Friday, June 8th, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
As noted below, there's a Memorial Festival held every year for
a young bassist whose life was cut short in a traffic accident in 2003.
Aside from being an all-around good guy, Sperry was the father of a young
girl, making the situation all the more tragic.
There's a bit more info below.
And John Shiurba's Limited Sedition label is offering
of Sperry's music, with the proceeds going to his family.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Joel Harrison -- "End Time" -- Harbor (High Note, 2007)
Mainstream stuff led by formerly local guitarist Harrison. While in
the Bay Area, he'd done some interesting avant-garde work, including a three-
guitar, three-drummer band called 3+3=7 whose varying personnel included
Nels Cline and
Scott Amendola at
times, but he was also capable of more accessible, tuneful work, with
a bit of a mellow sheen but a nice compositional complexity.
* Sam Rivers -- "Streamers" -- Aurora (Rivbea Sound Co., 2006)
* Myra Melford and Tanya Kalmanovitch -- "Daulaghiri" -- Heart Mountain (Perspicacity, 2007)
* David Binney -- "Out of Airplanes" -- Out of Airplanes (Mythology, 2006)
* Brad Dutz -- "Biff the Salesman" -- When Manatees Attack (pfMentum, 2006)
* Bebo Valdes -- "Danza No. 1" -- Bebo (Calle54, 2006)
In the years since, he's concentrated on the latter approach,
but he's still far from mainstream. Harrison favors complex
composing and isn't afraid to let his players cut loose a bit. On this album,
he (or possibly fellow guitarist Nguyen Le) seems to like that rock-hero
guitar sound, which can be a bit of a minus, but the overall atmosphere works.
This is probably the most "outside" track on the album, an intense piece based
on Messaien's "Quartet for the End of Time." It starts off with a fast, toe-
tapping pace, and later features David Binney
in a sax solo furious enough to gut a wildebeest.
Anthony [Tony] Williams -- "Echo" -- Spring (Blue Note, )
* The Rocco John Group -- "Don't Wait Too Long" -- Don't Wait Too Long (Coalition Of Creative Artists, 2006)
* The Mighty Vitamins -- "What a Way To Go" -- Take-Out (Public Eyesore, 2006)
* Beth Custer -- "Market Hoedown!" -- Bernal Heights Suite (BC, 2006)
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Jim Ryan's Forward Energy -- "Meatloaf" -- FE3 Oakland (Edgetone, 2007)
Saxophonist Ryan has been around the local scene for some time, putting together various bands and, for a while, organizing weekly shows at one venue or another. Forward Energy started out as a group exploring long-form improvisations; we've got a CD or two from them that's just an hour-long, continuous piece, for instance. It was always decent stuff, but I find myself really responding to his new trio albums, which feature shorter tracks and a more concise, aggressive approach, while still sticking to a purely improvised jazz format. That might be a bit shallow of me -- the shorter tracks means less space for long, slow explorations, which can be rewarding. Still, something about Ryan's sax work on the FE3 Portland and FE3 Oakland disks seems crisper, with more focused energy. Maybe it's just the higher recording quality.
Each Forward Energy trio gets a different lineup. So, the FE3 Oakland group brings in Scott Looney (piano) and Stephen Flinn (drums), while the Portland version has Robert Jones (bass) and Andrew Wilshusen (drums). Ryan says he's got plans for midwest and east-coast trios, too. More power to him; this is good stuff.
* Graham Collier's Hoarded Dreams -- "Part 2" -- Graham Collier's Hoarded Dreams (Cuneiform, 2007; recorded 1983)
This is another of Collier's album-length suites, a big band project
combining some traditional forms with free improv. Like a lot of the
'60s/'70s British free improv bands, it combines some mainstream names (Ted
Curson, Kenny Wheeler) alongside folks who'd later be more associated with
outside jazz (John Surman, Roger Dean, Tomasz Stanko). The compositions
combine some retro '60s horns with slamming, louder jazz and nice bouts of
free-jazzy hard digging. Previously unreleased.
* Borful Tang -- "Wonder Inn" -- On the Back of a Dying Beast (Gigante, 2006)
* Cooke Quintet -- "N 36 7.46' W 121 38.36'" -- An Indefinite Suspension of the Possible (Black Hat, 2006)
* Bill Frisell, Kermit Driscoll, Joey Baron -- "Rag" -- Live (Gramavision, 1995)
* Doctor Bob -- "Chunk-a-Shred" -- Dark Times (Edgetone, 2006)
Smoking Balance -- "Dancing Fool" -- Smoking Balance (Limited Sedition, 1998)
This was the set devoted to the upcoming Matthew
Sperry Memorial Festival, held yearly in honor of young bassist
Sperry, who died in a traffic accident. The first two tracks have
Sperry on them, while the last two are from guest artists brought in
for the Festival.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
This particular CD is a set of atmospheric improvs with
Carla Kihlstedt (violin),
John Shiurba (guitar),
and Sperry on bass. The idea behind Limited Sedition was to release
improvised works in very limited releases (my Smoking Balance copy is
#30 of 83) on CD-R, which was a relatively novel format at the time.
For this release, each copy was made unique by a fingerpaint scrawl
on the CD itself; unfortunately, the added thickness gave some
CD players conniptions, or so I recall hearing.
Supermodel Supermodel -- "Elle Elle" -- Supermodel Supermodel (Emanem, 2006)
Sean Meehan -- "Four Hours with Crazy Horse" -- Preconceived and Improvised (New York City Artists Collective, 1992)
From an album of drum solos where Meehan often coaxes new and alien
sounds from the drumkit. Gino Robair
follows that same aesthetic, so it's not surprising he performed with
Meehan on the Sperry Festival bill. Here's a link to an extensive
interview with Robair,
where he delves into the topic of drum sound.
Ellen Fullman -- "Backward Bunny Hop" -- Change of Direction (New Albion, 1998)
* Arthur Bull and Daniel Heikalo -- "La Solution de l'Enigme" -- Concentres et Amalgames (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2006)
Scott Ray Quintet -- "Three Quarks" -- Active Vapor Recovery (Cryptogramophone, 2003)
Accessible jazz with a strong outside lilt -- something
Cryptogramophone does quite well and consistently -- but with a funky
touch that's a bit of a departure. That's not to say this is a
James Brown clone, but Ray's horn lines get a bit more catchy and
even danceable than I'm used to. Or, this track does, at least.
* David Sanford and the Pittsburgh Collective -- "Alchemy" -- Live at the Knitting Factory (Oxingale, 2007)
* Michael Dessen -- "Flecha" -- Lineal (Circumvention, 2006)
Tigersmilk -- "Right on Agatite" -- Tigersmilk (Family Vineyard, 2003)
* Taylor Ho Bynum -- "3v2" -- The Middle Picture (Firehouse 12, 2007)
* Fay Victor Ensemble -- "Leap of Faith" -- Cartwheels Through the Cosmos (ArtistShare, 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.