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DMG Newsletter for Friday, March 29th, 2024

Deliver me
Deliver me
The light
Is only perfect
For a very short time
Deliver me

Is good
When you speak
Two ways
Can you prove
What's holy
When the river
Runs dry?
These are
Trying days

Deliver me
Deliver me
The light
Is only perfect
For a very short time
Deliver me
Deliver me
Deliver me

I remember hearing Robin Holcomb sing this song last in her set with a full band at the Old Knitting Factory way back around 1990 when her first full vocal album was released by Nonesuch. I recall the way this song touched me with tears streaming down my face and falling into my drink. I felt a bit overwhelmed by emotions. This song, these words and Robin’s fragile voice still have an effect on me, so many years later. Ms. Holcomb self-released a new CD a couple of months back, a collection of songs old and new which I feel are most enchanting. When Robin and her husband Wayne Horvitz played at The Stone a few months ago, they selling copies of a book of lyrics by Ms. Holcomb. We just got the lyric book in stock so I am reading one song a day and savoring Robin’s words. This has been a difficult week for me as my Mom is in a hospital in Florida. I still find Ms. Holcomb’s words and music to be most enchanting. Thanks to her and Wayne, two Old Friends who continue to create Great Music, Great Art. Bless you both. - Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG



Tuesday, April 2nd:

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

Tuesday, April 16th:
6:30: DANNY KAMINS - Sax / SANDY EWEN - Guitar / MARC EDWARDS - Drums

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



First Time Meeting of Four Giants of the Downtown Scene:


Monday, April 1st at 8pm

Roulette Intermedium
509 Atlantic Avenue
Entrance on the Corner of Third Avenue & Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(917) 267-0363 /


Friday, April 5th at 7:30pm

RAN BLAKE - Shimmering Shadows

Ran Blake will perform a rare NYC concert in solo and duo format with special guests. To celebrate the release of Ran’s biography, this concert will be inter-spliced with a live interview and film clips to present a retrospective of the life and music of this iconic pianist.

At National Sawdust
80 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(646) - 779 - 8455



ALICE COLTRANE with PHAROAH SANDERS / ARCHIE SHEPP / JIMMY GARRISON / CECIL McBEE / KUMAR KRAMER / TULSI REYNOLDS / ED BLACKWELL / CLIFFORD JARVIS - The Carnegie Hall Concert (Impulse! 143913 ; USA) “Recorded in 1971 at a benefit for the Integral Yoga Institute and now released infull for the first time, The Carnegie Hall Concert is both an historically important document and an eminently listenable recording full of insistent grooves, remarkably powerful playing and intense compositional depth. In short, it’s probably essential for anyone wishing to understand where jazz was then and where it has got to now. It inaugurates what is billed as a year dedicated to Alice Coltrane by the label, in partnership with The John and Alice Coltrane Home.
The release also comes at a moment when Alice Coltrane (born Alice Lucille McLeod in Detroit in 1937, died Los Angeles, 2007) seems more prescient than ever. The transcendent-sublime mode she pioneered, together with the late experiments of her husband John Coltrane and their colleague Pharaoh Sanders (who appears in the ensemble here), have influenced everyone from Floating Points to Matthew Halsall to even Paul Weller along with the entire legacy of spiritual jazz, as well as inspiring – along with the great Dorothy Ashby – every jazz harp player going. But the harp is only half the story, if that, as Alice Coltrane was a pianist first, and her first concert-size harp a gift from John Coltrane that was not delivered until shortly after his death.
For the Carnegie Hall concert, which includes four compositions, she played harp for the first two numbers, both written by herself, and piano for the last two, both written by John Coltrane. The contrast between them is considerable, with the final two numbers, an epic ‘Africa’ that clocks in at almost 30 minutes and ‘Leo’, the final encore that followed, producing the most spirited free playing, with Alice pummeling the keyboard in a manner somewhere between McCoy Tyner (whom she replaced in the John Coltrane Quartet) and Cecil Taylor.
The band is a story in itself, with two bassists (Jimmy Garrison and Cecil McBee), two drummers (Ed Blackwell and Clifford Jarvis) and two saxophonists, the aforementioned Sanders and Archie Shepp, plus for the first two compositions Kumar Kramer on harmonium and Tulsi Reynolds on tamboura. ‘Journey to Satchidananda’ – perhaps her most celebrated tune, and the title track of what was at the time her latest album – opens the concert and begins with a kind of double bass prologue, one plucked, one bowed, before the familiar loping riff kicks in, against a gentle splash of cymbals and tamboura drone. It’s added to by a beautifully poised and gentle-sounding harp solo that could almost be categorized as ambient, seconded by tootling flute and soprano sax from Sanders and Shepp. Basically, it’s heaven. ‘Shiva-Loka’, which follows, and which Impulse! have made available in advance of the release, continues the eastern-sounding ambient mode, with Alice on harp playing those trademark swirling, rippling-water motifs that, whether orchestrated for strings or heard on harp alone, have become perhaps her most recognizable sonic identity.” - Phil Johnson,
2 CD Set $23

STEPHAN CRUMP with PATRICIA BRENNAN / JOANNA MATTREY / yuniya edi kwan / JACOB GARCHIK / KENNY WARREN - Slow Water (Papillon Sounds 28242; USA) Featuring Stephan Crump on contrabass & compositions, Patricia Brennan on vibes, Joanna Mattrey on viola, yuniya edi kwan on violin, Jacob Garchik on trombone and Kenny Warren on trumpet. Since 1997, contrabassist Stephan Crump has released around two dozen discs of duos (with Mary Halvorson, Steve Lehman & James Carney, as well as his own Rosetta Trio & the Borderlands Trio and several group projects. Each of the half dozen group projects has had different personnel and a different sound or approach. I know each of the musicians in this sextet, as all are leaders and/or respected sidepersons. Since there is no drummer here (just vibes), the sextet sounds more like a chamber group with Mr. Crump’s bass at the center or the heartbeat of the group. You might not have heard of yuniya edi kwan yet but I have heard this person play at the Vision Fest in an ensemble called Sun Han Guild as well as with the current extended version of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
This disc was inspired by the book, “Water Always Wins” by Erica Gies and the way we deal with water within our current system of rapid climate change. “Sound (Brackish)” opens and features a series of eerie drones from the trombone, trumpet, strings and bowed bass. “Bogged” is calm with a slow, repeating throb played by the vibes and acoustic bass. Both the trombone and the trumpet play together in a solemn, dream-like wave over an exquisite cushion of strings. So sublime, so heartwarming to hear. Since moving here, Patricia Brennan has become the vibist to watch in recent years. Whether playing complex pieces with Mary Halvorson or with her own band, as well as using select electronics and bowing her vibes, Ms. Brennan always adds something special to each project she works on. On “Eager”, the blend of pizzicato strings, buttery brass and haunting vibes has a most hypnotic sound. Things start to get darker on “Hyporheic”, which is short and perhaps just an interlude. Since this music is never very loud or over-the-top, Mr. Crump works harder on the more subtle side of his writing for strings and brass. Crump often blends the sound of the strings, brass, bass and vibes into a soft, dreamy mesmerizing island of inner calm. Due to the distraction the daily online news, I had to lay back and calm down to be able to appreciate the lovely glow which exudes throughout. I can feel the flow of water like the blood that runs through our veins here, something special is pulsating inside, we just have to listen more closely to hear it. I really dig this disc since it helped me to feel better about my day, our day. A ray of sunshine is radiating from the dark clouds above us all. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

SAM NEWSOME / MAX JOHNSON - Tubes (Unbroken Sounds U07; USA) Featuring Sam Newsome on soprano sax, horn preparations & toys and Max Johnson on contrabass. Downtown bassist Max Johnson has been on a roll for the past decade and can be found on some ten discs, each one with different personnel. From a fine solo bass effort to several different trios to a modern classical disc with Mr. Johnson as the composer, al of these are well worth hearing. Sam Newsome plays soprano sax only and has worked hard to find his own unique voice. Mr. Newsome uses a variety of odd devices or tubes attached to his sax and is always coming up with his own unique sounds. I’ve heard him improvise with different musicians over the past few years and he continues to surprise me with his sounds. Check out Mr. Newsome on YouTube since you will see and hear what a singular player that he is.
This disc was recorded at Conveyor in March of 2023 and is well recorded, the balance between these two just right. Both of these instruments are in a similar range, their sounds are warm, thoughtful and well-connected. Johnson bows slowly with a deep, dark tone on “Dust”, with Newsome playing spiraling lines, his sax muted somewhat, tapping out notes percussively. Newsome switches to a toy or harmonica midway through the first piece, adding a playful quality to the proceedings. Mr. Johnson’s bass is at the center of “Strangled Duck”, playing those notes forcefully while Newsome get some odd purring sounds from his sax. Johnson’s long, droning bass notes are featured on at the end of this piece. The duo speed up the tempo on “Grizzly Bear”, burning together with Newsome going all the way up the scale, the intensity building throughout, the quick spinning bowed bass and soprano intertwining like two snakes making love. It sounds like Newsome is wearing bells on his ankle for “Four Portraits”, tapping out a slow repeating groove while Johnson bows softly at first. before he plucks a series of contemplative notes with Newsome bending his notes most carefully, expanding certain notes one at a time. The duo play one cover here, Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk”. They play this song in a coy, playful fashion which is most delightful. On “Tubes & Keys”, Newsome gets some strange whistling-like sounds with bells tinkling and somber bowed bass simmering underneath, all of the sounds have a most haunting effect. Mr. Newsome often uses a series of tubes of varying lengths between his mouthpiece and the rest of the sax. This gives his a soprano an odd which he varies on each piece. The quick bowed bass and high dweezling notes of the soprano often sound great together and match each other’s stream no matter where they go. What’s interesting is that Mr. Newsome doesn’t go too far out with both players both in sympathetic streams. Most compelling through and through. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

FRODE GJERSTAD / ISACH SKEIDSVOLL / OLE MOFJELL - Broken Compass (CirTot 03-2023; Norway) Featuring Frode Gjerstad on alto sax & B-flat clarinet, Isach Skeidsvoll on piano and Ole Mofjell on drums. Recorded in Stavanger, Norway in March of 2023. Norwegian sax legend, Frode Gjerstad, has been recorded for more than forty years, working with dozens of Norwegian, British and American musicians from different scenes. Mr. Gjerstad recently sent us three new discs, each one with different personnel, recording with some younger musicians from the Stavanger area of Norway, where Mr. Gjerstad has lived for many years. Pianist Isach Skeidsvoll recorded a duo discs with Mr. Gjerstad in 2021 while drummer Ole Mofjell has recorded with Hedvig Mollestad (guitar great) and saxist Henrik Pultz Melbye (who worked with Thurston Moore & Tobias Delius).
This is a strong, intense, focused free trio. Right from the opening salvo, they take off, building as the go. On the second piece, “Why is The Fish Looking at Me?”, the trio starts off with melodic, sparse, exquisite piano playing some majestic chords. Mr. Gjerstad is slowly twisting each note on his sax without and screaming. As free as these players get, there is a sense of restraint going on which does erupt on occasion. Through the most lengthy piece, the pianist adds a number of melodic fragments which change the direction. The piano and drums play their lines tightly together while Gjerstad spins out his lines on top. It sounds as if the trio are working closely together and exploring different themes on each piece, with an idea or fragment which evolves over time. So each piece seems connected to the piece before and after. On the last piece, “Is the Fish a He or a She?”, the intensity erupts and bristles. This is a most inventive trio so I have to listen a few times to hear the different things that are going on here. The trio also had an American lined up in April (of 2024), which was just canceled due to the funding which didn’t come through. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

EWART / ASPLUND / RICKS TRIO - Emphatic Now (Neuma 181; USA) Featuring Douglas Ewart on woodwinds, didgeridoo, percussion, voice & text, Christian Asplund on viola & piano and Steven Ricks on trombone & electronics. As an original member of the AACM, Douglas Ewart plays and has invented a variety of flutes, works with other reeds, plays didgeridoo and has worked with other legendary figures like Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith and Yusef Lateef. Canadian/American musician Christian Asplund has worked with Vinny Golia, John Butcher and Malcolm Goldstein. Innovative composer and experimental trombonist Steven Ricks has a half dozen discs as a composer.
We haven’t heard much from Douglas Eward in a while except for a recent trio disc with Wadada Leo Smith & Mike Reed (excellent CD) and another trio with Rob Mazurek & Mwata Bowden. These three musicians met during a Creative Arts Orchestra concert at the University of Michigan, which Mr. Ewart was directing. They played together again at a concert at the Guelph Fest in 2016 and the duo (Asplund & Ricks) asked Mr. Ewart to host a series of concerts at Brighham Young University in Utah. Those concerts and this disc were recorded at U of Utah in 2022. “Call to Attention” starts things off with eerie flute(s), a didgeridoo drone, warm, solemn trombone and skeletal percussion. The music has a delicate, restrained, spiritual quality and unfolds with organic grace. I love the way the flute and strings bend their notes together, both embracing an ethereal vibe. “Water Song” begins with a mallet being tapped inside the piano with the strings muted while Ewart is playing some eerie soprano sax or double reed with muted trombone as well. This piece builds freely in intense waves with some powerful sax and piano interplay. Mr. Ewart does a fine spoken word bit about the importance of clean drinking water. “The Isness of Love” begins with haunting didgeridoo, mysterious bent viola, somber trombone and skeletal percussion. Each of these eight pieces take their time to unfold. I dig the mystical sounds of what sounds like Mr. Asplund rubbing or banging the strings inside the piano. Mr. Ewart’s words/poetry is well-selected and thoughtfully spoken, giving us observations about life, things to think about as we listen. These three musicians are a good match, the reeds, trombone and viola or piano each have their own sound which works just right as they weave their sounds carefully around one another. This disc is almost 80 minutes long so it takes some patience to get through the entire length. The magical or transcendent vibe flows throughout rising in waves and then subsiding back into some calm waters. It sounds quite ritualistic overall. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14 (In stock next week)

GEORGE McMULLEN TRIO with NICK ROSEN / ALEX CLINE - Boomerang (pfMENTUM 120; USA) Featuring George McMullen on trombone & compositions, Nick Rosen on bass and Alex Cline on drums & percussion. Former L.A.-based trombonist George McMullen came down to our store to check out a recent concert and left us with a few CD’s of his. Mr. McMullen has recorded with Vinny Golia on several occasions as well as with the James Newton Ensemble. Bassist Nick Rosen is also from the L.A. area and has two eclectic discs out on the now defunct Porter label from 2010-2012. Nels’ twin brother and longtime collaborator, Alex Cline, is an extraordinary percussionist who records on rare occasion with folks like Vinny Golia, Jeff Gauthier and Julius Hemphill.
The title tune, “Boomerang” swings hard and has a effervescent bounce/vibe, often starting and stopping from section to section. Alex Cline takes a fine, uplifting drum solo midway on this piece. “Follow the Bouncing Ball” is a tight, well-written piece with some challenging sections and a slow blues thang in the middle. Nick Rosen’s bass solo in the middle of the piece is another highlight here. “Improv I: Earth Mystery” has Mr. NcMullen stretching out his notes carefully on his trombone with the rest of the reacting graciously. Longtime L.A. master recording engineer, Wayne Peet, has done a great job here as all three members of the are perfectly balanced and in sync and each member is integral to the focused sound. The melody on “I Loved Her Laugh” is a lovely one, with McMullen’s trombone glowing with a warm tone. McMullen’s songs are often episodic with complex intros with and outros, plus thoughtful melodies or inspired solos in the middle. You can tell that George McMullen put a good deal of work into this as as every track is filled with craft, nuance and invention. If you thought that a trombone led trio might not be enough to fill a great disc, then you should check this one. It is superb! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

AMIRTHA KIDAMBI ELDER ONES with MATT NELSON / LESTER ST. LOUIS / EVA LAWITTS / JASON NAZARY - New Monuments (We Jazz WJCD 065CD; Finland) Amirtha Kidambi has long affirmed that the role of music in the act of protest is pivotal. For an artist and activist who once cultivated community at defunct Brooklyn spaces such as Death By Audio and the Silent Barn, the 2020 protests became a place to publicly amplify the underground. That subversive spirit of collective dismantlement and reassemblage serves as the catalyst for the longform cuts that comprise New Monuments, Kidambi's third full-length recording with her band Elder Ones. As their leader writes in its accompanying liner notes, the title summons the "tearing down of old colonial and racist monuments and vestiges of power, in order to build new ones to the martyrs of struggle." Tracked at Figure 8 Studios above Prospect Park, the album is the work of an artist concerned with numerous interconnected sites of global conflict: among them, the farmers' protests over agricultural reforms in India, the evolution of the Iranian women's rights movement following the death of Mahsa Amini, and the continuous crescendoing call for Palestinian liberation. This time, the Elder Ones collective consists of saxophonist Matt Nelson, cellist Lester St. Louis, bassist Eva Lawitts, and drummer Jason Nazary - all four of whom contribute their share of electronic textures and electroacoustic treatments. As a document of dissent, these four compositions give proof that improvisation is instrumental in the realm of resistance. Kidambi's voice hovers over a scorched sonic landscape equally informed by Black American liberation music, the devotional fervor of Indian Carnatic, and the unleashing of an inner scream listeners might associate with hardcore punk and harsh noise. The quintet then locks into a polyrhythmic pulse that conjures up the ghosts of free jazz past and present; throughout its runtime, there are flashes of Albert Ayler's love cry, Don Cherry's eternal rhythms, Alice Coltrane's ecstatic spirituality, and the fortissimo fearlessness of Kidambi's late friend and collaborator Jaimie Branch, to whom the album is partly dedicated. Above all, New Monuments is a call to action with nothing left unsaid: it demands that the drive towards change should not only be seen, but heard.
CD $17


CHARLES MINGUS with ERIC DOLPHY / TED CURSON / et al - Presents Charles Mingus To Pre Bird, Revisited (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1169; Switzerland) Three sides of Charles Mingus in this remastered reissue set: the 1961 Candid album Mingus Presents Mingus with the classic quartet of Eric Dolphy, Ted Curson and Dannie Richmond; then the Mercury release Pre-Bird from the same year, in ensembles performing the music of or influenced by Duke Ellington, along with the ambitious and brilliant through-composed work, "Half Mast Inhibition".
CD $17

FRANZ KOGLMANN with GERT SCHUBERT / KURT FRANZ SCHMID / SANDRO MIORI / et al - Near Blue - A Taste of Melancholy (Hat Ezz-Thetics 1059; Switzerland) Presented in two versions--a stereo mix and a binaural mix for headphones--flugelhorn improviser and composer Franz Koglmann leads his septet of exceptional players through 10 original Koglmann compositions, sophisticated works that show influences from Ellington to Franz Joseph Haydn or Johann Strauss, in pieces influenced by or tipping the hat to modern artists, musicians and writers.
CD $17

NIKOLAUS GERSZEWSKI - 3 Works For Strings, Giusto Chamber Orchestra (Hat Exx-Thetics 1052; Switzerland) Giusto Chamber Orchestra performs three works for twelve strings by German composer and visual artist Nikolaus Gerszewski, whose music of shifting pitches, vibrations and volumes--compared with experimental sound & noise work--is influenced by composers Radulescu and Dumitrescu's spectral music, James Tenney's "swell form" and Cornelius Cardew's graphic scores.”
CD $17

MUSICA URBANA & JOAN ALBERT & FELUI GASUL - Historia (ReR Megacorp MUFG1; UK) "This box set (3 CDs and a 52-page book) collects and restores two legendary mid-'70s releases, both met at the time with extravagant critical acclaim but few sales outside of Spain. Presents for the first time a set of previously unknown studio recordings by the otherwise undocumented Trio Altisent, featuring members of both other projects -- alongside comprehensive book of background materials, newly conducted interviews, rare unpublished photographs, and overview of Barcelona's mid '70s music scene. On the first CD: Musica Urbana -- one of the most impressive albums of its time: uniquely infuses the languages of rock, jazz and formal composition with the Spanish folk tradition of flamenco and the sensibility of national composers (e.g. Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albéniz). It weaves all these elements into a uniquely Spanish iteration of experimental rock. A work of luminous brilliance. On the second CD: Joan Albert I Felui Gasul, released a year later by Musica Urbana's keyboardist Joan Albert Amargos and flamenco virtuoso Feliu Gasul, a seamless fusion of styles, intensity, a high degree of musical intelligence, edge-of-the-seat playing, and mixture of compositional and improvisational flexibility, with a lightness and sense that conceal the compositions' fiendish complexity. Joan Albert plays acoustic piano, fender electric and clavinet, Jaume Cortadellus adds some perfectly judged flute on one of the tracks. All of Musica Urbana appear on another beautifully recorded and mixed album, with unusually clear, strong sound and exquisite separation, together capturing an explosive cultural moment On the third CD: Trio Altisent, unreleased recordings by Amargos, Gasul, and Cortadellus made in 1984, in a project that grew from their previous work together. Amargos and Gasul went on to become highly respected contemporary composers, later working with Paco de Lucia, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, and Maria del Mar Bonet. This box restores and expands an important moment in music, which rapidly faded as music industry values regained control."
3 CD Set $34

PHIL RANELIN with BILLY CHILDS / TONY DUMAS / RALPH PENLAND - The Found Tapes: Live in Los Angeles (ORG Music 2286CD; USA) "The Found Tapes: Live in Los Angeles is a box set from Tribe Records co-founder Phil Ranelin, celebrating a trio of LA club performances from 1978 - 1981 which remain especially significant to the visionary trombonist. Backed by a young Billy Childs on piano, Ralph Penland on drums, and Tony Dumas on bass, Ranelin was in peak form as a player and bandleader during this period. This is particularly true of one specific outing at the now shuttered Maiden Voyage in Los Angeles on July 19, 1981, which is presented in full within this set. The audio was restored from decades old cassette tapes which have never been heard until now. A master trombonist of the J.J. Johnson tradition, Ranelin's career has spanned over five decades with eleven records as a solo artist, four as a Freddie Hubbard sideman, session recordings for Motown, and work with artists ranging from Stevie Wonder and Ella Fitzgerald to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Telefon Tel Aviv."
3 CD Set $24

JEMBAA GROOVE - Ye Ankasa | We Ourselves (Agogo Records AR 163CD; Germany)
Rich in ancestral flows, between Ghana and Europe, powered by deep, conga led rhythms and seductive warm horn riffs come Jembaa Groove, whose new album and newly rendered sound, shows that jazz, in its contemporary, soulful form is not just a London "ting." "Highlife" is Ghana's colorful national tradition and is at the heart of Berlin based Jembaa Groove's groove. And this newly crafted follow up to their debut album Susuma (AR 155CD) from 2022, goes even further in provoking new perceptions of jazz and soul music helped by young and senior blood from Ghana and its diaspora. Vocal masterclasses come via Sheffield (UK) based K.O.G and original veteran of the '70s and '80s highlife scene Gyedu Blay Ambolley with Ghanian multi-instrumentalist and producer Kwame Yeboah (Kwashibu Area Band) also providing inspiration. Yet this is not a breakout moment. For the last two years, Jembaa Groove have been entertaining discerning dancefloors worldwide. They continue to ratchet up a solid and loyal fanbase buoyed by breakout performances at SXSW (USA), ESNS and Supersonic Jazz Festival (Netherlands).
CD $17

MARIO LALLI & THE RUBBER SNAKE CHARMERS - Folklore From Other Desert Cities (Heavy Psych Sounds HPS 295LP; Italy) New super-band featuring desert rock legends Mario Lalli, Brant Bjork, Sean Wheeler, and Ryan Güt. The first release from this band of pioneering desert rock musicians captures the band and its purest form exercising the desert born ethic and approach of rock improvisation, psychedelic and flowing, heavy and explorative. The foundation of Mario Lalli's grooving heavy bass lines and meditative themes with an intuitive guitar work alongside Brant Bjork and the percussion of Ryan Güt, which sets the scene for Sean Wheeler's poems and songs capturing the dark and beautiful stories and images of life in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. This is a representation of desert rock in its purest form. A very special live performance in Gold Coast Australia. Mario Lalli & The Rubber Snake Charmers began in 2010 with a focus on live psychedelic rock improvisation and sonic experimentation curated by desert rock pioneer Mario Lalli, featuring likeminded musicians from all walks of the musical spectrum. Anchored by Lalli's heavy grooving and morphing bass lines, this is a heavy meditation on rhythms, drones, grooves and riffs. Sonically becoming a canvas where each participant is encouraged to create fine lines or splatter and explode into chaos -- wherever it goes it goes.
CD $16 / LP $25


ROBIN HOLCOMB - One Way or Another, Vol. 1 (Westerlies Records WST009, USA) Featuring Robin Holcomb on piano and voice, produced by Wayne Horvitz and photos by Nica Horvitz. I’ve been checking out pianist & composer Robin Holcomb and her husband Wayne Horvitz ever since hearing them at Studio Henry in the west village around 1980. Both Robin and Wayne were/are gifted keyboard players and composers and integral parts of the early Downtown Scene, collaborating with John Zorn, Dave Sewelson, William Parker, etc. What I’ve always dug about both of them is that every performance and recording would show a different side to their talents. I recall hearing Ms. Holcomb leading a band at the Kitchen in the late 1980’s, performing the music from her debut album as a leader called, ‘Larks, They Crazy’. The music was stunning and near the end of the concert, they played one song in which Ms. Holcomb sang. I had never heard her sing before and was unaware of her doing anything with vocals on it. I was floored by her lovely, fragile voice and nearly brought to tears. I spoke with Robin after the concert and told her how much I loved her singing and she seemed surprised that anyone would enjoy her voice. A couple of years later (in 1990), Ms. Holcomb’s debut album on Nonesuch was released and many of Downtown's fan addicts and other serious listeners, ended up being completely knocked out by her self-titled debut. Ms. Holcomb wrote and sang on nearly every song and organized a band to perform those songs live. The band included Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz and Doug Weiselman. Ms. Holcomb went on to record four albums for Nonesuch, each one a gem. Since doing her records on Nonesuch, Ms. Holcomb has slowly released three more records, mostly instrumental, solos, chamber groups, mainly instrumental but with some occasional vocals by her. In November of this year (2023), Wayne Horvitz performed 4 nights at The Stone, with different personnel on each night. On the last night, it was a duo with Wayne and Robin, the two switching off on piano, synth, electronics, harmonica and voice. Another glorious night of music! I had heard that Ms. Holcomb had a new record out and we just got some copies in this week. This disc is perhaps Ms. Holcomb’s most intimate portrait, playing just piano and singing. Ms. Holcomb has decided to redo a few of her older songs, as well as do some select covers by Randy Newman, Stephen Foster and Doc Pomus. The title song is up first, "One Way or Another” and it is stark, hypnotic, stunning, delicate, exquisite. I used to think that Robin’s voice was like a fragile, lost, little lamb. More than thirty after her Nonesuch debut, I hear even more ghosts within her voice. “Waltz” was first done on Ms. Holcomb’s first vocal album. It begins with “Mention the weather, when you describe the town” and it captures a fleeting spirit of something one can feel but not as easily describe. Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More,” seems to come from an ancient dream of sad times from our collective past. Will hard times come again, have they ever left? Doc Pomus’ “I’ve Got a Feeling” deals with the fleeting feeling that we feel when we are in love with someone. “Once I was a woman” is how “Once “ opens. The characters in Ms. Holcomb’s songs are like ghosts that you see out of the corner of your eye who disappear when you try to see them more clearly. We all have memories, some we know where they came from and some seem to just appear. “A Lazy Farmer Boy” was released as a 78 in 1931, quite a long time ago. This song does sound ancient, the piano part has a dixieland like sound, something that Fats Waller might cover. I hadn’t thought much about it until now, but Ms. Holcomb’s lyrics often give us images or feelings to consider. Fragments of stories are woven into our collective memories. Ms. Holcomb’s piano playing seems to evoke a certain American(a), Ivesian spirit, majestic at times and forlorn at other times. “Rockabye” was the title of Holcomb’s second Nonesuch album. It is done here and still captures some of Robin’s most heartfelt playing, singing and lyrics. Randy Newman’s song “Shining” actually sounds just like one of Mr. Holcomb’s own songs, with fleeting feelings amongst the collective memories that we all share. “Electrical Storm” is also from Holcomb’s first (vocal) album. Even without her skeletal band backing her, the song still stands out, a warm, tender, lullabye-like piece. What I find most interesting is the way that Robin Holcomb has tapped into an ancient spirit/sound which always sounds warm and familiar, bridging the gap between the old days and our current times, like sitting in front of a warm fireplace on a cold day. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

ROBIN HOLCOMB - Lyrics (Crazy Larks Press; USA) I hadn’t really thought about the lyrics to Robin Holcomb’s songs until recently when she released a new self-produced CD which is listed in the above newsletter. Starting around 1988, with the release of her first record as a leader, “Larks, They Crazy”, Ms. Holcomb wrote and sung the title track from this great album. Ms. Holcomb a gifted free/jazz pianist and a crafty composer. No one knew that Ms. Holcomb could sing and that she had a lovely, sad, fragile voice. It was a big surprise to all of her fans. A couple of years later in 1990, Ms. Holcomb signed with Nonesuch (a major label) and they released four albums of her vocal music, each one a gem. I still savor those records as well as any other music that Ms. Holcomb has done. It turns out that Ms. Holcomb is a fine lyricist, a fine poet. ‘Lyrics’ by Ms. Holcomb is a collection of most of the lyrics that Robin has written for her vocal albums. Almost every day for the past month, I read one poem at a time and savor what it means. There is something magical going on in each of these poems, a phrase or observation occurs and makes us think about what is being said and why it rings true. Ms. Holcomb does a great job of stripping things down to the just the essence of what’s what. Although Ms. Holcomb started out as an avant-garde, Downtown musician/composer, her vocal songs seem to come from an ancient Americana stream. Her lyrics also seem to embrace and illustrate this vibe or view of the American frontier. I am often reminded of the intersection between Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, The Band and any of what those great gospel singers do when they sing to us and fill the room with their Spirit. During the difficult times that we are all going through presently, Robin’s voice and words shine a light on the darkness. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BOOK 70 pages $25 [Limited Edition]

PHAROAH SANDERS / HAMID DRAKE / ADAM RUDOLPH - Spirits (Meta 004; USA) Long out-of-print recording [for some unknown reason Pharoah Sanders is said to be unenthusiastic about this recording - which is a mystery as it's one of the best things he's done in a very long while!] This in-concert recording (locale unidentified) is a continual performance that acts as a suite in three basic parts, with Sanders on tenor sax, wood flutes, and percussion, helped by multipercussionists Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph. The music is as the title suggests: spiritual, multi-ethnic, mostly serene, and quite improvisationally derived. It's a beautiful statement from Sanders, very similar to the music Yusef Lateef has played (with Rudolph and Eternal Wind) and different than his more major-label efforts. "Sunrise," running over 19 minutes, begins the hour-long program. Soft drone tones set up tenor meditations, slight percussive inserts, mbira and driftwood wordless vocals, and soulful chanting, then move back to tenor musings with bells, and visceral, gutteral chants. "Morning in Soweto" and "The Thousand Petaled Lotus" segue together with hand drum and tenor groove in a manner reminiscent of Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't" nestled in the Sudan! The next movement of the suite is in five parts. A demure gong, animal growls, and moans from "I & Thou" easily move into free and repeated wood flute phrases and insistent hand percussion as a driving force on "Uma Lake." "Molimo" is a separate entity, as counterpointed wood flutes hoot like owls with sexual overtones and rattling percussion. Fans of Sanders will be easily able to connect this music with his past glories, but it could be a portent of bigger things, and bigger ensembles, to come. Recommended. -- Michael G. Nastos
CD $10


TERRY & GYAN RILEY - Way Out Yonder (Org Music 2142LP; USA) "Way Out Yonder is the second live release from Terry Riley & Gyan Riley, the duo comprised of iconic American composer and minimalist pioneer Terry Riley and his guitarist/composer son Gyan Riley. The album is comprised of spontaneous improvisations and compositions by both Terry and Gyan, captured during three performances in Canada, Japan and the US, and features the elder Riley on piano, voice, melodica and electronics. The album artwork was created by Barbara Falconer, who also painted the cover of Riley's landmark 1978 release, Sri Camel."
LP $30

MARIO LALLI & THE RUBBER SNAKE CHARMERS - Folklore From Other Desert Cities (Heavy Psych Sounds HPS 295LP; Italy) New super-band featuring desert rock legends Mario Lalli, Brant Bjork, Sean Wheeler, and Ryan Güt. The first release from this band of pioneering desert rock musicians captures the band and its purest form exercising the desert born ethic and approach of rock improvisation, psychedelic and flowing, heavy and explorative. The foundation of Mario Lalli's grooving heavy bass lines and meditative themes with an intuitive guitar work alongside Brant Bjork and the percussion of Ryan Güt, which sets the scene for Sean Wheeler's poems and songs capturing the dark and beautiful stories and images of life in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. This is a representation of desert rock in its purest form. A very special live performance in Gold Coast Australia. Mario Lalli & The Rubber Snake Charmers began in 2010 with a focus on live psychedelic rock improvisation and sonic experimentation curated by desert rock pioneer Mario Lalli, featuring likeminded musicians from all walks of the musical spectrum. Anchored by Lalli's heavy grooving and morphing bass lines, this is a heavy meditation on rhythms, drones, grooves and riffs. Sonically becoming a canvas where each participant is encouraged to create fine lines or splatter and explode into chaos -- wherever it goes it goes.
LP $25



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



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)


4/3 Wednesday
8:30 pm - NU MU: Adam Rudolph & Peter Apfelbaum Duet - Peter Apfelbaum (saxes, flutes, piano, bamboo sax and flute, melodica, electric keyboards, percussion) Adam Rudolph (handrumset, tarijas, piano, electronic processing, thumb pianos, mouth bow,
baka harp, gongs, cup gongs, slit drum, digeridoo, percussion)

4/4 Thursday
8:30 pm - Adam Rudolph and Kaoru Watanabe Duet: Kaoru Watanabe (taiko, Japanese percussion, noh kan and fue flutes, electric koto and processing) Adam Rudolph (handrumset, tarijas, piano, electronic processing, thumb pianos, mouth bow, baka harp, gongs, cup gongs, slit drum, digeridoo, percussion)

4/5 Friday
8:30 pm - Adam Rudolph Sunrise Quartet: Alexis Marcelo (piano, electric keyboards, kudu horn, percussion) Kaoru Watanabe (taiko, Japanese percussion, noh kan and fue flutes, electric koto and processing) Stephen Haynes (cornets, flugelhorns, trumpet, conch shells, didgeridoos, percussion) Adam Rudolph (handrumset, electronic processing, thumb pianos, mouth bow, gongs, percussion)

4/6 Saturday
8:30 pm - Adam Rudolph Sunrise Quartet: Alexis Marcelo (piano, electric keyboards, kudu horn, percussion) Kaoru Watanabe (taiko, Japanese percussion, noh kan and fue flutes, electric koto and processing) Stephen Haynes (cornets, flugelhorns, trumpet, conch shells, didgeridoos, percussion) Adam Rudolph (handrumset, electronic processing, thumb pianos, mouth bow, gongs, percussion)

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


David Grollman’s Tiny Slices at Wee Space

Performance Series

March 31st, 2024

6pm Vegan potluck

East Village

Performing on the 31st will be:

Selendis Sebastian Alexander Johnson

Aaron Rubinstein

Will LaPorte

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





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: