13 Monroe Street, New York, NY 10002-7351
Phone: (212) 473-0043 - Toll Free: (800) 622-1387 - Fax: (646) 781-9846
Mail To: POB 153, NYC, NY 10002-0153
NEWSLETTER - December 28th, 2012
Don't wave Goodbye! to 2012 without getting on board for:
The Group with Ahmed Abdullah/Marion Brown/Billy Bang/Sirone/Fred Hopkins/Andrew Cyrille - 1985 Live!
John Butcher & Mark Sanders! Kidd Jordan/Harrison Bankhead/Warren Smith! Alexander Hawkins/Louis Moholo! Michael Blake Trios! Ingebrigt Haker Flaten Double-Bass Solo!
William Hooker/Chris DiMeglio/Adam Lane! Ingrid Laubrock/Mary Halvorson/Kris Davis/John Hebert/Tom Rainey! Die Enntauschung: Rudi Mahall & Axel Dorner! Oliver Lake/Nils Wogram/Christian Weber/Deiter Ulrich! Sudo Quartet: Joelle Leandre/Carlos Zingaro/Sebi Tramontana/Paul Lovens!
Jurg Wickihalder Orchestra! Min Xiao-Fen/Satoshi Takeishi! Lajos Dudas Trio! Clare Fischer Orchestra! Morton Feldman! Gyorgi Ligeti! Karlheinz Stockhausen! Bonnie Kane & Scott Prato's Big Plastic Finger! Ghost Trees! Baba Scholae!
Four Decades of Bob Downes Open Music! Mick Barr and Krallice! Crimson's Larks' CD+DVD set! John Fahey '60s Takoma 6 LP Box Set! Body-Gate-Head! Michael Pollard! Brad Rose's The North Sea!
Missy Mazzoli! Luc Ferrari! Ivo Malec! Olivier Messiaen! Frederic Acquaviva CD+DVD! Duke Ellington '67 Live! Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids 3CD Box! Fifty Foot Hose! Brainbox! Kluster Live '71! Ahora Mazda!
and lots more...!
INNOVA catalog - 20% OFF SALE!
Again, we have a LIMITED TIME SALE on a Fantastic Contemporary Composer label:
..with a Very Large Catalog - 370+ Items!
REMEMBER: ALL PRICES shown at our site ARE BEFORE WE TAKE 20% OFF - so $14 items are actually $11.20 and so on
Get started on some great reading.. and some GREAT LISTENING!
Sale ENDS Sunday January 13th, 2013
The DMG Free Weekly In-Store Performance Series Continues With:
Sunday, December 23rd:
7pm: DMG's First Annual Happy Holiday Party - Food, Drink and Musical Guests! Featuring ELLIOTT SHARP & HIS MYSTERIOUS TRAVELERS!
Sunday, December 30th:
No In-Store! We Need a Break! Happy New Year to All..and get Smashed!
Sunday, January 6th, 2013 Double-Header:
6pm: THOMAS HEBERER & STEVE SWELL! Trumpet & Trombone Duo!
7pm: GAIN LUIGI DIANA / BEN GERSTEIN / MIKE PRIDE - Laptop/Trombone/Drums!
Sunday, January 13th Double-Header:
6pm: JAMES ILGENFRITZ DUO - Acoustic Bass & ?!
7pm: Two Basses Hit: JD PARRAN & KEVIN RAY - Bass Clarinet & Contrabass!
Sunday, January 20th Double-header:
6pm: HAN-EARL PARK - Guitar/ LOUISE D.E. JENSEN - Sax / MICHAEL EVANS - Drums!
7pm: GUILLERMO GREGORIO - Clarinets & Electronics!
Sunday, January 27th Double-Header:
6pm: ALAN SONDHEIM / AZURE CARTER / CHRIS DIASPARRA! Weird Ethnic Instruments / Vocals / Saxes! ESP & Fire Museum Recording Artists!
7pm: HANS TAMMEN / JOHN GROSS / JONAS TAUBER / BILLY MINTZ! Analogue Synth / Tenor Sax / Bass / Drums!
Sunday, February 3rd Double-Header:
6pm: YOSHI FRUCHTER - Guitar / NICK MILLEVOI - Guitar / JEREMIAH CYMERMAN - Clarinet / KEVIN ZUBEK - Drums
7pm: SOHRAB SAADAT LADJEVARDI!
Sunday, February 10th:
6pm: ANDY HAAS - Sax & Electronics & KEN ALDCROFT - Guitar; CD Release Celebration!
Sunday, February 17th:
6pm: FEDERICO UGHI - Drums & JEFF SNYDER - Electronics!
Sunday, Feb 24th:
6pm: KARL 2000: DANIEL ROVIN - Tenor Sax / AUSTIN WHITE - Bass / DAVE MILLER - Drums!
Starting off with a 'Bang' (Billy, that is!) from NoBusiness!!!
THE GROUP [AHMED ABDULLAH/MARION BROWN/BILLY BANG/SIRONE [NORRIS JONES]/FRED HOPKINS/ANDREW CYRILLE] - Complete Live: Jazz Center Of New York, September 13 1986 [Ltd Ed of 1000] (NoBusiness CD 50; EEC) The Group, the cooperative quintet featuring violinist Billy Bang, reed player Marion Brown, trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah, bassist Sirone, and drummer Andrew Cyrille, is certainly one of the unaccountably overlooked bands in jazz. Unlike many of the all-star groups of the 1980s, such as New and Old Dreams, the Leaders, Sphere, and Song X, the Group never made a recording and rarely played outside the New York City area. But during the two years they were together from 1986 to 1987, they made some of the most significant and compelling music of the time.
With The Group: Live, NoBusiness Records corrects this historical oversight. The concert performance, which also features bassist Fred Hopkins, shows that the Group was not only an exciting band, but unlike many all-star groups that often played it safe, they were also an exploratory and innovative one.
Recorded in performance at the Jazz Center of New York in September 1986, the music features compositions from band members Brown and Bang, as well as brilliant interpretations of Charles Mingus's Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, and a song by Miriam Makeba. Uniting two generations of the New York jazz avant-garde - elders Brown and Cyrille cut their teeth in the 1960s, while the remainder of the band came up in the 1970s loft scene - the Group easily encompassed different styles of composing and improvising. Brown is unfailingly free and lyrical on La Placita; Abdullah pushes bebop into abstraction on Goodbye Pork Pie Hat; and Bang is at his most explosive and bluesy on The Shift Below. Cyrille makes everything swing with his light but powerful touch. And in the only time they were recorded performing together, Sirone and Hopkins add a special rhythmic and harmonic depth to music. Not only are individual solos brilliant, but the band's collective approach creates telepathic interactions throughout the set. It's a performance of such sophistication and joyfulness that it seems incredible that this ensemble could have been overlooked for more than 25 years.
NoBusiness Records has also released a limited edition LP [that only contains three (52 minutes) of the five cuts found on the CD (77 minutes)].
In addition, only the CD release includes a detailed history of the band written by trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah and an extensive collection of previously unpublished photos and concert flyers.
THE GROUP [AHMED ABDULLAH/MARION BROWN/BILLY BANG/SIRONE [NORRIS JONES]/FRED HOPKINS/ANDREW CYRILLE] - Live: Jazz Center Of New York, September 13 1986 [Ltd Ed of 1000] (NoBusiness LP 55; EEC) This limited edition LP only contains three (52 minutes) of the five cuts found on the CD (77 minutes).
WILLIAM HOOKER QUINTET With CHRIS DiMEGLIO/DAVE ROSS/ADAM LANE/SANGA - Channels Of Consciousness [Ltd Ed of 500] (NoBusiness CD 52; EEC) Featuring William Hooker on drums, with Dave Ross on guitar, Chris DiMeglio on trumpet, Adam Lane on bass, and Sanga on percussion. Recorded live at Roulette in March of 2010. Downtown free/jazz drum master William Hooker has the knack for putting together ensembles, no matter how many members (from duos to upwards of ten pieces), that always deliver that rare, powerful, focused free/jazz explosion/eruption. For nearly thirty years, I've witnessed Mr. Hooker whipping up a storm and lighting fires to launch his partners into the ecstatic state. For this set and disc, Hooker has organized a fine quintet with a stellar cast: the great yet under-rated guitarist Dave Ross (last seen with Ras Moshe & a disc on Nacht), trumpet wiz Chris Dimeglio (with Chris Kelsey & a disc as a leader) and the ever in-demand bass great Adam Lane (who has played with John Tchicai, Darius Jones & Ken Vandermark + numerous discs as a leader). Can't say I know anything about a percussionist named Sanga.
This disc starts with subtle hand percussion (congas?), acoustic bass and drums, slowly building in intensity as the groove begins to emerge. The trumpet and guitar slowly enter, a few notes at a time, selectively adding to the ascending flow. There is a cosmic, swirling, series of lines, interplay and solos that pull you in and take you along for that marvelous magic carpet ride into the stratosphere. Actually, the vibe is like a roller coaster ride with astonishing twists, turns and the rush of adrenalin as we move swiftly through exciting levels and degrees. William Hooker's drums and occasional shouts of encouragement always propel his musicians through the grand rapids. There are a number of solos and duos that stand out: a fabulous drums & congas duo, colossal guitar and trumpet interaction and an impressive contrabass solo from Mr. Lane. Plus we get a short yet well-placed poetry recitation by Mr. Hooker himself whose words are also printed in the liner booklet. To top it off, Dave Ross plays some swell bluesy, slide semi-acoustic guitar midway adding some earthiness to an already intense session. The whole disc is well-recorded, often in-your-face and thrilling throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
SUDO QUARTET [JOELLE LEANDRE/CARLOS ZINGARO/SEBI TRAMONTANA/PAUL LOVENS] - Live at Banlieue Bleue [Ltd Ed of 500] (NoBusiness CD 51; EEC) Featuring Joelle Leandre on contrabass, Carlos Zingaro on violin, Sebi Tramontana on trombone and Paul Lovens on drums. This is a stellar European quartet of all strong, spirited improvisers. Can't wait to get a promo to review this disc but no doubt great! - BLG
New from Emanem!
JOHN BUTCHER & MARK SANDERS - Daylight (2010-1) (Emanem 5024; UK) Following on from their highly acclaimed appearance on the TREADER DUOS CD, here is a whole CD devoted to the highly compatible and innovative duo of saxophonist John Butcher and percussionist Mark Sanders. Their varied improvisations are heard at two afternoon concerts - one at the 2010 Freedom of the City festival in London, the other nearly a year later at Southampton University. 55 minutes.
"Over the past decade, UK saxist John Butcher, has become the man to watch, as one of the most important experimental saxists and whose playing is constantly evolving as he takes a rather scientific approach to his explorations. on each disc, whether solo, duo or trio, Mr. Butcher pushes the envelope and comes up with something new to hear. Mark Sanders is an equally creative percussionist who has worked with an array of masters like Evan Parker, Paul Dunmall and Jah Wobble. Butcher and Sanders have recorded together on occasion, first with Steve Beresford and then in an earlier duo on the Treader label from a few years back.
This disc was recorded at two concerts in England, London in May of 2010 and Southampton in February of 2011. There is an astonishing interconnected depth that runs through this disc. The give and take is so close, it is a complete communion of the spirits. Like Evan Parker or John Zorn, Mr. Butcher is an expert at extended techniques and/or multiphonic sax sounds. There are some sounds he makes here which are closer to birdcalls than anything else, as well as some odd microscopic bits which are both unique and fascinating. Mr. Sanders is a perfect partner no matter where Butcher moves. There are a number of magical moments when Sanders rubs or bows his cymbals while Butcher bends his notes in a similar eerie way. 55 minutes long and clearly outstanding!" - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
New from Ogun!
[actually we got our first shipment of this three weeks ago and sold out in the store - it's THAT GOOD! - so we couldn't mention this until our 2nd shipment was on the way.. In Stock Monday]
ALEXANDER HAWKINS & LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO - Keep Your Heart Straight (Ogun 039; UK) The duo of London pianist Alexander Hawkins (Decoy, Convergence Quartet) and drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo (Blue Notes, Circulasione Totale, &c.) alternating standards and original compositions with impressive empathy and masterful ability.
"I first heard Alexander Hawkins play at the Vortex Jazz Club, with the Anthony Braxton's cornet-playing protege Taylor Ho Bynum, bassist Dominic Lash and drummer Harris Eisenstadt in the Convergence Quartet. The music was an idiomatic white-knuckle ride, and all the players were variously fascinating - but the-then 28 year-old Hawkins was a revelation, for the audacity of his ideas, the depth of his understanding of both the- matic and free-form musics, and for his Cecil Taylor-like stamina and power. At the end of that year, I made Hawkins my choice as the rising young player to watch in every media outlet I could get the news into. But his achievements since, including through-composed music, the jazz of Thelonious Monk or Steve Lacy, Hammond organ funk and a lot more, have exceeded all expectations. With this album, Hawkins explores one of his most productive musical relationships, with the great South African percussionist Louis Moholo- Moholo. If you detect a glimpse or two of classic South African jazz in the solemn, hymn-like chords in Amaxesha Osizi or Hawkins' rocking, early-Abdullah drive on Hear Our Hearts, they represent the young Oxford pianist's enthusiasm for that culture's fusion of soulful- ness and townships jive, and the percussion giant's profound experiences of it, that drew these two together in the first place. But, typically for both players, this session spans far wider horizons, and the pair traverse them with astonishing empathy and alert impulsiveness. From the opening's thoughtful piano speculations over softly pattering percussion to its storming power chords, through the harmonic subtlety glowing within the free-piano tour de force of Pure vamp under floods of long-lined melody on Catch You On The Rebound, it's sometimes hard to believe such orchestral depth and drum-choir variety is the work of just two musicians. But this set is about delicacy as well as drama, audible in Moholo- Moholo's feathery cymbal textures, or Hawkins' fluid, spacious, treble- note overtures to slow-building improvisations. The standard songs (If I Should Lose You, Lakutshon' Ilanga and Prelude To A Kiss) show how imaginatively this duo joins past and present, whether breaking up a familiar melody into rugged chunks of Monkish chords, hiding it between trilling low-end notes and dissonant harmonies, or threading it through Moholo-Moholo's percussion monsoons. In the rich jazz history of an old lion making inspired new music with a young one, Keep Your Heart Straight deserves a very prominent place on the podium."- John Fordham
Four Great New Releases from Intakt!
INGRID LAUBROCK ANTI-HOUSE With MARY HALVORSON/JOHN HEBERT/TOM RAINEY/KRIS DAVIS - Strong Place (Intakt 208; Switzerland) Ingrid Laubrock on tenor & soprano saxes & compositions, Mary Halvorson on guitar, Kris Davis on piano, John Hebert on bass, and Tom Rainey on drums. Over the past couple of years three women musicians from the Downtown scene have really come into their own: Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock & Kris Davis. Each leads several bands, composing differently for each project and collaborates with a number of Downtown's finest musicians. Plus they often work together in each other's bands and collaborate with some of the same musicians: Tim Berne, Tom Rainey & Ches Smith.
This is the second disc from Ms. Laubrock's quintet Anti-House and she has delivered another jewel. Both Kris on piano and Mary on guitar seem to tapping on or softly strumming their strings for "The Unfolding" while the rest of the quintet play a somber series of drones. Tentative yet evocative of free spirits which give way to some playful soprano and those twisted chords that Mary likes to spin. I dig the way Ingrid breaks up the written lines on"Der Deichgraf" so that soprano sax, piano and drums play one series of broken lines until the bass comes in and the mood becomes more laid back with Ingrid now on blustery tenor with some sly guitar flourishes by Mary. Things slow down to a bluesy resolve on "Count 'Em" which then increases in tempo as it becomes freer in the second half and then is transformed into a quirky chamber-jazz like section with some complex arrangements. For "From Farm Girl to Fabulous", the written parts involve a series of shrewd interconnected changes in direction, pretty progressive and filled with surprises. Each piece shows that Ms. Laubrock has found a way of providing diverse challenges to all of the members of her great quintet. The copyright date on this disc is 2013, which is now (12/26/12) next year. So we could look at this gem either way, either one of this year's best or one of next year's finest. Immensely impressive all the way around. The Tom Rainey Trio with Mary Halvorson & Ingrid Laubrock will play their final set of the year this Sunday, December 30th at the Cornelia Street Cafe at 8:30. You know where I will be that night! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
OLIVER LAKE/CHRISTIAN WEBER/DIETER ULRICH + NILS WOGRAM - All Decks: Live At Unerhort! (Intakt 222; Switzerland) Oliver Lake, alto saxophone; Christian Weber bass; Dieter Ulrich drums; Nils Wogram trombone. Recorded live at Unerhort!-Festival Zurich, November 25 2011. This is the second disc from sax great Oliver Lake's Swiss trio. This time they've added the trombone playing of Nils Wogram. Mr. Wogram is of course one of Europe's finest trombone players who was collaborated at length with Simon Nabatov & Aki Takase, as well as several discs of his own on Enja. The pieces were written by Mr. Lake [including title track[, Mr. Ulrich and Mr. Wogram with one cover song by Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn. On 'All Decks', the sax and trombone play the theme warmly together in between some quick flights of fancy by the soaring rhythm team with both horns circling above. Mr. Wogram's "Listen to Your Woman" is a somber, older sounding jazz tune with some fine, laid-back trombone and alto sax. Mr. Lake has written some tart, sharp harmonies for his piece, "Sketch 4 Four" which features some strong back & forth dialogue between the sax and trombone. "Oddly-C" (by Mr. Ulrich) has dreamy, spacious vibe with both horns weaving their way around one another as the rhythm spins in slow motion underneath until they drop out leaving just the two horns to converse. Mr. Lake's "Rollin' Vamp" has an infectious repeating groove (or vamp) upon which the sax and trombone take long, inspired, slow-burning solos. The final piece is the Ellington/Strayhorn classic, "Johnny Come Lately", which is done most exuberantly and loosely at the same time, becoming pretty free in the second half. I love the way they turn this song inside-out and show that it can be a vehicle for some outside surprises. What I dig about this disc is that it is adventurous without resorting to any screaming, free bits. Well-handled all the way around. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
DIE ENTTAUSCHUNG [AXEL DORNER/RUDI MAHALL/JAN RODER/ULI JENNESSEN] - Vier Halbe (Intakt 211; Switzerland) Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet & bari sax, Axel Dorner on trumpet, Jan Roder on bass and Uli Jennessen on drums. Even before this quartet joined forces with Alex von Schlippenbach for his Monk's Casino project, they had been recording since 1995 and have continued to record and evolve. This is their sixth disc and they remain a most enthusiastic bunch. Both hornmen keep quite busy playing in a wide variety of contexts throughout the year. Mr. Mahal works with Aki Takase & Simon Nabatov as well as bands Gunter Adler and Soko Steidle. Even more surprising is that Axel Dorner moves from lower case to explosive settings like John Butcher & Keith Rowe to Vandermark's Territory Band. Bassist Jan Roder has a solo effort out and plays with Silke Eberhard and Ulrich Gumpert.
All of the 21 pieces on this disc are relatively short and all four members contributed compositions. The pieces cover a variety of stylistic ideas or genres. Mr. Mahall plays bari sax here, something he doesn't do often enough on other discs. On "Verzahit" Uli plays mostly brushes on his snare while the bass clarinet and trumpet spin simultaneously solos together. Each piece involves different structural ideas and combinations of instruments. For "Falsches Publikum" the drummer keeps a dialogue or solo going on in between spurts of written horn lines. Very Dolphy-like. The quartet take the theme from "Jitterbug Waltz" and chop it up so that we just get a part of it and expand it into something else. Since all but one of the pieces is under five minutes, the quartet is consistently showing how ell they can adapt to complex structures and ideas. And at nearly 71 minutes long, there is a great deal to enjoy here from all over the exploratory spectrum. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
JURG WICKIHALDER ORCHESTRA + TIM KROHN//MANUEL PEROVIC, arr. - Narziss Und Echo (Intakt 209; Switzerland) This is Jurg Wickihalder's fourth disc for the Intakt label after one duo and two quartet discs. The only names here I recognize from this 13-piece ensemble are Mr. Wickihalder on soprano & tenor saxes & compositions, Michael Jaeger on tenor sax & clarinet and Chris Weisendanger on piano. There is a narrator, who wrote the words (in German/Swiss) for the opening, and two singers as well involved. The story is based on Ovid's ancient tale of 'Metamorphosen'. All of the narration and singing is tanslated into English in the liner notes. The instrumentation includes strings, reeds and brass and is well-written and performed. Since, I've listened to so little opera, I can't compare this to anything. I do enjoy the way the vocals are used, sometimes sung simultaneously two voices at once. In order to understand the story, one must follow the words in the booklet. The music has a playful charm that I found to be enchanting with the vocals fitting nicely with the music. An interesting disc overall but I feel that it will be of limited interest to an English speaking audience. You can prove me wrong by taking a chance yourself and checking this out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
MIN XIAO-FEN With NINYAN/SATOSHI TAKEISHI - Dim Sum (Blue Pipa 08; USA) Min Xiao-Fen on pipa, with Nanyin pipa, electronic pipa, toy pipa, sanxian, finger-piano & vocals and Satoshi Takeishi on percussion & electronics. When Chinese pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen moved here from the Bay Area in the 1990's, little did she know that she would soon become a part of Downtown/avant/experimental scene. Although Min is classically trained on the pipa, thanks to John Zorn and Derek Bailey has become of one the adventurous and in-demand improvisers in the Downtown Scene. After recording for John Zorn ('Filmworks VIII & XII'), making two duo discs with Derek Bailey, Ms. Xiao-Fen has collaborated with Wadada Leo Smith, George Lewis, Ned Rothenberg and Elliott Sharp. Ms. Xiao-Fen records infrequently as a leader so this disc is a welcome addition to her short discography with just three previous discs.
Min Xiao-Fen composed each of the ten pieces here, using four different pipas, sanxian, a finger piano and her voice. She is accompanied by the Satoshi Takeishi, one of Downtown's busiest percussionists, who often sits on the floor and plays hand percussion & tablas as well as a drum kit with occasional electronics. Min plays some lovely finger piano (or mbira?) on "Like a Flower" and sings in Chinese. Her voice is exquisite, soothing, precious, the words are about winter flowers. "Blue Pipa" was inspired by Miles Davis and it shows Min's incredible prowess on the pipa. She takes the melody from Miles' classic "All Blues" and takes off, embellishing with layers of lines, some muted with a percussive device, some played straight, also improvising with her voice for a short section. Min plays a sanxian (three-stringed Chinese lute) for "Tan Tan, Chang Chang", a poignant song about the narrator's lonely lament for her missing lover. Min really cuts loose with her voice on this piece, pushing herself to an intense conclusion. "ABC" was inspired by John Cage and it is a long story like performance that evolves through different themes or scenes. The final suite is called "Dim Sum" and it features six different musical dishes, inspired by sounds from my Min's childhood in Nanjing, China. Each part of the suite evokes a different vibe or mood and each part is strong by itself. Min uses her voice minimally to enhance the spirit or shade of some of the parts, blending the pipas, subtle percussion and voice into a strong, focused unified force. This disc is a tour-de-force by the unstoppable Min Xiao-Fen, so watch out! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Directly from Mr Michael Blake!
BEN ALLISON/MICHAEL BLAKE/RUDY ROYSTON - Union Square (aBeat 111; Italy) Ben Allison on double bass, Michael Blake on soprano & tenor saxes and Rudy Royston on drums. We haven't had anything new from saxist Michael Blake in a while so it is a joyous thing to get not one but two new discs from one Downtown's most diverse saxists. And both are on Italian labels. All of the ten songs on this disc were written by members of the trio besides the one cover of a rare Duke Ellington song called "Wig Wise". Mr. Blake always draws from the long history of jazz, evoking a variety of eras and styles. "Strays" opens and starts out at a slow tempo yet speeds up and down several times throughout. Mr. Blake has a luxurious tone on tenor and the trio sounds warm and natural as they weave around the changes. Allison's "No Other Side" has a swell, laid back, sort of funky groove and a memorable melody you soon forget. When a group takes their time and plays slowly as they do on several of these songs, they have to deal with nuance and suspense which this trio does so well. Blake's "Flapper" reminds me of boppish piece that Sonny Rollins might've played in the fifties sometime with a spirited sax solo (partially unaccompanied) and an effervescent, swinging rhythm team. Another Blake song called "Big Smile" has a lovely melody and sounds superb on soprano sax. "Angry Angus" is a great slow-burning uptempo piece with Ben's bass providing a quick pulse at the center with Blake's tenor sailing softly on top. Each of the ten songs on this disc is a gem of craft, subtly, grace and somber fire. A solid trio used to the best of their combined abilities. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
THE MINUS ONE [TOMMASO CAPPELLATO/STEFANO SENNI/MICHAEL BLAKE] - Live In Pisa (El Gallo Rojo 314-52; Italy) Michael Blake on tenor & soprano saxes, Stefano Senni on bass and Tommaso Cappelato on drums. This is the first new disc on the El Gallo Rojo label that we've had in the past couple of years. I have been a longtime fan of this fine Italian label since they always release discs which are in between the categories like jazz and rock. While Mr. Cappellato has worked with NY violinist Sarah Bernstein, bassist Stefano Senni can be found on more than a dozen discs from the El Gallo Rojo, Splasch and Improvvisatore Involontario labels.
This disc was recorded live at Jazzwide in Pisa, Italy in August of 2011. Half of the songs are originals while the others are covers by Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Ray Charles. Michael Blake's "Memo" kicks things off with Blake playing both saxes at the same time, in a Rahsaan-like way. This piece is a spirited, hard-swinging opener with a burning soprano and tenor solo. Count Basie's "Blue & Sentimental" is next and done sublimely. Mr. Blake is a master of the old school lush, buttery tenor tone and does a swell job here. Each piece seems to be a vehicle for another part of the jazz continuum. I dig the effervescent melody on "Holland's Holler", an instantly memorable theme with a superb tenor solo and strong support. The set here is well-rounded and shows that a sax led trio can provide a full program without showing off and still being diverse. Although this disc is somewhat more mainstream than the usual Downtown out/jazz explorations, I found it to be equally satisfying on other level. Each song is well selected and each solo is inspired and story-like. What more do we need? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music
and, last copies of this..
MICHAEL BLAKE With STEVEN BERNSTEIN/MARCUS ROJAS/GRANT CALVIN WESTON - Hellbent: Live In Vancouver 2007 (Blakeymon; USA) Featuring Michael Blake on tenor sax, Steve Bernstein on trumpet & slide-trumpet, Marcus Rojas on tuba and Calvin Weston on drums.
"Mr. John" kicks things off with some tasty toned tenor from Michael, front & center and splendid horns on either side. The trumpet and tuba sound perfect together and play rich harmonies while Mr. Blake blows some blustery tenor. The title track is next and again Michael's warm tenor tone is just right. Trumpet-ace Steve Bernstein takes the first solo and it is supreme with some incredible drums from Mr. Weston kicking up a storm underneath. While Marcus keeps the repeating bass-line flowing, both the sax and trumpet trade licks until Blake takes his own amazing solo, filled with fire and numerous cascading lines. Calvin Weston is a powerful drummer and he takes an awesome drum solo that ends this piece in a most exciting way. "Like Father, Like Son" is a poignant, bluesy sort of ballad with some a touching tenor solo and superb backing from both horns. Kresten Osgood's "The Two Step" starts off with a one of those twisted tuba solos that only Marcus Rojas could provide complete with hilarious vocal sounds. This piece has a great funky, sort-of old-timey groove that is certain to bring a smile to that forlorn face. It made me get outa my chair and dance around the kitchen. On "Flipper" the trio of spiraling tenor, humming tuba and Calvin's nimble brush work is sublime. Michael tells a long tale with his sax and is eventually joined by Steve's spirited trumpet who completes the story with his great solo. I didn't recall a Duke Ellington song called "Wig Wise" but it turns out that it comes is from that rare trio record called 'Money Jungle' with Duke, Charles Mingus & Max Roach. Mr. Blake has a great Trane-like tone on this piece and spins his notes furiously while the tuba & drums flesh out that great groove underneath. And speaking of great grooves, Mr. Blake's quartet completes this set with a cover of the Jackson Five's early hit "I Want You Back". A strange choice to close their set? Perhaps, but it does feel just right to help us into a more festive vibe. Another winner in a long & diverse line of gems from the mighty Michael Blake. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Direct from the amazing Bob Downes!
BOB DOWNES OPEN MUSIC DUOS/TRIOS/QUARTETS With BARRY GUY/RAY RUSSELL/BRIAN GODDING/HARRY MILLER/JOHN STEVENS et al - Mixed Bag 1971-2007 + Requiem For Faruq Z Bey (2012) [Ltd 2 CD Edition] (Openian 22737; Germany) Collective personnel features Bob Downes on various flutes, tenor sax, percussion & vocals, Ray Russell & Brian Godding on guitars, Laurie Baker on synth, Barry Guy, Harry Miller & Daryl Runswick on basses, John Stevens, Alan Rushton & Derek Hogg on drums plus guest flutists Michael Heinen and Mila Morgenstern. This double disc features a series of solos, duos, trios, quartets, a small big band and a wind ensemble from 1971 through 2007, both live and studio recordings. Legendary British flutist & composer, Bob Downes continues to unearth archival recordings from his long career which stretches back from the late 1960's until today. Although Mr. Downes has been living in Germany for some time, he has collaborated with many of UK's best and most adventurous musicians, a half dozen of whom are found on this disc as well as a handful of German musicians from the eighties onwards which includes a 65 piece vocal choir on one piece.
'Mixed Bag' is an appropriate title since each of the works on these discs are so varied. Mr. Downes loves to put himself in diverse situations. The first piece is a superb duo for bamboo flute and what sounds like a balaphon (African xylophone). The vibe is ritualistic and sublime, a righteous opening. "In Rio de Janeiro" is a fun piece for three flutes, in which each flute sounds quite different yet they sound great together. There are two quartet pieces with the great British guitarist Ray Russell and both are great jazz/rock jams. Downes himself alters the sound of his flutes, adds assorted devices and echoplex at times and shows himself to be an immensely resourceful player. There are three solo pieces for flute or tenor sax and percussion and each of these are tasty, heartfelt offerings. The second disc is called "Requiem for Faruq Z. Bey" and it consists of four solos for tenor sax and bass flute. Although it is more of an EP (11 & 1/2 minutes) it is no less enchanting. Faruq Z. Bey was a legendary/influential saxist from Detroit who passed earlier this year. Considering that Mr. Downes is better known as a great flute player, it turns out that he is also a fine saxist. This CD is considered by Bob to be a gift to his listeners. It is a touching tribute and a perfect conclusion to an already wonderful disc of diverse gems. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
2 CD set for $20
LAJOS DUDAS TRIO With PHILIPP VAN ENDERT/LEONARD JONES - Live at Porgy & Bess (Jazzsick 5062; Germany) Featuring Lajos Dudas on clarinet, Philipp van Endert on guitar and Leonard Jones on bass. Hungarian clarinet master, Lajos Dudas, whose career stretches back some fifty-plus years, returns with his 12th discs as a leader. Guitarist Philipp van Endert has been collaborating with Mr. Dudas for some twenty years (1993-2013). Bassist Leonard Jones is an original member of the AACM, playing with Muhal Richard Abrams in the sixties (in Chicago), as well as with Muhal in the seventies in NY. Mr. Jones has been living in Munich, Germany since 1980 and has played with a variety of noted musicians like the Sun Ra Arkestra, Hank Crawford, Sonny Simmons and Mal Waldron. Mr. Dudas wrote half of the songs here with a handful of covers by Monk, Cole Porter, Gershwin and two by fellow Hungarian Attila Zoller. Although this trio does play a few standards, the instrumentation of clarinet, guitar & bass makes this more of a chamber jazz trio. The trio has a full, well-rounded sound with the acoustic bass at the center holding down the rhythm team support. You can tell that Mr. Dudas and Mr. van Endert have been playing together for a long while since they work so well as one connected spirit. "Soft Waves" is a hushed, elegant piece with superb, crafty and sublime solos from the clarinet and guitar. There is an original song by Dudas called, "Reni's Ballad", but it is not a laid-back piece, as both the clarinet and guitar take impressive forceful solos. The late Attila Zoller lived in the US for many years and passed away in 1998. He was a brilliant jazz guitarist as well as a gifted composer. Here the trio play his "Homage to O.P." (Oscar Pettiford?), which is done playfully with a superb (Wes Montgomery-like) solo from Mr. van Endert on guitar. Mr. Dudas sounds especially inspired playing Monk's classic "In Walked Bud", caressing each note with taste and respect. Each and every solo on the disc (including a couple of fine bass solos) as well as the interplay between all three members of this trio is done extremely well. Could be a perfect (jazz) release? Yes, indeed it really is. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Not mentioned last week, as it came in a later package..
INGEBRIGT HAKER FLATEN - Steel: Live In Bucharest [Ltd Ed CD] (Tektite 1202; USA) All tracks composed and performed by Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (TONO).
Recorded by the Sambata Sonora Project at the Round Hall of the National Center of Dance, Bucharest, on December 10th, 2010. Mastered by Ryan Edwards, Houston, January 2012. Produced by Ingebrigt Haker Flaten. Photo by Andrea Lorena Salazar. Cover design by George Staicu.
"On Steel, Flaten combines technical facality with depth of expression in a manner that recalls past masters like Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware, Charlie Haden, and Malachi Favors. His attack can turn percussive, whether he's playing pizzicato or arco. At other times, his lines have a vocalized quality. And he's a master of bowed harmonics that can make his bass sound like a reed instrument or a whole string section, even without electronic augmention. On Birds, Flaten employs an arsenal of electronic effects to make his bass sound like Japanese flutes, a Hendrixoid guitar or an angry insect. The music unfolds episodically, recalling the 60's and 70's masterworks of Stockhausen, Takehisa Kosugi, and Richard Pinhas." - The Stash Dauber
THE OPPOSITE [MARCELO GABARD PAZOS/SAMUEL HALLQVIST/LOIC DEQUIDT/DAVID CARLSSON/PETER NILSSON/ANDERS VESTERGARD] - In Action (Kopasetic 039; EEC) Marcelo Gabard Pazos on alto sax, Loic Dequidt on acoustic & electric piano, Samuel Hallkvist on guitar, David Carlsson on electric bass, Anders Vestergard on percussion and Peter Nilsson on drums. The only person on this disc I know well is drummer Peter Nilsson who has worked with his brother Anders on occasion and is involved with several bands found on the Kopasetic label, which is based in Sweden. Bassist David carlsson has also worked with Anders and Peter in the past. This is the second disc from the Opposite. This bands remains an impressive jazz/rock sextet. "Switch Foot Pogo" has a cool, somewhat funky, elastic, spastic yet infectious groove. It has an electric Miles-like vibe at first and then suddenly the tempo is doubled and it jumps into a hyperdrive. Some of the pieces here are live while the others are recorded in a studio. "Gods & Goods" has a fine, laid back, somewhat funky groove with an inspired solos from the guitar and tight electric piano interplay. There is a tight, exuberant quality that runs throughout this disc. It sounds quite a bit like some mid-seventies jazz/rock but with none of the problems of fusion, no fast licks or showboating. The group seems to lay back on the studio tracks a bit more, providing a more reflective vibe. On "Seau D'Air", the sextet take their time slowly building and creating much suspense without any solos involved. This fine disc ends with a lengthy piece called "I said Haha" which again shows a strong, more restrained side with some long, tasty, sly guitar and sax solos and an overall simmering, hypnotic vibe. Another excellent offering from the fine folks at Kopasetic. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
New from Kidd Jordan!
EDWARD 'KIDD' JORDAN With HARRISON BANKHEAD/WARREN SMITH - On Fire 2 (Engine 49; USA) Featuring Kidd Jordan on tenor sax, Harrison Bankhead on bass & cello and Warren Smith on drums. New Orleans saxophone colossus, Kidd Jordan, often plays the annual Vision Festival, but rarely comes to town otherwise. This disc is a studio recording made just before the Vision Fest in 2011 and the irrepressible Kidd Jordan has chosen the perfect rhythm team to launch off with. Chicago-based bassist Harrison Bankhead had worked with another tenor titan for many years, Fred Anderson who passed away just about one year before this disc was recorded. One of New York's finest percussionists, Warren Smith, has a long, rich and varied career playing on hundreds of sessions with jazz, classical, folk and rock musicians of note. Together they a make an incredible trio: powerful, inventive and sprawling. The trio builds or ascends in cosmic waves, weaving a dynamic web of currents. This disc is well-recorded so that the bass and drums sound completely connected, extending each other's lines with Mr. Jordan's wailing sax sailing on top. When Mr. Bankhead bows his bass or cello, he adds a hypnotic undertow to the trio. About halfway through the epic-length "Speaking in Tongues", the slow squealing sax, bowed bass and orchestral percussion evolve into an alien world soundscape. Harrison Bankhead is a monster bassist and even his short solos here show him to be consistently amazing. As far as this year's (2012) finest free/jazz sax-lead discs, we can put this one up there with Sam Rivers Trio (Pi), David S. Ware Quartet (Aum Fidelity) and Peter Brotzmann Trio (Victo). - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Third in a series of Limited Edition Reissues from International Phonograph!
CLARE FISCHER ORCHESTRA With BUD SHANK/JOHN LOWE/JERRY COKER/JACK NIMITZ/BOB WEST/LARRY BUNKER/COLIN BAILEY et al - Extension [Ltd Ed] (International Phonograph 03; USA) Personnel: Clare Fischer: piano, organ, alto saxophone (1, 5-7), lujohn (2-4, 8); John Lowe: 1st flute and alto flute (2-4, 8), E-flat contra bass clarinet, baritone saxophone and clarinet (1, 5- 7), piccolo (1-8); Sam Most: 2nd flute, alto flute, piccolo (2-4, 8); Bud Shank: flute, alto saxophone (1, 5-7); Don Shelton: E-flat clarinet, alto saxophone; Ben Kantor: clarinet (2-4, 8); Louis Ciotti: clarinet (2-4, 8); Gary Foster: E-flat alto clarinet, tenor saxophone; Jerry Coker: tenor saxophone (1, 5-7), bass clarinet (2-4, 8); Jack Nimitz: E-flat contra bass clarinet, baritone saxophone (2-4, 8); Vince De Rosa: 1st horn; Richard Perissi: 2nd horn; Fred Teuber: 3rd horn; Gil Falco: tenor trombone; Bobby Knight: bass trombone; Tommy Johnson: tuba; Bob West: bass; Larry Bunker: vibes (2-4, 8), drums (1, 5-7); Colin Bailey: drums (2-4, 8).
"Clare Fischer's 1963 vinyl release of Extension [originally an LP on Pacific Jazz Records] is finally available on CD and with audiophile quality sound. Digitally transferred directly from the 3 track master tapes, the sound of the big band ensemble has been magically preserved and captures Clare's brilliant world of tones, textures, colors and shadings. Packaged with the usual regard to detail and quality shown by International Phonograph, Inc., the reissue is destined to be the definitive publication of this seminal recording. it has been printed in limited numbers. The performances are reproduced just as they were in the original session from the master tapes.
"When composer Clare Fischer passed away on January 26, 2012, he left behind a diverse legacy. Spending the late 1950s as pianist and arranger for The Hi-Lo's before working alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd, Fischer finally attained greater recognition in the 1960s for his contributions to the then burgeoning Latin jazz and bossa nova craze, including writing the standard "Pensativa."
Conceived and performed exactly as he intended, Extension is his masterpiece. Recorded in 1963, the album is a majestic culmination of his concepts, drawing upon myriad influences, including rich Ellingtonian voicings, the angular harmonic intervals of bebop, and bold modernist innovations proffered by classical composers such as Bela Bartok and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Released for the first time on CD by International Phonograph, Inc., this deluxe mini-LP styled reissue was mastered from the original 3 track analog tapes, capturing every nuance of the orchestra's scintillating tones, textures, and shadings. Counter to the norms of the time, these meticulously scored big-band charts are light on extended improvisationXbut intentionally soXas Fischer considered the relationship between composition and arrangement equally important. Maintaining thematic control as primary soloist, Fischer proves to be a concise, yet original interpreter, demonstrated by his adroit pianism on the impressionistic tone poem "Quiet Dawn." His kaleidoscopic Hammond organ work, revealed elsewhere on the record, is equally colorful.
Alternating with the leader for the spotlight is tenor saxophonist Jerry Coker. An under-sung West Coast phenomenon, Coker's role as an educator has overshadowed his discography; his contributions herein should redress this oversight, as his distinctively straightforward tenor ruminations resound with a sublime lyricism, particularly on the expansive title cut.
Together Fischer and Coker accentuate the date's prismatic colors and variegated moods, which are by turns charmingly old fashioned, like the breezy "Ornithardy," or subversively modern, such as the jaunty "Igor," dedicated to Stravinsky. Although traditional swing dominates, the acute timbral contrasts between instrumental sections belie the orchestra's seemingly conventional make-up; subterranean woodwinds, lush brass and diaphanous flutes engage in rigorous counterpoint across eight multihued selections. The cumulative effect of these dynamic voicings varies dramatically; the 5/4 chant "Canto Africano" suggests classy vintage exotica, yet the same instrumentation conveys regal austerity on the opulent ballad "Bittersweet."
As part of the same continuum that includes Gil Evans, Stan Kenton and Gary McFarland, Fischer reveals a distinctive and unique compositional style. Accessible and sophisticated, Extension is a welcome reissue that will entertain and engage curious listeners on multiple levels." - Troy Collins, AAJ
KING CRIMSON [ROBERT FRIPP/DAVID CROSS/JOHN WETTON/BILL BRUFORD/JAMIE MUIR] - Larks' Tongues In Aspic: 40th Anniversary Edition [CD + DVD/DVD-A] (DGM/Inner Knot KCSP 5; USA) Contains the new Steven Wilson mix/mastering of this legendary 1973 pan-ethnic/heavy metal entry by King Crimson, the first of an entirely new lineup [except Fripp, of course] - a lineup that was the most heavily bootlegged of any KC era [with good reason!] because of its improvisationally-accented live shows 1972-74.
As if Wilson's brilliant remastering wasn't enough to make you hear a brand new album, YOU NEED to get this package [if you missed out on the 15 disc deluxe edition] for the 40 minute Beat Club TV studio perfomance, never seen before, not even in bootleg circles [only a 10-minute edit of LTIA Pt 1 was ever broadcast]. IT'S MINDBLOWING, for Crimso fans, and just about anybody into Euro free/improv [Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Amalgam, Music Improvisation Company, etc] in its earliest era!
Also includes alternate [audio] mixes and unsued takes for the entire album on disc 2!
CD + DVD for $22
New from Bonnie Kane and Scott Prato!
[..whose home got washed away by H. Sandy, sadly]
BIG PLASTIC FINGER [BONNIE KANE/SCOTT PRATO/BRIAN McCORKLE/MARK McCLEMENS] - Sonic Dream Worlds (Starry Night 02; USA) Launching The Tone Arm is the first full length vinyl LP from BIG PLASTIC FINGER. Challenging, yet accessible, this is foreground music. Spacious psych noise core for lucid daydreams and grinding molecules at it's most wondrous, it's delicious pulsing washes your cells enabling you to go onward with a newly baked mind! BPF features: Bonnie Kane - sax, flute, electronics; Brian McCorkle -bass, voc, electronics; Scott Prato - electric guitar, electronics; and Mark McClemens - drums.
Well known among international improvisers, the members of BIG PLASTIC FINGER have collectively opened for The Boredoms, Hawkwind, Nik Turner, White Zombie, and Spacious Mind; recorded with John Spencer; toured nationally and internationally, and played festivals from Ohio to Zagreb.
BPF's work has been described as: "post post post everything quartet.. somewhere beyond the flickering abyss of cyberspace.. space-jazz with healthy doses of the Canterbury (i.e. Robert Wyatt), improv scene (i.e. Derek Bailey), Sun Ra, Can and Ash Ra Tempel".
BRIAN WILSON SHOCK TREATMENT [BONNIE KANE/SCOTT PRATO/BRIAN X ROSE/MARK McCLEMENS] - Operation Sun Probe 2012 (Starry Night 03; USA) Operation Sun Probe is the wildly anticipated super psychedelic garage rock album from Brian Wilson Shock Treatment. Descended from pirates and radicals, Brian Wilson Shock Treatment (Michael X. Rose bass, efx, vocals: Scott Prato aka Mr. Starry Night guitar, efx, vocals; Bonnie Kane saxophone, flute, electronics; Mark McClemens drums) has fed the masses the heaviest of psych garage rock for over 12 years. Shining way above and beyond the propaganda of safe mediocrity, all those past, present and future who bear the BWST name are blood sworn to deliver their utmost in molecule bending brain enhancing life transforming sounds.
The LP includes a tripped out blacklight-ready cover by Bonnie Kane and Karl Lorenzen that will melt your eyes and a lyric sheet that will give clarity to the misty layers. Puts the heaviness of rock back in rock, making the weak strong once again. Play it loud!
GHOST TREES [BRENT BAGWELL/SETH NANAA] - Ghost Trees [10" Pic Disc] (Futurerecordings; USA) Ghost Trees is the new vehicle of local hornman Brent Bagwell and his Eastern Seaboard bandmate, drummer Seth Nanaa
THOMAS CHAPIN QUARTETS With PETER MADSEN/KIYOTO FUJIWARA or SCOTT COLLEY/REGGIE NICHOLSON or MATT WILSON - Never Let Me Go: Quartets '95 & '96 [3 CD set] (Playscape 111095; USA) ALL PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED!
CD #1 & #2 - Quartet 1995 - Thomas Chapin - alto sax & flute; Peter Madsen - piano; Kiyoto Fujiwara - bass; Reggie Nicholson - drums
CD #3 - Quartet 1996 - Thomas Chapin - alto sax & flute; Peter Madsen - piano; Scott Colley - bass; Matt Wilson - drums.
The Thomas Chapin Quartet '95 features Thomas on alto sax & flute, Peter Madsen on piano, Kiyoto Fujiwara on bass and Reggie Nicholson on drums. The Thomas Chapin Quartet '96 features Thomas on alto sax & flute, Peter Madsen on piano, Scott Colley on bass and Matt Wilson on drums. I knew about this release just a few months before it came out since I am still friends with Terri Chapin, Thomas' wife. I was indeed looking forward to it as with anything that Thomas produced or played live during his less than two decade recording career. What I didn't fathom were two things: first, that this would become a three CD set that is riveting from the beginning until the end more than three hours later and that it would be released just in time for the holiday season of 2012 and hence be a gift to all of us that have suffered through the sad events of the previous year. While playing this set in the store earlier this month, Matt Lavelle, a fine musician and writer of his own who didn't know much about Thomas, remarked that each of Thomas' solos started at the top of the energy level and went up even higher and higher! It's true! The more I listen to these two complete live sets, the more I believe that Thomas Chapin was always taking off into the next world. His energy, vision and music was hard to contain so it just kept going, moving forward and touching more & more folks along the way. After seven fabulous trio CDs on the Knitting Factory label, Thomas was again evolving with a couple of fine hard-swinging CDs on Arabesque. This quartet with the amazing pianist Peter Madsen was the next step. Both of these quartets are/were on fire for these dates. They are exuberant beyond belief, smoking, burning, pushing and swinging harder than can be believed. Every solo by Thomas on sax or flute and every solo by Mr. Madsen on piano is a gem. I play one disc from this set every couple of days to treat myself to this colossal treasure chest of wonders. If you're a jazz lover or who someone who still believes in miracles then make yourself happy - listen to this set - closely, over and over. .Thomas Chapin sadly passed away way too early in his career at just 40 years in 1998 from leukemia. He asked before his passing that we never let his music be forgotten. When the music is this strong and filled with the heavy spirits, how can we (n)ever let it go?!? We can't and we won't! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
3 CD Set for $33
JOHN FAHEY - The Transcendental Waterfall - Guitar Excursions 1963-1967: Blind Joe Death (1964) [aka Vol 1]/Death Chants, Breakdowns, And Military Waltzes [aka Vol 2]/The Dance Of Death And Other Plantation Favorites [aka Vol 3]/The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party [aka Vol 4]/The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death [aka Vol 5]/Days Have Gone By [aka Vol 6] [Ltd Ed 6 LP + T-Shirt + Poster Box Set] (4 Men With Beards 600; USA) "The Transcendental Waterfall: Guitar Excursions 1962-1967 is a 6-LP box set drawing from John Fahey's best, and most influential, period. Included in the set are these six complete albums: Blind Joe Death [this version is the 1964 partial re-recording of the 1959 100-copy album of the same name, with Waterfall Blues recorded in 1964 included]; Death Chants, Breakdowns, And Military Waltzes [the 1963 version, not the 1967 partially rerecorded version]; The Dance Of Death And Other Plantation Favorites ; The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party ; The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death ; and Days Have Gone By , all reissued on 180 gram vinyl with deluxe tip-on jackets. Also included are a t-shirt (size L only), a poster, and a postcard, all of which are housed in a deluxe box. An amazing package featuring some of the most important guitar solo recordings of the 20th century. Limited to 2,000 numbered copies."
To understand what a monumental body of work this is, start your reading with the Wikipedia article on his frist self released album, Blind Joe Death: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Joe_Death
6 LP Limited Edition Box Set (with LOTS of goodies tossed in) for $130
BRISTLE [RANDY McKEAN/CORY WRIGHT/MURRAY CAMPBELL/LISA MEZZACAPPA] - Bulletproof (Edgetone 4124; USA) Randy McKean (alto sax) and Cory Wright (tenor sax) on reeds, Murray Campbell on violin & oboes and Lisa Mezzacappa on bass. I remember Randy McKean when he lived here, worked with Anthony Braxton, was a member of the Great Circle Sax Quartet and had a fine disc out as a leader on Rastascan with Paul Smoker, Drew Gress and Phil Haynes. Mr. McKean has since moved to Sacramento, CA and has been working with Alex Jenkins. I know of Cory Wright from a couple of other discs on Edgetone, both with Lisa Mezzacappa on bass as well as a CD with Vinny Golia. Ms. Mezzacappa played at DMG last week (12/16/12) na d has discs out on Clean Feed and Leo. Don't know Murray Campbell previously.
Since there is no drummer involved, this quartet has a chamber light sound. Actually Lisa's acoustic bass is at the center of the rhythm scheme. They do not quite sound like any other quartet I've heard although I do hear some Braxtonian influence in there somewhere. Mr. McKean wrote five out of the eight pieces and his writing is pretty odd with bent harmonies for the two or three reeds. There is a good balance between the twisted written harmonies and the occasional fractured sax or clarinet parts. In a sense this quartet sounds like a sax quartet with all the saxes used orchestrally. Ms. Mezzappa's bowed bass sounds just right amongst the see-sawing reeds, occasionally soloing and/or being featured. Each piece is quite different and features different approaches or combinations on instruments. I wouldn't want to describe it all but I was constantly surprised by the changes in direction and shrewd harmonic twists. The fact that this quartet doesn't quite sound like any other unit is a good sign. Hopefully the will develop and leave us with even more challenging music to consider. This week's little known gem of the week goes to Bristle so order your copy today. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
GUILLERMO GREGORIO/JASON ROEBKE/BRIAN LABYCZ - Without Titles [Ltd Ed of 100 copies] (Peira 16; USA) Guillermo Gregorio on clarinet, Jason Roebke on contrabass and Brian Labycz on modular synth. The Chicago-based Peira label is run by Brian Labycz and all three members of this trio are on several previous releases. Both Gregorio and Roebke can be found on more than two dozen discs each playing with numerous Chicago area musicians. This is the second disc from this particular trio. This is an excellent studio recording, focused and well-balanced. The contrabass and clarinet are recorded up close and have warm, organic sound. The clarinet and acoustic bass have a similar tonal range and sound great together. Mr. Gregorio's singular sounding clarinet is often at the center of these pieces, holding and bending notes, taking his time to explore each note. About midway, the trio slows down so that we notice the texture of each sound more closely. Edge-of-your-seat improv at its best. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
GUILLERMO GREGORIO/PAUL GIALLORENZO - Multiverse [Ltd Ed of 100 copies] (Peira 17; USA) Featuring Guillermo Gregorio on B-flat & alto clarinets and Paul Giallorenzo on prepared and unprepared piano. Although from looking at their names one would think that this was an Italian duo but in fact they are Chicago-based. A few weeks ago (December of 2012), I reviewed a great new CD by Mr. Giallorenzo on Leo and claimed to have not been familiar with him previously. Due to my laziness and a few fact-checkers, it turns out that we had listed a half dozen discs by Mr. Giallorenzo on the Not Two, 482 Music and Creative Sources labels. No doubt you recognize Mr. Guillermo from the more than two discs on the various Hat, Peira and Delmark labels. Plus Mr. Gregorio has played at here DMG earlier this year and will be back in January of 2013, so stay tuned for that.
This is an obviously improvised disc yet there is a strong bond between the musicians. An acoustic duo of clarinet and piano that is well-recorded and sounds like a consistently intriguing conversation. I love the way both musicians spin similar circular lines, weaving tight patterns around one another. The duo take their time and slow down to explore more nuance and calm yet fractured sounds together, sometimes sparse, sometimes playful, often serious. Giallorenzo alters his sound by muting the strings inside the piano to good effect, providing percussive and other bent-note spice to the proceedings. This is a consistently engaging duo so give them a serious listen. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
KILLER BOB [DAVE SCANLON/MAX JAFFE/STEVE LUGERNER/ROB LUNDBERG] - Fear May Be A Builder (Primary 09; USA) Meet Killer Bob; Dave Scanlon (from Pet Bottle Ningen) on guitar, Steven Lugerner on reeds (the new recruit), Rob Lundberg on bass, and Max Jhin Jaaffe on drums. Killer Bob may not be at the tip of everyones tongues at the moment, but they well deserve to be. Their compositions are a cat's cradle of sorts, with each member loosely holding a part of the string alluding to the feeling that it may all unravel at a moment's notice, but it doesn't! This tension draws the listener tighter into the stories they are telling. These young New York musicians display such technical prowess to soothe those with Prog desires and they add a hint of the downtown sound thrown in there for extra spice. It would made sense if this release came out on Cuneiform or ReR. Should it surprise you that Scanlon studied with Elliott Sharp or that collectively the band has studied with Gerry Hemingway? Does that matter? You be the judge. RECOMMENDED! - Chuck Bettis/DMG
aslo, last copies of..
KILLER BOB [DAVE SCANLON/MAX JAFFE/JOHAN ANDERSSON/ROB LUNDBERG] - Killer Bob [CD ep] (Self Released; USA) CD ep that's as long as many 'full' length CDs: 32 minutes! Killer Bob features Dave Scanlon on guitar, toys & voice, Johan Andersson on tenor & soprano saxes & voice, Rob Lundberg on bass, noises & voice and Max Jaffe on drums, percussion & voice. Killer Bob played here at DMG last Sunday (4/25/10) and played a quiet yet intense & creative set. For this disc though, they have the volume turned up and are much more rambunctious. KB are a tight, punk-post band with both jazz and rock influences and occasional crazy vocals recorded from a distance. On "Vast to Make Me" there is great short spoken word section where different voices speak at the same time. I dig that "Spread Enormous" has a slow sax line yet a quick rhythm team groove until the sax speeds up and they jump together while the guitar plays tight noisy counterpoint. Pretty shrewd and ambitious for these cool young cats. What impressed me about this band is that work they way through a variety of different styles and genres, not settling on any one thing for very long. "8 Bars for Ann" is a delightful, laid back ballad that shows their more romantic side, an unexpected change of events. "Carson" is a long & winding piece which goes through a number of different sections. In the first part Dave takes a long nifty noise guitar solo by manipulating and banging on the strings while the rest of the quartet plays tight patterns around him. The interplay between the guitar & sax with the rhythm team is consistently engaging as they move through different scenes or events. At 32 minutes, I guess that this disc would be considered an EP, yet it is still fresh and fascinating throughout no matter what the length is. If you get a chance to see Killer Bob live, go for it! If you don't live in the tri-state area , then you can still get this great little disc for an inexpensive price. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
More 'set-on-STUN!' guitar works from Mick Barr!
MICK BARR - Coiled Malescence [Ltd Ed of 200 copies] (Savage Land 16; USA) Coiled Malescence is comprised of 7 solo guitar compositions assembled into 2 titled tracks of equal length.
'Intrinsic Striations': 2 pieces recorded in Virginia in 2010 with AMP simulators, midi keyboard and direct plug in electric guitar. Striations is an electric guitar string quartet assembled from bits and pieces not used for another project. 'Intrancience' is a midi-keyboard and guitar trio with the title stolen from Zebulon Pike. These 2 tracks are part of another unfinished project under the Ocrilim moniker.
"Mick Barr is not the sort of guitarist to just chill on the money chords, putting out the catchy riffs and hanging off the pentatonic scale until the familiarity sends you tripping. No way. Whether it's his work as one half of the mind expanding avant-garde duos Orthrelm and Crom-Tech, the dual-personalities of solo projects Octis and Ocrilim, or even giving black metal some weird, post-modern genetics with Krallice, Mick Barr's always jacking his playing hard to the outer limits of your ears' capabilities. His first solo release under his own name, Coiled Malescence, is a typically challenging, transcendent 40-minute solo arrangement for guitar. Sure, of course it's not accessible, it'll be murder to transcribe, and will make those afternoon's you spent learning Eruption seem kinda redundant; but come on, it's always good to trip on someone with the talent and the vision to take the instrument somewhere new. - Jonathan Horsley
KRALLICE [MICK BARR/COLIN MARSTON/NICHOLAS McMASTER/LEV WEINSTEIN] - Years Past Matter (private release; USA) Don't be surprised if, at least at first, the latest and best album by New York black metal re-constructers Krallice sounds like a blur. Years Past Matter starts, lashes ahead for a dozen minutes at a time, and then, after a 16-minute closer that might be Krallice's most demanding and glorious piece of music yet, ends. Sure, there are a few relative breaks in the roil, like the two minutes of guitar haze that lead out of "IIIIIIII" or the doom-suggestive interlude before the album's triumphant close. But for the most part, Years Past Matter is arrogant and unapologetic-- a daunting, rewarding hour that calls for complete immersion.
In recent years, when it's come to bending black metal, plenty of acts have focused on the auxiliary instrumentation, whether that's the keyboard layers they add to the pieces, the digital beats that supplant or subsidize their drums, or the extra electronics and textures that might subdivide their songs. But Krallice are, at least in terms of personnel, a traditional four-piece, with two guitarists (Mick Barr and Colin Marston), a bassist (Nicholas McMaster), a drummer (Lev Weinstein), and two vocalists (Barr and McMaster) who approach their screams with equal gusto but very different tones. What separates Krallice, though, is their audacity and exactitude, meaning that they generally not only trot past the 10-minute mark but also do so with songs where every bit seems rigorously composed, where nothing seems arbitrary or extraneous.
They've never sounded as comprehensive and confident as they do on Years Past Matter. Album opener "IIIIIII", for instance, moves in fits and starts, droning, then roaring, then washing out, then galloping ahead-- all in about the first 80 seconds. The four members are synced so well and completely; McMaster's bass doesn't sit still waiting for the guitars or drums to chance, and the guitars act more like complements than competitors. Listening to Years Past Matter is almost like listening to the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka, where all four discs (or members, as it were) are meant to be heard at once, though it can be just as fascinating to try and isolate just one sound. If every band is supposed to write around its weakest link, by this point, it's probably best to quit calling Krallice a band. They show no such weakness.
All of those assets-- the complexity and precision, the density and cooperation, the rigor and the delivery-- coalesce perfectly during "IIIIIIIIIIII", a 16-minute epic that finds Krallice pushing past the limitations of anything they've ever done. Aside from a short section near the beginning, this closer is largely instrumental, built on a short, flicking riff that Marston and Barr stretch, contract, and subsequently spin into the strangest shapes. Led by Weinstein's versatility, the song's pieces seem to form a cycle of interconnected circles, where each section capitalizes on repetition and variation before shifting seamlessly into the next one. Krallice have never sounded so ecstatic before, so perfectly delirious with the strength of their own designs. Like all of Years Past Matter, its finale is great on first listen and increasingly tremendous on repeat. It's strange to admit it, but when this 16-minute beast snaps shut, I generally just play it again, giving the blur one more chance to blossom into clarity.
and, last three copies of..
OCRILIM [MICK BARR] - ANNWN 2 [2 CD set; Ltd Ed of 100] (self released; USA) Last copies! Contemplative overdubbed guitar that is aggressive while simultaneously manages to be serene. It may sound as though Mick Barr is changing direction with his playing style for this piece, but it would be incorrect to judge a shift in aesthetics due to one recording, since there are still some face-melting licks and the fact this was recorded back in 2007. For me, I imagine Robert Fripp doing duos with Sonny Sharrock captured on vinyl then speed up to 45rpm, that may be sacrilege to some, but both aforementioned guitarists were/are uncompromising, which you can say the same for the guitar genius Mick Barr. If you need more for your guitar wet dreams, look no further. 84 minutes spread over two discs a hefty voyage that you will eagerly go on. Since this is a limited release, do not hesitate to grab this disc! RECOMMENDED!!! - Chuck Bettis/DMG
Last copies directly from Mr. Shelton!
DRAGONS 1976 [ARAM SHELTON/JASON AJEMIAN/TIM DAISY] - Winter Break (Singlespeed 01; USA) The first release by Singlespeed Music! Dragons 1976 is the trio of Aram Shelton (alto saxophone), Jason Ajemian (bass), and Tim Daisy (drums). Founded in 2001, Dragons 1976 takes their name from the Chinese Zodiac animal which represents their birth year. This is the second of three albums so far, serving as a transition between the debut album heard on Locust Music and their most current, the 2007 release on Polish imprint MultiKulti.
CD $17 (Out of print, but we have it!)
DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA - Bigbands Live: Liederhalle Stuttgart March 6 1967 (Jazz Haus 101703; Germany) NEVER BEFORE RELEASED! Joining the initial release of a 1959 concert of the Benny Goodman Orchestra in the Jazzhaus Big Bandbands Live series is a remastered recording of a previously unreleased 1967 Stuttgart concert featuring the Duke Ellington Orchestra. These recordings are culled from the archives of German radio and television broadcaster Sudwestrundfunk. Recorded only a few weeks before the death of the inestimable Ellington right-hand man Billy Strayhorn, the setlist for the date avoids most all of the iconic Ellington repertoire and dips into the wealth of the orchestra's less often featured material. Still, except for one tune, all the songs on the album are Ellington or Strayhorn compostions. For the more casual fans, there may well be more than a few of these dozen tracks they have never heard before.
And that's a shame because, as even a cursory listening will make clear, there is some truly fine music here. The individual solo work is often as good as anything you're likely to hear on any of the more famous Ellington repertoire. Just listen to Cat Anderson's virtuoso trumpet solo on Raymond Fol's "Salome" or Cootie Williams strutting his stuff with witty perfection on "The Shepherd" and the swinging "Tutti for Cootie." It's not only the trumpets. Lawrence Brown plays some low-down trombone on "Rue Blue." The bass of John Lamb is featured in "La Plus Belle Africaine" along with Harry Carney. Johnny Hodges is upfront with the alto sax for an elegant take on "Freakish Lights." The final piece on the album is a spot for a show-ending ovation for drummer Rufus Jones on an Ellington original, "Kixx."
"As a longtime Duke Ellington freak, I was glad to discover this disc. At this point I have over 100 Ellington CDs and listened to one per might for a month earlier this year while reading the great Duke Ellington's America book. Live Ellington recordings from the 1960's are relatively rare compared to the early years, although there were a number of strong studio works. This one is special for a variety of reasons: it has wonderful sound and the orchestra perform more than a half dozen rarities like "Swamp Goo", "A Chromatic Love Affair" and "Freakish Lights" by Billy Strayhorn. Besides that, this disc is some 73+minutes long and the band is fabulous throughout. There are of course a number of solos by Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney and Cootie Williams that just astonishing. This is a great place to start if you don't own (m)any Ellington gems or even if you just want to complete your collection. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
WALL OF DEATH - Main Obsession (Born Bad 45; EEC) Wall Of Death, together since April 2010, is now ranked among the principal exponents of the new European post-psychedelic rock scene. Inspired by the scintillating understatement of The Velvet Underground, the aesthetics of Pink Floyd, the stridency of Neu! and the Silver Apples, this trio of Gabriel (vocals, guitar, sitar), Brice (keyboard, vocals) and Adam (drums) draws us into their somber, troubling world of uncertainty, perpetually seeking the keys to its future in the ruins of the past. With roots extending from America to old-world European culture, Wall Of Death creates a sound that is powerful, heavy, haunting and visionary. A synthesizer reaching deep into the bass register, an acid-tinged guitar drenched with echo, a warm-toned organ and violent drums combine with voices that range from soaring to fathomless, creating a masochistic yet flamboyant universe in which this group heals its collective wounds.
BODY/GATE/HEAD - Glare Luring Yo (Feeding Tube 99; USA) In the spring of 2011, Michael "Powderfinger" Morley was in the U.S. for a short visit. There had been some talk of doing a Gate show or two, but when he visited Western Mass., Feeding Tube Records decided to put use to his collaborative talents. He played one night at the Yod space in Florence with Kim Gordon and Bill Nace, then at Feeding Tube with Spencer Yeh and Meg Clixby. Both sets provided jumbo pleasure, and Michael managed to record the Yod set for our presentation to you. Kim and Bill were at the beginning of their duo explorations at this point. Can't even remember if they'd started using the Body/Head name yet. Regardless, the instrumental sluice -- with occasional spirit-vocals by Kim -- is similar yet quite different from the duo tactics they've since evolved. Morley's presence gives the proceedings a bit of a grungy psychedelic smear, whereas their other recordings (at least as of now) have a rather more ethereal arc. The set occurred in front of a slowed-down screening of Catherine Breillat's gorgeous 1976 film Une Vraie Jeune Fille. Feeding Tube thinks you'll agree that the music here matches the sexy surrealist power of that film frame-for-frame, or your money back. The cover, by the way, is a beautiful silkscreen designed by Morley and based on an outtake from Susan Harris' NBC program, The Golden Girls. The image was based on Bea Arthur and Betty White's characters from a season five episode entitled "Break-In." The album title is a phonetic spelling of what Ms. Arthur's character keeps chanting while attending a Madonna concert. Now you know.
FREDERIC ACQUAVIVA - Aatie (Opera-Monde) [CD + DVD; Ltd Ed of 1000] (Casus Belli 01011; EEC) Mr. Acquaviva is a French-born composer who is currently living in Berlin. He recently had a concert at Experimental Intermedia in NYC and left us with a copy of his new CD+DVD. "Aatie" is an opera for voices, instrumental ensemble, electronics and video. The DVD of the opera has no sound while the CD does but you are given the opportunity to synchronize both or not. Since my DVD is one room and the CD player in another room, this isn't so easy to do. Turns out the DVD won't play in my player so I can just listen. Some of the voices are in English while the lead voice does more singing of sounds than words. The voices consist of several narrators from around the world, each with their own distinct sound. The instrumentation includes clarinet, flute, French horn, percussion, violin, electronics and radio transmissions. The voices and instrumentation are used orchestrally and are consistently fascinating. There is an ongoing theme which includes humorous asides, some intended and some perhaps not. Since there appear to be several languages involved (mainly French I believe), understanding this work in its entirety might be difficult. For me, it is a successful collage different layers of music, text, sounds and electronics. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
CD + DVD for $22
MISSY MAZZOLI//NOW ENSEMBLE/ABIGAIL FISCHER - Songs From The Uproar: The Lives And Deaths Of Isabelle Eberhardt (New Amsterdam 42; USA) Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt is a multi-media chamber opera by composer Missy Mazzoli and filmmaker Stephen Taylor, created in collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek and director Gia Forakis.
Mazzoli's first opera is inspired by the life and writings of fiercely independent explorer Isabelle Eberhardt. Born in Geneva in 1877 to an aristocratic mother and an anarchist father, Isabelle took to donning men's clothing at an early age in order to enjoy greater freedom and mobility. In 1897, she and her mother travelled to North Africa where they were converted to Islam and started to create a new life. Before their new life took hold, Isabelle's mother and father passed away. Isabelle moved permanently to Algeria in 1899.
Dressing as a man and calling herself Si Mahmoud Essadi, Isabelle travelled easily in Arab society. While there was no mistaking her true gender, the Africans, by all accounts treated her as a man. She joined a secret Sufi brotherhood, roamed the desert on horseback and even fought in street battles against French colonists. During different periods in history, Isabelle has been lionized and demonized for her disinterest in the social mores of her era and for engaging in numerous love affairs throughout her life. Soon after moving to Africa, Isabelle fell in love with an Algerian soldier, Slimene Ehnni and married him in 1901. The two had an erratic and passionate relationship, but in 1904, after a long separation, they made plans to settle down in Ain Sefra, Algeria. Isabelle rented a house in the town and awaited her husband. On October 21, 1904, a flash flood tore through the town, destroying the house and drowning Isabelle.
Song from the Uproar explores the timeless themes of Isabelle's story: the desire to break with one's past and forge a new identity, and the confusion of falling in love and the conflict between eastern and western culture. Isabelle transcends her trying circumstances in each scene, transforming from a depressed Swiss woman to a fearless Moroccan man, from a patient wife to a restless adventurer and, in her final aria, from life to death. Song from the Uproar moves beyond a chronological description of Isabelle's life and immerses the audiences in the emotional, dream-like landscapes of her astonishing journals. Traditional opera conventions are turned on their heads: a five-piece amplified chamber ensemble replaces the pit orchestra, and ghostly electronics waft in and out of the musical textures, layering the voices in unexpected and seemingly impossible ways. Stephen Taylor's haunting films and Gia Forakis's repetitive, dance-like staging add to the timeless, immersive nature of the work.
New from Wergo!
MORTON FELDMAN//SABINE LIEBNER - Early Piano Pieces [2 CD set] (Wergo 6747; Germany) "Together with John Cage, Earle Brown and Christian Wolff, Morton Feldman is a member of the New York School of contemporary music. Feldman's music is characterized by minimalist structures -- although he was never close to the minimalism of Reich or Glass -- and contemplative sounds (without being meditational). His works are based on the concept of 'less-ness,' i.e. they do not aim to express anything and follow no logic of musical development. Nevertheless, his works are of utmost complexity and require an extremely sensitive interpretation that is focused down to the last detail. The piano pieces compiled on the present two CDs are played with consummate virtuosity by Sabine Liebner and offer a cross-section of his entire compositional output."
2 CD set for $34
KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN//MUSIKFABRIEK - Michaels Reise Um Die Erde (Michael's Journey Around The World): Second Act From Thursday From Light (Wergo 6858; Germany) "Michaels Reise um die Erde ('Michael's Journey Around the World') is the second act of the opera Donnerstag from the seven-part opera cycle Licht by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It is a cosmic world theatre in which three protagonists each have been assigned a characterizing melody (a musical 'formula') which unfolds through the musical action of the entire opera cycle. The ensemble musikFabrik is heard here in a live recording from the Theatre Bobigny in Paris." Performed by: Marco Blaauw (trumpet), Nicola Jurgensen (horn), musikFabrik, Peter Rundel.
GYORGY LIGETI//THOMAS HELL - Etudes Pour Piano (Wergo 6763; Germany) "In 1985, Gyorgy Ligeti produced a collection of six piano etudes, to which he added two further volumes in the following sixteen years. Whereas the piano etude tradition of the 19th century was continued by Bartok, Debussy, and Stravinsky at the beginning of the 20th century, this tradition no longer existed by the end of the 20th century. Ligeti not only wanted to revive a great musical tradition but also to explore its potential in a contemporary form. His piano writing is not only polyphonic in the customary sense, but also polyrhythmic, poly-temporal, and even poly-ethnic. On this recording from Wergo, pianist Thomas Hell makes a powerful case for these fascinating works."
BENJAMIN SCHWEITZER - Kammermusik (Wergo 6753; Germany) "Benjamin Schweitzer began his musical studies at the junior department of the Lubeck Music Academy. At age sixteen, he received several prizes at composition and instrumental competitions for young musicians. He completed his studies at the Dresden Music Academy and spent a year studying with Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy. The chamber music works compiled on this recording, performed by the Ensemble Courage led by Titus Engel, were written between 2005 and 2008. They document the composer's quest for something one could describe as 'beauty.' Schweitzer leaves aside components such as melodic elements and virtuoso figurations in favor of extremely fine gradations of a few chosen sounds and textures."
Reissued on Recollection GRM
IVO MALEC - Triola ou Symphonie pour moi-meme (Recollection GRM 06; EEC) A staggering collection of works by this Croatian/French composer. Includes the spectacular electroacoustic suite "Triola" (aka "Symphony For Myself"), which is one of those all-time isolation tank classics. Also included: "Luminetudes" (hectic solo magnetic tape work), "Reflects" (sounds related in character by vibration, quivering, oscillation, granulation), "Lumina" (for 12 strings and tape; "...one of the classics both of its author and of contemporary music... it is an active balance, an oscillation, with the keen feeling that an imbalance is always possible."--Michel Chion.
LUC FERRARI - Presque Rien [2 LP set] (Recollection GRM 05; EEC) Recollection GRM presents four musique concrete masterpieces by French electro-acoustic innovator Luc Ferrari -- all of the Presque Rien's collected together in one vinyl set for the first time.A series of early Ferrari works for magnetic tape (previously issued on Wergo and DGG in the LP era). "Presque Rien No. 1" is a piece from 1970, a work that he referred to as "poor man's concrete music," in that it was not heavily edited or manipulated, but is fascinating in its success in creating a "harmonious architecture resulting from a secretly methodical use of polyphony." "Presque Rien No. 2" is almost an ambient-environmental work: the sounds of crickets and other insects, eventually building into "a nightmarish frenzy of storm and rain, and an insistent beating of electronic notes." "Music Promenade" was realized in 1969 for 4 magnetic tapes, each comprising different recordings, played simultaneously on 4 separate tape recorders, and a truly successful head blower. Definitely one of the key INA CD releases. "So much musique concrete was interchangeable, but Ferrari was the medium's poet, and Presque Rien (Almost Nothing No. 1) the genre's classic, a recorded day at the seaside enhanced so subtly that it's a virtual extension of '4'33"...the other concreters string noises together, but Ferrari paints situational tone-pictures so lifelike you want to creep into the loudspeaker to see what's going on." -- Kyle Gann
2 LP set for $32
OLIVIER MESSIAEN - Chamber Music: Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps, .. (Genuin 12258; Germany) An even dozen: that's how many CDs the artists' collective Artist Consort has already released on Genuin, all unanimously praised by critics and listeners - and each new recording gives impressive proof of the independence of the aesthetic ideas of the musicians surrounding Francois Benda and Felix Renggli. Such is the case with this CD dedicated to the sound wizard Olivier Messiaen. Even after 70 years, his magnificent Quatuor pour la fin du temps has lost none of its freshness and magic, as the Artist Consort shows. Blossoming wind sounds, tender string colours and a warm, round piano sound mark this CD, which accompanies the timeless masterwork with three more small yet great pieces.
MICHAEL POLLARD - Translations 01 (Spectrum Spools 26; USA) "'Material Study 01 (Sand)' is a recording from a stereo hydrophone buried under the sand in a lake. Standing on top of the transducer, holding the MiniDisc recorder in my hand, and monitoring the feed with a pair of in-ear earphones, I slowly shifted my weight and the sand beneath my feet. My younger brother was on the shore throwing firecrackers into the water; this was an 'accidental' aspect of the recording. 'Material Study 02 (Cello and Jacket)' is made from a cello as it is dropped onto a carpeted floor with a contact microphone taped to its bridge. The moment of impact was 'frozen' with an infinite sustain effect pedal. Both the sustained tone and the live feed from the contact microphone were played into the room at high volume while the contact mic was still attached to the cello. This was recorded. Roughly one year later this 'cello drop' recording was amplitude modulated in a computer audio synthesis environment by a pair of stereo contact microphones taped to a wind breaker being blown by an air circulator as it hung from the ceiling by a string. 'Spatialisation Study 01 (One Freeze from Seven Positions in a House)' is made from four frozen tones generated from a file on my computer in a computer audio synthesis environment. The four tones were played back simultaneously in an arbitrary stereo spread at a high volume on a home entertainment system in the living room of a house with high ceilings. The stereo and computer were both left undisturbed for an afternoon, and their output was recorded to a portable SD card recorder via a matched pair of stereo omni-directional condenser microphones mounted on a homemade disk baffle (for accurate stereo imaging) from seven positions within the house (order of presentation: 01 in the dining room, 02 on the second floor landing, 03 in the middle of the upstairs hallway, 04 in the middle of the upstairs hallway close to the floor, 05 in the front room close to the floor, 06 in the living room facing the speakers close to the floor, 07 in the living room facing away from the speakers close to the floor). Using a DAW, two minutes from each recorded position in the house were combined into the eight minute track here; identical overlapping envelopes were superimposed on each two minute segment, fading in for one minute and then fading out for one minute, with the subsequent segment beginning to rise in amplitude as the previous begins to fall. 'Spatialisation Study 02 (Forty-Nine Tracks of Isolated and Overlayed Clicks Generated from the Material and Positions of the Previous Study)' is made from the convolution of randomly generated stereo 'clicks' with the seven two-minute segments (mentioned above) in a computer audio synthesis environment. Each of these seven tracks were individually convolved and played back into the house. The output was recorded to a portable SD card recorder via a matched pair of stereo omnidirectional condenser microphones mounted on a homemade baffle disk (for accurate stereo imaging). A recording was made from each of the seven source tracks in each of the seven positions (mentioned above), for a total of 49 recordings. Using a DAW, one second was excerpted from each of the forty-nine tracks, playing one click from each source-position pair; all forty-nine tracks then play simultaneously. 'A Pencil Rubbing for the Album Cover' is made from a pencil rubbing of the texture of a wall. A 7 1/2" x 11" piece of rice paper was taped onto a wall with stereo contact microphones taped to the wall along the top and bottom edges of the paper. A pencil was slowly rubbed against the paper in vertical lines from top to bottom (or L to R according to the stereo configuration of the microphones) and recorded direct to computer. The rubbing produced from this process was scanned into the computer and can be seen on the cover of the album." --Michael Pollard
New - the LAST North Sea!
THE NORTH SEA [BRAD ROSE] - Grandeur & Weakness (Rubber City Noise 01; USA) "The final album from Brad Rose's The North Sea, a project that has traversed a wide range of phenomenal sound territories, and it is an sublimely uncanny farewell from one of experimental music's most ambitious names. Rose(best known as the polymath mastermind behind Digitalis and scores of projects) oversees an assemblage of sound sources evoking the history of electric music. From synthesizer soundscapes that seek to reconcile the limits of timbre to concrete sampling and collage, G&W plays a crash course in sonic evocation. Clearly in control of The North Sea sound, Rose notes that he has 'never spent more time on any solo project than on this record,' and this is apparent throughout the scale of sound and emotion of G&W. There's a sense of the uncanny, a mysterious unsettling, throughout the album and this is directly attributable to G&W's aesthetic basis in Franz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, African percussion, and progressive drone."
THE NORTH SEA [BRAD ROSE] - Tacazze Sunbirds [Ltd Ed of 250] (Crazy Iris 02; USA) "An epic new missive from the ever-prolific Brad Rose under his increasingly less prolific North Sea moniker, Tacazze Sunbird comes to us via the somewhat mysterious Crazy Iris label (who are responsible for issuing a superlative KPLR record a couple years ago), and is unique in his repertoire as it's comprised of two side-length pieces and focuses on the harsher end of the sound spectrum. Opener 'Suicide Spin' is as bleak as the title implies, with seething electronic drones set against negative space and otherworldly oscillations. 'Over Under' is even more punishing and stark, with a caustic cycling tone beginning the side slowly evolving into a miasma of crumbling noise. This is the bleakest and most noise-oriented material I've heard from Brad to date, and it's also some of his strongest. Brad recently told me that he was finally putting the North Sea to bed, and if this is that project's swan song, it's one hell of an exit." - Alex Cobb, Experimedia. Limited to 250 copies; silkscreened covers.
THE NORTH SEA [BRAD ROSE] - Bloodlines (Type 65; UK) Brad Rose is an artist who is notoriously hard to pigeonhole. He might spend his days running the esteemed Digitalis imprint (sidelining the wonderful Foxy Digitalis webzine) but his nights are wiled away chiseling at the petrified corpse of experimental music. Donating sounds to Ajilvsga, Altar Eagle, Sea Zombies and Ossining (among many, many others), he has somehow found time to fashion a new solo work for Type, and it could hardly be further removed from his last outing. Bloodlines is an album rooted in synthesis -- the kind of busted power electronics that emerged in the early 80s with Ramleh, Throbbing Gristle and Whitehouse. This is not, however, simply a noise album -- Brad has anchored his sound in this explorative mode, but uses his expertise to take it far beyond murk, grit and fractured teeth. With the help of Zelienople drummer Mike Weis (who accompanies the entire record on percussion) the record is a gloriously spacious excursion, with the fizzing Radiophonic blips, drones and tones set against gongs, scrapes and clanks. The sounds are dark and often punishing -- torturous and occasionally frightening, but Brad somehow manages to offset it with an occasional flourish of beauty or calm. The record is cut into two distinct acts and each "song" blends into the next, giving a true album experience. Bloodlines is not a simple collection of pieces, but a distinct narrative from beginning to end. As it tumbles from '50s sci-fi synth tones into haunting off-world terror, there is a sense of purpose and most of all, place. Brad has created a record that might not be an easy listening experience, but is one which grows on every successive play. It is truly deep and intensely troubling music.
also available as CD for $16
THE NORTH SEA [BRAD ROSE] - Exquisite Idols (Type 21; UK) This was the first official solo full-length release from Tulsa's The North Sea (Brad Rose). This is folk music as played from a snow-drift in Tulsa, in a Midwest wasteland or a forgotten forest drenched in moonlight. It is personal, secluded and almost lonely, but Rose never allows the melancholy to take over. From the jubilant opening crackles of "Eternal Birds" right up until the rockin' stomp of "Feather-Cloaked Silver Priestess," there is the distinct feeling that although this might be labeled free folk, there's a barn somewhere full of like-minded drunkards waiting eagerly to get dancing on them there hay-bales. Just flip to the rip-roaring folk stomp of "Take It From Me Brother Moses," take a swig of moonshine and let your feet do the talking. Exquisite Idols is an album steeped in tradition, yet its greatness comes from Rose's ability to absorb other cultures so easily -- there are traces of Indian traditional music, Greek music and more, all hidden within the cacophony of banjo, guitar and clanging percussion. This is what sets him apart from his contemporaries and makes his music so absorbing.
also available as CD for $16
HORAFLORA [RAUB ROY] - Craterellus Cornucopioides [Ltd Ed of 250] (Crazy Iris 03; USA) "Horaflora is the moniker of Bay Area resident Raub Roy and Craterellus Cornucopioides represents his most seminal work to date. A heavy dose of electronic treachery awaits as 'Horn of Plenty' cracks open your ears. Skewed waves flash out and ricochet off every surface in the room like little sonic bullets just waiting to load you up with shrapnel. Roy's like a puppet master, wielding bleeps and squirts as his arsenal, bending them into unexpected shapes. Every crackle, every turn is the right one. It's an awesome exercise in trashcan electronics. The flip, 'Trumpet of Death,' gets even more medieval. Horn squalls are burnt into charred deliciousness. While oscillating squelches are lined up to infinity, endless loops recoil, destroying each other and leaving the ground littered with caustic tonal debris. If these are the death throes, color me f*cking excited. Recommended." - Brad Rose, Experimedia. Limited to 250 copies.
THE PYRAMIDS [IDRIS ACKAMOOR et al] - They Play to Make Music Fire! - The Pyramids 1973-1976: Lalibela/King Of Kings/Birth-Speed-Merging [3 CD Box Set] (Disko B 162; Germany) Founded 40 years ago in 1972, The Pyramids released three albums before splitting up in 1977: Lalibela (1973), King of Kings (1974), and the seminal Birth/Speed/Merging LP (1976). Three albums that made them one of the most mysterious and legendary of all the spiritual cosmic jazz collectives of the early '70s, like the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Sun Ra. "We were way ahead of our time, so we decided to let time catch up." -- Idris Ackamoor.
Disko B now re-releases these three rare recordings in a triple CD box. Lalibela was the first album recorded by The Pyramids following their landmark journey throughout Africa as students from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The album is one of the first cutting-edge "concept" albums as each side of the LP seamlessly flows from one composition to the next in the vein of a suite painting a musical portrait of the African adventure experienced by founding members Idris Ackamoor, Margaux Simmons, and Kimathi Asante. The personnel for the recording was augmented by new members percussionist Bradie Speller (Hekaptah), drummer Marcel Lytle, and soprano saxophonist Tony Owens (Masai). King of Kings was the second album that reunited all original members including drummer Donald Robinson while adding several special guests, pianist Jerome Sanders, and cellist Chris Chafe. "Queen of the Spirits" is one of the bands' favorite pieces of music. Utilizing the Ugandan harp, the African one string fiddle (goge), percussion, piano, and cello, the closing is prescient harking to world music and music for meditation that would come years later. The UK band Bonobo sampled a section of the composition for their hit album Days to Come. Birth/Speed/Merging represents the San Francisco Bay Area era of the band. Relocating from Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1974, The Pyramids quickly met other musicians in the thriving San Francisco Bay Area music scene. After the departure of original member Kimathi to continue his African studies a very talented acoustic bass player named Heshima Mark Williams joined the band along with a new conga player named Mcheza Ngoma and new drummer Augusta Lee Collins. For the composition "Birth/Speed/Merging Suite" the band utilized the brilliant percussionist Kenneth Nash to play on the track and it is one of the bands' most interesting and exotic compositions. The composition is an aural delight of unusual sounds and beautiful colors. The box comes with a booklet and video of the band.
CD 1: Founded 40 years ago in 1972, The Pyramids released three albums before splitting up in 1977. Lalibela (1973) was the first album recorded by The Pyramids following their landmark journey throughout Africa as students from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The album is one of the first cutting-edge "concept" albums, as each side of the LP seamlessly flows from one composition to the next in the vein of a suite painting a musical portrait of the African adventure experienced by founding members Idris Ackamoor, Margaux Simmons, and Kimathi Asante. Lalibela, Ethiopia was the inspiration for the album. A journey to experience the 12th-century rock churches of Lalibela by Margaux and Idris closed out their nine-month African odyssey. The personnel for the recording was augmented by new members percussionist Bradie Speller (Hekaptah), drummer Marcel Lytle, and soprano saxophonist Tony Owens (Masai). The album has plenty percussion-driven rhythms, beautiful alto sax and flute melodies, soaring and "out" improvisations, ritualistic chants, meditative tone pieces, high energy modal jams, and exotic African instruments collected during the African trip.
CD 2: King of Kings (1974) was the second album that reunited all original members including drummer Donald Robinson while adding several special guests, pianist Jerome Sanders and cellist Chris Chafe. King of Kings was recorded at Appalachia Sound Recording Studio located several hours away from Antioch in Chillicothe, Ohio. Unknown to the band at the time, Chillicothe was the site of ancient Indian burial mounds. This reality added to the very spiritual quality of the recording. The opening track "Mogho Naba" continued the group's fascination and interest in African history and reflections. The Mogho Naba is the King of the Mossi people in what is now Burkina Faso, but dates back in antiquity. The tune's rhythm is infectious. The use of call and response chants and beautiful horn lines is meant to hypnotize and induce trance-elevating spiritual consciousness. "Queen of the Spirits" was written as a dedication to flautist Margaux Simmons. It is one of the band's favorite pieces of music. Utilizing the Ugandan harp, the African one-string fiddle (goge), percussion, piano, and cello, the closing is prescient harking to world music and music for meditation that would come years later. The UK band Bonobo sampled a section of the composition for their European hit album Days to Come.
CD 3: Birth/Speed/Merging, originally released in 1976, represents the San Francisco Bay Area era of the band. Relocating from Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1974, The Pyramids quickly met other musicians in the thriving San Francisco Bay Area music scene. After the departure of original member Kimathi to continue his African studies, a very talented acoustic bass player named Heshima Mark Williams joined the band along with a new conga player named Mcheza Ngoma and new drummer Augusta Lee Collins. The Pyramids began working extensively around the area. Within the next year, Kimathi returned from his travels and rejoined the band. The Pyramids now had two bass players; one acoustic and one electric. The composition "Jamaican Carnival" pays homage to the beautiful Caribbean island Jamaica and is one of the band's most danceable tunes. For the composition "Birth/Speed/Merging Suite," the band utilized the very talented percussionist Kenneth Nash to play on the track and it is one of the band's most interesting and exotic compositions. There are a variety of unusual and beautiful percussion and string instruments used on the track featuring the Ugandan harp, the Chinese cheng, and a string instrument called the Rosenbow. The composition is an aural delight of unusual sounds and beautiful colors.
3 CD Box Set for $40
or, individually as LPs
THE PYRAMIDS [IDRIS ACKAMOOR et al] - Lalibela (Disko B 163; Germany)
THE PYRAMIDS [IDRIS ACKAMOOR et al] - King Of Kings (Disko B 164; Germany)
THE PYRAMIDS [IDRIS ACKAMOOR et al] - Birth/Speed/Merging (Disko B 165; Germany)
THE PYRAMIDS [IDRIS ACKAMOOR et al] - Otherworldly: The 2011 Album (Disko B 159; Germany) Founded 40 years ago in 1972, The Pyramids release their first album in over 35 years. They released three albums before splitting up in 1977 -- albums that made them one of the most mysterious and legendary of all the spiritual cosmic jazz collectives of the early '70s. There was a highly energetic reunion in 2007, boosting their trademark sound of massive Afro-centric drums and percussion meeting ecstatic group improvisations. The Pyramids' extensive European tours in 2010/2011 turned out to be a great triumph: mesmerizing audiences at various clubs and festivals all over Europe with a new sound and a new band configuration featuring founding members Idris Ackamoor and Kimathi Asante, original member Bradie Speller, and special guest artists Kenneth Nash and Kash Killion. The collective received rave reviews and standing ovations in every city they played in. They also blew Gilles Peterson's mind at Worldwide Festival and the Worldwide Awards, where The Pyramids' spiritual and musical leader, Idris Ackamoor was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award
In summer 2011, The Pyramids were recording tracks for a new double album (the first since 1976) at the studio of Krautrock legends Faust in South Germany. The new album contains 14 never-before-released tracks. The Pyramids' signature sound is still percussion-driven -- no surprise with Nash and Speller being two of the most masterful percussionists on the planet. Another signature style of The Pyramids is the "two bass" concept, combining Kash Killion's acoustic bass with electric bass by Thomas "Kimathi Asante" Williams. Idris Ackamoor plays his alto sax in an absolutely astonishing way, sometimes simultaneously performing tap dance to create percussive rhythms, suggesting a "post-be-bop Prince" as The New York Times called him. The Pyramids trip out into unexplored territory of spontaneous improvisation, sometimes trancing like off to an outer/inner-space journey. The Pyramids were world music even before the term was coined back in the early '70s. They use a battery of ethnic instruments such as mbira, calypso boxes, Russian zither, West African bolong, Egyptian sensemia harp, pygmy whistle, etc., using them in a manner quite otherworldly.
also available as a 2 LP set for $23
An Unheard early Art-Rock/Prog classic!
BABA SCHOLAE [LABAT DE ROSSI aka M FROG et al] - 69 (Ad Vitam 120920; EEC) "In 1969, legendary psychedelic/early progressive rock band Baba Scholae recorded an album at IBC Sound Recording Studios in London -- however, it was never officially released. The band's leader was Jean-Yves Labat de Rossi, better known as M Frog, the synth and keyboard maestro on Todd Rungren's early Utopia albums and coincidentally, the founder of the Ad Vitam label. Only three copies (acetates) of 69 were made, but the album's cult following lasts to this day. Often compared to the work of King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, and Gong, Baba Scholae's 69 is truly a 'lost and found again' masterpiece with music that was years ahead of its time. For a gem like this to have been buried for 43 years is nothing short of extraordinary."
KLUSTER [CONRAD SCHNITZLER/DIETER MOEBIUS/HANS-JOACHIM ROEDELIUS (CLUSTER)] - Eruption [aka Konrad Schnitzler's Schwarz aka Kluster Und Eruption] (Bureau B 112; Germany) "Founded in 1969, German ambient space-rock pioneers Kluster were originally a trio featuring Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, and Dieter Moebius. During their brief lifespan (before Schnitzler left in 1971 and the duo renamed themselves Cluster) they recorded three albums. The first two records, Klopfzeichen and Zwei-Osterei, recorded in 1969 and 1970 respectively, were sponsored and released by a church run record label (Schwann) and as a result of contractual obligation featured religious themed text on the first side of each.
The trio's third album Eruption is the third and final full-length album by German experimental music trio Kluster. It is also THE ONLY LIVE RECORDING issued by Kluster.
Eruption was recorded in 1971 at the last concert performed by Kluster and was recorded by Klaus Freudigmann. Eruption was released with what, according to Conrad Schnitzler, was an incorrect title Kluster Und Eruption in 1971 as a private pressing. Only 200 copies of the original LP were pressed and sold. It was reissued as a Conrad Schnitzler solo album under the title Schwarz (literally "Black"), though the contributions by Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius were credited. The album was not released under its proper title, Eruption, until the reissue on CD by German label Marginal Talent in 1997. Conrad Schnitzler also reissued Eruption on CD on his Plate Lunch label.
Eruption is widely considered to be the most listenable Kluster release. It is the only release without spoken religious text. In places the style also begins to resemble the electronic sound heard on early albums by Cluster, the successor to Kluster which came into being after Schnitzler's departure. Each side consists of one long, instrumental, improvisational jam. John Bush, writing the review for Allmusic, describes the music in part as having: "...forbidding violin lines, heavily distorted organ, and an assortment of tape effects leading the way for several minimalist guitar workouts.
"he official Konrad Schnitzler discography lists Eruption, released in 1971, under the title Schwarz, as the first Schnitzler album. In actual fact, Eruption is the third and final LP by the group Kluster, following Klopfzeichen (BB 110CD/LP) and Zwei Osterei (BB 111CD/LP). The line-up printed on the labels leaves no room for doubt. Unlike the two previous albums, Eruption was not issued by the Schwann Verlag, but by the band on its own, hence the task of financing the record fell to the participants. Roedelius and Moebius, however, were either unable or unwilling to get involved in this risky business. Without further ado, Schnitzler decided to cover the cost of pressing up 200 LPs which he would bring out under his own name. This historical "error" has now been corrected: Eruption is a Kluster album. Seen alongside Klopfzeichen and Zwei Osterei, Eruption is a different beast altogether. The total absence of lyrics, to begin with; the music is music, nothing more. The listener revels in a pure symphony of sound, its dramatic artistry holding his attention until the very end. And that is the second major difference to the first two LPs. Whereas their furious intensity sounded almost brutally improvised, Eruption appears clearly structured throughout, musical freedoms notwithstanding. Kluster take their time in developing spontaneous ideas here, they get loud and then, for lengthier periods, go quiet, suggesting at times a sense of absolute emptiness, followed by outbreaks of dark anger. The possibilities opened up by live electronics were thrillingly exploited to the limit. And yet there is undeniably a method in the music. In the course of their many live concerts, Kluster had learned to use instruments and electronics constructively, reaching the zenith of their musical powers of expression on Eruption. Kluster disbanded after Eruption. The album is a revealing document of a band striving to stretch the musical spectrum during the early 1970s, and indeed, how capable they were of doing so. Moebius and Roedelius went on working together as Cluster, and Conrad Schnitzler (now with a C) began developing his own vision of electronic music, a project he continued assiduously until his death (2011). Still, all three had their roots in Kluster -- incredibly powerful roots. And Kluster have never ceased to be hugely fertile ground. May their creative inspiration never run dry."
FIFTY-FOOT-HOSE - Cauldron (Phoenix 3016; UK) Deluxe LP format; 180 gram pressing. Cauldron was Fifty Foot Hose's first and most famous recorded work, released on Limelight Records in 1968. Founded by Cork Marcheschi, the band played continuously around the Bay area of northern California throughout the mid-'60s. Marcheschi, who had developed a taste for R&B and the avant-garde music of composers such as Edgard Varese, started out as the band's bass player, but his interest in experimental music prompted him to develop his own musical instrument, similar in function to the hybrid developed by Simeon Cox, and which was the underpinning of the Silver Apples' sound. The band played a lot of gigs, but the experimental nature of their music tended to perplex audiences unused to such sounds. However, a four-track demo led to the band signing on the experimental Mercury subsidiary, Limelight Records, and under the eye of producer, Dan Healey (later to work extensively with the Grateful Dead), Cauldron appeared in 1969. As the album didn't fit into any particular mold, it largely went un-noticed at the time, but to the modern listener, this is an album that has stood the test of time particularly as Marcheschi used just about every electronic device known to man, including audio generators, echodette, squeaky box, siren, ring oscillator circuits and two Theremins. Given Cauldron's lack of success, the band disintegrated, although several members were to quickly resurface in the musical Hair. However, by the late '70s and early '80s, interest in the band's singular sound was rekindled, with the likes of Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle and Chrome all deriving inspiration from its music. An important and influential album. Housed in a numbered, limited edition, unique card wallet.
"Fifty Foot Hose were one of the most unusual '60s San Francisco psychedelic bands, in part because they weren't really that psychedelic. Like a few other acts of the time (most notably the United States of America), they were trying to fuse the contemporary sounds of rock with electronic instruments and avant-garde compositional ideas. Only one album resulted from the ambitious enterprise, and that record (Cauldron, 1968) still remains unknown to all but hardcore collectors. Although an erratic work, it was intriguing for its mix of jazzy psychedelic rock tunes with electronic sound effects that anticipated future models of synthesizers, but sounded fiercer and more primitive. Fifty Foot Hose were founded by bassist Cork Marcheschi, who had previously been in a conventional rock/R&B band, the Ethix. Under Marcheschi's prodding, in 1967 the Ethix released one wildly atonal single, "Bad Trip," whose violent musique concrete foreshadowed the avant-garde postures of his subsequent group (in fact, "Bad Trip" was more avant-garde than anything Fifty Foot Hose would record). (Apparently it was played once on a local underground radio station, and then never again.) Interested in the ideas of experimental composers like Edgar Varese, John Cage, Terry Riley, and George Antheil, Marcheschi constructed his own electronic instrument from a combination of elements like theremins, fuzzboxes, a cardboard tube, and a speaker from a World War II aircraft bomber. Fifty Foot Hose were filled out by guitarist David Blossom and his vocalist wife Nancy, who brought both psychedelic and jazz influences to the band, and a couple of musicians who had played with Marcheschi in other acts. A home demo successfully demonstrated their fusion of electronic effects and songs that were loosely in tune with the San Francisco psychedelic vibe. It led to a deal with Limelight, a subsidiary of Mercury that focused more upon experimental music than conventional rock and pop outings. Cauldron was perhaps more interesting for its experimental textures than the sometimes routine compositions -- eerie electronic swoops and jolts swam through the background and foreground of the tracks, enhanced by techniques like putting instruments through an FM transmitter. The jazzier and spookier tunes worked better than the bluesier hard rock items, yet it was an admirably risk-taking effort. But, ultimately, a pretty uncommercial one -- although they got some live work in San Francisco, the album was heard by few at its time of release. Fifty Foot Hose were finished, ironically, by the temptations of a much more commercial project -- when the musical Hair came to San Francisco, most of the members joined the production to satisfy their need for more reliable income. Interest in the group resurfaced in the 1990s, as they became recognized as precursors to the electronic rock sounds of groups like Throbbing Gristle. Marcheschi is now a respected sculptor, specializing in public work using neon, plastic, and kinetic characteristics." ~ Richie Unterberger, AMG
also available as CD for $17
FIFTY-FOOT-HOSE - Live & Unreleased (Captain Trip 52; Japan) Live reunion performance from '95 in SF by this legendary group whose debut album from 1967 is one of the all time great strange psychedelic experiences. Founding member Cork Marcheschi (Echolette Audio Generators, microphones, fishphone, squeaky stick, Theremin, Spark Gap, saw blades, bow-wow yo-yo, amplifier, digital delay) grouped together a new band and performed that material for the first time in 27 years. Like just about every other reunion album from the last 15 years, I'd rather not comment, but this could be worse. "They never changed their sound & spirits! Good quality sound."
AHORA MAZDA - Ahora Mazda [2 LP set] (Pseudonym 99034; EEC) "Exclusively restored dynamic 24 bit remastering from the original master tapes. High quality 180 gram audiophile pressing housed in deluxe 350 gram carton gatefold sleeve. Ahora Mazda existed in a dark corner of deep space at the heart of the Dutch psychedelic underground. From 1968 until 1970 they were the house band at Fantasio, the epicenter of Amsterdams hippy movement. Drawing inspiration from Ornette Coleman, Soft Machine, John Coltrane, Captain Beefheart and others, Ahora Mazdas gravity-defying, self-described 'musical freedom trips' exploring regions uncharted - journeys without maps. Released in May 1970, their only album is regarded by collectors as one of the hidden gems of Dutch psychedelia, and is sometimes likened to the best Krautrock groups of the era. This deluxe 180 gram double-LP set presents the original album in its entirety, plus a second disc of unedited live-in-the-studio performances from the same sessions, all mastered from the original tapes. The gatefold sleeve features the beautiful original cover art by Rik Lina, along with rare archival photos and liner notes by Ugly Things magazine's Mike Stax."
2 LP set for $40
BRAINBOX [JAN AKKERMAN et al] - Dark Rose: Their 45s [2 LP set] (Pseudonym 99035; EEC) "Brainbox was something special. The band not only featured some of the Netherlands' most preternaturally talented musicians, but in less than three years they produced a recorded legacy that was truly world class. Much of their best work appeared on their 1969-71 singles, which have been compiled on this definitive 2-LP collection, pressed on 180gm vinyl and dynamically re-mastered from the original tapes. The original lineup with lead-guitarist Jan Akkerman, bassist Andr Reijnen, drummer Pierre van der Linden and vocalist extraordinaire Kaz Lux deliver the goods on pile-driving blues rock songs like 'Down Man' and 'Dark Rose,' and the hard-hitting Hendrix-inspired rocker 'Amsterdam, The First Days' -- all presented in their original mono mixes. After Akkermans departure, Brainbox expanded its musical palette with guitarists Rudy de Queljoe (ex-Dragonfly) and John Schuursma (ex-Rob Hoekes R&B Group), recording memorable tracks like 'Between Alpha And Omega,' 'Doomsday Train,' 'Mobilae' and the blisteringly powerful 'Virgin.' Dark Rose / Their 45s also includes previously unreleased demo-versions of 'Virgin,' 'Dark Rose' and the epic 'Sea Of Delight.' It comes packaged in a magnificent gatefold-cover with rare photos and liner-notes including exclusive interview material. Remastered in the 24-bit domain from the original master tapes."
2 LP set for $40
CIRCUS [FRANK NUYENS/JAY BAAR et al] - Circus (Pseudonym 99015; EEC) "Circus had everything to become the first Dutch super band, along the lines of a.o. Cream and Blind Faith. In January 1968 guitarist and composer Frank Nuyens and drummer/lyricist Jay Baar rose from the ashes of Q65. Herman Brood (Cuby + B) would play piano and Henk Smitskamp (Motions) was approached as bassist/singer. Smitskamp however, chose for After Tea and Brood just did not show up. Mark Klein (James Mean) joined as keyboardist, Frank Verhoef became the bassist/singer. With them, Nuyens and Baar made the first recordings. Later they went into the studio with producer Hans van Hemert, for the complex basis of Mother Motha's Sundance. Although the focus was on instrumental pieces, Circus planned to use a different singer for each song. Hans van Hemert did the 'guide-vocal' of Voluntary Peacemaker and Wim Bieler put his teeth in Fairy Tales of Truth, a long drawn out song full of psychedelia. Circus groundbreaking sound was attracting serious interest from Apple Records, the label of The Beatles. But their recording career never went beyond a test pressing of the single Medusa- recently found in the archives of Hitweek. Since Q65 had split up, but was contractually obliged to deliver one more album, a number of Circus songs landed on the last Q65 LP, Revival. Four decades later Circus presents the original rough working versions, different and sometimes longer than what appeared on Revival. Justice at last, for a band that existed only for a short period, but that made a big impression by their productivity and - above all - creativity. Black vinyl 180 grams. 350 grams carton sleeve. Japanese plastic bag. "
An Extraordinary Archaeological Dig!
OPIKA PENDE [V.A.] - Africa At 78 RPM [4 CD + Book Set] (Dust To Digital 022; USA) 2012 Grammy nominee for Best Historical Album. Opika Pende: Africa At 78 RPM is a 4CD collection featuring 100 tracks taken from rare 78rpm recordings of African music (1909 to mid-1960s), none of which have ever been issued on CD until now. Pan-African in scope and wildly diverse, Opika Pende is a testament to the deep riches found in early recorded music across the continent. 112-page softcover book with 4 CDs in a separate portfolio -- all housed in a deluxe cloth slipcase. Jonathan Ward is a Los Angeles-based collector, researcher, and writer. In 2007, he began the well-known web site Excavated Shellac, which features a wide range of scarce, international 78rpm records from across the globe with extensive commentary. In 2010, Jonathan released his first LP in a series for Dust-to-Digital's vinyl imprint Parlortone. Titled Excavated Shellac: Strings (PT 2001LP), it contains 14 exemplary performances on string instruments from across the globe, all from his collection of 78s.
4 CD + BOOK set for $54
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