Ra nana na naa...
The fat policeman was getting uptight
Because they drowned him with flower
He knows the they smell very sweet
But his face is very sour
He wants to bust the whole company
Though he doesn't really know why
Maybe it's because they act kind of free
I saw a funny freak parade
Marching down the street
They were acting very strange
Kissing everybody they meet
Bananas hanging from their ears
Daffodils in their hands
Someone asked what's happening here
That's what's happening baby
During the period of time when their first album was released in 1968, Ultimate Spinach, were considered to be part of the media-hyped ‘Bosstown Sound’. All of these bands were from Boston, which had its own inventive psychedelic scene, both great bands and bands not so great. I started reading rock magazines in 1966 and listening to underground FM radio in the Spring of 1967. I became aware of hype when I was young and often took advertising & promoting with a grain of salt. It turned out that I did dig around a dozen of the Boston bands from this era: the Remains, Kangaroo, Beacon Street Union, Eden’s Children, Earth Opera, Listening, Saint Stephen, Ill Wind, Bo Grumpus, Phluph and the Apple Pie Motherhood Band. My fave of the bunch were/are Ultimate Spinach who had Ian-Bruce Douglas as their leader & main songwriter. The above song, “Funny Freak Parade” is somewhat silly yet it did fit well during that period of time when many folks were smoking or and/or doing acid. When you alter your own view of reality, certain things do not sound so strange or silly since that is what was permeating our consciousness during that period. If you get a chance to hear this song or perhaps, “Ballad of the Hip Death Goddess” from their second album, ‘Behold and See’, you will get a better idea of what I am talking about. Perhaps some cosmic herb may help as well. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, a/k/a Captain Obscurity
THE ANNUAL FIMAV FEST (FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL MUSIQUE ACTUELLE VICTORIAVILLE)
Will Take Place Next Week, from May 16th through May 21st!
I have been attending the FIMAV Fest since 1987, when Fred Frith twisted my arm and told me that I should go. He was right and I am eternally in debt to his suggestion. I have attended the fest every year that the fest has occurred (almost annually) since my first adventure alone in 1987. The fest still takes place in Victoriaville, a small town around 2 & 1/2 hours northeast of Montreal, closer to Quebec City. I have gone with anywhere from 2 to 6 friends each year plus I’ve made more friends both from Canada, the US and elsewhere throughout the many great trips. I have been to a number of different New Music Festivals but FIMAV is in a class of its own. Although all of the music is contemporary, it crosses all the borders/barriers, drawing from rock, jazz, progressive, modern classical, noise, metal, lower-case and everything in between. The fest was founded and is still run by Michel Levasseur, one of the most charming promoters that I’ve ever known and we’ve become friends. I will be attending the fest with Bob Nirkind and DMG writer Darren Bergstein. A number of other regulars who we usually meet up with will not be attending due to their Covid/pandemic concerns. Understandable.
The festival in 2020 was canceled and the one in 2021 could only be attended by other Canadians, the musicians & audience members both. So I had to miss the last two fests. I haven’t been on vacation in more than two years except for a quick trip to visit my Mom in Florida for last Thanksgiving. I am completely psyched to go! The concerts will run daily from May 19th thru the 22nd and here is a list of who will be playing: What a list!!!
NADAH EL SHAZLY, DAKH DAUGHTERS, DITHER, QUASAR, NO HAY BANDA / IDA TONINATO / NAVID NAVAB, SEAN NOONAN'S PAVEES DANCE «Tan Man’s Hat», RENÉ LUSSIER «Au diable vert», MOPCUT, FÁTIMA MIRANDA «Living Room Room», MATS GUSTAFSSON / DAVID GRUBBS / ROB MAZUREK «The Underflow», MAZEN KERBAJ / SHARIF SEHNAOUI / RAED YASSIN «A Trio», FRANCK VIGROUX «Forêt», MARY HALVORSON «Amaryllis & Belladonna», BLOODMIST, SIMON MARTIN «Musique d’art (2022)», PANGEA DE FUTURA, FIRE MUSIC «The Story of Free Jazz» (the film), COLIN STETSON / MATS GUSTAFSSON, GORDON GRDINA «The Marrow & Square Peg».
I urge you to attend FIMAV if you can, if you are a serious New Music listener, it will change your life. We all know that our present world is in a bad place and many of us are sensitive to all the injustice that surrounds us. Creative Music is an antidote this stressful BS so… make your way up there and say hello to you fellow/feline New Music Friends! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
The 31st Anniversary DMG On-Going In-Store Celebration Continues with:
Saturday, May 14th: GAUCI-MUSIC Presents:
6pm: T.J. BORDEN / MICHAEL FOSTER / KYLE MOTL / JOEY SULLIVAN - cello / sax / bass / drums
7pm: STEPHEN GAUCI / ELI ASHER / COLIN HINTON - tenor sax / trumpet / drums
8pm: SHAWN LOVATO / SEAN CONLY / MIKE McGINNIS / ERICA DICKER - 2 Basses/clarinet/violin
Tuesday, May 17th & May 24th: No In-store! Bruce at Victo Fest!
Saturday, May 28th:
6:30: KRESTON MICHAEL OGSGOOD / HERB ROBERTSON / MARCUS ROJAS - Drums / Trumpet / Tuba!
Tuesday, May 31st:
6:30: JESSICA ACKERLEY / ERIN ROGERS / HENRY MERMER - Guitar / Saxes / Drums!
7:30: DARREN JOHNSTON / CHES SMITH - Trumpet / Percussion!
THIS WEEK’S DYNAMO DISCS BEGIN WITH:
CHES SMITH with BILL FRISELL / CRAIG TABORN / MAT MANERI - Interpret It Well (Pyroclastic Records; USA) Featuring Craig Taborn on piano, Mat Maneri on viola, Bill Frisell on guitar and Ches Smith on drums & compositions. We got the promo for this disc perhaps two months ago and have been waiting patiently for it to be released. It was delayed a couple of times since then but I did check out the CD pre-release set at The Stone last month. The set was superb and what I dug the most was that the other three musicians: Bill Frisell, Mat Maneri and Craig Taborn, sounding like they were playing the music from the inside outwards and didn’t play the usual licks they play on their own leader dates. What I have long admired about Ches Smith is this: aside from being a great, diverse percussionist, Mr. Smith seems to think like a composer who sees the big picture, his collaborators are all integral parts to what he has in mind when he composes. Last night (5/11/22), I had the good fortune to see/hear three new classical pieces by John Zorn at Roulette. The second piece was called “The Gas Heart”, a Dada operetta of sorts, and it featured two percussionists (Sae Hashimoto & Ches Smith) and two cellos. The piece was extraordinary yet bizarre and Mr. Smith had to do many things: tap dance, sing/scream/speak words, blow into water bowls and play a wide variety of percussion or other hittable objects. Ches Smith and Ms. Hashimoto were perfect for these demanding parts. My promo copy of this disc is back at the store so I won’t be able to review it until I get it back in my hands. Anyway, the live set was wonderful so no doubt this disc will be equally marvelous. BLG at DMG
CD $15 [In stock early next week]
CHILD OF ILLUSION with CHRIS PITSIOKOS / SUSANA SANTOS SILVA / TORBJORN ZETTERBERG - Khimaira (Relative Pitch Records 1138; USA) Featuring Chris Pitsiokos on alto sax, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet and Torbjorn Zetterberg on contrabass. My good friend Chris Pitsiokos moved to Berlin last year and although I am always glad when any of the musicians I promote get some good opportunities to thrive in whatever new setting they end up in, I was a bit sad to see him move away. Chris worked for DMG for several years so I had the chance to watch his playing and our friendship evolve over the years. He never ceases to amaze me either live or on record, especially the solo sets of his I’ve heard over nearly a decade. This is the disc with this particular trio, the first was from 2018 on the Clean Feed label. This is a formidable trio which features Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Swedish bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg. Both of these musicians have extensive resumes and have worked together as a duo as well as in some more moderate sized ensembles.
This disc was recorded live in Khimaira, Stockholm, Sweden in June of 2018, the year their first disc was released. Right from the opening there is something strong and spirited going on, while the bassist bows a somber drone down below, both horns float together in rapturous harmony, like ghosts in a slow, close dance. As the pace picks up, the bassist increases the tempo plucking more quickly while the trumpet and alto sax exchange quick, intense lines like a heated conversation. As this long piece unfolds, all three members of the trio erupt with some furious interaction which keeps shifting through different sections from calm to explosive. We can tell that both of these horn players have worked together previously since they often start certain phrases or lines together and end up landing on the same note or place. About halfway through this long set, the connection and intensity increases to near boiling point. Wow! Considering that this is a live disc, the sound is superb, warm, clean and free of any distortion or distraction. When certain improvised or free music really works, there is some magical ingredient that is going on which is the inspiration or salvation for us, the serious listeners. There is quite a bit of this magic captured throughout this entire disc so don’t miss out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOSH SINTON / JED WILSON / TONY FALCO - adumbrations (Self-produced - SBR037/fpcd03; USA) Featuring Josh Sinton on bari sax, alto flute & bass clarinet, Jed Wilson on piano and Tony Falco on drums. I am always pleased to get something new from local reeds wiz Josh Sinton, who always keeps busy with a variety of solo and group projects. Aside from recording more than a dozen discs with Tisziji Munoz, drummer Tony Falco has worked Josh Sinton on three previous disc plus a disc with Rakalam Bob Moses. I don’t know much about pianist Jed Wilson, although he did recorded with the Laura Andel Orchestra in 2014.
This disc was recorded at the Soul Shop in Medford, MA in August of 2021. This disc begins with a long, calm piece, which slowly gets more intense as it evolves. For each section, Mr. Sinton switches between bari sax, flute and bass clarinet. Most discs in the past led by Josh Sinton feature his writing or directing rathe than free improv. This disc sounds more like free playing but with some focus or directing involved. On the second piece, Mr. Sinton switches to flute, an instrument he a rarely plays. This piece is lush, haunting and sublime with some superb mallet-work from Mr. Falco and exquisite subtle piano from Mr. Wilson. Mr. Falco’s free-flowing drumming is featured on the third piece which also includes some thoughtful bass clarinet from Mr. Sinton. At one point, the bass clarinet breaks into a great repeating hypnotic groove with the rest of the trio swirling in somber waves around Sinton. Marvelous! Another thing we don’t hear from Josh Sinton is the more lyrical side of his bari sax playing which is on full display on the fourth piece, most of which is quite stunning in its lush beauty which slowly gets more intense throughout. There is a lovely, calming, inner flame going on throughout this disc which makes it magical in its own quaint way. Perfect music for what feels like the first day of Spring (5/19/22). - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SETH ANDREW DAVIS / DAMON SMITH / KEVIN CHELI - Composite (Self-produced; 198000908294; USA) Featuring Seth Andrew Davis on guitar & electronics, Damon Smith on contrabass and Kevin Cheli on percussion & mallets. Last Tuesday, saxist Michael Eaton, played here at DMG with his own Symbiotique quartet which included a guitarist named Seth Andrew Davis. The set was great and included two musicians that I hadn’t heard of before then. Whenever a guitarist plays at DMG, I notice how many (if any) pedals/effects they are using and often wonder whether they know how to use (or abuse/depend on) those pedals. Seth Andrew Davis did have a large number of small pedals that hen used but seemed to use them selectively, altering his sound from piece to piece. He has a good team player who rarely hogged the spotlight like many guitarist often do.
The bassist here is Damon Smith, who has lived in the Bat Area, Texas & Boston and recently moved again. You all should know of Mr. Smith’s work with Peter Kowald, Henry Kaiser, Jaap Blonk & Sandy Ewen. The percussionist here, Kevin Cheli, is someone with whom I as not previously familiar. This is a studio date recorded in Collinsville, Illinois in March of 2021. This disc is well-recorded and balanced just right. It is a trio effort in which no one sounds like a leader, just a strong, focused force/trio. On the second piece, it is hard to tell the difference between Mr. Smith’s bowed bass, Mr. Davis’ subtly manipulated electric guitar and assorted close mic’s percussion. “Cluster” sounds closer to subtle yet effective electronic music than anything else. Mr. Davis is a master of pedals/effects and on each track he alters his sound in unique ways so that we don’t always know who is doing which sound. There is quite a bit of the magical/transcendent/ free improv going on here where one gets lost in the flow of sounds as the wash over us. There are parts of this disc which sound like Fred Frith’s current trio, another marvelous band that is beyond the usual categories. This is a consistently strong and spirited effort that truly deserves some wider recognition so…. do check it out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
COMPOSERS INSIDE ELECTRONICS - David Tudor’s Rainforest IV (Neuma 158; US) David Tudor’s legacy amongst post-modern electronic, experimental, and 20th ‘classical’ musicians and listeners was cemented by the origination of his accepted masterpiece, “Rainforest IV”. A living sound installation first devised by Tudor in 1973, it has over the decades been launched and ‘performed’ in numerous venues and in different configurations—infiltrated, augmented, and ‘played’—worldwide. Tudor’s work with John Cage is well-annotated and documented, but amongst his peers and avid followers, it is Rainforest that generates the highest respect and awe. Such reactions are wholly justified. To quote from this album’s liners, “‘Rainforest' is a collection of whimsical everyday and crafted objects, suspended in space, set into audible vibration by small electro-magnetic transducers. Each object responds to the input signals in uniquely non-linear, unpredictable ways via a roomful of transmuted sculptural loudspeakers.” The loudspeakers, and the attendant sounds being emitted, are initiated, layered, and transmuted by performers mounting a colorful assortment of electronic gadgets, from circuit-bending modules to self-built synthesizers, oscillators, tone generators, signal processors, and the like. On this particular rendition, recorded in 1977, the resulting audio characteristics were manipulated by well-regarded sonic architectonicists Paul DeMarinis, John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, David Poyurow, Prent Rogers, Bill Viola and Tudor himself. Attempting to dissect the amazing panoply of tonal ‘events’ that emerge is almost foolhardy, as the very nature of listening to Rainforest is to in effect fully immerse oneself in abject sound. Suffice to say, the inner ear partakes of a vast array of highly detailed ’noise’ that coalesces into variable shapes and sizes as it splinters and reconstitutes itself endlessly. This vast audionomic ‘loop’ rustles, quakes, shimmers like the translucent pools of oily rainbows, quacks, squeaks, and often blossoms into, yes, a living, breathing ecosystem of unidentifiable flora and fauna. What’s consistently fascinating about the work, despite the uncountable times it has been presented, is that you’ll never hear it the same way twice; the performer's artful disruption and subsequent molding of the teeming sounds created massage a sonic kaleidoscope of endless, fragmented combinations. The Neuma label, and the long-lived roster of artists who embrace Rainforest, strongly urge the listener to use headphones to get the total impact, the magnificent wow and flutter, of its singular identity. Agreed. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
DAVID LEE MYERS - Xenography (Pulsewidth PW018; USA) “Xenography” is defined as ‘verbalizations in a language unknown to the speaker.’ Well, damn if the good Mr. Myers hasn’t stumbled on what might be the ideal, the ultimate, the definitive word to describe both his aesthetic and his unique approach. Canyon-wide and abyssal-deep goes his imagination, for he’s blessed the world with a ton of seminal recordings, many of which were realized in a blizzard of activity (that shows little signs of abating) across these last few years spent in the isolationist wilderness. Seven distinct chapters comprise the titular suite, Myers’ spiking our mental apothecary so irresistibly one can’t help but imbibe. Track One sets the stage courtesy of some quiet whirrs and a bit of distress percolating through the robot factory; sensations migrate across unearthly vistas as the fear grows. Track Two sets the controls for the heart of the machine, circuits humming with an autonomic malaise that might be cybernetic distress calls. Tensions seem to culminate on the fourth track but we’re off the factory floor as the skylight opens above: we witness the passing of great airships; the sparkly digital hiss of pistons and gears; bright effervescence falling to earth infused with colors out of space. By the time the album concludes with the sentient mooglomania of its nine-minute finale, an effluvium of whispered wheezing and eerie flecks of stardust map the terrain. No translational analog exists to decipher Myers’s individualistic tonespeak; consider it an understatement to say that when they made him, they surely broke the mold. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
MERZBOW / ARCANE DEVICE - Merzbow/Arcane Device (Important IMPREC 511; USA) What happens when you put two monsters of the electronic midway together in the studio? Sheer hellish miasma. Why no one thought to corral these titans under one single roof (so to speak) until now remains one of the great mysteries of our time, but the braintrust at Important Records has seen fit to do so, meaning noise and experimental sound miscreants the world over can happily rejoice. It’s not often that the word ’sublime’ would be attached to any Merzbow project, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better descriptor in the meantime. Have no fear, though: this *is* the mean-time. Broken up into two epic works, each track finds the duo remixing the other’s submission, a fuzz-addled face-off that finds each wearing the countenance of his ‘doppelganger'. Myers, Mr. Device himself, for the most part subjugates his sparring partner’s grimier, gristlier tendencies, but his mix isn’t any walk in the park. Percolating with abject tension like sulfuric acid bubbling in a frying pan, he tends to stretch Masami Akita’s bolts of distortion to the breaking point, massaging his collaborator's corrosive frequencies while beefing up his own brand of narrative bleep. The sounds volley and ping across the stereofield in a most Myers-guilded manner, but the afterburn of Merzbow’s samplefood can still be found curled and burnt around the edges. Conversely, Akita’s a one-man wrecking crew, taking a buzzsaw to Myers’s intricately designed creations and making mincemeat out of the proceedings. Merzbow bulldozes his way ever-forward, a man not only mindful of his hardware, but never sick at sea. Through the whoop and holler, the hurl and worp, spit morphing into spasticity and the numb of pure noise reaching ecstatic levels, Merzbow keeps the integrity of Myers’s waxworks substantive, expertly mirroring his colleague’s tonal rarum as he bestrides the world like a colossus. Make no bones about it—these two kaiju of noise know how to throwdown. Consider yourself warned. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
MC MAGUIRE - Transmutation of Things (Neuma 159; USA) Deconstructing art, particularly sound art, bisected by sound collage and the best sampling gear current technology has to offer, can be simultaneously rewarding, frustrating, unsettling, and exhilarating. Just ask Canadian artist Maguire, whose dense constructs recombining the DNA of orchestras thru the mediums of pop, electronica, and the avant-garde perplex and please in equal measure. His debut for Neuma represents what has made the label endlessly fascinating, its handful of 2022 releases cutting huge swathes through music of a decidedly non-binary nature. The half-hour “Predisposition” is a knock-down, awe-inspiring stunner, Maguire disentangling sounds already ripped from their categorical moorings, fastidiously piling layer upon layer of elementary sonic detritus that crash in a tsunami of headrush crescendoes. Faint wisps of compositional recognition arise here and there but even if the classical pieces inform the bedrock on which Maguire builds, he’s too busy warping it all out of sense that sensibility is effectively obliterated. Symphonic sections swell only to be immediately handswiped by frenzied rhythmic mash-ups; ghostly chorales rise out of the murk for a few desperate moments then vanish into quicksand; frequencies collide with a nuclear energy akin to comets striking the sun. This is plunderphonics of gargantuan proportions, grand gestures born from a car-crash aftermath. It’s ‘classical’ music for the schizophrenic masses, recalling People Like Us or The Tape-Beatles but whose galvanic residue is like a fist to the midsection, smashing their overlays into molecular mulch. Think you might have a tough time wrapping your head around this one? It’s easy: close your eyes, yell ‘charge’, and just jump right in. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
LAWSON & MERRILL - Signals (Neuma 158; US) Signals is a tale of two Davids, specifically Lawson and Merrill, whose debut breathlessly announces a duo for whom electronic music's cognoscenti need sit up and take notice. According to their label bio, they met some years back while engineering sessions at CityVox Studios in New York City, bonded over their mutual admiration for such composers as Subotnick, Radigue, Varèse, Ilhan Mimaroğlu, and Steve Reich, and eventually decided to pool their resources to sculpt this quietly unassuming beauty. The list of sound generators the pair utilize is a synth lover’s wet dream: Moogs, ARPs, Oberheims, Rolands, entire Euroracks of modular boards and inputs, and various other analog and digital beasties. It’s enough to make the spirits of Froese and Schulze beam across the vacuum of space approvingly. Lawson and Merrill sure don’t disappoint. Though traceries can be demarcated across the Teutonic landmarks inaugurated by their illustrious forebears, the duo handily navigate cliché with the greatest of ease. Yes, operative reference points demonstrate an obvious affinity for space music in the classic sense, and the diaphanous sequencer throb of “Rivière” knock’s on the doors of 70s Tangerine Dream motifs in a recognizable manner, but Reich’s hypnotic minimalism isn’t too far behind, and there’s enough textural brio woven throughout to keep things consistently ravishing. “A Day At the Beach” imagines its summery day basking on a decidedly Martian sandbank, its synth configurations suffused in a sticky, humid glaze heralding an approaching storm front that threatens but doesn’t crest. The opening waves of “Dark Angel” break on smooth, silvery shorelines before its elegiac shadings portend more claustrophobic occurrences, while the final “Coda” shoulders Robert Rich’s palliative sleepeasies within the more dextrous matrices of Laraaji. Beguiling stuff, softly as in a morning sunrise, bundled in pregnant cumulus. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
4 1 NEWLY REISSUED CD’s by THE BLUE NOTES & MORE GEMS from the OGUN & CADILLAC Catalogue: (reviews further on down below) Blue Notes sale: if you purchase 3 or more of the 5 Blue Notes CD’s listed below, you can take $1 off of each one.
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / MONGEZI FEZA / NICK MOYAKE - Legacy: Live in South Afrika 1964 (Ogun 024; UK)
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI - Blue Notes For Mongezi (1976) (Ogun 001/002; UK)
2 CD Set $18
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI - In Concert (1977) Vol 1 (Ogun OGCD 027; UK)
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / LOUIS MOHOLO - Before the Wind Changes, Live in Waregem 1979 (Ogun 037; UK)
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA - Blue Notes For Johnny (1986) (Ogun 532; UK)
Still in stock or just restocked:
ELTON DEAN QUINTET with HARRY BECKETT / PAUL RUTHERFORD / LIAM GENOCKEY / MARCIO MATTOS - “Welcomet” - Live in Brazil, 1986 (Ogun 036; UK)
CD $18 [2 copies left]
JOHNNY DYANI OKAY TEMIZ / MONGEZI FEZA WITCHDOCTOR'S SON With DUDU PUKWANA et al - Rejoice Together (Cadillac 12/13; UK)
2 CD Set $20
HARRY MILLER'S ISIPINGO With MIKE OSBORNE / MARC CHARIG / NICK EVANS or MALCOLM GRIFFITHS / CHRIS McGREGOR or KEITH TIPPETT / LOUIS MOHOLO - Different Times - Vol 1 (Ogun 041; UK)
HARRY MILLER With KEITH TIPPETT / TREVOR WATTS / LOUIS MOHOLO / ALAN WAKEMAN / ALAN TOMLINSON / DAVE HOLDSWORTH / et al - Different Times, Different Places: 1973/1976 - Vol 2 (Ogun 045; UK)
LOUIS MOHOLO'S BRA LOUIS-BRA TEBS/ & OCTET with KEITH TIPPETT / EVAN PARKER / HARRY MILLER / KENNY WHEELER / JOHNNY DYANI / NICK EVANS / RADU MALFATTI - Bra-Louis-Bra Tebs/Spirits Rejoice (Ogun 017/018; UK) -
2 CD Set $20
LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI With REV. FRANK WRIGHT - Spiritual Knowledge And Grace (Ogun 035; UK)
LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO With JASON YARDE / ALEXANDER HAWKINS / JOHN EDWARDS - 4 Blokes (Ogun 043; UK)
CANTO GENERAL with LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO / PINO MINAFRA / ROBERTO OTTAVIANO / LIVIO MINAFRA / ROBERTO BELLATALLA - Rebel Flames (Ogun 044; UK)
MIKE OSBORNE TRIO With HARRY MILLER/TONY LEVIN - The Birmingham Jazz Concert, November 7 1976 [2 CD set] (Cadillac 10/11; UK)
2 CD Set $18
EVAN PARKER / JOHN STEVENS - Corner To Corner / The Longest Night Vols 1 & 2 (Ogun 022/023)
2 CD Set $18
EVAN PARKER QUARTET with ALEXANDER HAWKINS / JOHN EDWARDS / PAUL LYTTON - All Knavery & Collusion (Cadillac 018; UK)
MIKE WESTBROOK CONCERT BAND with JOHN SURMAN / MIKE OSBORNE/ BERNIE LIVING / GEORGE KHAN / PAUL RUTHERFORD / MALCOLM GRIFFITHS / DAVE HOLDSWORTH / HARRY MILLER / ALAN JACKSON - Last Night at The Old Place (Cadillac 016; UK)
THE BLUE NOTES, SEVERAL OGUN and CADILLAC TITLES with reviews/blurbs added:
THE BLUE NOTES Artist Biography by Francesco Martinelli
“Pianist Chris McGregor formed this South African group in 1962 with Dudu Pukwana (alto), Mongezi Feza (trumpet), Nick Moyake (tenor), Johnny Dyani (bass), and Louis Moholo (drums). In 1963, the Blue Notes won the country's Best Jazz Group award, but the tightening rules following anti-apartheid uprisings made life impossible in South Africa for a racially mixed band, so in 1964 they fled the country via an invitation to perform at the Antibes Jazz Festival (Legacy, Ogun 1995). After the concert, they busked for a while in towns in the South of France. For the winter they moved to Zurich, where fellow expatriate Abdullah Ibrahim helped them, after which they went to London and then Copenhagen (Very Urgent, Polydor, with Ronnie Beer on tenor). Life in Europe wasn't easy, with racism being far from uncommon and work insufficient; their refugee status didn't help, either. Moyake, homesick, went back to South Africa, Dyani moved to Copenhagen and created his own groups there, and McGregor founded the Brotherhood of Breath in London with the white South African bassist Harry Miller. Besides playing in the Brotherhood, Pukwana and Moholo led their own bands, often employing each other. Feza's trumpet was heard with Keith Tippett, Henry Cow, and Robert Wyatt, but he died prematurely in 1975 (Blue Notes for Mongezi, Ogun 1975). Sadly, all of the Blue Notes except Louis Moholo passed away between then and 1990. The group's last record is a moving tribute in trio to Johnny Dyani (Blue Notes for Johnny, Ogun 1987).”
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / MONGEZI FEZA / NICK MOYAKE - Legacy: Live in South Afrika 1964 (Ogun 024; UK) This historic recording is a testament, one of the final homeland performances of the Blue Notes, the legendary group from apartheid-riddled South Africa whose members expatriated to Europe shortly after this summer 1964 concert in Durbin. As documented in Maxine McGregor's biography Chris McGregor & the Brotherhood of Breath (Bamberger Books), the full-blown Blue Notes sextet was the preeminent modern jazz band from Pretoria, who would revolutionize the Continental jazz scene with their mix of hard bop, highlife, Xhosa bush tribal, and kwela musics into one of the more joyful sounds the world has ever known. The Blue Notes of 1964 were an aggressive hard bop unit, with drummer Louis Moholo's punchy Elvin Jones-like drumming and the contrasting sounds of pocket trumpeter Mongezi Feza, alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, and tenor saxophonist Nick Moyake churning and burning brightly on the horizon of their future conquests. The recording is produced thin, not to field recording status, but the piano playing of Chris McGregor is quite buried in the mix. The pace is quickly established on "Now," a cool bluesy swing number featuring the sultry tenor of Moyake and occasional brief double-time rhythm step-ups from Moholo. "Coming Home" is quite similar to a Lee Morgan-Wayne Shorter tandem sonically, and melodically close to Clifford Brown's "Joyspring," while the easy-swinging "Vortex Special" is a cousin of the Miles Davis evergreen "So What." At their most raw and raucous, "Two for Sandi" is an unabashed hard bopper and "Dorkay House" (credited to Pukwana but actually composed by Kippie Moeketsi) is even more unbridled, free, and loose, informed by the pungent, pronounced alto of the fearless Pukwana. Feza is a delight to listen to as a logical extension of Don Cherry, while bassist Johnny Dyani supports his bandmates with a witty repartee this side of Charlie Haden. The Blue Notes would head for the Antibes Jazz Festival, then to Paris and London prior to the death of Feza and the departure of Moyake. Then McGregor would form his multinational Brotherhood of Breath big band. After that, the music universe would never be the same, and the Blue Notes paved the way as a prelude to a revolution of Afro-jazz that still very much lives.” - Michael G. Nastos, AllMusicGuide
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA - Blue Notes For Johnny (1986) (Ogun 532; UK) “In the mid-'60s, the South African quintet called the Blue Notes emigrated from South Africa to England, both to escape the apartheid rule in force there and to search for more fertile ground to develop their unique combination of township music and avant-garde leaning jazz. Tragically, their brilliant trumpet player Mongezi Feza died in 1975 and their bassist, the extraordinary virtuoso Johnny Dyani passed away in 1986. This album is a loving tribute, by turns mournful and joyous, to Dyani by the three remaining members of the Blue Notes. The trio consists of saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, pianist Chris McGregor, and drummer Louis Moholo. Aside from Dyani, the musical spirit of Abdullah Ibrahim, another celebrated South African expatriate, hovers over the proceedings. McGregor's piano in particular recalls that of Ibrahim, especially his earlier, wilder work. Pukwana has a singular sound on his reeds, ranging from a soulful strut reminiscent of Arthur Blythe to free-form cries and screams. The looseness of the trio's approach allows for an emotional range of "conversation" to take place as they recall their late comrade. When they play "Ntyilo Ntyilo," a traditional tune often performed by Dyani, the emotion is palpable and deep, and makes this release a fine memorial to one of the under-recognized giants of the bass.” - Brian Olewnick, AllMusicGuide
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / LOUIS MOHOLO / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI - In Concert (1977) Vol 1 (Ogun OGCD 027; UK) “Dudu Pukwana (alto sax, whistle, percussion, vocals), Chris McGregor (piano, percussion), Johnny Dyani (bass, bell, lead vocals "and most of the words"), Louis Moholo (drums, percussion, vocals). This set finds the surviving quartet on demon form at the 100 Club, gleefully abseiling between different tunes and explosive interplay. Worth comparing with 1968's Very Urgent [a MUST to hear!] to note the progressive deformalisation of the group's musical model over the intervening decade.” - Marcello Carlin
BLUE NOTES with CHRIS McGREGOR / DUDU PUKWANA / JOHNNY DYANI / LOUIS MOHOLO - Before the Wind Changes, Live in Waregem 1979 (Ogun 037; UK) Ogun kicks off its 2012 release schedule with the second recording from the Blue Notes' 1979 tour of Belgium and Holland, taken from tour organiser Rob Sotemann's tape archive. Whereas the critically acclaimed first volume from this archive, Spiritual Knowledge And Grace (OGCD 035), featured an impromptu collaboration between Blue Notes members Louis Moholo-Moholo, Dudu Pukwana & Johnny Dyani and American tenor sax powerhouse Frank Wright, Before The Wind Changes focuses on the established quartet line-up with Chris McGregor at the piano and features an incendiary performance from Waregem.”
HARRY MILLER'S ISIPINGO With MIKE OSBORNE / MARC CHARIG / NICK EVANS or MALCOLM GRIFFITHS / CHRIS McGREGOR or KEITH TIPPETT / LOUIS MOHOLO - Different Times - Vol 1 (Ogun 041; UK) All Unreleased recordings! Collective Personnel: Harry Miller bass, Louis Moholo-Moholo drums, Chris McGregor piano, Keith Tippett piano, Mike Osborne alto sax, Mark Charig trumpet, Nick Evans trombone, Malcolm Griffiths trombone. Different Times, Different Places (which follows up on the 1999 Ogun box set release Harry Miller - The Collection - now a prized collectors' item) celebrates Miller's work as leader of the band Isipingo and features previously unreleased sessions from 1973 and 1976 Harry Miller was a vibrant Cape Town bassist prominent in London in the 1960s and 70s, forging his reputation on the British New Jazz scene working alongside Mike Westbrook, Bob Downes, John Stevens and fellow exiled South Africans Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezei Feza, and Louis Moholo-Moholo. As his reputation spread, Miller worked increasingly on mainland Europe with the likes of Peter Brotzmann, Misha Mengelberg and Willem Breuker. He died in a car crash in Holland in 1983 - at a point when his fierce pizzicato attack, composing skills and vivid fusion of free-jazz, swing and African rhythms were making him just as powerful a figure on the Dutch scene. This previously unreleased material comes from 1970s Miller-led gigs in Britain and France, featuring two superb free-jazz pianists (the late Chris McGregor on the first; Britain's Keith Tippett on the second), legendary alto saxophonist Mike Osborne, and drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo. Gripping episodes abound, such as the sound of Osborne's vinegary, Ornette-meets-Ayler sax soaring over Miller's whipping bass figures on the gruffly tender Bloomfield, McGregor's fills on the riffy Quandry (made fortuitously more pungent by the off-pitch piano), and two versions of the springy, Mingus-like Touch Hungry - the first with a percussively Monkish McGregor, the second with some fine, Miles-like trumpet from Marc Charig. Those who remember Miller's heyday will love this rough-hewn document, as will fans of the South Africa-celebrating Townships Comets and Moholo-Moholo's current work. "This fabulous disc clocks in at more than 77 minutes and is taken from two live sets: June 4, 1973 with Mike Osborne (alto sax), Nick Evans (trombone), Chris McGregor (piano), Harry Miller (bass) and Louis Moholo (drums); and the Chateauvallon Jazz Fest in France on July 7, 1976 with Osborne, Mark Charig (trumpet), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), Keith Tippett (piano), Miller and Moholo. South African expatriate bassist Harry Miller was an amazing bassist, composer and bandleader, as well as guiding force behind a number of incredible sessions, most of which have been released by the great Ogun label, co-founded by Mr. Miller and his wife Hazel, who runs it today. This extraordinary disc is extremely long, burns brightly throughout and was restored to great sound thanks to the work of Mike King (Reel Recordings) and Martin Davidson (Emanem). Although everyone on this disc plays immensely well, it is the fire-breathing alto sax of the late & legendary Mike Osborne that pushes these sessions into the zone of beyond belief. It is rare for me to have to stop working and just marvel at the energy and creativity of these two sessions! Holy sh*t is all I could say, over and over! There is a perfect balance between that compelling South African gospel/funk vibe and free/jazz fire that erupts throughout this entire disc! Besides Mike Osborne, there are a number of outstanding solos from Keith Tippett, Chris McGregor, Marc Charig, Nick Evans and Malcolm Griffiths. Plus the rhythm team work of Harry Miller and Louis Moholo is as great as it gets for the duration of both segments. Without a doubt, this is the BEST historic disc of the year!" - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HARRY MILLER With KEITH TIPPETT / TREVOR WATTS / LOUIS MOHOLO / ALAN WAKEMAN / ALAN TOMLINSON / DAVE HOLDSWORTH / et al - Different Times, Different Places: 1973/1976 - Vol 2 (Ogun 045; UK) A second volume of valuable documents from the Ogun archives by label co-founder Harry Miller. the tracks come from three sessions spanning 1977-1982. All feature Harry on bass with Louis Moholo-Moholo behind the drum kit and Trevor Watts on sax, other musicians included are Alan Wakeman (sax), Bernie Holland (guitar), Keith Tippett (piano), Alan Tomlinson (trombone), Dave Holdsworth (trumpet). This joyful music, at times rough around the edges but full of life and spirit, conviction and enthusiasm. Just like Harry.
LOUIS MOHOLO'S BRA LOUIS-BRA TEBS/ & OCTET with KEITH TIPPETT / EVAN PARKER / HARRY MILLER / KENNY WHEELER / JOHNNY DYANI / NICK EVANS / RADU MALFATTI - Bra-Louis-Bra Tebs/Spirits Rejoice (Ogun 017/018; UK) Disc 1: Bra-Louis-Bra Tebs features Louis Moholo, leader, drums, vocals; with Claude Deppa on trumpet, Jason Yarde & Toby Delius on saxes, Pule Pheto on piano, Roberto Bellatalla on bass and vocalist Francine Luce. Previously unreleased last recording of the Vive-La-Black group from 1995. This actually a lovely disc that embodies what is special about South African music, although ony a few of the players are actually from there. Most of the enemble members contribute tunes, while Louis provides arrangements of a half dozen traditional songs. Newest ICP member, Tobias Delius sounds especially inspired taking those solos which are inside and outside at the same time. he actually reminds me of the late Gary Windo, one of the most soulful "out" saxists ever and who was once a member of the Brotherhood of Breath with Louis. Each player here sounds quite marvelous throughout spinning inspired lines around one another ever so magically. Ms. Francine Luce sings on about half of these tunes and also charming, earthy, spirited and recalls Jeanne Lee at times. Produced with love and care by Steve Beresford. Disc 2: Louis Moholo Octet featuring Keith Tippett on piano, Evan Parker on tenor sax, Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, Nick Evans & Radfu Malfatti on trombones, Johnny Dyani & Harry Miller on basses and Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums. Originally released on LP twenty years ago; first time on CD! This mighty treasure has that burning spirit vibe found in all Brotherhood of Breath records, as well as Keith Tippett's classic, 'Dedicated to You but You Weren't Listening'! This octet is completely on fire and always erupting, yet they remain a tightly woven tapestry. Each of the five songs here special with magical, spiritual melodies that burn in your heart and warm up your soul. You just can't get those melodies out of your head once you hear them. What's wonderful is getting a chance to hear more experimental players like Evan Parker, Radu Malfatti and Keith Tippett playing music so refreshingly melodic and heart-warming. I believe that this was the only occasion when both Brotherhood of Breath bassists recorded together, making this an even better treat. Quite possibly the best modern jazz reissue of this year! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $20
LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO With JASON YARDE / ALEXANDER HAWKINS / JOHN EDWARDS - 4 Blokes (Ogun 043; UK) Featuring Jason Yarde on alto sax, Alexander Hawkins on piano, John Edwards on contrabass and Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums. "Recorded live in studio following two ecstatically received concerts at Cafe Oto in London the legendary South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo demonstrates just why it is he's in the same class as Billy Higgins, Elvin Jones, Sunny Murray and Ed Blackwell in a generation of drummers who devised means of negotiating the new rhythmic freedoms of the 60s. This working quartet, featuring three of London's finest musicians, could well prove to be Louis' best band in a long career. As journalist Richard Williams says "...the listener is overwhelmed by the feeling that there might be no end to the beauty conjured by this extraordinary combination of musicians." Say no more. The album also marks the 40th anniversary of Ogun Records, an independent beacon to new music through dark times." - Ogun Records
CANTO GENERAL with LOUIS MOHOLO-MOHOLO / PINO MINAFRA / ROBERTO OTTAVIANO / LIVIO MINAFRA / ROBERTO BELLATALLA - Rebel Flames (Ogun 044; UK) "Wonderfully soulful work from drummer Louis Moholo Moholo - heard here in the company of Canto General - an Italian group, but one whose music is awash in South American inspiration! Reedman Roberto Ottaviano is in the quintet - and he sounds better here than we've heard him in years - blowing with this rich tone alongside trumpeter Pino Minafra, in a musical partnership that almost takes us back to the spirit of Gato Barbieri's Latin America projects of the early 70s! Pianist Livio Minafra brings a real sense of majesty to the music, too - almost a Cuban balance of lyricism and rhythm, which makes for a perfect fit with Moholo's drums and the bass of Roberto Bellatalla. The group perform tunes by some of Moholo's older contemporaries - Harry Miller, Keith Tippett, Dudu Pukwana, and Mongezi Feza - and titles include "Orange Grove", "Thoughts To Geoff", "Dedicated To Mingus", "Angel Normali", and "You Ain't Gonna Know Me Cos You Think You Know Me". - Dusty Groove
THE BMC (Budapest Music Center) Records Ongoing CD Sale: Week 1:
Sometime over the past couple of years, I discovered the BMC (Bucharest Music Center) label which is based in Hungary. I’ve listened to around a half dozen of their discs so far from composers/musicians: Gyorgi Ligeti, Peter Eotvos, Ake Takase, Hans Ludemann, Stevan Tickmayer and Michel Braam. Everything I’ve heard so far has been great. The label has good US distribution so over the next month, we will list some 20 titles, perhaps 5 per week. If you order 3 or more of any one of the 20 titles, you can take $1 off of each title.
GYORGI LIGETI // WDR SINFONIEORCHESTER / PETER EOTVOS - Requiem, Apparitions (BMC Records CD 166; Hungary) From his youth, György Ligeti was attracted by the idea of composing a requiem. He made the first sketches while still in Hungary in 1953, then after a few years, in 1956, set to work on it again, but both versions remained unfinished... (Bonus audio-only DVD features DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 formats)
“Like the extremities of register out to which Ligeti filters his music at points in various works (including the Cello Concerto and the Requiem), the categories of wild humour and cold solemnity in many of his pieces reinforce one another, as this account of the Requiem marvelously shows. — Paul Griffiths, The Hungarian Quarterly
PETER EOTVOS - Paradise Reloaded (lilith) (BMC Records 226; Hungary) Following the 2010 Munich world premiere of his opera, The Tragedy of the Devil, Peter Eotvos decided to make some revisions to it. Though following the plot of the original piece, written by the German playwright Albert Ostermaier, there are some key points where the new material completes or even reconsiders the original one. While in the original play the main protagonist is Lucifer, in Paradise Reloaded the spotlight falls on to a different character, Lilith, the first wife of Adam. In this new piece, Peter Eotvos explores the hypothetical question: what would have happened if our culture which is explicitly based on the Bible had chosen Lilith to be the ancestress of mankind, instead of Eve? In the first scene Lilith is being expelled from Paradise and forced to live in the desert as a demon mother. She returns to bear a child to Adam - this newborn could free her from her demonic exile. However, Adam's second wife, Eve, thwarts Lilith and the conflict between the two women forms the drama of this new piece. Lilith was created by God in the same way as Adam; they were equal - whereas Eve was created from Adam's rib. Lilith represents free will, power and conspiracy, while Eve stands for femininity, purity and self-sacrifice. The structure of the opera is similar to The Tragedy of Man by Imre Madách, in which the human couple are cast out from Paradise and guided by Lucifer through the past, present and future. In Paradise Reloaded, Lilith's intentions define the course of events; she eventually attains her goal but at the end of the story Adam still does not choose her as his partner. In this piece, Adam is not choosing between life and death but rather between two women who have different outlooks on life. His choice determines the fate of the generations to come. The conclusion promises a new beginning for all characters - hence the Reloaded in the title - in a new Paradise, but this will no longer be the same as the one they left.”
2 CD Set $20
HANS LUDEMANN TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS with YVES ROBERT / ALEXANDRA GRIMAL / SILKE EBERHARD / MAJID BEKKAS / et al - On the Edges 1 (BMC Records 292; Hungary) The TransEuropeExpress Ensemble features Hans Lüdemann on piano & virtual piano, Alexandra Grimal on soprano & tenor saxes, Silke Eberhard on alto sax & clarinets, Yves Robert on trombone, Regis Huby on violin, Ronny Graupe on guitar, Sebastien Boisseau on double bass & Dejan Terzic on drums plus featured guest Majid Bekkas on oud , guembri & vocal. During the first six months of the pandemic (March-Summer of 2020), I went through many shelves and crates of CD’s, records and cassettes at my apt and discovered many musicians and recordings that I had never or rarely listened to. One of my discoveries was checking out a German pianist named Hans Lüdemann. It turns out that I had a half dozen of his discs on the West Wind, Konnex and Intuition labels. Mr. Ludemann now recorded for this, the BMC label, with several CD’s under his own leadership. Ludemann’s current group is called the Trans Europe Express and includes several musicians that we all should be familiar with: Alexandra Grimal & Silke Eberhard on reeds, Yes Robert on trombone, Ronny Graupe on guitar and Dejan Terzic on drums. Each of these musicians are leaders and well-respected collaborators of note. The guest here is a Moroccan musician named Majid Bekkas and plays oud (Arabic lute-like instrument) and guimbri (3 string bass instrument from Northern Africa). Both Majid Bekkas and guitarist Ronny Graupe have worked at length with either German brothers, Joachim or Rolf Kuhn.
Mr. Bekkas’ haunting voice opens the first piece, “Lamjarred”, which is soon followed by a mesmerizing repeating riff supplied by the oud or guimbri or both. In the second half of this piece, the tempo doubles and one the saxists erupts with a powerful solo. On “Sahara Variations” has a great groove with a chattering trombone, swirling repeating phrases and quickly tapped piano swirls. Mr. Bekkas co-wrote two songs here so they do have a Moroccan sound/groove. The second one is called, “Yaya” and Mr. Lüdemann plays some extraordinary two handed piano. French trombonist, Yves Robert, gets a chance to stretch out and solo on this piece and he sounds mighty fine. I am a longtime fan of Mr. Roberts whose long career stretches back to the early eighties with more than a dozen discs as a leader. The title piece here is a five part suite called, “On the Edges, parts I-V”. Each part of the suite explores different yet related themes. On “Part III”, it sounds as if Mr. Lüdemann is played a detuned piano which gives things a slightly off-kilter vibe. There is a sort of windswept joyous vibe at center here which runs through the entire disc. Featured soloist, Majid Bekkas, often gets several chances to stretch out, play solos or just lead the band with his powerful playing on either the oud or guimbri. This is my fave of the five BMC releases that we are listing this week. I still have to listen closely to the others since each one so far has been well worth checking out. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
AKI TAKASE with DJ ILLVIBE / DANIEL ERDMANN / JOHANNES FINK / DAG MAGNUS NARVESEN - Japanic - Thema Prima (BMC Records 268; Hungary) “Having feted a number of significant composers in the past - from Fats Waller, W.C. Handy and Duke Ellington to Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy - this recent collaboration of Takase's with DJ Illvibe reveals a culmination of the pianist's fascination and influence of a non-jazz composer this time around in Conlon Nancarrow, who arguably was best known for his works for player pianos that went well beyond human capacity and capabilities. "I have been working with DJ Illvibe for a long time and I think it relates to my inspiration of and approach to Nancarrow... (so) I thought I could compose in a similar way," explains Takase regarding this new project. Along with DJ Illvibe, the members of the band here are tenor/soprano saxophonist Daniel Erdmann, bassist Johannes Fink and drummer Dag Magnus Narvesen. And the selections they play herein are a result of her decades-long work as a composer. With this electro-acoustic instrumentation in mind, however, only a few of the tunes are actually notated. She admits, "the bigger part of it is definitely improvised. I wanted to show several ways, - with different times and speeds - the dynamics simultaneously together, and through them to achieve overlapping and crossings. The music shows my direction. I am very satisfied with the results... Our music is expression of freedom and a hymn to life."
STEVAN TICKMAYER KOVACS / ISTVAN GRENCSO / TAMAS GEROLY - Trio Kontraszt (BMC Records 215; Hungary) On the occasion of the Mediawave Festival in 2011 together with my old collegues we had the chance to revive our former musical collaboration, which dates back to the eighties. None of us were disappointed in the results as we concluded that after the long silence our music sounded more mature and accomplished...
On this CD the forms change with the Fragments clearly in the contemporary classical vein, while the other pieces are jazzy. The fragments are all relatively short and reflect classical composition, even tough at times we hear a nice jazzy saxophone as in 'Fragment Vll'. 'Slow Street' is very bluesy with some nice breathy tenor work by Grencso. And I love his bass clarinet on 'Bird Lover'. — Bernie Koenig, Cadence
PHILIP CORNER - The Judson Years (Alga Marghen 160CD; Italy) “It's hard to overstate the importance of Philip Corner. For more than half a century he has been a cornerstone of the American musical avant-garde. Once a student of Otto Leuning, Henry Cowell, Olivier Messiaen, and Dorothy Taubman. A founding member of Fluxus, Corner made waves fast, creating a body of singular work, both on his own and within ensembles like Gamelan Son of Lion and Tone Roads, founded with Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney, which has cut its way across the decades. Among Corner's most fascinating works are those created between 1962 and 1964, during the period when he was resident composer at the Judson Dance Theatre, one the great occurrences in the emergence of avant-garde dance, movement, Happenings, and performance art. Even today, it stands among the most important examples of collaborate create exchange in the history the American arts. Alga Marghen present a three-CD box, issued in early 2000s by and now out of print, gathering much of the work created during these important years in Corner's career, signed by the composer himself. Alga Marghen's triple box gathers On Tape From the Judson Years, and More from The Judson Years (Early 60s) Instrumental and Vocal Works Volumes 1 and 2, bringing you to heart of Philip Corner's brilliant practice and mind. Across the first disc Corner's tape works -- complex textures and sonority coming to life. The second disc is of an entirely different sort, featuring works created with a great many of Corner's closest collaborators and friends. Recorded at Judson, 1965, the disc features a knock-out cast of Ayo, David Behrman, Philip Corner, Malcolm Goldstein, Dick Higgins, Joe Jones, Alison Knowles, Jackson Mac Low, Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik, and Chieko Shiomi, and more. The third disc takes the ear further afield, with "Everything Max Has" (1964), a performance of Max Neuhaus solo recorded at the ONCE Festival (1965), captures the composer and percussionist taking down an overwhelming amount of equipment. It also includes Big Trombone (1963), with Jim Fulkerson improvising over tape collage, "Homage to Revere" (1962) a work for an ensemble of copper-bottom kitchen utensils, and "Punkt" (1961) for an ensemble of staccato sounds, and a number of other astounding works from the era. As a totality, Alga Marghen's three-CD set of Corner's years spent at the Judson Theatre, are a mind-boggling entry into an overwhelmingly exciting moment in time. Edition of 200, signed and numbered.”
3 CD Box Set $56
HASTINGS OF MALAWI - Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth (Klanggalerie 405CD; Austria) "A classic masterpiece from 1981, never re-released on CD before. Originally 1000 copies pressed on orange/red vinyl. 120 copies were sold through Rough Trade and Virgin Records. 800 copies were bought and later destroyed by the United Dairies label, making this record even more rare. Hastings of Malawi were Heman Pathak, David Hodes and John Grieve. They recorded the album in one night in 1981 with no plan and no idea of what they were doing. They played drums, clarinet, synthesizer and piano but also made use of things that they found lying around the studio -- old records, cookery books, telephone directories and a telephone. The recordings were played down the phone to randomly dialed numbers and the reactions added to the recording. All three had been involved in the recording of the first Nurse with Wound album Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table Of A Sewing Machine And An Umbrella and had contributed metal scrapings, piano, effects, clarinet and guitar during the session."
DR. JOHN FEATURING PROFESSOR LONGHAIR, EARL KING & THE METERS - Dr. John's New Orleans Swamp: Soundstage 30 October, 1974 Chicago, IL, USA (WHP 1446LP; Italy) “The 1974 season finale of the Chicago based Soundstage series came billed as Dr. John's New Orleans Swamp. A wild southern party featuring the cream of New Orleans music scene. Some sort of Louisiana soup bone including Earl King's downhome blues, Professor Longhair's colorful creole pianism, The Meters' swampy, gritty grooves, and Dr. John himself with his special mix of funk, blues, psychedelia and African music. Gumbo is ready! Are you?”
2 LP Set $34
KEVIN COYNE - Case History (4 Men With Beards 191LP: USA) "Case History is the debut solo release from bluesy British singer-songwriter Kevin Coyne (originally released on John Peel's Dandelion label in 1972). Primarily just guitar and vocals, Case History is a powerful album from a very unique voice who was celebrated by musicians as wide ranging as John Lydon, Sting, and the Mekons. Coyne, who passed away in 2004, spent much of the '60s working with the mentally disabled, and his songwriting is informed by a deep concern for the plight and mistreatment of those who have been tossed off by society. A bit of an outsider himself, he eschewed record industry pressure and maintained focus on his singular artistic vision. Another under-appreciated classic." On 180 gram vinyl.
RHABDOMANTIC ORCHESTRA - Almagre (Agogo Records AR 147; Germany) “Manuel Volpe (Rhabdomantic Orchestra) about this album: "This album is a music novel inspired by surrealism and South American magic realism. Every instrument acts as a character in action and its narrative set is studied to give an imaginary experience during the listening. The main themes are the transformation, the spiritual awakening and the political consciousness, the sublime and the worldly. To write it I've studied lot of different music formulas from all over the world (Afrobeat, Sufí music, Balinese gamelan, Colombian corrulao, merengue, Pygmies poliphonies, contemporary... etc.) with the aim to avoid a genre-oriented music but to reach a resume, something like a universal in music."
ABRONIA - Map of Dawn (Feeding Tub Records 669; USA) "For their great third LP, this Portland, OR sextet heads deep into the scalding sun of what feels like the Sonoran Desert. There is an edge to the fried guitar and the ever more massive drumming that evokes a parched ritual of psychedelic worship. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact initial rehearsals took place outdoors, during which time the Pacific Northwest was on fire (both in the forests and on the streets). When you know this fact, you can begin to appreciate the smoke as a compositional component. Abronia's line-up has not changed since 2019's The Whole of Each Eye (FTR 498LP, 2019), but their sound keeps evolving in terms of both depth and connection. The percussion achieves a true otherness here. Both Shaver's Big Drum, and the additions of pedal steel player Rick Pedrosa, create a central pulse that's impossible to resist. The bass and guitars, slither through the haze, raising up for massive strikes at times, just laying back and waiting at others. Different instrumental slices of this album might remind you of anyone from the Gun Club to Savage Republic to Amon Düül II. But Keelin Mayer's vocals are more of a presence this time as well. Occasionally, there's a way her voice combines with the coiling Eastern-tinged string parts and lazy propulsion that reminds of Grace Slick's pre-Airplaneband, the Great Society. But she is just as likely to conjure up visions of Scream-era Siouxsee, surrounded by gauzy clouds of guitar. Still, the collective brunt of Map of Dawn is bracingly original. It doesn't really sound like anyone else. Abronia have developed a nuanced and totally addictive approach to creating song forms. I'm just hoping I'll get a chance to see them live sometime soon. Music this good should be a fully immersive experience." - 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.
May 2022 Concerts at Zürcher Gallery, NY
SAVE THE DATES
Friday, May 13th, at 8:00 PM
Ian Antonio, Caitlin Cawley, Tom Kolor, and Matt Ward
Performing the music of Jürg Frey:
Metall Stein (2003) (U.S. Premiere)
Toucher l'air (percussion quartett) (2019) (U.S. Premiere)
Sunday, May 15th, at 7:30 PM
Lalo Rodriguez Antiquity Quintet Album Release Concert
Thursday, May 19th, at 8:00 PM
Susan Alcorn and Catherine Sikora
Kresten Osgood, Thomas Buckner, Robert Dick, and Thomas Morgan
Admission is $20.
Tickets can be purchased at the door. CASH ONLY.
All proceeds go to the artists.
*Masks are required in the gallery*
33 Bleecker St (Between Lafayette & The Bowery)
New York, NY 10012-2432
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:
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 10:30pm Tues, Thurs and Sat on Facebook. Different songs & improvisations on each episode. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836/
Here’s a list of upcoming gigs from local promoter:
Chase Elodia - May 21 - Rockwood Music Hall - Stage 3 - 9:30pm
Chase Elodia, drums & compositions
Claire Dickson, vocals
Theo Walentiny, piano
Tyrone Allen, double bass
Yu Nishiyama Big Band -
May 21 - Culture Lab LIC - 7pm
Jewlia Eisenberg - The Ginzburg Geography Listening Party & Posthumous CD Release
May 22 - Barbès - 4:00 pm
Tyshawn Sorey Quartet -
May 24 - Smalls - Two sets 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm
Tyshawn Sorey, drums & compositions
Greg Osby, alto saxophone
Aaron Diehl, piano
Matt Brewer, double bass
Jacob Garchik's Assembly -
May 25 - CD Release Show - Barbès - 8:00 pm
Jacob Garchik - trombone
Sam Newsome - soprano saxophone
Jacob Sacks - piano
Thomas Morgan - bass
Dan Weiss - drums
Will Bernard -
June 1 - Pond Life Release Party #1 - Nublu - 7:00 pm
June 5 - Pond Life Release Party #2 - Barbès - 9:00 pm
Will Bernard - guitar
Chris Lightcap - bass
Ches Smith - drums
Tim Berne - alto saxophone
Billy Mohler -
June 15 - Bar Lunatico - two sets 9:00 pm and 10:30pm
June 16 - Nublu - 7:00 pm
Billy Mohler, double bass, compositions
Chris Speed, tenor saxophone
Shane Endsley, trumpet
Nate Wood, drums
Whit Dickey -
June 22 - Vision Festival 2022 - Roulette - 8pm
Astral Longform: Staircase in Space
Whit Dickey – drums
Rob Brown – alto saxophone
Mat Maneri – viola
Brandon Lopez – bass
Stephen Harvey -
June 23 - Jazz Gallery - Jazz Composers' Showcase - 7:30pm and 9:30pm
Stephen Philip Harvey
Rafael Piccolotto de Lima
Personnel: Ben Kono, Ethan Helm, Quinsin Nachoff, Jasper Dutz, Courtney Wright - reeds; Roger Garcia, Jonathan Challoner, David Adawumi, Andrew Wagner - trumpets; Nick Grinder, Nick Vayenas, Evan Amoroso, Jennifer Wharton - trombones; Olli Hirvonen -guitar, Martha Kato -piano, Evan Gregor -bass, Jared Schonig -drums
Sonic Liberation Front w/ Oliver Lake -
June 26 - Vision Festival 2022 - La Plaza at The Clemente - 6pm
Oliver Lake’s JUSTICE with Sonic Liberation Front
Oliver Lake - composer, arranger, conduction, spoken word
Elliot Levin - tenor sax
Veronica Jurkiewicz - violin
Matt Engle - acoustic bass
Kevin Diehl - drum kit, synth drums
Jameka Gordon - flute
Chaela Harris – voice (alto)
Ravi Seenerine – voice (tenor)
Shanon Chua – voice (soprano)
Vadim Neselovskyi: Odesa—A Musical Walk Through a Legendary City
June 29 - The Stone - 8:30
Vadim Neselovskyi - piano