AMN Reviews: Aram Bajakian – Dolphy Formations (2016; Sanasar Records)

Aram Bajakian is a guitarist of all trades – playing with Lou Reed, Diana Krall, Yusef Lateef, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Nels Cline, James Carter, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Sean Lennon, Steven Bernstein, Billy Martin, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Mat Maneri, and many others. His own releases reflect this eclecticism, being all over the map so to speak, in terms of style. On Dolphy Formations, his most recent offering, Bajakian explores textures and drones.

The compositions are based on Eric Dolphy’s Synthetic Formations, scale-like structures that Dolphy gave to Yusef Lateef in 1961. Joining Bajakian on this exploration are Peggy Lee on cello and JP Carter on trumpet. All three navigate slowly-shifting passages, each holding notes for several seconds while the others modulate their own held notes. The result is near-ambient music, often hovering on the edges of perception, yet occasionally upping the volume and intensity.

The three aptly-titled tracks, Variation 1, Variation 2, and Variation 3 involve different patterns, but a similar overall feel. Particularly, this “long note” approach to improvised minimalism blends Bajakian’s distorted guitar, trumpet, and cello in an unusually pleasing fashion. The closest comparison that comes off the top of my head is to VidnaObmana’s Landscape in Obscurity, perhaps with some Sonic Youth, Morton Feldman, and Lou Reed thrown in.

Another solid outing from Bajakian, who continues to impress and surprise.

AMN Interview with Aram Bajakian:
https://avantmusicnews.com/2014/01/27/amn-interviews-aram-bajakian/

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2016 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part VII

It’s that time again. We gather best-of-2016 lists from around the web and provide links here. The AMN full Best of 2016 is coming in early January. Stay tuned…

Tom Orange’s noteworthy releases of 2016
NBC San Diego’s top 12 jazz concerts of the year
The Free Jazz Blog reviewers’ top lists
John Sharpe’s best of 2016
ACL 2016: Top Ten Experimental
ACL 2016: Top Ten Modern Composition
ACL 2016: Top Ten Field Recording & Soundscape

Previous Best of 2016 Lists
https://avantmusicnews.com/2016/07/03/avant-music-news-best-of-2016-so-far/
https://avantmusicnews.com/2016/12/06/best-of-2016-lists-part-i/
https://avantmusicnews.com/2016/12/11/2016-best-of-lists-from-around-the-web-part-ii/
https://avantmusicnews.com/2016/12/14/2016-best-of-lists-from-around-the-web-part-iii/
https://avantmusicnews.com/2016/12/18/2016-best-of-lists-from-around-the-web-part-iv/
https://avantmusicnews.com/2016/12/21/2016-best-of-lists-from-around-the-web-part-v/
https://avantmusicnews.com/2016/12/24/2016-best-of-lists-from-around-the-web-part-vi/

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

English: A photo of Ahmad Jamal performing wit...

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

BassDrumBone: Mark Helias/Gerry Hemingway/Ray Anderson 40 Year Celebration! Knuckleball: Daviel Levine/Mark Hannaford/Devin Gray! Three More CDs from the Leap of Faith entourage! Andrea Neumann/Sharif Sehnaoui/Michael Thieke/Michael Vorfeld! Richard Youngs!

Thollem McDonas/Pauline Oliveros/Nels Cline LP! Plus Historic discs from: Bert Jansch! David Crosby & the Dead! Nurse with Wound! Paul Chambers! Ahmad Jamal! Art Farmer and Even More!

*******

The FREE DMG Weekly New Music In-Store Series Continues on Sundays with:

Monday, January 2nd 2017: New Years Celebration to Kick Off 2017 With Something Special!
6pm: BEN GOLDBERG & TOM RAINEY Return to DMG!

Sunday, January 8th, 2017:
6pm: ABRAHAM MENNEN / KESIVAN NAIDOO – Tenor Sax & Drums
7pm: DANIEL LEVIN / HENRY FRASER – Cello & Contrabass

Sunday, January 15th:
6pm: SAM NEWSOME Solo Soprano

Sunday, January 22nd:
6pm: ALEC HARPER TRIO With BRANDON LOPEZ / FLIN VAN HEMMEN
7pm: KNUCKLEBALL: DANIEL LEVINE/MARC HANNAFORD/DEVIN GRAY – CD Release set!

Sunday, January 29th:
6pm: HAG: BRAD HENKEL / SEAN ALI / DAVID GROLLMAN – Trumpet / Contrabass / Snare Drum
7pm: MAKOTO KAWASIMA – Solo Alto Sax
8pm: BLAISE SIWULA / ERIC PLAKS – Saxes & keyboard

All About Jazz Reviews

Van der Graaf Generator

Source: All About Jazz.

Van Der Graaf Generator
Do Not Disturb (Esoteric Antenna)

Nuova Camerata
Chant (Improvising Beings)

Henry Threadgill
Pi Recordings 2016 Releases (Pi Recordings)

Daniele D’Agaro, Giovanni Maier, Zlatko Kaućić
Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette (Not Two Records)

Miles Davis
Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974 (Sony Music)

Barry Guy / Marilyn Crispell / Paul Lytton
Deep Memory (Intakt Records)

Neuköllner Modelle
Sektion 1-2 (Umlaut Records)