“I Love to Laugh”
From the Mary Poppins movie
Released by Walt Disney in 1964
I love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
I love to laugh
It's getting worse every year
The more I laugh, the more I fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more I'm a merrier me, it's embarrassing
The more I'm a merrier me
Some people laugh through their noses
Sounding something like this, dreadful
Some people laugh through their teeth goodness sake
Hissing and fizzing like snakes
Not at all attractive to my way of thinking
Some laugh too fast Some only blast
Others, they twitter like birds
You know you're as bad as he is
Then there's the kind
What can't make up their mind
When things strike me as funny
I can't hide it inside
And squeak as the squeakelers do
I've got to let go with a ho ho ho
And a ha ha ha too
We love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
We love to laugh
So everybody can hear
The more you laugh
The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more we're a merrier we
I remember going to see the Mary Poppins movie with my grandmother, whom we called Nanny in the early 1960’s at a theatre in Newark, NJ, where all of my grandparents lived. As corny as it may seem in retrospect, I did love that movie for painting such a positive view of life and providing us with a number of catchy songs, most of which I still remember. There was another song from the same era from ‘The Sound of Music’ film, it was called “My Favorite Things”, which a decade later became the first song from John Coltrane that I heard and loved when I first listened seriously to jazz in 1972. The above song, “I Love to Laugh”, is pretty silly yet it is something that we all love to do when we get the opportunity. One of the chants from MC BruceLee is, “Laughter is our medicine” and I do believe that we need to laugh at the ridiculousness of the life we are presently living. It is either laugh or cry or do both sometimes.
It’s all too much for us to take, the chaos the has engulfed us all. The death toll in the good old US of A has surpassed the 100,000 mark this past week! Hard to fathom, hard to believe! Most of us have been stuck at home for 2 f*cking months now, trying to stay sane, healthy, keeping busy doing whatever we can to survive and not become a statistic. I saw the front page of the NY Times last Sunday (5/24/20), an obituary/list of 1,000 human beings who have been lost to this tragedy with at least one sentence to describe each lost soul. I started to weep and think about this loss of humanity, our collective humanity. I feel like I am drowning in some existential quicksand but want so much to reach out and hug as many people as is possible. I keep thinking about all of the great people I have known and still know who have made a difference in our lives. Not just musicians but our families, friends, neighbors, everyone we know who has touched us and everyone else who are our brothers and sisters. I have been trying desperately to find some solace, hope and something positive to hold on to. I have been talking to on the phone, e-mailing, texting and tweeting to many friends & family members old and new, catching up for lost time since I was too busy to stay in touch with some/many of them. I have been spending more time planning and cooking, exercising & dancing around my apt. I am still listening to new & undiscovered music every day on LP, CD and occasionally on cassette. What is most difficult is not being with other people, especially my friends and family, folks to laugh & cry with, talk, argue and discuss at length what we are all going through. I hope that many of us survive this difficult period and I hope we can all get together again at the music events that are so important for inspiration. I haven’t heard any live music in more than 2 months, perhaps the longest period of time since I was at college in the early seventies. This is what I miss the most!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO DMG, 29th, FOUNDED in MAY OF 1991 - WE WILL SURVIVE!!!
We are currently living in some strange times indeed. The DMG Newsletter started around 1998 and was originally a monthly 1 or 2 page list printed list of new releases and reissues, CD’s, LP’s, cassettes, videos and a few DMG t-shirts. It soon became bi-monthly and then weekly, printed as well as available through e-mail. Our listed started with around 50 subscribers, mostly friends, as well as folks who ordered Tzadik CD’s from us on-line and were asked to be on our newsletter list. We started with free in-store shows right after we opened for a few years but had to stop for a while after we placed a large wooden record bin (that Tower had thrown out) in the center of the store. When I became the owner in 1997, we threw out that bin and started to have weekly concerts which has continued every week up until the beginning of the Covid19 epidemic in early March. Since then, myself and many other folks from around the world have been forced to stay in our homes, the weekly in-stores have ceased and we can’t allow customers in, as well. Very, very sad! This, the DMG Newsletter has continued and will do so for as long as I/we can continue to do it. However, this newsletter will be different than usual, there is nothing new to order our subscribers this week! There are several reasons for this: we are currently waiting on 4 or 5 large orders to arrive from across the seas and the mail is very slow, plus there is not much new the offer this week. During this long pandemic/hibernation/forced vacation, I have had the opportunity to reorganize my collection at home, LP’s, CD’s, DVDS’s, magazines and books. I am still moving around large milk crates of CD’s and have found over 200 Used CD’s, the piles keep growing. For the past month, my employee John, has put many LP’s & CD’s up on Discogs to sell and since many folks are home & bored, we have been selling more & more of these. PLEASE check out our Discogs store: https://www.discogs.com/seller/DowntownMusicGallery/profile.
I am currently working on a large USED CD sale list which we will send out next Monday or Tuesday. Half of that list will be new USED items which I have put into our database over the past few weeks plus a large number of discs from previous USED lists whose prices have been lowered. This upcoming USED list will be pretty diverse since I have been finding doubles from many genres: avant/jazz, all sorts of rock, soul, world, psych, roots, modern classical, electronic, progressive, etc. Please do check out that list when you do get it and remember it is first come, first served.
Thanks once again to all the great response we have gotten from our friends from around the world, those words of encouragement mean a great deal to us. The next few newsletters should have quite a bit of sonic gems which we are waiting patiently to arrive. Thanks again, for your patience. We are still backed up a bit mail-order-wise but Frank & Charmaine still diligently working their way through many orders. Thanks to them for their hard work. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
AS STATED UP TOP THERE ARE VERY FEW NEW ITEMS THIS WEEK AS WE WAIT FOR FOUR BIG BOXES TO SHOW UP. Anything new will also be listed next week when a bunch of the new titles arrive
LARRY POLANSKY // WILLIAM WINANT PERCUSSION GROUP / et al - These are the Generations (New World Records 80819; USA) The title of this recording has multiple meanings for its composer, Larry Polansky (b. 1954). These are the generations… is a translation of the Hebrew title for the second work on the program, Eleh Tol’d’ot, the first words of the thirty-fifth verse of the first book (B’rey’sheet) of the Torah. Beyond referencing Polansky’s Jewish heritage, the phrase reflects this particular collection of works on several levels. The compositions included stem from different generations of Polansky’s musical output: Some were composed in the 1980s while he was teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California (Eleh Tol’d’ot, Sacco, Vanzetti); some while living in New Hampshire when he was a Professor of Music at Dartmouth College (Glockentood II, 22 Sounds); and others are recent compositions completed in Santa Cruz, California, around the time of Polansky’s retirement from the University of California, Santa Cruz (five songs for kate and vanessa, kaddish (ladder) canon).
The performers on the recording are similarly of different generations. Some have known and worked with Polansky since the 1980s or earlier; others are much younger and began working with him as graduate students within the last few years. Moreover, some of these works use some form of algorithmic composition while others use more conventional approaches to composing music. In some pieces, the musicians themselves must enact some kind of procedure to generate the sounds or structures they are to play.
Finally, the works presented here demonstrate Polansky’s deep understanding of the history and techniques of experimental music in the United States. Within these compositions one can find compositional approaches that span styles from the Ultramodernists in the early twentieth century to advanced computational algorithms not yet possible in that era. Through these works Polansky somehow manages to integrate older and newer styles of experimental composition into a cohesive voice that despite, or perhaps because of, its eclecticism and diversity is unmistakably the music of Larry Polansky.”
CD $15 [In stock next week]
SONGLINES LABEL SALE, PRICES REDUCED ON 30 GREAT BACK-CATALOGUE TITLES:
Last month we listed a few dozen titles from the great Vancouver-based label Songlines which had been reduced in price over the past couple of years and we sold a quantity. This is the next bunch of great titles that have been reduced in price to $12 each. If there is some time, I will post some reviews down below as well. The CD’s listed below as SA-CD or HSA-CD are Super Audio CD’s, they will play on regular CD players but do sound even better when played on Super-Audio CD systems. As far as recommendations go, there are those longtime Downtowners like Chris Speed (now in L.A.), Brad Shepik, Michael Blake and Harris Eisenstadt, all of whom are great, as well as the following faves: Gordon Grdina, Francois Houle, Jerry Granelli and Equilibrium. All or most of these are currently in stock at our distributor but please be patient as the mail is still very slow.
HAN BENNINK & DAVE DOUGLAS - Serpentine (Songlines 1510; Canada)
MICHAEL BLAKE SEXTET with BRAD TURNER / CHRIS GESTRIN / DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF / et al - Amor De Cosmos (Songlines 1567; Canada)
MICHAEL BLAKE With JP CARTER / CHRIS GESTRIN / DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF - In The Grand Scheme Of Things (Songlines 1598; Canada)
THEO BLECKMANN & BEN MONDER With SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - No Boat (Songlines 1516; Canada)
THEO BLECKMANN With BEN MONDER / MATT MORAN / SKULI SVERRISSON / JOHN HOLLENBECK - Origami (Songlines 1534; Canada)
BENOIT DELBECQ / FRANCOIS HOULE - Because She Hoped (Songlines 1592; Canada)
BENOIT DELBECQ / FRANCOIS HOULE - Dice Thrown (Songlines 1538; Canada)
BENOIT DELBECQ - Nu-Turn: Piano Solo [H-SACD] (Songlines 1543; Canada)
BENOIT DELBECQ & FRED HERSCH DOUBLE TRIO With MARK HELIAS / GERRY HEMINGWAY / STEVE ARGUELLES / JEAN-JACQUES AVENEL - Fun House (Songlines 1600; Canada)
DAVE DOUGLAS' TINY BELL TRIO With BRAD SHEPIK / JIM BLACK - Tiny Bell Trio (Songlines 1504; Canada)
HARRIS EISENSTADT CANADA DAY With NATE WOOLEY / MATT BAUDER / CHRIS DINGMAN / EIVIND OPSVIK - Canada Day II (Songlines 1589; Canada)
PETER EPSTEIN / BRAD SHEPIK /MATT KILMER - Lingua Franca (Songlines 1555; Canada)
EQUILIBRIUM [MIKKEL PLOUG / SISSEL VERA PETTERSEN / JOACHIM BADENHORST] - Equilibrium (Songlines 1578; Vancouver)
EQUILIBRIUM [MIKKEL PLOUG / SISSEL VERA PETTERSEN / JOACHIM BADENHORST] - Walking Voices (Songlines 1587; Canada)
GAMELAN MADU SARI - New Nectar: New Music For Javanese Gamelan (Songlines 2402; Canada)
GAMELAN MADU SARI - Hive (Songlines 2406; Canada)
CHRIS GESTRIN With BRAD TURNER / DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF / et al - Stillpoint (Songlines 1540; Canada)
GORDON GRDINA'S EAST VAN STRINGS With JESSE ZUBOT/EYVIND KANG/PEGGY LEE - The Breathing Of Statues (Songlines 1572; Canada)
FRANCOIS HOULE 5 With TAYLOR HO BYNUM/SAMUEL BLASER/MICHAEL BATES/HARRIS EISENSTADT BENOIT DELBECQ - Genera (Songlines 1595; Canada)
JERRY GRANELLI V16 With DAVID TRONZO/ANTHONY COX/CHRISTIAN VOGEL - The V16 Project (Songlines 1544; Canada)
GORDON GRDINA'S HARAM With CHRIS KELLY/JP CARTER/FRANCOIS HOULE/JESSE ZUBOT et al - Her Eyes Illuminate (Songlines 2407; Canada)
ROBIN HOLCOMB / WAYNE HORVITZ - Solos (Songlines 1550; Canada)
WAYNE HORVITZ & ZONY MASH ACOUSTIC With TIMOTHY YOUNG/KEITH LOWE/ANDY ROTH [a/k/a SWEETER THAN THE DAY] - Forever [a/k/a American Bandstand] (Songlines 1537; Canada)
FRANCOIS HOULE/HAVARD WIIK - Aves (Songlines 1601; Canada)
HUMAN FEEL [CHRIS SPEED/JIM BLACK/ANDREW D'ANGELO/KURT ROSENWINKEL] - Speak To It (Songlines 1514; Canada)
HILMAR JENSSON'S TYFT With ANDREW D'ANGELO / JIM BLACK - Tyft (Songlines 1542; Canada)
KARTET [GUILLAUME ORTI/BENOIT DELBECQ/HUBERT DUPONT/CHANDER SARDJOE] - The Bay Window (Songlines 1560 ,Canada)
ANDY MILNE & BENOIT DELBECQ - Where is Pannonica? (Songlines 1579; Canada)
POOLPLAYERS [ARVE HENRIKSEN / BENOIT DELBECQ / et al] - Way Below The Surface (Songlines 1569; Canada)
BRAD SHEPIK With PETER EPSTEIN / SKULI SVERRISSON / MICHAEL SARIN / et al - The Well (Songlines 1531; Canada)
BRAD SHEPIK & THE COMMUTERS With PETER EPSTEIN / TONY SCHERR / KENNY WOLLESEN / et al - The Loan (Songlines 1518; Canada)
CHRIS SPEED'S YEAH NO With CUONG VU / SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - Deviantics (Songlines 1524; Canada)
CHRIS SPEED'S YEAH NO With CUONG VU / SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - Emit (Songlines 1532; Canada)
CHRIS SPEED'S YEAH NO With CUONG VU / SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - Yeah No (Songlines 1517; Canada)
SONGLINES CD’s with REVIEWS:
HAN BENNINK & DAVE DOUGLAS - Serpentine (Songlines 1510; Canada) The great and zany Dutch percussionist and the versatile, thoughtful New York trumpeter meet in a program of standards, original compositions, and improvised duets and solos, including "seven fully realized performances whose starkness throws Douglas' virtuosity into bold relief... On this year's A-list." - Francis Davis
MICHAEL BLAKE SEXTET with BRAD TURNER / CHRIS GESTRIN / DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF / et al - Amor De Cosmos (Songlines 1567; Canada) “Featuring Michael Blake on tenor & soprano saxes, Brad Turner on trumpet, Chris Gestrin on acoustic & electric pianos, Sal Ferreras on marimba & percussion, Andre Lachance on acoustic bass & Dylan van der Schyff on drums. Michael Blake's thoughtful, wide-ranging compositions are inspired by jazz, funk, African, and contemporary classical music. Piquant arrangements make the most of expressive options combining piano/keyboards, marimba, and percussion. Hi-res recording and multi-channel mix enhance the energy and inventiveness of the playing.”
MICHAEL BLAKE With JP CARTER / CHRIS GESTRIN / DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF - In The Grand Scheme Of Things (Songlines 1598; Canada)”This New York/Vancouver saxophonist's new Canadian quartet creates expansive, atmospheric, cinematic jazz. Michael Blake's compositions are jumping-off points for solos and group invention that develop organically, balancing depth and playfulness, inthe- pocket and outside feels. The Otis Redding cover Treat Her Right displays Blake's art at its most tender. Chris Gestrin's brilliant work on Moog bass and keyboards buoys the music in an original way, with beautifully detailed audiophile sound.”
THEO BLECKMANN & BEN MONDER With SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - No Boat (Songlines 1516; Canada) New York vocalist Bleckmann (Meredith Monk and Vocal Group, Mark Dresser's Force Green) and guitarist Ben Monder form a focused, intense duo, expanded to quartet on some tracks by Skuli Sverrisson (electric bass) and Jim Black (drums). Their program ranges from standards, wordless ballads and other original pieces to collective improvisation. Audiophile analogue recording.
THEO BLECKMANN With BEN MONDER / MATT MORAN / SKULI SVERRISSON / JOHN HOLLENBECK - Origami (Songlines 1534; Canada) A songbook often without words and practically without borders, Origami is the latest report back from Theo Bleckmann on his continuing explorations into the unsuspected emotional and expressive possibilities of the voice in an unfettered group context. It is also a meticulously constructed, exquisitely detailed collection of songs that ranges across centuries, continents and musical styles for its inspiration. The ancient Japanese art of paper folding, origami, is a constant touchstone, unfolding (and enfolding the listener) in unusual ways. Building on his earlier collaboration with downtown New York instrumentalists Ben Monder, Skuli Sverrisson and Jim Black, No Boat (SGL 1516), he creates lush environments through overdubbing and live electronic layering, embedding his vocals in diverse rhythms and textures, shifting from song to sound and from composition to improvisation, developing a mercurial aesthetic that encompasses (at least) jazz, folk, minimalism, ambient, noise, and free improv. " This features Theo on vocals and piano, his usual collaborator Ben Monder on guitar, Matt Moran on vibes, Skuli Sverrisson on electric bass and John Hollenbeck on drums & percussion. I have been fascinated by the vocals of Theo Bleckmann over the last few years, since he not really a jazz or pop vocalist and doesn't fit neatly into any one category. Although he does cover a couple of jazz standards here, as well as a Brecht/Eisler tune and two other European songs - in his unique way - Theo did compose most of the other tunes found on this fine release with a little help from his other band-members. There is a hushed elegance to these pieces which is often enchanting and magical. "DNA" opens this CD and I am reminded of Flora Purim's lovely voice on those early 'Light as a Feather" records by Chich Corea - but more cerebral - Theo's voice sings no words, but employs two layers of mildly haunting vocal sounds - the band surrounds his voice with a lush cushion of floating guitar, bass, vibes and delicate percussion. "Douce dame jolie" was composed by Guillaume de Machaut and is suspenseful ballad in which Theo's voice is backed by wistful guitar tapping and soft sounds by the rest of the group. The title track co-composed by Reiko Aoki and is sung in Japanese (?) - a sort of series of four haiku which reminds me of Robert Wyatt with its gently echoed voices droning with enchanting fairy tale-like accompaniment. Theo asks "When will I be me or am I me already" on "Static Still" - another soft and elegant reflection of melancholy beauty. "Alloy" was composed with Skuli and Theo just uses Skuli's el. bass drones to back his endearing voice as it pans back and forth between the speakers. The standard "I Remember You" gets an odd treatment as Theo uses a skipping CD player to add some fractured rhythmic weirdness to the tune which eventually gets stuck skipping, but do not fret, it does stop. The other European tune is "Like Brother and Sister" by Alexandra Montano in which Ben Monder takes breath-takingly lovely and ultra-subtle guitar solo as Theo softly sings the melody. "Nova Scotia" seems to float out of dream-land as each player drifts together through the minimal punctuation which gives general direction. The Brecht/Eisler piece - "An den Kleinen Radioapparat" - is sung in its native tongue and is given another lush rendition. Theo's hypnotic "Without Sky" drifts softly along, but then gets stranger as the rest of the band swirls mysterious sounds which turns into "Rhombicosidoddecahedron"!?! This enchanting excursion commences with a ghostly version of the standard - "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries" which is stretched out over long vocal and instrumental drones. A perfect soundtrack for slightly troubled dreams" - BLG
BENOIT DELBECQ / FRANCOIS HOULE - Because She Hoped (Songlines 1592; Canada)3rd duo outing for French pianist/prepared pianist Delbecq (Paintings, Kartet, The Recyclers) and Canadian clarinet virtuoso Houle. Houle and Delbecq have both pioneered extended techniques on their instruments. Delbecq is known for his extensive use of piano preparations, developing a style inspired equally by Cage and Ligeti, African pygmy polyphony, and Steve Coleman, Steve Lacy and other jazz greats. His process transforms the piano's natural resources into an evolving weave of textures and colours, improvised rhythmic-melodic 'fabrics' combining regular notes and prepared pitch-timbres. Houle studied with Evan Parker, adapting the saxophonist's innovations to the clarinet and integrating classical technique with blue notes and quarter tones, circular breathing, sound effects, playing without a mouthpiece, etc. So with all this expressive fire-power at their disposal it's striking how serene yet playful much of the music feels, reflecting how two old friends went about re-inventing their musical relationship for a few hours in the studio (and on a subsequent short tour) after a rather long hiatus. As Francois puts it: "Duo playing is about the most intimate way to communicate with another musician. I have grown to have a deeper understanding of Benoit's language and sound world, which always provides me with clues as to how to execute ideas in different ways. But the beauty with this sound world is that there are so many mysteries yet to investigate....How this plays out is that we don't try to formulate premeditated structures, or to ever adopt a traditional call and response, solo/accompaniment thing, except for the Ellington and Lacy pieces, which seemed to require a certain structural rigour. Our improvisations are much more akin to embroidery, painstakingly paying attention to the kind of fabric we want to create, working symbiotically to achieve that by complementing each other. Of course solos emerge, but that is in consideration of what each individual has to state in the context of the performance....Most of Benoit's music has an intrinsic poetic quality which manifests itself in liquid melodic lines. I respond to that very deeply, in some ways even more than to the rhythmic aspects of his music. Almost all my compositions on this recording are all about melody, instilling a slower pacing to the proceedings than in past recordings where the accent was perhaps slightly more focused on rhythm and virtuosity."
BENOIT DELBECQ / FRANCOIS HOULE - Dice Thrown (Songlines 1538; Canada) “Building on these artists' first duo collaboration, Nancali (SGL 1519-2, 1997), Dice Thrown includes pieces for piano or prepared piano and clarinets (sometimes two played simultaneously) and a solo improvisation by each musician. As the record unfolds, composition and improvisation seem to flow together into a dream-like continuum where jazz and new music meet. To reach this place, Delbecq and Houle have worked for years extending the techniques of their instruments and creating their own language of musical gestures for purposes of spontaneous musical composition. Delbecq's contemplative piano "fabrics" draw on Cage, Ligeti, and African timbres and polyrhythms, and are characterized by unexpected juxtapositions and patternings. Houle's approach has been inspired by Evan Parker and clarinetist William O. Smith's multi-layered sonic explorations, and combines a thoroughgoing reinvention of the clarinet's expressive possibilities with an exceptional melodic lyricism. The duo's rapport result in a highly ordered yet intuitive discourse, echoes and undercurrents of other music continually opening up new directions. The nuanced 24-bit recording was mastered to Direct Stream Digital, revealing a world of subtle resonance.”
BENOIT DELBECQ - Nu-Turn: Piano Solo [H-SACD] (Songlines 1543; Canada) Benoit Delbecq, piano and prepared piano "Delbecq teases fascinating timbral qualities out of the keyboard, making it sound variously like a music box, a log drum, or a gamelan orchestra." - Jazziz Benoit Delbecq is a uniquely gifted French pianist and keyboardist who has created his own music using ideas and techniques from contemporary classical (Cage, Ligeti, Nancarrow), jazz, Pygmy polyphony, European improv and other sources. He prepares the piano with various materials such as eraser bits and carved wooden twigs, and improvises on short, overlapping vamps and patterns; the result is a complex, spacious sound that hardly seems to be emanating from a single instrument. On Nu-turn Delbecq stretches out solo on a Steinway D in 8 astonishing structured improvisations; the final, 12-minute composition is a computer-created ambient "remix" that completely transforms the solo material. Recorded in a small concert hall directly to 6 channel DSD (the sixth channel is an optional height channel), the piano sound is remarkably realistic, and the music beguiling in its rhythmic-melodic-timbral meldings. Dexterous, brainy, evanescent and strangely moving, Nu-turn will intrigue audiophiles ready for new experiences (we predict it will become a multi-channel demonstration record), and appeal to fans of new music beyond category.
BENOIT DELBECQ & FRED HERSCH DOUBLE TRIO With MARK HELIAS / GERRY HEMINGWAY / STEVE ARGUELLES / JEAN-JACQUES AVENEL - Fun House (Songlines 1600; Canada) Featuring Benoit Delbecq (most compositions) & Fred Hersch on pianos, Mark Helias & Jean-Jacques Avenel on basses and Gerry Hemingway & Steve Arguelles on drums & electronics. The idea for organizing a double piano trio is certainly unusual one, but then again French pianist Benoit Delbecq is known for taking chances and it was he who put together this session. Mr. Delbecq has played with other pianists before this, like Andy Milne, while Mr. Hersch is known as more of mainstream musician who does step out of his comfort zone at times. No doubt you know of all of the rhythm section members as each has done many a session before this. Mr. Delbecq is known for working inside the piano which brings some unexpected sounds to this session. Although some of this is stripped down and spacious, Mr. Delbecq's writing does a fine job of utilizing all of the members most cautiously, everything is well-balanced. It sounds at times as if each trio were playing in a mirror reflection of the other with slight bits of shifting parts (perhaps like glancing in a mirror of a funhouse like the title of this disc). There is rather magical, floating quality here with unexpected changes in direction which are subtle and carefully employed. Each member of the double trio or sextet is integral to the success of this disc since each members gets a chance add colors, shades and fragmented solos. I can hear certain signature sounds that Mr. Helias and Mr. Hemingway employ after seeing and hearing so often live and on record. Still all of the member so well that often one will start a line which is completely seamlessly by another member. There is a great deal of suspense and a dreamlike quality to this hypnotic gem, so why not take a stroll in the funhouse. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
DAVE DOUGLAS' TINY BELL TRIO With BRAD SHEPIK / JIM BLACK - Tiny Bell Trio (Songlines 1504; Canada)
HARRIS EISENSTADT CANADA DAY With NATE WOOLEY / MATT BAUDER / CHRIS DINGMAN / EIVIND OPSVIK - Canada Day II (Songlines 1589; Canada)Featuring Nate Wooley on trumpet, Matt Bauder on tenor sax, Chris Dingman on vibes, Eivind Opsvik on bass and Harris Eisenstadt on drums & compositions. This fine all-star sextet has been around for about four years and has continued to evolve. This is a great, swinging ever-crafty band that always makes me smile. The first track, "Cobble Hook" features some quick spinning vibes and a smokin' tenor solo from Matt Bauder. Instead of using a pianist, vibe-man Chris Dingman is consistently well-utilized playing tight lines with the rhythm team and interacting intricately with each soloist. When the band slows down for "To Seventeen", Harris writes some lovely harmonies for both horns with a touching trumpet solo the ubiquitous Nate Wooley. "Song for Owen" was written for Harris' baby boy and it is a fine laid back ballad with some delightful solos from the tenor & vibes. There is something very positive and hopeful about this music, an uplifting somewhat melodic charm. There is still a sense of adventure but without the usual downtown sarcasm or overt outness. My favorite piece is called "To See/Tootie" and I dig the way it shifts between different sections with some spirited, twisted trumpet from Mr. Wooley. The sextet seems to move in separate directions yet they end up in the same play no matter what. The final piece "Judo with Tokyo Joe" is dedicated to John Zorn who inspired Harris to get back to work after a short period off from composing & bandleading. The piece has a fine dreamy vibe with Harris' drums as the central figure within spacious skeletal structure. 'Canada Day II' is a strong release that never erupts harshly yet maintains a crafty well-conceived balance. This sextet played at The Stone earlier this week (4/5/11) and are currently on tour further south. Check them out if you get the opportunity. They rule! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
PETER EPSTEIN / BRAD SHEPIK /MATT KILMER - Lingua Franca (Songlines 1555; Canada) A fine trio featuring Peter Epstein on alto & soprano sax, Brad Shepik on guitars and Matt Kilmer on percussion. I remember Peter Epstein from a series of discs on M.A., as well as collaborations with Dave Tronzo, Jerry & Jay Granelli and Rich Woodson. Brad Shepik is one of downtown's best guitarists, no doubt you know his work from Pachora & the Tiny Bell Trio as well as his half dozen solo efforts. Haven't heard anything from either of these fine players recently, so it is a treat to hear this gem. Their percussionist, Matt Kilmer, sounds much less familiar, but sounds fine nonetheless, especially on exotic hand percussion. Pachora & the Tiny Bell Trio both had/have this middle/eastern/European vibe and this trio also has a similar sound. Kilmer plays a great middle-eastern groove on his tabla, tambourine and hand drum on "Two Door" with an enticing melody from the pen of Mr. Shepik. Epstein's "Miro" has an almost funky sort of groove and swell solos from the guitar and alto sax. Brad's sublime "Emerald" is a haunting ballad with suspenseful frame drumming underneath. Both Shepik and Epstein have written a number of fine infectious tunes, all with sly grooves. Brad sounds like he is playing his groovy bouzouki on the intro to "Here & There", his guitar tone and cool touch kinda reminds me of my favorite fallen hero, Jerry Garcia, who also had that magic touch. A truly righteous, groove-infested feast, from its sublime moments to its delightful dancing sections. - BLG
EQUILIBRIUM [MIKKEL PLOUG / SISSEL VERA PETTERSEN / JOACHIM BADENHORST] - Equilibrium (Songlines 1578; Vancouver) Featuring Mikkel Ploug on electric & acoustic guitars, Sissel Vera Pettersen on voice, soprano sax & live electronics and Joachim Badenhorst on clarinet, bass clarinet & tenor sax. This young European chamber collective, inspired in part by Nordic folk traditions and the guitar/vocal atmospherics of Ben Monder and Theo Bleckmann, creates a stark yet delicate and sensuous music of great originality and elegance. "I was surprised to see this disc compared to the work of Theo Bleckmann & Ben Monder, but after listening to it a few times, I thought the same thing. This is why I placed this disc after my review of Bleckmann's new Refuge Trio CD on W&W in the current newsletter. I didn't recall any of the folks in this trio (Ploug, Pettersen & Badenhorst) before this disc but decided to give them a chance since I dig almost anything that the Songlines label releases. It turns out that Joachim Badenhorst has worked with Simon Jermyn on two discs that I reviewed previously. Again like the work of Theo and Ben Monder, this trio has a more restrained, elegant sound. Ms. Pettersen's delightful voice does sound a bit like Theo's and Mikkel's exquisite guitar also sounds like Monder's more elegant side. On "November", the guitar and clarinet play a layer of intricate, dreamy lines together while Sissel's enchanting voice sails superbly on top. I dig the way the acoustic guitar and two reeds (soprano sax & bass clarinet) spin together on "Soft Spoken", an immensely lovely, haunting piece. Every piece on the this is rich in detail, subtle in substance and very well crafted. It reminds me of series of fairy tales for our mind's eye. It never ceases to amaze me how many delightful surprises are in store for those who wish to check out something new and unknown." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
EQUILIBRIUM [MIKKEL PLOUG / SISSEL VERA PETTERSEN / JOACHIM BADENHORST] - Walking Voices (Songlines 1587; Canada) The first disc by Equilibrium was one of those wonderful under-recognized gems that graces us from time to time. Since then I've gotten to know and hear young former Amsterdam-based reeds wiz Joachim Badenhorst on many occasions. A promo was shipped earlier this week & I can't wait to hear & review it. The personnel features Mikkel Ploug on electric & acoustic guitars, Sissel Vera Pettersen on voice & live electronics and Joachim Badenhorst on clarinet, bass clarinet & tenor sax. If it is nearly as good as the last one, it will probably make many top lists this year. - BLG
GAMELAN MADU SARI - New Nectar: New Music For Javanese Gamelan (Songlines 2402; Canada) The percussion-based Javanese gamelan orchestra is one of the world's great musical traditions. Here five Vancouver composer-performers bring their experience in this and other forms of music -- Western classical, new music, jazz, Vietnamese and Balinese musics, electroacoustic composition, and improvisation -- extending the tradition in ways of fascinating beauty. Founded in 1986, Gamelan Madu Sari ("The Essence of Honey") has performed traditional and new music for gamelan as well traditional Javanese dance, dance drama, shadow play, and contemporary multimedia works. For its first record the Gamelan has selected compositions created on it by four composers who have also been active as performers in the group over the years, and by jazz/improv pianist Paul Plimley. Two sets of gamelan instruments are represented, and each work takes a novel approach to form, with a unique play of instrumental colours. Kenneth Newby's "Dreams He is a Ball of Fire... Or a Hummingbird" includes spoken text, choral singing, and interlocking lines of rhythmically charged counterpoint, all in celebration of the birth of his son. Its archetypal text and ritual mood are characteristic of Newby's music, which is concerned with the natural world, the meeting of cultures, "deep listening" and transcendence (Ecology of Souls, 1993; Sirens, 1997; Newby was also prominent in the ethno-ambient groups Trance Mission and Lights in a Fat City). Michael O'Neill's "Lessons of the Garden" uses hocketing between the two gamelan tuning systems, slendro and pelog, to produce an expanded mode. Partly inspired by Ravel and minimalism, it swells and flows. O'Neill also plays and composes new music for Scottish bagpipes, and "Lessons" begins with an eerie prelude for droning plastic chanters and clanging clusters of bronze. X Chris Miller's two pieces are a study in contrasts. "Thinly, roundly," a collaboration with the Vancouver-based Vietnamese duo Khac Chi, combines the liquid tones of two genders (Javanese resonating metallophones) with the bending melismas of two dan bau (Vietnamese monochords). Its melodies and textures build in subtle transformations from a contemplative opening dialogue towards a dancing, unifying conclusion. "Whining horses eat more HEY doncha no" is a deadpan adaptation of certain traditional gamelan structures to something perhaps closer to avant-garde pointillism: spare and quirky, it seems to question its very nature. Mark Parlett's "Intimate Distance" is probably the densest composition on the record; its layers of instruments and a vocal duo combine in unpredictable ways in search of some elusive new harmony between the individual self and the world's being. Paul Plimley's "Born Again Needle Dancers" brings a jazz sensibility, wordless vocals, group improvisation, and an ingenious polyrhythmic and tonal conception to his exploration of the gamelan's resources. Plimley's interest in non-western traditions has also notably resulted in duets with South Indian percussionist Trichy Sankaran, Ivory Ganesh Meets Doctor Drums (Songlines 1998). X Each piece in its own way furthers the dialogue between East and West, developing the expressive potential of the gamelan, not just as a source of sensuous, intriguing timbres but also as a deep tradition with its own informing ethos and set of musical values (for example, freedom of individual expression within a complex and highly controlled social organization of sound). New Nectar is a major contribution to this ongoing cross-cultural experiment; it can equally be appreciated for its inclusive approach to forging a new music of substance and delight beyond categories.”
GAMELAN MADU SARI - Hive (Songlines 2406; Canada)”"This Vancouver collective's second CD of new music for Javanese gamelan (following New Nectar; Songlines) is a richly diverse mix of instrumental/vocal pieces merging gamelan styles with contemporary classical and folk/world approaches. The music covers a wide range of sounds and moods: tender, mysterious, humorous, rousing, jazzy. Sophisticated and often adventurous in its rhythmic and melodic aspects, it's still quite accessible (three songs have English lyrics). Composer-performers include Ben Rogalsky (The Breakmen), Kenneth Newby (Trance Mission, Lights in a Fat City), Michael O'Neill (Ontophony; Songlines), Mark Parlett, Andrew Czink and Sutrisno Hartana; vocalists include Jessika Kenney (Gamelan Pacifica, Eyvind Kang, Sunn O) and Joanna Chapman-Smith. All the pieces combine elements of the Javanese tradition with wide-ranging influences and inspirations, from morphing minimalism (Andrew Czink's "Stream") to the English tradition of bell pealing (Kenneth Newby's "Symmetries") to the fusing of polyrhythmic frameworks, Javanese lyricism and structured improvisation (Mark Parlett's "Inquietude"). Ben Rogalsky's wry, touching shadow-play song "From Heaven to Earth" was inspired by the old-fashioned Indonesian folk style kroncong, which developed from 16th century Portuguese music; it combines gamelan with mandolin, cello and string bass. Michael O'Neill's "Bonessongs" and Parlett's "Inquietude" likewise mix different gamelan scales to approximate western tuning. Sutrisno Hartana's two pieces are the most Javanese in mood. A master musician who has divided his time between Indonesia and Canada, he subtly extends traditional styles with western innovations. British composer Alec Roth's Shakespeare song "Full Fathom Five" (1983) is heard in a haunted arrangement for a dual-voiced (female-male) Ariel. The whole record is a creative exploration of musical multiculturalism that honors its roots, inviting listeners into a sonorous landscape of truly original beauty."
CHRIS GESTRIN With BRAD TURNER / DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF / et al - Stillpoint (Songlines 1540; Canada) Featuring: Chris Gestrin (piano, synthesizer, sampler, electronics), Brad Turner (trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics), Jon Bentley (tenor & soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, electronics), Andre Lachance (acoustic bass), Dylan van der Schyff (drums, percussion, electronics) with guests Joseph 'Pepe' Danza, percussion and Deanna Newton, voice Chris Gestrin is a great new talent, a Vancouver-based pianist, keyboardist and composer who might occasionally put you in mind of Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett, if either of those masters were young today and equally at home with the acoustic and the electronic, jazz and ambient. His handpicked, versatile quintet, featuring trumpeter Brad Turner (of the Canadian band Metalwood) and masterful drummer Dylan van der Schyff, creates rich images in sound. From a tender solo piano improvisation to swirling group inventions, a "narrative" of almost cinematic sweep unfolds. Gestrin's compositions range across jazz, experimental music, new age and world music for their ideas, but this is not "fusion" in any ordinary sense, there is too much originality and panache for that. The sessions were recorded in 24-bit/96K sound and mixed in analogue; the stereo version is a thing of beauty, while the multi-channel remix to Direct Stream Digital opens on an imaginary environment that connoisseurs of surround sound, whether jazz fans or not, will surely appreciate.”
JERRY GRANELLI V16 With DAVID TRONZO/ANTHONY COX/CHRISTIAN VOGEL - The V16 Project (Songlines 1544; Canada) Jerry Granelli: electro-acoustic percussion; Anthony Cox: acoustic bass and acoustic bass guitar; David Tronzo: acoustic and electric guitars, sampler; Christian Kogel: acoustic and electric guitars, sampler. The V16 Project is Jerry Granelli's latest sonic adventure. It features a two-guitar frontline and diverse approach - jazz improvisation, blues-rock-funk fusion, freeform jamming, sampled soundscapes and more -making it equally at home in both jazz and avant-rock bins, at jazz festivals and jamband venues. Highlighting the superb interplay of famous slide virtuoso Tronzo, lyrical German guitar ace Kogel (from Jerry's band UFB), and versatile bassist Cox, the group hones its style on a surprising range of material. There are drummerless acoustic improvs, Kogel's trancey bossa nova, Jerry's waltz-to-freetime-to-Latin Mr. Wong suite, a psych-tinged, freegrass flavoured extended cover of the old standard "Temptation," and several varieties of soul jazz by Cox. Expect the unexpected: as Granelli comments in his note, "The heart of the band is risk, not knowing, curiosity and nowness." The high definition, 24 bit/176.4K digital recording and 2 5 channel mix to DSD should gain approval from audiophiles and surround-sound music fans. Halifax-based percussionist-composer Jerry Granelli grew up in San Francisco where he studied with Joe Morello and drummed for pianists Denny Zeitlin and Vince Guaraldi (he's on A Charlie Brown Christmas on Fantasy and the Charlie Brown TV soundtracks). He pioneered world jazz fusion and electro-acoustic percussion during the 60's hippie era, established the music department at the Naropa Institute in Boulder in '76, and has had a continuous teaching career since then in Boulder, Seattle, Halifax and Berlin. In the early '80s he performed and recorded in a trio with Ralph Towner and Gary Peacock for ECM. He has recorded as a leader for Evidence, Intuition, ITM, Koch, Love Slave and other labels, and performed and recorded with longtime musical associates Mose Allison, Jay Clayton, Jane Ira Bloom, Glen Moore, Anthony Cox, Dave Friedman, and Jamie Saft, as well as projects with Bill Frisell, Robben Ford, Julian Priester, Charlie Haden, Kenny Garrett, and DJ Stinkin' Rich. His previous two-guitar quartet, UFB, toured extensively and recorded two CDs for Intuition in the mid-90s. Granelli inspires admiration for his effortless swing and inventiveness and his constant search for new means of expression: two years ago he released a CD of duets for reeds and sound sculpture created specially for his use (Iron Sky). He is also the subject of In the Moment, an hour-long documentary for VisionTV and CBC-TV. Jazz Times magazine has called him "one of those uncategorizable veteran percussionists who's done it all." With this latest release he shows there's still a lot more to come. Granelli burns with an intensity fuelled by a passion for "the pursuit of the spirit of spontaneity."
JERRY GRANELLI & BADLANDS With CHRIS SPEED/BRIGGAN KRAUSS/PETER EPSTEIN/CURTIS HASSELBRING/JAMIE SAFT/J ANTHONY GRANELLI - Enter, A Dragon (Songlines 1521 ,Canada)
CD 15.00 AVAILABLE
Drummer Granelli's New York dream band, chock full of the young lions of the downtown scene, plays original compositions that draw on the whole history of jazz, from New Orleans heterophony to Ellington and Mingus, from free to funk, and beyond jazz to lounge-core and eastern Europe, the middle east, India, Tibet. Within the ebb and flow of written ensembles, solos, and collective improvisation are duets between Jerry and each of his bandmates. A record full of wit, subtlety, and character; with Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet), Peter Epstein (soprano and alto sax), Briggan Krauss (alto sax), Curtis Hasselbring (trombone), Jamie Saft (piano, clavinet, accordion, slide guitar), and J. Anthony Granelli (electric bass, acoustic bass guitar). 20-bit recording.
JERRY GRANELLI V16 With DAVID TRONZO et al - The Sonic Temple: Monday And Tuesday [2 CD set; H-SACD] (Songlines 1564 ,Canada)
CD 18.00 AVAILABLE
[this is a Hybrid SACD (H-SACD) which means it is playable on ordinary CD players as well] Featuring David Tronzo on electric slide guitar, Christian Kogel on electric guitar, Jay Anthony Granelli on electric bass and Jerry Granelli on drums & steel sculpture. This is the second release by Jerry Granelli's V16 project, the first featured Anthony Cox on bass, this one features Jerry's son and ace NY bassist Jay Granelli. Both guitarists, Dave Tronzo and Christian Kogel, have worked with Jerry and Jay in a few different contexts in the past. Although Dave, Christian and Jay all contribute songs, Jerry does a great job of giving direction and playing drums & percussion. What is interesting about this double disc is that we get two sets from two different nights live in the studio with the same pieces done in the same order each night, yet the pieces are done differently. What really stands out here is how well it is recorded and perfectly balanced. The suspense of the opening piece, "Ballad of El Leo Nora" is quite breathtaking, as the notes float on the air like drifting spirits. I dig the way many of these piece are written so that as one of the guitarist plays his parts tightly with the bass and drums, the other guitarist will solo by weaving lines of notes around the patterns set up by the rest of the quartet. These pieces are often done at a relaxed pace, yet layers are subtly lined up in quietly fascinating ways. Dave Tronzo is a master of getting his guitar to speak and he often does with the help of a wah-wah pedal at times. The other magical thing here is that both guitarists work so well together, consistently matching wits and creating a new combination of guitar playing that sounds unique and solid together. That great father & son rhythm team is also wonderful as they work together perfectly combing forces and holding things together as the guitarists sail into oblivion. - BLG
GORDON GRDINA'S EAST VAN STRINGS With JESSE ZUBOT / EYVIND KANG / PEGGY LEE - The Breathing Of Statues (Songlines 1572; Canada) Featuring Gordon Grdina on electric guitar & oud, Jesse Zubot on violin, Eyvind Kang on viola and Peggy Lee on cello. This is the debut recording of this lauded guitarist/oud player's all-string quartet, playing original compositions and improvs inspired by Bartok, Webern, Berg, free jazz and Arabic taqasim. Each member is an internationally recognized virtuoso improviser, which gives the group a unique profile and broad range of expression. The music is complex, gritty, lyrical, and often very intense. Audiophile stereo/multichannel recording in a small hall creates an intimate sonic environment. Canadian guitarist and oud player, Gordon Grdina, never ceases to amaze me, since each of his half dozen discs are so different and successful in varied ways. For this disc he has put together an extraordinary all-star string trio to collaborate with, each with an impressive amount of diverse talents and experiences. The opening piece, "Selma" is a most enchanting piece for heavenly strings with Gordon's sublime acoustic guitar at the center. The three strings combined sound like an accordion wheezing delicate waves of warm spirits. Gordon has obviously spent time composing these pieces since each is well thought out. "Holy Departure" is like a string quartet with a series of tightly played figures dancing around the players in different duos. Even on the "Silence of Paintings" where the strings players twist their strings into frenetic shapes, there is a sense of purpose that holds this piece together with Gordon's guitar calmly sitting in the center of the cyclone. On "Origin" each string players get a chance to solo after playing that difficult swirling theme together and each solo is very different showing each player to unique and dazzling ideas up their sleeves. Gordon plays oud on "Santiago" while the strings play appropriate eastern sounding drones around him. The title track is an epic-length work that features Gordon's oud playing unaccompanied at first and building like a raga until the strings come back in, a dialogue between the oud & strings evolving together like a story unfolding. I am reminded of the soundtrack to an eastern fairy tale. 'The Breathing of Statues' is completely different that anything the Gordon Grdina has done so far, making it another jewel in the crown that he can wear when the rich rewards are bestowed upon us all deserving few. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
GORDON GRDINA'S HARAM With CHRIS KELLY / JP CARTER / FRANCOIS HOULE / JESSE ZUBOT et al - Her Eyes Illuminate (Songlines 2407; Canada) Gordon Grdina on oud & arrangements, Chris Kelly on tenor sax, JP Carter on trumpet, Francois Houle on clarinet, Jesse Zubot on violin & electronics, Tim Gerwing on darbuka, Liam MacDonald on riq, Tommy Babin on electric bass, Kenton Loewen on drums and Emad Armoush on ney & vocals. Vancouver-based guitarist and oud player, Gordon Grdina, remains restless and leads a handful of different bands, each one quite different. He once worked with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, but usually utilizes the talents of Vancouver's most adventurous musicians. This appears to be Mr. Grdina's most ambitious project yet with a ten piece ensemble of jazz and ethnic musicians. Since Mr. Grdina is using ethnic instruments like darbuka (hand drum), riq (frame drum) and ney (flute) as well as playing oud only, this music does have middle-eastern vibe and groove. The opening piece, "Raqs Al Jamal" has great groove that is it infectious and made me want to eat falafel and seek out a belly dancer. Gordon's final oud solo as well as JP Carter's trumpet solo are both wonderful like the icing on a delicious cake. Each piece has an enchanting melody, groove or vibe with spirited solos from the oud, clarinet, violin, tenor sax and trumpet. There are few sections where the rhythm team drops out and the horns or other instruments solo together as an interlude and it works very well. A few of these pieces have intense rocking grooves that really get the blood flowing. A few of Mr. Grdina's previous discs are further out and hence more challenging to listen to. This one is not that out, it is consistently compelling, somewhat trance-inducing and a righteous groove-fest throughout. It is most likely the best thing Mr. Grdina has done yet. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
ROBIN HOLCOMB / WAYNE HORVITZ - Solos (Songlines 1550; Canada) with Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb, piano Distinguished pianists and composers with individual styles, Horvitz and Holcomb have been partners in life as well as musically for almost three decades. They have appeared on record in each other's company numerous times, but this is their first recording actually sharing the billing. Together...and yet alone, as each plays solo piano. The instrument is a Steinway D, and the program they have sequenced includes original compositions (e.g. Holcomb's 13-minute suite "When the Comet Comes"), three free improvisations, and three covers (including Wayne Shorter's beautiful "Armageddon."). Live-to-DSD recording in a small concert hall creates an intimate, palpable atmosphere. Reduced to essentials, the differences as well as the similarities in their music stand out. They both possess notable techniques, but it's the emotional resonances and luminosity of the playing that really stay with the listener. As Robin puts it: "We share a wide range of interests and influences. I entered the world of jazz very late in its history with the exuberant improvising of 'free jazz' whereas Wayne is much more familiar with earlier jazz forms. I have played more early American folk music and Indonesian music. We seem to both be mesmerized by the harmonic language of hymns, for no particular reason. We are both drawn to the bittersweet in both melody and harmony "I find that Wayne's pieces have more of a 'yanking' quality to them... a lovely melody will get 'yanked' into a deeply bittersweet moment which then shimmers throughout the music. I think that my pieces may be more melancholy overall." Wayne adds: "Without question we have very different sounds and techniques, our training and backgrounds are different, although at the time that we first met and also became involved in musical projects together we were both very influenced by Cecil Taylor (pianistically) and all the music coming out of the AACM and the BAG (Black Artists' Group). Also Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea etc. were very much in the air. As improvisors both of us share a sort of two-handed approach A la Cecil. Also we were being introduced to the music of Messiaen and John Cage and many other contemporary composers and hearing the connections between all those musics. Unlike Robin, however, I also have a more single-note 'linear' approach that comes from playing jazz at various times in my life." In the event, Solos implies all these stylistic connections and more (e.g. the impressionism of Debussy or the pared-down elegance of Satie). But its varying moods flow together into a personal, shared artistic statement. Born in Savannah and based in Seattle, Robin Holcomb has created a "new American regionalism, spun from many threads - rock, minimalism, Civil War songs, Appalachian folk tunes, even the polytonal music of Charles Ives" (NY Times). Her songs and instrumental compositions are showcased on CDs for Nonesuch and Sound Aspects and, as co-director of the New York Composers Orchestra, on New World. Recent works include O, Say a Sunset, a staged song cycle based on the life of Rachel Carson which toured the US in 2003/4, and The Utopia Project, a film-and-song cycle collaboration in development at Mass MoCA. Born in New York, Wayne Horvitz is one of the more prolific and celebrated composers and keyboardists of the last twenty years. Leader of Zony Mash, Pigpen and the 4 1 Ensemble, and co-leader of the New York Composers Orchestra and Mylab, he has been a frequent collaborator of John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Butch Morris, and Bobby Previte, among many other practitioners of the new music that has roots in jazz and improvisation but is confined to neither. He also composes for film, TV, dance, theater and the concert hall. His latest work, Joe Hill: 16 Actions for Orchestra, Voice and Soloist, premieres at this year's Earshot Jazz Festival. His CDs are on Songlines (Forever, 2000, Sweeter Than the Day, 2002), Knitting Factory, Intuition, Avant, Elektra/Musician, and other labels.
WAYNE HORVITZ & ZONY MASH ACOUSTIC With TIMOTHY YOUNG/KEITH LOWE/ANDY ROTH [a/k/a SWEETER THAN THE DAY] - Forever [a/k/a American Bandstand] (Songlines 1537; Canada)
FRANCOIS HOULE 5 With TAYLOR HO BYNUM/SAMUEL BLASER/MICHAEL BATES/HARRIS EISENSTADT BENOIT DELBECQ - Genera (Songlines 1595; Canada) Featuring Francois Houle on clarinets & compositions, Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet & flugelhorn, Samuel Blaser on trombone, Benoit Delbecq on piano & electronics, Michael Bates on bass and Harris Eisenstadt on drums. I've been working on a list of the greatest clarinetists of the 20th century for the past couple of years which will be posted on my own website as soon as the site is finished. I recently passed the 100 mark of great clarinetists and Vancouver-based clarinet king Francois Houle remains near the top. I always look forward to each disc, whether solo, duo, trio or larger unit, the Mr. Houle produces but this one is something special. Francois has organized an outstanding all-star sextet with musicians from France, Switzerland and New York and recorded it in a studio in Hoboken, NJ. Some of these players he has played with at length (like Mr. Delbecq) and some perhaps for the first time. Each musician here is a leader of his own and a perfect choice. What makes this disc special is that it is obvious that Houle has written this music specifically for this spectacular sextet. "Essay #7" is closer to progressive jazz than anything else, with tight, well-written horn lines spinning around one another with the horns (clarinet, cornet & trombone) soloing simultaneously. "Guanara" is a somber, haunting piece with soft, simmering horns and superb laid back solos from the trombone, piano and clarinet. Nice to hear Braxton & Bill Dixon side-person Taylor Ho Bynum blowing up a storm as well as the Swiss trombone ace Samuel Blaser who has had a handful of great discs over the past few years on Hatology, Clean Feed and Intakt. At more than 55 minutes, there is almost too much great music here. I've listened to this disc more than a half dozen times over the past month and continually find another highlight amongst the ten great tracks. Mr. Delbecq, who is an expert at playing inside the piano, adds some occasional spice with selective electronics and eerie inside-the-piano shades. Is this the CD of the Month? No doubt, no doubt, NO DOUBT! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
FRANCOIS HOULE/HAVARD WIIK - Aves (Songlines 1601; Canada)Featuring Francois Houle on clarinets and Havard Wiik on piano. This is a first time recorded collaboration between the Vancouver-based clarinet ace, Francois Houle and Norwegian pianist Havard Wiik. Mr. Houle has worked at length with another pianist Benoit Delbecq, as well as with Gordon Grdina, Joelle Leandre, Yitzhak Yedid and a trio called LaConnor. You should know of Mr. Wiik from his work with Atomic, Ken Vandermark and Axel Dorner. Both musicians contributed compositions to this discs as well as doing a number of duo improvisations. This is a live recording from the Vancouver Academy of Music and the sound is superb. There is something special going on here, you can tell from the first note. The first piece, "Father Demo" by Mr. Houle is a well-written, formal sounding work closer to modern classical than jazz, with Francois' clarinet dancing carefully between the categories of jazz and beyond. Playful, serious, complex, tight. thoughtfully composed with no flashiness. On "Sparrowhawk", Houle plays two clarinets at once, creating soft, haunting harmonies with Mr. Wiik's sparse, elegant piano. It is difficult to tell that a third of these pieces are improvised since this duo works so well together, seamlessly weaving several lines or ideas into one stream. Each piece gives the duo a chance to stretch out and/or explore a variety of approaches. The main difference between the piano/clarinet duo with Francois & Mr. Ebelbecq and this duo is that Mr. Wiik doesn't play inside the piano, which is a specialty of Delbecq's. Hence, the adventure is in the more focused written or improvised material. This is an outstanding duo who play together extremely well, no matter where they go. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HUMAN FEEL [CHRIS SPEED/JIM BLACK/ANDREW D'ANGELO/KURT ROSENWINKEL] - Speak To It (Songlines 1514; Canada) “Boston (now Brooklyn) collective - Andrew D'Angelo (alto sax, bass clarinet), Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), and Jim Black (drums) - move between jazz and jazz-rock, improv, and classical new music forms. With guest Holly Palmer interpreting the Billie Holiday classic "Left Alone". Audiophile analogue recording. "Recording under the group name of Human Feel, are Jim Black (percussion), Andrew D'Angelo (reeds) and Chris Speed, who emerges as the dominant voice with his sometimes frenetic tenor saxophone and clarinet. Speed is a compelling player with an original voice, and he contributed three of the ten tunes. Andrew D'Angelo joins him on alto and bass clarinet, the latter of which is particularly effective. As to be expected, Jim Black's dynamic, swirling drums are a continual highlight. Kurt Rosenwinkel rounds out the group with his sometimes aggressive, sometimes atmospheric, often horn-like guitar. The music is mostly a group effort and succeeds on its own terms. If there is a criticism, it is a slight and occasional lack of focus. Overall, though, there is much to enjoy." - Steve Loewy, AMG
HILMAR JENSSON'S TYFT With ANDREW D'ANGELO / JIM BLACK - Tyft (Songlines 1542; Canada) Hilmar is that fabulous Icelandic guitarist that plays in the ever-popular Jim Black Alasnoaxis unit. Andrew D'Angelo plays consistently inspired alto sax and bass clarinet, once for Human Feel, Matt Wilson and more recently in that great duo with Jaime Fennelly. Jim Black remains one downtown's most in demand and dynamic drummers, from Bloodcount, to Tiny Bell Trio to Laurie Anderson to that superb longtime trio with Ellery Eskelin & Andrea Parkins. This is Hilmar's debut cd in the US after a few hard-to-find imports. All three members of this trio double on electronics. This is a rambunctious trio that often erupts freely, yet sails through tight charted areas as well. "Short or Hairy" moves through a variety of twisted sections, some quick and abrupt, some fractured blues licks and completely tight and focused. Hilmar plays some eloquent acoustic solo guitar on a few on these pieces. The trio does a fine job of adding eerie electronics to some of the suspenseful pieces, blending electric ghost-like sounds to squeaky reeds, melodica and percussion. Hilmar seems to coax a lot of quirky sounds from his guitars, making it difficult to figure out who is doing what. Like Alasnoaxis, this trio create a variety of moods, each one filled with different soundtrack like images, from somber to more agitated, fascinating throughout. - BLG/DMG
KARTET [GUILLAUME ORTI / BENOIT DELBECQ / HUBERT DUPONT / CHANDER SARDJOE] - The Bay Window (Songlines 1560; Canada) Kartet is a French quartet featuring Guillaume Orti on saxes, Benoit Delbecq on piano, Hubert Dupont on bass and Stephane Galland on drums. Although this quartet has been around for 25 years and this is their sixth release, this is only the third disc that I've seen for myself. The personnel for the previous discs is the same except that the drummer has been different on each past disc. Mr. Delbecq is a master of playing inside and on the piano keyboard. Pretty much everything I've heard from him has knocked me out. This disc is a well-recorded studio effort, the balance and attention to detail is superb. All of the members of the quartet except for the drummer contribute pieces as this is not just a group improv effort. "XY" falls between jazz and chamber music, with a quirky rhythmic structure which is hard to predict. Each piece is uniquely constructed with odd, unexpected twists. It sounds almost like Monk writing for a chamber quartet. There is a rather playful yet clever quality to this that I find most charming, no one is showing off yet the structure or strategy is constantly shifting into something else. While solos are kept to a minimum, when they do happen, they are well integrated into whatever the rest of the quartet is doing. You can tell that a great deal of thought went into the composing of each of these pieces as each some is challenging in different ways but never too complex to be difficult to listen to. With each listen, another layer is revealed. Is Erik Satie the guiding light behind this band? In certain ways, he is indeed. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANDY MILNE & BENOIT DELBECQ - Where is Pannonica? (Songlines 1579; Canada) This collaboration between two masters extends the scope of the piano duo. Weaving complex rhythmic relationships, poetry-infused melodies, and contemporary harmonic structures, Milne and Delbecq construct some truly 'new' sounds, each with their own place in the room. Enhanced CD features a 15-minute making-of video that explores the musicians' creative process. Whereas I know of French pianist Benoit Delbecq from the eight great discs he has on Songlines, I am not familiar with Vancouver-based pianist Andy Milne, who has one but well-regarded solo piano disc out also on Songlines. So I wasn't too sure what to expect from this piano duo, but I knew I was in store for something special since that is what the Songlines label is all about. Piano duos are relatively rare but certainly not unprecedented. Keith Tippett has played duos with both Stan Tracey and Howard Riley and just last week (May, 2009) I reviewed a disc with Myra Melford and Satoko Fujii. Benoit's inside-the-piano sound is quite unique and it gives this a duo a most distinctive taste/sound. Benoit sounds as if he is playing a piano with small blocks of wood inside muting the strings, making it sound more like a percussion instrument while Andy adds more melodic fragments on top. This seems to be the overall structure of many of these pieces (written by Mr. Delbecq) with Benoit setting up the slightly bent scenario and Andy adding selective counterbalance melodies. At times the pianists exchange roles or blend their parts into one another so we don't who is doing which part. There are moments of rich elegance and moments of odd mystery found on this disc. Although there are two pianists they never step on one another and space is used just right. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
POOLPLAYERS [ARVE HENRIKSEN / BENOIT DELBECQ / et al] - Way Below The Surface (Songlines 1569; Canada)Featuring Arve Henriksen on trumpet, electronics & voice, Benoit Delbecq on piano & bass station, Steve Arguelles on Usine, delays & filter and Lars Juul on drums & electronics. This is certainly an odd line-up of international sonic explorers from different places and spaces. Arve Henriksen is from the ever-popular Supersilent; Benoit Delbecq plays extraordinary sounds from inside the piano with Francois Houle; Steve Arguelles is a British born, French-based percussionist who turns up a variety of odd combinations and Lars Juul is a Danish drummer that has played on numerous discs, but has escaped my notice until now. I wasn't certain how this unique quartet would turn out, so.. "Beneath the Undercurrent" opens with spacious trumpet, floating piano, delicate cymbals and an eerie ambiance of drifting electronic sounds. Benoit's piano playing has a distinctive sound as he mutes certain notes inside the piano and provides both dreamy and occasionally ominous sounds. Arve Henriksen also his own sound on trumpet, watery, bathed in echo, notes slightly bent both acoustically and with effects. Together, Arve and Benot make haunting sounds that work well together drifting together and around one another in an endlessly dream-like state. "Two Fold" is mainly just using brushes on the drums with subtle effects added to make it more hypnotic. 'Way Below the Surface,' underneath the cosmic currents of the waves is where this sounds like it was recorded. I like the way this was recorded, seamless sounds drifting softly in space with selective melodic fragments and occasional dark puddles to balance the endless flow events. Superb, sublime and submerged in a watery world of free-floating spirits that are often quite mesmerizing. - BLG
BRAD SHEPIK With PETER EPSTEIN / SKULI SVERRISSON / MICHAEL SARIN / et al - The Well (Songlines 1531; Canada) with Peter Epstein (saxes), Skuli Sverrisson (electric bass), Michael Sarin (drums & percussion), Seido Salifoski (dumbek & percussion) The follow-up to his critically acclaimed The Loan (SGL 1518-2) finds guitarist/saz player Shepik ( Tiny Bell Trio , Pachora, BABKAS ) deeper in the music of the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa and deeper in his own style - driving or insinuating grooves and melodies in compound time signatures, with subtle group interplay, effortless solos, and a downtown edge. "With Brad on guitars, saz & tambura, Peter Epstein on saxes, Skuli Sverrisson on el. bass, Seido Salifoski on dumbek & Michael Sarin on drums. Brad Shepik keeps busy in both Pachora and Tiny Bell Trio, and this cd is his second as a leader. Skuli is also in Pachora, Seido is from the Paradox Trio and Michael has drummed with Thomas Chapin, Dave Douglas & Myra Melford. Brad specializes in that middle/eastern/euro sound that both Pachora & Tiny Bell are a part of, his solo cds also come from a similar place. The same infectious exotic groove fuels 'the well' which flies open with a hyper strummed piece called "The Flood". Brad has composed all but one piece found here, the only cover being a traditional Turkish tune called "Zephyr", which sounds no different from the rest of the tunes. Both Brad & Skuli, who plays consistently great fretless bass, switch off on soloing and playing in and around each other with a tight knit connection. The title tune slows down the pace a bit, with Brad playing some smoky acoustic, as well some more mysterious phased electric guitar. Alto & soprano saxist - Peter Epstein also seems just the right choice for this unit, by taking the role of hypnotic snake-charming reed player. Each tune is introduced by a different player, until the groove is established and the memorable melody takes us for a ride once more. The sly & sluggish "Quiver of Veils" has a fine, intoxicating groove which reminds me of sipping an ice cold drink in the arid desert. " - BGL
BRAD SHEPIK & THE COMMUTERS With PETER EPSTEIN / TONY SCHERR / KENNY WOLLESEN / et al - The Loan (Songlines 1518; Canada) Debut of BABKAS and Pachora co-leader (and member of Dave Douglas's Tiny Bell Trio and the Paradox Trio) features his compositions arranged for a Balkan/Turkish/Persian (and occasionally Afro/Celtic) flavored quintet. Supercharged world jazz. Shepik, guitars, electric saz, banjo, cumbus, with Peter Epstein (alto and soprano sax), Tony Scherr (electric bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums) and Seido Salifoski (dumbek). Richard Gehr's Top 10 for 1997, Folk Roots. "Shepik excels in a vein of ethnic improv that mines Middle-Eastern and southern European sources with real with and passion... His playing has real flair, and the material is deep, spirited stuff - full of appeal not only for the avant-jazz crowd but also for world music fans and the hippie-groove contingent." - Bradley Bambarger, Billboard
CHRIS SPEED'S YEAH NO With CUONG VU / SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - Deviantics (Songlines 1524; Canada)After a half dozen excellent releases with Tim Berne'e Bloodcount, two fine Pachora cds, his work with Myra Melford and Dougie Bowne, this is Chris Speed's second recording as a leader. Chris's palette continues to expand, his tenor sax & clarinet playing, as well as his composing just get richer and stronger. His quartet feature the talents of up & coming trumpet great - Cuong Vu (from Saft/Vu), plus the Pachora rhythm team of Skuli Sverrisson (Mo Boma) on el. bass and Jim Black (Bloodcount also) on drums & melodica. The rhythm team is splendid throughout, shifting gears midstream, stopping on a dime and jumping into or providing the flow of ever - changing events. Considering how young Cuong Vu is, both he and Chris are perfect foils for the demanding compositions found here. Jim's eerie melodica drones and ultra - subtle small percussion flourishes also add a mysterious ambiance. That Pachora - esque middle eastern groove is only found here is small dosage, so this quartet can explore other pathways. One of the things I dig most about Chris Speed is the his endearing warm toned tenor, expansive and rich, out of the cool school, a sigh of relief from those who blow too hard from Traneland. His clarinet also is seems to be coming from a playful and pensive Jimmy Giuffre like sound. - BLG
CHRIS SPEED'S YEAH NO With CUONG VU / SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - Emit (Songlines 1532; Canada) This is Chris' third release for Songlines and his second cd this year, the first was his new 'Iffy' trio on KFW. 'Emit' features his stellar Yeah No quartet with Cuong Vu on trumpet, Skuli Sverrisson on el. bass and Jim Black on drums. Chris plays tenor sax and clarinet and keeps very busy juggling commitments with Bloodcount, Same River Twice, Dave Douglas units past & present and currently with Pachora. His playing and composing continue to evolve, expand and just get better with each release. Both Chris and Jim write these nifty tunes with skewed, fragmented structures. "Constance and Georgia" begins with a normal tenor and trumpet head, yet the rhythm team starts to veer off and twists things into strange areas - Skuli and Jim have been playing together for a while and it sounds like they can anticipate each other's moves. "Suggestible" is like a Pachora tune, but a bit more off kilter - both Cuong and Chris on clarinet play quick, inspired and burning solos, the rhythm team soars through this quick piece with ease. Things slow down to a lumbering, broken pace on "Berance", sounding like the entire quartet are about to fall over, but somehow remain tight and eventually erupt near the end. The horns drift like ghosts on "Waltzing" which is filled with suspense and silence. "Kosmia" starts with a sunny, eastern euro melody and lovely clarinet and trumpet solos to follow. Both horns play their slow bopping lines together almost throughout "Tangents" while the rhythm team burns on top spinning dense webs. "Tralala" is gentle, sort-of chamber jazz and "Kompa" has that refreshing, memorable melody line and infectious eastern groove - where's the belly-dancer?!? The closer "Transporter" also has a wonderful, warm head and quaint, hushed solos from Chris' tenor and Cuong's trumpet. - BLG
CHRIS SPEED'S YEAH NO With CUONG VU / SKULI SVERRISSON / JIM BLACK - Yeah No (Songlines 1517; Canada) Tenor sax/clarinetist co-leads Human Feel and is a member of Tim Berne's Bloodcount and Myra Melford's The Same River, Twice. His debut CD explores his jazz, contemporary classical and Balkan-inspired compositions with a subtle, simmering kind of freedom. With Cuong Vu (trumpet), Skuli Sverrisson (electric bass) and Jim Black (drums). Writers choice 1997, Steve Vickery, Coda.
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link, for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com. Many of us are going stir crazy staying at home so if you want to inspire us and help us get through these difficult times, please show us what you got. I listed some these last week but have also a few more.
MORE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING AROUND FOR THE WORLD TO END OR GET BETTER:
STILL STIR CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
This is the section where I usually recommend upcoming concerts in the NYC area. As far as I can tell there are no upcoming shows anywhere around here, except perhaps on-line. All places I usually frequent are now closed for the foreseeable future. And everyone is worried about the near future, their health and their sanity for their friends and family. I am trying to come up with something inspirational to put out there but I am also very worried about myself, the store, all of the creative musicians that we need and support, as well as everyone else who has lost their jobs.
I have been at home at my old apartment in New Jersey, cleaning, reorganizing my collection, finding lots of doubles, listening to dozens of records, CD’s,cassettes and DVD’s. And working on my ongoing series of discographies and assorted music lists.
Over the past month a number of musicians have been putting up some music on-line for anyone to check out. I know that many of us are going a bit stir crazy so it is time to do some soul searching and serious listening. Here is a list of some music links to check out:
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
who runs the New York Noise website and helps to promote creative music from hundreds of different musicians! At the beginning of April, Jessica convinced me not to go to the store and stay at home & work from there/here. Thanks to Jessica, Frank Meadows and Charmaine Lee, I have taken their advice seriously and I remain safe and alive (at home) while the store continues to do mail-order. Thanks Jessica, I do appreciate your tough love, this is what it takes sometimes to get the elder folks to break with their usual routine or habits and think more clearly about life.
This is from Jessica Hallock, please do check it out, there is so much to explore here and I know some of you are bored and need some inspiration/distraction:
Livestreams are obviously no replacement for live shows, but they're all the community we have right now––so experimental music calendar NYC-Noise.com now provides links to livestreams (with artist / curator donation info); a roundup of local musicians' releases; COVID-19-related resources, including links to grants, petitions, & a local venue donation list; & an Instagram account (@NYC_Noise) promoting artists and releases. Please let me know about your livestreams &/or new records at www.nyc-noise.com/submit.
Free Virtual Brooklyn Film Festival Starts Tomorrow - May 29th, 2020
From The Sachs Program For Arts Innovation comes the news that the Brooklyn Film Festival will now be streaming all of its 100 films for free so that everyone can experience this film festival online at no cost. There are lots of interesting narrative feature, international, and documentary films to explore. Details are below.
Not quite as tasty as having it unfold as you watch, but these times are also an opportunity to dig into archives and explore historical and more recent talks, films and performances. One silver lining is that several film festivals have opened up online access. Tomorrow is the launch of the Brooklyn Film Festival, which features over 100 films, including 15 international feature films. Access to all are free starting tomorrow.
Connect here: https://www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/festival
TJG ONLINE PRESENTS
LIVE FROM THE JAZZ GALLERY ARCHIVAL PERFORMANCES
This new series Live From The Jazz Gallery is where we will be posting videos & audio from past live shows. The donations received from each show will be shared directly with each artist, another way to show support for our musicians during this period of drastic loss of income.
Check this out: https://www.youtube.com
THIS COMES FROM PIANIST & COMPOSER ROBERTA PIKET:
A couple of opportunities to virtually share music and thoughts with you have come my way and I wanted to let you know.
Tomorrow, Thursday, May 28th at 4pm EST, I'm participating in a Zoom panel on "Women in Jazz in Education." We'll discuss the current experiences of women as jazz educators, students and professional musicians during the COVID pandemic, and we'll gain insight into how to create more inclusive environment for women as contributors to Jazz. The event also features Tahira Clayton (moderator), Lauren Henderson, and Emily Pecoraro.
Click here for details and to RSVP:
Tuesday June 16th at 7pm EST, I'll be doing a live-stream concert with Billy Mintz at the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn. We will each play some solo, and then we'll play duo. - https://www.soapboxgallery.org/events/robertaandbilly
Get Some Good Music and Help Two Great Causes
Thirteenth Note records is continuing our donation campaign Get some good music and help a great cause. If you purchase anything from the 13th Note Records web site in the month of May or June, we will donate the total proceeds to either Doctors Without Borders or the Jazz Foundation of America. We have CDs featuring side musicians like Billy Mintz, Cameron Brown, Joe La Barbera, Tony Malaby, Steve Wilson, and more. So please check out the site.
We won't even subtract the shipping charges or taxes before sending in the money. We will donate those charges out of pocket.
This offer applies to downloads as well as CDs.
Please stay safe and healthy.
THOMAS SAYERS ELLIS is the leader of the great Poetry/Music/Confrontation Band HEROES ARE GANG LEADERS a/k/a HAGL.
HAGL has a website that you should check out at: www.heroesaregangleaders.com
for the latest intersection of music-minded words and word-minded music and while you are there also check out The Lokotown Reverb where classic overlooked Oral Literature, Studio Recordings and Live Performances are given a fresh look!
GIANTHOLOGY is a forum for writing not whining, aesthetics not agenda, ideas not issues, vision not victimhood, GIANTHOLOGY is edited by the members of Heroes Are Gang Leaders.
Send 2 to 4 unpublished works to HeroesAreGangLeaders@gmail.com.
Trombone giant STEVE SWELL was recently and now has four fabulous poems up on the HAGL website, you can check them out here:
saxist/composer and member of Radio I-Ching and the Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood, had a filmmaker named Fred Hatt assemble a trio of videos for music projects that Andy had created. “Video Trilogy by Fred Hatt for music by Andy Haas & friends Shadowtime is defined as: A parallel timescale that follows one around throughout day to day experience of regular time. Shadowtime manifests as a feeling of living in two distinctly different temporal scales simultaneously, or acute consciousness of the possibility that the near …”
They can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/418226236
This comes from Saxist/Composer/Bandleader ELLERY ESKELIN:
During this time of shared hermitage I’ve revived my blog and have been using dreams, stories, remembrances and musings in the form of writing, all through the prism of music making. https://elleryeskelin.blogspot.com/
I have one musical offering, a previously unreleased live solo saxophone piece that I’ve put up on Bandcamp. It’s called “Mountains and Rivers” - here’s the link:
The RUBIN MUSEUM Daily Offering:
Check it out at: https://www.instagram.com/rubinmuseum/channel/?mc_cid=0176fb37a6&mc_eid=39c235b0f4
Over the past few weeks, uncertainty has become a prominent part of everyday life. Although the unknown can be unsettling, we can find inspiration in the ways performing artists tap into impermanence to fuel their creativity.
THIS COMES FROM CLARINETIST & COMPOSER JEREMIAH CYMERMAN:
This Friday, May 1st I will be releasing my first proper album since 2018’s “Decay of the Angel”. The new record is entitled Systema Munditotius, vol. 1 and was composed in tribute to the work of CG Jung. Written and premiered in 2017, it’s one hour of music for four clarinets and two percussionists, with lots of electronics and foley. I worked on this thing for over three years. Those three years were less about making a masterpiece and more about accessing my creative unconscious and create what I believe to be the best and probably most confusing record I’ve ever made. Below are the links on where to purchase. Available for physical purchase via the 5049 website, the first fifty copies sold will be hand numbered and inscribed with a personalized sigil. “Systema Munditotius, vol.1” will also be available digitally for whatever you would like to pay via Bandcamp this Friday.
Speaking of Bandcamp, this Friday they are waiving all of their fees, giving 100% of the money to the artists. I highly recommend getting the music this way.
For physical purchase: https://www.5049records.com/store/systema-munditotius-vol-1-2020-cd
For purchase on Bandcamp this Friday: https://jeremiahcymerman.bandcamp.com/album/systema-munditotius-vol-1
ROULETTE AT HOME:
Music on the Rebound presents a Live Stream Mini-Marathon: Claire Chase plays works and commissions by Steve Reich, Mario Diaz de Leon, Felipe Lara, Du Yun, Dai Fujikura, Pauline Oliveros, Phyllis Chen, Pamela Z, and more
ANAIS MAVIEL: https://vimeo.com/343494136
MEREDITH MONK: https://vimeo.com/325756188
JAIMIE BRANCH’S FLY OR DIE: vimeo.com/407212407/822e55b8ee?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=4343421e80EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-4343421e80-302668229
JOE McPHEE - March 21st, 1999: roulette.org/event/joe-mcphee-2/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=4343421e80EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-4343421e80-302668229
ZEENA PARKINS / April 20th, 1987: roulette.org/event/zeena-parkins-3/?utm_source=Roulette Maste List&utm_campaign=4343421e80EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-4343421e80-302668229
We at NATIONAL SAWDUST
are thrilled to announce the launch of the Live@NationalSawdust Digital Discovery Festival, a weekly program of free live performances, interviews, and artist development.
Check it out at: https://live.nationalsawdust.org/?mc_cid=92234165f2&mc_eid=12e3f9406e
From Tuba Master JESSE DULMAN - This is a 24 minute documentary
Much of this takes place at Downtown Music Gallery and it really made me feel good!
From INGRID LAUBROCK:
From JOSH SINTON, Wonderful Baritone Saxist & Bass Clarinetist:
“Stone Cold Classics of 21st Century Saxophone Repertoire.”
From BOB DOWNES, amazing UK flutist, currently living in Germany:
JOHN RUSSELL & ROSS LAMBERT: A Duet (for the Hundred Years Gallery)
To support the Hundred Years Gallery (in London) during the covid-19 crisis we are releasing this guitar duet recording from Ross Lambert and John Russell.
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs on each episode. This afternoon he is doing a tribute to the great Hal Wilner at 3pm.
Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836
From Clarinetist Extraordinaire BEN GOLDBERG:
Tomorrow Never Knows. Something tells me art will be fine, even though humans are in trouble at the moment. But right now art is precluded from its important work of gathering us together. So musicians are in a weird situation. Concerts, tours, festivals, and in-person teaching disappeared quickly. In the initial shock my thought was, I don't know what to do but I can record music at home. So on March 19 I began recording a new song every day. I made an album on Bandcamp where you can listen to the songs for free. It's called PLAGUE DIARY. The philosophy here is "use what you've got" (is there ever another option?) -- for me that means clarinets, a synthesizer I can't figure out, and rudimentary recording ability. Because it's a diary I am trying to use the recording process as a sketchbook, and an opportunity to mess around. ("Don't forget to mess around." -- Steve Lacy, as quoted by Kirk Knuffke.)
PLAGUE DIARY is now sixteen songs and I hope it has something that can be of use to you. A link to the album is at the bottom of this email, under the mysterious photo of my parents. Here’s the link: PLAGUE DIARY (streaming for free or pay what you can at Bandcamp only): https://ben-goldberg--bag-production-records.bandcamp.com/album/plague-diary
THIS FROM THE GREAT GERMAN SAXIST & COMPOSER GEBHARD ULLMANN:
At this point there are obviously no upcoming concerts to announce.
However these things are new:
NEW WEBSITE - my completely new website is up now. (thanks to Riccarda Kato and Ralf Dick)
Take a look at the media section with a lot of new sound and video links
BANDCAMP SITE - through my bandcamp site a lot of CDs (including some from the 80s) are available digitally for the first time.
I’ll keep building building it up so come back from time to time.
Included is also some exclusive music like a Solo recording from last years Berlin Solo Impro Festival, some film music I did in the 90s and a festival recording with Paul Bley and Andreas Willers from 1991.
NEW CD - Conference Call will release its 3rd studio recording entitled ‚Prism‘ on the Polish Label NotTwo Records by the end of may. This project has been working for 20 years and released 10 CDs of which more than one received 4 or 4 1/2 star reviews in Downbeat magazine. Michael Stevens on piano, Joe Fonda on bass and Dieter Ulrich on the drums.
NEW VIDEOS - in these times without the real deal, live concerts, I would however like to include some links to recent new videos of projects:
BassX3 (Gebhard Ullmann bass clarinet, Chris Dahlgren and Christian Weber - double basses and objects):
1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTc_MCdz_bc (Transatlantic Drone)
2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-O2yU7kC_M (Ornettes’s Closet and Related Objects)
Das Kondensat (Gebhard Ullmann winds and electronics, Oliver Potratz basses and electronics, Eric Schaefer drums and electronics):
1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpARHg1CeOo (Dubbing with Guy)
2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4X2pd5lutk (Human Body Upgrade)
THIS FROM ROLF-ERIK NYSTRøM - firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to share some information about A few concerts that I will play tomorrow on the internet. I cannot say how much I am looking forward to play live for people again.
So. A busy day tomorrow Friday May 1st:
World premiere on a dance performance, JSK Corona Sessions #2, with me and dancerJon Filip Fahlstrøm curated by celebrated choreographer Jo Strømgren at 7.30 pm.
A little teaser:
See it here:
At 8 pm until 10 pm the trio Poing with me, Frode Haltli - accordeon and Håkon Thelin - double bass, together with singer Maja SK Ratkje will live stream our annual crazy concert from Victoria in Oslo to mark the International Labour Day. Music by Kurt Weill, Hans Eisler, and many others in our very own way.
See it here: https://jazzinorge.no/arrangement/stream-1-mai-med-poing-og-maja-s-k-ratkje-nasjonal-jazzkringkasting/
But first, ca 1230 pm: Poing Maja SK Ratkje (12.18-1pm)
As part of Labour Day celebrations, we will be playing our versions of a couple of traditional Norwegian working class songs outdoors with Poing and Maja SK Ratkje in between speeches by previous prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and opposition leader Jonas Gahr Støre.