Interview with Vince Welch of Bent Knee

Source: 15 questions.

In Bent Knee, music is always written with the knowledge that this music will be recorded. That means that we’re able to, both consciously and unconsciously, plan the music so that it will work on recording. So in this way the technology is already playing a big role, right at the genesis of the music.

But in the less abstract sense, all of us except the drummer Gavin are using electrical instruments. So again technology is right there playing a role at the songs’ beginnings. In the case of Chris and I, we’re both using laptops, so basically we’re doing something that would have been more or less impossible to do 20 years ago.

Read our review of Bent Knee’s previous album, Say So.

Jazz in NYC This Week

English: Tyshawn Sorey at moers festival 2010

Source: The New York Times.

YUKA C. HONDA at National Sawdust (May 28, 4 p.m.). In the 1990s, Ms. Honda made hip, surreal party music as one half of the Japanese-expatriate duo Cibo Matto. More recently, she has worked closely with Yoko Ono and delved further into artistic experimentation of her own, with thrilling results. At this afternoon show at National Sawdust, the Williamsburg nonprofit space where she’s an artist in residence, Ms. Honda will play electronic music along with a percussionist and a pair of tap dancers.
646-779-8455, nationalsawdust.org

VISION FESTIVAL 22 at Judson Memorial Church (May 28 through June 3). The Vision Festival, New York’s annual gathering of the improvising avant-garde, is a locus for some of the country’s most unbounded musicians. The alto saxophonist Darius Jones; Artifacts Trio (Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid and Mike Reed); the tenor saxophonist David Murray; and Trio 3 (Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille) are all on the bill. And it’s a multimedia affair, with a reading by the esteemed poet Fred Moten; dance performances; and film screenings on the Black Panther Party and the musician Cooper-Moore, who is this year’s honoree. The festival will take place mostly at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, but some of the events, including midnight performances, are at Anthology Film Archive and Nublu.
212-254-5420, artsforart.org

JOHN ZORN at the Village Vanguard (May 28, 3 p.m.). Every once in a while Mr. Zorn, the alto saxophonist and experimental music figurehead, infiltrates the Vanguard, straight-ahead jazz’s temple, for a one-off matinee show. In November he convened a trio featuring the bassist Christian McBride and the drummer Milford Graves; the gig was an unqualified success — a shot of freak-jazz purgation just days after a bewildering presidential election. This Sunday he appears with Mr. McBride and a different drummer, Tyshawn Sorey. Bold and complex but disarmingly humane, Mr. Sorey recently spent a charmed week at the Vanguard, playing brilliantly with the Vijay Iyer Trio. His approach tends to create a big web of crosshatching; he and Mr. McBride may bring out something special in each other.
212-255-4037, villagevanguard.com

Classical Music in NYC This Week

Source: The New York Times.

LOS ANGELES PERCUSSION QUARTET at National Sawdust (June 1, 7 p.m.).
One of several superb percussion quartets currently at work, and another heralded West Coast group, this group celebrates a coming album, “Beyond,” by making its New York debut with works by Ellen Reid, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Andrew McIntosh, as well as a virtual reality performance of music by Christopher Cerrone.
646 -779-8455, nationalsawdust.org

NEW YORK YOUTH SYMPHONY at Carnegie Hall (May 28, 2 p.m.). Joshua Gersen conducts these committed young players in a premiere from the composer Daniel Silliman, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 (Brook Speltz is the soloist) and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5.
212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org

PARKER QUARTET at National Sawdust (May 28, 7 p.m.). Joined for this program by guests including the violist Roger Tapping and the soprano Tony Arnold, this intriguing young quartet presents Steve Reich’s “Different Trains,” Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder” and two works by Erwin Schulhoff, including his self-explanatory “Sonata Erotica” of 1919.
646-779-8455, nationalsawdust.org

AMN Reviews: Björkenheim / Sopko / James / Laswell / Yamaki – Inaugural Sound Clash (For the 2 Americas) (2017; M.O.D. Technologies)

A trio of guitarists, Raoul Björkenheim, Mike Sopko, and Dominic James, join New York mainstay Bill Laswell and drummer Hideo Yamaki on this hour-long jam session. Recorded on January 20th of this year at John Zorn‘s Stone, Inaugural Sound Clash clearly refers to the inauguration that took place earlier that day (especially with its subtitle “Against the Empire of Alternative Facts”).

Despite appearing to be a protest album when judged by its cover, the recording itself does not come across as overtly angry. Instead, the trio of guitarists play in a blues-rock style, trading riffs and solos. When one of them takes the lead, the others add textures in the background. Laswell contributes his trademark smooth and echoing bass lines, while Yamaki provides a variety of unusual but steady beats for the others to work off of.

Consisting of one 56-minute track, there is plenty of room for all of the contributors to stretch out. Thus, in addition to the more intensive soloing and chording, the quintet takes it down from time to time, exploring tempos and atmospherics. But this is not free improv – there is ample structure, a reprise or two, and the rhythmic elements are familiar enough for Inaugural Sound Clash to have a broad appeal.

The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music Festival Coming to Philadelphia

Anthony Braxton playing a contrabass saxophone

Source: The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music.

Ars Nova Workshop (ANW), in partnership with FringeArts, presents a new jazz and contemporary music festival unlike anything Philadelphia has seen – or heard: The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music. This four-day, multi-venue listening festival centers at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters, 140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race Street) from October 5-8, 2017.

The inaugural OctRev will take place October 5-8 on the FringeArts campus, and will include performances at neighboring sites and venues. ANW is curating a line-up of the most thoughtful, adventurous music inventors and performers of our time, from across a diverse range of genres that span jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary classical and radiate outward. Confirmed acts include:

NEA Jazz Master and AACM founding member Anthony Braxton

MacArthur Fellow, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) founder, and “young star of the modern flute” (The New Yorker) Claire Chase

An ultra-rare appearance from The Art Ensemble of Chicago, one of the most influential ensembles of all time

A new duo featuring harpist Zeena Parkins and drummer Brian Chase, best known for their extensive work with Bjork and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, respectively

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil in celebration of their new recording on ECM Records

Sun Ra Arkestra performing their seminal 1973 Impulse Records album “Space is the Place” in its entirety