Friday, May 11th, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Michael Dessen -- "Levity in Detail" -- Lineal (Circumvention, 2006)
Impressive session of trombone-led modern jazz, with composing that features
some strong beats, post-bop complexity while leaving room for a bit of out-
there soloing. Some tracks feature an all-star backing band of Vijay Iyer (piano), Mark Dresser (bass), and Susie Ibarra (percussion) ...
but the songs with Dessen's "regular" band are just fine, too.
* Abram Wilson -- "I Want It All" -- Ride! Ferris Wheel to the Modern Day Delta (Dune, 2006)
* Jeff Arnal/Gordon Beeferman -- "Split Screen" -- Rogue States (Generate, 2006)
* Taylor Ho Bynum -- "JP and the Boston Suburbs, Parts 1 and 2" -- The Middle Picture (Firehouse 12, 2007)
Sextet packing lots of abstract improv (a track called "The Woods" is
aptly named, including some "insect chatter" improv), but with plenty of jazz
influence: a couple covers and some nice composing by Bynum. The band includes
two guitars and a viola alongside sax, drums, and Bynum's cornet.
Firehouse 12 is a studio and performance space in Connecticut -- I see they've
got a sold-out Bill Frisell show coming up -- that's just started releasing
some records. In addition to this, they've got a nine-disc Anthony Braxton
package, a sampler of which is being shipped out to stations like ours. Can't
* The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band --
"Shtil di Nacht" -- The Flower of Berezin (self-released, 2006)
Bluegrass Klezmer. No kidding. It works really well.
* Lori Freedman -- "Babalou" -- 3 (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2006)
* Menage a Un -- "Medicine Hat" -- V/A: High Mayhem Festival 2005 (High Mayhem, 2006)
The High Mayhem Festival gathers noise, improv, electronics, and
jam-rock types in New Mexico every year. For the 2005 edition, they went
meta: A few artists were handed recordings of all the sessions and asked
to make mash-ups. The result is this CD, which flits in and out of styles
and even includes some random dialogue and talking (not spoken word, just
plain talking). I love the concept, and most of the tracks work well,
although I could do without the dialogue/talking parts.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* KK Rampage -- "She's an Apprentice of Satan" -- A Toast in Angel's Blood (Rampage, 2006)
Following up noise with noise. This isn't quite metal, and it's
too Japanoisy to be called "no wave," yet doesn't have the abandon of punk.
How's that for a description?
* Sam Rivers -- "Beads" -- Aurora (Rivbea Sound Co., 2006)
* Erdem Helvacioglu -- "Sliding on a Glacier" [excerpt] -- Altered Realities (New Albion, 2006)
Acoustic guitar and electronics: modern classical that's too new-agey
for my taste. A smooth, floaty, expansive feel; "glacier" is a fitting image.
* Jeremiah Cymerman -- "The Pendulum, the Pit, and the Hope" -- Big Exploitation (Solponticello, 2006)
Large-group improv in an abstract vein, but with occasional rock
segments (guitar, drums, heavy rhythm). Aggressive and fun. An "apocalyptic
chamber orchestra," as the onesheet describes it, from NYC. Based on the
conducted-improvisation work of Butch Morris (a local analogue would be Moe!kestra).
It's got moments of wild abandon, but Cymerman keeps things
under control, keeping the band unified as they bring the volume down or start
new sections of what are apparently semi-composed works.
* William Parker/Hamid Drake -- "First Communion III-C" -- First Communion/Piercing the Veil (AUM Fidelity, 2006)
* Daniel Studer/Peter K. Frey -- "Hust und Hott" -- Zweierlei (Unit, 2006)
Duets of acoustic basses, maybe with some electronics or treatments.
Mostly a serious sound, crossing between abstract improv and a stark
* Brad Shepik -- "Tides" -- Places You Go (Songlines, 2006)
Previously noted here. This is
one of two fusion-y tracks that close the album, a sudden shift from the
more gentle jazz-guitar sound that pervades the rest.
Kneebody -- "Never Remember" -- Kneebody (Greenleaf, 2005)
* Arthur Bull and Daniel Heikalo -- "La Solution de l'Enigme" -- Concentres et Amalgames (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2006)
-- 5:00 p.m.--
* Tom Baker Quartet -- "Anton and Louis" -- Look What I Found (Present Sounds, 2006)
*! The Rum Diary -- "Now Spears and Arrows" -- Noise Prints (Substandard, 2006)
Straight pop. What the heck, they're playing in town this weekend.
* Tom Nunn -- "Loose Change" -- Identity (Edgetone, 2006)
? Roscoe Mitchell -- "1999/2002" [for flute and percussion cage] -- Solo 3 (Mutable, 2004)
* Brad Dutz -- "Spongy Bark" -- When Manatees Attack (pfMentum, 2006)
A three-disc set of solo work from Roscoe, including some overdubbed
multisax exercises and a whole disc of work in his percussion cage, a
kind of surroundsound one-man band of bells, cymbals, and sticks.
Good stuff, sometimes fiery, sometimes contemplative.
* The John Lewis Sound -- "What's Up?" -- Get to This Y'all! (Miles Ahead, 2002)
This is not a great recording, but it did capture my imagination, or
heart, or something. John Lewis is a longtime pianist and organist (not
to be confused with the John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet),
here paired up with drummer Rashied Ali, whose last CD didn't exactly inspire
me. Four long keys/drums jams, sticking to a bluesy jazz air.
Certainly well played and nicely exploratory, but the sound quality is
middling at best. They certainly had fun with this, as you can tell
by the profanity-laden whooping and hollering at the end of most
tracks ... which is great to hear, as a listener, but puts up a big
red flag for FCC-controlled radio.
Patrick Cress' Telepathy -- "Root Chakra" -- Meditation, Realizaiton (Odd Shaped Case, 2005)
* = 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.