THE VISION FESTIVAL BEGINS TONIGHT! - It runs June 16th thru June 25th!
The 26th edition of the annual Vision Festival starts tonight! The Vision Festival is run by ArtsForArt and features Creative Jazz/Music, Films, Artwork, Dance and Poetry to an international of Community of Friends and Supporters. If you believe that We are living in the Current Dark Ages, then The Vision Fest will bring some Light/Hope for better days by providing inspiration for those in need. I have attended this fest every year since it began and intend to keep going for as long as I am able to do so. Here is a short list schedule of what’s going on next week:
Day 1 - Tuesday, June 21 at Roulette from 7pm til 11pm: Wadada Leo Smith: Celebrating a Lifetime of Achievement!
Day 2 - Wednesday, June 22 at Roulette: Matt Shipp Qt / Whit Dickey’s Staircase in Space / Kernel with Davalois Fearon – dance & Mike McGinnis – sax / Heart Trio with William Parker - Cooper-Moore - Hamid Drake / Ned Rothenberg - Sylvie Courvoiser - Hamid Drake
Day 3 - Thursday, June 23 at Roulette: 3×3 “HEAD IN THE SAND” / C’est Trois: Jamimie Branch - Luke Stewart - Tcheser Holmes - Scott Kiernan / Unnameable Element / James Brandon Lewis' Red Lily / Nicole Mitchell Ensemble: Dreams of Awakening!
Day 4 - Friday, June 24 at Roulette: Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few / SPARKS - Eri Yamamoto – William Parker – Chad Fowler – Steve Hirsh – Beatriz Sampaio / Ahmed Abdullah & Francisco Mora Catlett: Diaspora Meets AfroHORN / Angelica Sanchez Trio / Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFUNK: WORK.
Day 5 - Saturday, June 25 at Roulette: Jason Kao Hwang Myths of Origin with 25 Strings / Knife & Rose: Patricia Nicholson – Ellen Christi – Jean Carla Rodea – Francisco Mela - Jo Wood-Brown; Watershed: Steve Swell – Karen Borca - Rob Brown – Melanie Dyer – Bob Stewart – TA Thompson – Special Guest: Dave Burrell; Monique Ngozi Nri - Ahmed Abdullah / Natural Information Society: Joshua Abrams – Lisa Alvarado – Jason Stein – Mikel Patrick Avery – William Parker – Hamid Drake;
Day 6 - Sunday, June 26 at La Plaza at The Clemente: JD Parran Spirit Stage 2: performs the music of Oliver Lake / Oliver Lake’s JUSTICE with Sonic Liberation Front / Oliver Lake - Reggie Workman - Andrew Cyrille; World Saxophone Quartet: David Murray – James Carter – Greg Osby!
To purchase tickets go here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/day-6-in-person-at-la-plaza-vision-festival-26-june-26-tickets-292582310567?aff=odcleoeventsincollection
THIS SUNDAY IS FATHER’S DAY. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL FATHERS!
I was born on June 19th, 1954, just before Father’s Day began. My Mom told me that she snuck a present into the hospital to give to my father for Father’s Day. It was a double surprise when I arrived and my Mom gave him the present. My father’s name was Stanley and some of his friends called him Stosh. Although we didn’t always see eye to eye, he was an honest, hard-working individual, who taught me about being honest, being fair and sticking up for what I believed to be true. I still love and admire him in many ways. He passed away in October of 1980 at the age 54 after struggling with lung cancer for a couple of years. He had quit smoking cigarettes around five years before his demise. There were several hundred folks at his funeral which amazed me yet I knew he was well loved and well-respected by many. I have been struggling with my faith in God ever since his untimely passing. I think about him quite a bit and hope I still make him proud by doing what I do best, being honest, fair and trying to make my/our world a better place.
I searched for a poem or song which dealt with importance of being a good father but couldn’t find an appropriate one. I often think about the legacy of being a good parent, since I believe our parents are the ones who have influenced us the most as far as understanding Love, family and the way we treat others. Although I am not a father, I often think about my own legacy and the way I’ve tried to help and inspire other folks around me and the folks in my extended family, those of you who read my words every week. This week I have been remembering the many fathers that I know, my cousin Marty, cousin Stephen, Uncle Don and my Brother Marc. All great fathers who continue to inspire me and their own children. I raise a toast to all Fathers everywhere. We love you for who you are. Peace and Love Always, Bruce Lee G from DMG
This Sunday, June 19th is my birthday and I will turn 68. Many folks who know or meet me often tell me that I don’t look my age and honestly I still feel the same inside as I did when I was a teenager plus certain music helps me to feel younger than I am. On Sunday night we will have a little celebration at the store. I invited a handful of musicians and friends and hope to do something special. I would like to sing a few songs that are dear to me, recite some poetry and do some free/improv with whomever shows up. Not sure which musicians will be there since some have other responsibilities that night but I just want to have some fun, sing, dance and laugh together. This is what makes my life great!
Sunday, June 19th at 7pm:
GEMINI Birthday Bash!
Celebrating the Birthdays of several Great Gemini’s
With Songs and Free-Music Jams!
RARE Monday Event, June 20th:
6:30: CHET DOXIS - Solo Tenor Sax
7:30: DUSTIN CARLSON / SIVAN ARBEL
Tuesday, June 28th:
6:30: T.J. BORDEN / BRANDON LOPEZ / JAMES McKAIN / JOEY SULLIVAN - Cello/Bass/Sax/Drums!
7:30: CAMILO ANGELES / JOANNA MATTREY / gabby fluke mogul / LAURA COCKS!
Tuesday, July 5, 2022:
6:30: HERY PAZ / NATE WOOLEY / TOM RAINEY!
7:30: HENRY FRASER / CLEEK SCHREY!
8:30: TONED with LEO SUAREZ / NATHAN CORDER / TOM WEEKS!
MORE GOODIES FROM DOC CHADBOURNE & the HOUSE OF CHADULA:
EUGENE CHADBOURNE & PAUL LOVENS - Certificate of Excellence (Chadula; USA) Featuring Eugene Chadbourne on guitar, banjo & vocals and Paul Lovens on drums & cymbals. Recorded live on February 18th of 2010. Legendary drummer Paul Lovens has long been one of the best, most creative and reliable of all European Free Music musicians. Mr. Lovens has a long history of playing with the guiding lights of Euro Free/Progressive Jazz like: the Evan Parker/Alex Von Schlippenbach Trio, several Cecil Taylor Units, Company and the Globe Unity Orchestra. Hence, Lovens brings quite a bit of history/experience to this duo. Doc Chadbourne and Paul Lovens have tour together a number of times with several discs out on the Victo, Leo and Chadula labels. This set was recorded in February of 2010.
Like most Chadbourne sets or sessions, the duo are all over the place musicwise. Country music standards like Merle Haggard’s “Lonesome Fugitive” & “Wishing All These Old Things Were New”, which sounds like the duo are on speed and then slow down for some inspired, spacious, free sections. Doc Chad does a few of his own songs which sound like country, bluegrass, folk/protest music or psych standards. “Byob Klub” first appeared on Shockabilly’s ‘Colosseum’ LP from 1984 and it still sounds like a great psych/rocker with some roots rock jangle thrown in. In between all or most songs, the duo play a variety of inspired free sections which balance things just right. I keep cracking up each time I hear Eugene sing “the Ballad of Me and Paul”, which talks about a fictitious country tour that Chad and Lovens once did. Chad switches to banjo for his own “Song of Good Health” which morphs into Captain Beefheart’s “Clear Spot”, a song you might not think would work on banjo but it certainly does. The duo cover two songs by the Byrds including a touching version of David Crosby’s “Everybody’s Been Burned”. This disc is some 72 minutes and long and I must admit that I found it to be extraordinary throughout. There are handful of some mind-blowing free-form freak-outs that push things up even higher towards transcendence. Keep on keeping on, Dr. Chadbourne and Paul Lovens! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
EUGENE CHADBOURNE / QUENTIN ROLLET - Recorded Yesterday and On Sale Today (Q Records REQ 003; France) Featuring Eugene Chadbourne on 5-string banjo and Quentin Rollet on alto sax. I only know of French saxist Quentin Rollet from his work co-producing records with Noel Akchote for the Rectangle label. His father is/was a drummer named Christian Rollet, a member of Free Jazz Workshop, who had two albums in 1973 & 1975, some of the earliest free jazz music in France. Quentin Rollet actually made an earlier duo record with Eugene Chadbourne from 2002, as well as numerous discs with Noel Akchote and other more obscure French free improvisers. This disc is well recorded, the banjo and sax close mic’d and balanced just right. In some ways, I am reminded of the early duos with John Zorn and Eugene Chadbourne although Mr. Rollet doesn’t play any of the unique sounds (mouthpieces & bird calls) that Mr. Zorn specialized in. Mr. Rollet does have his own sound, carefully bending his notes not too far out. He has a more delicate touch which keeps Doc Chad often playing with some restraint. But not for too long. This is a mere 28 minutes long which works well since nothing goes on for too long. Both Mr. Chadbourne and Mr. Rollet are in fine form and sound great together, concentrating on creating a strong, ongoing and inspired dialogue. They hit some more extreme and explosive moments at times as well. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $12 (Limited edition / we have just 10]
MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO with MICHAEL BISIO / NEWMAN TAYLOR BAKER - World Construct (ESP-Disk 5059; USA) “Matthew Shipp's new album is titled World Construct. It's a fitting title, for in his career of over three decades, he has constructed his own world of jazz. This press release could be entirely built from the raves of critics. "As Matthew Shipp's catalog expands, so does our understanding of the depth and breadth of his genius." "A gateway to higher improvisation that is practically without parallel. Matthew Shipp is the connection between that past, present and future for jazzheads of all ages." He "has produced a recording of great beauty and logic, creating distinct performances that are simultaneously shocking and beautiful, equally classic and daring. Shipp has been able to create pieces out of thin air that seem utterly worthy of composition. The music seems to be pulled directly from the realm where mathematics and magic collide. What Matthew Shipp has done is a profound achievement." "Unleashed with the kind of power imparted to them by his supple fingers, these notes and this music becomes something living and breathing, dancers indeed. Each title is seemingly a trigger which causes the hands and fingers of the pianist to leap and fly, and defy gravity not only with notes that ascend, light as air, as if to a rarefied realm. This is clearly the creation of a major composer whose pianism also suggests great cohesion of form and function, and above all, lyricism that sets Mr. Shipp apart in the same way that it did for musicians such as Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor." "Matthew Shipp confirms he is one of the best pianists of his generation. A monumental work that befits a place of choice in the jazz piano pantheon." You won't want to miss World Construct, recorded during the pandemic with his trio of five years. It will soon be seen as an important piece of the jazz edifice that is Mr. Shipp's magnificent career. Personnel: Matthew Shipp - piano; Michael Bisio - bass; Newman Taylor Baker -drums. Recorded by Jim Clouse 4/15/2021 at Park West Studios, Brooklyn NY. Cover art by Yuko Otomo.”
JONES JONES with LARRY OCHS / MARK DRESSER / VLADIMIR TARASOV - Just Justice (ESP-Disk 5072; USA) Jones Jones is a funny name for an all-star band. To grant such distinctive musicians so anonymous, Google-proof a moniker is whimsical in the extreme. But, given its members' long and distinguished work in the service of music, this group should not be taken lightly or treated as a lark. There is humor in their work but also gravitas and depth and magic. Larry Ochs says: "The newest and I think Jones Jones' best recording, sonically speaking, was specially recorded in-studio just before Covid struck in 2020 and features beautiful artwork by artist Roberto Harrison made specifically for the band."
"Each of the mature talents involved boasts an impressive history. Dresser was the bassist in Anthony Braxton's classic 1990s quartet, while Tarasov was part of the Ganelin Trio, hailed as 'arguably the world's greatest free jazz ensemble' in their 1980s heyday. Ochs has been one quarter of the Rova Saxophone Quartet since its inception in 1977. But as noteworthy as their illustrious track records is the fact that they still nurture an adventurous streak. All the nous derived from these various groundbreaking escapades finds its expression in their work together." - John Sharpe
WeFreeStrings with CHARLES BURNHAM / GWEN LESTER / MELANIE DYER / ALEXANDER WATERMAN / KEN FILIANO / MICHAEL WIMBERLEY - Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage (ESP-Disk 5073; USA) WeFreeStrings features Charles Burnham & Gwen Lester on violins, Melanie Dyer on viola, Alex Waterman on cello, Ken Filiano on acoustic bass and Michael Wimberley on drums. The name of this group, WeFreeKings, comes from an album by Roland Kirk called ‘We Free Kings’, which was released in 1962. There has long been a tradition of string players working the different giants of Free/Jazz like Joel Friedman playing cello with Albert Ayler in 1967 or Billy Bang playing violin with Sun Ra, Leroy Jenkins in the Revolutionary Ensemble or Tristan Honsinger playing with Cecil Taylor. A group which is mainly made of strings, like this one, that is something new and unique. WeFreeStrings is comprised of five string players and a drummer. Each of these musicians has worked with a number of Downtown best players & bands: Charles Burnham (for Blood Ulmer & Rod Reddy), Melanie Dyer (William Parker & Salim Washington), Gwen Lester (Anthony Braxton Tentet) and Alex Waterman (Ig Henneman & Gravitones Strings). Plus rhythm team men Ken Filiano and Michael Wimberley can be found on dozens of sessions throughout their long careers.
Three of the four tracks ere written by Melanie Dyer and three are dedicated to inspirations Amiri Baraka (famous avant/jazz poet laureate), Fannie Lou Hamer (civil rights leader) and Fred Hampton (from the Black Panther Party). The opening piece is called “Baraka Suite” and it is in six movements. Written for the great influential/controversial poet, Amiri Barata, this piece is filled with deep, solemn vibrations. This is prayer-like spiritual jazz which evokes feelings of justice and outrage. I love the way strings resonate in waves together, with the violins and viola soloing together on top. Ms. Dyer is a fine violist who I’ve heard at various Arts for Arts concerts as well as the store. Her writing for strings & rhythm team is consistently inspired. Each part of the suite features at least one string player soloing along with the sea of strings which move in powerful waves together. The rhythm team of Ken Filiano and Michael Wimberley are also well chosen and shine/support consistently throughout. Ever since I caught Charles Burnham with Blood Ulmer’s Odyssey band back in the mid-1980’s, I’ve noticed what a marvelous violinist he is, always adding some fireworks to each band/project he is involved with. I am not so sure which solos are his here, but I do recognize his bluesy licks from time to time. Aside from the inspired writing and playing/directing, there are a number of wonderful organic/free/transcendent sections which flow superbly throughout. This is an outstanding effort from all the musicians involved, living up to the special/sacred name of WeFreeStrings. I can’t wait to check them out live. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LASSE MARHAUG / JEROME NOETINGER - Top (Erstwhile 093; USA) In conjunction with the release of 'Top', we have asked many artists who knew and/or were deeply influenced by Peter to contribute words, and those will be added here over the next weeks and months, so please keep checking back. I will put as many as I can here, but also they will all be on our site: when our friend and inspiration Peter Rehberg passed suddenly in July 2021, I felt like I had to do something, and what I’m good at is something Peter deeply loved, producing records. so I put together this project with some of his longtime collaborators and friends, Lasse and Jérôme, Marcus Schmickler mastering and Tina Frank designing. It’s titled Top for multiple reasons but one is that Top was often Peter’s entire reply to a message you’d sent, both concise and supportive. a second is that it can also be read ‘To P’, we miss you buddy. — Jon Abbey
REINER VAN HOUDT - drift nowhere past / the adventure of sleep (Elsewhere 021-1, 02-2; USA) At one point during the pandemic, I decided to record 30 minutes of birds, insects and trains from the train platform one block from where I live. I did this as the sun went down and many of the birds and insects all seems to make (an organic symphony of) sounds.
I listened to the tape almost every night for a couple of months and began to become familiar with the sounds and patterns that usually go unnoticed. I still go back to that tape since it has become familiar to me and it reminds me of quiet times at home in a familiar environment. Reiner van Houdt did something similar for the first of two discs here. He recorded snips of things he listened to, read, watched and heard during one day each month during the Pandemic quarantine of 2020. This disc is called ‘drift nowhere past’ and it sounds like a sonic diary. It starts with somber guitar picking and a soft, dreamy female voice. Slowly other instruments, voices or sounds creep in. A hushed Satie-like repeating piano line is hypnotic and lulls us in a sleep-like state. Some sort of drone enters next, a bowed object of some sort? The overall effect is drifting on a raft on a slow motion body of water, the vibe casting a dream-like spell on all who are listening. Track 2 is called, “friction sleep maze” and it starts with a rather disorienting dark sample or sound with speckles of static-like sounds unwinding. Another section of exquisite Satie-like piano, soft spoken words and eerie bowed or sampled sounds. Each of the six pieces here evoke a different vibe or scene for our mind’s eye. When Mr. Van Houdt adds another layer of sounds, the effect gets more dense, the sounds both somewhat recognizable and mysterious simultaneously. Snippets of pre-20th century classical music float in and take us somewhere else for a spell. Like most discs on the elsewhere and erstwhile labels, this music does a good job of taking us somewhere else as long as we are patient and still listening closely.
The second disc is called, ‘the adventure of sleep’ and again Mr. Van Houdt recorded different sounds over a period of six months. He then worked with whatever sounds were at hand and manipulated or assembled these sounds into something new. The title of this disc refers to the way we enter another state when we sleep. There is a soft haze surrounding the music or sounds here. Van Houdt does a good job of stretching certain sound out and then altering them, some sounds familiar, some not so familiar. It sounds like Van Houdt has spent more time contemplating each sound so that things flow together in a more focused or directed way. Since things move or occur more slowly, it take time to adapt to what is going on here. It feels as if we are checking out the scenery which surrounds us and noticing things we haven’t noticed in the past. Time has slowed down so we see more of what is in front or around us. If you take your time and listen closely, some of the mysteries of life will be revealed. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $24
QUENTIN TOLIMIERI - Monochromes (Elsewhere 022-3; USA) Berlin-based composer/pianist Quentin Tolimieri created fifteen piano pieces titled Monochrome 1 - 15 between 2017-2021. Each piece has a distinctive character with a single theme unfolding over a long period of time - some are lulling-style pieces with faint melodies in a slow progression; some are vibrant pieces with intense, repetitive layers of brisk beats, where occasionally a hint of harmony or melody ephemerally appears, in between atonal and tonal, or in the intersections of overtones and echoes, or behind the thick layers of reverberation. Tolimieri played these pieces decisively, utilizing various techniques with a deep immersion into a monochromatic palette for each piece, successfully bringing out the innate sound of the piano via minimalist approaches to pure sonority.
“It always felt to me that the piano was a bit limited by a kind of music history embedded in its construction: equal temperament, a particular kind of tone quality, etc., even the way the keys are laid out is not from any kind of acoustic necessity, but is, rather, a representation of European harmony.
However, I began to realize that the piano is actually filled with all sorts of sounds, sounds that we don’t really hear or focus on because of all of the structural/linguistic things going on in music, for example a particular melody, a particular harmonic movement, a particular rhythm, a particular formal change. I started thinking if I could eliminate as many of these structures as possible I could start hearing these sounds more clearly. Almost as if, if I could remove the language, the syntax, the grammar, etc., I could hear the actual voice.” — Quentin Tolimieri
3 CD Set $30
CATH ROBERTS & OLIE BRICE - Conduits (Relative Pitch Records 1135; USA) Featuring Cath Roberts on baritone sax and Olie Brice on contrabass. For more than a decade, the New London Underground Scene has been growing and evolving. Thanks to elders like Eddie Prevost, Paul Dunmall, Steve Bereford and Keith Tippett, labels like FMR, Confront, Slam and Emanem and clubs like Cafe Oto & the Vortex, the scene continues to emerge with new players coming to London very often. A number of larger groups like the London Improvisers Orchestra and The Seen, continue to give old and new musicians an opportunity to work with other Creative Musicians. I know of bassist Olie Brice from a number of strong sessions with Paul Dunmall, Tobias Delius and the London Experimental Ensemble. Bari saxist, Cath Roberts, I know less well although she has worked with Alex Ward and other musicians with whom I haven’t heard yet. Ms. Roberts has recorded some five discs with other duos so far. This disc was recorded during the Great Pandemic in January of of 2021 and was recorded simultaneously at the homes of Ms. Roberts in Hastings and Mr. Brice in London. One of the main things that will be remembered about the Great Pandemic is the way it forces musicians and other artists to remain safe inside their homes and still express themselves through their art with new limitations.
Listening to this disc it is hard to tell that these two musicians were not playing in the same room together. Their is quite a bit of strong/spirited dialogue going on here. Bari sax and contrabass go well together as they both deal with a number of low-end sounds. The sound here is most impressive, warm, clean and well-balanced. Ms. Roberts has a great impressive on her bari sax, thoughtful, even lyrical at times focused without relying on any screaming or multiphonic effects. There are three long pieces here. Mr. Brice also a strong sound on his acoustic bass, especially when he bows. The bari sax and bowed bass have a similar tonal center and sound great together, often as one player starts off a phrase, the other complete’s their sentence. The duo swing together at times, sounding like they are about to break into a ballad and launch off into freer terrain as well. What I like most about this duo is how well matched they are, very close in their sound and the way they toss lines back and forth into a endless, connected stream. There is calm feeling at the center here yet the occasional outbursts seem to come at just the right moments. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ALEXANDRA GRIMAL - refuge (Relative Pitch Records SS017; USA) Featuring Alexandra Grimal on solo soprano sax. Over the past decade or so, there has been an influx of female saxists emerging and experimenting on different saxes. Check out this current list: Zusaan Kali Fasteau, Lotte Anker, Ingrid Laubrock, Catherine Sikora, Nonoko Yoshida, Louise D.E. Jensen, Metta Rasmussen, Erin Rogers and Zoh Amba. The Relative Pitch label does a good job of documenting a number of fine female saxists like Erin Rogers, Anna Kaluza, Masayo Koketsu and Alexandra Grimal. I know about French saxist Ms. Grimal from her work with Joelle Lendre, Hand Ludemann and Todd Neufeld. Solo sax records are not as rare as they used to be, although solo soprano sax recorded are less common. This session was recorded on a staircase in the castle of Chambord in September of 2020. The sound of the soprano sax is recorded not too far from where the mic was placed, hence the sound is warm, bathed in minimal reverb and quiet enchanting. Ms. Grimal plays quietly, slowly placing each note or phrase at a time. Over time, Ms. Grimal starts to stretch out certain notes, putting them on display so that we can notice the texture of each tone or drone. As the lines get longer, Grimal stretches them carefully, each nuance a bit different. There is a method or direction going on here. Ms. Grimal takes a short melodic fragment midway and then takes a part of the fragment and manipulates that part. The process seems organic and seems to breathe the same way we all do most of the time, slowly in & out, in & out… There is a lovely sense of calm at the center here which pervades throughout this entire disc. No histrionics, little or no multiphonics, the pace and focus make this much easier to swallow that the usual solo sax record. A modest yet still somehow engaging solo recital. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE PAUL SMOKER NOTET with STEVE SALERNO / PHIL HAYNES - Cool Lives (Alvas Records 2102; USA) The Notet here features Paul Smoker on trumpet, Steve Salerno on guitar and Phil Haynes on drums. I’ve long been impressed with the trumpet playing of the late Paul Smoker. I’ve collected his discs since the mid-1980’s and caught him live with Anthony Braxton, Joint Venture (with Ellery Eskelin) and his own band live once at the Old Knit. I wished that I could’ve heard this band, the Notet, who recorded three discs and were around from 2005 through 2013. The Notet played/recorded as both a trio with and without a bass player (Ed Schuller & Drew Gress). This set was recorded live at Bucknell University in April of 2011 and it is the trio version of the band without a bass player. The title of this disc, “Cool Lives” refers to ‘The Birth of Cool’ sessions from 1949, as well as to the way that jazz musicians and other hipsters use the term “cool” to refer to things they believe to be “cool”. Each song is dedicated to some person who Mr. Smoker feels to be cool in some way. “Goodbye, David I” is dedicated to David Baker, the great recording engineer. It is a lovely, solemn ballad with some exquisite, delicate, dreamy guitar and slightly raspy muted trumpet. For “Evan Room”, Mr. Smoker has the guitar playing this insistent repeating line which changes slowly over time while Smoker plays a long solo over the top. Steve Salerno also takes a long, unaccompanied guitar solo which shows him to be striking, intense soloist. “Kami Sue” is dedicated to Mr. Smoker’s cat and it features some ethereal, skeletal cymbal work by Mr. Haynes and flurries of hushed muted trumpet. At times I felt that Smoker was playing freely at a slower pace than usual but the more I listen, the more I recognize the way certain songs work no matter if the elements seem random at first. This disc ends with “Goodbye David II”, which is most sublime. Although there is no bassist here, the trio version of this bands does a great job of utilizing each member just right. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PHIL HAYNES / DAVID LIEBMAN - The Code (Corner Store Jazz CSJ-0101; USA) Featuring David Liebman on tenor & soprano saxes, wood flutes, piano & tambourine and Phil Haynes on drum set, hand percussion udo drum & piano. This disc was recorded at Bucknell University in March and December of 2011. Recently (6/7/22), we had a new trio play at the store with Thomas Heberer, Tomas Ulrich and Phil Haynes. It was a lovely set of chamber jazz of sorts. It was the first time that I had seen Downtown drummer Phil Haynes in many years and he left us with around a dozen discs of different projects he has been involved in over the past decade since he moved up state. He had several with Dave Liebman, one of the finest of the Elder School of avant jazz saxists whose long career began in the early 1970’s when he played with Elvin Jones and Miles Davis. I am a longtime fan of Mr. Liebman and collect many of his 100 recordings. I have caught Mr. Liebman live a few times over the past decade playing with Steve Dalachinsky in a duo and Adam Rudolph in a trio.
This disc begins with ritualistic percussion (wind chimes?) and solemn, haunting tenor sax. For the second piece, Mr. Liebman switches to soprano sax and plays a tight duo with the sax and drums linked together, later taking off for a great, spirited freer section. These two musicians play together extremely well, matching wits, jumping through tight hops and thru varied hallways. Phil Haynes is a marvelous and resourceful percussionist and even when he plays some solo sections here, he does a great job of evoking those Cosmic Percussive Spirits. There is definitely some mutual admiration going on here. All of the music has a precious, transcendent, organic flow or vibe. Free spirits communing with each other in real time. Consistently superb. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
WEDNESDAY KNUDSEN - Soft Focus: Volumes One and Two (Feeding Tube 651; USA) "First off, I should probably mention that this CD contains what might one day be two separate LPs. But if you have even a scintilla of info about the state of record pressing these days, you'll also know that all our best laid plans could go sideways. Fast. Still, this is a damn nice way to hear all this music without a lot of the endless huffing and puffing required by the flipping of individual LPs. Which means, for now you can just let the sweet swelter of Soft Focus wash over you like a warm, mid-summer wave on a tropical island. And if you want to have a cocktail while listening, go right ahead. This is Wednesday's fourth solo release, following two CDRs on Mystra and a cassette on Microdose. But she has a long recording history with the Pigeons and a few other combos. And it's her fifth appearance on an FTR release, following Viewer's New Salem MC (2017), both Weeping Bong Band LPs (FTR 313LP, 2018 and FTR 448LP, 2019), and a pair of LPs in duo with Willie Lane (FTR 530LP, 2020). We have some other pots boiling for her as well, but for now, here's Soft Focus. This project was begun last spring, deep in the Plague Era, when it was hoped things might be turning better. It is all solo work, apart from a little harp by PG Six on one track, and Wednesday displays her talents on woodwinds, guitar, keyboards, and vocals. The mood is abstract and wistful, bright at some moments and shrouded at others. Wednesday describes the sound as 'ambient,' but there's more to than that term often infers. The pieces are closer to the abstractions Eno explored on Another Green World (1975) and Before and After Science (1977) than to Music for Airports (1979) or Discreet Music (1975). There's a lovely pop sensibility hiding in them hills. And now it's available for you to hear on full repeat. You must have done something right!" --Byron Coley, 2022
WILLIAM PARKER & THE LITTLE HUEY CREATIVE MUSIC ORCHESTRA - Raincoat in the River (Eremite 036; USA) 2001 release. ‘Raincoat in the River' is simply the strongest release yet from Parker's big band. The compositions are, as always, powerful and immense, but compared to the two previous Little Huey records (both double cds on AUM), this is better recorded and presents a single performance. The AUM releases opted for performances from different dates and fades to fit more selections in. Here we get a single, 59-minute composition, divided into 5 sections and traveling through beautifully composed small groupings, big marches and unusual voicings, primarily from Shiau-Shu Yu's cello and the leader's marimba, shakuhachi and bombard (he of course plays bass as well). Leena Conquest is again featured vocalist - Consistently beautiful! - BLG
Final BMC RECORDS CD Sale Week #6:
ORCHESTRA NAZIONALE DELLA LUNA - There's Still Life On Earth (BMC Records 288; Hungary) The Orchestra Nazionale Della Luna as a band name needs a bit of imagination. For a start it isn't really an orchestra - it's a quartet, and neither is it 'national' in any conventional sense since it comprises a Finn, two Belgians and a Frenchman with an album on the Hungarian BMC label. Kari Ikonen (piano, Moog - Finland), Manuel Hermia (saxophone, bansuri - Belgium), Sébastien Boisseau (double bass - France) and Teun Verbruggen (drums - Belgium) are however four stellar rather than lunar musicians. Their new album is entitled There's Still Life on Earth. One or two of the track titles continue an environmental theme bringing attention to the climate crisis. Ikonen and Hermia formed the band 5 years ago and the group's eponymous first album came out in 2017. That was a more conventionally European sounding album. All the musicians have been busy elsewhere since then and have developed their individual sounds in lots of different groups. Here the jazz is infused with the sounds of Indian, Arabic and electronic music. In particular pianist Kari Ikonen has developed a device called a Maqiano, a piano-attachable device which allows him to play Maqamat - the microtonal Arabic scales on the piano. Still in prototype I have no doubt that other pianists will be interested in this. More non-western sounds come from Hermia playing the bansuri, an Indian bamboo flute. The title track is split between an atmospheric 45 second opening track featuring the bansuri and the slightly longer closing track featuring the sax and piano. Several tracks stand-out for me. Myrkkysienikeitto, which seems to translate as poison mushroom soup, is taken at quite a stately pace. It starts with the saxophone melody over a warbling Moog alternating with piano. The two front line instruments then trade improvised sections. After a few minutes the rhythms all fragment, the piano pounds and there's a dialogue between the drums and piano before the Moog and sax return to the melody. Al-Bahr by contrast has a definite middle-eastern feel to it. The Maqiano and bass start the track before the very Arabic rhythm comes in and the sax picks up the melody. What follows is mostly composed, with only short sections of improvisation, but there's so much variety in the rhythms and interchange of melody that it remains a fascinating track. That's followed by another track Ecocracy which starts with an almost free improvisation with a middle section containing lots of electronics and Moog effects. There's a huge variety in this album and it's absorbing from the start. Perhaps not an Orchestra, but a very fine quartet. — Peter Slavid, londonjazznews.com
AKI TAKASE & DANIEL ERDMANN - Isn’t It Romantic? (BMC Records 301; Hungary) Lively conversations between piano and saxophone by two major figures of European jazz, the Berlin-based Aki Takase and Daniel Erdmann (Reims). After many successfull BMC releases - two albums of Daniel Erdmann's Velvet Revolution (German Record Critics Prize, Echo Prize, SWR Jazz Prize) and a recording of Aki Takase's Japanic formation featuring Erdmann -, they present this fantastic duo.”
VIKTOR TOTH / HAMID DRAKE / SZANDAI MATYAS - Tartim (BMC Records 150; Hungary) Second album as a leader for Viktor Toth, a young Hungarian saxophonist with a strong and interesting musical personality. The fulcrum of the project is improvisation, which is expressed in three different forms, depending on the band's staff. Starting from the sixth track, the trio is joined by ferenc Kovacs' trumpet. Here the music takes on colors closer to the territory. One remains firmly in jazz (Tisztáson clearly evokes Ornette Coleman), but here and there you can catch gypsy, Balkan, sometimes even klezmer echoes.
In the last four tracks the group is further enriched, with the viola of Adam Javorka, the percussion of Gyorgy Jeszenszky and the soprano sax of Mihaly Dresch and the music loses all pre-defined structure. The songs are actually collective improvisations. The energy of the first part of the album leaves room for a more cautious pace, inevitable when the number of improvisers is so high, between oriental scents and Eurocultured settings. A great record, which once again confirms the extreme vitality of the Hungarian jazz scene.” - AllAboutJazz, Italian Staff
THE JAZZ EPISTLES with DOLLAR BRAND / HUGH MASAKELA / KIPPI MOEKETZI / JONAS GWANGWA / MAKAYA NTSCHOKO - The Jazz Epistles - Verse 1 (Honey Pie Records 056; Italy) Honey Pie Records present a reissue of The Jazz Epistles' self-titled album, originally released in 1959. The Jazz Epistles were the very first South African jazz group who broke away from the swinging and danceable jazz forms in vogue during the 1950s. A group formed by strong personalities like pianist Dollar Brand, later known as Abdulah Hibrahim, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, saxophonist Kippi Moeketzi, trombonist Jonas Gwangwa, bassist Johnny Getze, and drummer Makaya Ntschoko. A bunch of jazz modernists who already in the late 1950s, under the influence of the American "Bop" attitude began to switch on a more complex and hip music style. In 1959, just before breaking up, the Jazz Epistles released their first and only album, a great piece of work which stands as the first album released by a Black South-African band. A cultural manifesto as part of the anti-apartheid struggle of the time.”
STEVIE WONDER - Live At The Rainbow Room (New York City, July 13, 73)(WHP 1447LP; Italy)
WHP (ITALY) “On July 13, 1973, a few weeks before the release of Innervisions, Stevie Wonder appeared at NYC's Rainbow Room for what can now be called a historical performance. In full creative phase and backed by a fabulous twelve-piece band the 23-year-old genius delivered an outstanding set of both hits and extended instrumentals including new tracks from the upcoming landmark album. A rare gem in the history of sweet soul music. Line-up: Stevie Wonder - vocals, keyboards, harmonica; Ray Parker Jr. - guitar; Scott Edwards - bass; Greg Phillinganes - keyboards; Ollie E. Brown - drums; Trevor Lawrence - tenor sax; Denny Morouse - tenor sax; Steve Madaio - trumpet; Shirley Brewer - backing vocals; Lani Groves - backing vocals; Jim Gilstrap - backing vocals; Loris Harvin - backing vocals; Terry Hendricks - backing vocals.”
2 LP Set $34
JORGE BEN - Samba Esquema Novo (Sowing Records 026; Italy) “First released in 1963 on Phillips Records, this was Jorge Ben's debut album. Samba Esquema Novo ("New Style Samba") deliberately sets a new standard in Brazilian music. A beautiful, fresh and vital combination of Ben's percussive guitar and smooth/rough voice backed by big band style horns, percussion (the great Dom Um Romao), and strings. In 2007, it was listed by Rolling Stone Brazil as one of the 100 best Brazilian albums in history. But it's important to remind you that this is the album that contains the first original version of "Mas Que Nada", one of the most popular songs in the world.” Clear vinyl.
MOUNT MAXWELL - The People's Forest (Feeding Tube / Cardinal Fuzz 637; USA) “A founding member of Vancouver Island's MMR Collective, and head of the Canadian experimental electronic label Hotham Sound, artist and musician Jamie Tolagson (Mount Maxwell) currently lives and works in Vancouver, BC. His music is a unique blend of analog synths and acoustic instrumentation, calling to mind such artists as Boards of Canada, Bruce Langhorne, and Tangerine Dream. A preoccupation with childhood perception, utopian thinking, and the landscape of the Pacific Northwest runs throughout his work, which has been featured in Discorder Magazine, Tabs Out, Cassette Gods, Retromania, Free Form Freakout, Last FM, and NTS Radio. The People's Forest is his fifth album.
"The People's Forest is packed with micro-earworm moments, nourishing synths and playful crunchy percussion. It's got a skyward gaze and nostalgia for futures never realized, packing a kind of childlike optimism inside an arpeggio-laden, hermetically sealed little sound world. When the loose, hip-hop fueled drums kick in over warm synthesizer pads, you'll probably feel the same warm sense of familiarity I picked up. Music for fans of Boards of Canada, sure, but Mount Maxwell has a wide-open pastoral landscape and identity all its own." --Optimistic Underground
"Composed of seemingly small sounds, The People's Forest has an oddly natural quality to it despite being created almost entirely through synthetic means. Subtle synth lines coordinate effectively with bits of sampled audio including vocals and sounds of nature in a way that transports you to another place that feels like a home that you are yet to visit. Subdued percussion carries almost every track through these wandering soundscapes in a manner that gives the listener something to hold onto as they drift along in this other-worldly place that resembles Earth." --Rounding the Fringes
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:
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/
This comes from percussionist CARLO COSTA:
June 17: Moritz / Ali / Costa at Sunview Luncheonette, Brooklyn, NY (8pm)
with Jonathan Moritz on tenor and soprano saxophones and Sean Ali on double bass
split bill with Zosha Warpeha solo
June 18: Hypersurface at Willow Place Auditorium, Brooklyn, NY
w/ Drew Wesely on guitar and Lester St. Louis on cello
Part of the Infrequent Seams Summer 2022 Streamfest
June 22: Earth Tongues at Shift (411 Kent Ave), Brooklyn, NY
w/ Joe Moffett on trumpet and Dan Peck on tuba
split bill with Jason Khan solo
Here’s a list of upcoming gigs from local promoter:
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
This comes from local keyboard wiz ELI WALLACE:
MAW residency (Jessica Ackerley, Frank Meadows, me) to celebrate our first release MAW, A Maneuver Within Ibeam, Brooklyn
Night: Oido: Ishmael Ali, Aaron Quinn, Deric Dickens 8pm, MAW w/ special guest 9pm
Infrequent Seams Streamfest 3 Day 3, Willow Place Auditorium, Brooklyn, 6:30-10:30pm with Jessica Ackerley, James Ilgenfritz, & Thomas Buckner
The Inflatable Leviathan album release show presented by Tripticks Tapes, Anchor House of Artists, Northampton, MA 7pm with Cecilia Lopez, Michael Foster, & Sean Ali
ASM and SEM Ensemble Present:
Infrequent Seams Streamfest 3 June 16-19
Infrequent Seams brings the third iteration of the semi-annual four-day Infrequent Seams Streamfest: A four-day festival of live performances, moving image-based and electronic sound-based creative arts. The festival musical performance, but also incorporates many other disciplines as well: this includes video/film art, poetry, dance, theater, and more.
This June, two days are taking place at Scholes Street Studio in Williamsburg, one day takes place at Willow Place Auditorium in Brooklyn Heights. The fourth day is fully remote for artists and audiences, and includes live telematic collaborations between artists in different locations.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. RSVP, Vaccination required for in-person attendance. RSVP at email@example.com Full schedule is available at www.infrequentseamsstreamfest.com
Friday June 17 8pm-11pm Scholes Street Studio
AC Diamond (Anastasia Clarke solo)
Void Patrol: Colin Stetson, Elliott Sharp, Billy Martin, Payton
MacDonald (video documentation)
JD Parran / Ras Moshe / James Ilgenfritz / Payton MacDonald / Nava Dunkelman
Bob Kenny (cinema) and Teerapat Parnmongkol (poetry)
Anagram Ensemble Presents: Josh Sinton / Jonathan Finlayson
Monika Weiss METAMORPHOSIS | NIRBHAYA “Metá"
LIVESTREAM Tickets for Day 2:
Website for Day 2:
Saturday June 18, 6:30-10:30 The Willow Place Auditorium
Julie Herndon: “At That Time”
Anagram Ensemble Presents: Margaret Lancaster & Chris Nappi
Davor Vincze: “Xinsheng”
Jessica Ackerley / James Ilgenfritz / Eli Wallace / Thomas Buckner
Tom Law / Kevin Cheli / Sandy Ewen
Weston Olencki & Laura Cocks
Jen Kutler & Quintan Ana Wikswo
Muyassar Kurdi Solo
Anagram String Trio: Works by Niloufar Shiri & Benjamin Patterson
Hypersurface: Drew Wesely / Lester St. Louis / Carlo Costa
Ben Richter plays Nomi Epstein
LIVESTREAM Tickets for Day 3:
Website for Day 3:
Sunday June 19, 6pm–9pm online-only
Dilate Ensemble (Kim/Damijan/Miller/Muhr/Raskin)
Andrea Parkins: Two Room From The Memory Palace
Lily Maase Solo
Hydra Nightingale: Kyle Motl Solo contrabass works by Caroline Louise Miller, Jessie Cox, Anqi Liu, & Laura Brackney
Miyama McQueen-Tokita, Jiryis Ballan, & James Ilgenfritz
LIVESTREAM Tickets for Day 4:
Website for Day 4:
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org