“This Wheel’s on Fire” written Bob Dylan & Rick Danko
First appeared on The Band’s debut: ‘Music from Big Pink’ (1968)
If your mem'ry serves you well,
We were goin' to meet again and wait,
So I'm goin' to unpack all my things
And sit before it gets too late.
No man alive will come to you
With another tale to tell,
But you know that we shall meet again
If your mem'ry serves you well.
This wheel's on fire,
Rolling down the road,
Best notify my next of kin,
This wheel shall explode!
If your mem'ry serves you well,
I was goin' to confiscate your lace,
And wrap it up in a sailor's knot
And hide it in your case.
If I knew for sure that it was yours...
But it was oh so hard to tell.
But you knew that we would meet again,
If your mem'ry serves you well.
This wheel's on fire,
Rolling down the road,
Best notify my next of kin,
This wheel shall explode!
If your mem'ry serves you well,
You'll remember you're the one
That called on me to call on them
To get you your favors done.
And after ev'ry plan had failed
And there was nothing more to tell,
You knew that we would meet again,
If your mem'ry served you well.
This wheel's on fire,
Rolling down the road,
Best notify my next of kin,
This wheel shall explode!
There are songs which seem to announce cosmic or mythic events, yet we can’t really tell who or what they are truly about. We must fill in the skeletal holes with our imaginations. It is almost as if some outside force (like the Lord or the devil) is trying to direct certain important events. If (y)our memories do serve us well. There are so many questions posed here: Why are we waiting again? What are we unpacking? Which lace are you trying to confiscate? Is it mine or not? Which favors are you or we trying to get done? Why is that wheel on fire? Going too fast? Will it explode?!? There are a number of great versions of this song: The Band’s first album (‘Music from Big Pink’), the Byrds (‘Dr. Byrd & Mr. Hyde’) and Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity. There is something mysterious going on here and we can feel the mystery as the song unfolds. If you have an answer to any of these questions, let me know. I am still waiting to figure this out. - BLG
The STEVE DALACHINSKY MEMORIAL/CELEBRATION at DMG last Sunday was a blast!
Special thanks to all of the musicians and poets who participated: Frank Meadows, Marty Ehrlich, Louie Belogenis, Jason K Hwang, ThomChess, Thomas Heberer, Michael Vatcher, Yuko Otomo, Kurt Gottschalk and Luisa Muhr. The poetry, music and stories really captured what made local Poet Laureate Steve Dalachinsky such an important part of our & the world’s Creative Arts Community. The final piece of the night started with a recording of John Zorn’s haunting piece, “Kol Nidre” (the Jewish parer for the dead, for everyone to think about Steve), which faded into a musical drone/flow led by Mr. Hwang. Eventually I asked everyone in attendance who had a cell phone, to find a clip of Mr. Dalachinsky’s reading on YouTube. Hence, Dalachinsky’s poetry was heard throughout the room in many layers. We could feel his presence and I thought I saw him in the back of the room, about to take off for yet another gig. It was indeed a glorious night and it was filmed by Robert O’Haire. We hope to have the film made available for viewing in the near future. - BLG/DMG
The Downtown Music Gallery 28th Anniversary Celebrations began on May 1st & Continues! Every In-store This Summer Helps Celebrate the Spirit of Creative Music Performed Live.
Sunday, October 27th:
6pm: DAVID GROLLMAN and KENNY MILLIONS - Snare Drums and Whatever He Does!
7pm: SEAN ALI & SANDY EWEN - Contrabass and Guitar-on-lap!
Sunday, November 10th:
6pm: NOAH BECKER and MICHAEL ATTIAS - Alto Sax Duo!
7pm: MYSTERY GUITARIST
Sunday, November 24th:
6pm: THOMAS HELTON - Solo ContraBass
7pm: REGGIE NICHOLSON - Solo Drums
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
The Independent Promoters Alliance,
Eric’s House of Improv and Downtown Music Gallery Present:
The Rare Return of BassDrumBone
Featuring MARK HELIAS / GERRY HEMINGWAY / RAY ANDERSON!!!
Saturday, November 9th at 8pm:
Rare Appearance at ZÜRCHER Gallery -
33 Bleecker St. (East of Lafayette), NY NY 10012
Tel: 212-777-0790 / email@example.com
This Week’s Newsletter Begins with an Important Reissue from the Great 20th Century Composer…
FRANK ZAPPA // THE ABNUCEAL EMUUKHA ELECTRIC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - Orchestral Favorites - 40th Anniversary (Zappa Records 20030; USA) Wowie Zowie! For me and many other freaks worldwide, the Mothers of Invention were the greatest and most influential band of the 1960’s. Their leader was Frank Zappa, avant-gardist/guitarist/songwriter/composer/producer/humorist/realist/progressive/futurist, the best of many worlds. When Mr. Zappa disbanded the original Mothers in 1969, many fans were saddened and perplexed. Soon Mr. Zappa organized the next Mothers, a comedy band, fronted by Flo & Eddie from the Turtles. In a parallel universe, Zappa, also produced a series of great solo albums during the same period, ‘Lumpy Gravy’, ‘Hot Rats’ and ‘Chunga’s Revenge’ (all pretty great!). Zappa’s unique inventiveness and weird vision was at the center of those albums as well. His guitar playing, songwriting and composing continued to evolve. He made several live records with the comedy band, as well as producing a hilarious movie called ‘200 Motels’. When the comedy band broke up, Zappa put together the Grand Wazoo, made from many of the finest L.A. session musicians, toured and released two great albums. He then put together the next version of the Mothers (around 1973) with an all-star cast: Jean-Luc Ponty, Ian Underwood, Bruce Fowler, George Duke, Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler, Ralph Humphrey. For me, this was the best version of the Mothers, instrumentally speaking and out of all the jazz/rock/fusion bands I caught during that period (I saw them all), they were the best! Strangely enough, the records the this version of the Mothers made, ‘Overnight Sensation’ and ‘One Size Fits All’, I have mixed feelings about. ‘Roxy & Elsewhere’ and ‘Bongo Fury’ are mostly pretty cool, but starting with ‘Zoot Alures’ and ’Sheik Yer Bootie’, it is pretty much down hill for me from there onwards. I could never give up on Frank for too long since he was an irrepressible genius.
In that parallel universe I mentioned earlier, Mr. Zappa, continued to compose and record classical/serious music, as well as becoming the best jazz/rock guitarist soloist of 70’s & 80’s. Zappa recorded, produced and paid for several of his own classical records, one with the London Symphony Orchestra and this one an L.A. orchestra. Both are essential records for the serious complex music freaks amongst us. When ‘Orchestral Favorites’ was first released in 1979, Mr. Zappa’s contract with Warner Bros. had come to an end so he had to deliver several records at once, which include ’Sleep Dirt’, ’Studio Tan’ and ‘Orchestral Favorites’. Warner Bros. released these albums with covers done by an artist of their choosing and with no mention of who the musicians on them were. No doubt very frustrating for the great chronologist himself. For me those three records were a abreath of fresh (complex) air for someone who have given up on his main hero for several years earlier, The LSO album and a three album set of guitar solos, called ’Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar, Parts 1-3’ are also essential.
This 3 CD set version of ‘Orchestral Favorites’, contains a bonus version of “Strictly Genteel”, the theme song from ‘200 Motels’, as well as two CD’s of a live concert at Royce Hall in L.A. on September 18th, 1975, nearly two hours long! For those of you who are Zappa freaks and for those who still might need to be convinced that Frank Zappa was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, then take some 2 & 1/2 hours of your precious time and have your mind completely blown. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
3 CD Set $46
PETER LEMER QUINTET with JOHN SURMAN / ALAN SKIDMORE / TONY REEVES / JON HISEMAN - Son of Local Colour - Live at the Pizza Express (ESP-Disk 5031; USA) The core of this group - John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Peter Lemer, Tony Reeves, and Jon Hiseman -- recorded an LP titled ‘Local Colour’ for ESP-Disk in 1966 (ESP-Disk 1057-CD & LP). The plan, conceived the year after the 50th anniversary of the recording session, was to reunite the original quintet, which had existed for six months back in '66, but unfortunately Nisar Ahmad (George) Khan, tenor saxophonist on the original album, came down with something and couldn't appear. Alan Skidmore (a Lemer bandmate) was deputized and, as all familiar with his career would expect and you will hear, came through with flying local colors at the concert on February 20, 2018 at noted London jazz club Pizza Express. Four months later, Jon Hiseman passed away at age 73 after battling a brain tumor. Five of the original album's six compositions are reprised, but with more room to stretch out on them in the concert context. New to Lemer's ESP discography are Lemer's tribute to British saxophonist/frequent Lemer bandmate Dick Heckstall-Smith, "Big Dick"; Surman's "URH"; and a wild interpretation of Coltrane's "Impressions". Both saxists here, John Surman and Alan Skidmore, are amongst the best in the long history of British modern jazz and are in strong form here! Drummer Jon Hiseman was & still is phenomenal and used to lead the seminal bands: Colosseum I and II. For those of us who appreciate the best of British modern jazz, this is an essential release, which is wonderful considering each of these musicians average age is 60 . - BLG
* ASSIF TSAHAR / WILLIAM PARKER / HAMID DRAKE - In Between The Tumbling A Stillness (Hopscotch 60; Israel) Featuring Assif Tsahar on reeds, William Parker on contrabass and Hamid Drake on drums. This disc was recorded live at Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv in February of 2015. Israeli saxist Assif Tsahar was an important part of free/jazz/Downtown scene during the nineties, for nearly a decade. Mr. Tsahar is a powerful tenor saxist in the Ayler mode who founded the Hopscotch label and recorded with: William Parker, Susie Ibarra, Cooper-Moore, Tatsuya Nakatani, Peter Kowald, Sunny Murray, Rashied Ali… Since moving back to Israel, Mr. Tsahar has been working on a documentary film and co-running a jazz club in Tel Aviv called Levontin 7. The Hopscotch label has continued but has slowed down with just two discs in the last few years, this one and another trio date by the Digital Primitives with Cooper-Moore and Chad Taylor. The label currently has no US distribution, so getting their discs has become rather difficult.
From the gitgo, this disc sounds marvelous. William Parker and Hamid Drake are the premiere Downtown (NY/Chicago) rhythm team and they sound perfect together like one dynamic force. Mr. Tsahar sounds better then ever with his powerful yet calm Ayleresque tone on tenor sax. Tsahar keeps spinning off those free-wheeling lines, with Parker & Drake in synchronous free spirit. The rhythm team keeps shifting through a variety of grooves: free, somewhat funky, a bit bluesy at times, sounding effortless at times with a cool, calm center yet slow-burning as well. I find this music to be most uplifting, a healing force… There is a section where the bass & drums take off on their own, weaving their way together in perfect unison, a groove-wise flow. A consistently inspired effort of Free/Jazz at its best! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15 / LP $20
* ASSIF TSAHAR will playing a recency at The Stone this week with an all-star Downtown cast different every night at 8:30 - October 22nd - 26th! Not to be missed!
MATANA ROBERTS with HANNAH MARCUS / SAM SHALABI / NICOLAS CALOIA / RYAN SAWYER - COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation 145; Canada) “Matana Roberts returns with the fourth chapter of her extraordinary Coin Coin series - a project that has deservedly garnered the highest praise and widespread critical acclaim for it's fierce aesthetic originality and unflinching narrative power. The first three Coin Coin albums, issued from 2011-2015, charted diverse pathways of modern/avant composition - Roberts calls it "panoramic sound quilting" - and ranged sequentially from large band to sextet to solo, unified by Roberts' archival and often deeply personal research into legacies of the American slave trade and ancestries of American identity/experience. Roberts also emphasizes non-male subjects and thematizes these other-gendered stories with a range of vocal and verbal techniques: singspeak, submerged glossolalic recitation, guttural cathartic howl, operatic voice, gentle lullaby, group chant, and the recuperation of various American folk traditions and spirituals, whether surfacing in fragmentary fashion or as unabridged set-pieces. The root of this vocality comes from her dedication to the legacy of her main chosen instrument, the alto saxophone. On Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, Roberts convened a new band, with New Yorkers Hannah Marcus (guitars, fiddle, accordion) and percussionist Ryan Sawyer (Thurston Moore, Nate Wooley, Cass McCombs) joined by Montréal bassist Nicolas Caloia (Ratchet Orchestra) and Montréal-Cairo composer/improviser Sam Shalabi (Land Of Kush, Dwarfs Of East Agouza) on guitar and oud, along with prolific trombonist Steve Swell and vibraphonist Ryan White as special guests. Memphis unspools as a continuous work of 21st century liberation music, oscillating between meditative incantatory explorations, raucous melodic themes, and unbridled free-improv suites, quoting archly and ecstatically from various folk traditions along the way. Led by Roberts' conduction and unique graphic score practice, her consummate saxophone and clarinet playing, and punctuated by her singing and speaking various texts generated from her own historical research and diaristic writings, Coin Coin Chapter Four is a glorious and spellbinding new installment in this projected twelve-part Gesamtkunstwerk. Says Roberts: "As an arts adventurer dealing w/ the medium of sound and it's many contradictions I am most interested in endurance, perseverance, migration, liberation, libation, improvisation and the many layers of cognitive dissonance therein as it relates to my birth country's history. I speak memory, I sing an American survival through horn, song, sadness, a sometimes gladness. I stand on the backs of many people, from so many different walks of life and difference, that never had a chance to express themselves as expressively as I have been given the privilege. In these sonic renderings, I celebrate the me, I celebrate the we, in all that it is now, and all that is yet to come or will be... Thanks for listening."
RADICAL EMPATHY TRIO With THOLLEM McDONAS / NELS CLINE / MICHAEL WIMBERLEY - 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.
EYVIND KANG with ALAN BISHOP / MARCO DALPANE / MG_INC ORCHESTRA - Chirality (IDA 037; Italy) “As result of another Angelica Festival production this new Eyvind Kang album presents a new cycle of works including compositions and songs for mixed orchestra with Kang at the head of a large ensemble featuring traditional instruments (strings and winds), synthesizers, percussion, plus voice and field recordings from Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls).
The Seattle-area based strings wizard, Eyvind Kang, is in a class of his own. Not only is he a gifted improviser who has worked with Bill Frisell, Robin Holcomb, Wayne Horvitz, the Secret Chiefs 3 and the Sun City Girls, Mr. Kang is also a dynamic composer who successfully blends modern classical, avant jazz with ancient influences, a psychedelic strands seem to flow his universal stream. Kang recorded five fabulous CD’s for the Tzadik label in the past decade. Since then Mr. Kang has been involved in a series of solo and duo efforts with Jessika Kenney and Tashi Dorji, all LP only releases. For this disc, Mr. Kang has expanded his vision and palette of instruments. Although Kang composed most of the music, two members of the now defunct Sun City Girls, Alan & Richard Bishop, also contributed one song each, as well as using a piece from modern classical composer James Tenney. The full instrumentation features Eyvind Kang as the conductor, chironomy (directing singers of Gregorian chant), viola & lyrics, Alan Bishop voice, lyric & field recordings, Marco Dalpane accordion & Moog synthesizer and the MG_INC Orchestra (from Modena, Italy). The piece begins with what sounds like a raga, precious, slight bent-note viola floating above a drone/cushion of electronics & strings. The quirky yet somehow charming voice & twisted lyrics of Alan Bishop are featured here. The lyrics do a good job of capturing a nightmarish drug-induced dreamscape in India (“a Calcutta codeine come”). As a longtime fan of completely unpredictable punk band, Sun City Girls, it seems like a sly move to have their vocalist, Alan Bishop, singing with semi-serious orchestral support. I found the lyrics, vocals and music to be immensely enchanting, creating their own unique world, rather like a fractured fairy tale of sorts. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE / CASSANDRA MILLER / ZIPANGU ENSEMBLE - aaangelicaaa (IDA 038; Italy) “Recorded last year during the Angelica festival this album contains two long pieces composed respectively by Charlemagne Palestine and the Canadian composer Cassandra Miller. The first piece is a quasi-liturgy with Palestine moving around the space with crystal glass instruments and vocals, plus the accompaniment of tubular bells and string ensembles. The second is a piece for 26 stringed instruments that develops through a wide and continuous circular movement.
PHIL MINTON / VERYAN WESTON / FABIO SACCONI / ORCHESTRA del TEATRO COMUNALE di BOLOGNA - Ways for an Orchestra (ReR Megacorp/IDA 036; Italy) “The music of Phil Minton and Veryan Weston comes as a unique combination of different elements. From free improvisation to the song form in its broadest sense. After three great studio albums the Minton Weston duo is back with a program of unprecedented arrangements for small orchestra and the result is outstanding. The music flows with great pathos through unique interpretations of original compositions and pieces by Eric Dolphy, Luc Ex, Lindsay Cooper, Jacques Brel... The intense voice of Phil Minton and the magnificent pianism of Veryan Weston drive the rich orchestral texture through a highly dense concert program.”
Think about it: Phil Minton has come along way. Mr. Minton first played trumpet and sang with Mike Westbrook, starting around 1972. The Westbrook Band and Henry Cow collaborated and toured together on & off from 1976-1978. Fred Frith (from Henry Cow) continued to work with Phil Minton in the early eighties when Frith had moved to the Lower East Side, producing & releasing an album of solo vocals called “A Doughnut In Both Hands” for Frith’s own Rift Records label. Mr. Frith soon organized a duo/trio with cellist Tom Cora and harpist Zeena Parkins also around the same time. Minton continued to work with Mike Westbrook, as we’ll as with Sven Ake-Johansson, Peter Brotzmann, Roger Turner & Alfred 23 Harsh, his experimental vocals getting even further out all the time. Mr. Cora eventually moved to south France and put together a group called The Roof with Mr. Minton, Luc Ex & Michael Vatcher, making two great albums. When Mr. Cora passed away in April of 1998, his quartet continued as Four Walls, with Veryan Weston taking his place. Phil Minton and Veryan Weston continued to play as a duo after Four Walls disbanded, eventually making a half dozen discs as a duo and as a quartet. Aside from becoming a completely unique, experimental/improvising vocalist, Mr. Minton and Mr. Weston have long covered a variety cover songs from an eclectic catalogue of composers, here covering: Eric Dolphy, Leiber & Stoller, Arthur Sullivan, Jacques Brel, Elvis Presley and the late Lindsay Cooper (from Henry Cow). Along with the duo, added are Fabio Sacconi on double bass and the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna. The results are often stunning, since this is the first time in many years that Phil Minton’s strange yet unique voice if supported by a piano and orchestra. The well-chosen words were provided by James Joyce, Adrian Mitchell (UK beat poet), Ho Chi Minh and other more political sources.
A Half Dozen New Discs from the CLEAN FEED / SHHPUMA Treasure Chest:
HARRIS EISENSTADT with NATE WOOLEY / ALEXANDER HAWKINS / PASCAL NIGGENKEMPER - Canada Day Quartet Live (Clean Feed 535; Portugal) Harris Eisenstadt’s Canada Day project was originally a quintet, but the band has undergone several transmutations through the years – an octet (the original quintet plus the horns of Jason Mears, Ray Anderson and Dan Peck), a quartet (without Chris Dingman and his vibraphone) and a trio (during a recent Russian tour), now returning to the four musician format, with only a melodic instrument, Nate Wooley’s trumpet, a piano, played by Alexander Hawkins, and a double bass, in the hands of Pascal Niggenkemper. The Canadian drummer and composer notes that when an ensemble’s instrumentation and/or personnel changes, it figures the notion that an ensemble must stay the same to continue to evolve.” Here we have sonic evidence to support that assertion. The music is different from previous recordings, but the ensemble’s identity keeps its integrity. Rhythm is the basis of everything happening, showing Eisenstadt’s devotion to (and knowledge of) traditional African and Diaspora music systems. Lyricism and abstraction are on equal terms here, often moving from one to the other and back in a flash. A must have / must listen album.
EVE RISSER - Après un Rêve (Clean Feed 524; Portugal) Personnel: Eve Risser - prepared upright piano, composition. “In “Après un Rêve” the upright piano isn’t the alternative resource when some particular venue (here the FGO Barbara, in Paris) doesn’t have a grand piano and can’t afford the rental of one: it has it’s own mechanical properties and capacities, making it a valuable performing instrument and not just a surrogate. Known for her very personal views in what concerns the preparation of a piano, French composer and improviser Eve Risser started a solo program in 2017 dedicated to the “piano droit” and this is the very first documented release of that particular enterprise. With the bowels of the piano in front of her, it’s another kind of prepared piano, more rhythmic and also more composed («improvisation as inner composition», she says), we’re offered, opening the sound spectrum of this music to unsuspected possibilities. As always with Risser, the logics applied have “one hand on the heart, the other on the soul and a foot on the... party”. A party, we should add, made of delicate and intoxicating materials, almost Zen in its dreamlike developments, constantly in transition, mutating and gaining a life of its own, like a living organism. Simply beautiful..”
JOÃO LENCASTRE’S COMMUNION 3 with JACOB SACKS / EIVIND OPSVIK - Song(s) of Hope (Clean Feed 538; Portugal) Personnel: “João Lencastre - drums & analogue synth, Jacob Sacks - piano and Eivind Opsvik - double bass. Portuguese drummer and composer João Lencastre began his Communion project in 2005, after his first visit to New York in 2002 set the scene for developing relationships with New York musicians. There he first heard and met David Binney and in 2003 Lencastre joined Binney on stage for some Portuguese dates and in 2004 he met Jacob Sacks and Thomas Morgan, who would later join Communion, when Binney’s Quartet toured. In 2005 Communion took its first real shape with a tour featuring Phil Grenadier. Since then, Communion has had a dynamic line-up, working with João’s compositions, of Quintet, Septet, and Trio. Six albums have been released with the participation of David Binney, Thomas Morgan, Bill Carrothers, Phil Grenadier, Leo Genovese, Benny Lackner, Jacob Sacks,Eivind Opsvik, and others. With Jacob Sacks and Eivind Opsvik he has created a “redux” version of the project, adapting his ideas to the piano trio format. After the Communion 3 debut album Movements in Freedom, released in late 2017 on Clean Feed, here is a second opus in Song(s) of Hope: "Cecil Taylor meets Morton Feldman meets “popish” epic themes, meets analogue synth frequency explorations." as Lencastre himself describes.
Lencastre has found consummate partners in the translation to sound of his scores, both Sacks and Opsvik sharing his own personal characteristics in terms of elegance, subtlety and a vivid sense of drive. With only these three, less is indeed more, proving that there’s beauty in economy
on Song(s) of Hope.”
ZACK CLARKE TRIO with KIM CASS / DRE HOCEVAR - Vertical Shores (Clean Feed 533; Portugal) “Personnel: Zack Clarke - piano, Kim Cass - double bass and Dre Hocevar -drums. Pianist and composer Zack Clarke is a worker of forms, expanding the ones he chooses far beyond their inventions. Of course, when manipulating form, Clarke manages all of the inherent idiomatic factors while keeping himself away from any established sublabels, be it “third stream”, “fusion” or “collage”. After dealing with electro-acoustic projects including his acclaimed Random Acts of Order and Mesophase, his focus returns to the acoustic jazz piano trio in Vertical Shores. It is in this format that we are able to see Clarke’s pianism on full display. Working with great improvisers Kim Cass and Dre Hocevar, the trio pushes into new territory using their shared aesthetic and textural sensibilities as well as a virtuosic technical proficiency between the three. What interests Clarke and his peers on Vertical Shores is the use of the return to the classic trio configuration as a tool for the purpose of creating a new beginning. The result rewards the listener with a world seen at a different slant.”
TOM ARTHURS / ISAMBARD KHROUSTALIOV / JULIAN SARTORIOUS - Hangkerum (Clean Feed 539; Portugal) Personnel: Tom Arthurs - trumpets, Isambard Khroustaliov - electronics and Julian Sartorious - drums and percussion. The best music is always the one created by singular musicians, as we learned from the history of jazz. Tom Arthurs, Isambard Khroustaliov (the alias of Sam Britton) and Julian Sartorius are three of them in present times, and from them we can only expect... the unexpected. Arthurs has a duo with Khroystaliov for some years now, Vaucanson's Muse, and his collaborations with Sartorius aren’t new either, but what we heard by them didn’t prepare us for this trio. Everything in “Hangkerum” happens in the domains of subtlety, nuance and detail, and sometimes it’s difficult to understand who does what in the mix of timbres and textures or where compositon stops and improvisation starts. All the materials are melted, even considering the foreign origins of all the musical references. The muted trumpet sound is somewhat familiar to the Miles Davis one, but Arthurs couldn’t be more distant from the Dark Prince. His lines and flights make us remember John Taylor and Jimmy Giuffre, but also the Berlin’s Echtzeitmusik scene, composers like Ligeti, Ferrari and Feldman, the pygmies of Central Africa, Brazilian popular music and David Sylvian. Khroustaliov’s electronics may suggest the clynical research work done at IRCAM and STEIM, but it also reflects his collaborations with Aphex Twin and Matthew Herbert. A master of rhythmic patterns, Sartorius give us the very little, through repeated locked grooves, but also an unique perspective of amplification of the unheard, specially when manipulating non-musical objects. The result of the combination of these three inquisitive minds is astonishing.
ODDLY IMPLODED with FRANCESCO GREGORETTI / MAURIZIO ARGENZIANO - They Just Sit About (Shhpuma 054; USA) The Italian sound explorer Francesco Gregoretti has more than an idiosyncratic idea of how to approach a drumkit using all its capacities, usually by over-amplifying it and sculpting the resulting feedbacks – he has a musical concept, manifested by several projects. Oddly Imploded is one of those, amongst its siblings Strongly Imploded and Grizzly Imploded. That concept goes through very particular combinations of the timbres produced by skins and metals with the roar or the murmurs of an electric guitar, as we hear from his association with Olivier di Placido. Inspired by the mathematics of Chaos Theory, he choosed the tightrope walker way, trying to find an equilibrium between chance on one side and structure on the other. With Oddly Imploded the guitarist is another like-minded adventurer, Maurizio Argenziano, and with him the music finds a way between ambientand noise, with reminiscences of the most radical free improvisation. Can you imagine a punkish version of the (never happened) duo of Gunter “Baby” Sommer and Fred Frith? No, you can’t...
PABLO DIAZ QUINTETO / PAULA SHOCRON / LEONEL KAPLAN / AGUSTI FERNANDEZ / CHRISTOF KURZMANN / et al - New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires (ESP-Disk 5033; USA) ESP-Disk' has a little bit of history with Argentina - the label issued Gato Barbieri's first international release (ESP-Disk 1049-CD), and their Steve Lacy album was recorded there - so the label couldn't resist putting out this compilation of 2012-17 recordings (most previously unreleased) from the Buenos Aires scene.
In his liner notes, compiler Jason Weiss writes, "In June 1966, just as General Juan Carlos Onganía was leading a military coup d'état, Steve Lacy's quartet arrived in Buenos Aires: not exactly safe harbor for free jazz. Despite opposition the group gained a small following, appearing on television, at a museum, in private homes, but they couldn't earn enough for their return flights. When the quartet -- Lacy, Enrico Rava, Johnny Dyani, Louis Moholo, a supergroup in retrospect -- played at the venerable Instituto di Tella, whose experimental music center was directed by the composer Alberto Ginastera, Lacy instructed the group to do two free improvised sets of twenty minutes each; it proved to be their only document of the whole adventure, released by ESP the following year as The Forest and the Zoo (ESPDISK 1060CD)." And now? Weiss says, "As in European and American cities, the music survives on a DIY homemade spirit to subvert conventions and construct a kind of presence. But the struggle is waged against greater odds," not least because "in recent years the city government has cracked down on the modest cultural clubs found in most neighborhoods where a mix of artistic events would be held, regulating them instead on the same terms as larger, single-purpose venues. Many places couldn't afford to stay open, while others became more clandestine." It is not a scene that has managed to receive the international attention it deserves. Fortunately, Weiss provides plenty more context, biographical info, and quotes from scene stalwarts in his extensive essay in the album's 16-page booklet.
JEFF PLATZ / STEPHEN HAYNES / MATT CRANE / DAMON SMITH - Theory of Colors (Umland 52840; Germany) Featuring Jeff Platz on guitar, Stephen Haynes on cornet, Damon Smith on acoustic bass and Matt Crane on drums. Boston-based guitarist has more than a dozen discs out on several labels and plays here at DMG on occasion. He often plays with Boston-area players as well as the occasional Downtowner like Daniel Carter and Dave Miller. This is Platz’ second disc with the same quartet. No doubt you are familiar with trumpet great Stephen Haynes who has worked with Bill Dixon, Joe Morris and Tyshawn Sorey. In-demand bassist Damon Smith keeps busy playing with a variety of musicians from different scenes, as he moved from the Bay Area to Texas and now to Boston working with: Henry Kaiser, Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen and Peter Kowald.
There are some 13 pieces on this disc, all under 8 minutes, but many shorter than that. This disc starts off with an intense blast of free-wheeling spinning from all four members, which ends with just a lone bass flutter. At times its sounds as if there are two different bands playing at the same time. Mr. Platz’ cerebral Joe Morris-like swirling, fractured lines are well supported by the rhythm team while the cornet also spins quick lines with and around the guitar’s flashing spurts. Damon Smith is a master improviser who knows when to speed up, slow down, lock with the drums, balancing between the cornet and guitar just right. There are often two or more dialogues going on simultaneously, each one drawing from a long history of improvised music from different yet somehow related scenes. Things get stripped down to a more skeletal level on “The Particulars” which features some spirited backwards (sounding) guitar. Everyone seems to be altering their sound in different ways which keeps things interesting since it is hard to tell who is doing what at times. Mr. Haynes cuts loose a few of those Wadada-like blasts, selecting just the right time to push things higher. There is a section where it sounds as if it was recorded at the ‘Bitches Brew” session, sly, haunting, swamp-like guitar, powerful trumpet blasts one at a time and a throbbing rhythm section, intense, focused and extraordinary. This was the very last piece, so that if the session started off with that piece, it might have made one of the best sets of the year. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
A Handful of Discs from BRAD LINDE:
BRAD LINDE with ANTHONY PIROG / ERIKA DOHI / NATHAN KAWALLER - Underwater Ghost (Bleebop Records #1911; USA) Featuring Brad Linde on tenor sax, Anthony Pirog on guitar & effects, Erika Dohi piano, prepared piano & Fender Rhodes and Nathan Kawaller on bass. In September of 2018, a drummer/bandleader from Washington, DC played here at DMG and left us with three of is own self-produced discs. I didn’t recognize any of the members of his band except for drummer Deric Dickens, who has played here at DMG on a few occasions. Mr. Linde just stopped by and left us with another five discs, each one with slightly different personnel. For this disc, the only other name I recognize is hot shot DC guitarist, Anthony Pirog, whose has been garnering mush attention due to his recent work with the Messthetics, James Brandon Lewis and Henry Kaiser. Most of this disc was recorded at The Brink, a studio in Centreville, VA in December of 2014. This disc begins with a somber, pensive trio piece (for tenor, guitar & bass) which recorded live a bit earlier. All but two pieces were composed by Mr. Linde, the other two collective improvs. I dig the way, “Ted Sed”, opens with a great, quirky beboppish line which re-emerges after series of freer fragments. Since there is no drummer involved, the music has sort-of chamber jazz-like quality. The quartet takes things further out on the two improv pieces with Ms. Dohi playing impressive explorations inside the piano while Mr. Pirog also inserts his own fractured lines quietly, while Mr Linde also adds some restrained, smoky tenor underneath. There are some unexpected noises on “Boo”, not even sure who is doing what: altered Fender Rhodes or manipulated electric guitar?!? It is Mr. Linde’s writing that really surprises here are he blends a variety of tight, complex sections with unexpected freer segments. Another thing I like is this: Mr. Linde has a warm, sort of cool school tone on tenor (which remains at the center) while the rest of the quartet seem to come from another more unsettling place. The overall vibe is dreamy yet slightly disorienting. This disc ends with an ancient standard called, “This Nearly was Mine”, which is most charming, a great way to bring this odd gem to a fine close. An unexpected delight overall. - Bruce Lee Gallanter at DMG
BRAD LINDE’S TEAM PLAYERS - Fore! (Bleebop Records #1913; USA) Released 2019. The Team Players are Brad Linde on alto sax, Billy Wolfe on tenor sax, Aaron Quinn on electric guitar and Deric Dickens on drums. In September of last year (2018), DC saxist Brad Linde left us with three CD’s from his band, the Team Players, each one exploring a different theme. Earlier this week, Mr. Linde left us with five newer discs, each one with slightly different personnel. Two members of this quartet, Aaron Quinn & Deric Dickens, can be found on other discs just dropped off. As each of Mr. Linde’s discs have a theme, so too does this one which was inspired by the game of golf. Each member of the quartet contributed around three pieces with just one cover at the end. This disc opens with a short eruption of solo electric guitar which sounds like it came from the first Fred Frith ‘Guitar Solo’ album. Soon, the two saxes, guitar and drums join forces to play an intense, tight, jazz/noise sort of tune, dig the twisted harmonies for both saxes. On each piece the instrumentation is utilized differently, covering quite a bit of (unexpected) ground. I dig the dreamy saxes on “Out” and “In” with the quiet, somber guitar. “Waggle Like an Eel” sounds more like some eruptive No Wave before it comes to a close. “I Played Putt-Putt Once…” sounds like it is being played in slow motion with some exquisite restraint. I know that the theme has to do with golf but I am not so sure how this all fits together, but somehow it does musically. Even the four solo pieces fit with the ongoing story-like unfolding. Another unexpected gem from the ever-growing Brad Linde catalogue of odd delights. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BRAD LINDE’S DIX OUT - There’ll Be Some Changes Made (Bleebop Records #1912; USA) Featuring Brad Linde on soprano sax, Tara Kannangara on trumpet, Aaron Quinn on electric banjo & prepared guitar, Liz Prince on tuba and Deric Dickens on drums & percussion plus everyone on background vocals. Recorded at The Brink Studio in April of 2015. It seems hard to believe that Mr. Linde has released five more CD’s in the past year, since he played here and left us with three other discs just last year. What should be no longer surprising is that the personnel and music selection is vastly different on each & every disc that he just left us with. Unlike the other two disc that I’ve recently reviewed, this one features all covers and most songs from nearly a century ago including songs by: Fats Waller, Sidney Bechet and Al Jolson.
For the past few years, I have been listening to quite a bit of Dixieland and swing jazz, both big bands and smaller combos. Since becoming a clarinet freak, over the past decade, I have tried to listen to every great clarinetist during the 20th century, many of whom started out playing Dixieland and Swing. Mr. Linde claims in the liner notes that there is more in common with trad jazz and avant/jazz than many would imagine and I’ve come to the same conclusion. This disc is a great example of the blending of these styles from eras 20 or thirty years apart. This disc begins with “Honeysuckle Rose” (Fats Waller), which the quintet strips down still keeps that sweet, playful groove/vibe. Nice to hear the tuba playing the bass line, something that was common in those days as well. Every song is well chosen & memorable, keeping the vibe most an effortless delight. Slowly, Dix Out start to push these songs further out, stretch them out gently. I’ll bet there will be some of you who would called this music corny or irreverent. It is coming from an ancient perhaps more innocent era and I find it to be most charming and unlike anything else I an currently listening to. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PAKISTAN - Folk and Pop Instrumentals 1966-1976 (Sublime Frequencies 064; USA) “Spending the greater part of the last decade assembling this masterpiece while tracking down most of the musicians in the process, Stuart Ellis of Radio-diffusion International has compiled a mind-blowing set of Pakistani instrumentals spanning the period between 1966 and 1976. It's all here: rock and roll beat, surf, folk traditional mixed with pop, film tunes, electric guitars, sitar and organ solos, brilliant percussion and arrangements crafted by the grooviest bands of the period: The Panthers, The Mods, The Bugs, The Blue Birds, The Abstracts, The Aay Jays, The Fore Thoughts, Nisar Bazmi, and Sohail Rana. Situated between Afghanistan, India and Iran, the collision of cultural influences in Pakistan gave birth to music that was, and still is, unlike anything heard anywhere else on the planet. By the late 1960s, previous restrictions on musical expression began to soften and bands that were playing American and British pop covers became popular in Karachi's burgeoning night club scene and at private dance parties. Long hair came into fashion among young men and hashish became the popular drug of choice on college campuses across Pakistan. Soon, hippies from both North America and Europe began flocking to Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Very few of the bands that formed during this time actually got to record. Like their neighbors in India, the Pakistani record industry was more focused on releasing "filmi" music, which had just started to incorporate the electric guitar and electric sitar. Pakistan's musical revolution ended in June 1977 after a coup d'état and the establishment of a pure Islamic state governed by Sharia law. This marked the end of the "Swinging '70s" in Pakistan as night clubs and alcohol were banned throughout the country. Television and cinema, as well as popular music, were now subjected to government censorship. After the clamp-down, many Pakistani musicians left the country and moved to America, Canada and England. The audio quality here is top notch, sourced straight from the original EMI Pakistan masters. This CD comes in a digipak with superb photos of the musicians and extended liner notes by compiler Stuart Ellis.
NAM JUNE PAIK - Works 1958-1979 (Sub Rosa 178; Belgium) "This is a wide panorama of Nam June Paik work as musician - 'Hommage à John Cage’ (1958-1959), 'Étude for Pianoforte' (1959-1960) and 'Simple' (1961) are good exemple of neodada music and de-structuration in the late 50's, this is basically irreverent audio-collages. 'Prepared Piano for Merce Cunningham' (1977) captures an improvised performance by Paik on a de-tuned piano. While 'Prepared for Merce Cunningham' was later mixed and edited for use by Cunningham, this raw, straight-to-tape version is favored by Paik. 'Duett: Paik/Takis' (1979) this is the only piece already released (by 20 years ago on a limited vinyl edition). Paik improvises on piano and voice, while Takis performs on his metal sculptures. Nam June Paik, was born in Seoul, Korea in 1932. After a move to Japan, where he studied the work of composer Arnold Schönberg, Paik came to Germany in 1956 to continue his studies in the history of music. His interests soon turned away from the university setting, to less traditional forms of music leading him to the Westdeutsche Rundfunk's Studio for Electronic Music, where Karlheinz Stockhausen was working. To date, there have been only a handful of limited edition LP and cassette releases of Paik's music, primarily documenting collaborative performances with colleagues and friends such as Joseph Beuys and Charlotte Moorman. This is the first CD release of Paik's music and the first ever release of the early tape collage pieces that were to inform the video and performance works that he has continued to produce over the last forty years."
ADNAN OTHMAN - Bershukor: A Retrospective of Hits by a Malaysian Pop Yeh Yeh Legend (Sublime Frequencies 098; USA) “The legendary Adnan Othman has long been a driving force in the Malaysian rock scene. As early as the 1960s his groundbreaking songs in the style known as Pop Yeh Yeh (rock and roll sung in Malay) attracted fans from across Southeast Asia. Recently, he has gained many new fans around the globe due to a renewed interest in rock music from this region. Adnan first rose to fame during the groovy Pop Yeh Yeh era (1964-1970) in Malaysia and Singapore and he continued to evolve as a musician and composer throughout his exciting career. He made his first recordings in Singapore in the early 1960s, when he was invited to record with a highly popular backing band, The Rhythm Boys. He produced innovative material well into the 1970s, but always stayed true to his Rock-and-Roll roots, even when many other artists were turning towards more predictable disco influences. Every track on this album, which draws from all eight of his solo EPs, reveals a different side of his personality. His forceful, gritty, and emotional lyrics and vocals are backed by such memorable Pop Yeh Yeh bands as The Rhythm Boys, The Wanderers, The Flamingoes, and The Falcons. This impressive collection includes rare photos from the artist's own collection and a detailed biography, co-written by Adnan himself. This is a rare and personal insight into the life of one of Singapore and Malaysia's most beloved Pop Yeh Yeh legends -- revealing the man behind the spotlight -- one of the most humble, generous, down-to-earth people you could ever meet. It is clear that Adnan Othman cares deeply about preserving the legacy of his fellow Pop Yeh Yeh musicians: he devoted much time and energy helping to develop the previous Malaysian rock-focused release, Pop Yeh Yeh: Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970 (2013). Again, for this album, he patiently answered our many questions about his life as a musician and artist, and we are most grateful to him for giving this release so much of his unique perspective. In fact, the title of this collection, Bershukor, named for one of the hits included in this album, means "gratitude" in Bahasa Melayu. The 26 unforgettable tracks on this CD are soulful, electrifying, and beautiful. To the many fans of '60s Asian Rock and Roll around the world who have been waiting for an album dedicated solely to the music of Adnan Othman, here it is! Digipak CD with full-size color 32-page booklet of text and photographs.
GUIDED BY VOICES - Sweating The Plague (GBV Inc. 095; USA) "Guided By Voices is now an unlikely candidate for the most perfect rock band of all time, while at the same time being a thoughtful reflection on what a rock band is, a fantasy that becomes a fact. Sweating The Plague, the band's 29th album and their third this year, spars playfully with stadium-sized fidelity and uncharacteristically impactful arrangements. Producer Travis Harrison's counterintuitive approach to Guided By Voices' historically lo-fi sound is that he doesn't want it to sound homemade, while the grinding tectonic plate guitars of Doug Gillard and Bobby Bare Jr. anchor the album. Play it loud! Being a fan of Guided By Voices can feel like standing in a ticker-tape parade and reaching out to grab at stray releases as the endless flurry of output from the Needmore Songs publishing house billows around -- but here's twelve compatible nuggets of Pollard content in one handy package, all boxed up and ready to go."
COMPRO ORO - Suburban Exotica (Sdban Ultra 012; Belgium) “Compro Oro; a psychedelic underground road trip to Africa, the Middle East and the Americas via Belgium. On the band's Suburban Exotica, the spirit of Cal Tjader, Mulatu Astatke, or Marc Ribot is never far away. One of the leading bands in the ever-expanding new wave of Belgian jazz, Compro Oro's wayward and psychedelic approach to a broad range of sounds has gained them a devoted fan base since the band's formation in 2014. Produced by Ghent-based multi-instrumentalist Dijf Sanders, Suburban Exotica digs deep into several ethnic music traditions, leaving the listener enthralled in dark grooves and rabid psychedelica. From the danceable beats and colorful sounds of "Miami New Wave", the exotic rhythms and textures of "10 Dollar Jeans Jacket", and the curious vibraphone infusions and wild guitar riffs of "Rastapopoulos", to the heady, bass-laden mover and shaker "Lalibela", and traditional Latin and Cuban rhythms of "Dark Crystal", Compro Oro offer wild, profound, and uncanny flavors that explore the best of Afro-Cuban music and jazz-tinged psychedelia. Suburban Exotica features drummer, keyboardist, and percussionist Joachim Cooder, son of guitar legend Ry Cooder who played on both the landmark Buena Vista Social Club albums and the Manuel Galban spin-off, Mambo Sinuendo. He adds percussion and his effects-laden electric mbira to three tracks on the album: "Miami New Wave", "Rastapopoulos", and "Dark Crystal". "I had a great time playing on this record. Compro Oro blends together so many interesting rhythms and styles that I never knew what was coming next. I like to work that way." On Suburban Exotica, Compro Oro's Wim Segers adds, "Thanks to Bart (Vervaeck) and saxophonist Nathan Daems (Black Flower), I've discovered Arab and Turkish music. I've learned to embrace my own neighborhood. When you live in this part of Ghent, Eastern rhythms are the beat of the street." Vervaeck chips in, "We aren't Cuban; we aren't Morocccan - we know that. We just sail from one coast to another. Finding our own place." CD version comes in a digipack.
ISAN - Lamenting Machine (Morr Music 169; Germany) “Antony Ryan and Robin Saville return with their ninth studio album as ISAN, Lamenting Machine. Three years in the making, Lamenting Machine is the deepest and most satisfying chapter yet in the ongoing musical conversation between these brilliant musicians. Subtle yet mesmerizing melodies evoking long forgotten memories, calmly throbbing bass figurines pulsing gently along -- all paying tribute to free-floating rhythms and their eternal noises. ISAN has always been an intimate and personal take on electronic music. Produced both in Denmark and the UK in their respective studios, each of the eight tracks symbolize a sea of blossoms carefully crafted and tended to, bringing color and hope to today's fragile and volatile world. And while there is definitely a lot worth lamenting about, ISAN's machine of the same name is an explorational celebration of their own musical past, once more bringing to the surface the project's essence of aural delight. Listening to ISAN requires time, but it is time well invested. While sounding exquisitely lighthearted from the outside, a closer inspection reveals a richly orchestrated and multi-layered musical riddle, mimicking a hedge maze of gargantuan scale and complexity, with each tone and each rhythmic pattern to be dissected, analyzed and understood individually in order to find the way out. ISAN's music has always had this quality, yet reflecting on their own past more consciously, the music on the new album redefines this approach in a more precise and gratifying way than ever before. While wholeheartedly shimmering and drenched in beauty, in order to fully appreciate the whole scale of ISAN, it is key to bravely engage with the underlying vagueness and fuzziness lingering in the tracks. Letting each piece of gear be true to itself, accepting its flaws as part of its unique personality, and turning these frailties into a starting point of inter-circuitry communication, ISAN has been at the forefront of humanizing technology and eliminating the dystopian men machine debate, clearing the table for a better future. This approach actually requires time in the studio as well: circuits need time to warm up, get to know each other, understand the energy flowing through the cables connecting them, figuring out what to do and what they really want. This process is not so much about giving up control, but rather to moderate a constant exchange of ideas.”
GRISCHA LICHTENBERGER - Re: phgrp (reworking consequences by philipp gropper's philm)(Raster R-M 188; Germany) “Grischa Lichtenberger's music stands for broken rhythms, for high-density manipulations that emphasize the digital and fractal nature of its working process. A mindset that grew closer to contemporary jazz in recent years. Since free jazz, this genre also sought to overcome musical standards and looked for possibilities of an individual artistic expression. Within this context, the collaboration between Lichtenberger and jazz saxophonist Philipp Gropper as well as the resulting album are documents of this development. It also offers both musicians the opportunity to expand their familiar environment by breaking with expectations. The foundation for Re: phgrp were pieces from the album Consequences by Philipp Gropper's band PHILM which Lichtenberger reinterpreted without giving up their original character. He rather looked for figures, subjects, and reference points in the compositions to reflect and condense them. As Consequences was recorded with all the instruments in one room at the same time (like a classical jazz recording from the 1950s), the extraction of individual instruments was a challenge which Lichtenberger took up with shifts, distortions, and rearrangements of the original temporality of the material. Except for a few synthesizer sounds and an additional piano recording, he remained largely true to the source material, even though the tracks develop their own unique voice throughout the album. Re: phgrp (reworking consequences by philipp gropper's philm) will be released in cooperation with Whyplayjazz in a limited edition of 500 CDs. The cover was screen printed and shows a compositional notation by Grischa Lichtenberger. The album marks the beginning of an encounter between Lichtenberger and Gropper that promises to continue in joint improvisational concert situations and further recordings in the future.
Historic & Archival Discs, Reissues & Restocks:
BLODWYN PIG & THE MICK ABRAHAMS BAND - Radio Sessions '69 To '71 (Secret Records 049; UK) This album features previously unreleased early live radio recordings from 1969 and 1970 by Blodwyn Pig featuring Mick Abrahams, Andrew Pyle, Jack Lancaster, Ron Berg; and the Mick Abrahams Band featuring Mick Abrahams, Bob Sergeant, Walt Monahan and Richie Dharma. Legendary rock guitarist Mick Abrahams played on the very first album by Jethro Tull and soon left, perhaps to avoid becoming too popular and making too much money with Jethro Tull. ‘This Was’ featured Jethro Tull’s version of “Cat’s Squirrel”, a blazing instrumental, blues/rock feature item which was covered by Cream on their first album a couple of years earlier. Although both the Cream’s studio and live versions show Eric Clapton’s guitar prowess, Mick Abraham’s is even better, which is no small feat! Lead guitarist Mick Abrahams founded a quartet known as Blodwyn Pig in 1969. Blodwyn Pig recorded 2 seminal albums in 1969 & 1970. I caught Blodwyn Pig at my first Fillmore East show in the fall of 1969. They were supposed to open for the Faces, who canceled due to illness, Hence, Blodwyn Pig played a double set and they were phenomenal, getting to stretch out quite a bit, giving Mick Abrahams a chance to show his amazing guitar playing. Blodwyn Pig were a unique rock/blues/jazz hybrid featuring the voice and guitar of Mick Abrahams plus saxist Jack Lancaster. This is the first time I’ve/we’ve gotten a chance to hear their live material which is pretty incredible considering that it is now 50 years later. - BLG
INCREDIBLE STRING BAND - Ducks On A Pond (Secret Records 106; UK) ISB filmed and recorded on September 27, 2003. The personnel here features Mike Heron on vocals, guitars, keyboard & harmonica, Clive Palmer on vocals, banjo, guitar & pipes, Lawson Dando on vocals, keyboards, guitar, harmonium, thumb piano, etc and Fluff on vocals, violin, cello, mandolin & recorder. The material spans the group's first five albums, includes a fiddle and pipe medley, and an exclusive interview with the band. The Incredible String were from 1965 through 1974 a completely unique blend of folk, folk-rock, psych, Celtic, Middle eastern and other ethnic influences. I have always treasured their dozen or so albums from that era. Some three decades later in 2003, they reunited with two original members Mike Heron and Clive Palmer, plus Lawson Dando and Fluff. Listening to this 2 CD 1 DVD set, they still have that magical, refreshing folk/psych/ethnic sound. If you haven’t heard any of the original albums, hippies & hipsters alike, well shame on you! Here are a few recommendations: ‘The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter’, ‘Wee Tam’ and ‘Big Huge’. The DVD includes the entire concert which makes up both CD’s. Mmmmm, so good! - BLG/DMG
2 CD DVD Set $20
JOHN MARTYN - Remembering… (Secret Records 054; UK) Double CD from John Martyn (1948-2009) finds him performing some of his greatest tracks live and in the studio between 1975 and 1993. A true original with a sound that defied genres, Martyn touched on folk, rock, reggae, experimental music and more during the course of his career.
In which a miscellany of John Martyn's live performances and stray studio sessions are assembled into a coherent whole – even if it takes two handily compartmentalized CDs to do so. Disc One features late 80s/early 90s full-band outings, some bolstered by illustrious guests (“Big Muff”, “Lookin' On” and “Couldn't Love You More” with David Gilmour; “Look At That Girl” with Andy Sheppard; “Ways To Cry” with Phil Collins). Some Martynophiles may struggle here with the contrast between the man's typically unfiltered, impulsive absorption in the music and the respectful smoothness of his ensemble players. When kitted out in pastel-hued wine bar togs, even songs as emotionally raw as Head And Heart and Couldn't Love You More could almost be filed next to Sade in the "80s lifestyle accessory" section.
No such stipulation applies with the roughneck duo and trio live performances which predominate on Disc Two. The sound quality is variable, but cannot dim the stellar sparks produced when Martyn is accompanied by his drinking buddy and literal sparring partner, bassist Danny Thompson. The pummeling, zoned-out Echoplex waves of I'd Rather Be The Devil and Outside In are where folk-blues and krautrock meet, while Spencer The Rover is so unutterably gorgeous it could levitate the Pentagon.” - by Oregano Rathbone
2 CD Set $16
WILLIE NELSON / JOHNNY PAYCHECK / FREDDY FENDER / KITTY WELLS / PATSY CLINE / et al - Legends Of Country (Delta 20021; Germany) 32-track double-CD with all big names of country, including Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Freddy Fender, Faron Young, and the ladies of Kitty Wells, Crystal Gayle, Patsy Cline, Lynn Anderson, and more. Country music, also known as country and western (or simply country), and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States of America in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as American folk music (especially Appalachian folk and Western music) and blues. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms, folk lyrics, and harmonies mostly accompanied by string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, steel guitars (such as pedal steels and dobros), and fiddles as well as harmonicas. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. According to Lindsey Starnes, the term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. In 2009 in the United States, country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. The origins of country music are found in the folk music of working-class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional English ballads, cowboy songs, and the musical traditions of various groups of European immigrants. Also features Moe Bandy, Exile, Johnny Lee, Pam Tillis, Donna Fargo, Janie Fricke, Juice Newton, Jack Greene, Billie Dean, Merle Haggard, Mark Wills, Doug Stone, T.G. Sheppard, Ferlin Husky, and Lacy J. Dalton.”
2 CD Set $12
CHRIS P. THOMPSON - Everything Imaginable Comes True (Self-produced 786.7; USA) Originally from the San Francisco bay area, Chris Thompson is a New York City-based composer, arranger, and percussionist. His music blends the high-energy sound world of modern drum & bugle corps with the experimentalism of contemporary classical and electronic music. Chris' work as a percussionist and arranger greatly influences his composition: for over a decade he has been a member of Alarm Will Sound and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), he recently toured internationally as a performer with Tyondai Braxton's HIVE.
Mr. Thompson recently came to visit here at DMG and left us with an LP and an EP of his music. Eight of the eight pieces on this album consists of different instrumentation, mostly just acoustic gutar, basses, drums and vocals. Things begin with “She Creeps”, an immensely charming pop-like ditty which features the quaint voice of Alex Sopp. The song sounds a bit like Stereolab, the music stripped down to just vocals, electric bass and drums, plus what sounds like a lovely, hypnotic drum-machine (or samples) like groove. On “Loosie” Mr. Thompson seems to be assembling several layers of percussive & synth samples which have a most infectious sound. What I find odd is this: on a piece called “Krummhorns”, which is supposed to feature several crumhorns (a Renaissance woodwind instrument), I don’t hear anything that sounds like that rare double reed instrument. On “Gutbot”, there is expressive acoustic guitar played by Aaron Roche over more layers of samples. Side B begins with “Comes True” which sounds like a lost long pop masterwork of grandiose proportions. The vocals are song by Michael Parker-Harley with a sort-of Goth-like tone, which sails over layers of orchestral synth samples. “Hanabi” features several spinning lakers of percussive/synth samples and is quite funky and fun to groove to. What I find most interesting that Mr. Thompson, who plays percussion with Alarm Will Sound, a fine contemporary classical ensemble, is showing a completely different side to what he usually does with modern composed music. I do really enjoy this album very much, no matter what my or anyone’s else’s expectations might be. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ENNIO MORRICONE - Legend Of 1900 (Music on Vinyl MOVATM 110; USA) "Ennio Morricone composed and arranged scores for more than 500 film and television productions, making him one of the most influential and best-selling film composers since the late '50s. The Legend of 1900 (Italian: La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano, The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean) is a 1998 Italian drama film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and starring Tim Roth, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Melanie Thierry. The film is inspired by Novecento, a monologue by Alessandro Baricco. The Legend Of 1900 was nominated for a variety of awards worldwide, winning several for its soundtrack. Throughout his career Morricone received an unprecedented amount of awards, including Grammys, Golden Globes and BAFTAs. Ennio Morricone has influenced many artists including Danger Mouse, Dire Straits, Muse, Metallica, Radiohead, Hans Zimmer and many more. Edition of 1000 numbered copies on transparent blue 180 gram vinyl, includes insert."
ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO - Shouting Over Deep Water Blues (Feeding Tube Records 503; USA) "Arrington de Dionyso first made his name with the crazed Olympia-based art rock unit, Old Time Relijun. And I guess they still technically exist, but he has lately been more involved with Indonesian musical investigations, and lots of overtly free jazz horn aktion. Shouting Over Deep Water Blues was recorded by Henrik Lofgren in July 2012, in a small boat floating off the coast of Sweden. It features five improvisations on the Bromiophone with occasional liquid accompaniment provided by nature. Asked to describe the Bromiophone, Arrington writes, 'After many years of intense focus on the resonances and multi-phonic potentials of the bass clarinet, I decided to experiment with an extended range PVC pipe instrument called the Bromiophone (after Bromios, the thunder-roaring aspect of Dionysos in Greek mythology). As a modular instrument using a bass clarinet neck and mouthpiece, the various tubes can be lengthened and shortened according to improvisatory whim and wonder. The palms of the hands cover two open air holes which can be modulated both with movement of the hands and variations in lung pressure and mouthpiece embouchure to control the production of pitch, volume, and most importantly variations in tone color.' We've heard lots of players from Chris Corsano to Borbetomagus to Hen Bennink and onward use strange tubes to blow through, but Arrington manages to play a wonderfully full recital here, combining the reed's intonations with vocals recalling some of Arthur Doyle's Voice-o-phone experiments, and small randomized percussion events. Some of the tone inventions initially have a feel one often associates with members of the Netherland's Instant Composers Pool, but Arrington has a stick-to-it-iveness that ultimately make the music seems as American as it is freaked. If this is the Now Sound, I'll take it." --Byron Coley, 2019 Edition of 300.
THE MANCHESTER MEKON - No Forgetting The Album (Discos TRANSgenero 003; Germany) The Manchester Mekon were a group of musicians that were active from the end of the '70s to the beginning of the '80s in Manchester. Influenced by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Igor Stravinsky, King Crimson, Maurice Revel, Pink Floyd, the Manchester Mekon aimed to integrate composed and improvised music, blending orchestral and electronic sounds with rock, both live and in the studio. Over a period of five years (1977-1982), the Manchester Mekon played about fifty gigs in and around Manchester, released seven tracks on local labels and rehearsed once a week. This album covers their entire career, contains the full range of music they played and includes live recordings, studio recordings, home recordings, and even rehearsals. Two tracks were previously only available on Manchester Musicians' Collective compilation albums. Some were never released, until now. For the first time in 40 years these tracks are released on vinyl, in a full-color sleeve (using original artwork from the time), with a 16-page booklet (also in color) with photographs, artwork, introduction to the band and a piece by Jon Dale about The Manchester Mekon and their times.
ABUL MOGARD - Kimberlin (Ecstatic 049; USA) “Visionary synthesist Abul Mogard renders a darkly sublime soundtrack for Duncan Whitley's Kimberlin, an experimental film about the Isle of Portland on the English south coast, which coincidentally doubles up as metaphor for the mood of an increasingly inward-looking UK. Taking its name from the local word for an outsider or "foreigner", the short film Kimberlin was filmed on location during the months following the advisory referendum of 2016 which lead to the current, purgatory state of "Brexit". Combining mostly wordless, lingering shots of the Isle of Portland's bleak and rugged landscape with Abul Mogard's washed-out but richly evocative music, made with manipulated field recordings, modular synth and layered Farfisa organ, the project came to reflect a sense of (be)longing, loneliness, and outsiderness that also perhaps uncannily mirrors the putative collective feeling since that darkly historic vote, over three years ago. Taking cues from the evocative poetry of lifelong islander, stonemason and poet Cecil "Skylark" Durston (1910-1996), as well as a news report on the discovery of a mysterious cinema found interred by foliage in the Isle's cave systems, the merging of image and sound speak to their subject in an organic, impressionistic manner that leaves billowing room for imagination. Mogard's soundtrack opens out with a slow-burning, greyscale iridescence, tenderly manipulating the sound of fog horns and bird calls in briny modular spray and gloaming Farfisa organ swells that, when combined with song titles such as "Flooding Tide" and "Playing On The Stones", serve to evocatively connote the film's subject matter. The results can be heard as echoes in the digital future of an England that's now difficult to grasp, most hauntingly transposing the meaning of Cecil "Skylark" Durston's description of the Isle of Portland as a place where "quarry bells no longer ring, except in old men's dreams" to the ever-present, never-ending riddle of Brexit and its generationally devastating bleakness. RIYL: Thomas Köner, My Bloody Valentine, William Basinski. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.
Bruce Lee Gallanter’s Recommended Gig List for October & November 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 - ASSIF TSAHAR - OCT 22–26
8:30 pm - TRIO - Assif Tsahar (sax) William Parker (bass) Gerald Cleaver (drums)
8:30 pm - A SPECIAL CONCERT MEMORIAL FOR STEVE DALACHINSKY: Assif Tsahar (sax) William Parker (bass) Gerald Cleaver (drums) and many special guests
THE STONE RESIDENCIES - TREVOR DUNN - OCT 29–NOV 2
8:30 pm - trio-convulsant - Trevor Dunn (bass) Mary Halvorson (guitar) Ches Smith (drums)
8:30 pm - Quartet - Amirtha Kidambi (voice) Brian Chase (drums) Brandon Seabrook (guitar) Trevor Dunn (bass)
8 pm - Schemes of Omission—Halloween edition: Bass Quartet
Tim Dahl, Trevor Dunn, Devin Hoff, Brandon Lopez (basses)
8:30 pm - SpermChurch - Sannety (electronics) Trevor Dunn (bass)
8:30 pm - SPCH DRMS - Sannety (electronics) Trevor Dunn (bass) Ches Smith, William Winant (percussion)
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
The Stone Series at HappyLucky No. 1:
Friday & Saturday, October 25th & 26th, 2019
ERIK FRIEDLANDER with Guilherme Monteiro and Ben Goldberg
Guilherme Monteiro, guitar
Ben Goldberg, clarinet
Erik Friedlander, cello
2 night residencies
8PM CONCERT / $20 ADMISSION
HappyLucky No. 1 is located at
734 Nostrand Ave, near Sterling
easy access from the A/C/2/3/4 trains
FRIDAY, October 25, 2019 - 8:00 PM 10:30 PM
8pm - Jeff Davis - The Fastness Quartet
Russ Lossing - piano, nord
Jon Goldberger - guitar
Eivind Opsvik - double bass
Jeff Davis - drums/compositions
9:30 pm - Ocelot
Yuma Uesaka - tenor, clarinet, bass clarinet, contralto clarinet, comps
Cat Toren - piano, nord, compositions
Colin Hinton - drums, percussion, glockenspiel, gongs, compositions
SATURDAY, October 26, 2019 - 8:30 PM 10:30 PM
MCSD, CH.2: IMAGINARY KRAKEN
Sam Newsome, Soprano Saxophone Items
Stephen Haynes, Cornet/Flugelhorn/Alto Horn
Lester St. Louis, Cello
Olivia De Prato, Violin
Sara Schoenbeck, Bassoon
Ben Stapp, Tuba/Compositions Items
IBEAM BROOKLYN, 168 7TH STREET, BROOKLYN, NY, 11215
Bushwick Improvised Music Series Continues:
Monday October 28th 7pm Griffin Brown - drums Mat Muntz - bass Adam O'Farrill - trumpet 8pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone Jonathan Goldberger - guitar Adam Lane - bass Kevin Shea - drums 9pm Jeremy Carlstedt - drums Anders Nilsson - guitar Diallo House - bass 9:45pm Jessie Cox - drums Lester St.louis - cello Josh Sinton - bari sax/bs.clarinet/flute 10:45pm Welf Dorr - alto saxophone Matt Mottel - keys Jeong Lim Yang - bass Kevin Shea - drums 11:30pm Chet Doxas - woodwinds/cassette decks Micah Frank - cassette decks/pedals
Downstairs @ Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn
(Across the street from M train Central Ave stop)
Upcoming Gig Information from CHUCK BETTIS!
10/31 - KILL ALTERS MUTATIONS #4
VISUALS CURATED BY JESSE HLEBO
-Nullbite DJ set doors and in between acts
DJs for post Halloween show rave
Kill Alters Mutations festival
at Market Hotel
1140 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11221
J/M/Z to Myrtle (venue under the station)
Concert Friday, November 1 from 7 - 9 pm
KALI. Z. FASTEAU: Piano, Drum Set, Nai Flute
Melanie Dyer: Viola
Shayna Dulberger: Contrabass
Ron McBee: African Percussion, Berimbau
Greater Calvary Baptist Church
43-55 West 124th Street
Harlem, NY 10027
November 1, 2019 8:00PM
SARAH WEAVER - Composer and Conductor
Musicians: JANE IRA BLOOM / NED ROTHENBERG / JULIE FERRARA / JAMES ZOLLAR / RAY ANDERSON / DAVID TAYLOR / MIN XIAO-FEN / DENMAN MARONEY / MARK DRESSER / GERRY HEMINGWAY
The ensemble will perform "Interhere" from the Synchrony Series and other new works.
SYNCHRONY SERIES: ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Cary Hall
450 W. 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
Synchrony Series is a compilation album of contemporary music by composer Sarah Weaver and collaborations based on concepts of synchrony. The work is realized in pieces for solo, duo, large ensemble, and network music ensemble (live performance via the internet by musicians in different geographic locations). The music synthesizes influences of classical, jazz, world, contemplative, and electronic music for artistic and social purpose. Featuring: Jane Ira Bloom, soprano saxophone, Ned Rothenberg, woodwinds, Julie Ferrara, oboe, James Zollar, trumpet, Ray Anderson, trombone, David Taylor, bass trombone, Min Xiao-Fen, pipa, Denman Maroney, piano, Mark Dresser, bass, Gerry Hemingway, drumset, Sarah Weaver, conductor, composer
Tickets $20/$15 Students & Seniors
Thursday Nov 7, 7 - 9pm
Howl Arts: Celebrating Bob Kaufman: An evening of poetry, film & music.
Featuring poet David Henderson performing with bassist
William Parker and trumpet, flute and reed player
Also including poets:
Maria Damon, Patricia Spears Jones, Kaye McDonough, Uche Nduka, Christopher Stackhouse, Anne Waldman, and others.
Howl Event Space, 6 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003
This is FREE EVENT!
Saturday, November 23rd, 2019, 7pm
Blank Forms presents:
NATE WOOLEY - Seven Storey Mountain
Seven Storey Mountain VI features Nate Wooley (trumpet), C Spencer Yeh (violin), Samara Lubelski (violin), Ben Hall (drums), Chris Corsano (drums), Ryan Sawyer (drums), Emily Manzo (keyboard), Isabelle O’Connell (keyboard), Ava Mendoza (guitar), Julien Desperez (guitar), Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar), and the voices of Mellissa Hughes, Kamala Sankaram, Anne Rhodes, Charlotte Mundy, Bridget Hogan, Daisy Press, Anaïs Maveiel, Christina Kay, Shannyn Rinker, Aubrey Johnson, Gelsey Bell, Yoon Sun Choi, Lisa Karrer, Dafna Naphtali, Amirtha Kidambi, Jasmine Wilson, Samita Sinha, Ariadne Greif, Nina Mutlu, and Erica Koehring directed by Megan Schubert.
Blank Forms at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
346 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011