May 31, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-05-30

* Rabih Abou-Khalil: Bukra (Enja CD)
* Dorothy Ashby: Afro-Harping (Cadet/Verve CD)
* John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension: Cuvéehof, Germany 2008-07-04 (FM CDR)
* Bill Laswell/Jack DeJohnette/Elliot Sharp/Graham Haynes: Willisau 1998-08-08 (FM CDR)
* Zillatron: Lord Of The Harvest (Black Arc/Rykodisc CD)
* Pat Metheny: One Quiet Night (Warner Bros. CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Roulette of the Cradle (Intakt CD)
* Marcin Wasilewski: Trio (ECM CD)
* Stefano Bollani: Joy In Spite of Everything (ECM CD)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2015-05-14 & 15 (WAV)
* Steven Halpern: Inner Peace (Inner Peace CD)
* Steven Halpern: Deja-Blues (Inner Peace CD)
* Steve Roach: Dreaming…Now, Then: A Retrospective 1982-1997 (Celestial Harmonies 2CD)
* Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia CD)
* D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah (RCA CD)
* Grateful Dead: Dave’s Picks Vol.2: Hartford, CT 7/31/74 (selections) (GDP/Rhino 3+1HDCD)
* Van Morrison: The Philosopher’s Stone (d.1 (Polydor 2CD)
* Can: The Lost Tapes (Spoon 3CD)
* Van Der Graaf Generator: The Box (Virgin 4CD)
* Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City CD)
* The Mars Volta: Tremulant EP (Gold Standard Laboratories CDEP)
* Animal Collective: Prospect Hummer (Fat Cat CDEP)
* Porcupine Tree: Deadwing (Lava/Atlantic CD)
* Steven Wilson: Hand. Cannot. Erase. (KScope 2LP/BD)
* Anathema: Distant Satellites (KScope CD/DVD)
* Sleep: The Clarity (Praise Iommi MP3) †
* OM: Advaitic Songs (Drag City 2-45RPM LP) †
* Al Cisneros: Empty Tomb/Sepulcher Dub (Samaritan Press 7”) †
* Mastodon: Once More ‘Round The Sun (Reprise 2LP/CD)
* Kylesa: Ultraviolet (Season of Mist CD)
* Agalloch: The Serpent & The Sphere (Profound Lore CD)
* Pallbearer: Sorrow And Extinction (Profound Lore CD)
* Pallbearer: Foundations of Burden (Profound Lore CD)
* Wye Oak: Shriek (Merge LP) †
* Ryley Walker: Primrose Green (Dead Oceans LP) †



After more than two years of steady use, my Clearaudio Concept MM cartridge has been sounding wrong these days. A quick back-of-the-napkin calculation tells me that I have far exceeded the 2,000 hours it is expected to last, which explains the sonic deterioration I'm hearing. Even though I meticulously clean every record I play (and I do not bother to play trashed LPS), these things don't last forever -- and a worn stylus will damage my precious, minty vinyl records.

I do have what will be a massive upgrade on the way: a Clearaudio Maestro V2 Ebony, their top-of-the-line moving magnet cartridge. Although it costs nearly as much as the turntable itself, keep in mind that their moving coil designs start at a grand and quickly go up from there. I'm not quite ready to move into that level of audiophilia at the moment -- but am looking forward to what the Maestro V2 will do for my humble Concept turntable.

In the meantime, I have been spinning CDs and other digital recordings -- of which I have plenty, to be sure! Honestly, vinyl is a pain-in-the-ass and I am kind of enjoying the enforced break. The compact disc can sound mighty fine (though often not as good as it could). Nevertheless, I hope my turntable will be back in action soon.

May 24, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-05-23

* Hesperion XXI: Balkan Spirit (Alia Vox SACD)
* Boulez: Pli Selon Pli (Ensemble Contemporain/Shäfer/Boulez) (DG CD)
* Archie Shepp & Roswell Rudd: Live in New York (Verve CD)
* Anthony Williams: Life Time (Blue Note CD)
* Tony Williams: Wilderness (W/Ark21 CD)
* Grachan Moncur III: Evolution (Blue Note CD)
* Terje Rypdal: Odyssey In Studio & In Concert (d.1-2) (ECM 3CD)
* Stephan Micus: The Music of Stones (ECM CD)
* Stephan Micus: Darkness And Light (ECM CD)
* Stephan Micus: To The Evening Child (ECM CD)
* Tomasz Stanko: From The Green Hill (ECM CD)
* Dino Saluzzi Group: Mojotoro (ECM CD)
* Tord Gustavsen Trio: Changing Places (ECM CD)
* Tord Gustavsen Trio: Being There (ECM CD)
* Khan Jamal: Cubano Chant (Jambrio CD)
* Nils Frahm: Felt (Erased Tapes LP)
* Steven Halpern: Chakra Suite (Inner Peace CD)
* Emerald Web: Dragon Wings And Wizard Tales (Sebastian Speaks LP)
* David Arkenstone: Valley in the Clouds (Narada CD)
* John Serrie: And The Stars Go With You (Miramar CD)
* John Serrie: Ixlandia (Miramar CD)
* John Serrie & Gary Stroutsos: Hidden World (Narada CD)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2015-05-14 & 15 (WAV)
* George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars: T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (Sony CD)
* The Brothers Johnson: Look Out For #1 (A&M CD)
* The Brothers Johnson: Right On Time (A&M CD)
* D’Angelo: Brown Sugar (Virgin/Universal 2LP)
* Grateful Dead; Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, CA 1993-05-26 (SBD 3CDR)
* Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson (Mercury/Light In The Attic LP)
* Cluster: Zuckerzeit (Brain/SPV CD)
* Cluster: One Hour (Gyroscope CD)
* Blue Mountain Eagle: Blue Mountain Eagle (Atco/Rhino LP)
* Talk Talk: The Colour Of Spring (EMI LP/DVD)
* Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City LP/CD)
* Stereolab: Dots And Loops (Thrill Jockey CD)
* John Came: Rhythmicon (Mute CD)
* Opeth: Pale Communion (Roadrunner CD/BD)
* White Hills: Walks For Motorists (Thrill Jockey LP)
* Battles: Mirrored (Warp CD)
* Ogurusu Norihide: Modern (Carpark CD)




May 17, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-05-15

* Living Art, Sounding Spirit: The Bali Sessions (Ryko 3CD)
* Shankar: Pancha Nadai Pallavi (ECM CD)
* Anouar Brahem: Le Voyage de Sahar (ECM CD)
* Herbie Nichols: The Complete Blue Note Recordings (d.1-2) (Blue Note 3CD)
* Tord Gustavsen Trio: Changing Places (ECM CD)
* The Thirteenth Assembly: Station Direct (Imprecac CD)
* Bill Laswell:  Material: Berlin Jazz Fest 1981-11-07 (FM CDR)
* Bill Laswell: Divination: Akasha (Subharmonic 2CD)
* Bill Laswell: Valis I: The Destruction of Syntax (Subharmonic CD)
* Bill Laswell: Valis II: Everything Must Go (Ion 2CD)
* Bill Laswell: Sacred System: Chapter One: Book of Entrance (ROIR CD)
* Bill Laswell: Sacred System: Chapter Two (ROIR CD)
* Bill Laswell: Sacred System: Fabrik, Hamburg 1998-04-22 (FM CDR)
* Nicky Skopelitis: Ekstasis (Axiom CD)
* Nicky Skopelitis: Eskstasis: Summer Jazz Days, Warsaw 1998-06-20 (FM CDR)
* Portera Quartet: Live/Remix (Realworld 2CD)
* David Torn: Prezens (ECM CD)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2015-05-14 (WAV)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2015-05-15 (WAV)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Centennial Black Box Theater, Nashville, TN 2015-05-15 (AUD WAV)
* David Muse: Tonal Alchemy (Deva LP)
* Steve Roach: Dreamtime Return (Fortuna 2CD)
* Steve Roach/Kevin Braheny/Richard Burmer: Western Spaces (Innovative Communication LP)
* Joni Mitchell: Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (Asylum HDCD)
* BORIS: Smile (Southern Lord CD)
* Steven Wilson: Hand. Cannot. Erase (KScope BD)



Despite overwhelming technical difficulties, Sam Byrd and I managed to pull off a barn-burning 50-minute performance at the Centennial Black Box Theater on Friday. Mysterious gremlins haunted my set-up all night -- at first yielding no sound whatsoever! Thankfully, my nephew (the amazing Brian Totoro) was in the audience and helped me get it all going while the audience patiently waited for us to begin. My frustration continued, however, as more electrical weirdness produced unexpected (and unwelcome) results towards the end of the set. From my perspective on stage, it was just a big mess, with Sam heroically carrying the show with his extraordinary drumming.

Yet the response from the good-sized crowd was remarkably positive, with several people coming up to us afterwards to compliment our performance. Listening back to the recording, it's obvious that I channelled all of my consternation into my guitar playing, summoning up ferocious walls of noise which verge on complete collapse. And, although I could barely hear the synthesizer parts above the din, they actually worked well within the roaring cacophony. Beyond all that, not everything was sturm und drang; there were also moments of quiet and fragile beauty. Overall, I would say the gig was a success -- even if it didn't feel like it in the moment. I only wish I could have seen Daniel Arite's abstract drawings of us, which were projected on screens behind us as a living light show. Very cool.

Thanks again to Sam for traveling from Richmond and to Mike Teany for hosting us at Free Form Friday. It was a challenging yet  highly rewarding experience! Sam and I also recorded another 100 minutes of music in my home studio, so it looks like our forthcoming LP is "in the can." Stay tuned for more musical adventures!

May 10, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-05-09

* Handel: Complete Violin Sonatas (Manze/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Luciano Berio: Berio Conducts Berio (RCA LP)
* Miles Davis: Cookin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige/DCC CD)
* Miles Davis: Relaxin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige/DCC CD)
* Miles Davis: At The Fillmore (d.3) (Columbia/Legacy 4CD)
* Return To Forever: Where Have I Known You Before? (Polydor LP)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Cornelia St. Café, NYC 2013-06-28 (AUD WAV)
* Ingrid Laubrock Quintet: Barbès, Brooklyn, NY 2014-01-22 (AUD WAV)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio, December 2014 (selections) (WAV)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.30: Academy of Music, NYC 3/72 (bonus disc) (GDP 4+1HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Daves’ Picks Vol.14: Academy of Music, NYC 3/26/72(+) (GDP/Rhino 3+1HDCD)
* Dr. John: Dr. John’s Gumbo/In The Right Place (Atlantic/Mobile Fidelity CD)
* Lucinda Williams: West (Lost Highway CD)
* David Sylvian: Dead Bees On A Cake (Virgin CD)
* Robert Rich: Seven Veils (Hearts of Space CD)
* Robert Rich & Lisa Muskow: Yearning (Hearts of Space CD)
* Kevin Braheny: The Way Home (Hearts of Space CD)
* Kevin Braheny & Tim Clark: The Spell (Hearts of Space CD)
* Steve Roach: Structures From Silence (Fortuna CD)
* Ray Lynch: The Best of Ray Lynch Vol.1 (Windham Hill CD)
* Steven Wilson: The Raven That Refused To Sing (KScope CD) †
* Meshuggah: Catch Thirtythree (Nuclear Blast CD)
* Meshuggah: Nothing (Nuclear Blast CD/DVD)
* BORIS: New Album (Sargent House CD)
* Flying Lotus: You’re Dead!!! (Warp 2LP) †
* Watter: This World (Temporary Residence LP) †/‡
* Intronaut: Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones) (Century Media CD)
* Ryley Walker: Primrose Green (Dead Oceans LP) 



I am absolutely thrilled to be appearing with Sam Byrd at The Black Box Theatre in Centennial Park here in Nashville this coming Friday, 5/15/15an auspicious date, to be sure! This will be only the second time we have performed live since we recorded Indeterminate (Improvisations for Piano and Drums) at (the old) Zeitgeist Gallery back in 2012. I want to thank Mike Teaney at Metro Parks & Recreation for extending us this invitation to take it to the stage. What an honor! I also want to thank Sam in advance for driving all the way over here from Richmond, Virginia to make it happen (I couldn't do it without you!). We go on at 9:00 and admission is FREE. I can't wait.

Sam and I are really excited about the new direction our music has takenor, rather, how it has gotten back to our punk-jazz Boston roots. It feels good to be playing the electric guitar again, along with keyboards and piano, to create a densely layered sound-world which recalls UYA at its most spaced-out. Although I plan to make a rudimentary recording of Friday's gig, we will also get to spend some time in my home studio while Sam is here, as work on the forthcoming LP continues. You can check out our new/old sound on our latest digital-only release, Aphelion, which is available for free (or pay what you want) over at Bandcamp.

After the demise of the band in 1995 and my relocation to Nashville in 1997, I never expected to play another gig ever again. In fact, there was a time when I hardly touched an instrument and, if it weren't for Sam's annual visits to the area, I might have withdrawn completely from the world of music-making. But Sam's enthusiasm has been unflagging and infectious over the decades. He always believed in what we were doing, even if I did not. I am eternally grateful to Sam not only for his loyal friendship, but for his encouragement (and living example) to never give up searching for "that other, better world" in sound. I am also thankful to L. Lesley Beeman and Lain York at Zeitgeist Gallery who listened to some of our crude recordings and asked us to perform at "Indeterminacies," much to my astonishment. And if it weren't for my nephew, Brian Totoro (who engineered Indeterminate, re-built Heeltop Home Studio and taught me how to use Pro Tools), NuVoid Jazz Records would be but an empty dream. None of this would be even remotely possible without the support of these kind and generous people. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

So it looks like Sam and I have another gig lined up at the prestigious Sonic Circuits Festival in Washington D.C. in September. Kudos to Sam for working that out--totally amazing! Who knows where this all goes from here, but Sam and I are in complete agreement: we have finally found our sound are making some of most interesting, vital and uniquely personal music ever. The possibilities are limitless! See for yourself on Friday.