Friday, October 28th, 2005 ... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ... KZSU, 90.1 FM
Didn't I comment just a couple weeks ago about how much it sucks to do a
show while sick? It still does. I was fighting a cold, the kind where
it's mild enough that you feel great in the morning, but by late
afternoon -- ugh -- you're worn out for no apparent reason. On the plus
side, this (and my froggy throat) kept my mic breaks very short, which
is something I've been working on for the longest time.
I included a full set of dark/noisy stuff this time. Haven't been playing
enough of it lately, and KZSU's rotation is so rich with the stuff too.
In past years, when I had more time to prepare and listen to music, I'd
blend this stuff in with the jazz a bit more -- the results were
probably incongruous to most ears but enjoyable enough to me.
Part of me wants to work those kinds of changes back into the show,
but part of me realizes most radio listeners -- even those into the
weird stuff -- want their music to appear in blocks: the noisy stuff
here, the straight bop there, etc.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Bjorn Wennas -- "P.I.N.Y." -- Static (Beartones, 2005)
* The Claudia Quintet -- "They Point ... Glance ... Whisper ... Then Snicker" -- Semi-Formal (Cuneiform, 2005)
Hans Koch -- "Human Zoo" -- Chockshut (Intakt, 1995?)
* Rich Woodson's Ellipsis -- "Looking for the Right Reflection" -- The Nail That Stands Up Gets Pounded Down (N/Twerp, 2005)
The second album we've received from Woodson. Like the first, it's
got all kinds of crazy, tangly interplay, this time with sax, guitar, drums, bass,
and clarinet. It's got that great feel of a group improvisation ... except
that none of it is improvised! According to the CD booklet,
this is a through-composed piece, making it impressive for its
meticulousness (and kudos to the musicians for learning what must have
been mind-altering charts). It reminds me of Frank Zappa's jazzier
turns, although it's more abstract, tangly, and difficult.
Tim Berne -- "Heavy Mental" -- The Shell Game (Thirsty Ear, 2001)
A nice introduction to Tim, with an almost catchy theme and
a good share of his tangly, almost rockin' kind of composing. This is
his first CD with Craig Taborn on electric piano, IIRC, for a
different, splashy sound. Played this by semi-request; a former
listener from years ago had caught up with me and asked what I'd
been into lately.
* Nicholas D'Amato Royal Society -- "Extracted" -- Nullius In Verba (Buckyball, 2005)
Fusion trio of guitar (studio veteran Wayne Krantz), bass, and
drums. Straightforward stuff, with lots of flashy guitar (and not a lot
of the synth washes that often come with fusion). From the same label
that brought you Tunnels, the fusion band from Brand X bassist Percy
Chris Bowden -- "W'p de F'n Doo" [excerpt] -- Slightly Askew (Ninja Tune, 2002)
The track the caller really requested, before we started talking
about Tim Berne. The whole CD is fast and manic; this track dissolves
into a high-speed Latin/jazz fantasy sound. It's the cheesy track, in a way, but you
have to love the energy.
* Jenny Scheinman -- "Suza" -- 12 Songs (Cryptogramophone, 2005)
* Keith Jarrett -- "Part 4" -- Radiance (ECM, 2005)
A tangly, 90-second blip of piano. Very nice as an interlude.
This is a 2-CD set of solo piano, Jarrett's trademark format but one
he's abandoned in recent years. These disks are all shorter pieces
(13 minutes and under -- for Jarrett, that's short) and shows off a
stunning variety, from gorgeous love ballads to avant-free excursions.
My one problem is the same problem I always have with Keith -- he's
overly dramatic and emotive. It's like he's holding up blinking neon
signs telling you what to FEEL with each track. But if you can get
past that -- and even I can -- there's some really enjoyable music here.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
The Nels Cline Singers -- "Cause for Concern" -- Instrumentals (Cryptogramophone, 2002)
* Frank Wright -- "The Moon" -- The Complete ESP-Disk Recordings (ESP-Disk, 2005; recorded 1965)
* Greg Osby -- "Test Pattern" -- Channel Three (Blue Note, 2005)
* David Liebman and Ellery Eskelin -- "Different but the Same" -- Different but the Same (Hatology, 2005)
* Michael Musillami Trio -- "Archives" -- Dachau (Playscape, 2005)
* Wadada Leo Smith, Walter Quintus, Katya Quintus, Miroslav Tadic, Mark Nauseef -- "Yopo" -- Snakish (Leo Records, 2005)
A slow track, glacial, building towards a huge menacing sound.
So begins the "dark/noisy" set.
* Andy Haas and Don Fiorino -- "Anomalous Behavior" -- Death Don't Have No Mercy (Resonant, 2005)
* Martin Tetreault and Otomo Yoshihide -- "Nijmegen No. 4A" -- 2. Tok (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2005)
Second of apparently three disks featuring these two turntable artists.
Noisy stuff -- they're not often spinning records, but rather using the
amplified needles to create a variety of scraping and percussive noises.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
*! Metalux -- "Shell Drum" -- Victim of Space (5 Rue Christine, 2005)
Gloriously noisy band from Chicago w/female vocal. This is one
of the more placid tracks in the set, but it fit well with what I'd
* Fredrik Soegaard and Haase Poulsen -- [untitled track 1] -- ... And We Also Caught a Fish (Leo Records, 2005)
Two guitars with all kinds of amplification, MIDI, distortion, whatever --
creating a canvas of abstract sound washes. So ends the dark/noisy set...
* P.J. Newman -- "Sizzling Tiger Music" [2nd version, which is track 6] -- The Hand of Dog (Origin, 2005)
... well, almost. This one's dark and noisy too but features
fast darting saxophone by Jessica Lurie, for that jazzy sound. Interesting
album -- many tracks are soundscapes with saxophones on top, tending
more toward prettiness than abstraction. The "hidden" track at the end
is a bouncy synth piece that reminds me of the closing credits to
Buckaroo Banzai. And then
there's track 5 ... an 18-minute rock song, a bluesy bar-band
excursion with long jams and solos, and you can picture the cigarettes
and beer around the room. Weird.
Cedar Walton -- "Manteca" -- The Pentagon (Inner City, 1978)
The music I'd been using behind my mic breaks. I had to read the
KZSU concert calendar at 5:30, and used this again for background -- then
just let it play out.
* Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet -- "Monk's Mood" -- School Days (Hatology, 2002; recorded c.1963)
A really nice set of Monk tunes, from a band of guys who would become
respected veterans. In addition to Lacy and Rudd, there's Denis Charles
on drums and Henry Grimes -- whose career was resuscitated recently after
decades of silence -- on bass.
* Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane -- "Bye-Ya" -- At Carnegie Hall (Blue Note, 2005; recorded 1957)
The find of the decade: Old tapes of this little-recorded
configuration. Not much more I can add to what's already been written;
in addition to being really nice jazz, it's a rare chance to hear
Coltrane's early style next to Monk's piano.
* = 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.