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DMG Newsletter for Friday, March 22nd, 2024

Women, I’ve always loved Women,
They’ve always been an inspiration to me.
From grammar school to junior high school to high school and then in college
After college it became a challenge to meet Creative Women
I slowly moving into the survival mode for the rest of my life
Where everyone is equal, just trying to survive and find the true meaning of life
I am pleased to meet and hang with Creative Women of all ages
I am always searching for that Kindred Spirit, both in friends and in partners
Creative Women are an example of what we can do and what we can be

All of the fine women who are here tonight
Are part of a vast collective of Creative Women, Free Spirits and
The Inspiration for better parts of our lives
when we get a chance to share our feelings & thoughts
And work or play together to Create a Better World through Music and Positive Energy
Over the past decade, there’s been a wave of Creative Women who have
Become an integral part of the Current Downtown Scene
Many of them have played here at Downtown Music Gallery
And all of them, all of us, everyone here, everyone still listening to Creative Music
You, We Are Welcome to be a part Our Collective Creative World

Let’s raise our hands and sing, dance, smile and shake free of the bonds of
whatever is holding us down, holding us back from what we can be.
Let’s Celebrate…. to a better life that is free of any the daily bullsh*t…
You don’t wanna mess with Mother Nature! You should Love and Respect Her.
Peace and Love Always, Peace and Love Always,
Who says that..?!? That me, MCBruce Lee

Earlier this week, DMG sponsored a very special event here at the store. We celebrated Women In Jazz month with an entire night of Creative Free Form Music performed by all women musicians. Two sets featured 5 or 6 women in each with a third set for the entire dozen women players. I read the above poem that I wrote about the many Creative Women that have inspired me throughout my life. My good friend Sister Cheryl Pyle organized the entire night and conducted the third set. The last set was a transcendent experience. Special thanks to all of the women who played that night: Mary Cherney, Sarah Bernstein, Andrea Wolper, Rose Tang, Brenna Rey, Ayumi Ishito, Nora Stanley, Nicole Davis, Dafna Naphtali, Jeong Lim Yang, Yuko Togami and Cheryl Pyle! It was a glorious night in many wonderful ways and it happened here! - Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG



Tuesday, March 26th:
6:30: THOMAS HELTON - Contrabass / ALIYA ULTAN - Cello / ANDREAS BRADE - Drums
7:30: JEREMIAH CYMERMAN - Solo Clarinet
9:30: HEARN GADBOIS - Solo Percussion & Handmade Instruments

Tuesday, April 2nd:

Tuesday, April 9th:
8:30: PATRICK GOLDEN - Drums / MATT HOLLENBERG - Guitar / RICK PARKER - Electronics-Trombone

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



MORTON FELDMAN // MARILYN NONKEN / STEPHEN MAROTTO - Complete Music for Cello & Piano (mode 340/341; USA) This release brings together ALL of Morton Feldman’s compositions for cello and piano, including unpublished works and a first recording. Together, these works tell the story of Feldman’s music. They span 35 years — over half his lifetime — from when he was searching for his voice as a student to when he was opening new doors in the last years of his life. The album is bookended by two realizations the graphic score “Durations 2” (1960), giving an opportunity to hear what the flexibility of graphic notation can bring.
The “Sonatina” (1946) is earliest work here, and a first recording. Displaying the influence of Béla Bartók, Feldman wrote for the cello sound he loved without fully understanding the realities of playing the instrument. The resulting solo part is naively virtuosic and often even impossible to play. For this recording, Stephen Marotto keeps as close as possible to the written score, aiming to fulfill what Feldman heard in his mind’s ear.
By 1948, Feldman had been studying privately with the composer Stefan Wolpe for several years. The unpublished “Two Pieces,” of that year is a fluctuating music held together not by logic, but through its carefully poised gestures — what Wolpe called “shape.” While the emotional drama of this and other early works would soon disappear from Feldman’s music, it was above all the idea of “shape” that remained with him for the rest of his life.
In 1950, Feldman met John Cage, who shepherded him into the world of the New York avant-garde. The unpublished, compact, “Composition for cello and piano” (1951) is a sudden breakthrough, yet it already contains the DNA of his very last works in its minimal material and blurred memories of sounds.
“For Stockhausen, Cage, Stravinsky, and Mary Sprinson” (1972) is an ephemeral, unpublished piece, a shard of music broken off from the main body of work Feldman was producing at the time. It consists of just two musical moments separated by silence — the same chord expressed in two different ways. At almost 1 hour 29 minutes, “Patterns in a Chromatic Field” (1981) is of Feldman’s late, long duration period of works and it perhaps the best known of the works recorded here. - Mode Records
2 CD Set $30


ANGELICA SANCHEZ / CHAD TAYLOR - a monster is just an animal you haven’t met yet (Intakt Records CD 413; Switzerland) Featuring Angelica Sanchez on piano and Chad Taylor on drums. I’ve always dug the piano playing on Angelica Sanchez whether playing in a duo with Wadada Leo Smith or Marilyn Crispell or in a trio with Tony Malaby & Tom Rainey or her recent all-star nonet disc (one of the best discs of 2020). Drum wiz Chad Taylor has played with Ms. Crispell in a trio with Chris Lightcap as well as with Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra. Chad Taylor remains as one of the best and most in-demand drummers in NYC, working with nearly everyone: Jaimie Branch, James Brandon Lewis, Marc Ribot and Chicago Underground.
This disc was recorded at Park West Studios in Brooklyn and mixed & mastered at a studio in Winterthur, Switzerland. The opening track, “Liminal” is spacious and lush with Mr. Taylor playing mallets in a most gracious yet inventive way. This duo sound great together and play as if they are one united spirit/force. “Holding Presence in Time” is lush, eerie, solemn and it is filled with suspense. One of the longer pieces here, “Myopic Beer”, who the duo taking off for the stratosphere, the playing here is tightly held together with both musicians moving around one another in graceful orbits, building in intensity and erupting in the last section. Extraordinary! Throughout this disc, I kept forgetting that this is a duo, this is how well the duo plays together. The title track starts off with a hypnotic repeating riff on a thumb piano, the groove continuing throughout while Ms. Sanchez rubs the strings inside the piano. Ms. Sanchez is a wonderful pianist who rarely get the recognition she certainly deserves. Her playing here is consistently astonishing and Chad Taylor sounds like the perfect choice as her musical partner. One this year’s best treasures. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $18

THE CHOIR INVISIBLE with CHARLOTTE GREVE / CHRIS TORDINI / VINNIE SPERRAZZA - Town of Two Faces (Intakt Records 417; Switzerland) Featuring Charlotte Greve on alto sax & voice, Chris Tordini on acoustic bass and Vinnie Sperrazza on drums plus Fay Victor singing on one track. I know of the work of German saxist Charlotte Greve from here recordings with the Anna Webber/Angela Morris Big Band, Zack Clarke and the Lisbeth Quartett. Ms. Greve played here at DMG once in a group with Thomas Heberer. This is her second disc with Choir Invisible, a New York-based rhythm section with Chris Tordini on bass (longtime Chris Speed & Jim Black collaborator) and Vinnie Sperrazza (works with Hank Roberts, Michael Formanek & Mike McGinnis) on drums.
The title of the trio, The Choir Invisible, comes from a Monty Python skit and refers to those who have passed away but still sing or talk to us on the other side of life. All three members of the trio contribute songs to this disc plus there is one cover song by David Lynch and Peter Ivers. Ms. Greve’s “Membrane” opens this disc with a strong central bass line at the center. Ms. Greve has a solemn, laid back tone on her alto sax, lush and tender yet forlorn as well. Although somewhat under-recognized, Vinnie Sperrazza is one of Downtown’s best drummers. His playing here is restrained yet playful and integral to the sound of this marvelous trio. Ms. Greve’s tone is warm, lush, quite lovely with the rhythm team constantly matching her graceful inventiveness. Chris Tordini kicks off “21 Years” with just a somber, lonely intro. Ms. Greve’s warm, dry, tender tone is featured here and she takes a long, heart-warming, almost tear-jerking solo. Fay Victor sings, “In Heaven”, soulfully, bluesfully and directly from the heart. On Ms. Greve’s “Sustained Imaginations”, she uses her sax like a soft pleading voice which is telling us about the sad things that life brings at times, suspense, yearning, ancient feelings which we all share at times. I was wondering what the title of this disc, ‘Town of Two Faces’ was referring to. Perhaps the town of two faces is this: One is the face of restraint while the other is the face of quite yet intense inner burning. There is so much strength and intensity in this music that it reminds me of life itself. My life, your live and everyone out there still reeling from the usual trials and tribulations of everyday survival. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $18

SIMONE KELLER // RUTH CRAWFORD SEEGER / LIL HARDIN ARMSTRONG / JULIUS EASTMAN / et al with ABATHAR KMASH / VALERIA CURTI / MICHAEL FLURY / PHILIP BARTELS - Hidden Heartache (Intakt Records 419; Switzerland) Featuring Simone Keller on piano, Abathar Kmash on oud, Valeria Curti on bassoon, Michael Flury on trombone and Philip Bartels on toy piano & arrangements. The full title of this ambitious 2 CD set is ‘Hidden Heartache - 100 minutes of Piano Music from the last 100 years’. I can’t tell you very much about any of the musicians on this disc except that Ms. Keller was/is in a piano quartet who have recorded a disc of the music of Julius Eastman and Syrian oud player, Abathar Kmash has worked with Embryo, a legendary German progressive/ethnic group that has been around for more than a half century. I do know a few of the composers here like Lil Hardin (Louie Armstrong’s first wife), Ruth Crawford Seeger (stepmother of Pete Seeger) and Julius Eastman (the great Downtown composer from the seventies & eighties who dies way too young.
After reading through the liner notes by Simone Keller, I realized that Ms. Keller is a modern classical pianist (of Swiss & American heritage) who often embraces the compositions of composers who often don’t get the recognition they deserve. Each of the ten composers here fall into that category with Ms. Keller choosing compositions which come from the last 100 years of modern music. Ms. Keller also selected mostly women composers, another practice which is relatively rare. Disc One starts off with “Good Morning Heartache” (by Irene Higginbottom, made famous by Billie Holiday. The song is stripped down to just haunting lone acoustic piano. Jessie Cox composed “Black blankness: After Mantra(s)” in 2022 for piano & electronics. This piece balances between dark notes which resonate with the piano pedal help down and with other dark and dream-like sounds. Abathar Kmash’s “Basalt for Oud” comes from 2010 and it is played on solo oud. The piece is virtuostic yet with sections of quiet space between the flurries. Jessie Marino’s “Slender Threads” reminds me of Morton Feldman’s piano music stark yet unsettling. What I find that is interesting about Disc One is that although the 8 pieces were written between 1928 and 2020, most of them sound similar in their often skeletal sound. “Good Morning Heartache” is played again at the end of this discs for piano & trombone. The vibe is like an ancient blues sound which is solemn and creates a sad, subtle refrain. Throughout most of these pieces, time seems to have been slowed down to a spacious level where each note or phrase can be heard and absorbed. At first, I wasn’t sure how these piece from a century’s worth of time would fit together but Ms. Keller has found a way to make this sound like there was/is one composer who holds these pieces together. Although the overall vibe sounds bleak at times, there is some inner strength rt turbulence going on here beneath the surface. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $28

SIMON SPIESS QUIET THREE with MARC MEAN / JONAS RUTHER - euphoria (Intakt Records 414; Switzerland) The sound art of the Swiss trio Quiet Tree can be located in a musical square, in which programming, producing and musical virtuosity come together. With a keen sense for atmospheric moods, the music drifts through multi-faceted soundscapes. Euphorbia grooves, irritates and breathes the vastness and laconic tranquility of a Nordic landscape surrounded by an aura of melancholy. “Improvisation, electronic avant garde and jazzrock psychedelia create an intense fusion. Simon Spiess on tenor saxofone, Marc Méan on grand piano and synthesizer and Jonas Ruther on drums, as a collective they all share the ability to subordinate their playing to a musical storytelling. Their sound has cinematic qualities”, writes Luise Wolf in the Liner Notes. Furthermore the album’s digital production by Dan Nicholls carries the weight of a fourth instrument.
CD $18

BRANDON ROSS with GRAHAM HAYNES / DAVID VIRELLES / JT LEWIS / HARDEDGE - Off The End (Sunnyside Records SSC 1732; USA) So much in the creative arts is determined by the choices of collaborators, environment, and performance goals. Guitarist, composer, and conceptualist Brandon Ross regularly creates situations with other musicians and artists to push their collective creativity to new destinations. The Phantom Station ensemble is a vehicle that Ross returns to with SounDesign artist, Hardedge, to embark upon adventurous, uncharted musical journeys.
The idea behind Phantom Station was to assemble an “individual-directed” ensemble that could engage in an open musical discourse and instantaneous music-making without the borders of genre or preconceived musical ideas. One of the results of one of these meetings was recorded at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut and is presented as Off The End, a fascinating document of spontaneous creation with an incredible cast of musicians, including cornetist Graham Haynes, keyboardist David Virelles, and drummer JT Lewis.
Ross began Phantom Station as a springboard for his creative pursuits with Hardedge, an electronic artist, whose singular SounDesign work is employed to generate interactive sound worlds with textures and palettes conceived for the settings or ensembles. Hardedge’s electronics thus maximize the sonic and textural possibilities without overextending the size of the ensemble. Additionally, Phantom Station became an open-door invitational sound “crucible” for a round robin of Ross’s wide net of collaborators.
In late fall 2021, Ross presented two concerts of Phantom Station, one in New York at the Jazz Gallery and the other at Firehouse 12. The band had slightly different personnel for each show but with the same instrumentation, as Ross wanted to focus on the dynamics between his electric and acoustic guitars, Hardedge’s soundesign, and drums along with cornet/electronics and keyboards.
Haynes and Ross have known each other since Ross arrived in New York City in the early 1980s. They eventually made plans to record and perform duet material while the cornetist lived in Paris in the 90’s. Ross’s relationship with drummer JT Lewis is also a long and fruitful one, as they remain engaged in many musical settings, most importantly their avant power trio Harriet Tubman, with bassist Melvin Gibbs. The most recent addition to Ross’s collective fold is Cuban-born, US-based keyboard player David Virelles, who Ross met through a mutual affiliation with composer Henry Threadgill in 2014. The two hit it off and gradually began to perform together inviting each other into various projects.
This was the group that convened at Firehouse 12 on December 10, without detailing instructions about the musical direction prior to the show, with the intention of allowing the music to be unconfined by predetermined structures. Ross trusted all the members of this iteration of Phantom Station to direct and self-orchestrate with the resources and influences that they utilize as creative musicians. The recording captures the entire concert as it developed, which has been indexed for reference.
CD $14

ROBERT POSS - drones, songs and fairy dust (Trace Elements TE-10241; USA) It started in the mid sixties with a handful of two guitar bands like the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Butterfield Blues Band, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Allman Brothers and the Move. In the seventies you could also add Little Feat, Man and Television. In the early eighties, a number of multiple guitar bands/orchestras erupted with Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca, Band of Susans, Live Skull, Dream Syndicate and Rhys Chatham. I caught the Band of Susans live between 1988 & 1994 around a half dozen times and bought all of the records. They actually had three guitarists and were/still are one of my favorite bands of that era. Robert Poss was their leader and since the break up of the band, he has released seven discs mostly on his own Trace Elements label. Mr. Poss’ back catalogue releases usually have from two to eight years in between with the last one coming out in 2018, six years ago.
As far as I can tell, Mr. Poss plays all of the instruments on this solo disc. While Mr. Poss’ earlier discs were experimental with altered guitars, this one actually has that chugging, slow burning Band of Susans-like sound. Layers of interconnected guitars all buzzing together with Poss’s slightly muffled vocals on top. On “More Snow is Falling”, Poss adds several layers of guitars riffs and sustained drones, the overall effect is most hypnotic and dream-like. Poss plays a Fripp-like lazer guitar tone/drone at the center of this song. Poss adds layers of effect to his guitar(s) on “Out Of The Fairy Dust” which recalls the great Stones b-side, “Child of the Moon”. “Your Adversary” has more of those throbbing, slightly buried vocals and reminds me of Yo La Tengo at times. “Seize Green Ink” has one of those great, tribal grooves similar to “Tomorrow Never Knows” (the Beatles at their psych best) with several layered guitars which sound more like varied organs. On each piece, Mr. Poss alters his guitar(s), using them in different ways to evoke different moods or vibes. On “Hagstrom Fragment”, Poss has a killer riff at the center which he keeps returning to as the piece progresses. Poss keeps repeating another riff throughout which gives the piece a most cerebral, hypnotic vibe. When I turned up the volume midway through this disc, those great power chords really leapt out of my speakers with the el bass also throbbing at the center of the electric storm. So many years later, I still love the sounds of those thick power chords being pound out hard. If you want to hear someone who has played and experimented on electric guitars in different contexts, then you should get this disc and play it loud. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $10


PHANTOM ORCHARD with ZEENA PARKINS / IKUE MORI - Hit Parade of Tears (Tzadik 4047; USA) Featuring Zeena Parkins on acoustic harp & objects, electric harp, electronics, foley (Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to films, videos, and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality), harmonium, ondes martinot, synth, accordion and small percussion and Ikue Mori on electronics, foley, processing & small percussion. This is the fifth release from the great Downtown Dynamic Duo, Phantom Orchard, founding members of the original Downtown Scene which began around 1980. Both of these sonic pioneers have evolved greatly over four decades both as improvisers, composers and bandleaders. Although Ms. Parkins started out as a fine acoustic harp player, she has grown quite a bit since first getting and handmade electric harp in the mid-eighties, when she was working in Carbon and Skeleton Crew. Ikue Mori started out playing standup drums in the brutal No Wave band DNA, yet soon moved to a sampler using her percussion as the basis for her sounds and has become of the best electronics-based musicians from any scene. Both of these women have grown as composers, check out any of their titles on the Tzadik label for proof of how far they’ve evolved. Ms. Mori received the MacArthur Genius Grant last year (congratulations!) and has put together her most ambitious larger ensemble, playing two incredible concerts at the Victo Fest in Quebec and upstairs from The Stone for her 70th Birthday celebration.
The music on this disc was inspired by Izumi Suzuki, Japanese writer and actress, known for her science fiction stories ands essays on Japanese pop culture. Of all of the discs that I’ve heard from both Ms. Parkins and Ms. Mori, this one is the most focused and magical. “You May Dream” features haunting, partially looped acoustic harp with subtle electronics swirling around the mix. Each note the Zeena plays on her harp seems to trigger a sympathetic electronic sound or be enhanced by careful reverberations. The acoustic harp, an instrument which is often associated with angels up in Heaven, sounds glorious here, rich, melodic and mysterious. Each piece here is based on a scene or tale from Izumi Suzuki’s stories, hence this is like series of short dreams. While Ms. Parkins plays an assortment of melodies on the harp, cautious electronics are woven within. Each piece here evokes a series of images or feelings taht are bewitching in the way they alter of perceptions or our state of mind. I can tell that Ms. Parkins and Ms. Mori put a good deal of time and preparation into this disc since it is consistently fascinating. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
CD $14

SEAN LENNON with YUKA C. HONDA / MICHAEL LEONHART / JOAO NOGUEIRA / DEVON HOFF / MAURO REFOSCO / CHES SMITH / JOHNNY MATHAR - Asterisms (Tzadik 4046; USA) Featuring Sean Ono Lennon on guitar & mini Moog, Yuka C. Honda on electronics, Michael Leonhart on trumpet, Joao Nogueira on Wurlitzer piano, Devon Hoff on bass, Mauro Refosco on percussion and Ches Smith & Johnny Mathar on drums. John Lennon was always my favorite Beatle due to his forthright opinions, activism, lyric and music. I’ve long had a soft spot for (Lennon’s wife) Yoko Ono and their son Sean Lennon. Yoko Ono has long gotten a bad rap due to her influence on John and her bent-note singing. Ms. Ono was an integral part of the Fluxus movement in NYC in the earlier sixties and created some powerful avant-garde art and music. Check out her album, ‘Fly’, if you want to here some truly experimental music. I’ve caught Sean Lennon performing live on several occasions at the Knitting Factory, Tonic and more recently at a Roulette benefit with John Zorn and Laurie Anderson. He is a gifted improviser. It turns out that Sean Lennon has four previous albums starting in 1998 plus more than a dozen singles or EP’s. I haven’t heard any of those records but after listening to his now one several times, I will be looking to get the earlier discs. The new one is truly outstanding!
Mr. Lennon was put together an interesting crew of Downtown musicians for this disc. Yuka Honda plays electronics and was once half of the pop duo Cibo Matto. Ms. Honda has been collaborating with Lennon for many years and has produced some of his previous records. Bassist Devon Hoff and trumpeter Michael Leonhart have both worked with Nels Cline as have the ever in-demand drummer Ches Smith, who works with many other local heroes. Percussionist Mauro Refosco has recorded with Zion80, Michael Blake and David Byrne. I don’t recognize the names of the other two musicians here. The music on this disc is completely instrumental and it is something else. The album begins with “Starwater” which has a killer, laid back yet haunting repeating riff at the center. Ms. Honda’s eerie electronics simmer throughout this piece with some solid, psych sustained guitar leading the way. Joao Nogueira’s Wurlitzer electric piano bubbles underneath with Sean Lennon’s prog rock guitar playing/sound. Each of the five songs here is based on a great repeating riff played mainly by the electric guitar and Wurlitzer piano with Michael Leonhart’s trumpet often soloing on top. This disc sounds like it was recorded in the mid-1970’s, a kind of mysterious, sly, jazz/rock/prog sound, similar to some of the better produced CTI albums from the same period. Ches Smith takes an extraordinary drums solo on “Acidalia”, which has yet another hypnotic, killer groove and some acidic electric trumpet leading the way. What’s great about this record is the mood it creates, cerebral, quietly psychedelic, dreamy. The liner notes were written by Sean Lennon himself and they are honest, discussing Mr. Lennon’s longtime admiration for John Zorn and the way his music has evolved into becoming an important member of the Downtown Scene. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14 / LP $32

SIMON HANES with SELENDIS SEBASTIAN ALEXANDER JOHNSON / KEVIN NEWTON / JESSE DANIEL EUGEN HEASLY / JON STARKS / BILLY MARTIN - Tsons of Tsunami (Tzadik 4045; USA) Featuring Simon Hanes on baritone guitar & compositions, Selendis SA Johnson on vibes & trombone, Kevin Newton on horn, Jesse Daniel Eugene Heasly on bass, Jon Starks on drums and Billy Martin on waterphone. Since moving to Brooklyn severla years ago, after going to school in Boston, I’ve had my eye/ear on Simon Hanes. Mr. Hanes plays bass in the oft brutal punk trio Trigger (covering Zorn’s Bagatelles), leading the hilarious yet inventive large pop band Tredici Bacci and working with singer/composer JG Thirwell. Mr. Hanes is a gifted improviser who I’ve heard many times plus he has an unpredictably weird sense of the absurd. In the liner notes, Mr. Hanes discusses his love for surf music, especially the instrumental kind. This is something that I can relate to as I’ve been working on an ultimate mostly instrumental surf/reverb guitar compilation for years. This type of music had a resurgence in the 1990’s, adding the sounds of exotica and film music to the brew. John Zorn,who has helped to promote the music of Mr. Hanes, organized his own band called The Dreamers in the early aughts, which has become one of Zorn’s most popular projects.
Mr. Hanes, who plays electric bass in Trigger, plays baritone guitar on this disc, adding some of those surf-like reverb effects to his bari guitar for this session/band. The opening piece is called This One’s for You, Old Timer” and it is a long one. The central riff here is most memorable (sunny & fun-filled) with Selendis Johnson playing strong supportive vibes under Hanes’ groovy bari guitar. As the piece unfolds, Mr Hanes takes an explosive, frenetic solo, which is then followed by a lovely trombone, going back to original theme at the end. “Quest for Crest” has another infectious riff at the center yet the song sounds like it is about to erupt into freer terrain at times. What makes this disc so great is that each piece evokes a different vibe, with the band members free to add flourishes or short solos which are an extension of the inner vibe. The music here makes me yearn for older times when things were more simple or to the point. Before there was Third Stream Jazz or Progressive/Art Rock, there was instrumental music for films or surfing which were easier to enjoy without having to think too deeply. What’s most interesting is the Simon Hanes keeps pushing any formula or pattern into unexpected detours. This disc is a winner, inventive, infectious without a dark underside and with a sunny sense of humor popping up through the cracks. If you dug The Dreamers then you should love this gem as well. Try it, you’ll like it! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

FRANK CARLBERG LARGE ENSEMBLE with JOHN CARLSON / KIRK KNUFFKE / BRIAN DRYE / CHRIS WASHBURNE / JEREMY UDDEN / ADAM KOLKER / HERY PAZ / LEO GENOVESE / MICHAEL SARIN / et al - Elegy for Thelonious (Sunnyside Records SSC 1716; USA) Finnish pianist Frank Carlberg was based in New York before moving to Boston attend Berklee College before going on to teach at New England Conservatory. Mr. Carlberg has recorded more than twenty albums since his debut disc in 1992, leading different ensembles and recording duos with Ran Blake, Christine Correa and Leo Genovese. Mr. Carlberg has long been influences by the music of Thelonious Monk, releasing an album called ‘Monk Dreams, Hallucinations And Nightmares’ for his big band on his own Red Piano label in 2017. Seven years later, Mr. Carlberg has done another tribute to Monk, this time for his own large ensemble which features a number of heavy hitters: Kirk Knuffke, Jeremy Udden, Adam Kolker, Hery Paz, Leo Genovese and Michael Sarin. For this disc Mr. Carlberg composed his own music based on songs written by Monk as well as recomposing some of Monk’s own songs. On “Spooky Riff We Pat”, Carlberg takes parts of “Tea for Two” and “Skippy” and transforms them. Jazz vocalist Christine Correa, who has recorded duos with Ran Blake and Carlberg sounds great here. The large unit swings hard here with some inspired solos from Adam Kolker on sax and David Adewumi on trumpet. The playing and arranging here are somewhat gnarly, recalling the way Monk would take a melody and twist it into odd shapes. Carlberg takes a riff from Monk’s “Locomotive” when he composed “Out of Stream”. Priya Carlberg (Frank’s wife of daughter?), sings on this piece adding harmonies to the chorus of interconnected reeds & brass. Carlberg uses the poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa (an NYU professor) to do as spoken & sung words in “Elegy for Thelonious”. There are several layers or waves of reeds, brass and vocals being used here which highlight the rich arrangements that Carlberg has worked so hard on. Jeremy Udden takes on a long, impressive lyricon solo on this piece which fits just right. My man, Kirk Knuffke takes an extraordinary long cornet solo on “Scallop’s Scallop” which is one of the highlights of this disc. Besides a number of impressive solos, the more I listen to inventive arrangements and playing, the more interesting I hear what has gone into the making of this gem. Throughout this disc I especially liked the drumming of my old pal Michael Sarin, who was the main drummer for the Thomas Chapin Trio. Much of this music is complex and consistently fascinating with layers of interconnected lines moving around one another in most impressive ways. This is the best large ensemble release I’ve heard in a long while so dig in. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

SEPTET MATCHI-OUL - Terremoto (Souffle Continu Records FFL 085CD; France) To abandon animals for music -- and avant-garde jazz at that -- could seeming shocking to some people. However, it is exactly what Manuel Villarroel did, as he was a vet for three years before leaving his native Chili for Europe and a career in music. And though the animals may have suffered, the world of music can be grateful. Born in 1944, Manuel Villarroel lent an ear to the best pianists from North America: Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner, then Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Cecil Taylor. Manuel left Santiago in September 1970 to participate in the Contemporary Music Workshop in Berlin. To pursue his musical career, he rapidly decided to remain in Europe. The following year in Paris, Manuel began a quartet with saxophonist Jef Sicard (who would also play with his brother Patricio, in the Dharma Quintet). But the group would rapidly expand: Villarroel and Sicard added Gérard Coppéré (saxophone), William Treve (trombone), François Méchali (bass) and Jean-Louis Méchali (drums). And with the arrival of Sonny Grey, a Jamaican trumpeter heard ten years earlier with Daniel Humair, the Matchi-Oul Septet was complete. Complete and ready: on May 8th, 1971, Matchi-Oul was in the studio for Gérard Terronès' Futura label. The septet recorded seven of the pianist's compositions. A succession of tracks which flow magically from one to the next: from the first drum strokes to the last deep notes of the bass, the successive waves roll over the piano and whistle through the wind instruments. And when they all come together it gives even greater force to Villarroel's beautiful songs. Terremoto is a masterpiece of collective expression.
CD $15

MACHI OUL BIG BAND - Quetzalcoatl (Souffle Continu Records FFL 086CD; France) Before coming to Europe, in 1970, pianist Manuel Villarroel was a vet in his native Chili. A few years later, as leader of the Machi Oul Big Band, he returned to the animal kingdom. A very specific kind of animal, for sure, the Quetzalcoatl, also known as the "Feathered Serpent." What is behind this title (also the name of one of the three original compositions on this album released on the Palm label in 1976), is first and foremost a sort of homecoming. After discovering the jazz of Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, Villarroel was taken by the free jazz which was all the rage at the time in America and Europe, and this would inspire the first version of his Machi Oul, project. This was a septet, with which the pianist would record, in 1971, the tremendous Terremoto (re-released by Souffle Continu). After this masterstroke, Villarroel was invited to record with Perception (Perception & Friends) and with Baikida Carroll (Orange Fish Tears). While these were notable contributions, Villarroel was already looking into other combinations. "I had to deal personally with my situation as an expatriate, without disavowing it. I tried not to betray my roots, I tried to translate into my music what was essential to me, to reflect my origins -- Latin America, its musical and above all human feelings -- while remaining faithful to jazz, which is the mode of expression of the musicians in the group." This then is the "homecoming," which would incite Manuel Villarroel to compose what he would call "structured free music." In January 1972, the pianist enlarged his formation to reach the size of a real big band: the septet became the Machi Oul Big Band. Three years later in January 1975, with producer Jef Gilson at the helm, fifteen musicians including those from the old septet (Jef Sicard, François and Jean-Louis Méchali, Gérard Coppéré) worked on a rare form of jazz.
CD $15

JIM WHITE - All Hits: Memories (Drag City DC 895CD; USA) "This is long overdue. A solo album by Jim [White]. The trap kit -- so straightforward, so mysterious. What's inside those things? Air and light -- from which century? Which continent? Which planet? Depending on how and when you hit them it can be a vibration sent through a prehistoric breath, particles of Saturn's atmosphere, the dead, wet leaves you walked through on the way to the first day of school. These are the memories of the drums on this record. Infinite and personal. Editing each other as they muscle to the front or soft shoe to the shadow. Cymbals can override/cancel everything out -- wipe your memory clear or make the memory clearer. Drums are the instrument where you can feel the presence of the player the most -- the full body -- and sense the thoughts of the player the most. The instrument with the most choices to be made sends out the most brainwaves. A bouquet of brainwaves is on this LP. Jim oversees it all, surveys from the lost place we're in, the void -- the drumless song. We trust. We trust, Jim. His big green eyes search for the right tool (mallet, brush, etc), eyes that search you like you're a song he wants to join, wants to see if he can add to or understand. Before humans, drums were playing -- these drums. 'Genesis' was a solo drum piece. After humans, these drums, this album. Someone -- the last man -- is out in a spaceship at the edge of space. He plays a single chord on a synth to set time free from its bind and then lets go. This album sets time free, lets it frolic, lets it graze, lets it remember. This is a record of thoughts, memories, surgery. A deft surgical operation you may not even realize is happening as it's happening but you're back on your feet when it's over. Memories refreshed. Did you really even listen to it?" -- Bill Callahan, November 2023
CD $15

THE HIGH LLAMAS - Hey Panda (Drag City DC 901CD; USA) "High Llamas present Hey Panda -- a modern pop music/deep listening experience that could only issue forth from their personal quadrant of the galaxy. Hey Panda projects soulfully through an enervating abstract of today's popular music; the sound of the Llamas' stately melodies and expressive ditties laid open -- blissfully shattered -- with drums and vocals hitting different, burning sounds and contemporary production twists pulling the ear at every turn. For the past few decades, High Llamas have trafficked in contemporary pop sounds directed toward the avant end of the spectrum as much as not. But here the message was clear. Llamas' composer-in-residence Sean O'Hagan was determined to let go. Hey Panda does just that, with a set of tunes reflecting on multiple levels how definitions change over the course of a lifetime, radiating an optimism derived from the diverse conundrums of today. Hey Panda's wide reach is aided by two co-writes from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, (who bonded with Sean over a shared love of gospel soul during writing sessions), guest vocals from Rae Morris and Sean's daughter Livvy, production twists from Fryars and the stalwart, flexible presence of High Llamas. For all of its sense of departure, Hey Panda is a movement in the High Llamas oeuvre that's been a long time in development. Aspects of soul music were addressed at the time of Can Cladders; similarly, aspects of electronic dance music were in the mix in the late '90s, around the time of Cold and Bouncy. But nothing up to now has refocused the music of High Llamas so completely. Sharing the impulse of late-period Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, with further inspiration from Steve Lacy, SZA, Sault, No Name, and Ezra Collective, among many others, Sean O'Hagan and High Llamas are living joyfully in the new and the now, with Hey Panda!"
CD $15

TIGERS ON OPIUM - Psychodrama (Heavy Psych Sounds 293CD; Italy) Psychodrama is Tigers on Opium debut full length album. "Psychodrama" is a structured form of therapy in which a person dramatizes a personal problem or conflict, usually in front of a group of other therapy participants. The other participants usually take part in the drama, though each performance focuses on a single person's concerns. The goal of psychodrama therapy is to work together in a group to achieve a better understanding of past traumas and the influence they can create, and the members must feel willing to work together. Psychodrama explores various psychological and social experiences that have shaped our cultural evolution. Occultism, propaganda, atomic warfare, media consumption, religion, social unrest, nostalgia, mental struggle, pop culture, revolution, and change -- are all themes explored throughout the album.
CD $16


JOSEPH ALLRED - Folk Guitar (Feeding Tube Records 758LP; USA) "A very nice return to unadorned acoustic guitar playing by one of the form's masters. Allred's last album for FTR, What Strange Flowers Grow in the Shade (FTR 656LP) was more of an imaginary band outing, but Folk Guitar plays it straight. Joseph reports they'd been listening to a lot to pieces by 16th-century composer, John Dowland, and the solo work of Pentangle's John Renbourn while this album was gestating. They also note Hammer Studio horror-film soundtracks as a touchstone for certain tunes, while others were inspired by the music in Chinese fantasy TV shows, and poetic fragments by Sappho. All of which means, this is another deeply considered and beautifully rendered set of tunes by this Tennessee-based rambler. Unlike some of Allred's early solo work, which manifested the same sort of syncretic brassiness as Robbie Basho's Takoma-era work, several of the pieces here display an extreme clarity of attack that reminds me a bit of British guitarist, John Pearse, whose work also explored folk and classical traditions (sometimes simultaneously). But of course, Allred's playing is as original as always. They manage to blend whatever influences they have consumed into perfect gems of musical karma -- each facet glimmering like a transcendental star. Folk Guitar is a work of unalloyed brilliance, and will prove to be a boon companion for anyone attuned to the art of solo guitar music." - Byron Coley, 2024
LP $30

DENNIS BROWN - Lovers Paradise (Radiation Roots 384LP; Italy) “One of the most beloved of reggae vocalists, Dennis Brown was more popular than Marley in his native land and rated "the Crown Prince" overseas for his excellence. Lovers Paradise is an intriguing compilation of the early 1990s, gathering work for Bunny Lee and colleagues. Along with a retitled "Have You Ever," and "Wild Fire" in the guise of the title track, there is a mix of agreeable love ballads, including Dennis's takes on Carlton and the Shoes' immortal "Love Me Forever," and originals such as "Woman I Tell You No Lie" and the devotional "Wolga Nagga Fire," plus there's a hot cut of "Sleng Teng" too. D Brown fans take note!”
LP $26



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3/20 Wednesday
8:30 pm - QUARTET: Nicole Mitchell, (flute) Pheeroan akLaff (drums), Teddy Rankin-Parker (cello) & Melanie Dyer (viola)

3/21 Thursday
8:30 pm - QUARTET: Nicole Mitchell (flute), Anais Maviel (voice), Samuel Boateng (piano) & Tamara Das (spoken word)

3/22 Friday
8:30 pm - TRIO: Nicole Mitchell (flute), Luke Stewart (bass) & Tcheser Holmes (drums)

3/23 Saturday
8 pm - DUO: Nicole Mitchell (flute) & Cooper Moore (various instruments)


3/27 Wednesday
8:30 pm - Coplas Escondidas - Jorge Roeder (upright bass) Sofía Rei (vocals)

3/28 Thursday
8:30 pm - Andariegos - Jorge Glem (cuatro) Franco Pinna (drums & arpa legüera Sofía Tosello (vocals) Sofia Rei (vocals)

3/29 Friday
8:30 pm - Tiny Songs - Sofía Rei (vocals, charango, looper, bombo)

3/30 Saturday
8:30 pm - Umbral - JC Maillard (electric guitar, electric bass, laptop, vocals) Sofía Rei (vocals, charango, electronics)

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

music at 8:30pm

$20 per set
unless otherwise noted
cash only payment





Then you should check out the writing & interviewing by Rick Rees, who has a mailing list/website dedicated to Giorgio Gomelsky. Every month, Mr. Rees (who call himself a non-writer, no so says I), sends out an interview with different musicians that Mr. Gomelsky was involved with throughout his long music career. This month’s installment featuring a long interview with Chris Cutler and Maggie Thomas, who did album cover artwork for Virgin Records. The interview with Chris Cutler is long, fascinating and exhausting! Being a Henry Cow, Soft Machine & other Canterbury bands/musicians myself, I learned quite from these interviews! You can subscribe here:



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: