FIMAV 39th EDITION - INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL MUSIQUE ACTUELLE VICTORIAVILLE - Begins Next Week!
Here is a list of who is playing this year:
1.John Zorn’s New Masada Quartet plus John Zorn’s New Music for Two Trios
2.Fred Frith Trio / Susana Santos Silva / Heike Liss
3.Elliott Sharp/Colin Stetson/Billy Martin/Payton McDonald - Void Patrol
4.Ikue Mori’s ‘Tracing the Magic’
6.Zoh Amba’s - “Bhakti” with Micah Thomas & Matt Hollenberg
7.Simon Haynes - “GNR8RZ”
8.Tashi Dorji / Dave Rempis
9.Francois Houle / Kate Gentile / Alexander Hawkins
11.Camille Brisson / Isabelle Clermont
12.Joe Sorbara / Matthias Mainz “Aurealities”
14.Nina Garcia / Arnaud Riviere “Autoreverse”
15.Guy Thouin & L’Ensemble Infini
Sometime in 1986, my good friend Fred Frith told me about a music festival in the Quebec countryside that he had played at earlier and that I should consider attending. I told Fred that I had never been to Canada and I spoke very little French. He said that this festival was made for adventurous music listeners like myself and that I could get by since many of the folks I would meet spoke enough English to converse with. I decided to take a chance and go. After visiting a cousin of my pal John Richey in Portland, Maine, I drove a long way through a snowstorm to get to the town of Victoriaville in Quebec, about 2 hours northeast of Montreal and 45 minutes from Quebec City. I went alone and only knew a few of the musicians playing that year, no one else. FIMAV or the Victo Fest was then 5 days long, had around 25 concerts and took place in October, an early part of the winter season. At the end of the first concert on Wednesday at noon, a young man came up and sat down next to me and introduced himself. His name was Yves and he was from Victoriaville. He asked where I was from (Rahway, NJ) and how long it took me to drive there (around 10 hours) and why I came to this fest. I have always loved music festivals and had attended a number of them previously. This fest was something quite different as it mixed progressive, experimental, free jazz, electronic, modern classical, noise and some unclassifiable types of music. I also made some new friends that year like Peter Marter from Vancouver, Jim Ivy from Florida and Kevin Greene from down south.
I have attended each and every Victo Fest since that first one in 1987. Starting the second year I went up with Len Siegfried and a couple of years later with Jason Roth. More than a dozen of my old friends also attended throughout 40 years that I’ve been attending. FIMAV is not like any other New Music Fest that I’ve ever attended, since they do not abide be any categories or pigeonholing, since their humble beginning, the term they use is Musique Actuelle a/k/a Music Now or Music of Today. FIMAV was founded by Michel Levasseur and it began in 1983. Michel grew up in Victoriaville and is about the same age as me (he is 70 this year) and he has similar tastes in music as me and many of my friends. The festival has grown every year both attendance-wise and in the open minded booking of challenging music from around the world. Over time, I’ve gotten to know & become friends with Mr. Levassuer and his family, all beautiful folks and kindred spirits in many ways. Michel curates all the musicians that play at the fest and he is the MC at each concert. He always radiates positive, friendly energy both on-stage and off-stage as well. We recently received an announcement from the folks at FIMAV that Michel Levasseur will be stepping down after this year’s fest. Why? In a recent interview (https://www.fimav.qc.ca/documents/Archives2023/all-about-jazz-9mai2023.pdf) Michel says that he is doing this due to the stress of running the festival. I can understand this myself since running my store has also become more stressful in recent times. Will the festival continue without Michel? The staff is searching for someone to take his place but no one can really take his place as it was his vision and enduring spirit that kept this fest going for so long. Friends of mine have been urging me to add my name to the list of possible FIMAV promoters but I am not so sure about closing the store and moving to Victoriaville. More than anything, I want this fest to continue as it is the one vacation I’ve taken every year and the one I look most forward to attending. It is not just the great, challenging music that makes this festival so special, their is a social element, a gathering of friends, other kindred music seeking spirits who are my/our other Family that I am a part of.
Considering that I’ve attended some 33 FIMAV fest, I’ve caught around 800 sets of music since 1987. Amazing to think about. Here is a list some of the better sets that I can recall offhand: Keith Tippett (3 times, solo, Mujician & Tapestry Orchestra), Fred Frith (Keep the Dog, a Dagmar/Art Bears trib & many more), John Zorn (Naked City, Slan, full six set day for his 60th birthday), London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Anthony Braxton & Evan Parker (too many times to count), ROVA, Four Gentlemen of the Guitar, Merzbow, Haino Keiji, Curlew, Roscoe Mitchell, Rene Lussier, Jean Derome, Joan Hetu, Cecil Taylor, Henry Kaiser, Joelle Leandre, Marilyn Crispell, Peggy Lee, Gordon Grdina, Francois Houle, the Necks, Mary Halvorson, William Parker (many times!), Peter Brotzmann, Miriodor, Meredith Monk, Acid Mother Gong and on and on… Each year, there is always a few concerts from someone with whom I hadn’t yet heard and which will blow my mind. This is always a pleasant surprise. Check out this French prog/Canterbury band: Jack Dupon!
So, please look at the list of musicians that are playing this year and consider attending. There are always a few names that you will not readily recognize so do some research. Michel Levasseur’s batting average for great bands is pretty high. You will come away with a year’s worth of Creative Music to think about. This year I am attending the fest with Bob Nirkind, Darren Bergstein, Don White, Paul Kirby and Bill Fertanish. If you are going, please come say hello to us. We are all part of the same Cosmic Music Family! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
The live music part of this festival will take place from May 18th until May 21st, with mostly outdoor installations to check out starting on May 15th at the quad in the center of the town. Here is the schedule: https://www.fimav.qc.ca/en/edition/schedule
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
Tuesday, May 16th: BRUCE GONE TO VICTO FEST! / Guest Host: James P Nadien
7 & 9pm: TONY MALABY - Tenor Sax / CALEB DUVAL- Bass / JAMES PAUL NADIEN - Drums
Tuesday, May 23rd: Guest Host: James Paul Nadien - Guest Host
6:30 - LESLEY MOK - Solo drums
7:30 - JAMES PAUL NADIEN / CHRIS LIBUTTI / TETE LEGUIA - Drums / Guitar / El. Bass
8:30 - JOYCE with YIFEI ZHOU / KAI BURNS / EVAN HASKIN / NOAH MARK - Voice Electronics / Guitar Voice / Guitar / Drums
Tuesday, May 30th:
6:30: HAN TAMMEN / MONICA ROCHA / PAUL FEITZINGER - Electronics / No-input mixer / Percussion
7:30: MAX JOHNSON / ALFREDO COLON / JASON NAZARY - Bass / Alto Sax / Drums
8:30: BEN STAPP - Tuba / SAM NEWSOME - Soprano Sax
Downtown Music Gallery is located at 13 Monroe St, between Catherine & Market Sts. We are in a basement space below an art gallery & beauty salon. We are on the east side of Chinatown, not far from East Broadway & the end of the Bowery. Admission for all concerts is free and donations are always welcomed. We have concerts here every Tuesday starting at 6:30 plus Steve Gauci curates his own series here on the 2nd or 1st Saturday of each month. You can check out the weekly schedule here: https://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/shows.php
THIS WEEK’S DYNAMITE DISCS BEGIN WITH:
FRED FRITH / NURIA ANDORRA - Dancing Like Dust (Klanggalerie GG 429; Germany) Featuring Fred Frith on electric guitar and Núria Andorrà on percussion. Recorded in Barcelona in October of 2021. Experimental guitar hero, Fred Frith, has a long history of playing duos with selective percussionists: Chris Cutler, David Moss, Charles K. Noyes, Jean-Pierre Drouet and Evelyn Glennie. I’ve kept my eye on Spanish percussionist Núria Andorrà over the past decade, checking out her records with Lê Quan Ninh, Agustí Fernández, Irene Aranda and an impressive duet CD with Joelle Leandre from last year (2022). One of the last time I spoke with Fred Frith, he said that he was in the process of recording some half dozen plus duo CD’s, all of which have been released in the past decade or so: Lotte Anker, Darren Johnston, Susanna Santos Silva, John Butcher, Barry Guy, Evan Parker and Michel Doneda.
If you haven’t seen Fred Frith perform live or watched him in any on-line videos, you most likely don’t know how he gets the sounds he gets. I feel fortunate to have heard/seen Mr. Frith live hundreds of times, especially since he was living in NYC from 1979-1993, playing many shows with numerous members of the Downtown Scene. Frith generally plays his guitar laying in his lap and uses a variety of utensils to manipulate his guitar: an ash tray, pieces of wood, thin rods, a small towel, rice or something similar… Both Frith and Ms. Andorra play percussively here and sound great together, improvising a seamless stream of fascinating sounds. Great improvisation is like a stimulating conversation and this is what we have here. Ms. Andorrà is playing what sounds like a marimba, assorted pieces of metal, cymbals, a tympani or bass drum while Frith uses his pedals to alter his guitar tones with different types of sustain. There are also quite a bit of eerie, strange sounds which are often difficult to figure out who is doing what. Rubbing or bowing the strings or the percussion makes for more stimulating sounds. I am currently listening to this disc for the second time today (5/10/23) and am still marveling at the diverse, compelling and endlessly inventive sounds found here. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* JOELLE LEANDRE / MAT MANERI / CRAIG TABORN - hEARoes (Rogue Art 0127; France) Craig Taborn, universal pianist, Joëlle Léandre experienced improviser & contrabassist extraordinaire and Mat Maneri, untiring explorer of microtonality for the first time together. Featuring Joëlle Léandre on contrabass, Craig Taborn on piano and Mat Maneri on viola. Recorded live at Theatre Antoine Vitez in France in February of 2022. French contrabass master, Joëlle Léandre, has been recording for more than forty years. On June 13 of this year (2023, next month), the Vision Fest will honor Ms. Léandre with a Lifetime of Achievement Award and she will play in four sets that night. It will be the opening day of the Vision Festival and it should be a glorious day! Ms. Léandre has long worked with many of the greatest improvisers from Europe, the USA and elsewhere. For this trio set, Léandre works with microtonal specialist May Maneri, boht of whom have played in the Judson Trio and The Stone Quartet. Craig Taborn and Mat Maneri share a history of working together in the Ches Smith Trio & Quartet, as well as on a couple of Mat Maneri leader dates on Thirsty Ear. This is the first time that Ms. Léandre has worked with keyboard great Craig Taborn. The music here is fully improvised and this is what these three musicians do best. Not only is this disc/session especially well-recorded, the music here is consistently extraordinary. The music is often careful, thoughtful, focused, with both the viola and bass bowing their lines together in a tight web of connections. Most pieces start off slowly and spaciously but soon pick up, the interaction getting more agitated or intense. Often one member of the trio will start off with a line or theme, then the other two players will join in. Both Ms. Léandre and Mr. Maneri sound like they are coming from the same place, pushing the barriers beyond regular intonation, bending and stretching out certain notes in their own unique way. You have to listen closely here to hear all that is going on as there quite a bit of more restrained improv going on here. This is a most impressive disc of high end improv at its best! Can’t wait to check out Joëlle Léandre at the upcoming Vision Festival! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Contrabass Master, Joëlle Léandre, will be honored with a Lifetime of Achievement Award on the open night of the next Vision Festival - June 20, 2023
GYORGY SZABADOS / JOELLE LEANDRE - Live at Magyarkanizsa (BMC Records 183; Bulgaria) Among the legends of contemporary Hungarian music, György Szabados occupies a special place that has made him, in his country and throughout the world, one of the most atypical voices of jazz and improvised music. Born in 1939, virtuoso pianist and child prodigy of a family of famous musicians, Szabados was one of the first children to learn music by the "Kodály method". Considered to be one of the fathers of Hungarian jazz, which he clandestinely animated as early as the end of the fifties, he always approached this music with the filter of the iron curtain. The result is a very personal aesthetic, the rhizomes of which share equally their energy in jazz and their refinement at the heart of written music. We find mainly in him a Magyar heritage which, from harmonic researches of Bartók to the marked influence of Ligeti, intimate a color inimitable to its powerful improvisations. A style that still largely influences young Hungarian musicians. The encounter with Joëlle Léandre sounds like an obvious as the universes resemble each other. Both have been able, through daring and determination, to impose their language and explore new territories freed from academicism. These two improvised music giants with multiple joint collaborations - from Anthony Braxton to Evan Parker - had never recorded together. In November 2010, this meeting took place in Vojvodina, the Magyar-speaking enclave of Serbia, hosted by Budapest Music Center. This Live At Magyarkanizsa is a free tumultuous discussion of two verbal improvisers who carry the same word. The strength of Szabados' music is his ability to use all the resources of his instrument, from the rhythmic pounding that seems to whirl around the double bass to the small light sentence escaping from the maelstrom of the hammers, bows and strings. At his side, Leandre plays with a builder bow that is both urgent and solid, which visits the deepest abysses ... Franpi Barriaux, Citizenjazz Journal, France
CONRAD SCHNITZLER & KEN MONTGOMERY - CAS-CON II: Konzert in der Erloserkirche, Ost-Berlin, 3.9.1986 (Bureau B 424CD; Germany) “As part of Bureau B's series Experimental Electronic Underground GDR, the label make a very special recording available again. The first contact between Conrad Schnitzler, who lived in West Berlin, and Jörg Thomasius, who was based in the east party of the city, came about in the late 1970s. In 1985, Schnitzler visited Thomasius in East Berlin for the first time. In the meantime, Thomasius had released cassettes in the GDR both as a soloist and with his group DFO (Das freie Orchester). The following year, the idea of a joint concert in East Berlin's Erlöserkirche was born. In the GDR, it was not possible to hold events in public without a so-called state "classification". DFO did not have this permit at that time and so public performances were only possible in the context of private or church institutions. In 1982, Schnitzler had already met the New York musician Ken Gen Montgomery, who then regularly performed Schnitzlers's compositions live at various venues worldwide. And so, Schnitzler also produced four cassettes especially for his concert in East Berlin, which were sent by courier from West to East Berlin. On the evening of 3.9.1986, the privately announced and illegal concert took place in the Erlöserkirche in East Berlin/GDR. Montgomery mixed Schnitzler's music live from the tapes. Jörg Thomasius recorded the performance and released the recording in 1987 on his own underground cassette label, Krötenkassetten. Elaborately restored, the original recording is now being released for the first time under the title CAS-CON II. In addition to photos and contemporary documents, it also includes Jörg Thomasius's and Ken Gen Montgomery's written memories of this very special evening.”
PERE UBU - Trouble On Big Beat Street (Cherry Red Bred 882CD; UK) "Pere Ubu unveil their new album, Trouble On Big Beat Street, nearly four years after their previous record for Cherry Red, The Long Goodbye. The Modern Dance (1978) marked the end of rock 'n' roll. Trouble On Big Beat Street marks the end of the song. Pere Ubu ended with The Long Goodbye (their last album, also on Cherry Red, from 2019). Pere Ubu begins again with Trouble On Big Beat Street. If you missed the last 48 years then imagine a bad attitude. Imagine Electric Light Orchestra -- the version with Roy Wood -- then add Muddy Waters playing guitar and Nina Simone singing. Trouble On Big Beat Street, the 19th Pere Ubu studio album. David Thomas produced, mixed, and engineered it. The vinyl release is ten tracks. The CD release includes all 17 tracks recorded during the sessions. Those extra seven tracks were too good to lose but took up too much time to fit on a vinyl release. Pere Ubu is David Thomas, Keith Moliné, Gagarin, Alex Ward, Andy Diagram, Michele Temple and Jack Jones. Keith Moliné and Andy Diagram are the two pale boys. They have played with David more than 28 years. Electronica artist Gagarin was soundman for the two pale boys. Michele Temple has been in Pere Ubu 30 years. Improviser and life-long fan Alex Ward submitted a cover version of a David Thomas song to the band's live-streaming show. David invited him to join the band. David met Jack Jones in the pub."
CD $18 / LP $36
EPHEMERA QUARTET with KEYNA WILKINS / ELSEN PRICE / CARL ST JACQUES / WILL GILBERT - Blackholes and Modulations (Keyna 06; Australia) Featuring Keyna Wilkins on piano, flute & compositions, Carl St. Jacques on viola, Will Gilbert on trumpet and Elsen Price on double bass. Last month (4/25/23), there was a solo set here at DMG featuring Australian flutist Keyna Wilkins. It was a superb set of flute music but what I liked the most about it was that each piece has an explanation of what inspired it plus the use of electronic or space transmission sonic sounds added underneath. This is the second disc by the Ephemera Quartet and it explores and/or utilizes the sounds of pulsars, craters, planetary atmospheres, the stars and the void of space. Used were openly sourced NASA recordings taken from space and space transmissions. I hadn’t heard of any of the members of the Ephemera Quartet before now, although Elsen Price was a member of the Eishan Ensemble, Carl St. Jacques was a member of the Inlay Ensemble plus Ms. Wilkins has a half dozen of her own discs. “Earth” opens with a somber, haunting theme, hushed viola, solemn trumpet, the low-end bowed bass cushion and angelic piano. The piece escalates as the tempo increases and becomes more intense. “Apollo Mission” begins with the “lift off” spoken words taken from that mission. The quartet play these hypnotic, floating lines with exquisite piano and trumpet. Bassist Elsen Price is featured on “Perseid Meteor Shower”, pumping a quick pulse with Mr. St. Jacques’ quaint, thoughtful viola soloing on top and fine long flute solo later on as well. A “Chiron is a comet with a unique and erratic orbit.” The piece which is called Chiron features a strong unaccompanied viola solo as well as a dramatic unaccompanied acoustic bass solo. “Star Trance” contains some haunting electronic/space-age samples with an incredible, expressive flute solo. The last piece, “Erratic Orbit” is long and goes through different sections. Everything works or fits just right: the cosmic, spongy sound of the contrabass, the mesmerizing ghost-like flute and the eerie, electronic sounding drone that floats throughout the piece make this into a magical, transformative yet modest epic. We got a half dozen different discs from Keyna Wilkins, so I will review the other in upcoming newsletters. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
HIROSHI SUZUKI - Cat (We Release Jazz 010CD; Switzerland) “We Release Jazz announce the official reissue of Hiroshi Suzuki's Cat, a glorious jazz-fusion-funk holy grail originally released in 1976. Cat was recorded in October 1975 at Nippon Columbia Studio, while Hiroshi Suzuki was visiting his home country of Japan after moving to Las Vegas in 1971 to play with Buddy Rich and perfect his craft. Back on his old stomping grounds, the man known as Neko (Cat) immediately reunited with his dear friends for an epic two-day session of groove magic. The chemistry was still intact. The skills and style had grown. The result, Cat, is a smooth masterpiece, a deep and soulful affair where stunning trombone solos by Hiroshi Suzuki flirt with Takeru Muraoka's heavenly saxophone and the sensual rhythm section of Hiromasa Suzuki (keyboards), Kunimitsu Inaba (bass), and Akira Ishikawa (drums). Celebrated in jazz collectors circles, in the lo-fi beat scene, and among music diggers around the world, Cat has become one of the most sought-after Japanese jazz albums of all time and, much like Ryo Fukui's Scenery, has fascinated old and young generations alike. Sourced from the original masters. Liner notes by Teruo Isono.”
INDEPENDENT PROJECTS & LABELS:
JONATHAN REISIN OPTION 8 with MOSHE ELMAKIAS / BRIAN RICHBURG JR. / NITZAN BIRNBAUM - Option 8 (Habitable Records 007; USA) OPtion 8 features Jonathan Reisin on tenor & soprano sax & most compositions, Moshe Elmakias on piano, Brian Richburg, Jr. on drums (tracks 2,5, 5 & 8) or Nitzan Birnhaum on drums (1, 3, 6 & 7). I have the good fortune to meet new musicians each week both at the store and often at The Stone, John Zorn’s performance place at the New School. I met saxist Jonathan Reisin working at The Stone recently and he left us with his new disc. I don’t recognize the names of the other players here. Mr. Reisin is originally from Israel and is currently attending the New School. Right from the first note, I can hear that Mr. Reisin has a strong, warm, lush tone on tenor sax. “Glue” is a challenging piece with some sharp changes or angles. While Mr. Reisin solos on tenor, the piano outsides the twisted lines that the sax is playing. The title track, “Option 8”, starts off quietly, spaciously and then slowly ascends with Reisin on soprano sax, playful yet assured with some strong interplay with the piano & drums. On the track, “Roy’s Room”, the trio sounds free at times yet still lands on a few fixed points. There is a strong balance between the heated freer parts and the more relaxed calm sections. “Around Day Two” has an exquisite, lush, warm sound that I find most enchanting. This disc is superbly recorded and the sound is warm and enchanting. Pianist Moshe Elmakias has a lovely, deft, Bill Evans-like sound/sweep and sounds like a perfect partner for Mr. Reisin’s often lush tones. The last piece, “Juka”, is a freer one yet no matter how fee it goes, there is a sense of calm or focus at the center. There is something special, a slow-burning fire in the middle of a more tempestuous container. A strong debut from a new Downtown voice. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
REG BLOOR - Sensory Irritation Chamber (Systems Neutralizers 06; USA) Featuring Reg Bloor on electric guitar & Diddley bow (1 track). Reg(ina) Bloor played in the Glenn Branca Ensemble and was a member of several obscure bands: Citizens of Nowhere (w/ Chris Pitsiokos & Kikanju Baku), Paranoid Critical Revolution and Twitcher. Last night (5/9/23) we had four sets at the store and each featured a different guitarist. The first set featured Downtown newcomer Sally Gates (with Jessica Pavone & Nava Dunkelman) and the last set featured Reg Bloor on solo electric guitar. What I found most interesting was that each of five guitarists who played had their own style/sound/set-up. Drum legend Marc Edwards was the one to invite Ms. Bloor to play and I was glad that he did this since she doesn’t quite sound like any other guitarist that I’ve heard.
This disc erupts open with “Hilarity Ensues”, which has an extreme, somewhat harsh, way distorted electric guitar sound. It almost sounds like solo death metal guitar with any bass or drums to hold things down. The sound of Ms. Bloor’s guitar is closer to noise/rock extremes yet it is still very focused as one thing or overall sound. Each piece is a series of riffs strummed quickly with metallic sounding overtones. I’ve listened to several electric guitar quartets like Fred Frith’s or Dither and Ms. Bloor often sounds like she has several guitars playing and intersecting together, probably she is using a looping device. Since she strums quickly, the overall sound is like a blur of activity. The sound of those shimmering guitar(s) blasting forth is powerful and intense and takes some time to get used to. Since there is no rhythm section or even much of a lower end tone-wise, we need our imaginations to fill in the rest of the sounds. Reg Bloor definitely has her own sonic world which I had to adjust to to find my place in. There is more going on here than just those blurring of notes, there is a song-like structure or frame to this which you have to listen closely to, to hear it. Back in the eighties and early nineties I caught Glenn Branca’s guitar orchestra/band several times and they were pretty f*cking loud. Double, triple or even multi-guitar bands like Sonic Youth, Band of Susans or even the Swans had a unique way of coaxing odd, twisted, brutal harmonics from the multiple use of ringing tones or layers of guitars. Although Reg Bloor is just one person with one guitar, she also embraces that layered, fractured, barb-wire sound. We got two other self-produced discs from her so I will review these sometime soon. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
NORMAN WESTBERG - Is It Safe Yet? (self-produced; USA) Featuring Norman Westberg on various guitars, pedals and amps. Norman Westberg played guitar with the Swans for many years, as well as other bands like Carnival Crash, Scarcity of Tanks and The Heroine Sheiks. The early Swans (of the mid-eighties) were one of the intense, brutal and overwhelming of all the great bands I caught during that early Downtown era. The Swans evolved quite a bit over the long haul with Mr. Westberg still playing guitar with them up to their latest incarnation. In January of this year, Norman Westberg played a solo electric guitar set here at DMG opening for Marc Sloan & Gregor Kitzis. I was much impressed with Mr. Westberg’s set for solo guitar with a small table of toys and other electronic devices. This disc was recorded in 2020 & 2021. The opening track, “Low B(low)” is a series of long, haunting, deep bass drones, with simmer and float like clouds or ghosts drifting by. The drones sound like the low notes on a church organ which hover in the air and have a somewhat disorienting effect. Although each piece contains a series of drones, on each piece Westberg shapes or stretches the drones in slightly different ways, at times adding one or more layers as each piece unfolds. On “Port”, one of the guitars sounds like a pulse being repeated on a piano with other layers slowly drifting by. “The Surface” sounds like several layers of organ lines shimmering around one another. Each piece seems to have a different overall effect. What I like most about this disc is this: you must be patient as each piece unfolds and slowly mutates over time, stretching certain lines carefully with the texture or timbral quality of each line always changing slowly. At times this reminds me of Eno’s drones on the Fripp & Eno records without any of the lead guitar solos. Most effective, sometimes calming, sometimes somewhat eerie. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BACK IN STOCK:
MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO With WILLIAM PARKER/WHIT DICKEY - Prism (Brinkman ROV-009-2; Earth) Featuring Matt Shipp on piano, William Parker bass and Whit Dickey drums. This disc was first released on the obscure Brinkman label and later reissued on Hatology, both versions are long out-of-print. Matt Shipp recently found some original sealed copies, they will not last very long.
There's the same very fast transference of signals. There's the very complex type of pattern action. There's the same mixture of improvisation and discipline...but the unknown is being unfolded at really fast rates." Which certainly holds true for this no-nonsense, cinema verite-live set from New York's Roulette performance space, recorded in March 1993 and originally issued on the small Brinkman Records label. The more obvious references to the free jazz tradition in these two extended pieces have since been sublimated in Shipp's group work, and his compositional impulses have flourished - as may be witnessed on the five discs Shipp has been recording for Hat Hut since 1996, CDs which have strengthened Shipp's position as one of the premier piano improvisors of our day. - Peter Niklas Wilson
EL SKID with ELTON DEAN / ALAN SKIDMORE / CHRIS LAURENCE / JOHN MARSHALL - El Skid. El Skid. El Skid. (Voiceprint 230CD; UK) Featuring Elton Dean on alto sax & saxello, Alan Skidmore on tenor sax, Chris Laurence on contrabass and John Marshall on drums. This disc was first released on the obscure Vinyl Records label in 1977 and reissued on CD by Voiceprint in 2001. I caught this quartet live in December of 1975 when I was living in London and doing an exchange program at Trent Park College in NE London. Louis Moholo (from the Blues Notes) was on drums that night and the set was phenomenal! It was the week that Mongezi Feza (also from the Blue Notes) had died of pneumonia in an asylum that he was abandoned in. This event took place at the 100 Club and was called ‘Night of the London Saxophones’. Three amazing bands played that night. After all three bands played, all of the previous musicians got on stage and played a 30 minute tribute to Mongezi Feza. This was the line-up: Lol Coxhill, Evan Parker, Elton Dean & Alan Skidmore on saxes, Gerry Fitzgerald on guitar, Chris Laurence on bass and Paul Lytton & Louis Moholo on drums. For me, it was like witnessing John Coltrane’s ‘Ascension’ session live. Completely mindblowing, a set I will never ever forget! - BLG
“Elton Dean has recorded a lot in the 1970s. Many of these LPs are forgotten gems of Canterbury-style fusion jazz, and they have been resurfacing one by one during the late '90s/early 2000s, thanks to labels like Cuneiform and Voiceprint. The latter reissued El Skid, a 1977 session with saxophonist Alan Skidmore (of Kate Bush fame), acoustic bassist Chris Laurence, and once-Soft Machine alumni drummer John Marshall. This quartet feels like a shared Dean/Skidmore project (something enhanced by the album title). The saxophonists share writing credits equally and take the same room in term of solo space. "Dr. Les Mosses" kicks things into gear with a hot fusion number the likes of Soft Machine circa 4: challenging yet frantically swinging. Skidmore tears open his tenor sax in this one. "First in the Attic" and "Thats for Cha," the two numbers penned by Dean, boil things down to something quieter, leaving room for Laurence to shine. The melody and the rhythm in "Thats for Cha" have a Monk-esque quality (circa Hackensack). "K and A Blues" takes an even more conservative form, a head-solo-head number any post-Parker jazzman could have written. If the compositions are not top quality, the rhythm section works like a charm, and on the strength of the opening track alone, fans of the Canterbury scene will want to hear El Skid. Newcomers to Dean's solo career will have more fun with Just Us from the same era.” - Francois Couture, AllMusicGuide
CD Sale $14
MILFORD GRAVES WITH ARTHUR DOYLE & HUGH GLOVER - Children of the Forest (Black Editions Archives 002LP; USA) "Black Editions Archive is ecstatic to announce the newest release in the Milford Graves Archival series, the double LP, Children of the Forest, featuring previously unreleased 1976 sessions with Hugh Glover and Arthur Doyle that re-write the book on Milford Graves's ensemble music of the 1970s. Graves recorded these sessions himself in his legendary Queens basement laboratory and workshop in the weeks immediately leading up to the March 1976 session that, with the same unit, produced what many consider his most iconic album, Bäbi, recorded at WBAI-FM Free Music Store. Following the death of Albert Ayler in 1970 and up until his storied trip to FESTAC 1977 in Lagos, Nigeria, Graves gigged fairly often as a band leader in the New York Loft scene and traveled twice to Europe (1973, 1974) with duos, trios and quartets comprised of fellow New York City based musicians -- almost always with Hugh Glover, and variously including Arthur Williams, Joe Rigby, Frank Lowe, and Arthur Doyle. The three sessions that comprise Children of the Forest date from near the end of this intensive period of grassroots activity by Graves during a peak era of musical & cultural ferment in jazz & Black American Music. The earliest recordings feature the duo of Graves (drums & percussion) and Glover (tenor saxophone) from January 24th, and Graves solo (drums & percussion) from February 2. In an interview commissioned for this release and conducted by Jake Meginsky, Glover discusses the mastery of form and execution in Graves's playing and approach: 'It has always been a mystery to me how Cuban drummers in Bata were able to modulate the rhythm and the meter. Well, it takes more than one player to do it Cuban style. Prof (Graves) shows you can do it as one player. The reason he's able to do it is because he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the rhythms of the Caribbean, rhythms of Africa, plus rhythms of jazz. He can move around without losing the feel.' The centerpiece of this set is the March 11 session featuring Graves, Doyle on tenor saxophone and fife, and Glover on a rather unusual pair of instruments that would not appear on the Bäbi recording just one week later -- klaxon and the vaccine, a Haitian one-note trumpet. Glover: 'The klaxon -- it's important to keep that tribal possession-state feel... because it's not a Hollywood gallop. It's very much about the energy, this gallop. Prof (Graves) talks about that, talking about the low, the galloping as in the Divine Horsemen of Haiti.' Doyle's visceral and unrestrained tenor playing on the March 11 session is further evidence as to why his work, especially during this period, has attained mythic status among aficionados of free jazz and even noise music. Graves would later discuss Doyle in Conversations (William Parker, 2011 Rogue Art Books): 'There was another horn player I know that really got into it from the gut and he had a certain kind of intellectualism when we performed? that was Arthur Doyle. (laughs) Arthur Doyle would just go into it. I mean really just go into it... something happened there that was beyond the immediate intellectual control of the people who was doing it. It was about just doing it and don't worry about all these people putting you down. The most important thing was what was coming out of your instrument and how it was effecting people.' Listening to these recordings, that spirit is unmistakable. The original 1/4 inch reel, labeled 'Pygmy' by Graves, including 15 minutes of audio from an unknown documentary on the Mbuti People of the Congo Basin, are among the few tapes we've so far encountered from Graves' private archive that seem clearly intended in his conception & sequencing to be an album. For this reason, these recordings are now presented exactly as assembled by Graves, for soonest possible release." - Peter Kolovos & Michael Ehlers
2 LP Set $40
SUN RA - Saturn XIII Presspop Music (PPMTEN 003EP; Japan) "A limited-edition Sun Ra 10-inch EP cut at 45 RPM. Four tracks, two unreleased. Features artwork by Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo), lettering by Archer Prewitt. Mastered by Dave Cooley. 'Just Friends': This live recording was only issued on a rare 1982 Saturn album entitled Just Friends. So few copies of 'Just Friends' were pressed, that this track is almost unknown to Ra fans. This is the first reissue of this track in any format. The location and actual date of the recording are unknown. Recorded 1982, location unknown. 'Just Friends': This is a recording made around 1960 of Sun Ra playing organ in his Chicago apartment while softly singing the song 'Just Friends.' It has not been previously issued in any format. Recorded 1960 at home, Chicago. 'Under the Spell of Love': This live recording was also issued on the rare 1982 Saturn album Just Friends. This is the first reissue of this track in any format. As with the title track on side A, the location and actual date of this performance are unknown. Recorded 1982, location unknown. 'Cherokee': This work was composed by Ray Noble. 'Cherokee' was a 1940s big band standard, and was a big hit for Charlie Barnett. It was also recorded by Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Bud Powell, and many others. This is the only known recording of the title by Sun Ra. There is no information about the date, location, or personnel. It sounds like a home rehearsal, and probably dates from the 1970s. It has not been previously issued in any format."
10” EP $30 [Limited edition]
VALENTINA GONCHAROVA - Ocean: Symphony for Electric Violin and Other Instruments in 10 Parts (Hidden Harmony Recordings 001LP; Estonia) Valentina Goncharova's double-LP fundamental conceptual musical work released in full uncut form as part of Hidden Harmony Lost Tapes series. Restored and mastered from the original 6.3mm analog tapes. A large-scale work comprising eleven parts of varied, brooding, mystical reflection in which the author alters the instrumentation to fit both programmatic and musical character of each section.Ultra deluxe archival release from Hidden Harmony Recordings, based in Tallinn, Estonia. 2x12" 200-gram vinyl records in poly lined inner sleeves, 33RPM, black vinyl. Thick old style tip-on gatefold outer sleeve. Includes a 12-page booklet, which the details explain the album conceptual basis, background and creation context, and provides insights into unique sound recording and technical solutions adapted during album recording in 1988. Created and written with direct involvement of V. Goncharova and I. Zubkov.
From the liner notes: "My task is to allow the listener to penetrate deeper into the music. The music is wholly improvisational. It has no concept in the rational sense of the word. Its concept is purely intuitive. It presumes The Law of Analogies: 'As above so below. Man is the same as the Universe. The Universe is the same as Man.' ('Emerald Tablet' by Hermes Trismegistus). This intuition is a kind of rephrased logic which uses many more symbols which contain not only philosophical but also imaginative meanings/visionary interpretations. This music is a stream of consciousness in its purest form: not an imitation of a stream, as in the 'suggestive poetry' of the 20th century, but a stream where one flow is superimposed on another (a multilateral passage of recording). And, if we think this flow of music will be better understood under the influence of a verbal flow, then the verbal flow should also be more intuitive and associative, as objective for this short write-up you are currently reading. Ocean did not appear within the coordinate system of logical scientific thinking of the last four centuries. It can be said that it is based on an intuitive concept of representations of the world which are captured in music figuratively. Similar to how myths were created in time immemorial with only partial support from verbal associations. Ocean is an experience of passing the human, soul, and mind through the different states of the material world: birth, development, and achievement of perfection, transformation at the points of 'The Way' and 'Silence', the manifestation of the harmony of the world (Om), which until then had remained in a latent state. It is averse to both mainstream contemporary physics and fringe scientific research. It exists outside their explanatory power. Ocean is the source of all forms that can receive their life within time and space. Here it is. It has everything: beautiful and terrible, good and evil, self-sacrifice, and betrayal. Boundless love and inspired creativity. But contact does not happen immediately. The memory of a bygone civilization is still fresh, and of the dearest things left with it."
2 LP Set $36
KEVIN DRUMM - Battering Rams (A Sunken Mall 005LP; Germany) From the viscerally punishing and nerve wrecking, to the wistfully sublime, Kevin Drumm's work often yield a ferocious intensity through the timbres of minute details. Now, throughout this series of archival works dating from 2000 to 2022, his mastery is once again on full display. On Battering Rams sinister forces interlope with sanguine glimmers of respite and contemplation, while recurring drones ceaselessly crescendo to near paralyzing effect, only for the albums final moments to offer a lofty reprise of boundless oscillation, dispelling all the pent-up tension into a sanguine state of bliss. Once again underpinning Drumm's genius of turning apparently trivial hums into elongated microtonal worlds that stay etched deeply in your conscious, often long after the works final resonances have already subsided. Edition of 400.”
JORGE ANTUNES - Musica Eletronica (Mental Experience 007LP; Spain) “Considered the first electro-acoustic/electronic album made in Brazil, Mental Experience presents the first vinyl reissue of Jorge Antunes's Música Eletrônica, originally released in 1975. During the early '60s, Antunes built his own components for making electronic music: theremin, sawtooth oscillator, a spring-reverb device, a frequency filter. The works on Música Eletrônica were recorded at Antunes's home studio and at the Electronic Music Laboratory of the Institute Torcuato Di Tella, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On "Valsa Sideral" (1962), Antunes uses artificial echo and reverberation by feedback between the recording heads, creating the first Brazilian work consisting only of electronic tones. "Auto-Retrato Sobre Paisaje Porteño" (1969/1970) is an amazing piece of early turntablism on which Antunes "samples" an old tango vinyl record, using it as a loop and for sound effects/manipulation, and mixes it with electronic sound effects and cut voice manipulation/sound poetry. The version included here features the audio collage which Antunes created to criticize the military regimes from Brazil and Argentine. This version wasn't used on the original LP to avoid any problems with censorship. "Cinta Cita" (1969) was the first piece recorded by Antunes at a professional studio. Pure electronic sounds and pulsating rhythms use filtered noise and synthetic sounds created by additive synthesis. "Contrapunctus Contra Contrapunctus" (1962) was created using tape splicing, micro-assemblies and tape manipulation. "Historia de un Pueblo por Nacer ou Carta Abierta a Vassili Vassilikos y a todos los Pesimistas" (1970) with its sinusoidal sounds and low frequencies, was inspired by the plot of the novel and film Z (1969) by Vassili Vassilikos. In the original audio of this work, Antunes used a quotation from the International Communist anthem. To avoid censorship problems, he cut that passage for inclusion on the original LP. The uncensored, original version is presented here. In 1970, Antunes did research at the Institute of Sonology at the University of Utrecht with a specialization in Computer Music (working with the Electrologia X-8 computer). During the '70s he worked under the guidance of Pierre Schaeffer and Iannis Xenakis amongst others. Antunes is presently the Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studio of the University of Brasilia and President of the Brazilian Society for Electroacoustic Music. Included in this LP is an insert with liner notes and photos. Master tape sound. Mandatory for anyone into Pierre Henry, Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Schaeffer, Louis & Bebe Baron, Ihlan Mimaroglu, Morton Subotnick, Stockhausen.”
KOKOMO ARNOLD / CASEY BILL WELDON - Bottleneck Guitar Trendsetters Of The 1930's (Yazoo 1049HLP; USA) 180 gram exact repro reissue of this Yazoo's collection of these two blues guitarists, originally released in 1975. "Kokomo Arnold and Casey Bill Weldon were two of the most popular and original-sounding bottleneck guitarists of the Thirties, a generally dismal period for blues recording. In terms of contemporary appeal (the only yardstick that mattered to blues men themselves) they far outstripped Robert Johnson, Bukka White, and other bottleneck artists of the era.... Arnold, a left-handed guitarist, confronts the listener as one of the zaniest, most manic guitarists ever recorded; Weldon's work is an outright rejection of traditional blues harmony, and invites comparison to Western swing."
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
ROBERT DICK / THOMAS BUCKNER / SCOTT ROBINOSN
This Friday, May 12th at 8:00 pm
At The Zürcher Gallery
33 Bleecker st, New York, NY 10012
Admission is $20.
Tickets can be purchased at the door. CASH ONLY.
All proceeds go to the artists.
THIS COMES FROM CELLIST LEILA BORDREUIL:
Thursday May 11th at Chaos Computer, 79 Quay St in Greenpoint
This is the last evening I'll be curating at CC before we permanently close, featuring international acts Arnaud Rivière (FR) and Vræl (Norway), and more.
*if you would like to support our relocation, please consider visiting and sharing our GoFundMe
Friday May 12th presented by Issue Project Room, at the Brooklyn Music School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn
I’ll be performing in a duo with Lee Ranaldo
Thursday May 18th presented by Issue Project Room at “Under the K Bridge Park”, located under the Kosciuszko Bridge in Brooklyn. I will be performing in the “Feedback Ensemble”, which I co-present with Luke Stewart. Featuring Chris Corsano, Nina Garcia (FR), Julia Santoli, Nate Wooley and C. Spencer Yeh. This is a special performance that we’ve been developing over the past couple of years, I hope you can join us! https://issueprojectroom.org/event/leila-bordreuil-luke-stewart-new-works-feedback-ensemble-chris-corsano-julia-santoli-nina
Friday May 19th at Pageant Soloveev, Philadelphia
Performing solo, with Auto Reverse (FR), LXV and Empathic Window.
Joe Fonda and Bass of Operation
May 26th at Michiko Studios 15 West 39th St., 7pm Start Joe Fonda - Bass
Mike Rabinowitz - Bassoon
Jeff Lederer - Clarinet ,flute and Piccolo.
Harvey Sorgen - Drums
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org