Seattle Scene: November 15-30, 2018

From Seattle’s 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.

Heather Bentley & Friends
Thu. Nov. 15, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Busy Seattle bow slinger Heather Bentley celebrates her birthday with her 7-string violin and an assortment of musical friends: an improvising trio with drummer Dio Jean Baptiste and video artist Darren Palmer + the new ensemble CHA, with electric harpist Carol Levin and vocalist/spoken word artist/mover Amelia Love Clearheart explores spontaneously arising lyrical/poetic/musical journeys.

Tamara Zenobia
Fri. Nov 16, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Alaskan-born storyteller, performance artist and vocal alchemist Tamara Zenobia combines the elements of Vocal Alchemy, divination, percussion, electronic music and other world instruments, song and spoken word into her performance to create a very eclectic mix of groovy sounds and hypnotic beats. Tonight she will be joined by Dick Valentine, who will add his extraordinary flute playing to the performance.

A Night for 4 Drummers
Sat. Nov. 17, 7 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Solo works for drum set, focusing on each musician’s singular relationship with the drums, solo performance, music and identity: Mike Gebhart (The Sky Is A Suitcase, Terror/Cactus, February, New Series One); Ruby Dunphy (Thunderpussy); D’Andre Fontanelle (The Backslide gospel, Kate Dinsmore, Elena Loper); Casey Adams (Dorian Slay, nothing but the dead and dying).

Thu. 11/29 – Inverted Space Ensemble plays music of Kerrith Livengood and Pauline Oliveros

FRI. 11/30 – composer Tom Baker and dancer Alia Swersky + friends present Vol. 2 of their Body.Space.Time.Sound series for improvising musicians and movers

John Butcher Discography Reviewed

Source: John Butcher.

In the Building a Jazz Library article on Evan Parker, it says that seasoned Parker followers would describe him as the finest improvising saxophonist of his generation. Curiously, many of those same people would use exactly that phrase about John Butcher. The simple explanation for this apparent contradiction is that we are talking about two generations; Parker (born 1944) is a member of the “first generation of free improvisation” (along with Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, John Stevens, Paul Rutherford, Barry Guy…) whereas Butcher (born 1954) is from the second generation (along with the similarly-aged Chris Burn, Phil Durrant, John Russell, Alan Wilkinson…) This is well illustrated by their discographies; Parker’s first recording, Challenge (Eyemark), was released in 1966, while Butcher’s first, Fonetiks (Bead)—a duo with Burn—came out in 1984.

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Jazzfest Berlin. November 1 – 4, 2018

Devin Gray – Dirigo Rataplan II (Rataplan Records, 2018) ****

Günter Baby Sommer and Till Brönner – Baby’s Party (Intakt, 2018) **

Peter Jacquemyn – Fundament (El Negocito, 2018) ****½

Cory Smythe – Circulate Susanna (Pyroclastic, 2018) *****

Jooklo Duo & Mette Rasmussen – Graz Live! (Insula Jazz, 2018) ****

Archie Shepp at the Enjoy Jazz Fest Reviewed

Source: Jazzwise.

The Enjoy Jazz festival is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, presenting gigs between three main cities in south-western Germany. It’s an extended season that usually begins in early October, stretching until mid-November. Each night features a show in either Heidelberg, Ludwigshafen or Mannheim, sometimes with simultaneous happenings in each location.

This year’s artist-in-residence is the veteran saxophonist Archie Shepp, and his first showing was at the Mannheim National Theatre, with an expanded crew revisiting his Fire Music album, from way back in 1965. Being his second release for the Impulse! label, a certain amount of free jazz was surely promised, rather than the more mainline style that Shepp has favoured during recent decades. We were not disappointed, as this eight-piece crew (including Hamid Drake on drums) set out to capture the essence of the original contents with a surprising closeness of spirit and style.

Wild Up Adapts John Coltrane’s Ascension

Source: San Francisco Classical Voice.

One of the most polarizing albums of all time was John Coltrane’s 1965 free jazz manifesto, Ascension. Many of Coltrane’s devoted fans, even those who could take the atonal flights of Live at the Village Vanguard or Transition, retreated in horror when this boiling 40-minute cauldron of abrasive, violent, yet logically organized sound came out. It solidified Coltrane’s position as the spearhead of the jazz avant-garde, and some thought it reflected the anger of the emerging black-power movement as well as Coltrane’s endless search for spiritual meaning.