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DMG Newsletter for November 5th, 2021

"Everybody Needs Somebody To Love"
Written & sing by Solomon Burke, covered by the Rolling Stones

I'm so happy to be here tonight
So glad to be here in your wonderful city
I have a little message for you
And I want to tell every woman and every man tonight
That's ever needed someone to love
That's ever had somebody to love them
That ever had somebody's understanding
That's ever had someone to need your love all the time
Someone that's with them when they're up
Somebody that's with them when they're down
If you had yourself somebody like this you better hold onto them
Let me tell you something
Sometimes you get what you want
And you lose what you have
There's a song I sing
And I believe that everybody should sing this song
you can save the whole world
Listen to me

Everybody needs somebody
Everybody needs somebody
Everybody wants somebody to love
Honey to hug
Sugar to kiss
Baby to miss now
Baby to tease
Sometimes to please yeah
And I need you you you
And I need you you you
In the morning baby you you you
When the sun goes down you you you
Ain't no nobody around you you you

Whoa Sometimes I feel like
I feel a little sad inside
When my baby mistreats me
And I can't get a little little mad
But I need you you you
Just to see me through
Somebody to hold my hand
When I feel a little lonely
Oh baby say yeah

I say yeah yeah Yeah
I just want my woman to stand up and say I love you
I want someone to be a witness
I just want to say I love you
I just want somebody to say yeah

This is the song that opens the third American album called ‘The Rolling Stones, Now’ which came out in 1965. It is a sort of party song which always makes me feel better and want to dance around and celebrate. The song was written and previously done by Solomon Burke, someone I didn’t find out about until later. I completely agree with the sentiments here that we all need someone to Love. One of the main things about being a living being is the need to share what you find special with someone else. If you’ve been in love with someone else, you know what I mean. If you’ve never been in love, you probably still desire to hold someone else close because nothing else feels quite like it.

I am doing my best to make myself feel better since I have the blues this week pretty bad. Business at the store recently has been very slow, my two ex-ladyfriends want nothing to do with me and the folks who bought the building where I live want to raise my rent by $600 which I can’t really afford. And moving is a complete drag! Plus I got my Covid booster shot yesterday (which is a good thing) although my arm is very sore and I feel very spaced out. Still, I have much to be happy about: I love working at the store, seeing new & old customers and working with two truly nice guys: Frank & John, both of whom share my passion for listening to and promoting Creative Music. I am going to visit my Mom in Florida for Thanksgiving so that is something that I am most looking forward to. She will be 93 in a few weeks and still talks to me every few days to make sure that I am taking care of myself. If you want to feel better, then cue up this song, give it a listen and try and find someone to love! - MC BruceLee at DMG



Saturday, November 6th - DMG In-Store:
6:30: ELI ASHER - trumpet
NOAH KAPLAN - tenor sax
GIACOMO MEREGA - bass guitar

Tuesday, November 9th:

Saturday November 13th, 2021:
6:30pm CD Release Performance for "Pandemic Duets, “VIJAY ANDERSON / STEPHEN GAUCI”
Vijay Anderson - drums
Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Sandy Ewen - guitar
Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone

Tuesday, November 16th:
6:30: ZOH AMBA - Tenor Sax & Flute / DAVID MIRARCHI - Alto Sax



FRED FRITH TRIO with LOTTE ANKER / SUSAN SANTOS SILVA - Road (Intakt 372; Switzerland) Featuring Fred Frith on guitar & voice, Lotte Anker on saxes, Susan Santos Silva on trumpet, Jason Hoopes on electric & acoustic bass and Jordan Glenn on drums & percussion. Fred Frith is a multi-instrumentalist and a shrewd outsider who walks the line between rock and jazz, improvisation and composition, and hereby presents a breathtaking live double CD with his long-time Bay Area trio. CD1 documents an inspiring trio concert by these extraordinarily creative musicians at Stadthalle Köln as part of Week-End Fest 2019.
CD2 features the trio with guests Lotte Anker and Susana Santos Silva. Both musicians have a long history with the trio – Lotte Anker has played with the trio in San Francisco and New York, and Susana Santos Silva joined them for performances in Brazil in 2018, while both have joined the trio to tour the U.S. East Coast and Europe in 2019. Lotte Anker and Susana Santos Silva fire up the trio. And in turn the trio's inspiration has an effect on Lotte and Susana which feeds back into the group. This creates a unique collective sound that delivers an infectious live energy.”
I haven’t heard this 2 disc set yet since the copies just arrived at the store yesterday. I am a longtime Fred Frith fan-addict plus we are old friends. Everything I’ve heard from Fred (live and on disc) is worth checking out if you dig Creative Music, especially his unique, experimental guitar-playing and composing. John Mori and myself listened to The Stone Duo (Frith & Chris Cutler) benefit CD during one our listening sessions last week. It completely blew our minds! Considering that I produced & recorded that set at The Stone in December of 2006, I still can’t figure out all of the strange sounds that the duo played that night. This is the mystery of Cosmic Music and Fred Frith is still tapped into the Source! - BLG at DMG
2 CD Set $30

JAMES BRANDON LEWIS QUARTET with ARUAN ORTIZ / BRAD JONES / CHAD TAYLOR - Code of Being (Intakt 371; Switzerland) Featuring James Brandon Lewis on tenor sax & compositions, Aruan Ortiz on piano, Brad Jones on acoustic bass and Chad Taylor on drums. Ever since moving nearly a decade ago, young tenor sax master, James Brandon Lewis, has been on mission to deliver a variety of inspired and often intense music through different bands of his own as well as collaborating with some heavies like William Parker, Heroes Are Gang Leaders and Alan Braufman. Mr. Brandon Lewis now has some eight releases under his belt, each with different personnel, different sound. This is Lewis’ second disc with the same quartet. All three members of the quartet are busy, active composers & collaborators on their own. Check out any of Cuban pianist, Aruán Ortiz’s many discs as a leader and you will hear one of the finest pianist currently living in Brooklyn. You all should know bassist Brad Jones from his many past bands: Jazz Passengers, Muhal Richard Abrams and Dave Douglas, to name but a few. The ever-impressive and in-demand drummer, Chad Taylor, has been popping up all over, playing drums as well as thumb piano with a number of strong bands: Chicago Underground, Marc Ribot and Jaimie Branch. A recent duo CD with Rosa Barba is a current favorite hear at DMG.
It sounds to me like Mr. Brandon Lewis spends quite a bit of time composing new and challenging music for each of his bands. The opening song is called, “Resonance” which seems appropriate since the haunting melody does sound most resonant: Trane-like, spiritual jazz with a dark, stirring melody. Mr. Ortiz plays the first of several superb piano solos here, taking off right from the high point that Lewis’ solo left us at. “Archimedean” has a more laid-back, relaxed vibe with a strong, restless, powerful undercurrent. Chad Taylor’s drums and JB Lewis’ tenor are well-matched as they soar together with some quietly thunderous piano swirling potently throughout. Things quiet down a bit for “Every Atom Glows”, which starts with some stark solo tenor sax, soon joined by the drums, with the other members of the quartet joining as the energy rises higher. The title song, “Code of Being”, has a dark, intense Trane Quartet-like sound, Spiritual Jazz at its best! The longest and most intoxicating track is called “Where is Hella”, the tone & playing of Mr. Lewis’ tenor is just extraordinary! The melody that emerges midway reminds me of an ancient Jewish prayer and really touched me deeply. I’ve heard that the previous album by the James Brandon Quartet is up for a Grammy which I think is a great thing and well-deserved. I would say that this album is equally as impressive, if not even better! It is certainly the best Spirit Jazz record of the month. This makes me very proud, since I’ve supported and believed in James Brandon Lewis’ playing every since he moved here. Yet another grand treasure from JBL! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $18


EVAN PARKER / JOHN EDWARDS / TONY MARSH - Medway Blues (FMR 623; UK) Featuring Featuring Evan Parker on tenor & soprano saxes, John Edwards on contrabass and Tony Marsh on drums. This disc was recorded live at the Command House in Chatham, UK in October of 2009. British sax master, Evan Parker, has played with bassist John Edwards on dozens of sessions, live and in the studio. Mr. Parker & Mr. Edwards did have a working trio with drummer Tony Marsh, who often played at the Vortex in London, as well as doing some touring together. Although this trio did many gigs together, this is their only recording. Tony Marsh died of cancer in April of 2012, just three years after this set was recorded. After hearing Mr. Marsh also play with Paul Dunmall (on a dozen discs), Harry Beckett and George Haslam, I can hear why he was a great choice to work with.
The sound of this trio is most organic and superbly balanced. It is a three-way conversation in which there is an inner flow going on, not unlike riding down the rapids in a canoe at an exhilarating pace. The trio has a group sound with no particular leader, three strong spirits combining forces. Occasionally you might hear a glass being tossed or someone letting out a scream of encouragement, this is all part of the cosmic flow. John Edwards remains one of the best of all British contrabassists and takes a couple of extraordinary solos/duos midway through this set/disc. Tony Marsh also takes a great solo, animated, sparkling and quietly intense. The trio calms down for more restrained section midway, slowly building, the inner flame simmering nicely, ascending to another crescendo of free spirits. When one hears free/jazz at its best, we know that something special, something magical is going on. This is what I hear throughout this entire disc. The ebb and flow of life itself is what I hear within these sounds so go with the flow… - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

PAUL DUNMALL / PHILIP GIBBS / SIMON THOUMIRE / JOHN EDWARDS - Brothers in Music (FMR 615; UK) Featuring Paul Dunmall on tenor & soprano saxes & bagpipes, Simon Thoumire on concertina & bagpipes, John Edwards on double bass and Philip Gibbs on guitars. As our favorite British reeds hero closes in on his 40th release for his own great self-produced limited edition label, he introduces us to a new player - Simon Thoumire, the latest addition to Dunmall's ever-growing circle of inspired improvisers, known and little known. Contrabassist John Edwards has worked with Dunmall on occasion as well as with Evan Parker, while Philip Gibbs can be heard on a dozen or so previous Duns releases on both acoustic and electric guitars. Mr. Gibbs continues to amaze me with his brilliant flashes of tapping on his acoustic guitar, as the tenor sax, concertina (small accordion) and contrabass also swirl in intricate, interconnected patterns on the opening, title piece. Dunmall consistently selects bassists who rank amongst the best England has to offer and Edwards sound fabulous through as he bows intensely and gets a lot of strange sounds from his acoustic bass. As always, Jonathan Scott's recording, mixing and mastering are astounding, a perfect balance of all four players. It sounds as if we are sitting front row at The Stone and being surrounded by adventurous improv at its best. Consistently astonishing! - Bruce Lee Gallanter
CD $14

PAUL DUNMALL / JONATHAN IMPETT / PHILIP GIBBS / ANDREW BALL / PAUL ROGERS - undistracted (FMR 614; UK) Recorded at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol October 24th 2004. Featuring Paul Dunmall on tenor & soprano sax, Philip Gibbs on guitar, Andrew Ball on piano, Jonathan Impett on trumpet and Paul Rogers on 7 string A.L.L. contrabass. In less than a decade, Mujician (Keith Tippett collective quartet) sax great, Paul Dunmall, has released 40 CDs on his own Duns run label. That's besides the other 20 discs on Cuneiform, Emanem, Slam & FMR. For us Dunmall fan-addicts, each one has been like manna from heaven. This new quintet endeavor is another fine gem of improvised wonder. Most of you know of Dunmall's most constant companion and contrabass god Paul Rogers, as well as the fine guitarist Philip Gibbs, who has appeared on some 25 Dunmall discs so far. Pianist Andrew Ball is a name I am less familiar with and this is the debut for trumpeter Jonathan Impett, who Dunmall recently raved to me about. As with most (all?) Duns CDs, this was recorded at the Victoria Rooms by Jonathan Scott and has perfect, well-balanced sound. Philip Gibbs remains one of the best, under-recognized acoustic guitar improvisers and here taps on his guitar, as well as picking flashes of notes with immense speed and craft. Both Gibbs and Rogers are remarkable, tossing ideas back and forth in frenetic, yet focused abandon while Dunmall chatters on tenor, Ball plays often dreamy minimal excursions both inside the piano and on the keyboard. Dunmall is certainly right about new trumpet wiz Impett, who takes his time but plays marvelously, somewhere in between Euro improv quirkiness and modern classical colors and control. On 'Mind Listen to Me', they begin with extreme restraint and build beautifully in waves working their around one another, levitating the spirits as they rise upwards. On 'The Final Hour', both Dunmall's tenor and Andrew Ball's piano play with immense warmth and elegance, soon complemented by Gibbs' delicate guitar, Roger's supple bowed bass and Impett's playful (Herb Robertson-like) trumpet. Again slowly building to another cosmic conclusion, the spirits rising to the heavens. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

S.R.L. with UDO SCHINDLER / ETIENNE ROLIN / LUC LAINE - In Search of Surprise (FMR 617; UK) Featuring Udo Schindler on cornet, soprano & baritone saxes, Etienne Rolin on basset horn (similar to alto clarinet) & glissotar (similar to a taragato) and Luc Laine on vibes. Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen/heard more than a fifty discs from German reeds player Udo Schindler! From solo to duos (w/ Jaap Blonk & Frank Paul Schubert) to trios. The majority of these have appeared on the FMR label. For this disc Mr. Schindler has a trio with Etienne Rolin (French/American based in the USA) and Luc Laine (French). I can’t ell you very much about Mr. Rolin or Mr. Laine, although Mr. Rolin can be found on an Emanem disc led by Kent Carter. This disc was recorded live in February of 2021 in Munich, Germany). Considering how much I like the vibes as an instrument, I was glad to hear another new (to me at least) vibes player in Luc Laine. Eerie vibes are the first sound we hear when this disc begins along with hushed cornet and careful basset horn. A most dreamlike sound. Mr. Laine does a great job of using the pedal on his vibes to create resonant notes which float in the air. Mr. Schindler plays long toned drone on his bari sax for “very muted bari”. While listening to this disc, I thought that this trio has a more chamber-like sound, unlike any other trio that I’ve heard. The interplay between both reeds & the cornet is consistently inventive, like a heated discussion between 2 or 3 people, each with deep knowledge and spirit to discuss something serious with a some slight detours for humor & surprising twists. A great disc all around! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

MIRROR UNIT with TIM O’DWYER / GEORG WISSEL - Sonic Rivers (FMR 0721; UK) Mirror Unit is Tim O’Dwyer and Georg Wissel both on alto saxes & preparations. Sometime around the turn of the millenium, we received four discs from an Australian free jazz/punk/metal band known as Bucketrider. I remember enjoying all four records by them, thinking that they were the best progressive band out of Australia during their reign (1998 - 2005). The personnel changes from record to record and the band included Tim O’Dwyer and Adam Simmons on saxes. I am still friendly with Adam Simmons who comes to toen from time to time and leaves us with his different discs. I had forgotten about saxist Tim O’Dwyer who it turns out has two discs out as a leader from 2015 & 2016, one of which is on Leo. I don’t recognize the name of the other saxist here, Georg Wissel, but it turns out that he is based in Cologne, Germany and has some six discs out some relatively obscure labels like Nur/Nicht/Nur and Acheulian Handaxe (which is run by my pal Hans Tammen). It turns out that this is the second disc from this duo and it was recorded live at a cultural center in Koln in July of 2019.
The duo start out with some extended sounds, rubbing their saxes and getting all sorts of breathy and percussive sounds, carefully manipulating each sound. The duo slowly flesh out their sounds with a variety of odd sounds, bent notes and tapping on the pads, at times stretching out notes into drone-like tones. Things eventually pick up both saxes start to exchange tight gnarly lines together. Both of these saxist work well together as they exchange ideas and sounds, interweaving different layers or lines of notes or sounds. The pace eventually picks up the exchange gets more heated and intense as it goes. I like that this is often on the more restrained side without any screaming or intense blasts. Good medicine for a cold day at home. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

BORAH BERGMAN / PERRY ROBINSON / STEVE SWELL / RAY SAGE - QuartetsTriosDuos (Mahakala 006; USA) Featuring Borah Bergman on piano, Perry Robinson on clarinet, Steve Swell on trombone and Ray Sage on drums. This was recorded at Yoshiaki Masuo Studio in August of 2007. The late Manhattan-based pianist, Borah Bergman, was in a class of his own, one of the greatest of all free/jazz pianists, his sound/approach was completely unique. His passing in October of 2012 was a great loss to the Downtown Scene. Another iconoclastic musician was clarinetist Perry Robinson, whose long career & life (9/17/38 - 12/2/2018), embraced a wide variety of music pursuits or genres: folk music, free jazz, dixieland & klezmer, free/funk and too many other tributaries to mention here. Master improviser & multi-bandleader, trombonist Steve Swell is also a restless player who works with just about everyone: William Parker, Ken Vandermark, Peter Brotzmann and Mars Williams. Ace drummer Ray Sage (a/k/a Race Age) used to play for the Downtown Underground sensation W.O.O., as well as working with Burton Greene, Brian Groder and Confusion Bleue (a band).
This studio date was recorded in August of 2007 but released until earlier this year. Borah Bergman was well-known for the way he could play separate streams with each hand, independent of the usual two hand jazz chordal tradition. You must listen closely to hear what he is doing here, juggling different lines with each hand. Each member of the quartets & trios pieces, performs several functions, lines or ideas. Often we hear Mr. Swell’s trombone and Mr. Perry’s clarinet interacting, spinning layers of lines around one another while the piano and drums also spin another interconnected web underneath. There are 5 trio pieces here and each one reveals some extraordinary interaction. On track 2, the interplay between the clarinet, piano & drums is something else… a kind of relaxed frenzy is taking place with Perry squeaking quickly higher up while several layers of piano lines provide a crazed yet solid cushion underneath. Trombone madman, Steve Swell, often like to go for the gusto, hence he erupts on track 3, the piano & drums also spinning furiously below and finally sailing down for a somber conclusion. I like when thing mellow down to a more playful level like they do on tracks 4 thru 6. The quieter pieces force us to slow down and listen closely since things evolve on a more subtle, reflective level. On the second quartet piece (track 8), I can hear several things going on simultaneously, like Mr. Swell starting one line on trombone which is continued by Robinson’s clarinet while the piano & drums speed up, slow down and interweave several other lines around one another. Rather like a musical roller coaster ride which is exhilarating at times and then calms down here and there. In the liner by Steve Swell, he mentions that one of his collaborators passes away, we think more about their contribution to certain sessions. Another pint he makes is that our (or his) memory of certain sessions is often much different than we end up listening to them many years later. I am also glad to have gotten to know and hear Borah Bergman and Perry Robinson on numerous live dates and glad to finally hear this wonderful lost lost disc. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14


STEVE SWELL / PERRY ROBINSON - Invisible Cities (Drimala DR 03-347-04; USA) Invisible Cities brings two generations of improvisers together in their first duo recording...a tour de force of improvisational intimacy. The recording features Perry Robinson, who almost single handedly kept the jazz clarinet tradition throughout the 1960s-80s, and Steve Swell, New York City's young keeper of the jazz trombone flame. On Invisible Cities Swell and Perry speak a language that those outside their realm of understanding and knowing rarely experience...a language that expands the Art of the Duet. The title is an homage to Italo Calvino's great 20th century novel, Le Cite Invisibili, in which the Kublai Khan realizes that the many tales Marco Polo has spun about many wondrous cities are, in fact, all about the same city. Calvino wrote about a world where fantasy, reality, and philosophy became intermingled and inseparable with no past and no future. On Invisible Cities, Swell and Robinson, like Calvino, create a musical world where influence, genre, style, and tradition meld in the creation of a new musical reality with no past and no future.”
CD $15 [long out of print, label defunkt]

MICHAEL FOSTER / STEVE SWELL / BRANDON LOPEZ / WEASEL WALTER - Throes are the Only Trouble (Self-produced; no number; USA) Featuring Michael Foster on tenor & soprano saxes, Steve Swell on trombone, Brandon Lopez on bass and Weasel Walter on drums. There seems to be an endless number of combinations of Downtown and visiting musicians both playing gigs (at The Stone, DMG, I-Beam & Bushwick Improv Series), as well as recording whenever the opportunity arrives. Many of us who live in the NYC area, take this for granted but I remain enthused and inspired by the number of diverse gigs and recordings that land in my hands or ears. This quartet date was recorded in a studio a little over a year ago (6/18/17) and features a fine unit of creative spirits from varied backgrounds. No Doubt you should recognize all of the names from a variety of sessions that have taken place throughout our current history. Just last night (7/10/18) I caught an excellent trombone trio at the Zurcher Gallery: Dick Griffin, Joe McPhee & Steve Swell! Earlier in the day, I was playing a recent duo CD with Peter Evans & Weasel Walter, a particular favorite of mine & other folks at DMG. The first thing I noticed about this disc is the sound/production: It was recorded by (drummer) Andrew Barker and mixed by Weasel Walter. Mr. Walter is a master of sonic seasoning in the studio so the sound here is extraordinary. The sound is robust, powerful, focused and intense. Mr. Walter’s drumming often pushes his colleagues into an explosive roller coaster ride. The longest piece, “With the Tonsure of Yr Hole”, brings things down to a low simmer with more restrained, minimal free improv. The secret weapon here is saxist Michael Foster, one of those Downtowners who rarely gets the recognition he deserves but is respected by those in the know. Mr. Foster is always pushing himself beyond the usual barriers that most jazz sax players adhere to. He often comes up with a number of twisted sounds, making it difficult to tell what sax or perhaps what instrument he is actually playing. There is a section of the long piece where both Foster (on tenor) and Swell (on trombone), play these sputtering, split notes, while the rhythm team moves organically (increasing & decreasing the tempo) underneath them. I like when the quartet strip things down to a more skeletal section, carefully combining their talents into a more subtle, spacious flow. What makes this disc special is the way this quartet combines their talents, moving together as one flow of activity, several steams combined as one. Superb! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15


JAMES MOORE & ELLIOT SIMPSON // LARRY POLANSKY / TEODORA STEPANCIC - guitars, streets, resonances (Infrequent Seams 25; USA) Featuring James Moore and Elliot Simpsom on electric and acoustic guitars. James Moore is a member of Dither (electric guitar quartet), as well as Forever House & Hands Free. Mr. Moore also a DVD performing John Zorn’s ‘Book of Heads’. I don’t know much about guitarist Elliot Simpson (based in Spain) although he can be found in an ensemble playing the music of Michael Winter for New World Records (from 2018). I do know of composer Larry Polansky from his dozen discs on the Artifact, Cold blue and New World Records labels. I also know very little about composer Teodora Stepancic, although she or he is a member of Ensemble Modelo62 and has a disc out on the obscure Dumpf label.
Larry Polansky’s “8 fermentations (on a sketch by Charles Dodge)” is up first. Polansky’s piece is based on a sketch written by Charles Dodge, who by this point in his life had given up composing and become a winemaker. The piece is difficult to perform and based on separate tunings which change independently throughout the piece. The original “Sketch” is played at the beginning and at the end of the piece with 8 variations in between. The music is stark and the notes float carefully in space. Each variation expands on the theme as the two guitars seem to move into different tunings, sounding at time out of tune or in between regular tunings. Some of the variations are quite intense and noisy, rather like a Glenn Branca Guitar Orchestra onslaught. I found these pieces rather disorienting yet ever-engaging as we get used to the odd bent notes. I sounds as if the different tuning evoke different feeling or ideas. From light and airy to deep, dark and pungent & noise-like. Each note sounds well-placed no matter how light or dark/twisted they go. There are a couple of variations towards the end of the piece which sound like Nick Didkovsky’s two guitar Chord project, most unsettling. The final “Sketch” is again stark, hushed and feels like a good way to bring this piece to a nice close. The piece by Teodora Stepancic also the title piece, “guitars, streets, resonance” and Stepancic also adds some electronics to the two guitars, one electric and the other classical/acoustic. The guitars play a quiet melody together at the beginning, one keeps repeating it, the other slowly drifting away. The melody itself is soft, stark and floats softly in the air. It takes a while for the melodies to drift apart, hence certain notes flutter or resonate while the others drift off into space. We do forget about the original melody which seems to occur less over time. The ultra-careful way that certain notes float in or out of the bed of silence seems to stretch time and patience out. The music is filled with suspense as things are stretched out beyond expectation. If you appreciate New Music for electric & acoustic guitars, than you should treasure this disc. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

TY CITERMAN / JUDITH BERKSON / SARA SERPA - Bob Kabbalah Voices - When You Speak of Times to Come (Infrequent Seams 27; USA) Featuring Ty Citerman on guitars, voice, cracklebox & compositions, Judith Berkson on voice & piano and Sara Serpa on voice. I’m always intrigued to see the Hebrew language and Hebrew text on any music release that comes my way to review or just listen to. And this is what we find here. I know of guitarist/composer Ti Citerman from his work with Gutbucket, one of the better Downtown/progressive bands with a half dozen great discs on labels like: Knitworks, Cuneiform & Enja. Gutbucket are also affiliated with the Bang on a Can Allstars & have a disc out on Cantaloupe. Mr. Citerman also has a disc out on Tzadik from 2015 which is titled ‘Bop Kabbalah’. The Kabbalah is “the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible, first transmitted orally and using esoteric methods (including ciphers).” - wiki.
The two vocals here are Judith Berkson, who has a lovely disc out on ECM from 2010 and Sara Serpa, a fine jazz vocalist who has three discs out with piano legend Ran Blake plus Ms. Serpa is a member of the acapella quartet Mycale, who also have 2 discs on Tzadik covering the music of John Zorn.
The lyrics through this disc are taken from Yiddish poems, folks songs and songs of resistance. The songs are sung in both English and Hebrew or Yiddish, and printed in the enclosed liner notes. As someone who loves Klezmer music and old Yiddish songs, I was surprised that the music here is nothing like what I might’ve imagined. What Mr. Citerman does so well is layering the three vocalists (the two women & himself) so the there are several rich harmonies explored in different combinations of the vocalists. Mostly it is the two women singers, both of whom have rich, deep voices singing together and apart. Citerman uses his guitar sparingly (calm, haunting & often quaint) to add nuance or punctuation to the ongoing vocal pieces. At times the guitar will accompany one of the voices tightly while the other voice creates odd harmonies to the duo. Although both women vocalists have lovely, warm voices, they are well used with no syrup or sweetening found on many pop records. On “Geyt Brider, Geyt!”, Mr. Citerman’s guitar sounds darker and embraces bits of noise, this is also well-handled. The vocals are bathed in reverb and/or electronics at times, adding some depth to lighter side of some of this material. All of the music here is suite-like, flowing from piece to another with the guitar as the interlude instrument at times. When to women sing/speak the Yiddish (blend of Hebrew & German) passages here, there seems to a darker vibe buried in there. The songs which feature Hebrew lyrics have a prayer-like feeling with some austere, ritualistic harmonies explored. The sentiment of older socialist/resistance songs is something which bring the past together with the present, as workers around the world are still exploited and held back from fair treatment. The universal feeling of ongoing injustices to the many regular folks worldwide is what I find at the center of these songs, both musically and lyrically. If I hadn’t spent some time listening to this disc on several occasions, its rich, enchanting charms would’ve escaped my notice. There are a number of buried treasures in the Infrequent Seams catalogue and this is one of them. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

MYRA MELFORD / ZEENA PARKINS / MIYA MASAOKA - MZM (Infrequent Seams 1015; USA) Featuring Myra Melford on acoustic & prepared piano, Zeena Parkins on electric harp & electronics and Miya Masaoka on 21-string koto. Last week (August 1st-6th, 2017), harpist and composer Zeena Parkins was in residency at The Stone. She utilized different personnel and concepts on each set, keeping things challenging/unpredictable for the listener with every set. I caught several sets and was knocked out by each one. The first night of her residency, the great trio called MZM played and were something else. This disc was recorded live at Hertz Hall at the University of California in Berkeley. All three women have a relationship with the Bay Area, Ms. Melford teaches at Mills College, where Ms. Parkins once had a residency and where Ms. Masaoka used to live before moving to New York from San Diego. All three women are longtime improvisers with numerous bands or projects under their belts as well as being gifted composers. Ms. Parkins has a custom hand-made electric harp which she has been playing for more than thirty years and it gives her a distinctive sound. Since Ms. Masaoka plays her koto in un-traditional ways and Ms. Melford plays inside the piano, many of the sounds are unconventional, often blurring the lines between who is doing which sound and in varied situations. The muted strings inside the piano and the bent notes from Ms. Parkins electric harp and Ms. Masaoka’s large koto blend successfully into an ever-changing, organic creature. Much of this music is spare or spacious with a good deal of attention to detail or nuance. I found that the closer I listened and the more patient I remained, the more I heard several layers of interaction going on. Most impressive if you take the time to let it flow. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

STEVE BUSCEMI & ELLIOTT SHARP - Rub Out the Word / William Burroughs Cut-Outs (Infrequent Seams 9; USA) “You don't have to follow Beat literature to have some familiarity with writer William S. Burroughs, especially in his spoken word role. Performance artist Laurie Anderson collaborated with him several times, notably on You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With (Giorno Poetry Systems, 1981) and Mister Heartbreak (Warner Bros., 1984). Bill Laswell's Material featured Burroughs reciting passages from his book The Western Lands to musical accompaniment on the album Seven Souls (Virgin Records, 1989). Actor Steve Buscemi (who has a long history in experimental theater, along with his more high profile roles in television series like Boardwalk Empire and films like Fargo and Reservoir Dogs) and experimental guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp teamed up for the live performance documented here in 2014 as part of WSB100, New York's month-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of Burrough's birth. Buscemi's narration of assorted Burroughs texts is the main focus, and his evocation of Burroughs' distinctive gravelly delivery is remarkable. As Buscemi recites texts about writing, the cut-up technique, language as a virus, and the advantages and disadvantages of various recreational drugs—to cite a few topics—Sharp's guitar and electronics create an evocative background. Supportive and atmospheric, skittering and whirring by turns, it is music to set up the narration, never fighting with it for the audience's attention. Burroughs' words retain their hypnotic, hallucinatory power—a power only enhanced by the backing music.” - Mark Sullivan, AllAboutJazz
CD $13


VITALIC - Dissidaence (Episode 1)(Clivage Music 004CD; France) “Vitalic returns with a fifth album, which will be released in two volumes. Dissidænce, the title of which is a whole story in itself, is an album that the producer describes as a return to the roots of his sonic identity, a kind of reinterpretation of the rock energy of his early albums. The first volume of Dissidænce is a sort of concentrated resume of his strengths from the past twenty years, whether it's filthy, head-spinning tornado tracks or synth-laden love songs for a summer's day. With Dissidænce (Episode 1), whose powerful beats and galloping sequencers translate the social and political anger of the global pandemic, Vitalic looks into his past and channels his love for off-kilter synth sounds, skew-whiff pads, heady refrains, distorted vocals and heavy beats dripping with sex and sweat, but above all his obsessional passion for dance music. Dissidænce should be taken as a celebration of celebration, time-travel to an era that may not exist right now, but which will -- and this album is the dazzling proof -- be reborn from its ashes to burn bright once more, in all its raging glory. "Rave Against the System" features Kiddy Smile.”
CD $17

KUUNATIC - Gate of Kluna (Glitterbeat 117; Germany) “Kuunatic is a thrilling Tokyo based tribal-psych trio bolstered by diverse global sonics and powerful female vocals. Drawing on the members' different musical and cultural perspectives, their music explores ritual drumming, pulsing bass lines, atmospheric keyboard sounds and Japanese traditional instruments. Gate of Klüna is Kuunatic's much awaited debut album. Produced by Tim DeWit (Gang Gang Dance) the record reveals a mesmerizing soundworld that transcends genres and hemispheres and succeeds in being both boldly experimental and wildly catchy. Kuunatic are: Fumie Kikuchi on keys and vocals, Yuko Araki on drums and vocals, and Shoko Yoshida on bass and vocals.
Although formed in Tokyo in 2016, a city that is very much on this planet, Kuunatic first looked to another heavenly body to shape their project. In interviews the band have cited that their name is drawn from kuu, the Finnish word for the moon; inspired in part by original Finnish guitarist, Sanni. The listener is advised not to cast their net too narrowly, as Kuunatic's music seems to invoke many responses around the world. You might hear echoes of weird off-kilter hybrids and psyched-out chamber music from the likes of Os Mutantes, Basil Kirchin, The Raincoats or Manfred Hübler. But musical interpretations will inevitably circle around their home base on their "other" planet, Japan. Japanese audiences sometimes consider Kuunatic as "amplified" Shinto shrine maidens (miko). Fumie chips in. "Our sound consists of many different kinds of music, but certain unique Japanese instruments and their sounds give a special atmosphere to Kuunatic's world. Japanese traditional music exists in very close proximity to us even if we don't go to see Gagaku (Japanese shrine music) or Kabuki (Japanese traditional theatrical performance). Fumie has been playing the Kagura flute (Japanese shrine music flute) since childhood, Shoko's name includes the Japanese character 笙 which means a Japanese traditional instrument, and Yuko sometimes visits a Homa burning at a temple and listens to their powerful chanting rhythm..." The possibilities to project onto Kuunatic's music are endless. This is because the band has created that rare thing, catchy music that is impossible to pigeonhole. The track "Lava Naksh" is a form of renaissance dance; a pavane, maybe, albeit with Kraftwerk's early organ sound. "Full Moon Spree" could be a ritual version of The Fall's "What You Need". "Raven's War" is a dry-as-dust progressive soundtrack, it could be a lost cut from the Valley of the Dolls record. The transportive elements in all are key: certain beats and near-melismatic melody lines hark back to archaic processional and ritual music.”
CD $17



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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 has a monthly Video Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page:

Here’s HENRY KAISER’s Halloween show:

A Halloween EXTRAVAGANZA with a cavalcade of luminary guests: Buckethead, Jim Clark, Scott Colby, Sandy Ewen, Ed DeGenaro, Danielle DeGruttola, Brandy Gale, Vanessa Gould, Marco Minnemann, ChrIs Muir, Wayne Peet, Prairie PrInce, Jill Sobule, The Big Kitty, Trip Wamsley, and Vince Welnick


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: