Friday, Oct. 26th, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
(Return to playlists.)
Back from a few days in Atlanta, after spending the previous week in
New York. Two cross-country trips -- four, actually -- within two weeks.
I know there are people whose jobs involve much more travel, with
jogs to Asia and Europe, but still -- I'm feeling the travel hangover
today and am content to be grounded until Christmastime.
Didn't get much chance to sample the music scene in Atlanta.
There was a time I'd be arriving early, spending a day off in
Athens, dining in Little Five Points, checking out Criminal Records
and other stores whose names escape me ... not this time.
Them's the breaks.
The Gold Sparkle Band used to be down in Atlanta. Parts of the
group have migrated to New York, as happens with all these guys.
Maybe I'll spin them for old times sake.
Rooting for the Rockies in the World Series. Cross your fingers; that big Colorado outfield and Manny
Ramirez's fielding skills could be a big morale boost for the
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Food -- "Eat" -- Veggie (Rune Grammofon, 2002)
They use a traditional jazz lineup of sax, trumpet, bass, drums --
but they come out with a dreamy, floaty sound closer to Harold Budd than
John Coltrane. With Iain Ballamy on sax -- his band from the late '80s
became Bill Bruford's first Earthworks group -- and three Norweigans.
Reasonably interesting stuff that pushed boundaries.
Nellie McKay has a song where the refrain goes, "We're gonna get some
food in the house tonight." It's very tempting to play that, followed
by some of the Food CD ... get it? Food "in the house?"
OK, bad idea. Plus, the songs totally wouldn't mesh.
* Dewey Jackson -- "That's a Plenty" -- Live at the Barrel, 1952 (Delmark, 2006; recorded 1952)
Live set of upbeat trad jazz with its ragtime roots still showing.
* Jon Hemmersam/Dom Minasi Quartet -- "Sprint" -- The Jon Hemmersam/Dom Minasi Quartet (CDM, 2007)
Really really fast guitars from both these guys. Minasi
plays a blend of inside jazz guitar and some "out" shredding.
The results can be quite good, maybe a little forced at times.
If I have one complaint about that, it's that Minasi's "out" work seems to be an
adjunct to the music; the compositions aren't as avant-ly constructed,
if you will, as someone like Ellery Eskelin.
Haven't heard of Hemmersam before, but he seems to fall quite well
into that same motif.
* Paul Steinbeck -- "Fredology" -- Sun Set (Engine Studios, 2007)
* Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet --
"Bamako" -- Early and Late (Cuneiform, 2007; recorded 2002)
A 2-CD set that includes live dates from 1999 and 2002, when Lacy and his
usual Paris-based trio performed with Rudd. As a bonus, the disc ends with a
handful of tracks from Lacy and Rudd's quartet in 1962, with Denis Charles on
drums. Most of the 1962 tracks are Monk covers, but they tossed in one Cecil
Taylor piece as well.
The 1962 tracks are all short, but the 1999/2002 pieces stretch out to 15 or
20 minutes. This particular one sticks to the jazz tradition but adds lots
of rhythmic ideas from African music, showing off Rudd's background as an
early champion of what we'd now call "World" music.
* Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet --
"Tune 2" -- Early and Late (Cuneiform, 2007; recorded 2002)
The aforementioned Cecil Taylor track. Seeing Denis Charles' name on here
made me want to celebrate his music a
little more, so I grabbed the Susie Ibarra duet disk ...
-- 4:00 p.m. --
Susie Ibarra/Denis Charles -- "Stand Back" -- Drum Talk (Wobbly Rail, 1998)
A marvellous live set of two great drummers, one modern (Ibarra), one
an elder statesman (Charles), released just a couple years before
Charles' death. Both of them enjoyed a melodic playing style that makes
for some compelling duets, even though the disk is almost entirely two
drum kits with only one track of tuned percussion. Plenty of loud,
brisk passages infused with bebop spirit.
* Softwar -- "Earth Volley" -- Softwar (Digitalis Industries, 2006)
Soft psychedelia with that childlike-innocence thing going on.
Light, lovely stuff in small packages.
* Nublu Orchestra -- "City Light" -- Nublu Orchestra (Nublu, 2006)
* Floratone -- "Floratone" -- Floratone (Blue Note, 2007)
Iva Bittova -- "Proudem Mleka" ["In the Flow of Milk"] -- Iva Bittova (Pavian, 1991)
The now famous violist, violinist, and singer, whose mix of
classical, Czech folk, and modern influences eventually landed her a
contract on Nonesuch.
This CD came to us from a Czech label, back before Bittova broke into
the public consciousness, and she may have been a KZSU favorite even
back then; she certainly was when I arrived on the scene in 1998.
Marvellous stuff that packs some power despite it being just her voice
and her instrument on these tracks.
? Myles Boisen -- "Minor Memory" -- Past Present Future (A Small Tribe, 2003)
Local guitarist who's been part of the improv/experimental scene
(he's done the mastering on countless CDs). Here, Boisen went for a blues
project, dedicated to the memory of John Lee Hooker. He doesn't stick
to plain three-chord patterns, but he definitely keeps everything in the
blues corner here, save an avant-garde twist or two on a couple of
? Marilyn Crispell and Tim Berne --
"Inference" -- Inference (Music & Arts, 1995)
Piano/sax duets, a CD that I was aware of when I first started
listening to Tim Berne, but never bothered picking up. Now, of course,
it's hard to find (well, it's online in places, but you know what
I mean.) This is part of my spoils from the recent
New York trip, courtesy of
Downtown Music Gallery.
There's a bit of an ... academic? ... lilt to the session, due to
the presence of piano, but the music gets free-wheeling and fractured
enough to be quite a ride. Berne's compositions present that familiar
chugging, huffing, oddball rhythm that feels like home to me.
I'm only sorry I waited this long to give this one a listen.
* Core of the Coalman -- "Postcard" -- Anxiety (Resipiscent, 2007)
More noise stuff from a fave local noisy label.
The gimmick this time is that you've got long church-organ chords and
occasional violin outbreaks mixed in with he crunchy electronics noise.
This track is a quick burst giving you a little bit of everything.
The centerpiece, "Mineola Crescent," is a 26-minute epic that starts
with long, long organ chords.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
* Jim Connolly and the Gove County Philharmonic -- "Satan's Square-Dancing Monkey" -- Tim Stops to Visit... (pfMentum, 2002)
The "philharmonic" part of the name isn't ironic; ths septet seems to be
a set of ably trained musicians playing some serious stuff. That's not to say
it can't get goofy; this track presents a bouncy Nino Rota kind of
circus music with an extra dose of crazy. The CD also features a
more serious and symphonic 10-minute track that I'd like to
play on a future show.
*! Caribou -- "Sandy" -- Andorra (Merge, 2007)
Friendly indie pop. Great stuff that makes a grand entrance
(on this track, anyway).
* Chicago Underground Trio -- "Power" [excerpt] -- Chronicle (Delmark, 2007)
Previously noted here.
Used a segment from this track's finale, which turns into an electronics
firestorm that becomes backdrop for some Rob Mazurek trumpet blasting.
* Armando Trovajoli -- "Dramma Della Gelosia (Titoli)" -- V/A: Nouvelle Vague (Stereo Deluxe, 2007; orig. released 1970)
This is a compilation of soundtrack music from various European
films, mostly French. I'd meant to play the sassy, cute, retro-pop
track but hit the "back" button on the CD player one time too many.
Got the dreamy perfumed muzak overload track instead. It still worked
well, pulling out of the noise of Chicago Underground Trio, but it
wasn't any fun.
* Jon Raskin Quartet -- "Cracked Earth" -- Jon Raskin Quartet (Rastascan, 2007)
Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel -- "Constitution" (Part 1) -- Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel (Edgetone, 2007)
Willem Breuker Kollektief -- "The Little Ramblers" -- The Parrot (BVHaast, 1996)
INSANE madcap big-band stuff, at nine minutes of breakneck
pace. Awesome. These guys are playing on Halloween, doing a live
soundtrack to the silent movie Faust. It's probably not
going to sound like this.
* Nels Cline, Andrea Parkins, Tom Rainey -- "Downpour Two" -- Downpour (Victo, 2007)
* Susanna Lindeborg's Mwendo Dawa -- "Different Walls" -- Live at Fasching (LJ Records, 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.