No Silly or Sly Poems today
Nothing Special Left to say
Can’t comment on the world as it is
Since Reality is Stranger than Fiction Right Now!
Just Another Newsletters Worth of Discs to Explore from:
Vinny Golia/Oliver Lake/Ross Hammond/Adam Lane! Ellery Eskelin/Christian Weber/Michael Griener! Jim Black New Quartet! Matthew Shipp Trio and John Butcher/Thomas Lehn/Matt Shipp! Ten Releases from Clean Feed: Mats Gustafsson & Craig Taborn! Daniel Levin QT!
Chris Pitsiokos QT! Lisa Mezzacappa Sextet! Angles 9! John McNeil/Jeremy Uden Hush Point III! Nico Letman-Burtinovic Split Cycle! Blaise Siwula & Luciano Troja! Sean Ali Solo Bass! George Lewis & Splitter Orchestra! John Tilbury/Christian Wolff!
Plus Historic/Archival Recordings from Marion Brown/Brandon Ross QT! Massacre! Ornette Coleman Complete Early Albums! Prince Lasha & Sonny Simmons! Sonny Stitt! Albert Ayler! George Russell! Jefferson Airplane and much more!
The FREE DMG Weekly New Music In-Store Series Continues on Sundays with:
Sunday, February 5th:
6pm: GUILLERMO GREGORIO & ART BAILEY - Plus Fluxus Tapes
7pm: VORTKIP: NICO LETMAN-BURTINOVIC/ELIJAH SHIFFER/BRITT CIAMPA
Sunday, February 12th:
7pm: MICHAEL LYTLE / NICK DIDKOVSKY / MATT OSTROWSKI -
Bass Clarinet / Guitar / Synthesizer!
Sunday, February 19th:
6pm: NICK FRASER and INGRID LAUBROCK - Drums & Sax
7pm: MOOSEBUMPS: KARL NYBERG and ANTON JONSSON - Sax and Drums!
Sunday, February 26th:
6pm: AARON RUBINSTEIN/JONATHAN MILBERGER/MICHAEL LAROCCA
7pm: SEAN ALI - Solo Contrabass
Sunday, March 5th:
6pm: MUSIQUE LIBRE FEMMES QUARTET: CHERYL PYLE/JAMIE BAUM/ CLAIRE DALY/ CLAIRE de BRUNNER - 2 Flutes, Baritone Sax and Bassoon!
DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a former Buddhist temple & beauty salon. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Cosy
DMG Benefit CD - All proceeds go to the Keep DMG Alive Fund! Special thanks to Ross Hammond, Vinny Golia, Oliver Lake and Adam Lane for their heartfelt contribution.
VINNY GOLIA / OLIVER LAKE / ROSS HAMMOND / ADAM LANE - Live at the Downtown Music Gallery [LMT Edition of 100](Self-released; USA) Featuring Vinny Golia on baritone, sopranino & G-mezzo soprano saxes & piccolo, Oliver Lake on alto sax, Ross Hammond on guitar and Adam Lane on acoustic bass. Wow! This was recorded here at DMG in October of 2012 during our weekly free music series, most often on Sundays. Our free weekly series has been running for most of the 25 years that DMG has been around and it is a tradition which started in the late 1980’s at a store called Lunch for Your Ears, which was founded by my retired partner Manny Maris and where I worked from 1988-1990 before opening DMG in 1991. Hundreds of great musicians well-known and not-so well known have played at DMG through the many years and I look forward to each and every gig, since I never know when something amazing will take place.
This set was one of the astonishing nights! This was an all-star line-up, a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of greats. Each member of this quartet has a heavy, diverse resume. Oliver Lake is one the master sax elders whose playing with the World Sax Quartet to Trio 3 has stretched back some forty years since moving to NY. LA-based reeds wiz, Vinny Golia, collects and plays a large variety of saxes and flutes with dozens of dynamite recordings on his own Nine Winds label. Sacramento-based guitarist, Ross Hammond, has played at DMG perhaps a dozen times, always choosing a strong crew of collaborators to join him. No doubt, Adam Lane is one of Downtown’s best bassists and bandleaders, check out any of his discs on Cadence, CIMP or Clean Feed.
When I played this disc the other night at home, I was able to really concentrate on it and I was stunned at how strong and spirited it was. Although this was a completely improvised set, it doesn’t really sound that way. It starts quietly with some superb yet restrained electric guitar and builds as each member joins in. Although Oliver Lake and Vinny Golia hadn’t played together before this (or very much), it sound doesn’t sound like that as they are a great match. The two saxists, with Golia on soprano and Lake on alto, weave their way around one another in tight, cascading spirals. Both Hammond on guitar and Lane on contrabass provide a solid rhythm-section like cushion underneath as Lake and Golia chase one another, join forces and exchange quick lines. Throughout most of this, the guitar and bass remain calm and centered while the dialogue between the two reeds escalates, building, burning, criss-crossing, erupting, vibrating… Towards the end of the first long piece Mr. Golia switches to bari sax while Mr. Lake keeps the flow going strong with his tart, intense alto playing. On the second piece, Mr. Hammond kicks things off with some restrained yet slow-burning blues-like licks while both saxes again circle around him robust waves. The balance between the quiet undertow and the sea of sax waves crashing above is extraordinary. Mr. Golia plays a sopranino solo towards the end which must be heard to be believed as it is something else entirely. It may seem hard to believe that this disc was recorded at our weekly series but this seems to be the way things go down here at DMG as every week something magical might take place to come join us whenever you can. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15 (Since this is a benefit CD, please give what you can, all donations are appreciated)
ELLERY ESKELIN / CHRISTIAN WEBER / MICHAEL GRIENER - Sensations of Tone (Intakt 276; Intakt) Featuring Ellery eskelin on tenor sax, Christian Weber on bass and Michael Greiner on drums. Downtown tenor saxist, Ellery Eskelin, has long thrived in the trio situation with more than a dozen discs of several trios that he has worked in throughout his long career. His longtime trio with Andrea Parkins and Jim Black remains a favorite of many of his fans, as well as his more recent trio with Gary Versace and Gerald Cleaver, another favorite of his many fans. What is interesting about this trio is that they range from early jazz covers like “Shreveport Stomp” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (Fats Waller) to some free & focused pieces. Those in the know probably recognize the names Christian Weber from various discs on Intakt & Leo with Oliver Lake, Nate Wooley and Michael Wintsch. Swiss drummer Michael Griener also gets around working with Ulrich Gumpert, Carl Ludwig Hubsch and Ernst Petrowsky.
Whether playing freely or coving an early standard, this trio is tight and ever-inspired. They sounds as if they have been playing together for a long while as the organically sail and wail together, taking their time to weave several strands into a formidable trio. “China Boy” goes all the way back to the twenties and was made popular by Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman. I dig the way the trio explore that jubilant quality, with one foot in the distant past and one foot in the freer terrain of the sixties and beyond. When you have a mere trio, playing songs from the pre-bebop days, they are able to capture the spirit or joy of the song even with skeletal ingredients. Mr. Griener plays some exquisite brushes on “Moten Swing” (rel 1932). Even when the trio glides into the freer range, Mr. Eskelin plays with a most, sublime, warm and inviting tone backed by some equally tasty bowed bass and simmering cymbals. The balance between the ancient songs and freer excursions is just right. A refreshing change of pace from the more over-the -top free jazz blasts that usually grace our newsletters many reviews. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JIM BLACK With ELIAS STEMESEDER / OSKAR GUDJONSSON / CHRIS TORDINI - Malamute (Intakt 283; Switzerland) “Shortly after breaking into the progressive jazz scene in the 1990s via his work with saxophonist Tim Berne's Bloodcount, trumpeter Dave Douglas's ensembles, Pachora and other fruitful ventures, drummer Jim Black's signature stylistic approach to the kit ignited much interest. Simply stated, he does wonders with a basic 5-piece drum-set amid his quirky off-beats and uncanny sense of time while often staying on top of a given pulse and then some, also evident while leading his AlasNoAxis band.
On Malamute, Black leads a multinational acoustic-electric quartet that gels to off-kilter frameworks, centered in odd-metered phrasings; scalding rock grooves, progressive rock type blitzes and budding thematic developments. Here, saxophonist Óskar Guðjónsson's cozy and somewhat humble passages offer thought-provoking contrasts to pieces also devised with spooky electronics implementations, jostling cadences and mysterious sojourns.
Keyboardist Elias Stemeseder's grizzly EFX and noise-shaping treatments ride above Black's forceful attack, tempered by the saxophonist's whispery, low-key sax articulations. However, it's difficult to distinguish whether some of the electronics manipulations emanate from Black's use of a sampler on a per-track basis. But each piece casts a mélange of tonal qualities and disparate song-forms, occasionally leading to raw and scintillating cadenzas. Yet the following track "Just Turned Two," is classic Black as he drives the band through a jaunty rock pulse tinted with bizarre sounds.
"Full Dish" soars with a rapid ascent, once again lightened by the saxophonist's subdued and quietly melodic voicings. Other movements may suggest that the band is trying to elevate its craft into a four-dimensional space due to an abundance of creatively organized and executed passages that toss the underlying jazz or jazz rock activities into an interminable void.” - Glenn Astarita, AllAboutJazz
MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO With MICHAEL BISIO / NEWMAN TAYLOR BAKER - Piano Song (Thirsty Ear 57212; USA) “Matthew Shipp has long been considered one of the leading pianists of his generation. Collaborating with artists from wide ranging genres over the past three decades, Shipp has maintained a distinctively singular vision with an immediately recognizable sound. Publicized as Shipp's final release for Thirsty Ear, Piano Song follows in the footsteps of The Conduct of Jazz, his 2015 trio recording for the revered label, although he is slated to remain curator of the imprint's ground-breaking "Blue Series."
Shipp's current working group features esteemed veterans Michael Bisio and Newman Taylor Baker. Bisio has been Shipp's regular bassist since Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011), and has repeatedly demonstrated an intuitive affinity for the leader's oblique methodology. Baker replaced longstanding drummer Whit Dickey on the trio's previous effort, and has proven to be perfectly attuned to the synergistic rapport shared by Bisio and Shipp.
The most approachable offering in Shipp's vast discography thus far, Piano Song regales with memorable melodies and infectious rhythms. The brief unaccompanied piano soliloquy "Links" opens the album with pensive romantic flourishes, easing into the date's conceptual centerpiece, "Cosmopolitan," a jaunty swinger whose boppish momentum interpolates the familiar bass line of Miles Davis' "So What." Despite its harmonious nature, the deceptively intricate tune offers a salient demonstration of Shipp and company's abilities to deconstruct forms in suspended time—accessible, but also adventurous.
Somewhat more restrained than earlier efforts, a number of pieces deal with texture in a minimalist manner. The cinematic tone poem "Blue Desert" for example, traffics in exotic tonalities, driven by delicate shaker rhythms, spectral bass harmonics and spare piano chords. Similarly understated, the mid-tempo ballad "Silence Of," and the vibrant solo piano meditation "The Nature Of" share more than a syntactic naming convention, unfolding as open-ended compositions in a state of flux. Embodying the unit's visceral tendencies, thrashing numbers like "Microwave" and "Gravity Point" are brisk, angular explorations, while the title track finds Shipp at his most lyrical, eschewing bombast for tenderness, closing the varied session as it began, with a contemplative flair.
Imaginatively incorporating conventional melodies, harmonies and rhythms into their dynamically fluid interplay, Shipp and his sidemen offer a unique take on the venerable piano trio tradition. Avoiding the stereotypical formal limitations of both the mainstream and avant-garde, Piano Song stands tall as one of the finest moments in Shipp's vast oeuvre.” - Troy Collins, AAJ
JOHN BUTCHER / THOMAS LEHN / MATTHEW SHIPP - Tangle (Fataka 14; UK) Featuring John Butcher on soprano & tenor sax & feedback, Thomas Lehn on analogue synthesizer and Matt Shipp on piano. Like most disc on the Fataka label, this set was recorded live at Cafe Oto in London in February of 2014. While Mr. Butcher and Mr. Shipp have recorded as a duo for one previous from the Fataka label, Butcher and Thomas Lehn have recorded together on at least a half dozen previous discs, going back to 1996. Over the last decade, the majority of discs that feature Matt Shipp have been either solo, duos or trios and usually with Matt as the leader or collaborator. Aside from some 18 discs with Ivo Perelman, Mr. Shipp doesn’t often end up in a completely improvised situation all that often. Which makes this disc even more special or rare.
Mr. Shipp starts things off with some dark, eerie piano with Lehn’s synth adding the suspense of several low-end drones. Butcher soon enter of soprano sax, spiraling his lines along with Shipp’s repeated phases. Lehn slowly erupts on synth, first adding static, then twisting his sounds into more fractured and intense explorations. The music gets more dense, it turns into a nightmarish soundscape, reminding me of the way I feel almost every day since you-know-who got elected. It is a feeling of disorientation or disbelief at what is happening in the world. At some point it sounds as if Mr. Shipp is playing a minuet of sorts with both the soprano sax and synth adding some quirky counterpoint. I like the fact that this music is very intense and even brutal at times, it is impossible to escape from the central force which is powerful and perhaps disturbing at times. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JUDSON TRIO With JOELLE LEANDRE / MAT MANERI / GERALD CLEAVER - An Air of Unreality (Rouge Art 0073; France) “An “air of unreality” characterizes the best free improvisation. This performance—captured during last year’s Vision Festival in Manhattan’s Judson Church—definitely ranks among the best on record this year. Part of this unreality has to do with finding beauty and gratification in uncertainty, something that so often makes reality difficult to bear. Another part is transcendence, both of person and pedigree: the idea of a musician effaced by their instrument, and then by their creation. Music that, if not divorced from each musician’s lineage, then certainly—as the truism goes—surpassing their sum. Joëlle Léandre, Mat Maneri, and Gerald Cleaver as bass, viola, and drums, and then as something else entirely.
Absorption is as good a benchmark as any when attempting to evaluate improvisation. Even after several listens, I found myself surprised each time that An Air of Unreality was already concluding. Maneri and Léandre are a proven pairing, neither afraid of all the pitches and ambiguity that lie between the notes. The microtonal improvisation Maneri inherited from his father has parallels with the inflections of many folk traditions, and his close work in recent years with pianist Lucian Ban seems to have drawn even more of that influence into his playing. These deep cultural wells, authentic music of story-telling—and often of stunning virtuosity—are the places Léandre draws from, as well. “Unreal II” develops the meandering, melancholic quality of a Romanian doina, a rhythmically free and largely improvised folk lament.
Cleaver compliments the strings nicely. A robust and almost absurdly versatile drummer, his restraint here is commendable. He bides much of his time focused on color and accent, a palette heavy in cymbals, rattles, bells. He’s often able to anticipate points Léandre and Maneri wish to emphasize, underscoring each with an emphatic kick or thunderous tom hit. Still, he’s unafraid of making leading, muscular moves to goad his companions in new directions. Late in “Unreal I” he finds a vein of rhythm in Léandre’s low grinding drone and opens it into a propulsive groove, an brief and unforeseen measure of order in previously restless music.
The Vision Festival, celebrating its 20th edition in 2015, has become the last bastion for large-scale celebration of this music in a country that is often painfully indifferent to the avant-garde. Its annual rosters consist of none less than titans of creative music, and last year was no different. Listening to An Air of Unreality, documenting about half of the trio’s late Saturday night set, it’s hard to imagine a more earnest statement of improvisation’s vitality, or—even among such a field of giants—that many other performances that week could have reached Judson Trio’s apogee.” - Dan Sorrells, FreeJazzBlog
New from Clean Feed & Shhpuma - Nine CDs & One LP!
MATS GUSTAFSSON & CRAIG TABORN - Ljubljana [LP only](Clean Feed 400; Portugal) Featuring Mats Gustafsson slide and baritone saxes and Craig Taborn - piano. Two very different musicians from the wide range of the jazz spectrum, Mats Gustafsson and Craig Taborn played together just once, for the 2015 edition of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, and that explains the chosen title of this LP. The meeting seemed improbable, but in what concerns improvisation, if the protagonists are committed explorers of spontaneity anything can happen, even the most extraordinary music. That was the case – the encounter was recorded and here it is, documented, as it should. Particularly happy with the results, Gustafsson said in an interview: «It was like a kick in the ass; please, give me more challenges like this one, in order to keep my sanity!» Imagine the refined chords defining Taborn’s piano music. Now, mix with it some slap-tonguing in the way only Gustafsson knows how to do with a baritone sax. Does it sound good in your head? Well, in “Ljubljana” it sounds even better, because these two fantastic improvisers created music with their differences, entering each other’s territory. Who said art is a question of compromise? It isn’t. This may well be the jazz album of the year and a landmark on the label as Clean Feed's number 400.
DANIEL LEVIN QUARTET With MAT MANERI / MATT MORAN / TORBJORN ZETTERBERG - Live at Firehouse 12 (Clean Feed 407; Portugal) Live At Firehouse 12 documents the Daniel Levin Quartet in live performance with its current working line-up, now featuring Mat Maneri on viola. The new palette of timbres and textures afforded by the change in instrumentation from trumpet to viola provides ample opportunities for the band to explore previously uncharted territory, and the musicians take full advantage here, producing music that sounds fresh and exciting. At the same time, there is a sense of familiarity, as the music often travels along several of the distinctly original sonic paths that Daniel Levin and his quartet have forged over many years. In fact, with this recording, Levin chose to focus on four of the key compositional forms, or “archetypal images”, that have been in consistent use by the quartet since its inception in 2001. To round out the program, there are fully improvised duos from Zetterberg and Moran, and also from Levin and Maneri, who can frequently be found working as a stand- alone duo, apart from the quartet. The music that results from this unique combination of precedents and antecedents can be extremely subtle or epic; it can delight itself in the abstract marvels of timbre and texture; it can embrace the beauty of a melody while exploring rhythm in unexpected ways, but at its core, it’s always lyrical. The mysteries and intricacies within the music invite us to keep coming back to it, in order to uncover yet another layer, another detail, to have another experience of enchantment.
CHRIS PITSIOKOS UNIT With BRANDON SEABROOK / TIM DAHL / WEASEL WALTER - Before the Heat Death (Clean Feed 408; Portugal) With only 26 years of age, alto saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos is the face of the new generation of musicians who are changing the New York scene. Wild, fierce and raw, his personal playing style is making waves all around, and it’s not a real surprise to find in his Unit some of the most adventurous figures active in the frontier between jazz and rock, namely Brandon Seabrook (Peter Evans, Anthony Braxton, Seabrook Power Plant), Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, Pulverize the Sound) and Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, Cellular Chaos). On previous releases, which include musicians like Philip White, Ron Anderson and Kevin Shea, or as a soloist, he’s been committed to the expansion of the possibilities of his instrument, pushing it beyond its limits under the influence of noise music and extreme contemporary composers like Iannis Xenakis and Helmut Lachenmann. For this project he wants something else: to play jazz with all its formal aspects, using the melody-improvisation-melody traditional structure but stuffing it with his experimental aesthetical vision. “Before the Heat Death” is the consequence, equating what we usually recognize as jazz with bizarre and even unique materials. It’s so exciting that you start jumping like crazy in your living room.
LISA MEZZACAPPA With AARON BENNETT / JOHN FINKBEINER / TIM PERKIS / WILLIAM WINANT / JORDAN GLENN - avantNOIR (Clean Feed 401; Portugal) San Francisco Bay Area bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa draws inspiration from a wide range of sources in her music, from film to visual art to science. Her newest release, avantNOIR, is a suite of compositions for jazz sextet based on noir crime fiction—classic works by Dashiell Hammett set in San Francisco, and later works by Paul Auster that are part of his New York Trilogy. Mezzacappa probes the psychological depths of these stories, creating musical profiles of characters like Big Flora from Hammett’s The Big Knockover, and Daniel Quinn from Auster’s City of Glass. She also uses clues from detective’s cases—addresses, aliases, phone numbers, hotel rooms—and translates them into musical structures, melodies and rhythms, in a kind of postmodern jazz serialism. The result is a contemporary jazz gem influenced as much by Charles Ives and Pierre Boulez as by Eric Dolphy and Henry Threadgill.
Mezzacappa’s partners in crime couldn’t be better suited to the challenge of navigating her sometimes gnarly, sometimes spacious but always imaginative music. Guitarist John Finkbeiner and tenor saxophonist Aaron Bennett were regulars in the California edition of Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra, and have been part of Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch quartet for nine years. Jordan Glenn, of Fred Frith’s current trio, is one of the Bay Area’s most in-demand and versatile drummers. Tim Perkis is a pioneer of laptop improvisation, and adds a supremely sensitive layer of sound to the compositions. And veteran percussionist William Winant, well known in contemporary music circles and a longtime associate of avant-jazz heroes John Zorn, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell and others, plays vibraphone and Foley sound effects—rotary phone, typewriter, hotel desk bells—as part of the record’s rich and mysterious sonic landscape.
ANGLES 9 [With MARTIN KUCHIN/MATTIAS STAHL/MAGNUS BROO/JOHAN BERTHLING/ et al] - Disappeared Behind the Sun (Clean Feed 405; Portugal) Personnel: Martin Küchen - alto & tenor saxophones, Magnus Broo - trumpet, Goran Kajfes - cornet, Mats Äleklint - trombone. Eirik Hegdal baritone saxophone, Alexander Zethson - piano, Mattias Ståhl - vibraphone, Johan Berthling double bass and Andreas Werliin drums.
Martin Kuchen’s nonet returns for more avant-jazz to dance to, confirming once again that creative music with political conscience can be festive, even considering the seriousness of the subject of this record. The title is an expression given to people who are taken away and put into solitary confinement, with its relatives knowing anything about the prisoners whereabouts. That’s what is happening usually in the Middle East, from Egypt to occupied Palestine. The melodies introduced by the compositions are very simple and very suggestive, leaving to the improvisations all the complexity and also the essential of the fireworks. And that’s what is the most important in “Disappeared Behind the Sun”, just like it was in the previous albums of Angles 9 and Angles 6. The refrains played by the large horn frontline with its African and Swedish folk connotations and the lively pulsation maintained by the rhythmic section have the power to seduce every sensible ear, and the connection to the most “difficult” parts follow in a natural way. It’s impossible not to like this challenging, energized and puzzling successor of three big bands, mixing it in a highly intelligent project: Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, Carla Bley’s Jazz Composers Orchestra and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra are very much alive in this exciting new record of the best jazz played in Europe today.
GORILLA MASK With PETER VAN HUFFEL/ROLAND FUDEZIUS/RUDI FISCHERLEHNER - Iron Lung (Clean Feed 402; Portugal) Personnel: Peter Van Huffel - alto saxophone, Roland Fidezius - electric bass & effects and Rudi Fischerlehner - drums. After the broad success of “Bite My Blues”, Canadian saxophonist Peter Van Huffel’s Berlin band Gorilla Mask is back with more music; not to cover the foot imprints of his previous work but going beyond a good number of steps. You can’t say anymore that this project consists of a mix of jazz with punk and metal – the kind of sonic assault heard on “Iron Lung” has an identity of its own, inclusively because it’s not only a projection of raw energy. There’s purpose, method and order in a unique way, even if the alto sax makes us think of an Arthur Blythe high on methamphetamines. Roland Fidezius’ and Rudi Fischerlehner’s repetitive patterns give focus to the overall chaos of dissonance, atonality, free flowing multiphonics and electric noise, turning this post-everything proposal into a wonder of sound sculpting and form made from debris: a divergent, deviant, subversive, perverse masterpiece which exposes the human face behind the gorilla mask.
BALLROGG With KLAUS ELLERHUSEN/ROGER ARNTZEN/IVAR GRYDELAND - Abaft the Beam (Clean Feed 403; Portugal) Personnel: Klaus Ellerhusen Holm - b-clarinet, bass clarinet, bass amplification, Roger Arntzen - double bass and Ivar Grydeland pedal steel guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, drum machine. For some time, and for two released albums, Ballrogg was the name of the duo formed by clarinetist and saxophonist Klaus Ellerhusen Holm (Honest John, Large Unit) and double bassist Roger Arntzen (In the Country, Chrome Hill), identified by a captivating approach which combined an exploration of the influence of Jimmy Giufree and Eric Dolphy’s particular brand of jazz with the kind of non-linear structures patented by the indeterminist new music composer Morton Feldman. Meanwhile, a third element joined the project and things got more complex, and that because Ivar Grydeland (Huntsville, Dans les Arbres) brought with him a strong country & western influence. Pointed out as the Bill Frisell of experimental improvised music, Grydeland’s pedal steel guitar and banjo contributions are key to the “free chamber Americana” now proposed by the group, in a much clearer way than the one played by the Chicago’s band Town & Country. Curiously enough, neither of these musicians are from the United States and the music itself denounces its Scandinavian origin. The ability of the North European scene to reinvent «American classical music» (the label Duke Ellington gave to jazz) and even to reinvent the American folk roots is legendary, and here we have one precious example.
VELKRO - Too Lazy to Panic (Clean Feed 404; Portugal) Featuring: Boštjan Simon sax, electronics, Stephan Meidell guitar, bass, percussion, electronics, Luis Candeias drums, percussion. “Lean back and give it time to grow”, asks Velkro to the listener in the liner-notes of their new CD, “Too Lazy to Panic”. In fact, the compositions by the trio with Bostjan Simon, Stephan Meidell and Luís Candeias need your attention to develop. They may be intense, but there’s no hurries. This hybrid of jazz with psychedelic jamming rock and experimental electronic music – mostly, the kind of electronica triggered by a guitar – is slow, and even when things start to get agitated you feel that behind all the unquietness is a steady heartbeat. It seems that someone is watching you, immobile, from the shadows, and yes, that’s a dark feeling, in spite of all the colors called to action. There are beautiful melodies and there are harsh noises, there are contagious grooves and there are abstract dreamy sequences – everything searching for a balance and only finding it precariously. The music is always at the imminence to fall, but keeps flowing and flowing, hypnotically imprisoning us inside.
JEAN- BRICE GODET - Lignes De Cretes (Portugal 406; Portugal) Personnel: Jean-Brice Godet clarinets, radio, dictaphones, Pascal Niggenkemper double bass, objects and Sylvain Darrifourcq drums, percussions, zither.
The name of French clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet may not ring a bell in the minds of American, German or Japanese jazz fans, but if we say he’s a regular companion of the celebrated bassist Joelle Léandre and remember that he already worked with the likes of Anthony Braxton and Fred Frith you have sufficient indication that an album signed by him really deserves an attentive listening. In this “Lignes de Crêtes” profiting from the company of two top figures of the new European scene, Pascal Niggenkemper and Sylvain Darrifourcq, Godet proposes a collection of «sound stories» suggesting the dances of «both aboriginal and punk tribes», to quote the liner notes. The trio in this record is the confluence of two of Godet’s projects, one his duo with drummer Darrifourcq, the other his Mujô Quartet, from which comes Niggenkemper and his double bass. This results in a musical formula which is in part faithful to the free jazz tradition and in the other goes to uncharted territory, in order to explore the ideas of impermanence and imperfection – more exactly, to give «diligence to a road of chaos», as Matthieu Malgrange puts it. Don’t be frightened by the words “imperfection” and “chaos”: the music is wonderful. Strange, yes, but wonderful.
JOANA GAMA / LUIS FERNANDES / RICARDO JACINTO - Harmonies (Shhpuma 027; Portugal) Featuring: Joana Gama piano, Luis Fernandes electronics Ricardo and Jacinto cello, electronics. After QUEST, the piano and electronics duo by Joana Gama and Luís Fernandes, and SATIE.150, Gama’s project signaling the 150th anniversary of the composer Erik Satie, HARMONIES is the combination of those two musical investments, but adding a third element: cellist Ricardo Jacinto, also well known as a sound and visual artist. This is the next and brilliant step to the album QUEST, which content wasn’t already defined by Joana Gama’s parallel incursions in contemporary classical music or Luís Fernandes’ activities in the fields of rock and ambient electronica, with the band peixe:avião and under the name The Astroboy or Landforms. It’s much more than that: the exploration of a new musical ground alternative to previous paradigms, but now profiting from the contributions of Jacinto, a musician usually committed to experimental music and improvisation. Curiously enough, the simple melodies suggested by Satie give a more evident pop flavor to the pieces at the same time that the constructions get more experimental. The music keeps being puzzling and mysterious, but the beauty of it all is overwhelming.
HUSH POINT [JOHN McNEIL / JEREMY UDDEN / ARYEH KOBRINSKY / ANTHONY PINCIOTTI] - Hush Point III (Sunnyside ; USA) Trumpeter John McNeil is a real trooper, battling and overcoming much physical adversity, but nevertheless engaging in long-term projects such as the group Hush Point. Joined by saxophonist Jeremy Udden, with Aryeh Kobrinsky on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums, McNeil's somewhat idiosyncratic sense of humor (musical and otherwise) is on display, as is his desire to forge a true group sound and aesthetic.
The group's marvelous, and purposefully underwhelming third release Hush Point III is full of so much humor combined with seriousness of purpose and high musicianship that it can be played over and over and continue to surprise and shock in its own underhanded and subversive way (the earlier two are Hush Point and Blues and Reds). You can get a good feeling for Hush Point's unique attitude here.
As stated in the review of McNeil's 2006 release East Coast Cool, the best jazz has a subversive quality about it, coming from the direct connection of player's heart and soul with the listener, rather than mere "jazz" stylings. McNeil would much rather speak softly, even whisper rather than shout, and in this endeavor has found the perfect partner in Udden.
Udden has paid his dues, notably in Russ Gershon's Either/Orchestra (see Ethiopiques 20: Live In Addis) and possesses one of the most beautiful saxophone sounds in the business (think Paul Desmond). Gershon had the same kind serious- tongue-in-cheek attitude as McNeil and Udden seems to have the same kind of outlook. As an interesting aside, Udden has added the C-melody saxophone to his arsenal, evoking the memory of Frankie Trumbauer, and gets top billing on the musician listing.
In any case, Hush Point's highly refracted, personal and extremely tight brand of mainstream, accessible music, presented by the dry and transparent recorded sound is completely engrossing from beginning to end. There is structure, harmony, swing within arrangements both fixed and flexible, and the record sounds like a live set.
The music is hip, very, very ironically cool and just plain fun while being deeply thoughtful, from the originals, (mostly McNeil, but also Udden's "Azmari Bar" and Kobrinsky's "It's A Pocketbook") to a fantastic performance of the beautiful standard, "More Than You Know," which is in the middle of a natural sounding suite of three tracks. Hush Point III, whatever label is applied to it, is simply excellent music making.” - Budd Kopman
SPLIT CYCLE [SAMUEL BLAIS/AKIRA ISHIGURO/NICOLAS LETMAN-BURTINOVIC/ALAIN BOURGEOIS] - 2 (SOS 04; USA) Featuring Samuel Blais on alto & bari saxes, Akira Ishiguro on electric guitar, Nicolas Letman-Butinovic on contrabass and Alain Bourgeois on drums. Bassist and composer Nico Letman-Burtinovic has played here at DMG a half dozen times over the past few years and each time with different personnel. He leads several different bands and this one includes members from Quebec. According to the liner notes, Split Cycle has been around for seven years and this is their second disc. There are a dozen songs here, all originals written by three of the four members of the quartet. Right from the opener, “Road Kill”, something special is going on. The band is tight and the music challenging and quick-changing with short yet inspired solos which evolve out of the demanding twists and turns. What makes this music special is that whenever someone solos, the rest of the band has to work their way through those more intricate arrangements: speeding up, slowing down and never losing their way. On “Quebec City Werewolf”, the bari sax and bowed bass play strong harmonies together before the rest of the quartet kicks in. Mr. Letman increases the tempo by slapping his bass faster and faster at an astonishing pace before the piece winds down to a slower midsection. You can tell that a great deal of preparation went into composing of the dozen pieces as each one is demanding in different ways, you never know which direction it will take next. Both Mr. Ishiguro on guitar and Mr. Blais on saxes take some incredible solos throughout although it is the ensemble playing that is so phenomenal. “Tickle Tickle” is a great jazz/rocker with a tight ever-shifting structure and intricate interplay from the guitar and sax. Each piece is very different so it will take some time to fully absorb the wealth of ideas going on here. On occasion Mr. Ishiguro uses that John Abercrombie-like sustain-tone and plays some nifty spiked solos. If you thought that you had heard most of the great bari sax players (like John Surman, Hamiet Buiett or Charles Evans), then wait til you hear Samuel Blais on bari,he is also pretty great! There are some more modest moments here as well, although we never know when the next roller coaster ride will show up. So put on your seat belts and enjoy the ride! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BLAISE SIWULA / LUCIANO TROJA - Rags to Ragas (No Frills Music 012; USA) Featuring Blaise Siwula on clarinet and alto sax and Luciano Troja on piano. I’ve known saxist Blaise Siwula for for many years, especially since he ran the weekly free music series, C.O.M.A., at ABC-No-Rio on Rivington St., not too far from DMG, since it began in 1998. Like DMG’s own Sunday Free Music Series, C.O.M.A. also had hundreds of musicians playing throughout its long history. The series sadly came to an end in 2013, but Mr. Siwula remains the endless explorer, continuing to meet with improvisers from around the world. Siwula also started his own No-Frills label and has released a dozen discs so far. I’ve reviewed some half dozen of these discs so far and I am amazed at the way Mr. Siwula reinvents himself with each different group of players. Last Sunday (1/29/17), Blaise played here with pianist Eric Plaks and Siwula played mostly tenor sax which is a rarity and still sounded strong, his tone more traditional than usual, perhaps showing his jazz roots?!?
For this disc, Siwula plays with a pianist named Luciano Troja, who is Italian and has appeared on a few CDs for the Splasch and Slam labels. The liner notes mention that this is the first duo CD by this duo, after they recorded three trio discs. Siwula starts off on clarinet, the duo playing in a most laid-back, calm way when they begin. The music has an almost majestic vibe at times with Blaise playing more like an old-timer on the clarinet, most charming, the piece winding down to a slow, sad, skeletal conclusion. Siwula plays slow and assured on “Sun Surgency”, his alto sax, more like a Lester Young tenor, warm and tender. “There and Back Again” stops time and sounds like a soundtrack of a old, familiar (Bogart?) film. “You Stepped Out of a Dream” might be a better title for this enchanting sort of ballad. Slowly this piece evolves into a mesmerizing freer section and then back down to the ballad. “Ragtime in Brooklyn” isn’t really ragtime yet it does work its way through some ragtime-like twists and turns. Very strange the way they blend several styles from jazz’ long history: inside to outside quickly and smoothly. These two make a good pair as Blaise is playful and provides a never-ending stream of lines while Mr. Troja, moves from a more modest, skeletal lines to the occasional rambunctious twists. This disc is more inside that I would’ve imagined but no less inventive. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SEAN ALI - My Tongue Crumbles Away (Neither Nor Records 007; USA) Featuring Sean Ali on solo double bass & cassette player. There seems to a wealth of fine double bassists in the NYC area and many of them have played DMG on several occasions: Shayna Dulberger, Brandon Lopez, Henry Frazer, Moppa Elliott and many more. We had a bass duo here a couple of years back with Pascal Niggenkemper and Sean Ali. Both like to experiment and manipulate the sounds of their basses. Mr. Ali has played here several times and never fails to impress me with his experimental approach to the bass. Mr. Ali is part of yet another Downtown underground scene, playing with Carlo Costa, David Grollman and Natura Morta with Frantz Loriot.
When this piece begins, we hear a layer of floating voices bathed in bits of static, those would be the cassettes. Ali starts bowing the bass with nervous energy, bending the strings, put us all on the edge. When Ali bows furiously on “Missing Persons Report”, it is almost too intense yet the bent strings sound like a soundtrack for the way life is now, somewhat disorienting. Iy=t is the sound of an old person wheezing, having a hard time breathing. Ali keeps the suspense going by bang slowly on the strings in a most ritualistic way. I recall Mr. Ali putting some objects in between his strings ands then bowing the objects. This is what it sounds like on a later piece and it is rather disturbing with some exploding percussion going on. It sounds like certain sounds are more for their effect yet I was transformed by the alien sounds into something else. Sean Ali will play a solo bass set here next month, so be aware. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
In stock Next Week:
GEORGE LEWIS & SPLITTER ORCHESTER - Creative Construction Set (Mikroton 50; Russia) An amazing album of advanced techniques and sonic possibilities from the Berlin based Splitter Orchester, bringing together 25 superlative players from the "Echtzeitmusik" electroacoustic improvisation, here performing George Lewis's composition "Creative Construction Set".
JOHN TILBURY / JOHN LELY / DIRAR KALASH // CHRISTIAN WOLFF - Seaside (Another Timbre 100; UK) 1st recordings of John Tilbury playing clavichord, recorded on his own instrument at his home, combined with improvised trios for clavichord, oud (played by Dirar Kalash) and John Lely's distinctive low-key electronics, plus compositions by Christian Wolff & John Lely.
MKM With JASON KAHN / GUNTER MULLER / NORBERT MOSLANG - Instants // Paris (Mikroton 51; Russia) The 2nd release from the electroacoustic improvising trio of Jason Kahn (analog synthesizer), Gunter Muller (percussion-based samples and electronics) and Norbert Moslang (cracked everyday electronics), performing live at Les Instants Chavires in Paris, France.
Three Great Recent Releases from Erstwhile:
KEITH ROWE - The Room Extended [4 CD Set](Erstwhile 004-4; USA) Although Keith Rowe’s career stretches back some fifty years (early AMM from the mid-sixties), his solo records are few and far between. This is only Mr. Rowe’s fourth solo effort, so we know that he is very selective about each and every release. The last one was called ’The Room’, hence this one is titled ‘The Room Extended’. Mr. Rowe is known as a pioneer of the guitar-on-table approach and has worked hard at manipulating sounds with the care of a micro-surgeon. Why a four CD set? Mr. Rowe was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years back so his time is at recording is limited, hence the picture of a brain scan on the CD cover. The New York School of composers like Morton Feldman, John Cage and Christian Wolff have long been influential to Mr. Rowe. The way they deal with silence and space, casts a shadow on the way Mr. Rowe also crafts his approach. Rowe also took his time to work on this immense tour-de-force, cautiously adding fragments of older recordings to the seamless flow of events. I am currently listening to this 4 disc set for the second time in its entirety. Parts of it remind me of Morton Feldman’s Second String Quartet, another 4 hour, often 4 CD set which is nearly impossible to listen to in one sitting. This effort was recorded at Mr. Rowe’s home studio and took three years to complete. I am sitting in front of my computer at home, listening intently, watching the gray clouds roll by. Occasionally the sun will cut through and warm the room a bit. The sounds of rubbed, plucked or bowed strings, distant static, electric wires slowly manipulated, ghost-like voices floating on top, many small sounds hard to identify yet still sublimely crafted. I took a yoga class earlier today and am learning how to calm down and listen to the silence without the usual distractions. This has helped me to focus and listen patiently to this long, ever-evolving work. Could this be Keith Rowe’s last solo offering?!? Hmmm… No matter, since it is a masterwork in a class of it own. It will take some time to full absorb it in its entirety but feels like it well worth the effort. Special thanks to Mr. Rowe, Jon Abbey and Yuko Zama at Erstwhile for leaving us with this jewel. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
4 CD Set $36
TAKU UNAMI / DEVIN DiSANTO - self/titled (Erstwhile ErstLive 013; USA) Like most discs on Erstwhile, there is very little information on this disc outside of where (Amplify 2015 festival, Fridman Gallery, NYC) and when (November of 2015) it was recorded. I know that Taku Unami has played laptop and guitar in the past and can be found on some two dozen discs on the Erstwhile and Hibari labels. Devin DiSanto was on one previous disc for Erstwhile and plays everyday objects to coax sounds from. There are also a couple of pictures of DiSanto talking into a microphone with a laptop at his side. Unami looks as if he is playing a keyboard and laptop simultaneously in another picture. What we have here is a collection of ambient sounds: a spoken word voice, electronic drones, samples of a door bell or buzzers, an Hawaiian steel guitar or country song section, a rain storm, an alarm going off here and there… Every sound seems to evoke of series of scenes or a mood. Kind of like waiting in a doctor’s office and wondering what will happen next. This disc creates an environment and drops us off in the middle. Partial spoken words or fragments on conversations drift by. Another impressive gem from the Erstwhile empire. - BLG/DMG
GRAHAM LAMBKIN - Community (Erstwhile ErstSolo; USA) “I’ve grown into my own and my daily interactions have been tapered by convenience and algorithms, how I’ve understood community has changed. At this point in my life, I think of it less as a system of intimate relationships and more as a map of places, faces, and things that provide environmental stability while I’m in transit. I don’t really view my most cherished relationships as part of my community anymore, they’re a part of me; my community, as I see it now, is what supports me between home and everywhere else: my specific rotation of tunes in my car (always either Beyoncé, Kanye, T-Swift, Kendrick, or DJ Rashad), Mari with an “I” at my favorite grocery store who once paid for my lunch when my debit card was declined, my neighbor who is a retired school teacher and gives me copious handfuls of dinner mints for carrying her groceries. My loved ones (present and absent) get me up each morning, but it’s my community (my morning audio #squad, anyone I’ve ever bought a bottle of fizzy water from, every familiar face I’ve nodded at between my car and my apartment door) that gets me through. It’s during these kinds of banal transactions when I reflect most upon my role in my community. Whenever I’m pumping gas at that BP station ostensibly only staffed by a perpetually sincere Indian woman and a proud hippy dude, or whenever 80-year-old Ron who drives my students home after school parks his bus in front of my car and laughs at how I still sport Minnesota plates in Wisconsin, I think about what I mean — if anything — to these people who don’t really know me, but who spend a fair amount of time in my life. What makes up their communities? Who matters in their lives? What changes for them when they move around or when things move around them? What stays?” - Jackson Scott, TinyMixTapes / I hope to do my own review if and when I find the time. - BLG/DMG
2 CD Set $22
Reissues, Historic & Archival Recordings:
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - Nothing In Particular: The Lost 1968 Dutch Broadcast (All Access 150; Japan) "In February 1968, Jefferson Airplane's manager Bill Graham was fired after Grace Slick delivered an 'either he goes or I go' ultimatum. Bill Thompson took over as permanent manager and set about consolidating the group's financial security, establishing Icebag Corp. to oversee the band's publishing interests. In mid-1968, the group was photographed for a Life magazine story on 'The New Rock', appearing on the cover of the 28th June edition. They undertook their first major tour of Europe in August and September 1968, playing alongside the The Doors in the Netherlands, England, Germany, and Sweden. In a notorious incident at their concert in Amsterdam on 15th September, while the Airplane were performing 'Plastic Fantastic Lover', Doors singer Jim Morrison, under the influence of a combination of drugs that fans had given him, appeared on stage and began dancing 'like a pinwheel'. As the group played faster and faster, Morrison spun around wildly until he finally fell senseless on the stage at Marty Balin's feet. Morrison was unable to perform his set with the Doors and was hospitalized while keyboardist Ray Manzarek was forced to sing all the vocals. It was also during this tour that Slick and Morrison allegedly engaged in a brief sexual relationship, described in Slick's 1998 autobiography. Jefferson Airplane's fourth LP, Crown of Creation (released in September 1968), was a commercial success, peaking at No. 6 on the album chart. The Airplane's appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the fall of that year caused a minor stir when Grace Slick appeared in blackface (she claimed she simply wanted to wear all the makeup she saw in her dressing room) and raised her fist in the Black Panther Party's salute after singing 'Crown Of Creation'."
MARION BROWN QUARTET With BRANDON ROSS / JACK GREGG / STEVE McGRAVEN - Five Improvisations (Be! Free 6217; EEC) Featuring Marion Brown on alto sax, Brandon Ross on guitar, Jack Gregg on bass and Steve McCraven on drums. Recorded March 13, 1977 in Cologne, Germany. Word is that this is pretty great but I haven’t heard it yet. I thoughI owned all or most of Marion Brown had recorded but this one slipped through my fingers. Can’t wait tho hear it myself.
ORNETTE COLEMAN With DON CHERRY / CHARLIE HADEN / ED BLACKWELL / BILLY HIGGINS / WALTER NORRIS / SHELLY MANNE / RED MITCHELL / FREDDIE HUBBARD / ERIC DOLPHY / et al - Complete Albums Collection: 1958-1962 (Enlightenment 9104; EEC) Featuring over five hours of music, remastered to the highest standard possible, this collection serves as both an excellent starting point for those new to this musical genius, and as a welcome reminder of Coleman's most acclaimed and respected era, from a career that lasted the best part of 70 years, ended only by the man's passing in 2015 at the age of 85. Albums include: ’Something Else’, ‘Tomorrow is the Question!’, ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’, ‘This is Our Music’, ‘Change of the Century’, ‘Ornette!’, ‘Ornette on Tenor’ and ‘Free Jazz’.
4 CD Set $18
SONNY STITT - Classic Albums Collection 1957-1963 (Enlightenment 9107; EEC) Featuring appearances from a wide range of other jazz greats, and demonstrating Stitt's extraordinary skill on both the alto and tenor saxophones, this compilation serve as both a perfect introduction to this master musician, and as a welcome reminder of why, some 35 years after his passing in 1982, he retains such respect and acclaim among the jazz cognoscenti.
4 CD Set $18
LP Only/Mostly Section:
MASSACRE - Killing Time [2 LP Set](Spittle Records 067; Italy) Spittle Records present an expanded reissue of Massacre's Killing Time, originally released in 1981. Following the breakup of Cambridge's avant-rock legends, Henry Cow, guitarist Fred Frith moved to NYC in 1979, and soon found himself deep in the heart of the city's robust post-punk and free-jazz scenes. He performed with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher, from the group Material, as a power trio of sorts under the moniker of Massacre. The group quickly garnered a reputation around town, and around the world for that matter, as a heavy and heady band that experimented greatly with rhythm, time signatures, and tone. As Frith himself put it, "the group was a direct response to New York. It was a very aggressive group, kind of my reaction to the whole New York rock club scene." Massacre released one album, Killing Time, before disbanding for nearly 20 years. Their first wave as a group crashed fast and furiously and this one album, recorded in part live in Paris, and in part at Brooklyn's OAO Studio, is a perfect encapsulation of early '80s NYC. In addition to the original album, first released on Celluloid in 1981, this deluxe three-sided double LP includes eight bonus tracks recorded live between '80 and '81 in San Francisco and at Inroads and CBGB in NYC. Avant-jazz-post-punk-noise of the highest order from several legends and one of the most important projects Frith and Laswell were ever involved in.
2 LP ser $28
ALBERT AYLER - The Hilversum Sessions (Modern Silence 012; Malta) Modern Silence present a reissue of Albert Ayler's The Hilversum Sessions, originally released in 1980. "Recorded in the Dutch city of Hilversum, The Hilversum Sessions presents Albert Ayler in all his blowzy, testifying glory, fronting a quartet that includes trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Gary Peacock, and drummer Sunny Murray. The repertoire includes five Ayler originals, notably his signature tunes 'Angels,' 'Ghosts,' and 'Spirits.' It's easy to forget how starkly original Ayler was, given the untold number of contemporary free saxophonists who've built entire concepts around his sax style. This album is a welcome reminder. Imitators adopt surface characteristics of Ayler's music - manifested mostly in the use of certain 'extended' techniques - but very few capture the subtlety of which he was capable: the contrasts of dynamics, articulation, vibrato, register and phrasing; the sense of drama as a solo unfolds. Obviously, he's in collegial company here. However misused his example has been by lesser musicians, this music retains an everlasting power" - Chris Kelsey, JazzTimes. 180 gram vinyl; numbered edition of 500 copies.
AMIRAM RIGAI//ILHAN MIMAROGLU/MANOLIS KALOMIRI/PAUL BEN-HAIM/ et al - Piano Music Of The Near East (Modern Silence 018; Malta) Modern Silence present a reissue of Piano Music Of The Near East, originally released in 1963. This stunning 20th-century piano music was inspired by national traditions but uses the language and form of Western music. Features pieces by: Manolis Kalomiri, Paul Ben-Haim, Ilhan Mimaroglu, Andre Amine Hossein, Anis Fuleihan, and Amiran Rigai. All works played on piano by Amiran Rigai. From the original liner notes: "In the countries of the Near East, as in any other country where occidental culture is adoptive, musical composition modeled after its occidental counterpart came into being out of an intellectual necessity: that of finding a substitute for a traditional music which, under the dictate of its very essence, resisted evolution and was consequently in decay. It was logical, as far as both the ideals and the basic methods of this process of substitution were concerned, that the fashioning be done after the examples of the national schools of the late nineteenth-century Europe. The first stream of the westernized near eastern music was therefore romantic (or post-romantic, or impressionist) in its overall gesture. Regardless of the composition date of each individual opus, all of the works recorded here fall into this category: music inspired by national traditions (musical, or other), displaying at least that intangible called 'national character' whenever a national element is not evident, but employing a language and a medium belonging to western music (...)"
GEOREG RUSSELL and HIS ORCHESTRA Feat: BILL EVANS - Jazz In The Space Age (Doxy ACV 2077; Russia) Doxy present a reissue of George Russell And His Orchestra's Jazz In The Space Age, featuring Bill Evans and originally released in 1960. From the original liner notes of Burt Korall: "(...) This album points the way to the future. It is prophetic because George Russell felt compelled to make it so. 'Jazz is changing, the sixties could well be a crucial decade,' says the composer. 'One thing is certain. A variety of sound and rhythms, many of which are alien to what audiences are used to, will find their way into jazz.' Unaccountably, things we hear around us every day, very humans things, have either disappeared or been left out of jazz as we know it. 'Progress is inevitable. Today's musical palette is just not adequate.' All feelings relative to life and beauty cannot be validly expressed with techniques now in vogue. What is more, jazz is an evolving art; it is not meant to be restricted. The very nature of the music and its history indicate this. The jazz music of the future? What will it be like? Well, the techniques are going to get more complex, and it will be a challenge for the composer to master the techniques and yet preserve his intuitive approach. And it will be a challenge to the improviser to master these techniques and also preserve the intuitive, earthy dignity of jazz (...)" Edition of 500.
PRINCE LASHA QUINTET FEATURING SONNY SIMMONS - The Cry (Doxy ACVB 2078; Russia) Doxy present a reissue of Prince Lasha Quintet's The Cry, featuring Sonny Simmons and originally released in 1963. "This 1962 recording is one of the prize items of the free-jazz movement as it flowered in California. It teams flutist Prince Lasha and alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons, who co-wrote all the songs and play with an esprit de duo that reflects their long-term partnership. Lasha, who also played saxophone, was a childhood friend of Ornette Coleman and became part of his circle in Los Angeles. Simmons, a Louisiana native who grew up in Oakland, came under Coleman's influence while honing his own terse, lyrically heated style. Though the overall sound of The Cry! very much proceeds from Ornette's harmolodic 'new thing' (while absorbing earlier styles ranging from Ellington 'exotica' to Waller 'erotica') it's a racier vehicle that takes hairier turns. Propelled by the clean and steady dual basses of Gary Peacock and Mark Proctor (on three tracks, Peacock goes it alone), Lasha and Simmons harmonize with as much zip and warmth as they put into their solos." - Lloyd Sachs. Edition of 500.
AHMED ABDUL-MALIK - The Eastern Moods Of Ahmed Abdul-Malik (Doxy ACV 2084; Russia) Doxy present a reissue of Ahmed Abdul-Malik's The Eastern Moods Of Ahmed Abdul-Malik, originally released in 1962. One of the most compelling albums ever recorded by Ahmed Abdul-Malik, the set's got a style that's very strongly in keeping with the "eastern moods" of the title - with less of a jazz sound than some of Abdul Malik's other work, and more spare, exotic instrumentation overall. The group on the set is a trio - Ahmed on bass and oud, Bilal Abdurrahman on alto, Korean reed flute, and percussion, and William Henry Allen on bass and percussion. With that kind of lineup, you can imagine the feel - lots of spare rhythms, with snaking reed work over the top, done in a very evocative way - and although there's less jazz than usual, the alto sax solos still give the record enough of a jazz component to set it apart from straight world music. The album kicks off with a surprisingly great, and incredibly haunting, take on "Summertime", then rolls into some really wonderful original tunes that include "Ancient Scene", "Magrebi", and "Shoof Habebe". From original liner notes: "(...) The music on this album, in spite of the unorthodox instrumentation and exotic titles, should prove itself readily accessible to any listener with an open mind and an interest on the fascinating and original fusion of different musical cultures which it represents. (...)" Edition of 500
LESTER YOUNG With OSCAR PETERSON/BARNEY KESSEL/RAY BROWN/J.C. HEARD - Collates (Doxy ACV 2080; Russia) Doxy present Collates, a reissue of two Lester Young recordings with The Oscar Peterson Trio titled, Lester Young With The Oscar Peterson Trio #1 and Lester Young With The Oscar Peterson Trio #2, both released in 1954. Are you ready to swing with the great Lester Young? A bunch of killer tracks from one of the all-time great tenor saxmen teaming up with pianist Oscar Peterson and his trio: guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer J.C. Heard. Includes his finest performances of the '50s "Ad Lib Blues"; "Just You, Just Me"; "Tea For Two"; "(Back Home Again In) Indiana"; "On The Sunny Side Of The Street"; "Stardust"; "There Will Never Be Another You"; "I Can't Get Started", and more. A really great collection! Edition of 500 (numbered).
ALVARIUS B. [a/k/a ALAN BISHOP from SUN CITY GIRLS] - Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo (Nashazphone 020; Egypt)"Seemingly tossed-off spontaneity is the intoxicant with which Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo is heavily laced. This 39-minute lenticular collage recalls Tangier-era Burroughs in its concealment of structure behind a veneer of arbitrary free association, with Alvarius B. delivering his take on contemporary behavioral dementia in a style that veers from the nocturnal yammer of legendary somniloquist Dion McGregor to salty neo-Yossarian ravings to the casual vitriol of a misanthrope who knows he's entertaining. It's the kind of trip a modern-day Slothrup might take after smoking polyester shrubbery and over-indulging in candiru sushi served by an erotic topiary gardener in exile for masturbating on the wall outside a 19th Century French orphanage - overseen by The Sinister Extemporizer himself, Alan Bishop. It was recorded live all over Cairo (in cars, trains, apartments, garages, cafes, bars, on rooftops, on the street) with a backline that includes little else beyond an acoustic guitar and a radio. Field recordings, glitchy wheeze underpinnings, and snippets of space murble garnish the album, but site-specific stuffing is what gives this kataif its particular flavor: a rapped tribute to the murdered members of a hardcore soccer fan-club; a pas de deux for laptop keyboard and BBC's coverage of Gaza bombings; public demonstrations against the Muslim-Brotherhood-authored Constitution; Monte Carlo Arabic Service's mention of the 70th anniversary of El Alamein battle. Bishop's quilt of screenshots depicts a consciousness informed by an increasingly universal presumption that everything public should be interactive, if only to act as a vessel for contempt. An urbane cannibal fills the twilight bazaar with bacterial karaoke and falsetto bleating slicker than a goat's uterus before disappearing into the crowd at Snotty's Chill-Out Pentagram. Turn a corner and it's an improv duet for acoustic guitar and the pachyderm grind of dirty delivery trucks. All around is mysteriously auto-tuned, proto-mahragan R'n'B crooning right out of a Saharan cellphone rave. A blue-blood places a call to an amplified insect tantrum, and is eavesdropped upon by a seductress loop. Delusional arms suppliers mansplain, as is their wont, and a beautifully dismissive monologue reduces music writers to literary dumbwaiters. The Invisible Hands take a moment to get in touch with their inner Sex Pistol. Prerecorded announcements are abused, quite comedically - the implication being that the only qualifications needed to engage in public discourse (telegenics and a piehole) are grossly insufficient. Alan Bishop stands before you not to praise anything (especially not the pathetic aesthetic championed by pork brosnans and Illuminati blood-drinkers stumbling from one end of their bleachy little swamp to the other, where mediocre meets bland and no amount of chlamydia-flavored tofutti with ground up glass in it will protect them from the constant tularemia rain), but to bury it, deep on the shoreline of Dunning-Kruger, a parting gift from The Sibling Unmoored as he withdraws in disgust. Maybe he'll return after Ramadan, if only to crack open what's left of their skulls like crème brulée, harvest the enlarged amygdala, and render tiny portraits of Pepe The Frog onto their lacerated morgellons. Maybe not." - Seymour Glass California, USA September 2016.
SKULLFLOWER - The Black Iron That Fell From The Sky, to Dwell Within... (Nashazphone 022; Egypt) The inception of an audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt: the shadow stuff from whence dark dreams come. The Triad: dark, light and the animating serpent power are delineated by the Egyptian Gods Set, Horus, and the Apep serpent. Volume one comprises of three received transmissions from the tunnels of Set via the physical envelopes of Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies operating as the occult cell known as Skullflower. The working, the concept, and guiding hand comes from Nashazphone, purveyors of artifacts, dreams and koans, who are currently re-creating and re-writing the myths and cycles of their native land.
ANGELO BADALAMENTI - Evilenko (Rustblade 017LP; Italy) "Superb mix of melancholic melody with illusions, terror spiral to tragic climax with beautiful orchestration. A must buy for fans of Angelo Baldalamenti. features two tracks with Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries), 'Angels Go to Heaven' and 'No Way Out.' Limited colored vinyl 499 copies."
THROTTLE ELEVATOR MUSIC With KAMASI WASHINGTON/AVA MENDOZA/ERIK JEKABSEN/MATT MONTGOMERY/MIKE HUGHES - Retrorespective (Wide Hive Records 334; USA) "Throttle Elevator Music Reunites with Saxophone Star Kamasi Washington for nine new compositions on their fifth And final recording. Throttle rhythm section bassist Matt Montgomery and drummer Mike Hughes are joined by guitarist Eva Mendoza and emerging trumpet player Erik Jekabsen. Retrorespective sonically is a blend of beautiful spiritual songs and energetic well performed music."
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for January of 2017
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - SIMON HANES - JAN 31–FEB 5
9 pm - Tredici Baci with special guests - Sami Stevens (voice) Abigail Reisman (violin) Abby Swidler (violin) Joanna Mattrey (viola) Ezra Weller (trumpet) Daniel Pencer (tenor saxophone) Marie Abe (accordion) Evan Allen (keyboards) Jesse Heasly (bass) Simon Hanes (guitar) JG Thirlwell (voice) Ryan Power (voice)
9 pm - Tredici Baci plays Morricone, Rota, Trovajoli, Thin Lizzy and More
Sami Stevens (voice) Abigail Reisman (violin) Abby Swidler (violin) Joanna Mattrey (viola) Ezra Weller (trumpet) Daniel Pencer (tenor saxophone) Marie Abe (accordion) Evan Allen (keyboards) Jesse Heasly (bass) Simon Hanes
9 pm - Tredici Baci plays Contemporary Works - Sami Stevens (voice) Abigail Reisman (violin) Abby Swidler (violin) Joanna Mattrey (viola) Ezra Weller (trumpet) Daniel Pencer (tenor saxophone) Marie Abe (accordion) Evan Allen (keyboards) Jesse Heasly (bass) Simon Hanes (guitar)
Arts for Art Presents: Artists for a Free World
Sunday February 5: 1pm—4pm
Free to the Public—Limited Seating - Open discussions on current affairs may touch upon Civil Disobedience, how to keep ourselves and others safe (focusing on those at risk) as well as Net Neutrality, NEA, NEH, Copyright Law, Human Rights, Environmental Issues, the Dakota Pipeline, Free Speech, Free Press.
9 pm - Tredici Baci plays Contemporary Works - Sami Stevens (voice) Abigail Reisman (violin) Abby Swidler (violin) Joanna Mattrey (viola) Ezra Weller (trumpet) Daniel Pencer (tenor saxophone) Marie Abe (accordion) Evan Allen (keyboards) Jesse Heasly (bass) Simon Hanes (guitar)
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - KRIS DAVIS - FEB 7–12
9 pm - Kris Davis Trio - Kris Davis (piano) Stephan Crump (bass) Eric McPherson (drums)
9 pm - Kris Davis and Jen Shyu - Kris Davis (piano) Jen Shyu (voice)
9 pm - Kris Davis and Michael Formanek / Kris Davis (piano) Michael Formanek (bass)
9 pm Kris Davis and Julian Lage / Kris Davis (piano) Julian Lage (guitar)
9 pm - Kris Davis and Johnathan Blake - Kris Davis (piano) Johnathan Blake (drums)
9 pm - Kris Davis and Ingrid Laubrock / Kris Davis (piano) Ingrid Laubrock (sax)
There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone.
Only music. All ages are welcome.
Cash Only at the door. There is no phone.
There is no food or beverage served or allowed
just a serious listening environment.
The Stone is booked purely on a curatorial basis
The CORNELIA STREET CAFE - 212-989-9319
29 Cornelia St in the heart of the West Greenwich Village, NYC
Friday Feb 03
9:00PM & 10:30PM AUBREY JOHNSON GROUP - Aubrey Johnson, voice, comp.; Tomoko Omura, violin; Michael Sachs, bass clarinet, alto sax; Glenn Zaleski, piano; Matt Aronoff, bass; Jeremy Noller, drums
Saturday Feb 04
9:00PM & 10:30PM GEORGE GARZONE, BOSTON COLLECTIVE - George Garzone, tenor sax; Phil Grenadier, trumpet; Leo Genovese, piano; Dave Zinno, bass; Bob Gullotti, drums
Mon February 6th:
8:30PM AMRAM & CO - David Amram, piano, french horn, flutes, composition & surprises; Kevin Twigg, drums, glockenspiel; Rene Hart, bass; Elliot Peper, bongos
Tues Feb 7th:
6:00PM CÉSAR HAAS QUARTET - César Haas, guitar; Diego Ferreira, tenor sax; Jonathan Gardner, bass; Michael Yaw, drums
8:00PM VOXECSTATIC: MAYA NOVA QUARTET “DAYS” - Maya Nova, voice; John Di Martino, piano; Peter Slavov, bass; Ronen Itzik, drums
9:30PM VOXECSTATIC: DEANNA KIRK Deanna Kirk, voice; John Di Martino, piano
Wednesday Feb 08
8:01PM NOAM WIESENBERG QUINTET - Godwin Louis, alto sax; Dayna Stephens, tenor sax; Glenn Zaleski, piano; Noam Wiesenberg, bass; Kush Abadey, drums
Thursday Feb 09
6:00PM COWBOYS & FRENCHMEN - Ethan Helm, alto sax; Owen Broder, alto sax; Chris Ziemba, piano; Ethan O'Reilly, bass; Matt Honor, drums
8:01PM THE POWELL BROTHERS - Jonathan Powell, trumpet; Jeremy Powell, tenor sax; Marko Churnchetz, piano; Jeff Miles, guitar; Edward Perez, bass; Allan Mednard, drums
Friday Feb 10
6:00PM MARGARITA ROVENSKAYA, PIANIST
9:00PM & 10:30PM ARI HOENIG BRAZILIAN TRIO - Chico Pinheiro, guitar; Eduardo Belo, bass; Ari Hoenig, drums
Saturday Feb 11
9:00PM & 10:30PM LAGE LUND QUARTET - Lage Lund, guitar; Matt Penman, bass; Obed Calvaire, drums; Micah Thomas, piano
Sunday Feb 12
8:35PM ANOUMAN - Peter Sparacino, saxes; Koran Agan, guitar; Josh Kaye, guitar; Eduardo Belo, bass
Friday, February 10th 8:30 PM
Anti-Social Music Charlie Waters
8:30 pm - Anti-Social Music Drinks Alone
9:30 pm - Charlie Waters presents PEACE FORMS ONE(horn trio) - Josh Sinton & Matt Lavelle
Saturday, February 11th 8:30 PM
8:30pm - YSC’s Owls At Night
Yoon Sun Choi – voice/piano
Dana Lyn – violin
Vinnie Sperrazza – drums
10:00pm - Dana Lyn’s Mother Octopus
Dana Lyn – violin/compositions
Clare Kennedy – cello
Mike McGinnis – clarinet
Ty Citerman – guitar
Vinnie Sperrazza – drums
I-Beam is located at 168 7th Street in Brooklyn, NY 11215 - Directions: SUBWAY: Take the F or R trains to 4th Ave & 9th Street. Walk down 4th ave to 7th street. Make a left on 7th and walk past 3rd ave. We are located on the ground floor, the grey doors to the right of the stairs of #168.
Shapeshifter January 2017:
7p - nyc hiphopjazz orkistra founder / conductor / charlesblenzig
players... rapper / nameless vagrant rapper / yoh the shaolin
drums / zack “burns” drums / jaylen percussion / whisper - bass / keys / dom the pimp bass / electric / michael bass / acoustic / jason - guitar / stu guitar / davey - keys / juno keys/ blenzig - bone / natty - bassbone / gentle ben - bari / tenor / rich tenor / soprano / j-don alto / soprano / troy flute / little alex / trumpet / nicole trumpet / keefe - vocal / jewels
4-6p- AMY WINEHOUSE TEEN JAZZ ENSEMBLE for a DEBUT CONCERT & BENEFIT- RSVP
7pm: Andy Bianco Quintet
Nathan Peck & the Funky Electrical Unit/Andy Bianco Quintet
9:30p 'camera con camera', music for unprocessed bass guitar - Giacomo Merega, bass guitar
8:15p band tbc
9:30p Schapiro17 - Bryan Davis, Andy Gravish, Eddie Allen, Tony Speranza (trumpet); Debbie Weiss, Alex Jeun, Nick Grinder, Walter Harris (trombone); Rob Wilkerson, Candace DeBartolo, Paul Carlon, Rob Middleton, Matt Hong (saxophone); Roberta Piket (piano); Sebastian Noelle (guitar); Evan Gregor (bass); Jon Wikan (drums).
8pm: Passion - Trumpet-Josh Deutsch,Alto Saxophone- Pat Carroll, Tenor Saxophone-Jure Pulk, Trombone-Frank Cohen, Piano-Jihee Heo, Bass-Daniel Stein, Drums-Cory Cox,Vocal-Patricia Wichmann
7pm Clockwork Trio
Guitar: Dylan McCarthy
Electric Bass: Nicholas Telesca
Drums: Jared Nelson
Guitar: Kevin Quinn
Guitar: Mark Dziuba
Bass: Andrei Kvapil
Drums: Dean Sharp
8:15p - Amazonas Strings
Zamira Briceno/ Violin/ band leader
Tomoko Omura/ Violin
Leonor Falcon/ Viola
Yuka Tadano/ Contrabass
Special Guest: Cesar Orozco/ Piano
9:30: MARKUS REUTER & MARK WINGFIELD
with the special guest MARKO DJORDJEVIC
Shapeshifter is located at
18 Whitwell Place in Brooklyn, NY
R train to Union stop
GREENWICH HOUSE SOUND IT OUT SERIES:
Sound It Out series @ Greenwich House – Concerts, January-June 2017
Saturday, February 4, 7:30 p.m. – Vivid double-bill!
Taka Kigawa Sebastien Ammann’s Color Wheel
Taka Kigawa, piano, Sebastein Ammann, piano; Michaël Attias, alto saxophone; Noah Garabedian, double-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell, drums
Saturday, February 11, 8:00 p.m. – Rocking guitarist!
Nick Millevoi’s Desertion Trio - Nick Millevoi, guitar; Johnny DeBlase, bass; Kevin Shea, drums
Saturday, February 18, 8:00 p.m. – Special ECM duo show!
Francois Couturier, piano & Anja Lechner, cello
Saturday, March 4, 7:30 p.m. – Two sets of classical meets jazz!
Michael Bates’ Shostakovich Project- Michael Bates, double-bass/arrangements; Russ Johnson, trumpet; Greg Tardy, saxophone/clarinet; Russ Lossing, piano/Fender Rhodes; Michael Sarin, drums
Thursday, March 16, 7:30 p.m. – Double-bill of duos!
Sylvie Courvoisier Mary Halvorson & Mark Feldman
Sylvie Courvoisier, piano; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Mark Feldman, violin
Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. – All-star double-bill!
Wadada Leo Smith & Angelica Sanchez Angelica Sanchez Trio w/ Michael Formanek & Tyshawn Sorey, Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet; Angelica Sanchez, piano
Friday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. – Cross-generational double-bill!
Ralph Alessi solo Alex Koo, Mark Turner & Ralph Alessi - trumpet
Alex Koo Derudder, piano; Mark Turner, tenor saxophone; Ralph Alessi, trumpet
Greenwich House Music School:
46 Barrow Street, just west of 7th Avenue South in
New York City’s West Village;
www.greenwichhouse.org / 212-242-4770.