Friday, Aug. 18, 2006
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
Back after a week's hiatus. Every time I miss even one show, I feel
lost when I get back -- it's like I'm relearning what all the buttons
do and what goes where. Weird. Even more disturbing is that I had
dreams about the station while I was out -- panicked moments of
realizing a song was ending, or having to do the show "blind"
because there weren't any headsets and/or microphones. Weirder.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Sex Mob -- "Martin Denny" -- Sex Mob (Thirsty Ear, 2006)
Steven Bernstein's band does things up Martin Denny style on
this whole disc, a concept album devoted to Denny's (now)-retro
space-age bachelor pad grooves. Not my favorite of the Sex Mob
albums, but it's a fun idea, and I'm glad they did it.
The Lounge Lizards -- "One Big Yes" -- Voice of Chunk (Legarto Productions, 1989)
An indie project from before indie was a big deal. (Actually, indie
was getting to be big around 1989, wasn't it? R.E.M. had already broken,
for instance...) Anyway, bandleader John Lurie released this one on
his own label; I remember having to hunt around for the vinyl
version he initially released. It got a writeup in Rolling Stone,
as I recall -- bully for them. The Lounge Lizards had had a couple of
other releases on Island, so they were a known quantity; I don't
recall the timeline of that label's implosion, but maybe that had
something to do with the way Voice of Chunk was released. This particular
track builds into a nice jamming stomp, something these guys were
* John Voight, Mike Khoury, Ben Hall -- [untitled track 2] -- Horizon (Broken Research, 2006)
Lo-fi free improv, probably recorded by Khoury in Ann Arbor,
his hangout. He's the proprietor of the
label, which has documented some great free jazz from around the
Detroit area. This disk is a trio of bass, violin, and drums,
respectively, in some abstract group work that develops a nice action.
* Grismore/Scea Group -- "Introductions" -- Well Behaved Fish (Accurate, 2006)
* The Industrial Jazz Group -- "Elmore Was Here" -- Industrial Jazz a Go Go (Evander, 2006)
Whoa -- a big variety of sounds on this one, with composer
Andrew Durkin drawing more from older sources than I recall from
previous IJG albums. In particular, you've got good-time N'Orleans
jazz on this one. On other tracks, you've got grand Western sountrack stuff
(think Magnificent Seven), doo-wop piano, and an insanely happy
riff that could be from a '50s TV commercial -- it just keeps repeating
and repeating and smiling and grinning at you until you feel like there's
a worm burrowing through your eardrum into your brain. And I mean
that in a good way. Great stuff all around, loads of fun, with
plenty of accessibility mixed with some exciting free-jazz craziness.
I wish these guys had the
resources to tour more extensively.
* Joshua Redman Elastic Band -- "Lonely Woman" -- Momentum (Nonesuch, 2006)
From Dewey Redman's son, a contemporary bop record with mainstream
feel and glossy production. Some nice ideas here -- the core of the band
is the electric bass, giving every track a touch of fusion. Throughout,
the album has an element of funk and a modern sheen. This track in
particular: an ultramodern reading of the Ornette Coleman classic, where
Redman starts things out with an eerie electronic scrim and beat-box
drums; it's pointillistic, like the clinking of glass beads, and
it gets into some spacey depth even after the familiar melancholy
melody comes out. I'll be playing this one quite a bit in weeks to
come, I think.
! Oranger -- "Pleschette Gun" -- Shutdown the Sun/From the Ashes of Electric Elves (Jackpine Social Club, 2003)
We had extra tickets to give away to an Oranger show this weekend,
and I'm a big fan of the guys (local pop band, heavy late-period
Beatles influence, great harmony vocals). This song has a big
sound anchored by soaring piano chords, probably some major sevenths
in there for that autumnal kind of feel. Sweet.
* Steuart Liebig/The Mentones -- "Chatterbox" -- Nowhere Calling (pfMentum, 2006)
-- 4:00 p.m. --
Dave Douglas -- "Apparition" -- Sanctuary (Avant, 1997)
* The Choir Boys -- "Tobacconist from Rimini" -- With Strings (pfMentum, 2006)
* Carnival Skin -- "Journey to Strange" -- Carnival Skin (Nemu, 2006)
Free-jazz quintet of veterans including Bruce Eisenbeil (guitar),
Perry Robinson (clarinet; look him up on Laurie Anderson's old albums),
and Klaus Kugel (drums; he runs the Nemu record label). Rounding out
the team are Peter Evans (trumpet) and Hilliard Green (bass). Nice update
of the '60s free sound, very cool stuff.
* Cooper-Moore -- "Emancipation Take 3" -- Outtakes 1978 (Hopscotch, 2006)
*! ...Nous Non Plus -- "L'amant" -- ...Nous Non Plus (Aeronaut, 2006)
Exotic pop in French. These guys are opening for Oranger at the
aforementioned show. Gave away tickets to the show after playing this one,
and the phones just lit up.
* Actis Band -- "Krk" -- Allende (Leo Records, 2006)
* Ernest Dawkins New Horizons Ensemble -- "Mean Ameen" -- The Messenger (Delmark, 2006)
Great live session from one of the keystones of Chicago's jazz
scene, recorded at the old Velvet Lounge,
Fred Anderson's south-side jazz club. I was lucky enough to see them play at
the old club in 2004, I think it was, and they kicked ass. The New Horizons
Ensemble takes its cues from Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, adding some
outside twists but mostly sticking to late-bop forms enfused with
torrents of energy. It's LIVE.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
The Velvet Lounge reopened in July 2006 at 67 E. Cermak Road between Michigan and Wabash avenues, in a part
of the south side that appears to be gentrifying.
If you're ever in Chicago, stop by -- I'm sure it will continue to be
the best choice in a city full of excellent music venues.
* Lucien Dubuis Trio -- "Petite Fleur Bleue" -- Willisau Jazz Festival [live disk] (self-released, 2006)
The title means "Little Blue Flower," but of course, there's nothing
little or cute or flowery about this one...
Paul Dolden -- "Entropic Twilights 2: Twilight's Nomadic Desire [excerpt]" -- Delires de Plaisirs (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2005)
Modern classical stuff. As I recall, Dolden's other work has
include huge, loud collages of sound, big and vibrant and shimmering.
This one's much more tonal, even a bit cloying. The liner notes have him
saying that visceral excitement shouldn't be shut out of modern music,
which I can agree with ... but these pieces might go a bit too far in the
* Robert Dick and Ursel Schlicht -- "Lapis Blues" -- Photosphere (Nemu, 2006)
Flute/piano duets, including lots of amazing sounds from Robert Dick
(called the "Jimi Hendrix" of the flute, although that moniker probably
stems from his CD that included Hendrix covers). Overall atmosphere is
between modern classical and abstract jazz. This particular track, a
Dick composition, hybridizes blues forms and Asian tones for a strong,
mysterious air and a decidedly "new" sound. Elsewhere, you've got
stately flute segments and fun, playful stretches -- such as on
"Emergence," where Dick produces fast airy clicks that resemble
Malcolm Goldstein -- "Autumn" -- The Seasons: Vermont (Experimental Intermedia, 1998)
Violinist Goldstein produces a four-stage suite based on the seasons.
This is no Vivaldi clone; Goldstein is known for abstract improv that features
lots of squeaky sawing on the violin, some of which is present here.
Cool avant-clattery stuff, nicely cranky. The guy who reviewed it for
our station, apparently expecting "normal" classical music, was completely
pissed off. I love it.
David Murray Trio -- "The Hill" -- The Hill (Black Saint, 1986)
Really nice stuff with an outside flair. I've been at KZSU for
eight years and have only begun scratching the surface of our vinyl
collection; lots of gems like this one haven't even been catalogued
in our online database yet.
Tyrone Hill Quartet -- "Angels and Demons at Play" -- Out of the Box (CIMP, 1999)
Nice session from a Sun Ra Arkestra vet.
* = 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.