Close your eyes, it can't happen here
Big Bro' on white horse is near
The hippies won't come back, you say
Mellow out or you will pay
Mellow out or you will pay
California Über Alles
California Über Alles
Über Alles California
Über Alles California
Now it is 1984
Knock-knock at your front door
It's the suede denim secret police
They have come for your uncool niece
Come quietly to the camp
You'd look nice as a drawstring lamp
Don't you worry, it's only a shower
For your clothes, here's a pretty flower
Die on organic poison gas
Serpent's egg's already hatched
You will croak, you little clown
When you mess with President Brown
When you mess with President Brown
California Über Alles
California Über Alles
Über Alles California
Über Alles California
The 1980’s were an exciting time for serious & open-minded music listeners like myself and my friends. During that decade, the Downtown Scene erupted with dozens of great bands and Creative Musicians collaborating on many varied types of music. Aside from Loft & Avant Jazz & many Downtown musicians, I was listening to a wealth of New Wave, No Wave, Hardcore Punk, Bluegrass, Country, Blues, Funk, World Music, Progressive & Canterbury Music, Modern Classical and any other creative music that I could find. I wrote for Jersey Beat fanzine starting in the late seventies through the early 1990’s. Hence I discovered and befriended Jersey bands like the Feelies, the Bongos, Regressive Aid, Scornflakes, the Young Turks, Lunar Bear Ensemble, Machine Gun, Animation, Tiny Lights and many more. I booked gigs at the Underground Lounge in Elizabeth, NJ and organized several music fests at Modern Artists Studio in Rahway, NJ, where I still live. I used to attend a weekly music show at WFMU when they were located at Seton Hall. The host of the show was Pat Duncan and they played 2-3 hours of Hardcore Punk music every week. I ended up become friends with many of those Jersey bands: AOD, Pleased Youth, Children in Adult Jails, Cyanamid, Scornflakes. Although I had given up on quite a bit of rock music when I attended college (Glassboro State - 1972-1976), starting with Televison & Talking Heads in 1977, I jumped back into this music. I became a Hardcore Punk fan-addict during the mid-eighties, thanks to bands like Black Flag, the Dead Kennedy’s, Minutemen, Husker Du, Sonic Youth, Band of Susans, ISM, etc. Since I grew up listening to Protest Music in the 1960’s, I found much of the lyrics of hardcore punk bands to be another form of protest music which I still dig since the world is still unfair in many ways and those of us who feel angry or frustrated by current events, the sentiments still stir up our collective inner rage. I always felt the the Dead Kennedy’s were the best of the bunch since they didn’t abide by the loud, fast formula and their lyrics seemed my well-informed and articulate. The above song captures this just right. The title is an alteration of “Deutschland uber alles”, a German nationalist slogan meaning “Germany above all else” which is associated with Nazism. Similar to the “America First” dog whistle that the Right Wing Fascists keep blowing in the faces of Informed Liberals like myself. - MC BruceLee, DMG
THE DMG 31st ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION / ONGOING FREE MUSIC SERIES CONTINUES WITH:
Saturday, March 26th: The GAUCI-MUSIC Series Continues with:
6:30pm - ELI WALLACE - synth / STEPHEN GAUCI - tenor sax
7:15pm - KEVIN SHEA - drums / STEPHEN GAUCI - tenor sax
8pm - STEPHEN GAUCI - tenor sax / ELI WALLACE - synth / KEVIN SHEA - drums
Tuesday, March 29th:
6:30: PATRICK GOLDEN / DAVE SEWELSON / AYUMI ASHITO / ARON NAMENWIRTH
7:30: DAVID MARIARCHI / MATHIAS JENSEN / ELIZA SALEM
The Passing of Two Great Trumpeters: RON MILES and DENNIS GONZALEZ
Last week, I heard about the passing of RON MILES and DENNIS GONZALEZ. I didn’t know Ron Miles very well, but did hear him live on several occasions, most memorably with a Bill Frisell Quartet with Curtis Fowlkes (trombone) and Eyvind Kang (violin), which I caught at the second Knit and was knocked out by that set & their disc. Mr. Miles also worked with Wayne Horvitz, Fred Hess, Ben Goldberg and Myra Melford. I’ve acquired some ten discs of Ron Miles as a leader and I treasure each one. If you can find copies of his trio & quintet CD’s with Bill Frisell & Brian Blade, I highly recommend those. I recall Mr. Miles having unique looking trumpet as well as having his own unique sound. He was only 58 at the time of his death on March 8th, having suffered from a rare type of blood cancer.
Sometime in the mid-1990’s, I got a call from trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez. I had heard a couple of his discs on Silkheart which I thought were great. Mr. Gonzalez told me he was going on tour with his family and that he wanted to play at DMG. I was pleased to give him a gig and to meet him and his charming family. Mr. Gonzalez had a trio with his two sons, Aaron on bass and Stefan on drums. The trio was called Yells at Eels and their set at the store was amazing! The sons were in high school at the time and played way beyond their young years. I became a good friend and lifelong fan ever since, collecting most of his 35 or so albums.
Dennis Gonzalez was born and lived his life in Texas, hosted a radio show called Miles Out on KERA-FM for 20 years. He started his own label Daagnim (Dallas Association for Avant-Garde and Neo-Impressionistic Music) which was modeled after the AACM. Mr. Gonzalez collaborated with jazz vocalist & composer Tina Marsh who had her own Creative Community Orchestra. Ms. Marsh & Mr. Gonzalez had a rare record as co-leaders called, ‘Heaven Line’. It took many years to find a copy but I finally did and it was well worth the long wait. One the great things about Mr. Gonzalez was his ability to search out other Creative Musicians from all over, some who had retired and/or were forgotten about. Here is a long list of great musicians who have worked with Dennis Gonzalez: Charles Brackeen, Malachi Favors, Curtis Clark, Carlos Ward, Paul Rogers, Faruq Z Bey, Nels & Alex Cline, Henry Grimes, Roy Campbell, Kidd Jordan, Prince Lasha, Joe Morris, Elton Dean, Keith Tippett, Louis Moholo… I’ve listened to one Dennis Gonzalez album every night for the past week. Each one was great and Mr. Gonzalez’ playing is in consistently fine form! I can hear him telling us his life story in each of his solos and the magic of the way he inspired others to play better. I know that Dennis has had a number of health issues over the last few years, its been a rough time for him and his family. He continued to record until quite recently, with a couple of records from his Ataraxia Trio. His great spirit will live on in our collective memories and the large catalogue of great recordings. His two sons, Aaron and Stefan, are both master musicians who consistently blow minds/play great no matter what situation they are in! Their most recent record is a trio with no other than Eugene Chadbourne! A special toast to Dennis Gonzalez! - BLG / DMG
NEW DISCS for THIS WEEK BEGIN with:
JOHN ZORN // BILL FRISELL / BRIAN MARSELLA / JOHN MEDESKI / KENNY WOLLESEN - Perchance to Dream… (Tzadik 8387; USA) “A beautiful suite of music for late night listening, spiritual and evocative, performed by an all-star unit of four members of Zorn’s inner circle. Structured like a religious mass, these seven lovely nocturnes take you to an otherworldly space of beauty and tenderness, unlike any other Zorn compositions you have ever heard. Gorgeous and restful music from a compositional seeker who continues to defy categorization, “Perchance to Dream…” is one of the most unusual and haunting collections in his catalog.
HENRY KAISER & ROME YAMILOV with JIM PUGH / AKI KUMAR / KID ANDERSEN / JUNE CORE / LISA LEUSCHNER - The Lenoir Investigation (Little Village LVF 1046; Earth) Featuring Henry Kaiser on guitar & production, Rome Yamilov on guitar & vocals, Jim Pugh on organ & piano, Aki Kumar on harmonica & vocals, Kid Anderson on bass & vocal, June Core on drums and Lisa Leuschner on vocals (1 track). This disc is a tribute to the legendary blues singer & guitarist J.B Lenoir. Mr. Lenoir was born in Mississippi in 1929 and moved to Chicago in 1949, passing away in a car accident in 1967 at only 38. I just listened to a half dozen of his songs, as were as a few covers by Nick Cave & a tribute song by John Mayall. Although this is a tribute to J.B. Lenoir, Mr. Kaiser and fellow Bay area guitarist, Rome Yamilov, have decided turn these J.B. songs inside out. Although I was not familiar with any of the other musicians here besides Mr. Kaiser, it turns out that Aki Kumar also has his own album out with most of the same personnel on this label (Little Village Foundation) from 2018, as well as 4 other discs on the Greaseland Records label.
Along with everything else that Mr. Kaiser does, this is not your regular electric blues offering but something else. The basic song structures are a strong blend of blues/rock/funk, righteously played with the greasy groove. Guitarist Rome Yasilov sings lead on around half of the 11 songs here and has a fine voice. Equally strong singing and mighty fine blues-harp (harmonica) is provided by Aki Kumar who was born in India, now lives in San Jose and plays in Trickbag. Guitar great Henry Kaiser stretches out on each song, taking a number of his distinctive twisted blues/psych/rock guitar solos. “Round and Round” features the vocals of Lisa Leuschner and it is a charming little ditty (swell second-line groove) that had me singing along and made me smile with its uplifting vibe. “How Long” which is sung by Aki Kumar reminds me of John Mayall. “Play a Little While” has an infectious sort of reggae/David Lindley-like groove, swell call & response chorus and ultra-wack guitar solo by HK. Considering that this disc is nearly 81 minutes (!?!) long, there is quite alot to enjoy here. Even with a number of hair-raising, spine-tingling guitar solos peppered throughout, the positive vibe, fun-factor that Mr. Kaiser always instigates, is apparent on each song here. Outside, it has just turned dark and the it is raining here in Rahway, NY (3/23/22), in my kitchen I am feeling so good inspired by this great disc! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DAVE DOUGLAS with TOMEKA REID / BERLINDE DEMAN / MARTA WARELIS / FREDERIK LEROUX / LANDER GYSELINCK - Secular Songs (Greenleaf Music GRE-CD-1090; USA) Featuring Dave Douglas on trumpet, voice, most compositions, arranging & production, Berlinde Deman on serpent, tuba & voice, Marta Warelis on prepared & unprepared piano & pump organ, Frederik Leroux on guitars, lute & electronics, Tomeka Reid on cello and Lander Gyselinck on drums & electronics. This disc was recorded during the pandemic (5/2020-8/2021), with each musician recording their parts separately. This disc was inspired by a painting known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Jan & Hubert van Eyck, which was completed in 1432. The most was created to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Alterpiece. After the initial recording was made in May of 2020, the pandemic hit in March of 2021, hence Mr. Douglas wrote individual parts for each musician to record in their own local homes or studios. While I’ve heard cellist Tomeka Reid play live and on records many times over the past decade, I don’t know much about the other members of this sextet. I found out that pianist Marta Warelis has worked with Michael Moore & a group called Hupata! (on Astral Spirits) and drummer Lander Gyselinck has worked with Chris Speed.
Considering that I’m Jewish and that I’ve rarely been to a church service, I’ve listening to very little “church music”, but have heard quite a bit of gospel music. Hence I often listen to music for its own qualities, no matter where it is performed. The opening piece is called “Arrival” and it has a slow, solemn, somewhat eerie sound. Mr. Douglas’ haunting trumpet is backed by swirling waves of el. guitar, cello, piano and brass. “Mercy” (with lyrics by Marvin Gaye) features the lovely, forlorn vocals of Ms. Deman and Mr. Douglas’ equally touching trumpet and some spirited cello by Ms. Reid in the last part. Ms. Deman’s somber, dreamy voice is surrounded by cello, lute, pump organ & muted trumpet on “We Believe”. I dig the playful, yet challenging twists & turns on “Instrumental Angels”, which each instruments starts or continues a line that another instrument began with. All of the music here has a reverent, somber yet stirring undertow here, often with Mr. Douglas’ distinctive trumpet tone interweaving with the other instruments on top. I like the way the ensemble uses subtle electronics on “Righteous Judges” to evoke some quietly disorienting vibes. Overall, the feeling I get when listening to this is like a soundtrack to film which shows the artwork inside a church, while evoking the feelings that folks have while being inside. A good deal of thought went into this disc since it does unfold like a long story. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TONY OXLEY / ALAN DAVIE - Elaboration of Particulars (Confront Core Series 20; UK) Featuring Tony Oxley on percussion & electronics and Alan Davie on piano, percussion & ring modulator. Recorded in 1977 & 1978 at Gamel Studio in Hertford, UK. No doubt most of you know about British jazz/experimental drummer/electronics player Tony Oxley. Ever since hearing Mr. Oxley on the first John McLaughlin album, ‘Extrapolation’ (rec 1968), through his work with Derek Bailey, Evan Parker & Howard Riley in the early seventies and longtime collaborations with Cecil Taylor, I remain a big fan. His partner on this disc, Alan Davie, is much less well known and more mysterious. Mr. Davie was born in Scotland and passed away at 94 in England in 2014. Mr. Davie was more known for his visual art, as well as being a multi-instrumentalist. Mr. Oxley and Mr. Davie met around 1970, since Mr. Davie was interested in working with Mr. Oxley’s electronic sculpture. Mr. Oxley and Mr. Davie worked together on occasion, performing from time to time. They recorded a duo album which was released on Davie’s own label, ADMW in 1975, which was reissued by FMP offshoot label ALL in 2003. This disc features unreleased studio recordings made in 1977 and 1978. Both of these musicians have worked hard at creating their own sonic world. This disc/session is superbly recorded and well-balanced. The blend of percussion, piano and electronics is unique and every sound makes sense. The music is much closer to electronic chamber music than jazz. Although Mr. Oxley is a master jazz percussionist, this is not what we find here. Mr. Davie often uses the piano more for different effects, rarely playing any long lines, hence a good deal of suspense-filled sounds and strong use of space or silence. I know that some of you have a hard time with some electronic music which you find alienating or non-organic sounding. This is not the case here since all of the instruments are carefully balanced with no one instrument taking over. Thanks to our friends at Confront for getting this buried treasure into our present sound-world. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ELLIOTT SHARP / STEVE PICCOLO / SERGIO ARMAROLI - What Went Wrong (Leo Records CD LR 924; UK) Featuring Elliott Sharp on guitar, soprano sax, computer & electronics, Steve Piccolo on electric bass, vocals & words and Sergio Armaroli on vibes. This is the second disc from this particular trio and I must admit that it doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard or reviewed recently. Steve Piccolo once played bass in the original version of the Lounge Lizards (circa 1979-1981) and his been living in Italy for many years and working with different Italian musicians, as well as with Elliott Sharp & Zeena Parkins. Italian vibes player Sergio Armaroli has also recorded with Mr. Sharp a few times in the past, but I can’t tell you much more about him than that.
I really like this trio, the guitar, bass & vibes are often swirling around one another, listening, reacting and conversing, the music is often cerebral with odd samples or sounds used like subtle spice. The enclosed booklet contains texts and poems mostly by Steve Piccolo, much of which is consistently compelling to hear and/or read. The words are like a philosophical diary or just observations of life. Mr. Piccolo doesn’t actually read most of the enclosed words but they are well worth reading while listening to the music which is spacious enough to give us time to read and think about what is being observed or discussed. Mr. Piccolo does a good job of poking fun at cultural norms that surround us in the not too distant past and the current situation. “In the future bandages will be a status symbol” sounds apt as the opening to a poem about growing to resemble something you immensely dislike. “The Expedition” consists of a long spoken word / ethereal music piece with observations similar to William Burroughs’ own view. The title of this disc, ‘What Went Wrong’ is what we ask ourselves when we think we know the answer to assorted problems which end up not working out as planned. Considering all the stress that is going on in our post-pandemic world, it is also something many of us keep asking ourselves. I see that there is no question mark at the end so this is more about figuring out what went wrong. The overall vibe here is one of contemplation. Let’s all listen and think and put away our phones and perhaps, read a good book. Then we can figure out what did go wrong. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MORE GREAT DISCS from MAHAKALA MUSIC:
ROB BROWN / DANIEL LEVIN - Watching and Listening (Mahakala Music Maha-014; USA) Featuring Rob Brown on alto sax and Daniel Levin on cello. This two have been working together for namy years in varied situations: two trios, a group named Planet Dream led by Steve Swell and this is their third duo effort, the first was in 2014. According to the liner notes by Mr. Levin, they decided to try something different. For the opening piece, the duo take off and erupt intensely, their playing/sound is similar in textures and timbres. The duo often slow so that they each note or sound count. There are truly exciting, quick exchanges where the duo seem to be reaching for the same lightning like lines before they break things down into shorter flurries of activity. Mr. Brown is often steadfast in his ability to play his lines with direct, well-chiselled phrases, while Mr. Levin seems to be weaving his way around those distinctive lines, adding more elastic lines which change depending on his choice between the bow and plucked sounds and the odd extended sounds he uses in rare moments. In the liner notes, Mr. Levin leaves us with this. “Sometimes people take improvised music too seriously”. This is no doubt true and I am one of those who find the best improvised music to be special or magical or even transcendent. This disc is amongst the best. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOEL FUTTERMAN & STEVE HIRSH - Warp & Weft (Mahakala Music Maha-021; USA) Featuring Joel Futterman on piano and Steve Hirsh on drums. I’ve long been enjoying the free/music/jazz piano of Joel Futterman for many years. Mr. Futterman has colaborated with a number of other master musicians: Jimmy Lyons, Kidd Jordan, Hal Russell, Raphe Malik, Alvin Fielder, Ike Levin and William Parker. Mr. Futterman has released a large number of solo piano efforts including a great 5 CD box set on NoBusiness from last year (2021). I hadn’t heard of drummer Steve Hirsh before we got a box of discs in the mail from the Mahakala Music label, which included three with Mr. Hirsh as a collaborator. After reviewing an Eri Yamamoto Quartet disc on Mahakala last week, Mr. Hirsh contacted me so I read his bio and released that we both have had a similar music/appreciation/exploration journey, no doubt we are around the same age.
This is a powerful duo effort, we can hear these two musicians thinking, reacting, conversing, adjusting, combining forces, building, working in waves, free of swinging yet always connected on other levels. The balance between both of these players is just right, no one is leading or following, their playing is more as one strong force. Over time, Mr. Futterman’s piano starts to erupt, his playing gets more intense over time. Mr. Hirsh’s drums support and interact no matter where the piano goes. During Part 2” on Disc One, the duo calm down and concentrate on a more lyrical passage which soon escalates as the tempo increases. The more I listen to these discs, the more I like what I hear, the inner flame of Creative Free Music is burning throughout. At times, Mr. Futterman plays these lightning-like lines at an astonishing pace, it feels as if we the listener will get whiplash as he whips up his own storm-force. It feels great to just dive into the ocean of waves which break over us so that we must swim or sink. Just incredible! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $16
THOLLEM McDONAS - Obstacle Illusion (Astral Spirits AS203; USA) Featuring Thollem McDonas on piano and synthesizer. Last Sunday (3/20/22), Thollem McDonas played a rare duo set here at DMG with Michael Wimberley on hand percussion. I dug this set because it was much more subtle, oddly melodic and organic overall sound. I have long admired Mr. McDonas for a number of reasons: he is an amazing, unique pianist and he & his wife have been on the road for many years, always traveling to play across the US, Europe and elsewhere. Since there are not always (good) pianos to play whenever he goes, he also plays a small portable synthesizer (a Korg Wavestate). This disc was recorded live on tour during a three month European tour at the end of 2021. Two long tracks are solo piano and two tracks are solo synth. “Assorted Selves” is for solo piano and opens this disc. From the beginning we can hear that Mr. McDonas is concentrating, muting certain strings inside the piano with his hand while he plays those precise, Tippett-esque, quickly tapped lines at a soft volume. McDonas seems to be always searching, taking one line or phrase and then playing variations around it, taking a quick lyrical detour before speeding up, tossing off another somewhat familiar line and then moving into some unexplored regions. There also some stark, suspense-filled sections which balance with the other more active parts just right. Eventually we get into that intense John Blum/Joel Futterman/Dave Burrell-like agitated storm. Whoa! And some think that only Cecil Taylor can pull off that power, they are wrong. Things soon change for “I Put My Shadow On The Wall”, with Thollem switching to his synth. His Korg has an older, warmer, more cerebral sound, slowly building through other sections. Each section seems well-measured or balanced. Some of the sounds are old school, ancient, Krautrock-like in nature. Sometimes synths or electronic music can be alienating but this is never the case here. Nothing too weird, all the sounds make sense and are soundtrack-like and keep changing. “Cruising the Mystic Whole” sounds like Thollem is playing an organ which is triggering some other palette of fascinating sounds. At one point it sounds like McDonas is playing a double-reed/church organ-tone on the synth while adding some mesmerizing electronic soundscape as well. The booklet inside contains a long poem/prose-work by cornetist Rob Mazurek which illustrate the sounds here quite well. This is a wonderful disc no matter which side of the mirror/dividing-line we are standing, the acoustic or the electric keyboard. The final solo piano piece is astonishing! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
RON CAINES / MARTIN ARCHER AXIS - Port of Saints (Discus 128CD; UK) The third collaboration between Caines and Archer under their Axis moniker is quite the corker. Archer’s Discus imprint continues to push the envelope in ways that defy easy analysis, where categorical boundary lines cease to exist, and one simply surrenders to each release’s idiosyncratic nature. This latest is no exception. Caines’s tenure in 70s prog rock eccentrics East of Eden belie a curiously awry take on jazz idioms as pressed through numerous British psychedelic filters, and, alongside the guidance of Archer and their illustrious bandmates, his more avantist impulses are given the freedom to spread its wings and soar. The duo are joined by the enigmatic vibist and electronics manipulator Corey Mwamba, frequent partner Herve Perez, whose sonic alchemy and warped aural processing knows no equal, drummer Johnny Hunter, trumpeter Byron Wallen, bassist Gus Garside, guitarist Chris Sharkey, Graham Clark on violin, and tuba player Ben Higham, all of whose contributions bring formidable flavors to the tonal spectrum that blossoms across three lengthy suites. Imagine the AACM contingent crossing paths with Keith Tippett’s Centipede, injected with a healthy dose of contemporary electronic sound design, and you’ll get some feel for the diverse breadth of Axis’s multi-dimensional constructs. Initially, it’s obvious that Caines's and Archer’s sax volleys are leading the charge, their probing voices waxing Lester Bowie funereal procession one moment, warping Dadaist blues the next, and tumbling down some thorny rabbit holes thereafter. Accompanying these constantly shifting loci are any of a dozen glorious accents telling their own wondrous stories: Mwamba’s vibes roughly halfway through “Suite 2” erupting in acidic drizzles, spackling the terrain; Sharkey’s diamond-sharp guitar interlocutions; Hunter’s percussive walkabout suggesting ever-evolving landscapes as they underscore the indiscriminate digital splashes and scree posited by…Perez? Archer? It’s unclear in that regard who’s responsible for what, but the inexplicable nature of the resultant cascade of sounds never deters from its sleight of hand. The future of ‘big band’ is right here, folks, rendered in superb high definition via the praxis of Axis. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
TRISTAN HONSINGER with EDOARDO MARRAFFA / ANTONIO BORGHINI / et al - Small Talk (Setola Di Maiale 4330; Italy) Featuring Tristan Honsinger on cello & voice, Edoardo Marraffa on tenor & contralto saxes, Cristina Vetrone on voice & organetto, Vincenzo Vasi on voice & theremin, Enrico Sartori on clarinet, Antonio Borghini & Luigi Mosso on contrabasses, Cristiano De Fabritis on drums & voice. Word is that longtime ICP cellist, Tristan Honsinger, has recently moved back to the US after spending several decades in the Netherlands. We just got three copies of this disc in the mail which came from Edoardo Marraffa in Italy. It is probably a good idea that I won’t review this disc until we get more copies to sell. I generally like whatever Mr. Honsinger does (great cellist & oddball vocalist) and fondly recall his last trio with Nicolas Caloia & Josh Zubot, who played at DMG a few years ago. I will do my best to get more copies as soon as I can. - BLG
ARCHIVAL / HISTORIC RECORDINGS / REISSUES & RESTOCKS:
IST with GRAHAM S FELL / RHODRI DAVIES / MARK WASTELL - A More Attractive Way (Confront Core Series 21; UK) A MORE ATTRACTIVE WAY is a comprehensive study of live performances made by IST between 1996 and 2000. This 5 CD set begins at the very outset of the group's career and features their debut concert at Club Orange in London and charts it's way through further gigs in London, Billericay, Norwich and Cambridge. The 20 page booklet contains written contributions from Mark and Rhodri, Jo Fell, Simon Rose, Nick Smith, John Butcher, Phil Durrant, Graham Halliwell and Chris Goode together with previously unpublished photographs. IST is: Rhodri Davies: harp, preparations Simon H. Fell: double bass, preparations Mark Wastell: violoncello, preparations IST operate at such a pitch of invention they transcend the divide between art and science. Harp, upright bass and cello are played at the horizon of known technique. Simultaneously lush and abrasive, the trio push string sounds into new zones of strange beauty. Barbed bouquets explode before the ear, aural events that leave the imagination ransacked. - HIFI News & Record Review
5 CD SET $45 [Last 3 copies]
THE ALAN BOWN! - Live On Air 1966-1970 (London Calling 5082; UK) “The Alan Bown (Set)!, live in session from 1966 to 1970. The history of British rock n' roll of the 1960s is filled with the names of homegrown performers who, despite enjoying the favor of critics, music columnists, and club audiences, never managed to make a permanent mark on the record charts. Alan Bown was a case-in-point, a trumpet player who organized a series of bands in the 1960s -- principally known as the Alan Bown Set -- who received rave reviews and attracted healthy live audiences, but which were never able to successfully transfer their club sound onto vinyl. Radio sessions offered something much closer to the favored live setting and from 1966-70, their frenetic energy and creative flow was captured for a radio audience who would witness the transition of The Alan Bown! through R&B and soul to psychedelic rock. London Calling presents The Alan Bown! (Set), live in session at the BBC 1966-1970. Professionally remastered original broadcasts with full color booklet with background liners and rare archival memorabila. Includes interviews.
GUNWOOD - Dream Boat Jane (Zamora Label 2105; France) “The second album from the folk rock trio Gunwood. An ode to escapism between tense guitar riffs, boogie blues fever and brass-filled powerful soul. Produced by Jean Lamoot (Noir Désir, Alain Bashung). Why choose between folk poetry and hard rock, the freedom of the '70s and the edginess of the '90s, Irish harmonies and American topography when you can mix it all up and spread new sprouts? Gunnar Ellwanger (voice, guitar), Jeff Preto (bass, voice), and David Jarry Lacombe (drums, voice): the sap of Gunwood flows from all three since their first steps as a group which, following the footsteps of bewitchers of the 2010s such as Alabama Shakes, Feist, or the Black Keys, nowadays establishes itself as fine vibe crafters. Strong from the flock of praises and numerous concerts that followed the release of the striking Travelling Soul in 2017, the trio is coming back even stronger with a sophomore album produced by the sound wizard Jean Lamoot (Noir Désir, Alain Bashung). It symbolizes all the existing escapes, whether it be drugs, music, parties or travels. An ode to escapism and a title-track that leans on a feverish boogie blues and a slide guitar to take-off, as if exhilarated by freedom. Like a blazing fire, Gunwood continues to make its own path. 2022 must only let itself be guided by the thrilling aura of Dream Boat Jane.”
RAINFOREST SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT - Flying Fish Ambience (Hospital Productions 670; USA) “The Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement environs conceived by Dominick Fernow and Philippe Hallais complement "artificial spaces" and "synthetic nature" through the decay of "digital rain storms" and "falling comet bass drops". Flying Fish Ambience is the duo's first studio album together after a series of tours, and builds the RSE sound into a deep hypnotic synthetic topography and guided meditation into perpetual stress. The follow-up to the acclaimed Ambient Black Magic (HOS 498CD/LP, 2017), Flying Fish Ambience is a treatise in anti-exotica -- a purpose-built artificial ambient wilderness rooted in wobbling sub-bass, watered wastefully with glossy digital FX. Meticulously assembled over a series of trips, tours and sessions in various cities (Berlin, Paris, New York), Flying Fish Ambience crystallizes the expansive perpetual motion of salt vessels and water basins repopulating with ecological imbalance, this evolution -- as an expression of the live blue entity. Words from RSE: "flying fish ambience flies again / dies again / and splashes through the dark blue waters again and again / to the deep water blue / to the crumbling sandbanks / and to the crumbling monuments / and to a world of unknown deeps / and washed out sands / sun rippling ocean blue / across skeletons of those left behind and skeletons of the mind's green eye! / blue herb ambient returns! / you are the journey's end!" "Rains Coming Down" features Pacific Blue. Digipak with mini poster insert and download code.”
JEMBAA GROOVE - Susuma (Agogo Records 155; Germany) “Fresh Afro-soul music -- Ghana's highlife going by the heartbeat of '70s soul music. Jembaa Groove is a multicultural band founded in late 2020 by bass player and composer Yannick Nolting, and singer-percussionist Eric Owusu. Speaking the same musical language, they quickly realized the fruitful outcome of their musical encounter and decided to spend a couple of months composing their original music. Digging deep into both their backgrounds and musical identities, they came up with an organic result both like to label as Afro-soul. After seeking for the right companions for the upcoming journey and stumbling on a few of Berlin's finest musicians, they finally formed Jembaa Groove, a seven-piece band that combines fresh sounds from Berlin's underground music scene with traditional West-African sounds from Ghana and Mali, such as highlife, Adowa, and Wassoulou. Their aesthetic vision is inspired by soul music from the '60s and '70s and avoids overly-produced commercial arrangements while merging driving bass grooves and steady drum patterns with fresh horn lines and catchy melodies. Produced by Yannick Nolting. Composed and arranged by Yannick Nolting. Vocal arrangements and lyrics by Eric Owusu.”
HENRY COW - In Praise Of Learning (ReR Vinyl VHC3; Italy) “2022 repress. ReR Vinyl present a reissue of Henry Cow's In Praise Of Learning, originally released in 1975. A landmark in the history of European experimental rock, the third "Cow" work, originally released on Virgin in 1975, represents the second act of joined forces between Henry Cow and Slapp Happy, and the first fully integrated appearance of Dagmar Krause. In Praise Of Learning is a unique piece of art, showing perfect unity of political content, with rock complexity, extended song form and free noise explorations. An impressive array of new compositions, including Tim Hodgkinson's masterwork "Living In The Heart Of The Beast" and Fred Frith's "Beautiful As The Moon, Terrible As An Army With Banners". An extraordinary set of music, performed by an amazingly rich line up: Dagmar Krause, Lindsay Cooper, Fred Frith, Tim Hodgkinson, John Greaves, Chris Cutler, Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore, and guests: the great Mongezi Feza, Geoff Leigh, and Phil Becque. A timeless classic.”
PELICAN MOVEMENT - Fistful of Ivy (Feeding Tube Records 613; USA) "Fistful of Ivy is the debut LP by a loosely floating aggregation of individuals, brought together by musician/producer Kevin S. McMahon, at whose New Paltz NY studio it was recorded. The concept for Pelican Movement arose a quarter century ago, but the only previous graspable evidence of its existence is half of an obscure 7" from 2015. Fistful of Ivy will be most listeners' introduction to Pelican Movement's sound/image, and the LP is as fine an intro to anything as could be imagined. The album began as an instrumental suite dealing with the history of Kevin's mother's experience with Alzheimer's. His initial plan was to develop a collage of post-prog musical stylings with references to both the early Mahavishnu Orchestra, and middle-period Pink Floyd. Various players came together in dribs and drabs -- Kris Kuss (Pile), Gideon Bok, Chris Robertson and Saram Al Rawi (Liquor Store) coalesced as a live version of the band and recorded the album's basic tracks in 2019. Later, Izzy Hagerup and Michael Di Santo, independently wrote lyrics and recorded vocals without ever meeting. Other players came along later and added their own unique varieties of magic dust as well. So, you can begin by imagining this record has an inherently dissociative quality. But it also has a holistic framework, and a complex signature sound that ties threads together like a Japanese bondage master. The individual segments are short, varied, and so heavily layered at times I feel as confounded as I did when hearing Sparks' 'This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us' for the first time, back in '74. But the way the sounds move here ultimately remind me less of the Maels' extreme-pop motions than they do neo-orchestral mystery-gambits by Van Dyke Parks and Joseph Byrd. There's always a sense that underneath the tangled surface of this animated prog-rock collage (equal parts homage and parody), SOMETHING WEIRD & IMPORTANT IS GOING ON. Music this complex always sort of stumps me, but when it's good I become addicted to hearing it. And Fistful of Ivy is very good indeed. Not always a particularly easy listen, but a highly rewarding one. This will remain in my personal play pile until I can get a better handle on it. Which may take a good long while." --Byron Coley, 2022
NED COLLETTE - Jokes and Trials (Feeding Tube Records 630; USA) "What a pleasure it is to bring you the first vinyl version of Jokes and Trials, the 2006 solo debut by Melbourne's Ned Collette, whose incredible song cycle Old Chestnut (FTR 362-2LP, 2018) and brilliant instrumental album Afternoon-Dusk (FTR 468LP, 2019) have been widely and correctly lauded as classics. As Mark Harwood explains in his excellent liner notes, Ned emerged from the Melbourne improv underground along with people like Will Guthrie and Joe Talia. Indeed, it was Talia who turned Ned onto Jim O'Rourke's 2001 classic, Insignificance, as a way of demonstrating possible connections between pop song form and avant-garde strategies. Ned's own first moves in this direction built around loops. But by the time he was ready to cut Jokes and Trials, he was eager to try more traditional musical structures, infused with subtle tendrils of experimentalism. The songs on this album use elements like pedal steel, cello, and a vocal chorus to create a set of music with a timelessness rooted equally in early '70s singer-songwriterism, and subsequent avant-garde variations on the form. There is something at the base of Ned's guitar and voice here that put me in mind of Bert Jansch's work for the Charisma label. The vocals and words bespeak a knowledge or the same deep well of sorrow, although whether this is truth or artifice I cannot claim to know. Several of the tunes on Jokes and Trials point directly towards the richness of Ned's evolving style, and his ability to use small changes to instrumentation in ways that feel radical. The more I play it, the more the detailing reveals itself. This album may represent an early step in Collette's stylistic journey, but it is a sure and beautiful one. Certain to massage the souls of those who came to his music later in the game. A good one for sure." --Byron Coley, 2022
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.
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:
1990 video from WETLANDS in here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfs5OuBfNxs
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/
This clip just arrived in my email from British Sax Colossus PAUL DUNMALL:
THIS COMES FROM OUR FRIEND, WEST COAST VIOLIN GODDESS JENNY SCHEINMAN:
Jenny Scheinman & Friends Celebrate Barbes’ 20th Birthday, Brooklyn, NY
April 10 @ 8pm & 9:30pm - I am throwing a gratitude party for my old hometown haunt, Barbes, on the eve of it's 20th Anniversary. This neighborhood bar is where I spent ten years of Tuesdays - crafting, honing, meeting, welcoming and experimenting. We will play old songs, new songs, and call in the spirits of the dearly departed with whom we once shared this space. Jeff Lederer (woodwinds), Steve Cardenas (guitar), Carmen Staaf (piano), Tony Scherr (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums).
Damn Skippy @ The Ivy Room, Albany, CA - April 20 & 21, 8pm - Damn Skippy is the latest collaborative incarnation of an ever mutating west coast guitar groove band stemming from TJ Kirk, The Scott Amendola Band, and my own first album ‘Live At Yoshi’s.' It promises to be sweaty and ridiculous. Will Bernard (guitar), John Schott (guitar), Todd Sickafoose (bass) and Scott Amendola (drums).
House Of Faern @ Dresher Ensemble Studio, Oakland, CA - April 24, 4pm - These musicians saved my soul during the shutdown. We played jazz into nature and now come bearing the fruit. Beth Schenck (alto saxophone), Matt Wrobel (guitar), John Wood (piano) and Todd Sickafoose (bass).
'FOCUS' with The Eureka Symphony @ The Arkley Center, Eureka, CA - May 20 & 21, 8pm
My symphonic debut! ‘Focus’ is a seven part fairy tale for string orchestra and improvising soloist, written by Eddie Sauter, and made famous by Stan Getz in the early 1960s.
'Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait' mini west-coast tour! June 1 @ Stanford University, 7:30pm
June 3 @ Pepperdine University, 8pm -‘ Kannapolis' is the movie live music show that I have been touring for the last 7 years. It is about community, resilience, and human connection. It seems to only grow more relevant as the years go by - a miracle piece! Footage shot by Mr Waters in Piedmont during the latter half of the Great Depression, re-edited and directed by feature film maker Finn Taylor, commissioned by Aaron Greenwald for Duke Performances, and performed by yours truly with Robbie Fulks (guitar/vocals) and Robbie Gjersoe (guitar/vocals).