In Brooklyn, Yesterday’s Avant-Garde as Today’s Durable Works

From, a review of recent Darmstadt shows.

Precious little linked most of the composers who participated in New Music, New York, a nine-evening concert series presented by the Kitchen in June 1979. Then located in SoHo, the Kitchen was a home for a wide range of musical doings: Fluxus happenings, the nascent Minimalism of Philip Glass and Steve Reich, experiments by rock refugees like Robert Fripp and performance artists in the process of defining themselves.

What New Music, New York provided for its disparate participants was a sense of unity and purpose, a rallying cry that proposed that the creative urges expressed at the Kitchen were worthy of the attention paid to “uptown” composers — modernists like Elliott Carter and Milton Babbitt — and worthy of critical evaluation and financial patronage too.

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Interview with Those Behind “For Braxton”

For Braxton was part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. An interview with the musicians behind the event is available:

In addition, the concert will see the first performance of The Braxton Project by ELISION ensemble and John Butcher, an innovative assemblage of Braxton music and inspiration that connects his compositions, musical language and improvisation with new music created by the performers. Timothy O’Dwyer, ELISION saxophonist and curator of The Braxton Project explains more about the unique work:

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ICE Returns To The MCA

The Chicagoist has the scoop on the International Contemporary Ensemble:

Fans of sonic experimentation will want to clear their schedules November 19 for the return of the Chicago/NYC-based International Contemporary Ensemble to the MCA for a rare performance of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s work. Brad Lubman will conduct and Saariaho herself will supervise the group’s rehearsals and make a guest appearance at the concert to field audience questions.

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In DC This Weekend: Futterman/Levin Duo, Cheer-Accident

From Washington City Paper:

On Saturday, hop over to Twins Jazz for a free-jazz concert the likes of which the District doesn’t get enough these days, as pianist Joel Futterman and reedist Ike Levin duo it up. Futterman played Twins Jazz a couple years ago with legendary New Orleans saxophonist Kidd Jordan, and immediately won me over with a style that is most easily compared to a somewhat more accessible Cecil Taylor. He’s been playing with Levin at least since 2002, and this should be an excellent night for those who miss the shows like this that Transparent Productions used to put on regularly.

On Sunday, a trek up to Orion Sound Studios will be rewarded with a show by the always unpredictable Cheer-Accident, who last played there in April following their performance at Avant Fairfax, pictured above. This long-running Chicago band writes music by throwing genres and expectations into a blender and adding a dash of Zappa-like whimsy—and they come out with something completely different every time they do it. Baltimore bands Armed Elephant and Isthmus open; the latter’s Isis/Neurosis brand of metal is great, if an odd fit for the bill.
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Vaudeville and Avant-Garde Strings at Le Poisson Rouge


The two shows at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday evening, though both rooted in classical music, could not have been more different. At the early show Polkastra, a virtuosic polka ensemble led by the violinist Lara St. John, with the composer Ronn Yedidia as its accordionist, played wildly idiosyncratic arrangements and original music from its new recording, “Apolkalypse Now.” A more restrained sort of virtuosity governed the late show, the Jack Quartet’s program of avant-garde string quartets in the Moving Sound Festival’s final concert.

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Moving Sounds Festival Review has words about this avant-garde fest.

The Moving Sounds Festival means its title to be taken in every possible way. The works performed during this three-day event are meant to be moving, if not always emotionally then viscerally or intellectually. Some of the pieces make significant use of spatial elements: the sounds move around the stage. And because the ambitious schedule of concerts, symposiums and exhibitions is split between two locations — the Austrian Cultural Forum and Le Poisson Rouge — the sounds are moving around town as well.

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Evan Parker Residency at the Stone: October 1-16

Evan Parker’s upcoming Stone residency is previewed:

John Zorn’s The Stone is affording New York experimental and improvisation audiences an extraordinary opportunity this October. Saxophonist Evan Parker will play over twenty concerts in an extended residency at the new venue.

Parker is well known both for his solo concerts and for his work in a variety of group contexts. On June 30, he released Moment’s Energy, ECM’s fifth recording of the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, a group of more than a dozen improvisers from a number of disparate musical traditions.

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Nu-Art Series to present concerts by Trio 3, Rasul Siddik

From St. Louis Jazz Notes:

The Nu-Art Series, run by trumpeter, gallery owner and former arts administrator George Sams out of his Metropolitan Gallery downtown, is kicking off its fall 2009 season this month with two concerts featuring former St. Louisans who have earned international acclaim in the jazz world.

The group Trio 3, featuring saxophonist and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake (pictured), bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille, will perform on Saturday, September 19. The following week, trumpeter Rasul Siddik returns home to the Gateway City to headline a concert on Saturday, September 26.

Both performances will take place from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Luna Bar, 13 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End. (Luna Bar is serving as a temporary home for the Nu-Art Series while storm damage to the Metropolitan Gallery building at 2926 Locust is being repaired. Pending the completion of construction, Sams says he hopes to resume regular operations at the gallery in October.) Tickets for each show will be $25.00 at the door.

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PDX Large Ensemble Concert

The PDX LARGE ENSEMBLE is a new collaborative effort from a community of Portland area improvising/jazz/avant/noise musicians (Mary Sutton, John Savage, Tim DuRoche, Andrew Oliver, Scott Brazieal, Mary-Sue Tobin, Jonathan Sielaff, Todd Dickerson, Kevin Van Geem, Gregg Skloff, Brandon Conway, J Morales, and many more). The group will feature avant compositions, free improvisation and work with touring avant musicians as a residential “house” ensemble. The concerts will be sponsored by the CMG (Creative Music Guild) and take place on bi monthly basis. The initial group was part of a concert in June with Urs Leimgruber (also CMG sponsored).

This concert will feature new works by: Andrew Oliver, Sarah Ann Phillips (L.A.), Ken Ollis, Tom Garcia, Scott Brazieal, Heather Vertigos and others.

Concert date is: Thursday, September 10th. 8-10PM.

@ Redeemer Lutheran Church
5431 NE 20th Ave (@Killingsworth)
Portland, 97211

All Ages. Sliding Scale at the door.

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Taylor Ho Bynum and Harris Eisenstadt in London

All About Jazz reviews this recent show.

Convergence Quartet
The Vortex
London, U.K.
April 27, 2009

Last sighted on these shores in the autumn of 2006, the success of the Convergence Quartet ‘s inaugural meeting has now borne the fruit of a further tour for cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Harris Eisenstadt, and the up-and-coming English pairing of pianist Alexander Hawkins and bassist Dominic Lash.

“All four band members, though, found ample space within the quartet’s shared aesthetic, which was built upon attentive listening and quick witted response.”

Since the band’s first concert, Bynum has moved ever further from the Braxton penumbra to become an active and prolific leader stateside, while Eisenstadt balances bounteous collaborations with leadership dates like the dazzling Guewel (Clean Feed, 2008). Hawkins and Lash have become increasingly sought after, appearing in Evan Parker’s quartet and multifarious improvising collectives. In addition, Hawkins has toured with his own adventurous sextet, and Lash has made his debut on the New York scene. The quartet’s Live in Oxford (FMR, 2007), a memento of the last tour, now looks like it will be joined by a studio album (a recording date is scheduled for the end of this nine date tour).

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