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DMG Newsletter for Friday, February 16th 2024

Have you seen my child, I lost her someway?

My wife held on to her as close and strong as a woman could.

Now my child is missing, silent in the wood, 

I have lost my child, she was so small.

She lost me now, she fell, she swam away.

Have you seen my child, I lost her somehow?

She’s lost to me. She’s lost to me.

She rose up from the water, 

She rose up from the sea, 

She rose up from the ocean, 

She rose up from the well, 

She held to her mother’s heart 

and somehow 

she fell. 

My heart is broken 

and broke I will remain. 

I’ve lost my child, 

you can not know the pain. 

If there’s such a thing as a soul a’startin’, 

I have seen it,

if sadness can drive a woman mad,

I have seen it. 



Hallie denied, 

After six years of waitin’, 

Hallie denied, 

Hallie, Hallie, Hallie denied.

I graduated college in June of 1976 and moved back home to my parents house in Linden, NJ, where I grew up. I lived there until the summer of 1982, when my Mom got remarried and I moved to Rahway, where I still live 42 years later. After going to college in south Jersey for four years and doing an exchange program in London for one semester, it was hard to adjust to be at home again and living with my parents. I ended up hanging out with a few of my college buddies, several old friends from Linden and nearby and also meeting a new friends as well. I remember by best friend Mitch Eisenberg (great guitarist & 1st musician I had become friends with) called one night and said let’s go visit Owen Plotkin, another songwriter/musician from Linden that Mitch had started hanging out with. Owen was still at college at this point and had his own entrance/door on the side of his parents’ house. When we got there I was amazed at how much cool stuff Owen had. He was a metal sculptor, painter, poet and songwriter with a shrewd and oft hilarious sense of humor. His room was filled with sculptures, paintings and a big box under his bed which was filled with poems. He read some poems and I was knocked out as I was also writing poetry at the point and doing poetry performances as well, as well as reading lots of poetry on my own. Also under Owen’s bed was an acoustic guitar. He pulled it out at one point and sang three songs that he had written. All three were wonderful, funny, honest, deep and unlike any other songs I had heard. I was floored by these songs I had never befriended a songwriter before. His lyrics were mostly about what was going on in his/our lives at that time. Occasionally, Mitch would bring over his electric guitar and the two of them would perform Owen’s songs as a duo or just improvise soemthing. I became close friends with Owen, hanging out, having long discussions, listening to music and going to gigs. Every few weeks, Owen would come up with another great song and this amazed me since each song dealt with what many of the things that we were feeling at the time, job hunting, searching for a romantic partner and trying to make sense out of what was happening on the planet earth. I had heard Owen perform solo a few times live but even better was when he would come over to my house and play me a new song or two. All of which I recorded for posterity and still listen to from time to time.

Within a year or so, Owen had put together a duo with Mitch the Bitch Monzeez a/k/a the Monz and the duo became the Mopeds. The Monz played lead guitar & sang and Owen played rhythm (section) guitar and often sang lead. They never had a rhythm team since their songs kept evolving / changing every time they played. This was around 1977 when bands like Television, Talking Heads & Elvis Costello first appeared. The Mopeds were a sort of punk band but they didn’t sound quite like anyone else. Both Owen and Monz wrote songs, sang and played and created an entire catalogue of their own unique repertoire. They played an occasional gig at CBGB’s, Inroads, Sly Fox and elsewhere, some of which I helped organize. Some of my favorite sets took place at Owen’s, Monz’s or at my parents house, where they could really cut loose. Sometime in the early eighties, both Owen & the Monz got married to some lovely ladies and raised families. Both Mopes now have adult offspring who are out of the house and both Owen & Monz are happily married and semi-retired. I’ve stayed in touch with both my old pals. I was honored to have the Monz jam with me, Elliott Sharp & other DMG’ers in a Suburban Bohemia set where we performed “Trouble Every Day” from the Mothers’ ‘Freak-Out!’ album here at DMG a couple of years ago. It was a rare rock star moment for yours truly and something that I’ve wanted to do for many years.

Although the Mopeds are long gone, Owen has recently started posting his songs, new and old, on InstaGram. The other night when I was on the train going back home, I saw that Owen had posted a new song called, “Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine”. I listened to it three times in a row and I was blown away once more by Owen’s voice, guitar playing and lyrics. Owen’s songs have always reached deeply into heart and noggin and this one is something special so please check it out. I included the words to an older Moped/Owen song last year called “Cardboard Man” at the top of the newsletter but didn’t have all of lyrics written out correctly. Hence, I asked Owen to pick a newer song of his to add to the top of this newsletter so that is what is listed above. Please take some time to read these words as there are some interesting ideas or thoughts buried below the surface. I am not going to talk about what the words mean since your interpretation is just as important as anyone else’s. This is a point that Robert Wyatt made to me in December of 1975 when I interviewed him and asked about the words to the songs on ‘Rock Bottom’. Please check out Owen Plotkin on InstaGram as he puts up more songs or other interesting videos. I just listened to an old song of his called, “Can Love Make Me Real?” and it was extraordinary. A toast to some of my oldest and dearest friends: Mitch Eisenberg, Mitch “The Monz” Mannassee and Owen Plotkin! - Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG

You can check out some of Owen Plotkin’s videos here:



Tuesday, February 20th: An Evening Organized by MARC EDWARDS:

Tuesday, February 27th:
6:30: JOSH SINTON - Reeds / MAZZ SWIFT - Violin - Two Solos & a Duo
8:00: JONATHAN REISEN - Solo Tenor Sax
8:30: DANIEL GALOW - Alto Sax-Electronics / SYL WINCH - Trombone
9:30: JUDY DUNAWAY - Solo Balloon(s)

Tuesday, March 5th:

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: 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



WADADA LEO SMITH / JOE MORRIS - Earth’s Frequencies (Sluchaj! Fundacja FSR 01/2024 / Listen! Foundation; Poland) Featuring Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet (age 82) and Joe Morris (age 68) on guitar. Recorded live on February 12, 2023 at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT. Both Wadada Leo Smith and Joe Morris are Creative Music Elders who have long been active musicians, composers, bandleaders and professors to many younger folks on both coasts. Both master musicians continue to play live and record with a wide variety of musicians, from different age groups, cultures and backgrounds. Aside from one record (‘Red Hill’, Rare Noise, 2014 with Morris on bass) with Jamie Saft & Balazs Pandi, Mr. Smith and Mr. Morris had not recorded together previously as far as I can tell.
This set was recorded live in February of 2023, a year ago earlier this week, at Real Arts Ways which has been home to many Creative Music sets for several decades. The duo start off softly and sparsely, weighing each note or flurries of notes carefully. Mr. Morris is playing a semi-acoustic guitar with little effects and a warm, dry tone while Mr. Smith uses a small amount of (room) reverb to enhance his expressive, dry tone. Mr. Morris starts to use a selective, quirky device on his guitar midway through the first long piece, making his tone a bit more bent. Both of these masters have a large vocabulary for improvised playing, hence they are able to have a focused dialogue which changes over time. Although Wadada uses no electronic effects other than moving closer or more distant to the mic, Morris is quite selective about his tone, approach or use of subtle effects. At times, Morris does use an effect which sounds like is playing backwards and even this effect is used cautiously with some odd yet warm electronic sounds. At times, the duo play very quietly with Morris rubbing or scraping his strings delicately. We lean forward in our seats and listen more closely as things are still happening on a more restrained level. On “Monk Reflections / Double Exposure”, the duo sound like they are being inspired by some of Thelonious Monk’s distinctive melodies. There is quite a bit of deep beauty, expressiveness and a startling conversation going on here throughout this entire disc/session. I can also hear the Hope and Love elements within as well. Makes me want to open the window, get some fresh air and warm sunshine. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

IVO PERELMAN with NATE WOOLEY / MATT MORAN / MAT MANERI / FRED LONBERG-HOLM / JOE MORRIS - Seven Skies Orchestra (Sluchaj! Fundacja FSR 13/2023/Listen! Foundation; Poland) The Seven Skies Orchestra features Ivo Perelman on tenor sax, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Mat Maneri on viola, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Joe Morris on bass and Matt Moran on vibes. Recorded at Parkwest Studio in November of 2022. Former Brazilian/current Brooklyn-based saxist, Ivo Perelman, is one of the most prolific improvisers to unleash a deluge of recordings over the past decade. Nate Wooley, Mat Maneri and Joe Morris can be heard on a number of Mr. Perelman’s previous recordings although neither Fred Lonberg-Holm or Mat Moran have recorded with Ivo Perelman before this session. After producing nearly 100 records over the past decade on mostly duos, trios and quartets, Mr. Perelman is finally slowing down which is a good thing for all of us completists. Vibesman Matt Moran is someone who seems to record less frequently, having appeared only on a few discs under the leadership of Nate Wooley and William Parker, going back to 2021.
This two disc set contains 10 pieces, each one with a different number attached as a title for each piece. “Part One” begins with Matt Moran’s vibes playing spaciously with tenor sax, trumpet and three strings all swirling around one another. Joe Morris, who most listeners regard more as a guitarist, has been playing contrabass more often over the past decade or so. Morris’ acoustic bass is often at the center of these improvisations, pumping away, holding down the bottom with just the vibes added at times as a rhythmic partner. Although the music sounds “free” overall, there is quite a bit of engaging interaction going on here, just listen closely and you will hear a multi-layered web of excited activity. You might think that after more than a 100 discs of mostly improvised music making that Ivo Perelman might just run out of ideas? No way! Both Mr. Perelman, Mr. Wooley and Mr. Maneri, thrive in situations like this. This is high-end free improv at its very best with many layers of lines and ideas being exchanged throughout. There are a number of sub-sections or sub-groups which occur naturally throughout this ongoing series of heated conversations. There is a section on “Part Two” where the muted sax and trumpet are playing one thing and the three strings create a cushion of hypnotic harmonies, which made me feel as if I were floating along with them instead of sitting in my chair in front of my computer. The combinations of players and groupings change organically within each piece. On “Part Three” it sounds as if Mr. Perelman at the center or taking the lead while Mr. Woolley’s trumpet and Mr. Maneri’s viola are answering him with fascinating harmonies while the cello, bass and vibes create a swirling rhythm cushion underneath. All of the music here sounds most organic, thoughtful and created thoughtfully in the moment and throughout. The music here never sounds too chaotic or free, the focus is just right. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $20

STEVE SWELL / ELISABETH HARNIK - Welcome To The Troposphere (Sluchaj! Fundacja/Listen! Foundation FSR 17/2023; Poland) Featuring Steve Swell on trombone and Elisabeth Harnik on piano. After dealing with some health issues in the last few years, Steve Swell has been on a roll: performing live in a variety of situations, touring in Europe and recording as often as is possible. Over the past year or so, Mr. Swell has played here at DMG in a solo set, duos with Thomas Heberer & James Paul Nadien, sitting in with Dr. Chadbourne as well as with Suburban Bohemia (led by your truly). Mr. Swell also has a handful of great discs out in recent times: two fabulous 3 CD sets on the Rogue Art and Not Two labels. Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik has also been quite busy appearing on some two dozen discs since 2005. She has recorded in numerous duos: Joelle Leandre, Michael Zerang, Frank Gratkowski & Christof Kurzmann. This is Ms. Harnik’s second duo disc with Mr. Swell.
Things begin with “Welcome to the Troposphere” which starts with those subtle, breath-like, radiator hissing sort of sounds, cautiously performed by Mr. Swell with skeletal piano tinkling drifting in and out of our view (or hearing). These two musicians seem very well matched, with a constant dialogue and an exchange of ideas/sounds/vibes. The duo moves between playfulness and more fractured interaction. There are plenty of heated moments when the duo erupt with some more frenzied interplay. I hear a variety of ideas with some of the lines that Ms. Harnik is playing, a Sun Ra fragment here and a Philip Glass-like line there. Ms. Harnik also plays inside the piano on "All the Way?”, muting and /or tapping on the strings with an object. On “Stay with Me Now”, Ms. Harnik plays these dark, treacherous chords while Mr. Swell balances on top at a moderate tempo. What I really dig about this disc and duo is this: there is quite a bit of serious listening going on here with both players creating their own little world as the other adds their own counterpoint or response. I hear a fragment or two come in from the trombone or the piano and then the other players add their own shades, colors or patterns. There are some cerebral sections where Mr. Swell creates a slowly throbbing drone with Ms. Harnik adds some buzzing strings coaxed from inside the piano. On “There Are Many Colors”, the duo erupt more intensely, with short bursts of free activity which is balanced between certain extremes just right. You can tell that Swell and Harnik have been playing together for a while since there seems to be a thread that runs through each piece that connects both of them. Quite a mighty fine duo! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

RUSS JOHNSON / TIM DAISY / MAX JOHNSON - Live At The Hungry Brain (Sluchaj! Fundacja /Listen! Foundation FSR 16/2023; Poland) Featuring Russ Johnson on trumpet, Max Johnson (no relation) on contrabass and Tim Daisy on drums. Recorded live in the Fall of 2018 at the Hungry Brain in Chicago. I am forever fascinated by the way that certain groups of improvisers get together and create music which is meant to and often inspires those who are listening to it. I know all three musicians here from different situations. Former Downtown trumpeter Russ Johnson (for the Other Quartet & Komeda Project) moved to the Chicago area and has been with Fred Lonberg-Holm & Ethan Philion in recent times. Downtown bass great Max Johnson has been especially prolific in recent times, releasing a half dozen discs in the past couple of years, each one with different personnel (Anna Webber, Karl Berger, Thomas Heberer & Vinny Golia). Formerly drummer for the Vandermark 5, Tim Daisy started his own label Relay Recordings, releasing a dozen discs in the past few years, continuing to work with Jason Stein, Dave Rempis and Mars Williams. Hence, I am not sure who organized this session but it sounds great to me.
There are two long tracks here, both around 20 minutes a piece. Things begin with Max Johnson bowing powerfully on his bass with trumpet and percussion slowly entering the picture. This piece evolves organically with all three musicians spinning their lines tightly around one another. Russ Johnson is in especially fine form here, taking his time and ascending higher tempo-wise and intensity-wise. Both Max Johnson’s bass and Tim Daisy’s drums work closely with the trumpet no matter where it goes. There are a number of quiet sections here which keeps things in balance. “Side Two” begins with cerebral, eerie bowed bass, ultra-subtle muted trumpet and skeletal percussion, slowly ascending together. Considering that Max Johnson and Tim Daisy hadn’t played together (ever?) previously, they do work together quite well. Mr. Daisy plays a long, thoughtful, expressive solo on this piece which I really like. After this, Russ Johnson takes a slow, haunting, bluesy trumpet solo with just somber bowed bass underneath. Things build here most organically from one section to the next. Things move from sparse to playful to more intense as the piece unfolds. This is a superb date and it flows just right throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

EVELYN GLENNIE / SZILARD MEZEI POLAR QUARTET with BOGDAN RANKOVIC / IVAN BURKA / ERVIN MALINA - Capt’s Look (Sluchaj! Fundacja/Listen! Foundation FSR 18/2023; Poland) Featuring Evelyn Glennie on percussion, Szilard Mezei on viola, Bogdan Rankovic on clarinets & alto sax, Ervin Malina on double bass and Ivan Burke on drums. I became aware of classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie when Tzadik released her duo CD with Fred Frith in 2007 and then I watched a documentary about her a few years later. By now, I own around a half dozen discs by Ms. Glennie performing a variety of modern classical pieces. I’ve been a big fan of Hungarian violist Szilard Mezei since his first records in the early aughts. Mr. Mezei is quite prolific with more than 50 releases of his music from solos to duos to trios on up the large ensembles. Each member of the Polar Quartet has worked with Mr. Mezei through several previous projects.
   There are two pieces on this disc, one long (36 minutes) and one short (7:06). All of the music here is fully improvised by all the members involved, Ms. Glennie and the for members of the quartet. Although Dame Glennie (a prestigious title) is more known for her work as an interpreter of music scores, she has on occasion improvised as well as can be heard on her duo with Fred Frith. This is an all acoustic quintet and the sound/balance here is superb. Contrabassist Ervin Malina is often at the center of the quintet, playing intensely and holding things together. Szilard Mezei is an extraordinary violist, one of the best I’ve heard and here he keeps weaving in and out of the ongoing interaction. Ivan Burka sounds like he is playing a drum set yet he also lays back a bit and comes in when he is needed. The music here is cerebral yet focused, organic and engaging. This is high level improvisation and it is consistently thoughtful and focused and ever-engaging. There is a segment close to the end of the first piece where it sounded like the group was about to take off sailing into the air. When the music is completely focused as it is here, it sounds like it is/was partially written or at least directed by someone. This disc is most extraordinary and quite magical sounding. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG   
CD $16

SZILARD MEZEI - Solo - Always the Same (Not Two MW1036; Poland) Featuring Szilard Mezei on solo viola. I’ve been a big fan of Hungarian violist, Szilard Mezei, since his first records in the early aughts (on Leo Records). Mr. Mezei is quite prolific with more than 50 releases of his music from solos to duos to trios on up the large ensembles. His solo efforts are relatively rare and solo viola recordings are also pretty rare. There are two long pieces on this disc, both around 40 minutes each and both are recorded live in Hungry. Mr. Mezei always sounds like he has a wealth of ideas and melodies to draw from. Mr. Mezei often sounds like he is drawing from both folk melodies and extended techniques without going too far out. At times Mr. Mezei will just pluck the strings, tapping into a rhythmic flurry of notes and then start to bow in between different sections. Mezei moves from section to section, taking an idea or line and then transforming it in different ways. There times here where Mezei will take a melodic fragment and twist into various odd shapes before moving into the next section. I have a customer who buys quite a bit of new CD’s and LP’s from us almost every week. He once told me that the only thing he doesn’t enjoy are solo efforts since he thinks that most are indulgent. I realize that this can be the case sometimes but not here. Szilard Mezei always thrives in different improvised situations. Considering that this disc clocks in at around 80 minutes, you might think that there would be some filler or even uninspired sections yet that is not the case here. I sat through this entire disc and was captivated throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

MIKE McGINNIS 9 with CAROLINE DAVIS / PETER HESS / BRIAN DRYE / JACB SACKS / VINNIE SPERRAZZA - Outing - Road Trip II (Sunnyside Records SSC 1719; USA) On his new recording, Outing – Road Trip II, Mike McGinnis and his 10-piece jazz ensemble pay tribute once again to the legendary clarinetist and composer Bill Smith whose commissioned piece “Transformations” is debuted and featured along with McGinnis’s dynamic recent works.
A decade ago, McGinnis put together an ensemble to tackle a chamber jazz composition written by Smith. The 10-piece group became a vehicle for an engrossing project of composing original music for a mid-sized group, resulting in the album Road*Trip. McGinnis initially heard about Bill Smith from an episode of David Garland’s legendary WNYC radio program “Spinning On Air” that featured some of the clarinetist’s “Concerto for Jazz Clarinet,” a side long feature on Shelly Manne & His Men’s Vol. 6 album from 1957, which happened to feature a mid-sized chamber jazz ensemble.
Mr. McGinnis was struck by Smith’s command of the tools of composing and orchestrating, becoming deeply engrossed in the piece. Fortunately, the sheet music was available, so McGinnis was able experience playing the Concerto himself, he still felt like he was missing something important in his rendering of the piece. Through some connections with musical colleagues in Seattle where Bill Smith was based, McGinnis was able to spend four days with Smith learning about the how the piece was composed and about how to perform the solo part, which is mostly improvised.
When McGinnis remarked that the piece was great but not long enough for an entire concert, Smith suggested that he write his own piece to accompany the Concerto, which led McGinnis to compose “Road*Trip for Clarinet and 9 Players” which highlighted McGinnis’s compositional abilities and stellar clarinet playing.
Wondering what Bill Smith might pen for his McGinnis’s own group, he reached out to the older composer and commissioned a piece. Smith’s resultant, “Transformations,” is a difficult twelve-tone piece built on three different tone rows but done so masterfully that it remains contrapuntal and harmonically lush. “Transformations” became the centerpiece of McGinnis’s Outing, which was recorded shortly before Smith’s passing in early 2020.
The music that McGinnis began to create for his “Road*Trip” band mirrored the aesthetics of composers for similarly sized ensembles that he most enjoyed, most notably Django Bates and Carla Bley, whose work was not only drawing from a wide variety of influences but always full of surprise and unapologetic humor. So, when setting out to write new works for his group, McGinnis thought it would be exciting to feature and challenge the musicians in his group, which includes trumpeter Jeff Hermanson, alto saxophonist Caroline Davis, tenor saxophonist Peter Hess, baritone saxophonist Barry Saunders, trombonist Brian Drye, French horn player Justin Mullens, pianist Jacob Sacks, bassist Dan Fabricatore, and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza.
CD $14

GUI DUVIGNAU with JACOB SACKS / NATHAN ELLMAN-BELL - Live in Red Hook (Sunnyside Records SSC 1714; USA) The true magic in jazz and other improvised music comes from pairing the right musicians with the right musical circumstances, the variables tending to be the right material to work from and a conducive performance space. On his new recording, Live In Red Hook, bassist/composer Gui Duvignau took advantage of an ideal performance space in Brooklyn and the brilliance of two outstanding musicians that he knew would provide a performance worthy of posterity.
Duvignau was born in France and lived in Morocco as an infant. His family moved to Minas Gerais, where he spent his youth, and then São Paulo, Brazil, where he spent his teenage years. His studies led him from Paris to Portugal and, finally, to New York City, where he has been based the past six years. The lands that he has lived in and the musical cultures and influences of each have informed his musical landscape. Duvignau’s last two recordings on Sunnyside Records are ripe with tributes to his mentors and heroes, including music and/or performances by Ron Carter, Bill Frisell, Billy Drewes, and Baden Powell.
Like most musicians in New York, Duvignau is invested in the world of sessions, or the casual gathering of musicians to test new material, work on group interplay, and get to know each other musically and otherwise. New York’s vast jazz and improvisation music scenes allow for a healthy session scene which provides many with the opportunity to meet new collaborators and develop new bands and music. It also allows musicians of varied experience to mingle together and develop a rapport that might be beneficial further into their career.
It was through sessions that Duvignau met his trio partners on Live In Red Hook, pianist Jacob Sacks and drummer Nathan Ellman-bell. Both musicians are highly respected creative forces, just the right type of collaborators for an impromptu recording.
It was at the end of a concert residency at Brooklyn’s Coffey Street Studio that Duvignau decided to convene the trio. He had a feeling that this amalgamation would work as they had already developed a trio dynamic that had energized Duvignau immediately after meeting.
Rather than having a session to go over material, Duvignau provided a book of compositions that he trusted Sacks and Ellman-bell to familiarize themselves with in hopes that the performance would be fresh and inspired as they all discovered the music together. So, it was on the evenings of October 18 and 19, 2022 that the trio performed for an audience at the Coffey Street Studio.
CD $14

GEORGE McMULLEN with VINNY GOLIA - Line Drawings Volume 1 (SlideThing STM101; USA) Featuring George McMullen on trombone & flute and Vinny Golia on saxes, bass clarinet & alto flute. Former L.A.-based trombonist, George McMullen, recently came to visit us here at DMG and left us with a few of his CD’s. In the past, Mr. McMullen has worked with James Newton and can be heard on three previous discs by Vinny Golia, two with a large ensemble and one with Mr. Golia’s octet. The combination of trombone and reeds is a rare one but I can tell that Mr. McMullen and Mr. Golia are both gifted improvisers who have been working together for a long while. “Fat Chance” is for trombone and bass clarinet and both musicians are well matched. Mr McMullen is not dealing with many extended techniques here, His playing us warm and expressive and is able to interact with Mr, Golia whenever he heads. Mr. Golia plays a different reed on each piece, altering his approach no matter which (s)axe he is playing. McMullen does use a Harmon mute on “Wowse”, getting a warm, slow wah wah sound while Golia play haunting flute, a perfect match for the muted trombone. Mr. McMullen has a warm tone and rarely too far out. That warmth and occasional lyrical playing make this duo into a most enchanting one. Since Mr. McMullen is now living here, I offered him a set in our ongoing Tuesday night Free Music Series and check him out when he does play here. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $10

STALWARI with BEN EIDSON / MIKE ROVINSKY / CALEB DUVAL / JAMES PAUL NADIEN - Blessed (F.I.M.-002; USA) Stalwari features Ben Eidon on alto sax, Mike Rovinsky on electric guitar, Caleb Duval on electric bass and James Paul Nadien on drums, percussion & recorder. This disc was recorded at The Record Co. in Boston in November of 2023. Drummer and all-around-nice-guy, James Paul Nadien has been working here at DMG for the past two years and also playing in the store pretty often with a variety of other musicians, younger & older, known and not well known. The only other musician here that I am previously familiar with is bassist Caleb Duval, who played in a trio called Dancing with James McKain & JP Nadien and they have a self-produced CD-R from last year (2023). Ben Eidson and Luke Rovinsky did play at the store once for the GauciMusic series. After checking out the monthly GauciMusic Series at DMG for the past few years as well as the weekly Free Music Series that I curate here, I’ve gotten to hear dozens of mostly younger musicians, many of whom continue to impress me every time there are performances in the store.
The first thing I hear is a recorder which is being overblown with the other instruments slowly coming in. The guitar and el bass are both being manipulated, so it is hard to tell them apart at times. The quartet keeps shifting through tempos and combinations of instruments. Is that a sax or a guitar or a bass, or all three together? Hmmm. The thing I’ve noticed about JP Nadien’s drumming is that it is very elastic as he often changes his style to collaborate with whomever he is playing with at the time. The recording quality here is good but not great so it is hard to tell who is playing what at times. There are quite a bit of occasional explosions or eruptions yet the balance between the louder and more restrained sections are well handled. The overall sound actually works since everything flows organically from section to section. There are plenty of unexpected changes in direction as well as some surprising twists and turns. Plus perhaps some Zappa-like humor at times. At first, I thought that this session was similar to many of the improv sessions that I’ve heard or been involved with. However, there is quite a but more going here than that. This is often more focused that I would’ve imagined and a modest delight at youthful creativity. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $10

DAVID GRUBBS AND LIAM KEENAN - Your Music Encountered In A Dream (Room40 4223CD; Australia) Remember hearing music while dreaming, fully confident that you'll be able to reconstruct it once awake? Music that, as it turns out, you were the sole witness. In retrospect, why ruin the experience by something so vulgar as hearing it a second time, much less having to share it? Now, David Grubbs and Liam Keenan have returned from the dark side of the pillow bearing Your Music Encountered in a Dream. How did they do it? They did it by meeting to record a series of electric guitar duets in Sydney just as summer was turning to fall. They did it because Grubbs was limber and uncharacteristically chill after a couple of weeks in Australia playing shows and not playing shows. Sydney resident Liam Keenan's comfort zone gravitates toward singing and songwriting under the moniker Meteor Infant, and on this session one genuinely senses an unabashed spirit of discovery. It's happening, it's really happening in these three generously scaled improvisations. Maybe The Necks -- as well as solo recordings by Tony Buck and Chris Abrahams -- count as unconscious reference points. From the juggling and interplay of pitches in isolation, to the ecstatic speaking-together of strings, to guitar music as electronic music, there's little in the way of searching for endings in this revelatory meeting. No hastening the dream's end. Hail the first encounter.
CD $17

RAFAEL TORAL - Spectral Evolution (Moikai M14 CD; USA/Japan) "After a two-decade interlude, Jim O'Rourke's Moikai returns with Spectral Evolution, a major new work by Rafael Toral. Making his name in the mid-1990s with influential guitar drone platters like Sound Mind Sound Body and Wave Field, Toral has never been one to rest on his laurels repeating his past glories. Since 2017, Toral's work has been entering a new phase, often still centered around the arsenal of self-built instruments developed in the Space Program, but with a renewed interest in the long tones and almost static textures of his earlier work; he has also, after more than a decade, returned to the electric guitar. Spectral Evolution is undoubtedly Toral's most sophisticated work to date, bringing together seemingly incompatible threads from his entire career into a powerful new synthesis, both wildly experimental and emotionally affecting. Toral manages the almost miraculous feat of having his self-built electronic instruments (which in the past he had seen as 'inadequate to play any music based on the Western system') play in tune. In an unexpected sidestep away from any of his previous work, the chord changes that underpin many of the episodes on Spectral Evolution are derived from classic jazz harmony, including takes on the archetypal Gershwin 'Rhythm changes' and Billy Strayhorn's 'Take the ʻA' Train,' albeit slowed to such an extent that each chord becomes a kind of environment in its own right. Threading together twelve distinct episodes into a flowing whole, Spectral Evolution alternates moments of airy instrumental interplay with dense sonic mass, breaking up the pieces based on chord changes with ambient 'Spaces.' At points reduced to almost a whisper, at other moments Toral's electronics wail, squelch, and squeak like David Tudor's live-electronic rainforest. Similarly, his use of the guitar encompasses an enormous dynamic and textural range, from chiming chords to expansive drones, from crystal clarity to fuzzy grit: on the beautiful 'Your Goodbye,' his filtered, distorted soloing recalls Loren Connors in its emotive depth and wandering melodic sensibility. The product of three years of experimentation and recording, and synthesizing the insights of more than thirty years of musical research, Spectral Evolution is the quintessential album of guitar music from Rafael Toral."
CD $15

LAETITIA SADIER - Rooting For Love (Drag City 874CD; USA) "Over the course of her career, spanning three-plus decades, Laetitia Sadier has never shied away from the hard topics, or stopped advocating for the possibility of self-determination and emancipation in the face of the powers that be, conscious or unconscious. This is an essential part of the foundation she co-built with Stereolab, showcasing her spiritual, scientific and sociopolitical inquiries. She's continued this process with Monade and under her own name and as a writer/singer/musician whose every album acts as a report on her journey of the self through time, space and the collective. On Rooting For Love, the report is set alight by the heat of a turbulent world, collapsing institutions and Laetitia's fully engaged process of expression as well as orchestration. The musical arrangements help to embody the layers of the issue, as with 'Who What''s combination of organ, synths, guitar, bass, trombone, drum programming, vibraphone and zither, all working along intricate paths of chord and tempo changes. Leading from the inside is the implacable presence of Laetitia Sadier, herself interacting with a vocal assembly of men and women billed as The Choir. The regular reappearance of The Choir throughout Rooting For Love is a reminder of this music being one of a people in critical mass, in addition to an evolution that continues to deepen the rich harmonic fields in which Laetitia plays. The melodic funk of bassist Xavi Muñoz leads a Chic-adjacent slink to the occasional dance floor vibes and no-wave rockouts, while Hannes Plattemier and Emma Mario take turns in mixing the tracks and informing the far reaches of the material, with vibes, additional drum programming and synths alongside a talented cast of players and singers from Laetita's Source Ensemble and beyond. As with the cover image of the winter tree mirrored by the word patterns of Rooting For Love, Laetitia maintains that how we heal the world that's coming, and what we make of it, will be a co-creation. Alongside her collaboration with Modern Cosmology, last year's incredible What Will You Grow Now?, as well as her continued tours with a reformed Stereolab, Rooting For Love finds Laetitia back in the world, once again urging all our grounded inner alignment and heart power to make us better equipped for creating what's to come."
CD $15

MAYA SHENFELD - Under The Sun (Thrill Jockey 600CD; USA) "Maya Shenfeld's expansive, kaleidoscopic music is as illuminating as it is exquisite. Classically trained, Shenfeld has fast grown into one of contemporary music's most exciting, vital voices. Every aspect of her dazzling, multifaceted output interrogates the way we experience the world around us -- be it solo microtonal explorations, site-specific installations, or commissions for leading New Music ensembles. Shenfeld balances orchestral ambition and compositional rigor with the joy of noise, and granular detail. Under the Sun provides a daring expansion of that musical vision, a series of pieces exploring change and repetition, deep time and the ephemeral moment, equilibrium, and imminent threat. Composed and produced between a studio in Berlin and on-site at one of the world's deepest marble quarries in Portugal, the album's powerful sounds are a meditation on the natural world, wrestling with the looming threat of catastrophe and crisis, and the power of community and collaboration to enact change. The environment is more than just an abstract theme, it is interwoven into Under The Sun's very sonic DNA. Field recordings taken deep within the still-active quarry in Portugal were recorded, quite literally, under the scorching sun on one of the hottest days on record in the country. Shenfeld extracted sounds from this scarred, deeply mined landscape, and threaded these samples into rich arrangements of synthesizers and acoustic instruments. The atmospheres of Under the Sun evoke that push and pull through an eclectic and rich sonic palette, from the sacred sounds of the organ at St Matthew's Church to the ethereal voices of the Ritter Youthchoir conducted by Ann-Kristin Mayr. Reflections of her punk and electronic forays bubble up in a collaborative composition with Emptyset's James Ginzburg, summoning raw, primal energy."
CD $15



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2/14 Wednesday
8:30 pm - Billy Ray Valentine Trio; Mary Halvorson (guitar) Henry Fraser (bass) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

2/15 Thursday
8:30 pm - Tomas Fujiwara Percussion Quartet: Dream Up - Patricia Brennan (vibraphone) Kaoru Watanabe (taiko) Tim Keiper (percussion) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

2/16 Friday
8:30 pm - FIRST DUO
Jason Moran (piano) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

2/17 Saturday
8:30 pm - The Return of Plutonia: For Greg Tate
Matana Roberts (alto saxophone) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)


2/21 Wednesday
8:30 pm - Solo - Aliya Ultan (cello)

2/22 Thursday
8:30 pm - Trio - Taiga Ultan (flute) Aliya Ultan (cello) Aaron Dilloway (tapes)

2/23 Friday
8:30 pm - Large Ensemble - Elias Stemeseder, Jon Elbaz (pianos) Taiga Ultan, Laura Cocks (flutes) Cleek Schrey, Marija Kovačević, Scott Li, Richard Lenz (violins) Javen Lara, Joanna Mattrey (viola) Aliya Ultan, Lester St Louis (celli) Drew Wesely, Sandy Ewen (guitars) Henry Fraser, Anna Abundolo, Tete Leguia, Kevin Eichenberger (basses)

2/24 Saturday
8:30 pm - Seven - Javen Lara (viola, voice) Aliya Ultan (cello, voice) Wesley Michalski (sax) Adam Turay (guitar) Teté Leguía (bass) Kevin Eichenberger (bass) Jon Starks (drums)

THE STONE is located in
The New School at the Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th Street - near 6th ave

music at 8:30pm

$20 per set
unless otherwise noted
cash only payment


Tues, Feb. 20 –  Rhizome, 6950 Maple St. NW, Washington, DC
7 p.m. Tickets $25.   
Mostly Other People Do The Killing (MOPDtK) celebrates the release of Disasters Vol. 2 on Hot Cup Records. The album is a follow-up to their acclaimed 2021 release, Disasters Vol. 1.
Wed, Feb. 21 – Fire Museum, Philadelphia, PA
7:30 p.m.  Tickets $10-$20 sliding scale.  
Fire Museum Presents MOPDtK and Advancing on a Wild Pitch celebrating their new albums Disasters Vol. 2 and Jonesville. Performance takes place at Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement, 1542 East Montgomery Avenue
Thur, Feb. 22 –– The Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd Street, NYC
7 p.m. Tickets: $20   
Hot Cup Records presents an Album Release Evening featuring three bands.
Mostly Other People Do the Killing celebrating "Disasters Vol. 1"
Advancing on a Wild Pitch celebrating "Disasters Vol. 2"
Acceleration Due to Gravity celebrating "Jonesville: Music by and for Sam Jones"
Fri, Feb. 23 –  The Bop Shop, 1460 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY
8 p.m. Tickets: $20  MOPDtK
Sat, Feb. 24 –  Jazz at the Coop, The Cooperage, 1030 Main St., Honesdale, PA
7 p.m. Tickets: $15  MOPDtK and Advancing on a Wild Pitch.
Bands & Personnel
MOPDtK: Moppa Elliott, bass; Ron Stabinsky, keyboards; Kevin Shea, drums.
Advancing on a Wild Pitch: Sam Kulik, trombone; Charles Evans, bari sax; Danny Fox, piano; Moppa Elliott, bass; Christian Coleman, drums.
Acceleration Due to Gravity: Bobby Spellman, trumpet; Dave Taylor, trombone; Matt Nelson, alto saxophone; Stacy Dillard, tenor saxophone; Kyle Saulnier, baritone saxophone; Ava Mendoza, guitar; George Burton, piano; Moppa Elliott, bass; Mike Pride, drums


Thursday, February 22nd, 2024




At Otto's Shrunken Head
538 E 14th St
Between Ave A & Ave B
New York, NY 10009


Sunday, February 25th at 6pm:

Tiny Slices at Wee Space
Vegan potluck
In the East Village

Performing: Dave Scanlon, Mike Joseph and QiuJiang Levi Lu

Text 212-353-1721 for the address or DM weespacetapes or webbkaycrawford on Instagram


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.






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: