Is that jazz? Explore improvisation, composition and more at Seattle festival

From the Seattle Times Newspaper:

Formal composition vs. spontaneous creativity is the prevailing theme at a series of experimental jazz performances called Is That Jazz? Seattle’s Avant Jazz Music Festival.

The festival convenes Friday night with two performances at the Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford by the Sunship quintet and the Sun Ra Tribute Band, named for the jazz composer, pianist and philosopher who helped pioneer free jazz in the 1950s and ’60s. The event continues Saturday night with performances by esteemed clarinetist Bill Smith’s trio and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes’ big band, called Threat of Beauty.

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Kyle Gann
Image via Wikipedia

Free Albums Galore profiles some free MP3 releases from Kyle Gann.

The Earshot Jazz Fest has an online ballot in which all can vote for achievers in Seattle’s jazz scene.

Jazz Continuum has a blog post questioning how albums get chosen for all those “year end” lists.

David S. Ware‘s kidney transplant recovery is featured.

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Megasound Releases and Tours

Megasound is a new Italian label soon to launch. They have two recent releases, both highly recommend. A USA tour may follow this summer.

Neo is an italian Jazz-punk-blues trio and have released Water Resistance.

Tribraco is a jazz-rock quartet, with a first album “Cracking the Whip.” In August 2009 they had a tour in Sardinia, were they played with Roscoe Mitchell (The Trio) from Art Ensemble of Chicago, at the Sant’Anna Arresi Jazz Festival “Ai confini tra Sardegna e Jazz 009”.

With both of the bands we are organizing a tour all over the USA on summer 2010, 7.500 mi, more than 20 cities, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., New Orleans.

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Coming up in Seattle

From Wayward Music:

THU. 11/5 – WA Composers Forum presents Nu:BC, contemporary chamber ensemble from Canada

FRI. 11/6 – Seattle Composers’ Salon, music by Keith Eisenbrey, Emily Doolittle, Cole Bratcher, Tom Baker

SAT. 11/7 – Earshot Jazz Festival presents Hans Koch (solo bass clarinet) and Paul Kikuchi’s Portable Sanctuary (w/ Stuart Dempster, Alex Vittum, Jesse Olsen)

FRI. 11/13 – Lori Goldston, amplified cello; Dylan Carlson (EARTH), electric guitar; KnotPineBox, guitar, voice, etc.

SAT. 11/14 – Neil Welch, saxophone + Operation ID – CD release concert

TUE. 11/17 – Oana Rusu Tomei (piano), Victoria Parker (violin), Arthur Zadinsky (violin): music of Enescu, Franck, Szymanowski & Shostakovich

SAT. 11/21 – Nonsequitur presents Alaskan composer John Luther Adams, with percussionist Steven Schick and pianist Cristina Valdes

TUE. 12/1 – DX ARTS presents Yutaka Makino & Stelios Manousakis, electro-acoustic

FRI. 12/4 – James Garlick, solo violin recital

SAT. 12/5 – Brad Sherman, clarinet & Sarah Bassingthwaighte, flutes – contemporary chamber music

FRI. 12/11 – Seattle Phonographers Union CD release concert + Perri Lynch solo set, field recordings

SAT. 12/12 – Seattle Phongraphers Union (different line up than above) + Christopher DeLaurenti solo set, more field recordings

THU. 12/17 – Eye Music, graphic scores performed by large ensemble of all-star Seattle experimentalists

SAT. 12/19 – Vance Galloway & Rafael Irisarri, ambient/drone for guitar, piano, electronics

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Earshot Preview

Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival is previewed.

As usual, the annual Earshot Jazz Festival (through Sun Nov 8, various venues, see for details) boasts too many temptations for even the most succumbing fan to cover. Fans of the avant must not miss a double bill of two duos, Matthew Shipp/Joe Morris and Peggy Lee/Saadet Türköz (Thurs Oct 22, Seattle Asian Art Museum, 8 pm, $16). By turns poetic, harsh, knotty, lyrical, and abstruse, Shipp continues the legacy of Cecil Taylor by fragmenting the various styles of jazz into a kaleidoscopic, sometimes breathtaking unity. Guitarist/bassist Morris not only boosts Shipp’s flights into the sonic stratosphere but helps the pianist stay aloft in an irregular, interesting orbit with explosive modulations, silence, and unexpected riffs.

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Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival looks beyond tradition

The upcoming Earshot fest is previewed.

Among the highlights: Hard-swinging, straight-ahead quartet Tarbaby, featuring drummer Nasheet Waits and Eric Revis, bassist in the Branford Marsalis Quartet; vocalist Saadet Turkoz, who blends jazz with traditional renderings of Turkish music and poetry; Ikue Mori and Zeena Parkins Phantom Orchard, an electronic improvisation duo; the Khoomei Taiko Ensemble, which interprets ancient Mongolian and Japanese drumming traditions; the electronic-acoustic, experimental ensemble Myra Melford Be Bread; Chilean vocalist Claudia Acuna and her quintet; and drummer Greg Williamson’s A-Y-P Large Ensemble, a 16-piece band that will perform turn-of-the-century jazz, originally presented at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition.

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Upcoming Seattle Shows

From Wayward Music:


FRI. 8/14, 8 PM – Seattle Percussion Collective – music by Keiko Abe, John Cage, Mauricio Kagel, and Stuart Saunders Smith

SAT. 8/15, 8 PM – Seattle Improvised Music presents Portland saxophonist Kelvin Pittman, in duos, quartets, and sextets with saxophonists Paul Hoskin, Tyler Wilcox, and Wilson Shook and bassists Mark Collins & John Teske


FRI. 8/20 – Seattle Improvised Music presents Bonnie Jones, Vic Rawlings, Bryan Eubanks, and Chris Cogburn

SAT. 8/21 – Seattle Improvised Music presents Bonnie Jones, Vic Rawlings, Bryan Eubanks, and Chris Cogburn (night 2)

SAT. 8/22 – Rob Angus + Rich Mack, electro-acoustic – with Lesli Dalaba, Greg Powers, Dean Moore

SAT. 8/29 – AnyWhen + Wayne Horvitz, interesting chamber jazz group from Eugene, OR + solo piano by Horvitz

WED. 9/2 – Subtext Reading Series – Martin Corless-Smith + Brandon Shimoda

FRI. 9/4 – Seattle Composers’ Salon, artists TBA

SAT. 9/12 – Danse Perdue/Death Posture, butoh performance

FRI. 9/18 – David Haney Quintet, new jazz

SAT. 9/19 – Dean Moore, gongs & percussion

FRI. 9/25 – Gamelan Pacifica, music by Jessika Kenney & Lou Harrison

SAT. 9/26 – Steve Peters, 50th birthday concert w/ Gamelan Pacifica, Robin Holcomb, Stuart Dempster, & more

WED. 9/30 – ArtsLaunch, artists TBA

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Jay Derderian, Hanna Benn and Jeff Aaron Bryant in Portland

From Portland Eye and Ear Control:

Sunday, August 16th
8pm, $5 suggested donation (no one turned away)
@ Enterbeing
1603 NE Alberta

Hanna Benn & Jeff Aaron Bryant (Seattle) Composer(s) and visual artist collaboration
Jay Derderian: Portland State Composition Graduate shares recent Chamber Music featuring Scott Brazieal on piano and more.

Hanna Benn is a performer and composer from Seattle. She writes vocal music for ensembles as well as performing in groups such as Pollens.

Jeff Aaron Bryant is a sound and video artist from Seattle. He Pollinates as well.

Jay Derderian is a recent Graduate of Portland State University’s music composition program. He writes music for all you all.

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Upcoming Wayward Music Series Shows

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

THU. 7/9, 7:30 PM – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: the 2nd Century – Jim Norton Quartet

SAT. 7/11, 8 PM – Ronin, w/ Kenny Mandell (sax, flute), Don Berman (drums), Nate Omdal (bass); free/structured improv, Monk, Mingus


THU. 7/16 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: the 2nd Century – Andy Clausen & Sjenka

SAT. 7/18 – Matt Shoemaker + Jesse Paul Miller, electronic etc.; local treasure Shoemaker bids farewell before moving to Bay Area

THU. 7/23 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: the 2nd Century – Seattle Phonographers Union

FRI. 7/24 – Seattle Improvised Music presents Jeffrey Allport, percussion & Tyler Wilcox, soprano saxophone

SAT. 7/25 – Nonsequitur presents pioneering sound artist Richard Lerman w/ members of Eye Music

THU. 7/30 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: the 2nd Century – 2nd Century Savage

SAT. 8/1 – Gust Burns + Adrienne Varner, two pianists improvise

WED. 8/5 – Subtext Reading Series – Norma Cole + Will Owen

FRI. 8/7 – Jacob Zimmerman

FRI. 8/14 – Bonnie Whiting-Smith, percussion

SAT. 8/15 – Seattle Improvised Music presents, artist TBA

FRI. 8/20 – Seattle Improvised Music presents, artist TBA

SAT. 8/21 – Seattle Improvised Music presents, artist TBA

SAT. 8/22 – Rob Angus, electronic

SAT. 8/29 – Anywhen, improvisation

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Diamatregon – Crossroad
French black metal band Diamatregon make speedy and grim blacked metal with dips into blacked post-rock and punk edger’s along its way. The bands sound is both tied to the tradition of true black metal yet it’s progressive, it’s memorable yet never safe & experimental but never too much so. Crossroad is the bands third album and it’s a highly consistent, grimly memorable slice of blacked metal craft.

Thunderwheel – Credo
Thunderwheel is the new project from Vadim Gusis who is the sonic mastermind behind the wonderful Russian music meets ambient and folk of Agnivolok & respected ethic industrial ambient collective Chaos as a Shelter. And through Thunderwheel shows Gusis usual flair for varied and exotic instrumentation this is quite different sounding from either project.

Krga – Thousands
In two 3″ cdr’s we get to see two different sides of the Seattle-based musician Kgra, or Kristian Garrard. A nice little package, with nice music as well.

A Minority of One – Bathe in Fiery Answer
A Minority of One’s sound is very difficult to pin down, describe or put into any genre bracket, which in itself is reason alone to check them out. They mix up a very earthy, organic & often primal sound that often takes in percussive elements, natural based field recordings, droning horn work, dramatic male singing and drone textures.

Joris J – Fabrikation von Konsens
Fabrikation von Konsens(Production of Consent) offers up a very heady, dense and murky collection of lo-fi electronic mood scapes and dark electroinca that weave in elements of bent and cut piano music, aged soundtrack matter and general effective/ atmospherics noise texture. All to create a series of pieces that feel like they’ve come from some strange and bent nocturnal world just beyond our normal vision.

The Bad Statistics – Lucky Town Gone
The Bad Statistics make stumbling, droning and sleazed grange rock that’s rich with jagged discordant edger’s, haphazard sonic slumps and a rather appealing seedy atmosphere but the strangest and most unique element of the bands sound is the madden and manic vocals of lead singer Thebis Mutante; who gives one of the most unhinged and unbalance vocal performer I’ve ever heard.

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