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DMG Newsletter for Friday, October 20th, 2023

Morose. Inflexible. Aloof.
It hovered just above the roof

Its gone right through and come to rest
On great grand uncle, Ogdred’s chest

Its settled further in the night
And gave the maid an awful fright

Headfirst without a look or word
It’s left the fourth floor for the third

The weeks went by, it made its way
A little lower everyday

Each time they thought it might have stopped
One found, however, it had dropped

One wonders just what can be meant
By this implacable descent

It did not linger, after all
Forever in the upstairs hall

It found the drawing room in turn
And slipped inside the Chinese urn

It now declines in fretful curves
Among the pickles and preserves

Its gone beneath the cellar floor
We shall not see it anymore…

Oh yes, this comes from one of those under-recognized treasures that mostly real LP collectors know about. Paul Bley was one of the first jazz pianists whose playing I had to warm up to and it took some time. I first got his two albums on ESP, a trio (‘Closer’ - 1966) and a quintet (‘Barrage’ - 1965). Many of the songs on these LP’s were written by Bley’s then wife, Carla Bley. Paul always encouraged Carla to write more songs, so she did. Carla Bley became one of the most revered jazz composers of all and has continued ever since until her recent passing. Carla and Paul would soon divorce, with Carla soon marrying Michael Mantler, a trumpet player and gifted composer as well. Carla and Michael organized the Jazz Composers Orchestra, one of the first avant-garde/experimental jazz large ensembles. They also founded their own label, Watt Records and were both members of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra (LMO), an influential ensemble which played political songs from different countries and times and which Ms. Bley contributed songs and arrangements. Ms. Bley and Mr. Mantler collaborated on each other’s records for Watt, each one a treasure chest of progressive ideas and unique music. Bley and Mantler became friends with Robert Wyatt, former drummer & vocalist for Soft Machine & Matching Mole, and decided to work on a record together. Mr. Wyatt was wheelchair bound at this time due to an accident that took place in June of 1973. For this project, Mantler used the words and artwork of Edward Gorey, an illustrator, poet & costume designer whose poems were used    for a Broadway revival of Dracula in 1977. The words and artwork for Mr. Mantler’s album, ‘The Hapless Child’ were like fractured fairy tales. Mr. Wyatt did not want to record in a studio so his voice was recorded at his home. The other personnel featured Terje Rypdal on lead guitar, Carla Bley on keyboards, Steve Swallow on bass guitar and Jack DeJohnette on drums. Both Wyatt’s wife & noted illustrator, Alfreda Benge, and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason did narration as well. When I asked Robert Wyatt about it in December of 1975, he said that if he produced it, he would’ve turned down the vocals a bit and boosted the drums of Mr. DeJohnette, who he thought was an amazing drummer. I love this record just the way it is and it remains a classic on its own terms. We used to have copies provided by Karen Mantler on LP that we sold though many times but they are now long gone. A special toast to Carla Bley, Mike Mantler and Robert Wyatt! - BLG at DMG  

CARLA BLEY PASSES AWAY at 87 (A Tribute - Part 1)

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Carla Bley, one of the greatest jazz composers of the 20th century. I remember reading an article of Ms. Bley in the mid-seventies when I was reading a number of jazz magazines religiously. The article discussed the uniqueness of her writing so I decided to go back and listen to her early compositions, soon realizing that Ms. Bley was in a class of her own. Last night, almost fifty years later, I decided to do the same thing and listen to her early songs. Carla Borg met bebop pianist Paul Bley in the late 1950’s, eventually getting married. They were living in L.A. at the time and Paul Bley had a quintet with Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. Bley had a weekly gig at a small jazz club. The owner wanted Bley to fire Mr. Coleman since some customers had complained about Ornette’s playing. Paul & Carla decided not to fire Ornette, since they thought that Coleman had come up with a way to make his music free, this was before the term “free jazz” was coined. The couple moved to New York around 1960, as did Ornette Coleman’s quartet. Ms. Bley had started composing songs and Mr. Bley became the champion of her music. Paul Bley soon played in the Jimmy Giuffre Trio, recording three albums between 1961-1963, each one a classic of chamber jazz. Carla’s songs, “Jesus Maria”, “In the Mornings Out There” and “Ictus” appeared on these records. Paul Bley was signed to the ESP label a few years later, making a quintet album (Barrage) and a trio album (‘Closer’ - 1966). Many of the songs on both of those albums were Carla’s: “Ida Lupino”, “Closer” and “Batterie”. These are the songs I listened to last night and I can still hear some special about Ms. Bley’s writing. Ms. Bley eventually divorced Paul and then married trumpeter Michael Mantler. The two started an ensemble called the Jazz Composers Orchestra, one of the avant-garde large ensembles. Ms. Bley’s composing and arranging continued to evolve. She wrote music and arrangements for Gary Burton’s ‘Genuine Tong Funeral’ in 1969 and for Charlie Haden’s ‘Liberation Music Orchestra’ in 1970. Both are classics for I urge you to give them a listen. Ms. Bley and Mr. Mantler started their own label called Watt Records and collaborated on several projects together, most of which were released on Watt. Ms. Bley worked on a large project, an opera called ‘Escalator Over the Hill’, which took upwards of five years and was released as a triple LP in 1971. This massive project featured an odd array of musicians from different fields: Jack Bruce, Don Preston, John McLaughlin, Linda Ronstadt, Gato Barbieri and many more. Many listeners and journalists refer to this album as a masterpiece and I completely agree. Part 2 to this tribute next week. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG    



 Rare Sunday Night Event, October 29th:
6:30: VINNY GOLIA - Reeds / GUILLERMO GREGORIO - Clarinet / TJ BORDEN - Cello / gabby fluke-mogol - Violin

 Tuesday, October 31st: Halloween!

 Tuesday, November 7th:
6:30: SIMON KANZLER - Electronics / MELVIN BAUER - Drums

 Tuesday, November 14th:

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, (a recently added feature), so please check them out and come down to visit when you can. - BLG/DMG

This Week’s New Discs Begin with This One:

ELLIOTT SHARP - The Collapsed Wave (zOaR ZCD 147; USA) Featuring Elliott Sharp on guitars, steel guitar, ghita phím lõm, electric mandola, electric mandocello, basses, synthesizers, drum programming and arrangements and Don McKenzie on drums & drum samples. In the fall of 1972, I took a course at college (Glassboro State in south Jersey) called “The History of Jazz” with Manny Albam & John Thysen as the professors. They played two records in one or our early classes, ‘Bitches Brew’ by Miles Davis and ‘Sextant by Herbie Hancock & the Mwandishi Band. Both records blew my mind and I soon became a jazz/rock/fusion fanatic. Within a year, I caught Mahavishnu Orchestra, the first version of Return to Forever (with Bill Connors), Grand Wazoo & the Zappa/Mothers band circa 1973, all in concert, all amazing live! I was hooked. What I quickly realized was that progressive bands like Soft Machine, King Crimson & Yes, with all coming from a similar place, as far as influences go. I was long into great rock guitar solos (like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck & Frank Zappa) and most of the fusion bands I heard also had great lead guitarists.
   Downtown guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer Elliott Sharp is a few years older than me and he went through the same era of influences as me, absorbing a great deal from many of the same bands or musicians that I was also listening to and cherishing. I met Mr. Sharp around 1980 and have heard him in various bands: ISM, Carbon & tons of improv sets. Within the diverse sounds than Mr. Sharp gets from his guitar(s), we can hear many of these aforementioned influences as well as Sharp’s own unique, distinctive approach to playing. Mr. Sharp mentions the influence of such guitar giants as Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock and the electric music of Miles Davis, in his recent press blurb. This disc is a tribute to these giants. With the recent passing of longtime guitar god, Jeff Beck, Mr. Sharp pays tribute to  Beck and the other great guitar gods.
   Kicking off this disc with “Ultra Vires”, Mr. Sharp starts with a clavinet-like funk groove, adding spacey effects and some sly, sustained guitar solo/streams. Sharp slows down the pace a bit on “Uchuu”, keeps things on the edge while he plays a bluesy, sort of ballad with several spine-tingling guitar lines. E#’s melodic bass lines are between dub and the blues while his guitars have a hypnotic, somewhat psychedelic sound. “For Jeff Beck” does have that Beck-like sound, adding some suspense and making each note of Sharp’s guitar part of a story. I dig that crunchy, virtuosic sound that Sharp gets here, his solo is breathtaking. Sharp plays some mean slide guitar on “Braids”, his sound somewhere between an ancient blues wail, more current spooky psych lines and shrewd tapped fragments (a signature Sharp approach). On “Eigen Mode”, Sharp adds several layers of guitar lines, each one treated with different effects, the overall vibe is disorienting like a troubling dream buried within our collective psyches. Don McKenzie’s badass drumming is featured on “Olla Podrida” while E# adds some effective slide guitar and pyrotechnic bent-note swirls. One of the things I like most about this disc is that it has a dark, rather dismal vibe. It reminds me of the way many of us sensitive souls feel about the troubling things going on around us at this point in time (October or 2023). Guitar fan addicts will find much to savor here as well. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG                
CD $14

KATE GENTILE with JEREMY VINER / MATT MITCHELL / KIM CASS - Find Letter X (Pi Records 100; USA) Featuring Jeremy Viner on tenor sax, clarinet & bass clarinet, Matt Mitchell piano, Prophet 6 & modular synths & electronics, Kim Cass acoustic & electric bass and Kate Gentile on drums, vibes & compositions. There are several Creative Music couples who seem to define many of the great things that make the current Downtown Scene so great. Check out anything by Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson & Tomas Fujiwara or Kate Gentile & Matt Mitchell. Whether collaborating on each other’s projects or working on their own, these couples seem to enhance each others strengths, both as composers and as working musicians. Percussionist/composer Kate Gentile and keyboardist/composer Matt Mitchell have several collaborative efforts out, all are well-worth exploring. Last year, the couple released a 6-CD set called ’Snark Horse’, an ambitious effort which showed off many of their challenging composing and playing, utilizing the talents of 8 other Downtown players.
   For this equally ambitious 3 CD set, Ms. Gentile organized a fine quartet with Matt Mitchell on piano & synths, Jeremy Viner (from Battle Trance) on tenor sax & clarinets and Kim Cass on basses. CD-1 is titled, ‘Iridian Alphabet’. Matt Mitchell’s synths & piano are often the main voice heard here, the sound of the synths seem to change on each piece. On “Laugh Magic”, Ms. Gentile keeps the rhythmics pulsating yet centered while Mitchell’s piano speeds up, slows down and never stays in the same place for very long. Mr. Viner’s tenor sax or clarinets either double up with the synths or he takes some explosive solos. At times, Viner calms down on his regular clarinet or tenor sax to plays rich melodies along with Mitchell’s ever-expressive piano.I can tell that Ms. Gentile put a good deal of time and thought into this impressive effort since each pieces covers a variety of surprising twists and difficult arrangements.
   CD-2 is called ‘Senselessness’ and Ms. Gentile lists some of the more extreme metal bands (like Brutal Truth, Napalm Death & Mayhem) that she was inspired by for this disc. Right from the first piece, “r.a.t.b.o.t.B”, the quartet erupts with some explosive metal-like drums, synth and tenor sax, all played tightly together. Ms. Gentile’s drumming is consistently powerful and engaging, pushing the energy into some awesome areas. I love when metal bands play music that sounds more like progressive rock and this is often what we find here. At more than 3hours, there is way too much great, challenging music here to describe fully. So I will leave you with this: This tight, exciting, intense and well written music played with passion and resourcefulness. Take some time to fully absorb this classic 3 CD endeavor, you will feel richer than ever. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
3 CD Set $27

ALLISON MILLER with JENNY SCHEINMAN / BEN GOLDBERG / JASON PALMER / CARMEN STAAF / TODD SICKAFOOSE - Rivers in Our Veins (Royal Potato Family 20286 24267; USA) Featuring Allison Miller on drums, percussion, vibes & compositions, Jenny Scheinman on violin, Ben Goldberg on clarinet & contra-alto clarinet, Jason Palmer on trumpet, Carmen Staaf on piano, Fender Rhodes & accordion and Todd Sickafoose on contrabass. Allison Miller used to play drums for singer/songwriters Ani DiFranco and Natalie Merchant, as well as working with Jessica Lurie, Shakers N’ Bakers (with Mary LaRose & Jeff Lederer) and Lioness (with Amanda Monaco). Ms. Miller has also had her own solo career starting in 2004 and now has around ten records which includes four with her band Boom Tic Boom (BTB). She still collaborates with members of BTB, like Ms. Scheinman, Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Sickafoose (who was also a member of Ani DiFranco’s band along with Allison). I’ve heard around a half dozen of Ms. Miller’s recordings and each one is a gem. I know each member of this fine sextet from different previous sessions. Aside from the six musicians involved here, there are five tap dancers on this record.
   The first piece is called “Of Two Rivers (Part 1)”, and the first thing I noticed is how well this piece is written and arranged. While the central beat is slow and ritualistic, the violin, contra-alto clarinet and trumpet play these oddly arranged harmonies. The music here is very cyclic with the piano, bass & drums playing a series of repeated patterns while the harmonies of the horns evolve on each piece. The tapdancers kick off on the intro on “Of Two Rivers (Part 2)”. Since there is no guitar here, either Scheinman’s violin, Palmer’s trumpet or Goldberg’s clarinet play inspired solos when not playing the written parts together. Ms. Miller’s ever impressive drumming often holds the ensemble together, navigating rhythmic rapids with ease. The music and vibe is often somber yet filled with an uplifting feeling. One of my longtime fave violinists is Jenny Scheinman. Her earthy, warm, acoustic violin sounds particularly enchanting here. Both Jason Palmer’s trumpet and Ben Goldberg’s clarinets also sound marvelous throughout with soloing or playing those rich harmonies. “Fierce” is closer to progressive jazz/rock and features strong electric piano and tasty pizzicato violin parts. Mr. Goldberg takes an extraordinary solo on conta-alto clarinet, a rarely heard instrument which is also difficult to play. The tapdancing intros are often infectious since they capture a fine, knee-slapping funky spirit/vibe. On certain songs (like “For the Fish”), the tapdancing rhythms are incorporated into the structure of the songs. There are some songs here which seem normal or instantly memorable but what makes them better is the way Ms. Miller will add another line or harmony and then extend the rhythmic groove with a short, festive drum break. Miller’s longer than usual drum solo on “Blue Wild Indigo” is a highlight and it is followed by some rich, mesmerizing, kaliedoscopic harmonies for the entire sextet. Similar to a recent discs by bassist Todd Sickafoose, which shears three members of this sextet, a number of the songs here flow into one another like a suite. My main clarinet hero, Ben Goldberg, takes a great Braxtonian contra-alto clarinet solo opening “Shipyards”, another piece which features an infectious tapdancing, knee-slapping interlude midway. Unexpectedly, the lush harmonies for violin, clarinet, trumpet and piano on “Riparian Love” are most poignant. Similar to Todd Sickafoose’s recent disc, ‘Bear Proof’, this disc is one of this month’s best releases, rich in several ways and not too hard to swallow as all good sonic medicine is supposed to be. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG  
CD $15

STEPHEN GAUCI / SHINYA LIN / ADAM LANE / KEVIN SHEA - Live at Scholes Street Studio (GauciMusic 45121 04863; USA) Featuring Steve Gauci on tenor sax, Shinya Lin on piano, Adam Lane on bass and Kevin Shea on drums. Recorded live at Scholes Street Studio on December 13th of 2022. - review next week.
CD $13

PAUL DUNMALL / HAMID DRAKE / COREY MWAMBA / SOWETO KINCH / XHOSA COLE / DAVE KANE - Bright Light a Joyous Celebration (Discus Music 162CD; UK) Featuring Paul Dunmall on tenor & C soprano saxes, Soweto Kinch on alto & tenor saxes, Xhosa Cole on tenor sax, Corey Mwamba on vibes, Dave Kane on double bass and Hamid Drake on drums. Revered Free/Spiritual Music elders UK’s Paul Dunmall and Chicago’s Hamid Drake have worked together on five discs previously. When Hamid visitied the UK in November of 2022, Dunmall organized this sextet session. Although I hadn’t heard of either guest saxist here, I do recognize the names of vibist Corey Mwamba from previous sessions from Dunmall and Martin Archer plus bassist Dave Kane has also worked with Dunmall on several previous discs as well as being in a fine trio with Matthew Bourne & Steve Davis. It turns out that I had heard Soweto Kinch at least once on a CD I found where he works with Shabaka Hutchings.
   Over the past few years, Paul Dunmall, who used to do exclusively improvised dates, has been composing for several of his own bands. This holds true for this date as well. “You Look Away” has an infectious repeating line right from the start with Mr. Mwamba inserting his own lines in & around the bass and drums. He takes a modest, yet thoughtful vibes solo later in the same song which I really like. As each of the three saxists solo separately, they all bring a different sound to the ensemble. Mr. Dunmall does not play his soprano sax often on recordings so it is a treat to hear him here, taking several inspired solos. Bassist Dave Kane takes an extraordinary solo here as well, speeding up and slowing down before getting back to that cool walking bass groove. All three saxists kick off “Many Sparrows” tightly together before the rhythm team joins them and Mwamba takes another feisty vibes solo. The sextet soon launches into hyperdrive as the tempo speeds up and the energy increases. “Disbelief” slows things down so that each saxist can take a slower, more modest solo. Mr. Kinch takes an extraordinary solo on this piece in which Mwamba’s vibes tangle with Mr. Kinch, the two pushing each other higher throughout the piece. By track 4, “I’ve Had a Lot”, the three saxes start off together quietly with the vibes simmering underneath. As the rhythm team kicks in, the three saxes all solo together, weaving a fine web but stepping on each other's toes. The ever-great Hamid Drake takes a wonderful solo here with vibist Mwamba adding some nice rhythmic spice. The piece ends with a fine three-part sax conclusion warmly arranged by Mr. Dunmall. The title track, “Bright Light, A Joyous Celebration”, has a righteous theme that will stay with you long after the disc ends. The sextet is tight and swings hard with an inspired vibes solo first, each saxist takes a fine solo here, showing off their own unique sound. The theme here has that South African soulful groove that many of us hold so dear. There is endless jubilation and good vibes going on here that make me and hopefully you smile when we listen to this treasure once and for all time. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG        
CD $14 [In stock in around a week]

CHARLOTTE KEEFFE RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW QUARTET with MOSS FREED / ASHLEY JOHN LONG / BEN HANDYSIDES - Alive! In the Studio (Discus Records 160; UK) Featuring Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet, flugelhorn sound brush & compositions, Moss Freed on guitar, Ashley John Long on contrabass and Ben Handysides on drums. My favorite British label for avant jazz and progressive music, Discus Music, just dropped seven CD’s on us and this is a great thing. Over the past few years UK trumpeter/composer, Charlotte Keeffe has appeared on a dozen plus discs for Discus as a leader and working with Martin Archer, Paul Dunmall, Alex Ward and Julie Tippetts. This is Ms Keeffe’s fourth disc as a leader or co-leader. Although her last leader date included a solo, duo, quartet and large ensemble groupings, this one is her quartet. Ms. Keeffe has worked with all three members of her quartet previously and we can also see them listed with other projects for the Discus Music label. It is interesting to note that both Moss Freed and Ms. Keeffe play with conductor/arranger Sam Eastmond for John Zorn’s recent Bagatelles Box - Volume 4.
   Ms. Keeffe’s trumpet is featured on the opener, “1200 Photographs I”, playing through a variety of approaches, similar to the way that Nate Wooley keeps shifting as he plays. This piece is free yet focused with all four members of the quartet playing loosely around one another. “A Horse Named Galaxy” starts off with just the drums but soon the bassist joins playing this joyous up & down groove. The bass keeps the groove going while guitarist Moss Freed plays a fine, slinky Pat Metheny-like solo and is soon joined by Ms. Keeffe’s equally playful flugelhorn. Both Ms. Keeffe and Mr. Freed have lovely, sublime tones showing off a more tender side at times, adding Mr. Long’s solemn bowed bass as well. “Cottontail” is an exquisite ballad, laid back and dreamy, with a righteous bass solo midway. On “1200 Photographs II” Ms. Keeffe sounds like she is playing some fragments from standards at times while the quartet plays freely around her. This is like an interlude which leads to “EastEnders” (the name of British soap opera from the 1980’s). This piece has some strong freer sections with some subtle electronics or sound manipulation going on. What’s interesting here is that many of the freer sounding sections are the quieter ones which also sound like someone is directing the flow. On “1200 Photographs III” we hear fragments of melodies played by the trumpet, could each fragment represent a lost photo? “Sweet.Corn” is a great, tight, uptempo piece with the entire quartet playing their lines as one force before dropping into some short free eruptions.    
Both Ms. Keeffee and Mr. Moss are gifted, diverse musicians who get several chances to stretch and show up their creative playing. The rhythm also fits just right, coming in and dropping out at the right times. I get the feeling that the more I listen to this disc, the more I hear how the pieces are connected and hold together as a suite. Impressive yet modest and never too much of any one thing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG    
CD $14 [In stock in around a week]

PAUL R. HARDING / MICHAEL BISIO / JUMA SULTAN - They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday (ESP-Disk 5083; USA) “ESP-Disk presents They Tried To Kill Me Yesterday. Frequently lyrical, sometimes hard-hitting, nostalgic for jazz and R&B, proud of African-American heroes, Paul r. Harding has been around, has seen and heard things he reflects on and refracts to us with vivid words. Based in upstate New York, he's joined by bassist Michael Bisio (Matthew Shipp Trio) and, on half the tracks, by percussionist Juma Sultan (who played with Jimi Hendrix).”
CD $12

MX-80 SOUND - Better Than Life (Klanggalerie GG 445CD; Austria) "MX-80 Sound is an eclectic American art-rock band founded in 1974 in Bloomington, USA, by guitarist Bruce Anderson. Considered one of the most out-of-step but prescient bands of its time, MX-80's signature sound consists of breakneck metallic guitar combined with atonal chord structure, cross-rhythmic percussion and dispassionate vocals. Notoriously difficult to categorize -- the band has been labeled noise rock, post-punk, acid punk, and heavy-metal -- MX-80's sonic mélange set the stage for bands such as Swans, Sonic Youth, Codeine, and Shellac. After a musical journey spanning five decades, MX-80 Sound announces the release of their final opus, Better Than Life, featuring MX-80's dense, extra-beefy sound, emotional guitar work, and free-associative vocals. For the album Bruce Anderson merged his rock trio, Rattletrap, with the talents of MX-80 Sound resulting in big bang sonics including two drummers (Nico Sophiea and John Morman), two bassists (Dale Sophiea and Chris Xefos), and two guitars (Bruce Anderson and Jim Hrabetin), along with vocals and horn by Rich Stim. In a remarkable feat, Better Than Life was recorded amidst the COVID-19 lockdown at 25th Street Recording in Oakland with Matt Boudreau engineering. The album was mixed by Steve Albini, in collaboration with MX-80 Sound, at Electrical Studios in Chicago. Sadly, Bruce Anderson, MX-80 Sound's founder, died in 2022."
CD $18

MARIUS NESET & LONDON SINFONIETTA - Geyser (ACT 9056CD; Germany) "When I started working on Geyser in the fall of 2021, I made a conscious decision to move away from composing music that reflected the pain of the pandemic. Instead, I aimed to create a celebration, capturing the essence of music's triumphant return and the unique atmosphere when musicians come together to perform. The piece was intended to evoke predominantly joyful and optimistic emotions, with the title serving as a metaphor for the music's rhythmic energy, intermittently unleashed in ecstatic bursts, much like water and steam erupting from a pressurized geothermal spring. However, in February 2022, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, leaving me in a state of shock akin to the early days of the pandemic. I had already written a significant portion of the composition, but I found myself unable to complete it. As someone who channels deep emotion into his work, such events invariably impact the music I create. Consequently, I revisited and deconstructed many of the previously written elements, loosening their structure and tonality. This was a symbolic representation of how quickly beauty, pleasantness, and safety can be lost. The darkness and despair triggered by the Russian invasion added a new layer of meaning to the title and its original associations. It also influenced the overall structure of Geyser, which undergoes a transformative journey from darkness to light across its eight movements. Despite the dramatic changes that occurred during the compositional process, the fundamental motivation behind all my music remains constant, whether I am composing a symphony, a saxophone concerto, or engaging in improvisation: I strive to tell a story -- it is the essence of my artistry. My hope is that this story resonates with the listeners." - Marius Neset
CD $16

JEAN-JACQUES BIRGE / FRANCIS GORGE / HELENE SAGE / et al - In Fractured Silence (Souffle Continu Records FFL 087CD; France) “Compilation curated by Steven Stapleton (of Nurse with Wound) of creative-experimental-unlikely music, originally released in 1984. Released on his United Dairies label that he had created with John Fothergill, he naturally called on Jean-Jacques Birgé and Francis Gorgé, who were then playing with Bernard Vitet in Un drame musical instantané. The compilation would be named In Fractured Silence. Alongside Nurse With Wound and Un drame musical instantané, could be heard Hélène Sage (whom Birgé introduced to Stapleton) and Sema, a project from the experimental British musician Robert Haigh who had participated in key records in the Nurse With Wound discography, such as Homotopy to Marie and Spiral Insana.”
CD $16

CHOUK BWA & THE ANGSTROMERS - Somanti (Bongo Joe Records 093CD; Switzerland) “Following on from 2020's debut album Vodou Alé and two EPs last year, the collaboration between Haitian seven-piece Chouk Bwa and Belgian production duo The Ångströmers return with their second album Somanti. Full of Afro-Caribbean voodoo polyrhythms and bass-weight dub electronics, the group count the likes of Gilles Peterson, Gideon Coe, Trevor Jackson, and Worldwide FM as fans. Brutally separated by the COVID crisis, the band went back on stage in 2022 and performed about thirty concerts in Europe. Between two concert series, they took the opportunity to record their live set. The connection between the well-preserved vodou tradition on one hand, and analog electronics on the other hand, gets deeper and deeper, with also a kind of rage due to the incredible difficulty of the world. The musical result is wild and full of twists and blasts. It's in-your-face.”
CD $17


MARION BROWN with GUNTER HAMPEL / JEANNE LEE / AMBROSE JACKSON / BUSCHI NIEBERGALL / DANIEL LALOUX / STEVE McCALL - Gesprächsfetzen & In Sommerhausen (Made in Germany 1219-2; Germany) Featuring Marion Brown on alto sax, Ambrose Jackson on trumpet, Gunter Hampel on vibes & bass clarinet, Jeanne Lee on vocals, Buschi Niebergall or Daniel Laloux on bass and Steve McCall on drums & percussion. This long disc (nearly 81 minutes) combines two live sets, one from 9/20/68 and the other from 5/17/69, both in Germany and with slightly different personnel on each. Alto saxist Marion Brown moved to New York in the mid-1960’s and soon had three great records out, two on ESP (with Alan Shorter on one & Stanley Cowell on the other) and a great sextet album on Impulse from 1967. Within a year of his Impulse debut, Mr. Brown hooked up with German free/jazz innovator Gunter Hampel and his wife, vocalist Jeanne Lee, who were living in the Bronx at the time. Two live records, recorded a year apart, were released on the rare Calig label, both of which featured Mr. Brown, Mr. Hampel, trumpeter Ambrose Jackson (American expat living in France) and future Air drummer Steve McCall. FMP bassist, Buschi Niebergall plays on the the first date while  French bassist/actor Daniel Laloux plays on the second. The well-loved avant-jazz vocalist, Jeanne Lee, is added on the second date as well.
   One of the things I like most about Marion Brown is that he isn’t bound to one style or expectation. Each of his twenty or so albums have mostly different personnel and a different sound or approach. Although much of this music is free, it keeps evolving through different combinations of players and approaches. It sounds like Mr. Brown had a handful of skeletal written themes which the ensembles play and then takes off into the free areas. Along with Gunter Hampel & Karl Berger, Marion Brown was one of the first American free/jazz players to spend time in Europe and work with a number of European musicians. Gunter Hampel was one of the first European musicians to explore the freer regions of jazz and is an integral part of these two groups, whether playing vibes or bass clarinet. The great trumpeter, Ambrose Jackson, went on to work with Sunny Murray, the Art Ensemble and Anthony Braxton but remains under-recorded and under-recognized. The late, legendary singer, Jeanne Lee, was also under-recorded except for her discs with Gunter Hampel so it great to hear her in another context where she shines. All of the musicians on both discs work together quite well throughout both albums, showing that Free/Spirit music can be played by musicians from different cultures as long as they find that common ground. Inspired and engaging throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG      
CD $19

PHIL ALVIN With SUN RA ARKESTRA / DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND - Unsung Stories (Liberation Hall 5163; EEC) Songwriter and guitarist Dave Alvin was the heart of the Blasters, one of America's greatest roots rock bands, but his brother, vocalist Phil Alvin, was the soul of the group, and anyone who wants a crash course on the importance of Phil's contribution to that fine band ought to check out his first solo album, Un "Sung Stories". Here, Phil tackles ten vintage blues, jazz, and gospel tunes, sometimes accompanied a small combo (or just Phil's rudimentary guitar), while on other cuts Alvin is joined by Sun Ra and his Arkestra and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, each of whom swing up a storm in their own truly individual ways. While the sound and approach of this set is a far cry from the Blasters potent take on America's musical history, Alvin's vocals ring out with a palpable joy, and he makes these musical museum pieces live and breathe like they were written last week; this album truly carries the spirit of the Blasters' wide-spectrum approach to American music into a very different direction. And while Phil may not have his brother's songwriting chops, you can't say that a man who would ask Sun Ra to arrange "The Old Man of the Mountain" and "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" and then have the courage to take the lead vocal on the same is lacking in the way of a unique personal vision. Short and sweet, Un "Sung Stories" is a true gem that's richly felt in a way a collection of "old standards" is not expected to be.” - Mark Deming, AllMusicGuide
CD $15

DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET - Live From The Northwest, 1959 (Brubeck Editions 231001CD; USA) "The Dave Brubeck Quartet's Live from the Northwest, 1959 is the newest release from Brubeck Editions, the family-run label that only puts out music of the highest musical and technical quality. These exciting performances were recorded by the trailblazing and iconic audio engineer, Wally Heider, who pioneered the art of remote recording from his 'studio on wheels.' The sound he achieved is stellar, and this is perhaps the best live recording you can hear of one the most popular jazz groups of all time. The tapes were recorded in April, 1959 at the Multnomah Jazz Club and Clark College, both in the Portland, Oregon area. On this recording you can hear the Quartet's mastery of spontaneous counterpoint improvisation. Four months later, the Dave Brubeck Quartet's focus shifted to polytonal and polyrhythmic approaches when the group recorded the legendary Time Out, and changed the course of jazz forever."
CD $16

LP Section:

DAVID WERTMAN with CHARLES TYLER / KEN SIMON / RICHARD SCHATZBERG - Kara Suite (Early Future Records/Finder Keepers EFR 004LP; UK) “As one of the three inaugural 1976 releases to ignite the mythical Mustevic Music catalogue, David Wertman's elusive Kara Suite LP was the first record to turn jazz drummer Steve Reid's vanity imprint into an bona fide cooperative record label with a multi-artist repertoire. Entrusting his own bass player with the limelight, Reid's unlikely A&R decision would typify his oblique strategies and challenge the common perception of a soloist within jazz's shifting landscape. Drawing few comparisons amongst independent label releases of the time, Wertman's only solo album combined frenetic bow work, intricate spiritual exchanges and raucous rock solid cyclic riffage to underpin his own compositional complexities. Providing a platform for first-time players like Richard Schatzberg (French horn) and future avant jazz punk participant Ken Simon (tenor/soprano sax) Kara Suite provides an early indication of Wertman's multilayered and non-conformist blueprint from which the hallowed New Life Trio would eventually illuminate. The album's off-kilter commitment is further cemented by the inclusion of worldly free jazz luminary Charles Tyler (alto sax) and the naturalistic back-beat of Steve Reid himself to complete the dream team -- albeit a sleepless one, on account of this one-off quintet's wide-eyed innovation. Presented in four parts, Kara Suite documents Wertman's very first musical directorial commitment to vinyl, preceded only by guest appearances, months earlier, on Steve Reid's classic Rhythmatism and the ultra-rare The Universal Jazz Symphonette LP which chronicles Wertman's deep-end New York baptism alongside Billy Bang and Earl Freeman before his relocation to Northampton forged this unique and oblique chapter in America's independent jazz narrative. As one of the final pages to be turned in the Mustevic reappraisal legacy this album perhaps remains the best kept secret for aficionados who actively choose to blur the lines between spiritual jazz and free jazz with no discrimination against art rock and the genre that might soon be christened punk (but not as we know it). Finally resurrected via the Finders Keepers/Early Future unison, complete with full cooperation and sleeve note narration by David's partner Lynne Meryl, it might come as little surprise that amongst these pillars of alternative, privately pressed jazz is a story that also intertwines names such as Alice Cooper, Archie Shepp, KISS, and DJ Shadow and many mutating musical genres that have made this music so hard to pin down over the subsequent five decades.”
LP $32



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



10/18 Wednesday
8:30 pm: SOLO - Patricia Brennan (vibes)

10/19 Thursday
8:30 pm - Patricia Brennan's Electro-Acoustic Project MOCH
Patricia Brennan (vibes) Noel Brennan (drums, percussion, electronics) Keisuke Matsuno (guitar)

10/20 Friday
8:30 pm - TRIO - Patricia Brennan (vibes) Anna Webber (reeds) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

10/21 Saturday
8:30 pm - DUO - Patricia Brennan (vibes) Adam O'Farrill (trumpet)

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




mutli-kulti-trance-groove-meditational-dance music

Adam Rudolph - percussion, electronics, cajon, kalimba
Alexis Marcelo - electric keyboards
Damon Banks - electric bass
Harris Eisenstadt - bata, shekere
Neel Murgai - electric sitar, overtone singing and electronics
Tim Kieper - percussion, dusu n’goni
Tripp Dudley - cajon, dumbek, frame drums, percussion

@ Public Records
233 Butler St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
doors 7pm / one set  8pm


JOHN ZORN @ 70 - Year Long Celebration Continues with:
JOHN ZORN @ 70 - 3 Concerts at Miller Theatre at Columbia University:

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)



Arts for Arts Presents:

JOIN US for the Pianos & Poets Festival - a showcase of great creative improvising pianists performing on AFA's magnificent Steinway B Grand, and featuring poets who expand our minds and hearts with their words. In partnership with The Clemente, in the Flamboyan Theater: 107 Suffolk St., NYC

SINGLE DAY: In-person - $25 / Livestream - $7
THREE DAY PASS: In-person - $60 / Livestream - $20

Thursday, November 9th, 2023
7PM: Angelica Sanchez - piano solo
8PM: Miriam Parker - movement & sound installation / No Land - poetry / Melanie Dyer - viola
9PM: Cooper-Moore -piano solo

Friday, November 10th, 2023
7PM: David Virelles - piano solo
8PM: Tracie Morris - poetry
9PM: Dave Burrell - piano solo

Saturday, November 11th, 2023
7PM: Mara Rosenbloom - piano solo
8PM: Randall Horton - poetry
8:30PM: Anne Waldman - poetry, featuring duo with Matthew Shipp
9PM: Matthew Shipp - piano solo


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

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:

gaucimusic presents:
Improvised Music @ the Main Drag
Wednesday November 1st, 2023

7:00pm: Kaelen Ghandhi - sax / Michael Larocca - drums / TJ Borden - cello
8:00pm: Todd Neufeld - guitar / Samuel Ber - drums / Barbara Kasomenakis - visual artist
9:00pm: Stephen Gauci - tenor sax / Adam Lane - bass / Colin Hinton - drums
10 pm: Hery Paz - tenor sax / Kenneth Jimenez - bass / Willy Rodriguez - drums
11 pm: Nick Gianni - Sax / On-ka Davis- guitar / Rich Rosenthal - Guitar / Hill Greene - Bass / Reggie Sylvester - Drums

**$10 STUDENTS (w/ID)**
(yes, the best things in life are indeed free).
November 1, 2023
@ The Main Drag
50 South 1st Street
Between Kent ave and Wythe Ave
(718) 388-6365