AMN Reviews: Rodrigues Torres & Bullock – Asteres Planetai

Rodrigues Torres & Bullock: Asteres Planetai [cs246]

The title of this release is Greek for “wandering stars,” the name the ancient Greeks gave the planets, whose orbits appeared irregular compared to the observed circular motion of the so-called fixed stars. It serves as a nice metaphor for the sounds created by these three instrumentalists which, like the observed paths of the planets, converge and diverge in patterns that resist reduction to simple figures.

Recorded in June 2013 in Lisbon, the three improvisations presented here feature Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Nuno Torres on alto saxophone, and Mike Bullock on modular synthesizer. All three tracks consist of sound construction built up of quiet textures and drones interspersed with moments verging on silence. The subtle dynamics are occasionally broken by upsurges in volume, which are all the more dramatic given the general understatement of the playing. The twittering, humming and burbling sounds of Bullock’s modular synth act as a sort of frame within which Rodrigues and Torres set out their own sounds. Both approach their instruments as material to be broken down into constituent parts: Rodrigues anatomizes the viola through exploratory string tapping, plucking, and a skittering bow, while Torres somehow makes reed, breath and metal tube audible as separate sound sources. In sum, this is improvisation of a gratifyingly nuanced

Free Jazz Blog Reviews

Frank Gratkowski and friends
Frank Gratkowski and friends (Photo credit: michaelz1)

From Free Jazz:

The Sealed Knot – The Sealed Knot (Musica Moderna, Reissue 2013) ***½
The Sealed Knot – Live at Café OTO (Confront, 2013) ****
Ist – Berlin (Confront, 2013) ***½
Frank Gratkowski Quartet: Le Vent et le Gorge (Leo Records, 2012) ****
Frank Gratkowski, Philip Greenlief, Jon Raskin: All At Once (Relative Pitch, 2013) ****
Achim Kaufmann, Frank Gratkowski, Wilbert De Joode: Geäder (Gligg Records, 2013) ****
Objeto Amarelo & Rob Mazurek – Eclusa (Submarine, 2012) ***
Rob Mazurek – Episodes (Wapapura, 2013) ****½
Exploding Star Orchestra – Matter Anti-Matter (RogueArt, 2013) ****
São Paulo Underground – Beija Flors Velho e Sujo (Cuneiform – 2013) ****
Badland – Six High Windows (Bug Incision, 2013) ****

Life Of A Discaholic: Mats Gustafsson’s Favourite Albums

Mats Gustafsson
Mats Gustafsson (Photo credit: Pål Nordseth)

From The Quietus:

Straight outta Umeå with a blazing horn, Mats Gustafsson is a vital force in contemporary music, setting fire to recordings by Sonic Youth, Zu and Peter Brötzmann‘s Chicago Tentet, and leading his own groups The Thing and Fire! to new heights of free jazz and garage-psych ecstasy. Recent months have seen him issue superb new albums by those two groups, as well as a live set with Thurston Moore. He’s also been on the road with Fire! and the transatlantic Nu-Ensemblen, and at the time this interview took place, was preparing to take The Thing to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where they’ll perform with free jazz legend Joe McPhee.

A self-confessed vinyl junkie, Gustafsson somehow finds time amidst all this fevered musical activity to run collectors website Discaholic Corner, where he shares pictures and stories about some of the treasures he’s unearthed in dusty record shops around the globe.

William Winant New Percussion Album Reviewed

From the Chicago Reader:

A repertoire of serious percussion music didn’t really begin to develop until the 1930s, with the emergence of folks like Henry Cowell, Edgard Varese, William Russell, Amadeo Roldán, John Cage, and Lou Harrison. Or so writes composer David Peter Garland in his liner notes for Five American Percussion Pieces (Poon Village), a stunning vinyl-only album by the wonderfully unpredictable Bay Area percussionist William Winant, who was not only a founding member of LA’s Oingo Boingo but a regular collaborator of Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore and Mike Patton‘s Mr. Bungle. (In the new-music realm he’s worked with composers like Alvin Curran, John Zorn, Alvin Lucier, Chris Brown, Anthony Braxton, and Fred Frith, among many others.)

December at the IBeam

Craig Taborn (Prezens, at the Vortex (London) ...
Craig Taborn (Prezens, at the Vortex (London) 13/1/08) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the IBeam Brooklyn:

All one – a night of solo performances
Friday, December 6th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

Yuhan Su – MalletKat (Electronic MIDI Mallet Controller) – Voice
Patrick Breiner as Vartan Mamigonian – Tenor saxophone, Clarinet
Kenji Herbert – Guitar

New Vartan Recording “Robinwood” will be released at that night. the first 15 people to pay the suggested $10 will get a special print (limited to 15 copies) of a black case with silver ink. Hand-screened by Connie Wang.

Jesus Hernandez
Saturday, December 7th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

Jesus Hernandez – Piano
Tim Ferguson – Bass
Marck Holen – Drums
Alfonso Cid – Voice and Flute

Mara Rosenbloom Quartet + Greenlief & Dunn
Wednesday, December 11th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

Phillip Greenlief (tenor saxophone)
Trevor Dunn (bass)
Mara Rosenbloom Quartet
Darius Jones (alto saxophone)
Sean Conly (bass)
Tomas Fujiwara (drums)
Mara Rosenbloom (piano & composition).

John Dunlap Group
Friday, December 13th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

John Dunlap – Guitar
Dave Whitwell – Trombone
Chris Pistiokos – Alto
Emillio Guarino – Bass
Weasel Walter- Drums

Lotte Anker w/ Craig Taborn & Gerald Cleaver
Friday, December 20th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

Lotte Anker – Alto Saxophone
Craig Taborn – Piano
Gerald Cleaver – Drums

Le Poisson Rouge in December

English: Violinist Jenny Scheinman at the Aust...
English: Violinist Jenny Scheinman at the Austin City Limits Festival, 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From New York’s (le) poisson rouge:

Sat., December 07, 2013 at 6:00 PM
Bill Frisell‘s Big Sur Quintet
w/ Jenny Scheinman , Eyvind Kang , Hank Roberts , and Rudy Royston

Sat., December 07, 2013 at 8:30 PM
Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quintet
w/ Jenny Scheinman , Eyvind Kang , Hank Roberts , and Rudy Royston

Sun., December 08, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Goblin and Zombi

Sun., December 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Steve Reich Benefit Concert to Support The Aldrich
w/ So Percussion