Well, I went to the bank this morning
And the cashier he said to me
"If you join the Christmas club we'll give you ten of them flags for free."
Well, I didn't mess around a bit
I took him up on what he said
And I stuck them stickers all over my car
And one on my wife's forehead
But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more
Well, I got my window shield so filled
With flags I couldn't see
So, I ran the car upside a curb
And right into a tree
By the time they got a doctor down
I was already dead
And I'll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said...
But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more
We're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more
It was July 4th, a/k/a Independence Day, earlier this week and oddly enough I didn’t really hear much fireworks going off as I working at the store, trying to catch up on several responsibilities. I did read an all caps tweet from the former Fake Prez which made me angry and sad. It would seem that Right Wing Extremists are trying harder than ever to push us into a Fascistic Future where many of the Freedoms we’ve long fought for are being trampled upon and erased. I’ve long thought that certain great lyricists like Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa and John Prine, have found ways to make us laugh at the absurdities of life, all within the framework of a song, just a few minutes long, easy to swallow and savor if you’ve got the time. Are you proud of where we are today? Are you angry about the way things are going in our troubled world? Are you willing to fight for your Freedom? Are you reaching for a drink or a smoke or something to help you deal with what you see or feel about the future?!? Something to think about for serious listeners & thinkers out there. You know who loves you still… me, MC BruceLee
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
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 - Tenor sax / RUBIN KODHELLI - Cello / KEVIN SHEA - Drums
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- 9pm: UNDER THE TURNPIKE TRIO: TONY MALABY - Tenor Sax / JOHN HEBERT - ContraBass / BILLY MINTZ - drums
Tuesday, July 11th:
6:30: JOE FONDA / ERHARD HIRT / YONI KRETZMER / LOU GRASSI - Bass/Guitar/Tenor Sax/Drums!
7:30: JAMES PAUL NADIEN / ELIAS STEMESEDER / AARON RUBINSTEIN - Drums / Keyboard/Guitar!
8:30: BEN GOLDBERG / JOHN HEBERT / BILLY MINTZ - Clarinet / ContraBass / Drums!
9:30: KELSEY MINES - Solo Bass!
Tuesday, July 18th: Guitar Quadruple-Header!
6:30: SU$HI with GIAN PEREZ - Guitar / GREG LOU - Bass / ELIZA SALEM - Drums!
7:30: CHRIS COCHRANE / MICHAEL FOSTER - El Guitar / Saxes!
8:30: ROB PRICE / CHRIS CAWTHRAY - Guitar / Drums!
9:30: EYAL MAOZ / ERIC ARN - Two Guitars - CD Debut Set!
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
THIS WEEK’S GREAT DISCS BEGIN WITH A Superfine Solo Offering from Henry Kaiser:
HENRY KAISER - Maholo Nui: Solo Guitar 2023 (Fractal; USA) Henry’s latest is this fine overview of his solo work using digital time (delay/repeat) effects. “More than 45 years ago I was one of the earliest adopters of studio rack effects to radically expand my guitars’ expressive capabilities. One inspiration behind this methodology was my love for solo improvisors who sounded like more than a single musician when performing live. Terry Riley, Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, and Derek Bailey were early masters of this. Equally inspiring were my personal heroes of the post-WWII classical composers: Gyorgi Ligeti, Conlon Nancarrow, lannis Xenakis, Toru Takemitsu, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Giancinto Scelsi. Today in 2023, I am still inspired to use digital time domain effects to make my guitars sound like things from beyond what guitar has been before. Many of the the tracks on this CD (all of them recorded live and without overdubbing) exemplify the multiplicities of this approach to solo guitar.”
CD $10 [In stock soon]
GRAND SLAM! FOUR FANTASTIC DISCS with GERRY HEMINGWAY:
Over the last month, I’ve had an opportunity to hear/see percussion master Gerry Hemingway play three times in very different ensembles: withe the Reggie Workman Celebration Band (6/18), BassDrumBone at Zurcher Gallery (6/29) and a trio with Marilyn Crispell & Mark Dresser at The Stone (7/1/23 - amazing!). Mr. Hemingway’s playing was very different at each gig and consistently inventive throughout. Mr. Hemingway relocated to Switzerland to live and teach several years ago so we do get an opportunity to hear all that often. Watching him play up close and listening closely to his distinctive approach revealed how much of a singular musician he really is. Mr. Hemingway left us with three newer discs of his plus we just got another one in stock this week. All are strong, diverse efforts and well worth exploring.
MIYA MASAOAKA / REGGIE WORKMAN / GERRY HEMINGWAY - Brew Heat & Between Reflections (Clean Feed 642; Portugal) BREW features Miya Masaoka on koto, electronics & monochord, Reggie Workman on contrabass, percussion, musical saw & didgeridoo and Gerry Hemingway on drums, vibes, voice & electronics. I recall a gig by the Reggie Workman Ensemble at the Old Knitting Factory in the early 1990’s and the personnel included Marilyn Crispell, Don Byron, Gerry Hemingway & others. The group played two long sets that night and I remember being blown away by it.
Both discs from this two CD set were recorded around 20 years apart. Disc One was recorded at two places: 2 tracks from Tedesco Studio (in NJ) in the winter of 1998 and the rest of the tracks from the Old Knitting Factory in November of 1999. This is an extraordinary trio of gifted improvisers who like to add electronics and/or percussion to their main instrument. Although Miya Masaoka studied traditional koto music earlier in life, she has long been experimenting with the koto as well as playing a custom-made electronic koto which has lights instead of strings. Ms. Masaoka plays both koto & electronics on Disc 1 with Mr. Workman on bass & percussion and Mr. Hemingway on drums & electronics. On the first piece, “Keffi’s Journey”, the trio erupts with a blast of furious intensity. Masaoka keeps varying her approach between quick picking, rubbing the strings with a utensil and bowing furiously as well. Legendary bassist Reggie Workman is at the center of the storm plucking and bowing as if his life depended on it. Although Ms. Masaoka’s koto sounds like it is coming from an Eastern culture and Mr. Workman’s bass is coming from a more western/jazz culture, both players are never bound by any barriers. Mr. Hemingway is a perfect partner here as he is always balancing various creative worlds: jazz, rhythmic, free, ethnic, progressive always listening and finding the common ground between the three strong forces here. In each piece Ms. Masaoka seems to be telling a story with her koto, evoking different scenes. One of the things that makes Mr. Hemingway unique is when he takes a drums solo, it is distinctive approach which often moves into some unexpected detours. There a few sections where Ms. Masaoka starts to pic her koto in a furious rhythmic way while Mr. Hemingway locks in with her whiplash lines while Mr. Workman provides that bass pulse underneath.
Around 20 years later, the same BREW trio recorded in a studio in Brooklyn in November of 2019. For this sessions each member of the trio has expanded the palette of instruments: Ms. Masaoka adding a monochord (dan bau) to her koto, Mr. Workman adding musical saw, didgeridoo to his bass and Mr. Hemingway adding vibes & voice to his drums. This studio date is especially well recorded. Disc two begins with “Between Reflections” which is slower, more calm and sparse. Ms. Masaoka’s koto sounds even larger here as she strums intensely at times. The trio play a blues of sorts on “Cutting by the Pound” with Workman’s bass groove at the center and Ms. Masaoka’s bowing (?) her koto in an odd bluesy fashion. When things slow down here, all three musicians take their time to explore certain techniques and textures. On “Sun Shadows”, time slows down and the sounds become more haunting. It sounds as if Ms. Masaoka’s koto or monochord is evoking an ancient spirit wandering through a graveyard with some slow dancing ghosts floating together. I like the overall cerebral, suspense-filled vibe here which makes me feel as if I entered a fictional world which exists inside all of us with evolving imaginations. BREW is one of the finest of all Improvised/Free/Beyond Category ensembles, check them out and go along for their unique journey. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $18
IZUMI KIMURA / GERRY HEMINGWAY - Kairos (Listen Foundation!/Sluchaj Fundacja FRS 07/2023; Poland) Featuring Izumi Kimura on piano and Gerry Hemingway on drums, marimba, vibes & voice. Recorded in Luzern in August of 2022 and in Dublin, Ireland in May of 2022. I’ve only recently found out about Japanese-born, Ireland-based pianist Izumi Kimura, whose been recording since 2010. More recently she has been working with contrabass giant Barry Guy on two discs, a trio with Mr. Guy & Mr. Hemingway and quartet with Guy, the two Polish/Spanish players: Artur Majewski and Ramon Lopez. I’ve caught American-born, Switzerland-based drummer Gerry Hemingway three times in the past couple of weeks and was blown away be the trio with Marilyn Crispell & Mark Dresser (playing the music of their former bandleader Anthony Braxton) last week at The Stone (7/1/23). Five of the eight pieces here are duo improvs with one written by each player and one traditional song. “Dendrochronology” is first and it is stripped down and filled with suspense, superbly well-recorded. Both musicians here are gifted, diverse improvisers and seem to enjoy engaging and pushing each other higher up the intensity scale. Ms. Kimura’s piece, “Cloud Echoes” has a thoughtful, dramatic sweep and seems to telling a story or setting a scene/vibe of pensiveness. This duo is immensely well matched especially since the sound of the piano and assorted percussion often combine seamlessly as one sound/force. Unexpectedly (for me) Mr. Hemingway sings on “Over the Tide”, his voice sounding more like country or folk singer from yesteryear. I have no problem with this as I like his voice and modest harmonica toots. This has an unexpected charm for me although certain jazz or creative music purists might see or hear things differently. I found this disc to be enchanting and cosy on several levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JAMES ILGENFRITZ / ANGELIKA NIESCIER / NATHAN BONTRAGER / GERRY HEMINGWAY - #entrainments (Infrequent Seams 50; USA) Featuring Angelika Niescier on alto sax, Nathan Bontrager on cello, James Ilgenfritz on contrabass & compositions and Gerry Hemingway on drums. The first time I heard German-based alto sax was on a quartet disc with Denman Maroney, James Ilgenfritz and Andrew Drury called ‘Mind Games’. Ms. Niescier now has five of her own discs out on the Intakt and Clean Feed labels, each of which I find to be strong. I hadn’t heard of American cellist Nathan Bontrager before this disc although is in some half dozen different bands all based in Germany. The great American drummer Gerry Hemingway is currently living and teaching in Switzerland and working with more European musicians more than in the past. The leader and main composer is James Ilgenfritz, who also runs this, the Infrequent Seams label, a label which champions a variety of Creative Music from modern classic to free improv to electronic and other progressive musics.
James Ilgenfritz had brain tumor operation in July of 2017, around the same time he was planning to do this recording. He developed aphasia as a result of the operation and had to relearn how to speak, write and concentrate. Hence this project was delayed yet he did recover and worked hard to bring this project to fruition. This recording is a starting point for a new compositional system called “#entrainments”, which brings the influence of the AACM, New York & European jazz & improvised scenes, as well as the influence of Fluxus and the Beat scenes. Ilgenfritz also used hand gesture cues, something that was developed by John Zorn, Butch Morris and Walter Thompson from the 1980’s onwards. The resulting CD is immensely fascinating and appears to work on several levels. The first piece is called “frontmatter” and it has an early Braxton-like (al members playing their lines together in sync) or Monk-like (bent-note) quirkiness about it. “saladdays” starts out as almost a solemn ballad and then detours into some other place where the members play both freely and with partially written fragments both being balanced evenly. For “#scarequotes”, things are more stripped down with some subtle sax sounds, fragile plucked cello, somber bowed strings and skeletal drums. Mr. Hemingway’s distinctive hands-on-drums technique is often featured here, at times creating its own ongoing dialogue while the rest of the quartet plays those careful chamber-like lines around him. Midway through “#omnibus”, Ms. Niescier’s alto sax takes off for a long stretch of thoughtful soloing while the rest of the quartet again plays those austere chamber lines together. When Mr. Ilgenfritz does best is compose for three of his four members, while the sax, cello, acoustic bass or drums solo on top. Ilgenfritz also does a fine job of writing quirky harmonies for his alto sax and cello frontline, with the bass & drums providing a modest rhythmic cushion underneath. There is a sense of restraint going on here so that we must concentrate on the writing/playing since the inventiveness is buried a bit and takes time to recognize. No one ever overplays or erupts too much here, hence we can hear the rewards only if adjust to the modest interaction or chamber-like writing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
After some sixty years of serious listening to many types of music, I’ve learned some lessons about the way most folks view or hear the music that they choose to listen to. Although I grew up listening mostly to rock and folk music, mostly on the radio in the 1960’s, I branched out to embrace many other genres like country, bluegrass, the blues, modern & older jazz, fusion, modern classical, electronic, world music, progressive rock & Canterbury… I became an avant/jazz & prog snob at college and gave up on most of the popular music of the day. I finally came to the conclusion that I had to let go of many of the music prejudices or expectations that guided me for many years. Trying to look beyond what I see with me eyes and listen closer with my ears, heart, mind and soul. I brought this up since the following record has vocals on it and it is a pop record of sorts. Something you wouldn’t expect from from…
GERRY HEMINGWAY - Afterlife (Auricle Records 19CD; Switzerland/USA) Featuring Gerry Hemingway (music & production) with Earl Howard, Christy Doran, Michael Moore, Ralph Alessi, Banz Oester, Manuel Troller, Florestan Berset, Linda Egli, Wolfgang Zwiauer, Sebastian Strinning and Hannah Wirnsperger. I was on line for a concert earlier this week by Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway playing the music of their former bandleader Anthony Braxton. A dude on line was complaining about Gerry Hemingway singing at a recent show of improvised music from a couple of weeks ago. G-d forbid this well-respected drummer & composer should choose to sing! Oye vay!
If you are like this fine fellow, then you might not want to read about Mr. Hemingway’s new vocal/pop record. Mr. Hemingway actually spent a good deal of time working on this disc. “The Creeks Do Rise” opens and lo & behold, it is a multi-layered hip-hop song!?! The beats are not in your face like much current hip-hop, they are more relaxed and haunting at times. The words are stripped down and deal with the questions that many of us ask ourselves. The music itself is most enchanting. Mr. Hemingway’s voice is modest, weary, honest, charming in its own way. Hemingway’s lyric are often thoughtful, concise and discuss many of the things that most of sensitive/intelligent folks often think about. On many of these songs, Hemingway draws from a cast of old cohorts to play short yet effective solos: Christy Doran, Manuel Troller & Florestan Berset on guitars, Michael Moore, Ralph Alessi & Sebastian Strinning on horns. It is not about the solos here as this isn’t a jazz record. This is closer to a pop/hip hop effort with crafty arrangements and thoughtful lyrics. For yours truly, this really does work. There are few real gems buried here as well: the great Swiss guitarist, Christy Doran, plays some wonderful spacey blues licks on “Losing Hand”, reaching into his Hendrix bag to give this song some great greasy charm. Since I listen to so little current pop music, I can’t compare this to anything else from recent memory. No matter, I dig this disc and oversized booklet immensely. You can complain if you want to but I am still smiling and dancing in my kitchen late, every night to help me feel better. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD in 7x4” booklet/soft cardboard case - $18
TERRENCE McMANUS with JOHN HEBERT / BILLY MINTZ - Karacell (Rowhouse Music 03; USA) Featuring Terrence McManus on guitar & compositions, John Hebert on bass and Billy Mintz on drums. Earlier this week we had a rare Monday night set (7/3/23) here at DMG with Terrence McManus on acoustic guitar and Billy Mintz on drums. It was a lovely set, much quieter than the usual free improv jams that usually occur every Tuesday night of our free ongoing series. The duo actually played two covers which were unexpected, Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” and a fragment of “Moon River”. Guitarist Terrence McManus has been playing here at DMG since the early aughts in solos, duos & trios & has around a half dozen disc with Gerry Hemingway, Thomas Heberer & Devin Gray. His releases are infrequent but I can tell that he puts a good deal of thought and work into each one.
This disc features a new trio with a rhythm team (John Hebert & Billy Mintz) that has been working together with Tony Malaby and Adam Kolker. I find it odd that McManus calls his opening piece, “Massive Ego”, which is something that I wouldn’t expect from a most modest musician. Oddly enough, this piece is closer to a brooding, jazz/rock, power trio effort, dark and somewhat turbulent, short and to the point. “reMovement” is a slow and cerebral in which each note of the guitar rings, making every note count. Mr. McManus is using a subtle delay tastefully, making him sound somewhere in between Pat Metheny and John Abercrombie. This is a mysterious sounding hypnotic piece, sparse yet dreamy. Mr. McManus’ solo is superb, thoughtful with perfect backing from Mr. Hebert and Mr. Mintz. On the title track, the trio speeds up to some John McLaughlin like velocity, the furious playing is immensely exciting and intense yet it stops midway and goes back to some more spacious section. This piece goes through different sections which at first don’t sound connected yet as I return to them later, I see/hear the way McManus like to compose some mini-suites. The last part of the title piece launches into some powerful fusion-like soaring but lacks any of that showing-off baggage that old 70’s fusion made popular. “Bass Quartet No. 1” starts off with some suspense-filled bowed bass with the guitar matching some of the more probing bass notes. It sounds like Hebert’s bass has been overdubbed into a bass quartet, making it hypnotic yet somewhat unnerving. Both “Bass Quartet” parts work well as an interlude between the more intense pieces in between. “Singularity” sounds like Soft Machine’s “Hazard Profile”, when Alan Holdsworth was in the band, no small feat. It sounds like McManus is also overdubbing several interconnected guitar parts here while the rhythm team churns a powerful throbbing undertow. Wow! “Prelude” is another aptly titled piece for some dream-like solo electric guitar with subtle reverb flowing through. The last piece is called, “Postlude” and it has a fine, repeating line at first and then moves into a more moderate rocking groove, which is closer to roots rock sort of sound with some fine, multi-layered ghost-like sustained guitars all buzzing together. Overall, I got the feeling that all of the pieces here are connected since something is going on beneath the surface which will only become apparent once I/we listen to this gem several times. I hope I get a chance to check this trio live since I haven’t heard any great jazz/rock in concert in recent times. Until then, you should grab this disc for yourself. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ELIAS STEMESEDER / CHRISTIAN LILLINGER with PETER EVANS / RUSSELL HALL / DOYEON KIM / BRANDON SEABROOK - Umbra (Intakt 405; Switzerland) Featuring Elias Stemeseder on synth, electronics, Una Corda & compositions and Christian Lillinger on drums, sampler, synth & compositions plus Peter Evans on piccolo trumpet, Russell Hall on bass, DoYeon Kim on gayageum and Brandon Seabrook on banjo & guitar. Young Austrian keyboard player, Elias Stemeseder, moving to NY in recent times and has been working with Jim Black, Devin Gray & Anna Webber. German drummer Christian Lillinger is one of Europe’s best and seems to work with many other greats: Axel Dorner, Gordon Grdina & Christopher Dell. Trumpet wiz Peter Evans you know doubt know well, since he continues to wow audiences wherever he goes. I don’t know much about Jamaican bassist Russell Hall. I’ve caught Korean gayageum player, DoYoen Kim twice recently at the Vision Fest (June of 2023) playing withSun Han Guild and with Brandon Lopez’ “The Gospel of Sans”. Guitarist & banjo-player, Brandon Seabrook, has become one of the most talked about guitarist in town, his recent disc as a leader (‘BrutaLoveChamp on Pyroclastic Records) is one this year’s best releases.
The Stemeseder/Lillinger Duo is on each of the ten pieces here and all but one piece also include one or two guests. I’ve been fortunate to have caught Mr. Stemeseder live on a few occasions, playing piano with Jim Black and play electronics at The Stone and at DMG, a most impressive keyboardist. I’ve also caught Mr. Lillinger playing drums with Gordon Grdina at the Victo fest in 2022, as well at the store. If gat a chance to check out Mr. Lillinger live (in person or on line), you will notice that he has his own (visual & audio) style. DoYeon Kim is the guest on the first track playing a gayageum, a Korean zither like instrument. Ms. Kim’s koto-like pluckings work well with the stripped down electronics and drums. Ms. Kim and Brandon Seabrook are both guests on “Cycle II”, both play more subtly and sparsely, giving the music a spacious affect. The gayageum sounds mostly lovely on this piece, mysterious and enchanting as well. Peter Evans and Brandon Seabrook are guests on “Cycle VI & VII”, with Mr. Evans playing his crazed spiraling trumpet (faster & faster) while Mr. Seabrook also spins out a furious swarm of lines on guitar. What’s interesting here is that Both Peter Evan & Brndon Seabrook care know for the triggered soloing when they whip out furious lines of notes. There is none of the here as each of the six musicians calm down to provide more restrained improv taking off only on special occasion. There is a piece where Mr. Stemeseder sounds like he is playing or sampling a piano, playing exquisitely while others softly add their own elegant lines. This disc seems to be more about creating a mood and then expanding the mood with sudden bursts, the balance between both extremes well handled. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
COLONNA / MARRAFFA / SPERA / ZANOTTI - Red Planet (Relative Pitch Records 1169; USA) Featuring Marco Colonna on baritone & sopranino saxes, Edoardo Marraffa on tenor & alto saxes, Fabrizio Spera on drums, percussion & bow and Marco Zanotti on drums, kalimba & percussion. There seems to been an explosion of Italian jazz labels (like Splasch, Long Song, Auand, Ictus, Rudi, El Gallo Rojo & Amirani) which proliferated since the turn of the millenium, with DMG stocking as many that we could find. The tide seemed to have turned as we rarely get discs on these labels nowadays. The closing of Cadence/North Country Distribution probably had some affect on getting many of these labels. This is an interesting quartet of two saxes and two drummers, three of the four players are familiar to me. I know of saxist Marco Colonna from a couple of discs on the Rudi & Leo labels. Saxist Edoardo Marraffa has worked with Wadada Leo Smith, Tristan Honsinger and has some dozen-plus discs out on Rai Trade, Novara Jazz and Setola Di Maiale. The musician I know the best here is drummer Frabrizio Spera, who has played in 4 Oaks, Blast and more recently with Roots Magic, my current favorite Italian Spirit Jazz band.
This disc was recorded live at Area Sismica in Forli, Italy on 4/7/2020. The sound on this disc is superb, warm and well-balanced. This is not your avergae Free/Jazz blow-out but rather more focused and based on whichever groove either of both drummers are playing. “Open Sky Part 1: Starless Black” has a throbbing groove/beat which starts slowly & spaciously and then the tempo & intensity increases. Both saxes (bari & alto at first) listen and work together well. Often one sax will play a repeating line while the other will add lines around it. Each drummer seems to be backing a different saxist yet all four musicians are consistently joining forces, building upon a pattern or waves which roll in one after the other. Things eventually become dense yet the quartet remain tight-knit or focused as one force. On “Open Sky - Part 2”, the groove calms down to simmer with the bar sax playing the repeating line while the other sax weaves his lines around the rest of the quartet. At times both drummers lock in or interweave there own parts so that they are connected to the web which holds this together. The interplay between both saxes is strong, spirited and endlessly inventive. They are obviously listening closely to one another and creating a strong combination of intricate reeds and drums. Marvelous indeed! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BACK IN STOCK (we got this CD in a couple of months but it sold out quickly due playing it in the store so much):
ROOTS MAGIC SEXTET - Long Old Road - Retold Pasts and Present Day Musings (Clean Feed 623; Portugal) The Roots Magic Sextet features Alberto Popolla on clarinets, el bass & banjo, Errico De Fabritis on alto & bari saxes, Eugenio Colombo on flutes & soprano sax, Francesco Lo Cascio on vibes & percussion, Gianfranco Tedeschi on contrabass and Fabrizio Spera on drums, percussion & zither. There are two ongoing ensembles whose discs on Clean Feed are consistently crafty and inspired, Angles # (from Scandinavia) and Roots Magic from Italy. Each and every release from both bands are well worth owning and listening to over & over. Roots Magic have been around since 2015 and this is their fourth disc. Roots Magic do mostly covers of blues and gospel songs as well as classic avant-jazz songs from Sun Ra, Julius Hemphill, Olu Dara, Roscoe Mitchell, Marion Brown and Kalaparusha. What I dig most about these releases is that they always find a connection between the blues, gospel and avant-jazz songs which illustrates a bond to (Cosmic) Spiritualism. The latest disc from Roots Magic features a sextet and includes songs by Kahil El Zabar, Bessie Smith, Rosa Lee Hill and Cal Massey and quotes poetry or prose from Toni Morrison (currently banned by Right Wing extremists), Benjamin Zephaniah (great British dub poet) and Z.Z. Packer (award-winning American fiction writer). For this disc, the band members wrote all but four of these songs. Chicago percussion great Kahil El Zabar wrote the opening song, “When the Elephant Walks” which has an infectious groove/vibe. Mr. Popolla’s bass clarinet is featured and sings like a voice crying out. The groove is provided by the vibes-led rhythm team with some superb flute (by Colombo) on top. “Sula” is an original song by the band and features all three reeds spinning together on top, the effect is most enchanting, especially Colombo’s soprano sax & Popolla’s clarinet with sizzling percussion providing a Cosmic cushion. “Run as Slow as You Can” was inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah and has a rich, slow, hypnotic reggae-like groove. What I dig most about this band is this: the three reeds players work marvelously together usually with one soloing while the others provide superb support. Instead of piano, Mr. Lo Cascio’s vibes are also well-utilized throughout in a similar fashion. “Blue Lines” is dedicated to Muhal Richard Abrams, the founder of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), composer & pianist who passed away in 2017. Mr. Abrams was a great composer who often wrote complex music that was beyond regular categories. This piece is also not bound by regular pigeon-holing. It features sublime flute and vibes interplay with the sextet expanding their sound into a multi-layered force. Bessie Smith’s “Long Old Road” is also the title of this disc and starts with some eerie bowed bass over a simmering, bluesy aura. The slow, mysterious, ghost-like melody is well handled by the reeds with some spooky skeletal bass at the center. “Amber” is dedicated to the great cellist Abdul Wadud and it is a wonderful, uplifting, festive delight with one of the most memorable themes I’ve heard in a long while. Those layered reeds are most infectious. What makes this piece special is the use of two basses, electric bass played by Mr. Popolla and bowed acoustic bass by Mr. Tedeschi, complete with some superb Trane-like soprano sax soaring on top. “Bullying Well” was composed by Rosa Lee Hill and starts off with banjo and vibes before it gets into that hypnotic pulse/groove. The reeds and vibes kick up a storm with some whirlwind bari sax and vibes swirling tightly together on top. Cal Massey was an unsung jazz composer & trumpeter whose music was covered by John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Horace Tapscott. The last song here is Cal Massey’s “Things Have Got to Change” and it is a perfect conclusion to this mighty disc. It has a feisty sound with rich harmonies for the three reeds. Recently I’ve been worried about the future of the store due to slow on-line sales. Listening to this disc with the Spring sunshine coming through my kitchen window provides me with some spirited Inspiration. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
YULUGI with GUMAROY NEWMAN / KEYNA WILKINS - Chasing Stars to the Mother Tree (Keyna 05; Australia) Yulugi is a dialogue between two cultures and it features Gumaroy Newman on didgeridoo, clapsticks & vocals and Keyna Wilkins on flute & piano. This is a concept record that is based on a Gamilaroi (Aboriginal) star-lore myth in which the constellation Orion is in pursuit of the star-cluster Pleiades, cornering them in a Mother Tree in which they are transformed into yellow & white cockatoos. The music was inspired by the Austrian landscape and blends various tribal lores with varying musical influences. I have a longtime fascination with Australian/Aboriginal instrument, the didgeridoo, whether it is played in a traditional fashion or when other woodwind players use it, often adding electronic, reverb-like effects to it. The didgeridoo became somewhat popular in the nineties when bands like Lights in a Fat City were gathering popularity. This disc starts with a clacking sound being repeated while Gumaroy churns another repeated phrase on his didgeridoo and Ms. Wilkins solos heatedly on flute above. Playing the didgeridoo creates a distinctive looping phrase which expands & contracts slowly throughout the piece. Gumaroy adds occasional vocal fragments here and there accentuating the sound of the hypnotic repeating phrase. On each of the 7 pieces, Gumaroy creates a slightly different series of circular phrases, sometimes stretching his lines out and/or adding odd vocal flourishes. Keyna plays piano on “Ripple” and does a fine job of matching the pulse of the didgeridoo, adding her own pianistic flourishes to the cosmic/organic drone. Ms. Wilkins plays both flute and piano (overdubbing) on “Pearl”, creating some spiritual sounding harmonies for the churning didgeridoo. Ms. Wilkins piano and flute are well matched and compliment each other, weaving the parts magically along with the hypnotic dij sounds. Mr. Newman talks about and to “Mother Earth”, describing the ways we’ve hurt Mother Nature of the long haul of our civilized world while Ms. Wilkins plays some exquisite piano to accompany his warm voice. On “Tree”, the sound of the didgeridoo gets thicker and more intense, recalling the intensity of life itself. Ms. Wilkins’ flute solo is especially strong and enchanting here, almost as if she is channeling the sound of the spirits which surround all of us whether we notice them or not. The final song is called “Chasing Star” and Gumaroy seems to channeling a variety of birds or animals voices/sound through his didgeridoo when the piece begins and adding those natural sounds throughout. Gumaroy Newman utilizes his didgeridoo differently on each piece, the sound is always moving and the effect it has seems to alter our consciousness, helping those who listen enter another world. Keyna Wilkins is a righteous partner here, always finding ways to use her flute and piano playing to enhance the spiritual sounds of this wonderful, ever-enchanting duo. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GREG COHEN / RANDI PONTOPPIDAN // EVENT HORIZON - Space Geode (Chant Records; USA) Featuring Randi Pontoppidan on vocals and electronics and Greg Cohen on contrabass. I caught Danish experimental vocalist, Randi Pontoppidan, performing with the Theatre of Voices doing Stockhausen’s “Stimmung” at Zankel Hall in 2015. It was an incredible performance! Ms. Pontoppian also performed at DMG, doing a solo back then around the same. This disc was released in 2018, although we haven’t gotten copies to sell until now (July of 2023). You all should know of contrabass great Greg Cohen, who was a founding member of the original Masada Quartet (1st gig was September of 1993, 30 years ago from this September). Greg Cohen is currently living and teaching in Berlin and seems to record infrequently. This disc is fully improvised and was recorded in the dark, at a radio studio in East Berlin. The sound on this disc is superb, Mr. Cohen’s contrabass has never sounded better, bigger or warmer than it does here. A “geode” is a a volcanic rock which is hollow inside so a “space geode” has space on the inside and the outside. Mr. Cohen’s haunting, hypnotic bass throbs quietly in space with Ms. Pontoppidan’s shimmering voice weaving her way around it. Mr. Cohen sets the pace or scene on each piece, walking his bass on “Dogs” while Ms. Pontoppidan lets out those dog-like sounds. Ms. Pontoppidan sounds like a lush jazz singer on “Alfalfa”, with Mr. Cohen providing some charming support. One thing I did notice here is that the sound of Ms. Pontoppidan’s voice is often similar in range to Mr. Cohen contrabass, making it hard to tell them apart at times. Ms. Pontoppidan has a most enchanting, warm and expressive voice and rarely pushes it too far out, even her electronic enhancements are used selectively, subtly. On “Mercury’s Comet”, her voice sails around, perhaps like a comet passing by our planet, shimmering softly until Mr. Cohen’s bass brings in a pulse to make things more human sounding. Each of the dozen pieces here do a fine job of placing un in a different sonic environment. The final piece is called “Galactic Glop” and it is a tour-de-force, a long journey of sorts which evolves through several sections. There is something warm, thoughtful and consistently enchanting going on throughout this entire disc. Ms. Pontoppidan recently stopped by and left us with a half a dozen different CD’s and LP’s so I will review each one as time allows. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SPACE MACHINE - Complete Space Tuning Box (Urashima Ushi 018CD; Italy) “Conceived as a vehicle to explore electronic synthesis around the turn of the new millennium, Space Machine is Takushi "Maso" Yamazaki's "analog electronic cosmic sound project". Combining elements of psychedelia, drone, and experimental music, Space Machine crafts a sonic tapestry that defies categorization. Yamazaki's sonic palette encompasses layers of space ring, hypnotic rhythms, and ethereal synthesizers, creating a rich and textured soundscape. His mastery lies in the ability to blend these disparate elements seamlessly, resulting in a cohesive and transcendent musical journey. Space Machine draws on the artists deep and long-standing love of early electronic music from the '50s and '60s, his collecting of analog synthesizers and vintage electronic equipment over the years that he was primarily active as Masonna, and a desire to find a new creative pathway for his work, which was facilitated by being forced, in 2000, to temporarily cease Masonna activities due to ill health, allowed him to concentrate more fully on that project that would emerge later that year. In rapid succession between 2001 and 2005, Yamazaki released three full lengths and four EPs, all the products of his daily, tripped out inner explorations of music at his Space Machine Systems Studio. Complete Space Tuning Box gathers all these works, the project's debut -- Cosmos from Diode Ladder Filter -- the beautiful album 2 and 3 and the entirety of those EPs. Space Machine is the perfect counterpoint to Masonna. Rather than screaming noise and physical action, here Yamazaki veers toward the territory of non-rhythmic, pure electronics that resonate heavily with post-war avant-garde synthesis, channeling a similar territory of sonority that emerged from studios like Princeton, Columbia, EMS, GRM, conjoined with more contemporary temperaments of electronica and Onkyo free improvisation as well as the krautrock of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze's early solo works via analog echo machines and synthesizers (EMS VSC3, Roland System 100 & 100M, PAIA 4700 Modular, Doepfer Modular, among many others). The music of Space Machine has an otherworldly quality, evoking visions of distant galaxies and cosmic landscapes. Deluxe wooden box with digital printing on the lid; contains the first album Cosmos from Diode Ladder Filter released on CD on Alchemy Records, 2 released on Midi Creative, 3 released on double-LP on Tiliqua Records and the four CD EPs released on P-Tapes, California based label run by Damion Romero, reissued for the first in a complete box; accompanied by a square pin and a series of photos of the impressive equipment used; extensive notes in Japanese by Satoru Higashiseto, translated into English by Alan Cummings; edition of 300.
4 CD Box Set $56
HYUNHYE SEO - Eel (Room40 4212CD; Australia) "From eel to eel," Oskar thinks, standing by the coffin, "for eel thou art, to eel returnest." - The Tin Drum, Günter Grass. ‘Eel’ is the second set of sound works from Berlin based Korean American composer, Hyunhye Seo. Known widely for her contributions to the now legendary unit Xiu Xiu, Seo's solo pre-occupations dwell in an altogether more timbral and gestural domain. Each of the two pieces that compromise Eel are visceral deep dives into a turbulence of sound flows. Uniting her interests in ecstatic piano performance, dynamic percussion, and cavernous acoustic treatments, Seo's pieces are dense, instinctive, and vertical. This is a music that skates at the edge of the abyss without fear of knowing what lies over the edge.
A note from Hyunhye Seo: "Every year, the eels arrive in Sargasso. The eels that sprang to life when the sun god Atum warmed the Nile, the eels generated within the entrails of the earth, from the rubbing of the rocks and dew drops on riverbanks, they travel thousands of kilometers to Sargasso to breed. Their larvae, eels of glass, move to freshwater homes, crawling across land or up waterfalls if necessary, breathing through their skins, to get to where they want to go, although no one knows exactly where or why. Sometimes, they eat snakes and birds. After decades, when they're ready to breed, they stop eating and develop sex organs, and they travel back to Sargasso. If they can't go back to Sargasso, they never fully mature. They just stop ageing. No human has seen eels breed. Freud dissected over 400 eels in search of eel testicles. Aristotle thought they grew from earthworms in dirt. No one knows why they go where they go, or how they find their way back. Creatures of mud and rain, fluid in time and age, unabashed in its metamorphosis, unknown yet always found."
CHRISTINA GIANNONE - Reality Opposition (Room40 4203CD; Australia) To work against a-priori positions, to interrogate that which seems concrete, is never an easy undertaking. It comes with certain personal and even political costs, and it is these concerns that form part of the basis for New York based composer Christina Giannone's latest edition, Reality Opposition. Tracing out her own unsteady movements through the day to day, Giannone examines the waves of dissociation that haunt her interactions with the world around her. These examinations, by their very nature, exceed that of a pure self-reflexivity and rather invite the listener to consider their own positions and pre-occupations in the moment. Working with intensely sculpted walls of sound, Giannone's compositions are works of density, scale, and harmony. They are macro-sonic miniature realities, simultaneously outside and inside reality -- restless and indifferent to restraint.
A note from Christina Giannone: "Dissociation is the driving force behind the composition. The act of surrendering, the attempt to observe our existence from the outside. Giving in feels like giving up. Acceptance feels like resignation. The process included digital sound experimentation by means of observance and detail orientation and the idea of sound presenting itself in different identities depending on the listener. This attention to detail acts as a hologram, changing shapes depending on the angle. Ideas of multidimensional existences and indifference in its purest form. Slow, digital evaporation. An attempt to recreate what 'nothing' means. It might be a gaze out the window, conversations in passing, an incomplete thought. Fleeting, meaningless moments that fill the gaps. Things we are only subconsciously aware of. The periphery. The forgotten. The static in between."
LP SECTION FOR US VINYL JUNKIES:
JIM O'ROURKE - Hands That Bind (Drag City 839LP; USA) "In addition to his day job transforming pop music with his own records, as well as those of Gastr del Sol, Loose Fur and Sonic Youth over the past few decades, Jim O'Rourke has been contracted for several dozen film scores over the years as well. It makes sense -- his abilities as an improviser, composer and producer allow him to interpret cinematic moments with a unique understanding for their construction and how they work. It doesn't hurt that Jim's a well-versed cineaste, a complete and total fan of watching films, which has given him a preternatural understanding of the role of music in movies. What doesn't make sense is how Hands That Bind is the first film soundtrack of Jim's to ever receive worldwide release! He's worked with filmmakers of international repute, like Olivier Assayas, Allison Anders, Werner Herzog and Kôji Wakamatsu! He served as music consultant on Richard Linklater's 2003 laff-fest, School of Rock! He's played in ensembles of award-winning documentaries and films alike! ... Made for an indie film that's been seen by festival audiences and not enough others, the soundtrack for Hands That Bind is a moody, atmospheric delight. Jim's roots in composition via tape-editing have evolved into a sophisticated assembly of found-and-processed sounds that achieve highly musical, near-orchestral majesty as they hang in the very air of the drama that unfolds in Kyle Armstrong's Hands That Bind. Described as a 'slow-burn prairie gothic drama' set in the farmland of Canada's Alberta province, and starring Paul Sparks, Susan Kent, Landon Liboiron, Nicholas Campbell, Will Oldham, and Bruce Dern, Hands That Bind is a spellbinding trip to the existential bone of rural working life in North America. As conflict rises over the hard-worked patches of land that provide a mere and mean existence, a desperate air settles in, as a series of mysterious, often supernatural occurrences rock the small community. O'Rourke's vaporous, serpentine musical backdrops and atmospheres reflect the obsessions and distractions of the film's principles; moods of all sorts seen or otherwise implied. Additionally, the music highlights cinematographer Mike McLaughlin's closely observed accounting of the farmers' environment, as well as the striking widescreen images of the big sky country with unnerving flair. For fans of Jim's ongoing steamroom series as well as collectors of soundtracks, Hands That Bind will provide hours of engrossing listening..."
PETER JEFFERIES - Closed Circuit (Grapefruit GY13 004LP; USA) "Peter Jefferies, a living legend of New Zealand underground music, from his seminal bands Nocturnal Projections and This Kind Of Punishment, to his collaborative efforts in bands such as Plagal Grind and Two Foot Flame, is perhaps best known for his solo work on masterpieces such as The Last Great Challenge In A Dull World (1990) and Electricity (1994), as well as Elevator Madness (1996). All of these albums came out on vinyl but one of the best was the singular Closed Circuit (2001) which, unfortunately, only came out on compact disc and was somewhat lost to time until now. After Grapefruit released his collection of singles and unreleased songs called Last Ticket Home in 2019, Jefferies mentioned he'd always hoped one of his personal favorite solo albums could someday be heard on vinyl as it was intended. Grapefruit is proud to finally be able to highlight Jefferies' last album of lyric-based songs by releasing Closed Circuit on vinyl, remastered and with new artwork and insert. This album features all of Jefferies' signature tense and dark, piano-driven rock and moody balladry, along with themes of personal isolation and domestic ambivalence. It's a tour-de-force that has remained in the dark too long."
GAVIN BRYARS - In La (Alga Marghen 171LP; Italy) ‘In Là’ is the outcome of the collaboration between Gavin Bryars and the Italian visual artist Massimo Bartolini. Staged as a large-scale installation at the Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art in Prato, Italy, during the autumn of 2022, Bartolini transformed scaffolding into pipe organ bars, suspended from the ceiling across seven rooms of the museum as the central piece for his retrospective exhibition. It is the music played by these singular organs, composed by Bryars, that makes up the two sides of Alga Marghen's LP edition. Here is a compositional practice by Gavin Bryars returning to some of the experimental and conceptual territory that defined his work during the early 1970s, prior to the composition of seminal works like "The Sinking of The Titanic" and "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet". In Là presents the composer working across the vast space of the installation, with sounds physically spread in each of the museum's rooms and placed in careful consideration of the space continuity, while at the same time never fulling being experienced in its totality by the listener. This allows the LP documentation of the work to become a singular complement to the live, real-time aural adventure, unveiling phenomena and perceptions of the work's rich tones and poetic structures that would otherwise be unavailable. While Gavin Bryars background in music is well documented, the connections of Massimo Bartolini's poetic to sound as less known. The early practice of modifying architectural or domestic devices into sound producers, eventually led Massimo Bartolini to create installations made of scaffolding tubes which are modified into the pipes of an organ. Conceived in different forms and in relation to different architectural contexts since 2008, these works clearly relate to Baroque organs, the most visual of musical instruments, and to the use of scaffolding in construction sites. The organ conceived for the solo survey at Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato is the largest incarnation of these series and altogether the largest installation ever conceived by the artist. Hung from a structure that runs along the museum ceiling and suspended just centimeters above the floor, Bartolini built a continuous 75-meters-long wall of scaffolding tubes which winds through seven of the ten rooms of the exhibition space. For this structure of complex engineering Gavin Bryars was invited to compose a specific polyphonic score. Assigning each room a unique melody, the composition creates a richly layered soundscape that is constantly shifting with the viewer as they move through the space. As the title suggests -- alluding to the dominant tonality (La) of the piece -- the score is always "beyond," out of reach, never experienced in its entirety by a single listener as, in fact, the shape of the organ itself. Standard edition of 400; including an insert with liner notes and photo documentation of the installation; numbered.”
NEXUS with DANIELE CAVALLANTI / TIZIANO TONONI - The Call, For A New Life (Black Sweat Records BS 076LP; Italy) “Since the early 1980s, the Nexus creature has represented one of the most interesting realities of the Italian jazz scene. Daniele Cavallanti (Aktuala) and Tiziano Tononi (Moon On The Water/D.O.M Alia Orchestra) realize a sensational mix of orchestral praxis and impro-free jazz. The strength lies in the ensemble's variety of timbres, in that precise hybrid of styles reminiscent of the cross-sectional experiences of the 1970s of Zappa, Henry Cow, or Charles Mingus. Thus, electrifying phrasing, the most hermetic breaks in the plot prevail, which are sublimated, however, in a skillful balance between recognizable themes and more radical instrumental drifts. The choral openings of the woodwinds and the more abstract rhythmic trajectories of Tononi's drums, the abrupt swings of the vibraphone and drums, and the confusing, sparkling inserts of the violin are the dominant features. The drama of the sound also touches more spiritual-jazz peaks, evoking the sad story of the slave trade. Noura Tafeche's lysergic cover represents the transatlantic journey and the syncretic history that gave birth to jazz culture, this drawing takes its cue from the artwork of Mati Klerwein (Miles Davis, Santana). Poster cover.”
THE ROVA SAXOPHONE QUARTET with ANDREA CENTAZZO - The Bay (Ictus 006LP; Italy) Reissue, originally released in 1979. On the same trip to the United States that produced U.S.A. Concerts and Environment for Sextet, Andrea Centazzo also connected with the San Francisco-based ROVA Saxophone Quartet, formed the previous year by Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs, Andrew Voigt, and Bruce Ackley (all playing various saxophones). While not as well-known now as they once were, over the last 40 years the ensemble has produced dozens of albums and collaborated with diverse figures like Anthony Braxton, Alvin Curran, Terry Riley, and Henry Kaiser. The first of those collaborations captured on tape was The Bay, recorded in California during December of 1978. In Centazzo's own words: "At the end of the 1970s this group (R.O.V.A.) of four saxophone players appeared on the scene of improvised and jazz music, bringing with them a gust of fresh air in their unusual approach to themes, technical dexterity and daring choices of language contamination". Launching in with the almost symphonic piece, "Trobar Clus", which takes up the majority of the first side and deploys complex clusters tones and rhythms to startling effect, the album progresses through a series of pieces that follow Centazzo's disposition toward working across diverse arrangements of players, breaking down into trios, duos, and full ensemble works, each composed by the quartet, Centazzo, or in collaboration between the two. Utilizing compositional structures that allow broad spaces for improvisation, while highlighting each player's highly individual skill set within various ensembles, trios, duets, and solos, to underline the soloist skills of the musicians, and organizes the sound situations into ensembles, trios, duets and solos, The Bay is a stunning piece of much neglected creativity, riding the American and Italian scenes, from the mid to late 1970s, as well as drawing the ear back toward the origins of The ROVA Saxophone Quartet.”
STEVE LACY - The Ictus Archives, Volume 1 (Ictus 007LP; Italy) “The final two LPs in the latest Ictus batch, The Ictus Archives Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (ICTUSRE 008LP), both draw on the same period that the veteran saxophonist produced Clangs and Trio Live, both recorded in 1976 during of two weeks that he was touring Italy with Andrea Centazzo, released in 1976 and 1977 respectively, and reissued in 2021's batch. Gathering four sides of material, issued as two individual LPs, here is an offering of incredible insight into that moment's striking collaborations with Centazzo and the bassist Kent Carter, forming in duo and trio configurations. The Ictus Archives Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 encounter Steve Lacy -- one of the giants of American free jazz -- already two decades into a career defined by brilliant collaborations with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, and Thelonious Monk, among others, as well as a sprawling body of visionary work as a leader. Like so much of his work leading into this period, it draws upon the saxophonist's belief that an artist should play what you feel, a position that Centazzo recalls as having torn down the curtain that separated his technique from his creativity. The first volume of Steve Lacy pieces from the Ictus Archives features five pieces: "Figment", "Coastline", "Swab", "Hooky", and "The Duck", encountering the saxophonist playing solo live renditions of some of his classic pieces from the period ("Coastline" appeared on his seminal FMP LP Stabs / Solo In Berlin) and in two duos with Andrea Centazzo, one of which, "The Duck" was previously issued as a solo piece (also on Stabs / Solo In Berlin) and now emerges in this new form. The recordings featured across the album's two sides were captured on February 18th 1976 in a concert in Udine Italy and have never before been issued in such a focus form. The lyricality of Lacy's playing sets them apart from the more brittle and textural temperance featured throughout much of the label's output. Crucial artifacts of the seminal saxophonist at the height of his career, never before encountered in these full concert formations, and thus pushing the historical importance of the Ictus reissue series to the next level. Cover picture by Roberto Masotti, courtesy of Lelli e Masotti archive.”
STEVE LACY - The Ictus Archives, Volume 2 (Ictus 008LP; Italy) See description above for Volume 1.
DAMINHAO EXPERIENCA - Planeta Lamma (Alga Marghen Musique 002LP; Italy) Though often compared to Frank Zappa, Moondog, Captain Beefheart, Sun Ra, Jandek, and Father Yod, Damiao Ferreira da Cruz, better known as Damiao Experiença, it's a truly unique outsider multi-instrumentalist (without any real capability to play any of the many instruments he uses) compulsive hoarder from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Reportedly born on September 27th, 1935 in Bahia, Damiao lived an unhappy childhood and ran away from home at the age of 10 to escape the mistreatment by his parents. In Rio de Janeiro he served as a radar operator for the Brazilian Navy; while in the Navy he allegedly fell off a ship's crow's nest, hitting his head on the floor, which could have provoked his erratic mental state. Desertion is also sometimes mentioned in his auto-biography as well as the fact that he was sentenced to solitary confinement for many years. After retiring from the Navy, Damiao went to live with a prostitute in a stilt house, became a pimp and was able to produce his record LPs thanks to money obtained via procuring. It was in the early '70s that he adopted the name "Experiença" as an homage to Jimi Hendrix Experience, his favorite band and major influence. In 1974, he self-released his first album, Planeta Lamma, and many others followed throughout the 1970s to the early 1990s, all issued on his own Gravadora Planeta Lamma. Well known for his unsociable personality, he always avoided interviews and attention from the media, even refusing to give autographs or sign any documents. Damião's musical style is impossible to categorize accurately, since he experiments with numerous genres, more prominently freak folk, psychedelic rock, reggae, and experimental music. His songs have no logical sense at first sight, and most of them are sung in a dialect created by him, the "Planet Lamma dialect" (spoken in his eponymous "home planet"), with improvised lyrics. Side One opens with "1308 Registrou gravou rose Oliria Experiença" with Danimhao paying his one-string guitar and singing at the same time in a very primitive folk style mixing Portuguese with his own invented dialect in his lyrics. It continues with the heroic 18-minute "Ritmo Linguagem Planeta Lamma", a purely distilled Phase-3 Damiao Classic of the most refined nature, with the superimposing of many layers of over-recorded Planeta Lamma endurance. Side One ends with "Planeta Lamma", also from his first LP, an intense solo-screaming one-minute piece. Side Two is also pure Phase-3 with his 21-minute "SOL" masterpiece, one of the highest moments in Daminhao Experienca vast discography.”
HINDS BROTHERS / DAN PLONSEY - plonsey!?!?!? (omno sonic LP3; Planet Earth) Featuring John Hinds on keyboards & voice, Dan Plonsey on tenor & baritone saxes, clarinet, bass clarinet & voice and Peter Hinds - drums & percussion. The Bay Area-based Hinds brothers just sent us another box of goodies earlier this week which includes two albums as well several Sun Ra posters. It turns out that the Hinds brothers have been Sun Ra fan-addicts for a long while plus they are musicians who have been inspired by Mr. Ra, his music, philosophy and his Arkestra. They’ve also published a Sun Ra inspired magazine and their own labels: Omni Sonic & Sun Ra Research. Bay Area-based reeds player, Dan Plonsey, is a longtime part of the Bay Area Underground and has worked with Gino Robair, John Schott, Eugene Chadbourne & Anthony Braxton.
Free form freak-out Space music erupts intensely from the gitgo here! It might seem easy for some folks to play freely yet it is much more difficult to play music like Sun Ra’s best Space/Free/Jazz/Noise/,,, The saxes and synth(s) are well-balanced and wail or erupt tightly together with the impressive free/flowing drumming of Brother Peter. In a more fair world, this album would’ve been released on Feeding Tube so that Bro Byron Coley could talk about at length and the Hipsters Worldwide to scoop this up before it disappears into the netherworld. There’s a wonderful section midway through side one where it sound like Bro John is playing or strumming a dulcimer from uptempo to all the way slowed down. These brothers deserve legendary status right now otherwise you will be paying big bucks for their rare records in the not too distant future. John Hinds is shifting the sound of his keyboard section by section in close dialogue with Plonsey’s great, inventive saxes.
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
NEW VIDEO SHOW FROM GUITAR MASTER HENRY KAISER:
THE STONE RESIDENCIES -
THE STONE is located in
The New School at the Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th Street - near 6th ave
music at 8:30pm
$20 per set
unless otherwise noted
cash only payment
FourOneOne / SHIFT
Is located at
411 Kent Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11249
Improvised Music @ the Main Drag
Wednesday July 12th, 2023
7:00pm Noa Fort - vocals
Sam Newsome - soprano saxophone
Sean Conly - bass
8:00pm Ryan Siegel - alto saxophone
Jarred Chase - drums
Mwanzi Harriott - Guitar
9:00pm Stephen Gauci - t. saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
10:00pm Erhard Hirt and the NY Connection
Erhard Hirt - guitar and electronics
Joe Fonda - bass
Lou Grassi - drums
11:00pm MAIN DRAG PHILHARMONIX CONDUCTION ORCHESTRA,
Curated by Darren Johnston
Under the direction of clarinetist Ben Goldberg;
Nora Stanley - alto sax
David Leon - alto sax
Jeff Pearring - alto sax
Travis Sullivan - alto sax
Elijah Shiffer - tenor sax
Dave Sewelson - baritone sax
Kenny Warren - trumpet
Diego Hedez - trumpet
Rick Parker - trombone
Colin Hinton - percussion
Marc Edwards - percussion
Aaron Quinn - guitar
Shoko Nagai - electric accordion
Max Johnson - bass
$15 GENERAL ADMISSION / $10 STUDENTS (w/ID)
PARTICIPATING MUSICIANS (PAST/PRESENT/FUTURE MAIN DRAG PERFORMERS) ATTEND FOR FREE***
(yes, the best things in life are indeed free)
July 12, 2023
@ The Main Drag
50 South 1st Street
Between Kent ave and Wythe Ave
(718) 388-6365 / gaucimusic.com
Sunday, July 16th
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Ka Baird & Shelley Hirsch
Snake Union with Chuck Bettis and Dave Grant
at Union Pool
484 Union St.
Brklyn 11211, NY
$15 / Advance tix via the dice app.
Trains: L to Lorimer / G to Metropolitan
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: email@example.com