AMN Reviews: Anders Berg & Tellef Øgrim – Kölen [Simlas]; Circadia – Advances and Delays [SOFA 551]

As a polytonal, chording instrument, the guitar—whether electric or acoustic—is incisively capable of creating textures and harmonies of all densities and degrees of dissonance or consonance. Two new releases of guitar-based, improvised music from Scandinavia reveal something of the instrument’s versatility in creating rough or refined sonic atmospheres.

a2594638243_16Kölen, the third release from the duo of Sweden’s Anders Berg (double bass, electric bass and electronics) and Norwegian guitarist Tellef Øgrim consists of eight tracks inspired by the geology and topography of Scandinavia’s severe, far northern landscape. And it’s possible to hear in these largely hard-edged pieces an aural image of craggy stone thrust up into thin, twilit air. Both instruments’ sounds are altered, often aggressively so, into an overdriven, elementally gritty distortion. This may not be metal, but it certainly is the ore from which metal originates.

12806160_1052804438076012_6377583687397800828_nUnlike Kölen’s electronics-heavy ambience, Advances and Delays, a CD featuring the Norwegian guitarist Kim Myhr along with Swedish guitarist David Stackenäs, Canadian-born bassist Joe Williamson and Australian percussionist Tony Buck, is an acoustic affair made up of two long improvisations. The first piece is framed by the dense, choric clang and jangle of the two guitars; within the apparently static outer shell of sound the music moves restlessly in shimmering increments. The texture of the second piece initially is as rarefied as the first is thick. Harmonics and stopped strings are plucked and left to linger and decay in their own time; spaciously-placed bass notes hit at a chord progression that gradually is realized in strummed guitar chords. Following a percussion interlude, chromatic patterns on one guitar overlay arpeggios on the other, creating a rich, resonant tapestry of sound.

Daniel Barbiero


AMN Reviews: David Starobin – New Music with Guitar, Volume 9 [Bridge 9444]

9444_cover_largeThree substantial new works for nylon string guitar make up this the ninth installment of Bridge Records’ series of releases dedicated to new music for guitar, featuring the distinguished guitarist David Starobin. The settings vary from a guitar and violin duo on Poul Ruder’s Schroedinger’s Cat (2012) to a guitar concerto with full orchestra for Paul Lansky’s 2009 With the Grain, with a chamber work for guitar and eleven piece orchestra–Richard Wernick’s 2002 The Name of the Game–lying in between. Both the Wernick and Ruder compositions take long established forms and either update them or permute them to their limits. In the tradition of Bach’s building compositions around the German note names B-A-C-H (Bb, A, C and B natural), The Name of the Game takes as its basic material a pitch class set spelling out the guitarist’s name and arranges it into a fragmentary modernist polyphony. Starobin and the International Chamber Ensemble give a clear, engaging reading of this angular yet accessible work, with Starobin’s chords and single note lines providing the harmonic and melodic fulcrum. Also alluding to Baroque form is Ruder’s composition, a set of twelve canons seemingly in every conceivable form and notable for its subtly nuanced play of string timbres. The austere instrumentation of the piece contrasts dramatically with the lushly orchestrated With the Grain. On all three works Starobin’s performances are as pristine and compelling as they are beautiful.

Umbrella Music Through February 10

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
Image via Wikipedia

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Wednesday, 27 January 2010
The Hideout
10:00PM | Rempis Percussion Quartet
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – bass
Tim Daisy – drums
Frank Rosaly – drums
two sets
$7 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Mitch Cocanig spins Hot Music For Cold Weather

Sunday, 31 January 2010
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Jessen/Attias/Mayas/Lonberg-Holm/Rosaly
Dana Jessen – bassoon
Michael Attias – sax
Magda Mayas – piano
Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello
Frank Rosaly – drums
two sets

Wednesday, 3 February 2010
The Hideout
10:00PM | project [TRANSMIT]
Magda Mayas – piano
Nate McBride – acoustic and electric bass
Steve Hess – percussion
Tony Buck – percussion
two sets
$8 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Frank Rosaly spins 3 Butcher Knives or Better

Thursday, 4 February 2010
10:00PM | Mitchell/Savage
Nicole Mitchell – flute
Darius Savage – bass
11:00PM | Cornerback
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Marc Riordan – piano
Toby Summerfield – guitar

Sunday, 7 February 2010
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Face Time
Tony Barba – tenor sax, bansuri, melodica, fx and tunes
Patrick Mulcahy – electric bass
Cory Healey – drums

Wednesday, 10 February 2010
The Hideout
10:00PM | Matt Schneider Solo
Matt Schneider – guitar
11:00PM | My Silence
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Nick Butcher – analog electronics, guitar
Mike Reed – drums
$6 cover

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New on Tigerasylum Records

From Tigerasylum Records:

Mothguts with Herb Robertson – 08854 CDR
Jersey-style punk meets full-force free jazz. Featuring the legendary trumpeter Herb Robertson weaving through the 1, 2 punch of hard-core struts sewn together by Anthony Ware (alto sax), Ben Ross (drums), Mike Noordzy (bass), and Chris Welcome (guitar). Think Z’s, Ornette, Last Exit, the Minutemen or Sabbath.

The ballad of lester sample – By leroi da moor is ra washington CDR
Straight out of Cleveland, birth site of Albert Ayler, Rafeeq Washington is laying down his version of todays blues – an insight to what the revolution sounds like in disc form. Avant guard samples and rhythms mixed with low-fi bliss make this hard-hitting and soul searching excursion into spoken truth its own slice of magic. Give your brain a twist and pop this in. Remember, Ayler’s ghost is watching…

A SHRED-festival of unashamed force. At once cerebral, playing architectural mind games, a moment never goes by that doesn’t twist back into some jaw-dropping, fist-clenching visceral explosion. An ensemble cast featuring fifteen of Brooklyn and Philadelphia’s finest will leave you breathless, shouting (no, screaming!!!) for more. Featuring the compositions of Nick Millevoi (Many Arms, Joe Lally).

Personnel: Nick Millevoi: conductor, guitar | Adam Caine: guitar* | Drew Cecatto: EVI, tenor saxophone | David Fishkin: acoustic and electric tenor saxophone | Dan Scofield: alto saxophone | Daniel Blacksberg: trombone | Larry Toft: trombone | Alison Conard: keyboard* | John DeBlase: electric bass* | Matt Engle: upright bass | Robert Ludington: drums* | Pete Angevine: drums* | Eric Slick: drums | Eli Littwin: drums | Special guest: George Korein: performance art*

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Inbetweens/DeProphetis/Dalachinsky-Maneri/Berne at RUCMA

Tim Berne
Image via Wikipedia

From New Yorks’ Rise Up Creative Music & Arts:

Start: 01/25/2010 – 7:00pm
7PM – The Inbetweens: Mike Gamble (guitar), Noah Jarrett (bass), Conor Elmes (drums)
8PM – Maryanne DeProphetis/Ron Horton/Landon Knoblock/Dean Johnson: Maryanne DeProphetis (voice), Ron Horton (trumpet), Landon Knoblock (keys), Dean Johnson (bass)
9PM – Steve Dalachinsky/Mat Maneri: Steve Dalachinsky (poetry), Mat Maneri (violin, viola)
10PM – Four Limones: Tim Berne (alto sax), Rick Parker (trombone), Mark Aanderud (keys), Hernan Hecht (drummer)

The Local 269
269 East Houston
at the corner of Suffolk Street
F to Second Avenue
Admission: $10 per set / $20 for the night
Students/seniors: $7 per set / $15 for the night
For More Info:

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Myra Melford’s The Whole Tree Gone Out Today On Firehouse 12 Records

From Improvised Communications:

Today is the official street date for The Whole Tree Gone, pianist/composer Myra Melford’s Firehouse 12 Records debut.

Her first recording as a bandleader since 2006, and second with her longstanding ensemble, Be Bread, The Whole Tree Gone documents the latest evolution of eight original compositions she has been performing with this and other groups for the past five years.

“Melford’s compositions for an obviously inspired sextet comprising trumpet (Cuong Vu), clarinet (Ben Goldberg), guitar (Brandon Ross), acoustic bass guitar (Stomu Takeishi) and drums (Matt Wilson) are works of fine art,” writes saxophonist and jazz critic, Chris Kelsey, “and her piano playing gains more depth with every passing year. Wonderful music.”

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Ingrid Laubrock – Saxophone Is Her Only Constant


For the last several years Ms. Laubrock has been visiting the United States now and then to study and perform, and on Wednesday night at the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village she led a New York-based quartet — Mary Halvorson on guitar, John Hébert on bass, Tom Rainey on drums — with Kris Davis on piano occasionally as a fifth member. It was her own composed music, but sometimes as free as it could get within parameters.

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