Friday, November 18th, 2005 ... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ... KZSU, 90.1 FM
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Avram Fefer/Michael Bisio -- "Love (Keepin' On)/Rio Largo y Sinuoso" -- Painting Breath, Stoking Fire (CIMP, 2005)
Interesting how the tracks on this CD all have split titles like
this one. They're sax/bass duets, and you'd think the stuff was all
improvised, but ... well, maybe they're compositions strung together.
Or maybe Fefer and Bisio, in titling the tracks, wanted to call attention
to some of the transitions or mood shifts they felt. (Or, maybe
I could check the liner notes and see if they shed any light on
this -- nah.) Nice duets anyway, with a strong sound.
* Rich Woodson's Ellipsis -- "Nerve Ending 23"/"It Came from Above" -- The Nail That Stands Up Gets Pounded Down (N/Twerp, 2005)
Ganesh Anandan, Malcolm Goldstein, Rainer Wiens -- "Dream Algebra" -- Speaking in Tongues (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2003)
South Indian percussion, violin, and prepared guitar, respectively
("prepared" means the guitar is played in unconventional ways, with
implements stuck between the strings, for example), plus a sax. Trio improvs,
with a dark, primitive sound -- abstract, but often calling up
gutteral, tribal sounds on violin or sax. This one came through
rotation a while back, and I recall not giving it the love it deserved
then. So, here's a bit more.
* Ben Monder -- "Oceana" -- Oceana (Sunnyside, 2005)
Gorgeous, long guitar piece backed by bass and drums. Geoff
had finished off his show with an a capella piece off here -- Theo
Bleckman's voice, overdubbed, for a choral effect. Decent excuse to
play one of the Monder guitar tracks as well, giving Ben an extra
spin for our charts. Plus, I love this CD, tangly and lush and
even confusing sometimes.
* Bertrand Denzler, Axel Dorner, Daniel Erdmann, Michael Griener, Gunter Muller -- "Stralau" [excerpt] -- Stralau (Creative Sources, 2005)
One 54-minute track exploring dense yet sparse sounds. Eh? Well,
there are five guys here who combine for a thick level of insect-chatter
improv (using "normal" instruments including sax and trumpet)
forming a kind of spare drone. It revs up in a few places for some
chattery improv action, and I tried to catch one of those spots with
my selected excerpt. Unfortunately, I ran it too long and got into a
long period of low bass electronics drone -- which is a cool sound, in
the context of the disk, but probably inaudible on many car radios.
* Gebhard Ullmann/Steve Swell 4tet -- "Box Set" -- Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2005)
Denzler, in particular, has done several similar projects, including the
band Hubbub, which has put out a few CDs of this kind of stuff.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Keith Jarrett -- "Part 1"/"Part 2" -- Radiance (ECM, 2005)
One long slab of Keith's solo piano.
* The Claudia Quintet -- "Guarana" -- Semi-Formal (Cuneiform, 2005)
Francis Wong -- "Great Wall" -- Great Wall (Asian Improv, 1993)
Nice stuff from local saxophonist Wong, who I think is still
around town. This composition is maybe a bit too dramatic -- very soaring
and pretty, almost a bit cheesy -- but Wong's solo really digs in,
lots of growling and forceful attack.
* Daniel Panasenko -- "Broken Glass" -- The Composer (self-released, 2005)
Panasenko plays guitar, sax, and pretty much everything else,
it seems. This is a sampler CD of sorts, various pieces ranging from
new-agey solos to fusiony jazz bits like this one (also some classical-sounding
ones, befitting the CD title). This one triggered off an "electric guitar"
* Nicholas D'Amato Royal Society -- "Sequitur" -- Nullius In Verba (Buckyball, 2005)
James "Blood" Ulmer -- "Jazz Is the Teacher (Funk is the Preacher) -- Are You Glad To Be in America? (Disk Union, 1995)
Outright funk! to close out the electric set. One of the tracks that
features Ulmer singing -- very cool.
Miles Davis -- "The Little Blue Frog" -- Big Fun (Columbia, 2000; orig. released 1974)
From the electric set, I moved to this one, an "electric" Miles
track but in a sparse, careful setting. It's one of the bonus tracks added
to the CD release. This, then, triggered an impromptu Frog-related
set... which was fun.
Quintron -- "Bride of Frankenstein -- "The Frog Tape (Skin Graft, 2005)
Organ, along with various random sounds (a whistle sample?!) and
an evil laugh. Quintron calls this is "haunted house" album. This track
had just the right sound -- kind of a lightly menacing organ drone,
high-register -- to bridge between Miles and the peaceful, pastoral
uptempo track to follow.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
* Jenny Scheinman -- "The Frog Threw His Head Back and Laughed" -- 12 Songs (Cryptogramophone, 2005)
I don't normally like playing the same track from the same CD
two weeks in a row. Yes, doing so would help artists get recognition,
but it just seems counter to the spirit of college radio. Plus, when
I'm playing a particular CD regularly each week (cf. Fieldwork) it's
nice to flash multiple facets of a band. And I do try to stick to the
catchier, faster tracks, to grab listener ears -- there really is a germ
of commercial enterprise in my programming.
! Frog Eyes -- "A Latex Ice Age" -- The Golden River (Animal World, 2004)
Anyway, I had to break that rule because of the Frog theme here. I mean,
come on, a Frog-related set, that's just not something you can
wait to have happen again, right?
Also of note: I later discovered another DJ had played this same track
on her show this morning. Jenny Scheinman apparently has a hit single
here at KZSU.
Odd Berkeley band with warbly male vocals that careen up and down
the scale, skeetering in and out of falsetto tones. This is a slower
track and made an oddly nice fit with the jazz track to follow.
* Jim Hall and Enrico Pieranunzi -- "Careful" -- Duologues (Cam Jazz, 2005)
Couple of older guys known for playing conservative jazz styles --
and there's nothing wrong with that; it's just not my show's style. But
here, they do stretch out a bit. They don't get all punk-rock crazy, but
these duet pieces have a great sense of adventure and some fine
untethered moments; you can tell they aren't trying to mold everything
into traditional jazz shapes. Bully for them; it's a fine CD and
a pleasant surprise.
* Dave Douglas -- "Hollywood" -- Keystone (Greenleaf, 2005)
* The Onus -- "Limehouse Blues" -- Triphony (Hipnotic, 2005)
Kaki King -- "Kewpie Station" -- Everybody Loves You (Velour, 2003)
Fingerpicking guitarist with a fast and often percussive style;
this track really shows off the percussive part. Played it because she's
playing in SF tomorrow, but in general her stuff is good and worth
Moe! Staiano -- "The 10 Indexes" -- The Lateness of Yearly Presentations (Dephine Knormal, 2003)
Cavalcade of percussion and other sounds, in 10 segments that take
a total of about 15 minutes. Includes some showcases for Moe!'s intensely,
impossibly fast and precise percussion, playing on junk instruments
(sheet metal, pots, etc.) Amazing stuff. Moe! is a great guy, and a
treasured local talent, and I don't get him on the air nearly often enough.
* Fieldwork -- "Reprise" -- Simulated Progress (Pi Recordings, 2005)
* Greg Osby -- "Viewer Discretion" -- Channel Three (Blue Note, 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.