AMN Reviews: Warren Schoenbright – Excavations (2018; Vacant Fulfilment)

Repetition can be hit or miss. It is the hallmark and defining feature of certain genres, but can easily be overdone. Warren Schoenbright – not a person but instead a U.K.-based experimental trio  – makes exquisite use of the technique. Consisting of Alex Virji on bass and occasional vocals, Matthew Pastkewicz on electronics, and Daniel McClennan on drums, the group offers Excavations as their latest release.

A single-track EP lasting 25 minutes, the piece was inspired by the abandoned machinery of a now-defunct haematite mine and is dominated by the fractured rhythms of Virji and McClennan. The aforementioned repetition invokes the operations of these rusting hulks, as the bass and drum patterns slowly vary over the length of the track.  When Virji takes the lead, McClennan either follows along or sets forth non-deterministic rattling. On top of these elements, Pastkewicz provides subtle and foreboding soundscapes and Virji offers the sporadic shout. One could make comparisons to the Japanese drum / bass powerhouse Ruins (though less frenetic) or King Crimson at their less song-oriented moments.

Landing somewhere between heavy metal, ambient, prog rock, and experimental improvisation, Excavations is a powerful and concise statement. To these ears, Warren Schoenbright is at their best when they loosen up into a more extemporaneous approach to contrast with the mechanical theme of the album.  Regardless, there is much to like here.

Chicago Scene: April 28 – May 5, 2018

English: *description: Joe McPhee at the Empty...

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area. Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, April 28th 2018

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Black Earth Ensemble 20th Anniversary Celebration
Black Earth Ensemble : Nicole Mitchell, Ugochi, Joshua Abrams, Marcus Evans, Jovia Armstrong, special guests TBA

8:30PM at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan, 773.837.0145 ($15)
Odonis Odonis

Sunday, April 29th 2018

7:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($7)
Chicago premiere of “Sonica Sequence”
Screening and live music by Nordström, Lisa and Pether Lindgren, Tim Daisy

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont (wheelchair-accessible)
The Bridge
Joe McPhee, Daunik Lazro, Joshua Abrams, Guillaume Séguron, special guests TBA

Monday, April 30th 2018

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069
Michael Coleman, Ben Goldberg

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Edward Wilkerson Jr, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Tuesday, May 1st 2018

9:30PM at The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee (wheelchair-accessible)
Daunik Lazro, Guillaume Séguron, Gerrit Hatcher, Angel Elmore, Harrison Bankhead, Isaiah Spencer
Fred Jackson, Keefe Jackson, Jim Baker, Nick Macri, Mikel Avery

Wednesday, May 2nd 2018

7:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$12)
A Pride of Lions : The Bridge #11
Joe McPhee, Daunik Lazro, Joshua Abrams, Guillaume Séguron, Chad Taylor
ASM-CWCMC Orchestra — music by Kamasi Washington, Giacomo Puccini, New Direction

Thursday, May 3rd 2018

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
The Bridge
Joe McPhee, Guillaume Séguron, Christian Dillingham, Jason Roebke
Pride Of Lions : Joe McPhee, Daunik Lazro, Guillaume Séguron, Joshua Abrams, Chad Taylor

Friday, May 4th 2018

5:00PM at Andy’s Jazz Club, 11 E Hubbard, 312.642.6805
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound, with Fred Jackson Jr, Artie Black, Dustin Laurenzi, Dan Pierson, Mike Harmon

9:00PM at Sleeping Village, 3734 W Belmont, 773.654.3971
The Bridge #11
A Pride of Lions : Joe McPhee, Daunik Lazro, Guillaume Séguron, Joshua Abrams, Chad Taylor
Ben LaMar Gay’s Radio Trio, with Alex Inglizian, Will Faber

Saturday, May 5th 2018

5:00PM at Andy’s Jazz Club, 11 E Hubbard, 312.642.6805
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound, with Artie Black, Dustin Laurenzi, Dan Pierson, Mike Harmon

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Deutsch: Steve Swallow c/o Carla Bley & The Lo...

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog! ROVA Sax Quartet at 40! Jean Derome & Ensemble SuperMusique – Resitances! Kip Hanrahan Returns with Jack Bruce / Brandon Ross / Charles Neville / Steve Swallow..! Lotte Anker / Pat Thomas / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten / Stale Liavik Solberg!

Iva Bittova / Gyan Riley / Evan Ziporyan! Bob Downes Open Music: Barry Guy! Two from Leap of Faith! New from Sunnyside: Mike McGinnis / Art Lande / Steve Swallow! Caroline Davis / Marquis Hill! Edward Simon: David Binney / Adam Rogers! Miles Davis Classic Collaborations! Neil Young!

LP’s from Slapp Happy / Henry Cow! Heldon! Bass Communion! Richard Youngs! Steve Roach!


Upcoming Sets at Downtown Music Gallery – FREE, every Sunday at 6pm


Sunday April 29th:
7pm: NICOLAS LETMAN-BURTINOVIC / MICHAEL LYTLE – Contrabass & Bass Clarinet!

Rare Tuesday, May 1st:
6:30pm: ELLIOTT SHARP – Solo Acoustic Guitar and Reading from Book, ‘IrRational Music’; Plus refreshments and a talk from David Rothenberg and Kyla Rose-Smith about their new publishing venture Found Sound Record

Sunday, May 6th:
6pm: THOMAS HELTON and BRANDON LOPEZ – Contrabass Duo
7pm: NICOLA HEIN and ROBERT DICK – Guitar and Flutes

Rare Monday, May 7th:
6:30 pm: LORIN BENEDICT / MARIA GRAND / CAROLINE DAVIS – Voice / Tenor Sax / Alto Sax!
7:30 pm: CHRIS PITSIOKOS – Solo Alto Sax!

Sunday, May 13th:
6pm: JACKDAW: SEAN ALI / ERIKA DICKER / JOE MOFFETT – Contrabass / Violin / trumpet!

Dave Burrell Interview

Dave Burrell

Source: burning ambulance.

Episode 15 of the Burning Ambulance podcast features an interview with avant-garde jazz pianist Dave Burrell, who is being honored at the 2018 Vision Festival at Roulette in Brooklyn and who performed at Cecil Taylor‘s funeral on April 10, the day before this interview was recorded.

Dave Burrell has been a respected and admired figure on the free jazz scene since he arrived in New York in 1965. He was born in Ohio, but raised in Harlem before his parents moved to Hawaii for much of his childhood—he later studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In the late 1960s, he recorded as a leader and played on albums by Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Noah Howard, Sonny Sharrock, Sunny Murray, and many others. He moved to France in 1969 and played at the Pan-African Festival and recorded for the legendary BYG Actuel label. In this hour-long interview, he discusses his classic albums; his relationships with Cecil Taylor, Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp and others; his plans for the 2018 Vision Festival; and much more.