“God Song” from Matching Mole’s ‘Little Red Record’ - 1972
Written by Robert Wyatt and Phil Miller
What on Earth are you doing, God?
Is this some sort of joke you're playing?
Is it 'cause we didn't pray?
Well I can't see the point of the word without the action
Are you just hot air, breathing over us and over all?
Is it fun watching us all?
Where's your son? We want him again!
And next time you send your boy down here
Give him a wife and a sexy daughter
Someone we can understand
Who's got some ideas we can use, really relate to
We've all read your rules, tried them
Learnt them in school, then tried them
They're impossible rules
And you've made us look fools
Well done, God, but now please...
Don't hunt me down, for Heaven's sake!
You know that I'm only joking, aren't I?
Pardon me, I'm very drunk!
But I know what I'm trying to say
And it's nearly night time
And we're still alone
Waiting for something unknown, still waiting
So throw down a stone, or something
Give us a sign, for Christ's sake!
Former Soft Machine drummer & singer, Robert Wyatt, has long been my favorite vocalist/songwriter/artist/humanist, ever since I discovered Soft Machine when their first album was released in 1968. After four fabulous albums by the Softs, Volumes 1 - 4, Mr. Wyatt was forced out, metaphysically/pataphysically speaking. He then formed Matching Mole (French for Soft Machine) in 1971, making two seminal studio albums. Tragedy stuck when Mr. Wyatt attended a party for Lady June (June 1st, 1973), whose album ‘Linguistic Leprosy’ was just released. Mr. Wyatt somehow fell out of a window and broke his back, ending his career as an amazing jazz/rock drummer. While convalescing from his accident, Wyatt worked on what would become his masterwork, ‘Rockbottom’ (1974). That record became the favorite album of many Robert Wyatt fans worldwide (myself included), it remains a true treasure today. Mr. Wyatt’s distinctive voice, singing and lyrics have a way of illustrating the human condition in a singular fashion. I have long loved the words to “God Song”, making me think that we are never alone in our quest for the meaning of life and death. Robert Wyatt is still alive, (thanks God), but is retired from his music-making career. I still return to his ten or so albums regularly for solace. Special thanks to Robert Wyatt, will his wonders never cease. - BLG/DMG
The Downtown Music Gallery 28th Anniversary Celebrations begins on May 1st!
Every In-store in May Helps Celebrate the Spirit of Creative Music Performed Live.
Sunday, June 2nd:
6pm: WHAT HAPPENS IN A YEAR: GIACOMO MEREGA / JOSH SINTON / TODD NEUFELD!
7pm: URS LEIMGRUBER - Solo Sax!
Sunday, June 9th:
6pm: BRANDON SEABROOK & JESSE DULMAN - Guitar / Tuba Duo
7pm: VIV CORRINGHAM / DAVE MANDL / MARCUS CUMMINS / AARON MOORE -
Voice / Bass Guitar / Soprano Sax / Percussion!
Monday, June 10th:
6pm: WILLIAM PARKER - Book Celebration!
Sunday, June 16th: Vision Festival (June 12-16th)
No In-store on this night, check out the Vision Festival!
Sunday, June 23rd:
6pm: TOMCHESS / ZACH SWANSON - Oud, Ney & Morsing / ContraBass!
7pm: TERRENCE McMANUS - Solo Guitar!
DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy. You can check the weekly in-store sets through our Instagram feed
BLG/DMG Gig Recommendation:
Eric J. Stern’s House Of Improv Series:
URS LEIMGRUBER and BRANDON LOPEZ!
Monday, June 3, 2019 at 8:00 pm
At 244 Rehearsal Studios, 244 West
54th Street, New York, NY
Swiss saxist Urs Leimgruber rarely comes to our shores, so please don’t miss an opportunity to hear him this week. At DMG (solo this Sunday, 5/26/19) and a phenomenal duo with Brandon Lopez on contrabass (6/3/19 - see above)
This Week's Sonic Treasures Begins with this Gem:
SYLVIE COURVOISIER / MARK FELDMAN - Time Gone Out (Intakt 326; Switzerland) Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman have been working together for two decades, as a duo, trio and quartet. Both are master musicians, whose bond of inspired collaboration has continued to grow more with each & every release or performance. Aside from performing the Masada music of John Zorn, they also have developed their music through improvisation, experimentation and composing. Their duo discs are relatively rare and for this one, the two have written all of the pieces here. This disc is a studio effort and the sound is superb. The duo take their time to explore various methods of playing. “Homesick for Another World” has some of those Zorn-like twists & turns & familiar quotes. I love the way they shift tempos together, criss-crossing their lines in tight fragmented swirls. Incredible! Anyone who has witnessed Ms. Courvoisier play live, knows that she is a master of manipulating sounds inside the piano, often with pieces of masking tape and objects to mute or alter the strings. We can hear her selectively coaxing her unique sounds from the inside the piano on sections of this disc so do listen closely. Mark Feldman is also a dazzling violinist, often inserting his daredevil twists & turns at an astonishing pace. What makes this disc so special or well-rounded is that it is not all a dazzling display of fireworks, there are sections of a somber calm, with occasional eruptions selectively balanced within. It sounds like quite a bit of work has into the producing this disc, both Ms. Courvoisier and Mr. Feldman have contributed a wealth of wonderful, challenging and thoughtful music to this program. Consistently superb throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
5 (of 10) New Discs from the Ever-Prolific CLEAN FEED & SHHPUMA LABELS:
EVAN PARKER & KINETICS With JACOB ANDERSKOV / ADAM PULTZ MELBYE / ANDERS VESTERGAARD - Chiasm (Clean Feed 525; Portugal) Personnel: Evan Parker - tenor sax, Jacob Anderskov - piano, Adam Pultz Melbye - bass and Anders Vestergaard - drums. It’s difficult to say if it was Evan Parker who invited Jacob Anderskov’s trio Kinetics to start this new collaborative project or if the initiative came from the Danish pianist. The doubt results from the permanent equilibrium of forces detected in “Chiasm”: the British saxophonist can be the protagonist, the frontline voice, but the music reflects in every step the most important motivation for Anderskov and his Kinetic partners, Adam Pultz Melbye and Anders Vestergaard: to celebrate the entire evolution of jazz by means of using some particularities of that patrimony through a compositional concept turned to the invention of the future. Either way, we can understand, just by hearing the music, why this connection with Parker is happening. The London-based musician is an illustrious representative in present days of the long line of innovators in both the tenor and the soprano saxophones: nobody else could symbolize better the double focus of this record in History and in the creation of the New. This task to detect and distill the old soul of jazz, at the same time refreshing it, comes from a radical point of view – radical because it goes to the roots in order to finally reach the flowers and make them bloom. Are you fascinated by the way Coltrane resounds in Evan Parker’s playing these last few years? Well, there’s plenty of that here for your delight...
Recorded at London’s Vortex club and live in the studio in Copenhagen, Chiasm is a documentation of what interplay may sound like when an established piano trio meets a master of improvisation. On the four improvised tracks, the group explores melodic, timbral and rhythmical structures on both micro and macro levels, creating a matrix of nonlinear dynamics from which emerges an oscillating and shimmering sonic image, propelled by a shared approach to the real-time generation of structure and form.
MARK DRESSER SEVEN with NICOLE MITCHELL / MARTY EHRLICH / MICHAEL DESSEN / KEIR GoGWILT / JOSHUA WHITE / JIM BLACK - Ain’t Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You (Clean Feed 510; Portugal) Featuring: Nicole Mitchell - flute, alto flute & piccolo, Marty Ehrlich - clarinet, bass clarinet & alto sax, Keir GoGwilt - violin, Michael Dessen - trombone, Joshua White - piano, Jim Black - drums & percussion and Mark Dresser - double bass & McLagan tines. Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You is the second album by the Mark Dresser Seven, following the critically acclaimed 2016 Clean Feed release ‘Sedimental You’. Both records showcase playing by flutist Nicole Mitchell, multi-reed player Marty Ehrlich, trombonist Michael Dessen, pianist Joshua White and drummer Jim Black; new addition violinist Keir GoGwilt joins on this album. The musicians explore multiple jazz traditions in six new compositions that include pieces for fallen friends, irreverent political commentary and some with purely musical agendas. Between the composed works are brief solo bass interludes improvised on the McLagan Tines, a set of seven graduated steel rods invented by luthier Kent McLagan. "Black Arthur's Bounce," dedicated to the alto saxophone giant Arthur Blythe, features Marty Ehrlich who (along with Dresser) played with Blythe. In the tradition of Charles Mingus, both the title tune, "Ain't Nothing But A Cyber Coup & You" and "Let Them Eat Paper Towels," engage with our current "reality - horror-show of corruption, malice, xenophobia and class warfare." In contrast, the parametric waltz "Gloaming" uses multiple levels of polyrhythm which expand and contract within shifting meters of lyricism. Mark Dresser continues to explore new ideas in jazz through these vibrant compositions and to celebrate the solo power of this ensemble of virtuoso improvisers. The final result is magnificent, as you would expect from this pathfinder.
ANGLES 9 with MARTIN KüCHEN / MAGNUS BROO / MATTIAS STAHL / JOHAN BERTHLING / et al - Beyond Us (Clean Feed 528; Portugal) “Personnel: Martin Küchen - alto & tenor saxes, Eirik Hegdal - baritone sax, Magnus Broo - trumpet, Goran Kajfes - cornet, Mattias Ståhl - vibes, Alexander Zethson piano, Mats Äleklint - trombone, Johan Berthling - double bass and Andreas Werliin - drums. Wonderful news, folks: Angles 9 are back. The modus operandi is the same as ever, enabling infinite possibilities: suggestive melodies and a vibrant rhythmic pulsion. You’re familiar with it by now, but it sounds completely new and even surprising. Emotional music it is, some times joyful and exhilarating, and in other moments full of sadness and pain. As always, the compositions are simple and the improvised solos and collective passages can be complex as a mathematical equation. This is no longer the original Angles 6 plus the piano of Alexander Zethson, the cornet of Goran Kajfes and the baritone saxophone of Eirik Hegdal: the mentor of the ensemble, Martin Kuchen, gave it an identity of its own. You can root it under the influence of historical big bands like Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath (the mix between the composed and the improvised, and also the African references), Carla Bley’s Jazz Composers Orchestra (the vivacity and the ability to make sudden changes) or Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra (the political element), but with fundamental updates and additions, going from the use of the typical energy of rock to Swedish folk motives and the kind of party sense you only find in the Balkan region of Europe. This isn’t only jazz committed to make you stand and move, reminding you that, in the past, jazz was a dancing music. So lets go contemplating this world ́s many dilemmas while dancing our truly own way in a listening state of stumbling bliss.”
GABRIELE MITELLI / ROB MAZUREK - Star Splitter (Clean Feed 515; Portugal) Personnel: Rob Mazurek - piccolo trumpet, electronics, objects & voice and Gabriele Mitelli - cornet, soprano sax, alto flugelhorn, electronics, objects. Here is one more example of a musical project inspired in literature. Star Splitter, the duo by the multi-instrumentalists Gabriele Mitelli and Rob Mazurek, makes reference to a poem by Robert Frost, in which this author tells the story of Brad McLaughlin, a farmer who failed to produce agricultural income and decided to burn his house to get the insurance money necessary to buy a telescope and spend the rest of his life contemplating the stars and the planets above–of course, getting a dayjob as a ticket seller to eat and pay his expenses. He Christianed the telescope as Star Splitter, because “…it didn’t do a thing but split / A star in two or three the way you split / A globule of quicksilver in your hand / With one stroke of your finger in the middle.” That’s exactly what the Italian and the American intervenients do to music. Having the patrimony of Chicago’s AACM and the concepts of Sun Ra and Bill Dixon as their main resource, they split, bend and turn inside out the free jazz / creative jazz tradition, using a cornet, a soprano saxophone (Mitelli), a piccolo trumpet (Mazurek), several electronic devices and amplified objects (both), and also their voices. The result is a beautiful jazz extravaganza that will marvel the fans of Chicago Underground, São Paulo Underground, Exploding Star Orchestra, Tortoise, Gabriele Mitelli European Quartet and O.N.G Crash. Yes, jazz is turning cosmic again…
MONOPIECE & JAAP BLONK - Monopiece & Jaap Blonk (Shhpuma 052; Portugal) The improvising trio Monopiece lists its instrumentation as guitar, percussion, and electronics, but electronics describes far more than one third of its texture, since both guitar and percussion are amplified and electronically processed. On this release they are joined by the Dutch vocal artist Jaap Blonk in recording spontaneously generated music, edited and subtly processed to reflect the communal nature of its creation without interrupting the strong, improvised narratives of each piece. In improvised music, the interaction between musicians usually plays a primary role in the musical story that unfolds, made clear to listeners since each player is associated with the familiar sound of their instrument. Perhaps this is why electronics dominated improvising ensembles are so rare; and when there is an electronics player present they are often relegated to the role of creating novelty, rather than interacting within the vocabulary that more standard instruments share. Nevertheless, electronic ensembles have been active, if on the fringe of free improvised music since the 1960s, exemplified by groups like Electronica Musica Viva (MEV) and AMM, whose music favors long pieces with slowly evolving textures where the interaction between players is often obscured. Monopiece’s music by contrast features much shorter pieces made up of clearly delineated conversations between sonic streams, sometimes identifiable with recognizable instruments but always relying on the ability to make quick changes of timbre and texture in shaping real-time compositions. Jaap Blonk’s contribution to this character is a perfect fit, bringing an embodied voice into the mix, but one which can leap quickly from tones and phonemes to noises of seemingly electro-mechanical inspiration. His voice provides the corporeal focus of these hallucinatory, electronic songs.”
MASAYUKI TAKAYANAGI NEW DIRECTION UNIT - April Is The Cruellest Month (Blank Forms 008; USA) Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a maverick Japanese guitarist, a revolutionary spirit whose oeuvre embodied the radical political movements of late '60s Japan. Having cut his teeth as an accomplished Lennie Tristano disciple playing cool jazz in the late '50s, Takayanagi had his mind blown by the Chicago Transit Authority's "free form guitar" in 1969 and promptly turned his back on the jazz scene by which he was beloved. Takayanagi had found a new direction, an annihilation of jazz and its associated idolatry of hegemonic American culture. Aiming his virtuoso chops towards the stratosphere, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the art of the freakout, laying waste to tradition left and right, most notably via the all-out assault of his aptly-named New Direction For The Arts (later, New Direction Unit) and collaborations with like-minded outsider saxophonist Kaoru Abe. His innovations on the instrument parallel those of Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey and paved the way for the Japanese necromancy of Keiji Haino and Otomo Yoshihide, but even at its most limitless hurdling Takayanagi's playing is propelled by the dexterous grasp of his foundations, to which he paid tribute with elegant takes on flamenco and Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman." Culled from 1975 sessions by the New Direction Unit, April Is The Cruellest Month was originally slated for release on ESP-Disk before the label's untimely demise that year. Part of the period of Takayanagi's career which he termed "non-section music," one can only imagine how its unholy racket might have altered an international understanding of Japanese noise. On "We Have Existed" and "What Have We Given?", the classic lineup of Takayanagi with Kenji Mori (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) prove that free improvisation was thriving well beyond western Europe with a set of dilapidated, spacious clanging, Takayanagi's squalling feedback and Mori's Eric Dolphy moves undulating atop the joyous clamor. The cataclysmic "My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart" is another story altogether. Infernal sheets of contorted sound find the berserk instrumentalists hopelessly entangled as they urge the explosion deeper and deeper into ecstatic oblivion. Rivaled in intensity only by John Coltrane's The Olatunji Concert (1967), Peter Brötzmann's Machine Gun (1968), and Dave Burrell's Echo (1969), April Is The Cruellest Month deservedly sees the light of day on the vinyl format for which it was originally conceived, marking the first issue of Takayanagi's music outside of Japan.
CD $15 / LP $30
TOSHIYA TSUNODA - Extract From Field Recording Archive (ErstPast 001-5; USA) Toshiya Tsunoda is a Japanese sound artist whose quarter century of exploration into field recording has been a huge influence on many other great artists working in similar territory. His archival series of three themed sets of field recording studies, released on three different labels from 1997 to 2001, 'Extract From Field Recording Archive #1 - #3”, lay the groundwork for so much of what followed, both from Tsunoda and many others.
All the sounds in the original three releases (#1-#3) were physical vibrations recorded in outdoor and indoor environments from 1993 to 1999, in the port service area in the Miura Peninsula where he was born and grew up, as well as at the neighboring ports.
Also CD 1-3 are not identical to the originally issued ones. Now all the tracks have exactly the same durations as Tsunoda's original DAT recordings. All the tracks were remastered from these original DAT recordings for this box set. Thus, the duration of each track and each CD are different from the previously released ones. Also the track lists on Extract #2 (CD 2) and Extract #3 (CD 3) are slightly modified from the original releases, as detailed in the booklet.
In addition to those three, for this reissue box Tsunoda compiled two new albums. CD 4, 'Extract From Field Recording Archive #4', contains his previously unpublished recordings of the Nagaura Port from the same period as #1-#3, and CD 5, 'Reflection-Revisiting', contains more recent recordings from 2007-2018, in which he revisited some of the original port areas, looking for a certain continuity between his ideas in the past and the present, while also discovering the differences between the two periods.
"My purpose for these recordings in the nineties was to observe vibrations, and at the same time to find the observation point for each recording. For some very subtle, inaudible vibrations, a special method of observation such as installing a contact microphone inside a bottle or a particular observation point is required. It can be said that the object of the vibration and the act of observation are inseparable. I think that it is not really 'detection' or 'documenting', but is more likely closer to 'depiction'. The word 'depiction' has a nuance of both watching and portraying an object simultaneously."
"By using small microphones and contact microphones, I tried to detect vibrations that were integrated with the presence of the place, like the vague images existing in the lowest layer of our perception. The space that could be observed in this way was quite different from how we perceive the actual place as a space." ( from liner notes by Toshiya Tsunoda) The extensive liner notes were newly written by Toshiya Tsunoda for this box set.
5 CD Deluxe Box Set $68 [In stock early next week]
DANIEL CARTER / STELIOS MIHAS / IRMA “ES” NEJANDO / FEDERICO UGHI - Radical Invisibility (577 Records 5806: USA) Featuring Daniel Carter on saxes, clarinet, flute, trumpet & keyboard, Stelios Mihas on guitar, Irma “ES” Nejando on bass and Federico Ughi on drums. Federico Ughi’s 577 Records label has been extremely prolific over the past year or two, with a dozen or so releases (LP’s & CD’s) in the past year alone. Both Mr. Ughi and Mr. Carter can be found on most of the 577 Records releases, which also includes a revolving crew of assorted Downtown musicians, known & little known. Guitarist Stelios Mihas can also be found on a recent album from Mr. Ughi’s Listening Group, although I hand’t heard of him before that. Bassist Irma Nejando is allegedly a pseudonym for a well-known female bassist/vocalist/composer whose real name can’t be revealed here. Each of the four pieces are dedicated to different artists who inspired members of this quartet. “Ms. Gertrude” is for Gertrude Stein, existential writer & thinker. The last couple of records on 577 have shown Mr. Ughi & Co. to be experimenting with electric instruments and effects, rather than earlier acoustic instrumentation. The first piece has a sly electric Miles-like groove with some fine spiraling soprano sax, skeletal freaky el. guitar, spinning electric (fretless?) bass and dream-like drums. This piece turns into “Diaspora Guinea”, which is dedicated to a friend of Ughi’s named Simon who drowned while sailing from Africa to Europe on a handmade boat to bring his music to another place. This long piece has a cerebral, floating quality and features a long sax solo by Mr. Carter. Mr. Ughi’s drumming is consistently inventive throughout this entire disc, balancing the rhythmic flow and currents with fire and grace. “WeNyamombe and Gomukomu weSimbi” is even longer even more: It is most ethereal, free, organic and often mesmerizing. While the bands floats into outer (inner?) space, Mr. Carter sounds he is playing an electric keyboard, adding haunting sounds to the already hypnotic blend. After 18 years, the 577 Records label continues to capture the better moments of the Downtown Free Music Scene in all of its ongoing glory! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HANS KOCH / JACQUES DEMIERRE - Incunabulum (Herbal/Concrecte Disc 1901; Switzerland) Featuring Hans Koch on reeds (usually bass clarinet & soprano sax) and Jacques Demierre on piano & spinet (a smaller sort-of harpsichord). Recorded live in May of 2018 in Le Singe club in Biel, Switzerland. It has been a while since we have heard from either of these two fine Swiss musicians. After many years with the Koch/Schutz/Studer Trio, Mr. Koch has just a few more recent discs of solo & duo efforts with Fred Frith & Gaudenz Bardrutt. Swiss pianist Jacques Demierre is also involved with dadaesque spoken word performances and has recorded sparsely with Urs Leimgruber, Barre Phillips and for a Peter Frey/Daniel Studer 2 CD set on Leo Records.
When I first put this disc on at the store a couple of days ago, I had no clue what I was hearing: reeds and piano, hmmmmmmm…?!? When this disc begins, it sounds as if the spinet is sped up with a strange drone/groaning sound in the background. That distant groan sounds like science fiction monster of some sort. This piece is short and most effective at setting a haunting mood. The next piece is very sparse, suspense-filled, each note is carefully selected and the canvas is filled with much empty space. I am not sure if some of the sounds were generated by rubbing the strings inside the spinet or just playing some of the extended technique sounds on one of the reeds. All of the sounds here are most selective at creating a unique sonic environment. Kind of like a magic carpet ride for your imagination. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MORTON FELDMAN // AKI TAKAHASHI - Aki Takahashi Plays For Bunita Marcus (Mode 314; USA) ”For Bunita Marcus opens with a clear call to our attention. With these first six notes, we step over the threshold and into the journey of the piece. We know that we are in this for the long haul: Morton Feldman’s late works are notorious for being marathons. He composed For Bunita Marcus in 1985, immediately after his four-hour For Philip Guston, and two years after his six-hour String Quartet (II). These earlier works make an hour-long solo piano piece seem short. Still, it is a long time to sustain a single movement, a single journey, and we inevitably have this in mind as we take the first step: so this is how it starts.
For Bunita Marcus, like all the late Feldman works, is an adventure that takes a relatively long time to play out, but which is remarkably lacking in heaviness. We may expect an epic, but we get something much subtler. Indeed, what we get is the present moment, in all its beauty, over and over again. If we surrender to the musical image that is right in front of us, a piece like For Bunita Marcus is an easy world to enter into and to explore with Feldman. We step into the silence after that first six-note motto, and we wonder: What comes next? The next hour and a quarter is spent doing nothing more than discovering what comes next—and the next thing after that, and the next after that.
For Bunita Marcus is performed here by Aki Takahashi, one of the greatest Feldman intrepreters. After Triadic Memories, Feldman composed all his piano music for Aki Takahashi. In remarks made before the U.S. premiere of Triadic Memories, he described Takahashi as “absolutely still,” “undisturbed, unperturbed, as if in a concentrated prayer.” He found that her concentration was transmitted to the audience; a performance by her was “like a séance.” Ms. Takahashi premiered the work in Middleburg, The Netherlands in 1985. Through her performance, the journey of For Bunita Marcus is rich is color, pacing and poetry.”
HORATIU RADULESCU - Volume 2: Works for Organ & for Cello (Mode 313; USA) Mode’s Radulescu Edition, curated with Radulescu’s widow Catherine Marie Tunnell and his publisher Lucero Press, continues with a collection of his works for organ and works with cello. Radulescu’s complete organ works are performed here by Christoph Maria Moosmann, a long-time Radulescu collaborator with a great understanding of Radulescu’s music and goals. Some of the works were written for or dedicated to him.
Further definitive recordings are guaranteed by performances from cellist Catherine Marie Tunnell, Radulescu’s widow and the director of Lucero Press. The organ and its interaction with its acoustic environment compliments Radulescu’s “spectral music” palette and what he referred to as “sound plasma”— a special state of sound beyond equal temperament.
Intimate Rituals III is presented in its version for cello and “sound icons.” During 1965-69, Radulescu had transformed his Bösendorfer grand piano into a kind of harp, putting it vertically on its side and without cover, naming it sound icon. The strings are tuned spectrally, played with a V-form bow of horse hair or with other objects like coins, spheres etc. (The keyboard is not used at all). Due to the special tuning and the bowing technique, if one just touches a string all other strings begin to resonate, creating a rich harmonic halo around each sound. In 1985 Radulescu, together with Petra Junken, recorded two improvisations, each of them on two sound icons. The superimposition of those tapes is used here to accompany Tunnell’s cello.
RICHARD SINCLAIR with HUGH HOPPER / ANDY WARD / JIMMY HASTINGS / PIP PYLE / DIDIER MAHLHERBE / TONY COE / et al - R.S.V.P. (New Platform; UK) Former bassist & singer for Canterbury’s finest groups: Caravan, Hatfield & the North, Camel & Gilgamesh, Richard Sinclair can be found on some sixty plus releases, going back to Caravan’s self-titled debut in 1968. Mr. Sinclair has rarely led his own ensembles, aside from Caravan of Dreams and has less than a handful of discs out under his own name. ‘R.S.V.P.’ was first self-released in 1994 and it is perhaps one of two of Mr. Sinclair’s only truly solo efforts with guests from the Canterbury Scene: Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), Jimmy Hastings (Caravan), Pip Pyle (Hatfield & the North & Gong), Didier Mahlherbe (Gong) and Andy Ward (Camel). As a longtime Canterbury fan-addict, I ind this disc to be immensely charming, capturing the whimsical, creative spirit that is at the center of what fans & journalists love about this music. The opening song, “What’s Rattlin’” (by Pip Pyle) shows that sense of humor involved, making fun of seriousness or originality of what folks refer to as Canterbury music, is still worth considering: is the joke on us or them?!? There are a few songs that are mostly instrumental outside of bits of Sinclair’s enchanting wordless vocals. Mr. Sinclair has long been an inventive electric bassist, yet never has the desire to show off his chops. His nimble, inventive bass playing is often at the center of most of these songs as is his superb voice. Some folks might find this disc a bit laid-back or perhaps fey, not me… This disc makes me smile and want to forget about the darker side of life around us. Unlike a number of Canterbury’s finest musicians: Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Daevid Allen & Pip Pyle, Richard Sinclair is alive and well, so let’s say thanks to his special sound/music. Hello Richard, we still love you and what you do! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ALEX HARDING / LUCIAN BAN - Dark Blue (Sunnyside 1544; USA) “Lucian Ban (piano) and Alex Harding (woodwinds) have performed and recorded together for 20-years besides their prominent activities within global progressive jazz and improvisational circles. The universal language of jazz is conveyed here as Detroit-reared Harding and the Romanian born pianist gel to a variety of tempos amid solstice, reflective sentiment, off-centered blues balladry and bouncy grooves. Toss in some lyrically resplendent tapestries of sound and a crystalline audio production, you are liable to become entranced by the duo's moody vibes that are etched within an underlying sense of glee.
The musicians occasionally engage in some friendly fire but Harding's deep bass clarinet work on "Black Sea" is comped by Ban's lower register contrasts and loosely articulated Latin phrasings along with his playful picking of the piano strings that offer Harding some improvisational rhythmic support. Other works feature soul-stirring dialogues with Ban's up-tempo ostinato vamps and ascending block chords, adding a bit of tension and dynamic buildups on "Not That Kind Of Blues," countered by Harding's edgy wails and a catchy hook. Here, the duo rips through concise unison statements and ballsy exhortations as they build intensity and execute some reverse-engineering metrics along the way.
It's easy to detect that the duo has been collaborating all these years. At times they seem clairvoyant while interacting and reinventing, without rushing the game-plan by veering off into abstruse angles or rummaging through extended soloing blowouts. Essentially, there are many magical moments throughout this pleasurable and incisive set.” - Glenn Astarita, AllAboutJazz
TOM NEHLS - I Always Catch The Third Second Of A Yellow Light (Now-Again 5185; USA) "A rock concept album, as progressive as it is psychedelic, recorded by a 17-year-old Tom Nehls and his high school friends in Minneapolis over a three-month period in late 1972. Nehls original notes describe his influences: The Beatles, Zappa, Tolkien. But that amalgamation cannot prepare you for the depths that this wunderkind explored with first-time engineer Paul Stark, who would later co-found Twin/Tone Records and sign and develop punk legends The Replacements and dozens of other bands. Stark privately-pressed 1000 copies of I Always Catch The Third Second Of A Yellow Light and gave them to Nehls, who hand glued photo copied artwork on the front and back cover of the album and tried to sell copies to his high school friends. Shortly thereafter, 900 copies were destroyed when his parents' basement flooded, Nehls went off to college, and his masterpiece was left, undiscovered and unappreciated, until fringe vinyl collectors in the early 1990s found and shared a handful of copies. Nehls' album has gone on to be a welcome addition to the genre Paul Major called 'Real People Music'; a wonderful and sincere exploration of the human predicament that reveals more of itself with each listen. Mastered from a flat transfer of Stark's original master tapes, this is the best that this album has ever sounded. The Now-Again Reserve Edition of I Always Catch The Third Second Of A Yellow Light possesses a fidelity that Nehls' rare original didn't." 2CD, fold out eco-wallet. Nearly an hour of unreleased music on disc two. Contains a 24 page booklet with Nehls story told in great detail, with never before published photos.
2 CD Set $18
PUCE MARY - The Drought (Pan 087; Germany) “Building from a reputation of arresting live performances and critically-acclaimed releases, Puce Mary breaks new ground with The Drought, evolving from the tropes of industrial and power electronics to forge a complex story of adapting to new realities. Remnants of noise still exist, sustaining the visceral penetration offered on previous records, however The Drought demonstrates an intention to expand on the vocabulary of confrontational music and into a grander narrative defined by technical and emotional growth. Bringing together introspective examination with literary frameworks by writers such as Charles Baudelaire and Jean Genet, Puce Mary's compositions manifest an ongoing power struggle within the self towards preservation. The traumatized body serves as a dry landscape of which obscured memories and escape mechanisms fold reality into fiction, making sense of desire, loss, and control. The Drought presents both danger and opportunity; through rebuilding a creative practice centered on first-person narrative and a deliberate collage of field recordings and sound sources Puce Mary injects an acute urgency across the album seeking resilience. "To Possess Is To Be In Control" makes use of lyrical repetition as an ambiguity of two selves, or a divided self, attempting to consume one another, while "Red Desert", named after Michelangelo Antonioni's 1964 film, portrays the individual subsumed by surrounding environmental forces. The seven-minute epic "The Size Of Our Desires" acts as the emotional tipping point of the record; amongst the ominous drone and dense feedback flutters almost-beatific melodies, while the lyrics reveal a romantic call to be swept up in the midst of an increasingly uninhabitable world. Rather than escape, The Drought dramatizes a metamorphosis in which vulnerability is confronted through regeneration. Noise and aggression no longer act as an affront to react against but part of a "corporeal architecture" where space, harmony and lyricism surface from the harsh tropes of industrial music. The Drought chronologizes the artist's transformation through a psychological famine, new ways of coping akin to plant survival in a desert -- to live without drying out.”
CAROLINE DAVIS’ ALULA With MATT MITCHELL / GREGORY SAUNIER - Alula (New Amsterdam 112; USA) Featuring Caroline Davis on alto sax, voice & compositions, Matt Mitchell on Prophet 6, modular & Arp synths and Greg Saunier on drums & percussion. Each of the two previous discs from Ms. Davis completely different in sound, personnel and approach, this one is also from somewhere else entirely. Ms. Davis chose two musicians from much different backgrounds: the ubiquitous keyboard wiz Matt Mitchell (for Tim Berne, Dave Douglas & Anna webber) and drummer Greg Saunier (for Deerhoof). It took a bit of time to figure these pieces out, since the are quirky, speeding up & slowing down & moving in unexpected directions. Although the sax is often central to the sound, it is the tight, twisted interactions or arrangements that show how the ingenuity of the structure & direction. Most of the 11 pieces are relatively short, under five minutes. Although the synths rarely solo, they are integral to the unique trio sound, providing strange harmonies to the sax. I listened to Side A three times in arrow before moving to Side B, since it took some time to hear all of the nifty twists & turns. Although I am not sure which synth is which, each one seems to evoke a different vibe. The one things that stands out throughout this entire album is those complex, M-Base-like circular lines that Ms. Davis excels at executing. There is even a quaint, laid back sort of ballad called “Coverts”, that seems to come from another time & place (ancient, like the 1960’s), which does seem to fit somehow. The appropriate, slightly twisted collage cover was designed by Robert Pollard, leader of the prolific midwest psych band, Guided by Voices. Ms. Davis is filled with endless surprises, so keep an eye & ear on her whenever you can. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LP [Only release] $18 [Includes a Download card]
G. CALVIN WESTON / THE PHOENIX ORCHESTRA - Dust and Ash (577 Records 5826; USA) Featuring G. Calvin Weston on drums & pocket trumpet, Tom Spiker on electric guitar, David Dzubinski on piano & keyboard, Carlos Santiago & Benjamin Sutin on violins, Ajibola Rivers on cello, Elliot Garland on electric bass & Kayle Brecher on vocals (minimal & used selectively). Philly-based drummer, Calvin Weston, has worked with a unique assortment of diverse musicians: Ornette Coleman’s Primetime, the Lounge Lizards & John Lurie solo projects, Blood Ulmer and Marc Ribot. Even more unexpected are the half dozen releases as a leader, each of which with different personnel (John Medeski, Elliott Levin, Todd Rundgren & This Van Leer?!?) and each one interesting in its own way.
Which brings us to the Mr. Weston’s new ensemble, the 9 piece Phoenix Orchestra. I didn’t recognize the names of the other musicians except their previous work with Mr. Weston, plus violinist Carlos Santiago, was once a member of the impossible to pigeonhole Philly band named Normal Love. Most of the music on this album was composed by Mr. Weston & keyboardist David Dzubinski. The results here are extraordinary, complex, tight and well-executed. The liner notes mention that Mr. Weston’s main early inspiration was the Mahavishnu Orchestra. This bands sounds very similar in several ways. The title piece sounds like it came right off of Mahavishnu’s ‘Apocalypse’ album, complete with quick pumping electric bass, masterful drums and featuring an exciting violin solo (watch out Jean Luc Ponty!). This music sound like the best aspects of early jazz/rock, before the term fusion took over and became sadly predictable. Although the song “Incarnate” has a funky groove, it is still infectious, with some great sly, slinky guitar riffs in the back and more stunning violin & electric piano interplay up front. I am currently reviewing this on vinyl which does sound marvelous, dynamic, warm, intense, burning, funky, inspired and without a doubt, one of this year’s best undiscovered treasures. One of the many highlights here is a splendid drum solo called, “Thunder”, which bridges two other superb songs just right. This is a monster disc so you best take notice, dive in and grab a copy for yourself. It will be released on CD sometime soon for all the old folks in their retirement communities. Peace. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LP $18 [Includes a download card]
ALICE COLTRANE - Live at the Berkeley Community Theater 1972 (BCT Records 1972; Germany) Previously unreleased and not known to exist soundboard recording of Alice Coltrane Sextet live in Berkeley, California in 1972. Featuring a dream line-up of Charlie Haden, Ben Riley, Ashish Khan, Pranesh Khan, Bobby W., and Alice Coltrane. Newly re-mastered from the original tapes. In 1972 (Journey In Satchidananda/Lord of Lords era), during one of Alice Coltrane's most creative periods, she gathered five musicians for a live concert at the Berkeley Community Theater on July 23rd, 1972. Bassist Charlie Haden, Sarod player Ashish Khan, Pranesh Khan on tabla and naal, Ben Riley on drums, Bobby W. on tambura and percussion. The four tracks featured for the performance (three John Coltrane compositions) -- "Journey In Satchidananda", "A Love Supreme", "My Favorite Things" and "Leo" -- show a group in full flight to the cosmos. Alice Coltrane leads the group on organ, piano and harp. This show, in particular, is as searing a document of a spiritual group of musicians in full launch to outer space. As intense a performance and recording as we've heard from Alice Coltrane. Raw, propulsive and incendiary. Limited edition, double-LP; comes in a gatefold sleeve; edition of 750.
2 LP Set $28
MARION BROWN with GRACHAN MONCUR III / DAVE BURRELL / SIRONE / et al - Three for Shepp (Superior Viaduct SV 165; USA) "In 1966, when Marion Brown was ready to make his first record as a leader, he was standing on the shoulders of giants. Formative associations with Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra established Brown as a saxophonist to watch, and he had already appeared on free jazz landmarks Archie Shepp's Fire Music and John Coltrane's Ascension. Originally released on Impulse!, Brown's debut lays down three startling originals and three tunes by Shepp -- echoing his mentor's 1964 homage to Coltrane, Four For Trane. Featuring Grachan Moncur III on trombone, Dave Burrell on piano and Norris 'Sirone' Jones on bass, Three for Shepp balances fiery energy and delicate precision. Side A showcases Brown compositions that mix modal structures with ecstatic playing, particularly when the bandleader chases Moncur and Burrell on the exhilarating 'The Shadow Knows.' On the album's all-Shepp side, 'West India' draws inspiration from India and Africa, while the feverish post-bop of 'Delicado' demonstrates the band's versatility, swept by the wheeling drums of Beaver Harris. Even this early in his career, Brown stood apart from his peers in 'the new thing.' His solos were as gentle as they were furious. Informed by the African American folk traditions of his native Georgia and an enthusiastic embrace of the avant-garde, his music would confront and challenge society. As Brown says in the original liner notes, 'The music is definitely a part of what's going on in the black revolution in America.' Three for Shepp still sounds crucial today (over 50 years later) and remains a vital statement of jazz's past, present and future."
HORATIU RADULESCU - Piano Sonatas & String Quartet 1 (Mode 290; USA) “Horatiu Radulescu (1942-2008) combined distinctive ideas about the universe with wonderfully assertive and inventive music. Traditional scales are not enough for this composer, and he explored concurrent and intersecting overtone series in irregular rhythms and patterns. Scelsi and Messiaen are immediate precedents, however Radulescu works more aggressively despite the Taoist influences. In three movements, proportioned per the Fibonacci series, the Second Sonata pries open a cavern with widely spaced chords built from a small cluster of fundamental tones. The composer’s sparse, halting melodies, interrupted by imposing blocks, recall Stravinsky’s primitivism. The Fifth Sonata is austere and vibrantly spectral in its three Fibonacci-proportioned parts. The last movement hides a repeated pitch in a 3 2 rhythm, a bit like Ravel’s Le Gibet.
The Fifth Quartet demands scordatura for all players and requires frequent harmonics and particular bowing practices in order to untether high overtones. Radulescu’s players must commute between seven different harmonic series. There are 29 pages to the quartet, each about one minute, with descriptive titles meant to prepare the mind, for example: “Do your work, then step back (the only path to serenity),” “We work with being, but non-being is what we use,” and “The DAO will be luminous within you (and you will return to your primal self).” Radulescu’s intentions aside, the energetic music swirls and strives. The quartet has become a colossal 16-stringed instrument set into motion by thought and the slightest breeze. There are harmonic passages that sound like wind chimes or immense doors creaking on infrequently used hinges.
In their wisdom, the folks at mode also paired up the Fifth Quartet and Fifth Sonata on LP. The quartet’s first 23 pages are on Side A, the remaining six are on Side B before the sonata. Playing the two formats simultaneously and alternating the signal, I can attest that the LP sound is richer than the CD, exposing more of the quartet’s feathery harmonics and subtle changes of bow on string. Similarly, Radulescu’s repeated piano chords are slightly more distinctive. Regardless of CD or LP, I am glad that this release initiates a planned series.” — Grant C. Covell, La Folia, December 2017
LP $25 / CD $15
THIS KIND OF PUNISHMENT - In The Same Room (Superior Viaduct SV 167; USA) "With This Kind Of Punishment, Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies produced some of most adept DIY sounds to emerge from New Zealand's 1980s post-punk scene. After their phenomenal self-titled debut and classic A Beard Of Bees, the brothers would make one last album together, In The Same Room. Originally released in 1987 on Flying Nun, In The Same Room is perhaps the straightest rock offering in TKP's esteemed catalogue. Opening track 'Immigration Song' expertly pairs jagged guitars with wrathful vocals -- resulting in one of the most celebrated moments in their recording career -- while 'Don't Go' puts the full breadth of the Jefferies brothers' method on display: spiraling riffs, somber baritone and chamber-like calm give way to frenzied rhythms and antagonistic lyrics. From deeply insular songwriting to hands-on production, This Kind Of Punishment draw the listener in close -- nearly within the same room as the players -- and remain rooted in a distinct approach to presentation that is inseparable from their music."
BUTTHOLE SURFERS - Brown Reason to Live (Alternative Tentacles 032; USA) This is where it all began for these acid casualty reality trippers. Brown Reason To Live is their very first release; it came out in 1983. Here it is on vintage thick wax. 12"vinyl, 7-song ep -- their first classic slab o' wax, and still as crazed and lysergic as ever! P.S. And the answer to the timeless question, 'what speed is this meant to be played on?' It's meant to be played at 69 rpm, of course! (But if your turntable doesn't have a '69' setting, try it on 45 instead.)"
BUTTHOLE SURFERS - Live PCPPEP (Alternative Tentacles 039; USA) "Re-pressed on vinyl! Finally back in print! This is where it all began for the Butthole Surfers. The Live PCPPEP is their second release; it came out in 1984. Here it is on vintage thick wax; still as crazed and lysergic as ever! The EP was recorded live in a bar in their hometown of San Antonio and released as a follow-up to their Brown Reason to Live 12". These acid-casualty reality trippers paid tribute to and killed American hardcore once and for all while single-handedly ushering in a new Post-Everything era. Many feel their two early EPs were the best records the band ever recorded."
JOHN DUNCAN & JOACHIM NORDWALL - Conventional Wisdom (Ideal Recordings 182; Sweden) Venerable avant-garde composer John Duncan follows his prized cycle of cover versions Bitter Earth (2016) with Conventional Wisdom; a truly beguiling new suite of original, stony avant-blooz songs produced in collaboration with iDEAL boss Joachim Nordwall, and marking another high point in both of their catalogues After coming out as a vocalist to memorably striking effect in 2016, Duncan compounds the effect with Conventional Wisdom, placing his original lyrics in stark arrangements ranging from shortwave radio-streaked dark ambient settings and Mika Vainio-esque isolationism, to deathly dubs driven by Nordwall's rugged rhythms in a style that heavily recalls Jay Glass Dubs' Epitaph LP (2019). An original and close associate of LAFMS co-founder Tom Recchion, and collaborator with everyone from Chris & Cosey to Asmus Tietchens, Merzbow, and Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio), Duncan is well versed in the art of fucking with music. Doing so since the '70s, it's only in recent years that more "typical" song structures have crept into his style with most transfixing effect, gathering the attention of many who previously weren't necessarily exposed to his music. Whether stemming from a perverse pleasure in twisting popular music, or a matter of changing with age (65), we're just not sure, but either way Duncan is now coming out with some of the most broadly appealing, yet incomparable work in his 50-year-wide catalog. Aided by Joachim Nordwall, the pair convene a set of songs every bit as fascinating, eerie as the cover image of a birdcage mask bound in barbed wire. The title track emphasizes the stark mystery with nothing more than meditative vocals, gamelan strikes and daubs of shortwave, before "Hard Swallow" catches him huskily channeling Lee "Scratch" Perry at a spooky distance, while the disembodied dub tropes of "Soft Eyes" come uncannily close to aspects of Jay Glass Dubs, and "Say No" says it in the bluntest, most bluesy terms. The most desiccated, strung-out material however is saved for the B-side, with the sferic resonance and stereo-strafing vocal of "The Joke" planning out into the cracked hush of "The Beautiful Attempt", before he and Nordwall effectively duet in the finale "The Red Hot Alternative", where Nordwall also supplies pranging percussion and Coil-esque synth abstraction. RIYL: Pere Ubu, Jay Glass Dubs, Coil, Pan Sonic, Scott Walker. Mastered at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 300.
OVERSTOCK CD Sale List (reviews for each of these further below)
ARASHI With AKIRA SIKATA / JOHAN BERTHLING / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - JIKAN (PNL 045; EEC)
CD Sale $12
ROBERT MUSSO With BERNIE WORRELL / THOMAS CHAPIN / BILL LASWELL / BOOTSY COLLINS / et al - Active Resonance (MuWorks 1008; USA)
CD Sale $10
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE / AKIRA SIKATA / et al - Japanese New Noise (PNL 043; EEC)
CD Sale $12
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE / FRODE GJERSTAD / et al - New Brazilain Funk (PNL 042; EEC)
CD Sale $12
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE / JOE McPHEE - Red Sky (PNL 016; USA)
CD Sale $12
JAY ROSEN / BRIAN WILLSON - The Mystery Brothers (Not Two 984; Poland)
CD Sale $10
PARIS REUNION BAND with WOODY SHAW/DIZZY REECE/SLIDE HAMPTON/JOHNNY GRIFFIN/NATHAN DAVIS/KENNY DREW/JIMMY WOODE/BILLY BROOKS - French Cooking (Gazell 1001; UK)
CD Sale $8
TRIO MICHEL BRAAM / WILBERT DeJOODE / MICHAEL VATCHER - Change This Song (BBB 8; Netherlands)
CD Sale $12
KEN VANDERMARK / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - Screen Off (PNL 041; EEC
CD Sale $12
Reviews for Overstock CD’s below:
ARASHI With AKIRA SIKATA / JOHAN BERTHLING / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - JIKAN (PNL 045; EEC) “The trio of Scandinavian rhythm section Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Johan Berthling (double bass) hooking up with Japanese free jazz legend Akira Sakata (alto sax/clarinet) started in 2013 at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway. The trio took their name from the legendary 1977 collaborative album by Yosuke Yamashita Trio and dance group Dairakudakan – an album that Sakata was a central part of, that even 40 years later stand solid as a radical and bold musical statement. And this piece of history gives us a clue to where the trio of Nilssen-Love, Berthling and Sakata is aiming for, not by looking back and rethreading what has been done before, but adopting its attitude of kicking the often stale sax/drums/bass-format forward with such force that it feels completely fresh. After its start in 2013 Arashi has been a steady group, doing numerous tours in Europe and Japan, and PNL Records is pleased to release the trio’s third album, “Jikan”, a live recording from the Pit Inn club in Tokyo in September 2017. “Jikan” captures the trio at full force – with Sakata doing almost as much vocals as playing the reeds.
CD Sale $12
ROBERT MUSSO With BILL LASWELL/THOMAS CHAPIN/AIYB DIENG/JONAS HELLBORG/BERNIE WORRELL/BOOTSY COLLINS - Active Resonance (MuWorks 1008; USA) Featuring guitar great Musso w/ Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Jonas Hellborg, Thomas Chapin, Aiyb Dieng. From avant-rock to bizarre funk/jazz! "Guitarist, composer, and master mixing engineer Robert Musso has issued another chapter in his evolving space-dub jam session recordings. This one features many of the usual suspects -- Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Aiyb Deng, Bootsy Collins, and some others, such as the late Thomas Chapin & Jonas Hellborg. The assemblage offers a new listen to Musso's integrational conception of opposites attracting under the influence of rhythm. Here, the post-modal jazz of John Coltrane is heard as it meets the dawn of 1990s funk-dub world-fusion on "A Dream Supreme," and the shifting sands of global cowboy-ism as it voices its desolation on "Alliance." On "All Funked Up," Afro-funk meets the J.B.'s with Bootsy on funky cheerleader vocals. And so it goes, with the only cohesive glue in the cracks being Musso's disciplined direction, excellent guitar playing, and his indomitable sense of groove no matter what the genre stipulations -- check "Tanar!" with its muezzin wailing over a wall of deep space dub. Or the Eastern-tinged modalism of "Home Growing," where it meets the terrain of euphoric jazz and rock. Recommended." - Thom Jurek, AMG
CD Sale $10
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE / AKIRA SIKATA / et al - Japanese New Noise (PNL 043; EEC)“For the 2018 edition of the Roskilde festival in Denmark Paal Nilssen-Love was asked to put together two special projects. Nilssen-Love chose to put together two groups: The first was a Brazil-based band. The second was a Japan-oriented band, bringing together three giants of Japanese free jazz and noise music for the first time: Saxophone player Akira Sakata is the biggest legend of them all — since the 60’s Sakata has left a permanent mark on Japanese music. With more than 200 recording credits to his name Sakata first made his mark with the Yosuke Yamashita Trio, and then over the years has gone on t numerous projects. Noise artist Kohei Gomi is best known for his Pain Jerk project, which since its foundation in the early 1990s perfectly encapsulates the classic Japanese noise sound, but also exhibiting a clearly personal style that has evolved over the years. Toshiji Mikawahas as the leader of his Incapacitants project since the early 80s shown an absolutely uncompromising dedicating the craft of pure noise music. Paralell to this he has been a member of the equally seminal Hijokaidan band. Very few artists in the field of noise music enjoys the kind of respect Mikawa does. To make a link to the other Roskilde project Nilssen-Love also added Brazilian guitarist Kiko Dinucci to the line-up, which of course shows the connection between the two bands, but also is a clear proofs of Nilssen-Love’s method of combining expressions and crossing musicial borders to kick the music forward. And with musicians from three continents it also shows that noise music is a global language. Play loud.”
CD Sale $12
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE / FRODE GJERSTAD / et al - New Brazilain Funk (PNL 042; EEC)“For the 2018 edition of the Roskilde festival in Denmark Paal Nilssen-Love was asked to put together two special projects. Nilssen-Love chose to put together two groups: one Japanese- and one Brazilian-based band. Nilssen-Love has for a long time been influenced and inspired by a wide range of Brazilian music, and has in the last ten years also made the connection by collaborating with Brazilian musicians and bringing his own projects to Brazil. For the Roskilde project (now to become a steady band) he put together a Norwegian/Brazilian combination that proved to be especially potent: Bass-player Felipe Zenicola is a new figure on the scene of improvised music and is mostly known for his work with Chinese Cookie Poets. Guitarist Kiko Dinucci has been active the last years as a leader and song writer of the group Metá Metá and has received noticeable recognition in Brazil and Europe. Then there’s percussionist Paulinho Bicolor, a rare figure in the Brazilian music scene, who adds a special ingredient to the stew: the Cuíca – which is actually a friction drum, but mastered by Bicolor in a completely idiosyncratic way. Paulinho is also a frequent guest with Nilssen-Love’s 15-piece band, Large Unit. Rounding off the line-up Nilssen-Love included what is his longest musicial parter: Norwegian saxophone player Frode Gjerstad, a legend of Norwegian free improvised music who asked Nilssen-Love to play with him at the age of 16, a collaboration that now has lasted 28 years. The pair usually works in duo and trio constellations, so it’s a rare treat to hear such a solid musical pair as the gravitational center of this project. The “New Brazilian Funk” title can almost be read as tongue-in-cheek as this really is not just free jazz on top of tropical grooves - this is the sound of five dedicated musicians coming together to make a completely new type of music. The Roskilde gig went down so well that not only is it being released on CD, it also became the birth of a regular group.”
CD Sale $12
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE / JOE McPHEE - Red Sky (PNL 016; USA) Featuring Joe McPhee on tenor sax & pocket trumpet and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion. This set was recorded live at Energimolla, as part of the Konigsberg Jazz Festival in July of 2008. I was lucky to have caught The Thing with their special guest Joe McPhee last night at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC as part of double celebration for an immense exhibition for the artwork of Christopher Wool (an old customer of DMG) as well as the recent reissue of Joe McPhee's early (1970) classic album 'Nation Time', now an impressive 4 CD Set on the Corbett Vs. Dempsey label. Chicago journalist/professor/curator John Corbett was the gracious host of the evening. The final set featured The Thing with Joe McPhee (looking especially cool in shades and with a plastic white alto sax) and it was wonderful. The Thing is/are Mats Gustafsson on saxes, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on basses and Paal Nilsson-Love on drums. Mr. McPhee has toured & recorded with The Thing, and in Brotzmann's Chicago Tentet (which has included members of), as well as playing with different members of The Thing in different combinations. This is the second duo disc with Mr. McPhee and Mr. Nilssen-Love and it is most impressive! The inside picture of McPhee sticking his tongue out with a t-shirt which reads 'Thunder Pussy' and Nilssen-Love staring like a zombie with a shirt which says, 'Lick Lick' looks pretty hilarious yet the liner notes by McPhee are quite a bit more serious. Each of the five pieces has a short story or appropriate description by Mr. McPhee."'Red Sky" is sailor's folk-lore for predicting the weather and deals with looking backwards and forwards simultaneously. It is a momentous duo of trumpet & drums in tenor & drums, a perfect combination of sympathetic spirits gliding back & forth and together as one powerful force. There is a certain joy to the freedom which is on display here and it just makes me smile to bathe in its overwhelming glow. "Till" is for Emmett Till, the African-American youth who was brutally murdered because of his color in the south in 1955. The vibe of this piece is most poignant and the duo plays it sublimely, righteously, like a little tale unfolding naturally. There is a lovely young black woman staring at us from the back-cover of this CD puckering up for a kiss. Is this Peach Melba? It is the name of another fine piece on this disc, tightly swirling lines in a flurry like an inner storm erupting. "Iron Man Returns" is dedicated to both Eric Dolphy (who once has an album by the same name) and the Marvel superhero. Paal's powerful drums kick off this piece with an incredible intensity and spirit. The final piece is a superb rendition of Duke Ellington' "Come Sunday", a luscious gem and a perfect conclusion to an excellent offering by two master musicians who sound as if they have been playing together for decades. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $12
JAY ROSEN / BRIAN WILLSON - The Mystery Brothers (Not Two MW 984; Poland) Featuring Jay Rosen and Brian Willson on drum sets. Anyone that ever caught live or heard discs by Trio X (w/ Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval & Jay Rosen), found out that this trio was something special. One of the greatest free/jazz trios of all time. I caught them more than around a dozen times and was consistently knocked out. Each member was integral to their unique magic. Watching drummer, Jay Rosen, is always fascinating since he has his own unique approach to playing the drums. Drummer Brian Wilson is not very well known but did recorded a couple of one discs with Yuko Fujiyama and Dominic Duval. The first thing I noticed about this disc is how well recorded it is, superb, warm and clean. The duo take their time and create their own subtle magic. Sizzling, simmering, hushed at first. Slowly building into a groove. The playing here is often soft, elegant, organic, natural, refreshing like a cool breeze on the first day of Spring (like today?!?). There is something most enchanting going on here, like being outside and communing with nature. Unforced and most magical. This disc is short, around 27 minutes long. It feels like it is the right length to do the job and do it right. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD Sale $10
PARIS REUNION BAND [WOODY SHAW/DIZZY REECE/SLIDE HAMPTON/JOHNNY GRIFFIN/NATHAN DAVIS/KENNY DREW/JIMMY WOODE/BILLY BROOKS] - French Cooking (Gazell 1002; USA) Jazz journalist Mike Hennessey was responsible for putting together the Paris Reunion Band, a group of jazz all-stars who spent at least part of their careers based in Paris.Though the personnel changed somewhat after this initial recording, the Paris Reunion Band would continue to work off and on until 1989. Their debut album, French Cooking, was a studio date recorded in the summer of 1985, around the time of their first European tour. The band includes saxophonists Johnny Griffin and Nathan Davis, trumpeters Woody Shaw and Dizzy Reece, trombonist Slide Hampton, pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Jimmy Woode, and drummer Billy Brooks. Most of the musicians made names for themselves while living in their U.S. homeland (except for Reece, a Jamaica native). Nathan Davis is probably the least familiar name in the front line, because he spent a long period in Paris (1962-1969) following his discharge from the U.S. Army, and eventually returned to his homeland to become a jazz educator. He is a triple threat on tenor and soprano saxes as well as flute. Each member of the brass and reed sections contributed a cooking original to the date, while the solos and ensemble work are consistently inspired. "The idea was to revisit the excitement and atmosphere of the '60s Jazz scene in Paris, and instead this band of veterans, ex-pats and budding Europeans recreated that scene in the moment, with all the heat and grandeur you'd wish for. Honest, you can't make this stuff up -- Johnny Griffin, Woody Shaw, Slide Hampton and Kenny Drew show the young 'uns how it's done." - Keith McCarthy
CD Sale $8
TRIO MICHEL BRAAM / WILBERT DeJOODE / MICHAEL VATCHER - Change This Song (BBB 8; Netherlands) Featuring Michiel Braam on piano & compositions, Wilbert de Joode on double bass and Michael Vatcher on drums. This was recorded live at The Bimhuis in Amsterdam in February and October of 2005. An extraordinary and most creative modern jazz piano trio that sound unlike anyone else. They do sound like they are taking the angular music of Monk and turning it inside out. They play both tight and loose at the same time, speeding up and slowing down simultaneously, yet consistently working together as one. Even the bassist solos, which he does often and quite well, the piano and drums spin around him in tight web of activity. What is most amazing here is the way these pieces moves in unexpected directions and involve strange structures or devices that connect them. Familiar themes all of sudden transmute into something completely different. Although Mr. Braam has written all of the pieces, the trio is perfectly balanced and each member integral to the overall sound. The great bassist, Wilbert de Joode, is often at the center of many of the tunes, holding it down, pinching those strings and plucking those melodies with resourcefulness and taste, often as the piano and percussion play skeletally around him. A marvel of invention and creative spirit throughout. - BLG
CD Sale $12
KEN VANDERMARK / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - Screen Off (PNL 041; EEC) The high impact duo of Paal Nilssen-Love (drums)and Ken Vandermark (reeds) has been working together at an accelerated rate since2002, and they have put out seven albums of exceptional and wide ranging improvised music since then. Though they have both worked in many critically acclaimed groups- from the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Lean Left (with Terrie Hessels and Andy Moor of The Ex) to Double Tandem (with Dutch saxophonist, Ab Baars)- they have continued to return to their duo for more than a dozen years because it remains crucial to their creative output. Now the duo releases “Screen Off” on PNL Records. This is their tenth album, and this time the duo have decided to look backwards at the last ten years of their career, although in a very unusual way. In collaboration with producer Lasse Marhaug they have gone through the numerous clips of live performances that exist on YouTube, unofficial documentation recorded and uploaded by members of the audience without the duo’s involvement. None of these clips were full concerts, neither were they recorded on professional gear, often containing artifacts that compresses and distorts the audio. The idea was to embrace the limitations of the format and to make a collage out of the material, but using only the audio and not the video from the recordings. By drawing inspiration from experimental cinema – especially the Structural film movement of directors like Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton and Tony Conrad – Marhaug set a rule of only 60 seconds from each clip should be used, and since the duo does not play short pieces the cuts would often be disruptive, cutting the music off in the middle of movements. The cuts were then assembled together not in a chronological manner, but rather what made sense musically, often jumping back and forth years in the process. The results was that this stylization doesn’t distance the listener from the music, but rather creates a viable document of activity, much in the same manner a film would - just with the screen off.”
CD Sale $12
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for May / June of 2019:
THE NEW STONE
Is Located at the New School’s Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th street - just east of 6th ave
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - URI CAINE - MAY 28 – JUNE 1
8:30 pm - TANGO: Uri Caine (piano) Mark Feldman (violin) Agustin Uriburu (cello) Julien Labro (bandoneon) Pablo Aslan (bass)
8:30 pm - PIANO QUINTET - Uri Caine (piano) with string quartet
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - URI GURVICH - JUNE 4–8
8:30 pm - Uri meets Uri - Uri Gurvich (sax) Uri Caine (piano)
8:30 pm - Trio Lure - Uri Gurvich (sax) Sean Conly (bass) Francisco Mela (drums)
8:30 pm - E-Folk - Uri Gurvich (sax) Elias Meister (guitar) Leo Genovese (keys) Panagiotis Andreou (electric bass) Ronen Itzik (drums)
8:30 pm - Blues Quartet - Uri Gurvich (sax) Adam O’Farrill (trumpet) Edward Perez (bass) Clarence Penn (drums)
8:30 pm - Uri Gurvich Quartet - Uri Gurvich (sax) Leo Genovese (piano) Edward Perez (bass) Francisco Mela (drums)
THE (NEW) STONE is located in The New School’s Glass Box Theatre
All Sets at The New Stone start at 8:30pm Tickets: $20
There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone.
Only music. All ages are welcome. Cash Only at the door.
A serious listening environment.
The Stone is booked purely on a curatorial basis
JOHN ZORN Presents The STONE SERIES at Happy Lucky No. 1:
Friday, May 31, 2019 - 8:00 PM 9:00 PM
The Stone Series: TREDICI BACCI:
Sami L. Stevens - Voice
Peter Moffett - Drums
Jesse Heasly - Bass
Leia Slosberg - Flute
Daniel Pencer - Clarinet
Tree Palmetto - Trumpet
Buddy Greene - Tenor Saxophone
Lucy Hollier - Trombone
Abby Swidler - Violin
Ludovica Burtone - Violin
Abigale Reisman - Violin
Joanna Mattrey - Viola
Alec Watson - Keyboards
Aaron Edgcomb - Vibraphone
Simon Hanes - Guitar & Compositions
Saturday, June 1st:
The Stone Series: TREDICI BACCI
and special guest JG Thirlwell (FOETUS)
THE STONE SERIES at HappyLucky No. 1
2 night residencies
8PM CONCERT - $20 ADMISSION
Happy Lucky No. 1: 734 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11216
646 623 0414 / www.happyluckyno1.com
by subway: Take 2, 4, or 5 trains to Franklin; Take 3 train to Nostrand Ave.
Take A or C to Nostrand Ave.
Bushwick Improvised Music Series Continues:
Monday June 3rd
7pm John Loggia - drums
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Zach Swanson - bass
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Sandy Ewen - guitar/electronics
Adam Lane - bass
9pm Sam Newsome - soprano saxophone
Joe Morris - guitar
Charmaine Lee - vocals
9:45pm Igor Lumpert - tenor saxophone
Jason Nazary - drums
10:45pm CHRIS WELCOME "LIVE AT THE BUSHWICK SERIES" - CD RELEASE SHOW!!!
Chris Welcome - guitar
Kenny Warren - trumpet
Jake Henry - trumpet
Ben Gerstein - trombone
Anthony Ware - alto saxophone
Sam Weinberg - tenor saxophone
Jonathan Moritz - tenor saxophone
Shayna Dulberger - bass
Mike Pride - drums
11:30pm Carlos Eduardo Quebrada Vásquez - bass
Carlo Costa - drums
Monday June 10th
7pm Kaelen Ghandhi ensemble
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Jeremy Carlstedt - drums
9pm Patrick Brennan - alto saxophone
Brian Groder - trumpet
Hilliard Greene - bass
Michael T.A. Thompson - drums
9:45pm Nick Lyons - alto saxophone
Adam Caine - guitar
Pete Swanson - bass
10:45pm Colin Avery Hinton - drums
Tony Malaby - saxophones
Todd Neufeld - guitar
Eivind Opsvik - bass
11:30pm Noah Becker - saxophone/clarinet
Lesley Mok - drums
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue , Bushwick
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
$10 suggested donation
SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019 - 8:30 PM 10:30 PM
CHES SMITH QUARTET
Mary Halvorson (guitar)
Liberty Ellman (guitar)
Nick Dunston (bass)
Ches Smith (drums, percussion, electronics)
SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 2019 - 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
LEON / DUNSTON / FUJIWARA
David Leon - Saxophone
Nick Dunston - Bass
Tomas Fujiwara - Drums
MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2019 - 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
DOUBLE FEATURE - THE MARA ROSENBLOOM TRIO BONE LABYRINTH
8:00PM - The Mara Rosenbloom Trio
Mara Rosenbloom Piano & Composition
Sean Conly Bass
Michael Wimberly Drums
9:00PM - Bone Labyrinth: The Mara Rosenbloom Trio meets
Melanie Dyer's We Free Strings
Mara Rosenbloom Piano & Composition
Melanie Dyer Viola & Ideas
Gwen Laster Violin
Leanor Falcon Violin
Sean Conly Bass
Michael Wimberly Drums & Percussion
IBEAM in BROOKLYN, NYC
168 7TH STREET
BROOKLYN, NY, 11215
Open Doors Open Studios
Friday, May 31, 6-9pm & Saturday, June 1, 4-8pm, 2019
Arts for Art is partnering with The Clemente to present free performances on the second day of The Clemente's Open Doors Open Studios. Come enjoy Jazz, Capoeira, Film, Dance, and Poetry, and check out a building filled with Art and inspiration!
3:00pm Visionary Youth Orchestra under the direction of Melanie Dyer
Teaching artists: William Parker, Kyoko Kitamura, Jeff Lederer
3:30pm The Children of Afro Brazil Arts Mindful Capoeira Academy
director Michael Goldstein
4:15pm Irene Koloseus’ Feraba - African Rhythm Tap Company
5:00pm William Parker’s Little Huey's Little Bird Orchestra
6:00pm FELT presents the film “I am Julia” directed by David Capurso
Produced by FELT Theater and Carrere International Film
Filmed entirely at The Clemente. 20 mins followed by Q&A
6:30pm The Teens & Teachers of Afro Brazil Arts Mindful Capoeira
7:00pm Jesús Papoleto Meléndez – an original NuYorican Poet
7:30pm Revolution Resurrection - Patricia Nicholson - dance, text / Bill Mazza - live
video painting, Jason Kao Hwang - violin / TA Thompson-drum
Eric J. Stern’s House Of Improv Series:
Friday, June 7, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
SHAKESPEARE MEETS JAZZ featuring
Joe Fonda, Harvey Sorgen, Jake Sorgen,
Jeff Lederer and actor Peter Rouffaer.
This is a rare
New York appearance by Shakespearean actor
Mr. Rouffaer who lives in Gent, Belgium.
At 244 Rehearsal Studios
244 West 54th Street, New York, NY