Friday, January 19th, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
First show in an extended time slot, now 'til 7 pm! I haven't checked
with the PD, but I think the extra hour is meant to make up for the
frequent sports pre-emptions I'll be getting during the next
I do plan to make good use of the extra time when I've got it, though,
adding more tracks from different genres and giving time to longer
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Scorch Trio -- "Furskunjt" -- Luggumt (Rune Grammofon, 2004)
One that got lost in the cracks after we'd acquired it for
airplay, hence the long-ago release date. Brutal guitar stuff,
with a definitely free-jazzy bass and drums backing -- wild and
burbling, awesome stuff -- but a definite influence from metal.
Couldn't tell you which variety of metal. All I know is, there's
a lot of loud, aggressive guitar. Sometimes it's coming from a
bluesy vein, as on this track, but it's still quite dark and
* Kyle Bruckman's Wrack -- "Inasmuch As" -- Intents and Purposes (482 Music, 2006)
*! The Bird Names -- "I'm Looking at a Robin" -- On Opaque Things (Pecan Crazy, 2006)
Song-based weirdness. Some elements of seriously warped children's
music along with general surreal strangeness.
* Dave Holland Quintet -- "Lucky Seven" -- Critical Mass (Dare2, 2006)
Ellery Eskelin -- "Split the Difference" -- Quiet Music (Prime Source, 2006)
After more than a decade with (Hatology,
Eskelin starts up his own label and kicks it off with this 2-CD set.
Really nice stuff that combines his usual trio (Andrea Parkins on
keys, accordion; Jim Black on drums) with vocalist Jessica Constable and
occasional help from Philippe Gelda on keys/vocals. It's not
necessarily quiet; often loud and fast, actually. Great combination of
tangly heads, floaty group improv, and the occasional driving beat.
*! Long Distance Runner -- "The Fire of Cumulative Hours" -- The Fire of Cumulative Hours (Existential Sounds, 2006)
Dance/electronica stuff that happens to have some jazzy marimba
but relies, as this genre usually does, on way to much repetition and
roboticism. Pleasant enough, and I'm glad to insert it into a set, but
not something I'd want to take home.
Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens -- "Saying Yes" -- Ready Everyday (Delmark, 2006)
* Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, William Parker -- "Last of the Chicken Wings" -- Palm of Soul (AUM Fidelity, 2006)
Nice trio session that really highlights New Orleans saxophonist
Kidd Jordan, a free-jazz type who's also done great work with the
likes of Fred Anderson. Lots of percussion, including three tracks
packed with Parker and Drake both playing African percussion behind
Jordan. Great twisty sax, in a slow-wailing mode frequently. Very
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Mark Applebaum -- "Inventory" [part 2 of "Asylum"] -- Asylum (Innova, 2006)
Modern classical stuff from a guy who's apparently a Stanford
professor. "Asylum" is a piece for nonet and percussion soloist.
This segment features the sound of a typewriter -- an honest-to-goodness
acoustic (manual) typewriter with a bell and everything. Whether
that's played by the percussionist, I don't know. Beyond that, the
track is full of dynamic swooping and sweeping, nice stuff.
* Lou Grassi PoBand -- "Infinite Potential" -- Infinite Potential (CIMP, 2006)
Previously noted here. It's
not fair, but this is one CD that got hurt by the long track times;
four over 10 minutes, and one of 9 minutes. Making up for that a bit,
I spun the title track, which clocks in at 17 minutes, the first half
of which is slow and exploratory before the more fiery horn jazz
* Steve Lacy -- "The Crust" -- Esteem (Atavistic, 2006; recorded 1975)
Previously noted here; this is
the track with the towering Steve Potts solo that I talk about there.
* Vinny Golia Quartet -- "Monday at Eight, Just Black and White" -- Sfumato (Clean Feed, 2006)
* Rosanegra -- "Barco Negro" -- Fado Latino (Arc, 2006)
Modern "world" stuff, Arabic music with trumpets and accordions
(for kind of a Latin touch) and deep strings in the background (for kind of
a cheesy touch). And soulful female vocals.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
* Kris Davis -- "Bloodwine" -- The Slightest Shift (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2006)
Previously noted here. This
is the opening track, which gets into the "free" stuff quickly.
* Phillip Greenlief and Joelle Leandre -- "Variation 2 (For Tenor Saxophone And Contrabass)" -- That Overt Desire of Object (Evander, 2006)
Tom Djll -- "Dream Band" -- V/A: Yearbook Vol. 3 (Rastascan, 1992)
Interesting find. I'd dug into the Rastascan "Yearbook" series of
compilations CDs, trying to find more improv to toss into the show, and
came up with this instead. Using the "plunderphonics" concepts of
Djll created this hard-chugging, punk-energy rock track that never
really existed. Turned out to be a nice lead-in to The Molecules.
The Molecules --
"Burnout" -- Down Under the Black Light (Tragic Mule, 1993)
Previously noted in detail here,
including notes on the reunion of this band. They're a Japanese-influenced
Bay Area group, loud stuff beyond punk and incorporating some crazed
jazz ideas, fast, harsh. They were a big part of the scene in the
early '90s, until band members went their separate ways.
Now they've re-formed, released a new CD of unreleased old stuff, and
put together a tour. Click the link above for more;
and for the time being, 2007 tour dates are
The Flying Luttenbachers -- "Kkringg Number One" -- Systems Emerge from Complete Disorder (ugEXPLODE/Troubleman, 2003)
Drummer Weasel Walter has
been very active locally, playing lots of shows including many with his
quartet/sextet, which I understand to be superwild free jazz (sadly
I've been too lame to actually attend a show). Need to give him
his due on the show more often.
* Rope -- "She the Assassin" -- Heresy, and Then Nothing but Tears (Family Vineyard, 2006)
Dark, heavy experimental rock, with thickly noisy guitar and
some creepy insane vocals ... on this track, they're "sung" at a slow,
groany level that makes the words almost indistinguishable.
Definitely not sunny pop.
* 16-17 -- "Direckt B." -- 16-17 + Buffbunker & Hardkore +
When All Else Fails... (Savage Land, 2006; orig. released 1986)
Hardcore jazz from Switzerland, a classic band that I'm
ashamed to say I'd never heard of. An obvious precursor to John Zorn's
Naked City, with sax so crazy it sounds like pieces are flying off.
Elsewhere in the collection are some electronics and "industrial noise,"
according to the promo materials ... I'm going to have to dig into
this one a lot more.
That title, by the way ... it's built from the names of two albums
(16-17 and When All Else Fails) plus two EPs (Buffbunker and Hardkore).
* Stephan Crump -- "Ingenue" -- Rosetta (Papillon, 2006)
Charlie Ventura and Bill Harris -- "Frolic Sam" -- Live at the Three Deuces (High Note, 2000; recorded 1947)
This was supposed to be the "cool-down" set after the
Luttenbachers and 16-17. Ironic that I'm playing something that might
have been considered quite hot in the day; an archival recording from
the early days of bebop. Decent stuff.
* Kali Z. Fasteau and Kidd Jordan -- "The Dynamite Question" -- People of the Ninth (Flying Note, 2006)
We're getting a ... lot ... of CDs that use the Hurricane Katrina
disaster as a theme. (Trying to avoid the "fl-" word there.) It's
certainly a worthy theme, but it's getting overdone. Still, you have
to give some leeway to the musicians who really are from New Orleans,
Kidd Jordan among them. He's mentioned above, by the way.
Fasteau is a multi-instrumentalist -- mainly reeds, piano, percussion --
who's sent us quite a few CDs over the years. She's got a bit of a
new-age look but her stuff is good free jazz (OK, sometimes getting a
bit "ethereal" in its aesthetic). Her discs are mostly collaborations
with the feel of some close friends who relax in the living room
for an enjoyable but deadly serious evening of music.
There's plenty of excitable, jumpy free jazz on this disk but also
an overall tension, sadness, or anger to some tracks, given the
subject matter. If you know your Katrina conspiracy theories,
you won't be surprised to find out which category this one's in.
-- 6:00 p.m. --
Luis Gasca -- "Street Dude" -- Luis Gasca (Blue Thumb, 1972)
Interesting pull from the vinyl collection. It's an LP of four
songs, two of them at 11+ minutes that dominate the session. At the
first needle drop, I heard lots of Latin percussion, some McCoy
Tyner-esque piano, and great bubbly sax playing, so I went in and
gave this a spin. But I didn't play that track; I played the other
long one, which turns out to be basically a Santana-like jam.
Disappointing but still decent music ... and look! It's got Carlos
Santana on it, along with Neil Schon, George Cables, and Stanley
Clarke. Gasca himself is a trumpeter; I don't know anything else
about him, and he doesn't appear elsewhere in our library as a leader.
* Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan -- "The Wind, Part III" -- The Wind (ECM, 2006)
World-music improv. Traditional Turkish/Persian instruments --
guitar- and lute-like things -- applied to an album-length improvisation.
It sticks mostly to traditional Persian forms, but there's a nicely
adventurous edge to some tracks.
Mei Han and Paul Plimley -- "Dancing on Hot Colds" -- Ume (Za, 2006)
Charles Gayle -- "Glory Dance" -- Shout! (Clean Feed, 2006)
* The Microscopic Septet -- "March of the Video Reptiles" -- Surrealistic Swing: The History of the Micros Vol. 2 (Cuneiform, 2006; recorded 1986)
Really fun band from the mid-'80s "downtown" NYC scene, but not as
avant and free-jazz as John Zorn (although he does appear on two tracks
as a guest). Fast "big-band" kinds of charts with lots of modern touches
in the composing and plenty of humor. It's tightly played stuff
brimming with energy, and it's infectious -- the more you hear, the
more you want to hear. Plenty of craziness in the solos, too, for
some free-jazz cred.
This particular track opens with a narrator announcing the title
"movie," in the voice of one of those late-night horror movie hosts.
* Albrecht Maurer and Norbert Rodenkirchen
-- "Nibbio" -- Hidden Fresco (Nemu, 2006)
Howard Riley, John Tilbury, Keith Tippett -- "Being Prepared" [excerpt] -- Another Part of the Story (Emanem, 2002)
A three-piano trio, wow. The session is European free improv, of
course, so you get a grand cascading of piano sounds, sometimes quiet,
sometimes gloriously loud and messy. The three pianists are split
left/right/center, so you can tell who's who. And there are some tracks
with "prepared" piano (putting objects into the strings for a muffled
sound, or a ringing metallic one) -- this one being an obvious example.
* Henry Kuntz -- "Ten Names of Peace" part 1 -- Wayang Saxophony Shadow Saxophone (Humming Bird, 2006)
This track happens to be the longest, at 21 minutes. Not having that
kind of time left in the show, I did the shallow thing and excerpted a
louder, faster segment. Good stuff, though.
Previously noted here.
Lots of vocal noises on this track to accompany the "air through the horn"
sounds, so it's got an amusing touch to it.
* = 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.