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DMG Newsletter for July 9th, 2021

“Goin' Down”
By The Monkees from 1967
Written by all four Monkees

Sock it to me
Floatin' down the river

With a saturated liver

And I wish I could forgive her

But I do believe she meant it

When she told me to forget it

And I bet she will regret it

When they find me
In the morning

Wet and drowned
And the word gets 'round

Goin' down

I'm goin' down

Coming' up for air

It's pretty stuffy under there

I'd like to say I didn't care

But I forgot to leave a note

And it's so hard to stay afloat

I'm soakin' wet without a boat

And I knew I should have

Taken off my shoes
It's front page new-oos

Goin' down
'm goin' down...

I wish I had another drink

It wouldn't be so hard to sink

I should have taken time to think

Besides I got the picture straight

She must have had another date

I didn't need this extra weight

I wish that I could
 see the way to shore
I don't want no more

Goin' down
'm goin' down

And now I see the life I led

I slept it all away in bed

I should have learned to swim instead

And now it's really got me stumped
I can't believe why I jumped

I'd like to get my tummy pumped

I can't believe they

Drink this stuff in town
This dirty brown

Goin' down
 Goin' down

I'm goin' down

Goin' down, I'm down

I'm down
 Goin' down
 Goin' down
 Goin' down
 Goin' down

I wish, I looked before I leaped

I didn't know it was so deep

Been down so far I don't get wet

Haven't touched the bottom yet

This river scene is gettin' old

I'm hungry, sleepy, wet and cold

She told me to forget it nice

I should have taken her advice

I only want to go on home

I'd gladly leave that girl alone
What a way to spend the night

If I don't drown, I'll die of fright

My pappy taught me how to float

But I can't swim a single note

He threw me in to teach me how

I stayed there floatin' like a mama cow

And now I've floated way down stream

I know this has to be a dream

If I could find my way to shore

I'd never, never do this anymore
I'll give you three, I've been down nine
'm goin' down just one more time

Goin' down
 Goin' down
 Goin' down
 Goin' down
 I'm goin' down
 Goin' down
I'm goin' down 
Goin' down 
I'm goin' down
 I'm goin' back home

Back to my friend

Back to the world

Back to tutor

I'm goin' home

Now the sky is gettin' light

And everything will be alright

Think I finally got the knack

Just floatin' here lazy on my back

I never really liked that town

I think I'll ride the river down

Just movin' slow and floatin' free

There's a river swingin' under me

Waving back to the folks on shore
I should have thought of this before
I'm floatin' on down to New Orleans

And pick up on some swingin' scenes

I'm gonna know a better day
I'll go down groovin' all the way

Goin' down
, I'm goin' goin' down

I'm goin' down

New Orleans

Back home
I'm goin' goin' down

Goin' down

Goin' goin' goin' down

I'm goin' down

Goin' down
Gotcha go back home

I'm goin' down

Down, down, down, down, down, down, down

Got to go, got to go, got to go

“Goin’ Down” was the flipside of the Monkees hit single “Daydream Believer”, which was written by Neil Diamond. Between 1966 and 1970, I purchased mostly 7” singles, 1 song per side and I still have around 100 of those original singles left in my closet. I used to buy 1 or 2 singles almost every week, at least up until the summer of 1967 when I started to buy full length albums. I still bought some singles after that since they often came out before they were released on albums and often liked to check out the b-sides. I remember when the Monkees began in 1966 and the word (in music mags) was that The Monkees were created by a management company, owned by Ron Delsner and they were not an organic band of musicians who came together and evolved without someone pushing them into some successful money-making entity. From the beginning The Monkees were chosen for their looks and acting abilities (for their own TV show) more than their musical expertise. Plus The Monkees weren’t allowed to play on their early records, just sing. For shame! Most of their songs were written for them by hit-making songwriters like Boyce & Hart, Neil Diamond and Goffin & King. Hence, it was not too cool to admit to liking them so I acted like they were not worth taking seriously. However, my young sister & brother ended up buying their singles (and albums) and I ended up being a closet fan.

The funny thing was that their main man, Mike Nesmith, was an established songwriter already, having written “Different Drum”, a hit for Linda Ronstadt & the Stone Ponies. Nesmith also wrote “Mary, Mary”, which was covered by the Butterfield Blues Band (the ultimate blues/rock/psych band from Chicago). The members of the Monkees ultimately rebelled against their management’s control, writing their own songs, playing on their records and having more control on their recording sessions. I bought the above single when it was released in 1967 and always loved “Daydream Believer”, especially when Robert Wyatt covered it a decade later. The flipside though, “Goin’ Down”, was sung by Mickey Dolenz, the Monkees’ alleged drummer and it is more of jazz big band song, a furiously swinging effort that took some chutzpah to pull off since the words are sung so fast. And the Monkees wrote it themselves! Check out the original single version as well as the later reunion live version.

I picked this song this week because it makes me smile, it makes me feel good. Over the past month or so, live performances, films and restaurants are starting to open up again here in NYC after 15 months of lockdowns, loneliness, introspection and alienation. We all need to break free of the (invisible) chains that have been holding us down. Dancing, singing and listening are better experienced when we are with other folks to share those experiences. That communal spirit helps us to feel better about being alive. This Saturday, July 10th, DMG will have a double header, from 3-5pm outdoors at Oliver Coffee and from 6:30 to 9:30 here at the DMG store. Details below. Let’s all celebrate as Live Music returns! - BLG at DMG


This Week’s Wonderful Discs begin with this Ambitious 6 CD Set:

MATT MITCHELL & KATE GENTILE with BEN GERSTEIN / JON IRABAGON / MATT NELSON / MAT MANERI / AVA MENDOZA / BRANDON SEABROOK / KIM CASS / DAVY LAZAR - Snark Horse (Pi Recordings 90; USA) Personnel: Kate Gentile - compositions, drums & percussion, Matt Mitchell - compositions, piano & various synths, Jon Irabagon & matt Nelson - multiple reeds, Ben Gerstein - trombone, Davy Lazar - trumpets, Mat Maneri - viola, Ava Mendoza & Brandon Seabrook - guitars & banjo and Kim Cass - bass. There are a number of Downtown-based couples that work well together and help with each other’s projects: Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson & Tomas Fujiwara and more recently Kate Gentile & Matt Mitchell. Both Ms. Gentile and Mr. Mitchell have their own recorded bands/projects and both are well-regarded collaborators. Over the past few years Gentile and Mitchell organized a new co-led collective known as Snark Horse, an impressive 10 piece ensemble with a number of Downtown’s best musicians. No doubt you recognize most of the names here, although trumpeter Davy Lazar is mostly unfamiliar to me outside of an appearance on a Jacob Garchik CD from last year (2020) and a CD on Leo under the name of Naked Dance!
I was initially surprised when our pals from Pi Records dropped off this box set last week considering that it contains some six discs, containing some 5 & 1/2 hours of music! There are a number of pieces on these discs which are solo electronic works, performed by Matt Mitchell based on music by Ms. Gentile or Mr. Mitchell. ‘Echo Emporium’ (disc 1) opens with one of these short electronic pieces which sets the scene with some sly, mysterious sounds. The second piece is a composite work, “compartments” by Mitchell and “’s partial” which are connected. Both Ms. Gentile and Mr. Mitchell excels at writing complex pieces which appear to have several tight lines or layers moving around one another in thoughtful patterns. At first a guitar, sax & trombone play their lines together while the synth and/or piano play difficult written passages along with the rhythm team. Is this the future of progressive music?!? It would certainly seem so. Each piece has a different number of participants. “hem(atoadaso)da” is a quartet featuring some amazing, intricate playing from Mitchell’s piano and Mr. Lazar’s trumpet. “a pouting grimace” was found on an earlier disc by Mr. Mitchell and here gets a septet version with some inspired, rambunctious playing from Maneri’s (skewered microtonal) viola and Seabrook’s bent-note guitar. One of the main things I dig about this music/set is the way one (or 2) player(s) will solo while the rest of the ensemble plays those quirky written passages underneath. One must divide their attention to actually hear all of the things that are going on simultaneously. So far, I’ve listened to the first three discs in their entirety and will most likely check out disc 4 & 5 later today (6/7/21). Each disc so far has been filled with all sorts of fascinating & challenging music. The Downtown Scene, which has recently passed its 40th year, has always evolved, adding different challenges as it goes with new musicians moving the NYC area and older musicians eventually moving on or elsewhere. What has always intrigued me is the way some of the older musicians (like Mat Maneri) have evolved and reinvented themselves over time, while younger players also evolve utilizing the talents of their peers and elders. This is a most ambitious project and the more I listen, the more I hear a variety of challenging music or ideas which are in a state of flux. There is much more going on hear than any one listen will provide so you need to take some time with each of the six discs since all are well worth exploring. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
6 CD Set $45

BLUE REALITY QUARTET with MICHAEL MARCUS / JOE McPHEE / JAY ROSEN / WARREN SMITH - Blue Reality Quartet (Mahakala Music 015; USA) Featuring Michael Marcus on tenor sax, bass clarinet & bass flute, Joe McPhee on tenor & soprano saxes & alto clarinet, Jay Rosen on drums & percussion and Warren Smith on drums & vibes. The Blue Reality Quartet are/is a Downtown/Avant/Jazz quartet of elder members of the ongoing Downtown Network. Each member has a long & diverse resume of perhaps 100’s of live and record dates. The main instigator here is multi-reeds wiz Michael Marcus with a couple dozen discs as a leader or co-leader. The other frontline member of the quartet is reeds & brass player, Joe McPhee (from upstate NY), one of the busiest & most in-demand musicians on the planet. Most of you know that Mr. McPhee & drummer Jay Rosen were members of the legendary Trio X with numerous recordings and several live box sets. Perhaps the most diverse musician of the quartet is percussionist Warren Smith, who has been playing on jazz, folk, rock & modern classical sessions for more than fifty years. Mr. Marcus and Warren Smith have worked together on a few previous sessions, one with Sonny Simmons and one with Bob Feldman.
Each member of the quartet brought 1-3 songs that they composed to this session, hence it is a wholly a completely free date. “Love Exists Everywhere” by Mr. Marcus opens with a most haunting, laid back, dreamy vibe: bass flute, some tenor, somber bass drum and vibes, rich and most hypnotic sounding. Instead of bass, Mr. Levin plays a soft, throbbing bass line on his low end drum with some simmering cymbals. For “Chartreuse Tulips” Mr. Marcus plays bass clarinet while Mr. McPhee plays soprano sax, a rare combination of reeds that sounds just right, perhaps a bit Trane & Dolphy-like. Both Marcus & McPhee play tenor sax on “Joe’s Train’, which does have a strong, spiritual Trane-like sound. Jay Rosen’s “Bluer than Blue” has a mostly cerebral sound with some simmering tenor saxes and somber, spacious percussion. One of the things I like about this disc is the way both percussionists play together. Both are master percussionists and throughout, they listen and work together most sympathetically. Mr. Smith’s “Warren’s Theme” has some solemn flute and tenor sax billowing like soft smoke or somber clouds. Most of this disc has a most subdued yet somehow enchanting vibe. One must slow down their expectation/pulse a bit to hear what is going on here. Most modest treasure but a sonic gem nonetheless. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

KEITH ROWE - Absence (Erstwhile ErstLive 014; USA) Former AMM experimental guitarist, Keith Rowe, has been struggling with Parkinson’s disease for several years. On November 6th of 2015, Mr. Rowe was invited to play solo by Christian Kobi at a zoom-in festival in Bern, Switzerland. This was the first year of Mr. Rowe’s dealing with Parkinson’s, his hands trembling, making solo performances immensely challenging to do. Although it was painful to admit, during that solo, Mr. Rowe had to stop performing solo guitar sets. This disc is that 33 minute solo guitar with devices concert and it might just be Mr. Rowe’s very last live solo guitar effort. This decision is a great loss for all of us that know how special, how unique Mr. Rowe’s approach to playing truly is.
Here is a list of the guitar and devices that were used in this performance: a long lapstick guitar (pictured on the cover), Boss RC3, Boss PS3, six band EQ, Sony ICF-SW22 and Roberts R984 radios. two contact mics, and a metal strip. Part of what makes Keith Rowe performances so interesting is watching him coax sounds from his guitar-on-table. Here, we must concentrate on the music/sonic wizardry itself. Like many discs that are released by the Erstwhile label, there are sounds which are hard to figure out. Is that soft beeping coming from my speakers or is it coming from outside my kitchen window? Hmmmmmm. not so sure. Slowly different layers of sounds float in: distant radio transmission(s), varied static, strings that are rubbed or tapped upon, buzzing or drone-like sounds and some indecipherable elements. I hear a song in the distance which sounds like some of that lame commercial country BS that I hear from a passing radio or when I visit the local mall. So glad when it disappears and stranger sounds take over. I hear what sounds like a dentist drill (yuck) and more layers of spoken word & cheesy music radio transmissions. What this reminds me of the most is when I spend time on the local train platform at dusk and hear a symphony of birds & insects chirping, trains going by and announcements delays. It is mostly the sound of life itself but we only notice it when we have some time to observe or listen without the need for a destination to get to. As the music progresses, it gets more dense with several layers of sounds moving around one another in a most fascinating way. In some ways it sounds like there is a battle going on between the more commercial side of music and truly creative music, low common denominator music to make money by and art music which rarely makes much income. Overall, I must admit that I find this disc to be a strong monument to all of the creative music that Keith Rowe has performed both in concert and on recordings. I get the feeling that nothing will truly stop Mr. Rowe from creating some sort of art since he is in it for the long haul as he has been for many, many moons. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

YAN JUN / ZHU WENBO - twice (Erstwhile 091; USA) Featuring: Yan Jun: voice, field recordings of fingers & steps and Zhu Wenbo - snare drum, digital & upright pianos, clarinet, audio generator, taped mandolin, printer & cassette duplicator. This session was recorded in Beijing & Qingdao in China in February of 2021. Chinese experimental musician/composer, Yan Jun, can be found on the ‘Anthology of Chinese Experimental Music’, a 4 CD set which was released in 2015 and introduced many of us to a number of little known Chinese musicians. Mr. Jun also has some solo & trio (w/ Otomo) efforts released on the obscure KwanYin label. There is quite a bit of attention to detail going on here right from the opening. Several layers of sounds are carefully interwoven: drones, tick-tocking, wooden sticks or metal rods sampled, eventually more layers of sounds are added. Each layer, some thin, some thicker, is carefully stretched out as other layers are added like some sly sonic seasoning. I often get the feeling that with most discs on Erstwhile, it is not the instruments or sounds being used that count as much as the way they are manipulated, blended and transformed into something else. At times, I have to forget about what is being assembled and just react to the way certain sounds affect me or us. Although some sounds seem random, the more I listen, the more I see or hear the bigger picture/structure of what is going on. Although I knew so little about either musician here beforehand, aside from some obscure info, I must admit that this is a most successful disc, sonically fascinating and perfect for the ever-expanding Erstwhile catalogue. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

TUCKER DULIN / BEN OWEN - Cat Guarding Geese (Erstwhile ErstAEU 008; USA)’Cat Guarding Geese’ is composed of field recordings and performances on roosevelt island, and a studio recording in Brooklyn. Featuring Tucker Dulin: bells, bowl, can, cymbal, lentils, mallet, whistle and Ben Owen: paper mic, speaker boxes, op amps & cassette. Originally I thought that I hadn’t heard of either musician here but checking the DMG database I find that isn’t really true. It turns out that Tucker Dulin once played trombone for Masashi Harada and Andrew Lafkas as well as appearing on a rare compilation called ‘LowerCaseSound’. Ben Owen has worked with Gen Ken Montgomery, Antoine Beuger and The Seen (with Mark Wastell). Both of these musicians have strong credentials with the lowercase/onkyo/Wandelweiser collectives. There is supposed to be a rainstorm in my area soon (7/7/21) so I am not sure where those distant (thunder-like) sounds are coming from. Either way the approaching storm is quietly disturbing plus I can also hear what sounds like wind rushing not far away. Eventually the sound starts to turn into a drone which is slowly changing texture-wise. There are also some tree branches, wooden sticks or something similar being rattled or shaken up. As the drone fluctuates, expands and contracts, the distant (storm) sound slowly fades in and out. There is later a section of rubbed surfaces and rattles or maracas or something similar. Different subtle acoustic &/or electronics sounds are carefully woven into the blend. What’s interesting is this: each sound or group of sounds that occur together have a different vibe or change of scenery. The cautiousness gives the music a sort of ritualistic sound at times as well. If you are patient and allow the music here to occur without distraction, you will be rewarded with a long, sonic, mysterious journey. Another quintessential effort from the fine folks at Erstwhile. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

ANASTASSIS PHILIPPAKOPOUOS / JURG FREY - wind and light (elsewhere 015; USA) Greek composer Anastassis Philippakopoulos has been a member of the Wandelweiser composers collective since 2003. He pursues his own compositional style to create a new kind of tonal music, deeply associated with his individuality and the surroundings of his life in Athens, a unique blend of stoic minimalism, the warm colors of modern romanticism, and the introspective depth of Zen. "For many years I have concentrated my attention on modal monophonic melodies. In my pieces I want to bring a balance between western and eastern musical traditions, but also between remote past and present. This balance is subjective. I care a lot to find a connectedness between the tones of the melodies. The deeper the connectedness I gradually find, the more simple and plain seems the melody." (Anastassis Philippakopoulos)‘wind and light’ consists of four solo clarinet pieces and three solo piano pieces written by Philippakopoulos, inspired by nature in Greece. The clarinet pieces were performed by Swiss composer/clarinetist Jürg Frey, recorded in Athens in 2016, and the piano pieces were performed by Philippakopoulos himself, recorded in Athens in2019 to complete this album.“When I was listening to the seven pieces together, I experienced this feeling of ‘landscape/bell in a distance'. I hear the clarinet as the breath of a human being, and the piano as the sounds in the landscape I hear from a distance. This duality opens a wide space, and I was really surprised when I listened to this for the first time, because I didn't expect something like that in the context of an album, a poetic relationship between the human and the landscape.” - Jürg Frey
CD $15

MELAINE DALIBERT - night blossoms (elsewhere 016; USA) 'night blossoms' is French composer/pianist Melaine Dalibert’s sixth solo album, consisting of new compositions from 2019-2021. Of the six pieces on this album, 'A Rebours', 'Windmill', 'Eolian Scape', and 'Sisters' were written around the same time as most of the pieces for his 2020 album 'Infinite Ascent'. While 'Infinite Ascent' featured his intuitive compositions in a pop style, 'night blossoms' features works further developed with his algorithmic approach, which has been his long-term pursuit as a composer.'A Rebours', which is a cousin to his 2019 piece 'Litanie', was written based on a binary coding of the retrograde sequence. 'Windmill' was composed based on a cellular automaton that generates patterns on a Lydian scale. 'Eolian Scape' is a toccata-style piece that makes a chain of different polyrhythmic states progressively integrating all the notes of the modal scale. 'Sisters', originally written for two pianos, takes the form of a canon, with the patterns of different periodicities superimposed, creating an undulating polyrhythm that gradually changes harmonic colors. The first three pieces were played on a muted upright piano to control the harmonic saturation which could result from the repetition of the patterns at a fast tempo, creating intimate colors.The two pieces 'Yin' and 'Yang' are based on a random melodic thread running through the keyboard, with a zigzag of rising and falling musical intervals but following strict rules. Only the notes of the pentatonic mode of F-sharp mode (black keys) were played in 'Yin', while only those of the pentatonic mode of C (white keys) were played in 'Yang'. Deriving from the same algorithm, these two pieces complement each other while having different forms.“Since my composition of 'ressac', I had the idea in mind to adda kind of electronic shadow, supporting the long moments of resonance, as a free counterpoint to my most minimal algorithmic compositions.” (Melaine Dalibert)In response to Dalibert’s idea, David Sylvian contributed his sound work to 'Yin' and 'Yang', delicately fluctuating and echoing electronic shadows of piano tones, adding depth and dimensions to Dalibert's algorithmic compositions.The album title 'night blossoms' was conceived by Sylvian, who also contributed his artwork for the album cover, as he also did for all three of Dalibert’s previous elsewhere CDs: ‘Musique pour le lever du jour’, ‘Cheminant’, and ‘Infinite Ascent’.
CD $15

FOUR MORE SONIC TREASURES From the SUPER FINE Folks at CLEAN FEED & SHHPUMA / All from the Portuguese Creative Music Underground!

LUÍS VICENTE TRIO with GONCALO ALMEIDA / PEDRO MELO ALVES - Chanting in the Name Of (Clean Feed 575; Portugal) Personnel: Luís Vicente - trumpet, Gonçalo Almeida - double bass and Pedro Melo Alves - drums and percussion. Personnel: Luís Vicente - trumpe, Gonçalo Almeida- double baSS and Pedro Melo Alves - drums & percussion. Portuguese trumpeter more and more present in the international scene, in such a way that he has more concerts scheduled in other countries than on his own, Luís Vicente never seems to stop: after the success of his partnership with John Dikeman, William Parker and Hamid Drake in “Goes Without Saying, But It’s Got to Be Said”, he turns to national silver (represented here by Gonçalo Almeida and Pedro Melo Alves, both protagonists of their own projects) and signs an album that inspires Drake, the above mentioned master drummer, to write (in the liner notes) that Vicente’s work is a lesson about «keep looking, searching for new possibilities, broadening ones views» and part of «the underlying code of the whole universe», as Sufi mystic Hazrat Iayat Khan put it. Once again applying his never apologetic «sense of freedom», Vicente is back with a powerful album that is a joy to listen to. He may not take any prisoners, but just because he releases them.
CD $15

GARFO with BERNARDO TINOCO / JOAO ALMEIDA / JOAO FRAGOSO / JOAO SOUSA - Garfo (Clean Feed 570; Portugal) “Personnel: Bernardo Tinoco- tenor sax, João Almeida trumpet, João Fragoso double bass and João Sousa - drums. If you were still uncertain about the relevance and the freshness of Portugal’s contributions to the worldwide jazz and improvised music circuits, this is for you: Garfo (Fork in English) is a band formed by four of the youngest generation of musicians active in the city of Lisbon. Lead by saxophonist Bernardo Tinoco, but with all members composing its repertoire, they play a empathic music with mind-puzzling structures and crossed time signatures, with lots of free improvisation to open up the frames. Coming from a family with strong ties with classical and jazz music, Bernardo has a sweet tenor sax sound rather unusual in these domains. A former pupil of trumpeter Peter Evans, João Almeida’s sonic constructions give the maximum effect to his minimalist approach: just a few motives are enough to make a blast. Bassist João Fragoso and drummer João Sousa keep the motion with an energy that never dissolves. And that’s it: jazz turned again into a music made by twenty-something years old innovators, with urgency but also a very surprising maturity. And they’re conquering the local scene, obliging the older musicians to keep the pace. It’s predictable that a new Portuguese jazz boom will come from this.”
The only name I was familiar with previously is the drummer, João Sousa, who can be heard on two obscure records from Bocian Records. Each member of the quartet composed 2 or pieces here plus we get one group improv. It seems hard to believe that this quartet is made of all younger musicians since they sound most mature, focused and have that tight/loose vibe that takes time to get right. The opening piece, “Quadrado” has the bass & drums speed slow down while the horns play their written parts on top with room for some skeletal solos then the pace slows down. Oddly enough, this quartet really shines when they slow down to a more calm pace, I like the way “Terminal” sounds like we are waking up from a mellow dream, with the scenery softly floating by, each little sound carefully placed. One of the things that makes this quartet so great is when one horn plays tightly with the rhythm, mostly written out while the other horn or reed interweaves their own parts. The writing here is often stripped down so that the quartet can push beyond the written parts and into some unexpected twists and turns. Garfo, which means ‘fork’ in English are yet another Portuguese group well worth checking out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

PEDRO CARNEIRO / PEDRO MELO ALVES BAD COMPANY - Bad Company (Clean Feed 574; Portugal) - Personnel: Pedro Carneiro - marimba with quarter tone extension, Pedro Melo Alves - prepared drums. The title of this recording comes from a story by Japanese writer Yasuoka Shotaro, reminding us how literature influences the creation of good music. Percussionist, conductor and composer, Pedro Carneiro's main activity is in the realm of contemporary classical music, mostly with his huge bass marimba, either playing his own music or compositions by Iannis Xenakis or other 20/21 century radical composers. On the side, he’s very much present in the field of free improvised music, with the likes of Carlos “Zíngaro” and pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, already known by the Clean Feed listeners as a member of Red Trio. Pedro Melo Alves is the new prince charming of the Portuguese jazz scene, as a specially accomplished composer and drummer, with projects like Omniae Ensemble, In Igma (with Mark Dresser), The Rite of Trio and symphony. Together, they engendered an opus which has everything of the best percussion music of these present days. This time, made totally in the moment, spontaneously and intuitively, even when it doesn’t seem so.
CD $15

THE KILLING POPES with PHILLIP GROPPER / FRANK MOBUS / et al - Ego Kills (Shhpuma 066; Portugal) The Killing Popes are Oli Steidle on drums, marimba & percussion & Dan Nicholls on keyboards, bass & samples plus guests: Phillip Gropper on saxes, Frank Mobus on guitars and others. The Killing Popes are mostly a duo with Oliver ’Oli’ Steidle and Dan Nicholls and this is their second disc. I hadn’t heard of Dan Nicholls before this band appeared two years back but I do know of drummer Oli Steidle from several records on the JazzWerkStatt label, including his own band Soko Steidle. A couple of the guests, Phillip Gropper & Frank Mobus, can be heard on discs from Paul Van Kemenade, Carlos Bica and Daniel Erdmann. Starting with “Disclaimer”, the music here is more about setting up moods with a drum machine and sampled / electronics at the center. Mr. Steidle does a great job of setting up a series of grooves while Mr. Nicholls adds bent keyboards and twisted samples to the ongoing grooves. Both Mr. Gropper and Mr. Mobus add their own sax and/or guitar parts which are then sampled & manipulated as well. The music often has a drum n’bass vibe at the center which comes & goes as it needed. The fractured funk lines are what keeps this both interesting and at times makes us want to dance in part before the groove(s) in manipulated even further. Sometimes the central groove speeds up with some explosive guitar or sax being added to keep things even more excitable. Mr. Nicholls does a fine job of juggling different samples or voices when you might not expect them. Singers like Jelena Kuljic or Nathalie Sandtorv are used liberally as another instrument to be twisted into different odd shapes for selective sonic seasoning. Although there are no real solos here, the music remains engaging due to the unpredictable use of grooves & samples. The Killing Popes don’t sound quite like anyone else on the Shhpuma/Clean Feed series of labels. - Bruce lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS // SEATTLE SYMPHONY - The Become Trilogy (Cantaloupe 21161; USA) I must admit that I am a big fan of former Alaska-based composer, John Luther Adams, owning more than two dozens recordings from the Cold Blue, New World, Mode and Cantaloupe labels. I savor each and every one of his many discs and have to hear than several times in different places like the store, at home and maybe outdoors if I get the opportunity. This triple disc set is perhaps the most ambitious of Mr. Adams’ large catalogue and a current favorite here at DMG. The trilogy consists of three related works: “Become River”, “Become Ocean” and “Become Desert”. Mr. Adams tells us in the liner notes that the music is not about becoming but about losing ourselves inside of the music.
“Become River” was scored for a small orchestra, the violins seated far upstage and elevated. The entire orchestra seated in odd, unexpected places, to give the music a different vibe, the music flowing in three interlocking streams. “Become River” is relatively short, just under 15 minutes yet it feels complete. The music has an eerie, exquisite, magical, river of flowing sounds like feeling going on with soft glockenspiels being tapped throughout. There is a wavering, water-like sound which seems to be played by flutes and strings and some brass, a mystical sound like calling out to some angels floating around us, often unnoticed in our haste to get to where we are going. The seesawing currents sound like an inner pulse or Mother Nature’s cosmic flow which we are all a part of. I have been playing this disc at home over the last few nights and have been enjoying it thoroughly, since it feels as if I were navigating a river, mountain stream. So lifelike.
Here is a blurb about “Become Ocean”: "If you stop and think about the oceanic dimension of music, there's this implication of immersion. We came from the ocean, and we're going back to the ocean, right? We're made up mostly of water, and life on earth first emerged from the seas. And with the melting of the polar ice caps and the rising sea levels, we may become ocean sooner than we imagine. "Eventually we begin to realize that we're part of something much larger than ourselves. "Become Ocean" embraces this idea, but gets its title from something much more personal for me. Back in the late '70s, John Cage wrote a mesostic poem called Many Happy Returns, in honor of his dear friend & also my mentor and friend Lou Harrison. He compares Lou's music to a river in delta, with all these different influences and currents, coming together in a big beautiful sweep of music. And in the last line of the poem, Cage writes, Listening to it, we become ocean. I've always been struck by what a beautiful image that is. "So now, a little history: some time ago, I was commissioned to compose a piece for the Seattle Chamber Players. Then a few years later, the Seattle Symphony and their music director Ludovic Morlot approached me, and asked if I would be interested in composing something for the Symphony. Part of Ludo's vision for the orchestra is to bring it into the 21st century, and to put a special emphasis on new music, so of course I was thrilled at the possibilities."One idea that I suggested was to build on the sound world of an earlier piece I'd composed called Dark Waves, which is a 12-minute piece for large orchestra and electronic sounds. To my surprise and delight, Ludo was very interested. I was calling it Dark Waves on steroids, and I knew early on that I wanted to take that oceanic sound and expand it into a much larger timeframe. So the result was "Become Ocean." - John Luther Adams
“Become Desert” is the most ambitious of the trilogy: five different ensembles moving at five different tempos, stationed around the audience. There is also a chorus on this piece which chants one word: “Luz” (Spanish for “light”). Many of John Luther Adams work or sound unique due to where the musicians and/or audience are seated. This often changes our perception of the music itself. Although the glockenspiels or high percussion are similar to “Become River” the flow is slowed down a bit while some added layers flowing in several streams. At times I am reminded of “Tubular Bells”, especially the hypnotic ringing of the tubular bells here. There is a central drone/stream going on here which flows throughout, recalling the way Mother Natures blesses us with cosmic sunsets each night, whether we notice them or not. I love the way each of the several layers is carefully stretched out over the length of the piece, as more instruments are added, the flow getting more dense, more powerful over time, the crescendo building higher and higher as we go. I get the feeling that we are entering God’s country or domain, watching the planet earth slowly spin from a distance. I do believe in the common good of man and womankind and this music sounds like it is based in that positive feeling. Great news for us mortals. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
3 CD Set $35

PHILL NIBLOCK // OPENING PERFORMANCE ORCHESTRA - Four Walls Full Of Sound (Sub Rosa 515; Belgium) "You should play the music very loud. If the neighbors don't complain, it's probably not loud enough." - Phill Niblock Four Walls Full of Sound is an electronic interpretation of the works of Phill Niblock by the Prague-based group Opening Performance Orchestra. This studio version, recorded at the re-set studio, was preceded by a live performance at the 2017 Ostrava Days Festival of New and Experimental Music. The cover was designed by Jaroslav Buzek and the booklet includes essays by Kurt Gottschalk and Petr Ferenc. Sound designer Stephan Mathieu took part in shaping the resultant sound of the recording.” Includes eight-page booklet.
CD $17

JULIUS EASTMAN - Three Extended Pieces For Four Pianos (Sub Rosa 503; Belgium) Four Pianos (1979-80): It is recognized today that these tutelary pieces for four pianos are among the most powerful in contemporary music, their impact is almost unparalleled. After the historical version recorded forty years ago, this one, featuring four of the greatest European performers, is now regaining its full power. High level recordings too. Includes 12-page booklet.
Julius Eastman: There was some for John Cage, then came Christian Wolff, and finally Morton Feldman, from this school in New York. Only Julius Eastman remained outside the game, the last figure, the most solitary and enigmatic -- undoubtedly also one of the most powerful, and it is this power that is revealed through these recordings. In the 1970s and 1980s, Eastman was one of the very few African-Americans to gain recognition in the New York avant-garde music scene. He was politically committed, a figure of queer culture and a solar and solitary poet whose melancholy influenced his genius as well as his tragic destiny: suffering from various addictions, declared missing, actually homeless. During Winter of 1981-82, he got deported from his apartment by the police, who destroyed most of what he owned - including scores and recordings. He was found dead in 1990, on the streets of Buffalo, after years of vagrancy.
The Performers: Nicolas Horvath, pianist and electroacoustic composer; Melaine Dalibert, a French composer and pianist; Stephane Ginsburgh, a tireless surveyor of the repertoire but also explorer of new music; Wilhem Latchoumia, embraces both new music and the classical repertoire with success and charisma.”
2 CD Set $18

TREVOR WISHART - Machine (Paradigm 025; UK) Although Machine was completed in 1971, it was not released until 1973, shortly after the release of his Journey Into Space. Machine is therefore the first major composition by Trevor Wishart. It was composed at York University and was originally issued on vinyl as three sides of a highly adventurous 3LP box set called Electronic Music from York, on the University's own record label. In common with Journey Into Space (also on Paradigm Discs), Machine makes use of a large number of volunteer contributors, mostly from the student body at York. With this recording, however, there are no instruments used. Instead, the music of Machine is made up entirely from a combination of spoken text, carefully directed improvising choirs that take their lead from pre-recorded factory sounds. These are extensively mixed and edited with yet more collected machine sounds and other sources of musique concrète, as well as occasional use of basic electronic sources. The scale of this work, and the degree of preparation involved in scoring it, seems to have more resonances with the world of theater or film rather than tape composition. Much of Wishart's early work involved the use of musicians and artists being directed to perform in new ways, outside of their usual remit. A combination of late '60s openness, detailed scores that provide frameworks for improvisation and slavish editing have resulted in an incomparable sound work. With a continuous playing time of one hour, the wild and previously-unexplored terrain covered by this pioneering work of British experimental music moves in turn through the full range of possible audio landscapes from the oceanic calm of the doldrums to ear-splitting factory mayhem.”
CD $16

SOFT MACHINE with MIKE RATLEDGE / ELTON DEAN / LYN DOBSON / HUGH HOPPER / ROBERT WYATT - Paris 1970 (London Calling 5084; UK) Soft Machine, live from the Théâtre de la Musique, Paris on March 2nd, 1970. Despite their gradual dissolution in the late '70s, Soft Machine's stock has never been higher thanks to a steady stream of archival recordings that continue to surface and throw light on the importance of varying line-ups. The quintet version of the band, captured at the Théâtre de la Musique, Paris on March 2nd, 1970 for France's Pop Deux TV show features that short lived and often lamented line-up of Lyn Dobson and Elton Dean on their respective reeds accompanying the obligatory Hopper, Ratledge, and Wyatt. The Paris date in March caught Dobson near the end of his tenure which came two weeks later. Suffice to say, the historical value of this recording is undoubted while rooted in the five-man line-up that was joyous, but sadly all too brief. London Calling bends your ear with a rare, captivating performance from our beloved Softs, live in Paris, 1970. Covering their first two albums and songs exclusive to performances from this period. Includes the entire Pop Deux TV broadcast. Visually interesting, but moreover, stunning to hear. Personnel: Mike Ratledge- Lowrey organ, Hohner pianet; Robert Wyatt - drums, vocals; Hugh Hopper - bass; Elton Dean - alto sax, Saxello; Lyn Dobson- soprano sax, flute, voice, harmonica. Includes full color, eight-page booklet with background liners and rare images. Digitally remastered for greatly enhanced sound quality.
2 CD Set $22 [In stock in a week or so]

MAX ROACH with HANK MOBLEY / GIGI GRYCE / PHIL WOODS / WILLIE DENNIS / BOOKER LITTLE / JULIAN PRIESTER / WALTER DAVIS, JR. / IDREES SULIEMAN / ABBEY LINCOLN / et al - The Collaborations (Enlightenment 9198; EEC) “American jazz drummer and composer Maxwell Lemuel Roach, born January 10, 1924, was a pioneer of bebop, and worked in many other styles of music too. Roach is generally considered one of the most important drummers in history. He worked with many famed jazz musicians, including Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Abbey Lincoln, Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, and Booker Little. He was inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1992. This 4CD collection of original albums on which Max Roach led or co-led, brings together the finest work he ever performed in the company of other jazz greats. Featuring masterful albums Max made with such luminaries as Clifford Brown, Duke Ellington, Hank Mobley, Charles Mingus, Buddy Rich, his wife Abbey Lincoln, and a host of others, this collection includes eight such collaborative records, all digitally remastered for the finest quality. All at once making for a delightful compilation of many of Roach's best ever recordings, this set will work equally well for those new to Max Roach's music as it will to those longer-term fans who require a gentle reminder of just how dynamic, creative and downright talented Max Roach always was.”
4 CD Set $18

GEORGIE FAME & THE BLUE FLAMES - The Complete Live Broadcasts (BBC Radio Sessions 1964-1967)(RHYTHM AND BLUES 065; UK) Georgie Fame was different. The bulk of "rhythm and blues" groups followed the Stones image: scruffy urchins who you probably wouldn't invite around for tea, but his image was totally different. Georgie and the Blues Flames looked more like members of the Stax/Volt Revue than the Downliners Sect. And then there was the music. No harmonica and guitar Chicago blues here, Fame opted for a mix of jump blues mingled with early soul, the sort of music that had been emerging in US cities like Memphis and Detroit. Hammond and horns playing jazz, Latin, Stax, and ska. What you have on this double-CD set is 47 songs and 17 interviews recorded for the BBC between 1964 and 1967, and all in superb quality sound.
2 CD Set $16


JOE McPHEE / JEN CLARE PAULSON / BRIAN LABYCZ - The Mystery J (Corbett vs. Dempsey 001LP; USA) “As well as being a return to public programming, this live event is also a record launch for The Mystery J, Corbett Vs. Dempsey's new vinyl LP which features improvised music by Joe McPhee, violist Jen Clare Paulson, and Brian Labycz on electronics. Recorded in 2014 at Okka Fest 6 in Milwaukee, it contains some of the most bristling trumpet work ever heard from McPhee's lips, in a super-responsive, sometimes uncommonly quiet musical context. Another side of the master improviser -- subtle dialogue with two younger maestros. Taking its title from the rum-running yacht on which McPhee's father sailed from Nassau to Miami, The Mystery J is CvsD's inaugural long-playing vinyl. Pressed in Chicago at Smashed Plastic and featuring a design with artwork by one of the original Chicago imagists, Richard Wetzel. You will be morose when you have missed your chance to spin it on your own home table, so as McPhee says don't postpone joy!” Edition of 500.
LP $21

DEREK BAILEY & JAMIE MUIR - Dart Drug (Honest Jon’s Records 206; UK) Honest Jon's Records present a reissue of Jamie Muir and Derek Bailey's 1981 duo album, Dart Drug, originally released on Bailey's Incus label. Percussionist Jamie Muir was a member of King Crimson during the recording of Larks' Tongues In Aspic, in 1973. Staying less than a year with Robert Fripp, the Scot had already cut his teeth with another master guitarist, Derek Bailey, as part of the Music Improvisation Company, along with Evan Parker, Hugh Davies and Christine Jeffrey. There's no shortage of great percussionists in the brief history of free improvised music but on the strength of Dart Drug alone Jamie Muir deserves among them. Unlike for example Han Bennink and John Stevens, though, you can't hear echoes of any particular jazz drummer in Muir's playing, even if he has expressed appreciation for Milford Graves. What on earth did Muir's kit consist of? Some instruments are clearly identifiable (bells, gongs, chimes, woodblocks), while others could be anything. Old suitcases thwacked with rolled up newspapers? Tin cans and hubcaps inside a washing machine? Who cares? It sounds terrific, but if you're the kind of person who faints at the sound of nails scraping a blackboard, you might want to nip out and put the kettle on towards the end of the title track. Dart Drug is consistently thrilling, and often amusing, but it's certainly not easy listening. In music we talk about playing with other musicians, whereas in sport you play against another opponent (or with your team against another team). Why not play against in music, too? That's often precisely what happens in improvised music, and Bailey was particularly good at it. How can a humble acoustic guitar hope to compete with Muir in full flight? Sometimes Bailey's content to sit on those open strings, teasing out yet another exquisite Webernian constellation of ringing harmonics and wait for the dust to settle in Muir's junkyard, but elsewhere he sets off into uncharted territory himself. "The way to discover the undiscovered in performing terms is to immediately reject all situations as you identify them (the cloud of unknowing) which is to give music a future," Bailey evidently concurred with this spoken statement by Muir, including it in his book Improvisation (1980). Derek Bailey is no longer with us, of course, and Muir gave up performing music back in 1989; all the more reason for seeking out this magnificent, wild album.
LP $22

OS MUTANTES - A Divina Comedia Ou Ando Meio Desligado (Vinyl Lovers 900398; Russia) Vinyl Lovers present a reissue of Os Mutantes' A Divina Comedia Ou Ando Meio Desligado, originally released in 1970. This was the third album from Os Mutantes, the geniuses of wacked out Brazilian psychedelic rock. They may have been trying to pay homage to their better known icons back in the States, but in doing so they created something that went beyond all that until, 30 years later, they became the ones that everyone was trying to imitate. This album, further testimony to their limitless creativity and considered by many to be their best, was recorded during the height of the Brazilian military regimes crack down on artists, and fellow members of the Tropicalia movement, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil had already been sent into exile in the UK. 180 gram vinyl.”
LP $30



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 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.



Present a Once a Month Series Here at DMG - 13 Monroe St. in Chinatown, NYC

Saturday July 10th

6:30pm: Michael Larocca - drums/Aaron Rubinstein - guitar
CD RELEASE PERFORMANCE for "Aaron Rubinstein / Michael Larocca, Studio Sessions Vol. 8"
8pm: Michael Bisio - bass/Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
CD RELEASE PERFORMANCE for "Michael Bisio / Stephen Gauci, Pandemic Duets"

Saturday August 14th

6:30pm: Adam Lane - bass / Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
CD RELEASE PERFORMANCE for "Adam Lane / Stephen Gauci, Pandemic Duets"
8pm: Stephen Gauci - tenor sax / Adam Lane - bass / Joe Morris - drums
IN CELEBRATION OF OUR RELEASE "Morris/Gauci/Lane, Studio Sessions Vol. 3



June 25 • Sonya Belaya: Cognitive Distortions / Ancestral Patterns

June 26 • Eddy Kwon: UMMA-YA

June 29—30 • Ayano Elson: A Gardener

Tickets must be purchased online by 6pm on the day of the performance.
Can't make it in person? All performances will be streamed live and available free of charge through and on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, and archived for future viewing. Subscribe, like, and share to see every live performance this season!

Roulette Radio
Ridgewood Radio: The Korean Curve
Tune in: Wednesday, June 16 5–7pm EDT on and archived for future listening.
David Weinstein's Ridgewood Radio program on's Drummer stream this week: The Korean Curve, ancient instruments and techniques had a big impact on the downtown music scene. A radio sampler from Roulette concerts by CK Noyes and Sang-Won Park (1985), Steve Beresford with Okkyung Lee and Peter Evans (2008), Tori Ensemble with Ned Rothenberg, Nate Wooley, Ikue Mori (2011), and some reference materials.

Roulette Physical Address:
509 Atlantic Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11217



Breaking Free Coming Home
25 Years of VISION
Pioneer Works - July 22, 23 & 29, 30
159 Pioneer St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
La Plaza at The Clemente - July 24, 25 & 31
114 Norfolk St, NYC 10002
Lineups and Tickets Available Now


This one is from CHRIS CUTLER, original member of Henry Cow, Art Bears, News from Babel, respected author and founder of Recommended Records. This is Chris’ wonderful podcast and I urge you all to give it a listen…


Guitarist and DMG-pal HENRY KAISER had a Weekly Video Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page for the past year:
he recently changed it to a monthly solo series - here is the new July show:

past favorites of HK’s from the past year’s weekly shows are:


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:


Bushwick Improvised Music Series
downstairs @ The Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue (across the street from Central Ave M train)
$15 at the door gets you in all night (5 sets of music)

Monday August 2nd
7pm Ayumi Ishito's "Open Question"
w/ Ayumi Ishito - tenor saxophone
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Eric Plaks - keyboard
Zach Swanson - bass
Jon Panikkar - drums
8pm Ben Stapp ensemble
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Eli Wallace - synthesizer
Lester St. Louis - cello
Drew Wesely -guitar
11pm Pete Swanson - bass
Sana Nagano - violin/electronics
Kenji Herbert - guitar

Monday August 9th
7pm Patrick Golden - drums
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Jim Clouse - bass
8pm Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Aron Namenwirth - guitar
Charely Sabatino - bass
Eric Plaks - keyboard
Colin Hinton- drums
Stephen Gauci - woodwinds
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Adam Caine - guitar
Bob Lanzetti - guitar
Roberta Piket - keyboard
Adam Lane - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
11pm Henry Mermer - drums
Henry Fraser - bass

Monday August 16th
7pm Jared Radichel - bass
James Mckain - tenor saxophone
Leo Suarez - drums
Joey Sullivan - drums
8pm Santiago Leibson - piano
Ken Filiano - bass
Juan Pablo Carletti - drums
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Igor Lumpert ensemble
11pm Joey Sullivan - drums
Kevin Eichenberger - bass
Cosmo Gallaro - guitar

Monday August 23rd
7pm James Paul Nadien - drums,
Cosmo Gallaro - guitar/bass
Brendan Rey - bass/synth
8pm Alex Weiss - saxophones
Dan Blake - saxophones
Dmitry Ishenko - bass
Yana Davydova - guitar
Vijay Anderson - drums
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm George McMullen - trombone
Ken Filiano - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
11pm Kaelen Ghandhi ensemble

Monday August 30th
7pm Juan Pablo Carletti's "Biggish"
Juan Pablo Carletti - drums
Yoni Kretzmer - tenor saxophone
Christof Knocke - clarinets
Rick Parker - trombone
Kenneth Jimenez - bass
8pm Nebula the Velvet Queen -theremin
Maria Nazarova - bass
Ayumi Ishito - saxophone
Damien Olsen - keyboard
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Sandy Ewen - guitar
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Cheryl Pyle -c flute /alto flute Michael Eaton -soprano sax
Roberta Piket -piano
Billy Mintz -drums,
Judi Silvano - vocals
11pm Aaron Quinn - guitar
Alex Koi - vocals/electronics
David Leon - woodwinds
Lesley Mok: Drums

Gaucimusic Presents:
Live at Scholes Street Studio, Friday August 27th
Brandon Lopez - bass
Ingrid Laubrock - tenor/soprano saxophones
Tom Rainey - drums

Two sets at 8 & 9:30pm
$15 at the door
Live audience/Live recording!
Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (718) 964-8763