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NEWSLETTER - March 16th, 2007
THE STONE ISSUE TWO: FRED FRITH & CHRIS CUTLER: LIVE AT THE STONE!!!
NELS CLINE/ANDREA PARKINS/TOM RAINEY! LEO SMITH & GUNTER "BABY" SOMMER! ERIK FRIEDLANDER & TEHO TEARDO! (((POWERHOUSE))) [KEN VANDERMARK/INGEBRIGT HAKER FLATEN/NATE McBRIDE/PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE]! ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE CD & DVD! 3 from MAKIGAMI KOICHI'S HIKASHU! 3 from MOPPA ELLIOTT & PETER EVANS!
ANTHONY BRAXTON SOLO '71! NEW FROM OLGA NEUWIRTH..AND KAIROS RESTOCKS! 'TRADITION & MODERNE' LABEL!
AND RECENT USED & RARE CD ARRIVALS [Newsletter subscribers only]!
ANTHONY BRAXTON SIGNING EVENT AT DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY!!!
New York, NY -- On WEDNESDAY MARCH 28th from 5:00 to 6:30 pm, legendary musician/composer ANTHONY BRAXTON WILL AUTOGRAPH COPIES of his forthcoming box set, 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 (Firehouse 12 Records), at a special signing event at New York's Downtown Music Gallery.
This will also be the first chance for fans to purchase this set, which officially hits the streets on April 3rd. Mr. Braxton is in New York to perform a total of eight sets with his 7tet at the Iridium Jazz Club from Thursday March 29th through Sunday April 1st.
'9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006' is a 9-CD [+ 1 DVD] box set documenting what Time Out New York called "last Spring's epochal run" by the Anthony Braxton 12+1tet at Iridium in March 2006. Described by Braxton as "THE point of definition in my work thus far," these concerts featured the world premieres of Compositions 350 through 358, the final works in his 11 year-old Ghost Trance Music series. This definitive set, being released in coordination with Braxton's 2007 return engagement at Iridium, also includes a 10th Disc: A DVD DOCUMENTARY interspersed with live concert footage, and an extensive collection of essays, commentary and biographical information.
THIS 10 DISC SET [9CD+1DVD] IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE OF $110 + tax
[price will be $120 unsigned after preorder period]
FOR OUR GLOBAL NEWSLETTER [MAIL ORDER] CUSTOMERS, MR. BRAXTON HAS AGREED TO SIGN COPIES AS WELL!!!
$110 + shipping [NY state addresses must also pay tax]
PRE-ORDERS FOR A SIGNED COPY END THIS SUNDAY MIDNIGHT MARCH 25th!!! EMAIL US WITH YOUR ORDER NOW!
IT MAY BE POSSIBLE THAT MR. BRAXTON WILL PERSONALIZE THESE MAIL-ORDERED COPIES [i.e. "To David", "To Jack", etc.] BUT WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THIS. Let us know if you do desire such, and to what name, BUT REMEMBER, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THIS.
Because ONLY COPIES THAT ARE PRE-ORDERED WILL BE SIGNED, We will be charging you for your copy[s] at the TIME OF THE PRE-ORDER, and making a 2nd charge after the 28th to cover shipping.
The Downtown Music Gallery is located at 13 Monroe St. between E. 2nd [aka Bond St.] and E. 3rd [a/k/a Great Jones] Streets. Admission to the signing is free.
BOY!! HAVE WE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ONE!
FRED FRITH & CHRIS CUTLER - The Stone: Issue 2 - Live At The Stone December 15th, 2006 (Tzadik 0003 LTD Edition; USA) Incredible! Exactly three months after the December, 2006 DMG Festival of Music, Magic & Mystery at The Stone, the first offering and evidence of what was an amazing and historic month of performances is finally here!
This was the first of three nights of the much-anticipated reunion of three former members of Henry Cow. The first set that night was a trio featuring Fred Frith & Chris Cutler with special guest Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper. It seemed too restrained in part and was a bit disappointing for some in attendance. The second set was just the Frith and Cutler duo and it was phenomenal! Although Fred & Chris' musical relationship goes back the beginning of Henry Cow in the late sixties/early seventies, they have been doing duo gigs periodically since 1979. They have three previous live duo discs out, the last one is from 1999. The duo seemed primed for this particular set and it was an indeed an incredible occasion. Although Fred played an electric guitar with a variety of pedals and a small table of objects and Chris played a drum kit with even more assorted percussive objects, electronics and a small mixing board, when one is listening and even watching the duo play, it was and is difficult to tell who was doing what. The disc itself captures their entire nearly 51-minute set and immensely fascinating throughout and even throttling at times. It begins with a splash that sounds like magic and lets you know that something wonderful is about to take place. It sounds like a soundtrack to a movie that has you at the edge of your seat. Each sound, each gesture is filled a most compelling vibration. There is a great deal of discussion about "noise" nowadays... what we have here is some of the most well-sculptured and musical noise that I've heard in a long while. I am truly proud of the way the entire month of performances turned out and especially elated that way this disc has captured the magic of this set. Now it is your turn to dig in and enjoy the great journey within. Thanks to our friends Robert O'Haire for the recording, Scott Friedlander for the cover photo and to Fred & Chris for the music. - BLG
[discounted to $20 + tax if purchased in-store with cash; otherwise $21 + tax and/or shipping if using credit card]
ALL PROCEEDS [100% of $20] FROM THE SALE OF THIS CD WILL GO DIRECTLY TO SUPPORT 'THE STONE' PERFORMANCE SPACE.
ONLY WITH YOUR HELP CAN WE KEEP THE STONE ALIVE!
WADADA LEO SMITH/GUNTER 'BABY' SOMMER - Wisdom in Time (Intakt 128; Switzerland) Featuring Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, flugelhorn & electronics and Gunter Baby Sommer on drums & percussion. Leo Smith and Gunter Sommer were first brought together by Peter Kowald more than twenty years ago. This is a superbly recorded studio date, recorded in May of 2006, after the duo had done a short tour of Germany and had just played the Taklos Festival in Zurich, Switzerland. The delicate balance is just right, the drum-set recorded in stereo with Leo's trumpet riding the waves of silence and well-selected drums and cymbals. "Tarantella Rusticana" begins with some dramatic gongs, cymbals and spacious hand-percussion. As Gunter slowly gets into a hypnotic groove, Leo's trumpet dances joyously upon the groove. Leo's somber flugelhorn is featured on "Pure Stillness", with some ultra-subtle percussion from Gunter. When the tempo increases, the duo still sail together and weave their notes tightly around one another in a most magical and creative way. Superb. - BLG
ANTHONY BRAXTON - Solo / Paris Recital 1971 (Futura Ger 23; France) This is a rare live & studio date from the Theatre de Epeede Bois and Studio Europasonor, both in January of 1971. Mr. Braxton plays a solo alto sax version of Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" for the live side and four multi-tracked piano parts for the studio side, entitled "G6N, (X'70B) K '7".
NELS CLINE/ANDREA PARKINS/TOM RAINEY - Downpour: Live 2006 (Victo 104; Canada) This colossal trio features Nels Cline on electric guitar with devices (from L.A. & currently in Wilco), Andrea Parkins on accordion & sampler and Tom Rainey on drums. The trio plays mostly long pieces that develop slowly with Nels and Andrea repeating fragments as they build and mutate their textures. Tom Rainey is the perfect man for this job as he spins his percussive waves, helping to navigate the rapids that Nels and Andrea weave together. There is an unexpected hard rocking punk explosion mid-set, which seems strange from Tom Rainey, yet not out of character from Nels who has worked with Mike Watt (from the Minutemen), Lydia Lunch & Geraldine Fibbers. What I dig about this trio is that there is no leader here, each member is an integral part of the sound and helps to determine the direction of each piece. They each seem to pass ideas back and forth and build upon each idea, turning it slowly into something else." BLG
ERIK FRIEDLANDER & TEHO TEARDO - Giorni Rubati: Music Inspired By The Poems OF Pier Paolo Pasolini (Bip-Hop 34; EEC) "This record is a total breath of fresh air. A collaborative effort between Erik Friedlander on cello and Teho Teardo on electronics, inspired by the poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, "Giorni Rubati" successfully demonstrates how a duo record which straddles the balance of the acoustic/electric improvisation duo dichotomy should be made - each player actively contributes to the evolution of the music, yet neither steps on the other's toes unless it's in (a rather friendly and sportsmanlike) provocation. Erik sounds fantastic in this setting - laying down (and often overdubbing multiple) thick, richly toned and oft-melodic lines, scrapes, and scuffles amidst a forest of electronic drones, ticker-tape flickers of ping-ponging rhythms, and clouds of static, with the occasional voice appearing amidst this wilderness to recite spoken fragments which never overshadow or detract from the music. This is precisely the sort of record which I love to appear here in the shop - it easily makes waste of genre categorizations and debates of improv versus composition, and achieves that all-too-rare goal of featuring a little something for everyone whilst never dumbing itself down to pander to a particular listener base. Simply stunning, and without question one of the year's best records - and bonus points for the shredtastic (hidden) cover of the Normal's "Warm Leatherette", which closes out the disc and crazily, actually, REALLY works. Bravo, gents!" - Mikey IQ Jones.
(((POWERHOUSE))) [KEN VANDERMARK/INGEBRIGT HAKER FLATEN/NATE McBRIDE/PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE] - Oslo/Chicago: (((Breaks))) [2 CD set] (Atavistic 177; USA) (((POWERHOUSE SOUND))) formed in the Summer of 2005, originally with KEN VANDERMARK on tenor sax, INGEBRIGT HAKER FLATEN & NATE McBRIDE on basses, LASSE MARHAUG on electronics and on drums. Ken Vandermark composed tracks with the idea of building the music from the perspective of the bass instead of the more conventional approach of composition construction, "from the top down", as he puts it. "The three major influences I considered when putting the music together were the rhythmic ideas of James Brown, the dub ideas of Lee Perry and the collage ideas of Public Enemy."
Their new Chicago-based touring line up, featuring VANDERMARK, McBRIDE, JEFF PARKER & JOHN HERNDON (TORTOISE, ISOTOPE) will continue to work from these original concepts developed at the band's inception. However, with the obvious shifts in personnel and differences in instrumentation, (((POWERHOUSE SOUND))) is undoubtedly here to test any and all genre "qualifiers" used within the independent music industry today: witness (((PHS)))'s double-CD debut, OSLO/CHICAGO: BREAKS!
2 CD set for $20
ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE [KAHIL EL'ZABAR/COREY WILKES/ERNEST DAWKINS With FAREED HAQUE] - Hot'n'Heavy: Live At The Ascension Loft (Delmark DE 574; USA) Kahil El'Zabar, drums, earth drums, kalimba; Corey Wilkes, trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion; Ernest Dawkins, alto and tenor saxophone, percussion; Fareed Haque, electric and acoustic guitar
ALSO AVAILABLE on DVD for $22
SIGNAL TO NOISE - The Journal of Improvised & Experimental Music (Spring 2007/Issue #45) 130 pages; Cover article on Jarboe (from the Swans), feature articles on Jean Derome, Steve Swell, Milton Babbitt, Globe Unity Orchestra, Peter Walker, Lauren Newton, High Llamas, The Slip, Arbouretum, Harris Wulfson & the Blood Brothers. Plus book reviews of "Best Music Writing 2006" by Eugene Chadbourne, & books on Miles Davis and ELP. Performance reviews of The Independents Festival, Dark Forces, Sussan Deyhim, Avalon String Quartet, plus Kurt Gottschalk's excellent review of Frith/Cutler/Hodgkinson at The Stone last December. Most importantly, there are fifty pages of informed reviews of 100's of discs, necessary to help one choose from the ocean of interesting releases that come out each month. Although, I am unsure that the High Llamas or The Slip are really experimental, the writing about them is still interesting.
130 Page Magazine - $5.00
THREE NEW DISCS FROM THE GREAT pfMENTUM LABEL:
BRAD DUTZ - When Manatees Attack (pfMentum 042; USA) Featuring Paul Sherman on oboe & English horn; James Sullivan on bass clarinet & G clarinet; Rachel Arnold on cello and Brad Dutz a wealth of assorted percussion & all compositions plus special guest Jasper Dutz Bb clarinet for one piece. This is percussion wiz, Brad Dutz, 6th disc as a leader on pfMentum, after having a couple on Nine Winds. Each disc that Brad has been involved with has different personnel and instrumentation. "Spongy Bark" has some wonderful, Zappa-like modern classical composing for marimba, two clarinets and cello, with a tap-dancing xylophone solo in the middle. While Brad's spirited, crafty percussion is often at the center of each piece, his writing for clarinet, double reeds and cello is consistently engaging. One thing I like about Brad is that he doesn't play a drum-kit, yet he always keeps the rhythm flowing on other percussion instruments like congas, dumbek, darbouka and marimba. There is something special about the sound/blend of a bass clarinet, oboe, cello and a marimba, that makes this both unique and consistently intriguing. It reminds me of the Oregon (the group) often combined various cultures and styles, thus becoming something unique and in between categories. At 73 plus minutes, I had thought that this disc might be too long, however it is quite rich, enchanting and provocative throughout. - BLG
EMILY HAY/BRAD DUTZ/WAYNE PEET - Hay Dutz Peet (pfMentum 043; USA) Featuring Emily Hay on flute, alto flute, vocals & effects, Wayne Peet on piano, organ & theremin and Brad Dutz on percussion. Formerly a member of the L.A.-based prog bands Motor Totemist Guild and 5UU's, this is flutist, Emily Hays' second disc for pfMentum. Both Brad Dutz and Wayne Peet have numerous discs out on Nine Winds and pfMentum as leaders and collaborators. This is a superbly recorded and well-balanced trio offering that shows the variety of sounds that this trio is capable of, as well as the constantly changing combinations of instruments. Wayne Peet's organ often adds a sly, 'Bitches Brew'-like vibe while Emily's flutes and voice sail on top and Brad's inspired percussion sets the pace underneath. All three players selectively use space so that they can set up a mood with a minimum of notes. Although this date appears to be all improvised in the studio, the trio come up with some consistently engaging sounds, moods and music for the duration of this long disc. - BLG
MICHAEL VLATKOVICH QUARTET - ALiveBUQUERQUE (pfMentum 045; USA) Featuring Christopher Garcia, drums/percussion; Jonathan Golove, electric cello; David Mott, baritone sax and Michael Vlatkovich, trombone/percussion. This was recorded live at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, New Mexico in May of 2003. L.A. trombonist, Michael Vlatkovich, is a restless spirit, as each of his half dozen plus discs proves. Each one is very different, both instrumentally and concept-wise. For this disc, Michael has put together a quartet with a fine drummer and an electric cellist, both of whom I am unfamiliar plus the great baritone work of Canadian David Mott, who I know from discs on Victo and a duo I caught with David and Dave Lopato. This is certainly a unique sounding quartet with trombone, bari sax, el. cello and drums. On "Black Triangles", the cello and drums are well connected as in rhythm team while the bari and trombone play spirited harmonies. The cello, bari and trombone each take strong solos here. I like the way the cellist switches between the role of the bassist (by plucking and bowing) and playing some twisted solos as well. David Mott is a marvelous soloist and takes a number of inspired solos here, both passionate and consistently creative. Vlatkovich often writes songs that have the bari and trombone both playing rich harmonies and then circling around one another tightly. Their drummer, Chris Garcia, must stay on his toes as he shifts between sections and changes dynamics as he plays his parts and helps to navigate while pushing the soloists to reach higher. Another winner from the fine folks at pfMentum. - BLG
CHARLES EVANS/PETER EVANS AND THE LANGUAGE OF With MOPPA ELLIOTT/JAN ROTH - No Relation (Greatbend 02; USA) The music you are about to experience was written based-on or inspired-by four classic jazz standards; "What is This Thing Called Love, "How High the Moon," "The Song is You," and "Isfahan." My compositional approach is rooted in the jazz tradition, consisting of the creation of bizarre, micro-tonal contrafacts that are played over the pre-existing chord progression. Peter Evans utilizes a Post-Braxton progressive continuance to simply draw 'inspiration' from the original, rendering music that has virtually no relation to the standard tune. With the culmination of this second CD, The Language Of has found a clear direction to express the inspiration they draw from the entire jazz lineage. The Evans Brothers aren't related biologically, politically, and many times not musically, but here they have succeeded in combining stylistically inconsistent techniques consistently. - Charles Evans September 2005
MOPPA ELLIOTT With PETER EVANS/CHARLES EVANS/ALLAN BAKER - Pinpoint (Hot Cup; USA) This album was recorded in early 2001 and features Peter Evans on trumpet, Charles Evans on baritone sax, and Allan Baker on piano. The music is a collection of compositions from my years in Ohio, augmented by an arrangement of Ornette Coleman's "Peace" and a Charles Evans composition, "Blues for Hawes." This album creates a very definite mood from start to finish, featuring dynamic solos by each member of the ensemble, and, as a whole, explores the murky area between Jazz and purely improvised music. While each composition is based on the standard jazz form of "theme-improvisation-theme," each pushes this form in a different direction. For instance, the uneven phrases and polychords of "Talked Down," the cycling melody of "Fuzzy," the serialist "Penalty Box," rhythmic displacement of "Peace," or the "Evans Changes" of "Blues for Hawes" all deviate to varying degrees from traditional jazz. The title composition, which occurs twice, is a reflective piece that is at once melancholy and optimistic and includes 2 beautiful solos by Peter Evans and Allan Baker. The reprise is a duet between myself and the spectacular tenor saxophonist, Kelly Roberge, my longtime friend, associate and partner in crime. I hope you enjoy it.
MOPPA ELLIOTT'S MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING With PETER EVANS/JON IRABAGON/KEVIN SHEA - Mostly Other People Do the Killing (Hot Cup; USA) MOPDTK is a recent group formed in NYC. In this ensemble, I attempt to write compositions that reflect the strange relationship I feel to jazz history. On the one hand, I grew up listening to and still love traditional jazz, but on the other, I am deeply disturbed and disgusted with its current state of turpitude. This music, instead of attempting to reconcile these two simultaneous opinions, pits them against each other creating music that both blatantly mocks and reveres the jazz tradition. Perhaps Dada-Jazz?
What little establishment there is in jazz is creating a surreal pick-and-choose history, canonizing only a fraction of what has occurred within the jazz tradition. This conservative faction is bent upon surrounding "true jazz" with barriers to protect it from being tarnished by the impurities of the music it has grown into. (The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra plays the music of Cecil Taylor? I think not.) Well, I like my jazz with some dirt on it, sometimes a lot of dirt. Jazz has started to take itself too seriously and is in danger of falling into the same stagnant condition that so-called "classical music" is in now. Perhaps that's what some people want, but if we are moving towards sterile, historically accurate renditions of once vibrant pieces of music, I want nothing to do with it. Bring out the mud...the more the merrier. Duke Ellington wrote some of the greatest music in the history of human culture, and I love to play his tunes, but I writhe in agony every time I hear someone attempt to "pay homage" to the man by trying to re-record the same arrangements with solos that imitate the original. I don't need that, I own the original. Rather than just make music that fits within some artificial "tradition" or music that rejects jazz completely, I would rather make music that uses jazz' identity crisis against it, piling as many nonsensical musical associations together as possible to create music that is aware of its own inconsistencies, ironies, and contradictions and likes it that way. Standing on the shoulders of giants makes it easier to kick them in the teeth.
So, this is my band, and this is our music. All of these tunes are named after actual towns in western Pennsylvania that I've never been to. I wrote each of them while thinking about other places or people or whatever. Since program music is an elitist dream, and they'd sound exactly the same if I named them after myths, or biological processes, or my pets, I decided that these towns have names worthy of being used as song titles. A rose by any other name…MOPDTK is: Peter Evans on trumpets, Jon Irabagon on saxophones, Moppa Elliott on bass, and Kevin Shea on drums and percussion.
KARTET [w/ BENOIT DELBECQ] - The Bay Window (Songlines 1560; Canada) [this is a Hybrid SACD (H-SACD) which means it is playable on ordinary CD players as well] Featuring Guillaume Orti on alto sax, Benoit Delbecq on piano, Hubert Dupont on bass and Chander Sardjoe on drums. Although this appears to the fifth release by Kartet, the only member that I am previously familiar with is pianist Benoit Delbecq, whose work inside the piano I've always been intrigued by. Each member of the quartet has contributed pieces, except for the drummer. Opening with the only cover found here is Monk's "Mysterioso", which the quartet put its own spin on. I like the way the alto sax, piano and bass play the theme as the drummer spins around the song's structure. The group of has a unique way of splitting up the quartet into two parts. The bass and piano playing one theme as the sax and drums play another inter-related theme. There is always a balancing act going on as the two of the players often switch roles mid-song. Years of playing together often make this feat seem seamless. On "Y", the quartet increase and decrease their tempo at the same time and still end up in the same place. What is interesting is that each piece provides different sets of challenges each of the musicians, with volume or intensity never going increasing too much. You could say that this music is "progressive" in its own unique way, while it is completely acoustic and quietly fascinating throughout. - BLG
LISE VACHON - Vocalise (Say No More 194; USA) Featuring Lise Vachon on voice & chekeree, Byard Lancaster on flutes, bass clarinet & sax, Peter Zummo on trombone & didjeridoo, Vito Ricci on wrench guitar, "Blue" Gene Tyranny on piano and Rashied Ali on bata drum & bass kalimba. Just about every week someone hands me a CD to check out from someone I know little or nothing about and it turns out to be a great surprise. This week's prize goes to Quebecoise vocalist, Lise Vachon, who seems to be based here and is the partner of Vito Ricci. I was unfamiliar with Lise before this but I do know Vito from his work with Steve Dalachinsky, as well as a few obscure but worthy solo offerings through the years. Vito produced all and co-wrote some of the pieces on this fine disc. Lise is a unique vocalist who has traveled the world and whose voice and style combines different cultures: West African, European, American and Quebecoise, as well as blending traditional, jazz, classical, new music and pop influences. She begins with a Senegalese traditional song called "Yama Nekh", which features Lise's charming voice and the lovely, sublime percussion of bass kalimba. "Deep Felt Song" is an enchanting piece for Lise's soothing voice, Peter's moaning trombone, Byard's sly clarinet, Blue Gene's haunting piano, Rashied's skeletal bass kalimba and the eerie drone of Vito's wrench guitar, which is used like a slide. Lise sings in some odd universal language on "No Fits Please", which places her endearing vocalise amongst softly swirling didjeridu, flute, piano and bata drum. Lise chooses a poem by Yuko Otomo (partner to Dalachinsky) for "Table in the Corner", which is like a lovely lullaby with some thoughtful words that will keep you guessing. "Moi" reminds me of a song by Laura Nyro sung in French with some fine trombone and flute soloing. The title track has a few layers of vocal sounds moving around one another, some spoken, some bird-like sounds, a bit of drum machine funkiness and a cool hip-hop sort of groove. The final piece is a traditional song from Quebec called "Marie-Madeleine", and it features just voice and hand percussion and is a perfect conclusion to an unexpected delight. - BLG
DAVID DUNN/VICTOR GAMA - Folk Songs For The Five Points (LESTM; USA) Released by the Lower East Side Tenement Museum! Created entirely from audio fragments recorded on the Lower East Side for the acclaimed "Folk Songs for the Five Points" website, this new CD collects sound-scapes and experimental folk songs that explore one of New York's oldest and most culturally rich areas. Recorded and remixed by cross-disciplinary artist David Gunn (Folk Songs Project) and featuring new compositions by Angolan instrument builder and musician Victor Gama (Rephlex Records), this new CD remixes oral histories, local music and ambient field recordings to create a unique document of the Lower East Side.
CHRIS FORSYTH & NATE WOOLEY - The Dutchess Of Oysterville (Creative Sources 87; EEC) Special ltd time price. Review next week.
AKINETON RETARD - Akranania (Mylodon 04; Italy) This disc is from 2001 and features a great Chilean sort of progressive band called Akineton Retard. The personnel here is Tanderal Anfurness on guitar, Estratos Akrias on clarinet, alto & soprano sax, Petras das Petren on tenor sax, Lectra Celdrej on electric & acoustic basses and Bolshek Tradib on drums. Akineton Retard is a unique quintet from Chile that don't quite sound like anyone else, although I do here bits of Henry Cow and King Crimson in their restless sound. "Morricoleman" keeps shifting between two intense themes. Often one sax will play intricate lines with the guitarist as the other sax plays his lines tightly with electric bass and drums. There always seems to be a few different themes going on simultaneously, with layers of harmonies explored as both saxes and guitar often switch roles or evolve together through intricate changes. Their guitarist, Tanderal, is always changing his tone, from burning sustain to wah-wah to his unique blend of Frith and Fripp-like approach when he solos. Bassist, Lectra, is also pretty amazing as he is forever shifting meters and dynamic forces to keep the rest of the band tight, spirited and together. He also takes a few great solos here and there. Both saxes are often too busy playing their challenging parts to do solos, the strong writing keeps things engaging throughout. Considering that this is only the second disc by Akineton Retard, I am quite impressed by their mature playing and writing. - BLG
AKINETON RETARD - 21 Canapes (Mylodon 14; Italy) Third superb gem from this ever-evolving progressive septet from Chile. Their instrumentation includes three saxists, guitar, bass, percussion and drums. Their music blended healthy doses of Crimson, Magma and Henry Cow in the past, yet never stays in one place/style for very long. '21 Canapes' is music for a play/musical/performance work of some kind and includes some 21 shorter pieces, each with a different mood, yet somehow all connected. At times, laid back and bluesy with some tasty, sly guitar. We even get some torchy female vocals on one tune. It does feel as if they are telling a story, as each piece evolves. I dig when they create an eerie mood by sampling and blending a few layers of acoustic guitars, saxes and effects on "Desiertos de Lagos Transparentes". Rarely rocking hard, yet still quietly enchanting throughout. There are just a few pieces when the guitars and saxes get a bit darker, but they never last very long. Quite crafty, but only occasionally progressive. - BLG
AKINETON RETARD - Akineton AO Devo: Live [2 CD set] (Editio Princeps 06; Italy) Excellent album of 'out rock' from this Chilean band consisting of dual saxes, guitar, bass and drums, with some vocals. This high quality live album documents concerts from Santiago, Chile in April 2004, and then from September 2004 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil after the band had returned from a 5 month European tour(!), so you know that they were tight!
AKINETON RETARD - Cadencia Urmana (Editio Princeps 05; Italy) This is the 5th and most recent disc by Chilean progressive outfit, Akineton Retard from 2006. The personnel remains: Estratos Akrias & Eden on saxes, Tanderal Anfurness on electric guitar, Lectra Celdrej on basses and Bolshek Tradib on drums. Their guests include Minjaveh Ve on trumpet, Fuentes del Cesar on trombone and even some scratching by DJ Vaskular. Akineton Retard continue to sound as if they were inspired mostly from the first Henry Cow album and have evolved from there. They seem to move back and forth charted and free sections seamlessly. What sets they guys apart from the rest of the progressive pack is the way they are split between the guitar/el. bass/drums rhythm team and the two saxes, with intricate interaction going back and forth. The saxes draw from a rich harmonic palette with strong and sometimes thorny harmonies. "Piel Estatica" reminds me a bit of Zappa's Grand Wazoo band or some fine British jazz/rock from the mid-seventies with that sly, laid back groove, slowly swirling saxes and rubbery guitar. The vibe completely changes on "Caldopatias", which has a fast and furious punkish tempo and some great slow burn sustain electric guitar. This just might the best progressive gem of the past year, it is consistently engaging throughout, tight, spirited and superbly composed. If any so-called prog deserves to play the annual NEAR-Fest, it is without a doubt Akineton Retard. - BLG
THREE FROM MAKIGAMI KOICHI'S FABULOUS BAND HIKASHU!
[MAKIGAMI KOICHI] HIKASHU - Human Being: For Tod Browning's Freaks (Toshiba 10048; Japan)
[MAKIGAMI KOICHI] HIKASHU - Hikashu (Toshiba 10049; Japan)
LIVE AT THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY [HIKASHU/MAKIGAMI KOICHI Tribute V.A.] - Live At The End Of The 20th Century (Labsick 06; Japan)
THREE NEW ITEMS FROM THE COL LEGNO LABEL:
50 YEARS OF NEW MUSIC IN DARMSTADT [V.A.] - 50 Jahre Neue Musik in Darmstadt 1946-96 [4 CD set] (Col Legno 31893; Germany) "The release of this 4CD box set met with worldwide resonance. Col Legno has been urged over and over again to issue a new pressing. There are works by more than forty composers (from Gunther Becker to B. A. Zimmermann), and the performers are themselves champions of their instruments (from the Arditti Quartet to David Tudor to Bernhard Wambach)." Composers: Arnold Schonberg, John Cage, Michael Von Biel, Gunther Becker, Wolfgang Rihm, Josef Matthias Hauer, Rene Leibowitz, Anton Webern, Karel Goeyvaerts, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono, Bruno Maderna, Luciano Berio, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Hermann Heib, Niccolo Castiglioni, Helmut Lachenmann, Iannis Xenakis, Giacinto Scelsi, Tristan Murail, Brian Ferneyhough, Mario Garuti, Alessandro Melchiorre, Morton Feldman, Gyorgy Ligeti, James Wood, Edgard Varese, Joel Durand, Christopher Fox, Klarenz Barlow, Robert Hp Platz, Gerhard Stabler, Fernando Grillo, Aldo Brizzi, Ernst Helmuth Flammer, Richard Barrett, Alain Bancquart, Toshio Hosokawa, Roger Redgate, Hans-Christian Von Dadelsen, Franz-Jochen Herfert, Volker Heyn, Brian Ferneyhough, Jan W. Morthenson.
4 CD set for $80
MORTON FELDMAN//MARIANNE SCHUPPE - Three Voices (Col Legno 20249; Germany) Feldman's 1982 piece for solo voice, performed here by Marianne Schuppe. "This piece is sung by the Swiss 'deep voice,' Marianne Schuppe in trio with herself, a feat made possible by playing back recordings of her own voice. This is not minimal music; melodic lines arise, sensual, beautiful, and undoctored, swaying like a lullaby, yet boosting the overall rhythmic intensity. There cannot be many works which demand of the soloist such careful timing, intense concentration and voice control."
BRUNO MADERNA - Oboe Concertos (Col Legno 20037; Germany) Featuring: "Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Ensemble No. 1" (1962); "Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra No. 2" (1967); "Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra No. 3" (1973). "Bruno Maderna's oboe concertos in a fabulous new recording! Maderna only reached the age of fifty-three. He died in Darmstadt, the town in which he had settled and in which, already 'alienated from the more orthodox serialists,' he had used his compositional technique to link and confront old with new, and the individual with the mass (for instance with juxtaposition of solo instruments with masses of sound)."
NEW ON THE HARD-TO-GET KAIROS LABEL..
OLGA NEUWIRTH - Lost Highway [2 CD set] (Kairos 1254; Germany)
Although composer Olga Neuwirth and Arnold Schwarzenegger come from the same town in Austria, they probably have very different ideas of what makes a good movie.
That's why she tapped David Lynch's 1997 film noir, "Lost Highway," as the basis for a stunning opera/musical theater piece which premiered--fittingly--this past Halloween, in her hometown of Graz at Helmut List Hall.
"What always touched me about Lynch's movies is the juxtaposition of everyday life and the mystical, the tragic and the humorous," said Neuwirth, who is as petite as Schwarzenegger is hulking. "[Lynch] knows the human condition." Not to mention its extremes.
"Lost Highway" dramatizes a peculiar mental disorder know as "psychogenic fugue"--that's probably why audiences and critics didn't now what to make of it at first (and still don't). In this state, the subject utterly forgets his or her past life and takes on a new identity somewhere else.
That's what happens to jazz saxophonist Fred Madison (although Lynch has no interest in signaling or explaining this clearly in the movie). Haunted by suspicions that his wife has a less-than-kosher past life and is sleeping around behind his back, Fred--who begins to see and have conversations with a Mystery Man --goes mad and commits a crime, of which he has no memory. In prison, he somehow metamorphoses into auto mechanic Peter Dayton, who begins a romance with the same actress who played his wife, now playing a different role. The film's circularity and shifting identities are what attracted Neuwirth to the film.
"For me, Fred converts into Pete to try again, to have a better life, to be younger and more attractive to this woman," Neuwirth explains. "This is the horrible thing. No matter what, you remain a prisoner of your body and mind. You can't escape from yourself, your fears, your inner life."
Neuwirth and her librettist, prize-winning Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek (one of whose novels is the basis of Michael Haneke's disturbing movie "The Piano Teacher") stuck very close to the screenplay by David Lynch and Barry Gifford, and the opera is performed in English. In the first half, much of the dialogue is spoken, but entirely sung during the psychogenic fugue. Much of the elegant direction, by Joachim Schloemer, a former dancer and choreographer, evokes the surrealistic atmosphere of the movie.
Neuwirth's kaleidoscopic score, however, is another thing altogether. The music is a phantasmagoric interplay of live and pre-recorded sound, electronics and ghostly fragments of Monteverdi, Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, jazz and God-knows-what. In addition to the instruments you'd expect in an orchestra (in this case, Klangforum Wien, ably conducted by Johannes Kalitzke), there is a harmonica, electric guitar and accordion; the Mystery Man is sung by a countertenor. The only traditional "aria"-if you can call it that--is given to the seedy pornographer Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia in the film), performed by unorthodox vocalist David Moss. Switching hysterically from high falsetto notes to growling bass tones, Moss pummels a man to death (for smoking, no less) by the strength of his words alone. The multilayered soundscape somehow summons up all the avant-garde techniques of 20th-century music yet is always harnessed for devastating dramatic effect, and utterly absorbed into Neuwirth's own style. The sound continuously bends, twists and morphs--a perfect correlative to Lynch's reality-contorting dreamworld.
"My music must always be a riddle. I like to change musical structures very rapidly. There is never a theme you can easily latch onto. As in cinema, I constantly give different angles to my music. I repeat structures in different contexts. You don't always know the source of the sounds; sometimes the echoes are more important. In Lynch's films, people appear then disappear--at first you don't know why. I do this with sound." The composer also loves the idea of sucking the listener into an inescapable vortex. "There has to be a different kind of psychology of NOT knowing what is going on. That's why I'm so close to Lynch."
Neuwirth herself, who studied with modernist giants Pierre Boulez and Luigi Nono--but refuses to be part of any "school" or use any compositional "system"--is flabbergasted by the lack of imagination many of today's composers flaunt shamelessly. "So many are not courageous today," she says. "No one tries anything out, and just dish out these polished surfaces so no one can criticize them. Their skills are high, but what we get as listeners are only these tidy, neat packages. Where's the edge, the roughness, the invention? Where?"
Where? Somewhere in the winding labyrinth that is Venice, where Neuwirth makes her home. Her next opera is about pedophilia. - Robert Hilferty, Newsweek (!!!)
2 CD set for $22
AND RESTOCKS ON...
PETER ABLINGER - Der Regen Das Glas Das Lachen (Kairos 1219; Germany) Performer: Thomas Musil. Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling. Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
MORTON FELDMAN - For Samuel Beckett (Kairos 1201; Germany) Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling. Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
For fifty-five minutes the great American composer Morton Feldmann weaves his tapestry of sounds, a pattern always the same and yet never the same, an iridescent, thick fabric, full of details, although these never distract the listener's attention. Feldman met Beckett only once in his life (though Beckett later sent him a postcard on which the composer discovered the text for his opera Neither). He created music of a beguiling tonality and beauty, inspired more by painting and literature than by the history of music. Every instrument emerges in only one, subtly distinguished tonal colour. Feldman's colleague, the composer Earle Brown, once reminded him: "But Morty, just because you've chosen the instrument...
MORTON FELDMAN - PALAIS DE MARI, NATURE PIECES, THREE DANCES, INTERMISSIONS I - V (Kairos 1236; Germany) Siegfried Mauser, piano
Piano pieces accompanied Morton Feldman's compositional life from beginning to end. As hardly any other creative area, their development and the exemplary individual works also reveal the characteristic singularity of his aesthetics. In the selection on hand, various early works were intentionally contrasted with the late piano piece, not least in order to document an evolutionary cycle.
Nature Pieces: The five pieces dating from 1951/52 exhibit rather varied aspects, which document the beginnings of Feldman's composition, on the one hand, while already anticipating future developments on the other. Originally, they served as accompaniment for a choreography. The three-part solo was based on specific semantic fields that trace back to natural sounds (context Earth, context desert and ocean, context moon). In this cycle, the proximity to Cage reveals the rudiments of Feldman's own pianissimo world and also a strangely reduced and dynamically forced style, with an eye to direct gestures of sound, which disappear again in the later works of Feldman.
Intermissions: The works were most likely composed between 1950 and 1953 and already reveal a radicalised approach through the extensive separation of the individual sound events. While these mostly still merge to form larger groups in Nature Pieces, partialisation prevails and thus also the significance of the precisely laid down pauses as essential, non-sounding part of music.
Three Dances: These three pieces are yet unpublished works and rendered on this CD for the first time. They also served as accompaniment for choreographies, revealing a remarkable degree of abstraction and reduction. The third dance is perhaps the most striking, integrating a drum and glass - also to be played by the pianist - with the individual piano sounds and thus breaking through the closed frame of piano aesthetics and piano sound.
Palais de Mari: A piece typical of Feldman's late period, actually the last complete piano piece dating from 1986. The Babylonian ruins fascinated him insofar as that, similar to Clemente' s pictures, they seemed to be referring to what was not depicted but merely hinted at through rudimentary outlines. Similarly, the aura between the contours of the Babylonian ruins seemed to him the essence, just as the aura between the tonal and sound events of his own music. Certain sound constellations recur, mostly with minute changes, but always in such a way that perception learns step by step to recognise even the smallest shift as an important event - an intensive training of aesthetic perception in the minimal range, which, if successful, opposes the loud orgies of modern life with an impressive counter-world.
BEAT FURRER - Aria, Solo, Gaspra (Kairos 1232; Germany) Composer: Beat Furrer. Performer:& Lucas Fels, Petra Hoffmann. Orchestra/Ensemble: Recherche Ensemble
BEAT FURRER - Nuun, Still, Poemas, Etc (Kairos 1206; Germany) Composer: Beat Furrer. Performer: Peter Eotvos, Elizabeth Laurence. Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling. Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
BEAT FURRER - Stimmen, Percussion Quartett, Etc (Kairos 1227; Germany) Composer: Beat Furrer. Performer: Marino Formenti, Ernesto Molinari, Eva Furrer. Conductor: Beat Furrer, Rupert Huber. Orchestra/Ensemble: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Concert Choir, Cologne Percussion Quartet, Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble
GERARD GRISEY - Les Espaces Acoustiques [2 CD set] (Kairos 1242; Germany) The "Acoustic Spaces" cycle, begun in 1974 and completed in 1985, consists of six instrumental works that may be played consecutively, since each acoustic space extends the previous one. The unity of the whole is based on the formal similarity of the pieces and on the two acoustic points of reference: the overtone spectrum and periodicity. I would like to summarize the musical language of the pieces as follows: - no more composing with notes but rather with tones; - controlling the differences, i.e. developing (or not developing) the tone and speed of its development; - taking into account the relativity of our perceptions; - applying phenomena that have long been studied in electronic studios to the area of instrumental sound. These applications may be heard in their more radical forms in Partiels and Modulations; - striving for a synthetic style in which various parameters contribute to the construction of a single sound. For example: the structure of un-tempered pitches results in the creation of new tone colours, giving rise to certain structures of duration, etc. The synthesis involves the creation of sounds (substance), on the one hand, and relationships among the tones (form), on the other.
2 CD set for $22
GERARD GRISEY - Quatre Chants Pour Franchir Le Seuil (Kairos 1225; Germany) Composer: Gerard Grisey. Performer: Catherine Dubosc. Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling. Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
HELMUT LACHENMANN - Das Madchen Mit Den Schwefelholzern (Little Match Seller) [2 CD set] (Kairos 1228; Germany) Composer: Helmut Lachenmann
Performer: Sarah Leonard, Mayumi Miyata, Salome Kammer, Elizabeth Keusch. Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek. Orchestra/Ensemble: Stuttgart State Opera Chorus, Stuttgart State Opera Orchestra
2 CD set for $22
HELMUT LACHENMANN - Serynade, Allegro Sostenuto (Kairos 1221; Germany) Composer: Helmut Lachenmann. Performer: Yukiko-Lachenmann Sugawara, Lucas Fels, Shizuyo Oka
...this is the first recording of the recently completed piano piece Serynade, - the special feature: Helmut Lachenmann composed it for Yukiko Sugawara, the performer on this CD - the piano sound is kept alive, worked and shaped, to stop the sound from fading and thus to stop time itself.
HELMUT LACHENMANN - Kontrakadenz, Klangschatten, Fassade (Kairos 1223; Germany) Composer: Helmut Lachenmann. Conductor: Michael Gielen
Orchestra/Ensemble:& SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, NDR Sinfonieorchester, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg , Michael Gielen. incl. booklet texts by Helmut Lachenmann and Edgar Reitz
OLGA NEUWIRTH - Chamber Music (Kairos 1246; Germany)
OLGA NEUWIRTH - Bahlamms Fest [2 CD set] (Kairos 1234; Germany) Composer: Olga Neuwirth. Performer: Graham F. Valentine, Roman Sadnik, Gudrun Pelker, Andrew [ctr tenor] Watts, Isolde Siebert, Christine Whittlesey, Walter Raffeiner. Conductor: Johannes Kalitzke. Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
Some remarks on the content: It is a sadistic family story in scurrile-surreal snap shots. The home of an odd family stands in a completely remote, heathlike landscape. This somewhat dilapidated bourgeois house in its seclusion is refuge and madhouse at the same time; here, in the bizarre impressions of family life, the focus turns on people and nature: an outer world, drowning in violence, coldness and terror, and the small, inner world of a bourgeois family, regulated right to the last corner, but abruptly toppled into chaos, when couples and generations come to be at logger-heads about their unappeased longings and desires
Over the last few years, I've become a big fan of Austrian born composer Olga Neuwirth. The more I hear of her compositions, he more I knocked out by her consistent output. The article in the March issue of The Wire helped clarify some things about her. 'Bahlamms Fest' is "a musical drama or opera in 13 parts meant to trigger a longing for faraway places amongst the listeners and an intensified need to obverse and consider our environments and fellow human beings more carefully." It is based on a surrealist play concerned with a timeless theme of social constriction and repression. Performed by Klangforum Wien with 10 voices/characters and Lydia Kavina at the theremin. The music and vocals here are a brilliant blend of abrupt changes, montages, possessed and bizarre voices, extreme contrasts, constantly shifting orchestral insanity that remains clearly defined throughout. Everything here fits just right, like a strange novel that you just can't put down, completely gripping, considering that I don't understand the language of the words used, just the synopsis outline in the booklet. Ms. Neuwirth mentions "Laughter. An exceptional state" as the heading for a section describing what she is trying to do. I hear nothing funny in any of this, rather something that feels pretty serious. Am I missing something? I think not. Without a doubt, one of the most intense listening experiences of this year. - BLG
2 CD set for $22
OLGA NEUWIRTH - Clinamen/Nodus, Construction In Space (Kairos 1230; Germany) Composer: Olga Neuwirth
Performer: Hannes Haider, Rico Gubler, Ernesto Molinari, Peter B hm, Eva Furrer. Conductor: Emilio Pom rico, Pierre Boulez. Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Olga Neuwirth 's faible for grotesque themes and her occasional vegetative proliferation of pieces ensured her a permanent place in the repertoire. As brilliant growths of an undomesticated artist. Many-facetted,vigorously arranged scores with the most heterogeneous influences and styles,far remote from any of the false glamour characteristic of postmodernity. With the conductor Pierre Boulez she has found herself a genuine ally.
OLGA NEUWIRTH - Vampyrotheone, Etc (Kairos 1224; Germany) Composer: Olga Neuwirth. Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling. Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien. VAMPYROTHEONE, HOOLOOMOOLOO, 3 INSTRUMENTAL-INSELN AUS "BaHLAMMS FEST"
LUIGI NONO - La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura (Kairos 1210; Germany) Composer: Luigi Nono
Performer: Salvatore Sciarrino, Melise Mellinger
"Nostalgic, utopian, future distance", the title of this piece investigates the possibilities of violin playing, the intimate, physical quality of the sound and the historical dimensions inherent to this instrument."
WOLFGANG RIHM/ENSEMBLE RECHERCHE - Trios 1969-1994 (Kairos 1209; Germany) Composer: Wolfgang Rihm. Performer: Yukiko-Lachenmann Sugawara, Teodoro Anzellotti. Orchestra/Ensemble:Recherche Ensemble members
This CD combines pieces for three instruments, trios - and yet it is very remote from the contemplatively muted framework of traditional chamber music. The small group of musicians does not establish intimacy, but causes the gaps, warpings, abysses in Rihm's music to widen even further instead. When the three instrumentalists position themselves as far away from each other in the calm scene "am horizont" (on the horizon), this is only an external sign for the extreme tension that prevails: delicacy of sound and wild noise, falling silent and eloquence, conglomeration and decomposition - accompanied by covert (auto)biographical allusions to Ingeborg Bachman or Karlheinz Stockhausen, Rudi Stephan or Maurizio Kagel.
WOLFGANG RIHM/SIEGFRIED MAUSER - Klavierstuck No 6, Nachtstudie, Etc (Kairos 1212; Germany) Composer: Wolfgang Rihm
Performer: Siegfried Mauser. Four pieces for piano which draw their power from the integration of a precisely defined diversity of life and its own, aural world of sound.
WOLFGANG RIHM/BERNARD WOMBACH - Piano: Klavierstucke 7, 5 (Tombeau), 4, 2, 1 (Kairos 1237; Germany) Performer: Bernhard Wambach
Wolfgang Rihm once said retrospectively of his piano oeuvre: "The music I have composed for piano is not a separate block within my production stream. In its own way, every piece shares in and belongs to the problematic of its wider context. The works Klavierstuck Nr. 1 to Klavierst&uck Nr. 7 are not based on a cyclical concept."
To summarise, let us reflect on Wolfgang Rihm's piano work, here in his own perspective: "Nr. 1 is a free development form, which, however, did not emerge freely, without constraints. The piece is wholly dominated by the expressive uncertainty which derived from what everyone was preaching, namely that everything be structured. So I integrated refrains, inserts, cross-references here and left and right. This technique becomes especially distinct in Klavierstuck Nr. 4 and Nr. 5. Setting the part of the piano gradually turns into the setting of accents, which opens up possibilities of expression that I did not discover until Klavierstuck Nr. 7. This is where the preoccupation with Beethoven's piano setting and his wild-gentle gestures, the so-called late Beethoven's, becomes the main driving force."
Only one more indication - for the time being - remains to be made: the lapidary appellation given to his piano pieces - Klavierstucke bearing sequential numbers - can perhaps be taken as Wolfgang Rihm's expression of homage to one of his teachers - Karlheinz Stockhausen.
KAIJA SAARIAHO - Chamber Music (Kairos 1241; Germany) 1.Cendres by Kaija Saariaho Orchestra/Ensemble: Wolpe Trio
2.NoaNoa by Kaija Saariaho Performer: Lesley Olson(Flute), Thomas Neuhaus(Electronics)
3.Mirrors by Kaija Saariaho Performer: Lesley Olson(Flute), Scott Roller(Cello)
4.Spins and Spells by Kaija Saariaho Performer: Scott Roller (Cello)
5.Monkey Fingers, Velvet Hand by Kaija Saariaho Performer: Susanne Achilles(Piano)
6.Petals by Kaija Saariaho Performer: Thomas Neuhaus(Electronics), Scott Roller(Cello)
7.Laconisme de l'aile by Kaija Saariaho Performer: Lesley Olson(Flute), Thomas Neuhaus(Electronics)
8.Six Japanese Gardens by Kaija Saariaho Performer: Andreas Boettger(Percussion), Andreas Boettger(Electronics)
GIACINTO SCELSI/BERNARD WAMBACH - Action Music, Suite No 8 "bot-ba" (Kairos 1231; Germany) Composer: Giacinto Scelsi
Performer: Bernhard Wambach
Giacinto Scelsi's relationship with the piano is interesting and contradictory. For no other instrument has the Italian composer and poet composed so many pieces; to no other instrument does he seem so closely attached, both personally and biographically; and no other instrument disappeared so abruptly and finally from his scores as the piano, the European showcase instrument. With the piano, we can follow the break lines and developments in the musical thinking and works of Giacinto Scelsi, which are key to an understanding of his striking compositional development. As late piano compositions, Action music and Suite Nr. 8 mark a transition to Giacinto Scelsi's new musical language: the exploration of the individual sound, the inclination to a sound-energetic agglomeration, the gesture of improvisation - all this is also clearly discernable in both his works.
HANS ZENDER - Music To Hear, Etc (Kairos 1226; Germany) Composer: Hans Zender
Performer: Donna Wagner-Molinari, Julie Moffat, Roland Schueler, Andreas Lindenbaum, Benedikt Leitner,
Eva Furrer, Florian Muller, Johann Leutgeb, Annette Bik, Katrina Emtage
Conductor: Hans Zender
Orchestra/Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
FIRST TIME LIST FROM GERMANY'S 'TRADITIONAL & MODERNE' LABEL:
FREDDIE ROULETTE With HENRY KAISER et al - Man Of Steel (T&M 36; Germany) At last, a new Freddie Roulette album on Tradition & Moderne. Following up his wonderful Spirit Of Steel album (T & M 014), the man returns with more of that sweet sliding guitar on Man Of Steel, an album recorded at Berkeley's legendary Fantasy studios, produced by friend and collaborator Henry Kaiser, who's also guesting on guitar. And there's an extra treat: the voice and guitar of David Lindley are featured on one track as well.
FREDDIE ROULETTE - Spirit Of Steel (T&M 14; Germany) Freddie Roulette is a true original. He has forged a unique personal approach to the 8-string lap steel guitar that is instantly identifiable; even one note is enough to let you know it's Freddie. He's usually referred to as the greatest of blues lap steel players (that's small, exclusive club that also includes Hop Wilson from Houston, Texas and two San Francisco Bay Area bluesmen, L.C. Robinson and his disciple Sonny Rhodes). But the thing about Mr. Roulette is that he is much, much more than a blues player. Like Bob Wills, Jerry Garcia, Bill Frisell, or Ry Cooder, he is an American Roots Music player who transcends the basic idioms of American popular musics and not only plays rock, soul, blues, country, jazz and classical but creates new hybrids of these idioms that are uniquely his own. Before the advent of this release it has been difficult to get an idea of the wide ranging creativity of Freddie Roulette. There have only been a few solo recordings released and they have been pretty narrow in their musical breadth. Here you can finally begin to hear some of Freddie's special magic that I have long enjoyed seeing him perform over the last 25 years in our mutual home, The San Francisco Bay Area. (Henry Kaiser)
DAVID TRONZO TRIO With STOMU TAKEISHI/BEN PEROWSKY - Yo! Hey! (T&M 06; Germany) Featuring Dave Tronzo on slide guitar, Stomu Takeishi on electric bass and Ben Perowsky on drums. This is the second disc from the amazing Tronzo Trio, recorded live for Radio Bremen in 1995, and seemed to have disappeared for a long time. Nobody plays (slide) guitar quite like Dave Tronzo and no band sounds like the old Tronzo Trio. Their first disc was on the Knit label and is also long out-of-print. "Yo! Hey!" contains five long tracks which includes a great cover of "Monk's Dream" by Thelonius Monk plus two long, spirited improv pieces. While most folks play slide guitar within the framework of the blues, Tronzo has stepped out of the circle of expectations and shown that he can be equally creative playing jazz and rock lines. Tronzo is sadly under-recorded, so you best grab this gem while you can. - BLG
JAYNE CORTEZ & THE FIRESPITTERS - Women In (E) Motion: Poetry & Music Live In Bremen (T&M 106; Germany) Combining her poetry with music, especially with jazz, is something that came naturally to Jayne Cortez. She says her early inspiration was jazz and blues rather than the poems of black poets. Although her texts evolve indipendent of any musical considerations, without music in mind - as opposed to Jamaican dub poets, for example, - the poems of this American have a pulse, an intuitive rhythm, a melody, as if made for a synthesis with jazz styles. This musical quality is reinforced by the New Yorker's reading style. At times it borders on vocal improvisation and her energetic word bursts become percussive primary.
Jayne Cortez is first and foremost a political poet. She comments on the wheelings and dealings of the powerful in politics and industry with her biting, sometimes completely cynical lines. She has an eye on what is happening in her own front yard, makes global connections and analyses history. For the active Afro-American, who found her voice in the black civil rights movement of the 1960's, the awareness of her African heritage makes up an important part of her identity and is a central theme in her works. Jayne Cortez's poetry is an insistent force, constructed of uncompromising statements, fanciful metaphors and expressive word associations.
Jayne Cortez started working politics into poetry in the early 60's. She was born in Arizona but grew up in Los Angeles. The circle of musicians around avant-garde jazz musican, Ornette Colemann, (drummer Denardo is their son) were a fundamental musical influence. Where as a fusion of black poetry and jazz remained phases for colleagues like Langston Hughes and Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Jayne Cortez has maintained a continuum in this area parallel to publishing numerous books, giving readings, etc. She has recorded five records since 1975 (four of them on her own label Bola Press), usually accompanied by musicians around Ornette Coleman. The Firespitters, with their flexible entwining of jazz, funk and blues, are also part of this music scene. In the Bremen Uberseemuseum, Jayne Cortez and band performed in a setting of predominantly African exhibits, a fittingly pregnant atmosphere for the works of this women, whose exceptional personality also comes through on this recording.
AMINA CLAUDINE MYERS With JEROME HARRIS/REGGIE NICHOLSON - Women In (E)Motion: Live In Bremen (T&M 102; Germany) Pianist Amina Claudine Myers recorded her first jazz album in 1969 with saxophonist Kalaparusha Maurice Mcintyre. She spend three important years in tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons' group. She maintained contact with the circle of musicians around the AACM when She moved to New York. Pianist and AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrahams, saxophone player Henry Threadgill, and Art Emsemble of Chicago trumpeter Lester Bowie repeatedly invited her to work on projects. (Bowie recently made her the central figure of his New York Organ Ensemble.) Amina Claudine Myers was able to devote more to her gospel roots in Martha and Fontella Bass' group, From the Root to the Source. She has also worked with Arthur Blythe, Frank Lowe, Sonny Stitt, Leroy Jenkins, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, and others.
Amina Claudine Myers has recorded several records since the end of the 1970's. She composed a contemporary musical, several large compositions for various ensembles, and contributed to the off-Broadway musical, "Ain't Misbehaven". She also worked as an actress.
The enormous intensity and destiny with which the trio performs on this live recording, is the result of many years of cooperation. Reggie Nicholson, an unusually melodic and very dynamic drummer, and Jerome Harris, who demonstrates an exemplary sensibility and elegance on the electric bass, have the necessary flexibility to do justice to Amina Claudine Myers' diverse, often hymnal expressiveness with both voice and piano. Music that with all it's complexity speaks directly to the heart and soul.
JOHN FAHEY - On Air (T&M 34; Germany) This historic Radio Bremen recording from March 1978 reminds of this legacy and presents an ingenious artist the way he probably will be remembered in the time to come: a wordless and lonesome figure with a six-string acoustic guitar, a couple of fingerpicks, a bottleneck and probably some beverages on stage, playing unsentimental American music of openness and timelessness. ON AIR is 70 minutes of John Fahey (AKA Blind Joe Death) live in Bremen/Germany 1978.
JOHN MARTYN - On Air (T&M 37; Germany) This historic concert recording made in Bremen/Germany on September 17th, 1975, features the man in his prime. The 27-year-old John Martyn came to Bremen to play his second-ever concert in Germany. He had made his German debut just a couple of months earlier in Freiburg close to the Swiss border. That gig had not been going well. Particularly since Martyn had been billed as "England's folk guitarist No. 1". The conservative German folk purists in attendance had rejected John's new style and Martyn in turn rejected the folk bag. His new sound was marked by freedom, immediacy, and a fondness for new technology. He was starting to use gadgets like the Echoplex tape delay machine, a sound that soon became his trademark.
In Bremen, it was a different situation altogether. John Martyn was very much in control and he really came to play. A couple of hundred people had made their way to historical Town Hall to listen to him, a testimony to the fact that the Hanseatic city in Northern Germany had much to offer in terms of music at the time. People were curious and hungry for new and exciting musical experiences and this was exactly what John Martyn's performance was all about. He offered intense interpretations of classic original songs like Bless The Weather and Solid Air, mesmerizing folk and blues covers like Jelly Roll Baker and Mhairi's Wedding, and a spine-tingling version of Skip James' I'd Rather Be The Devil closing the show. Radio Bremen's recording of this historic evening remained in the archives for more that 30 years and On Air marks its first public release ever. Listening to it again from a contemporary perspective it is a fascinating aural document of a young artist very much in progress. An artist who has continuously pushed his music into new directions up until the present.
These days John Martyn lives in rural Ireland. He continues to record but has scaled down his live appearances due to bad health. He has lost none of his musical abilities, however, and his career has remained a journey that is marked by an incapability to sell out artistically. John Martyn may not have reached the upper regions of the pop charts and may also have walked the wild side a little more than most of his peers - but his integrity as an artist has remained gloriously unscathed. On Air may be just a snapshot from his fourty years in music, but it presents the pure musical essence of a great and very original artist.
ELLEN McILWAINE - Spontaneous Combustion (T&M 18; Germany) Ellen McIlwaine vocals, acoustic/electric slide guitar, piano; Kester Smith drums; Bill Rich bass; and Special Guest: Taj Mahal, vocals Ellen McIlwaine has made a new album. Referring to its title, one is tempted to talk about "the fire that's still burning", if it weren't so tired an expression. And the red-headed singer does not like to make big statements when it comes to speaking about her musical life. But when she does, it soon becomes apparent that this is an artist who prefers to do things her way - or not at all. And that's precisely because she loves what she does. And that's the spirit behind the music on SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION - a new album by a remarkable woman.
SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION has become the album Ellen McIlwaine has always wanted to make. It's a no-holds barred record, reflecting many diverse aspects of her style and featuring performances that truly shine. The album features ten tunes coming from a well of blues feeling that never seems to dry up. Whereas her Bremen performance documented on CD presents a powerful and energetic live act, now Ellen McIlwaine also knows how to put across this energy in the studio environment. And that's what SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION is all about. Recorded in November in Seatlle, WA, Ellen McIlwaine delivers an exciting mix of original material and adds a bunch of inspired covers. Of invaluable help were her sidemen in the studio: drummer/percussionist Kester Smith and electric bass player Bill Rich. Both are veterans of a number of Taj Mahal bands for the last 30 years like "The Real Thing" Tuba Band and "The International Rhythm Band".
GEOFF MULDAUR - Beautiful Isle of Somewhere (T&M 25; Germany) The most widely known quote about Geoff Muldaur comes from British folkrock master Richard Thompson: "There are only three white blues singers, and Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them", the man once remarked with his tongue firmly in cheek. But when taking a closer look at Geoff Muldaur's career and music, one must indeed conclude that this man ranks among America's most remarkable roots music personalities. Unfortunately, not too many people seem to be familiar with his name and his music at this point, partly due to the fact that Muldaur went into a self-imposed exile from the business in the early 80s. He did not record or perform publicly for eighteen years and only recently came back with two remarkable albums: "The Secret Handshake" (1998) and "Password" (2000). It was then that Geoff Muldaur finally came to Europe for some solo live performances. Fortunately, this tour also led him to Bremen/Germany, where he delivered an intense and intimate performance at the "Moments" club. Local music critics rejoiced and found this to be "a deeply inspired and moving concert." Luckily, this performance was recorded professionally and TRADITION & MODERNE is happy to be able to release this performance from May 30th, 1999, now. BEAUTIFUL ISLE OF SOMEWHERE was the final encore that night, a Methodist hymn from 1897, rendered a cappella. With this gem, Geoff Muldaur concluded a wonderful evening that will remain in everyone's memories as an intense and unforgettable concert experience.
ANDY STATMAN - On Air (T&M 33; Germany) May 8th 2004 was a night to remember for everyone present at the venerable Radio Bremen concert hall. The Andy Statman Trio was scheduled to perform and in the process gave an impressive demonstration of its art. ON AIR presents four extended excerpts from this concert that give ample evidence why this unique artist from Brooklyn, NY, is one of the most interesting exponents of the contemporary American klezmer and roots music scene. Andy Statman (clarinet, mandolin), Jim Whitney (bass) and Larry Eagle (drums) are always crossing borders and building bridges between the past and present. Amazingly, this is Statman's first ever live album, giving long overdue aural evidence of the special intensity he and his band create in a live situation.
LINDA TILLERY & THE CULTURAL HERITAGE CHOIR - Good Time, A Good Time (T&M 11; Germany)
BUNDA LOVE [ID M THEFTABLE/MIKE PRIDE] With JAMIE SAFT - Bunda Love Mit Saft [DVD] (Funhole 11; USA) Review soon.
MIKE PRIDE'S FROM BACTERIA TO BOYS With DARIUS JONES/EVAN LIPSON - Hang (Funhole 09; USA) Featuring Darius Jones on alto sax, Evan Lipson on acoustic bass and Mike Pride on drums. Mike Pride keeps pretty busy between a wide variety of bands and projects. This trio date was recorded in Philly in June of 2006. "I'm Not Afraid to be a Man" opens with insistent repeating sax line, the rhythm team switching below, at a slower pace, then varying the rhythm as the piece evolves. Considering that I haven't heard of the saxist, Darius Jones, before this, he sounds pretty great at spinning his fast lines tightly with the bass and drums. This is a particularly strong jazz date with a fine acoustic trio, strong writing and inspired playing. - BLG
EVIL EYE [JONATHAN MORITZ/NATE WOOLEY/MIKE PRIDE/KEN FILIANO] - Evil Eye (Funhole 05; USA) Jonathan Moritz- tenor sax; Nate Wooley- trumpet; Ken Filiano- bass; Mike Pride- drums. EVIL EYE is a modern jazz quartet led by Jonathan Moritz & Mike Pride. This is live recording from November 2003. Features 2 modern jazz compositions by Moritz and 2 chamber jazz pieces by Mike Pride.
MICHEL DONEDA/GIUSEPPE IELASI/INGAR ZACH - Flore de Cataclysmo (Sedimental 048; USA) "This trio features very distinct musical personalities and caught us off guard simply by its appearance at all, but we sure did smile when we heard it as we knew it would pack the goods. Both Zach (percussion) and Doneda (reeds) lay sturdy frameworks with Ielasi (guitar) adding an almost alien warmth to the group sound. Intense sonic impact yet transparent and sparse enough to navigate with alert senses, the whole disc has an ambitious arc that one may miss when caught in the web."
BHOB RAINEY/RALF WEHOWSKY - I Don't Think I Can See You Tonight (Sedimental 047; USA) "The Bhob Rainey/Ralf Wehowsky collaboration overcame many grueling attempts, musical dead-ends and a five full years to realize its outcome and man, was it worth the wait! Both artists sit firmly in their unique and highly regarded (and earned) musical positions these days and are both truly fearless in attempting and pursuing new musical activities for themselves. Here are three powerful, often hair-raisingly intense pieces that allow no room for complacency on the part of the listener.... at all."
SHADOW VIGNETTES/EDWARD WILKERSON - Odd Eye O Mumbo Jumbo [DVD] (Sessoms; USA) A DVD by a big band that put out one record more than 20 years ago is hardly expected, but in this case certainly welcome. Ed Wilkerson could have been the next great name to come out of Chicago - following the Art Ensemble, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton and the recently departed Leroy Jenkins - but instead he stayed, and as a result isn't nearly as well known as he should be. His releases are as rare as they are great: the recent Frequency quartet, another quartet under his name from 1994 and a handful of releases by his most notable project, 8 Bold Souls. The 25-members of Shadow Vignettes in this documentary are just about a who's who of the Chicago AACM, including the late (Ameen Muhammed, Vandy Harris), the great (Harrison Bankhead, Ernest Dawkins, Reggie Nicholson) and other hometown players deserving of wider recognition (Mwata Bowden, Ari Brown, Rita Warford). The film captures several live pieces and lots of interviews and tour-bus banter, and the DVD also includes the short film "Honky Tonk Bud," a project that Wilkerson wrote the score for, which resulted in bringing the band together. It's been too long, and we can only hope that the DVD release means they might be recording again sometime in the next decade or two. - Kurt Gottschalk/guest reviewer
STEFFEN BASHO-JUNGHANS - Late Summer Morning (Strange Attractors 45; USA) "Much in the vein of his pastoral epic Rivers and Bridges, Steffen Basho-Junghans harkens back to the heyday of American Primitive guitar, as defined by John Fahey circa Fare Forward Voyagers and America, and the American raga structures of Robbie Basho. 'Late Summer Morning,' the title track, is an unabashedly beautiful extended composition for 6-string guitar, stretching out languidly and effortlessly like a morning raga saturated in crisp, warming hues. With the steel string tradition as a steadfast reference point, Basho-Junghans utilizes unorthodox pacing, picking and rhythms as Late Summer Morning progresses. 'Woodland Orchestra' discreetly harkens to themes of tone and minimalism as found on 7 Books or any one of his experimental albums, while 'Azure No. 3' wraps glistening guitar lines into circular patterns to create lovely trance-inducing color wheels. A key component to Late Summer Morning, however, is Basho-Junghans' ability to strike out into the unknown while keeping the sounds and tones grounded, something that is evident as multiple sound forms hit the ear with calming bliss. American folk and classical, East Indian raga, Native American linearity, the resonance of Middle Eastern folk and melodic minimalism (i.e. Steve Reich) meld together in a fashion that is tremendously cinematic and allegorically vivid. Late Summer Morning is 'minimalist trance-folk,' a modern masterpiece of where Guitar Soli has gone, and where it can go next."
GLENN JONES - Against Which the Sea Continually Beats (Strange Attractors 46; USA) "Since 1989, Glenn Jones has led Boston's 'avant -garage' instrumental rock band Cul de Sac, whose musical adventures are documented on nine albums to date, including a soundtrack for cult-director Roger Corman (The Strangler's Wife, 2003), and collaborations with guitarist John Fahey (The Epiphany of Glenn Jones, 1996) and former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki (Abhayamudra, 2004). A 30-plus-year devotee of the so-called 'Takoma School,' Jones has written extensively on the steel-string guitar's leading lights: John Fahey, with whom he was friends for nearly 25 years, and Robbie Basho, who befriended Jones during the five years before his untimely death in 1986. In 2001, Jones began playing acoustic guitar in earnest, which he hadn't touched in more than a decade. Against Which the Sea Continually Beats is an indisputable triumph of acoustic guitar composition, a reverential and innovative melding of sound and form. Bookended by the brief slide blues laments 'Island 1' and 'Island 2,' Against Which the Sea Continually Beats' eleven tunes travel from Delta to Appalachia, from classical to a cinematic sort of folk sound in a language that is purely imbued in the artist's own dialect. Graceful and subtle, resonating with confidence and at times sheer power, Against Which the Sea Continually Beats is a masterpiece of guitar soli by a truly singular talent."
THE VOCOKESH - ...All This And Hieronymus Bosch (Strange Attractors 48; USA) "The Vocokesh (previously simply Vocokesh) formed in 1991 when guitarist Richard Franecki spun out of orbit from F/i, the legendary Milwaukee psychedelic veterans he co-founded. Thinking them turning a bit polite, The Vocokesh provided the necessary vessel to sufficiently blast Franecki's undiluted vision of full-blown experimental/free-acid rock mayhem further out into the ether. Multiple recordings for RRRecords, Drag City, Lexicon Devil (responsible for many a Vocokesh and F/i reissue) and Strange Attractors Audio House chart relentless trajectories of improvised, analog electronics-laced instrumental rock psychedelics that reverently summon the spirits of the most marginalized ruffians of '70s Krautrock (Amon Duul I, Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free) while exploring newer terrain. With 2005's Through the Smoke, The Vocokesh took a bit of a detour by lacing their hallucinatory flurries with actual 'songs,' in the vein of latter '60s fuzz/psych. Franecki and the boys' restless spirit never wanes, and thus ...All This and Hieronymus Bosch, The Vocokesh's eighth long player, marks more departures from previous formulas, resulting in some of their finest and freshest sonics yet. Synthesizers and electronics, so prominently on display throughout The Vocokesh catalog, takes more of a backseat role while the sitar, only sparingly used in the past, bubbles strongly to the surface. The result lends an Eastern-tinged vibe to many of the tunes, a late '60s consciousness-elevating cool akin to the magic carpet rides that Ravi Shankar helped usher into rock 'n' roll after his Monterey Pop performance. Masterful guitar work is still in rich abundance, but many of the dark psych passages The Vocokesh are known for is offset by some sunnier trajectories. As implied by the title, ...All This and Hieronymus Bosch hosts a surrealistic depth rarely matched in instrumental rock these days -- a fantastic entry into The Vocokesh's ongoing psychedelic experiments."
ARVE HENRIKSEN - Strjon (Rune Grammofon 2061; EEC) This is Norwegian Arve Henriksen's third full-length release on Rune Grammofon. On Strjon, Henriksen is joined by his Supersilent colleagues Stale Storlokken and Helge Sten, who also produced the album. Strjon brings together the various sides of Henriksen, from the zen-like solo pieces of his debut album Sakuteiki to the open-ended melancholia of Chiaroscuro to the dark, brooding lyricism of Supersilent. "Strjon" is the medieval name of Arve's hometown Stryn on the west coast of Norway, referring to a streaming river or water. The nature around Stryn is fantastic and the changes between winter and summer are quite drastic, from crashing avalanches in steep mountains to calm beauty and majestic tranquility. Some of the music dates back to sketches made by a young Arve Henriksen in these surroundings, later worked on by both Arve himself and Helge Sten. Arve Henriksen is without doubt one of Norway's leading instrumentalists and a master of the trumpet, as can be heard on his previous solo albums, numerous Supersilent albums and as a side player for musicians such as Trygve Seim, Christian Wallumrod, Dhafer Youssef, David Sylvian and Frode Haltli to name only a few. As Henriken himself explains: "Most of the music comes from my own 'library' of sounds and music created during my days at Stryn. At the age of 16 I started to make sketches and recorded lots of cassettes with improvised electronic sequences, and over the years loads of tapes and discs have been added to the pile of homemade studio sketches. My idea has been to look into this material to search for a history, for moods, perhaps to understand a little bit more and maybe discover some reasons for why I play like I do." Performed by: Arve Henriksen (trumpet, voice, keyboards and electronics), Stale Storlokken (keyboards) and Helge Sten (guitars and bow).
EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN - Palast der Republik [DVD] (MVD 4564; USA) "This performance was filmed on November 4, 2004 at the Palast der Republik in Berlin, the former Parliament building and symbol of the no longer extant DDR (East Germany). The Neubauten found the steel skeleton of the ruins of the Palast a congenial location for their architectural-musical fantasies and field studies. Accompanied by a 100 member choir, recruited from the supporters of the www.neubauten.org internet project, they played in and with the building in their inimitable, almost literally building-collapsing fashion. Contains previously unreleased songs, band commentary and more." Length: 82 minutes, 4:3 Color, Stereo 5.1, DVD 5, NTSC
JOHN WOOD With WOODY SHAW/JOE HENDERSON - Drum Machines Have No Soul - Vol 2 (LAP 101; USA)
ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS, REISSUES and RESTOCKED DISCS:
KEVIN DRUMM - Sheer Hellish Miasma (Editions Mego 053; Austria) Originally released in 2002, now reissued with a bonus track. Utilizing guitar, tapes, mics, pedals, analog synthesizer and some computer assistance, Chicago's own Kevin Drumm concocted a sonic beast with Sheer Hellish Miasma. One is taken on an intense journey of storming feedback, open audio onslaught and somewhat savaged sonics. The extreme end of anarchic electronics and possibly a hint of musical violence is present throughout much of the disc. An essential release capturing Drumm at his most ferocious and most inventive. It's an exhilarating, visceral test of endurance brimming with demonic humor and a tour of Drumm's ever-expanding sonic palette. For seasoned noise veterans, Sheer Hellish Miasma offers a bracing soundscape filled with exquisitely abrasive textures and more than enough hidden detail to warrant repeated listening -- a distinct voice in the increasingly same-sounding world of abstract electronic noise. For everyone else, Drumm's journey through the noisy underworld is likely to inspire fear or, in an optimistic case, fearful admiration. This reissue comes with an additional track, "Impotent Hummer," taken from the same period -- a 13-minute drone piece that draws the listener into the forthcoming blizzard. In total? A din of arms, the fierce swell of damaged drone and the shriek of subtle shifting sonic slaughter ... for the seasoned, a bountiful sonic feast awaits, for the meek it's intense and rewarding -- noise rarely sounds this exhilarating. Revised artwork by Stephen O'Malley. Re-mastered at Piethopraxis, Koln, December 2006.
BEAD GAME - Welcome (Fallout 2033; UK) This superb collection of jazz-tinged psychedelic rock originally appeared in 1970. Boasting the vocal and drumming talents of Jim Hodder (later to join Steely Dan) and guitarist John Sheldon (who'd played with Van Morrison and went on to write for James Taylor), the album is consistently melodic, featuring outstanding musical interplay and glorious guitar solos. Released here complete with three rare bonus tracks and historical liner notes, it's an essential purchase for all fans of U.S. prog and psych rock.
GREEN - Green (Fallout 2037; UK) One of the most unjustly neglected albums of its time, this superb collection of snappy psychedelic rock from Texas first appeared in 1969 on the Atco label and makes its long-overdue CD debut here, complete with four previously-unheard pre-album demos. A brilliant mixture of raw guitar, subtle horns and catchy songwriting, the album comes across as a delightfully idiosyncratic amalgam of The Beatles, The Zombies and Buffalo Springfield, making it a must-have for fans of classic '60s psychedelia.
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS [DEBORAH HARRY et al] - The Wind In The Willows (Fallout 2035; UK) This band of New York hippies is best-known for featuring the debut of Blondie's Debbie Harry. Their sole album originally appeared in 1968 on Capitol Records. A dreamy collection of psychedelic folk-pop that perfectly captures the innocence and whimsy of the 1960s flower-power dream, it's an obligatory purchase for lovers of The Mamas and the Papas or sunshine pop in general, and is presented here complete with explanatory liner notes.
COB [C.O.B. - CLIVE'S ORIGINAL BAND] - Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart (Sunbeam 5029; UK) Featuring Incredible String Band founder Clive Palmer, COB (an acronym for "Clive's Original Band") made some of the most imaginative and moving music of their time, and this 1972 masterpiece is considered by many to be the finest folk record ever to emerge from the British Isles. Along with members Mick Bennett and John Bidwell, Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart is an overwhelmingly beautiful and compelling collection of songs set to Eastern-tinged arrangements and Celtic acid folk. It's presented here with seven rare bonus tracks, comprehensive historical sleevenotes and rare photographs, making it the most comprehensive edition of the album ever assembled.
LOUDEST WHISPER - The Children of Lir (Sunbeam 5030; UK) The Loudest Whisper originated in rural Fermoy, Co. Cork in the early '60s. This psychedelic folk classic was recorded in 1974, and has gone on to become one of the rarest records ever issued in Ireland. The Children of Lir was a musical score, based around the mystical legend of the Irish King Lir, and his children who are condemned to live as swans. A glorious mixture of catchy melodies, soaring harmonies and biting acid guitar, it's presented here complete with a 12-page booklet featuring rare photos and detailed sleevenotes, as well as six bonus tracks (including demos, non-album 45s and the soundtrack to the work's original broadcast on Irish television), making it the most comprehensive edition of The Children Of Lir ever assembled.
GOBLIN - The Fantastic Voyage of Goblin [sndtck s] (Cherry Red/Bella Casa 01; UK) Best-of Goblin compilation, including soundtrack songs from Profondo Rosso, Suspiria, Dawn Of The Dead, Tenebre, and more. "An outstanding progressive rock group in their own right, Goblin's name is synonymous with the cinema of Dario Argento, the director of stylised Italian horror. For him they composed such celebrated scores as Profondo Rosso, that starred David Hemmings and which provided the group with a domestic number one hit and the hallucinatory Suspiria, which recalls early Can and the free-form improvisations of Amon Duul II and Popul Vuh. Goblin's music is astoundingly effective both as rock and in the context of the films and is internationally celebrated as such. Like David Axelrod, Goblin have been widely sampled and are held in great esteem by the Chemical Brothers and those of that generation."
JAWBONE - Jawbone (Rev-Ola 195; UK) "Jawbone was born from the ashes of The Mirage and Turquoise, two of the UK's greatest cult pop-psych bands (and both recently anthologized on RPM and Rev-Ola respectively) and their lone 1970 album rounds off their stories perfectly. When 'How's Ya Pa?' was released as a single in early 1970, it was credited to yet another new moniker, Jawbone. Typically for this period, Dave Hynes had become obsessed by The Band and set about re-modelling the group in their image. Consequently, titles like 'Honeysuckle Redwood Cabin,' 'Homestead' and 'Mister Custer' came thick and fast, bearing the distinct influences of The Band and The Byrds. On the flipside, Jeff Peters' yearning, Dylanesque 'Song For Sunny' sounds like a top-notch Turquoise out-take, 'Brave White Knight' blends Donovan, Simon & Garfunkel and 'Greensleeves' to thrilling effect and the superb version of The Beatles' 'Across The Universe' is chock full of flanged vocals, wah-wah guitar and all manner of glorious psychedelic trickery. The album has now become a bona fide British pop-psych curio and a true collector's item, commanding up to L500 a copy!"
RITA LEE - Hoje e O Primeiro Dia do Resto da Sua Vida (Rev-Ola 154; UK) "The fabulous Rita Lee rocketed to fame as a member of the wildest alumni (and now, bizarrely, the best known) of Tropicalia, Os Mutantes! Their amazing albums and controversial antics set out a stall for Tropicalia in no uncertain terms and the widespread rediscovery of their work in the '90s and their current reformation (after 30 years of not talking) continue to fan the flames of the myth. After Os Mutantes' early groundbreaking albums, Rita Lee decided to create her own space by launching a concurrent career as a solo singer. Unfortunately, her slightly wayward Rogerio Duprat-arranged debut failed to launch a straight pop career as well as neglecting almost everything people loved about Os Mutantes. After going back to the drawing board in 1972, Rita recruited her Os Mutantes colleagues Arnaldo and Sergio Baptista as well as other members of the music/art commune in which they all lived, to produce the follow-up. As different as day is from night, written by the original Os Mutantes trio of Rita, Arnaldo and Sergio and 'produced and directed' by Arnaldo, this second album is a masterpiece of Tropicalia/ psychedelia with the spooky, comedown atmosphere of 'Smiley Smile' to boot. To all intents and purposes, a virtual 'lost' fifth Os Mutantes album with Rita the dominant force. An amazing return to the perfect organized chaos of their first two albums and a total must-have."
THE TOKENS - Intercourse (Rev-Ola 37; UK) "From the depths of the legendary BT Puppy vaults (a label which seems to have as many lost albums as they had hits!) The very daddies of softpop The Tokens! Though The Tokens are best remembered for their international smash hit 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight,' recently revived in The Lion King, they did much more. Producers, writers, publishers and label owners, they had a long string of hits in all those roles. Intercourse is a full-on softpop song cycle, inexplicably turned down by their then-label Warner Brothers, and released in an edition of 200 copies on their own BT Puppy label for contractual reasons. Far from their Doo-Wop roots, The Tokens delivered an album pitched somewhere between Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's, with all the production and arrangement tricks that implies. No wonder Warners were dumbfounded, and no wonder collectors have been going nuts and paying silly sums for this album ever since! Newly remastered by The Tokens themselves, this is a surprise treat in anyone's language, as The Tokens show not only every cult softpop group, but many superstars just how it's done, with the wicked tongue-in-cheek touch which they were justly famous for."
PATRICK LUNDBORG - The Acid Archives Book: A Guide to Underground Sounds 1965-1982 [book] (Lysergia LSD25 006; EEC) Reprinted and available again... A Guide to Underground Sounds 1965-1982; by Patrick Lundborg with Aaron Milenski & Ron Moore. Second printing of this book is now available! This is the book version of the popular and highly renowned Acid Archives web site (www.lysergia.com/AcidArchives) -- the #1 internet resource for information and reviews of rare, obscure and unknown LPs from the USA and Canada 1965-1982. This book version adds hundreds of albums and reviews not listed on the web, as well as lots of images, rare band photos and LP sleeves. The book also features release details and in-depth exclusive reviews for more than 4,000 obscure LPs, including newly overhauled reissue data and value ratings. The main genres are psychedelia, garage, folk & folkrock, hippie rock, progressive rock, and hard-rock, with also a wide selection of interesting and rare singer-songwriter, harmony pop, soft rock, lounge-rock, avant-garde, vanity-pressings and "outsider" albums. This is the first ever comprehensive guide to the vintage musical underground of North America, and opens up a gigantic field of outstanding music that has earlier been exclusive and hard to grasp. Also included is a buyer's guide, a glossary, historical backgrounds, fun Top 10 lists, and much more. 298 pages, perfect-bound quarto with a sturdy full-color soft-cover, and a foreword by Mike Stax of Ugly Things magazine.
DMG RECOMMENDED GIG LIST FOR MARCH 16th, 2007 & BEYOND -
THE DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC GIG LIST CONTINUES WITH:
This Sunday, March 18th -
6pm - JUDI SILVANO & ED SCHULLER!
Rare appearance by the great jazz singer & bassist!
Next Sunday, March 25th -
6pm - RAS MOSHE/KYOKO KITAMURA/SHANA DULBERGER
7pm - THOMAS HELTON & PHILIP GAYLE!
THE STONE is located at the NW corner of Avenue C & 2nd St.
March 2007 is curated by Matthew Shipp
8 pm - Andrew Bemkey Duo
Andrew Bemkey (piano, bass clarinet) & Newman Taylor Baker (drums)
10 pm - Rob Brown Quartet w/ Rob Brown (alto sax) Steve Swell (trombone) Joe Morris (bass) Luther Gray (drums)
8 pm - Khan Jamal Trio - Khan Jamal (vibes) Yah Abdul Mazid (tenor sax) Fahir Kendall (bass) Dwight James (drums)
10 pm - Todd Nicholson Quartet w/ Todd Nicholson (bass) Gamiel Lyons (flute) Andrew Bemkey (piano, bass clarinet) Newman Taylor Baker(drums)
8 pm - Dominic Duval String Ensemble w/ Dominic Duval (bass) Thomas Ulrich (cello) Gregor Hubner (violin) special guest Yuko Fujiyama (piano)
10 pm - Soul Calling-CD release party
Dominic Duval (bass) Ivo Perelman (sax)
8 pm- -Robert Boston Quartet w/ Robert Boston (piano) Fredick Kennedy (drums) Thomas Helton (bass) April Koester (laptop, text)
The Ras Ensemble w/ Ras Moshe (tenor) David Ross (guitar) Shayna Dulberger (bass) Rashid Bakr (drums)
8 pm - Vortex-Shoko Nagai/Satoshi Takeishi With Special Guest
Shoko Nagai (piano, prepared piano) Satoshi Takeishi (percussion, electronics)
10 pm - Sylvie Courvoisier Trio
Herb Robertson (trumpets) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Jackson Krall (drums)
8 pm - Downtown Horns
Roy Campbell (trumpet) Daniel Carter (reeds, trumpet) Sabir Mateen (reeds)
10 pm - Mat Maneri (viola) Dave Burrell (piano) Andy Peterson (drums) John Hebert (bass)
8 pm - Daniel Levin Quartet
Daniel Levin (cello) Nate Wooley (trumpet) Matt Moran (vibes) Joe Morris (bass)
10 pm - Eye Contact w/ Matt Lavelle (trumpet, bass clarinet, cuica) Matt Heyner (bass) Ryan Sawyer (drums)
8 pm - Nabate Isles' Synergy
Nabate Isles (trumpet) Gamiel Lyons (flute) Matt Clohesy (bass) Jamire Williams (drums) Richard Padron (guitar) James Gordon Williams (piano)
10 pm - Nabate Isles Imagination w/ Nabate Isles (trumpet) Jamire Williams (drums) Lionel Loueke (guitar) Sam Barsh (keyboards)
8 pm - Stone Benefit-Improv Night run by Sabir Mateen
Sabir Mateen (reeds) and many special guests
Come out and support The Stone
10 pm - William Hooker (drums) Adam Lane (bass) Darius Jones (alto sax)
Performances take place at 8 & 10 pm from Tuesday - Sunday nights,
This month, Monday poetry performances have also been added at 8 & 10pm
There are no advance tickets, first come, first served, there is no phone
There is no food or beverage served, just a serious listening environment
Admission for each set is $10, unless otherwise indicated
Check out the website for The Stone at thestonenyc.com
Dee Pop presents:
THE Freestyle MUSIC SERIES
"All types of creative music"
Every Sunday @ Jimmy's Restaurant
43 East 7th Street * NYC * 212-982-3006
7pm Radio I-Ching
9pm AMIR ELSAFFAR Group with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Zaafer Tawil, Tareq Abboushi, Carlo DeRosa, drums
7pm Nimbni: Jean Carla Rodea, Ryan Macstaller, Todd Neufeld, John Myers, Gerald Cleaver
9pm - Nate Wooley, Taylor Ho Bynum, Ken Filiano, Tomas Fujiwara
www.freestylejazz.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
TONIC is located at 107 Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets
Here are some highlights from this week's calendar:
Fri, March 16th -
8pm - BURNT SUGAR!
Mon, March 19th -
8pm - 101 CRUSTACEANS PLUS MARC RIBOT'S CERAMIC DOG!
Fri, March 23rd -
8 pm - No Fun Winter Ends Destruction day 2: An Alien Heat: Thurston Moore, Mark Morgan & Bill Nace plus The Eagles of Hair Metal: Alan Licht, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Mike Bernstein, Greg Kelley & Tamio Shiraishi plus Carlos Giffoni plus Burning Star Core plus Prurient
Sun, March 25th -
8PM - BEYOND THE BRAIN PART TWO: JANE IRA BLOOM QUARTET With Mark Helias (bass), Jane Ira Bloom (soprano sax / electronics), Matt Wilson (drums) & Dawn Clement (piano / keyboard).
PETER GORDON'S LOVE OF LIFE ORCHESTRA: LITTLE BIG BAND w/ Peter Gordon (sopranino sax), Lenny Pickett (tenor sax, clarinet) Paul Shapiro (soprano and tenor sax, flute), Steven Bernstein (trumpet, slide trumpet), Peter Zummo (trombone), Martha Mooke (electric viola), Paul Nowinski (bass), and Jim Mussen (drums). Peter Gordon's newly reconvened LOLO features a great band, with elegant horn and string arrangements, electronic groove, layers of raucous improvisations.
Please visit http://www.tonicnyc.com for details and schedule updates.
MARCH 2007 SCHEDULE AT ROULETTE
20 Greene St (between Canal and Grand St)
8:30 PM / TICKETS/RSVP: 212.219.8242
contact: email@example.com - http://www.roulette.org/
Roulette is pleased to announce that we have been selected for WNYC's
March Salute The Arts *STAR* Initiative! Listen for mentions on 93.9 FM
and AM 820; look for them on http://www.wnyc.org/events
ROULETTE IS THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE OUR MOVE INTO OUR NEW HOME: 20 GREENE STREET in SOHO. With this new space, Roulette will be expanding activities to include over 100 concerts, sound installations, longer runs of music theater and other large productions such as the Avant Jazz Still Moving festival and the annual "Festival of Mixology"
For our expanded events calendar go to: http://www.roulette.org/
MARCH 2007 EVENTS
3/16: John King with Jenny Lin, Cornelius Dufallo, Okkyung Lee & Kato Hideki
3/17: Jim Staley with Zeena Parkins & guests
3/18: Natalie Rose LeBrecht (aka Greenpot Bluepot)
3/22: Kevin Davis / Andrew Raffo Dewar
3/23: Briggan Krauss
3/24: Kevin Norton
3/29: James Rouvelle / Blithe Riley
3/30: Lynn Book / Katharina Klement
3/31: Elliott Sharp
The 'Rhythm in the Kitchen' 2007
at the Metro Baptist Church on 410 West 40th Street (just west of 9th Avenue) from March 29th - March 31st.
Thursday March 29th
8 pm: Alex Garcia's AfroMantra
(Alex Garcia - drums; Ole Mathisen - saxophone; Pablo Vergara - piano; Waldo Chavez - bass; Aryam Vazquez - percussion)
9 pm: Michael Attias Quartet
(Michael Attias - saxophones; Russ Lossing - piano; Sean Conly - bass; Satoshi Takeishi - drums)
10 pm: Matt Lavelle's Spiritual Power
(Matt Lavelle - bass clarinet/trumpet; Michael T.A. Thompson - drums; Hilliard Greene - bass)
Friday March 30th
8 pm: Bob Feldman & 30J
(Bob Feldman - tenor saxophone; Tony Romano - guitar; Matt Lavelle - trumpet/bass clarinet; Ken Filiano - bass)
9 pm: Mike Freeman Zonavibe
(Mike Freeman - vibraphone; Little Johnny Rivero - congas; Maximo Rodriguez - bass)
10 pm: J D Parran and Ensemble Helacious
(J D Parran - bass sax; Peter Zummo - trombone; Kevin Norton - vibraphone/percussion)
11 pm: Dick Griffin Duo
(Dick Griffin - trombone; Warren Smith - drums)
Saturday March 31st
8 pm: Noah Creshevsky (composer) and Beth Griffith (soprano)
9 pm: Michael Marcus & Magic Door
(Michael Marcus - clarinet; Aaron James - bass; Jay Rosen - drums)
10 pm: The William Hooker Quartet (performance with film)
(William Hooker - drums; Okkyung Lee - cello; Ras Moshe - tenor saxophone; Sabir Mateen - saxophone)
11 pm: Sayuri Goto Trio with Benny Powell
(Sayuri Goto - piano; Benny Powell - trombone; Essiet Essiet - bass; Chip White - drums)
The Thirty-third Anniversary of EI performances at 224 Centre Street loft, and, not least, The Seventeenth Annual Festival with no fancy name, Part Two (or B)
Phill Niblock, curator
MICHAEL FAHRES FRIDAY 16
"Cetacea" is the Latin term for the group of marine mammals which includes
whales; Fahres examines the relationship between the rhythmic structures of
the clicking noises of dolphins and the polyrhythms of Senegal, as played
by Doudou NiDiaye Rose, the master of the sabar drum and his ensemble; this
composition consists of a recording of the ultrasound tones made by
dolphins in the Duisburg Dolphinarium and subsequently transformed into
audible frequencies; the concert is the tape version in 5.1 surround -
following the concert, there will be a film which documents Cetacea;
Supported by the Gaudeamus Contemporary Music Center, the Netherlands
GERHARDT MULLER-GOLDBOOM Saturday 17
The premiere of "sabi", a Japanese inspired piece for one stringed
intrument; the Berlin composer plays the doublebass in this piece and also
presents three electronic pieces realized in the Freiburg studio (Germany),
in part combined with the doublebass; this program will present a facette
of the composer's work reflecting different arts outside the musical
terrain; violinist Tom Chiu will play another version of and will
join the composer in an improvisation
Supported by the Senatskanzlei Berlin - Kulturelle Angelegenheiten;
Bolsa Ernesto de Sousa, a memorial fellowship named for the Portuguese
Intermedia Artist, sponsored by the Luso-Americana Foundation and the
Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, in Lisbon, coordinated by Isabel Alves,
presents an intermedia performance:
LUIS MIGUEL GIRAO Thursday 22
Is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher in the application of
technology as a tool for artistic expression; this, the outcome of his
residence at EI, is a performance for a body in space interacting with an
audiovisual sensory system; recently developed movement based control
interfaces and new ideas about audiovisual expression form the core of his
HANS W KOCH AND BETTINA WENZEL Sunday 25
he researches hardware-specific aspects of different powerbook-models,
looking for instrumental qualities in uniformed machines; She influences
video with extended vocal techniques, creating a play between reality and
illusion, turning walls into waves
www.hans-w-koch.net and http://www.mynetcologne.de/~nc-wenzelbe2/
ROBIN HAYWARD Monday 26
Acoustic tuba solos; the Berlin-based tuba player presents a song book of
noise; the instrument is treated as a labyrinth of tuning in which air may
be trapped and redirected, producing sounds reminiscent both of industrial
noise and analogue electronics; www.robinhayward.de
ADACHI TOMOMI Thursday 29
Performer, composer, sound poet and visual artist from Tokyo, known for his
versatile style; he will present solo improvisations with voice, self-made
instruments (electronic/amplified objects) and an original sensor system
named "infrared sensor shirt," also introduces some works of Japanese sound
poet; his performance is characterized by a sense of humor and a singular
intensity with visual pleasure; this will be his first solo performance in
the US; http://www.adachitomomi.com/
Our programs are supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, the
Fund For Music, the Phaedrus Foundation and The Amphion Foundation
224 Centre Street at Grand, Third Floor, N Y 10013 - 9pm,
212 431 5127, 431 6430, www.experimentalintermedia.org and
Jazz at the Seaport
Seaport District Cultural Association Performance Space
Friday, March 16, 7pm - 2 sets
LOUIE BELOGENIS - TENOR
MICHAEL BISIO - BASS
JAY ROSEN - DRUMS
Friday, March 23rd 7pm - 2 sets
EIVIND OPSVIK - bass
OKKYUNG LEE - cello
LOUIE BELOGENIS - tenor sax
ALON NECHUSHTAN - piano
Friday, March 30th at 7pm - 2 Sets
BORAH BERGMAN - Solo piano
Front St. at Beekman St. (South St. Seaport)
subway 2,3,4,5 to Fulton St A to Broadway/Nassau
THE WET INK ENSEMBLE
Monday, March 19th, 2007, 8pm
Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space (95th and Broadway)
box office: (212) 864-5400, or www.symphonyspace.org
Eric Wubbels: drastic / gnostic (2006)
for flute, oboe, clarinet, and piano
Alex Mincek: chalk felt slate / hammer felt wire (2006/7)*
for piano, voice, flute, tenor saxophone, and electric guitar
Bernhard Lang: Differenz / Wiederholung 1.2 (2002)**
for flute, tenor saxophone, and piano
Jeff Snyder: Epicycles (2006/7)
for electric guitar and accordion
Helmut Oehring: Leuchter (1994)**
for soprano saxophone, cello, and prepared piano
Katharine Soper: Door (2006)*
for voice, flute, tenor saxophone, electric guitar, and accordion
Austrian composer Bernhard Lang has already made a significant impact
on the European music scene (the 2006 Vienna Mozart Year culminated in
the presentation of his opera "I HATE MOZART"), yet the March 19th
performance by the Wet Ink Ensemble marks one of the first
opportunities for American audiences to hear his music live. Lang's
recent music draws on Gilles Deleuze's seminal work "Difference and
Repetition" to fashion an unmistakably contemporary language of loops,
glitches, and noises. New works by Wet Ink composer/performers Alex
Mincek, Jeff Snyder, Katharine Soper, and Eric Wubbels will treat the
issue of repetition in a variety of contexts, as will a rare U.S.
performance of the music of rising German star Helmut Oehring.
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