RIP Charlie Haden

Charlie Haden
Cover of Charlie Haden

Sad news from USA Today:

Charlie Haden, a bassist whose music drew from many streams of American music, died Friday morning in Los Angeles, Calif. He was 76. Haden had collaborated with Kenny Barron, Carla Bley, Paul Bley, Michael Brecker, Alan Broadbent, Don Cherry, Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Paul Motian, Dewey Redman, Archie Shepp, and Ernie Watts.

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Upcoming San Francisco Area Shows

English: MoeTar plays The Independent, San Fra...

From the Bay Improviser Calendar:

Saturday, July 12
Sat 7/12 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
East Bay guitarist, composer and bandleader Nathan Clevenger creates smart, dreamily layered and extremely ambitious music that grooves and floats, expands and contracts to accommodate the stellar musical personalities in his ensembles. For this performance, Clevenger presents a wide range of new and recent works, including a series of pieces for solo wind instruments, performed by Cory Wright; an extended work for a new quartet, Book of Exits; and new music for his signature ensemble, the Nathan Clevenger Group.

Sat 7/12 8:00 PM Intersection for the Arts [925 Mission Street, Suite 109 (at 5th Street) SF]
The Astonishing Sea, experimental audio/visual performances revealing hidden worlds happening on our water planet. Music duo Mem1 performs ‘Mascaret’, featuring one of North America’s few tidal bores. Cheryl E. Leonard and Oona Stern present sound and videos works inspired by the polar oceans with special guest musician Phillip Greenlief. Elia Vargas conjures ‘Liquid Landscapes,’ a performance installation where audiences walk through projected mist and sound that meld the digital and the natural. More details at http://www.soundwavesf.com/6/july12/

Sat 7/12 9:30 PM Duende [468 19th Street Oakland]
Ben Goldberg‘s Brainchild (A benefit for Amnesty International)

Sunday, July 13
Sun 7/13 8:00 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
An evening of intermedia performance by Elise Baldwin, featuring new work and an audiovisual collaboration with Kyle Bruckmann. Elise Baldwin is an intermedia performer and sound artist whose live cinematic works center around themes of natural history, collective memory and relationships between technology and the natural world. Using custom software instruments, physical props and circuitry, she often combines and manipulates original and archival recordings. More…

Sun 7/13 9:00 PM Duende [468 19th Street Oakland]
Ben Goldberg School

Monday, July 14
Mon 7/14 9:00 PM Duende [468 19th Street Oakland]
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society presents Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch plus Dapplegray

Wednesday, July 16
Wed 7/16 9:30 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society presents the Aram Shelton Sound Quintet plus the John Ettinger Group

Thursday, July 17
Thu 7/17 8:00 PM Luggage Store New Music Series [Outsound co-Presents @ The Luggage Store Gallery 1007 Market St. SF]
8:00pm Joey Molinaro – solo violin
Performing original works of the INTERNATIONAL COVEN OF DANGEROUS VIOLINISTRY,
WE, and THE MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN
9:00pm binary funk with Madalyn Merkey/Josh Casey/Taurin Barrera

Friday, July 18
Fri 7/18 8:00 PM Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
8PM Aaron Oppenheim (laptop)
8:30PM Rubber (() Cement (noise)
9PM:Ear Spray (electro-acoustic: vocal,electronics,video,percussion).

Fri 7/18 8:30 PM Starry Plough [3101 Shattuck Ave @ Prince Berkeley]
Brian Kenney Fresno, Joey Molinaro (NYC), Amy X Neuburg, and Moe! Staiano

Fri 7/18 9:00 PM LeQuiVive [1525 Webster Oakland]
NEW MUSIC at LeQuiVive presents Goldberg/Brown/Anderson plus the Cadent Trio

Saturday, July 19
Sat 7/19 9:00 PM SOMArts [934 Brannan Street San Francisco, CA 94103]
Now in its fourth year, Night Light utilizes SOMArts’ post-industrial indoor space and grounds, including the garden path, street-side loading bay, theater, Bay Gallery and Main Gallery to display a multitude of applications of light in art. This year the spectacle includes two new curatorial subsections—Signal Flow and Projected Personae— and live performances by:
Jen Cohen
Sofía Córdova
Jeff Ray’s Taser Island
Mary Franck & Kadet Kuhne
PINE & Elia Vargas
Andy Puls
Pamela Z

AMN Reviews: Albert Ayler – The Albert Ayler Story

aas4Fifty years ago on July 10, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, and Gary Peacock recorded the sessions that would be released as the Spiritual Unity LP, the fledgling ESP-Disk‘ label’s first musical offering, and one of many Ayler releases that would serve as the muscle and backbone of ESP’s (for short) eclectic yet focused catalog. I have a hard time not thinking of the digital download-only (the equivalent in length of four CDs) commemorative release, “The Albert Ayler Story,” as “The ESP Story.” Forty-nine of the compilation’s sixty-eight tracks are recorded interviews with Ayler and other relevant players on the topics of Ayler’s music and the label’s output, leaving little room for the music itself.

What there is of the music is mostly available on other in-print ESP Ayler albums, making this release somewhat of a label sampler. It is an incomplete “Albert Ayler story,” since, as ESP label-head Bernard Stollman would be among the first to mention, Ayler’s music changed radically (and Ayler changed music radically) when he left ESP in 1966 and signed to the much larger and more well-known (if not quite as exciting for the adventurous jazz-fan) Impulse! label.

Ayler didn’t record very many albums, and of his discography, virtually all the ESP discs are essential listening and readers of this review will most likely be familiar with them. The interviews are crucial to this collection’s uniqueness — it’s fascinating to hear Ayler talk with equal parts glibness and never-lost innocence about his childhood, and to hear characterizations of Ayler from some of his musical colleagues like Don Cherry and Sunny Murray. While some of it starts to get a little gossipy and puerile, most of the interview material is rooted in matters of culturally historic importance: the passing of Coltrane; the view of “free improvisation” as a solely “Black” movement; reminiscences of Ayler himself are all topics that have multiple voices chiming in. Perhaps the most detached, self-assured of these voices is Stollman’s, and he certainly racks up the most interviews in this compilation, providing a thread that takes the listener through every contact point between Ayler and the label. None of what Stollman says is really news, though it’s fun to listen to the occasional new anecdote; it’s all been put down in Jason Weiss’s exhaustive study of the ESP-Disk’ label, Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk’, the Most Outrageous Record Label in America (Wesleyan, 2012).

While important, the interviews don’t reward repeated listenings for anyone except perhaps scholars in cultural studies or musicology, but Stollman – still at the ESP helm – has a few new things to offer. The compilation is fleshed out with commercially unreleased (to the best of my knowledge) live performances by various iterations of Ayler’s bands from 1964, 1967 (a date just prior to the infamous live recording released by Impulse!), and 1970. The second of two completely different songs titled “Vibrations,” both performed on the same date in Copenhagen in September, 1964, is why this collection needs to have shelf space on your hard drive: the simultaneous interplay of Don Cherry on cornet with Ayler on tenor sax, and Gary Peacock’s bass with Sunny Murray’s drumming, is ferocious in an exploratory rather than abrasive way, and the mixture of bravado and fragility is what will make your hair stand on end. It’s what I’ll be returning to. But make no mistake: it’s worth restating that this is only the Albert Ayler story insofar as it concerns ESP-Disk’. An important chapter, but not nearly the whole saga.

Just Outside Reviews

From Just Outside:

Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga/Mark Wastell – Beforehand (Confront)
Ray Brassier/Mattin – Unfree Improvisation/Compulsive Freedom (Confront)
Troy Schafer – Untitled No. 1 (Signal Dreams)
Grizzly Imploded – Anabasi (Sincope)
Francesco Gregoretti/Olivier Di Placido – Mauvaise Haleine (Viande)

Classical Music Listings From The New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

Bang on a Can (Sunday) This dynamic and eclectic collaborative continues its summer series in the Noguchi Museum’s sculpture garden with music by Michio Kitazume, Dai Fujikura, Kazuo Fukushima and Toru Takemitsu. At 3 p.m., 9-01 33rd Road, at Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens, 718-204-7088, noguchi.org; free with museum admission ($10, or $5 for students and seniors). (Schweitzer)

Rite of Summer (Sunday) Every summer Governors Island offers a fresh perspective on New York City. A different musical take on the city is offered at this Rite of Spring, when the intrepid new-music specialists Ethel (a string quartet) and Ictus Percussion perform works written by children participating in the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program. Two premieres by the teaching artist-composers Justin Hines and Angélica Negrón round out the program. At noon and 2 p.m. (rain date: July 19), Colonels’ Row, Governors Island, riteofsummer.com; free. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

Jazz Listings From The New York Times

Ben Allison
Cover of Ben Allison

From NYTimes.com:

Ben Allison Group (Tuesday through July 19) For about 15 years the bassist Ben Allison has been a bandleader-composer of reliable intelligence and modest but meaningful surprises. Most of the musicians he has assembled here — the multireedist Ted Nash, the guitarist Steve Cardenas and the drummer Rudy Royston — are regular partners. One, the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, is a more recent collaborator, and an all-around compelling addition. At 8:30 and 11 p.m., Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, Clinton, 212-581-3080, birdlandjazz.com; $40 cover, with a $10 minimum. (Nate Chinen)

Peter Bernstein Quartet (through Sunday) Peter Bernstein, a guitarist with a clean tone and unwavering technique, enlisted some heavy experience for this band, with the soulful pianist Harold Mabern, the steadfast bassist John Webber and the master drummer Jimmy Cobb. At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village, 212-255-4037, villagevanguard.com; $25 and $30 cover, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)

The Core Trio With Matthew Shipp (Friday) Led by the bassist Thomas Helton, the Core Trio, from Houston, pursues an agenda of decisive indeterminacy, within the lineage of jazz’s post-1960s avant-garde. On a sharp new album, the group — also with Seth Paynter on saxophone and Joe Hertenstein on drums — plays an uninterrupted 40-minute improvisation with the pianist Matthew Shipp, which gives some indication of what might happen here, starting at 8:15 p.m. (Playing an earlier set, at 7 p.m., is the Jonah Rosenberg Trio.) ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn, shapeshifterlab.com; $10. (Chinen)

Tomas Fujiwara Trio (Sunday) The intrepid drummer Tomas Fujiwara has been working meaningfully as a bandleader in recent years, typically with the instrumentation (if not the metabolism) of a classic jazz quintet. He pares down but preserves his momentum in this trio, featuring an improvisational odd couple: the surgically precise trumpeter Ralph Alessi and the strategically unruly guitarist and banjoist Brandon Seabrook. At 7 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 347-422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com; $10. (Chinen)

Mario Pavone Festival (Friday and Saturday) The rock-solid yet exploratory bassist Mario Pavone concludes this three-night residency this weekend, with two different ensembles. On Friday he presents an album-release celebration for “Street Songs,” which features not only horns and a rhythm section but also accordion, played by Adam Matlock. And on Saturday he leads his Pulse Quartet, with Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, Gerald Cleaver on drums and Michael Pavone, his son, on guitar. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, 212-989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; $15 cover, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)

A Tribute to Roy Campbell (Friday and Saturday) The incisive avant-garde trumpeter Roy Campbell, who died in January at 61, was originally scheduled to perform this week at the Stone, in what has now become a memorial of sorts, organized by the saxophonist Louie Belogenis. Closing out the tribute are the collective BBMQ, featuring Mr. Belogenis and the pianist Connie Crothers (Friday); a duo of the cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and the drummer Tomas Fujiwara (Saturday at 8 p.m.); and the Nu Band, with Mr. Bynum standing in for Mr. Campbell (Saturday at 10 p.m.). At Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; $15 per set, $10 for students. (Chinen)