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DMG Newsletter for May 19th, 2023


Tuesday, May 23rd: Guest Host: James Paul Nadien - Guest Host
6:30 - LESLEY MOK - Solo drums
7:30 - JAMES PAUL NADIEN / CHRIS LIBUTTI / TETE LEGUIA - Drums / Guitar / El. Bass
8:30 - JOYCE with YIFEI ZHOU / KAI BURNS / EVAN HASKIN / NOAH MARK - Voice Electronics / Guitar Voice / Guitar / Drums

Tuesday, May 30th:
6:30: HAN TAMMEN / MONICA ROCHA / PAUL FEITZINGER - Electronics / No-input mixer / Percussion
7:30: MAX JOHNSON / ALFREDO COLON / JASON NAZARY - Bass / Alto Sax / Drums
8:30: BEN STAPP - Tuba - compositions / SAM NEWSOME - Soprano Sax

Downtown Music Gallery is located at 13 Monroe St, between Catherine & Market Sts. We are in a basement space below an art gallery & beauty salon. We are on the east side of Chinatown, not far from East Broadway & the end of the Bowery. Admission for all concerts is free and donations are always welcomed. We have concerts here every Tuesday starting at 6:30 plus Steve Gauci curates his own series here on the 2nd or 1st Saturday of each month. You can check out the weekly schedule here:



JOHN ZORN / BILL LASWELL - Memoria (Tzadik 4042; USA) Towering figures of New York's Downtown scene, Zorn and Laswell have been working together since the late 1970s. Following up on their acclaimed 2022 duo project The Cleansing, this new volume presents musical memorials to three artistic visionaries whose powerful legacies remain touchstones of creativity and artistic integrity. Here the music takes on more of an ambient edge, and is distinguished by telepathic improvisational interplay and a unique virtuosity. Three heartfelt tributes from one generation of mavericks to another, Memoria is a beautiful collection of modern improvisation at its best.
CD $16

HENRY THREADGILL ENSEMBLE with NOAH BECKER / SARA CASWELL / MARIEL ROBERTS / CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN / JOSE DAVILLA / SARA SCHOENBECK / DAVID VIRELLES / CRAIG WEINRIB / et al - The Other One (Pi Records 97; USA) The Henry Threadgill Ensemble features Mr. Threadgill - conducting & compositions, Alfredo Colon, Noah Becker & Peyton Pieninger on saxes, Sara Caswell & Stephanie Griffin on strings, Mariel Roberts & Christopher Hoffman on cellos, Sara Schoenbeck & Adam Cordero on bassoons, Jose Davile on tuba and Craig Weinrib on percussion & electronics. I’ve long fascinated by every band or project that I’ve heard AACM composer & reeds player, Henry Threadgill lead. From Air to Very Very Circus to the Sextett to Make a Move to Zooid. Plus several off-shoot or one-time projects like Threadgill’s Dance Orchestra. Each of these ongoing bands has evolved over time as Threadgill’s vision and occasionally the personnel change. Mr. Threadgill’s current band, Zooid, has been around since 2001 and recorded 7 great discs. In 2016, Mr. Threadgill formed yet another somewhat larger ensemble called Ensemble Double Up in which Threadgill utilized two saxes and two pianos, as well as a larger one called the 14 Or 15 Kestra. This unit has made two fine discs in 2016 and 2018. Mr. Threadgill won the highly prestigious Pulitzer Prize for the first Double Up Ensemble release in 2016.
For Mr. Threadgill’s much anticipated new disc, he has put together an impressive 12 piece ensemble, which he conducts. The members include Chris Hoffman & Jose Davilla from Zooid plus Craig Weinrib & David Virelles from Double Up. The title of this disc is “The Other One”, subtitled “Of Valence” and broken into three movements. It is dedicated to the great percussionist/healer Milford Graves who passed in 2012. I often find that I have to listen to each Threadgill release several times in order to truly come to grips with what is going on above and below the surface (or written parts). Things begin with stark, sparse piano, setting a tone of calm reflection. On “Section 3”, the saxes and strings both resonate together the way sounds wheeze from an accordion. Although some of the sax parts seem to come from a more jazz-like world, the sound of the ensemble is closer to modern chamber music which is thoughtfully composed and reflects the complexities of life. Each section sets a tone or a scene, solos are often not too long as the rest of the ensemble plays there parts, interweaving both thoughtful written and improvised parts. I like the way things are balanced and blended here. Complex sections are often followed by more sparse ones which give us some time to absorb things as they evolve. “Section 8” features a drum solo which sounds like it is an extension of the what has taken place before and what comes after the short solo. Cuban pianist, David Virelles, is one of the best keyboard players and composers around, rarely getting the recognition he well deserves. He sounds especially strong here adding interesting lines into the ever-evolving ensemble. The finale of the first movement includes a short yet feisty bassoon solo (Ms. Schoenbeck, perhaps), which is an impressive gem. “Movement II” contains quite a bit of gnarly yet enchanting music for the strings and reeds. While I’m at home and not reviewing discs or watching Star Trek, I often my musical diet with a wide variety of genres. I often choose modern classical music by a large number of composers known and not so. Sometimes this music blows my mind, sometimes it is hard to figure out. This disc sounds like a culmination of the many things that I love the most of both modern classic with avant jazz themes or playing interwoven just right. There was a New Times review of Mr. Threadgill’s new book about his musical journey which ran yesterday (5/15/23) and which is pasted into the review of this book listed below. The Times will also be doing a feature article on Henry Threadgill in the next few weeks. Lovers of challenging music like you and me, check out this disc soon and purchase the book if you want to gain a better understanding of this marvelous composer and musician. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

HENRY THREADGILL and BRENT HAYES EDWARDS - Easily Slip into Another World - A Life in Music (Alfred A. Knopf; USA) “It’s rare to come across a new Vietnam War memoir from a major publisher in 2023. Most were written decades ago, when memories were fresh and wounds still raw. That generation of soldiers has begun to pass away. Henry Threadgill’s “Easily Slip Into Another World” is an unusual entrant in the genre. For one thing, this astringent book is only in part about his war experience. The remainder is about his rebellious childhood in Chicago during the 1950s, his apprenticeship in that city’s pyretic music scene and — later, after the war — his variegated career as a composer, saxophonist and flutist touring the world and becoming, along with Ornette Coleman and Wynton Marsalis, one of the few jazz artists to have won a Pulitzer Prize.
There’s more here than an insane war story, in other words. In fact, “Easily Slip Into Another World” is so good a music memoir, in the serious and obstinate manner of those by Miles Davis and Gil Scott-Heron, that it belongs on a high shelf alongside them.
But this memoir rises toward, and then falls away from, Threadgill’s war experience. It’s the molten emotional core. Let’s start there. Threadgill enlisted in August 1966, when he was 22. He’d lost his draft deferment because he couldn’t afford to attend Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music full time. He didn’t feel like a soldier. If he volunteered rather than wait to be drafted, he was told, he could continue to play music in the Army. After basic training he was stationed at Fort Riley, in Kansas, in a band that performed at officers’ dances when it wasn’t out on the field playing heroic martial standards to soldiers leaving for combat.
The band got good, and Threadgill’s arrangements (he’d been listening to Thelonious Monk, Igor Stravinsky and Cecil Taylor) grew complicated. When he was asked to arrange a medley of national classics — “God Bless America,” “The Star-Spangled Banner” and others — for an important ceremony, he did so in a manner than added a bit of, in his words, “angularity and dissonance.” He was trying to stretch the music, to see what he could get out of it.
A Catholic archbishop stood up during the event and called the arrangements blasphemous. Top brass snapped to attention. The ceremony was shut down. Threadgill was fired from the band and, to his shock and dismay, shipped off to the Fourth Infantry Division in Pleiku, Vietnam, in the thick of the fighting. A “musical peccadillo,” Threadgill writes, had earned him a probable death sentence.
In Pleiku, Threadgill was nearly killed on multiple occasions. He was in a jeep that overturned, and he permanently injured his back. He spent nights waist-deep in water. His base camp was attacked during the Tet Offensive. There are more strange harbingers than can be counted.
There were a lot of drugs, including the strongest pot imaginable, and plenty of music. Threadgill continued to play in bands and came across others. He makes you reconceptualize the musical template of the Vietnam War. There’s no Hendrix and Creedence in his account; in the jungles around Pleiku, there’s Coltrane and Coleman.
Threadgill gets the worst case of gonorrhea I’ve ever read about. His Army papers are lost and, in a “Catch-22” sort of nightmare, he’s not sure he can prove who he is in order to go home. The madness is endless, and the endlessness is maddening. He isn’t discharged until 1969. He’s a different person.
“Easily Slip Into Another World” is about learning to hear the world, and Vietnam changed the way Threadgill did so. “It’s like I grew a set of antennae over there,” he writes. “When I returned, my reception equipment was different.”
Threadgill wrote this book with Brent Hayes Edwards, a professor of English at Columbia University and a jazz writer. Some of their interview transcripts are included in small snippets, which let you see how close Threadgill’s canny but philosophical speaking voice is to what’s on the page. It’s as if Edwards, as a sensitive amanuensis, guided a ball that was already rolling downhill.
Threadgill has always had a thing with titles. He plucks them out of the air. They insinuate. Among his songs are “Everybody Will Hang by the Leg” and “Spotted Dick Is Pudding.” He writes:
Sometimes a work of art has a shadow title: a provisional nickname or draft label — something you call it as you’re making it, but that doesn’t end up being the final title when it matures. It’s as though the work sloughs them off as it grows the way a snake sheds its skin.
The shadow title of “Easily Slip Into Another World,” he writes, was “Failure Is Everything.” I’m glad he didn’t call it that; too much has been written about creative failure recently, and the shadow title would have made this sound like a book for venture capitalists. But a lot of attention is paid to Threadgill’s own failures, large and small. This is among the reasons that this memoir is the kind of book I’d want to place in the hands of young musicians. It’s also about the obstacles Threadgill intentionally put in his own path.
He could have made an easier career as a sideman. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and has always been in demand. He’s frequently led bands of his own. But he decided early that he wanted to compose, and he fell in instead with the avant-garde art and theater communities in Chicago and in New York. He always made his own path. He peeled off two dozen musical skins. He was mostly a leaver, not a joiner. It was his personality to rock the boats he was supposed to steer.
This book’s first 200 pages are so excellent that, if it had remained about that length, “Easily Slip Into Another World” would have been, in that reviewer’s oxymoron, an instant classic. The last 200 pages drift. Band follows band, tour follows tour, commission follows commission. This is a memoir with a lot of area codes.
But Threadgill writes ardently about the barriers Black composers and classical musicians have faced. He also refuses, most of the time, to ratify the borders between classical music and jazz.
He makes the case, in his own fashion, that it takes a village to raise a musician. There are roll calls of family members, teachers and stray artists who helped him along the way. The milieu in Chicago meant everything. High schools have band rooms; Threadgill makes you wish every building had a band room.” - Dwight Garner for The NY Times, May 15, 2023
BOOK $35 [400 pages / hard cover]

PAUL DUNMALL / FAITH BRACKENBURY / JOHN POPE / TONY BIANCO - Sentient Beings (Off OU 1006; UK) Featuring Paul Dunmall on tenor sax, Faith Brackenbury on violin & viola, John Pope on bass and Tony Bianco on drums. Thanks to UK labels like Discus, Slam and FMR, I’ve gotten to know and appreciate dozens of British and other UK creative musicians, many of whom might not get recorded either ever or rarely. British sax colossus, Paul Dunmall, you no doubt know about since I am always touting his praises and amazing free playing. Mr. Dunmall is also a catalyst for discovering and improvising with many dozens of musicians, many of which I hadn’t heard of before. String sorceress, Faith Brackenbury has two duo efforts out with drummer Tony Bianco, both on Discus and both under-recognized gems. Aside from being on some 40 discs with Paul Dunmall, Tony Bianco has also worked with Elton Dean, Machine Mask, and Doubt. I hadn’t heard of bassist John Pope before now, although he does have his own quintet which includes a drummer named John Hunter, who can be found on a dozen disc for the Discus label.
This session was recorded on September 23rd of 2022, the anniversary of John Coltrane’s birthday. John Coltrane was possibly the most influential Spiritual Jazz tenor saxist of all and a major inspiration for Paul Dunmall, as well as 1,000’s of other jazz, rock, classical musicians worldwide. Over the past decade, I’ve noticed that there are more & more string players who have the free and progressive music aesthetic like Mat Maneri, Jessica Pavone, Sarah Bernstein and now Faith Brackenbury. Mr. Dunmall and Ms. Brackenbury appear to be coming from a similar place and sound great interweaving their lines here. When Mr. Dunmall escalates into those intense Trane-like sheets, Ms. Brackenbury has no problems keeping up and bowing up a storm of her own. Mr. Brackenbury’s tone reminds me at times of Michael White, who used to play amplified violin with the Fourth Way and for Pharoah Sanders. The rhythm team are also powerful titans providing a throbbing whirlwind underneath. Ms. Brackenbury takes a long, slow inspired solo in the last section of the first piece here with Mr. Dunmall also carefully interweaving his own dreamy lines, the interaction focused and spirited. Mr. Dunmall and drummer Tony Bianco have worked together on a large number (around 20) of projects in the past and hence they sound like they have a long history. Bianco himself is an extraordinary drummer who seems to listen closely and interact instantly, trading and shadowing both frontline instruments as he and the bassist remain joined at the hip throughout. This entire disc is over an hour long and it kept at the edge of my seat throughout! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

BRANDON SEABROOK with MARIKA HUGHES / JOHN McCOWEN / CHUCK BETTIS / EIVIND OPSVIK / NAVA DUNKELMAN / SAM OSPOVAT - BrutaLoveChamp (Pyroclastic Records PR27; USA) Featuring Brandon Seabrook on guitar, mandolin, banjo & compositions, Marika Hughes on cello, John McCowen on clarinets & bass recorder, Chuck Bettis on electronics & voice, Eivind Opsvik & Henry Fraser on contrabasses, Nava Dunkelman & Sam Ospovat on assorted percussion. I’ve had my eye & ear on guitarist Brandon Seabrook for more than a decade and I used to think that I had him pegged as a brutal improviser with a lynchpin ability to erupt intensely when need be. The thing is this, each time I hear Mr. Seabrook live or check out a disc the he plays on, he often surprises me in a variety of odd ways. Check out Mr. Seabrook’s Power Plant, an intense trio in which he plays mainly banjo and whips up a storm the way Shockabilly used to do. Another gem is his trio Three Layer cake (w/ Mike Watt & Mike Pride) or his trio with Cooper-Moore & Gerald Cleaver or his work with the Flying Lutenbachers.
For his new disc, Mr. Seabrook has organized a unique octet with members from varied backgrounds, most of whom hadn’t played together before. Each member is a leader or serious collaborator on their own. On a more personal note, Chuck Bettis (electronics & voice) used to be the manager at DMG for more than a decade plus Ms. Dunkelman just played at DMG last week (5/9/23) in a fine trio with Sally Gates & Jessica Pavone. Hence this is an eclectic crew. The disc starts off with recorder and mandolin and it is a lovely intro, an unexpected delight. When the rest of the ensemble comes in, its sound like a renaissance ensemble yet they are playing things somewhat further out. The music moves between progressive, intricate parts with several themes which are developed over time. There is no excess or unexpected detours as each member is utilized just right. Mr. Seabrook has obviously worked hard at writing this music since it evolves seamlessly and is still has a number of surprising twists and combinations of instruments and/or ideas. Mr. Seabrook’s guitar playing is often featured in different sections yet he never overplays or gets carried away. For “I Wanna Be Chlorophylled I”, Marika Hughes’ cello is featured and takes an auspicious haunting solo midway. Each of the 8 pieces has a number of unexpected sections: gotta love that Zappa-like glockenspiel & guitar tightly written part on track 3 or a strange, bent note string thing which sounds harrowing at times later on. As eclectic as the personnel & instrumentation is here, Seabrook has found a way to use everyone’s talents in unexpected ways. What makes this work best is that there is a certain sense of humor involved, no one is taking themselves too seriously yet the outcome is often incredibly inventive. Being a longtime proghead myself as well as always enjoying the comedic side bands like the Mothers, the Fugs or the Bonzo Dog Band, I love that this band balances all of those elements just right yet rarely sounds silly. This is my fave CD of the week and I can’t to listen to it again and again. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

SABU TOYOZUMI / SIMON TAN / RICK COUNTRYMAN - Turtle Bird (FMR 573-0120; UK) Featuring Sabu Toyozumi on drums, Simon Tan on contrabass and Rick Countryman on alto sax. Over the past four years, I’ve reviewed upwards of 20 discs from American-born, Philippines-based saxist Rick Countryman. He seems to draw from around a half dozen different musicians, some from Japan, some from the Philippines and some from somewhere else. I’ve enjoyed each of these discs since these consistently embrace the Free/Jazz aesthetic and always sound inspired and intense. The drummer here is Sabu Toyozumi, a legendary Japanese player who has worked with Kaoru Abe, Derek Bailey and Peter Brotzmann. This disc was recorded in December of 2018 live at the Tago Jazz Cafe in the Philippines. It starts slowly and sparsely and builds from there. Although this disc is live, the sound is especially warm, clean and well-balanced. The music here is most organic sounding, inspired and quietly powerful. Toyozumi is a master drummer and he sound superb throughout. Every Tuesday at DMG there is a performance here with 2-4 sets. Most of these sets are free form/improv and I must admit that I enjoy most of them as I marvel at the way each group of musicians play this music in their own unique way. I really dig this trio since they sound strong and inspired throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

MARION BROWN QUARTET with STEVE McCALL / ED KROGER / SIGI BUSCH - Mary Ann - Live in Bremen 1969 (Made in Germany M1221-2; Germany) "Historic live recording of Marion Brown from the Club Lila Eule, Bremen (Germany) from April 24, 1969, feat. Ed Kroeger, Sigi Busch and Steve McCall. The alto saxophonist Marion Brown (1931), who grew up in Atlanta, moved to New York in 1965, and almost immediately, while still an unknown, played on John Coltrane's seminal album Ascension and Archie Shepp's Fire Music, quickly became one of the most radical yet romantic of free improvisers. Brown was an important figure in twentieth-century jazz. Together with Ed Kroeger (trombone), Sigi Busch (bass) and Steve McCall (drums), they played various concerts in Germany as a quartet in 1969 and also stopped at the Club Lila Eule in Bremen on April 24. His son Djinji remembers, 'His playing tone, sounded like his speaking voice, the way he held his horn reminded me of the way he held my hand, the way he walked was in the same rhythm of his songs, and then it all made sense. His music was who he was first and foremost. It was the purest expression of his soul and everything he did had the same gentle strength as his music did. He was truly one with his art, there was no separating the two.'"
2 CD Set $22

LUC FERRARI - Cycle Des Souvenirs (1995-2000)(Blue Chopsticks 008CD; USA) Out-of-print for more than a decade. First ever release of a large scale electroacoustic piece five years in the making that revisits numerous periods from Ferrari's five decades of work. From the composer's liner notes: "I have been composing a new series of works under the general title Exploitation des Concepts. The point is to take concepts I have been experimenting with throughout my entire life as a composer, and to put them to use in every possible direction: in instrumental as well as electroacoustic music, in video, in multimedia installation, in new technologies as well as old ones.... These Exploitations go in all directions: the Tautology, superimposed cycles, the minimalism of the Presque Rien series, architectures of chance, anecdote, narrative, everyday sounds, arte povera . . . souvenirs . . . etc. -- all these concepts that have always preoccupied me but which until now I hadn't really exploited. So we find images of my childhood, my street, my subway; places I passed through and which struck me enough to record them, certain villages in Italy or the sea in Portugal; of my present, too: workplaces, my souvenirs, my house. The Cycle des Souvenirs also means that all the elements are structured in cycles which, when superimposed, produce chance encounters." - Luc Ferrari.
CD $15

LUC FERRARI - Les Arythmiques (Blue Chopsticks 019CD; USA) Reissued after more than a decade. Les Arythmiques is one of the final works created by electroacoustic composer Luc Ferrari. A starting point for the piece was the challenge to represent in sound the jolt of electricity that had been sent across his heart to treat his arrythmia. The sound that he finally crafted to his satisfaction is the crackling, vaguely terrifying one that jolts Les Arythmiques into life and reappears throughout to interrupt the proceedings at the most unlikely moments. The sound environment that the electrical shocks interrupt is that of the EKG's regular beeps, the distant tolling of a church bell, and even more distant sounds resembling birds. In other words, it's the sound of enforced rest, of a patient immobilized. This relatively small repertoire of concrete sounds is examined with a disorienting repetitiveness that brings to mind the mobile-like quality of many of Ferrari's electroacoustic works. Here that quality is combined with the lightning-quick stabs associated with Erik M and Otomo Yoshihide, two artists with whom Ferrari collaborated in his final years. Les Arythmiques ultimately moves beyond the hospital room by delving into an archive of remembered sounds. Murmurings in Italian give way to the English-language interjection 'Are y'all familiar with the parts of a saddle?' -- the composer's reflection on material gathered in the American Southwest for his Far-West News series. Ferrari's characteristic humor is here, particularly in the superimposition of diverse sound environments. But Les Arythmiques also possesses a nagging unease, a persistent gravity that both listener and composer cannot shake. Les Arythmiques was included as part of the ten-CD box set Luc Ferrari: L'Oeuvre Électronique (Ina GRM). This is the first time that it has appeared as a separate release."
CD $15

EPITAPH FOR A LEGEND with RED CRAYOLA / 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS / LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS / LOST & FOUND / BUBBLE PUPPY / et al - Epitaph For A Legend (Charly Snax 620 CD; UK) Limited restock, reduced price. "Digitally remastered and expanded 2CD limited digi-book edition of this compilation. Reissue of Lelan Rogers' compilation of alternate takes, demos, rehearsals and rare tracks from the IA vaults. Epitaph For A Legend is the story of the International Artist(s) (IA) label, which operated out of Houston from 1965 to 1970. The label was run by Lelan Rogers, brother of Country music star Kenny. Features rare and alternate recordings from their stable of artists including 13th Floor Elevators, Red Krayola, Lost & Found, Lightnin' Hopkins and others. This deluxe reissue of the album comes packaged in a double media book with 40-page booklet with extensive liner notes from The Mole (Shindig magazine). It also features a new intro by Jon Savage (Mojo) along with his original interview with Lelan Rogers from the vinyl release."
You might believe this but consider this: after the Bay Area, Texas was home to more great/weird psychedelic bands than any other state in the mid-to-late 1969’s. If you still yearn for long lost psychedelic rock and blues relics than start here. Check out The Red Crayola first, one of the strangest rock/avant/free-form gems ever committed to vinyl. The label was run by Leland Rogers, brother of country/pop star/TV actor Kenny Rogers. If you sounds strange to you, remember that the first hit single with Kenny Rogers was in a band called the First Edition and that single was a psych gem called “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”. Check out the lyrics by the legendary songwriter Mickey Newbury.
2 CD Set $16

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG, KAT EPPLE and BOB STOHL - Strategic Structures (Song Cycle Records 981LP; UK) Reduced price. Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Strategic Structures by Robert Rauschenberg, Kat Epple, and Bob Stohl, originally released in 1989. Available for the first time on vinyl, this is powerful instrumental music performed by the three on electronics, and a series of musical metal sculptures called "Strategic Structures". The sounds range from other-worldly, foreboding resonant tones, to angelic, celestial timbres. These spontaneous compositions were created and performed live, with no overdubs, late one night in 1989 at Rauschenberg's beach house on Captiva Island, Florida. It was a magical night, an inspired collaboration, in an exhilarating setting. The sculptures themselves were a collaborative artwork created by Stohl and Epple, with renowned visual artists, Lawrence Voytek and Rauschenberg. Printed inner sleeve with liner notes by Kat Epple.
"The structures are constructed utilizing a variety of metals, including aluminum, bell-grade brass, steel, and both elemental and Alpha/Beta weapons-grade titanium, using an 8000-degree arc welding torch with high frequency current at 440 volts and 310 amps." - Kat Epple in the original liner notes.
LP $14

SNAPSHOT with ULRICH GUMPERT / GUNTER SOMMER / ERNST-LUDWIG PETROWKY QUARTETT / ULRICH GUMPERT ORCHESTER / et al - Jazz Now Jazz Aus Der DDR (Song Cycle Records CY 992LP; UK) Reduced price. Song Cycle presents a reissue of Snapshot: Jazz Now Jazz Aus Der DDR, originally released on FMP in 1980. In August 1979, East German musicians were invited to perform a three-day festival in West Berlin. Billed as "Jazz Now," this landmark meeting was recorded and initially released in a limited edition. From stunning duos to challenging small-group performances, from large rave-ups to Mingus nods, Snapshot: Jazz Now Jazz Aus Der DDR provides much more than that name suggests. It's as complete a portrait of jazz in the GDR as one is ever likely to find, and a moment in time that continues to reverberate -- via these sounds -- today. Features: Berliner Improvisations Quartett, Gumpert/Sommer Duo, Friedhelm Schönfeld Trio, Ulrich Gumpert Workshop Band, Studio IV, Gumpert/Sommer and Manfred Hering, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky Quartett, and Hans Rempel Orchester. Gatefold sleeve, edition of 500.
2 LP Set $16



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


Joe Fonda and Bass of Operation
May 26th at Michiko Studios 15 West 39th St., 7pm Start Joe Fonda - Bass
Mike Rabinowitz - Bassoon
Jeff Lederer - Clarinet ,flute and Piccolo.
Harvey Sorgen - Drums



Matthew Barney's five-channel video installation Secondary [] is on view until June 25th, at his huge sculpture studio along the bank of the East River. Late last year, I was a member of a quartet of vocalists working intensively for a month at the studio; Secondary's music has been created almost entirely from those sessions, human voices in its infinite natural extended iterations, masterfully edited by composer Jonathan Bepler for the multi-channel experience. Only when I finally saw the work, did I  begin to understand the depth, complexity, symbolisms and how the elements fit beautifully and powerfully together. (On a side note, I have a small on-screen role as a football referee even though I know absolutely nothing about football, the only sport I worship being F1 motor racing.)



My name is Abby London-Crawford. I was the screening coordinator for Stephanie J. Castillo’s film, "Night Bird Song, the Incandescent Life of Thomas Chapin," and one of its associate producers.
Sadly, as most of you know by now, Stephanie passed away in early March. We are still mourning this award-winning documentary filmmaker and compassionate, soulful person. Before her passing Stephanie was developing another important project, which would have been her 11th documentary film.
I am sending this letter to friends, and those who knew Stephanie and her extensive documentary work, to tell you about a proposed tribute to her. And what each of us can do to make it a success. 
We wish to establish an endowed scholarship fund for cinema students in Stephanie's name at the University of Hawaii at Manoa School for Cinematic Arts. Stephanie was always a mentor, a remarkable teacher and loved working with students throughout her career. Stephanie started as a journalist and writer, skills she used well as a wonderful story teller in her films. She understood why people needed these stories and how they were uplifted by them.
In order for this scholarship to be endowed it has to be at least funded at the $46,000 level. It also has a specific deadline, September 15, 2023, to raise these funds.
I ask each of you to forward this letter, (or personalize it), and pass it along throughout your social platforms/networks; to send out an urgent appeal broadly to your contacts encouraging them all to donate, whatever they can, so that this tribute will become reality.
Here is the link that Stephanie's family has established which connects to the University of Hawaii’s donation site:  (All contributions are tax deductible.)
I apologize if this appeal has been duplicated here. We wanted to make sure we reached those who can help spread the word. I know we can do this together and celebrate our dear friend and her artistry.
Expressing why her film about Thomas Chapin was important for her to do, she said that the film was..."to ensure his legacy...honor him, his music and his story." We have a chance to do the same for Stephanie. Looking to the future the cinema students, who will be helped by this scholarship, will gratefully thank you too. - Respectfully Yours, Abby London

The late saxist/composer/bandleader, Thomas Chapin, was a good friend of mine for last decade of his short life. I often helped him and one of his bands, Machine Gun, get gigs in NJ and NY on several occasions. I was interviewed for and appear briefly in the film mentioned above. If you haven’t seen this film and Creative Music/Spiritual Jazz inspires you, I urge you to check this film out. It is an outstanding documentary about an important jazz saxist who burned brightly, ascending in international recognition until his untimely passing of leukemia in 1998. If you do know about Thomas Chapin and have seen the doc, I urge you to consider donating to this very worthy cause. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery