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DMG Newsletter for Friday, February 23rd, 2024

In the next couple of weeks we are looking at two large collections, an LP and a CD collection. We need to clean out some of the excess that we have in the back of the store, our storage area, to make room for the collections. The thing is that we don’t have much money in our savings so I am asking any & all of you to help us with this expense. We need to get around $5,000 to cover some or all of these collections. If any of you who read this newsletter and/or are friends of the store, please donate what you can so that we can acquire these much needed collections. If and when we do get these collections we might need some help in fitting them into our back rooms. You can donate via credit card, Paypal or check made out to Downtown Music Gallery. Any large contribution will receive a gift box with a DMG t-shirt and a DMG tote-bag. Thanks to all of our friends around the world. Peace and Love Always, Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG



Originally designed & sold here at DMG in the mid 1990’s when we were in our first location of East 5th Street in the Village, we updated these t-shirts for our 30th anniversary in 2021. The original design featured “Bruce, the record store guy” behind the counter and dancing with a stack of records in his/my hands wearing a Sun Ra and a Naked City t-shirt. These t-shirts are grey with black letters and cost $15 each and come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large and XXL. The XXL T’s are almost sold out already but we will get more soon.


We had these lovely tote bags with white writing made last year for our 32nd anniversary. They’ve sold out twice so far! They are perfect for carrying a handful of LP’s or anything else you want to transport that fits. You can see a picture of our tote bag on the InstaGram feature on the right side of our homepage. The tote bags cost only $10 each plus you can get one free with a purchase of $100 or more either in the store or through our mail-order service.

If you send us a picture of yourself wearing one of our t-shirts or carrying a DMG tote bag, we will post it on our website somewhere. - Bruce at DMG


This Friday, February 23rd at 8:00 pm

Pedal Steel and Tenor Sax Duo

At Zürcher Gallery
33 Bleecker st, NY, NY 10012
Just east of Lafayette, north side of street

Admission is $20.
Tickets can be purchased at the door. CASH ONLY.
All proceeds go to the artists.



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:

Tuesday, March 12th:
7:30: DAVE MILLER - Drums / DEVIN WALDMAN - Alto Sax / RAS MOSHE - Tenor Sax / LUKE STEWART - Bass

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


This Newsletter Begins with A New Disc from John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s son Sean:

SEAN ONO LENNON with YUKA C. HONDA / MICHAEL LEONHART / CHES SMITH / JOAO NOGUEIRA / JOHNNY MATHAR / MAURO REFOSCO - Asterisms (Tzadik 4046; USA) Tzadik is proud to present Asterisms, a beautiful and exploratory instrumental project by Sean Ono Lennon, one of the most creative and versatile musician/composer/producer/songwriters working today. Sean has written countless songs, composed film scores, produced, and performed on dozens of albums—and here he steps out as the leader of an all-star band of Downtown luminaries. Years in the making, the music is powerful, trippy, and intensely imaginative, blending rock, electronics, jazz, and more into an exciting new musical soundscape. With driving rhythms, a stunning lyricism, and a brilliant sense of orchestration, this album is sure to surprise and delight music fans the world ’round. Beautifully recorded, this is modern instrumental music at its very best—essential!
CD $14 / LP $32 - In stock early next week

PAT SMYTHE QUARTET with ALAN HOLDSWORTH / DARYL RUNSWICK / JOHN MARSHALL - New Dawn: Live 1973 (British Progressive Jazz 023STC; UK) Featuring Pat Smythe - piano & Fender Rhodes Allan Holdsworth - guitar, Daryl Runswick - double bass and John Marshall - drums Previously unreleased and captured in 1973, "New Dawn" by the Pat Smythe Quartet offers a rare glimpse into a pivotal moment in jazz fusion history, particularly for fans of guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Recorded across two dates in France, the eight-track album showcases the virtuosic quartet at the intersection of jazz fusion, jazz rock, and Latin American influences, featuring an early and electrifying performance by Holdsworth, a pioneer of the genre. Pat Smythe (piano/electric piano): A veteran of Joe Harriott's groundbreaking ensemble, Smythe's avant-garde sensibilities underpin the quartet's fusion experiments. Allan Holdsworth (guitar): This early recording captures Holdsworth on the cusp of his meteoric rise, showcasing his already-astonishing technical brilliance and emotive playing that would later reshape the landscape of fusion guitar. Daryl Runswick (double bass): Navigating both classical and contemporary realms, Runswick's versatile bass-lines provide a steady foundation for the ensemble's sonic explorations. John Marshall (drums): Steeped in the avant-garde tradition, Marshall's percussive mastery, honed in Soft Machine, adds rhythmic complexity to the quartet's sound. The eight tracks on "New Dawn" traverse a vibrant spectrum of influences, encompassing jazz fusion, jazz rock, and even Latin American rhythms. Opening with Holdsworth's "Golden Lakes," the album then delves into Smythe's compositions, like "Rank's Vibe" and "Village Greene," showcasing the interplay between his piano work and Holdsworth's guitar. Edu Lobo's "Casa Forte" provides a brief but captivating detour into Latin territory, while Holdsworth's own "Floppy Hat" pushes the boundaries of fusion with its intricate textures. In contrast, "Waiting For The Walrus" offers a glimpse into the quartet's avant-garde roots, harking back to Smythe's early days with Joe Harriott. However, it's the title track, "New Dawn," and the collaborative epic "British Rail" that truly encapsulate the heart of the album. These compositions serve as prime examples of the quartet's ability to merge Smythe's avant-garde past with the burgeoning sounds of the future. "New Dawn: Live 1973" stands as a significant contribution to the history of jazz fusion. It documents a pivotal moment in the Pat Smythe Quartet's trajectory, showcasing their mastery of the genre and their willingness to push its boundaries. As listeners delve into this rediscovered treasure, they gain a deeper understanding of the innovative spirit that defined the group and the broader fusion movement of the 1970s. Artwork by Piergiorgio Cupellini.
CD $20 [Limited edition; we just got in 15 & they will not last long]

DEREK PLAYS ERIC with ANDREAS WILLERS / JAN RODER / CHRISTIAN MARIEN - A Suite of Soaps and Other Assorted Sceneries (JazzWerkStatt JW 236; Germany) Featuring Andreas Willers on electric & acoustic guitars, Jan Roder on electric & acoustic basses and Christian Marien on drums & percussion. This is the second disc from Derek Plays Eric, an odd yet unique guitar -fronted power trio which is/was inspired by two British guitar masters from very different schools or streams: Derek Bailey and Eric Clapton. Those of you in the know should recognize all three names as each one can be found on more than a dozen previous discs on assorted labels with different sessions for each member.
Except for the title piece, “A Suite of Soaps”, the other five pieces are covers of an eclectic bunch: Paul Motian, Dave Holland, Gentle Giant, The Beatles and Matthew Moore. This disc begins with Paul Motian’s “Tuesday Ends Saturday”, which was first found on Mr. Motian’s second album as a leader called ’Tribute’ from 1975. Bassist Jan Roder is spinning his lines quickly at this point while the guitar and drums play more skeletally, the guitar slowly getting more sustained tone-wise with an impressive, aggressive guitar solo on top. Mr. Willers composed the 7 part “Suite of Soaps”, each one a challenging segment with lots of quirky twists and turns. Although both the guitar and the bass each take short inspired solos in some of these pieces, it is the way each of these pieces are written that makes them so challenging to play. At first, I wasn’t so sure on how these pieces (as part of a suite) fit together but after another listen, I started to hear the connection which goes through all the pieces here. It sounds like Mr. Marien is bowing a cymbal or another piece of metal on “Sonic Finder” & playing some odd percussives, on this eerie, suspense-filled piece. Willers plays some shrewd, powerful guitar on “Toxic Compound” including a spirited metallic solo. “A Dystopian Soap” goes from a quick guitar boogie into a heavy, throbbing pounder with layers of guitar atmospherics. “Cogs in Cogs” comes from a later Gentle Giant album called, ‘The Power and the Glory’. As a big fan of Gentle Giant myself, it is indeed rare for jazz players to cover one of their quirky prog pieces. Although the structure is the same (complex), the trio smooth it out a bit and include a couple of fine solos from the guitar and bass. “Space Captain” was a sort of power ballad when it was released in 1979. Here Mr. Willers switches out the cheesy vocals for some impressive guitar soloing, adding different effects throughout. Dave Holland’s “May Dance” comes from an album with Gateway (with John Abercrombie & Jack DeJohnette). This trio do a great version here with some challenging, tight interplay. The last piece on this disc is “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” which appeared at the end of the first side of the Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ LP (their last recorded studio effort). The original was perhaps one of the heaviest songs the Beatles ever recorded. This version is played on acoustic guitar in the first half, stripped down nicely and then moves into some dark, turgid waters for the second half, providing an ominous vibe in the past part. What I like most about this disc is that it combines the best of rock, prog and electric jazz into a winning, seamless blend which all of us post-modern listeners can appreciate. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

JON IRABAGON - Survivalism (Irrabagast Records 023; USA) Featuring Jon Irabagon on soprillo sax and game calls. The soprillo sax is an immensely rare instrument and one that is nearly impossible to play. The soprillo was invented by Benedikt Eppelsheim in 2010 and very few of them are known to exist, Vinny Golia & Peter Schmid are the only two saxists I know who own and play one. Young sax master Jon Irabagon is the third owner and he loves a challenge and he has spent a good deal of time trying to play his soprillo correctly. This disc was recorded in Igloo in South Dakota during the Pandemic. The igloos were built in 1942 at the beginning of the US entrance into WW2. The concrete bunkers were eventually sold to survivalists, built to last through the next apocalypse. Mr. Irabagon also plays game calls, devices which imitates the sound of a bird or other huntable creatures, something which John Zorn started doing/playing in the late 70’s to explore sounds that few other musicians had considered.
Mr. Irabagon wrote all but two of the pieces here with one cover by Thelonious Monk (“Reflections”) and one by Charles Mingus (“Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love”). The room in the picture on the back of the CD looks cavernous and the sound of the sax reverberates appropriately. Opening with “The Pilot’s Family”, Irabagon slowly stretches out each note with a trail or echo which follows each not he plays. “W.R.O.L.” is one those game call pieces and it is indeed an odd piece filled with sounds you normally here us you hunt game. Mr. Irabagon has obviously worked with these devices and gets a a variety of strange sounds which are oddly musical or at least expressive in their own way. Strange yet somewhat engaging. If you thought at the soprano sax had a particularly high end, brittle tone, then Irabagon pushes those sounds even higher and bending them further out. Irabagon is also a master on quick tongue-slapping calisthenics, coaxing out some quirky bent-note bird-like sounds. On “Doom! Doom! Doom!”, Jon starts with a series of disorienting bent-note shrieks, pushing those high notes even higher as he adds fragments of melodies. The game calls take a bit of getting used to but I admit that Irabagon has worked hard at expanding their range and adding another layer of sounds, though overdubbing perhaps. This piece sounds like a collage of several different layers of sax or game call sounds selectively organized. Hearing Monk’s “Reflections” on a soprillo is like hearing it stretched into a high note, reverbed out with spacious echoes surrounding it. “how to eat a pine tree to survive” has Irabagon creating more vocal-like sounds through his sax, making quick fluttering sounds and wrestling with the spirits within. I like the way he stretches out each note so that the echoes surrounding to the note added a sense of depth or placement. Mr. Irabagon also stretches out many of the notes in Mingus’ “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love”, hitting some high notes that some may find difficult, yet he can still control these bent notes and make something musical out of them, no easy feat. Some of you may want to grit your teeth but I think that Jon Irabagon has met this challenge straight on and given us something unique to consider. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

MARS WILLIAMS / VASCO TRILLA - Critical Mass (Not Two MW 1033-2; Poland) Featuring Mars Williams on reeds & toys and Vasco Trilla on drums & percussion. I’ve known of reeds wiz Mars Williams for many years, starting back in the late 70’s/early 80’s when he was living in Woodstock and playing in NYC from time to time. I recall seeing him in a sax trio once in Woodstock and then hearing him playing with Hal Russell, Peter Brotzmann and his own Ayler/Christmas project on several occasions in recent years. Spanish drummer, Vasco Trilla, I’ve been checking out in recent years with a wide variety of European & American players: Rakalam Bob Moses, Andrea Centazzo and Susan Santos Silva. I’ve noticed that Mr. Trilla has appeared on more than a couple of dozen discs of the last few years.
This is the second disc by this duo and right from the beginning I was enchanted. It starts with “The Shaking Hand That Leaves a Mark” which has a soft dreamy vibe and simmering atmospheric percussion sounds and a distant sax drone. Slowly the duo build things up with the intensity and busyness ascending organically. There is a strong, pulsating, Free Spirit vibe going on here feels great. Mars switches to a double reed (musette?) on “The Tongue Set Free”, casting that pinched snake-charmer vibe over us all. As Mars spins faster and faster, the free web swirling of percussion around him gets more intense. Aside from a wide variety of unique projects, from the Zappa-like antics of NRG Ensemble to the hardcore funk of Liquid Soul, Mr. Williams was always a master of Free Jazz saxophonics. Mars really lets it rip on the second piece, blasting intensely while Mr. Trilla provides strong support pushing the intensity higher and higher. On “Fogo”, the duo calm down for more haunting sounds, spacious soprano sax with a bowed cymbal or something similar. “Thin Air” is even more haunting with hypnotic, spacious percussion drones and simmers. There is a long section of cosmic percussion expanding and contracting, with some breath-like sax wind sounds added in the last section. I really like this disc as it seems to alter time and space with a mesmerizing stream of sumptuous sonics. Mars Williams sadly passed away in November of 2023, he will be dearly missed. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

THE KROPOTKINS with DAVE SOLDIER / CHARLIE BURNHAM / LORETTE VELVETTE / SAMM BENNETT / JOHNATHAN KANE / BJ COLE / et al - Paradise Square (Mulatta Records 019; USA) The Kropotkins feature Dave Soldier on banjo, violin, nylon string & Telecaster guitars, Charlie Burnham on violin, mandolin & vocals, Lorette Velvette on vocals, Dog (a/k/a Mark Deffenbaugh) on electric & slide guitars, Alex Greene on organ, piano & guitar, Doug Easely on bass, Samm Bennett & Jonathan Kane on drums & percussion, BJ Cole on pedal steel, Marc Franklin on flugelhorn and others. Classical violinist, beyond-categories composer and multi-instrumentalist, David Soldier, has led several different bands like the Soldier String Quartet (1990-96) and later The Kropotkins (1996-2010), as well as running his own eclectic Mulatta label, which has released more than two dozen discs of all sorts of odd projects that would find their home no where else. Recently, a distributor friend of Mr. Soldier left us with a box of mostly from the Mulatta label, which I am slowly working my way through.
Mr. Soldier organized the Kropotkins in 1994, after working with John Cale. They are named after an Russian anarchist named Peter Kropotkin. You should recognize a few of the names here like Samm Bennett (from Chunk), Charlie Burnham (from Blood Ulmer’s Odyssey), Jonathan Kane (from the Swans), Lorette Velvette (Panther Burns) and BJ Cole (famous British pedal steel player). Aside from the opening song, all of the other pieces were written by members of the ensemble. The opening song was written by Charles Ives and it features some quirky, ragtime piano with some sly, Broadway-like vocals by Ms. Velvette. Charlie Burnham wrote and sings “Beulah Land”, a charming ditty with Charlie on mandolin. “My Body Lies on the Mountain” has some old fashioned, old-timey vocals by Ms. Velvette, tasty, laid back violin & pedal steel interweaving exquisitely. “Wandering on This Earth” was written by the band and it is an eerie, suspense-filled, lullaby with Lorette sounds like a ghost from the distance. Each of these songs have an older ancient Americana like vibe. In some ways, the Kropotkins remind me of the Band. They have that honest, organic, earthy vibe that sounds timeless or untouched by time. Had this disc been released in the late 1960’s and had some publicity, it might’ve been a hit or at least played on FM radio and had loads of followers. Either way it is still a modest gem of its own. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $10

DAVE SOLDIER - Presents Yol K’u - Sonal Yik Yinhatil Naben / Inside the Sun / Dentro Del Sol (Mulatta 017; USA) This is an extraordinary endeavor that only someone like musician/label head Dave Soldier could pull off. There is a small town called San Mateo Ixtatan in northern Guatemala, which created its own high school called Seeds of Knowledge, a first in this region. Violinist Dave Soldier and santur player Alan Kushan were invited to teach high school students how to create their own music. The school purchased two giant marimbas which were to be played by two different groups. Chuj is the main language of the village with Spanish as a second language. The students were taught how to play the marimbas and they created music by performing game pieces. With two older musicians involved, the students were taught to play two songs, a fiddle song usually sung at wakes and a hip hop song sung in the native tongue. The game piece features the two large marimbas plus Dave Soldier on violin and Alan Kushan on santur (a type of hammered dulcmer). While the students play the marimbas (and other percussion) similar to the way a gamelan ensemble works, the santur and/or violin play some counterpoint melodies on top. The music has a laid back trance music sort of vibe and it is most enchanting. The hip hop song is actually rather cool, somewhat infectious and rather quirky and includes some funky samples, the groove was done on the marimbas. Son Yinhatil Nab’en are a large ensemble with rolling percussion at the center. There is something rather charming about this music that really touches me, like creating Magic Music from modest means. One of the older musicians, Matin Tomax plays and sings (?) traditional fiddle song, another charming piece.
The film features the Mayan language of Chuj, one of the 35 languages of Guatamala. The script is based on ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and is sung in Chuj. All of the students involved are no professional yet they does still a fine job nonetheless. Once again, there is something organic and enchanting going on here. A distributor friend of mine recently left us with 30 titles from Dave Soldier’s Mulatta label. I will review these over time. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD DVD $14

HI-FI LO-IQ with LUKE ROVINSKY / CALEB DUVAL / MICHAEL LaROCCA - Bookers (F.I.M.-001; USA) Hi-Fi Lo-IQ is Luke Rovinsky on guitar, Caleb Duval on double bass and Michael LaRocca on drums. Every few months, DMG’s James Paul Nadien brings us another self-produced CD featuring different musicians that he plays with. Last week it was Stalwart and this week it is Hi-Fi Lo-IQ. The trio features guitarist Luke Rovinsky who is also a member of Stalwart, with bassist Caleb Duval (also a member of Stalwart & Dancing) and drummer Michael LaRocca (of Erik Plaks’ Pandemic Ensemble). The music here is close mic’d and well recorded, free yet focused. Although the guitar can be noisy at times (scraping & banging on the strings), the percussion/drums is often more skeletal or subtle. There is a strong balance going on here between the more aggressive and more restrained outbursts. There are a number of sounds which are hard to figure like the bowing of the guitar or the bass and a variety of effects used to all the sounds of each electric instrument. There is a playful quality going on here which makes this easier to swallow as if the trio are trio not to freak anyone out too much. I really like the drumming of Michael LaRocca here since he listens and consistently contributes by playing tightly and organically with wherever the trio goes. I often get the feeling that “free music” is much more diverse than most folks give it credit for. This trio doesn’t quite sound like any other trio that I’ve heard and hence, I am impressed with their modest yet robust free improvisations. Hi-fi Lo-IQ is something else entirely and I am glad to make their acquaintance. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD-R $10

ADVANCING ON A WILD PITCH with SAM KULIK / CHARLES EVANS / DANNY FOX / MOPPA ELLIOTT / CHRISTIAN COLEMAN - Disasters Vol. II (Hot Cup 231; USA) Featuring Sam Kulik on trombone, Charles Evans on bari sax, Danny Fox on piano, Moppa Elliott on bass and Christian Coleman on drums. Bassist, composer and leader for Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Moppa Elliott consistently keeps his tongue firmly in place as well as dealing with the ridiculousness of life. Moppa had long named MOPDTK & his own songs after towns in Pennsylvania. Although the titles are not completely about the towns they are named after, they still evoke images or ideas about the music that is being played. Mr. Elliott discusses the various disasters mentioned in the title of this LP in the liner notes, giving us many things to consider while we listen to this music. The other main disaster discussed here is based on the coal industry and what it is done to destroy Mother Earth. The LP title, ‘Advancing on a Wild Pitch’ is partially based upon the shared love of baseball that the members of the band have in common. The music here is something else.
“Powelton Village” opens with a frisky, swinging infectious jazz groove. Local trombone hero Sam Kulik (who used to work with Talibam!) takes the first solo and sounds great! Baritone saxist Charles Evans, who has several other discs on the Hot Cup label, takes the next solo and also sounds fine. “Cobb’s Creek” is another infectious yet laid back song with rich harmonies for the horns and some delightful, skeletal yet rich sounding piano. Since the playing here is mostly more mainstream and not very far out, it is Moppa’s writing and arranging which stands out. “Mud Run” is taken at a medium tempo and sounds like an old standard with its warm melody. Both Mr. Kulik on trombone and Mr. Evans on bari sax trade solos here and sound like they are enjoying themselves. “Van Meter” is also a laid back and lovely ballad with one of the sweetest trombone solos I’ve heard, a true joy to listen to. “Dimock” is a more rambunctious, hard swinging sort of vibe. The harmonious horns truly bring a smile and it is also the same the song keeps turning back to the theme that feels so good. I don’t listen to very many straight ahead jazz records nowadays except for some big bands or dixieland records from long ago. There is something sublime and inspiring going on here that does make me feel good. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LP $16

PAUL TAYLOR - Whirl and Magnet (Discus 167CD; UK) “The press release tells us that Taylor is playing the Hammond C3 organ, live, in the Sage Gateshead Music Centre (now The Glasshouse International Center for Music) through a Leslie rotary speaker cabinet. This was enough to pique my interest and bring to the surface my love-hate relationship with all things prog.
More than that, though, was the idea that someone would be brave / daft enough to attempt two lengthy solo recordings on this beast – with all the stops and buttons and switches and pedals to content with. Amazingly, Taylor makes the instrument not only submit to his exciting creativity but he makes this sound like it was comfortable and easy to do.
The relatively short album contains two pieces: first comes in at just over 17 minutes and the second is nearly 20 minutes. Both pieces are certainly long enough to demonstrate his creativity (and you wonder, given the behemoth that he is playing, long enough to exhaust the player).
The opening bars on the first improvisation carry sufficient intimations of the gothic and prog rock to stir the imagination. But, rather than the noodling around in the hackneyed pseudo-classical sounds into which prog rock so often tends to sink, he lifts the music into a stellar plane.
The progression of the piece shifts delicately between the minimalism of early electronic music (I’m thinking particularly of composers like Milton Subotnick, although more in spirit than sound) and jazz chord progressions. The Hammond C3 organ has a way of making tunes sound like end of the pier vaudeville and this, as well as the complexity of operating it, is a further battle that Taylor wins hands down.
The second improvisation, in a sense, picks up from where first left off. It seems to emerge from the echo left by the first piece, but immediately picks up the pace with rapid trills and runs. What is impressive is his ability, even on the fastest arpeggios, to allow the notes their space so they don’t smudge into each other (in ways that an organ like this could impose).
He notes that there are ‘certain indelible influences’ in his playing, with nods to phrases from a variety of prog rock classics and could be a bit of a parlour game to spot these. But his mention of these influences does a disservice to his ability to create, in real-time, pieces that feel so complete and vibrant.” - Chris Baber, Jazz.Views.Net
CD $14

HENRY FRASER / CAMILO ANGELES / JASON NAZARY - Aqrabuamelu (TTT 027; USA) Featuring Henry Fraser on contrabass, Camilo Angeles on flute and Jason Nazary on drums. Argentinian-based flutist Camilio Angeles is a member of two great bands: Sales De Bano and Nicotina Os Primavera. Both bands have several discs out which I’ve reviewed and high praise for. Mr. Angeles usually comes to the store once or twice a year and leaves us with some current product. He just left us with two new(er) discs. This trio also features two fine Downtown musicians: Henry Fraser (works with Chris Pitsiokos, Nick Sanders & Brandon Seabrook) on bass and Jason Nazary (with Darius Jones & duo with Jaimie Branch) on drums. This disc was recorded and mixed by Jason Nazary who has done a fine job: closely pic’d and balanced just right. On “Zorro Rojo”, Mr. Angeles is carefully bending his notes, the trio pushing the intensity and inventiveness higher and higher. Both Mr. Angeles’ flute and Mr. Fraser’s bowed bass do a fine job of creating similar sounds and textures so it hard to tell them apart at times. Things heat up during the midsection of this long piece, the trio soaring and burning with intense flames. There is some truly explosive free from improv going on here which I find to have that edge-of-our-seats type of excitement. I find this disc to be consistently spirited, engaging and often intense. A winner of free music at its best! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $12

MIGUEL GARCIA / GARAZI NAVAS / ALEX REVIRIEGO / VASCO TRILLA - Les Capelles (Tripticks Tapes 024; USA) Featuring Miguel Garcia on electronics, Garazi Navas on accordion, Alex Revierso on double bass and Vasco Trilla on percussion. Recorded at the Convent De Sant Agusti in Barcelona, Spain. Aside from Vasco Trilla, I know very little about the other members of this quartet except that Miquel Garcia and Garazi Navas recorded as a duo called Dopelganger and Barcelona-based bassist Alex Reviriego is in a half dozen different projects and is found on more than a dozen discs.
There are three pieces on this disc, named “I, II & III”. Since Mr. Trilla like to play bowed or modified percussion, it is often hard to tell if some of the sounds are electronic or just oddly mesmerizing in their own way. The haunting bowed bass is often at the center of this storm. The music is a seamless blend of eerie, cerebral sounds. The sounds blend layers of drones and other hypnotic sounds. The suspense is deep and spacious with bits of static throbbing quietly as we take a trip on our inner spaceship to the nether regions of the world. Throughout this disc, I felt as if I were in a stream sailing in the rapids and navigating or balancing without falling into the treacherous waters. The music is most effective at placing us in a stream as we sail or soar into other dimensions. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $12

STEPHEN RUPPENTHAL AND GARY R. WEISBERG - Strange Times (Important Records Imprec 525CD; USA) Strange Times is a virtuosic realization of contemporary electroacoustic soundscapes composed and performed by Stephen Ruppenthal and Gary R. Weisberg. With masterful employment of electro-acoustic techniques and tools, including the original '70s Buchla Music Easel Ruppenthal used in the Electric Weasel Ensemble, these two artists create an essential, psychedelic, electro-acoustic experience. Strange Times is a hallucinatory journey into these epidemic-ridden times through a collection of startling sonic landscapes. From epic acoustic journeys into re-imagining myth to the phantasmal soundscape world of the Bardo, Strange Times is not for the innocent or delicate listener. Time turns elastic, and folds in on itself; you are approaching the event horizon of a black hole. The only way to make sense of any of it is to mentally rewind; speed up or slow down the voices in your head in random attempts to find your way through this electroacoustic aether. Strange Times explores the ability of sound to alter consciousness, creating sonic environments, mental and physical states where one can allow the experience of listening to become transformative. Stephen was a founding member, along with Don Buchla and Allen & Pat Strange, of the Electric Weasel Ensemble, and more recently, with Brian Belet and Pat Strange, of SoundProof, and is known internationally for his live electroacoustic performances, and writings on text-sound composition. Gary R. Weisberg, composer-sound designer-digital audio artist was born 1951 in Brooklyn, NY. Gary moved to San Francisco in 1976 and was involved in a loosely knit collective of jazz and experimental musicians and artists, operating a small performance space called The Blue Dolphin. He studied music, computer programming and electronics at San Francisco State University, graduating with a degree in Electronic Music Composition. He spent two years building a modular analog synthesizer, and began composing electronic music and text-sound compositions for art/photography gallery openings. From 1986-1994, Gary maintained a MIDI project studio for the production of his own music, as well as sound and music for TV/Film/Video productions. Since 1994, Gary has been composing PC-based experimental electronic music, as well as pieces for electronic and acoustic instruments, occasionally performing with other composers and collaborating with visual artists.
CD $15

LOKKEGAARD & QUATUOR BOZZINI / NIELS LYHNE - Colliding Bubbles (Important Records 531CD; USA) Colliding Bubbles (surface tension and release) is a composition for string quartet and harmonica quartet, meaning that Quatuor Bozzini is playing string instruments while playing harmonicas. "The title refers to different kinds of bubbly matter which are set to collide within the composition, leading to different ruptures and possible release of surface tension. The collision of bubbles unfolds partly in relation to sound, where small fluctuations appear in the encounters between harmonicas and string instruments and partly in relation to a more performative or conceptual bubble where instruments representing different systems, or bubbles, will collide; the very celebrated instruments within the classical string quartet and the perhaps more prosaic harmonica." - Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard.
CD $15


Susan Alcorn remains the queen of the pedal steel guitar, an instrument mostly affiliated with country music. Ever since collaborating with Eugene Chadbourne on two discs for Boxholder around the turn of the millenium, Ms. Alcorn has continually evolved as a master improviser and someone who finds new contexts for her unique playing & composing qualities. On each of her dozen plus releases Ms. Alcorn explores the pedal steel in a variety of interesting ways. Just restocked, 5 of her essential titles:

* SUSAN ALCORN / CATHERINE SIKORA - Filament (Relative Pitch 1173; USA) Featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar and Catherine Sikora on tenor sax. This disc just arrived today (2/22/24) so I will review it for next week’s newsletter. Stay tuned.
CD $13

* Susan Alcorn & Catherine Sikora will be playing a CD release performance tomorrow night - 2/23/24 at the Zurcher Gallery (33 Bleecker St) at 8pm. Coe on down to be knocked out by this great duo!

SUSAN ALCORN SEPTETO DEL SUR - Canto (Relative Pitch Records 1170; USA) Susan Alcorn’s Septeto Del Sur features Ms. Alcorn on pedal steel & compositions, Toto Alvarez on guitar, Francisco Araya on charango & quena, Rodrigo Bobadilla on flute, quena, zampona & guitar, Danka Villanueva on violin, Amanda Irarrazbel on double bass and Claudio Araya on drums & cuatro. Pedal steel master, Susan Alcorn, records infrequently and takes her time with each of her dozen plus releases. This disc was recorded in Chile where all of the musicians (aside from Ms. Alcorn) hail from. I don’t recognize the name of the musicians here plus there are a handful of instruments I know very little about: charango (a small Andean lute), guena (flute-like), zampona (Andean panpipe) and cuatro (4 string ukelele). Ms. Alcorn wrote to me in an email, that this project was special for her, something rather different from her previous releases. “Suite Para Todos” opens this disc with a sublime blend of skeletal pedal steel, flute(s), strings and bass. The music is rather solemn at first and then erupts freely with an occasional rhythm team to hold it down before it returns to the mournful opening theme. Ms. Alcorn’s forlorn pedal steel is featured on “Canto 1: Donde Estan?” and it has an eerie, mysterious sound. Due to the instrumentation here and Ms. Alcorn’s writing, the septeto has a completely unique sound, the blend of the pedal steel and assorted mostly acoustic instruments is unique and other-worldly. The midsection of a few of these pieces go further out yet the internal vibe/flow continues throughout with strong chamber-like arrangements used sparingly. Ms. Alcorn often keeps her solos short since they are just a part of the ongoing piece. Even when her solos are short, she makes very note count. On “Canto III: Lukax”, Ms. Alcorn takes a haunting melody and arranges it for her septet, taking a fascinating free solo while the rest of the ensemble moves in waves around her. This piece goes through a few different written sections which are unique in the way they blend different elements or strategies. The song, “Mercedes Sosa” was named after the Argentinian popular vocalist & activist, who passed away in 2009. The piece is often stark yet enchanting and filled with solemn feelings. The last song, “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” was written by Victor Jara, a Chilean teacher, poet, songwriter and another activist. The song here is sung by three members of this septet and it is a heartfelt tribute to an important singer/activist who was eventually tortured and shot. This song sounds like a perfect ending to this potent musical feast. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

SUSAN ALCORN QUINTET with MARY HALVORSON / MARK FELDMAN / MICHAEL FORMANEK / RYAN SAWYER - Pedernal (Relative Pitch 1111; USA) Featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal steel, Mary Halvorson on guitar, Mark Feldman on violin, Michael Formanek on contrabass and Ryan Sawyer on drums. Most music fans know about the pedal steel guitar from the 1,000’s of country songs that emanate from the airwaves in the US and around the world. Less recognized are jazz, swing, country-rock and even more progressive bands that also employ pedal steel players. I’ve noticed that ever since the seventies, due to pedal stealers like Sneaky Pete (Flying Burrito Bros.), Rusty Young (Poco), Glenn Ross Campbell (Juicy Lucy) and Buddy Emmons, the instrument has continued to evolve more & more. For more than two decades, Susan Alcorn, has been pushing the boundaries of playing pedal steel further & further, from free/jazz/rock/country to microtonal explorations to her superb tribute to Astor Piazzolla (’Soledad’ also on Relative Pitch). Although Ms. Alcorn has recorded some two dozen discs with varying personnel, this is her first band/quintet release and she has organized a strong Downtown all-star unit. Moreso than most instruments, the pedal steel often evokes the sound of the desert, a vast open space out west, hot, dry, spacious, eerie. The opening piece, “Pedernal”, evokes many layers of ghosts slowly dancing together with the slow swirls of the steel guitar moving in circles of smoke. Superb, sublime and immensely haunting. Ms. Alcorn’s steel guitar floats carefully at the center of the quintet with with violin and guitar playing lush harmonies together, all three players nuanced just right. What is most interesting is the way had Ms. Alcorn has gotten Mr. Feldman and Ms. Halvorson to lay back and play with more subtly and grace than they usually play. “R.U.R” actually reminds me of the some of that western swing sound in places with some incredible interplay between the steel guitar and violin. “Night in Gdansk” is one of the most haunting, cerebral and hypnotic pieces I’ve heard in recent times, with several ghosts popping up, dancing with one another and then floating away. “Northeast Rising Sun” actually starts with handclaps and has an most infectious melody that will be stuck in your head for some time to come. There is something immensely gripping about this music, as if we have wandered into a new world which is filled with hope and promise of better days ahead. This is my current favorite CD which I will no doubt return to over and over again. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

SUSAN ALCORN / PATRICK HOLMES / RYAN SAWYER - From Union Pool (Relative Pitch Records 1160; USA) Featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar, Patrick Holmes on clarinet and Ryan Sawyer on drums. Recorded live at Union Pool in Brooklyn in March of 2022. Relative Pitch Records has a knack for finding (or even organizing) unlikely sessions with improvisers from different scenes or backgrounds. Experimental pedal steel master, Susan Alcorn, has worked with ace drummer Ryan Sawyer on several previous occasions: mostly with/for Nate Wooley and in Ms. Alcorn’s great quintet, which had a CD released in 2020. Ryan Sawyer is a longtime Downtown drummer who has worked with Glenn Branca, Zeena Parkins, Thurston Moore and Matana Roberts. I’ve known clarinetist Patrick Holmes for many years, especially since he’s played the store a number of times and also comes down here to shop. Aside from working Daniel Carter and Sabir Mateen, Mr. Holmes hadn’t appeared on very many records until the past few years. He does play here at DMG from time to time (1/10/23 - most recently) and I always dig whatever he does. Although Ms. Alcorn did play in country bands when she was living in Texas many years back, yet her sound/approach on pedal steel comes from a more expansive/experimental palette for more than a decade or so. As this piece begins, we hear a swirl of electronic, drone-like sounds with Mr. Holmes acoustic clarinet quietly playing in the center. As Ms. Alcorn’s swirls and/or drones resonate, Mr. Holmes is also moving his clarinet closer to and away from the mic, altering his sound carefully. Ms. Alcorn is a gifted improviser who takes her time to stretch out, adding varied layers of sound, some of which sounds like a pedal steel but other more eerie and ghostlike. Mr. Sawyer adds subtle contours and shade with his skeletal drum playing. In a sense the electronic or amplified sound of the pedal steel and the most acoustic clarinet seem to come from much different places, yet both players are strong listeners and sympathetic partners so things sound quite balanced on several levels. Ryan Sawyer is also a great choice as he also balances things and adds the right amount of rhythmic flourishes here and there. As things evolve, the sounds get more dense and intense at times with some strong, shrewd improv/connection/flow. When the audience enters at the end of one of these pieces, it sounds as if the hoots & hollers in the audience are part of the piece. Marvelous synchronicity. Is that a member of the audience or one of the musicians creating that sound?!? Ms. Alcorn is in especially fine form here, creative varied waves, lines or sounds which keep mutating as they evolve. I love when an improv group really expands and explores, creating a new world or sonic place/scene. This is what is going on here, which often leaves us at the edge of our seats as we listen closely to this new world. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $13

SUSAN ALCORN - Soledad: Improvisation And The Music Of Astor Piazzola (Relative Pitch 1032; USA) “Astor Piazzolla’s eccentricity as a composer is overshadowed by his reputation as one of the foremost exponents of tango music. The ostensible genre designation tends to mask his poignant and peculiar mixture of forlorn sentimentalism, tense dissonances, and covert use of noise. Susan Alcorn, herself an expert in oblique lyricism, understands this very well. Her translation of Piazzolla’s compositions into the warm drawl of her pedal steel guitar on four of the five cuts on her CD Soledad brings this into sharp focus, while insinuating her own imagination into the equation.
The album opens with a drowsy yet assiduous take on the title piece—slowed to the point of the mere suggestion of a dance—and continues to unfold in a similarly dreamlike, nocturnal manner. In more typical readings of Piazzolla’s work—even the slow stuff—its chromatic snakings tend to be imbued with a nervous agility, but here one is really able to appreciate each distinct melodic turn and the way it sits against the varying degrees of harmonic opacity.
With each successive track, Alcorn’s enviable command of her unwieldy instrument is more and more revealed, but one never gets the impression of excessive displays of virtuosity or that she’s fighting the instrument’s innate resonant legato. Rather, the increasing number of surprising colours that emerge—gong-like chordal swells, brittle music-box-like figures, nimble contrapuntal dances and swooping glissandi—are blended progressively into a single cohesive palette of sound.
Her one original composition on the album, “Suite for Ahl” (the only track that’s not a solo), fits in remarkably well, with opening nods vaguely in Piazzolla’s direction. Bassist Michael Formanek frequently anchors the low end, freeing Alcorn to produce wild ripplings of texture and fluid high sweeps, while he also contributes bold gales of bowed tremolo and cleanly plucked melodies. Soledad serves equally well both as an introverted homage to Piazzolla and as an introduction to Alcorn’s own euphoniously exploratory artistry. - Nick Storrin, MusicWorks.CA
CD $13



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



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


Thursday, February 22nd, 2024




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


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


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



Friday, March 1st at 8:00 pm

Wavefield Ensemble
Wavefield Ensemble premieres UNFEELING (She sketches out her dreams on his skin) by Amadeus Regucera in a program co-curated by the composer.
Amadeus Regucera: Pendant (2017)
Tonia Ko: Tilt (2021)
Wolfgang Rihm: Verzeichnung - Studie for viola, cello and double bass (1986)
Dennis Sullivan: Noise Level/Tone Level (2023)
José Manuel Serrano: Ecos oníricos de la Basílica de San Marcos (2021)
Kaija Saariaho: Nocturne (1994)
Amadeus Regucera: UNFEELING (She sketches out her dreams on his skin) (2023-24 / world premiere)   

Monday, March 18th at 7:00 pm
Experimental Intermedia Presents:

Kaffe Matthews & Sarah Bernstein
Admission is $20. 
Tickets can be purchased at the door. CASH ONLY.
All proceeds go to the artists.

At Zürcher Gallery
33 Bleecker st, New York, NY 10012


Saturday, March 9th


12 - 5 pm - Free admission

LP’s, CD’s, Tapes & DJ’s

At Recirculation
876 Riverside Drive
Uptown Westside, NY, NY, 10032


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: