AMN Best of 2009

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society (Photo credit: ClockworkGrue)

I don’t take “best of” lists too seriously, nor should you. However, the virtually infinite number of such lists floating around this month can serve to sum up the year’s major releases, and to give you an idea of releases you might have missed.

The AMN “best of” is set out in two lists below. The first is my subjective top five, followed by an equally subjective set of honorable mentions (in no particular order). The second is a somewhat less subjective list of what I actually listened to the most, according to Last.fm.

Aside from all of the nonsense associated with these lists, I would like to point out that my two clear favorites this year were the new releases from Magma and Darcy James Argue. Both are truly excellent, very different from one another, and highly recommended.

AMN Top 5 of 2009 and honorable mentions

1) Magma Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
2) Argue, Darcy James / Secret Society Infernal Machines
3) Anker, Lotte / Craig Taborn / Gerald Cleaver Floating Islands
4) Hollenbeck, John Eternal Interlude
5) Maguire, Carl Sided Silver Solid

Honorable mentions:
Adams, John Luther The Place We Began
Balmorhea All Is Wild, All Is Silent
Bates, Michael / Outside Sources Live in New York
Blackshaw, James The Glass Bead Game
Blast 4tet Sift
Car de Thon, Le Nos Meilleurs Stockhausen
Cline, Nels Coward
Contemporary Noise Sextet Unaffected Thought Flow
Diablo Swing Orchestra Sing Along Songs for the Damned and Delirious
Flatlands Collective, The Maatjes
Frith, Fred Still Urban
Fully Celebrated Orchestra, The Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones
Hardedge / Graham Haynes Burned to the Water’s Edge
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Winterwood
Land of Kush Against the Day
Lucky 7’s Pluto Junkyard
Moreau, Benoit Audiogrammes II
Musillami, Michael From Seeds
Neo Water Resistance
Nobuyasu, Furuya Bendowa
Quartet Offensive Carnivore
Sunn0))) Monoliths and Dimensions
Trespass …Was There to Illuminate the Night Sky
Trinity Breaking the Mold Var
Zu Carboniferous

AMN Top Ten 2009 Releases according to Last.fm:

1) Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – Infernal Machines
2) Magma – Ëmëhntëtt-Ré
3) Balmorhea – All Is Wild, All Is Silent
4) Nels Cline – Coward
5) Blast4Tet – Sift
6) Fred Frith – Still Urban
7) Sunn O))) – Monoliths and dimensions
8) James Carney Group – Ways & Means
9) John Hébert – Byzantine Monkey
10) Neo – Water Resistance

Claudia Quintet to play First Night

From the Boston Globe, the Claudia Quintet will play Boston’s First Night fest this week.

NEW YORK – When percussionist and composer John Hollenbeck, an eclectically minded veteran of the New York scene with a portfolio ranging from big band and klezmer to avant-garde “new music,’’ set out to form his own group, he didn’t necessarily expect to make something as unusual – nor as durable – as the Claudia Quintet.

Now nine years old and about to release its fourth CD, the quintet features a distinctive front line of clarinet, vibraphone, and accordion. Its distinctive sound and Hollenbeck’s ambitious yet accessible compositions have earned critical acclaim and fueled the emergence of Hollenbeck, 41, as a prominent composer, a Guggenheim fellowship recipient who is frequently solicited for adventurous new commissions.

JOHN HOLLENBECK’S CLAUDIA QUINTET
At: First Church in Boston, Thursday, sets at 9 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.
Information and First Night buttons at http://www.firstnight.org

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Telluric Currents, Series 3 to Take Place at Brooklyn’s I-Beam

Coming to the IBeam:

Continuing the new concert series curated by Brooklyn-based composer/clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman, the thirdd installment of the Telluric Currents series will take place January 15th & 16th at Brooklyn’s I-Beam.

Celebrating the diversity and creativity of New York’s underground musicians, each night of the series will present different groups of musicians who masterfully blur the lines between composition and improvisation, acoustic and electronic music, subtlety and extremity. The current experimental music scene in New York is as vibrant as ever and the Telluric Currents Concert Series seeks to pay tribute to the richness of the current musical landscape.

Friday, January 15th
8p Chuck Bettis/Dafna Naphtali Duo
Nate Wooley Solo 9p
10p Zach Layton/Ryan Sawyer/Alex Waterman Trio

Saturday January 16th
8p Jeremiah Cymerman Solo
Sara Schoenbeck/Ursel Schlict Duo
10p Brandon Seabrook Solo

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Another ESP-Disk’ Show in New York

ESP-Disk
Image via Wikipedia

From ESP-Disk’:

Tuesday, January 19th
ESP-Disk’ LIVE @ The Bowery Poetry Club

10pm
Flaherty-Corsano-Carter
Paul Flaherty – alto and tenor sax
Chris Corsano – drums
Daniel Carter – woodwinds and trumpet

11pm

Joe Morris Trio (ESP 4056)
Joe Morris – guitar
Steve Lantner – piano
Luther Gray – drums

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery New York, NY 10012
Between Houston and Bleecker
F train to 2nd Ave or 6 train to Bleecker

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Alessandro Bosetti Interview

From New York’s Roulette:

Central to the music of Trophies is the voice or a multitude of voices.  A type of voices bordering song and speech but not embracing either one of those practices completely. On November 14th at Roulette, composer and sound artist Alessandro Bosetti presented TROPHIES along with Kenta Nagai, and Ches Smith.  We met up with Alessandro to talk about the project. 

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Henry Grimes, Paul Dunmall & Andrew Cyrille: The Profound Sound Trio at the Vortex, London

A review from All About Jazz:

A buzz of anticipation gripped a full house at the Vortex for the London debut of the Profound Sound Trio—a collective of British reedman Paul Dunmall and a heavyweight rhythm section of Andrew Cyrille on drums and Henry Grimes on bass. Their genesis as a trio came in 2006 when Grimes traveled to England and linked up with Dunmall on the recommendation of sometime AAJ writer, Marc Medwin. Upon recognising kindred spirits, they extended their collaboration, adding Cyrille for an appearance at New York City’s prestigious Vision Festival in 2008. Such was the success of that occasion that it spawned the release of the concert recording as Opus de Life (Porter Records, 2008) and a subsequent appearance later that year at the Cheltenham Festival. In recognition that further exploration of the fertile possibilities inherent in the collective was merited, Birmingham Jazz organized a UK tour of which this was the third night of seven.

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New on Clean Feed

Ornette Coleman live at Saalfelden 2009
Image via Wikipedia

From Clean Feed:

Tony Malaby‘s Apparitions
Voladores
6 new compositions by Malaby, 3 group improvisations and a never recorded composition by Ornette Coleman
 

The Godforgottens
Never Forgotten Always Remembered

Nicolas Masson Parallels
Thirty Six Ghosts

Michael Attias
Renku in Coimbra

Empty Cage quartet
Gravity

Will Holshouser Trio
Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns

Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore
Three Less Than Between

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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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December Point of Departure is Out

The new Point of Departure web-zine is available.

Page One: a column by Bill Shoemaker
What’s New?: The PoD Roundtable
A Fickle Sonance: a column by Art Lange
The Book Cooks: Time and Anthony Braxton by Stuart Broomer (The Mercury Press; Toronto)
&
Herbie Nichols: A Jazzist’s Life, by Mark Miller (The Mercury Press; Toronto)
Far Cry: a column by Brian Morton
Moment’s Notice: Reviews of Recent Recordings
Ezz-thetics: a column by Stuart Broomer
Travellin’ Light: Chad Taylor
Parisian Thoroughfare: a column by Alexandre Pierrepont

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Coming in Early 2010 from EMF Productions

From New York’s EMF Productions:

Iannis Xenakis:
Composer, Architect, Visionary
October, 2009—March, 2010

Electronic Music Foundation and other organizations in New York present a series of extraordinary events showcasing the visionary interdisciplinary practices of this revolutionary composer/architect.

In collaboration with Goethe Institute NYC
Unsound Festival
February 2—10, 2010

A first for New York City, Unsound NY will showcase European experimental and electronic music, as well as related visual arts, including the Warhol Series. Details coming soon.

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