AMN Reviews: The Gate – House of Snuzz (2019; Tubapede Records)

The description of House of Snuzz had me at “doom jazz”. While not quite in the same vein as last year’s Evil Genius release – which featured a guitar / tuba / drums trio – this new release from The Gate once more proves the versatility of the tuba when in the right hands. And here, the hands are those of Dan Peck, a seasoned improviser and classicist, who has recorded or performed with Nate Wooley, Anthony Braxton, Zeena Parkins, and Tony Malaby just to name a few. Joining Peck are bassist Tom Blancarte and drummer Brian Osborne, who both have equally impressive resumes (Peter Evans and Brandon Seabrook for the former, Daniel Carter, Frode Gjerstad, Oliver Lake, and Joe McPhee for the latter).

Consisting of two long tracks, House of Snuzz does not overtly show its metal influences aside from the distortion and effects overlaying Peck’s playing. In particular, Peck takes the tuba in a number of directions that would have caused its creators to think twice about their invention. He generates wavering and shifting low-frequency wails and grinding, often sounding like a cross between an electric guitar and a keyboard rather than an ostensible part of a brass section. Peck goes outside and stays there, combining extended techniques with processing.

Blancarte and Osborne are a solid free-improvising rhythm duo, each doing more than his share to gain the listener’s attention. Blancarte’s playing is notable in that he offers up a non-stop series of notes from up and down the fretboard, often playing so fast that his individual notes blend into virtual chords. This is apparent on the second track, Psychedelic Rays, where he practically plays a continuous lead under Peck’s unconventional experimentation.

Even if the doom jazz moniker turns you off and you’ve never met a tuba that you liked, don’t hesitate to give House of Snuzz a try.  While the themes on the album may be dark from time to time, you cannot avoid the feeling that its ultimate nature is tongue-in-cheek – that Peck, Blancarte, and Osborne had a few boatloads of fun pulling it off – a wink and a nod coupled with first-rate musicianship.

All About Prepared Piano

Source: Smithsonian.

Every musician has a particular set of tasks and warm-ups before a performance or practice session—oiling the valves, rosining the bow, tuning, long tones, scales, stretches. For Kelly Moran, a composer and pianist based in New York City, this ritual includes peering inside the lid of the piano to carefully place screws and bolts of various sizes in between the delicate strings.

Moran composes for a technique known as the prepared piano, in which everyday household items are used to alter the sound of any given note on the instrument. While screws and bolts are Moran’s objects of choice, other potential preparations include paper clips, straws and pencil erasers. Placed on the 230 strings inside the piano, these objects muffle or choke the timbre of the sound produced when a key on the keyboard is pressed.

Upcoming Creative Music Concerts, Mostly in Europe

From Akamu.

Oct 1 – Roscoe Mitchell – Moor Mother – Ruba Club – Philadelphia (United States of America)
Oct 4 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – Auditorium Parco della Musica – Roma (Italy)
Oct 6 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – La Cité des Congrés – Nantes (France)
Oct 7 – Ches Smith “Congs for Brums” – Rue Crickx – Bruxelles (Belgium)
Oct 11 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – Kulturhuset Stadsteatern – Stockholm (Sweden)
Oct 11 – Musica Elettronica Viva – Ad Libitum Festival – Warszawa (Poland)
Oct 12 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – Paard – Den Haag (The Netherlands)
Oct 13 – Frederic Rzewski – Studio 2 RSI – Lugano (Switzerland)
Oct 15 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – Casa da Música – Porto (Portugal)
Oct 17 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – Vilnius Jazz Festival (Lithuania)
Oct 17 – Yamandu Costa & Renato Borghetti – Auditorium Stelio Molo – Lugano (Switzerland)
Oct 18 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – Akbank Jazz Festival – Istanbul (Turkey)
Oct 18 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – Jazz & The City – Salzburg (Austria)
Oct 19 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – Skopje Jazz Festival (Republic of North Macedonia)
Oct 19 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – Fasching – Stockholm (Sweden)
Oct 20 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – Skopje Jazz Festival (Republic of North Macedonia)
Oct 24 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – SESC Jazz – Santos (Brazil)
Oct 25 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – Auditorium Flog – Firenze (Italy)
Oct 25 – Elliott Sharp Fourth Blood Moon fest Eric Mingus – Cinema LUX Art House – Massagno (Switzerland)
Oct 26 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – SESC Jazz – São Paulo (Brazil)
Oct 26 – Elliott Sharp Fourth Blood Moon fest Eric Mingus – FolkClub – Torino (Italy)
Oct 27 – Art Ensemble of Chicago – SESC Jazz – São Paulo (Brazil)
Oct 27 – Elliott Sharp Fourth Blood Moon fest Eric Mingus – Argo16 – Marghera (Italy)
Oct 27 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – private concert (Italy)
Oct 28 – Elliott Sharp – Eric Mingus – Porgy and Bess – Wien (Austria)
Oct 28 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – PortoAstra – Padova (Italy)
Oct 30/31 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – Duc des Lombards – Paris (France)
Oct 31 – Anthony Braxton: “The Sonic Genome” (6 hours performance) – Grupius Bau – Berlin (Germany)
Nov 2 – James Brandon Lewis UnRuly Quintet – Quasimodo – Berlin (Germany)
Nov 3 – Anthony Braxton ZIM Septet – Berliner Festspiele – Berlin (Germany)

Musique Machine Reviews

Source: Musique Machine.

Phil Niblock/Catherine Lamb – Ensemble neoN

Juatra Putra & Putra Jaya Melati – The Sacred Entertainmen

Knurl – Periphoric Strain

Ohlmeier, Khroustaliov & Fischerlehner – Hypertide Over Kiribati

Visitation – Don’t Drink The Water

Stand Master – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

øjeRum – Without Blood The Sun Darkens

H.P. Lovecraft – I Notturni Di Yuggoth

23 Treads – I Woke Up At Dawn

Vidna Obmana – Soundtrack For The Aquarium

Coming to Detroit

Source: Trinosophes.

Friday, Sept 27: Karuna (Adam Rudolph, Hamid Drake)
An inspiring duo performance by two master percussionists. Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph met at the age of 14 years old in a downtown Chicago drum shop. For the past 40 years, their shared love for the rhythms and music traditions of many cultures has taken them around the world. As Drake reflected upon their influence upon each other, “I have been developing a hand drum concept on the drum set while Adam says he is developing a drum set concept on his hand drums. We understand one another.”

Friday, Oct. 4: Sarah Davachi with Matchess and Sam Hooker
Sarah Davachi is a Canadian composer of electronic and electroacoustic music, currently based in Los Angeles where she is a doctoral student in musicology. She also holds a master’s degree in electronic music and recording media from Mills College in Oakland, California, where she studied with Maggi Payne and James Fei.

Matchess is the solo work of musician, composer, and writer Whitney Johnson. The project considers the reproduction of sound and meaning through a range of historical material processes, including reel-to-reel tape looping, cassette tape sampling, and field recording. With the limited palette of a 1960s Ace Tone organ, viola, drum machine, and voice, she crafts a sound collage of transient songs on a bed of droning ambient noise. She has recently collaborated in improvised and composed settings with Circuit des Yeux, TALsounds (as Damiana), Gel Set (as Simulation), Couteau Sang (as Surfactant), Lia Kohl, Macie Stewart, Brett Naucke, Ryley Walker, Bitchin Bajas, Lea Bertucci, and Sarah Davachi.

Sam Hooker [Detroit- Two Rooms/CJS etc.] uses synth, strings tape loops and delays to manipulate and structure recorded sound.

Just added! Saturday, Oct. 5 The Vizitors
One of the longest running creative music ensembles in Detroit, The Vizitors return to Trinosophes in a configuration featuring their new bassist from China, Vincent Hsu. Afro-futuristic funk and free-jazz fire form the basis of the Vizitors’ sound, while co-leader and pianist Kenneth Green provides the majority of the compositional elements. His Chicago-based co-leader, AACM drummer/percussionist Dushun Mosley, isn’t involved in every performance- but between the two leaders the band is always rounded out by an excellent selection of Detroit and Chicago musicians that has included players like Hannah Jon Taylor, Michael Carey, Darius Savage, Skeeter Shelton, Ali Colding etc. Come join us in experiencing this latest iteration of a Detroit classic.

9/28: Spectrum 3 (Shelton/Peterson/Prisbe) at What You Will festival at The Venderelli Room, Columbus OH
10/18: William Hooker Trio featuring Joel Peterson and Mark Kirschenmann at Edge Fest (Ann Arbor)



September 21, 2019
Emptying the Self, IBeam
Pablo Diaz William Parker Paula Shocron

September 21, 2019
Sam Newsome, Mara Rosenbloom, Andrew Drury, IBeam
Andrew Drury Sam Newsome Mara Rosenbloom

September 20, 2019
Ryosuke Kiyasu Solo, Muchmore’s
Ryosuke Kiyasu

September 20, 2019
Mike Sidnam & Tamio Shiraishi, Muchmore’s
Tamio Shiraishi Mike Sidnam

September 20, 2019
Talibam!, Muchmore’s
Matt Mottel Kevin Shea

September 20, 2019
VX Bliss, Muchmore’s
Ginny Benson

September 20, 2019
Red Diploma, Muchmore’s
Dave Hallinger

September 19, 2019
Lotte Anker, Craig Taborn, Gerald Cleaver, Eric’s House Of Improv
Lotte Anker Gerald Cleaver Craig Taborn