Friday, January 9th, 2005 ... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ... KZSU, 90.1 FM
How did it get to be December already? Who do I talk to about this?
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Cuong Vu -- "Brittle, Like Twigs" -- It's Mostly Residual (self-released, 2005)
Wow, fast vicious stuff with Bill Frisell showing he can still
rip it up on guitar. Cuong Vu has been the trumpeter for lots of
interesting bands, and he's toured with Frisell and Pat Metheney. His own
stuff includes the same kind of floaty, dreamy music that those two are
often associated with, and there's plenty of that here, but this track
gets a bit more wild and rockin'. Vu has released this CD on his own, so
he's doing all the marketing and promo himself, but thankfully we
were one of the stations he contacted, as his stuff has been well
received here in the past. Thanks Cuong!
* Gebhard Ullmann/Steve Swell 4tet -- "Camel's Gait/Desert Sands Part 1" -- Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2005)
* Khan Jamal Quintet -- "Bloom" -- Black Awareness (CIMP, 2005)
Nice CD with a mostly "inside" feel but some great, cookin' solos
by Byard Lancaster (sax), Grachan Moncur III (trombone), and of course
Jamal himself (vibes). This track is a particularly nice example, fast
* Michael Musillami Trio -- "Dachau" -- Dachau (Playscape, 2005)
You see "Dachau" on the CD cover, and you figure you're in for a
gloomy or even dark/vicious journey -- especially when the track is 12
minutes long. But this one isn't like that -- it's a suite of uptempo
and even bright jazz segments, led by Musillami's guitar and carrying plenty
of free-jazz verve, although the structure and beats will appeal to fans
of "normal" jazz. Nice track.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
About half the tracks on this album include extra players, so the
"trio" becomes a sextet (as on this track) or even an octet.
* Jane Ira Bloom -- "Unconscious Forces" -- Like Silver, Like Song (ArtistShare, 2005)
Another fine outing by Bloom, who plays only soprano saxophone here
and tempers it with various live electronics processing, basically using
pedals like a guitar player would. That gives her solos all sorts of
nice extra color. Tracks tend twoards pretty chamber-jazz sounds with
some nice twists and turns due to those electronics (this particular track
has an upbeat groove to accompany that chamber feel). The rest of the
band is fantastic: Jamie Saft (keys), Mark Dresser (bass), Bobby
Previte (drums). The kind of outing that you'd think could find a
bigger audience with a bigger label ... but the business side of jazz
just doesn't work that way.
* Anthony Braxton and Walter Franks -- "Improvisation 3" -- 4 Improvisations (Duets) 2004 (Leo Records, 2005)
Piano/saxophone duets. I was expecting something very academic and
chamber-sounding (which is great, in my book) but this was a big surprise.
Franks plays in a romantic/classical mode, with lots of big sweeping
gestures and plenty of breaks into what you could call free-jazz, with
fast hammering and tangly scattershot melody. Braxton follows apiece,
creating a warm-hearted and even pretty setting.
* Dave Douglas -- "Fatty's Day Off" -- Keystone (Greenleaf, 2005)
The 2-CD set consists of four pieces, 21 to 25 minutes apiece. Braxton and
Franks manage to keep the pace up and deliver plenty of variety in each
* Either/Orchestra -- "Amlak Abet Abet" -- Live in Addis [Ethiopiques Vol. 20] (Buda Musique, 2005)
* Homler/Liebig Duo -- "Limbic" -- Kelpland Serenades (pfMentum, 2005)
A solo contrabass guitar performance by Liebig, backed by Homler on
"toys and found objects." She contributes vocals (Swedish?) on other tracks;
our reviewer likened her to "a cross betweeen Iva Bittova and Diamanda
Galas, sans screams."
-- 5:00 p.m. --
Horace Tapscott -- "The Dark Tree" -- The Dark Tree 1 & 2 (Hatology, 2000; orig. released 1991)
Fantastic 2-CD set from an underrecognized giant of free jazz.
Partly because he chose to stay in Los Angeles rather than move to
New York or Chicago, Tapscott's career wasn't as celebrated as others.
I seem to remember reading he was very active in community matters, so
you can't fault his decision. Here he's in a quartet with the great
John Carter (clarinet) and the likewise great Cecil McBee (bass) and
Andrew Cyrille (drums).
* Positive Knowledge -- "Expression for Piece" -- First Ones (Charles Lester Music, 2005)
Actually a saxophone solo, leaving out the rest of the band
for most of the time. I think it's Ike Levin playing here; he's
sort of the guest "honorary member" complementing the Positive Knowledge
trio for this disk. This track is reflective and thoughtful, as
you'd expect from the title. Nice.
Spontaneous Music Ensemble -- "Mouthpiece" [excerpt] -- Mouthpiece (Emanem, 2000)
Large improvising orchestra from London that's put out several
CDs. This is a cool "concept" piece that starts with everyone making
mouth sounds -- vocals, whispers, clicks, coughs -- to start out, sort of
a human improv session. Then it segues into a big loud crashing
all-out orchestral improv jam.
* Joe Giardullo -- "No Work Today" -- No Work Today (Drimala, 2005)
Upbeat, chirpy sax, from a solo CD tribute to Steve Lacy. Made a nice
segue from the previous track, nice contrast.
* Triptych Myth -- "All Up In It" -- The Beautiful (AUM Fidelity, 2005)
One of the more "inside" tracks on this piano trio CD, led by
Cooper-Moore at the keys. But he gets into some flashy pounding towards
the end. Other tracks on here (particularly "Frida K. The Beautiful") are
more traditional jazz-piano territory. Great CD.
* Bujo Kevin Jones -- "Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound" -- Tenth World (motema, 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.