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DMG Newsletter for July 29th, 2022

I was at this carnival, just a few years ago
No big deal, ferris wheel, the same ol’ stuff you know
And I wandered around the grounds until I found this little tent
Man outside made a speech, and this is how it went
“She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a reptile”
It was the same ol’ line, except for one part
He said “It don’t cost no money, you gotta pay with your heart.”
‍‍Oh, Sharon, what do you do to these men?
You know the same rowdy crowd that was here last night is back again

Well I went inside, I looked around for a seat
The the lights went low, and the drums played a beat
Then this girl came out dressed in a scarf and a sneeze
She did a little dance that made me weak in the knees
She danced just like her back had no bone
While the band played a tune they called the “Main Street Moan”
She smiled a smile the whole world could see
And then She turned around, and looked straight at me
I must’ve jumped at least six feet in the air
And when I come down, that girl wasn't there
‍Oh, Sharon, what do you do to these men?
You know the same rowdy crowd that was here last night is back again

Then out come this dude with curly, red hair
He had a big bushy beard and he was built like a bear
He said, “You stop yer shoutin,’ there's no more to the show
If you wanna breathe right, y'all better go.”
Well I didn’t hang around, I headed straight for the door
But on my way out, I heard that big bear roar
‍ Oh, Sharon, what do you do to these men?
You know the same rowdy crowd that was here last night is back again

Every time that that show played, I was right there
I stayed out off reach of that mean, red bear
And it was just like the man said in his speech at the start
When that carnie left town it took a piece of my heart
And I still get a funny feeling deep down in my bone
Every time I hear a band play that “Main Street Moan”
‍ Oh, Sharon, what do you do to these men?
You know the same rowdy crowd that was here last night is back again
‍ Oh, Sharon, what do you do to these me?
You know the same rowdy crowd that was here last night is back again

Oh, Sharon! Oh DMG subscriber! Last night, I caught David Bromberg performing for free outdoors at Woodbridge High School, a couple of towns away from where I live in Rahway, NJ. I’ve attended several shows there over the past few years, especially enjoying Richard Thompson there twice. Although a number of David Bromberg’s songs sound similar and his vocal range rather limited, I dug this show nonetheless. There was something honest/organic going on here, all of the songs seem to come from a place deep in our collective hearts. Bromberg enjoys singing his own version of blues songs, some are covers and some are originals. What make me feel better about things was his sly sense of humor, poking fun at life and its many tribulations. Due to Daily News, Daily Blues and the many Fake News outlets, I often feel like a sourpuss and complain about much of what is going on now. I often have the need to laugh at the utter ridiculousness of life. Some songs actually capture those absurdities and allow us to laugh instead of crying or shouting profanities. The above song, “Sharon”, does evoke a scene from ancient carnival from the time when carnivals used to roam around the land in order to entertain us common folks. Oh, for the olden days. A tip of the mythic hat to the great David Bromberg. - BLG at DMG

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ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: downtownmusicgalleryofficial@gmail.com

THE DMG 31st ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:

Tuesday, August 2nd:
6:30: TIME TROUT with VIV CORRINGHAM / MARCUS CUMMINS / DAVE MANDL / STEVE MOSES
7:30: ISMAEL ALI / WILL GREENE / RAF VERTESSEN - Cello / Tenor Sax / Drums

Rare Sunday Set, August 7th:
6:30: BEN GOLDBERG & WILL BERNARD - Playing selections from Porch Concert Material
7:30: ROBERT DICK & LESZEK “HeFi” WISNIOWSKI - International Flute Duet


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THREE FABULOUS NEW DISCS from BASSIST/COMPOSER MAX JOHNSON:

Last week Downtown bassist and longtime friend of DMG, Max Johnson paid us a visit and left us with four new discs all released during or after the Great Pandemic. What I have always admired about Max Johnson is the way he straddles so many unlikely genres: bluegrass, 60’s/70’s rock, older, straighter and newer Free Jazz styles. Each of the below disc is a gem and each one is very different in sound or approach.

ORIENTATION OF WE with MAX JOHNSON / JAMES BRANDON LEWIS / MICHAEL IRWIN / JOE HERTENSTEIN - Emergence (Broken Silence 043344; Earth) Featuring Michael Irwin on trumpet, James Brandon Lewis on tenor sax, Max Johnson on contrabass and Joe Hertenstein on drums. For this disc/band, Orientation of We, Mr. Johnson has organized a serious quartet with local legend James Brandon Lewis (multi-bandleader, member of HAGL & William Parker collaborator) on sax, ever-busy drummer Joe Hertenstein (for Steve Gauci, Thomas Heberer & Welf Dorr) and trumpeter Michael Irwin, a musician with whom I am not very familiar.
This disc starts with “are You On Too” which features Mr. Brandon Lewis playing this most hypnotic repeating riff with the rest of the quartet soon joining in. The interplay between the tenor, trumpet and rhythm team is quite magical, most organic, as if the quartet has been playing together for many years. While Mr. Brandon Lewis takes his first slow-burning solo, the great rhythm team swings freely, slowly increasing and then decreasing the tempo. On “Principle of Differentiation”, the quartet plays more freely, yet remain focused as they spin their lines together with some restraint, creating a slow moving storm. What I like most about this disc is this: it sounds as if Mr. Johnson has provided some partially written material or themes which the quartet play through, stretch out with strong interaction and inspired oft low-key solos. There is a calm center throughout this disc which makes it feel good, no need for fireworks when the playing is so strong and self-assured. If you are/were one of those folks who hasn’t heard much free/jazz or doesn’t warm to this music when it is too intense (a/k/a scream fest), then this disc should do the trick. Magic medicine for those who need so need a break the ongoing chaos of life. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

MAX JOHNSON TRIO with ANNA WEBBER / MICHAEL SARIN - Orbit of Sound (Unbroken Sounds 01; Earth) Featuring Anna Webber on tenor sax & flute, Max Johnson on contrabass & compositions and Michael Sarin on drums. This is a most formidable trio and another of Max Johnson’s recent treasures. Reeds-player, composer and multi-bandleader, Anna Webber, has been garnering some well-deserved recognition over the past few years, both as a band-leader, composer and busy collaborator (for Dave Douglas, Raf Vertessen & Jacob Garchik). Ever since drum wiz, Michael Sarin, joined the Thomas Chapin Trio in the early 1990’s, he has kept busy with a large cast of like-minded musicians: Mario Pavone, Thomas Heberer and Russ Lossing, to name a few.
Max Johnson composed all of the music here and seems to have had this personnel in mind. The first piece is called, “A Quick One” and it is not that quick but it is demanding for the musicians to play. Mr. Johnson has the trio play their through these tough changes with all three instruments playing tightly as one. When the sax drops out midways, the bass & drums are still working their way through those gnarly parts as a duo. For “over/Under”, the trio slows down to some sparse free improv which also has some occasional written bits which seem to set up certain scenes within’s the mind’s eye or ear. Each piece is a series of suite-like connected parts and each part evolves thematically into the next one. It sounds to me that Mr. Johnson picked the right musicians for this disc as all three sound up to the task of playing these challenging, ever-shifting parts. Rather than sounding free or unplanned, all of the music here fits into what sounds like an overall framed work. Perhaps this closer to chamber music than most modern jazz, but this is still one of the main directions that progressive jazz has taken since composers have expanded the palette of what some folks call “jazz” that always swings. A great deal of work has going into the composing and execution of the music here. Great work from the Max Johnson Trio! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

KARL BERGER / MAX JOHNSON / BILLY MINTZ - Sketches (Fresh Sound Records CD 5120; EEC) Featuring Karl Berger on piano & vibes, Max Johnson on contrabass and Billy Mintz on drums. German vibes & piano player, Karl Berger, was one of the first European jazz musicians to move here in the mid-sixties and have a long career of playing avant-jazz, as well as founding the Creative Music Studio (CMS), longtime home for Creative Musicians from around the world. Mr. Berger is still involved with the CMS and continues to play and record at the ripe age of 87. Bassist & composer, Max Johnson chose Mr. Berger for a good reason as he brings a half century’s worth of Creative Music making to this session. Former L.A.-based drummer Billy Mintz is another great choice since Mintz is an immensely diverse player, who plays several genres with a long list of other fine musicians: Russ Lossing, Vinny Golia and his wife, pianist, Roberta Piket.
Each member of this trio composed 1 or 2 pieces with one cover (by Charlie Haden) and one traditional song. Mr. Berger’s “Why the Moon is Blue” opens this disc and it is a warm, cerebral piece with some elegant piano floating with dream-like swirls. “Presently” is also by Mr. Berger and has two interdependent lines running at the same time: the piano plays the main these while the bass & drums speed up, slow down and create an ongoing flow. “Ginger Blues” was written by Charlie Haden for a Ginger Baker Trio effort with Bill Frisell. I recall digging that unique release but I haven’t heard it in a long while. This version features a long, spirited solo bass intro with some exquisitely bluesy piano from Mr. Berger. Although the piece is stripped down, that bluesy vibe simmers nicely throughout. Berger switches to vibes for Billy Mintz’s “Flight”, an infectious uptempo piece with some great solos from the vibes and bass. “Black Eyed Suzie” is an old traditional folk song that was covered by Roscoe Holcomb. It has one of those charming melodies that rings true and makes me smile. The last piece is Mr. Johnson’s “Sketches”, is a sublime, touching, peaceful ballad. Most exquisite. A perfect to bring us back down to Mother Earth for a safe landing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

GORDON GRDINA’S NOMAD TRIO with MATT MITCHELL / JIM BLACK - Boiling Point (Astral Spirits 201; USA) Featuring Gordon Grdina on guitar, oud & compositions, Matt Mitchell on piano and Jim Black on drums. Vancouver-based guitarist, oudist & composer, Gordon Grdina is on a roll. Since getting some grant money, Mr. Grdina started his own ABG label and has released more than a dozen discs over the past 3 years with varied bands and on other labels as well. Mr. Gordon closed the Victo Fest this year with two bands who played apart and together, the entire double set was incredible!
This is the second disc from the Nomad Trio, the first was from 2019 on the Skirl label. Mr. Grdina also released a duo disc with Jim Black earlier this year (2022). What amazes me is this: even with a half dozen different bands or projects, Mr. Grdina writes for each one. The title track is first, “Boiling Point”, and it is a quirky challenging piece with several layers of interlocked parts, something which keyboard wiz, Matt Mitchell, excels at, as does drum great Jim Black, who is always up for the task. If you are a fan of complex prog or M-Base el jazz, then you will find this trio to be extraordinary. Mr. Grdina takes an impressive guitar solo on the first piece, which does in fact hit the boiling point. I dig the way that things keep shifting role-wise on “Parksville”, the guitar and piano both play their tight interconnected lines as one force with the drums holding it down and shifting along with the others throughout. Things calm down on “Shibuya”, for a more dreamy, even majestic in part sounding piano with some darker currents underneath provided by the guitar. Mr. Grdina switches to his trusty oud on “Cali-lacs”, an epic-length piece with some incredible piano from Mr. Mitchell. Both the piano and oud take their time to build into a frenzied conclusion with all three musicians soaring higher and higher. Outstanding! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $14

J(ESSICA) PAVONE STRING ENSEMBLE - …Of Late (Astral Spirits 200; USA) “Jessica Pavone’s compositions demand your attention. This isn’t intended as a threat: it’s an invitation to look beyond the normal parameters of music and the art of listening. Even within the worlds of modern classical composition, the New York-based musician continues to defy convention and smash boundaries by releasing music that focuses on unsettling but deliberate music. “My music is inspired by processes that center intuition and instinct,” Pavone explains in her artist statement. “Learning from sound healers and alternative healing practices to bolster my philosophical interests in the power of sound to illuminate hidden emotions.”
Ms. Pavone, who is also one-fourth of the innovative art-rock quartet JOBS and has contributed frequently with guitarist Mary Halvorson, among many others, has steadily released exciting, unique modern classical albums over the past several years. Brick and Mortar (2019) and Lost and Found (2020) were bold exercises in small-scale string ensemble work, while Lull (2021) expanded her palette to an octet, featuring two violas, two violins, two cellos, and two double basses. With …of Late, Pavone is back to a smaller configuration, featuring Aimee Niemann on violin, Abby Swidler alternating between violin and viola, and Pavone herself on viola (the trio is credited as the J. Pavone String Ensemble).
The album opens with the authoritative title track, as long, repetitious notes begin in short bursts but soon evolve into long, drawn-out ones. Eventually the trio’s instruments begin roughly working against each other, almost in the form of anti-harmony. Pavone has structured the ensemble to allow them to straddle the line between metered and time-based scores and improvised and notated instructions. This creates an odd form of discipline that also allows the musicians to be somewhat free in their execution.
“Done and Dusted” gives off a slightly looser feel, as the instruments’ glissandos allow for more sonic flexibility. On this track and many other parts of the album, the three instruments work together beautifully but are still separated enough to be heard individually. The piece avoids sonic clusters, and everyone’s contributions are crystal clear. With “Hidden Voices”, three musicians add their human voices, providing a haunting counterpoint to the existing instrumentation.
“The Pitches and Notated” avoids many of Pavone’s notoriously unconventional choices, sounding like melancholy (but still highly atonal) film score passages, although the ensemble members tend to veer off toward spiky irreverence towards the end of the track. It manages to segue rather seamlessly into the closing track, “Closeness Unnoticed”, which begins with some of the sustained notes of the previous track before going off the rails (in the best possible way). The instruments soon scramble into lightning-fast cacophony, followed by slightly measured chaos finishing the album.
“I channel all these ideas into compositions by focusing on how music feels when it’s played and heard,” Pavone explains. With all of her compositions and certainly including …of Late, Jessica Pavone consistently creates music that can be heard and deeply felt in the most immersive ways possible.” - Chris Ingalls, Pop Matters
CD $14

SORRY FOR LAUGHING with GORDON H. WHITLOW / JANET FEDER / EDWARD KA-SPEL / MARTYN BATES / PATRICK O WRIGHT - Remember, You Are An Actor (Klanggalerie 407; Germany) “Sorry For Laughing is a project by Gordon H. Whitlow who is also a member of legendary US avant-garde collective Biota, formerly the Mnemonists. Their music is a mixture of modern classical, experimental sounds, noise, industrial, avant-garde, songwriting and free jazz. Their releases were published by their own self-produced label Dys between 1981 and 1986. By 1985 the group had split off into separate groups for visual and audio work. From that time, Mnemonists operated only as a visual arts collective while the musical activity was taken over by a new group called Biota that featured a few of the musicians involved with Mnemonists as well as many new members.In 1986 Gordon H. Whitlow released a cassette under the name Sorry For Laughing: "The compositions stem from my beginning days with the avant-garde recording ensemble Biota, shortly after completion of the Bellowing Room LP." The album was re-issued on CD by Klanggalerie in 2018 and is still available. Recently, Gordon reactivated the project and changed it from a solo effort into a new supergroup: it now consist of himself, Edward Ka-Spel of Legendary Pink Dots fame, and Martyn Bates of Eyeless In Gaza. Also contributing is Denver guitarist Janet Feder, the Dots' Patrick Q.Wright and Biota's Tom Katsimpalis. Together, these musicians created an exceptional album of tender music where stunningly beautiful vocals float around ambient soundscapes and minimal classical music.”
CD $18

THREE NEW DISCS FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS AT SUNNYSIDE:

STEVE CARDENAS / BEN ALLISON / TED NASH - Healing Power - The Music of Carla Bley (Sunnyside 1664; USA) Featuring Steve Cardenas on guitar, Ben Allison on bass and Ted Nash on soprano & tenor saxes & clarinet. The singular catalog of the great pianist/composer Carla Bley has been celebrated and performed for decades. She has not only performed her unique compositions in her own star-studded bands but has had them canonized by such legendary artists as Gary Burton and Paul Bley. Having had first-hand experience playing with Carla Bley in two groups, guitarist Steve Cardenas and his trio mates bassist Ben Allison and reed master Ted Nash, have created a brilliant recording of nine Bley pieces on their new album, Healing Power.”
CD $14

RANDALL DESPOMMIER / BEN MONDER - A Midsummer Odyssey: The Music of Lars Gullin (Sunnyside 1668; USA) Featuring Randal Despommier on alto sax and Ben Monder on guitar. Alto saxophonist Randal Despommier offers with A Midsummer Odyssey, a captivating duo session with guitarist extraordinaire Ben Monder. The central focus is the highly accessible yet always enigmatic music of Swedish baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin (1928-1976).
It was a chance encounter with “Danny’s Dream,” a lithe and melodic piece played for Despommier by his friend Olof Lövmo in Italy in 2005, that sparked the altoist’s deep and longstanding interest in Gullin. Despommier describes the tune as “a mix between a Norse folk-song arrangement by Edvard Grieg and a Billy Strayhorn ballad.” Having triggered the process that would ultimately lead to A Midsummer Odyssey, Lövmo fittingly took on the role of assistant producer.
In this intimate context, Despommier’s poise and inventiveness on alto recalls the late Lee Konitz, one of Gullin’s collaborators. His effortless blend with Monder leads to many magical moments, such as the rubato reverie “Mazurka” and the lush ballads “Silhouette” and “I Hope It’s Spring for You.” Noting that Gullin never traveled to the United States, Despommier argues that “Gullin was drawing on Swedish folk music the same way American jazz musicians were feeding off blues and spirituals. Whether goatherders or sheep come to mind, this Swedish tinge gives Gullin’s music unique flavor and identity. It permeates his music in a way that feels soulful and authentic.” Those qualities ring out clear in the hands of Despommier and Monder, who have created a transcendent space for Gullin’s subtle writing in the lexicon of 21st-century jazz.”
CD $14

ALLISON MILLER / CARMEN STAAF - Nearness (Sunnyside 1673; USA) As relationships evolve, a special language can develop between partners. This language can foster new ways of approaching syntax and messages that have been often repeated. The duo of drummer Allison Miller and pianist Carmen Staaf found their voices together with repeated, enthusiastic involvement in a variety of musical settings. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic made it necessary for social distancing necessary in all aspects of life. Miller and Staaf’s response to this distancing was to heighten their intimacy through music. Their new recording, Nearness, shows just how much their bond has grown and their creativity has blossomed.
CD $14

THE ONGOING BMC (BUCHAREST MUSIC COMPANY) SALE CONTINUES:

JOACHIM KUHN / CHRISTOPHE MONNIOT / SEBASTIEN BOISSEAU / CHRISTOPHE MARGUET - Emotions Homogenes (BMC Records 160; Hungary) “The Marguet, Kühn, Monniot, Boisseau Quartet (MKMB) is the perfect example: an example of a European understanding (with three French musicians, one German, and a Hungarian label), of intergene-rational understanding with the "papa" Joachim Kühn and three partners young enough to be his sons, and an example of musical understanding based on the cohabitation of Afro-American jazz branded with freedom, like that of Ornette Coleman, and notated European music going from J.S. Bach through Messiaen, to the Viennese twelve-tone composers and Bartók. The pianist Joachim Kühn, born in 1944 in Eastern Germany, represents all these types of music, since he appreciates rock and pop as well as the music of Black Africa and the Maghreb. This paternal figure surrounded by his musical "sons" is very well known in France. The disc is called émotions Homogénes, the French translation of an Ornette Coleman composition, which the MKMB quartet regularly play at gigs. These "homogenous emotions" sum up perfectly the state of mind of the quartet, where the level of collective technique demanded is always at the service of the energy, the inspiration and the pleasure shared. The implication, the listening, the understanding and the passion that unite the four members of this group is not only exemplary; it is the very definition of the kind of jazz you'd like to champion. A sincere, flourishing, adventurous jazz, far from all manner or calculation, opportunism and pigeonholing. A jazz that is contemporary and European, free and audacious.”
CD $16

PETER EOTVOS - Atlantis (BMC Records 007; Hungary) “There aren't many contemporary composers who can match Peter Eötvös in making music that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally gripping, and these three orchestral works are perfect examples of his power to inspire both awe and humility in the listener. When his gestures are big, they're huge, as with 10 percussionists who roar out of Atlantis. And when they're small, as in the flute and clarinet duet that closes 1996's Shadows, they are desolate and disconsolate voices. Regardless of its very modern writing, the immediacy, scope, and otherworldly majesty of 1995's Atlantis would make it an ideal candidate to change the mind of someone who thinks he or she doesn't like contemporary music. (If you like Holst's The Planets, you'll love Atlantis!) That's not to say it's easy listening, but it is accessible in its almost programmatic form. Each movement shifts from the netherworldly harmonies representing the lost city to close with remnants of another almost-lost world: Transylvanian folk music, played on either a violin or the cimbalom, a hammered dulcimer. Eötvös' gift for playing with physical and aural space, and his fascination with the relationship between the physical world and the microcosm of the individual, reemerges in 1993's entrancing Psychokosmos, inspired in part by the Big Bang theory. And this taste of 1996's Shadows excites my interest in hearing the work live, as the acoustic setup of the players figures particularly prominently into the piece's concept. These performances (the first two conducted by the composer with WDR Cologne, the last by Hans Zender with the Südwestfunk Symphony Orchestra) feature especially sensitive solos by cimbalom player Márta Fábián, flutist Dagmar Becker, and clarinetist Wolfgang Meyer. These were all recorded live, and the sound fidelity is admirable. — Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday
CD $16

VIKTOR TOTH / BART MARIS / ROBERT IKIZ / MATYAS SZANDAI - Popping Bopping (BMC Records 191; Hungary) “ While other compositions don't benefit so much from pointillist lengthening and muting, Pepping Tom's avowed aim of refurbishing Bop lines with post-modern options is more satisfying than Tóth composing new melodies that closely resemble what has been played previously. While Boperation can be unreservedly praised, it appears as if the Hungarian saxman should turn his prodigious chops and talent for arrangement to material that is more challenging in performance as well as concept. — Ken Waxman, Jazz Word
CD $16

PETER EOTVOS - Ima (BMC Records 085; Hungary) IMA (Prayer) is a sequel to Péter Eötvös' Atlantis, composed in 1995: a musical memorial commemorating a culture that, at the zenith of its brightest period, suddenly sank into the sea. But while Atlantis gives the impression of a slow exploratory journey into the past and in an underwater world, IMA contemplates the sunken continent from the present. On 12 April 1961, Gagarin was the first astronaut to leave the Earth and fly around it in a space capsule. The impact of this event on the then seventeen-year-old Péter Eötvös culminated in the composition of Cosmos, "as with Gagarin's space flight the world suddenly opened up, appearing infinite" to him. The string quartet "Correspondence" reproduces the dramatic relations between Leopold Mozart, living in Salzburg, and his son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in 1778 living in Paris, through excerpts from their correspondence. The instruments of the string quartet are sounded as if they were "conducting conversations". The emotional tension of the writing and reading of the letters, the words, the thoughts, the ulterior motives, the lurking doubts are all dramatized. The appended text will aid the listener in understanding and following more easily and precisely the quickly developing and complexly unfolding events.”
CD $16

THE MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA LED BY BACHIR ATTAR - Dancing Under the Moon Glitterbeat 126CD; GERMANY) “Beautifully recorded in situ in the Rif mountains in the autumn of 2019, this 110-minute double-CD presents these legendary musicians expansively and unhindered. Based in Jajouka, Morocco, The Master Musicians are a collective of Jbala Sufi trance makers, committed to creating a contemporary representation of their centuries-old musical tradition. The album is produced by long-time band leader Bachir Attar, and with all but one of the tracks exceeding ten-minutes in length, it is clear that these recordings authoritatively grasp the textured essence of this timeless ensemble. Deeply hypnotic and earth-shakingly intense.
Text by acclaimed music critic Stephen Davis: "... The latest musical adept to turn inland at Larache, pass through Ksar, stop by the Tatoft caïd, and find the occluded road to Jajouka is the Italian musician and engineer Jacopo Andreini. In late 2019, as the planet was closing down, and as stories circulated about the musicians' vulnerability in today's world, Jacopo was hired by Bachir to make comprehensive recordings of the complete Jajouka music catalog. His mission, supervised by Bachir, was to record as much as possible -- hours and hours over the course of a week -- of Jajouka's varied styles (anthems, flutes, violins, singing) in their tin-roofed madrassa, using the latest sound gear -- eons away from Brion Gysin's 1955 reel-to-reel Uher machine. This selection of tracks from these sessions is the latest testament to the mystic enchantment and spiritual worth of Jajouka, captured in audio fidelity of the highest degree. The double-reed rhaita music recalls that Jajouka once provided musicians to Morocco's royal court. 'Khamsa Khamsin (The 55)' and 'Opening the Gate' are themes once deployed to accompany the Sultan to the mosque, and back again, as early as 1912 and before. The acoustic and percussive fiddle songs called Jibli ("mountain music") are typical of what is played for visitors to Jajouka after a savory evening meal of couscous and tagine. These songs are descended from Andaluz music, the millennium-old melodies of Moorish Iberia. Jajouka, its musicians, and traditions are indeed vulnerable and in transition in this rapidly changing era. It is lovingly curated projects like Dancing Under the Moon, plus the blessings of Baraka, and some luck and hard work by Bachir Attar and the current generation of the Master Musicians, that will hopefully see their ancient folkways survive into better times for everyone. Jajouka's is healing music for our viralized world."
2 CD Set $25

FERKAT AL ARD - Oghneya (Habibi Funk 019CD; Germany) 'An absolutely legendary album from Lebanon by Issam Hajali's group Ferkat Al Ard, Oghneya stands out as one of the great musical gems of the Arab world. A groundbreaking release from 1978 that represents the meeting point of Arab, jazz, folk and Brazilian styles with the talent of Ziad Rahbani, who did the albums arrangements. Filled with a variety of sounds and genres, from Baroque pop to psych-folk to flashes of bossa nova, Tropicalia and MPB, Oghneya is like if Arthur Verocai took a trip to Beirut in the '70s to record an album. In 2015 we heard Ferkat Al Ard's music for the first time, a Lebanese trio compromised of Issam Hajali, Toufic Farroukh and Elia Saba. It is a stunningly unique release that blends traditional Arabic elements, jazz and Brazilian rhythms hand in hand with poetic-yet-politically engaged lyrics. The band was active in the left-wing movement of Lebanon of the time and they communicated their political ideas candidly through their songwriting. As always both vinyl and CD come with an extensive booklet with an interview with Issam as well as unseen photos from the recording sessions."
CD $17

PIERCE WARNECKE - Deafened By The Noise Of Time (Room40 4149; Australia) “Pierce Warnecke's work springs forth from the nexus of sound and vision. With Deafened By The Noise Of Time, he undertakes a deep interrogation of sound, which mirrors many of his approaches to visual materials. Seeking to test how elements of music are altered through interference and deterioration, he uses a range of methods to reveal new densities, timbres, and melodies from within his original source materials. Rather than becoming fragmented or overtly degraded though, Warknecke's work on Deafened By The Noise Of Time suggests new textures and harmonic relationships. As one musical gesture is transformed a new set of possibilities opens outward, creating a sense of perpetual unfolding.
"Deafened By The Noise Of Time is a speculative take on how sound might decay and disappear; a reflection on the unavoidable entropy and dislocation of all things over time through four compositions, one with video . . . I first started working on the material for this album for a performance at Eglise Saint-Merry in Paris in 2017. Following the concert, I sat down to edit the music but struggled with the pieces, every time finding new flaws, unable to follow through with the original compositional ideas. Somewhat frustrated, I decided to strip down the musical content to form more bare-bone structures and look for a different principle or process to tie everything together. For this, I shifted focus to a long running part of my video practice: the deterioration of things over time, where I use my camera with simple lighting and slow movements to focus on rusty, dirty, burned or broken found objects. I like the idea of these things being both recent and ancient, contemporary artefacts of a world in constant decay. I like the idea of being able to still sense memory on objects even when they've become almost entirely unrecognizable. I like how this pushes back against the inevitability of impermanence. I like the act of scavenging and reusing discarded objects to put them in new but uncertain light. I like to think of it as a kind of ritualistic transformation of 'trash-to-treasure', a conjuring of a thing's entire past through imperceptible clues left on it's surface. For Deafened By The Noise Of Time I wanted to apply these ideas to sound, and consider how a musical idea might disappear under an accumulation of interferences, as a kind of sonic sedimentation and erosion..." - From Pierce Warnecke
CD $18

AVALANCHE KAITO - Avalanche Kaito (Glitterbeat 125CD; Germany) “A mysterious matrix that echoes disparate (but strangely compatible) sonic strands: deep griot traditions, Fugazi, Can, '70s era Zappa, Black Midi, the full throttle rush of Nyege Nyege Tapes. Emerging from an original dimension in sound, the polygenesis Avalanche Kaito redefine what it is to talk with the ancients whilst leaping forth into a futuristic chaos of noise on their debut album journey. A palpable experience with each sonic blast, each layer a revelation, this simultaneously taut but expansive universe, in which the oral traditions of the West African griot converge with Belgium post-punk, exists in its own space. Urban griot and multi-instrumentalist Kaito Winse (vocals, tama, peul flutes, mouth bow) fortuitously collided with Brussels noise punk musicians Benjamin Chaval (drums, electronics) and Arnaud Paquotte (bass) from the group Le Jour du Seigneur, after a friend of theirs in Burkina Faso played Kaito some of the duo's pummeling music. Through a twisting sequence of events, the trio eventually met and began developing the sound world of ancestral proverbs and dataist inspired technology that defines the album. Although the album is being released six months after the debut Dabalomuni EP showcase, the guitarist from that extraordinary otherworldly session, Nico Gitto is now part of the transformed setup; not so much replacing Paquotte as expanding the sound into another direction. With the help of the visual language program PureData (an open-source apparatus for creating interactive computer music and multimedia works) and his pummeling, rattled drumming, Benjamin and his sinewy bassist foil Arnaud create an effective torque and tumult for Kaito's commune with his roots and life in a very different bush of ghosts. Within that space, you'll not only hear super charged traces of post-punk but the tribal, free jazz, prog, and industrial-electronica as well. Kaito's griot ancestry and the band's motivation is a spontaneous escape from the addiction of the online world, a reconnection with the ritual of a live performance. Although created in a studio setting that live in the moment feeling and dynamism is authentically recreated on this album. The practice of improvising in the studio with meticulously arranged pieces blows up and out into the inter-dimensional slackened bass stalk of "Sunguru", and the wilder hysterics and danger of the progressive deconstruction "Douaga". In that postpunk mode, a Jah Wobble-like throbbed esoteric bass converges with more celestial manifestations on "Goomde", whilst "Eya" features a certain Scott Walker atmospheric gloom and earthy soul tumbling drums. At any one-time this trio are snarling yet hypnotic, willowy but thickened with a brooding menace.”
CD $17


ARCHIVAL & HISTORIC DISCS, RESSUES & RESTOCKS:

NOAH HOWARD With ARTHUR DOYLE / EARL CROSS / LESLIE WALDRON / SIRONE / MUHAMMAD ALI / JUMA SANTOS - The Black Ark (Bo Weavil 24; Earth) Final restock, last copies. Re-issued by the request of Noah Howard's family and estate. Noah sadly passed away suddenly on the 3rd of September, 2010. Born in New Orleans in 1943, Noah was a key player in the U.S. free jazz scene from the late '60s. He recorded albums for ESP and numerous other labels, including his own Altsax label. Many see 1969's The Black Ark as Noah's defining statement, so it is only fitting that it should be available once again.
"It's no understatement that The Black Ark is one of the most sought-after underground free jazz releases of all time. The original Freedom vinyl LP and the brief Japanese CD reissue were criminally out-of-print and impossible to find. Both versions popped up on internet auction sites once in a blue moon but when they did, they always fetched insanely astronomical prices. This record simply is THE BOMB -- a perfect combination of Noah's soulful compositions and playing, infused with plenty of sweet/sour/in/out forms and shapes from the incredible line-up assembled for this release. Plus we get to experience Arthur Doyle's outrageous debut on a recording session, increasing the playing and feeling to an intense level throughout. And dig the spaced-out Afro-delay on Juma's percussion (yes, that Juma from Hendrix's killer Woodstock show of the same year). All of the players on this record combine to make it a CLASSIC and its esteemed reputation is well earned." - Oren Ambarchi
Musicians on this record include: Noah Howard (alto), Arthur Doyle (tenor), Earl Cross (trumpet), Leslie Waldron (piano), Norris Jones (bass), Mohammed Ali (drums), and Juma (congas).
CD $17

AMON DUUL - Paradieswarts Duul (OHR 560082CD; Germany) “Ohr present a reissue of Amon Düül's Paradieswärts Düül, originally released in 1971. In 1968, the Münchner Kommune, formed in 1967, had applied to Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, the organizer of the Essen Songtage, for a gig there. When the Düüls arrived in Essen, already two bands of this name in the meantime, since three members had split off and now called themselves Amon Düül II. Paradieswärts Düül was released in 1971, it's the third album of this outfit. Transferred from the original analog tapes at Dierks Studios and carefully re-mastered.”
“‘Paradieswärts Düül is a 1970 psychedelic rock album by the German band Amon Düül. It was the final Amon Düül (I) album to be recorded. In contrast to the communal, free-form improvisations of the earlier Amon Düül albums (generally thought to have all been recorded in a single "jam session" with various commune members coming and going throughout), Paradieswarts Düül was recorded with a smaller, more stable lineup of musicians. The pastoral, folk-influenced sound of the record has been compared to the gentler work of American bands Love and The Velvet Underground. The first word of the title is a German construction meaning "paradise-wards", as in "towards paradise"
CD $17

WALLENSTEIN - Cosmic Century (Pilz 6580062CD; Germany) “Reissue of the third album by the German band Wallenstein, originally released in 1973. Recorded at the Dierks Studios by Dieter Dierks, the group consisted of bandleader Jürgen Dollase, Harald Grosskopf (drums), Dieter Meier (bass), Bill Barone (guitar), and Joachim Reiser (violin). In 2022 the original analog masters were newly remastered. An elaborate work, which has led to a very good result.
“The expression "Cosmic" in the album title is pretty misleading - same as labeling this album as Krautrock, just because this is a German band from the 70s. In fact this is a symphonic prog-rock album, embellished by the guitar work of their American guitarist Bill Barone.
Silver Arms is an early highlight of the genre with Jürgen Dollase's keyboard and synthesizer work and Barone's soaring guitar. The instrumental parts throughout the album but especially on Rory Blanchford and Marvelous Child are excellent but the vocals are often awful (handled by Dollase after bassist/singer Jerry Berkers left the band due to mental illness after their second album). Worth mentioning is as well drummer Harald Grosskopf who keeps things moving when symphonic bombast threatens to get the upper hand - he would work with many other bands including Ash Ra Temple and Scorpions apart from releasing electronic solo albums later on. This is the third album of the band and the last of their good ones.” - Roxanne Walsh, AllMusicGuide
CD $17

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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.

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MY NYC TRIBUTE TO JEFF BUCKLEY
with special guest vocalist Angelica Zollo
Next Thurs. July 28th at The Cutting Room at 7pm
44 East 32nd Street
Tickets: https://bit.ly/3aZYH2M

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THERE IS A RECENT INTERVIEW with FRED FRITH by Rick Rees that is found here: https://rickrees.substack.com/p/fred-frith-interview . Rick Rees has been working on a website/blog/book/whatever about the great producer/manager/instigator/raconteur Georgio Gomelsky. Gomelsky is someone I’ve long admired and Rees is doing a good job of documenting/interviewing numerous Gomelsky associates. The Fred Frith interview is great and if you are a Frith fan, you should want to know about a number of upcoming projects, tours, etc. This interview showed up in my email during the last hour of my birthday last Sunday and it made me smile. Fred Frith & myself are old friends and he is someone whose music and attitude I really admire. - BLG

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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… the new one just popped up today, 7/27/22:

https://rwm.macba.cat/en/research/probes-332-auxiliaries

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Guitarist and DMG-pal HENRY KAISER has a monthly Video Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne82zmzvOm4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T430EzDqtP8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDGv_5p0dvQ

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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/
https://garylucas.com/www/streams/streams.shtml

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gaucimusic presents:

Sunday August 28th
Live at Scholes Street Studio
Live recording/Live audience!

8pm Rick Parker - trombone
Michael Attias - alto saxophone
Simon Jermyn - guitar
Kate Gentile - drums
9pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Shinya Lin - piano
Adam Lane - bass
Kevin Shea - drums
10pm Tony Malaby - saxophones
Caleb Duval - bass
James Paul Nadien - drums

Live recording/Live audience!
$20 at the door (entire evening), cash/venmo
August 28, 2022
@ Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn
718-964-8763
gaucimusic.com

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ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: downtownmusicgalleryofficial@gmail.com

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