“Along Comes Mary”
Written by Tandyn Almer / Recorded by The Association (1966)
Every time I think that I'm the only one who's lonely
Someone calls on me And every now and then I spend my time at rhyme and verse
And curse those faults in me
And then along comes Mary
And does she want to give me kicks, and be my steady chick And give me pick of memories
Or maybe rather gather tales from all the fails and tribulations
No one ever sees
When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now, my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch
When vague desire is the fire in the eyes of chicks
Whose sickness is the games they play
And when the masquerade is played the neighbor folks make jokes
At who is most to blame today
And then along comes Mary
And does she want to set them free, and let them see reality
From where she got her name
And will they struggle much when told that such a tender touch of hers
Will make them not the same
When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now, my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch
And when the morning of the warning's passed,
The gassed and flaccid kids are flung across the stars
The psychodramas and the traumas gone
The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars
And then along comes Mary
And does she want to see the stains,
The dead remains of all the pains she left the night before
Or will their waking eyes reflect the lies,
And make them realize their urgent cry for sight no more
When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now, my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch
Sweet as the punch
Sweet as the punch
Sweet as the punch
Sweet as the punch
Starting sometime in early 1966, I bought my first 7” singles (1 song per side, 45 rpm) after hearing all of the hits on AM radio. I was fascinated by Top 40 radio since so many of the hits were so compelling, capturing a certain fleeting feeling in (usually) less than 3 minutes. There were a number of factors involved here: the hook (vocal or instrumental or both), ringing guitars, vocal harmonies, production and lyrics (serious or silly) were all part of the magic. What I loved the most was when a pop song would take you out of your ordinary day or life and drop you in another place which felt better than were you just were. I bought the above single by the Association when it was released in the summer of 1966. It was mostly the hook or line “Along Comes Mary” that really drew me/us in. I never really considered the rest of the words until I started to buy Hit Parade magazine starting in 1966, mostly to read through the printed lyrics and consider their true meaning. I recall finally reading the lyrics perhaps a year or so later and thinking how odd the words were. Reading them now, more than a half century later, they are still fascinating. It seems that the author (Tandyn Almer) sees through shallow relationships, that there is more going on in relationships below the surface. Rumor has it that the “Mary” in the chorus refers to Mary Jane, a slang term for marijuana at that time. Is it this herb that supposed to set us free? If you do some research about the young man who wrote this song, you’ll find that he was an interesting character: a jazz pianist in Chicago before moving to L.A., a close friend of Brian Wilson & Curt Boettcher (both influential songwriters & producers) and an inventor of a water pipe called the Slave Master!?! The Sundazed label actually released a solo album by Mr. Almer in 2013 (the year he passed away), of his demos recorded in the mid-sixties. I haven’t heard it but I am intrigued enough to search it out. You can check the song on any of those rip-off streaming sites but it is the words that are really worth considering so many years later. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE DMG 30th ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE SERIES Continues with:
Tuesday, December 7th:
6:30: JOSH SINTON - Solo Baritone Sax - CD Release Set
7:30: SEAN ALI / JONAH ROSENBERG - Contrabass / Synthesizer
Sat. December 11th:
GAUCI-MUSIC Presents: CD Release Performance for "Pandemic Duets:
6:30: KEN FILIANO/STEPHEN GAUCI
Ken Filiano - bass / Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
7:15pm COLIN HINTON / STEPHEN GAUCI Duet
Colin Hinton - drums / Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
8pm STEPHEN GAUCI / KEN FILIANO / COLIN HINTON Trio
Tuesday, December 14th:
6:30 - THOMAS HEBERER / CHARLOTTE GREVE - Trumpet & Alto Sax
7:30 - JAMES ILGENFRITZ & TRIO CAVEAT: JONATHAN MORITZ / CHRIS WELCOME - Bass / Sax / Guitar!
Tuesday, December 21st:
6:30 - DISSIPATED FACE 2021 - STEVE POPKIN / KURT RALSKE / DANIEL CARTER & Special Guests!
7:30 - SUBURBAN BOHEMIA - Special Apocalyptic Version w/ ELLIOTT SHARP / STEVE SWELL / MICHAEL VATCHER!
Tuesday, December 28th:
6:30: CHERYL PYLE & BEYOND FLUTES GROUP Featuring: Cheryl Pyle - c & alto flutes / Haruna Fukazawa - c flute / Gene Coleman - bass flute /piccolo / Claire de Brunner - bassoon / Yuko Togami - drums/percussion
7:30: LAURA SCHULER / TAL YAHALOM - Violin / Guitar!
THIS WEEK’S SOULFUL SONIC DELIGHTS BEGIN with TWO SOLO GEMS from CorbettVSDempsey:
JOE McPHEE - Route 84 Quarantine Blues (CvsD 081; USA) “Joe McPhee's response to the challenge of making a new CD of solo music during COVID was to go at it head on, to address the present in its starkest aspects, to reach for comfort in the music of great composers, and to speak directly to the virus in no uncertain terms. The result is unlike any other of McPhee's many records, a variety show of improvisations, favorite compositions, field recording, multi-tracking, incantation and recitation. After searching for the right studio-like setting with an ideal sound, but hampered by the restrictions of quarantine, he abandoned such hope and dug out a clothes closet in his Poughkeepsie house, where he could approach the task with an unconventional intimacy. In the dead of night, McPhee played luscious versions of compositions by Carla Bley and Charles Mingus, extrapolating on their melodies, even singing a Joni Mitchell lyric to Mingus's "Goodbye Porkpie Hat". Elsewhere he plays harrowing tenor saxophone improvisations, a plaintive tone entering his melancholic melodic sensibility. On the title track, McPhee layers a dozen aching blues lines atop a field recording of the namesake highway, and in another piece he discovers an entire drum choir in the noise of dripping water on a tin plate in his sink, something he dedicates to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose death was announced moments before he noticed the environmental sound. On one of several very short, intense tracks, McPhee literally attempts to reverse the virus by intoning a spell-like chant: "Out, damned bug/Out, damned bug!" The package includes extensive track-by-track liner notes and a poem by McPhee, with artwork and design by Christopher Wool.” - CvsD
KEN VANDERMARK - Black Cross Solo Sessions (CvsD 080; USA) “With his riveting performance in the inaugural Sequesterfest online festival in April 2020, Ken Vandermark inspired the Black Cross Solo Sessions. Already in the early days of lockdown, making good on the promise -- or threat -- of protracted off-road time, Vandermark had dedicated himself to the creation of a new book of works for solo reed instruments, which he debuted that day. The result of this watershed moment for the Chicago-based improvisor and composer was a body of works that reassert his seriousness and test his ability to reflect and reevaluate. The compositions, which are platforms for invention, are dealt with in relatively economical, almost stripped-down fashion, ringing with a kind of bell-like clarity and focus. Most tracks are on the shorter side, straight to the point, featuring the rippling intensity that is a Vandermark hallmark, but with an altogether reborn sense of purpose. Pieces are dedicated to filmmakers, photographers, and painters, musicians, choreographers, and writers, pointing outward from the hermetic situation of the pandemic to a network of creative icons. Recorded at home in the detailed chamber sonics of his living room, they offer a bulwark against adversity -- the triumph of an endlessly questing mind over the terror of enforced stasis. Liner notes by Vandermark, cover art and design by Christopher Wool.”
THIS IS IT! with NATSUKI TAMURA / SATOKO FUJII / TAKASHI ITANI - Mosaic (Libra 203-068; Japan) Featuring Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, Satoko Fujii on piano & compositions and Takashi Itani on percussion & drums. The year-plus long pandemic forced most of us to stay inside our homes and deal with our lives within a very limited space. Many of us are social beings who enjoy interacting with our fellow beings so staying inside forces us to think about ourselves and the way we deal with the outside world. For musicians, who often collaborate with other musicians, this long period provided a challenge to compose and create within limited space. The ever-ambitious and well-recorded pianist, Satoko Fujii, made a handful of solo, duos (with her partner Natsuki Tamura) and now a trio with her ongoing drummer, Takashi Itani. This is the 6th disc that Ms. Fuji & Mr. Itani have recorded together and this is the second for her trio called This Is It!, whose first disc was released in 2018. Considering that this disc was recorded in two different apartments, the sound is still superb! “Habana’s Dream” opens and has a sort-of Latin/jazz like theme with Itani switching between congas, hand percussion and drums. In between the tightly played theme, the trio erupts through dense and stark passages with an exquisite, quiet hand percussion solo and an exciting trumpet solo in following sections. “Dieser Zug” starts off with a somber solo marimba intro, then some lush, stark piano, with some warm, floating trumpet on top. Although this piece is nearly 15 minutes long and has long stretches of solo, duo & trios sections, the restrained, haunting energy flows organically throughout. On “Kumazemi”, Ms. Fujii has written some tight, quick, challenging lines for the trio to play before things break into a more spacious, freer section. Ms. Fujii pulls off an astonishing, dynamic piano solo midway which is amongst this disc's several highlights. “Sleepless Nights” has a mid-section where the throbbing piano riff, intense suffocating trumpet and skeletal percussion do recall the feeling of sleeplessness that I’ve had since turning sixty, some seven years ago. “76 RH” shifts between some challenging written sections and other slower, more thoughtful passages. This entire disc seems to flow naturally throughout like a well-written suite. Yet another treasure from Satoko Fujii and her trusty collaborators. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FUTARI with TAIKO SAITO / SATOKO FUJII - Underground (Libra 202-069; Japan) Futari features Taiko Saito on marimba, vibes & liner notes and Satoko Fujii on piano & voice. I’ve heard that there is a tradition (group?) of Japanese women who specialize in the playing of the vibes & marimba. I’ve been checking out Sae Hashimoto (marimba virtuoso) over the last few years since she has worked several times with John Zorn, Ikue Mori & Brian Marsella. Ms. Taiko Saito first turned up in a great trio named Kokotob, who has a disc on Clean Feed from 2017. Ms. Saito also recorded her first duo effort with Ms. Fujii nearly a year ago in January of 2021. Ms. Saito lives in Germany while Ms. Fujii is based in Kobe, Japan. Since the pandemic forced everyone inside and forbidden to travel for most of 2020 & 2021, the music was recorded separately with Fujii sending her piano parts to Saito who then added her parts with Ms. Fujii also adding bits and then manipulating the sound in the final process. The finished disc is even better than one might imagine. The title track is first and sounds more like eerie electronics than any acoustic. Is this bowed marimba perhaps and some tapping of the strings inside the piano? Completely mesmerizing and rather dreamlike. The sound production here is extraordinary, something that Satoko Fujii and her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura have been working on during the pandemic, their production/recording getting better & better. What I find most interesting is this: these pieces do not sound improvised at all, every sound fits with a logical or focused frame. On “Meeresspiegel”, the sounds are dense and spooky at times, the resonating notes (whether marimba or piano or both) add a hypnotic undertow that is difficult to escape, like slowly being pulled down into quicksand. Both the piano and the marimba or vibes have similar tonal & timbral qualities, hence it is difficult to tell them apart at times. Also the resonating sound of the vibes and the (pedal-down) resonating) strings of the piano also have similar qualities. It sounds like there is one large instrument being played at times rather than two. “Finite or Infinite” has a rather Satie-like sound: quaint, sly, subtle sense of humor in the quirky melody. There is one repeated plucked note here that sounds more like an electric bass on a Young Marble Giants record. It almost sounds like a toy box speeding up to the slightly intoxicating tempo. “Street Ramp” is a bit darker and suspense-filled, reminding me of Hugh Hopper’s somewhat harrowing piece “1984” from Soft Machine ’Six’. The final piece, oddly titled, “One Note Techno Punks”, features Ms. Fujii on bizarre vocals with appropriate percussion flourishes added just right. This is about as close to ‘Couple in Spirit’ (by Keith & Julie Tippetts, a favorite of MannyLunch & myself) that I’ve heard from anyone else! Although the first half of this disc is great, the duo really hits their stride in the second half: extraordinary on several levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOSH SINTON - b. (FIP Recordings FPCD02; USA) Featuring Josh Sinton on solo baritone sax. Baritone saxist & bass clarinetist, Josh Sinton, never ceases to amaze me. Over the past decade, Mr. Sinton, can be found on nearly 2 dozen discs in a wide variety of settings or projects. Sinton has collaborated with Nate Wooley, Harris Eisenstadt, Adam Hopkins & Tony Falco. Even more eclectic is his half dozen solo or leader projects: Ideal Bread (tribute to Steve Lacy), Musicianer, Predicate Trio & more. This is Mr. Sinton’s second solo reeds offering, his first was for solo bass clarinet which was released in 2017. Playing solo baritone sax is no easy feat to pull off, hence there are so few recordings of unique, challenging endeavors: John Surman and Hamiet Bluiett are the two I can think of offhand. Although each of the nine pieces are basically titled: “b.1.i”, “b.1.ii”, etc., on each one Sinton takes a line or phrase and then plays notes which lead up to or away from the original line. At times, Sinton will stretch a note or several notes out, bending certain notes into all sorts of odd shapes, sometimes vocalizing through his sax adding a unique blend to his sound. On the fourth track, it sounds like Sinton is playing a ballad, calm and somewhat haunting. On track 5, Josh concentrates on hushed, breath-like sounds which actually works as a thoughtful dialogue. At first, I wasn’t sure how much music-making was going on here but the more I listen, the more I hear other things going on that often go unnoticed like the subtle silence and soft textures that force us to listen more closely and the hidden melody with certain bent notes or sounds once we go beyond what think is actual music or just expressive sounds. I look forward to actually witnessing Mr. Sinton playing here at DMG on December 7th of 2021. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13 [Josh Sinton will be playing a solo baritone sax set here at DMG on December 7th at 6:30]
AVA MENDOZA - “New Spells” (Relative Pitch 1125) Across wide ranging work with her own groups (who delivered a near unanimous highlight of this year’s Vision Fest), and with luminaries like William Parker (this year’s Mayan Space Station is a clear 2021 favorite of mine), Ava Mendoza consistently displays a compelling force of character. Her unique sound is powerful but never overbearing, dextrous but never elusive, and achieves that rare space within improvised/creative music that is earnestly grounded in but not constrained by a reverence for the rock tradition. To customers needing the reduction of an elevator pitch, I have been known to describe her sound as “Derek Bailey meets Jimi Hendrix”, which feels accurate on several levels on her latest solo CD for Relative Pitch. The press description begins “Ava Mendoza plays these songs. She makes them sing.”, making it clear that no matter how present the spontaneity, these are fixed (premeditated) compositions; two penned by Mendoza, and three by collaborators. Mendoza’s pieces dive straight into a clear display of her total control of the electric guitar and its effects. Tightly punctuated stabs of crisply lyrical lines caterwaul into, and engage in shadowy counterpoint against, lush blossoming bursts of distortion and feedback. The shifts in rhythmic character emerge at a measured pace, and melodies develop and repeat methodically with clear-eyed diversions and subversions. “New Ghosts” is a highlight of the disc for me, a haunting melodic landscape insistently spiraling upwards in a structure that earns its calculated climax of full bodied suspensions, before descending into a measured and anxious non-resolution. The works by Trevor Dunn, Devin Hoff, and John Dikeman were well selected, and Ava tackles the role of adaptor/performer with a degree of ownership that holds no doubts about the symbiotic vision she has with her fellow composers. There is a consistent proclivity throughout for restless melody, driving rhythm, bold delivery and thickness of sound, that makes this one of the most engaging solo releases I have heard in some time. - Frank Meadows for DMG
URI CAINE with DON BYRON / RALPH PETERSON / ARDITTI STRING QUARTET / RALPH ALESSI / BOB STEWART / JOSH ROSEMAN / TIM LEFEBVRE / ZACH DANZINGER / DREW GRESS / BEN PEROWSKY / NGUYEN LE / BUNNY SIGLER / et al - my choice (Winter & Winter 910 276-2; Germany) Master pianist Uri Caine recorded a two dozen plus discs for the JMT & Winter & Winter labels between 1993 and 2014 (also an LP only release from 2020). Mr. Caine did solo efforts, trios and assorted projects which were tributes to classical composers like: Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Wagner and Gershwin. From what I’ve heard, those classical tributes were the most successful and sold in large quantities for the prestigious Winter & Winter label. During his later days with W&W and afterwards, Mr. Caine has collaborated with Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Han Bennink, John Hollenbeck and many others. When first approached to put this collection together by Stefan Winter, Mr. Caine was apprehensive and didn’t want to look back at his past catalogue. Over the past few years a handful of Mr. Caine’s trusty collaborators have passed away: Ralph Peterson, Bunny Sigler and Mark Ledford. This loss inspired Mr. Caine to listen to his entire vast back catalogue and finally choose some highlights for this disc. I listened to this entire 76 minute collection last night (12/1/21) and I must admit that I was blown away by the diversity, creativity and unique challenge of each piece. Not only is Uri Caine a master-pianist, he is also an extraordinary arranger and ever-evolving bandleader with numerous spirited ensembles. The last time I heard Uri Caine play live was several years back playing solo piano at The Stone, performing John Zorn’s Masada Book of Angels songs. I was again blown away at his incredible playing. If you already own (m)any of Mr. Caine’s discs from the Winter & Winter label, this is a perfect place to start. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GULFH OF BERLIN with GEBHARD ULLMANN / GERHARD GSCHLOSSL / JOHANNES FINK / JAN LEIPNITZ / MICHAEL HAVES - GULFH of Berlin (ESP-DISK 5054; USA) Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann - tenor sax & bass clarinet; Gerhard Gschlössl - trombone & sousaphone; Johannes Fink - double bass & cello; Jan Leipnitz - drums & objects plus Michael Haves - live sound processing. Gebhard Ullmann has long been one of my favorite European reed players, as a musician, composer and multi-bandleader. Every few years he sends me a handful of his discs, each one with different personnel and concepts. As far as I can tell, Ullmann has nearly 100 records and has had several working bands: Conference Call, Basement Research, Clarinet Trio plus work with Scott Dubois, Satoko Fujii and Joe Fonda. I am also fond of trombonist Gerhard Schlossl who can be found on several discs from JazzWerkStatt. Bassist/cellist Johannes Fink I know of from his work with Aki Takase, Rolf Kuhn and Gunter Adler.
This is the second disc from Gulfh of Berlin that I know about, the first was released in 2014. Aside from the regular quartet of reeds, brass, bass or cello & percussion, Michael Haves does live sound processing, which means that he takes certain sounds and manipulates them with electronic processing. On the opener, “Nether”, the sax is bathed in reverb, turning it into an ghost-like figure, the other instruments also slightly modified adding an eerie quality. The drummer also plays assorted objects like what sounds like a typewriter or other odd percussive sounds. It sounds at times like there are two forces at play, an acoustic presence and an electronic, balancing between certain extremes. At times we have to stretch our ears a bit to see or hear how certain sounds fit since there are several lines all swirling together at the same time. On the very last piece, “Jeton”, things slow down for a a more careful spacious conclusion. The acoustic cello pluckings speed up while the hazy trombone slows down and floats into space. There is quite alot going on here but it will take some time to fully absorb and get used to the somewhat alien detours that occur when we least expect them. Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* LUCIE VITKOVA / JAMES ILGENFRITZ - Aging (Infrequent Seams IS-1029; USA) With its origins going as far back as 2009, recorded last year and mastered by Elliott Sharp, this masterful, morphing work for ’solo’ contrabass and electronics, though split into seven separate movements, mirrors its title’s meanings with expert synchronicity. Vitkova, a Czech performer and composer who studied at Janacek’s Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, was instructed to write pieces for solo instruments and chose the contrabass as the main foil for her cycle. In 2016, fellow contrabass player Ilgenfritz asked Vitkova to write something for him, so she naturally gravitated towards her earlier, university-commissioned work. The combination yields some pretty startling results that border on the enigmatic and bisect the supernatural. The contrabass itself casts its bewitching spell over an endlessly shifting variety of moods, its warm, earthy textures further transmogrified by Vitkova’s fluid electronic processing that reaps a whirlwind of sublime depth and eerie melancholy from the instrument. Movement III’s near twelve minutes finds the duo time-stretching a minimal seam of notes into infinity, tearing at the very heart of the contrabass until the strings themselves cry out in ecstatic agony. What arises is a Venn diagram of drones that overlap thematically until their centers disintegrate as they decay, the ectoplasmic tendrils of which spiral off into the inky blackness like dying polar aurorae. The following movement further magnifies the earlier darker tones, striated lines of suffocating ephemera that situates the listener on a precipice of abject terror; it's clear that Vitkova and Ilgenfritz are keen on not letting their audiospace get too comfy. Such unsettling countermeasures keep us on our toes and undergird the entirety of this mesmerizing work, a post-modern take on electroacoustic classicism that is a small triumph for the respective artists and the increasingly necessary Infrequent Seams label. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
CD $13 / * Lucie Vitkova will be playing here at DMG in a trio with Jessica Ackerley & Joanna Mattrey on January 11th at 7:30]
ORFEO 5 - The Long View (Discus 115CD; UK) Not interstellar space—more like inter-psychic space. Orfeo 5 are that rare breed: they can easily entertain twin states of mind simultaneously, daring you to inhabit their non-hermetic multiple dimensions in one fell swoop. Surely not ‘jazz’ or ‘electronica’ in the purist sense, experimental in nature but with a devastatingly personal touch, the players are essentially a duo of Keith Jafrate (wordsmith, saxophonist, vocalist, and electronicist) and Shaun Blezard (chief electronics manipulator), their presence on Martin Archer’s uncategorizable Discus Music only serving to highlight the label’s able-bodied identity and singular vitality. What makes this, the group’s second outing, more poignant are the vocalizings/spoken word cadences of the late Ali Rigg, who passed away during the interim of her original 2007-08 contributions and this recording’s 2021 birth. Rigg’s impassioned articulations of Jafrate’s stream of consciousness poems are as eruptive within the music’s very sinew as are his sleek, irising saxophone lines, which can scream in ecclesiastic penance ala Shepp or Coltrane, or smooth the brow like the polished silken strides of a Michael Brecker. For his part, Blezard provides the proverbial icing on the cake, his contributions alternating between being openly demonstrative and subtly nourishing. On the tour de force that is “Countless Pedestrian Agonies”, Blezard’s electronic gales and splattered software detritus pitch Rigg’s singsong spoken verbiage into strange abyssal voids, emotionally rescued by Jafrate’s own immolating particulates and baleful sax lines that flow like cooling mercury, coating Rigg’s words in protective, velvety silver. The ethereal quality throughout this recording, bathed in reflective pools of expansive echo, suggests hauntological dioramas erected within their own respective ghost boxes, but just when things become too ‘ambient’, the Lewis Carroll phantasia-derived “The Frog Who Fell in the Waterbutt”, with its rubbery IDMatic chug and sparkly-speckled synthetic interludes, upsets the apple cart thanks to the oddball swim of its own uncharacteristic, topographic tale. Equal parts gleeful whimsy and variegated myth, this disc’s discrete imagistic charms alter your expectations like an aural bath in absinthe, comprised of epic soundtracks for the mind that color it as one of the more hallucinatory experiences you’re likely to imbibe this year. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
MESON - The Tao of Cwmdonkin Drive (Discus 123CD; UK) Inspired by the Welsh environs of his late 80s & 90s tenure in the region, Stan Tracey’s quartet, and Dylan Thomas’s thanatopic metaphors, textualist Bo Meson drew Discus proprietor Martin Archer, percussionist Martin Pyne, and composer Andy McAuley into his orbit to create this thirty-seven minute tale of mortal fidelity that effectively drips with the whimper of whipped dogs. Archer forsakes his trusty sax on this outing for organ and ‘filters’, and abets in its overall composition, as does McCauley, who works with various electronic interfaces along with Meson. Pyne’s vibraphone achieves a diaphanous luster throughout “Celebration Decelerated” that allows it to effectively vie with his compatriot’s hushed atmospherics and percolating effects, but it’s Meson’s modulated narration that arrives fully-formed in the mix, front and center, in your face, properly chilled. On the final piece, “The Waves Lament His Death”, Archer’s organ trills come to the fore, patiently simmering in the background with a decidedly sepulchral air, while electronic paradoodles wheeze and burr, and pianos play tones of cemeterial despair. Hardly a walk in the park under a summer sun, but Meson’s whole embrace of Thomas’s immaterial worldview is drawn across big bold lines, stripped bare for the ear to reckon. One might come away from this theatrical recording sensing Meson’s fellow musicians act as ornamentation, mere adornment to his anxious literary allusions; in reality, were it not for Archer, Pyne, and McCauley, whose combined portraiture render a physicality and tonal grit to the proceedings, Meson’s poetic licenses might court expiration dates. Instead, the latent power of this work is all the more effective because of the collective thought processes behind it all. Elusive at points, and perhaps an acquired taste for some, but there’s no denying this music’s extraordinary import. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
TURBULENCE with PEK / BOB MOORES / ERIC DAHLMAN / DUANE REED - Updraft Intensity (Evil Clown 9280; USA) Featuring PEK on clarinets, alto & tenor saxes, flutes, double reeds, theremin, synths & a vast assortment of percussion, Bob Moores on trumpets, flugelhorn, efx, synths & percussion, Eric Dahlman on trumpet, wood flute, chimes Moog & Prophet synths and Duane Reed on bari horn, assorted percussion, etc. Turbulence is one of a half dozen different Leap of faith offshoot projects. Turbulence has a dozen discs so far going back 5 or so years, the personnel has changed over the years with PEK, Bob Moores and Eric Dahlman as the 3 most constant members. Recorded & Livestreamed for YouTube at Evil Clown Headquarters in August of 2021. Commencing with some Tuvan-like overtone chanting and didjeradoo-like drones, soon we enter a techno-like synth groove which sounds a bit like Tangerine Dream or one of those other Krautrock synth greats (Ash Ra Temple?!?). Although all four musicians here do play acoustic instruments, there is quite a bit of electronic/synth stuff in the first long section of this disc. I often find some of the Leap of Faith CD’s to be a bit dark or turbulent at times but not this one. This one is more spacious and ethereal. My only complaint would be is this disc like most of the Evil Clown CD’s is around 70 minutes long. I think that many of the Evil Clown discs could use a bit of editing down to a more (time) manageable length. There are often long segments when not that much goes on so I would snip out these bits. Anyway, I did dig most of the entire long journey. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JEROME KITZKE - The Redness of Blood (New World Records 80834-2; USA) Jerome Kitzke has described himself as being as much a storyteller as a composer and that description makes sense. Throughout his music there is a strong dramatic, narrative, theatrical component. Performers shout, sing, move and dance, often as though possessed by the music. An obvious ancestor here is Harry Partch, and though Kitzke’s music does not use just intonation, it projects that “corporeal“ quality that this predecessor valued as essential.
The pieces on this disc make for intersecting pairings. There are two works for a pianist who vocalizes and produces sound beyond the keyboard (Bringing Roses With Her Words  and There Is a Field ). There are two works that are portraits of individuals. There are two ensemble pieces that are idiosyncratically theatrical (For Pte Tokahewin Ska  and The Redness of Blood [1994–95]). Listening to them in sequence, they begin to feel like a multi-movement work about life that culminates in The Redness of Blood, the longest and most substantial piece of the program.
On a first hearing, for some more accustomed to the complexities of modernist practice, Kitzke’s music may sound somewhat simple. Conversely, those more used to the open spaces of minimalism, or the grand gestures of neo-romanticism, may find the music too mutable as it morphs, quicksilver-like, through an invigorating stream of consciousness. The fact that this music does not fall easily into any “-ism” is a tribute to its individuality, and its strength. Ultimately, the music has the quality of a crazy kaleidoscope, tumbling from one moment to another, the sonic palette constantly refreshed.”
FOREVER FANG - Forever Cascades (Projekt 391-2; EEC) Composer and recording artist Forrest Fang refined his dynamic hybrid style of composition over the past four decades, expanding upon his roots in progressive music, minimalism, textural ambient, and the traditional musics of Asia. Drawing on his deep knowledge of sound creation and manipulation, he uses the studio like a separate instrument to create distinctive, alluring and otherworldly atmospheres. With captivating approaches to sound creation, his latest Projekt album Forever Cascades presents a series of intricately-layered sonic vignettes and impressionistic soundscapes inspired by shoreline walks over the last year.
"Though my walks near the San Francisco Bay were initially a way for me to clear my head," says Fang, "I also found myself drawn to the cycles and cadences of tides and aquatic life that shifted gradually from season to season. I was seeking a similar underlying cadence or pulse in these pieces that would evolve over time." The walk through sound returns to where it began with subtle changes in perceived time and space.
THREE NEW CD’S from SUB ROSA:
MICHEL REDOLFI - Sonic Waters, Underwater Music 1979-1987 (Sub Rosa 493CD; Belgium) “A work that literally immerses the listener into an acoustic substance. The sound becomes almost like matter, like jelly. Soon, you're swimming in sound, getting lost inside it. Released in Sub Rosa's Early Electronic series.
Michel Redolfi on Sonic Waters: "With the Sonic Waters project initiated in 1978, my aim was to situate field of electronic music within a liberating and futuristic experience, outside the concert halls and in sync with the development of new instruments -- in particular the Synclavier digital synthesizer, the first model of which I acquired in 1977. As a concert space, the Pacific Ocean seemed to me to be the ideal experimental medium for both acoustic and cultural reasons. I then developed the aesthetic and technical elements that would contribute to the conception of 'Underwater Music'. Numerous performances would follow spanning four decades, in natural sites or in large public pools such as those of Sydney, Paris or Venice during the 2006 Biennale. I've divided this album into two fields: 'Sonic Waters: Music for Fresh Water' (1981) 'Sonic Waters: Music for Salt Water' (1979-1987)"
Michel Redolfi (1951), French composer and sound artist, is the founder of "Underwater Music". The natural elements captured and highlighted by experimental technology are a constant in Redolfi's catalog: many compositions explore the earth environments such as in Pacific Tubular Waves, Jungles, Desert Tracks (SR 418CD/LP) and especially with Sonic Waters, a work that literally immerses the listener into an acoustic substance. During the mid-70s, Redolfi carried out his electro-acoustic research in the United States, with major electronic music centers including the California Institute of the Arts and chiefly the University of California in San Diego. As invited resident of their studios, Michel Redolfi launched the underwater music concerts, with the series Sonic Waters performed in the Pacific Ocean. Michel Redolfi's underwater creations have since been regularly programmed by major international festivals, with multi-media installations held in ecological marine reserves or in historical city pools. Among them, the Sydney Festival, Paris "Nuit Blanche", Ars Electronica in Linz, the 2006 Venice Biennale (nominated Golden Lion) and lately the 2018 Ars Musica festival in Brussels. This record presents different variations of Sonic Waters from 1980 to 1987, alternating studio mixes with their re-recordings in the depths of the Pacific.”
TETSUO FURUDATE - The Nocturne, The Nightmare and a Fruit (Sub Rosa SR 521CD; Belgium) “Tetsuo Furudate has been working on projects including electronic music, films, videos creating time passages between old and new pieces, re-reading the past through re-appropriations. All his recent pieces can be watched or just listened to. It is also a cultural mix embracing all eastern and western cultures (from JS Bach to Merzbow). Here he recreates a borderless and timeless universe, where voices and pianos reach emotional moments of great depth. The whole is driven by Tetsuo who, by a continuous mixing, conceives these different pieces as an editor would a film made of borrowinged images, archives material and unpublished fragments. The Nocturne, The Nightmare and a Fruit features Keiko Higuchi and Olga Magieres.
Tetsuo Furudate was first the collaborator and friend of Zbigniew Karkowski in Japan, together they created some of the most radical but complex pieces under the name of World as Will (after Arthur Schopenhauer's book), some of which were rewritten for the Viennese Zeitkratzer Ensemble.
Keiko Higuchi is above all a pianist and performer, linked to jazz and improvisation. She was revealed by Love Hotel (2008), her concerts are like real performances, she is considered as one of the most singular and impressive performing artists of her generation.
Olga Magieres, Russian pianist living in Denmark, specializes in improvised music and the syntactic relationship of languages. She has already collaborated with Tetsuo in 2010 with "Introduction Of Blue Of Noon", her first opus Piano and Poetry had been praised.”
SARAH DEFRISE - For Cathy, A Capella Album, A Tribute to Cathy Berberian (Sub Rosa SR 525CD; Belgium) “Sarah Defrise dedicates her first new music album to the American mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian. The disc features exclusively acapella pieces which were written for Cathy by some of the most prominent composers of her time. Berio's Sequenza III, Cage's Aria and Cathy's own Stripsody have become new music "hits", but For Cathy also presents lesser-known repertoire such as Henri Pousseur's Phonème pour Cathy, Bussoti's fragment from Passion selon Sade and Entretien, a piece for electronic tape composed by Sarah Defrise as a tribute to Berberian. Sarah took an active part in the editing process of the disk in order to create a coherent sound object, displaying the endless possibilities of the human voice. Includes 24-page booklet.
Cathy Berberian (July 4, 1925 - March 6, 1983): American mezzo-soprano and composer based in Italy. She worked closely with many contemporary avant-garde music composers, including Luciano Berio, Bruno Maderna, John Cage, Henri Pousseur, Sylvano Bussotti, Darius Milhaud, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, and Igor Stravinsky. As a recital curator, she presented several vocal genres in a classical context, including arrangements of songs by The Beatles as well as folk songs from several countries and cultures. As a composer, she wrote Stripsody (1966), in which she exploits her vocal technique using comic book sounds (onomatopoeia), and Morsicat(h)y (1969), a composition for the keyboard (with the right hand only) based on Morse Code.
Sarah Defrise: Belgian soprano Sarah Defrise has quickly established herself as one of the most fascinating young vocal artists enjoying close working relationships with a wide range of contemporary composers. A polymorphic artist, she is at ease in Lied, opera as well as contemporary performances including solo stand-up shows. She featured as a soloist on stages such as the Berlin Staatsoper, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, MÜPA in Budapest, NOF in Fribourg, the Opéra royal de Wallonie in Liège and la Monnaie / De Munt in Brussels. Composers Peter Eötvös and Jean-Luc Fafchamps have conceived roles specifically for her.”
WOLFGANG TILLMANS - Moon in Earthlight (Fragile 012CD; Germany) “Moon in Earthlight describes the phenomenon one can see in the first few days after a new moon, when the slim crescent of the moon is completed into a full circle by a faint light that is not lit by sunlight but by the light reflected from Earth. It is also the apt title for the first album from an artist whose first love was astronomy. After six EPs over the course of five years, Wolfgang Tillmans now releases his first album, Moon in Earthlight, a singularly plural 53-minute piece comprised of 19 tracks. Opening with more that connects us than divides us, "Celloloop / More That Connects Us", a looped cello sets out a discursive path for a bright keyed melody to flirt with while the sounds of the organ and synthesizer build their supporting roles, all along a bouncing four-to-the-floor beat punctuated with bright electronic chimes and the rhythmic tempo of a shaker. Voices and laughter are overheard in the background of another field recording sounding water dripping from a "Rain Gutter" later caught by the soft, warm rhythmic bounce between two synth notes on "Fourth Floor" where chime-like and percussive timbres resonate from the metal tine keys of the kalimba creating a meditative acuity, which Tillmans peppers with arpeggiated synth riffs. A composition of multiplicities, Tillmans' album debut is a collage of sounds, field recordings, words, studio jam sessions and live recordings, voice, soundscapes, and instrumentation scored with audible space to breathe along the way. Keeping pace, the first "Kardio Loop" is a vocal calisthenics contemplating "the possibility of a happy life" and/or the propositional properties of its semantic constructions backed by the recording of a heartbeat from a cardiogram. This movement is gradually accompanied by a set of orchestral synth pads that build to a crescendo before the soft, twirling melody of "Stonerella" carries you along a carousel-like melodic, pop, instrumental timed in the percussive clapping of pebbles. You float through "Don't Kill It by Naming It" before dancing along "Insanely Alive" all the while contemplating the inherent, fragile complexities of language and being. Whether lyrically playful or introspective, Tillmans' voice is always giving: intimately unfolding as in the surprising take on Simon & Garfunkel's "El Condor Pasa" or shapeshifting in "Can't Escape into Space" or fully naked as raw material expression in "Kantine" and "Ocean Walk".
YAT-KHA - We Will Never Die (The Lollipop Shoppe 021; Germany) “We Will Never Die is Yat-Kha's eight studio album. Centered around the huge voice of charismatic singer Albert Kuvezin from the remote Russian republic of Tuva (latitude: London, longitude: Bangladesh), the group's long international career started out during the collapse of the USSR in 1991 with the release of Antropofagia on celebrated writer and art critic Artemy Troitsky's General Records (Moscow). The release of the legendary Yenisei-Punk album recorded for Global Music Centre (Helsinki) in 1994 saw them gain worldwide recognition. Under the management of then bassist Lu Edmonds (3Mustapha3, Mekons, The Damned, PiL, etc.), Yat-Kha signed to Paddy Moloney's Wicklow Records (BMG Classics) and performed at all major music festivals in Europe, North America and the Far East. Kuvezin's ultra-low variant of Tuvan throat singing, the kargyraa or kanzat stayle, still remains the unique feature of Yat-Kha's mixture of traditional music and experimental roots rock and whereas there are many great khoomeiji singers this style is unique to Yat-Kha. Recorded after the 2019 European tour, the album We Will Never Die was recorded in Southern Germany in the studios of German krautrock legends Hans-Joachim Irmler and in some ways follows Kuvezin's Poet and Lighthouses album which itself was recorded on the remote Scottish whiskey island of Jura by British producer Giles Perring, reaching #1 of the World Music Charts in 2010. On this new album, Kuvezin is accompanied by his long-term Tuvan friend and musical accomplice, Sholban Mongush on igil (a bowed horsehair two-string cello) and backing vocals. Due to the usual pandemic and travel bans, some additional tracks were later recorded by Kuvezin in Abakan, Khakassia in spring 2020. Besides original compositions, the album features words gathered from the sayings and incantations of Tuvan shamans -- whose traditions form an unbroken lineage dating back to the neolithic period -- as well as Black Sabbath's "Solitude" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" written by George Harrison, two songs sometimes played as an encore on live shows. The Lollipoppe Shoppe continue their involvement with this extraordinary band who in many ways blazed a trail since the early 1990s many new and interesting emerging East Asian rock music artists and experimenters for example the Mongolian metal-rock band The Hu.”
SUN RA // HARMUT GEERKEN and CHRIS TRENT - Omniverse Sun Ra (Art Yard 001BK; UK) Revised and expanded second edition of Hartmut Geerken and Chris Trent's comprehensive reference Omniverse Sun Ra, originally published in 1994. Full-color 304-page hardcover book. French fold cover with metallic silver foil blocking on cyan faimei cloth. 290mm x 245mm portrait. Omniverse Sun Ra features many previously unpublished photographs of Sun Ra and His Arkestra in New York in 1966 and Germany in 1979 by Val Wilmer, and Hartmut Geerken's previously unpublished photographs from Heliopolis in Cairo, Egypt, in 1971, in addition to an updated comprehensive pictorial and annotated discography by Chris Trent, including chronological discography and alphabetical record title, composition, personnel, and record label indexes, as well as indexes of shellac 78-RPM records, 45 RPM singles, jackets, and labels. Also includes essays and photo documents by Hartmut Geerken, Chris Trent, Amiri Baraka, Robert L. Campbell, Chris Cutler, Gabi Geist, Sigrid Hauff, Karl Heinz Kessler, Robert Lax, and Salah Ragab.
BOOK [304 Pages/Hard Cover] $73
CHARLES DUVELLE and HISHAM MAYET - The Photographs of Charles Duvelle: Disques Ocora and Collection Prophet (Sublime Frequencies 110CD; USA) Disques Ocora, a French label dedicated to capturing and publishing the sounds of folkloric culture from around the world, is held in the highest possible regard in the realms of professional and amateur ethnomusicology. Instigated in 1958 by Pierre Schaeffer, the founder of musique concrète, Disques Ocora's sterling reputation is largely built on composer and musicologist Charles Duvelle's pioneering field recordings, as well as his now-iconic photographs and graphic design. Charles Duvelle's work is indisputably one of the most important contributions to the human understanding of the rich biodiversity of our planet's music and language. In 1977, his field recordings from Benin were selected by Carl Sagan for inclusion on the Voyager Golden Records, which were carried into outer space by the Voyager spacecraft to stand as an example of humanity's highest musical expressions for the universe's unknown listeners. Sublime Frequencies' most ambitious project to date, this 296-page fine-art photography book comprises an exhaustive collection of Charles Duvelle's field photography from 1959 to 1978 (188 black-and-white and 58 color photographs), demonstrating that this master musicologist had an equally unerring eye for photography; Includes a photo index listing the details of each photograph. It also contains an exhaustive interview with Charles Duvelle by Hisham Mayet, detailing the history of the label and offering Duvelle's unique insights into the discipline of field recording (French and English facing text). The package includes two full-length CDs of archival recordings (some of which have never been published) selected, compiled, and fully annotated by Duvelle himself. Most of the tracks on CD one (Africa) are complete versions of truncated tracks from OOP Ocora LPs. CD two, which includes performances by Sohan Lal, Kheo Oudon, and Madurai Ramaswami Gautam, is focused on material from Asia (music from India and Laos), with two long tracks that have never been released (a third track is a complete unedited version). The material focuses on the five regions surveyed during his time with Ocora: West Africa, Central Africa, Indian Ocean, Pacific Islands, and SouthEast Asia. It includes "Disques Ocora / Charles Duvelle Discography, 1959-1974", a complete overview illustrated with 94 full-color album thumbnails, "The Prophet Collection, 1999-2004" a discography of Duvelle's post-Ocora label illustrated with 41 full-color album thumbnails, "Eastern Music in Black Africa", a 17-page report prepared by Charles Duvelle at the request of UNESCO (February 1970), and a review of the Ocora catalogues (1964-1973). In a tribute to Disques Ocora's exquisite design sensibility, the book is printed on 170 gsm Lumisilk matte art paper and bound in grey buckram with gold foil stamping on the cover and spine. The front cover includes a tipped-on glossy photograph by Charles Duvelle. Hardcover book; 10"x10"; 296 pages; 4.5 lbs. Produced and edited by Hisham Mayet.”
2 CD Set BOOK $60
ARCHIVAL & HISTORIC RECORDINGS, REISSUES & RESTOCKED ITEMS: BACK IN STOCK:
WADADA LEO SMITH’S GREAT LAKE QUARTET with HENRY THREADGILL / JACK DeJOHNETTE / JONATHAN HAFFNER / JOHN LINDBERG - The Chicago Symphonies (TUM 1004; Finland) This is the second release of Wadada Leo Smith’s Great Lakes Quartet, the first was a 2 CD set which was released by TUM in 2014. This marvelous box set is an even more ambitious 4 CD set with a thick booklet filled with illuminating liner notes, pictures and an impressive discography of all of Wadada’s previous releases. The personnel for the Great Lakes Quartet of Wadada, Henry Threadgill, John Lindberg & Jack DeJohnette remains, although saxist named Jonathan Haffner is added on the last disc. You should certainly recognize the names of all the members of the Great Lakes Quartet, although I know less about Mr. Haffner who has a duo record out with Kenny Wollesen on Tzadik and has worked with Butch Morris and the Nublu Orchestra. There are four symphonies here, one per disc, each one named after a gem: ‘Gold’, ‘Diamond’, ‘Pearl’ and ‘Sapphire’. Each symphony has 4 or 5 movements and each movement is dedicated to or inspired by mostly Chicago (AACM) or New Orleans musicians of note: the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Sun Ra, Phil Cohran and many others. This most ambitious undertaking was inspired by a number of important musicians & composers, most of whom grew up in & around Chicago and other places in the midwest. The liner notes mention that these musicians were influenced and evolved during a particularly difficult period of time which dealt with civil rights, freedom of expression and other outside forces which made life difficult to Creative Musicians to survive and thrive. The Great Lakes Quartet are an impressive force to be reckoned with, all four are great musicians, composers and bandleaders on their own. Their combined lineage/experiences/vision is focused here and the music is consistently engaging through the entire four CD set. Could this be the Great Creative Music box-set of the year?!?!? No doubt about that! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
4 CD Deluxe Box Set $70 [The first edition of this amazing box is almost sold out, so order now or wait until these are reprinted next year]
WADADA LEO SMITH / JACK DeJOHNETTE / VIJAY IYER - A Love Sonnet for Billie Holiday (TUM 60; Finland) Featuring Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, Vijay Iyer on piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 & electronics and Jack DeJohnette on drums & percussion. It was only 6 months when we got in two new 3 CD sets from Wadada Leo Smith (a solo & a trio), both are/were incredible and are in-between pressings since they sold pretty quickly. I shouldn’t have been surprised when I heard about two more important releases on the Finnish label TUM, which were delayed for a month and have finally arrived this week (mid November of 2021). Mr. Smith has several ongoing bands which overlap personnel-wise, hence every disc that he is on has different collaborators. One of Mr. Smith’s best bands was/is called the Golden Quartet whose personnel started with Anthony Davis, Malachi Favors and Ronald Shannon Jackson. As the band evolved, Mr. Favors and Mr. Shannon Jackson passed away and was replaced with Jack DeJohnette and Vijay Iyer, both strong players, bandleaders and composers on their own. This disc features the trio of Mr. Smith, Mr. Iyer and Mr. DeJohnette. It is also a tribute to Billie Holiday, considered to be the greatest jazz singer of all. All three members of the trio contributed both solo and trio compositions. In the liner notes both Mr. Smith and John Corbett mention that Wadada has long been involved with trios which don’t include a bassist, going back more than 50 years with the trio of Smith, Anthony Braxton and Leroy Jenkins, with some fine albums out the Delmark & BYG labels. The title track, “Billie Holiday: A Love Sonnet” is first, it begins with some exquisite, solemn mallet-work by Mr. DeJohnette who is soon joined by Mr. Smith’s haunting, ancient, poignant, lush-toned trumpet and sparse floating piano by Mr. Iyer. I am currently reading a small book on the Count Basie Orchestra which includes some chapters on each of Basie’s sidemen, including Lester Young. Ms. Holiday often chose Mr. Young and several of Basie’s musicians to collaborate with. I listened to some early Count Basie Orchestra last night as well as some early Billie Holiday from the same era. Mr. Smith’s trumpet playing here has some of that sad, beautiful, hypnotic grace that Ms. Holiday’s voice often captured. On “Deep Time No. 1”, Mr. Iyer adds some spooky electric piano, electronics and/or a sampled speech by Malcolm X. I can’t make out the words but it does sound like an ancient radio transmission from another room in an earlier era with some Old School synth added to the mysterious sonic scenery. The trio here often strip things down to a skeletal space, hanging on to and carefully placing each note. The trio take their time to build some explosive outbursts. The one long track here, “The A.D. Opera: A Long Vision with Imagination…”, has three sections, one of which features some sublime, haunting muted trumpet and eerie “In a Silent Way”-like electric piano. The last piece, Rocket” features some rather funky organ and a great sly groove by Mr. DeJohnette. Wadada Leo Smith takes his final solo here and it is a true gem! This is a strong, thoughtful, emotionally involving release that gives us quite a bit of food for thought. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MILFORD GRAVES with ARTHUR DOYLE / HUGH GLOVER - Bäbi (CvsD 052; USA) "The long-awaited first reissue of one of the most legendary albums in the history of free music. Recorded live in concert in 1976, when Graves' trio with saxophonists Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover was at the height of its powers, Bäbi is a testament to the absolutely unique approach the drummer had established for himself. He had reconfigured the drum kit, removing the second heads on all the drums and replacing the snare with two toms, which allowed him a much more nuanced sense of indirectness in his multi-directional adventures in time. The track "Ba" remains one of the most astonishing feats of percussion alchemy ever waxed, as funky as ten slap bassists and as free as an exploding grenade. Doyle and Glover are incendiary, too, inspired by Graves to new and shocking heights of achievement, their hoarse cries and whistling split-tones carried to thrilling plateaus on the energy of Graves' hands and feet. The original tapes for the session have been lost, so the reissue was lovingly remastered from virgin vinyl, itself now worth a mint. In 2017, Graves discovered a previously unknown tape in his archives featuring the same trio at its inception, in home recordings made seven years earlier in 1969. Graves pummels a huge gong while Glover plays an instrument that, after sounding like none ever known, turns out to be bass clarinet. Extreme music recorded up close and very hot, it is among the most searing sessions never heard. Until now. Rounding out the 2-CD package are three previously unpublished photos by Gérard Rouy, and the original LP cover design by Graves himself."
2 CD Set $20
MILFORD GRAVES & DON PULLEN - The Complete Yale Concert, 1966 (CvsD 075; USA) “For a performance at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in spring of 1966, percussionist Milford Graves invited pianist Don Pullen to play duets. The two musicians had worked together in a band fronted by saxophonist and clarinetist Giuseppi Logan, with whom they had recorded two LPs in 1965 for ESP Disk. Graves was already a daunting presence in free music. One step at a time, he was busy transforming the role of drumming in jazz, introducing a new way of dealing with unmetered time and accomplishing this task with technique that was almost inconceivable. His experience playing timbales in Latin bands had been formative, suggesting that the snare could be used as an accent rather than beat-keeper, but by the mid '60s he'd worked up a holistic approach to sound and energy that was the most radical of his improvising percussion contemporaries. And with a simpatico accomplice like Pullen, who would go on to have an illustrious career with Charles Mingus, co-fronting a band with George Adams, and as a soloist and bandleader. This early setting finds Pullen is at his most hard- hitting, and his piano concept as heard here lays to rest dubious claims of Cecil Taylorism. Inspired by their performance, Graves and Pullen issued an LP, In Concert at Yale University, Vol. 1 on their own Self-Reliance Program imprint. The vinyl is impossibly rare, especially its first copies, which sported hand-painted covers by the musicians. A second volume titled Nommo was subsequently issued, and it too is a highly prized platter. None of this music has ever been available digitally. The tapes were lost, so in putting this production together – in the works for 10 years – virgin copies of the LPs were used. One CD includes the two complete LPs together with original cover designs, a gallery of hand-painted LPs, and a photo of Graves and Pullen selling them at a Nation of Islam convention. An insert modeled after the original one presents an interview with Graves about the production of the records. This is beyond the holy grail of free music. It is as vital and challenging today as it was more than five decades ago. CvsD is honored to have collaborated with Milford Graves on this historic reissue.”
TONY CONRAD WITH FAUST - Outside The Dream Syndicate (Superior Viaduct 048; USA) 2021 reprint! "Violinist, composer and filmmaker Tony Conrad started his career in New York in the early 1960s. As a member of the Theater of Eternal Music (a.k.a. the Dream Syndicate) alongside John Cale, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Angus MacLise, he participated in now-legendary and often legendarily loud drone performances with many pieces having no beginning and no end. During a fateful trip to Germany in 1972, Conrad met with avant-rock visionaries Faust and made the very first record to bear his name. Outside The Dream Syndicate, originally released in Europe only in 1973, is a stunning debut. Two side-long tracks -- 'The Side Of Man And Womankind' and 'The Side Of The Machine' -- show just how far Conrad had moved beyond his minimalist peers. Werner Diermaier's repetitive drum beat and Jean-Hervé Peron's stripped-down bassline conjure a tense, ascetic groove, while Conrad's seamless violin, initially so controlled, reveals a surprising adaptability. The music shifts almost on a subliminal level, pushing and pulling to the drone's internal pulse. It is hard to imagine Conrad's trajectory from downtown Manhattan to a farmhouse in the German countryside that ultimately resulted in Outside The Dream Syndicate, yet no other record captures -- so completely and instantly -- the intersection of avant-garde and rock forms. Outside The Dream Syndicate remains ahead of and bracingly outside of its time. This first-time vinyl reissue and long out-of-print CD release have been carefully been carefully mastered from the original master tapes and include liner notes by musician Jim O'Rourke and author Branden W. Joseph."
TONY CONRAD - Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain (Superior Viaduct 049; USA) 2021 reprint. "Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain is the quintessential work of artist/filmmaker/composer Tony Conrad. Comprised of both film installation and minimalist score for amplified strings, Ten Years leaps across genre and medium to connect his revolutionary structural filmmaking with the experiments in long-duration sound that Conrad had begun in the 1960s as part of the Theatre of Eternal Music. 'Ten Years began with image before sound,' writes Andrew Lampert, 'a row of quadruple projections arranged side-by-side, all the shuffling stripes cascading into each other. Over the next two hours the music throbbed and the projectors incrementally shifted inwards, their beams gradually uniting to form one pulsating, overlapping picture.' For its 1972 premiere at New York's The Kitchen, Ten Years included Conrad on violin as well as Rhys Chatham and Laurie Spiegel performing on instruments of the composer's own making. Chatham played the Long String Drone -- a 6-foot long strip of wood with bass strings, electric pickup, tuning keys, tape, rubber band and metal hardware -- while Spiegel carried out an arrhythmic bass pulse throughout. Superior Viaduct is honored to present this previously unreleased recording of Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain's breathtaking premier performance. As Chatham recounts in the liner notes, 'When I first listened to this recording after not hearing it for over 40 years, it transported me back to the early Kitchen and the heyday of early minimalism, played outside the Dream Syndicate.' "
2 CD Set $23
UN DRAME MUSICAL INSTANTANE - Carnage (Klaggalerie 290; Germany) Un Drame Musical Instantané were founded in 1976, featuring Jean-Jacques Birgé, Bernard Vitet and Francis Gorgé. Their aim was to promote collective musical creation, co-signing their albums, which they consider as artworks in themselves, or their live shows which they tried to renew every time they played. Their sound was created with many influences: They borrowed their sources from rock (synthesizer player Birgé and guitarist Gorgé, both authors of the album, Défense de); jazz (trumpeter Vitet who founded the first free jazz band in France, together with François Tusques, as well as Michel Portal who played with many American and European jazzmen); classical modern music; as well as movies or world news; they were the first in France to give a new impetus to live music on silent movies. After having improvised freely for many years, they led a fifteen piece orchestra from 1981 to 1986, and from 1989 onwards they produced multimedia shows (live video remix on a giant screen, fireworks, choreographies). Still their music was the most important technique, they called their recordings "blind cinema". The Drame used to mix acoustic and electronic instruments in real time as well as original instruments built by Vitet (a reed trumpet, a multiphonic French horn, a variable tension double-bass, a giant balafon with frying pans and flower pots keyboard, a fire organ, plexiglas flutes, etc.). After Francis Gorgé left the band in 1992, Birgé and Vitet went on recording and producing with other musicians close to the "family" such as percussionist, Gérard Siracusa, or multi-instrumentalist, Hélène Sage. Un Drame Musical Instantané always remained independent (they always owned their own recording studio and record label GRRR) and stopped its activities in 2008, with Birgé being the only one active until this day. Carnage was the band's 6th album, released in 1985 on their own GRRR label.”
ERIC DOLPHY - The Complete Uppsala Concert Vol. 1 (Naked Lunch 006LP; Italy) Recorded Live in Sweden in September 1961, the Uppsala Concert is an important document from Eric Dolphy's first Swedish tour as leader of an obscure but talented local quartet featuring Rony Johansson (piano), Kurt Lindgren (bass), and Rune Carlsson (drums). Master Dolphy shines, as always, on all his instruments alto sax, bass clarinet, and flute, while the track list consists of a rare mix of standards such as Milt Jackson's "Bags Groove", Monk's "52nd Street Theme", Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?", and the famous unaccompanied alto sax version of "Laura", all this plus a 20-minute long version of Dolphy's blues "245" where every single note played by Dolphy sounds as pure gold.
ARETHA FRANKLIN - Live 1970 (Honey Pie Records 047; Italy) “A live experience on its own! A never before released live recording from the Lady Soul! On July 21, 1970, Aretha Franklin made her appearance at the great Antibes Jazz Festival in the south of France. At the head of a twelve-piece backing band, Lady Soul gave a great performance based on a fine set-list full of hits such as "You Send Me", "Dr. Feelgood", "Spirit In The Dark" and a couple of tributes to British pop, via two heartfelt renditions of the Stones' "Satisfaction" and the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby". Line-up features: Aretha Franklin (piano, vocals); Donald Towns, John Wilson, Charles Horse and Clay Robinson (trumpet); Chancey Outcalt and René Pitts (trombone); Louis Barnett, Miller Brisker, Donald Walden, Charlie Gabriel (saxophone); Truman Thomas (organ); Ted Sheely (piano); Leslie Harvey (guitar); Melvin Jackson (bass); Hindel Butts (drums); Evelyn Green, Almeta Latimer and Wyline Ivy (backing vocals).”
SALMAN SHUKUR - Oud (Klimt 362LP; France) Limited! "Oud virtuoso and composer Salman Shukur was the head of the music department and professor of oud (the Arab lute) at the Baghdad Institute of Fine Arts for over 30 years. However, despite his long and illustrious career, Shukur made only one LP, recorded in London in 1976 at Rosslyn Hill Chapel. Shukur's compositions, while based on the Arab classical musical tradition, attempt to bridge the gap between eastern and western music, and may be described as tone-poems, embodying both free and formal variation and improvisation. Despite his being almost unknown in the western world, Shukur was to the oud as Paganini was to the violin."
TASHI DORJI - Dead Cities Lie Buried/Lift Comrades, Lift Comrades! (Feeding Tube Records 384CS; USA) "This new tape by Asheville NC's Tashi Dorji is a hard-edged suite for solo acoustic guitar recorded in the depths of the Plague. Because I've been listening to Remko Scha a lot lately, it's impossible for me to not-imagine the music here (especially the title track) as an extension of the marvelous Machine Guitar works by that great Dutch artist. Tashi is known for creating harsher acoustic tones then many of his contemporaries, but that often seems more based on his decisions to constantly disrupt melodic expectations inside his work. On dead cities lie buried... his approach has a massive circular logic, in which small sonic events take place behind a revolving, repetitive waterfall of cascading notes. The other pieces on the tape offer variations on this technique, although even through repeated listening, there is something about the first piece that really gives a heightened sense of otherness. Of course, all of Tashi's work, whether solo or not, rarely takes any easy or well-trammeled pathways. This is true on the three LPs we have done with him -- Manas (FTR 208LP, 2015), Manas III (FTR 330LP, 2017), and Mette Rasmussen/Tashi Dorji (FTR 403LP, 2018) -- but you knew that. Tashi is always worth hearing in any performance format, and dead cities lie buried... is another triumph for the meat wheel of eternity, and a damn fine listen." --Byron Coley, 2021
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.
December program at ZÜRCHER Gallery, NY :
Saturday December 4, 8 PM : DAVID ROTHENBERG / DOUGLAS EWART / TONY GARNIER!
Sunday December 5 at 7:30 PM : AN AYLER CHRISTMAS with MARS WILLIAMS / JAIMIE BRANCH / STEVE SWELL / AVA MENDOZA / FRED LONBERG-HOLM / HILLIARD GREENE / CHAD TAYLOR!
Wednesday December 8, 8 PM : DARIUS JONES - Solo
Thursday December 16, 8 PM : TYSHAWN SOREY & ADAM RUDOLPH
Monday December 20, 8 PM PETR KOTIK presents .. (TBD)
All Gigs are $20
THE Zürcher Gallery is located at:
33 Bleecker Street, New York NY 10012
Tel: 212-777-0790 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Proof of full vaccination, photo ID and face masks are required
Live at Scholes Street Studio
Saturday December 18th, 8pm & 9:30pm sets
Live recording / Live audience!
Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Angelica Sanchez - piano
Adam Lane - bass
Chad Taylor - drums
$15 at the door
At Scholes Street Studio / 718-964-8763
375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY
near Lorimer J/M, Montrose L
The Independent Promoters Alliance Presents:
THE TOM RAINEY TRIO with INGRID LAUBROCK & MARY HALVORSON!
Thursday, December 30th at 7:30pm - $20
At DiMenna Center for the Performing Arts
450 West 57th St. in Manhattan, NYC
Proof of full vaccination, photo ID and face masks are required
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:
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs & improvisations on each episode. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836/