AMN Reviews: Chrome Hoof – Chrome Back Gold (2013; Cuneiform Records)


Prog disco? Magma meets the dance floor? You’ve got to be kidding right?

This UK nine or ten piece outfit is led by two brothers, Leo Smee and Milo Smee. One is into progressive rock and metal, while the other produces techno and electronica. Chrome Hoof is their joint effort that covers these seemingly extreme corners of the musical spectrum, as well as a lot of space in between. The result is a diverse, yet catchy and appealing release.

Take the soul and funk side of Magma, combine with Bitches Brew era Miles, add in some Sun Ra along with King Crimson riffing, then view through the lens of Europop and you might scratch the surface of Chrome Black Gold. The first three tracks alone exemplify the breadth of this release. Enter the Drobe and When the Lightning Strikes might both be at home on Eloy‘s Metromania. On the other hand, Knopheria is for the dance floor, albeit one with guitars and psychedelic keyboards.

While diversity is usually a good thing, in and of itself diversity does not guarantee an enjoyable listening experience. However, Chrome Hoof manages to blend styles without making it sound like that was their only goal. Chrome Black Gold is a cohesive entry into both the sci-fi influenced progressive rock and the sci-fi influenced electronica genres. Each track is a series of familiar riffs and melodies, arranged in a new fashion to produce a new result. Too much fun.

Jon Irabagon and the deep pocket of his trio

From the Chicago Reader:

English: Jon Irabagon, moers festival 2009
English: Jon Irabagon, moers festival 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not many saxophonists of the current generation impart curiosity, energy, and pure joy like Morton Grove native Jon Irabagon, a prolific and imaginative reedist who seems to overflow with music. Although he first made his reputation as a free-wheeling blower within the roguishly revisionist quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing, in recent years he’s proven his mettle in all kinds of contexts. After winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition in 2008, he cut a convincing mainstream postbop date in the company of heavies like Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, and Victor Lewis—but he’s also worn noisy maximalism like a glove, collaborating with drummer Mike Pride and jaw-dropping electric guitarist Mick Barr; likewise, he’s become a valuable member of the Dave Douglas Quintet. He evinces a sense of ease in all settings, it seems, easily finding his way and having a blast while doing so.

March at the IBeam

From Brooklyn’s IBeam:

Mark Helias
Cover of Mark Helias

Ibeam Brooklyn
168 7th Street, Brooklyn NY 11215

Jay Rodriguez Residency with the Red, Black and Green Eco – Music Chamber Ensemble
Thursday, March 20th – 21st, 22nd @ 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation

Featuring the ORIGINAL WORKS by Jay Rodriguez, Marie Incontrera
and excerpts from the Black Liberation Suite by Cal Massey and Composer Fred Ho

Jay Rodriguez – Reeds

Marie Incontrera- Conductor
Adam Fisher- Cello
Amanda Ruzza- E Bass.
Albert Marques-Piano
Ernesto Villalobos- Violin
Ben Barson -Baritone sax
Livio Almeida- Tenor/flute
Zack O Farrill- Drums
Adam O Farrill-trumpet
Nabate Isles- trumpet

with special guests
Al Macdowell – Bassist (Ornette Coleman)
Victor Jones – Drums
Brian Drye – Trombone
Chris Theberge – Percussionist

Mara Rosenbloom Residency (FINAL NIGHT)
Saturday, March 1st 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation

First & second sets:
Mara Rosenbloom TRIO

Mara Rosenbloom (piano)
Adam Lane (bass)
Jeff Davis (drums)

Nick Lyons / Jabberclaw / Schimscheimer Family Trio
Sunday, March 2nd 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

Nick Lyons – alto sax (solo set) (8:30 pm)

Jabberclaw (9:15 pm)
Brian Drye – trombone
Mike McGinnis – clarinet
Jon Arkin – drums

Schimscheimer Family Trio (10 pm)
Michael Coleman – keyboards
Kasey Knudsen – alto sax & electronics
Jon Arkin – drums & electronics

Tree Way / Control This!
Wednesday, March 5th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

8:30pm – Tree Way
Ryan Keberle (trombone)
Justin Carroll (piano/organ)
Jeff Davis (drums)
w/special guest, Jon Goldberger (guitar)
Years after touring Ireland and Wales, this exhilarating trio comes to IBeam, bringing along the improvisational stylings of guitarist, Jon Goldberger.

9:30pm -Control This!
Michael Blake – saxophones
Kresten Osgood – drums and piano

The Kettle Collective Presents:
Friday, March 7th 8:00 PM $10 Suggested Donation

Cheryl Richards, voice
Connie Crothers, piano

Carol Liebowitz, piano
Ron Horton, trumpets
Maryanne de Prophetis, voice

Andrea Wolper, voice
Ken Filiano, bass

Jerome Cooper/Kresten Osgood, Franz Hautzinger
Saturday, March 8th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

8:30 – Jerome Cooper / Kresten Osgood duo

10:00 – Franz Hautzinger

Franz Hautzinger – Trumpet
Nate Wooley – Trumpet
Isabelle Duthoit – Voice


Friday, March 14th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

“Good and Evil” (577 Records) album release party (2 sets)
Adam Caine guitar
Federico Ughi drums

James Keepnews and Chemistry Set

Saturday, March 15th 8:00 PM $10 Suggested Donation

James Keepnews: guitar, piano, laptop, electronics (8:00)

Chemistry Set (9:00)
Daniel Carter: clarinet, flute, saxophones, trumpet
James Keepnews: acoustic and electric guitars
Rebecca Schmoyer: classical and electric guitars

The Unpossibility of Language

Friday, March 28th 8:30 PM $10 Suggested Donation

Edward Johnson (piano)
Viktor Clark (trumpet)
Kirk Theme (violin)
Special guest Mark Helias (bass)

Brian Drye Birthday Trio / Dustin Carlson Quintet

Saturday, March 29th 12:00 AM $10 Suggested Donation

Brian Drye Birthday Trio (8:30 pm)

Brian Drye – Trombone / Compositions
Matt Pavolka – Bass
Jeff Davis – Drums

Dustin Carlson Quintet (10:00 pm)

jake henry – Trumpet
josh sinton – Saxophones
kate gentile – Drums
dustin carlson – Guitar

Jazz Listings From The New York Times


Jamie Baum Septet + (Friday) The flutist Jamie Baum has devoted much of her recent output to composing and arranging for midsize ensembles, and this one — stocked with expressive colorists like the trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, the multireedist Douglas Yates and the guitarist Brad Shepik — has a repertory notably inspired by Sufi devotional music. For this performance, the avowed influences will also include Stravinsky and Ives. At 9 and 11 p.m., the Jazz Gallery at Salt Space, 1160 Broadway, fifth floor, at West 27th Street, 646-494-3625,; $20, $10 for members. (Chinen)

Jason Robinson’s Janus Ensemble (Monday) On the recent album “Tiresian Symmetry,” Mr. Robinson, a saxophonist and composer drawn to mythological antiquity (and the textural palette of Henry Threadgill), led his Janus Ensemble over an intriguingly shifting landscape. He will do something similar here, with an adventurous crew grounded by two drummers, George Schuller and Ches Smith, and otherwise featuring Oscar Noriega and Marty Ehrlich on reeds, Bill Lowe and Michael Dessen on trombones, Drew Gress on bass and Liberty Ellman on guitar. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, near Third Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, 917-267-0363,; $20, $15 for students. (Chinen)


Classical Music Listings From The New York Times


Roger Reynolds
Cover of Roger Reynolds

Axiom Ensemble (Thursday) As part of Carnegie Hall’s Vienna: City of Dreams festival, Jeffrey Milarsky conducts this ensemble (one of Juilliard’s contemporary music groups) in a program of music by Oliver Knussen, Louis Andriessen and David Lang. The program also includes a 1999 piece by the Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. At 8 p.m., Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, 212-769-7406,,; free, but tickets are required and are available at the Juilliard box office. (Vivien Schweitzer)

Composer Portrait: Roger Reynolds (Saturday) This concert highlights the music of Roger Reynolds, an American composer whose works reflect his training as a scientist and his influences (like Ives and Cage). Brad Lubman conducts Ensemble Signal in a program that includes a solo piece and a concerto performed by the violinist Irvine Arditti, as well as an electro-acoustic chamber work. At 8 p.m., Miller Theater, Broadway at 116th Street, Morningside Heights, 212-854-7799,; $20 to $30, $18 for students. (Schweitzer)

JACK Quartet: Venturing Into Noise in Search of Melody


The Jack Quartet - Family Portrait
The Jack Quartet – Family Portrait (Photo credit: Stephen Poff)

On Wednesday evening at the Morgan Library & Museum, in the midst of the JACK Quartet’s vibrant performance of Helmut Lachenmann’s three string quartets, there was an astonishing, nearly inaudible duet for viola and cello. “And yet it was music” is a reaction that comes up often listening to these string quartets, the first begun in the early 1970s and the most recent written in 2001, which together represent one of the most important modern contributions to their genre. Building on the work of Edgard Varèse and others who demanded an expanded range of sounds, Mr. Lachenmann asked musicians to play different parts of their instruments, to manipulate the bow and to venture, with startling poise and elegance, into noise.