums)
Concert will be outdoors weather permitting, or indoors with social distancing in the event of inclement weather.
$10 suggested donations
Jazz Habitat at El Barrio Artspace, 215 E 99th St
ARTS FOR ARTS Presents:
Tuesday May 18, 8pm
Jason Kao Hwang - violin
Ken Filiano - bass
Andrew Drury - drums
Donate on our Website to Watch
Our mailing address is:
Arts for Art, Inc.
107 Suffolk Street #300
New York, NY 10002
William Parker Biography Celebration
w/ Joe McPhee Cisco Bradley
Saturday, May 15, 8 PM
Elysium Furnace Works
HOWLAND CULTURAL CENTER
477 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508
HENRY KAISER Continues with his Weekly Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHUc8FYsWxg - new interview with Mr. Kaiser
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0-qbKTem9o - Tribute to Milford Graves
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs & improvisations on each episode.
Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836/
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: