AMN Picks of the Week: Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord / Vaults of Zin / Iyer & Smith / Naima / Gareth Davis & Merzbow

English: The Vijay Iyer Quartet performed an i...

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Jon Lundbom / Big Five Chord – Bring Their ‘A’ Game (2016)
Jon Lundbom / Big Five Chord – Make the Magic Happen (2016)
Vaults of Zin – Kadath (2016)
Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith – A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (2016)
Naima – Bye (2016)
Gareth Davis / Merzbow – Atsusaku (2016)

Coming to Portland in February

Source: Portland’s Creative Music Guild.

Matt Hannafin & Machete Order
February 3, 2016 — 8pm
$5-15, sliding scale
Turn, Turn, Turn
8 ne Killingsworth

Ches Smith / Craig Taborn / Mat Maneri & Blue Cranes
February 15, 2015 — 8pm
$15-20, sliding scale
Mississippi Studios
3939 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227

Daniel Charles Hunt & Survival Skills
February 17, 2016 — 8pm (over by 10)
$5-15, sliding scale
Turn, Turn, Turn
8 ne Killingsworth

February at the Cornelia Street Cafe

Mark Helias at Cornelia street cafe Pnoto: Cla...

Source: New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe.

Tuesday, Feb 09 – 8:00 & 9:30pm
Dave Scott, trumpet; Rich Perry, tenor sax; Jacob Sacks, piano; Peter Brendler, bass; Satoshi Takeishi, drums

Wednesday, Feb 10 – 9:30PM
Vinnie Sperrazza, drums; Loren Stillman, alto sax; Ben Monder, guitar; Eivind Opsvik, bass

Friday, Feb 12 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Ellery Eskelin, tenor sax; Christian Weber, bass; Michael GreenAir, drums

Saturday, Feb 13 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Mat Maneri, viola, comp.; Bruce Williams, alto sax; Lucian Ban, piano, comp.; Bob Stewart, tuba; Billy Hart, drums

Wednesday, Feb 17 – 9:30PM
Ray Anderson, trombone; Mark Helias, bass; Gerry Hemingway, drums

Friday, Feb 26 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Jamie Baum, flutes; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet; Sam Sadigursky, alto sax, bass clarinet; Chris Komer, french horn; Brad Shepik, guitar; John Escreet, piano; Zack Lober, bass; Jeff Hirshfield, drums

SLM Ensemble: TransForm at Symphony Space in February

Ned Rothenberg at Appleby Jazz Festival 2007

Source: Symphony Space.

SLM Ensemble: TransForm
An Evening of Experimental Music Works
Friday February 19, 2016 8:00PM

Jane Ira Bloom, soprano saxophone
David Morales Boroff, violin
Min Xiao-Fen, pipa
Ned Rothenberg, alto saxophone, bass clarinet
David Taylor, bass trombone
Denman Maroney, piano
Gerry Hemingway, drumset
Sam Pluta, computer, electronics
Doug Van Nort, computer, electronics
Mark Dresser, bass, composer
Sarah Weaver, conductor, composer

“Newtown Char” by Mark Dresser
“Universal Synchrony Music” by Sarah Weaver

The SLM Ensemble will perform TransForm, an evening of experimental music works integrating influences of jazz, contemporary music, improvisation, computer music, and the innovative individual languages of the performers. “Newtown Char” (2015) was composed as a musical response to the tragic events of Newtown, Connecticut and Charleston, South Carolina. In the spirit of John Coltrane’s “Alabama” this title creates a performative context. An invocation by the bass clarinet leads into a slow ostinato in 15/8, with cross-flowing descending triads. A plaintive melody lends itself to expressionistic improvisational developments and soloism into layers of musical and emotional interdependence. “Universal Synchrony Music” (2013-2016) is a multi-year electroacoustic project in collaboration with the NASA Kepler Mission and NASA ArtSpace exploring musical, technological, and metaphorical realizations of synchrony. Sonification of data on stars and planets in the Kepler field 1000-3000 light years away is utilized for presence across distance, inherent expressions of multiplanetary habitable systems, and interactions for synchrony. TransForm expresses new synthesis and creation through this music into the future.

Classical Music Listings From The New York Times

American composer Terry Riley Interview at Lin...

Source: The New York Times.

­‘Quicksand’ (through Feb. 6) Robert Ashley, the brilliant, innovative American composer who died in 2014, forged a distinctive, surrealist operatic aesthetic that meshes speech and song. This premiere of his opera-novel “Quicksand,” a mystery story, features a recording of Mr. Ashley singing the narrative, choreography by Steve Paxton, an electronic score by Tom Hamilton and light design by David Moodey. Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m., the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, 212-255-5793, thekitchen­.org. (Schweitzer)

Composers Now Festival (Saturday through Feb. 29) This worthy festival showcases an eclectic range of composers, including Steve Mackey, beginning on Saturday with a multimedia lineup that features music for piano, violin, bassoon and electronic kumongo, with a painter performing alongside the musicians. On Monday Marilyn Nonken performs spectral music at Le Poisson Rouge and the violist Nadia Sirota performs Renaissance and contemporary works at Symphony Space. On Tuesday the Attacca Quartet performs Richard Wilson’s String Quartet No. 3. On Wednesday the American Composer’s Orchestra presents Angélica Negrón’s song cycle “El Colapso” and on Thursday Lori Freedman performs solo bass and contrabass clarinet music. At various times and locations, more information is at (Schweitzer)

Dither (Tuesday through Feb. 7) This electric guitar quartet takes up residence at The Stone, in a series that includes, on Wednesday night, a rare performance of Cornelius Cardew’s experimental “Treatise,” for which the group is joined by TILT brass and four percussionists. Full details online. The Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, (David Allen)

Ashley Fure (Thursday) This young composer is better known in the European experimental scene than here, but that should change with this Composer Portrait, the first of the season. The International Contemporary Ensemble plays five works, including the premiere of “Etudes from the Anthropocene,” a study on her forthcoming “opera for objects.” At 8 p.m. Miller Theater, Broadway at 116th Street, Morningside Heights, 212-854-7799, (Allen)

Terry Riley (Wednesday) Among the many celebrations honoring the 80th birthday of the brilliant Minimalist composer Terry Riley, his seminal work “In C” will figure largely. Here it is presented by Darmstadt Essential Repertoire, an ensemble dedicated to performances of vital new and recent music. At 7:30 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, 212-505-3474, (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

AMN Reviews: Vaults of Zin – Kadath (2016; Bandcamp)

Hailing from Denton, Texas, just outside of the Dallas / Fort Worth area, Vaults of Zin is a four piece experimental metal band with a throwback twist. The lineup consists of Rob Buttrum on drums
, Greg Dixon on guitar and electric violin
, Shane Hutchinson on bass and vocals
, and Stephen Lucas on synthesizer. Rather than a straight-forward assault, Kadath features the complex songwriting of a 70’s progressive rock band. The group rounds out this approach with heavy guitars, a prominent synth attack, and aggressive vocals. Some of the singing is in the so-called “cookie monster” style, which can be hit or miss with some listeners.  Nonetheless, two of the five tracks on Kadath are instrumental, and the vocals are not a major part of the other three.

Perhaps the band’s most apparent influence is late-70’s Magma. The fourth track, Lankotan, in particular, exhibits low-frequency angular rhythms and synth weirdness that would be at home on the latter group’s Udu Wudu release. Thematically, Vaults of Zin also is a few parts H. P. Lovecraft – their name comes from that author’s writing, as does this album’s title. Consequently, the music’s brooding structures and dark overtones should not be surprising. Further comparisons could be made to Toby Driver‘s Maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot, as well as Japan’s Happy Family and France’s Nebelnest.

It has been five years since the first Vaults of Zin album. Despite this long layoff, there is no evidence of a sophomore slump. The entirety of this 50-minute album is a joy, and already a standout in what promises to be a crowded set of 2016 releases.

Chicago Scene: February 1-6, 2016

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This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area.  Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Monday, February 1st 2016

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10)
Tar Pet
Michael Zerang

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Edward Wilkerson Jr, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Moods : Brad Fritcher, Patrick Booth, Travis Swanson, Jonathan Taylor, Joe Vasquez
Open Forum Project : Dave Rempis, Chris Weller, Charlie Kirchen, Tim Daisy

Wednesday, February 3rd 2016

8:00PM at DePaul Concert Hall, 800 W Belden
Ensemble 20+, Michael Lewanski, conductor — music by Judith Weir, Augusta Read Thomas

Thursday, February 4th 2016

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10 donation)
Jason Adasiewicz Solo
Eli Namay, Phil Sudderberg

Saturday, February 6th 2016

7:00PM at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W Superior, 312.787.7070 (Free)
Lampo Presents
Alessandro Bosetti

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,,