November 14, 2009

Playlist 11-14-09

* Hesperion XXI (Savall): Isabel I: Reina de Castilla (1451-1504) (Alia Vox SACD)
* Schmelzer: Unarum Fidium (Holloway/Assenbaum/Mortensen) (ECM CD)
* Biber: Violin Sonatas (Romanesca/Manze) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Rebel: Violin Sonatas (Manze/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi)
* John Coltrane: The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions (Impulse! 2CD)
* Sun Ra: The Red Garter, New York City July 1970 (AUD CDR)
* Sun Ra: Nuits de la Fondation Maeght Vol.2 (Universe CD)
* Sun Ra: Nuits de la Fondation Maeght Vol.1 (Universe CD)
* Anthony Braxton: Composition No.165 (for 18 instruments) (New Albion CD)
* Anthony Braxton: Quintet (London) 2004 (Leo CD)
* Henry Threadgill’s Zooid: Teatro Communale, Cormòns, Gorizia 10-23-08 (FM CDR)
* Henry Threadgill’s Zooid: Folkets Hus, Umeå 10-25-08 (FM CDR)
* Henry Threadgill’s Zooid: Stadtgarten, Köln 11-4-08 (FM CDR)
* John Abercrombie & Miroslav Vitous: Willisau 8-30-03 (FM CDR)
* Matthew Shipp’s Nu Bop: Auditorium Parca della Musica, Roma 4-5-04 (FM CDR)
* King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (DGM/Virgin CD)
* King Crimson: In the Wake of Poseidon (DGM/Virgin CD)
* King Crimson: Lizard (DGM/Virgin CD)
* Grateful Dead: Coliseum, Hampton, VA 4-13-84 (AUD 3CD)
* Jerry Garcia Band: Coliseum, Hampton, VA 11-9-91 (Pure Jerry 2CD)
* Chris Bell: I Am the Cosmos (Deluxe Edition) (Rhino Handmade 2CD)
* Television: Live at the Old Waldorf, San Francisco 6-29-78 (Rhino Handmade CD)
* Patti Smith: Horses (Arista CD)
* Deadline: Dissident (Day Eight CD)
* Tetragramaton: Submerge (Ion CD)
* Aphex Twin: Richard D. James Album (Warp/Sire CD)
* Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (Thrill Jockey CD)
* Robert Pollard: Elephant Jokes (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boston Spaceships: Zero to 99 (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Yo La Tengo: Popular Songs (Matador CD)


Henry Threadgill (b. 1944) is one of my very favorite musicians/composers. His music is a unique hybrid of avant-jazz-funk and serious, modern-classical-derived composition technique and his wonderful band, Zooid (with its luscious instrumentation of guitar, tuba/trombone, bass, drums (and sometimes cello) along with Threadgill himself on alto saxophone and flute), is the perfect vehicle for Threadgill’s genius. They have a new album out on Pi, This Brings Us To, Vol.1, but I don’t have it yet. This is Threadgill’s first record in many years, so let’s hope Vol.2 is to be forthcoming. In other exciting news, the boutique reissue label, Mosaic, is planning to release The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air in early 2010, a fitting companion to last year’s The Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton, bringing together a phenomenal body of important work that was inexplicably commissioned by major labels but which was promptly deleted and has remained tragically out of print ever since. Needless to say, this is another must-have box set. Also, here is a recent interview with Threadgill wherein he talks at length about his music and aesthetic philosophy. What a fascinating guy! Threadgill is currently touring Europe with Zooid, so I’m hoping some more FM broadcasts turn up in the near future. Great, great music!


When it comes to the Grateful Dead, I generally prefer soundboard tapes to audience recordings if only for their greater immediacy and clarity. But I realize that there is nothing like a well-recorded audience tape; sadly, such things are pretty darn rare. On April 13, 1984, Rob Eaton (who, not surprisingly, went on to a successful career in sound engineering) made an astonishingly hi-fidelity recording at the cavernous Hampton Coliseum utilizing super-high-quality Neumann U-47 microphones and a humble but road-worthy Sony D-5 cassette deck. The recording has a smooth yet vividly detailed “you are there” quality that captures an essential element that a soundboard tape excludes: the sound of the room — and the Grateful Dead were one of the few bands that could produce high-quality sound in a hockey rink. Thanks to the Dead’s ultra-enlightened stance on audience taping, you can freely and legally download lossless FLAC files of this truly spectacular recording at Go for it!

1 comment:

Sam said...

Another fun list! As usual, very little overlap except in the world of Ra. Thanks for the tip on the '84 Dead. All in good time!

Thank goodness for European radio--otherwise it would appear that major portions of Threadgill's oeuvre would have gone undocumented.

Here's my listening for the past week. I've been enjoying this Peeping Tom disc. This is not the Mike Patton group, but a French trio (alto sax, bass, drums) who play mostly bebop in a free fashion
similar to the approach in Braxton's Charlie Parker Project. We shared the bill with them in DC a couple of weeks ago, and they played a hot, exciting set which showed that there's still creative life in those old chestnuts, particularly Bird's "Koko." Much fun.

Playlist 2009-11-16

*Xenakis: Architect in Sound 1985 radio disc 5 (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton: Trio (Victoriaville) 2007
*Anthony Braxton/William Parker/Milford Graves: 2007-03-16 Rome (CDR mp3)
*Anthony Braxton & William Parker: 2007-05-15 Vicenza, Italy (CDR)
*Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet: Stone Water
*John Coltrane: Meditations (side 1)
*Dutch Jazz Orchestra: Portrait of a Silk Thread: Newly Discovered Works of Billy Strayhorn
*Clifford Jordan: In the World
*Roscoe Mitchell: Composition / Improvisation Nos. 1, 2, & 3
*New Loft: 2009-11-05 Live at Bossa, Washington DC (wav)
*Nine Strings: Open Circuits/Communicating Fields (self-released)
*Peeping Tom: File Under: Bebop
*Sun Ra: Red Garter 1970-07 (aud CDR)
*Sun Ra: 1970-11-09 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, disc 2 (aud CDR)
*Sun Ra: Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, vol. 1 (Universe)
*Sun Ra: Detroit Jazz Center, discs 1, 2 (1980-12-26) (CDR)
*Cecil Taylor: The Eighth
*Animal Collective: Here Comes the Indian
*Beatles: The Beatles (2009 mono remaster) disc 2, selections
*Elvis Costello: Armed Forces (2002 reissue, disc 2)
*Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks 16 (1969-11-08) disc 1
*Grateful Dead: 1974-09-20 Paris (CDR)
*Henry Cow: Concerts (side 1)
*OOIOO: Live Empty Bottle, Chicago 2006? (CDR mp3)
*Pere Ubu: One Man Drives While the Other Man Screams
*Pere Ubu: Datapanik in the Year Zero (disc 4: 390 Degrees of Simulated Stereo, vol. 2)

Reading log 2009-11-16

*Gibson, William. Neuromancer (finished/2nd time)
*Gibson, William. Count Zero (started/finished)
*Baker, Nicholson. Size of thoughts (in progress)
*Crumb, R. Genesis (in progress)
*Gibson, William. Mona Lisa Overdrive (in progress)