31 dicembre 2006

Chiudo l'anno leggendo e. e. cummings e ascoltando I Just Wasn't Made For These Times, nella versione per voce e pianoforte offerta da Louis Philippe, un'anteprima dal suo imminente doppio album dal vivo (la si sente intanto in http://www.myspace.com/louisphilippemusic). Ciao.

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then) they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

21 dicembre 2006

Nel numero di gennaio 2007 The Wire ospita i tedeschi Faust nella sezione Invisible Jukebox. Parte della conversazione, guidata da David Stubbs, si può anche sentire - nel trambusto tipico di ogni intervista con il gruppo - in http://www.thewire.co.uk/web/tape.php. L'ascolto di War (da Henry Cow - In Praise of Learning) offre lo spunto per commenti, giudizi e ricordi legati alle esperienze Virgin e Recommended, con un diretto raffronto tra idee, ideali e idealismi di Richard Branson, di Chris Cutler e degli stessi Faust.

18 dicembre 2006

Aymeric Leroy pubblica oggi su Calyx 'R.I.P. Pip Pyle - A Souvenir Portfolio', una selezione di immagini e scritti raccolti in occasione del funerale di Pip Pyle.

14 dicembre 2006

L'insuperabile Ensemble Modern e un gruppo di virtuosi indiani sono protagonisti del concerto messo in onda domenica prossima, a partire dalle 20.30, da RadioTre Suite e registrato a Venezia per Biennale Musica 2006 lo scorso 2 ottobre. Dirige Kasper de Roo.

Rasalîla - il gioco delle emozioni - è il risultato delle collaborazione tra l’Ensemble Modern, formazione tra le più note e apprezzate per la musica contemporanea, e alcuni grandi interpreti della musica classica indiana. L’opera ha le proprie radici nella tradizione del paese asiatico e usa il linguaggio dell’avanguardia. Quella indiana è ritenuta la sola musica classica tradizionale che continua la propria evoluzione in modo indipendente dalla concezione musicale occidentale.
Direttore artistico del progetto è Sandeep Bhagwati, compositore che da tempo lavora in Europa. L’idea ha preso forma durante una serie di workshop coordinati da Bhagwati nell’arco di un biennio, che ha raccolto famosi musicisti indiani a comporre una serie di brani per l’Ensemble Modern.

13 dicembre 2006

Le ristampe su CD di alcuni classici Soft Machine - gli album dal 3 al 7 - sono annunciate per febbraio 2007.

"Sony BMG is proud to present five reissued masterpieces from genre defining pioneers of psychedelia, Soft Machine. Remastered from the original master tapes and sounding better than ever, these classic albums are essential for all fans of both Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt and staple listening for anyone with an interest in 1960/70's experimental jazz/rock.
Exclusive bonus material is included in the form of an additional disc containing the BBC session 'Live from the Royal Albert Hall' which is included with the 'Third' album, and the previously unavailable alternate take of 'All White' featured on the 'Fifth' album.
Featuring the legendary Robert Wyatt, Soft Machine exploded on to the scene in 1966 alongside Pink Floyd who they often played with and were likened to. In the history of rock music few bands underwent such a stylistic musical transformation as Soft Machine. Starting life as a band that absorbed Soul and Jazz influences, the group became one of the first to embrace psychedelia before heading off on a jazz influenced tangent. In hindsight Soft Machine's evolution could have only taken place in the musical free thinking environment that was the music business of the late 60's / early 70's. It was an evolution that would produce some of the most startlingly brilliant and innovative music of the period. With constant support from John Peel's Radio London `Perfumed Garden' show and through a series of underground happenings where they played alongside The Who, Jimi Hendrix (who they also supported on a 1968 US tour) and Eric Burdon and the Animals, they became one of the most respected and influential bands of that time."
Un importante riconoscimento ha ricevuto Graham Bennett per il libro Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous, pubblicato l'anno scorso da SAF:

"SAF Publishing are proud to announce that Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous, the definitive history of British jazz–rock pioneering legends Soft Machine, has won a 2006 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research recognising a work of exceptionally high quality. "The goal of the ARSC Awards Program is to recognise and draw attention to the finest work now being published in the field of recorded sound research," says Brenda Nelson-Strauss of the ARSC Awards Committee. "We congratulate you on your achievement in this field." Graham Bennett has been invited by the ARSC to the presentation banquet to be held in Milwaukee on Saturday May 5, 2007, to collect his award during ARSC's annual conference. Begun in 1991, the awards are presented to authors and publishers to recognise outstanding published research in the field of recorded sound. In giving these awards, ARSC recognises outstanding contributions, encourages high standards, and promotes awareness of superior works."

SAF Publishing London UK

12 dicembre 2006

Hux Records annuncia l'uscita di On the Radio per Matching Mole (Peel sessions del 1972 e dello stesso anno il concerto per la BBC già pubblicato da Windsong nel 1994) e Soft Mountain per l'omonimo quartetto comprendente Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean, Hoppy Kamiyama e Tatsuya Yoshida in una session finora inedita dell'agosto 2003.

Robert Wyatt formed Matching Mole in 1972, shortly after he left Soft Machine and just before launching his solo career. Matching Mole bore some similarities to his later work with Soft Machine. In fact, Wyatt came up with the name 'Matching Mole' as a subtle pun on the French translation of 'Soft Machine' - 'machine molle'.
Matching Mole released two great albums in 1972, before Wyatt disbanded the group and set out as a solo artist. But it is this Hux compilation which Wyatt now describes as the definitive Matching Mole album.
'On The Radio' is a compilation of rare BBC recordings, including 3 John Peel studio sessions and a live concert. The band includes Dave Sinclair (ex Caravan), Phil Miller (Hatfield & The North and National Health), Bill MacCormick and Dave MacRae
This special 'digi-pack' format features an original cover photograph by Robert Wyatt, who also compiled the running order. The accompanying 12 page CD booklet features extensive liner notes by Matching Mole bassist, Bill MacCormick, plus rare period photo's and comprehensive recording details.

Legendary Soft Machine veterans Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper joined forces in 2003 with wildly creative keyboardist/composer Hoppy Kamiyama and master drummer, Yoshida Tatsuya to create Soft Mountain. Their debut recording is now released here for the first time.Elton Dean & Hugh Hopper are well known amongst jazz rock fans. In addition to forming half of the ‘classic’ Soft Machine line-up (with Robert Wyatt & Mike Ratledge) they have also worked with Brotherhood of Breath, Keith Tippett & Long John Baldry's Bluesology (Dean) and Stomu Yamashta, Kevin Ayers & Isotope (Hopper). Soft Mountain named themselves after Hoppy Kamiyama, whose name translates into ‘God Mountain’ in English. Hoppy has made about 200 CDs over a nearly 24 year career, so it’s hard to say which is the greatest and most influential recording by this musician, who practically invented the modern concept of the keyboardist/composer/producer. Tatsuya Yoshida was without doubt one of the most important drummers on the Japanese scene in the final decades of the 20th century, having spearheaded at least half a dozen of that country's most important groups, including Acid Mothers Temple & The Ruins. This limited edition digi-pack features a liner note from Hugh Hopper.

11 dicembre 2006

Stasera, e ogni sera fino a venerdì 15, appuntamento imperdibile in radio (Fuochi, RadioTre, dalle 23.30 alle 24.00) con Paolo Chang che presenta "John Greaves & Peter Blegvad: piccole cosmogonie musicali". Queste le scalette dei brani proposti:

Lunedì 11 dicembre

SLAPP HAPPY, Little Girls World, da "Sort Of" - Blueprint BP318CD
SLAPP HAPPY, A Little Something, da "Acnalbasac Noom" - ReR SHCD
SLAPP HAPPY/HENRY COW, Bad Alchemy, da "Desperate Straights" - ReR HCSH1
HENRY COW, War, da "In Praise of Learning" - East Side Digital ESD 80502
JOHN GREAVES/PETER BLEGVAD/LISA HERMAN, Seven Scenes From The Painting "Exhuming The First American Mastodon" By C.W.Peale, da "Kew. Rhone." - Voiceprint VP200CD
JOHN GREAVES/PETER BLEGVAD/LISA HERMAN, Good Evening, da "Kew. Rhone." - Voiceprint VP200CD
JOHN GREAVES/PETER BLEGVAD/LISA HERMAN, Twenty-Two Proverbs, da "Kew. Rhone." - Voiceprint VP200CD

Martedì 12 dicembre
PETER BLEGVAD/JOHN GREAVES, Like a Baby, da "State of the Union" - Atavistic ALP69CD
JOHN GREAVES, Milk, da "Accident" - Blueprint BP234CD
JOHN GREAVES, The Price We Pay, da "Parrot Fashions" - Blueprint BP233CD
SLAPP HAPPY, Everybody's Slimmin' (Even Men and Women), da "Acnalbasac Noom" - ReR SHCD
PETER BLEGVAD, How Beautiful You Are, da "The Naked Shakespeare" - Virgin Records CDV 2284
JOHN GREAVES, How Beautiful You Are, da "The Trouble with Happiness" - Le Chant du Monde 274 1199

Mercoledì 13 dicembre
PETER BLEGVAD, Special Delivery, da "Knights Like This" - Virgin CDV 2352
MICHAEL ZENTNER, Parts, da "Present Time" - Red Records VR22615
GOLDEN PALOMINOS, Strong, Simple Silences, da "Blast of Silence" - Charly Records CPCD 8225
THE LODGE, The Song, da "Smell of a Friend" - Antilles/New Directions 7 90691-1
JAKKO, A Grown Man Immersed In Tin Tin, da "Are My Ears On Wrong?" - Resurgence RES110CD

Giovedì 14 dicembre
PETER BLEGVAD, Card To Bernard, da "Downtime" - East Side Digital 81192
PETER BLEGVAD, King Strut, da "King Strut & Other Stories" - Silvertone ZD74731
PETER BLEGVAD/JOHN GREAVES, The Only Song, da "Unearthed" - Sub Rosa sr 75
JOHN GREAVES, Rose C'est La Vie, da "La Petite Bouteille de Linge" - La Lichere CD LLL 117
NATIONAL HEALTH, Binoculars, da "Complete" - East Side Digital ESD 80402/412

Venerdì 15 dicembre
JOHN GREAVES, Kew.Rhone., da "Songs" - Resurgence RES112CD
SLAPP HAPPY, Child Then, da "Ça Va" - V2 VVR 1001662
PETER BLEGVAD, Loss To Mourn, da "Hangman's Hill" - ReR Megacorp PB3
JOHN GREAVES, ÉLISE CARON, Effilochée, da "Chansons..." - Le Chant du Monde 274 1261JOHN GREAVES, I Wish You Love / Que Rest-T-Il De Nos Amours?, da "On The Street Where You Live" - Blueprint BP346CD

Don Paterson, scrittore e poeta scozzese di lustro (ma anche musicista in una formazione minore di jazz-folk), ricorda su The Sunday Times di ieri l'incontro di gioventù - e i suoi benefici effetti - con l'album Rock Bottom di Robert Wyatt.

10 dicembre 2006

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, una delle più geniali creazioni del compianto Vivian Stanshall, è da qualche settimana in distribuzione online ma anche nei negozi tradizionali. La pubblicazione in DVD, oltre 25 anni dopo la realizzazione del film, è stata salutata da proiezioni nei cinema britannici e da una festa a Piccadilly lo scorso ottobre; di questa si vedono alcune immagini in http://tinyurl.com/scwb5.

Digital Classics, che ha prodotto il DVD per Charisma, ha in catalogo magliette e memorabilia per l'occasione. Un'estesa recensione, con un utile riassunto della storia (quello scritto dallo stesso Stanshall, due paginette date da leggere al pubblico dopo la visione del film, è tra i bonus del DVD), si legge in http://tinyurl.com/yybupk.

08 dicembre 2006

Louis Philippe pubblica su doppio cd un estratto dai concerti del 2005 a Londra e Brema; l'album sarà pronto nei primi mesi del 2007, ma lo si può già ora richiedere prenotandolo attraverso il sito di Philippe, Sunshine. La prima tiratura è limitata a 500 copie. Nulla si sa invece circa la pubblicazione dell'altro album in programma per il 2007, The Huddle House, con Stuart Moxham.

02 dicembre 2006

Il nuovo album di Phil Miller - In Cahoots si chiama Conspiracy Theories, e dopo la falsa partenza dovuta ad errori nella prima tiratura è pronto ed in distribuzione dal sito del chitarrista http://www.philmiller-incahoots.co.uk

Così lo presenta lo stesso Miller:
"The project for recording the CD Conspiracy Theories was started in Nov 2004 and completed in July 2006. In this time In Cahoots has morphed into a multifaceted group with a more varied personnel. The band redefines itself by what is written for and attempted by it and who is in it.
Out of interest all the initial track laying and majority of the music on this CD was recorded at Eastcote Studios but most of the overdubs and all the mixing was done in my own studio. I wanted to have as much interplay as possible in general but in particular on solos. So this necessitated there had to be a good monitoring for the band playing live and Eastcote provided this.
Fred Baker, Pete Lemer and Mark Fletcher are still at the heart of the group and therefore this CD. Their presence ensures that I can write and record complex material and have it accurately played in the time allotted.
However in a way the seeds for this project were sown when working with Didier Malherbe in Short Wave. I had sketched out the pieces – 5 & 7, Crackpot, Find Press Enter and Freudian Triode with him in mind. In those days he played all the reeds and flutes and in the studio was a one-man wind ensemble. These dense and elaborate orchestrations happened to be compatible with some other compositions I had been writing in the last few years and the project took shape from there. However these days Didier Malherbe concentrates on the Doudouk, Soprano Sax,Ocarinas and various flutes. He rather eschews his former jazz self these days to concentrate fully on his band Hadouk. Anyway having persuaded Didier that this recording date could be the exception to the rule things soon took shape. On 5 & 7 Didier plays Alto Sax which today he no longer does. His sax and flute parts on 5 & 7 were recorded some time ago .To realise this project I augmented the band with Annie Whitehead (Trombone) and Simon Finch (Trumpet & Flugelhorn). They are members of the Zappatistas and therefore clearly don’t mind a challenge. I heard them play various Frank Zappa pieces with aplomb and thought they would play my parts quite easily without much rehearsal, which they duly did and much more.
Simon Picard made his contribution to the project after the initial track laying in Nov 04. He played with In Cahoots in July 05.His sound and melodic sense is renown and blends well with Didier’s Soprano.He forms a brilliant front line with Simon Finch for the band as it will appear in December.
With Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin providing the tuned percussion and vocals parts the piece 5 & 7 harks back to our collaborations on Figures of Speech (Cutting both Ways).
On this same tune Doug Boyle plays the majority of the guitar parts including some rather fast and tricky ninetuplets. Doug’s supple legato technique makes them sound clean and natural.
Richard Sinclair makes a cameo appearance of on Fretless Bass on Lydiotic.
This tune is an acknowledgement, although heavily disguised, in the direction of George Russell and his book the Lydian Chromatic Concept that was interesting reading for me at the time of Matching Mole.
Orinaca, which is written by Pete with Didier playing on Ocarina. It is a sort of world music departure for In Cahoots and features a powerful solo from Pete.
Fred’s piece End of the Line was written for his father who was a guitarist of stature and has a flowing solo from the author with intricate brushwork accompaniment from Mark Fletcher. Extreme virtuosity in the bass department is required on bass tune feature Flash Point which ends with an emphatic drum solo from Mark Fletcher. On the title track Conspiracy Theories Didier’s solo shows him in fine form while Mark negotiates the rather frequent tempo and feel changes with consummate ease."

01 dicembre 2006

Gong @ Monserrat 1973 (and Other Stories) è il titolo di un DVD appena pubblicato per Gong & co, che si può reperire all'indirizzo www.planetgong.co.uk del sito dedicato al gruppo.
Oltre al raro filmato del titolo - una mezzoretta circa dei tempi migliori - ci sono numerosi altri video più recenti, alcuni disponibili anche sul sito di Daevid Allen. Inutile però negarlo, si va a vedere anche - e tra le prime cose - un breve estratto Soft Machine all'UFO Club, epoca 1967...

Essential footage of 1973 Gong at play and live + much more
The Holy Grail for many Gongsters is footage of the band in the '70s. Such material is very rare indeed, so to be re-untied with a complete 25 minute professionally shot and edited film from the time is like manna from heaven. You simply will not believe your eyes. Add to that new high quality specially shot films of some of daevid's recent work and some long lost Soft Machine UFO footage direct from Mark Boyle's archive - a must have DVD.
With a 12 page booklet by daevid explaining all about this bizarre Gong gig and the other films included in this collection.
Gong @ Monserrat 1973 - A Film by Esteban Marguilles
Big Tea 1996 - A Film by Andrea Heinrich
Conscience Strike 2006 - A Film by Stefanie Petri
Arrest Me - A Film by Stefanie Petri
Gaia - A Film by Stefanie Petrik
Tick'O'Cock - A Film by Micheal Balson
Garden Song - A Film by Gary Fick
AMG at RFH 2002 - 'The Marriage of Cotton Casino'
Soft Machine - UFO Club 2.6.1967

30 novembre 2006

The Stone - il locale newyorchese diretto da John Zorn interamente dedicato a sperimentazione e avanguardia - ospita per il mese di dicembre 2006 la programmazione voluta da Bruce Lee Gallanter e Manny "Lunch" Maris, gli infaticabili promotori di Downtown Music Gallery, negozio di dischi nuovi e usati noto anche per l'efficiente servizio di vendita per corrispondenza in tutto il mondo. E' la prima volta nella storia del locale che a gestire il calendario dei concerti vien chiamato qualcuno che non è musicista, ma l'eccezione ha fondate motivazioni, come si legge nel comunicato recentemente diffuso da Gallanter:

More than a year ago, my partner, Manny Maris, was having a conversation our good friend John Zorn, artistic director of The Stone performance space, and asked if it was possible for Manny to celebrate his birthday next year (2006) with a special concert at The Stone. Since each month at The Stone is curated by a different musician, Zorn suggested that Manny & I curate the month of December ourselves. We are the only non-musicians to be asked to do this and we are truly honored. Our store, Downtown Music Gallery, is a big supporter of The Stone as well as selling The Stone benefit CD, and yours truly plays a direct role in its operations
Our initial dream was to open our fest with Keith Tippett's Mujician, since Keith is our favorite pianist and Mujician would've played on Manny's birthday, December 2nd. But alas, we couldn't afford the guarantee that Keith desired. Perhaps next year. What we do have is the rest of Mujician, Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers and Tony Levin as a trio and with guests for December 1st-3rd, as well as collaborating with trumpet ace Dennis Gonzalez on December 9th. For the rest of the month, Manny and I sat down and put together our dream list of musicians who have inspired us for many years, most of whom are coming from faraway places like England, Amsterdam, France, San Francisco and L.A. None of whom, have ever played at The Stone before as a leader, except for Fred Frith.
This festival is dedicated to the great musicians, including Derek Bailey, Elton Dean, Pip Pyle, Dewey Redman, Lance Carter... and sadly, many others, who have passed on from this world in the past year.
This will be a truly historic month, a once-in-a-lifetime month-long festival. We will be filming (on DAT) and recording each set, with hopes of releasing some/many of these sets in the future on the DMG/ARC label. Remember that the Stone has only 65 seats plus a small standing room section, so please book those vacations now! We are selling advance tickets for the three-day Frith/Hodgkinson/Cutler reunion/celebration, December 15th-17th. We hope that our friends at various enlightened publications help to spread the word, as well as those of you who read our weekly newsletters.
Il programma completo si legge in http://tinyurl.com/7z36k ed è a dir poco mozzafiato.

28 novembre 2006

Concertzender trasmette stasera, a partire dalle 23.00, uno speciale su Pip Pyle all'interno del programma The Art of the Improvisers. Ottima la scaletta - la si legge in http://tinyurl.com/y7fya6 - con brani da CD e vecchi vinili di Delivery, Coxhill/Miller, Hatfield & the North, National Health, Equipe Out e Bash!. Il programma sarà replicato il prossimo 5 dicembre a partire dalle 16.00.

26 novembre 2006

Tim Hodgkinson è in Italia per concerti questa settimana, e il 2 dicembre sarà a Ravaldino in Monte (FC) in duo con Elio Martusciello. Il suo ultimo lavoro, Sketch of Now, è recensito assai positivamente su The Wire di dicembre, dove si legge anche una recensione di Henry Cow - Concerts Remastered.

22 novembre 2006

Una bella galleria fotografica dal festival Unlimited XX tenuto a Wels (Austria) pochi giorni fa si vede in http://tinyurl.com/yzjus8, con gli scatti di Matteo Peterlini. Ovviamente anche il sito dell'Alter Schlachtof, sede del festival, offre molte immagini: http://tinyurl.com/yan53u

21 novembre 2006

Nella seconda metà degli anni ottanta Recommended lanciò l'etichetta Points East, deputata a documentare almeno in parte quanto di buono e interessante veniva prodotto - ma assai poco o per nulla divulgato - nei paesi dell'est europeo in fatto di musiche sperimentali ed eterodosse. Vennero prodotti otto album, tra il 1989 e il 1991, che Chris Cutler annuncia di voler riproporre integralmente nel 2007 in una speciale edizione cumulativa rispettosa del disegno originale ma ulteriormente arricchita di saggi, testimonianze, libro fotografico e altri 3-4 cd con brani pertinenti sia dell'epoca sia attuali. Il tutto è già ora in sottoscrizione presso ReR, con l'avvertenza che il progetto andrà in porto solo se ci saranno richieste sufficienti a coprirne i costi di produzione.

Historic numbered art edition
12 CDs, book and box

The Rock experiments of Eastern Europe were no less interesting (though they were somewhat rarer) than those in the West, but they went undocumented for years - they made no commercial or official CDs and could not tour. Concerts were rare even in their own countries. Outside, to all intents and purposes, they didn't exist. To begin to redress this lack, in the late '80s, Recommended launched Points East, a label dedicated only to this music. Because of its historical importance - and musical excellence - we plan to manufacture a very limited edition of the 8 PE LPs (re-mastered on CD), plus 3 or 4 extra CDs filling in further details of the music of the various territories in that time, mostly taken from other Recommended releases as yet not reissued - including the extraordinary 'Raab' and Zygmunt Krauze's luminous 'Folk Music'- plus a couple of CDs with samples of other groups from the time and new materials by the original artists. All the CDs will be in facsimile edition, fully re-mastered, in a box with a fat book outlining the way it was in the old East and the way it is now, as well as a more general overview of experimental music in each of the territories. In other words this will be an historic documentation of a missing part of the history of progressive and experimental music, a documentation much needed. It will be made to our usual standards and very thoroughly documented, but we want to make it as cheap as possible - since this for art's sake; it's certainly not a commercial proposition. So we will try to keep the 12 CDs, box and book down to £ 58 - close to cost. However, origination, manufacturing and production costs will be huge, and we will only be able to make it if there is sufficient interest and enough pledged advance orders. To that end, if you are interested in this project, please subscribe - just write in and say you want your name put down, we will not take any money until and unless the box is actually realised. If and when we reach a viable number, we will announce the issue, confirm your subscriptions and go ahead.

The original PE series was:
BORIS KOVACS. Ritual Nova 2 (YU)
ZGA. Zga (Riga)
STRANGE GAMES, Strange Games (Russia)
BORUT KRZISNIK Currents of Time (Slovenia)
KAMPEC DOLORES Levitation (Hungary)
REPORTAZ. Reportaz (Poland)
PULNOC. Midnight Mouse (Czechoslovakia)

Dettagli e sottoscrizioni in http://www.rermegacorp.com

20 novembre 2006

Recensioni di Middle Earth Masters - Soft Machine, su Cuneiform - si leggono questi giorni su All About Jazz, a firma di John Kelman, e su Dusted Magazine a firma di Marc Medwin.

19 novembre 2006

Sotto nome News from Babel passarono, tra il 1983 e il 1986, alcune delle più belle invenzioni musicali e poetiche degli ex-Henry Cow Lindsay Cooper e Chris Cutler, riprendendo e in parte trascendendo lo splendido lavoro sulla forma-canzone compiuto da Art Bears. Belli, personali e curatissimi in tutto - musiche, testi, grafica e resa sonora su vinile - i loro dischi lanciarono non pochi sassi nello stagno (o bottiglie nell'oceano) in tempi di un qualche disorientamento dopo l'esaurirsi della fase 'storica' di Rock in Opposition. I due lavori maggiori - Sirens & Silences/Work Resumed on the Tower e Letters Home) han già visto la luce su cd in passato, su ReR; ora c'è per entrambi una nuova ristampa sia individuale, sia in piccolo cofanetto (dove vi si aggiunge il singolo Contraries, a suo tempo disponibile in sottoscrizione e in quantità assai limitate). Oltre a Cooper e Cutler ci sono Dagmar Krause, Zeena Parkins (Sirens & Silences/Work Resumed on the Tower fu il suo debutto discografico all'arpa), Phil Minton, Georgie Born, Bill Gilonis, Sally Potter e un grandissimo Robert Wyatt in ben cinque brani di Letters Home.

Questo il comunicato che ne accompagna l'uscita, scritto da Dave Kerman su ReR Usa:
This slipcase boxset contains both classic News From Babel albums, plus a CD single of the very rare 7" "CONTRARIES". After Art Bears called it a day, Chris Cutler and Dagmar Krause teamed up with former Henry Cow confed, Lindsay Cooper, and the American harpist/pianist, Zeena Parkins. Lindsay set some of Chris' most passionate texts to music, and the outcome, whilst somewhat in the vein of Art Bears, materialized as something quite different (but just as good, truthfully). These are many of Lindsay's best compositions and, to boot, they offer some of Chris' weirdest and strangest sounding drumming on disk. Dagmar's vocals are of her usual EXCELLENCE, and we are treated to some fine vocal performances by Robert Wyatt (lead vocals on 4 songs, including the gorgeous, "Moss"), Sally Potter (on "Banknote" and "Fast Food") and Phil Minton on "Dragon At The Core" and "The Year Of Miracles". PLUS , on "Letters Home", the band is augmented by the "unsung hero" of 80's Brit Art-Rock, Mr. Bill Gilonis (The Work, The Lowest Notes) on guitars and bass. The arrangements were brought about collectively, and at the forefront was the penchant (as it was with Art Bears) for the music to sonically elucidate the lyrics. Some extreme instances would be Zeena's harp emulating "steel mosquitos" (oil derricks) in "Black Gold". Or her backwards/forwards accordion on "Klein Bottle", which sonically mimics "a trick of drawing whose outside is its inside". Or the Vari-speed tape work on "Dark Matter", which brings to mind the way a black hole might bend light. Those that enjoy Henry Cow, and especially Art Bears, will find this indispensable, as well.
Altri titoli del catalogo ReR - tra cui nuovi lavori di Cutler, Frith, Hail, ristampe Camberwell Now, The Work, Blitzoids e Picchio dal Pozzo - si trovano nell'aggiornamento di novembre 2006 in http://tinyurl.com/9d743

18 novembre 2006

Magma e Seventh Records annunciano - un pochino in chiave di strenna natalizia - la pubblicazione del secondo dei 4 DVD della serie MAGMA: MYTHES ET LÉGENDES voluti per documentare le celebrazioni del 35esimo anniversario condotte in quattro settimane di concerti presso il parigino Le Triton l'anno scorso. Il concerto qui ripreso, quello del 21 maggio 2005, vide il 'ritorno' di Jannick Top.

Recorded on the 21st May 2005. Remember that incredible month where MAGMA booked out this Paris club, changed its program each week, and brought in luminaries from its history to play with the band again? This is it - part two. This second week was The Maximum Event, re-uniting the two great juggernauts Christian Vander and Jannick Top. Thus a complete new generation, too young to hear these mythical masters first time round, was able to get to know them, to experience the magic they make, and to taste the pleasure they had in playing together again.

Un breve estratto dal primo DVD della serie, con Klaus Blasquiz tra gli altri, dovrebbe essere visibile - salvo problemi di caricamento, non infrequenti - in http://myspace.com/magmaofficial

15 novembre 2006

La prima parte dell'autobiografia di Daevid Allen, Gong Dreaming 1, uscì nel 1994 su sottoscrizione e grazie al finanziamento anticipato di un certo numero di sostenitori; il volume ebbe allora tiratura e diffusione piuttosto limitata, nonostante l'originalità e la qualità dei documenti presentati e raccolti. Oggi il volume viene ristampato con nuova copertina e diversa rilegatura e prontamente distribuito - anche in concomitanza con l'evento gonghista di Amsterdam - da S.A.F. Publishing. La seconda parte dell'autobiografia è anch'essa pronta, ma in attesa di essere completata nell'apparato iconografico.

Gong Dreaming 1
Daevid Allen
Publication date: November 2006
A Deluxe Hardback original
248 x 174mm, 144 pp
100 B&W photographs & illustrations

Part one of Daevid Allen’s amazing autobiography: from Soft Machine to the birth of Gong
For forty years Gong, and their enigmatic leader Daevid Allen, have been at the forefront of psychedelic music, with seminal albums such as Camembert Electrique, Angel’s Egg and Radio Gnome Invisible, Pt1: Flying Teapot.
Originally published as a very limited subscription edition in 1994, Gong Dreaming 1 depicts the early years of Daevid Allen’s path to England in the Sixties, through the formation of the legendary Soft Machine and on to the conception of what was to become his life’s work: Gong. Covering his years in playing at the legendary UFO club, the first US tour with the then almost unknown Jimi Hendrix, the Paris student riots and much more, the book offers a rare insight into the hippie dream.The original edition sold out before it was published, and copies are now highly sought after collector’s items.

12 novembre 2006

Presso Burning Shed si può già prenotare una copia del secondo volume antologico per Hatfield and the North: si intitola Hattitude, sarà ufficialmente disponibile tra un mesetto circa e intanto viene così annunciato:

"Following the success of Hatwise Choice, the Hatfield musicians continue their archive CD series with a second volume of rare '70s recordings. The series was given extra momentum by the discovery of a large collection of previously unheard live tapes, the highlights of which have been personally compiled by the band members themselves. As on Hatwise Choice (released in January 2005), the new CD contains a mixture of live and studio tracks (including extracts from the band's radio sessions) and features some hitherto unrecorded compositions. Hattitude gives a rare insight into the band's live performances at a time of rapid musical development, charting their evolution from early gigs (including one recorded in the swirly psychedelic acoustics of Amsterdam's Paradiso club) through to the more sophisticated arrangements of 1975. En route there are moments of surreal humour and instrumental virtuosity, coupled with instances of sheer sonic savagery which reveal the extent of the madness in the group's method. Virtually all the material is from first generation audio sources which have been digitally restored, ensuring good sound quality throughout. The CD comes in a full colour Digipak with a 20-page booklet containing archive photos and period artwork. The band history initiated in Hatwise Choice continues with the four musicians recounting behind-the-scenes events, road stories, musical reflections and descriptions of recording their debut album in Oxfordshire's Manor Studios. These personal memoirs provide a detailed chronicle of the events of 1973, a 'year in the life' of a young, talented and exciting British band. Hattitude is performed by the classic Hatfield line-up of Phil Miller (guitar), Pip Pyle (drums), Richard Sinclair (bass / vocals) and Dave Stewart (keyboards / tone generators)."

11 novembre 2006

Centinaia di immagini da Gong Unconvention 2006 - belle anche per come documentano l'ambientazione degli eventi nei tre giorni al Melkweg di Amsterdam - sono ora visibili in:

Da Gong Unconvention 2006, un filmatino ora su YouTube riporta un omaggio a Pip Pyle, la sua The Eyes / Isle of Yeux eseguita al flauto da Didier Malherbe, mentre Daevid Allen sul palco compie un breve esercizio di meditazione.

09 novembre 2006

Prende il via domani il bel festival Unlimited a Wels, Austria, con tre giorni al solito fitti fitti di concerti incontri e installazioni artistiche e musicali, e ulteriore spazio per sorprese e festeggiamenti. In occasione del ventennale fanno ritorno amici musicisti e sostenitori del festival fin dal suo esordio, e tra questi Fred Frith con cui si inaugurarono le speciali edizioni - a cadenza biennale - curate assieme a un musicista di riferimento.
In http://tinyurl.com/y44szp si trovano il programma completo attuale (anche in .pdf) e le ricche gallerie fotografiche delle edizioni precedenti.

2006, Fr. Nov. 10
Queen Mab Trio (Can, Nl): Ig Henneman, Lori Freedman, Marilyn Lerner
Six String Singers (Usa, Gb, I, F): Fred Frith, Camel Zekri, Paolo Angeli, Janet Feder
Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone (Usa)
Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed "Takkabel!" (Eth): Feat. Mesele Asmamaw, Asnake Gebreyes

2006, Sa. Nov. 11
Conny Bauer "Der Gelbe Klang"
Wolfgang Mitterer "Mixture 5"
Irène Schweizer & Hamid Drake (Ch, Usa)
Here Comes The Sun (Ö, D): Gunter Schneider, Barbara Romen, Kai Fagaschinski
Charming Hostess (Usa): Jewlia Eisenberg, Marika Hughes, Cynthia Taylor
Compass, Log & Lead (Aus, Usa, Gb): Carla Kihlstedt & Stevie Wishart & Fred Frith
Iswhat?! (Usa): Napoleon Maddox, Jack Walker, Claire Daily, Joe Fonda, Hamid Drake
The Ex (Nl): G.W. Sok, Terrie, Andy, Katherina

2006, So. Nov. 12
Carla Kihlstedt "Kafka Songs"
De-Escalation: Cordula Bösze, Hermann Stangassinger, Hannes Schweiger
Wolke Is Immer 5 (D, A, I): Margareth Kammerer, Christof Kurzmann, Michael Thieke, Kai Fagaschinski
Zeena Parkins "Kitsu-Ne" (Usa)
Thermal (Gb, D): John Butcher, Thomas Lehn, Andy Ex
Attwenger Feat. Fred Frith & I-Wolf (A, Usa): Markus Binder, Hans-Peter Falkner, Fred Frith, I-Wolf

08 novembre 2006

Non una ma cinque o sei occasioni, per chi è a Londra nel weekend, per sentire e incontrare Mike e Kate Westbrook, protagonisti con il loro Village Band Project di diversi concerti in vari luoghi - principalmente in occasione del London Jazz Festival 2006 - e a quanto pare anche di una ripresa radiofonica per il programma della BBC Jazz on 3.

Kate Westbrook voice/tenor horn, Mike Westbrook piano/euphonium, Pete Whyman saxophone, Chris Biscoe saxophone
Thursday 9th Nov. 2006
Pizza Express Jazz Club 10 Dean Street, Soho, London
MIKE BREWER trumpet, KATE WESTBROOK tenor horn/voice, STAN WILLIS alto saxophone, GARY BAYLEY tenor saxophone, SAM SMITH trombone, MIKE WESTBROOK euphonium

Friday 10th Nov 2006 -- at the London Jazz Festival
5.45 to 7.15pm Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Front Room opening of the LJF Royal Festival Hall
10.15pm to 1.00am Pizza Express Jazz Club,10 Dean Street, Soho
to be broadcast 'live' by BBC Radio 'Jazz on 3'

Saturday 11th November 2006 -- at the London Jazz Festival
'Meet the Village Band' session 4.00pm Ray's Jazz at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London

Sunday 12th November 2006 -- at the London Jazz Festival
lunchtime 1.00pm to 4.00pm 'Spice of Life' 6 Moor Street, Soho London W1
evening - 8.30pm The Bulls Head, 373 Lonsdale Road, Barnes London SW13

07 novembre 2006

Per celebrare il quarantesimo anniversario dell'impareggiabile Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - dopo il bel dvd ricavato dalla 'reunion' londinese di inizio anno - sono in corso concerti in Regno Unito fino al prossimo 18 novembre, con ottimo riscontro di pubblico e critica. Phill Jupitus, noto curatore di programmi per la BBC e uno degli ospiti regolari del tour, tiene un divertente diario degli eventi che pubblica in http://tinyurl.com/ydx4r3.

06 novembre 2006

Dalla tre-giorni Gong Unconvention 2006 appena tenutasi ad Amsterdam, un primo resoconto da parte di un appassionato testimone, Age Rotshuizen, diffuso poco fa su What's Rattlin'?:

The flying teapot came down from Planet Gong and decided to take residency in the Melkweg (milky way) which happened to be in the same town I live in, Amsterdam. What an incredibly stroke of luck! Three nights of Gong and Gong related music floating in. Ah well, I'll make an attempt to write a review of the bands and musicians I saw.
I came late to the venue on Friday and unfortunately missed the acoustic Daevid Allen set but picked up half an hour of the Hadouk Trio led by Didier Malherbe. Although I admire Didier I cannot say I was too impressed. The trio plays some kind of "etno-folk" (for lack of a better description) and it didn't do much for me. I also saw the last few minutes of Cyndee Lee Rule on violin playing in the old hall together with a handful of other visitors. Next up in the Max was Mother Gong. I wasn't expecting too much. I have several Mother Gong albums in my collection and they always failed to impress me. How different they were live: Gilli Smyth was speaking to the audience as a high priestess backed by an enthousiastic band including the omnipresent Graham Clark on violin and Didier Malherbe on various reeds and flutes. Not every musician in the band seems to be a professional (the bass player was average) but the lack of musicianship was fully compensated by the enormous energy and they turned out to be one of the many highlights of the weekend. Next up, the Glissando Orchestra, advertised on the Planet Gong website as six glissando guitarplayers, there turned out to be ten of them. They included Daevid Allen, Steve Hillage, Steffi Sharpstrings, Fabio Golfetti, Steve Higgins, Brian Abbott, Josh Pollock, Kawabata Makoto, Harry Williamson and one other I don't remember. They played the Seven Drones and managed to make an awful lot of noise. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity but an interesting experience but I can't say it was my cup of tea. Their set was short though (as long as the seven drones apparently). Next act was Here and Now who I have never heard or seen and played a kind of combination of punk and psychedelica. The psychedelic part was ok but the songs were weak and we took the time to retreat to the café and check out the CDs on sale at the Gong Kazbah in the entry hall. Last band of the night was Acid Mothers Gong starting at 1.30 and playing for 1.5 hours untill three o'clock in the morning. They started off with the drummer playing what appeared to be a tribute to Pip Pyle, then the rest of the band joined. Four Japanese AMT members, Josh Pollock and Gilli and Daevid played an intense, loud and very rewarding set which included the glorious OM riff a.o. Thus ended the first day. My highlights: Mother Gong, Acid Mother's Gong.
I expected the second day to be a bit weak in the line-ups. The Max hall was used for several house acts including System 7, the old hall for ambient acts. We came in around 16.30 in time for the impromptu wedding led by Gilli Smyth and very touching. Musically Didier and Graham Clarke filled in the background with some ambient leanings. Meanwhile in the Max a DJ called Slackbaba was playing an empty house, most guests were probably still recovering from the large amounts of beer and weed consumed on Friday night. The Pierre & Pip tribute (again in the old hall) was done by Daevid Allen and had its moments, although I failed to get the connection between Pierre Moerlen and a bagpipe. Some funny stories about Pip Pyle were told by old friends and the like. It mostly included broken down bathrooms in hotels and other ravaging rockstar behaviour. Before the end we went out the door to get some decent food and came back in time for the start of Sacred Geometry (old hall again) which comprised of Mikey Cosmic and Daevid with guests Gilli, Graham Clark (did I mentioned his omnipresence already?), Didier Malherbe, Theo Travis, Mike Howlett, an unknown female theremin player (and a very good one!) and a blind guy who turned out to be Jean-Philippe Rykiel playing an instrument that included a keyboard and a mouthpiece. The music was drone-like with lots of glissando guitar and very good if not a bit too relaxing. This was also one of the few times during the weekend that problems with the equipment provided some unwanted feedback and distortion. After SG was finished we took the time to check out System 7. Although the music is essentially a mix of techno and trance it was surprising to see that Steve was still using his guitar to add texture and some melodies. I saw about 15-20 minutes before we went off back to the other hall to see Stroking the Tail of the Bird featuring Gilli and Daevid with Harry Williamson on keyboards and mostly the same guests as during Sacred Geometry. At midnight the regular Melkweg dance night took over and we welcomed the early ending and took off home. Thus ended the second day. My highlights: Sacred Geometry and Stroking the Tail of the Bird.
The last day started with the book launch of Gong Dreaming part 1 by Daevid Allen. We were late and missed it except for the big line of people waiting to get the book signed by Daevid. The book has been beautifully re-released by SAF Publishing, the same company that published Wrong Movements and Out-Bloody-Rageous. We went to see House of Thandoy, the new band of Mike Howlett in the Max. They didn't impress and sounded as a very good jazz-rock combo but with little originality. Too bad. Meanwhile the old hall was used for a.o. a belly dancer, some videos (I've seen part of a University of Errors video) and deejaying by Steffe). Live music was now solely in the Max hall. The next band there was Kangaroo Moon. I'm not sure what their connection is to Gong, and they couldn't interest me, although they appeared to be well-skilled musicians including a guy who could play didgeridoo and keyboard at the same time. At approximately 8.15 I walked back in the Max and basically stayed there until 3.00 o'clock. First up was University of Errors who played an amazing set mostly filled with songs from the Jet-Propelled Photographs album with Stoned Innocent Frankenstein and Fohat Digs Holes in Space put in for good measure. Their set was rock-solid and Josh Pollock turned out to be an excellent guitarist both for straight rock music as for more experimental passages. Daevid was fronting the band with lots of gutso and didn't look to be 68 for a moment. They were followed by Tim Blake's Crystal Machine which included Jean-Philippe Rykiel and a short guestspot for Didier Malherbe. Tim Blake turned out to be a fascinating person, he looks like an old hippie, long hair and very thin. He played some tunes from his albums (apparently as I saw people singing along) but overall, besides the musicianship shown and the fact they could get any sound out of their synthesizers, the music wasn’t very challenging. Next up, the first appearance of the Steve Hillage Band in over 25 years. Certainly this was one of the main reasons for people to attend the Unconvention from Japan, the US and other remote locations. The hall was almost full for the first time this weekend. Steve played together with Miquette Giraudy, Mike Howlett and Chris Taylor, playing mostly songs of Fish Rising and It's All Too Much a.o. This was also one of the reasons I got a ticket and it was a very good although rather short set played with hard work by all the musicians and Steve obviously enjoying both playing in a band again and the enthousiastic response of the audience. It was great, it was amazing, to quote one of the audience members: "Fucking Steve Hillage, Man!" It turned out (I should've known) that the Hillage band was actually half of Gong as at the end of the Hillage set Daevid, Gilli, Tim and Didier came on the stage and they continued without interuption as Gong. This was also a unique concert as Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy and Tim Blake played with Gong again after a long absence (I assume since 1975?). Gong played most of their well-known songs including You Can't Kill Me, Dynamite, I'm Your Animal, Tropical Fish, Selene, Magdalena, I Am Your Pussy, Oily Way and You Never Blow Your Trip Forever to name a few. Of course they played the glorious OM riff, aka Master Builder and I can honestly say that after seeing Steve Hillage with Gong playing Master Builder I can die and go to heaven. Gong played for I assume almost two and a half hours after which the announced Gong Jam only had 10 minutes left and was performed by Gong with Graham Clarke and Gwyo Zepix. Thus ended the third and last day. My highlights: University of Errors, Hillage Band, Gong.
A last note: most of the concerts were professionally recorded on video by four cameras so I assume the best parts will eventually surface on DVD or CD. All in all a great weekend and thumbs up to the people who organized this.
Gong Unconvention 2006 - Il commento di Aymeric Leroy:

First of all, I thought the venue was perfect. I'd only been at the Melkweg once before (to see Allan Holdsworth in 2000) and had vague memories, but it turned out to be ideal for the event - or you could say the best possible use was made of the premises. My only complaint was that on the Saturday, the large hall seemed to turn into a giant disco while all the "real" music had to fit into the smaller room. But the "techno/rave party", evidently designed to attract a younger crowd, was apparently a success which no doubt helped the festival's finances, so... The sound, lights and projections were all superb, and that everything went so smoothly and according to schedule is evidence of how competent the whole crew was. Now, to the music. Things kicked off gently on the Friday afternoon, beginning with a set by what was basically an augmented version of the Magick Brothers (Daevid, Graham Clark and Mark Robson), aided by various members of Kangaroo Moon and other guests. The material was drawn from various Daevid Allen solo albums - I must confess I'm not familiar with all of them and won't attempt a setlist, but among the songs was "Thoughts For Naught", the opening song from Gong's "You" and, most memorably, a superb version of "Wise Man In Your Heart" with Mike Howlett on bass, Orlando Allen on drums and Theo Travis on soprano sax. Hadouk Trio followed and played superbly as usual. I see this band play regularly in and around Paris so I'm quite familiar with their music, but evidently not everyone was and surely they made a big impact. The trio is the perfect context for Didier to demonstrate the extent of his instrumental mastery and lyricism, and in Steve Shehan they have a world-class percussionist. Mother Gong presented itself in a new and very promising line-up which toured the UK last month, consisting of Gwyo Ze Pix on keyboards, Tim Hall on bass, Orlando Allen on drums, plus Graham Clark and/or Didier Malherbe. I didn't really know what to expect, and thought their set was very strong. The music was very Gong-ish at times, and Gilli did her usual "space whisper" thing with commanding presence, delivering heavily political lyrics/texts. It all sounded very nice indeed. The Glissando Orchestra was more a "conceptual" interlude, in a "how long can you hold this note" way. It was nice to see all these players together on stage, and I like the sound of glissando guitar, but the "Seven Drones" concept is musically a bit beyond me. Intriguing... I share what's been said about Here & Now's gig. To be honest, I'm rather unfamiliar with this band and can't say how they compared to their albums, but I didn't really care for most of what I heard. The opening instrumental was fine, but the vocal-based material sounded dull to my ears, and Steffi Sharpstrings' solo work failed to impress me the way it had on Gong's 1990s tours. Closing the first evening was Acid Mothers Gong. To be honest, I'd been a bit nonplussed by what I'd heard them play before. I attended their first gig in London in October 2003 and to me it was just an almost unbearable wall of noise (admittedly it sounded better when I listened back to my recording of the gig - on the night I was probably too busy trying to protect my ears to really listen properly) - and I won't say anything about the Guru & Zero gig I'd seen in Paris a few months before. Friday's gig was a revelation. What I heard was no less intense sonically, but with much more nuance and a lot of panache. The set kicked off impressively with a solo spot by drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, who performed to a backing tape of extremely complex instrumental music, full of time signature changes, and then the rest of the band joined in for a performance that mixed some of Gong's trademark characteristics with the Acid Mothers' own extreme universe. I don't know if Steve Lake was in attendance - if he did, we regrettably failed to make contact - but I'd be curious to know if the gig reaffirmed his enthousiasm for AMG. I'm certainly beginning to understand why he was so complimentary about them. As I said, Saturday was a little less eventful, musically speaking. I arrived late and sadly missed Rick Chafen's wedding, celebrated by Gilli, but I did see part of the tribute to Pierre and all of the tribute to Pip, which has been described here. Subsequently I drifted from one room to the other, and as the evening progressed found more and more to enjoy... I saw some of Zorch's set, most of the Sacred Geometry set, which featured most of the Gong members at various times (and Daevid throughout, iirc), and the very sweet "Stroking TheTail Of The Bird" set with Harry Williamson on keyboards backing Daevid and Gilli. I caught a glimpse of System 7, a "chill-out" sequence with some nice guitar playing from Steve, but when the drum machine resumed I was reminded of why I could never warm up to this project - lack of nuance between the "new-age" and techno sections - I find the latter too robotic for my taste. I prefer real bass and real drums ! Finally, Sunday... House Of Thandoy opened. The band is led by guitarist Steve Higgins, joined by the rhythm section of Mike Howlett on bass and Steve Cassidy (Here & Now) on drums, and for most of the set by Theo Travis on flute. Actually Theo also had his tenor sax handy but didn't use it, which is probably evidence of the spontaneous/jamming nature of this project. Frankly, as with Here & Now I found their set pleasant and solid but somewhat dull. Little stood out compositionally, the musical concept seemed too shallow to sustain my interest. University Of Errors were something else. Ever since the first time I saw themin Seattle in 2002 I've really become a fan of this band, and their lead guitarist Josh Pollock in particular. I don't think anyone who's seen them live will disagree with me. I'd been to both of their Paris gigs in late October and was blown away - especially the second night when, particularly during the closing "Stoned Innocent Frankenstein"/"Fohat" medley, they reached some truly hypnotic heights. The rest of the set consisted exclusively of early Soft Machine songs. This was a reduced version of their set, but nothing really important was missing (although I'd have substituted "Feelin Reelin Squealin" for "Love Makes Sweet Music" as the final song), and they were superb. There's been nothing in the Canterbury scene and beyond in the last two or three decades at least closer to the intensity and radicality of early Mike Ratledge fuzz organ than what Josh Pollock does with his guitar. Daevid played some fine guitar himself, and the rhythm section of Michael Clare and Warren Huegel provided clean and solid backing. A high point of the week-end. After this, I must admit I skipped most of Kangaroo Moon's set. I guess I didn't want to overdose on music with so much more to come, and being the only band not to have any Gong alumnus in their ranks (they're led by Mark Robson of the Magick Brothers) it fell on them... What little I heard sounded nice enough but... there you go. I was back for Crystal Machine's set, which left me with the same impression as Tim Blake's albums - some very nice instrumental synthetic landscapes, and songs I don't really care for as I'm not too keen on his singing. The whole presentation was convincing, with Blake firmly in control of the harmonic and rhythm settings and Jean-Philippe Rykiel playing a few impressive solos. You could feel the high level of anticipation as the Steve Hillage Band took the stage. Indeed this was Steve's first performance as singer-guitarist since 1979, and reason enough for some of us to attend the event at all. The quartet consisted of Steve, his wife Miquette Giraudy on synths, computer and occasional backing vocals, and the Gong rhythm section of Mike Howlett and Chris Taylor - a similar configuration to his late 1970s bands. To be honest, I've always preferred Steve's very first band, which had a "real" keyboard player in addition to Miquette and Basil Brooks (who made a couple of appearances during the set), plus a second guitarist (the late Christian Boule). Apart from the block chords on "It's All Too Much", Miquette didn't seem to "play" much in the conventional sense, and what lead lines were heard she seemed to trigger by pressing a key. Sometimes this left the remaining trio lacking in sonic density. Steve himself was in fine form as a guitarist (certainly he got better and better as the performance progressed), but vocally he seemed to struggle a bit in the upper register at times. The setlist was largely drawn from "Fish Rising", with condensed versions of "Solar Musick Suite" and "Aftaglid" being the highlights, closing with the opening piece from "For To Next", "These Uncharted Lands" which Steve said they'd never performed live before, adding that it would indeed lead us into unpredictable directions... I'd been wondering why all these additional mikes had been set up on the left side of the stage yet remained unused. I thought Didier Malherbe might sit in on "Solar Musick Suite" (although he no longer plays tenor so reproducing his parts on the album would have been impossible) but the only guest appearance apart from Basil Brooks' brief contributions happened when Tim Blake came onstage towards the very end. Within seconds, the rest of Gong followed him, taking the audience completely by surprise, while the usual introductory tape college was heard. Before we'd realised what was going on "You Can't Kill Me" had begun, and off we went for a performance that lasted over two and a half hours. The setlist was very similar to the 1994 reunion concert - "Pot Head Pixies" being replaced by "Zero The Hero & The Witch's Spell", and with the addition of "Magdalene" from "Zero To Infinity" - covering all the classic albums from "Camembert Electrique" (better represented this time, with "Tropical Fish/Selene" and a "Fohat" jam as encore) to "You" with few important omissions. I don't even need to elaborate much on the music itself - this was just pure, classic Gong, easily as good as the old days. As my good friend Udi Koomran told me after the gig, "you could close your eyes and it all sounded exactly right". The band was very well rehearsed, everyone played brilliantly, and Chris Taylor did a great job of filling in for the departed Pip and Pierre. Miquette was present throughout the performance, Theo Travis joined Didier on tenor and flute for the second half, and Graham Clark for the closing "Fohat" jam. Pure magic !

03 novembre 2006

Venerdì 10 novembre Radio3 Suite trasmette in diretta da Reggio Emilia, a partire dalle ore 21.00, il concerto di Otomo Yoshihide con il suo New Jazz Ensemble.

Alfred Harth (tenor sax, bass clarinet)
Kenta Tsugami (alto sax, soprano sax)
Hiroaki Mizutani (contrabass)
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki (drums, trumpet)
Kumiko Takara (vibraphone)
Sachiko M (sinewaves)
Kahimi Karie (vocal)
Otomo Yoshihide (conductor, guitar, electronics)

In 1999 the recording of Otomo Yoshihide Plays the Music of Takeo Yamashita gave Otomo the opportunity to form a group with four leading figures in the Japanese jazz world--Naruyoshi Kikuchi, Kenta Tsugami, Hiroaki Mizutani, and Yasuhiro Yoshigaki--as a way of coming face to face with jazz, which is one of his musical roots. Along with projects like Filament and Anode, the quintet became one of Otomo's main projects and an essential aspect of his work. In a major departure from his earlier image, he plays the guitar almost exclusively in ONJQ. In 2001, after recording several tracks that were included in the soundtrack album of the film Shabondama Elegy, the band released their first solo album, Flutter, on the American label Tzadik. Since that time, they've done numerous tours in Japan, America, Europe, and China, and put out five full-length albums. On the discs Live (2002) and ONJQ + OE (2003)--their collaboration with DJ OE--they established a style that might be called onkyo jazz. Since Kikuchi left the group in February of 2004, Otomo has brought in new members--multi-reed player Alfred Harth, who currently lives in South Korea, Kumiko Takara, and Sachiko M. Vocalist Kahimi Karie became a member in 2005. In addition, Otomo has invited artists like Ko Ishikawa, Taisei Aoki, Masahiko Okura, Taku Unami, Mats Gustafsson, Axel Doerner, and Cor Fuhler as irregular members; and Mariko Hamada, Phew, and Jun Togawa, among others, as guest vocalists. Moving back and forth between the septet and orchestra formats, he is exploring the possibilities of the post-onkyo improvisational ensemble. Since mid-2005 the band, cosisting of about ten musicians, has been active under the name New Jazz Orchestra (ONJO). In 2005 ONJO released two albums: ONJO featuring vocalists Kahimi Karie and Mariko Hamada, and Out to Lunch, which includes covers of all of the tunes recorded on Eric Dolphy's free jazz classic Out to Lunch.

02 novembre 2006

Inizia stasera, per proseguire fino a domenica, un'edizione particolarmente ricca del Total Music Festival berlinese, con concerti pomeridiani e serali, laboratori musicali, proiezioni di film ed esposizioni d'arte. Sul poster del festival campeggia il celebre daxophone di Hans Reichel, protagonista di uno dei concerti in programma e da sempre animatore del collettivo che negli anni ha sostenuto le iniziative e le edizioni della FMP.

Thursday, November 2, 2006, 7.30 pm
Sainkho Namtchylak voice
William Parker bass
Hamid Drake dr, perc
DUO DEMIERRE / DUTHOIT (Switzerland / France)
Jacques Demierre p
Isabelle Duthoit cl, voc
PIANO SOLO (Germany)Michael Wilhelmi p
KING PAWNS (Germany / Japan)
Hans Reichel guitar, daxophone
Kazuhisa Uchihashi e-guitar, daxophone

Friday, November 3, 2006, 8pm
Michiko Hirayama voice
Luca Miti p, voice, acoustic & electro-acoustic sound objects
Mauro Orselli selected drums and cymbals, radio, voice, sound objects
Magda Mayas p
Alex Nowitz voice
RUTHERFORD-QUARTET (England / Belgium)
Fred Van Hove, p, acc
Paul Rutherford tb
Paul Rogers b
Paul Lytton dr, perc

Saturday, November 4, 2006, 8 pm
Armand Angster
Jean-Marc Foltz
Sylvain Kassap
GEORG GRAEWE SONIC FICTION (Germany / England / Netherlands / USA / Austria)
Almut Kühne, Phil Minton voices
Carrie Shull, Frank Gratkowski, Peter van Bergen reeds
Joanna Lewis violin
Amora de Swardt violin
Elaine Koene viola
Melissa Coleman cello
Anne LeBaron harp
Kent Kessler b
DD Kern dr, perc
Georg Graewe dr, perc

Sunday, November 5, 2006, 11 am
German premiere
The Netherlands 2005
Documentary film, 77 minutes, colour
Edited and directed by Jellie Dekker
Documentary film by Jellie Dekker portraying composer, pianist and bandleader Misha Mengelberg.
The director Jellie Dekker and sound engineer Dick Lucas will be present for Q/A.

Sunday, November 5, 2006, 2.30 pm
Workshop concert with guests
Ld: Wolfgang Fuchs
The participants of the workshop ´orchestral improvisation´ join with guests for the final concert of TMM.
Orchestral Improvisation
Ld: Wolfgang Fuchs (ss, bcl, cbcl)