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RIP Luciano Berio

Sad news…apparently Berio has passed away. Cause of death is not certain at this time, but it is possibly related to his recent spinal problems.

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Biota Reviews

One of the most unique and long running avant efforts, Biota’s music is notoriously difficult to describe. A recent set of reviews do a reasonably good job.

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New Batch of Cryptogramophone Releases

Los Angeles based Cryptogramophone has released two new titles.

Erik Friedlander “Quake”
“The new CD by the incredible NY ‘cellist is his most exciting and beautiful yet. Featuring Andy Laster on saxophones, Stomu Takeishi on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on percussion, this CD has many fine Friedlander compositions, taking you on an exciting journey from the popular music of India to the Downtown scene.”

Scot Ray Quintet
“The CD combines extreme Jazz, avant funk, liquid Americana and skronk blues. Think-James Brown meets Sun Ra on a front porch somewhere in rural Montana. Scot Ray (trombone), Nels Cline (e. guitars), Alex Cline (drums), Steuart Liebig (contrabassguitars) and Jeff Gauthier (electric violin).”

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Seventh Annual Ann Arbor Edgefest In The Works

Never one to shy away from booking creative, boundry-pushing music, plans are underway for the seventh annual Kerrytown Concert House Edgefest in Ann Arbor Michigan.

The dates of the festival are October 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Scheduled to apprear are the Guy Klucevsek-Phillip Johnston Duo, Trevor Watts Ensembles, Trevor Watts Celebration Band, Hamster Theater, Fonda-Stevens Group, Mat Maneri Quartet, L’Ensemble Pierre Labbe (from Les Projectionistes) and Trio 3 (Andrew Cyrille, Oliver Lake and Reggie Workman). Various workshops with the muscians are also scheduled.

The festival is a presentation of Kerrytown Concert House which handles all the reservations for tickets etc. More information available by phoning the KCH at (734) 769-2999 or visiting the website.

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Bunch 'O Henry Grimes Links

Henry Grimes was a bassist who played with Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins in the 60’s, then just disappeared. Thought dead by most, he was recently tracked down living in LA. Given a bass by William Parker, he’s now playing again. There’s a lot of press on this rather interesting story:

Audio from NPR

New York Times (free reg required)

More info and a discography

Apparently Grimes has been rehearsing with Nels and Alex Cline.

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More Archival Nucleus Material Released

On the heels of their BBC Radio Soft Machine release, Hux Records continues to release archival material from the BBC vaults. British jazz/rock band Nucleus is their latest effort and this release is from performances in 1971 and 1982 and is called “The Pretty Redhead”.

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Demetrio Stratos Website

Its in Italian, but the Official Demetrio Stratos Website contains photos, a history, a discography, and more.

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Andrew Drury Release

Yet another interesting new release on Innova. A supergroup of sorts.

Blurb”Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Chris Speed, Briggan Krauss, Eyvind Kang, Andrew Drury. What more is there to say? A stellar group of avant-jazz notables from New York’s downtown plays Drury’s intricate music with volcanic intensity. A Momentary Lapse is Andrew Drury’s breakthrough CD, putting him on the map as a virtuosic drummer with uncommon compositional vision and a knack for creating groups that have a serious vibe.

The nine compositions unselfconsciously meld jazz, rock, and chamber idioms and are animated by Drury’s drum-influenced sense of melody, form, and energy. Stemming from the avant-garde jazz tradition with elements of the AACM, Stravinsky, and Coltrane serving as reference points, A Momentary Lapse should appeal to listeners interested in creative, acoustic composition and improvisation played with arch intelligence and cataclysmic exuberance.

Exceptionally well recorded, A Momentary Lapse provides a fascinating glimpse of Myra Melford as a sideperson in a larger group context than is customary for her. She and Dresser shine throughout, making this disk a must-have for fans of their music.

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New George Cartwright Release

Curlew’s leader is the front man of a new band, GloryLand PonyCat, who have released their first effort on Innova.

Blurb: “George Cartwright is probably one of the most important names in jazz that you have never heard of. As the leader of the group Curlew and hero of the New York’s Downtown scene leading a two-decade long exploration into the bold frontiers of jazz, he became the standard by which new jazz was judged in the 80’s. Now we see him in a solo outing with his own with his ensemble GloryLand PonyCat, a Minneapolis-based group with Alden Ikeda – drums and Adam Linz- bass.

This record makes the Stooges look laid back. Fierce but never losing its melodic intentions, this is 23rd century jazz for your 21st century head without seeming forced or unfamiliar. Simply this is a great jazz record.

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Elliott Carter Volume 5 Released

Bridge Records has release the latest in its Carter cycle, Volume 5.

Blurb: “Volume Five of Bridge’s ongoing Elliott Carter series contains five premiere recordings, including Carter’s bracing Oboe Quartet of 2001. Performed by many of the leading Carter advocates of our time, this recording is a must for those interested in keeping up with the undimmed imagination and constant creative impulse of this American master, now well into his tenth decade. Also featured on this CD is a new recording of Carter’s song cycle Of Challenge and of Love, performed by the brilliant young American soprano Tony Arnold, the recent first prize winner of the Gaudeamus International competition for interpreters of contemporary music. Rounding out this CD are a series of instrumental miniatures played by dedicatees Virgil Blackwell, Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima and Fred Sherry.

Be sure to check out volumes 1-4 as well.