AMN Reviews: Nate Wooley – Battle Pieces II (2017; Relative Pitch Records)

With Nate Wooley, the journey is more important than the destination – in fact arriving at an intended location (or any particular outcome for that matter) is not required. Battle Pieces II, which will be out September 15 on Relative Pitch Records, is a follow-up to Wooley’s 2014 Battle Pieces recording. Featuring the same lineup (Wooley on trumpet, Ingrid Laubrock on saxophones, Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, and Matt Moran on vibes), this sophomore effort was recorded live at The Loft in Köln, Germany after the group had had a chance to refine and expand the original material.

Not unlike its predecessor, this album is based on a musical system. Notably, over 100 snippets that exercise the textural and timbral aspects of each instrument and groups thereof. The result is something that is not free improv, but a spontaneous composition formed according to a set of rules. The arrangements focus on one or two lead instruments, with the others filling in the gaps and providing accents. There certainly are melodies and harmonies on these four pieces, but they are short and fleeting. The lead instrumentalist is given room to express him or herself, and it should be no surprise that these four do so in an “outside” fashion. Still, the pieces tend to move slowly and in an atmospheric manner, even when the playing gets frenetic.

After a few listens to Battle Pieces II, one cannot help but think that Wooley is not so much a composer, but an architect of musical language. Similar to Anthony Braxton (one of his mentors and a clear inspiration), Wooley designs meta-musical constructs that set forth particular constraints within which a group can explore and experiment. Wooley and company could exercise these elements every day for a year and never repeat themselves. Let’s hope this journey continues regardless of where it ends up.

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2018 NYC Winter Jazzfest Announced

Source: Winter Jazzfest.

In 2017, Winter JazzFest artists addressed various themes of social justice in their music. Now in its 14th annual season, Winter Jazzfest 2018 will span January 10-17, 2018, presenting cutting-edge programming.

Following the 2017 incarnation of the festival, inspired by the public’s response to our social justice focus, Winter Jazzfest founder and producer Brice Rosenbloom decided to continue presenting concerts focusing on matters of social justice with a concert series entitled, WE RESIST! So far artists addressing social justice issues in their music have included Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence, Harriet Tubman, James Brandon Lewis, Samora Pinderhughes’ Transformations Suite, Shabaka and the Ancestors, La Frae Sci, Marc Ribot, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem and more. Each performance raises money for a charity of the musicians’ choice. This series will continue throughout the end of 2017 and beyond.

Fittingly, the 2018 Winter Jazz Fest will focus on five main themes pertaining to social justice (mass incarceration, sexual and gender equality, racial justice, immigration rights and environmental responsibility), in direct protest to the actions and legislative agenda of the current White House and Congress. “We encourage musicians to submit projects for performance based on these themes for our 2018 festival,” says Rosenbloom. Artists may submit entries to info@winterjazzfest.org.

Additionally this year, Winter Jazzfest is pleased to announce that our Artist-in-Residence is flutist, composer, bandleader and educator Nicole Mitchell, As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been named Flutist of the Year in the Down Beat International Critics Poll for 11 consecutive years; she has been named Jazz Journalists Association’s “Top Flutist of the Year” from 2010-2017. Her music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas from gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion. Mitchell served as the first woman president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and has been a member since 1995. She was named “Chicagoan of the Year” in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. In 2017, she relased a broadly acclaimed album Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds (FPE Records), which landed her on the cover of Wire Magazine. She is currently Professor of Music in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology, (ICIT) at the University of California, Irvine. She will present her Black Earth Ensemble, Maroon Cloud, and two other new ensembles.

The signature Winter Jazzfest Marathon is scheduled for Friday January 12th – Saturday January 13th. This two-night event straddles venues on the North and South ends of Greenwich Village, taking over multiple stages at The New School and numerous stages South, East and West of Washington Square Park.

For the third year in a row, Winter Jazzfest is pleased to partner with the legendary ECM Records, which will present five current acts releasing albums in the coming year. This year the iconic label will again present one night of programming. Other labels showcasing artists on their own stages this year include Motéma Records, as well as stages curated by New York concert impresarios Meghan Stabile of Revive Music Group, Michael Katsobashvili of the New York Hot Jazz Festival, while Adam Schatz of Search & Restore remains a co-producer of the festival with Rosenbloom.

Seattle Scene: August 25 – September 1, 2017

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

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.

M. Barreca + J. Muir + S. Peters
Fri. Aug. 25, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

An evening of ambient/electro-acoustic music celebrating new releases by three Seattle artists on once-local labels. Marc Barreca and Steve Peters have both released a number of projects over the years on the Palace of Lights label. Barreca’s newest are Aberrant Lens and a double CD with K. Leimer, Dual Mono. Peters’ new CD is Airforms (Chamber Music 10). Upstart sound artist Jake Muir unveils his new release on Dragon’s Eye, Acclimation.

Jarrad Powell + Golden Retriever
Sat. Aug. 26, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Jarrad Powell (Gamelan Pacifica, Cornish College) will present his electronic music, a rare opportunity to experience these works outside of a music for dance context. Golden Retriever (Matt Carlson & Jonathan Sielaff) use modular synthesis and amplified/effected bass clarinet to combine an intense emotional immediacy and meditative focus with strong melodicism and an organic, naturalistic approach to electronic sound. Presented by Gift Tapes/DRAFT.

THU. 8/31 – French horn player Tom Varner hosts an evening of end-of-summer improvisations and meditations with Heather Bentley, James Falzone, Paul Kikuchi, Steve Barsotti, Doug Haire, and Steve Peters

FRI. 9/1 – Seattle Composers’ Salon – music by S. Eric Scribner, Patrick O’Keefe, and others TBA

Vital Weekly Reviews 1094

Source: Vital Weekly.

AYU NAKADA – A CIRCUIT NOT TURNING (CD by Kyou Records) *
ELMA – A DREAM NOT TO BE ABLE TO REMEMBER (CD by Kyou Records) *
MIYAMOTO TAKASHI – POLARIZATION (CD by Kyou Records) *
HANNU KARJALAINEN – A HANDFUL OF DUST IS A DESERT (CD by Karaoke Kalk) *
VILDE & INGA – SILFR (CD by Sofa)
IVANN CRUZ – LIGNES DE FUITE (CD by Circum-Disc)
SICK BOSS – SICK BOSS (CD by Drip Audio)
RON SAMWORTH – DOGS DO DREAM (CD by Drip Audio)
AVA – MUSIC FROM AN IMAGINARY LAND (CD by Trytone)
NATIVE ALIENS ENSEMBLE –SAME (CD by Trytone)
KEITH BERRY – SIMULACRA (2CD by Infraction) *
ELINTSEEKER – GERWELK MODES (CD by Plop) *
THINGS TO SOUNDS – 3 (CD by Wide Ear Records)
ZIMMERLIN & STOFFNER & MEIER – ONE (FOR YOUR NAME ONLY) (CD by Wide Ear Records)
SEWER ELECTION – MALIGN (LP by Ideal Recordings)
JH1.FS3 – LOYALTY (LP by ideal Recordings)
HENRIK RYLANDER – FEEDBACK OVERLOAD UNIT (LP by ideal Recordings)
HECTOR ROTTWEILER – INFRASTRUKTUR (12″ by Bin)
KATJA INSTITUTE – KA PAHANA 7 (4 CDRs, private) *
FORM (CDR by Aubjects) *
MODELBAU – Radiance (CDR by Glistening Examples) *
RUTGER ZUYDERVELT – CONCRETE SCORES (CDR by Glistening Examples) *
MACHINEFABRIEK – FIGHT SCORE (3”CDR by Machinefabriek) *
TIBETAN RED – CALLIGRAPHY (CDR by Antahkarana Records) *
EXO_C – LABOYATTA (CDR by Kvitnu) *
CHRS GALARRETA – RAW FIELD RECORDINGS II: ELECTROMAGNETIC DETRITUS (CDR by Aloardi) *
MARDOLOR – CIEGATE PARA SIEMPRE (cassette by Craneal Fracture Records)
MR MONDOGREEN (cassette by Barreuh Records) *
AARON DILLOWAY/JIM MORRISON – FEAR SWEPT THE POOLSIDES (cassette by Laffs & Danger)

Experimental Groundbreakers Controlled Bleeding Straddle the Primal and Cerebral 

Controlled Bleeding

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Controlled Bleeding bandleader and guitarist Paul Lemos isn’t the type of artist you can pigeonhole. Since founding Controlled Bleeding in Boston in the late ‘70s, Lemos has led the band through a dizzying array of musical styles including post-punk, fusion, power electronics, and industrial, to name just a few. Not unlike King Crimson or Swans—acts whose names function as institutions that host revolving casts of players—Controlled Bleeding can appear to be an entirely different band depending on which album or period you focus on.