AMN Capsule Comments: Mike Eisenberg’s Recent Playlist (July 26, 2021)

From time to time, AMN writer Mike Eisenberg revisits older albums that he has not listened to in a while and provides comments.

Art Zoyd – “Le mariage du ciel et de l’enfer” (1985)

This was AZ’s 6th album, but my first. “Berlin” was already released and after I heard this one, I acquired “Berlin”…how you say…post haste! “Le mariage…” is music for a ballet, such ballet (and the music that went with it) must have been spawned by the unholy union of Vlad Tepes and a 3 horned goat cuz, back then, this music was considered darker than the black pit of the abyss.

I believe this album was an inflection point for this ensemble (I hesitate to call them a band) because they seemed on the cusp of going from fully acoustic to adding electronics. Now, of course, AZ is pretty much 100% cold electronics, but this album may have been the genesis for this.

So, did it hold up for me? Well, kinda yes, kinda no. Back then that whole avant chamber prog scene was new and fresh to me, and when I heard this I nearly soiled myself at how malevolent it sounded. I totally dug it, and played the shit out of it, and pretty much picked up every Zoyd album before and since. The problem I’m having (with “I” being the operative word) is, I pretty much got off that chamber prog train about 10ish years ago. So, for that reason, this album didn’t move me, well…certainly not as much as hearing it in 1985.

That being said, this is Art Zoyd for pete’s sake, and Art Zoyd “did” this music better than anyone else out there at the time, and I think since. Big doff of the cap to Gérard Hourbette (RIP) and Thierry Zaboitzeff, the primary composers along with Patricia Dallio who was absolutely integral to the group for many years. You want this kind of music, reach for AZ first, and then move on from there. I still will recommend this album in a big big way! 

Archimedes Badkar – “Tre” (1977)

This is a great release and, unfortunately the only one I have by this “Swedish Embryo” as they are sometimes referred to. It also sounds like a HUGE band with numerous percussion players, lots of brass, piano, (excellent) drumming, and other exotic things like Kalimba (thumb piano). Generally, each song is based on a groove, and that groove can span the globe. I hear Balkan, African, Indian, Middle Eastern, Swedish (and others I’m probably missing) influences all blended together and chopped up into something that resembles world jazz. It’s most definitely jazzy, and it swings like mad too. On top of the rhythms, the group adds various melodies that, if listened to enough, I could easily see turning into earworms. Sometimes there is a “stoned hippy” vibe going on but hell, whatever they were smoking sure didn’t hinder their abilities to play…these guys were hot. If you feel like world music/jazz and you’ve exhausted your Embryo collection, move on to the Badkar, you won’t regret it!

Michael Eisenberg
meisenberg1@hotmail.com
https://twitter.com/Bigaudio999

Ostgut Ton To Host Online Stream Filmed At Berghain

Source: The Quietus.

Ostgut Ton has teamed up with streaming channel ARTE Concert to present a three-day livestream filmed at Berghain. The programming spans 19 hours of music across the three days, kicking off on July 28 and running through to July 30. It will include DJ sets and live performances from a number of the label’s core artists, as well as some Berghain regulars and friends. Among those performing across the three days are Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, KMRU, DJ Stingray 313, Avalon Emerson, Oren Ambarchi, Luke Slater, Barker, Terence Fixmer, Max Loderbauer, Jessica Ekomane and Zoe Mc Pherson.

Upcoming Elysium Furnace Works Shows

Source: Elysium Furnace Works.

Elysium Furnace Works is proud to present as part of an international tour the acclaimed Swiss saxophonist Christoph Irniger and his trio, featuring Raffaele Bossard on double bass, Ziv Ravitz on drums and percussion and also featuring a special guest: alto saxophonist Michaël Attias. Attias — a past member of bands of Paul Motian, Ralph Alessi and Kris Davis amongst others and last heard courtesy EFW as part of James Carney’s group which performed in Beacon in January, 2020 – joins the Christoph Irniger Trio as they celebrate their most recent release Open City on the Swiss label Intakt Records.

The Christoph Irniger Trio + Michaël Attias will perform at the Howland Cultural Center on Wednesday, September 22 at 8 PM. This will be a hybrid livestreamed and in-person event — tickets for the livestream will be $15, tickets purchased in advance for in-person attendance will be $20 and tickets purchased at the door the evening of the performance will be $25. In-person attendees must provide proof of COVID vaccination — a picture of a CDC vaccination card, or various COVID “passports” etc., will be acceptable forms of proof for admission to the HCC.

The Howland Cultural Center is located at 477 Main St. in Beacon, NY and its telephone number is (845) 831-4988. Advance tickets are available now at http://www.howlandculturalcentertix.com/.

Elysium Furnace Works’ 2021 roster embraces a fiercely independent, eclectic diversity, featuring exceptional artists from a wide array of musics. Other concerts EFW will present in 2021 include:

October 16: Joe Morris/Mat Maneri — Two of the most accomplished and exceptionally talented figures on their respective instruments, guitarist Morris and violist Maneri continue their decades-long collaboration, improvising melodic exchanges of startling complexity, nuance and fire;

November 20: Ras Moshe Burnett/Dafna Naphtali — Fresh off their debut recording Fuse Box, longtime associates mutli-instrumentalist Burnett (returning to the HCC for the first time in eight years) and electronic artist Naphtali conjure liberated sonic textures both otherworldly and deeply rooted;

December 11: Shelley Hirsch — The celebrated, fearless Downtown vocalist and composer closes out EFW’s 2021 season in her Beacon debut.

JazzTrail Reviews

Source: JazzTrail.

THE KILLING POPES – EGO KILLS

HANK ROBERTS SEXTET – SCIENCE OF LOVE

MATT MITCHELL & KATE GENTILE’S SNARK HORSE

YOONMI CHOI TRIO – 7 DAYS

WILLIAM PARKER – MAYAN SPACE STATION

ALTOIZM – ALTOIZM

GREGG BELISLE-CHI – KOI: PERFORMING THE MUSIC OF TIM BERNE

ADRIÁN MONCADA 6TET – INHABITABLE IMAGINATION

AMN Reviews: Camila Nebbia & Patrick Shiroishi – The Human Being As A Fragile Article (2021; Bandcamp); Camila Nebbia – Corre el río… (2021; Ramble Records)

This duet by experimental saxophonists Nebbia and Shiroishi explores human vulnerability through ten tracks of varying lengths. Along with freely-improvised sax warbling and fragments of thematic development, the pair also employs field recordings (birdsong, environmental noises), percussion (bells, chimes, tapping), spoken and chanted voice, and other elements. Their lines weave in and out of one another, shifting between clean and distorted tones, as well as from inside to outside and back again. The voices serve as yet another instrument rather than for purposes of song – a further layer of dialog between Nebbia and Shiroishi in addition to their sax work.

Corre el río… (I’m shortening a much longer 20+ word title), features an all-female quartet led by Nebbia and including Barbara Togander on vocals and turntables, Violeta García on cello, and Paula Shocron on piano, vocals, and percussion. The album centers around one very long piece (almost 40 minutes) that is a musical representation of an Argentine gender violence map covering January – July 2020. Such a serious topic deserves and receives a commensurately a serious approach from Nebbia and company.

In a structural improvisation with little in the way of melody or rhythm, García and Schocron contribute a muted sense of urgency with staccato percussion and grinding cello. This haunting soundscape is eventually overlaid with frenetic piano from Schocron and forceful outside sax explorations from Nebbia. While rough and textural, the piece covers a wide variety of moods and tones as it alternates between explosions of sounds and quieter moments. The voices are virtually continuous, again spoken rather than sung.

Admittedly, my first listen through was without reading the liner notes, and I came out of it with the gut reaction that this was a moving and compelling example of modern improv with a strange darkness hanging over it. After understanding the inspiration and source material for the album and listening again, I felt a more focused set of emotions – the anxiety and trepidation of that now-identified darkness.

AMN Capsule Comments: Mike Eisenberg’s Recent Playlist (July 25, 2021)

From time to time, AMN writer Mike Eisenberg revisits older albums that he has not listened to in a while and provides comments.

Feilu Gasull and Joan Albert Amargos – “Feilu i Joan Albert” (1977)

This album really deserves more recognition, not only from the prog borough but from music lovers in general. Why? Well, this is undeniably some fine FINE, very Spanish-influenced music.

Cousins Feilu (g) and Joan Albert (kbds) completely bring the house down with their virtuosity. Feilu sticks mostly to acoustic guitar with the occasional bass and electric guitar added at just the right times while Joan Albert is a ridiculously talented piano (and quite a bit of synths too) maestro. This is pretty much drummerless (not missed one iota) but they do drop some well-placed percussion, and on the one track that has a full kit (below)…well, let’s just say that when it presents itself, the proceedings turn into a full-blown orchestra. It was very unexpected and inserted perfectly in the grand scheme of things on this delightful record. The vibe? Very Catalonian, very energetic (thanks to Feilu’s brilliant guitar moves) and, very satisfying. Honestly, at 38 minutes I didn’t want it to end, it’s that good! Table pounding rec from me. 

Thelonious Monk – “Thelonious Monk-The Columbia years ’62-’68” (2001)  

I’m not even close to being a Monk completist, more like a “slightly better than casual” fan and, since I haven’t heard a decent size block in quite a few years, it was time for this re-do. I only have a 3 or 4 of his Columbia records so, I took the lazy way out and listened to this box instead of choosing which record to play.

The set is a great cross section of live and studio recordings of different aspects of his career, from solo piano renditions of “Round Midnight” and others, to trio’s, quartets, and even some of his 10-piece big band workups. Some of the recordings are restored and, for the most part, the recording quality is amazing on this box. My main takeaway…Monk’s piano playing was truly remarkable. Something clicked with me this time around…I always thought that his style was quirky/fun at best and ham-fisted at worse. Well excuse me for being so full of shit, his playing is brilliant and oh so original! What I previously thought of as being “ham-fisted” presented itself this time around as unique and wholly original. What sounded simplistic back in the day, now sounds totally appropriate…in service to the melody, the rhythm, and his other bandmates.  Mo Monk! 

Nikola Kodjabashia – “Reveries of the Solitary Walker” (2005)

Discovered this one through the ReR catalog, I liked the way Chris Cutler’s review read so that brought it up the want list. Couldn’t find much info on this but Kodjabashia is a Macedonian composer living in the classical world.

This record has him stepping out into a more minimal, Balkan-influenced folksy sound. Working with a small ensemble of piano, acoustic bass, some brass, percussion, and a violin duo I hear a very sparse, open soundscape that conjured images of bleak winter mornings. It’s a clean, crisp recording that sounds excellent through my earbuds as well as my speakers. Of note, I love the way the violins are recorded, it sounded like they were very close mic’ed so you were able to hear all the sounds you typically aren’t meant to hear like the creaking of the wooden body, the bow scrapes, etc. All in all, this is a great Balkan influenced contemporary music recording and comes highly recommended

Michael Eisenberg
meisenberg1@hotmail.com
https://twitter.com/Bigaudio999

Wayward in Limbo Recordings

Source: Wayward Music Series.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve been considering how we can most directly assist the artists who inhabit our particular niche of the Seattle music community.

With the Chapel closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wayward Music Series now moves from the concert hall to the living room. In place of our usual ten monthly concerts, Nonsequitur is curating and commissioning ten Seattle artists each month to create a series of streaming audio sessions of exclusive material. Many of these will be essentially “live” performances recorded at home for this occasion. Others may create a mix of pre-recorded material that has not been previously released elsewhere.

These tracks are available to stream at no charge on SoundCloud via the links below, and will be promoted like our concerts via our weekly e-newsletter, our Facebook group, and our Twitter feed. The artists retain all rights to their recordings. We strongly encourage you to visit their web sites and purchase their recordings or contribute to their personal crowdfunding campaigns.

This series will continue for as long as we are unable to use the Chapel for performances.

#129: Kyte Mika

Contemplative piano compositions.

#131: Lu Evers Trio

Lu Evers (clarinet), Amy Denio (accordion), Matty Noble (fiddle).

#133: Jonathan Way

Improvisations with dry plant materials recorded in the wild.

#130: Ben McAllister

Pieces for multiple electric guitars.

#132: Torch Quartet

Compositions for trumpet, clarinet, bass, and percussion.

#134: Carol J. Levin & Susie Kozawa

Duo improvisations for electric harp and various and sundry objects.

Jazzword Reviews 

Source: Jazzword.

Joe Moffett
Stress Positions

João Almeida
Solo Sessions* IIII

Gijs Levelt
Spoken

Three-Layer Cake
Stove Top

Brandon Seabrook/Simon Nabatov
Voluptuaries

Clément Janinet
La Litanie des Cimes

Trio Alta
Trio Alta

Youjin Sung/Simon Rose
Map of Dreams

Hafez Modirzadeh
Facets

Léo Dupleix/Bertrand Denzler
Plateaux

Urs Leimgruber/Jim Baker/Jason Roebke
Elastic

Lauroshilau
Live at Padova

Schubert/Schlippenbach/Blume
Forge

Alexander von Schlippenbach Quartett
Three Nails Left

Wadada Leo Smith/Douglas R. Ewart/Mike Reed
Sun Beams of Shimmering Light