Cecil Taylor at University of Vermont

From University of Vermont:

Visionary avant garde pianist Cecil Taylor, one of the most innovative figures in the free jazz movement, will spend four days in residency at UVM April 14-17, rehearsing student musicians, performing with them, and delivering a talk about his life and music. Taylor will also perform at the Flynn Theater on Friday night. Tickets for members of the UVM community are half price.

An enduring and uncompromising figure of the jazz avant-garde, pianist/composer Taylor is widely acknowledged as one of the three pioneering titans of free jazz, with John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. He is one of the few musicians in any genre to explore the full tonal range of the keyboard, and his ferocious playing and rhythmic acuity are trailblazing. Using piano as percussion, his sheer physicality often finds him addressing the keyboard with open palms, elbows, and forearms, yet he is just as likely to investigate the instrument’s many subtle shadings.

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

The Idealist – I Am the Fire

The Idealist is Joachim Nordwall, known as a member of the Skull Defekts. This solo excursion may surprise people acquainted with the usually more extroverted, guitar oriented music that the latter band puts forth. I am the Fire consists of what might be termed industrial drone music, but beyond that, it defies description. It’s not clanking industrial noise, nor is it of the ear-piercing feedback variety. It’s quiet, almost silent at times. But underneath it all, there’s a pall which hangs over this music which is hard to shake.

Cisfinitum – Nevmenosis
Cisfinitum sound sits in a wonderful place between chorale and classical based ambience, subtle industrial and electronica elements to make music that’s both haunting & beautiful yet at times edgy and head swimming- but it’s always captivating and deeply atmospheric.

Human Larvae – Home Is Where The Hurt Is
“Thanks to: family and friends for inspiration”, it makes you wonder what inspiration this could be, as Home Is Where The Hurt Is drags you in into a pitchblack pool of noise, dark ambient and power electronics that seems to be an adequate depiction of nothing less than hell.

Jarrod Fowler – Percussion’ as percussion
‘Percussion’ as percussion presents it self as a fairly high brow and scholarly project and is supposable a reading/ performance of John Mowitt’s book Percussion: Drumming, Beating, striking; but in reality it’s an attack on the sonic sensors using wall noise, deeply layered and bewildering spoken word elements and overload sonic collages that take in TV chatter, crowd sounds, all manner of music and other sonic matter.

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Performances Reviews

Cornish College musicians re-create historic John Cage, Lou Harrison performances

An article reviews the performance and discusses a bit of the Cage / Harrison history.

In the years between their first collaboration and their 1992 Seattle appearance, Cage and Harrison had risen from obscurity to become titans of the American avant-garde. Harrison’s forays into music of non-Western cultures helped fuel the world-music movement of the 1980s. Cage’s experimentation with chance composing techniques, altered instruments and ambient sound — or “Silence,” as the title of his 1961 book proclaimed it — was equally influential and brought him international renown. That night in 1992 marked their last public appearance together in Seattle — the city where they’d made pivotal contributions to the Western percussion tradition half a century earlier. Cage died that August; Harrison in 2003. But anyone wanting insight into what they accomplished here and elsewhere will have their chance starting Thursday with “Drums along the Pacific,” a four-day festival at Cornish celebrating the work of Cage, Harrison and their mentor Henry Cowell.

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New Garrison Fewell And Ayn Inserto CDs Out

Improvised Communications discusses the two latest releases from Boston’s Creative Nation Music, guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (CNM 014) and The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra’s Muse (CNM 015).

Fewell’s second release for the label, following 2008’s The Lady of Khartoum (CNM 010), Variable Density Sound Orchestra is the self-titled debut of his newest working ensemble. The group features Eric Hofbauer (guitars and percussion), Roy Campbell (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute and percussion), Achille Succi (bass clarinet and alto saxophone), John Voight (bass), Miki Matsuki (drums) and Alex Fewell (percussion).

Muse, the follow-up to The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra’s self-released 2006 debut, Clairvoyance, is built around the theme of celebrating those who inspired her. It features arrangements of three pieces by special guest George Garzone and original compositions honoring Bob Brookmeyer, Frank Foster and Steve Lacy among others.

Both releases are part of the label’s ongoing fifth anniversary celebration in 2009, which also includes a package tour of New England and the forthcoming launch of a new series of rare, never-before-released and reissued music called The Hub Collection.

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Umbrella Music Through February 22nd

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009
The Hideout
10:00PM | Gray/Becker/Roebke
Darin Gray – bass
Jim Becker – fiddle
Jason Roebke – bass
11:00PM | James Falzone’s Allos Musica
James Falzone – clarinet
Cathy Kuna – cello
Adam Larrabee – guitar, mandolin
Tim Mulvenna – hand drums, percussion
$6 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Dave Rempis spins The Randomizer

Thursday, 12 February 2009
10:00PM | Gray/Roebke Duo
Darin Gray – bass
Jason Roebke – bass
11:00PM | Kimmel/Labycz/Roebke
Jeff Kimmel – bass clarinet
Brian Labycz – electronics
Jason Roebke – bass

Sunday, 15 February 2009
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Mike Salter Group
Lineup TBA
11:00PM | Little Women
Darius Jones – alto saxophone
Travis Laplante – tenor saxophone
Ben Greenberg – bass
Jason Nazary – drums

Wednesday, 18 February 2009
The Hideout
10:00PM | Nate McBride Solo
Nate McBride – solo bass
11:00PM | Hauf/Hartman/Hess/Rosaly/Summerfield
Boris Hauf – tenor sax
Michael Hartman – drums
Steve Hess – drums
Frank Rosaly – drums
Toby Summerfield – guitar
$6 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets: Bob Weston Brings The Classic Rock

Thursday, 19 February 2009
10:00PM | My Silence
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Didier Petit – cello
Nick Butcher – electronics
Mike Reed – drums
two sets

Sunday, 22 February 2009
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Hauf/Stein/Rosaly/Hartman/Hess
Boris Hauf – saxophones
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Frank Rosaly – drums
Michael Hartman – electronics
Steven Hess – drums
two sets

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New From HatHut Records

New releases on HatHut:

hat(now)ART 141
Christian Wolff
Early Piano Pieces
Steffen Schleiermacher

Total time 73:06, DDD, Barcode: 752156014126

For Prepared Piano (1951) was my first experiment with John Cage’s invention (putting various objects into the piano strings to produce percussive or non-specifically pitched sounds) and a continuation of interest in percussion as such. I had been a friend of John’s, after a brief time as a student, for about a year. But I’d known about the prepared piano earlier from scores in Henry Cowell’s New Music Publications. — Christian Wolff

hat(now)ART 149
Transatlantic Swing
John Snijders

Total time 77:30, DDD, Barcode: 752156014928

Transatlantic Swing is a CD of music rich in elusive connections. Some of the music is ‘transatlantic’ because it’s music by Europeans influenced by the Americas, some because it’s music by an American played by a European. In some way all the music ‘swings’, but no two pieces swing in the same way.There’s also a network of friendships between the composers represented here, although together they don’t represent any one tendency in contemporary musical aesthetics. And there’s a network of shared preoccupations in the music here – the balance between process and fantasy in musical form, the dynamics of sound and silence, the reconfiguration of popular music – but not all these preoccupations occur in every piece. — Christopher Fox

hatOLOGY 657
Clusone 3
Soft Lights And Sweet Music
(Irving Berlin Songbook)

Total time 62:20, DDD, Barcode: 752156065722

Musicians play Irving Berlin because he makes them sound good. The pretty songs make you sound poetic just reading; the tapinflected songs Astaire introduced will bring out your swing if you have any. So what you get with Irving Berlin is melody so strong and self-supporting it keeps its integrity, no matter how stretched or yanked from context. And you get music so common, to America and to jazz at least, musicians may make free with it without losing you. You have, in short, perfect fodder for Clusone 3 – which they knew even before they were approached about doing an unspecified concept album.
While feasting on the individual selections, please note how nicely programmed this disc is. As live, Clusone 3 cut the wide open stuff with tight swingers. You can argue for cosmic implications: the music expands and contracts like the universe. Or you can just say the rhythm’s as natural as breathing: in, out, in, out. — Kevin Whitehead

hatOLOGY 663
Steve Lantner Quartet
Given – Live In Münster

Total time 47:30, DDD, Barcode: 752156066323

Given – Live In Münster, is the Steve Lantner Quartet’s second effort. Its sax-piano-bass-drums line-up invites weight against the measure of classic albums like Misterioso, Black Fire, Giant Steps, and Saxophone Colossus on the one hand, and thousands of rote quartet recordings on the other. Lantner’s contribution falls on the right end of the spectrum by doing exactly what a jazz album must in order to justify its carbon footprint in the 21st Century; it presents a vivid impression of a singular musician with a strong band moving the music forward. Or as Lantner puts it, «I am trying to play jazz music in a language that I think is a natural evolution past tonal/modal sensibilities.» — Bill Meyer

hatOLOGY 670
Joe Morris Bass Quartet
High Definition

Total time 53:25, DDD, Barcode: 752156067023

Listen to the music of Joe Morris and one is immediately struck by a few things. First, there is his sense of rhythmic and melodic articulation; a sense of phrasing brimming with potent energy and focused resolve. Then there is an uncanny ability to balance freedom and groove. Finally, there is his ability to pull it all together in structures that bring out particularly inspired playing by his collaborators…
With this release, Morris and crew cement their status as musicians from a generation who have fully absorbed a polyglot view of the jazz tradition. They have the commitment, experience, and the innate understanding to seamlessly pull from both inside and outside, from swing to freedom. But they also have the dedication and creativity to make it their own. It is how they pull to gether all these disparate threads into a unified vocabulary indelibly stamped with their own sensibilities and personalities that makes this such a riveting statement. — Michael Rosenstein

hatOLOGY 675
Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet
Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths

Total time 44:15 DDD, Barcode: 75215606758

Here’s a group of musicians who are making a commitment to the long haul. They are creating music for the third millennium that is savvy enough to draw on the forking paths of the tradition while finding room for their own individual voices. Get Bynum started on this group and he responds with his usual enthusiastic eloquence. «Whatever balance I am able to strike between tradition and individuality I really owe to the nurturing community of musicians I came up under.» This set is a tribute to that journey. — Michael Rosenstein

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