Friday, November 2nd, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
(Return to playlists.)
It's the third time Amy X.
Neuburg has appeared on my show; this time she'll be calling in for a
brief live chat about "The Secret Language of Subways," a song cycle for
voice, three cellos, and Neuburg's sundry gadgets and mic tricks. The debut performance last year impressed the hell out
of me, as did a short set Neuburg and the band did at the during a benefit for violinist Irene Sazer. In fact,
the Freight was impressed enough to invite the group down for a full
performance on Nov. 3 (tomorrow night).
KQED-TV's Spark program did a nice profile of Neuburg that includes footage of the "Subways" debut concert.
Epilogue, Nov. 4: The show at the Freight was good fun. The house was packed
with Neuburg fans. When the promoter asked for a show of hands, about 40% of
the crowd admitted they'd never been to the Freight before. I overheard a
couple of people explaining the show to friends -- they'd been impressed
enough not only to come back but to drag others along with them. The mood was
a lot lighter and looser, since this was less formal than the full theatrical
presentation of a year ago, but the songs were just as effective. The guy
sitting next to us, who'd never heard of Neuburg before, was blown away from
the first song and came out a believer.
Neuburg and the ChiXtet will be back in March or April for a set of shows with
Paul Dresher at the
Theatre Artaud. The
Innova CD should be out by then.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
? Human Feel -- "Cat Heaven" -- Galore (Skirl, 2007)
They've reunited! In my very early days of exploring the downtown NY
jazz scene, I came across Human Feel. They were reviewed in a magazine I'd
picked up, and two of the members -- Chris Speed and Jim Black -- were in Tim Berne's Bloodcount, the band at the center of my explorations. I got doubly excited about Human Feel upon finding one of their CDs back home (Amoeba Records to the rescue again.)
Human Feel's band members have all got busy careers now, so I'd figured the band was gone forever. But they managed to get back together and record for Chris Speed's new label, Skirl.
The sound is dreamy and floaty -- a lot like what Jim Black's solo stuff has tracked, or the later CDs from Pachora (a Balkan-music quartet also featuring Speed and Black). But there's some nice off-kilter sax from Speed and Andrew D'Angelo for free-jazz color. Kurt Rosenwinkel, who's built up a decent mainstream career, rounds things out on guitar.
* Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra -- "Hat and Beard" -- Out to Lunch (Doubt, 2007)
! Eileen Ivers -- "Humors of Ballyloughlin/Knocknagow" -- Eileen Ivers (Green Linnet, 1994)
Irish fiddling, just for the heck fo it. I'd guess this was Ivers'
debut album, and she went on to what looks like a decent career, as she's got
a few CDs in our library.
* Rudder -- "Stablemaster" -- Rudder (19/8, 2007)
Previously noted here.
This track gets into some high-flying sax that's suspiciously cheesy, like a
TV commercial, but we'll give them a mulligan on that.
* Kamikaze Ground Crew -- "Christopher Columbus" -- Postcards from the High Wire (Busmeat, 2007)
A pretty wacky band, although not zany (there's so much ground
between "wacky" and "zany," as you know). That is, the tracks don't
come across as wild and raucous, but they do have a sly sense of
humor, and you've got to love a modern band that uses tuba
this much. Peter Apfelbaum, former Bay Area wunderkind, is on
board playing tenor sax, and Kenny Wolleson, also formerly from
this area, is on the drums. I've heard the name; apparently
the KGC was a west coast invention that's since drifted its way
to New York. Interesting 2-CD set that I'm hoping to hear
more of later.
Matthew Shipp -- "Nooks and Corners" -- Piano Vortex (Thirsty Ear, 2007)
* Bruce Eisenbeil Sextet -- "Cues To The Vagabond" -- Inner Constellation, Volume One (Nemu, 2007)
* David Slusser
and Rubber City -- "Down in the Mine" -- Trouble in Tiretown (Jazz Excursion, 2007)
* Terence Blanchard -- "Funeral Dirge" -- A Tale of God's Will (Blue Note, 2007)
Not a happy album. A soundtrack-like work based on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Comes complete with strings. This one ... not that I'm a music-theory expert, but it uses that trick of two major chords that aren't in the same key, producing an ominous kind of feel. (I think the interval is a major third, but I'm guessing.) Elsewhere, Blanchard plays his trumpet in strands closer to New Orleans' traditions, putting sad lines in front of a slow orchestra. It's a strong, moving tribute, although the strings get on my nerves in spots.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* David Torn -- "Structural Functions Of Prezens" -- Prezens (ECM, 2007)
* Jean-Marc Hebert -- "Salif" -- L'autre (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2007)
Interesting guitar-based quartet in a relaxed, languid mode.
But the music, while pleasant and melodic, isn't straight jazz. It's
a mix of some "world" sounds (Persian/Moroccan kinds of influences) and
some twangy Western-movie motifs. Really engaging, often pretty.
! Rykarda Parasol -- "Just Like Gin" -- V/A: At the Crossroads (Three Ring, 2007)
Local folk-noir singer/songwriter who's been active on the scene
for a few years now. A folky track with brash, confident vocals that
remind me of ... someone (Carly Simon?) From a benefit CD for
At the Crossroads, a San Francisco program for homeless youth.
Flute Force 4 -- "Paseo Del Mar" -- Flutistry (Black Saint, 1997)
An all-flute quartet including Henry Threadgill and James Newton.
Nice stuff that gets into thick, tangly group improvising -- but since it's
flutes, it doesn't have the same gnarled, throttling sound that a saxophone
quartet can build up. Great idea for a project, though. They do take
advantage of the flute sounds with a lot of airy twirling (as on this
track) or, elsewhere, baroque-sounding composition.
* Kioku -- "Pinari" -- Both Far and Near (Quiet Design, 2007)
Awesome improv project based on traditional Asian musics, sort of.
It's a trio of taiko(!), sax, and electronics, with various percussion
strewn about. This track is supposedly taken from a Korean prayer, but
it comes out swinging, with some power-punching improv. Great, free-wheeling
Kletka Red -- "Sirba" -- Hijacking (Tzadik, 1996)
A new discovery for me, although it arrived at KZSU before I did.
Great chunky/fast guitar pieces, like klezmer-jazz with a knife.
I'll be coming back to this CD quite a bit, I think.
* Jason Kao Hwang and Sang Won Park -- "Grassy Hills" -- Local Lingo (Euonymous, 2007)
Duets of Hwang's violin paired with various Korean stringed instruments
played by Park. Improvisational and atmospheric; it's apparently got some
amazing sounds from Park's side (I haven't had a chance to listen
closely to this one yet).
-- 5:00 p.m. --
Amy X. Neuburg -- Interview
Amy X. Neuburg -- "Stone" -- Residue (Other Minds, 2004)
Daniel Bernard Roumain -- "The La La Song" -- Etudes 4 Violin & Electronix (Thirsty Ear, 2007)
Quasi-classical project that gets a bit fun in places. This song,
true to its name, is a simple rhythmic pace with some guy singing "La La"
here and there -- and DBR on violin, of course.
* Jon Raskin Quartet -- "Kandinsky" -- Jon Raskin Quartet (Rastascan, 2007)
Mujician -- "There's No Going Back Now" [excerpt] -- There's No Going Back Now (Cuneiform, 2006)
Cheryl E. Leonard -- "Mongol Falcon" -- -- V/A: Women Take Back the Noise (Ubuibi, 2006)
Previously noted here.
Leonard is an artist who makes sound with natural objects -- driftwood,
pine cones, sand, salt, water.
John Abercrombie -- "Descending Grace" -- Class Trip (ECM, 2004)
Breezy guitar stuff with Mark Feldman on violin,
Marc Johnson on bass, and Joey Baron on drums. Played this just
because Abercrombie is in town for a gig tomorrow afternoon.
Last spun this CD in 2004.
* = 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.