I picked up my bag, I went lookin' for a place to hide
When I saw Carmen and the Devil walkin' side by side
I said, "Hey, Carmen, come on let's go downtown"
She said, "I gotta go but my friend can stick around"
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
Go down, Miss Moses, there's nothin' you can say
It's just ol' Luke and Luke's waitin' on the Judgment Day
"Well, Luke, my friend, what about young Anna Lee?"
He said, "Do me a favor, son, won'tcha stay and keep Anna Lee company?"
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
Crazy Chester followed me and he caught me in the fog
He said, "I will fix your rack if you'll take Jack, my dog"
I said, "Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man"
He said, "That's okay, boy, won't you feed him when you can"
Yeah, take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
Catch a cannon ball now to take me down the line
My bag is sinkin' low and I do believe it's time
To get back to Miss Fanny, you know she's the only one
Who sent me here with her regards for everyone
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
I finished reading ’Testimony’ by Robbie Robertson from The Band when I was visiting my Mom in Florida for Thanksgiving last week. I really dug the book and since the old book store in Lake Worth where I used buy books had closed in the past year, I decided to start reading the book again and am half way done right now. Since The Band were Bob Dylan’s first backing and touring band, it was interesting to read about their adventures with Mr. Dylan. During the first couple of tours, since Dylan became famous as a folk artist, his fans mostly reacted to his 180 degree sea change with a loud rock band backing him by booing, screaming and rushing the stage at almost every concert. These were some challenging times for the members of The Band (once known as The Hawks) who went from being little known & unrecorded to playing large rooms like arenas. Since many of us Dylan fans consider him to the greatest of all song lyricists, I am always fascinated by Dylan’s long & winding music journey which began in 1962 and is still going strong 60 years later. In 1966, Dylan had a motorcycle accident and stopped touring for several years. The members of The Band moved to Woodstock where Dylan & his manager (Albert Grossman) were living, into a house called Big Pink and set up their own basement studio where The Band & Dylan would write songs, jam and record together. The most famous bootleg album, called ‘The Great White Wonder’ came from these sessions and was later released as ‘The Basement tapes’. The first album by the band, called ‘Music from Big Pink’ was recorded around this time and has remained a favorite of many musicians and listeners. The above song, “The Weight” was the most popular of the bunch and to me, still sounds special. Robbie Robertson who wrote this song used the voices of each singing member, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Levon Helm, as different characters in the story/song. It still gives me goosebumps to hear this great song today. Check out an original vinyl version al this album for the sonic results. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY 31st ANNIVERSARY FREE IN-STORE MUSIC SERIES CONTINUES with:
Tuesday, December 6th:
6:30: PATRICK GOLDEN / MATT HOLLENBERG / JEFF PEARING
Saturday, December 10th: GauciMusicSeries:
6pm: Nora Stanley - sax / Victor Tsilimparis - keyboard / Eliza Salem - drums
7pm: Stephen Gauci - sax / Adam Lane - bass / Colin Hinton - drums
8pm: Kuba Cichocki - keyboard / Kenneth Jimenez - bass / Jeremy Carlstedt - drums
Tuesday, December 13th - Rare Holiday Season 4 Set Event!
6:30: BEN TYREE / SAMEER GUPTA
7:30: ABACOA: KENNETH JIMENEZ / HERY PAZ / WILLY RODRIGUEZ - Bass / Tenor Sax / Drums
8:30: MAHAKALA TRIO: CHAD FOWLER / DAVE SEWELSON / STEVE HIRSH - Stritch / Bari Sax / Drums
9:30: BEN GOLDBERG / MICHAEL COLEMAN / MATT HOLLENBERG
NEW THINGS FOR THIS WEEK START WITH:
JOHN ZORN - The Hermetic Organ Volume 10 - Bozar, Brussels (Tzadik 8394; USA) “Recorded at the powerful organ at Henry LeBoeuf Hall, Bozar in Brussels, this is one of Zorn’s most beautiful and personal solo performances—a dramatic musical reading of the epic Faust legend. Featuring a guest appearance by the sensational vocalist Barbara Hannigan, who is improvising with Zorn for the very first time—this exciting concert is presented here in a special limited edition 2-disc set that includes both a CD and a bonus DVD hi-quality film document of the event. No one plays the organ quite like Zorn and many of his unusual techniques, usually hidden in performance, are presented in close focus. Beautifully filmed by state of the art equipment, this is a wild and colorful concert by two mavericks of new music. Essential!”
2 CD/DVD Set $26 [In stock early next week, hopefully]
SATOKO FUJII with WADADA LEO SMITH / INGRID LAUBROCK / IKUE MORI / SARA SCHOENBECK / NATSUKI TAMURA / BRANDON LOPEZ / CHRIS CORSANO / TOM RAINEY - Hyaku - One Hundred Dreams (Libra Records 209-071; Japan) This just arrived as we were sending out the newsletter, review next week.
* DAVE LIEBMAN / TYSHAWN SOREY / ADAM RUDOLPH - New Now (Meta 027; USA) Featuring Dave Liebman on soprano sax, piano & wooden flute, Tyshawn Sorey on drumset & piano and Adam Rudolph on handrumset, percussion & electronic processing. Recorded live at The Jazz Gallery in NYC in September of 2021. All three members of this trio are seasoned leaders, composers and multi-instrumentalists. Dave Liebman is the eldest and started out working with Elvin Jones & Miles Davis in the early seventies. Tyshawn Sorey is the youngest and is an award-winning composer & drummer, constantly working in a wide variety of genres/challenges. Percussionist extraordinaire Adam Rudolph leads several great bands like the Go-Organic Orchestra and Moving Parts plus he was a longtime collaborator with Yusef Lateef. Mr. Liebman and Mr. Rudolph have recorded together twice previously in duos with two percussionists in both. This is the first time that always busy Mr. Sorey has worked with these two gifted elders.
Over the past few years, Adam Rudolph has evolved as a conductor/director of his large ensemble as well as selectively using electronics to enhance the (often percussive) sounds he works with. On the first piece we hear Mr. Liebman’s exquisite soprano sax with subtle percussion and electronics all carefully recorded, each sound coming from a different area in the stereo panning spectrum. Mr. Rudolph’s main set-up is a series of conga drums in front with smaller drums, cymbals and assorted hand percussion, all of which is at the center unit. Mr. Sorey’s mallet-work on drums is on the right with the coy soprano sax also in the center. The production/overall sound is superb, clean, warm and enchanting. Both drummers/percussionists work together well, the interweaving of rhythm waves/pulses is a marvel and most organic sounding. Some of these pieces are most restrained and spacious, with Mr. Liebman’s sax being subtly manipulated with electronics and/or reverb. Mr. Sorey is a powerful and most resourceful drummer, erupting a couple of times on this disc to add some strong fireworks. On “Part 6” Liebman’s soprano soars above the strong double drumming of Sorey and Rudolph, the trio building into a solid pulsating force. This disc is a gem, excellent on several levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* The Liebman/Sorey/Rudolph Trio will be playing a CD release set at The Jazz Gallery on December 15, 2022
NEW FROM LISTEN! FOUNDATION / FUNDACJA SLUCHAJ
THE N.Y. CLARINET SOCIETY with PERRY ROBINSON / MICHAEL MARCUS / JAY ROSEN - Coco (Listen! Foundation; Poland) Featuring Perry Robinson on B-flat clarinet & ocarina, Michael Marcus on B-flat & A clarinets and Jay Rosen on drums. This disc was recorded in New Haven, CT in March of 2016. Clarinet pioneer Perry Robinson passed away at 80 four years ago this coming Friday (12/2/22) and was one of the few licorice stick players who played clarinets only whose long (55 years) career (1st LP in 1962), was never bound by the regular genre boundaries. Multi-reeds wizard, Michael Marcus, started out with soul/R&B/blues bands and has had a long career of playing mostly avant/jazz with Sonny Simmons, Ted Daniel and Jemeel Moondoc. Former drummer for Trio X, Ivo Perelman & Mark Whitecage, as well as house drummer for the CIMP label, Jay Rosen is a master drummer who always knocks me out no matter who he is playing with.
There are just four pieces on this disc, three written by Mr. Marcus and one by Mr. Rosen. Mr. Marcus’ “Alpha Zone” is up first and it begins with Mr. Rosen’s sublime mallet work. Both clarinets play slow, haunting lines around one another, the tempo most relaxed. There is ongoing dialogue going on here with both clarinets spinning a web of lines, answering one another and weaving their lines tightly together as Mr. Rosen keeps the pace flowing. Rosen takes a fine, story-like solo during the second piece, “Mobile Perpetia”. CoCo” is the on short piece and it is a somber ballad of sorts. The last piece, “Shoogie Boogie Shuffle” has a great, sly, near-funky groove with long, inspired solos from both clarinetists and eventually spinning several waves of notes around one another in quick, tight orbits. I really dig the way both of these clarinet greats work together, two bad there are so few double clarinet led bands. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
KATAKLISMA with ZLATKO KAUCIC / DANIELE D’AGARO / GIOVANNI MAIER / TOBIAS DELIUS - Disorder at the Border (Listen! Foundation FSR 19/2022; Poland) Featuring Daniele D’Agaro on saxes & clarinet, Tobias Delius on tenor sax & clarinet, Giovanni Maier on bass and Zlatko Kaucic on drums & percussion. This set was recorded at Brda Contemporary Music Festival in Slovenia in September of 2017. I am not so sure how all four members of this quartet hooked up since each one comes from a different place: Daniele D’Agaro (Italian reeds player who has worked with Alex Von Schlippenbach & Hans Bennink), Tobias Delius (ICP saxist), Giovanni Maier (in-demand Italian bassist who has worked with Keith Tippet & Cecil Taylor) and Zlatko Kaucic (busy Slovenian drummer who works with Barry Guy & Evan Parker). The trio without Delius is also known as Disorder at the Border and has a disc on Not Two covering Ornette Coleman.
The previous connection between these musicians is not as important as the results of their meeting here: extraordinary! Both saxes listen closely and work together in tight tandem, exchanging ideas like a spirited ongoing conversation with the rhythm team providing a cautious undertow or current. The interaction between all four members is often striking: intense, focused, abrupt at times, even calm and sparse as well. sometimes the clarinet goes in one direction while there the sax goes in the other, yet they work well together throughout this entire marvelous session. Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOE MORRIS / AGUSTI FERNANDEZ / DoYEON KIM / BRAD BARRETT - Other Galaxies (Listen! Foundation FRR 18/2022; Poland) Featuring Joe Morris on guitar, Agusti Fernandez on piano, Brad Barrett on bass and DoYeon Kim on guyageum. This disc was recorded live at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT in July of 2018. Joe Morris has been teaching at New England Conservatory and at The New School for quite a while and often works with his former and current students in live situations. I recall that Brad Barrett did study with Mr. Morris, having recorded on at least two of Mr. Morris’ own dates. I hadn’t heard of DoYeon Kim before this disc arrived although I do know about the instrument she uses: guyageum, also known as a kayagum, a Korean instrument with 18, 21 or 25 strings, similar to a koto. Barcelona-based pianist has been working with Joe Morris for many years, as well as with Evan Parker, Barry Guy and Derek Bailey.
Since all four members of this ensemble are playing stringed instruments, there is a similar textural or timbral sound. It also sounds as if Mr. Fernandez is playing inside the piano at times although it is hard to tell who is playing which sound at times. This music/disc is superbly recorded, warm, clean and perfectly balanced. Both the guitar (acoustic & electric) and the guyageum are played in their own unique way, both musicians bending their strings in their own distinctive way. I find this music to be consistently fascinating since it is always changing or evolving: duos turn into trios or quartets, one musician solos and/or changes the direct of the flow by adding or interacting with the other members of the quartet. There are also some sections where the dynamic tension/intensity erupts in spurts, pushing the spirits further out and higher up. This is a superfine quartet free improv date, mostly acoustic and consistently engaging throughout. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOE MORRIS / JEREMY BROWN - Magnitude (Listen! Foundation; Poland) Featuring Joe Morris on guitar and Jeremy Brown on alto sax, clarinet & flute. Review next week.
New from The El Negocito Label:
ANTHONY BRAXTON // GHOST TRANCE SEPTET - Plays Anthony Braxton / Compositions No. 255, 358 and 264 (El Negocito 105; EEC) The Ghost Rance Septet consists of Kobe Van Cauwenberghe on electric & nylon string guitars, bass guitar, synths & voice, Frederik Sakham on double & electric basses & voice, Elisa Medinilla on piano, Niels Van Heertum on euphonium & trumpet, Anna Jalving on violin, Steven Delannoye on tenor sax and Teun Verbruggen on drums & percussion. At first glance I thought that drummer Teun Verbruggen was the only name I knew well here (from Bureau of Atomic Tourism & Flat Earth Society). Turns out that a few of these musicians are listed in the DMG database like: Kobe Van Cauwenberghe who has performed the music of Larry Polansky and Georg Friedrich Haas & odd comps like ‘The $100 Guitar Project’ & ‘ZWERM’. Niels Van Heertum has worked with Lynn Cassiers (great disc on CleanFeed for 2018). A couple of members can be found on the Neos & New World Records labels.
Anthony Braxton often composes in cycles. For around a decade, between 1995 and 2006, Mr. Braxton composed 138 pieces known as Ghost Trance Music (a/k/a GTM). Even for some serious Braxton fans (a/k/a Braxtonians), this cycle was pretty controversial: fans either loved it, tolerated it or disliked it immensely. No in between. I caught around a dozen or so of this series, including a full weeks worth at the 2nd Knitting Factory. Considering that each set was around an hour long and the varied sized ensembles played the same riff or line over and over, which would slowly change over time, some folks got bored and either walked out or fell asleep. Since I am a longtime Braxton fan-addict, I chose to adjust my expectations, turn off my internal clock and open up to the slowly evolving beast/composition. It took a bit of searching but I finally started to enjoy GTM more and more over time. Mr. Braxton did a meet & greet at DMG when the Ghost Trance Festival 10 CD box set was released in 1997 and afterwards we went out to eat at an Asian restaurant across the street from the store. During our meal, Braxton was interviewed by Ted Pankin for Downbeat. It was then that Mr. Braxton explained at length about the many ways of understanding what Ghost Trance Music is all about. He said that the GTM structure/essence was similar to a subway map, where many things are connected but we have to find a way to make these connections and bring them to life.
It is pretty rare for other ensembles to perform their own versions of Mr. Braxton’s compositions and even rare for anyone to do Ghost Trance Music. In the liner notes Braxton explains that the musicians are supposed to have fun playing his music and not get hung up on playing the correct way. This ensemble is a Belgian/Danish Septet and this performance was recorded at festival in Luxembourg in November of 2021. Mr. Braxton also played at this festival with a trio and was in the audience for this set. Mr. Braxton was excited by this performance of his music. Each of the two CD’s here contain two pieces, each piece around 25 minutes long. Similar to a strategy that Mr. Braxton has long employed, each piece contains between 3-5 different compositions which have been sequenced or layered. The instrumentation is much different from the original recorded versions which were often included several reed players. The Ghost Trance Septet instead includes: guitar, piano, bass, euphonium or trumpet, violin, tenor sax or bass clarinet and drums. It sounds to me like this ensemble has sped up the way things develop which is a bit more subtle and easier to enjoy. Two of the members use their voices to repeat certain numbers which adds some unexpected humor to the proceedings. Although the overall structure does have that repeating pattern at the center, certain musicians add their own counterpoint or lines. Since the music changes more rapidly, it becomes more exciting/compelling rather quickly. Since the rhythm team moves in waves, solos, duos or trios are often short and keep shifting through different currents. After listening to the first disc, I will admit that this is some of the best versions of Ghost Trance Music that I’ve heard. Absolutely superb on all levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $20
WISDOM TRIO with RICCARDO LUPPI / JOE FONDA / FILIPPO MONICO - As We Thought (El Negocito 104; EEC) The Wisdom Trio is Riccardo Luppi on soprano & tenor saxes & two flutes, Joe Fonda on contrabass and Filippo Monico drums. All of the tracks here were recorded in Milan, Italy in November of 2019. Italian reeds player, Riccardo Luppi, has collaborated with Giorgio Gaslini, Daniele Cavallanti and Nexus. Drummer Filippo Monico has worked a handful of lesser known Italian jazz players like Dimitri Grechi Espinoza, Massimo Falascone and the Gaetano Liguori Collective. More recently Mr. Filippo had a duo disc out with Tomeka Reid for the Relative Pitch label. Downtown contrabass master, Joe Fonda, needs no introduction here since he can be found on so many great discs: with Anthony Braxton, the Nu Band, Conference Call and for Michael Musillami.
A great contrabassist like Mr. Fonda can make a trio like this sound even better by holding down the center with the cosmic, organic throb. Mr. Luppi starts off on tenor sax, playing coyly, carefully, slowly at first. The first piece is called “Take the Journey” and Mr. Fonda’s bass is featured playing a long robust, not bending solo which is extraordinary. Mr. Luppi also takes a strong, spirited, circular solo without any screaming or theatrics. The trio calm down for “Leave It on the Left Side” with Luppi on soft flute and Mr. Fonda’s delicate, exquisite bass. I am not so sure how if these musicians played together before this date but they do sound like they have been playing together for a long while. The main vibe here is one that is calm at the center, free yet focused as the trio play together as one force of nature. The trio often sound like they are on the verge of flying apart yet always remain connected on an organic, natural level. Mr. Luppi switches to flute on “Wisdom”, his tone mystical and haunting, sounding more like a bass flute. There times when Mr. Fonda speeds up and starts to spin these astonishing note-popping line which are at the center of his unique approach/sound. This is a near perfect, free trio date in which each element of the collective spirit is just right. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BACK IN STOCK:
CECIL TAYLOR / TONY OXLEY - Birdland Neuburg 2011 (Listen! Foundation FSR 13 2020; Poland) “It was a rare moment – the evening of November 18, 2011. A moment of special intimacy. European fans of pianist Cecil Taylor got closer to him than ever before. It wasn’t like a few years ago, when some 1000 listeners gathered in the Prinzregenten Theater in Munich; now only exactly 112 fans gathered in the Birdland Jazz Club in not very far away Neuburg an der Donau. Neuburg is a city dating back to the Renaissance with 28,000 residents, midway between Munich and Nuremberg. For the past few decades the local jazz club, with its unusually well-developed program, has drawn music fans from a wide circle to its current beautiful room in an historic basement vault. Up front – Cecil Taylor, the small, slight man with great energy, the master of free sounds that rumble like thunder but also tinkle like splintering glass. What a contrast! And what a musical experience! In my role as the person responsible from the Bayerischer Rundfunk broadcasting service for this recording, I had begun this experience in the afternoon as Cecil Taylor was warming up. For two hours the 82-year-old musician sat there at the piano, with his shirttails hanging out, wearing very large white sneakers, running through chords, chromatic eruptions, and fast monophonic sections. He worked meticulously as he sensed the place in the music and prepared himself for the moment of entry. Again and again he played similar figures, and it seemed as though he were sorting out the material for improvisation in the evening together with percussionist Tony Oxley, one of his long-time companions. Then to the concert. Significant tension leading from a seemingly soft passage, feeling its way, and then again and again rising to energy-laden high points. Whirling melodies, clusters, bass figures like the one of the “gnome” in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, all together with the rumbling anarcho-percussion of Tony Oxley’s drum set arranged in an unusual manner. In one part of around 40 minutes and another of about 15 minutes of music, plus a recitation of lyrical texts accompanied by drum, the concert came to a compelling high point of tension. By the way: Cecil Taylor used notes, not musical “notes,” but notations that Cecil Taylor had in front of him – mainly capital letters that he had written one above the other and that were probably the names of notes. These towers of letters resulted in crooked descending lines on full-size sheets lying across one another, with the lines growing ever smaller. What was a wild, disordered landscape of penciled and red marker lines was really the outline for what we heard that evening from Taylor on the jazz club’s Bösendorfer piano. Like a giant wave that drags more and more material along with it, growing and unfolding in unpredictable power, in the first section the energy and dynamics of this concert duo grew enormously, and then this wave once again ebbed and formed gentle little islands. The second part began in the last quarter hour of the performance quite softly, virtually delicate for the way Taylor was playing. At the end of the concert he came back to this expressiveness, a type of music that has the effect of a poetic echo of Taylor’s life work. Note the quite laconic ending figure of this performance! The end of the concert was like the blinking of an eye. Like a self-ironic resolution of the previously bottled up tension. Cecil Taylor’s music was here the experience of existence, a gruff unexpected seeking and finding of tones for the moment, an aesthetic that was unconditionally radical. However, Taylor’s radicality was combined in this special moment of his late work with a surprisingly relaxed mood. The wild man at the piano presented himself with an almost childlike playfulness. His music was perhaps gentler than usual, but in no way harmless; it was still a music without any compromises. I think that in this recording you can especially find enjoyment in the intimacy of the venue. You can hear in the sound of the recording that the room was relatively small, and you can hear from the applause that this was just a small audience enjoying an exceptional experience. It is wonderful that now more people can share this music!” - Roland Spiegel, music editor of Bayerischer Rundfunk, March 2020
CECIL TAYLOR QUINTET with HARRI SJOSTROM / TRISTAN HONSINGER / TEPPO HAUTA-AHO / PAUL LOVENS - Lifting the Bandstand (Listen! Foundation; Poland) When the Cecil Taylor quintet was ready to play at the Tampere Jazz Happening on October 30, 1998, all the musical world knew the virulent compactness of Taylor's groups, especially after the American pianist had established an on-going link with Berlin and the European public. That day in Tampere, a superlative performance of free improvisation (Harri Sjöström on soprano sax, Tristan Honsinger on cello, Paul Lovens on drums and Teppo Hauta-aho on double bass) was able to represent Taylor's enormous creative potential. It is a concert discovered in the archives of Finnish Radio YLE, never documented on a recording medium, which allows us to enter that absolutely unique world of Taylor’s groups: art and sound density, expressive universes that leave you speechless even after their conclusion. That day the sound power produced by the group was even able to impress Steve Lacy who, at the end of the concert, went to find the musicians backstage, saying:"...You guys really lifted the bandstand...", a statement that has been carved into the memory of that evening and also provides the title of this live recording. In Lifting the Bandstand the structure is typical: Cecil enters the stage, performs his verses and enters into a free dance; then some deep clusters on the piano; the string musicians offer themselves in an abstract design and the development of a sort of propitiatory ritual outlined in all its excitement and fullness when the clusters start to become cutting and the musical set becomes explosive. In this concert Taylor and the four European musician-personalities continue their enthusiastically celebrated non-hierarchical style of play that they started from the very beginning of this constellation. They sow the seeds for a free and choral relationship that favors the shattering, the physical prowess of the musicians and a phenomenology of music. The first half hour of Lifting the Bandstand is an uncontrolled expansion of the sound mass, with the instruments continuously expanding so that one cannot believe that musicians can play with that intensity for so long: an instinctive, chemical experiment consumes itself, in which all "music" is demolished and re-presented according to a project of apparent intangibility, not a sterile but a constructive fury, which upsets for the speed undertaken and the extended techniques; only after an hour the shockwave fades into a cubic phase, less thunderous, more oriented towards a melodic quality and a timbre line, where onomatopoeia intervenes; there are some attempts to replicate operatic singing and we find reminiscences of classicism camouflaged in areas of interaction. Even when the music calms down in the end, there are still electric shocks of music, small reflexes of the instruments, which the musicians cannot completely dominate in this new situation of relaxation. When the ritual ends, the sensation is to have experienced the equivalent of a virtuous myth, a regenerating force that leaves the listener astonished, breathless and enriched not really knowing where he had been taken.” - Ettore Garzia
ARCHIVAL & HISTORIC RECORDINGS OF NOTE:
YUSEF LATEEF / WILBUR HARDEN / RICHARD WILLIAMS / HUGH LAWSON / ERNIE FARROW / HERMAN WRIGHT / BARRY HARRIS / BEN TUCKER / REGGIE WORKMAN / FRANK GANT / OLIVER JACKSON / LEX HUMPHIES / ELVIN JONES / JAMES BLACK - The Prestige & Impulse Collection (Enlightenment 9214; EEC) Eight seminal Yusef Lateef albums recorded during his tenure at Impulse! and Prestige record labels, recorded in the 50s and 60s. Albums included: ‘Other Sounds’, ‘Cry Tender’, ‘Into Something’, ‘Eastern Sounds’, Jazz 'Round The World’, ‘1984’, ‘Live at Pep’s’… According to Bennie Maupin, who was also from Detroit, Yusef Lateef was a major influence on many saxists/musicians in the late fifties/early 1960’s due to his playing of double reeds like the oboe, bamboo flute, argol and other ethnic instruments which hadn’t been used in other jazz bands of that period. I own a few of these albums as well as a great disc by Clark Terry (called ‘Color Changes’) which Mr. Lateef sound consistently inspired and unique. Yusef Lateef went on the records dozens of great records from the mid fifties until December of 2013 when he passed away. If you don’t own (m)any of Mr. Lateef’s large catalogue, this is a perfect way to begin. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
4 CD Set $18
BILL BRUFORD’S EARTHWORKS with DJANGO BATES / IAIN BELLAMY / MICK - Live At The Schauburg, Bremen 1987 (Moosicus 1215-2; EEC) “Having already spent twenty years on the cutting edge of modern rock percussion, Bill Bruford (ex-King Crimson, Yes, UK a.m.m.) formed Earthworks in 1986, as a deliberate return to his roots in jazz. Availing himself of the brightest young talent on the burgeoning U.K. jazz scene, namely keyboardist and tenor horn player Django Bates, and saxophonist Iain Ballamy, both best known as frontrunners with the anarchic big band Loose Tubes, Bruford encouraged the use of rock technology with jazz sensibility - the hallmark of Earthwork's stylish approach. By letting in air and light, and adding a little wit and wisdom, they produced a particularly British antidote to the increasingly grotesque jazz fusion scene. The first LP for Editions EG, Earthworks, was a testament to their achievement.
It sounds simple, but the band only found its direction through serious live playing. No theoretical studio concoction here. Japan, Europe and the UK were all visited before the release of the first album. In November 1987 Bill Bruford, double bass player Mick Hutton, Django Bates as well as Iain Bellamy performed at the "Schauburg" in Bremen (Germany). The famous German Radio & TV station Radio Bremen recorded the show. Stylistically, Earthworks offered here again all the band's openness to diverse styles: Power rock passages alternate with lyrical, balladic passages. Influences from African and Latin American music stood next to swinging sections. It was an amazing show and musically a tremendous night to remember, now for the first time on CD and digital.
ANTHONY MOORE - C-Sound Saz (Touch 033-21CD; UK) "Touch.40 live at Iklectik. I received an invitation to perform at the 40th anniversary gathering, June 2022. Previous works for the label, 'Arithmetic in the Dark' and 'Isoladrone2020' illuminated the landing strip for a new work. It should be continuous -- a further play on moving and remaining. I wanted to balance the digital output of a CSound orchestra with an analog instrument and chose the Turkish saz, a sound I've loved and lived with for the last six decades. I prepared the ground for the live performance with a graphical interface for CSound and an EBow for the saz (along with some short pre-recordings of picking and strumming). Then, a few days before the concert, I got Covid. On the suggestion of Jon and Mike I recorded a live performance-for-one, (myself at home) which was played back at Iklectik. Unedited, unchanged, here it is."
Three pairs of thin, wire strings on the Turkish saz are struck, and the resulting sound is harmonized, filtered and then sustained in an infinite but gradually shifting chord of harmonics. In addition, an EBow is used to excite the strings in real time. This sound is natural, untreated, and adds layers to the sustained chord. Subsequently, two Csound programs running in parallel are "fed" the natural sound of the saz and the output is heavily affected with filters, resonators, vocoders etc. These sonic gestures are allowed to take over as the original chord fades to leave the more transparent sounds of the Csound outputs. The organum returns with much warmer low end. The saz transformations thin out to leave a keening call. And finally, the last minutes are filled with a deep chord which fades to silence.
Anthony Moore (b. August 1948) is a composer/musician, now based in the UK, formerly professor in Cologne for sound art and music working on the social and technical history of sound. He operates across many genres; ambient drone, musique concrète, electroacoustic, songwriting, and immersive, multi-channel sound installations. He continues to compose, perform and release work on various labels such as Touch, Drag City (Chicago), P-Vine (Tokyo) and others. Anthony Moore conducted a lengthy interview with Julian Cowley for The Wire, which appeared in October 2022 edition.”
THE RESIDENTS - So Long Sam (1945-2006)(Klanggalerie GG 418; Germany) The Residents are an American art collective best known for their over 60 studio albums that were recorded over a period of over forty years. They also created some outstanding multimedia works, mainly three CD ROM projects and ten DVDs. Working as an anonymous collective, their identitites were kept secret until in 2017 Hardy Fox revealed himself as their primary composer. Hardy died in October 2018, but the group continue to record and perform. So Long Sam (1945-2006) was a one-off performance by The Residents, held at Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive on June 4th 2010. It was a work-in-progress version of lead singer Randy Rose's one-man cabaret performance Sam's Enchanted Evening, which Rose performed solo between October 2011 and March 2012. So Long Sam featured re-interpretations of popular hits from the mid-20th century, and told the story of Sam (personified by Rose) and his troubles with romance, his unhealthy sex addiction, and his questions about his sexuality. During the performance Rose and The Residents were accompanied by a small string orchestra. An EP of the same name credited to The Residents, featuring four songs recorded during the June 4th show, was released later that month on the group's Robot Selling Device. The rest has never been made available. Klanggaleri are proud to finally present you the full concert, plus an extra full of demos recorded for the show.”
2 CD Set $22
THE RESIDENTS - Triple Trouble: The Original Soundtrack Album (Cryptic Corporation BRED 862; USA) “Seven collaged suites of brand new Residents music, film dialogue and one or two familiar themes. 'Triple Trouble' the movie will be appearing at film festivals and art house cinemas near you throughout 2022. "From priesthood to plumber: In the wake of his mother's death, an idealistic but emotionally isolated man replaces his belief in God with a faith in fungus..." The Residents present 'Triple Trouble', the soundtrack to their forthcoming fifty-years-in-the-making feature film of the same name. Featuring a blend of extended instrumental cues, film dialogue and spoken word extracts, and self-produced by The Residents and regular collaborator Eric Drew Feldman. Dive deep into the psyche of Randall "Junior" Rose, son of a recently deceased rock star and a former priest who has lost faith in the church. Convinced that a fungus is a threat to humanity, and accompanied by his only friend Cherry, an AI enhanced drone, Junior slowly gathers evidence to support his bizarre theory, spiraling out of control in the process…”
SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU / PIERRE-YVES MACE - L'Effet Rebond (Version Silicium/Version Iridium)(Sub Rosa 488CD; Belgium) “L’effet Rebond is not one album but two. Two parallel albums sharing the same title. One by Pierre-Yves Macé, the other by Sylvain Chauveau -- two friends and regular collaborators for nearly twenty years. Both works come from the same original material: a few tracks of guitar, piano, harmonium, and vocals, initially recorded by Chauveau. The lyrics (in French, English, Japanese) are very short poems by or quotations from e.e. cummings, Thelonious Monk, John Cage, Basho, cult tennis player John McEnroe, Carla Demierre, Aram Saroyan, Joseph Guglielmi, and painter Philip Guston. From this common material, each of the two composers has built his own edifice, choosing the elements he keeps, the ones he abandons, adding little by little his own instruments, structures and ideas. In the end, two distinct and autonomous opuses are born. Double-CD; digipack inside a slipcase.
"Version Iridium": Pierre-Yves Macé has allowed himself to be guided by his long-standing obsessions: hybridization of genres and formats, balance between lyricism and formalism, intersection of chamber instrumental writing and chiseled electronics. But this time he pushes his penchant for sobriety further than ever. Whether it is a song-haiku, a miniature for piano or a long repetitive and rhythmic piece, the simplicity is at the service of the clarity of the ideas and the beauty of the timbres -- Maitane Sebastiàn's cello or Cédric Jullion's bass flute in mind.
"Version Silicium": Sylvain Chauveau has surrounded himself with his friends Peter Broderick (backing vocals), Machinefabriek (electronic processing), Lucille Calmel (field recordings), Romke Kleefstra (electric guitar), and Rainier Lericolais (electronic sounds) in order to develop more than ever his love of repetition and the ultra-short format. Here, the pieces often last only the time of a breath, of a few heartbeats. A musical form rarely explored in any musical genre, but one that Chauveau has been fond of since his early days and whose quintessence he seeks here.”
2 CD Set $19
OISEAUX-TEMPETE - What On Earth (Que Diable)(Sub Rosa 531CD; Belgium) “With their sixth studio album, Oiseaux-Tempête unveils a new facet of its mythology through a dense work that carries darkness towards the light of day, that rumbles, calms down and warms up again. Like the silhouette of a lighthouse that reveals itself as its torch rises and shines, the powerful beauty of What On Earth (Que Diable) radiates into an expanding musical cosmos. From the mammoth riffs of "Partout Le Feu", progressively thickened by explosive sound textures and sirens ringing the alarm, you levitate on "Terminal Velocity", a minimalist interlude with a crepuscular feel that is jostled by the hypnotic pulsations of "Voodoo Spinning" and then the call of the dungeon "The Crying Eye - I Forget", an electro mystical trance that deploys its philters in a troubled moat haunted by the psalmodies of Radwan Ghazi Moumneh. The tempo speeds up in "A Man Alone in a One Man Poem", a meeting of body and mind, of mechanical energy and burning breath where the spoken word of G.W.Sok sneaks in, before the pastoral crossing of "Waldgänger" and its forest of electronic chimeras.
"... At the center of this project, which blurs lines and genres, the duo turned trio of multi-instrumentalists Frédéric D. Oberland, Stéphane Pigneul, and Mondkopf have been building dialogues between their own reality, their vocabulary, and those of fellow travelers met all around the surface of the world. From their Mediterranean trilogy to their foray into Canada with the explosive From Somewhere Invisible, deeply instinctive albums shrouded in mystery take shape, in parallel with feverish and incendiary live performances, punk in their urgency to tell the world by blasting the boundaries of space and time. After having signed the soundtrack of the bewitching Tunisian film Tlamess (Sortilège) by Ala Eddine Slim in 2020, Oiseaux-Tempête immerses us with What On Earth (Que Diable) in a collapsed future. A psychedelic/psychological roadmap, the album gathers around Frédéric D. Oberland, Stéphane Pigneul, Mondkopf and Jean-Michel Pirès (Bruit Noir), the voices of Ben Shemie (SUUNS), G.W.Sok, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Jerusalem In My Heart) or the electric strings of Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt. Zion). If the planetary reality of 2022 looks like a bad spin-off of a pre/post-apocalyptic series, this new record invites us to another kind of anticipative present where the only weapons are poems chanted against the wind. Ben Shemie opens the projection on 'Black Elephant' and sets the tone for this magnetic dance . . . Drum machines, analog synths, percussions, guitars, mellotron, flute, saxophone, vocals, rhodes, piano, violin and electric buzuk come to life in a sort of disaster aesthetic, pushing back the walls of the decor, against the current of any calibrated music." - Alice Butterlin
STEFAN GOLDMANN - Call and Response (Ash International 13-9; UK) “Stefan Goldmann's Call and Response has been crafted entirely from artificial reverb and nothing else: historic and contemporary units, responding only to brief electronic impulses (clicks). All sounds stem exclusively from the intrinsic properties of machines designed to replicate spatial acoustics. These range from early mechanical means such as springs and plates to increasingly complex algorithms aimed at convincingly approximating the rich acoustic responses of real world environments. The devices' idiosyncrasies enable the creation of spaces that fall short of naturalistic expectations. Yet new possibilities of exploring physically impossible alternative realities emerge. Recorded music has a rich history of much beloved and highly unreal spatial designs -- from the slap-back sounds of rock n' roll and the echoes of dub to gated snare reverbs and the nonlinear reflection bursts of 1980s drum machine fame. Despite the expected obsolescence of most historic efforts in the age of convolution reverb technology, many odd spatialization techniques persist and are now the subject of contemporary emulation. In Call and Response, the capacity of artificial reverb to go far beyond what the reflections of physical surfaces can elicit is often amplified to gargantuan proportions, only to be folded back into what appears to be the most minuscule of entrapments. Hissing tunnels and threatening wells vibrate left and right. A succession of "frozen" reverbs solidifies what otherwise would be fleeting reflections. Rapid shifts create artifacts that tear the fabric of space, only to reveal the underlying mechanics of its simulation. Occasional feedback, a reverb's output looped back into a unit's input, produces eerie harmonic textures inherent in algorithmic response curves (analogous to resonance frequencies determined by a room's geometric shape). The continuously dynamic handling of parameters such as size, density and shape allows for the exploration of impossible architecture along impossible trajectories. An aural choreography, plotted along permanently receding walls, liquid ceilings and crumbling floors. This is Goldmann's first album for Ash International. He runs the Macro label with Finn Johannsen.
AVIVA ENDEAN - Moths & Stars (Room40 4194; Australia) “Australian composer and clarinetist Aviva Endean has developed an impressive capacity for creating work that merges intense control (of breath, of instrument, of composition) and a willingness to allow the music to lead. On Moths & Stars, her second solo work, she charts out a sound world that is equal parts timbre and tone, placing sounds relationship to space as a paramount focus for her pieces.
From Aviva Endean: "Coming from a background as a performer and clarinet player, the opportunity to record my own music opened up a whole new context to think about music. Sounds are freed from being confined to one place, one time, or even one perspective. I wanted the recording to have a right-up-in-your-ear kind of intimacy -- so close, that you could hear the beating of a moth's wing, but I also wanted the listener to experience the expansiveness of the recorded space, like the vast night sky. The microphones became extensions of my instruments, getting right up close to capture the microscopic, creating tones of feedback which captivated me, or zooming out to capture multiple acoustic spaces. My recording and composing process became more intuitive and explorative, another form of play. I could start creating and see where the piece would take me, and notice how new relationships were formed as I folded multiple time/spaces in and over each other. Sometimes I would begin by gleaning sounds from my archives, and listening to how they could be reimagined and transformed alongside the discoveries my microphones and instruments were finding. In 'Nightwork' I wanted to find a way to revisit some microtonal humming that I had recorded for a sound design project, and then discovered the Leslie speaker as a way to spin my bass clarinet sound around the microphones, creating bass tones emerging as waves out of the densely layered pitches. Sometimes a new instrumental fascination, such as the e-bows and magnets on 'Mirror Signals' or the binaural microphone feedback on 'Moths & Stars' would call for me to find further layers of clarinets and field recordings to be woven into their story."
AUNT SALLY - Aunt Sally (Mesh-Key MKY 024CD; USA) "A true desert island disc, criminally out of print for nearly 40 years. This seminal, eponymous post-punk album by Japanese group Aunt Sally, fronted by experimental singer Phew (Mute Records), was first released by the iconic Vanity Records label in 1979. Over the past forty-plus years, Phew has forged a singular path through a wide range of styles -- from free improvisation to pop -- and has collaborated with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto, members of Can, DAF, Einstürzende Neubauten, The Raincoats, and more. But Aunt Sally is where she got her start and, despite the members' young ages (still in college at the time), Phew and the band delivered a mature, timeless take on minimalistic punk. Remastered from the original analog tapes."
BENNIE MAUPIN / ADAM RUDOLPH - Symphonic Tone Poem for Brother Yusef (Strut 298LP; UK) Featuring Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet, soprano sax, wooden, C & alto flutes & voice and Adam Rudolph on handrumset, electronic keyboards, mbuti harp, drum machine, udu drums, thumb piano, marimbula, cajon, gongs, bells, assorted percussion and overtone singing. Review next week.
MELVIN GIBBS - Anamibia Sessions 1: The Wave (Editions Mego 291LP; Austria) “Melvin Gibbs is the renowned bass player and producer from Brooklyn whose vast resume includes playing with Sonny Sharrock, John Zorn, The Rollins Band, Dead Prez, Caetano Veloso, and Femi Kuti, amongst others. Behind the scenes, those who know Gibbs knew that amongst all this he was also tinkering away at another form of music, one which skirts around the border between music and sound design. The Wave is the first release that reveals this side of Gibbs's creative output to those outside his inner circle. The driving force for this output is Gibbs's multi-decade friendship with acclaimed American video artist and cinematographer, Arthur Jafa. Over the course of time Gibbs and Jafa have had many conversations about music and the connection between film and music. Jafa's desire to make film that worked the way Black (as in Black/African-American/Afro-diasporic peoples) music worked inspired Gibbs to study the filmmakers Serge Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov and incorporate their philosophies and tactics when recording his own music. The two discussed sound design which directly informed Gibbs's choice of music making tools and led to him acquiring Symbolic Systems Kyma software and hardware, incorporating this as a composition tool and sound design and component in his work. These conversations bore concrete fruit through Gibbs' work for TNEG, the film studio Jafa ran with filmmakers Malik Sayeed and Elissa Blount Moorhead. Gibbs created the soundtrack for their very first project, the short film Deshotten 1.0 (2009) as well as their Martin Luther King-inspired meditation on Black life Dreams Are Colder Than Death (2013). The bass-forward music, or "sonics" as Gibbs calls it, emerged from an alternative mode of contemplation, a mode that he sees as closer to the mindset of a rootworker, an African-American herbal doctor who cures psychic ailments using means derived from African spiritual practice. In 2020, Jafa asked Gibbs to work on the soundtrack for a work in progress called The Wave. When they got together to work on the soundtrack, Jafa played Gibbs a selection of sounds that included random moments of (probably unwanted) feedback on '70s Miles Davis records, Pop Smoke's Brooklyn drill, the music of Bernard Gunter and Darmstadt-style compositions made with test equipment. Those sounds, filtered through years of conversation with Jafa about Black creativity and the possible evolution of Black music, formed the sonic vocabulary of The Wave. Over time the sonics evolved and The Wave became the piece Jafa calls "AGHDRA". Gibbs mentions although the work with Jafa has always skirted these lines of evolution, this side of his vocabulary has been generally neglected, until now, due to his current jazz musician/jazz festival-centric focus and radar. The result of this parallel exploration is a deep excursion into a nuanced sound world. Includes printed inner sleeve and download code; edition of 500.
CHRIS ABRAHAMS - Follower (Room40 4162; USA) “For more than three decades now Sydney pianist and composer Chris Abrahams has developed a singularly iconic body of work. Known widely for his work with trio The Necks, Abrahams solo works have carved out an entirely otherworldly realm in sound. His explorations of organ, electronics, and piano capture a restless curiosity and timbral interrogation that only deepens with each of his releases. With Follower, his compositional language further expands. Melodies cascade with a cinematic pacing, spilling out over the top of harmonic electronics and unsteady percussive elements. He creates a sense of opening and space, a field within which we become lost and utterly consumed by the evolving states he casts into focus. On the opening track, "Costume", bass piano meanders through a wilderness of de-tuned bells and organ swells; a strange sort of festival. Low frequency sighs evenly punctuate, like a pump or a heartbeat. It's a procession that takes it time as it wanders the terrain, brought to a close with transcendent distortion. On the second piece, "New Kind of Border", muscular modal piano surfs among waves of percussion and analog synthesizers. A buffeting travel. Follower is Abrahams's sixth album for Room40 and it showcases his continuing interest in the ambiguous spaces between music and noise; tonality and atonality; rhythm and texture. All four tracks have piano as a key factor: in one instance, high-pitched and atonal; in another, emotive yet distant as if projected on to a screen. Follower presents the listener with a sound world of colorful juxtapositions, rich orchestration and organically open forms.”
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.
Today (11/29/22) is #GivingTuesday!
The music and art that Arts for Art presents inspires and brings us all together. We give the artists and audience everything we have, and we need your support.
As the premier presenter of Multicultural Improvised Arts in New York City, and as a nonprofit, we depend upon the support of individuals such as yourself to ensure that Arts for Art thrives and works towards long-term stability.
Your donation will go towards:
-Artist fees and production costs for our upcoming presentations in partnership with the Gene Frankel Theatre at 24 Bond Street (the former Studio Rivbea) and Five Myles Gallery in Crown Heights.
-The Music is Mine arts education program, where we partner with NYC schools to provide high quality music workshops, private lessons and performance opportunities for low or no cost.
-The Vision Festival, now in its 27th year. The next festival will take place June 13 to 18, 2023 at Roulette Intermedium, where we will present an all star lineup of creative artists, including a full evening of performances by French bassist Joelle Leandre in honor of her lifetime of achievement.
Share with your friends and family using these links:
In gratitude for your support,
Executive Director, Arts for Art, Inc.
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
William Hooker’s "Let Music Be Your Brunch" Xmas special event
will be held on 12/18/22 at
Funkadelic Studios, 240 West 40th st., 5th fl in Manhattan at 3 pm (bet 7th & 8th Aves)
Much thanks to the studio..It is a free event.
The performing guests so far..(and there will be many more) are
Kevin Ramsey, David Tamura, Ras Moshe, Marcus Cummings, Monica Rocha,
On Ka Davis, Hans Tammen, Stephen Gauci, Aron Namenwirth, Federico Balducci,
Nebula, Jair-Rohm Wells, Ayumi Ishito, Sam Yulsman and the folks at Funkadelic Studio (NYC)...
Even more to be announced! There will be music and configurations of many types...*to be experienced in celebration!
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/
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com