THE VISION FEST 2023 - June 13th - June 18th - No DMG In-stores during the fest: rest of the schedule:
DAY 4 / Friday, June 16:
6:30pm - Patricia Brennan’s More Touch: Patricia Brennan - vibes marimba / Kim Cass - bass / Marcus Gilmore - drums / Mauricio Herrera - percussion / Visual Art by Mincho Vega
7:30pm - Mayan Space Station Flight 66: William Parker -bass, composition, art / Ava Mendoza - guitar / Gerald Cleaver - drums / Lee Mixashawn Rozie - mandolin, flute / Jason Kao Hwang - violin / gabby fluke-mogul - violin
8:30pm - Shamanic Principle: Patricia Nicholson - movement, text/Val Jeanty - electronics, perc. /Visual Art: Patricia Nicholson & Miriam Parker
9:30pm - Matthew Shipp Quartet: Matthew Shipp - piano / Mat Walerian - reeds / Michael Bisio - bass / Whit Dickey - drums / Visual Art by Dawn Bisio
10:30pm - Mississippi to NY Freedom Band: Dick Griffin - trombone, visual art / Dave Sewelson - baritone saxophone / Luke Stewart - bass / Michael Wimberly - piano / Tcheser Holmes - drums
AFTER HOURS at FourOneOne - TWO SETS!
11:30 PM - James Brandon Lewis & Alexis Marcelo Duo
12:30 AM - Open Improv JAM led by Ava Mendoza & gabby fluke-mogul
at FourOneOne, 411 Kent, Brooklyn
FREE for Vision Festival ticket holders
Others pay what you can at door - $5-$30
DAY 5 / Saturday, June 17:
6:00pm - MiM Intergenerational Ensemble Led by William Parker
7:00pm - SUN HAN GUILD: eddy kwon - violin, voice, body, composition / Laura Cocks - flutes, voice/ Nava Dunkelman - percussion, voice / DoYeon Kim - gayageum, voice / Lester St. Louis - cello, voice
8:00pm - Dave Burrell / Joe McPhee: Dave Burrell - piano / Joe McPhee - tenor saxophone
9:00pm - Yasmine Lee: Yasmine Lee - dance / Michael Wimberly - drums
9:30pm - Brandon Lopez “the gospel of sans”: Zeena Parkins - harp / Cecilia Lopez - electronics / Mat Maneri - viola / DoYeon Kim - gayageum / Gerald Cleaver - drums / Tom Rainey - drums / Brandon Lopez - bass / Gill Arno - live film manipulation
10:30pm - HEAR IN NOW Extended: Tomeka Reid - cello / Silvia Bolognesi - bass / Angelica Sanchez - piano / Selina Trepp - videolah
DAY 6 / Sunday, June 18
6:30pm - 75 Dollar Bill Altered Workspaces w/ Jason Kao Hwang / Che Chen - guitar, percussion / Rick Brown - drums, homemade horns / Sue Garner - bass guitar / Talice Lee - organ, violin / Jason Kao Hwang - violin, viola
7:30pm - Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Don Cherry Tribute: Kahil El’Zabar, multi-percussion, voice, composition / Dwight Trible, vocals / Corey Wilkes, trumpet, percussion / Alex Harding, bari sax/ Justin Dillard, piano
8:30pm - Melanie Dyer We Free Strings Band: Melanie Dyer - composition, viola, video / Gwen Laster - violin / Ken Filiano - bass / Alexander Waterman - cello / Newman Taylor Baker - drums / Video Art Melanie Dyer
9:30pm - Kayo / Nioka Workman: Kayo - poet / Nioka Workman - cello
10:00pm - Reggie Workman Celebration Band: Reggie Workman - bass / Odean Pope - tenor sax / Jason Moran - piano / Jen Shyu - vocals / Elijah Thomas - flute / Elizabeth Panzer - harp / Tapan Modak - tablas / Gerry Hemingway - drums
NOTE FROM DMG FOUNDER / EDITOR BRUCE LEE GALLANTER:
Earlier this week, I sent out my FIMAV Festival review to all of our newsletter subscribers around the world. The response has been great and am only too pleased to do this as I still enjoy reviewing music discs and events, an activity that has long been an important part of my life since I was a child. Thanks to DMG webmaster Paul Acquaro and Victo promotions person Jordie Levasseur, my review is now posted on the DMG website (https://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/news_detail.php?newsID=1431), complete with great photos from the fest. I know my review is pretty long, so please take your time to read it.
The annual Vision Festival began three nights ago and runs through this Sunday, (6/13 - 6/18). The first two night were fantastic and I am looking forward to the rest of it. If you live locally, I urge you to attend as it is the most important music festival that takes place in NYC every year! If you can’t attend, you can still watch the concerts live via stream on the internet. My two favorite sets so far were: Joelle Leandre’s “Atlantic Ave Septet” and Hamid Drake’s “Turiya: Homage to Alice Coltrane”. The Vision Fest is not just about the music but other Arts that inspire us to think: dance, poetry, visual arts, the communal spirit which brings us together. At the Vision Fest and at FIMAV, I feel as if I am part of larger community of Free Spirit Folks. All of the folks attending are part of my/our extended Family. Thanks to Guiding Light Patricia Parker for her determination and truly positive vibes.
We had some problems here this week at DMG: no internet service for the past three days (now fixed) and our new printer stopped working. Oye! Plus my employee James Paul Nadien has been on tour in Germany for more than two weeks (back next week), hence some confirmations are still pending. Nonetheless, we have had more customers coming in to visit so this makes me happy. DMG remains the home for Creative Musicians & Serious Listeners everywhere! The bottom line is that I feel so fine to be alive and part of this Creative Community. As the political part of world gets more treacherous, that feeling of Love, Respect and Cosmic Communication thrives within us all. Peace and Love Always, Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
Tuesday, June 20th:
6:30: RICH ROSENTHAL - Guitar / NICK GIANNI - Tenor Sax / HILL GREENE - Bass / COLIN HINTON - Drums
7:30: ELIJAH SHIFFER’S DADA BEBOP QT: HAYOUNG LYUO / ANNA ABONDOLO / JAMES PAUL NADIEN
8:30: SETH ANDREW DAVIS / SANDY EWEN / KYLE HUTCHINS / TED MOORE
9:30: ZOH AMBA / WOBBLY
Tuesday, June 27th:
6:30: AYUMI ISHITO / DANIEL CARTER / CLAIRE de BRUNNER / LESLEY MOK - Sax/Reeds Brass/Bassoon/Drums!
7:30: FUNGAL BLOOM: CHERN HWEI FUNG / SHAWN LOVATO / COLIN HINTON - Violin / Bass / Drums!
8:30: GUILLERMO GREGORIO - Clarinet / T Z - Accordion / IVAN BARENBOIM - contralto clarinet / JAMES PAUL NADIEN - Drums!
Monday, July 3rd:
6:30: TERRENCE McMANUS / JOHN HEBERT / BILLY MINTZ - Guitar / Bass / Drums!
7:30: STEW CUTLER - Solo Guitar!
Tuesday, July 4th: No gig, moved back to July 3rd.
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: https://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/shows.php
THIS WEEK’S GREAT DISCS BEGIN WITH THIS ONE:
JOHN ZORN // JULIAN LAGE / GYAN RILEY - Quatrain (Tzadik 9302; USA) Julian Lage and Gyan Riley are two of new music’s most accomplished guitar virtuosos and their duo performances are transcendent experiences filled with meticulous detail and telepathic interplay. Here they perform a dramatic book of music inspired by the haunting and enigmatic novel A High Wind in Jamaica—the story of a group of children that gets mixed up with pirates—the twist being the children turn out to be even more dangerous than the pirates. A precursor to The Lord of the Flies, it is considered one of the best English novels ever written. Filled with ominous mystery and a dangerous innocence, Quatrain is another beautiful project from the pen of alchemist John Zorn.”
MARC DUCRET with SAMUEL BLASER / FABRICE MARTINEZ / CHRISTOPHE MONNIOT - ICI (Ayler Records AYLCD-178; France) Featuring Marc Ducret on electric guitars & compositions, Samuel Blaser on trombone, Fabrice Martinez on trumpet, flugelhorn & tuba and Christophe Monniot on sopranino, baritone & alto saxes. French guitarist, Marc Ducret, always has a new trick (idea or project) up his sleeve. In February of this year (2023), Out of Your Head Records released Marc Ducret’s ‘Palm Sweat’ disc, in which he plays the music of Tim Berne. The personnel for that disc included Fabrice Martinez and Bruno Ducret (Marc’s son?). Mr. Blaser, Mr. Mr. Martinez and Mr. Monniot have all worked with Mr. Ducret previously on different recordings. I dJoJoo know much more about trombonist, Samuel Blaser, who can be found on some three dozen records with Francois Houle, Pierre Favre and Joachim Badenhorst.
I’m not sure what ICI means but it might mean International Contemporary Improvisers. The music on this disc is obviously written or thematic and partially improvised. Mr. Ducret starts things off On “L’ete” with an ebow or slide on his guitar to coax a drone. The quartet here sound more like a chamber group with no rhythm section to hold things down. Actually, trombone great Samuel Blaser often does a fine job of playing those bottom end bass lines in a way that replaces a rhythm team. At times both horns, trumpet & trombone, play their lines together while the guitar and sax play some sly counterpoint. Still, these rolls keep changing mid-stream. For “L’Automne”, Ducret plays a series of fractured, rhythmic lines on guitar while the brass & reed play some tricky, well-harmonized lines on top. Mr. Martinez takes a fine, long story-like trumpet solo here. Again Mr. Ducret begins “”l’Hiver” (winter) with a buzzing note from his guitar with the three horns (Monniot on sopranino) playing some shrewd, tart harmonies. The way the horns play together is a bit disorienting as they play some slightly skewered inharmonic lines. Mr. Monniot takes a powerful baritone sax solo on this piece, slow-burning and reminding me of some early John Surman-like baritone blasts. On my first listen, I was unsure of how these pieces are connected or unfold but as I listen again, I start to hear several lines which are played by different combinations of instruments and have a melodic or directed fragment which is a bit buried unless you are listening closely and are not distracted by outside conditions. The last piece is called “Le Printemps” (or Spring), while the guitar and sax play one line, the two other horns play their own quaint counterpoint lines. Each of these four pieces are named after the seasons of the year so perhaps each one represent a certain season. The bottom line is this: Marc Ducret has obviously spent some time composing this music and all of it is thoughtfully compelling. It is not about the soloing so much as it is about painting a picture in our minds of an idea, scene or short story. Another gem from the pen of Marc Ducret. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
KARL EVANGELISTA’S APURA with FRANCIS WONG / REI SCAMPAVIA / LISA MEZZACAPPA / ANDREW CYRILLE - Ngayon (Astral Spirits 208; USA) Featuring Karl A.D. Evangelista on guitar & compositions, Francis Wong on sax, Rei Scampavia on piano, Lisa Mezzacappa on bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums. This is the third disc from West Coast guitarist Karl Evangelista and it was recorded in Oakland, California in July of 2021. Around two years ago (2020), Mr. Evangelista had a wonderful 2 CD set out on the Astral Spirits label with a British/South African quartet featuring: Alexander Hawkins, Trevor Watts & Louis Moholo. Considering that I hadn’t heard of Mr. Evangelista before this disc appeared, he did organize a fine quartet of some legendary avant jazz elders like Trevor Watts and Louis Moholo, as well as younger Brit jazz piano & organ great Alexander Hawkins.
For this disc, Mr. Evangelista has organized another fine Quintet which includes jazz elder drummer Andrew Cyrille plus Francis Wong (older Asian-American saxist with much discs on the Asian Improv label), bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, West Coast bass great whose worked with Vinny Golia, Ross Hammond & Aaron Novik. I don’t recognize the name of the pianist here although everyone who reads this newsletter should know all about elder master-drummer, Andrew Cyrille, who has worked with Cecil Taylor, Trio 3 and too many names to list here.
The title of this disc, ’Ngayon’ translate to “now” in the Filipino Tagalog language. The main theme of this disc, according to Mr. Evangelista, is transcendence over the desperation and uncertainty of the creeping fascism of South Africa, Trump’s America and corrupt Filipino political system. On each of the five pieces, Evangelista composes a theme for the quintet to play together before the sax, guitar and piano reach over over the feisty rhythm team to takes some explosive solos. Under-recognized bass great and multi-bandleader, Lisa Mezzacappa and Andrew Cyrille are in especially fine form considering that they’d never played together before this session came to be. Ms. Mezzacappa is consistently underpinning the activity here with her unique insistent, bubbling bass lines. Although the title piece starts off with a blast of freer activity, it later settles into more restrained, simmer later section. Mr. Evangelista likes to write material which simmers calmly at the center yet has some more cinematic themes or memorable modest melodies on each piece. Legendary jazz drummer, Andrew Cyrille, kicks of “Isang Bagsak” with a short, inventive solo, before the band launches into a fine, circular, cerebral song. Evangelista takes a long, subdued slightly sustained-tone solo with some strong interplay with the sax and feisty rhythm team. The song keeps building slowly yet intensely as it evolves. Considering that this band didn’t exist before Mr. Evangelista assembled them, the compositions and personnel sound like they were made to play this music and like they’ve been together for a long while. Each member of this quintet was selected for good reasons and all the members get a chance to shine and solo as well. That wonderful (low key) Spirit Jazz vibe runs throughout this entire disc and it feels good so hear and absorb its modest Sonic Medicine. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MELANIE DYER / ANNA GRUMAN / KURT RALSKE / TODD CAPP - Ununu (Innova Recordings 55491; USA) Featuring Melanie Dyer on viola, Anna Gruman on accordion, Kurt Ralske on soprano sax & flute and Todd Capp on drums. Over the past few years I’ve gotten to hear and know the music of Downtown string sorceress, Melanie Dyer. Ms. Dyer is a founding member of WeFreeStrings, whose ESP disc is an under-recognized gem released last year (2022). She works with William Parker, Heroes Are Gang Leaders and the current Sun Ra Arkestra. She is also one of the MC’s for the Vision Festival. Elder statesman drummer Todd Capp has been running sessions for other like-minded improvisers ever since he was immersed in the Loft Jazz Scene of the late 1970’s/early 1980’s. One of Todd’s most constant music companions is Kurt Ralske who used to play guitar in Dissipated Face & Ultra Vivid Scene, taught video arts at college in New England and has come back to the Downtown Scene switching to reeds in recent years. Mr. Capp is always finding (often) younger musicians to work with long before the public notices their talents. Hence, accordion player Anna Gruman is a new name for me.
Some listeners feel that “Free Jazz” or “Free Music” is basically one thing which is that the musicians play whatever they feel. This is an over-simplification of what it really is. Considering that “Free Jazz” has been around for over a half century, it is changed and evolved quite a bit over time. Ununu features a quartet from varied backgrounds with a common cause, creative dialogue. Kurt Ralske’s abilities as a producer/engineer have gotten better over time so anything he records always sounds great. On “cenotaph”, the sound of Mr. Capp’s mallet-playing is superb, sublime. Ms. Dyer’s viola is also bathed in subtle resonance along with what sounds like an owl. Is this Mr. Ralske’s flute? The balance and overall sound between all four members is most enchanting here. Ms. Dyer’s viola sounds like it is floating in from someone’s dream. The viola and flutes actually sound like they are weeping together, an ancient sadness brought on by our current political situation, perhaps? Ms. Dyer tells a story about labor activism from a personal perspective/experience. The moral of her story is this: Music is the best source of changing people’s minds. The on this piece, floats over and around us so that we can haven wakened dreams. Completely mesmerizing. At times, it is hard to tell who is playing which sound as the lines between each instrument is blurred. Are there overdubs involved? Are there two of the same instruments being played together? On “The Ascent”, Ralske switches to soprano sax while Ms. Dyer interweaves layers of lines on the viola, Mr. Capp swirling organically around his drum set. I can hear why this piece is called “the ascent” since it does make me feel like I/we am/are ascending together. This disc makes me smile inside and outside as it is “free music” at its best. “You got me floating” as Jimi Hendrix used to say… - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE RETURN OF THE OGUN and CADILLAC UK FREE JAZZ LABELS - 20 TITLES: Restocks and Reissues: 11 Listed this week and 10 more listed next week: Reviews further down...
THE JAZZ DOCTORS with BILLY BANG / FRANK LOWE / RAFAEL GARRETT / WILBER MORRIS / DENIS CHARLES / THURMAN BARKER - Intensive Care: Prescriptions Filled (Cadillac; UK) Newly reissued plus the CD version has bonus tracks.
CD $17 / LP $25
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO - Before The Wind Changes: Live in Waregem 1979 (Ogun 037; UK)
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / MONGEZI FEZA / NICK MOYAKE] - Legacy: Live in South Afrika 1964 (Ogun 024; UK)
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI - Blue Notes For Mongezi (1976) [2 CD Set] (Ogun 025 / 026; UK)
2 CD Set $18
EDQ with ELTON DEAN With KEITH TIPPETT - They All Be On This Road [with Bonus tracks] (Ogun 048; UK)
ELTON DEAN QUINTET with With HARRY BECKETT / PAUL RUTHERFORD / MARCIO MATTOS / LIAM GENOCKEY - Welcomet: Live In Brazil 1986 (Ogun 046; UK)
JOHNNY DYANI with OKAY TEMIZ / MONGEZI FEZA WITCHDOCTOR'S SON With DUDU PUKWANA / et al - Rejoice Together (Cadillac 12/13 ,UK)
2 CD set = $18
CHRIS McGREGOR - In His Good Time: Expanded Edition (Ogun 038 ,UK) - Solo piano.
CHRIS McGREGOR'S BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH With DUDU PUKWANA/ MONGEZI FEZA / EVAN PARKER / GARY WINDO / HARRY BECKETT / MARC CHARIG / NICK EVANS / RADU MALFATTI /HARRY MILLER / LOUIS MOHOLO - Live at Willisau (Ogun 001; UK)
HARRY MILLER'S ISIPINGO With MIKE OSBORNE / MARC CHARIG / NICK EVANS or MALCOLM GRIFFITHS / CHRIS McGREGOR or KEITH TIPPETT / LOUIS MOHOLO - Different Times - Vol 1 (Ogun 041) CD
HARRY MILLER with KEITH TIPPETT / TREVOR WATTS / LOUIS MOHOLO / ALAN WAKEMAN / ALAN TOMLINSON / DAVE HOLDSWORTH / et al - Different Times, Different Places - Volume Two (Ogun 045; UK)
OGUN & CADILLAC REISSUES & RESTOCKS with REVIEW/BLURBS:
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO - Before The Wind Changes: Live in Waregem 1979 (Ogun 037; UK) Ogun kicks off its 2012 release schedule with the second recording from the Blue Notes' 1979 tour of Belgium and Holland, taken from tour organiser Rob Sotemann's tape archive. Whereas the critically acclaimed first volume from this archive, Spiritual Knowledge And Grace (OGCD 035), featured an impromptu collaboration between Blue Notes members Louis Moholo-Moholo, Dudu Pukwana & Johnny Dyani and American tenor sax powerhouse Frank Wright, Before The Wind Changes focuses on the established quartet line-up with Chris McGregor at the piano and features an incendiary performance from Waregem.
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / MONGEZI FEZA / NICK MOYAKE] - Legacy: Live in South Afrika 1964 (Ogun 024; UK) This historic recording is a testament, one of the final homeland performances of the Blue Notes, the legendary group from apartheid-riddled South Africa whose members expatriated to Europe shortly after this summer 1964 concert in Durbin. As documented in Maxine McGregor's biography Chris McGregor & the Brotherhood of Breath (Bamberger Books), the full-blown Blue Notes sextet was the preeminent modern jazz band from Pretoria, who would revolutionize the Continental jazz scene with their mix of hard bop, highlife, Xhosa bush tribal, and kwela musics into one of the more joyful sounds the world has ever known. The Blue Notes of 1964 were an aggressive hard bop unit, with drummer Louis Moholo's punchy Elvin Jones-like drumming and the contrasting sounds of pocket trumpeter Mongezi Feza, alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, and tenor saxophonist Nick Moyake churning and burning brightly on the horizon of their future conquests. The recording is produced thin, not to field recording status, but the piano playing of Chris McGregor is quite buried in the mix. The pace is quickly established on "Now," a cool bluesy swing number featuring the sultry tenor of Moyake and occasional brief double-time rhythm step-ups from Moholo. "Coming Home" is quite similar to a Lee Morgan-Wayne Shorter tandem sonically, and melodically close to Clifford Brown's "Joyspring," while the easy-swinging "Vortex Special" is a cousin of the Miles Davis evergreen "So What." At their most raw and raucous, "Two for Sandi" is an unabashed hard bopper and "Dorkay House" (credited to Pukwana but actually composed by Kippie Moeketsi) is even more unbridled, free, and loose, informed by the pungent, pronounced alto of the fearless Pukwana. Feza is a delight to listen to as a logical extension of Don Cherry, while bassist Johnny Dyani supports his bandmates with a witty repartee this side of Charlie Haden. The Blue Notes would head for the Antibes Jazz Festival, then to Paris and London prior to the death of Feza and the departure of Moyake. Then McGregor would form his multinational Brotherhood of Breath big band. After that, the music universe would never be the same, and the Blue Notes paved the way as a prelude to a revolution of Afro-jazz that still very much lives.” - Michael G. Nastos, AllMusicGuide
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI - Blue Notes For Mongezi (1976) [2 CD Set] (Ogun 025 / 026; UK) Blue Notes for Mongezi is an album by The Blue Notes, featuring saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, pianist Chris McGregor, bassist Johnny Dyani, and drummer Louis Moholo. It was recorded on December 23, 1975, in a rehearsal room in London, and was released on vinyl as a double album in 1976 by Ogun Records. In 2022, Ogun reissued the album in expanded form as a double-CD set, using tracks that originally appeared on the 2008 compilation The Ogun Collection.
The album is dedicated to the memory of trumpeter, Blue Notes member, and "brother in music" Mongezi Feza, who died at age 30 on December 14, 1975, roughly a week prior to the recording session. In his liner notes, Keith Beal described the recording as "the spontaneous tribute of four musicians who had assembled in London for the memorial service to their friend," (the members of the group had scattered in the late 1960s) and wrote: "No discussion took place beforehand and nothing was said during the session, save through the music.” - Wikipedia
2 CD Set $18
EDQ with ELTON DEAN With KEITH TIPPETT - They All Be On This Road [with Bonus tracks] (Ogun 048; UK) Featuring Elton Dean (alto sax, saxello), Keith Tippett (piano), Chris Laurence (bass), Louis Moholo (drums). Why is Paul Morley my favourite music writer? Might have something to do with the second review that he did for the NME, which was of the Elton Dean Quartet live at Manchester's Band On The Wall, back in early 1977. In his review he enthusiastically argued that the likes of Dean, Tippett, Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, etc. were as punk as the punks, if not more so, in their quiet radicalism. As an extremely impressionable 13-year-old reader, I reckoned that if Morley could be so right about improv, then he must be equally right about the subject of his first review for NME - the Buzzcocks. Thus are new doors opened. This particular album was recorded at the Seven Dials pub in Covent Garden and might be subtitled The Popular Elton Dean. Side one is given over to a 20-minute take on Coltrane's then untouchable "Naima," with which the quartet manage to do remarkable things. But the wild card here is Chris Laurence, depping for Harry Miller, as he brings something of a new perspective to the group's music. Laurence really plays on career-peak form here, forever seeking out unexpected harmonies and accents, and the other three musicians are noticeably affected by his imagination. Side two sees the quartet tackling some standards, including "Easy Living" and "Nancy With The Laughing Face," but the highlight is a storming version of Dean's own "Dede-Bup-Bup" where Tippett plays with such intensity in his solo that it's a surprise that he didn't demolish the piano. Amazing stuff! - Marcello Carlin This session was recorded live at the Seven Dials club. This reissue has a whole second LP’s worth of material. When we were going through the tapes we came across two that looked as if they had been mixed, and low and behold, we had what looked like a second album all ready to go but never released! As good as the original album (as you’d expect) with precious and never heard compositions by Elton and Keith to whom this release is dedicated. We’ve also added some new photos and David Ilic has masterfully reworked the sleeve. Gearbox Records did a great job on the transfers and mastering.” - Ogun Recordings
ELTON DEAN QUINTET with With HARRY BECKETT / PAUL RUTHERFORD / MARCIO MATTOS / LIAM GENOCKEY - Welcomet: Live In Brazil 1986 (Ogun 046; UK) Featuring Elton Dean on alto sax & saxello, Harry Beckett on trumpet & flugelhorn, Paul Rutherford on trombone, Marcio Mattos on bass and Liam Genockey on drums. Essential reissue of this long (77 minutes), astonishingly creative live session featuring former Soft Machine sax legend Elton Dean with an all-star UK cast! OUT-standing!
CHRIS McGREGOR - In His Good Time: Expanded Edition (Ogun 038: UK) This long-awaited reissue comes directly from the original unedited analogue tapes and boasts a wealth of bonus material, restoring in its entirety the first set of the evening, a continuous performance of original works and arrangements of traditional South African folksongs. Five tracks edited from the second set complete the collection. (The LP only contained part of the first set) This rare treasure features Blue Notes and Brotherhood of Breath (BoB) leader Chris McGregor on solo piano, recorded live in Paris at the Palais des Glaces in November of 1977. This was during the golden era of the Brotherhood of Breath who were an influential orchestra featuring members of Blue Notes (long removed from South Africa) and their British brethren (Evan Parker, Gary Windo, Mike Osborne & John Surman). Between the original Blue Notes landing and then living in England in 1964 and the birth of the Brotherhood in 1969, McGregor recorded a handful of small group albums, from a trio to a septet. I believe that this was Chris' one and only solo effort and this reissue includes more material not found on the original LP which is nearly impossible to find anyways. As the leader and main composer for the Blue Notes and the Brotherhood, Chris wrote most of the songs on this disc excepts for two traditional songs (from South Africa?) and two covers by his bandmates, Mongezi Feza and Dudu Pukwana. If that wonderful melody to Mongezi Feza's "Sonia" sounds familiar to you, it should since it was recorded earlier by Robert Wyatt for his album, 'Ruth is Stranger Than Richard'. Starting with "Green Hymn", which has a lovely, laid back, rather poignant melody to savor, there is an undercurrent of somber spirits which I find both soothing and breathtaking in their grace. There is a warmth and soft glow to this music which I find completely enchanting. I recently went back and listened to Dollar Brand's "Cape Town Fringe" which sounded just as magical as when I heard it on jazz radio in the seventies. There is a certain earthy, almost gospelish quality that I find in much jazz music from South Africa. Mr. McGregor also dips into the same well of charming ancient spirits so I get a similar hypnotic vibe here. This music is so good that you don't want it to end. I love the way McGregor will take what sounds like a simple of folk-like theme and then expand upon it, embellishing it with tasty nuances like those magic spices that make life feel better. This disc contain 13 songs and each one is special and at 73 minutes long enough to paint entire picture of one of the greatest pianists of them all. This is essential reissue for any of you who need you souls healed by the well woven cosmic threads. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
CHRIS McGREGOR'S BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH With DUDU PUKWANA/ MONGEZI FEZA / EVAN PARKER / GARY WINDO / HARRY BECKETT / MARC CHARIG / NICK EVANS / RADU MALFATTI /HARRY MILLER / LOUIS MOHOLO - Live at Willisau (Ogun 001; UK) This famous recording previously released as an LP now on CD with extra music launched the Ogun label. Recorded live at the Willisau Jazz Festival, Sept. 1974. This big band was exciting packed audiences throughout Europe, and needed an outlet provided by this new label, home of the South African family. The cover was designed by Niklaus Troxler with sleeve notes by Val Wilmer.
HARRY MILLER'S ISIPINGO With MIKE OSBORNE / MARC CHARIG / NICK EVANS or MALCOLM GRIFFITHS / CHRIS McGREGOR or KEITH TIPPETT / LOUIS MOHOLO - Different Times - Vol 1 (Ogun 041) Collective Personnel: Harry Miller bass, Louis Moholo-Moholo drums, Chris McGregor piano, Keith Tippett piano, Mike Osborne alto sax, Mark Charig trumpet, Nick Evans trombone, Malcolm Griffiths trombone. Different Times, Different Places (which follows up on the 1999 Ogun box set release Harry Miller - The Collection - now a prized collectors' item) celebrates Miller's work as leader of the band Isipingo and features previously unreleased sessions from 1973 and 1976 Harry Miller was a vibrant Cape Town bassist prominent in London in the 1960s and 70s, forging his reputation on the British New Jazz scene working alongside Mike Westbrook, Bob Downes, John Stevens and fellow exiled South Africans Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezei Feza, and Louis Moholo-Moholo. As his reputation spread, Miller worked increasingly on mainland Europe with the likes of Peter Brotzmann, Misha Mengelberg and Willem Breuker. He died in a car crash in Holland in 1983 - at a point when his fierce pizzicato attack, composing skills and vivid fusion of free-jazz, swing and African rhythms were making him just as powerful a figure on the Dutch scene. This previously unreleased material comes from 1970s Miller-led gigs in Britain and France, featuring two superb free-jazz pianists (the late Chris McGregor on the first; Britain's Keith Tippett on the second), legendary alto saxophonist Mike Osborne, and drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo. Gripping episodes abound, such as the sound of Osborne's vinegary, Ornette-meets-Ayler sax soaring over Miller's whipping bass figures on the gruffly tender Bloomfield, McGregor's fills on the riffy Quandry (made fortuitously more pungent by the off-pitch piano), and two versions of the springy, Mingus-like Touch Hungry - the first with a percussively Monkish McGregor, the second with some fine, Miles-like trumpet from Marc Charig. Those who remember Miller's heyday will love this rough-hewn document, as will fans of the South Africa-celebrating Townships Comets and Moholo-Moholo's current work. "This fabulous disc clocks in at more than 77 minutes and is taken from two live sets: June 4, 1973 with Mike Osborne (alto sax), Nick Evans (trombone), Chris McGregor (piano), Harry Miller (bass) and Louis Moholo (drums); and the Chateauvallon Jazz Fest in France on July 7, 1976 with Osborne, Mark Charig (trumpet), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), Keith Tippett (piano), Miller and Moholo. South African expatriate bassist Harry Miller was an amazing bassist, composer and bandleader, as well as guiding force behind a number of incredible sessions, most of which have been released by the great Ogun label, co-founded by Mr. Miller and his wife Hazel, who runs it today. This extraordinary disc is extremely long, burns brightly throughout and was restored to great sound thanks to the work of Mike King (Reel Recordings) and Martin Davidson (Emanem). Although everyone on this disc plays immensely well, it is the fire-breathing alto sax of the late & legendary Mike Osborne that pushes these sessions into the zone of beyond belief. It is rare for me to have to stop working and just marvel at the energy and creativity of these two sessions! Holy sh*t is all I could say, over and over! There is a perfect balance between that compelling South African gospel/funk vibe and free/jazz fire that erupts throughout this entire disc! Besides Mike Osborne, there are a number of outstanding solos from Keith Tippett, Chris McGregor, Marc Charig, Nick Evans and Malcolm Griffiths. Plus the rhythm team work of Harry Miller and Louis Moholo is as great as it gets for the duration of both segments. Without a doubt, this is the BEST historic disc of the year!" - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HARRY MILLER with KEITH TIPPETT / TREVOR WATTS / LOUIS MOHOLO / ALAN WAKEMAN / ALAN TOMLINSON / DAVE HOLDSWORTH / et al - Different Times, Different Places - Volume Two (Ogun 045; UK) A second volume of valuable documents from the Ogun archives by label co-founder Harry Miller. the tracks come from three sessions spanning 1977-1982. All feature Harry on bass with Louis Moholo-Moholo behind the drum kit and Trevor Watts on sax, other musicians included are Alan Wakeman (sax), Bernie Holland (guitar), Keith Tippett (piano), Alan Tomlinson (trombone), Dave Holdsworth (trumpet). This joyful music, at times rough around the edges but full of life and spirit, conviction and enthusiasm. Just like Harry Miller himself.
PASCAL COMELADE / LEE RANALDO / RAMON PRATS - Velvet Serenade (Staubgold 169CD; Germany) “On occasion of its 25th anniversary, Staubgold presents Velvet Serenade. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo and French maverick Pascal Comelade relive The Velvet Underground -- a non-nostalgic reinvention of a musical legacy that takes an influential past into the future. For the world premiere of his latest book Linger On: The Velvet Underground -- published by Eva and Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace Library -- Catalan music journalist Ignacio Julià wanted to relive the New York band's original dynamics, that creative friction between an American noise-guitar player and poet, Lou Reed, and a radical, lyrical European pianist and songwriter, John Cale. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo and French maverick Pascal Comelade accepted the challenge and the concert took place in Banyoles, Catalonia, on April 28, 2022, as a non-nostalgic reinvention of a musical legacy that takes an influential past into the future. Comelade and Ranaldo met for the first time the same day the piece was created from scratch, at Banyoles' Auditori del Ateneu, and after a few try-outs, magic happened right away. Local drummer Ramon Prats joined in easily and the three constructed what Ignacio Julià had asked for, not a tribute concert made of more or less faithful covers, but a new thing. Pascal came with a clear idea of the songs and laid them down with his minimalist, personal style at the grand piano and small keyboard, Lee painted -- with guitars, acoustic and electric, used as cellos sometimes, and weird percussion -- the wide palette of emotions these classic songs carry. After months of imagining it, here it was, a fully realized Velvet Serenade. Spontaneous, vibrant and true to the band's spirit.”
KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF - Schemen (KarlRecords 101CD; Germany) “11th album by the one-of-a-kind collective: psychedelia and free form jazz (not jazz) trigger a sophisticated excursion into weird textures with drastic turns. Dislocated dense music full of secret connections.
"... On Schemen, familiar fragments float gently around their core -- a Fender Rhodes tone, a bass figure, a guitar motif, a masterful drum shuffle, a moment of icy stasis borrowed from the harmonium playing of Christa "Nico" Päffgen. Triggering brief associations, they slowly rush off in other directions through free jazz-informed editing work, whereupon such zones can also arise in which perception has a few tricks ready and earlier experience suddenly breaks into the now in a completely different way. Half suspected, half seen. Half-music like Can from Cologne -- also masters of improvised editing -- sometimes produced a few decades ago in their in-between moments. The first minutes of 'Future Days' for example, which fade in gently, sketch a barely graspable figure emerging from all directions of the room. Kammerflimmer Kollektief also engages in similarly open moments of development. Loosely, it eludes the first formative impressions, keeping itself ready for moments that do not follow any logic of appointment. This looseness in handling makes Kammerflimmer Kollektief so fluidly audible, even when dissonant peaks and free playing arise. What Karlheinz Stockhausen is to Can's understanding of composition, the recordings of The Cocoon are to Kammerflimmer Kollektief. The Cocoon, a meeting of garage psychedelics from the Hannover area with free jazzers from the Galaxie Dream Band, whose album While The Recording Engineer Sleeps, recorded in 1985 in unguarded moments, operates in a very similar way with decentralized perceptual ambivalences and only appeared more or less secretly four years later on Wilhelm Reich Schallspeicher. Other traces of Schemen lead to the debut album of Quicksilver Messenger Service. The guitars of Gary Duncan and John Cipollina, which refer to themselves in an unforced manner, are instructions to let go. They don't want to be traced in every note as a solo, but they give their music a sense that the essential takes place off center, in the mutual and intuitive gift of loving attentions..." --Werner Ahrensfeld
SCHNEIDER TM - Ereignishorizont (KarlRecords 104CD; Germany) “Ereignishorizont is Schneider TM's new and with a duration of over 80 minutes truly epic album: experimental guitar, technological innovations and excursions into musical territories beyond the usual. Schneider TM is a multidimensional music project of Dirk Dresselhaus which oscillates extensively between adventurous electronic pop-music and experimental, sometimes improvised freeform music, while occasionally bringing these and other opposing elements together. Ereignishorizont sounds and feels like a soundtrack for a yet-to-be-made sci-fi movie and exposes the essence of Dresselhaus's artistic approaches, crafted here with a more pared-down set-up, an awareness of advanced musical techniques, the physicality of sound, and an improvisational spirit that is based on the experience that things are strongest when they happen first. The main tools on Ereignishorizont are two customized electroacoustic guitars: The "FireSchneiderTM" has sound chambers featuring removable bakelite lids and piezo mics, that can be used as percussion tools, vocal mics, or filled with interesting sounding materials like screws, etc. The next step in the long-term collaboration between Schneider TM and Deimel Guitarworks is the "Spark": In addition to conventional magnetic and piezo pickups the guitar also has playable reverb springs, one of which is attached to the tremolo construction and can be tensioned. The different sound sources can be combined via a global selector switch and sent to an integrated electronic LesLee, which oscillates back and forth between the signals and is connected to CV In & Out sockets for integrating e.g. modular synthesizers via control voltage. The "Spark" can not only be played acoustically, electrically and electronically, but as an electro-acoustic sound object it also offers possibilities for playing techniques that are not typical for guitars. The sci-fi feel of Ereignishorizont is complemented by the artwork by Sebastian Mayer who, just a few weeks before Dresselhaus contacted him, got the opportunity to work as a betatester with some of the first available AI based image generators (for which Mayer himself prefers the name "neural network image generator" because there's no "intelligence" -- yet -- in these networks).
2 CD Set $22
AYA METWALLI & CALAMITA - Al Saher (Zehra 009CD; Germany) “Calamita = Karkhana members Tony Elieh, Sharif Sehnaoui, and Lebanese drummer Malek Rizkallah join forces with the Egyptian singer Aya Metwalli -- the result is the improbable meeting between free jazz/improv, punk rock, and Oum Kalthoum. Sharif Sehnaoui and Tony Elieh, two of the most active musicians on the Lebanese experimental scene. Sehnaoui comes from a jazz and improv music background, Elieh is primarily a rock musician and founding member of the Lebanese postpunk band The Scrambled Eggs whose work in the last decade has covered many directions from pop-rock to plain experimental. They are joined by Lebanese drummer Malek Rizkallah (Who Killed Bruce Lee, ex-The Scrambled Eggs). As trio they develop instrumental pieces that draw their inspiration from artists as diverse as Tony Conrad, Last Exit, or Oum Kalthoum. Aya Metwalli is an Egyptian singer/songwriter, composer and sound artist currently based in Beirut. Grown up in Cairo, her father would play non-stop Oum Kalthoum songs on road trips to the beach and Aya's mother; known to have the most beautiful voice in the family, she always sang at home and at family gatherings, so long before Aya was able to form her own music taste, immense amounts of Arabic classic songs and melodies already settled in her subconsciousness. After her first EP Beitak in 2016, Metwalli (named "a musical enigma" by The Guardian) started to integrate more experimental and eerie sonic excursions into her avant-pop, so the collaboration with Calamita feels like a natural or logic step. The roots for Al Saher ("stay awake") were laid when Sehnaoui and Metwalli first worked together in "Night", a dance piece by Ali Chahrour which included a wide collection of Arabic songs and ancient poems, later Sehnaoui invited her to work with Calamita. The four met in a recording studio in Beirut, using songs by "The Voice of Egypt" Oum Kalthoum as starting point. Together they aim to fully revisit the song format and explore the possibilities of classical Tarab songs, extracted from their origins and reframed within the music of the twenty-first century. The result is a mix of various styles and influences that often seek to stretch the contrasts to towering extremes.”
HISTORICAL & ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS:
ARTHUR RUSSELL - Picture of Bunny Rabbit (Audika Records 1023; USA) "In 1986 Arthur Russell was diagnosed with HIV, that same year he released his career-defining masterpiece World of Echo, the first and only solo album issued during his lifetime. Arthur had found his voice and a fresh direction with a set of new, transformative material, unlike anything he or anyone else had previously released. His illness ensured that the artistic growth and sense of exploration encapsulated in World of Echo would be tragically curtailed. Within six short years Arthur was gone. Arthur's final years were filled with a renewed commitment to creativity and unceasing live and recording work. He regularly performed the World of Echo material and incorporated several of its compositions in collaborations with choreographers active in New York's innovative dance community. Arthur worked closely with Diane Madden, Allison Salzinger, Stephanie Woodard and John Bernd, usually playing his cello and effects boxes off stage as the choreographers' pieces were performed. In 1993 Arthur posthumously received a prestigious Bessie Composer Award for his work in the dance world. Picture of Bunny Rabbit features nine previously unreleased performances from this era compiled from completed masters culled from two unique test pressings, including one, dated 9/15/85 by Arthur, provided by his mother and sister. A further four tracks were discovered in his tape archive. The track listing includes an exceptional and dramatic solo recording of 'In The Light of a Miracle' and the enigmatic title instrumental 'Picture of Bunny Rabbit', written especially for a friends pet rabbit. The bulk of the material was recorded with engineer Eric Liljestrand at Battery Sound Studios, New York, which was located directly opposite the World Trade Center and at Arthur's apartment studio in the East Village."
CD $17 / LP $26
LEE 'SCRATCH'PERRY - Battle Of Armagideon (Expanded Edition)(Doctor Bird 120CD; UK) "Over the years since, Battle Of Armagideon (Millionaire Liquidator) has become widely acknowledged as Perry's most significant and daring undertakings since the closure of his famed Black Ark studio in Kingston. And now, some 36 years after its original release, this seminal album is finally given the deluxe treatment, with its original track-listing bolstered by seven bonus tracks from the Trojan sessions -- a dozen of which make their CD debut. The result is a must-have collector's item for all serious Lee 'Scratch' Perry; providing a fitting tribute to one of the most innovative, creative and gifted music makers to have made their mark on modern popular music."
2 CD Set $23
I decided to put these song lyrics further down in the newsletter this week since I want to list the Vision Fest Schedule at the top.
By Pere Ubu, from the ‘Dub Housing’ album, rel 1978
What do you do with a drunken sailor
Who do you see in Caligari's mirror
How do you like those pranksters' cheats so early in the morning
Hey, hey, boozie sailors
Missed the boat
What to do
Hey, hey, boozie sailors
Missed the boat
What to do
Hey, hey, woozie sailors
What a mess
Tie 'em down
Took a bus
Took a bus
Took a bus
Took a bus
What do you do with a drunken sailor
Who do you see in Caligari's mirror
Why do you like those pranksters' cheats so early in the morning
Hey, hey, boozie sailors
Missed the boat
What to do
Hey, hey, woozie sailors
What a mess
Tie 'em down
Hey, hey, woozie sailors
Up she rises
Out the door
Next Monday, June 19th 2023, I will turn 69. Hard for me to believe as well since I still feel the same way inside that I’ve felt since I was a teenager, when music was the most important thing in my life. I am going to a concert that night to see Pere Ubu and Faust, two weird bands that I’ve dug for many years. I first caught Pere Ubu live at CBGB’s in late 1979 thanks to some coaxing by my good friend Fred Frith. Their lead singer David Thomas (a/k/a Crocus Behemoth) was pretty scary to watch as he wacked a small anvil in his hand and sung/screaming in a voice that should/would/could wake up the dead! I’ve seen Pere Ubu perhaps a dozen times since then and particularly dugtheir 1982 tour when they had Mayo Thompson (from Red Crayola) on guitar and Anton Fier (from the Feelies & Golden Palominos) on drums. I’ve caught a number of David Thomas solo tours with Chris Cutler & Lindsay Cooper (both from Henry Cow) in the band. More than forty years later, I still enjoy every Pere Ubu album as well as when I’ve caught them live. I am also a longtime fan of Faust, one of the weirdest of all “krautrock” bands, whose first album was released in 1971. Currently there are two versions of Faust, one with Joachim Irmler & Zappi Diermaier and the other with Jean-Herve Peron. Although Faust rarely come to the US, I have caught them twice, once in the early 90’s at the Old Knit for the Table of the Elements tour and once in the early aughts. I will attending the concert with DMG staffers John Mori & Frank Meadows plus my old Jersey buddy Bob G. It should be a great, weird concert, a perfect way to spend my birthday. Other adventurous, serious listeners are welcome to attend, so please come say hello if you do. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com
JOEL HARRISON & ANTHONY PIROG with STEPHAN CRUMP & ALLISON MILLER!
June 23rd, 2023 at 8pm
At the Ki Smith Gallery
170 Forsyth Street, NYC
THIS FROM EXPERIMENTAL VOCALIST KYOKO KITAMURA:
Matthew Barney's five-channel video installation Secondary [https://secondary.matthewbarney.net] 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.)
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org