AMN Picks of the Week: Anthony Braxton / Ewen, Cooley & Novak / Chalk, Wehowsky & Lanzillotta / Rez Abbasi

Anthony Braxton playing a contrabass saxophone

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.

Anthony Braxton – Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 (2016)
Sandy Ewen / Carol Sandin Cooley / Rebecca Novak – Garden Medium (2016)
Andrew Chalk / Ralf Wehowsky / Eric Lanzillotta – Yang-Tul (2016)
Rez Abbasi / Junction – Behind the Vibration (2016)

Henry Threadgill and His Pulitzer

Source: The Guardian.

Prior to Monday, the only jazz performers to win a Pulitzer prize for music (while still alive) were Wynton Marsalis and Ornette Coleman. A few other greats, such as Thelonious Monk, had been honored posthumously – but denied the increased standing and support that might have been valuable when they were still creating art. Now we can add a third name to this list: that of composer and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill – a veteran of the Chicago collective the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (or AACM), who is now based in New York.

Source: The New York Times.

Henry Threadgill, who on Monday was awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for music, is a composer and bandleader of intense, unyielding originality, nobody’s idea of a compromise. An alto saxophonist and flutist with a distinguished career in the post-1960s American avant-garde, he has amassed a body of work with its own functional metabolism, perpetually humming in a state of flux. He has certain affinities with, but no particular allegiance to, the jazz tradition.

Seattle Scene: April 21-30, 2016

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)
Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Mark Hilliard Wilson: Alone/Together
Thu. April 21; 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

What are the edges of communication and what can be learned from working diligently to preserve one’s ideas in corporeal form verses giving a set of instructions? Guitarist Mark Wilson performs Scelsi’s, Ko-Tha; Maurice Ohana‘s‬, Si le jour parait…; Gyorgy Kurtag’s, Cinque Merrycate, John Cage‘s Variations II, + improvisations with William Wolford, Lori Goldston, Kyle Hanson, Helen Pridmore.

Gamelan Pacifica
Fri. April 22; 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Gamelan Pacifica presents Back to the Source: Music from Central Java, with special guest renowned Javanese musician Heri Purwanto, and vocalist/pesindhèn Jessika Kenney. Directed by Jarrad Powell. Musicians: Jackie An, Maggie Brown, Michael Dorrity, Stephen Fandrich, Ted Gill, Sierra Klingele, Deena Manis, Richard Robinson, Matt Shoemaker, Stephanie Shadbolt, Jesse Snyder, Astrid Vinje.

Erin Jorgensen
Sat. April 23; 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Artist/musician Erin Jorgensen creates a sound world that is part yoga nidra, part punk rock, her music conjures up a musical palette with lots of space for the listener to fill in the blanks. Using a five-octave marimba, both acoustic and amplified, with intimate vocals, backing electronics, and stream-of-consciousness thoughts, her soundscapes are ideal for closed eyes, 3 AM thoughts, and dreams.

TUE. 4/26 – NOCCO String Quartet plays finalists in Seattle Composers Alliance’s 2nd Annual Call for Scores

FRI. 4/29 – Leviathan Worship Service + DTMF

SAT. 4/30 – Seattle Bass Clarinet Project

Detailed Review of Anthony Braxton’s 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 by Alexander Hawkins

Anthony Braxton

Source: LondonJazz.

There’s no particular reason to seek to locate Anthony Braxton’s work within a jazz paradigm, unless perhaps you work in a record store, and need to decide nothing more than physically where to file the relevant stock (although it’s worth noting too that Braxton’s multimedia vision is such that in the coming years, the record store itself might be only one of many types of outlet in which his work might be found; it’s easy to imagine the current move of virtual reality technologies into the sphere of consumer electronics attracting him as one further set of options for ‘friendly experiencers’). One way in which he does fit squarely within a jazz paradigm, however, lies in his restless search for innovation – think of an Ellington, a Coltrane, or a Davis.