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DMG Newsletter for June 25th, 2021

This Week’s Dynamic Discs Start with a True Treasure by the Recently Departed Mario Pavone:

MARIO PAVONE / DIALECT TRIO 1 with MATT MITCHELL / DAVE BALLOU / TYSHAWN SOREY - Blue Vertical (Out of Your Head 010; USA) Featuring Mario Pavone on contrabass & compositions, Matt Mitchell on piano, Dave Ballou on trumpet and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Longtime contrabassists supreme/composer/multi-bandleader Mario Pavone passed away last month on May 15 of 2021. Mr. Pavone had a long, inspired music career of nearly sixty years. He produced some 34 records as a leader and was also a member of the legendary Thomas Chapin Trio (with 8 discs on the KnitWorks label). We’ve been longtime friends since his days with the Thomas Chapin Trio, after getting them gigs at the Knit and elsewhere. In late 2019, Mr. Pavone contacted to and wanted to drop off CD’s, LP’s, magazine and books and said that he was cleaning out his rehearsal space in Conn. He never mentioned to me his 17 year battle with cancer so I was surprised at his passing last month. It turns out that Mr. Pavone knew his time was coming and worked hard on two last projects both of which are about to be released.
This is the fourth disc by the Dialect Trio with 2 on Clean Feed and one on Playscape previously. Mr. Pavone decided to add guest trumpeter, Dave Ballou, who has also worked with Mr. Pavone on another four previous discs for the same two labels. This disc is dedicated to Isabella Pavone, Mario daughter who dies at only 23 years in 2020. The Dialect Trio is a marvelous all-star trio and adding trumpet wiz, Dave Ballou, even makes things better. Things open with “Twardzik”, probably named after the great jazz pianist Dick Twardzik who died very young at age 24 while on tour with Chet Baker. As with most/all records by Mr. Pavone, his bass playing is the central force to this quartet. The ever-amazing drummer & composer Tyshawn Sorey is the perfect partner here, locking in with Pavone’s robust, ever-shifting turbulence. Sorey’s short drum solo midway is an early highlight here. I have long dug the playing of trumpeter Dave Ballou who is one of the most diverse and inventive brass players anywhere. Pianist Matt Mitchell is yet another master who is an integral to many bands: Snakeoil, Starebaby, Dave Douglas, Anna Webber and many more. Mr. Ballou takes a most impressive solo on “OKWA”, spinning quick lines at first and then slowing down, even playing some sublime muted trumpet in the intro and outros. While playing this disc on Monday with John Mori here at the store, he commented that the grouped sounded like the Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960’s and he was right. Tyshawn’s drums do recall Tony Williams at times as does Ballou’s feisty Miles’ like lines. One of the marvels of Mr. Pavone’s writing is the way he keeps three members tightly moving together while the soloist(s) moves between charted and uncharted currents. The title track, “Blue Vertical” is a lovely, eerie sort of ballad, skeletal yet sublime. On the final piece, “Face Music”, Pavone strips things down to just minimal plucked bass with solemn trumpet and minimal, ultra-subtle piano. It sounds like a perfect way to brings things down for a soft, thoughtful landing. A truly wonderful CD, can’t wait to hear the other new one on Clean Feed, due in a week or two. A toast to the memory of Mario Pavone, one of my favorite musical heroes! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

ALL SET with INGRID LAUBROCK / STEPHANE PAYEN / CHRIS TORDINI / TOM RAINEY - All Set 2021 (Rogue Art 0105; France) All Set is Stephane Payen on straight alto sax, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor sax, Chris Tordini on double bass and Tom Rainey on drums. Half the songs here were written by Mr. Payen or Ms. Laubrock. The two saxists/composers actually met nearly 20 years ago in London where Ms. Laubrock was living at the time and Parisian saxist Mr. Payen was leading a workshop. The name Stephane Payen did sound somewhat familiar to me and it turns out that he has worked with drummer Doug Hammond and was a member of a French trio called Push the Triangle. The other three members here you should be quite familiar with. Bassist Chris Tordini has really been coming into his own working with Chris Speed and Tyshawn Sorey over the past few years. Mr. Payan plays a straight alto sax which is a pretty rare instrument which was employed by Roland Kirk and Michael Marcus.
Mr. Payen’s “Harmonization” commences with some strong, thoughtfully harmonized saxes playing up front above that quirky rhythm team. Quirkier still is the odd, intricate quick changing lines of both saxes in ”Spriggan”. What’s interesting about this is that its sounds like the bass and drum parts have been written out while the two saxes shift between charted and uncharted terrain. It turns out that this disc was inspired by a piece composed by Milton Babbitt called, ‘All Set’, which was written out but dealt with serial or 12-tone material. Each piece seems to have a different structure or strategy. Often we have to listen closely to hear the way things are structured since things always shifting into something else. There are a few pieces that I had to listen to several times to hear the way they were structured or the way they unfolded and turned into something else. “Proportions” reminds me somewhat of if Anthony Braxton wrote for Masada, pushing them into some unexpected twists and turns. Another special ingredient here is drum Tom Rainey who seems to switch tactics within each piece, playing with tight punctuation at times, rustling like feathers and unexpectedly weaving in and dropping out when not needed. There is some odd, unique magic going on here which will take some to fully absorb. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $16

CHRIS SPEED - Light Line (Intakt 364; Switzerland) Featuring Chris Speed on solo clarinet, recorded in San Diego in October of 2020. Although Chris Speed is well known as a tenor saxist who has worked with Tim Berne in Bloodcount (starting in the early 1990’s), Pachora (with Jim Black & Skuli Sverrison) and the Claudia Quintet, over time Mr. Speed has been doubling on clarinet for a long time as well. I don’t think that Mr. Speed has made a recording where he just plays clarinet until now and solo clarinet recordings are rather rare. For this disc Mr. Speed composed 6 of the nine tracks with diverse covers by Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Julius Hemphill and Paul Motian plus two covers from former bandmates: Hilmar Jensson (in Tyft) & Skuli S. (from Pachora).
The first thing I noticed about this disc is this: Mr. Speed has a wonderful, warm expressive tone on clarinet and this disc is superbly recorded, dry yet just right. The opening song is also the title track, “Light Line” and it is also a tour-de-force with Mr. Speed showing off his lush tone with layers of circular streams interwoven in a delightful tapestry. The piece sounds like a madrigal with several lines spinning at the same time. Since Mr. Speed is playing solo throughout this disc, he often takes the melody and then embellishes by weaving different lines around the central theme. Speed keeps each piece pretty short, mostly under 4 minutes each. Two highlights include “Miss Ann” by Eric Dolphy (from the first jazz record I ever bought in late 1972) and Julius Hemphill’s “Rites” (from his classic ‘Dogon A.D.’ album). Each piece seems to tell a different story or at least set a different scene or vibe. What I find most interesting here is the way all of these songs fit together into a suite-like connection. Speed plays what sound like an older classical piece called, “La Rosita Arribena”, which brings this disc into another related world. I can’t recall very many covers of John Coltrane’s “Sun Ship” but we do get a nice on here. The last piece is called, “It Should’ve Happened Long Ago” by Paul Motian. The piece is rather solemn and a nice way to bring this mighty fine disc to an end. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $18

SARAH BERNSTEIN - Exolinger (577 Records 5842; USA) “Sarah Bernstein is a poet, violinist, composer and fearless improviser, widely recognized for her relentlessly creative and boundary-pushing jazz music, and recently awarded 2020’s “Rising Star Violinist” by DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll. Performing solo under the moniker ‘Exolinger,’ Bernstein has been steadily focusing on the concepts captured by this recording: washes of distorted violin in long echoes, ecstatic vocalizations, and poetic spoken word, an expression of immediacy and a palpable tension between extremes. The music is fully improvised, loud and intense, maintaining the experimental, slow-building and otherworldly sounds that characterized her previous collaborative albums with Kid Millions like ‘Broken Fall’ and ‘Tense Life’ (577 Records). Like the projects from Kid Millions/Sarah Bernstein, ‘Exolinger’ features simultaneous performances of vocals, violin, electronics and words, and was entirely recorded live in studio, with the exception of the vocals on “Tree” and “We Coast” which were added at home during quarantine. The album is an urgent response to the latent unease of our current moment, affirming unsettling feelings while offering the sort of transporting mystery that Bernstein has long imbued with her innovative work.”
CD $12

SANA NAGANO with PETER APFELBAUM / KEISUKE MATSUNO / KEN FILIANO / JOE HERTENSTEIN - Smashing Humans (577 Records 5855; USA) Featuring Sana Nagano on violin & FX, Peter Apfelbaum on tenor sax & megaphone, Keisuke Matsuno on electric guitar, Ken Filiano on acoustic bass & FX and Joe Hertenstein on drums. Since moving to NYC, violinist Sana Nagano has kept busy with a variety of projects: for Jeff Shurdut Karl Berger, Peach & Tomato (a duo with Leonor Falcon), a Sarah Bernstein string quartet and several others. For this new disc, Ms. Nagano has organized an impressive quintet, each member from varied backgrounds: Peter Apfelbaum (for Don Cherry & Bill Laswell), Ken Filiano (Vinny Golia, Dom Minasi & much more) and Joe Hertenstein (Core Trio, HNH & his own projects). The guitarist here, Keisuke Matsuno, is the only name here I don’t recognize.
I am not sure how much dance of funk music that Ms. Nagano has listened to but the first opening track, “Strings & Figures”, has a great, somewhat funky groove and did get me to get up and dance. I am not sure if the first solo is electric guitar or (amplified) violin, since there is some distortion being applied to the lead instrument. It turns out that it was electric guitar although Ms. Nagano’s violin is also using some sly effects. At the beginning of “Loud Dinner Wanted”, both Ms. Nagano on violin & Mr. Matsuno on el guitar play some tight, intense interlocked parts together while the rhythm team chugs along playing a funky, rock grooves. I dig the way the muted guitar, spacious sax and eerie violin play together in the dark yet dream-like “Dark Waw”. Although the music does sound loose or perhaps about to erupt, it is structured at times like a more progressive band with certain parts tightly written and intricately played. What makes this disc great is the way Ms. Nagano writes for all of the members, especially the violin/guitar/sax frontline which is powerful, righteous and pretty intense, rocking hard at times. Contrabass great Ken Filiano gets a chance to stretch out on “Humans in Grey”, taking an inspired solo dripped in mucho effects. This disc in around an hour long and it is consistently engaging throughout, one of this week’s best, most creative and impassioned works on many levels. Don’t miss out on this gem! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $12

GRID MESH with CHRISTOF THEWES / FRANK PAUL SCHUBERT / ANDREAS WILLERS / WILLI KELLERS - Four (Creative Sources 702; Portugal) Featuring Christof Thewes on trombone, Frank Paul Schubert on alto & soprano saxes, Andreas Willers on electric guitar and Willi Kellers on drums & percussion. This is the fourth disc from Grid Mesh, an Austrian/German quartet whose disc was released in 2007. Saxist Frank Paul Schubert and guitarist Andreas Willers have been in each version of the quartet while Willi Kellers replaced their original drummer for a live CD released in 2013 and trombonist Christof Thewes replaced Johannes Bauer (passed away in 2016) for this new recording. I recognize all of the members of this fine quartet, from a variety of previous projects. Over the past few years, I’ve become friendly with ace guitarist Andreas Willers, who has sent us several newer discs, from solo through larger groups and all superb in different ways.
This disc was recorded live in February of 2020 and consists of four long tracks between 8 & 14 minutes each. There is a lovely, laid back, playful quality going on here with no one member pushing too hard. What I hear mostly is two duos: trombone & sax, guitar & drums that are working together tightly and interweaving several lines at the same time only occasionally getting a bit dense or intense or very free. Since there is no bassist here, it is often up to Mr. Willers’ guitar to lock in with the drums at times. The combinations of trios, solos & duos is always shifting. Throughout this disc, Mr. Willers uses a variety of devices so that his guitar is often changing tone-wise. At times he wails, bends and twists note inside-out, yet the combination is consistently focused, no matter how far out they go. All the pieces here are continuous and remain striking throughout. Inspired free improv doesn’t get much better than this and this disc is a consistent, edge-of-your-seat delight. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

FRISQUE CONCORDANCE with GEORG GRAEWE / JOHN BUTCHER / WILBERT DE JOODE / MARK SANDERS - Distinct Machinery (Random Acoustics 031-32; Germany) "It happened to be my birthday, that day in October 1992 when I had the great fortune of listening to the first incarnation of Frisque Concordance at the Ruhr Jazz Festival in Bochum (Germany), ingeniously curated by Martin Blume, who also played the drums in this quartet along with Hans Schneider on bass, offering his wonders . . . Here, on Distinct Machinery, Georg Graewe and John Butcher, the Concordance's core, team up with Wilbert de Joode and Mark Sanders, both another two constants in the wider Graewe universe for quite some time. Structurally the four-some and its two realizations is to be understood as a pars-pro-toto for how exactly this universe operates and evolves. Schneider was one of the very early members of this poly-centric bundle, dating back to the legendary FMP releases from 1976 and 1978 by Graewe's first quintet, a group the pianist had formed only a few days before his 18th birthday. Butcher, a collaborator for 30 years now, is (along with Frank Gratkowski) the most congenial horn counterpart to Graewe's fuid ways of sublime bridge-building. This is just a small sample of the ways in which Graewe develops his work: long-standing relationships perform expeditions into uncharted territories and then sometimes do it again, years later, offering Proustian moments of recognition plus, always, things never heard before. Continuities and disruption, known and unknown, frisque concordance and contenance angloise, as Martin Le Franc described the 15th century new distinctive style of Dunstable-English music. Distinct Machinery is just that. The combination of a studio and a live set very much distills all these qualities into diamonds, nuggets, and land-slides of sound ever unfolding. You buy one and you get two, but these two give you all. And it is not like these two are easily peg-holed sides of one coin. Listen to the drive and the dynamics of 'Hot and cold' in its two iterations here, studio- and live-setting, and you immediately realize this is not about simple dichotomies. There is a distinct romanticism in the abstract, there are planes of Ayleresk layers in the physical feel of Butcher's sometimes almost silent sound, there are distinct single-notes in Graewe's waves of still energy. There are the endless great plains of Sanders' roaring thunder filled with the warm hues of metallic star-breath-cymbal colors, there are de Joode's interstellar pulse-like sheets of legato, grounding and multi-mirroring it all..." --Markus Müller, Berlin November 2020.
2 CD Set $22

EMBRYO - Opal (Ohr 560032; Germany) ”The Munich based band Embryo was founded in 1969. Opal was their first album. Released on the OHR label in 1970, the band led by Christian Burchard combined numerous genres into a huge crossover project. Jazz-rock, folk, blues, soul, contemporary music, and world music. Even if Opal doesn't sound as perfect as later recordings, the album is considered very influential. Embryo themselves describe their style as follows: Pop music is the appropriate level of communication for Embryo, just as they found their origins in all musical styles, from folk blues to jazz soul to serious and contemporary music, the musical past of Embryo's musicians is also connected to such different styles. The group has always remained true to this motto: Always open to new things and gladly committed to improvisation. In the 50th year of the release, the original magnetic tapes have been re-recorded and carefully remastered.”
CD $16

DISQUIET with CHRISTOF KURZMANN / MARTIN BRANDLMAYR / SOFIA JERNBERG / JOE WILLIAMSON - Disquiet (Trost 202; Austria) “Disquiet is a special quartet that came together on the stage of the Konfrontationen festival in 2018. Initially formed and lead by Austrian electronic musician Christof Kurzmann, the project is reflecting the difficult political situation of the refugee movements to Europe -- and how politicians deal with it in a selfish and unhumanitarian way. Christof Kurzmann, Sofia Jernberg, Martin Brandlmayr (Radian), and Joe Williamson reinterpret and process in quiet waves of emotions and thoughtful lyrics - concentrated music between serenity and sheer beauty, especially when Kurzmann and Jernberg sing a duet with Joe McPhee's lyrics. Personnel: Christof Kurzmann - lloopp, vocals; Sofia Jernberg - vocals; Martin Brandlmayr - drums; Joe Williamson - double bass.
CD $17

Historic & Archival Recordings, Restocks & Reissues:

CHARLIE PARKER with SONNY ROLLINS / FLIP PHILLIPS / JJ JOHNSON / BUD POWELL / HANK JONES / JOHN LEWIS / TEDDY WILSON / CHARLES MINGUS / KENNY CLARKE / COZU COLE / et al - The Charlie Parker Collection - 1941 - 1954 (Acrobat 6008; UK) “Charlie Parker was without doubt one of the most important and influential musicians in the entire history of jazz, as a pioneering and innovative alto saxophonist during the bebop era, as a composer of some of the enduring modern jazz standards, and as a bandleader and catalyst in a remarkable range of musical settings during a career that was all too brief, cut short by an early death as a result of the excesses of his pressurized lifestyle. Coming to the fore in the early 1940s, he was an early collaborator of like-minded luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, and over the next decade produced a substantial and extraordinary body of recorded work. This great-value 137-track 6-CD set comprises some interesting early recordings with other leaders, and then a significant proportion of his recordings as a leader and as a prominent member of other leaders' bands, working in a variety of formats from quartets and quintets, through to noted recordings with strings. It includes most of his recordings on the Savoy and Dial labels, and on Mercury, Clef, Norgran and Verve for Norman Granz, his primary record company relationships, and features some of the finest musicians of the day, including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Buddy Rich, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Erroll Garner, Barney Kessel, Bud Powell, John Lewis, Hank Jones, Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins, Percy Heath, Charles Mingus and more. It does not purport to be a complete or definitive anthology, but it certainly represents about as comprehensive and representative cross-section of his work as can be accommodated in this set.”
6 CD Set $30

ARTHUR RUSSELL - First Thought Best Thought (Audika 1005; USA) A 2021 reprint, now with remastered audio, housed in a digi pak with 16 page booklet. "Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur Russell wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving Iowa to study Indian classical composition with Ali Akbar Khan in Northern California and ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. In that brief period Arthur met and worked with several musicians and poets that would guide his work throughout the remainder of the decade: Allen Ginsburg, Christian Wolff, Jackson MacLow, Rhys Chatham, Philip Glass, Elodie Lauten, and Ernie Brooks. First Thought Best Thought collects Arthur Russell's out of print instrumental and orchestral compositions along with over 45 minutes of previously-unreleased material on two CDs. Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, 'Instrumentals' was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen and Franklin St. Arts Center include the cream of that era's downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Dave Van Tiegham, and Peter Zummo. Included here is the previously unreleased 'Instrumentals' Vol. 1 along with 'Instrumentals' Vol. 2 that has been out of print for over twenty years. Originally released in 1984, sections of 'Instrumentals' Vol. 2 were incorrectly mastered at half speed, and have been now corrected for this compilation. 'Reach One' is one of Arthur's earliest compositions dating back to 1973. The hypnotic soundscape was written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos, and is previously unreleased. One of the holy grails in Arthur's discography, 'Tower Of Meaning' is a beautiful and stunningly moving orchestral work. Conducted by the late Julius Eastman, 'Tower Of Meaning' was originally released in a limited private edition of only 320 copies. 'Sketch For The Face Of Helen' shares only the same title as the previously released excerpt from 1981. Inspired by his work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, this previously unreleased version was recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. First Thought Best Thought is an essential collection of the lost instrumental treasures from Arthur Russell's vast archive and brings the genius of his legacy closer into focus. Packaged with archival images and essays by former Modern Lover Ernie Brooks and Audika's Steve Knutson."
2 CD Set $20

ROEDELIUS / CZJZEK - Weites Land (Bureau B 376; Germany) Presenting a reissue of Hans Joachim Roedelius and Alexander Czjzek's Weites Land, originally released 1987. Vienna, the early 1980s. Krautrock, electronic, and ambient pioneer Hans Joachim Roedelius, co-founder Cluster and Harmonia and saxophone free spirit Alexander Czjzek meet for the first time. Their longstanding collaboration found its climax in the fantastic album Weites Land, which was released in 1987 for the first time, but has been out of print for many decades and became a sought-after rarity. Bureau B make this organic jazz masterpiece available again. The two artists responsible for Weites Land cast their minds back to the period leading up to the album.
Mr. Czjzek: "Joachim and I -- he was still something of an electronic purist when we first met -- took turns visiting each other's home studios as we began to acquaint ourselves with our respective musical approaches. I took my saxophones and improvised over Joachim's tapes. Whenever I signaled to him that he could start recording 'now', he'd invariably already done so -- and those spontaneous first takes were perfect, just as they were! Joachim amassed a wealth of material featuring my saxophone improvisations and mixed them with his own sounds, creating a wonderfully harmonious symbiosis of our different musical worlds. The beauty of it was how they converged without either of us needing to divert from his own path. The first collaborations appeared on Joachim's 1982 work Wasser im Wind, with our own joint release -- Weites Land -- following in 1987.
Roedelius: "Two creative minds, one of them Alexander's, allowing musical visions free rein in congenial expression. Perhaps they are so empathetic, so persuasive, because I have, in some way, shown that it is possible to traverse this territory with such relish, although my musical career has always involved no end of collaborations in different genres and environments. It is no coincidence that my music is said to have a salubrious quality, causing cats to purr when a Roedelius disc is played. Migraines have even been forever banished when confronted with my music."
CD $17

HORACE ANDY - Broken Beats 2 (Echo Beach 158; Germany) “Horace Andy's voice is an instrument that once heard is never forgotten, regardless of whether you first hear it on one of the numerous Jamaican reggae singles that he recorded during the '70s or on one of the Massive Attack albums he collaborated on as a vocalist. Echo Beach has now picked up on the tradition of reworking -- and the much older tradition of versioning -- by asking friends of the label to rework Horace Andy's classic tracks in their own sound outfit. But here, Horace Andy personally put in an appearance to sing new versions of his classic tracks on top of timeless and contemporary riddims. Age may have deepened his voice, but it is by no means weaker, as can be heard on this album, on which Echo Beach welcomes old friends and new faces. Rob Smith (Smith & Mighty) dubs side by side with young steppers such as Pinch and Peverelist. With "Bad Man" he has chosen a track in which Horace Andy makes clear what he thinks about stress and good-for-nothings. The Viennese musicians from Dubblestandard have in the past collaborated with Echo Beach to produce riddim versions for Ari Up, Lee Scratch Perry, and Mikey Dread; their version of "Money Money" picks up where a long list of legendary cuts of this song left off, all of which were based on "Money is the Root of All Evil" on Phil Pratt's Sun-Shot label. Noiseshaper releases their first recordings since 2009, remixing "Skylarking". Black Star Liner from Leeds and their mix of Asian style inna vibe of sitar and tabla "Tings" going on well merched with dance and dub on "Dou You Love My Music". Dub Spencer & Trance Hill get together with wily studio fox Umberto Echo and declare war on Babylon again in the shape of a dub treatment pock-holed with weird delay effects. Dreadzone from London are specialists to combine trippy notes and beats with roots. The "Money Money Remix" is an killer as well as the New Yorker set up Subatomic Sound System and their remix of "Cuss Cuss" -- but the focus -- as for all the other musicians featured here -- is always on the spiritual identity of the songs and the deep respect they have for Horace. This album will ensure that this incredible voice is never forgotten. Also features Misled Convoys, Madasky, Adubta, Adam Prescott & Booker Gee, T-Jah, Hoboken Hifi, Irie Worryah, Soul Sugar, Jah Schulz, Dubjestic, and New Bladerunner Of Dub.
CD $16

THE INVISIBLE SESSION - Echoes of Africa (Space Echo 801; Italy) “After several years of silence, Schema Records co-founder Luciano Cantone in collaboration with Gianluca Petrella and a new group of musicians, present The Invisible Session's second album Echoes of Africa on the newborn Space Echo label. This new chapter is borne out of Afrobeat, Africa '70s records and Tony Allen's drumming; furthermore, other influences come into play, with melodies centered on Eastern pentatonic scales, as well as funk, Afrobeat, psychedelia, modal and Ethio jazz, plus forays into pop and cinematica. Ancestral melodies intersect and weave, encouraging escape and deeper feelings. Conceptually, Echoes of Africa deals with pacifism, human rights, anti-racism, nature and ecological themes. The impeccable rhythmic execution of the Ethiopian drummer and percussionist Abdissa "Manba" Assefa, the musical and spiritual contribution of the Gambian kora player Aruna "Jalimansa" Kuyateh, as well as the Afro-American Joyce Elaine Yuille, were an inspiration during the recording for other musicians who took part in it, giving rise to a unique emotion and sense of landscape. With the influence of greats such as the vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke and an educational study of Ethiopian music, the composition "Journey To The East" was born, with a melody built on the major Bati Lydian scale -- a pentatonic scale with particular intervals whose influence comes from the Middle East. Ethiopia is also present in "Entoto" and "Breathe the Rhythm" -- two new works written by trombonist and multi-instrumentalist Gianluca Petrella. "Hearing The Call" was conceived and written in 2018 from the inspiration of the poem present in "Children" by Haki R. Madhubuti on the Medasi album called Nation. Mystical effects and percussion attract and hypnotize the listener, while the performance of the poem, written and interpreted by the young African American/Finnish artist Benjamin "Bentality" Paavilainen, floats with relaxed naturalness. The Invisible Session dealt with themes of climate change with "To The Powerful" from the self-titled debut album released on Schema Records in 2006. This track was a prayer of sorts with an Afro-jazz hypnotic groove, addressed to the leaders of the world to preserve Mother Earth, reinforcing the need to keep the right balance of the elements. The new songs "Ideas Can Make the World" and "People All Around The World Can Make It", with their strong Afrobeat/funk personality, are intoxicants, choral aphorisms, reminiscent of American funk bands of the '70s.
CD $17


CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN - “ASP Nimbus” (Out of Your Head Records 009; USA) Several of the glowing reviews already out there for cellist Christopher Hoffman’s latest effort as a bandleader have noted how successfully this mainstay of Henry Threadgill’s recent ensembles has managed to carve out his own voice while carrying the influence of Threadgill forward. I have to echo this wholeheartedly after giving “ASP Nimbus” several spins and reviewing Hoffman’s work with Threadgill’s ensembles including ZOOID (several recordings of which we offer through our esteemed friends at Pi Recordings). Hoffman manages to integrate, rather than imitate, Threadgill’s penchant for dynamic fractured harmolodic group writing and unconventional approaches to instrumentation in chamber jazz. The way both composers structure their ensembles, there is a dense, yet breezy rhythmic interplay; every instrument written to encourage an intuitive exploration of full-range percussive articulation. On “ASP Nimbus”, Hoffman hones this approach in to fit the refreshingly terraced balance of Hoffman on cello, Rashaan Carter on bass, Bryan Carrott on vibraphone, and Craig Weinrib on drums. Mr. Weinrib can also be heard on several Threadgill recordings featuring Hoffman, as can pianist David Virelles who guests on one track here. The compositions are fresh and concise, and while they are undoubtedly framed within a more conventional mold than fans of Threadgill might expect, there are more than plenty adventurous paths for listeners to follow here. The band comes out swinging, with Weinrib and Carter charging forward in an asymmetric groove under an urgent cello solo that is bold without losing control. Each musician is given their turn with a sense of classic jazz combo structure, but the harmonic language and points of group unity and departure are unquestionably rooted in third stream. Virelles playing on track 2 emerges perfectly out of a glistening torrent of vibraphone splashes, and I get a sense of musicians nudging the inner reaches of each other’s timbre. This happens constantly with Hoffman and Carter, both expert string players whose duo interplay achieves the affect of a much larger string section. The pieces are remarkably concise, averaging around 4 minutes, but they prove that you don’t need to be long winded to be pull of great ideas. Many of the unison sections are full of earworms, none of which are employed cheaply or distractingly averaging. Hoffman demonstrates a knack for getting to the point, without feeling hurried, and has created a stunning collection ripe for repeated listening. The absolutely beautiful screen-printed packaging should also be noted, this art object provides a physical experience that properly frames the obvious care and time that went to a release of this quality. - Frank Meadows for DMG
LP $21

WILLIAM BURROUGHS & BRION GYSIN - Williams S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin (Cold Spring Records 293; UK) “Rare recordings of beat/cut-up writers and artists William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Comprises the complete recording of Burroughs reading live in Liverpool in 1982, plus performances by Gysin of a selection of his permutated poems, as well as home recordings made by the pair in Paris in 1970. All recordings are taken from original tapes in The British Library collection. 180 gram vinyl.”
LP $30

LIONEL MARCHETTI - La grande vallee / Micro-climat (Recollection GRM 026; Austria) "I wonder if my fascination for clouds (without being an obsession) may have risen at the end of the '80s as, whilst composing 'Micro-climat', I would regularly wander between the Vercors mountains and the high plateaus of the Monts du Forez discovering, through my eyes, body, breath, active observation and walk, that natural forms when constantly changing and yet swollen with a unity of matter (in this instance, water) open one up to a deep, fundamental breath and a clear field for the mind. The sky and its forces: our ally. A model for a natural music which, although fixed, as in musique concrète (a rule of the genre), moreover on a recording tape, will remain charged with such a poetic quality that (isn't it its role or rather its reality?) it will ensure a perpetual renewal for our senses, so as to reach another idea of the world, far more open and richer than what we could have imagined." --Lionel Marchetti, 2011.
"Lionel Marchetti is a major figure of the 'third generation' of concrète musicians, a term he values. Listening to these works, imbued with poetry and traversed by micro-narratives, one can indeed retrieve the original concrète spirit, the one that draws from the sonic world, with ears wide open, so as to extract a fertile, rich and multiple substance then shaped and conveyed towards a formal and musical abstraction. Lionel Marchetti has mastered this process, but his real distinctive feature is a truly unique talent for setting climates (as one sets traps) and keeping us on constant alert. The two pieces in this record perfectly illustrate the entrancing dimension of Lionel Marchetti's music, whose charm leads us, through each successive listening, to become voluntary captives so as to better liberate ourselves." - François Bonnet, Paris, 2020.
LP $24

GIOVANNI DI DOMENICO - Decay Music n. 4: Downtown Ethnic Music (Die Schachtel 004; Italy) “Binding a deep social and political conscious with rigorous musical experimentation, the Brussels based, Italian pianist, performer, composer, Giovanni Di Domenico, delivers Downtown Ethnic Music, the fourth instalment of Die Schachtel's Decay Music series, focused on inspired contemporary experimental efforts in the ambient, ethereal, and emotively abstract music. Over the last decade or so, Giovanni Di Domenico has carved a deep path through a diverse number of discrete fields within experimental music, working in various ensembles -- Abschattungen, AufHeben, Bonjintan, Cement Shoes, Delivery Health, Going, etc. -- as well as producing a discography of critically heralded solo efforts, and intimate collaborations with Jim O'Rourke, Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, Akira Sakata, Arve Henriksen, Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, Alexandra Grimal, Nate Wooley, Chris Corsano, and others. Downtown Ethnic Music encounters Di Domenico reimagining the future of urban music, pluming the mysterious and emotive depths of self, to arrive at vision of sonorous utopia, radically divergent from those of the past. Hybridizing numerous forms of musical practice, while making a conceptual nod to Jon Hassell's notion of the "fourth world", as well as the cross-temporal transnationalism of Roberto Musci, Aktuala, Futuro Antico, and the Third Ear Band, Di Domenico's vision of democracy -- rendered through the creative metaphors of sound -- is a true to life, bristling conflict, as open-ended as it is ordered, and as dramatic and tense as it is beautiful, playful, and refined. A colorful tapestry of ideas, experiences, histories, and reference points, woven from a pallet of electronics, synthesis, and various acoustic sources -- the intervening rhythms of drummer João Lobo, vocals by Pak Yan Lau and Patshiva CIE women choir, the horns of Ananta Roosens and Jordi Grognard etc. -- across the length of Downtown Ethnic Music, the boundaries between idiom, expressive concept, collective, and individual blur, giving way to a visionary, forward-thinking rendering of electroacoustic music, that subtly reminds us of the social and political potential of art. Seamlessly incorporating bubbling electronic abstraction, sprawling ambience and long tones, throbbing kosmische, acoustic free improvisation, and the human voice, Giovanni Di Domenico's Downtown Ethnic Music represents a high-water mark in an already astounding career. 180 gram marble vinyl; one-time edition of 250.
LP $28

JOWE HEAD - Strawberry Birthmarks (Glass Modern 031; UK) “Jowe Head's first post-Swell Maps recordings from 1980 and a further session from 1982 after his first LP Pincer Movement was released in 1981. Six tracks from these recordings were released on Constrictor in Germany in 1986 alongside tracks from Pincer Movement as Strawberry Deutschmark but the other 13 here are previously unreleased. Completely remixed by Jowe Head in 2020 for Glass Modern. "I recorded these tracks in my home at Londesborough Road, Stoke Newington, between 1980-1982, using a TEAC 4-track reel-to-reel tape recorder. All instruments played by me: electric guitar, fretless bass, electric fire, typewriter, sticks, a battered trumpet and an old harmonium. Overdubs recorded at GWBB in 1983. Remixed at Perch Street in 2020. Words and music composed by me." - Jowe Head, November 2020. Deep red vinyl.
LP $28

RUDIMENTARY PENI - Great War (Sealed Records 012; UK) “Recorded several years ago before Rudimentary Peni engaged in another mysterious hiatus, Great War has finally emerged to kiss the gas-tinged light of a mustered morn. Expanding on the skeletal sounds and subject of 2009's Wilfred Owen single the band has seen fit to concentrate on a more mechanized approach doing away with even more of the humanizing aspects in their music this time delivering ten painful familiar shards fraught with brittle anxiety and anguished simplicity. Great War cements new phase in the ever-crawling metamorphic madness that is Rudimentary Peni. The record comes with brand new Nick Blinko artwork.”
LP $17

MONOCOT - Direction We Know (Feeding Tube Records 550; USA) "In one sense all collaborations and recordings thereof have a certain surprise factor. Any time two or more people get together to create something from nothing, the exact contours of the resulting experiment are likely to contain at least a few unknown elements. This notion is especially true when the people collaborating are coming from not obviously congruent places. And (at least to me) this makes Monocot a project that was guaranteed to toss a curve. Monocot is an improvising instrumental duo comprised of drummer Jayson Gerycz and guitarist Rosali Middleman. Jayson' work I know mostly from the Cleveland rock band, Cloud Nothings, and cool sessions with Matthew J Rolin and Tony Pasquarosa. Rosali's records on Siltbreeze and Scissor Tail are great, but they seemed more focused on songs more than anything else. They both do have great guitar on them, but that didn't seem like it was her main thing. Anyway, not having any idea what to expect, I was blown away by the music on Direction We Know. Jayson and Rosali met in Cleveland in 2018 when she was playing with Purling Hiss. They ran into each other a few more times and talked about the idea of doing some studio jamming. A session finally happened in the Fall of 2019 when Jayson was again in Philly, and as far as I know this sole date is the full accounting of Monocot's existence thus far. In this duo Rosali pulls out all the stops, and plays in a way she has only hinted at on earlier records. Flowing sheets of both psych and free-form rippery careen all over the place. Some parts remind me of Matt Valentine at his outer pinnacle, but the intensely lateral spread of Jayson's percussion has a way of making the roar seem a lot more contained and sensical than it otherwise might. And although it doesn't exactly sound like anything they've actually done, the tone here makes me remember bits I've heard by the Corsano/Chasny Duo that really pushed all my buttons. This Monocot session ran through night and into the morning. When it was over neither of the musicians remembered just what it was that they'd played. Which makes sense. Everything just happened without plans or rules to hem things in. Freedom can be a messy business, but when it's good it's truly liberating. And Direction We Know is real damn good. Let us hope Monocot reconnoiter sooner rather than later. Luckily for now, we have this album to bide the time. So do it." --Byron Coley, 2021
LP $24



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 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.



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 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



June 25 • Sonya Belaya: Cognitive Distortions / Ancestral Patterns

June 26 • Eddy Kwon: UMMA-YA

June 29—30 • Ayano Elson: A Gardener

Tickets must be purchased online by 6pm on the day of the performance.
Can't make it in person? All performances will be streamed live and available free of charge through and on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, and archived for future viewing. Subscribe, like, and share to see every live performance this season!

Roulette Radio
Ridgewood Radio: The Korean Curve
Tune in: Wednesday, June 16 5–7pm EDT on and archived for future listening.
David Weinstein's Ridgewood Radio program on's Drummer stream this week: The Korean Curve, ancient instruments and techniques had a big impact on the downtown music scene. A radio sampler from Roulette concerts by CK Noyes and Sang-Won Park (1985), Steve Beresford with Okkyung Lee and Peter Evans (2008), Tori Ensemble with Ned Rothenberg, Nate Wooley, Ikue Mori (2011), and some reference materials.

Roulette Physical Address:
509 Atlantic Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11217



Breaking Free Coming Home
25 Years of VISION
Pioneer Works - July 22, 23 & 29, 30
159 Pioneer St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
La Plaza at The Clemente - July 24, 25 & 31
114 Norfolk St, NYC 10002
Lineups and Tickets Available Now


This one is from CHRIS CUTLER, original member of Henry Cow, Art Bears, News from Babel, respected author and founder of Recommended Records. This is Chris’ wonderful podcast and I urge you all to give it a listen…


HENRY KAISER Continues with his Weekly Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page: - new interview with Mr. Kaiser - Tribute to Milford Graves


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 & improvisations on each episode.
Here is the link:


Bushwick Improvised Music Series
downstairs @ The Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue (across the street from Central Ave M train)
$15 at the door gets you in all night (5 sets of music)

Monday August 2nd
7pm Ayumi Ishito's "Open Question"
w/ Ayumi Ishito - tenor saxophone
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Eric Plaks - keyboard
Zach Swanson - bass
Jon Panikkar - drums
8pm Ben Stapp ensemble
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Eli Wallace - synthesizer
Lester St. Louis - cello
Drew Wesely -guitar
11pm Pete Swanson - bass
Sana Nagano - violin/electronics
Kenji Herbert - guitar

Monday August 9th
7pm Patrick Golden - drums
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Jim Clouse - bass
8pm Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Aron Namenwirth - guitar
Charely Sabatino - bass
Eric Plaks - keyboard
Colin Hinton- drums
Stephen Gauci - woodwinds
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Adam Caine - guitar
Bob Lanzetti - guitar
Roberta Piket - keyboard
Adam Lane - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
11pm Henry Mermer - drums
Henry Fraser - bass

Monday August 16th
7pm Jared Radichel - bass
James Mckain - tenor saxophone
Leo Suarez - drums
Joey Sullivan - drums
8pm Santiago Leibson - piano
Ken Filiano - bass
Juan Pablo Carletti - drums
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Igor Lumpert ensemble
11pm Joey Sullivan - drums
Kevin Eichenberger - bass
Cosmo Gallaro - guitar

Monday August 23rd
7pm James Paul Nadien - drums,
Cosmo Gallaro - guitar/bass
Brendan Rey - bass/synth
8pm Alex Weiss - saxophones
Dan Blake - saxophones
Dmitry Ishenko - bass
Yana Davydova - guitar
Vijay Anderson - drums
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm George McMullen - trombone
Ken Filiano - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
11pm Kaelen Ghandhi ensemble

Monday August 30th
7pm Juan Pablo Carletti's "Biggish"
Juan Pablo Carletti - drums
Yoni Kretzmer - tenor saxophone
Christof Knocke - clarinets
Rick Parker - trombone
Kenneth Jimenez - bass
8pm Nebula the Velvet Queen -theremin
Maria Nazarova - bass
Ayumi Ishito - saxophone
Damien Olsen - keyboard
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Sandy Ewen - guitar
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Cheryl Pyle -c flute /alto flute Michael Eaton -soprano sax
Roberta Piket -piano
Billy Mintz -drums,
Judi Silvano - vocals
11pm Aaron Quinn - guitar
Alex Koi - vocals/electronics
David Leon - woodwinds
Lesley Mok: Drums

Gaucimusic Presents:
Live at Scholes Street Studio, Friday August 27th
Brandon Lopez - bass
Ingrid Laubrock - tenor/soprano saxophones
Tom Rainey - drums

Two sets at 8 & 9:30pm
$15 at the door
Live audience/Live recording!
Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (718) 964-8763