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DMG Newsletter for August 25th, 2023

Right now, there are several concerts lined up at Roulette, National Sawdust & at Miller Theatre, all under the banner of Zorn@70. All are listed down below in the performance section of this newsletter. I feel fortunate to have been friends with Mr. Zorn for more than 40 years, we continue to support each other in capturing our dreams and injecting them into our common reality. May the deluge of recordings, curations and performances continue.

I know a number of you all out there are also big John Zorn fans. So I ask you this. If any of you would like sent to a (physical) birthday card/greeting to John Zorn, please send it to our address which is listed below. I will hand deliver these to Mr. Zorn twice over the next month (at the beginning & end of September). Thanks to all of the well-wishers out there, most sincerely, Bruce Lee Gallanter of DMG

Downtown Music Gallery
Cards for John Zorn
POB 153
New York, NY, 10002-0153



Tuesday, August 29th:
8:30; HERY PAZ / NATE WOOLEY / TOM RAINEY - Tenor Sax / Trumpet / Drums
9:30: SIGNE E - Solo Sax

Tuesday, September 5th: FREE Music MiniFest!
6:30: JAMES PAUL NADIEN - Solo Drums
7:00: BETHANY DINSICK - Solo Electric Guitar & Vocals
7:30: JAMES McKAIN - Tenor Sax / TOM WEEKS - Alto Sax / CAROLINE MORTON - Contrabass / KEVIN MURRAY - Drums

Tuesday, September 12th:
6:30: THOMAS HELTON - Solo ContraBass
8:30: AIDAN O’CONNELL / JON ELBAZ / BRANDON TERZAKIS - ContraBass / Piano / Drums

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 welcome. 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: I post 1 minute segments from these sets almost every day on our InstaGram feed, so please check them out and come down to visit when you can. - BLG/DMG



EVAN PARKER with MATTHEW WRIGHT / TRANCE MAP / PETER EVANS / MARK NAUSEEF - etching the ether (Intakt Records 409; Switzerland) Trance Map is an electro-acoustic formation in constant motion. Founded by electronic musician, turntable player and sound designer Matt Wright and saxophonist Evan Parker, the band is in a constant process of transformation, renewal and expansion, both conceptually and also due to fluctuations in personnel. Etching the Ether features star trumpeter Peter Evans and percussionist Mark Nauseef. This new musical adventure began with a trio recording by Parker, Wright and Evans, with Evan Parker asking Mark Nauseef for “intro, interludes and a coda”, material which was added in post-production. “What arises in the process is a determinedly plural space, a temporal cubism, a dream time that’s omnidirectional. Reverb is less an effect than a new relationship, echoing ‘back’ as it moves forward”, writes Stuart Broomer in the liner notes.
CD $18

LUCAS NIGGLI SEXTET with TIZIA ZIMMERMANN / SILKE STRAHL / et al - Sound of Serendipity - Play! (Intakt Records 406; Switzerland) “With the Sound Of Serendipity Tentet, Lucas Niggli, who has been at the forefront of Swiss-European jazz for many years, brings together some of the most exciting musicians from the local jazz and improvisation scene. Stirring music is created in a highly original playing instruction via 40 composed playing cards, implemented by this ten-member ensemble of strong personalities and the factor of chance. And so, Play! is a vehicle to negotiate a spectrum of composed and improvised behaviour in the form of a card game played over three rounds. “On the one hand, we hear a composition which sounds like an expansion of Lucas Niggli’s musical character: mercurial, highly detailed, uncannily responsive to others, unafraid of groove. And yet on the other, I suspect that the listener familiar with the individual performers on the recording will smile to themselves at how vibrantly those performers’ own individual characteristics are set into relief by Niggli’s game”, writes Alexander Hawkins in the liner notes.”
CD $18

VIJAY ANDERSON’S SILVERSCREEN SEXTET with BOBBY BRADFORD / VINNY GOLIA / WILLIAM ROPER / ADAM LANE - Urban Jungle - Los Angeles (Self-produced; USA) The Silverscreen Sextet features Bobby Bradford on cornet, Vinny Golia on b-flat clarinet, soprano & alto saxes, Willim Roper on tuba & spoken word, Adam Lane on contrabass, Vijay Anderson on drums & compositions plus crushed blacks on visual projections. Recorded at Seahorse Sound Studios in Downtown Los Angeles in September of 2022. This is the second release by Vijay Anderson’s Silverscreen Sextet, the first came out in 2020 and the personnel has changed a bit: Hafez Modirzadeh is replaced by William Roper and Roberto Miranda is replaced by Adam Lane. The is a strong, spirited sextet with some L.A. legends like Bobby Bradford (who worked with Ornette Coleman & John Carter) and reeds expert Vinny Golia (prolific multi-reeds musician/composer/professor who runs the Nine Winds label). Tuba player, William Roper, played here at DMG earlier this year when he was in town to perform a rare piece by Horace Tapscott. Mr. Roper also did some fine spoken word when he was here and has worked with Wadada Leo Smith & Glen Horiuchi.
This disc is broken into five chapters, four interludes and a prelude. The chapters were written by Vijay Anderson, the prelude by Bobby Bradford and the interludes are group improvisations. The title of this disc, ‘Urban Jungle - Los Angeles’, illuminates a connection between creative music and social justice, with images created by an artist known as crushed blacks a/k/a Tim Hicks (skater, artist & film director). In the liner notes by Mr. Anderson, each chapter and interlude was meant to accompany images taken from different places in L.A. from the urban grit to the mansions of the wealthy. The “Prelude” is an unaccompanied cornet solo by Bobby Bradford and it is a rich, poignant entrance. “Chapter 1” is also called “Dangerous” and it is a subdued yet harrowing view/vibe of the underside of L.A. The rhythm team (of Adam Lane & V Anderson) create a simmering cushion of sly, dread-like sounds while the horns swirl around one another on top like dancing ghosts in a slow motion waltz. “Chapter 2: Bewilderingly Complex”, visually deals with the large, ever-expanding sprawl of L.A. while the music moves like a herd of pedestrians walking through the streets. William Roper narrates the frustration of everyday life in L.A. which eventually ends up in a sly, funky groove, something we all long to get into after a long day at work. Vinny Golia plays a joyous clarinet solo here while in a dialogue with Bradford’s laid-back cornet. “Chapter 3: Fast Paced Urban Environment (yet medium swing)”, has a lilting, medium walking bass groove with the three horns playing together in contemplative orbits. “Interludes: Urban Jungle” has an eerie, dream-like vibe with Mr. Roper describing the subdued yet unnerving life on the streets. The music here is like a dixieland band going freer as they evolve, there is a jubilant vibe going on at the center. “Interlude: Towers” has a free yet focused, brooding, solemn vibe and it is followed by another interlude called, “Flowers” which has sounds like flowers growing amongst the cement or weeds of the urban environment. “Chapter 5: Exploitation” is the last piece, the longest and the most ambitious. This piece swings hard and is exuberant, recalling the tempestuousness of modern life, rather like a subway speeding through our mostly concrete environment. Each of the horns gets a chance to solo here and each solo is a gem. Local NYC bassist, Adam Lane, also plays an incredible bowed bass solo here and is at the heart/center of this fine sextet. The final solo is by Vijay Anderson on drums and it is a triumphant one. Even without the visuals to look at, this disc does capture a certain sprawling spirit of modern Los Angeles, the good and the bad, ancient & modern myths. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

MARK REBOUL / ROBERTA PIKET / BILLY MINTZ - Seven Pieces/About an Hour/Saxophone, Piano, Drums (ESP-Disk 5041; USA) “There are some jazz musicians long known by cognoscenti for a mere handful of recordings: Dupree Bolton, Earl Anderza, Hasaan Ibn-Ali, Alan Shorter, Dewey Johnson. Add saxophonist Mark Reboul to that list. Before the release of this album, his discography consisted of four tracks on three albums on which he was a sideman. On Higher Primates' Environmental Impressions (GM, 1987), he plays sax on two of the percussion-heavy album's five tracks: a fragmentary track, and a sixteen-and-a-half-minute improvisation; he has a percussion cameo (playing waterphone) on Bill Gerhardt and Cotangent's Stained Glass (SteepleChase, 2007); and on Gaelen McKenna's self-released 2004 album Woodbach, a Reboul improvisation is manipulated and looped. ESP-Disk is a label with a history of albums by under-documented musicians (Byron Allen, Lowell Davidson, Marzette Watts, Nedley Elstak) and thus the perfect label to redress the situation. The other musicians in the trio heard here have been more prolific in the recording studio. Piket, daughter of a classical composer and a standards singer, got a degree from the New England Conservatory, studied with pianists Richie Beirach, Stanley Cowell and Fred Hersch, and was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk BMI Composers Competition. She has a baker's dozen albums as a leader, a smattering of collaborative projects, and work as a sideperson stretching back to a 1995 Lionel Hampton album. Mintz is Piket's husband (they married well after this recording was made). Three years ago, she made a solo piano recording of an entire CD's worth of his compositions. He also has a fascinating bio: already a gigging musician at the age of fifteen, and in his twenties recorded with Lee Konitz Nonet, Perry Robinson, and Gloria Gaynor, among others; during a period living in Los Angeles, he worked with an equally eclectic range of musicians, from Vinny Golia to Mose Allison to the Merv Griffin Show band. The style is free improvisation, but a quieter and more subtle form of free jazz than ESP is famous for. Reboul is a unique player, and that's why ESP considers this an important release that adds to fans' knowledge of the NYC free scene.”
CD $12

SUSAN ALCORN / JOSE LENCASTRE / HERNANI FAUSTINO - Manifesto (Clean Feed 637; Portugal) Featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal & lap steel guitars, Jose Lencastre on alto & tenor saxes and Hernani Faustino on acoustic & electric bass. Distinguished pedal steel goddess, Susan Alcorn, records infrequently and takes her time between each release. On one hand, she’s played more written or directed music with Nate Wooley, Mary Halvorson and her own Pedernal Quintet. On the other hand, she’s done some engaging improvised records with Ingrid Laubrock & Leila Bordreuil and Patrick Holmes & Ryan Sawyer (from earlier this year (2023). Portuguese saxist Jose Lencastre has recorded for the FMR and Clean Feed labels, while Portuguese bassist Hernani Faustino is a member of the Red Trio, as well as working with Patrick Brennan, Rodrigo Amado and Jon Irabagon.
This disc is an all improvised affair and was recorded in a studio in Portugal in August of 2022. Things begin with a solemn, slow moving, suspense-filled bass line at the center and the other two players simmering together. The music here is slow moving, cautious and filled with suspense. The pace picks up and finally erupts intense towards the last section of this piece. The second piece, “Two Distant” picks up where the last piece ended and the trio starts soaring together. There is some extraordinary interaction between the pedal steel and the tenor sax. “Sombra” features some haunting pedal steel from Ms. Alcorn with Mr. Lencastre hovering dreamily along while the bass keeps the pulse at the center. Ms. Alcorn is a master of that haunting, desert-like, lonely pedal steel sound which is well displayed on a few of the pieces here. “Interalia” has a dream-like haze, with layers of simmering sax and steel guitar interwoven over a cushion bass pulses. The pace and intensity picks up on “Saturnalia”, with some slow-burning steel & sax interplay, quite like a bristling dialogue between two strong spirits. Susan Alcorn takes a fine, eerie pedal solo on the final piece, “Manha Louca”, quite hypnotic with the sax and bass both interweaving around her as one connected spirit/force. The vibe here is like a late night hang, sipping on some wine and slowly moving into our collective dreamscape. This disc provides a perfect escape from our everyday concerns. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

AMY SHEFFER / BILLY BANG / WILLIAM PARKER / LOU GRASSI - Drone Bone (I Am Shee A50023; USA)Featuring Amy Sheffer - vocals, Billy Bang on acoustic violin, William Parker on contrabass and Lou Grassi on drums. This disc was recorded in January of 2001 and not released until recently (August of 2023). The transfer, editing & mastering was done by Ben Young, Joe Lizzi (archivists from Triple Point & Cosmic Myth labels) and Steve Tintweiss (bassist & elder ESP recording artist). I hadn’t heard of Amy Sheffer until I reviewed a CD by Steve Tintwiess called ‘MarksTown’ which was released last year (2022) but recorded way back in 1968. I listened to this disc a couple of times last week and was impressed by the interplay between all four members of this mighty quartet. Billy Bang was one the first and perhaps best avant/free jazz violinists whose career stretched from the late seventies to his passing in 2011. There have been very few unreleased recordings of Mr. Bang’s that have come out since his demise. Contrabass elder William Parker’s name you no doubt are well aware of since he has been an integral part of the Creative Music Scene here also since the seventies. Drummer Lou Grassi is a bit younger than Mr. Bang & Mr. Parker, yet he also has worked with many of free jazz’s best players: Paul Smoker, John Tchicai, Mark Whitecage and the ongoing Nu Band.
   Starting with “Hovering”, the quartet takes off freely, spinning tight lines around one another with no vocals at the beginning. When Ms. Sheffer enters, her voice is at the same volume as the rest of the quartet, all four members interacting with focused freedom. As far as I can tell, William Parker and Lou Grassi hadn’t recorded together before or after this session, although it is hard to tell since they work together so well, linking their ongoing rhythmic pulse throughout. I really like Ms. Sheffer’s voice as it is modest, crafty and she doesn’t do any shrieking or screaming. The interplay between her and Mr. Bang is tight and spirited. At times, Ms. Sheffer reminds me of Ellen Christi or Lisa Sokolov, both of whom have worked long with William Parker in different ensembles. Ms. Sheffer does a good job of stretching her voice out but not too far, always interacting with the rest of the quartet magically. Ms. Sheffer also reminds me of a singer for a Broadway show, acting out the role of a character in a play. I, myself, am a big fan of Billy Bang, having caught him live numerous times and own as much of his catalogue as is possible. Mr. Bang’s playing is feisty, inventive and quite extraordinary throughout this disc. He takes a number of incredible solos here, as well as interacting with each member of the quartet powerfully throughout the entire disc. If you, like me, love free/jazz at its best, then you should really hear this disc since it is filled with fireworks and inventive, focused interaction. This is a colossal treasure for many of us so waste no time, getting a copy for yourself. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

MIKE CLARK with EDDIE HENDERSON / WAYNE HORVITZ / SKERIK / HENRY FRANKLIN / BILL SUMMERS - Kosen Rufu (Wide Hive 0369; USA) Featuring Mike Clark on drums, Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Skerik on tenor sax, Wayne Horvitz on Rhodes piano, Henry “The Skipper” Franklin on bass, Bill Summers on percussion and Mike Clark on drums. Both drummer Mike Clark and percussionist Bill Summers were members of Herbie Hancock’s successful Headhunters band, the band after the well-loved Mwandishi Band, who played more funk than jazz. For this session, Mr. Clark organized an odd, unique sextet. This new band features Eddie Henderson on trumpet (a member of the Mwandishi Band) Skerik (from Critters Buggin and better known for play sax with effects), Former Downtown keyboard ace Wayne Horvitz (The President & Naked,City) plus legendary jazz bassist Henry “The Skipper” Franklin, whose first two albums for the Black Jazz label (1972 & 1974), remain rare collectors items today, more than fifty years later. I wasn’t sure what to make of this session, when I saw it in a new release catalogue last month, since all of the members of the quintet came from such different backgrounds.
It turns out that this just might be the best sort of straight ahead jazz record of the month! Each member of the quintet contributed a song or two. Skerik’s “First Motion” is first and it is a buoyant, solemn swinging delight with spirited circular lines played by the trumpet & tenor sax and supported by the soulful piano of Wayne Horvitz and infectious rhythm team. The production here is warm and clean with little or no effects utilized. Eric Dolphy’s “Hat and Beard” is next and it was inspired by Thelonious Monk. It is a great choice as it has a joyous, Monk-like bent groove and it has that swell inside/outside vibe. Although Mike Clark is more known for his funky grooves (often sampled by many rap acts), his drumming here is consistently inventive no matter where the quintet goes. Mike Clark’s “MC’s Thing” has a slow, sensuous, hard swinging jazz groove with strong interplay between the tenor sax and trumpet, completing each other’s lines just right. Wayne Horvitz wrote one piece here & co-wrote two other pieces (with Clark). Horvitz’s “Distance Between Leaves” has one of the lovely, Americana melodies that Mr. Horvitz does so well. The ancient sounding melody is touching but it is not really a jazz song, not that it matters much. Skerik, who once worked with Mr. Horvitz in Ponga, is in fine form here, playing some exquisite, dreamy tenor. Henry Franklin’s “Olivia” features some marvelous, Miles-like trumpet from Eddie Henderson. “BBQ on Auseon” is another tune by Horvitz & Clark and it is an infectious, funky delight with Mr. Horvitz on soulful electric piano. “One for Mganga” (Eddie Henderson’s name in the Mwandishi band) features more simmering electric piano and superb, spacey trumpet from Henderson. Each member of this sextet was selectively chosen for this band and hence, the band sounds perfect. Modern jazz at its very best, earthy, organic, infectious, swinging just right and enchanting on several levels. This disc deserves 5 stars in Downbeat so let’s hope someone out there notices it and has it bring some joy to current & future generations. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

ARLEN ROTH with STEVE CROPPER / ALBERT LEE / JERRY DONAHUE / BILL KIRCHEN / JOE BONMASSA / STEVE WARINER / et al - TeleMasters (Aquinnah Records 0414; USA) Roots rock guitar hero, Arlen Roth, has toured & recorded extensively with a large list of legends like Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Patti Smith & Happy & Artie Traum (who he started out with). Mr. Roth has been recording his own albums since 1978, has a number of instructional videos/DVD’s and has written a book called ‘Master of the Telecaster’, a name by which Mr. Roth is also referred to as. Since Mr. Roth is well respected by many other guitarists, he organized an all-star session called ’Slide Guitar Summit’ which was released in 2015 (on his own Aquinnah label). Another all-star guitar session called, ’Telemasters’ was released in 2019, featuring mainly guitarists who also played Fender Telecasters for these sessions.
This is the second TeleMasters release and it features Mr. Roth playing along with 13 other Telemasters. Although I only recognize half of the names here, I felt like this entire disc showed each guitarist a great light. I played this disc all the way through (16 songs) the other day at the store and was highly impressed. Although the Telecaster does have its own sound, each of the 17 guitarists involved also have their own distinctive touch. Highlights include: Link Wray’s “Rumble” featuring Will Ray, “Mrs. Robinson” (by Simon & Garfunkel) feat Albert Lee, “White Lightning” feat Steve Cropper and Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land” by Jerry Donahue. This compilation is consistently strong and blurs the lines between rockabilly, country, rock, jazz and folk or traditional music(s). John M & me call this comp “Best of the Twang Masters”! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

SoSaLa with MARK C. / JAMES LO / TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA / PETER GORDON / DAVID MOTAMED - 1993 (DooBeeDoo Records 003; USA) Featuring SoSaLa (a/k/a Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi) on soprano sax, organ & vocals, Mark C. & Toshi Nakamura on guitars, Peter Gordon on tenor sax, David Motamed on bass and James Lo on drums. Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi is originally from Iran, has lived in Germany & Japan and is currently living here. I’ve been admiring the work of saxist SoSaLa for the past decade, with two fine self-produced discs which are in between categories. This disc actually predates the other two and was recorded in January of 1993, more than thirty years ago. Backing SoSaLa here is an eclectic cast with Mark C. & James Lo from Live Skull, Peter Gordon (Downtown composer & leader of the Love of Life Orchestra) and Toshimaru Nakamura who is well known for his lower case/onkyo more minimal approach to the guitar as well as no-input mixing board.
“In Front of a Closed Door” opens with some strong, no wave-like pounding drums, squealing sax, twisted vocals and wailing guitars along with SoSaLa’s organ. The original Live Skull band were one of the most intense post-punk bands to emerge from NYC in the mid-1980’s. Two of their members are on this disc, guitarist Mark C and drummer James Lo. Mr. Lo’s pounding drums are central to the sound of these pieces. On “I’m Blind”, SoSaLa speaks & screams out with his brutal voice while the guitars swarm like deadly beings. Peter Gordon’s tenor sax is featured on “Dadada Dadada Daaa” which features more pounding drums and brutal guitars. SoSaLa’s brooding, dark organ is at the center of “In Front of Your Door”, with more throttling drums, screaming sax (from Peter Gordon) and throbbing bass. On “Omar Khayyam in New York”, SoSaLa does some powerful shouting over the top of those churning guitars. Had this disc been released closer to the time it was recorded it would’ve been seen as an extension of the No wave/Post-punk scene. Twenty years later, it still sounds daunting, brutal and in-your-face. At 25 minutes, it feels long enough to catch us off-guard and we can still relate to the anger or frustration at the center. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG CD $15

BENJAMIN VERGARA - The Impossibility of a Single Sound (Relative Pitch Records SS018; USA) Featuring Benjamin Vergara on solo trumpet. Chilean trumpeter Benjamin Vergara has an earlier disc on Relative Pitch with a quartet of Chicago musicians: Keefe Jackson, Jim Baker & Phil Sudderberg. Solo trumpet discs have become more popular over the past decade or so and the Relative Pitch label is one of the few labels dedicated to documenting a series of solo efforts, this one being the 18th in their ongoing series. Also thanks to other labels like Erstwhile & Confront, trumpeters like Axel Dorner & Franz Hautzinger, have gotten a chance to play trumpet with their own extended techniques. During the first piece, Mr. Vergara concentrates on those windy, breath-like sounds the lower-case players often concentrate on. Vergara eventually opens up to a singular long tone which he concentrates on by alternating his air current by occasionally varying the note as well as the flow of wind/current. Mr. Vergara is often concentrating on each note or phrase, bending each note or sound carefully. Vergara speeds up his stream with circular lines before calming down again. I like that Vergara plays mostly pure or straight trumpet on “Irrelevant Elegances” instead of extended technique weirdness. I really dig this disc since Mr. Vergara sounds like he has put a good deal of thought and preparation into each piece. He delivers another scene or story on each piece here, keeping things consistently engaging. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

BARRE PHILLIPS / GIANCARLO LOCATELLI - Danze Degli Scorpioni (We Insist! Records CDWein 023CD; Italy)“Recorded at the historical Kaleidophon Festival in Ulrichsberg (Austria) in 2008, this is the result of the duo meeting between Barre Phillips, one of the most influential bassists in the history of contemporary jazz, and clarinets specialist Giancarlo "Nino" Locatelli one of the most rigorous figures on the Italian creative scene. Dance of the Scorpions consists of four beautiful, dynamic, and well-recorded improvised dialogues between two uncompromising musicians in full power who eventually decided to dedicate the whole album to master improviser Coleman Hawkins.
CD $19

BENAUD TRIO - Empyrean Traces (De La Catessen Records 012CD; Australia) “With Empyrean Traces, De La Catessen Records focuses on another aspect of Adelaide composer David Kotlowy's career -- his works for trio. It follows the 2021 release of Final Fragments: Piano Music of David Kotlowy, where David Kotlowy's solo piano compositions were performed by composer and scholar Stephen Whittington. The three compositions on Empyrean Traces are brought to life by the Benaud Trio, whose ability to carry the gentle poetics of such work allows for bravura performances: as Luke Altmann of De La Catessen says, "it often felt during these sessions less like we were listening to the Benaud Trio and more like we were scanning for a signal from outer space." Indeed, Kotlowy's compositions share something otherworldly. His compositional ethos is informed by several key influences -- Japanese musical aesthetics; John Cage; Morton Feldman; Ross Bolleter and his ruined pianos -- but while you can hear relationships between Kotlowy's compositions and these forebears, Kotlowy is not beholden to that which has come before, and over several decades, has marked out his own patch of aesthetic territory with unerring clarity. The works on Empyrean Traces span the 1990s to 2020s, with two "earlier" pieces, "Chromatic Traces" and "Under Stars", revised earlier this decade. While significant time has elapsed between their composition, the three pieces on Empyrean Traces share the same "sound world", one where an exterior seeming-fragility masks a resolute interior: these are sturdy, powerful pieces. Kotlowy draws from several compositional tactics -- the use of Cagean time brackets, or breathing as measure, such that this album, in his own words, "traces a transition from outer to inner clock time." There is also a "relaxing of musical austerity" as Empyrean Traces progresses; the spare chill of "Chromatic Traces" acquiesces to the relative richness of the title composition. A gorgeous album of deeply moving music, Empyrean Traces is sure to appeal to fans of composers such as Morton Feldman, Jürg Frey, or Tōru Takemitsu. CD version comes in edition of 300.”
CD $16

RAYMOND CHAPMAN SMITH - Nachschriften / Landler (De La Catessen Records 013CD; Australia) “As co-director of new music organization The Firm, Raymond Chapman Smith has quietly presented over 130 concerts of new music. But his uncomplicated disinterest in recognition or recording means his music is rarely heard beyond the walls of Adelaide's Elder Hall, where The Firm's annual concert series is presented to a regular audience of 50-100 initiates. This is the first album of his work, played by US born Australian-Iranian pianist Amir Farid. As a teenager in the 1970s, Chapman Smith began performing in AZ Music in Sydney with the recently returned Australian assistant to Cardew and Stockhausen, David Ahern, feeding new ideas into the local music scene, and fielding phoned-in performance instructions from La Monte Young for their improvisations at Brett Whiteley's gallery. After moving to Adelaide to study with Richard Meale, through the '80s and '90s Chapman Smith founded and co-helmed loosely Cageian composer-performer collectives. Since 1996 he has co-directed new music organization The Firm, reveling in the poetic aesthetic of 19th Century German romanticism. On Ländler from 2002, Chapman Smith says: "The references, the paying of homage to Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, Wolf, and Zemlinsky are so obvious as to hardly need comment. They are heard through lenses polished by a later, more reductive aesthetic and a somewhat fortuitous arrival at a kind of diatonic serialism." Of 2003's Nachschriften: "Some of my thoughts while making this music revolved around a passage from a speech which Paul Celan gave in 1958. Celan, of course, was speaking of lyric poetry but I would respectfully paraphrase his words as follows ... 'Music is not timeless. Certainly, it lays claim to infinity, it seeks to reach through time -- through it, not above or beyond it. Music, as a manifestation of language and thus essentially dialogue, can be a message in a bottle, sent out in the -- not always greatly hopeful -- belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps. Music in this sense too is underway: it is a making toward something. Toward what? Toward something standing open, occupiable, perhaps towards an addressable Thou, toward an addressable reality.'"
CD $16

PANDIT UDAY BHAWALKAR - Raga Yaman (I Dischi Di Angelica 053CD; Italy) “Born in 1966, Uday Bhawalkar studied Dhrupad for more than 12 years, following the traditional method of transmission from guru to disciple (guru-shishya parampara), under the supervision of Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, and in 1987 was awarded the Dagar Swarna Padak prize by the legendary Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar Sahab of Senior Dagar Brothers -- all three of them members of the Dagar Family who have been passing on this music tradition since the 15th century. In addition to performing at the most prestigious classical Indian music festivals since a young age, Uday Bhawalkar has collaborated internationally with artists from different music traditions, amongst whom the choreographer Astad Deboo and the Ensemble Modern of contemporary music. He has also contributed to the soundtrack of films such as Cloud Door by Mani Kaul, Mr & Mrs Iyer by Aparna Sen, Anahat by Amol Palekar, and more. AngelicA invited Uday Bhawalkar to perform in Bologna twice, in 2008 and 2019. Despite a decades-long career his production has been poorly documented on records, and it is now enriched by Raga Yaman, on which he is accompanied by Manik Munde on the pakhavaj (a two-headed horizontal drum) and by Aniruddha Joshi and Chintan Upadhyay on tanpuras. The recording is not of one of his concerts in Bologna (during which he performed the same raga), but of a rendition of the same piece considered particularly significant, which had been privately pressed on CD by Bhawalkar only for personal use in 2006. Raga Yaman is a raga, based on a heptatonic scale, considered one of the most important and fundamental of the Hindustani tradition. It is often the first to be taught to students, but it also offers great opportunities of improvisation, and it is a raga that has been recorded by historic artists such as Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pandit Pran Nath (in the Yaman Kalyan variant), and Uday's master himself Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, on one of his CDs from 1991 in which one of the two accompanist on the tanpura was Uday himself.”
CD $22

MARIO SCHONWALDER - The Eye Of The Chameleon (Made in Germany 072CD; Germany) "Since the 1980s, Mario Schönwälder, born in West-Berlin/Germany, has been involved in the production of electronic sounds, first in the environment of Bernd Kistenmacher, and later mainly in duo and triple formations. In 1992 Mario founded his own label Manikin Records, on which he released his albums from then on. Four years earlier, Mario Schönwälder had released Aus einer anderen Zeit..., his first solo work, which was launched in a limited edition and only as a cassette. One year later followed The Eye Of The Chameleon, an album completely in the style of the Berlin School, with a melancholic, partly even somewhat gloomy basic mood. He dedicated the title 'Earthtime' to a deceased friend. The album was released on Bernd Kistenmacher's label Musique Intemporelle, the Berlin electronic musician and label boss described his ever slightly pensive artist as a 'pessimistic optimist' at that time. A nice re-issue with personal words by Mario Schönwälder in the booklet about the making of the album."
CD $19

MAYO THOMPSON - After Math (Drag City 846BK; USA) "After Math retails what becomes of the cast of characters introduced in Art, Mystery, joint and severally pursuing an erotic Rinascimento statuette attributed to Antonio Pollaiuolo, a pursuit that lands them in court. On the way, their collective and singular fates are unfolded and accounted for, the consequences of the truth of matters for them are brought to bear and a kind of rough justice is seen to have been done, as is appropriate in rough trade." "After Math begins where Art, Mystery, the first installment in Mr. Thompson's two-part novel, left off. The chrome trader Perlat Tile has just witnessed the criminal Pablo Palbon attempt to smuggle a small erotic bronze by Pollaiuolo out of Tirana disguised as a funeral urn. The ensuing trial -- described in After Math -- pits the gallerist Ms. Jasmine, who wants to acquire the work legitimately, against the state of Albania, which also claims ownership of it. Written in the impeccable prose that we have come to expect from Mr. Thompson, After Math proves that what happens after a plot is foiled can be just as delightful as the action itself." --Michael Sanchez 132 pages; hardcover; 7.25"x4.25".
BOOK $32

LP Department:

MICHAEL ZERANG / TASHI DORJI - Sciamachy (Feeding Tube Records 712LP; USA) "At last, the trade edition of Schiamachy has appeared, following the test-press/tour version by more than a couple of months. The album's title is a term used to describe mock battles between warriors. It's a fair description of the music on this record, although it's safe to say the battle was a friendly one. Michael Zerang is a very well-known percussionist, composer and improviser from Chicago, with an amazing jazz-based discography. He previously appeared on the Illinois Glossalia LP (FTR 285LP, 2017) playing with Spires That in the Sunset Rise. Asheville-based guitarist Tashi Dorji is a generation younger than Zerang, but has been an unstoppable force since he hit the scene in 2009, playing in all manner of rock and improv situations. He has appeared on four other Feeding Tube releases, most often with his free form power duo, Manas. It's also worth mentioning that both musicians are nice guys. But even nice guys can get a thrilling mock battle raging, and Schiamachy is surely one for the books. Recorded at Chicago venue, The Hideout, in August 2016, the music ranges from splotchy plucking in the British plink-plonk tradition to something more akin to sophisticated post-rock noise explorations. I kept expecting passages to emerge styled more in the vein of the free-fusion ecstasies explored by McLaughlin with Tony Williams, or what Bishop, Chasny and Corsano do with Rangda, but Michael and Tashi always opted to keep their battle plans more smudged and confounding. The music is not about edges and momentum, it's about textures and collaging. Zerang stays away from any sort of standard set-up here, choosing instead to play an instrument he calls 'Queequeg's Coffin.' He describes this as 'a large hurdy-gurdy like instrument where four cello strings are bowed simultaneously with a friction wheel that is hand-cranked.' It looks as wild as it sounds, creating vast fields of whizzing and ringing, while the guitar strings and knobs wrench and wobble and throb. The sounds on Schiamacy are all about unexpected interactions and the pleasure of new discoveries. The deeper you let these sounds into your head, the farther they'll transport you. Be not a moldy fig, embrace the unknown." --Byron Coley, 2023
LP $24

SPIRAL JOY BAND - Elvehjem (Feeding Tube Records 659LP; USA) "Recorded in Madison Wisconsin a year after In The River, the latest record from this amazing trio (Troy Schafer, Patrick Best, Mikel Dimmick) breaks a bit with Spiral Joy's drone-dominant tradition. There is a crackling, noise energy curtain surrounding much of the playing here that makes me remember the sound of the Richmond VA trio, Pelt, from whom Spiral Joy Band draw specific inspiration (as well as two members). The listed instruments are bowed gong, gong, bowed bowls, electric guitar, bowed materials amplified and acoustic, mouthpiece and effects, modified zither. So yeah, there is still a patchwork of drones at the heart of Elvehjem, but there is little in the way of uninterrupted flow. The music on this one is a cascade of sound events with a feel almost more in line with the less antic inventions of Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza than anything inside the 'rock' realm. But there has often been a certain rockist element lurking inside Spiral Joy Band's music (which supplanted the overt hayseed elements of their original iteration) and the direction and manner of their clangor here has the weight of rock rather than something more ephemeral. The two sides are presented as discreet pieces -- 'Shore' and 'Shine' -- but they run together seamlessly, both displaying surface pocks and tremors with a pride usually reserved for magic tricks. The drones are often created with a searing metallic edge, and their spiky protuberances brook no guff. If that ain't rock, at least attitudinally, I'll eat your fucking hat. In the meantime, Elvehjem, is a stone gas to listen to. And, by the way, the name is taken from a famous Wisconsin biochemist, and is not meant as a mean commentary on Orlando Bloom's obsession with the Dave Matthews Band. Although that would be warranted as well. Dig in!" - Byron Coley, 2023
LP $24



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


Music for Dom Minasi
at Scholes Street Studio

May Dom rest in peace and sound. Come and take part in guiding his journey through music.

Sunday, September 3rd

Manna For Thought with Nora McCarthy-voice & Ras Burnett-tenor sax

Jack DeSalvo-solo (Dom Minasi's compositions)

Cheryl Pyle's Beyond Group with Sylvain Leroux, Gene Coleman and Yuko Togami

Circle 4 with Ras-tenor sax & flute / Tom Cabrera-drums / Philip Sirois-bass / Chris Forbes-electric piano

Jorge Sylvester-solo alto sax

String Dimension with Ras-Jack De Salvo-David First-On Davis-Tor Snyder-James Keepnews-Anders Nilsson-Ken Filiano

Ascension for Dom

At Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer St. Brooklyn
The M train to Lorimer st (a shorter walk), the L train to Metropolitan Ave.



8/23 Wednesday
8:30 pm - TRIO - Linda May Han Oh (bass) Loke Risberg (guitar) Savannah Harris (drums)

8/24 Thursday
8:30 pm - DUO - Linda May Han Oh (bass) Fabian Almazán (piano)

8/25 Friday
8:30 pm - “Ephemeral Echoes” - Linda May Han Oh (bass) Fabian Almazán (piano, effects) Jonny Allen (percussion) Terry Sweeney (percussion) Victor Caccese (percussion) Eric Doob (drums)

8/26 Saturday
8:30 pm - DUO - Linda May Han Oh (bass) Melissa Aldana (tenor sax)

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


JOHN ZORN @ 70 - Year Long Celebration:

Sunday, August 27, 2023 at 8:00 pm

ZORN@70 at ROULETTE PART FOUR: Four World Premieres:
featuring The Junction Trio, Jennifer Choi, Jorge Roeder,
Ches Smith, Peter Evans and Sam Jones
Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 8:00 pm

To purchase tickets:
Roulette is in Brooklyn & not far from the Brooklyn Academy of Music
It is located at 509 Atlantic Avenue (Entrance on the Corner of Third Avenue;
Accessible Entrance on Atlantic Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11217 - phone: 917-267-0363
Box Office, General Information: - 917-267-0368

JOHN ZORN @ 70 FESTIVAL - August 30th - September 3rd, 2023
15 concerts at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California

Live at National Sawdust
September 16th & 17th 2023
6:30pm doors / 7:30 pm
JOHN ZORN - Composer / JESSE HARRIS - Lyricist
Featuring: PETRA HADEN - Vocals
JORGE RODER - Contrabass

Love Songs tells the story of a young woman, her friends, their relationships both past and ongoing, and struggles with identity and trauma. This world-premiere concert performance features the remarkable voice of Petra Haden, accompanied by Brian Marsella on piano, Jorge Roeder on bass, and Ches Smith on drums. Blending influences from Burt Bacharach, Stephen Sondheim, Kurt Weill, and the Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building tradition, this is a lyrical and dramatic tribute to contemporary song that will appeal to young and old alike.

National Sawdust
80 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
646 - 779 - 8455

Just added:
JOHN ZORN @ 70 - 3 Concerts at Miller Theatre at Columbia University:

Composer Portraits: John Zorn’s Music for Strings
Thursday, September 21, 2023, 8PM
John Zorn: Sigil Magick: A Curious and Detailed Exposition of Sigils, Signs, and Hieroglyphs Peculiar to the Occult Orders, Hermetic Brotherhoods, and Dark Mystery Schools of the Late Middle Ages for string quintet (2020)
John Zorn: The Gas Heart a mini opera for 2 celli and 2 percussionists (2020)
John Zorn: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science for string sextet (2020)

Composer Portraits: John Zorn at 70
Thursday, October 19, 2023, 8PM
New Masada / Simulacrum
New Masada Quartet: John Zorn / Julian Lage / Jorge Roeder / Kenny Wolleson
Simulacrum: John Medeski / Matt Hollenberg / Kenny Grohowski

Composer Portraits: John Zorn at 70
Thursday, November 16, 2023, 8PM
Barbara Hannigan - Piano John Zorn - Composer
John Zorn Star Catcher (2022)
John Zorn Split the Lark (2021)
John Zorn Liber Loagaeth (2021)
John Zorn Ab Eo, Quod (2021)
John Zorn Pandora’s Box (2013)


Rhythm in the Kitchen Festival 2023
Hell's Kitchen, NYC
@ Prime Produce
424 W 54th St, New York, NY (bet 9 & 10)

Friday Sept 8:
- 3pm William Hooker / Yaching Cheung / Ayumi Ishito
- 4pm Patrick Brennan
- 5pm Solastaltia
- 6pm dinner time
- 7pm John King (Duet)
- 8pm Barbiana Complex
- 9pm Sarah Bernstein Solo
- 10pm Sam Day Harmet's Soundpainting Orchestra

Saturday Sept 9:
- 3pm James Paul Nadien Toadal Package
- 4pm Sana Nagano Ensemble
- 5pm Laura Feathers Ensemble
- dinner time
- 7pm Phill Niblock
- 8pm Indeterminate Ensemble
- 9pm Chuck Bettis
- 10pm Third Eye Electric Band

Sunday Sept 10: MC BruceLee - MC
- 3pm Jason Hwang Trio
- 4pm Marc Edwards Slipstream Time
- 5pm Theo Woodward, David First, DJMagic Clowns, Mo Kubbara
- 6pm dinner time
- 7pm William Hooker Group
- 8pm Shelley Hirsch / Ka Baird
- 9pm On K'a Davis 3D Veve
-10pm Mohammed Kubbara Sextet


FourOneOne / SHIFT

Sep 9, 2023
Bahauddin Dagar
Church of St. Luke & St. Matthew
520 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Sep 16, 2023
Bahauddin Dagar
2220 Arts Archives
Presented by Black Editions
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Shift is located at
411 Kent Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11249


John Cage's Japan at Japan Society
An Original Performance Series
Celebrating the Composer's Relationship with Japanese Culture

September 28 and September 29 at 7:30 pm
Paul Lazar's Cage Shuffle
Directed by Annie-B Parson

October 21 at 8:30 pm
John Cage's Ryoanji
with Tomomi Adachi, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE),
Hitomi Nakamura (hichiriki), and Maki Ota (voice)

November 16 at 7:30 pm
Tomomi Adachi's Noh-opera / Noh-tation: Decoding John Cage's Unrealized Project
with Gelsey Bell (voice), Wakako Matsuda (noh), and ICE

Thursday, December 7 at 7:30 pm
Cage Shock: An Homage to his First Japan Visit
with Tania Caroline Chen, Victoria Shen, Tomomi Adachi, and ICE

All Programs Commissioned and presented by Japan Society
Tickets On Sale to the General Public August 17 at
They called it the "Cage Shock." In 1962, the iconoclastic American composer John Cage toured Japan for a legendary series of concerts that served to draw attention to the rhymes between his works and the sounds of avant-garde and classical Japanese music. The tour cemented Cage as a pivotal figure in the East but the impact of that trip reverberated both directions. Cage had found truth and validation for his creative philosophy in Japan and returned to his experiences abroad as a wellspring of inspiration for the rest of his life.





Formerly of HENRY COW, THE ART BEARS, NEWS FOR BABEL & RECOMMENDED RECORDS (ReR) has been creating an ongoing series of podcasts called the Probes series. I am often fascinated at listening to each of these as Mr. Cutler does an incredible job of showing a deep history of Creative Music in the 20th century & beyond. I usually listen to these on the train to NYC that I take to get to work each day. The most recent Probes (#36) was released a few weeks ago, here is the links: