Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan
Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinkin' about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
In the pig pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten
Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D.A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't tie no bows
Better stay away from those
That carry 'round a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows
Ah, get sick, get well
Hang around an ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write Braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
By losers, cheaters
Hangin' 'round the theaters
Girl by the whirlpools
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders
Watch the parkin' meters
Ah, get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles
Recorded January 14th, 1965, 54 years ago today, Valentine’s Day, 2019! I bought my first Bob Dylan album in 1967 and it was his first ‘Greatest Hits’. I soon went back to get his earlier efforts like ‘Another Side of…’ and ‘Bringing it All Back Home’. I marveled at his poetic, enigmatic lyrics and still think about them today. Bob Dylan was often referred to as ‘the spokesman for his generation’ which bothered him immensely and he joked that he was more of “Song & Dance Man”. I still crack up when I hear him singing certain songs, both his voice, music and lyrics still make me smile and think about what they mean. My two favorite records from recent decades were/are both produced by Daniel Lanois, ‘Oh Mercy!’ and ’Time Out of Mind’. I recommend you check out either or both, as well as that ridiculous video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues”.
Remember “Laughter is Our Medicine” - MC Bruce Lee
New Sh*t From These Fine Folks:
Matt Shipp Trio! Anna Webber Octet! Jessica Pavone Solo! Guillermo Gregorio & Brandon Lopez! Tomeka Reid & Filippo Monico! Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio: Liberty Ellman! Two from Dave Rempis: Tasji Dorji & Brandon Lopez! Gerhard Ullmann & Alexey Kruglov! Lucian Ban & Alex Simu! Miho Hazama & M Unit! Cooper Moore & Stephen Gauci! Chris Welcome Octet! Two from Leap of Faith! Fido Plays Zappa! Dave Brubeck Quartet! Phill Niblock DVD! Laraaji & Lyghte & More..!
Upcoming Sets at Downtown Music Gallery - FREE, every Sunday at 6pm
Sunday, February 17th:
6pm: LIOR MILLIGER / ZACH SWANSON / JOE HERTENSTEIN - Sax / Bass / Drums
7pm: DAVID MEIER / DANIEL CARTER / JEONG LIM YANG - Drums / Horns / Bass
Sunday, February 24th: The REGGIE SYLVESTER Double Header:
6pm: ED KELLER / REGGIE SYLVESTER - Guitar & Drums Duo!
7pm: RETROGRADE ESP CD Set: MATT LAVELLE & REGGIE SYLVESTER!
Sunday, March 3rd:
6pm: AVANT-GARDE WORKING CLASS: JOE DALEY & JESSE DULMAN - Tuba Duet!
7pm: KAREN NG & HENRY FRASER - Sax & Clarinet / Bass!
Sunday, March 10th:
6pm: JESSICA / TONY JONES - Sax Duo - Two CD Releases Celebration!
7pm: THOMAS HEBERER / JOE HERTENSTEIN - Trumpet and Drums!
Sunday, March 17th:
6pm: SARAH BERNSTEIN VEER QUARTET: SANA NAGANO / LEONOR FALCON / NICK JOZWIAK!
7pm: JARVIS EARNSHAW / DANIEL CARTER / ZACH SWANSON - Sitar & Loops / Woodwinds / Bass
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
This Week's Newsletter Begins with This Dynamic Disc:
MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO With MICHAEL BISIO / NEWMAN TAYLOR BAKER - Signature (ESP-Disk 5029; USA) Personnel: Matthew Shipp - piano, Michael Bisio - bass and Newman Taylor Baker - drums. This trio has been around for about a half dozen years and this is their third disc. Mr. Bisio had also recorded in a fine duo with Mr. Shipp, as well as a number of fine discs for the Relative Pitch label. The ever-prolific Matt Shipp, who has claimed to retire from recording every few years, has a large number of discs (from solos to quartets), on several labels: Rogue Art, Aum Fidelity, Leo and ESP. This is a studio date with warm, clean sound and Mr. Shipp wrote all of the pieces here. The opening piece is the title track and it is calm yet filled with space & suspense, building with quiet intensity as it goes. On “Flying Saucer”, starts to layer several lines upon another while the rhythm team creates interconnected currents underneath. By now, it seems obvious that this trio has been around for a while since they are able to spin a tight web flowing currents, organic like a school of fish or a flock of birds, the way they work together as one, makes perfect sense. There are also a few short solo interludes from all three members, which do a good job of bridging the more intense freer flights. Sometimes Mr. Shipp will begin with a short fragment and then repeat it and expand upon it. The rhythm team work their magic by tapping into the theme, adding shades and nuances, a counter-balance to whatever direction Mr. Shipp works his way through. What is at the center of this disc is this: there is sense of calm yet it feels like the calm before the storm. This is a period of reflection, contemplation, a balance of the extremes that we find in everyday life: the soft & the loud, the free & the fixed structures we use, the dread of the daily news and the elation of listening to good music and hanging with our friends & families. What will come next..?!? This trio has consistently matured and is now a solid, splendid, force of beauty. Superb on all levels! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANNA WEBBER With JEREMY VINER / JACOB GARCHIK / CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN / MATT MITCHELL / CHRIS TORDINI / CHES SMITH - Clockwise (Pi Recordings 79; USA) Featuring Anna Webber on tenor sax, flutes & compositions, Jeremy Viner on tenor sax & clarinet, Jacob Garchik on trombone, Christopher Hoffman on cello, Matt Mitchell on piano, Chris Tordini on bass and Ches Smith on drums & vibes. After growing up in BC, Vancouver and going to school at McGill University in Montreal, saxist & composer Anna Webber moved to NY in 2008. Over the past few years, Ms. Webber has soared as a musician, collaborator, composer and multi-bandleader. After a series of strong trio discs, both self-produced & for the Skirl label, the Pirouet label released a septet CD a few years back, which has remained one of those under-recognized Downtown treasures. And now Pi Records has released a recording by a new Anna Webber Downtown all-star septet.
Ms. Webber has organized a formidable ensemble here, each one is leader on their own, as well as collaborating with a long list of Downtown’s finest: for Henry Treadgill (JH), Battle Trance (JV), Tim Berne’s Snakeoil (MM) and Endangered Blood (CT). This disc begins with an odd repeating bass figure with some bent-note sax fragments also repeated and altered as they keep going. Monk-like for the 21st century, perhaps. As the ensemble repeats the fragmented line, the rhythm team speeds up, slows down and connects the various lines swirling around one another. Similar to the way that Henry Threadgill keeps his ensembles connected by repeating certain patterns, Ms. Webber also uses has several lines swirling tightly around one another, several subgroups play in related combinations. The entire disc is continuous and unfolds like a suite. While two or three members of the frontline play a theme, another member will solo or add notes which create a fascinating ongoing tapestry. As these themes coalesce, s member will solo on top while the rest of the ensemble work their way through a number of related themes. It will take some time to really appreciate all the work that went into this disc, each time I listen I hear some unexpected interaction or buried combination of musicians that I didn’t hear the first time. Fans of progressive or challenging music take note, this is the future of where great music is evolving so dig in. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Three More New Ones from RELATIVE PITCH:
JESSICA PAVONE - In the Action (Relative Pitch 1082; USA) Jessica Pavone’s fourth solo effort is a technically masterful yet highly musical and loving study of the physical properties of her viola. On the first track, “Oscillatory Salt Transport” she channels her best Henry Flynt, exercising playful control over cross-string longtones, beat frequencies, and fiddler-born bow chopping to produce a serious material study that lacks for nothing in terms of melody and listenability. Track 2 “and Maybe in the End” has been stuck in my head all week as I’ve played this is the store. Plucked chords swell into pedal (or computer?) processed patches of swelling distortion that create a tuneful, choral effect. Throughout the disc, Pavone presents compositions that embody the duality of aggressive sound experiment and highly listenable result. At times, the viola is masked as a controller of electronics, at times, it is at the forefront, flirting with Appalachian-inspired melody and pitch bend. In places, the electronics are expansively melodic overtone studies and elsewhere provide noise pulses for the viola to float on top of. This is a performer who has embraced her instruments, and their most intuitively satisfying tendencies completely. - Frank Meadows for DMG
GUILLERMO GREGORIO & BRANDON LOPEZ - 12 Episodes (Relative Pitch 1080; USA) Featuring Guillermo Gregorio on clarinet and Brandon Lopez on contrabass. After living in Buenos Aires in the 1960’s, reeds wiz & composer Guillermo Gregorio moved to Chicago for several decades, becoming an important part of the Chicago creative music scene from the seventies onwards. In recent years, Mr. Gregorio moved to NY and has been seeking out kindred creative spirits like: Nico Letman-Burtinovic, Jaimie Branch, Steve Swell and Sarah Bernstein. Young contrabassist, Brandon Lopez, has made leaps & strides since moving here and working with a large amount of master improvisers: Dave Rempis, Ivo Perelman, Nate Wooley and Weasel Walter. I recall a duo set with Dave Rempis and Mr. Lopez at the Owl a couple of years back that was amazing!
Mr. Gregorio has played here at DMG more than a half dozen times since he moved here, each gig has been a highlight for me and other DMG regulars. Although Mr. Gregorio played sax while he was living in Chicago, he has concentrated on clarinet since moving here. These two improvisers who come from different generations and backgrounds sound great together. They listen closely and engage in a stimulating conversation, tightly connected wherever they go. The combination of the clarinet and the contrabass works especially well since both have similar warm & expressive wood and string textures. If you think that these two instruments would have a limited number of sonic options, you would be wrong. There is quite a bit of diverse terrain that they work their way through. I am reviewing some half dozen duo discs today (2/13/19) and this is the first one. It is exceptional so let’s see how the others measure up to this one. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TOMEKA REID / FILIPPO MONICO - The Mouser (Relative Pitch 1081; USA) Featuring Tomeka Reid on cello and Filippo Monico on drums. Even before she moved to NY a few years back, former Chicago-based cellist Tomeka Reid’s profile has been expanding with numerous golden opportunities. Ms. Reed seems to be everywhere at the same time working with: Jaimie Branch, Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, the Hear in Now trio and is currently a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Drummer Filippo Monico runs a studio in Milano, Italy where this date was recorded. Filippo has appeared on just a couple of dates listed in the DMG database.
The music here has a most organic, natural sounding quality, especially since both instruments are completely acoustic. Ms. Reid coaxes a variety of sounds from her cello, even without bowing for long periods: plucking, rubbing, bending and banging on the strings while Mr. Monico also plays the drums with his hands, using them to mute his playing. There is quite a bit of sympathetic interplay here, it is hard to tell who is doing what at times. Sometimes Ms. Reed strums her strings like a flamenco guitarist or contrabassist Alex Blake likes to do but in a more restrained way. When Ms. Reid finally switches to a bow midway, she plays in a way that began in the sixties and evolved through the seventies like: Albert Ayler with strings or Julius Hemphill with Abdul Wadud. This is an extraordinary duo with both players pushing their sounds past normal constraints. Somewhat low-key but no less incredible! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STEPHAN CRUMP’S ROSETTA TRIO With LIBERTY ELLMAN / JAMIE FOX - Outliers (Papillon Sounds 91819; USA) Featuring Liberty Ellman on acoustic guitar, Jamie Fox on electric guitar and Stephan Crump on acoustic bass & compositions (all but one). This is the fourth disc from Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio, a unique unit featuring an acoustic & an electric guitar & acoustic bass. Mr. Crump’s visibility has been rising in recent years due to his duo work with Mary Halvorson, Steve Lehman and James Carney, as well as trios with Ingrid Laubrock & Kris Davis. No doubt you know about guitarist Liberty Ellman who keeps busy working with Henry Treadgill, Myra Melford and Vijay Iyer. The other guitarist, Jamie Fox, we only know from his previous work with Mr. Crump. This is a semi-acoustic trio and they do have their own sound. The music here has a restrained, dream-like, cerebral quality. “Re Eyes” is ever so sublime, the electric guitar stripped down and rather Frisell-like, with Mr. Ellman playing these nifty repeating phrases underneath. What I like most about this is the way Mr. Crump writes these intricate, interlocking lines for the trio. They sound deceptively simple but no doubt there is more going on than meets the ear. Often one guitar will repeat a phrase while the other one plays the accentuated parts, the bass keeping the pulse at the center. Each piece features challenging parts for both guitarists, although the sound is often restrained and calm. The guitars usually exchange roles while one solo, the other plays those quick strumming chords, swinging effervescently. The dreamy quality of this music make the endeavor magical sounding, creating a trance to wash over us with subtle grace. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Two More Gifts from DAVE REMPIS’ AEROPHONIC Label:
KUZU with DAVE REMPIS / TASHI DORJI / TYLER DAMON - Hiljaisuus (Aerophonic AR 020; USA) Featuring Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & bari saxes, Tashi Dorji on electric guitar and Taylor Damon on percussion. The word has been slowly spreading in recent years: watch for a guitarist named Tashi Dorji. Although originally from Bhutan and currently living in Asheville, Tennessee, Mr. Dorji has a strong reputation as a gifted guitarist. Mr. Dorji can be heard on a few LP’s releases, to solo acoustic guitar disc albums, as well as two duo LP’s with Eivind Kang and Mette Rasmussen. I hadn’t heard of the drummer, Tyler Damon, before now although he has worked with Mr. Dorji on a couple of previous releases. Right from the beginning, we can tell that Mr. Dorji has his own sound, his own approach. Is he bowing his guitar? The alien sound guitar is somewhat disorienting and pushes Mr. Rempis into some quietly unsettling waters. The trio often sound like they are playing in the European, free/jazz style. All three players sound great together and have a unique sound. The music hovers between disturbing and fascinating, with an edge of your seat vibe. Some of this music is almost too intense, brain-frying or treacherous. If you want to hear a fresh new voice on the guitar than Tashi Dorji is who you should be checking out. A brutal trio! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DAVE REMPIS / BRANDON LOPEZ / RYAN PACKARD - The Early Bird Gets (Aerophonic AR 021; USA) Featuring Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & bari saxes, Brandon Lopez on bass and Ryan Packard on drums & electronics. I caught a duo set with Dave Rempis & Brandon Lopez at the Owl Parlor a couple of years back and was completely blown away! It was the best performance I had heard from Downtown bassist Brandon Lopez up until that point, making me realize how strong Mr. Lopez’ playing was and still is..! I don’t know much about the third member here, Ryan Packard, although he is on an earlier Rempis trio discs under the name ‘Gunwhale’. Right from the opening, this trio sounds strong and spirited, the bass and drums locked in, pumping hard together. Mr. Rempis is on fire, erupting volcanic lines on his alto sax, spinning quickly and soaring higher and higher. Eventually coming in for a less frenetic landing. No matter how intense & furious things gets, everything unfolds in a most organic way, the trio as one force of nature. When Rempis switches to bari sax on “Confucius Ornis”, the trio sounds like it is playing a blues of sorts, earthy, righteous, stopping and then slowly building up again and daring back up to a free/frenzy. There is a section for bowed bass, simmering sax and skeletal percussion on “Yan Ornis”, which I dig since it so focused, tight and explosive simultaneously. Considering that Dave Rempis has released some 21 CD’s on his own Aerophonic label, it is incredible how many of them are successful, diverse excursions into creative, freeform explorations. Another winner! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
GEBHARD ULLMANN & ALEXEY KRUGLOV - Moscow - Berlin (FancyMusic 098; Russia) Featuring Gebhard Ullmann on tenor sax, bass clarinet, mouthpiece & electronics and Alexey Kruglov on alto sax, alto clarinet, recorder & mouthpiece. Berlin-based saxist, Gebhard Ullmann, is extremely diverse and quite prolific. At the last count, we have Mr. Ullmann listed on some 70 releases in our database, including several bands: Basement Research, Conference Call and the Clarinet Trio. Thanks to the Leo & SoLyd labels, we list a dozen discs from Russian reeds player Alexey Kruglov. Sax duos used to be relatively rare, although this has changed over the past few decades. The music here is mostly scored and partially free form. There is also some electronics and sampling going on, selectively used. Rather than pushing the envelope with extended sounds, the duo work together and play some thoughtful, enchanting music. Quite a bit of this disc is calm and reflective, with both reeds players laying back and playing some haunting harmonies. This disc is an unexpected delight and most enchanting throughout. - Bruce Gallanter, DMG
New and Upcoming from the Sunnyside Label:
LUCIAN BAN & ALEX SIMU - Free Fall (Sunnyside 1526 ; USA) “More a decade since his passing, woodwind master Jimmy Giuffre has remained an inspiration to improvising musicians of many stripes. Giuffre’s long career spanned nearly six decades, over wide stylistic varieties, from the swinging big band of Woody Herman and the chamber jazz experiments of the West Coast of the 1950s to the avant-garde flights of his own classic trio with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Steve Swallow. It was the music of this trio that inspired pianist Lucian Ban and clarinetist Alex Simu to partner and release their new album, ‘Free Fall’.”
This disc was recorded live at the French Cultural Center in Bucharest, Romania. I’ve known and enjoyed the playing of pianist Lucian Ban for many years, having heard him play many times with s number of Downtown’s best: Mat Maneri, Mark Feldman, Sam Newsome and Evan Parker. Clarinetist Alex Simu is a new name for me. This disc features some originals from both players, some improvised pieces and a couple of select covers from Carla Bley and Jimmy Giuffre. I am also a longtime fan of reeds wiz & composer Jimmy Giuffre, whose trio with Paul Bley & Steve Swallow (in the early 1960’s), remains one of the best / most influential chamber trios ever. That trio captured a certain type of enchanting elegance which this duo also evokes. Opening with “Quiet Storm”, a lovely, solemn, dreamy ballad with exquisite piano and sublime bass clarinet. Jimmy Giuffre’s “Free Fall” was the title song from his classic album on Columbia from 1963. The duo do a splendid job with an improvised piece inspired by that song, their lines swirling around one another with rare beauty and determination, a rich tapestry tangled lines interwoven perfectly. The duo perform a sublime version of Carla Bley’s classic, “Jesus Maria”, which Jimmy Giuffre first recorded in 1961. This version is absolutely stunning, touching at the strings of our hearts. Haunting and enchanting simultaneously. The other improvised piece, “Mysteries”, sounds like something that might have been written or performed by the Jimmy Giuffre Trio. If you like chamber jazz with its cerebral elegance well defined, then this disc is for you. A gift from the gods… thanks to Lucian Ban and Alex Simu. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MIHO HAZAMA & M_UNIT With STEVE WILSON / JASON RIGBY / ADAM UNSWORTH / JAMES SHIPP / et al - Dancer in Nowhere (Sunnyside 1546; USA) Last year, Miho Hazama had a disc out on Sunnyside which featured the Metropole Orchestra (European) playing the music of Thelonious Monk. Ms. Hazama took Monk’s music, ironed out some of angularities and added her own harmonies. Some of the Jazz Police/Snobs bristled at this but I found this disc to be somehow refreshing in the way she reinterpreted Monk’s melodies. This year, Ms. Hazama organized her own 16 piece orchestra which includes a string section, flugel & French horn, vibes and guest guitarist Lionel Loueke. I have listened to this disc twice so far and am still marveled at her writing and arranging. I don’t have time to review it this week so I will hopefully get to it next week. The Sunnyside label has a knack for uncovering lost gems from under-recognized composers and musicians. This is yet another one! - BLG
CARLOS FRANZETTO TRIO - Ricordare (Sunnyside 1533; USA) The 70-year-old Argentinean pianist and composer Carlos Franzetti delights in mixing things up. Over four-plus decades he’s recorded symphonic (most recently, 2017’s Luminosa and 2018’s Buenos Aires Noir) and solo projects; composed film music and conducted, arranged and orchestrated others’ works (Paquito D’Rivera, Steve Kuhn, Ruben Blades); slipped seamlessly between jazz, tango, and classical music; and sung standards. Nothing seems to be out of his reach.
The purest expressions of Franzetti’s talent may, however, be his small-combo efforts, and Ricordare (“to remember”) is a piano-trio gem. With David Finck handling bass duties and Eliot Zigmund drumming, Franzetti offers up four originals and a half-dozen interpretations, ranging from the Ennio Morricone title track to a trio of the most familiar melodies in the Western lexicon (“Danny Boy,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Over the Rainbow”).
Franzetti displays something of a split personality on Ricordare. His ballads are warm, inviting blankets, rolling easily and seductively; his uptempo numbers breathe fire. The aforementioned title track introduces the dynamics at work. Casual and tender at first, virtually drum-free, it picks up midway into its nearly eight minutes. Finck’s move to arco mode comes as a jolt, opening up the vista most cinematically. “Danny Boy,” at key turns barely recognizable, serves as a showcase for the pianist’s precision as well as the rhythm section’s uncanny knack for anticipation and the clever turn of phrase.
Naturally, there is tango to be found, but its placement is more subtle than overt: The Franzetti composition “Allison’s Dance” is practically giddy rhythmically, but never does it wear an identity as one specific thing or another. Franzetti opts to bow out solo, with another self-penned number, “Song Without Words,” as whole and fulfilling as anything else that’s just occupied the past hour.” - Jeff Tamarkin, Jazz Times
Tenor saxist STEPHEN GAUCI has become more ambitious over the past few years. He is currently running two music series in Brooklyn, one at the Bushwick Public House (Mondays) and the other at Happy Lucky No. 1 (on weekends). The series on Mondays, runs from 7pm until after midnight and features 5 ensembles each week. This series has become a weekly hangout for many musicians who are there to play their own music, as well as check out gifted improvisers from everywhere. Mr. Gauci recently started his own GauciMusic label, which hopes to document the ongoing series at the Bushwick Public House as well as an occasional studio recording. The first three discs from Mr. Gauci’s label have just been released and here they are:
New from Gaucimusic:
COOPER MOORE / STEPHEN GAUCI - Studios Sessions, Vol. 1 (GauciMusic 03072; USA) Featuring Cooper Moore on piano and Steve Gauci on tenor sax. Two Creative Music Warriors get together for a weekly series at HappyLucky No. 1 on Nostrand Ave, way out there in Brooklyn. Those two master musicians are Cooper Moore (piano & hand-mades) and Stephen Gauci (tenor sax). Both of these musicians have impressive, diverse resumes: Cooper Moore with William Parker, David S. Ware & Bill Cole, while Stephen Gauci - two dozen records with Michael Bisio, Kirk Knuffke and Nate Wooley. Since Cooper Moore and Stephen Gauci have played together on a regular basis, they have developed into to an extraordinary duo. This is a studio session hence the sound is well-recorded. Since both of these musicians have worked their way through the wide world of jazz, both written and free, they draw from an immense palette. They begin with an intense, bristling, free eruption before calming down to what sounds like a ballad. Midway things completely erupt with explosive and abandon, it steel like we are climbing a mountain and eventually get to the top only to slowly descend back down to the calm shoreline. The experience was extraordinary, almost too much to bare, but well worth the trip. Without a doubt this is one of the best duo efforts I’ve heard in years, absolutely astonishing! If you want to have your mind blown, then go see the this duo at HappyLucky No. 1 or just grab the disc and go along for the ride on the emotional roller coaster! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STEPHEN GAUCI / SANDY EWEN / ADAM LANE / KEVIN SHEA - Live at the Bushwick Series (GauciMusic 03066; USA) Featuring Stephen Gauci on tenor sax, Sandy Ewen on guitar & electronics, Adam Lane on bass and Kevin Shea on drums. Mr. Gauci has been running a weekly music series at Bushwick Public House on Mondays for more than a year and starting to document the series with a number of live releases, tentatively two per month. Generally the first or second set every week features a trio or quartet led by Mr. Gauci. One of Mr. Gauci’s most consistent collaborators is former Texas-based experimental guitarist Sandy Ewen. This live disc features Mr. Gauci and Ms. Ewen with bassist Adam Lane (many great dates as a leader) and drummer Kevin Shea (from MOPDTK & Talibam).
The set is free and starts off with spiraling, sprawling intensity. The rhythm team erupts right from the gitgo with burnin’ tenor and fractured guitar insanity underneath. Adam Lane is an incredible bassist and plays non-stop at the center of the quartet spinning a furious flow before slowing down while Gauci stretches his notes out slowly, concentrating on each one. Mr. Gauci has long worked on his tone and playing, hence he stands out here with a strong, big sound with one step in the old school (Rollins perhaps?) and a foot into the freer blast of Trane and beyond. Ms. Ewen, who moved here from Texas a could of years back, has been on the move and working with a wide variety of local & traveling improvisers. She has become a strong foil for Mr. Gauci as she coaxes an unlimited amount of odd sounds from her guitar-on-lap with different effects. Considering that this is a live recording, the sound is pretty great, the quartet well captured, the playing exciting and often intense. This disc is juts the beginning of this series so it does bode well for future discs. The series continues every Monday so I urge you to get there if you want to be challenged for a long night of creative weirdness. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CHRIS WELCOME With JAIMIE BRANCH / KIRK KNUFFKE / ANTHONY WARE / SAM WEINBERG / BEN GERSTEIN / SHAYNA DULBERGER / MIKE PRIDE - Beyond All Things - Live at the Bushwick Series (GauciMusic 03070; USA) Featuring Jaimie Branch on trumpet, Kirk Knuffke on cornets, Anthony Ware on alto sax, Sam Weinberg on tenor sax, Ben Gerstein on trombone, Chris Welcome on guitar, Shayna Dulberger on bass and Mike Pride on drums. Although longtime Downtown guitarist, Chris Welcome, can be found on some two dozen releases, he often remains under then radar of those who don’t read the DMG newsletter regularly. Each member of the ensemble here should be familiar to you except for perhaps saxist Anthony Ware, who can be found on (4 discs from) the hopelessly obscure Nacht CD-R label. Rising star trumpet sorceress, Jaimie Branch, has been keeping extremely busy and garnering accolades all around. Check out her gem, “Fly or Die”, as well as her work with James Brandon Lewis for that recent CD on Relative Pitch. Cornetist, Kirk Knuffke, is also everywhere playing with Michael Bisio, Hamid Drake, Pierre Dorge and Ben Goldberg.
This disc is another live set from the weekly Monday night Bushwick Series. The entire set of some 28 minutes is here. It sounds mostly improvised and unfolds organically, the sounds are all floating together. Mike Pride, a drummer who has played with quite a bit of Downtown’s best, sounds great keeping the flow and center focused. Ms. Branch takes the first long, inspired solo while the other horns play dark harmonies in the background. Mr. Welcome also plays synth, which we can hear droning underneath the mesmerizing blend of alien sounds. Aside from Mr. Pride ongoing, explosive dialogue, the rest of the musicians play slower, still engaging but never too much over-the-top energy. There is a section midway where the four horns erupt together intensely, tight and directed perhaps?!? Considering that this is an octet, it rarely gets too dense so maybe Mr. Welcome is directing the flow somehow. This disc captures a snapshot of an important ongoing series which gives a chance for 20 or so musicians every week to present new music and/or free improv. Even at 28 minutes, there is sometimes intriguing going on here. I haven’t attended any of these sets yet since I live in New Jersey and getting home from Bushwick at a decent hour is not too easy but perhaps it is time go out there. Stephan Gauci, who runs the series and this new label, intends on releasing two discs a month from this great series. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
A Couple of New Ones from the LEAP OF FAITH & Offshoots Units:
LEAP OF FAITH With PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / ERIC ZINMAN / SYD SMART / YURI ZBITNOV - Tangled Hierarchies (Evil Clown 9206; USA) Personnel: PEK on alto, tenor & bass saxes, bamboo soprano, clarinets, taragato, sheng & metal, Glynis Lomon on cello & aquasonics, Eric Zinman on piano, Syd Smart on electronic percussion and Yuri Zbitnov on drums, gong, wood & metals. Our New Year, February actually, begins with six discs from the ever-prolific Leap of Faith folks. The core members remain these three: PEK, Glynis Lomon & Yuri Zbitnov. The guests this time are two older fellows, Eric Zinman (last seen with Linda Sharrock at Victo) and Syd Smart, who has worked with Sam Rivers and Rabiq Hassan. This disc begins with a siren, minimal piano, suspense-filled cymbals & gong(s) and the eerie voice of Ms. Lomon. The set captured here was recorded at Outpost 186 in January of 2019, just a month ago. This quintet version of Leap of Faith is stripped down so that everyone gets a chance to solo and we can hear them all. Mr. PEK works with one reed or wind instrument at a time, taking a number of spirited solos. What stands out is the cello playing of Ms. Lomon, spiritual piano undertow by Mr. Zinman and percussion/dialogue from Yuri Zbitnov and Syd Smart. More cosmic music from mere mortals?!? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STRING THEORY With PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / REV. GRANT BEALE / LUKASZ PAWLIKOVSKY / ALBEY OnBASS / SILVAIN CASTELLANO / ADRIENNE SCHOENFELD - Thickness of the Present (Evil Clown 9196; USA) Featuring PEK on the usual assorted reeds, sheng, melodica & gong, Glynis Lomon & Lukasz Pawlikovsky on cellos, Rev. Grant Beale on guitar, Albey on electric bass and Silvain Castellano & Adrienne Schoenfeld on double basses. String Theory are one of several Leap of Faith offshoot projects and have a handful of previous releases. Their personnel changes slightly from gig to gig. Outside of the usual suspects: PEK & Glynis Lomon, the others can be found on previous String Theory or other Leap of Faith (& offshoots) discs. Since there are mainly stringed things involved here, outside of PEK’s assorted reeds bells & gong, this sounds less disorienting than some of the other Leap of Faith efforts. The sound of wheezing strings, expanding and contracting, groaning & droning reeds & double reeds, throbbing and spinning basses, hypnotic yet disorienting underwater currents flowing around us, reaching for the safety net. It you are patient, you will find yourself sailing on raft, balancing on the waters far at sea so sit down, listen close and enjoy the ride. - BLG at DMG
FIDO - Plays Zappa - Atlantis & Elsewhere (Sireena Records 2188; EEC) “Celebrating the 15th anniversary, the Swiss Rockin 'Teenage Combo will present itself with a live double album from the last two tours in 2017 through Germany and Switzerland. From over 40 hours of raw material, a harmonious mix has been created between Alltime Zappa favorites, self-interpretations and unknown works from the work of Frank Zappa. It's a dirty job, but one has to do it eventually. Or seven and a half. FiDO (2003-?), Seven-eyed men and their lady-like mixer - embark on a 15-year tour on the occasion of their 15-year anniversary on "Making Zappa's Great Again For 15 Years" tour, once again reaching deep into the repertoire and bag of tricks the American composer, guitarist and style-making civil fright Frank Zappa (1940-1993). On board the freshly printed double live CD "Atlantis & Elsewhere" from the last tour. With the intrepid mix of a sassy rocking live show paired with virtuoso Swiss precision craftsmanship, with which the stage-experienced professionals live out their passion for the music of the Great American Composer, the Swiss Tribute Orchestra knows how to grab all audiences. The seven musicians celebrate with many voices and with verve obscure stories of modified dogs, stinking feet, sad Eskimos and all sorts of other curiosities of life, the brash humor and the sometimes nasty falsifications of the front man Dave Muscheidt breathe the spirit of the great entertainer and provocateur FZ. FiDO shamelessly exploit improvisational freedom, breaking stylistic boundaries with great virtuosity and making full use of the musical diversity and compositional humor of Zappa's work. With numerous inspiring live shows all over Europe and six released sound recordings, the Swiss Tribute Orchestra has probably earned a place in the Olympus of the worldwide Zappa community in the last decade: Stylish, virtuoso, humorous and with his own approach, FiDO and his audience are still intoxicated after 15 years with the ingenious work of Frank Zappa.”
2 CD Set $20
CHICAGO ODENSE ENSEMBLE With ROB MAZUREK / JEFF PARKER / DAVE BITNEY / et al - Chicago Odense Ensemble (El Paradiso Records EPR 051; Denmark) Chicago Odense Ensemble is a unique collaboration that came together in the winter of 2008 while Danish musicians Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt stayed in Chicago. Via mutual friends, and a support gig for Isotope 217 in Millenium Park, a studio session was arranged for the two to improvise and lay down ideas with some of Chicago's finest improvisers, including members of Tortoise and Chicago Underground Collective. Improvisation aren't unusual for the two Danes, however, as they were already more than accustomed to working from spontaneity and freeform structures in long-running psych/kraut/prog unit Causa Sui, and has since then participated in a number of installments of the Impetus series on their own El Paraiso Records label. During the Chicago studio session hours of loose ideas, grooves and atmospherics were recorded, ranging from loud, intense musical outbursts led by cornetist Rob Mazurek, to delicate, colorful ambiences. Later, the finest moments were edited, re-arranged, and mixed by Jonas Munk in his studio in Odense, doing a great deal of cutting and pasting, and adding a psychedelic and dubby vibe to the soundscape, using delays and effects as instruments during the mixing process. The result is something quite unique: a sonic brew that exists somewhere in between the aesthetics of impro jazz, hypnotic rock, and electronica. The closest reference for this kind of music is probably early 1970s proto-fusion jazz that strived for a similar synthesis of jazz improvisation, psychedelic rock, Eastern and African sounds as well as the use of the studio as a musical tool. Conceptually this album therefore seems more related to Miles Davis's ventures into electric music in the late 1960s that culminated in the early 1970s with albums such as Live-Evil (1971). And album centerpiece "Delivery" gives a possible answer to the mystery of what the fabled collaboration between Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix might have sounded like, had it ever happened. Even though Chicago Odense Ensemble is undeniably modern sounding in some ways, it also reaches back to an era in music where the fusion of jazz and rock were still regarded with optimism, and where musical spontaneity and freedom seemed a vehicle for cosmic beauty rather than esoteric formalism. Personnel: Rob Mazurek - cornet; Jeff Parker - guitar; Jonas Munk - guitar, electronics; Matt Lux - bass; Dan Bitney - drums and percussion; Brian Keigher - percussion; Jakob Skøtt - drums, percussion.
MICHAEL GORDON & BILL MORRISON // SEATTLE SYMPHONY / TOMOKO MUKAIYAMA - The Unchanging Sea (Cantaloupe 21141; USA) For Michael Gordon’s latest release on Cantaloupe, The Seattle Symphony reinstates it’s affinity for nautical themes most famously realized in 2015’s “Become Ocean”, their Grammy-winning collaboration with Gordon’s friend John Luther Adams. In that piece, the orchestra was tasked with embodying the feeling of being inside the open sea, to literally become the ocean through techniques like spatialization, sections of indeterminate length and circular rhythm, and a drastically expanded orchestra. Here, similar techniques are used, certain players are required to sit in specific seats, and the orchestra is made to imitate the undulating waves of the sea in expansive repetitions of dissonant crescendos, repeating figures across the ensemble that never collide with each other in exactly the same way. The main and audible difference is the perspective of the impression. Whereas Adams puts us inside the sea, Gordon attempts to catalogue man’s relationship to the sea, as a constant throughout human history. Listening to this piece is like standing on a pier or a beach (maybe the boardwalk in Seattle), and staring out at the expanse. The longer you look, the more you notice, and the less you know about the 3/4 of the earth that symbolizes wonder, fear, and opportunity for our history. Pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama powerful playing is the centerpiece, providing pounding low end against the ensemble swells, and delicate solos that tie the work nicely into the legacy of impressionistic ocean music ala Debussy’s La Mer.
The companion piece, Beijing Harmony, offers a parallel meditation on the endurance of human spaces, specifically the Echo Wall at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven. Gordon fantasizes about a modern orchestra playing in this acoustic space around the time of its building, and translates the imagined sonic ping pong against the ancient stone and buildings. This is a beautiful piece which hints at the reverberant polyrhythms of his masterful chamber works “Rushes” and “Timber”, employed for the effect of a sanctuary against a crowded city. The disc also contains a DVD of Unchanging Seas’s film component by filmmaker Bill Morrison, featuring footage from 17 obscure titles dealing with sea travel, including footage shot in Seattle in 1897, when the S.S. Willamette sailed out of Puget Sound at the height of the gold rush. - Frank Meadows for DMG
2 CDS’s DVD $20
DAVE BRUBECK With PAUL DESMOND / EUGENE WRIGHT / JOE MORELLO - Seven Classic Albums (Enlightenment 9161; EEC) “’Cool Jazz' personified, Dave Brubeck is one of few post-bop bandleaders to remain a household name well into the third millennium. With his favored use of unconventional time-signatures, meters, rhythms and tonalities, which all together made for a unique style of jazz that incorporated elements of classical and other traditional musical forms, Brubeck was a commercial oddity in the late 1950s and early 1960s; a serious jazz performer who had hit singles. The early 1960s witnessed The Dave Brubeck Quartet garner even more commercial and critical success. Recorded in 1962, Bossa Nova U.S.A (Columbia, 1963) found the group flirt with 'the cool wave of Brazil', for which, with one eye on the pop chart, Brubeck composed a set in-keeping with current trends. Its follow-up, Brubeck In Amsterdam (Columbia, 1963), a live album recorded in the Dutch capital in late '62, was a more traditional affair, and found the Quartet in fine form on a number of Brubeck classics. The Dave Brubeck Quartet at Carnegie Hall (Columbia, 1963), an undeniable milestone in the group's career, is often hailed as Brubeck's greatest live album, with critic Jim Santella commenting; "this is timeless music from a classic ensemble.' On the 5th of December 2012, one day before his 92nd birthday, Dave Brubeck died following a cardiac arrest, many years after his legacy had been cemented. Named a Kennedy Center honouree in 2009 for contributions to American jazz, Dave Brubeck remains in memoriam as one of the greatest jazz composers and musicians of all time, becoming what the Los Angeles Times described as 'one of jazz's first pop stars.' This 4 CD Box Set serves to highlight some of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's greatest and oft-overlooked albums, all faithfully remastered and presented here as both a perfect introduction to the great man's music, and as a welcome collection for those already versed in this extraordinary body of work.”
4 CD Set $18
GUNTER SCHICKERT - Nachtfalter (Bureau B 306; Germany) “Günter Schickert's debut Samtvogel (1975) was one of the most significant guitar albums of the krautrock era. Points of comparison from today's perspective are Syd Barrett or Pink Floyd's more adventurous early recordings. Schickert's follow-up, Überfällig (1980) was released on the legendary Sky label. Once again a milestone recording, it showcased Schickert's hypnotic echo guitar which developed into one of the hallmarks of the krautrock sound. Schickert's new album Nachtfalter, translating as "moth" in English, carries on from these beginnings, making it hard to believe that he has in the meantime reached pension age. Recorded during the scorching hot summer of 2018, Nachtfalter shows the pioneer of the echo guitar sounding his very best. Here Schickert was assisted by Andreas Spechtl, who recorded the album and played the drums. Spechtl selected the best moments of Schickert's guitar tracks, and mixed them while also supplying his own loops. Even though the album was conceived as an instrumental, it inadvertently developed into a concept piece, named after the moth, which had entered the room at some point during the recording sessions. As a silent witness, it clung to the ceiling all night. In the morning, Schickert found the insect dead on the floor. He took a photo of the moth for the cover, paying tribute to the dead animal. Nachtfalter opens with the atmospheric track "Nocturnus", Schickert's conch shell horns creating an eerie mood. Next, the krautrock juggernaut "Ceiling" runs to nearly seven minutes of playing time; it's not just the music levitating here. A further highlight is the urgent "Wohin" with its insistent, furious drumming by Spechtl, whose patterns meet the howling echo guitar by Schickert. The impressive "Reflections" concludes the album by uniting all the elements of Nachtfalter's hypnotic soundscapes. The music could serve as soundtrack to a horror movie, with guitar sounds being complemented by noise resembling a train whistle, plus the squealing and humming of a tormented analog synthesizer. "I was born in Berlin and am a true city child", explains Schickert, "When I was young, I often travelled on the bus or the underground train. The awesome rhythm of the engines has indelibly imprinted itself on me. My music has been the expression of this experience." Listening to Nachtfalter, one can only conclude that on Schickert has created a perfect synthesis of the hectic, motorik rhythm of the big city and the gentle beat of the wings of a moth.”
NURSE WITH WOUND - Homotopy To Marie (ROTOR 070 BK; France) Double-CD version includes 30-page metallic hardcover book (15 x 20 x 2cm) containing color and black-and-white art by Babs Santini (Steven Stapleton). Rotorelief present a reissue of Homotopy To Marie. the fifth album by Nurse With Wound, originally released in 1982. Music and sleeve created by Steven Stapleton. The album is "a step on from the Dadaist rock of Merzbild Schwet, with much use of tape manipulation and classical avant-garde techniques". The album, which combines tape edits with resonating gong tones and disembodied children's voices to create a sonic collage, is far removed from the harsh improvisations of the group's early albums. The title of the brief closing track derives from a passage from "Les Chants de Maldoror" (1869), a surreal poetic novel written by Le Comte de Lautréamont. This appropriation of a phrase from Maldoror is shared in common with the title of Nurse With Wound's debut album, Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella (1979); both phrases appear in Lautréamont's work. The album was first issued on Stapleton's own United Dairies label on vinyl, cassette, and later in remastered compact disc including an extra track "Astral Dustbin Dirge". This masterpiece reissue is the official full, double album from the original recording sessions. The four tracks from the original LP are accompanied by additional recordings from the same period.
2 CD Book Set $35
THE SONIC DAWN - Eclipse (Heavy Psych Sounds 090; Italy) The rays of The Sonic Dawn are like a reminder that reality is only temporary. Flickering between light and darkness, their sound burns with an intensity that places the Danish trio among the top psychedelic acts of their time. Following their first two album releases, The Sonic Dawn have toured Europe more or less constantly, only returning home to focus on their biggest work to date: Eclipse. Their third full-length, is the product of a full year's labor, with all 13 tracks carefully selected from among over 40 candidates. Inspired by personal tragedies and the current meltdown of the world as we know it, the songs deal with a feeling of despair that many will recognize, but also seem to say that one can heal and come out stronger, if one dares take the leap. The result is a cinematic journey in sonic technicolor. Here, even the catchiest melody casts a mysterious shadow, and every mind-altering solo is torn out of Emil Bureau's guitar as if it owed him money. Eclipse was recorded to tape at The Village Recording, Denmark's best analog studio, and produced by The Sonic Dawn and Thomas Vang (Roger Waters, etc.). Mastered at Svenska Grammofonstudion by Hans Olsson Brookes (Graveyard, etc.), and cut to vinyl at Abbey Road Studios, for the ultimate sound quality.
KEL ASSOUF - Black Tenere (Glitterbeat 068; Germany) On the heels of their acclaimed album Tikounen (ZEP 032LP, 2016) -- a recording The Guardian called "a leap forward in the modern Tuareg sound... truly radical" -- Kel Assouf return with an even more transformative collection: Black Tenere. Produced by the band's keyboardist Sofyann Ben Youssef, the mastermind behind the highly touted AMMAR 808, the new album strips things back to a power trio lineup and focuses on the crackling, forward-looking energy of Nigerien front man Anana Ag Haroun's next level Kel Tamashek (Tuareg) rock songs. Kel Assouf's musical journey has flowed seamlessly from the well-spring created by Ishumar desert rock pioneers Tinariwen -- that Haroun first encountered as a young musician in Niger -- towards sonic horizons that include the rock classicism and the club beats and astral ambiance of European electronic music. On Black Tenere, the band pushes these different textures and influences towards a persuasive, raw-edged crescendo. The messages found in Ag Haroun's lyrics are potent, tragic, and inspiring in their defiance. The struggle of the stateless Kel Tamashek (a name they prefer to the colonial moniker "Tuareg") to maintain control of their ancestral lands, their dignity and their nomadic way of life, has only recently entered the fringes of Western consciousness. Infused into the sharp, unswerving social analysis, and the calls for resistance, there is also the shimmer of nostalgia and a poetry of deep longing. To record the energized soundscapes of Black Tenere, the trio (Ag Harouna plus drummer Oliver Penu and keyboardist/producer Sofyann Ben Youssef) setup at Stureparken Studio in Stockholm. Ben Youssef, a fast-rising producer responsible for the previous Kel Assouf album and recent records by Algerian rai provocateur Sofiane Sadi and AMMAR 808. The recordings brilliantly reflect the strong collective heart of the band -- each musician supporting the album's propulsive, hypnotic purposes -- yet on many occasions stepping forward in thrilling ways. "Alyochan" is unimaginable without the motorik pulse of Penu's trance-like drumming. Ben Youssef's Hammond organ creates a gorgeous defining space (and an unresolved tension) throughout the long intro of "Ariyal". While Ag Haroun's guitar is often wrapped in distortion, on "Tamatan" he pulls things back, and with the help of Enoesque treatments, his guitar feels star bound and weightless.
PHILL NIBLOCK - T H I R (Von 012; Italy) A milestone film from American composer and filmmaker Phill Niblock, presented for the first time in DVD with two alternate soundtracks. T H I R is a mesmerizing and hypnotic film from his Environments series shot in upstate New York in 1972. This film is one of Niblock's finest and undiscovered jewels. A must have classic release. The material to make the film, T H I R, is taken from "Ten Hundred Inch Radii", a performance of film and music from the series -- Environments, premiered at the Everson Museum in Syracuse NY in 1972. The original music for this film, finished in 1975, was recorded and mixed at Intermedia Sound in Boston, in 1971-2. The DVD features a new soundtrack by Phill Niblock, with the piece "One Large Rose" as well as the original soundtrack from 1972. Filmed with a Beaulieu 16 mm around Keene Valley, New York in the Adirondack Mountains in 1971-1972. T H I R original soundtrack recorded in 1972. T H I R new soundtrack "One Large Rose" (T H I R edit 2015) recorded in 2008. Recorded in Christianskirsche (Hamburg, Deutschland), May 16 and 18, 2008. Final mix at Experimental Intermedia October 13, 2008. "One Large Rose" edited at Experimental Intermedia, February 1, 2015. Edition of 1000. NTSC format, region free.
Back in stock:
VIJAY ANDERSON / AARON BENNET / SHELDON BROW / BEN GOLDBERG / DARREN JOHNSTON / LISA MEZZACAPPA] = TOUCH AND GO SEXTET - Live At The Novara Jazz Festival (Nine Winds 314; USA) The Touch and Go Sextet features Vijay Anderson on drums & compositions, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Aaron Bennett on tenor & bari saxes, Sheldon Brown on alto sax & bass clarinet, Darren Johnston on trumpet and Lisa Mezzacappa on bass. Earlier this week (2/25/14), I caught the trio of Ben Goldberg/Sheldon Brown/Vijay Anderson at The Stone for the opening night of Mr. Goldberg's week-long residency. Although this set was completely improvised, it was astonishing how well these three musicians played together. This trio plays often on the West Coast and it showed as they sound like they have some strategic magic or glue that connects them. I've become familiar with drummer/composer Vijay Anderson over the past few years from his work with the trio of Adam Lane & Vinny Golia, as well as with his playing with bassist Lisa Mezzacappa. No doubt you know all about Ben Goldberg who is one of the finest clarinetists of his generation, well-recorded and worthy of his acclaim. I hadn't heard much from the other two reeds players, Sheldon Brown & Aaron Bennett, although Mr. Brown has collaborated with Mr. Goldberg on several previous projects. Trumpeter Darren Johnston is yet another strong musician and bandleader with four fine discs of his own as well as collaborating with Fred Frith, Larry Ochs and Steve Lugener.
The Touch and Go Sextet has worked with three saxist/composers: Avram Fefer, Vinny Golia and Marco Eneidi. Through the encouragement of Roscoe Mitchell, with whom Mr. Anderson has studied at Mills College, plus the help of getting a couple of grants, the Touch and Go Sextet played and were recorded at the Novara Jazz Festival in Italy in May of 2013. Hence, this fine disc. With an impressive four horn frontline (trumpet, bari & alto sax & clarinet), Mr. Anderson has put a great deal of thought into this. There are several interlocking lines going on simultaneously up front as well as with the ever-shifting rhythm team. We have to work a bit to hear the way the various reeds and brass move between their connected layers. Althought the sextet is in a state of flux, they remain tightly wound as they move. On "Horripilation" Mr. Bennett takes an explosive bari solo while the rest of the horns play nifty harmonies underneath, the rhythm team rising and dropping out for certain sections. Sometimes this group reminds me of the way Dixieland bands work with simultaneous lines swirling together, especially when Mr. Goldberg's trusty clarinet leads. Like many great clarinet players, his sounds as if he has one foot in the past and one in the present. "Swift Horse" starts off with a splendid, melodic drum solo which evolves right into a great, hard swinging tune with an smokin' alto sax from Sheldon Brown, as well as a fine unaccompanied clarinet solo. This long piece ends with an odd Nate Wooley-like trumpet solo made from radiator-hiss and assorted breath-like sounds. The final piece is a three-part work which moves through a number of interesting sections, all different yet somehow connected. Vijay Anderson obviously has a strong vision and his writing and playing continues to mature with each disc. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TOM CORA - Live At The Western Front (Klanggalerie 263; Germany) Innovative Downtown cellist, Tom Cora, moved to New York in 1979, after studying with Karl Berger at the Creative Music Studio/School near Woodstock. Around 1980, the was a convergence of musicians who had moved to the Lower East Side, within a few years a number of them would be collaborating in various projects. More than a dozen seminal Downtown bands all formed between 1980 & 1985. I began going to performances at a funky basement space known as Studio Henry (corner of Morton & Bleecker) at the end of 1979. Within a year I was checking musicians like Fred Frith, John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Wayne Horvitz, Elliott Sharp, Robin Holcomb, David Moss, Charles K Noyes, Bill Laswell, Toshinori Kondo and Tom Cora. Tenor saxist George Cartwright and Mr. Cora formed a band called Curlew during this period, one of the most distinctive of all Downtown ensembles. Mr. Cora recorded five albums with Curlew, all great and all well worth checking out. In 1982, Fred Frith and Tom Cora founded a duo/trio called Skeleton Crew, a charming, art-rock, political unit that recorded two great records, adding harpist Zeena Parkins for their second album. Mr. Cora and drummer/sampler player, Samm Bennett, put together a trio known as Third Person (in the late 1980’s), since at every gig, there would be a different third person. There are a couple of Third Person CD’s which are long out-of-print but worth checking out. In the early 1990’s, Cora joined the great Dutch punk band The Ex, touring widely and recording two strong recordings. Around this time, Cora married Swiss vocalist Catherine Jauniaux and they soon moved to south France. Cora organized a quartet called The Roof with European-based musicians (Phil Minton, Luc Ex & Michael Vatcher), touring and recording a couple of great discs for the Red Note label. When Cora came back to the US to play at the Knitting Factory in the mid-90’s, he put together a New York version of The Roof to play some of the same material. Sadly, Tom Cora passed away too young in April of 1998 (at 45 hears), diagnosed with melanoma. Although Mr. Cora can be found on more than 100 recordings, most are long out-of-print. I had the good fortune to hear and see Mr. Cora play in solos, duos, trios, as well as with Curlew, Skeleton Crew, The Ex and both versions of The Roof. Watching Mr. Cora play solo was something else since he was always experimenting with ways to play the cello: using rubber bands, thin strips of metal and assorted objects on the strings. You can check out some of his solo work on YouTube. As far as I know, there were only two solo recordings by Tom Cora, both long out-of-print until now. I urge you to grab this disc and check out Mr. Cora, one of the greatest solo cellists of all. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LARAAJI & LYGHTE - Celestial Realms (Morning Trip 001; Canada) "Morning Trip is a new imprint under Telephone Explosion dedicated to releasing ambient, experimental and generally optimistic sounds. Originally released on cassette in 1986, Celestial Realms is a collaborative album from new age figurehead and Brian Eno-collaborator Laraaji, and fellow cosmic traveller Jonathan Goldman (aka Lyghte). Laraaji conjures his typically vivid soundworld of shimmering electric zither, while Goldman inhabits that world with pulsing guitar and droning synthesizer. A trance-inducing ambient voyage. Celestial Realms provides a 46-minute blissful ambient voyage featuring zither, bells, synthesizer, and guitar. 'Finally, the best sustained trance music of the year can be found on Celestial Realms, a new co-creation of Laraaji and Lyghte, who use zither, bells, synthesizers, and guitar for their extraterrestrial adventures. Lyghte loves those very low, sustained, flowing tones, and Laraaji sails above one's head with tinkling bells and zither glissandos. Definitely not for grounding or as background to washing dishes!' --Ramana Das (Music Editor, Yoga Journal 1986) Recommended if you like: Brian Eno, Hiroshi Yoshimura and Steve Roach."
OKYEREMA ASANTE - Sabi (Get Down)(Kalita Records 001; UK) “Kalita Records make available once more Okyerema Asante's highly sought-after Ghanaian disco monster, Sabi (Get Down), produced in collaboration with Oneness of Juju leader Plunky Nkabinde. After touring the world and recording with Hugh Masekela, Lonnie Liston Smith and Oneness of Juju, Sabi (Get Down) was Okyerema's first solo record, released privately in limited numbers on his label Atumpan Records in 1980/81. Recorded and manufactured in the USA, but only ever released on the African continent, this self-funded, scarce, and brilliant Afro-disco LP regularly exchanges hands for eye-watering prices. Here, Sabi (Get Down) is repressed in its original, 14 minute-long form (check out some breathtaking vocals by Oneness of Juju's Lady Eka Ete at around 13 minutes!); the title track is backed by the equally impressive "That's My Girl" on the B side. In addition, it is accompanied by extensive interview-based liner notes and never-before-seen photos, detailing Okyerema's career from his membership of Ghana's legendary band Hedzolleh to performing with Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac twenty years later. Sabi (Get Down) has so far received fantastic support from leading DJs such as Gilles Peterson (who named it the eighth-best reissue of 2017), Hunee, Antal, Palms Trax, Alexander Nut, Red Greg, Nick The Record, John Gomez, Lakuti, Dan Shake, and many others! The hope here is that you love both tracks, and join in celebrating the musical world of Okyerema Asante! Printed inner sleeve.”
PETER GRUDZIEN - The Unicorn/The Garden of Love (Subliminal Sounds 023; Sweden) The rare, legendary and highly praised urban hillbilly one-man-band "outsider artist" LP from 1974. The "first psychedelic country concept" album featuring bluegrass mountain music Americana from the twilight zone mixed with tape effects, musique concrète, fuzz guitar, surreal lyrics, imagery and themes from religion, death, sex and other timely concerns. Also included is a bonus LP record, The Garden of Love, with some truly amazing and haunting unreleased material spanning the 1950s-1970s. The Garden of Love LP includes, amongst others, a song about wandering around in the desert eating peyote. All the music has been carefully transferred from the master tapes and is a facsimile of the original album (previous CD-only reissues contained altered mixings). Read more about Peter Grudzien in the Incredibly Strange Music and Songs in the Key of Z books. This release features a gatefold sleeve with the original The Unicorn artwork plus loads of photos and liner notes. [a new film: "the Unicorn: A Documentary about Peter Grudzien" is playing festivals now].
2 LP Set $28
VOICES OF MISSISSIPPI - Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris (Dust-to-Digital 3002; USA) 2019 Grammy award winner: Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes! Voices of Mississippi encapsulates the life's work of William Ferris, an audio recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and teacher with an unwavering commitment to establish and to expand the study of the American South. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the roots of the blues. This LP features blues and gospel field recordings made by Ferris between 1966 and 1974; all tracks are available on vinyl for the very first time. In addition to being a groundbreaking documentarian of the American South, Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris co-edited the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1989) and is the author of multiple books. Printed inner sleeve.
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for February 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 - VICKY CHOW - FEB 12–16
Pianist extraordinaire Vicky Chow performs five completely different programs of music for solo piano. Includes several world premieres and some surprise guest artists!
8:30 pm - Vicky Chow plays Philip Glass Etudes Book 2 - Vicky Chow (piano)
8:30 pm Vicky Chow (piano); Solo Acoustic Works including Ann Southam's Glass Houses, Nik Bärtsch's Moduls, Toshi Ichiyanagi's Time Sequence and more!
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - JEFF ZEIGLER - FEB 19–23
8:30 pm - Zachary Watkins (guitar) Laura Ortman (violin) Jeff Zeigler (cellos) Yuka Honda (electronics)
8:30 pm - Jeffrey Zeigler (cello) and Raz Mesinai (piano, electronics)
8:30 pm - Graham Reynolds and the Golden Arm Trio with Jeffrey Zeigler
Graham Reynolds (piano, keyboards) Jeffrey Zeigler (cello) Alexis Buffum (violin) Jeremy Bruch (drums) - Graham Reynolds' WATER MUSIC.
8:30 pm - Re:Volver -— Cello, Electronica & the Mayan Apocalypse
Jeff Zeigler (cello)
8:30 pm - Hae Voces with Jeffrey Zeigler - Kristina Dutton (violin) Majel Connery (voice) Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)
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
Spectrum is at
70 Flushing Ave, Garage A,
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Saturday 16 February
Nicholas Isherwood, baritone
HAVONA AND CAPRICORN
Sunday 17 February
7 PM - Ben Bennett, WO event TBA
7:30 PM - Symbiosis, curated by Caitlin Cawley and Sarah Chien
Saturday 23 February
7 PM - Joseph Franklin
8:30 PM - Kuba Chichoki Album release concert
Sunday 24 February
4 PM - NYC Composer Collective - Ten new works by ten eclectic composers - the New York City Composer Collective shares a Sunday afternoon of premieres in their debut show as a group. Come hear the sounds of electronic color music, solo viola, horn treatises, chamber jazz, whacky art song, and who knows what else!
Composers will include:
- Sequoia Sellinger
- Felix Jarrar
- Noah Becker
- Andrew Yoon
- Steve Williams
- Jonah Udall
- Nick Dunston
- Frank Spigner
- Natalie Braginsky
- Cat Toren
Bushwick Improvised Music Series Continues:
Monday February 18th
7pm Faye Kilburn - theramin
Ras Moshe - tenor saxophone
Laura Feathers - synth
Dave Miller - drums
8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Vijay Anderson - drums
9pm Paul Austerlitz - clarinets
JD Parran - clarinets
Isaiah Richardson - clarinets
9:45pm Matt Lavelle - trumpet
Lee Odom - bass
Jeremy Carlstedt - drums
10:45pm Nick Fraser - drums
Tony Malaby - saxophones
Darren Johnston - trumpet
Brandon Lopez - bass
11:30pm David Meier - drums
Michael Foster - saxophones
Joanna Mattrey - viola
Simon Hanes - bass
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
Sound It Out series @ Greenwich House — Concerts, January-February 2019
Saturday February 16, 7:30pm —
Double-bill — Caroline Davis’s Alula: Caroline Davis, alto sax/voice; Matt Mitchell, piano and synth; Dan Weiss, drums Michael Dessen Trio: Michael Dessen, trombone; Chris Tordini, double-bass; Dan Weiss, drums; and special guest Fay Victor, vocals
Greenwich House Music School: 46 Barrow Street,
just west of 7th Avenue South in New York City’s West Village;
www.greenwichhouse.org, 212-242-4770, www.sounditoutnyc.com
Tuesday, February 26th
Music Now! At The Brooklyn Commons
7pm - The Zodiac Saxophone Quartet
Charles Waters-Alto Sax
Lee Odom-Soprano Sax
Claire Daley-Baritone Sax
Ras Moshe Burnett-Tenor Sax
8pm - Music Now! Expanded
with Ras Moshe Burnett
Matt Lavelle-Trumpet, Bass Clarinet
Charles Waters-Alto Sax
James Keepnews-Electric Bass
Food and refreshments available at The Commons Cafe
The Brooklyn Commons
388 Atlantic Ave.(btwn Hoyt st. & Bond st.) - Downtown Brooklyn