Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Give them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion
Well there's too much of nothing
Can cause a man to weep
He can walk the streets like most supposed to
But he'd like to keep
But it's all been done before
It's all been written in the book
And when there's too much of nothing
Nobody should look
Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Give them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion
Now too much of nothing
Can make a man a liar
It can cause some men to sleep on nails
It can cause others to eat fire
Everybody's doin' somethin'
I heard it in a dream
But when there's too much of nothing
It just makes a fella mean
Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Give them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion
When lead singer Sandy Denny left Fairport Convention in early 1970, she started her own band which was called Fotheringay (the name of a Fairport song that she had written). I recall hearing one song from the first Fotheringay album (which was released later in 1970) on a sampler and thinking that jeez, this band sounds great. I bought the first self-titled Fotheringay soon thereafter and was completely knocked out by it, a folk-rock masterpiece. There were several cover songs on it like “The Way I Feel” (by Gordon Lightfoot) and “Too Much of Nothing” (by Bob Dylan). The Bob Dylan song first appeared on Dylan’s ‘Basement Tapes’ album which was released in the early 1970’s by Columbia but was earlier illegitimately released as a notorious bootleg called, ‘The Great White Wonder’. “Too Much of Nothing” was also covered by Peter, Paul & Mary as a single released in 1968, which I’ve never heard. The Fotheringay version still sends shivers up my spine. It is sung by Trevor Lucas, formerly of Eclection and soon to be the husband of Sandy Denny, both have wonderful heart-warming voices, their harmonies are so rich and satisfying that it makes me feel good to be alive when I hear them sing. Fotheringay was short-lived, just making one album at the time with two others released posthumously. Sandy Denny died (sadly at 31) after falling down a flight of stairs in 1978. Like many of Bob Dylan’s best songs, there seems to be some message, moral or just some observations buried beneath the frolicking words. I believe that “too much of nothing” means having too much time on our hands, thus we should try to use our time wisely. Perhaps when we think too much about something we lose our ability to spontaneously understand it. And I just love that chorus. I am not so sure who is or was Valerie or Vivian or why we should give them all our salary and I doubt Bob Dylan would answer any of our questions about it so it is time to figure out our own meaning for ourselves. If you are an old folk/rock lover like yours truly, I urge you to check out that first Fotheringay album. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY 31st ANNIVERSARY FREE IN-STORE MUSIC SERIES CONTINUES with:
Saturday, December 10th: GauciMusicSeries:
6pm: Nora Stanley - sax / Victor Tsilimparis - keyboard / Eliza Salem - drums
7pm: Stephen Gauci - sax / Adam Lane - bass / Colin Hinton - drums
8pm: Kuba Cichocki - keyboard / Kenneth Jimenez - bass / Jeremy Carlstedt - drums
Tuesday, December 13th - Rare Holiday Season 4 Set Event!
6:30: BEN TYREE / SAMEER GUPTA
7:30: ABACOA: KENNETH JIMENEZ / HERY PAZ / WILLY RODRIGUEZ - Bass / Tenor Sax / Drums
8:30: MAHAKALA TRIO: CHAD FOWLER / DAVE SEWELSON / STEVE HIRSH - Stritch / Bari Sax / Drums
9:30: BEN GOLDBERG / MICHAEL COLEMAN / MATT HOLLENBERG
A CONCERT FOR THE UKRAINE
This Friday, December 9th at 7:30pm, doors at 6:30
The Auditorium at The New School
66 W. 12th Street, NY, NY, 10011
Presented by John Zorn & The College of Performing Arts at The New School
LAURIE ANDERSON - JOHN ZORN DUO
MARC RIBOT - MARY HALVORSON DUO
SARA SERPA & MARTA SANCHEZ
RAVI COLTRANE QUARTET
with ADAM ROGERS / DEZRON DOUGLAS & KUSH ABADEY
Suggested Donation $50 & above to RAZOM
Please show a receipt of your donation at the door for admission
This Week’s New Discs Starts Off with Two from the Libra Label:
SATOKO FUJII with WADADA LEO SMITH / INGRID LAUBROCK / IKUE MORI / SARA SCHOENBECK / NATSUKI TAMURA / BRANDON LOPEZ / CHRIS CORSANO / TOM RAINEY - Hyaku - One Hundred Dreams (Libra Records 209-071; Japan) Featuring Satoko Fujii on piano & compositions, Wadada Leo Smith & Natsuki Tamura on trumpets, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor sax, Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon, Ikue Mori on electronics, Brandon Lopez on contrabass and Tom Rainey & Chris Corsano on drums. This disc is the 100th release by Satoko Fujii (hence the title of this disc), an impressive achievement for this marvelous pianist, composer and multi-bandleader, whose career is around a quarter century old. Ms. Fujii and her partner, Natsuki Tamura, come to NY (and elsewhere in the US) to play live and/or record once a year and this year played just one night here at the DiMenna Center on September 20 of 2022. The concert was organized by the Independent Promoters Alliance (Matt Vernon, Chris Stern & yours truly) with some funding by the Bielecki Foundation. I couldn’t attend myself since there was a concert at DMG that night but I am glad that it was documented with this disc. There is a lovely booklet inside this which includes liner notes by Ms. Fujii and Boston jazz journalist Ed Hazell. Plus an impressive full discography with pics of all of Ms. Fujii’s releases. The notes by Ms. Fujii discuss her early years of playing piano, failing to achieve early recognition but continually pushing herself, making big strides until she hits that “Hyaku” or 100th release. Ms. Fujii and Mr. Tamura are good friends of mine and remain proud of all that they’ve accomplished.
Since Ms. Fujii was only doing one gig in NY at this time, she chose to organize a most impressive all-star Downtown line-up. The recording of this set is especially clean, clear, warm and most enchanting with Ms. Fujii’s exquisite piano at the center and the rest of the ensemble panned left to right like the inside picture. Ms. Fujii often lays back in her larger ensembles to give the other members a chance to stretch out and solo, but no such here. On the opening piece, “One Hundred Dreams, Part One”, her impressive, ever-resourceful playing is featured, moving in waves from sparse to more eruptive sections. Bassoonist, Sara Schoenbeck, an under-recognized yet extraordinary musician, takes a long, somber yet riveting unaccompanied solo on the first piece, giving things a more chamber-like vibe. Next is an impressive percussion duo with Tom Rainey & Chris Corsano, two masters who haven’t played together before but sound as if their playing is united superbly. In the second section Wadada Leo Smith takes the first unaccompanied solo and sounds most impressive, playing with the utmost restraint and carefulness. The rest of the ensemble comes in in directed waves making his solo section even better. Brandon Lopez, perhaps the most engaging bassist to move to NYC in the past few years, also takes a marvelous solo in the last part of “Part Two”. Ingrid Laubrock is yet another young master as a saxist/composer & multi-bandleader. Laubrock takes the first solo on “Part Three”, modest yet full of inner fire with the rest of the ensemble soon joining her in tight waves with a strong undertow/current below. There are a number of free-ish sections which seem to be woven in and out in a most cautious way. Overall, I felt that this is one of the true treasures of the year. Wonder of wonders! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NATSUKI TAMURA - Summer Tree (Libra 101-070; Japan) This is a true rarity! Although Natsuki Tamura has been recording for more than thirty years, this is only his fifth (mostly) solo trumpet record. His wife and longtime musical partner, Satoko Fujii, only adds her voice on one track. Mr. Tamura plays mostly trumpet, some piano and a wok as a percussion instrument, no room for a drum-set in their small home studio. There are four long pieces here, all named “Summer”… “Summer Color” is first and begins with a stream of tapping on metal with several layers of Tamura’s mutant trumpet playing on either side of the stereo spectrum plus some dark percussive piano interjections. Natsuki is using some extended techniques and getting a variety of twisted, breath-like, farting sounds, some muted, some open note weirdness and assorted alien sounds. Altogether most effective, like being dropped into another dimension where things are only partially familiar and somehow not quite right. The ongoing metallic tapping which runs throughout the entire piece reminds me more of one of those early Steve Reich tape manipulations piece like “Come Out”. “Summer Dream” is even more harrowing, with the trumpet providing a dense, dark, shimmering drone while Natsuki adds some ultra haunting, solemn muted trumpet on top, not unlike Miles Davis’ tribute to Duke Ellington, “He Loved Him Madly” from ‘Get Up With It’. The underlying drone (which sounds like a didjeradoo) is rather disorienting like an electric hum buzzing in our walls that we don’t know how to get rid of. Although the resonating frequencies of the constant drone is most unsettling, Tamura’s muted trumpet is solemn, thoughtful and filled with suspense, like a well needed partner to help us through the darker times. That drone is rather ritualistic sounding, like a cosmic chant that we join in to share with other sympathetic beings. It sounds as if we are speaking with some alien beings on “Summer Tree”. There are layers of odd, high-end sounds which are shimmering, shaking, like electronic seagulls or something similar. There are several layers all coalescing together, some strange, some not some with some of that solemn muted trumpet top playing a sort of ancient sounding ballad. The final piece, “Summer Wind”, begins with some dense, dark, pedal-down sustained piano with some occasional abrupt bursts for the piano’s other end, high up. Ms. Fujii does a great job of letting out her Yoko Ono-like bent vocals in the distance like a cauldron of witches on Halloween. Pretty spooky! Satoko sounds like a bird or some other beast letting it out, casting a creepy spell, digging deep into her soul to evoke several dark spirits. On some level I am reminded of Keith & Julie’s Tippett’s classic ‘Couple in Spirit’ disc, perhaps somewhat darker yet still most moving. Mr. Tamuri also enters with his own scary vocals in the last section, both dark spirits embracing their ritualistic dance on a lonely island in the middle of the sea of haunted freaky demons of love. This is one of the most scary discs I’ve heard in a long while so brace yourself and get on board that roller coaster ride as it climbs to stars on Halloween and then comes crashing back down to Mother Earth for heaving landing back where we started. I appreciate that Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii are not afraid to truly let go and take to another place we rarely go. Another world which is locked up deep down inside our collective minds. You’ve been warned! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MATTHEW SHIPP / MARK HELIAS - The New Syntax (Rogue Art 0124; France) Featuring Matt Shipp on piano and Mark Helias on contrabass. Although both of these Downtown masters/elders have lived in the same neighborhood (Lower East Side) for more than three decades, they’ve never recorded together until recently when Gordon Grdina hired them for two fine trio discs released in the past few years. I am longtime friends with both of these musicians and dig everything they do but at first glance I thought they were coming from different perspectives/backgrounds. Since both are mature, well-seasoned players, they do their best to rise above and connect on several levels and bring out the best in each other, both sounding a bit different from what we might expect. Mark Helias has a wonderful, distinctive sound/touch on contrabass. From his first plucked note, we know something special is beginning. The first piece is called “Mystic Rubber Band” and it is an exquisite, breath-taking intro. This is a dynamic duo that work together splendidly as one force of nature. The music is very thoughtful, very focused, a kind of balancing act between higher and lower tones, slow and moderate paced tempos and between darker and lighter areas. Mr. Shipp eventually works his way into those angular chords he likes to use but Mr. Helias has a way of lightening things with a more restrained undertow which changes the direction of the flow. There is an extraordinary section where the tempo and intensity increases to near boiling point so it sounds like there is some steam about to blow through the tea kettle. There are a few times when it sounds as if Mr. Shipp is quoting or just adding a line from a familiar song but it never lasts very long before things evolve into something else. What I like best is when the two players seem to break into something which sounds like a song or fragment that could only be improvised. This is a magical moment and throughout this disc, the duo weave their way through a number of these transcendent moments. So keep on listening since the rewards are no doubt something special. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DENMAN MARONEY / SCOTT WALTON / DENIS FOURNIER - O Kozmoz Meta (Rogue Art 0120; France) Featuring Deman Maroney on piano, Scott Walton on double bass and Denis Fournier on drums. Recorded in June of 2021, during the Great Pandemic, at Recall Studio in Gard, France. Since moving to France a few years ago, we haven’t heard much from Hyper-pianist (his term) Denman Maroney until now. This is a most impressive free-wheeling trio with no leader. Bassist Scott Walton is from L.A. and can be heard with various westcoasters: Vinny Golia, Alex Cline, Cosmologic & Nathan Hubbard. French drummer Denis Fournier has recorded with Nicole Mitchell in a group called Watershed, as well as with Denman Maroney in duo, whose one recording, ‘Intimations’, I had never seen or heard of. I am a longtime fan & friend of Mr. Maroney, whose unique Hyper-piano playing is in a class of its own and who has worked with a number of Downtown’s finest players: Mark Dresser, Ned Rothenberg, Earl Howard and Sarah Weaver.
Denman Maroney’s distinctive muted notes inside the piano with a unique piece of metal is the first sound we hear, quite eerie and haunting and is soon joined by Mr. Walton’s suspense-filled bowed bass and Mr. Fournier’s subtle cymbal work. The trio play slowly and cautiously, making every note/sound count. Mr. Fournier’s plays with his hands on the drums for “KM #2” establishing a sly groove, while Maroney coaxes some strange sounds from inside the piano while Walton creates the cosmic throb with his contrabass. When the tempo picks up on “KM #3”, the trio starts to levitate together with Maroney spinning out those odd muted notes in a whirlwind fashion. Maroney creates a series of drones throughout this disc which seem to be forever expanding and contracting , the overall effect is both hypnotic and somewhat disorienting. Drummer Fournier sounds like the perfect collaborator for the rest of the trio blending rhythmic elements with equally eerie sonic weirdness as well. I can’t quite think of any other trio that this one sounds like although The Necks use some similar sonic effects but are often held down by a perpetual pulse. When I listened to this disc for the second time late at night a bit stoned, the vibe was even more effective and transformative. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DON RENDELL SEXTET with STAN ROBINSON / PETER SHADE / MICHAEL GARRICK / JACK THORNCROFT / TREVOR TOMKINS - The Odysseus Suite (British Progressive Jazz; UK) Live studio session recorded in London in October of 1970. Previously unreleased. Stereophonic sound. Based on Homer's Odyssey. Those already familiar with the classic Lansdowne Recordings 1970 British jazz album Greek Variations & Other Aegean Exercises by Neil Ardley, Don Rendell and Ian Carr will immediately recognize the four compositions on this EP from the closing segment of that collection. The versions included here however, are taken from a separate session recorded around the same time and reveal that Rendell had a grander vision for them than simply to round off a collaborative album.
Not only are the tracks here nearly 20 min longer in total than the Lansdowne sessions, they also include two additions to the personnel in Peter Shade on vibes and flute, and Rendell’s colleague from the recently-disbanded Rendell/Carr Quintet, Michael Garrick on piano. Whilst Shade had only just joined the group and along with the Greek Variations quartet of Rendell, Stan Robinson, Jack Thorncroft and Trevor Tompkins would record Rendell’s next album Space Walk, Garrick was about to leave, and indeed this recording represents one of his final recorded performances with Rendell until the pair were reunited (alongside Ian Carr) for the BBC’s Jazz Britannia concert three decades later in 2001.” - website info
In my ongoing journey to become an expert on the modern British jazz scene, I’ve acquired dozens of discs from a variety of British jazz players, both known and little-known, over many years. The sixties was an especially dynamic time for the modern British Jazz scene with a number of greats like Tubby Hayes, Joe Harriott, Ronnie Scott, Stan Tracey, Michael Garrick and Don Rendell at the top of the heap. Aside from Michael Garrick, the other aforementioned saxists’ careers began in the fifties. Don Rendell’s first album was released the month I was born (June, 1954) and he went on to record more than twenty albums and eventually passed away in October of 2015 at 89. Starting in 1965, Mr. Rendell co-led a quintet with trumpeter Ian Carr, who split in 1969 to form Nucleus, one of the great UK jazz/rock outfits ever. I have each of the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet records, which I dig but have heard very few of his earlier records. This disc is a live studio session recorded in London in October of 1970. Of the members of the sextet I know well Mr. Rendell, Michael Garrick (great pianist, composer & bandleader) & Trevor Tompkins. The other three players I know very little about: Stan Robinson (with the Francy Boland Orchestra), Peter Shade (also with Michael Garrick) and Jack Thorncroft (both he & Tompkins were the Rendell rhythm team for several albums).
‘The Odysseus Suite’ was composed by Mr. Rendell and was a sextet instead of Rendell’s usual quintet formation. When this music kicks off on “Part 1”, vibesman Peter Shade, plays this great repeating vamp which is doubled up by the piano, with both saxes spiraling around the central saxes. The piece soon slows down for Rendell to play a superb tenor sax which is followed by a lovely flute solo and vibes solo. The interplay between Don Rendell on tenor and Stan Robinson on soprano sax is what makes this sextet so special. The entire suite works well from the beginning to the end and is continuous. Can’t wait to listen again. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
WILLIAM HOOKER with STEPHEN GAUCI / DEVIN WALDMAN / MARA ROSENBLOOM / MARC EDWARDS / WARREN SMITH / MICHAEL TA THOMPSON / et al - Symphonie of Flowers (ORG Music-2156; USA) Featuring Steve Gauci on tenor sax, Devin Waldman on alto sax & flute, Mara Rosenboom on piano, Warren Smith, Michael “TA” Thompson & William Hooker (poetry & direction) on percussion and Matt Chilton, Eriq Robinson & Theodore Woodward on computer/electronics. Earlier this week (11/14/22) I caught William Hooker and his band playing a strong, spirited set at Roulette. I’ve known William Hooker for many years going back to the late seventies/early eighties and have long admired his intense drumming and bandleading/direction. Mr. Hooker is a powerful drummer who has worked with a wealth of inspired improvisers from varied genres/backgrounds: David Murray, David S. Ware, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Elliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Glenn Spearman, Christian Marclay and Thomas Chapin, to name a few. Over the past few years, Mr. Hooker has released a handful of discs (CD’s & LP’s), each with varying & sometimes overlapping personnel.
This disc opens with three pieces featuring two or three drummers with an electronics player. “Chain Gang” has a sly, hypnotic, pounding, funky groove with some simmering electronics & piano adding some tasty spice. Since the liner notes are printed so small on the back cover, it is hard to tell who is doing what but it could be that Michael TA Thompson is playing the piano here on the first few pieces since he is listed on drums & piano. No matter, it is layered rolling drums at the center of this rhythmic storm. I really dig the triple drums work-out here as these players work great together, at times playing some interlocking grooves/beats. Mara Rosenbloom is one of Downtown’s best pianists although she rarely gets the recognition she deserves. She is featured here and plays with some sublime yet restless inventiveness while Mr. Hooker plays with buzzing brushes, their waves rising and falling together. There is a strong, spirited trio piece with Mr. Gauci, Ms. Rosenbloom & Mr. Hooker, which shows that even playing freely, all three are completely connected to a similar flame. I like the way electronicist Eriq Robinson takes Devin Waldman’s sax and splits it into several voices which sounds like a small army of fierce saxists for a piece called “Soul”. The other electronics wiz Theordore Woodward also twists Devin Waldman’s sax into several parts adding noises or other weird samples into the mix, the drums later entering with a ritualistic undertow while the electronics erupt. There are layers of drums and samples are spinning together here which casts a most mesmerizing spell over the entire band/record. William Hooker seems to have mastered the way to directing and inspiring his collaborators into a powerful blend. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15 or 2 LP Set $35 [Both formats are limited editions]
Recently I was contacted by Canadian baritone saxist David Mott. He had read and enjoyed an old review that I had done of his duo with Vinny Golia and asked if I had heard of some of his other recordings. Some yes, some no. Mr. Mott sent us four of his discs, only one of which we’ve listed in the past. I’ve caught Mr. Mott in concert a few times in the past, once at Dave Lopato’s loft space, once at the Victo Fest and once at the Guelph Fest. I am going to list and review two this week and two for next week’s newsletter…
ERNST REIJSEGER / DAVID MOTT / JESSE STEWART - Different Dreams (Mapl MAE 015; Canada) Released in 2015. Featuring Ernst Reijseger on cello, David Mott on baritone sax and Jesse Stewart on percussion & waterphone. Cellist Ernst Reijseger was a member of ICP (Dutch dada/anarchist music collective) in the nineties, as well as doing lots of sessions with folks like Sean Bergin, Pino Minafra, Mario Schiano and Louis Sclavis. Mr. Reijseger eventually was signed to Winter & Winter, where he recorded around ten great discs which were very successful. Aside from being a gifted improviser, his discs/projects for W&W show another side to playing/composing. Toronto-based drummer, Jesse Stewart, has recorded with Hamid Drake, Pauline Oliveros and Joe McPhee. Mr. Stewart has a couple of solo efforts, one for found objects and the other for solo waterphone, both of which I would love to hear.
The ‘Different Dreams’ title of this disc refers to the observation that electronic media communications has so dominated our time that we’ve lost the ability to day dream or stretch our imaginations. It is too easy to look up info on our phones and then be misdirected or misinformed. Eight of the 15 pieces are called “Dream” & numbered 1-8, the other pieces called called “REM” (for rapid eye movement), which is the way we can tell that someone is dreaming. The music does have a charming, dream-like vibe. The “dream” piece are quite dream-like while the “REM” pieces are more cerebral and intense. This is a most formidable trio and we can tell that the members have played together on several previous sessions. All three musicians are diverse, resourceful improvisers, good listeners that keep evolving as they play together. This is not your regular fee/jazz session, there is no screaming going on, this music often has a melodic center and is carefully crafted together, often subtly played and spacious. Ever since my old partner Manny Maris acquired and played a waterphone in the late 1980’s, I’ve been a fan of this instrument. It looks like a vase with rods attached to the outside and water placed inside to alter the sound as it is bowed or struck. I’ve only seen a few musicians who played this instrument live so it is nice to hear it here when Mr. Stewart picks it up. There is some truly magical interplay going on here, especially between the bari sax and cello. They often have similar tones and sound great together with Mr. Stewart also adding just the right amount of subtle rhythmic punctuation. A superb endeavor from all parties involved. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DAVID MOTT / VINNY GOLIA - “Have You Heard?” (Pet Mantis 011; Earth) Featuring David Mott and Vinny Golia both on baritone saxes. I have long admired the playing of Canadian bari saxist David Mott but knew little about his background. Didn’t know that he was involved in the healing aspects of music and has played for the Pope and Dalai Lama. I have heard him live on a few occasions at the Victo Fest and at David Lopato’s loft in Tribeca, as well as having reviewed some discs he has done with William Parker, Mark Dresser and Nick Fraser. He has also taught at Yale & York Universities. LA-based multi-reeds wizard, Vinny Golia, also is a professor at Cal Arts and has inspired/worked with many of his former and current students. It is rare for Mr. Golia to stick with just one reed instrument for an entire CD but this is the case here. There are some sixteen pieces of this disc so most of them tend to be on the shorter side. Ever since hearing John Surman play at length on the baritone sax with The Trio (2 LP set from 1970), I have been a big fan of this oversized sax. Both Mr. Mott and Mr. Golia take their time to explore the wide range of sounds, textures and dynamics of this great instrument. Commencing with, “Good Morning New World”, their sound is lush and haunting, softly, slowly bending notes around one another, building to an intense conclusion. Both of these men have superb, warm, deep and thoughtful tones on their saxes. The liner notes explain which channel each saxist appears on, which helps us to figure out who is who, since they often sound similar. The combination of their talents/sound makes for a glorious program since both men shadow or compliment each other perfectly. There is something ancient sounding going on here, like spirits form the distant past hypnotically evoking better times in the present or future. There is a never-ending flow of shifting lines, expanding tonalities and circular waves going on here. On “The Power of Too Many”, one of the bark’s creates one spirit/force while the other slowly weaves lines around the ghost-like figure. The two saxes build to a grand, intense conclusion, turning into one solid force. You can tell that both of these bari players have been working hard at their playing for many years since they make is sound easy and sound relaxed. Much of their inventiveness is at a more cerebral level. Excellent! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOE MORRIS / JEREMY BROWN - Magnitude (Listen! Foundation FSR 17/2022; Poland) Featuring Joe Morris on guitar and Jeremy Brown on alto sax, clarinet & flute. As Joe Morris mentions in the liner notes here, most of his fans/listeners have most likely not heard of reeds player Jeremy Brown before now. This Jeremy Brown (the DMG database lists two other musicians with the same name) is a professor at the University of Calgary in Canada. Mr. Morris met Mr. Brown when Morris was a visiting professor at the same university in the Spring of 2017. The two played a series of duo concerts, as well as with the University Jazz Orchestra, which was led by Mr. Brown, hence they developed a bond in their playing/improvising. The duo finally got a chance to record together in July of 2019 and this is the results. Mr. Brown claims in the liner notes that he had played written (modern classical) music for 30 years and had done very little free improvising until he worked with Mr. Morris. It seems impossible to tell since this duo works so well together. When this disc begins, the duo play quietly with Mr. Brown on clarinet and Mr. Morris on quiet electric guitar. Since both musicians play with such restraint here, they can go further out without it sounding like they are playing solos at the same time. Mr. Morris says that he approaches each situation differently depending on who he is working with. When Brown switches to alto sax on “Angle”, both musicians play a bit more aggressively yet remain on a similar wavelength. I dig the way these two play together: focused, quietly intense, layers of fractures notes/phrases, rather like UK insect music sped up somewhat. This is “free’ music played at its best, a quick exchange of ideas soaring together, ever-exciting and nuanced simultaneously. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DAY EVANS DALE ENSEMBLE - Green Money (Discus 142CD; UK) Personnel: Steve Day on voice, percussion, djembe, shekere, Peter Evans on 5-string el-violin & loops, Julian Dale on double bass & cello, Mark Langford on tenor sax & bass clarinet, Jennie Osborne on vocals plus guests: Martin Archer on woodwinds, software & harmonica, Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet and Peter Fairclough on assorted percussion. UK singer/percussionist/composer, Steve Day has a half dozen solo discs out of the Leo label, some under his own name, others under the Blazing Flames name. Most of the other members io this band can be found on some of these Leo discs. The guests include Discus mainman & multi-instrumentalist Martin Archer, a fine trumpeter named Charlotte Keeffe (great leader disc on Discus) and percussionist Peter Flairclough (who worked with Paul Dunmall & Keith Tippett). Vocalist Jennie Osborne is known as a poet and can be found on an obscure CD which features some 20 lesser-known UK poets self-released in 2008. Vocalist Steve Day is also a noted poet and author of several books. The first piece, “Not Quite Blue,” features a thoughtful poem read by Mr. Day with layers of floating, suspense-filled sounds underneath. After reading over the poetry several times, I realize that Mr. Day has a number of the obsevations that many of anti-fascist, sensitive/sensible types have around the world, especially anyone who has had their elected officials move further to the right. The music that accompanies the words is often subtle and supportive without getting in the way of hearing the words that are being spoken. There is one piece which I really dig called “Live in Seattle” that discusses the great late-period record by John Coltrane, record of heavy spiritually screaming double saxes with Pharoah Sanders also up front. Mr. Day talks about how the music on this album changed the way he heard music and its placement in time/history. The several instrumentalists here get a chance to stretch out a bit in between the words and do a fine job of playing in inspired spurts. Another highlight is the one poem/lyric written & partially spoken by Jennie Osborne called “War”. The words and music are particularly effective, dark, brooding & observant, something us Henry Cow fans could well appreciate. At first I thought that the serious words here would get in the way of my enjoyment of this disc but after a while I came to the conclusion that many of left-leaning liberals (old hippies) are feeling the same way about the way our world has become less hospitable to all decent beings and that we all want to complain and hopefully change our world for the better. In other words we all have friends out there who are reaching out to be a part of the better part of the mass of humanity. The words here and thoughts behind them unite us all and give us some hope for better days to come. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MESON - Obscurer Subjectivity (Discus 144CD; UK) Wild, wooly, wet, wacky, and quite wonderful new outing from Discus’s primo sound-warping sextet, led by arch poet/spoken word maven Bo Meson. Eccentric is but one mild way to describe the spontaneous wordplay, improvisational acrobatics, and general weirdness to be found percolating across this bafflingly odd disc. Behind Meson’s stream-of-consciousness phrasing lurks guitarist Andy McAuley, synthesist Jez Creek, saxophonist Martin Archer, bassist Peter Rophone, and cellist Sarah Palmer, all of whom lend their distinctive talents forthwith, every bit the aural analogs to Meson’s otherworldly warblings. Channelling Mark E. Smith, Damo Suzuki, Captain Beefheart, Copernicus, and other like-minded vocal gymnasts, Meson’s cut ’n’ paste techniques surely echo that of Burroughs, Beckett, et al, but like those chaps he’s got some folks behind him with real chops. “Doors of Deception” finds Meson’s antics chanted and filtered through some crazy fourth-world aesthetics in front of Creek’s prismatic electronics, processed often beyond recognizable syntax, en route to hitherto hallucinogenic worlds. “Chronological Chronic Jump” features Meson in a more lively setting, his slowly bubbling syllables coming to full boil as electronics hum and buzz like van de graaff generators, guitar strings are hammered and wrestled into awry, wheezy shapes, and all manners of atonal sounds are scattered to the four winds like radioactive ash. Though the record flows like one long, psychotronic piece, tracks stand out, like the peripatetic “We Are Not Here”, Meson’s twisted tale of dank corridors and gothic travelogues accompanied by Archer’s strangulated cries and his cohort's similarly wrecked tones, constantly forming new shapes and colors right before your very eyes/ears. Black sonic magic, realized by a motley crew of sonic alchemists at the peak of their respective powers. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
MARTIN PYNE / DAVID BEEBEE - Ripples (Discus 145CD; UK) Both the vibraphone and electric piano have similar feels and textures, so on first glance, it would seem that such a melding of instrumental tone colors would result in something on the faceless side. Quite the contrary. Vibist Pyne and pianist Beebee have managed to issue one of this year’s most sumptuous, enchanting, and subtly involving recordings, the kind of record that quietly sneaks up on you then sucks you in like an anthropomorphic tornado. The duo state that the studio session was essentially an experiment to see how each of their instrument’s sonorities would work against the other. I’d submit that an entire ‘chorus’ of impressions are wrought: each instrument simultaneously blends, contradicts, complements, and bounces off the other. Reference points are frequently inferred—Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Locke, Herbie Hancock in minimalist mode, very early Chick Corea—but the recording Ripples most summons is the similarly-augured (if little known) duo project by Alan Gowen and Hugh Hopper, Two Rainbows Daily. Though that disc fomented a meeting between electric piano and bass, Pyne and Beebee’s collaboration reaches similar conclusions and, like Rainbows, is endlessly absorbing. “Wabi Sabi” is a case in point. While Pyne rattles off a melancholic, tender rustle of bell-like tones, Beebee’s electric piano arises to become a simpatico resonator, until the tonalities become an intertwined mechanism of gently cascading aural velvet. The subsequent “Night Music” well epitomizes how continually pleasing this recording is on the ear and psyche. Pyne and Beebee simply dazzle here, a quiet storm of percussive thrush, waterfall-like timbre, and phosphorescent ardor that is as lush and liquifying as all get out. Ostensibly ‘jazz’, but you’d be hard-pressed to adopt that term here, as the duo stretch the definition of such pat categorizations to the point where genre effectively becomes meaningless. Just gorgeous, pure music. Softly, as in a morning sunrise. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
Over the last decade, a handful of our longtime distributors have gone under: Koch, Allegro, North Country and perhaps City Hall. This makes it difficult for us to get certain labels that were more readily available in the past. It takes quite a bit more work to find ways to get obscure music from musicians or labels or other distributors. Hence, I have been looking more closely at what each of our half dozen distributors carry and combing through their online catalogues. Earlier this year we listed a few dozen discs from the BMC label from Hungary. We recently got a promo of this new disc by the Mihály Borbély Quartet, which I really like. It turns out that this quartet has six discs on this label so we will list two per week. Here goes…
MIHALY BORBELY QUARTET with ARON TALAS / BALAZS HORVATH / HUNOR G. SZABO - Miracles of the Night / Az Ejszaka Csodai (BMC Records CD 309; Hungary) Featuring Mihály Borbély on soprano, alto & tenor saxes, tarogato, clarinets, flute & dvojnice (double-flute aerophone), Aron Talas on piano & drums, Balazs Horvath on double bass and Hunor G. Szabo on drums. I remembered the name of Hungarian reeds player/composer Mihaly Borbely, from the Eastern Boundary Quartet, a half Hungarian/half American quartet whose members includes Michael Jefry Stevens and Joe Fonda. We have three of their discs listed in the DMG database which we probably got from my pal Joe Fonda. It turns out that Mr. Borbely has had this quartet together since 2004 and they have six discs under their belt. Bassist Balazs Horvath has been with them since the beginning, while pianist Aron Talas joined them soon thereafter, while the newest member is drummer Hunor G. Szabo. Things begin with “By Evening What Remains of Me”, which features some sublime, warm-toned, haunting tenor sax, subtle skeletal percussion and exquisite piano. The quartet sounds like they’ve been playing together for many years, their sound is warm, even tender at times, adventurous in more subtle ways. Mr. Borbely switches to a tarogato on “Threeplus Dream”, a taragato being a longer, larger east European clarinet-like instrument. I’ve caught Peter Brotzmann playing the tarogato, usually more intensely but Borbely plays it more delicately, his tone warm and enchanting. Pianist Aron Talas takes a superb, stirring Keith Jarrett-like solo here which is rich and elegant. The central theme/melody sounds more like a great folk/rock song and brings a smile to my face. Borbely plays a wood flute on “Shadows, Awakening”, another lovely, somewhat eerie sonic delight. In the liner notes, Mr. Borbely claims that for this disc he has moved away from his regular Hungarian folky influences and into something else. The music here is more like the mellow vibe of sunset when we reflect on what has happened that day and watch the sun set. Instead of any fire-breathing free/jazz, what we have here is more calm, thoughtful and stirring from within. It feels nice to hear something a bit more restrained during these times of questionable behavior from our political leaders. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MIHALY BORBELY QUARTET with SZABO DANIEL / ARON TALAS / BALAZS HORVATH / G. SZABO HUNOR - Grenadilla (BMC Records CD281; Hungary) “The grenadilla is an extremely dense, solid species of tree native to South Africa, and is used to make the clarinet of Western classical music, and the tárogató used in Hungarian folk music. But here, with wood from this tree, we hear the voice of Africa and Europe together, when on the tárogató, the clarinet, and bass clarinet Mihály Borbély plays a peculiarly European style of Afro-American origin jazz, with a European, or rather, Hungarian flavour. Mihály Borbély is a polyglot not just in genres, but in terms of instruments, for on this CD alone seven wind instruments are in dialogue, testing each other's boundaries. What we are dealing with here is musical alchemy. What really brings these experiments to life is that Mihály Borbély talks with creative minds, like pianist Dániel Szabó, who after a long period as a member of the Borbély Quartet, went to spread his wings in the USA, but on visits to Hungary popped into the studio for a jam session, bassist Balázs Horváth, who provides a stable foundation, Hunor G. Szabó on the drums, who synthesizes his wide-ranging musical interests: jazz, folk music, and rock and the young multi-instrumentalist Áron Tálas, with a vibrant concentrated presence throughout the recording. The meeting of generations is well symbolized by the way that fashion has caught up with Mihály Borbély. Through modern jazz, the younger folk have now mastered as their mother tongue what Mihály Borbély has always known from folk music: odd rhythms. At the same time Mihály Borbély and his fellow musicians always endeavor to play naturally flowing, rolling music, rather than "math jazz". Borbély, however, is not one to get stuck in the past, even though he sets out from a traditional basis, he always aims his music at an airy, fresh, very much present dimension.”
TREVOR BEALES - Fireside Stories (Hebden Bridge circa 1971-1974)(Basin Rock BR 015; UK) Anti-counterculture loner folk from a teenage attic in the heart of rural Northern hippiedom. Today the valley town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire is world-renowned as something of a bohemian backwater. It wasn't like this back in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, when a disparate selection of radicals, drop-outs, heads, musicians, artists and writers started to be attracted to the Calder Valley. Over time, those seeds of radicalism and collectivism ensured Hebden Bridge evolved into a place where people could be themselves and all shades of individual oddness not only tolerated but actively encouraged. But back at the turn of the dreary 1970s it remained a monochrome world defined by its unforgiving surrounding landscapes, where the old gritstone over-dwellings were stained with soot and rain lashed down for weeks. It was here that Trevor Beales, who was born in 1953, grew up, and from where he drew musical and lyrical inspiration. The discovery of Bob Dylan, Django Reinhardt, The Byrds, and James Taylor at a young age, lead to him picking up a guitar at the age of ten, and he was soon writing his own originals and performing them at local (though often remote) folk clubs and pubs. Recorded in the attic of the family home at Ivy Bank in Charlestown on the verdant wooded slopes at the edge of Hebden Bridge between 1971 and 1974, these early recordings are collected here for the first time and mark Trevor Beales long-overdue solo debut. In these songs is a suffer-no-fools sense of realism that is defiantly Northern, yet also expresses a worldliness that belies Beales's young years, whilst also showcasing an inherent storyteller's ear for narrative. Two aspects of this music make it remarkable: Beales' natural ability showcases a sophisticated guitar-picking style that was leagues ahead of many of his (older, more recognized) contemporaries. This is music that can confidently hold its own with pioneers such as Davey Graham, Michael Chapman, Dave Evans, Bert Jansch, and Jackson C Frank, as influenced by jazz, blues and steel guitar as any of the old songbook classics from ancient Albion. Secondly, his lyrics are a far cry from either the naïve bedroom scribblings of a teenager who has barely left his upland home, nor do they fall foul of the type of lazy cliches and sub-Tolkien imagery that was still in abundance in the early 1970s. Trevor's music is grounded in reality -- his reality. Trevor Beales died suddenly and unexpectedly on March 29th 1987, aged 33. He left behind Christine and their young child Lydia. Sleeve notes by Hebden author Benjamin Myers.”
CD $17 / LP $30
NEW FROM COLD SPRING RECORDS:
JAGATH - Svapna (Cold Spring Records 304; UK) “Svapna is the brand-new album from Jagath, the ritual/industrial/dark ambient act from Perm, Russia. "A portal to another world is located inside an abandoned Soviet-era swamp drain near a residential building in the Zakamsk suburb of Perm, Russia, 58.0122, 55.9623. A ritual was performed here, so now we are living in an inside-out world. This is one of the last recordings inside our Temple -- the oil tanks are finally scrapped. I hope this is not the end. This album is dedicated to the victims of totalitarian regimes." Jagath create their music at abandoned industrial locations -- the bottom of a moist underground sewer shaft and inside huge hollow oil tanks -- without using digital synthesis. Simple, mostly hand-crafted instruments, found objects and voices are used to share their vision of decaying post-industrial age, to unleash the spirit of deep beyond-world and unveil life in the abyss. Six-panel glossy digipak. For fans of: Shibalba, Phurpa, Raison D'etre, Arktau Eos.”
KOLLAPS - Until The Day I Die (Cole Spring Records 309; UK) “Until The Day I Die is the third album from Australian post-industrial outfit Kollaps. Until The Day I Die is a merciless and visceral assault on the senses and continues the trajectory of the band's idiosyncratic approach in their creation of sound. The album showcases an uncompromising force of harsh post-industrial music narrated by overarching themes of condemnation and redemption; of violence, romanticism, sexuality, and addiction. Much of the creation and lyrical conceptualization of the record has been stylized and presented using William S. Burroughs's cut-up method. A wide variety of metals and raw materials were used in the creation of the album including metal grates, a rusted hoist, cement cylinders, field recordings, hammering of various decrepit objects, broken amplifiers, an exposed reverb tank, various synthesizers, and the infamous metal coil; a crudely self-constructed artifice that has become iconic in its use across Kollaps's triptych of releases and lengthy touring history in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Until The Day I Die has had a tectonic shift in production methods compared to its predecessors and was entirely written, recorded, and mixed internally the self-constructed ILoveHeroin Studios built above a sculpture museum in Lugano, Switzerland. All instrumentation was handled by Wade Black except for bass guitar by Andrea Collaro recorded at Hangar 121 in Lenate Pozzollo, Italy on all tracks except "D-IX" and "I Believe In The Closed Fist", handled by Black, and additional sound design and percussion by Giorgio Salmoiraghi. The album was mastered by James Plotkin and completed with cover artwork by Nullvoid (Thomas Ekelund/Trepaneringsritualen). CD version in six-panel digipak.”
DEAD VOICES ON AIR - Abrader Redux (Cold Spring Records 320; UK) “The hugely sought-after debut album from Dead Voices On Air (Mark Spybey of Download/ ex-Zoviet France, Reformed Faction), featuring Cevin Key (Skinny Puppy/Download). Abrader blends processed sounds from primitive instruments and found objects into hypnotic looped rhythmic structures, with dark clusters of heavy ambient washes into what could be described as "organic panambience", or "music for the eyes". Abrader was the first of over 80 releases (so far) by Mark Spybey using the name Dead Voices On Air. It was recorded over the space of days in Vancouver in 1993 and released as a tape the following year by Akifumi Nakajima (Aube), for his G.R.O.S.S. label. Chronologically, the material was recorded after most of the music that made up his first two releases on compact disc -- New Words Machine and Hafted Maul -- however, Abrader was released before both of those albums. Abrader Redux features the three lengthy tracks that were released on the original cassette, plus the bonus tracks that were included in the 2009 reprint as part of the Fast Falls The Eventide double-CD, and now with two "new" previously-unreleased bonus tracks recorded 1994 -- taking this masterwork up to seven tracks and over 67 minutes of exceptional music. This release is dedicated to the memory of both Akifumi Nakajima and Zev Asher who both passed away in 2013. Spybey was introduced to Akifumi by his friend from Vancouver, Zev Asher. Zev had a noise project called Roughage and was also in a band called Nimrod, that had at one time been based in Japan. Remastered by Martin Bowes from Attrition. Packaged in a matt-laminate digipak with art by Spybey, beautifully laid out by Abby Helasdottir. "If most ambient is the laudanum of the new fin de siécle, then Dead Voices on Air are the absinthe" - Village Voice.
MASCHINENZIMMER 412 (MZ. 412) - Malfeitor (Cold Spring Records 318; UK) “A history lesson, recorded in autumn 1989. Unavailable for over 20 years in any format, Cold Spring Records present Malfeitor, the now classic album from Maschinenzimmer 412. This was the last release under that name, and what seemed like the final nail in the coffin for the Swedish Black Industrial act. Six years later they rose from the ashes, restructured and resurrected as MZ. 412. This is evil incarnate, staring into the abyss. Relentless industrial rituals; darkness fused with machines, your fears and your power. An expression of the coldest music imaginable. With a more lyrical approach than the predecessor Macht Durch Stimme (CSR 306CD), Malfeitor explores themes of death, with an unequivocal dystopian outlook. Cavernous heavy industrial, primitive machine rhythms, and cold metallic loops created on old synths with very little post-production. What you hear is how it sounded on those original sessions. Originally released on LP in 1989 by Cold Meat Industry, this monumental album is now available for the first time since 2001. This definitive edition has been painstakingly transferred and mastered from the original 4-track tapes, with no unnecessary "padding". Digipak with elegant new artwork by Abby Helasdottir (Gydja).
In 1987, Henrik Nordvargr Björkk, Jouni Ulvtharm Ollila, and Leif Holm forged a band that would be an outlet for blasphemous prophecies, yet from a unique sonic spectrum. The unholy triumvirate were already hitting hard as Pouppée Fabrikk, with Maschinenzimmer 412 unleashing their deepest, darkest personas. Jonas Drakhon Aneheim joined in 1995, replacing Holm and thus enacting the change of name to the abridged MZ. 412. MZ. 412 are an act that continues to cover the earth in a nightmarish black veil. Rare releases and even rarer performances have only added to the cult status of these prime movers.”
PHAUSS - Nya Sverige - Nothing But The Truth (Room40 4177CD; Australia) Phauss is Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Erik Pauser. Formed in the early 1980s, Phauss operated amidst of generation of uncharacteristic Swedish artists concerned with reshaping the edges of practices in sound, light, performance and vision. It was a monumentally fertile period for Sweden in that a confluence of factors allowed artists to dedicate themselves to the relentless excavation of ideas, drilling down to the absolute core of their interests and ways of making. Von Hausswolff and Pauser, who both operated across sound and installation, used Phauss as a means for deconstructing ideas of composition, situationalism, site-specific works and extended performance methodologies. Across the second half of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, they made connections, through their travels, outward from their homeland into scenes and communities that stretched from the Middle East, through North America and into Asia. Nya Sverige - Nothing But The Truth is a recording made in the United States whilst the pair were undertaking an exhaustive tour in 1991 alongside Hafler Trio and Zbigniew Karkowski. This, now legendary, tour was both arduous and rewarding. Living in a van for many weeks at a time, traveling between cities with the most modest of means meant Phauss came to know a very particular vision of the United States, one that existed below plain view. Their's was an experience had at the rawest edges of cities. Equally the performances they gave, from which this edition is assembled, were raw and quite frankly dangerous. Fire on stage, sparks flying from short circuiting electronics and intense physical rituals guided so much of their work during this tour and looking back at bootleg videos from the time it's difficult to imagine the work being able to be presented in the modern world. One of the flyers from their tour reads "Extreme Swedish Industrial", and as familiar as those words might appear now, in 1991 they held a very different resonance. They were unfamiliar terms of reference and the intensity of Phauss's music maintains that unknowability to this day. This is a profoundly individual work and sets the stage for a generation of musicians who followed them. The edition includes a book featuring a long-form in conversation between Carl Michael Von Hausswolff and Erik Pauser with Lawrence English. It also includes never before seen photos and documents from their North American tour and collects together an essential and largely under-documented history of this period of the group's work.”
BACK IN STOCK:
EVAN PARKER and DISSONANZEN with MARCO CAPPELLI / TOMMASO ROSSI / MARCO SANNINI / et al - Linger Like Joy in Memory (Black Sheep Power Desco Music F&BS CD 05; Italy) Featuring Evan Parker on soprano sax, Marco Sannini on trumpet & flugelhorn, Tommaso Rossi on flute, Marco Cappelli on guitar, Ciro Longobardi on piano, Francesco D’Errico on synth & sampler, Marco Vitali on cello, Ron Grieco on bass and Stefano Di Costanzo on drums & percussion. This set was recorded live at S. Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples, Italy in June of 2014. Downtown guitarist Marco Cappelli seems to spend time in both NYC as well as in Italy, where he tours on occasion. Mr. Cappelli recently (9/13/22) played in a trio here at DMG with Daniel Carter and Dave Miller. It was a great set and Mr. Cappelli left us with three newer discs. For this disc, Dissonanzen is a nine-piece ensemble with Evan Parker as their guest. Dissonanzen started in Naples in 1993 and have an ambitious 5 CD box set out on the Die Schactel label, in which they cover the music of Erik Satie, Luciano Berio, John Cage and George Crumb. Ensemble Dissonanzen also have a fine disc where they collaborate with Adam Rudolph and his Go Organic Orchestra. According to the liner notes, the music here blends both improvised and written music. The sound here is especially clean and warm, superbly recorded. Although the music sounds mysterious, it sounds very focused with certain musicians playing freely in front while the rest of the ensemble weaved waves carefully around them. The soprano sax, flute, guitar and cello play together up front while piano fronted rhythm team flows in and out in an organic sounding way. Although there are moments of chaotic or free interplay, nothing last too long before it is transformed into some more calm sections. The closer I listened, the more certain sections or subgroups make sense. I dig that this music rarely gets very dense and that no one plays any (long) solos, just different combinations in focused spurts. Evan Parker fits into this ensemble perfectly, never playing too much or circular breathing for very long. A marvel on several levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $20 [Last copies from this now defunct label]
ELTON DEAN QUARTET with KEITH TIPPETT / HARRY MILLER / LOUIS MOHOLO - On Italian Roads / Live in Milan 1979 (British Progressive Jazz 012STC; UK) Featuring Elton Dean on saxello & alto sax, Keith Tippett on piano, Harry Miller on double bass and Louis Moholo on drums. Recorded February 25 of 1979 at Teatro Cristallo in Milan, Italy. Holy sh*t! This is a previously unreleased treasure of British Avant Jazz at it very best! An amazing all-star cast: Elton Dean (from Soft Machine 1970-1972), Keith Tippett (KT Group, Centipede & Ovary Lodge), Harry Miller (Brotherhood of Breath & ever in-demand South African bassist) and Louis Moholo (founding father of the Blue Notes, Brotherhood of Breath & Dedication Orchestra). The opening tracking here is long (20 minutes) and soars with power, illumination and intense energy. Both Elton Dean’s saxello & alto sax and Keith Tippett’s piano are beyond believe, beyond the intensity level that we often take for granted. Bassist Harry Miller and drummer Louis Moholo, the later Blues Notes/BoB rhythm team are in colossal form as well! Unbelievable on all levels! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $17 [Limited Edition]
GRAHAM COLLIER with HARRY BECKETT / TED CURSON / STAN SULZMANN / TONY ROBERTS / NICK EVANS / KARL JENKINS / PIERRE CAVALLI / JOHN MARSHALL / et al - Hamburg 1968 (British Progressive Jazz 008STC; UK) This is an early version of the Graham Collier Ensemble and it features Tony Roberts, Stan Sulzmann & Karl Jenkins on reeds, Harry Beckett & Ted Curson on trumpets, Nick Evans & John Mumford on trombones, Pierre Cavalli on guitar, Graham Collier on bass & compositions and John Marshall on drums. I feel fortunate to have become friends with British jazz composer and band-leader Graham Collier. I first met Mr, Collier around 1978 when he came to NYC to sign papers since he was excerpting some passages from a Malcolm Lowery book for an album he was working on. He left me with 5 albums from his own label to hand deliver to 5 or so jazz journalists in NYC plus copies for myself. After listening to each one, I became a big fan of everything he has done on record (upwards of 20 releases). We went out for dinner again in the mid-nineties when he was in town to do a workshop at Julliard, thanking me for reviewing and promoting a number of his reissues for the Disconforme label. He later moved to Spain and then Greece, sending us copies of his last few self-produced releases, as well as a book about jazz that he authored. Although most of his back catalogue was agin reissued by BGO, none of his titles, except perhaps for two on Cuneiform, are currently in print. Sad but true until this one just showed up… Graham Collier’s first record as a leader was called, ‘Deep Dark Blue Centre’ and it was released on Deram in 1967. Mr. Collier played bass and composed for his own band, known as Graham Collier Music, eventually giving up the bass (in the late 1970’s) to concentrate on composing and conducting his own music. His second album, ‘Down Another Road’ was released in 1969. This disc was recorded in Hamburg, Germany in December of 1968 and none of the tracks are to be found on the either of his first two releases. Perhaps he wasn’t able to record this music in the studio at the time some some reason. Starting off with “Backtrack”, Mr. Collier has several layers of horns all tightly swirling around one another in a marvelous kaleidoscopic way. All solos are kept short so that the varied horns can work together at creating a slow evolving tapestry of connected threads. Multi-instrumentalist Karl Jenkins (on bari sax, oboe, soprano sax & piano) keeps switching around, doubling some of the bass parts on bari sax and then being featured on oboe for “Indian Flower”. Mr. Jenkins would soon join Nucleus in 1970 and Soft Machine in 1973. Guitarist Pierre Cavalli, a fine player with whom I know little about except for his work with Wolfgang Dauner & Sahib Shihab, plays both electric and acoustic guitar and is an integral part of this ensemble. Although Mr. Jenkins’ sly oboe solos throughout this piece, it is the layered harmonies of the swirling horns that makes this so impressive. “Indian Rock” is the longest piece here and perhaps, the most impressive at its features some wonderful ensemble passages with a number of strong, inspired solos (Tony Roberts on tenor sax, Pierre Cavalli on bluesy guitar), the rest of the ensemble moving in waves around or underneath the soloists. “Across the River” is also long and begins with a sumptuous haunting duo with flugelhorn (Harry Beckett) and trombone. The entire piece is slow and eerie at times with a number of strong solos from Tony Roberts on bass clarinet and one of the trombonists. The last piece, “View from Hungerford Bridge” is an eerie, restrained piece for exquisite simmer oboe, flute, acoustic bass & acoustic guitar, closer to modern chamber music than regular jazz. It extremely calm and somewhat peaceful, a lovely way to bring this wonderful release to a fine close. This is a limited edition release so grab it soon. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $17 [Limited Edition]
IVO PERELMAN with DAVE BURRELL / MARILYN CRISPELL / SYLVIE COURVOISIER / CRAIG TABORN / AGUSTI FERNANDEZ / VIJAY IYER / ANGELICA SANCHEZ / ARUAN ORTIZ / AARON PARKS - Brass & Ivory Tales (Listen! Foundation FSR 11/2021; Poland) This box just showed up yesterday [10/13/21], so I haven’t had time to listen to much of this impressive looking box. Some say that Brazilian-born, New York-based saxist, Ivo Perelman, is over-recorded. He does have some 50 improv CD’s on the Leo label, all released over the past decade. Many of these discs feature Matt Shipp on piano. I myself have reviewed many of these discs and found that I dug each and every one as long as I had the time to listen and consider them. This is tenor saxist & visual artist, Ivo Perelman’s first large box set and he has decided to challenge him by playing duos with nine amazing pianists, each one is well chosen and different in their own particular ways. I listened to the duo with Marilyn Crispell last night and the duo with Dave Burrell earlier today, both were extraordinary! I hope to listen to the other 7 in the next week. Can’t wait! - BLG / DMG
9 CD Deluxe Box Set / Limited Edition $105 [last 3 copies left - 12/6/22]
HISTORIC & ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS:
PLAINSONG with IAIN MATTHEWS / ANDY ROBERTS / JULIAN DAWSON / CLIVE GREGSON / DAVE RICHARDS / MARK GRIFFITHS - Following Amelia - The 1972 Recordings & More (Cherry Red CDEMBox 247; UK) 118-track, 6CD box set from the legendary British country rock/folk rock band Plainsong. Features a 50th anniversary re-issue of their 1972 debut album 'In Search Of Amelia Earhart', digitally remastered from the original reel-to-reel master tapes. Although folk & country/rock started with bands like The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Fairport Convention and folkies like Bob Dylan & Phil Ochs, things really kicked into gear around 1969/1970 with dozens of new bands: Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Poco. 1970 seemed to be a turning point with The Grateful Dead delivering two albums of their own version of country/folk/roots rock: ‘Workingman’s Dead’ and ‘American Beauty’, two gems. There were quite a bit of lesser known but equally great root rockers like Mike Nesmith’s First National Band, the Wizards from Kansas and Plainsong.
The first Plainsong album came out in 1972 and the band featured singer/songwriters Ian Matthews (original lead singer for Fairport) and Andy Roberts (formerly of the oddballs Liverpool Scene), who had two greats solo efforts out on Ampex, both of which were dumped in Sam Goody cut-out bin when the label soon went under. Similar in someways (roots rock at its most enchanting) to the three records by the First National Band, the Plainsong debut album,’In Search of Amelia Earhart’, was a modest yet infectious gem. There was infighting within the band and they recorded a unreleased second album before soon breaking up. This massive 6 CD box set contains the original with bonus tracks, the never—before-released 2nd album, two discs of BBC live radio sessions, their reunion album and even more unreleased rarities. There is also a nice 44 page booklet of lengthy liner notes and pix. If you are/were a fan of any other above mentioned bands then you should appreciate this superfine boxset. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
6 CD Set $48
THREE NEW ESSENTIAL MODERN JAZZ REISSUES FROM THE HAT EZZ-THETICS FOLKS:
MILES DAVIS QUINTET with JOHN COLTRANE / PAUL CHAMBERS / JIMMY COBB - Live Europe 1960 Revisited (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1135; Switzerland) "The Miles Davis Quintet of early 1960 was an endangered, embattled entity. Davis and his frontline foil John Coltrane had been drifting apart stylistically and temperamentally for months. United in the embrace and exploration of modal devices on the trumpeter's seminal Kind of Blue album released the previous summer, bandleader and sideman were increasingly at odds as to where to go next with the celebrated innovations.
PAUL BLEY TRIOS with GARY PEACOCK / MARK LEVINSON / BARRY ALTSCHUL / BILLY ELGART - Bley Plays Annette Peacock Revisited (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1142; Switzerland) Culled from two concerts on Norman Granz's Spring 1960 European tour, Miles' seminal 50s band was on the point of dissolution, Coltrane soon to leave to form his own classic quartet, and the distinction between the old and new is evident in Coltrane's expansive and intricate soloing over standards and Kind of Blue material including "So What" or "On Green Dolphin Street".
ANDREW HILL with ERIC DOLPHY / JOE HENDERSON / JOHN GILMORE / KWENNY DORHAM / FREDDIE HUBBARD / RICHARD DAVIS / CECIL McBEE / TONY WILLIAMS / JOE CHAMBERS / et al - Point of Departure To Compulsion!!!!! Revisited (Hat Ezz-Thetics; 1139; Switzerland) "Bob Belden was renowned for his ability to transcribe music in real time, but he was challenged by Andrew Hill's. Engaged by Mosaic Records to supply analysis for their 1995 box set of Hill's early Blue Note albums, the composer-arranger often grappled with the singularity of Hill's music, its unorthodox structures, rhythmic shifts, and unusual melodic and harmonic contours. It is no wonder that less well-equipped critics did not fully grasp Hill's first Blue Notes when they were first issued.
The complexities of his music are probably why Hill was summarily consigned to what A.B. Spellman called "the second wave of the avant-garde" in his Black Fire notes. Thirty years later, Michael Cuscuna recognized a rhyme in jazz history when he observed that just as "Monk was lumped into the bebop movement, so was Andrew put into the freedom bag." There was little, if anything, in his late '50s sessions for Ping and Warwick, or in his subsequent work with Roland Kirk, Walt Dickerson, and Joe Henderson, to suggest that Hill was a budding insurgent.”
BUD SHANK with BOB COOPER / CLAUDE WILLIAMSON / DON PRELL / CHUCK FLORES / et al - Eight Classic Albums (Enlightenment 9215; EEC) This four-disc collection brings together eight of the finest albums recorded by Bud Shank as leader, during the period of 1956-1962, the era most fans consider to be the great man's glory years. Working equally well as a starting point for beginners to Bud Shank's music and as a delightful reminder for those already versed, this compilation is bound to delight all who listen.”
4 CD Set $18
ENSAMBLE KAFKA - Ensamble Kafka (Klanggalerie GG 421; Germany) “Tuxedomoon is an experimental, post-punk, new wave band from San Francisco, California. The band formed in the late 1970s at the beginning of the punk rock movement. Pulling influence from punk and electronic music, the group, originally consisting of Steven Brown and Blaine L. Reininger, used electronic violins, guitars, screaming vocals and synthesizers to develop a unique "cabaret no-wave" sound. Bassist Peter Principle joined the band and in 1979 they released the single "No Tears", which remains a post-punk cult classic. That year they signed to Ralph Records and released their first album, Half-Mute. All members of the band had solo careers next to the output of Tuxedomoon, with Steven Brown releasing a new album in 2021, and touring Europe in 2022. After composing and recording the soundtrack for the film "El Informe Toledo" Steven was asked by the director Albino Alvarez to perform the music live at the film's premiere in the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City. Having employed session musicians for the recording, Brown found it necessary to form a band in order to accomplish the task. Although the original idea was to only participate in the premier of the film, the audience response was so overwhelming that Brown and partner Julio Garcia decided to continue the project and Ensamble Kafka was born This group combines contemporary music techniques with traditional Mexican music thereby humbly attempting to create new traditional music. The self titled album was released in Mexico only in 2013 and has now been extended to 14 tracks for this first worldwide release.”
BRAD E. ROSE - Annular Silhouettes (Room40 4185; Australia) “With Annular Silhouettes, Brad E. Rose traces an undulating pathway through ideas of place, memory, and intergenerational exchange. The edition is a mediation on how perspective is shaped, and reshaped, in time. More so it explores how change is simultaneously incremental and accumulative. This is reflected in the compositional strategies he deploys. Elements arrive and pass with an almost subconscious logic. Their pace is measured, but entirely fluid, creating a sense of breathing or perhaps even daydreaming. This is a work of constant evolution, but couched within a singular perspective of subjective experience.
From Brad E. Rose: "There are many times when I'm working on a music project that, in the moment, I'm not sure what I'm really doing. I don't believe there's some otherworldly power guiding my hands or thought processes unless our own subconscious could be classified as such a thing. It's mostly about trying to be present at that moment and letting the ideas and sounds unfold in a way that isn't forced. Oftentimes, after the fact, it will become clearer to me that certain feelings or thoughts were trying to find their way out, but my brain, as is often the case, wasn't sure how to process them and let them go. Sound has often acted as that medium for me over the last three decades; a way to channel difficult thoughts into a language I can understand. One evening as I watched the snowfall in mid-January, after thinking about what Annular Silhouettes was, it finally hit me. Recorded during the depths of 2020, during a time spent within the vicinity of where I live, it's a bit of a love letter to the place I grew up. I live in the house that my grandparents lived in for over 20 years, that my grandfather gutted and rebuilt with his own hands. It's the last place he ever called home and his spirit remains firmly etched into its walls. I live less than ten minutes from my childhood home, where both my parents still live. I moved away and eventually came back. I am lucky to gain a different understanding of this place than I had growing up. Place is a strange thing in the way it can influence and shape us, for better or worse. Nearly 20 years ago, when I moved back here with my partner, she would tell me how she couldn't get over how big the sky felt in Oklahoma. I still think about that often. For a place that is stuck moving backward in so many ways, the possibilities above us can be endless beyond the forces dragging us back into the soil..."
PERE UBU - Live at the Longhorn -- April 1, 1978 (Nero’s Neptune 008LP; USA) Last copies. Double LP version. The three vinyl sides of Pere Ubu Live at the Longhorn are as much an indispensable live rock album as Modern Dance is an indispensable studio album. The show consists mainly of material from the Modern Dance album, only rocked out and swinging, more raw-nerved yet seasoned than their studio counterparts. What becomes apparent, especially on repeated listens, is how well-made this music is, how the drama and comedy flows within the modules of each song, how the songs fit together to give an audience an experience that -- while sharpened to paranoia and sensitive to harsh realities - is as ineffable as it is concrete.”
2 LP Set $30
HERMETO PASCOAL & GRUPO VICE VERSA - Viajando Com O Som: The Lost '76 Vice-Versa Studio Session (Far Out Recordings 2000X; UK) “Recorded in two days in 1976, at Rogério Duprat's Vice Versa Studios in São Paulo, the sessions featured Hermeto's go-to "Paulista" rhythm section: Zé Eduardo Nazario (drums), Zeca Assumpção (bass), and Lelo Nazario (electric piano), as well as saxophonists Mauro Senise, Raul Mascarenhas, and Nivaldo Ornelas, guitarist Toninho Horta, and vocalist Aleuda Chaves. Not released until over 40 years later, now Viajando Com O Som is back again for a short time only, on limited edition green vinyl. "Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Pascoal's magical 1976 album casts a spell over the listener from the first beat to the last" - Echoes. "Viajando Com O Som is a wonderful buried treasure from a better time." -- Songlines; "It's a richly satisfying discovery; a snapshot of a master at his peak." - Record Collector
LUC FERRARI - Music Promenade/Unheimlich Schon (Recollection GRM 022LP; Austria) "Music Promenade" (1964-1969): Electroacoustic Music, world premiere for the Théâtre de la musique, March 16, 1970 "Hétéro-Concert". Permanent version for four stand-alone tape recorders. A series of colliding realistic sounds and sonic images. Whilst walking, a man is struck by the violence of his surroundings. Nature has disappeared in a whirlwind of warfare and industry in the midst of which he encounters a dying folklore and a lost young girl. The "Installation" version is used to sonify a place in which walkers are free to choose their musical itinerary. "Unheimlich Schön" (1971): Musique concrète made in 1971 in the studios of the Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden. Voice: Ilse Mengel. "How does a young woman breathe when thinking about something else?" To be listened to at a low volume.”
BYRON COLEY & TED LEE - As Seen In Your Wildest Dream (Feeding Tube Records 685; USA) “If Coley can do anything and, I assure you, he can do a few things, some very well indeed -- cooking, drinking, smoking, chortling, collecting, dissecting, inspecting, sniffing, gassing, pranking -- to name but a few, he can, without a beat gone by, make you wanna listen to the goddamn records he's criteeking whether it be in old ishes of Forced Exposure, Boston Rock, New York Rocker, or the LA Weekly or his nugget column in Wire. For many his obscurant references to what is already an obscure contempo side can be so layered -- as if the review is some kind of lit cuz to Jodorowsky's spiraling labyrinthian masterpiece of surrealist Espanola 'huh?' cinema, The Holy Mountain -- that the narco-eclectic desire to actually hear what the fuk this accredited gourmandizer is -- in various temperaments -- jazzed about, that you actually find yrself hunting the lathe cut edition of minus three and sending all yr rent money to grip it -- 'Coley wrote about this -- s'posed to be 'insane''. He and Ted Lee have been manning the formidable and replete Feeding Tube emporium for a few years now in the wilds of Western Mass and what at first appeared to be an unlikely pair have become quite a prolific bastion of bonkerism rock and experimental otherness like a water tap stuck on unthreaded gush. Open heads recognize and learn/teach from each other without too many questions being asked (look, listen, have a cold one, step out for a smoke) They play sax? Good toot? sign 'em up! Music is an exchange, a gift, has nothing to do with making money only in making friends and neighbors ('that's where we meet!' --Ornette). Putting out cool records is -- a well worn trope I know, but it's true as trout -- a LABOR OF LOVE. Ted Lee gleans sound art music in organic intrigue obviously from the day he was released from the chute of procreation and it stands to cosmic reason that he can hang tuff and throw down smooth licks with Coley's verbacious loquacity. These readings with sound spoo are just a taste of the cream dream epiphanies these gents collude so instantaneously on. Time is of the essence and music is time, so are thoughts and words like diamond juice dripping from the corners of Don Cherry's pocket trumpet maw -- at least that's what I hear when I hear these cats yowling half past the end of nowhere on a fence behind our collective houses full of records, books, and nudie mags. Life is f*ckin sweet." - Thurston Moore, London 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.
GO GO GOLEM
On Thurs. Dec. 15th at 6:30pm, GARY LUCAS will perform his live solo guitar score accompanying German expressionist horror classic “THE GOLEM” (1920, directed Paul Wegener and Carl Boese)
at the MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE NYC
36 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280
with an after-film discussion led by Prof. Annette Insdorf (“Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust”)
More info and tickets: https://bit.ly/3Thj3Vr
Gary Lucas page for The Golem: https://bit.ly/3RYuVuC
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/
Zürcher Gallery is happy to share two exciting events coming up this weekend:
Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th at 8:00 pm
at Shift, 411 Kent Ave, Brooklyn. Admission $25.
The Annual Christmas-time Concert
Sunday, December 11th at 7:00 pm
at Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st St, NYC.
Admission $15 advance/ $20 door.
We encourage everyone to attend these wonderful performances
Not often will you encounter the music of Jean-Philippe Rameau
as an introduction to Pauline Oliveros and John Cage
and a 60-minute concert performance of
"Many Many Women"
by Petr Kotik
on text by Gertrude Stein
The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble Presents...
The Annual Christmas-time Concert at
Paula Cooper Gallery
534 West 21st Street, NYC
Today is #GivingTuesday!
The music and art that Arts for Art presents inspires and brings us all together. We give the artists and audience everything we have, and we need your support.
As the premier presenter of Multicultural Improvised Arts in New York City, and as a nonprofit, we depend upon the support of individuals such as yourself to ensure that Arts for Art thrives and works towards long-term stability.
Your donation will go towards:
-Artist fees and production costs for our upcoming presentations in partnership with the Gene Frankel Theatre at 24 Bond Street (the former Studio Rivbea) and Five Myles Gallery in Crown Heights.
-The Music is Mine arts education program, where we partner with NYC schools to provide high quality music workshops, private lessons and performance opportunities for low or no cost.
-The Vision Festival, now in its 27th year. The next festival will take place June 13 to 18, 2023 at Roulette Intermedium, where we will present an all star lineup of creative artists, including a full evening of performances by French bassist Joelle Leandre in honor of her lifetime of achievement.
Share with your friends and family using these links:
In gratitude for your support,
Executive Director, Arts for Art, Inc.
William Hooker’s "Let Music Be Your Brunch" Xmas special event
will be held on 12/18/22 at
Funkadelic Studios, 240 West 40th st., 5th fl in Manhattan at 3 pm (bet 7th & 8th Aves)
Much thanks to the studio..It is a free event.
The performing guests so far..(and there will be many more) are
Kevin Ramsey, David Tamura, Ras Moshe, Marcus Cummings, Monica Rocha,
On Ka Davis, Hans Tammen, Stephen Gauci, Aron Namenwirth, Federico Balducci,
Nebula, Jair-Rohm Wells, Ayumi Ishito, Sam Yulsman and the folks at Funkadelic Studio (NYC)...
Even more to be announced! There will be music and configurations of many types...*to be experienced in celebration!
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:
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
AMAZING SERIES OF PODCASTS PUT TOGETHER BY THE GREAT GUITARIST SAMO SALAMON:
The wonderful Slovenian guitarist/composer Samo Salamon has an incredible podcast on Youtube entitled "DR. JAZZ". He has interviewed many of the leading lights of contemporary improvisation including Bill Frisell, Hal Galper, Herb Robertson, Ben Monder, Bob Moses etc. and his conversations are deep and enlightening. Highly recommended for all curious listeners across the worlds of creative music. Here is the link below..
Guitarist and DMG-pal HENRY KAISER has a monthly Video Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page:
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org