THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
Tuesday, December 19th:
6:30: GIACOMO MEREGA - Bass Guitar / JOSH SINTON - Reeds / JAMES ILGENFRITZ - Contrabass
7:30: DAVE MILLER - Drums / RAS MOSHE - Tenor Sax / DEVIN WALDMAN - Alto Sax
8:30: 9 VOLT: EYAL MAOZ - Guitar / RICK PARKER - Trombone / KEVIN SHEA - Drums
9:30: SYLVESTER GERMAINE / JOHN HEBERT - Bass / JEFF DAVIS - Drums
Tuesday, December 26th:
6:30: PAUL R. HARDING - Poetry / DANIEL CARTER - Reeds & Trumpet / TAKUMA KANAIWA - Guitar / JONATHAN WILSON - Drums
7:30: YONI KRETZMER - Tenor Sax / SHANIR BLUMENKRANZ - Contrabass
Tuesday, January 9th:
6:30: s0nic 0penings: PATRICK BRENNAN - Alto sax & Compositions / HILLIARD GREENE - Contrabass / Jason Kao Hwang - Violin / Michael TA Thompson - DRUMS
7:30: KnCurrent: PATRICK BRENNAN - Alto sax / ON KA’A DAVIS - Guitar / JASON KAO HWANG - Electric Violin / COOPER-MORRE - Diddely Bow
8:30: STAN ZENKOV - Bass Clarinet / DANIEL CARTER - Reeds & Brass / ZACH SWANSON - Bass / DAVE MILLER - Drums
9:30: LORIN BENEDICT - Solo Vocal Set
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 Holiday Gems Begin with:
EUGENE CHADBOURNE - I Looked Like a Hippie (Weird Cry Records WCR 087; Earth) On the back of this disc it says “The Orchestral Guitar of Eugene Chadbourne”. There is not much more information listed here except for the song titles. Starting with Disc A, the first piece is called, “Denver-Boulder Bus Company”. The music sounds live has a couple of layers of acoustic & electric guitars all floating around one another in a dream-like way. It sounds like Doc Chadbourne is overdubbing himself on several different guitars. As this piece unfolds, the layered guitars are buzzing together, with Doc Chad weaving several lines tightly around one another. On “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”, the guitars are close mic’d, another blend of acoustic and restrained electric guitars. Doc Chad’s playing has evolved over 40 years since the early Downtown Scene days of the late 1970’s. He seems to be tapping on different parts of the guitar as well as banging on the strings. Although Chadbourne is playing with himself via overdubs, there is still some fascinating interplay going on here. It makes sense that Doc Chad would be playing several guitars simultaneously since his playing is so unique and idiosyncratic, there is a common bond which runs through this disc, making all of the sounds flow in a stream which is consistently shifting current-wise. Doc Chad appears to be using a different guitar(s) or effect on each piece, tossing in fragments of melodies, but mostly doing what the late Derek Bailey used to do so well: creating his own language changes slowly throughout each piece and has different dynamics on each piece. There are a few other sounds here like birds chirping and a motor whirring, all of which add to the unique land or soundscape. Disc 2 starts with “The Decline and Fall of L. Spanswick”. Again, there are several acoustic and electric guitars playing together, all played by Dr. Chadbourne through overdubs. Usually one guitar (acoustic) will start to play a theme or play in a stream while another guitar (electric) joins in both playing together in a series of floating duos. Doc Chad adds bits of sounds or sound effects which gives things more depth. This disc has four long pieces and it is 74 minutes long. It can be numbing at times although as long as I had the time and wasn’t too stoned, there was still quite a bit to consider going on here. The stream seems endless at times yet I keep hearing interesting interplay and bursts of distinctive free form guitar which is endlessly inventive. It sounds like during the pandemic Dr. Chadbourne laid down one guitar and then added another one later on showing how well he can play along with himself. Perhaps a bit long yet quite impressive throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
3 CD-R Set $24 [3 of these sets come in separate jewel cases while the other 3 come in a padded envelope with the artwork taped to the outside]
TRIO SAN with SATOKO FUJII / TAIKO SAITO / YUKO OSHIMA - Hibiki (JazzDor; EEC) Trio San features Satoko Fujii on piano, Taiko Saito on vibes and Yuko Oshima on drums. This session was recorded live at the Festival Jazzdor in Berlin in June of 2022. The ever prolific pianist, Satoko Fujii, releases quite a bit of CD’s and is always searching for other like minded musicians to collaborate with. Japanese vibist, Taiko Saito, has recorded with Ms. Fujii on two previous discs over the past few years. Japanese drummer, Yuko Oshima, hasn’t recorded with Ms. Fujii as of now but has recorded with Eve Risser & Frantz Loriot. Although all three women live in different places (Tokyo, Berlin & Strasbourg, France), there is an obvious connection/bond to the way they play together. Things begin quietly, spaciously and cautiously. The playing is quite sparse so that every sound is placed carefully on silence or space. It sounds like Ms. Saito is bowing her vibes (creating suspense-filled drones) while Ms. Fujii plucks the strings inside the piano. This piece ascends as the as the trio become more dense, more intense and more dramatic. Ms. Fujii composed three pieces here. “Soba” has a rather progressive written theme when it begins and then calms down a more sparse midway section, a subtle vibes solo and then back to that opening theme with a fine, majestic piano section near the end which erupts into one of Ms. Fujii’s stunning, powerful piano solos. Ms. Fujii’s “Yozakura” features eerie vibes, skeletal mallets on drums and sublime piano at first. The trio’s sound expands and takes off with some incredible piano, all three creating waves upon waves. “What You See” features a fine bit of unaccompanied drums when it starts, with Ms. Fujii adding some expressive, percussive piano by muting the strings while she plays. Satoko mutes certain notes to give them a different sound than the rest of what she is doing here. On “Wa” the sustained piano chords, shimmering vibes and skeletal suspense-filled percussion give the trio a a slightly disorienting yet magical sound which has a way of transporting us to another plain. Ms. Saito’s “Ichigo” is the last piece and it is an intensive, more progressive piece with tight, complex ensemble playing and a wonderful drums solo. Although this disc/session is live, the sound/balance is perfect. Another gem from Ms. Fujii’s vast treasure chest of releases. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANDY HAAS / DAVID GROLLMAN - Act of Love (Self-produced; USA) Featuring Andy Haas on saxophone and David Grollman on voice, balloon and percussion. Both of these men are close friends of mine and DMG. Early Downtown saxist, Andy Haas has been playing sax in his own way since the mid-1980's when he moved here from Toronto. Haas has been lots of Downtown outfits, some known and some not so well known. Check out Radio I-Ching with the late Dee Pop & Don Fiorino or The Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood and see why the get that legendary tag. Although David Grollman came to our first store on East 5th Street in the 90's, we became good friends when he started to show up every week for gigs in the store when we were located on the Bowery (2003-2009). Mr. Grollman became close friends with an older (than me) guy that lived next door to the Bowery store, David Haefner, who I knew as well. Both Dave's showed up almost every week for the store's gigs, something that I appreciate after witnessing/running more than 1,250 nights of live music at DMG, weekly for the past 25 years. Long story short: the David's went to a gig at the previous Roulette on the wrong night, were disappointed, turned around to go home but when they got to subway, Mr. Heifner fell over when the subway door opened and passed away right then & there. Jeeeez! Later that night while Manny & me were doing the sales tax figures at the store after hours, Grollman shows up with two policemen in tow, tells us the terrible tale and we were all devastated since Haefner was a nice guy, friend & customer of the store and a serious old avant/jazz listener/gig junkie like myself. This tragedy bonded us all. There was a memorial party/event for David Heifner at his apartment, which an ex-girlfriend of his reorganized his collection & took it away. The memorial was organized by Dave Grollman, who gave a nice talk and play some percussion. This was in at the end of 2009 and we soon moved to Monroe St. in Chinatown. Mr. Grollman spoke eloquently about Mr. Haefner and play some percussion. It was a most moving memorial. Mr. Grollman continued to come to DMG in-stores after we moved and still come regularly now. He also performs here at times, once in a ridiculous duo set with Kenny Millions which will be talked about for years to come. What I like most about Grollman’s performances is that they are honest expressions what is going on inside him, often talking about things which many of us feel but have a hard time articulating.
This is definitely of labor of Love. All of the covers were hand made and inside is nice little pink page booklet designed by David Grollman. Earlier this year, Grollman’s longtime wife died from Alzheimer’s Disease, while she was just in her fifties, a sickness that usually affects folks much older than her. The past few years have been very difficult for David, first dealing with his mother’s death and then his wife’s death. This disc was made just a month after her passing, a sad loss that David is still and will be dealing with for a longtime to come. The disc begins with Mr. Haas’ sax squealing softly in the high register and using some effects to make it even more strange. Mr. Grollman has a gift as far as being a spoken word artist, he always sounds as if he were speaking directly to whomever is listening being forthright in his words. Grollman talks about not wanting to give his organs away when he dies since doctors and science have long failed him. I can see his point. Mr. Grollman often sounds like he is on the verge of tears, his words coming directly from his heart while Mr. Haas creates eerie background sounds with subtle feedback droning in the distance. Track 3 has layers of sax squeaks and electronic or effects produced sounds. The sounds here are somewhat disorienting at times. The words and music go well together, each providing a mirror for the other’s vibes/sounds/words. Tracks 4 and 5 are just breath-like sounds, the way some lower case (minimal) discs or performances just deal with odd breath-like sounds. On track 6, there is a voice-mail from Michael Evans, a great drummer and instrument-maker who has passed away in August of 2021 and with whom David, Andy & myself were good friends. So odd to hear his disembodied voice talking from the speakers in my kitchen. After all of the sad notes that I’ve written above about this disc, I find that the music itself is uplifting, only slightly weird and inspiring. Is this the real thing?!? It certainly is. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THREE ESSENTIAL HISTORIC TREASURES FROM THE BRITISH PROGRESSIVE JAZZ LABEL:
MIKE OSBORNE / ALAN SKIDMORE / HARRY MILLER / LOUIS MOHOLO - Starting Fires! Live at the 100 Club 1970 (BPJ 015MC; UK) Featuring Mike Osborne on alto sax, Alan Skidmore on tenor sax, Harry Miller on contrabass and Louis Moholo on drums. Recorded live at The 100 Club in London in December of 1970. For me, 1970 was the best year for the explosive British Progressive Jazz Scene. My favorite British progressive jazz records all came out that year: Soft Machine - ’Third’, Keith Tippett Group’s ‘Dedicated to You but You Weren’t Listening’, The Trio’s (John Surman, Barre Phillips & Stu Martin) 2 LP self-titled album and King Crimson’s ‘In the Wake of Poseidon’! All amazing records and much more as well. Numerous colossal saxists all appeared within a few years of each other: Evan Parker, Trevor Watts, Elton Dean, John Surman, Alan Skidmore and Mike Osborne, all extraordinary players with their own sound. Alto saxist Mike Osborne was an explosive free/jazz, legendary saxist, although his music career was relatively short. He stopped playing live in the mid-1980’s due to mental health issues, ended up in an institution for many years and passed away in 2007. Mr. Osborne, Alan Skidmore and John Surman played a number of sessions together and had an amazing sax trio called SOS, one of the very first avant/jazz sax only groups. Alan Skidmore is considered to be one of the greatest tenor saxists to emerge from the British Scene, his Coltrane-like tone & playing are consistently engaging no matter who he is working with. The rhythm section here are also legendary figures: South African expats Harry Miller (founder of Ogun Records) and Louis Moholo (the last surviving member of the Blue Notes), both were members of Brotherhood of Breath, another legendary collective of British and South African musicians. Sadly both Mike Osborne and Alan Skidmore are/were well recorded as leaders.
The 100 Club in London was a great room for live music and I attended a concert there in December of 1975, when I was going to school in London on an exchange program. The concert I went to was called ‘Night of the London Saxophones’ with Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Elton Dean and Alan Skidmore! An incredible night that I will never forget. This gig was recorded in December of 1970, in the early part of Mr. Osborne’s, Mr. Skidmore’s & Mr. Miller’s careers. The disc contains two long pieces, “Parallel” and “Starting Fires”, both around 20 minutes each. “Parallel” begins with a strong theme played by both saxists and most memorable riff that you won’t soon forget. The quartet is quickly on fire and the energy is ascending higher and higher. Both Mr. Osborne and Mr. Skidmore work well together, both spinning their lines tightly with a storm-like energy. The rhythm team also is in fine form, revving up the energy and spirit to colossal waves. Both saxists take long, explosive and inventive solos. The quartet tight and blowing up a storm. “Starting Fires” is oddly enough a ballad of sorts and moves at a slow pace. Mr. Osborne takes the first solo and his playing is filled with joyous, uplifting playing. I love the way the two saxists play together, tightly weaving their lines in these incredible spiraling waves. Mr. Osborne has a distinctive tone and his playing is filled with emotive spirits. There are sections of this piece where the tempo picks up and both saxes play their lines as one tight force, interweaving ferocious lines at a breath-taking speed. Mr. Skidmore also takes a powerful, Trane-like solo here showing himself to be one the most crafty and distinctive of all British saxists. I felt overwhelmed and exhilarated by the music and playing throughout this phenomenal disc. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
KENNY WHEELER with MIKE OSBORNE / EVAN PARKER / TONY ROBERTS / IAN HAMER / JOHN TAYLOR / RON MATHEWSON / TONY OXLEY / et al - Live 71’: The Kenny Wheeler Big Band & Friends (BPJ 018STC; UK) This consists of songs from a rare live concert by the Kenny Wheeler Orchestra. The personnel includes Mike Osborne, Tony Roberts & Evan Parker (guest) on saxes, Ian Hamer, Greg Bowen, Dave Hancock, Chris Pyne & Kenny Wheeler on trumpets, David Horler, Bobby Lamb, Keith Christie & Pete Harvey on trombones, Alfie Reece on tuba, John Taylor on electric piano, Ron Mathewson on double bass, Tony Oxley on drums and Norma Winstone on voice (1 track). Canadian-born, British based trumpeter, Kenny Wheeler, was the unsung hero trumpeters far and wide. He was a soft spoken, self-depreciating and self-critical. Thanks to British big band leader, John Dankworth, who Mr. Wheeler worked under, his first record came in 1969 (when Kenny was 39), was an orchestra record, a tribute to the story of Don Quixote, called ‘Windmill Tilter’. The orchestra included such greats as John McLaughlin & Dave Holland, yet it went unnoticed and was nearly impossible to find until it was finally reissued on CD in 2020 and on LP in 2021. I’ve been a longtime fan of Mr. Wheeler’s although a couple of his ECM records left me a bit cold. Mr. Wheeler has some 40 plus discs as a leader plus he loved to work with other link-minded players so he appears on dozen of more obscure albums.
I don’t think the Kenny Wheeler Orchestra, the band that recorded ‘Windmill Tilter’ in 1969 and the band here which was recorded live in London in May of 1971, played very many concerts. Hence rarities like this one are well worth exploring. Things open with “Mikei”, an austere yet warm, swinging song, sort of like a spy movie soundtrack. This fine band includes a half dozen bigger names like Mike Osborne, John Taylor, Tony Roberts, Ian Hamer, Tony Oxley & Evan Parker. Mr. Wheeler’s slow-burning trumpet graces this piece with a fine, feisty solo followed by some soulful electric piano by John Taylor. I’ve always loved strong, complex, erupting big band music, which is what we find here at times. The second piece is called “Song for Someone” and it is also the title of a Wheeler album from 1973 (on Incus). This piece features some fine wordless singing from Norma Winstone, a longtime collaborator with Mr. Wheeler plus she a member of the Azimuth trio with Wheeler as well. “Some Days Are Better” is the longest piece here and it is something else. The piece swings bouyantly and features some fine solos from Tony Roberts on tenor sax, Mr. Wheeler on trumpet, expressive trombone (from David Horler?) and Mike Osborne on fire-breathing alto sax kicked higher by the explosive drumming by Tony Oxley. The last piece is called “CD EP” which is what this disc is at around 30 minutes (total). The last piece features guests Chris Pyne on trombone and Evan Parker on tenor sax with both taking riveting solos, the energy erupting like a volcano right up to the grand conclusion. A truly great historic find and a missing link between the different jazz worlds. - Bruce Lee Gallanter,DMG
JOHN MAYER’S INDO JAZZ FUSIONS with LARRY ADLER / STAN SULZMANN / CLEM ALFORD / JEFF CLYNE / JOHN MARSHALL / et al - John Mayer’s Indo Jazz Fusion with Larry Adler (BPJ 0045STC; UK) Indo Jazz Fusion features John Mayer on violin & piano, Larry Adler on harmonica, Stan Sulzmann on alto sax & flute, Jim Moyes on guitar, Clem Alford on sitar, Jeff Clyne on bass, Keshav Sathe on tabla and John Marshall on drums. Indo Jazz Fusion was a British cross-cultural band that was founded by alto saxist Joe Harriott and violinist John Mayer. Indo Jazz Fusion with Mr. Harriott and Mr. Mayer recorded three albums between 1966 & 1968. All three are seminal records which blend modern jazz with Indian ethnic & classical music streams. After Harriott left, Mayer continued to run the Indo-Jazz Fusion ensemble, which made five more recordings for the Nimbus and FMR labels. The band reformed in the 1990’s with John Mayer still in charge although the personnel had changed. You should recognize the names of most of the musicians in this ensemble since each one has an impressive resume, working with important British jazz composers and doing many other pop, folk & rock sessions. Three of these players, Alford, Moyes & Sathe were members of a fine UK folk/psych band called Magic Carpet while the late drummer John Marshall went on to work with Nucleus and Soft Machine.
This disc was recorded live in the studio in July of 1970 in London and was unreleased until now. What I found most interesting is the contribution of American harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler, who it turns out moved to England in the fifties due the McCarthy era BS that was going on in the US during this period. The first piece is called “Raga Malika” and it begins with a most impressive piano solo intro played by Mr. Mayer who obviously has some virtuosic chops. After a short tabla section, the group soon breakout into their own version of a raga. British sax great, Stan Sulzmann (who worked with Ginger baker, Graham Collier & Kenny Wheeler), plays his first spirited sax solo. Throughout the piece Clem Alford adds some sly sitar, playing underneath and soloing at times as well. One thing that stands out here is the interplay between the tabla and the drums. “Serenade” is a lovely ballad with some tender, tasty harmonica, violin and flute playing on top. Larry Adler’s harmonica is featured and on each piece and I must admit that his playing is superb, bending his notes tastefully to great effect, sounding at times like an accordion or a melodica. Gershwin’s classic “Summertime” seemed like an odd choice yet the sound of the harmonica, violin, sitar and flute is unique and often sublime. “Sarabande” has a more classical sound with some lovely, haunting harmonica on top. “Raga Megha” closes this disc and it is a raga of sorts with some ghostly harmonica above and a cerebral blend of guitar, sitar, tabla, bass and drums providing a rhythm cushion or groove. If I were producing this session, I would’ve asked the octet to play a long version of their raga-like pieces with solos for everyone involved. Either way, this is a fine disc which is in between categories and consistently engaging. - Bruce Lee Gallanter
MORE DISCS FROM THE FINE FOLKS AT ERSTWHILE and ELSEWHERE:
MICHAEL PISARO-LIU // GUY VANDROMME / LUCIANA ELIZONDO / ADRIAAN SEVERINS / FABIO GIONFRIDA - A room outdoors (elsewhere 028-2; USA) Michael Pisaro-Liu is one of erstwhile’s most prolific composers with more than thirty discs on several labels: Gravity Wave, Potlatch, Edition Wandelweiser. This two CD set features on one piece per disc. Disc 1 features “Brussels” (from 2020), which is performed by Guy Vandromme on keyboards and Adriaan Severins on synth & field recordings. It was recorded at the Wild Gallery in Brussels in April of 2020. The field recordings here (wind, trains, rumbles) are the central sound here with other more percussive samples and carefully placed synth and/or other keyboards sounds or drones. As this piece evolves several layers of sounds coalesce around one another. It feels like we are riding on a train or in car traveling with the window open to some outdoor sounds which move be slowly yet steadily. Each layer moves at a different speed while the layers also shift in texture. Different occasional sounds or samples also flow in and out, a church organ, the distant ringing of a bell, a siren, voices… It feels as if we are all traveling together with the breeze blowing by around us. The organ-like sound at the center gives this a rather spiritual sound while some of the more abrupt samples or sounds break the flow at times. The gushing wind increases at times and knocks us off balance, yet we are all still surfing on the waves that are washing over us. “Thinking is the best way to travel” so says the Moody Blues, but for me listening closely is the best way to be transported somewhere else.
Disc 2 is “Cremona” (2023) and it features a trio with Luciana Elizondo on viola da gamba, Guy Vandromme on Indian harmonium and Fabio Gionfrida on field recordings. The only musician here with whom I was previously familiar with is Mr. Vandromme, who has an earlier duo record out on the elsewhere label. A viola da gamba is “is any one of a family of bowed, fretted, and stringed instruments with hollow wooden bodies and pegboxes where the tension on the strings can be increased or decreased to adjust the pitch of each of the strings.” - wiki. It is also a baroque era consort instrument which is rarely used nowadays. The music/sounds here are/is again a stream of of sounds: the slow drone of the viola da gamba being bowed with the sound of various voices surrounding us. The harmonium (a hand-pumped small keyboard instrument) is another drone-like keyboard often sound in certain types of Indian music as well as in some English folk music. Although viol(a da gamba) and the harmonium play different drone-like lines, their tone or texture and the way they are played change the overall vibe or feeling as the sounds flow. I usually think of the harmonium as a more calming instrument although here is has a more unsettling presence. The sounds here create an audio environment which seems to effect the way we feel. The vibe here is a bit darker than Disc 1, but both discs do a good job of transporting us elsewhere. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $18
MONIEK DARGE / VANESSA ROSSETTO - Dream Soundies (erstwhile 096; USA) Moniek Darge is Belgium-based violinist and composer with ten records under her name, collaborating with Dr. Godfried-Willem Raes and Graham Lambkin. Vanessa Rossetto is an American composer who uses chamber instrumentation, field recordings, electronics and a wide array of different objects in her music. Ms. Darge plays glass objects on this disc. Ms. Rossetto has some two dozen discs and has collaborated with Matthew Revert and Lionel Marchetti. Dr. Raes is also a Belgian composer and founder of the Logos Foundation. Dr. Raes contributed Pheumaphones for this session. What are Pheumaphones? This is the way Dr. Raes describes them: “ In 'Pneumaphones' I did inverse the whole concept (which is a church organ), by allowing the airflow to be modulated directly by the movement of human bodies. The instrument is played by moving, pushing and tolling on and over tetrahedron shaped inflatable seats.”
As with most discs on elsewhere and erstwhile, it is often hard to tell what is being played instrumentally. But no matter. The music is a fascinating blend of organ-like sounds, violin, odd samples and some sounds which are difficult to tell their source. There is a central drone going on throughout which sounds like an organ and strings being played tightly together, perhaps there are some of the Pneumaphones being used. The sounds here are never too sparse and seem to evolve in a most organic way. Wind-up jewelry boxes and/or toys, a washing machine-like drone, running water, birds, soft singing, a police siren, rubbed surfaces, bowed things, possibly sped up percussives (thumb piano?) and much more. The music here has a way of transporting us into a different sonic environment which is constantly in motion and ever-evolving through different scenes inside our minds. One of things I like most about ertwhile discs is that they do a great job of showing us the way music or sounds can transport us somewhere else outside of our usual mindset. I also like the cover to this disc as it also evokes different things by mixing or altering images into something both fascinating and a bit spooky. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PEDER LONG // LONGHAND with JESSE ZUBOT / JOSH ZUBOT / TONY WILSON / RUSSELL SHOLBERG / SKYE BROOKS - Longhand Plays Long (Drip Audio 02040; Vancouver; Canada) Longhand features Jesse & Josh Zubot on violins, Tony Wilson on guitar, kora & kalimba, Russell Sholberg on bass & saw and Skye Brooks on drums. Jesse & Josh Zubot are brothers who live in different towns, Vancouver and Toronto. They rarely play together until recently when 3 discs on Jesse’s Drip Audio label featured them together. According to Vancouver-based guitarist, Tony Wilson, Peder Long was a mentor to Wilson when both were students at Malaspina College. They started to play standards together and ended up playing the music of Mr. Long. This disc features all songs composed by Peder Long with arrangements by Tony Wilson. “Fantasy Alternatives” has a quirky new wavish sound, a rockin’ groove, effective slow burn guitar with an inspired violin solo. “Cat Dance” starts off with another rockish groove which stops and then there is freer section midway for sparse violins, guitar and perhaps kalimba (thumb piano), the opening theme comes back near the end. “Akimbo” begins quietly with both violins playing around the riff played by the guitar. Although most of these songs sound have infectious pop/rock songs melodies, Tony Wilson adds lots of unexpected twists and turns to these songs, often giving both violins and his own guitar, kora and kalimba a chance to add tasty seasoning. There is something charming going here since all of the themes/melodies are memorable yet there are a number of add surprises in direction and flavor/vibe. I haven’t listened to very much New Wave or normal rock music in a while yet I can still appreciate it when I get the chance. Special thanks to Tony Wilson, one my favorite musicians from the Vancouver scene and someone I had the pleasure of speaking with at the Victo Fest a coupe of years ago. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FOUR MORE GREAT DISCS FROM CLEAN FEED:
NATANIEL EDELMAN TRIO with MICHAEL FORMANEK / MICHAEL ATTIAS - Un Ruido de Agua (Clean Feed 650; Portugal) Like Eva Figes’ enchanting 1983 novella, Light, the latest full-length release from extraordinary Argentinian pianist Nataniel Edelman harnesses 24 hours in the life of an artist and atomizes it in a marvelous virtuosic breakdown of allusive tones and mottled moods. Figes’ literary portrait of Claude Monet comes alive in her redolent descriptions of the great painter’s Giverny garden sanctum. Un Ruido de Agua is equally evocative in its impressionistic representations of the Berlin riverside studio where this absorbing, often delectably understated session was recorded last spring, capturing the ebb-and-flow of passing time in a series of Basho-like vignettes where simple gestures contain the kernels of all existence and the minutiae of seeming fripperies become near-seismic events. Un Ruido de Agua also testifies to the burgeoning connections and shared visions of its three creators, with Edelman accompanied by his familiar co-conspirators, double-bassist Michael Formanek and alto-saxophonist Michaël Attias, two of the most important voices on the New York scene who, between them, have performed with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Paul Motian to Anthony Braxton and Mary Halvorson. Together this formidable triumvirate navigate six compositions (fiveby Edelman, another from Attias), plus four collective free-improvisations, reconnoiting far-reaching dumbral deltas ornamented by snaggle-toothed key jabs, swirling helix totems and billowing puffballs of smoky nimbus, cloistered from the regimented tyrannies of the beat, the stellar trio dappling their converging colors to convey the unique flow and momentum of a single day.”
PHILLIP GREENLIEF / SCOTT AMENDOLA - Stay with It (Clean Feed 651; Portugal) One of the most engaging team-ups in exploratory jazz celebrates 30 years of simpatico collaboration and creativity with the release of Stay With It, their first outing on the Clean Feed imprint. It finds Phillip Greenlief and Scott Amendola developing thefebrile dialogues mapped out on their deliciously bristling 1995 debut, Collect My Thoughts, an absorbing set that saw the pair garner considerable international plaudits, inspiring them to further cultivate their connection through regular touring expeditions.Three decades on, Greenlief and Amendola remain fully dedicated to their punchy, snaking exchanges, with hyper-dynamic tracks such as ‘Morpheteria’ and ‘Eloquent Turbulence’ building on the bountiful foundations of previous works, drums and horns locked in gloriously kinetic convulsions. But Stay With It also signals an evolution, borne of shared insight and artistic understanding, the duo inaugurates “a theatre of the unexpected”, as they mine acutely textural passages augmented by Amendola’s implementation of live electronics. The granular, parping abstractions of ‘Microfiche’ recall peak Supersilent in meditative cyborg mode, while ‘Farfalle en Mare’’s subtle amalgams of distorted sax exhaust and mutant cymbal-sourced static underline the duo’s commitment to exploring intriguing alien interzones nestled between free jazz and electro-acoustic espionage.While their distinguished careers have seen them share stage and studio with eminent artists ranging from Alice Coltrane, Susan Alcorn and Nels Cline to Mike Patton, Manuel Mota and John Zorn, it is often within this special tandem formation, so adroitly captured on Stay With It, where Greenlief and Amendola conjure their most personal and profound creations.”
MERCURY with LORI FREEDMAN / NICOLAS CALOIA - Skin (Clean Feed 652CD; Portugal) “Quicksilver apothecaries of pitch, timbre and time, the formidable Montreal-based pairing of clarinetist Lori Freedman and bassist Nicolas Caloia, reconvene their long-term Mercury connection for a fittingly volatile and strange, dangerous, and often beautiful, dose of deeply conceptual body music.Skin is the culmination of a more than 20-year relationship of intense melodic, harmonic and rhythmic exploration, which has seen Freedman and Caloia interrogate the outer perimeters of spontaneous creation and avant-garde composition, together under the Mercury rubric or individually alongside such stellar names as Roscoe Mitchell, Marshall Allen, Steve Lacy, Matana Roberts, Toshimaru Nakamura and Joe McPhee.
On a dynamic recording capturing the urgent ferocity of the duo’s captivating live performances, Freedman and Caloia anatomize the human corpus –‘Eyeball’, ‘Hip–Thigh–Knee–Shin–Ankle’, ‘Head–Shoulder–Chest’, ‘Skin’ , the album’s title-touting disassembly of flesh-and-bone serving as bio metaphor for the pair’s surgical shattering of conventional musical restraints. Listen to Caloia’s visceral arco scouring and shuddering spine-tingling rattle, the respiratory emanations and cardiac pulse emitting from Freedman’s clarinet and the analogy is rendered stark, the pair’s corporeal capers supercharged with apposite epidermic notions relating to touch, intimacy, texture and sensitivity.”
MIKKO INNANEN / CEDRIV PIROMALLI / STEFAN PASSBORG LORI FREEDMAN - Can You Hear It? (Clean Feed 649; Portugal) “An organ trio like no other, Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen, Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg and French Hammond hero Cédric Piromalli are back to twist traditions and confound conventions. Following on from their gloriously impish Clean Feed debut, 2021’s This Is It, comes the uber-fusion feast of Can You Hear It?, an album giving the eminent Blue Note histories of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Larry Young an extra adrenaline hit, Piromalli souping up the keys for extracurricular soul-fusion kicks and spacing out like Sun Ra hammering the hyperdrive on an interstellar love mission. These three funky trailblazers sit at the top table of their respective scenes, boasting a combined rap sheet of revered co-conspirators that reads like a heavenly who’s-who, the names of those they have worked with including Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, William Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Lovens, Will Guthrie, Tim Berne and Tomasz Stańko. All that combined experience and knowledge is filtered through into the deft chicanery of Can You Hear It?, its nine contrasting cuts finding Innanen, Pasborg and Piromalli at the peak of their expressive powers, effortlessly shifting from muscular swing and riotous retro-futurist vamp to doleful sci-fi séance and poignant balladry in a heartbeat. During one of her two spoken-word cameos featured on the album, Canadian clarinetist and improviser Lori Freedman acts as the group’s surrogate voice piece, accompanied by Innanen’s passionately chirruping sopranino and Pasborg’s thudding percussive detonations. “Who are we? / Where do we come from? / What do we do? How do we do? / How do we do it?”, she asks in a natty flow of enquiry doubling as a statement of intangible intent, a suitably defiant anti-manifesto from one of the most intrepid, shape-shapeshifting triumvirates active in jazz today.”
BOB BROOKMEYER with JIM HALL / MEL LEWIS / RAINIER BRUNINGHAUS / TOM VAN DER GELD / WDR BIG BAND COLOGNE - On the Way to The Sky (Jazzline N 77013; Germany) Featuring Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone, composing, arranging and conducting, Jim Hall on guitar, Rainier Bruninghaus & Joachim Becker on keyboards, Tom van der Geld on percussion plus the NDR Big Band Cologne. Over the past couple of decades I’ve discovered a wealth of music from the great jazz valve trombone player, Bob Brookmeyer. Starting out with the Cool School cats like Chet Baker & Gerry Mulligan, Mr. Brookmeyer is known for his impressive composing and arranging skills as well as his piano playing. Check out his rare album with Bill Evans & himself both on pianos. Aside from his arrangements for the Mel Lewis Vanguard Orchestra, Mr. Brookmeyer also taught at college, working with other American and European large units. Brookmeyer led his own New Art Orchestra in Europe starting in 1994. The line-up here is certainly an odd one with American jazz guitar hero Jim Hall and great big band drummer Mel Lewis plus two keyboardists: Rainier Bruninghaus (early ECMer & Eberhard Weber collaborator) and Joachim Becker. Hence I wasn’t sure what to expect since I hadn’t heard anything from Mr. Brookmeyer in recent years (he passed in 2011).
Starting with “Awakening”, we hear the hypnotic, mysterious, eerie sounds of several organ-like keyboardists. When the large ensemble finally enters, the sound is majestic but it doesn’t last long before the haunting organ-like keyboards take over. When Jim Hall enters, it is hard to believe that this is the same beloved & often low-key jazz guitarist. Jim Hall’s semi-acoustic guitar sparkles by itself with some suspense filled vibes and with the eerie organ(s) again droning underneath. It sounds like some ancient analog synths playing on top while the horn section glides on top. Jim Hall takes a an odd, haunting, slightly sustained guitar solo which doesn’t sound like his old self. The NDR Big Band sounds impressive on “Fire”, tight and exciting but holding back for the keyboards to solo. The music is closer to some more adventurous big band playing with tight, powerful modern classical like arranging. There are a number of sections where it is just the synths, guitar and drums, often stripped down yet still quietly mesmerizing. Jim Hall plays with eloquent, laid back restraint on “Water” (a stunning solo) with Mr. Brookmeyer also playing a sublime, tender, warm valve trombone solo, with simmering keyboard underneath. Both/either keyboardist(s) play what sounds like haunting church organ(s). Mel Lewis is featured on “Ascension” and he plays some modest, yet impressive drumming, the keyboards & horns duetting with him. Jim Hall is also featured and sounds great yet it unlike anything else I’ve ever heard from him. Although this music is rather progressive in overall sound, there is nothing bombastic or overdone like some of the more bloated dinosaur prog bands of note. The grand conclusion does remind me a bit of something that ELP might do yet without any cheese thrown in. Quite an impressive surprise and not what anyone would’ve suspected beforehand. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FOLK MAGIC BAND - Folk Magic Band (Black Sweat Records 082CD; Italy) “Reissue, originally released in 1976. Folk Magic Band represents one of the most interesting and original, yet lesser-known experiences of the Italian jazz scene of the 1970s. In the legendary alternative environment of the Folk Studio in Rome, an open 18-members lineup is inspired by the free jazz of its time, a music that encompasses the whole world and its polychromy of sound. The echo seems to resonate the pan-ethnic motifs of Don Cherry and his Organic Music Society, but also the spiritual jazz of Pharoah Sanders and the orchestrations of the Sun Ra Arkestra. The textures chase a Chinese melody, ignite with African scents and South American jungles, flow into fusion violin drifts a la Archie Shepp's Attic Blues or Mingus-like orchestral sections. The fascination of this collective affair still strikes for its playful and ironic nature, still impressing for its strength and willingness to open and influence new directions.”
CD $19 / LP $28
TITO PUENTE AND HIS ORCHESTRA - Salsa Salsa / Babarabatiri (In The Woods DJ001; England) As 2023 quickly comes to pass, London's premiere IN THE WOODS RECORDS has released a monumental Jazz/Salsa "BANGER" guaranteed to light up the ensuing days and nights. Cut Live in New York City with one microphone and in the round, Maestro Tito Puente and his 24 piece orchestra burn over two sides of black lacquer like no other ensemble could! Featuring legendary horn virtuosos Bobby Porcelli, Tony Barrero, Mitch Frohman and Joe De Jesus, this historic and highly sought after session from the mid 1980's has finally received its proper release. Cut by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road and pressed at the Vinyl Factory utilizing EMI 4000's (45 rpm), this is an audiophile's dream and set to stun! The imaginative cover art is bold and beautiful, inspired by distressed Japanese motivic work; the inner sleeve chronicles the sessions play by play with astute detail. Highly recommended for all passionate music enthusiasts, this is pure, unabashed sonic mana. T FOR TITO!! MOY CALIENTE!! John J. Mori - DMG
EVAN PARKER / DEREK BAILEY / HAN BENNINK - The Topography of the Lungs (Otoroku Rokure 001LP; UK) “2023 repress. OTOROKU caps off the 2014 celebrations of saxophonist Evan Parker's 70th birthday with a vinyl reissue of The Topography of the Lungs, by Parker, guitarist Derek Bailey, and percussionist Han Bennink -- Parker's first recording as a leader. Originally released in 1970, this was the first LP issued by Incus, the label that Parker founded with Bailey and drummer Tony Oxley. This reissue has been produced from an original vinyl pressing from Parker's archives, carefully transcribed and restored by Andreas (Lupo) Lubich at Calyx Mastering, Berlin. “
PHILL NIBLOCK - Boston/Tenor/Index (Alga Marghen NMN 173LP; Italy) “Boston/Tenor/Index, presents for the first time some of the earliest works by the American composer Phill Niblock, including three never before released pieces: "Index" (1969), "Tenor," and "Boston III" (both from 1972). Until now, it's been impossible to encounter Niblock's compositions from earlier than the 1960s, a reality thankfully rectified by the long overdue publication of this Boston/Tenor/Index LP on Alga Marghen. "Tenor" (1972) represents the first evolution of Niblock's musical thought towards the aesthetics of microtones, overtones, and drones which the composer would develop in following decades. The piece was recorded by the photographer Martin Bough on tenor saxophone and gradually dubbed back and forth by the composer in his New York studio. "Boston III" (1972) was recorded at the Intermedia Sound studio in Boston with Rhys Chatham (flute, voice), Martin Bough (tenor saxophone), and Gregory Reeve (viola, voice); the composer himself also contributed with his voice. The LP also includes "Index" (1969), an improvised sound performance by the composer himself. Guitar (both its body and strings), fingers and fingering fuse in a vehement action around which barely listenable sounds and resonances vibrate. Considering the extended pulsation as an organic blend of impulse, rhythm, drive, strength, vitality and passion, the end of this sole solo in Niblock's complete oeuvre is not defined by the fixed duration of the piece but as the consequence of the tiredness of the performer. The music changes according to the loudness of playback. The interaction of the upper harmonics changes especially, with much richer overtone patterns being produced at louder levels. Edition of 450 copies, including an insert with liner notes and photo.”
ALDO CLEMENTI - Collage (Alga Marghen NMN 167LP; Italy) “Alga Marghen presents the previously unreleased Collage 2 and Collage 3 (Dies irae) for magnetic tape, both realized at the Studio di Fonologia Muisicale RAI in Milan with the technical collaboration of Marino Zuccheri. These pieces are precious testimonials to Aldo Clementi's intense and ongoing interest in electronic music in the 1960s. The electronic composition Collage 2 dates from 1960. It was the first experiment with electronic music for Clementi whose original and consistent adherence to structuralism is reflected in several of his instrumental works written around that time. The first idea of Collage 3 dates back to 1966, in the form of a short electronic collage on the Beatles' song "Michelle." The composer wanted to replace old concepts and clichés which had become popular and common, through the use of "natural wells of timbre, live and organic, springing from a world of symmetry and fixed blocks." This original idea underwent a drastic transformation when the RAI (the Italian radio) commissioned Clementi to write a longer work. To his initial desire to start from scratch was added the problem of a longer duration. It was only when Clementi had almost completed the piece that he gave it its final title of "Dies irae," owing to the extreme tension that accompanied its composition.”
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 / IKUE MORI - DEC 13–17
Ikue Mori presents four concerts of improvisation at The Stone and a special Sunday afternoon concert in celebration of her 70th birthday!
8:30 pm QUARTET 1
Zeena Parkins (harps) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Lotte Anker (sax) Ikue Mori (electronics)
8:30 QUARTET 2
Craig Taborn (piano) Lotte Anker (sax) Erik Friedlander (cello) Ikue Mori (electronics)
8:30 pm QUARTET 3
Satoko Fujii (piano) kappamaki (trumpet) Jim Staley (trombone) Ikue Mori (electronics)
TRIO - Koichi Makigami (voice) John Zorn (sax) Ikue Mori (electronics)
Special SUNDAY DECEMBER 17 AT 5PM Show: Sun Tracing Magic Special
A SPECIAL AFTERNOON SHOW IN CELEBRATION OF IKUE'S 70TH BIRTHDAY AT STEIFEL HALL IN THE NEW SCHOOL—SAME BUILDING AS THE STONE BUT ON THE FOURTH FLOOR—ROOM i400
Sun Tracing Magic Special Featuring: Ned Rothenberg (reeds) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Charmaine Lee (voice) Ches Smith (drums) Sae Hashimoto (percussion) David Watson (bagpipes) Makigami Koichi (voice) Satoko Fujii (piano) kappamaki (trumpet) Erik Friedlander (cello) Zeena Parkins (harps) Ikue Mori (electronics)
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
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: email@example.com