AMN Reviews: Adam Hopkins – Crickets (2018; Out of Your Head Records)

New York bassist Adam Hopkins offers Crickets as his first release in the role of leader, as well as the first release on his new label, Out of Your Head Records. As is increasingly common, the lineup is a supergroup of sorts, with Anna Webber, Ed Rosenberg, and Josh Sinton on saxophones, Jonathan Goldberger on guitar, and Devin Gray on drums. But what is uncommon about this release is Hopkins’ blend of free jazz, fusion, and rock stylings.

The triple sax approach provides each track with a thick central focus, even when Webber, Rosenberg, and Sinton break apart into formless diversions. A prime example of this approach is Crickets / Crime of the Year, which begins with a string / sax interlude that would be in place in a modern classical piece.  Hopkins, Goldberger, and Gray then lay down a complex rock-oriented rhythm over which the saxes alternate between joining together in angular melodies and splitting apart into individual wailings. A similar mix of composition and improvisation can be found on Mudball, as well as I Think the Duck was Fine – modern jazz with an aggressive guitar-oriented underpinning.

The closest recent comparison that comes to mind in Dan Phillips’ Chicago Edge Ensemble, though there is no connection that I am aware of between these groups aside from compelling and unconventional jazz compositions juxtaposed with blowouts. This is a singular release and hopefully the first of many from Hopkins.

https://outofyourheadrecords.bandcamp.com/releases

San Francisco Scene: September 15-21, 2018

Source: Bay Improviser.

Saturday, September 15

Sat 9/15 11:00 AM Bird & Beckett Books and Records [653 Chenery St. SF]
Andre Custodio is hosting a series of performances of textured sound utilizing electronics and other instruments for a bookstore environment. Performing solo for most of these Saturdays, but will occasionally invite others to fill-in.

Sat 9/15 1:00 PM Castro Theatre [429 Castro St San Francisco, California]
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents Club Foot Orchestra’s GREATEST HITS. 1 PM – BUSTER & FELIX; 3:15 – CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI; 6:00 – METROPOLIS; 9:30 – NOSFERATU. The 10 piece ensemble of some of the best San Francisco musicians, performs their scores to classic silent films. Beth Custer, Clarinets; Sheldon Brown, Woodwinds; Chris Grady, Trumpet; Richard Marriott, Winds; Gino Robair, Percussion; Will Bernard, Guitar; Kymry Esainko, Keyboard; Alisa Rose, Violin; Sascha Jacobsen, Contrabass; Deirdre McClure, Conductor.

Sat 9/15 7:00 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Steven Bernstein Fest: MTO WEST, Shows at 7:00pm & 8:30pm
A master of the previously obscure slide trumpet, Steven Bernstein is a fearless improviser, composer and arranger. For this four-night residency presents two of his most explosive ensembles.

Sat 9/15 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Charles Xavier’s Cow Walk Orchestra: THE BOSCO SERIES
Performing THE BOSCO SERIES: Experimental Sonic exploration and Creative Jazz featuring Trumpet, Guitar, Drums and Synth interplay.

Sat 9/15 7:30 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Still Dreaming: JOSHUA REDMAN, RON MILES, SCOTT COLLEY, & BRIAN BLADE
Formed by saxophonist Joshua Redman in tribute to his late father, saxophone giant Dewey Redman, this quartet comprising four of the greatest instrumentalists in modern jazz draws inspiration from Old and New Dreams, the iconic 1980s band featuring the elder Redman and fellow Ornette Coleman collaborators Ed Blackwell, Charlie Haden, and Don Cherry. They return to SFJAZZ in celebration of the release of their new Nonesuch album, Still Dreaming.

Sat 9/15 8:30 PM Hemlock Tavern [1131 Polk Street SF]
Tashi Dorji, Bill Orcutt, Lo Conocen, VOL.

Sunday, September 16

Sun 9/16 2:00 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Still Dreaming: JOSHUA REDMAN, RON MILES, SCOTT COLLEY, & BRIAN BLADE
Formed by saxophonist Joshua Redman in tribute to his late father, saxophone giant Dewey Redman, this quartet comprising four of the greatest instrumentalists in modern jazz draws inspiration from Old and New Dreams, the iconic 1980s band featuring the elder Redman and fellow Ornette Coleman collaborators Ed Blackwell, Charlie Haden, and Don Cherry. They return to SFJAZZ in celebration of the release of their new Nonesuch album, Still Dreaming.

Sun 9/16 3:00 PM Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts [1537 Euclid Ave. Berkeley]
Thomas Schultz plays Rzewski’s: “The People United Will Never Be Defeated”

Sun 9/16 4:00 PM Old First Concerts [1751 Sacramento St. SF]
Winnie Nieh with Paul Dab

Sun 9/16 6:00 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Steven Bernstein Fest: STEVEN BERNSTEIN’S MTO WEST, Shows at 6:00pm & 8:30pm
A master of the previously obscure slide trumpet, Steven Bernstein is a fearless improviser, composer and arranger. For this four-night residency presents two of his most explosive ensembles.

Sun 9/16 7:30 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Doors That Only Open in Silence (open participation, non-hierarchical workshop in free improvisation)
The monthly series of improvisation research at Temescal Arts Center continues. Bring your instrument or come to listen. No advance notice needed — just show up. Small groups will be randomly assembled from submitted names immediately before each group plays. We try to keep transition time between groups at a minimum. Over by 10pm. It’s free. If you want to contribute, bring snacks and drinks.

Sun 9/16 8:30 PM Pro Arts [150 Frank H Ogawa Plz Oakland]
Tashi Dorji , Zachary James Watkins, Beast Nest, Salt Pillar

Monday, September 17

Mon 9/17 7:00 PM Adobe Books [3130 24th St SF]
Chris Duncan•Joey Largent•Marc Kate

Mon 9/17 9:30 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society: Bristle + Dunkelman/fluke-mogul/Weeks Trio

Wednesday, September 19
Wed 9/19 8:00 PM Peacock Lounge [552 Haight St SF]
Scott Arford
Jungle Junk
Alexandra Buschman (Demonsleeper, Las Sucias)
The Fathers
Tusco Terror’s Nathan Bowers (aka Coagulator) and Derek Gedalecia (aka Headboggle)
Filthmilk
Cello of Colleen Twitty melts the tires beneath Fendler’s synth

Wed 9/19 8:00 PM The Chapel [777 Valencia St SF]
Thurston Moore
David Toop
Zachary James Watkins / William Winant Duo
Both David Toop and Thurston Moore have worked together in quartet and trio as part of the long-running UK improvising group Alterations alongside Steve Beresford and Terry Day. As well as with the composer Tania Chen heard on the CD John Cage: Electronic Music for Piano (Omnivore Recordings 2018 USA).

Thursday, September 20

Thu 9/20 7:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
C4NM Benefit Concert, Thumbscrew: Mary Halvorson – Michael Formanek – Tomas Fujiwara
Join us for this unique and intimate chance to see Thumbscrew, comprised of contemporary jazz heavyweights Mary Halvorson on guitar, Michael Formanek on double bass, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. All proceeds from this event benefit C4NM, supporting our efforts to create a space for new music to thrive in the Bay Area and beyond. We invite you to join us before the concert for a reception hosted by our Board of Directors including libations and light bites. Connect with our new music community, then experience a special opportunity to see Thumbscrew perform up close at C4NM.

Thu 9/20 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]

8:15 pm How Are You Feeling Project
Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Anna Avery, Mary Behm-Steinberg, Chris Christensen, alex cruse, Kevin Droese, Lenny Gonzalez, Kevin CK Lo, and Angela Roberts
Improvised music in relation to the playback of recordings of people reminiscing on health, both gains and losses.

9:00 pm Cartoon Justice
Kersti Abrams – sax/North-African reeds/mbira, Mika Pontecorvo – guitar/electronics/flute/percussion/voice, Mark
Pino – drums/percussion, Elijah Pontecorvo – bass/piano
guest Lenny Gonzalez – electric cello

Friday, September 21

Fri 9/21 7:00 PM Grace Cathedral [1100 California Street San Francisco]
Hidden Refuge :: Refugio Escondido

Fri 9/21 8:00 PM Old First Concerts [1751 Sacramento St. SF]
Winds of Change: Shakuhachi, Didgeridoo and Clarinet
New Music and Evolving World Traditions
Beth Custer, clarinets; Cornelius Boots, shakuhachi; Stephen Kent, didgeridoo

Fri 9/21 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Chaotic Pathways: Dirt and Copper with Hunter Long and Julie Herndon

Chicago Scene: September 15-21, 2018

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

Saturday, September 15th 2018

7:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
High Zero Festival : Chicago Night Two
Samuel Burt, Eric Leonardson, Stewart Mostofsky, Cristal Sabbagh
CK Barlow, Julie Pomerleau, Jason Soliday
Jen Hill, M C Schmidt
Andrew Bernstein, Tomeka Reid, Katherine Young

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($25-$20)
Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson

9:00PM at Graham Foundation (Madlener House), 4 W Burton Pl (Free, RSVP)
Oren Ambarchi

Sunday, September 16th 2018

2:00PM-6:00PM at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan, 773.837.0145 ($10)
Chicago Overground : Performances and live video stream
AACM Great Black Music Ensemble
Sam Trump & Radius
Akenya
DJ sets by Tone B Nimble, Damon Locks, Ashina Hamilton, Duane Powell

Monday, September 17th 2018

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10)
Sandy Ewen Solo
Discussion

7:30PM at Myopic Books, 1564 N Milwaukee, 773.862.4882
Jason Roebke, Graham Stephenson

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Jason Stein, Ben Cruz, Emerson Hunton
Jake Wark Quartet with Matt Piet, Ben Dillinger, Tommaso Moretti

Wednesday, September 19th 2018

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$12)
Subtle Degrees : Travis Laplante, Gerald Cleaver

Thursday, September 20th 2018

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$5)
Miguel Zenón with Spektral Quartet : Clara Lyon, Maeve Feinberg, Doyle Armbrust, Russell Rolen

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Cortex : Thomas Johansson, Kristoffer Berre Albers, Ole Høyer, Gard Nilssen

Friday, September 21st 2018

7:00PM-9:30PM at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4048 W Armitage ($100-$20)
Benefit for Chicago’s Hurricane Aid for Puerto Rican Arts
Yo Soy La Tradición : Miguel Zenón with Spektral Quartet : Clara Lyon, Maeve Feinberg, Doyle Armbrust, Russell Rolen

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

http://now-is.org/, http://www.ratchetmusic.com, http://www.mcachicago.org, http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenterschedule.html, http://www.skylarkchicago.com, http://www.hideoutchicago.com, http://www.elasticrevolution.com, http://www.myopicbookstore.com/music.html, http://www.lampo.org, http://dalniente.com, http://iceorg.org/events/category/chicago, http://www.emptybottle.com/

Array Music 2018-19 Season Announced

Source: Toronto’s Array Music.

Allison Cameron Mini-Festival
(Nov. 23-24, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm; $20 | PWYC)
Allison Cameron is one of the most important composers of experimental music working in Canada today. Arraymusic will present work spanning a range of Cameron’s activities across two consecutive concerts.

Four New Works
(Feb. 8, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm; $20 | PWYC)
The Array Ensemble performs four new works commissioned by Arraymusic written by four of the most exciting composers working in Canada today: Marielle Groven (Montréal), Christopher Mayo (Toronto), Francis Ubertelli (Toronto) and Christina Volpini (Hamilton).

Raven Chacon Mini-Festival
(April 12, 13 and 14, The Music Gallery, 918 Bathurst, 8pm; admission TBA)
Raven Chacon is an interdisciplinary artist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a member of the Navajo Nation. The festival will involve 3 concerts: First, a portrait concert devoted to Raven’s chamber music, played by the Array Ensemble, featuring a newly commissioned work. The third concert will feature Raven’s electronic/amplified noise-music. In between, will be a selection of songs from Raven’s “For Zitkála-Šá”, a book consisting of 15 musical scores written for solo performer.

Young Composers Workshop Concert
(May 25, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 3pm; $15 | PWYC)
The Array Ensemble perform four works composed by the participants of the Young Composers Workshop. The works are composed together with the ensemble and a guest mentor during the month of May.

Near to the Wild Heart: Impossibly Happy
(June 20, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm; $20 | PWYC)
Impossibly Happy is a new suite of songs written by Susanna Hood setting poetry by the 15th century Zen poet, Ikkyu from the collection “Crow with No Mouth”. A concert equally visual and aural, the work uses the musicality, rhythm and textures inherent in the poetry to create an embodied music where music and movement are simultaneously distinct and interchangeable, and the lines blur between what is heard and what is seen.

The Rat-drifting Concert Series
From 2000 to 2005 Martin Arnold ran Rat-drifting at Array’s old rehearsal space in pre-gentrified Liberty Village, bringing together free improvisation, sound performance, noise, psychedelic process music, DIY para-punk composition and post-Fluxus word events. This new Rat-drifting Series will present 5 concerts, which further this approach, taking over from, and building upon, the strengths of the Array Sessions.

Rat-Drifting 1: Marielle Groven, Aaron Lumley, Jasper Stadhouders and Marjolein Vogels
Sep. 22, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm ($15 | PWYC)
A leading light of a new generation of Dutch free improvisers, Jasper Stadhouders plays aggressively fearless and joyful guitar. In the first set, he will be performing solo as well as in duo with Canadian double bassist Aaron Lumley to celebrate their new album, Strung Out. The second set features composer Marielle Groven’s My Heart Is A Mountain, a gorgeous piano meditation on resonance and space.

Rat-Drifting 2: SlowPitchSound presents: Alternate Forest (3 shows!)
Oct. 26, 27 & 28, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm (Oct. 26 & 27) & 2pm (Oct. 28), ($15, $20 & $25 includes bonus behind the scenes footage)
There are life forms within the earth’s forests that hold powers beyond our imagination. Trees communicate with one another, plants produce medicines that promote longevity and mushrooms can produce light. SlowPitchSound and Lybido will navigate you through a mysterious forest untouched by anyone and you will be able to witness new forms first hand.

Rat-Drifting 3: Dave Riedstra
Dec. 7, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm ($15 | PWYC)
Dave Riedstra is a composer, double bass player, and sound artist. His music uses quietness and ensemble interaction to create experiences of heightened coenaesthesia and network sensitivity. His Rat-drifting concert will situate itself between soundart and musical performance, electronic processes and extended solo music for the double bass.

Rat-Drifting 4: See Through 4 (Johnston, Lerner, Fraser, Ng)
Jan. 11, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm ($15 | PWYC)
The See Through 4 is made up of exceptional improvisers – Nick Fraser (percussion), Pete Johnston (string bass), Marilyn Lerner (piano), and Karen Ng (reeds) – working out their spontaneous compositions in relation to notated material by Pete Johnston.

Rat-Drifting 5: Juliana Pivato
March 16, The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave., 8pm ($15 | PWYC)
Juliana Pivato is an artist, improviser and one half of Private Robots (with Seb Roberts). Private Robots will be releasing their first album Poets, Barrio, TV in Fall 2018 with SQUINT _ _ _ _ _ _ PRESS. Her Rat-drifting performance will present (together with other possibilities) various experiments run on popular songs.

Travis Laplante Interview

Source: Tone Madison.

Over the course of this decade, Brooklyn-based composer and saxophonist Travis Laplante has emerged as a significant player in avant-jazz and post-minimalist music, both as a solo artist (on albums like of 2011’s Heart Protector) and as part of larger ensembles like Battle Trance. The latter is a quartet of tenor saxophonists, which features former Madisonian/Surrounded By Reality co-founder Patrick Breiner. Most recently, Laplante has been performing in a new project called Subtle Degrees, with renowned drummer Gerald Cleaver. In late February 2018, the duo released its debut record, A Dance That Empties, on New Amsterdam Records. (Full disclosure: Battle Trance headlined a Tone Madison-presented show at the Gates of Heaven in October 2016.)

A Summer of Mary Halvorson

Source: Artforum International.

A Summer of Mary Halvorson will tell you anything you want to know about the guitar. Her sound is as clean and strong as water, sustaining everything around it. She plays an electric archtop guitar, a Guild Artist Award issued in 1970, which is essentially an acoustic guitar with a pickup installed near the neck, where the strings sway and the body sings. The Artist Award, as Halvorson plays it, is a guide into the line and the note. Her tone serves her ideas, not the reverse. Halvorson doesn’t often distort her signal or blur what she’s presenting. She doesn’t go for clouds and sheets. If her music is jazz—and there is reason to suspect that this word may not adequately describe her practice—it is because jazz prioritizes time for the improviser, and that improviser’s voice. You can hear the lineage in Halvorson’s hands—Django, Charlie Christian, John McLaughlin, Joe Morris, and Johnny Smith—but only after you hear her. Hers is the slapback of history.