Taran’s Free Jazz Hour Podcast 17/2015

British saxophonist Evan Parker

From Taran’s Free Jazz Hour:

Ninth Square: Evan Parker, Ts, Ss/ Joe Morris, G/ Nate Wooley, Tp

Projections: Simon Nabatov, P/ Mark Dresser, B

What’s for Dessert: Zooom Trio-christian Lorenzen, Wurlitzer El P/ Davis Helm, B/ Dominik Mahnig, Dr, Efx

Found Frequency: Mina Fred, Viola, Vo/ Benjamin Brodbeck, Perc/ Giancarlo Nicolai, Laudes, Tutli

Noel Taylor
Stones of Contention: Tommaso Vespo, P/ Antonio Aiello, B/ Noel Taylor, Cl/ Nicola Hein, G/ Ricardo Tejero, Sax/ Antonio Longo, Dr

Monoceros: Evan Parker, Ss

Conceits: John Butcher, Ts, Ss/ Phil Durrant, AC Vln, Tbn/ John Russell, AC Plectrum G

Sols[os]: Marcio Mattos, B, Cello, Elec

Earlier Outbreaks of Iconoclasm: Milo Fine, Dr, P, Cl, Vo/ Steve Gnitka, El G

Glance and Many Avenues: Gianni Mimmo, Ss/ Ove Volquartz, Bcl, Cbcl/ Gianni Lenoci, P/ Cristiano Calcagnile, Dr

Maria Schneider
the Thompson Fields: Maria Thompson Orchestra

Beginner’s State of Mind: Paolo Porta, Ts/ Alessandro Maiorino, B/ Alessandro Minetto, Dr

Ncm East
Drifter: Old Time Musketry-adam Schneit, Ts, Cl/ Jp Schlegelmilch, Acc, P/ Phil Rowan, B/ Max Goldman, Dr/ Brian Drye, Tbn

Newsbits: Zappa Documentary / Pitsiokos and Wooley Album Reviews / Dieter Roth Review / Avant-Garde Space Music

Frank Zappa, Ekeberghallen, Oslo, Norway

Alex Winter (of Bill and Ted fame) will be directing an authorized documentary on Frank Zappa.

Jazz Right Now reviews albums from Chris Pitsiokos and Nate Wooley.

Joseph Nechvatal reviews Dieter Roth and Music at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum (Berlin).

In cool news of the week, NASA has discovered that interstellar vibrations sound very similar avant-garde music.

AMN Reviews: Ulrich Krieger – Winters in the Abyss [Pogus 21079-2]

cd_079Few hypotheticals are more intriguing—or tempting—than those that posit the reversal of some fundamental structure of the world. In the musical world one such fundamental structure is the overtone series; with Winters in the Abyss, composer Ulrich Krieger literally turns it upside down.

Krieger is a German composer and saxophonist probably best known for having arranged Lou Reed’s notorious Metal Machine Music for orchestra. He often integrates electronic processing into his live performances and compositions, as he does here through the use of close miking and amplification.

Winters in the Abyss, which is part of a larger work called the Deep Sea Cycle, is based on the so-called undertone series. As its name implies, the undertone series—an artificial construction, unlike the naturally-occurring overtone series—is an inversion of the overtone series. In a mirror image of the overtone series, its sequence of pitches is densely packed in the lower register and becomes more spread out the higher up it runs. With its higher density at the bottom and lower densities at the top, the series’ structure parallels the structure of the ocean, its dark, high pressure lower depths giving way in stages to a brighter, lower pressure surface.

The composition, a five-movement work in which each movement represents a stratum of sea depth, is scored for the low brass of trombone (Matt Barbier), French horn (Zara Rivera) and contrabass trombone (Paul Rivera). The movements are sequenced in reverse order with Movement V, Sun Lit, leading off and Movement I, Pitch Black, coming at the end. Arranged this way, the piece depicts a plunge from the surface through the intermediate strata to the bottom.

All five movements are dominated by long-duration tones occurring singly, in pairs and on all three instruments. Given the low ranges of the instruments, the overall sound is relatively dark, even during the Sun Lit movement. Overlapping tones make for harmonies ranging from discordant to consonant; Midnight, the third movement, for example, features frequent major thirds and hints of a dominant 7 chord emerging from mix—a marked contrast to Sun Lit’s more jagged and unsettling tones a half-step or minor ninth apart. And as expected Pitch Black, the features tightly packed clusters of notes with very slow harmonic movement.


Daniel Barbiero

AMN Reviews: Joe Morris – Solos Bimhuis (2015; Relative Pitch Records)

1432516242880-2070290275I’ve always felt one of the downsides of the CD medium is the amount of data they can hold.  Many performers feel the need to maximize the content…stuff that silver disc to the gills with as much binary crappola as technologically possible.  Never-mind the fact that 50% or more is useless filler, if they have the darts, they gotta throw em all at the dart board.

Luckily for the listener of Joe Morris’ Solos Bimhuis collection, the filler factor is pretty much absent.  What we have here is 7 long pieces, ranging from 6 minutes to a ginormous 26 minutes.  One man, one acoustic (sounding) guitar…and a whole lot of notes.  Listening though this huge set, I was constantly amazed at the frequency of ideas that must have been pouring out of JM’s head.  The fact that he seemed to be able to process these ideas faster than a Cray astounded me.  There was some serious number crunching happening.

Using a multitude of extended picking techniques…moods, atmospheres, hell, even fully fleshed out novels were seemingly created in an instant.  Some that he showed us early on were revisited, only twisted and turned inside out creating yet further ideas.  My experience to all this was one of surrender, letting go and finally full engulfment into the sonic maelstrom.  Spanish themes occasionally popped their heads up only to be quickly supplanted by what sounded like a vicious bowing technique of a first violinist.  The latter being done on a guitar made it that more stunning…and that barely scratches the surface of this grand design that Morris was building.

The whole proceeding was one giant instant gratification after the next.  I was exhausted after it was over…but like any good box of chocolates…you are going to return again and again.  The replay attribute on this release is high.  Grokking it all on one listen is futile.  I’m looking forward to riding this wave again.

Michael Eisenberg