San Francisco Scene: April 17-24, 2015

English: Rent Romus performing at the San Fran...
Rent Romus

From the Bay Improviser:

Friday, April 17

Fri 4/17 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Rova Sax Quartet: Larry Ochs, Steve Adams, Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackley.
New pieces by Larry Ochs, Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams and Jon Raskin for Rova. Plus the premiere of Phillip Greenlief’s “San Francisco”. Over the past few years, sequential collaborations and other side projects, plus the fact that the group’s improvising skills have been getting more and more magical on their own, led to there being less time for individual compositions. Except from the pen of Steve Adams, there were not many new quartet pieces being introduced into the band. Elaborate structures for improvising with – yes – but not the more composed works. With several touring concerts on the horizon in late April and early May and with a temporary lull in the collaborative projects, it seemed a good idea to “deadline” April 17 as the point where new pieces for the quartet and by the quartet would be presented. Sure to be an exciting night.

Fri 4/17 8:00 PM Third Street Hydroponics [636 3rd St, Oakland, California]
French Radio / Grale / lazyboy / Thomas Carnacki / Sheila Bosco
An evening honestly displaying the incestuous interconnectedness of multiple, supposedly disparate projects. With the addition, subtraction, or replacement of individual musicians, each project on the bill will metamorphose into the next without preamble, warning, or fanfare. An unofficial amalgam of Alethiometer Records, Petit Mal Music, and Quadruped Media.

Fri 4/17 8:00 PM Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
Phillip Greenlief – BARBED WIRE: New Graphic Scores
8 pm
BARBED WIRE – new graphic scores by Phillip Greenlief
Phillip Greenlief – reeds
Elzbieta Polak – violin
Lisa Mezzacappa – bass

Saturday, April 18

Sat 4/18 12:00 PM Noisebridge Hackerspace [2169 Mission St SF]
Andrea Pensado (Boston)—-Isolde Touch (San Diego)—–Amma Ateria——Dumptruck—–Fistortion—–Born To Kill (last bay show this decade)

Sat 4/18 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Tenney Project @ Tangents Guitar Series
A retrospective of the complete guitar works of James Tenney: Harmonium II, Septet, Water on the mountain…Fire in heaven, and Spectrum 4

Sunday, April 19

Sun 4/19 7:30 PM The Emerald Tablet [80 Fresno Street, San Francisco]
A new series pairing presentation and performance – this month features the music of Addleds -Kyle Bruckmann (oboe/english horn), Jacob Felix Huele (percussion), Tony Dryer (double bass), and Kanoko Nishi (koto )- with a presentation by internationally celebrated photographer and environmentalist Camille Seaman.

Sun 4/19 8:08 PM TAC: Temescal Art Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Marisa Anderson, Amy Reed, Collette McCaslin/Sheila Bosco Duo, Beast Nest (Sharmi Basu)

Monday, April 20

Mon 4/20 8:30 PM Spice Monkey [1628 Webster St Oakland]
Avant-Jazz & Experimental Noise Every Monday featuring SHOCK RAY TRIO plus YoYo MaMa

Tuesday, April 21

Tue 4/21 7:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Rituals, Wires & Magic: Curt Brown + Kim-McDonald-O’Kane + Jeffrey Young + Barbed Wire (Greenlief-Polak-Mezzacappa)

Wednesday, April 22

Wed 4/22 7:00 PM Santo Studio [2565 West Oakland, CA]
Flying Hair, Earth Blind, and Waveformless at Santo Studio in Oakland for a night of Psych, Experimental, and Ambient music.

Wed 4/22 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Karl Cronin & the Americana Orchestra
Karl Cronin presents an evening of stories, quiet love songs, and sonic landscapes with the Americana Orchestra.

Thursday, April 23

Thu 4/23 7:30 PM CCRMA [The Knoll 660 Lomita Dr. Stanford, CA 94305]
Waxy Tomb – [Julia Litman-Cleper] live electronics and video set at CCRMA.

Thu 4/23 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [998 Market St. SF]
8pm Sonics of Saturn
Marlon Schieber, Tristan Norton
9pm Hamir Atwal, Rent Romus, Christina Stanley, Oluyemi Thomas

Friday, April 24

Fri 4/24 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Songs for the Ancestors: Poetry & Music in Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide
Jewlia Eisenberg‘s Charming Hostess has been a groundbreaking mainstay of the avant-ethnic music scene for over two decades. The group is known to feature “voices and vocal percussion, handclaps and heartbeats, sex-breath and silence.”
They’ll be followed by the Bay Area’s own Kugelplex, who specialize in their own original brand of Klezmer, East European, Mid East, and Modern Chamber music. In honor of the April 24th Armenian Martyrs Day, they have teamed up with the spoken word of James Baloian for a brand new collaboration

Fri 4/24 8:00 PM Turquoise Yantra Grotto [32 Turquoise Way SF]
4 Acts, 4 Poets
Pitta of the Mind: Amanda Chaudhary & Maw Shein Win
YoyoMama: Bab Marsh & Sandra Yolles
Tom Nunn & Dean Santomieri w/ Butoh Dancer Ronie Baker
Brother’s Quarrel: David Samas & Ian Saxton Featuring Tom Clark

Fri 4/24 10:00 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Zeena Parkins / Wobbly / Jordan Glenn TRIO with Crystal Pascucci SOLO


Jazz Listings From the New York Times

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


Tim Berne’s Snakeoil (Tuesday) Mr. Berne, an alto saxophonist and composer of granite conviction, has had a superb recent outlet in Snakeoil, a chamber-improv quartet with the clarinetist Oscar Noriega, the pianist Matt Mitchell and the drummer Ches Smith. The band’s third album, “You’ve Been Watching Me,” is notable not only for its expressive authority but also the presence of another member, the electric guitarist Ryan Ferriera, who rejoins the group here. At 7:30 and 10 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, 212-576-2232, (Nate Chinen)

Kris Davis’s Capricorn Climber (Friday and Saturday) The pianist Kris Davis has a newish band, Capricorn Climber, that seeks out the unexpected corners within established musical relationships. Her partners, all adept with spontaneous texture, are the tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, the violist Mat Maneri, the bassist Eivind Opsvik and the drummer Tom Rainey. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway, fifth floor, at West 27th Street, 646-494-3625, (Chinen)

Tomas Fujiwara and the Hook Up (Saturday) A drummer working along jazz’s experimental fringe, Mr. Fujiwara favors a mode of playing that’s forward-leaning but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. Celebrating the release of his new album, “After All Is Said,” he convenes a working band with Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Brian Settles on tenor saxophone and flute, Mary Halvorson on guitar and Michael Formanek on bass. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, 212-989-9319, (Chinen)

Vijay Iyer Trio (Wednesday through April 26) The furiously productive pianist Vijay Iyer recently released another superlative album, “Break Stuff,” which confirms his stature in jazz’s contemporary vanguard — along with the dynamic excellence of his working trio, with the bassist Stephan Crump and the drummer Marcus Gilmore. At 7:30 and 10 p.m., with an 11:45 p.m. set next Friday and Saturday, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, 212-576-2232, (Chinen)

Briggan Krauss H-Alpha (Monday) An alto and baritone saxophonist with a special gift for textural abstraction, Briggan Krauss has an enthusiastically spiky project in H-Alpha, with Ikue Mori on electronics and Jim Black on drums. For this concert, their ranks will be augmented by two more adventurers: the guitarist Brandon Seabrook and the bassist Kato Hideki. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 917-267-0363, (Chinen)

Respect Sextet (Friday) The Respect Sextet stamps ambitious music with a smart-alecky affect, ranging broadly from the antic to the deadpan. The band’s lineup, which includes Eli Asher on trumpet and Josh Rutner on reeds, brings strong technique and conceptual savvy to a repertory that includes music by Sun Ra and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. At 7:30 p.m., Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street, West Village, 212-242-4770, (Chinen)

Secret Keeper (Friday) This duo, with Mary Halvorson on guitar and Stephan Crump on bass, recently released its second album, “Emerge,” confirming both its equal footing and its laudable balance of chamber-like precision and freewheeling intimacy. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, 212-989-9319, (Chinen)

Wadada Leo Smith: 44 Years: A Retrospective (Tuesday through April 26) Mr. Smith, a blazingly creative trumpeter and composer, has approached his weeklong residency at the Stone with an intense seriousness of purpose. He will draw from music and concepts developed over his long career, with highlights including: Sonic River, a trio with John Zorn on alto saxophone and George Lewis on trombone, on Tuesday at 8 p.m.; Tastalun, a trio with Ted Daniel on trumpet and Graham Haynes on cornet, Wednesday at 10 p.m.; and “Taif: Prayer in the Garden of the Hijaz, String Quartet No. 6,” featuring the Secret Quartet, with Aruán Ortiz on piano, on Thursday at 8 p.m. A full schedule is at At various times, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village. (Chinen)

Classical Music Listings from the New York Times

Pierre Boulez in 2004
Pierre Boulez


‘Crash’ (Friday and Saturday) The inventive American composer Robert Ashley died last year at 83, shortly after finishing “Crash,” his final opera, which had its premiere at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Mr. Crash’s unconventional operas blend spoken dialogue; meditative, surrealist scores; surrealist dramatic elements; and experimental vocal idioms. “Crash,” which explores the attitudes and prejudices of an older man, features six voices and a score accompanied by photo projections. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, near Third Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, 917-267-0363, (Schweitzer)

JACK Quartet (Friday) The inviting David Rubenstein Atrium has become not just a popular place near Lincoln Center to hang out and enjoy snacks, but also an increasingly busy space for concerts of all kinds. The adventurous and excellent JACK Quartet plays a free program of American works on Friday, including Ruth Crawford Seeger’s String Quartet “1931,” and recent pieces by John Zorn, Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli and Jason Eckardt. At 7:30 p.m., Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets, Lincoln Center, 212-721-6500, (Tommasini)

Juilliard Orchestra (Sunday) The charismatic conductor David Robertson leads this excellent orchestra in a 90th-birthday tribute to Pierre Boulez that retraces lines of debt and gratitude through 20th-century touchstones like Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” Stravinsky’s “Symphonies of Wind Instruments” and two works by Boulez: “Originel,” from “… explosante-fixe …,” and “Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna.” At 3 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, 212-721-6500, (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

MATA Festival (Friday and Saturday) This zany, adventurous and polyglot festival of new music by young composers from around the world wraps up with a program on Friday headlined by the endearingly named Bearthoven Trio (piano, percussion and bass) in works by Jonathan Nangle and Amanda Schoofs. There’s also a new work for bass by Du Yun and “Corporate Talent Factor’s Next Top Idol!,” a piece posing as a talent competition, by Adam de la Cour. On Saturday, the accomplished Talea Ensemble delves into works inspired by technology and machines, including a percussion concerto, played partly on a handmade sculpture, by Ann Cleare. Full details are online. Most events take place at the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, 212-255-5793, (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

Bill Laswell Interview

English: Bill Laswell at the Moers Festival 2006
Bill Laswell

From All About Jazz:

For some people music is a mere entertainment product, a pastime amusement. For others music is a powerful force and the act of its creation carries within itself a sense of discovery. Bill Laswell‘s music, production and remixes have always carried that sense of discovery and riskiness. Multifariously creative and independent, he has always been revered by avant-gardists, jazz and improv and electronic music fans with equal zeal.

In the last 30 years, this incontrovertibly cool producer has emerged as as one of the most important figures in today’s music. He has been involved in the making of so many records that chances are that anybody with the least interest of modern music will have crossed paths with one of his recordings. His pieces are like busy intersections of different sounds, cultures and people that in a way resemble global conversations. They are rooted in the process of collaboration and, especially in the ’90s, these records represented exciting points of musical confluences. The band Material was a loose aggregation of musicians where many people contributed to these unusual records, ranking from guitarists Sonny Sharrock, Nicky Skopelitis, Fred Frith, Nile Rogers to saxophonists Henry Threadgill, Archie Shepp, to keyboardists Herbie Hancock, Bernie Worrell or percussionist Aiyb Dieng and tabla player Zakir Hussain, to name a few. Laswell’s records are much more in line with Miles Davis‘ or Jon Hassell‘s explorations of sound and choice of musicians rather than simply creating tapestries of exotic but shallow sounds.

MATA Festival Reviewed


A playground swing, a set of miniature panpipes and a chorus of table lamps were among the instruments in use at the Kitchen on Tuesday and Wednesday during the first two concerts presented by the MATA festival of new music. One trend that emerged early on was the playful experimentation with objects — found, invented and tinkered with — as a conduit for sound.