So I look outside & I see what I see.
Yeah I blink my eyes & I look outside & I see what I see what I see
There’s peoples in the garbage, people in the doorways
People under freeways,
Sleeping under plastic
Sleeping under cardboard
Sleeping out in the rain
And they’ve got no one & they’ve got nowhere
And no one seems to care
Cos everything’s falling apart
So I look inside & I see what I see
Yeah I blink my eyes & I look inside & I see what I see
There’s ants in the sugar, mice in the walls
Stains on the carpet, broken glass in the hall
Cracks up in the ceiling, cracks in the walls
Locks on all the windows, chains on the door
And my shoes all worn & my shirt's all torn
There’s no money in the bank
And I’ve got no job & I’m not even sure if I want one
No I don’t want one
Cos everything’s falling apart
So I close my eyes & I look inside & I see what I see
Yes I close my eyes & I look inside & I see what I see
I see your face, I see your hair, I see your eyes, I see your smile
And I think that it might just be alright
Even though everything is falling apart
The above song lyrics were running through my head when I wrote the header for the newsletter last week, mostly because everything was falling apart. Aside from the three broken appliances that I listed last week, there have been a number of previous friendships of mine that have also fallen apart during and after the pandemic. Very sad indeed. Around 2001, I received a CD by Peter Whitehead from a friend of his & mine named Tim Sternberg. I hadn’t heard of Mr. Whitehead before this and was completely blown away by this disc. Peter Whitehead is a British-born, Bay Area-based singer/songwriter, instrument maker and avant composer. As an old music freak who grew up in the 1960’s, I later realized that the music that touched me the most was psychedelic rock or psych soul music and more specifically folk/psych (like Fred Neil, Richard & Mimi Farina, Donavon, the Byrds & the Dead). It is this sort of music that I keep searching for and returning to.
For me, Peter Whitehead’s ‘Now This’ is a return to that sound/vibe. Plus, his lyrics are often post-apocalyptic and he has invented a large number of unique instruments like the trash-can lid lyre on the cover of this disc. We no longer have copies of this disc to sell so I will ask Peter if he has anymore. You can download these songs from Bandcamp or one of those streaming/rip-off services. If you get a chance, you should also check out the opening song, “Dust on Your Shoe” from the same CD. In these troublesome times of climate change disasters and the break down of civil discourse, these songs/words still ring true more than a 1/4 century after they were first composed. What makes this music special or magical for me is several things: Mr. Whitehead’s enchanting voice, his guitar and invented instruments sounds and ageless lyrics he has written. A special toast to Peter Whitehead and all the other under-recognized singer/songwriters who continue to illustrate & illuminate the world around us (like my pals Owen P & The Monz) no matter who is listening. Peace, Brother Bruce at DMG
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
To all of you who read this newsletter and made donations last week, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart! After the breaking down of our AC, mini-fridge and dehumidifier over the past few weeks plus the summertime blues of business slowing down to a trickle, I was completely frazzled, bummed out for the past month or so. When I came in last Friday, I was hoping it would be a good day but again mail order was slow. We were waiting on a large order from Tzadik (John Zorn’s label who we do the fulfillment for), which always bring in funds & keeps us busy. It was supposed to be delivered the previous day and should’ve been there earlier on Friday. I went out to search for UPS at 4:30 and finally found him 3 blocks away and took the Tzadik box back to the store. It was around 5 when I check the box in and organized all of the Tzadik orders. I always look forward to Friday’s because usually we are busy all day with mail order & customers coming to visit and we usually have a great day business-wise. The store closes at 6 & this is when Kevin or John leave for the day so I decided to work my way thru much of the mail-order so the day would end up well with money in the till. I worked until 9, often drenched with sweat, completely burnt out. I did the daily tally sheet and went to move the money from Paypal to the bank. When I looked at Paypal, I noticed $1,200 in there, much more than usual and we had only sold 1 or 2 discs thru Paypal that day. I took a look at where the money had come from and lo & behold, I recognized the names of a dozen or DMG customers who had made donations, from $10 to $150, I was flabberghasted. I had forgotten about the donations until then and realized how much the DMG newsletter and the music we promote means to some of you. I could feel a wave of support and I was truly touched by this. I actually wept some tears of joy, thinking about when that AC would show up. Over the weekend, we got another $300 in donations. I came in on Sunday, my usual day off to do some cleaning and prepare for a rare Sunday set that night. The concert was a blast: Ben Goldberg & Will Bernard 1st set and Robert Dick & Hefi in the second set. Although it was too hot & humid, the music was still transcendent. On Monday, back at the store, I got a letter from a DMG customer whose name I didn’t recognize and inside was a $2,000 check donation. Holy sh*t! During one of the tougher times for DMG, I feel can feel the love and support from you folks out there. This makes everything I/we do here at DMG worthwhile. I have decided to take the extra money to put to good use, cleaning and re-organzing the store. I want DMG to be a healthier and happier environment for everyone whose graces our door and for our friends everywhere. Thanks to everyone: subscribers, friends, musicians and employees, we are in this mess together so let’s find some time for Inspiration. Peace, Brother Bruce at DMG
THE DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY 31st ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE GIG CELEBRATION Continues with:
Tuesday, August 16th:
6:30: ZOH AMBA / gabby fluke-mogul / LESLEY MOK - Tenor Sax & Flute / Violin / Drums!
7:30: DAVE SCOTT / SARAH BERNSTEIN / HILL GREENE / BILLY MINTZ!
Saturday August 20th: The Monthly GauciMusic Series Continues with:
6pm David Leon - saxes / Wendy Eisenberg - guitar / Henry Mermer - drumset
7pm Stephen Gauci - sax / Adam Lane - bass / Colin Hinton - drums
8pm Asher Herzog - drums / Neel Ghosh - saxophone electronics / Nick Saia - guitar
Tuesday, August 23rd:
6:30: TREESEARCH with KYLE MOTL / KEIR GOGWILT String Duo!
7:30: KEVIN MURRAY - Solo Drums!
THIS WEEK’S TREASURE CHEST OF GREAT DISCS BEGINS with CLARINET MASTER, BEN GOLDBERG:
BEN GOLDBERG SCHOOL with KASEY KNUDSEN / JEFF CRESSMAN / ROB REICH / NATE BRENNER / HAMIR ATWAL - Vol. 2: Hard Science (BAG Production Records 022; USA) The Ben Goldberg School features Mr. Goldberg on clarinet & compositions, Kasey Knudsen on alto sax, Jeff Cressman on trombone, Rob Reich on accordion, Nate Brenner on electric bass and Hamir Atwal on drums. The music for this disc was written int eh summer of 2021 during the Great Pandemic. When Mr. Goldberg gathered his sextet in the studio to record the music, he brought in no sheet music and taught the musicians to learn the music by ear only. Mr. Goldberg wanted the musicians to work through and struggle with this music so that the music was freshly formed. This is the second disc by the Ben Goldberg School, the first one was released in 2017. As far as I can tell, all the members of the sextet are Bay Area-based and have worked with Mr. Goldberg previously as well as with other Bay area musicians like Aaron Novik, Peter Apfelbaum, Graham Connah and the Kamikaze Ground Crew.
The opening of this disc knocked me out from the line, Goldberg has all of the horns and accordion spinning their lines together in a lovely, kaleidoscopic way. On the second piece, the clarinet starts off by playing & repeating one line with the other horns & accordion soon joining him, several spiraling lines all swirling tightly around one another. As the piece unfolds, Goldberg adds another quirky repeating line which everyone else soon joins in and embellishes with close harmonies. There is a quick klez-like line which Goldberg brings in several times throughout this piece, which is followed by a slower line, keep the tempo tricky yet balanced overall. The formula for many of these pieces is to have Mr. Goldberg to state a theme up front and then repeat it as the other members of sextet join him at different points, adding to and altering the layers of lines that are played and repeated. The rhythm team also adds to the repeating lines, coming in and dropping out at a number of unexpected points, they are often joined by the horns and accordion, locking in certain lines to give the sextet its own unique sound. Track 6 starts off like a slowed down Dixieland song and then mutates into a proggish piece. Each piece holds surprises as songs often start off one way and then shift through different sections or parts by subgroups. Every time I play this disc, I hear some marvelous line or idea that I missed in previous listenings. Will wonders never cease?!? - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15 [Limited Edition of 200, signed & numbered]
GARY LUCAS’ GODS and MONSTERS with JERRY HARRISON / JASON CANDLER / JOE HENDEL / ERNIE BROOKS / BILLY FICCA - The Great Lost Gods and Monsters (Mighty Quinn; Dot Ime; USA) Featuring Gary Lucas on guitar & vocals, Jerry Harrison on keyboards & engineering, Jason Candler on alto sax, Joe Hendel on trombone, Ernie Brooks on bass and Billy Ficca on drums. Former Captain Beefheart guitarist, Gary Lucas, formed his own band Gods and Monsters in the early nineties with revolving personnel: Jared Nickerson, Tony Maimone, Anton Fier, Jeff Buckley, Jonathan Kane (from the Swans), Jason Candler, Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) and Billy Ficca (Television). I’ve caught every version of the band live right from the beginning and they are consistently powerful live during the entire three decade journey.
This is a long lost live recording made at the Bowery Poetry Club in 2006, during the time when DMG was located down the block on the Bowery and we were booking shows there on occasion. This version of Gods and Monsters featured keyboard wiz, Jerry Harrison, formerly of Talking Heads. Jerry Harrison & Ernie Brooks played together previously in Jonathan Richman’s Modern Lovers band. Like many of Gary Lucas’ sets from this era, the disc starts off with “King Strong”, which is based on the theme from “King Kong” (favorite Mothers of Invention instrumental). Mr. Lucas takes the first of numerous mind-bending guitar solos here. Right from the first note, the band is on fire and burning it down. Mr. has a knack for choosing cover songs from odd & diverse places. The late, legendary songwriter/cellist, between categories critic’s darling, Arthur Russell, gets a strong, psych/funk/rock blaster of his club hit, “Let’s Go Swimming”, which sounds better with a couple of inspired horn solos soaring on top. Half of the songs here are Gary Lucas originals and he chose them well. Although his vocals have a limited range, they always fit the sentiment of the song just right. Dollar Brand’s “Bra Joe from Killimanjaro” is a great choice as it is a superb, brooding, hypnotic, rocking hard but in a dreamy slow-motion. No-one but Gary Lucas would segway Miles Davis’ “Jack Johnson” into Suicide’s “Ghostrider”, an odd choice that really works. Another highlight is “Astronomy Domine” from the first Pink Floyd album, a psychedelic classic. Mr. Lucas’ tips his hat to other members of the band by covering Jonathan Richmond’s “She Cracked” and Television’s “See No Evil”, both are given inspired hard-hitting versions. Since I don’t listen to very much contemporary rock music, I found this disc to be a breath of fresh air for an old rock freak like yours truly… Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DANIEL CARTER / WATSON JENNISON / WILLIAM PARKER / FREDERICO UGHI - Live! Volume 1: Erie (577 Records 5797; USA) Working together in tours and recording since 2005, the NY trio of multi-reedist and wind player Daniel Carter, bassis William Parker and drummer/percussionist Federico Ughi are joined by saxophonist Watson Jennison also on flute, recorder and keyboards for this enlightened album of modern and transcendent jazz in a limited, remastered LP edition with bonus material. Working together in tours and recording since 2005, the NY trio of multi-reedist and wind player Daniel Carter, bassist William Parker and drummer/percussionist Federico Ughi are joined by saxophonist Watson Jennison also on flute, recorder and keyboards for this enlightened album of modern and transcendent jazz in a limited, remastered LP edition with bonus material.”
JESSICA ACKERLEY / PATRICK SHIROISHI / CHRIS WILLIAMS / LUKE STEWART / JASON NAZARY - SSWAN: Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster (577 Records 5885; USA) ”Rugged, experimental and avant jazz in the debut album from the SSWAN group of Patrick Shiroishi on saxophones, Chris Williams on trumpet, Jessica Ackerley on electric guitar, Luke Stewart on bass and Jason Nazary on drums, the group focused first on sound and velocity rather than pitch and harmonic information as they carve out a unique space between free jazz and free improv.”
EDDIE PREVOST - Collider-Scope: Or, Whose Drum is it, Anyway? (Matchless 107; UK) A series of impressive improvised solo drum performances by AMM/Matchless leader Eddie Prévost performed at Network Theatre in London, 2012, three pieces with each demonstrating a different characteristic of his remarkably creative and technically virtuosic playing, first with drum sticks, then with "Hands, brush, hands", and finally "Sticking it too".
SIMULACRUM - Semblance (Evil Clown 9297; USA) Amongst the many outfits that Evil Clown impresario Dave PEK has hatched through his own singular dominion, the collective he dubs Simulacrum can really turn your ears inside out, and for this lot, that’s really saying something. Yes, every project PEK and his motley crew dabble in has overtones relatable to the other (some more horn-based, others more on the spacey tip) but for this latest Simulacrum, PEK, and his fellow multi-instrumentalists—Bob Moores, Albey OnBass, and Joel SImches—pull out all the stops, set the controls for the heart of the sun, and blast off to parts unknown that only a hybrid merger of Sun Ra, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and Musica Elettronica Viva could devise. If those folks tweak your lobes a thing or two, then Semblance is surely your cuppa ummagumma. As is the standard M.O. for a typical Evil Clown joint, the quartet of red inaugurate a single improvised headstate across its 74-plus minute latitude. The piece churns ’n’ burns right out of the starting gate, with various fizzing, digital spasmodix, glorious lo-frequency static distortion, and synths a-plenty eventually giving way to PEK and Moores’s strangulated horn cries. Things burble, bubble, and come to a hot boil roughly forty minutes in, as PEK’s horns attempt to eviscerate the darkness, only they’re nearly buried in a quicksand of decommissioned tones and Simches’s expert signal processing, a textbook example of studio mind(tricks) over matter. At the fifty to fifty-four minute duration, a whole slew of percussive rain thunderbursts overhead and the quartet let loose a barrage of brash, magisterial synth and sequencer that would do any 70s hirsute krautrocker proud, augmented by a battalion of high trumpet that feels like the galactic empire’s entire fleet is gearing up for an interstellar assault bent massive. By the time the piece winds down and you can manage the odd breath, PEK and Co. have once again demonstrated that their performative genius remains epic— why remain tethered to stylistic boundaries when you can summarily invent your own? Breathtaking. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
AMIDEA CLOTET - Trasluz (Relative Pitch SS008; USA) Featuring Amidea Clotet on electric guitar & objects. I can’t tell you much about Amidea Clotet except that she has a duet discs out with pianist Agusti Fernandez and she hails from Barcelona, Spain. Relative Pitch founder, Kevin Reilly, spends quite a bit on time on line checking out mostly little known creative musicians from anywhere and everywhere, especially those who have created something unique. Relative Pitch started a new sub-series a few years back called “SS” which stands for Solo Series. This disc is the 8th Solo Series title. I’ve heard quite a bit of experimental electric guitar music over many years so I appreciate some diversity and surprises. The first piece, “A boca de fose” sound lie Ms. Clotet is using a bow or some other object to rubs the strings of her guitar. She seems to also controlling the volume with a pedal or knob so that the sounds float in with hearing the first attack. When one uses assorted objects to manipulate the guitar strings, it is hard to tell exactly what is going on. Bowed balloons? Bowed styrofoam? Assorted strange sounds in between a few recognizable fractured guitar sounds. I do find most of these sounds to be captivating no matter what is going on. There is a long quiet section on “El que no es diu”, forces us to listen more closely, things are stripped down to plinks, soft rubbed strings and static-like sounds. The sounds get more dense and noisier over time with some intense eruptions in the later part of this piece. Ms. Clotet has done a good job of creating her own sonic world as the music consistently evokes a wide variety of images for the mind’s eye.
AKOS ROZMANN - Mass/Massa (Ideological Organ 044CD; France) “Ákos Rózmann's Mass consists of twelve electroacoustic compositions created between 1989 and 2004 in the composer's studio and at EMS in Stockholm. Like most of Rózmann's compositions, Mass is a long-form work with a duration of around seven hours. Mass is s an enormous fresco of personal observations on the two first parts of the Catholic Mass, Kyrie and Gloria. The intensely subjective perspective on the texts of the Mass is underlined by Rózmann's freezing images -- in his own words -- "tropes", i.e. meditations in Swedish, Hungarian, and Latin over particular words in the mass text or connection to it. A few passages have nothing to do with the mass text: "Organ piece VI" in "Gloria I" (also performed with the subtitle Nocturne in silver and dance) is a sort of lament based on the phrase "Natten gråter" (the night is crying). You find the composer's peculiar sense of humor in the intermezzo following "Gloria I" -- a composed version of the intermission common in Swedish concert houses, complete with clashing coffee cups and empty chatter from the bureaucratic music establishment. The overarching formal structure of Mass is an intricate one, with the various parts functioning simultaneously as independent pieces and as parts of sub-groups within the whole structure of the piece. As independent pieces, some of them go under the name Organ piece. For example, the three pieces included in the first "Gloria" part of mass form another independent composition named "Triptykon", first performed as a separate work in 1996. In the earlier parts of Mass, a battle fought between positive forces is represented by the words in the Mass text and negative forces represented by various challenging sounds, such as scornful laughter, grunts, burps, nauseous choking and vomiting sounds. First, the negative powers drag down the positive forces into a "black hole" or in pockets. Then the positive forces return to dominate the remaining parts of "Gloria". This formal narrative is nuanced by the composer, who, in interviews, offer a less dualistic, more complex viewpoint on the conflict central to the Mass. The most prominent sound sources in the work are the organ, a Hungarian zither and human voices. Throughout the whole piece, there is a vocal group from a village church in Corsica, singing the Latin mass texts solo and chorally. Other participants are Schola Gregoriana Holmiae under the direction of Viveca Servatius, a group of German Benedictine monks and, in the role of a sort of master of ceremonies, Thomas Hammar. Deluxe seven-CD boxset including two booklets and digital download.”
7 CD Box Set $75
DIE WELTTRAUMFORSCHER - Liederbuch (Bureau B 420CD; Germany) “When the Welttraumforscher (world dream explorer) started their journey on July 14, 1981, it was not foreseeable that it would last so long. For over 40 years now, Christian Pfluger from Zurich has been working with drawings, texts and songs on the idiosyncratic and fascinating universe of the imaginary trio. This has resulted in numerous cassettes, LP and CD releases. Most recently, a two-part retrospective was released in the spring of 2021 on Hamburg's Bureau B (BB 353CD/LP and BB 354CD/LP), giving an insight into the wonderfully rapturous dream world of the project, which despite the continuous work remains something of an insider tip to this day. With their new collection Liederbuch, the Welttraumforscher are going on tour for the first time in many years. When the Welttraumforscher open their songbook, they are met, as in a pop-up book, by the fictional friends they have invented and sung to on their journey through 40 years: the captain to the soul Kip Eulenmeister (the owl master) and the crop circle researcher (iguana) Leguan Rätselmann, the insect twins Brtz and Brxl, the space travelers Lia and Mira from the Nordkristall (northern crystal), Ohm Olunde from the silent forests and the incredible dark pilots. In their distant worldroom, the two insect beings Brtz and Brxl open up the Welttraumforscher songbook. They find the songs, from A to O, sung by the Forscher on their albums dating back to the faraway year of 1981 -- on cassettes, vinyls, CDs and through digital communications kaleidoscopes. It's Sunday and, with plenty of downtime on their hands, Brtz and Brxl listen to all the songs; the one about the yellow wight in the moors, the one about Kip Eulenmeister, the Captain of Souls, one about Leguan Rätselmann, pursuing every riddle, and one about the dark things which sometimes happen around midnight. We want one too, say say Brtz and Brxl, a songbook of our own, all the songs we like to listen to the most, collected in one album. By now it is late on Sunday evening and the moon shines above them like a colorful paper lantern. The two insect beings ponder: what shall we call our songbook? The very name we gave it, songbook. So here it is and this is what it sounds like -- Brtz and Brxl wish you happy listening. As do the Welttraumforscher, whose quiet body of work turned out so well. So, without further ado: welcome! Welcome to the Welttraumforscher songbook!
OSEES - A Foul Form (Castle Face 147CD; USA) "Brain stem cracking scum-punk recorded tersely in the basement of my home. After a notoriously frustrating eon, the knee-jerk song path was aggressive and hooky. This is an homage to the punk bands we grew up on -- the weirdos and art freaks that piqued our interests and pointed us on the trail head to here / now. Bad times make for strong music is something I agree with. I would say that is evident by the past few years of output from the underground. Transmissions have been all over the map: scanning...searching...sweeping out in the darkness looking for a foot hold. [OSEES] A Foul From represents some of our most savage and primal instincts. Fight or flight. And the importance of a sense of humor in the darkest hour. Nothing wrong with keeping it snappy in the meantime. For fans of Rudimentary Peni, Crass, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Screamers, Abwarts, Stooges and all things aggressively tilted towards your face. You can lean back but don't flinch...it's a brief foray into the exhausting pogo pit, so stiffen your back and jerk with your knees. Enjoy." --John Dwyer
ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS, REISSUES and RESTOCKED ITEMS:
JOHN McLAUGHLIN / JOHN SURMAN / KARL BERGER / DAVE HOLLAND / STU MARTIN - Where Fortune Smiles? (Esoteric 2605; UK) This is an incredible early John Surman studio session from NYC in May 1971, essentially a quintet version of The Trio, with an all-star European cast featuring John McLaughlin on guitar, Dave Holland (John's mate in Miles' band) on double-bass, Surman on baritone sax (and at the apex of his powers), Karl Berger on piano and vibes, and the legendary drumming of Stu Martin - imagine The Trio (Surman / Martin /Barre Phillips) w/ McLaughlin and Berger added - but you don't have to imagine, this is it!!! Surman had been one member of the quartet on McLaughlin's 1st album ‘Extrapolation’, which is often considered to be McLaughlin’s best and one first jazz/rock epics. Immensely powerful and inventive compositions and improvising!!! Long out of print on CD and with ever better sound thanks to the fine folks at Esoteric. This album is a longtime favorite of mine, as well as those who appreciate the early days of primal jazz/rock before the word fusion was being used. Right from the gitgo, the quintet is soaring higher & higher with the first solo from Karl Berger’s vibes sounding like high-speed chase. This is no doubt some edge-of-your-seat excitement. Mr. Surman’s soprano sax solo is extraordinary and reaches for stars with that colossal rhythm team holding on for dear life. This album was recorded a year before Mr. McLaughlin organized the original Mahavishnu Orchestra and that same sprawling intensity/fire music/spirit is at the center here as well. Incredible solos by each member of the quintet and as ultra tight & spirited ensemble playing can be found through this marvelous disc. Outstanding from all aspects of the time and place. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ALBERT AYLER with DONALD AYLER / MICHAEL SAMSON / LEWIS WORRELL / RON SHANNON JACKSON - At Slugs' Saloon 1966, Revisited (Hat ezz-thetics 1131; Switzerland) “Combining the two Italian ESP/BASE LPs from 1982 and the 1995 ESP reissues, this spectacular concert with perhaps Ayler's most essential band--Ayler on tenor sax, Donald Ayler on trumpet, Michel Samson on violin, Lewis Worrell on double bass and Ronald Shannon Jackson on drums--is fully remastered to bring out more details from the complete, ecstatic 1966 concert.”
CHARLES RUMBACK with JASON STEIN / RON MILES / GREG WARD / MACIE STEWART / et al (Astral Spirits 151; USA) Featuring Greg Ward on alto sax, Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Macie Stewart on violin, Jim Baker on analogue synth, John Hughes on electronics, John Tate & Nick Macri on bass, Charles Rumback on drums & guitar and Sima Cunningham & Krystal Warren on voices. The Chicago underground Creative Music scene continues to thrive thanks to labels like Clean Feed, 482 Music, Aerophonic, Rogue Art, Bridge Sessions, Audiographic and Astral Spirits. I’ve been checking out Chicago drummer Charles Rumback for more than decade through different bands like Colorlist, Stirrup and a few where Rumback is the leader. You should most likely know of the other members of his ensemble here: bass clarinetist Jason Stein (leader of Locksmith Isadore), the late trumpeter Ron Miles, alto saxist Greg Ward (2 great leader dates on Greenleaf), analogue synth player Jim Baker and violinist/vocalist Macie Stewart (member of Marker with Ken Vandermark).
This album starts out softly with some lovely, sad, laid back sounds. There are two vocalists on this album, Sima Cunningham & Krystle Warren, neither of whom I’ve heard of before. One or both of the vocalists sing exquisitely on the first track with sublime trumpet, bass clarinet & sax simmering underneath. The second song, “Fall Dog Bombs the Moon” is also restrained and dreamy, with floating horns and strings. I have always dug the playing of Denver-born trumpeter Ron Miles who sadly passed away in March of this year (2022) at only 59. His playing throughout this disc is most haunting and ghost-like. “k10”, the last piece on Side 1, features acoustic basses, violin, drums and synths all swirling together in a most hypnotic way, similar to the Sun Ra Arkestra who also started out in Chicago in the 50’s. Side 2 starts off with “Fast Shadows” which is also dreamy and sublime. Yawning muted trumpet, hushed sax & bass clarinet, float around one another like waltzing ghosts. The entire piece has an eerie, cerebral vibe that again reminds me of some instrumental space passages from many Sun Ra Ark records. I have to hand it to Astral Spirits, the pressing and sound on all ten of the LP we just got in are consistently superb. This is one of the best, more relaxed and calming gems I’ve heard in recent memory. Perfect sound for a vinyl-only release. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ASHER GAMEDZE with ALAN BISHOP & XINAKO ESPINOZA - out side work / two duets (Astral Spirits) Featuring duets with Asher Gamedze on drums with Alan Bishop on alto sax & voice and Xinako Espinoza tenor sax, percussion & artwork. Asher Gamedze is a South African jazz drummer who is also a member of Tha Brothahood. Saxist Xinako Espinoza is also a member of Tha Brothahood. Tha Brothahood back Angel Bat Dawid on her live record for the International Anthem label. Although Mr. Gamedze is originally from South Africa, Tha Brothahood seems to be based in Chicago. Alan Bishop is a founding member of the Sun City Girls, the Dwarfs of East Agouza and co-runs the Sublime Frequencies label. Side One features a duet with Asher Gamedze on drums and Xinako Espinoza on tenor sax & percussion. I dig the way this duo plays together, playing freely and taking their time to build in density and intensity. Both musicians sound like they are on the same page, actively listening and playing together in a similar free focused way. Side II features Alan Bishop on alto sax & voice and Asher Gamedze on drums. The Sun City Girls started off in the mid-eighties as a punk, noise, free-for-all trio whose was beyond regular categories and were often unpredictable in their oddjob stage antics. Improvisation was always at the center of what they did. They broke up in 2007 when their drummer Charlie Gocher passed away. The otwo members of the SCG are brother Rick and Alan Bishop and both have kept busy with assorted projects. Side II is another strong side of intense, focused Free/Jazz. Similar to side I, this duo also take this time to build up their sound. I especially like the drumming of Mr. Gamedze, who at times sounds like Drumbo (from the Capt. Beefheart Magic Band) while Mr. Bishop wails, bending notes all around on alto sax without having to resort to much free/jazz screaming blasts. Mr. Bishop also sings at points in a ridiculously wacky voice which doesn’t very much different from his alto sax playing. This is Free Music for Funky Freaks like you and me. Amen, sisters & brothers! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
KUZU with DAVE REMPIS / TASHI DORJI / TYLER DAMON - The Glass Delusion (Astral Spirits 122; USA) Featuring Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & bari saxes, Tashi Dorji on guitar and Tyler Damon on drums. The ever-prolific Chicago saxist, Dave Rempis, runs his own Aerophonic label and has some half-dozen different bands running at the same time. Kuzu have been around since 2018 and have five releases out so far, this is their fourth. The trio features experimental guitarist Tashi Dorji who hails from Asheville, NC, Dave Rempis on multiple saxes and Tyler Damon (originally from Cincinnati, Ohio) on drums. I have heard 4 of the 5 Kuzu releases (gotta find that cassette) and I must admit that I am way impressed. For those of us who dig experimental electric guitar, Mr. Dorji is in a class of his own. Check out his recent duo LP with Susie Ibarra, also on the Astral Spirits label.
This album, ‘The Grand Delusion’ consists of just 2 pieces, 1 is 31 mintues and the other is 12 minutes. Side I is one long piece broken into two parts. It was recorded at Elastic Arts in Chicago in October of 2018. The piece starts off with the trio playing quietly, all three musicians simmering together, slowly building in intensity. As the piece unfolds, the guitar and sax both erupt together combining forces, the vibe brooding on the verge of exploding while the drummer plays a ritualistic throbbing central pulse. After several years of recording and occasionally touring together, Kuzu do have their own sound. Mr. Rempis is a master of the repeating riff at the center many of his improv excursions, slowly twisting his lines as the continue to throb that central pulse. Tashi Dorji is great at adding to and building his lines which connect the sax with the drums like a cosmic web. I do hope that Kuzu make their way to NYC in the near distant future but who knows. In the meantime I advise that you gran this album and check it out as Kuzu definitely rules! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
RedGreenBlue with PAUL GIALLORENZO / BEN LAMAR GAY / CHARLES KIRCHIN / RYAN PACKARD - “The End and The Beginning” (Astral Spirits 190; USA) Featuring Paul Giallorenzo on synth, pump organ & electronics, Ben Lamar Gay on cornet & electronics, Charlie Kirchen & Nick Macri on bass and Ryan Packard on drums & electronics. Review next week.
GNAWA MUSIC OF MARRAKESH - Night Spirit Masters (Zehra 006LP: Germany) “Remastered vinyl reissue of this 1990 Bill Laswell/Richard Horowitz production of local Gnawa musicians, recorded in the Medina of Marrakesh. According to AllMusic it is "a must for fans of both African and Middle Eastern music" and voted one of the "10 essential Gnawa albums" by Songlines. The Gnawa are an ethnic minority in today's Morocco, descendants of slaves from West Africa who were brought to Morocco in the 16th century and who (although they quickly converted to Islam) nevertheless brought with them remnants of their animistic practices. The Gnawa perform a complex ceremony (called lila or derdeba) that over the duration of several hours recreates the genesis of the universe by the evocation of the seven main manifestations of the divine, represented by seven colors. Those ceremonies, led by a master or "maleem", are still taking place today privately while Gnawa music in general has clearly been modernizing and thus become more profane, but witnessing a performance is still an astonishing experience. With the exception of a handful of recordings by Paul Bowles and Philip Schuyler (more ethnographic documents in a field recordings style), Gnawa music was barely heard outside of Morocco before 1990 -- one of the first westerners to come and record the music was Bill Laswell, back then running his Axiom label that portrayed a wide range of ethnic music and musicians like The Master Musicians Of Jajouka or Maleem Mahmoud Ghania, to name just two. Night Spirit Masters, recorded in the Medina of Marrakech, delivers soulful tracks of lead and group singers in call-and-response mode, fired by sentirs, drums, hand clapping, and qrakechs, while others are drum features or sentir/vocal pieces. Over 30 years after its initial release, this essential Gnawa album is finally available again. Gnawa, bottom heavy trance music of North Africa. Repetitive bass lines, generated by the gimbri or sintir with metal clappers, hand drums and voice. Seven trances, seven colors, seven scents, Gnawa not only moves, it can remove. 180 gram vinyl; includes download card.”
TONY CONRAD WITH FAUST - Outside The Dream Syndicate (Superior Viaduct 048CD; USA) "Violinist, composer and filmmaker Tony Conrad started his career in New York in the early 1960s. As a member of the Theater of Eternal Music (a.k.a. the Dream Syndicate) alongside John Cale, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Angus MacLise, he participated in now-legendary and often legendarily loud drone performances with many pieces having no beginning and no end. During a fateful trip to Germany in 1972, Conrad met with avant-rock visionaries Faust and made the very first record to bear his name. Outside The Dream Syndicate, originally released in Europe only in 1973, is a stunning debut. Two side-long tracks -- 'The Side Of Man And Womankind' and 'The Side Of The Machine' -- show just how far Conrad had moved beyond his minimalist peers. Werner Diermaier's repetitive drum beat and Jean-Hervé Peron's stripped-down bassline conjure a tense, ascetic groove, while Conrad's seamless violin, initially so controlled, reveals a surprising adaptability. The music shifts almost on a subliminal level, pushing and pulling to the drone's internal pulse. It is hard to imagine Conrad's trajectory from downtown Manhattan to a farmhouse in the German countryside that ultimately resulted in Outside The Dream Syndicate, yet no other record captures -- so completely and instantly -- the intersection of avant-garde and rock forms. Outside The Dream Syndicate remains ahead of and bracingly outside of its time. This first-time vinyl reissue and long out-of-print CD release have been carefully been carefully mastered from the original master tapes and include liner notes by musician Jim O'Rourke and author Branden W. Joseph."
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - Live at End of Cole Avenue in Dallas, Texas 27 October 1969 (Radio Loop Loop 082LP; Italy) “In March 1969, the Velvets (with Doug Yule now on bass) embarked on a nationwide tour. One of these included a stint at the "End Of Cole Avenue" club in Dallas -- one of the Velvets' few live performances where a professional sound engineer was actually on hand to record the sets. Some of the songs recorded over those few nights showed up in 1974 on their 1969: Velvet Underground Live album, but the sound quality was not great due to the use of third or fourth generation tapes. However, the first-generation tapes have since resurfaced, and the difference in sound quality (heard here) is a welcome one.”
SAM SHALABI - Shirk (Nashazphone 037LP; Egypt) “Shirk is the new AOR flavored free improvisation solo album by Sam Shalabi, featuring Eric Chenaux and Nadah El-Shazly, where synth pop and sound poetry fester. Sam Shalabi is an Egyptian-Canadian composer, improviser and guitarist living between Montreal and Cairo. Starting out during the late '70s punk era, his work has evolved into an experimental synthesis of modern Arabic music that incorporates free improvisation, traditional Arabic music, noise, classical, text, and jazz. Other than his numerous solo albums, he is a founding member of Shalabi Effect, a free improvisation quartet that bridges western psychedelic music and Arabic Maqam. He has also released four albums with Land Of Kush, the experimental 30-member orchestra which he directs. He has appeared on over 30 albums and toured Europe, North America, and North Africa. Mastered by Mark Gergis. Vinyl master and lacquer cut by Frederic Alstadt, Angstrom Studio. Edition of 300.”
TOMOYUKI AOKI & HARUTAKA MOCHIZUKI - Tomoyuki Aoki & Harutaka Mochizuki (Nashazphone 040LP; Egypt) “Reissue of the now long sold-out debut album (2014) by the guitar and saxophone duo of Aoki Tomoyuki (Up-Tight) and Harutaka Mochizuki. Initially limited to 200 CD copies only, this record features nine, reverb drenched, mourning pieces characterized by this duo's specific melancholic language via guitar and alto saxophone. Immediately evoking the Velvet Underground inspired electric and echo filled ballads of Les Rallizes Dénudés, it is also augmented with haunting horn improvisations simultaneously reminiscent of Anthony Braxton and Kaoru Abe. Recorded at A.B.U. Studio, Hamamatsu: 2014. Vinyl master and lacquer cut by Frederic Alstadt, Angstrom Studio. Edition of 300.”
SEU JORGE AND ALMAZ - Seu Jorge And Almaz (Now-Again 5068LP; USA) “Originally released in 2010. "Listening to this remarkable album for the first time you'll surely be struck first by the deep, soul-piercing voice of that great Brazilian singer, Seu Jorge. Yes: he's a singer first and foremost. Many may know him as an actor for his screen-stealing performances in the likes of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic and Fernando Meirelles' City Of God but Seu has known since he was a child that we was destined to sing. He's a Brazilian singer who speaks the truth through samba, to paraphrase a well-known Seu Jorge quote. But this project is about a band: Almaz. Drummer Pupillo and guitarist Lucio Maia from the stalwart Nação Zumbi; bassist and composer Antonio Pinto from the soundstages of movies starring Seu Jorge. They came together naturally to record a song for a Walter Salles film; they enjoyed the experience so much that they recorded an entire album of music that inspired them. Songs famous within the Brazilian diaspora (Tim Maia, Jorge Ben) mesh with classic American (Roy Ayers, Michael Jackson) and European (Kraftwerk, Cane and Abel) soul songs begging for a bit of psychedelic samba. They enlisted producer and fellow Brazileiro Mario C. (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson) to put the finishing touches on the project. Their album is both warm and dark; psychedelic and yet grounded, uplifting but at times somber. To listen to it is to join them in the studio, where the only bandleader is the music and the only agenda is to follow your heart."
2 LP Set $35
THE SEVENTH DAWN - Sunrise (Guerssen Records 074LP: Spain) “Last copies. Spooky and fragile British-sounding folk from the USA, with some progressive and psychedelic hints. Recorded between 1970 and 1976 and privately released in 1976, original copies reach 4 figures. High-quality reissue in 180 gram vinyl, in a nice package with the original artwork and unbeatable remastered sound quality. Also includes a repro of the original sticker, the original insert and a new insert with photos and liners by bandleader Heff Munson.”
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.
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
This Sunday BRECHT LIVES -August 14, 2022 - 6:00 to 10:00 pm
at BOWERY ELECTRIC Map Room- 327 Bowery -$10 donation
for N.A.R.A.L. NY!*•♪♪*•*♪♪*•*•♪♪
A BENEFIT FOR NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA
A concert of spoken word artists, musicians and activists gathering in praise of Bertolt Brecht's artfully revolutionary poetry and prose. On the anniversary of his passing, we celebrate the living legacy of Brecht through readings, post-punk rock, jazz, cabaret, and radical new music and drama.
Featuring: ELLIOTT SHARP & TRACIE MORRIS RB KORBET, PUMA PERL & FRIENDS, JOHN S. HALL, RON KOLM, GORGE WALLACE, LINDSEY WILSON, DAVID LAWTON, CHERYL PYLE, CHRIS FORBES, JOHN PIETARO & LAURIE TOWERS, BERNADETTE SPEACH & JEFFREY SCHANZER, RICK ECKERLE, MARYANNE DE PROPHETIS, ROSE TANG, PHILLIP GIAMBRI, LINDA KLEINBUB, BILLY LAMONT
TURN IT UP!! PART 1
GARY LUCAS’ GODS & MONSTERS!
IVAN JULIAN & THE MAGNIFICENT SIX!
Thursday, August 18th at 7:30 For FREE!
At Lincoln Center - David Rubenstein Atrium
61 West 62nd St, NYC
A tribute to NYC’s Rocking in the 80’s by the musicians who were there!
Part 2 will take place on Thursday, August 25th
AMAZING SERIES OF PODCASTS PUT TOGETHER BY THE GREAT GUITARIST SAMO SALAMON:
The wonderful Slovenian guitarist/composer Samo Salamon has an incredible podcast on Youtube entitled "DR. JAZZ". He has interviewed many of the leading lights of contemporary improvisation including Bill Frisell, Hal Galper, Herb Robertson, Ben Monder, Bob Moses etc. and his conversations are deep and enlightening. Highly recommended for all curious listeners across the worlds of creative music. Here is the link below..
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=samo šalamon&qpvt=samo šalamon&FORM=VDRE
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:
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/
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
INDEPENDENT PROMOTERS ALLIANCE Presents:
KEN VANDERMARK, JOE MORRIS (saxophone/guitar duo)
@ Michiko Studios, Stage 2
149 West 46th Street
Saturday, SEPTEMBER 10 at 7:00 PM
Stage 2 is on 3rd floor
(Building is not elevator-equipped).
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org