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DMG Newsletter for September 22nd, 2023


Tuesday, September 26th:
6:30: DAVE MILLER - Drums / PATRICK BRENNAN - Alto Sax / STAN ZENKOFF - Bass Clarinet / JULIE HAYFORD - Guitar
7:30: YOONA KIM - Ajaeng (Korean Bow/Zither) / HENRY LINDENNBAUM - Vibraphone

Tuesday, October 3rd:
7:30: BENJAMIN VERGARA / BRANDON LOPEZ - Trumpet / ContraBass
8:30: STIGMATA DENTATA: JOHANNA MONK - No-input Mixer / VANITA MONK - Voice / SUZANA LAȘCU - Guitar, Synths

Tuesday, October 10th:
7:30: JAMES PAUL NADIEN - Drums / HANNA SCHORKEN - Voice / SANDY EWEN - Guitar / ERIC PLAKS - Keyboard
8:30: HS / CZ / RK German Trio

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 (if you don’t do InstaGram, you can still view these 1 minute clips on the DMG homepage), so please check them out and come down to visit when you can. - BLG/DMG



Every Tuesday night here at DMG, we have some Free Live Creative Music and something magical happens. Our sonic environment is altered by each set, from two to five, and I am reminded of the provocative and healing qualities of live music. Sometimes I am not feeling so great or I am tired yet when I calm down and listen, something eventually transcendent occurs and I am transformed with the hope found within Creative Music. Last Sunday, my old friend (since December of 1979) Eugene Chadbourne played here in two sets, a solo and with a Downtown improv quintet set that I organized. The first set was filled with a variety of covers, from the country, pop and folk worlds. The second set featured Eugene “Doc Chad” on guitar, banjo & vocals, Michael Foster on saxes, Steve Swell on trombone, Frank Meadows on bass and Dave Miller on drums. The set flowed freely and included a few covers (like “Driving My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt), but mostly some open ended improv from a quintet that had never played together previously yet it sounded like they’ve been playing for a long while. This is the magic of free/improv when it works. Last Tuesday (9/19/23), we had another wonderful night with two completely different guitar duos: Killick Hines & Sandy Ewen in the first set and Sally Gates & Matt Hollenberg in the second set plus a fine set of solo drums & electronics by Devin Gray for the third set. These live music night inspire me in many ways and make me proud to to keep presenting evenings like this. I film 1 or 2 one minute clips on my phone per set and try to put one up InstraGram each day, check them out if you can. If you don’t do InstaGram, you can still go to the DMG homepage and check them out there. Attendance has slowly been growing over time (10-30 folks) and I am glad to see new and old faces each week. I urge you to come down to DMG when you can to check out these events. It is a friendly environment for all and musicians often tell me how much they love to play here. We’ve been doing the weekly gig events for around 25 years and yes that is quite a bit of sets and musicians. Thanks to all of the musicians who’ve played here and thanks to all you attendees. You know who loves you still, me, BruceLee



SUN RA and His INTERGALACTIC SOLAR ARKESTRA - Space is the Place - From the Original Soundtrack (Modern Harmonic MH-267; Saturn) “A celestial journey is just what Sun Ra and his Arkestra have created with Space is the Place. Sun Ra's opus is at it's simplest, a trip through outer bound melodies! Planetary bodies, eras in time, crystals, space caravans... Allow yourself to envision or feel a world away with this deluxe package of 2 CDs, a Blu-ray Disc & DVD of the film, and lots more! The audio portion contains the original music composed for the film, which was eventually released as a soundtrack in 1993. It also features The Mathematics Of The Altered Destiny, a previously unissued album recorded in the same soundtrack sessions but is finally being released half a century after it was recorded. This newly discovered album is heavy on the prose of Sun Ra, as he and June Tyson bestow countless bits of information and inspiration onto the listener. The film soundtrack is an entirely different journey than the 1973 Blue Thumb LP it shares it's title with. We suggest you take both journeys. These recordings were sourced from the Sun Ra tape vault, then were digitally restored to make an album this special sound the best it possibly could. The Blu-ray contains the entire glorious film complete with film artifacts, and was sourced from the restoration prepared by Rapid Eye Movies of Germany. The bonus features on the Blu-ray are composed of Ra and Ra-centric material from the Modern Harmonic archives, including video from the Outer Space Visual Communicator footage. An additional track from these sessions, "The Idea Of The Greater Age" can be found on the CD version of this album or on the album.”
2 CD / 1 DVD/Blu-Ray Set $48

INGRID LAUBROCK with JON IRABAGON / ZEENA PARKINS / TOM RAINEY - Monochromes (Intakt 411; Switzerland) Featuring Ingrid Laubrock on tenor & soprano saxes & compositions, Jon Irabagon on sopranino sax, Zeena Parkins on electric harp and Tom Rainey on drums plus guests: Nate Wooley on trumpet, Adam Matlock on accordion and JD Allen, David Breskin & Ms. Laubrock on the Harry Bertoia Sonambient sculptures. Downtown saxist/composer/multi-bandleader, Ingrid Laubrock, continues to fascinate, confound and surprise us serious listeners by dropping new projects every year with different personnel and different concepts. Former MOPDTK saxist Jon Irabagon has worked with Ms. Laubrock in several previous bands led by Mary Halvorson. Downtown professor (for Mills College) & harp master, Zeena Parkins, played on Ms. Laubrock’s ‘Dreamt Twice’ disc from 2020, which also included accordionist Adam Matlock. Trumpet wizard, Nate Wooley, has worked with Ms. Laubrock consistently on projects led by Ken Vandermark, Taylor Ho Bynum and a couple led by Mr. Wooley. Ms. Laubrock and Mr. are married and often work together on each other’s varied projects.
This album is titled ‘Monochromes’ since it is collection of tape(d) pieces which were recorded in August of 2022 by the original quartet (Laubrock, Irabagon, Parkins & Rainey) and then having added taped parts by the guest musicians. Ms. Laubrock began recording this project one month after passing her citizen test and completed it the very day she was sworn in (after a 6 month battle with immigration authorities). Ms. Laubrock asks that the listener listen to this disc in one sitting and a substantial volume so that is what I am doing now (9/20/23). Things begin with some eerie electronic drones: electric harp? accordion? and Tom Rainey’s distinctive organic drum sound. The sound is both hypnotic as well as somewhat disorienting. The two saxes add some strange, carefully crafted bent notes while the drone/wave expands. Tom Rainey’s marvelous mallet-work has a way of framing things and sounds a bit ritualistic. Mr. Irabagon, who is more recognized for his alto & tenor sax playing, has been concentrating on sopranino (and soprillo) over the past few years. He and Mr. Laubrock work well together, shifting and bending each note together or tightly around one another. The keyboard sound here becomes more dense and sounds like a church organ as it resonates more vibrantly. Ms. Parkins’ unique sounding electric harp (with whammy bar) is featured midway and sounds especially engaging, as if this segment was written for her distinctive sound. Subtle sax sonics, soft chattering percussion are also added like succinct punctuation. This disc reminds me of the music for a soundtrack of a film about modern life, they way technology helps us, hurts us and fascinates us. The last part features sound sculpturist Harry Bertoia’s sonambient sculptures (check them out here: The sound is filled with suspense, an eerie tingling percussive sound, which gets quieter as it winds down. Time to listen again later today. Most impressive. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $18


KEN VANDERMARK / NATE WOOLEY / SYLVIE COURVOISIER / TOM RAINEY - Noise of Our Time (Intakt 310; Switzerland) Featuring Ken Vandermark on tenor sax & clarinet, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Sylvie Courvoisier on piano and Tom Rainey on drums. It was during a six night residency at The Old Stone that Ken Vandermark assembled this quartet to play for the first time. Instead of doing a totally improvised set, like most (all?) of the sets during Vandermark’s residency, each of the four members here each brought three compositions of their own into a cosy studio in Mount Vernon, NY. Each member of the quartet is connected through different previous groups/situations. Mr. Vandermark and Mr. Wooley have toured and recorded (two CD’s) as a duo, hence their bond is strong. Mr. Wooley and Ms. Courvoisier have a fine trio CD on Relative Pitch plus both are members of Mr. Wooley’s ongoing ‘Battle Pieces’ ensemble. The ever amazing and in-demand drummer, Tom Rainey, keeps pretty busy working with many of Downtown’s finest: Including working with Ms. Courvoisier in Herb Robertson’s Downtown Allstars. What is most interesting about this disc is how diverse it is, each of the three composers have chosen pieces to push the quartet into different strategical areas. Sylvie’s “Checkpoint” has the tenor and trumpet both playing intense, rambunctious solos while the piano & drums both play these tight, jagged lines together. Vandermark’s “Track and Field” starts off with a drone-line while Ms. Courvoisier rubs the strings inside the piano, creating some controlled chaos with the tenor, trumpet and piano all erupting together, the drums deliberately adding elements of suspense and punctuation simultaneously. What also works well is when certain duos take off, like the tenor & drums and trumpet & drums and Sylvie adds quick, burning lines of her own pushing the temperature to boiling point time and again. There are a few pieces that I dig but haven’t figured out how they work as it will take some time and listen to these pieces several times. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12 (regularly $18)

LARK with INGRID LAUBROCK / RALPH ALESSI / KRIS DAVIS /TOM RAINEY - Lark (Skirl 22; USA) "Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Ralph Alessi offer us a very intricate 60 minutes on LARK, an album with a rarely seen need for attention. The not-knowing part comes in handy during the first listen, with the first mystery that unveils the question - is this completely improvised or some written material was brought by some of the musicians? I have spent like hours and days with that question. It is simply unreal how Ingrid / Ralph / Kris / Tom feed of each other ideas, how they complement each other movement, how they hold patiently till their time comes. This simply can not be improvised, or I'm listening to some very rare and genuine improvised mastery. The musicians in this quartet had played countless times together in different formations, many of them with composed material - but this doesn't sound like it. I can't recognize anything that references Ingrid Laubrock's material, like last's year Anti-House or Paradoxical Frog. Ralph Alessi, on this album is more like a gentler, more subtle version of Taylor Ho Bynum, bursting bright 'bird' sounds all over the place, nothing with what you'll connect him to Baida (ECM, 2014) or any recent release of his. Well, maybe the more open and brave parts of his This Against That formation, but that's all you get. The thing that bothers me the most is how melodic this album, even when they all play different things in the same time in a very small and confined space. Especially then, it's just too deeply melodic. Every time you point your ears to it, the music unveils some different layer, you catch some phrase and how that phrase leads to a new movement. All the way, this music kindly regards the listener with complex melodic subtleties that are the most important clues that form the general picture. And it's a never ending process with this album. You often don't get music that has this amount of inspiration and depth. Take Tom Rainey for instance, no matter what the others are doing, he just grooves the hell out of it (certainly, not in the common sense of groove) and with his realy warm and nice sound, makes this music quite accessible. Not his usual thing, but man, he does it with such vigor. Bottom line, for this to be composed and previously prepared, even in a completely democratic, almost utopian collaboration for the composing - they had a really tough job and a really hard time getting it done. That's how good it's sounds. The clarity of the language from all the four musicians and the narrative is just simply stunning. No matter what the nature is behind this release, improvised or composed, LARK is a pure thriller, a greatly told story. It unfolds right in front of the listener with an unparalleled graciousness." - Filip 'Booka' Bukrshliev
CD Sale $10

TODD SICKAFOOSE with JENNY SCHEINMAN / ADAM LEVY / BEN GOLDBERG / KIRK KNUFFKE / ERIK DEUTSCH / ROB REICH / ALLISON MILLER - Bear Proof (SH054; USA) Featuring Jenny Scheinman on violin, Adam Levy on guitar, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Kirk Knuffke on cornet, Rob Reich accordion, Erik Deutsch on piano, Todd Sickafoose on acoustic bass & compositions and Allison Miller on drums. I’ve long admired the work of Bay Area bassist Todd Sickafoose, hearing him collaborate with Jenny Scheinman, Jessica Lurie, Allison Miller and catching him with Ani DiFranco many years back. Mr. Sickafoose keeps busy with a variety of projects and only records solo efforts on rare occasions, this is the fourth since 2000. For this disc, Mr. Sickafoose has put together an impressive octet of west coast all-stars most of whom he has worked with previously and all of them are leaders on their own. This session was recorded at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA, Fantasy Studios has been around since 1971 and finally closed down in September of 2018, not long after this session was recorded.
This entire nearly 62 minute disc was recorded in one long session and performed just once previously, the night before for a radio station transmission. The music here is quite transcendent, sort of chamber jazz with several layers of waves overlapping. It is nice to hear from my old pal Adam Levy, who I once heard with Killer Joey (Baron band) before moving to make some big bucks with Grammy winner Norah Jones. Both Mr. Levy and violinist Jenny Scheinman (another old friend) are on top and sound perfect together, swirling together magically. The are numerous highlights here: the playing of clarinetist Ben Goldberg and cornetist Kirk Knuffke (recently heard with James Brandon Lewis) is all special, looping around one another like mating birds in flight. Both the piano and the accordion provide a rich undertow together and apart. There are times when most of the octet lay out while someone solos or duos (like the superb clarinet & cornet duo on track 3). Adam Levy is the MVP here and plays subtly with and underneath all of the other players. He sounds like he is playing through a Leslie (organ cabinet) or possibly using effects in sly ways. There are a number of outstanding solos here: Jenny Scheinman on “Switched On” and Ben Goldberg on “Flushed”. Much of the magic here comes from the varied counterpoint sections when some of the subgroups play in quaint patterns. At times, I am reminded of joyous, circus music, something that the Kamikaze Ground Crew used to specialize in. Although nearly everyone gets a chance to solo here, this music is more about casting a magic spell on those who listen. Mr. Sickafoose has played with Allison Miller in her band Boom Tic Boom. Both he, Ms. Miller & Adam Levy are at the heart of this wonderful group and work especially well together. There are some surprising sections here as well. On “Boom Bust Startup Ruin”, it sounds like the group is playing an ancient chugging rockish line from the early days (fifties) while adding a more somber counterpoint groove with pizzicato violin, skeletal piano and quaint clarinet in the background. There are recent releases which make me feel better since they seem to glow from within. The first one is Michael Blake’s ‘Dance Of The Mystic Bliss’ and the other one is this one. It is a completely unexpected delight. Can’t wait to play it in the store so I can brighten up the day of one or more of our in-store customers/audience. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

MICHAEL MUSILLAMI TRIO with JOE FONDA / GEORGE SCHULLER - Block Party (Playscape 071322; USA) Featuring Michael Musillami on guitar & compositions, Joe Fonda on contrabass and George Schuller on drums. Although I started out a rock guitar fan addict throughout and after the 1960’s, I’ve become an equally fanatic about jazz guitarists since hearing about giants like Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and George Benson, starting in 1972, when I bought my first jazz albums. I am still searching out more jazz guitar greats, especially after hearing the more obscure players like Lenny Breau, Harry Leahy and Amancio D’Silva. I first heard of Connecticut-based guitarist, Michael Musillami, when he had a record out on Mario Pavone’s Alacra label in the late 1980’s and had my old friend Thomas Chapin playing with him in the 1990’s.
The Michael Musillami Trio has been playing together for 20 years now and this is their 10th disc. Half of their discs are just the trio, while the other half include guest musicians like Kris Davis, Ned Rothenberg and Peter Madsen. The trio itself has gotten better over time and I was looking forward to reviewing it after getting this promo a couple of months ago. Mr. Musillami loves to write these gnarly, oft challenging song which keep changing or shifting through odd rhythmic contours as they go. On “Robert Paris”, the rhythm team keeps a constant central groove/flow while Musillami takes a long, shape-shifting solo with those Wes-like chords thrown in. Musillami often takes astonishing solos which end in unexpected plays while the rest of the song moves forward. Musillami does a lovely ballad called, Little Ruby Steps”, starting out slowly but then picking up tempo as it goes through some more moderate tempo parts with a fine bowed bass solo midway followed by a poignant unaccompanied guitar solo in another part of the piece. “Freedom Calls” starts out one way with the trio playing their parts playing tightly together before they start shifting through different sections, eventually speeding up to a frenzied finish. “Off the Monster” has a familiar melody which keeps bouncing between more restrained and more excitable sections. The guitar and the bass keep trading lines throughout the second half of this piece, finishing each other's lines. What stands out here is Musillami writing/arranging: this piece goes through a number of complex sections, shifting tempos, from sparse to frenzied, with a number of unexpected twists and turns. What makes this disc so great is that each song seems to have its own inner logic or strategy. oft starting in one place and then shifting through a variety of surprising twists. I have to listen to it several times to hear all of the shapeshifting gifts that are involved within. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

DERIC DICKENS / ERICA DICKER / ELI WALLACE - The Light Only Comes Sometimes (Mole/Tree Records 009; USA) Featuring Erica Dicker on violin, Eli Wallace on prepared piano and Deric Dickens on percussion. Percussionist Deric Dickens has played the store on a couple of occasions, has recorded a good deal with DC saxist Brad Linde and has a few of his own CD’s out. Former west coast based pianist, Eli Wallace used to work at DMG and is an under-recognized master of prepared piano with a handful of great discs. Violinist Erica Dicker has worked with Anthony Braxton, in Jessica Pavone’s String Ensemble and was/is a member of Pretty Monsters, whose obscure disc on Public Eyesore was one of the weird things I’ve heard when it was released in 2015.
This disc was recorded at Figure 8 Studios in December of 2020. Although this might just be a free improv session, it doesn’t sound that way to me. There is some sort of inner pulse going on here, a kind of throb which is buried yet I can feel somehow. Ms. Dicker keeps plucking or bowing just a few notes at a time which seem consistent as far a rhythmic certain. All three members of the trio take their times and carefully play each note of sound. This slows time down so we can hear the way each sound is made and the texture of each sound. Mr. Dickens percussion is also skeletal, only playing when he is needed and rarely adding any rhythmic patterns. All of the sounds here are acoustic and superbly recorded. On “Tossed into the Brine”, the trio goes further out, the density thickens yet the overall sound is just as cautious as earlier. The sound here is more exciting and often has that edge-of-your-seat sort of thrill. The piece gets more intense as it evolves, hitting some great moments of exhilaration. This disc seems to create its own world, the more I listen, the more I feel as if I/we are a part of the world that it has created. A good place to be during these trying times. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $10

DAVE SEWELSON / STEPHEN MOSES / JOCHEM VAN DIJK / STEVE HOLTJE - Orca Uprising (Mechabenzaiten MB 019CD; USA) “A product of the fertile and prolific free-improvisation scene in New York City. With venues not always eager to host free improv, various musicians on the scene have taken inspiration from the 1970s loft scene, on a smaller scale, by putting on regular house concerts. The most famous of the current series is Andrew Drury's Soup and Sound; Aron Namenwirth's series Aron's Place is not far behind. (Both deep in the heart of Brooklyn, which is more freewheeling than Manhattan at this point.) NYC free-jazz eminence grise Dave Sewelson (Microscopic Septet, Sedition Ensemble, various William Parker groups) and ESP-Disk' manager Steve Holtje (Caterpillar Quartet, This Humidity) put together this quartet, with Dave bringing in Stephen Moses (Alice Donut, Voltaire) and Holtje calling on frequent bandmate Jochem van Dijk.”
CD $14

JOHN BUTCHER / PAT THOMAS / DOMINIC LASH / STEVE NOBLE - Fathom (577 Records 5914; USA) “The debut for UK saxophonist John Butcher on 577 Records is this exemplary 2021 live recording at Cafe OTO in London by the quartet of Butcher on tenor and soprano saxophones, Pat Thomas on piano, Dominic Lash on double bass and Steve Noble on drums, four of the UK's leading free improvisers demonstrating their prodigious abilities in concentrated conversation.”
CD $14

RHYS CHATHAM & DAVID FENECH - Tomorrowstartstonight (Klanggalerie 435CD; Austria) I’ve long been fascinated with Rhys Chatham’s music since hearing “Factor X” on Moers Music from 1983. Although Mr. Chatham is known for his multiple guitar projects (from two to 400 guitars!), he also plays trumpet and has composed music for a variety of instruments and ensembles. David Fenech is an American-born, French-based experimental musician (guitar, electronics, melodica & toys) who has worked with Tom Cora, Pierre Bastien, Jac Berrocal, Ghédalia Tazartès, and Nurse With Wound. I had no idea what this disc would sound like until I put into my CD player. The three pieces were recorded in Paris and Vienna, Austria in May of 2022. “In Search of Tomorrow” begins with several layers of mysterious drones. It is hard to tell which instruments are being used here: keyboards, toys, churning percussion (hard to tell exactly) plus an ongoing wave of sonic soup washing over us. It also sounds like the amplified voices of ghosts or some solemn chanting monks. If you are into the cosmic drone (like Terry Riley’s “Rainbow in Curved Air” or “In C”), then this disc was meant for you. Each piece is similar in the way it evolves yet the sounds or instruments being used are somewhat different on each piece. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $18

JOHN CAGE // CALATO - Variations Four6 (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1024; Switzerland) Calato, the quartet of Javier Areal Vélez, Jorge Espinal, Agustín Genoud and Pablo Verón based in Buenos Aires, formed in 2010 as an improvisation and experimental composition group exploring music notation and graphic scores in convergence with free improvisation, performing on prepared electric guitars, drums, sampler and amplified voice, here taking on two works by John Cage: Variations I-III, and Four6”
CD $18

CHARLES MINGUS with ERIC DOLPHY / BOOKER ERVIN / TED CURSON / BUD POWELL / DANNIE RICHMOND - At Antibes 1960, Revisited (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1158; Switzerland) Restoring and remastering the 1979 Atlantic album Mingus at Antibes from bassist & composer Charles Mingus, an extraordinary concert from the 1960 Antibes Jazz Festival with the masterful sextet of Eric Dolphy on alto sax & bass clarinet, Ted Curson on trumpet, Booker Ervin on tenor saxophone and Dannie Richmond on drums, with Bud Powell or Mingus himself on piano.”
CD $18

HANS KOCH / CHRISTINE ABDELNOUR - FFlair (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1046; Switzerland) “Born from a project from the "Jazz in Chur" association where Swiss jazz musicians team up with a musical partner from a country with a different language and cultural region, here between Swiss saxophonist Hans Koch and Lebanese saxophonist Christine Abdelnour, the two recording their half of the duo independently, joined in the studio and split left & right for a stunning and unanticipated collaboration.”
CD $18

JESSICA ACKERLEY / YUMA UESAKE / COLIN HINTON - Petting Zoo (Waveform Alphabet WA005; USA) The NY trio of Jessica Ackerley (SSWAN) on electric guitar, Yuma Uesaka on saxophone & reeds and Colin Hinton on drums & percussion, associated with improvisers including Tyshawn Sorey, Patrick Shiroshi, Ingrid Laubrock, &c., in a collective trio of exceptionally attuned and implicitly melodic dialog promoting energetic interplay balanced with periods of explorative reflection.”
CD $14

BEAT THE ODDS with PASCAL NIGGENKEMPER / ELISABETH COUDOUX / RICARDO JACINTO / FELICIE BAZELAIRE - Music for 2 Cellos, 2 Contrabasses, Amplifier and Motors (Subran 006; France) Featuring Elisabeth Coudoux & Ricardo Jacinto on cellos and Felicie Bazelaire & Pascal Niggenkemper on contrabasses. This disc was recorded at three gigs in France and in Germany in January & February of 2017. As I work my way through all six discs from Pascal Niggenkemper’s recent box set called ‘bloc’, I am amazed at hour different each disc is. It is not just that the personnel is different on each disc but that the concept/approach varies on each one. There are very few if an string quartets made up of two cellos and two contrabasses. Add to this amplifiers and motors so that what we have is a completely unique quartet. Once this disc begins, what we hear is is odd blend of seesawing bowed strings with the humming or whirring of amplifiers and motors. Both basses are throbbing and expanding and creating a disorienting sea of dark waves. The two cellos sound like they are amplified, expanding their sound while one the cellos slowly shift like ghosts slow dancing in a graveyard. There is a high end thin tapping on metal sound which comes in waves through this disc. Each of the three pieces evolve organically and start off with modest, more subtle sounds. Although this is a mere string quartet (played in the round), the amplified strings give this a more orchestral sound which is somewhat spooky at times. The second piece starts off with solemn, quiet sound and somber drones. It builds from there, with layers of ghost-like drones and groans, wheezing like a couple of ancient accordions or buzzing baritone saxes. Absolutely fascinating! I guess it is the motors which are making those percussive sounds, they also add some mystery to what is actually going on here. The third piece starts with chattering (motors?) sounds along with some soft ghostly drones, similar to the way whales sing (speak?). This piece goes through sections and is mostly percussive at first, the tension and tapping tempo increase as the piece develops. It sounds more like electro-acoustic music as it blurs the lines between acoustic & electronic, music & noise and/or drones & shifting sonorities. If I didn’t know what the instrumentation was before listening, I might not have a clue as to what was/is going here. All six tracks are most effective at lifting us out of whenever we are while listening attentively. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $10 [This disc is part of the 6 CD Set box set, which is limited to 120 numbered boxes & costs $50, 2 left]

MERCHE BLASCO / LUCIE VITKOVA - Blasco/Vitkova/Anette (XI RECORDS 150CD; USA) “On this album, Lucie Vítková and Merche Blasco explore cyborgness through their relationships with their instruments. Lucie perceives the accordion as an extension of their body -- sound, matter, and movement locked in a self-generating cybernetic loop. Merche built Anette, a 3D printer, as her interlocutor and companion in the performance space; in return, Anette printed thimble-microphones Merche wears on her fingers, which render the machine's unique electromagnetic voice audible to human ears. Performed through an octophonic system, the wearable microphones expand Merche's hand gestures to sonically fill the performance space, surrounding the audience with the sensation of being within Anette's busy, mechanical body. For this album, the eight signals broadcast by Merche's thimble-microphones were later mixed down to stereo, replicating the spatial image created live. This album is the record of an inter-material conversation among the trio of Vítková, Blasco, and Anette (technically a quartet since Merche was six months pregnant at the time), in which human and nonhuman elements of the cyborgian system are in constant interflow. The album includes a text written by Shelley Hirsch.”
2 CD Set $17

FLOCKS - Flocks (Zehra 010CD; Germany)”Flocks is a new duo, formed by drone specialist Werner Durand and Uli Hohmann. Musical landscapes that move between traditional as well as experimental sounds with influences from Krautrock and Jon Hassel's "fourth world" aesthetics. Werner Durand has made himself a name with various projects with Dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni, playing with Urban Sax, Arnold Dreyblatt, Henning Christiansen, David Behrman, Ellen Fullman, Catherine Christer Hennix, as the co-founder of The 13th Tribe, Armchair Traveller and Tonaliens (with Robin Ayward and Hilary Jeffery) plus numerous solo albums, released on labels like Black Truffle, Unseen Worlds, or Edition Telemark. Having studied saxophone as well as Indian/Persian flutes, the Berlin based Durand is a highly reputable protagonist in the drone scene, famous for his self-built wind instruments like buzz-clarinets or his PVC neys and horns. His partner in Flocks (and longtime personal friend) is Uli Hohmann whose early encounters with music from Asia, India and Africa led to studies with the Ghanaian master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy and later Tombak and Daf with Nemad Darman (Iran). Hohmann played in a couple of projects that explored the language of classical Persian music, and started building his own stringed instruments (being an educated carpenter). In 2014, he joined Durand and Amelia Cuni for the album Clearing, and 2018 Duran and Hohmann decided to continue as a duo: Flocks was born. On their self-titled debut, they shape drone-y soundscapes based on their self-built wind- and stringed-instruments, Persian percussion and subtle electronics, drawing additional inspiration from krautrock (listen to the irresistible, hypnotic groove of "Quicksand") as well as Jon Hassel's "fourth world" aesthetics, placing the duo nicely between tradition and experiment.”
CD $17


I feel fortunate to have been born during a time of so much Creative Music Activity, listening to the radio, hundreds of singles, albums, tapes, CD’s, etc and attending concerts as often as was/is possible. The 1980’s were a particularly great time for live music and I went to gigs 4-6 days a week, often recording many of these shows. One of the bands I caught several times and which were always greta were called Ritual Tension. I’ve remained friendly with their bassist, Marc Sloan, ever since. Mr. Sloan released a few solo efforts over the last few years, played a couple of fine sets at DMG earlier this year and introduced me to their singer Ivan Nahem who had some newer Ritual Tension CD’s. I reviewed two of them (listed below) but Mr. Nahem was traveling so we haven’t gotten copies until recently. Both are now in stock. On Tuesday, October 3rd, Ritual Tension, we play a rare reunion set here at DMG at 6:30! 1st of three great sets that night. Please come down to check out their intense new/old sound! - BLG/DMG

EX-TENSION with GREGG BIELSKI / IVAN NAHEM / ANDREW NAHEM / MARC SLOAN / MICHAEL SHOCKLEY - The Kiss (Rorer 714; USA) Featuring Gregg Bielski on soundscapes, Ivan Nahem on vocals, lyrics & harmonica, Andrew Nahem on guitar, Marc Sloan on bass guitar, Michael Shockley on conga (1 track) and Joe Trump on drums (1 track). I caught Ritual Tension, a NY post-punk band play several times in the mid-1980’s and have been a longtime friend of their bassist Marc Sloan ever since. Mr. Sloan was also the bassist in Elliott Sharp’s Carbon. Although Ritual Tension broke up around 1990, both Ivan Nahem and Marc Sloan have continued to create music together and separately in different projects with the Swans & Carnival Crash. Both Ivan Nahem and Marc Sloan have self-released a number of fine discs of their own projects over the past decade. Mr. Bielski is also a member of several bands: Gray Death, Stare into the Sun and The Little Wretches. This project began with Gregg Bielski creating soundscapes and Ivan Nahem (lead singer for Ritual Tension) adding his spoken words. Mr. Bielski had the other ex-members of Ritual Tension adding parts to separate tracks. “Apologies I” opens with some dark, brooding soundscapes, chains clanging, a throbbing, pounding rhythm team and layers of ominous, gothic-sounding spoken word vocals. That inner throb and layer of clanging chains or metal reminds me of Einsturzende Neubauten. Mr. Nahem’s voice always had a somewhat disturbing (serious in intent) sound and he still sounds that way today. Andrew Nahem, Ivan’s brother also adds some eerie, spacey, effects laden guitar sounds on three tracks. The overall vibe of hypnotic, brooding, disorienting, simmering spaciousness is what runs throughout and what seems to have a quietly disturbing effect on us normal folks. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

RITUAL TENSION with IVAN NAHEM / MARC SLOAN / MICHAEL SHOCKLEY - It’s Just the Apocalypse, It’s Not the End (Arguably Records RI-524; USA) Featuring Ivan Nayhem on vocals, Marc Sloan on bass guitar, guitars, feedback & cowbell and Michael Shockley on drums. During the mid-to-late 1980’s, NYC was filled with loads of bands fronted by one or two (or even three) guitarists, each of whom pushing the limits of what could be done on guitar(s). Consider these bands: Massacre, DNA, Sonic Youth, Swans, Band of Susans, Carbon, Shockabilly, Live Skull, Scornflakes and Ritual Tension. One of my faves was a quartet called Ritual Tension, fronted by singer Ivan Nayhem, with his bro Andrew on guitar, Marc Sloan (also in Carbon) on el bass and Michael Shockley on drums. Ritual Tension recorded three albums from 1986 through 1989, before they broke up. I caught them live several times and was knocked out by each set. It’s been 30plus years since that last record was released. Marc Sloan has kept busy ever since, working on a variety of projects and released 4 discs of his own in the past couple of years. The band reformed recently without their guitarist (Andrew Nayhem) and released a new trio disc in 2020. There is a guest violinist/guitarist named Emilio Zef China on 2 tracks. Marc Sloan has always had the thick, pounding, distinctive sound on his electric bass, hence his sound is often at the center of these songs. The music/songs here are strong, throbbing post-punk rock, powerful, tight, probing and in-your-face! The band do a fine, brooding version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression:”. Oddly enough Ritual Tension even do their own version of a hip-hop song which is pretty cool which includes some dark yet righteous lyrics. Ivan Nayhem’s voice is still strong, intense and like a narrator of nightmarish dreamscapes. I remember how much I dug Mr. Nahem’s singing and somewhat disturbing stage presence way back when. He still sounds like he is describing our urban nightmare, brought on by Right Wing Propaganda and Fear. Have things not changed that much in three decades?!? In some ways we are still plagued by numerous worldwide fascists. Perhaps it is even worse today. “Somebody buy me a drink” he squalls on “I Can’t Find the Party”. I can relate. This is primal energy, post-apocalyptic rap/rock whatness. The other cover here is “Shakin’ Street’, an early single by MC5!?! It is slowed down and brooding and most effective. Rock it slow, sly, sexy and fun. Ritual Tension truly rise to occasion for the last song, “Her Big Night Out”. It reminds me a bit of the original Stooges, just more funky. Hardcore punk music often inspired me due to its protest lyrics and powerful, rockin’ tribal sound. A similar powerful vibe flows through this music as well. Are you ready to get down?!?! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

ZEITKRATZER - Reinhold Friedl: Scarlatti (Zeitkratzer ZKR 028CD; Germany) “Zeitkratzer director Reinhold Friedl and his ensemble present new compositions, grounded on Domenico Scarlatti's piano sonata F-minor K.466. Commissioned by the dance company Rubato and dedicated to Mario Bertoncini (1932-2019). Little is known about Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). His music is, so to speak, left to its own devices: free, cheeky, playful, sonorous, surprising. Harmonically strolling again and again into unforeseen regions, the ear leads, not the theory; and also, the fingers get their right: playful and haptic it goes. Scarlatti explained, "since nature has given me ten fingers and my instrument provides employment for all, I see no reason why I should not use all ten of them." Freedom, friction, and listening pleasure instead of convention: "He knew quite well that he had disregarded all the rules of composition in his piano pieces, but asked whether his deviation from the rules offended the ear? He believes there is almost no other rule than that of not offending the only sense whose object is music -- the ear." Reinhold Friedl applied this principle and composed the music for a choreography by dance company Rubato. Dance music drawn from Scarlatti, who was so inspired by dance music. The material of the piano sonata F-minor K.466 is twisted anew in all its richness, shifted back and forth, declined, frozen, noise-ified, sound structures extracted, floating. Those who know the sonata, will more than smell its shadows. Dedicated to Mario Bertoncini (Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza) who was particularly fond of K.466, on which all the music presented here is grounded.”
CD $17

CLASSROOM - Classroom (Finders Keepers FKR 116LP; UK) “The lost Belgian blueprint of Brussels based jazz fusion and how free form Franco-Flemish punk put Zeuhl school in the Classroom via the conception of COS. Emerging from behind the same clouds that kept formative Belgian progressive jazz records like Brussels Art Quintet and Kiosk's Mona Call in tangible obscurity, these impossibly rare early Euro jazz recordings shed a new ray of light on the intricate foundations of the scene that elevated COS, Marc Moulin, Placebo, Marc Hollander and Telex to Zen master status, while also capturing one of Europe's best female vocal artists in the midst of her wide eyed and uninhibited prime. Never before released on vinyl, these tracks provide a sonic chalkboard of Daniel Schell's ambitious musical equations, recalculated by precocious polymaths, then conveyed via Pascale Son's inquisitive child-like vocal explorations. For those keen to learn the Histoire De Melody COS? The classroom door is open -- prepare to be schooled!”
LP $30



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



9/21 Thursday
8:30 pm: Simple Trio: Anna Webber (tenor sax, flute) Matt Mitchell (piano) John Hollenbeck (drums)

9/22 Friday
8:30 pm: Quartet: Anna Webber (woodwinds) Doyeon Kim (gayageum) Luke Stewart (bass) Kate Gentile (drums)

9/23 Saturday
8:30 pm: Shimmer Wince: Anna Webber (tenor sax, flute, bass flute) Adam O'Farrill (trumpet) Mariel Roberts (cello) Elias Stemeseder (synthesizer) Lesley Mok (drums)


9/27 Wednesday
8:30 pm - QUINTET: Anna Webber (reeds) Darius Jones (reeds) Craig Taborn (piano) Chris Tordini (bass) Dan Weiss (drums)

9/28 Thursday
8:30 pm - QUARTET: Peter Evans (trumpet) Patricia Brennan (vibes) Miles Okazaki (guitar) Dan Weiss (drums)

9/29 Friday
8:30 pm - TRIO: Jacob Sacks (piano) Thomas Morgan (bass) Dan Weiss (drums)

9/30 Saturday
8:30 pm: TRIO: Miguel Zenon (sax) Matt Mitchell (piano) Dan Weiss (drums)

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 Continues with:

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)

THE NEW MASADA QUARTET will Play Six Night at The Village Vanguard
From Tuesday, September 26th to Sunday, October 1st!

JOHN ZORN - Alto Sax & Compositions from the Vast Masada Songbook (650 songs)
JULIAN LAGE - Electric Guitar
JORGE ROEDER - Contrabass

The Village Vanguard is located at 178 7th Ave South in NYC

I’ve seen this quartet around a half dozen times and they are consistently amazing! Their set at the FIMAV/Victo Fest in Quebec (in May of this year) was triumphant and closed the fest in a most wonderful way! Word is that their set from San Francisco recently as even better. They will be playing at the Vanguard (oldest & most well respected jazz club in NYC) for six nights with two sets per night. Whenever Mr. Zorn does a residency with one of his working bands, that band gets better and better..! All four members of this band are integral to their magical, cosmic power/allure but it the interplay (fireworks!) between Mr. Zorn and Mr. Lage that is so astonishing! Don’t miss this opportunity to check them out, they the best current modern jazz band of this era! _ BLG at DMG!


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.


Anti-Social Music & Eli Wallace Present:

Friday, October 6th, 8pm, $15
Mise-En Place
341 Calyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

1) Laubrock/Rainey duo
Ingrid Laubrock, soprano and tenor saxophones
Tom Rainey, drums

2) Hypersurface
Drew Wesely, guitar/objects
Lester St. Louis, cello
Carlo Costa, drums 

3) Eli Wallace quintet
Michael Foster, saxophones
Steve Swell, trombone
Victor Vieira-Branco, vibes
Michael TA Thompson, drums
Eli Wallace, piano/objects





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:



‘Introduction to Syntactical Ghost Trance Music’
All music and scores by Anthony Braxton
Film written, edited and narrated by Kyko Kitamura [Link below]

After not having traveled much since the pandemic, this summer, through a combination of work and play, I was in Japan and Canada, and just got back from giving a workshop in Atlanta, GA.
In between, I dusted off my rusty broadcast journalist chops and edited the mini-documentary Introduction to Syntactical Ghost Trance Music on Anthony Braxton and his Syntactical Ghost Trance Music (SGTM). It premiered earlier this month at the "ANTHONY BRAXTON: 50 YEARS OF CREATIVE MUSIC" international conference in Darmstadt, Germany, and is now available in its entirety for free viewing on Tri-Centric's Vimeo channel (
Most of the material has never been seen before by the public, including rare rehearsal, recording and interview footage. The astounding vocalists of the Tri-Centric Vocal Ensemble navigate the gorgeously complex material, pushing limits and exploring new territory. It's a story not only of the music, but a glimpse of a living composer and the artistic community. I cannot express enough my gratitude to everyone who was involved. 
Notes on the making of the video is on my website blog. The full audio recording, which I co-produced, is available at Tri-Centric's New Braxton House Records. Some SGTM scores are available at their Print Music store. - Best, Kyoko Kitamura