S. Victor Aaron’s Mid-Year Best of 2013

avant-garde pianist Matthew Shipp
avant-garde pianist Matthew Shipp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Something Else:

Ben Goldberg – Unfold Ordinary Mind: Goldberg revels in putting together clashing styles that your mind tells you aren’t congruent but your heart is demanding your mind to explain why. Also worthwile checking out is the companion release, Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues.

Slobber Pup – Black Aces: They managed to capture the essence of a time when lines between rock, blues, funk and jazz were blurry and musicians were good enough to tackle it all at once. Slobber Pup is more than good enough.

Rob Mazurek Octet – Skull Sesisons: Mazurek and his Octet are doing to improvised, avant-garde jazz what Getz and Gilberto did with mainstream jazz and mainstream Brazilian music.

Black Host – Life in the Sugar Candle Mines: Cleaver has always thrived on the edge of jazz, but with the help of this ensemble, he goes straight into the abyss.

Ceramic Dog – Your Turn: A boatload of fun, even when they’re angry at something or someone or themselves. And within this left-field punk rock aesthetic, it’s surprisingly diverse.

Curtis Hasselbring – Number Stations: Number Stations is Hasselbring at his most enterprising. Like a good novel, each song is a chapter that thickens the plot and goes off in an unexpected directions

Ivo Perelman with the Matthew Shipp Trio – The Edge: Perelman’s meeting with Shipp’s full trio is one of the most satisfying of his recent collaborations with Shipp, because both leader and trio have leveraged each others strengths very effectively.

Ches Smith and These Arches – Hammered: This is as good as it should be, the real discovery from this record is about its mastermind. Ches Smith has become as legitimate in the leader and composer roles as he’s long achieved as a bandmember.

Mike Pride – Drummer’s Corpse: the relentlessness, the noise piece of the half hour title track is hypnotic; like a train wreck, it’s a sonic spectacle that’s too spectacular to turn away from.

Jazz Listings From The New York Times

Ellery Eskelin en concert au Triton (Les Lilas...
Ellery Eskelin en concert au Triton (Les Lilas-France) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From NYTimes.com:

Peter Bernstein, Harold Mabern, Peter Washington and Jimmy Cobb (Friday and Saturday) at Iridium Jazz Club. See photo highlight.

Anthony Coleman at the Stone (Tuesday through July 14) Mr. Coleman, a pianist of extravagantly catholic interests, will be in residence at the Stone next week, with a typical array of collaborators. He’ll start on Tuesday in an improvised duo with the saxophonist John Zorn, who owns the club (at 8 p.m.) and a group he calls the Damaged Quartet (at 10 p.m.). On Wednesday he’ll dig in with the drummer Brian Chase, of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; their first set will also involve the violinist Mat Maneri, and their second will feature the guitarist Elliott Sharp. And on Thursday he’ll play his own compositions alone at the piano (at 8 p.m.) before playing a set with the saxophonist Michaël Attias and the drummer Mike Pride. At the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, thestonenyc.com; $15 per set. (Chinen)

Mario Pavone’s Orange Double Tenor Septet (Saturday) Mr. Pavone, a bassist-composer of experience and vision, recently composed the suite “Arc Suite t/pi t/po” (Playscape) for an ensemble stocked with assertive improvisers. His cohort here includes the trumpeter Dave Ballou and the saxophonists Ellery Eskelin and Noah Preminger. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; $20 cover, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)

Ches Smith Trio (Sunday) This spring the drummer Ches Smith released an estimable album, “Hammered” (Clean Feed), with the combustible working band he calls These Arches. He plunges into another unpredictable premise with this trio, performing for the first time — though it should be said that its other members, the violist Mat Maneri and the pianist Craig Taborn, have history with each other, and with Mr. Smith. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; $20 cover, includes one drink. (Chinen)

The remarkable story of Robert Rich and the Sleep Concerts

Robert Rich at DEMF
Robert Rich at DEMF (Photo credit: glacial23)

From FACT Magazine:

Anyone familiar with Ambient music will, more than once, have chanced upon Robert Rich. The California native has released a string of highly-regarded releases, from 1989′s Rainforest through 1991′s meticulous Geometry to 1998′s East-facing Seven Veils. Similarly, collaborations with the likes of Lustmord (on 1995′s dark ambient touchstone Stalker) and Steve Roach (on 1990′s Strata and 1992′s Soma) have become set texts for listeners dipping a toe into Ambient cool blue waters. If there’s one thing he’ll forever be remembered for, though, it’s his legendary early 1980s ‘sleep concerts’ – immersive all-night shows, performed to sleeping audiences, that stretched the definition of a ‘concert’ beyond all familiar limits. Much-mythologised and occasionally imitated – Steven Stapleton is among the artist to have followed Rich’s cue – these occasional, sparsely attended happenings continue to fascinate and inspire – part physical experience, part community intervention, part scientific experiment, part mystic ritual.