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PHOTOS: Secret Chiefs 3 – The Seattle Residency (5/7/13 & 5/8/13)

12th Jun 13 (Wed) 3 comments

Better late than never, I got the Secret Chiefs 3 Seattle residency photos edited.  Two days and four amazing sets by this amazing band.  Go here for the SUNSET 5/7 SETLISTS (UR & Ishraqiyun) and here for the CROCODILE 5/8 SETLISTS (John Zorn’s Masada Book Two: Xaphan & FORMS).

Note: The new album, Book of Souls: Folio 1, originally announced to come out in May has now been pushed back.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Secret Chiefs 3 in Seattle 2013

Secret Chiefs 3 in Seattle 2013

Secret Chiefs 3 in Seattle 2013

Secret Chiefs 3 in Seattle 2013

Secret Chiefs 3 in Seattle 2013

SECRET CHIEFS 3 PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2013 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Secret Chiefs 3 – 2013 SPRING RESIDENCY TOUR

Seattle, WA
Tue May 7, 2013 @ The Sunset
Wed May 8, 2013 @ The Crocodile

San Francisco, CA
Fri May 10, 2013 @ Cafe Du Nord
Sat May 11, 2013 @ Cafe Du Nord

Los Angeles, CA
Sun May 12, 2013 @ Bootleg Bar
Tue May 14, 2013 @ Bootleg Bar

New York, NY
Fri May 17, 2013 @ Mercury Lounge

Brooklyn, NY
Sat May 18, 2013 @ Union Pool
Sun May 19, 2013 @ Union Pool

Chicago, IL
Tue May 21, 2013 @ Schubas Tavern
Wed May 22, 2013 @ Beat Kitchen

Toronto, ON
Fri May 24, 2013 @ The Drake
Sat May 25, 2013 @ The Drake

New York, NY @ The Stone (6 nights, 12 shows)
May 28, 2013
8pm: UR
10pm: FORMS etc.

May 29, 2013
8pm: Tesselations / Magic Squares
10pm: Ishraqiyun

May 30, 2013
8pm: FORMS etc. (expanded set + new material)
10pm: Xaphan

May 31, 2013
8pm: John Carpenter tribute + new material from Forms, UR, etc.
10pm: Tessellation 2: with guests Ches Smith and Gyan Riley

Jun 01, 2013
8pm: FORMS (new material adding Ches Smith, pipe organ favorites etc)
10pm: Ishraqiyun Kenny/Ches double-drum Cthulu mutations.

Jun 02, 2013
8pm: Final SC3 set, best of Stone week recap (with Ches Smith & Kenny Grohowski)
10pm: Masada (adding Gyan Riley to previous ensemble, the whole crew)

REVIEW: John Zorn at 60 @ Walker Art Center & St. Mark’s (Minneapolis, MN – 4/6/13)

12th Apr 13 (Fri) Leave a comment

John Zorn - only pulled out his horn at the very end

John Zorn turns 60 this coming September, and Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center wanted to throw a Zorn Fest of sorts.  Since Zorn doesn’t like to travel, he wanted to keep it to a minimum: not a 3+ day fest, but hey, let’s do it all on one day!  And thus “Zorn @ 60” at Walker Art Center was born!

Check out what 60 of Zorn’s contemporaries have said about him… Part 1 & Part 2.

There have already been a  few great reviews already posted (Jazz Police / Walker Art / City Pages); so I’ll keep my write-up to my own personal reflections, and not as in-depth, per se.  Here’s who Zorn had with him for this fest, in different assemblies… Cyro Baptista, percussion; Joey Baron, drums; Greg Cohen, bass; Chris Cunningham, guitar; Marc Feldman, violin; Eric Friedlander, cello; Michelle Kinney, cello; John Medeski, piano, Hammond B3; Ikue Mori, electronics; Marc Ribot, guitar; Joey Schad, electric keyboards; Kenny Wollesen, vibraphone, percussion, and drums.

Well, first off, due to documentaries, I know what Zorn sounds like… and I was getting off the elevator at my hotel and I heard a familiar voice.  Then I looked up, and “whoa, John Zorn is getting on the elevator that I’m getting off of.”  I almost wanted to act like I forgot something in my room and ride up with him.  Alas, I wussed out.  Then in the lobby, Marc Ribot was futzing around on his phone, and Greg Cohen’s massive upright bass case was blocking the front desk.  It all added to my overall giddiness for the day…

John Zorn discussion w/ Philip Bither

The full day of Zorn @ 60 started at 3pm with a sit down with fest curator Philip Bither.  Zorn is a lively, humorous, acerbic character.  I kinda love him.  Probably more f-bombs and frivolity than most Q&A sessions, the near hourlong session was highly interesting.

The first part of the discussion talked about Zorn’s age… as the fest was all about his experience and what got him to where he is now in the scene at 60.  Zorn talked a little bit about other “60” celebrations he’s doing this year (of all things MySpace has the best list), and one that he’s doing at The Met (NYC) completely intrigued me… ten performances every hour on the hour in different galleries throughout the museum on September 1st (Facebook link).  if I can swing a way to be in NYC for most of September, I’d be happy.  Unlikely, though.

Some of the best quotes from the interview and Q&A (paraphrased from my scribbles):

[about turning 60]“You don’t have any more doubts.”

“They’ve been saying I’ve been playing ironically for decades… that’s bullshit. But they don’t believe me when I say that’s bullshit.”

“Ribot plays guitar like a mutha’fucka!”

“I live in a library [of books, LPs, CDs, DVDs]… I didn’t have a kitchen for over a decade, but I didn’t have cockroaches either!”

[on creativity] “There were probably Bach-types banging on logs [in the earliest times]. Creativity is mystical, spiritual, ineffable.”

[on his schedule for the day] “Eating is a drag… it’ll only slow you down.”

[on critics] “The secret to longevity is to stay away from negative people… all reviews are bad. We don’t need that bullshit.”

And while I write reviews (and perhaps this is one), I understand his take on the industry of critique.

Marc Ribot plays selections from The Book of Heads
(about 20 minutes)

Mark Ribot performs with Doveman at The Studio in Sydney Opera House for Vivid Live 5th June 2010. (photo by Daniel Boud)

John Zorn / Marc Ribot - The Book of HeadsFirst music of the day… Marc Ribot by himself with a guitar, some pedals, a violin bow, some balloons, and an intenseness in his eyes.  The Book of Heads, an album of solo Etudes composed by Zorn, is a very difficult listen.  It screeches, it hurtles into many different directions.  It’s hard to follow, it’s hard to even want to listen to at some times.  Seeing it live, though, was quite fascinating.  It’s highly composed, but seemingly improvised.  Just seeing Marc’s stern look at the sheet music showed the composition.  He was intently following the haphazard that was on the page.  When one of the greatest guitarists is using balloons as a key part of the music making process, you know things are weird.  Weird but gripping.

Ribot played the following Etudes (not necessarily in this order): 13, 23, 9, 24, 22, 27, 7, 2.

Game Piece: Hockey with Kenny Wollesen & Erik Friedlander
(about 10 minutes)

John Zorn - Hockey

John Zorn - HockeyThe next piece was a trio game piece first created in 1978.  Zorn’s game pieces are a strict set of rules and is a structured, improvisational collaboration between the artists.  Hockey on record is OK to listen to, but like The Book of Heads and Cobra (below), it’s far more interesting in the live setting.

A game piece is…

As well as a sports game, a game piece may also be considered analogous to language: The performance is directed by a well defined set of rules (a grammar) but by no means fixed or predetermined (just as all sentences generated by the same grammar are not the same). The length of a piece may be arbitrary, just as a sentence can be of any imaginable length while still conforming to a strictly defined syntax.

This time is was Zorn on birdcalls, Kenny Wollesen on bird calls and percussion, and Erik Friedlander on cello.  With Kenny and Erik looking intently at Zorn for his verbal and hand motion directions.  The level of musicianship of these three players is amazing, and the game pieces are basically a way to stretch their creative musical muscles while making sounds that you’d never expect.  It’s not for the casual listener.

Game Piece: Cobra (for 11 players)
(3 games; about 30 minutes total)

John Zorn - holding up cue card during the Northsea Jazz Fest

John Zorn heard off stage before Cobra started: “Just don’t make any mistakes!”

John Zorn - CobraCobra takes the game piece concept to whole new levels.  The rules are more complex, and John Zorn doesn’t play but directs at the front.  Based on the card he holds up and his verbal and non-verbal cues, the musicians go off on an adventure – never the same in any repeat performance.

With eleven players on stage (all listed at the top of this post), they played three games of Cobra.  This was my first time seeing Cobra.  It’s very interactive, starting with Zorn’s lead, but the players get room to lead things too.  It’s improv, but still with a structure.  Here’s a glimpse at the cue card structure:

John Zorn - Cobra cue cardsHighlight for me: Joey Baron’s smile.  I get such a kick out of watching him play.  He’s probably the musician having the most fun ever on stage every time I see him.

Cobra was the end of the first program, and the fest broke for a couple hours.

Erik Friedlander plays selections from Masada Book Two: Volac
Masada String Trio, and
Bar Kokhba Sextet
(a little over an hour – total)

The second program was the chamber music segment (and also the part of the day where my notes have now gone missing).

Erik Friedlander plays Volac (John Zorn's Masada Book Two: Book of Angels)I’d seen Erik Friedlander before (both solo with his own stuff and playing Volac), and it was a great warm up for the increasingly larger groups playing music from John Zorn’s Masada Book Two set of music.  He played a gorgeous 20 minute selections from Volac.

Masada String TrioUp next was the Masada String Trio made up of the aforementioned Erik Friedlander on cello, Mark Feldman on violin, and Greg Cohen on upright bass.  While the music they played was composed (same with Bar Kokhba Sextet), John Zorn sat on the floor in front of them, conducting.  They played about 20 minutes from their Masada Book Two set.  Gorgeous players, gorgeous music!

Bar Kokhba SextetContinuing in the chamber music written & conducted by Zorn, the Bar Kokhba Sextet found the Masada String Trio joined by Joey Baron on drums, Cyro Baptista on percussion, and Marc Ribot on guitar.  This was probably the best part of the night for me – outside of the experience of seeing Cobra played for the first time.  The group effortlessly brought Zorn’s Masada tunes some groove, and seeing both Baron and Baptista work together percussively was a delight.

John Zorn’s Nova Express & The Concealed
encore:

John Zorn playing to Wallace Berman’s film Aleph
with Kenny Wollesen & Greg Cohen
(about 75 minutes total)

At the beginning of the third program, someone yelled out from the audience, “where’s your horn!?” to which John Zorn yelled back, “at home mother fucker!”  Irreverent and hilarious.  Even though he was lying (he brought out his alto sax for the final piece).John Zorn in Minneapolis 2013  Photo by Bryan Aaker.

Nova Express and The Concealed songs were played by Joey Baron on drums, show-stealer Kenny Wollesen on vibes, Erik Friedlander on cello, Mark Feldman on violin, Greg Cohen on upright bass, and John Medeski on piano.  These are two of Zorn’s better albums in the recent three years’ output (of ~36 albums!!!!).  Partly classical takes on Masada tunes (Nova Express), and partly mystical (The Concealed).

Zorn Zorn - Nova Express John Zorn - The Concealed

As mentioned, the only time John Zorn brought out his sax was for the visual installation piece Aleph – set to Wallace Bergman’s short cut-up film of the same name. Iit was a ripping, avant-garde piece in the dark, backlit by the film, with Zorn wailing on sax, Kenny Wollesen moving off of vibes on to the drums, and Greg Cohen on bass.  Stellar!

John Zorn’s The Hermetic Organ (midnight) @ St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

John Zorn - hermetic organ

John Zorn - The Hermetic OrganA special free midnight performance of John Zorn’s The Hermetic Organ was across the street after the final third program of Zorn @ 60.  Most of the crowd piled over to St. Mark’s Cathedral to watch the contrasting and turgid organ piece.  I stayed for about half of the 30+ minute set and then slowly started my 2 mile, midnight walk back to my hotel – content at the day’s musical gifts.

A brilliant, music-packed day!  If you want to check out some videos of what went down, the French Zorn website le zornographe has linked to some performances posted from the Walker Art Center “Zorn @ 60” fest on YouTube:

Bar Kokhba Sextet “Sother”

Masada String Trio “Bethor”

John Zorn’s Cobra (piece 2)

Erik Friedlander ” Sannul”

The Concealed “Towards Kafiristan”

Nova Express “Between Two Worlds”

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Soul’d Out Festival’s Charlie Hunter with Booker T. Jones & Carlton Jackson (first time as a trio) @ Dante’s (Portland 4/14)..

~Dan – np: ElleryLying Awake
Ellery - Lying Awake

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WDSRVY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000WDSRVY&linkCode=as2&tag=essentialmusi-20

ha’fway 2012

4th Jul 12 (Wed) 3 comments

Happy 236th birthday, United States!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So, here are my faves of the first half of 2012… and outside of the Top 5, it’s all kind of random order on how I feel today… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end (click album art for sound samples):

Artist Album (style)

  1. OSI Fire Make Thunder (glitch prog)
  2. Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (jazzy pop)
  3. Peter Mulvey The Good Stuff (indie songwriter playing standards with a band)
  4. Damien Jurado Maraqopa (indie rock)
  5. Celldweller Wish Upon A Blackstar (electronica)
  6. Sigur Rós Valtari (ambient icelandic)
  7. Emily Wells Mama (chamber hip-pop)
  8. Floratone Floratone II (jazz)
  9. s/s/s (Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, Serengeti) – Beak & Claw -EP- (interesting)
  10. Storm Corrosion (Steven Wilson & Mikael Akerfeldt) – Storm Corrosion (ethereal proggy departure)
  11. John Zorn The Gnostic Preludes (jazzy experimental)
  12. John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn & Joey Baron) with John Medeski – Templars (noise rock)
  13. Earth Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 2 (drone)
  14. The Chance Brothers Growing Concern (indie rock)
  15. Regina Spektor What We Saw From the Cheap Seats (pop)
  16. Ani DiFranco Which Side Are You On? (folk pop songwriter)
  17. Buckethead Electric Sea (gentler instrumental guitar)
  18. Bad Veins The Mess We’ve Made (indie rock)
  19. Cosa Brava (Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, etc) – The Letter (rootsy jazz adventure)
  20. David Krakauer plays Masada Book Two Book of Angels, Vol. 18 (Pruflas) (klezmer jazz)

I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet) and whatever “et cetera” that the cool kids are listening to these days; but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.

The 2nd half of 2012 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, Mike Patton & Luciano Berio’s Laborintus II, Ben Folds Five’s reunion studio album, Ric Hordinski’s Arthurs Garden (physical CD, though the download came out a bit ago), the Dusted debut from Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt, Erin McKeown’s kickstarter, and I’ve heard rumors of a new Nellie McKay disc for the Fall.

Favorite concerts of 2012 (so far):

  • Penn & Teller and Cirque’s Zumanity in Las Vegas, Jan 18th & 20th
  • Secret Chiefs 3 in Eugene & Portland, Feb 6th & 7th
  • Nellie McKay’s I Want To Live! in Eugene & Portland, Mar 2nd & 4th
  • Puscifer in Portland, Mar 14th
  • Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80 in Eugene, Mar 18th
  • Radiohead in Seattle, April 9th
  • Roger Waters presents Pink Floyd’s The Wall in Portland, May 22nd
  • Beck in Bend, May 27th
    (click pictures below for review links)

~Dan – np: CelldwellerWish Upon A Blackstar

The future of Zorn’s Masada Book Two

8th Jun 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Every time I talk about it, I’ll state that Masada Book Two is one of the best series on John Zorn’s Tzadik label.  The quick premise: One page of music in a book of 300+ tunes, given to others to interpret and record.

Who has done it so far (bold being my faves so far): Jamie Saft Trio, Masada String Trio, Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier, Koby Israelite, The Cracow Klezmer, Uri Caine, Marc Ribot, Erik Friedlander, Secret Chiefs 3, Bar Kokhba Sextet, Medeski Martin & Wood, Masada Quintet featuring Joe Lovano, Mycale, The Dreamers, Ben Goldberg Quartet, Masada String Trio, and Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits.

All seventeen thus far as stupendous releases… you can’t go wrong, especially if you love improvisational jazz and klezmer.  Listen: Amazon search page.

Good Aural blog posted the following yesterday:

According to John Zorn, Tzadik records will release about four—possibly five—more Masada Book Two albums in 2012. It’s amazing to think that we’ll be hearing volumes 18, 19, 20, 21, and maybe even 22 of Zorn’s Book of Angels by the end of next year.

Want a preview of who’ll be playing on these upcoming volumes? Here are the new Book of Angels releases planned for 2012:

New Klezmer Trio

Clarinetist Ben Goldberg is a pioneer in avant-garde Jewish music. His New Klezmer Trio released their first album, Masks and Faces, in 1992; it was reissued on Tzadik in 1996. New Klezmer Trio has since released several more albums on Tzadik: Melt Zonk Rewire and Short for Something.

In 2010 Goldberg recorded Baal: the Book of Angels vol. 15 with Masada book veterans Greg Cohen, Jamie Saft, and Kenny Wollesen. This new Ben Goldberg Quartet was assembled and conducted by Zorn himself.

Finally, Goldberg plays clarinet with the acoustic ensemble Tin Hat, which appeared on the Masada anniversary album Voices in the Wilderness.

David Krakauer

David Krakauer is a clarinetist firmly rooted in both klezmer and classical music. His band, Klezmer Madness!, incorporates elements from funk, jazz, and a variety of other genres. He has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet and made several releases on Zorn’s Tzadik label, including Klezmer Madness! and Klezmer, NY.

Given that Krakauer has collaborated with Uri Caine and played both clarinet and bass clarinet on John Zorn’s seminal Kristallnacht, it’s only natural that he should (finally!) record a set of tunes from The Book of Angels.

Pat Metheny

Guitarist Pat Metheny recorded the acclaimed free jazz album Song X with Ornette Coleman and recorded Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint” with Kronos Quartet. Metheny’s upcoming Book of Angels entry is planned as a solo performance.

And Beyond…

Whatever Masada Book Two compositions remain will be recorded on one or two albums by artists not yet announced. Once those are completed, we’ll have finally reached the end of this chapter in Masada’s legacy. But for hardcore fans of this music, there’s still plenty to come.

On the horizon: Masada Book Three.

Good Aural apparently heard the news from John Zorn himself.  I had heard rumors of the Pat Metheny one in the past, and the other conspirators are consistent with who Zorn has worked with in the past.  I’m hoping Mike Patton’s Fantômas does something in this series in the future.  It’s not out of the realm – they did one song for the Unknown Masada album in 2003 (a pre-cursor to the Masada Book Two concept).  Oh, or the Moonchild Trio!! That would kick ass.

http://tzadik.com/

~Dan – np: Red Hot Chili PeppersStadium Arcadium

John Zorn’s Masada Marathon 2011 (via Aural Addict)

31st Mar 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Great review from Jeff from AuralAddict of the recent John Zorn Masada Marathon in New York City… CLICK BELOW…

John Zorn's Masada Marathon 2011 March 30, 2011 8:00PM City Opera at Lincoln Center, NYC When I saw this event listed I figured there was no way I was going to be able to go.  I happened across a ticket giveaway contest from Relix magazine and entered, then kinda forgot about it.  Tuesday morning I received an email saying I had won tickets…and there was much rejoicing.  The … Read More

via Aural Addict

REVIEW: Erik Friedlander plays John Zorn’s Masada Book Two @ the Shedd (Eugene, OR – 1/8/11)

9th Jan 11 (Sun) 5 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

NYC-based cellist Erik Friedlander is a favorite musician of mine.  I have only a handful of his solo works, but he shows up in the subtlest of places… I mean, if I do a quick search for “Friedlander” in my iTunes, I show 32 and a half hours of music (Tzadik Records & DMG are a key component of my monthly music budget).  He has worked with Courtney Love, Dar Williams, the Mountain Goats and many more… but I primarily know his work in the NYC jazz & avant-garde scene: Dave Douglas, Ikue Mori/Death Praxis, Jamie Saft, Yuka Honda, Wadada Leo Smith, Tim Sparks, Ned Rothenberg, and of course… John Zorn.

With John Zorn, Erik has been involved in several Masada incarnations, notably the Masada String Trio (with Greg Cohen & Mark Feldman) and the Bar Kokhba Sextet.  When John Zorn was done writing music for the original acoustic Masada Quartet, he sat down and penned over 300 songs that became the Masada Book Two: Book of Angels.  I’ve talked a lot about Masada Book Two on this blog… it is the most consistently amazing set of music out on Tzadik (John Zorn’s 503(c)3 record label).  MBT is essentially John Zorn’s Masada tunes, covered by those around him.  Some of my favorites are Secret Chiefs 3’s Xaphan, Bar Kokhba Sextet’s Lucifer, and Medeski Martin & Wood’s Zaebos… but quite honestly, all sixteen releases (to date) have been stunning and essential.

Erik was one of the early invites to the Masasa Book Two Club… releasing Volac (volume 8 in 2005).  The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts in Eugene commissioned Erik Friedlander to come in a perform these Volac songs last night.  I had seen Erik in Portland in 2009 with his photography & music piece – Block Ice & Propane (his music set to his father Lee Friedlander’s photography); so I knew Erik would deliver a wonderful performance.  Set-up in the Shedd Recital Hall, just off the courtyard, Erik went on around 7:40 and entranced us with his playing…

He was playing his carbon-fiber “alien cello.”  I imagine that was his easiest axe to bring for a two-night Seattle & Eugene weekend before heading back home.  Its sound was quite similar to a wooden cello – at least to my untrained ears.  Per Erik, it’s not as ornery or sensitive as a wooden cello.

The Masada songs have a definitive Jewish klezmer feel in points of the melodies.  Erik’s arrangements and playing definitely bring in a chamber music and jazz improviser aspect to the Volac songs.  He played roughly half of the songs bowed, and the rest either plucked or strummed.  Switching between the styles for each song for the most part – as is one of John Zorn’s “rules” which Erik joked about.  Hush, don’t tell John, but Erik acknowledged that he broke a few “rules” during the night.

Setlist: about 70 minutes

  • Harhazial
  • Yeruel
  • Ylrng
  • Haseha
  • Sannul
  • Rachsiel
  • Kadal
  • Anahel (the 1st written by Zorn for MBT)
  • Zumiel
  • Ahaniel
  • Zawar
  • Encore: Sidriel

Essentially the entire Volac album, just in a different order. Erik doesn’t make it out to the Pacific Northwest as much as I’d like, but when he does make it out, I’m going.  If you love cello or other chamber music – you should go, too!  Nary a disappointment. Oh, also check out his free podcast First Light which features a weekly early morning improvisation.

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Reptet (jazz combo from Seattle) at Luckey’s in Eugene, Friday, January 14th!

~Dan – np: Nine Inch NailsGhosts I-IV

ERIK FRIEDLANDER PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

2010 mix

18th Dec 10 (Sat) 2 comments

Time for this years mix CD… check out 2009’s over here.  No major theme this time like prior mixes… the only rule I placed before myself was that everything is current (i.e.- released in 2010).

The following songs were put on the mix CD from lossless sources where possible and for promotional purposes only (read: free direct market advertising to people who decidedly love music). Most of the artists on this compilation are independent (put out the music themselves) or signed to smaller, independent labels. If you like what you hear, check out their music / support them with your wallet if you are able. The artists’ Webpage, MyFace & Spacebook (whether official or not), and Amazon links are available for each song below. I’ve also included concert review links if I’ve seen the artist recently.

If you want one of these mix CDs, message me (see my “About” page).

PDF front liner is available HERE (designed to print double-sided).

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01 Mike PattonIl Cielo In Una Stanza” from Mondo Cane

Mike Patton of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Fantômas, et cetera is known for more boisterous, left of center fare.  With Mondo Cane, he classes up the joint that is Ipecac Records.  Mondo Cane, named after the film, is Mike’s homage to 50s Italian pop songs.  He croons some classic Italian songs with the backing of the Orchestra Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini conducted by Aldo Sisillo.  The artwork, in both CD digipack and vinyl, is stupendous.  This is a magnificent record – both aurally and visually.  It’ll rank near the top of my upcoming year-end lists…

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02 Charlotte Gainsbourg & BeckIRM” from IRM

IRM came out in late November 2009 – which was after I had done last year’s mix; so I’m sneaking it into this year’s mix.  Beck collaborated with singer/actress Charlotte on the whole album (outside of one song).  It’s a nice poppy-electronic mix… some French tunes as well (her father is French musical legend Serge Gainsbourg).  The album and track were inspired by her head trauma in 2007 (“IRM” is the French acronym synonymous with what we call an “MRI machine” in the US).  My favorite part may be that the IRM delivers rhythmic support to the track.

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03 ElleryPieces (live)” original from This Isn’t Over Yet

This version is from Ellery’s live album that preceded their wonderful 2nd studio album that hit this year.  Ellery is one of my favorite things in Cincinnati… I miss being able to see them multiple times a year (sad face).  Husband/wife duo of Justin & Tasha Golden craft singer-songwriter pop songs… usually layered nicely on their albums with the help of producer, knob-twiddler Ric Hordinski (of Over the Rhine fame).  This album is with Malcolm Burn at the helm (Daniel Lanois / Bob Dylan / Iggy Pop / Kaki King / Emmylou Harris / etc).

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04 Comic WowNice Chaps” from Library Catalog Music Series: Music for Mysteries of Mind Space and Time

Asthmatic Kitty’s Library Catalog Music Series (LCMS) is much more hit than miss.  There have been a couple albums that didn’t interest me for multiple listens, but Comic Wow’s settled nicely from the get go.  LCMS (as a series) is made up of instrumental albums designed for possible use in films and television, background sounds for home or office.  Per the P.R., “Comic Wow are sonic illustrators, alchemists, designers, dilettantes’, poets, teachers, Socialists, and outdoorsmen whose advocacy of affordable colored cod pieces helped influence the look of thirty-third century America.”  Whatever you call it, I like it.

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05 Holy FuckRed Lights” from Latin

Despite what you think of their choice of band name, these Toronto band continue to put out great, groove-infused live electronic music that is both experimental and a poppy-force in the indie rock movement.  Latin, their third full length album, grabbed me immediately when it came out this past May… and it’s #1 with a bullet as far as instrumental albums go in 2010.  To top it off, they swung through Oregon twice this year (both excellent shows), and they put out quite possibly the cutest video for the raddest song (“Red Lights” – click the kitty to the right).  The video now has over 1,000,000 views on the YouTubes.  Only 900,000 views are from me.

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06 Damien JuradoBeacon Hill” from Saint Bartlett

I got into Damien Jurado via the Seattle-based melancholy, indie singer-songwriter scene (i.e.- Pedro the Lion / David Bazan).  While similar in general geography and friendship, Damien strikes me as more of a pure “songwriter” when compared to David’s social critique set to music.  Saint Bartlett fits well into Damien’s oeuvre.  At a show this past February (6 months before the album came out), I hardly knew any of the songs but felt as though I did.  That’s a testament to his craft.

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07 Jeanne CherhalCertains Animaux” from Charade

I first heard Jeanne Cherhal when we picked up her second album (Douze fois par an) when in Toulouse, France, for my MBA program in 2004.  Only available in France, I’ve managed to get her albums via Amazon.fr (good thing the buttons are in roughly the same spot).  I still don’t know what she’s saying, but I dig her style.

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08 Nellie McKayThe Portal” from Home Sweet Mobile Home

Nellie McKay’s move to Verve (instead of Sony) has been good for her.  They seem to give her free reign to put out Doris Day cover albums one year and an album of originals the next.  HSMH is a return to the quirky, diverse collection of songs that drove me to fall in love with her.  “The Portal” is one of the mellower tunes from the album… the rest of the album is full of Nellie’s modern piano jazz-pop, ukulele ditties, and even a pro-animal reggae tune.  The album has grown on me nicely, and I’m looking forward to more Nellie in the near future.  She seems to be in a period of prolificity as of late.  This is greatly welcomed.

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09 PusciferThe Humbling River (Duet Mix)” from C is for… EP

When Tool / A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan isn’t rocking with those bands (both had touring activity this year), he’s usually tending to his grapes or noodling around on some mildly offensive, but well-crafted music with his other side-project Puscifer.  The C is for… EP actually came out last year, but since it was digital only at that stage and since the 2010 CD & vinyl releases contained a touch of new material – it fits the criteria for this year’s compilation.  He also put out new mixes / remixes for the Blood Into Wine documentary (about the Arizona wine scene).  That record is called Sounds Into Blood Into Wine.  As I type this, I actually got a call from my local Eugene Oregon wine/beer shop (16tons).  They have my Caduceus/Merkin order in stock… so, coincidentally, I’ll be dropping some major coin on some of Maynard’s wine very shortly… glug glug.

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10 Haftor Medbøe GroupPneumatic” from A Box of Monkeys EP

This is another record that came out in late 2009… but I got it in 2010 and iTunes recognized it as 2010 (plus it was too late to be stricken from the CD mix rolls, as I liked it too much).  The track faatures some nice guitar-based jazz, and the EP also features some songs with vocals that aren’t too unlike Björk or Under Byen (also known as “a-OK with me”).  It’s a delightful EP that put Haftor on my radar… for good.

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11 Sufjan StevensFutile Devices” from The Age of Adz

The first Sufjan track that made its way onto this 2010 compilation comes from his second release from 2010.  The Age of Adz is a odd musical assembly.  At first I didn’t know what to think of it, then I started to like it, and then after seeing him live – I truly loved the album.  This song is actually one of the songs that I fell in love with right away.  For those not familiar with Sufjan, this track fits better with some of his earlier work and not so much with Adz as a whole.  But I think if you have an open mind and a desire to explore, you may very well fall in love with this record as well.

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12 AutorYnoOverture Automatique” from Pastrami Bagel Social Club

I am fans of some of the other Jewish rock acts on John Zorn’s Tzadik label: like Eyal Maoz’s Edom, Jon Madof’s Rashanim, and Yoshie Fruchter’s Pitom.  The description for this AutorYno debut from Tzadik was “a wild klezmer/rock fusion by this crazed band of Paris-born punk rockers… AutorYno hits with a hardedged sound and an exciting musical imagination. Full of youthful energy, massive guitar and centered by a powerful beat, they present eleven instrumentals that combine the power of rock with a taste of Jewish tradition.”  Regardless of Tzadik’s usual/expected hyperbole, I couldn’t not get it.  I’m glad I did, and I will say that it will rank high amongst my instrumental finds in 2010.

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13 Glen PhillipsThe Innocent” from Tornillo

The voice of Toad the Wet Sprocket has been putting out some fantastic albums since his first solo album (2000’s Abulum).  Tornillo was recorded in 2003 with David Garza, but was shelved / lost.  Many of the songs were re-recorded and put out on 2005’s Winter Pays For Summer (a favorite of mine).  Regardless of some of the songs making their way out to the fans, there are still some never-before-released gems on here.  Glen put it out about a month ago via his bandcamp page.  $7.  A total steal.

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14 Beats AntiqueEgyptic” from Blind Threshold

I got to see Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique twice this year… once with Beats Antique during Eugene Celebration, and once with the Indigo Bellydance troupe as part of their Le Serpent Rouge tour.  She had a knee in a brace during Eugene Celebration; so she lended her stage presence to additional percussion instead of dance – which was unfortunate.  Beats Antique is a bellydance-friendly, electronic and live instrument band from the Bay Area.  Elements of Balkan music and tribal-fusion dance music.  “Egyptic” is indicative of their infectuous sound.

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15 The WeepiesEmpty Your Hands” from Be My Thrill

Syrupy singer-songwriter pop is not my bailiwick, but I do find myself drawn to it on occasion.  I guess even my CD collection needs a “rom-com” soundtrack every now and again.  The Weepies write well-crafted songs about love and life.  It’s hard to say anything bad about them.

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16 JónsiKolniður” from Go

Sigur Rós-frontman’s debut solo album was going to be an acoustic affair, and then it turned into a lushly produced, Rós-ian opus with a multimedia firestorm of a tour (two U.S. legs with stunning stage design by 59 Productions).  Jónsi is superbly brilliant and and ambivalently hyper-sensitively shy individual (ex. his abrupt cancelation of in-store performance tour) and boisterous-acting performer (ex. his magnificent stageshow).  This album makes me excited for more solo work in the future, but I hope his day job with Sigur Rós is not on hold for too much longer.

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17 George HrabHai Yookito ‘Ya” from Trebuchet

George Hrab creates one of my favorite podcasts ever… the Geologic Podcast.  It’s not about geology.  It’s about science, skepticism, and his general life as a musician from Bethlehem, PA.  He is both humorous and intelligent, and he puts out great albums as well.  Trebuchet is his 6th studio album, and it features some great instrumental songs as well as some witty numbers fitting his skeptical, atheistic viewpoint.  One of my favorite songs on it is “A Small Comfort,” which is about the death of his dog Oscar.  I’d put it on a mix CD, but it honestly makes me cry everytime I hear it.  I also give George some kudos for kicking off his album with the Christopher Hitchens’ inspired “God Is Not Great” (an atheist pop song).  Bravo!

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18 Kaki KingFalling Day” from Junior

Kaki King is a guitar phenom, and this is her second album in a row that seems to be moving more towards turning into a more vocal, indie rock songstress.  It’s still full of her amazing guitarwork, but brings in a whistful lyricism.  I’m still getting used to her “vocal legs,” but I like what I hear so far.

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19 John Zorn’s The Dreamers Hashul” from Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 14 (Ipos)

Let’s just put this out there now… with thirteen albums and a DVD out in 2010, John Zorn might seem to have more misses than hits.  Well, I don’t think there’s been a more consistent set of songs than his Masada songs, and there hasn’t been a more consistently great series than the Masada Book Two series (Zorn’s Masada songs covered by others).  The Dreamers is a supergroup, too: Marc Ribot, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Trevor Dunn and Jamie Saft – pillars in the adventurous, downtown NYC scene.

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20 Sufjan StevensThe Owl and the Tanager” from All Delighted People EP

This is my favorite song from Sufjan’s 50+ minute “EP” from earlier this year.  Beautiful and haunting, and again, not as characteristic of the rest of the EP, which seems more experimental and adventurous compared to “Owl” or his older material.  Originally only released online via bandcamp, the EP saw physical form (CD & vinyl) earlier this month.  I’m looking forward to spinning the vinyl when it hits my front porch.

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Let me know what you think…

unfortunately missing (due to space or flow limitations, or that I simply didn’t get them in the mail yet): Kevin Moore’s Shine, Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl)’s Acoustic Sessions, Mogwai’s Special Moves/Burning, Zero 7’s Record… and John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio Ipsissimus, because I didn’t want to scare you.  Oh well, those may make it on my “favorite albums” of 2010 list.

~Dan – np: Radiohead101010 (aka OK Computer & In Rainbows cross-fade mix)

for more on the Radiohead cross-fade mix, check out Puddlegum

there are no torrents, free mp3 or other downloads available

Erik Friedlander to play John Zorn (1/8/2011 in Eugene, OR)

3rd Dec 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

New York cellist Erik Friedlander is coming back to Oregon.  I saw him last year in Portland performing his Block Ice and Propane songs.  This time, he’s coming to Eugene to play his songs from John Zorn‘s Masada Book Two: Volac.

The solo cello show will be Saturday, January 8, 2011 @ 7:30 at the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts in Eugene, Oregon.

Tickets are on-sale now.  For more info:

http://theshedd.org/divP/series.aspx?event=1868

Check out the album, Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 8 (Volac)…

~Dan – np: My Brightest DiamondA Thousand Sharks Teeth

ha’fway 2010

4th Jul 10 (Sun) Leave a comment

Happy 234th birthday, United States!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So, here are my faves of the first half of 2010… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end:

Artist Album (label)

  1. Holy FuckLatin (Young Turks)
  2. JónsiGo (XL)
  3. Mike PattonMondo Cane (Ipecac)
  4. ElleryThis Isn’t Over Yet (Set Adrift)
  5. Charlie HunterGentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid (Spire Artist Media)
  6. George HrabTrebuchet (Geologic)
  7. Damien JuradoSaint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian)
  8. AutorYnoPastrami Bagel Social Club (Tzadik)
  9. Clogs (with Shara Worden & Sufjan Stevens) – The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton (Brassland)
  10. Tin HatForeign Legion (BAG Production)
  11. The Dreamers play John Zorn‘s Masada Book Two: Ipos, Book of Angels, Vol. 14 (Tzadik)
  12. Charlotte Gainsbourg & BeckIRM (Elektra)
  13. Kaki KingJunior (Rounder)
  14. Jeanne CherhalCharade (Barclay)
  15. Loose GripLooking Glass (Fabrikant)

I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet)… the new Chali 2Na, David Cross, Hiromi, Johnny Cash, Beak>, et cetera; but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.

The 2nd half of 2010 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, Nellie McKay (in the fall), Over the Rhine‘s new one (or maybe that’s early 2011), Zero 7‘s new one, Secret Chiefs 3 Book of Souls (maybe), a new Sufjan Stevens (just speculating, I know he’s working on one), Ani DiFranco always has something coming out, Dave Douglas’ Spark of Being (Trilogy), probably something from one of Mike Patton‘s other bands, and I’m sure another dozen or more that I’ll dig from Tzadik.

Favorite concerts of 2010 (so far):

  • Dave Douglas’ Brass Ecstasy – PDX Jazz Fest, Portland, Feb 28th
  • Tegan & Sara – Keller Auditorium, Portland, Apr 8th
  • Jónsi – Roseland Theater, Portland, Apr 13th
  • Kaki King – CD World, Eugene, May 16th
  • Holy Fuck – Mississippi Studios, Portland, June 6th
  • Zappa Plays Zappa – McDonald Theatre, Eugene, June 12th
  • Pink Martini – Oregon Bach Festival, Eugene, June 26th(click pictures below for review links)

~Dan – np: MelvinsThe Bride Screamed Murder

Dave Douglas – Masada seminar at the Stone

7th May 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

If you’re in New York City next week and love jazz, you have to go to this…

John Zorn, Ner Tamid, from the Masada songbook.

Monday, May 10, 7PM – 10PM:
Stone Seminar 19 – Dave Douglas on the Music of Masada
At The Stone in NYC

When John asked me to present a seminar, I thought: why not take a handful of Masada tunes, old and new, and play them with people? We’ll have the charts in Zorn’s incredibly-expressive handwriting… Bring your instrument as the goal will be to play as many tunes as we can get through. I learned a lot playing these tunes, and I think people may enjoy coming to get a closer look at how the tunes look and how performances of them work. Word is the composer may even come by and answer some of the many remaining questions I have for him.

Playing this music has always been fun, challenging, and thought-provoking for me. I can’t say that I have any answers, but Monday we will open up the book and see where the charts take us. Each of these tunes points in a unique and inspiring direction.

More info and specifics at The Stone website.

I’m really, really, really jealous…

~Dan – np: KembweKembwe

recent jazz {Mar/Apr 2010}

24th Apr 10 (Sat) Leave a comment

So, I usually don’t do album reviews, but I get tons of music; so I figured I’d do little snippet reviews once a month or so… here are some recent jazz CDs I got recently. All of them were pretty darn fabulous…

The DreamersMasada Book Two, Book of Angels, Volume 14: Ipos (Mar 2010) The Dreamers sextet is made up of Cyro Baptista, Joey Baron, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, and Kenny Wollesen and it quite frankly one of John Zorn’s most accessible bands.  They weave in and out of some new Masada compositions.  Highly enjoyable and easily drinkable with enough complexities to keep you coming back to the well!
http://www.myspace.com/zornroz

John ZornIn Search of the Miraculous (Feb 2010) This album was inspired by “esoteric spiritual practices, white magic, ritual, traditional myths and ancient legends.”  This album is a great adventure, and as a plus is performed by the soothing Alhambra Trio (who had a great, evocative album out in late 2009) joined by special guests Kenny Wollesen, Carol Emanuel, and Shanir Blumenkranz.
http://www.myspace.com/johnzorn

Jamie Saft A Bag of Shells (Mar 2010) This soundtrack album is for the four films Murderball, God Grew Tired of Us, Dear Talula, and Brooklyn Exile.  It jumps all over the place, starting with the harder edged “Murderball” title track to many different styles – some background music and some that catch your ears and take them for a ride.
http://www.myspace.com/jamiesaft

Haftor Medbøe – A Box of Monkeys EP (Jan 2010) My only complaint about this EP is that… it’s too short. Haftor Medboe bridges the gap from contemporary jazz to electronic, and while I’m usually not fond of vocals in my jazz music, the Björk-like vocals from guest singer Anneke Kampman are a superb match.  This guitar-driven EP has a great mix of electronics and traditional jazz instrumentation (sax & trombone).
http://www.haftormedboegroup.net/

Loose GripLooking Glass (Apr 2010) This guitar and tenor sax infused contemporary jazz band is led by drummer Chris Wallace.  I dig this record a lot… great for fans of Chris Potter and Joe Lovano on the sax angle, great for fans of the guitar jazz like John Scofield, etc.  It’s a well made record, that I’m sure will get many more spins from me this year.
http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LooseGrip

VW BrothersMuziek (Feb 2010) The Van Wageningen Brothers have played with many immense talents in the jazz world (anyone heard of Stan Getz?).  Finally on their own… they captured some great sounds on their band-leading debut album. From the funk of “You Guys Done Yet?” to the South American flavor of “Benito” and “Zapatos de Madera” to the Miles Davis cover “Milestones,” the VW Brothers don’t disappoint – check it out now!!
http://www.vwbrothers.com/

Chris TedescoLiving the Dream (late 2009) Partially recorded with a big band and partially with a 32-piece studio orchestra, Living the Dream grabs for the 1960s jazz gusto led by Chris’s wonderful trumpet work.  This is a definite record to pick up if you dig the swinging big band style.  The album also features singer Tony Galla on a handful of tracks.
http://www.christedesco.com/

The Ullmann Swell 4News? No News! (early 2010) German reed-man Gebhard Ullmann and New York free-jazz trombonist Steve Swell trade off writing duties and collaborate to bring some great free-jazz improvisations as well as some concise, beautiful compositions to our ears.  There is definitely a noticeable juxtaposition between the four songs from each leader and the 2 collaborative pieces.  While the album isn’t cohesive, it’s not really intended as such.  With that being said, it is definitely an enjoyable spin for my ears.
http://www.gebhard-ullmann.com/
http://www.steveswell.com/

More by late April/early May…

~Dan – np: SevendustAlpha

REVIEW: Dave Douglas @ PDX Jazz Fest (Portland, OR – 2/28/10)

1st Mar 10 (Mon) 5 comments

Right on the heels of Portland Jazz Fest‘s Dave Holland Quintet and Pharoah Sanders, was Dave Douglas and his Brass Ecstasy band – the capper to the festival.  I’d seen Dave Douglas four times before, twice with John Zorn‘s Masada quartet and twice with SF Jazz Collective (with Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon and others).  I was looking forward to seeing my first show with Dave Douglas as primary bandleader.

This new band of his features Dave Douglas on trumpet, Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, and Nasheet Waits on drums.  Their debut album, Spirit Moves, came out last year, and it was in my Top 5 Instrumental Albums from 2009.  Go get it!

They hit the stage shortly after 7:30pm and went right into the title track from their record, “Spirit Moves.”  It’s a fun number and a great start to the set.  Right after that, they did a lengthy version of “Bowie,” which is dedicated to Lester Bowie.  It was fun to see that song breathe and take over the room.  I’m also impressed by Luis Bonilla’s soloing on it.  It has to be difficult to solo on a trombone…

The trombone, horn, and definitely tuba drive the sound of this band to a familiar New Orleans street band – which I’d imagine was what Dave Douglas was aiming his sights towards.  Marcus Rojas also did some “tuba beat boxing” to mix things up.

I knew all of the songs they played, but luckily Dave announced them from the stage (yay, I didn’t have to keep them all up in my head)…

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Spirit Moves
  • Bowie
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)
  • Fats
  • Rava
  • Awake Nu (Don Cherry)
  • The Brass Ring (with drum solo)
  • Mr Pitiful (Otis Redding)
  • Encore: Twilight of the Dogs

All members got their fair share of solos.  The drum solo on “The Brass Ring” was fantastic, and Dave Douglas’s trumpet solos were colorful and vibrant, as usual.  Favorites of the night were the bebop of “Fats,” and the acrobatic trumpet on “Rava.”  Dave played a lot of that song off mic, yet his sound carried throughout the room.  Thank you Portland Jazz Fest!  It was a wonderful weekend of great music.  See you next year!

I took a few iPhone photos.  I wish I was able to bring in my regular camera, as I was right up front and the iPhone only takes marginal photos at best (::sigh::).  Anyway, check out my photos below, or check the link at the bottom for PDX Jazz’s Flickr photo stream.

DAVE DOUGLAS’ BRASS ECSTASY PHOTOS
these pictures are (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

For photos from this and other PDX Jazz shows, check out PDX Jazz’s flickr stream:



(photos by Fran Kaufman)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Susie Ibarra & Roberto RodriguezElectric Kulintang

John Zorn 15 instead of 12

18th Feb 10 (Thu) Leave a comment

this week in the Village Voice:
John Zorn: Deciding to spend a year in NYC with no traveling has led me to one of the most creative periods in my life. In the past four months alone, he has recorded six albums and written the music for three others.  He initially planned 12 Tzadik releases for 2010, one per month, but tends to underestimate his own frenetic output, as “it looks like it will be more like 15.”

So, anyone go to the Masada Marathon at Abron’s Art Center in New York yesterday or today (Feb 17-18)?  How was it?

DAY 1 February 17th (Wednesday)

Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits
Ben Goldberg Quartet
Mark Feldman/Sylvie Courvoisier
Mycale
Masada Sextet

DAY 2 February 18th (Thursday)

Uri Caine solo
Masada String Trio
Jamie Saft Trio
Erik Friedlander solo
Masada Quartet

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter QuartetReady… Set… Shango!

PDX Jazz Fest :: Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy

16th Feb 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is only 1 week away.  You won’t want to miss it.  There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… last up Dave Douglas and his horny band Brass Ecstasy.  I’ll be going to this show, which caps the PDX Jazz Fest.  I got into Dave Douglas via John Zorn’s Masada.  I’ve since gotten into Dave’s other bands: Tiny Bell Trio, Keystone, DD Quartet, DD Quintet, SF Jazz Collective, Second Sight, New & Used, Mosiac Sextet, Orange Then Blue, A Single Sky… tons of releases over 20+ years.

His Brass Ecstasy band released their debut recording, Spirit Moves, in 2009 – which features Dave joined by Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, and Nasheet Waits on drums and releases on Greenleaf Music.

Two-time Grammy-nominated jazz musician Dave Douglas is arguably the most prolific and original trumpeter & composer of his generation. From his New York base, where he’s lived since the mid 1980s, Douglas has continued to earn lavish national and international acclaim including trumpeter, composer, and jazz “Artist of the Year” by such organizations as the New York Jazz Awards, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. His solo recording career began in 1993 with Parallel Worlds on Soul Note and he has since released over twenty-eight recordings. In 2005, after seven critically-acclaimed albums for Bluebird/RCA, Douglas launched his own record label, Greenleaf Music. The same year, he was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship. On Greenleaf, Douglas has released albums with his long standing Quintet, the electronic sextet Keystone, and the mixed chamber ensemble Nomad. His latest project, Brass Ecstasy, features a brass quintet of trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba and drums and will release Spring 2009.

Douglas is currently the artistic director of the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Center and the co-founder and director of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which will celebrate its 7th year in 2009.

In addition to leading his own groups, Douglas has an important ongoing musical relationship as a member of John Zorn’s Masada and with artists such as Anthony Braxton, Don Byron, Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon, Uri Caine, Bill Frisell, Cibo Matto, Mark Dresser, Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg. As a composer, Douglas has been commissioned by the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Essen Philharmonie, Library of Congress and Stanford University. Recent large scale works have included Blue Latitudes, for chamber orchestra and 3 improvisers, and Delighted States, for big band with soloists (both unreleased as of press date).

Webpage: http://www.davedouglas.com/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: Hotel LightsHotel Lights

John Zorn – Masada Book Two Marathon (NYC)

22nd Jan 10 (Fri) 1 comment

MASADA ‘BOOK OF ANGELS’ MARATHON!
February 17th & 18th

2 nights. 10 bands. 19 musicians. 1 inspiring book of music!

Written in a flash of creativity during three months at the end of 2004, the 316 compositions in John Zorn‘s Book of Angels (aka Masada Book Two) contain some of his most lyrical and inspiring music. Performed by a wide variety of ensembles over the past 5 years the music has generated 13 CDs to date, with 4 more scheduled for release in 2010. This special Marathon concert brings together 10 different groups in two evenings-five bands per night. Don’t miss this special downtown event presented at the historical Henry Street Settlement at the Abrons Art Center!  $30 in advance / $35 at the door (Separate admission each night)

Tickets at  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/710455

Featuring: Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Mark Feldman, Ben Goldberg, Shanir Blumenkranz, Sylvie Courvoisier, Tim Keiper, Brian Marsells, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Basya Schecter, Malika Zarra, Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, John Zorn, and more

DAY 1 February 17th (Wednesday) at 8pm

Banquet Of The Spirits
Ben Goldberg Quartet
Mark Feldman/Sylvie Courvoisier
Mycale
Masada Sextet

tickets for Day 1  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7904665

DAY 2 February 18th (Thursday) at 8pm

Uri Caine solo
Masada String Trio
Jamie Saft Trio
Erik Friedlander solo
Masada Quartet

tickets for Day 2  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7904675

I wish I lived in NYC!

The Masada Book Two Series (to date):





~Dan – np: Yuka Honda Memories Are My Only Witness

* Favorite Instrumental Albums of 2009 *

31st Dec 09 (Thu) 10 comments

Disclaimer (with a nod to Andy Whitman of Paste): No, I haven’t heard all 8,000+albums released this year. I’ve heard about 200 of them, which makes me at least 97.5% likely to be wrong. I make no claims to objectivity. These albums are my favorites from 2009. You might think that the one you’ve heard that I haven’t heard is the best album of 2009. And you might be right. So go ahead and vent. Enjoy!

As I start this post, I will say that this is all very subjective and really put together for my own purposes. I’ll also state that, yes, some of the music below does have some vocals. For the most part, it’s sequestered to a track or two on a long CD of mostly instrumental goodness. My list, my rules, and/or my breaking of the rules. With that being said, all of the artists below tend to be in the jazz and instrumental frame of reference anyway.

Hopefully my spilling out of music that I like finds interest with someone else. But if not, thanks for stopping by… check out their webpages, SpaceBook pages, yadda yadda yadda. OK, now on to the best of what’s hit my ears this year on the mainly instrumental front…

Honorable mentions: Uri Gurvich‘s The Storyteller, John Zorn‘s Filmworks XXIII: El General, AhleuchatistasOf the Body Prone, Secret Chiefs 3‘s Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini (The Severed Right Hands of the Last Men), and Skerik & The Dead Kenny G’s Bewildered Herd.

Osso String QuartetRun Rabbit Run: A Tribute to Sufjan Stevens’ Enjoy Your Rabbit (Asthmatic Kitty) :: I feel lucky that I got to witness the world premiere of Osso playing Sufjan Stevens’ Enjoy Your Rabbit at MusicNOW Fest 2007 in Cincinnati. I think almost immediately after that show, I emailed Asthmatic Kitty to see if they were going to release audio or video of that performance. Little did I know that they’d do me one better by putting Osso into a studio to record the full length stringed tribute. Huzzah! While the novelty of the initial project has worn off for me, the musical arrangements stand firm. I really dig Osso and I’m looking forward to their further collaboration with Sufjan, My Brightest Diamond, or their own pieces.
Mike PattonCrank High Voltage Score (Lions Gate) :: Well, Mike Patton pretty much took a year off of Ipecac stuff due to Faith No More reuniting. I supposed this score satiated me, but I would have loved for Mondo Cane to make its way out the door in 2009 (as was initially promised by Patton himself). Anyway, this album has a couple of vocal tracks, but overall, it features Mike’s voicebox gymnastics and razor-edged composition schizophrenia that I’ve loved since I first got into Mr. Bungle… Fantômas… and the rest of his vast body of work…
Feldman / Caine / Cohen / BaronSecrets (Tzadik) :: This album snuck on me as I was re-listening to my 2009 CDs. It has that klezmer jazz feel as is common in the Tzadik Radical Jewish Culture series, but it also has a much more accessible feel as well. With Uri Caine’s piano in the mix, he almost adds a Vince Guaraldi aspect to the klez-jazz that permeates.
Jónsi & AlexRiceboy Sleeps (indie) :: Sigur Rós is one of my favorite groups, and a few years ago frontman Jónsi started an arty project with his partner Alex. At first it was a hand-printed notebook and a few musical things on MySpace, but it transformed into a full album as time went along. It’s much more ambient when compared to Sigur Rós – but definitely appeals to fans of Jónsi’s main band. In other news… they have a raw, vegan cookbook PDF on their website (for free)… holy cow… I’m totally gonna make some raw strawberry pie when the season comes around. That and many other recipes look flippin’ delicious… much like the music. Yeah, this is a music blog, right? Sorry for my drooling over “Icelandic rockstar” recipe books.
Wadada Leo Smith with Jack DeJohnetteAmerica (Tzadik) :: I love trumpet… I have some of Wadada’s other work, and I usually find it to be hit or miss. I wasn’t coming in with a lot of preconceptions or whetted appetite about this album, and after the first spin, I loved it. It’s fairly sparse sonically, with only Wadada on trumpet & flugelhorn and Jack on drums. The sound from his horns is so brilliant and melodic, yet searching. I hope they can get together for a 2nd duo outing sometime soon. This wins my “best surprise” award for instrumental albums in 2009.
The Fantastic Terrific MunkleMusic To Dance To (Jazz Groove Australia) :: I got into the Fantastic Terrific Munkle via band member Julian Curwin, who put out his fantastic Tango Saloon out on Ipecac a few years ago. Munkle and Tango Saloon have similar jazz meets groove meets world music meets danceable rhythms. This one was harder to get, as I had to directly order it from Australia (but at least they accept PayPal in US dollars). I wish I could find similar luck with Tango Saloon’s second album, Transylvania (still no stateside release, and the AUD to USD conversion is killin’ me these days).
900XMusic for Lubbock, 1980 (Asthmatic Kitty) :: I got this download for free from Asthmatic Kitty along with the other Library Catalog Music Series (they’re great in supplying review subjects to music bloggers), and the 900X album simply surpassed the others in the collection, if you ask me. I ended up buying it on vinyl… a great addition to the collection. I don’t know if 900x (or James McAlister dba 900x) have any future plans for further releases of this nature. I hope so.
McTuff (Skerik & Joe Doria)McTuff, Volume 1 (indie) :: Joe Doria’s tribute to Jack McDuff has turned into a great Northwest jazz quartet (and trio when Skerik isn’t available). I’m lucky to have seen them a couple times thus far. Skerik’s sax is fantastic, Doria’s hammond keeps the groove, Lewis’s drums are killer, and Coe’s guitars really know how to burn (which I didn’t really pick up on until the 2nd time seeing them live).
Roberto RodriguezThe First Basket (Tzadik) :: Roberto Rodriguez’s Cuban-meets-Judaic music have been some of my favorites out of Tzadik the last few years… this one was a bit different. It’s a score to a film (of the same name) that follows the history of Jewish basketball… its scope covers klezmer, classical, rock, dixieland, and more. Its variety is what helped this album beat out his other 2009 album from the list this year (Timba Talmud is also really good).

Medeski Martin & WoodRadiolarians II & III (Indirecto) :: Starting in 2008, MMW set out to record three albums back to back to back, heading out on a short tour before each album and going directly into the studio and then out on the road again. They swung through Eugene in late 2008 as part of the Radiolarians III Tour. By that time, only R1 had come out; so the crowd didn’t really know the material being played. They played two sets, one set of experimental meets groove and one set of the eventual R3 material. Near the end of 2009, they released the Evolutionary Boxset (all Radiolarians albums with tons of extras: vinyl/live/remixes/DVDs)… great material from a fantastic groove-oriented jazz band. I’m stoked, as they’re coming through Eugene again in Feb 2010. Yay!
Wynton MarsalisHe and She (EMI Blue Note) :: Wynton is a great trumpet player, puts on a great live show, writes and releases great music, and he’s also a jazz bigot. Sigh.
Eyal Maoz’s EdomHope and Destruction (Tzadik) :: Great Jewish instrumental rock. I dug Eyal’s first album, Edom. It appears he’s made an official band out of it… yay. I don’t have much else to add; so I’ll leave it with Tzadik’s P.R. niblit… “Hope and Destruction presents powerful Jewish rock instrumentals from a cutting edge guitarist who combines the harmonic lyricism of Bill Frisell with the angst and skronk of Marc Ribot.” Ribot and Frisell influences… me likey.
Jon Madof’s RashanimThe Gathering (Tzadik) :: Similar but a bit rockier compared to Eyal Maoz’s Edom, Jon Madof has been on my radar since his first instrumental Jewish rock album, Rashanim (which subsequently turned into the band name similar to Edom’s recent evolution). Anyway, this is Madof’s third album under this band moniker. Guitars, bass, drums… banjo… banjo bass… jaw harp… glockenspiel… melodica… tiple… chonguri… it all sounds great!! Jon also has another band called CircuitBreaker that I’m waiting on with baited breath.
Stabat AkishStabat Akish (Tzadik) :: From Toulouse, France, this is one of those rare Tzadik releases that fits into the “Composer Series” that doesn’t bore me to tears. Don’t get me wrong, there are some gems in the CS catalogue, but most of them are violin noodlers. This is more of the rock band variety of composers. It has elements of French street music (which I witnessed first hand in Toulouse, coincidentally), elements of Zorn’s schizophrenia, and elements of the ever excellent Frank Zappa… thanks to the vibraphone and bass marimba acrobatics.
ZuCarboniferous (Ipecac) :: I got this due to Mike Patton’s involvement… he actually sings on one track (and vocal instrumentation on another). Despite that Patton vocal song, this is definitely an instrumental band and a chiefly instrumental album. Zu is powerful rock from Rome, sometimes lumped in with the math rock scene, sometimes with metal. They have had their hand in the jazz scene in the past, too (their album placed in The Village Voice‘s 2004 jazz poll). This album is my only experience with them, but I hope to get into their diverse and vast back catalogue soon.
SF Jazz CollectiveLive 2009 (SF Jazz) :: SFJC 2010 will not quite be the same… they lost Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, and Miguel Zenon – all key players in the 2007 through 2009 seasons. This 2009 season was dedicated to the music of McCoy Tyner and also features great compositions by the eight members of the band. It is truly a collective of many great musicians, not just a band fronted by a few.
Tim SparksLittle Princess: Tim Sparks plays Naftule Brandwein (Tzadik) :: A fingerstyle guitar virtuoso, I’d heard Tim on some other Tzadik releases, but I think this one is my favorite of his. This album is a trio of Tim, Cyro Baptista on percussion, and Greg Cohen on bass. I think the added players helped fill out Tim’s sound – which was awesomely virtuosic, but a touch too sparse on prior releases.
Dave DouglasA Single Sky (Greenleaf) :: This was the third of three Dave Douglas releases this year. It features three new Dave Douglas tunes and four rearranged Douglas tunes by Jim McNeely and his Frankfurt Radio Bigband. The entire album has a great big band feel, something I’m a sucker for – obviously. I love Dave Douglas’s prolific nature – 2009 was good to his fans.
John ZornAlhambra Love Songs (Tzadik) :: One of the more accessible albums in Zorn’s catalogue, this is his ode to his favorite San Francisco Bay Area artists and musicians: Vince Guaraldi, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch, Mike Patton, Harry Smith, and more. The music is played by the Rob Burger Trio (Rob + Greg Cohen & Ben Perowsky). The albums leads off with the very Guaraldian tribute to Vince himself – “Mountain View.”
Dave Douglas & Brass EcstasySpirit Moves (Greenleaf) :: Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy is coming to Portland / PDX Jazz Fest this coming February! I’m so stoked. This band features Dave on trumpet, Vincent Chancey (French horn), Luis Bonilla (trombone), Marcus Rojas (tuba) and Nasheet Waits (drums). The tuba really adds that bouncy backbone that I love (I’m also a fan of the rockier band Drums & Tuba). Check out DD&BE’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert (video).
Sufjan StevensThe BQE (Asthmatic Kitty) :: It is atrociously difficult to read the lettering on the front cover… maybe as easy as navigating the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in rush hour. This was Sufjan’s first foray into studio album land since the Avalanche (but that was more of a b-side collection of 2005’s Illinoise). Anyway… it’s a moving, 40 minute piece dedicated to NYC’s traffic clusterbomb. It comes with a film to accompany it, and if you get the double-gatefold vinyl, you get a spiffy comic book written by Sufjan and a fantastic full-color booklet. I like it how Sufjan “keeps it weird” when he’s “keeping it real.”
John ZornO’o (Tzadik) :: While the music is stunning, I think longtime Tzadik artwork designer Chippy deserves a ton of credit as well. This album is the band from The Dreamers: Baptista, Baron, Dunn, Ribot, Saft, and Wollesen. It carries on that world music / surf / exotica sound, but adds the element of nature: being a tribute to rare birds (the album is named after an extinct Hawaiian bird).
Tides from NebulaAura (indie from Poland) :: Tides of Nebula is powerful, evocative progressive post-rock goodness from Poland. They have links on their MySpace page on how to get their CD. It’s really, really, really, good. It combines the huge sound from post-rock giants like Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai, but adds a tight edge as well – similar to if Brit progressive rockers Porcupine Tree tweaked some Explosions or Mogwai songs. This is one of those bands and albums that I had no idea about even this summer, and then out of nowhere – BAM! Way up to the top of the pile. I’m looking forward to more from this great group.
Masada Quintet & Joe Lovano play Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 12: Stolas (Tzadik) :: The original Masada quartet’s last studio album was in 1999. They continued as a quartet (John Zorn / Dave Douglas / Joey Baron / Greg Cohen) throughout most of the 2000s (I got to see one of their last shows in March 2007). Zorn moved on in the 2000s with writing a 2nd book of Masada tunes, not to be played by Masada, but rather interpreted by other bands. The past 11 albums in this series have been fantastic (Secret Chiefs 3, Medeski Martin & Wood, and the Bar Kokhba Sextet (related-to-but-not-Masada) albums have been my faves). I would never have imagined that Zorn would “allow” Masada to record an album for this Masada Book Two series. Well, he didn’t (sort of). He added pianist Uri Caine and tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano to the mix. A great “supergroup” album!!

Where do I get most of these jazz and other instrumental releases? My #1 favorite source for jazz is Downtown Music Gallery in New York. Manny and Bruce and their great staff are superb… and being the official distributor for John Zorn’s Tzadik doesn’t hurt my affection for them. I usually do a monthly Tzadik order (if the releases strike my fancy), and they have a ton of other non-Tzadik jazz and avant-garde releases as well.

And, no, I’m not affiliated, I don’t get a commission, and beyond my initial “big tax refund / gotta get caught up on Zorn order of 2005,” I haven’t gotten a discount with DMG. I just love and support what they do.

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Brian BorcherdtTorches

2010: The Year of the Zorn

15th Dec 09 (Tue) 1 comment

As posted on Tzadik.com

GREAT NEWS FOR ZORN FANS!

2010 will be a landmark year for John Zorn who promises 12 new CD releases-one every month! Included will be new music from The Dreamers, Moonchild and Alhambra, 3 new releases in Masada Book Two: Book of Angels series, a major new studio composition dedicated to the Korean-American writer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, a classical release featuring his acclaimed violin concerto Contes des Fées, the DVD release of his opera with Richard Foreman ASTRONOME, a ripping improvised duo recording with Fred Frith and undoubtedly several surprises. Most of the recordings are already completed and the release schedule set, so keep your eyes and ears open and expect a new Zorn release every 4th Tuesday of the month in 2010!

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Also on the new album front… as discussed earlier, the My Brightest Diamond remix boxset (4 EPs on 2 CDs) is now up for pre-order.  There are only going to be 1,500 sets pressed, signed and numbered by Shara Worden.  Find out more HERE.

~Dan – np: Nellie McKayNormal As Blueberry Pie

REVIEW: Erik Friedlander @ Winningstad Theatre (Portland, OR – 9/12/09)

13th Sep 09 (Sun) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Erik Friedlander grew up spending many of his summers on the road with his family due to his photographer father, Lee Friedlander.  I knew his dad was a photographer with some notoriety, but I hadn’t known about the long, cross-country summer road trips – which were the basis for Erik’s 3-day run of Block Ice and Propane at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)’s TBA Festival (aka T:BA:09).  More about T:BA:09 later…

I have been into Erik for a while… basically contemporaneously with my immersion into John Zorn, as Erik is a mainstay in the Downtown NYC jazz scene and finds his way on maaaaany of the Tzadik releases that I love.  He’s a part of the Masada String Trio & Bar Kokhba Sextet, and has played with Dave Douglas, Ikue Mori, Wadada Leo Smith, severalk of Zorn’s Filmworks series, et cetera.

When I showed up for the event, I was caught off guard by the vast amount of people milling about the lobby.  “Does Erik have this big of a draw in Portland?”

Well, the answer to that question is, now he does.” This was the third night of his three-night run as part of the T:BA:09 festival put on by PICA.  The entire 10-day festival was also coming to a crescendo on the 12th… needless to say, the program looked amazing, full of art of all kinds, not just music.  I’m definitely putting T:BA:10 on my radar for next year.

Erik’s solo chair, laptop stand, and microphone in front of a projector screen was nicely lit with a blue light as the herd of an audience entered the Dolores Winningstad Theatre.  I’d never been to the Winningstad Theatre, but it’s in the same complex as the Newmark Theatre (where I saw the SF Jazz Collective in ’08 and where I’ll see Patton Oswalt tonight), and it’s right next door to the Arlene Schnitzer Hall (where I’ve seen many shows).  “The Winny” was a great venue… small & intimate, but seemingly able to fit in a large amount of people, including 2 tiers of balcony seating.  Luckily I was solo; so I found a stray seat right up front-left.

As mentioned prior, the show was Erik playing solo cello in front of a backdrop of photos from his childhood, primarily taken by his father Lee Friedlander.  The performance, specifically the backdrop, had a very “Americana” feel set to non-“Americana music.”  Or perhaps it was Americana music set through the filter of the cello.  It wasn’t Woody Guthrie-esque, but it had that dirty, road weary, wow-look-at-this-wonderful-country feel to it.  Amongst the photos were also some videos shot by Bill Morrison.

Outside of photographing the country on big summer roadtrips, Erik’s father Lee also photographed many musicians… Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane… even up to the current era like a famous Madonna photo.  Lee’s love of music spilled over to Erik, who found a love for music early in his life.  He started on guitar and eventually moved to cello.  However, his basis in guitar drove much of the style of playing last night.  Only a few times did Erik pull out a bow – rather he plucked and strummed his cello like one would with a guitar… well, a guitar that you were holding like a cello. :)

Setlist:

  • Block Ice & Propane
  • Road Weary
  • King Rig
  • I’m Not Here
  • Cold Chicken
  • Yakima
  • Pressure Cooking
  • Winking at Highway 7
  • Rusting in Honeysuckle
  • Dream Song
  • Airstream Envy
  • Night White

Some of my favorite pieces were the lead-in, title track (to the 2007 CD of the same name), as well as “Pressure Cooking” and “Night White” (nice harmonics).  The story about “Cold Chicken” was great, about how at a diner they were served very slowly and Lee stormed into the kitchen to complain about “who wants to eat cold chicken!?” while the family scurried away.  The music, which I’ve heard several times before on the CD, totally made sense now.  Nice…

Block Ice and Propane (the 2007 CD) can be purchased directly from Erik HERE.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Porcupine TreeThe Incident

ERIK FRIEDLANDER PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2009 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

ha’fway 2009

4th Jul 09 (Sat) 10 comments

Happy 233rd birthday, United States!

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(Sub)consciously prompted by these music blogs, here are my favs of the first half of 2009… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end:

Artist Album (label)

  1. Dredg – The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion (Ohlone)
  2. Masada Quintet + Joe Lovano Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 12 ~ Stolas (Tzadik)
  3. OSI Blood (Inside Out Records)
  4. Wussy Wussy (Shake It Records)
  5. Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy Spirit Moves (Green Leaf Music)
  6. Wynton Marsalis He and She (EMI / Blue Note)
  7. John Zorn Alhambra: Love Songs (Tzadik)
  8. Regina Spektor Far (Sire / Warner)
  9. Isis Wavering Radiant (Ipecac)
  10. Zu Carboniferous (Ipecac)
  11. Dream Theater Black Clouds & Silver Linings, really only the instrumental disc (Roadrunner)
  12. Jamie Saft Black Shabbis (Tzadik)
  13. Madeleine Peyroux Bare Bones (Rounder)
  14. Secret Chiefs 3 Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini (Web of Mimicry)
  15. Ember Swift Lentic :: 子玉 (Few’ll Ignite Sound)

I didn’t get a few that already came out this year… the new Green Day, U2, Placebo, Eminem, Dave Matthews Band, Fever Ray, Crank 2 soundtrack (by Mike Patton).  I’m waiting for them to be cheaper used, but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.

The 2nd half of 2009 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… John Zorn’s O’o, Medeski Martin & Wood Radiolarians 3, Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane (possibly by November), Secret Chiefs 3 Book of Souls (maybe), a new Sufjan Stevens (just speculating, since it’s been a while), Ani DiFranco always has something coming out, Jon Madof’s CircuitBreaker debut (maybe) & another Rashanim, The Tango Saloon’s Transylvania (stateside release?), new Tristeza, Over the Rhine Live from Nowhere IV, George Hrab ‘s 6th album Trebuchet, Derek Webb‘s Stockholm Syndrome, SFJazz 2009 with Dave Douglas & Joe Lovano and others, A Perfect Circle internet only single releases (as mentioned back here), and a new Tool record (they’ve worked on it some, but I doubt it’ll hit until 2010)… and I’m sure another dozen or more that I’ll dig from Tzadik.

~Dan  – np: Cut ChemistThe Audience’s Listening

again… Happy 233rd birthday, United States!


This July 4th, celebrate Sarah Palin resigning as Alaskan governor!

tons of news

12th Jun 09 (Fri) Leave a comment

Nine Stories!

In this episode: The new Masada Quintet with special guest Joe Lovano, the Jenny Owen Youngs‘ video that I somehow missed, Nellie McKay‘s Election musical, Fanfarlo for $1, the deaths of JazzTimes & Jeff Hanson, the resurrection of Futurama, a new Wussy video, and Asthmatic Kitty’s most excellent Library Catalog Music Series

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The new Masada Quintet with special guest Joe Lovano just came out for June on Tzadik Records.  It’s the original Masada Quartet (John Zorn on alto sax, Dave Douglas on trumpet, Greg Cohen on bass & Joey Baron on drums) plus pianist Uri Caine… plus special guest tenor sax Joe Lovano.  Holy cow!!!  It’s the first official studio release from the Masada Quartet since 1999’s י [Yod] (or 2005 if you count the unreleased/rarities compilation Sanhedrin).  This album is bound to be at the top of my “best of” list for 2009.

This video from Jenny Owen Youngs came out in September 2007.  How did I miss it?  It’s a brilliant singer-songwriter cover of rapper Nelly‘s “Hot in Herre” (so take off all your clothes).  I bought the iTunes single… great stuff:

Nellie McKay is writing a musical based on the book/movie Election.  Read more about it over on Brooklyn Vegan blog.

Fanfarlo just put on their debut album, Reservoir, for $1.  Fanfarlo is a London-based band founded by Swedish musician Simon Balthazar.  Nice textured indie pop… think Sigur Rós meets Sufjan Stevens.  The album, in full, is available for only $1.00 until July 4th, 2009 at http://www.fanfarlo.com/.

The economy took another print-media victim.  This time it’s the death (or “temporary suspension”) of JazzTimes magazine.  The 38 year old magazine couldn’t maintain readership in the new era of online content.  It’s a sad day, as it was a great magazine.  I hope it’s able to come back later in some form or another under new ownership, as mentioned in the Howard Mandel article.

Whispy singer-songwriter Jeff Hanson died last Saturday (6/5) after an accidental fall on his cement-floored apartment in St. Paul, MN. Jeff was known for his feminine vocal style and songwriting/sound similar to late indie rocker Elliott Smith (who also died young).  He had three great albums out on Kill Rock Stars.  I hate to sound selfish, but I’m bummed I missed him when he recently came through Portland.  We lost another one, far too young…

In “Oh Sweet, Futurama’s On” News, the resurrection of Futurama is eminent.  Much like Family Guy, the popularity soared even after being originally canceled.  Futurama had some straight-to-DVD movies recently, and it will return with new 26 episodes on Comedy Central in the winter 2010.

A favorite band of mine from Cincinnati, Wussy, has a new “acoustic from an RV” video of “Maglite.”  They recently put out their 3rd full length album, and it lives up to the quality and momentum in their prior two albums (plus 1 EP).  Check out the video and then check out the album at Shake It Records:

Asthmatic Kitty’s most excellent Library Catalog Music Series just came out.  The naming of the series sounds… boring.  However, it’s really great instrumental music.  There are three issues thus far: 900X: Music for Lubbock 1980, Law of the Least Effort: Music for Measurements, and Casey Foubert/James McAlister: Music for Drums.  My favorite is the 900X one.  Really, really good electronic, post-rockiness. If you liked a more “sane” version of Sufjan Steven’s Enjoy Your Rabbit, I bet you’d like the LCMS. Check it out at Asthmatic Kitty Records.

~Dan – np: FanfarloReservoir

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