Anyone can join in the conversations which often occur here. We still find CD’s, LP’s, singles, cassettes, DVD’s and books around the store, dust them off and either put them on Discogs or on a shelf in the store. These are all good things which keep me positive.
Another thing which makes me proud is this: Thanks to our/my old pal Paul Acquaro (DMG webmaster), there is an interview with yours truly plus an article about the history of Downtown Music Gallery which can be found on the FreeJazzblog website :
Thanks Paul, I do appreciate this. Let me know what you think. - BLG
The weekly free in-store performances consistently inspire and surprise me with upwards of 2-5 sets (a night) per week, which take place on Tuesday nights at 6:30. You can check out many of our one minute films on InstaGram or just check out our homepage. If you are in-town, please do come to visit - the store and the concerts. When you read this, I will most likely be in Florida on vacation visiting my Mom, sister Bon and step-family for Thanksgiving and really looking forward to it. I want to wish all of you well and have a great, safe Thanksgiving! - Peace and Love from Bruce Lee Gallanter, John Mori and James Paul Nadien at DMG
“Sing Me Back Home”
Written & sung by Merle Haggard from a 1968 LP
Covered by the Grateful Dead, circa Europe ’72 Tour
The warden led a prisoner down the hallway to his doom
I stood up to say goodbye like all the rest
And I heard him tell the warden just before he reached my cell
'Let my guitar playing friend do my request.'
Sing me back home with a song I used to hear
And make my old memories come alive
And take me away and turn back the years
And sing me back home before I die
I recall last Sunday morning a choir from 'cross the street
Came in to sing a few old gospel songs
And I heard him tell the singers 'There's a song my mama sang
Could I hear once before we move along?'
Let him sing me back home with the song I used to hear
And make my old memories come alive
Take me away and turn back the years
And sing me back home before I die
Sing me back home before I die
I hadn’t heard the original version of this country hit from 1968 until very recently but I’ve heard several versions by The Dead from May of 1972 which are heart-tugging great! My favorite one occurs on 5/26/72 at the Lyceum in England on the last night their 2 month European sojourn. Jerry Garcia had a way of making one believe whomever he is in that song. Even Donna G. sounds great and especially righteous & soulful as part of the soul chorus. This sounds like an old gospel song and it rings true. During and after reading an autobiography by the Robbie Robertson last year, I re-listened to most of my albums by The Band. I still love most of what they recorded and most of which captures a fictional yet believable version of US history/mythology. Perfect music for the Thanksgiving season. I still love an old tearjerker and “Sing Me Back Home” is a great example of that. - BLG at DMG
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
Tuesday, November 28th:
6:30: The BEYOND FLUTE GROUP Featuring:
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 - Comps & Alto Sax / IVAN BARENBOIM - Contra-Alto Clarinet / CLAIRE de BRUNNER - Bassoon / NICK GIANNI - Bass Clarinet / JOSH SINTON - Bari Sax / YUMA UESAKA - Contrabass Clarinet
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
NEW THANGS FOR THE THANKSGIVING SEASON:
PHAROAH SANDERS with TISZIJI MUNOZ / BEDRIA SANDERS / CLIFTON "JIGGS" CHASE / STEVE NEIL / LAWRENCE KILLIAN plus KHALID MOSS / HAYES BURNETT / CLIFFORD JARVIS - Pharoah / Harvest Time Live 1977 (Luaka Bop 80899-8008-2-2; USA) After recording a dozen albums of Spiritual Jazz for the Impulse! label, Pharoah Sanders recorded an album for Strata East called ‘Izipho Zam (My Gifts)” (in 1973) and an album for India Navigation called, ‘Pharoah’ in 1977. Both of the last two aformentioned albums featured a guitarist, something that Pharoah rarely did. Sonny Sharrock plays on ‘Thembi’ and ‘Iziphio Zam’ and plays some brutal, spirit jazz guitar. For the ‘Pharoah’ album, Mr. Sanders added someone called Tiszji Munos. Both of these guitarists can capture that powerful Free/Spirit/Jazz sound which is an inspiration to many of us. This was Tisziji Munoz’ debut on an album and two decades later I became friends with Munoz thanks to an introduction by Henry Kaiser and continue to promote him ever since. Munoz had a unique style on guitar as he was greatly influenced by John Coltrane and wanted to emulate Coltrane’s furious sheets of sound on an electric guitar. In the next year, 1978, India Navigation would release Munoz’ debut album called ‘Rendezvous for Now’ and he was backed by a Toronto-based rhythm team, Toronto being where he was based around this time. A decade later (in 1988), Munoz would start his own label and call it Anami Music. 50 plus discs since then and Munoz is still releasing great Spiritual Jazz albums. Original copies of both of these India Navigation treasures LP do go for big bucks and have never been reissued until now. The second disc features two unreleased Pharoah live sets from the same year and with a slightly different personnel but no Munoz here. These live set feature two long versions of “Harvest Time”, which was an album length epic song. To help celebrate this colossal reissue, Luaka Bop has organized a tour featuring Tisziji Munoz and an all-star cast of current all-star heroes. The entourage recently played at National Sawdust in Brooklyn and word is that they were incredible live. They will be returning in January here to play at the Winter Jazz Fest. I hope to book another Munoz set at Roulette in the Spring. Are you a big Free/Jazz freak like yours truly?!? If so, then you had better a grab up the deluxe CD or LP box sets since they are limited. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Deluxe Box Set with 64 page booklet $28
2 LP Deluxe Box Set with large booklet $52
JOHN BLUM / DAVID MURRAY / CHAD TAYLOR - The Recursive Tree (Relative Pitch Records 1155; USA) Featuring John Blum on piano, David Murray on tenor sax and Chad Taylor on drums. Recorded at the Bunker Studio in Brooklyn on 12/21/2022. Pianist John Blum is a local legend whose playing often verges on the more extreme side of free/jazz. His playing has been called brutal, scary or just too much for the faint hearted. Mr. Blum has worked with the giants of Free/Jazz like Sunny Murray, William Parker, Oluyemi Thomas, Jackson Krall and Rob Brown. Mr. Blum also has a few solo piano records, the most recent one of which was released in August of this year (2023). That last one was almost too much for me and it took a while to fully absorb its extreme intensity. For this trio session has chosen a couple of strong Free Spirits, David Murray and Chad Taylor. Of all of the Loft Jazz saxists, David Murray might be the most well-recorded, with 100’s of records under his name. Although Mr. Murray was known for being an extraordinary Free/Jazz saxist when he moved to NYC in the late 70’s, he has also expanded his palette playing in varied genres. Former Chicago-based drummer, Chad Taylor currently spends much time in NYC working with a number of great players like James Brandon Lewis, Rob Brown, Jaimie Branch and the Chicago Underground. This looks like a formidable trio on paper, and no doubt that it is.
John Blum both studies with Cecil Taylor and played in Cecil’s workshop orchestra. The first piece is called, “Fire in the Branches” and it begins with Mr. Blum’s angular pounding chords before the rest of the trio comes in. Instead of Blum’s distinctive pounding, he is more of team worker here the trio often working closer together as a solid unit. Mr. Murray, who has done his share of Ayler or Trane-like blowing seems to be playing closely with Blum’s never-ending waves or lines. There is a great deal of ever-evolving dialogue going on here between the members of the trio. Mr. Blum keeps things interesting by constantly switching between different layers of lines with both members of the trio tightly navigating the rapids quickly and tightly. There are moments or sections where Blum sound like his mentor Cecil Taylor by playing this angular, explosive cascades. It sounds like it might be difficult to adjust to this but both Mr. Murray and Mr. Taylor do an amazing job no matter how far out Blum’s playing goes. David Murray (at least) two duo records with pianist Dave Burrell, another legendary free/jazz pianist. Both Mr. Burrell and Mr. Blum are good matches for David Murray expressive inside/outside playing. On “Creatural” there is some extremely tight interplay with Murray playing a long number of twisted lines while Blum keeps shifting currents, both meeting up in the center before moving into more turbulent waters. I find this disc to be exhausting yet also invigorating and not so difficult to listen to as some of Blum’s solo efforts can be. If you think that Free/Jazz or just Free/Music is just one thing, then gives this a listen since there is quite a bit more going then that. There are many different layers of connecting currents or lines going on here. Free/Spirit Music at its very best! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JACK WRIGHT - What is What (Relative Pitch Records 1167; USA) Featuring Jack Wright on solo soprano, alto and tenor saxes. Jack Wright released his first solo sax effort in 1983, some forty years ago. Mr. Wright says in the liner notes that only a handful of musicians took improvisation seriously at that point. I recall that in the early 1980’s, I became aware of small scene of improvisers in NYC that were working with free improvisations and doing it in their own way. This group included John Zorn, Fred Frith, Eugene Chadbourne, Tom Cora and several others. A percussionist from Italy named Andrea Centazzo came to NYC in 1978 and started to work with these earl Downtown musicians. Centazzo rented a van and drove cross the country, playing with a variety of (then) little know musicians from across the USA: Davey Williams & LaDonna Smith (from Birmingham, AL), John Carter, Bobby Bradford & Vinny Golia (all from L.A.) and Jack Wright (from Philly I think). Forty years later, Jack Wright, is till playing improvised music in his own way. He had developed his own approach to playing freely and still continues today. In the notes, Mr. Wright mentions that this music must be listened to seriously. I’ve heard Mr. Wright play live on perhaps dozen dates both in solo and with improvisers. His p[laying has evolved quite a bit over 40 years.
“what’s the soprano” is first and it features solo soprano sax. Mr. Wright has an extensive vocabulary on the soprano. He often starts with one idea or pattern and then develops it. He starts spinning his lines quickly at first and then slows down, bending notes one or two at a time. I hear a few lines or licks which which are similar to what John Zorn does when he bends notes or mutes his sax with his leg but Mr. Wright keeps going, concentrating on certain lines. I didn’t notice on the second piece when Wright switched to alto sax, he continued to explore in a similar vein. Mr. Wright often has a playful sound, not too far out or trying to be more out than whoever is the top contender of the moment. Wright is consistently exploring, taking a line or handful of notes and then bending and extending them. He often plays quietly, sounding like a cautious bird chirping. Each sound sounds like part of inner vocabulary which is talking to us without words but still evoking ideas and scenes. “what, more soprano” closes this disc. There is a good deal of humor and surprise as to where things are going or leading to. At times, Wright’s sax sounds like a voice which is singing or pleading or just speaking in its own language. There are some thoughtful liner notes by Jack Wright discussing what he is trying to do through his playing. “I want a music done for the sheer love of playing…” says Wright and we can hear the love within what is going on throughout this disc. This feels like a warm companion on a cold night. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ERNEST DAWKINS / COREY WILKES / BEN LAMAR GAY / JUNIUS PAUL / STEVE BERRY / ISAIAH SPENCER / et al - Redefining Frederick Douglas (Live the Spirit Residency 95269-26753; Chicago/USA) Featuring Ernest Dawkins on alto & soprano saxes, percussion & compositions, Kevin King on woodwinds & reeds, Corey Wilkes on trumpet, Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, Steve Berry on trombone, William Faber on banjo, Alex Lombre on piano, Junius Paul on bass, Isaiah Spencer on drums plus Khari B. - poetry. Every few year, Chicago saxist & bandleader, Ernest Hawkins comes to visit us and leave us with handful of newer released from several Chicago bands that he is involved with. Mr. Dawkins is a longtime member of the AACM and has led the great New Horizons Ensemble for may years as well. I am not so sure if that group still exists although several members are now in this group: Isaiah Spencer, Junius Paul, Steve Berry & Corey Wilkes (once as a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago). Cornetist Ben Lamar Gay has been turning up with several bands over the past few years: Natural Information Society, Fly or Die and for Nicole Mitchell. The other members here like Lombre, Faber and King are new names for me although Mr. Dawkins seems to have been a mentor to them and an assortment of other new Chicago-based musicians. Poet Khari B. was involved on an early Bridge Sessions disc with Jeb Bishop, Magic Malik and Tyshawn Sorey.
Frederick Douglas was a writer, statesman and an African/American civil rights leader during the 1800’s. Over the past few years, I’ve heard two live sets where Frederick Douglas’ words were used as the theme/direction of the set. The opening piece is called “Monologue” and it contains an intriguing monologue by Fredrick Douglas with equally engaging music which blends chamber music instrumentation with a bluesy, gospel-like melody. Rather Ives-like made even better with thoughtful words about slavery and a righteous chanting chorus in the background. “Burning Sands” continues that earthy repeating groove with a fine soprano solo from Mr. Dawkins, the music has a festive quality as if the band was celebrating some achievement. On “Kidnapped Africans”, the entire band swings hard and has an uplifting old-school jazz feeling with an inspired trumpet solo by Corey Wilkes. Spoken word artist Khari B. is featured speaking seriously, screaming at times and doing a consistently great job of bringing Mr. Douglas’ words to life. A few of these pieces are mostly instrumentals which swing and give off the feeling of how jazz embodies something we all feel, the movement of life itself as we seek the connection to other human beings. There is a song called “Mama Anna Murray Douglass”, which features a long, inspiring description of Fredrick Douglass’ first wife Anna Murray, an inspiration to Mr. Douglass and heroine in her own right. The song ends with some particularly powerful call and response chanting. Several of the musicians here play electronics. The electronics are often subtle and used to bridge different sections and add some sly sonic spice selectively. There are two pieces in a row, one is called “Intersectionality of the Critical Race Theory” and it features some eerie electronics with subtle flute and trumpet fluctuations. These pieces are like interludes to give us time to think about the words and ideas that were used earlier on this disc. These pieces also feature a handful of strong solos and spirited ensemble playing, the music often rising and falling in passionate organic waves. The final song is called, “Reprise You Can Not Enslave that Which Does Not Fear”. Again, the spoken words here (by Mr. Douglass) are righteous and an inspiration, the band speeding up to a furious, intense level. This entire disc remains a most uplifting and engaging one, giving us all sometime to think about in these times of racial division. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ERNEST DAWKINS / COREY WILKES / LEO MILANO / DEVIN SHAW / STEVEN BOWMAN / OSCAR EVELY - This Time / Next Time! (Live The Spirit Residency; Chicago; USA) Featuring Ernest Dawkins on alto sax, Corey Wilkes on trumpet, Leo Milano on tenor sax, Devin Shaw on piano, Steven Bowman on bass and Oscar Evely on drums. Longtime Chicago and AACM legend, saxist Ernest Dawkins has been working with a number of younger musicians over the past decade, keeping the Chicago Creative Spirit alive and well and thriving. Mr. Dawkins used to run the New Horizon Ensemble, who recorded a dozen albums between 1992 and 2017. Mr. Dawkins is helping to create a new scene of gifted players and started his own label called Live the Spirit Residency which is documenting this new and upcoming scene. Mr. Dawkins shares the frontline with trumpet great Corey Wilkes who used to be a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Although the other four members of this sextet are new names for me, most of them are part of several other recent discs that Mr. Dawkins has been involved in.
The first piece, “Ascetic” was written by the sextet’s drummer, Oscar Evely. It is moderate tempo piece with lush harmonies for the three horns (alto, tenor & trumpet). Pianist Devin Shaw, Corey Wilkes on muted trumpet, Dawkins on alto sax and Leo Milano on tenor sax each take superb, sublime, expressive solos. “The Year Goes By’ was written by saxist Leo Milano and it features his suave tone on tenor. Oddly enough, this piece is a lovely, solemn ballad-like piece that is much more normal jazz-wise than most of what we usually hear from Mr. Dawkins and his bands. It is still an unexpected delight nonetheless. “Mingus Peace” and the last three songs were written by Mr. Dawkins. Dawkins’ feisty alto sax is featured as he leaps through different registers, burning as the band swings intensely underneath, the tempo speeding up and then slowing back down for another fine tenor solo. “Norman’s Bistro Blues” is a great, greasy, bluesy song with Mr. Dawkins singing in a most infectious manner and a wonderful heartfelt trumpet solo by Mr. Wilkes. “The Hunt (For Richard Hunt)”, has the sextet swinging hard, tight and fast with strong solos from all. “Sketch #77” also swings hard with a number of long, inspired solos from Hawkin’s Dolphyesque alto sax, the piano and the tenor sax! From the cover picture, I got the feeling that these musicians are/were much younger than Ernest Dawkins. They certainly sound way older than they appear, the music is rich and draws wisely from old traditions turned anew. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
YOUNG MASTERS with LEO MILANO / ERNEST DAWKINS / MILES HARDEMON / EMIL ROBINSON / DEVIN SHAW / MICAH COLLIER / JACK SUNDSTROM / OSCAR EVELY / FRANK MORRISON - On All Directions (Live the Spirit Residency; Chicago; USA) Featuring Lee Milano on tenor sax, Ernest Dawkins on soprano & alto saxes, Miles Hardeman on trumpet, Emil Robinson on guitar, Devin Shaw on piano, Micah Collier & Jack Sundstrom on basses and Oscar Evely & Frank Morrison on drums. Produced and directed by Ernest Dawkins. It seems hard to believe that Chicago/AAC saxist, composer and bandleader, Ernest Dawkins, just left us with four newer discs and each one is a true treasure! The Young Masters are a Chicago-based ensemble, several of whom can be found on the other three new discs from Dawkins’ Live the Spirit Residency label. Eight of the nine pieces were written by members of the band with one by Ernest Dawkins. Pianist Devin Shaw’s Lack of Reason” opens with superb soprano sax and hypnotic chamber-like ensemble playing by the full unit. Both Dawkins on alto and Miles Hardeman on trumpet take incredible solos here! The band lays back for guitarist Emil Richardson’s “Hibiscus”, which has a lovely, infectious groove. Devis Shaw’s “Not Sure Yet” has more strong, well constructed ensemble playing and more fine solos from the soprano sax and a splendid, rambunctious piano. “Kiss Me Goodbye” is a touching ballad with some sublime, lush, immensely tasty guitar and soulful piano. There are dynamite highlights here like Mr. Richardson’s explosive piano solo on “Maybe Now I Know” and extraordinary Trane-like tenor solo on “Dr. Reid”! If this was Downbeat mag, you would hope that this disc got the five stars (*****!) that it well deserves. Considering that some/most of these players are still pretty young, the ensemble has a maturity way beyond it years! Not to be missed, dismissed or dissed!?! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ENGLEWOOD SOWETO EXCHANGE with ERNEST DAWKINS / LESEDI NTSANE / LINDA SIKHALANE / ALEXIS LOMBRE / DARIUS SAVAGE / ISAIAH SPENCER / et al - “We Want Our Land Back” (Live the Spirit Residency; Chicago; USA) Featuring Ernest Dawkins on saxes, Alexis Lombre on piano, Darius Savage on bass, Isaiah Spencer on drums, MC Artemis - spoken word and Brother El - mixologist plus South African guests Lesedi Ntsane on trumpet, Linda Sikhaklane on tenor sax and Memphis - rapper. There is an cross-cultural organization and label called The Bridge Sessions which brings jazz musicians from Chicago together with French jazz musicians. Musicians from both places come together, tour, give workshops and record in different and often 1st time gatherings. This seems like a great idea and I collect all the TBS discs. On this disc, Chicago elder sax master, Ernest Dawkins, has organized a new Chicago sextet with three guests from South Africa. I know the rhythm team here from their work in Mr. Dawkins’ previous band, the New Horizons Ensemble. Pianist Alexi Lombre is also on a recent Dawkin’s disc called ‘Redefining Frederick Douglass’. At first I didn’t recognize the names of the 3 musicians from South Africa but I found out that Linda Sikakhane and Lesedi Ntsane are both on recent disc (2020) that was recorded at The New School in NYC where The Stone is now located.
All of the songs here were written by members of the band except for one cover by Abdullah Ibrahim (a/k/a Dollar Brand, South African expat, beloved jazz pianist & composer). This disc begins with “We Want Our Land Back?”, a gospel like song with an infectious melody and chorus plus two fine rappers! It turns out that there are several lovely, talented women in this project which makes this treasure even more righteous. “Freedom Song” was written by Alexis Lombre and it is doosy. It reminds me of Stevie Wonder from the early 1970’s, completely heartfelt with A mesmerizing vocal chorus. Dollar Brand’s “Mannenberg” sounds very much like “Cape Town Fringe”, a longtime jazz radio favorite from the mid-seventies. This song has a lilting melody which always make me feel better whenever I hear it so it is a sweet surprise to hear it here. MC Artemis wrote “Reflux Influence” and it is a true gem, soulful, righteous and from the deep heart and soul of someone who dares to tell the truth. MC Artemis is the woman rapper here and she is baddddddd! Great words and great delivery and a heartwarming repeating melody to die for! The saxes and trumpet sound especially engaged and uplifting here. Ernest Dawkins’ “Azania” has a touching South African-sounding theme that should make us all smile. “Brotherly Moments” was written by a trumpeter named Thabo Sikhakline and it also has an infectious melody and righteous, tailspinning sax solo from Mr. Dawkins! The last song is a reprise of “We Want Our land Back”, another infectious song with several well interwoven sections bridging hard-swinging jazz, rap and just plain great groovin’! Aside from nightly Dead dancing, it is so are to have a new disc make me feel so good! Don’t miss out on this gem! Peace. - MC BruceLee
THE THIRD MIND with JESSE SYKES / DAVE ALVIN / DAVID IMMERGLUCK / VICTOR KRUMMENACHER / MICHAEL JEROME / WILLIE ARON - Third Mind 2 (Yep Rock 3076; USA) Featuring Jesse Sykes on lead vocals & acoustic guitar, Dave Alvin on lead guitar, David Immergluck on el guitarm harmonium & mellotron, Victor Krummenacher on bass guitar and Michael Jerome on drums plus Willie Aron on piano, Hammond B3 organ & mellotron. I’ve been a big fan of singer-songwriter & bandleader Jesse Sykes since getting her first album as a promo in 2002 our first location. There was/is something about that album that touched me deeply and I listened to it every night for a year before I left the store to help me unwind. Ms. Sykes has a world-weary voice which has a way of pulling me deeply into her sonic web. Ms. Sykes and her band The Sweet Hereafter which was co-led by her boyfriend at the time Phil Wandsler, a wonderful lead guitarist who seem to match her voice/songs perfectly. The group made four records together, each one a treasure on its own and each one heavier than the last one. The last one was released in 2011 and is called ‘Marble Son’ and the opening track is a psychedelic epic. Wandsler and Sykes broke up as did the band around 2011 and Mr. Sykes gave up on music. I was heart-broken about this until now.
In 2018, Ms. Sykes finally arose from ashes of her past and found her way into a new band which Dave Alvin (from the Blasters) on lead guitar, David Immergluck on guitar & keyboards & Victor Krummenacher on bass (both from Camper Van Beethoven) and Michael Jerome (from the Richard Thompson Trio) on drums. The Third Mind released an album in 2020 which is filled with covers from Alice Coltrane, Fred Neil, Butterfield Blues Band (“East West”!!!) and Thirteenth Floor Elevators. I haven’t gotten my mittens on a copy yet but hope to soon.
More recently the Yep Roc label released the second record by The Third Mind and we just got it in today (11/20/23). Once again it is mostly covers and they have chosen some power songs: “Groovin’ is Easy” (opening song on the first Electric Flag album), “Why Not Your Baby” by Gene Clark, “In My Own Dream” (title track from the 4th Butterfield Blues band album), “Sally Go Round the Roses” (covered by the Great Society & Pentangle), “A Little Bit of Rain” by (folk guru) Fred Neil plus a great original by Ms. Sykes & Mr. Alvin. Being an old hippie and digging each of these great 60’s bands, its sounds like The Third Mind have made a perfect disc for me and maybe for you as well. This is folk/rock/psych at its very best and it makes me smile to listen to this gem. I was a fan of the Blasters (which were led by the Alvin brothers) but I am an even bigger fan of the many Dave Alvin solo records that I own. Dave Alvin plays lead guitar on all of these tracks and he sounds better than ever, showing off that rock guitar prowess that makes us guitar freaks reach for our air guitars. I am also an old fan of Camper van Beethoven who were always better live than on record. I caught them with Eugene Chadbourne at the Old Knit and that combination was awesome! I am working on getting copies of their first album, in the meantime you should treat yourself to a copy of this treasure chest of sonic jewels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GUIDED BY VOICES - Nowhere To Go But Up (Guided By Voices Inc. 120CD; USA) "This record is massive and amazing. Nowhere To Go But Up is Guided By Voices' third album of 2023 (and thirty-ninth overall) and is a sprawling, wild adventure. With virtually no choruses and just two repeated lyrics in forty minutes, GBV is audacious and unafraid. One of the most fully realized works that Guided By Voices has created, Nowhere To Go But Up showcases an expert rock band at the top of their game. The band is on a roll and unstoppable. Following their monumental 40th Anniversary Celebration in Dayton, Ohio, GBV begins their fifth decade with a bang!"
MAWJA with MIKE BULLOCK / MAZEN KERBAJ / VIC RAWLINGS - Old Dutch Masters (Sedimental SED 072CD; USA) “Sedimental brings to light this long overdue release of material from 2007 of the distinctive and esteemed improvising trio Mawja (Mike Bullock, Mazen Kerbaj, and Vic Rawlings) during their residency at STEIM in Amsterdam (NL). Already established as highly respected improvisors, both Bullock and Rawlings being key figures in the fertile improvising scene of Boston codified as "lowercase" and Kerbaj instigating and synergizing the free music scene in Lebanon simultaneously, the trio came together in 2004 while Kerbaj was in the U.S. for the first time. Material was generated during Kerbaj's residency at STEIM in Amsterdam (with Bullock and Rawlings guests), yet these recordings never came to light as a formal release until now. These recordings sound as exciting and vital as ever, and complete the full audio record of this important project, providing an opportunity to re-assess the material on its own terms but also in the context of each of these respected and still active artists' careers, before and since. Musically the four tracks (one live long piece and three shorter studio excerpts), reveal the vigor and confidence of these players. This is pure improvised work, restrained but determined, that asks the listener to be the active fourth participant. The acoustic instruments of trumpet, contrabass and cello weave and hover and share equal weight with the electronic elements, often not clearly distinguished but fused, and then not. At the casual macro level, seemingly two dimensional, but at the microgranular level, quite active and multi-dimensional, encouraging increased listening volume. Kerbaj, also known for his art and illustrations, provides the artwork and drawings, playful and humorous, clearly a nod to the participants themselves and the trio as well.”
RAINFOREST SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT - Killer Whale Atmospheres (Hospital HOS 871CD; USA) “RSE surprise album just in time before the migration to cooler waters. Grown in the shade of the glacier. Killer Whale Atmospheres is a future-memory affair of sub bass propulsive drones, rhythms, chords and dorsal scars building to a forbidding sense of cold echolocations yet to come through the violent procession of darkening rains. Black vinyl double LP in wide spine sleeve. Digital download code included.”
BILL DIXON - Odyssey (Archive Edition AE 51019251CD; USA) “2001 release. Odyssey is the definitive compendium of solo trumpet music by Bill Dixon, as compiled by the artist. Dixon (1925-2010) was known primarily for his small and large ensemble masterpieces of the decades between Intents and Purposes (1967) and Tapestries (2009). While he appeared infrequently in solo performances, he was continually evolving in studio through these years a remarkably nuanced and powerful solo music -- especially during the mid-1970s, as a counterpart to daily work with student orchestras on large ensemble pieces. Small offerings of these solo gems were published relatively obscurely in the early 1980s in Italy, and a larger batch were hand selected by the composer for a two-LP collection in 1985. In 2000, Dixon gathered into Odyssey the entirety of his oeuvre for solo trumpet, adding more than two hours of further solo pieces, and a small number of additional duet recordings. The tracks were selected and sequenced by Mr. Dixon, who curated the entire project for release on his own label, Archive Edition. Veteran engineer Kevin Reeves (Capitol, Universal; Grammy-nominated for Revenant (2015) work) mastered from original tapes exclusively, deriving unprecedented clarity on these exquisite recordings. The set spans five CDs of trumpet solos and one full disc of Dixon's enigmatic spoken commentary for the project. Two printed folios are also in the box: In one are further emphatic annotations by Dixon ensemble veterans Stephen Horenstein and Jason Zappa, and historian Ben Young; and the Dixon interview with journalist Graham Taylor-Lock. A second full-color folio Works on Paper reproduces 13 of Dixon's stunning ink and acrylic visual creations, mostly from the late 1990s, and unpublished prior to this set. Recordings span 1970-92, made primarily in Dixon's studio In Bennington, Vermont, with earlier examples from New York, and a later solo performance from Israel. Also included are Dixon's only released works for solo piano, the full set of "Relay" duets for his own piano and trumpet, an excerpt of the 1971 magnum opus "Summerdance", featuring drummers Laurence Cook and David Moss, and one preferred example of the duets with keyboardist Leslie Winston. Odyssey was released in 2001 -- assembled on the highest artistic level, according to Bill Dixon's production standards. It also has been subject to DIY distribution since that time, so in many ways this 2018 re-launch will be a first hearing for many.”
6 CD Box Set $85 [Limited stock]
SIREN with KEVIN COYNE / NICK CUDWORTH / DAVE CLAGUE - Siren (Bonfire Records 002LP; Italy) “Reduced price, last copies. Bonfire Records present a reissue of Siren's self-titled album, originally released on John Peel's Dandelion label in 1969. Siren was the debut album by Kevin Coyne with Siren, the band he founded with former Bonzo Dog Band bassist Dave Clague and pianist/guitarist Nick Cudworth. An artist who would later inspire John Lydon, Sting, Ben Watt, and Will Oldham and would collaborate with Robert Wyatt, Andy Summers, Dagmar Krause, Brendan Croker, Gary Lucas, and The Mekons' Jon Langford, Kevin Coyne deserves a royal place between the likes of Syd Barrett, Peter Hammill, and Daevid Allen. Standing on the verge of British blues, folk and rawk n' roll, Siren could have been easily labeled as the British answer to Canned Heat, but there's even more. "And I Wonder" is clearly an anticipation of what would happen next, with the solo career of Coyne, more focused on acid folk songwriting. Licensed by Cherry Red. 180 gram vinyl. "Most of the album is good time rock-on-out-music a la the Flamin' Groovies... one of those (albums) you keep coming back to when the night gets cold and the wine is almost out. I play it a lot, and that's the nicest thing I can say about an album." --Ed Ward, Rolling Stone. "Siren just came as a breath of fresh air really, in the same way that like a generation later The Ramones did. When you just thought 'Thank God for that!' You hadn't realized how bored you'd become..." --John Peel.
VECCHIO - Afro-Rock (Be With Records 151LP; USA) “Vecchio's Afro-Rock is one big horn-heavy, bass-blasting, Latin groove funk-rock party. This beautifully presented reissue, part of Be With's fresh campaign with Music De Wolfe, is well overdue. A magnificent and somewhat obscure library set that's just a total, cohesive joy from start to finish, this here is the soundtrack to all your smokin' summer BBQs and communal cookouts. Afro-Rock is the debut album by Argentine keyboardist Luis Vecchio. Recorded for the sound library label De Wolfe, the album is frequently mentioned in hushed reverence among the beat digger DJ collecting crowd. It features fiery brass charts, funky bass lines, fluttering flute, choppy organ and additional hand tribal percussion. The band let loose too and jam hard; yet there's a certain thread of solidity that runs throughout, the tracks just belong together, not disparate sound and rhythm experiments like some library records; this is just straight up, no messin', consistent funk-rock fire. Hips will sway, heads will nod to the steady vibes. It's insanely good. The audio for Afro Rock has been meticulously remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis, ensuring this release sounds better than ever. Cicely Balston's expert skills have made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the records have been pressed to the highest possible standard at Record Industry in Holland. The original, iconic sleeve has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.”
BARBARA MOORE - Vocal Shades And Tones (Be With Records 153LP; UK) “Vocal Shades And Tones is a miraculous leftfield library classic from the genius mind of celebrated UK composer/singer/vocal arranger Barbara Moore. It's a heavenly groove-based blend of jazz, Latin, soft-psych, folk-funk and gospel soul. Recorded for the legendary Music De Wolfe in 1972, it's an audacious start-to-finish listen, as dizzying as it is dazzling. It's a perfect snapshot of a musical era, supported by Moore's glorious vocal arrangements. Widely regarded among collectors, DJs, and lounge/easy-listening acolytes as an absolute essential it is viewed as the holy grail by many production music heads, rarely appearing for sale and disappearing in a flash when it does. Just one of the reasons why this fresh Be With reissue, part of a wider De Wolfe reissue campaign, is so utterly crucial. In the 1960s, Barbara Moore was a member of Top of the Pops' resident vocal-harmony group, The Ladybirds and sang backing vocals for Dusty Springfield's TV show. Her own outfit, the Barbara Moore Singers, were regulars on TOTP, singing with Jimi Hendrix when he performed "Hey Joe" live in Lime Grove Studios. By 1970, she was working as a session singer for De Wolfe and, by 1972, was composing her own tracks for De Wolfe and working within their tight creative strictures. Each short track had to evoke an obvious mood and theme, with no significant key or tempo changes. Her response, this very album, managed to stay between the lines while cohering as an overarching artistic masterpiece. The audio for Vocal Shades And Tones has been carefully remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis, ensuring this release sounds better than ever. Cicely Balston's expert skills have made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the records have been pressed to the highest possible standard at Record Industry in Holland. The original, iconic sleeve has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.”
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
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
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