Friday, January 13th, 2006 ... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ... KZSU, 90.1 FM
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Meshell Ndegeocello -- "Al-Falaq 113" -- Spirit Music Jamai: The Dance of the Infidel (Shanachie, 2005)
* Patrick Cress' Telepathy -- "Root Chakra" -- Meditation, Realization (Odd Shaped Case, 2005)
Part of a local jazz vector that includes Aaron Novik and his
band Gubbish, a cool band combining free-jazz ideas, modern jazz
composing, and plenty of Klezmer/Balkan scales. Lots of odd time
signatures to tickle the prog center of my brain (it's located next to
Myra Melford/The Tent -- "No News at All" -- Where the Two Worlds Touch (Arabesque, 2004)
These guys have played around town for some time,
and I've yet to see them live -- in fact, I missed their Jan. 11 show
that included a painter.
Lots of cool piano and harmonium (accordion-liek instrument) on
this CD. I played it quite a bit last summer after having the
privilege to meet and interview Myra for my
* Moutin Reunion Quartet -- "MRC" -- V/A: French Jazz Essentials (Bureau Export de la Musique Francaise, 2005)
Very cool CD dug up by our own DJ Fo, who spins a great
jazz/blues/world show on Friday mornings. Sponsored by a French industry
consortium that seeks to promote the country's music internationally.
Nice sampling of mainstream stuff, from polite dinner jazz to soul singing;
this particular track is a good, angular modern-bop cut, with a
crisp tempo and plenty of edge. Great stuff.
* Gebhard Ullmann/Steve Swell 4tet -- "Box Set" -- Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2005)
* Tim Cowther, Steve Franklin, Tony Marsh -- "Jezebels" -- Amherst Dislodged (Slam Productions, 2005)
Ah, a nice murky track with a good beat, thick synth and searing
fusion-y guitar. Shifts us into a more electric/weird phase of the show.
*! KTU -- "Optikus" -- 8 Armed Monkey (Thirsty Ear, 2005)
Fast tribal beats and samples, with guitar, accordion,
and accordion samples (?!) on top. That's separate guys
on the accordion and accordion samples -- Kimmo Pohjonen and
Samuli Kosminen, apparently from Finnish group Kluster. Also
Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto from the latest King Crimson incarnations.
To my ears, it's got the same ghostly primitive feel as African Head
Charge but without the overt reggae influences -- similar sound, but
faster and more kinetic rhythms. A bit repetitious but worth a listen.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
Masayuki Takayanagi and Kaoru Abe -- "Mass Projection 1" [excerpt] -- Mass Projection (Disk Union, 2001)
Really noisy harsh guitar + sax from two veterans of the
Japanese (Shinjuku?) free-jazz scene. I mean, massively harsh, a wall of
aggressive sound like buzzsaw pirranhas shot from a cannon at your face.
I was catching up on the John Zorn mailing list and
caught a mention of this duo, an apocryphal story about a four-hour
session between them. It spurred my memory of the two CDs we have of
them: this one, and "Gradually Projection," released simultaneously.
I was worried about cramming this into the show somehow -- it's SO
loud as to be disruptive even during my weirdest sets -- but the
KTU track's busy-ness and the top-of-the-hour legal ID set it up
*! Earth -- "Land of Some Other Order" -- Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method (Southern Lord, 2005)
Slow and droney, a fitting contrast to the Takayanagi/Abe but without
being too jarring a transition, since this is dark, lurking stuff.
Has some relation to Sunn0))), which is also in rotation -- I almost played
that disk but decided it was time to tone down the noise factor.
* Agusti Fernandez and Mats Gustafsson -- "Critical Mass 1" -- Critical Mass (Psi, 2005)
Piano/sax duets, this one starting quiet and plinky but getting
into thicker heavy-register playing. Nice transition out of the "loud"
phase and back towards jazz.
* Garage a Trois -- "The Machine" -- Outre Mer (Telarc, 2005)
We've got like 5 things from Gustafsson either in rotation or in queue
right now, including some very promising stuff from the
out of Chicago. The Zu + Mats Gustafsson disc (with the Italian
hyper-free-jazz band Zu) looks especially tasty.
Clarinet Thing with Sheldon Brown, Ralph Carney, Beth Custer, Ben Goldberg, and Peter Josheff -- "Touchy" -- Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks (BC, 2005)
A rare performance by Clarinet Thing is coming up on the 15th,
so I had to give them a spin.
Ben Goldberg -- "The Horizon Exaggerates the Nearness of the Horizon" -- Twelve Minor (Avant, 1998)
One of my early favorites from my earlist days at KZSU, from
Clarinet Thing member Goldberg. Great sextet of folks who've made
their names over the past several years: Miya Masaoka (koto), Carla
Kihlstedt (violin), Rob Sudduth (sax), Trevor Dunn (bass), and
Kenny Wolleson (drums). This particular track is fast and swiring and
has a nice dramatic start, making it great for radio segues.
* Thollem McDonas -- "Living Is the Strangest Thing I've Ever Done" -- Solo Piano (Pax, 2005)
Gerry Mulligan -- "Capricious" -- Jeru (Columbia)
My sort-of-tribute in Phil Elwood's memory; basically I picked an
arbitrary "west coast cool" artist, a favorite of my uncle's, to do the
job. And it had to be on vinyl; that just seemed fitting. There were
some skips -- I could tell visually that it wasn't the best vinyl -- but
what the heck.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
Bobby Hutcherson -- "Dialogue" -- Dialogue (Blue Note)
Hutcherson was quoted in the Chronicle's obit of Elwood, which
triggered the idea to play this one. Hutcherson was into the
free-jazz thing for a while, and recorded a couple of albums onto
which he snuck untethered, loosely structured tracks like this one.
Very nice, a spare, relaxed, nighttime feel. And check out the
Nobel scientist crew: Sam Rivers (sax etc.), Andrew Hill (piano), Joe Chambers (drums), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Richard Davis (bass).
* Jim Hall and Enrico Pieranunzi -- "Duologue 2" -- Duologues (Cam Jazz, 2005)
Selected not because of the name coincidence with "Dialogue," but
because it just happened to fit the space and the mood. A similar kind of
free-form exercise but with something closer to "regular" form.
Still pretty cool, and probably my favorite track on this surprising
* Enrico Rava -- "Fantasm" -- Tati (ECM, 2005)
William Parker and the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra -- "James Baldwin to the Rescue" [excerpt] -- Mayor of Punkville (AUM Fidelity, 2000)
Played about 12 minutes of this 18-minute track -- enough to get
into the crazy sax solo by Chris Jonas. This is a low-fidelity recording but
really shows how good this big band is; too bad economics prevent it
from being a regular vehicle for Parker's music.
Tony Malaby/Jeff Sellers Quartet -- "Hamza" -- Cosas (Nine Winds, 1995)
Malaby is in town from NYC, giving a workshop and performing at a couple
of house concerts. Figured I'd give him a plug.
Modular Set -- "Something for Auntie" -- Beached on the Half Landing (Howells Transmitter, 2005)
These guys will do a show Jan. 22, 2006, as a tribute to Derek Bailey,
who died Christmas Day.
It will include a song written in Bailey's memory. So, I'll be promo'ing
that next week... for now I tossed this 1-minute ditty in; it's got a catchy
chugging guitar intro and was a nice attention getter for mentioning the show.
* Mats Gustafsson and David Stackenas -- "Take Your Hand Off It" -- Blues (Atavistic, 2005)
Speaking of Derek Bailey ... Stackenas plays lots of Bailey-like
guitar on here, plus other tricks (like one track out of tune on acoustic,
or another with electronics and distortion that make him sound like an
industrial grinder or something). Gustfsson on sax is no less noisy or
electronics-laden. A tough album for newcomers, but there are some
intriguing new sounds on here. A couple of tracks where neither
sax nor guitar is recognizable, even.
* Andrew Bishop -- "Cleaver's Loops" -- Time and Imaginary Time (Envoi, 2005)
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop/rock anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.