And when I die, and when I'm gone
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on, to carry on
Now troubles are many, they're as deep as a well
I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell
Swear there ain't no heaven and I pray there ain't no hell
But I'll never know by living, only my dying will tell
Yes, only my dying will tell, yeah, only my dying will tell
And when I die, and when I'm gone
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on, to carry on, yeah yeah
Give me my freedom for as long as I be
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me
And all I ask of dying is to go naturally
Oh, I want to go naturally
Here I go, hey hey
Here comes the devil right behind
Look out children
Here he comes, here he comes, hey
Don't want to go by the devil
Don't want to go by demon
Don't want to go by Satan
Don't want to die uneasy
Just let me go naturally
And when I die and when I'm dead, dead and gone
There'll be one child born
In our world to carry on, to carry on, yeah yeah
We recently bought two large collections of CDâ€™s and LPâ€™s which we are slowly listing on Discogs as well as cleaning and pricing for in-store sales. The first collection came from a couple crosstown and included a crate or two of CDâ€™s from some favored female singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega, each of whom I like. While I do own some LPâ€™s and CDâ€™s by these women, I didnâ€™t realize how many releases they actually have, which includes a large number of rare and/or illegitimate discs.
I have long loved the songs of Laura Nyro, one of the most soulful and righteous of all (white) women songwriters. I recall buying her first album in the early 1970â€™s and thinking what an incredible talent she was. Her songs and her voice really moved me. I already knew a few of the songs on it from hit single versions like â€œWedding Bell Bluesâ€ and â€œStoned Soul Picnicâ€ covered by the Fifth Dimension and â€œEliâ€™s Comingâ€ covered by Three Dog Night. The above song, â€œAnd When I Dieâ€ was covered on the second album by Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1968 and I admit that I do dig the B, S & Tâ€™s version, although I am not so much a fan of David Clayton Thomas, their lead singer. I find the lyrics here to be most moving, providing us with some thought about our mortality. I caught Laura Nyro twice live at the Bottom Line & Carnegie Hall in the seventies and remain a true fan to this day. I now own even more of her records than I thought existed. Laura Nyro passed away on April 8th of 1997, the anniversary of her death just a couple of days from now. I was at a concert at the Bottom Line the night she died checking out Al Kooper who was performing all of the songs from the first Blood, Sweat & Tears album when he was the leader of that band. Jimmy Vivino was playing guitar for Al Kooper at that concert and was also the guitarist/music director of Ms. Nyroâ€™s band. Mr. Vivino played a tribute to Laura Nyro that night, letting the audience know that she had just passed away. Mr. Vivino was in tears as he did his tribute and both my friend Dave E and myself also wept as he played. A toast to Laura Nyro, one of the greatest of them all. - Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
Saturday, April 8th: The GauciMusic Series Continues with:
6pm Cisco De la Garza - tenor sax / Thomas Swindel - guitar
7pm Stephen Gauci - sax / Keisuke Matsuno - guitar / Tim Dahl - bass / Kevin Shea - drums
8pm Jeong Lim Yang - bass / Christopher Hoffman - cello / Billy Mintz - drums
Tuesday, April 11th:
6:30: DANNY KAMINS / MAX KUTNER / JAMES PAUL NADIEN - Sax / Guitar / Drums!
7:30: THE BEYOND MUSIC GROUP featuring: CHERYL PYLE - c flute/alto, MICHAEL EATON - sax, GENE COLEMAN - bass flute/piccolo & HARUNA FUKAZAWA - c flute/alto flute!
8:30: BRAD HENKEL / JOANNA MATTREY / LESLEY MOK - Trumpet / Viola / Drums!
Tuesday, April 18th:
6:30: MASAYO KOKETSU - Solo Alto Sax!
7:00: JAMES McKAIN - Solo Sax!
7:30: AIDAN Oâ€™CONNELL - Contrabass!
8:00: WaterghOst - Solo Guitar!
Tuesday, April 25th:
6:30: ODON: DANIEL CARTER / TAKUMA KANAIAWA / PRIMUS LUTA / JONATHAN WILLIAM WILSON!
7:30: HANS TAMMEN / MARCO CAPPELLI - Two Guitars!
8:30: SHA - Solo Bass Clarinet & Alto Sax!
9:30: KEYNA WILKINS - Solo Flute!
THIS WEEK BEGINS WITH FIVE MARVELOUS CDâ€™S FROM OUR FRIENDS AT CLEAN FEED:
The Portuguese-based CLEAN FEED label still reigns and releases way too many disc to actually give serious listenings to each one, but I continue to try. The recent batch of Clean Feed discs are around a dozen. Since some of lesser recognized composers or bands donâ€™t sell very well, so I have been concentrating just the one I know or hope will be great. The recent batch below is only five and each one is extraordinary, I mean that most sincerely. Please take some time to consider each of these and yes, you can listen to each on line if you want to. Long live Clean Feed and especially to Pedro & Madalena who work hard to inspire us with Creative Music time and again!
GORDON GRDINA / MAT MANERI / CHRISTIAN LILLINGER - "Live at the Armoury" (Clean Feed 619; Portugal) Featuring Gordon Grdina on guitar & oud, Mat Maneri on viola and Christian Lillinger on drums. This disc was recorded live at Studio Armoury in Vancouver in 2018. Over the last few years started his own label (ABG Records) and has become immensely prolific. He has released more than a dozen discs on his own label as well as on Astral Spirits, Irabbagast and now Clean Feed. Mr. Grdina has some half dozen projects/bands all working and recording as time allows. This trio played at the Victo Fest last year (2022) and were one of the highlights of that festival. All three members of this trio have unique, idiosyncratic styles which work together in a variety of different ways. When the discs begins Grdina on guitar and Maneri on viola are weaving their notes/sounds carefully together, bending each note or phrase carefully as Lillinger provides subtle, skeletal support/punctuation. As Grdinaâ€™s strumming gets more dense, Maneri adds shimmering slightly skewered harmonies. Grdina takes a long, fluid solo, somewhat dark & mysterious at times, spinning out a layer of connected, shifting phrases before dropping out to let Maneri take one of his own eerie, soft fractured solos. From time to time, Grdina starts strumming these distinctive chords which expand & contract and provide a dense, organic cloud to settle upon. There is a section here where the guitar and viola pick up the pace and begin exchanging lines furiously, the excitement factor increasing to a near boiling point before they settle into a more introspective haze, haunting, gently mesmerizing. Christian Lillinger is one of the most in-demand drummers in Europe yet rarely makes it to the US. He has played here at DMG twice and watching him play is something else as he is very animated in the way he plays. I love the way he plays here, often skeletal yet making each note/sound count. What makes this disc so special is this: every solo and/or exchange between Grdina and Maneri is/are profoundly engaging. This disc is one of the finest examples of focused free improv at its very best. There is a short drum solo from Lillinger which continues the flow of events just right. Absolutely marvelous! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FRANCOIS HOULE GENERA SEXTET with MARCO VON ORELLI / SAMUEL BLASER / BENOIT DELBECQ / MICHAEL BATES / HARRIS EISENSTADT - "In Memoriam" (Clean Feed 624CD; Portugal) Featuring FranÃ§ois Houle on clarinet, Marco von Orelli cornet/trumpet, Samuel Blaser trombone, BenoÃ®t Delbecq piano, Michael Bates bass and Harris Eisenstadt drums. â€œIn Memoriam of the late Ken Pickering, not only the co-founder of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival but also a supporter of the music and beautiful soul that left us way too soon.â€ I knew Ken Pickering, having met him at the Victo Fest, Guelph and in NY at gigs several times since the early days at Victo in the late 1980â€™s. He was the most gracious and genuine being, the Vancouver Jazz Fest, which he ran for many years, was one of the best festivals of Creative Music to take place annually anywhere in North America or Europe. Canadian clarinetist Francois Houle is also someone Iâ€™ve long admired since clarinet playing, composing and multi-bandleading talents are consistlenty engaging and inspiring to serious listeners everywhere.
Francois Houle has several working ensembles and Genera is one with an earlier disc released in 2012, over a decade ago. This personnel is the same except that Taylor Ho Bynum is replaced by Marco von Orelli who once had a duo disc out with Mr. Houle. Right from the short opening piece, Houle has written some superb, harmonious charts for his sextet. The frontline combination of clarinet, cornet or trumpet and trombone is a winning combination with Benoit Delbecq adding rich chords underneath. â€œRequiem for KPâ€ is one of the most heartfelt tributes that Iâ€™ve heard and I had to listen to it over and over. There is something deeply sad yet beautiful going on here plus it includes a superb trombone solo which speaks directly to the heart as does the cornet solo. These songs are consisting enchanting not too difficult to enjoy, never too dense or angular. The sound of the clarinet, muted cornet and trombone over the morse code like piano on â€œEkphasisâ€ sublime, rich, well written and it has a most memorable melody that you will remember for a long time. Another highlight here is the clarinet solo on â€œThis Tuneâ€¦â€, in which Delbecqâ€™s piano completes the lines started by Mr. Houle and it concludes with an impressive drum solo near the end of the piece. The production here is also consistently superb, with subtle amounts of reverb added to make things even more lush and dream-like. In a popular jazz magazine like Downbeat, I would think that a disc like this would rate 4 or 5 stars. This sounds to me like a perfect release, exquisite, thoughtfully composed and produced. Donâ€™t miss out on this gem! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ROOTS MAGIC SEXTET - Long Old Road - Retold Pasts and Present Day Musings (Clean Feed 623; Portugal) The Roots Magic Sextet features Alberto Popolla on clarinets, el bass & banjo, Errico De Fabritis on alto & bari saxes, Eugenio Colombo on flutes & soprano sax, Francesco Lo Cascio on vibes & percussion, Gianfranco Tedeschi on contrabass and Fabrizio Spera on drums, percussion & zither. There are two ongoing ensembles whose discs on Clean Feed are consistently crafty and inspired, Angles # (from Scandinavia) and Roots Magic from Italy. Each and every release from both bands are well worth owning and listening to over & over. Roots Magic have been around since 2015 and this is their fourth disc. Roots Magic do mostly covers of blues and gospel songs as well as classic avant-jazz songs from Sun Ra, Julius Hemphill, Olu Dara, Roscoe Mitchell, Marion Brown and Kalaparusha. What I dig most about these releases is that they always find a connection between the blues, gospel and avant-jazz songs which illustrates a bond to (Cosmic) Spiritualism.
The latest disc from Roots Magic features a sextet and includes songs by Kahil El Zabar, Bessie Smith, Rosa Lee Hill and Cal Massey and quotes poetry or prose from Toni Morrison (currently banned by Right Wing extremists), Benjamin Zephaniah (great British dub poet) and Z.Z. Packer (award-winning American fiction writer). For this disc, the band members wrote all but four of these songs. Chicago percussion great Kahil El Zabar wrote the opening song, â€œWhen the Elephant Walksâ€ which has an infectious groove/vibe. Mr. Popollaâ€™s bass clarinet is featured and sings like a voice crying out. The groove is provided by the vibes-led rhythm team with some superb flute (by Colombo) on top. â€œSulaâ€ is an original song by the band and features all three reeds spinning together on top, the effect is most enchanting, especially Colomboâ€™s soprano sax & Popollaâ€™s clarinet with sizzling percussion providing a Cosmic cushion. â€œRun as Slow as You Canâ€ was inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah and has a rich, slow, hypnotic reggae-like groove. What I dig most about this band is this: the three reeds players work marvelously together usually with one soloing while the others provide superb support. Instead of piano, Mr. Lo Cascioâ€™s vibes are also well-utilized throughout in a similar fashion. â€œBlue Linesâ€ is dedicated to Muhal Richard Abrams, the founder of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), composer & pianist who passed away in 2017. Mr. Abrams was a great composer who often wrote complex music that was beyond regular categories. This piece is also not bound by regular pigeon-holing. It features sublime flute and vibes interplay with the sextet expanding their sound into a multi-layered force. Bessie Smithâ€™s â€œLong Old Roadâ€ is also the title of this disc and starts with some eerie bowed bass over a simmering, bluesy aura. The slow, mysterious, ghost-like melody is well handled by the reeds with some spooky skeletal bass at the center. â€œAmberâ€ is dedicated to the great cellist Abdul Wadud and it is a wonderful, uplifting, festive delight with one of the most memorable themes Iâ€™ve heard in a long while. Those layered reeds are most infectious. What makes this piece special is the use of two basses, electric bass played by Mr. Popolla and bowed acoustic bass by Mr. Tedeschi, complete with some superb Trane-like soprano sax soaring on top. â€œBullying Wellâ€ was composed by Rosa Lee Hill and starts off with banjo and vibes before it gets into that hypnotic pulse/groove. The reeds and vibes kick up a storm with some whirlwind bari sax and vibes swirling tightly together on top. Cal Massey was an unsung jazz composer & trumpeter whose music was covered by John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Horace Tapscott. The last song here is Cal Masseyâ€™s â€œThings Have Got to Changeâ€ and it is a perfect conclusion to this mighty disc. It has a feisty sound with rich harmonies for the three reeds. Recently Iâ€™ve been worried about the future of the store due to slow on-line sales. Listening to this disc with the Spring sunshine coming through my kitchen window provides me with some spirited Inspiration. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MARIO COSTA with BENOIT DELBECQ / CUONG VU / BRUNO CHEVILLON - Chromosome (Clean Feed 625CD; Portugal) Featuring Mario Costa on drums, electronics & compositions Cuong Vu on trumpet, Benoit Delbecq on piano, synth & sampler and Bruno Chevillon on contrabass. Portuguese drummer, Mario Costa, is a new name for me, having only 1 other record as a leader (also on Clean Feed), besides working with Joachim Kuhnand a band called Mazam. Mr. Costa has put together a fine, all-star quartet with musicians from different scenes: French pianist Benoit Delbecq (worked with Francois Houle & Evan Parker), Cuong Vu (former Downtown trumpet great who spent many years touring with Pat Metheny) and contrabass great Bruno Chevillon (many years with Louis Sclavis & Marc Ducret). This disc commences with â€œAdamastorâ€ which is a lovely, haunting ballad with some exquisite trumpet from Cuong Vu and tasty prepared (muted with a hand or small object) piano. Mr. Delbecq is a longtime master/explorer of prepared piano and works perfectly with Mr. Costaâ€™s intricate rhythmic rapids. On the title track, Mr. Costaâ€™s writing has a somewhat Monk-like bent-note spin. Cuong Vu has long had a superb, warm, charming & effortlessly inventive sound on trumpet, hence he adds something special with his playing throughout this disc. He also records infrequently with just a few leader discs in the past decade so it is great to hear him featured here. It is Mr. Costaâ€™s writing here which is thoughtful with a number of memorable themes. Bassist Bruno Chevillon is featured on â€œMoluccasâ€ and sounds great as he always does. Chevillonâ€™s insistent bass is also at the center of â€œMoonwalkâ€, plucking each note quickly and intricately, reminding me of the great Joe Fonda who played here at DMG earlier this week (on 4/4/23). Mr. Delbecq also adds some minimal yet effective synth here and there always to enhance the piece being played with odd yet quaint harmonies. There are quite a bit of surprising twists & turns going on here which you often donâ€™t notice at first since they are often subtle. Much of this music is stripped down and skeletal at times, yet inventiveness of the playing and writing still rings true. Another ace in the hole for good folks at Clean Feed. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ASBJÃ˜RN LERHEIM / ROGER ARNTZEN/ YAGI MICHIYO / TAMAYA HONDA - Chrome Hill Duo Meets DÅŒJÅŒ: Live at Aketa No Miseâ€ (Clean Feed 629CD; Portugal) Chrome Hill feature AsbjÃ¸rn Lerheim on el baritone guitar & electronics and Roger Arntzen on double bass & electronics. The Japanese duo DÅjÅ featuring Michiyo Yagi on electric 21-string koto & electronics and Tamaya Honda on drums. Iâ€™ve been checking out Chrome Hill, a great Norwegian jazz-rock quartet since they began around 2014. Bassist Roger Arntzen is also a member of Ballrogg and comes to visit us every few years, dropping off whatever current disc he is promoting. He recently left us with a disc called â€˜One Small Stepâ€™ (also on Clean Feed), which included a tap dancer and turned out to be one of the under-recognized gems that we get in from time to time. A duo version of Chrome Hill with Mr. Arntzen and Mr. Lerheim toured in Japan and played with a Japanese duo called DÅjÅ. DÅjÅ features Michiyo Yagi on 21-string koto & electronics and Tamaya Honda on drums. Iâ€™ve known and dug Ms. Yagi for many years, checking out her many discs with Peter Brotzmann, Elliott Sharp, Paal Nilssen-Love, Haco & Ikue Mori (in Hoahio). Drummer Tamaya Honda has also worked with Brotzmann and leads several of his own bands including a tribute project to Elvin Jones.
It is interesting since this quartet had never played together until they toured together in January of 2020, when this disc was recorded. The opening piece is called â€œDust Devilâ€ and it features some furious strummed koto with effects and/or electronics all spinning together in a tight whirlwind of sound. The sounds of the koto strings and guitar strings both being rubbed or strummed together is often harrowing, creating a tornado-like force while the rhythm teams also ascends together, both duos as one sonic force. â€œCountry of Lost Bordersâ€ sounds like a prog/rock epic of sorts with a dark, turbulent pulsating theme which was obviously written out, evolving slowly through some hills and valleys. There is some resonating lead playing here, rather Gong-like space-rock, not sure if the lead is being played by the electric bari guitar or electric koto or both. The overall sound would certainly give Acid Mother Temple a run for their money. Although this disc is mostly improvised the quartet have developed their own sound and provide us with a focused, mesmerizing, sprawling, intoxicating distinctive sound. At times, the drummer will lock in with the koto, acoustic bass and/or bari guitar and provide an exciting groove or rhythmic wave to wash over us or provide some mind surfing. Acid Mother temple are currently on tour in the US with my own pal Ron Anderson sitting is on bass. This quartet would be a perfect opener for these gigs so lets dream that they were invited to do so. How does smoking some spliff and surfing on their cosmic waves sound to you?!? Kinda nice, I think. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NATURAL INFORMATION SOCIETY with JOSHUA ABRAMS / JASON STEIN / HAMID DRAKE / JOSH BERMAN / BEN LAMAR GAY / NICK MAZZARELLA plus ARI BROWN / et al - Since Time Is Gravity (Aguirre Records Zorn 099CD; Belgium) â€œThe next chapter of the Natural Information Society is here. Since Time Is Gravity, credited to Natural Information Society Community Ensemble with Ari Brown, presents a newly expanded manifestation of acclaimed composer & multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams nearly 15 year, 7 albums and counting flagship ensemble. Joining the core NIS of Abrams (guimbri & bass), Lisa Alvarado (harmonium) Mikel Patrick Avery (drums) & Jason Stein (bass clarinet) are Hamid Drake (percussion), Josh Berman & Ben Lamar Gay (cornets), Nick Mazzarella & Mai Sugimoto (alto saxophones & flute), Kara Bershad (harp) & Chicago living legend of the tenor saxophone Ari Brown. Recorded live to tape at Electrical Audio & The Graham Foundation, cover painting Vibratory Cartography: Nepantla, by Lisa Alvarado.â€
SCOTT FIELDS ENSEMBLE with CAROLYN POOK / MILES PERKINS / DAVID STACKENAS / FRANK GRATKOWSKI / MATTHIAS SCHUBERT / MATTHIAS MUCHE / MELVYN POORE / et al - Sand (Relative Pitch Records 1156; USA) Over the past couple of night guitarist & composer came to visit us here at DMG and attended two nights of music here at the store. It was the first time in many years I had a chance to speak with Mr. Fields at length. I had heard that Mr. Fields has been living in Europe and was teaching. Scott Fields has been living in Cologne, Germany for 30 years and is a full time composer. He has applied for and gotten a number of commissions over the years, every disc he works on has a different concept, aside from the occasional free form release.
This disc was recorded live at Alte Feuerwache in Cologne in February of 2022 and features a 23 piece large ensemble with Mr. Fields conducting. I recognize around a third of the names here from previous discs: Frank Gratkowski (clarinet), David Stackenas (guitar), Matthias Schubert (tenor sax), Mattias Muche (trombone) and Melvyn Poore (tuba). I am not sure what the concept is here but Mr. Fields claims that this piece is modular, as in adjustable having parts that can be connected or combined in different ways. Each of the nine tracks is a complete version of the piece, which is called â€˜Sandâ€™. The 23 piece ensemble includes 7 strings, 3 electric guitars, 5 reeds, 3 brass, 2 percussions and 3 vocalists. Considering that there are 23 musicians involved, the music is often stripped down and very focused. It sounds like chamber music with several layers or lines coalescing around one another. The three vocalist are women with soft, warm voices, singing in English and used minimally to balance with the other musicians. Although Mr. Fields claims that each piece is a complete version, each piece does sound different and unfolds in unique ways with different combinations of players on each piece. I like that most of these piece are sparse yet focused, mostly using just a section of the larger group. Although the instrumentation changes on every piece, the overall sound/vibe remains similar. One of the highlights here is that the three vocalists, who only appear on some of the pieces, have this charming, near-sunshine pop-like sound while layering their voices by shadowing or creating charming harmonies. Overall, I found this long disc (72 minute) to be consistently enchanting and never too dense or inscrutable. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DANIEL ROSENBOOM with GAVIN TEMPLETON / JOHN ESCREET / BILLY MOHLER / DAMION REID - Polarity (Orenda Records 0101; USA) Featuring Daniel Rosenboom on trumpet, flugel & quartertone trumpets, Gavin Templeton on alto & baritone saxes, John Escreet on piano & other keyboards, Billy Mohler on double bass and Damion Reid on drums. L.A. trumpeter/composer Daniel Rosenboom has consistently knocked me out whether working with Vinny Golia, Gavin Templeton, Quoan or running his own band Burning Ghosts or doing varied solo projects. Mr. Rosenboom has several great discs out on Nine Winds, as well as running this, the Orenda label. I played this disc last week at the store along with a new disc from Michael Blake, both discs blew me & my employee John Mori away, which really made our day at the store. I know of former UK-bred pianist John Escreet since he used to live in NYC and has several great discs out as a leader. I hadnâ€™t heard of the bassist, Billy Mohler before now, although the drummer, Damion Reid, I do know from his work with Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman and Rudresh Mahanthappa, all demanding composers & bandleaders.
Dan Rosenboom wrote all the music here except for two collective improvs. â€œThe Age of Snakesâ€ opens the disc and is a collective improv although it doesnâ€™t sound that way. Both the trumpet and the sax play a theme together at the beginning, something that wouldnâ€™t really work unless the musicians worked together at length and learned to invent harmonies, structures and strategies together. The tempo is slow and mysterious as the band simmers together, with Mr. Rosenboom taking the first, long, infectious, inventive, dream-like solo with Mr. Escreet adding a rich undertow of support underneath, pulling a fine solo as well. Eventually the song enters the freer zone with some powerful wailing tenor sax and soaring trumpet high above, the powerful rhythm team pushing the energy higher and higher. â€œWar Moneyâ€ starts off at a furious tempo with some fierce bari sax from Mr. Templeton. John Escreet, an amazing pianist who was often under-recognized here, shows how strong he can play, whipping up a storm force here with Rosenboom soaring mightily on top. â€œOn Summoning the Willâ€ is an exquisite, charming ballad which features a lovely trumpet solo from Rosenboom. â€œIkigaiâ€ is another feature for Mr. Escreet who provides another explosive solo, the ensemble playing by the rest of the quintet, tight, powerful and quite inventive. On of the things that Mr. Rosenboom is great at doing his way of doing the slow burn, the unit simmering for with solemn, expressive solos. On the final piece, â€œMinotaurâ€, Templeton again plays some feisty baritone, explosive piano and final award-winning trumpet solo from the main man. Altogether we have yet another treasure from San Rosenboom and his marvelous quintet. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANAT FORT TRIO with GARY WANG / ROLAND SCHNEIDER - The Berlin Sessions (Sunnyside 1687; USA) "They said nobody makes CDs anymore. So I made a DOUBLE CD with stuff I've never recorded. Ever." So says Israeli pianist Anat Fort. To borrow a term from the United States' 2016 presidential election, Fort "doubled down" on the "nobody makes CDs" thing. Bless her for that. That double CD is The Berlin Sessions, featuring Fort and her longtime trio mates, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider.
Fort released her debut recording, Peel (Orchard), in 1999, but her career/profile really took off on her ECM Records debut, A Long Story (2007), featuring drummer Paul Motian. Two more ECM sets followed before she offered up a pair of releases in 2019, Bubbles (Hypenote Records) and Colours (Sunnyside Records).
And now The Berlin Sessions. Putting out a double CD set takes confidence. It says "I have something to say, and one disc will not be enough to say it all." The Berlin Sessions begins with a more or less abstract Disc 1, where the trio sits down and improvises on four tunes before moving into the seven-part "Jain Suite," written for a performance at the Rubin Museum for Himalayan Art." It is deep and beautiful stuff.
Disc 2 shifts to a more mainstream (but distinctively Fort-ian) mode, with the trio expanding upon a couple of surprising cover choices. A good deal of ground is covered on the second disc, while maintaining a cohesive feeling. Overall, it is a brave two- CD journey, from the angular, dark-hued "First Dance" to the searching and subtle "Enlightenment In Four Dimensions" and the mysterious and glorious "Mahavira's Pregnancy And Death"â€”both of these from "The Jain Suite"â€”into Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are." It is a song that is easy to dismiss as a lightweight pop sound in its original version, but Fort refutes that notion with her take on it. She makes it gorgeous. She then moves on to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "All The Things You Are," and the closer, the Fort original, "Back To the Future," a dreamy, charming tune, a spare goodbye wrapping up a terrific piano trio outing.â€ - Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz.com
2 CD Set $18
GAIA WILMER LARGE ENSEMBLE - Folia - The Music of Egberto Gismonti (Sunnyside SSC 1677; USA) â€œThe recording begins with the effervescent â€œFolia,â€ a tricky piece that, in her mind, had everything necessary for an expansive big band revisal. On â€œEm Familia,â€ Wilmer utilizes rarely performed elements from a version of the songâ€™s introduction and slower 4/4 section around which to build a dynamic suite. The dancing â€œ7 AnÃ©isâ€ was the first arrangement Wilmer wrote while at NEC. The piece expands with playful rhythmic experiments and a subtle reharmonization, providing a fantastic structure for a Gismonti piano feature. Gismonti named the minimalist piece â€œBiancaâ€ for his then infant daughter. Wilmer asks the trumpets and trombones to mirror the sounds of a playground to honor the tribute. The ensemble keeps the piece floating with ambiguous harmonies and quiet subtlety. Wilmer gives depth to â€œInfÃ¢nciaâ€ by incorporating a segment of a Gismonti played interlude into the intro before the piece takes off into tempo led by a wonderful feature segment from Morelenbaumâ€™s cello. Wilmer completely reimagined the beloved â€œLÃ´roâ€ by utilizing tiny pieces of melody to create a chant-like chorale used in the intro, middle, and ending of the piece. The theme emerges slowly and Grossiâ€™s dynamic harmonica playing is a true highlight. One of the last pieces Wilmer arranged, â€œKaratÃª,â€ utilizes an interpretation of the frevo rhythm from northeastern Brazil, a gorgeous Gismonti piano intro, and typical sounds of Brazilian big bands to become a sweeping standout. â€œMaracatuâ€ takes its name from another northeastern rhythm, which was stretched by Gismonti and further stretched by Wilmer. The piece was arranged for a solo feature for Gustavo Dâ€™Amicoâ€™s soprano saxophone. Gismonti wrote â€œCego Aderaldoâ€ for a blind man in northeastern Brazil. Composer Luiz Gonzaga also wrote a piece with the same name for the same man. Wilmer decided to find a way to combine the two, the middle eastern elements of Gismontiâ€™s tune countered by the baiÃ£o rhythms of their master Gonzaga. The recording concludes with Gismontiâ€™s typical encore, â€œBaiÃ£o Malandro,â€ a fast, difficult tune that includes some incredible arranging, including a full band sweep that would usually cascade from Gismontiâ€™s piano.
Gaia Wilmerâ€™s large ensemble tribute to her hero Egberto Gismontifinds a perfect way to honor the legendâ€™s work and expand upon it. Folia balances the love and appreciation for the existing works while re-composing them into exciting and fun pieces for a large ensemble.â€
2 CD Set $18
EMILIANO AIRES & SANTIAGO BOGACZ - Restrato anos despues (Relative Pitch 1150; USA) Featuring Emiliano Aires on soprano clarinet and Santiago Bogacz on electric guitar. Like around a third of the musicians who record for the groundbreaking Relative Pitch label, I hadnâ€™t heard of either of these two musicians before this disc arrived at the store. Emiliano Aires and Santiago Bogacz hail from Uruguay and have been working together for none years. The only thing I could find out about either of these players is that Mr. Bogacz played keyboards in a garage rock band called Los Nuevos Creyentes, with an LP released in 2018. It turns out that Uruguay has a long tradition of garage & psych bands, a half dozen of which have reissues out on the Lion Productions label. Who knew?!?
The music here is free form improv and it does sound like these have been working together for a long while. Mr. Bogacz sounds somewhat like Fred Frith with his restrained series of bent-note weirdness. Mr. Switches between circular-breathing lines in different registers. At times these two push things out into a more explosive zone. There are times when it is difficult to tell these players apart as they often bend their notes together in similar ways. As weird as the sounds they make get, there is a sense of calm at the center here. Even when things calm down, the duo still evoke some strange spirits. Bogacz often uses a volume control or pedal to bring in atmospheric sounds without hearing the attack (striking of the notes on the strings). Hence, his sounds float in, sometimes sparse, sometimes dense but often effective at evoking dark, barbed-wire fragments. The last piece, â€œSacamos La Misma Fotoâ€ (â€œWe Took the Same Photoâ€), reminded me of walking through a sweird dreamscape which seemed but familiar and quietly frightening at the same time. Relative Pitch always does a fine job of finding Creative Music practitioners in places that we might normally expect them. An awesome debut from the Uruguayan underground. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TIM PERKIS & TOM DJLL - Kinda (Artifact ART 3018; USA) Pure, albeit totally strange and alien, electroacoustic improvisation by two of San Franciscoâ€™s finest, both longtime denizens of their local scenes and both with a long rich history twisting and tweaking sounds to our ever-grateful delight. Perkis of course goes way back to SFâ€™s electronic collective The Hub, bending knee and tone inside the likes of Fuzzybunny, Grosse Abfahrt, and The League of Automatic Music Composers. Trumpeter Djll has worked wonders transmogrifying the very characteristics of the trumpet, while also spending time singing the body electric with Euphotic, Beauty School, Tender Buttons, and also as a member of Grosse Abfahrt. This latest work finds the duo dabbling with, frankly, what they do best, playing with notions of sound as texture and creating a whole new listening experience in the process. The pieces they inaugurate and nurture sport the same vivid and lively imagery as illustrated by their track titles. â€œSo Sweeps By the Faintly Green Cometâ€, itsâ€™ effluvia dimpled with tossed-off intergalactic detritus and disintegrating matter, sparks, spurts, and spasticizes thanks to Djllâ€™s mutant bell-whackery and the duoâ€™s ingenious knob twiddling that literally bends spacetime. The knotty twirls of â€œMicrobumpâ€ squeak their last breaths like a phalanx of multi-colored balloons being drained of their helium, while â€œEducation of A Spectatorâ€ draws its electronic frippery across long, languid lines of sound, Djllâ€™s trumpet recognizable in fits and starts, Perkis tracing all manner of weird, wild and wonderful pockmarks of speckled blobs and iridescence. â€œFantastic Aircraftâ€ could have been stripped right off the cover of an old copy of Analog SF magazine, the duo's flights of synthetic fancy a virtually indescribable world of shuffling winds, quaking reflexes, and the last shuddering breaths taken by an army of steampunk mechanics. Mind-melting and psyche-altering. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
TENDER BUTTONS with GINO ROBAIR / TANIA CHEN / TOM DJLL - An Established Color and Cunning (Rastascan BRD 072; USA) Percussionist Gino Robair and his Rastascan label have been responsible for issuing some of the USâ€™s most forward-thinking and provocative improv since the 80s, surely one of the longest-lasting imprints dedicated to such musics still thriving in 2023. The trio that is Tender Buttonsâ€”Robair, joined by pianist and percussionist Tania Chen and trumpeter/electronicist Tom Djllâ€”uphold the electroacoustic improv traditions theyâ€™re an established part of, realizing another perplexing but wholly immersive slice of head-scratching otherness to twirl your lobes a thing or two. The fifteen minutes of â€œA Stubborn Bloomâ€ never ceases to amaze, and if you can wrap your head around itâ€™s forever-blown bubbles, caustic resonances, and irregular swarms of scruffy fuzz youâ€™ll find some deep sonic excavation happening therein. â€œLovely Snipe and Tender Turn, Excellent Vaporâ€ tears asunder anyoneâ€™s idea of a quiet storm, as synthesized footsteps, bone-dry plinks of stick and bone, and morse code dialetics herald the arrival of great, sentient beings, multi-limbed kaiju armed with prehistoric noise weapons amassing for combat. â€œBargaining for a Little, Bargain for a Touchâ€ finds Chen unveiling some lovely, lonely piano tones that shimmer about Robairâ€™s suggestive twinklings, while Djllâ€™s strangulated breaths chart a somewhat ominous course for the trio to follow, Robairâ€™s thwacking of sheets of metal and strumming of coils quickly upsetting the aural apple cart. If you want your electronic music dissections soft and fuzzy, this surely ainâ€™t the place for you, but if confrontational texturalizing is your bag, Tender Buttons is here to keep your trousers well-fastened and your shirt collar smartly asphyxiative. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
KYLE BRUCKMANN / TOM DJLL / JACOB FELIX HEULE / KANOKO NISHI-SMITH - Brittle Feebling (Humbler 006; USA) This outing of prickly acoustic improv is a veritable tour de force of sonic world-building, one that is nigh on fearless in its ability to embrace you in its caustic grip and not let go. The pairing of trumpeter Djll (shucking electronics on this go-round) and oboeist/English horn player Bruckmann is inspired; the two encircle one another like sneering pythons, weaving, bobbing, and going for the soft underbelly on occasion, Bruckmannâ€™s wind gusts waxing about Djllâ€™s frequent airbursts and forceful spittle. Meanwhile, Heuleâ€™s floor tom and Nishi-Smithâ€™s koto are like bugs in the bassbin, providing a shaman-esque throb when needed, intermittently disturbing the surrounding studio climate that Nishi-Smith carves out with her focused cohorts. Thereâ€™s something of a discrete fragility to the pieces here, a sense their component parts might suddenly fly off to the heavens, as on the preening high-pitched frequencies arising out of â€œFraiveâ€, though Nishi-Smithâ€™s koto makes for an aromatic presence. â€œThectâ€ seems to rip the very air apart, Bruckmann and Djll filling their colleagueâ€™s breathing space with sounds that seem like fabric ripping; sparse yet pin-sharp in its distinctive phrasing, resemblances to some of Steve Lacyâ€™s more probing outings abound. The concluding â€œUumsolâ€ reeks of onkyo, recalling the deliberately minimal workouts found on the Ftarri and Doubt labels, as silence emits a Cagean roar throughout, but a few minutes in the horns again do battle, igniting the dry kindling of string and skin, the embers cackling and simmering with latent heat. Quietly expressive, consistently gripping. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
FRANZ HAUTZINGER - Gomberg III-V - Airplay (Trost 236CD; Austria) â€œThe alter ego, Gomberg, created by Austrian trumpeter Franz Hautzinger is a tool for him to "overcome his own limitations". Gomberg serves as a foil on which a second personality comes to life and does what he wants. The recordings on Gomberg III-V were made between 2006 and 2018, recorded in Vienna and Brest. Some of the tracks are occasion-related compositions or commissioned works, e.g. a signature for an art space or short works for films, some are the results of collaborations for theatre, performance artists, writers, and poets, others are understood as space- or site-related works, and finally, based on musical diary notes. Gomberg III-V is a monumental work of trumpet art, whether it is a big orchestral piece or a delicate rhapsody, Hautzinger's trumpet work simply serves as a vehicle for crossing borders. Personnel: Franz Hautzinger - quartertone trumpet, electronic devices, zither, voice, percussion. Liner notes by Burkhard Stangl. Mastered by Martin Siewert. Cover design and artwork by Lasse Marhaug.â€
PETER BROTZMANN / HEATHER LEIGH / FRED LONBERG-HOLM - Naked Nudes (Trost 228CD; Austria) â€œRecorded at ADA in Peter BrÃ¶tzmann's hometown Wuppertal as part of his 80th birthday concerts, Naked Nudes brings together two of his most unusual collaborators, Heather Leigh (pedal steel guitar) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), for one of the most elegiac releases in his discography. The relationships between the players are tonally odd: woozy, mournful, almost baroque blues or even more chamber music in feel, the quality of the interplay is subtle and natural, like modern ballads. In the recordings, Peter is pushed more to the front and it's astounding to hear him playing with such strength after almost two years of inactivity; this is one of the first concerts he played while the world was still in the midst of the pandemic. You can feel the weight of the moment in these recordings and can imagine a captive audience under the spell of this strange music that never feels overstated, hurried, frantic or finding. Recorded on August 28, 2021 at INSEL | Kultur im ADA, Wuppertal. Produced by BrÃ¶tzmann; Mastering 2022 by Martin Siewert. Design: BrÃ¶tzmann/Untiet. Personnel: Peter BrÃ¶tzmann - alto/tenor saxophone; Heather Leigh - pedal steel guitar; Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello/electronics.â€
RUDIMENTARY PENI - Cacophony (Sealed Records 020CD; UK) â€œReissue, originally released in 1988. Cacophony is the second Rudimentary Peni album. Released after the band returned from their first hiatus following a series of personal events that changed the band forever. The thirty-track LP keeps turning heads 34 years after its release. Far from writing another Death Church, the band embarked on a truly bizarre quest -- to record an album based on the life and writings of horror's absolute king H.P. Lovecraft. A dense cacophony of total free songwriting. Dark, gothic, intricate, unexpected head-scratching punk. The short bursts of music twist and turn at every corner -- the vocals are part classic Blinko and part spoken word, the guitar is full of distorted awkward tones and the very inventive bass and drums are locked together creating a truly unique album. Cacophony is the benchmark of outsider punk and the influence and cult nature of this album grows with every passing year. This reissue stays close to the original version, with Nick Blinko's incredible cover art, including a 11" x 11" eight-page lyric booklet.â€
DOZER - Drifting In The Endless Void (Blues Funeral Recordings 025CD; USA)
"A fiery, amp-splitting rumble of a record, this is a gravitational mass of space-tripping grooves, massive sludge and red-eyed psychedelics! Formed in the sleepy town of BorlÃ¤nge, Sweden, Dozer led the first wave of European-style stoner/desert rock, an impactful fusion of proto-metal, riff-rock and punk that blasted forth in response to the sun-baked fuzz and tectonic heft of American bands Kyuss and Fu Manchu. More than a decade since their last outing, Dozer have reawakened with a vengeance, and return with an impassioned, amp-splitting rumble of a record. Drifting In The Endless Void is a gravitational mass packed with dense instrumentation, arena-ready melodies, and contemplative restraint. Dozer still brings the tumultuous grooves that longtime fans expect, but they also pull in massive sludge, fuzzed-out doom, space-tripping grooves, red-eyed psychedelics, and whatever else they find floating in the vast cosmic expanse. Dozer's return to the musical landscape they helped shape is cause enough for celebration, but the explosive playing and fiery purpose is what makes Drifting In The Endless Void a truly unmissable experience."
SCHLINDWEIN - Ein elektronisches Requiem (Emika Records SLWCD 001CD; Germany) â€œTo take something classical -- a mass for the dead -- a requiem, something most are familiar with as old church music and reinvent this as something new -- a requiem with synths, could just be a stroke of genius. Schlindwein has done exactly that Ein elektronisches Requiem, quite literally translates to "An Electronic Requiem", is the first and only one of its kind.
Schlindwein is a pianist, composer and music producer from Berlin. His music has been used on multiple major TV series like Grey's Anatomy or How To Get Away With Murder and his songs have been occupying some of the biggest editorial playlists. His debut LP Piano and Electronic Ensemble Op.1 has received much critical acclaim. Classically inspired compositions and electronic sounds merge into his own world of dreamy, lush atmospheres while creating seamless transitions between neoclassic, electronica, and deep house. After now multiple albums and EPs, Schlindwein is going into more brave and ambitious musical directions while cementing his vision of contemporary electronic music beyond fixed genres.â€
MUDDY WATERS - Hollywood Blues Summit: Live at The Ash Grove July 30, 1971 (Liberation Hall 5143CD; USA) "A 1971 performance from Muddy Waters from one of the most important singer-songwriter/guitarists of the post-modern blues era. Rock and roll hall of fame inductee Muddy Waters is one of the most important singer-songwriter/guitarists of the post-modern blues era. His early 1960s touring of the UK inspired many British musicians including the Rolling Stones that took their name from his classic song, 'Rollin' Stone'. Over the '60s into the early 1970s Waters became an international force performing on various bills and artist pairings on club, concert hall and festival stages. This eight-song never before released set was recorded at the legendary Ash Grove club in Los Angeles over the Blue Summit weekend (with Freddie King and Lightnin' Hopkins) over July 27-August 1, 1971. The show was recorded not long before his infamous London sessions recordings. That album was one of his six Grammy winning Traditional Folk recordings throughout the '70s."
LUKAS MATHIAS BRENNER - Guitars, Keys, Common Surface Reflections (LMB 1; USA)
Composer/multi-instrumentalist Lukas Mathias Brenner is a Brooklyn based musician by way of Cleveland, Ohio. On this his auspicious debut Guitars, Keys, Common Surface Reflections (LMB 1; USA), Mr. Brenner delights the ears with seven creations
aptly described as "contemporary classical post rock". The recording opens with "Grey Delay", a piece which slowly unfolds into a wonderful multi-dimensional sound world of fuzz, even eighth notes, and breezy, oceanic atmospheres; think seagulls off in the distance, hazy grassy undertows. "Three Winds of Nickel" follows, an audio landscape where guitar notes hang and sway like telephone wire on a forgotten West Coast highway; Lou Reed and Bill Frisell basking in a hypnotic, glorious sunshine. "Late Start" could be the soundtrack to an unreleased Impressionistic film, notes gently floating at their own accord inside deep space, accepting an approaching and unavoidable darkness. "Curtains" utilizes deft guitar layering to create a sort of "Hawaiian" frippertronics; subtle waves ebbing and flowing into the Pacific sunrise. The recording closes with "Volley", a piece which evokes My Bloody Valentine guitar envelopes as if spiraled inside a church, looping toward the eternal "it". Mr. Brenner's compositions are thoughtfully considered to evoke sonic landscapes of worlds both here and beyond..here's to many further explorations. Highly recommended. John Mori / DMG
SCHLIPPENBACH QUARTET with EVAN PARKER / ALAN SILVA / PAUL LOVENS - Anticlockwise (Trost CF 027LP; Austria) Reissue, originally released on FMP in 1983. Recorded live by Jost Gebers on September 11th,1982 at the Quartier Latin in Berlin. Personnel: Evan Parker - soprano and tenor saxophone; Alexander von Schlippenbach - piano; Alan Silva - double bass; Paul Lovens - drums, percussion. Vinyl remastering 2022 by Martin Siewert. 180 gram vinyl.
LAUREN BARTH - Stormwaiting (Spiritual Pygamas 025LP; USA) "Driving up the coast highway from LA, once you hit Santa Barbara you are struck with a noticeable change in landscape. It is the gateway to the Central Coast, where the contours of the land begin to take on more dramatic inclines and feelings burn like wildfires. This was the childhood home of Lauren Barth, ranch-living and horseriding amongst the golden and dusty open ranges that still expand through parts of California. It is at these gates of change that Lauren Barth explores on Stormwaiting, her second solo effort and first on the Spiritual Pajamas label. Behind the musical landscape of Stormwaiting, Lauren drew from a backstory she created as inspiration. A young woman and spiritual leader of a commune, blind yet finds her way by a heightened sense of awareness, is caught between the physical world of 'Rialto' and the spiritual -- 'Morian.' 'Stormwaiting' is slang for living in Rialto and the storm is the tempest within Morian. The cult's most important message is one of Awareness. Like her protagonist, Lauren steps through these contemplations of change coming, treading one step at a time between the physical and spiritual realms, in a bittersweet anticipation of something upon us. Each song is like a deep breath in, an exhale, a pondering of the past and a wonder about the future with an acute awareness of each passing moment. Barth is a true seasoned folk music player, evoking the California folk movement of the late 1960s like David Crosby (who also hailed from the Santa Barbara area), while also calling upon British influences such as Bert Jansch, Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, and Pentangle, and the later American progressive folk music of Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, and early Bonnie Raitt. In the time since her last solo record in 2017, she picked up the bass with Farmer Dave and the Wizards Of The West, and with her own music gained experience with the process of composing, recording, arranging, and ultimately the confidence to allow her creative instincts to flourish. She found the perfect partner with producer Lewis Pesacof, recording in his Echo Park home studio and has worked with artists such as Pearl Charles, Best Coast, Fidlar, and also works in the world of classical and world music. Tellingly, Stormwaiting has an expansive spirit, a document of a woman and creative spirit finding and embracing her voice beyond folk music and into her own spiritual universe." - Scary Flowers
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
Alternative Guitar Summit 2023
Tues., April 11, 2023 - 7:30-10:00
Drom: 85 Avenue A, New York, NY
Â -Future Voices and 90 year old guitars-
A night of younger, cutting edge guitar players, plus a first time duo withÂ AGSÂ founderÂ Joel HarrisonÂ and iconÂ Marvin SewellÂ on 1930â€™s resonator guitars
7:30: Max Light Trio
8pm: Wendy Eisenberg solo - www.wendyeisenberg.com
8:30: Joel Harrison/Marvin Sewell: National Steel Resonator Guitar duo
9 pm Max Kutner's Partial Custody / www.maxkutner.com
w/Ben StappÂ â€“ tuba and James Paul NadienÂ â€“ drums, percussion
Drom: 85 Avenue A, New York, NY
â€œThe Williamsburg Avant-Garde: Experimental Music and Sound on the Brooklyn Waterfrontâ€ Book Launch and Concert took place on March 16th, 2023
Mr. Bradley writes: I am excited to announce that the launch for my new book, The Williamsburg Avant-Garde: Experimental Music and Sound on the Brooklyn Waterfront, will be held at the Shift (411 Kent Avenue) in Brooklyn on March 16. This book was a ten-year project involving interviews with 180 musicians active in Williamsburg in the period 1988-2014. I will be holding other events with different musicians through the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this project. It would be great to see you all, especially many of you who I haven't seen since before the pandemic!
We are working on getting copies in to sell at the store so let us know if you are interested.
Improvised Music at the Main Drag
Wednesday May 3rd, 2023
7:00pm Beyond Flute Group w/
Cheryl Pyle -flutes
Michael Eaton -saxes
Gene Coleman -flutes
8:00pm Hans Tammen - guitar
Shelley Hirsch - vocals
Ken Filiano - bass
William Hooker - drums
9:00pm Stephen Gauci - t. saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
10:00pm Adam Lane - bass
Brian Drye - trombone
Kirk Knuffke - cornet
Vinny Sperazza - drums
11:00pm Eyal Maoz - guitar
Fima Ephron - electric bass
Chris Stromquist - drums
$20 at the door (entire evening), cash/venmo
@ The Main Drag
50 South 1st Street
Between Kent ave and Wythe Ave
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org