Coming to the Vortex Jazz Club

Steve Beresford

From London’s Vortex Jazz Club:

Friday 9 December | 8.30pm
Bleeding Heart Narrative

As interested in textures and orchestration as they are with rhythm and melody, theirs is a distinctive and captivating style that never settles on a single genre or approach, incorporating more abstract influences into traditional song structures and applying pop sensibilities to them as they go.

You might hear the shimmer of Tortoise or Steve Reich built into a song that could be played on an Arcade Fire-sized stage, or pick out a Battle-esque repetition in a Mogwai-sized crescendo – but it’ll always be Bleeding Heart Narrative you’re listening to.


Petrels debut record HAELIGEWIELLE is described as “A swirling cataract of a record, a deluge of beautiful noise and crushing melody, which ebbs and flows beneath the surface. Utilizing bowed strings, discarded electronics, found percussion and occasional vocals, the record unfolds over seven tracks and fifty minutes, from the portentous drone of the opening ‘After Francis Danby’ and shimmering ‘Silt’ through the work-song-like ‘Concrete’ and cascading rhythm of ‘Winchester Croydon Winchester’. Haeligewielle tells a forgotten story, buried underneath the stones and water”.


Sunday 11 December | 4.00pm

Township Comets

The Comets play the searing, joyous music of saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, a towering figure in township jazz and the European free scene. Featuring Pinise Saul (vocals), Chris Batchelor (trumpet), Jason Yarde (alto sax), Harry Brown (trombone), Adam Glasser (piano), Dudley Phillips (bass) and Frank Tontoh (drums).


Friday 16 December | 8.30pm

Blectum from Blechdom

Blevin Blectum and Kevin Blechdom will be playing a solo set each followed by a duo set as Blectum from Blechdom. Exceptionally irreverent and humorous their music, though experimental in nature with heavy glitch influences, is never pretentious and always rhythmic.

Formed in 1998 by Kristin Erickson (Kevin Blechdom) and Bevin Kelley (Blevin Blectum), the pair originally performed in the San Francisco Bay area, and their first album “The Messy Jesse Fiesta” won second prize for Digital Music at Ars Electronica in 2001.


Sunday 18 December | 7.30pm | £8/6 | Book online

Mopomoso – presents ‘Another Good Year’

Mopomoso’s annual end of year get together celebrating the strength and diversity in world of improvised music. Mopomoso’s annual end of year get together celebrating all things improvised. Something of an institution in the free improvisation calendar, the Mopomoso Christmas party provides an opportunity to listen to the varied and wide ranging approaches to the music in a less formal and friendly atmosphere.

Last year had over 50 musicians play 27 short sets! A wonderful chance to check out new groups/players and revisit old friends. So far confirmed: Steve Beresford, John Russell, Caroline Kraabel, Matthew Hutchinson, Daniel Thompson, Dave Solomon, Kay Grant, Lol Coxhill, Will Connor, Anthony Donovan, Matt Chilton…

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The Squid’s Ear Reviews

Matthew ShippFrom The Squid’s Ear:

Eliane Radigue – Transamorem – Transmortem (Important Records)
Dennis Rea – Views from Chicheng Precipice (Moonjune)
Atmospheres without Oxygen 4 – Live in Oxford (FMR)
Tiari Kese – Ave (&Records)
Matthew Shipp – Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear)
Bruno Duplant/Philo Lenglet/Rachel Wadham – Proverbes (Bug Incision)
Deep Joy Trio – Live in Austria (FMR)

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Mary Halvorson on Tour in December

English: Mary Halvorson with Tom Rainey and An...
Image via Wikipedia

From Improvised Communications:

Tonight, Mary Halvorson kicks off a busy December with the first of three European tour dates with the Ingrid Laubrock Octet.

The group, which also features Tom Arthurs (trumpet), Ted Reichman (accordion), Liam Noble (piano), Ben Davis (cello), Drew Gress (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums), will perform at Club w71 (Niederstetten, Germany) tonight, Tollhaus (Karlsruhe, Germany) tomorrow night, and Rote Fabrik (Zurich, Switzerland) on Saturday.

Sunday night, Ms. Halvorson will be back in New York to perform at The Stone with Matt Mitchell‘s Central Chain.

The rest of the month, which also includes the official debut of her new quartet, Reverse Blue, featuring Chris Speed (saxophone and clarinet), Eivind Opsvik (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums), is as follows.

12/14 :: Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-House @ Barbès (Brooklyn, NY)
12/15 :: Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up @ Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
12/17 :: Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet @ Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
12/20 :: Mary Halvorson’s Reverse Blue @ Cornelia Street Café (New York, NY)
12/23 :: Jim Hobbs’ Aych + Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet @ Outpost 186 (Cambridge, MA)
12/30 :: Tom Rainey Trio @ Cornelia Street Café (New York, NY)

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San Francisco Bay Area Scene

Matt Davignon Performing
Image by celesteh via Flickr

From Bay Improviser:

Thursday, December 8, 8pm
Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St. (@ 6th St.), San Francisco
OutSound presents Luggage Store New Music Series
Full Moon Concerts: Long Night’s Moon, an evening of space music, featuring ad-hoc groupings of improvisers.
* 8pm: Kristin Miltner (electronics), Matt Davignon (drum machine), Andrew Joron (theremin), Karl A.D. Evangelista (guitar).
* 9pm: David Leikam (moog, bass guitar), Sheila Bosco (drums), “Stereo” Steve Abbate (guitar), Amar Chaudhary electronics).
Video for both sets by Tim Thompson

Saturday, December 10, 8pm
The Lab, 2948 16th St., San Francisco
Droneshift: A large scale collaborative drone music event organized each year by Matt Davignon. Over 40 musicians will gather to contribute to a continuous 3 hour sound, each adding their acoustic or electronic elements here and there, and weaving their sounds together to create gradually shifting tapestries of music. Complete line-up available here.

Saturday, December 10, 8pm
Viracocha, 998 Valencia St., San Francisco
Live ‘n’ Local SF presents an evening of cutting-edge vocal chamber music with Ensemble Épouser performing Stravinski’s LES NOCES, Real Vocal String Quartet, and Theresa Wong’s Selmaduse trio.
* Ensemble Épouser: Dominique Leone (tenor), Kanoko Nishi (piano), Regina Schaffer (piano), Kate McLoughlin (soprano), Diana Pray (soprano), Elise Cumberland (mezzo-soprano), Danishta Rivero (alto), Alexandra Buschman (bass), Jordan Glenn (percussion), Jason Hoopes (upright bass), and Mark Clifford (mallets).
* REAL VOCAL STRING QUARTET: Irene Sazer (violin), Alisa Rose (violin), Dina Maccabee (viola), Jessica Ivry (cello).
* SELMADUSE: Theresa Wong (voice, cello, percussion), Cornelius Boots (bass clarinet, shakuhachi, percussion, flute, voice), Dohee Lee (percussion, voice, taepyeongso).

Sunday, December 11, 6pm
Cafe Royale, 800 Post St. (@ Leavenworth), San Francisco
Noertker’s Moxie Quintet: Annelise Zamula (tenor saxophone, flute), Amber Lamprecht (oboe, flute), John Vaughn (baritone sax, flute), Bill Noertker (contrabass), Dax Compise (drums).

Sunday, December 11, 7:30pm
Musicians Union Hall, 116 9th St. (@ Mission), San Francisco
OutSound presents SIMM Series
* 7:30 EftUp duo: Bob Marsh (piano), Rent Romus (saxophones)
* 8:30 μετα-रागजन्मा (Birth of a Meta-Rāga) Joe Lasqo (piano) CD release set of “Turquoise Sessions”

Sunday, December 11, 8pm
Berkeley Arts Festival, 2133 University Ave., Berkeley
Berkeley Arts Festival Presents Phillip Greenlief & Jon Raskin’s 3+3 project, featuring Greenlief & Raskin (saxophones), Tara Flandreau (violin), Kanoko Nishi (koto), Tim Perkis & Gino Robair (live electronics).

From Nebraska Mondays:

Monday, December 12, 7:30pm
Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento
Nebraska Mondays at Luna’s Cafe presents:
* Drifting Shapes (featuring Ruben Reveles)
* Bristle (Randy McKean, Murray Campbell, Lisa Mezzacappa, Cory Wright)

From Bay Improviser:

Tuesday, December 13, 9pm
Uptown Nightclub, 1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Active Music Series presents Citta di Vitti + Aram Shelton Quartet (featuring members of the Oakland Active Orchestra).
* Citta di Vitti: Phillip Greenlief (saxophone), Lisa Mezzacappa (bass), John Hanes (drums) + others performing live to Michelangelo Antonioni‘s masterpiece, L’Avventura.
* Aram Shelton Quartet: Aram Shelton (reeds), Mark Clifford (vibraphone), Anton Hatwich (bass), and Vijay Anderson (drums).

Wednesday, December 14, 7:30pm
Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell St., San Francisco
Meridian Music: Composers in Performance presents,
Tom Bickley and Adria Otte performing electro-acoustic solos and duos.

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Coming to the Windup Space

From Baltimore’s Windup Space:

Saturday, Dec. 17
9:00 pm

The Windup Space
12 W. North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

Seabrook Power Plant and Les Rhinoceros at Wind Up Space with opening local guest jazz heroes Quartet Offensive !!

Seabrook Power Plant:
“Frank Zappa got it right when he referred to Steve Vai’s style as “stunt guitar,” and up to a point, Brandon Seabrook champions that strain of metalloid virtuosity. But on 2010’s Seabrook Power Plant and the new Seabrook Power Plant II, the guitarist fucks with our heads by playing much of his crazy-impossible music on banjo…The extraordinary sonic color, rhythmic daredevilry and sheer filth coming from Seabrook’s instruments can be downright alarming— Drummer/brother Jared Seabrook and bassist Tom Blancarte help keep it fun. Catch ’em live and you’re surely in for it.”
-David R. Adler

Les Rhinoceros:
Hailing from the Washington, DC area, the young band Les Rhinocéros delivers a crazy world in sound, blending aspects of rock, world music, noise, ambient and jazz. The trio of teenagers was formed in 2008 while the players were still in high school, and has developed since then into an intense and wildly imaginative group that takes music to its extremes. Emotional, minimalistic, intense and grooving, this is music that goes beyond imagination to the edges of sanity. The group continues their sonic experiments by adding unusual instruments into the traditional rock band setting.” – Tzadik

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