BRUCE LEE FROM DMG SAYS, “PLEASE GET OUT & VOTE!”
Up until the time I was 13, when I bought the first album by the Mothers of Invention, titled ‘Freak-Out!”, I never really questioned the fact that the U.S. was called “the land of the free & the home of the brave”. The concept of “Freedom” always appealed to me but I never considered how much we were being manipulated into believing that things that are not really the truth of what is actually going on around us. Protest music/songs by Bob Dylan, PF Sloan’s “The Eve of Destruction” and “Trouble Every Day” by the Mothers (reprinted at the end of this newsletter) often made me reconsider my view of what is just and what is unfair or just not right. I’ve shed many skins and worn many hats over time: being a hippie in the sixties, being a proghead in the seventies, being a hard-core punk in the eighties and then discarding all of those pigeonholes as I got older to become a Wise Old Man (sometimes) in my post millenium Golden Years. It is true that I am a baby boomer, born just 10 years after WWII and that I grew up in the sixties, when there seemed to be some hope for racial justice & equality, tolerance for those with different views and the feeling that Peace & Love would actually conquer Hate & Division. More than a half century later I can see that the hopeful dreams that I once had for the future have pretty much faded away. But not completely. I see that the U.S. has been moving further to the Right with the election of every Republican politician and the greedy extremists who now run that Cult/Party. I am getting tired of arguing against the movement towards Fascism which often seems hopeless due to the Great Tide/Echo Chamber of Fake News: Fox News, NewsMax, Q-Non, Koch Bros., all lies, all the time. Yes, like many of you/us, I am outraged by many of the things that Right Wing Politicians are saying but I realize that they are just protecting their own interests: the right to exploit and manipulate the MAGA Clan and threaten the rest of us more sensible/sensitive humans. Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Insta-Gram and Tik-Tok are all part of this mess, so turning the tide often seems hopeless. Major tech companies & corporations like Google and Amazon are in the business sell you things you probably don’t need so that they can gather more money and power. Less for us who really need it. I myself boycott Amazon and Google (try Duckduckgo.com as a search engine & use Fastmail.com rather than Gmail) and hope to start a network which will support small businesses, artists, immigrants, women, people of color and anyone else who has been screwed by the Tidal Wave of Greed and Injustice. We are the New Army of Anti-Fascism, many of us are retired old folks who still have some Hope and are not afraid to fight Ignorance and Intolerance. Next Tuesday is Election Day and this is an important election. I am volunteering to be a pollworker so those who come to vote will feel safe from the evil forces that would try and scare into not voting or voting for someone who doesn’t reaaly about anyone other than him or themselves. Take some time to think hard, read a book and stop staring at your phone for info. “Blow your harmonica, son!” says Uncle Frank Z. - MC BruceLee, DMG
THE DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY 31st ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE PERFORMANCE SERIES Continues with:
Tuesday, November 8th:
NO GIG - ELECTION NIGHT! Please get out to vote!
Saturday November 12th - GauciMusic Series Presents:
6pm: Ken Kobayashi - drums / Ayumi Ishito - sax / Eric Plaks - keyboard
7pm: Stephen Gauci - tenor sax / Gasper Piano - guitar / Adam Lane - bass / Kevin Shea - drums
8pm: Rotem Eylam - guitar / Mark Abramovski - bass / Isaac Dubow - trumpet / Ben Eidson - electronics
Tuesday, November 15th:
6:30: ELLIOTT SHARP!
7:30: BOB MUSSO / MARK DATERMAN - Guitar Duo!
8:30: BEN STAPP / OLIVIA DEL PRATO!
IT IS INCREDIBLY RARE FOR A DMG NEWSLETTER TO START OFF WITH ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS but thanks to an alert from Downtown drummer Lou Grassi, we have discovered a small treasure chest of important recordings recently released by avant/jazz bass great Steve Tintweiss on his own Inky DoT Media label. Mr. Tintweiss was the contrabassist for the last sessions of Albert Ayler as well as recording & touring with Frank Wright, Burton Greene and Patty Waters. Tintweiss was wise enough to record most of his sessions, from the last sixties through the early 1980’s on reel-to-reel tape, cassettes and later on DAT’s. Thanks to Ben Young & Joe Lizzi (from the Triple Point & Cosmic Myth labels) for helping Tintweiss transfer many of his historic recordings.
There are now five releases on the Inky DoT Media label, 3 CD’s, a 12” and a 10” LP, all listed below.
STEVE TINTWEISS SPACELIGHT BAND with BYARD LANCASTER / CHARLES BRACKEEN / GENIE SHERMAN / LOU GRASSI - Live at NYU: 1980 (Inky Dot Media 007; USA) The Spacelight Band features Charles Brackeen on tenor & soprano saxes, Byard Lancaster on alto & soprano saxes, bass clarinet & flute, Genie Sherman on vocals, Steve Tintweiss on 5-string contrabass, melodica, voice & compositions and Lou Grassi on drums. Recorded live in November of 1980 at Loeb Student Center at NYU. I have been listening to what is referred to as “Free Jazz” late 1972/early 1973 when I first heard the music of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. Nearly a half century later, I am still listening to Free/Jazz and appreciating its long evolving tradition. Bandleader/bassist, Steve Tintweiss, recorded & worked with Free/Jazz legends Albert Ayler, Frank Wright, Burton Greene & Patty Waters in the 1960’s all for the ESP label. Tintweiss also formed his own band(s), organizing gigs and recording many of them on his own Tandem reel-to-reel tape deck or a Nakamichi cassette deck. Over the past decade, Mr. Tintweiss has been transferring many of his tapes into the digital domain with the help of archivists Ben Young and Joe Lizzi.
Since Mr. Tintweiss had already worked with Free/Jazz greats like Albert Ayler & Frank Wright, he chose some heavy hitters for his own Spacelight Band: two great saxists: Charles Brackeen (under-recorded master with just a few records under his own name) and Byard Lancaster (Philly great who worked with Sunny Murray & Odean Pope), free/vocalist Genie Sherman (who I once caught with Garrett List) and Lou Grassi (in the early days of his career). The term “Free Jazz” is often misleading since much of this music is not completely free. “Spring Raga” has a warm, laid back, spiritual quality with soft, lovely, soulful, non-lyric vocals by Ms. Sherman and the tasty swirling sounds of flute, soprano sax, bass and mallet-work drums/cymbals. Ms. Sherman’s lovely child-like, Laura Nyro-ish vocals are featured on “Whistle Stop Tour”, a most enchanting song. I love the way the two saxes caress Ms. Sherman’s voice on “Love’s Fortune”, which reminds me of Jeanne Lee & Gunter Hampel or June Tyson & Sun Ra and the way they worked together so well. The flutes and soprano sax are featured on “Risk-O-Disc”, which is anchored by a great repeating bass-line. One of the main things here which make this music/disc work is how well it is recorded, the sound of tape (whether reel-to-reel or cassette) is much warmer and more real sounding than any digitally recorded signal. In actuality, there is not much completely “free music” going on here, instead, Mr. Tintweiss has written some consistently engaging music which a certain amount of thematic structure yet does move into some freer areas at times. Both saxists, Charles Brackeen and Byard lancaster get several chances to stretch out and solo which often brings things from a simmer to almost boiling point. Genie Sherman, a stronger singer who can only be heard on a few records, also gets to stretch out and solo on “Vermont Tune”, her voice soaring higher and higher throughout. You could say that this is a period work which embraces the free/jazz aesthetic yet is suite-like with different songs or detours through some different audio/genre scenery. OUTstanding on several levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $20
JACQUES COURSIL / PERRY ROBINSON / WARREN GALE / STEVE TINTWEISS / LAURENCE COOK - Ave B Free Jam (Inky DoT CD005; USA) Recorded May 12th of 1967 and featuring Jacques Coursil & Warren Gale on trumpets, Perry Robinson on bass clarinet, Steve Tintweiss on contrabass and Laurence Cook on drums. You could say this was an all-star Free/Jazz session but all of the members of this one-time only quintet were in the early stages of their careers. French trumpeter, Jacques Coursil, had already recorded with Sunny Murray & Bill Dixon. The eldest member was clarinetist Perry Robinson who already recorded as a leader for Savoy in 1962 and was a member of the Henry Grimes Trio LP on ESP in 1966. The other trumpet wiz here is Warren Gale who worked with West Coast drummer Smiley Winters, Bert Wilson, Jimmy Zitro and later with Stan Kenton. Boston-area based drummer Laurence Cook is still around (in 2022) and has had a long career working with Paul Bley, Bobby Naughton, Bill Dixon and Paul Flaherty.
This session was recorded at a Lower East Side apt/loft space on a Tandberg reel-to-reel tape deck in May of 1967. The music has already started when this disc fades in. Although it free and intense, the quintet is laying back, the slow fire is burning from within. Both trumpeters are in fine form spinning furious lines together along with Perry Robinson’s (bass?) clarinet while the rhythm team moves in waves, taking their time to build in tempo & intensity as they go/flow. This disc is 78 minutes long and the entire session sounds wonderful. 1967 was that year that John Coltrane recorded ‘Interstellar Space’ and the year that he died. This session captures that same Free Spirit with the flame burning at a less furious simmer. Great cosmic medicine to help inspire us all more than a half century later. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STEVE TINTWEISS and THE PURPLE WHY with MARK WHITECAGE / JAMES DuBOISE / TREVOR KOEHLER / JUDY STUART / AMY SHEFFER / LAURENCE COOK - MarksTown (Inky DoT CD 005; USA) The Purple Why featured Mark Whitecage on tenor sax, Trevor Koehler on bari sax, James Dubois on trumpet, Steve Tintweiss on contrabass, melodica & vocals, Laurence Cook on drums plus Judy Stuart & Amy Sheffer on voices. Albert Ayler & Patty Waters bassist Steve Tintweiss organized a band called The Purple Why to perform at two concerts for the Operation Biafra Airlift Benefit at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery and at Town Hall in the late summer of 1968. Some of the other musicians/bands on the bill included Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Tom Paxton, Peter walker and Country Joe & the Fish. You should recognize a few of the names here like: Mark Whitecage - legendary free/jazz sax great who passed away a few years ago, bari saxist Trevor Koehler who played in Insect Trust & with Gil Evans and James Dubois, a member of the legendary/ultra obscure Nature’s Consort with Bobby Naughton, Mario Pavone and Laurence Cook. Even the vocalists here had interesting resume’s: Amy Sheffer played with Marzette Watts & Billy Bang. I can tell you much about Judy Stuart although Mr. Tintweiss did release a solo 10” by her with Burton Greene, Calo Scott & Marc Levin in her band.
The music here was recorded on a reel-to-reel tape-deck and the sound is superb. The St. Mark’s gig is first and has a most cerebral, free, spirit jazz sound. Trevor Koehler takes the first solo here on baritone sax and he has a warm, feisty yet laid back sound. Each piece flows into the next one which feels just right. Mr. Tintweiss’ contrabass is at the center of these pieces and he has a strong probing sound. He also sings a bit on “How Sweet?”, his voice slightly bent but it fits the subdued vibe. Boston-based drummer, Laurence Cook, is also integral to the sound/music here. The band starts to swing and soar somewhat on “N.E.S.W.”, which features some strong bowed bass. The Town Hall set seems to float in from another dimension with Mr. Tintweiss on melodica at first, haunting trumpet and flute floating on top. The first bracing solo is on bari sax and it is a fire-breathing exercise free spirits. The two female vocalists are hovering in the background like space ghosts. Trumpeter James Duboise, who recorded very little during his career is in especially fine form here playing those long, free-flowing lines with power and invention. The vocalists are bathed in echoes with Mr. Tintweiss also doing his own weird vocalizing at times a well. As free ans as hard hitting as this is, it seems hard to believe that this band was on the same bill as Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe & the Fish, Richie Havens and Joan Baez. Still, this was the late 1960’s when concerts at places like the Fillmore’s would put rock, blues, jazz and assorted oddities on the same bill for the stoned freaks to enjoy. This disc does capture the spirit of the times well and those were some pretty freaky times. A special toast to Steve Tintweiss and his cosmic crew for letting the angels & demons out and about. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* STEPHEN GAUCI / FRANCISCO MELA / WILLIAM PARKER / MATT SHIPP - Live at Scholes Street Studio (GauciMusic 04684; USA) Featuring Steve Gauci on tenor sax, Matt Shipp on piano, William Parker on contrabass and Francisco Mela on drums. After running a Monday night music series at the Bushwick Public House for more than 5 years (which recently ended), Steve Gauci now curates a once-a-month Saturdays series here at DMG, as well as doing a monthly series at Scholes Street Studio in Brooklyn. The GauciMusic label has released some 50 discs over the past few years, mostly with a few different series. One of the series is discs recorded at Scholes Street Studio, which Mr. Gauci just left us with four upcoming titles. Each of these new ones has Mr. Gauci playing with a different rhythm team. For this disc Mr. Gauci is backed up by Matt Shipp, William Parker and Francisco Mela, the trio also have a recent record on 577 and both Mr. Parker and Mr. Mela have also recently recorded together with Zoh Amba.
After hearing Mr. Gauci play live here at DMG monthly for the past year, I am getting a better handle of the way he plays with different personnel. The music here, like all of the sets that Mr. Gauci performs and records is “free”. The musicians he chooses often determine the way things work, unfold or evolve. I can hear those dark, resonating chords that Matt Shipp most often plays as a part of the way things begin here. Cuban drummer, Francisco Mela, has become of the most in-demand drummers over the past few years and works well here, especially since he and William Parker have done a handful of records together in recent times. Mr. Shipp takes a strong, inspired solo midway which is followed by some great drumming by Mr. Mela. The quartet work well together, their playing inspired, intense, focused, ever-evolving like a heated organic conversation. Consistently on target. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* STEVE GAUCI will be back at Scholes Street Studio on November 22nd. See the listing in the concert recommendation section at the end of the newsletter.
CHAD TAYLOR TRIO with BRIAN SETTLES & NEIL PODGURSKI - The Reel (Astral Spirits 223; USA) Featuring Chad taylor on drums, Brian Settles on tenor sax and Neil Podgurski on piano. Currently there are two drummers who are working at DMG, Kevin Murray & James Nadian. Plus I took drums lessons in high school, played in a few rock bands and have continued to play hand percussion (mostly hubcaps) ever since. I bring this up since Kevin, James and myself often talk about what we like about certain drummers. James and I were talking earlier this week and decided that there were/are two Downtown drummers whose playing we most admire: Gerald Cleaver and Chad Taylor. Both of whom seem to bring the best out of whatever playing situation they are in. Chad Taylor has consistently knocked me out, whether playing for James Brandon Lewis, the Chicago Underground or Marc Ribot. Mr. Taylor has led very few of his own bands, just two trios, one with Angelica Sanchez and this one with Brian Settles and Neil Podgurski. This is the second disc by this particular trio, the first was released two years ago on the Cuneiform.
All three members of this trio contribute songs for this disc plus we get two covers of Andrew Hill songs. Washington DC—based saxist, Brian Settles, has been turning up on more discs over the past few years with Tomas Fujiwara and Jeremy Carlstedt. Considering this this is a trio without a bassist, they do sound great just as they are. The first piece, “Subterfuge”, was written by the great pianist & composer Andrew Hill. It has a most hypnotic, probing, dark repeating groove with a powerful tenor sax solo by Mr. Settles and a mighty fine drum break from Mr. Taylor. “Delta” was written by Mr. Podgurski, who wrote 4 out of the 9 pieces here, each one great in its own way. Mr. Podgurski plays an extraordinary piano solo here which keeps changing currents as it goes. Mr. Settles contributed one song here called, “Moon Tone Shift”, which is more relaxed and even majestic in part and featuring an impressive piano solo from Podgurski and masterful rolling drums. Chad Taylor’s own “Julian’s Groove” has an almost calypso-like groove with the drums playing the central figure throughout, it has a most festive vibe. Since there is no bassist here Mr. Taylor has all three musicians expand their sound/playing to cover the entire focused trio sound. Andrew Hill was always one of the best composers and bandleaders in the vast Blue Note catalogue, hence both pieces here are well chosen. Hill’s “Reconciliation” balances both lighter (right hand) with darker (left hand) currents, it quirky in more subtle ways. “Concentric” has a most hypnotic vibe, with more of that majestic two handed piano wonder and a sublime tenor solo by Mr. Settles. When we played this disc in the store the other day (11/1/22) for the first time, James & I both smiled and admitted that it is the best disc of our entire 6 hour word day. A complete marvel from the beginning to the righteous end. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOSH SINTON’S PREDICATE QUARTET with JONATHAN FINLAYSON / CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN / TOM RAINEY - Four Freedoms (FiP Records 05; USA) The Predicate Quartet features Josh Sinton on bari sax, bass clarinet, alto flute & compositions, Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Christopher Hoffman on cello and Tom Rainey on drums. Downtown bari sax & bass clarinetist, Josh Sinton, keeping juggling different bands and sessions, this is his fourth disc in the past year, each one very different: two solo baritone sax discs, one of which was inspired by Steve Lacy, a trio with Jed Wilson & Tony Falco and now an all-star quartet. Four years ago (in 2018), Sinton organized the Predicate Trio with cellist Christopher Hoffman & drummer Tom Rainey and has now added trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson. Over the past few years, I’ve seen/heard Chris Hoffman play in different contexts here at DMG and at other places, he never ceases to knock me out.
The title os this disc, ‘Four Freedoms’ refers to an observation made by Josh Sinton that all of the people on this planet deserve four freedoms: “Freedom for fear, freedom to be oneself, freedom to love and freedom from advertising”. Right on, Brother Josh. Mr. Sinton kicks off “Step” with a strong, thoughtful unaccompanied bari sax solo. On “Gateway”, the bari sax, trumpet and cello are all playing some deep, resonating low end notes together while Mr. Rainey plays his own low-end mallet work underneath. Mr. Finlayson’s distinctive Miles-like toned trumpet simmers on top, pure, tasty and touching. Mr. Sinton has written some righteous, haunting harmonies for the bari sax, trumpet & cello to play together with Mr. Rainey’s ever probing drumming as a perfect rhythm collaborator adding some spicy punctuation. Sinton switches to flute on “Blood”, his tone & playing working well with Mr. Finlayson’s trumpet. Sinton takes an inspired flute solo here, an instrument I hadn’t heard him play until now. Finlayson also takes a superb solo here as well. The Downtown Scene seems to have erupted with a number of great cellists over the last few years (consider: Hank Robert, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Muriel Roberts & Leila Bordreuil), Chris Hoffman might be a the top of the heap. His playing here is consistently strong, diverse and inspired. Mr. Sinton switches to bass clarinet on “Shards” and again sounds extraordinary. I love the way that this disc sounds: warm, well-balanced, clean with no effects add to any of the musicians, perhaps a small amount of pure room echo/reverb. An excellent quartet date on all levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JEFF PARKER with JOSH JOHNSON / ANNA BUTTERSS / JAY BELLEROSE - Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy (Aguirre Records 093CD; Belgium) "Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy, 2 LPs of long-form, lyrical, groove-based free improv by acclaimed guitarist & composer Jeff Parker's ETA IVtet, is at last here. Recorded live at ETA (referencing David Foster Wallace), a bar in LA's Highland Park neighborhood with just enough space in the back for Parker, drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist Anna Butterss & alto saxophonist Josh Johnson to convene in extraordinarily deep and exploratory music making. Gleaned for the stoniest side-length cuts from 10 hours of vivid two-track recordings made between 2019 & 2021 by Bryce Gonzales, Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy is a darkly glowing séance of an album, brimming over with the hypnotic, the melodic, & patience & grace in its own beautiful strangeness. Room-tone, electric fields, environment, ceiling echo, live recording, Mondays, Los Angeles. Jeff Parker's first double album & first live album, Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy belongs in the lineage of such canonical live double albums recorded on the West Coast as Lee Morgan's Live at the Lighthouse, Miles Davis' In Person Friday & Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco & Black Beauty, & John Coltrane's Live in Seattle. While the IVtet sometimes plays standards &, including on this recording, original compositions, it is as previously stated largely a free improv group -- just not in the genre meaning of the term. The music is more free composition than free improvisation, more blending than discordant. It's tensile, yet spacious & relaxed. Clearly all four musicians have spent significant time in the planetary system known as jazz, but relationships to other musics, across many scenes & eras -- dub & Dilla, primary source psychedelia, ambient & drone -- suffuse the proceedings. Listening to playbacks Parker remarked, humorously & not, 'we sound like the Byrds' (to certain ears, the Clarence White-era Byrds, who really stretched it). A fundamental of all great ensembles, whether basketball teams or bands, is the ability of each member to move fluidly & fluently in & out of lead & supportive roles. Building on the communicative pathways they've established in Parker's -- The New Breed -- project, Parker & Johnson maintain a constant dialogue of lead & support. Their sampled & looped phrases move continuously thru the music, layered & alive, adding depth & texture & pattern, evoking birds in formation, sea creatures drifting below the photic zone. Or, the two musicians simulate those processes by entwining their terse, clear-lined playing in real-time. The stop/start flow of Bellerose, too, simulates the sampler, recalling drum parts in Parker's beat-driven projects. Mostly Bellerose's animated phraseologies deliver the inimitable instantaneous feel of live creative drumming. The range of tonal colors he conjures from his extremely vintage battery of drums & shakers -- as distinctive a sonic signature as we have in contemporary acoustic drumming -- bring almost folkloric qualities to the aesthetic currency of the IVtet's language. A wonderful revelation in this band is the playing of Anna Butterss. The strength, judiciousness & humility with which she navigates the bass position both ground & lift upward the egalitarian group sound. As the IVtet's grooves flow & clip, loop & repeat, the ensemble elements reconfigure, a terrarium of musical cultivation growing under controlled variables, a tight experiment of harmony & intuition, deep focus & freedom. For all its varied sonic personality, Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy scans immediately & unmistakably as music coming from Jeff Parker's unique sound world. Generous in spirit, trenchant & disciplined in execution, Parker's music has an earned respect for itself & for its place in history that transmutes through the musical event into the listener. Many moods & shapes of heart & mind will find utility & hope in a music that combines the autonomy & the community we collectively long to see take hold in our world, in substance & in staying power. On the personal tip, this was always my favorite gig to hit, a lifeline of the eremite records Santa Barbara years. Mondays southbound on the 101, driving away from tasks & screens & illness, an hour later ordering a double tequila neat at the bar with the band three feet away, knowing i was in good hands, knowing it would be back around on another Monday. To encounter life at scales beyond the human body is the collective dance of music & the beholding of its beauty, together." --Michael Ehlers & Zac Brenner
2 CD Set $22
ROBBIE BASHO - Bouquet - Song Offerings from Robbie Basho (Lost Lagoon 001CD; USA) Robbie Basho's innovative pieces for the steel-string acoustic guitar incorporated American, European, and Eastern influences, while his unique voice appeared to emanate from another world. Along with John Fahey and Leo Kottke, Basho was a part of the triumvirate of guitarists on the legendary Takoma Records, and one of the foremost proponents of elevating the steel-string acoustic guitar to the level of a concert instrument. In his brief and troubled life he laid the foundations for radical changes to the musical landscape of America during the 1960s and '70s but reaped little more than a sparse (if fervent) following during his lifetime. Almost 40 years since its original issue on cassette, Basho's 13th album Bouquet is now available for the first time on CD. Affording us a greater insight into his remarkable vision, this long-awaited release is a critical piece of the puzzle that was Robbie Basho. With lyrical themes traversing famous mystics and arcane symbols, Basho's conceptual focus on Bouquet roves through Catholic, Sufic, Hopi and otherwise nebulous terrain in search of the choicest blooms, while his approach to composition sees him veering ever further from the long-form instrumentalist of earlier days, becoming something of a troubadour. Remastered from the original master recording (discovered during the production of Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho), it has never sounded better. The 24-page booklet includes rare photos and images from Basho's illustrated songbook, as well as texts from Glenn Jones, Henry Kaiser and others. Bonus tracks include an epic 13-minute solo version of "Land of Our Fathers".
CD $14 / LP $22
JOZEF VAN WISSEM - Nosferatu: The Call Of The Deathbird (Incunabulum 029CD; Netherlands) “Jozef Van Wissem: "In 2019 I was commissioned by Cinémathèque Française in Paris to compose the soundtrack to the restored original version of the Nosferatu film (1922). When I was writing the score, I found a Dutch double 7" record with sounds of extinct birds on the streets of Rotterdam. I manipulated these found bird sounds by using electronics and added them to the score." Personnel: Jozef Van Wissem - lute, electronics, beats, electric guitar, found bird sounds.
"Beginning with a lute solo, his soundtrack incorporates electric guitar and distorted recordings of extinct birds, graduating from subtlety to gothic horror. 'My soundtrack goes from silence to noise over the course of 90 minutes,' he said, culminating in 'dense, slow death metal.'" - The New York Times
KELSEY MINES - Look Like (Relative Pitch Records 1158; USA) Featuring Kelsey Mines on solo contrabass & voice. Recorded at the Plot in Shoreline, Washington in November of 2021. I hadn’t heard of Ms. Kelsey Mines before Kevin Reilly sent me a copy of this disc a week or so ago. No matter. I dig pretty much everything that Relative Pitch releases, especially since both Kevin Reilly and the late Mike Panico have/had good ears for the challenging sounds that the label consistently supports and releases. This disc begins with Ms. Mines singing, harmonizing with her bowed bass lines in a most enchanting way. Her playing and her voices seem to come from the same spirited place and sound as one force/sound. On “Loyal”, Ms. Mines sounds as if she is playing a kind of folk-like line at the center of her improvisations, popping (banging on the strings with her fingers) a few notes so that they stand out like a heartbeat of sorts. Mr. Mines’ melancholy voice is used sparingly and mostly to add bits of punctuation to her bass playing. On “Go Go Go”, Ms. Mines starts plucking the strings with that constant throb, giving things a more ghost-like vibe, the rumbling like skeletons dancing together slowly. There is a certain innocent, modest quality to this music, it is not as if Ms. Mines is trying to show off her techniques or chops but more about creating hew own inside world by plucking, bowing and banging on the strings with care. A most modest marvel. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CARLA DAL FORNO - Come Around (Kallista 002CD; UK) “Carla dal Forno resurfaces with the news of plans to release her third album, Come Around, via her own Kallista Records imprint. Now, based in the township of Castlemaine, Central Victoria, the Australian artist returns self-assured and firmly settled within the dense eucalypt bushlands. Dal Forno grapples with ideas of home, disorder and insomnia in the swift pop structures of her DIY/post-punk forebearers such as Young Marble Giants, Virginia Astley, and Broadcast. Three years since the launch of her label, Kallista Records, dal Forno finds stability in Castlemaine (pop. 6,750), her third home city in as many albums. After nearly a decade of moving, recording and touring out of Berlin and London, Come Around embodies a newfound solitude born of/in elemental pop hooks and enlightened songwriting. The title track, "Come Around," offers the best example of this confident, fresh candor. It's an elegant invite into dal Forno's sharp new focus beckoning old friends, relationships and audiences into her resettled home. This meandering pop hit strikes between the melodic simplicity of Anna Domino and YMG and the arrangement hooks of The Cannanes and Movietone, capturing dal Forno at her most welcoming with arms wide open. Other tracks like "Mind You're On" recalls the bass driven heft of dal Forno's previous work but where past albums projected the pastoral idyll from the urban jungles of Berlin and London, the lyricism and production on Come Around embody her current lived experience in the Australian regions where space, strong bonds and solitude are in high supply. Returning to rekindle relationships with people and places and joining in trysts amidst the foreboding badlands cuts through the whole record, as on "The Garden of Earthly Delights," a cover of The United States of America's 1968 track. There is joy if you look for it but, as dal Forno warns on "Caution": "I sell caution word of you." Mistrust and doubt are not completely vanquished. Having embarked on such a radical physical and creative journey since the last record, dal Forno lays bare the passing of time and the oscillating waves of energy and ennui that go with it. This is plain to see on "Stay Awake" and instrumentals like "Deep Sleep" and "Autumn," which gives rise to anxiety and insomnia in her new sunburnt home. Yet "Slumber" offers a glimmer of respite sitting within the chaotic circus of production that channels Kendra Smith, General Strike, and The Flying Lizards. This track, a duet with English artist, Thomas Bush, searches for solace in the arms of another. Nothing is left unsaid on Come Around. Having finally found limitless time and space, dal Forno does well not to waste any bit of it.”
TAPPER ZUKIE - Bunker Buster (Kingston Sounds 089CD; UK) “Tapper Zukie after taking a little time out of the musical arena has come back with an album full of great material and has called in an A list of fellow Jamaican artists to add flavor to this great set. As Tapper named the album himself Bunker Buster, it shows Mr Zukie busting back out of the studio and back in the arena in fine style. The opening track finds his long-standing working partner Horace Andy adding his distinctive vocal style to "Aquarius". "Nuh Fraid A Dem" features the great Luciano, "The Blessings" the mighty Michael Rose, and Little Roy adds some magical rhymes to "Wicked". The soulful voice of Beres Hammond sweetens the effects of "Stress". The killer title track "Buster Bunker" is backed up by the Musical Intimidators and Tapper has reworked his "Good Luck My Friend" track to "Lucky Friend" which features the timeless backing vocals by the legendary Jamaican vocal group The Tamlins. Digging even deeper into his back catalog he has also pulled up some classic rhythms and more existing vocals to rework over. For example, "The Light In Me" features the greatly missed Ronnie Davis. Junior Rass adds his mighty roar to "Humble Lion" and Junior Reid leads the charge on "Warrior". Half Pint adds a musical layer to "Flesh and Blood". All in all, a great selection of musical ideas that also features the cream of Jamaica's musicians, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, Flabba Holt, Chinna Smith to name but a few. Tapper's son Noel Barnes (AKA Brand New) alongside Pam Hall adds some gloss. Such is his standing in the reggae community that a call out to Jamaica's finest set of singers and their eager reply to add their talents has made this an album not to be missed and can sit proudly alongside and find a place in his already prodigious catalog. CD version includes four bonus tracks.”
STEVE TINTWEISS SPACELIGHT BAND with BYARD LANCASTER - Whistle Stop Tour / Ash Dung Blues Bowl (Inky DoT 002) Review next week after I set up my old turntable (Linn Axis), since my current turntable doesn’t play at 45 RPM.
12” LP $16 [45 RPM]
JUDY STUART with BURTON GREENE / CALO SCOTT / MARC LEVIN / PAUL NASH / SHELLY RUSTEN - The Apostolic Session (Inky DoT EP 002) Review next week after I set up my old turntable (Linn Axis), since my current turntable doesn’t play at 45 RPM.
10” LP $16 [45 RPM]
RUDI MAHALL / MICHAEL GRIENER - Jazzpreis (Astral Spirits 204; USA) Featuring Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet and Michael Griener on drums & vibes. Both of these two German musicians were members of Die Enttauschung (a fine quartet whose members eventually joined Alex Von Schlippenbach for Monk’s Casino). Both were also members of bands like Lacy Pool and Squakk. Mr. Griener has also worked with Ellery Eskelin, Ulrich Gumpert and Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky. No doubt you recognize the name Rudi Mahall since he has worked with so many great bands: Globe Unity, Grensco Collective and Soko Steidle. Mr. Mahall is a rare reeds player who concentrates on bass clarinet as his main instrument.
This duo sound like they’ve been playing together for a long while, their playing is tight and well-connected. There is both a playful and intense spirit/flow going on here, a heated dialogue that keeps evolving through different waves. I have long been a fan of bass clarinet especially after hearing Eric Dolphy swing his tush off on so many of his great records from the early 1960’s. Rudi Mahall is also a master of playing this instrument adn here he keeps digging deeper into the range and exploration of sounds. Both musicians work especially well together throughout this great album. A must for challenging listeners like you and yours truly. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ROB CLEARFIELD & QUIN KIRCHNER - Concentric Orbits (Astral Spirits 180; USA) “The album involves two improvisations ("Orbit 1" and "Orbit 2"), along with several brief excerpts which are valuable mainly as an additional window into the process of collaboration as it unfolded. "Orbit 1" is the more expansive, not only for its 17-minute duration but because it has the widest trajectory; building from Clearfield's pensive ruminations, and subdued brushwork from Kirchner, the momentum is soon established as Clearfield teases out repeated ostinato phrases which become increasingly complex amidst the climbing intensity. Right alongside is Kirchner, whose patterns take on greater animation and force as Clearfield's develop. The two eventually break free of determined rhythm altogether, yet they somehow remain in sync, letting their ideas flow together until Clearfield once again finds another motif to explore in a gentle reverie to end the track, with only an occasional hint of tension, leaving Kirchner content to provide mostly muted percussion in support.
By comparison, "Orbit 2" has a more immediate impact, as Clearfield uses prepared piano to deliver rhythmically charged staccato passages that Kirchner instinctively matches with his own clipped, rapid-fire patterns, to hypnotic effect. Halfway through the track, Clearfield moves into a more conventional piano approach, using a left-hand ostinato to support elongated right-hand phrases, as Kirchner finds and enhances the groove before guiding the track to its satisfying finish. As with "Orbit 1," what comes across most vividly here is the pair's obvious rapport, a like-minded sensibility that allows them to anticipate and respond to each other immediately and sympathetically.
Much more than a discardable warm-up, Concentric Orbits is an engaging listen in its own right; it supplies effective evidence of how the keyboardist and drummer would work together so compellingly on The Shadows and the Light sessions.” - Troy Dostert, AllAboutJazz.com
JOHN McCOWEN - Models of Duration (Astral Spirits 195; USA) On "Models Of Duration", we get treated to the unusual sound of John McCowen's contrabass clarinet in four lengthy pieces. McCowen's skill on the instrument is second to none, and as is often the case at a first listen, the listener will wonder of how the sound is produced - with no electronics or amplification involved - to have this sustained and multiphonic effect at the same time. I share the video below to show his circular breathing skills.
Apart from a technical feat, this is also an incredible physical achievement. The album's title is well chosen in this respect because the minor vibrations and shifts in the otherwise monotonous sound take their time to develop, to grow into and to fully appreciate. Apart from the technique and the physical effort, the album's main quality is musical. The unusual sounds create a unique sonic universe that is hypnotic, soothing and terrifying at the same time. It requires concentrated listening to become part of the sound, and doing so is both rewarding as stupefying.” - Stef Gijssels, FreeJazzBlog.org
BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND - Sonbonbela (Sublime Frequencies 121LP; USA) Sublime Frequencies release the third LP from Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band. Sonbonbela was recorded in the beginning of 2022 in the Republic of Burkina Faso. The group continue to hone their trademark fusion of Mandingue and Afro-beat styles. The Mandingo Band are a hit machine, sculpting seven new tracks of near Beefheart/Magic Band dynamics, Fela inspired groovers dusted out in the Sahel zone, rather than the humidity and sweat of Lagos, creating one of the most original and propulsive musical statements to come from the contemporary West African cultural juggernaut. As with previous releases, the band features the legendary guitar pyrotechnics of Issouf Diabate, truly one of the greatest West African (or Earth for that matter) guitarists of the last forty years. The band is completed by a near bottomless barrel of artistry from the Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso musical talent pool. On bass guitar, Wendeyida Ouedraogo, on drums Abbas Kabore, and on percussion and balafon, Nickie Dembele. Leading the charge again is the captain himself, Mamadou Sanou on the Doso Ngoni featuring one of the most distinctive voices of the modern era. The opposite of the banal trends of auto-tune that have pervaded most of West African popular music, Baba's voice still impresses with its gravel and grit, showcasing a range that is ancient and defiant in equal measure. This LP is a non-stop hit parade of Afro-beat bangers destined to light dancefloors and living rooms ablaze! This album is dedicated to the memory of Massimbo Taragna, the bass player extraordinaire who was an integral part of the Mandingo Band's trance stun musical power. He passed away in early 2022. RIP.
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 comes from my good pal WILLIAM HOOKER:
Arts for Art presents
Nov. 5 / 10 /11 / 12
At The Clemente 107 Suffolk Street, NYC
Showcasing Multicultural FreeJazz & Highlighting the music of the African Diaspora in Latin America
For more Info: https://www.artsforart.org/jazz-libre-2022.html
To buy tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/arts-for-art-32602667245
Saturday, November 5
7:00pm: Francisco Mora Catlett AfroHORN Sonic Explorations : Sam Newsome - sop sax / Roman Diaz - perc / Francisco Mora Catlett - drs
8:00pm: William Parker Southern Satellites William Parker – composition, bass, reeds, perc / Alexis Marcelo – piano / Dave Sewelson – bar sax / Jason Kao Hwang - violin / Brandon Lopez - bass, perc / Juan Pablo Carletti – perc
9:00pm: Román Diaz Ensemble: Cantantes: Máximo Valdés, Roger Conciglio: Percussion: Clemente Medina, Rafael Monteagudo and Román Díaz
Thursday, November 10
7:00pm: Janice Lowe & Namaroon - Janice Lowe – piano, voice / Olithea Anglin – voice, electronics/ Ras Moshe - sax / Yohann Potico – bass guitar
8:00pm: Brandon Lopez – bass / Sylvie Courvoisier – piano
9:00pm: James Brandon Lewis Quartet
Friday. November 11
7:00pm: Angelica Sanchez – piano / Chad Taylor – drums
8:30pm: Fred Moten – poetry
9:00pm: Cooper-Moore Quartet: DoYeon Kim – gayageum / Matt Mottel – keyboard
Michael TA Thompson – percussion / Cooper-Moore – piano, diddley-bow
Saturday, November 12
7:00pm: Colors of The Night - Eri Yamamoto – piano / William Parker – bass / Ikuo Takeuchi – drums
8:00pm: Bob Holman – poet / William Parker bass / Matthew Shipp - piano
8:30pm: Whit Dickey – drums / Rob Brown – alto saxophone
9:30pm: Matthew Shipp solo piano
Coming November 19 https://www.artsforart.org/family-2022.html
Pricing: In Person - $35 / Livestreaming - $10
All info: artsforart.org/jazz-libre-2022
November 22nd, 2022
Live at Scholes Street Studio
Tuesday November 22nd
Live recording/Live audience!
7:30pm Mara Rosenbloom - piano
gabby fluke-mogul - violin
Tcheser Holmes - drums
8:30pm Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Santiago Leibson - piano
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
9:30pm Kevin Shea - drums
Jonathan Goldberger - guitar
Live recording/Live audience!
$20 at the door (entire evening), cash/venmo
@ Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn / 718-964-8763
gaucimusic.com / https://www.facebook.com/events/3307967336145215
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 8:00 PM
John Zorn’s NEW MASADA QUARTET
509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
John Zorn - sax
Julian Lage - guitar
Jorge Roeder - bass
Kenny Wollesen - drums
THEIR ONLY PERFORMANCE UNTIL SPRING 2023 - DON’T MISS THIS ONE!
A surprise and rare appearance of John Zorn’s newest and most exciting ensemble, the New Masada Quartet. Performing classic compositions from the Masada songbooks, NMQ is a tight unit of like-minded virtuosi and one of the best groups Zorn has ever had. Bristling hot guitar master Julian Lage, bass wizard Jorge Roeder and 30-year Zorn veteran Kenny Wollesen perform with a crackling live energy that brings the Masada music to life like never before! Led by Zorn’s versatile sax and stop and start conducting, the music is filled with burning solos, telepathic group interaction, heartfelt lyricism and hypnotic grooves.
A CONCERT FOR THE UKRAINE
Friday, December 9th at 7:30pm, doors at 6:30
The Auditorium at The New School
66 W. 12th Street, NY, NY, 10011
Presented by John Zorn & The College of Performing Arts at The New School
LAURIE ANDERSON-JOHN ZORN DUO
MARC RIBOT-MARY HALVORSON DUO
SARA SERPA & MARTA SANCHEZ
RAVI COLTRANE QUARTET
with ADAM ROGERS / DEZRON DOUGLAS & KUSH ABADEY
Suggested Donation $50 & above to RAZOM
Please show a receipt of your donation at the door for admission
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:
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
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..
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/
“Trouble Every Day”
By the Mothers of Invention
From ‘Freak-Out!’, released in the Fall of 1966
Words & music by Frank Zappa
Well I'm about to get sick
From watchin' my TV
Been checkin' out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean to say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it's gonna change, my friends
Is anybody's guess
So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
Wednesday I watched the riot...
I seen the cops out on the street
Watched 'em throwin' rocks and stuff
And chokin' in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin' 'round
Seen the smoke & fire
And the market burnin' down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn
And I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
Well you can cool it
You can heat it...
'Cause, baby, I don't need it...
Take your TV tube and eat it
'N all that phony stuff on sports
'N all the unconfirmed reports
You know I watched that rotten box
Until my head began to hurt
From checkin' out the way
The newsmen say they get the dirt
Before the guys on channel so-and-so
And further they assert
That any show they'll interrupt
To bring you news if it comes up
They say that if the place blows up
They'll be the first to tell
Because the boys they got downtown
Are workin' hard and doin' swell
And if anybody gets the news
Before it hits the street
They say that no one blabs it faster
Their coverage can't be beat
And if another woman driver
Gets machine-gunned from her seat
They'll send some joker with a brownie
And you'll see it all complete
So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
Hey you know something people
I'm not black
But there's a whole lots a times
I wish I could say I'm not white
Well, I seen the fires burnin'
And the local people turnin'
On the merchants and the shops
Who used to sell their brooms and mops
And every other household item
Watched the mob just turn and bite 'em
And they say it served 'em right
Because a few of them are white
And it's the same across the nation
Black & white discrimination
They're yellin' "; You can't understand me!"
And all the other crap they hand me
In the papers and TV
'N all that mass stupidity
That seems to grow more every day
Each time you hear some nitwit say
He wants to go and do you in
Because the color of your skin
Just don't appeal to him
(No matter if it's black or white)
Because he's out for blood tonight
You know we gotta sit around at home
And watch this thing begin
But I bet there won't be many left
To see it really end
'Cause the fire in the street
Ain't like the fire in my heart
And in the eyes of all these people
Don't you know that this could start
On any street in any town
In any state if any clown
Decides that now's the time to fight
For some ideal he thinks is right
And if a million more agree
There ain't no great society
As it applies to you and me
Our country isn't free
And the law refuses to see
If all that you can ever be
Is just a lousy janitor
Unless your uncle owns a store
You know that five in every four
Just one amount and nothin' more
Don't watch the rats go across the floor
And make up songs about being poor
Blow your harmonica son!
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org