Ava Mendoza Interviewed Ahead of Portland Performances

Source: Portland Mercury.

To fully understand what it’s like to be a modern musician, particularly one that plays in that cloudy space where free jazz, experimental, American Primitive, and contemporary classical fogs up the landscape, you just need to ask guitarist Ava Mendoza what’s on the horizon for her. In addition to the shows she is playing in Portland on Tuesday December 10 at No Fun and Wednesday December 11 at Turn Turn Turn, as part of a short residency curated by the Creative Music Guild, and the concerts she talks about below, the 36-year-old musician will have her work featured on at least 11 albums that will be released at some point in 2020.

Coming to Detroit

Source: Trinosophes.

Friday, Dec. 13: Lossy Codecs, Benjamin Miller solo

In place of his scheduled large ensemble, Ben Miller moves to the opposite extreme and performa a set of his experimental works for solo guitar. A veteran of some of Michigan’s most interesting bands of the past five decades, he has performed in Sproton Layer, Empool, Destroy All Monsters (middle period) and various other art-rock and experimental music groups. Since returning to Michigan a few years ago, he has revived some of his older groups and created some new ones as well. His solo sets are just as compelling as the group projects, so we aren’t disappointed with the change of format.

Lossy Codecs is a group organized by brass player Derek Worthington. In this iteration, he has assembled a more compact version of the group, which features a collection of peers who are no strangers to the Trinosophes stage:

Derek Worthington, compositions and direction
Zara Teicher, horn
Kirsten Carey, guitar
Kaleigh Wilder, baritone sax
Ben Willis, bass

Doors at 8 pm; $8

Sunday, Dec. 15: Xylouris White

Xylouris White performs original and traditional compositions firmly rooted in the music of Crete. Georgios Xylouris is major figure of contemporary Greek and Cretan music, a vocalist and performer on the Cretan laouto (think of a bass-range bouzouki). Well-known and beloved by Cretans and Greeks at home and abroad, he has has been playing professionally from age 12. Australian drummer Jim White is one of the most exciting drummers in rock music, best known as a member of Dirty Three and for his work with Venom P Stinger, Bonnie Prince Billy, Bill Callahan, Cat Power etc. For the last five years these two men have been performing as Xylouris White, the culmination of 25 years of friendship forged through music and place.

Opening the show is Matthew Smith in a solo guitar/vocal set, playing songs from the forthcoming debut album by MATTHEW SMITH GROUP, as well as songs from his previous group Outrageous Cherry.
Doors at 8 pm; $10.


Friday, Dec. 20: Earl Davis


Lea Bertucci and Saariselka, The Blackman Revue, Sessa, Jonah Parzan-Johnson, Illegal Crowns (Bynum, Halvorson, Fujiwara, Delbecq)

Seattle Scene: December 11-19, 2019

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.

High Right Now
Wed. Dec. 11, 8 PM; $5 – $20 advance/at door

Hypnotic jams for the discerning listener, High Right Now features the programmatic, minimalist music of composers Brian Lawlor and Benjamin Marx. Lawlor is known locally for his musical work with theater artists Saint Genet and Marx for work with durational choreographer Alice Gosti, among others. A supergroup of local players will perform a seamless evening of their work in an otherworldly, ritualistic environment.

Guitar Cult + Crystal Beth +
Kathy Moore
Thu. Dec. 12, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Three multi-faceted artists draw equally on mainstream and outside, giving birth to the new: Kathy Moore is a go-to guitarist ranging from rock to funk to jazz and beyond. Guitars have mass and volume in Ben McAllister’s compositions for Guitar Cult. Crystal Beth uses wailing vocals, amplified clarinet, beat-boxing and electronics to weave a sonic universe all her own.

Noel Kennon
Fri. Dec. 13, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

An evening of sustained sounds and silence over long durations. dreams of willows and thresholds for viola and double bass uses the harmonic series as a foundational element of its structure. The music is concerned with implementing rational structures that correspond to actual phenomenon found (observed) in natural (actual) sounds in search for new (lost) shapes, places, and resonant fluctuations that are often overlooked.

Neal Kosaly-Meyer: Finnegans Wake
Sat. Dec. 14, 7:30 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Composer Neal Kosaly-Meyer’s ongoing Finnegans Wake project is an unprecedented undertaking: to commit to memory and perform all of James Joyce’s final novel, one chapter per year over seventeen years, with acute attention to the work’s musical detail. The final installment in 2019’s is also this year’s premiere, Part I, Chapter 6. Joyce described Chapter 6 as a picture gallery of the novel’s characters.

Thu. 12/19 – Clarinetist Lu Evers presents a performance piece centered around a poetry reading format, with reader Jo Anderson and pianist Keith Eisenbrey.

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Blue Shroud Band – Intensegrity: The Small Formations / Odes and Meditations for Cecil Taylor (Not Two, 2019) *****

Mars Williams Presents: an Ayler Xmas Vol. 3 “Live in Krakow” (NotTwo, 2019) ****

Interview with John McCowen

Variable Geometry Orchestra – Mare Tranquillitatis (Creative Sources, 2019) ****

Gaël Segalen – Sofia Says (Coherent States, Erratum, Sofia, 2019) ****

ECM 50 years – Catalog Favorites (part III of III)

Ivo Perelman & Matthew Shipp Profiled

Source: burning ambulance.

Over the last three decades, saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp have assembled a staggering catalog of releases. They made three albums together in the late 1990s, then pursued separate creative paths until the beginning of this decade, when one of the most explosive creative runs in jazz history began. They have released over 30 titles together, including several multi-disc sets with more to come. In addition to duo sessions, they work in all sorts of trio and quartet configurations, bringing in bassists, drummers, violinists or anyone else who seems like an interesting complement to their constantly evolving one-on-one language.

New 12k Releases

Source: 12k.

Live In Tokyo

Following the completion of his debut LP for 12k, Break (12k2040), Corey Fuller set out to explore ways in which he could faithfully translate the music of the album into a live setting. Not content to simply play on top of layers of backing tracks through use of a laptop, Fuller began the arduous but ultimately rewarding task of deconstructing, reassembling and scoring the album in its entirety. With guidance from Japanese composer Kyo Ichinose, the Break Ensemble was formed with Ichinose himself behind the piano and glockenspiel, Anzu Suhara on violin, Atsuko Hatano on Viola and Hiroki Chiba on Contrabass. These recordings and films document the very first concert of Corey Fuller + Break Ensemble performing “Break” in its entirety at WWW in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan on May 27th, 2019 to a captive and sold-out audience.

On Falling

Marcus Fischer’s On Falling was originally self-released as a tour cassette in the fall of 2018. 12k is proud to offer this new version that contains the original release on side A combined with a 30-minute live recording on side B. Marcus is known for his releases of carefully constructed studio works and tape manipulation, yet his process also embraces randomness, incidental, and found sounds. On Falling is an exploration of the latter techniques that allow for improvisation and capture the results in a single stereo take. This reproduces the experience of his live performances.


Interludes is a companion album to Ohio’s debut LP Upward, Broken, Always (12k2042). The seeds for these durational pieces were planted during one of the final editing sessions of Upward… – the accidental muting of a majority of the musical tracks of the first song “Apeiros” left only a ghostly minimum of ambience playing. Immediately seeing the strength of this Ohio’s Taylor Deupree and Corey Fuller set out to create two more of these “interludes” from full tracks on the album. These three songs provide the closure for each side of the (three-sided) LP release.

2019 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part III

It’s that time again. We gather best-of-2019 lists from around the web and provide links here. All of these lists focus on the kind of music featured on these pages. Our AMN Best of 2019 is coming in early January.

Top contemporary classical albums of 2019 from I Care If You Listen
PopMatters best jazz of 2019

And a few from the Jazz Journalists Association:
Howard Mandel
John Pietaro
Steve Feeney
John Szwed