A New Harry Partch Collection from New World Records

Harry Partch (c. 1969), from the cover of The ...

Source: The Hum Blog

Within the history of American avant-garde music, few figures are as important as Harry Partch – yet while Ives and Cage are household names, Partch’s music (which is an important conceptual bridge between them) largely remains hidden in the shadows. Whether I like it or not, there are tangible reasons for this. It goes without saying that avant-garde music places extreme demands on its listeners, but if we examine its prominent figures and movements with scrutiny, it becomes apparent that in most cases those demands were constrained. The leaps from Mahler to Schoenberg, from Schoenberg to Serialism, and from Serialism to Musique Concrete and John Cage are relatively short – each taking the ground of its predecessor and advancing it. Not only does Partch stand outside the legacies and inheritance of Western avant-garde traditions, but his demands on listeners were profound.

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Astral Traveling: The Ecstasy of Spiritual Jazz

Source: Pitchfork.

Concurrently, the era’s primary African-American art form reflected such upheaval in its music, too: Jazz began to push against all constraints, be it chord changes, predetermined tempos, or melodies, so as to best reflect the pursuit of freedom in all of its forms. Rather than the Tin Pan Alley standards, modal explorations, and cool poses that previously defined the genre, there was now chaos, noise, and tumult to be found. And amid the disorder out on the street and on the bandstand was also a quest for a spiritual center, a search for communion with the divine.

This musical exploration was epitomized by tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, whose 1965 album A Love Supreme was conceived as “a humble offering to Him, an attempt to say ‘THANK YOU GOD’ through our work.” Coltrane soon began to break through the boundaries of jazz even further on albums like OM, Meditations, and especially 1966’s Ascension, which featured a collective improvisation by an 11-piece band that included many leading luminaries of what would be called “The New Thing” in jazz.

Magma in San Diego Previewed

Photo du concert de Magma à la salle des Fetes...

Source: SanDiegoUnionTribune.com.

Magma is the only band I can think of that invented its own, entirely phonetic language, Kobaïan, to write and perform the lyrics to its songs.

And a planet, Kobaia, that — according to Magma — is a nirvana for creativity for former earthlings, known as the Univeria Zekt, “the new man,” as well as being a breeding ground for aliens who hope to save mankind from imminent self-destruction. (They may be a little late, if the tenor of our current presidential primary elections provide an accurate barometer).

And a name to describe its genre-leaping fusion, Zeuhl Wortz, which (somewhat immodestly) translates as “vibratory music of the universal might.” Zeuhl Wortz incorporates elements of very progressive rock, jazz, classical, avant-garde, trance, opera and more.

Recent Releases on Tzadik

Source: Tzadik.

Anton Fier : Dreamspeed/Blindlight 1992-1994

Anton Fier is well-known in rock circles as the drummer for the Feelies, the original Lounge Lizards and mastermind of the Golden Palominos, and these two CDs, both long out of print and now with two unreleased bonus tracks, may well be his best work.

Featuring Japanese vocalist Phew, bass terrorist Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Buckethead, Makino Kazu (Blonde Redhead) and many of Anton’s longtime collaborators, dreamspeed/blindlight 1992–1994 is the definitive document of one of the Downtown scene’s most elusive musicians.

Jerry Hunt : SongDrapes

Born in Waco, Texas, Jerry Hunt was a friend of Jack Ruby, a pianist in strip clubs, a student of the occult and the founder of his own mail order church at the age of 13. Jerry Hunt was also one of the great pioneers of live electronic music. Very much a modern-day shaman, he designed most of his own equipment and used it in unique ways to create backdrops for his magical performances that referred to, among many other things, exotic ritual, the esoteric traditions of Rosicrucianism, Aleister Crowley and modern science. The SongDrapes were some of Jerry’s last and greatest creations, and feature vocalists Karen Finley, Shelley Hirsch and Mike Patton.

John Zorn : Flaga: The Book Of Angels Volume 27

For one of the last CDs in the Book of Angels series Zorn has put together an astonishing all-star piano trio featuring three of the most powerful and respected musicians in the jazz/new music scene: Craig Taborn, Christian McBride and Tyshawn Sorey. Diving into eight tunes from Zorn’s mystical Masada project they take off in flights of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic fancy that will make your head spin. Visceral and virtuosic, Flaga is one of the most spontaneous and exciting installments in the Masada catalog.

Vital Weekly Reviews 1023

The Legendary Pink Dots, Castle Party 2007, Bolków

Source: Vital Weekly.

Hinterlandt – Ensemble (Cd by Art as Catharsis) *
Big Hare – Hasyayoga (Cd by Blowpipe) *
Strom Noir/Micromelancolié – ’49°05’19,3″n 22°34’0 (Cd by Zoharum) *
Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim – A Bug’s Life (Cd by Zoharum) *
Martin Kay – Courtyards (Cd by Herbal International) *
Michael Begg/Human Greed – Let the Cold Stove Sing (Cd by Omnempathy) *
Miguel A. garcia & Alfredo Costa Monteiro – Ate Gena (Cd by Geräuschmanufaktur) *
Takumi Seino &Amp; Hugues Vincent – Last Tree (Cd by Voice of Silence)
Joanna Gemma Auguri – Green Water (Cd by Baboushka Records)
Vonneumann – Sitcom Koan (Cd by Ammiratore Omonimo Records)
The Legendary Pink Dots – The Seismic Bleats of Quantum Sheep (Lp by Abstrakce) *
The Silverman – Disorient Express (Cdr by the Terminal Kaleidoscope) *
Astatine & Ogrob – Oeil Celeste (10″ by Doubtful Sounds)
Astatine – Du Jazz Dans LA Ferraille (Cdr by Orgasm) *
Astatine – Faiblesse DE Certains Sons DE Guitar Lache (Cdr by Orgasm) *
Bionulor – Stary Pisarz (Cdr by Oniron) *
Circuitnoise – Corrupted Cloud Transmissions (Cdr by Attenuation Circuit) *
Eigenidyll – Kurmassnahmen (Cdr by Attenuation Circuit) *
Pustota – Greatest Hits (Cd by Zhelezobeton) *
X3d5 X Noises of Russia – Theurgy (Cd by Zhelezobeton) *
Polkka Love Machine (Cd by Zhelezobeton) *
Lisa Cameron & Nathan Bowles – Liquid Sunshine (Cdr by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
Mike Barrett & Tom Crean – Casual Luddites (Cdr by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
Kse 10th Anniversary Album (Cdr by Kendra Steiner Editions)
Epavlis Pavlakis – 16 Quartets (Cassette by Noise Below)