In the mid-1990’s, when DMG weas at our first location on 211 East 5th St., we used to get a number of promo CD’s and LP’s sent to the store every week. Every Sunday night before I took the train home, I would listen to a stack of promos to see if any tickled my fancy. I got a promo in the mail around 2002 from a band called Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter with a picture of a young woman smoking a cigarette at a bar or diner on the cover. I was intrigued. The CD was called ‘Reckless Burning’ and something about the music drew me in. I had never heard of Jesse Sykes or the rest of the band, although one member of the band was named Tucker Martine who worked with Wayne Horvitz in the studio and ended up becoming a fine (Daniel Lanois-like) producer. That disc has an eerie, folk-rock blend and was immensely sad yet enchanting. I ended up playing the disc every night before I went home for more than a year. It helped me to deal with my day at the store and calm me down before I went home. I was hooked. I ended up becoming a big fan of Ms. Sykes and her band and caught them live on several occasions at The Fez, Joe’s Pub and Bowery Ballroom. The first time I kissed my-ex fiance in my car, I was playing this CD so it still reminds me of my lost love. My partner Manny used to tease me when I played it again and again but it helped to deal with things at the time. The band featured Phil Wandscher on lead guitar and other instruments and Wandscher co-wrote and helped to produce her other discs. Ms. Sykes went on to record/release four albums between 2002 and 2010. For me, each one is a treasure and each one gets heavier (more rocking) in sound. The last one is called “Marble Son” (from 2011) and it opens with a powerful rock anthem that blends the best elements of The Who (via ‘Who’s Next’) with a heavier side of Jefferson Airplane. I find that Ms. Sykes lyrics are often sparse yet effective so that we can fill in what we think is going on with our own view of life. I often wonder if there is a religious aspect going on here but I am unsure. After ‘Marble Son’ was released, Ms. Sykes broke up with her longtime boyfriend & collaborator and stopped making new records. It has been a decade since the last one. I missed hoping for the next one to be released. I found out recently from my old pal Manny (thanks bubbie) that Ms. Sykes is in a new band with Dave Alvin (from the Blasters) and two ex-members of Camper Van Beethoven (both of whom also worked with Doc Chadbourne). The band is called Third Mind and their second disc was released recently. I just ordered both discs and they should be here in a week or two. Third Mind is/are some sorta psych band that does mostly covers. Their covers include some of my favorite sixties songs like, “The Dolphins” & “A Little Bit of Rain” (both by Fred Neil), “Groovin’ is Easy” (Electric Flag), “Sally Go Round the Roses” (Great Society & Pentangle), “Morning Dew” (Bonnie Koloc & The Dead), “East West” & “In My Own Dream” (Butterfield Blues Band) and “Journey In Satchindananda” (by Alice Coltrane)!!! I haven’t heard either Third mind discs yet but I am really looking forward to checking both of them out. A special toast to my/our old friend Jesse Sykes. - Peace and Love Always, Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
Tuesday, November 21st - No in-store, Bruce on vacation
Tuesday, November 28th:
6:30: BEYOND FLUTE GROUP: CHERYL PYLE - C & alto flute / MICHAEL EATON - soprano sax / SYLVAIN LEROUX C & fula flutes / GENE COLEMAN- bass flute, ney & piccolo / YUKO TOGAMI - percussion
7:30: JERRY LIM - Solo Guitar
8:30: WILL BERNARD - Solo Guitar
Tuesday, December 5th:
6:30: PATRICK BRENNAN / PAUL AUSTERLITZ / CLAIRE de BRUNNER / NICK GIANNI / JOSH SINTON - Alto Sax & Compositions / Contrabass Clarinet / Bassoon / Bass Clarinet / Baritone Sax
7:30: SAMANTHA KOCHIS / KEVIN MURRAY - Flute / Drums
Tuesday, December 12th:
6:30: KAPPA MAKI - Trumpet & Kitchen Utensils with YONONO BW - Biwa
7:30: STEVE HUBBACK - Solo Percussion Sculptures
8:30: SABRINA SALAMONE - Violin / JAMES PAUL NADIEN - Drums
9:30: NICK FRASER - Drums / DARIUS JONES - Alto Sax
DMG stands for Downtown Music Gallery and we are 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: https://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/shows.php. 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 GREAT DISCS START OFF WITH:
MARCO CAPPELLI with CHRIS COCHRANE / MICHAEL ATIAS / MARC RIBOT / JOEL HARRISON / JEROME HARRIS / KEN FILIANO / BRANDON SEABROOK / SATOSHI TAKEISHI / CHRISTINE BARD / JIM PUGLIESE / DOUG WIESELMAN / JOSE DAVILA / NOAH KAPLAN / SHOKO NAGAI / AVRAM FEFER / DAN WEISS / et al - At The Stone NYC - September 8th - 13th, 2015 (Self-produced; USA) Back in September of 2015, selected musicians got to play six nights in a row with two sets per night at The Stone, John Zorn beloved performance space on the corner of 2nd Street and Avenue C. The original Stone was located there from April of 2005 until February of 2018, when it moved over to the Glass Box Theatre at the New School. Originally, musicians got to curate for an entire month, six nights per week, 2 sets a night. Eventually Zorn gave a dozen record labels two week each to curate, also giving musicians 2 weeks rather than four. Later on slimming it down to one week per musician. This is what we have here. This disc features excerpts from 12 different sets over six nights.
Marco Cappelli is a classically trained guitarist who was born and raised in Italy. Due to his ongoing creative spirit and endless curiosity, he moved to NYC more than a decade ago and has been an important part of the ever-evolving Downtown Scene, leading several different bands and doing the occasional improv set, some of which have taken place here at DMG. Each of the 12 pieces features a different project, with different personnel and strategies. From modern classical (Ensemble Dissonanzen) to spaghetti western surf music to a jazz trio to a guitar quartet, each piece is fascinating. There is a lovely booklet inside and the custom designed cover is real treasure to behold. We have just a dozen and that’s it. He or she who snoozes, loses so grab your copy ASAP! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $25 [Limited Edition with Custom Designed in Deluxe Cardboard Covers, sealed with a string]
JOSEPH DALEY / BILL COLE / CRAIG HARRIS / SCOTT ROBINSON / ALTHEA SULLY COLE / WARREN SMITH - The Tuba Trio Chronicles Volume II (Joda Music 006; USA) Featuring Joseph Daley on tuba, euphonium, piano, drone flute & percussion, Scott Robinson on tenor, bass & contra saxes & flute, Craig Harris on trombone, didgeridoo, flute & percussion, Bill Cole on Chinese sona, nagaswarm (double-reed), didgeridoo & Ghanian flute, Warren Smith on vibes, marimba, tympani & percussion, Althea Sully Cole on kora and Sarah Sully on voice. This is the second volume of Joseph Daley’s Tuba Trio Chronicles. The first volume was released in 2015 and featured just a trio of Mr. Daley, Warren Smith and Scott Robinson. Mr. Daley has decided to expand the core trio to include four other like-minded Spirit Music players. Joseph Daley composed all of the music here except for one piece by the late Don Pullen.
“Affirmation” is first and begins with shimmering vibes, quiet and calm. Slowly each instrument enters, somber bass sax, exquisite piano, lush hand percussion… all lovely and uplifting vibe-wise. I really dig the piano on this long piece, which has some lovely harp-like waves. Eventually several flutes come in, all sublimely interwoven with Mr. Smith’s subtle hand percussion. Smith switches to marimba for “Remembrance”, although it sounds like he is playing a balaphon (African xylophone-like instrument). “Morte Io Ti Maledico” is a spoken word piece translated to Italian and it features some extraordinary bass sax, tuba and drums, improvising together. On “Depth”, there are two didgeridoos pulsating together with eerie, spacious vibes adding their own mysterious sounds. I love the way this music casts a hypnotic spell over all of us who listen, most cerebral. Ms. Sullycole enters playing a tasty groove line on her kora, adding a kind of ritualistic vibe to the proceedings. Mr. Harris plays a haunting, solemn trombone solo on “Precious Naomi”, sounding like a ghost rising from the depths. “Better Days” has an old, funky 2nd line sort of groove, the same sort of vibe once find in N’Orleans’ style parades or funeral processions. “Reality” frees things up for some inspired improv solo sections, powerful trombone and sprawling tenor sax. The last piece was written by the great pianist Don Pullen and it is called, “Ode to Life”. This song was featured on a record by Mr. Pullen and which was dedicated to saxist George Adams, both of these musicians worked with Charles Mingus together in the early 70’s. This is a sort of ballad or lament with a sad, touching melody which rings true. It is a perfect way to bring this superb, heart-warming disc to a fine close. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BOBBY ZANKEL WONDERFUL SOUND 8 with JALEEL SHAW / ROBIN EUBANKS / DIANE MONROE / RUTH NAOMI FLOYD / SUMI TONOOKA / LEE SMITH / PHEEROAN AKLAFF - A Change of Destiny (Mahakala Music 058; USA) The Wonderful Sound 8 features Bobby Zankel on alto sax & compositions, Jaleel Shaw on alto sax, Robin Eubanks on trombone, Diane Monroe on violin, Sumi Tonooka on piano, Lee Smith on contrabass, Pheeroan AkLaff on drums and Ruth Naomi Floyd on voice. Ever since attending college in South Jersey (Glassboro State - 1972-1976), which is about 30 minutes from Philly, I have had a special feeling for the many musicians from Philly, some of whom became friends and all of whom I admired. Bobby Zankel is one of those special Philly saxists who has worked with old friends of mine like saxists George Bishop, Elliot Levin and Steve Buchanan. Mr. Zankel has worked with Fred Ho, Odean Pope and with legendary Philly jazz vocalist Ruth Naomi Floyd. I only know a few of the musicians here from previous discs that they’v done: trombonist Robin Eubanks (from the Dave Holland Band), bassist Lee Smith (elder bassist for Odean Pope & Pharoah Sanders and father of Christian McBride) and drum wiz Pheeroan AkLaff (worked for Oliver lake, Wadada Leo Smith & Sonny Sharrock).
Most of the music here was composed for a project called “The Spirits Break to Freedom”, a collaboration with choreographer Germaine Ingram and visual artist John Dowell. The oiece was based on the nine slaves that were owned by George Washington, the first president of the United States. For this project, Mr. Zankel organized what he called his dream band. Starting with “Destiny”, the octet has a strong, focused multi-layered sound. Ms. Naomi Floyd has a strong, warm, enchanting voice with both alto saxists bubbling underneath together and separately. The music has that Spirit Jazz vibe which is lilting and hypnotic. Ms. Tonooka takes a strong, inspired piano solo while the great rhythm team spins tightly around them. Tonooka is the secret weapon here as each of her solos shows her to be in a class of her own. The title of the project on which this disc is based is called “Spirits Break to Freedom” and it is the longest and most ambitious piece here. The arranging for the saxes, trombone, violin and rhythm team is tight and inspired. I like the way the horns chatter together, all of their lines thoughtfully harmonized and with a spinning alto sax soloing fiercely at the center. There is a joyous, uplifting energy going on here with the band integrating several tightly interwoven parts. There are great thing about this disc is the explosive drumming of Pheeroan AkLaff, one of my all-time favorite drummers. He always works his rhythmic magic, pushing the band higher and tightly navigating the rhythmic currents flowing throughout. “Ring Shouting” features the spirited playing of Diane Monroe on violin. I dig the quirky harmonies for the violin, saxes & brass, plus we get another extraordinary solo from Ms. Tonooka. The final piece is called, “To Be a Human Being” and it features the strong vocals of Ms. Naomi Floyd, the being about all humans beings being treated equally. Although Robin Eubanks takes a great, spirited trombone solo, it is the inner fire (rage) which burns throughout this piece with an engaging sax solo in the latter part of this great piece. For those of you who are allergic to jazz singers, Ms. Naomi Floyd only appears on a few pieces and sings from the depth of her heart each time she appears. This is another well-seasoned gem from the great folks at the Mahakala Music label. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SUSAN ALCORN SEPTETO DEL SUR - Canto (Relative Pitch Records 1170; USA) Susan Alcorn’s Septeto Del Sur features Ms. Alcorn on pedal steel & compositions, Toto Alvarez on guitar, Francisco Araya on charango & quena, Rodrigo Bobadilla on flute, quena, zampona & guitar, Danka Villanueva on violin, Amanda Irarrazbel on double bass and Claudio Araya on drums & cuatro. Pedal steel master, Susan Alcorn, records infrequently and takes her time with each of her dozen plus releases. This disc was recorded in Chile where all of the musicians (aside from Ms. Alcorn) hail from. I don’t recognize the name of the musicians here plus there are a handful of instruments I know very little about: charango (a small Andean lute), guena (flute-like), zampona (Andean panpipe) and cuatro (4 string ukelele).
Ms. Alcorn wrote to me in an email, that this project was special for her, something rather different from her previous releases. “Suite Para Todos” opens this disc with a sublime blend of skeletal pedal steel, flute(s), strings and bass. The music is rather solemn at first and then erupts freely with an occasional rhythm team to hold it down before it returns to the mournful opening theme. Ms. Alcorn’s forlorn pedal steel is featured on “Canto 1: Donde Estan?” and it has an eerie, mysterious sound. Due to the instrumentation here and Ms. Alcorn’s writing, the septeto has a completely unique sound, the blend of the pedal steel and assorted mostly acoustic instruments is unique and other-worldly. The midsection of a few of these pieces go further out yet the internal vibe/flow continues throughout with strong chamber-like arrangements used sparingly. Ms. Alcorn often keeps her solos short since they are just a part of the ongoing piece. Even when her solos are short, she makes very note count. On “Canto III: Lukax”, Ms. Alcorn takes a haunting melody and arranges it for her septet, taking a fascinating free solo while the rest of the ensemble moves in waves around her. This piece goes through a few different written sections which are unique in the way they blend different elements or strategies. The song, “Mercedes Sosa” was named after the Argentinian popular vocalist & activist, who passed away in 2009. The piece is often stark yet enchanting and filled with solemn feelings. The last song, “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” was written by Victor Jara, a Chilean teacher, poet, songwriter and another activist. The song here is sung by three members of this septet and it is a heartfelt tribute to an important singer/activist who was eventually tortured and shot. This song sounds like a perfect ending to this potent musical feast. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ELIJAH SHIFFER with KEVIN SUN / DMITRY ISHENKO / COLIN HINTON - City of Birds - Volume 1 (Star Jelly 002; USA) Featuring Elijah Shiffer on alto sax & compositions, Kevin Sun on tenor sax, Dmitry Ishenko on bass and Colin Hinton on drums. The more I get to know any of the many Downtown musicians that I’ve heard live and/or met in person, the more I learn about the diversity of tastes and experiences that each of us has. I recall seeing Elijah Shiffer’s name on some discs by Eighty-Pound Pug, Xander Naylor and Erik Plaks Pandemic Ensemble, each group completely different. Earlier this year (2023), Mr. Shiffer left us with a disc called ’Starjelly’, which was did a good job of mixing several genres. For this disc, Shiffer has put together a formidable quartet with Kevin Sun on tenor sax, a player I haven’t heard yet although he has around 5 discs out on his own Endectimorph label. Bassist Dmitry Ishenko I do know from his work with John Tchicai, Garrison Fewell and Jeff Platz. Drummer Colin Hinton I know since he has played here at DMG on several occasions, mostly with Steve Gaucy.
The title of this disc is called ‘City of Birds’ and it was by the different species of birds that Mr. Shiffer has seen while he was living in NY. Some of the pieces were inspired by certain bird songs and others by the behavior of a bird at a particular sighting. Each piece is named after a different type of bird and Shiffer explains in the liner notes how each bird inspired each piece. Shiffer takes a fragment of a bird call on “Flap Flap Guide” and has it played by the alto and tenor sax before the quartet starts swinging together with each saxist taking a solo one at a time. This piece has a boppish groove and an infectious feeling flowing through. “A Dove in the Morning” was inspired by the cooing of a mourning dove. Shiffer has both saxes spinning tightly around another, playing that memorable modal theme together. Shiffer’s gift is the way he writes for both saxes, creating odd harmonies which move in unexpected ways. “Pigeonology” was inspired by pigeons, certainly not the most popular of birds. Shiffer takes their wingbeats and head-bopping walk as the rhythmic center of the song. Both saxes takes especially inspired solos here while the rhythm team keeps shifting tempo-wise and with unexpected shifts in direction. On many of these pieces, one sax will play tightly with the rhythm team while the other sax plays contrapuntal counter melodies. Both saxists here are strong soloists and each gets their fair share of strong solos as well as lots of strong ensemble work for the entire quartet. “Skydance Over 6th Avenue” starts off with just the bass and drums, which makes it an odd yet fitting intro. I thought I heard a quote from one of the famous bebop songs in the alto solo here. Perhaps the most famous of (jazz) birds, Charlie Parker, is another inspiration for this disc. When both saxes play together here, they often do a great job of playing those tight interlocking lines. In some ways it is hard that these songs were inspired by birds. Still the music and playing throughout is consistently inventive and engaging. This is a wonderful disc in several different ways. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
YUHAN SU with CAROLINE DAVIS / MATT MITCHELL / MARTY KENNEY / DAN WEISS - Liberated Gesture (Sunnyside 1717; USA) Featuring Yuhan Su on vibes & compositions, Caroline Davis on alto sax & poetry, Matt Mitchell on piano, Marty Kenney on acoustic & electric basses and Dan Weiss on drums. This is Ms. Yuhan Su’s second disc as a leader for the Sunnyside label, she has two earlier discs as well. Ms. Su is originally from Taiwan, moved to the US in 2008 to study at Berklee and moved to NYC in 2012. The personnel for his first disc is completely different from the personnel here. For this disc, Ms. Su has organized a strong quintet with some of Downtown’s best & busiest musicians: Caroline Davis, Matt Mitchell and Dan Weiss, all leaders, composers and collaborators of high regard. Bassist Marty Kenney is the only player here whose name I didn’t recognize previously.
According to the liner notes, the pieces on this album were inspired by the paintings of Hans Hartung, a post WWII German/French abstract painter as well as the author Jaon Didion. Many of these pieces were composed during the early days of the Great Pandemic. “Hi-Tech Pros and Cons” opens this disc with a slight bent, M-Base like groove. The piano, bass & drums play an insistent repeating pattern while Ms. Davis plays a tart solo which is followed by an equally expressive uptempo solo from the vibes. “Character” takes that challenging M-Base like twisted line and turns it on the side. Although the lines repeats, it changes as it evolves. While Ms. Su takes the first solo on vibes, Mr. Weiss & Mr. Mitchell both add odd accents here and there. Matt Mitchell is one of Downtown’s best keyboard players, his composing is also consistently engaging. He and Ms. Su work together extremely well, often playing their lines tightly together and soloing one after the other by completing each other’s flow of ideas. “Naked Swimmer” is a most lush and exquisite song with majestic piano and vibes creating a calm undertow. Things start to heat up on “Didion”, the tempo rising to boiling point with a whiplash piano solo from Mr. Mitchell. The quintet sounds like it is on the verge of exploding as the rush of inner energy rises higher. “She Goes to a Silent War” begins with a solemn poem read by Ms. Davis, the music is lush, slow and dreamy with a poignant sax solo from Ms. Davis. The thing I always dug about M-Base music, is the way it keeps several interlocked themes moving tightly around one another. Much of the music here is similar in strategy or structure. “Siren Days” has that ongoing repeating line which expands as it evolves. A number of the sax solos here by Ms. Davis have this great slow-burning flame which consistently pulsates as it grows or goes, the inner flame goes from simmering to boiling at the end. The title piece is broken into a three-part suite, parts II thru IV. On “Part II: Arc”, the music is stark and eerie, with time slowed down, the vibes shimmer and connect with the equally lush piano. “Part III: Tightrope Walk” begins with a thoughtful drum solo by Mr. Weiss, the rest of the quintet soon entering as well as the piece takes off soaring with Mr. Mitchell taking another of his amazing piano solos. The third part of the suite has a more majestic sound and features a fine bass solo. Ms. Su’s vibes also ring true whenever she solos, like icing on a tasty cake. The last piece is called “Hassan’s Fashion Magazine” and it has an infectious funky groove with more spirited piano from Mr. Mitchell. This is disc is pretty long (72 minutes) and each piece sounds/feels like part of an ongoing puzzle which life provides for us every day that we are alive. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BUCK NAUSEEF - Mongrels (Relative Pitch Records 1163; USA) Featuring Tony Buck on electric & acoustic guitars, bass, monochord, waterphone, zulu-bells and prepared instruments and Mark Nauseef on bells & gongs from Bali, Java, Korea, Japan, India, China and Tibet. I know both of these musicians mostly as percussionists: Tony Buck is well-known as a founding member of the Australian post-ambient/free-jazz/space-music trio The Necks plus dozens of improv groups from different scenes. Percussionist Mark Nauseef also seems to be involved with a large cast of international improvisers: Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Sylvie Courvoisier and Bill Laswell. What’s interesting here is that Mr. Buck players several instruments but little percussion while Mr. Nauseef plays just bells and gongs from seven different Asian countries.
Tony Buck recorded his parts in Berlin where he has been living for many years while Mark Nauseef recorded his parts in Zerkall, Germany (by legendary engineer Walter Quintus) and in Matsumoto, Japan. “Diffused” opens with some mysterious, pulsating gongs, bells and quietly fractured guitar. Each sound, no matter if it is a gong or bells or guitar, shimmers and reverberates, adding a vibe of suspense. Mr Buck adds shimmering, drone-like reverb with his guitar while each gong or bell(s) provides another hypnotic effect. The waterphone is a vase-like instrument which often has water inside and can be plucked or bowed, adds another eerie, other-worldly hazy sound. The overall sound blend is consistently enchanting as if we are entering another mysterious sonic world. The Necks have a way of casting a spell over their listeners, usually by playing a slow pulse over and over while the piano and percussion add their embellishments. The music here is similar and quite effective at casting an eerie spell. As this disc unfolds, the layers of varied drones expands and shifts through more or less dense areas of activity. The more dense, the more harrowing it becomes, yet seems to unfold most organically. Mr. Bucks strumming on the guitar speeds up and become more intense making the dream-like atmosphere more dramatic or intense at times. When one puts water inside of the waterphone and then bows or strikes it, the water changes the pitch when one moves the waterphone around. This effect is prevalent through this disc and that effect has a way of being somewhat disorienting as if our reality is being slowly bent out of shape. Also by putting a bell close to our mouths, we can alter the sound of the bell by opening and closing our mouths. This effect is also used here at several points. This disc does cast a spell on us listeners as it turns our inner worlds inside out. We become swept away to another shore as this disc unfolds. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CECILIA LOPEZ / INGRID LAUBROCK - Maromas (Relative Pitch Records 1167; USA) Featuring Cecilia Lopez on electronics & processing and Ingrid Laubrock on soprano & tenor saxes. Argentinian musician, Cecilia Lopez is currently living in NYC and collaborating with assorted musicians like Brandon Lopez, Juan Pablo Carletti and Joe Moffett. For this disc, Ms. Lopez is working with Downtown saxist & composer Ingrid Laubrock, one of the most ambitious & diverse musician/composer/bandleaders who’ve moved here over the past decade. Starting with “I Don’t See It”, it sounds like Ms. Laubock is close mic’d on her tenor sax. We hear those deep, dark, note-bending sounds which are slowly being twisted and stretched beyond recognition. While Ms Laubrock plays softer, warm, slight note-bending sounds on her tenor, Ms. Lopez adds haunting layers of electronics. Ms Laubrock plays cautiously here concentrating on each sound she is producing while Ms. Lopez manipulates all or most of Ms. Laubrock’s sounds. The sax sounds are split up on “Cata’s Dream” so that we hear some of the acoustic sax sounds at times with the manipulated electronic sounds. I grew up listening to analogue electronics in the 1970’s which sound like much of what Ms. Lopez creates here. Since Ms. Lopez often twists the sound of the sax into other things, it is hard to tell what is going on here at times. There were some devices like a Condor or a Varitone in the late 60’s & earlier 70’s which some saxist used to alter the sound of their saxes. A number of the sounds here are similar although it has been nearly fifties years since these devices were utilized. What I find interesting about this is that once you give in and become patient, you notice that each piece creates its own vibe or scene or world. I started relistening to some records from the Columbia/Princeton Electronic Music Center after reading a few interviews in the recent book by Brooke Wentz. Although some electronic music can be difficult to listen to or even alienating, once one becomes accustom to the sounds, we start to hear things in a different way. It is much easier to deal with recognizable melodies and rhythmic patterns yet I like the challenge of finding other elements in this music to hold onto and appreciate. It took me a little while to warm up to the sounds here but by the end of the CD I had found my place and felt at home in these somewhat alien soundscapes. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
UNIVERS ZERO - Lueur (Sub Rosa SR 555; Belgium) “Univers Zero's new album follows the lineage of Phosphorescent Dreams, originally released only on CD in Japan in 2014, and reissued as an LP on the Sub Rosa label in 2019. Lueur is the fruit of two years' work and reflection, the foundations of which were laid by Daniel Denis (keyboards, drums, percussion), then enriched by the contributions of Nicolas Dechêne (guitars), Kurt Budé (clarinet / bass clarinet) and Nicolas Denis (bass, percussion, vocals), all three present on Phosphorescent Dreams. With this reduced line-up, Lueur offers a dense journey, rooted in the balance between power and calm, raging and serene sound. A balance, too, between complex arrangements and more contemplative moments. While this album continues the avant-rock tradition of Univers Zero, it also features some very short pieces, more electronic, tribal and haunting sounds, and voice work that is new to the U.Z. universe. Between tradition and subtle evolution, Lueur is a major new contribution to the discography of this band, which will be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2024. Univers Zero represents one of the longest-living bands in Belgium. It was established in 1974. Drummer Daniel Denis had the brilliant idea to gather together a team of professionals sharing the same taste for music. The band has adopted an instrumental progressive style. Over the last couple of decades, the band has also implemented a series of influences from chamber music -- most commonly, chamber music from the 20th century. Even if the line-up changes a lot over the years, the overall sound of UZ remained fairly consistent.”
KENJI SAKAI / CLAUDE LEDOUX / JEAN-PIERRE DELEUZE / JULIA PURGINA - Miragique (Sub Rosa SR 543CD; Belgium) “This second project released on Sub Rosa by the Japanese artist Kaoru Tashiro, manages to create a subtle dialogue between four composers, and four musical pieces, mixing a delicate blend of Japanese and European sensibilities. Those different approaches convergence thanks to the highly recognizable sensibility of Kaoru Tashiro's way to play. After "drifting" through unpublished pieces from Toshi Ichiyanagi (Fluxus) and Claude Ledoux on the album Cloud Atlas, Kaoru Tashiro is now highlighting the works of: Kenji Sakai, Claude Ledoux, Jean-Pierre Deleuze, and Julia Purgina. Sakai dilates space through a virtuoso piece, "Reflecting Space I - Bell, Cloud and Disincarnations," based on the idea of the metamorphosis of classical repertoires. Claude Ledoux, already present on the first disc, is wandering through mysterious, disquieting landscapes, that gives pride of place to the hushed sounds coming from the piano strings, hammered and muffled by the imprint of the pianist's fingers. Jean-Pierre Deleuze whom creates through this piano composition a dreamlike space that unfolds. Julia Purgina, a young Austrian composer, whose piece that was composed in full confinement, turned out to be "dark," as she attempted to create an atmosphere of an almost surreal expressivity between exaltation and pessimism. This work has been premiered in Vienna in 2021 and this is a first recording.”
AHMED ABDULLAH - A Strange Celestial Road: My Time in the Sun Ra Arkestra (Blank Forms 9781953691163; Planet Earth) "A thrilling account of life with Sun Ra's Arkestra and New York's avant-garde jazz scenes of the 1970s-90s. In this memoir, Harlem-born trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah recounts decades of national and international touring with the Sun Ra Arkestra and charts the rise of the New York loft jazz scene, offering a fascinating portrait of advanced music in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan from the 1970s through the 1990s, including thrilling stories about the politically important Bed-Stuy venue The East and the author's tutelage under composer and long-time Archie Shepp collaborator Cal Massey. Along the way, Abdullah covers his spiritual development as a Buddhist, battles with addiction, tribulations as a father, lessons from Sun Ra and working life as an educator and cab driver. Trumpeter and educator Ahmed Abdullah was born in Harlem in 1947. An important figure in the New York loft jazz movement, in 1972 he formed a group called Abdullah, two years before joining the Sun Ra Arkestra, with whom he played for more than 20 years. He is a founding member of the bands Melodic Art-Tet, The Group and NAM, and of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium. Abdullah is the music director at Sistas' Place in Brooklyn, and teaches music at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan and an elementary school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn." 512 pages. Paperback.
RICHARD JOHNSON - Lost in Room: Mark Perry, Alternative TV and Related, 1977 - 1981 (Fourth Dimension 9788396474018; UK) “Mark Perry is a familiar name from the early punk scene in London due to his having published Sniffin' Glue fanzine between July 1976 and August 1977. As he became increasingly disillusioned with punk, however, he at least still remained driven by its impetus and started his group, Alternative TV. Sharp yet wrought with frustration, Mark Perry took the group through a more personal space that pre-empted what a short while later became known as post-punk. Whilst sometimes charged with the same energy and anger, the music was more opened out and embraced all manner of different and often disparate areas, from reggae to industrial, improvisation and even brazen pop. Offset by subject matter that likewise often smashed down those borders of expectation, Mark always took his music wherever he felt it should go. Lost in Room focusses on the first four years of his musical path, beginning with Love Lies Limp and ending as the first version of the group collapsed soon after 1981's Strange Kicks album and Mark's joining The Reflections. Along the way are tours with Chelsea, Here & Now, and The Pop Group, a huge love of Frank Zappa, a meeting of minds with the late Genesis P-Orridge, the running of Step-Forward Records and working for Miles Copeland's Faulty Products network of labels, plenty of anecdotes about the world he was embroiled in, and the story behind the records themselves. Broken into two main parts, one concerning the historical development of Alternative TV and Mark's occasional releases outside the group, and the other dedicated to the ideas that informed many of the songs themselves, this book is centered around a conversational approach to a series of weekly interviews conducted via Zoom with Mark between late 2021 and summer 2022. Deliberately retaining the organic nature of the conversations, replete with tangents that sometimes refer to later work or creep elsewhere completely, Lost in Room is the first book to explore the early years of Mark Perry's having become one of the most interesting and honest voices to have arrived from the cultural shift of the late 1970s. Including a foreword by Graham Duff, discography, selected lyrics and many previously unseen or hard-to-find photos and images, this book is an absolute must for all of those interested in this period of music and, indeed, those seeking some snapshots of its importance on one of the best groups to have emerged from it that are still active.”
ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO - Les Stances a Sophie (Play Loud! Productions 135LP; Germany) On May 28, 1969, four American musicians -- reed/wind players Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman, bassist Malachi Favors, and (accompanied by his wife, singer Fontella Bass) trumpeter Lester Bowie -- boarded the ocean liner S.S. United States, bound for Le Havre, France. After landing five days later, they moved on to Paris, where they got to work. On August 22, 1970, in the waning days of their stay overseas, the group, with Bass on vocals, would record their second release for EMI's Pathé Marconi: the movie soundtrack Les Stances à Sophie. The record, an exciting, eminently listenable combination of soul, classical, and jazz strains that survives as the Art Ensemble of Chicago's most stylistically diverse album, has long been admired by a devoted cult. Its durability is largely due to the popularity of its "hit": Over the years, "Theme de Yoyo" has been covered repeatedly, essayed by acts as varied as German funk band the Boogoos (and the offshoot Deep Jazz, both featuring singer Julia Fehenbeger), British nu-jazz combo the Cinematic Orchestra, Polish jazz man Wojtek Mazolewski, Norwegian rockers Motorpsycho, French dance music artist Étienne Jaumet, and London-based remixer, Shall I Bruk It. More than half a century later, "Theme de Yoyo" and Les Stances à Sophie still bring it. Limited-edition LP reissue from play loud! Productions, supplemented with new notes by U.S. music journalist Chris Morris.”
THE FOLLOWING THREE REISSUE ALBUMS BY PERCUSSIONIST EXTRAORDINARE / HEALER MILFORD GRAVES are due to be here in a week or so. They are limited edition pressings so please pre-order them as soon as you can. Are you a Free/Jazz Music Freak?!? These albums are essential for us Freaks! - BLG at DMG
MILFORD GRAVES with ARTHUR DOYLE / HUGH GLOVER - Babi (Superior Viaduct 196LP; USA) "By the early '70s, Milford Graves had more or less stopped gigging. Having learned his lesson the hard way in multiple-night runs like a legendary Slugs' residency with Albert Ayler, he knew that the level of energy that he put out during a performance would be difficult to sustain over the long haul. A concert was a kind of absolute ritual for him, after which he would be totally spent, emotionally and physically. Graves rarely left anything on the table. Any musical performance was an opportunity to present an amalgamated version of all the things he had learned. He was an innovator and a teacher at his core, and the concert venue was one of his first classroom settings. In March 1976, Verna Gillis invited Graves to perform on WBAI's Free Music Store radio show. For the date, he chose to present a trio lineup which he had been occasionally playing -- featuring two saxophonists who were dedicated to the drummer's vision. Hugh Glover is almost exclusively known for his work with Graves, while Arthur Doyle would gain exposure later for an obscure record that he made two years later, Alabama Feeling, which would become a highly collectable item among free jazz enthusiasts. Originally released in 1977, Babi remains one of Graves' most seminal recordings. The music played by the trio was ecstatic. Extreme energy music, buoyant and joyful. It relied on Graves' new way of approaching the drum kit, in which he had opened up the bottoms of his skin-slackened toms and eliminated the snare. Graves' art was always unblemished by commercial interests, and this album is its finest mission statement."
MILFORD GRAVES & DON PULLEN - In Concert At Yale University (Superior Viaduct 195LP; USA) "The late percussionist Milford Graves was one of the most unique artists the world has ever seen. Born in Jamaica, Queens in 1941, he began his career in the early '60s as a part of New York's vibrant Latin jazz scene. His focus quickly turned inward, shifting towards a practice that explored the very nature of self. From his work in the New York Art Quartet and collaborations with Albert Ayler, Sonny Sharrock, and more to his important contributions during NYC's loft era -- he is, simply put, free jazz royalty. In April 1966, the duo of Graves and pianist Don Pullen played at Yale University. As John Corbett writes in the liner notes, 'This performance was something of a turning point for Graves. Until then he had been working in other people's bands or collective ensembles. He was phenomenally busy. In 1965 alone, he recorded with NYAQ (two LPs), Giuseppi Logan Quartet, Paul Bley Quintet, and Lowell Davidson Trio, and he made his first recording released under his own name, Percussion Ensemble. Every one of these is important in its own way, but none of them quite anticipate how radical was the music that he and Pullen would unleash that evening in New Haven.' Originally released on the artists' own Self-Reliance Program label, this legendary one-night performance would be split into two volumes: In Concert At Yale University and Nommo. While rooted in African rhythms, Graves' music has its own sense of time. As the drummer stated in a 1966 DownBeat interview, 'Time was always there, and the time I see is not the same as what man says time is. It works by impulsion.'"
MILFORD GRAVES & DON PULLEN - Nommo (Superior Viaduct 195LP; USA) "The late percussionist Milford Graves was one of the most unique artists the world has ever seen. Born in Jamaica, Queens in 1941, he began his career in the early '60s as a part of New York's vibrant Latin jazz scene. His focus quickly turned inward, shifting towards a practice that explored the very nature of self. From his work in the New York Art Quartet and collaborations with Albert Ayler, Sonny Sharrock, and more to his important contributions during NYC's loft era -- he is, simply put, free jazz royalty. In April 1966, the duo of Graves and pianist Don Pullen played at Yale University. As John Corbett writes in the liner notes, 'This performance was something of a turning point for Graves. Until then he had been working in other people's bands or collective ensembles. He was phenomenally busy. In 1965 alone, he recorded with NYAQ (two LPs), Giuseppi Logan Quartet, Paul Bley Quintet, and Lowell Davidson Trio, and he made his first recording released under his own name, Percussion Ensemble. Every one of these is important in its own way, but none of them quite anticipate how radical was the music that he and Pullen would unleash that evening in New Haven.' Originally released on the artists' own Self-Reliance Program label, this legendary one-night performance would be split into two volumes: In Concert At Yale University and Nommo. While rooted in African rhythms, Graves' music has its own sense of time. As the drummer stated in a 1966 DownBeat interview, 'Time was always there, and the time I see is not the same as what man says time is. It works by impulsion.'"
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com
Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris
November 18, 2023 • The Jazz Gallery Rare NYC Performance • One Night Only
Co-founder of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1965, legendary saxophonist Trevor Watts makes a rare New York City appearance with his long-standing duo partner, percussionist Jamie Harris, for an evening of African-inspired grooves and creative improvisation. Two sets only. Limited tickets available.
Trevor Watts — alto & soprano saxophone
Jamie Harris — congas & percussion
Sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm
The Jazz Gallery
1158 Broadway, 5th floor (entrance on 27th st)
New York NY 10001
A founding member of three seminal British avant/progressive bands, SME (Spontaneous Music Ensemble), Amalgam and the Moire Music Ensemble, alto & soprano saxist Trevor Watts rarely makes it to the USA. I’ve seen/heard this duo once before and they were incredible! Do not miss a chance to hear them live! - BLG at DMG
THE STONE RESIDENCIES / NICOLE MITCHELL / NOV 15–16
DUO - Nicole Mitchell (flute, electronics) Fay Victor (voice)
8:30 pm - DUO - Nicole Mitchell (flute, electronics) Craig Taborn (piano)
THE STONE RESIDENCIES / KALIA VANDEVER / NOV 17-18
DUO - Kalia Vandever (trombone) Joel Ross (vibes)
8:30 pm - tilt
Kalia Vandever (trombone) Isabel Crespo Pardo (voice) Carmen Rothwell (bass)
THE STONE RESIDENCIES / WAYNE HORVITZ / NOV 29–DEC 2
8:30 pm - Side Pocket - Music for Sextet - Ivan Arteaga (alto sax) Ray Larsen (trumpet) Greg Sinibaldi (baritone sax, bass clarinet) Carmen Rothwell (bass) Wayne Horvitz (piano) Mike Gebhart (drums)
8:30 pm - Duos and Trios - Matt Mitchell (piano, electronics) Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon) Wayne Horvitz (amplified piano, electronics)
8: 30 pm - New Music for Electronics and Mixed Ensemble
Marty Ehrlich (bass clarinet) Briggan Krauss (alto sax, guitar) Ray Larsen (trumpet) Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon) Doug Wieselman (clarinet) Marika Hughes (cello) Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone, percussion) Wayne Horvitz (amplified piano, electronics) Jeong Lim Yang (bass) Mike Gebhart (drums)
8:30 pm - Solos and Duets
Robin Holcomb (piano. voice) Wayne Horvitz (piano)
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
This is from Guitarist/Composer - Terrence McManus:
I've been busy composing and I'm happy to announce that I will have three classical work premieres in November.
Monday, November 27
Music for Solo Cello
performed by Athos Brown
Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center
365 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10016
SATURDAY NOV 18
HU VIBRATIONAL PRESENTS TIMELESS LP RELEASE CONCERT
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
MEMORIAL CONCERT FOR DOM MINASI
Wednesday, December 6th at 6:30
At St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan
Dom Minasi: Moroccan Copper (1975)
Opening, Welcome & Acknowledgements / Carol Mennie
Music contributions by Hans Tammen, Ken Filiano, Jay Rosen, Tor Snyder, Steve Swell, Dominic Duval Jr, Jackson Krall, Harvey Valdes, Ras Moshe, Cheryl Pyle, Hilliard Greene.
Tribute: John Pietaro Local 802
Music contributions by Dom Minasi Jr., Tomas Ulrich, Eyal Maoz, Susan Alcorn, Ken Filiano.
Tribute/Poem: Nora McCarthy & Jorge Sylvester
Music contributions by Eyal Maoz, Blaise Siwula, Tomas Ulrich, Jay Rosen.
Tribute / Carol Mennie: Dom's Children Music / Mama It's Cold Out Here
Music contributions by Nora McCarthy & Manna for Thought, Dom Minasi Guitar
Quartet, Carol Mennie, Martin Fuller.
Tribute: Tony Minasi
Music contributions by Jack deSalvo, Susan Alcorn, Dominic Duval Jr, Jackson Krall, Tor Snyder, Briggan Krauss, Jorge Sylvester, Blaise Siwula, Steve Swell, Ras Moshe, Cheryl Pyle, Hilliard Greene
Carol Mennie / Dom Minasi: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Memorial for Dom Minasi
Wednesday, December 6th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm (doors open at 6pm) St. Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue, NYC, NY 10012
Article by GARY LUCAS:
This is an honest explanation/understanding of what is currently going on in Israel, please read and think about before you come to any quick conclusions.
“JEWS DO COUNT”
NEW VIDEOS from GUITAR MASTER HENRY KAISER:
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:
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org