“Standing on the Moon”
By The Grateful Dead
From Their ‘Built to Last’ LP
Standing on the moon
I got no cobweb on my shoe
Standing on the moon
I'm feeling so alone and blue
I see the gulf of Mexico
As tiny as a tear
The coast of California
Must be somewhere over here - over here
Standing on the moon
I see the battle rage below
Standing on the moon
I see the soldiers come and go
There's a metal flag beside me
Someone planted long ago
Old Glory standing stiffly
Crimson, white and indigo - indigo
I see all of Southeast Asia
I can see El Salvador
I hear the cries of children
And the other songs of war
It's like a mighty melody
That rings down from the sky
Standing here upon the moon
I watch it all roll by - all roll by
Standing on the moon
With nothing else to do
A lovely view of heaven
But I'd rather be with you
Standing on the moon
I see a shadow on the sun
Standing on the moon
The stars go fading one by one
I hear a cry of victory
And another of defeat
A scrap of age old lullaby
Down some forgotten street
Standing on the moon
Where talk is cheap and vision true
Standing on the moon
But I would rather be with you
Somewhere in San Francisco
On a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven
At this crescent in the sky
Standing on the moon
With nothing left to do
A lovely view of heaven
But I'd rather be with you - be with you
After a few years of searching for the best versions of my fave Grateful Dead jam songs (“The Other One”, “St. Stephen” and “Dark Star”), I decided to go back to the beginning and listen to every recorded Grateful Dead concert from their beginning in 1965/1966. Practically every night for the past 2 months, I’ve listened to one entire show or part of one show if it was too long to listen to in one sitting. I am currently up to November of 1967 and I find it fascinating to watch/hear certain songs from their first appearance and then evolve over time. I listened to the first recorded version of “The Other One” the other night (October of 1967) and heard Bobby Weir struggling with the lyrics which were probably just written beforehand. I also pulled out my Robert Hunter book of lyrics, “Box of Rain”, Hunter being Jerry Garcia’s longtime collaborator and main lyricist for the Dead. Many of us often sing along to catchy songs we like but often don’t look too closely at what the lyrics are saying. Reading and learning the lyrics to many of these Dead songs, lyrics which we often take for granted, has brought more meaning to what these songs are really about. I realize that some of the lyrics seem silly or not serious but still define the way many of us feel about life, love, pain and fun. The above song comes from the last Grateful Dead studio album. There is something about this song that touches me deeply, a universal stream of loneliness that is at the center of mankind, as we struggle to make our way through these difficult times. Lead guitarist, lead singer and spiritual leader of the Dead, Jerry Garcia, passed away in 1995, after years of struggling with substance abuse problems. This event pretty much ended the original version/vision of the Dead. On practically every album and at every concert Jerry would play at least one song that would bring his sensitive followers to tears, somehow tapping into the universal feeling of sadness or loss or loneliness. “Standing on the Moon” is one of those songs and I still shed a tear when I hear. I can hear & see Jerry standing on the moon, a singular figure watching the planet Earth as spins. A special DMG toast to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, both of whom have left the planet are probably hanging out together smoking a doobie in the heavens and watching us all go round in the circles of life. - BLG at DMG
NEW THING THIS WEEK Begin With This Dynamic Treasure:
DAN WEISS STAREBABY with BEN MONDER / MATT MITCHELL / CRAIG TABORN / TREVOR DUNN - Natural Selection (Pi Records 86; USA) Featuring Ben Monder on guitars, Matt Mitchell on piano & Prophet-6 synth, Craig Taborn on piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano & synths, Trevor Dunn on electric bass and Dan Weiss on drums, tabla, piano & compositions. Quintessential Downtown drummer/percussionist, Dan Weiss, keeps quite busy leading several bands as well as working with many of Downtown’s best: Tim Berne, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Quinsin Nachoff & Miles Okazaki. Each of Mr. Weiss’ previous half dozen discs as a leader show him to be ever-evolving as a composer and organizer. This is the second disc from Weiss’ so-called metal quintet known as Starebaby. Starebaby is a Downtown all-star quintet, each of whose members have worked in a variety of genres: jazz, rock, progressive and metal.
Starting with “Episode 18”, we are off and running. This piece has an impressive, sweeping, prog/metal sort of sound with some solemn, dark, spooky sections interspersed with those Mahavishnu-like thunder-rocking sections. I love the way those prog/metal power chords speed up and slow down, rock hard and then come down to a more slow burning groove. Ben Monder is a master of devices (sonic manipulations) for his electric guitar and often changes his tone for each section of each piece to alter the vibe or direction of the piece. On “The Long Diagonal”, one of the pianists plays a hypnotic central riff over & over in between sections of intense power chords building which then give way to a stunning piano solo and more escalating, metalish power strumming. For “A Taste of Memory”, Monder’s sly, dark-toned guitar leads the way through several different connected sections. Mr. Monder’s tone changes from section to section depending on how dark or light, tough or tender the currents are flowing. Mr. Weiss does a good job of having 1 or 2 pianos or synths playing together, repeating different riffs together giving the band a chamber-like sound. “Today is Wednesday Tomorrow” is a sublime, haunting piece of mostly acoustic guitar, piano, synth, bass and tablas alternating with soft drums, refreshing in lightness or restraint. This disc is some 78 minutes long and I found it to be a consistent joyride of adventure and changing dynamics. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
WYXZ with BEN CONIGULIARO / MATT HOLLENBERG / QUIN CONIGULIARO - ODYX (Tzadik 7818; USA) “The experimental brainchild of self-taught composer/drummer/guitarist Ben Coniguliaro, Wyxz is a project that plays demanding, through-composed math rock combined with avant-garde progressive rock, sound collage, and free improvisation. A resident of upstate New York, Ben is still relatively unknown to most of the outside world and is already responsible for several cutting edge underground bands at the ripe age of twenty. Featuring his brother Quinn and the virtuosic guitarist Matt Hollenberg (Cleric, Simulacrum, Shardik), Wyxz is a bizarre micro-prog assault of powerfully complex music that will leave your head spinning!”
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS // JACK QUARTET - Lines Made by Walking (Cold Blue 0058; USA) I have long been a big fan of formerly Alaskan-based composer, John Luther Adams. I’ve heard of each of his nearly 25 different releases over many years and always look forward to whatever he comes up with next. This disc features two long works, the title piece and a slightly shorter work called, “untouched”. Since receiving the Pulitzer Prize in 2015, Mr. Adams moved to New York and has been working with some NY-based ensembles. For this disc, he utilizes the talents of the JACK String Quartet, who often choose some of the challenging music they can find: Chaya Czernowin, Elliott Sharp, Helmut Lachenmann and Horatiu Radulescu.
“Lines Made by Walking is Mr. Adams’ fifth string quartet and it was inspired by the walking that Mr. Adams has done in Alaska, Chile, Mexico and Montana. Adams explains in the liner notes how he composes in layers, however it is not so apparent by listening. What is more apparent is the way the string quartet sounds larger than it is, more like a small string orchestra. The layers I hear are more sweeping like having an ocean of warm waves washing slowly over us. I love the way the haunting, slow melody starts at the bottom (lower end sonically) with the cello and gradually rises as the higher notes swirl in slow, hypnotic waves. If we relax and listen closely, we start to hear each of the string instruments as it expands and contracts, a melodic fragment is passed around, certain fragments resonating more than others, the harmonies lush and enchanting as they continue to move carefully around one another. “untouched” is Mr. Adams second string quartet from 2016 and it was inspired by an Aeolian harp, an instrument that is played by the wind. The music is made from natural harmonics and open strings, with musicians not touching their fingerboards. The sound of this quartet is most organic, as if the wind was blowing through the sails of a sail bow to create a natural sound. It sounds like a large church organ with the notes carefully stretched out. Each note is a drone which drifts and resonates. The slow, steady rhythm of my breathing in & out, in & out, seems to be at the center of the way things occur here in a most natural rhythmic groove or pulse. If I didn’t know that this was a string quartet, I might’ve imagined that we are hearing the sustained tones of s keyboard or perhaps some sort of reeds. There is an angelic, graceful yet solemn vibe going on here, perfection for meditating or helping us to be centered. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MICHEL EDELIN’S FLUTE FEVER ORCHESTRA with NICOLE MITCHELL / SYLVAINE HELARY / JOHN BETSCH / et al - Kalmania - The Song of the Mad Faun / Domus (Rogue Art 0070; France) Featuring Michel Edelin, Nicole Mitchell, Sylvaine Helary & Ludivine Issambourg on various flutes & vocals, Peter Giron on double bass and John Betch on drums. Master French flutist, Michel Edelin, has recorded at least a half dozen discs as a leader over the past couple of decades. This is Mr. Edelin’s fifth disc for the Rogue Art and he is again with the ever amazing flutist Nicole Mitchell plus another fine French flutist named Ms. Sylvaine Helary. I don’t know much about the bassist, Peter Giron, or the other flutist, Ludivine Issambourg, but I do know former New York-based drummer John Betsch, who has been living in Paris for decades and who played with Steve Lacy for many years, as well as for Henry Threadgill and Mal Waldron.
Commencing with “Five O’Clock Tea”, the sextet is off and sailing. Both Nicole Mitchell and Sylvaine Helary take long inspired and stimulating flute solos, the rhythm team swinging a most uplifting groove. Mr. Edelin, who is also a fine composer, wrote all but one of the nine pieces here. Rhythm team members, Peter Giron and John Betsch also take short yet feisty solos here as well. On “Joyful Struggle”, while Mr. Edelin takes a solo, he has the other flutes play quirky ensemble parts around him, sometimes doubling or tripling up on his harmonies. There is a great section here when three of the flutists solo together in a tight swarm of activity. On every piece, it is the rhythm team (bass & drums only) that establishes the structure or rhythmic flow and both are obvious masters who (sound like they) have worked together previously. There are a few surprises in store as well: on “Obsession”, the piece ends with a lovely, well-harmonized section of accapella voices, nice touch! Another highlight here is the way Mr. Edelin uses all the flutes, combining them in duos or trios, as well as adding bits of voices here & there to accentuate things with twisted interaction or odd harmonies. If, like myself, you are a fan of jazz flute in its many different forms, these discs are amongst the best of all multi-flute ensembles. The second disc here is called, ‘Domus’, and it is a solo effort for Mr. Edelin, who plays a variety of flutes, sometimes deconstructed or in parts and adding some electronic effects and overdubs. Edelin also does a wonderful job of showing a wide variety of sounds made & manipulated with different flutes in his arsenal. Yet another treasure for those who love Creative Flute Music! - Bruce Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $25
EIGHT GREAT DISCS from the FINE FOLKS at The CLEAN FEED & SHHPUMA EMPIRE:
FOUR Listed This Week & Another Four Listed Next Week: $1 off of each if you order all 4 new Clean Feed titles
LYNN CASSIERS with BO VAN DER GRAAF / ERIK VERMEULEN / JOZEF DUMOULIN / et al - Yun (Clean Feed 550; Portugal) Personnel: Lynn Cassiers voice & electronics, Bo Van der Werf - baritone sax, Erik Vermeulen - piano, Jozef Dumoulin - Fender Rhodes & keyboards, Manolo Cabras - double bass & Marek Patrman - drums. The Mandarin word “Yun” means “Cloud” and it describes quite well the purposes of this new project led by the Belgian singer Lynn Cassiers: the exploration by an electro-acoustic ensemble of the traditional roots of that music we call jazz. Cassiers re-arranged eight standards of the American Songbook, giving different harmonic and rhythmic structures to the classic melodies of songs like “But Not for Me” and “I Love You” and providing new grounds to improvise with it. The “Yun” in question is made of the possible and improbable relationships between musical patrimony and invention, and this record is «an ode to anachronisms and other time-space related discrepancies». If, as Cassiers verifies, «our identity today seems less and less defined by what is supposed to be our own heritage», the resulting re-creations are simultaneously a delight for any open ears and food for thought. A proof that, in this new century, tradition and contemporaneity can really «find a way to co-exist…”
MARTIN KÜCHEN & LANDÆUS TRIO - Mind the Gap of Silence (Clean Feed 552; Portugal) Personnel: Mathias Landæus - grand piano, analog delay, Cornelia Nilsson - drums, Johnny Åman - double bass and Martin Küchen - soprano, alto and tenor sax. In this new opus coming from Sweden, poly-saxophonist Martin Küchen joins the Landaeus Trio, not only adding his instruments to the band led by pianist Mathias Landaeus but also his immediately recognizable personal compositions, full of Scandinavian folk-like melodies and complex African-inspired pulsations. The curious result of this encounter, “Mind the Gap of Silence” is simultaneously more abstract and more melodic than anything done before by Küchen and the Landaeus Trio in their separate ways on the fields of creative jazz. And that is unexpected, considering that abstraction and melodism travel different paths. The emotion is raw, but always in equilibrium with a kind of beauty you can’t describe with words, everything happening as if in slow fire. And no, what you’ll find here has little to do with the several complexions of Küchen’s Angles project. It’s something else entirely, with much to discover and to savor. Who could expect that the Landaeus Trio’s very characteristic mix of passion and introspective subtlety would work so well with his ideas? Have a good journey…”
ROOTS MAGIC - Take Root Among the Stars (Clean Feed 545; Portugal) Personnel: Alberto Popollla - clarinet & bass clarinet, objects, Errico De Fabritiis - alto & baritone sax, mouth harp, Gianfranco Tedeschi - double bass and Fabrizio Spera - drums, percussion, zither. "Take Root Among the Stars", quoting the words of the great science fiction writer Octavia Butler, here is Roots Magic's third installment for Clean Feed. Cut by the Italian quartet, here and there augmented by a couple of special guests, historical wind player Eugenio Colombo and vibes maestro Francesco Lo Cascio, this new album comes as a further step into the borderland between Deep Blues and Creative Jazz. The new repertoire includes reworked tunes by Skip James, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Charles Tyler and Ornette Coleman plus new works on some of the band's favorite composers, Charley Patton, Phil Cohran, John Carter, and Sun Ra. The album opens up with Phil Cohran's Frankiphone Blues, a deep sensuous Afro oriented groove and tight horn arrangements, perfectly enhanced by Colombo's flute solo and Lo Cascio's oblique harmonies. Energy music and Free Jazz keep striking a chord with the four Italians via the ultra-out spiritual sound of Kalaparusha's take and some boiling improvisations on their tribute to Charles Tyler. The spirit of the Delta is conjured here through a challenging version of Skip James's daunting classic Devil Got my Woman and the fat, earthy pulse of Patton's Mean Black Cat Blues. The album closes with John Carter's Karen on Monday, A beautiful contemplative clarinet tune immersed in a wide-open soundscape with the quartet displaying a more explorative approach to sound, timbre, and noise.”
WHO TRIO with MICHEL WINTSCH / BANZ OESTER / GERRY HEMINGWAY - Strell - The Music of Billy Strayhorn & Duke Ellington (Clean Feed 553; Portugal) Personnel: Michel Wintsch - piano, Banz Oester - bass & Gerry Hemingway - drums. The collective Who Trio commemorated 20 years of existence in 2018, by starting the project “Strell”, which only now has been committed to record. This was the time considered necessary for their members to achieve the maturity of a collective language necessary to embrace the ambitious enterprise of interpreting the music of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington in a (re)creative way. The goal was to infuse this rich musical heritage with today’s musical language, exploring the compositions of both historical figures like a mighty wave that allows the trio to surf to new horizons. In this new reading, we find the centrality of the blues, so essential to these two composers, combined with the open spirit of improvisation in the best way we could hope for. Contemporary jazz with deep roots in the Strayhorn/Ellington legacy, played by one of the most inspiring musical chemistries of our time, the remarkable collective interplay of Wintsch, Hemingway & Oester, the WHO trio.
2 More New Discs from Dr. Chadbournes Project Omnibook Series:
THE ALL-CHATTERBOX NO-STARS with EUGENE CHADBOURNE / TONY TRISHKA / TOSHINORI KONDO / MARTIN KLAPPER / et al - Project Omnibook - The Lost Years - Volume Three: Curtains for Eddie (Chadula PO 3; USA) Volume 3 of the Project Omnibook series features Doc Chadbourne on guitar & banjo, Tony Trischka on banjo, Toshinori Kondo on trumpet, Martin Klapper on cheap electronics & to, Philly Ransom on guitar & vocal and Herman Muntzing on homemades. Again, Dr. Chadbourne has chosen an odd crew of musicians from different scenes, places or backgrounds. I know banjo player Tony Trischka from the bluegrass scene of yesteryear and trumpeter Toshinori Kondo from his early Downtown days with Fred Frith, John Zorn, Henry Kaiser and others. Again, like the other parts of this series, we get a few songs by Charlie Parker, celebrating the 100th year of his birthdate. The first thing we hear is Doc Chadbourne playing in a vehicle that is moving through the countryside with birds chirping in the background. We hear what sounds like a collage of sounds with some quiet electric guitar and banjo (Chad & Trischka) flowing through, jamming together, exchanging exciting lightning-like licks, but mostly having a long, thoughtful conversation. The duo eventually break into Bird’s “52nd St. Theme”, which blends bebop & bluegrass with a daredevil sense of humor. One of the things which holds this together is the ongoing collage-like blend of tapes, TV & radio samples, old records buried in the mix, cheap electronics with the constant flow of one or two guitars and banjos, erupting at unexpected sections. The use of collages is something I recall from the early Downtown Days (early eighties), which was effectively employed by the Mothers in the sixties and then by Daevid Allen, Shockabilly and Skeleton Crew in the early eighties. There are often several layers of sounds going on simultaneously. Sometimes quiet and restrained, other times the collages and jamming get more dense & intense. There are several layers of interaction going on throughout so we often have to adjust our attention to hear everything going on. Sometimes it is not about soloing but weaving the various layers effectively taking us on a journey or and telling a story. A challenging and often fascinating disc from the current (Sept of 2020) series of six titles. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE ALL-CHATTERBOX NO-STARS with EUGENE CHADBOURNE / TONY TRISHKA / TOSHINORI KONDO / MARTIN KLAPPER / WERNER DAFELDECKER / WARREN SMITH / et al - Project Omnibook - The Lost Years - Volume Four: Only the Dead Know Back Home Blues (Chadula PO4; USA) Featuring Eugene Chadbourne on guitar & banjo, Tony Trischka on banjo, Toshinori Kondo on trumpet, Walter Malli on soprano sax, Martin Klapper on cheap electronics, Herman Muntzing on homemades, Rebekka Rakar on vocals, Werner Dafeldecker on contrabass and David Licht, Rogier Smal and Warren Smith on drums, vibes & percussion. Continuing in the tribute to Charlie Parker for the 100th anniversary of his birth, Doc Chadbourne picks four songs associated with Bird, as well as a few songs with French titles like “Sur LePont D’Avignon”. What I find intriguing about this six-part series is that Dr. Chadbourne keeps things interesting by spinning several simultaneous layers of guitars, banjos, drums, percussion with various sound effects or samples of voices, birds and a variety of strange sounds too hard to describe. The central ongoing playing is by Chadbourne himself switching between electric & acoustic guitars while tapes and other musicians fade in and out of the mix. Bird’s callsic song, “Ornithology” gets a strong reading here by the good doctor on guitar and Tony Trischka on banjo, switching licks effortlessly, speeding up and slowing down, a series of tangled webs spinning freely yet connected by the inner urgency of bebop. From time to time, a small group of musicians will come together to combine forces with Mr. Chadbourne: Walter Malli (soprano sax), Werner Dafeldecker (bass) perhaps Warren Smith (vibes & marimba) pop up for one section and then mutate into another bebop standard on “Yardbird Suite”. It does take some time to adapt to the way things are in constant motion flowing from one section to the next. Occasionally confusing but more often mesmerizing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
FOUR MORE GREAT DISCS from the SUNJUMP LABEL:
SANGEETA MICHAEL BERARDI With JOHN ESPOSITO / ROSI HERTLEIN / HILLIARD GREENE / PETER O'BRIEN / KENDRA SHANK / et al - The Mr P Sessions (Sunjump 0001; USA) Featuring Sangeeta Michael Berardi on voice, guitar & singing bowls, Mitch Kessler on flute, saxes & bass clarinet, Rosi Hertlein on violin & voice, John Esposito on unprepared & prepared piano, Hilliard Greene on acoustic bass, James Greene on singing bowls & voice and Peter O’Brien on drums plus guest vocals: Kendra Shank & Mikhail Horowitz. Spiritual jazz guitarist, Sangeeta Michael Berardi, has only six discs out since his first leader date in 1980 (just reissued on CD). This ambitious 2 CD set some Downtowners we know like Rosi Hertlein, Hill Greene & Kendra Shank as well as Sunjump regulars: John Esposito, Mitch Kessler & Peter O’Brien. Aside from the music, Sageeta also brought his poetry which was spoken by Mikhail Horowitz and sung by Kendra Shank & Rosi Hertlein. “Mr. P” consists of Sangeeta singing in a sad, ancient, world-weary voice with the two women answering like a small gospel chorus. Both Ms. Hertlein on violin and Ms. Shank take strong spirited solos on their respective instruments, which followed by a great bass clarinet solo (Mitch Kessler), a powerful, McCoy-like solo from Mr. Esposito and a tale-spinning, three-voice outro which helps us soar out higher and higher and… Even a percussion solo/duo called “Solar Wind” has a deeply spiritual sound. “Prayer for Peace” is an aptly named piece which emanates good vibes, strong spiritual winds flowing, the two women singing like distant ghosts. There is actually on older style blues detour with highlights from Ms. Hertlein on a tight but out-there violin & voice together passage.
2 CD Set $16
JOHN ESPOSITO / JEFF MARX / JEFF SIEGEL - Tahrir (Sunjump Music 0013; USA) Featuring John Esposito on piano & compositions, Jeff Marx on tenor & soprano saxes and Jeff Siegel on drums. “Tahrir” is Arabic for liberation and Cairo’s Tahrir Square is the symbol of Egypt’s resistance. This disc is dedicated to those who continue to struggle for liberation. All of the pieces here except for one were written by John Esposito and the sessions were recorded in December of 2011. The opening piece is called, “Oumou” (for singer Oumou Sangare, perhaps?), and already this trio taps into the later Trane mode, modal sounding with McCoyish piano, Trane-like tenor sax and sprawling, powerful drums. Although there is no bassist present, this is a perfect triangular trio, completely connected on all levels. Drummer Jeff Siegel does a fine job of balancing things by playing the bass pulse on his bass drums while juggling his support of the sax & piano with the rest of his trap drums & cymbals. Mr. Esposito also balances things just right by playing the bass-line with his left hand while his right hand plays those complex themes and pulls off one astonishing solo after the other. What makes this disc so special is the way the trio plays together as one tight force of nature. There is strong balance between the freer/more spiritual forces and the connected undertow of currents that runs through everything that is going on. “Glade” shows another more exquisite, organic side of the trio with Esposito on delicate prepared piano and Mr. Mar on soft flute. Most enchanting. Everything about this disc rings true, consistently inventive and spiritually uplifting. You can’t do much better than that. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMGS
STEVE GERACI with ARTHUR RHAMES / JOHN STUBBERFIELD / CHARLIE KNICELY / RASHIED ALI / JEFF SIEGEL / et al - Aliqae Song (Sunjump 0006; USA) Previously unreleased, 1980 NYC; Reconstructed from cassette masters. Featuring: Steve Geraci, Guitar; Arthur Rhames, Alto Saxophone; John Stubblefield, Flute, Soprano and Tenor Saxophones; John Esposito, Piano; Charlie Knicely, Bass; Jeff Siegel, Drums; Rashied Ali, Drums; Frederick Berryhill, Percussion and Kit Potter, Vocals. John Esposito's Sunjump label has a talent for unearthing long lost sessions that shouldn't be forgotten about. I hadn't heard of guitarist Steve Geraci before this disc, although with names like Arthur Rhames, Rashied Ali and John Stubberfield, this certainly is an historic date. The opening track, "Aliqae Song" was named after the birth of Steve's daughter, Aliqae. The melody is sunny and reminds me of the "There is a Mountain" riff & by Donavon) that Allman Bros. borrowed for their "Mountain Jam". Mr. Esposito plays a lovely piano interlude with some inspired sax solos from John Stubberfield and the legendary & under-recorded Arthur Rhames who died way before his time. I dig the infectious hard swinging groove on "Main St. Stroll" which features some fine solos from Rhames, Geraci, Stubberfield and Esposito. Bassist Charlie Knicely is another new name for me and he plays superbly throughout on his (fretless?) electric bass, slipping & sliding and providing perfect support always. The late Arthur Rhames can only be found on a few discs that are in print presently. All of his solos on this disc are wonderful and filled with that great slow burning Trane-like power that he was the master of. The one question that remains is this, what has become of the leader here, Steve Geraci, who also plays inventively on each piece of this fine disc? One again the great Sunjump label has released a long lost treasure that you shouldn't be without. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
BOB MURAD with LUIS FAIFE / KENNY RITTENHOUSE / RASHAAN CARTER / JAMES KING / JEFF SIEGEL / FRANK WILLIAMS / FREDERICK BERRYHILL III - The Observer (Sunjump 0015; USA) Bob Murad, an impressive modern jazz pianist, proves to also be a particularly inventive composer on The Observer, his recording debut as a leader. Murad has worked in his career with such notables as Gary Bartz, JR Monterose, Frank Morgan, Nick Brignola and Ralph Peterson Jr, among others. The Observer features Murad with Luis Faife (alto and tenor), bassist Rashaan Carter, drummer Jeff “Siege” Siegel and percussionist Frederick Berryhill III. on six of the nine selections while the other songs have Faife, trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse, bassist James King and drummer Frank T. Williams IV. along with the pianist. All of the pieces are Murad originals except for a medley of two songs written by Arthur Rhames who was one of his mentors.
While the music sometimes makes one think of late 1960s Blue Note, altoist Jackie McLean and pianist McCoy Tyner, those are only points of reference. The harmonically advanced compositions are quite original in both their melodies and their chord changes, and the individual musicians all have their own sounds and approaches to playing modern jazz.
The opening selection, “Transception,” has an angular melody with altoist Luis Faife (who Murad has often worked with since 2006) in the lead. The shifting rhythms behind his solo keep the music stimulating and unpredictable while the bass, alto, piano and drum solos make this an excellent introduction to Bob Murad’s group. “Hexagon” is a complex jazz waltz with a haunting muted trumpet solo by Rittenhouse and statements by Murad and Faife. The medium-tempo “Observer” includes one of the leader’s strongest improvisations of the set.
“MLK” is a heart-warming tribute to Martin Luther King. The warm ballad inspires expressive statements by Rittenhouse (which hints in spots at Freddie Hubbard) and the pianist. “Expressions” is a 6/4 modal piece with some strong African percussion by Berryhill and a particularly passionate Faife solo. One could certainly imagine McCoy Tyner performing that piece. Arthur Rhames’ songs “It’s A Never Ending Goal/How Great You Are” are played as an uptempo cooker with hard-swinging alto and piano solos.
Cult Hero” has excellent interplay between Faife and Murad while “No Exit” is a rhythmically exciting piece with adventurous solos and a melody that should be covered by others. The program closes with some solid and joyful swinging on “Multiverses.” All in all, The Observer is an impressive effort by Bob Murad, a pianist and composer who deserves to be much better known.” - Scott Yanow
JAMES BURTON / ALBERT LEE / AMOS GARRETT - Guitar Heroes (Stony Plain 1381; USA) “Recorded during Canada's Vancouver Island (Canada) MusicFest in 2013, this set features the historic concert as it happened, with no editing, overdubbing, or studio alterations. James Burton, Amos Garrett, Albert Lee, and David Wilcox were backed by Garrett's regular road band -- Jon Greathouse (keyboards/lead vocals), Will MacGregor (bass), and Jason Harrison Smith (drums/background vocals). The program is a mix of energetic rockabilly, country, blues, and R&B standards. Particularly exciting here is the reading of "Suzie Q"; Burton played the now iconic riff on Dale Hawkins' 1957 original single. Others include stellar takes on Santo & Johnny's "Sleep Walk," Joe Turner's "Flip, Flop and Fly," and Tony Joe White's swamptastick "Polk Salad Annie." There's also a knotty hard bop take on "Coming Home Baby," first recorded by the Dave Bailey Quintet - six weeks before the hit version by Herbie Mann. The players trade slippery fours and dig deep into the tune's blues feel. The vibe of Guitar Heroes is electrifying despite the relaxed presentation. It will certainly appeal to roots music fans in general, but for guitar fanatics, this is almost a Holy Grail.” - Thom Jurek, AllMusicGuide
KEITH TIPPETT - The Unlonely Raindancer (Discus 81; UK) "A re-issue of Keith's first solo piano double LP from 1980, originally released on the Universal Productions label.The Unlonely Raindancer is undoubtedly a beginning, it is also an enigma. More than its means. The seminal first solo album by Keith Tippett released by Universal Productions in 1980 is a live recording from the previous year's short tour of the Netherlands. The audience applause was edited out, leaving the listener with the intensity of one lone musician literally improvising into composition.The word 'unlonely' could be described as uneven grammatically, but given nuance by juxtaposing the reality of a man 'on the road' vs no family or friends to accompany him (except producer, engineer and driver Rob Sötemann). The title of track 3, Thank God For My Wife And Children bears witness to the yin and yang of loneliness turned under, celebrating being 'unlonely'. Forty years on, it returns as a circle dance of choreography; in 2016 Discus Music released Keith Tippett Octet's The Nine Dances Of Patrick O'Gonogon.Mr Tippett recently told me he believes Raindancer "set the template" for all his later solo performances. The two Tortworth Oak performances are probably the most explicit evidence. The 1980's trilogy of lone Mujician performances are classics within his portfolio. They were followed by three other key solo sessions, The Dartington Concert (1990), Une Croix Dans L'Ocean (1994) and the 'jazz art' wonder that is Friday the 13th (1997). Then came 2012's poignant, Mujician Solo IV Live In Piacenza.Aspects of all these recordings have their roots in what took place on that 'unlonely' Netherlands tour in 1979. No money to pay for his usual sidekicks, instead a road trip into Europe where Keith Tippett connected with the solo strength of his own psyche (or if you prefer - soul). For any artist/musician who takes that journey it's a distance longer than any list of one nite-stands. Ride the speed of The Muted Melody; discovery is dizzy.Thinking back I must have bought my double vinyl copy of The Unlonely Raindancer around the end of 1980. Trying to recapture that first earful forty years on is not easy. In the preceding decades I've travelled to many concerts, hung in on the recordings, watched as well as listened to the Dancer. Now I steer the ears to a unique miniature, The Pool. Under five minutes, it was the first track on the final side of the double LP. I distinctly remember every time the track completed taking up the hi-fi arm and placing it back on the edge of black vinyl. I couldn't let it pass, something to do with the lyrical repetition being periodically bombed at that deep bottom end. Listening again, it still holds a terrible beauty for me and why I believe it is important that Martin Archer has now produced Raindancer in a digital format. The Unlonely Raindancer is not being re-released to complete a piece of the past. Tomorrow will forever be our history and dance is our beyond."- Discus
BACK IN STOCK:
KEITH TIPPETT with JULIE TIPPETTS / PAUL DUNMALL / HOWARD RILEY / KREUTZER STRING QUARTET - 1947 - 2020 (FMR 587; UK) Featuring Keith Tippett on piano, Julie Tippetts on voice, thumb-piano & percussion, Paul Dunmall on reeds, Howard Riley on piano and the Kreutzer String Quartet. When British pianist Keith Tippett passed away on June 14th of this year due to the Covid crisis, we lost one of the greatest pianists of the 20th & 21st centuries. Ever since hearing Mr. Tippett on King Crimson’s “Catfood” from ‘In the Wake of Poseidon” in 1970 and on his own seminal opus, ‘Dedicated to You but You Weren’t Listening’ (also 1970), I knew that Mr. Tippett was a monster musician, in a class of his own. There are many of us who think that Keith Tippett was the best at what he does and collect every single discs that graces his name. I am honored to have seen & heard him live on several occasions: London in 1975, NYC (at the Old Knit) in the early nineties, the Victoriaville Festival on three occasions (solo, Mujician Qt & Tapestry Orchestra) and at Cafe Oto in London in more recent times. This newly released 4 CD set features four of Mr. Tippetts CD’s from the FMR label, all wonderful: two discs of the Dartington Trio (with Keith & Julie Tippetts & Paul Dunmall), a colossal piano duo with Howard Riley and an immensely rare meeting with the Kreutzer String Quartet. All four CD’s are either out of print or down to the last few copies. You can check out some reviews of the individual titles here: https://downtownmusicgallery.com/search.php?id=2015_07_03_13_41_02 or here: https://downtownmusicgallery.com/search.php?id=2014_10_28_14_53_27 - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
4 CD Set $33
THOMAS CHAPIN CELEBRATION and BIG SALE!
Modern Saxophone Colossus, Composer and Multi-Bandleader, THOMAS CHAPIN, passed away at only 41 years in 1998, just as his long-deserved recognition was on the rise. Mr. Chapin died of leukemia way too young but left a rich legacy of spirited recordings and concert performances. Thomas Chapin played alto & soprano sax & flute and was a master of each reed. I met Thomas in the mid-eighties when he was a member of Machine Gun, one of the most intense free/jazz/rock/funk/noise bands ever! We became good friends during that period and I helped to promote him by getting him occasional gigs and working for the MuWorks label which released discs by Machine Gun, Mr. Chapin and other great musicians/bands chosen by Bob Musso. I organized a gig for John Zorn with the rhythm team of the Rollins Band at the Old Knit in the early nineties and had the Thomas Chapin Trio open the show. Both trios were astonishing that night and made me very proud. A month later Michael Dorf & Bob Appel, who ran the Knit, started their own label, KnitWorks and the first group they signed were the Thomas Chapin Trio. That amazing trio with Mario Pavone & Steve Johns (for two discs) followed by Michael Sarin, made seven CD’s for the Knit label, all of which are excellent. A posthumous boxset called ‘Alive’ includes all seven Knit discs plus an unreleased live set from 1992, although it is missing the liner notes of each disc. Next month, Thomas’ widow Terri will be moving back home to Hawaii. She recently contacted us and gave us quite a bit of Thomas’s catalogue. None of Thomas’ back-catalogue is currently in print which is pretty sad but you can still grab any or all of the dozen discs listed below. Below is a long list of what we have left and I must admit that everything is worth owning and hearing. Aside from the ‘Alive’ box set and the 3 CD Live Set on Playscape, everything else is limited. My two favorite alto saxists of all, both of whom I’ve been friends with and caught live many times, remain John Zorn and Thomas Chapin. For me, they are the best at what they do on sax. Nobody compares to them when they take off & soar! I urge you to give Thomas Chapin a chance if you haven’t heard him yet, you will be surprised. A Toast to Thomas and Terri Chapin! To Terri, safe travels always, we love you! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Frank Meadows and John Mori at DMG
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link, for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com. Many of us are going stir crazy staying at home so if you want to inspire us and help us get through these difficult times, please show us what you got. I listed some these last week but have also a few more.
MORE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING AROUND FOR THE WORLD TO END OR GET BETTER:
STILL STIR CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
This is from Jessica Hallock, please do check it out, there is so much to explore here and I know some of you are bored and need some inspiration/distraction:
Livestreams are obviously no replacement for live shows, but they're all the community we have right now––so experimental music calendar NYC-Noise.com now provides links to livestreams (with artist / curator donation info); a roundup of local musicians' releases; COVID-19-related resources, including links to grants, petitions, & a local venue donation list; & an Instagram account (@NYC_Noise) promoting artists and releases. Please let me know about your livestreams &/or new records at www.nyc-noise.com/submit.
THIS IS FROM GUITAR MASTER HENRY KAISER:
once in a while they are historical old thangs from my video archive and I will be doing more collaborations with other improvisors. I plan to keep this up until there are live gigs again so there will likely be a lot more of these best, Henry
ARTS FOR ARTS Presents:
FREEJAZZ WORKS IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Because of You
We surpassed our $50,000 Goal
Your Donation Made the Difference
What an amazing community! Your continuing support in the face of all of the challenges that are facing us is really impressive. Together, we raised over $60,000, including over $30,000 in small donations.
We continue to post weekly Artist Diaries (https://www.artsforart.org/artistdiaries.html) and special archival footage on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/ArtsforArt?sub_confirmation=1&utm_source=Audience&utm_campaign=987d803b9c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_08_18_04_51&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3be2db18a2-987d803b9c-85161517. So there will be plenty of amazing music and art to see and inspire.
On September 7th and September 12th, Arts for Art will present Live Outdoor Events at La Plaza in The Clemente. They will be carefully presented, socially distanced, inspiring FreeJazz performances. Look forward to more information coming soon.
Wishing You Strength and Justice with Compassion.
Patricia Nicholson Parker
Founder, Arts for Arts
From INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY:
Every Week for the entirety of this pandemic/lockdown INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY have been posting a new duo offering. I have listened to every one of these as they were sent out and am much impressed by the way this duo continues to evolve and work their way through many ideas. You can check out each one here:
Zürcher Gallery invites you
To a LIVE OUTDOOR concert
in Washington Square Park...
Thomas Buckner and Robert Dick
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2020 - 6:30 PM
at Washington Square Park
Limited seating will be available.
Suggested donation: $20
ROULETTE AT HOME:
https://roulette.org/rtv/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd- Dr. Chadbourne! EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-andc19eeaa4fd-302668229#!/grs/0/id/92
https://roulette.org/event/joel-ross/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-c19eeaa4fd-302668229
https://roulette.org/event/nels-cline-from-cage-to-cunningham/?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=c19eeaa4fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-c19eeaa4fd-302668229
Playlist: Excerpts from the Black Avant-Garde - Tracks by Tomeka Reid, Reggie Workman, Diedre Murray, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Henry Threadgill, William Parker, Matana Roberts from the Roulette concert archive. - https://soundcloud.com/roulette_intermedium/sets/blackavantgarde?utm_source=Roulette Master List&utm_campaign=34384bb216-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_15_09_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c36db137d7-34384bb216-302668229
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs on each episode. Here is the link: https://www.facebook