AMN Picks of the Week: Cryo Chamber Collaboration / Happy Place / Haunted Me / Suzuki Junzo / Henry Threadgill / Battle Trance

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Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Cryo Chamber Collaboration – Azathoth (2015)
Happy Place – Northfield (2016)
Haunted Me – The Pale Ones (2016)
Suzuki Junzo – If I Die Before I Wake (2016)
Henry Threadgill / Ensemble Double Up – Old Locks and Irregular Verbs (2016)
Battle Trance – Blade of Love (2016)

AMN Reviews: Happy Place – Northfield (2016; Exit Stencil Records)

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happy-place-vinyl-may-27-2_670 Happy Place is a two-drummer, two-guitarist New York based quartet, featuring the writing of one of the drummers, Will Mason. Mason’s Beams of the Huge Night was an AMN Pick of Year for 2015. Here, he is joined by Austin Vaughn on drums, Andrew Smiley on guitar, and Will Chapin on guitar.

With this unconventional lineup, Mason and team gives us a tour of eight neurotic tracks, most under four minutes, but with a centerpiece more than three times that length.  Unlike Mason’s jazz-inflected Beams, Northfield takes a jangly post-rock route. Structurally tight, Happy Place boils with tension. While seemingly a simple layering of interlocked rhythms at first, later tracks on the album prove this initial reaction to be inaccurate. Particularly, Rupture! features start/stop patterns and complex guitar interplay, and Rapture! (the long piece) is a wall of sound punctuated with speed-picking. The latter also provides room for some controlled improv. Still, texture takes a role commensurate with that of melody.

Happy-Place-Primary-Photo-1024x717Comparisons? Try Don Caballero, 80’s King Crimson, Battles, and – according to Mason – Scelsi and Beefheart as well. While you can certainly hear all of the above in places, Northfield is its own animal. Happy Place comes off as a band that would likely be superb live. Big Ears Festival, are you listening?

Northfield will be out in late October on Exit Stencil Records.

San Francisco Scene: August 26 – September 2, 2016

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USGS Satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay ...

From the Bay Improviser Calendar.

Friday, August 26

Fri 8/26 7:00 PM Adobe Books [3130 24th Street, San Francisco, CA]
New Frontiers in Song: Grex/Spider Garage/Andrew Weathers Ensemble
An explosive night of Bay Area music at once beautiful, raw, and strange, featuring Oakland art rock astronauts Grex, the dynamic post-punk stylings of Spider Garage, and the miraculous experimental folk of the Andrew Weathers Ensemble.
Grex:Karl Evangelista (guitar/voice/drums), Rei Scampavia (keys/voice/drums)
Spider Garage: Scott Quay (guitar/vocals), et al.
Andrew Weathers: Andrew Weathers (guitar/vocals), Aaron Oppenheim (electronics), et al.

Fri 8/26 8:00 PM The Lab [2948 16th St SF]
The World According to Sound

Saturday, August 27
Sat 8/27 8:00 PM Gray Area Art And Technology [2665 Mission St. SF]
Soundwave ((7)) Architecture: Re-­structured Futures

For our very first partnership with Gray Area and utilizing their historic theater in the Mission District, musicians and visualists explore virtual and imagined architectures through sound, movement, and visual storytelling to dismantle our notions of both physical and digital space. As San Francisco is currently experiencing rapid transformations of our cityscape, artists Surabhi Saraf, Nonagon, Colin Evoy Sebestyen, and Drought Spa reinterpret how our constructs echo ourselves in our minds and our bodies – the interconnections between the communities and the spaces they inhabit, and transparent realms inbetween.

Sunday, August 28

Sun 8/28 4:00 PM Old First Concerts [1751 Sacramento St. SF]
The Complete Music for Solo Piano by Schoenberg
Thomas Schultz, piano

Sun 8/28 7:30 PM SIMM Series @ The Musicians Union Hall [116 9th St @ Mission SF]
Deconstruction Orchestra
featuring
Josh Allen – Conductor/tenor saxophone
John Finkbeiner-guitar, Roger Riedlbauer-guitar
Kurt Ribak-double bass, Scott Walton-double bass
Tim Orr-drums, William Winant-drums
Rent Romus-alto saxophone, Tom Weeks-alto saxophone, Josh Marshall-tenor saxophone, Dave Slusser-tenor saxophone, Sam Flores-tenor saxophone, Larry Ochs- tenor and sopranino saxophones, Dan Plonsey-baritone saxophone, John Vaughn-baritone saxophone, Jason Berry-saxophones
George Moore-trumpet, Jarrett Browne-trumpet, Ari Brown-trumpet, Caesare Drachen-trumpet, Matt Gaspari-flugelhorn, Zachary Mariano-trombone, Ron Heglin-tuba

Sun 8/28 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
We Insist! Freedom Now!: Free Improvisations for Revolution – Amirtha Kidambi

Tuesday, August 30

Tue 8/30 8:00 PM Oakland Metro Opera House [522 Second St. Oakland]
Erling Wold’s Fabrications and Underworld Opera present
UKSUS
Oakland Metro Opera House
Tuesday 30 August 8pm
Wednesday 31 August 8pm
Saturday 3 September 8pm
Sunday 4 September 2pm
A phantasmagoria of delights, the music jazzy, racous, but bitterly sweet, UKSUS is an autobiography of Daniil Kharms and the OBERIU in the Soviet Union of the 1930s, a narrative told through their stories and brief lives, as the OBERIU – The Association for Real Art – maintained their love of words and nonsensical art to their deaths in Stalin’s Great Purge, Kharms starving to death in a psychiatric hospital in 1942 after his arrest at the hands of the NKVD.

Wednesday, August 31

Wed 8/31 7:30 PM Canessa Gallery [708 Montgomery St SF]
For the first installment of the 2016-2017 Composer’s in Performance Series we are excited to present a quartet featuring Kristina Dutton, Adria Otte, Kanoko Nishi and Nava Dunkelman *and* Trois Chapeaux (Kevin Corcoron / Tania Chen / Jaroba).

Wed 8/31 8:00 PM Oakland Metro Opera House [522 Second St. Oakland]
Erling Wold’s Fabrications and Underworld Opera present
UKSUS
Oakland Metro Opera House
Tuesday 30 August 8pm
Wednesday 31 August 8pm
Saturday 3 September 8pm
Sunday 4 September 2pm
A phantasmagoria of delights, the music jazzy, racous, but bitterly sweet, UKSUS is an autobiography of Daniil Kharms and the OBERIU in the Soviet Union of the 1930s, a narrative told through their stories and brief lives, as the OBERIU – The Association for Real Art – maintained their love of words and nonsensical art to their deaths in Stalin’s Great Purge, Kharms starving to death in a psychiatric hospital in 1942 after his arrest at the hands of the NKVD.

Thursday, September 1

Thu 9/01 6:30 PM Contemporary Jewish Museum [736 Mission St. San Francisco]
Soundwave ((7)) Biennial
Multi-media artists create site-specific audio performances for The CJM’s Yud gallery. The night includes two programs: Suzy Poling performs her sound and sculptural piece, “Human Glass Rotation.” Shane Myrbeck and Emily Shisko perform “Laid Plans.”

Thu 9/01 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
8:00 pm neem (gabby fluke-mogul and k. kipperman)
9:00 pm Shannon Hayden – cello/electronics

Friday, September 2

Fri 9/02 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Kyle Adam Blair: Piano Etudes by Bruno Ruviaro
San Diego-based pianist Kyle Adam Blair premieres Brazilian composer Bruno Ruviaro’s Pós-Tudos, a collection of piano etudes based on copying, borrowing, and stealing

Music and More Reviews

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Source: Music and More.

John Coltrane – His Greatest Years, Vol. 2 (Impulse, 1972)
Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Evil in Oslo (Rune Grammofon, 2016)
Rempis/Johnston/Ochs – Neutral Nation (Aerophonic Records, 2016)
Nova Express Quintet – Andras: The Book of Angels Volume 28 (Tzadik, 2016)

Dusted Reviews

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Source: Dusted.

Sandy Ewen—Tributaries (Chiastic Society)
John Chantler — Which Way to Leave (Room 40)
Mangelsdorff & Mangelsdorff – Early Discoveries (SWR Jazz Haus)
Overtone Ensemble — Overtone Ensemble (Important Records)
Tristan Perich — Noise Patterns (Physical Editions)

Classical Music Listings From The New York Times

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Source: The New York Times.

CHIARA STRING QUARTET (Tuesday and Wednesday) The Chiaras have made a name for themselves by playing their programs by heart. Whether that’s a gimmick or not is up for debate; this quartet is excellent regardless. As on their new release, they play the complete quartets of Bartok — odd numbers on Tuesday, evens on Wednesday. At 7 p.m., National Sawdust, 80 North Sixth Street, at Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 646-779-8455, nationalsawdust.org. (David Allen)

LOCRIAN CHAMBER PLAYERS (Friday) One of New York’s better-kept secrets, this erstwhile group performs only music from the last 10 years (or thereabouts) and does it in a room perched high in the tower of Riverside Church. On the bill this time are works by Derek Bermel, Elliott Carter, Jonathan Dawe and several others, performed by a team including the violinist Miranda Cuckson and the mezzo Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, formerly of Anonymous 4. At 8 p.m., Riverside Church, 10th Floor Performance Space, Riverside Drive at 122nd Street, Morningside Heights, locrian.org. (Allen)

RITE OF SUMMER FESTIVAL (Saturday) Venture out from the ferry terminal on Governors Island on Saturday afternoon, and you are likely to bump into at least one of more than 60 percussionists who have fanned out across the Hills and may seem to be engaging in eccentric behavior. No need to be alarmed: Performances of John Luther Adams’s “Inuksuit” are always an immersive experience, as man-made rhythms intertwine with the sounds of nature. The percussionist Amy Garapic leads this performance, which includes Greg Saunier (from the indie band Deerhoof), Brian Chase (from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and a slew of percussion groups from the city. At 2 p.m., the Hills, Governors Island, riteofsummer.com; free. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

Jazz Listings From The New York Times

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Steve Coleman in Paris, July 2004

Source: The New York Times.

NELS CLINE AT THE STONE (through Sunday) Mr. Cline, the excellent lead guitarist in Wilco, closes this weeklong residency with groups like the Radical Empathy Trio, with Thollem on keyboards and Michael Wimberly on drums (Friday at 10 p.m.); Crusher Collective, which includes Dave Rempis on saxophone and Chris Corsano on drums (Saturday at 8 p.m.); and White Out, which has Tom Surgal on drums and Lin Culbertson on flute, synthesizer and other instruments (Sunday at 8 p.m.). Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com. (Chinen)

STEVE COLEMAN 60TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (Tuesday through Sept. 25) Mr. Coleman, an alto saxophonist and composer, is one of the most rigorously conceptual thinkers in improvised music and a figure of acknowledged influence on the scene. To celebrate a milestone birthday, he’s setting up shop at the Stone for a month with an array of collaborators; he will start next week with Five Elements, his working band. At 8 and 10 p.m., Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com. (Chinen)

FRESH CUT ORCHESTRA (Monday) Jointly led by the bassist Jason Fraticelli, the trumpeter Josh Lawrence and the drummer Anwar Marshall, this midsize band from Philadelphia has a smartly blenderized style, drawing from various downtown and experimental scenes. This one-nighter is a release celebration of the band’s second album, “Mind Behind Closed Eyes.” At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th Street and Broadway, 212-258-9595, jazz.org/dizzys. (Chinen)