THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA
by Robert Wyatt from ‘Old Rottenhat’
There are degrees of amnesia, ways to forget
Ways to remember all the good that you've done
And if you can't get a witness remind yourselves
Nobody's just perfectly good all the time
And if you killed all those redskins long, long ago
Well, they'd all be dead now anyway, anyway
So let's have no reservations, let's have a clean sweep
Clearing the way for the land of the free
Let's hear it for civilization once more
Build your aryan empire in peace
Don't let that ghost disconcert you – the lord will provide
A nice little headstone for the brave Cherokee
So let's have no reservations, let's have a clean sweep
Clearing the way for the land of the free
Let's hear it for civilization once more
Build your aryan empire in peace
So let's have no reservations, let's have a clean sweep
Clearing the way for the land of the free
Let's hear it for civilization once more
Build your aryan empire in peace
We are living in the United States of Amnesia. We no longer remember what it means to be free, fair, compassionate, honest, wise or thoughtful. All around us, the streets and airwaves are filled with lies, unfairness, greed, hate, fear and the complete lack of compassion for our fellow humans. I feel lucky that I grew up in the mid-1960’s, a time of love, rare peace of mind, movement towards better civil rights, more opportunities for the middle class, the poor and the disenfranchised. I grew up in a family that was filled with love, respect for others and a sense of truthfulness. Thanks to my father & mother, sister & brother, close & distant relatives (yes, even you distant cousin Steve), old & future friends & lovers, for helping me to believe in myself and build a better future if we try live right, stay alert, think straight and let ourselves not be manipulated by outside forces. Frank Zappa & his band, the Mothers of Invention, were/are my spiritual godfathers, pushing me to look closer at the world around me/us, question authority and not believe the way the news portrays and distorts things. I have worked long & hard at trying to find the truth when so many lies are being told and believed. So what is my point?
I believe that we all have to work harder to find the truth about what is really going on. Next Tuesday, November 3rd, it is time to vote. PLEASE go,if you haven’t already done so and VOTE. Vote for Peace, Prosperity, Respect and Understanding of our fellow Americans. Vote out hate, greed, disrespect, the lies and division that has torn our fragile social fabric apart. Over the past few months, I have spoken with a handful of pro-Fake Prez folks, old friends, Danny, (the knuckleheaded, foul-mouth moron who sells us used records from his car trunk) and my current Ladyfriend. They all have something in common whenever they talk about the Fake Prez and his enemies. They spew loads of lies about Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and all Democrats. They talk about hating liberals, socialists and communists, but rarely know what these words really mean. They have been propagandized by Fox News which is really just Fake News, a right wing propaganda machine. The Pandora’s box was kicked open so now we have white supremacists, Nazi’s, Q-Non believers and other Maga-hatted nut-jobs, on the loose to try and scare us into believing the bullsh*t they spew. PLEASE go out and vote, let your conscience be your guide.
I’ll leave you with this: Free Jazz, Free Creative & Progressive Music is what I find to be the hopeful medicine for myself and other serious listners. To me, Free Music is a true form of Democracy in Action, creative artists inventing something new based on thoughtful interaction. Let’s all create a new and better world together! - BLG/DMG
HAPPY HALLOWEEN to ALL!
Please be safe and wear 2 masks on Halloween. Long live the Witches & Demons, Goblins & Monsters, Live & Dead Spirits Everywhere! Here is a video from our pal Henry Kaiser:
HALLOWEEN GIG Organized By CHRIS PITSIOKOS:
HALLOWEENO AT VALENTINO, Saturday, October 31 at 4pm by Valentino Pier in Red Hook
4pm: John Pugh's interactive sculpture "H(A)UNTING DRUMS" is a big array of percussion instruments and you (yes you!) get to activate it by shooting bona-fide arrows fitted with percussion mallet heads instead of arrowheads at it with a longbow. Wowy Zowy sure to be inzane.
5:30pm: Music starts, in the following order!
Strictly Missionary (new band Chris Pitsiokos, Wendy Eisenberg, Richard Lenz, and Jason Nazary)
Projection and lighting will be provided by Bradley Eros and Genevieve HK, and Matt Mottel is bringing his geodesic dome dressed up as a ghost to set the stage. Keegan Monaghan made the awesome spectacular poster for this event.
AMAZING NEW DISCS START OFF WITH THIS LONG-AWAITED TREASURE!!!
MARY HALVORSON’S CODE GIRL with ROBERT WYATT / AMIRA KIDAMBI / MARIA GRAND / ADAM O’FARRILL / MICHAEL FORMANEK / TOMAS FUJIWARA - Artlessly Falling (Firehouse 12 04-01-034; USA) Featuring Robert Wyatt - guest vocalist (3 songs), Amirtha Kidambi - vocals, Maria Grand on tenor sax & voice, Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Mary Halvorson on guitar, music & lyrics, Michael Formanek on contrabass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. I got the promo for this disc last month in the mail and nearly fainted when I looked at the back cover to see that Robert Wyatt is the guest vocalist on three tracks. Holy sh*t! Robert Wyatt, former drummer/singer for Soft Machine, Matching Mole & (guest singer for) Henry Cow, has long been my favorite singer, songwriter and uniquely creative spirit. Like many musicians (i.e Carla Bley, Elvis Costello & Mary Halvorson herself) and serious listeners around thew world, Robert Wyatt reigns above the rest. His second solo effort, ‘Rock Bottom’, a masterpiece to those recognize its unique place in the Creative Cosmic Universe. After a long solo career (1970-2015) and a dozen amazing albums, Mr. Wyatt retired as a solo artist to take care of his wife, Alfreda Benje, a great visual artist herself and his creative muse for decades. I know that Ms. Halvorson also holds up ‘Rock Bottom’ to high regard. When I saw that Mary had gotten, Mr. Wyatt to sing for this record, I was astonished, thinking finally there is something to look forward to in The Year of the Plague, the darkest of times that I can recall in my life.
This is the second disc by Ms. Halvorson band, Code Girl, her first band with a lead singer, Ms. Amirtha Kidambi. Ms. Halvorson has written the lyrics/poetry for both of these Code Girl discs and her writing is getting better. I’ve caught Code Girl play live twice, once before the release of their first disc and once after the release of that disc. The first time, I wasn’t so sure how much I dug Ms. Kidambi’s voice as a part of Ms. Halvorson’s band. I had been knocked out by everything (solo, trio, quintet, sextet & octet) the Mary had done so far, but I wasn’t on how the vocals would fit. Once I got the first Code Girl disc, I kept playing it over & over, finally warming up to Amirtha’s voice, her contribution to the band. When I caught Code Girl play a year later at Roulette, it all clicked for me: I thought that Ms. Kidambi was stunning, an integral part of this mighty sextet. There was one song in which her scream nearly knocked me out of my seat! I have been listening to the new disc several times over the past month and it is growing on me, getting better with each listen. Ms. Halvorson wrote three of these songs with Mr. Wyatt in mind and they sound like Mr. Wyatt’s unique, fragile, utterly touching sound. “The Lemon Tree” opens with Mr. Wyatt dreamy vocals up front and Mr. Kidambi’s subtle vocals hovering in the distance. The second song, “Last-Minute Smears”, has a subdued, cerebral sound, with some lush harmonies for the trumpet and tenor sax. Mary lets her freak flag fly on “Walls and Roses”, balancing between some blistering electric guitar in one section and more restrained parts as well. Ms. Halvorson sounds incredible here, almost hearing Jimi Hendrix playing behind Robert Wyatt, something not so hard to believe since Jimi & Robert were good friends, toured together and collaborated in the studio as well. What makes this disc such a treat is that Mary’s writing has continued to mature and evolve. There are so many wonderful things about this disc that every time I listen I hear more great ideas, connections or strategies. If you are searching the best disc of the year or searching for the light at the end of the tunnel, than go no further, this is the treasure you need right now! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GEORGE LEWIS // DEREK BAILEY / DOUGLAS EWART / JOELLE LENDRE / STEVE LACY - Rainbow Family 1984 (Carrier 051; USA) Personnel: Douglas Ewart on alto sax, flute & clarinet, Derek Bailey on electric guitar, Joelle Leandre on contrabass and Steve Lacy on soprano sax. This is a rare and historic documentation of one the first live electronic/interactive works performed at IRCAM in France in 1984. AACM composer/musician/theorist, George Lewis, calls this piece/performance Rainbow Family and it involves four human improvisers working with Apple II computers which are triggering Yamaha DX-7 synthesizers. This disc consists of four soloists with the interactive computers/synths, one duo (Mr. Ewart & Mr. Bailey) with interactive allies and one quartet with interactive allies. George Lewis was one of the first Jazz/Avant musicians to work with computers and remains a pioneer/visionary more than three decades later. In the six pages of enclosed liner notes, Mr. Lewis discusses the many aspects of this music in greater depth, giving us, the serious listeners, a chance to consider the different layers of comprehending what we are experiencing when we listen closely.
Each of the four musicians play in their own unique way and react to the music made by the computer/synths in their own way. Virtuoso contrabassist, Joelle Leandre, is up first and has worked with George Lewis for many years, including an incredible duet recorded at the Vision Fest. She does work with electronic musicians on occasion but this might be her first time with an improvising computer. She does a good job although this sounds like she could go on for longer and is up for the challenge. The elder statesman of British jazz/free guitar, Derek Bailey, sounds like himself, no matter who he plays with. He has indeed worked with homemade electronics (Hugh Davies, before this) and with drum machines (later). I get the feeling that the computer had a hard time trying to figure how to interact with Mr. Bailey, although there are some great moments. Flute-maker & reeds wiz, Douglas Ewart, is an early member of the AACM like Mr. Lewis. Ewart plays bass clarinet on his duo and works well at tightly weaving his playing with the spinning electronic sounds. Solo soprano sax master, Steve Lacy, has his own distinctive sound and often works with the same musicians over a period of time to develop his own group sound. He loves to play solo and take chances with other gifted improvisers. He also sounds like himself no matter what. The duo features Mr. Ewart and Mr. Bailey and it sounds tentative at first as the two musicians get to know one another, their dialogue evolving over time, the electronics also interacting in a fascinating way. The last piece is the quartet with electronics and it is the longest and most fully realized. These gifted human improvisers work especially well together and sound even better with the electronic seasoning added. I like that I have to listen closely to hear the different layers of intersecting ideas/lines that are going on throughout. So lean in and listen close, the rewards are impressive. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NELS CLINE SECTION! Two Newer CDs plus LARGE NELS CLINE CD & LP SALE SECTION Further Down:
STRETCH WOVEN with NELS CLINE / SCOTT AMENDOLA - Stretch Woven (The Astro Imprint; USA) Featuring Nels Cline on guitars, loops, effects & megamouth and Scott Amendola on drums, percussion, loops, electronics & mbira. These two West Coast musicians have been working together in a variety of bands & projects for many years. Although both Cline & Amendola are members of the Nels Cline Singers, this is their first recorded duo. If you ever scene Mr. Cline play live, you know he is a master guitarist as well as a selective manipulator of sounds due to his varied devices or effects. Listening to this disc, you can tell that these two have played together for a long time. Their playing is tight-knit and often explosive. Mr. Amendola works his way through different rhythmic grooves with Mr. Cline adding varied connected parts: psych strumming, shimmering flurries and occasional inspired solos. Amendola also creates different grooves with his own loops or electronics, giving Mr. Cline a soft cosmic cushion to add seasoning to. There are some sounds which are so easy to figure out, like a sample of a large marimba which has been altered into a darker terrain. The duo often take their time to let things develop with a few of those guitar-god solos that Nels is well known for pulling off. My favorite moments are when the duo hit their heavy rockin’ stride on a few of these piece, making me feel like playing some air-guitar. What I love about this is that this doesn’t sound like a mere duo, they sound fully realized, all sounds fleshed out and larger than life. Cool cover art to boot. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $12 [LTD Edition/numbered]
WAYNE PEET TRIO with NELS CLINE / RUSSELL BIZZETT - What The? (pfMENTUM 127; USA) Featuring Wayne Peet on B3 organ, clavinet, theremin & effects, Nels Cline on guitar & effetcs and Russell Bizzett on drums. This disc was recorded in 2006, mixed & mastered in 2008 and probably released soon thereafter. This is the first time that I’ve even seen this disc (10/20), thanks to Nels Cline’s recent donation to the store. I’ve known of LA keyboard wiz, Wayne Peet, for many years, considering his many collaborations with Vinny Golia, Alex & Nels Cline and Michael Vlatkovich. I don’t know much about drummer Russell Bizzett although he is a few previous releases with Mr. Peet & Bill Barrett. This disc was recorded live in the studio and does has a strong, live in-the-moment sound. Although I don’t think that guitar ace, Nels Cline, has played in very many organ-led trios, this disc shows that this trio is fierce, intense, exciting and spirited in many ways. “Capable Faith”. The opening piece sounds kinda like the Tony Williams Lifetime, in all their early glory. There are several pieces here titled “Improv”, numbers 1-4. Each one features a spirited, organic, trio jam, often with that B3 organ creating the vibe, from simmering, to haunting to some jazz/rock jamming. Guitar god, Nels Cline, changes his tone and/or approach one every piece, adding some fresh, crafty licks and the occasional head-spinning solo throughout. Although all or most of the pieces here were or sound like they were improvised in the studio, they also all work and sound great together, moving from one mood to the next from the somber valleys to the explosive mountains. Checking out this trio live would provide an evening of strong, spirit-fueled, jazz/rock at it best. Consistently inspired! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
A couple of weeks back, I reviewed five rare limited edition SUN RA reissues. All are/were great and we sold a dozen copies of each (hooray for Sun Ra!). If you are a fan of the SUN RA Arkestra, the BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH, ANGLES and/or ROOTS MAGIC, then you will truly dig the below double disc from Chicago drummer/composer QUIN KIRCHNER! It is Spiritual Jazz CD of the month!
QUIN KIRCHNER with JASON STEIN / NICK MAZZARELLA / GREG WARD / NICK BROSTE / ROB CLEARFIELD / MATT ULERY / NATE LEPINE - The Shadows and The Light (Astral Spirits 135; USA) Featuring Quin Kirchner on drums, kalimba, Roland & Korg synths, Nate Lepine on tenor sax, Nick Mazzarella on soprano & alto sax, Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Greg Ward on alto sax, Nick Broste on trombone, Rob Clearfield on acoustic & electric pianos and Matt Ulery on bass. This is a most ambitious debut disc from Chicago drummer, Quin Kirchner, who composer 11 of the fifteen songs on this two disc set. The eclectic list of covers includes music by Frank Foster, Sun Ra, Carla Bley and Kelan Phil Cohran. You might recall the name of Quin Kirchner from thje records he’s done with Paul Giallorenzo, Jeb Bishop and Greg Ward. We know some of the other members (Jason Stein, Greg Ward & Mick Mazzarella) from their own records as leaders or collaborators.
This disc starts off with a strong solo percussion and synth intro all played by Mr. Kirchner which sounds expansive and quite cosmic, spiritually speaking. “Bata Chop” is an enchanting quartet piece for Alto sax, Wurlitzer el. piano, acoustic bass, acoustic drums & electronics. The sound that electric piano and layered percussion give this a hypnotic small Sun Ra Arkestra-like sound. Frank Foster, the great tenor saxist who played with Count Basie in the fifties and Elvin Jones in the 70’s, wrote “At This Point in Time” which sounds like a swinging big band covering a Sun Ra song. Another highlight is Phil Cohran’s “Sahara”, which spins and swings intensely. “ Star Cluster” is for just the four reeds & trombone, and it is most mesmerizing. The final song on Disc One is “Moon Vision” and has that swirling acid jazz like groove which is most infectious. Disc Two also begins with a cosmic, swirling percussion and echoplex sonic duo. Another perfect choice for a cover is Sun Ra’s “Planet Earth’, which has lush, superbly arranged horn harmonies. Unlike the occasionally looselessness of the Sun Ra Arkestra, this Ra version is tight yet loose and focused simultaneously. “Jupiter Moon” has more strongly arranged parts for two reeds & trombone and a “Love Supreme” like contrabass line at center. While the whole band moves together in waves, pianist Rob Clearfield, plays with stripped down Count Basie-like efficiency. On “Horizons”, Kirchner has the horns (trombone, flute & bass clarinet) playing an infectious morse code like pattern. I haven’t heard a version of Carla Bley’s “King Korn”, since her first husband, Paul Bley, recorded it several times in the mid-sixties and early seventies. Ms. Bley’s writing is often gnarly yet probing, so here we get another strong three horn, bass & drums work-up, which sounds both free and tightly organized at the same time. The always great Jason Stein steps up and stands out on his marvelous bass clarinet solo. Perhaps, the best song here is Kirchner’s own “The Shadows and the Light” which again features some sly electric piano and spirited tenor sax by Nate Lepine, yet it is the smart arrangements the really ring true. Finally, The aptly titled “Lucid Dream” closes our cosmic journey with some lovely, simmering, sublime cloud of horns. Considering that I didn’t know much about drummer/leader Quin Kirchner before this double disc dropped, I am most impressed with this superb, earthy, spacious, dreamscape. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $17
After listening to every (recorded & uploaded) Grateful Dead set from 1968, around 35, over the past month or so, certain observations popped out: one was that Phil Lesh’s bass was at the center of every cosmic Dead song/jam, his playing often astonishing, often pushing the band to greater heights! Hence, I have been thinking about how great bassists propel bands to greater heights through their cosmic throb, mind-bending bowing and inspired soloing. I am currently reading the new book on WILLIAM PARKER, “Universal Tonality” by my pal Cisco Bradley (great book & we will get copies soon). WILLIAM PARKER is a great example of the power of a great bassist: his playing, bandleading, composing and teaching skills are all part what makes him an inspiration to many. New York is filled with great bassists, old, young & in-between. Here is a short like of NY bassists who have knocked me out time & again over the past few years: REGGIE WORKMAN, MARK HELIAS, JOE FONDA, MARIO PAVONE, MICHAEL FORMANEK, BILL LASWELL, ADAM LANE, HILL GREENE, SHAYNA DULBERGER, BRANDON LOPEZ, SEAN ALI, BRAD JONES, MELVIN GIBBS, TREVOR DUNN, GREG COHEN, JORGE ROEDER, HENRY FRASER, EIVIND OPSVIK and TIM DAHL. Forgive if I forgot anyone off the top of my head. Here’s the point: listen closely to great bassists, the often create the magic at the center of many great recordings or sets. JOE FONDA is one of my faves, he just sent us two new ones so read below and dig in… He rules!
JOE FONDA / MARKUS GSELL - A Long Trip A Small Step (Unit LC 00817; Switzerland) Featuring Joe Fonda on contrabass & flute and Markus Gsell on soprano & sopranino saxes and bass & contrabass clarinets. Joe Fonda has spent considerable time in Europe throughout his career and has worked with many European creative musicians, well-known and not so: Gebhard Ullmann, Tiziano Tononi, Raoul Bjorkenheim, Uwe Oberg and Christophe Rocher. For this disc, Mr. Fonda plays with Swiss reeds player Markus Gsell, a musician I hadn’t heard of until now. Starting off with a quirky Monk-like bent note ditty for sopranino & contrabass, we are off and sailing. The contrabass clarinet, a relatively rarely heard instrument, is difficult to play and often sounds like extremely low-end grumbles. It sounds perfect with minimal bowed bass since they are both in the same range/textural area. Mr. Gsell is a great match for Mr. Fonda since he sounds strong and inspired on all four reeds here. He is a master of the sopranino and like to stretch out his solos with playful abandon. This disc is superbly recorded, warm, balanced, oft sublime. There is even a fine duo for flute (by Fonda) and bass clarinet. This is a mighty fine duo session, consistently engaging but not too far out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CARLO MORENA / JOE FONDA / FELIX LECAROS HERRARA / STEP IN TRIO - Voila La Tendresse (Not Two MW 1009; Poland) Featuring Carlo Morena on piano, Joe Fonda on contrabass and Felix Lecaros Herrera on drums. This disc was recored live at Fire House 12 in New haven, in March of 2019.Italian pianist & composer, Carlo Morena has worked with musicians like Charlie Mariano, John Abercrombie and Enrico Rava, in the past. He has been collaborating with Mr. Fonda for more than thirty years with at least three previous discs released. I don’t recognize the name of the drummer, but the trio does have a strong, spirited, crafty sound of their own. The title track is first, “Voila la Tendresse” and it is nearly 15 minutes long. The first solo is by Mr. Fonda, quietly singing out the notes under his breath, the solo is superb. This is a marvelous trio that gets better as it goes, reaching new heights as they spin and sail together. As I listen to this disc, it is the solos from Mr. Fonda that really ring true on almost every piece here. Pianist, Carlo Morena, is also something special. Aside from his solos, which are also most stunning, it is the way he keeps those waves flowing that allows the magic/music to happen. I do have a great fondness for jazz piano trio efforts and this one is one of the best ever. Excellent on every level! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NINE NEW DISCS FROM THE WONDERFUL & CHALLENGING NEOS LABEL:
NICOLAUS A. HUBER - Percussion Pieces (Neos 11823; Germany) “Nicolaus A. Huber speaks of a "luxurious world of percussion", given the variety of instruments and their technical capabilities. Instead of drawing on these resources lavishly, he makes a sparing selection for each piece, which in turn has important consequences for the work's sound, character, morphology, and form. With a reduced instrumentation, Huber aims for maximum differentiation of sounds, rhythms, and performance techniques. This CD contains world premiere recordings of his younger percussion works, written between 2007 and 2012. Johannes Fischer is celebrated as a "magician among percussionists" by the press and touches the audience with his effortless, sensitive and energetic music making. In addition to a solo performance career, Fischer is an active composer, improviser, teacher and conductor. In 2009 he was appointed Professor at the Lübeck University of Music. Performers: Domenico Melchiorre (percussion), Johannes Fischer (percussion), Dirk Rothbrust (percussion), eardrum percussion duo (Johannes Fischer and Domenico Melchiorre), Andreas Mildner (harp).”
TOBIAS EDUARD - Chamber Music (Neos 12008; Germany) Tobias Eduard Schick is a young musician with an enormous aesthetic spectrum. This can be seen in his biography: studying composition with such diverse personalities as Mark Andre, Ernst Helmuth Flammer, and Manos Tsangaris was followed by training in electronic music. This portrait CD deals with his chamber music oeuvre from duo to ensemble -- and a solo work, "Klangzeichnung" for double bass, in which the composer himself appears as an interpreter. Performers: Tobias Eduard Schick (double bass), Diego Ramos (violin), Olivia Steimel (accordion), Michiko Saiki (piano), trio sostenuto, Duo Steimel-Mücksch, El Perro Andaluz with Lennart Dohms (conductor).
CLAUS-STEFFEN MAHNKOPF - Flute Music (Neos 12011; Germany) “The flute has a special place in Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf's oeuvre. What attracts him is its particular virtuosity, agility and ease in crossing large sonic spaces. He was still a student when he composed the alto flute solo "coincidentia oppositorum" (1986) and the flute solo "succolarity" (1989). From the "Angelus Novus" cycle, "La terreur d'ange nouveau" (1997-99) turned out to be a significant, substantial flute work. Then Shanna Pranaitis began performing Mahnkopf's flute music. This led to a cooperation that spawned the three most recent pieces: the solo for piccolo "Kurtág-Cantus II" (2013), the duo "Finite Jest" (2014) with the soprano Frauke Aulbert, and the solo for bass flute "atsiminimas" (2016). Together, these six pieces cover the entire flute family.”
ERHARD GROSSKOPF - SprachKlang - VoiceSound (Neos 12012; Germany) “The electro-acoustic works by Erhard Grosskopf offer a grand insight into the pioneering days of the large electronics studios. Grosskopf was able to experiment with state-of-the-art analog technology at the Instituut voor Sonologie at the Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht; this is how "Dialectics" was created amongst others for the EXPO'70 in Osaka. In addition to the purely electronic version as it was heard in the German pavilion at the time, a performance with three live instrumentalists and tape is documented here: Eberhard Blum (flute); Hans Deinzer (clarinet); Vinko Globokar (trombone); Erhard Grosskopf (sound control). "Prozess der Veränderung" (Process of Change) and "Night Tracks" also originated in Utrecht in the early 1970s, where Grosskopf was a research assistant for a few months in order to be able to realize the compositions. The analog tapes were digitized for this publication by the Institute of Sonology, which is now based in The Hague. Performers: Eberhard Blum (flute); Hans Deinzer (clarinet); Vinko Globokar (trombone); Claude Lelong (viola); Erhard Grosskopf (sound control).”
RENE WOHLHAUSER - ReBruAla (Neos 12016; Germany) “For this CD, now the seventh release at NEOS, René Wohlhauser has put together a fine selection of chamber works. The vocal works contained therein reveal a great deal about the personality of the Swiss composer, especially about his very own way of dealing with language: here -- as in the title composition ReBruAla -- he consistently set his own poems to music. The main work in the program is The Great Vocal Trilogy "Three Songs", a cycle of three songs with different instrumentation, which are less connected in terms of content than by a concentrated aesthetic, each playing with a creative thought. Performers: Ensemble Polysono; René Wohlhauser (bariton, clavier); Elia Seiffert (violine); art ensemble berlin; Duo Simolka-Wohlhauser.”
CHRISTIAN OFENBAUER - Zerstorung des Zimmers/der Zeit (Neos 12018-19; Germany) Christian Ofenbauer's composition Zerstörung des Zimmers/der Zeit (Destruction of the Room/of Time) was created in 1999 as a sound installation for the Schauspielhaus Graz (6 scores: string quartet, zither, contra guitar, 2 violins, piano and amplifier system). The string quartet and especially the piano part have found their way into the concert hall. Taking up essential elements of his own compositions and placing them in a new context is one of the peculiarities of the Austrian composer. This is how the concert version for string quartet and piano was finally created in 2000, in which the original idea of the sound installation was taken up in a completely new way: the string quartet and piano form two temporal levels, metrically independent of each other, but together they are set to a duration of exactly 48 minutes. Both versions of composition Zerstörung des Zimmers/der Zeit, the piano quintet and the piano version from the installation, now appear in direct juxtaposition on this double-CD, recorded ingeniously by Quatuor Diotima and Johannes Marian.
2 CD Set $30
PAUL HINDEMITH - "1922" Suite for Piano - Three Piano Sonatas (Neos 12021; Germany)
In a powerful surge in creativity, Paul Hindemith wrote three piano sonatas in succession in 1936 -- the year that was to end with a complete ban on performance by the Nazi regime. The premieres of the sonatas were canceled, but Hindemith nevertheless wrote music history with them. The sonatas differ as far as possible in terms of complexity and technical challenges, so the extremely demanding first is followed by a short, light-footed second one. Overall, they paint a differentiated picture of the composer, which Andreas Skouras ingeniously completes by starting with the "Suite for Piano from 1922". The Greek-German pianist and harpsichordist Andreas Skouras, born in 1972 in Thessaloniki (Greece), studied piano with Prof. Franz Massinger and harpsichord with Prof. Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Prof. Ketil Haugsand at the University of Music and Theater in Munich. He was u. a. awarded the City of Munich Music Scholarship and the Bavarian Art Award.”
CLEMENS VON REUSNER - Ideale Landschaft - Electroacoustic Works (Neos 12023; Germany) Clemens von Reusner finds the sound material for his electroacoustic works in unusual places. For "rückbau" (2011) he uses recordings of the demolition of a sugar factory. In "de monstris epistola" (2012) he refers to a work by the poet Jean Paul and uses sounds that were recorded at the places of Jean Paul's early childhood and youth in Upper Franconia. And "draught" (1999), 30 years after the Berlin Wall opened, is based on a variety of over- and underwater sounds on both sides of the Elbe. The origin of a sound, both physically and geographically, plays a central role for Clemens von Reusner when he dissects it electronically, as it were, and then creates "soundscapes" from the result.”
GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI / NIKOLAUS BRASS / JOHANN JAKOB FROBERGER / DOMENICO ZIPOLO // HANS MAIER - Figuren der Sehnsucht - Works for Meantone Tempered Accordion (Neos 22001; Germany) Hans Maier builds bridges from the 17th century to the present. He plays music by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Johann Jakob Froberger, and Domenico Zipoli on the accordion, a still young instrument; he uses a historical tuning system, the meantone tuning. This not only lets the music of the early Baroque shine in its own colors: the composer Nikolaus Brass was also inspired by the juxtaposition of perfectly pure and very tense harmonies. He dealt extensively with the meantone tempered accordion and has written several works for the instrument played by Hans Maier. Two of them -- "Harmonies" and "Figuren der Sehnsucht" -- are part of the program of this CD, which shows Hans Maier as a stylistically versatile and adaptable interpreter. All compositions by: Girolamo Frescobaldi, Nikolaus Brass, Johann Jakob Froberger, and Domenico Zipoli.
RHODRI DAVIES - Telyn Rawn (Amgen 001; UK) "All the music on this album is improvised. I designed and built a long-forgotten instrument, experimented with wound and pleated horse hair strings, I engaged with historical texts and poetry, learnt the techniques and music from the Robert ap Huw manuscript and researched the importance of the horse and horse cults in Welsh culture. All these interventions were a means to improvise historically informed music and re-evaluate the legacy of the harp in Wales but ultimately served as a jumping off point so as to create new possibilities." - Rhodri Davies
BILL WELLS - The Viaduct Tuba Trio Plays The Music Of Bill Wells (Bison 006; UK) “The latest chapter in the unfolding musical story of Bill Wells finds the Scottish jazz outsider's compositions played by a trio of tuba players with energetic contributions from young brass players from his adopted hometown of Glasgow. The results, The Viaduct Tuba Trio Plays The Music Of Bill Wells, are alternately ruminative, playful, and profound, ranging from the cyclical opener "Fanfare For Three Tubas" to a mischievous interpretation of "The Midges", a comic tribute to the entomological scourge of the Highlands by Scottish singer Kenneth McKellar, and the doleful "Chorale 4K" before the arresting finale of "Stone Throw Dream Anthem". Throughout the variety of moods conjured by the musicians the listener is reminded of both the power and tenderness of brass instruments -- their capacity to astound and reassure, to soothe and tickle. The trio in the title -- Antony Hook, Danielle Price, and Mark Reynolds -- formed in 2018 to perform in the lee of the Glenfinnan Viaduct as part of the Loch Shiel Festival. Wells contributed three tunes for the performance, including "Fanfare For Three Tubas", and composed the remainder after being commissioned by Glasgow's underground/experimental festival Counterflows as a direct result of the Glenfinnan Viaduct performance. The trio subsequently performed Wells's tunes in Glasgow with the Gorbals Youth Brass Band, who play on three of the album's ten tracks, sharing a bill with a duo featuring Chicago composer, flautist and educator Nicole Mitchell and London-based percussionist Mark Sanders. The Viaduct Tuba Trio Plays The Music Of Bill Wells represents another creative achievement for the prolific composer and multi-instrumentalist. Recorded at Castle of Doom studios in Glasgow by Tony Doogan, mixed by Bill at Loathsome Reels and mastered by Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub. Cover art by longtime collaborator Annabel Wright.
MOUNTAIN TAMER - Psychosis Ritual (Heavy Psych Sounds 137; Italy) “Psychosis Ritual is the sum of Mountain Tamer's first decade of exploration into the psychedelic arts. The album takes the band on a journey through the occult rhythms and tones of worlds forgotten. Each track is a new chapter of Mountain Tamer riffing their way into uncharted territory. For this ritual, you are the sacrifice... Mountain Tamer is Andru Hall (guitar/vocals), Casey Garcia (drums), and David Teget (bass). Psychosis Ritual was recorded and mixed by Salem's Bend guitarist Robert Parker, with mastering by Mike Tarsia at Sigma Sounds Studios. This recording is the most cohesive and lucid experience Mountain Tamer has yet to offer. The album artwork by photographer Dillon Vaughn and tattoo artist Derek Pratt only adds to the singular vision of Psychosis Ritual by providing beautifully lysergic visuals that are inseparable from the music itself.”
JORDAN DYKSTRA - The Arrow of Time (New World Records 80823; USA) "We want to fabricate a new music. We imagine a situation in which the sounding together of tones is never taken for granted, is continually renewed and reinvented. We know that the effect of any set of simultaneous tones, by means of the multiplication implicit in the harmonic series, totals much more than the number of notes played. A room can be made to vibrate with hundreds of frequencies by a single chord. We want to enter into a universe of harmony in which it becomes possible to hear into the interstices of what does not sound by means of what does sound. We will use harmony to probe one world, and when that world is known, move from it to another and another beyond that. It is with this state of mind that I listen to the music by Jordan Dykstra (b. 1985). It reawakens in me a primal fascination with the simultaneity of sound. Because of the inventiveness of its compositional strategies, the music inspires a sense of open possibility, of something yet to come, of something yet not quite with us. Dykstra has a creative impulse, shared with many experimental composers, of not wanting to repeat in one piece what he has done in another. Each work seems to begin with a moment in an empty space. When I listen carefully before each piece on this disc starts, I have a keen sense of that space. It must contain an echo of the moment just before Dykstra started writing the piece: that moment when anything can happen." - Michael Pisaro, from liner notes
WAYFARER - A Romance With Violence (Profound Lore 251; Canada) "Wayfarer is black metal of the American West. A cavalcade of fury, melancholia, and dust-laden storytelling; the band is informed by the fierce and adventurous spectrums of heavy music, along with the stark Americana of the 'Denver sound' artists that carved the identity of their home. In A Romance With Violence, their most fully realized effort to date, the band presents a searing silver-screen requiem for the myth of the West. This new work sees them at their most intense and triumphant, as well as at their most pensive. Bold, rhythmic and riff-laden, the band's pointed expedition across the frontiers of black and extreme metal are tinged with the grit and genuine air of artists like Sixteen Horsepower and Jay Munly, and the majestic heights of the Ennio Morricone/Sergio Leone collaborations. Through seven harrowing anthems of the high plains, the album paints a poignant exploration of heroes and killers, the setting sun on a romantic era, and the shadow it has cast on the world today. The band, from Colorado's 'Queen City of the Plains', has origins beginning around 2012. Guitarist/vocalist Shane McCarthy formed it with drummer Isaac Faulk (Blood Incantation), bassist/vocalist James Hansen, and original guitarist Tanner Rezabek. They would release 2014's Children Of The Iron Age and 2016's Old Souls via Prosthetic Records, after which they would replace the departed Rezabek with longtime collaborator Joe Strong-Truscelli as full-time guitarist. Partnering with Profound Lore Records in 2017, the band released World's Blood in 2018 on the label, ushering in the current chapter and paving the way for this new release. With the release of A Romance With Violence, Wayfarer fully manifests a sound that is uniquely theirs, and is unlike anything before it. Following its release, they will soon be seen bringing their shattered view of the American West to stages across the world."
JOHN COLTRANE with McCOY TYNER / JIMMY GARRISON / ELVIN JONES - Live 1962 (Equinox 6009; EEC) This is a no doubt an unofficial recording John Coltrane’s main quartet, which lasted from 1962 to 1965, and which changed the course of modern jazz from then onwards. Although it sounds like an audience recording, the quality is pretty good consistently. The quartet plays standards like, “Bye Bye Blackbird”, “Autumn Leaves” and “I Want to Talk About You”. All four members are in fine form and the quartet does stretch out quite a bit. My favorite pieces are “Impressions” and “My Favorite Things”. Word is that my distributor will be dropping this label at the end of this year so the window of opportunity to grab this is less than two months. Trane fanatics take note. - BLG
2 CD Set $18
DAVE KELLY with HOWLIN’ WOLF / JO-ANNE KELLY / PAUL JONES / LONG JOHN BALDRY / JULIAN DAWSON / ERIC BIBB / CHRISTINE COLLISTER / MAGGIE BELL / CHRIS BARBER / et al - Family & Friends - We had it All (Hypertension 13294; Germany) Wow, this is the real thing! The blues, served in many different ways. Dave Kelly is part of the British Blues Royalty, although he is little-known here! His older sister, Jo-Anne Kelly was one of the best British blues singers ever! I just heard her first album from 1969 a few years back and was completely blown away. She was only 25 at the time and sounded like she was 100 year old blues belter of indeterminate gender! Her brother Dave also has his first album released in 1969. Mr. Kelly plays some fine slide guitar & lap steel and lets other folks sing here, almost all great: sister Jo-Anne, (just a year before she passed away with a brain tumor at 46); great singers: Eric Bibb, Maggie Bell, Christine Collister (once of the Richard Thompson Band); What I like about this disc is that Dave Kelly has selected a strong batch of blues, blues/rock and other strong/spirit-rousing songs which sound great, no matter which of the 10 or so singers are featured throughout. Nice to hear from legendary British singers like Long John Baldry, Maggie Bell & Dave’s sister Jo-Anne Kelly, as well as some lesser known greats: Eric Bibb, Christine Collister and Paul Jones. If you still listening to the blues, blues & roots rock, then this is another treasure chest of under-recognized gems. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
So my good friend, NELS CLINE, calls me last weekend and says the he & his wife, Yuka, are moving up to NY state for the near future and that he wants to help out DMG by giving us several boxes of CDs & LP's. Thanks Nels, we love you! Hence, we are having a large Nels Cline CD & LP Sale! Here it is:
LARGE NELS CLINE CD & LP SALE:
NELS CLINE / JULIAN LAGE - Room (Mack Avenue 1091; USA)
NELS CLINE / VINNY GOLIA - The Entire Time: Duets (Nine Winds 259; USA)
NELS CLINE - Coward (Cryptogramophone 141; USA) - Solo guitars
NELS CLINE 4 With JULIAN LAGE / SCOTT COLLEY / TOM RAINEY - Currents, Constellations (Blue Note 2811702; USA)
THOLLEM McDONAS / NELS CLINE / MICHAEL WIMBERLEY / RADICAL EMPATHY TRIO - Reality and Other Imaginary Places (ESP-Disk 5035; USA)
THOLLEM McDONAS / WILLIAM PARKER / NELS CLINE - Gowanis Session II (ESP-Disk 5038; USA)
SCARNELLA [CARLA BOZULICH / NELS CLINE] - Scarnella (Smells Like 27; USA)
ALEX CLINE'S FLOWER GARLAND ORCHESTRA With NELS CLINE / JEFF GAUTHIER / MAGGIE PARKINS / G.E. STINSON / WAYNE PEET / YUKA C. HONDA / SCOTT WALTON / BRAD DUTZ / et al - Oceans of Vows (Cryptogramophone; USA)
3 CD Set $15
Here’s some of the above NELS CLINE CD’s with reviews:
NELS CLINE 4 With JULIAN LAGE / SCOTT COLLEY / TOM RAINEY - Currents, Constellations (Blue Note 2811702; USA) Featuring Nels Cline and Julian Lage on guitars, Scott Colley on acoustic bass and Tom Rainey on drums. Although it was common for for many bands to feature the instrumentation of two guitars, bass and drums (start with the Beatles in 1964), for jazz groups, it has been less common. I’ve noticed that there have many more jazz or jazz/rock quartets emerging in recent years. Over the past weekend, I was able to check out a few live: Mary Halvorson/Bill Frisell quartet (The Stone 4/13/18) and the Nels Cline 4 at Le Pousson Rouge on Monday (4/16/18). Plus seeing the Feelies, another great double guitar band, on Saturday (4/14/18 at Rough Trade). So my head is buzzing with the sound of those great double guitar projects. Last Monday, was the second time I’ve caught the Nels Cline 4 and they were once again, marvelous. Their set last year at the FIMAV Fest (May of 2017) was also superb. Nels Cline and Julian Lage have been playing together as a duo for the past few years, their first public performance was for a DMG anniversary celebration a few years ago. Both Mr. Cline and Mr. Lage are excellent guitarists, super diverse and drawing from a wealth of genres. Nels has also selected a perfect rhythm team to work with: Scott Colley on acoustic bass (also in Mr. Lage’s current trio) and the ever in-demands drummer Tom Rainey. Mr. Cline wrote most of the songs on this disc, except for one cover by Carla Bley of an early (60’s) song called, “Temporarily”. Nels once told me that working with Julian Lage was a joy and demanding. Whatever idea the Nels through at Julian, he came back with a perfect answer. “Furtive” licks this disc open with a furiously paced, hard swinging groove, the bass pumping intensely throughout. You can tell that Nels had some fun crafting those intricate lines for both guitars on “Swing Ghost ’59”, there is some astonishing interplay going on here even though it is played with the utmost of restraint. “Imperfect 10” has one of those infectious, bent groove structures that many of us prog-heads just eat up. It ends with a great Beefheartian repeated line which should put a smile on your face. The stand-out here is called, “River Mouth, (Parts 1 & 2)”, in which Nels has the guitars playing what sounds like symphonic strings with Mr. Rainey playing a raga groove underneath, an enticing Eastern vibe pervades throughout. The last piece is a lovely ballad called “For Each,A Flower”, which brings us back down to the earth for a soft landing. Kind of like gliding down on a parachute and landing on soft the soft bed of earth for a perfect Spring day. There is some immense positive energy going on in this disc so crack one open go diving for pearls in an ocean of bliss. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NELS CLINE / JULIAN LAGE - Room (Mack Avenue 1091; USA) Featuring Nels Cline and Julian Lage on guitars. The first time that this duo played in front of an audience was at a DMG Anniversary Celebration at Poisson Rouge in 2013. They were spectacular and wowed the packed audience of DMG friends. I caught this duo again at The Stone earlier this year when Nels had his weeklong residency. They were even better and in this more intimate setting they completely blew me away. Both of these men are serious jazz guitarists with much different backgrounds. Mr. Lage was a prodigy and is still pretty young and early in his career, about half the age of Mr. Cline. He has just a handful of releases out now, a couple with Gary Burton and a couple as a leader, all great. Mr. Cline has been recording since the late seventies with dozen of releases on a variety of labels covering avant jazz, rock, punk, roots, fusion and everything in between. His day or main gig for the past decade is playing with the popular roots rock band Wilco and has more recently ben seen jamming with Phil Lesh, the Allman Bros, Bob Weir and MMW. Nels has a history of playing guitar duos with Elliott Sharp, Thurston Moore, Mary Halvorson, GE Stinson and Fred Frith (playing again at The Stone next month - Dec of 2014). Now, this guitar duo is something else entirely. Nels pushes Julian further out than he usually plays and Julian challenges Nels, bringing him in a bit further inside with some more focused or structured strategies. Great guitar fans, fusion doctors, progheads and serious music fans alike will love this disc so...dig in! It will blow your mind, guaranteed! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THOLLEM McDONAS / WILLIAM PARKER / NELS CLINE - Gowanis Session II (ESP-Disk 5038; USA) "Gowanus Session II was seven years in the planning. Thollem McDonas, Nels Cline, and William Parker convened at Peter Karl Studios in Brooklyn on January 3rd, 2012 and recorded two complete albums. The first was Gowanus Session I, released by Porter Records in April of 2012. GS II was put aside to eventually complete the five-album palindromic cycle of trio albums Nels and Thollem ambitiously set out to realize. The albums in between include Radical Empathy with Michael Wimberly (Relative Pitch, 2015), Molecular Affinity with Pauline Oliveros (ROAR 042LP, 2016), and Reality and Other Imaginary Places, with Michael Wimberly (ESP-Disk 5035CD/LP, 2019). William Parker debuted on ESP-Disk' in the mid-70s on Frank Lowe's classic album Black Beings (ESP-Disk 3013CD) and has returned to the label this decade on the Black Beings sequel, The Loweski ((ESP-Disk 4066CD) and with Mat Walerian's group Toxic ( (ESP-Disk 5011CD, 2017) and in a quartet with Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp, and Bobby Kapp (ESP-Disk, 2019), while being highly prolific as a leader, notably with a series of brilliant albums on AUM Fidelity. Nels Cline has spent decades changing people's ideas about the role of the electric guitar in multiple contexts, ranging from Wilco to Anthony Braxton (think about that!) as well as many projects as a leader, earning a spot on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists list. Thollem is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author, and teacher. He's spent most of his adult life living on the road throughout North America and Europe. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Thollem is known internationally as an acoustic piano player in the free jazz and post-classical worlds, as the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti, and as an electronic keyboardist through a multitude of projects. Personnel: William Parker - bass; Nels Cline - electric guitar/effects; Thollem McDonas - piano. All compositions by Thollem McDonas, William Parker, Nels Cline.”
THOLLEM McDONAS / NELS CLINE / MICHAEL WIMBERLEY / RADICAL EMPATHY TRIO - Reality and Other Imaginary Places (ESP-Disk 5035; USA) This album was recorded during Thollem McDonas's 2017 residency at Brooklyn-based multi-discipline mecca Pioneer Works. It's the second by Radical Empathy, which combines three uncategorizable improvisors. Michael Wimberly has been astonishing folks since his days in Charles Gayle bands and Steve Coleman & Five Elements in the early '90s, and has gone on become a composer and educator of note. Nels Cline has spent decades changing people's ideas about the role of the electric guitar in multiple contexts, ranging from Wilco to Anthony Braxton (think about that!) as well as many projects as a leader; this is his fourth album in trio with Thollem, and a fifth will follow in 2020, also on ESP-Disk. Some people have given ESP-Disk' flak (and "flak" was not the first word choice here) about putting out Thollem McDonas albums. "He's not in the jazz tradition," they say, and even though their idea of the jazz tradition includes Albert Ayler; ESP-Disk' think that this album will make their little, closed minds explode. The heavy electronic sound of the first track, with its swathes of distortion, put it very much in noise territory, with Wimberly contributing coloristic accents and heavier flurries of rhythmic activity. After the twenty uncompromising minutes of "Collective Tunnels", for "Conscious Tunnels" Cline switches to a guitar tone John Abercrombie wouldn't shy away from and Thollem sits down at an acoustic piano (for a while) - though their free improvisation is just as uncompromising. The timbres cease pacifying jazzers when blippy 1950s electronic sounds slinkily slither from the speakers. Then the piano comes back, but the guitar's tone gets dirty. Genre boundaries are crushed underfoot as the moods continue to vary wildly as "Conscious Tunnels" covers an amazing breadth of timbres and textures. Personnel: Thollem McDonas - keyboards; Nels Cline - electric guitars; Michael Wimberly - drums. Recorded by Justin Frye at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY Sept. 13, 2017.
SCARNELLA [CARLA BOZULICH / NELS CLINE] - Scarnella (Smells Like 27; USA) Scarnella is the errant brainchild of Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Ethyl Meatplow, etc.) and Nels Cline (The Nels Cline Trio, the Fibbers, collaborator with Mike Watt, Thurston Moore, Charlie Haden...the list goes on). In early June of '98, the two traveled to the Pacific Northwest and, playing their first shows as a duo along the way, recorded their debut album. Two weeks later, with four shows, six days of recording/mixing and a breathtaking coastal drive behind them, an album (mostly consisting of material written along the journey or live in the session) was complete, and they became fully immersed in dissecting that treacherous creature we cavalierly refer to as: the future. The band draws on a wide array of styles, instruments & methodologies to express itself: Carla still plays guitar and works her mighty pipes, but also adds bass guitar and her sampling keyboard, which had been in the closet collecting dust for too long. Nels lays down his singular, howlingly virtuosic fret-math, and puts in some overtime on the the drumkit, where the cresting thump and whir he inflicts proves that besides being a guitar-god for the millenium, he's no slouch behind the skins, either.
ALEX CLINE'S FLOWER GARLAND ORCHESTRA With NELS CLINE / JEFF GAUTHIER / MAGGIE PARKINS / G.E. STINSON / WAYNE PEET / YUKA C. HONDA / SCOTT WALTON / BRAD DUTZ / et al - Oceans of Vows (Cryptogramophone; USA) Alex Cline’s Oceans of Vows is a deluxe box set of music drawing inspiration from four poems by Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as excerpts from the Buddhist text known as the Avatamsaka Sutra. It’s performed by composer/percussionist Alex Cline and his all-star 14-piece Flower Garland Orchestra, featuring Nels Cline, Yuka C. Honda, G.E. Stinson, Jeff Gauthier, Areni Agbabian, and many others. When I was speaking with Jeff Gauthier last year, he said that the Cryptogramophone label had runs its course may not release any more discs. I felt sad since they had released so much great music from Nels Cline, Alex Cline, Mr. Gauthier himself and other creative musicians from the L.A. underground. Surprise surprise, we just received a new double disc set from Crypto, a most ambitious effort from Alex Cline, percussionist and composer extraordinaire, who takes his time with each & every release. Alex Cline put together a wonderful 14-piece Flower Garland Orchestra, which features vocals by Areni Agbabian and pre-recorded voices of several Zen practitioners. The music found here is sweeping, peaceful at the center yet there are forces gathering like a distant storm. Certain vibrations are resonating, with several spirits sailing, embracing and dancing gracefully together. Ms. Agabian’s vocals are lovely, low key and kept to a minimum so the music can take us on a sublime journey. The music sounds completely organic like a symphony performed by Mother Nature. All of the music is superbly recorded, warm and enticing on many levels. The music does sound like there is a conductor involved since everything flows as one spirit/force. The mini box-set also includes a couple of lavish booklets with texts, informative information and pictures of the musicians. This music seems to evoke many fleeting spirits and it is not about solos, which are kept to minimum. There are a few stunning solos of course by the irrepressible Nels Cline and others to savor. A transformation is taking place so get on board of the flying carpet and be taken away. If this is the last offering from the fine folks at Cryptogramophone, then it is indeed a perfect way to bring the wonderful catalogue to a grand close. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
3 CD Set $15
NELS CLINE LP SALE LIST:
NELS CLINE & DEVIN SARNO - Rise Pumpkin Rise (Volvolo; USA) Rare & long out-of-print!
LP $15 on Sale
NELS CLINE TRIO - Chest (Littlebrother 06; USA) The first NCT record on little brother, Chest, is an epic record that spans the emotions from menacing to tender to furiously aggro to other worldly. The majority of the album was recorded almost three years before it was released, as Nels thought it too extreme for his label at the time, Enja. An absolute classic. Recorded 6/93 at Sage & Sound by Geoff Sykes (except Beardism/Call Crouch and Power Ballad for Woodward A recorded 7/11/95 at New Zone Studio by Wayne Peet). Nels Cline: guitar; Bob Mair: bass; Michael Preussner: drums . the double LP edition is limited to 1000 copies and has a bonus track not on the CD!
2 LP Set $20
NELS CLINE / WALLY SHOUP / GREG CAMPBELL - Suite: Bittersweet (Strange Attractors 53; USA) "Fans of modern fire-breathing jazz rejoice, for a true meeting and melding of the minds is at play. Immolation/Immersion is the inaugural recording of what will hopefully be more blasts of fury and filigree by three leading lights of improvised music - guitarist Nels Cline, saxophonist Wally Shoup, and young percussionist-on-the-rise Chris Corsano. Out of the gate, Cline's guitar bubbles and broods, Shoup's gritty sax coughs forth both whiskey-drenched blues and supersonic skree, while Corsano turns energy into light with his death-defying drumming. Onwards into the affair, a more gentle trio surfaces to display effects-laden guitar yawns, warm sax purrs and nuanced drum kit explorations of bowed cymbals and quiet patterings. Cline, Corsano and Shoup play off each other like they have been performing together for years, their spontaneous flights spawning fully formed compositions that unfurl from the atmosphere like sudden spring thunderstorms. As indicated by the title, Immolation/Immersion is compellingly dynamic, capturing a full range of destructive force and quiet submersion. Jaw-dropping and essential."
LP $15 on Sale
NELS CLINE SINGERS with CYRO BAPTISTA / ZEENA PARKINS / JOSH JONES - Macroscope (Mack Ave 1085; USA) see review above
LP $15 on Sale
DAMSEL with NELS CLINE / ZACH HILL / MATT ZIVICH / JOHNATHAN HISCHKE - Damsel (Temporary Residence 113) The prolific and versatile guitarist Nels Cline teamed up with Hella rhythm section Zach Hill and Jonathan Hischke and synth player Matt Zivich for this four-song improvisational jam. Cosmic!
LP $15 on Sale
THOLLEM McDONAS / PAULINE OLIVEROS / NELS CLINE - Molecular Affinity (Roaratorio 042; USA) "Thollem McDonas : 'This is the third trio album Nels and I have made together, each time with a different 3rd partner. The previous two were The Gowanus Session with William Parker and Radical Empathy with Michael Wimberly. Though each session has been unique in itself (different prescribed approaches, the environment and of course the uniqueness that each individual brings), there are definitely overarching themes pollinating each album. As the instigator of each of these sessions, I've always been curious about the sonic experience created each time a unique combination of musicians gather. So, in a sense, this is really kind of a scientific experiment with a control and a variable. I also love the trio format: there's plenty of room for everyone, yet still many possible depths of complexity in relationships between the individuals. The three of us seemed immediately intertwined, psychically and sonically. An amazing place to record with amazing musicians/human beings. I think it all comes through in the recording... an experiment with fascinating results!' Pauline Oliveros : 'This recording brought us together for an unusual musical conversation. There was no plan or guiding structure. Thus the conversation set the pace between eGuitar, V accordion and piano. Each of us contributing, conversing in response to the other from our own individual perceptions. The music develops as a result of those moments of conversation. As different subjects are triggered or introduced the conversation shifts, turns and integrates making the music.' Nels Cline : 'It started on a beautiful sunny day in a rental car to Accord, NY, Thollem at the wheel, his lovely partner Angela riding shotgun. Thollem had instigated yet another miraculous and rather unexpected improvisatory recording session. This time, I was really going to meet the legendary Pauline Oliveros and improvise with her -- and Thollem, of course! We met at a market and caravanned it to a beautiful barn studio. Pauline was immediately welcoming and gracious -- a good start! A few improvisations, some bucolic photos, and precious lungfuls of sweet air later we were headed back to The City. How was that? Did that really happen?? Yes, it really did. A concentrated portion of our probing explorations is thankfully here, on this petrochemical slice: Molecular Affinity. It's a good thing!"
LP $15 on Sale
SCARNELLA with CARLA BOZULICH / NELS CLINE ALESSANDRO STEFANA / ANDREA BELFI - Fluorescent Pigs (Wallace Records; Italy) see above review in Nels CD sale section
LP $15 on Sale [LTD ED of 500, numbered]
WHITE OUT [TOM SURGAL & LIN CULBERTSON] with NELS CLINE - Accidental Sky (Northern Spy 066; USA) “New York radical innovators White Out and transplanted Los Angeles legend Nels Cline share a long musical history, having played together for over a 15-year period. Anyone lucky enough to have caught these guys in live performance can attest to their special chemistry. They play a kind of improvised chamber music. Their tightly cohesive interplay the sonic consequence of years spent developing their highly personal electro-acoustic language. Any attempt to assign a label to their collective sound falls short. Reductionist classifications like Free Jazz, Prog, and Experimental, although all applicable, fail to convey the full depths of their jams. The music they make together is as eclectic as the venues they have performed in are diverse: A jazz dungeon in Paris, an artist squat in Geneva, the All Tomorrow Parties Festival in the UK, an improvisers’ compound in Marseilles, or indie rock enclaves in Los Angeles, London, and New York. Accidental Sky represents their first official release, and their first attempt at recording in a studio together. The album does not disappoint.”
LP $15 on Sale
OTOMO YOSHIHIDE / CHRIS PITSIOKOS - Live in Florence [LTD Edition] (Astral Spirits 126; USA) Featuring Otomo Yoshihide on guitar & turntable and Chris Pitsiokos on alto sax & electronics. The music here was recorded live at the Tempo Reale Festival in Florence, Italy in May of 2018. Japanese sonic manipulator, Otomo Yoshihide (born 1959), has been pretty prolific since his he first recorded in 1991, soon leading the band Ground Zero. Although Otomo studied jazz guitar with Masayuki Takanayagi, his playing has often been beyond any one category or genre. He also plays turntables and electronics and was involved with the Japanese onyko/lower case scene. Downtown avant/jazz saxist/composer/bandleader Chris Pitsiokos, comes from a later generation of musicians.
LOREN CONNORS - Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Vol. 1 (Feeding Tube Records 257; USA) "Here is the first volume of protean solo improvisations recorded by Loren Connors in his artist's garret in New Haven, Connecticut. It was committed to tape on February 20, 1979 and pressed to vinyl soon after. As with the two earlier LPs on Loren's Daggett label, singer/recorder-player Kath Bloom also appears on this record, although only on the second side. Those prior LPs were both issued in 1978, The first was Acoustic Guitar/Gifts a split LP with Loren solo on one side and with Kath joining him on the flip. The second was Fields, which I have been assured uses the same split format. Although most people cannot help themselves from believing all nine volumes of this series (all of which we will be reissuing) are of a piece, the first volume represents a real declaration of identity for Loren. He was introducing himself publicly as a guitar player, although his approach was still very much dictated by the influence of the painter, Mark Rothko, who Loren once described as using a minimal palette to create vital art. The music on Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Vol. 1 is less violent than the solo side of the Acoustic Guitar/Gifts split. I've never been able to hear a copy of Fields, so I can't compare that one. But the feel to this session is bluesy, in as much as Loren's wordless vocals have a surface similarity to a hellhound's, and while he was not using a slide, most of the notes he plays are bent to the edges of their known range. Fahey always said blues was 'about' anger, however and there's not really any of that here. I am more reminded of this Rothko quote. 'You've got sadness in you, I've got sadness in me ... and my works of art are places where the two sadnesses can meet, and therefore both of us need to feel less sad.' The first side is solo. On the second Loren is joined for a bit by Kath on hums and recorder. The music brims with sorrow more than anything else. And while it's clear Loren was embracing an abstract avant garde aesthetic vis-a-vis his playing, the urge to communicate seems to lie at its roots. Whatever you choose to call it, this is the beginning of something quite beautiful." --Byron Coley, 2020
EYVIND KANG - Ajaeng Ajaeng (Ideologic Organ 039; France) "To be heard with ears half bent, or with one side facing what Maryanne Amacher calls 'the third ear'. The great reverence in which the Tanpura is held by Indian classical music, its transcendental but occulted place in the tradition alongside its normal function as a drone, made a strong impression on the composer such that it has taken decades to formulate even a simple Tanpura Study. The fundamentals, the Om, as well as the overtones, the music of the spheres -- all these have their valid rights, but in Tanpura Study they are embedded in a series of gestures, what I call signatures, on the melodic level. In 'Tanpura & Harpsichord', there is an encounter of overtones with chords braided into pun-notes, what Gerard Grisey calls 'degrees of transposition'. Taken together, this amounts to a non-spectralism in which, contrary to first impressions, there are no fundamental frequencies, even in the bass. Ajaeng Ajaeng: with respect to European string instruments, the technique col legno affords the direct encounter of wood and string, opening the way to a more tactile conception of the sustained sound, while bringing the materiality of the bow and its practices into question. In violin, viola, cello bows, Pernambuco wood offers an ideal example of extraction, colonialism, deforestation. With the Ajaeng, a Korean musical instrument, the situation is more complex. The dialectic of court to folk music, always political, always incendiary, may be heard here in the encounter of forsythia and silk, of Dae Ajaeng to So Ajaeng, and on a broader level of Dang Ak (Tang Dynasty music) to Hyang Ak (native Korean music) and their representations. Alternating music and sound, overtone arrays mingled with noise, marked by the bow change, in flamelike patterns which flicker, emerge, and fade again. A slow-down structure, also formalized in Time Medicine, seems to produce a long decrescendo, with the technique of the players drawing out the flicker patterns in a kind of game. The point here is not to produce a drone but to delve into the question of life in sound. This apparent emergence of life is due to the apparatus, what Marx calls a 'social hieroglyphic', which brings forsythia and silk together in technique, cultivated by practices which are themselves sustained by the real relations of student to teacher to student..." --Eyvind Kang, April 2020
2 LP Set $32
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link, for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com. Many of us are going stir crazy staying at home so if you want to inspire us and help us get through these difficult times, please show us what you got. I listed some these last week but have also a few more.
MORE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING AROUND FOR THE WORLD TO END OR GET BETTER:
STILL STIR CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
This is from Jessica Hallock, please do check it out, there is so much to explore here and I know some of you are bored and need some inspiration/distraction:
Livestreams are obviously no replacement for live shows, but they're all the community we have right now––so experimental music calendar NYC-Noise.com now provides links to livestreams (with artist / curator donation info); a roundup of local musicians' releases; COVID-19-related resources, including links to grants, petitions, & a local venue donation list; & an Instagram account (@NYC_Noise) promoting artists and releases. Please let me know about your livestreams &/or new records at www.nyc-noise.com/submit.
This is from Thomas Sayers Ellis of HEROES ARE GANG LEADERS:
THIS IS FROM GUITAR MASTER HENRY KAISER:
once in a while they are historical old thangs from my video archive and I will be doing more collaborations with other improvisors. I plan to keep this up until there are live gigs again so there will likely be a lot more of these best, Henry
From INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY:
Every Week for the entirety of this pandemic/lockdown INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY have been posting a new duo offering. I have listened to every one of these as they were sent out and am much impressed by the way this duo continues to evolve and work their way through many ideas. You can check out each one here:
ROULETTE AT HOME:
https://roulette.org/rtv/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd- Dr. Chadbourne! EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-andc19eeaa4fd-302668229#!/grs/0/id/92
https://roulette.org/event/joel-ross/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-c19eeaa4fd-302668229
https://roulette.org/event/nels-cline-from-cage-to-cunningham/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-c19eeaa4fd-302668229
Playlist: Excerpts from the Black Avant-Garde - Tracks by Tomeka Reid, Reggie Workman, Diedre Murray, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Henry Threadgill, William Parker, Matana Roberts from the Roulette concert archive. - https://soundcloud.com/roulette_intermedium/sets/blackavantgarde?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs on each episode. Here is the link: https://www.facebook
This One from FLUTIST Extraordinare BOB DOWNES: