Coming up from Portland Eye and Ear Control

Some Portland shows, courtesy of Ear and Eye Control:

4/26/08 – Chiesa & Werchowski
April 26th, Saturday
David Chiesa & Mathieu Werchowski @ Reed College chapel

3/14/08: Burns/Wright/Spera, CMG
March 15th, Saturday
Gust Burns, Jack Wright, Fabrizio Spera @ Community Music Center
A CMG show, also involving Bob Jones and another local

3/23/08 – Tatsuya Nakatani w/ locals
March 23rd, Sunday
Tatsuya Nakatani @ Valentines

Matt Hannafin and Ben Kates, among others are playing

Pierre Boulez in New York

Boulez’s visit this week is reviewed.

The Chicago Symphony came to Carnegie Hall on Monday and Tuesday. Pierre Boulez, who happily leaves the three B’s and most of the M’s and S’s of the standard repertory to other conductors, offered pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Jazz Listings in New York

Jazz listing, from the Times

HARRIS EISENSTADT CANADA DAY (Sunday) Harris Eisenstadt, a drummer with strong experimental tendencies, explores his own compositions in this working band with the trumpeter Nate Wooley, the saxophonist Matt Bauder, the vibraphonist Chris Dingman and the bassist Eivind Opsvik. At 8:30 p.m., Banjo Jim’s, 700 East Ninth Street, at Avenue C, East Village, (212) 777-0869,; no cover. (Chinen)

OLIVER LAKE ORGAN QUARTET (Saturday) Oliver Lake, an alto saxophonist with a proving, adventurous style, works in a format traditionally geared toward grit and soul, with Jared Gold holding down the Hammond B-3 organ station. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village, (212) 242-1063,; cover, $15; $10 for members. (Chinen)

TRIO 3 (Thursday) Never mind the redundancy in the title, or the fact that this avant-garde collective actually works here as a quartet. The alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, the bassist Reggie Workman and the drummer Andrew Cyrille are battle-ready teammates; they stand only to gain from the addition of the pianist Geri Allen, as they proved in a similar engagement last year. (Through March 9.) At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, (212) 576-2232,; cover, $25. (Chinen)

VISION/RUCMA SERIES 2008 (Friday through Sunday) The Vision Festival and a separate but related organization, Rise Up Creative Music and Arts (RUCMA), have teamed up to present a slew of weekend concerts through the end of March. Friday’s program will feature the free-jazz collective Other Dimensions in Music; on Saturday the trumpeter and bass clarinetist Matt Lavelle leads a quartet, while Sunday will be the province of a quartet called Search. Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m., Sunday at 8 p.m., the Living Theater, 21 Clinton Street, between Houston and Stanton Streets, Lower East Side, (212) 696-6681,; $10; $7 for students (except Friday). (Chinen)

★ JOHN ZORN (Friday) An evening of firsts: Mr. Zorn makes his debut at St. Ann’s Warehouse, and also performs the public premiere of “The Dreamers,” a composition featured on a new Tzadik release of the same name. But it certainly won’t be his first time working with the guitarist Marc Ribot, the electronics specialist Ikue Mori or the keyboardist Jamie Saft, nor with the bassist Trevor Dunn, the percussionist Cyro Baptista or the drummers Kenny Wollesen and Joey Baron. At 8 p.m., St. Ann’s Warehouse, 38 Water Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn, (718) 254-8779,; $30. (Chinen)

New on Clean Feed

From Clean Feed:

Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore – A Calculus of Loss (CF 104)
Jason Stein, bass clarinet / Kevin Davis, cello / Mike Pride, percussion
Recorded on December 11th and 12th 2006 at the the Shape Shoppe, Chicago IL by Benjamin Balcom / Mixed by Benjamin Balcom / Mastered by Luís Delgado
Produced by Jason Stein / Executive production by Trem Azul / Design by Rui Garrido

Fan’s of the Chicago free jazz scene may recognize Jason Stein from his work in Ken Vandermark band Bridge 61, collaborations with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jeff Parker, and featured roles in other Midwestern ensembles. Stein started his musical life as a blues-and-rock guitarist, but Eric Dolphy changed his life. After hearing the groundbreaking woodwind innovator, Stein replaced his guitar with a bass clarinet. He later studied with Charles Gayle and Milford Graves. A flexible performer, he can go “mainstream” in the post-bop and free traditions or exploit novel situations, as, for example his work oboist Kyle Bruckmann in the experimental chamber jazz ensemble Wrack. His hard-driving presence on sessions with Peter Brotzmann and Fredrik Ljungkvist and his nuanced pitch and color manipulations for Lonberg-Holm and Parker demonstrate his versatility. The trio’s name, Locksmith Isidore, comes from Stein’s grandfather, a master locksmith who didn’t trust banks and hid his money inside an old sofa in his attic. The “loss” in the title refers to the calculations he made for the costs and benefits not having a bank account.

Empty Cage Quartet – Stratostrophic (CF 103)
Jason Mears: alto saxophone, clarinet / Kris Tiner: trumpet, flugelhorn / Paul Kikuchi: drums, percussion, electronics / Ivan Johnson: double bass
Recorded at Luna Records in Los Angeles, CA, August 13-14, 2006 by Jamieson and Roxy Trotter, assisted by Bryan Pettibone / Mixed and mastered by Wayne Peet at Newzone Studio in Los Angeles, CA / Cover art by Kio Griffith / Band photo by Allen D. Glass II /
Produced by The Empty Cage Quartet / Executive production by Trem Azul / Design by Rui Garrido

The Empty Cage Quartet consists of four musicians — saxophonist Jason Mears, trumpeter Kris Tiner, percussionist Paul Kikuchi and bassist Ivan Johnson — who have been praised consistently by critics as one of the most powerful and substantial new jazz groups to emerge from the American West Coast. Recorded during a hot summer in Los Angeles, Stratostrophic is a fiery set of original compositions that ranges from shuffle swing to free jazz blowouts, minimalist percussion loops to complex modernist gestures, funky stomps, odd-meter marches, robotic grooves, heavy rock, and nearly everything in between. The music is vigorous and methodic yet tender and reflective, dead-serious yet open to the occasional wry, sideways irony. As Wadada Leo Smith expresses in his liner notes, these young musicians are certainly on a path “to reach the whole truth of a creative music”.
New Clean Feed releases II

Scott Fields Freetet – Bitter Love Songs (CF 102)
Scott Fields, electric guitar / Sebastian Gramss, double bass / João Lobo, drums
Recorded 30 September and 1 October 2007, mixed 9 October 2007, at Topaz Studios, Cologne, Germany by Reinhard Kobialka / Mixed and mastered by Reinhard Kobialka / Produced by Scott Fields / Executive production by Trem Azul / Design by Rui Garrido / Cover art by Letitia Gaba — / Group photo by Geoff Lawrence

“Bitter Love Songs” is the first of Scott Fields’ recordings whose goal is extended blowing in the free-jazz tradition. All but one of the tracks on this CD follow the classic free-jazz model that masters such as Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy established. Catchy heads set up improvised sections, fragments taken from the head or outro interrupt the solos, and finally the original head, a variation, or an entirely new outro closes the composition. In the Coleman tradition these compositions are harmolodic in that they don’t follow chord changes. In spite of his adherence to this now-classic style (2008 marks 50 years since the release of Coleman’s début album “Something Else!!!!”), Fields does add his own twist. The compositions swing, but not in the traditional sense. Quarter-note walking-bass lines are avoided like the plague. When they do surface, they are quickly beaten back into submission by a dizzying array of odd time signatures, fractional beats, skips and stutters, and quirky turnarounds. The music is also stripped to its core to produce a kind of free-jazz reductionism. Fields set aside his collection of specialized bows, foot pedals, and implements of guitar torture, and instead plugged his guitar straight into a thick cable that was connected directly to a small amplifier. Gramss left his bow in its case and plays every note pizzicato. Lobo spurned brushes, mallets, bamboo rods, and their like and in favor of sticks throughout. The idea, Fields says, was to create a monochrome musical world in which the focus would be on subtle shifts in time and pitch. Fields had long thought about forming a Freetet and who might best fill the drum and bass chairs (he had settled on himself for guitar). The solution was provided during a series of gigs in Lisbon. For the release of his Clean Feed CD “Beckett” he had performed with musicians who were living in Portugal at the time. One was the drummer João Lobo. During the rehearsals for these gigs, and the performances themselves, he started to sense how well Lobo, with his quick wits and sensitive touch, would fit together with the power and determination of Sebastian Gramss, a bassist with whom Fields had played together in Cologne, Germany, where both live. His suspicions were confirmed when the three gathered in Germany first to explore ideas and later to record this CD.

Elliott Sharp – Octal: Book One (CFG 002)
Elliott Sharp, Koll 8-string electroacoustic guitarbass
Recorded, mixed, and mastered at Studio zOaR , NYC – August 2007 by Elliott Sharp / Produced by Elliott Sharp / Executive production by Trem Azul / Design by Rui Garrido

“Octal: Book One” is Sharp’s second solo recording for Clean Feed. The first was his all-acoustic take on Thelonious Monk. This time around, however, he tackles his own compositions and plays them on a custom-made electroacoustic “guitarbass,” which is a hollow-bodied electric guitar with two extra bass strings. Sharp has long worked with solid-bodied, double-necked guitar-basses, most notably in his noise-rich group Carbon. This new instrument is certainly more manageable than the earlier two-headed monsters, but its real advantage, and the one the Sharp exploits notably on this recording, is its acoustic qualities. He combines the acoustic and electric qualities of the Saul Koll guitar by placing one microphone close its sound hole, processing its built-in acoustic pickups, and running its magnetic pickup into a small amplifier and putting a microphone near that too. The result is a rich sound environment in which Sharp’s every snap, tap, pluck, wiggle, drone, and ebow activation feels completely organic. The eight notated, but spontaneously interpreted, Sharp originals on “Octal: Book One” sing as though they are alive.

Wayne Horvitz strengthens his place on the modern music map

Horvtitz is interviewed in anticipation of an upcoming show.

Horvitz — who brings his Sweeter Than the Day band to the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley on March 3 (sharing a bill with the Myra Melford/Ben Goldberg Quartet) — was a busy figure in what was known as the “Downtown” music scene in New York City in the 1980s. The East Village was a hotbed of musical experiments in which jazz, rock, free improvisation, modern classical and new music composition bled into one another. During that period, Horvitz performed or recorded with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Butch Morris, Fred Frith, Bobby Previte, Elliott Sharp, Robin Holcomb (his wife) and scores of others. He also co-founded the New York Composers Orchestra and organized a brilliantly eclectic fusion band called The President.

Secret Chiefs 3 in Cincinnati

SC3 are playing Cincinnati on Sunday and get previewed.

MUSIC: SECRET CHIEFS 3 Like with his pervious band, Mr. Bungle, Trey Spruance makes the music of Avant-Garde ensemble Secret Chiefs 3 refreshingly hard to pin down to just a couple (or a dozen) genres. Though slightly less maniacal, SC3 is the perfect next step for Spruance, as well as for Mr. Bungle’s fans from the ’90s. Formed during Mr. B’s run and featuring an ever-revolving lineup (the convoluted legend of the band says SC3 is actually an umbrella name for seven “sub-bands”), SC3 has grown from curious side-project to engaging, experimental juggernaut. Sautéed World music rhythms (from Arabic to Indian and beyond) blend with any number of tangents, including spurts of Death Metal and squiggly Surf Rock. It’s New Age music for the ADD generation, alternately majestic, frightening and playful. Frequent collaborators of experimentalist king John Zorn, the group’s latest CD, Xaphan: Book of Angels Volume 9, is a reworking of material from Zorn’s Masada “songbook,” a large collection of brief songs that were designed to be played by any collection of instrumentalists and use an overabundance of scales (just a few of the “rules” set up for the project, a la the film world’s “Dogme 95” movement). The album is out in early April, but SC3 will no doubt be playing plenty of the compositions when it performs this Sunday at Newport’s Southgate House. 859-431-2201.

Sonomu Reviews

From Sonomu:

Tom Hall, Floats self-released CD
Two slightly out there productions from Australian artist Tom Hall generated in a relatively short space of time. Fleure is a conceptual album drawing exclusively on sounds made by Story Bridge in Brisbane. The results land somewhere in between field recording and a musique concréte… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 09:54, 11 Feb 2008

Inch-Time, Thought Objects 3 CDR Static Caravan
Stefan Panczak debuted as Inch-Time with Static Caravan with a full-length CD released less than a year ago. Now he delivers a slimmer slice of music, which comes in a small, square brown envelope you must slice into with a letter opener. Inside, a sheet featuring a humourous drawing and the barest… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 09:48, 11 Feb 2008

Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Sleep Reseach Facility – Nostromo
After the release of their superb second album and one the ambient highlights of last year Deep Frieze, it seems only fitting that Cold Spring should revisit & reissue the projects first album from 2001 here presented with enhanced artwork and extra track.

Rameses III – Basilica
Here english Ambient/ slowed post-rock guitar and synth duo return with their second releases on Important after the simply stunning rural tinged ‘Honey Rose’ ep from last year. This double disk set brings together a disk of live recordings of new material and an remix/ re-contextualized versions of the live tracks by the likes of Robert Horton, Keith Berry, Gregg Kowalsky, Astral Social Club.

No Xivic Gelsomina – Furnace
Furnace is collaboration between two finish sound artists; No Xivic who’s know for his dark electro-acoustic soundscapes and Gelsomina who’s an prolific and inventive noise artist. Furnace offers up one long collaborative track and one each solo track- as a whole the album shows some surprising moments both structurally and sonically.

Svyatoslav Lunyov – Para Pacem- Para Bellum
Para Pacem- Para Bellum is a curious, original and cinematic rich mix of requiem masses, intricate piano beauty & discord, doomy organ unfold, industrial beat flavoured 80’s synth sound tracking, electro acoustic bounding & funeral ambience.