Jimmy Bennington Chicago Area Shows

Source: Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound Jazz.

Thursday, December 14, 6:30-7:30pm at Found Kitchen & Social House (1631 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201)

Thursday, December 21, 6:30-7:30pm at Found Kitchen & Social House (1631 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201)

Thursday, December 28, 6:30-7:30pm at Found Kitchen & Social House (1631 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201)

Sunday Jan 7, 2018, 7-10pm at the Heartland Cafe Bar: Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound featuring Jimmy Bennington, drums- Fred Jackson (AACM), saxophone- Artie Black, saxophone- Dustin Laurenzi, saxophone- Mike Harmon, bass.

Sunday Feb 4, 2018, 7-10pm at the Heartland Cafe Bar: Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound featuring Jimmy Bennington, drums- Fred Jackson (AACM), saxophone- Artie Black, saxophone- Dustin Laurenzi, saxophone- Mike Harmon, bass.


ISSUE Project Room Winter Schedule

Source: New York’s ISSUE Project Room.

ISSUE is pleased to announce select programs from the upcoming winter season, opening with a screening of Brooklyn-born film pioneer Ken Jacobs’ 3D film A Primer in Sky Socialism (1/13). The film is presented alongside the premiere of a score by Aki Onda, presented live with Alan Licht. Baltimore-based pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn also performs.

Additional programs include Artist-In-Residence Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste & LaMont Hamilton sequentially performing a 24 hour interpretive cycle of their parts of Julius Eastman opening The Kitchen’s That Which is Fundamental festival (1/19 to 1/20) .

Early in the season, ISSUE presents Sarah Davachi and Gabi Losoncy, two artists charting critical new contexts for composition & sound art (1/26), as well as an evening of site-responsive performances from Olivia Block, Drew McDowall and Lea Bertucci (2/10).

Syncretics Series, curated by Chris McIntyre, includes multiple performances: the first with Craig Taborn & Kris Davis, two of the most revered pianists in the experimental improvisation scene (2/15), the second with Eric Wubbels and Adam Tendler, performing a program of new compositions + works from David Lang, Elodie Lauten, Frances Rose White, and Tom Johnson (2/17).

Of special note, ISSUE presents a rare appearance from Argentine acousmatic composer Beatriz Ferreyra alongside Obfuscation Morphologies, a new work by Eric Frye, both working in eight-channel sound (2/24). In early March, computer music pioneer Carl Stone performs overlapping improvisations with Ned Rothenberg and Tokyo-based cross-media artist Ami Yamasaki (3/2).

2018 Artist-In-Residence Brandon Lopez premieres Fairer Than Tongue, a new work dedicated to Pedro Albizu Campos (leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Movement) (2/3). Stay tuned for further announcements from 2018 Artists-In-Residences Will Rawls, Julia Santoli, and James K.

Queer Trash (2018 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow) presents Brutal Measures (Lydia Lunch + Weasel Walter), Keijaun Thomas, and Straight Panic (3/10) — an evening of unhinged sound, linguistic onslaught, and remorseless rupture of the structures of power and subjugation in which everyone is implicated.

Avant Scena Reviews

English: Fred Frith performing in Wallingford,...

Source: Avant Scena.

Gregory Oakes – “Aesthetic Apparatus: Clarinet Chamber Music of Helmut Lachenmann” (New Focus Recordings, 2017)

People in Motion + Fred Frith – “The Clit Stop” (object-a, 2017)

José R. Sosaya – “Im​-​Pulsos: Música Instrumental y Electroacústica (1989​-​2000) {Sounds Essentials Collection Vol 8}” (buh records, 2017)

KONSTRUKT & KEIJI HAINO – “A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little That Way Lies A Quagmire” (Karlrecords, 2017)

Deep Tide Quartet – “See One, Do One, Teach One – 64CD” (Discus Music, 2017)

Favourite Animals – “Favourite Animals” (Luminous Label, 2017)

Roulette’s Winter Season Announced

Source: Roulette.

Tue, Jan 16 PROTOTYPE Festival: Stranger Love
Wed, Jan 17 PROTOTYPE Festival: Stranger Love
Fri, Jan 19 Kit Fitzgerald and Peter Gordon: Into the Hot, Out of the Cool
Sat, Jan 20 Audrey Chen Duo: Voices
Sat, Jan 27 [RESIDENCY] Lucie Vítková: Spectacle

Fri, Feb 2 Gary Lucas: The Films of Curtis Harrington
Sun, Feb 3 Vincent Chancey and Newman Baker: 2/4/THREE
Thurs, Feb 8 Sarah Goldfeather
Tues, Feb 13 Mixology: Gotye Presents a Tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey
Wed, Feb 14 Mixology: Daisy Press & Nick Hallett // Rachika
Thurs, Feb 15 Mixology: Causings // Plan 23
Fri, Feb 16 Mixology: Jantar // Gaiamamoo
Sun, Feb 18 Min Xiao-Fen with Rez Abbasi: The Goddess
Wed, Feb 20 Joe Diebes + BOTCH Ensemble: oyster
Thurs, Feb 21 Joe Diebes + BOTCH Ensemble: oyster
Tues, Feb 27 [RESIDENCY] Amirtha Kidambi
Wed, Feb 28 Bearthoven: New Works

Fri, Mar 2 Bobby Previte
Tues, Mar 13 Jin Hi Kim, Elliott Sharp, William Parker, and Hamdi Drake
Wed, Mar 14 Aaron Burnett and the Big Machine: New Spectrums in Electronic Acoustics
Sun, Mar 18 Will Mason
Mon, Mar 26 John Abercrombie: Timeless: A Tribute To His Life And Music
Wed, Mar 28 String Orchestra of Brooklyn: String Theories I: String Noise + Greg Saunier
Thurs, Mar 29 String Orchestra of Brooklyn: String Theories II: The Rhythm Method: Siren Songs
Fri, Mar 20 String Orchestra of Brooklyn: String Theories III: Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, Tony Conrad, Zach Layton

Vital Weekly Reviews 1110

Source: Vital Weekly.

SZMT – PARVENU (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
ROD MODELL – DAWN, DUSK AND DARKNESS (CD and book by Silentes) *
JESSE JONES – EPHEMERA (CD by Innova Recordings)
INNLAANDDS – SAME (CD by Wide Ears Records)
VOMIR – CLOITREZ ET TUEZ VOUS TOUS (CD by 4iB and Narcolepsia)
COOLHAVEN – RODE PRUIK (10” plus book by De Player)
ITDREAMEDTOME – A.Y. (CDR by Trome Records) *
TART – ON THE RADIO (cassette by Lathelight)
SPINIFEX M – REVISION4 (cassette by Lathelight)
EKIN FIL – INFLAME; ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK (cassette by The Helen Scarsdale Agency)
STELZER/MURRAY – CONNECTOR (cassette by The Helen Scarsdale Agency)
HABEMUS SITZFLEISCH – LWO CONCRETE SCHATZEN (cassette by Luftschiffhalle Lustheimstrasse) *
ARTEFACTS (cassette compilation by Default)

Edgetone Records Holiday Releases

English: Rent Romus performing at the San Fran...

Source: Edgetone Records.

Rob Pumpelly, Rent Romus, Eli Wallace – The Expedition
This project culminated from a series of live performances throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Expedition is a set of spontaneous intuitive explorations recorded in Oakland California in 2016 featuring saxophonist Rent Romus with drummer / percussionist Rob Pumpelly and pianist Eli Wallace both of whom perform as the duo Dialectical Imagination.
Rob Pumpelly – drums/percussion
Rent Romus – alto, soprano, c-melody saxophones
Eli Wallace – piano

Romus’ Lords of Outland – In the darkness we speak a sound brightness and life
Saxophonist, composer Rent Romus started the Lords of Outland in 1994 a collective of like-minded musicians exploring improvisation, melody, noise, and sound art. The group develops original music ranging from unhinged free improvisation to thematic composition suites inspired by abstract and socio-political poetry, science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Throughout the the group’s rich history it’s core roster has changed numerous times as well as featuring pioneers in the music including Vinny Golia, John Tchicai, Hasan Abdur-Razzaq, LA Jenkins, and Josh Allen.
Rent Romus – alto, soprano, c-melody saxophones, flute, overtone flutes
Collette McCaslin – trumpet, soprano saxphone, no-input analogue pedals
Philip Everett – drums, analogue synth, Xlarinet and lapharp
Ray Schaeffer- electric six-string bass, effects

Sunny’s Space-Time Now

Without question, Sunny Murray would take a prominent place in the history of jazz innovators even if he had only made two recordings: the 1962 live session with Cecil Taylor at the Cafe Montmartre, Copenhagen, and the Albert Ayler Trio’s 1964 landmark ESP-Disk debut, Spiritual Unity. Prior recordings by Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman freed up jazz melodies from traditional Western chord progressions, but they did so with the backing of conventional hard-bop rhythm sections. Murray broke through that remaining barrier and freed jazz time for new and previously uncharted realms of rhythmic exploration.

Nearly half a century later, I feel like we still lack the proper terminology with which to describe Murray’s innovations. That old warhorse, the metronome, is usually trotted out but really becomes something of an antithetical strawman, here and also with respect to traditional swing, which eludes adherence to a strict number of beats per minute either–unless it’s, say, a consistent millisecond or two ahead of or behind the metronome. Critics will often prefer the term “pulse” when discussing Sunny’s time, but that too strikes me as inadequate because, when not quickened or slowed by some kind of stimuli, a pulse usually remains fairly regular.

Phil Freeman, in his well-researched piece for The Wire, describes “Murray’s ability to break down bar lines and go from bebop timekeeping to creating an amorphous, pulsing rhythm.” Murray creates and responds to pulses to be sure, but far more than that I hear reverberations and echoes, sounds not just in space but shaping and forming it. WHAP WHAp WHap Whap whap goes his snare, for example, and the presence of that sonic shape and form remain long after the moment of its temporal creation has passed. Elsewhere in the space, the hi-hats are chattering constantly, chik chik chik chik chik. If Kenny Clarke’s bop drumming innovation shifted the kit’s primary time-keeping function from the kick drum (as it had been in swing) to the ride cymbal, perhaps Murray elevated the hi-hats to that role, and not just on the off-beats. There is no off-beat in Sunny’s time: every beat is on. And on(e).

And then, the cymbals… here too, the conventional distinction between “ride” and “crash” cymbal carries little relevance. Both shimmer, shudder and sing, the melodies determined in part by their different weights and densities. And herein, I think, lies the heart of Murray’s music: his playing adds and removes different densities to the overall field he creates and shapes with his collaborators, each at times approaching the creation of, if not a black hole that would suck the whole universe into it, perhaps neutron stars, pulsars rather than pulses?

Sunny’s space-time forces nothing short of a belated musical reckoning with Einstein’s insights and an acknowledgement of the spatial qualities inherent to time. The poet Clark Coolidge, who in his early career as a jazz drummer found him gigging with one of Murray’s earliest bandmates in the Cecil Taylor groups, bassist Buell Neidlinger, puts it this way:

As a drummer you’re holding time’s cutting edge in your right hand (ride cymbal), a simultaneity of holding and shaping. You occupy the center of the sonic sphere, the world, and ride it and bear it, inviolable (why heroin is Bop’s perfect chemical). And everything that happens there happens once and at once. Once and Ounce, Groove and Chord, Wave and Particle: the Complementarity of Bop. (Now It’s Jazz 93-94)

Of all the tribute I have read in the wake of Murray’s passing this past week, I think Hank Shteamer gets closest to my sense of Murray’s presence and force in the music: “Murray hovers as a kind of restless background spirit. It might seem too convenient to equate the supernatural overtones of Ayler’s music (‘Spirits,’ ‘Ghosts,’ etc.) with Murray’s place in the music, but I think there is something inherently otherworldly about his playing.” Shteamer goes on, rightly I think, to call Murray an “outlier” but resists “portray[ing] him as some inscrutable savant.” These are words worth exploring a bit further.

Murray certainly occupied a place at some remove from our established or acknowledged centers or systems. There’s no easy placing him in a pantheon of percussion peers and precursors. Ayler’s self-styled trinity offers no quaternary parallel for the likes of Rashied Ali, Andrew Cyrille, Milford Graves and Sunny Murray. As much if not more than any of his immediate peers, however, time and again it was his swing and bop elders that Murray regularly cited and praised as forming the society he sought, a lineage he traced going back to Sid Catlett, whom he recounts coming to him one night in the late 1950s in a vision fueled in part by cooked wine laced with ground nutmeg.

As Emily Dickinson’s poem reminds us, “The soul selects her own society,” and sometimes it’s an odd fit. The most vivid demonstration of this comes in the footage from a night at the 1968 Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers take the stage for a full set. Next is Max Roach, who performs a briefer solo set. Then the Elvin Jones Trio, with Joe Farrell and Jimmy Garrison, does a full set. Then comes Sunny Murray for a solo set.

Unlike the other acts that were set up more centrally on the stage, Murray’s kit is set up far stage left near the curtains. He walks out and apologizes while he finishes setting up and adjusting his kit. Then he begins straight away, working the kit and himself up with full force, adding to it that otherworldly vocal moan heard on his recordings with Ayler. It’s both fascinating and disturbing to watch, as Murray’s facial expressions continuously flicker between roar and grimace for nearly the full, brief set, which ends abruptly when Murray loses the grip on the drumstick in his right hand (which, it should be remembered as he tells Jason Weiss in Jazz Times, was missing parts of his middle fingers due to an accident Murray suffered while working in a Philadelphia steel factory).

He bows and walks off to decent applause, and as members of the previous groups return to the stage, it becomes clear that a jam session will conclude the proceedings. With Blakey and Jones already behind their kits, Murray rejoins the stage for an up-tempo bop number, playing along for part of it, given a solo opportunity by the others, and at times just sitting out. The number concludes and the audience applauds enthusiastically, which Murray receives while taking his place standing side-by-side with Jones.

The two or three years Murray spent working through the ranks or hard bop were significant, but far more valuable were the few years after that time he spent woodshedding with a pianist who lived in the same lower Manhattan loft, Cecil Taylor. That work bore immediate fruit, though the 1960 recordings for Candid originally omitted tracks that included Murray, and the 1961 Impulse recordings were released under the banner of the Gil Evans Orchestra.

From the November 1962 recordings at the Cafe Montmarte, Copenhagen, to the July 1964 Spiritual Unity session, Murray demonstrates not only a clearly formed style but a versatility in adapting that style to different players. With Taylor, Murray settles into something like a heartbeat’s THUMP-thump pulse, combined with the gallop of a thoroughbred horse or possibly a bucking bronco. With Ayler, however, those snare drum WHAPs are more clearly an insistently setting up those spatial densities and reverberations I talked about earlier.

Murray’s first sessions as a leader remain impressive in their own respects. Sonny’s [sic] Time Now sounds almost identical to its contemporary Ayler Quintet recordings except that the compositions are all Murray’s. Thus it’s a rare delight to hear Ayler as a sideman soloing along with the bandleader’s tunes. Murray’s self-titled ESP-Disk date would be worthwhile solely for debuting both Byard Lancaster and Jacques Coursil. The additional saxophonist here, Jack Graham, appears not to have made any additional recordings.

Such was part of the pleasure in revisiting the Murray recordings I could this past week–as with so many contemporary outlier artists, his back catalog is in shambles. Michael Ehrlers made a fine choice reissuing 1969’s Big Chief on his Eremite label, and excellent international octet session including another one-off appearance, this time by poet Hart LeRoy Bibbs.

I find the late-1960s free-jazz blowing sessions found mostly on BYG and a few other labels to be a mixed bag, tainted by the stories advanced by Murray and others of BYG’s lack of payments to the artists and other gangster tactics. I was only able to revisit his sideman sessions during this period, not his leader dates, but the clear standouts to me are Dave Burrell’s Echo and Clifford Thornton’s Ketchaoua. These are very well balanced performances: Burrell splits the album with side one’s title track blowing session and side two’s aptly-titled “Peace,” which features a simple major scale as its main theme. Thornton’s offering as balance throughout, with fierce blowing tempered by expansive space and assorted percussion.

One odd contribution Murray makes during this period is to the Black Gypsy and Pitchin’ Can session, partly under the joint leadership of Archie Shepp and blues harmonica player and singer Chicago Beau (who also featured on some contemporaneous Art Ensemble of Chicago recordings). The title track of “Black Gypsy” calls for a 4-bar backbeat, which Murray never quite sustains. Shepp plays soprano sax exclusively here, to which I have no objection as some critics do; the other reed player acknowledge though, Noah Howard, remains in the altissimo register for the entire track.

Other standouts from my week’s relistening come from the 1970s and Murray’s working group of the time, The Untouchable Factor. Charred Earth (Kharma 1977) is a quartet date with Lancaster, Burrell and Bob Reid, featuring two covers (“Seven Steps to Heaven” by Miles Davis and “Peace” by Horace Silver) along with three Murray originals. Apples Cores (Philly Jazz 1978) features larger lineups various players, some otherwise unknown to me and worthy of more attention: guitarist Monnette Sudler, soprano player Frank Foster, and Youseff Yancy on trumpet and electronics. More well-known players include Don Pullen, Cecil McBee, Fred Hopkins, Arthur Blythe, Oliver Lake, and Hamiet Bluiett. The standout track for me, though, is the 18+ minute epic “New York Maze,” which features some especially inspired soloing from Bluiett.

There’s so much more that needs to be said and discovered about James Marcellus Arthur Murray, which leads me back to Hank Shteamer’s other choice phrasing that I didn’t explore earlier, namely his resistance to “portray[ing Murray] as some inscrutable savant.” I get Shteamer’s point, but I think an emphasis on the positive connotations of that phrase can go far to mitigate our hesitation. We have to know our “unknowable knowers,” now more than ever.

–Tom Orange