Upcoming Philadelphia Shows

English: Photography of William Parker at Jazz...

Source: Ars Nova Workshop.

William Parker Sextet
65th Birthday Celebration
Sat, 01/21/2017 – 8:00pm
Painted Bride Art Center
Ars Nova Workshop, Painted Bride Art Ceneter, and Warriors of the Wonderful Sound are thrilled to celebrate the 65th birthday of bassist/composer William Parker with an all-star sextet performance featuring some of the legendary free-jazz bassist’s Philly-based contemporaries.

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
XL Philadelphia Septet
Sat, 02/18/2017 – 8:00pm
Philadelphia Art Alliance
Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present the return of bassist/composer Moppa Elliott’s irreverent ensemble Mostly Other People Do the Killing, celebrating the release of the second album by their expanded septet incarnation, Loafer’s Hollow.

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
The Freedom Principle
Fri, 02/24/2017 – 8:00pm
Ars Nova Workshop welcomes the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble to Philadelphia in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the legendary cult film Love Jones, in which El’Zabar and Avery both appeared.

Battle Trance
Thu, 03/02/2017 – 8:00pm
The Rotunda
Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present the expansive tenor saxophone quartet Battle Trance, celebrating the release of their second album, “Blade of Love.”

Donny McCaslin‘s Blackstar Quartet
Tue, 03/07/2017 – 8:00pm
Johnny Brenda’s
Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present saxophonist Donny McCaslin and his quartet, which became the backing band for Blackstar, David Bowie’s final recording.

Second Inversion Reviews

Aphex Twin at the Traffic - Torino Free Festiv...

Source: Second Inversion.

Partita for 8 Voices Remixes
Sarah Kirkland Snider: Unremembered: VIII. The Witch (New Amsterdam)
Aphex Twin: Mt. Saint Michel performed by Alarm Will Sound (Cantaloupe Music)
Conlon Nancarrow (arr. Evan Ziporyn): Four Player Piano Studies performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars (Cantaloupe Music)
Lisa Bielawa: Synopsis No. 12 “What I Did Over Summer Vacation” Michael Norsworthy, clarinet (BMOP/Sound)

Han-earl Park Interview

Source: 7 Questions for… Han-earl Park – a Jazz Noise.

Han-earl Park has been called a musical philosopher. Han-earl Park plays guitar. Han-earl Park improvises. Han-earl Park invents machines that improvise (seriously, it’s called io 0.0.1 beta++). Han-earl Park is difficult to describe, so here’s what it says on his own website, “Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for twenty years.”

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Dave Burrell

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders, Caroline Pugh – Sirene 1009 (Buster and Friends 2017) ****½
Dave Burrell & Bob Stewart – Play the Music of Jelly Roll Morton and Dave Burrell: The Crave (NoBusiness, 2016) ****
Brötzmann – Graphic Works, 1959-2016 (Wolke Verlag, 2016) *****
New Old Luten Quintet – Krawall! (Euphorium Records, 2016) ****
DKV/Thing Trio – Collider (Not Two Records, 2016) ****½
Radian – On Dark Silent Off (Thrill Jockey, 2016) *****
Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida and Masama Akita – Process and Reality (Cuneiform, 2016) ****½

New Theo Bleckmann Album Reviewed

English: Theo Bleckmann, moers festival 2008

Source: Theo Bleckmann.

Multifaceted jazz vocalist Theo Bleckmann is poised to release his new album Elegy on January 27, marking his debut as a leader on ECM. (Get it from Amazon.) This record marks the next stage in his career—which seems to be on an upward arc over the past few years—and represents the most mature statement yet of his artistic vision.

Elegy is a series of meditations on death and transcendence, but it never falls into morbidity or depression, but rather peacefully examines these transitions with a certain sense of detachment. Bleckmann and his group, composed of guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Chris Tordini, keyboardist Shai Maestro and drummer John Hollenbeck, approach their collective sound with an emphasis on ambience and atmosphere, a perfect accompaniment to the subject matter at hand and a perfect fit for the ECM aesthetic.

Julius Eastman’s Guerrilla Minimalism 

Source: The New Yorker.

Minimalism, the last great scandal-making revolution in twentieth-century music, has become venerable. This season, Steve Reich and Philip Glass are being celebrated worldwide on the occasion of their eightieth birthdays. (Reich’s was in October; Glass’s is on January 31st.) Arvo Pärt, the auratic “mystic minimalist” from Estonia, received similar genuflections when he turned eighty, in 2015. Boxed sets have been issued, academic conferences organized, books published. Kyle Gann, Keith Potter, and Pwyll ap Siôn’s “Ashgate Research Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music,” the most comprehensive treatment to date, covers everything from John Adams’s “Harmonielehre” to the electronic drone pieces of Éliane Radigue.

The major revelation, though, has been the brazen and brilliant music of Julius Eastman, who was all but forgotten at century’s end. Eastman found a degree of fame in the nineteen-seventies and early eighties, mainly as a singer: he performed the uproarious role of George III in Peter Maxwell Davies’s “Eight Songs for a Mad King,” in the company of Pierre Boulez, and toured with Meredith Monk.