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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KFJC Reviews

From KFJC:

Fast ‘n’ Bulbous – “Waxed Oop” – [Cuneiform Records]

The second album of compositions by Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) as played by this NY ensemble, led by saxophonist Phillip Johnston and guitarist Gary Lucas. The bluesy bounce and surreal swagger of the original versions are recreated here with reverent arrangements heavy on horns. Everyone plays great, especially Lucas –a member of Beefheart’s Magic Band in one of its later incarnations— and his mean slide guitar. I have to say that the songs, as great as they are, sound to me like they’re missing something in these versions because Van Vliet’s vocals aren’t around. The compositions don’t have a lot of inherent melody, and the instruments playing the vocal lines here don’t have a whole lot to do. But honestly, I applaud any effort to get Beefheart’s music out where people can hear it, and these guys do a good job with it.

Land of Kush – “Against The Day” – [Constellation]

Sam Shalabi is a Montreal musician (oud, Middle Eastern lute) who assembled this large ensemble for this 2009 release. His liner notes call it an homage to Thomas Pynchon who wrote a novel of the same name (Against the Day) that is sometimes described as literary free jazz. Like Pynchon’s work, this is all over the place and often with a lot happening just below the surface.

Sun RA – “Live At The Horseshoe Tavern” – [Transparency]

Jazz: These are the live recordings of three concerts during 1978 at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, and Disc 10 is a 20-minute 1968 radio interview of Sun Ra with several guys at WBAI. Sun Ra sounds anything but humble in this interview in which he explains that he speaks to the world, and has since elementary school, where he taught and led students. The concert discs are truly the eclectic jazz mix that characterizes Sun Ra’s compositions, with Discs 3, 6, and 9 containing more vocalized “sermons” and almost sounding like revival meetings. “Look to the sky…the best things in life are free…sing with the birds…” This is vintage Sun Ra.

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Releases Reviews

DMG Newsletter February 20th, 2009

Wadada Leo Smith
Image via Wikipedia

From DMG:

John Zorn’s Filmworks 23! Frith & Arte Qt Vols 1 & 2! Roberto Rodriguez! Paul Dunmall Sun Qt! Denman Maroney Qnt! Michael Blake & Kresten Osgood!

FAB :Fonda/Altschul/Bang 4th Live! Gary Lucas & Gerald Zbinden! Two Historic Reissues from Nessa: Wadada Leo Smith & Charles Tyler! Lol Coxhill! Ivor Cutler! ..

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AMN Podcast: Fast ‘n’ Bulbous – Waxed Oop

Woeish Me Bop

Captain Beefheart‘s music is the quintessential ‘outsider art music’ of the second half of the 20th century. Despite the fact that he retired from music over 25 years ago, his music resonates more strongly than ever as an influence on contemporary music. Fast ‘n’ Bulbous offer a unique slant on the songbook of one of contemporary music’s most idiosyncratic musical figures. The band features seven great, well-regarded musicians drawn from the rock and the jazz worlds: co-leaders guitarist Gary Lucas (who was in the final incarnation of Beefheart’s Magic Band) and saxist/arranger Phillip Johnston (of the Microscopic Septet) as well as drummer Richard Dworkin, and baritone saxist Dave Sewelson (both also of the Micros), trombonist Joe Fieldler (Ed Palermo Big Band and Satoko Fujii‘s big band), bassist Jesse Krakow (of Time of Orchids and Doctor Nerve) and trumpeter Rob Heinke (also of Doctor Nerve). With a strong, creative line-up like this, you know that you will be getting something more than just a ‘cover band’ and you indeed are. Heartfelt, exciting and it both rocks and swings!

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Jazz Listings in the New York Times

From the Times.

ELLERY ESKELIN TRIO (Sunday) Ellery Eskelin is a tenor saxophonist drawn to rhythmic tumult and tonal friction, though he also has his soulful side. He has a long rapport with Jim Black, who plays drums here; the organist Jamie Saft fills in the middle space, doubling as an adhesive agent and a counterfoil. At 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; cover, $10. (Chinen)

FREESTYLE MUSIC SERIES (Wednesday) This admirably low-fi series is back from hiatus, having found a new space for its scrabbling inventions. Dee Pop, the series organizer, plays drums in Radio I-Ching at 9 p.m. Also on board are the bluegrass duo Uncle Monk, with Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan (at 8 p.m.); Gods & Monsters, a project of the guitarist Gary Lucas (at 10); and the Love Dogs, a Middle Eastern-tinged group led by the multi-instrumentalist Tom Chess (at 11). At Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, (212) 253-0036,; $7. (Chinen)

IDEAL BREAD (Sunday) The music of the soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, who died in 2004, provides a prism through which this group views postwar jazz innovation; a strong idea, both practically and conceptually. Along with the baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton, the lineup includes Kirk Knuffke on trumpet, Reuben Radding on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. At 9 p.m., Alphabeta, 70 Greenpoint Avenue, near Franklin Street, Brooklyn, (718) 383-4444,; $5. (Chinen)

JON IRABAGON (Monday) Mr. Irabagon, an energetic young alto saxophonist, has had a big year: last month, in addition to appearing on “This Is Our Moosic” (Hot Cup), the latest salvo by Mostly Other People Do the Killing, he took first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. For this concert, partly organized by the Thelonious Monk Institute, he draws from “Outright!” (Innova), his strong debut as a leader, released in May. At 7 p.m., TriBeCa Performing Arts Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, (212) 220-1460,; $25; $15 for students. (Chinen)

MALABY-SANCHEZ-RAINEY TRIO (Friday) A collective trio that treads a middle ground between lyricism and abstraction, with Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone, Angelica Sanchez on piano and Tom Rainey on drums. At 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; cover, $10.

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Performances Releases

Cuneiform Artist News: Part III

Gary Lucas at the SKIF Festival, Russia.
Image via Wikipedia

From Cuneiform Records:

Gayle Ellett (Djam Karet)

Press Release for the music group FERNWOOD

Djam Karet’s Gayle Ellett has a new side-group called FERNWOOD. Their debut release “Almeria” has recently been getting rave reviews in the national and international press. GUITAR PLAYER Magazine (June issue) described their music as “Wonderfully melodic, expertly layered, masterfully interwoven, and luscious yet rootsy”. RECORDING Magazine said “The writing, arranging and performances are of the highest order. This release is something special to our ears. Highly Recomended”. The DUTCH PROGRESSIVE ROCK PAGE said “An enchanting, beautiful and captivating aural pleasure. 9 out of 10 points”.

They have been getting great radio play on NPR Radio, and ECHOES Radio, which has picked them as “Top 25 CD Of The Month” for the past six months, and their DJ John Diliberto is flying to Los Angeles to record FERNWOOD as part of his “Living Room Concert Series”.

Currently, the group is hard at work on a second release due out in early 2009. Their music is available at Wayside, CD Baby, I-Tunes and other outlets. You can read more about the group, and hear their music at

Forrest Fang

A new CD side project by Forrest Fang under the project name “Sans Serif” was released on the Hypnos Secret Sounds label in July 2008. The CD is called “Tones for La Monte” and was inspired by the harmonic drones of La Monte Young. The CD will soon be available through Wayside Music.

Fast ‘N’ Bulbous

In May 2008, Fast ‘N’ Bulbous recorded it’s second CD, Waxed Oop, to be released on Cuneiform Records in January of 2009. A strong departure from their first CD, Waxed Oops, ranges from Gary Lucas’ solo National Steel guitar version of “Sure ‘Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do,” to a full band arrangement of Don van Vliet’s solo sea chantey, “Well.” It also includes the first FnB delving into “Lick My Deacls Off, Baby,” and features a bonus track with guest vocalist Robyn Hitchcock.

Just prior to the recording, they did a tribute concert to Captain Beefheart at New York’s Knitting Factory, curated by Gary Lucas, which featured little-known video clips and recordings, and readings and reminiscences by many special guests, including Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Suicide’s Alan Vega, Kurt Loder, and David Lynch (via video).

You can watch a podcast of highlights from the show at:
You can also watch a clip on YouTube, of Gary and Robyn performing “Sure ‘Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do” at the same event.

Fast ‘N’ Bulbous will be appearing in the US and Europe in March of 2009.

Visit Fast ‘N’ Bulbous online for YouTube videos and audio from the new recording.

Forgas Band Phenomena

As of writing (mid September), the band are about to embark on their first foreign concert ever – in Seoul, South Korea, no less! The Forgas Band are representing France in the 2008 edition of a major festival in Guro, a district of the Korean capital. Previous editions of this free event had over 10,000 in attendance.

This performance is yet another milestone in a very eventful year for the band, who early in the summer recorded their new album “L’Axe du Fou” / “Axis of Madness” for release on Cuneiform Records in January, 2009. In contrast to 2005’s “Soleil 12” which for a large part used old material, this was all composed by drummer/leader Patrick Forgas in the last three years.

This was actually the FBP’s second studio session this year; in February they recorded a cover version of Christian Vander’s “Africa Anteria” (originally on 1971’s Uniweria Zekt album) for “Hur”, the sequel to Alain Juliac’s acclaimed Magma tribute project “Hamtai”, due for release later this year.

We hope to celebrate the release of the new CD with a concert in Paris (details tba). The other confirmed concert date is the Chateau d’Auvers-sur-Oise on April 4, 2009. Obviously the band very much hope to follow up their Korean debut with other performances abroad and will happily consider any offers to perform at venues and festivals worldwide!

Audio and video excerpts –
More information, press, etc. –
Management / booking contact –

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