REST IN PEACE MICHAEL EVANS
Last Saturday I was awoken by the ting of a text on my phone at 7am. It was from DMG manager Frank Meadows and he asked: “Did you hear about Michael Evans?” I hadn’t and when I heard that he had passed away, I was shocked. Michael had just played at DMG a few months ago in a trio with Thomas Helton (Texas bassist) and Jaimie Branch (trumpet sorceress). It was an amazing set as I recall and the second time that that trio played at DMG. I’ve known Michael Evans for nearly three decades: a fine drummer, instrument-maker and all ‘round nice guy. I had caught him in several bands throughout the many years: EasSidePercussion, God is My Co-Pilot, Fulminate Trio with Anders Nilsson and duos with LaDonna Smith and Jeff Arnal. I know that Michael lived with composer Karen Mantler for many years and they worked on her album together, ‘Karen Mantler’s Pet Project’. What I remember the most about Michael Evans was this: after a set in the store several years ago, I had heard that he was a big fan of the South African Avant jazz scene and I asked if it was true. He said that the Blue Notes, Brotherhood of Breath and their offshoots were some of his favorite music of all. I felt the same way about this music so we talked about that music for several hours afterwords, listening and commenting on what we knew or wanted to know more about. He said he had a band that played this music but they only played on rare occasion. Jeez, I wish I had heard them live. Later that night (last Saturday), I was introducing the first set at the store of Steve Gauci & Adam Lane. I mentioned the passing of Michael Evans in my intro (mentioning that I heard he died of Covid) and asked the audience to have a good thought for him. Joe Morris, who was in the audience & playing (drums) in the second set, raised his hand and said that he was good friends with Mr. Evans for some 40 years and that Michael was back in Alabama where he grew up and was taking care of his elderly mother when he passed. Very sad indeed. A special toast to Michael Evans and the many musicians who inspire us to keep on keeping on. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
This Saturday, August 21st - DMG In-Store - Starting at 6:30
MINI GUITAR FEST:
6:30 - ARON NAMENWIRTH & FEDERICO BALDUCCI - Guitar Duo!
7:45 - ELLIOTT SHARP - Solo Guitar & Reading!
Next Saturday, August 28th at Oliver Coffee, Outdoors
From 2 to 5pm:
LESTER ST. LOUIS / LEO CHANG / SANDY EWEN (cello / electronics / guitar)
MADISON GREENSTONE (contrabass clarinet)
ZAKKEREYA EL-MAGHARBEL / CHRIS WILLIAMS (trombone trumpet)
This Week’s Great Discs Begins with Two Treasures from TZADIK Records:
JOHN ZORN // SIMULACRUM with JOHN MEDESKI / MATT HOLLENBERG / KENNY GROHOWSKI — Nostradamus: The Death Of Satan (Tzadik 8382; USA) YES THERE IS LIFE AFTER BAPHOMET! Nostradamus: The Death of Satan, the ninth release by Zorn’s most intense 21st century ensemble, is a triumph. In this wildly varied program ranging from the softest sacred whisper to the most heretical hysteria, Zorn brings his unique compositional blending of classical, jazz and rock to new heights. The Simulacrum band is tighter than ever and the recording is richer and more powerful. With a stunning clarity of sound, brilliance of performance and towering compositional vision, Nostradamus is Zorn at his very best. Essential.
JOHN MEDESKI - Crawlspace (Tzadik 4035; USA) Crawlspace is Medeski at his wildest and most imaginative. Using a huge array of electric and acoustic keyboards, synthesizers, mellotron and early electronic gear, he has created a complex and trippy solo project that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. New and uncharted sonic territory by a legendary musical master who has worked with everyone from The Meters, Irma Thomas and John Scofield to Phil Lesh, Marc Ribot and John Zorn. Commissioned by and recorded expressly for Tzadik, this is an essential piece of the Medeski puzzle.”
MORE GEMS FROM THE 577 RECORDS CATALOGUE:
FRANCISCO MELA / MATTHEW SHIPP / WILLIAM PARKER - Music Frees Our Souls, Vol. 1 (577 Records 5858; USA) A member of pianist McCoy Tyner's Trio and Joe Lavano's Quartet, New York drummer Francisco Mela's own career as a leader is heard in this energetic trio album with two of NY's finest - pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker--recording in the studio in Brooklyn in 2020 for two extended and powerful collective improvisations and a brief "Dark Light".
ROY CAMPBELL / JOHN DIKEMAN / RAOUL van der WEIDE / PETER JACQUEMYN / KLAUS KUGEL - When the Time is Right (577 Records 5834; USA) Performing at Bimhuis in 2013, the trans-Atlantic quintet of Roy Campbell on trumpet, flugelhorn & flute, John Dikeman on tenor sax, Raoul van der Weide on cello & percussion, Peter Jacquemyn on bass & voice and Klaus Kugel on drums, perform an extended, energetic and dynamic set of free improvisation, with intricate melodies and beautifully rich transitions.
JESSICA ACKERLEY / DANIEL CARTER - Friendship: Lucid Shared Dreams and Time Travel (577 Records 5870; USA) Developed over outdoor sessions performed during the summer of 2020 around NYC, this is the first release from the duo of multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter and acoustic guitarist Jessica Ackerley, their warm collaboration heard in effortless interactions inspired by the dream-like, meditative approach in both improviser's playing; lovely.
BOB BELLERUE with JESSICA PAVONE / BRANDON LOPEZ / LUKE STEWART / GABBY FLUKE-MOGUL / ED BEAR - Radioactive Desire (Elevator Bath 058; USA) Featuring Featuring Jessica Pavone on viola, gabby fluke-mogul on violin, Ed Bear on baritone sax, Brandon Lopez & Luke Stewart on basses and Bob Bellerue - feedback, other sonic manipulation, junk metal & amplified suling gambuh (low end bamboo flutes). No matter how long I’ve been actively searching out all sorts of Downtown/tristate musicians & artists, I keep meeting those that were beneath my radar until someone pointed them out to me. Bob Bellerue is a noise guru/sonic manipulator and has done sound for several venues/situations like the Issue Project Room. I caught Mr. Bellerue at a Zev memorial concert at the Kitchen a few years ago and have been seeing his releases popping up here and there. I was rather surprised to see that Bellerue has some 20 releases out and has been an active member of the Downtown Network since the millenium happened. I do recognize the other members of this ensemble from a variety of previous collaborations. You no doubt know about bassists Brandon Lopez & Luke Stewart since both keep pretty been playing with many different ensembles. Gabby Fluke-Mogul was a great solo CD on Relative Pitch which came out earlier this year and Ed Bear has played with local legends Talibam! in the past.
The ensemble were give some handwritten list poems to provide some direction/inspiration to work with. There are some six long pieces found on this two CD set. The opening piece, “The Longest Year”, referring to what was/still is for many of us our long, lonely collective year of being forced inside. Both strings/basses are slowly wheezing together, churning waves washing over us with an uneasy, somewhat disorienting vibe. There are several layers of bent notes seesawing together, rather like sitting on a raft in the middle of a lake, drifting, balancing, surrounded by quicksand. This symphony of bent strings is powerful, somewhat intoxicating, perhaps a bit scary at times. On each piece, Mr. Bellerue takes one or two instruments and places them on a bed of feedback (drones), slowly adding another layer, expanding, contracting and carefully manipulating the varied layers. This music was recorded in an empty church so there is a deep (room) resonance going on throughout. On each piece Bellerue alters the feedback/drone in different ways so that we feel the shifting vibrations and their effect on our consciousness. Similar in way to those dark/metal ambient bands like SunnO)))))) or Earth, the cosmic drone keeps shifting, pushing us into a warm sea of solemn slow moving waves or currents. What was once done by symphonic strings or low end brass, can be done by shifting waves of feedback, drones, samples or other amplified acoustic instruments. As the third piece, “Organ Feedback” unfolds, I kept thinking that a procession of chanting monks with frankincense were walking down the aisle at the church in a most ceremonious way. On “Empty Feedback”, Bellerue takes several layers of feedback, bending them & twisting them cautiously, the vibe is even more disorienting than earlier, like hearing a dentist drill from the waiting rooms and realizing that you are next in line. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $16
BOB BELLERUE and CHRISTIAN RØNN - Intoku Inverstions (Nische/Anarchymoon; USA) Across the three immersive pieces on Bob Bellerue and Christian Rønn’s new duo disc, both musicians demonstrate an expansive tonal range and an intimate understanding of the implications of their vocabularies. As always, Bellerue claims his virtuosity with feedback manipulation towards a hybrid definition of tonal conterpoint with Rønn. Rønn’s synthesizer voicing and decidedly pitched components are framed perfectly within Bellerue’s undulating sound walls which at times crystallize to reveal almost string-like wisps of melodic fragments. Likewise, Rønn’s palette shows a proclivity to dissolve into pixelated fragments, weaving a dramatic tension in luminous technicolor. These pieces get progressively longer as the record goes on, but feel somehow equal in magnitude, depth, and oddly in length, as if the methodical approach these two employ simply stretches to fit differently sized frames. This is a fourth world drone portrait with a pigmentation from the outer limits of visibility, to be observed at any sized interval, again and again. - Frank Meadows, DMG
JEREMIAH CYMERMAN - Citadels and Sanctuaries (5049 Records 010; USA) Featuring Jeremiah Cymerman on solo clarinet with effects. Like many of the Downtown musicians/composers, Jeremiah Cymerman, takes his time with each and every release. Half of his dozen plus releases are collaborations with select Downtowners while the other half are solo efforts. This is his 5th solo clarinet effort, although there is always more going on than just playing the clarinet. The way he records and manipulates the sound is essential to his evolving explorations. Each of the ten pieces is dedicated to another musician or composer: Alvin Lucier, Morton Feldman, Bill Smith, Horatiu Radulescu, Tony Scott, Nate Wooley, Evan Parker, Toru Takemitsu, Iancu Dumitrescu and Mario Diaz de Leon. One thing to remember is that the playing & the sound of a clarinet has quite a bit of baggage attached. Mr. Cymerman obvious knows this and turns our perceptions on their heads. The first piece, “From the Metaphysical to the Transcendental” begins with a klez-like melodic line, hushed, filled with suspense with added soft swirling reverb to keep us off-balance and drifting between the clouds. JC uses fragments of percussive sounds to adorn the central ghost-like sound. On “Sphere of Humanity”, he takes one line and shifts it until is sounds like a distant chorus of voices. The central voice is a series of bent-note fragments & clicks while adding layers subtle drones in the not too far distance. The overall sound is closer to electronic music than acoustic music although he uses both sources with selective grace. On each piece Cymerman takes a clarinet line and plays it in the center of the stage, often a stream of notes played faster or slower, some notes bent, others not too much. He then carefully adds electronic seasoning, pushing things further outside of where we think they might be going. I’m not so sure if any of the composers that these pieces are dedicated to have a direct influence on the pieces themselves although the piece for Morton Feldman is one of the more minimalist ones, something that even the rather cantankerous Mr. Feldman might just approve of. In some ways the melodic figures at the center of these pieces are easy to swallow. It is the way JC adds the other layers of effects, electronics or samples that make this more mysterious, more riveting. I must admit that I would consider this a masterwork as each piece sounds complete and all the pieces fit together on several levels. I played this disc on some expensive headphones last night (8/18/21) and it sounded even better as I could hear the way each sound was cautiously placed on the framework of his collective metaphysical painting hung in the air between our ears and within our imaginations. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
RICK COUNTRYMAN - the first bird (Chap-Chap 021; Japan) Featuring Rick Countryman on solo alto sax. Over the past few years, American saxist currently living in the Philippines, Rick Countryman, has been involved with nearly a dozen CD’s of free music from duos, trios & quartets most of which include legendary Japanese drummer Sabu Toyozumi. We’ve reviewed each of these discs and I’ve become quite fond of Mr. Countryman’s consistently spirited playing. As far as I know, this is Rick Countryman’s first solo sax disc. This disc is compiled from four sessions in the Philippines from May & June of this year (2021). This disc sounds like a studio effort, the sound is dry and warm. Countryman has a strong, thoughtful tone, closer to a tenor than an alto without much squeaking or squawking. Countryman takes his time, playing long liner but rarely bending notes too far. There is something striking going on here, a certain lyric quality at the center of the storm. Countryman often takes a lick and then plays around with it, playing a series of lines in which a central lick will be stretched out, carefully bending certain notes, repeating certain lines and then twisting the notes that lead up to the lick or lines of notes that he started with. There is a solemn quality at the center hear with just occasional notes which are bent or carefully stretched. Instead the usual free/jazz frenetics that most sax extremists deal in, we get a more relaxed, mature program that goes down much easier than a constant stream of bent-note calisthenics. The front and back cover here are also somewhat psychedelic and also without being too far out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
The Doubt Music label is run by Jun Numata, has been around since 2005 and has some 70 releases under their belt. Originally the label featured the music of Otomo, Kato Hideki and Altered States and has slowly been featuring a number of lesser know but no less challenging musicians. Here are two recent releases from DoubtMusic:
TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA / JUN NUMATA - The First Album (Doubt dmf-169; Japan) Featuring Toshimaru Nakamura on no-input mixing board and Jun Numata on guitar, oscillator and radio. Erstwhile, onkyo & other fans of lower case aesthetic will no doubt know the name of Toshimaru Nakamura, who plays his no-input mixing board (quiet feedback) with a variety of other similar musicians: Tetuzi Akiyama, John Butcher, Axel Dorner and Many Arms. Mr. Numata has run this, the Doubt label for many years, but has decided to release his own work with Mexican saxist Martin Escalante and a duo offering with Toshiji Mikawa from 2014. No-input mixing board has a distinct, eerie, high-pitched sound which will both get on someone’s nerves as well as add a most disorienting vibe as well. The duo play a series of harsh, provocative, noise sounds which sound well-conceived and somewhat disturbing. It feels better at a lower volume, much easier to swallow. Numata adds some radio transmission, dense static and chopped up voices which are almost too much at times, yet still highly effective. I can hear the oscillator churning those dense electronic waves at the center of sonic storm here. At first, I was so sure how much I liked these rather disturbing sounds but after a while, I became more impressed by the way things evolved here and diversity of sonic effluvia. Although at times I felt that things went a bit too far in Noise Land, I did end up digging this disc quite a bit. At around 30 minutes, it is just long enough to tolerate and savor. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JUNJI HIROSE / YOSHINORI MOCHIZUKI / IRONFIRST TATSUSIMA - HMT (Doubt dmf-167; Japan) HMT are Junji Hirose on tenor sax, Yoshinori Mochizuki on bass guitar and IRONFIST Tatsushima on drums. At first I didn’t really recognize the names of three musicians so I had to do some research. Saxist Junji Hirose has a solo sax disc out from 1980, plus more than a dozen rare discs with Otomo, Kazuhisa Uchihashi and Tetuzi Akiyama. Bassist Yoshinori Mochizuki played in a band called Berfume. Drummer IRONFIST Tatsushima plays a number of bands with humorous names like: Bloody Deaththrasher from Hell and Die You Bastard! To say that this music is extreme hardcore improv noise would be putting it mildly. Punk/jazz, jazz/punk?!?! An intense blast of free/jazz/noise/whatsis?!?! I can all three instruments although it often sounds like a blur. It sounds like a hurricane is bearing down on us, centrifugal winds swirling around us, winds at 150 miles per hour! For the second piece, the trio actually calm down to a restless, eerie, space before launching off again for some brain-crunching insanity. I can hear why the drummer is named IRONFIST as he pounds the drums with a tribal fury. The third long piece is the best since the balance is better with all three instruments just right, the sax & drums locked in tightly. powerfully. From brutal to peaceful to brutal again, it is the one-two punch that will knock you topside. Bring the smelling salts to the ring. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ARCANA with BILL LASWELL / TONY WILLIAMS / NICKY SKOPELITIS / PHAROAH SANDERS / BYARD LANCASTER / BUCKETHEAD / GRAHAM HAYNES / PETER APFELBAUM - Arc of the Testimony (M.O.D.T Reloaded; USA) Essential reissue, first released in 1997 and long out-of-print. “ARCANA is a band collaboration between visionally bassist/producer Bill Laswell and master drummer Tony Williams, featured musicians include saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, known for his work with John Coltrane, mutant guitarist Buckethead and many others.
“‘Arc of Testimony’ is one of the last recordings to feature legendary drummer Tony Williams, and its bold, experimental textures are a fitting epitaph to his career. Arcana was formed by bassist/producer Bill Laswell with the intention of exploring the outer reaches of fusion, ambient and free jazz. Like the group's debut, Last Wave (released only in Japan), Arc of the Testimony is a freewheeling, unpredictable blend of electronic and acoustic sounds. However, this record is even more adventurous, since it finds a common ground between improvisation and post-production studio trickery. All of the musicians -- Williams, Laswell, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, saxophonist Byard Lancaster, cornetist Graham Haynes, guitarist Nicky Skopelitis and guitarist Buckethead -- are open-minded and help push the music forward, resulting in a thoroughly involving, challenging listen.” - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusicGuide
CD $15 [In stock in the next few days]
DMG BOOK DEPARTMENT with RELATED HISTORIC DISCS:
ALAN LICHT - Common Tones: Selected Interviews with Artists and Musicians - 1995-2020 (Blank Forms Editions ISBN 978-1-953691-01-9; USA) An excellent book of incisive interviews with a wide array of musicians, composers, film directors & other artists: Milford Graves, Greg Tate (head of Burnt Sugar), Michael Snow (from CCMC & avant film director), Tony Conrad, Tom Verlaine (from Television), Christian Marclay, Lou Reed, Henry Flynt, Rhys Chatham, Suicide, Matthew Barney, Phil Niblock, Glenn Branca, Ken Jacobs (avant film director), Georgia & Ira (from Yo La Tango) and several others. I’ve known Alan Licht for some three decades and watched him evolve through bands like Love Child, Run On (they ruled!), Text of Light and duos with Loren Mazzacane and Henry Kaiser. I’ve also admired him as a writer of several books and magazine articles, especially his writing about minimalist composers. Being an adventurous musician, composer, writer and occasional promoter (he booked Tonic for many years, a favorite cosy performance space for the Downtown Scene for a decade, off Delancey), Licht gets the assorted musicians & other artists here to open up and speak honestly about their art from several personnel perspectives. Mr. Licht’s dry humor and wealth of knowledge about different types of modern music, film and other arts, make his interviewees feel at ease and speak at length to his well conceived questions. Along with William Parker’s three books of musician interviews, ‘Common Tones’ is my current favorite read of interviews. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BOOK with 592 pages - $25
[DON & MOKI CHERRY] - Organic Music Societies (Blank Forms 06; USA) Wow, this is a fantastic book! One of the first jazz records I bought in late 1972 was ‘Art of the Improvisers’ by the (original) Ornette Coleman Quartet. In the frontline was Ornette on alto sax and Don Cherry on trumpet. The exuberance, inner-fire and craft struck me immediately, making me a lifelong fan and wanting to hear more from that amazing quartet as soon as was possible. Along with Ornette, Charlie Haden & Ed Blackwell, I became smitten with the playing of Don Cherry, a daredevil trumpeter who could match Ornette lick for lick. No easy feat! The original quartet broke up in 1962, the other members moved on to other pastures. Don Cherry soon began playing with sax colossus Sonny Rollins, touring Europe, where Mr. Cherry soon moved to. Cherry got involved an artist named Moki Karlsson, moved to Sweden and raised a family. Don and Moki acquired a farmhouse in the Swedish countryside, both artists working together, their art and their family life was interlinked. Moki worked on her own tapestries which were both psychedelic and awe-inspiring and became integral to the music & art they created together. Don Cherry had big ears and listened to/learned from local musicians whenever he traveled around the world. I believe that Don Cherry was the very first “world musician”, embracing music from all around the globe and making it part of his own vision. Sadly, Moki’s own artwork which can be seen on a few of Cherry’s albums and as a background for his/their concerts, rarely got the attention it sorely deserves. Until now. This thick (nearly 500 pages!) book contains many pages of Moki’s eye-catching, mind-blowing artwork, concert posters, tapestries and paintings. There are also a number of incisive interviews with Don and Moki, their daughter, pop singer Neneh Cherry and articles by jazz historians Ben Young and Keith Knox. The first Don Cherry concert I caught was at a loft space in Soho, the Kitchen perhaps? Don sat on the floor on a lovely rug with Moki’s superb artwork on the walls surrounding us. Don played pocket trumpet, electric piano, doson ngoni, kora and chanted in his own charming way. I remember being totally enchanted by the lovely, peaceful music, as well as the artwork which matched the vibes flowing from the stage area. This book is essential if you want to know more about Don & Moki Cherry as well as the lives of jazz musicians who blurred the lines or barriers between different types of music and between true Art and commerce. An obvious labor of love and well worth much more than the inexpensive price tag. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Thick BOOK with 500 Pages = $20
BACK IN STOCK NOW:
DON CHERRY'S NEW RESEARCHES Featuring NANA VASCONCELOS - Organic Music Theatre Festival de Chateauvallon 1972 (Blank Forms 023; USA) ”In the late 1960s, the American trumpet player and free jazz pioneer Don Cherry (1936-1995) and the Swedish visual artist and designer Moki Cherry (1943-2009) began a collaboration that imagined an alternative space for creative music, most succinctly expressed in Moki's aphorism "the stage is home and home is a stage." By 1972, they had given name to a concept that united Don's music, Moki's art, and their family life in rural Tagårp, Sweden into one holistic entity: Organic Music Theatre. Captured here is the historic first Organic Music Theatre performance from the 1972 Festival de jazz de Chateauvallon in the South of France, mastered from tapes recorded during its original live broadcast on public TV. A life-affirming, multicultural patchwork of borrowed tunes suffused with the hallowed aura of Don's extensive global travels, the performance documents the moment he publicly jettisoned his identity as a jazz musician. The five-person band -- Don and Moki Cherry, Christer Bothén, Gérard "Doudou" Gouirand, and Naná Vasconcelos -- performed in an outdoor amphitheater and were joined onstage by a dozen adults and children, including Swedish friends who tagged along for the trip and Det Lilla Circus (The Little Circus), a Danish puppet troupe based in Christiania, Copenhagen. The platform was lined with Moki's carpets and her handmade, brightly colored tapestries, depicting Indian scales and bearing the words Organic Music Theatre, dressed the stage. As the musicians played, members of Det Lilla, led by Annie Hedvard, danced, sang, and mounted an improvised puppet show on poles high up in the air. In a fairly unprecedented move, Don abandoned his signature pocket trumpet for the piano and harmonium, thereby liberating his voice as an instrument for shamanic guidance. The show opens with him beckoning the audience to clap their hands and sing the Indian theta "Dha Dhin Na, Dha Tin Na," and the set cycles through uplifting and sacred tunes of Malian, South African, Brazilian, and Native American provenance -- including pieces that would later appear on Don's albums Organic Music Society and Home Boy (Sister Out) -- all punctuated by outbursts of possessed glossolalia from the puppeteers. "Relativity Suite, Part 1" notably spotlights Bothén on donso ngoni, a Malian hunter's guitar, prior to Vasconcelos taking an extended solo on berimbau. A vortex of wah-like microtonal rattling, Vasconcelos's masterful demonstration of this single-stringed Brazilian instrument is a harbinger of his work to come as a member, with Don, of the acclaimed group Codona.”
2 CD Set $22
DON CHERRY with BERNT ROSENGREN / TOMMY KOVERHULT / JACQUES THOLLOT / KENT CARTER / BULENT ATES / et al - The Summer House Sessions (Blank Forms 024; USA) “In 1968, Don Cherry had already established himself as one of the leading voices of the avant-garde. Having pioneered free jazz as a member of Ornette Coleman's classic quartet, and with a high-profile collaboration with John Coltrane under his belt, the globetrotting jazz trumpeter settled in Sweden with his partner Moki and her daughter Neneh. There, he assembled a group of Swedish musicians and led a series of weekly workshops at the ABF, or Workers' Educational Association, from February to April of 1968, with lessons on extended forms of improvisation including breathing, drones, Turkish rhythms, overtones, silence, natural voices, and Indian scales. That summer, saxophonist and recording engineer Göran Freese invited Don, members of his two working bands, and a Turkish drummer to his summer house in Kummelnäs, just outside of Stockholm, for a series of rehearsals and jam sessions. Long relegated to the status of a mysterious footnote in Don's session-ography, tapes from this session, as well as one professionally mixed tape intended for release, were recently found in the vaults of the Swedish Jazz Archive, and the lost Summer House Sessions are finally available over fifty years after they were recorded. On July 20, the musicians gathered at Freese's summer house included Bernt Rosengren (tenor saxophone, flutes, clarinet), Tommy Koverhult (tenor saxophone, flutes), Leif Wennerström (drums), and Torbjörn Hultcrantz (bass) from Don's Swedish group; Jacques Thollot (drums) and Kent Carter (bass) from his newly formed international band New York Total Music Company; Bülent Ateş (hand drum, drums), who was visiting from Turkey; and Don (pocket trumpet, flutes, percussion) himself. Lacking a common language, the players used music as their common means of communication. In this way, these frenetic and freewheeling sessions anticipate Don's turn to more explicitly pan-ethnic expression, preceding his epochal Eternal Rhythm dates by four months. The octet, comprising musicians from America, France, Sweden, and Turkey, was a perfect vehicle for Don's budding pursuit of "collage music," a concept inspired by the shortwave radio on which Don listened to sounds from around the world. Using the collage metaphor, Don eliminated solos and the introduction of tunes, transforming a wealth of melodies, sounds, and rhythms into poetic suites of different moods and changing forms. The Summer House Sessions ensemble joyously layers manifold cultural idioms, traversing the airy peaks and serene valleys of Cherry's earthly vision. The double-CD version includes a bonus CD with a track featuring Jacques Thollot joined by Lindqvist, Tommy Koverhult, Sune Spångberg, and others.”
2 CD Set $22
AMARO FREITAS - Sankofa (Far Out Recordings 225CD; UK) “From the slums of Recife in Brazil's North-East to international jazz icon, Amaro Freitas has worked tirelessly to become the artist he is today. His debut and sophomore albums Sangue Negro (2016) and Rasif (FARO 205CD/LP, 2018) arrived on a wave of instant acclaim. His new album Sankofa -- a spiritual quest into the forgotten stories, ancient philosophies and inspirational figures of Black Brazil -- is his most stunning and sincere work to date. But for Amaro Freitas, work isn't just playing the piano, his art delves far deeper than music theory and practice. Explaining the impetus behind Sankofa, Amaro elucidates the imperative behind his music: "I worked to try to understand my ancestors, my place, my history, as a black man. Brazil didn't tell us the truth about Brazil. The history of black people before slavery is rich with ancient philosophies. By understanding the history and the strength of our people, one can start to understand where our desires, dreams and wishes come from." Sankofa is an Adinkra symbol depicting a backward-facing bird. He soon came to understand what it represents, and it became the foundational concept for his new album. With the help of Jean Elton (bass) and Hugo Medeiros (drums), who have formed the Amaro Freitas Trio since the very beginning, Amaro employs intricate rhythmic patterns and time-signature variations as if reimagining the ancient designs of his ancestors, and every track is imbued with a message or a story Amaro is compelled to tell. "Baquaqua" highlights the seldom told story of the West African Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua, who was brought to Brazil as a slave but escaped to New York in 1847 where he learned to read and write. The delicate "Vila Bela" takes its name after an area near the Bolivian border, in Brazil's Mato Grosso region, where the 18th century Quilombola queen Tereza de Benguela led the black and indigenous community in resisting slavery for two decades. "Nascimento" is a warmhearted tribute to the great star of Minas Gerais, who Amaro sees as a talisman of contemporary Black Brazilian culture. "Ayeye", Sankofa's most joyful moment, means celebration in Yoruba and features gorgeous, fluttering piano, shuffling hi-hats and a stuttering bass groove, at times sounding as much like a D'Angelo or Alicia Keys hit as it does Bill Evans or Thelonious Monk. Named after a mythical bull from the tropical region of Maranhão, "Cazumbá" represents the interdependence of all living things. A jazz rock pulse represents a noisy urban city port, and as the track develops it's as if the group moves out into the tranquility of the rainforest river.”
SUN CITY GIRLS - Live at the Sky Church - September 3rd, 2004 (Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company 1002; USA) Limited restock, last copies. The first new Sun City Girls release since Funeral Mariachi (2010), Live at the Sky Church is a performance that melds their signature alien-jazz improv, Asian-tinged psychedelia, and Middle Eastern meditations together with their ranting psychodrama. An audio and visual recording from Seattle in 2004 shows a group that is both aware and committed to its history, while still demonstrating the power of the experimental to drive an enormous cudgel through the heart of those who believe to have all the answers. Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company has had a long history with Sun City Girls, most of which, the Girls were unaware of. While the label were not at the show, their attempt to help continue to put a part of Arizona's musical history in the appropriate context convinced the Girls that a bunch of subversives from a town no one admits to being from to be the right people to put this document into the world. Society rarely documents the things that matter, and the label hope to change that with this release. It is a document that now stands to the interplay between three friends before that history would be sunset way before its time. As the recording begins, you already realize the experience will be too short, but what the fuck are you supposed to do but celebrate that it happened. The Girls came from Phoenix, Arizona, but now have traveled the world exploring sound, documenting travel, and attempting to be the emissaries that should represent these union of states. Live at the Sky Church illustrates this history and attempts to provide a manifesto without dictating the experience. Will you listen? Includes DVD. "LONG MAY THEY ISOLATE." --John "Inzane" Olson (American Tapes, Wolf Eyes, etc.)
LP / DVD $24
MIKE TAYLOR QUARTET with DAVE TOMLIN / TONY REEVES / JON HISEMAN - Preparation (Sunbeam Records 5113LP; UK) Featuring Mike Taylor (piano), Dave Tomlin (soprano saxophone), Tony Reeves (double bass), and Jon Hiseman (drums), this is the first ever release of a newly discovered tape of this legendary British jazz quartet's final rehearsal before going into the studio to make their fabled Pendulum album in October 1965. Recorded in Taylor's grandparents' London living room by Reeves, it's has striking presence and immediacy, and will fascinate all admirers of this most enigmatic of composers and musicians. It comes in a hand-numbered gatefold sleeve, with a large-format booklet describing Taylor's life and work, full of rare images and memorabilia. 180 gram black vinyl.”
THE MIKE WESTBROOK CONCERT BAND with MIKE OSBORNE / JOHN SURMAN / NORMA WINSTONE / CHRIS SPEDDING / GEORGE KHAN / HARRY MILLER / et al - Love Songs (Endless Happiness 70001LP; Russia) “Pianist / bandleader / composer Mike Westbrook is a true icon of the British Jazz scene for over four decades. The immense body of work Westbrook produced over the years parallels the achievements of many Classical composers and in fact should be considered as contemporary Classical music, although he is mostly associated with the Jazz genre. In the late 1960s / 1970s Westbrook concentrated mostly on his work with Jazz Big Bands, which he led and composed the music for. He usually composed large orchestral suites, based on conceptual or literary content, again similar to the modus operandi of Classical composers. His legendary Big Bands / orchestras comprised of the creme de la creme of the British Jazz musicians active at the time and were one of the most fascinating grounds of musical experimentation. Later on Westbrook would work mainly in smaller ensembles, which include his wife the singer Kate Westbrook, producing a series of wonderful compositions often similar in spirit to the work of composer Kurt Weill and often involving interpretation of European poetry and other literary works. This album presents a song cycle dedicated to the poems by Caroline Menis, and features Britain’s greatest female Jazz vocalist Norma Winstone. The band consists of saxophonists Mike Osborne, John Warren and George Khan, trumpeter Dave Holdsworth, trombonists Malcolm Griffiths and Paul Rutherford and a rhythm section: Chris Spedding – guitar, Mike Westbrook – piano, Harry Miller – bass and Alan Jackson – drums, all stellar Jazz musicians. Of course Westbrook’s music is never trivial and requires some serious listening to be truly appreciated, but the intellectual effort is richly rewarded. This reissue includes a super-rare single released at the time to promote the album. Timeless stuff and a must to any true Jazz lover - most warmly recommended.” - Jazzis - 2/3/2008
TERRY RILEY - A Rainbow In Curved Air (Columbia 749408HLP; USA) 180 gram exact repro reissue of this minimalist masterpiece, originally released in 1969. "All the music on this recording is played by Terry. In 'A Rainbow' he plays electric organ, electric harpsichord, rocksichord, dumbec and tambourine. 'Poppy Nogood' is for soprano saxophone and electric organ. The spatially separated mirror images were adapted for studio recording by Glen Kolotkin and resemble the sound Terry gets in his all-night concerts."
HARRY PARTCH - The World Of Harry Partch (Columbia 751492HLP; USA) 180 gram exact repro reissue, originally released in 1969. "The World of Harry Partch collects three of his best short pieces. 'Daphne of the Dunes' (1967) is a side-long update of 'Windsong' written for dance. The melodic segments are given more emphasis than usual for a Partch piece, and harmonically this is one of his best with arpeggiated glides/cries of the Harmonic Canons evoking our sympathies. Meter changes almost measure by measure, with one section in 31/16 meter; another (polymetric) section consists of 4/4-7/4 over 4/8-7/8! Needless to say, while being very physical, Partch's music isn't something you can easily tap your foot to. What's most important is that it works. Partch was not one to introduce musical complexity merely for its own sake, another factor that separated him from his contemporaries. Not only are the rhythms complex, but they are performed at a frantic pace unequaled by any music I've hard (save perhaps the inhumanly fast player piano pieces of Conlon Nancarrow!). This is characteristic of most of Partch's works, though I think 'Daphne' is one of the most successful and exhilarating. 'Barstow -- Eight Hitchhiker Inscriptions from a Highway Railing at Barstow, California' was composed in 1941 as part of 'The Wayward.' It offers such statements as 'Go to 538 East Lemon Avenue for an easy handout' and 'Looking for millionaire wife...' This charismatic piece is successful due to the contrasting of Partch's intoning voice with others in the ensemble and to increased instrumental emphasis. Last is 'Castor and Pollux' in a more modern performance than From the Music of Harry Partch, with greater vigor and fidelity. The World of Harry Partch is an excellent introduction to his works that comes highly recommended." -- Surface Noise
TONY ALLEN - Lagos No Shaking (Honest Jon’s Records 020; UK) Honest Jon's Records reissues this 2006 classic from Afrobeat co-creator and master drummer Tony Allen. The much-lauded Lagos No Shaking pays tribute to the powerful sounds and rhythms of Allen's homeland of Lagos, Nigeria, marking a return to the classic percussive stylings which harken back to his seminal contribution to Fela Kuti's Africa 70 and Egypt 80. This is the real thing -- raw and uncut, recorded in Lagos over ten nights with a 20-piece band, including the finest musicians in the city, not least deep horn-blasting from Lekan Animashaun (Baba Ani) and Show Boy from the killer Fela line-ups, and the palm-wine veteran Fatai Rolling Dollar, who adds his throaty, commanding tones and throbbing agidigbo thumb piano to four tracks. There are the R&B sensibilities of Yinka Davies and Omololu Ogunleye; and Muritala Adisa adds touches of ewe, a form of spoken praise-singing rooted in ancient Yoruba tradition. But the key element is, of course, Allen's powerful, yet magnificently relaxed drumming, which keeps everything in perpetual rocking motion, tempering the hard funk edges of classic Afrobeat with earthier Lagosian flavors. Indeed, while the album's observations on Lagos life are aptly tough and sardonic, this is a warmer, more down-home, perhaps more humane album than anything Fela ever produced. Afro-funk, stone-classic dance music in six-minute chunks.”
2 LP Set $25
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.
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 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…
Guitarist and DMG-pal HENRY KAISER has a monthly Video Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page:
he recently changed it to a monthly solo series - Here are the three previous shows:
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: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836/
Zürcher Gallery is pleased to invite you to a
LIVE indoor concert with BRANDON LOPEZ MAT MANERI TYSHAWN SOREY
Thursday, August 26
Doors open at 7:30 PM
Concert begins at 8:00 PM
Admission: $20 / Students: $15
All proceeds go to the musicians.
Mailing / actual address is:
33 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012-2432
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 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
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
BOB DOWNES is a Legendary British flutist & multi-reeds wizard with a long history of Creative Music making. He currently lives in the Black Forest in Germany and sends us his occasional solo flute vids. Here is his most recent one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezE8JFWSM_s