DMG SEEKS A VOLUNTEER
Currently, there are three folks working here at DMG: John Mori, James P Nadien and myself. Weâ€™ve gotten some 1,000 plus CDâ€™s and LPâ€™s through collections and from donations over the past few years. We are selling more items through Discogs than through the DMG weekly newsletter or regular e-mail, keptprivate sales. Tzadik sales are still our main mail-order source. We are looking for a volunteer to work with John M and myself on Wed, Thurs, Saturdays and an occasional Sunday. If you have a sincere interest in promoting Creative Music, dealing with customers and helping to run our longterm record store, then let us know. You will be learning about mail-order, dealing with our database, posting items on Discogs or through our database. We need someone with basic computer skills. This is an unpaid, volunteer position that will lead to a paid position once you become a part of the DMG team. A positive attitude is necessary and the hours are flexible. We are struggling to do all of the things necessary to keep going so you can help us to stay focused and get our work done. Thanks to all who read this. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
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!
Rare Monday Event, July 3rd:
6:30: TERRENCE McMANUS / JOHN HEBERT / BILLY MINTZ - Guitar / Bass / Drums
No Gig on July 4th
Saturday, July 8th: The GauciMusic Series Continues with:
6pm: SAM NEWSOME GROUP: KM / SANDY EWEN / KEVIN MURRAY - 3 Soprano Saxes, Guitar & Drums
7pm: STEPHEN GAUCI UNIT
8pm: RYAN SIEGEL - Sax Trumpet / JARRED CHASE - Drums / MICHAEL GILBERT - Bass
9pm: LUKE MARRANT - Rhodes / SYLVESTER GERMAINE - Bass / JK KIM - Drums
Rare, Sunday, July 9th Event: Two Sets Featuring:
6:30: UNDER THE TURNPIKE TRIO: TONY MALABY / JOHN HEBERT / BILLY MINTZ
Downtown Music Gallery is located at 13 Monroe St, between Catherine & Market Sts. You can take the F train to East Broadway or the M15 bus to Madison & Catherine 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
NEW THINGS THIS WEEK BEGIN WITH:
MICHAEL FORMANEK ELUSION QUARTET with TONY MALABY / KRIS DAVIS / CHES SMITH - As Things Go (Intakt 399; Switzerland) â€œWith his extensive artistic biography, Michael Formanek is one of the most outstanding figures in American jazz, as a composer, as a bassist in ensembles, and as a soloist. The fact that the bassist has been an integral part of the creative music scene for several decades speaks for his creativity and versatility. Now Michael Formanek presents the long-awaited second album with his groundbreaking Elusion Quartet, which brings together four highly acclaimed musicians from the New York jazz scene â€“ pianist Kris Davis, saxophonist Tony Malaby and drummer Ches Smith. â€œAs Things Do is yet another testament to Formanekâ€™s encyclopedic conception.[...] Michael Formanek is that rare musician who, all the while retaining absolute integrity and focus, can let the music range where it will: in his own words, letting things go where theyâ€™re going to go, As Things Doâ€ writes Alexander Hawkins in the liner notes.â€ - Intakt
TYSHAWN SOREY TRIO with AARON DIEHL / MATT BREWER - Mesmerism (Pi Recordings 905; USA) â€œTo be mesmerized is to be hypnotized, which Iâ€™ve been when listening to the dense music of 42-year-old drummer/composer/academic Tyshawn Sorey. An astute and perhaps visionary musical thinker, Sorey once told me he enjoyed the music of Henry Mancini and Columbo television soundtracks as much as â€œseriousâ€ music. Having seen him blister improvisational music around Manhattan before taking his chair at Wesleyan, I nevertheless found Soreyâ€™s earlier albums, including Oblique â€“ I, Alloy, The Inner Spectrum of Variables, and Verisimilitude, a tough if enlightening journey. I always wanted to hear Sorey play on record as Iâ€™d heard him live. That wish has been granted. Somewhat.
Joined by pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Matt Brewer, the Sorey of Mesmerism is closer to the Sorey I remember: unvarnished, swinging, playful, his natural state one of turbulently original ideas, abrupt juxtapositions, surprising punctuations, and unerring sensitivity.
Horace Silverâ€™s â€œEnchantmentâ€ finds Sorey banging half-time bell patterns, funky tom drops, and rambunctious snare-drum punches and rolls. His approach still includes a lot of space, as in â€œDetour Aheadâ€ (Herb Ellis), for which the drummer deftly pitter-patters cymbals, evolving into full-set punctuations over an expanding performance. â€œAutumn Leavesâ€ is pleasant. Paul Motianâ€™s â€œFrom Time to Timeâ€ unfurls almost secretly (as does most of the album), followed by Muhal Richard Abramsâ€™ â€œTwo Over One.â€ Itâ€™s performed midtempo, thankfully, Diehlâ€™s lovely cascades embellished with Soreyâ€™s tonal beauty: shimmering cymbals, rich snare atmospheres, resonant kit work, truly orchestral drumming. The advance closes with Ellingtonâ€™s â€œREM Blues,â€ a blues swinger, Soreyâ€™s bubbly snare drum shuffling alongside Diehlâ€™s lovely notes and Brewerâ€™s insightful swing.â€ - Ken Micallef, JazzTimes
CD $15 [Limited 2nd Edition of 200]
TYSHAWN SOREY TRIO with AARON DIEHL / MATT BREWER - Continuing (Pi Recordings 98; USA) â€œContinuing is drummer Tyshawn Soreyâ€™s highly-anticipated follow-up to Mesmerism and The Off-Off Broadway Guide to Synergism, his two critically-acclaimed 2022 release that feature this avowed avant-gardistâ€™s surprising forays into classic, swinging jazz. Those two prior releases were voted #4 and #5 best albums of the year, respectively, in the annual Francis Davis Jazz Poll of over 150 jazz critics. In two 4 Â½ Star reviews, Downbeat called Mesmerism â€œwonderfully simple, yet breathtakingly deepâ€ and Off-Off Broadway (featuring saxophonist Greg Osby) â€œmusic robust enough to have you believe the energy generated by the group is its own discrete force.â€
While the new release features the same musicians as on Mesmerism â€“ Sorey on drums, pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Matt Brewer â€“ the result could not be more different. While the first release is mostly comprised of neat jewel cases, Continuing is sprawling, with its four long tracks given room to breathe deeply, allowing the musicians to explore crevices and possibilities while keeping the emphasis on melody, groove, swing, and the blues. The languorous pace taken on the standard â€œAngel Eyesâ€ requires a rare intensity of concentration from the trio, but they dig deeply into the feeling of all of the songs, including compositions by Wayne Shorter and Ahmad Jamal, who both coincidentally passed away recently and Harold Mabern, a mentor to Mr. Sorey. The performances are masterful and unforced, played with an honesty and spontaneity that get at the musicâ€™s emotional core.â€
CD $15 [Limited 2nd Edition of 200]
MORE NEW TREASURES FROM THE U.K.:
FAITH BRACKENBURY / MARTIN SPEAKE / ROB LUFT / ALEX MAGUIRE / OLI HAYHURST / WILL GLASER - Knife Angel (Lonely Duck Records; UK) Featuring Faith Brackenbury on violin & compositions, Martin Speake on alto sax, Rob Luft on guitar, Alex Maguire on piano, Oli Hayhurst on contrabass and Will Glaser on drums. Last month (May of 2023), I reviewed a quartet disc with Paul Dunmall (sax) and Faith Brackenbury (violin) in the frontline. After two fine discs on the Discus label by the Brackenbury/Bianco duo, Ms.Brackenbury contacted me to see if I wanted to check two discs that she produced. I, of course, did. Ms. Brackenbury organized the session, produced and wrote all the music. I recognize the names of the members of the sextet from varied previous discs: Martin Speake (the MS Sax Quartet & the Secret Quartet), Alex Maguire (The Wrong Object, Elton Dean & Sean Bergin) and Oli Hayhurst (for Jason Yarde, Gerd Dudek & Tony Bianco).
The music here was inspired by Alfie Bradleyâ€™s Knifeangel sculpture and dedicated to knife crime victims and their families. The session was recorded at Trinity Laban Studio in London in August of 2016. There are four untitled pieces here. The first piece begins with some solemn bass and simmering violin & horns with rumbling piano underneath. The main theme is played by the violin, guitar & piano and it has a most memorable, warm melody. Martin Speake takes the first solo on alto sax and sounds great, as does guitarist Rob Luft & pianist Alex Maguire, all taking fine solos. Ms. Brackenbury, who did some amazing trading of licks with sax colossus Paul Dunmall on her last disc, also sounds fine here, more modest and thoughtful, even moving into a chamber sequence near the end of this piece. Ms. Brackenbury plays a sad, solemn theme on the second song, a touching ballad of sorts, that will rattle your heartstrings if you let it inside. Bassist Oli Hayhurst kicks off the third piece with some quick, pumping bass and more inspired solos from guitarist Rob Luft and violinist Brackenbury. The last piece is also laid back, lovely and haunting with an most enchanting, majestic melody. Although this disc is not very outside or avant, it is still stirring in its own modest way. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
RON CAINES / MARTIN ARCHER AXIS with GRAHAM CLARK, LAURA COLE / CHARLOTTE KEEFFE / CHRIS SHARKEY / GUS GARSIDE / JOHNNY HUNTER - Blutopia (Discus 152CD; UK) Featuring Ron Caines on soprano, alto & tenor saxes, Martin Archer on sopranino & bari saxes, clarinet & flute, Graham Clark on violin, Laura Cole on piano, Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet, Chris Sharkey on electric guitar, Gus Gardside on contrabass and Johnny Hunter on drums. British saxist Ron Caines used to play with East of Eden, one of the best (yet unheralded) progressive bands of the 1970â€™s (1969-1978). Ron Caines got together with fellow Uk saxist and Discus labelhead, Martin Archer and put together a band called Axis. This is their fourth disc and the members of the band (an octet) are mostly taken from other bands/projects which have been released by Discus over the past few years. Both pianist Laura Cole and trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe have fine leader dates out on Discs. The guitarist, bassist & drummer also have impressive resumes playing with bands like TrioVD, the Geordie Approach & ARC. Aside from Mr. Caines, the only other member is about previously is violinist Graham Clark, who worked by Daevid Allen and was a member of Gong and Deviant Amps.
There are some lengthy liner notes by Martin Archer explaining how these sessions came to be, but it doesnâ€™t matter that much since it is music itself, the outcome that we are left with. Ron Caines wrote all of the pieces here with arrangements by Martin Archer plus some improv collages were used as well. Things begin some chugging rhythms with some sly sax on top as well as the trumpet joining in in the last part of the piece. For â€œGlyphxâ€, Archer takes Caineâ€™s alto sax with the bassist & drummer and then adds a layer of (nicely arranged) horns to the top and some violin as well. Except for three group improvs, Mr. Archer added instruments to each piece, adding colors, harmonies and occasionally short solos. For the one long piece here, â€œAncient & Modernâ€, Mr. Archer took some improv collages and added instrumentation. I really like this piece as Mr. Archer has added several layers of instrumentation here and there like a shrewd tapestry which takes a while to figure out. This disc is some 71 minutes long and has 17 tracks. Hence it takes a while to listen to it all. All but two pieces are under 6 minutes and each one seems to have something inventive or unexpected going on. I am about 3/4â€™s the way through and I am still hearing some surprising twists, turns and combinations. Overall, there is more than enough interesting music found here to make this long journey worth the wait. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DAS RAD with NICK ROBINSON / MARTIN ARCHER / JON SHORT / STEVE DINSDALE - Veer (Discus 145CD; UK) Das Rad features Nick Robinson on guitars & keyboards, Martin Archer on woodwinds & keyboards, Jon Short on bass guitar and Steve Dinsdale on drums & keys. This seems to be the fourth disc from Das Rad, British quartet which includes Discus founder Martin Archer and who has a solo effort out on Discus. I hadnâ€™t heard of the bassist before now although the drummer, Steve Dinsdale, can be found on a dozen discs from the Discus and Cuneiform labels (where he plays in Radio Massacre International). Das Rad is a sort of progressive quartet. Right from the opening of â€œLutraphobiaâ€, the electric guitar and sax(es) are up front and playing in rapturous harmonies over a fine somewhat funky, rocking groove which slows down to stopping before it pick right back up. Guitarist Nick Robinson uses some effects (pedals) to get that strong proggish sustained tone sound which matches the layers of saxes just right, even taking an impressive, quick-tapping, note-bending solo in the last section. Mr. Archer is a fine producer and knows how use the studio to get musicians or bands to sound focused and inspired. On â€œBergen Crossâ€, Mr. Robinsonâ€™s Frippish guitars are layered as are Archerâ€™s saxes. The bassist and drummer sound like theyâ€™ve been playing together for a long while as they are consistently locked into their own grooves/rhythmic schemes. Mr. Robinson takes the first of several impressive guitar solos whole the bassist interweaves his own web of lines. The sound of this quartet is closer to mid-seventies British progressive than anything else. Both guitarist Nick Robinson and saxist Martin Archer are well schooled in this sound and hence, they use several layers of guitars, saxes & keyboards, seamlessly blending them into that older prog sound. Archer often puts his saxes through some devices to alter their sound which often works just right with Robinsonâ€™s varied guitar parts. The quartet at times has a King Crimson-ish sound but not nearly as dark. There are some unexpected magical moments going here as well: On â€œFarfallaâ€, the acoustic guitar, flute and watery keyboards makes this sound like a prog fairy tale. Bassist Jon Short used to play in ambient projects and has a distinctive occasionally fretless sound on bass. The quartet get into a dub groove on â€œKingdom Fallâ€ and erupt forcefully on the â€œExpergefactorâ€ suite. If I didnâ€™t know better, I wouldâ€™ve thought that this disc was recorded in the mid-1970â€™s. All thatâ€™s missing are those proglike vocals.For those of you who are still searching for contemporary progressive instrumental music, this is a fine treasure chest of delights. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE BRIDGE SESSIONS LABEL: 3 NEW ONES Plus RESTOCKS:
BEN LAMAR GAY / SAM PLUTA / SOPHIE AGNEL / PASCAL NIGGENKEMPER - Pang! (The Bridge Sessions 16; France) Featuring Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, electronics, percussion & vocal, Sam Pluta on live electronics, Sophie Agnel on piano and Pascal Niggenkemper on contrabass. The ever-evolving Chicago Creative Music Scene continues to survive and thrive thanks to a healthy scene of elder jazz figures as well as a new generation of creative musicians coming up. There seems to be a handful of newer trumpeters and cornetists over the past decade to be reckoned with: First there were: Rob Mazurek, Josh Berman & Corey Wilkes and followed by Jaimie Branch, Marquis Hill and Ben Lamar Gay. This is certainly an eclectic quartet with each member from a different scene or background. Live electronics master, Sam Pluta, has worked with Peter Evans, Evan Parker and the Wet Ink Ensemble. French experimental pianist Sophie Agnel recently toured in a trio with Michael Vatcher & Joke Lenz, as well as working with Daunik Lazro and Satoko Fujiiâ€™s Kaze. German/French bassist, Pascal Niggenkemper, lived in Brooklyn for a while before moving back to Europe. Niggenkemper has several great discs on the Clean Feed label, as well as a superfine trio with Joachim Badenhorst & Ingrid Schmoliner. I caught cornetist Ben Lamar Gay the Vision Fest last week (6/15/23) with Mike Reedâ€™s Separatist Party and was most impressed with his playing.
This disc was recorded live at four dates in France during July of 2021. Besides cornet, Ben Lamar Gay also sings using texts from e.e. cummings, Bill Callahan (from Smog?), Zora Neale Hurston (noted author & filmmaker) & others. This disc starts off with sounds like subtle percussion, electronics, piano and somber dreamy vocals. The title of this piece is â€œPANG of Conscienceâ€, the other three pieces are also called â€œPANG of Emotion, Satisfaction and the Unthinkingâ€. I like the blend of the eerie electronics, percussive inside the piano improv, soft throbbing acoustic bass, occasional solemn vocals and low-key yet intense cornet exhilarations. The electronics here are often used quietly and selectively, like adding subtle sonic seasoning to a suspense-filled story or scene. I like the way each of the four pieces creates a mysterious vibe without ever being too dense. Although the texts comes from 5 sources, there is actually very minimal vocals here. I get the the feeling that this quartet mustâ€™ve bonded on tour since the four pieces come from four nights, the overall sound is consistent and fascinating throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MARVIN TATE / GERRIT HATCHER / ERWAN KERAVEC / GASPAR CLAUS / LIA KOHL - Temple of Enthusiasm (The Bridge Sessions 15; France) Featuring Marvin Tate - vocals & poetry, Gerrit Hatcher - tenor sax, Erwan Keravec - bagpipes, Gaspar Claus (also on electronics) & Lia Kohl - cellos. One of the great things about the recent Vision Fest (6/13-18/2023) was checking three different black male vocalists, each of whom was extraordinary at what they were doing: Dwight Tribble (with the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble), Kayo (with cellist Nioka Workman, Reggieâ€™s daughter) and Marvin Tate (with Mike Reedâ€™s Separatist Party). I hadnâ€™t heard of Chicago-based vocalist/spoken wordist Marvin Tate before that set, but it turns out that Mr. Tate has a half dozen records which draw from hip hop, funk, punk and rock influences. Chicago saxist Gerrit Hatcher I know from his work with Julian Kirshner and Patrick Shirioshi. French bagpipes player, Erwan Keravec has worked with Mats Gustafsson, Hamid Drake & Jean-Luc Cappozzo. Both cellists Lia Kohl from from Chicago and Gaspar Claus from France, have interesting resumes playing mostly with musicians whose names I donâ€™t recognize.
This disc was recorded live on a French tour in February of 2020. The instrumentation here is certainly unique: tenor sax, bagpipes, two cellos and vocals. It starts off with cello(s) and sax, quietly at first with the unsettling drone of a bagpipe soon entering the picture. â€œItâ€™s after the end of the worldâ€ are the first words we hear from Marvin Tate, a line I remember from an old Sun Ra album from the 1970â€™s. Both cellos have in intense, pounding presence with Mr. Tateâ€™s impassioned voice also stirring up our emotions. Mr. Tate seems to speaking about â€œSoul Powerâ€,the precariousness of happiness, his words are kept to a minimum. It sounds as if the cellists are banging on the body of their cellos at times as well as interweaving with bagpipes and/or tenor sax. Sometimes, it sounds as if Mr. Tate is reading a proclamation about something that we might need to think about. The sound of the bagpipes and churning cellos is a powerful one. While I was reviewing this disc, I was also checking out the ongoing Fake Prez nightmare that which is broadcast nonstop through the Daily KOS and MSNBC. The disorienting vibe which seems to affect us all is also at the center of the storm that this disc also provides. This is most certainly Uneasy Listening. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ROB FRYE / JAYVE MONTGOMERY / SIMON SIEGER / OLIVIA SCEMAMA / DAN BITNEY - Crying Out Loud (The Bridge Sessions 14; France) Featuring Rob Frye on woodwinds & synth, JayVe Montgomery on woodwinds & percussion, Simon Sieger on trombone, accordion & piano, Olivia Scemama on electric & acoustic basses and Dan Bitney on drums. One of the more unexpectedly unique sets at the Vision Fest last weeks was by Mike Reedâ€™s Separatist Party. The band included Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, Rob Frye on sax & flute, Marvin Tate on vocals and Mike Reed on drums & compositions. It was pretty electric and funky, especially by Vision Fest standards and reminded me of some of the funky jazz that Herbie Hancock has done in the past. I didnâ€™t recognize any of the members of the sextet except for Mr. Reed. It turns out that saxist Rob Frye has worked with the Bitchinâ€™s Bajas, French bassist Olivia Scemama played in Yochkâ€™o Seffer (from Magma) Neffesh Music and Chicago drummer Dan Bitney is a member of Tortoise. This disc was recorded both live at Constellation & ProMusica and in Experimental Sound Studio.
Like the set by Mike Reed, this music us also groove-based yet not so funky. On the first & longest piece, â€œGet Up and Walk, Spirits, Fly!â€, the quintet take their time and build up to a great, infectious groove with some delightful piano and sly layer of churning percussion. It sounds like a sample of Sun Raâ€™s spoken word vocals on â€œGhost of Ra, Spirit of Sunâ€, low yet yet spacey like a Sun Ra ballad. On â€œIs This Your Notion?â€, the layered percussion & piano play once great groove with Mr. Fryeâ€™s soprano sax sailing on top, simmering nicely together. In some ways, this is like a stripped down version of the Sun Ra Arkestra, spacious, eerie, hypnotic and often casting a fine mesmer spell over as all. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
RESTOCKS: The Bridge Sessions Label has no US distribution except for the last 3 releases, hence it is difficult to get the first 13 discs and some have already gone out of print. We do have a source for now so hopefully we can some of the titles back in once we sell outâ€¦
KEEFE JACKSON / DAVE REMPIS / CHRISTINE WODRASCKA / DIDIER LASSERRE / PETER ORINS - Sangliers (The Bridge Sessions 11; France)
TOMEKA REID / KATHERINE YOUNG / BENOIT DELBECQ / CLAUDIA SOLAL - Antichamber Music (The Bridge Sessions 10; France)
LARRY OCHS / MARS WILLIAMS / JULIEN DESPREZ / MATHIEU SOURISSEAU / SAMUEL SILVENT - Stroboscope (The Bridge Sessions 09; France)
MARQUIS HILL / JEFF PARKER / JOACHIM FOLRENT / DENIS FOURNIER - Escape Lane (The Bridge Sessions 05; France)
KHARI B. / MAGIC MALIK / GUILLAUME ORTI / JEB BISHOP / FREDERIC BBRIET / TYSHAWN SOREY - Vent Fort (The Bridge Sessions 04: France)
EVE RISSER / SYLVAINE HELARY / FREDRICK LONBERG-HOLM / MIKE REED - The Sync (The Bridge Sessions 02; France)
SONIC COMMUNION With DOUGLAS EWART / JEAN-LUC CAPPOZZO / JOELLE LEANDRE / BERNARD SANTACRUZ / MICHAEL ZERANG] - Sonic Communion (The Bridge Sessions 01; France)
THE BRIDGE SESSIONS WITH REVIEWS BELOW:
TOMEKA REID / KATHERINE YOUNG / BENOIT DELBECQ / CLAUDIA SOLAL - Antichamber Music (The Bridge Sessions 10; France) This particular bridge between the French and American improvising communities joins Claudia Solal (voice) and Benoit Delbecq (piano) with Tomeka Reid (cello) and Katherine Young (bassoon, effects) for 9 tracks. Solal and Delbecq have not recorded together previously but have a duo due out (at the time of this writing) later this year on RogueArt. Reid and Young have recorded together on Anthony Braxtonâ€™s Trillium E and Trillium J operas as well as a reversed transcription of Black Sabbathâ€™s â€œInto the Voidâ€ performed by a 10-piece jazz orchestra called From Beyond. This is the first time the French and American players have recorded together. The words on this recording are from James Joyceâ€™s Chamber Music, a collection of 36 love poems known for their accessible lyricism, facilitating their frequent use in music. For the Antichamber Music project, the poems arenâ€™t necessarily used in order of the collection, or in full, or even linearly. They can be sung, spoken, or perhaps just intimated. This freedom in choice of material allows Solal to improvise along with the musicians. The project appears to have specific goals, of associated timbres, imaginary quartets and scores, threads, a breadth and bridging of genres, but the information surrounding it is so vague that it seems like it really just stems from a desire to explore the interaction of improvised narrative with improvised instrumentation. The narrative definitely dominates the interaction. The voice is loud in the mix. Solal might wait for space or allow space but there is very little communication from voice to instrument except for the â€œmmm-mmmsâ€ and â€œooohsâ€ mimicking the cello and bassoon in â€œO Cool is the Valley Now/Sweet Imprisonment;â€ more often than not, Reid and Young will react and briefly harmonize with Solal, or Delbecq will match her cadence. Except for some some â€œmmmsâ€ and â€œooohsâ€ on the aforementioned track and â€œForget me Not,â€ the voice is completely narrative with no extended technique and sung or spoken in a kind of sultry lounge style with no affectation reflecting the content of the material or fragmentation of it. The music bubbling beneath the voice is often sparse and austere, reminding me of Maneri/Maneri/Phillips or the chamber music of Arvo PÃ¤rtâ€™s Tabula Rasa. Delbecq has a glassy, delicate, shimmering style until he reaches inside the piano to create a sound closer to mallet instruments (or strum a few beautiful glissandos). Reid appears to move through this space most comfortably, playing arco, plucking, or drumming the body with her fingers like rain on bamboo and readily communicating with every member of the quartet. Young seems particularly restrained on this recording, but her playing is simultaneously soulful, jarring, romantic. The music is bewitching, yet its potential feels unrealized as it must more often play around the voice than with it. â€œO Cool is the Valley Now/Sweet Imprisonmentâ€ and â€œForget me Notâ€ are good tracks, and the first and last minutes of the release are sublime, with many glimpses of beauty in between. - Keith Prosk, FreeJazzBlog
EVE RISSER / SYLVAINE HELARY / FREDRICK LONBERG-HOLM / MIKE REED - The Sync (The Bridge Sessions 02; France) â€œThe Bridge is a transatlantic network connecting American and French musicians in new collaborations. Starting a few years ago, the collective has released a handful of albums documenting their experimental spirit, including this one of the the fifth â€œbridge,â€ or ensemble, created through the collective (the rest can be seen here). The Sync features flutist and singer Sylvaine HÃ©lary, pianist Eve Risser, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, and drummer Mike Reed in late 2014, after a brief French tour. The album opens on a stark, exposed HÃ©lary solo, with Lonberg-Holm, Reed, and Risser in a percussive conversation. Itâ€™s a group improvisation, but thereâ€™s a bit of pairing here and there with Reedâ€™s fluid style matched with Risserâ€™s prepared piano. Around the halfway mark, Lonberg-Holm steps forward, and he and HÃ©lary enter into a brief duet that flows into a searing cello solo. Risser counters some of Lonberg-Holmâ€™s playing here, creating an offbeat tension that leads to an excellent duet, buoyed by Reedâ€™s drumming. HÃ©lary returns on vocals, and her singing opens up new territories of improvisation for a group barely 15 minutes out of the gate. The whole opening half hour, â€œGolay,â€ is a fantastic example of how four creative musicians bend and fold a collaboration into itself, then reopen it to expose a dozen new ideas. When Risser takes her first big solo of the disc, Reed switches up his playing, driving cymbals urging her on. At the same time, Lonberg-Holmâ€™s effects intertwine for HÃ©laryâ€™s flute for a fascinating, lengthy runâ€ On the aptly named â€œTurbo,â€ all four come out swinging hard and fast. Lonberg-Holm, already a blog favorite, is exceptional here. As Risser and Reed drive the group forward with a punchy rhythm, he and HÃ©lary take a kind of duet approach with a dual improvisation that plays almost like a slant rhyme. HÃ©lary stays in the lower register, while Lonberg-Holm builds from long tones to a high, distorted line that gradually fades away beneath HÃ©laryâ€™s vocalizations. Her extended solo, alternating between vocals and flute, sets the stage for the abstract group improvisation that follows, a deeply contemplative and heartfelt expression of connection sought and found through collaboration. The album closes with â€œGoppa,â€ a go-for-broke finale that builds for eight minutes before its abrupt denouement and sudden end, as if the tape ran out or was simply switched off. The first few times I listened, I was sure there was an error in the file, but this seems to be the actual end of the album. It surprises me every time I play it. Thereâ€™s an element of fictional storytelling referred to as â€œsurprising but inevitableâ€ that could also be used to describe these seemingly one-off collaborations (it should be noted, The Sync is not a one-off, and the group reassembled in 2016 for a series of concerts in Chicago, which, I believe, will lead to a sophomore release). Yet HÃ©lary, Lonberg-Holm, Risser, and Reed seem to have formed a bond that radiates beyond the music. - Lee Rice Epstein, FreeJazzBlog
SONIC COMMUNION With DOUGLAS EWART / JEAN-LUC CAPPOZZO / JOELLE LEANDRE / BERNARD SANTACRUZ / MICHAEL ZERANG] - Sonic Communion (The Bridge Sessions 01; France) Sonic Communion is Jean-Luc Cappozzo on trumpet & flugelhorn, Douglas Ewart on woodwinds & objects, Joelle Leandre & Bernard Santacruz on double basses and Michael Zerang on drums. This disc appeared in my promo box last week and I was pleased to see this unusual international line-up. Most of the members of this quintet come from much different backgrounds so I would imagine this is the first time this particular line-up toured in France together over two weeks in October of 2013. No doubt you recognize the names of flute master Doug Ewart and drum great Michael Zerang, both from Chicago. Both bassists are from France although you probably are familiar with Ms. Leandre who is one of the best and most prolific bassists from Europe. I know very little about Mr. Santacruz aside from his work with Frank Lowe, Dennis Charles and Charles Tyler. Trumpet man, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, I have become more familiar with over the past few years, working with Herb Robertson, Louis Sclavis and Umberto Petrin. Douglas Ewart is know for designing and making his own flutes but also plays other reeds. He starts off this disc playing soprano sax, the quintet soaring with him high and wide. Both bassists sound particularly great together, bowing and plucking up a storm together with Zerang propulsive drums also kicking up a fury. Both the soprano and trumpet soar together tightly and powerfully on top. This disc seas recorded by Jean-Marc Foussat, who has long worked with Ms. Leandre and always does a great job. This is not an over-the-top crazed free session but much more organic and even subdued at times with several trios or duos interacting. As a big fan of spirit music, there is something quite uplifting about this date that feels so good to me. Dive in and sail away with Sonic Communion. We got this disc from a young man who works for this label in France. When we sell out of the dozen copies we got, more will be delivered during the Vision Fest in July of 2015. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
OGUN / CADILLAC RESTOCK SALE - PART TWO:
LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI a/k/a The BLUE NOTES with REV. FRANK WRIGHT- Spiritual Knowledge (Ogun 035; UK)
DAVID MURRAY With BUTCH MORRIS / CURTIS CLARK / CLIFFORD JARVIS / BRIAN SMITH - The London Concert: Expanded Edition (Cadillac 08/09; UK)
2 CD Set $20
MIKE OSBORNE: TRIO & QUINTET - Border Crossing/Marcel's Muse (Ogun 015; UK)
MIKE OSBORNE TRIO With HARRY MILLER/LOUIS MOHOLO - All Night Long (Ogun 029; UK)
EVAN PARKER / JOHN STEVENS - Corner To Corner/The Longest Night Vols 1 & 2 (Ogun 022/023; UK)
2 CD Set $20
DUDU PUKWANA / BOB STUCKEY - Night Time is the Right time (Cadillac 07; UK)
JOHN SURMAN / MIKE OSBORNE / ALAN SKIDMORE - SOS (Ogun 019; UK)
CD = $17
KEITH TIPPETT'S ARK - Frames (Music for an imaginary film) (Ogun 010/011; UK)
2 CD Set $20
KEITH TIPPETT OCTET With PAUL DUNMALL / et al - From Granite to Wind (Ogun 036; UK)
CD = $16
KEITH TIPPETT - A Loose Kite (Ogun 030; UK) CD
CD = $16
MIKE WESTBROOK CONCERT BAND with JOHN SURMAN / MIKE OSBORNE/ BERNIE LIVING / GEORGE KHAN / PAUL RUTHERFORD / MALCOLM GRIFFITHS / DAVE HOLDSWORTH / HARRY MILLER / ALAN JACKSON - Last Night at The Old Place (Cadillac 016; UK)
OGUN & CADILLAC CDâ€™S With REVIEWS:
LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI a/k/a The BLUE NOTES with REV. FRANK WRIGHT- Spiritual Knowledge (Ogun 035; UK) Ogun is extremely proud to present a previously unreleased recording documenting a one-off collaboration between members of The Blue Notes and tenor sax giant The Reverend Frank Wright. Recorded live in Eindhoven, Holland on what was meant to be the opening night of The Blue Notes' Dutch tour in 1979, the collaboration was spawned by the unavoidable absence of pianist Chris McGregor and prompted by Louis Moholo-Moholo's experience of playing alongside Frank in Peter Brotzmann's Alarm. The tour of Holland proved prolific for The Blue Notes - another Dutch date is set for future release on Ogun - but this meeting of musical titans could not be left in the vaults. Great empathetic performances and an engrossing listen.
MIKE OSBORNE: TRIO & QUINTET - Border Crossing/Marcel's Muse (Ogun 015; UK) 'Border Crossing', with his main - and legendary - rhythm section of the early '70s, bassist Harry Miller and drummer Louis Moholo, is a powerhouse spectacle. Recorded live at the Peanuts Club 9/28/74 Although having retired from the music scene for well-documented health-related reasons in the early 80s, the late Osborne is still the greatest alto saxophonist ever to come out of Britain (that of course being separate and distinct from all the great alto players who came into Britain, such as Bertie King, Joe Harriott, Dudu Pukwana, Bernie Living, Ray Warleigh and Ntshuks Bonga) and this album of highlights from one of the trio's many continuous performances at Stockwell's Peanuts Club of the early-to-mid '70s is the unassailable proof of that assertion. He came out of Jackie McLean and Eric Dolphy via Ornette, but Osborne quickly found and established his own level of intensity, never better documented than here. As the three musicians move from tune to tune, the intensity of the music is stoked up to such a degree that side two of this album in particular is an emotionally exhausting adrenalin rush of music, easily up there with Ornette at the Golden Circle, Osborne, Miller and Moholo existing in absolute and blissful telepathy as they threaten to break all manner of sound and space barriers. This record, more than most in the Ogun catalogue, is urgently in need of reissue. Anyone fancy putting up the cash for an Ossie boxset tribute? - Marcello Carlin
EVAN PARKER / JOHN STEVENS - Corner To Corner/The Longest Night Vols 1 & 2 (Ogun 022/023; UK) Evan Parker, soprano saxophone; John Stevens, percussion, trumpet. Featuring the duo of Evan Parker and John Stevens on Ogun. Corner to Corner [recorded 8 June 1993 at Angel Studio, Islington, London] was previously released on CD [OGCD005] but has been out-of-print for some time so its good it is available again. Disc Two was originally released as 2 LPs in the '70s- The Longest Night Vol.1. and Vol. 2 [OGLP 120 & 420] - but never released on CD before!
2 CD Set $20
DUDU PUKWANA / BOB STUCKEY - Night Time is the Right time (Cadillac 07; UK) Recorded at Ronnie Scott's Old Place 1967-68; 1st nine cuts as a quartet [Pukwana, Lee, Marshall, Stuckey], tracks 10-14 Smith-Stuckey-Hart trio A valuable musical and historical document of a glorious era in British jazz, with young organ wiz Bob Stuckey in quartet and trio line-ups recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Old Place (the original incarnation of the now world famous club). South African alto sax legend Dudu Pukwana was a regular cohort and is heard here in the quartet tracks, along with Phil Lee on guitar, and John Marshall drums. The trio recordings following involve Stuckey, guitarist Terry Smith, and drummer Martin Hart. Excellent sound quality and inspired musicianship on this first time issue from the archives. The 18 months of the Old Place saga left many indelible marks on the development of jazz in Britain and from them into the international scene. It was an open-ended laboratory for Mike Westbrook and his cohorts, especially John Surman and Mike Osborne. Chris McGregor could stay there all night after hours brewing his Brotherhood charts and testing them on the gig maybe next evening. And so it roared along.... little bread but lots of sustenance. The memories of it, the privilege to have played a role in it, are in themselves priceless jewels but best of all are the forty years of friendships that have endured from it. Thus I was overjoyed to have the chance to resurrect at least a little taste of some of our Saturday Night soirees. "The tales of Ronnie Scott's Old Place in Soho, London are well known. The Old Place served as the epicenter of the progressive jazz movement in England during the 1960s. Most notably the club provided a place for the talents of the heralded South African defectors, The Blue Notes. The mixed race group, featuring pianist Chris McGregor, saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, trumpeter Mongezi Feza, Johnny Dyani, and drummer Louis Moholo Moholo (tenor saxophonist Nikolo Moyake already having returned to South Africa),is legendary for leaving their Apartheid stymied country for Europe and the unknown. Having ended up in London in 1964, the Blue Notes quickly began to influence many local musicians with their unique approach to jazz. It is precisely this influence that led to this recording, "Night Time Is The Right Time". Dudu Pukwana quickly became a crowd favorite in London with his unique, strident tone and sing-song approach to melody. Upon hearing Pukwana, organist Bob Stuckey, who was already riding the popularity of the Hammond B3 organ sound that had migrated to England via recordings by Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, and John Patton, heard the Blue Notes and was so taken with Pukwana's sound that he invited him to play with his group in an opening spot for Sonny Stitt's UK tour. Work with Stuckey's band was steady at the Old Place's all night jam sessions. The groups presented here would be typical of those presented by the organist and featured some of London's most promising young musicians. The first nine tracks here present Stuckey and Pukwana with guitarist Phil Lee and the drummer John Marshall, who went on to fame as a sideman with John Surman and Jan Garbarek. Six of the quartet's nine songs were written by Pukwana, showcasing the saxophonist's comfort with the blues form along with his ability to present South African themes within this combo's favored settings. The best example of this is on Jauana's Dream which has a bouncy township melody and almost calypso support from the group. The smoky B, My Dear is a lovely blues ballad that showcases the sensitivity Pukwana could supply a melody. Solos from the Pukwana show his proclivity towards moving outside of the normal jazz improv norm and the ensemble supports him with aplomb, most noticeably on Messengers. There are two strong compositions from Stuckey and guitarist Lee. The organist's Moonshine is a mid tempo swinger with R&B touches. Lee's Night In Brentwood is an up-tempo groover that moves with guitar in lead and features his best solo of the set. The only tune that isn't an original is Abdullah Ibrahim's Kippie named after the legendary South African clarinetist Kippie Moeketsi. The last five tracks on this CD are recordings of Bob Stuckey's trio from the Old Place in 1968. The trio here features drummer Martin Hart, who remains a much in demand sideman after his first notoriety with John Mayall, and guitarist Terry Smith, who is most well known for playing in the jazz/rock band If. The material here is mostly jazz classics that were well known organ features during the time, including Sweet Georgia Brown and All Of You. The readings are good but maybe not essential. The CD is a great buy for South African music enthusiasts, first and foremost. Hearing Pukwana outside of the Blue Notes or the Brotherhood of Breath is a rare treat, especially in the context of an organ trio. To hear him blow on a blues and add his own flair to the tradition is a welcome thing for fans. The recording should also help put his playing into context for listeners unfamiliar with South African jazz and who might be more familiar with the sounds coming out of American jukeboxes during the late '50s and '60s." - Bret Sjerven, guest reviewer
JOHN SURMAN / MIKE OSBORNE / ALAN SKIDMORE - SOS (Ogun 019; UK) John Surman (baritone & soprano saxes, bass clarinet, synths), Mike Osborne (alto sax, percussion), Alan Skidmore (tenor sax, drums, percussion). Before WSQ or Rova, there was SOS, one of the most startlingly original and certainly one of the most popular acts to appear on Ogun. Surman, Osborne and Skidmore had long since contrived to work together in each other's respective musical environments, and when hired for big bands (Brotherhood, Westbrook, Gibbs) they always came as a unit. They worked brilliantly and naturally together. While much of this album is naturally given over to rumminations and explosions by the three saxophones - as tender as Ellington on "Where's Junior?" - Surman also uses liberal doses of his then new electronica, and Skidmore takes a rare turn behind the drumkit, such that the awesome "Goliath" virtually invents prog-improv, Osborne's alto howling over Surman's stately synth chords, like ELP, only good. And the closing, lengthy "Calypso" investigates an area of candidly troubled electronic music which would not be properly followed up until Autechre two decades later. - Marcello Carlin
CD $17 [back in print after a decade]
KEITH TIPPETT'S ARK - Frames (Music for an imaginary film) (Ogun 010/011; UK) Keith Tippett, piano, harmonium; Stan Tracey, piano; Elton Dean, alto saxophone, saxello; Trevor Watts, alto and soprano saxophones; Brian Smith, tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute; Larry Stabbins, tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Mark Charig, trumpet, tenor horn, Kenyan thumb piano; Henry Lowther, trumpet; Dave Amis, trombone; Nick Evans, trombone; Maggie Nicols, voice; Julie Tippetts, voice; Steve Levine, violin; Rod Skeaping, violin; Phil Wachsmann, electric violin, violin; Geoffrey Wharton, violin; Alexandra Robinson, cello; Tim Kramer, cello; Peter Kowald, bass, tuba; Harry Miller, bass; Louis Moholo, drums; Frank Perry, percussion. In one sequence all the musicians except for the saxophonists are heard dragging their fingers around wine glasses, while in the closing sequence everyone attends to flutes, whistles, percussion, game calls, etc. Recorded on 22, 23, 24 May 1978 at Wessex Studios, London N5. Thankfully this is available on CD, remastered by Steve Beresford from Hugh Hopper's original production. And it's Tippett's greatest artistic statement. His previous big band experiments with Centipede have been consolidated, and here he scales down the band from 55 to 22 musicians without any loss of power and considerably more concentration - here there aren't three thrashing drummers cancelling each other out, for example, and the instrumental pairings (hence the name Ark) are inspired, for example Miller's bass with Kowald's tuba, and the sacred (Perry's proto-New Age percussion) with the holy profane (Moholo's drums). As with Centipede, it brings together all of the regular groupings with which Tippett was then working, at the core of which is Ovary Lodge - everything radiates out from the central quartet. The double album's highlight is the brilliant fusion of Guilliaume de Machaut and Mingus which constitutes the opening half of side three - over a drone (almost a Dowland-esque continuo), Julie Tippetts sings of a new dawn, a new hope, rising to face the world. Then Keith Tippett's piano enters sadly to harmonise the melody. Nicols then returns with the string drone to sing the second verse, following which Tracey essays a mysterious ("Mysterioso"?) and beyond-enigmatic piano commentary, ending emphatically at the bottom end of the keyboard as though he's closing a tomb. The awakening of Blake's Jerusalem in England? An alternative soundtrack to Penda's Fen? It could be. Slowly, each pair of instruments enters to state the melody and improvise briefly on it. As more pairs join in the improvising becomes more animated and the mood more deeply pronounced. As with Mingus, intonation seems to be deliberately loose (NOT sloppy) to emphasise the underlying humanity. Finally, as the trumpets climax over the now passionate, slowly-detonating explosion of the orchestra, we are left with an ecstatic climax every bit the equal of Coltrane's Ascension. Miller and Moholo subtly introduce a steady 4/4 beat as the musicians scream and swoon above, below and around them. It numbed me and stunned me to the core when I first heard it at teatime on Charles Fox's Jazz Today programme on Radio 3 in the late autumn of 1978; when I got hold of a copy of the record, with its brilliant Dick Whitbread collage of unforeseen tentacles swallowing up a panoramic view of North London - the natural reclaiming the manmade - on its cover, I thought it was the greatest record I had ever heard. Sometimes when listening to it, and many of the other masterpieces released on Ogun, I still do. - Marcello Carlin
2 CD Set $20
KEITH TIPPETT OCTET With PAUL DUNMALL / et al - From Granite to Wind (Ogun 036; UK)Ogun is extremely proud to present this new jazz suite by the internationally acclaimed composer, arranger, improviser and pianist Keith Tippett. In 2007 Tippett wrote a piece (commissioned by long standing fans Anthony and Dorothy Hopkins) entitled 'From Granite to Wind' , performed by Tippett's new octet: Paul Dunmall soprano and tenor saxes; James Gardiner-Bateman alto sax; Kevin Figes alto and baritones saxes; Julie Tippetts voice/lyrics, xylophone and thumb piano; Peter Fairclough drums; Thad Kelly bass; Ben Waghorn tenor sax and bass clarinet; and Keith Tippett piano and percussives. This remarkable piece for 8 musicians was premiered at Colston Hall, Bristol; this CD is a studio recording made at Real World studios January 30 & 31, 2011. A continuous performance, From Granite To Wind is an evolving flux of different forms and colours, reinterpreting elements of the great jazz tradition through Tippett's idiosyncratic musical language.
KEITH TIPPETT SEPTET With ELTON DEAN / LARRY STABBINS / MARK CHARIG / NICK EVANS / PAUL ROGERS / LOUIS MOHOLO- A Loose Kite (Ogun 030; UK) Keith Tippett-piano, Larry Stabbins-tenor & soprano saxes, Elton Dean-saxello & alto sax, Mark Charig-cornet & tenor horn, Nick Evans-trombone, Paul Rogers-bass, Tony Levin-drums & percussion. Originally issued in 1986 as a double LP, "A loose kite..." is one of the lesser known items in Tippett's discography. The Septet was put together in 1984 especially to play a new suite inspired by the writing of Maya Angelou. This is the only remaining document of that project.Ogun's reissue marks the first appearance of this music on CD. "It's terrific to see this fairly obscure, mid 80s Keith Tippett project reappear on CD. This features a monster band of Brit-jazz talent, which both harkens back to Keith's original sextet of the late 60s as well as pointing forward towards Mujician. Unlike Mujician, while there are plenty of improvised passages and of course amazing solos, there's some wonderful writing and ensemble parts by these musicians. Essential for Brit-jazz/jazz fans. - Steve Feigenbaum, Cuneiform
MIKE WESTBROOK CONCERT BAND with JOHN SURMAN / MIKE OSBORNE/ BERNIE LIVING / GEORGE KHAN / PAUL RUTHERFORD / MALCOLM GRIFFITHS / DAVE HOLDSWORTH / HARRY MILLER / ALAN JACKSON - Last Night at The Old Place (Cadillac 016; UK) â€œBy any standards the release of The Last Night At The Old Place will prove to be one of archive releases of the year, second only, perhaps, to the 'Lost' Coltrane album. All power, therefore, to Mike Gavin who has inherited the Cadillac catalogue from the late John Jack with his first release of archive material. The Last Night at the Old Place gives those of us far too young to have been presentâ€”or in my case just too young and too far awayâ€”a sense of what the venue might have meant to London's jazz musicians. The recording, made by George Smith (contributor of the visceral tuba solo on "Conflict" from Mike Westbrook's Marching Song) on a Revox tape machine, is remarkable. It's certainly a valuable documentâ€¦ full review in DMG database: https://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/search.php
LEI LANG / MIVOS QUARTET - Six Seasons (New World Records 80840-2; USA) The Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska, is one of the most inaccessible places to humans on earth. Six seasons in the Arctic, according to the Inuit, are not demarcated by a fixed calendar, but by what we hear in the changing environment. Hydrophones were placed about 300 meters below the sea surface at a seafloor recording location 160 km north of Point Barrow. They capture the sound of sea ice, marine mammals, and the underwater environment throughout an entire year. - Lei Liang
Â A cycle of six movements and a coda, Six Seasons (2022) is as protean as the ocean waters that serve as its substance and underlying metaphor. In creating a space of many spaces and multiple temporalities, Lei Liang (b. 1972) resides in select company, artists who have fashioned a syntax of exploration both attendant to and divergent from music historyâ€™s established grooves and curves of innovation and tradition. Of the composers now lionized through the ever-expanding and often-arbitrary canon, George Crumb, John Cage, and Pauline Oliveros come most directly to mind, given their penchants for the enlarging of an instrumentâ€™s sonic palette in the service of extra-musical concerns.
At the heart of Liangâ€™s vision is an all-inclusive and ever-evolving concept of presence in dynamism. When describing the experience of performing and recording Six Seasons, it is the idea most often revisited by the Mivos Quartet. To be present as listener, as reactor, performer, and planetary citizen is paramount. Liangâ€™s goal is to create a totality, an experience to be shared in a common space.
Ironically, though sonically miles apart, Liangâ€™s closest artistic ally may be the similarly poly-mathematical and intellectually insatiable Anthony Braxton. In the AACM composerâ€™s Echo Echo Mirror House system, his entire musical autobiography is channeled through iPods, containing his discography, into Ivesian open-form ventures of constantly shifting focus over which soloists emote in transtemporal echolocation. Liang is creating a similarly vast and multivalent space-scape of metaphorical surfaces, windows, and gradations with kaleidoscopic physical implications. The intersections of individual and communal experience flourish, redefining the process of listening to the emanations from our planet, in crisis but also in all its manifold beauty. From under impenetrable ice, only the lone and disoriented Beluga whaleâ€™s distress call, pervading the cycleâ€™s harrowingly sparse coda, compels all the more to render Liangâ€™s dream of transformative unification a reality. - from the liner notes
MALI OBOMSAWIN with TAYLOR HO BYNUM / MIRIAM ELHAJI / ALLISON BURIK / NOAH CAMPBELL - Sweet Tooth (Out of Your Head Records; USA) Sweet Tooth is the debut release of bassist, composer and vocalist Mali Obomsawin. On it, she is joined by Savannah Harris (drums, vocals), Miriam Elhajli (guitars, co-lead vocals), Allison Burik (bass clarinet, alto saxophone, vocals), Noah Campbell (tenor, soprano, alto saxophones) and Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, flugelhorn).
The first piece, Odana, is based on an 18th century Odanak ballad and sets a fittingly pensive mood with Spanish horns and a plodding hymn that fall somewhere between the entrancing theme to Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio) (the first track on Sketches of Spain) and the opening bars to A Change is Gonna Come (Otis Blue). From here, Sweet Tooth travels through traditional hymns and poems and a wholly new pieces â€œBlood Quantumâ€, all arranged and composed by Odomsawin with the help of a series of other, mainly Indigenous, composers. The entire album is dedicated to storytelling, starting from the ancestral stories of Odana and traveling through reflections on the histories of the Abenaki First Nation, the Wabanaki confederacy of which it was part and, more universally, Native American struggles and perseverance against colonialism. Hence the pain, the hope and defiance threaded throughout this suite.
And this is, indeed, a suite. A few pieces stand out, especially Wawasin8da, which shifts from an askew march to a full-on blow-out at the end and, in the process, approaches the Albert Ayler Funeral March in its unfettered, mournful wail. That said, I am not sure any of these pieces make the same impression outside of this context. Together, however, they form a complete journey. They batter the listener between moments of escape and memorialization, of curious exploration and sadness but also, as form reflects content, of reconstitution. This comes through in the laggard swing of much of the album, the combination of third wave composition, free and winding ascensions, deep, clattery drum rambles and, of course, the haunting and consoling vocals of Obomsawin and Elhajli. Indeed, as much as I had expected to hear Elhajliâ€™s guitar or Obomsawinâ€™s bass forcing its way to the front or Bynumâ€™s cornet slicing through the hazy sonic stew, none of this really happens. Instead, Sweet Tooth is a finely balanced group effort, where the vocals sparingly but effectively take control. I guess this balance is somewhat natural for an album constructed around storytelling and languages, whether understood in precise articulations or just colors and moods. Still, it stands out.
The one outlier on this album is the final track, Blood Quantum. Penned by Obomsawin with the help of several other First Nations composers, it is the most contemporary. It is an extended piece and it seems the most open, if also funky. Yet, it maintains the enough of the aesthetic of the rest of the album and, in a sense, brings the narrative â€“ and the Abenaki past - into the present. Indeed, one hears the echoes of previous struggles in the final chant, which translates as: â€œI stand to face him, I face him defiantly, unflinchingly, I confront him./We remember our matriarchs./We remember our grandmothers.â€ It is left to the listener to determine who â€œhimâ€ is, though the implication indicates a timelessness of the confrontation.
Throughout its 37 minutes, Sweet Tooth examines similar questions of the construction of the present through the past and the comprehension of that past through music that sounds both vibrantly relict and thoroughly contemporary. And it does so with a rare beauty and potency. One of the best I have heard all year.â€ - Nick Ostrum, FreeJazzBlog.org
THE SLITS with NENA CHERRY / NINA HAGEN - In the Beginning - A Live Anthology 1977-81 (Jungle Records Freud CD 057; UK) Debuting with their 1977 tour with The Clash, The Slits were known for their uncompromising attitude and aggressive and confrontational music in a time when most bands were male. To this day they are cited as being hugely inspiring to many female artists. But their seminal Island Records 1979 debut album 'Cut', with its infamous sleeve featuring the band members naked and caked in mud, does not capture the true energy and spontaneity as well as these live recordings do.
The album spans from an early, chaotic punk-era show which includes their classics such as 'Shoplifting', 'New Town' and 'Love & Romance', shows how they evolved into their dubby, reggae-influenced style with songs such as 'Typical Girls', and finishes with a track from their last ever performance in 1981.
KING SIZE DUB 23 / Various Artists - S/T (Echo Beach 193CD; Germany) â€œThere is a dub series that has been causing a sensation for years, and has been since the release of King Size Dub 1 in 1994. In the series there were always trips to obscure counting (Vol. 69) and specials about certain regions (Dub In Germany), labels (ON-U Sound Records from London) or bands (Dubmatix from Toronto). It's wonderful that with KSD 23, another compilation in the series presents dub as a multi-layered art of sound mixing. In this edition, there is a spectacular focus on cover versions of very famous songs like "Cocaine" (JJ Cale), "Personal Jesus" (Depeche Mode), "Master Blaster" (Stevie Wonder), "Blue Monday" (New Order), "Guns Of Brixtion" (The Clash), "The Robots" (Kraftwerk), and so on.
Features Noiseshaper, Simple Straw, Mexican Dubwiser, Artwork Jamal, Dubvisionist, Reggaesta, Earl 16, Dubinator, Alan Moore, Dieter Meier, Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, Dubby Wonder, Eugene Tambourine, Seanie T meets Aldubb, Rob Smith aka RSD, Martha And The Muffins, Dreadzone, Misled Convoy meets Uncle Fester On Acid, Bim Sherman, Dub Mode, Joseph Holiday, L.A.B meets Paolo Baldini DubFiles, Dubmatix, Barry Ashworth, Manasseh, Kleer meets Dubinator, RE-201, Awa Fall, Zion Train, Kid Loco meets Soul Sugar.â€
AARON NOVIK - Grounded (Astral Spirits 159; USA) Featuring Aaron Novik on clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet. This recording was done during the pandemic in Elmhurst, Queens in March & April of 2020. Former west coast based & current Queens-based clarinetist & composer, Aaron Novik, since his first release in 2008. What I admire about Mr. Novik is that each of his releases/projects are quite different, personnel-wise, concept-wise and cover art as well. If you havenâ€™t heard his oddball, unique comic book/LP, â€˜Frowny Frownâ€™ (from 2018), you donâ€™t know what youâ€™re missing! Every release seems to a different concept which often takes some time to fully absorb. His new one is a solo clarinets release, using three clarinets and with minimal effects. The first piece, â€œPart 1â€, sounds more like a Farfisa organ with some looping going on. Is this a clarinet??? Novik seems to be using several layers of clarinets, some with drone lines. The vibe here is haunting, quaint, with selective layers or lines which are never very dense. Instead of some obvious effects, Novik seems to be taking or sampling certain sounds and then stretching them out a bit. Breathy, wind-like sounds add some depth or mystery to the sounds of the popping clarinet notes. If I didnâ€™t know better, I wouldâ€™ve thought that this was a keyboard based composition on a cheesy keyboard with quaint yet hypnotic sounds perhaps by one of the better minimalist composers.
DREW GARDNER with JOHN TCHICAI / MARCO ENEIDI / ROBERTO DE HAVEN / VYTAS NAGISETTY - The Return (Astral Spirits 226; USA) Featuring Drew Gardner on drums & compositions, John Tchicai on tenor & soprano saxes, Marco Eneidi on alto sax, Roberto De Haven on alto sax and Vytas Nagisetty on bass. Recorded at Guerilla Euphonics Studio in Oakland, CA in 1995. This is certainly a curiosity. It turns out that there are several recording artists named Drew Gardner. Hmmm. I know there is a guitarist named Drew Gardner who plays with Elkhorn and that there is also another drew Gardner who is a composer/conductor whose â€˜Flarf Orchestraâ€™ CD I reviews in 2014.
So it looks like this Drew Gardner is a Bay Area drummer who leads (organized?) this session which includes two Free/Jazz heavies: saxists: John Tchicai (whose was teaching in LA perhaps at this time) and former Downtown/NYC alto saxist Marco Eneidi who was living in Mexico for the last few years before his death in 2016 plus two Bay Area musicians that I was not familiar with Roberto De Haven on alto sax (1 super obscure solo CD from 1995) and Vytas Nagisetty on bass (who played in Rent Romasâ€™ Lords of Outland, yet another West Coast legendary/obscure saxist & labelhead for Edgetone Records). Things commence with â€œHill Street Ragaâ€, which opens with a rich, Spirit Jazz theme for two saxes, bass & drums. I love the way this tape sounds, warm, clean and organic with minimal digital compression. Original Free Jazz elder, John Tchicai, who made his way to NY from Denmark in the mid-sixties, plays the first solo on soprano sax and sounds wonderful, the band riveting, powerful and tight. Drummer Drew Gardner is at the center of the storm and is holding things together, his songs are consistently engaging and filled with passion & inventiveness. Contrabassist Vytas Nagisetty also sounds great bowing and plucking, keeping that constant throb churning just right. Alto saxist Roberto De Haven is featured on â€œThe Mirrorâ€ and he also sounds great with strong tone and playing some whiplash-like, jagged lines. This song has an Ornette-like sound, like an excerpt from the â€˜Free Jazzâ€™ album. â€œThe Human Abstractâ€ features the late, Downtown legendary alto saxist, Marco Eneidi, an incredible fire-breathing saxist who worked with William Parker, Glenn Spearman & many others. The piece has a powerful, full throttle opening theme which soon opens us with some amazing, pumping drums from Mr. Gardner which push Mr. Eneidi higher and higher as he solos furiously! For those of us that still want/need to be bathed in Free Jazz at its most intense, this tape should set your passions ablaze. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE STAN TRACEY QUARTET with BOBBY WELLINS / JEFF CLYNE / JACK DOUGAN - Jazz Suite Inspired by Dylan Thomasâ€™s Under Milk Wood (Resteamed Records 01LP; UK) "Reissued on vinyl for the first time in nearly 40 years, The Stan Tracey Quartet's Under Milk Wood is considered one of the finest British jazz albums ever made, an effortlessly iconic masterpiece that encapsulates the heady '60s jazz boom. It features compositions by the great Stan Tracey -- The Godfather of British Jazz -- inspired by Dylan Thomas' drama Under Milk Wood, including the timeless 'Starless and Bible Black' with its acclaimed solo by tenor saxophonist, Bobby Wellins. Like Thomas's characters, the themes vary greatly in tempo, in mood, in dramatic depth. The title song is a triumph, not only because it stands by itself as a beautifully conceived jazz ballad, but because it sets the scene for the rest of the writing and playing. Some of the other themes are impressionistic and highly subjective sketches of Thomas seen through the prism of jazz. It was awarded 69th place in Jazzwise magazine's 'The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook the World': 'Tracey is indispensable, a one-man mission statement. Here he showed how much could be achieved within the basic jazz quartet format. Reaction at the time seems to have been along the lines of where on earth did this come from? Coherent, vital and mind-stretching.'" "The haunting 'Starless and Bible Black' remains probably the finest single recorded performance by a British jazz group." - The Observer
PONY POINDEXTER QUARTETT with JAN HAMMER / GEORGE MRAZ / MICHAEL DENNERT - New Orleans Fire: Live 1969 (HGBS Musikproduction 20203LP; Germany) "With the label MPS, post-war musical history was written in Germany: noble music productions with many international greats come from the Black Forest and are timelessly legendary. Some treasures from the label's archive are released by HGBSBlue on high-quality vinyl, like this hot live recording with the Pony Poindexter Quartet from 1969. Poindexter, saxophonist and singer, was a native of New Orleans who came to Paris in 1964, where he lived for many years. He is credited with important impulses for the soprano saxophone in jazz, and his strongly blues-oriented style is probably related to his hometown. It was not until 1977 that he went back to the USA, where he died in 1988. In Munich he met two young Czech musicians who had a stopover there after the end of the 'Prague Spring' before starting their successful jazz careers in the USA: Jan Hammer and Jiri (George) Mraz. Together with them, as well as the German drummer Michael Dennert (1935-2016), the US saxophonist recorded this live record in 1969, on which the four musicians move in expressive playing mood in the footsteps of their musical ancestors from New Orleans. Hammer and Mraz already show their extraordinary brilliance and maturity. Jan Hammer amazes with his earthy organ playing and Jiri Mraz with refreshing virtuosity. The Happy Life Of Pony Poindexter was the name of the release on the MPS sub-label 'Session' back then. It has now, after more than 50 years, been re-edited, refreshed and mastered. You can still feel the sparkling power and happy gut feeling with which the music was made. Poindexter knows how to carry away the audience. Just as the musicians before him did in his hometown of New Orleans. Just hot jazz."
VOLKER KRIEGEL with TONY SCOTT / CLAUDIO SZENKAR / GUNTER LENZ / PETER TRUNK / CEES SEE / PETER BAUMEISTER - With A Little Help From My Friends (Cinedelic Records CNLP 070; Italy) â€œReissue, originally released in 1968. Volker Kriegel was considered the pioneering jazz-rock and fusion guitarist from Europe. 1968 was a crucial year for his career as he released With A Little Help From My Friends, his first solo album, and signed with American vibraphonist Dave Pike, joining what would quickly emerge as one of the most popular and influential jazz fusion combos. This precious document reissued for the first time by Cinedelic Jazz with bonus tracks highlights all his qualities that enabled him to become one of the most acclaimed and innovative guitarists in European jazz. The original album included two recording sessions; Side A in Cologne and Side B in Frankfurt, with different performers. Side A as a trio with double bass and drums, and on the other with the addition of vibraphonist, Claudio Szenkar. The covers performed are the two by Lennon-McCartney "With A Little Help From My Friends" and "Norwegian Wood", and the traditional Brazilian "NÃ£nÃ£ ImborÃ´". Added to the original album are four previously unreleased tracks of great depth recorded at the Deutsches Jazz Festival in Frankfurt in 1968: "Teaming Up" and "Vian-De" by Kriegel himself, "Spanish Soul" by Szenkar and "Nina's Dance" lasting over nine minutes and featuring Tony Scott on clarinet and Gustl Mayr on tenor sax. Over the years, Kriegel would go on to participate in over 200 albums.â€
EGISTO MACCHI // WALTER BRANCHI / GRUPPO DI IMPROVVISAZIONE NUOVA CONSONANZA - Gangsters '70 (Cinedelic Records/Soave 003LP; Italy) â€œFirst time on vinyl; from original master tapes. An incredible first ever release of the legendary composer Egisto Macchi's soundtrack for Mino Guerrini's 1968 film, Gangsters '70. Created in collaboration with Walter Branchi (electronics), Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (which often includes: Franco Evangelisti, Frederic Rzewski and Giancarlo Schiaffini), it's among the most strikingly experimental of all his soundtrack work and remains startlingly urgent more than half a century down the road. This album has it all. Psychedelic jazz, free outings, insane flow, tension, energy, melodic beauty, and a telepathic interaction.â€
FRANCESCO SOTGIU with PAOLO FRESU / EMANUELE CISI / RICCARDO LUPPI / LUIGI BONAFEDE / SALVATORE MAIORE - Passing (Mono Jazz MJC 129005LP; Italy)â€œ"Francesco Sotgiu has forged a unique and very swinging project of songs. With a quintet consisting of Luigi Bonafede on piano, Emanuele Cisi and Riccardo Luppi on woodwinds, Salvatore Maiore on bass, Francesco on drums, and with special guest Paolo Fresu on trumpet to cap off this heartfelt collection. There is also a nice diversity of groups within this larger collection..." - Gil Goldstein, fusion keyboard wiz
This record was recorded in the middle of the pandemic times and most of the work for preparing this record took place via the telephone: the selection of the songs on paper, the exchange of ideas on arrangements, staff, and instruments, a sort of "phone rehearsal" of the structure of the songs, with the choice of a solo; everything else, everything that will happen in the recording sessions, is the result of a controlled improvisation, a jam session masterfully captured in the studio through the use of well-positioned ribbon microphones. In the classic "Caravan" by Duke Ellington and Tizol or "Afro Blue" by Mongo Santamaria, Coltrane toning, the Latin accent of the rhythm section supports the interpretation of the theme and the interplay in the solos between the soprano and tenor saxophones by Cisi and Luppi, and the piano by Bonafede. A certain elegance in the execution distinguishes pieces such as "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love", with a calibrated solo on the double bass of Maiore and the flute by Luppi, the immortal "Take Five" by Paul Desmond, with the highlighted soprano by Cisi, "Wishes", "7th Street", and the eponymous "Passing", characterized by the precise medium/fast drive of the drums and a certain "cinematic" taste of the main themes. In songs such as "Black Bats and Poles", composed by Jack Walrath, and in "Stranatole", an original piece by Sotgiu, the quintet opts for an effective hard bop language, while in Coltrane's "Wise One" and McCoy Tyner's "Ballad For Aisha" you enter a modal, mystical, and ceremonial jazz. A special separate mention for two classics such as "My Foolish Heart" by Victor Young, performed in trio by Sotgiu, Maiore and the unmistakable trumpet by Paolo Fresu, and the "Lotus Blossom" by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, which in the piano-violin duo of Birro and Sotgiu, in a minute gives a suspended momentary magic, sums up the roots of African-American jazz music. Features Paolo Birro and Marco Micheli.â€
2 LP Set $36
BERNARD PURDIE with EDDIE HARRIS / MIKE BRECKER / HANK CRAWFORD / VINCENT HERRING / BENNY GREEN / JUNIOR MANCE / et al - Soul to Jazz (ACT 9242; Germany) "When Bernard Purdie is not helping some big star the likes of Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes, Donny Hathaway and B.B. King to create a fantastic studio sound, the drummer pursues his own projects such as Soul to Jazz, two albums he recorded in 1996 and 1997. Released on CD back then (and now out of print), the two recordings have a cult factor today and sound as fresh as they did back then. Now both albums are released together for the first time as a 3LP set. These recordings are peppered with lots of prominent star guests from jazz and soul, from Eddie Harris, Michael Brecker and Nils Landgren to Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine and Cornell Dupree. Purdie's Soul to Jazz project takes two different approaches: The first part focuses on the renowned WDR Big Band led by Gil Goldstein. Soul classics such as Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition', 'When a Man Loves a Woman', Eddie Harris' 'Freedom Jazz Dance' and Lee Morgan's famous groove tune 'Sidewinder' are interpreted in large-scale sound. One discovery of these recordings amidst all the renowned guest soloists is the New York-born singer Martin Moss. The great success of this first album released under Soul to Jazz led to Soul to Jazz II, a more intimate record, but one that picks up where the first recording left off by exploring similar themes. Again, Purdie has called together a notable band of kindred spirits, including saxophonists Hank Crawford (B.B. King, Ike & Tina Turner, Ray Charles), Stanley Turrentine (Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott) and Vincent Herring, as well as guitarist Cornell Dupree (King Curtis) to pianists Benny Green and Junior Mance. Bernard Purdie's Soul to Jazz is a timeless classic and a blueprint of the soul-jazz genre in all its facets. Above all, it is a portrait of one of the most influential and best drummers in the world, who made jazz groove with his inimitable funky soul beat."
3 LP Set $40
PARI ZANGENEH - The Series of Music for Young Adults: Iranian Folk Songs (Pharaway Sounds 075LP; Spain) Travel back in time to the modern pre-revolution Teheran and dig this wonderful, ear-catching album from 1976 by Iranian female singer Pari Zangeneh. Traditional Persian folk songs with a lovely, sweet psychedelic flavor with the use of beautiful strings, flutes, charming and tasty drumming, some organ and orchestration, percussions... imagine a Persian version of Mellow Candle or Vashti Bunyan and you're there. Born in 1939 in Kermanshah (Iran), Pari Zangeneh is a Soprano singer that lost her sight after a car accident in 1972. Her work over the years on restoring traditional Persian music and regional folk songs is invaluable. In 1976, she recorded this very unique album commissioned by KÄnoon (Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults), a social organization that produced many kinds of materials (books, films, records) for children in Iran. The arrangements were done by Varoujan (famous for his work with Googoosh, Dariush, etc.) Sourced from the original masters; hard cardboard sleeve OBI; includes download card.â€
AMBROSE ADEKOYA CAMPBELL - London Is The Place For Me 3 (Honest Jonâ€™s Records 021LP; UK) â€œAmbrose Campbell was acclaimed by Fela Kuti's generation -- by Fela himself -- as the founder of modern Nigerian music. Several of his recordings lit up London Is the Place for Me 2 (HJR 016LP, 2006), and Volume Three is devoted to his music, drawing on the 78s he cut in London over ten years from 1949. Nearly all the tracks assembled here come from recordings made for the Melodisc label and originally released as 10" 78 rpm singles. People who bought these records at the time can still recall how it was when the percussion team -- among them Ade Bashorun, Salustiano, Dos Anjos, Manny Myers and "Lati" Pedro -- built their polyrhythms in Ola Dosunmu's kingdom. With the melodic guitars of Brewster and Ambrose coming together behind Campbell's soothing voice, the musicians contrived to paint an evocative, enduring picture of palm wine Lagos nights." --Val Wilmer Features: West African Rhythm Brothers, Nigerian Union Rhythm Group, Ayinda Bakare And His Meranda Orchestra, Nigerian Union Rhythm Group, and West African Rhythm Stars.â€
2 LP Set $34
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 Saturday, June 24th at 8pm:
THE WET INK ENSEMBLE will perform compositions by:
INGRID LAUBROCK: â€œFight, Flight, Freezeâ€ for the Wet Ink Quintet
ERIC WUBBELS: â€œmodules/relationshipsâ€ for the Wet Ink Octet
VICENTE ATRIA: New Work for the Wet Ink Octet
RICK BURKHARDT: â€œDIALâ€ for the Wet Ink Octet
at St Peter's Church
346 W 20th St , NYC
Being & Becoming featuring Peter Evans (trumpet, compositions)
with Joel Ross (vibraphone), Nick Jozwiak (bass), Adriel-Vincent Brown (drums).
2 sets with a brief intermission. Special DJ sets by Gabriel Jermaine Vanlandingham-Dunn
Music starts at 8pm. $25 at the door (cash/Venmo, no presale)
Being & Becoming
Featuring Peter Evans (trumpet, compositions)
With Joel Ross (vibraphone), Nick Jozwiak (bass), Adriel-Vincent Brown (drums).
2 sets with a brief intermission. Special DJ sets by Geryon.
Music starts at 8pm. (cash/Venmo, no presale)
Sisters is located at
900 Fulton St. Brooklyn
THIS FROM EXPERIMENTAL VOCALIST KYOKO KITAMURA:
Matthew Barney's five-channel video installationÂ Secondary [https://secondary.matthewbarney.net] is on view untilÂ 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 intensivelyÂ for a month at the studio; Secondary's musicÂ 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 Â 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: email@example.com