AMN Reviews: Danketsu 9 – Thahraas (2018; Never Anything Records)

Thahraas, and its single track Nepravda, is a 24-minute improvisation by a 9-piece extended chamber ensemble. Instrumentation includes accordion, flutes, cello, double bass, guitar, voice, sax, and violin. It was recorded live early last year.

The group’s modus operandi is to have each instrument provide additive contributions to a slow-paced drone-like atmosphere. From this multi-layered approach, individuals and sub-groups peel off with understated melodies and motifs before returning to the main themes. The general quietness of this restrained approach is broken from time to time with a louder, occasionally jarring diversion. The wordless vocals provide for melancholy emotiveness.

At just about any point in the recording, there are at least two dominant lines though the overall strategy is not strictly contrapuntal. Indeed, some of the most compelling parts are in the second half, with a relatively aggressive and clearly improvised guitar, sax, and flute break.

There is a lot to unpack on Thahraas, which makes it a prime candidate for multiple listenings. Like a meticulously formed painting, each sitting will open up new layers and details.

AMN Reviews: Jessica Pavone – In the Action (2019; Relative Pitch Records)

Jessica Pavone has built up quite the resume over the last 20 or so years, from solo works to duos with Mary Halvorson to contributing on pieces by Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, and Wadada Leo Smith.  In the Action is her third solo viola release and clocks in at only 27 minutes. But she packs a lot of ideas into its short duration, and re-thinks the role of her instrument along the way.

Oscillatory Salt Transport begins this offering with a plaintive folk melody that evolves into discordant wails and jagged bowed sawing. and Maybe in the End is an even more experimental piece that combines plucked chords with heavily distorted processed waves of sound. Look Out – Look Out – look Out takes it one step further, with rapidly oscillating and crackling walls of noise that reach down into low frequencies. Without liner notes, it would likely be impossible to identify the instrument from which these sounds originate. The title track rounds things out with something of a return to normalcy. Pavone again invokes a rustic playing style, albeit with an intervening fuzzy loop underlying minimalistic patterns and some overdriven amplified playing toward the end.

As far as I can tell, In the Action is just Pavone, her viola, and a bunch of effects. Regardless, combining a smattering of conventional playing with a large amount of unconventional exploration, the album remains engaging throughout.

In the Action is out February 15 on Relative Pitch Records.

Newsbits: Dolphy / Utech Records / Tangled Bell in Orlando

Pitchfork reviews the new Eric Dolphy boxed set.

Happy 15th anniversary to Utech Records. The label is a small DIY operation with over 170 releases.

Tangled Bell, a large improv ensemble, will appear in Orlando, Florida on February 2. “The main goal of this exploration is to juxtapose seemingly conflicting concepts and approaches, and display them in an aligning way; to show how antagonistic forces and unfamiliarity can create a cooperative friction and become formidable allies. The intent being that all portions of the whole (notated music, text, improvisation) were at once independent of and mutually dependent upon each other; symbiotic; each being a part and apart simultaneously.”

February at Roulette

Source: Roulette.

STEPHAN CRUMP’S ELEMENTAL
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
Elemental inhabits a magnified realm where communion grows in fields of texture.

ARGENTO NEW MUSIC PROJECT: THE VOICES OF ERIN GEE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
One composer, 10 works, myriad voices: witness the evolution of an essential voice within the current landscape of experimental concert music.
ROULETTE’S ARCHIVE LAUNCH + ARTIST CELEBRATION

ROBERT DICK & RINDE ECKERT: ROBERT: SERIOUSLY AMUSED
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
Acclaimed flutist Robert Dick and alchemical performer Rinde Eckert present Robert: Seriously Amused

MIXOLOGY FESTIVAL 2019: SHELLEY HIRSCH & THE MERCURIUS WAGON // CRYSTAL PENALOSA: SOURCES OF POWER
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
Unpredictable and uncompromising artists that always inspire through joy, tears, wonder, and action… and voice!

MIXOLOGY FESTIVAL 2019: JON SATROM: PREPARED DESKTOP / ALI SANTANA: BOOMBAYE
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
Jon Satrom tickles his computer until it barfs. Ali Santana explores rhythm, identity, community, nature, abstraction and displacement.

MIXOLOGY FESTIVAL 2019: MICHELE MERCURE // 51717
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
A champion of Kosmiche minimalist synth, sampling and trance returns to the stage after 30 years. A special ride into the realm of dreams.

NED ROTHENBERG: BEYOND C
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
Inspired by Terry Riley’s “In C”, “Beyond C” is a concerto for improvising woodwind soloist and an ensemble of variable instruments.

INBAL SEGEV: 21ST CENTURY WOMEN
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2019 @ 8:00 PM
Cellist Inbal Segev performs works by modern female composers: Missy Mazzoli, Reena Esmail, Anna Clyne, Gity Razaz, and Kaija Saariaho.

The Stone in February

Source: New York’s Stone.

2/1 Friday
8:30 pm
Powerdove – Bitter Banquet
Annie Lewandowski (voice) Ian Antonio (percussion), Laura Barger (piano) Russell Greenberg (percussion) Ning Yu (piano)

2/2 Saturday
8:30 pm
Yarn/Wire & Travis Laplante
Travis Laplante (tenor sax) Ian Antonio, Russell Greenberg (percussion) Laura Barger, Ning Yu (piano)
Yarn/Wire premieres a new evening length work in collaboration with Travis Laplante.

2/5 Tuesday (VP)
8:30 pm
Year of the Dog—Medeski, Martin
John Medeski (organ) Billy Martin (percussion)

2/6 Wednesday (HTM)
8:30 pm
Disappearing
Billy Martin (percussion, prepared piano)

2/7 Thursday (NB)
8:30 pm
Experimental film music
Billy Martin (percussion) Chern Hwei Fung (violin) Payton MacDonald (marimba, vibraphone) Frank London (trumpet) Kalun Leung (bass trombone) Ned Rothenberg (shakuhachi, bass clarinet) Anthony Coleman (piano) Doug Wieselman (clarinet)

2/8 Friday (VP)
8:30 pm
Stridulations for Glenn Branca
Brian Chase (drums) Brandon Ross (guitar, vocals) Chris Cochrane (guitar, vocals) Dana Lyn (bass guitar) Matteo Liberatore (guitar) Wendy Eisenberg (guitar)
For guitars, basses and voices.

2/9 Saturday (FM)
8:30 pm
illy B’s Improvisers Orchestra
Billy Martin (percussion) Tomas Fujiwara (drums) Mary Halvorson (guitar) Chern Hwei Fung (violin) Dana Lyn (violin) Ned Rothenberg (reeds, flutes) Sylvain Leroux (flutes) Anthony Coleman (piano) Chris McIntyre (trombone) Frank London (trumpet) Doug Wieselman (clarinet)

2/12 Tuesday
8:30 pm
Vicky Chow
Vicky Chow (piano)
New Solo Acoustic piano works written between 2012-2019 by Josue Collado, Felipe Lara, Caroline Shaw, Robert Andrew Scott and Jobina Tinnemans.

2/13 Wednesday (ICS)
8:30 pm
Vicky Chow plays New Works with Andy Akiho and Ian David Rosenbaum
Vicky Chow (piano) Andy Akiho (steel pan) Ian David Rosenbaum (percussion)

2/14 Thursday (AR)
8:30 pm
Vicky Chow plays Philip Glass Etudes Book 1
Vicky Chow (piano)

2/15 Friday (RB)
8:30 pm
Vicky Chow plays Philip Glass Etudes Book 2
Vicky Chow (piano)

2/16 Saturday (DT)
8:30 pm
Vicky Chow
Vicky Chow (piano)
Solo Acoustic Works including Ann Southam’s Glass Houses, Nik Bärtsch’s Moduls, Toshi Ichiyanagi’s Time Sequence and more!

2/19 Tuesday (HM)
8:30 pm
Zachary Watkins, Laura Ortman and Jeff Zeigler
Zachary Watkins (guitar) Laura Ortman (violin) Jeff Zeigler (cellos)

2/20 Wednesday (NB)
8:30 pm
Jeffrey Zeigler and Yuka Honda
Jeffrey Zeigler (cello) Yuka Honda (Electronics)

2/21 Thursday (ICS)
8:30 pm
Graham Reynolds and the Golden Arm Trio with Jeffrey Zeigler
Graham Reynolds (piano, keyboards) Jeffrey Zeigler (cello) Alexis Buffum (violin) Jeremy Bruch (drums)
Graham Reynolds’ WATER MUSIC.

2/22 Friday (AR)
8:30 pm
Re:Volver -— Cello, Electronica & the Mayan Apocalypse
Jeff Zeigler (cello)

2/23 Saturday (RB)
8:30 pm
Hae Voces with Jeffrey Zeigler
Kristina Dutton (violin) Majel Connery (voice) Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)

2/26 Tuesday (KM)
8:30 pm
Endangered Blood
Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet) Oscar Noriega (alto sax, bass clarinet) Trevor Dunn (acoustic bass) Jim Black (drums)

2/27 Wednesday (RK)
8:30 pm
Jim Black Guitar Quartet
Jonathan Goldberger (guitar) Keisuke Matsuno (guitar) Simon Jermyn (electric bass) Jim Black (drums)

2/28 Thursday (DT)
8:30 pm
Not Bloodcount
Tim Berne (alto sax) Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet) Michael Formanek (acoustic bass) Jim Black (drums)

3/1 Friday (HTM)
8:30 pm
Jim Black BunkySwirl
Elias Stemeseder (piano, keys) Jim Black (drums)