23 aprile 2017

Non era d'accordo sul titolo - un'iperbole mutuata da Guitar Player - ma era certamente soddisfatto del contenuto, e fiducioso sul suo destino: Allan Holdsworth ha fatto appena in tempo a commentare con Dan Miles il box retrospettivo The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!, curato da Manifesto e pubblicato in questi giorni assieme a un'altra bella raccolta antologica, Eidolon, alla cui compilazione ha contribuito di persona. Ai posteri, ormai!

Absorbing the entire The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever! box chronologically provides an opportunity to follow Holdsworth's evolution over the course of the 21 years represented by these twelve albums, from his earliest days as a leader (I.O.U. and Road Games through to to his most recent studio date with a group (Sixteen Men of Tain) and the largely solo, largely SynthAxe, largely (and unfairly) overlooked Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie. In between, there's a host of equally groundbreaking records: the classic 1985 I.O.U. follow-up, Metal Fatigue; his SynthAxe-dominant trifecta of 1986's Atavachron, 1987's Sand and 1989's Secrets; a more balanced return to guitar and SynthAxe on 1992's particularly strong Wardenclyffe Tower and the following year's equally powerful Hard Hat Area (Holdsworth's only album to feature a consistent instrumental quartet rather than his usual choice of trio, with occasional additions of keys and/or vocals); and 1996's None Too Soon - despite largely framed in the jazz sphere (and being often pegged in the progressive rock arena), his one and only "real jazz" record as a leader, with standards culled from jazz giants including Django Reinhardt, Joe Henderson, Bill Evans and John Coltrane.


22 aprile 2017

Su YT non mancano documenti video di varia importanza e natura su Allan Holdsworth: riprese amatoriali e professionali effettuate durante concerti e sessioni di studio, interviste, video didattici e dimostrativi con analisi dello strumento e studio delle progressioni di accordi, esempi e imitazioni da parte di emuli e allievi, curiosità e apparizioni in qualità di ospite speciale, e poi brani storici di Tempest, Soft Machine, UK, i Gong di Pierre Moerlen e i nuovi Lifetime di Tony Williams, il gruppo di Bruford (all'epoca di Feels Good To Me, con Annette Peacock) e i vari progetti guidati in proprio a partire dagli anni Ottanta, di preferenza in trio e quartetto. C'è anche una ripresa integrale del concerto a Venezia il 30 gennaio 2004 con John Marshall e i compianti Elton Dean e Hugh Hopper, alcuni estratti dal tour del 2008 con il supergruppo HoBoLeMa (con Terry Bozzio, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto) e qualche momento di una delle ultimissime esibizioni del Nostro, il 3 aprile 2017 a San Pedro (California).


21 aprile 2017

Scorrendo i commenti di amici e ammiratori di Allan Holdsworth affidati in questi giorni ai social non è raro incontrare anche quelli di musicisti e colleghi del benamato chitarrista: tra questi Jean Luc Ponty, Dweezil Zappa, Frank Gambale, Gary Husband, Steve Vai, Eddie Jobson e Steve Howe. Scrive ad esempio Bill Bruford: "With enormous sadness I write to express my condolences to Allan's family on the loss of a much-loved father and grandfather, my friend and colleague. For several years in the 1970s, through my own band and UK, I listened to him nightly, launching sheets of sound on an unsuspecting audience, changing perceptions about what guitars and guitarists should or could be doing, thrilling me half to death. I would have paid to be at my own gig. Allan wasn't easy, but if it was easy it wouldn't have been Allan. Like all creative musicians he was restless and relentless in pursuit of 'the perfect sound', the one that he couldn't get out of his head, the one that would never leave him alone. Now he will be at peace. Still, my guitar gently weeps."


20 aprile 2017

Varie dichiarazioni di Allan Holdsworth riguardo il suo periodo nei Soft Machine sono raccolte nel libretto, curato da Aymeric Leroy, che accompagna l'album Floating World Live (MoonJune Records, 2006) ricavato da una registrazione del gennaio 1975 per Radio Bremen. Un passaggio sull'argomento è anche in un'intervista raccolta nel 2008 da Anil Prasad per Innerviews, con un cenno al progetto Soft Works, precursore della Legacy: "I met John Marshall and Karl Jenkins through the Musicians’ Union. There was a guy at the union who was organizing some clinics for Soft Machine, but he wanted a guitarist in there as well. He asked Soft Machine if they would consider doing these clinics with an extra guy and they said “Sure.” So I rehearsed with the band and we did four or five clinics. After, they asked if I would join the band and I said “Yeah.” There was a lot of freedom in the group. Most of their pieces were quite simple harmonically, but they were in odd time signatures which was something going on at the time. I can’t count anyway, so everything is in one to me, but I really dug it. I love Karl, John, Roy Babbington, and Mike Ratledge. It was a lot of fun. I revisited Soft Machine with the Soft Works project. I felt it was something I should do, but it became a logistics problem with the three guys being in England and me being in America. Another reason for why we didn’t do more is because sadly, Elton Dean passed away. That was really tragic. Before he went on a vacation to Tahiti in 2004, he stopped at my house and spent a couple of days with me. On his last day with me, we went to the golf club to get a few beers, then he left and it was the last time I saw him."


19 aprile 2017

Sid Smith recupera un badge con l'immagine stilizzata presa dalla celebre copertina di Reg Cartwright per Bundles per introdurre il suo personale ricordo di Allan Holdsworth: Remembering Allan Holdsworth taking flight...

"He often burned brightest in the company of others where his obsessional perfection could be harnessed or focussed in a way that showed his unconventional brilliance to its best effect. If Holdsworth could sometimes be frustrating with his habit of abruptly taking flight himself as he moved on to the next gig that caught his eye, his inspired approach broke free of the usual gravitational norms of the instrument to such a degree that most of his collaborators, though sometimes angry and disappointed at the time, nevertheless came to regard it as a privilege to have been able to witness his starry inventions first hand."


18 aprile 2017

Tra i primi a reagire alla notizia dell'improvvisa scomparsa di Allan Holdsworth è naturalmente Leonardo Pavkovic, grande amico del chitarrista e per molti anni suo produttore e manager. Rilancia un appello dei famigliari, segnala un avviso di sottoscrizione in vista dei funerali, e lascia un messaggio personale: "There is no greater measure of a life well lived than the amount of people he had impacted, and by that measure the artist Allan Holdsworth lived a very good life. This man took a plank of wood, a few strings, and some wires and transformed people's lives in a way that few others have. The ultimate genius of the rarest kind. One of THE greatest musicians ever lived."

Anche Cuneiform Records lascia un'affettuosa dedica a Holdsworth diffondendo tramite YT un breve estratto dal concerto del luglio 1974 dei Soft Machine al Montreux Jazz Festival, restaurato e presentato in versione audio e video in una sua recente pubblicazione, Switzerland 1974: "The hour-long set is the only available visual document of the Ratledge-Marshall-Jenkins-Babbington-Holdsworth line-up, and it includes live versions of the entire album Bundles, most notably the classic “Hazard Profile” suite, augmented with individual showcases for each member as well as a collective improvisation and brief snippets from Six and Seven. As well as retracing Soft Machine’s transformation into one of the leading exponents of jazz-fusion, it provides a rare chance to witness the genesis of Allan Holdsworth’s unique, innovative and unbelievably fluid and dexterous playing, before he went on to universal acclaim with Tony Williams’ New Lifetime, the prog-rock ‘supergroup’ U.K., Jean-Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford and ultimately his own electric fusion groups."


17 aprile 2017

(Allan Holdsworth, 1946-2017)

16 aprile 2017

Chi è a Londra a passare la Pasqua non manchi di presenziare stasera all'avvio dello strepitoso festival Intakt Records in London, una fitta serie di concerti e iniziative dedicata all'etichetta svizzera in programma al Vortex Jazz Club tutti i giorni fino al 27 aprile. L'atmosfera oggi si prevede particolarmente lieta, dato che uno dei protagonisti della rassegna, Barry Guy, ha deciso di anticipare di qualche giorno i festeggiamenti del proprio settantesimo compleanno e farlo coincidere con la speciale occasione. L'appuntamento è dalle 19.30 alle 22.30.
Grande musica echeggierà peraltro già dal pomeriggio, sempre al Vortex, dalle 14.00 alle 17.00, grazie a una delle periodiche assemblee di Mopomoso che oggi vedrà coinvolti Mandhira de Saram, Steve Beresford, Lee Boyd Allatson, Phil Minton e John Russell. Dopodiché, tanto per rimanere a Dalston, a quattro passi di distanza si potrà assistere alla presentazione del video Nothing Here Is Perfect, in proiezione a ciclo continuo fino a sera presso il Cafe Oto: Evan Parker, Eddie Prévost, Mats Gustafsson, Thurston Moore, John Edwards, Peter Brötzmann, Chris Corsano, John Tilbury e vari altri ripresi nel corso di una dozzina di recenti concerti da Noah Payne-Frank di New Solemns Films. Alleluia!


15 aprile 2017

Probabilmente verrà ritrasmesso più volte in giornata, e magari anche successivamente, il servizio sulla guerra delle Falkland/Malvinas prodotto da RaiNews24 e diffuso oggi in sintonia con i venti che soffiano su Afghanistan, Iraq, Siria e Nord Corea. Contiene immagini e musica della Shipbuilding a noi più cara, trasmessa quasi integralmente, con molti riferimenti specifici dello speaker alla canzone, ai suoi toni, al suo testo, e diversi passaggi tratti dalla registrazione del 1983 all'Old Grey Whistle Test, con Robert Wyatt in primo piano in molte inquadrature...


14 aprile 2017

Se non li dimostra l'Instant Composers Pool i suoi cinquant'anni, figurarsi se li dimostra Han Bennink i suoi settantacinque... Eppure!

Instant Composers Pool celebrates its 50th anniversary with a weekend full of concerts at the Bimhuis, welcoming many special guests. Drummer Han Bennink, a leading figure of the improvisational group since its foundation, will celebrate his 75th birthday along with the anniversary. As always, an important share of the repertory will consist of the compositions of former ICP pianist Misha Mengelberg, who passed away on March 3, 2017.
Since its foundation in 1967 the Instant Composers Pool has been an influential platform for improvised music. It was co-founded by pianist Misha Mengelberg, drummer Han Bennink and reedist Willem Breuker. It has developed into the ICP Orchestra, a unique cross between a big band and a chamber orchestra in which brass and string players improvise on the cutting edge. The orchestra connects American swing to European music and singular improvisations. ‘They are brilliant soloists, scholars and physical comedians, critics and joy-spreaders’ (New York Times).

13 aprile 2017

C'è attesa per l'imminente pubblicazione del nuovo album di Bertrand Burgalat, Les choses qu’on ne peut dire à personne. Un assaggino a spizzico è in YT.

Né en 1963, Bertrand Burgalat est musicien et producteur. Compositeur et arrangeur il a travaillé sur plus de 200 disques, composé pour Marc Lavoine, arrangé Supergrass ou remixé Depeche Mode. Interprète, il a publié six albums sous son nom. Au cinéma il a signé les musiques de films de Valérie Lemercier, Eva Ionesco ou Benoit Forgeard. A la télévision, il produit Le Ben & Bertie Show, fiction musicale diffusée sur Paris Première et W9. Tricatel, la maison de disques qu’il a fondée en 1995 est entièrement consacrée aux artistes inclassables (Chassol, Jef Barbara, Ingrid Caven, April March…), aux projets hors-norme (Jonathan Coe, Michel Houellebecq…) et à des compositeurs comme André Popp et David Whitaker. Auteur de nombreux articles et préfaces, directeur (avec Bertrand Dermoncourt) d’une collection consacrée à la musique pour les éditions Actes Sud, il a publié un essai, Diabétiquement vôtre, en octobre 2015 chez Calmann-Lévy.


12 aprile 2017

Alle canzoni e le poesie di Molly Drake, madre di Nick, è dedicato il quarto lavoro extracurricolare delle Unthanks - forse il loro migliore, afferma Adrian McNally - realizzato con il diretto coinvolgimento della primogenita di Molly, Gabrielle: The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake, album presto diffuso in vari formati, un'appendice con ulteriori brani (Extras) disponibile a parte, e un lungo ciclo di concerti nel Regno Unito al via dalla prossima settimana fino a fine maggio. Informazioni: http://www.the-unthanks.com


11 aprile 2017

Luigi Marinoni e Federico Mari erano a Legnano martedì scorso a seguire - beati loro - la performance di Hobo con Alessandro Achilli su Robert Wyatt, per il penultimo appuntamento di Sconfina/menti. Recensione e immagini sono in http://www.sempionenews.it/spettacoli/robert-wyatt

10 aprile 2017

Appassionati dei Residents da ogni parte del mondo producono personali versioni di brani ed estratti dall'immenso catalogo dei propri beniamini e li inviano ai curatori della serie Who Killed Ralph?, giunta in pochi mesi al sesto volume. Da tenere d'occhio. Ha-ha!


09 aprile 2017

Dopo le edizioni in videocassetta, doppio cd audio e dvd singolo il devoto magmiano ha finalmente occasione di procurarsi per la quarta volta la documentazione dei concerti parigini del maggio 1981 al teatro Bobino, nel cuore di Montparnasse: Magma Bobino 1981 ('nouvelle présentation' 2cd+dvd).

Après une première décennie conclue en apothéose par les concerts de la Rétrospective de l'Olympia en Juin 80, Magma, en investissant Bobino pour une durée de trois semaines en Mai 81, entame une nouvelle phase de son évolution musicale. Composé de morceaux joués par la formation précédente, mais également de titres nouveaux, le répertoire de ce Magma 81 se situe dans la continuité de celui de la tournée consécutive à la sortie de l'album Attahk. La coloration rhythm'n'blues de sa musique s'est encore accentuée avec l'apport des frères Guillard aux cuivres, et les titres, plutôt courts, commencent à laisser davantage de place à l'improvisation. Klaus Blasquiz ayant quitté le groupe pour d'autres horizons, Christian Vander, épaulé à la batterie par Doudou Weiss, prend désormais en mains une partie des vocaux aux côtés de Stella Vander, Lisa Deluxe et Guy Khalifa.
Paru en 1995, ce double CD vient combler un vide dans la discographie du groupe puisqu'une grande partie des morceaux présentés n'ont jamais été enregistrés en studio depuis; c'est le cas notamment de Zess dont la version électrique, illuminée par les prouesses vocales de Christian Vander et la folie furieuse de la guitare de Jean-Luc Chevalier, justifie à elle seule l'acquisition de ce disque bourré d'une irrésistible énergie.

08 aprile 2017

Le musiche dei Can risuonano oggi in varia guisa al Barbican di Londra per uno speciale omaggio voluto per festeggiare i cinquant'anni di vita del gruppo tedesco (e, indirettamente, l'ottantesimo compleanno il mese prossimo di Irmin Schmidt), ma che inevitabilmente assume anche i toni dell'affettuoso commiato da Jaki Liebezeit, scomparso a inizio d'anno: The Can Project. In programma ci sono un'intervista pubblica al tastierista condotta da Rob Young, una lettura sinfonica di alcuni brani tratti dal repertorio storico del gruppo eseguita dalla London Symphony Orchestra, la proiezione del celebre Free Concert filmato alla Sporthalle di Colonia il 3 febbraio 1972 - con gli interventi del prodigioso giocoliere Fred Ray - e una performance elettrica di un gruppo ad hoc capitanato da Thurston Moore di cui fa parte anche il cantante delle origini, Malcolm Mooney. A seguire l'immancabile DJ set, di cui si farà carico The Kosmische Club.

Founding member Irmin Schmidt premieres an orchestral reinterpretation of classic Can material alongside new work with the London Symphony Orchestra, before an all-star band of former Can members and long-time admirers pay tribute to their pioneering music.
Assembling their music through improvisation and studio editing, Can’s writing process resembled collage. Tonight, Can founder Irmin Schmidt takes that approach to their entire oeuvre, conducting the world premiere of his piece Can Dialog, written with Gregor Schwellenbach, which weaves together quotations and abstractions of some of the band’s most renowned pieces.
After an extended interval screening of Can’s 1972 performance at Cologne Sporthalle, the second half of the show brings together a supergroup led by Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), featuring Can’s first singer Malcolm Mooney, realising and reinterpreting the band’s music.
Laying the foundations of what came to be known as Krautrock, Can became one of the most influential avant-rock groups of all time, and echoes of their work is audible in everything from Joy Division, to Radiohead, to Kanye West. Can combined the deconstructed rock’n’roll of The Velvet Underground, the determined rhythmic propulsion of Sly & the Family Stone, and the appetite for studio experimentation of their former teacher Karlheinz Stockhausen to create a new kind of rock music – something avant-garde and groovy, both wildly experimental and utterly compelling.
The show will be preceded by a Q&A with Rob Young, author of a new book devoted to Can, published by Faber & Faber – one-part biography, one part memoir by Schmidt himself.
After the show there will be a DJ set by The Kosmische Club; set up back in 1996 in a bid to introduce London to Krautrock, the club now hosts nights across the UK and Europe bringing Krautrock to the masses.


07 aprile 2017

Esce in questi giorni un nuovo studio accademico curato da Georgina Born assieme ad Eric Lewis e Will Straw, con il contributo di una dozzina di altri relatori, incentrato sulle caratteristiche e le potenzialità dell'improvvisazione musicale quale luogo in cui si coltivano e si creano forme nuove di pratica politica e di relazione sociale. Si intitola Improvisation and Social Aesthetics (Duke University Press Books, 2017) e nel corso delle sue corpose analisi passa in rassegna numerosi esempi nei campi del jazz, del cinema, della danza e della letteratura, citando tra gli altri l'AACM, il Feminist Improvising Group, la Nouvelle vague, Billy Strayhorn e Kenneth Goldsmith.

Ancora di Georgina Born, presso i meravigliosi archivi di Academia.edu - il social network colto amabilmente indicato come il 'Facebook degli accademici' - sono disponibili due sue interviste piuttosto recenti, Temporalities, aesthetics, and the studioMy responsibility is to be bold. Quest'ultima riporta in premessa un significativo acconto della sua esperienza negli Henry Cow, tuttora indicata come la più formativa nella sua intera carriera. Perché?

"I saw an advert for a bass player in an interesting group: Henry Cow. I applied and, amazingly, I got the job, because by then they were writing complex scores, and I was the only person they interviewed who could read those scores. However, I’d never played bass guitar before! So I tuned the bass in fifths - like the cello - and then I could make it work. After a few months of rehearsal with them in the very hot summer of 1976, when punk music was breaking out all over the UK, we went on tour. I dropped my place to read composition at Cambridge, and that began two years of touring almost constantly - well, for about six months each year. Henry Cow was in a kind of turmoil, because money was short. The group had become independent of their former record company, Virgin Records, trying to manage themselves and create alternative institutions. They did manage this for several years, but it wasn’t working out economically. This experience with Henry Cow remains perhaps the most formative in my whole career. Why? Not so much because of the music, but because of the whole experience. We were working everywhere in Europe, in political ways. We went all over Italy doing tours playing at numerous Feste dell’Unità, which were the Communist Party’s summer festivals that happened in every large city and small town, all summer long. In France, we would play the circuit of Maisons de la Culture in lots of provincial cities and towns all over the country, as well as the Socialist Party’s summer festival in Paris. Wherever we played, we were doing work at the borders of new music and politics. I was 20 years old; the rest of the group was much older, and I didn’t yet really have the formation to understand fully what we were doing (remember, I hadn’t yet been to university). It left me with a lifetime of questions about the articulation between music and politics and the social, and it was full of contradictions. There’s a little paper I’ve written recently on this whole experience about politics and Henry Cow. It tells some of the stories, for instance, about turning up in a town outside Naples to play a Festa dell’Unità to effectively an audience of Italian farmers and peasants. We started late in the evening with our atonal rock, our polyrhythmic scores - we have recordings of all these gigs - and about 2 minutes in, somebody starts to boo, about 3 or 4 minutes in people start to clap in a hostile way, and then we continued to play for an hour and a half - and this noise carries on the whole time! We didn’t discuss this much in the band in my memory, but I was left thinking: “What does it mean to bring modernist rock with political lyrics to Italian peasants in a Festa dell’Unità? And to elicit hostility and antipathy from those we were putatively trying to reach, to give musical pleasure to, and to politicize with our music?” These experiences left me with an intense set of questions that have informed all my later work. What didn’t inform my later work is some kind of mindless devotion to the music we were playing at the time, or any of my later performing work. Although I still find aspects of it very interesting, I was also very troubled by our music - especially the more modernist parts and the improvising. We did a great deal of electronic improvising in Henry Cow, in between and linking pieces and songs, often 20 or 30 minute group improvisations; and these days I find those passages much more fresh and interesting than the rather awful folk-rocky interludes, of which there were plenty. I also admire these days the most austere modernist pieces; they too stand the test of time quite well and offer what remains a very original sound world. So, I am ambivalent about Henry Cow’s music and I always have been. As you can hear, I always had some doubts about what we did, but I was also fascinated by and believed in what we were trying to do. I’m very interested in the interface between music and politics, and while the group’s aspirations were tremendous, the reality was problematic in a number of ways."


06 aprile 2017

Buon esito ha avuto, a detta dei protagonisti, la conferenza-concerto tenuta la scorsa settimana da Chris Cutler, Yumi Hara e Guy Harries per il ciclo Practice as Research per gli studenti dell'University of East London, anche per merito degli studenti stessi, coinvolti in prima persona nelle più cruciali fasi dell'allestimento tecnico audio e video dell'evento. Cutler ha parlato estesamente della serie di podcast Probes, da lui prodotta negli ultimi cinque anni per il Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Barcellona e correntemente diffusa da Radio Web MACBA. A questa serie è dedicato anche uno speciale apparso in questi giorni sul web in Perfect Sound Forever a cura di Jonas Vognsen.

Beginning in 2012, Ràdio Web MACBA – the online "non-profit research and transmission project" of The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art – has been hosting Probes, a series of podcasts curated by Chris Cutler, founder of ReR Megacorp and drummer of Henry Cow and Art Bears. The program delivers a comprehensive history of new musical developments over the last more than 100 years. As such, it deals not only with changes in technology and material circumstances, but is also a study in the life and spread of ideas.
Using part of Marshall McLuhans's conceptual framework as a starting point, the series has to date described various movements in the music of the industrialized world where composers and musicians shifted from a focus on pitch to more broad experimentation with timbre. Topics explored include prepared instruments, extended techniques, the use of ancient, folk and exotic instruments, portamenti and noise, as well as in-depth looks at the human voice, harpsichords, gamelan and exotica – with new instruments, non-musical objects, amplification and electrification coming up on the horizon. Probes is a unique resource, not to be missed by anyone interested in our contemporary world of music – and how we got here.


05 aprile 2017

E uno speciale cofanetto sta per pubblicarlo anche Confront Recordings, in un'edizione limitata a sole cento copie: si tratta di una raccolta antologica in cinque cd di cinque diversi concerti offerti tra il 2005 e il 2009 dall'ensemble The Seen in cinque diverse formazioni, ogni volta sotto la guida di Mark Wastell. Tra i musicisti coinvolti ci sono molti nomi ricorrenti nelle produzioni dell'etichetta londinese, che di recente ha festeggiato i suoi primi vent'anni di attività: Rhodri Davies, David Toop, Phil Durrant, il compianto Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Dominic Lash, Joe Williamson, John Butcher, Paul Abbott e molti molti altri. Informazioni e prenotazioni: http://www.confrontrecordings.com/the-seen-archive-volumes-i-v

04 aprile 2017

Dallo speciale cofanetto Alterations Limited Edition Boxset realizzato in occasione dell'Alterations Festival - al Cafe Oto londinese il giugno scorso, dal 13 al 19 - fuoriesce anche individualmente la registrazione del concerto che segnò il ritorno sulle scene del quartetto delle origini, dopo quasi trent'anni di inattività: Live at Iklectik London 2015. Dai concerti del festival proviene invece Void Transactions, con una selezione di brani proposti in quei giorni dal solo quartetto, senza i numerosi ospiti: Peter Cusack, Steve Beresford, Terry Day e David Toop. Produce il tutto Blanca Regina, con fattura molto artigianale e in quantità assai limitate, con il marchio Unpredictable Series.


03 aprile 2017

Per una sua puntata di Out to Lunch per Resonance FM Ben Watson recupera una misteriosa registrazione inedita di Lol Coxhill in trio con Stuart Hall e Pat Thomas: uno degli organizzatori del concerto, John Plant, conferma via FB che si era a Londra, presso il Tom Allen Centre a Stratford, nei primi anni Ottanta. Il documento ora è custodito in archive.org

Lol Coxhill - soprano sax, wry commentary, improvised narration; Stuart Hall - guitar, violin, bass; Pat Thomas - piano, electronics. This gig was part of the Brilliant Corners Jazz Project organised by John Plant and Kevin Michael Cockerell at the Tom Allen Centre in the early 80s. Sound and recording by Alick Letort. Pat Thomas and Ulrike Coxhill both said "fine" about it being made available online for the many people who value every note Lol played (we don't know what's happened to Stuart Hall). The picture of Lol was drawn by OTL at Lol's Esemplastic Tuesday with Sarah Gail Brand at the RCA on 11th November 2003.


02 aprile 2017

Chi invece fa sul serio è Hobo, che torna a presentare a Legnano - dopo Mantova e Piacenza - il suo progetto dedicato a Robert Wyatt, creato in collaborazione con Alessandro Achilli. Martedì 4 aprile alle ore 21.00, al Cinema Sala Ratti.

La rassegna Sconfina/menti, curata da Roberto Ferdani, ospita Hobo plays Robert Wyatt - Musica e parole di (e su) Robert Wyatt. A cura del critico e giornalista musicale Alessandro Achilli. Musiche eseguite dal duo Hobo: Eloisa Manera (violino, voce), Massimo Giuntoli (tastiere, voce, arrangiamenti)

01 aprile 2017

Tutti, ma proprio tutti, cantano Wyatt. Perfino Max Gazzè, si sarebbe detto un tempo... Oggi però il termine di riferimento è Hatsune Miku, 'la prima voce dal futuro'. Bravina peraltro con O Caroline (e niente male con Kew.Rhone...)


31 marzo 2017

Gli Stormy Six riportano in scena lo splendido ciclo di canzoni e testi Benvenuti nel ghetto scritto nel 2013 con Moni Ovadia e dedicato alle vicende degli ebrei del ghetto di Varsavia nei giorni della loro rivolta alla violenza delle SS, tra l'aprile e il maggio del 1943. Alle ore 21.00 questa sera, presso la sala rossa dell'auditorium comunale Padre Reina di via Meda, a Rho (Mi).


30 marzo 2017

Chris Cutler torna a parlare domani ai fortunati studenti dell'University of East London - ma l'ingresso è libero e consentito a tutti - all'interno di una serie di incontri teorico-pratici dal titolo Experimental and Improvised Music Practice as Research. Al centro dell'attenzione la sua esemplare serie di podcast Probes, oggi giunta al ventesimo episodio, iniziata cinque anni fa in collaborazione con il Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Barcellona e disponibile integralmente negli archivi di Radio Web MACBA. Il pomeriggio inizierà con una performance di Cutler con Yumi Hara e Guy Harries.

Chris Cutler is a British ‪‪performer, author, and the founder/CEO of the independent label and distribution network ReR Megacorp that specialises in experimental music. He became well-known as a drummer of the 1970s experimental group Henry Cow. As a researcher, he was involved with The International Association for the Study of Popular Music from its inception in the early '80s and in his theoretical/critical book File Under Popular he proposed that ‘musicians themselves develop a theory of music and culture derived from their own practice’, an idea now resurgent in the concept of 'Practice as Research'. Chris will perform an improvisation set with Yumi Hara and Guy Harries, followed by a conversation regarding his ongoing podcast series. Probes combines research, theory, presentation and curation - a practical model of the value and possible mode of presentation for research output by practitioners.

Black Box Studio, US.3.38
University Square Stratford
University of East London
1 Salway Road
London E15 1NF


29 marzo 2017

Chiude i battenti una delle trasmissioni di jazz più prestigiose e più seguite nel variegato palinsesto radiofonico della BBC, con oltre novecento puntate in diciotto anni e un'impressionante serie di interviste, speciali e riprese di concerti dal vivo: Jazz on 3, condotta ogni lunedì sera da Jez Nelson. Al suo posto subentrano Soweto Kinch, Emma Smith e Al Ryan con il programma Jazz Now; Nelson riprende invece presso Jazz FM l'appuntamento domenicale che segnò gli inizi della sua carriera ufficiale (dopo gli esordi presso una radio pirata): Somethin' Else.


28 marzo 2017

Come già fece con una felice First SeriesBing Selfish ripesca alcuni suoi memorabili speciali radiofonici - diffusi a suo tempo principalmente da Resonance FM - e ne presenta una selezione per la gioia di tutti i suoi ascoltatori, attenti o distratti: The Bing Selfish Radio Show-Second Series, sei ore di divertimento pressoché ininterrotto disponibili tramite Bandcamp.

Bing Selfish, non-benevolent dictator ot the world (with the exception of Patagonia and Australia, naturlich) continues to rule in a classically megalomaniac manner, and this time he's dabbling in big budget movies and maybe even gettin' the band back together. Featuring a window into the lives of Selfish Citizens, an amazing takeaway menu, a scary trip to Australia and an even scarier open mic night. And education, always education.


27 marzo 2017

Per il debutto della serie Dark Matter la settimana scorsa al Brew Club londinese, il locale - un ruspante spaccio-laboratorio di birra artigianale nelle viscere di Upper Clapton - ha offerto a Steve Davis e Kavus Torabi carta bianca e tempi estesi per proporre al meglio il loro già molto pregiato DJ set, che partito quasi per scherzo dalle esperienze radiofoniche presso Phoenix FM (The Interesting Alternative Show) si è fatto gran nome alle recenti edizioni dei festival di Glastonbury, Green Man e Bluedot. Ne son venute quasi quattro ore di musiche magnifiche e progressive servite con competenza e contagiosa euforia dove tutto - anche gli esempi musicali più codificati - è parso fluido e plausibile per il ballo: Zeuhl, Kraut, metal, minimalismo, space rock, psichedelia, ambient, un lacerante Beefheart, uno scorcio dell'ultimo Bowie, Inductive Resonance, Lucifer Sam, Tomorrow Never Knows...


26 marzo 2017

Tanta e tale era la risonanza emotiva che scaturiva dal concerto del Westbrook Blake al Kings Place londinese la settimana scorsa da portare non solo alcuni tra il pubblico ma anche qualcuno degli stessi interpreti all'orlo della commozione. Alle lacrime, perfino... "The Gods of the earth and sea / Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree / But their search was all in vain / There grows one in the Human Brain" (The Human Abstract).


25 marzo 2017

Mike Hobart (Financial Times) e Jane 'Paintbox Jane' Mann (LondonJazz) esaltano entrambi il virtuoso ritrovo di Mike Westbrook e Jonathan Gee allo Steinway 2 Piano Festival la settimana scorsa, presso il londinese Pizza Express: "The annual two-piano Steinway Festival combines strong-character stylists with minimal preparation and high hopes that a spark will ignite. Contrasts are highlighted, songbooks shared and both players tend to raise their game. There was no coasting in this performance, but for the most part Mike Westbrook and Jonathan Gee performed singly and, when they did join forces, the balance of the repertoire was tilted firmly in Westbrook’s direction. Even one of Gee’s solo spots drew on his counterpart’s back catalogue. Westbrook’s intensely personal vision is usually articulated through orchestral arrangement, and at this gig he almost seemed to play every part that an orchestra might play. His pared-down piano style fuses the percussive resonance of Duke Ellington with elements of the blues, dissonant modernism and vaudeville into intense narratives in which every chord has character and even silence has a role to play."


24 marzo 2017

Dopo The Original Peter Tony Staveacre estrae dagli archivi delle sue antiche produzioni per la BBC - qui una coproduzione con Helen Fraser - un altro prezioso documentario westbrookiano, stavolta dedicato a uno dei lavori più celebri del compositore, The Cortège, ripreso all'epoca di alcune sue presentazioni in concerto nel Regno Unito pochi giorni prima delle sessioni di registrazione in studio. Il filmato, diretto da Jonathan Fulford, venne presentato in Omnibus (BBC One) nel febbraio 1982. Della Mike Westbrook Orchestra facevano parte allora Phil Minton, Dave Plews, Guy Barker, Dick Pearce, Malcolm Griffiths, Alan Sinclair, Dave Powell, Chris Hunter, Phil Todd, Chris Biscoe, Lindsay Cooper, Brian Godding, Georgie Born, Steve Cook e Dave Barry, oltre naturalmente a Kate e Mike.

Quando l'album venne ristampato da Enja nel 2011 in versione rimasterizzata - in precedenza Enja (2CD, 1993) e prima ancora Original Records (3LP, 1982) - scrisse Duncan Heining: "The Westbrooks have made many beautiful and profound records but this is my favourite. That I can say that without forgetting Metropolis, Citadel/Room 315, Marching Song, The Westbrook Blake, Chanson Irresponsable, Mama Chicago, London Bridge, Art Wolf, The Westbrook Rossini or On Duke’s Birthday is a measure of the man’s music. How many jazz composers could point to a career as rich in masterpieces as that? One always feels with a Westbrook & Westbrook project that every detail has been addressed in order to make the most complete artistic statement. The first emphasis is on the music, the second to ensure it allows the expression of something beyond itself. Here the idea of a New Orleans funeral procession is a metaphor for life’s journey. Shame then that Enja have truncated the original explanatory sleevenotes to their detriment. No matter, you can still revel in the righteousness of Cordoba, Westbrook’s magnificent setting of Lorca, or the glorious Santarcangelo with Hubert Parry’s arrangement of Jerusalem at its heart. There are splendours too in Democratie and July ’79, an affirmation of the natural world in Erme Estuary and so much, more beauty in this CD. Should there be a heaven and should I get an invite, may this be the music to carry me there."


23 marzo 2017

Tutto in una notte. Lo scorso 4 marzo, a Londra, mentre al Barbican si celebrava il fragoroso incanto collettivo di This Is Not This Heat, al Cafe Oto si faceva più o meno altrettanto nei confronti di Peter Hammill, a compimento di una residenza artistica di tre giorni intensa e istruttiva, forte di cinquantadue diverse canzoni di cui almeno sei nuovissime. "And so what have we learned?", si chiede uno dei massimi conoscitori hammilliani, Richard Rees Jones. "That Hammill’s lifelong preoccupations – reason, memory, the unravelling of time and the choices we make – are deep, troubling ones. That there is something primal and atavistic about the way he confronts them in song. And that fifty years after he began, his music remains as visionary and essential as ever."


22 marzo 2017

Lottie Brazier (The Quietus) e Fiona Talkington (Late Junction) parlano con Annette Peacock in occasione della Giornata internazionale della donna: "My destiny is not to serve. I'm a woman, my destiny is to create."


21 marzo 2017

Frank J. Oteri di New Music USA riporta una bella conversazione tenuta di recente con Mike Johnson, offrendo ai lettori un pezzo ampio e articolato che ripercorre le molte vicende del musicista e le tappe dell'evoluzione del gruppo Thinking Plague, di cui han fatto a lungo parte Bob Drake e Dave Kerman. Circa il senso di diffidenza e critico sconforto generato fin dai titoli dagli album più recenti - A History of Madness, Decline and Fall, l'ultimo Hoping Against Hope - Mike spiega: "I’ve never been able to go with a direction that’s just celebrating or joy and I have felt for a long time that it is important for my artistic activity to make some commentary about what’s going on in the world. Part of that is my work background. Since the '80s, I have been working in human services programs, like working with the homeless, helping people to get shelter, helping people to get jobs. Then I worked with poor students to help them deal with all the issues that were keeping them from being able to be successful.  I had a day career out of this, and I was good at it. That informed my music, because when I went back to college after the music stuff, I took a lot of social science classes - politics and sociology and all this kind of stuff. My perspective definitely moved left, and I’ve been there ever since. The cliché is that as men get older, they get more conservative. Me, I’m moving left. I’m left of left now. I don’t even know where I am."

20 marzo 2017

Contiene fino a cinque dei suoi album precedenti - Little Black Train, The Skull Mailbox, 13 Songs and a Thing, The Shunned Country e Bob’s Drive-In, a scelta - più un sesto cd zeppo di materiali d'archivio, inediti e rarità. E' il box antologico a composizione variabile ideato da Bob Drake per i suoi fan (specialmente in America): Antiquities.


19 marzo 2017

Denis Tagu (Tagubu) chiede aiuto a Christophe Petchanatz (Klimperei) per dar forma musicale a un suo precario carnet di testi scritti in viaggio, senza molte pretese, in un inglese spontaneo e minimale. Ne esce un quadernetto di tenera poesia aperto alle incursioni del meraviglioso nel quotidiano più di quanto lo stesso autore non ammetta: I Don't Remember The First Time, su InPolySons ('label inattendu, sempiternellement pataphysique').

«Je voyageais souvent en train, entre deux eaux. J'ai eu envie d'écrire des petits textes de chansons, qui me sont venus en anglais. Il est vrai que j'écoutais beaucoup Tom Waits. Des textes imprécis d'une simplicité commandée par mon niveau d'anglais. Des textes nostalgiques sur nos vies, nos quotidiens, nos valeurs, nos amours. Puis que faire de ce matériel? Je n'avais aucune idée pour une mise en musique. Christophe Petchanatz - à qui j'ai demandé - a tout de suite répondu positivement à l'appel et Klimperei m'a envoyé des musiques sur ces 10 textes. J'y ai composé en enregistré le chant (après hésitations) puis ajouté la batterie (avec l'aide amicale de Dominique Grimaud et Véronique Vilhet). Nous avons ajouté deux reprises montrant l'impossibilité de l'amour (Daniel Johnston) et la simplicité d'un baiser (Lio). Le visuel original est dû au travail des Ateliers McClane, d'une simplicité collant aux chansons, et d'un imprévu apporté par la sérigraphie en noir et blanc.»


18 marzo 2017

Danze processionali di efebi nudi con effetto di progressiva desincronizzazione. Wow?


17 marzo 2017

Appuntamento questa sera al Kings Place di Londra con il sublime programma del Westbrook Blake, con le musiche di Mike e i testi poetici di William Blake adattati da Adrian Mitchell e Kate Westbrook. La formula ormai classica - da una decina d'anni almeno - del sestetto di base accompagnato da un coro di volta in volta diverso vedrà stavolta la partecipazione del London College of Music Chorus diretto da Paul Ayres, e la presenza di Chris Biscoe anziché di Karen Street. Una seconda esibizione è in programma tra non molto, a maggio, per il Bury St Edmunds Festival, ma in quell'occasione al posto di Phil Minton ci sarà John Winfield.

Described in the Independent on Sunday as ‘perhaps the greatest work in all British jazz’, Mike Westbrook’s settings of William Blake’s powerful poetry were originally commissioned in 1971 for the National Theatre production of Adrian Mitchell’s Tyger. The Westbrook Blake, with vocalists Phil Minton and Kate Westbrook, has been performed many times over the years in Blake’s city, London, as well as in Festivals throughout Europe, in New York and Australia. The current choral version is featured on the DVD/CD Glad Day Live, released on Westbrook Records.


16 marzo 2017

Uno straordinario documento d'epoca restituisce, almeno in parte, la caotica ed elettrizzante euforia circense e multimediale di un'esibizione della Concert Band di Mike Westbrook di inizio anni Settanta, più o meno al tempo di Love Songs e del ciclo di concerti dal vivo denominato Earthrise TourThe Original Peter, concepito da Mike assieme a John Fox, ripreso e diretto da Tony Staveacre per il programma televisivo Review della BBC2. Favoloso.

During the March to April 1970 sessions for Mike Westbrook's Love Songs, The Mike Westbrook Concert Band, The Welfare State, Original Peter and a whole host of other long-forgotten performers and speciality acts including the esoterically named likes of The Amazing Mas-Kar, The Edmund Campion Gymnasts and, erm, 'Cherokee Indian Joe The Great Leaping Bison' (we can probably safely assume that he wasn't) took part in an ambitious small screen extravaganza somewhere between a progressive rock concert and a down-at-heel carnival, which was captured by the Review cameras in all of its chaotic glory. The film was first broadcast on Saturday 25th April 1970, as part of an edition that also featured a report on the Hayward Gallery's major retrospective on reclusive photographer Bill Brandt, and was subsequently selected for the highlights special Summer Review on 22nd August, where it appeared alongside a lively interview with William Hobbs, 'Fight Director' at the National Theatre. Shortly afterwards, the ensemble took the entire spectacle on the road as the centrepiece of their lengthy 'Earthrise Tour', which must have caused no little alarm for audiences in search of rock posturing, lengthy soloing and the usual hard and heavy 'serious' early seventies clichés.


15 marzo 2017

Mike Westbrook è ospite questa sera dello Steinway Festival 2017 a Londra, presso il PizzaExpress Jazz Club di Soho. C'è anche il pianista Jonathan Gee, e i due suoneranno insieme dopo i rispettivi set in solo.


14 marzo 2017

L'audace gruppo vocale guidato da Jane Alden Vocal Constructivists - noto per esser stato il primo a offrire una lettura del Treatise di Cardew per sole voci - si riunisce questa sera al Cafe Oto londinese per uno speciale omaggio alla compianta Pauline Oliveros: Lullaby for Pauline.

The Vocal Constructivists worked closely with American composer, philosopher, writer, activist, and visionary Pauline Oliveros, who passed away in November 2016. The group pays tribute to her life and work in a wide-ranging programme that draws from over six decades of her career. Featured works will include her 1961 Sound Patterns, awarded the Gaudeamus International Composers Award in 1962, text scores from Sonic Meditations (1971), Wind Horse (1989), and the participatory A New Indigo Peace (2008). As well as works by Oliveros, the ensemble will perform Robert Ashley’s She Was a Visitor (1967), and new commissions – all receiving their world premiere – by composers who knew and worked with her.


13 marzo 2017

Due anni fa il saluto a Daevid Allen (e a Divided Alien, Bert Camembert, Dingo Virgin...)

12 marzo 2017

Compie dieci anni di attività in questi giorni il benamato blog Inconstant Sol, che pensa bene di ringraziare e salutare i propri lettori ripubblicando un bel concerto di Hugh Hopper ed Elton Dean con Keith Tippett e Joe Gallivan - disponibile in video presso Vimeo - registrato quarant'anni fa poco dopo le sessioni di Mercy Dash, nel giugno 1977. Auguri!

"Bundles of people have contributed over the years, some gone, others holding on and yet others joining and putting their distinctive mark on the contents and direction of the blog. Currently we have about half a dozen active posters and some very generous followers, judging from inputs to our contributions section, but we're always willing to recruit more. Potential authors can get in touch with us c/o our Blogger email addresses. We've had contributors from three continents, with a preponderance of Europeans overall. The emphasis has been on the free/improv/experimental side of jazz, but with excursions into contemporary and classical music, from Europe and beyond. There are no rules, however; the blog is whatever the posters make of it, and we'd like to keep it that way. We focus on posting out of print material with the objective of drawing attention to music which otherwise might have remained out of sight and out of mind."


11 marzo 2017

C'erano Charles Hayward e Charles Bullen, dapprima con un set individuale ciascuno - più la proiezione del film di John Smith The Black Tower tra i due momenti - e poi insieme in gran forza con Alexis Taylor, Chris Cutler, Merlin Nova, John Edwards, Daniel O’Sullivan, James Sedwards, Frank Byng, Alex Ward, Thurston Moore e le cantanti Luisa Gerstein, Laura GrovesJenny Moore. Il concerto è stato filmato professionalmente e prima o poi le riprese vedranno la luce, magari solo a scopo promozionale. Per il momento, oltre a qualche breve estratto postato su YT, a descrivere l'esplosione di emozioni e riflessioni suscitate dalla fulminante esibizione di This is not This Heat al Barbican di Londra la scorsa settimana ci provano Sean Worrall (The Organ), Ed Pinsent (The Sound Projector) e Matthew Shaw (Louder than War).

Scrive Pinsent: "The team effort says something about how, through music, we can build on stage a working model of how human relations could change, how society could work better. Even if it’s just for two hours on stage, we can learn from it. John Stevens, the UK improviser, believed strongly in this possibility, and manifested it in all of his directed team efforts, harnessing the energy of great musicians to show a way of living, working and doing that was a model of how a co-operative society could work. I’ve always thought This Heat believed in that too; at the Barbican, they proved it. Some media write-ups and appraisals have pointed out the gap between the original This Heat and this event; for instance, the concert handout tells us it’s been 40 years since the band’s first gig in 1976. Well, maybe this isn’t really a gap; I would argue that it has in fact been a necessary waiting process, a maturation. The band This Heat had to exist in the 1970s and 1980s, in order to influence musicians Thurston Moore and many others (becoming a “cult” band, I suppose, much as I hate that term), and the impact of their work sunk into the culture in a gradual way. Think of it as a slow release of benign energy, a healing and changing power. The time is now right for that cycle to complete; by bringing their own history, with This Heat DNA mixed into it, the 14 musicians were able to realise the “perfect” version of This Heat we saw in March 2017. If I am right in these fervoured ravings, maybe the event says something about the way culture ought to happen; it’s not instant, it’s slow, and mysterious, but when it works – it’s a glorious and unstoppable force for good."


10 marzo 2017

Momenti salienti della bella e partecipata serata Voices in the Night curata da Alison Blunt la settimana scorsa presso l'Iklectik londinese sono documentati al canale YT di Gus Youvid. Convocati dalla violinista c'erano Michael de Souza, John Edwards, Kay Grant, Phil Minton, Maggie Nicols, John Russell, Mark Sanders, Luisa Tucciariello, Alex Ward, Ute Wassermann e Neil Metcalfe, impegnati a turno in intensi episodi in trio e quartetto e poi tutti assieme per uno strepitoso finale.


09 marzo 2017

Saldamente alla testa della Distribution Ambiances Magnétiques Etcetera di Montréal (Québec) da più di venticinque anni, Joane Hétu guida anche diversi progetti - Joker, Nous perçons les oreilles, Ensemble SuperMusique, le serie settimanali di Mercredimusics - i cui ultimi capitoli sono presenti tra le pubblicazioni discografiche più recenti dell'etichetta. Mathilde Recly l'ha intervistata per atuvu.ca: "Je ne travaille pas dans l’idée que je cherche un talent, non, je travaille avec des artistes que je rencontre, à travers les affinités qui s’opèrent dans la communauté. C’est 25 ans d’histoire, c’est plus d’une centaine de musiciens qui ont produit chez DAME. Ce ne sont pas des musiciens nécessairement très connus, mais ils sont tellement intéressants, pour en nommer quelques-uns: Jean Derome, Pierre-Yves Martel, Tim Brady, Danielle Palardy Roger, Martin Tétreault, Pierre Tanguay, Diane Labrosse, Lori Freedman. C’est une grande famille dans un monde parallèle. DAME documente ce patrimoine musical précieux et fait en sorte que ces musiques soient représentées, soutenues, disponibles et que cette histoire artistique soit accessible d’une certaine façon. Au final, ce sont les affiliations, l’intelligence de la musique et des relations humaines qui ont guidé DAME."

It has been more than 30 years now since self-taught composer, vocalist and saxophonist Joane Hétu has been following her own highly distinctive path through the vast territory of creative, contemporary music. From her beginnings with song-based new-rock bands such as Wondeur Brass, Justine and Les Poules, Hétu turned to composition (the evocative triptych comprising Musique d’hiver, Filature and La femme territoire ou 21 fragments d’humus) and improvisation, more often than not combining both within her general approach to music. She has co-directed the Ensemble SuperMusique since its founding in 1998, as well as the weekly series Mercredimusics since 2002. More recently she gave birth to La chorale bruitiste Joker (2012). Joane Hétu was awarded the prestigious Freddie Stone Award in 2006.