AMN Picks of the Week: Kerretta / Rich Halley / Fujii / Adams / McGuffin Electric

English: Japanese avant-garde jazz pianist and...

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.

Kerretta – Saansilo (2011)
Rich Halley 4 – Crossing the Passes (2013)
Satoko Fujii / New Trio – Spring Storm (2013)
John Luther Adams – Four Thousand Holes (2011)
McGuffin Electric – Brightelephant (2013)

Jazz Listings From The New York Times


Tim Berne at the Stone (Tuesday through May 12) Last year Mr. Berne, an alto saxophonist and composer of granite conviction, released “Snakeoil” (ECM), a gorgeous, brooding statement featuring his deftly chamberlike working quartet. The same group — with Oscar Noriega on clarinets, Matt Mitchell on piano and Ches Smith on drums — will anchor the first stretch of Mr. Berne’s residency at the Stone next week, from Tuesday through Thursday. (Next weekend he’ll work in other settings.) At 8 and 10 p.m., Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $15 for each set. (Chinen)

The Checkout: Live From 92YTriBeCa Featuring Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom / Sex Mob (Wednesday) Ms. Miller, a drummer of propulsive adaptability, leads the current version of her Boom Tic Boom band, with the pianist Myra Melford, the cornetist Kirk Knuffke, the bassist Todd Sickafoose and the singer Rachel Friedman. Presented by 92YTriBeCa and “The Checkout,” on WBGO (88.3 FM), the concert will also feature Sex Mob, the pugnacious four-piece effectively led by the trumpeter Steven Bernstein, drawing from a self-explanatory new album, “Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti (Sex Mob Plays Fellini: The Music of Nino Rota)” (Royal Potato Family). At 8 p.m., 92YTriBeCa, 200 Hudson Street, at Canal Street, (212) 601-1000,; $12 in advance, $15 day of the show. (Chinen)

Ellery Eskelin Quartet (Friday) Ellery Eskelin is a tenor saxophonist drawn to rhythmic tumult and tonal friction, qualities he should have no problem fostering with this band, with Jacob Sacks on piano, Brad Jones on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 989-9319,; $20 cover, includes a drink. (Chinen)

Interpretations: Marty Ehrlich / Brandon Ross (Thursday) This concert, closing out the 24th season of the Interpretations series, will feature the New York premiere of “Plowshares People,” a string quartet composed by Marty Ehrlich, who will also perform a solo clarinet work and a piece for alto saxophone and string quartet. Also performing is the guitarist Brandon Ross, both in a duo with the bassist Stomu Takeishi and in a quartet that adds Stephanie Richards on trumpet and J. T. Lewis on drums. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, near Third Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363,; $15, $10 for members and students. (Chinen)

Wadada Leo Smith’s ‘Ten Freedom Summers’ (Friday) Mr. Smith, a trumpeter and composer of penetrating vision, was recently named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for “Ten Freedom Summers” (Cuneiform), his long-form work inspired by the arduous path of the civil rights movement. Finishing up a three-night run here, Mr. Smith has enlisted his excellent Golden Quartet alongside the Pacifica Coral Reef Ensemble, with imagery by the video artist Jesse Gilbert. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, near Third Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363,; $20, $15 for members and students. (Chinen)

Colin Stetson (Wednesday) Mr. Stetson, a saxophonist of sprawling technical command, has a striking new album, “New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light” (Constellation), that flaunts his knack for a roguish but approachable experimentalism. Notwithstanding a cameo by Justin Vernon, the singer-songwriter behind Bon Iver, it is a strict solo production — like this concert, which will also feature sets by the guitarist Rafiq Bhatia and the violinist Sara Neufeld. At 8 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, near Thompson Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 505-3474,; $13 in advance, $15 day of show, free for members. (Chinen)

Craig Taborn Trio (Monday) “Chants” is the extraordinary new ECM release by the pianist Craig Taborn, with his trio, featuring Thomas Morgan on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums. Oblique with its influences, which seem to include ambient electronic music as well as the experimental postbop piano continuum, it nevertheless makes a direct impression — which is also likely to be the case here. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, near Third Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363,; $15, $10 for members and students. (Chinen)

Classical Music Listings From The New York Times


‘HPSCHD’ (Friday and Saturday) A dazzling, nearly insane multimedia work for harpsichord and computer-generated sounds by John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, this five-hour extravaganza, first performed in 1969, combined a score derived from a computer program following I Ching hexagrams with projected images and film. This new production, organized by Issue Project Room, the Electronic Music Foundation and Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, brings together a large team of artists to reinvent the work for the 21st century. At 5 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Eyebeam, 540 West 21st Street, Manhattan, (718) 330-0313,; $15. (Woolfe)

Kronos Quartet (Friday) This famously adventurous ensemble returns to Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with a program of recent favorites (Laurie Anderson’s “Flow”) and the new works Silverstrov’s String Quartet No. 3 and Aleksandra Vrebalov’s “Babylon, Our Own” (featuring the clarinetist David Krakauer) in their New York premieres, as well as the first performance of Missy Mazzoli’s “You Know Me From Here.” At 9 p.m., Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, Manhattan, (212) 247-7800,; $54 to $64. (Woolfe)

‘Spring for Music’ (Monday through May 11) Monday, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop presents the New York premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s “Concerto 4-3” alongside works by John Adams and Prokofiev. Tuesday, the Albany Symphony and its music director David Alan Miller perform Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody for piano and orchestra with the pianist Kevin Cole, as well as John Harbison’s “Great Gatsby Suite” and Morton Gould’s Symphony No. 3 in its rarely heard original version. The Buffalo Philharmonic under JoAnn Falletta takes the stage on Wednesday with music by Giya Kancheli and Reinhold Glière’s 1911 symphonic tribute to the Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets. Thursday, Leonard Slatkin leads the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in rarities by Rachmaninoff as well as Weill’s “Seven Deadly Sins” and Ravel’s Valse. At 7:30 pm., Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800, $25. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

‘Ten Freedom Summers,’ by Wadada Leo Smith Reviewed

Wadada (Photo credit: andynew)


The trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith talked to the audience and took questions for a little while after performing the first third of his five-and-a-half-hour work “Ten Freedom Summers” on Wednesday night at Roulette, and it was good that he did. The music had been heavy on elegy: alternately noble or mournful, sometimes formal, sometimes severe and agitated. But Mr. Smith was playful, open and demystifying.

Discovering the early avant-garde sounds of eclectic composer Joseph Byrd

From The Chicago Reader, Joseph Byrd is profiled:

In March New World Records released a stunning album that lets us hear what Byrd was up to before he jumped into the rock scene. NYC 1960-1963 features the excellent New York new music group American Contemporary Music Ensemble (which includes pianist Timothy Andres, violinist Caleb Burhans, violist Nadia Sirota, and recent Pulitzer Prize winner and violinist Caroline Shaw) playing 11 of his early works, most of which were written in the shadows cast by Cage, but which still stand easily on their own.