Newsbits: Patton / Taylor / Weasel Walter / Experiments in Opera

Cecil Taylor Français : Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor Français : Cecil Taylor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 3rd, at the Holland Festival, Mike Patton and the Brussels-based Ictus Ensemble will pay tribute to Italian composer Luciano Berio with their own version of Laborintus II.

Articles about Cecil Taylor month in New York are here and here.

Weasel Walter is interviewed.

Experiments in Opera, which took place recently at New York’s Roulette and features Aaron Siegel and Matthew Welch, is reviewed.

AMN Picks of the Week

Mary Halvorson with Tom Rainey and Anti-House ...

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

This is the second “Picks” for this week. So much music has been coming out recently, another posting seemed justified.  And, yes, the new Mary Halvorson release is really good.

Gunnelpumpers –  Tritonium (2012)
Gianni Lenoci / Hocus Pocus Improvisors Orchestra – Ephemeral #2 (2008)
Vialka – Succès Planétaire International (2009)
Arcana – As Bright as a Thousand Suns (2012)
Mary Halvorson / Quintet – Bending Bridges (2012)
Desiderii Marginis – Procession (2012)
Asphalt Orchestra – Asphalt Orchestra (2010)

New Releases From Cyclic Law

From Cyclic Law, my favorite dark ambient label, four new releases. I’ve heard the first two, both of which are quite good.

ARCANA “As Bright As A Thousand Suns” CD (49th Cycle)

Four years after the release of their last full length album “Raspail”, and following their “Emerald” EP released earlier this year, ARCANA now offers us brand new material on their 7th full lenght album. As accustomed from this legendary act we are graced with Peter Bjärgö’s solemn voice echoing through the blend of strings, guitars, piano and a variety of percussion instruments. Ann-Mari Thim’s beautiful, picturesque soprano floats through the air together with Núria Luis’ emotional violin and Cecilia Bjärgö’s soft, mellow alto blends in with Mattias Borgh’s and Sergio Gamez Martinez’ percussive rhythms. As Bright as a Thousand Suns is a sincere and sapience filled opus from a mature collective, ten diverse songs of thoughts and emotions on one album of pure splendour.

DESIDERII MARGINIS “Procession” CD (48th Cycle)

“Procession” heralds the reawakening of the acclaimed swedish dark ambient project Desiderii Marginis, an album that sounds at the same time warmingly familiar and inspiringly new. While Desiderii Marginis is perhaps not as prolific as some other acts, it’s “quality over quantity” motto always makes it well worth the wait and this is certainly no exception. The eight pieces that make up this new album stand firmly on their own, and yet form an even more remarkable whole. Johan Levin envokes a grand soundscape, beneath the faded remnants of the celestial spheres where timbres have space to grow, evolve and reflect off each other, a sombre, melancholic thoughtfullness, a calm to dwell in, and long back to. The atmosphere of the album is not that of solid darkness, or an abyss opening beneath you, but rather a wintery pale, grey dusk casting long, sweeping shadows. A haze that makes you uncertain if it’s really getting lighter or darker. We’re honored to welcome Johan Levin’s long standing project to the ever expanding Cyclic Law family.

SHRINE “Somnia” CD (47th Cycle)

It’s with great pleasure that we present you the new album from Bulgaria’s Shrine. Somnia is a complex audio metaphor that can be interpreted as an aural equivalent of a “low level” lucid dreamstate – a dream in which the dreamer is not fully aware he is dreaming but is still having the ability to control the dream. Based on processing of multiple sound sources ranging from audio synthesis, acoustic instruments and field recordings, the album explores several imaginary realities immersing you into a lucid-like experience through sound. Almost an hour long, it contains 8 thematically independent compositions representing an extended blend of ambient, acoustic music and nature sounds. Use it as a sound guide to lucid dreaming.

BEYOND SENSORY EXPERIENCE “Modern Day Diabolists” CD/DVD (46th Cycle)

Beyond Sensory Experience are back with their seventh full length study – Modern Day Diabolists. BSE have reopened the dossiers and turned page to focus on life in the modern urban world. True to their ten-year pattern of evolution the dark ambience is more captivating than ever; complex soundscapes and consoling melodies combine with provocative rhythm structures and unsettling samples to generate a new profile of BSE. When business has stopped and lights are out what is left is Modern Day Diabolists.

Music and More Reviews

Vinny Golia 1
Vinny Golia 1 (Photo credit: michaelz1)

From Music and More:

John Zorn – Mount Analogue (Tzadik, 2012)
Terrie Ex/Paal Nilssen Love – Hurgu! (PNL, 2012)
Vinny Golia Quartet – Take Your Time (Relative Pitch, 2011)

Coming to the Vortex Jazz Club

British saxophonist Evan Parker performing liv...
British saxophonist Evan Parker performing live at Spicejazz, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From London’s Vortex Jazz Club:

Thur 10 | 8.30pm


Ma are one of the UK’s most experimental acts at the moment. Combining jazz, dub, warped VHS soundtrack-esque backdrops and fearless improvisation, the band deliver performances that have been described by Jazzwise as ‘Mesmerising’. Formed by Tom Challenger (saxophone, keyboards and compositions), and featuring for this gig Matt Calvert (electronics, synths) and Dave Smith (drums, sabar), the band has worked in a variety of formations that has produced two albums – Jyketie (2008) and their latest (and critically acclaimed) – The Last (2011).

Les Ocelots

Alt-Rock-influenced, post-jazz quintet Les Ocelots play contemporary instrumental music featuring the compositions of saxophonist James Marsh, guitarist Jean de Talhouet, bassist Ruth Goller and keyboardist Zac Gvirtzmann. The result is a wide ranging blend of off-kilter M-Base style Funk and global grooves and hip-hop, with influences such as Wayne Shorter and AKA Moon.


Fri 11 | 8.30pm

Flat Earth Society

From Belgium, Flat Earth Society are a 14-piece jazz ensemble playing music like few others. Led by clarinetist Peter Vermeersch, at its best live, the ensemble has both feet planted firmly in the avant-garde, and flirts with film, theatre and circus music, as well as burlesque and lounge. Releasing their 11th CD later this year, FES is able to draw freely on a vast and enlarging repertoire.



Sun 13 | 2.00pm

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 (vox), Jason Yarde (alto), Chris Batchelor (trumpet), Harry Brown (trombone), Adam Glasser (piano), Dudley Phillips (bass) and Frank Tontoh (drums).


Tue 15 | 8.30pm

George Crowley album launch

Rising star saxophonist George Crowley launches his debut album ‘Paper Universe’ (Whirlwind Recordings) with his stellar quartet including Kit Downes, Tom Farmer and James Maddren. The musical world of ‘Paper Universe’ is playful and unpretentious, but the songs themselves take the listener on a journey from gentle and lyrical to the tempestuous realms of freer improvisation, referencing an impressive range of influences, maturely and fondly treated by this engaging band.


Thur 17 | 8.30pm

Deco Heart featuring Evan Parker. Working at the edge of jazz, contemporary classical and New York downtown improv, Deco Heart is a duo featuring legendary violist Mat Maneri and the acclaimed Transylvanian expat pianist Lucian Ban.
With special guest saxophonist Evan Parker.


Sun 20 | 8.30pm

Mopomoso – free improvisation night

Mopomoso’s 21st anniversary year continues with an international line-up presenting some of the best in free improvisation.

Giorgio Albanese / Ricardo Tejero
Sylvia Hallett / Anna Homler
Kay Grant / Matthew Ostrowski / John Russell / Dave Solomon

New Releases from Leo Records

Fred Frith, moers festival 2010
Fred Frith, moers festival 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Leo Records:

CD LR 627 Stefano Mangia / Adolfo La Volpe / Stefania Ladisa / Angelo Urso – Ulysses
CD LR 632 Simon Nabatov Solo Piano – Spinning Songs By Herbie Nichols
CD LR 635 4tet – Different Song – Step In To the Future
CD LR 636 Lapslap – Granita
CD LR 631 Joelle Leandre / Fred Frith / Alvin Curran / Urs Leimgruber – Mmm
CD LR 634 Alexey Kruglov / Alexey Lapin / Oleg Yudanov – Impulse
CD LR 637 The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra – Evocations
CD LR 639 Tim Dorofeyev’s Project North and East