Little do you know
Of the progressions that you teach
The people that you reach are tired
Of livin' in a world of elastic towers
Dance with them and sing a song of changes
And talk with them of life and all its dangers
Surround yourself with now familiar strangers
Who kiss and who hug and eventually mug you of your time
And the clock on the wall is a bore
As you wander past the door
And find him lying on the floor
As he begs you for some more, you frozen smile
You cannot ever picture me
You know me by my thoughts
A file for your travelogue
Oblivious to the night, the fog around you
The germs they are ridiculous
They bother you at night
The blood that rushes to your brain
The ticket on the plane you're never catching
The price you pay exclusive of your taxes
To chop you up inside with tiny axes
The girl looks up to you from floors she waxes
And speaks to your belt with tears among her eyes
And the clock on the wall is a bore
As you wander past the door
And find him lying on the floor
As he begs you for some more, you frozen smile
The metaphysic wrinkles in the face of what you face
Are hidden by the fake-up man
Who lives inside the sterno can beside you
Now climb ye to the mountains
As the sun is almost gone
Escaping from your other selves
Your brothers hide among the shelves inside you
The games that people play can only bore you
But only those that know you don't ignore you
How many times have I come there to restore you
And caught you lying on the couch with father time
And the clock on the wall is a bore
As you wander past the door
And find him lying on the floor
As he begs you for some more, you frozen smile
Earlier this week, John Mori (DMG employee) and myself, listened to the first album by Blood, Sweat & Tears called ‘Child is Father to The Man’, which was released in 1968. Blood, Sweat and Tears was founded by Al Kooper and Steve Katz, when they left the Blues Project to form their own band. Along with the Butterfield Blues Band and Electric Flag, B, S & T were one of the first rock bands with a horn section and starting around 1969, there were many other horn bands which emerged. Al Kooper, a gifted songwriter and organ player, was the main songwriter and singer in B, S and T. Steve Katz, who played guitar in Blues Project, we also a fine songwriter and singer, also contributed a couple of great songs to that debut album. To me, that first album was/is a masterpiece, every song strong, spirited and the arrangements were also spectacular. It still sounds wonderful today, some 50 years later. Word is that during their first year, Al Kooper tried to get Steve Katz bounced from the band since he wanted to get his friend Mike Bloomfield to replace Katz. Probably not a good idea since Mr. Bloomfield had various problems which kept him from finishing any project that he started. Hence, Mr. Kooper was pushed out of the band, while Steve Katz remained for many years. Mr. Kooper went on the have a long solo career and became a successful producer. I’ve been reading the words to this song over and over and am marveling at Mr. Kooper’s fascinating words. Please do read those words again and check out that first Blood, Sweat and Tears album. A special toast to Mr. Al Kooper and all the members of the original Blood, Sweat and Tears! - BLG at DMG
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THE DMG 31st ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE PERFORMANCE CELEBRATION CONTINUES with:
Saturday, July 9th - The GAUCI-MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
6pm: Nick Saia - guitar / Ledah Finck - violin / Nora Stanley - alto sax
7pm: Stephen Gauci - tenor sax / Adam Lane - bass / Kevin Shea - drums
8pm: Yuma Uesaka - sax/clarinet / Weston Olencki - trombone/electronics / Laura Cocks - flute
Tuesday, July 12th:
6:30: WILL BERNARD - Guitar
7:30: PATRICK GOLDEN / JIM CLOUSE / JEFF PEARING / ADAM LANE - Drums / 2 Saxes / Contrabass
Tuesday, July 19th: [contribution is requested for this set]
6:30: MICHAEL FORMANEK / TONY MALABY / VINNIE SPERRAZZA!
7:30: JEREMY CARLSTEDT / KEVIN SHEA - Drum Duo!
THIS WEEK’S NEW DISCS BEGIN WITH YET ANOTHER NEW ONE FROM THE HOUSE OF CHADULA!
EUGENE CHADBOURNE with JIM McHUGH / JEB BISHOP / DAVID MENESTRES / DAVID LICHT - Cackalacky Massakree (Chadula; USA) Featuring Eugene Chadbourne - guitar, banjo & vocals, Jim McHugh - guitar & phin (electric lute), Jeb Bishop on trombone, David Menestres - acoustic bass and David Licht on drums. A few weeks ago, Elder Downtown Legend, Eugene Chadbourne, came back to NY for two weeks and played at The Stone for four nights (June 1st-4th), as well as at an anarchist collective in Brooklyn called P.I.T. for the second week. I caught three of the four sets at The Stone and was impressed the diversity of covers and collective free improv interludes within each set. The personnel and covers changed night to night with just Jeb Bishop on three nights and Dr. Chadbourne all each set.
We just got in a CD version of the fourth Stone night from June 4th, just one month after it went down. The quintet featured four musicians who Dr. Chad had played with previously if different settings: trombonist Jeb Bishop (from the Vandermark 5), guitarist Jim McHugh (the Sunwatchers & duo LP with Dr. Chad), bassist David Menestres (from North Carolina & several other discs with Doc Chad) and drummer David Licht (from Shockabilly & the Klezmatics). Each night at The Stone, Doc Chad referred to two different large notebooks of songs, one for jazz songs and one for rock, folk, pop & country songs. The quintet has odd, loose, festive, fun vibe/spirit. The first song is called “North Carolina”, where Chadbourne has lived for three decades, the combinations of instruments is certainly unique: banjo, el. guitar, trombone, acoustic bass and drums. Songs flow right into one another so the set in mostly continuous. “Old Piano”, a Chadbourne original, sounds like a standard of sorts and Chad has been playing it for a while now. “The old piano nobody can place…” is what he sings with the utmost charm, the band playing the melody together, loose yet spirited. “Dig a Hole for Mark Meadows in the cold dark ground”, which was written for yet another right wing asshat. Guitarist Jim McHugh, who also fronts one of the best bands in Brooklyn, the Sunwatchers, adds some his own sly somewhat psychedelic lines to Doc Chad’s ever-evolving banjo playing. Eugene loves to cover old country standards and here does “Swinging Doors” by Merle Haggard with a fine, downhome trombone solo by Jeb Bishop and tasty solo by Jim McHugh on guitar. Doc Chad really loves ancient protest songs and here covers “We’ve Fed You for 1,000 Years”, a 19th century song which was once covered by old folkie U Utah Phillips. The song rambles nicely to throbbing marching beat and features some inspired swirling electric guitars. Mr. Chadbourne even dips into the old Shockabilly catalogue to do “Vampire Tiger Girl”, a song I haven’t heard in many years and “Hattisburg, Miss”. It is a strange yet compelling one. There is a song called “Peace” which has a most cerebral, floating sound. Cover song? Maybe. This discs ends with what sounds like a bluegrass song called, “West Virginia Special”, which includes some surf-like guitar picking. I like that there is a swell laid back yet festive vibe going on here. Plus Doc Chad is forever drawing from a variety of styles and songs so that his music is unlike anyone else and still has loads of surprises. His wacky sense of humor may be too much for certain serious listeners but I find a breath of fresh air. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MARTIN PHILADELPHY / KRESTEN OSGOOD / TREVOR DUNN / CARL KNAST / HAKON GUTTORMSEN - KOMP (Delphy Rekords DER 036; Austria) Featuring Martin Philadelpy on guitar, Carl Knast on electronics, flute & vocal (1 track), Hakon Guttormsen on trumpet (1 track), Trevor Dunn on bass and Kresten Osgood on drums & keyboard. Austrian guitarist, Martin Philadelphy, come to visit once every few years, as well as sending us discs from his own Delphy Rekords label. He just sent us two new discs with different personnel. Both Downtowner Trevor Dunn (Electric Masada, Asmodeus & other Zorn projects) and Danish drummer Kresten Osgood, have worked with Mr. Philadelphy in the past. I hadn’t heard of Carl Knast or Hakon Guttormsen before now, although it turns out that Mr. Knast is known as a Danish rapper. Kresten Osgood was recently in town for a week’s worth of gigs and played here at DMG.
This disc starts off with a piece called “Ass”, which is spirited free-ish rock song with impressive playing from the guitar, el bass and drums all swirling together intensely. The trio (el guitar, bass & drums), do a fine job of improvising together, tight yet loose, constantly in flight. While the trio soars freely together, Mr. Knast adds some sonic seasoning of electronics into the mix. Most of these pieces have a spacey, free-flowing vibe with Mr. Philadelphy using assorted effects (echo, slide, subtle distortion) to alter his guitar differently on each track. I am longtime friends with drummer Kresten Osgood, who has long tried to play with every living jazz elder and has worked with many of them. Mr. Osgood is a master drummer, who has obviously listened to all of the greats in jazz as well as rock and other more progressive musics. Mr. Osgood is the co-leader here and does a fine job of setting up a series of different grooves or beats. For “Liment”, he plays a “Shaft Theme”-like funky high-hat groove while Mr. Dunn plays that slow throb bass-line underneath and with Philadelphy slowly adding his own space-rocking lead lines on top. Trevor Dunn plays a fab dub/reggae line on “Lex” while Mr. Knast raps in Danish for a short bit. There are a number of impressive pieces where the trio start to jam hard and launch into a great jazz/rock/funk groove with Mr. Philadelphy adding the occasional powerful guitar solo, which are often short but used selectively. The overall sound is superbly produced and well-balanced. Another gem from Martin Philadelphy and his cosmic clan. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MARTIN PHILADELPHY with MARTIN EBERLE / STEFAN THALER / NIKI DOLP - Retrograde II (Delphy Rekords DER 035; Austria) Featuring Martin Philadelphy on guitar & voice, Martin Eberle on trumpet, Stefan Thaler on bass and Niki Dolp on drums. There are two Austrian musicians with whom I am friends and whose work I admire. They are Max Nagl and Martin Philadelphy, and both keep busy with dozens of varied discs under their collective belts. Trumpeter Martin Eberle has played with both Mr. Nagl and Mr. Philadelphy. I hadn’t heard of bassist Stefan Thaler or drummer Niki Dolp before now, although both are well-recorded according to Discogs. The guest musicians here, Stephan Sperlich and Chris Janka have also worked with Mr. Philadephy earlier in a band called Missing dog Head. Mr. Philadelphy wrote about 2/3’d of the songs here with some help from each bandmember.
The first piece, “Melly” has an exquisite, haunting, stripped down guitar line up front. “Parademie” has a sort-of Neil Young-like guitar line floating through with two kids (sons of 2 bandmembers, perhaps?) adding some minimal screams. This instrumental jazz/rock at it best, up there with Jeff Beck or Harvey Mandel at times but more modest. The rhythm team is also pretty strong with some astonishing drums breaks peppered throughout. I am a longtime fan of instrumental rock music and am always checking out loads of surf music, as well as guitarists like Dannie Gatton or Roy Buchanan or fill in the blank with your personal fave. Mr. Philadelphy mixes it up as each song comes from somewhere else. Trumpeter Martin Eberle sits in on 5 songs and adds quite a bit of his own fire and inventive playing. Mr. Philadelphy does use a few pedals, none of which get in the way of his distinctive tone or touch. Martin does sing on two songs here. “Slingshot” is hilarious with some ridiculously silly/cool lyrics by NYC vocalist Jane LeCroy. “My love is a slingshot, not a boomerang,” or so it goes. Twelve great tracks here and some of the best instrumental rock I’ve heard in ages. What more could you ask for..?!? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
COOPER-MOORE / STEPHEN GAUCI - Live at Roulette (GauciMusic 04521; USA) Featuring Cooper-Moore on piano and Steve Gauci on tenor sax, recorded at Roulette. Over the past five or six years, tenor sax & promoter Steve Gauci has moved into high gear as far as promoting gigs, playing live himself with various groups and starting his own label which has released more than 30 discs so far. In May of this year (2022), Mr. Gauci’s long-running Monday night series at the Bushwick Public House came to an end. Gauci continues to have a monthly residency here at DMG and at Scholes Street Studio. Mr. Gauci has had an ongoing series of duo sets with elder piano giant Cooper-Moore and they’ve played together regularly for several years. The very first Studio Sessions Series disc which started in February of 2019 began with this duo. Two years and many gigs later, this duo returns with a rare live set from Roulette in Brooklyn. Right from the opening notes, we can hear the bond that has evolved with both of these two musicians. The sound is especially warm and balanced well. Both musicians sound mature and play thoughtfully creating a dynamic dialogue which sails and soars like a controlled roller coaster ride. Cooper-Moore is an extraordinary and often under-recognized pianist, his playing here moves from calm to explosive in a matter of seconds with Gauci also weaving his lines of notes together in a focused frenzy of activity. I love the way Cooper-Moore takes his time to stretch out slowly and play some majestic lines or waves, crisscrossing with quick waves in his right hand and with darker, slower comping with his left hand. While Cooper-Moore pushes the limits, his lines getting more intesne and frenzied, Mr. Gauci balances the extremes with his own fierce lines. I’ve heard Mr. Gauci play here at DMG every month for the past year, playing with different duos and trios each month. Over time I’ve heard him work at matching wits with different players, adjusting his playing to whomever he is working with. Cooper-Moore and Mr. Gauci sound like a match made in heaven, both play with mature, assured exuberance. This is one of the best duo efforts I’ve heard in a long while, no doubt whatsoever! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
RACHEL MUSSON / NO MOORE / OLIE BRICE / EDDIE PREVOST - Under the Sun (Matchless MRCD 106; UK) “Quartet, the masterful grouping of Rachel Musson on tenor sax, NO Moore on electric guitar, Olie Brice on double bass and Eddie Prévost on drums, an improvising ensemble of wonderfully unpredictable momentum, from passages of quiet introspection to thunderous density, but always with attentive listening and imaginative responses, heard in this spectacular 2021 concert at Iklektic.”
PHIL HAYNES / MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS - Music for Percussion and Piano (Artists Recording Collective ARC 00201; USA) Featuring Phil Haynes on drums and Michael Jefry Stevens on piano. Ever since checking out former Brooklyn-based pianist Michael Jefry Stevens with Thomas Chapin at the Pyramid Club in the early 1990’s, I’ve remained a fan of Mr. Stevens’ great playing. I caught him with the Fonda/Stevens Band several times in the 1990’s and have checked out his duets with Mark Feldman, Mark Whitecage and Szilard Mezei. I had lost touch with Mr. Stevens after he moved to North Carolina a ways back although I did hear a few newer recordings over the past decade. It turns out that Mr. Stevens and drummer Phil Haynes were both living in the same section of Brooklyn in the 1990’s, along with Dave Douglas, Mark Feldman and Mark Dresser. Phil Haynes and Michael J Stevens became friends and ended up recorded a duo effort which was not released until recently. Drummer Phil Haynes, who now lives in upstate NY, recently (June of 2022), played here at DMG in a trio with Thomas Heberer and Tomas Ulrich. Mr. Haynes left us with around a dozen of his titles from the past decade or even longer. I’ve reviewed a half dozen titles so far. I’ve dug every disc I’ve reviewed so far from Mr. Haynes and his varied groups, duos or solo efforts. This disc was finally released in 2021.
Michael Jefry Stevens has already recorded some half dozen duo discs with Jon Hemmersam, Mark Feldman and Mark Whitecage. This disc has some 19 tracks and hence, many of the pieces are on the short side. The duo start out slowly and sparsely at first before things pick up and get rambunctious. Occasional quick fragments, speed up, slow down, turn inside-out but never for too long as things are in constant motion. Much of this is sparse and stripped down yet every sound seems to work or fit. Things do erupt at times as well, but patience is required to hear all the different episodes that occur throughout. The playing from both men is often warm, organic, free-flowing with occasional unexpected twists and turns. This sounds like an ongoing conversation between old friends, from calm commentary to some heated segments as well. Pretty inspired overall. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MASSIMO MAGEE - Toneflower (577 Records 5889; USA) “As an artist and a thinker, Massimo Magee has been consistently drawn towards patterns: traditions, lines of influence, schools, and the unexpected intersections of each. This album, Toneflower, presents a solo program, meditating on many of those concepts. As an entirely improvised set of pieces, it is also inspired by Anthony Braxton’s solo alto tradition and the larger solo saxophone canon. Similarly, it draws from Magee’s prior percussive experimentations with Tim Green and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s use of contact microphones. In Magee’s words, it offers rich parallels with many other saxophone schools, “the ceaseless streams of broken air column wizardry of Evan Parker, the angular atonalism of Tim Berne, the earnest beauty of a Pharoah Sanders melody, the breakneck urgency of Kaoru Abe, the sinuous and unpredictable ebullient elegance of Eric Dolphy, the eerie whistling of Tamio Shiraishi, the satisfyingly round-toned repetition of Steve Lacy, the heavy low-end honking of John Coltrane in a certain mood. The listener might even hear a dash of the motivic minimalism of Terry Riley.” - 577 Records
DANNY KAMINS - Disruptor (Noise Pelican; USA) Featuring Danny Kamins on solo alto & baritone saxes & bass clarinet. I’ve heard Texas-based saxist, Danny Kamins, playing on record with Damon Smith and Sandy Ewens, as well as live here at DMG with saxist Jamison Williams. Mr. Kamins left us with this solo sax effort the last time he played here in April of this year (2022). When Anthony Braxton’s first solo sax effort, ‘For Alto’ was released in 1968, there were few if any other solo sax recordings in existence. Nowadays, more than a half century later, solo sax efforts are much more commonplace. The Relative Pitch label has released a half dozen over the past few years. The opening has Mr. Kamins on bari sax (I think) and he is concentrating on certain textural/timbral areas, one or two at a time. Kamins will take one note or phrase and slowly stretch it out, carefully twisting it into odd shapes. He sounds like he is also circular breathing while he plays a stream with certain notes bent in his own unique way. When one bends notes into these strange shapes, it is hard to tell exactly what is being played since there is central resonating stream with other (multiphonic) sounds which are difficult to describe. A passing foghorn or long tone from a distant ship perhaps is what comes to mind. It turns out that the first piece was on bass clarinet although it nearly impossible to tell. For the second piece, Kamins switches to bari sax, again providing a stream of spiraling notes, at times sounding like he is not using a mouthpiece, just blowing directly into the sax. He starts to vary the stream of notes as the tempo increases, some phrases crisscrossing as he gets closer to the mic, the sound more in our faces. Creating these sheets of sound is not that easy and Mr. Kamins does a fine job of shifting his stream of notes as he goes, accentuating certain notes in his own unique way. The way he shifts certain notes make it seems as if there is another layer of ghost notes going on that are difficult to pick out yet are somehow are effective to our listening experience. Hopefully Mr. Kamins will be back at DMG in the not too far distant future so we can hear more of his distinctive sound. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
T.J. BORDEN - Proof (1980 Records #941980; USA) Featuring T.J. Borden on cello. T.J. Borden has played here at DMG twice over the past few months (with Michael Foster & Kyle Motl) and is also a member of the Mivos (String) Quartet. I caught the Mivos Quartet playing with Mary Halvorson for her ‘Belladonna’ project at the FIMAV Fest in Quebec in May of this year (2022). A marvelous string quartet that has also worked with Nate Wooley. Since the passing of Downtown cellist Tom Cora in 1998, there have been a number of other fine cellists who have emerged Erik Friedlander, Chris Hoffman and Tomas Ulrich. The few times, I’ve heard T.J. Borden play live, I have been most impressed. Although this disc is mostly improvised, there is a system or focus to what Mr. Borden is doing. The opening piece, “moondrnk onthe job”, creating several drones either with two bows or by overdubbing. Certain notes are bent and sound like they are microtonal or in between the regular notes that most folks play. For “undrr the tree…”, starts to stretch out his notes, slowly bending them past their usual boundaries, creating an odd, twisted fabric which is most challenging to listen to. The wheezing sound of bent strings is often harsh yet somehow also captivating. Mr. Borden has created his own sonic sound/universe. He sounds like a restless improviser who keeps pushing the boundaries and he doesn’t sound like anyone else. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NEW DISCS FROM OUR FRIENDS AT SUNNYSIDE:
LUCIAN BAN - Piano Solo (Sunnyside 1657; USA) Developing a program of solo piano music is the ultimate challenge for any improvising pianist. Lucian Ban’s mesmerizing new recording of solo piano improvisations, Ways of Disappearing, represents a daring addition to the genre and is a powerful and uncompromising statement for his first unaccompanied solo album. Recorded in his native Transylvania in May 2021 in the stunning sounding Baroque Hall in Timioara, on a grand Bösendorfer and in the midst of a world standing still, the album presents 14 pieces and improvisations including Lucian’s chilling takes on two modern jazz standards, by Annette Peacock and Carla Bley, respectively.
Since moving to NYC in the late nineties, Lucian Ban has become known for his amalgamations of Transylvanian folk with improvisation, for his mining of 20th Century European classical music with jazz, and for his pursuit of a modern chamber jazz ideal. His albums investigating the folk songs of Transylvania (collected by Béla Bartók) with master improvisers Mat Maneri and John Surman, re-imagining the music of famed Romanian classical composer George Enescu for an all-star octet, conversing with the classic jazz quartet in his Elevation group with Abraham Burton, John Hébert and Eric McPherson (all on Sunnyside), or freely improvising with Evan Parker and again, Mat Maneri (Clean Feed) or his various duets (ECM, Sunnyside), have won critical praise and awards but, more importantly, they have revealed a singular focus to strand the worlds of American jazz and European chamber music with the freedom of improvisation.
In Ban’s view “improvisation is just composition in real time” where the performer is utilizing elements developed in practice and applying them in a natural way that fits the emotional, structural, and thematic parameters set by the artist. “If structure (i.e. the tradition) can be learned, freedom is more of an instinct” says the pianist and one has to pose musical questions and, especially when improvising solo, answer them in the act of the performance.
Years of studying the art of the solo piano have made Ban particularly devoted to radical pianists who approach the piano in unique stylistic ways. Ban: “I have always felt closer to a line of jazz pianists that I see as radical, people like Ellington, Monk, Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, Andrew Hill and a few others who challenged the ways piano can be played both in a group or solo setting … for me they pushed the language beyond its defined borders”.
Ways of Disappearing was co-produced with long-time friend and collaborator Mat Maneri and presents a program of fourteen distinct pieces that, as a whole, show the kaleidoscopic breadth of the pianist’s improvisatory and compositional styles.
ALVARO TORRES with JOEL ILLERHAG / KRESTEN OSGOOD - Heart is The Most Important Ingredient (Sunnyside 1661; USA) “Years of study and travel are blessings not afforded to many. It is precious when the results of these blessings are channeled by an artist into genuine and heartfelt statements. For pianist/composer Álvaro Torres, globetrotting and absorbing musical information from around the world has led him to the root of music’s importance to him, namely emotional expression. Torres’s new recording, Heart Is The Most Important Ingredient, provides a perfect example of the pianist’s affecting art.
Torres began his classical piano study early in his hometown of Madrid, Spain. As a teenager, he discovered jazz and improvisation. After graduating from the Centro Integrado de Música Padre Antonio Soler, Torres moved to Nepal where he studied Hindustani music and taught at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory. He then went to Barcelona where he studied at the Conservatori del Liceu, staying in Barcelona for six years.
An exchange program allowed Torres to attend the University of North Texas, and a European Jazz Masters program, through an AIE scholarship, provided a six month stay in Copenhagen, Denmark. Though Torres discovered free improvisation in Barcelona, it was in Copenhagen that he met drummer and scene booster Kresten Osgood. The ever-busy Osgood introduced Torres to an incredibly active and creative improvisation scene and opened the pianist’s eyes to a number of different musical philosophies and practices.
The sound Torres’s had been trying to cultivate really began to come together in Copenhagen. The pianist had been negotiating his shared interests in classical music, jazz and improvised music. In 2019, Torres released a trio recording, Specious Present, that was a tribute to the music of Paul and Carla Bley, utilizing brief compositional ideas to build improvisations around.
In Copenhagen, Torres recruited Osgood and Swedish bassist/inventor Joel Illerhag to record a collection of loose tunes and improvisations in January 2020. The work that the trio put down shows the evolution of Torres’s music, stylistically and emotionally. Amazed at the quick absorption of his music by the Scandinavian rhythm section, Torres trusted them to provide fresh points of view for his compositions without unnecessary direction.”
HARRY SKOLER with KENNY BARRON / NICHOLAS PAYTON / CHRISTIAN McBRIDE / JOHNATHAN BLAKE / et al - Living In Sound: The Music of Charles Mingus (Sunnyside Records 1665; USA) Over forty years later, Skoler already had a wonderful career as a working musician and professor at the celebrated Berklee College of Music. In 2018, his life was saved from a ruptured artery; then depression set in. This is when Skoler met saxophonist Walter Smith III. Meeting Smith proved to be the catalyst and spark that Skoler needed. Skoler immediately felt that he needed to record again and asked Smith if he would be willing to produce a new album, to which Smith agreed.
It was the collaborative effort of Skoler and Smith that proposed a project celebrating Mingus with strings. Skoler was excited by the possibilities and the project went forward with Smith suggesting the string quartet, jazz accompanists, and arrangers for the pieces. The producer was able to gather an all-star group, which included pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Christian McBride, drummer Johnathan Blake, trumpeter Nicolas Payton, and vocalist Jazzmeia Horn. A string quartet of violinists Megan Gould and Tomoko Omura, with violist Karen Waltuch and cellist Noah Hoffeld was also commissioned.
The recording features arrangements by some of the brightest compositional minds in jazz, namely Darcy James Argue, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Fabian Almazan. The pieces to be performed were selected ad hoc by the arrangers or by Skoler and Smith. The arrangers were trusted to do whatever they wanted in the arrangements. The pieces were ready in August 2021, when Skoler met the band and string quartet at Sear Sound for two days of recording.
The recording begins with Fabian Almazan’s arrangement of “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” bittersweet strings leading to Skoler’s laid back reading of one of Mingus’s most beloved tunes. Darcy James Argue twists “Peggy’s Blue Skylight” dramatically, as the rhythmic strings bounce intricately off one another and McBride and Barron stretch out on their individual solos. Argue created a perfect showcase for Skoler on “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love,” providing an at times lush, then spare, arrangement allowing the clarinetist to dial into the same wistful feelings of respect and love for Mingus’s hero, Duke Ellington, with the aid of McBride’s supportive bass.
Mingus’s striking “Remember Rockefeller at Attica” is filled by Almazan’s pen with the chilling effect and violence that its namesake event inspired; Skoler’s pained screaming through his clarinet, and Payton’s thoughtful trumpet are highlights of the recording. Akinmusire’s arrangement of Don Pullen’s “Newcomer” is nuanced and deep, the tune being from the Mingus Moves LP that was the origin of Skoler’s Mingus appreciation. Brilliant vocalist Jazzmeia Horn brings Doug Hammond’s “Moves” to life, the subtlety and strength of her voice amplified by the meditative tone poem arranged by Almazan.
Argue chose to tackle “Sue’s Changes” for a thrilling and inventive suite with ever changing emotions and transitions, played masterfully by the ensemble and providing Payton some true solo highlights. “Invisible Lady” is a gorgeous, mysterious piece loved by Skoler; Akinmusire’s arrangement provides languid, noirish tones. Skoler’s original, “Underdog,” was completed under the wire, although the conception was developed over months. The composer wrote the piece just prior to the final recording session as a sketch that provides freedom for all the musicians to express themselves without hindrance.
The music that Harry Skoler, Walter Smith III, and their brilliant cast recorded on Living In Sound captures the many moods of the iconoclastic Charles Mingus. There are shades of tumult, harmonic depth, conceptual depth, and abandon. A perfect tribute to the legend to mark his centennial year.”
VADIM NESELOVSKYI - Odesa - A Musical Walk Through a Legendary City (Sunnyside 1667; USA) “The world at large has been inundated with news from the recent Russian incursion into the country of Ukraine. While the storms of war gather, pianist and composer Vadim Neselovskyi chooses to remind people of the country’s beauty and cultural legacy. More specifically, Neselovskyi looks to his hometown on the Black Sea to inspire his new solo recording, Odesa: A Musical Walk Through a Legendary City. // The recording of Odesa was made in the acoustically astonishing Sendesaal in Bremen, Germany. Neselovskyi had made an impression on Jazzahead and Radio Bremen’s Peter Schulze on an earlier tour date. When Neselovskyi approached Schulze about the Odesa project, Schulze offered the pianist an opportunity of three days in the Sendesaal, two to record alone on stage with on the hall’s exquisite piano and the third as the Sendesaal’s first in-person concert after the initial pandemic lockdown. The performance was also broadcast on Radio Bremen.”
EVARISTE - Il Ne Pense Qu'a Ca 1967-1970 (Born Bad Records 153CD; France)
Évariste is one of the rare specimens of artist-cum-scientists. Among his kind stand others like Pierre Schaeffer, a Polytechnique graduate (an engineer but also the father of musique concrète) and the eccentric Boby Lapointe (graduate of the École centrale and inventor of the Bibi-binaire system, patented in 1968). Évariste's songwriting, joyful and full of energy (albeit extremely critical), shrouds an original tragedy: born in 1943 among résistants, Joël Sternheimer (aka Évariste) grew up without a father, lost to Auschwitz. In 1966, the young Joël sports Princeton's colorful paraphernalia, freshly returned from the country is in the midst of the Vietnam War. Joël, who's under the supervision of a rebellious physician, is dismissed. He regardless keeps following the prestigious seminaries of the Institute for Advanced Study, chaired by Oppenheimer, inventor of the atomic bomb. Likely inspired by the hippie movement and music, Joël buys a guitar and starts playing in Washington Square. Morisse is blown away by Lucien Morisse's tape and signs him onto the label right away. Michel Colombier, arranger for Serge Gainsbourg, contributes some of his original ideas to the 7" E=mc2. The organist Eddy Louis, who is to participate, in 1969, to the success of Claude Nougaro's Paris Mai (1969), also appears on the record. It's 1966 and the Antoine phenomenon (signed on Vogue) storms through France. Success comes around swiftly and in 1967 Évariste launches into a second 7", Wo I Nee, again arranged by Michel Colombier. Quantum mechanics fans finally get their anthem with "La Chasse Au Boson Intermédiaire" (Intermediary Boson Pursuit). A few months later, it's May '68 and everything's turned upside down. Évariste writes a series of songs inspired by the events, which he immediately submits to Lucien Morisse. When he hears the song "La Révolution" -- a father and son dialogue -- he can't take any more: AZ simply cannot release this. But there and then Lucien Morisse makes a gesture which will remain engraved in French music's history: sorry to be unable to officially stand by the singer, he encourages him to self-produce the record, but with his tacit support. Évariste keeps singing at the Sorbonne with "Jussieu's Gang" and "the young Renaud" he nicknames "le p'tit gavroche" (street urchin). Renaud volunteers to type the lyrics of the song "La Révolution" so that the chorus can be sung and recorded. The self-released 7" La Révolution/La Faute À Nanterre is sold under the table and door-to-door for half the price of a standard record, on and around the boulevard Saint-Michel; and it runs out fast. When the theater director Claude Confortès decides to adapt Wolinski's drawing series titled "Je Ne Veux Pas Mourir Idiot" (I don't want to die a fool), he asks Évariste to write the original soundtrack. Dominique Grange (writer of the song "Nous Sommes Les Nouveaux Partisans") soon joins the team. After 150 performances, Évariste leaves his place to Dominique Maurin (brother of Patrick Dewaere). Évariste composes the songs for Claude Confortès' next play, Je Ne Pense Qu'à Ça ("That's all I think about"), co-wrote with Wolinski in 1969. The comedians of the play record the songs on a 7". 1970 is the beginning of a decade in the course of which Évariste is to make a decisive discovery in the musical and scientific domains. Following this breakthrough, he moves away from self-produced music and gaucho magazines to focus on science. Includes liner notes in English and French.”
RALPH WHITE - It's More In My Body Than In My Mind (Worried Songs 006CD; USA) Recorded in Austin, Texas in March of 2020, just days before the city and the rest of the world shut down, Ralph White spent two days with producer, Jerry David DeCicca (Will Beeley, Ed Askew) and recording engineer, Don Cento, capturing a raw and wild set of performances. Ralph, having recently converted his van into a mobile living and touring quarters equipped with a wood-burning stove, left Austin, the city where he was born over 70 years ago, and retreated to an Arizona commune where he began building a new house in the desert hills to escape the virus and insanity of daily living. Opener "Lead Man", signals the beginning of a wild and unsettling record, at times dark and foreboding, at others eerie and enigmatic, taking you a step further into Ralph's very own American mystery zone. Ralph takes you on a journey through his myriad of travels: from Dock Boggs to Syd Barrett to William Faulkner to Stella Chiweshe to Blind Uncle Gaspard -- scratching banjo, rasping train whistle hollers, rolling kalimba, rousing accordion, taut shimmers of guitar, caustic fiddle, and lyrics that could have been hidden amongst the dusty inner groove of a lost Harry Smith 78 -- weaving in-and-out of streams of consciousness, time and place. Just a few of the titles: "Lead Man" is a bleak and longing look in the mirror; "Motel 6", plays out a haunting lament set upon roadside America; "The River Daughter", reimagines life on the sandbar, akin to McCarthy's Suttree; "Lonesome Fugitive", acts as a cautionary ode to a life spent looking over one's shoulder. In addition to his solo work, White has recorded or performed with a diverse group of folk and avant-garde musicians: Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Jandek, Jack Rose, Eugene Chadbourne, Michelle Shocked, Sir Richard Bishop, and Michael Hurley. Artwork of Max Kuhn.
"This is what Ralph White really sounds like. It's what time passing really sounds like. It's what a look really feels like. This record is someone touching you all over!" --Bill Callahan
MANCHESTER COLLECTIVE - Shades (Bedroom Community 042CD; Iceland) “Manchester Collective announce the release of their second full-length album, Shades. Following their debut The Centre Is Everywhere in 2021 (HVALUR 038LP), Shades is available on CD. Featuring Edmund Finnis's first and second string quartets -- the latter commissioned and premiered by Manchester Collective -- Shades marks the next chapter of the Collective's ongoing collaboration with the British composer. Composer Edmund Finnis: "'String Quartet No. 2' (2021) begins and ends with musical ideas that were in the back of my mind in some form or other since my teens. In the process of moving house during 2020, I rediscovered some old minidiscs containing rough demo recordings I'd made nearly two decades before. At that point I didn't yet know how to realize these ideas, but listening back much later I found the seeds of what has now developed into the two outer movements of the piece. Between them come the flowing interwoven patterns of the second movement and the slow third movement, which is a lament. The piece is dedicated to my friends Rakhi Singh and Adam Szabo from Manchester Collective. It has been a joy and an inspiration for me to be able to build such a close and fruitful musical relationship with the musicians of Manchester Collective over the last few years. Something of their spirit fed into the writing of this piece. I wrote the penultimate movement of 'String Quartet No. 1' (2018) first. It is a reflection on William Byrd's setting of the fifth century hymn 'Christe, qui lux es et dies'. That ancient melody is a prayer for Light within the darkness of night. The falling and rising contours within it became integral to my work on the remaining four movements of the quartet, as did the mental image of the setting and rising of the sun. I think of these two quartets as some of the most personal and intimate pieces I have written. They are outcomes of my enduring need to communicate something that I'm incapable of fully expressing with words. I would if I could. I know that it has something to do with love." Manchester Collective's relationship with Edmund Finnis has been developing over a number of years -- Finnis's piece The Centre Is Everywhere was at the heart of the Collective's debut album and their first appearance at the BBC Proms. The musical partnership continues later in 2022 in This Savage Parade (June 16-24) featuring the world premiere of a new song cycle by Finnis set to the words of British poet Alice Oswald.
THE MUTANTS - Curse Of The Easily Amused (Liberation Hall 5075; USA) "It's hard to let go of a good thing. More than four decades after the Mutants first appeared on the San Francisco underground music scene, four of the original members are still playing shows together under that name in 2022. After all, mutants are known to mutate, and that's what this colorful, energetic musical collective has been doing off and on since 1977. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the sessions for their lone album, 1982's Fun Terminal, continue to bring forth lost nuggets. In punk and new wave lore, Fun Terminal is considered a troubled project. Prior to the album's appearance, the Mutants had released only one 7-inch single -- 1980s' The Mutants EP -- and the band also had songs featured on two local compilations. Both the EP and one of the compilations were issued by 415 Records, the legendary Bay Area indie that made the jump from the new wave trenches to the majors when they signed a deal with Columbia Records in 1981. Many scenesters felt that the Mutants should have begun album sessions for 415 immediately after the EP, but that didn't happen. Each of the 14 tracks on the new collection, Curse Of the Easily Amused" has either been remixed, or sourced from previously unreleased tapes. 'From the band's point of view, each cut is a substantially different version than what might have appeared before,' explains current Mutants bassist and project producer Peter Conheim. Eight songs have never been officially released on vinyl or CD in any form. The versions of 'Think Think Think' and 'Tribute to Russ Meyer' feature radically different approaches than what was heard on the Fun Terminal reissue. We recently rediscovered a tape reel that included those songs. The Mutants discarded or forgot about a ridiculous amount of music during its first eight years. Audio quality for all the tracks here is superior to anything that's come before. No overdubs were used in preparing this release."
EXTRA COPIES OF THIS RARE DISC FOUND:
THE NIRO Featuring GARY LUCAS - The Complete Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas Songbook (Esordisc 1902; Earth) The Niro features Gary Lucas on lead guitars, Davide Combusti on vocals, Francesco Arpino on keyboards, Phil Spalding on bass and Puccio Panettieri on drums. When Jeff Buckley came to NYC in early 1990’s, he was a relative unknown. He soon played at a historic memorial/tribute concert to his long-estranged father, Tim Buckley and wowed the audience due to amazing singing. Former Capt. Beefheart guitar great, Gary Lucas, began collaborating with Jeff Buckley, writing a dozen songs over a ten month period. Each song turned out to be something special. Young Mr. Buckley soon became the lead singer & rhythm guitarist in Mr. Lucas’s band Gods and Monsters, who got signed to Columbia Records. I caught that version of Gods and Monsters play at St. Ann’s in March or 1992 and they were extraordinary! Sadly, Mr. Buckley soon left the band to pursue a solo career, taking two of the songs for his first solo effort with “Grace” becoming the title song. In 1997, Mr. Buckley began work on his second solo effort, relocating to Memphis to record. In May of that year, Mr. Buckley decided to go swimming in the Mississippi River and soon drowned, ending his life at just 30. In 2002, an album called ’Songs to No One’ was released and included the songs that Buckley and Lucas had recorded as demos. And now, nearly three decades after they were written, Gary Lucas teams up with an Italian rock band known as The Nero to perform all 12 songs that he and Mr. Buckley had written together. This includes five songs which have never appeared on a legit release before now. Although I recognize the names of 100’s of Italian musicians from jazz and progressive bands, old & new, I hadn’t heard of most of the musicians here. It turns out that their bassist, Phil Spalding, did play with GTR (w/ Steve Howe & Steve Hackett). This disc begins with the five unreleased songs, all of which are superb. The opening song is “No One Must Find You Here” and it begins with Mr. Lucas distinctive swirling guitars. The lead singer here, Davide Combusti, has a strong voice which is similar to Mr. Buckley’s yet it is still his own. And similar to Mr. Buckley’s voice, he sounds like he was influenced by Robert Plant when he sang for Led Zep. It is also you will either really love or not, I am indeed impressed. Both the songs and performances are inspired throughout. The first song ends with an impressive solo guitar section, which is a perfect conclusion to a great opening song. What makes this disc so special is the endlessly inventive guitar playing of Mr. Lucas, inserting nifty flourishes of electric & acoustic guitars with the sly sonic seasoning of the assorted effects that Lucas has long mastered. The feeling that I get when listening to this disc is that is sounds like the long lost album that Mr. Buckley and Mr. Lucas started in 1992 and never really finished. Jeff Buckley was a major player in his own right with many fans around the world. His career was cut short by his early death with just a handful of releases under his belt. Hopefully this great disc will be heard by some of his passionate fans since it is well worth hearing. Quite a marvelous effort from Gary Lucas and The Niro! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $6 or 2 LP Set $16
HISTORIC & ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS:
GIL EVANS ORCHESTRA with HIRAM BULLOCK / CHRIS HUNTER / LEW SOLOFF / SHUNZO OHNO /HOWARD JOHNSON / DAVE BARGERON / DAVID TAYLOR / JOHN CLARK / BILL EVANS / PETE LEVIN / MARK EGAN / MARILYN MAZUR / VICTOR LEWIS / et al - Live At Fabrik Hamburg 1986 (Jazzline 77101; EEC) By the 1980's, Gil Evans orchestra's repertoire was a distinctive blend of Hendrix tunes, original pieces from band members and the occasional nod to Gil's earlier recordings. The set at Hamburg includes four songs from the Hendrix book, although just one of these ("Up From The Skies") was part of the original studio album. Regular appearances in Europe meant that the band had now acquired a younger following, such as many in the audience at Fabrik, one well accustomed to its rock-referent concerts.
A year and a half after the concert at Fabrik, Gil Evans passed away in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Quite rightly he'll always be remembered for recording those brilliant, luminous albums with Miles Davis and under his own name, but he had, in fact, led at least three contrasting musical lives. His final years saw him directing his band at a regular Monday night gig at Sweet Basil, New York, so it's fitting that we now have this recording from Hamburg, one that serves as a memorial to his free-spirited later days. With an All Star Musicians Cast.”
2 CD Set $28
CECIL TAYLOR with JIMMY LYONS / BILL DIXON / HENRY GRIMES / ALAN SILVA / ANDREW CYRILLE - With (Exit) To Student Studies, Revisited (Hat ezzthetics 1133; Switzerland) “Changing approaches to his music with new quartet of Jimmy Lyons on alto sax, Alan Silva on double bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums, pianist Cecil Taylor's incredible 1966 concert in Paris presented four extended compositions, here remastered and reissued with a track from a compilation LP--"With (Exit)"--extending his quartet with Bill Dixon on trumpet and Henry Grimes on double bass.”
ALAN SILVA / ITARU OKI / RICHARD COMTE / MAKOTO SATO - Celebration (Nunc 027; Earth) Recorded live in Paris in 2019 as a celebration of improvising keyboardist Alan Silva's 80th birthday, and released with a dedication to the memory of trumpeter Itaru Oki, the quartet completed with guitarist Richard Comte and drummer Makoto Sato, in a 3-part improvisation that is sadly the final recording for Oki, standing as a great example of his voice.”
MORTON FELDMAN - String Quartet II (Black Cover)(God Records 050X-LP; Austria) 6-LP box with black cover. Excerpt from liner notes by Sebastian Claren: "When Morton Feldman wrote his second string quartet -- or String Quartet II, as he titled it in the score -- in 1983, he found himself at the height of his career: prior to this, his long form compositions, of which the majority lasted around one and a half hours, had not isolated him or let him disappear from concert and festival programming, as he had expected, but were on the contrary celebrated as a major 'breakthrough' and a big 'step forward' . . . Like the long pieces that preceded it, Feldman's String Quartet II consists of repeated patterns, which usually surface at a certain point in the composition without preparation, are maintained over a given period, and then abruptly abort to possibly return later. In this context, Feldman has always emphasized the interplay of 'reiteration' and 'change' in his music -- two aspects that in his mind had been decisive criteria of the music of the twentieth century as 'repetition' and 'variation' (Stravinsky and Schoenberg). He even claimed Schoenberg's concept of 'developing variation' for his composition technique..." Live Recording! 317 minutes over six LPs. Personnel: Morton Feldman - composition; Pellegrini Quartet: Antonio Pellegrini - violin; Thomas Hofer - violin; Fabio Marano - viola; Helmut Menzler - violoncello.
6 LP Box Set $115
GAF & THE LOVE SUPREME ARKESTRA - Garden Island (Keroxen KRXN 024LP; UK) “Spectacular mystical jazz infused psychedelics from Canary Islands' cult band GAF. Using a series of different add-ons to their (already obscure) band acronym GAF (Grifa Ambient Factory) such as Love Supreme Arkestra or GAF & La Estrela de la Muerte amongst a few, the Tenerife based band illustrate clearly what mutation or influence they're feeding through (their mind) by the judicious use of these referential add-ons. Rotating around the vision of local lynchpin, Mladen Kurajica aka Bonni, Keroxen label head, festival organizer, producer and musician with numerous projects including helming the GAF outfit. The Love Supreme Arkestra variation here being the more Coltrane leaning (Alice rather than John) and Sun Ra-esque influenced thematic of the six-piece band. Over a series of seven huge sounding themes, you can hear twirling saxophones, trumpets, marimbas, modulars, and rhythmic sections intertwining like flying spiral snakes over a burning sea of lava. Recorded live and freely over a completely improvised jam session on a sunny afternoon in the mountainous region of La Esperanza in Tenerife, the band lets rip free of any previous albums particular sound choosing instead to purge into a world of musical liberation by embracing the aforementioned pioneers of the genre whilst unconsciously absorbing in their surroundings -- as an additional inspiration for musical freedom. The result really shines through its 74 minutes of mind-blowing adventurous music. A journey to the peaks of the Teide Volcano and down the green valleys, into the blue and black volcanic coasts of liberation. For fans of Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, free spiritual jazz. Presented in a gatefold sleeve with two beautiful paintings by Tenerife painter, Sema Castro.”
2 LP Set $35
ZULU - Zulu (Vampisoul 230LP; Spain) “Vampisoul present the first ever reissue of Zulu's self-titled album, originally released in 1974. The first record by Zulu was also his last. Shortly after releasing it in 1974, the artist withdrew from the music scene and never returned. 46 years later, his music still sounds out of time. His musical eclecticism heralded a different era and linked rock with Afro-Latin American beats and pop. His debut and only LP is one of the last great albums of the first wave of Peruvian rock. No other original records of this type were released in Peru until the early '80s. In the '70s, in Peru, most rock groups sang in English. For his LP, Zulu chose to sing in his own language and focus on his own emotions and experiences. In the early days of his career, he became member of Los Shain's, for less than a year. Then he was invited to join Traffic Sound playing bass guitar and keyboards and record the band's third album Lux. An offer to start a solo career would follow and "Como una escalera", "Alegría", and "Cariño grande" 45s were released. The expectations that his first solo singles generated were met by the release of the LP Zulu in 1974, boasting an eclectic and innovative sound. Andean folk, Afro-Latin beats, psych-tinged prog rock scents, Moog glides, choir arrangements spread across the entire album creating a truly unique piece of music. A few demos were also recorded for the next album but this never saw the light. In December 1974, a few months after the LP was released, the artist decided to disappear. At this point of his life, he started to become aware of the need to define spirituality. After exploring and comparing countless religious, philosophical, psychological texts and trying transcendental meditation and yoga, he concluded that the Bible was the most profound and clearest text. While this was going on, his public figure grew thanks to the success of his album. At the end of 1974, Zulu surprised the manager of IEMPSA, Augusto Sarria, by communicating his decision to leave show business. The artist vanished into the religious path, making sure his music got as unnoticed as possible... The reissue has been supervised by the artist himself and includes extensive notes and the extra track "Haces mal, pobre chico", B side to his first single that never made it into the album.”
MARCO MONFARDINI - Detect (Aesthetical 003LP: Germany) “Aesthetical in collaboration with Sync presents Detect by Marco Monfardini. Originally developed as an audio/video live performance, Marco Monfardini based his research for Detect on the decoding of inaudible sounds, sound generated by electromagnetic emissions left from electronic devices and inaudible to the human ear. By using various electro-smog detectors Marco Monfardini creates a sort of detection mapping where electromagnetic emissions are the starting point for the sonorous development of each single composition. A path that creates a parallel with our lives by questioning how much these emissions affect unconsciously our choices, tastes and perceptions, seeking a relationship between the massive use of technology in everyday life and our emotional state. The album Detect is developed in 15 tracks in continuous play, an imperfect, faulty mosaic inhabited by invisible beings manifesting themselves in the form of sound streams, mutable entities that find a definitive form in the pattern of the compositional structure. The album opens with "a[R1] detection", sounds of pure detection place themselves in the sound space giving the initial coordinates for the exploration of unconscious parallel areas. The boundaries transform and gradually expand until they flow into the structure of "kernel variations", a growing rhythmic pattern decodes the impulses projecting a perspective that dissolves in the unstable and fluctuating electromagnetic emissions of the subsequent "[a]3020t detection", "binary defect" and "core". "[A.box]emission" confronts the use of sound downloaded random from internet sample banks and the emissions generated during the download itself. The first part ends with the short "[sa]6030" and "[det]x1a", absence and presence provide an alternation of movements, inaudible and elusive signals all trying to establish a contact with our perception. "det : scan" opens the second part of Detect, a sort of scanning, leaving EMF (electromagnetic field) textures, a static multilayer that progressively expands until it dissolves into the rhythmic emissions of a common smartphone "[4s]detection". The track "[rs]zone" is pushing itself deeper, two minutes of sound speleology that reveal the existence of sound artifacts that seem to vanish getting in contact with the light accented by the bass drum of "[det] 0100 " a constant, rhythmic pumping, a luminous pulsation that reveals an apparent void, which seems to subside entering in the winding and waving atmosphere of "conductive [area]" and "[s3] microfunktion". Detect comes to the end with "[emf]terminal" a mirror of the technological acceleration intercepting the flow of data that feeds the system of communication. Edition of 300.”
THUNDER TILLMAN - Aural Healing Program For Peace And Longevity (Edizioni Mondo 013LP; Italy) “Swedish duo Thunder Tillman come together again in healing harmony to produce a much-needed LP for troubled times. Thunder and his life coach Pony bring their spirits in sync for 40 minutes of improvised soundtracks for mental and physical wellbeing. Recorded on Stockholm's Wind Island, the pair have carefully selected specimens from their collection of vintage musical paraphernalia to channel these specific vibrations for maximum healing power. Side one is a gentle wake up call for the soul, with pipes and chimes that gently give way to mind-expanding synths and feedback echoes that sound like sun glistening off a mountain river. Those sounds lead into an electric piano and life affirming synth figure, before disintegrating into santoor strings and chants with a slight Indian flavor. It's a cosmic combination that invites relaxation and meditation, and the kind of deep breathing exercises that could turn back the clock on a host of bodily ailments. An electric piano comes back to the foreground with a bass and synth combination that drives forward with healing hands, before parting the frequencies for ear-tickling pads and voices. Rounding out the side is a chiming synth and santoor figure that brings the wandering spirit home and to rest. Side two starts up with "Cosmic Osmosis" -- a motorik drum machine beat and bass line that briefly brings to mind some of their more krautrock inspired modes across their three previous EPs, but soon collapses back into visceral synth twinkles and relaxing washes of analog tones. It's a dynamic that drives the whole record, sounds that excite the soul perhaps even the body on an atomic level, before bringing that energy down to a calming, relaxing home. There's a craftsmanship to their synthesized tones that goes beyond mere artistry, and the interplay between sounds and frequencies is especially inspired, to the point where the music practically sparkles out of the speakers. Side two closes out with harmonic chimes that could put you on a Himalayan Mountain side, and succeeds in raising the spirit, mind and body to higher plains of cosmic consciousness. The Aural Healing Program is accompanied by a 40-minute Visual Healing Program that will be unveiled in conjunction with the vinyl release. The first visual healing session featuring side B opener "Cosmic Osmosis", is already available for all to partake. Relax, let go, and let the frequencies guide you. Inlay insert included.”
GRAEME MILLER - Comet In Moominland (Finders Keepers 111LP; UK) “From deep in the heart of Moomin valley, frozen in time for many midwinters passed, comes a genuine treasure chest of never heard Moomin melodies and instrumental comet songs composed for the continued animated adventures of the fuzzy-felt freak folk friends who disappeared from UK TV pastures in the mid-1980s. From the top of the Hobgoblin's Hat and the bottom of Snufkin's satchel, original Moomin's composer Graeme Miller (The Carrier Frequency) kindly shares this patchwork selection of spellbinding sound poems and percussive peons made using the very same selection of ocarinas, kalimbas, miniature squeak boxes, Wasp-y synths, cornflake box shakers and a seemingly endless array of talent and lo-fi home studio trickery. Regarded as one of the most enigmatic, beguiling and haunting imported children's programs to ever grace UK TV screens, The Moomins was one of the first-ever commissions by Anne Wood (The Teletubbies) who ingeniously replaced the original Polish/Austrian/Finnish soundtrack with homemade music experiments by unknown post-punk theater students Graeme Miller and Steve Shill (aka The Commies From Mars) who after the screening of two unforgettable series in 1983 and 1985 were left in eager anticipation of rescoring further Moomin adventures with new melodies, arrangements and sound designs which then lingered in the ether waiting until the Groke awoke and Snorkmaiden sang once more. With future felt adventures screened exclusively in Poland and Germany for many years (often as feature films) these unheard recordings are the only genuine musical sequel to the bizarre UK version of The Moomins and stand as important inclusions the Graeme Miller's own portfolio of theatrical theme music and sound installations as part of The Impact Theatre Cooperative including collaborations with artists and writers such as Russell Hoban. Witnessed in fragmented form during a short run of incredible rare live screenings at The Barbican Theatre and various film festival this record marks the first time this music has been heard in its original full-length form, free from sound effects, dialogue and whimpers of euphoric joy and nostalgia from those who have continued to crave the company of the Moomin trolls and their mysterious music over the last five decades.”
TULAY GERMAN & FRANCOIS RABBATH - Homage To Nazim Hikmet (Zehra 004LP; Germany) “Following the reissue of the self-titled debut by Tülay German & François Rabbath in 2021 (ZEHRA 003LP), Zehra present the second and final part of our Tülay German reissues: Homage To Nazım Hikmet (1982). Once again in a duo setting with François Rabbath, Tülay German pays tribute to one of Turkey's greatest poets of the 20th century: Nazım Hikmet (1902-1963). Recorded in the early '80s this two-album work cycle refers heavily on Turkish poets and the tradition of aşıks (singer-poets and wandering bards) and consists of unique and modern interpretations of Turkish folk songs unmatched to this day. Back in the '60s Tülay German shook the Turkish music landscape with several 7" records. Most notably her first 7" record Burçak Tarlası (1964) is now considered the cornerstone of what was to become the Anadolu rock/pop movement and underlines her rebellious nature and sense of justice. But due to increasing repression, Tülay German and her lifelong partner and intellectual impetus Erdem Buri decided to leave Turkey a few years later. In France, Tülay German signs a major contract with Philips resulting in many 7" releases sung in French under the moniker Toulaϊ. Despite the success and recognition, Tülay German doesn't feel comfortable with the record deal and decides to quit the contract. Later, she signs to independent world music label Arion to pursue her actual artistic goals more in line with her origin and temperament. Back to her mother tongue, Tülay German records above mentioned albums for Arion under full artistic freedom, the only full-lengths in her 20 year career. Alongside with double-bass virtuoso and turkophil François Rabbath, the albums consist of aşık traditionals and intonated poems mainly by Nazım Hikmet. Her passionate voice and the restrained arrangements of François Rabbath turn these centuries old melodies and poems into glowing manifestos for love and justice. The fruitful collaboration of these artists-in-exile adds significantly to the rich heritage of Turkish folk music. Nazım Hikmet is considered as one of Turkey's greatest poets of the 20th century, though during his lifetime his works were banned in Turkey for decades and he spent most of his life in prison or in exile. Tülay German ended her musical career in 1987. In 2021 Tülay German was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Turkey.”
JONE TAKAMAKI / UMUT CAGLAR / FAHRETTIN AYKUT - Myth Of The Drum. Urban Transformation (Zehra 005LP; Germany) “Multi-instrumentalist Umut Çağlar (Konstrukt, Karkhana), former Baba Zula drummer Fahrettin Aykut and the Finnish saxophone player/shakuhachi specialist Jone Takamäki join forces in a stunning improvised live set that blends free jazz with East-Asian Zen-sounds. The idea for Myth Of The Drum. Urban Transformation dates from an art exhibition in Istanbul 2017 where Fahrettin Aykut exhibited an installation called "Urvban Transformation" that combined painting and music, dealing with the relation of humankind and earth which is symbolized through a tree put upside-down. Aykut, former drummer in the Turkish group Baba Zula and these days a well-known architect in Turkey, asked his longtime friend Umut Caglar, multi-instrumentalist in Konstrukt and Karkhana, to join for an actual performance -- Caglar on his side was in touch with Jone Takamäki who has been a central figure of the Finnish free jazz/avantgarde scene since the 1970s. His album Universal Mind (1982) is a sought-after collector's item of European spiritual jazz, he was a member of the group Roommushklahn (with Raoul Björkenheim a.o.) and in 1991 he joined the ECM signed Finnish jazz/rock/improv collective Krakatau, founded and run by Raoul Björkenheim, and last but not least Takamäki received the first ever Pekka Pöyry Award. Besides being deeply rooted in jazz, he is also a specialist in Japanese shakuhachi and hocchiku flute playing which makes this ad hoc-trio so extraordinary: repetitive drumming, shamanistic throat sounds and plenty of string and reed instruments, a constant ebb-and-flow of sounds and energy -- neither pure jazz nor world music but a blend of both, forming a fascinating third! Meditative in its continuously pulsating rhythm, cathartic in the moments of sonic outbursts -- a few months after the Istanbul art fair performance, the trio (augmented to a quartet by Alan Wilkinson) played two shows at London's Cafe OTO and gossip has it saying that Thurston Moore who attended the show confessed afterwards that he was very touched emotionally. 180 gram vinyl; includes insert and download code.”
LLOYD THAYER - Twenty20 (Feeding Tube Records 698; USA) "It has been a couple of years (that felt like a lifetime) since we released lloyd Thayer's last album, Duets (FTR 406LP, 2020), which he recorded with the drummer Jerome Deupree. The intervening time has been weird as hell, but Thayer (master of every string that's ever been strung) has made the decision to create a fantastic, sprawling solo suite for himself. And now it is time to share the beauty with you. Unlike the music on Duets, the piece here was played entirely on double-necked Weissenborn guitar, although the sounds are altered and layered in ways that are a far cry from the delicate slide work for which the Weissenborn is best known. And if there's not a temple bowl in the mix somewhere, I'll eat a bottleneck! Still, many of the same tactics employed on Duets, like mixing Eastern sonances with blues-based art music, are on full display on Twenty20. The extended piece is broken into distinct segments, with different moods, tones, and styles of attack, but the transitions tend to be subtle. You are drifting amidst cool tendrils of acoustic guitar and almost before you know it, there are sparking cables of electrical menace hanging nearby while ghost-tones quiver ominously in the darkness. Because this piece evolved over the two years it did, I am assuming there's a dark narrative thread lurking somewhere in its interior. But here's the thing -- lloyd's playing and writing are as beautiful to listen to as ever, so I'm not sure it's really worth getting bogged down in interpretation. Perhaps the best idea is to just go with the exquisite flow of the music, and damn the torpedoes. Just dig the beauty. Y'know?" --Byron Coley, 2022
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com.
This is from DAVE MILLER:
Friday July 22nd @ 8pm:
Record Shop Redhook - 360 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn
First: Ezra Feinberg (guitar)
Second: Zachary Cale (guitar)
Third: ASCEND! (Robert Boston/Daniel Carter/Tom Kotik/Dave Miller)
Friday July 22nd, 10:30pm
Flip City featuring:
David Aaron - soprano & tenor saxophone
Dave Gould - drums & toys
Nick Panoutsos - bass
"Umbrage" album release
At Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 3), 185 Orchard St., NYC
Tickets $10, two drink minimum
This comes from Will Glass at the Jazz Foundation:
This Saturday, July 9, 2pm-8pm
Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11106
3pm Rudy Walker Ensemble
Rudy Walker - Drums, Joe Ford - Saxophone, Greg Murphy - Piano, Belden Bullock - Bass
A veteran in creative jazz, drummer Rudy Walker has worked with major figures like Sir Roland Hanna, Sonny Fortune, Randy Weston and Pharoah Sanders, and held a decades-long run with the legendary poet / spoken word artist Amiri Baraka. His ensemble today includes tenor sax great Joe Ford and pianist Greg Murphy, known for his work with Rashied Ali.
4pm Cooper-Moore Solo
Cooper-Moore is an American jazz pianist, composer and instrument builder / designer. Celebrated for his improvisational vigor in numerous groups alongside William Parker, David S. Ware, Alan Braufman and many more, he is equally noted for the inventiveness of his original instrument designs. He has said, "If you put me somewhere, and I had to play and didn't have an instrument, I'd get everything I needed and make an instrument within a few hours." (Davis, Barry, Jerusalem Post April 26, 2007)
Melanie Dyer - Viola, Kurt Ralske - Reeds, Todd Capp - Drums
A new, dynamic, cooperative improvising trio assembled by violist Melanie Dyer (known for her work with William Parker, Salim Washington, and Heroes are Gang Leaders), with the mulit-faceted artist Kurt Ralske on saxophones and flutes, and the free jazz stalwart Todd Capp on drums.
6pm Elliott Sharp Solo
A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. Today he presents Monkulations--interpretations of Thelonious Monk on acoustic guitar.
Michael Marcus - Reeds, Ted Daniel - Trumpet, Lonnie Plaxico - bass, Darrell Green - drums
The multi-instrumentalist composer Michael Marcus has put forth an impressive body of work across the jazz spectrum, helming or co-leading dozens of recordings, including with greats like Sonny Simmons and Jaki Byard, while trumpeter Ted Daniel has been a formidable voice in creative music ever since his appearance on the 1969 classic, Sonny Sharrock's Black Woman. Together, as Duology, they have worked as a duo and also alongside noteworthy collaborators like Henry Grimes and Andrew Cyrille. Here, Duology features a special multi-generational rhythm section.
INDEPENDENT PROMOTERS ALLIANCE Presents:
MACK GOLDSBURY / HERB ROBERTSON / ERIK UNSWORTH / LOU GRASSI!
Saturday, AUGUST 6 at 7:00 PM
@ Michiko Studios, Stage 2
149 West 46th Street
Stage 2 is on 3rd floor
Building is not elevator-equipped
THERE IS A RECENT INTERVIEW with FRED FRITH by Rick Rees that is found here: https://rickrees.substack.com/p/fred-frith-interview . Rick Rees has been working on a website/blog/book/whatever about the great producer/manager/instigator/raconteur Georgio Gomelsky. Gomelsky is someone I’ve long admired and Rees is doing a good job of documenting/interviewing numerous Gomelsky associates. The Fred Frith interview is great and if you are a Frith fan, you should want to know about a number of upcoming projects, tours, etc. This interview showed up in my email during the last hour of my birthday last Sunday and it made me smile. Fred Frith & myself are old friends and he is someone whose music and attitude I really admire. - BLG
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 10:30pm Tues, Thurs and Sat on Facebook. Different songs & improvisations on each episode. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836/
Sunday August 28th
Live at Scholes Street Studio
Live recording/Live audience!
8pm Rick Parker - trombone
Michael Attias - alto saxophone
Simon Jermyn - guitar
Kate Gentile - drums
9pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Shinya Lin - piano
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
10pm Tony Malaby - saxophones
Caleb Duval - bass
James Paul Nadien - drums
Live recording/Live audience!
$20 at the door (entire evening), cash/venmo
August 28, 2022
@ Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com