AMN Picks of the Week

John Zorn and Masada live in Chicago
Image via Wikipedia

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Han Bennink – Parken (2009)
Redhooker – Vespers (2010)
Will Holshouser Trio – Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns (2009)
Andrew Broder – Remaining (2009)
John Zorn – Femina (2009)

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Jazz Listings From the New York Times

John Zorn (cropped version)
Image via Wikipedia

From NYTimes.com:

THE BAD PLUS (Tuesday through Thursday) The pianist Ethan Iverson, the bassist Reid Anderson and the drummer David King constitute the Bad Plus, a delivery system for smartly sweeping original songs, as well as wryly affectionate renditions of pop tunes. (Through Jan. 3.) At 9 and 11 p.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village , (212) 255-4037, villagevanguard.com; cover, $25, with a $10 minimum. Special New Year’s Eve packages on Thursday. (Chinen)

ERI YAMAMOTO TRIO (Sunday) On a good portion of her new album, “In Each Day, Something Good” (AUM Fidelity), the pianist Eri Yamamoto presents music inspired by the cinematic wizardry of Yasujiro Ozu. She revisits some of that evocative terrain here, with regular partners: David Ambrosio on bass and Ikuo Takeuchi on drums. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)

? JOHN ZORN’S ANNUAL END OF THE YEAR IMPROV (Wednesday) Noise is the currency at a John Zorn improv party, which can feature any number of audacious and open-minded musicians. This jampacked edition — a benefit for Mr. Zorn’s nonprofit performance space, the Stone — will include the trombonists Jim Staley and Sam Kulik, the violinist Mark Feldman, the pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and the multireedist Ned Rothenberg. Arrive early, and be prepared to wait in the cold. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; cover, $25. (Chinen)

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Joey Baron: Just Say Yes

Cover of "Down Home"
Cover of Down Home

An interview with Joey Baron from All About Jazz:

Combining technical acuity with a deep sense of groove, Joey Baron drums with playful exuberance. Throughout his more than 35-year career, he’s propelled experimentalists like guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist John Zorn, as well as mainstreamers like vocalist Carmen McRae and saxophonist David Sanborn. He’s even played with pop stars David Bowie and Marianne Faithfull. But Baron makes no distinctions between gigs, keeping an expansive, welcoming view of music. After leading the groups Barondown, Down Home, and Killer Joey, he’s recently focused on percussion work in solo, duo, and trio settings. A rare December, 2009 solo concert at Roulette offers the chance to experience Baron’s artistry at its most distilled.

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International Contemporary Ensemble Upcoming Shows

From the International Contemporary Ensemble:

Friday, December 11, 2009, 7:30pm
ICE @ MoCP II: Wired/Lowfirm
Claire Chase and Eric Lamb, Flutes
Campbell MacDonald and Joshua Rubin, Bass Clarinets

Museum of Contemporary Photography
600 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago

The electrifying flute duo Wired and the bassy clarinet duo Lowfirm face-off in a concert featuring a precision display of woodwind acrobatics. Music by Steve Reich, Philippe Hurel, and Felipe Lara, with premieres of new works by Pablo Chin, Marcos Balter and Ryan Ingebritsen.

Pablo Chin: Como la leyenda de Ixquiq for two flutes (2009) WORLD PREMIERE
Felipe Lara: Vocalise for two bass clarinets (2007)
Marcos Balter: Edgewater for bass flute and alto flute (2009) WORLD PREMIERE
John Zorn: Sortilege for two bass clarinets (2001)
Ryan Ingebritsen: Residence on Earth Part 1 : El Gran Océano for two flutes and two bass clarinets, with electronics (2009) WORLD PREMIERE

Sunday, December 13, 7 pm
Transfigured Bach
Daniel Lippel, guitar
with Claire Chase, flute

St. Paul’s Chapel
2335 N. Orchard
Chicago, IL

Join ICE’s sensational guitarist Daniel Lippel for a concert of music by ICE’s favorite avant-garde composer, J.S. Bach. Transcribing Bach’s music for guitar is always a delicate process, but one that affords us the chance to hear the works in a new light.

Partita in B minor (orig. violin), BWV 1002
Sonata for Flute and Guitar in E major (orig. flute and harpsichord), BWV 1034; featuring Claire Chase, flute
Lute Suite #3 in A minor, BWV 998

Monday, December 14, 7:30pm
ICE @ the Southern Theater
Claire Chase and Eric Lamb, Flutes
Campbell MacDonald and Joshua Rubin, Bass clarinets

The Southern Theater
1420 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN

ICE makes its Southern Theater debut with two woodwind duos in works by Steve Reich, John Zorn, Philippe Hurel, and a world premiere by Minneapolis native Ryan Ingebritsen. A “powerhouse of new-music programming” (The New Yorker), ICE brings its tight-knit virtuosity, youthful intensity and emotional chemistry to the Southern stage for an adventurous program sure to melt the coldest of winter hearts.

Steve Reich: Vermont Counterpoint for flute and tape (1982)
Felipe Lara: Vocalise for two bass clarinets (2008)
Philippe Hurel: Loops III for two flutes (2001)
Steve Reich: New York Counterpoint for two clarinets and tape (1985)
Marcos Balter: Edgewater for bass flute and alto flute (2009) WORLD PREMIERE
John Zorn: sortilege for two bass clarinets (2001)
Ryan Ingebritsen: Residence on Earth Part 1 : El Gran Océano for two flutes and two bass clarinets, with electronics (2009) WORLD PREMIERE

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Upcoming Roulette TV Shoots

From New York’s Roulette:

Christian Wolff
ROULETTE TV SHOOT
Sat Dec 12 – 8:00 PM

All-Star quintet: Joey Baron, Robert Black, Larry Polansky, Robyn Schulkowsky, Christian Wolff present the music of Christian Wolff both old and new – including the premiere of new long form piece written specifically for this quintet.

Christian Wolff was born in 1934 in Nice, France. He’s lived mostly in the U.S. since 1941. He studied piano with Grete Sultan and composition, briefly, with John Cage. Though mostly self-taught as a composer, the work of John Cage, Morton Feldman, David Tudor and Earle Brown have been important to him, as well as long associations with Cornelius Cardew and Frederic Rzewski. A particular feature of his music is the various freedoms it allows performers at the time of performance as well as the variable results possible for any one particular piece, for which various new notations have been invented. Underlying notions in the work are shared freedom, self-determination and democratically-spirited collaboration. The music is published by C.F. Peters, New York and much of it is recorded, on many labels. A number of pieces, starting in 1953, have been used and commissioned by Merce Cunningham and his dance company. Wolff has been active as a performer and as improvisor – with Takehisa Kosugi, Steve Lacey, Christian Marclay, Keith Rowe, William Winant, the group AMM, Kui Dong and Larry Polansky. His writings on music (up to 1998) are collected in “Cues: Writings and Conversations”, published by MusikTexte, Cologne. He has received awards and grants from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Ford Foundation, DAAD Berlin, the Asian Cultural Council, the Fromm Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (the John Cage Award for music) and the Mellon Foundation. He is a member of the Akademie der Kuenste in Berlin and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004 he received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts. Academically trained as a classicist, Wolff was professor of classics and music at Dartmouth College from 1971 to 1999.

Joey Baron
ROULETTE TV SHOOT
Sun Dec 13 – 8:00 PM
Join us for the filming of Roulette TV’s special on Joey Baron! Avant-garde jazz drummer Joey Baron has worked with an impressive list of musicians, including everyone from Bill Frisell, Stan Getz, and Tony Bennett to John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Fred Frith, and Tim Berne. His own groups he has led include the “Down Home Group”, Barondown, and Killer Joey and was a member of “Naked City” (with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith and Wayne Horvitz) and of Zorn’s group Masada (Dave Douglas and Greg Cohen). Joey Baron was born 1955 in Richmond ,Va. He started drumming at age 9, performing profesionally the following year. His early musical education included private drum lessons as well as the wide genre radio programing of the 1960s. After finishing high school early through a special accelerated program, Mr. Baron spent time in Boston attending the Berklee School of Music.He settled in Los Angeles,California in 1975 to realize a dream of playing with the great jazz musician Carmen McRae,consequently becoming a much sought after singer’s drummer. Since moving to New York City in 1983, Mr. Baron has continued to expand his scope and develope his musical ideas through collaborations with various artists including Red Rodney, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, Ron Carter, and John Zorn ,with whom the collaboration continues to the present. Current projects include solo concert tours, duo concerts with Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, his own band, “Killer Joey”,The John Abercrombie Quartet, and the Schulkowsky, Studer, Baron drum trio.

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Jazz Listings From The New York Times

In the Times:

DARCY JAMES ARGUE’S SECRET SOCIETY (Wednesday) This postmillennial big band, led by Mr. Argue, an indefatigable young composer, recently released an admirable studio debut, “Infernal Machines” (New Amsterdam). In performance the group balances airtight precision with a good measure of looseness and crackle. At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st Street , (212) 582-2121, iridiumjazzclub.com; $25 per set, with a $10 minimum. (Nate Chinen)20091119

TIM BERNE AND LOS TOTOPOS (Saturday) Mr. Berne, an alto saxophonist and composer with a taste for coarsely layered frictions, presents a newly minted ensemble here, with Matt Mitchell on piano and electronics, Oscar Noriega on clarinets and Ches Smith on percussion. The band focuses not only on sharp and convoluted new music by Mr. Berne, but also on some rather obscure material written more than 30 years ago by his former mentor, the saxophonist-composer Julius Hemphill. At 8:30 p.m., Roulette, 20 Greene Street, at Grand Street, SoHo , (212) 219-8242, roulette.org; $15; $10 for students. (Chinen)20091119

ELLERY ESKELIN QUARTET (Sunday) Ellery Eskelin is a tenor saxophonist drawn to rhythmic tumult and tonal discord, though he also has his soulful side. In this ensemble he leans on a responsive, stalwart bassist, John Hébert, and two of the most dynamic newer arrivals on the experimental scene: the guitarist Mary Halvorson and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a $6 minimum. (Chinen)20091119

LISA MEZZACAPPA (Sunday and Monday) Ms. Mezzacappa is a bassist and composer based in the San Francisco area and rooted in a rugged approach to experimentation. On Sunday night she leads the promising East Coast edition of a signature band, Bait & Switch, with Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, Mary Halvorson on guitar and Ches Smith on drums. On Monday — appearing first in a bassist-bandleader trifecta, before groups led by John Hébert (at 9 p.m.) and Sean Conly (at 10:30 p.m.) — she presents Soft Pitch, a trio with the guitarist Chris Welcome and the drummer Mike Pride. Sunday at 8:30 p.m., Zebulon, 258 Wythe Avenue, near Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 218-6934, zebuloncafeconcert.com; no cover. Monday at 7:30 p.m. Local 269, 269 East Houston Street, at Suffolk Street, Lower East Side , (212) 228-9874, rucma.org; cover, $10 per set; $15 for the night ($7 and $12 for students.) (Chinen)20091119

? PAUL MOTIAN OCTET + 1 (Friday through Sunday) A luminous and mysterious post-bop ensemble that consists of two contrasting pairs of improvisers (the saxophonists Chris Cheek and Bill McHenry, and the guitarists Steve Cardenas and Ben Monder); a couple of welcome stabilizers (Jerome Harris and Thomas Morgan, both bassists); a pair of wild cards (the violist Mat Maneri and the pianist Jacob Sacks); and a wily mastermind (Mr. Motian, on drums). At 9 and 11 p.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village , (212) 255-4037, villagevanguard.com; cover, $25, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)20091119

? 28 HOURS OF INNOVATIVE ART (Friday and Saturday) Organized by Arts for Art, the nonprofit behind the Vision Festival, this avant-garde marathon — scheduled to run from 6 p.m. on Friday through midnight on Saturday — will focus on performance and participation, weaving together music with movement, art and conversation. That’s the idea, anyway; participating artists include the percussionist Milford Graves, the saxophonists John Zorn and Charles Gayle, the trombonists George Lewis and Josh Roseman, and the pianists Matthew Shipp and Connie Crothers. Clemente Solo Vélez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street, at Rivington Street, Lower East Side , (212) 260-4080, visionfestival.org; $30 per day; $20 for students; $50 for all 28 hours. (Chinen)

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DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET Photos

From DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET:

Music Unlimited festival in Wels, Austria: Unlimited 23 “Whispers & Cries” curated By Ikue Mori:

November 06, 2009
John Zorn Cobra, Schl8hof, Wels
Tony Buck, Sylvie Courvoisier, Chris Cutler, Shayna Dunkelman, Fred Frith, Arnold ‘Noid’ Haberl, Makigami Koichi, Okkyung Lee, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Maja Ratkje, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, David Watson
KTL, Schl8hof, Wels
Stephen O’Malley, Peter Rehberg
Speak Easy, Schl8hof, Wels
Martin Blume, Thomas Lehn, Phil Minton, Ute Wassermann
Spunk, Schl8hof, Wels
Kristin Andersen, Lene Grenager, Maja Ratkje, Hild Sofie Tafjord

November 07, 2009
Thinking Out Loud, Im Kornspeicher, Wels
Pamelia Kurstin
Phil Minton & dieb13, Im Pavillon, Wels
Dieter ‘dieb13’ Kovacic, Phil Minton
Agra Dharma, Schl8hof, Wels
Sylvie Courvoisier, Makigami Koichi, Ikue Mori
Anker-Lee-Kallerdahl, Schl8hof, Wels
Lotte Anker, Lindha Kallerdahl, Okkyung Lee
Fred Frith & Chris Cutler, Schl8hof, Wels
Chris Cutler, Fred Frith
Phantom Orchard Orchestra, Schl8hof, Wels
Shayna Dunkelman, Makigami Koichi, Ikue Mori, Maggie Parkins, Sara Parkins, Zeena Parkins, Maja Ratkje, Hild Sofie Tafjord

November 08, 2009
Ikue Mori Ipcress Theater, Medienkulturhaus, Wels
Makigami Koichi, Ikue Mori, Mark Nauseef, Kazuhisa Uchihashi
Zeena Parkins Saw Sun Here, Medienkulturhaus, Wels
Maggie Parkins, Sara Parkins, Zeena Parkins
Anker-Courvoisier-Nauseef, Schl8hof, Wels
Lotte Anker, Sylvie Courvoisier, Mark Nauseef
Peter Evans & Okkyung Lee, Schl8hof, Wels
Peter Evans, Okkyung Lee
The Ex, Schl8hof, Wels
Arnold de Boer, Katherina Bornefeld, Terrie Hessels, Andy Moor
Watson-Olive-Buck, Schl8hof, Wels
Tony Buck, DJ Olive, David Watson

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Roulette in December

From NY’s Roulette:

HANS TAMMEN & THIRD EYE ORCHESTRA: Anagenesis
Mon Dec 7 – 8:30 PM
Hans Tammen creates music that has been described as an alien world of bizarre textures and a journey through the land of unending sonic operations. Using Earle Brown’s open form composition idea as a starting point to create a large multi-movement piece, thoroughly composed and purely improvised at the same time. He gets his thrill out of exploring the world of sounds, and by superimposing or phasing of multiple rhythms. His new work ANAGENESIS draws from a single repertoire of around 100 pre-conceived musical units. The conductor uses the orchestra as an instrument, while each performer shapes the music through virtuosic improvisation and the individual stylization of musical performance. “Everything about Third Eye Orchestra… indicates mastery and control”

Shaking Ray and Shelley
Tue Dec 8 – 8:30 PM
“Ole’ Timey Avant-Garde” ensemble The Shaking Ray Levis team up with eccentric vocalist Shelley Hirsch for an explosive evening of improvisation. The Shaking Ray Levis were conceived by Dennis Palmer and Bob Stagner in 1986, and have since been the first American group be be released on Derek Bailey’s Incus Records. Using synthesizers (analog & digital), MoogerFoogers, samplers, vocals and percussion they achieve an incredibly unique blend of experimental sound with an Ole’ Timey feel.

Jim Staley w/ Ikue Mori & Kyoko Kitamura
Wed Dec 9 – 8:30 PM
Trombonist, composer, and founder of Roulette Jim Staley has been shaking up the downtown scene for over 30 years. Working primarily with improvisation, crossing genres freely between post-modern classical music and avant-garde jazz, Staley has collaborated for many years with other highly experienced improvisers, both dancers and musicians. Tonight, Staley is joined by laptop virtuoso and longtime collaborator Ikue Mori and multilingual, electronics enhanced vocalist Kyoko Kitamura.

INTERPRETATIONS: FLUX Quartet performs David First / Dom Minasi String Quartet
Thu Dec 10 – 8:00 PM
An evening of music by two guitarist/composers, both writing for chamber string ensemble – FLUX, comprised of many of New York’s premiere instrumentalists. “Guitarist and electronic composer David First’s subtle way with drones and other extended tones reveals a musician who successfully controls the barely controllable” (K. Leander Williams, Time Out NY). Tonight, the eclectic composer and punk-era innovator premiers new music for string quartet, performed by the fearlessly dynamic new music ensemble, the FLUX Quartet. Guitarist/composer Dom Minasi offers his own unique take on the concept of a string quartet, fashioning an ensemble that is equal parts chamber music and jazz. Comprised of players with whom Minasi has worked for many years, the music was not simply composed with a specific instrumentation in mind, but each unique player’s personality was embedded into the writing. Minasi’s group will perform music from their recent CD Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder, featuring Dom Minasi on nylon string guitar, with violinist Jason Hwang, cellist Tomas Ulrich, and bassist Ken Filiano.

Susie Ibarra “Drum Sketches”
Fri Dec 11 – 8:30 PM
Percussionist/Composer Susie Ibarra performs a rare evening of new solos and compositions featured on her solo cd, Drum Sketches on Innova Records. Drum Sketches are mixed with folkloric and contemporary percussive sounds and field recordings which “translate her interpretations of Filipino ambiance” in non traditional ways . “In the past decade, her willingness to step out from behind the kit and embrace non jazz forms- opera, poetry experimental sound, dance-has taken her from that initial buzz from below Houston Street to international reknown as a composer, performer and proponent of folkloric music.” New York Times.

Christian Wolff ROULETTE TV SHOOT
Sat Dec 12 – 8:00 PM
All-Star quintet Joey Baron, Robert Black, Larry Polansky, Robyn Schulkowsky, and Christian Wolff present the music of Christian Wolff both old and new – including a premiere of new long form piece written specifically for this quintet. Christian Wolff studied piano with Grete Sultan and composition, briefly, with John Cage. Though mostly self-taught as a composer, the work of John Cage, Morton Feldman, David Tudor and Earle Brown have been important to him, as well as long associations with Cornelius Cardew and Frederic Rzewski. Tonight marks the filming of the next episode of Roulette TV

Joey Baron ROULETTE TV SHOOT
Sun Dec 13 – 8:00 PM
Avant-garde jazz drummer Joey Baron has worked with an impressive list of musicians, including everyone from Bill Frisell, Stan Getz, and Tony Bennett to John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Fred Frith, and Tim Berne. His own groups he has led include the “Down Home Group”, Barondown, and Killer Joey and was a member of “Naked City” (with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith and Wayne Horvitz) and of Zorn’s group Masada (Dave Douglas and Greg Cohen). Tonight Joey Baron presents an evening of solo percussion music for this installment of Roulette TV.

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A Select History of Experimental Music

From Performa Arts, a two-day experimental music fest in New York.

A mini-festival of noise music curated by visual artist Mike Kelley. Born in a suburb of Detroit in 1954, Mike Kelley was brought up with the city’s music scene, which spawned bands such as Iggy and the Stooges and MC5. In 1973, Kelley formed his own band, the now seminal Destroy All Monsters. “A Fantastic World” continues Kelley’s continued interest in musical subcultures and focuses specifically on avant-garde music and sound art that employs elements such as cacophony, dissonance, and atonality.

Staged over two days, the festival will present both historic works from artists such as John Cage, Fred Frith, Fluxus, Bruce Nauman, and Max Neuhaus as well as performances by contemporary proponents of experimental music including Airway, Joan La Barbara, Tony Conrad, Jad Fair & Lumberob, Arto Lindsay, Genesis Breyer P.Orridge, z’ev, and John Zorn.

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