Friday, August 19th, 2005 ... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ... KZSU, 90.1 FM
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
! Phoamin Edison -- "Theme from Casino Royale" -- Happy Nap Casino (Dark Beloved Cloud, 1999)
* Myra Melford/The Tent -- "Buglight and Brainfire" -- Where the Two Worlds Touch (Arabesque, 2004)
* GUSH: Mats Sustafsson, Sten Sandell, Raymond Strid -- "Rhomb" [excerpt] -- Norrkoping (Atavistic, 2005)
One of three long pieces on this CD, where Gustafsson gets to show
off his vicious, punk-inspired saxophone rages. It's not all dense and
aggressive, though -- long passages of active but restrained improv help
temper the session (for more of a blowout feel, check out the work of
Paul Flaherty with Chris Corsano). Sandell is on piano -- he's a
Scandanavian whose solo CDs have graced our rotation previously --
and Strid hits the drums.
Sten Sandell -- "Not Compact" -- Solid Musik (Nuscope, 2002)
Oh, what the heck. Here's Sten by himself. He's got a jumbly
style but a gentler hand than, say, Cecil Taylor. This is a CD of
solo piano explorations; he also has a trio album on this labewl
with Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello) and Michael Zerang (percussion).
* Thollem/Rivera -- "Prisons Are Neither Prevention Nor the Cure" -- Everything's Going Everywhere (Edgetone, 2005)
Local pianist Thollem McDonas on another record with drummer Rick
Rivera. Only one track out of 17 has lyrics this time, that being
this one. Thollem's interesting, definitely from the jazz camp but
with a hammering, iconoclastic style. And his nasal vocals with rambling
lyrics makes for a very different kind of "singer/songwriter" jazz.
Thollem's on a roll this year -- this is his second album of three
to be released.
! Television -- "1880 or So" -- Television (Capitol, 1992)
By request. Which is great; I don't play these guys enough
as it is.
* Scott Amendola Band -- "Shady" -- Believe (Cryptogramophone, 2005)
In the past I've remarked on how this album has such a nice mix,
including one track influenced by African pop and another that's meant
to sound like Crazy Horse. This one's got a Celtic kind of feel,
evoking green fields and people dancing around in medieval garb
and all that. Overall it comes across happy and peaceful, even when
the crazy jazz soloing starts up.
Joe Henderson -- "Pfrancing (No Blues)" -- So Near, So Far (Musings for Miles) (Verve, 1993)
* Big Neighborhood -- "Revised Music for Low Budget Jazz Quartet" -- Neighbors (Origin, 2005)
A pleasant jazz quartet with a modern mainstream sound. Tracks are
a lot more twisty and improv-laden than what you'd call "bebop," but
it's still got a sound that should play well to mainstream ears.
Nothing groundbreaking here, but it's likeable stuff well played. This
track is a bit more adventurous than most, and how could you not
love a song with that title?
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* John Tchicai, Garrison Fewell, Tino Tracanna, Paolino Dalla Porta, Massimo Manzi -- "Thrift Shopping + Extension" -- Big Chief Dreaming (Soul Note, 2005)
* Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio with Billy Bang -- "Where Do You Want to Go?" -- Live at the River East Art Center (Delmark, 2005)
Thank goodness for the Delmark label and their commitment to documenting
Chicago's modern jazz. Kahil's stuff -- like Ernest Dawkins and plenty
of others from the area -- is well steeped in the jazz tradition, taking
cues from the likes of Art Blakey mixed with heavy doses of African
influence. More people need to hear these CDs.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey -- "Overtone Star" -- All Is One: Live in New York City (Knitting Factory, 2002)
* Erik Truffaz -- "Ghost Drummer" -- Saloua (Blue Note, 2005)
Guitar-hero antics and a proggy solo, all in what's supposed to
be a jazz trumpet album. Truffaz always based his music on downtempo
dance electronica, but this album adds tons more Tunisian influence
(I say that because singer Mounir Troudi is Tunisian), occasional
rap (more embarrassing than useful), and lots and lots of guitar,
often in a psych-jam context. It's a nice package overall, albeit
maybe a bit overdone, and an interesting new direction for Truffaz,
even if his trumpet sounds more out of place than on previous records.
You could cynically call this an attempt at greater commercial
hipness, but I'll take it as a sincere effort to branch out.
* Vijay Iyer -- "Song for Midwood" -- Reimagining (Savoy Jazz, 2005)
This is another of those CDs that I'll keep commenting on
week after week (see Scott Amendola Band, above, or
This CD leans toward the lush side, but it's hardly mellow -- lots of
mind-bending compositions and fast-flowing solos from Iyer on piano and
Rudresh Mahanthappa on sax. Deceptively mainstream-sounding.
* Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto -- "Logic Moon" -- Insen (Asphodel, 2005)
Lush and slow. Long synthesizer tones with tiny bits of
glitchy sampled piano.
* Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia -- "Alabama Song" -- Round
About Weill (ECM, 2005)
Crazy, cartoony version with introspective melodrama for the middle
parts. Accordion and clarinet. This is a duo CD of Weill songs and
pieces influenced by Weill songs. Cool stuff, very European sound,
lots of nutty solos (especially on this track).
* Clarinet Thing with Beth Custer -- "Vou Vivendo" -- Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks (BC, 2005)
With Custer, Sheldon Brown, Ralph Carney, Ben Goldberg, and
Peter Josheff all on clarinets. An off-and-on project for the last
20 years, collected here in snippets from past live performances.
Nice jazzy outfit with some cool criss-crossing solos here and there.
Beth is a local treasure, as are the other folks on here, come to
think of it.
* Anthony Braxton and Milo Fine -- "Part 11" -- Shadow Company (Emanem, 2005)
A 66-minute improvisation with Braxton on various saxophones and
Fine switching among drums, piano, and clarinets, recorded at Wesleyan
University. Both are veterans of this free-improv thang, although
Braxton is obviously the more celebrated of the two. Nice stuff, with
the kind of give-and-take dialogue you'd expect. This track is the
concluding segment of the piece, featuring some thundering piano.
* The Contemporary Jazz Quintet -- "Action #VI" -- Actions (Atavistic, 2005; recorded 1966)
* Ricci Rucker -- "Tension and Release" [and a few other parts] -- Fuga (Alpha Pup, 2005)
Mark Helias -- "Sector 51" -- Loopin' the Cool (Enja, 1995)
* Mark Dresser and Denman Maroney -- "Pulse Field" -- Time Changes (Cryptogramophone, 2005)
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.