THE DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY 30th Anniversary Celebration continues with:
This Saturday, September 25th at Oliver Coffee from 2pm - 5pm
Four Fabulous Ensembles in one day! Admission is Free, although we do ask for donations
2:00: CECILIA LOPEZ GABBY FLUKE-MOGUL CLEBS (Jason Nazary Emilie Weibel)
2:45: CLEBS (Jason Nazary Emilie Weibel)
3:30: DEVIN GRAY / WENDY EISENBERG / FRANK MEADOWS
4:15: ASCEND! (Dave Miller, Daniel Carter, Robert Boston, Tom Kotik)
Oliver Street is 2 blocks south west of DMG between Madison & the Bowery.
This Weekâ€™s Dynamic Discs Begin with the Return of the Amazing Henry Threadgillâ€™s ZOOID!
HENRY THREADGILLâ€™S ZOOID with LIBERTY ELLMAN / JOSE DAVILA / CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN / ELLIOT HUMBERTO KAVEE - Poof (Pi Recordings 92; USA) Featuring Henry Threadgill on alto sax, flute & compositions, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Jose Davila on tuba, Christopher Hoffman on cello and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums. â€œWith Poof, Threadgill has returned to the symbiotic band, Zooid, the longest-running group of his half-century long career. Added together, its four members â€“ Liberty Ellman on guitar, Christopher Hoffman on cello, Jose Davila on tuba, and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums, along with the leader on alto sax and flutes â€“ have been playing with him for a total of over 75 years. These are the musicians of his inner-circle, who have dedicated countless hours to mastering the maestroâ€™s inimitable music â€“ or at least to the extent that mastery can be achieved in music that is constantly changing and being pushed to the teetering edge. Like In for a Penny, In for a Pound, the composition on the album are described by Threadgill as sonatas or concerti: â€œCome and Goâ€ for saxophone and cello; â€œPoofâ€ for saxophone and guitar; â€œBeneath the Bottomâ€ for trombone; â€œHappenstanceâ€ for flute and drums; and â€œNow and Thenâ€ for tuba and guitar. By this point, the groupâ€™s reliance on the serial intervallic system that was the basis of the groupâ€™s unique sound is more felt than prescribed or, as Threadgill describes it, â€œstripped down to the bones,â€ relying on the musicians to fill in the rest of the corpus. All the other hallmarks of this music are here: unpredictable forms, percolating rhythms, the interwoven melodic strains; thereâ€™s really nothing else remotely like it. The best part of it all is that Zooid is the one platform where one still gets to hear Threadgill really play. His keening saxophone wail retains that unmistakable gutbucket blues feel, with no small measure of church thrown in to the mix.
As Pi Recordings celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, we canâ€™t help but reflect on this journey that started with our simultaneous release in 2001 of two albums from Threadgill: Everybodys Mouthâ€™s A Book with Make a Move, and Up Popped the Two Lips with the then newly-formed Zooid. It has been a privilege to work with and get to know this amazing man, and it continues to astonish how hard he continues to push forward, even at the age of 77. During the pandemic, he photographed street scenes around hisÂ neighborhood in the East Village that show the exodus of people and businesses from New York City, which he plans to publish along with his writing in a book entitled â€œMigration and the Return of the Cheap Suit.â€ His next major project will be the multimedia experience â€œOneâ€ and â€œThe Other One,â€ which will be performed over two nights in May, 2022 at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, NY. It will feature 12 musicians performing his new composition â€œIn Valence,â€ along with sampled heartbeats from four of them that Threadgill will maneuver in real-time, inspired by the work that Milford Graves â€“ who passed away earlier this year â€“ did in this field; his reading and improvising on text while electronically manipulating vocal samples; his films â€œPlain as Plain in Plain Sightâ€ and â€œPlain as Plain but Different;â€ and custom-made masks. It all sounds somewhat preposterous, but we know from our long experience with him that many of his projects sound far-fetched when he first describes them, but they eventually turn out to be glorious works that are nothing like what anyone might imagine them to be. Itâ€™s also a clear extension to the AACM impulse to break boundaries and be artists in a holistic way, not just in music, a characteristic shared by so many of that organizationâ€™s titans.â€ - Pi Recordings
EUNHYE JEONG - Nolda (ESP-Disk 5068; USA) Featuring Ms. Eunhye Jeong on solo piano. Eunhye Jeong is a Korean pianist who doesnâ€™t quite play like any of the other more well-known avant or free/jazz pianists. The title of this disc, â€˜Noldaâ€™, means â€œtranscending the physical reality without abandoning itâ€. The ESP label was founded in 1964 and has long been the champion of free/jazz and other progressive/avant-garde related music. Founded by the late Bernard Stollman, it is now run by Steve Holtje who always keep the spirit of free & exploration as the inner flame. Starting with â€œPerspective Shiftsâ€, Ms. Jeong starts quietly with occasional fragmented lines carefully placed in space. By â€œStrange Rocksâ€, things start to pick up with quicker bursts of activity going on. I get the feeling that Ms. Jeong sounds more well-seasoned than her youthful age. Every note sounds well thought out, as does certain themes which are brought in, manipulated cautiously, making every sound and silence a part of the same canvas. There are sections where Ms. Jeong will play a note cluster and then repeat it, slowly twisting it into something else. One thing I do notice is that Ms. Jeong doesnâ€™t sound like a jazz pianist who has studied and played very many standards. Her playing sounds free from any of the usual thematic Broadway show-tune songs that most jazz pianists come from. She sounds as if she has invented her own fragmentary bursts. Also Ms. Jeongâ€™s use of space between segments gives us time to consider whatever she does here. A most impressive debut by any stretch of the imagination. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FOUR FABULOUS NEW DISCS From the Fine Folks at SUNNYSIDE:
FRANK KIMBROUGH / MASA KAMAGUCHI / KIRK KNUFFKE - Ancestors (Sunnyside 1639; USA) It is hard to listen to a posthumous released recording without reflecting on what the world has lost in their absence. Pianist and composer Frank Kimbrough was an individual who was beloved by all who knew him. A true musicianâ€™s musician and mentor to many, Kimbroughâ€™s legacy lives on in his work and the lives that he touched. His passing in 2020 has left a hole in the heart of the jazz world.
Kimbroughâ€™s Ancestors is a recording that encompasses much of the leaderâ€™s personality, depth, and approach to music making. Assembling a drummer-less trio with cornetist Kirk Knuffke and bassist Masa Kamaguchi, Kimbrough brought his spontaneity and introspection to the fore on a collection of original compositions and improvisations.
The trio had been a favorite ensemble for Kimbrough over the years, the format being able to balance form and freedom of expression. The leaderâ€™s appreciation for the free-wheeling, drummer-less trio of woodwind iconoclast Jimmy Giuffre is apparent in Kimbroughâ€™s choice to eschew the restrictive pulse of a drummer in favor of horn, piano, and bass. Kimbroughâ€™s choice of trio mates was sublime.
Pianist and cornetist were introduced by their mutual friend and collaborator, drummer Matt Wilson. A rapport was quickly established with regular gigs with Wilson, Ben Allison, and Jay Anderson. Kimbrough and Knuffkeâ€™s friendship blossomed as they began to hang more and more at Kimbrough and partner Maryanne de Prophetisâ€™s Queens home. When Kimbrough proposed recording this trio album, Knuffke had never played with Kamaguchi. The bassistâ€™s flexible, physical style was perfect for the interplay that Kimbrough was after for the recording.
True to form, Kimbrough strayed from rehearsing the ensemble in an effort to maintain a freshness in their interplay. The group came together without playing a prior note at the Samurai Hotel Recording Studio in Astoria on June 3, 2017. Kimbrough brought a number of original tunes for the session and provided space for improvised duos between the three members.
HELEN SUNG with JOHN ELLIS / DAVID WONG / KENDRICK SCOTT / HARLEM QUARTET - Quartet (Sunnyside 1624; USA)â€œAlthough well seated in the jazz tradition, Helen Sung extends that predominant language in this new album by melding it with classical infusions and other elements. Here, she leads a core jazz quartet that includes saxophonist John Ellis, bassist David Wong and drummer Kendrick Scott, but her wild card is played with the beguiling airiness of string arrangements (performed by the Harlem Quartet) while giving life to three new compositions, revitalizing two originals from previous recordings, and celebrating womenâ€™s artistry by finding new sonic outfits for pieces by influential female jazz composers.
Itâ€™s â€œFeed the Fireâ€, a post-bop explosion penned by the late pianist Geri Allen, that opens up the album with the expedite rhythm section in great style. Ellis draws empathy with his tenor skills and thereâ€™s a round for the drummer.
Both â€œCoquetteâ€, inspired by one of the three Romances by German pianist Clara Schumann, and â€œElegy for the Cityâ€, dedicated to the human losses caused by the pandemic in New York City, were composed by Sung who put a classical spin on them. The former, takes us from a classical ballroom dancing to a Brazilian groove that invites Ellisâ€™ flute to the spotlight; in turn, the latter piece joins the poignancy of Chopin, the delicacy of Bill Evans and the melodic sentiment of Michel Legrand in a nuanced 3/4 effort that becomes Latinized for a moment. Speaking of 3/4, Mary Lou Williamsâ€™ aptly orchestrated â€œMaryâ€™s Waltzâ€ holds the step firmly while the violinist Melissa White shines, followed by improvisations from Wong and Sung.
Swinging propulsions are not rare and can be enjoyed on both Toshiko Akiyoshiâ€™s â€œLong Yellow Roadâ€, which carries a hooky rhythmic pattern in the lower register and stylish string details, and Marian McPartlandâ€™s â€œMelancholy Moodâ€, whose title stops making sense for a little while, after halfway.
Whereas â€œLament for Kalief Browderâ€ runs in circles with a cello figure and a spiraling soprano dancing atop, â€œSungbirdâ€, delivered in five with a drum-less configuration, flaunts an interesting fusion of Shostakovich and tango. These compositions were originally recorded in 2018 (Sung with Words) and 2007 (Sungbird album), respectively.
Carla Bleyâ€™s playful â€œWrong Key Donkeyâ€ - first recorded by Gary Burton Quintet in 1976 - carries hints of funk and pronounced accent, being reinforced with a classical vein that assimilates both Eastern and Western currents. Itâ€™s perhaps the albumâ€™s most free-ranging piece.Â Despite being quite cinematic as the well-integrated strings add emotional underscore, you wonâ€™t find eerie atmospheres or darker corners on an album that is liberally enveloped by a positive energy. Thatâ€™s where the force of Sungâ€™s music comes from.â€ - Jazz Trail.netÂ
LOGAN STROSAHL / CHARLES ROSEN ENSEMBLE - Book II of Arthur: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Sunnyside 1640; USA) Arthurian tales have captured the imaginations of artists for centuries. In the late 12th-century, the floodgates of Medieval Arthurian literature burst open, and across Western Europe, works about the fictional deeds of individual knights of the Round Table were written. These were tales of mistaken identity, switched births, giants, ceremonial duels, and forbidden love, that portrayed the different knights as flawed upholders of what came to be known as the Chivalric Code. // Saxophonist and composer Logan Strosahl has reanimated one of the most influential of those works through his own idiosyncratic music. Like the protagonist, Sir Gawain, Logan Strosahl took his own musical quest and learned much along the way. The amazing work the young composer created with his Book II of Arthur: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight shows a commanding new level of artistry. // Difficult to categorizeâ€ could with equal justice describe Strosahlâ€™s music. Informed by many channels but dominated by none, influences operate as elements in a fully integrated, personal language rather than pastiche. While the music in Book II obviously contains a good deal of â€œclassicalâ€ craft ranging from the Wagnerian to polyphonic fantasias and to 21st-century composition; it also contains the Blues, various grooves, improvisation, and common-language materials.â€
PETE RODRIGUEZ with JOHN ELLIS / LUIS PERDOMO / RICARDO RODRIGUEZ / RUDY ROYSTON - Obstacles (Sunnyside 1636; USA) Trumpeter/composer Pete Rodriguez has had an eventful life. Born in New York and raised in the Bronx and Puerto Rico, Rodriguez, son of the famed salsero Pete â€œEl Condeâ€ Rodriguez, has been ensconced in music since birth. His love for music set him on a path to make it his lifeâ€™s work, whether through performing or teaching. Rodriguezâ€™s new recording, Obstacles, was recorded as a way to confront his obstacles and working through them in a healthy way, by channeling his emotions and feelings into art.â€
CHARLES K. NOYES / ELLIOTT SHARP - Besotted (zOaR ZCD 090; USA) Featuring Charles K. Noyes on electric guitar and Elliott Sharp on analog synths, soprano sax, bass clarinet, triple-course bass pantar and arches h-line. I recall the early days of the Downtown Scene (1979-early 1980â€™s) fondly since checking out and becoming friends with the cream of that scene: John Zorn, Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Wayne Horvitz, Polly Bradfield, Ned Rothenberg, David Moss, Mark E Miller, Charles Noyes and many others. My first impression was often of amusement & confusion, since being a sort-of jazz & progressive snob, I couldnâ€™t figure out what some of these musicians were actually doing. Charles K. Noyes was certainly a strange character who played a stripped down, odd looking drum set in his own minimalist way. The first time I caught Elliott Sharp, he was playing tenor sax in a trio, playing out/jazz in his own way. I soon heard him playing electric guitar, soprano sax and a number of invented instruments. It took a while to figure out that all of these musicians were working at trying to play their instruments in their own way and were breaking down the barriers between genres and improv vs. composition. Considering that my first meeting with many of these musicians was some 40 years ago, both the musicians (playing & composing) and myself (listening seriously) have also evolved over this long stretch of time. What makes most of these originators so enduring is that theyâ€™ve continue to evolve and still surprise me time and again. After a period of inactivity, Mr. Noyes released a CD last year of most solo guitars & guquin. Nope, I had no idea that Noyes played guitar and the disc turned out to be un unexpected treasure.
Both Mr. Noyes and Mr. Sharp collaborations go back to the early Downtown days of the early 1980â€™s, working together from time to time in different projects (like the Toykillers) or improv situations. Although Mr. Sharp is primarily known as a guitarist, he also plays various reeds & designs his own instruments, as well as becoming a wiz in the studio, recording, engineering, mixing & mastering his and other folksâ€™ music. The titles of each of the 10 tracks here begins with â€œbeâ€¦â€. Beginning with â€œBedazzledâ€ we are dropped into a vat of mysterious sounds: pulsating, eerie, static, drones, soprano sax, a drill, the careful stretching out of certain metallic notes/sounds, hard to tell whatâ€™s what but still consistently fascinating. Mr. Sharp appears to create a different sonic soundscape on each piece with Mr. Noyes adding odd guitar licks here and there. Whatâ€™s interesting here is this: instead of any sort of soloing, there are several layers of sounds which manipulated in a variety of ways. I recognize some of those squiggly synth lines yet nothing lasts too long before it is transformed and/or another sound/line will appear. Another thing I like about this disc is that it is on the quite or calm side, the weirdness easier to swallow or get into. There a few sounds that are characteristic of the way Mr. Sharp taps on the strings of his guitar or other device. Although some of this music does have an alien or strange overall sound, I often felt mesmerized as if I were entering another world that seemed somehow familiar. Excellent! - Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG
CHAS SMITH - Three (Cold Blue CB0061; USA) Metal (un)machine music, naked, whooping, and suchlike. Smithâ€™s metallo-drone symphonies belong to a rich heritage of homemade instrument builders working the same reverberant mojo, drawing a straight line from the twin exploratory soundscapes of Harrys Bertoia and Partch to the Deep Listening crewâ€™s singing bowl experiments and Henry Wolff and Nancy Henningsâ€™ sacred Tibetan bells meditations. Close your eyes while listening to this bold new Smith release and the vernaculars of deep space music, nu-age, and any number of similarly-themed electronic artists (Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Zâ€™ev, etc.) are summarily revealed. But the key here is that Smith achieves his great, chiming tone poems through purely analog means: whether itâ€™s plucking the strings of beautifully reflective steel guitars or tapping on a whole foundry of resonant metalsâ€”springs, pinions, racks, wholly invented new-fangled â€˜marimbasâ€™â€”the depths of these complex, shifting harmonics are as detailed as the pixels of film when glimpsed in microscopic detail. Of the three lengthy tracks here, each connotes a related non-place or environments of strange, unearthly remit. â€œDistanceâ€ opens with a minimalist burst of steel guitar that feels like birds escaping into a deep, unglimpsed horizon, until the shimmering patinas wrought forth from such mythical instruments as pez eater, copper box, lockheed (and, yes, bertoia) undulate in the breezeway. â€œThe Replicantâ€ goes darker, its bowed, thwacked, and rubbed surfaces portending the potential arrival of beings cloaked in differing skins than ours. â€œThe End of Cognizanceâ€, performed on instruments nicked such massive-sounding names as towers and the Big Ti, is truly immense in its decaying, thunderstruck notes, as if your ears have entered some vast echo chamber where these gigantic notes bounce endlessly across millennia. Epic. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
JACOB COOPER STEVEN BRADSHAW - â€œSunriseâ€ (Cold Blue Music 0062; USA) The last 18 months, and in particular the last six, have predictably been riddled with releases whose liner notes and press releases come with some mention of the radical upheavals the pandemic has wrecked on the process of music-making. Pieces dealing with the themes and conditions of isolation, reflection, macro social issues and a reexamination of what it means to collaborate have been plentiful, but rarely have the distortions and gravity of our new reality felt palpable. Jacob Cooper and Steven Bradshawâ€™s remote collaboration here for Cold Blue is an exception. The approach was to utilize â€œThe World Is Waiting for the Sunriseâ€ (1918) written by Ernest Seitz and Gene Lockhart during the last great global pandemic, underscoring the cyclical nature of human tragedy. In the liner notes they acknowledge how often the song has been performed throughout the 20th century, by artists ranging from Duke Ellington to Willie Nelson, and accentuate a commonality writing â€œEach performance seems framed by its own distinctive sense of calamity â€”one imagines the artists grappling with their generationsâ€™ darkest moments, while awaiting the relief of an awakening and rebirth.â€ This interpretation carries with it an archival sifting, digging across time and performance to construct a thru-line. This attitude comes across in their collaborative process as well, which for the 32 minute piece demanded a years worth of trading fragments and scraps of performance information. Cooper performs the producer role, compiling scraps and collections of Bradshawâ€™s vocal performance along with a small ensemble and previously recorded versions of â€œThe World is Waiting..â€ into a high impact haptic sonic wave whose source material eludes recognition while being constantly present at the point of contact. After the wave crests, spectral subterranean polyrhythms bubble underneath a choir of voices, simmering in crystalline dissonance. The apocalyptic tone of the music is obvious without being cheap, laden with sadness and determination for the long slog ahead back to safety. This is music that is optimistic for nothing, other than the creative possibilities inside of collapse, and the spirit of renewal that demands hard, detailed work. - Frank Meadows for DMG
TURBULENCE with PEK / BOB MOORES / MELANIE HOWELL- BROOKS / DUANE REED - Vertical Currents (Evil Clown 9278; USA) Featuring PEK on clarinets, saxes, flutes, double reeds & loads of percussion, Bob Moores on trumpets & percussion, Melanie Howell-Brooks on contrabass clarinet, flutes & assorted percussion and Duane Reed on baritone horn (small tuba) & percussion. There are around a half dozen Leap of faith offshoot projects by now, but only two that record more frequently: Turbulence and Metal Chaos Ensemble. Turbulence started out in 2016 with two constant members: PEK and former LoF drummer Yuri Zbitnov. Since Zbitnov has left the scene, Bob Moores & PEK are the two constant members with Duane Reed (the name of pharmacy chain) also now a regular member. The newest member is Melanie Howell-Brooks who is making her first appearance on Evil Clown. This disc was recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters in July of 2021, just 2 months ago.
Things begins quietly with occasional clouds of trumpet, contrabass clarinet and subtle yet eerie percussion (mostly cymbals, gongs & bells). The ensemble take their time and usually concentrate on one instrument or small group of hand percussion, as this piece evolves. There is a solo midway but I am not so sure what instrument it is: baritone horn with a mute perhaps? Next another solo by a double reed (sheng?) floats in over a solemn cushion of soft, mysterious percussion. It takes some patience in order to appreciate the way things slowly unfold and build together. Once we slow down, we can appreciate the way things evolve, carefully crafted sounds moving on spacious clouds, ethereal, mystical and sublime at times. There is not that much turbulence although there is still some compelling sounds which wash over us like a warm stream. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Over the past year of so the 577 Records label has really expanded and released nearly three dozen of great discs from the Downtown Scene and elsewhere. Every week another 2 or 3 discs pop up, their consistency remains top notch. I urge you to check some of them out as they continue to release so many great sonic treasures:
HPRIZM / GERALD CLEAVER - Signs Remixed (Positive Elevation/577 Records PEREC003; USA) Gerald Cleaverâ€™s recent Signs CD was in and of itself a remarkable foray in beat substructure and smartly interfacing electronics that is already one of the sleeper hits of the year. Want an embarrassment of riches? Delve headfirst into the flames with this â€˜follow-upâ€™ or sorts, wherein our intrepid artist Hprizm decides to take matters into his own hands and bravely remix Cleaverâ€™s original rhythmic workout. The results? Mighty fine indeed, maestro. Itâ€™s a short journey at a bit over a half-hour, about EP length, and though thereâ€™s a plethora of ideas that could have been easily fleshed out over longer durations, the remixer-in-residence somehow manages to mutate Cleaverâ€™s already bent sonics into ever-more ungainly, unwieldy, and wildly inventive shapes. Percussive motifs tumble ass-over-teakettle, begging to achieve stable equilibrium. The listener is kept constantly off-balance, the percolating electronics both mirroring and subverting the very notion of what percussive â€™techno' means. The three numbered â€œSignsâ€ mixes, with their stuttering loops and stacked bric-a-brac callback to the kind of hip-hop/IDM mindmelds of While, DJ Spooky, and various artists splattered across the n5MD label, tones wheezing, huffing, and puffing in asthmatic rigor. And just in case you thought 90s electronica was a thing of the past, the â€œTomasz Remixâ€ pushes all the right categorical buttons, a journey through illbient realms every bit as grimey and malevolent as a dank and damp downtown alleyway. Hprizmâ€™s taken Cleaverâ€™s demonstrative statement and crafted his own ingenious version. Who says lightning doesnâ€™t strike twice? - Darren Bergstein, DMG
LUIS VICENTE / VASCO TRILLA - Made of Mist (577 Records 5881; USA) Featuring Luis Vicente on trumpet and Vasco Trilla on drums & percussion. This disc was recorded at Scratch Built Studios in Lisbon, Portugal in September of 2019. These two Portuguese musicians can be found on around ten discs from the FMR and Clean Feed labels, including another duo disc released on Clean Feed, released the same year (2019) that this disc was recorded. Vasco Trilla also has a solo percussion CD out on FMR which I recall to be a superb offering. Right from the opening piece, â€œAbyssalâ€, the duo cast a quiet, mysterious subtle spell by working on some ultra subtle sounds: fluttering, buzzing trumpet sounds and softly tapped cymbals. The subtle muted trumpet sounds and bowed cymbal drone(s) work well together, this is not quite as reductionist as lower-case improv yet the cautiousness is similar. Mr. Trillaâ€™s is often simmering and creating drones/moods rather than very much rhythmic accompaniment, often slowing the inner pulse down to a more solemn vibe. Things eventually built as the Trillaâ€™s drumming picks up speed and intensity, pushing Vicenteâ€™s trumpet higher to free/jazz soaring. This duo works extremely well together as they move through more organic sounding mutual improvisations together. A consistently inspired date. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LEO GENOVESE / MARIANO OTERO / SERGIO VERDINELLI - trio sin ritmos tiempo de aqua (577 Records 5893; USA) Featuring Leo Genovese on piano, Mariano Otero on bass and Sergio Verdinelli on drums. This disc was recorded in a studio in Buenos Aires in March of this year (2021). Iâ€™ve been noticing the name of Argentinian-born pianist, Leo Genovese, more & more over the past few years. It seems that Mr. Genovese has worked/recorded with Bob Gullotti, Frank Carlberg and Uri Gurvich over the past decade. His two rhythm section mates, Mariano Otero and Sergio Verdinelli are both new names for me. Since this session was recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, perhaps this is where the rhythm is form as well. All but one of the 12 songs here were written by one of the three members of the trio. â€œBattle of Adwaâ€ opens and is a powerful, tight, passion-filled piece, with some incredible piano playing. Although, things calm down for â€œBetyâ€, the piece is a majestic ballad with a most lyrical, haunting piano solo. â€œLos Pajarosâ€ is a spirited medium tempo jazz piece and features a strong, inspired piano solo midway. It sounds like this trio has been around for a while since they have a strong, singular sound with all three members integral to their sound. Each piece seems to have a few different parts moving simultaneously. Mr. Genoeseâ€™s right hand often plays the theme, while his left hand plays along with the rhythm team. What amazes me about this disc is that every song sounds, mature, assured, complete and inspired. Without a doubt this is the best piano trio Iâ€™ve heard in a long while which is pretty great considering that most of us havenâ€™t of any of the three members before now. Bravo! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MYRIAM GENDRON - Ma Delire - Songs of Love Lost & Found (Feeding Tube Records 639; USA) "It has been a while since the release Myriam's acclaimed 2014 debut album, Not So Deep as a Well (FTR 146-4LP). The intervening years have brought a smattering of live performances, a bouquet of children, Trump's Pandemic, and much more . . .
Different concepts for a new album were broached, but the seed of Ma DÃ©lire was planted when Myriam recalled a paper she written in university. It was about Leonard Cohen's recording of "The Lost Canadian" from Recent Songs. Ostensibly a cover of an old Quebecois ballad, Cohen stripped away the specificity of the lyrics, tying the song's titular figure to the archetype of 'The Wandering Jew'.
The theme of this paper returned to Myriam when she had a residency at the Old Mill in Le Bic, QC in August 2016. Benoit Chaput had turned her on to the traditional tune 'Au Coeur de ma DÃ©lire,' from a 1971 album by Dominique Tremblay and Philippe Gagnon. The song was so haunting, she decided to record it right there in the Mill's boat repair workshop. That is the very recording used hereâ€¦
This started Myriam musing about how the end of the Catholic hegemony in Quebec had the unanticipated consequence of making people think less of traditional Quebecois folk music, because so much of it was soaked in the blood of the lamb. It made sense this music should be explored and updated despite its dogmatic origins which Cohen had proved could be effectively expunged . . .
Just as the world was shutting down, Myriam was awarded a grant which allowed her the time and space to fully investigate and develop this material. She had spent years sifting through traditional music from Quebec, France and the U.S., highlighting parts of songs and ideas she liked, discarding some she found abhorrent, and merging the good bits with her own writing or other cannibalized shards. At some juncture she flashed on this work's common thread -- its thematic roots were always in one type of romantic longing or another. And so, this album came together during the dark days of the General Lockdown. Mixing vocal tracks with instrumentals, singing in both French and English, using a syncretic blend of original, modern and traditional lyrics, Ma DÃ©lire fearlessly wanders through a universe of its own invention, daring us to open our minds wide enough to take it all in.
Myriam initially recorded with just guitar and vocals. But when she began working with the sound engineer Tonio Morin-Vargas, he had some insightful suggestions about additional instrumentation that might broaden the album's sound without confounding it. Myriam had already planned to ask her friends, Bill Nace and Chris Corsano, to add some things, so the whole shebang evolved as organically as most great records do..." --Byron Coley, 2021
SOLYST - Spring (Bureau B 384; Germany) â€œSpring is Thomas Klein's fourth SÃ¸lyst release on Bureau B, gleaned from material spanning the past three years. The time he has spent with these pieces has been time well spent. In revisiting them, he has posed new questions, rearranged and reworked some elements, dismissed or discarded others. The process of reappraisal has seen certain passages expanded upon, others pared away or refined. In the beginning, a sequencer and a sequence; rumbling along, not too fast, deeper tones and minor keys. Swathed in drum patterns and percussion, a mesh of metal and the occasional, unannounced crash of drums, as on the shimmering "Flex" or "Hold". Echoes and echo chambers, phasers and flangers used as glue: Spring, the (S)piral, a flexible, coiled spring, stretched, bent, twisted to fit the signal flow. Isolated sounds and vertical planes are added to the hypnotic, rhythmic framework, melodies are revealed on a nano level in transitions between nuanced layers and allusions. With all these elements in play, Klein creates a cinematic atmosphere for the big or the small screen, heavily laden in subliminal darkness, more spectral than aggressively threatening. A sense of foreboding, perhaps -- or the nervous excitement of seeing a storm gather on the horizon as one eagerly awaits the spectacle of thunder and lightning. Photophobic dancers, tar on their shoes, flashes of light, monochrome is our only color. Spring is the soundtrack to a night such as this, plotting its course through to the late morning: take "Sheroes" and play it between Martin Rev and Chris & Cosey, take "Atlas" and play it, if you will, after Tolouse Low Trax. And before the doors reopen, take "Spiral". The most seductive moments in all of these pieces are those in which Klein lets go of functionality, unleashes the groove and the space opens up, wider and wider, floating atmospherically into the late hours of the morning. Spring slots into the genealogy of the three preceding albums -- SÃ¸lyst (2011), Lead (2013), The Steam Age (2016). Not that there is anything wrong with that, and yet Spring reveals Klein at his most confident, opening up his field of vision to explore the margins of the structure he established on SÃ¸lyst. Each track on Spring hints at a fresh start. This is where SÃ¸lyst truly begins.
JOHN DWYER, RYAN SAWYER, PETER KERLIN, TOM DOLAS, BRAD CAULKINS, KYP MALONE & MARCOS RODRIGUEZ - Moon-Drenched (Castle Face 137; USA) "The same crew as the boundary pulsing improvisation record Bent Arcana has made a trajectory shift and picked up Ben Boye along the path. The aptly-named Moon-Drenched is the second installment from these sessions and keeps a heavy-lidded late night perspective on things as it eases from the somewhat familiar liminal twilight of skittering hues of black-blue and snaking street groove, to fizzing off into the ether in pursuit of lunar prism beams heretofore unseen. The more rhythmically dialed bits here have a lysergic halo of strangeness to them, and the wispy bits between are spun of iridescent gossamer. It sounds like a frizzled message from a future just filthy with guitar hoots echoing off of neon-splattered high rises, oil-slicked waterways and skittering digital beasts. For Castle Face's money this is the strangest slice of this last bunch of John Dwyer and his crew's improvisations."
REISSUES & HISTORIC RECORDINGS:
THELONIOUS MONK with CHARLIE ROUSE / LARRY GALES / BEN RILEY / et al - Live At Rotterdam 1967 / The Lost Recordings (Fondamenta FON 1704029; EEC) â€œWhen he set foot on the stage of Club Doelen on Oct. 28, 1967 in Rotterdam, Thelonious Monk had just turned 50. 15 years later, he disappeared from the music scene and spent his 6 final years in New York, at Pannonica de Koenigswater's and never touched a piano again. This concert is a testament to his genius. Opening and ending with two â€œclassic piecesâ€, â€œRuby, My Dearâ€ and â€œBlue Monkâ€, he led for over 80 minutes the quartet and his accomplices, Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales, Ben Riley, and guests.
Larry Gales's bass seems to pop out like a jack-in-the-box at the end of â€œHackensackâ€, the brass instruments get carried away towards the middle of â€œWe seeâ€, and billow out and away in the breathtaking â€œOskaâ€. And it all leads to a solo time on â€œDon't Blame Meâ€: his fingers must be widely spread apart as he hits the keys the way you'd hit and shuffle cards. And then it's time to conclude with one of his classic tunes â€œBlue Monkâ€. The architect can set down his tools, what remains is pure art.â€
2 CD Set $24
ART BLAKEY & JAZZ MESSENGERS with LEE MORGAN / BEN GOLSON / BOBBY TIMMONS / JYMIE MERRITT - Live in Scheveningen 1958 (Fondamenta FON-1804034; EEC) â€œIt was the evening of 29 November 1958. On the stage of the Kurhaus in Scheveningen, Art Blakey grabbed the microphone to say, â€œI would like to take a moment and say good evening on behalf of the Jazz Messengers and myself.â€ Everyone present could feel that this was a concert that would go down in history.
Art Blakey began the evening by presenting his line-up. Kind words: for each one, a little hyperbole, a tad too much praise â€“ enough to create a light-hearted, intimate atmosphere. Then, over the evening, he introduced each piece, each time jokingly promoting the Blue Note label and eliciting chuckles among the audience. While the band played, Art never stole the limelight, however inventive the pulsating rhythms of his sticks, emerging whenever he felt his magic should work its spell. His legendary multiple bounce rolls following on the heels of the piano and saxophone solos brought them depth and colour, extending their horizons, strengthening them, making them ever more limpid.
Over thirty years later, when Art Blakey died, The New York Times quoted Max Roach: â€œArt was an original. Heâ€™s the only drummer whose time I recognize immediately. And his signature style was amazing; we used to call him â€˜Thunderâ€™â€. The storm had already thundered over the stage of the Kurhaus that night in 1958.â€
2 CD Set $24
SONNY BURGESS - Rocks (Bear Family Records 17629; Germany) "Albert Austin Burgess -- in short 'Sonny' -- was an icon and a crowd favorite for generations of Rockabilly fans worldwide. Active in the music scene for decades, Sonny exuded the energy and playfulness of the early rockers like no other ... just like when it all began ... we wanna boogie! Bear Family delivers the first cross-label CD compilation of Sonny Burgess' recordings from the fifties to the new millennium! Including his outstanding Nashville recordings from the Moondog Studios. Legendary New England sessions with Dave Alvin of The Blasters and others. Most importantly, Sonny's terrific version of 'My Heart Is Achin' For You', a chart hit for Rosie Flores, written by James Intveld. Top-notch rockabilly numbers from his Chicago-produced album with top Windy City musicians. And of course 'Spellbound', the rare US studio version recorded in Arkansas, now on CD for the first time. Plus the essential original masters for Sun Records including rare alternate versions. Finally as a bonus track a rare US Live On Stage recording with Larry 'Honey Bun' Donn (late 1950s/early '60s) -- with the pure energy of the pioneer rocker! Long overdue -- and now finally compiled and released by Bear Family: the comprehensive tribute to a great pioneer of rock 'n' roll, Sonny Burgess. He came into the world May 28, 1929 as Albert Austin Burgess in Little Rock, Arkansas, and remained active well into the new millennium. His studio career as an independent artist began in the 1950s with Sun Records in Memphis and took him across the U.S. to Nashville, Chicago, Arkansas and New England over the next fifty years. Our CD compilation is not content with reissuing his early Sun rockers. We've culled the best numbers from that era, some in excellent alternate versions, from the Sun archives. But we continue Sonny's story with, among other things, the outstanding recordings featuring Dave Alvin of the Blasters, and and and ..."
TONY McPHEE'S BLUES BAND - Split Part II - Live At Bremen 1982 (Made in Germany 2432; Germany) "With the Groundhogs, Tony McPhee wrote British blues rock history from the 1960s onwards. Along with Neil Young, he is one of the founding fathers of grunge rock. Still today records like Thank Christ For The Bomb, Hogwash or Split belong in every well-kept collection. Julian Cope, the British 'Krautrock' expert and former frontman of The Teardrop Explodes, once said: 'The way Tony McPhee and the Groundhogs developed the blues was as revolutionary as the works of MC5, the Stooges or that of the Krautrock movement.' When Tony McPhee was not on tour or recording with the Groundhogs, he was on the road with his Tony McPhee's Blues Band, featuring Tony McPhee (guitars, vocals), Steve Towner (bass) and Mick Kirton (drums, ex-Groundhogs, ex-Dumpys Rusty Nuts), indulging his very special form of psychedelic heavy blues. Recordings of Tony McPhee's Blues Band are very rare, with the line-up of McPhee, Towner and Kirton there is only one single from 1983 existing. So, we are all the more pleased that the first official long-player of this enthusiastic trio will now be available with this live album, Split Part II - Live In Bremen 1982. Incidentally, Tony McPhee came to the blues through John Lee Hooker, with whom he toured in 1964. Tony McPhee remembers: 'He (Hooker) said that sometimes he played eleven bars, sometimes thirteen, sometimes twelve and a half. And I realised he did it on purpose - I'd thought he just couldn't count!'"
THOMAS KONER - Aubrite (Mille Plateaux 034; Germany) â€œAubrite was first released 1995 on the label Barooni. Thomas KÃ¶ner is one of the most influential modernist minimal composers. His music is often defined as dark ambient or drone, because of the use of low frequencies, material from gongs, shadowy resonances and boreal ambience, but at the same time its sound with constant fluctuation and vulnerability of sonic events, what makes it organic, human and almost comforting. KÃ¶ner's soundscapes are no longer simply dark, the question now is that of a profound blackness. Such is the generic darkness of the abyss, the void and vacuum, the darkness of more than silence, of catastrophe and cataclysm, but also the soundscapes have utopian moments. It is a cosmological blackness, the black of nonbeing. "The more subtractive, the blacker the sound synthesis", KÃ¶ner writes. Such blackness is non-music. Music will never be music until it ceases to represent and begins to sound like non-music or monochrome. "Whoever hears the distortion of all sounds, will soon become Ultrablack. Whoever listens to this world, but has no affection for any of its sites, even to the place of Black Noise, may soon reach Ultrablack. Whoever understands the spirit of impartiality through ten thousand million partial tones, hears Ultrablack and can no longer be measured. No measures, no enclosures, no properties are the sign of ultrablack scores." Roland Speckle helped with production of the album. Aubrite is the name of a group of meteorites named for Aubres, a small achondrite meteorite that fell near Nyons in 1836. Includes two bonus tracks.â€
BROSELMASCHINE - Broselmaschine (Pilz 2021102CD; Germany) â€œPilz present a reissue of BrÃ¶selmaschine's self-titled debut release, originally released in 1971. What an amazing improvement in the sound of this 50-year-old recording. With the help of the original analog master tapes and state-of-the-art technical equipment, the sensitive melodies of the original cast appear in a wonderful light of romance and empathy. Remastered at Dierks Studios, where the recordings were also made. Produced with the assistance of Dieter Dierks. The CD is released on the original Pilz label.
"Languorous atmospheres, lovely vocals, iridescent melodies, and shimmering solos combine on BrÃ¶selmaschine's self-titled 1971 debut album, the apotheosis of the German folk-prog scene. The quintet took their cue from England's Canterbury scene and even a traditional folk song, 'Lassie,' from that green and pleasant land. The band's signature sound was derived from Jenni Schucker's delicate and at times ethereal vocals in harmony with Willi Kissmer's stronger tenor, and that sound took on a Teutonic tinge when the pair switched from English to German lyrics. But it was the group's extraordinary use of acoustic and electric guitars that cemented its reputation . . . So self-confident were the bandmembers that they had no need for flashy musicianship, preferring instead to impress by the very understatement of their solos. The ambience is exquisite, casting a spell that isn't broken until the final note fades. A masterful album from start to finish." - Jo-Ann Greene (AllMusic)
JULLIARD STRING QUARTET //DARIUS MILHAUD / BELA BARTOK / ALBAN BERG / AARON COPLAND / MAURICE RAVEL / ARNOLD SCHOENBERG / ANTON WEBERN / SAMUEL BARBER / W.A. MOZART / LUKAS FOSS / et al - The Early Columbia Recordings (Sony Music Masterworks SME 2;19439831102; Earth) Following up its widely acclaimed reissues of the Juilliard Quartetâ€™s complete Epic and RCA Victor albums â€“ originally issued between 1956 and 1960 â€“ Sony Classical is excited to present a new box set collecting the earliest albums of this august American ensemble. Made between 1949 and 1956 in Columbiaâ€™s studio on Manhattanâ€™s 30th St., these landmark recordings are mostly new to CD.
When William Schuman founded a string quartet at New Yorkâ€™s Juilliard School in 1946, he envisaged an ensemble not only to teach the elite New York conservatoryâ€™s students but also, in its own public performances, to â€œplay the standard repertoire with the sense of excitement and discovery of a new work and play new works with a reverence usually reserved for the classics.â€ From its first appearances in New York, the Juilliard Quartet was identified as a champion of modern music. Its first recordings for American Columbia, all included here, were dedicated to the works of Alban Berg and BÃ©la BartÃ³k (only recently deceased), as well as to Arnold Schoenberg (still very much alive), and to active American composers including Schuman himself.
When the recordings of new American quartets were first released in the mid-50s, High Fidelityâ€™s reviewers enthusiastically took up the cudgels for them, writing: â€œWilliam Schumanâ€™s fourth string quartet is a big, serious, robust work, rather involved in form, rich in harmonic color, but especially rich in the variety and originality of its rhythms.â€ â€œ[Leon] Kirchnerâ€™s quartet has the accent of urgency, power and overriding imaginativeness one associates with BÃ©la BartÃ³kâ€™s compositions for the same medium â€¦ The work has its own immensely individual profile. One feels it is music that had to be written, and one feels behind it the mind of a great composer.â€ â€œThe [Irving] Fine stands out for its fantasticality, its highly dissonant texture, and its individual formal devices; it employs the 12-tone system within a freely tonal framework.â€
But the heart of this release comprising 16 newly mastered CDs and also featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, Webern, Milhaud, Copland, Peter Mennin, Alexei Haieff and Andrew Imbrie, are three discs containing the premiere of BÃ©la BartÃ³kâ€™s six quartets on records, which were set down in 1949. They appeared on LP and 78s the following year, bringing the Juilliard Quartet its first real celebrity. Recorded on 78-rpm shellacs rather than on tape, this path-breaking set thus consists of live, unedited performances. When reissued some years ago on CD â€“ the only portion of the new Sony Classical box set ever to have appeared before on silver discs â€“ it was rapturously praised in Fanfare magazine for â€œits joy of discovery, which remains completely fresh and vividâ€ even though numerous other traversals of the BartÃ³k cycle had appeared in the meantime, including two stereo remakes by the Juilliard itself â€“ in 1963 and, with digital technology, in 1981. Fanfare continued: â€œThe ensemble deserves its renown in BartÃ³k, whom it approached â€¦ with warmth and sometimes even Romanticism. Its impeccable execution set a new standard.â€
Another Juilliard milestone was the premiere of Arnold Schoenbergâ€™s four quartets on records, set down in 1951â€“52. Reviewing the original LP release, High Fidelity called these performances â€œvital, authoritative â€¦ The soprano, Ute Graf, does wonders with the extremely difficult songs of the second quartet, and her voice has been integrated with the strings to create the kind of unity Schoenberg must have dreamed of but could seldom have heard.â€ At last, all these historic Juilliard String Quartet recordings are available to todayâ€™s music lovers.
16 CD Set $50
R&B IN DC 1940-1960 - Rhythm & Blues, Doo Wop, Rockin' Rhythm and more... (Bear Family Records 17052; Germany) "Limited and numbered edition of 1,500 copies! 16-CD box set (LP-size) with 352-page hardcover book, 472 tracks. Bear Family Records presents the rise of rhythm 'n' blues in Washington, D.C. music from the swing era, classic doo-wop of the 1940s and 1950s, rocking rhythm & blues, rock & roll and soul of the early 1960s. Classics such as 'Love Potion No. 9' (The Clovers), 'Wedding Bells' (The Senators) and 'Georgianna' (Lloyd Price), supplemented by local hits, long-forgotten obscure tunes and sought-after rarities. A comprehensive 352-page hardcover LP-sized book by researcher Jay Bruder documents the exciting history of the Washington music scene from the 1940s to the 1960s -- with background information on the African-American press, club scene, and nightlife with its movers and shakers, based on years of research and interviews with surviving eyewitnesses. Hundreds of long out of print and hard to find recordings drawn from the best available sources, carefully sequenced in order of release, form a comprehensive review of the entire recording scene. This is not just a greatest hits collection. In depth biographies draw attention to long overlooked artists such as The Griffin Brothers with Margie Day, Delores 'Baby Dee' Spriggs, Billy Fair, TNT Tribble, Frank Motley Jr., The Three of Us Trio, The Crawford Brothers, Sam Hawkins, and Phil Flowers. The story of Quality Records shows how this Washington-based label started by Ahment Ertegun, Herb Abramson, and Max Silverman in 1946 led to the launch of Atlantic Records two years later. The story of Lillian Claiborne and her DC Records operation illustrates her role sustaining Washington's recording scene from 1947 through the early 1970s. Pioneering vocal group recordings by The Progressive Four, The Cap-Tans, The Clovers, The Four Dots, and The Heartbreakers illustrate Washington's early contribution to the rise of R&B vocal groups." Word is that this is/was the most anticipated Bear Family box-set in a long while. I can really afford it but perhaps you can so let me know what you think. - BLG/DMG
16 CD Deluxe Box Set $280
BOX SET SALE:
JOHN ZORN // BAGATELLES BOX SET - MARY HALVORSON QUARTET / ERIK FRIEDLANDER & MICHAEL NICOLAS / TRIGGER / IKUE MORI - Bagatelles Box Set - Set One (Tzadik; USA) From March to May 2015, John Zorn composed 300 new tunes that were eventually collected into a book of music he called The Bagatelles. After 5 years of performances around the world in venues large and small, the choicest ensembles have gone into the studio and the recordings are finally being made available in a series of limited edition 4-CD BOX sets. Each set will present four ensembles performing a unique program of Zorn's The Bagatelles. This first Box-set features a varied collection including: Jazz (Mary Halvorson Quartet with Miles Okazaki, Drew Gress & Tomas Fujiwara), Chamber Music (Erik Friedlander-Michael Nicolas Duo) Noise Rock (Trigger with Will Greene, Simon Hanes & Aaron Edgcomb) and Electronic Music (Ikue Mori).
4 CD Box Set $95 [Just a few left]
JOHN ZORN // SECRET CHIEFS 3 / GNOSTIC TRIO / CLERIC / SPIKE ORCHESTRA / KLEZMERSON / BANQUET OF THE SPIRITS / JULIAN LAGE-GYAN RILEY / SHANIR BUMENKRANZâ€™S ABRAXAS / SOFIA REI / ZION 80 / CRAIG TABORN & VADIM NESELOVSKYI - Masada Book 3: The Book Ber'iah (Tzadik 5100; USA; USA) The Book Beriah Box Set is the final 92 compositions that complete the 25-year Masada legacy in a beautiful limited edition box set of 11 CDs! This much anticipated Masada box set is finally available.
11 CD Deluxe Box Set $250 [Very last copy! Not to be repressed as far as we know; CDâ€™s are available individually at $16 each]
MERLE TRAVIS - The Singles Collection 1946-56 (Acrobat 9096) "Merle Travis was a significant personality and influential country music stylist as a singer, songwriter, and notably as a guitarist, to the extent that he had an instrumental technique named after him, called "Travis picking", which many musicians who came after him sought to emulate, not least among them Chet Atkins. His music was rooted in his home state of Kentucky, with the lives of its inhabitants, most notably the mining community, providing him with a rich source of material for his songs - hits like "Sixteen Tons" and "Dark As The Dungeon" reflected those origins, providing hits for other artists as well as himself. He recorded a few sessions for different labels before he began recording for Capitol in 1946, and was with the company until the end of the 1960s. This excellent-value 84-track 3-CD set comprises a significant proportion of his A and B sides for Capitol during the initial decade or so of his time with the label, which represents the core of his career as a chart artist, during which time he had all but one of his country chart entries, and all of his Top 20 hits. The recordings cover the gamut of country styles, showcasing his talents as singer, writer and guitarist, and the set naturally includes his No. 1s "Divorce Me C.O.D." and "So Round, So Firm, So Fully-Packed" , plus his other Top 5 hits "Cincinnati Lou", "No Vacancy", "Fat Gal", "Missouri", "Steel Guitar Rag", "Three Times Seven" and "Merle's Boogie Woogie". It's a substantial showcase for one of modern country music's true pioneers."
3 CD Set $20
SUN RA with JOHN GILMORE / MARSHALL ALLEN / DANNY DAVIS / PAT PATRICK / DANNY THOMPSON / ELOE OMOE / LARRY NORTHINGTON / CLIFFORD JARVIS / LEX HUMPHIES / JUNE TYSON / KWAME HADI - Egypt 1971 - Heliopolis and Cairo, December 1971 [4 CD Set booklet] (Strut 209 CD) â€œSun 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.â€ - Fred Thomas, AllMusicGuide
4 CD Set $25
WILLIAM PARKER with JASON KAO HWANG / MARA ROSENBLOOM / ERI YAMAMOTO / HAMID DRAKE / COOPER-MOORE / JEMEEL MOONDOC / MATT MORAN / BEN STAPP / et al - The Music of William Parker - Migration of Silence / into and Out of The Tone World [10 CD Set] (Centering Records 1020-1029) This is a most ambitious project that Downtown Composer/Contrabassist/Multi-Instrumentalist/Multi-Bandleader/Poet/Visionary William Parker, has undertaken so far. A massive ten CD set in which each disc has different personnel, concept and sonic flavor. Most of it was recorded over the past 2 years (2018-2020) and all but 1 piece is/are new songs to take in. CD1 is called, â€œBlue Limelightâ€ and it features a fine a nine piece unit with Jason Hwang on violin, Mara Rosenbloom on piano, three more strings, oboe, bass, two drummers and Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez on vocals. â€œCosmic funk will save the worldâ€! she sings I do believe that this is true. Not Burnt Sugar???!?! Nope, WP! This octet plus J Hwang sounds mighty fine! Vocalist Raina is the daughter of Lisa Sokolov, who has worked with William Parker for many years and who Raina sounds like. WP called this piece â€œCosmic Funkâ€, which he says was inspired by the stanky smell on a subway car late one night. But when I hear that term, â€œCosmic Funkâ€, I think of going to see Funkadelic play for 3 plus hours at the Apollo in Harlem in 1979! Anyway. The words here are so sweet, inspiring, positive, real, touching, soulful, jeeeez, so fine..! Laura Nyro, Rickie Lee Jones, Jeanne Lee, hmmmmmâ€¦ now Raina. All amazing singers and somehow connected here. Another standout here is the oboe playing by Jim Ferraiuolo (someone I donâ€™t know yet) who weaves his way around around the voice, adding some classical spice & mystery. The coolest of all is â€œBennieâ€™s Tuneâ€, about a legendary (fictitious?) trumpet player named Bennie Bishop, who â€œabducted by the jazz police andâ€¦, this is all too much! Disc 2 is called, â€˜Child of Soundâ€™ and it features solo piano from Eri Yamamoto, a fine Downtown jazz pianist, whose trio has been playing in the West Village for many years and with whom William Parker has collaborated several times. Mr. Parker composed the 14 songs here, only two of which have been previously recorded. The music is dedicated to the two million Indigenous people who live on reservations in the USA and have been marginalized throughout our history. The playing by Ms. Yamamoto and the music itself is filled with beauty, compassion, pride, passion, communion with Great Spirits, tenderness, strength, resolve and many other useful emotions and feelings. Mr. Parker explains in the liner notes what inspired each piece. Disc 3 is called â€œThe Majesty of Jahâ€ and it features the voice of Ellen Christie (also providing samples) with Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson on trumpet and William Parker on bass, doson ngoni & percussion with the help of Jemeel Moondoc, Kid Jordan & Dave Burrell on one track. I met Ms. Christie in the late seventies when she came to a jam session I had with Tom Bruno & Steve Buchanan. Although she is under-recorded and rarely gets the recognition she well deserves, she has been a longtime favorite singer of mine. William Parker is one of the few bandleaders/composers who has utilized her talents time and again. Ms. Christie is in fine form here, her voice at the center with just superb trumpet, acoustic bass, dosun ngoni (African string instrument) and select vocal samples. Another highlight here is the trumpet playing of Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson, who appeared on an earlier WP 2 CD set called, â€˜Meditation/Resurrectionâ€™. CD 4 is called, â€˜Cheopsâ€™ and features Kyoko Kitamura on voice, Matt Moran on vibes, Ben Stapp on tuba, Kayla Milmine-Abbott on soprano sax, Rachel Housle on drums and WP on bass, duduk & fujara overtone flute. I do recognize the names of Ms. Kitamura, Mr. Moran and Mr. Stapp from a variety of previous discs and in-store performances, while Kayla & Rachel are new names for me. Ms. Kitamura, who works with Anthony Braxton & Ras Moshe, is another old friend and favorite vocalist of mine. Mr. Parker calls Kyoko a one woman choir and I must agree with this. â€œEntire Universeâ€ is an extraordinary piece for cosmic, swirling vocals, vibes, tuba, soprano sax, powerful bowed contrabass and drums. Ms. Kitamura sounds wonderful here stretching out her voice in a variety of ways, with strong spirited vibes, tuba, soprano sax, bass & drums swirling around her. There is a great deal to consider here as we read the lengthy liner notes about each disc, each composition. Iâ€™ve listened to 5 of the 10 discs so far and each one is a masterwork in its own way. Hope to finish listening to the rest of the box this coming weekend. No matter what, this entire 10 CD set will be one of the most talked about, studied and revered boxes of the year. Get yours now and start to dig in. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
10 CD Set $85
BILL MONROE & HIS BLUE GRASS BOYS with LESTER FLATT / EARL SCRUGGS / CHARLIE MONROE / et al - Early Years 1937-1949 [4 CD Set] (JSP Records 7712; UK) â€œBorn in 1911 on a Kentucky farm, Bill Monroe was the youngest of eight. The three youngest brothers formed a trio, Birch on fiddle, Charlie on guitar and Bill on mandolin. Bill made quick progress. He quit school aged 11. By 14 he was a full time heavy wagon driver. And he was getting experience in local dance bands. In 1927, Birch and Charlie left for Detroit to find work. They made extra cash by playing for fellow southerners. In 1929 they got Bill a job with their company. In 1932, the brothers joined the WLS Barn Dance as dancers. They revealed their musical skills and were soon radio regulars. In 1933, Charlie was offered a spot on the Texas Crystals radio show, broadcast from Shenandoah, Iowa. Bill went too. Despite its success, Texas Crystals axed the show in 1936. The Monroes moved to Crazy Crystals. A hectic round of radio and dances ensued. They were signed to Victor's Bluebird label. The ten sides recorded at their first session were probably part of their radio set - nearly all were 'one-take' cuts. Of the ten sides, What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul was a huge hit. Regular recording dates became part of the schedule. Monroe product was released every four weeks. But in 1937 Bill and Charlie, mutually hostile in spite of their success, split. Bill gained a slot on a small radio station in North Carolina. The band he created - the Bluegrass Boys - generated a buzz on radio and at dances. Finally Bluebird signed him. The records he made justified their confidence. The wartime recording ban didn't hinder Bill's fame - he made regular Opry appearances - and in 1945 he was back in the studio. The 1946 and 1947 line-ups, with Flatt & Scruggs in the band, are exceptional. In the 1960s, after a slip in popularity, the folk revival helped him re-establish his leading status. During his life he celebrated 50 years on the Grand Ole Opry, performed at the White House and worked almost to the last. He died in 1996.â€
4 CD Set $30
IST with GRAHAM S FELL / RHODRI DAVIES / MARK WASTELL - A More Attractive Way (Confront Core Series 21; UK) A MORE ATTRACTIVE WAY is a comprehensive study of live performances made by IST between 1996 and 2000. This 5 CD set begins at the very outset of the group's career and features their debut concert at Club Orange in London and charts it's way through further gigs in London, Billericay, Norwich and Cambridge. The 20 page booklet contains written contributions from Mark and Rhodri, Jo Fell, Simon Rose, Nick Smith, John Butcher, Phil Durrant, Graham Halliwell and Chris Goode together with previously unpublished photographs. IST is: Rhodri Davies: harp, preparations Simon H. Fell: double bass, preparations Mark Wastell: violoncello, preparations IST operate at such a pitch of invention they transcend the divide between art and science. Harp, upright bass and cello are played at the horizon of known technique. Simultaneously lush and abrasive, the trio push string sounds into new zones of strange beauty. Barbed bouquets explode before the ear, aural events that leave the imagination ransacked. - HIFI News & Record Review
5 CD Set $45
JULIUS HEMPHILL with ABDUL WADUD / JOHN CARTER / BAIKIDA CARROLL / OLU DARA / MARTY EHRLICH / RAY ANDERSON / NELS CLINE / DAVE HOLLAND / URSULA OPPENS / ALEX CLINE / JACK DeJOHNETTE / MALINKE EELIOTT / K. CURTIS LYLE / ALAN JAFFE / MICHAEL CARVIN / JOHN - The Boye Multi-National Crusade for Harmony - Archival Recordings [1977-2007] (New World Records 80825-2) â€œSomehow I discovered I could write this music and play the saxophone. All that stumbling around and stuff, I ended up finally being able to play it a little bit. I ainâ€™t the greatest by any means, not even closeâ€”but I think Iâ€™ve got depth, a broadness of my musical sensibility, that a lot of soloists donâ€™t have, because they focus on that one thing, soloing. I want to develop the whole backdrop, the scenery. Once I found out that was possible, that I could collaborate with people, I came alive musically.â€ â€” Julius Hemphill â€œIn response to the arguably self-righteous pronouncements made in the 1990s as to what jazz is and isnâ€™t, Julius Hemphill (1938â€“1995) spoke up as he had done throughout his career. â€œWell, you often hear people nowadays talking about the tradition, tradition, tradition. But they have tunnel vision in this tradition. Because tradition in African-American music is wide as all outdoors.â€ This collection of music, this celebration of artistic collaborations that engaged Julius Hemphill throughout his life, adds much to what we know of his creativity in exploring the implications in that wide space. His work, done in what was not much more than twenty-five years, illuminated so many byways of that protean tradition, created in America against the direst of odds. Equally vital, Julius claimed, with great passion, his space to be expressive. He worked inward as much as he looked outward, in his artistic creativity and cultural engagements. This box set contains musical compositions and performances that have come to light from the Julius Hemphill Archive at the Fales Library of New York University. These performances present thirty-five Hemphill compositions culled from close to 180 audio and visual documents of his work. Twenty-five of these works did not receive a commercial recording in his lifetime. Also represented in this box set are ensemble contexts Julius formed which did not receive substantial, or in some cases, any public documentation. These performances put Juliusâ€™s improvisational work as a saxophonist and flutist to the fore, from solo to quintet contexts. (The one exception being Disc 4, where we hear pieces Julius wrote for others to interpret.) Equally important, these performances deepen our experience of Juliusâ€™s long associations in artistic collaboration.
7 CD Set CD $100
FRED FRITH with LARS HOLLMER / BILL LASWELL / FRED MAHER / ZEENA PARKINS / JEAN DEROME / RENE LUSSIER / CHARLES HAYWARD / et al - Rocking The Boat: Volume 1 - Of The Fred Records Story, 2001-2020 (Rer Megacorp (FSRB1; UK) "First of a three-box collection by one of the most innovative guitarists and composers of his generation, containing 8 ReR CDs, plus a bonus Fred title & a fat historic booklet with artwork, photographs, extensive notes and other comments by Fred, all packed into in a sturdy box -- and at a budget price. Box one contains: The legendary Guitar Solos, Gravity (with Etron Fou Leloublan and Samla Mammas Manna), Cheap at Half the Price, Killing Time (with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher), Impur (for very large ensemble), Middle of the Moment (film score), Keep the Dog (double CD feat: Rene Lussier, Bob Ostertag, Zeena Parkins, Jean Derome & Charles Hayward). Plus, bonus CD Dropera. Biographical: Recipient of Italy's Demetrio Stratos Prize for his life's work in experimental music and Professor Emeritus at the legendary epicenter of American experimental music, Mills College in Oakland, California, Fred still teaches in the improvisation master's program at the Musik Akademie in Basel & as visiting faculty in the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile, where he has been collaborating on the creation of a new School of Music & Sound Art.â€
9 CD Set $72
FRED FRITH with ZEENA PARKINS / TOM CORA / JOHN ZORN / GUIGOU CHENEVIER / BILL LASWELL / FRED MAHER / STEVE BUCHANAN / MARS WILLIAMS / et al - Crossing Borders (Volume 2 Of The Fred Records Story, 2001-2020) (ReR Megacorp FSRB2; UJ) "Second of a three-box collection by one of the most innovative guitarists and composers of his generation, containing 8 ReR CDs, a bonus Fred title and a fat historic booklet with artwork, photographs, extensive notes & other comments by Fred, all packed into in a sturdy box -- and at a budget price. Box 2 contains: Live in Japan, Speechless, Prints, Step Across the Border (film score), Impur 2 (large ensemble), Art of Memory II (with John Zorn), Skeleton Crew (double CD with Zeena Parkins and Tom Cora). Plus, bonus CD Helter Skelter (remastered). Cover photo: Heike Liss Biographical: Recipient of Italy's Demetrio Stratos Prize for his life's work in experimental music & Professor Emeritus at the legendary epicenter of American experimental music, Mills College in Oakland, California, Fred still teaches in the improvisation master's program at the Musik Akademie in Basel and as visiting faculty in the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile, where he has been collaborating on the creation of a new School of Music and Sound Art."
9 CD Set $72
FRED FRITH with CHRISTIAN MARCLAY / JIM STALEY / GEORGE CARTWRIGHT / GAOL BRAND / CARLA KIHLSTEDT / TENKO / JOEY BARON / et al - Stepping Out (Volume 3 Of The Fred Records Story, 2001-2020)(ReR Megacorp FSRB3; UK) "Third of a three box collection by one of the most innovative guitarists and composers of his generation, containing eight ReR CDs, a bonus Fred title and a fat historic booklet with artwork, photographs, extensive notes and other comments by Fred, all packed into in a sturdy box -- and at a budget price. Box three contains: Technology of Tears, Propaganda, Allies, Accidental, The Previous Evening, Happy End Problem, Nowhere, Sideshow, Field Days. Plus, bonus CD Inimitable (previously unreleased). Biographical: Recipient of Italy's Demetrio Stratos Prize for his life's work in experimental music and Professor Emeritus at the legendary epicenter of American experimental music, Mills College in Oakland, California, Fred still teaches in the improvisation master's program at the Musik Akademie in Basel and as visiting faculty in the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile, where he has been collaborating on the creation of a new School of Music and Sound Art. Also appearing: Tenko, John Zorn, Christian Marclay, Jim Staley, Joey Baron, George Cartwright, Tom Cora, Christian Kaya, Claudio Puntin, Heike Liss, Bernd Settelmeyer, Bernd Weber, Kikutsubo Day, Carla Kihlstedt, Theresa Wong, William Winant, Patrice Scanlon, Gail Brand, Fred Giuliani & Hande Erdem Cover photo: Heike Liss. 'Fred Frith makes music that incorporates transformative, disruptive, revolutionary wisdom while constantly expanding his range of sonic subversion' - lsole che Parlono.
9 CD Set $72
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS & THE SEATTLE SYMPHONY - The Become Trilogy (Cantaloupe 21161) 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. Adamsâ€™ large catalogue and a current favorite here at DMG. The trilogy consists of three related works: â€œBecome Riverâ€, â€œBecome Oceanâ€ and â€œBecome Desertâ€. Mr. Adams tells us in the liner notes that the music is not about becoming but about losing ourselves inside of the music. â€œBecome Riverâ€ 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. â€œBecome Riverâ€ 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 Natureâ€™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 â€œBecome Oceanâ€: "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 â€œBecome Desertâ€ 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: â€œLuzâ€ (Spanish for â€œlightâ€). 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 â€œBecome Riverâ€ the flow is slowed down a bit while some added layers flowing in several streams. At times I am reminded of â€œTubular Bellsâ€, 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 Godâ€™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
BARNEY WILEN - Moshi (Souffle Continu Records 015; France) â€œDeluxe remastered reissue of Barney Wilen's 1972 album Moshi, featuring additional artwork and a 20-page booklet of rare pictures, sheet music, and the original liner notes. Includes a bonus DVD (packaged with exclusive artwork) of Caroline de Bendern's 1971 film Ã l'intention de Mlle Issoufou Ã Bilma, documenting this amazing African journey. "In 1970 Barney Wilen assembled a team of filmmakers, technicians, and musicians to travel to Africa for the purpose of recording the music of the native pygmy tribes. Upon returning to Paris two years later, he created Moshi, a dark, eccentric effort fusing avant jazz sensibilities with African rhythms, ambient sound effects, and melodies rooted in American blues traditions. Cut with French and African players including guitarist Pierre Chaze, pianist Michel Graillier, and percussionist Didier Leon, this is music with few precedents or followers, spanning from extraterrestrial dissonance to earthbound, street-legal funk. Wilen pays little heed to conventional structure, assembling tracks like 'Afrika Freak Out' and 'Zombizar' from spare parts of indeterminate origins." - Jason Ankeny, AllMusic
2 LP DVD Set $40
SAHIB SHIHAB GILSON UNIT - La Marche Dans Le Desert (Souffle Continu Records 065LP; France) â€œSouffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Sahib Shihab Jef Gilson Unit's La Marche Dans Le DÃ©sert, originally released in 1972. A few months after having released Le Massacre Du Printemps (FFL 064LP), Jef Gilson was back behind his keyboards heading up his Unit. This time he was joined by Sahib Shihab. The caravan passes by, evoking, one after the other, Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, Pierre Henry and Karlheinz Stockhausen... Oh yes, Shihab's saxophone is... amplified. La Marche Dans Le DÃ©sert (The Walk in the Desert) is first and foremost the meeting of two iconoclastic musicians: Jef Gilson, pianist who tried his hand in all forms of jazz collaborating with emblematic American musicians (Walter Davis Jr., Woody Shaw, Nathan Davis...) or French musicians who were on their way to becoming so (Jean-Luc Ponty, Bernard Lubat, Michel Portal, Henri Texier...) Shihab is one of the many black American jazzmen who found refuge in Europe. After having played in the bands of Fletcher Henderson and Roy Eldridge, the saxophonist worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Art Blakey and Tadd Dameron. He came to the old continent with the Quincy Jones orchestra, spent a few years in Copenhagen, returned to Los Angeles, then came back to Europe. When he met Jef Gilson, in February 1972, the saxophonist was happily touring with the Clarke-Boland Big Band. La Marche Dans Le DÃ©sert was an opportunity for this supporting player to show what he was capable of. And it was some opportunity: with Gilson and his Unit (Pierre Moret on keyboards and Jean-Claude Pourtier on drums, Jef Catoire on double bass, and Bruno Di Gioia and Maurice Bouhana on flute and percussion respectively), Shihab got maximum exposure. To mark the occasion, he put aside his baritone saxophone to play a soprano... varitone. The amplified instrument, while losing nothing of its natural sound, was capable of generating the same presence as Gilson's electronic keyboards. And it would change the face of modal jazz: in a forest of percussion, Shihab and Gilson go on a sensual walkabout that will remain with listeners for long after. Between the two takes of "Mirage", Shihab, this time on baritone again, takes up the mantle once more of a style of jazz he was unable to strictly define. Licensed from Futura/Marge. Remastered from the master tapes; Restored artwork and obi strip.â€:
LUC ESTANG & PIERRE HENRY - Saint-Exupery (Fantome Phonographique 1020; Italy) Reduced price, last copies. â€œFantÃ´me Phonographique present a reissue of Luc Estang and Pierre Henry's Saint-ExupÃ©ry, originally released as a 10" in 1959. During his long and illustrious career, the French composer and musique concrÃ¨te pioneer Pierre Henry created a large amount of incidental music to accompany literary texts, both on record and for the stage, from Jules Verne to Victor Hugo, from LautrÃ©amont to Antonin Artaud. This incredibly rare LP from 1959 is a radio play about the life of French pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-ExupÃ©ry, based on the 1956 book by Luc Estang on the subject. The interpreters are a small theater troupe including French actor Paul Meurisse (1912-1979), famous for popular films and as a member of national theater company, La ComÃ©die FranÃ§aise. Underlying key scenes, Pierre Henry's contribution to the play consists of electronic and musique concrÃ¨te sounds, adding a contemporary dimension to the text. A beautiful piece from one of the mid-20th century's truly brilliant sonic explorers.â€
LUCIANO BERIO / PIERRE BOULEZ / OLIVIER MESSIAEN / KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN -Serenata I/Sonatine/Canteyodjaya/Zeitmasze (FANTOME PHONOGRAPHIQUE 1024; ITALY) FantÃ´me Phonographique present a reissue of Serenata I/Sonatine/Canteyodjaya/Zeitmasze, originally released in 1958. The avant-garde composer and conductor Pierre Boulez was a titan of post-war experimental classical music. Born in the small cheesemaking town of Montrbrison in central France in 1925, Boulez studied at the Paris Conservatoire with the composer and organist Charles Messiaen and received private tuition from pianist AndrÃ©e Vaurabourg; after moving to the Marais district in 1945, he briefly studied with Schoenberg disciple, RenÃ© Leibowitz, and further influence came from immersion in Balinese gamelan, Japanese classical music, and African drumming, among other sources. Earning money by playing an early electronic keyboard called the Ondes Martenot on theater productions, Boulez soon became music director of the Renaud-Barrault Theatre Company, leading to tours of Belgium, Switzerland, Britain, and both North and South America. American composer John Cage became an ally, though they subsequently clashed over Cage's commitment to the role of chance in his compositions, paving the way for an intense and lasting friendship with the German composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, who arrived in Paris in 1952 to study with Olivier Messiaen. In July of that year, the pair attended the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, leading to contact with Italian composer Luciano Berio and other noteworthy figures. Then, in 1954, with backing from Barrault and Renaud, Boulez began staging a series of concerts of experimental music at the Petit Marigny Theatre, titled Le Domaine musical. The pieces collected on this album are all taken from performances staged for the 1957 Domaine musical season, beginning with Berio's "Serenata I", conducted by Boulez, which debuted in Paris in March of that year; arranged for flute and fourteen instruments, Berio said that the idea behind the piece was for the solo flute to be confronted by continuously interchanging elements, rather than mere accompaniments or oppositions. Boulez's own "Sonatine", composed in 1946 for flute and piano, is a 12-tone piece that evidences Messiaen's influence, with shades of Asian classical music in places; then, Stockhausen's monumental "Zeitmasze" (or "Time Measures") a serial composition for five woodwinds, played in different combinations of tempos and speed, was partly inspired by Webern's principles of homogenous and harmonic textures. Finally, Messiaen's 1949 work "CantÃ©yodjayÃ¢", delivered by pianist Yvonne Loriod, takes it shape from the classical Hindu rhythms of ancient India, as with much of the composer's oeuvre. 180 gram vinyl.
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.
This is from AL MARGOLIS, Founder of POGUS Productions & a/k/a If,Bwana
Elka Bong (Al Margolis and Walter Wright) are excited and delighted toÂ
participate in this yearâ€™s Newburgh Open Studios at Chapman SteamerÂ
Arts on Saturday and Sunday September 25 & 26
There will be paintings by Al Margolis and video installation byÂ
Walter Wright. Plus performances by Elka Bong both days - where weÂ
will be joined by Ophra Wolf providing movement/dance
The gallery will be open from 12-6 PM both days and performances willÂ
take place at 3pm and 7:30pm on Saturday 9/25 and Sunday 2/26
RSVP is required and there is limited capacity for each performance.Â
Please go to the link below to find out more and RSVP
ELKA BONG is Al Margolis (violin, clarinet, objects, contact mics) andÂ
Walter Wright (electronics, video), explorers of unusual, oftenÂ
non-musical sounds, and, whenever possible, include dance and video inÂ
their performances. For Newburgh Open Studios, they will be sharingÂ
paintings, video, and interdisciplinary performance in collaborationÂ
with Ophra Wolf.
Chapman Steamer Arts
179 Dubois St 2nd floor
Beyond Flute solo - CHERYL PYLE
This Sunday, September 26th at 4:00 pm
At 6BC Botanical Garden
624 east 6th Street (btw Ave B and C )
part of the East Village Garden Festivals L.U.N.G.S. festival 2021
ESP-Diskâ€™ Solo Piano Extravaganza
Saturday October 2nd
at Michiko Studios
149 West 46th Street, New York, NY
6pm - Rose Tang
7pm - Gabriel Zucker
8pm - Eunhye Jeong
9pm - John Blum
Admission fee: $15
This concert will serve as a release party for Eunhye Jeongâ€™s remarkable new solo piano album NOLDA, coming out this Friday, September 24 from ESP-Diskâ€™. It also serves to announce to the world that ESP has plans to put out a solo piano album by the amazing John Blum. The always stimulating Gabriel Zucker also has an ESP album coming out on September 24; thatâ€™s a full band album, and the official release concert is 10/5 at Roulette. Furthermore, the multi-talented Rose Tangâ€™s band ATTITUDE! has an ESP debut album due out in November.Â
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 Chrisâ€™ wonderful podcast and I urge you all to give it a listenâ€¦ https://rwm.macba.cat/en/research/probes-30
There is going to a KEITH TIPPETT MEMORIAL CELEBRATION in Bristol, UK on October 1st & 2nd. DMG writer Darren Bergstein and myself will be attending and boy, are we looking forward to it.
Here is a notice from Janinka Diverio, who is working with Keith Tippettâ€™s family:
â€œHello from England
We hope you are well. We are writing regarding our friend Keith Tippett who sadly passed away last year. We are holding a celebration weekend of his music in his hometown with 10 concerts and 38 musicians from his life performing tributes and his music!!
Included in our line up are Matthew Bourne, David Le Page and Philip Sheppard from the Linuckea recording, Theo May, Julie Tippetts and Maggie Nichols plus a premiere of the very first ever Double Dreamtime and a Big Band playing Keithâ€™s music and arrangements.
We are hoping to livestream the Saturday event direct from Bristol all around the world on the 2nd October but we need help raising the final few hundred dollars needed to make this viable. Therefore can we appeal to you to spread the word to your networks, twitter and social channels and forward this email to journalists? We would appreciate it so much.
The venues and organizers are all doing this for free as are most musicians with the exception of a handful of expenses so please join us in this celebration of one of the pioneers of British jazz and ALL monies raised will be gifted to the Tippett family.
Thank you for letting me intrude and we sincerely hope you will join us in this celebration to our musical friend and genius.
Janinka Diverio / www.keithtippet.co.uk
Guitarist and DMG-pal HENRY KAISER has a monthly Video Solo Series on Cuneiformâ€™s Youtube page:
BOB DOWNES is a Legendary British flutist & multi-reeds wizard with a long history of Creative Music making. He currently lives in the Black Forest in Germany and sends us his occasional solo flute vids. Here is his most recent one: