The Nels Cline 4 in Oakland Previewed

Source: East Bay Express.

Though he appeared unbilled at the talent-packed concert celebrating drummer Scott Amendola’s 50th birthday last week, Nels Cline was hard to miss on the crowded Freight & Salvage stage. Looking lean and lanky as ever, he swayed next to Berkeley guitarist John Schott and LA’s Jeff Parker, picking his spots to play a power chord or bend a note like a contortionist. The cameo served as both a tantalizing scene setter for the Bay Area debut of his new band The Nels Cline 4 at the Freight on Sunday, Feb. 17, and a potent reminder of his deep and abiding East Bay ties.

Roomful of Teeth Profiled

Source: The New Yorker.

It’s early June, and the rehearsal room, in a rustic lodge on the shores of Lake Dunmore, in central Vermont, has been left unheated, somewhat optimistically. The indoor temperature is in the high fifties, and the singers are bundled up as if for a hike. The conductor, Brad Wells, has on a worn baseball cap and a sweatshirt, and the singers are wearing hoodies, woollens, and puffy vests, some with scarves and beanies. They have the ragamuffin look of Christmas carollers, despite their fierce-sounding name: Roomful of Teeth. They’ve been invited to the lake for a weeklong residency at the New Music on the Point festival. (When the adults leave, their cabins will be taken over by hordes of summer campers.) Mostly, though, they’re here to blow the other singers’ minds.

Decoding (This Is Not) This Heat

Source: Big Ears Festival.

This Heat were aptly named: The Brixton trio existed in a white-hot flash of only five years, doggedly rehearsing and recording in an old meat locked they cutely dubbed “Cold Storage.” But the two albums and handful of EPs and live recordings they made during that span became a hugely important impetus for the rise of post-punk, post-rock, and even the warped alien tones of IDM.

In 2016, the two surviving members reunited with a fresh crew of collaborators as This Is Not This Heat, an equally wild band that uses those early songs as invitations to improvise. In a very rare stateside appearance, they play Big Ears 2019, one of only a few dozen shows since that return.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions Profiled

Source: Chicago Reader.

The members of Extraordinary Popular Delusions have had plenty of time to get to know one another. The quartet, which is comprised of Jim Baker (electric piano, synthesizer, viola), Mars Williams (reeds, percussion, zither, toys), Brian Sandstrom (double bass, electric guitar, trumpet), and Steve Hunt (drums, percussion, waterphone) have sustained a weekly gig at either Hotti Biscotti or the second floor of the Beat Kitchen since 2005, and everyone except Baker played together in the NRG Ensemble in 1980s and 1990s

Tri-Centric Foundation Update

Source: Tri-Centric Foundation. Excerpts from their recent newsletter:

This was another fruitful year for Tri-Centric – the New Braxton House label released Sextet (Parker) 1993, the complete recordings of Anthony Braxton’s legendary Charlie Parker project from twenty-five years ago, while making its entire catalog available on Bandcamp for easier engagement and distribution. Tireless work continued on digitizing and archiving Braxton’s complete compositional and philosophical archive – as evidenced by the increasing number of artists performing Braxton’s music worldwide, from the young musicians of Face the Music, to leading new music ensembles like the JACK Quartet and Wet Ink, to Monochrome Brass’s critically acclaimed interpretation of Braxton’s Composition No. 103 for seven trumpets.

Taylor [Ho Bynum] began a new teaching job at Dartmouth College in 2017, and after a year and a half of juggling his various responsibilities, has made the difficult decision to step down from his position at Tri-Centric to better focus on his own work as a composer/performer and his commitments as an educator. While Taylor will always be a part of the Tri-Centric family and will continue to support the organization as an advisor and friend, the organization wants to formally thank him for his dedicated service and the extraordinary accomplishments during his tenure, and wish him the greatest success in his future endeavors.

Tri-Centric is excited to announce that beginning in 2019, Kyoko Kitamura will be taking on the role of executive director. Kyoko has been with Tri-Centric since 2010, most recently serving as director of communications, along with being a featured performer on both Trillium operas, multiple small-ensemble and duo performances and recordings, and as producer and performer on the upcoming 12-CD box set GTM (Syntax) 2017. Prior to re-entering the music scene, Kyoko also had a successful career as a television journalist and a magazine writer, bringing deep experience and leadership to her new position.

The Tri-Centric Foundation has many exciting projects coming up in 2019 – including an upcoming event on January 25 at Roulette celebrating the release of GTM (Syntax) 2017, a night of Braxton’s music co-produced with the Edition Festival in Stockholm on February 8, and many more ensembles performing and students learning Braxton’s music as part of his 75th birthday celebration (aka Braxton75).

Dave Douglas Profiled

Source: burning ambulance.

Trumpeter Dave Douglas has led a lot of groups since emerging onto the global jazz scene in the late 1980s, including the Tiny Bell Trio; a quintet that included violin, cello, bass, and drums; a quartet; and a sextet. He also worked with Anthony Braxton, Myra Melford, and John Zorn, mostly as a member of Masada. He continued to create new contexts for his highly individualistic and expressive trumpet playing throughout the 2000s, and in 2003 formed his own Greenleaf label to release his music.