AMN (Retro) Picks of the Week: Francis Dhomont / Chicago Underground Trio

Recently I had the opportunity to purchase almost 50 used CDs at a very good price. I’m slowly going through these and will be posting some of the better ones in a few special “retro” Picks of the Week articles. Enjoy.

Francis Dhomont – …et Autres Utopies (2006)
Francis Dhomont – Cycle du Son (2001)
Chicago Underground Trio – Possible Cube (1999)
Chicago Underground Trio – Flamethrower (2000)
Chicago Underground Trio – Slon (2004)



September 13, 2014
Yoshi Wada & Tashi Wada with David Watson & Jim Pugliese, ISSUE Project Room
Jim Pugliese Yoshi Wada Tashi Wada David Watson

September 10, 2014
Fred Van Hove Solo, The Stone
Fred Van Hove

September 9, 2014
Evan Parker, John Escreet, John Hébert, Tyshawn Sorey, The Stone
John Escreet John Hébert Evan Parker Tyshawn Sorey

September 10, 2014
Peter Evans, Evan Parker, Charles Evans, The Stone
Peter Evans Charles Evans Evan Parker

September 9, 2014
Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, Barre Phillips, Chris Corsano, The Stone
Chris Corsano Joe McPhee Evan Parker Barre Phillips

Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Null (Kazuyuki Kishino) – Extropy Zero 1
Blood of Kingu – Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon
Charles Bobuck – The Residents Presents: Codgers On The Moon
Bly de Blyant – Hindsight Bias
Albert Ayler – The Albert Ayler Story
Peter Ablinger – Augmented Studies
Russell Haswell & Pain Jerk – Electroacoustic Slude Dither Transformation [...]

Upcoming Seattle Shows

Morton Subotnick

Cover of Morton Subotnick

From Seattle’s Wayward Music:

Susan Alcorn + Wally Shoup
Sat., Sept. 20, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
One of the world’s premiere innovators on the pedal steel guitar, Baltimore-based Susan Alcorn takes it far beyond its traditional role. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal expression. Seattle saxophonist Wally Shoup opens with a somewhat rare set of solo improvisations – always a treat! Presented by Nonsequitur.

I Dream of Wires @ Grand Illusion
Sept. 19 – 25; see link for times & prices
We aren’t involved with this, but this documentary about the resurgence of the modular synthesizer will be of interest to many Wayward Music fans. Features interviews with Morton Subotnick, Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle), Daniel Miller, Bernie Krause, and many others. OPENING NIGHT 9/19: Modular synth duo Kaori Suzuki (Magic Echo Music) & Chris Davis (Brain Fruit) perform after the screening.

THU. 9/25 – Charlie Haden tribute, with Seattle bassists Birch Pereira, John Seman, Paul Kemmish, Geoff Harper, Carmen Rothwell, and David Michael Marcus + other guests

FRI. 9/26 – Boxitania, by Elizabeth Lawrence aka Detonator Beth, with composer Scott Adams

SAT. 9/27 – saxophonist Eric Barber, Ammon Swinbank (flutes), Mike Gebhart (percussion) + others TBA

WED. 10/1 – Bad Luck (Neil Welch, sax; Chris Icasiano, drums) + Tomo Nakayama

THU. 10/2 – John Teske’s Broken Bow Ensemble

FRI. 10/3 – SCRAPE plays new compositions by James Knapp and Brendon Williams

MON. 10/6 – Avant Drum Night, with Don Berman and others

Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-House European Tour

English: Ingrid Laubrock, Jazz saxophonist; Pi...

Ingrid Laubrock

From Mary Halvorson:

Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-House: European Tour starts tomorrow in Köln, Germany! with Ingrid Laubrock (saxophones), Kris Davis (piano), Mary Halvorson (guitar), John Hébert (bass) & Tom Rainey (drums)

Tuesday, September 16th @ Stadtgarten (Köln, Germany)
Wednesday, September 17th @ Fasching (Stockholm, Sweden)
Thursday, September 18th @ Victoria, Nasjonal Jazzscene (Oslo, Norway)
Friday, September 19th @ Nefertiti (Göteborg, Sweden)
Saturday, September 20th @ JazzHouse (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Sunday, September 21st @ Jazz in Leer (Leer, Germany)
Monday, September 22nd @ Café Wilhelmina (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Tuesday, September 23rd @ De Singer (Rijkevorsel, Belgium)
Wednesday, September 24th @ Bimhuis (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Thursday, September 25th @ Jazzcase Dommelhof (Neerpelt, Belgium)
Friday, September 26th @ Förderverein Jazz Darmstadt (Darmstadt, Germany)
Saturday, September 27th @ Birdland Neuburg (Neuberg, Germany)

AMN Reviews: Robert Erickson – Complete String Quartets [New World Records 80753-2]

81M0oKnSAsL._SL1500_This two-CD set collects all four string quartets by American composer Robert Erickson (1917-1997). A significant composer in his own right, Erickson’s influence is probably mostly felt indirectly, through the work of the composers and performers he taught in his long academic career.

Although born in the Midwest, Erickson was associated with the West Coast and particularly with the San Francisco Bay area, where before moving to the University of California at San Diego he spent a significant part of his professional life teaching. While there he taught at UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Conservatory, where he mentored such rising avant garde figures as Pauline Oliveros, Loren Rush, Terry Riley and Stuart Dempster. Erickson encouraged their interest in improvisation, which he integrated into his teaching, worked with them and others in the pioneering experiments undertaken at the San Francisco Tape Music Center and more generally through his role as music director of Berkeley’s Pacifica radio station KPFA, helped foster the renaissance of sound art in the Bay Area in the 1960s.

Erickson’s early composition studies were with Ernst Krenek, and it is possible to hear some of Krenek’s influence in the first two string quartets. The first, from 1950, is a relatively brief, atonal work with a more or less conventional three-movement structure. The first movement carries an underlying motif marked by a rhythmic continuity that holds through a variety of melodic transformations, while the second, slow movement features legato lines of a flowing expressiveness. The final movement is brisk and fugue-like, with lines made of complementary rhythms. String Quartet No. 2 (1956) is a considerably longer, one-movement work that, while freer in structure than the first, is also rooted in twelve-tone counterpoint. Unlike much of the serial composition of the time, the second quartet manages its dynamic variations through gradations rather than through abrupt shifts, and intersperses expressive soliloquies throughout.

Three decades separate String Quartet No. 2 from the final two quartets—Solstice (1984-85) and Corfu (1986). Just as the first two quartets resemble each other in their general features, so too do the final two have common overall characteristics. Both are single movement works centered on C in which the atonal countrapuntal writing of the first two quartets has given way to an emphasis on harmonic centers and expressive, largely consonant melodies. Solstice announces its tonal underpinnings right off with notes doubled in unison or at the octave, an arrangement that recurs intermittently throughout the work. The predominant flavor of the quartet is pentatonic, but with notes altered and supplemented often enough to give a polymodal feel. The sparser, more reflective Corfu is a serenely paced work drawing on a tonal vocabulary similar to that of Solstice, but relying on single voices spinning introspective melodies to create a nuanced yet powerful expressive impact. Both pieces exploit the subtle timbral effects of doubling notes across octaves to brighten the ensemble texture, with Corfu pushing this effect even farther with frequent use of harmonics.

This is a highly welcome set of music from a too-little known composer, with excellent performances by the Del Sol Quartet.

All About Jazz Reviews

Arve Henriksen

Cover of Arve Henriksen

From All About Jazz:

Brian Groder Trio
Reflexology (Latham Records)

Colin Webster/Mark Holub
Viscera (New Atlantis Records)

Microscopic Septet Track Review
Manhattan Moonrise (Cuneiform Records)

Hafez Modirzadeh
In Convergence Liberation (Pi Recordings)

Stefano Leonardi / Stefano Pastor / Fridolin Blumer / Heinz Geisser
Conversations About Thomas Chapin (Leo Records)

Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms
From the Region (Delmark Records)
Reviewed by Mark Corroto

Arve Henriksen
Arve Henriksen: The Nature of Connections (Rune Grammofon)

Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood
Juice (Indirecto Records)