23 ottobre 2017


Phil Howitt - autore della storica fanzine Facelift, recentemente riapparsa sul web nelle sembianze di un blog dal titolo The Canterbury Scene(zine) continued... - ricorda i concerti e gli incontri con Phil Miller, e ne piange la scomparsa assieme ad amici e ammiratori: "Phil was a colossus within the scene – he’ll be sorely missed."

His CV almost reads like a wishlist of seminal Canterbury bands: first Delivery (with, amongst others Roy Babbington, Pip Pyle and Lol Coxhill), then Matching Mole, followed by Hatfield and the North and National Health. He later spent 30 years fronting his own band In Cahoots, itself a stomping ground for many of the scene’s key players: Elton Dean, Pip Pyle, Richard Sinclair, Hugh Hopper amongst them. He also briefly co-led Short Wave with Pyle, Hopper and Didier Malherbe and had a unique duo with equally dextrous long term collaborator Fred Baker. He was an understated giant within the scene and whilst his trademark calling card was those tortured electric solos, he was a fine rhythm guitarist and a brilliant songwriter – two of the scene’s anthemic pieces, Matching Mole’s God Song and Hatfields’ Calyx were his.

22 ottobre 2017


Sid Smith ricorda Phil Miller in un episodio, l'ottantunesimo, della sua serie Podcasts From The Yellow Room e in un articolo per TeamRock (Canterbury Legend Phil Miller Remembered), che così conclude: "Amidst the absurdly difficult time signatures of the music found on Matching Mole’s Little Red Record, Hatfield and The North’s two studio albums and those of National Health, for which he will always be remembered and associated with, his tone and the scurrying notes and chords which tripped and danced from his guitar were something that would make you smile as much as drop your jaw in shock and surprise at what you’d just heard. However, what was really attractive and defining about Phil Miller’s distinctive contributions to this music wasn’t so much the obvious technical ability available to him, but the way in which he managed to imbue it all with a quality that was self-deprecating, warm and welcoming. Much like the man himself."

http://sidsmith.blogspot.com/2017/10/podcasts-from-yellow-room-81.html
http://teamrock.com/news/2017-10-19/canterbury-legend-phil-miller-remembered
http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr/mus/miller_phil.html

21 ottobre 2017


Phil Miller ha donato suono e stile chitarristico distintivi e inconfondibili in ampie aree della discografia canterburyana, lasciando composizioni immortali specialmente negli album di Matching Mole, Hatfield & The North, National Health e In Cahoots: Lounging There Trying, Underdub, God Song, Calyx, Nan True's Hole, Nowadays a Silhouette, Dreams Wide Awake, Green & Purple, Above and Below, Your Root 2... Chi può dire di non averne amata - e mandata a memoria! - almeno qualcuna?

https://www.discogs.com/artist/300123-Phil-Miller

20 ottobre 2017


(Phil Miller, 1949-2017)





19 ottobre 2017


Verity Sharp incontra Robert Wyatt nella sua casa a Louth per l'episodio di Late Junction trasmesso martedì scorso su BBC Radio 3: un'autentica delizia!

Verity Sharp heads to the edgelands of Lincolnshire for a special programme recorded at home with one of the most distinctive voices in British songwriting, Robert Wyatt. A pivotal figure in the alternative music scene of the last 50 years, Wyatt has had a profound influence on the history of British music. But he's also one of its most affable story tellers. Over a plate of local plum cake, Wyatt talks Verity through some of the music that has helped shape him as an artist and the stories that go with it. With the ease of someone who is as comfortable reciting nonsense verse as discussing the Syrian crisis, he swings from surrealist verse by Hilaire Beloc to the time when Bjork came to visit him in Louth.
Over the course of an hour and a half he looks back on the last 50 years of his life as an artist and an avid music collector, picking out selections dear to his heart - from his love of British tenor Peter Pears to his fanaticism for early jazz singers and Ivor Cutler's absurdism. Verity also brings some of her own choices, sparking discussions around British surrealism, his dislike of the 'wobbly singers' of opera, his undying love for life partner Alfie and a frank conversation about his battle with depression, before giving us a quick piano lesson to boot. An intimate portrait of a truly British voice with a love of the absurd and an ear for the unusual.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b098hhcw

18 ottobre 2017


Tra le vittime della sconvolgente catena di incendi che in questo periodo sta devastando ampie regioni della California ci sono migliaia di animali domestici abbandonati, che al pari dei loro padroni devono affrontare fiamme, distruzione e morte in condizioni spesso disperate. Ad essi dedica un suo lavoro Charles Bobuck - fino all'anno scorso uno dei Residents - pubblicato tramite Bandcamp a nome di Black Tar and the Cry Babies in associazione con la Sonoma Humane Society: Left with the Fires.

https://bobuck.bandcamp.com/album/left-with-the-fires
http://sonomahumane.org

17 ottobre 2017


La storia dell'Incredible String Band raccontata in due libri diversi ma quasi complementari, usciti entrambi nei mesi scorsi: Smiling Men With Bad Reputations, di Paul Norbury, un accurato e puntuale manuale discografico autoprodotto tramite Grosvenor House Publishing; You Know What You Could Be, presso Riverrun, un'autobiografia parziale e parallela dove a prendere la parola e assecondare il flusso dei ricordi assieme al gran seguace Andrew Greig è direttamente uno dei fondatori del gruppo, Mike Heron.

http://www.mikeheron.co.uk
https://www.waterstones.com/book/smiling-men-with-bad-reputations
http://www.makingtime.co.uk/beglad/bookyouknowwhat
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017you-know-what-you-could-be

16 ottobre 2017


Inizia al Curzon Chelsea di King's Road a Londra un fitto ciclo di presentazioni del film documentario di Rob Curry e Tim Plester The Ballad of Shirley Collins, tutto incentrato sulle vicende artistiche e personali della lunga e complicata carriera della straordinaria interprete del folk britannico. La protagonista interviene personalmente subito dopo la proiezione di oggi, parlando con Stewart Lee e incontrando il pubblico.

The remarkable story of one of the great British folk singers whose voice, once lost, makes a welcome return. Shirley Collins, widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, mysteriously lost her voice in 1980. Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s documentary tells her story as a salutary reminder of the importance of the cultural folk tradition. It makes fertile use of authentic 1959 audio-archive to recount the tale of Shirley’s seminal road-trip around America’s Deep South alongside her then-lover (and pre-eminent ethnomusicologist) Alan Lomax. They balance the story of her early life with live recordings that detail her will to sing again. The result is a remarkable account of loss and redemption, sacrifice, healing and rebirth. And the film suggests that during these turbulent and increasingly untethered times, we might just need Shirley Collins’ wise, weathered and comforting voice.

https://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/the-ballad-of-shirley-collins
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBJxE21rUWhO83-Zy9asucQ

15 ottobre 2017


Disassociation, il cuore di Nine Feet Underground, è rintracciabile sul web in una versione relativamente recente eseguita - e anche cantata - dal suo autore, Dave Sinclair, che per l'occasione ha rivisitato luoghi e memorie legate alla sua iniziale ispirazione. Avrà pure gusto iper zuccherino, ma due minuti di assunzione spazzano via il ricordo amaro di tante noncuranti prescrizioni somministrate in seguito ahimé proprio dal cugino Richard, che pure rese immortale l'originale.

https://vimeo.com/106034251
http://www.dave-sinclair.com/revisitinglexingtonhouseninefeetunderground

14 ottobre 2017


Quando dieci anni fa, precisamente il 4 ottobre 2007, fecero tappa a Praga per la prima volta i Soft Machine Legacy - all'epoca John Etheridge, Theo Travis, Hugh Hopper e John Marshall - un entusiasta Miloš Latislav produsse uno speciale radiofonico presso la ceca Radio 3 Vltava quale benaugurale introduzione al concerto al Palác Akropolis. Oggi quel programma riaffiora negli archivi di Mixcloud: "British Soft Machine were true pioneers in blending together psychrock, jazz (even on its free edge) and sophisticated compositional structures. During its existence between 1966 and 1978 (with brief re-incarnations in 1980-81 and 1984) the band went through cyclic personal changes and continually evolved its sound. Being one of the core members of so-called Canterbury Scene, they were and are hugely inspirational for many musicians in fields of jazz and rock alternatives. Since 1999, there were regular "Legacy" projects in work, first under the Soft Ware and Soft Works monikers, while from 2004 the Soft Machine Legacy line-up (consisting completely of ex-SM members before the death of Elton Dean in 2006) is active until present, sometimes billed simply as Soft Machine. The collection presented here is my programme for Czech Radio 3 Vltava, created in 2007 due to premiere Prague performance of SML."

https://www.mixcloud.com/milos-latislav/from-soft-machine-to-its-legacy
http://orclose2edge.blogspot.com/2011/05/from-soft-machine-to-its-legacy.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYY9h8QszpY

13 ottobre 2017


Chi di noi non ha mai pensato che a Robert Wyatt bisognerebbe fare un monumento, prima o poi? John O'Rourke un'idea ce l'ha. E ci sta lavorando...

https://robertwyattconstructionkit.com

12 ottobre 2017


Il bel documentario di Golriz Kolahi su Gilad Atzmon (Contra Image, 2012) da oggi è anche su YouTube: Gilad and All That Jazz.

Gilad Atzmon is one of modern music's best saxophonists, and one of the most controversial public opponents of Israel. A gentle giant, warm, charismatic and somewhat shy, Gilad is a complex character. Born into a pro-Zionist family and serving briefly in the first Lebanon War, Gilad had a dramatic turnaround; he quit the army, picked up his sax and exiled himself to London, declaring himself an enemy to the Israeli state. Since then he has produced some of the modern era's greatest jazz albums, and collaborated with Ian Drury, Paul McCartney and Sinead O' Connor. In music he is a 'feisty improviser' as one critic put it, comparing him to the likes of Charlie Parker. In his political and philosophical ideas, he is blunt and outspoken. His ideas on Israel and "Jewishness" have upset many people, to the extent that he has been labelled a holocaust denier and an anti-Semite. In Gilad's life, music and politics are inseparable.
The film follows Gilad in the most flourishing time of his career, as he records albums with Robert Wyatt, the Blockheads, and gigs with Nigel Kennedy; gets invited to TV programs and panel events all over the globe; pleases his supporters and admirers, while seriously pissing off his opponents to the point of receiving death threats and intimidation against the venues he plays and speaks in. Gilad and All That Jazz offers a unique insight in to the life, ideas, music and motivations driving the great saxophonist.

http://www.gilad.co.uk/gilad-and-all-that-jazz
http://www.lidf.co.uk/film/gilad-and-all-that-jazz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jfiu5rAz4s

11 ottobre 2017


Prosegue felicemente la vacanza italiana di Eugene Chadbourne di questi giorni, e in agenda c'è ancora qualche appuntamento: oggi a Monteggiori-Camaiore (Lu), e a seguire Gattinara (Vc), S. Vito di Leguzzano (Vi) e Forlì (FC).

http://eugenechadbourne.com
https://www.facebook.com/ammassociazionemusicamonteggiori
https://www.facebook.com/events/134683150447390
https://www.facebook.com/events/132896500664585
http://www.areasismica.it/event/eugene-chadbourne-usa-3

10 ottobre 2017


Le condizioni di salute e i segni dell'età lo portano ad affermare in una recente intervista che non ci sarà più molto spazio per nuove canzoni e nuovo slancio creativo (beh, dopo quattrocento album!). Eppure la più recente uscita discografica di R. Stevie Moore - non contando le preziose ristampe Cordelia e le numerose antologie retrospettive - si compone, per la prima volta dopo molti anni, esclusivamente di nuovo materiale originale, scritto tra il 2011 e il 2015: World War Four, un bel doppio cd prodotto per la tedesco-burgessiana Moloko Plus.

http://rsteviemoore.com/cd/worldwarfour.html
https://mycholsfabulousplayground.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/what-r-stevie-moore-said

09 ottobre 2017


Il favoloso archivio di documenti video prodotti e accumulati in vita dal videoartista Jack Henry Moore (1940-2014) sarà preservato anche in digitale dalla piccola agenzia Dig Media Ltd a Salford (Regno Unito), grazie a un cospicuo finanziamento appena ottenuto dalla lotteria nazionale. Moore, statunitense di nascita, è figura chiave - e assai poco ortodossa - del giornalismo e del documentarismo underground degli anni Sessanta e Settanta in Europa, promotore di molte iniziative in seno al collettivo Videoheads, molte altre assieme al compagno Jim Haynes, e un personale contributo alle vicende della rivista International Times, del club londinese UFO e dell'olandese Melkweg (di quest'ultimo egli fu tra i fondatori). C'è da aspettarsi che da quell'archivio - più di settantaduemila ore di riprese - esca presto anche qualche perla rara di Pink Floyd e Soft Machine, oltre a Grateful Dead e John & Yoko!

https://www.dig.media/about-jack-henry-moore-1
https://www.dig.media
https://www.facebook.com/digmedialtd
https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2014/apr/23/jack-henry-moore-obituary
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10788743/Jack-Henry-Moore-obituary.html

08 ottobre 2017


Lou Gare (1939-2017)







07 ottobre 2017


Mentre ancora echeggiava l'annuncio di Kate a proposito dello 'spettacolo che non ha mai mai fine', al termine della magnifica rivisitazione di A Bigger Show proposta lo scorso 29 settembre a Londra all'Albany, le prime parole di saluto e di commiato Mike Westbrook le ha avute proprio per il compianto amico John Jack: 'The show goes on'.

http://www.westbrookjazz.co.uk

06 ottobre 2017


Molti amici musicisti, scrittori e poeti si sono dati appuntamento al 100 Club londinese a ricordare e salutare per l'ultima volta John Jack, scomparso qualche settimana fa. C'erano tra gli altri Mike Westbrook e Chris Biscoe, Evan Parker, Jason Yarde, Alexander Hawkins, Steve Noble e Michael Horovitz. L'amatissima Shirley, naturalmente, e al suo fianco Hazel Miller. C'era anche Richard Williams, che ha scritto al suo blog: "It occurred to me that John probably heard more great music than the rest of us put together, and he knew the value of it."

https://thebluemoment.com/2017/10/05/john-jack-1933-2017
http://www.jazzwisemagazine.com/breaking-news/john-jack-1933-2017
http://www.hibou-anemone-bear.com/John+Jack

05 ottobre 2017


Una splendida performance di Philip Jeck, prodotta a Londra lo scorso maggio all'interno della rassegna di arti sonore The Engine Room, è ora un cd per l'etichetta Touch. Iklectik il luogo delle riprese, Iklectik il titolo dell'album.

http://philipjeck.com
http://touch33.net/news/tone-58-philip-jeck-iklectik-2.html
http://iklectikartlab.com/philip_jeck

04 ottobre 2017


Dieci titoli in catalogo, non uno di più, e ciascuno a tiratura limitata a cento esemplari. Ha le idee chiare il proposito artistico di Sono Sordo, a Montréal, e i suoi primi frutti son già gustosissimi: Miella Totomi, con Just Got Death; Pink Saliva, con il doppio Tropical Fun & General Lightness; Klaxon Gueule con il trittico cromatico Ceci n’est pas (Joli Rouge, Pâle Gris e Weird Mauve). Guai farseli sfuggire!

http://www.actuellecd.com/en/boutique/sonosordo

03 ottobre 2017


L'attività di Joane Hétu come musicista, organizzatrice, animatrice e responsabile degli svariati progetti musicali che in Québec e a Montréal si aggregano, ormai da cinque lustri, attorno alla sigla Dame/Ambiances Magnétiques, non rallenta nel corso degli anni, anzi di recente sembra prendere nuovo impulso da nuove scelte e nuove sfide, sia personali sia artistiche: tra le nuove uscite discografiche che più la riguardano ci sono Famille, a proprio nome, Un idéal, opera del suo duo Nous perçons les oreilles assieme al marito Jean Derome, Où est-il donc ce rêve?, esordio del suo coro bruitista Joker, e Jeux de pistes, del poderoso Ensemble SuperMusique.

Un documentario riguardante le origini di Ambiances Magnétiques e le sue evoluzioni attraverso L’ensemble de Musique improvisée de Montréal e L’association pour la diffusion de la musique ouverte è stato ritrasmesso in occasione dei venticinque anni di attività del collettivo Dame e del servizio di distribuzione Actuellecd dalla CFRU 93.3FM a Guelph, Ontario. Contiene interviste a Joane, a Derome e a Danielle Palardy Roger; lo si recupera come podcast in https://sounditoutiicsi.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/episode-58-musique-actuelle-materiel-archive

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.

02 ottobre 2017


Un riuscito omaggio alla poesia di Carl Sandburg a cinquant'anni dalla scomparsa (1878-1967) da parte di Matt Wilson, con l'aiuto di Jack Black, Christian McBride, John Scofield, Bill Frisell, Rufus Reid, Joe Lovano e Carla Bley: Honey and Salt (Palmetto Records, 2017).

When Carl Sandburg died in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson hailed the famed poet as “more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America.” Fifty years after Sandburg’s passing, drummer/composer Matt Wilson’s Honey and Salt pays tribute to the “poet of the people,” who won three Pulitzer Prizes, wrote the definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln, advocated for civil rights and traveled the country collecting traditional folk songs. Sharing both Sandburg’s Midwestern roots and his gift and passion for communicating lofty art to a broad and diverse audience, Wilson has been a lifelong admirer of the poet’s work and has been setting his words to music for more than 15 years. The long-awaited release of Honey and Salt coincides with the 50th anniversary of Sandburg’s death in July 1967 and looks ahead to January 2018, when the 140th anniversary of his birth will be celebrated.

http://www.mattwilsonjazz.com
https://thebluemoment.com/2017/09/28/sandburgwilson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBaUKIM47tk

01 ottobre 2017


Una delle prime tappe dell'immersivo percorso disegnato all'interno della mostra Pink Floyd-Their Mortal Remains - aperta al V&A londinese con enorme successo di pubblico ancora fino al 15 ottobre, qualche giorno in più del previsto - riguarda ovviamente le ispirazioni e le aspirazioni delle origini. Un interessante scritto di Joe Boyd - Lift Off, riportato integralmente in catalogo e diffuso a brani tempo fa anche tra gli iscritti alla sua periodica newsletter - ricorda a chiare lettere le principali passioni artistiche e letterarie di Syd Barrett e gli acronimi che su di lui ebbero la massima influenza, AMM e LSD, indicando inoltre come abbia potuto compiersi l'atto quasi-rauschenberghiano di appropriazione che diede origine al nome definitivo del gruppo: "I used to have a hash-burn-studded copy of the Philips gatefold blues reissue dedicated to the 1930s recordings of Blind Boy Fuller, an itinerant Carolina blues man who was once so popular that Big Bill Broonzy recorded a song in which he threatened to come to Charlotte and take away all of Fuller’s women. Paul Oliver, a British blues expert whom most musicians viewed with awed respect, contributed a lengthy set of liner-notes in which, setting Fuller into context, he mentioned other wandering singers from the same area. We don’t know whether Syd ever listened to the record; certainly nothing in his playing reveals much Fuller influence. But buried in Oliver’s notes are the names Pink Anderson and Floyd Council and Syd appropriated them, Rauschenberg-like, as the group’s magical talisman. Nothing could be further from Dylan’s reverence for the Harry Smith box set.”