Friday, February 2nd, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
Some weeks it just seems there's so much in rotation that it's hard to
play anything else.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Green Light -- "Action Packed" -- Patient Like the Moon (Starving Arts, 2006)
* Kahil El'Zabar Ritual Trio -- "Crumb-Puck-U-Lent" -- Big M: A Tribute to Malachi Favors (Delmark, 2006)
* Dave Burrell -- "Broken Promise" -- Momentum (High Two, 2006)
Trio release from veteran pianist Burrell, featuring tunes that
sound mainstream on the surface but get into stormy or tricky/free
soloing underneath. Kind of a dark cast to many tracks, like this
one, although Burrell deals some pleasant, sparkly numbers as well.
The most "straight" track on the disk happens to be the last one,
which is given the lovely title "Coup d'Etat."
* TheKillMeTrio (The Kill Me Trio) -- "Lowed" -- TheKillMeTrio (self-released, 2006)
Interesting sax trio led by bassist
Shayla Dulberger. Definitely
on the freer side of the jazz camp, with occasional bursts of
Peter Brotzmann-like screaming from sax player Darius Jones.
Writing is pretty good, didn't grab me immediately, but I like the
overall package here, enough that I hope they stick around a while.
* Rich West -- "Bloomsday" -- Heavenly Breakfast (pfMentum, 2006)
Very interesting project, with long (10-12 minutes) pieces that
shift through motifs/themes multiple times, creating kind of an epic
feel. West is the drummer, with the band fronted by a trumpet and sax
and anchored by electric bass and keyboards. Hard to describe
the music given the multiple personalities to most tracks, but there's
a lot of modern free-jazz composing, some disconnected free-improv
segments, some catchy and danceable beats, some artsy wandering.
This track is in the minority, as it keeps to one idea for the
entire 11-minute length, staying mostly in an upbeat, swinging
place with occasional dropouts for quiet solos.
* Yellowcake -- "Definitive and Subject to Change" -- Yellowcake (Rastascan, 2006)
* Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, William Parker -- "Unity Call" -- Palm of Soul (AUM Fidelity, 2006)
Previously noted here. This
track features lots of percussion and what sounds like an African chant;
very "world" and primal feeling. Nice.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Kali Z. Fasteau and Kidd Jordan -- "Concentration Dome" -- People of the Ninth (Flying Note, 2006)
I'd been meaning to give the two New Orleans free-jazz Katrina-inspired
CDs a spin back-to-back sometime.
* Andrew Lamb -- "Dyes and Lyes" -- New Orleans Suite (Engine Studios, 2006)
* What We Live -- "Native Girl with Big Ears" -- Sound Catcher (Fire Museum, 2006)
Longtime improv-jazz trio of Lisle Ellis (bass), Donald Robinson (drums), and
Larry Ochs (sax), who have developed a kind of melodic flow to their
For me, much of WWL's sound is defined by the light tough Donald Robinson
can have on drums, creating lingering, mysterious moods for sustained
* Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan -- "Part IV" -- The Wind (ECM, 2006)
For this CD, they're teamed up with Turkish
singer Saadet Turkoz, who toured with them for a time. A nice addition
to the lineup, her voice can add tension to the mood or help keep a
flowing segment going.
Go-Go Fightmaster -- "Buffy Is Dead" -- Go-Go Fightmaster (Pax, 2003)
Ha! Excellent jazz quartet that convened for one album and haven't
been together since -- until now! Go-Go Fightmaster's members are all
busy local artists and as such, so I always took the band to be a
temporary thing. They reconvened for a show in January, though, and they'll
be part of a "Death Jazz" night at the
Hotel Utah next
week, so it was a nice chance to bring this CD out again.
This particular track is like Black Sabbath goes jazzy, starting with a
heavy plodding riff and getting into saxophone athletics later.
Elsewhere on the album, they're more directly jazz-related, with
bristling, fast free jazz and even a Monk cover. "Buffy Is Dead" has an
irresistably different sound, though, and especially with that title,
it became a hit among KZSU DJs.
The band, at least back then, was: Aaron Bennett (sax), John
Finkbeiner (guitar), Adam Lane (bass), and Vijay Anderson (drums).
Lane has since moved to NYC, so I'm guessing he's been replaced --
but the other three remain local (Finkbeiner and Anderson both played
in the version of Kipple
that I saw recently).
* Scorch Trio -- "Snaekje Rojnd Naevinj" -- Luggumt (Rune Grammofon, 2004)
Speaking of death jazz. Previously noted here.
*! Frida Hyvonen -- "The Modern" -- Until Death Comes (Secretly Canadian, 2006)
Piano-based singer-songwriter stuff with a decent dose of attitude.
Apparently she's from Sweden, so she mixes nicely with the Scorch Trio. Well,
not really, but the abrupt change to this bouncy, old-time folky number
sounded good to me.
* Rob Reddy's Gift Horse -- "O Brasil" -- A Hundred Jumping Devils (Reddy, 2006)
* Ellery Eskelin -- "Coordinated Universal Time" -- Quiet Music (Prime Source, 2006)
Previously noted here.
This is the opening track on the two-CD set, starting with a saxophone
buzz and developing into a nearly placid solo atop a things-falling-apart
background. Nice effect.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
* John Zorn -- "Why Me?" -- Film Works XVIII: The Treatment (Tzadik, 2006)
Charming Euro-cafe/gypsy styled jazz, quite a departure from some
of Zorn's more eerie soundtracks and certainly nothing like Naked City.
Downright pleasant stuff.
? Tin Hat -- "Blind Paper Dragon" -- The Sad Machinery of Spring (Hannibal/(Ryko, 2007)
? Tin Hat -- "Dionysus" -- The Sad Machinery of Spring (Hannibal/(Ryko, 2007)
Speaking of the gypsy-jazz thing. This album starts from that
premise but goes off on tangents, some of them like a hearty Django
Reinhardt tribute, others more experimental and jumpy, still others
sad and lurking. This CD came out just days before the show, so I was
glad to find a copy and slap it onto the airwaves in time for the
group's show at the Freight
& Salvage tonight.
Formerly Tin Hat Trio, the group has evolved to a quintet with violin
Goldberg), and trumpet (Ara Anderson),
with harp (Zeena Parkins).
Original guitarist Mark Orton, who founded the group IIRC, is still around too.
At first listen, the new CD is quite nice, taking advantage of the new
lineup to explore quite a few new directions. "Blind Paper Dragon" is an
exciting piece at a pretty good tempo, while "Dionysus" is, ironically,
more moderate and easygoing.
* Pierre Cartier -- "Mirabeau" -- De la Belle Esperance (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2006)
Kind of in a Euro-jazz vein, sort of touching on the gypsy
thing. This CD consists of longish songs (8-12 minutes mostly) that
feature lots of clarinet; a slowish, nostalgic feel; and a lamenting
male vocal in French. And then they throw in some electric guitar
for some incongruous rock moments.
Go-Go Fightmaster -- "No Memory" -- Go-Go Fightmaster (Pax, 2003)
(My soundbed coming out of the KZSU Concert Calendar reading.)
Myra Melford/Be Bread -- "Fear Slips Behind" -- The Image of Your Body (Cryptogramophone, 2006)
Edmund Welles: The Bass Clarinet Quartet -- "Big Bottom" -- Agrippa's 3 Books (Zeroth Law, 2005)
Found out just today that Myra Melford ("plus ensemble") and
Edmund Welles were both playing at this weekend's MilkBar International Live Film
Festival. I'll admit ignorance on the festival, but it was a nice
excuse to pull out these CDs, both of which I'd played heavily during
2006. More info on Myra here, and
on Edmund Welles here.
* Mark Helias -- "Cinematic" -- Atomic Clock (Radio Legs, 2006)
-- 6:00 p.m. --
*! The Curtains -- "Wysteria" -- Calamity (Astmatic Kitty, 2006)
Spinoff of Deerhoof, basically guitar and vocals by Chris Cohen. The Curtains had
actually sent me a demo EP once upon a time, which I got onto the air
a couple of times. Now, they've become "name" enough on their own to
get chosen for a KZSU-sponsored concert that was apparently quite
successful. Good for them.
* Henry Kuntz -- "Ten Names of Peace" (part 3) -- Wayang Saxophony Shadow Saxophone (Humming Bird, 2006)
* Matthew Burtner -- "Spectral for O*" -- The Art of the Virtual Rhythmicon (Innova, 2006)
The Rhythmicon is a musical instrument built by Leon Theremin,
creator of, you know, the theremin. The Virtual Rhythmicon is
instantiation of the rhythmicon. This CD collects various modern
composers who have created pieces on the virtual rhythmicon.
Burtner has two tracks on here, both rather shimmery and metallic,
reminiscent of what you could call classical
Others, such as Robert Normandeau, do a lot more sound sampling on
* Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell -- "Soundhear" -- Streaming (Pi Recordings, 2006)
*! Les Primitifs du Futur -- "Valse d'Amour" -- World Musette (Paris Jazz Corner, 2006)
Fun stuff, a set of Django Reinhardt-like gypsy music, covering jazz
and traditional sounds, with vocals and a carefree air.
* Gypsy Schaeffer -- "Portmental" -- Portamental (Peacetime, 2006)
Previously noted here.
I'd wanted to showcase "Faces in the Sand," which has a cool,
relaxed feel that's unlike most of the other tracks here
and really worth digging into. But I was using this track
for my mic break, and it's got such a cool seasick avant-garde
warbling sound that I decided to leave it on.
* The Microscopic Septet -- "I Am the Police" -- Surrealistic Swing (Cuneiform, 2006; orig released c.1988?)
Previously noted here.
You gotta love that title.
*! Billy Blue -- "Big Leg Mama" -- Blues in My Room (s/r, 2006)
Wanted some blues to punctuate the Microscopics, so I grabbed
this one... gotta say, it's a rare misstep for our blues choices,
with a loungy slick vocal that just turns me off. Billy can play
harmonica, though, so this instrumental was plenty good for
* Gypsy Schaeffer -- "Faces in the Sand" -- Portamental (Peacetime, 2006)
* Charles Tolliver Big Band -- "With Love" -- With Love (Blue Note, 2006)
* = 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.