The gardener plants an evergreen whilst trampling on a flower
I chase the wind of a prism ship to taste the sweet and sour
The pattern juggler lifts his hand, the orchestra begin
As slowly turns the grinding wheel in the court of the crimson king
On soft gray mornings widows cry, the wise men share a joke
I run to grasp divining signs to satisfy the hoax
The yellow jester does not play, but gently pulls the strings
And smiles as the puppets dance in the court of the crimson king
I recall hearing this song on FM radio in the Fall of 1969 and thinking that this was something quite different any other rock bands were doing until then. Unlike the opening track, “21st Century Schizoid Man”, which was pretty brutal and even scary, this song closed the first Crimson record being more majestic and immensely haunting, especially the mellotron(s), a newly designed keyboard instrument which samples strings (mostly) which were recorded on short tape loops. The mellotron has its own sound and the strings often sound slightly off key which seems to bend the reality of what we are hearing. It is often said that this album is the beginning of what would be called “progressive rock” and indeed there was nothing quite like it when it was released. Like Procol Harum and the Grateful Dead, King Crimson had their own lyricist, Peter Sinfield, as a member of the band. Except for their guitarist/leader Robert Fripp and Mr. Sinfield, the personnel and sound changed on every King Crimson album. Sinfield wrote the lyrics for the first four Crimson studio albums and I thought he did a good job of creating a Crimson-like world/mythology. A world we could escape into, leaving our reality behind. King Crimson celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2019 and toured as well. The last version of the band included members from different eras and did songs from their entire catalogue. A book and a film about King Crimson have recently been released. Those of you who are intrigued by the band should check out both. Let’s all get on board our own spaceships, celebrate and dance in the court of the Crimson King. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG (I just hung out with Manny and he sends his regards to you all)
THE DMG 32nd ANNIVERSARY IN-STORE FREE MUSIC SERIES Continues with:
Saturday November 11th, 2023 - The GauciMusic Series Continues with:
6pm - BILLY STARK - Guitar / SAM CHILDS - Sax
7pm - STEPHEN GAUCI - Tenor Sax / MICHAEL GILBERT - Bass / JP NADIEN - Drums
8pm - NICK GIANNI - Synth & Sax / ON KA’A DAVIS - Guitar / DALIUS NAUJO - Drums
Tuesday, November 14th:
6:30: CAMILA N - Sax / KENNETH JIMENEZ - Bass / RANDY PETERSON - Drums
7:30: GIAN PEREZ / MICHAEL GILBERT / MARC EDWARDS - Guitar / Contrabass / Drums
8:30: PATRICK GOLDEN GROUP with SALLY GATES / MATT HOLLENBERG / RYAN SIEGEL - Drums / Two Guitars / Alto Sax
Tuesday, November 28th:
6:30: BEYOND FLUTE GROUP: CHERYL PYLE - C & alto flute / MICHAEL EATON - soprano sax / SYLVAIN LEROUX C & fula flutes / GENE COLEMAN- bass flute, ney & piccolo / YUKO TOGAMI - percussion!
7:30: JERRY LIM - Solo Guitar!
8:30: WILL BERNARD - Solo Guitar!
DMG stands for Downtown Music Gallery and we are located at 13 Monroe St, between Catherine & Market Sts. You can take the F train to East Broadway or the M15 bus to Madison & Catherine 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 welcome. 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. I post 1 minute segments from these sets almost every day on our InstaGram feed (if you don’t do InstaGram, you can still view these 1 minute clips on the DMG homepage, (a recently added feature), so please check them out and come down to visit when you can. - BLG/DMG
THIS WEEK’S GROOVY DISCS BEGIN WITH:
JOHN ZORN // BILL FRISELL / JULIAN LAGE / GYAN RILEY - Nothing Is As Real As Nothing (Tzadik 9304; USA) “A new release by the all-star guitar trio of Frisell-Lage-Riley is always a cause for celebration and this sixth volume in their transcendent legacy completes Zorn’s second trilogy of CDs with a beautiful and intricate suite of music dedicated to one of the 20th century’s greatest literary visionaries—Samuel Beckett. Performing this gorgeous book of music with a soulful sensitivity, these three master musicians weave musical magic in this stunning collection of acoustic guitar music. Zorn’s most intimate and ethereal ensemble at its very best!”
MYRA MELFORD’s FIRE and WATER QUINTET with MARY HALVORSON / INGRID LAUBROCK / TOMEKA REID / LESLEY MOK - Hear the Light Singing (Rogue Art 0130; France) Featuring Myra Melford on piano & compositions, Mary Halvorson on guitar, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor & soprano saxes, Tomeka Reid on cello and Lesley Mok on drums. This is the second disc from Myra Melford’s all-star quintet, recorded in November of 2022 at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT. Over the past year, this quintet has toured in the US and in Europe with recent Downtowner Lesley Mok replacing Susie Ibarra. It sounds to me like the touring they’ve done has helped solidify the quintet, giving them more of an evolving group sound. Ms. Melford claims in the liner notes that the music for the first disc was based on sketches she’d done for the first gig that the original quintet did at The Stone in June of 2019. After plays some gigs and touring, Ms. Melford wrote the material here for the individual members of the quintet.
There are five pieces here, each one is called “Insertion” with a number. “Insertion One” kicks things off with a warm, thoughtful piano intro before the rest of the quintet enters. The music here is warm and playful, the sound is rather quaint with Ms. Laubrock playing some lovely soprano sax. Award-winning guitarist, Ms. Halvorson, takes her first solo here and it is superb, although she uses a device which often defines her sound (and which some knuckleheads complain about), there are always surprising twists & turns in her solos. Since getting married and moving back to Chicago, cellist Tomeka Reid has been making leaps & strides is a variety of different projects of the last couple of years: with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, a duo with Joe McPhee and two great trios with Angelika Neiscer & Savannah Harris and Tomas Fujiwara & Patricia Brennan. Ms. Reid starts off “Insertion Two” with a solemn cello solo and is soon joined by Mr. Laubrock on tenor, Ms. Melford plays some majestic piano underneath with Ms. Halvorson adding her own elegant magic. “Insertion Three” is in two parts and it is the longest piece here. It begins with some noisy yet subdued guitar, cello and drums, soon the piano enters playing freely and pushing the members of the quintet further out. This piece evolves through different duos or trio or quintet sections, the members combining forces in a fierce free yet connected dialogue. Drummer Lesley Mok has played here at DMG on several occasions and she just keeps getting better with each release and each gig. Ms. Mok takes a strong, animated solo midway through the long piece with the other members coming in and dropping out, similar to heated discussion amongst good friends. Midway through “Insertion Four”, Ms. Halvorson takes an extraordinary guitar solo. Mary using some looping device and adds several layers of lines, each line altered in a different way. While Halvorson is soloing the piano and soprano add some baroque-like counterpoint. The last piece, “Insertion Five”, sounds closer to progressive jazz with some tight, complex written parts of the entire quintet. This is a grand conclusion for a consistently powerful effort. A mighty quintet in so many ways! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
* SCOTT AMENDOLA / HENRY KAISER / MICHAEL MANRING - Haunted by Eternity (Fractal Music 2023-1031; Earth) Featuring Scott Amendola on drums & live electronics, Henry Kaiser on guitar and Michael Manring on bass. This 2 disc set was recorded mostly at The Shine Box in Berkeley, CA in 2023. I’ve gotten to know guitar giant Henry Kaiser better over the last few years since we’ve had a number of discussions about the Grateful Dead, other Bay area bands & musicians, assorted improvisers from around the world, various World Music artists and old songs which still resonate within each of us. I have long admired his positive attitude about life and ability to capture his own creative muse and release CD after CD of challenging and often fascinating music, irrespective of barriers or genres. Mr. Kaiser appears to be on a long path towards collaborating with like-minded musicians from wherever they live. I realize that there are a handful of elder musician/composers who enjoy releasing dozens (hundreds?) of discs like John Zorn, Satoko Fujii, Elliott Sharp and Paul Dunmall, yet all of them continue to produce a wealth of great music. Mr. Kaiser keeps finding musicians, young, old & middle-aged to work with. Kaiser has worked with legendary fretless el bassist for many years, from the amazing Yo Miles! sessions to sessions with Derek Bailey and Ray Russell. Bay area drummer, Scott Amendola, has worked with Nels Cline over a long period and with Kaiser in a duo and in sessions with Larry Ochs, John Oswald, Paul Plimley and N.A.D.
Starting with CD1, the first thing I noticed is that all three musicians have distinctive styles. “Bunny of Ice - Turtle of Fire” begins with that free flowing, liquid-like stream of Jaco-like like fretless bass, a distinctive, eerie tone/sound of Mr. Kaiser’s guitar and crafty drums which use subtle electronics all their sound as well as add some tasty sonic seasoning. The music is calm at the center yet it is also cerebral and perhaps somewhat psychedelic with some shimmering atmospherics. On “She Walks in His Sleep”, Kaiser starts to add some other devices to his sound, that unique sustain is something which always tickles my fancy. While Mr. Manring plays the cosmic bass throb on the bottom, both the guitar and drums accelerate the tempo, the groove between a rock and a funk riff. Amendola takes a long drum solo on the first section of “The Men with the Movie Cameras”, being very expressive and tells a story with his playing. Both the guitar and bass slowly come in midway, taking their time to build things up. Kaiser likes to stretch out his notes in a blues-like way while altering his tone in different ways as he solos, often in conversation with bass and drums. Mr. Manring is featured on “Haunted by Eternity”, adding a couple of layers of bass lines over some drones and spaciousness. This piece has a slow moving, dream-like vibe with some haunting shimmers peeking through the clouds. There is a relaxed atmosphere which permeates throughout this disc which helps us to absorb rather than challenge us too much. Late in this long piece, Mr. Kaiser takes one of his spectacular, mind-blowing solos, reaching for the stars, cautiously bending certain notes so that they speak directly to our hearts, guts and minds. The trio play a short boogie song on “Never Trust The Maze” which breaks up the spaciousness just right. I like that the effects here are used selectively so that nothing is pushed too far into the difficult zone which alienates some folks when it is too far out there. Each piece evokes a different vibe, sets a scene or tells a short story. The first disc is not the usual 79 minute Kaiser CD, it is around 64 minutes and feels to be the right length for one sitting. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $16
* The first 20 folks who order the above Amendola/Kaiser/Manring 2 CD set, will receive a limited edition free disc, thanks to our good pal Henry Kaiser
TANI TABBAL QUARTET with JOE McPHEE / ADAM SIEGEL / MICHAEL BISIO - Intentional (Mahakala 055; USA) Featuring Joe McPhee on tenor sax & poetry, Adam Siegel on alto sax, Michael Bisio on contrabass and Tani Tabbal on drums. Former Chicago drummer Tani Tabbal is now based in upstate New York and has been slowly releasing his own leader date discs over the past decade. Tabbal has an ongoing trio with saxist Adam Siegel and bassist Michael Bisio, which has two discs out in the last few years. I hadn’t heard of saxist Adam Siegel before he turned up on several discs by Mr. Tabbal, although it seems as if he played in a variety of ska, punk and jazz bands, according to Discogs. Reeds & brass player, Joe McPhee, remains of the busiest and more beloved of all current Free/Jazz legends and has played with many other giants of avant/jazz. No doubt you know about bass giant Michael Bisio, who works consistently with Matt Shipp, Kirk Knuffke and with Joe McPhee from time to time as well.
Six of the ten songs here were written by individual members of the quartet (mostly Mr. Tabbal) plus there are four group improv pieces. Mr. Bisio’s warm, probing bass is the central figure in the first piece, “Phase One”, with Mr. Babbal playing skeletal drums, while Mr. Siegel plays with much restraint and Mr. McPhee plays tenor with slow, thoughtful lines which are closer to tender than tough. It is Mr. Tabbal’s sublime mallet playing here which casts a spell of dream-like, spacious vibes. On the title track, “Intentional”, Mr. Bisio solos for the entire piece with both saxes and drums playing these sparse, thoughtful lines together. On “Upstart”, both saxes erupt together, blasting powerfully, bending and twisting their notes inside out. Most of the pieces here are more sparse and thoughtfully composed and performed. On “Old Thoughts, New Ways”, while Tabbal plays those morse code-like lines, both saxes play sparsely them together. The final piece is called, “A Song for Beggars” and it features a poem which was written by and read carefully by Joe McPhee. It is a righteous poem which discusses the fate of the common man, “No more leaders, no more idols, only beggars”. A most befitting sentiment for a fine, thought-provoking disc. Amen. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SPARKS QUARTET with ERI YAMAMOTO / CHAD FOWLER / WILLIAM PARKER / STEVE HIRSH - Live at the Vision Festival XXVI (Mahakala 066; USA) The Sparks Quartet features Eri Yamamoto on piano, Chad Fowler on stritch & flute, William Parker on contrabass and Steve Hirsh on drums. This set was recorded live at the Vision Fest in June of 2022. For many years, Downtown pianist Eri Yamamoto had a regular gig with her longtime trio in the West Village, which she might still have. I hadn’t heard of Ms. Yamamoto until she hooked up with Matt Shipp and William Parker, both of whom helped her get more recognition for her playing. Aside from her ongoing trio, Ms. Yamamoto has been collaborating with William Parker on several projects. The first disc by the Sparks Quartet was released last year (2022) and it features a fine quartet. Southern-based reeds wiz, Chad Fowler runs this, the Mahakala label and plays stritch, a relatively rare sax once played by Rahssan Roland Kirk. I hadn’t heard of drummer Steve Hirsh until he started appearing on a half dozen discs for the Mahakala label. Mr. Hirsh recently played here at DMG and I was glad to see/hear live.
On most of the discs that Ms. Yamamoto has out, she usually plays songs that she’s written. On this disc however, the quartet plays two long improvised pieces. The quartet take their time so the music unfolds slowly and organically. Ms. Yamamoto is featured in the first section, playing majestic, free lines along with a wonderful rhythm team, all three flowing together as one force. Mr. Fowler takes his first long solo on stritch (a straight alto sax), bending and twisting his notes as he goes, telling a short story until the piano takes over and plays an inspired solo of her own, ascending higher as she goes, trio whipping up a storm of powerful energy. What I really like about Mr. Fowler is that he can play melodically, spiritual and freely at the same time, never just blasting for no reason. Master-bassist, William parker, is often at the center of the storm here, pumping his lines directly in the quartet, helping them focus their energies. Mr. Fowler kicks off the second piece on flute, his playing solemn and haunting. There is some strong interplay between all members of this mighty quartet, pushing each other higher and freer as they ascend. The thing I like most about all or most of the discs on Mahakala is that there is always that Spiritual Jazz vibe that many of us still seek to inspire us through the more difficult times which often surround us. This is a superb, heartfelt offering and it makes me smile to listen. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DON FIORINO / ANDY HAAS - Accidentals (Resonant Music 017; USA) Featuring Don Fiorino on electric fretless bass & electric guitar with extended techniques and Andy Haas on sax with devices. I’ve known Downtown saxist Andy Haas for almost forty years, watching him evolve through different musical situations over a long stretch. Starting out with the successful Toronto-based new wave band, Martha & The Muffins, Haas moved to MY and became a part of the Downtown Scene in the mid-eighties, working with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Haino Keiji and Makigami Koichi. Starting around 1990, Mr. Haas started working with other like-minded players in several different projects: Hanuman Sextet, Ghosts of the Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood and Radio I-Ching (with Don Fiorino and Dee Pop, former drummer for Bush Tetras). Since then, Mr. Haas takes his time with each project, whether solo, duo or trios, collaborating with Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins and Zorn’s ‘Filmworks II’ CD. Guitarist Don Fiorino has been working with Mr. Haas for around 20 years in duos and trios but haven’t recorded together for a while until now, their last duo was released in 2018.
This disc was improvised and recorded live in the studio in NYC earlier this year (2023). The sound is superb, warm, sublime, well-balanced, mysterious. Mr. Fiorino has god tone on his fretless bass, tapping the strings gracefully while Mr. Haas plays quietly, twisting his notes carefully, adding subtle, eerie reverb/space with assorted electronic sounds drifting in clouds around the two main voices/sounds. Haas’ sax often uses various devices to alter its sound, breathy radiator-like hissing, restrained high-end multiphonics while Fiorino also keeps changing his devices and approaches, strumming odd yet charming folky chords on “Talismanic”. “Elegy 4 Dee” was written for Dee Pop, a great drummer who passed away not long ago and worked with Andy and Don in Radio I-Ching. This piece is a most poignant one with a swell, sad melody played on Fiorino’s tasty bass with Andy playing a haunting melody on top. Although both Fiorino and Haas like to alter their instruments on most of these pieces, they know how balance the more melodic and more dissonant bits just right. On “Knotty”, they things a bit further out which feels like a good detour. The intensity increases on “Holding the Balance”, the electronics and the sax both start to soar together with interwoven waves splashing over us. The “Noise Ordinance” is what happens when neighborhoods gentrify in places like Manhattan and Brooklyn and musicians lose their ability to freak out or play too loud for the neighbors. This piece does include some well shaped noise/sounds, the sax having even more reverberations as Haas twists those high notes subtly. The overall vibe here is mostly hypnotic, messing with our minds or familiar sonic places we are submerged in. At a bit less than 31 minutes, this is just long enough to help us on our way to another world. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS // ROBERT BLACK - darkness and scattered light (Cold Blue CB0067; USA) Ever since reading the names of composers like Edgar Varese, Igor Stravinsky and Bela Bartok on the list of influences listed inside of the Mothers of Invention’s ‘Freak-Out!’ LP, I’ve been intrigued by this music and have long explored those and many other modern classical composers. Aside from the aforementioned three, I have a number of favorite composers that I still listen to: John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis. Over fifty years of serious listening I keep finding more composers to check out, some known and many pretty obscure. Somewhere near the top of my list of favorite composers is John Luther Adams. I’ve been following Mr. Adams since I discovered his music in the 1990’s. I own around two dozen of his discs and often listen to each one more than once since I know, the more I listen, the more I understand what he is doing. Each of his compositions is for a different ensemble, as well as different instrumentation and each piece is performed in a different location. What makes Mr. Adams stand out is that each piece evokes a different vibe or space or scene. If you haven’t heard his piece, ‘Inuksuit’, you should check it out. It was written for a large ensemble of percussion and performed outdoors in a forest. There is a tribal vibe inside that sweeps me away whenever I listen to it.
I received a copy of Mr. Adams' new disc, ‘darkness and scattered light’, a couple of months ago and decided to wait to listen to it when I could give it my full attention. I’m glad I did. This disc consists of two pieces for solo contrabass and a third piece for five (overdubbed) contrabasses. The contrabass is played by Robert Black, who you should know from his many years with the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Sadly Mr. Black passed away in June of this year (2023). “Three High Places” was composed in 2007 and all of the sounds are created by natural harmonics or open strings (without pushing the strings onto the fingerboard). The music drifts along is made of long sustained tones. The music seems to breathe and even has an inner pulse, which throbs quietly underneath. Since the notes are not plucked, they resonate like a chorus of voices, giving off a sort of religious or spiritual vibe. In the second section, the music radiates an organic sense of warmth, similar to the way the sun warms up a room through the window. It is the larger-than-life sound of Black’s acoustic bass which gives this piece a most riveting sound. The title track, “Darkness and Scattered Light” is for five contrabasses. This piece “traces long melodic lines across harmonic arcs from midnight to noon and back to midnight” - states Mr. Adams. This piece also seems to breathe, slowly moving in wave after wave. Each wave is a drone-note which is being carefully stretched and evokes several fleeting spirits or ghost-like beings. The last piece is called “Three Nocturnes” and it is grounded on the subharmonic series. Its premiere performance was done outdoors amid the red rock canyons. The way that Robert Black bows the strings here, giving it a solemn, shimmering sound, similar to the way an accordion is played slowly, stretching out notes one at a time. John Luther Adams has a way of giving his pieces an organic presence as if we are listening to a spirit/ force being created in front of us. Today (11/9/23) it feels like Spring outside although we’ve had some cold Fall days in recent weeks. The sunlight is coming through my kitchen window and warming me up. This music fits the peaceful vibe which is being created as I/we listen. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MURMURISTS with MARTIN ARCHER / RON ANDERSON / PAULO CHAGAS / FRED LONBERG-HOLM / ROBERT PEPPER / et al - ithyphall.brel.gory is not the same as you (Discus Music 163CD; UK) This ambitious and strange disc was composed by Anthony Donavon. The vast cast of characters (spoken word artists) includes a few musicians whose names I recognize like Lawrence Casserley (electronics for Evan Parker) & Jeremy Gluck (duo with Nikki Sudden). The musicians include an odd gathering of odd players: Ron Anderson on guitar, Martin Archer on bass clarinet, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and Robert Pepper on violin plus another dozen musicians whose name I don’t recognize. This disc was recorded between 2015 & 2023 in nine countries. This is their fourth release starting in 2008.
“Murmurists is a group of artists which convenes periodically to perform large-scale multi-media events using texts and graphic-scores composed and directed by Anthony Donovan. This CD, recorded over a significant span of time, draws upon such live and studio performances, channelling these years of diverse activity into a brand new work. Call it music theatre, sound design, documentary – as you will.” - from Anthony Donavon
There are three long pieces here. The first piece begins with layers of feedback, reverb-laden sounds of unknown originals and several spoken word artists, talking softly. Each voice seems to come from a different place in one large room. I hear the words but I am unsure of how the characters are connected. The music is often disorienting with bursts of noise or sounds hard to figure out what they are doing. Each voice and each instrument seem to evoke a different character or fragment of a larger idea/force. Some of the voices are like lost ghosts floating through our minds. This is more like a radio play with several layers of sounds occurring simultaneously and ever-evolving. The music flows seamlessly as different voices and instruments flow through this stream. Throbbing bass, layers of disembodied voices, laughing, electric crickets, samples of an organ, crowds, too many sounds hard to figure what they are although it does feel as if we are within an avant-garde existential play. What’s interesting is that this actually works and is most captivating. Some of the spoke words are in different languages, I do recognize the words in Hebrew. Sometimes the stream gets a bit too dense and it is a bit harrowing for a short while. I only hear bits and pieces of words or conversations so I hear a fragment and try to figure what it comes from or is trying to say. What I do notice is this: although I can’t make out certain words, the overall effect is still throttling. There are certain moments which ring true like in the last section where a man talks about losing his individuality and becoming a machine. There is quite a bit to consider during the 63 minutes I’ve/we’ve spent listening. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
UROBORO with ANTON HUNTER / KEITH JAFRATE / LAURA COLE / JOHN POPE / ANDY CHAMPION / JOHNNY HUNTER - a story like fire (Discus Music 163CD; UK) Uroboro features Anton Hunter on guitar & electronics, Laura Cole on piano & keyboard, Keith Jafrate on saxes & spoken words, Andy Champion & John Pope on basses and Johnny Hunter on drums. The British label Discus was founded by multi-instrumentalist/composer Martin Archer in 1989 and has released more than 150 CD’s over the past three decades. Mr. Archer appears as a producer and/or musician on many of these discs, as well as finding many British and European musicians to give an opportunity to record their music. There are a couple of dozen musicians that Mr. Archer has collaborated with time after time, with several different bands or projects which evolve over time: Eclectic Maybe Band, Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere plus several projects with Keith & Julie Tippetts and Paul Dunmall.
Uroboro is a sextet of musicians, most of whom have worked with Archer or for Discus in the past: Anton & Johnny Hunter, Laura Cole and Andy Champion. If it weren’t for Discus, I would’ve not known about these fine musicians. CD1 was recorded at an old post office in Todmorden in August of 2022. Saxist Keith Jafrate (the one musician here I didn’t know previously) composed all of the pieces here and wrote the liner notes. “in passing” opens with somber sax, over a cushion of calm piano, guitar, bass & drums. The piano and guitar both play sparse, haunting sounds which seem to drift through the air. The bass and drums create a soft, pulsating groove while the sax, piano and guitar play a theme on top. “cesare ha detto” has a calm vibe and moves at a moderate pace. It is a free piece which flows organically with the guitar and piano duetting together. “The Huntress” has a suspense-filled skeletal bass-line with tasty laid back tenor sax, majestic piano and sublime, eerie semi-acoustic guitar. The thing I like most about this disc is this: Mr. Jafrate writes songs which often have a hypnotic repeating groove/melody. Solos are often laid back and there are just a few. The music does a good job of creating thoughtful moods. The second disc was recorded live at The Mill in Walsden around 10 days earlier than CD1. The quintet uses a different bassist and covers four of the same pieces as CD1. The music on CD2 is similar in sound although it does have a more live in the room sort of sound. The overall vibe here is relaxed and calm with exquisite solos which rise like smoke into the air and fade away. Both of the discs here are quietly enchanting, never getting too free or intense or else the well crafted mood would be broken. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $16
BILL LASWELL & PETE NAMLOOK - Outland (Cold Spring Records CSR 327CD; UK) “The Outland album series was a collaborative endeavor by the visionary US bassist-producer Bill Laswell and the late German musician Pete Namlook that pushed the boundaries of dark ambient and electronic music. Spanning five albums released over a thirteen-year period from 1994, this new boxset serves as a testament to the creative synergy between the two masterminds. At the time the duo joined forces, the New York-based Bill Laswell was already a famous producer with a massive client list that included cutting-edge rock, pop, funk, jazz and electronic artists, but he had also founded the Axiom label in 1989 and been responsible for groundbreaking work in genres that included ambient, dub and world music. Pete Namlook was recognized as a pioneering figure in the ambient techno scene, having founded the label FAX 49-69/450464 in his native Frankfurt in 1992. Outland became a fusion of their individual musical sensibilities that resulted in a unique set of releases. At the heart of the series is an exploration of sound as a vehicle for emotion and contemplation, with Laswell's signature basslines and experimental soundscapes interweaving seamlessly with Namlook's ethereal textures and intricate sonic layering. Each album is characterized by a sense of expansiveness, taking listeners on a voyage through rarely charted sonic dimensions. All have the ability to evoke a wide range of emotions and have their own distinctive sonic palette, ranging from ambient tranquility to cosmic intensity. Outland has endured as an influential touchstone, its impact felt not only in its captivating soundscapes but also in its invitation to engage in deep introspection and cosmic contemplation. With each album, the duo beckoned listeners to transcend the mundane and embark on a sonic voyage into the extraordinary, where sound becomes a conduit for spiritual and artistic expression. The lavish matte-finish boxset opens to the five Outland albums in separate matte sleeves, with all-new designs, and all audio completely remastered. This box also contains a new addition to the Outland series -- an album of dense, bass space drone by Bill Laswell, entitled Blackland. The boxset also contains an exclusive card with an essay about the project written by Bill in July 2023.
6 CD Set $55
TWO FINE DISCS BACK IN STOCK & FEATURING EVAN PARKER:
EVAN PARKER OCTET With PHILIPP WACHSMANN / JOHN RUSSELL / AGUSTI FERNANDEZ / et al - Crossing the River (2005)(Psi 06.02; UK) (2005) Groups in the range septet to tentet are increasingly possible, given the long term commitment to free improvisation from London based musicians. This CD features two extended octet improvisations by NEIL METCALFE (flute), JOHN RANGECROFT (clarinet), EVAN PARKER (tenor saxophone), PHILIPP WACHSMANN (violin), MARCIO MATTOS (cello), JOHN EDWARDS (bass), JOHN RUSSELL (guitar), and AGUSTI FERNANDEZ (piano) - plus a string quintet, and some short trios and duos. 77 minutes.
OTOMO YOSHIHIDE / SACHIKO M / EVAN PARKER / JOHN EDWARDS / TONY MARSH JOHN BUTCHER - Quintet/Sextet/Duos (Otoroku 09; UK) The final night of Otomo Yoshihide's and Sachiko M's first residency at London's Cafe OTO in 2009 saw the pair joined by the long-running trio of Evan Parker, John Edwards, Tony Marsh and special guest John Butcher. Butcher played duos with both Otomo and Sachiko and joined the quintet for a rousing sextet: stunning twin saxophone interplay, the unparalleled openness of the Marsh/Edwards rhythm pairing, Sachiko's deft high-frequency interventions and Otomo's guitar at the center -- moving between abrasive textural invention and suggestive single note runs of ever-shifting melody.”
NEIL HAMBURGER with ALAN BISHOP / NEIL FINN / BONNIE “PRINCE” BILLY / DANNY HEIFITZ / PRAIRIE PRINCE / et al - Seasonal Depression Suite (Drag City 894CD; USA) "Drag City presents its first-ever Christmas/Holiday album -- Neil Hamburger Presents Seasonal Depression Suite. This song-cycle is filtered through the lens of various guests stuck in a perfectly average chain-hotel during the holiday season, wallowing in self-pity and paranoia, re-living personal catastrophes both real and imagined, or simply trying to use the hotel vending machine. Influenced by everything from Thom Bell to Tommy to the troll-ish misery of Trip Advisor reviews, Seasonal Depression Suite provides another entry in the sprawling satirical critique of America that Greg Turkington has been engaged in with his multifarious enterprises and collaborations since the early '90s. The musical tapestry woven by Turkington and Erik Paparozzi draws from the stage musicals, pop vocal albums, film scores, rock concept albums, new wave mini-masterpieces, and singer-songwriter epics that have captured their imaginations since childhood, in pitch-perfect support of their fictitious hotel guests and their tormented concerns. To sing these parts, a once-in-a-lifetime all-star cast was assembled -- including Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House, Fleetwood Mac), Annabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow), Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls), Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, acclaimed singer/performance artist Puddles Pity Party, voice actress Natalie Peyser, J.P. Hasson (Pleaseeasaur), enigmatic vocalist (and Frank Sinatra's granddaughter) A.J. Lambert, Paparozzi himself and, of course, Neil Hamburger. Among the many musicians accompanying the cast were Scarlet Rivera, Danny Heifetz (Mr. Bungle), Bär McKinnon (Mr. Bungle), Prairie Prince (The Tubes), Atom Ellis (Dieselhed), Jason Schimmel (Secret Chiefs 3), and Alex Jules (The Monkees band) -- an international assemblage whose talents give Seasonal Depression Suite its epic sweep. With all hands-on board, Turkington and Paparozzi created their own kind of masterpiece, like Sinatra's late-period concept album Watertown fused with the misfit comedy of Neil Hamburger -- a work that looks at a cast of characters both ordinary and bizarre, as they make their way from one grievance to another, traveling from place to place, hoping to live, while waiting to die. There won't be another album like Seasonal Depression Suite anytime soon -- if ever."
JUTTA GLASER & CLAUS BOESSER-FERRARI - Return & Crossing (Enjoy Jazz Records EJR 002CD; Germany) “They have been working together again and again for more than 20 years and have constantly explored the boundaries of their instructions and not infrequently even expanded them: singer Jutta Glaser and guitarist Claus Boesser-Ferrari. Their current project Return & Crossing is a tribute to the Lebanese-American painter, film artist and poet Etel Adnan. Jutta Glaser and Claus Boesser-Ferrari have opened their music wide to Adnan's poems. In doing so, they have not simply deconstructed their compositions, but, on the contrary, restructured them in a way that floats in the flow of the language, that is, in a peculiarly fluid way. They have deliberately worked in a more sound-painting manner in order to take up the aspect of multiple talents or Etel Adnan's interdisciplinary approach and mirror it in a corresponding art form. Just as Adnan's poetry is always read in a new and different way, so is this music, which is so changeable in itself. Jutta Glaser's singing is a sometimes tender and fragile, sometimes highly expressive, but always respectfully bow to Adnan's texts. Glaser transfers them as virtuously as sensitively into congenial improvisations and alienations, without overstretching the natural richness of the texts' relationships. Claus Boesser-Ferrari, supported by cleverly used electronics, functions here not as an accompanist, but as a second voice in a dialogue of different artistic means and formal languages. The guitarist moves in his usual stylistically confident manner between lyrical sound surfaces, percussive pointing and expressive outbursts. Return & Crossing is a multi-layered dramaturgical production, which not only elaborates the high musicality of Adnan's language, organized in diffuse-open spaces, with love and meticulousness, but also makes it sound as multi-layered as it is rousing.”
THE DAILY FLASH - The Legendary Recordings 1965-1967 (Guerssen Records 071CD; Spain) “Seattle's first "alternative" band from the '60s, the Daily Flash were caught in the psychedelic explosion of the West Coast with their electrifying blend of folk-rock, pop, blues and jazz. This compilation (the most comprehensive to date) includes their essential 45s ("Jack Of Diamonds" of Nuggets fame, "Queen Jane Approximately," "The French Girl") plus unreleased studio/live recordings and rare demos/acetates. Featuring Doug Hastings (Buffalo Springfield/Rhinoceros) on guitar/vocals.”
CD $17 / 2 LP Set $45
SCREAM - DC Special (Dischord 194CD; USA) "Scream formed in 1979. Drummer Kent Stacks, bassist Skeeter Enoch Thompson, and the brothers Pete and Franz Stahl attended school together in Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia, when they began to discover the punk and new wave scene in DC and the provocative power of making music. Like most of the punk bands in DC, they were influenced by the Bad Brains, but their rock and roll sensibilities set them apart. In 1982, they went into Inner Ear Studio with Ian MacKaye and Eddie Janney to record Dischord's first full-length album, Still Screaming. For their newest album, DC Special, Scream invited their extensive music community to help create a unique project that weaves the history of music in Washington DC into the story of the band. Recorded by Don Zientara just weeks before his studio was evicted from its longtime location, the record is rich with both the sounds of Inner Ear and those of friends and musicians who influenced Scream and who shaped DC music over the past six decades. DC Special embodies the same sense of community and politics that inspired Scream from the start and is a truly special collection of new music that speaks to the present and also tells the story of DC music, Scream, and the influences that shaped them. Special guests on the record include: Mark Cisneros, Joe Lally, Derrick Decker, Bob Berberich, Clint Walsh, Dave Grohl, Onam Emmett, John Goetchius, Jerry Busher, Amy Pickering, Ian MacKaye, Amanda MacKaye, Brian Baker, Randy Austin, Martha Hull, Michael Reidy, Nate Bergman, and Bobby Madden."
CD $15 / LP $19
STEFAN GOLDMANN - Acustica (Macro Recordings Macrom 074CD; Germany) “Acustica: For this acoustic sources-only mix, Stefan Goldmann cut up a vast library of recorded interpretations of 20th century avant-garde compositions. Layered segments of individual instrumental and chamber performances form emergent orchestral opulence -- just to spill over into actual orchestral segments. Goldmann has tackled acoustic archives before with his edit of multiple recordings of Igor Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps." However, this mix traverses the disparities and convergences of seven decades of score-based music with impressively results. A metalevel polystylistic work that explores vast potentials of integration, interaction and interference. An antidote to the prevailing practice of sounding compositions in scattered, sterile isolation. Here, opposing concepts of music are channeled into one continuous flow, with a coherent DJ performance as the vehicle.”
DRAZEK FUSCALDO Featuring HAMID DRAKE / TATSU AOKI / THYMME JONES and JOSHUA ABRAMS - June 22 (Feeding Tube Records 697LP; USA) "Like last year's brilliant Wings Dipped in Fire (FTR 398CS, 2023), this new album was recorded by Taylor Hales at Chicago's Electrical Audio. But this time, the duo (once known at Mako Sica) is joined not just by keyboard/trumpet master Thymme Jones, but also percussionist Hamid Drake, bassist Tatsu Aoki (on shamisen) and bassist Joshua Abrams. A total post-form all-star line-up, with more combined chops than a breakfast table crammed with lumberjacks. The mood on june 22 is weird and simmering. Blasts of heat alternate with spaced-out jam abstractions with Brent Fuscaldo's vocals and Przemyslaw Krys Drazek's guitar and trumpet dodging in and out of available crevices. As with all of this combo's recent music, exactly what genre they occupy is not easy to say. This is something they share with this generation of Chicago improvisers, who often seem to begin in jazz, but evolve into something much more intangible, mysterious and beautiful. Just as Abrams' Natural Information Society is making sounds requiring multi-hyphonic descriptives, so Drazek Fuscaldo have dissolved categorical confines, although their journey to this point began in a rock (or post-rock) formulation. By now the music contains multitudes -- jazz, folk, world music, avant-garde experimentalism and beyond. It defies being called anything other than MUSIC. Great music. And to quote the Captain once again, 'If you got ears, you gotta listen.' Don't know what else to say, except june 22 is a killer." --Byron Coley, 2023
PIERRE BASTIEN & MICHEL BANABILA - Baba Soiree (Pingipung 083LP; Germany) “Two visionary maestros, Pierre Bastien and Michel Banabila, unite in their first collaborative album, Baba Soirée. The veterans of electronic music bring their unique expertise to the table, resulting in a captivating fusion of experimental styles. Bastien's mechanical loops and experimental instrumental setups merge seamlessly with Banabila's sound design and impeccable skills of sampling collages. Pierre Bastien is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with a background in French literature. He has spent decades crafting an idiosyncratic world of experimental sound with his self-built mechanical orchestra Mecanium. It was most notably showcased in audiovisual releases on Aphex Twin's Rephlex label. Bastien's creations are a mesmerizing combination of traditional instruments (he has a vast collection) and mechanical automatons. The violin in the track "Rotomotor," for example, is physically played by one of his machines. In Baba Soirée, Bastien also plays a prepared cornet, infusing the recordings with a breathy, dreamy dimension. Michel Banabila, a sound artist, composer and producer, possesses an eclectic musical repertoire that defies genres. His seamless blend of minimal electronica, tribal ambient, and neo- classical influences has earned him a prominent place in the world of experimental music, and an impressive discography. Banabila serves as the creative sampling editor for Baba Soirée, expertly weaving together the recordings to craft an evocative sonic tapestry. The two share a curiosity for traditional instruments from various cultures. The instruments used in the recordings are shown in the cover artwork. A mutual admiration for each other's work paved the way for this fruitful artistic partnership of the Rotterdam-based artists: collaborating on a single as a fundraiser for Yemen in 2022 set the stage for the creation of Baba Soirée. The title Baba Soirée is an homage to Kurt Schwitters and Theo van Doesburg's Kleine Dada Soirée collaboration which took place exactly a century ago.”
ANDRZEJ KORZYNSKI - Possession (Black Vinyl)(Finders Keepers FKR 062X-LP; UK) “During the maiden voyage into an expansive vat of unreleased music by Polish composer Andrzej Korzynski, Finders Keepers Records originally presented his previously unreleased electro/ orchestral/experimental score for Andrzej Zulawski's surrealist '80s horror classic Possession in 2012. These 25 cues were written and recorded exclusively for the 1981 award-winning film starring Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neil, but due to the progressive, stark and modernist nature of the finished film less than half of them made it on to the actual director's cut -- leaving many of the tracks on this spackage totally unheard outside of Korzynski's studio. The intended Possession score in its entirety marks an important axis in Korzynski's career where his various musical disciplines overlap. In one respect it marks his first forays into to synth driven electronics and disco drum machines, while other tracks epitomize the well-honed techniques used in previous Zulawski scores, such as Third Part Of The Night and The Devil, which rely on his inimitable orchestral arrangements and combination of clavinet, Rhodes, piano and electric guitar. Available once again on black 12" vinyl for the first time since its original release some 11 years ago, Finders Keepers' ongoing commitment to the important restoration of Korzynski's music aims to shed new light on the seldom manufactured productions of the composer whose vast cinematic catalogue warrants overdue global status alongside other golden era Eastern European composers such as Kryzstof Komeda, Jan Hammer, and Zdenek Liska -- not to mention the best of the French and Italian soundtrackers, such as Roubaix, Vannier, and Nicolai. Duplicated and carefully remastered directly from Korzynski's original master tapes this album boasts the uninhibited studio experiments and retains the pre-cut ambience.”
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
Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris
November 18, 2023 • The Jazz Gallery Rare NYC Performance • One Night Only
Co-founder of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1965, legendary saxophonist Trevor Watts makes a rare New York City appearance with his long-standing duo partner, percussionist Jamie Harris, for an evening of African-inspired grooves and creative improvisation. Two sets only. Limited tickets available.
Trevor Watts — alto & soprano saxophone
Jamie Harris — congas & percussion
Sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm
The Jazz Gallery
1158 Broadway, 5th floor (entrance on 27th st)
New York NY 10001
A founding member of three seminal British avant/progressive bands, SME (Spontaneous Music Ensemble), Amalgam and the Moire Music Ensemble, alto & soprano saxist Trevor Watts rarely makes it to the USA. I’ve seen/heard this duo once before and they were incredible! Do not a chance to hear them live! - BLG at DMG
THE STONE RESIDENCIES / VADIM NESELOVSKYI / NOV 8–11
8:30 pm - Vadim Neselovskyi presents stellar Ukrainian singer Tamara Lukasheva — US premiere! Tamara Lukasheva (voice) Vadim Neselovskyi (piano, composition)
8:30 pm - ODESA — A MUSICAL WALK THROUGH A LEGENDARY CITY
Vadim Neselovskyi (piano, composition)
8:30 pm - Duo with Ralph Alessi
Ralph Alessi (trumpet) Vadim Neselovskyi (piano, composition)
8:30 pm - UKRAINIAN DIARY — Suite for Piano and String Trio - Bengisu Gokce (violin) Sofia Nikas (viola) Thiago Wolf (cello) Vadim Neselovskyi (piano, composition)
THE STONE is located in
The New School at the Glass Box Theatre
55 West 13th Street - near 6th ave
music at 8:30pm
$20 per set
unless otherwise noted
cash only payment
Arts for Arts Presents:
JOIN US for the Pianos & Poets Festival - a showcase of great creative improvising pianists performing on AFA's magnificent Steinway B Grand, and featuring poets who expand our minds and hearts with their words. In partnership with The Clemente, in the Flamboyan Theater: 107 Suffolk St., NYC
SINGLE DAY: In-person - $25 / Livestream - $7
THREE DAY PASS: In-person - $60 / Livestream - $20
Thursday, November 9th, 2023
7PM: Angelica Sanchez - piano solo
8PM: Miriam Parker - movement & sound installation / No Land - poetry / Melanie Dyer - viola
9PM: Cooper-Moore -piano solo
Friday, November 10th, 2023
7PM: David Virelles - piano solo
8PM: Tracie Morris - poetry
9PM: Dave Burrell - piano solo
Saturday, November 11th, 2023
7PM: Mara Rosenbloom - piano solo
8PM: Randall Horton - poetry
8:30PM: Anne Waldman - poetry, featuring duo with Matthew Shipp
9PM: Matthew Shipp - piano solo
This is from Guitarist/Composer - Terrence McManus:
I've been busy composing and I'm happy to announce that I will have three classical work premieres in November.
Monday, November 13
It's Not a Trio or a Sextet
(flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano)
performed by Talea Ensemble
Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center
365 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10016
Wednesday, November 15
Mood One for Solo Violin
performed by Josh Modney
Ida K. Lang Recital Hall
695 Park Ave
New York, NY 10065
Monday, November 27
Music for Solo Cello
performed by Athos Brown
Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center
365 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10016
JOHN ZORN @ 70 - Year Long Celebration Continues with:
JOHN ZORN @ 70 - 3 Concerts at Miller Theatre at Columbia University:
Composer Portraits: John Zorn at 70
Thursday, November 16, 2023, 8PM
Barbara Hannigan - Piano John Zorn - Composer
John Zorn Star Catcher (2022)
John Zorn Split the Lark (2021)
John Zorn Liber Loagaeth (2021)
John Zorn Ab Eo, Quod (2021)
John Zorn Pandora’s Box (2013)
John Cage's Japan at Japan Society
An Original Performance Series
Celebrating the Composer's Relationship with Japanese Culture
November 16 at 7:30 pm
Tomomi Adachi's Noh-opera / Noh-tation: Decoding John Cage's Unrealized Project
with Gelsey Bell (voice), Wakako Matsuda (noh), and ICE
Thursday, December 7 at 7:30 pm
Cage Shock: An Homage to his First Japan Visit
with Tania Caroline Chen, Victoria Shen, Tomomi Adachi, and ICE
All Programs Commissioned and presented by Japan Society
Tickets On Sale to the General Public August 17 at JapanSociety.org
They called it the "Cage Shock." In 1962, the iconoclastic American composer John Cage toured Japan for a legendary series of concerts that served to draw attention to the rhymes between his works and the sounds of avant-garde and classical Japanese music. The tour cemented Cage as a pivotal figure in the East but the impact of that trip reverberated both directions. Cage had found truth and validation for his creative philosophy in Japan and returned to his experiences abroad as a wellspring of inspiration for the rest of his life.
SATURDAY NOV 18
HU VIBRATIONAL PRESENTS TIMELESS LP RELEASE CONCERT
Adam Rudolph - percussion, electronics, cajon, kalimba
Alexis Marcelo - electric keyboards
Damon Banks - electric bass
Harris Eisenstadt - bata, shekere
Neel Murgai - electric sitar, overtone singing and electronics
Tim Kieper - percussion, dusu n’goni
Tripp Dudley - cajon, dumbek, frame drums, percussion
@ Public Records 233 Butler St, Brooklyn, NY 11217 doors 7pm / one set 8pm
MEMORIAL CONCERT FOR DOM MINASI
Wednesday, December 6th at 6:30
At St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan
Dom Minasi: Moroccan Copper (1975)
Opening, Welcome & Acknowledgements / Carol Mennie
Music contributions by Hans Tammen, Ken Filiano, Jay Rosen, Tor Snyder, Steve Swell, Dominic Duval Jr, Jackson Krall, Harvey Valdes, Ras Moshe, Cheryl Pyle, Hilliard Greene.
Tribute: John Pietaro Local 802
Music contributions by Dom Minasi Jr., Tomas Ulrich, Eyal Maoz, Susan Alcorn, Ken Filiano.
Tribute/Poem: Nora McCarthy & Jorge Sylvester
Music contributions by Eyal Maoz, Blaise Siwula, Tomas Ulrich, Jay Rosen.
Tribute / Carol Mennie: Dom's Children Music / Mama It's Cold Out Here
Music contributions by Nora McCarthy & Manna for Thought, Dom Minasi Guitar
Quartet, Carol Mennie, Martin Fuller.
Tribute: Tony Minasi
Music contributions by Jack deSalvo, Susan Alcorn, Dominic Duval Jr, Jackson Krall, Tor Snyder, Briggan Krauss, Jorge Sylvester, Blaise Siwula, Steve Swell, Ras Moshe, Cheryl Pyle, Hilliard Greene
Carol Mennie / Dom Minasi: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Memorial for Dom Minasi
Wednesday, December 6th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm (doors open at 6pm) St. Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue, NYC, NY 10012
Article by GARY LUCAS:
This is an honest explanation/understanding of what is currently going on in Israel, please read and think about before you come to any quick conclusions.
“JEWS DO COUNT”
NEW VIDEOS from GUITAR MASTER HENRY KAISER:
Formerly of HENRY COW, THE ART BEARS, NEWS FOR BABEL & RECOMMENDED RECORDS (ReR) has been creating an ongoing series of podcasts called the Probes series. I am often fascinated at listening to each of these as Mr. Cutler does an incredible job of showing a deep history of Creative Music in the 20th century & beyond. I usually listen to these on the train to NYC that I take to get to work each day. The most recent Probes (#36) was released a few weeks ago, here is the links:
ATTENTION TO ALL DMG CUSTOMERS: NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org