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NEWSLETTER - July 23rd, 2010
More Blisterin' July Releases!..
Masada String Trio Book Two! Foreman/Zorn Astonome DVD! Karl Berger! Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton! Frith/Cutler/Dimuzio LP! Erik Friedlander 10"! George Cartwright! Sun Ra! Oden Pope Catalyst!
Tubby Hayes! Ronnie Scott with Freddie Hubbard/Donald Byrd! Abdullah Ibrahim & WDR Orchestra! Olivier Messiaen! Plastic People of the Universe! Pigbag! D Bayne's Luminescence Records! .. & Lots More!
This year is Downtown Music Gallery's 20th Anniversary!
so, to Celebrate we are presenting the trio of
RAOUL BJORKENHEIM - BILL LASWELL - MORGAN AGREN
Scorch Trio Guitar Icon + Legendary Low End Giant + Mats/Morgan Band's Batterie = Mindf*ck!
at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker St NYC, in mid-September!
Exact dates and times will be announced in an upcoming newsletter
to check for availability of tickets!
Downtown Music Gallery FREE In-Store Performance Schedule Continues with:
This Sunday, July 25th at 6pm:
JACOB ZIMMERMAN - alto sax, JOE MOFFETT - trumpet, RANDY PINGREY - trombone, JESSE WARD - electric guitar
Sunday, August 1st at 6pm:
NICK ROSEN! Porter Records CD Release Celebration!
With MICHELLE JOO - Violin & SAM BARSH - Keys!
Sunday, August 8th at 6pm:
The Serious Duo Featuring:
STEVE SWELL on Trombone & JAMES ILGENFRITZ on Contrabass!
Sunday, August 15th at 6pm:
Sunday, August 22nd at 6pm:
6pm - RAS MOSHE ALL-STARS!
7pm - LORENZO SANGUEDOLCE & MICHAEL BISIO!
Great Sax & Bass Duo with a Fine LP on NoBusiness!
Sunday, August 29th at 6pm:
BRIAN ALLEN - Trombone from Texas!
TONY MALABY - Tenor & Soprano Sax Great!
COREY FOGEL - Drums from L.A.!
Sunday, September 12th at 6pm:
THE SERIOUS TRIO Featuring:
STEVE SWELL - Trombone, GARRISON FEWELL - Guitar, ANDREW RAFFO DEWAR - Sax!
Sunday, September 19th at 6pm:
DEE POP & COOPER-MOORE!
Sunday, September 26th at 6pm:
GL DIANA on Sitar & Live Electronics, LISA DOWLING on Double Bass!
Sunday, October 3rd at 6pm:
Ben Stapp- Tuba, Kenny Warren - Trumpet, Dustin Carlson - Guitar, Juan Pablo Carletti - Drums!
Four new Tzadik releases!
JOHN ZORN MASADA BOOK TWO: MASADA STRING TRIO [MARK FELDMAN/ERIK FRIEDLANDER/GREG COHEN] - Haborym: 'Book Of Angels' Vol. 16 (Tzadik 7384; USA) The magical interplay and incredible virtuosity of this exhilarating trio of string masters has made it one of the most beloved and acclaimed of all Masada ensembles. Back now by popular demand for their first studio recording in over five years, their telepathic interplay and endless creativity had never been stronger. Ten more tunes from the rich and inventive Book of Angels featuring moody ballads, hypnotic grooves, intense burners and of course the trademark lyricism of the Masada songbook performed by one of the most acclaimed contemporary ensembles in the world. A long awaited release - essential! TZADIK ARCHIVAL SERIES
JOHN ZORN//RICHARD FOREMAN/HENRY HILLS - Astronome: A Night At The Opera (Tzadik 3010; USA) NTSC Region 0. [All Regions] Richard Foreman is one of the great geniuses of modern theatre, and his dynamic staging of John Zorn's opera Astronome was one of his greatest works. Premiering in February of 2009 at his Ontological-Hysteric Theatre in the East Village, it continued its sold out run for months. Drawing upon Alchemical and Mystical imagery, the visual world Foreman created was sumptuous, provocative and mysterious. For this DVD, ten performances were captured on film from hundreds of angles and brilliantly edited by filmmaker Henry Hills, a longtime friend of both Zorn and Foreman. You can now experience this once in a lifetime presentation with a whole new intensity. Staged so as to hear the music "better and clearer" than ever, Astronome is a revolution in opera/music-theater. TZADIK DVD SERIES
KARL BERGER - Strangely Familiar (Tzadik 8075; USA) Composer, arranger, pianist, vibraphonist, conductor and educator, Karl Berger steps out on his own here for a brilliant solo piano recital. Structured as a series of variations and etudes, these moody and spiritually charged compositions showcase Berger's unique and rarely heard piano stylings. Active since the mid-1950s, Berger has collaborated in concert and on recordings with many of the world's greatest musicians, was the head of the Music department at Dartmouth and the Hochschule in Frankfurt and ran the legendary Creative Music Studio from its inception in 1971 until its untimely demise in 1984. TZADIK COMPOSER SERIES
JEREMY FOGEL - Exorcism (Tzadik 8153; USA) Jeremy Fogel and his mad band of wandering Israelis hits their stride with this passionate reading of Rabbi Jesus' sacred message to the world and how it has been diluted and distorted by greed, power and ambition. Beginning with prophecies of wrath, anger and destruction, and moving to the overpowering intonations of good spirits, love and true mystical presences, this is a cd that will have you howling at the hypocrisies of organized religion, and laughing in delight at the ultimate victory of good over evil. Another intense ride of love with the Israeli Gainsbourg who brought you Pissuk Rachav! TZADIK RADICAL JEWISH CULTURE SERIES
SUN RA & His OMNIVERSE JET-SET ARKESTRA - Detroit Jazz Center 1980: Beyond the Purple Star Zone [aka Immortal Being] + Oblique Parallax (Art Yard CD05; UK) 2 LPs on 1 CD!
"Beyond The Purple Star Zone [which Art Yard had previously reissued on LP] and Oblique Parallax are the two El Saturn LPs originally released from a week's residency by Sun Ra at the Detroit Jazz Center in the last week of 1980. Just about everything that the Arkestra played that week was captured on tape -- ending with a marathon series of three concerts on New Year's Eve 1980, when the music extended over nearly eight hours, and included over ninety identifiable compositions. There was scarcely any duplication of compositions throughout this marathon night, even though each concert was played before a different audience, the auditorium cleared between sets. The title track, 'Beyond The Purple Star Zone,' is extracted from the second of these three New Year's Eve concerts. In essence, it's a French horn trio, involving Sun Ra, Vincent Chancey and a percussionist. As well as featuring on this LP as the title track, it was used again by Sun Ra when in 1982 he issued another Saturn LP, Oblique Parallax, to release more material from these December 1980 concerts. On this second outing, 'Beyond The Purple Star Zone' was spliced together with music played on 30 December to form the piece known as 'Journey Stars Beyond.' 'Rocket Number Nine' also comes from the second of the three New Year's Eve concerts, and is a feature for Ra and the Arkestra's vocal dexterity, and in a quintessential Sun Ra touch melds other compositions in with this tune. There's a Sun Ra poem embedded -- 'The Space Age Is Here To Stay,' as well as fragments of a Gospel piece. There's also an early appearance of another Sun Ra composition, 'Face The Music,' which crops up occasionally in 1970s and 1980s concerts, before coming into its own around 1990, when, with a full instrumental arrangement, it was featured frequently. Considering the dozens of hours of surviving concert tape from this Detroit residency, it's significant that none of the recordings yet auditioned contain the material used on this album for 'Immortal Being,' 'Romance on a Satellite' or 'Planetary Search.' It is possible -- but uncertain -- that these are performances from this residency, the sonics are very close to those of the first two pieces from this album. At least one Detroit concert (plus one workshop) remain to be researched. However, the presence of an electric bass player and electric guitarist on 'Romance on a Satellite' suggests that these pieces may have a different origin. All are fine pieces, for the moment they keep their mysteries." -- Chris Trent
EVAN PARKER/BARRY GUY/PAUL LYTTON - Nightwork: Live At The Sunset (Futura/Marge 46; France) recorded live January 30th 2010. Featuring Evan Parker on tenor & soprano saxes, Barry Guy on contrabass and Paul Lytton on drums. Outstanding live performance from one of our favorite improvising trios of all time! I am still amazed at how these musicians remain fresh, engaged and inspired after nearly forty years of collaborations. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DOUG HAMMOND With REGGIE WASHINGTON/STEPHANE PAYEN - New Beginning: Solo, Duo & Trio (Futura/Blue Marge 1012; France) Throughout his career, Doug Hammond has not only gone with the times, he has often been ahead of them. From the wonderful "For Our Souls" and "Be You", featuring Hammond on the African thumb piano, to the swinging, evocative duo and trio compositions with Stephane Payen (alto sax) and Reggie Washington (bass), "New Beginning" demonstrates the wide breadth of his creativity and distinctive sound. Immersed in the African-American music and spoken word traditions, Hammond reinterprets his seminal songs such as "Brother Ty","Vanessa's Dance" and "Friends", embellishing them solely with his nuanced drums and bass-timbered voice to provide wholly new dimensions. Hammond's emotional depth as a poet and skill as a word crafter are revealed in "Insight". "Spankin' It" sounds as fresh and grooving as the day it was written. And his crisp drum solos are nothing less than stunning! Doug Hammond continues to inspire listeners and audiences all over the world, while introducing new generations to his artistry. May "New Beginning" prove to be just that. Doug Hammond doesn't need to reinvent himself. He is here. And he is real.
CHRIS CUTLER/FRED FRITH/THOMAS DIMUZIO - Golden State [Ltd Ed of 1969 copies] (ReR 196-966550; UK) Featuring Fred Frith on guitar, Chris Cutler on drums and Tom Dimuzio on electronics. "This is a Limited Edition of 1969 numbered copies, pressed into 180 gm virgin vinyl and rather extravagantly packaged. The music was recorded in California in 1999 with guest Beth Custer (clarinet) on one track and carefully mastered by Tom Dimuzio in wide frequency, solid footprint, broad compass stereo. Though we waved goodbye to vinyl decades ago, we felt this release was made to be an LP - a CD just wouldn't be the same, sonically, visually or ontologically. And of course we took advantage of the exaggerated dimensions and physicality to make it a thing visually to savour. Off the groove, Dimuzio, Cutler, Frith and Custer do what they do and you get a ringside seat."- Recommended Records
PAOLO ANGELI/NANNI ANGELI - Tibi [DualDisc: CD/DVD] (ReR PA4; UK) "Paolo Angelis's music, as always, is prodigious, sounding like a small band, but played by one person in real time (as the film attests). In this format, you can also see the instrument close-to - a highly rebuilt and extended giant Sardinian guitar - with many sympathetic and extra strings, motor driven hurdy gurdy wheels, whirling strings, springs and other appendages, played, like a cello, vertically, with bow, fingers, plectra and machines. However Heath Robinson it may appear, however, it is clearly, under Paulo's hands, a highly serious and extraordinarily flexible beast - that requires and has given rise to new playing techniques. The programme of compositions here navigates through highly organized additive rhythms, freer Frith-like pointillism and some seemingly impossible mini-orchestrations. The film, professionally made, follows the performance, occasionally interpolating abstract passages and processed images. A remarkable player with a unique instrument, playing a music entirely his own."- ReR
GEORGE CARTWRIGHT/DAVE SERU - Rag (Roaratorio 19; USA) Rag captures the best from a series of freely improvised meetings between saxophonist George Cartwright and percussionist Davu Seru, recorded at various Minneapolis venues over the course of 2009. Cartwright - longtime leader of Curlew, and owner of a musical c.v. which includes Ornette Coleman, Half Japanese, Alex Chilton and Loren Mazzacane - can be restlessly melodic or jaggedly guttural on the reeds, although his bedrock lyricism is never far from the surface. Seru's playing is a trompe l'oreille marriage of forward motion and suspended stasis; over the past decade, he's performed with Milo Fine, Paul Metzger and Evan Parker, among others. From the anthemic opening of Titus to the miniature coda of I Think Eudora Knows, Rag is a lively dialogue between two masters of their craft. Released in an edition of 300 copies on colored vinyl, each with a unique cover print by Anne Elias and a digital download coupon.
ERIK FRIEDLANDER - Alchemy [10" LP] (Hronir 5217; EEC) Featuring Erik Friedlander on cello & samples and Scott Solter on live processing. Over the last few years, we've been seeing more & more LP-only releases entering the desolate landscape of the sea of CD's that are fading into the past. I grew up with record albums and still feel a great attachment to them, listening, handling and collecting.
The warm sound of Erik Friedlander's cello is perfect for this ancient format. The pieces were inspired by texts as jumping off points for improvisations. "Glow" is a lovely, melancholy ballad for a few layers of bowed and plucked cellos with samples of airport announcements in the distance. Erik has found a way for each part to complement the whole so what we have a most magical gift of sublime strings. "Wag" features eerie bowed strings that reach out to grab our attention. "Lee Ave" sounds like an old folk song plucked with care and grace, the sad melody ever so touching. The opening of "Assassins or Bridge Blowers" is scary and intense! It is as if the voice of thousands of ghosts are calling out to us. The title track has one of those older folky melodies that seems to speak directly to our hearts. Even with a minimal amount of soft crackling, this record sounds better dynamically than any of the CD's that's I've reviewed in recent memory. So dust off those turntables if you still got'em and check out this joyous 10" record album. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
10" LP $15
JASON AJEMIAN'S DAYREAM FULL LIFESTYLES With TONY MALABY/ROB MAZUREK/JEFF PARKER/CHAD TAYLOR - Protest Heaven [Ltd Ed] (482 Music 1067; USA) Featuring Tony Malaby on tenor sax, Rob Mazurek on cornet, Jeff Parker on guitar, Jason Ajemian on bass and Chad Taylor on drums. 'Protest Heaven' refers to when the faith in religion turns destructive. Although this music is mainly improvised, Jason has edited it down to a more focused work that tries to capture certain ideas that he was contemplating. I dig that Jason has chosen sections when the improvisations come together and something interesting occurs, not solos per se but interconnections and successful interaction. This is a mixed crew with members from Chicago (Mazurek & Parker) and players from NY (Malaby & Taylor) plus Jason has moved here recently as well. There is a great section where Rob's cornet, Jeff's guitar & Tony's tenor spin out those jazz lines around one another furiously. Once again, the warmth of vinyl makes this sound even better like sitting right in front of the band as they are playing. Moving from somber moments to more explosive sections, this quintet sounds inspired and focused throughout. Malaby's tenor erupts on Side 2 while Rob's cornet & Jeff's guitar swirl around him more calmly. At times it seems as if there are a couple of subgroups playing simultaneously, each one connecting on different levels while the tempo increases or decreases. If true freedom was the real religion of today, then this disc exemplifies what it means to be connected but not controlled. Completely solid jackson! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
BEN SYVERSEN With XANDER NAYLOR/JEREMY GUSTIN - Cracked Vessel (Syversen 01; USA) Ben Syversen on trumpet & most compositions, with Xander Naylor on guitar and Jeremy Gustin on drums. This brand new trumpet-led trio disc was placed in my hand earlier this week and I've been enjoying it ever since. Although I am not familiar with any of the members of this trio, the guitarist Xander Naylor will be playing here at DMG on Sunday, August 15th. Tight, twisted and filled with an assortment of surprises, that's what 'Cracked Vessel' is all about. The cover art for this slim-case CD is very similar to the more recent Tim Berne CD's and the music also has Berne-like approach with no bassist yet it is focused and often frantic. On "Bad Idea" the trio calms down to a more somber work with a long, consistently building in intensity trumpet solo. Xander plays some strong, bent guitar splinters which works well with the trumpet over head and soft drums underneath. Instead of writing pieces where phrases are repeated, Ben writes pieces that shift from one section to next allowing the guitar or drums to establish the direction of the trio. On "End of Time" the trio erupts together with intense layers of mutant trumpet, noisy guitar and rockin' drums - over the top yet completely directed. "From the Abyss" contains a Latin-like mellow section that would fit nicely on the soundtrack of a mainstream movie, an unexpected delight. Let's say that Herb Robertson, Marc Ducret & Jim Black made a disc that was more written and less exuberant than usual - it might just sound like this gem. I would imagine that this trio is great live so let's invite them to play here at DMG sometime soon. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
60s' SOHO SOUNDS: BOB STUCKEY With DUDU PUKWANA/PHIL LEE/JOHN MARSHALL / & With TERRY SMITH/MARTIN HART - Night Time Is The Right Time (Cadillac 07; UK) Recorded at Ronnie Scott's Old Place 1967-68; 1st nine cuts as a quartet [Pukwana, Lee, Marshall, Stuckey], tracks 10-14 Smith-Stuckey-Hart trio
"The tales of Ronnie Scott's Old Place in Soho, London are well known. The Old Place served as the epicenter of the progressive jazz movement in England during the 1960s. Most notably the club provided a place for the talents of the heralded South African defectors, The Blue Notes. The mixed race group, featuring pianist Chris McGregor, saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, trumpeter Mongezi Feza, Johnny Dyani, and drummer Louis Moholo Moholo (tenor saxophonist Nikolo Moyake already having returned to South Africa),is legendary for leaving their Apartheid stymied country for Europe and the unknown. Having ended up in London in 1964, the Blue Notes quickly began to influence many local musicians with their unique approach to jazz. It is precisely this influence that led to this recording, "Night Time Is The Right Time".
Dudu Pukwana quickly became a crowd favorite in London with his unique, strident tone and sing-song approach to melody. Upon hearing Pukwana, organist Bob Stuckey, who was already riding the popularity of the Hammond B3 organ sound that had migrated to England via recordings by Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, and John Patton, heard the Blue Notes and was so taken with Pukwana's sound that he invited him to play with his group in an opening spot for Sonny Stitt's UK tour. Work with Stuckey's band was steady at the Old Place's all night jam sessions. The groups presented here would be typical of those presented by the organist and featured some of London's most promising young musicians.
The first nine tracks here present Stuckey and Pukwana with guitarist Phil Lee and the drummer John Marshall, who went on to fame as a sideman with John Surman and Jan Garbarek. Six of the quartet's nine songs were written by Pukwana, showcasing the saxophonist's comfort with the blues form along with his ability to present South African themes within this combo's favored settings. The best example of this is on Jauana's Dream which has a bouncy township melody and almost calypso support from the group. The smoky B, My Dear is a lovely blues ballad that showcases the sensitivity Pukwana could supply a melody. Solos from the Pukwana show his proclivity towards moving outside of the normal jazz improv norm and the ensemble supports him with aplomb, most noticeably on Messengers. There are two strong compositions from Stuckey and guitarist Lee. The organist's Moonshine is a mid tempo swinger with R&B touches. Lee's Night In Brentwood is an up-tempo groover that moves with guitar in lead and features his best solo of the set. The only tune that isn't an original is Abdullah Ibrahim's Kippie named after the legendary South African clarinetist Kippie Moeketsi.
The last five tracks on this CD are recordings of Bob Stuckey's trio from the Old Place in 1968. The trio here features drummer Martin Hart, who remains a much in demand sideman after his first notoriety with John Mayall, and guitarist Terry Smith, who is most well known for playing in the jazz/rock band If. The material here is mostly jazz classics that were well known organ features during the time, including Sweet Georgia Brown and All Of You. The readings are good but maybe not essential.
The CD is a great buy for South African music enthusiasts, first and foremost. Hearing Pukwana outside of the Blue Notes or the Brotherhood of Breath is a rare treat, especially in the context of an organ trio. To hear him blow on a blues and add his own flair to the tradition is a welcome thing for fans. The recording should also help put his playing into context for listeners unfamiliar with South African jazz and who might be more familiar with the sounds coming out of American jukeboxes during the late '50s and '60s." - Bret Sjerven, guest reviewer
THE RENT [KYLE BRENDERS/NICK FRASER/SUSANNA HOOD/WES NEAL/SCOTT THOMPSON]//STEVE LACY - Musique De Steve Lacy (AM 197; Canada) "The Rent: Musique de Steve Lacy is the outcome of about two years of research and regular performance by this Toronto-based quintet. Starting in the late 1950s, Steve Lacy used his intensive research into the then-neglected compositional oeuvre of Thelonious Monk as a foundation on which to base a lifetime of thoroughly original music-making. The Rent approaches Lacy's wonderful and underappreciated compositional legacy with the same spirit. Lacy's songs are based on texts by wonderful poets from various places and eras, and have a special place in our repertoire as sung by Susanna Hood. Legendary trombonist Roswell Rudd, an important colleague of Lacy's for over forty years says, "The Rent has done the world a solid favor by rendering a bouquet of Steve Lacy's compositions with precision, imagination and love. Thanks so much."- Ambiances Magnetiques. Kyle Brenders is a member of the AIM Toronto Orchestra (who have collaborated with Mr. Braxton), has a duo CD out with Anthony Braxton and a solo CD on Porter Records.
ANTOINE BERTHIAUME - Small Tease (AM 196; Canada) "Mainly associated with jazz and creative music, Antoine Berthiaume delivers, with Small Tease, a surprising body of pieces standing on the fence of instrumental folk. Berthiaume is no newcomer to this genre, since Rodeoscopique dabbed in it too. This time, though, he tackles it intimately: out of eleven tracks, five feature him solo, playing either the guitar, the banjo, or the dobro. The other six tracks for various ensembles are closed invitations to hear him with drummer Stefan Schneider, Remi-Jean Leblanc on double-bass, Rick Haworth on pedal steel, and a string trio with Jennifer Thiessen, Ameline Chauvette Groulx and Erika Donald. Released on Ambiances Magnetiques, Small Tease is a candid parenthesis, eleven melodic miniatures to listen to hands moving and strings being caressed."
KIYA TABASSIAN/PIERRE-YVES MARTEL/ZIYA TABASSIAN - Masafat (AM 195; Canada) Kiya Tabassian on setar (Persian 3-stringed instrument), shuranguiz (um, another Persian string thing) & violin, Pierre-Yves Martel on prepared contrabass and Ziya Tabassian on percussion. Pierre-Yves Martel can be heard on three previous CD's for the AM label, one solo and two quartets. Nothing like traditional instruments played in new ways and that's what we have here. Since I haven't heard the setar or shuranguiz before this, it is hard to tell what they sound like without any manipulations. The results are most mesmerizing and exotic nonetheless. Swirling acoustic strings and percussion woven into a handful of interconnected layers. The subtle bowing and bending of strings is done carefully and creates a constant aura of mystery. Superbly recorded with attention to detail and nuance. In search of the miraculous? You can find it here. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
NICK ROSEN - Into The Sky (Porter 4048; USA) Nick Rosen describes his first full-length offering, Into the Sky, as being, "a musical celebration of the interconnectedness of all people and places. The songs are by themselves their own universe," he says, "but at the same time they are all connected to the idea of togetherness, and to forming one beautiful, magical entity." On the recording Rosen plays guitar, Rhodes piano, upright and electric bass, and synths throughout and sings on 3 tracks. He's joined by producer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on piano, violin, viola and upright bass. The two worked on the beautiful arrangements featured flying a top Rosen's original compositions. With influences ranging from Sam Cooke, John Coltrane, and The Beatles to Horace Tapscott and J Dilla, Rosen is well aware that he has to put his heart into everything he does. Above all, while listening to Into the Sky, you're bound to hear just that, heart! And oh, how refreshing that is! Nick Rosen will be playing a free in-store CD release celebration here at DMG on Sunday, August 1st at 6pm!
CATALYST [EDDIE GREEN/ODEAN POPE/TYRONE BROWN/SHERMAN FERGUSON] - The Complete Recordings Vol 1: Catalyst/Perception (Porter 1509; USA) In the early 70's a band named Catalyst was formed in the heart of the Philadelphia. The core of the group was Odean Pope, Sherman Ferguson, Eddie Green and Al Johnson (who was replaced by Tyrone Brown after their first album). The band drew from a wide range of musical styles; jazz, funk, R & B, avant garde and fusion all found their way into the creative sonic tapestry of Catalyst. With the given talents of Catalyst they could have and should have been bigger but sadly they found themselves with little promotion or recognition outside the proximity of Philadelphia. Thankfully Catalyst were able to leave behind four extraordinary recordings that will appeal to both jazz heads and those in the hip hop community, as well as listeners seeking new thoughts about music through the music of the past.
CATALYST [EDDIE GREEN/ODEAN POPE/TYRONE BROWN/SHERMAN FERGUSON] - The Complete Recordings Vol 2: Unity/A Tear And A Smile (Porter 1510; USA) Odean Nwalinu Pope on tenor sax & flute, Eddie Sanifu Green on electric piano & Moog, Tyrone Zuri Brown on Fender bass and Onaje Sherman Ferguson on drums plus guests Alphonso Johnson, Billy Hart, John Blake, Charles Ellerbe & others. Although I attended Glassboro State College from 1972-1976, I was only partially aware of the bristling music scene that was erupting in Philly only 30 minutes away from my school. I did see the occasional Philly band like a Byard Lancaster funk band or Taka Iki and heard about the legendary fusion band Good God, whose one album on Atlantic remains one of those long out-of-print gems. It seems there was a whole lot more going in Philly... and thanks to Porter Records for consistently unearthing so many of these under-recognized treasures.
I had heard of Catalyst from their records on Muse or Cobblestone but probably not until later. No doubt that folks like Odean Pope and Tyrone Brown are still around and have had long careers, as both can be found on discs from CIMP, Soul Note & earlier Porter CD's. You can tell that this was a seventies band from their clothes, their African names and that this was electric jazz with electric piano, Moog synth and Fender bass. This disc is a reissue of two albums, "Unity" (1974) their third and "A Tear and a Smile," their fourth album. "A Country Song" kicks things off with an infectious groove: wah-wah electric piano, fuzz bass and a sax line that will make you feel good right away. "Little Miss Lady" features some superb, haunting flute from Odean Pope as well as floating electric piano. "Maze" is great, tight, complex fusion piece with strong tenor sax and electric piano lines, interplay & spirited solos, sort of Weather Report-like. For "Athene", Catalyst employ a spacious string section (featuring John Blake) which enhances the mystery in a similar way to Mahavishnu Orchestra's use of strings on their album 'Apocalypse'. Both discs contain two complete albums worth of material (70+ minutes), both are great and worthy of your precious time & money. Porter Records has done it again! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
SUGA DAIRO TRIO - S&W Model 2 of The Far East (CoolFool 01; Japan) One day, out of the blue, DMG received this release as a promo and I decided to check out. Maybe it was the intriguing Yasujiro Ozu style cover that compelled me to listen to it. Whatever it was that initially prompted me, one thing I do know, I could barely sit down for a second without someone asking me "who is this?" followed by the immediate inquiry, "can I buy it?". It is always intriguing when we plop on a cd that we know nothing about and everyone seems to respond favorably to it. This is Japanese free jazz in the vein of Raymond Scott's cartoon music. Dairo Suga on piano, Hikaru Toho on bass, and Masatsugu Hattori on drums make a killer trio! They glide comfortably in and out of Jazz with a captial "J". As well as doing originals, they contort the music of the following composers; Kurt Weill ("Speak Low"), Randy Weston ("Hi-Fly"), Hoagy Carmichael ("Skylark"), Ray Noble ("Cherokee"), and Charles Mingus ("Better Git It In Your Soul"). I'm going to have to study my Kanji harder so I can read the liner notes (or just cheat and have my Japanese friends read it to me). Definitely will be keeping my ear out for more of his releases. If you dig Otomo Yoshihide's rendition of Eric Dolphy tunes, then most likely you will also dig this too. RECOMMENDED!!! -Chuck Bettis/DMG
PHASE2 [EMIKO VOICE & SUGA DAIRO] - Twist & Shout (CoolFool 03; Japan) Here the temperature is not much far from the 100 degree mark. Sweat is dripping from my brow and I'm staring at the Phase 2 cd cover art which appears to be goth rendition the 1930's jazz days. Wait, is this different from the other Suga Dairo cd DMG just got in? My mind starts to doubt my memory, wondering what I was thinking when I ordered this one. Lots of jazz vocal covers on this, uh oh BLG is going to be upset with me. Then as I listen and I remember why DMG got this in. Suga Dairo on piano dueting with Emiko Voice on vocals, a duo that does a fantastic job at turning the inside out! Fever dream from the heat distorts my reality again...I yell, "Suga, if you going out shut that door!" He leaves the door open. Emiko walks through that door, she seems to be singing something familiar but it does seem quite right. It is similar to attempting to look at someone's face in a dream, you know they are there but you can seem to grasp the image. Suga and Emiko paint a demented sepia-tone landscape where the image decays and warbles. Track 5 ("Summertime" by George Gershwin) is definitely a prime example of this. Manic and a bit horrofic (I say this as endearing compliments). Track 6 ("Someday My Prince Will Come") will make you wonder if Carl Stalling decided to do standards with the intention to have the children run screaming. When track 7 ("Girl From Ipanenma") comes on, your head is drunkenly spinning to grasp this strange out versions of these standards. Did I already mention they do Charlie Parker tunes as well? Actually this whole cd reminds me of the opening scene of Sun Ra's Space Is The Place where he starts off playing a standard in the strip club then quickly progresses the solo off to Saturn. Well, I don't think Suga has made it to Saturn yet, but he may be communicating from Mars, since his timing although seemingly alien is not that far off but strange enough to make us wonder of the possibilities of life on other planets and if as Stephen Hawking suggests, that the alien life form probably would dominate us like we have done to "lesser" creatures. Please don't hurt us Suga. RECOMMENDED!!! -Chuck Bettis/DMG
DENNIS REA - Views From Chicheng Precipice (Moonjune 034; USA) Internationally acclaimed for his work with art-rock juggernaut Moraine and free-jazz provocateurs Iron Kim Style (MoonJune Records MJR028 and MJR031), guitarist and composer Dennis Rea presents a completely different but equally compelling facet of his musical personality with his most ambitious release to date, Views From Chicheng Precipice. A key presence on the Pacific Northwest creative music scene for decades, Dennis Rea was also a pioneer in introducing modern jazz, adventurous rock, and experimental music to Chinese audiences, as detailed in his book Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China and Taiwan. While living in both locales from 1989 to 1993 and on subsequent concert tours and travels, Rea became deeply enamored of the traditional music of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Views from Chicheng Precipice is Rea's homage to the music of East Asia, a collection of uniquely personalized interpretations of traditional pieces and original Asian-inspired works, performed by some of the Pacific Northwest's most renowned instrumentalists, including trombone avatar Stuart Dempster and koto master Elizabeth Falconer. Blending striking arrangements of ancient and contemporary themes with sonic experimentation and expansive improvisation, Views from Chicheng Precipice is at once boldly unorthodox in its choice of instrumentation and treatment of traditional musical material, and warmly respectful of its sources. The result is a sonorous and surprising listening experience that goes far beyond typical attempts at 'East-West fusion.'
TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION - Save The Planet (Moonjune 035; USA) To most global listeners, the words 'Indonesian music' bring to mind the intricate metallic rhythms of that nation's venerable gamelan orchestral tradition, or the sinuous strains of female singers like Idjah Hadidjah who perform songs in the kliningan, celempungan, and jaipongan idioms. Ever since Claude Debussy famously became enchanted with Javanese gamelan music at the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition, Indonesian music has become synonymous in Western minds with an idealized and exotic East, a place of lush, timeless landscapes and sensuously swaying dancers.
But Indonesia has not remained frozen in time, and in this age of instant communication and rapidly collapsing cultural boundaries, Indonesian musicians have come to embrace the full spectrum of global musical offerings, at the same time enriching these adopted musical streams with their own unique sensibilities and suggesting new ways forward. A case in point is Indonesia-s surprisingly fertile jazz-rock fusion scene, whose prime movers include the remarkable MoonJune Records recording artists simakDIALOG, who update the electric keyboard-driven post-Miles continuum in strikingly original ways, in particular by substituting a traditional Indonesian percussion section for the customary trap set.
With his new MoonJune release Save the Planet, simakDIALOG's gifted guitarist Tohpati - in other contexts, one of the best-known and most highly regarded guitar players in all Indonesia - ventures out on his own with his crackshot unit Ethnomission. Bolstered by the highly simpatico team of bass guitarist Indro Hardjodikoro, percussionists Demas Narawangsa (just 16 years old at the time of this session) and Endang Ramdan (also of simakDIALOG), and suling (Indonesian wooden flute) player Diki Suwarjiki, and augmented by vocalist Lestari on the track Bedhaya Ketawang, Ethnomission serves up an exhilarating and wholly original program of instrumental compositions that set a new high-water mark for Indonesian fusion.
DUDLEY BAYNE SEPTET - Premonition (Luminescence 01; USA) The Dudley Bayne Septet features Dan Nicholson on alto sax, Steve Alford on bass clarinet, BJ Cord on trumpet, Andy Baker on trombone, D Bayne on piano & compositions, Matt Thompson on bass and Joe Adamik on drums. The liner notes by Kenny Dread discuss the history & influence of "cool jazz" in the fifties vs. the explosion of free/jazz self-expression in the sixties. This signals the way for us to place the Dudley Bayne Septet into the third stream of cool jazz more than fifty years later. No problem, this music fits well within those parameters and sounds great to me. The ever-evolving Chicago-area underground scene continues to show us numerous tributaries both known and little-known. I am not familiar with any members of this fine septet but I am impressed nonetheless. "Ladder" has a lovely, calm vibe with some graceful, well-conceived harmonies for the four horns and a strong alto solo to reckon with. The rhythm team is also in fine form with a short, superb bass solo towards the end of this piece. Each tune features thoughtful arrangements with inspired solos from each of the four horns as well as a buoyant, flowing cushion of support from the piano, bass and drums. In the fifties, this record would've been on a major label like Pacific Jazz, Verve or even RCA, but in today's dismal market it is up to the artists themselves to release their own discs via CD, album or even download. After listening to one great song after another with a wealth of superb solos throughout, I find it sad that so few will get a chance to hear such great music from musicians who have obviously worked hard to deliver the goods. I look forward to hearing the other five discs on this newer label. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
STRIKE [JEFF MEYER/PAUL VAILLANCOURT] - Convergence (Luminescence 02; USA) The album 'Convergence' by the duo Strike featuring pianist Jeff Meyer and percussionist Paul Vaillancourt includes new music by composers Chen Yi, Brooke Joyce, Marc Mellits, Daniel Koontz and James David. This is an impressive duo performing new music from mostly composers I am not familiar with except for Chen Yi who has two discs out on New World as well as a dozen other labels. Ms. Yi's "China West Suite" is written for marimba & piano, was inspired by folk music from West China and is in four parts. The piece has a charming, playful quality with a bit of Zappa-like whimsy. The second part is a dreamy interlude while the intricate interplay on part three shows how the marimba and piano are perfect companions with a similar timbral range. The fourth part has that intense, near-frantic pace that gets me so excited. Brooke Joyce's "Sacred Trees" was inspired by the trees of the Native American burial grounds in Iowa known as Effigy Mounds. This piece is also a suite in six short parts. The piece balances between the mysterious and other-worldly sounds of playing inside the piano with the ghostlike sounds of ritualistic gongs and cymbals. It feels as if time is moving slowly, similar to the way trees gradually grow towards the sun. "Tight Sweater Remix" by Marc Mellits seems like an odd title for a modern composition but it is a tight, complex well-written work for piano & marimba, rambunctious and quite spirited. The next piece, Daniel Koontz' "Soft Stillness and the Night" comes from an opposite world. Ultra subtle in part with the exquisite use of silence and space and occasional bursts of activity. The final work is Jim David's "Duo Toccata" which employs the ringing tones of gongs with see-sawing piano lines. The effect is quietly mesmerizing, creating a playful dreamworld with a sprinkling of joyous melodies. It would seem that the two members of Strike have selected these composers and pieces so that this entire disc is engaging throughout and it works as a well-integrated program. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
KLANG [JAMES FALZONE/JASON ADASIEWICZ/JASON ROEBKE/TIM DAISY] - Klang [ltd #d of 100 copies] (Luminescence LIVE 03; USA) [#d CD-R with hand-painted cover] This is Klang's second disc & it features James Falzone on clarinet, Jason Dasiewicz in vibes, Jason Roebke on bass and Tim Daisy on drums. Chicago-area clarinetist James Falzone runs the Allos label and leads a few different bands like Vox Arcana, Allos Musica & Klang. Vibes-man Jason Adasiewicz works with Mike Reed, Josh Berman & Aram Shelton and has a fine disc out as a leader on Cuneiform. Contrabassist Jason Roebke has collaborated with many musicians like Scott Fields, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Harris Eisenstadt and Tigersmilk. Drum wiz Tim Daisy has worked with everyone from the Vandermark 5 to Fred Anderson & leads Dragons 1976.
Everything I've heard from Mr. Falzone I have enjoyed and this one is even better than usual. For "G.F.O.P." Falzone's nimble clarinet soars on top, while Adasiewicz's vibes add a floating cushion of spacious support. When an ambulance siren goes off in the first piece, it occurs at just the right moment adding some instant punctuation to the proceedings. Roebke's "Dwarfs" sounds very much like a song on Eric Dolphy's 'Outward Bound' album with the vibes adding the right amount of crisp counterpoint. This piece recalls Dolphy's 'Out to Lunch' album which featured Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. The long clarinet solo and drums are in fine form throughout this wonderful work. "Still Life" is more like a calm, third stream piece with lush harmonies for the clarinet and vibes and exquisite rhythm team work. "Last Love Song" has some of the most relaxed and haunting clarinet solos of this set. What knocks me out about this quartet is their ability to snap back and forth between written and short freer sections executing those occasional hairpin turns with grace and resourcefulness. The one cover tune here is Ellington's classic "Solitude" which is done sublimely. This disc is a particularly strong program from some of Chicago's best musicians. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
DUDLEY BAYNE/TIM DAISY/KURT JOHNSON - Bayne-Daisy-Johnson Trio [ltd #d of 100 copies] (Luminescence LIVE 02; USA) [ltd ed CD-R] "This Chicago area trio features pianist Dudley Baynes who runs the Luminescence label; bassist Kurt Johnson who has worked with Kyle Bruckman, Lozenge & the Flying Luttenbachers and drummer Tim Daisy who plays with the Vandermark 5, Scott Rosenberg, the Engines, Triage & Klang. This disc was recorded live in the studio in November of 2001. Mr. Baynes, who also leads a fine septet on this same label, wrote all of the songs here. "The Sea Doesn't Run Away" opens as a hushed, spacious ballad with subtle, eerie mallet-work by Mr. Daisy. This piece has the lush and lyrical vibe of the Bill Evans Trio of the mid-sixties, moving in lovely expansive waves. Dudley is a fine composer and each piece is strong and thoughtfully conceived and played. "Cranes Wheel and Whirl and Are Gone" is a lovely, laid back and exquisite work, calm and dreamy. "Irreverent" speeds up and slows down organically with a rich and graceful elegance that is most touching. In some ways this disc is more mainstream sounding than most things we review here, yet I still find this disc to be immensely charming and exciting on a more restrained level. Often beautiful beyond words." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
JOSH BERMAN GROUP//KEEFE JACKSON QUARTET - Josh Berman Group/Keefe Jackson Quartet [ltd #d of 100 copies] (Luminescence LIVE 01; USA) [ltd ed CD-R] "This split two group disc was recorded live in January of 2007 and both groups share a couple of members. All members of both groups except for drummer Nori Tanaka can be found on previous discs that we've listed from various Chicago area outfits. The Josh Berman Group features Josh on trumpet & compositions (CD on Demark), Keefe Jackson on tenor sax & bass clarinet (also on Delmark), Jason Adasiewicz on vibes (Cuneiform CD), Anton Hatwich on bass (self-produced discs) and Nori Tanaka on drums. The instrumentation for this quintet is similar to Eric Dolphy's 'Out to Lunch' album except that Keefe Jackson plays tenor instead of alto sax. The sound is similar as well, except that this session is more occasionally more laid back but adventurous in other ways. Mr. Berman takes some great solos while the rest of the quintet spin tightly around him, accelerating organically and weaving a tight web of rhythm. Josh writes quirky tunes which go through a series of odd changes in direction. During "On Account of a Hat", the quintet is broken into interconnected subsections, the horns going one way while the vibes/bass/drums go another way, yet somehow they all remain connected.
The Keefe Jackson's Quartet features Keefe on tenor & bass clarinet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Jsaon Robke on bass & Nori Tanaka on drums. This group is even more intense and filled with steam & bluster. It is great to hear Jeb Bishop, who was once a member of the Vandermark 5 wailing again. The frontline with Keefe on tenor & Jeb on trombone sounds great with creative, tight rhythm team to back them up. What's interesting about this quartet is the way they deal with textures and structures. On "Since Then" the rhythm section sizzles while the bass clarinet and trombone play tense drones. Solos by both horns are consistently powerful and often soaring on high. Closing out with "Put My Finger on It", the theme is infectious, with long spirited solos from all members and intricate, ever-shifting playing form the bass and drums. Even though there are two bands here, the shared members and creative thread makes this disc superb from the beginning to the end." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
TOMMY T - The Prester John Sessions (Easy Star 1021; UK) Featuring the Abyssinia Roots Collective with special guest Gigi singing on two tracks. "The background of Gogol Bordello's Ethiopian bassist Tommy T may only be an undercurrent for that Gypsy-rockin' band, but it's given full reign on Tommy's solo outing, 'The Prester John Sessions'. The name comes from a mythical figure of the Middle Ages, which Tommy uses as a metaphor for his search through his musical roots on this album. That search takes him through Ethiopian folk melodies (updated and given a fresh twist), booming, bottom-heavy dub reggae, and the kind of jazzy, funky sounds that popped up when Ethiopian artists began soaking up the music coming out of the U.S. and U.K. in the '70s. On a couple of cuts, Ethiopia's own Gigi - veteran of the World Music scene and collaborator/wife of Bill Laswell - lends her exotic pipes to the swirling, sensual mix of styles, and the Gogol Bordello gang pops up on another. For the most part, though, The Prester John Sessions is an instrumental affair whose insinuating reggae grooves, tasty jazz licks, and churning slices of steamy Ethiopian funk combine for an international experience a lot more resonant and personal than anything you'll find on some Putumayo mix CD." - LimeWire Music
ABDULLAH IBRAHIM [DOLLAR BRAND] & WDR BIG BAND COLOGNE - Bombella (Gold Train - South Africa) (Intuition/Sunnyside 1251; USA) The source of the giant, South African-born pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim's genius is his orchestral piano style, derived from the ducal sound of his mentor/discoverer, Duke Ellington. So it's only fitting that 'Bombella', Ibrahim's follow-up to his 2008 Sunnyside/Intuition debut, Senzo, showcases Ibrahim's powerful pianism with the world-acclaimed WDR Big Band Cologne, recorded live in March/April of 2008 in Germany, performing a well programmed potpourri of selections from the leader's dancing and diverse
TUBBY HAYES With SAL NISTICO/CAT ANDERSON/ROLF ERICSON/JIMMY DEUCHAR/ALBERT STINSON - Inventivity [2 CD Set] (Candid 79101/Les Tomkins Archive; USA) The first release in Candid's new Collectors Series is a double CD featuring the British tenor Giant Tubby Hayes, caught here in scintillating form live at the Ronnie Scott Club, London 1964. Sitting in with the maestro were visiting Americans Cat Anderson (in town with the Duke Ellington Orchestra)and tenor man Sal Nistico of the Woody Herman band together with the then rising young bass star Albert Stinson. Also on hand were the Swede Rolf Ericson (also with the Duke) and ace Scottish trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar - leader of the Quintet on Disc Two and a regular soul mate of Tubby's over the years. The double set is topped off with an interview of Tubby and Sal Nistico conducted by producer Les Tomkins.
2 CD set for $16
RONNIE SCOTT With DONALD BYRD/FREDDIE HUBBARD/J J JOHNSON/SONNY STITT - Secret Love: Ronnie Scott & His American Friends (Candid 79103/Les Tomkins Archive; USA) Previously Unreleased! Recorded in the same year (1964) as the Tubby Hayes set, Ronnie Scott is heard partnering four modern jazz giants in Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, J. J. Johnson and Sonny Stitt live in his London Club. A fascinating insight into the activity which went on in the Scott club over the year. Highlights are what is arguably one of Ronnie's finest solos on record - the opening Secret Love where he leaves Sonny Stitt the unenviable task of following on - which Stitt does with considerable aplomb. Included too is Les Tomkin's interview with Scott on which he discusses the state of the modern jazz of the era.
MIKKO INNANEN & INNKVISITIO - Paa-Da-Pap (TUM 019; Finland) Featuring Mikko Innanen on alto, soprano & bari saxes, flute & compositions; Timo Lassy on tenor & bari saxes & flute, Seppo Kantonen on organ, synth & horn and Joonas Riippa on drums & percussion. Young Finnish sax & composer Mikko Innanen is pretty ambitious having worked with more than a half dozen different duos and bands over the past decade. He has collaborated with Han Bennink, John Tchicai, Stefan Pasborg, Jonas Westergaard and the UMO Jazz Orchestra. Each band or project provides a different challenge for Mikko and his audience as well.
"Paa-Da-Pap" is what the birds told Mikko when he was up in a tree. "Attac" is a sort-of bop tune with an electric organ providing the bass-line. Mikko takes a long, twisted and inspired solo while Seppo plays some great cheesy organ underneath. Timo also takes a fine baritone sax solo that is certain to make you smile. Mikko writes great double sax lines that are played tightly, with intense power & crazed spirit. On "The Grey Adler Returns" both saxes wail together like dancing dervishes who can't stop spinning. Seppo plays spacey synth on "Knuf-Aharupa", which sounds rather Sun Ra-like until the quartet erupts with some furious sax blasting with long, story-like sax solos that just keep on stretching out but never lose their way. "Berber" has a great, earthy South African sort-of melody played by both saxes with a reverential vibe. If I didn't know better, I would think that this is some long lost Blue Notes song. For the second half of this tune, both bari saxes play that infectious theme together and it sure feels good! Each piece on this marvelous disc reveals another side to this diverse quartet. "Anselmus & Serpentina" features some sublime, laid back flute and bari sax simmering together over a skeletal rhythm team. The title tune has an infectious yet stripped down melody and vibe. Each member of the quartet finish each other's lines so that the melody and spirit are as one. Pretty f*cking nifty! 'Paa-Da-Pap' is one of this week's most unexpected delights. Mikko Innanen is currently live in here and will hopefully play here at DMG sometime in the near future. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
MICHAEL HURLEY - Blue Hills (Mississippi 70; USA) "New recordings by Michael. On this LP we find Hurley stretching out on six longer than usual compositions that are heartbreaking & beautiful as anything he's ever done. Side one features Hurley on a creaky pump organ & a hammond organ. Side two starts out with two newer compositions - just Michael on guitar & vocals. The record ends with a stunning version of 'Tea Song' (which Michael originally wrote & recorded way back in 1963). We rarely resort to hyperbole on these descriptions, but we have to say that this LP is one of the more moving things we've ever heard. A sustained feeling of loss & need for redemption haunts this record. It ain't easy listening, but then what worth a damn is?"
OLIVER MESSIAEN - Visions de l'Amen (Bridge 9324; USA) "In the spring of 1943, in German-occupied Paris, a select audience of invited guests gathered at the Galerie Charpentier for the first performance of Olivier Messiaen's new work for two pianos, Visions de l'Amen. Although originally one of several pieces on the program, a printed announcement of a change of date explained that 'the significance, the character and the duration of this work have led the Concerts de la PlEiade to present it in a concert which will be entirely devoted to it.' Performed by Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod, Visions represented the first musical collaboration between the two, and the beginning of a personal and creative partnership that would endure for half a century. This new recording brings together two leading performers of Messiaen's music -- pianists Sarah Rothenberg and Marilyn Nonken."
"...a powerful performance.... For Messiaen, who experienced a type of synesthesia, a particular color could evoke harmonies or sounds. He composed Visions mostly in the key of A, which he associated with blue, the color of the sky and eternity. Ms. Nonken and Ms. Rothenberg (who studied Messiaen's music in Paris with Ms. Loriod) demonstrate a deep understanding of this shimmering, colorful score..." -- New York Times
We found five copies of this signed edition!
..put aside by accident - or they would've sold out three years ago
ANTHONY BRAXTON 12+1 TET - 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 [SIGNED COPY; 9 CD + 1 DVD box set] (Firehouse12 04-03-001; USA) [Box is hand-signed by Mr. Braxton while supplies last!]
A nine-CD-plus-one-DVD box set documenting what Time Out New York called "last Spring's epochal run" at New York's Iridium Jazz Club 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 Ghost Trance Music series, recorded over the course of this rare four-night stand on an American stage. Included with the music is a Braxton documentary, interspersed with live concert footage, and an extensive collection of essays, commentary and biographical information. This definitive set is being released in coordination with Braxton's return engagement at Iridium March 29th-April 1st, 2007.
Musicians: Mary Halvorson - electric guitar; Nicole Mitchell - flute, alto and bass flutes, piccolo, voice; Sara Schoenbeck - bassoon, suona; Reut Regev - trombone, flugelbone; Carl Testa - acoustic bass, bass clarinet; Anthony Braxton - alto, soprano, and sopranino saxophones, clarinet, Eb contralto clarinet; James Fei - alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet; Andrew Raffo Dewar - soprano and c-melody saxophones, clarinet; Jay Rozen - tuba, euphonium; Stephen H. Lehman - alto and sopranino saxophones; Jessica Pavone - viola, violin; Aaron Siegel - percussion, vibraphone; Taylor Ho Bynum - cornet, flugelhorn, trumpbone, piccolo and bass trumpets, shell.
"Going to hear Anthony Braxton in Times Square is a unique event," writes trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas in his commentary on the second night's first set. "The quizzical looks of tourists who just happened to come down for this set and seem to be asking themselves if this is some sort of introduction to something else or if in fact this is the thing itself. Rapt listeners aware that we are in for a very special treat. The tension was palpable, and it was inspiring to think that after all these years of brilliance-years of composing, performing, teaching, writing, living-this man is still on the front edge of what it means to hear new music, to be in time, to exist. There is a power in this music that urges us to do better, to learn, to grow, to change and adapt. To excel in each moment."
"Braxton is one of the past forty years' great radical musical thinkers," explains AllAboutJazz.com Senior Editor John Kelman. "He simply operates on a different plane than the vast majority, and his compositions reflect the kind of rich complexity that is so beyond the conventional that one really has to listen to them with a different set of ears." His groundbreaking and continually evolving approach to music, developed over the past five decades, embraces a wealth of musical traditions ranging from jazz saxophonists Wayne Marsh and Albert Ayler to innovative American composers John Cage and Charles Ives to pioneering European Avant-Garde figures Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis. Fanatically documented by a dedicated following around the world, his multi-faceted career includes hundreds of recordings, an influential legacy as an educator and author of scholarly writings, and awards such as the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship. "The multi-reedist/composer might very well be jazz's last bona fide genius," adds the All Music Guide's Chris Kelsey. "The best of his work is on a level with any art music of the late 20th century, jazz or classical."
9 CD + DVD box signed by Braxton for $150
also available: regular edition for $120
also found..last copies of
GERRY HEMINGWAY/ANDREA GOODMAN - Divine Doorways: Soundings On The Sacred Wheel Of The Tarot - Fool To Fortune (Ruby-Throated 01; USA) Innovative, transportive, discerning and sacred are the first word associations that came to mind when I heard Divine Doorways. The team of Goodman and Hemingway are not only a team in the collaborative sense, but in the spiritual sense, as well. Divine Doorways is a collection of eleven original songs that ring of freedom and improvisation. The inspiration is James Wanless Voyager Tarot cards and the symbolism of each card. And with Mr. Wanless present for guidance, Andrea put her voice together with Gerrys drums to issue forth an album that soars like an eagle.
Gerry Hemingway is a magical and prolific composer who has toured the world - with Anthony Braxton and many others - offering his special take on contemporary music. The name Andrea Goodman is known for epic vocal expression as well as musical composition. Together, in Divine Doorways, we find a glorious healing and transforming work that took this reviewer from the mundanity of the day to the heights of awareness. Indeed, for 53 minutes I was able to kick back and visit musical places I had never been before...and energy and emotion Ive rarely felt. The music enabled me to create my own journey to my own destination...from Fool to Fortune, the first eleven cards of the Voyager Tarot. Andrea Goodman's voice is lovely, unique and visceral and Gerry Hemingways technique on the drums is unmatched. Together, their collaboration has given us something very special, Divine Doorways, a rare and delightful musical treat! - Richard Fuller
PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE - Magical Nights: 1969-1985 [2 CD set] (Munster 294; EEC) Munster Records presents the most complete anthology of the legendary Czech band The Plastic People Of The Universe. PPUS was formed in autumn 1968 in Prague by teenagers and former school-mates bass guitarist Milan "Mejla" Hlavsa and guitarist Jiri "Premek" Stevich. They teamed up with vocalist and clarinetist Michal Jernek and drummer Pavel "Eman" Zeman. Their increasing popularity attracted attention from Ivan Martin Jirous, until then the artistic mastermind of the legendary Primitives Group. He secured them a professional license and equipment from a state-owned agency. Eventually, another ex- Primitives, Josef Janacek, joined on guitar (later he switched to keyboards). Since the invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies in August 1968, the Czechoslovakian Communist regime was continuously tightening the reins on most segments of the society, and particularly on the West-influenced youth culture. By 1970, the PPU had lost their agency support and the state-owned instruments. Jernek and Stevich quit, replaced by guitarist and violinist Jiiri Kabes and the Canadian vocalist Paul Wilson. In 1973, Hlavsa, Janacek and Kabes were joined by saxophonist Vratislav Brabenec. As an experienced jazz musician, Brabenec caused a further major shift in the group's orientation, from relatively straight progressive rock towards more experimental music forms. They also ditched the English lyrics in favor of original Czech poems, supplied at that time by the underground philosopher and poet Egon Bondy. During the winter of 1974-75, the PPU clandestinely recorded their first "album" on archaic equipment in the unheated rooms of the Houska castle. Parts of it were released in France as Egon Bondy's Happy Hearts Club Banned LP in 1978. In 1976, dozens of members from the underground community were arrested by the secret police, including the PPU musicians, and several of them were put on trial. Brabenec and Jirous were sentenced to eight and 18 months in prison. That trial was the impetus for playwright Vaclav Havel and other intellectuals to publish the Charter 77 document in January 1977. Despite all the hurdles, the PPU kept on writing new material, which they occasionally performed and recorded at Havel's private farm. The persecutions by the secret police continued, and in 1982, Brabenec was forced to emigrate. Although the PPU home-recorded several albums through the 1980s, after 1981 they did not play before an audience until their break-up in 1988. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the PPU briefly reappeared in 1992 for a few gigs, featuring the original founding members. In 1997, after being asked by Vaclav Havel (then Czech president) to perform at the 20th anniversary of Charter 77 at the Prague Castle, the classic 1978-1982 line-up eventually decided to reunite. And despite Hlavsa's premature death in 2001, they continue touring successfully to the present day. This 2 CD package features 31 tracks recorded between 1969 and 1985 by this influential and revolutionary experimental band. Includes printed inner sleeves with notes by expert Luka Machata, with rare photos of the band.
2 CD set for $22
also available as 3 LP set for $36
PIGBAG - Vol 1: Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive - Expanded Edition [2 CD set] (Fire 145; UK) Led by the dancefloor anthem that rocked into the UK pop charts all the way to #3, "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag," a song that has since become a signature at football matches and television shows alike, Pigbag returns with the definitive collection of their output: Pigbag Volume One and Pigbag Volume Two, encompassing both of their full length releases Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive (1982) and Lend An Ear (1983), along with a collection of their pulsing singles and B-sides and a clutch of amazing live performances. Volumes One and Two kick it up a notch with fresh mastered versions of stone-cold groove classics that sound more at place with the current indie/world music resurgence than they ever have. Mixing punk, funk, jazz, ska, reggae and Afrobeat into a bewitching brew, Pigbag delivers. This is hardly a simple re-issue, but rather a long needed re-introduction. Formed from creative jam sessions in punk's aftermath, the young group gathered steam after convincing Simon Underwood to join the fun following his departure from The Pop Group. Soon, the band would find themselves on Dick O'Dell's Y Records and naming themselves after early member Chris Hamlin's bag that he always carried. Cheekily naming their first single in reference to the James Brown number, they delivered an instrumental classic of their own with "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag" and stormed the charts. Following with funky singles and the massive success of debut album Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive, they embarked on a tour that began to fragment the group, while also bringing several appearances on "Top of the Pops" and other highlights. All the while, "Papa" pounded relentlessly on the dancefloor and the football terraces, culminating in a triumphant third showing on the Christmas edition of "Top of the Pops." For their second album, Lend An Ear, the group would add vocalist Angela Jaeger and stretch their sound accordingly. The public remained transfixed on their earlier singles and never warmed to the change as quickly as the band would have liked, and soon they would decide to part ways. Deluxe gatefold mini-LP style packaging with a 12-page booklet and die cut lettering on cover.
2 CD set for $18
PIGBAG - Vol 1: Lend An Ear/Pigbag Live: Expanded Edition [2 CD set] (Fire 146; UK) For their second album Lend An Ear, originally released in 1983 on Y Records, UK post-punk band Pigbag would add vocalist Angela Jaeger and stretch their sound accordingly. The public remained transfixed on their earlier singles and never warmed to the change as quickly as the band would have liked, and soon they would decide to part ways. While the early work still makes one's pulse quicken, this second act deserves a fresh listen, as it showcases an incredibly confident collection of players pushing the boundaries of where they had been before -- with spectacular results. Includes an instrumental version of "Hit The 'O'Deck," and extra track "Six Of One." The second CD includes the Pigbag Live album of live tracks and remixes. Deluxe gatefold mini-LP style packaging with a 12-page booklet and die cut lettering on cover.
2 CD set for $18
ORCHESTRE REGIONAL DE MOPTI - Les Meilleurs Souvenirs De La 1ere Biennale Artistique Et Culturelle De La Jeunesse (Mississippi 75; USA) Recorded in 1970 as part of the First Biennale of Arts and Culture for the Young in Mali. The Regional Orchestra of Mopti was a state funded orchestra that participated in country wide music festivals and competitions. A hypnotic band featuring electric guitars & a large horn section. This is the first in a series of six Mali music LPs we will be reissuing this summer from Sterns. A serene and droning record that is both sorrowful & celebratory
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