Henry Grimes: A jazz bassist is back in action

FT.com has a nice article on Mr. Grimes.

Scroll down a discography of the great jazz bass player Henry Grimes and you come across something quite singular. A major league recording career that starts in 1957 and revolutionised jazz bass stopped suddenly, on December 18 1966, before resuming in 2003.

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Hugh Hopper

I haven’t confirmed this yet, but the word is out that bassist Hugh Hopper, most known for his stint with Soft Machine, passed away yesterday. I’ll update this post once the news is properly sourced.

The message boards have been buzzing with the news of Hugh’s passing, and his Wikipedia entry has been updated to mark his death. Sad news.

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Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone’s Thin Air Released

From Improvised Communications:

Thin Air, the third recording from the duo of guitarist Mary Halvorson and violist Jessica Pavone, is out on Thirsty Ear Recordings’ The Blue Series, curated by Matthew Shipp.

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Future Islands – Wave Like Home
Future Islands specialize in wonky,often dense yet criminal additive brand of off-kilter 80’s retro pop meets post punk crunch ‘n’ grime. Think a more active, up-beat and positive take on the kind of thing John Maus has been doing over the last few of years. But Future Islands are far from a copy of Maus work; this their debut(after an 7 inch and a few self releases) is an wonderful self assured, well played and distinctive slice of retro wonderful-ness.

Hum of the Druid and Fire in the Head – Split
This is a 12 inch vinyl split between the organic and clattering noise meets ambience of Hum of the Druid and Fire in the Head’s industrialized sample heavy drone and often muffled beat bound attacks.

Tipsy – Buzz
The San Francisco based duo of Tipsy have been making their own brand of often sampled and turntable based lounge meets beats since 1996; Buzz is their fourth album and first on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label.

Animal Hospital – Memory
Animal Hospital is a one-man project by Kevin Micka, whose music is created using guitars, a room full of effects and electronics. By today’s standards, that set-up doesn’t sound all that unusual, and of course, it isn’t really. But Micka doesn’t take the expected route when it comes to the music, and that makes Memory a worthwhile listen. Most of the album is quiet and introspective, but rather than simply creating an atmosphere, there are some actual tunes to grab your attention. You may have to listen intently to find them at times, but they’re there. The guitar is frequently very recognisable, meaning it sounds like a guitar, and the effects are used to color the music, rather than hide the artist’s shortcomings. Micka is all over the place, style-wise, and despite this fact Memory is cohesive. It was assembled with care over a period of three years, and each segment dovetails nicely with the next. One suspects that a lot of material was left on the cutting room floor, with only the best of the best saved for the listener.

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KFJC Reviews

From KFJC:

Chen, Yuanlin – “Away From Xuan” – Innova/American Composers Chen studied music in his native China where he pioneered a computer and electronic music studio. He has a PhD from SUNY Stony Brook. These three pieces show a lot of variety in his music. “Away from Xuan” is a big symphonic piece. “Wondering along the Journey” uses instruments such as sheng, dizi, erhu, and pipa for a more Chinese sound. “Chasing the Sun” is startlingly original – this guitar quartet pushes the instruments into all kinds of sounds and percussive effects. Gorgeous, dramatic, and accessible.

Autistic Daughters – “Uneasy Flowers” – Staubgold On their 2nd release, “Uneasy Flowers” from 2008, Autistic Daughters create a moody atmosphere with their slow, quiet musical creations accompanied by emotional male vocals. Autistic Daughters is mainly a trio made up of New Zealander Dean Roberts vocals, acoustic/electric guitars , Vienna’s Martin Brandlmayr drums, vibraphone, computer based processing , and Werner Dafeldecker double bass, electric guitars . There’s also some guest piano from Chris Abrahams and mandoguitar by Martin Siewert. It’s pleasant, yet raw with lyrical gems like “feral roses.”

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – “Mama’s House Live 35th Anniversary Project” – Katalyst Entertainment Jazz: This is a recording of a live February 2006 performance by the Chicago-based Ethnic Heritage Ensemble EHE . To say that this band, who through 35 years has had many incarnations, is tied to anything earthly is a misstatement, however. Ever since Kahil El’Zabar returned to Chicago from Ghana and formed the band whose intention was to combine African American music with traditional African music, the EHE has sought to transcend walls that would box music in. Joining the multi-percussionist, vocalist, and composer El’Zabar here are young and talented Corey Wilkes

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Coming from Long Song Records

Nels Cline of WILCO with Norton Wisdom
Image by Kurt Christensen via Flickr

From Long Song Records:

Acoustic Guitar Trio – Vignes

VIGNES, unreleased live album by the Acoustic Guitar Trio, coming soon. The Acoustic Guitar Trio was a beautiful improvising trio. They were guitar masters Nels Cline, Jim McAuley and the late Rod Poole. Rod Poole, an unsung and sadly quite unknown guitar player suddenly died last year under tragic circumstances. Nels Cline said about Rod: “He was a true artist, probably a genius. He had an amazing capacity as both music fan and autodidact musician visionary”.

Nels and Jim Mc Auley want this live album to be a tribute to Rod and the fantastic music they played together. Jim McAuley says of “Vignes”: “surging drones, sparkling arpeggios and noisy prepared guitars. I feel it’s our best work”. The only recorded work by the AG3 so far is the self-titled and critically acclaimed cd released by the English label Incus in 2002.

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Bagatellen Reviews

Barre Phillips, 2008, moers festival
Image via Wikipedia

From Bagatellen:

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In his recent review of a Daniel Jones / David Papapostolou disc for Signal To Noise, Brian Marley refers to EAI as a “fading genre of improvised music.” It’s a curious quote, and for reasons that go beyond breakdowns of the troublesome necessity to assign labels. Statements such as this are faithful cause for […]

Joe Morris/Barre Phillips – Elm City Duets 2006 (Clean Feed)

This one is an incredible meeting between Joe Morris — here exclusively on acoustic guitar — and one of his musical heroes, contrabassist Barre Phillips. It had been a while since I’d heard anything from either musician, and this record is quite simply a beaut. It’s the kind of thing that actually restores my faith […]

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Death In June – All Pigs Must Die
All Pigs Must die is a welcome reissue of Death In June’s harmonic yet schizophrenic and progressively unhinged album from 2001. It saw for the most part a return to simpler and memorable acoustic guitar, accordion, trumpet and flute song based sound, but with the odd flirtations with post-industrial sound scraping, noise matter and unhinged edgers.

Haino Keiji/Yoshida Tatsuya – Uhrfasudhasdd
This rather wonderful, often unbalancing yet always inspired collaboration goes from been manic and noisy, to deranged and off kilter, down to be atmospheric and bizarre. With the pair utilizing an mixture of electric & acoustic guitars, flute, vocal sounds & noises, drums, keyboards & bass to create this superb collection atmospheric and mood jumping 16 tracks.

Anahita – Matricaria
Anahita brings together Tara Burke (Fursaxa,Tau Emerald ect) and cellist Helena Espvall (Espers) for six lengthy often primal and sometimes haunting/beautiful tracks of droning, sawing avant folk dwell.

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