Friday, March 31st, 2006
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
Tossed out some Henry Threadgill, as he's bringing his acoustic sextet,
the Zooid, to San Francisco for a show tomorrow.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Henry Threadgill's Zooid -- "Look" -- Up Popped the Two Lips (Pi Recordings, 2001)
* Rez Abbasi -- "Tantra" -- Snake Charmer (Earth Sounds, 2005)
* Foxes Fox -- "Renard Pale" [excerpt] -- Naan Tso (Psi, 2005)
* Chris Potter -- "The Wheel" -- Underground (Sunnyside, 2006)
Mainstream with a funky touch... is this new for Potter, or
have I just not been paying attention? I'm familiar with the name from
a long stream of sideman sessions, including work with some downtown/avant
types, but I recall his own stuff never quite catching my ear.
The funk elements dig in nicely here, more so than on many of
Charlie Hunter's records (no offense to Charlie; it's just the first
comparison that came to mind ... and besides, Charlie can dish the
funk plenty good in live settings). Quartet group with occasional
electric guitar added.
* Erik Friedlander -- "Howling Circle" -- Prowl (Cryptogramophone, 2006)
It's so cool that Friedlander has managed to keep this group
together for the past four or five albums -- an excellent stretch,
especially for such avant-tilted music. It's helped that the stuff is
quite accessible, drawing heavily from Klezmer for that "world"
music sound (which gets enhanced by the use of hand drums instead of a
full drum kit).
* Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson, Joey Baron -- "Ninfa Plebea" -- Play Morricone (Cam Jazz, 2005)
The band is Friedlander (cello), Andy Laster (sax), Stomu Takeishi
(electric bass), and Satoshi Takeishi (percussion). The liner notes
include a cool essay about how the band got together.
Great rainy-day stuff, as are most Pieranunzi albums. Piano trio,
soft, covering some of the jazzier repertoire in Morricone's soundtrack
work. Not campy spaghetti western stuff, but engaging, cinematic
pieces lush with melody.
* Transit -- "Gowanus Canal" -- Transit (Clean Feed, 2005)
Still loving this one, which features aggressive saxophonist
Seth Misterka and drummer Jeff Arnal, among others. Clean Feed has
gotten so many good artists to record for them ... can't they start
sending radio promos? Ah, maybe someday ...
* E.C.F.A. Quartet -- "Blutig Rhorblatt" -- Die Mitte Aus Der Welt (Lenka Lente, 2005)
*! Sarah Harmer -- "Escarpment Blues" -- I'm a Mountain (Zoe Records, distributed by Rounder, 2006)
Pretty bluegrass with Harmer's vocal. Her early albums had that
country lilt but were more for the acoustic indie rock crowd; she's all-out
bluegrass here with a picture of her band playing outdoors on a rustic
stage, photos of trees and a forest road, etc. This track is a slower, pretty song with
the ear-catching opening line, "If they blow a hole in my backyard..."
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Steuart Liebig Stigtette -- "Hector" -- Delta (pfMentum, 2005)
A hectic opening track for this chamber-suite album, which includes
flute, bassoon, clarinet, and Liebig's contrabass guitar. One DJ here has
noted the "sameness" of all the tracks, which I'll concede, but I still
really dig this one. Maybe it's just that the chamber-music vibe makes
me feel all sophisticated and smart.
* Andrew Hill -- "Ry Round 1" -- Time Lines (Blue Note, 2006)
Most folks probably like Andrew Hill for that rich '60s sound
he conjures up (and why not; he was in the thick of the '60s jazz
revolution). I do, too, but I also relish the twisty games he
plays with time signatures. This track stands out for that reason;
it's got an accessible sound but a stumbling kind of rhythm to the
composed theme. It's awesome -- welcome back, Andrew!
Scavenger Quartet -- "Excitable Sea Porcupine" -- We Who live on Land (Acidsoxx, 2005)
Wacky avant-chamber on instruments like banjos and zithers. Not
every track is funny and smart-alecky ... but this one is, with a
7/4 polka feel and the use of that Fischer-Price popcorn-popping toy
* Malcolm Goldstein and Masashi Harada -- "Come Ride and Ride to the Garden" -- Soil (Emanem, 2006)
Henry Threadgill and Make a Move -- "Don't Turn Around" -- Everybody's Mouth's a Book (Pi Recordings, 2001)
A coolly funky piece that starts out with sly electric bass.
I love the type of sound Threadgill has built up over the years,
through use of acoustic guitars, marimba/vibes, tuba instead of bass
(well, not on this CD) etc. It's like a pastoral avant-jazz, quite
* Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey -- "Santiago" -- The Sameness of Difference (Hyena, 2005)
* Michel Lambert -- "Pilgrimmage of Humankind" -- Le Passant (Rant, 2005)
The concluding track to the title suite ("The Wanderer"), featuring
a drum solo of course (Lambert is a drummer). More on this one
* Arthur Kell Quartet -- "Djailo Feast" -- Traveller (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2005)
Yuki Takahashi -- "Mimi No Ho" [excerpt] -- Finger Light (Tzadik, 1995)
A set of sparse, serious classical pieces, this one for sho (mouth
organ), viola, and poetry recital. It's informed by Japanese traditional
music, but you wouldn't include it in that same bucket. The closing
track is a long piano piece.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
* Charles Gayle -- "Delight" -- Time Zones (Tompkins Square, 2006)
Gayle is best known as a saxophonist, but he played piano first,
back in childhood. This is his second album of solo piano, and the first
to feature all original tracks. Fantastic stuff, deeply rooted in
humid New Orleans jazz but full of Cecil Taylor hiccups and flourishes.
Gayle plays with lots of character and heart, and some tracks (like
this one) are just one big, warm smile.
* Edsel Gomez -- "The 3-3 Clave" -- Cubist Music (Zoho, 2005)
Cool concept -- Gomez took self-contained snippets of composition --
each with a beginning and an end, so they're not just random cuts --
and spliced them together arbitrarily to form compositions. The overall
sound is very accessible, very much modern bop stuff, but it's got
plenty of kinks and unexpected turns to betray the songs' origins.
This one's a mostly Latin tune but with a harsher sound than usual
for Latin jazz. Nice band, too, with folks like Don Byron.
Lou Grassi PoBand with John Tchicai -- "Tidens Tand" -- Composed (CIMP, 2002)
Grassi is a drummer who's recorded several variations of his PoBand
on CIMP through the years (each CIMP album is supposed to feature a
different combination of musicians, so Grassi brings in guest stars
for each recording.) Upbeat stuff with lots of freedom in the sax and
trumpet solos and some tangible ties to the New Orleans tradition, as
you might expect from the name.
Edmund Welles: The Bass Clarinet Quartet -- "Roots Bloody Roots" -- Agrippa's 3 Books (Zeroth Law, 2005)
Cover of a Sepultura song, reflecting leader Cornelius Boots'
interst in metal. In these hands, it turns into a rollicking out-jazz trip.
But it's still quite dark.
* John William Gordon -- "Folly Stroll" -- John William Gordon (self-released, 2005)
Charles Tyler -- "A Tale of Bari Red" -- Sixty Minute Man (Adelphia, 1980)
An undiscovered gem I found in our vinyl library. I don't know anything
about Tyler, and we don't seem to have any other albums by him. This is a
solo sax album, four long tracks. Nice stuff; I wasn't able to give it
a close listen but plan to sometime soon.
* Odyssey, The Band -- "Happy Time" -- Back in Time (Pi Recordings, 2005)
An almost Celtic feel here, an upbeat smiley jam. More about
this one here.
Ellery Eskelin and Han Bennik -- "Bud + Shake" -- Dissonant Characters (Hatology, 1999)
Sax and drum duets from two awesome musicians, a real treat of an
album. This track is fast and skronky and all that. Very cool.
Henry Threadgill's Zooid -- "Tickled Pink" -- Up Popped the Two Lips (Pi Recordings, 2001)
* = 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.