Sonomu Reviews

Sonomu offers a fresh set of reviews:

Feu Follet, Toi et le Son (CDR Einzeleinheit)
A lovely release featuring two, eighteen-minute quasi-drone works created by Tobias Fischer last October. The drone is a many-splendoured thing, and comes in so many different forms, sometimes evolving so very slowly over a long duration as to appear virtually stagnant in the listener´s ears,… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 08:10, 31 Aug 2006

Tie Guan Yin Duo, Viva La Vaches (Kwan Yin)
Half an hour of machine-like oscillations morphing into more sweetly-pitched ambient which then disintegrates into corrosive noise before turning back into a pleasing ambient drift which devolves back into the realm of noise…. And so it goes on this beautifully designed effort by the Tie Guan… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 08:04, 31 Aug 2006

Vidna Obmana, The River of Appearace (2 CD Projekt)
The “Everest” to which any ambient artist should aspire. The zenith of the first generation of post-Eno, mid-nineties ambient. As the present author wrote in an article for a Swedish daily upon the release of “The River of Appearance” in 1996, “In his fine book ´Oceans of Sound´, David Toop… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 07:54, 28 Aug 2006

Mathias Grassow & Guests, Opus Posthumum (Practising Nature)
For this CDR, like his other CDR on Practising Nature, Dronament, Mathias Grassow invites a handful of friends to accompany him, including Jim Cole (harmonic singing), Kai Schröder (self-built “Veena”, an Indian string instrument, as well as electric bass and field recordings) and Klaus Wiese… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 10:30, 17 Aug 2006


David Berkman Quartet at Firehouse 12


Friday, October 6th at 8:30 and 10:00 p.m.
David Berkman Quartet
Firehouse 12
45 Crown Street in New Haven, CT
Tickets are $15 (opening set) and $10 (second set)
Tickets and info are available at or (203) 785-0468
Learn more about David Berkman at
Music sample available at
Downloadable hi-res images available at

David Berkman, piano/composer; Jimmy Greene, saxophones; Thomas Morgan, bass; Ted Poor, drums

Media Contact for Firehouse 12:
Scott Menhinick, Improvised Communications
(617) 489-6561

New York pianist/composer David Berkman will bring his quartet to New Haven for a two-set October 6th performance at Firehouse 12. Berkman is known to critics as “a scintillating composer and improviser” (Steve Futterman, Entertainment Weekly) who makes music that is “sophisticated but unpretentious” (Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes). This latest configuration of his working group features saxophonist Jimmy Greene (Horace Silver, Harry Connick, Jr., Freddie Hubbard), bassist Thomas Morgan (Kenny Werner, Dave Binney, Josh Roseman) and drummer Ted Poor (Cuong Vu, Chris Potter, Ben Monder).

In a 2002 critic’s pick feature, the Chicago Reader’s Neil Tesser wrote, “His compositions are cerebral, certainly: their splendidly crafted harmonies and form reveal subtly original thinking on his part and invite the same from his soloists. But Berkman goes way beyond theoretical constructs, turning his ideas into lyrical melodies and eminently likable tunes that should please even those who don’t know a diminished chord from a turnaround. And, like such spiritual forebears as Elmo Hope and Horace Silver, Berkman knows as a pianist how to best exploit his compositions: he uses rich solos sometimes to explore a song’s theme, sometimes to limn the harmonic potential, and sometimes to link the work of the other soloists into a unified performance.”

“Berkman is reclaiming ground that seemed lost to jazz posterity,” declared The Guardian’s Bob Flynn after a quartet performance in Glasgow, “he has an Ellingtonian sense of grace combined with driving rhythms and abstract surprises. More an inventor than radical reformer, he keeps his compositions concise but leaves his experimental options open.” An established bandleader with a frequently noted background as an award-winning fiction writer, Berkman has performed all around the world and recorded four CDs for Palmetto Records. He is also an award-winning clinician and veteran sideman/arranger who has collaborated with many of the most prominent names in jazz, including Dave Douglas, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Cecil McBee, and Jane Monheit. More information is available at

About Firehouse 12:

Firehouse 12 is an award winning full-service bar, state-of-the-art recording studio and unusually intimate performance space located in New Haven’s historic Ninth Square District. Painstakingly renovated over the course of four years by owner/producer/engineer Nick Lloyd and Gray Organschi Architecture, this once-abandoned firehouse building has become a major part of New Haven’s cultural renaissance since opening its doors in April 2005. It has also quickly gained a reputation as one of the premier recording studios and creative music venues on the East Coast.

A 2006 Best Studio Design Project nominee for the prestigious Technical Excellence and Creativity (TEC) Awards (, the recording studio features world-class acoustic design by renowned acoustician John Storyk of Walters-Storyk Design Group. The striking 1200-square foot space features a Steinway concert grand piano, and doubles as an 80-seat public venue with unparalleled technical possibilities for some of the most respected names in creative music. Past performers include Han Bennink, Tim Berne, Dave Douglas, Susie Ibarra, Joe McPhee, Joe Morris, William Parker and Mario Pavone among many others.

In a June 2005 feature, New Haven Independent’s Regina DeAngelo called Firehouse 12 “a north star in the jazz firmament that might well guide music lovers to New Haven from far away.” She went on to write, “fabric-covered walls are angled to urge music to flow, not bounce, through a womb-like space. It’s almost like sitting in the hull of an instrument. Luckily, the Firehouse attracts people who bring near-religious reverence to the music, producing an exchange of energy that often fires great performances.” James Keepnews of the New Haven Advocate echoed DeAngelo’s praise, calling the venue a “remarkable new cultural outpost” and “a resounding success.” Yale University’s Associate Vice President of New Haven and State Affairs Michael Morand recently called the space “a wonderful addition to New Haven’s role as the cultural capital of Connecticut.”

Find out more at

Complete Fall 2006 Concert Season:

09/22 :: Matthew Shipp
09/29 :: Carla Marciano 4tet
10/06 :: David Berkman Quartet
10/13 :: Nate Wooley and Blue Collar
10/20 :: Andrew Cyrille/Greg Osby Duo
10/27 :: Pete Robbins and Centric
11/04 :: Dave Allen Quartet
11/10 :: Stephen Haynes and Bugaboo
11/17 :: Dominique Eade/Jed Wilson Duo
12/01 :: Ben Allison Quartet
12/08 :: Wayne Escoffery Quartet
12/15 :: Gerald Cleaver & Violet Hour

Anthony Braxton at Wesleyan

A duo of Braxton shows have been announced for December:

Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 08:00 PM

Anthony Braxton Large Ensemble

Professor Braxton’s student ensemble performs his music.
Location: Crowell Concert Hall
Admission: Free admission
Sponsor: Center for the Arts
Contact: 860-685-3355
Friday, December 08, 2006, 08:00 PM

Anthony Braxton Small Ensemble

Saxophonist, composer and professor Anthony Braxton performs in an intimate small-ensemble setting.
Location: Crowell Concert Hall
Admission: Free admission
Sponsor: Center for the Arts
Contact: 860-685-3355

Alfredo Costa Monteiro – two albums

Free Albums Galore has dug up two interesting free downloads:

Genre: Other, Avant-Garde, Improvisation

Alfredo Costa Monteiro provides two unusual online albums of a highly experimental nature. The recordings uses common non-musical items to create the music. No other effects, electronic or otherwise, are used.

Rubber Music is music created entirely by rubber bands. This is rather melodic as the rubber bands are mostly plucked like a slightly out-of-tune harp or scraped like a violin. The sounds remind me of John Cage’s pieces for prepared piano. While avant-garde, this is quite listenable and can lull you into another reality.

Paper Music is a bit different. This time the sounds are made by paper. Nothing more and nothing less. It is again a very creative and imaginative work but not as accessible as the former album. While it is a fascinating album the result is just a little too much like fingernails on a blackboard for my taste. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating album for both its concept and application.