Broken bottles, broken plates
Broken switches, broken gates
Broken dishes, broken parts
Streets are filled with broken hearts
Broken words never meant to be spoken
Everything is broken
Seem like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground
Broken cutters, broken saws
Broken buckles, broken laws
Broken bodies, broken bones
Broken voices on broken phones
Take a deep breath, feel like you're choking
Everything is broken
Every time you leave and go off someplace
Things fall to pieces in my face
Broken hands on broken ploughs
Broken treaties, broken vows
Broken pipes, broken tools
People bending broken rules
Hound dog howling, bull frog croaking
Everything is broken
I’ve been a long time Bob Dylan fan-addict for more than a half century, learning & singing the words to “Blowing in the Wind” when I was at day camp as a pre-teen and purchasing his first greatest hits album around 1968. Mr. Dylan remains a rather enigmatic figure and has worn many hats: the king of 60’s protest singer/songwriters, early rock star with better lyrics than most songwriters at the time, he has a bent, distinctive voice that folks either love or hate plus he has written more great songs and has been covered by bands & singers than almost anyone else. Starting with ’Street Legal’ in 1978, Dylan’s albums are often a mixed bag, some great, some amazing and a number of clinkers. The above song, “Everything is Broken” comes from a personal fave called ‘Oh Mercy’, which was released in 1989 and produced by Daniel Lanois. Mr. Lanois’ production makes the album special, spooky in parts with some superb reverb or effects, which make Dylan’s voice to sound better than ever. Mr. Lanois also produced another Dylan album called ’Time Out of Mind’ in 1997 and again it is my favorite Dylan album of the last couple of decades. Bob Dylan’s words have a way of illustrating universal truths or observations that many of us share yet can’t articulate as poetically. Considering that several appliances at DMG have recently broken down, I can indeed relate to that feeling, “Everything is Broken”. - BLG at DMG
DMG NEEDS YOUR HELP - Everything’s Falling Apart!
First it was the mini-fridge which just stopped working, then it was the de-humidifier (which takes a gallon of water out of the air every night) and then our air-conditioner stopped 2 weeks ago. Oye!!! It has been hot & humid & hellish down here in our cosy basement space in Chinatown. I feel bad for our employees, the musicians who play here weekly and our customers who come to visit. I just ordered those large appliances which will be delivered shortly. It cost around a grand ($1,000) for everything which we can barely afford at this time. This summer, our business has been particularly slow overall, especially our walk-in traffic. We are doing relatively well through our Discogs sales but the newsletter doesn’t stimulate enough sales. Hopefully that will change. If anyone of you can afford it, we could use some donations to help pay off present debt. Here’s our paypal address: email@example.com. Perhaps we should do a GoFundMe thing?!?! I have been coming in on some Sundays (my day off) just to clean and reorganize to make this place more welcoming for all visitors and employees. It gets so dusty sometimes, I’m sure this is not so healthy. Anyway, thanks to all DMG subscribers/friends for your longtime support. I still love working here, this is what makes my life better in many ways. Creative Music and Serious Listeners is what makes Downtown Music Gallery our real home. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE DMG 31st ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES CONTINUES with:
Rare Sunday Set, August 7th:
6:30: BEN GOLDBERG & WILL BERNARD - Playing selections from Porch Concert Material
7:30: ROBERT DICK & LESZEK “HeFi” WISNIOWSKI - International Flute Duet
Tuesday, August 9th:
6:30: MIRIAM ELHAJLI / ZOH AMBA / SHAHZAD ISMAILY
7:30: DANNY KAMINS / JAMES McKAIN / MARC EDWARDS
Tuesday, August 16th:
6:30: ZOH AMBA / gabby fluke-mogul / LESLEY MOK - Tenor Sax & Flute / Violin / Drums
7:30: DAVE SCOTT / SARAH BERNSTEIN / HILL GREENE / BILLY MINTZ
THIS WEEK’S COSMIC DISCS BEGIN WITH AN AMAZING CREATIVE SAX DUO:
JOE McPHEE & EVAN PARKER - Sweet Nothings (for Milford Graves)(CvsD 085CD; USA) “Two masters of wind instruments blowing in from the Windy City. In 2003, as part of the seventh annual Empty Bottle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music, Joe McPhee and Evan Parker squared off for a round of intimate dialogues. The resulting recording is just the second time they had played as a duet, the previous also being in Chicago, at a studio in 1998, where the limited their instrumentation to tenor saxophones, resulting in the Okka Disc classic Chicago Tenor Duets (2002). In this case, they expanded their arsenal to include tenor and soprano saxophones, as well as McPhee's trusty pocket cornet. Held in a beautiful hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, the concert was unforgettable. Fortunately, it was documented by the legendary mobile recordist Malachi Ritscher, who recorded most of the Bottle Fests with his usual rough-and-ready style. From the opening notes, Sweet Nothings was notable for the musicians' intuitive connection. Freely improvised in seven parts, these are duets of the highest caliber performed by two musicians who are constantly seeking common ground -- what you might call "agree-to-agree" improvisors. But there's no lack of tension or productive dissonance; on the contrary, that's part of their unity of vision, the shared ability to diverge and reconnect.”
TOM BLANCARTE / LOUISE DAM ECKARDT JENSEN / HALYM AABO-KIM / NANA PI AABO-KIM - Tactical Maybe (Barefoot Records BFREC 075CD; Denmark) Featuring Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen on alto, bari & soprano saxes, flute, alto clarinet, electronics, Tom Blancarte on contrabass & euphonium, Nana Pi Aabo-Kim on tenor sax & objects and Halym Aabo-Kim on drums with all on voices. It has been several years since we’ve heard from the couple Louise DE Jensen and Tom Blancarte, who have recorded under the names Sweet Banditry and Home of Easy Credit. This disc was recorded in Denmark and features two couples, Tom & Louise plus Nana Pi & Halym Aabo-Kim, who hail from South Korea. I hadn’t heard about the Kim’s previously although Halym has recorded with Jacob Anderskov and Ms. Nana leads a band called Nezelhorns In An Elephant String (great name!).
This appears to be an all improvised quartet studio recording. The recording and balance is strong, spirited and focused. Aside from the two saxes, bass & drums, there some odd electronics or hard-to-pinpoint extraneous (extended technique) sounds going on as well. Both saxists have distinctive, unique stones on their respective reed. The music here sounds organic like some friends having a thoughtful conversation. Ms. Jensen switches to flute midway, bringing things down to a more restrained, cerebral level. I do hear some electronics or perhaps some voices manipulated with effects flowing through the focused chaos or free stream of events. I like that there is a natural flow going on here, one or two instruments start with an idea of phrase and then are soon joined by the others. Whenever things go further out, they soon move together into some more free yet connected sections. Overall, I found this to be a solid, intense, free-wheeling session with no indication as to where any of these players are from, not that matters. Free Music is no doubt an international language that makes sense and inspires the serious listener in each of us. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FORBES GRAHAM / BRANDON LOPEZ / CECILIA LOPEZ - Another Day, Another Vector (Relative Pitch 1142; USA) Featuring Forbes Graham on trumpet, drum machine, laptop & cover painting, Brandon Lopez on contrabass and Cecilia Lopez on synths. The session was recorded at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT in August of 2021. It seems that all major cities (in the US & around the world) have an underground music scene that if often ignored by the press or common audience members. I do know of Boston area-based trumpeter, Forbes Graham, from his work with Dave Rempis, Weasel Walter and Tatsuya Nakatani. Mr. Graham has also worked with Leap of Faith Orchestra in recent times. Here Mr. Graham is working with a couple of Downtown improvisers, Brandon (bass) and Cecilia Lopez (synths, composer), who have been working together more recently for two previous discs for the Relative Pitch label.
Things begin with soft synth, subtle drum machine samples and tapping on the body of the bass sounds. The density and odd sounds evolve, as the sounds are slowly manipulated. Mr. Graham soon enters on trumpet playing soft, hushed sounds while the electronics start to expand. Over time things get less sparse as Mr. Lopez starts adding his bass lines to the trumpet and electronics blend. Things get more interesting as the electronics, glitchy sounds, percussive sounds become more dense. The music here is often very careful in the way it unfolds. It takes a while but eventually the trumpet, electronics/synth and bass get more interesting as they create their own unique alien soundscape. Another thoughtful, rewarding session from the dedicated folks at Relative Pitch. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOSH SINTON - Steve Lacy’s Book of Practitioners, Vol. 1 “H” (FiP Records 04; USA) Featuring Josh Sinton on solo baritone sax performing the compositions of Steve Lacy. Downtown reeds player, Josh Sinton, played bari sax and bass clarinet and has been studying and playing the music of soprano sax legend Steve Lacy for many years. Mr. Sinton organized a great quintet to the play of the music of Steve Lacy called Ideal Bread and the released put out three discs from 2007 to 2014. The “Book of Practitioners” was a book of music exercises the Mr. Lacy had created to inspire his students and cohorts.
Mr. Sinton plays solo baritone and also draws from Mr. Lacy’s Book of Practitioners exercises, as well as covering a half dozen of Steve Lacy’s compositions. Each piece is named after another an inspiration (musicians, escape & trapeze artists) and each piece begins with the letter, “h”. It turns out that Mr. Sinton is covering an entire Lacy discs called, ‘Hocus-Pocus’, which was released in 1986. Although I do recognize most of the core melodies here, it is interesting to hear these songs on baritone sax instead of Mr. Lacy’s usual soprano sax. Lacy had an utterly distinctive sound and approach to his favorite sax. “Hubris” (for Babs Gonzalez) is first and Mr. Sinton plays it was hushed, haunting grace. It is mostly the opening and closing theme that sounds rather Lacy-like. Sinton seems to smoothing out the clinks or odd bent notes, giving these pieces a warmer, thoughtful, dreamy tone. On “Hurtles” (for Karl Wallenda), Sinton gets more boisterous, pushing things a bit further out, stretching his lines out, carefully unfolding his lines like smoke rings floating in the air. Mr. Sinton slows things down to a more sparse space on “Hustles”, concentrating on each note or space, so that each sound or silence seems well-placed. On “Hocus Pocus” (for Harry Houdini), Sinton double-times the tempo at points, then slows back down to a more moderate pace. On the last piece, “Heebie-Geebies”, Sinton really pushes things even further out for a bit, I can hear the way Steve lacy used to shape his lines at certain points. Overall, this is a thoughtful, well-considered tribute to one of the most singular saxist/composers of all. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LACERATION HAZARD with LOGAN PERRY / NICK DIDKOVSKY - Laceration Hazard (Punos Music; USA) Guitar/device/electronics/what-have-you improvisatory madness from two sonic deconstructionists operating at the peak of their powers. Didkovsky’s various exploits across the entirety of the Downtown NYC scene are legendary at this point, and he continues to create, either solo or in groups such as Chord and Dr. Nerve, some of the most viscerally satisfying new music around. Maryland keyboardist/sound designer Perry, through a virtual slurry of indescribable, inscrutable, and irascible manipulations, proves to be Didkovsky’s ideal foil and aural doppelganger, the two forging a complex knotted ganglia of networked noises that somehow resolve themselves into a well-integrated and highly listenable enterprise. Ostensibly, the duo note that the titleless (& instrumental) tracks very loosely circumscribe the psychological toll taken on both combatants and innocent bystanders caught up in war, but all context shucked, this remains a powerfully-wrought document that shifts mindstates and movements with some earned, emotional heft. Didkovsky’s strings can ache, cry, weep, and navigate all kinds of hyper-energized vectors seemingly at will, and often change their corrosive directions on a dime; such an approach expertly mirrors and provides an arch contrast to Perry’s own methodology, in and of itself obfuscating who originates what in this tumultuous sonic soup. But it’s those very sounds that prove endlessly fascinating: Didkovsky’s sharp, ringing tones, sudden, explosive airbursts, artful skronk, and exhortative distortions, ducking and feinting with Perry’s own strangulated blips, shudders, wheezing gasps, and enigmatic trills. Melting metal machine music of a high order, born of ballyhoo and bravado, executed with flair and gusto. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
ALVIN FIELDER / DAVID DOVE / JASON JACKSON / DAMON SMITH - The Very Cup of Trembling (Astral Spirits 162; USA) Featuring David Dove on trombone, Jason Jackson on tenor & bari saxes, Damon Smith on contrabass and Alvin Fielder on drums. Recorded at Sanders Hall in the Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, Texas in July of 2016. From-To-From presents a one-of-a-kind meeting of generations and geography. On the face of things, it might seem like a Southern free music super-group and that would be enough to whet the appetite - septuagenarian drummer Alvin Fielder hails from Jackson, Mississippi and trombonist Dave Dove, saxophonist Jason Jackson and bassist Damon Smith from Houston, a recognized hotbed of art and creative music in a state whose political and cultural struggles are by now all too familiar. Fielder (b. 1935) is an institution in and of himself; a student and historian of modern jazz drumming, he was a member of the AACM in Chicago in the late 1960s before returning to his home state in 1969. Since that time he's co-led the Improvisational Arts Quartet (with saxophonist Kidd Jordan, trumpeter Clyde Kerr, Jr. and bassist London Branch), the Creative Collective (with Jordan, pianist/saxophonist Joel Futterman and bassist William Parker), and worked extensively with Dallas trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez, Memphis pianist Chris Parker, saxophonists Ike Levin, Andrew Lamb and Mats Gustafsson, and many others. "I should add: Former Bay Area bassist, Damon Smith, runs the BalancePointAcoustics label and has relocated to Texas. This just arrived and I am looking forward to hearing it. I am a longtime fan of early AACM drummer Alvin Fielder and always dig whatever he is involved in. Damon Smith is a fine bassist who has worked with Henry Kaiser, Peter Kowald, Gianni Gebbia, Frank Gratkowski and many others. David Dove has played here at DMG and I caught him up at the Guelph Jazz Fest in September of this year (2013). He is also a strong trombone player who often plays in diverse situations. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG.
THREE MORE GEMS FROM THE FINE FOLKS AT SUNNYSIDE RECORDS:
RUSS LOSSING with JOHN HERBERT / MICHAEL SARIN - Folks (Sunnyside 1658; USA) “The idea that the creation of an infinite number of melodies is attainable from just 12 tones has always fascinated me. Additionally, I find it intriguing that folk music, the traditional music of the people in a country or region, is strikingly analogous in its raw melodic content despite developing in relative isolation to one another over hundreds of years. As I composed the music for this album, I had the idea of folk melodies in mind: minimal but not minimalistic - simple but not simplistic - miniature melodic moments; specifically crafted for skilled improvisers to instantly absorb and interpret. Apart from the composed melodic content, this music was fully improvised without frameworks or forms. // The melodies set the tone for group improvisation. “Heaven Above” is the only exception, in which the improvisations occur within a circular form over a predetermined harmonic sequence and tempo. // John, Michael and I have been playing together for several decades resulting in a deep, nearly telepathic, musical connection.”
CHUCHO VALDES & PAQUITO D’RIVERA REUNION SEXTET with DIEGO URCOLA / JOSE A GOLA / DAFNIS PRIETO / ROBERTO JUNIOR VIZCAINO - I Missed You Too! (Sunnyside 4562; USA) In 1962, two of the most influential and talented instrumentalists that Cuba ever produced were brought together. Saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera was invited to hear pianist Chucho Valdés at a local club in his Marianao neighborhood of South Havana. The two soon became a musical partnership that helped shape jazz in Cuba. Their paths would separate in 1980 when D’Rivera left Cuba. // Sixty years after their initial meeting, the pair has finally reunited to create a monumental new recording. Their I Missed You Too! marks D’Rivera and Valdés’s first recording since they were both members of Cuba’s most influential jazz/fusion ensemble, Irakere.”
TERRY RILEY // JOHN TILBURY - Terry Riley played by John Tilbury: Keyboard Studies (Another Timbre 193; UK) “There is uncertainty of when pianist John Tilbury recorded these three solo keyboard works by his associate and friend, legendary minimalist composer Terry Riley, performing "Keyboard Study #1" and #2, along with "Dorian Reeds" using piano, electric organ, harpsichord & celesta, captured with excellent quality in superb performances from Tilbury at the height of his powers.”
DANIEL CARTER / EVAN STRAUSS / 5-TRACK / SHERIDAN RILEY - The Uproar In Bursts Of Sound And Silence (577 Records; USA) A collage of styles and experimentation developed over several years by bassist and multi-instrumentalist Evan Strauss, using long-form graphically notated conceptual compositions based on bird calls along with thematic material from Ursula K. Le Guin, expanded with narration and poetry from Daniel Carter and titled from an excerpt by Virginia Woolf.
LUCIO CAPECE / KATIE PORTER - Phase To Phase (Ftarri 969; Japan) “Rich harmonics and interstitial interactions between two bass clarinets, as Utah-based Katie Porter and Berlin-based Lucio Capece exchanged recordings to develop two compositions, the first focusing on expression in the context of freedom in time, the 2nd using strict time to explore the effects of overlapping-phasing; reference The International Nothing.”
JIM BAKER / BRANDON LOPEZ / BILL HARRIS - Dura (Amalgam 034; USA) Recorded while double bassist Brandon Lopez was in Chicago, frequent collaborators from two generations--keyboardist Jim Baker on piano and Arp Synth and drummer/percussionist Bill Harris--joined together to record this live-in-the-studio album of highly interactive, explorative, propulsive and often cathartic free improvisation.
AARON DILLOWAY / JEPH JERMAN - Casual Collisions (White Centipede Noise / New Forces WCN063 / NF111; USA) “Originally released in 2013 on CDR, this meeting of sound artists Jeph Jerman and Aaron Dilloway show the skill, subtlety, and disruptive sonic skills of two innovators, using objects, damaged electronics, electronic loops and live acoustic sound to create large tapestries: 4 pieces that defy characterization through diverse approaches to impactful sound.”
ROBERT ASHLEY - String Quartet.../How Can I Tell The Difference (Alga Marghen 030CD; Italy) "String Quartet Describing the Motions of Large Real Bodies" was composed as the potential orchestra for an opera-based on the text of In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men And Women." When the work was composed in 1972, it was clear that a huge change in electronic instrumentation was just beginning, a change that would involve computers and sound-producing devices as yet undreamed-of. The piece consists of an electronic orchestra of 42 sound-producing modules. The technique of the string quartet is for each player to make a stream of intentional but unpremeditated (that is, random) very short sounds, pulses, somewhat like pitched clicks, but with the formats and overtones of a string instrument (this idea came from the rumor of a performance by Takehisa Kosugi). These sounds go directly to a set of four loudspeakers, but at the same time they are delayed electronically, and those delayed sounds are sent to a series of seven networks of sound-producing modules activated by the very brief coincidence of an original sound and a delayed sound. The operation of the networks as a result of the coincidence can, in the theoretical world of electronics, produce almost any sound imaginable. In the performance recorded here, few of the technical resources were available. Now, of course, there are computer "patching" programs that would make the job possible, but complicated. Such are dreams, when technology promises a "new world." Sort of like 1492. The hills and mountains separating San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean are filled with a labyrinth of endless concrete tunnels constructed by the military in the 1930s in anticipation of World War II, to defend San Francisco Bay from invasion. At the entrance of every tunnel is a huge steel door. When the door is slammed, the reverberation through the labyrinth seems to last forever. It is one of the wonders of the world. Naturally, Robert Ashley tried to record this phenomenon. On the occasion of the recording, just as the reverberation seemed to die away, a motorcyclist, miles away in the tunnels, started coming closer. The effect, which took minutes, was as if the reverberation had been reversed, as if the tape recording was running backwards. A perfect case of coincidence as illusion. In Version One of "How Can I Tell the Difference?" the composer tried to create the drama of the recording of the reverberation and the motorcyclist, using the "String Quartet" as an "orchestra," in the way it was intended to be used in the opera. In Version Two of "How Can I Tell the Difference?" a solo string player using the same playing technique as in the "String Quartet" opens and closes the sound "gates" to electronic reverberations and pre-recorded sounds running continuously with the performance. A digipack CD edition including an 8-page booklet with scores and liner notes written by Robert Ashley.”
ASGER JORN & JEAN DUBUFFET - Musique Phenomenale (Tochnit Aleph 140CD; Germany) ‘Musique Phénomenale’ was recorded by Asger Jorn and Jean Dubuffet between December 1960 and March 1961 in Paris, and published in 1961 as a box containing four 10" records in an edition of 50 copies by Galleria del Cavallino, Venice. 61 years after its original release, this is the first ever reissue. Produced by Daniel Löwenbrück/Edition Hans Pumpestok, København, in cooperation with Fondation Dubuffet, Paris. Double-CD in six-panel digipak in slipcase; includes 12-page booklet in French and English; edition of 600.
"... It's a curious feeling to implement and test a spontaneous form of orchestration with an artist who has such an extremely independent background. It really felt like we were experiencing an event of singular importance and significance. I can't say if this importance was greater than our own personal joy. But I do know that this music illuminated many ideas for me that had previously remained obscure. For me it remains a kind of phenomenal music, in the sense that in our productions the music became its own specific phenomenon, and yet one that was still connected to all the other sensorial phenomena... "--Asger Jorn (from the liner notes)
Asger Jorn (1914-1973), was a Danish painter, sculptor, ceramic artist, author, and one of Scandinavia's most influential and internationally recognized artists. He was a founding member of the avantgarde movement COBRA and the Situationist International.
Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) was a French painter, sculptor, lithographer and writer. He was one of the main protagonists of Art Brut (a term he invented in 1945).”
2 CD Set $26
TIM HECKER - Harmony in Ultraviolet (Kranky 102CD; USA) "Harmony in Ultraviolet is Tim Hecker's sixth album. It is a continuation of Hecker's interest in spectral communications, noise, impressionist musics, thresholds of listening pleasure/pain, and the limits of digital composition. This album is a significant development of his song-craft, challenging the usefulness of descriptors such as ambient, drone, metal, noise and even electronic music. If references are necessary it could be described as a sonata for the elements, songs of crackling embers, tidal pools, spruce skylines and autumn winds. Gerhard Richter's abstract paintings are also a fair orientation. Materially speaking, it is a record of whirring drones, whispering fissures, dense disintegrating chords, late-night noise and truth-telling harmonics. Yet this record follows no overarching process, no underlying narrative. It is both a homage for the Italian partigiani and also not at all. It is songs about ghost writing and midnight whispers but then again it isn't. In many ways this album can be viewed as a work of total destruction, embracing indeterminacy as an aesthetic ideal."
SIDI ABDALLAH OUMBADOUGOU - Issiktane / Memory / Souvenir (Clermont Music 049CD; Earth) “Sidi Abdallah is the son of legendary Abdallah Oumbadougou from Agadez, Niger. Sidi grew up surrounded by Tuareg music and culture. His late father was one of the originators of the guitar-driven musical genre now called Tuareg desert blues. Steeped in this style Sidi emerges today among the new Tuareg musicians from Niger giving their own interpretation of the traditions of their fathers. He brings fresh energy to the music from northern Niger. With classic Tuareg instrumentation -- electric guitars, percussion and vocal -- Sidi's music echoes his father's influence, as well as the influence of other musicians from Niger such as Rhissa ag Wanagli, Bombino, Mdou Moctar, and the many other young musicians active in Agadez today. Sidi is age 22 and lives in Arlit and Agadez in northern Niger. Personnel: Sidi Abdallah Oumbadougou - electric guitar and vocals; Dawoul Ahamouk - electric bass; Djamilou Rabey - drums.”
HENNING CHRISTIANSEN - Op. 1984 (160C) Goodday, Mr Orwell, Green Ear-Year (The Henning Christiansen Archive 006CD; UK) “Previously unreleased Henning Christiansen work from 1984. A dedication to George Orwell. Someone he was very fond of. In 1977 Henning visited the USSR only to become a staunch anti-Stalinist. A pro Trotskyite who, when visiting the USA, also saw Big Brother watching the US in the same way in the USSR through media and the journalists that worked for each side to manipulate the masses. Henning painted his ear green that year because he wanted to listen to nature and not the media and politicians. Performed at the Møn Musikfestival in the green ear year, 1984 with his first son, Esben, a local celebrity for his work in rock music. Encountering this performance people were very upset that Esben was not playing the rock music he was known for resulting in them setting fires and yelling at our trusty duo throughout the performance. Henning and Esben continued until the end. This was the last performance Esben did, he never played rock music or performed again after this. The radio piece here was recorded on the Christiansen family farm on Møn and the also the local surroundings on Møn. Version 1. Esben and Henning Christiansen action tape First performed 11-12:00 duration: 44 min. Version 2. Esben and Henning Christiansen radio version duration: 43 min. 45 sec. finished the 11th of October 1984 culture and society department Danish Radio Broadcast in Danish Radio Program 1. 25.12.1984.”
HENNING CHRISTIANSEN - To Look Inside Music (The Henning Christiansen Archive 007CD; UK) “The Henning Christiansen Archive present a collection of previously unreleased "classical works" by Henning Christiansen, a large part of his oeuvre which has remained out of sight, until now. This 2CD compilation encompasses a variety of stylistic approaches written in the years from 1963 to 1988.
"This collection gathers music by Christiansen targeted on (in one sense or another) the concert hall. All the recordings presented here are previously unreleased. The majority of publicly available Christiansen recordings have focused on music related to dramatic works, soundtrack works, music made for and within artist performance and tape music. This time, Christiansen as composer is truly at the forefront. His voice is always recognizable even as his expressive range is surprisingly broad; his approach ranges from the conventional to the radical. Any niggling concert-hall questions about craft are settled, yet at the same time he continues to question the role of form and genre in music." --from the liner notes written by Ben Harper.”
2 CD Set $32
DIZZY GILLESPIE QUARTET with RODNEY JONES / BENJAMIN BROWN / MICKEY ROKER - At Onkel PO’s Carnegie Hall, Hamburg 1978 (Jazzline N 77037; Germany) Personnel: Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet, vocal), Rodney Jones (guitar), Benjamin Brown (bass) and Mickey Roker (drums) plus special guest: Leo Wright (alto saxophone). “The pioneering jazz trumpeter and vocalist Dizzy Gillespie, one of the biggest names in jazz, recorded live at the legendary Hamburg venue Onkel Pö's Carnegie Hall in 1978. Dizzy was on tour with a small group: the solos were divided between him and 22-year-old guitarist Rodney Jones, a brisk wanderer between different styles, the equally youthful Ben Brown was the man on the electric bass. However, when it came to drummer Mickey Roker, Dizzy relied on his own, a player from the bebop-tradition - Roker, born in Miami in 1932, guaranteed the band's supply with rhythmical energy. Dizzy's passion for funky rhythms had noticeably increased by the late '70s and was apparent throughout the atmospheric two-hour set.
In the second part of the concert Dizzy invited the saxophonist Leo Wright onto the stage. Wright, one of the style-defining Americans in Europe and in early post-war West-Germany. He was born 1933 and died 1991 in Vienna. He was - together with Phil Woods - one of Charlie Parker's legitimate heirs and since 1959 Dizzy's permanent quintet-partner for two years. Wright, as a member of the SFB-big band, was firmly established in Europe's American jazz scene in the Berlin of the '60s.
2 CD Set$25
PETER EVANS / JOEL ROSS / NICK JOZWIAK / SAVANNAH HARRIS - Being & Becoming (More is More Records 201; Earth) Featuring Peter Evans on trumpet, piccolo trumpet & compositions, Joel Ross on vibes, Nick Jozwiak on contrabass and Savannah Harris on drums. I caught 3 of four nights of the Peter Evans residency at The Stone last week (7/28-30/2022) and was blown away by each set! I have been checking out young trumpet master Peter Evans ever since he moved here and was playing as a member of Mostly Other People Do the Killing in the mid-aughts. Mr. Evans has since left that band and has had a long solo career playing in many different situations, from those breathtaking solo sets to a variety of different projects that he leads. I caught quartet several years ago at The Stone before the Great Pandemic and I was quite impressed. There have a handful of new vibes players coming to town in recent years and Joel Ross is on the top of the heap. Over the past decade, I’ve had Nick Jozwiak play here at DMG mostly playing cello (w/ Guillermo Gregorio) as well as a contrabass quartet. I saw/heard play last week in a trio with Peter Evans & Mat Maneri and that was fabulous. I hadn’t heard about the Savannah Harris before I heard her live with this quartet. The quartet played an hour-long suite-like work that was no doubt challenging for both the musicians and listeners.
This album was recorded at Seizure’s Palace in Brooklyn in April of 2019. It starts off modestly, calmly with slow hypnotic repeating groove with Mr. Evans trumpet playing those tart phrases on top. The quartet soon speeds up to a more intense slamming groove, the bass, vibes and drums all locked in to each other. For the second part the quartet plays another tight, more uptempo locked in groove, which reminds me of one Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music lines somewhat. This doesn’t last very long so soon the quartet increases the tempo in a furious pace, everyone playing this ridiculously difficult line together as if their lives depended on it. During this piece, “Wormhole”, the tempo increases to a nearly superhuman level, which includes inspired interplay between the trumpet and vibes, whoa! Although the pace remains staggering quick, the quartet continue to shift through different sections of tight written parts. This entire album is filled with a great deal of impressive music and Peter Evans has organized a great quartet who can play the challenging charts he has written without breaking a sweat. Most impressive! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LP $25 [Limited edition]
PETER EVANS ENSEMBLE with RON STABINSKY / MAZZ SWIFT / LORENZO - Horizons (More is More Records 203; Earth) Featuring Peter Evans on trumpets & compositions, Ron Stabinsky on piano, Mazz Swift on violin & voice and Levy Lorenzo on percussion & electronics. Downtown trumpet wizard, Peter Evans, has several different bands/projects that he works with. This quarter features Ron Stabinsky on piano (a member of Mostly Other People Do the Killing), Mazz Swift on violin (from Burnt Sugar & a trio with Tomeka Reid & Silvia Bolognesi) and Levy Lorenzo on percussion & electronics. Mr. Lorenzo is also a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble. Peter Evans takes his composing and playing seriously, hence he works hard on each and everything he does. I am not so sure what is the concept is here but the music nonetheless is most compelling, well thought out. On the first piece, Mr. Lorenzo plays a ritualistic beat on just one or to drums while Mr. Evans spins quick lines on top and Ms. Swaft bows up a storm. The music here is well-written and closer to chamber music than modern jazz. Mr. Evans has a good deal of lines that are played by all four members of the quartet similar to the way Mr. Braxtion writes the lines for his Ghost Trance Music (GTM) groups to play tightly together. And like GTM, the quartet both play the lines together and then one member will drop out to pulls off some extraordinary solo(s). Peter Evans takes a handful of daredevil solos throughout this disc and often at an astonishing pace. This music is quite demanding for the musicians and listeners both. Exhausting at times. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MASAHIKO TOGASHI QUARTET with MASAHIKO SATO / YOSHIO IKEDA / MOTOTERU TAKAGI - Speed & Space: The Concept of Space in Music (Cinedelic Records 64; Japan) Reissue, originally released in 1969. Recorded in November 1969 at Teichiku Kaikan Studio, Tokyo, Speed & Space: The Concept of Space in Music is one of those landmark works in which Masahiko Togashi is accompanied by talented musicians who possess a unique style and innovative approach. The album is an exploration of Togashi's notion of the "Time Law" and can be seen as a study of how texture, rhythm, and differing rates of change effect our perception of the passage of time in music. Sounding quite obscure and contemplative, the brief introductory theme signed as "Presage" prepares the listener for powerful and scathing free jazz. In a pace of increasing intensity, "Panorama" remits you to the liberating ways of an absorbing percussion where the more muscular interventions are interspersed with moments of enormous sensitivity. Grounded by Togashi's varied percussion, the disconcerting piano of Masahiko Sato and the vigorous bass of Yoshio Ikeda mark the guidelines of this long abstract exercise. An energetic improvisation, this theme of nearly 15 minutes flows into a grand finale with the involvement of all the musicians. "Expectation" closes the A side in a short but intense reverie of percussion, bass, and flute, guided by an improvisation free of harmonic prejudices. At the piano (and gong), Masahiko Sato assumes a mediation function, granting some harmony traits to the, almost always, abstract and corrosive concepts of this collective. Bassist Yoshio Ikeda (recorded with trumpeter Terumasa Hino and pianist Aki Takase) imprints a decisive mark to the robust rhythm-section as to the overall sound of this date. Mototeru Takagi helps impart a tonal diversity and a colorful exoticism through his forays into the tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, and flute. Of sharp forms dominated by technique and irreverence, side B continues with the title track, divided in two distinct but equally penetrating parts. With a depth marked by Togashi's percussion, "Speed & Space # 1" unfolds on a fast tune over 11 minutes of a harsh and incisive improvisation. The interaction of an irreverent rhythm section finds its complement in the disturbing screams of a delirious saxophone. Shorter, the second part gives voice to a minimalist concept in which the central role of Togashi finds an interesting matching in Masahiko Sato's piano as well in the saxophone and flute of Mototeru Takagi. Fully licensed and remastered from the original tapes. Includes OBI and insert.
A DELUGE OF GREAT RECORDS from the MIGHTY ASTRAL SPIRITS LABEL:
SUSIE IBARRA & TASHI DORJI - Master of Time (Astral Spirits 177; USA) Featuring Susie Ibarra on drums & percussion and Tashi Dorji on guitar. Recorded live at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in April of 2019. A few weeks ago, I caught percussionist, Susie Ibarra, playing with Mephista at The Stone (7/8/22) with Ned Rothenberg sitting in. The set was extraordinary and I realized that I hadn’t heard Ms. Ibarra play live in several years. As far being a percussionist/bandleader/composer, Ms. Ibarra is in a class of her own, no-one plays like her. Ms. Ibarra has been teaching at Bennington for several years and doesn’t play in NYC very often nowadays. Our loss. Although Ms. Ibarra was worked with a wide variety of eclectic musicians: John Zorn, Derek Bailey, David S Ware Qt, she rarely performs with musicians from the noisy or extreme side of free/improv.
Which brings us to this duo with guitarist Tashi Dorji. Mr. Dorji hails from down south and has worked with Dave Rempis, Mette Rasmussen and Eivind Kang, as well as doing a few solo guitar efforts. Hence, I wasn’t so sure how this duo would work together.
The session here was recorded at the Tang Teaching Museum for an exhibition of ‘Bardo Now, The Second Buddha: Master of Time’. The music is superbly recorded: clean, warm, clear, well-balanced. The duo take their time and start of with careful, sparse sounds. Things organically build as the duo combine forces. Mr. Dorji is an impressive improvising guitarist who doesn’t sound like anyone else. I have heard him play more noisy or extreme with others but here he works well with Ms. Ibarra, who is a mature, thoughtful and endless inventive percussionist. Even when things do a bit noisy, there is still some magic/glue that holds this music together. An excellent album, all around. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SURVIVAL UNIT III with JOE McPHEE / FRED LONBERG-HOLM / MICHAEL ZERANG - The Art of Flight: For Alvin Fielder (Astral Spirits 127; USA) Featuring Joe McPhee on tenor sax & pocket trumpet, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and Michael Zerang on percussion. Longtime master improviser, Joe McPhee, recorded an early in his career (1971) under the band name Survival Unit II with the late Clifford Thornton as a guest. Starting around 2006, Mr. McPhee revived the name and recorded under the name Survival Unit III, the personnel is Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang & Mr. McPhee. This is the 7th release by Survival Unit III, the personnel remains the same. This set was recorded at The Mint during the Instigation Festival in New Orleans in January of 2018. Cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Michael Zerang have both lived in Chicago for many years and have worked together with and without Joe McPhee for many years. Mr. McPhee starts off on pocket trumpet with the trio playing freely, intensely as the LP begins. When Mr. McPhee switches to tenor sax, his playing moves becomes more Ayler-like as he blasts intensely. Like most improv dates by Joe McPhee, his playing if focused and he works well Lonberg-Holm’s cello and Zerang’s drums. The music has a deeply spirit vibe which unfolds organically and builds to some grand conclusions. The Survival Unit III remains as one of the eight audio wonders of the world. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LP $18 [Limited edition of 500, numbered]
BRANDON SEABROOK / COOPER-MOORE / GERALD CLEAVER - In the Swarm (Astral Spirits 193; USA) Featuring Brandon Seabrook on guitar & banjo, Cooper-Moore on diddley-bow and Gerald Cleaver on drums. Downtown guitar & banjo master, Brandon Seabrook, takes his time in between his releases. As a collaborator, he has appeared on two discs over the past few years with in a duo with Simon Nabatov, as a member of Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double and the Flying Luttenbachers. As a leader, he has two recent trios, one with Mike Watt & Mike Pride (called Three Layer Cake) and this trio with Cooper-Moore and Gerald Cleaver. Over the last few years, Cooper-Moore has been playing much less piano and more of his home-made instruments. A recent trio set at the Vision Fest with William Parker and Hamid Drake had Cooper-Moore playing only his home-mades. Although Gerald Cleaver has become one of the most in-demand drummers in town, he has recently moved so we will be seeing/hearing less in the near future.
For this album, Cooper-Moore plays his diddley-bow only, no doubt a completely unique sounding instrument. Mr. Seabrook starts off on banjo, originally a bluegrass instrument and one which we rarely hear anything avant-garde except for Eugene Chadbourne. Mr. Seabrook plays furious licks on his banjo while Cooper-Moore also plays quick, rambunctious bass lines on his diddely-bow with Mr. Cleaver keeping the groove going. On the second piece, both Mr. Seabrook on el guitar and Cooper-Moore on diddley-bow are using some effects to give them a more eerie, ethereal sound while Mr. Cleaver plays some tribal/ritualistic drums underneath. For “Vibrancy Yourself”, Seabrook plays a strange, bent-note guitar line, using some odd distortion to give his guitar a more mysterious sound. Both Cooper-Moore and Gerald Cleaver create a variety of grooves, some funky, some rockin’ and some strange yet compelling grooves without easy category. “Crepuscule of Cleaver” starts off with a spirited drums intro before the trio break into another twisted, jazz/rocking groove. Similar to Seabrook’s other trio (Three Layer cake), Mr. Seabrook allows each member of the trio to lead or direct certain pieces so that everyone is integral the strong group sound.
KEEFE JACKSON / JOSHUA ABRAMS / OSCAR JAN HOOGLAND / MIKEL PATRICK AVERY - These Things Happen (Astral Spirits 173; USA) Featuring Keefe Jackson on tenor & sopranino saxes, Oscar Jan Hoogland on piano, Joshua Abrams on bass and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums. Chicago saxist Keefe Jackson is a restless musician/composer who works with many of Chicago’s best players: Jason Roebke, Jason Stein, the Lucky 7’s and Stirrup 6. Mr. Jackson has organized a unique quartet with Dutch pianist Oscar Jan Hoogland (in a trio with Han Bennink), bassist Joshua Abrams (from the Natural Information Society) and drummer Mikel Patrick Avery (with Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra). The six songs here are either covers by Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols & Dewey Redman or originals by Mr. Jan Hoogland.
Han Bennink once called young pianist Oscar Jan Hoogland, the “new Misha”, perhaps in jest, perhaps not. This makes some sense since Mr. Jan Hoogland does sound like he was also influenced by Monk, one of Mr. Mengelberg’s main influences. This LP begins with Monk’s “Epistrophy”, which gets a slightly bent Monkish treatment.
CHARLES RUMBACK with JASON STEIN / RON MILES / GREG WARD / MACIE STEWART / et al (Astral Spirits 151; USA) Featuring Greg Ward on alto sax, Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Macie Stewart on violin, Jom Baker on analogue synth, John Hughes on electronics, John tate on bass, Charles Rumback on drums & guitar and Sima Cunningham & Krystal Warren on voices. Review next week.
ICEPICK with NATE WOOLEY / INGEBRIGT HAKER FLATEN / CHRIS CORSANO - Hellraiser (Astral Spirits) Icepick in Nate Wooley on trumpet, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass and Chris Corsano on drums. Of all of the different Downtown trumpet players, Nate Wooley seems to be the most diverse, running several bands (Seven Story Mountain & Battle Pieces), as well as collaborating with a wealth of different players (Ken Vandermark, Harris Eisenstadt & Ivo Perelman). Mr. Wooley has worked Scandinavian bassist, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, on a couple of previous discs for the Clean Feed label. Singular master percussionist, Chris Corsano is also a member of Wooley’s Seven Story Mountain (whose new disc is at the top of this newsletter - 10/22/20), as well as in projects by Dave Rempis (From Wolves to Whales) and Sylvie Courvoisier. This album was recorded live at Fulton Street Collective in Chicago in February of 2018. From the gitgo, the trio erupts together spinning out cascades of notes freely yet connected by a central force. The trio soars together, frantic yet focused, tightly matching each others playing whether furious or slowing down to a calm, spacious section. Master bassist, Haker Flaten, formerly of the now defunkt trio, The Thing, takes a long inspired solo on the long opening track with Mr. Wooley slowly coming in towards the end of the solo portion, Mr. Corsano joining them for an extraordinary conclusion. Side tow begins with a strong drums & contrabass section, with Mr. Wooley gliding in the distance. The trio hit their stride here, all three members integral to that massive, organic storm, over-the-top at times and them submerged into some more spacious currents. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HARRY PUSSY - You'll Never Play This Town Again (Palilalia 069LP; USA) Limited double-LP version of the 2008 CD originally issued on Load, compiling the best live and studio recordings by the final iteration of this group. "60 second bursts of chaotic rock 'n' roll that barbarize whole histories of freakout style, from free jazz through classic hardcore, boogie, blues, Black Flag, Germs, most explicitly through Beefheart, but all hyper-condensed into ultra-kranky riffs that Orcutt plays at hallucinatory speed, compressing Zoot Horn Rollo style avant confusion into lighting runs and metallic two note knock-outs. Hoyos's style is so primitive that it's wildly avantgarde, with an instinctive feel for time that confounds the most advanced improvisatory strategies with the most hysterical. And her vocals are post-Yoko in the truest sense, not directly informed by her but sharing the same spontaneous energy and a-musical appeal, sometimes breaking from songs completely to expand on barely articulated vocal rants and fever pitched bouts of screaming. The whole group existed in a zone that was constantly beyond technique. The arc of their career was perfect, the mission truly accomplished, and all that's left is this amazing series of recordings, a body of work that has had a disproportionate effect on the minds, if rarely the actual sound of the underground." --David Keenan, The Wire, December 2008
2 LP Set $30
THE BATTERED ORNAMENTS with CHRIS SPEDDING / NISAR AHMED KHAN / BUTCH POTTER / RON TAIT - Mantle-Piece (Survival Research 060LP; Australia) “Survival Research present a reissue of The Battered Ornaments' Mantle-Piece, originally released in 1969. Following the breakup of Cream, lyricist/vocalist Pete Brown formed his Battered Ornaments with guitarist Chris Spedding, drummer Rob Tait, bassist Butch Potter, percussionist Pete Bailey, and saxophonist Nisar Ahmed Khan, but during the recording of sophomore album Mantle-Piece, Brown fell out with Spedding, resulting in his departure. The resultant spacey venture has jazz and blues shades, riding the sonic waves under Spedding's direction, with Khan's sax and Potter's bass fitting foils to Spedding's guitar and keyboards. This is another great piece of the Spedding puzzle, with pleasantly meandering interludes. Gatefold sleeve.”
Of all of the oddball British early prog/beyond-category bands from the late 1960’s, Battered Ornaments might just be the best, certainly it is the most enigmatic and difficult to describe. Originally released on Harvest, EMI’s more experimental offshoot label, with labelmates like Kevin Ayers and early Pink Floyd. The band was founded by Pete Brown, famous Brit poet and main lyricist for Cream’s Jack Bruce. Session master supreme, jazz/rock guitar hero Chris Spedding didn’t get along with Pete Brown so Brown was tossed out with Spedding as the leader. Strangely enough, Battered Ornaments do not quite sound like anyone else, although they draw from a variety of blues, jazz & rock influences and have an odd sly sense of humor. Along with other British early prog bands like Soft Machine, King Crimson and Manfred Mann Chapter Three, 1969 seems to a pivotal point between psych, art-rock and experimentation and what soon to be became progressive rock (with Yes, Genesis, Henry Cow and Hatfield & the North) as the next wave of great forward-thinking bands. ‘Mantel-Piece’ has been reissued on CD a couple of times but it is long out-of-print until this limited edition LP version was released in 2022. Progheads and adventurous music freaks like you and me shouldn’t miss out on this Holy Grail item! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
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.
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… the new one just popped up today, 7/27/22:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org