Lukas Ligeti’s Postmodern Post-African Fusion

Ligeti’s upcoming Chicago show is previewed by the Reader:

On Thursday night Elastic plays host to an intriguing New York trio called Hypercolor. I’ve never seen the group live, and they only have a handful of tracks on their Myspace page, but the presence of percussionist and composer Lukas Ligeti, son of brilliant Hungarian composer György Ligeti, is enough to get me interested.

The group plays intricate, aggressive fusion that borders on math rock, weaving through frequent tempo shifts, dizzyingly jagged unison lines, and terse bits of improvisation at ear-popping volume. Rounding out the band are electric guitarist Eyal Maoz, a Sonny Sharrock-inspired shredder with a thing for the single-note curlicues of Gary Lucas, and electric bassist James Ilgenfritz, who also grounds the out-jazz grooves on Mysterium’s new album.

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Hugh Hopper

I haven’t confirmed this yet, but the word is out that bassist Hugh Hopper, most known for his stint with Soft Machine, passed away yesterday. I’ll update this post once the news is properly sourced.

The message boards have been buzzing with the news of Hugh’s passing, and his Wikipedia entry has been updated to mark his death. Sad news.

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Ab Baars Trio with Ken Vandermark in Portland

From Portland Eye and Ear Control:

Dutch reedist Ab Baars brings his trio (bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer Martin van Duynhoven) to Portland with American great Ken Vandermark.

Date: April 4, 7PM (artist’s talk plus two sets)

Location: Community Music Center: 3350 SE Francis St Portland, OR 97202 (503) 823-3177
Price: $12 ($10 for students & members), tickets available at

Contact: The Creative Music Guild: 503-867-0942

The meeting of Dutch reedist Ab Baars and his American counterpart Ken Vandermark offers the uproar you’d expect when acknowledged tenor heavyweights join forces. But there’s plenty more to enjoy than displays of heroic strength. This band, with bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer Martin van Duynhoven shows open forms, varied improvisational strategies, wacky use of juxtaposition, and an unwillingness to treat jazz—or any music—as a fixed art form. They play two sets preceded by an artist’s talk.

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Zu’s Carboniferous Reviewed

Cover of "Igneo"
Cover of Igneo

The latest from this heavy Italian free-jazz band is reviewed:

Here’s a hypothetical question for you- how many bass strings would you get through a month if you were Masimo Pupillo, the bassist in Italian trio Zu?

A lot, would be your answer, had you been listening to Carboniferous recently. I haven’t heard a bass sound as dense as the unearthly throb which hails the start of “Ostia”, the opening track of the jazz metaller’s latest opus, in a very long time. It’s an all-consuming deathly hum, menacingly clear and crisp yet absolutely huge sounding. Think Jesus Lizard, think Shellac, think hard house, think dub, think whatever you like, just think big.

Thankfully for the listener, there’s more than that (admittedly wondrous) bass sound going for Zu. The Italian trio are on their 14th album, but it seems that where last album Igneo started their slow acceptance into a larger audience, Carboniferous will be the one that cements it. Not because it’s released on avant metal guru and former Faith No More-er Mike Patton’s Ipecac label, nor because it features Patton on vocals, and probably not even because Melvins head honcho King Buzzo lends some guitar riffery to the churning “Cthonian”, but most likely because it’s about as friendly as Zu have yet been.

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Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

Ferran Fages – al voltant d’un paral‘lel (Etude)
Cremaster sure seems ages ago. It could be said that his duo projects with Alfredo Costa Monteiro comprised the formative years for Ferran Fages, yet Cremaster’s music (2001 — 2003, roughly) remains so… tip-of-the-spear. While Fages and Monteiro were utilizing in their music electronic equipment and instrumentation that was on its way […]

Peter Kowald – Open Secrets (FMP)
In a field as vast and varied as improvised music, it is essential to periodically reacquaint the ears with recordings, particularly if a purveyor has passed on. This solo recital from Peter Kowald is a reminder that the bassist’s character was as rugged and singular as his approach to his instrument. A world traveler…

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