April 13, 2013

Playlist Week of 2013-04-13

From The Discrete To The Particular CD

* Vivaldi: “Manchester” Sonatas (Romanesca) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Cello Suites (ter Linden) (Brilliant Classics 2CD)
* Joe Morris/ Augustí Fernández: Ambrosia (Riti CD)
* Joe Morris/ Augustí Fernández/Nate Wooley: From The Discrete To The Particular (Relative Pitch CD)
* Slobber Pup (Jamie Saft/Joe Morries/Trevor Dunn/ Balasz Pandi): Black Aces (Rare Noise FLAC)
* Mary Halvorson/Reuben Radding/Nate Wooley: Crackleknob (hatOLOGY CD)
* Secret Keeper (Stephan Crump/Mary Halvorson): Super Eight (Intakt CD)
* Paradoxical Frog: Union (Clean Feed CD)
* Billy Cobham: Spectrum (Atlantic LP)
* Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream (RCA CD)†/‡
* Axiom Funk: Funkcronomicon (Axiom/Island 2CD)
* Grateful Dead: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 1993-09-22 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Touch: Touch (Coliseum/London LP)
* Black Sabbath: Masters of Reality (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* Black Sabbath: Vol.4 (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* Hawkwind: Hawkwind (United Artists LP)
* Hawkwind: In Search of Space (Liberty/EMI LP)
* Hawkwind: Hall Of The Mountain Grill (United Artists LP)
* Hawkwind: Quark, Strangeness and Charm (Charisma LP)
* Hawkwind: Masters Of The Universe (United Artists LP)
* Budgie: Squawk (MCA/EMI LP)
* Ash Ra Tempel: Ash Ra Tempel (Ohr LP)
* Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets (Island LP)
* Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Island LP)
* Brian Eno: Another Green World (Polydor LP)
* Brian Eno: Before And After Science (Polydor LP)
* R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant (I.R.S./Mobile Fidelity LP)
* R.E.M.: Document (I.R.S./Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Latin Playboys: Latin Playboys (Slash/Warner Bros. CD)
* Yo La Tengo: Fade (Matador CD)†/‡
* Guided By Voices: Vampire On Titus (Scat LP)
* Guided By Voices: The Grand Hour (Scat 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: Static Airplane Jive (City Slang/Recordhead CDEP)
* Guided By Voices: Get Out of My Stations (Siltbreeze 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: Fast Japanese Spin Cycle (Engine 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: Clown Prince Of The Menthol Trailer (Domino/Recordhead CDEP)
* Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat LP)
* Guided By Voices: “I Am A Scientist” (Scat 7”EP)
* Circus Devils: Sgt. Disco (Happy Jack Rock Records 2LP)
* Stereolab: Dots And Loops (Duophonic/Elektra CD)†/‡
* Clutch: Strange Cousins From The West (Weathermaker 2LP)
* Clutch: Earth Rocker (Weathermaker LP)
* Meshuggah: Destroy Erase Improve – Reloaded (Nuclear Blast CD)
* Mastodon: Blood Mountain (Relapse/Reprise 2-45RPM LP)
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2LP)
* Agalloch: Pale Folklore (The End CD)†
* Agalloch: The Mantle (The End CD)
* Alcest: Écailes de Lune (Prophecy Productions CD)
* Alcest: Les Voyages de L’Âme (Prophecy Productions CD)
* The Sword: Age Of Winters (Kemado CD)†
* The Sword: Gods Of The Earth (Kemado CD)†
* The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado LP)
* The Sword: Apocryphon (Razor & Tie LP)
* Pineapple Explode: Pineapple Explode (Pineapple Explode CDR)
* Pineapple Explode: A Bushel & A Barrel (Pineapple Explode CDR)
* Pineapple Explode: Skye’s Christmas Card (World Trade Center CDR)
* Pineapple Explode: [untitled work-in-progress] (Pineapple Explode CDR)



For the past couple of years, a small upstart label called Relative Pitch has been quietly releasing beautifully produced CDs from a broad selection of European and American avant-garde jazz musicians, often in unusual groupings. For instance: exploratory duet albums by Joëlle Léandre with Phillip Greenlief and Jérôme Bourdellon (That Overt Desire of Object (RPR 1002) and Evidence (RPR 1010)); a trio, dubbed Aych, with Jim Hobbs, Mary Halvorson and Taylor Ho Bynum (As The Crow Flies (RPR 1004)); or a rare recording by the unsung genius, Connie Crothers, with longtime collaborator Jemeel Moondoc (Two (RPR 1009)). Others document more established ensembles like The Vinny Golia Quartet (Take Your Time (RPR 1003); Matthew Shipp/Martin Bisio duet (Floating Ice (RPR 1005)); Way Out Northwest with John Butcher, Torsten Miller and Dylan van der Schyff (The White Spot (RPR 1006); and the Urs Leimgruber/Roger Turner Duo (The Pancake Tour (RPR 1007). Run by executive producers Mike Panico and Kevin Reilly, the label is obviously a labor of love, as evidenced by the high-quality sonics and distinctive design sensibility. Each CD is a crucial artifact of today’s cutting edge music scene.

As great as they all are, there is one in particular that really stood me on my ear: a trio recording featuring Joe Morris on guitar, Augustí Fernández on piano and Nate Wooley on trumpet (From the Discrete to the Particular (RPR 1008)). I was not previously familiar with the venerable Catalan pianist but was immediately blown away by his ferocious yet refined attack. Precisely articulated trills and highly irregular rhythms; wide, acrobatic leaps across the keyboard; impossibly fast tremolos; as well as a sharply drawn polyphony and subtle dynamic shading all point to a severely rigorous “classical” training. But Fernández applies his considerable technique to a non-idiomatic, freely improvised music that is deeply personal and highly expressive. Morris and Wooley are perfect accomplices, with Morris having recorded a duet album with Fernández back in 2010 (Ambrosia (Riti CD11). After more than thirty years on the scene, Morris continues to evolve as a player, now vigorously incorporating the noises and textures of extended, off-the-fingerboard techniques: scrubbing and scraping the strings, picking above the nut, and assaulting the instrument with various foreign objects. Wooley, of course, is one of the most interesting trumpeters around. With his warm, pure tone he can evoke the bittersweet melancholy of Miles Davis while also capable of all sorts of bent smears, gurgling whooshes and bleating moans that give his trumpet a percussive, richly textural quality. On tracks like “Membrane” and “Chums of Chance,” where Fernández is playing inside the piano, Morris is skittering around the neck of his guitar and Wooley’s trumpet sounds like some sort of malfunctioning electronics; you can hear the sound of a truly new, purely acoustic music. Beyond sheer technique—no matter how impressive—From the Discrete to the Particular approaches the divine.


Speaking of the ever-prolific Joe Morris, he’s part of an interesting new project called Slobber Pup, masterminded by keyboardist Jamie Saft. They have a disc coming out next month on Rare Noise Records called Black Aces that can only be described as “free-metal.” Morris straps on the Les Paul, cranks up the volume and lets it rip with Saft, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Balasz Pandi. While I have admittedly only heard a small fraction of Morris’s hundred-something recordings (so far), I’ve never heard him play quite like this: not just rocked-out (and how!) but with downright bluesy pentatonic scales interspersed with his usual angular dissonance and chunky power-chords punctuating the freely evolving harmonic structures. It is really quite thrilling to hear Morris going for the whole guitar-hero thing with such gusto—particularly on the nearly-thirty-minute opening track, “Accuser.” Holy shit! This stuff pushes some of my favorite musical buttons: free improvisation and the heaviest heavy metal and they pull it off with snarling (yet genial) aplomb. I have no idea if this is just a lark for Morris or the revelation of previously repressed influences—but if this record helps to bring metal heads into the free-jazz camp (which it damn well should), then more power to him. I pre-ordered the double-LP/CD “combo pack” which gave me free access the to the FLAC download, which I’ve been playing pretty much non-stop since I got it. In true metal fashion, the label promises a high-resolution 24bit/96kHz download as well—rock on, Joe!



Augustí Fernández inspires me to play the piano (a real one!) and Joe Morris makes me to pick up the guitar again. As Albert Ayler said, “Music is the healing force of the universe” and I am extraordinarily pleased with my new CD, recorded live with drummer extraordinaire, Sam Byrd. If you have read this far, please consider checking it out at NuVoidJazz.com or clicking on the link below. Thank you for listening!

Rodger Coleman: Indeterminate (Improvisations for Piano and Drums)

1 comment:

Sam said...

Thanks for the Joe Morris update!

Here are my lists from last week:

Playlist 2013-04-15:

*Karlheinz Stockhausen: Stockhausen Composer Day "Inori" (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: Coming Home Jamaica
*Anthony Braxton Sextet: (Victoriaville) 2005
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Indeterminate (Improvisations for Piano & Drums)
*Miles Davis: Live in Europe 1967 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 1) disc 1
*Duke Ellington: The Duke Ellington Carnegie Hall Concerts, December 1944
*Duke Ellington: The Duke Ellington Carnegie Hall Concerts, January 1946
*Nine Strings: Open Circuits/Communicating Fields
*Cecil Taylor Quartet featuring Anthony Braxton: 2007-06-08 London (CDR)
*Henry Threadgill Sextett: You Know the Number
*Henry Threadgill: Easily Slip Into Another World
*Henry Threadgill Sextett: Rag, Bush and All
*David Bowie: The Next Day
*Deerhoof: Live Koalamagic
*Deerhoof: Live Session EP
*Deerhoof: Misc. EPs and singles (CDR compilation)
*Mike Elder/Greg Jordan/Harry Forrest/Sam Byrd: 2013-02-15 (wav)
*Mike Elder/Greg Jordan/Harry Forrest/Sam Byrd: 2013-03-29 (wav)
*Mike Elder/Greg Jordan/Harry Forrest/Sam Byrd: 2013-04-12 (wav)
*Golden Palominos: This Is How It Feels
*Jimi Hendrix: People, Hell, and Angels
*Yani Martinelli: Bubble Station
*Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
*Touch: Touch
*UYA: Selections 9: Icon Probe
*UYA: Selections 10: Color Thing
*Various artists: WSAML 2008 Start (CDR compilation)
*Various artists: WSAM: Hip Street (CDR compilation)

Reading List 2013-04-15:

*Damrosch, David. Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh (started)
*In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Ed. Robert G. Weiner and Shelley E. Barba (started)
*Bean, Henry. False Match (finished)
*Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare’s poems (ed. Duncan-Jones and Woodhuysen) (in progress)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)