Friday, March 21st, 2008
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
(Return to playlists.)
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Josh Roseman -- "I Should Have Known Better" -- New Constellations (Accurate, 2007)
*! Dengue Fever -- "Sober Driver" -- Venus on Earth (M80, 2008)
Multicultural L.A. band that's described as Khmer rock, probably
because many songs are in the khmer language. Lots of groovy stuff,
some pop, some psych, some loungy touches.
* Dr. Mint -- "Soma"/"Chasing Dreams" -- Visions and Nightmares (pfMentum, 2007)
* Warren Smith -- "El Yunque" -- Natural/Cultural Forces (Innova, 2007)
* Sabertooth -- "China Cat Sunflower" -- Dr. Midnight: Live at the Gree Mill (Delmark, 2007)
Solid straight-jazz quartet led by two saxes and Hammond B3,
plus drums. They've had a regular after-hours gig at the Green Mill
for 15 years. They're pretty tight. They know what they're doing.
* Jason Kao Hwang and EDGE -- "From East Sixth Street" -- Stories Before Within (Innova, 2008)
* Lucien Dubuis Trio -- "Gagon" -- Le Retour (Unit, 2007)
* The Vandermark 5 -- "Speedplay" -- Beat Reader (Atavistic, 2007)
AMM -- "Igneous" [excerpt] -- The Nameless Uncarved Block (Matchless, 1990)
A 37-minute improvisation, from which I took the first six
minutes, an active and bustling brew -- in contrast to the quieter,
concentrated flow AMM is better known for. It's a quartet album,
with Lou Gare on sax/violin joining the usual three of Eddie Provost,
Keith Rowe, and John Tilsbury.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Alberto Braida and Wilbert de Joode -- "Leprechaun" -- Reg erg (Red Toucan,2007)
Avant-garde piano-bass duets, freely improvised. Relatively short pieces where the bass (Wilbert De Joode) often feels like the lead instrument. Alberto Braida's piano favors chords calmly painted into the air or stridently punched out, offering more space than the Cecil Taylor-like continuous flow you often hear.
*! Ramon and Jessica -- "Code Red" -- Handyman's Honeymoon (self-released, 2007)
Charming, precious folk from a local duet. I first became
aware of them at the
Irene Sazer benefit held a year ago.
Friendly, likeable stuff that's built quite a following 'round these
parts. "Code Red" refers to a type of Mountain Dew, apparently, but
the song itself is quite uncaffeinated.
* Steve Lehman Quintet -- "Haiku d'Etat Transcription" -- On Meaning (Pi Recordings, 2007)
Nathan Hubbard -- "Turn the Tide of the Tale" -- Born on Tuesday (Circumvention, 2002)
Nathan Hubbard -- "Is That You (Earl)?/Dogs Don't Bark at Ghosts" -- Skeleton Key Orchestra (Circumvention, 2003)
I was going to play just an excerpt of it, and then blend it
(at a raucous point) into the hovering guitar buzz of Korperschwache,
but I got so much into the groove of the first half that I decided
to keep it running ... through the tumbling, quieter free improvisation
interlude ... through the careening fast horn-led coda.
* Korperschwache -- "Menace of the Feminizing Soybean" -- Brotherhood of the Bowl
Skeleton Key is Hubbard's big-band outlet, large groups playing
jazz suites that can groove and swing in a modern way, but also
dip into untethered improv and risk-taking solos. The "(Earl)" half
of this track provides some of the catchiest moments on the two-CD
set, including a wild blowout baritone sax solo that appears to
be by Gabriel Sundy. (Or maybe it's Jason Robinson on tenor?)
Awesome stuff that obviously took a lot of work and preparation;
it's a shame projects like this can't have a longer lifetime or
get more exposure through the media.
You know the artist whose name is"Sunn" with the zero and all the parentheses
)))) next to it? Yeah, it's like that. Giant, droning, feeding-back
*! Citay -- "First Fantasy" [excerpt] -- Little Kingdom (Dead Oceans, 2007)
John Blum -- "Rain Dark Rain" -- Naked Mirror (Drimala, 2001)
From an album of solo piano, a 10-minute piece packed with spiky
trad-jazz chords assembled into an improvised package, like a really good
* Jeff Marx and Jeff "Siege" Siegel
-- "Esposition" -- Dreamstuff (Ayler, 2007)
* Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian -- "Sevan Tsgorsner" -- Oud Masterpieces (Arc, 2007)
Authentic Armenian and Greek oud music. Some are folksy melodies
with a sparse band, like this track. Others get the full treatment of
strings or synths, like pop-radio oud.
Carpet Floor -- "Possibly Not Techno" -- Majestic (Forehead Eye, 2007; recorded 1998)
Purely improvised duets, sometimes guitar and drums, sometimes two drum sets.
Fairly heavy stuff but not as interesting as it could be; the guitars
disappoint, in particular. Tracks like "Mass Ejection" have a nice heavy tone
and some pyrotechnics but overall this music doesn't conjure the dark energy of, say, Ettrick.
The all-drums tracks tend to catch my ears more; maybe that's just me.
* Joe Fielder -- "Jesse's Little Freakout" -- The Crab (Clean Feed, 2007)
* Eddie the Rat -- "Freak Out and Die" -- Insomnia Sound Bible
Another great session from this Bay Area collective, the ongoing
brainchild of composer Peter Martin. This time, it's a kind of country/folk
and/or soul/blues feel, with a vaguely twisted air even on the
straightforward tracks. You'll be at home if you've often visited
The Residents. Acoustic
guitars tend to dominate, whereas other Eddie the Rat albums had me noticing
the piano or the jazzy touches first. Those elements are still here --
touches of trumpet on tracks like "Piecemean 835 Blooze," for instance.
(Aside: What's with the trumpet+folk/country trend? Pop bands Nathan and
Porlolo did the same thing -- to excellent effect, I should add, but it's
in danger of being overdone.)
Mark Simmonds Freeboppers -- "Freak Out" -- Fire (Birdland, 2000)
So, I find this catchier than previous Eddie the Rat albums (in my limited
experience). Roots music has always been a part of Martin's
plan, I suppose, but I found that Once Around the Butterfly Bush had
a more delicate and dreamy sound, maybe
because of the instrumentation? Doesn't matter; this is another fine
Upon grabbing the Eddie the Rat CD it occurred to me that I could
build a whole "Freak Out" set. Simmonds, from Australia, delivers a kind
of fast bop with clever attitude. This song's more a happy tune than
a true freak out, but still worth a spin.
Dave Douglas -- "Freak In" -- Freak In (Bluebird, 2003)
Well, come on. What better way to close out the set?
This album was Douglas's tribute to the electric Miles period, IIRC,
and this track's opener includes a blazing tabla solo to let you know
things aren't all business as usual.
Graham Connah -- "Escape from Theme Park Pokey" -- Because of Wayne/The Only Song We Know (Evander, 2001)
Is it Connah who's been performing occasionally as Admiral
Ted Brinkley? If so, I've got to check the Admiral out. This 3-CD set
captured the days when Bruno's, a Mission district restaurant, gave
Connah a weekly gig; the owners back then were big supporters of
adventurous jazz. The collection is fantastic, mixing jazz, surf,
fusion, rock, and occasional singing by Jewlia Eisenberg of
Bruno's is still standing, but the gig for Connah is long gone; if only
there were more venues willing to give truly adventurous jazz a home.
Ava Mendoza -- "To the Larynx! Metastasis" -- V/A: Women Take Back the Noise (Ubuibi, 2006)
Mujician -- "Shubunkins" [excerpt] -- Birdman (Cuneiform, 1996)
Nice long-form improv from a trio of veterans,
plus Lou Gare on saxophone, for a particularly free-jazzy touch.
* = 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.