AMN Reviews: Karl MV Waugh – Self Pity/Petals – Lost, Found and Buried in a Tree (Hairdryer Excommunication); Midwich – Single Figures (Kirkstall Dark Matter)

Underground England is a remarkable place, especially in the north, expansive with post-post-Thatcherite defiance even as it moans with longing for bygone hurly-burly and a legitimate union wage. A new, Leeds-based “occasional” CDR label, Kirkstall Dark Matter, joins a bundle of mini-labels devoted to small, deviant acts, one of which was surveyed here not so very long ago. And Hairdryer Excommunication, purveyors of “emancipatory nothingness” since 2011, just released a marvellous sheet of art, two 3″ CDRs mounted on flimsy cardboard, one each by Karl MV Waugh and Petals.

If you could record fog it would probably sound like the opening to Waugh´s “Self Pity”. But his planktonian particles proceed to become agitated, gather force, pick up a viola and molest it. As it rolls on, its momentum catches up and swallows it whole. But beautifully. A distant, booming bell tower chime is muted by fog on “Lost, Found and Buried in a Tree” by Petals, caught in a web of creepily capillaring radio static. A music box gets caught in the wheels of a bike as it travels over wet cobblestones. The air buzzes but keeps a still upper lip as the radio begins to zero in on its station. Curiously stately.

New father Rob Hayler is planning on spending more time at home and less making Midwich music and charting the scene (although with new staff on board, his Radio Free Midwich blog is a vital as ever). As a kind of auf wiedersehn, brand-new label Kirkstall Dark Matter has released a fine live recording called “Single Figures”. Beginning by stirring an empty pot, “Penny Dropped” simmers sweetly without coming to a boil. “Seasonal Adjustment” lets in the sound of passing traffic as simple, lovely, paisley-patterned synth notes waft out the window. Appropriately, each copy of the CDR comes wrapped in a page torn from John Wyndham´s novel, “The Midwich Cuckoos”.

Each comes in small, limited editions but are infinitely available for your listening pleasure at Bandcamp.×3

Stephen Fruitman

Secret Keepers (Crump and Halvorson) in Nashville Tonight

English: Mary Halvorson, Jazz guitarist; Pictu...

Secret Keepers’ Nashville Show is previewed:

Super 8, the debut album from Secret Keepers, a duo featuring bassist Stephan Crump and guitarist Mary Halvorson. Both musicians are rising forces in New York City’s free jazz scene. Crump has performed or recorded with a staggering variety of acts, from jazz heavyweights like Dave Liebman and Bobby Previte, to Michael McDonald and Ashford and Simpson, to Portishead’s Dave McDonald and Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano, not to mention his wife, singer-songwriter Jen Chapin. He’s also a respected composer who leads his own band, The Rosetta Trio. Halvorson studied with groundbreaking avant-garde jazz saxophonist Anthony Braxton, and went on to perform and record with several of Braxton’s ensembles. Blessed with great ears and a fearless sense of exploration — in 2011, Village Voice named her New York City’s best guitar player — Halvorson has become a respected bandleader and in-demand collaborator, working with folks such as Marc Ribot, Jessica Pavone, Tom Rainey and Taylor Ho Bynum. She’s played on about 50 albums in the past 10 years alone.

Jazz Listings From The New York Times

English: Tim Berne, 1995-03-08, Montreuil, les...
English: Tim Berne, 1995-03-08, Montreuil, les Instants Chavirés. In the mirror: drumer Tom Rainey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tim Berne at the Stone (Friday through Sunday) Mr. Berne, an alto saxophonist and composer of granite conviction, has been holding down a residency at the Stone this week, and he’ll wrap it up with several tantalizing single-night experiments. On Friday he unveils the Dilated Pupils, which seems likely to involve electronics, given its lineup: the keyboardist Craig Taborn, the guitarists David Torn and Ryan Ferreira, and the drummer Ches Smith. On Saturday he presents a more chamberlike septet with Mr. Smith, Mr. Ferreira, the clarinetist Oscar Noriega, the pianist Matt Mitchell, the bassist Michael Formanek and the drummer Dan Weiss. And on Sunday he presides over Decay, featuring Mr. Ferreira, Mr. Formanek and Mr. Smith. At 8 and 10 p.m., Avenue C and Second Street,; $15 for each set. (Chinen)

Kris Davis Trio (Friday and Saturday) The pianist Kris Davis has been generating nothing but interesting music recently, and here she presents new music commissioned by the Jazz Gallery. She has a proven rapport with the bassist John Hébert and the drummer Tom Rainey, who round out her trio. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery at Salt Space, 1160 Broadway, fifth floor, at West 27th Street, (212) 242-1063,; $20, $10 for members. (Chinen)

Uri Gurvich (Tuesday through May 19) Uri Gurvich, a young Israeli alto saxophonist, has a proudly cosmopolitan new album, “BabEl” (Tzadik), featuring the Argentine pianist Leo Genovese, the Bulgarian bassist Peter Slavov, the Cuban drummer Francisco Mela and the Moroccan oud player Brahim Fribgane. Next week Mr. Gurvich is in residency at the Stone, varying his instrumental format and welcoming a few guests, including the trumpeter Dave Douglas (on Tuesday) and the guitarist Lionel Loueke (May 19). At 8 and 10 p.m., Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $15 for each set. (Chinen)

Paloma Trio (Wednesday) Led by the tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, this group treads post-bop terrain with the subtlest of Spanish accents. It’s a task well suited to Mr. Malaby and his partners, the guitarist Ben Monder and the drummer Nasheet Waits. At 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248,; $10 cover. (Chinen)

Coming to the Vortex Jazz Club

From London’s Vortex:

SAT 11 MAY • 20.00 • £10 • MD
Legendary free-form pioneers, the People Band, return to the Vortex with a multi-media spectacular. They first unleashed their anarchic and tribal energies in the sixties and have recorded with Charlie Watts, appeared in Mike Figgis‘ ‘Stormy Monday’, and gigged extensively throughout the country and abroad. This show will be a ground-breaking collaboration with artist Gina Southgate, involving real-time projections of her live paintings.The band is a collective whose members include Mel Davis, Terry Day, Tony Edwards, Mike Figgis, Charlie Hart, Adam Hart, Paul Jolly, George Khan, Davey Payne. Contextualize it how you like, there’s nothing like a People Band gig, and this will be no exception.

THUR 16 • 20.30 • £9 • MD
A night of music direct from the burgeoning Dutch improv, noise rock and jazz scene. Rotterdam-based experimental trio Albatre’s sound takes an urgent sax and bass with skewed jazz elements, frantic but meticulous drumming and creates something utterly thrilling. Sax & drums duo Dead Neanderthals aims directly for the jugular with their new album ‘Polaris’, an all-acoustic tour de force mastered by the king of noise: Lasse Marhaug. Dead Neanderthals have performed alongside Shining (No), Napalm Death, Staer, MoHa!, Gum Takes Tooth and Gnod.