Friday, April 6th, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
Dave Brubeck's annual Brubeck Festival was supposed to be a focus
of this show, even though Brubeck's isn't a style I frequently spotlight.
That didn't work out. The more important note to highlight is probably
the Reptet (see way
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
Joshua Redman Elastic Band -- "Lonely Woman" -- Momentum (Nonesuch, 2006)
Dave Brubeck -- "Blue Rondo a la Turk" -- The Essential Dave Brubeck (Columbia)
Festival was happening in Stockton this
weekend, so what the heck. I'd actually intended to play more Brubeck
stuff throughout the show, but got distracted from that mission due to
the number of long, long tracks I ended up playing. Moreover, I
couldn't locate our copy of In His Own Sweet Way, a Dave Brubeck
tribute done by Knitting Factory avant-jazz types.
*! Vert -- "Velocity" -- Some Beans and an Octopus (Soniq, 2006)
Experimental pop with some jazz influence and weird lyrics;
this track kept mentioning beans, I think.
* The Vandermark 5 -- "East Broadway Rundown" -- Free Jazz Classics Vols. 3 and 4 (Atavistic, 2006)
* Mike Khoury, Brian Mackie, Michael Welch -- "Blues for Sam Rivers" -- Live at the Stardust Cafe (Detroit Improvisation, 2006)
* Tom Baker Quartet -- "Swampled" -- Look What I Found (Present Sounds, 2006)
From Seattle, a combo led by guitarist Baker. Interesting stuff with
a decent edge, and sometimes an indie-rock jangle for a hipster sound.
Lots of quiet, cerebral stuff on here, which is nice, but this track,
the album opener, delivers a more brash sound; it's fairly slow but
* Brian Groder and the Sam Rivers Trio -- "Betwixt" -- Torque (Latham, 2006)
* Sean Noonan/Brewed by Noon -- "Noonbrews" -- Stories to Tell (Songlines, 2006)
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* John Shiurba 5x5 with Anthony Braxton -- "1.2.3" [excerpt] -- 1.2 = A (Rastascan, 2006)
* DB Boyko, Christine Duncan, Jean Martin -- "Turrun" -- Idiolalla (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2006)
* Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra -- "Pompeii" -- In Pursuit of the 9th Man (Hipnotic, 2006)
This mainstream release had a few things going for it, and this
track in particular impressed me. It's an 11-minute piece with a slow,
slow intro that opens into a fast groove with a big, buzzy sax solo.
* Frank Wright -- "Unity, Part 1 -- Unity (ESP-Disk, 2006; recorded 1974)
-- 5:00 p.m. --
* Peter Brotzmann, Albert Mangelsdorff, Gunter "Baby" Sommer -- "Wie Du Mir, So Ich Dir Noch Lange Nicht" -- Pica Pica (Atavistic, 2006; orig. released 1982)
Previously noted here. This
one's about a 17-minute track, comprising most of Side 2 on the
Dave Brubeck -- "In Your Own Sweet Way" -- All the Things We Are
Dave Brubeck, composer -- "Chromatic Fantasy Sonata: 1. Allegro Molto" [John Salmon, piano] -- Chromatic Fantasy Sonata/Rising Sun/The Salmon Strikes (Naxos, 2004)
Brubeck has done a couple of CDs of solo piano compositions for
Naxos, with John Salmon performing. It's classical music, not jazz
dressed up to feel classical.
* Nels Cline -- "No Doubt/ 11/8 / Dance With Death" -- New Monastery (Cryptogramophone, 2006)
Previously noted here. This
track presents an interesting typographical challenge; it's three pieces combined,
the middle one of which is called "11/8" and is in 11/8 time. The
whole shebang takes more than 20 minutes.
-- 6:00 p.m. --
* Tom Nunn -- "Entropic License" -- Identity (Edgetone, 2007)
Nunn is a local builder of new instruments -- strange apparati,
usually percussion-related, that involve odd tunings and occasionally
electronic amplification. This CD samples a couple of different
instruments, and the results fall mostly into two camps: Pingy percussive
pieces, as if played on a metallic variation of a marimba; and the
electronic growls of an amplified instrument being scraped.
* Kenny Werner -- "New Amsterdam" -- Lawn Chair Society (Blue Note, 2007)
Quirky mainstream session led by longtime pianist Werner.
Chris Potter on sax and especially Dave Douglas
on trumpet add some nice edge. Occasional
computer electronics bring modern touches, especially on two short tracks
that get outright experimental. Some pieces have a slightly silly feel,
like this one. Others get a bit heavier, and one in particular is
overly sentimental -- but that's the one written the day Werner's daughter
was born. She died shortly before this recording session, giving that
track a meaningful place on this album.
* Hans Tammen, Alfred 23 Harth, Chris Dahlgren, Jay Rosen -- "Setting Out with Aggressive Intent" -- Expedition (ESP-Disk, 2006)
? Reptet -- "Do This!" -- Do This! (Monktail, 2006)
Really entertaining group from Seattle that deals in accessible
jazzy themes and wild free-jazz solos. Pieces on the CD
sound so polite and polished -- and they're played that way live, too,
but the live show adds a fervor and a sense of humor that can't be
captured in the studio. These guys just swung through San Francisco,
and they were worth cramming into the Revolution Cafe
First Avenue -- "Take 69" -- Hocus-Opus (O.O. Discs, 199?)
You can get a taste of them in a YouTube video (no link; just search for
Reptet). Live, they did stuff like marching out of the cafe during
one energetic groove session, then marching back in -- kind of a
"Strawberry Fields" fade-out/fade-in thing. And the drummer, John Ewing,
was just amazing.
As one final character note on the band, consider that the CD includes
four tracks named after Marx brothers, and artwork from
Jim Flora. (He did
lots of great cartoons for jazz albums in the '50s; believe me, you've
seen his work.)
UPDATE 12/14: Here's that
Tim Berne -- "iHornet" -- Science Friction (Screwgun, 2002)
?! Sparks -- "Suburban Homeboy" -- Li'l Beethoven (Palm Pictures, 2002)
on about Sparks before. Here's a track from an album I'd missed.
Funny stuff, it's about an Ivy League white guy who fancies himself a
homeboy because he knows black slang. Lines like "My caddy and me, he
looks just like Jay-Z" and "I pop a cap on some fool at The Gap."
Hilarious stuff done against an awesomely preppy piano melody.
* Gordon Grdina's Box Cutter -- "Origin" -- Unlearn (Spool, 2006)
* Mingus Big Band -- "Opus Four" -- Live in Tokyo (Sue Mingus Music, 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.