28 gennaio 2006

Il sito francese Infratunes pubblica questo mese un'intervista con Fred Frith, con interessanti ragguagli sulle attività attuali e future e qualche commento in retrospettiva su Henry Cow, Massacre, Derek Bailey.

25 gennaio 2006

LA GRANDE RADIO, in onda sabato 28 gennaio 2006 su Radio3 dalle 17.40, dedica una puntata a Robert Wyatt componendo spezzoni tratti da vari programmi Rai del passato, remoto e non (Un certo discorso, Audiobox, Storyville, Suoni e ultrasuoni, Battiti). A cura di Francesca Zammarelli.


17 gennaio 2006

Radio Città Fujiko di Bologna trasmette giovedì prossimo, 19 gennaio, il concerto di David Thomas and the Accordion Club (Thomas Agaton, Stefan Agaton, Chris Cutler) tenuto a Bari per il festival "Times Zones" nel giugno 1987. Il programma è Intersezioni (22.30 - 01.00).

15 gennaio 2006

Chissà quanti appassionati avranno cercato negli anni una copia in vinile di Facets of the Universe, album Goody-BYG in tiratura limitata, epoca 1969, che riuniva a fianco del leader Selwyn Lissack alcuni protagonisti assoluti del jazz sudafricano e britannico del tempo (Mongezi Feza, Harry Miller, Mike Osborne tra gli altri).

Downtown Music Gallery - non soltanto negozio e servizio di distribuzione, ma da poco anche etichetta discografica in proprio - ne annuncia (con giusto orgoglio) la pubblicazione in cd con un ampio comunicato:

The Second Release on our newly formed DMG ARC label will be what is considered by many fans to be one of the rarest late '60s Euro/Brit avant jazz recordings Originally released on the BYG associated 'Goody' label in France [in fact the only one of seven Goody releases that was an original release, and not a questionable reissue], the LP has commanded high prices ranging to $100 to $300 from collector's shops and auction websites including eBay. "To most historians of the "new music", creative improvisation took a somewhat different turn in Europe during the late '60s than it did in the United States, concentrating less on African roots (understandably) and building on both European folk forms and innovations in academic art music and other time arts. Yet in England there was a greater confluence of African musical forms and influence, which is crucial in distinguishing vanguard British improvisation from its brethren in other parts of Europe. Chris McGregor, a white classically-trained pianist from Cape Town, brought the Blue Notes with him to Germany in 1966, finally settling in London. This was the ensemble that, ostensibly "led" by a white South African (though clearly drawing more from kwela and township music as well as jazz), introduced drummer Louis Moholo, bassist Johnny Dyani, trumpeter Mongezi Feza and reedmen Dudu Pukwana and Ronnie Beer to the European jazz community. In addition to the South African scene, expatriate improvisers from Jamaica (reedmen Joe Harriott and Ken Terroade) and Barbados (trumpeter Harry Beckett) were also at the forefront of London's new music community. Drummer Selwyn Lissack, though often not mentioned in the same breath as the above, is nevertheless an interesting piece of the British-South African puzzle. Born and raised in Cape Town, Lissack emigrated to England in 1967 (independently of the Blue Notes) on his way to New York - visa problems kept him in Europe until the end of 1969. Lissack was active on the Cape Town scene in the early 60s, despite anti-integration laws that often broke up musical associations (he's white), but the pull of more fruitful work opportunities elsewhere was undeniable. Upon joining the London community, the young drummer began organizing sessions in his apartment with John McLaughlin, Mike Osborne and other luminaries of the scene, while also studying with Philly Joe Jones (at the time living in Kensington). Lissack's style merges the tidal waves of Elvin and Sunny Murray with the fleetness and occasional bombast of Roy Haynes and Philly Joe, and is more rooted in bop than Louis Moholo. The result of two years of weekly rehearsals with the British and South African avant-garde, Facets of the Universe, released in a limited edition by the BYG subsidiary Goody in 1969, features Lissack in a sextet with Feza, Osborne (alto and clarinet), Terroade (tenor and flute), South African expat bassist Harry Miller and American bassist and multi-instrumentalist Earl Freeman, a stalwart on many BYG-Actuel recordings, heard here also on piano, flute and reciting his poetry. Produced by Aynsley Dunbar vocalist Victor Brox, Facets of the Universe consists of two sidelong pieces: Terroade's Love Rejoice, retitled Friendship Next of Kin for this LP; and a lengthy collective improvisation inspired by Freeman's poetry entitled Facets of the Universe (though confusingly the poem also includes the line Friendship Next of Kin). Yet this music has little in common with strains of British or South African jazz of the time; rather, the approach is somewhere between Sunny's Swing Unit, the Art Ensemble (of Chicago) and fiercer Brotherhood of Breath dates. For this reissue on New York avant record store Downtown Music Gallery's own ARC label, Friendship Next of Kin is presented in two versions: an edited version which includes a drum solo excised from the original take (replayed here), and the album version without the solo. With masters apparently long-gone, the original vinyl in all its French-pressed glory was used, and it is a credit to the engineer that the muddy mix has been brought up to clear, crisp levels that do well in separating the musicians and the music. Friendship (under its alternate title) appeared in somewhat more frantic form on Terroade's BYG session (Love Rejoice, Actuel 22, recorded a few months prior to this date), with reedmen Ronnie Beer and Evan Chandley (Cohelmec Ensemble), pianist Francois Tusques, drummer Claude Delcloo, and Freeman and Beb Guerin on basses. The tune is a weighty, churchy dirge much like those penned by Sunny Murray and Frank Wright that the leader directs into a fast tempo to gird a brittle, smeared Feza contribution, the composer's paint-peeling tenor pyrotechnics (under which Freeman switches to piano), followed by a collective lead-in to Osborne's thoughtfully searing contribution (of the three horn players only Osborne maintains the tempo and character of the original theme, however distorted the notes get) and, finally, Lissack's restored drum solo, a dense thematic exposition recalling his opening salvo on trumpeter Ric Colbeck's Aphrodite. After a brief collective improvisation, the joyous processional through the back streets of Cape Town and Kingston returns to close the piece. Facets of the Universe is something altogether different from the post-Ayler material on side one, and echoes Ra and the AACM in its wide-open spaces, with Freeman reading a highly disparate imagist poem over a stew of tympani, finger cymbals, organ, marimba (courtesy Brian Gascoigne), piccolo and clarinet that recalls Joseph Jarman's reading on Song For or David Moore's with Muhal Richard Abrams and Anthony Braxton on Levels and Degrees of Light. Following this otherworldly declamation, Feza, Terroade and Osborne take off into a maelstrom of brass and reed smears over surging bass and percussion, an ecstatic tidal wave of activity brought on by the tension of words and poetic ideation. Such a setting necessarily focuses the attention on Freeman, who went on to lead the Sound Craft Orchestra in the early 1980s, which featured leading lights of the New York underground, and recorded a hideously rare LP with clarinetist Henry Warner and percussionist Phillip Spigner, The Freestyle Band. His poetry and arpeggiated piano on Facets of the Universe add to the mystery of the uniform of aviator goggles and union work suit. Facets closes just as sparsely as it began, with the last gasps of tenor and pocket trumpet encircled by castanets, celeste, wooden flute (Freeman again) and gongs as it comes full circle. In a way, this is not surprising, as the session was taped on the night of a lunar eclipse. The record sank upon its release, even by BYG offshoot standards. Goody was a bootleg label that released unauthorized versions of records on Delmark, Metronome and Clifford Thornton's Third World imprint, and Selwyn Lissack's one and only LP as a leader was the closest thing to a "legitimate" release in the series. Unfortunately, Claude Delcloo butchered both the English liner notes and the track listing, leaving some to wonder who the poet was on side two, which along with poor mastering and shoddy pressing and even the omission of a major solo by the leader (!) resulted in nothing less than a shameless mishandling of one of the heaviest slabs of improvised music of the late 60s. Lissack made one more startling appearance as a sideman with Osborne and bassist Jean-Francois Jenny-Clarke on trumpeter Ric Colbeck's lone LP for Fontana (The Sun is Coming Up, 1970) before finally heading to New York to become involved with holographic sculpture and design (he taught and assisted Salvador Dali in holographics), still practicing music but concentrating his research on three-dimensional forms. Despite its inconsistencies at the hands of its label, Facets of the Universe is truly a fascinating document of the Pan-African avant-garde captured at a place where European, African, American and West Indian roots merged to create two universal improvisations. What more could one have asked of a single opportunity to record as a leader?" - Clifford Allen "Recorded September 1969: London, England. The career of white South African Selwyn Lissack is a mysterious one. It is unclear when he left, but he was in England in the late '60's. He played in a group with Lol Coxhill; recorded Facets, his only album as a leader; and played on The Sun is Coming Up by Ric Colbeck (whatever happened to him?). He then gave up music and is now a well known sculptor, working mainly on holographic sculpture. This album has a stellar lineup, including alto flamethrower Mike Osborne and fellow South African Harry Miller. It also borrows two participants and the side-long track format of Kenneth Terroade's Love Rejoice (BYG/Actuel, 1969). Free Jazz is best categorized geographically. Groups like the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and Iskra 1903 cast the mold that will forever be equated with improvisational music from the UK-sparse, understated and often quite tedious. However, this is definitely NOT what Facets of the Univers or its players are about. Players like the always-intense Mike Osborne, like Harry Miller, who could and did play just about everything with everybody, like Kenneth Terroade, who participated in the American expatriate free jazz scene in Paris that was well documented on the BYG Actuel series. The approach to extemporization is in fact closer to the Actuel model than one might expect. The brief march-like melody of the title track is merely a jumping off point for various solos, both unaccompanied, and in tandem with others. Lissack plays with an appealing sense of urgency, each line always rolling out towards the next phrase, keeping the music mobile. The piece ebbs and flows as three horns simultaneously ascend to frenzied peaks, then descend into near silence. The second piece "Friendship Next Of Kin" is more influenced by contemporary classical music in its sparseness. It does not disappoint in energy as the intensity rises steadily for the second half. It is perhaps only marred by some bizarre spoken word that is unfortunately common to this kind of music. The liner notes [did not originally] identify the piano player or speaker but it can be safely assumed that it is Earl Freeman." - Andrey Henkin, AMG

Altra estesa recensione si legge in http://tinyurl.com/y4d9k9

13 gennaio 2006

R. Stevie Moore sarà protagonista di un concerto venerdì prossimo, 20 gennaio, al Tonic di New York. Buona notizia per i sostenitori e i simpatizzanti del geniale cantante e chitarrista tuttofare del New Jersey, evidentemente le sue condizioni di salute sono ora migliori. Uno speciale radiofonico in onda oggi su East Village Radio NYC (ore 16.00 - 18.00 locali) dà ampio saggio della sua originalissima produzione, colpevolmente trascurata anche nelle cronache meno ufficiali del rock d'autore. Il programma rimarrà in archivio per qualche giorno.
"Improviser, composer, arranger, producer, musical conceptualist, comedy writer, vocal stylist, filmmaker, sketchpad artist, self-taught instrumentalist and bon vivant, R. Stevie Moore was born 1952 in Nashville TN to famed Elvis bass player Bob. Since '66 RSM has recorded nearly 2,000 songs on over 400 very original homemade albums of alarmingly idiosyncratic variety and styles, often considered a seminal pioneer in the DIY ethic. Remaining virtually unknown, he quietly resides in New Jersey as curator of his own museum."

12 gennaio 2006

Tra qualche giorno, il 28 gennaio, si riunisce l'amatissima Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band per celebrare con un concerto all'Astoria Theatre a Londra il quarantesimo anniversario della propria fondazione (o meglio, dell'uscita ufficiale del loro primo disco My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies). Per il 2006 sono in cantiere molte altre iniziative incentrate sulla storia, le vicende e il ruolo di questa impareggiabile compagnia nella cultura britannica ed europea degli anni sessanta-settanta.
Informazioni e approfondimenti in:

07 gennaio 2006

Alias, supplemento settimanale de "il manifesto", dedica oggi due pagine a Robert Wyatt con brani di intervista per lo più sui materiali di Cuckooland (2003) e qualche ragguaglio sulle attività un po' più recenti. La presentazione di Pierluigi Castellano non è gran cosa, ma lo spazio al Nostro è ovviamente del tutto meritato.

02 gennaio 2006

"Carla Bley: l'arte di arrangiare" è la nuova serie che Alessandro Achilli ha preparato per Fuochi, il programma di Radio 3 in onda dal lunedì al venerdì dalle 23.30 alle 24.00. Stasera la prima puntata. Imperdibile? But of course!

Ecco le scalette dell'intera serie:
Lunedì 2 gennaio
ROBERT WYATT, To Carla, Marsha and Caroline (for Making Everything Beautifuller), da "The End of an Ear" - Columbia 493342 2
PAUL BLEY TRIO, Ida Lupino, da "Closer" - Esp CD 1021
JAZZ REALITIES, Oni Puladi, da "Jazz Realities" - Fontana 881 010 ZY
GARY BURTON, Interlude: Shovels / The Survivors / Grave Train, da "A Genuine Tong Funeral" - Rca Bmg DRC1-1446
CHARLIE HADEN & LMO, Viva la Quince brigada, da "Liberation Music Orchestra" - Impulse! IMP 11882
CARLA BLEY & PAUL HAINES, End of Rawalpindi, da "Escalator over the Hill" - Jcoa/EOTH 839 310-2
Martedì 3 gennaio
CARLA BLEY, Enormous Tots (to People's Music Works), da "Tropic Appetites" - Watt/1 557 480-2
JACK BRUCE, Tickets to Waterfalls, da "Live '75" - Polydor 065 607-2
CARLA BLEY, Forever and Sunsmell, da Jan Steele / John Cage, "Voices and Instruments" - Obscure OBS 05
CARLA BLEY, Song Sung Long, da "Dinner Music" - Watt/6 825 815-2
JOHN GREAVES & PETER BLEGVAD + LISA HERMAN, Twenty Two Proverbs, da "Kew.Rhone" - Virgin CDV 2082
Mercoledì 4 gennaio
CARLA BLEY, Wrong Key Donkey, da "European Tour 1977" - Watt/8 831 830-2
CARLA BLEY, Musique mecanique III, da "Musique mecanique" - Watt/9 839 313-2
NICK MASON, I Was Wrong, da "Fictitous Sports" - Emi Harvest 3C 064-64216
CARLA BLEY, Walking Batteriewoman, da "Social Studies" - Watt/11 831 831-2
KIP HANRAHAN, India Song, da "Coup de tête" - American Clavé AMCL 1007
Giovedì 5 gennaio
CARLA BLEY, Blunt Object, da "Live!" - Watt/12 815 730-2
CARLA BLEY, The Internationale, da "I Hate to Sing" - Watt/12 1/2 823 865-2
CARLA BLEY, Otto e mezzo, da aa.vv. "Amarcord Nino Rota" - Hannibal HNBL 9301
LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA, The Ballad of the Fallen (Milonga para un fusilado), da "Ballad of the Fallen" - Ecm 1248
Venerdì 6 gennaio
CARLA BLEY, La paloma, da "Mortelle randonnée" - Mercury 812 097
JOHN OSWALD, Funnybird Song, da Paul Haines, "Darn It!" - American Clavé AMCL 1014 2
CARLA BLEY, Funnybird Song, da "Tropic Appetites" - Watt/1 557 480-2
KAREN MANTLER AND HER CAT ARNOLD, Mean to Me, da "Get the Flu" - XtraWatt/5 847 136-2
CARLA BLEY & STEVE SWALLOW, Major, da "Are We There Yet?" - Watt/29
CARLA BLEY, Major, da "Goes to Church" - Watt/27 533 682-2
CARLA BLEY, Wolfgang Tango, da "Fancy Chamber Music" - Watt/28 539 937-2
LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA, This Is not America, da "Not in Our Name" - Verve 0602498292488
La sera del 31 dicembre è andato in onda su Radio 3 della BBC un eccellente e recente lavoro di Peter Blegvad dal titolo "Guest + Host = Ghost", un animato racconto a metà tra la claustrofobia e la deprivazione sensoriale, affettuosamente dedicato a quanti mal sopportano il peso di festini e festicciole di precetto a fine anno. Lettura a più voci per opera dell'autore e di Nick Cave, tra gli altri, con ambientazione sonora quasi impercettibile - tranne una citazione da Loudon Wainwright III - e una girandola di riferimenti da Cousteau a Duchamp e ovviamente agli ospiti equivoci e sgraditi di Edward Gorey.

Oggi trovo un commento su The Guardian:
Between the Ears (Radio 3) is crackers. To be fair, that is its remit: to tickle the parts of the brain untouched by almost all other radio. At its best, the strangeness of the sonic adventures actually roots you to the spot. You feel as if you are suddenly able to follow something in a language you don't speak. That was how Guest + Host = Ghost left me feeling on Saturday evening. With its setting in a flotation tank, a perkily multi-layered text, gurgling, bubbling music, quotations read with a gothic frosting by Nick Cave, and script by avant-garde all-rounder Peter Blegvad, it proved a mighty bracing end to the year. It provided some cheery thoughts for 2006 ("if it were not for guests, all houses would be graves"), some pressing questions ("how long has it been since we have visited ourselves?") and some startling asides ("it's Jacques Cousteau!"). Dark, wildly meandering, and often funny, it offered the same possibilities as the sensory deprivation it was so fascinated by: "a hole in the universe, a door through into another world".

Lo si puo' sentire ancora per qualche giorno a http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio3.shtml
; successivamente, se interessa, posso condividere il file audio (in formato .flac). e-mail

Sono disponibili al sito di Downtown Music - raggiungibile anche dai link di questa pagina - le foto dello strepitoso concerto di capodanno ieri al Tonic di New York, con Cyro Baptista, Kurt 'Submerged' Gluck, Bill Laswell, Guy Licata, Tatsuya Nakamura, Mike Patton, Otomo Yoshihide, John Zorn. Ecco come commenta Michael Stack:

The New Year's Day show - originally billed as "Painkiller vs. Methods of Defiance with Special Guest Mike Patton" - was really quite something different. The original bill (Zorn, Laswell, Guy Licata, DJ Submerged and Patton) were augmented by Otomo Yoshihide, Tatsuya Nakamura, Cyro Baptista and some electronics guy whose name I didn't catch. They were overflowing the Tonic stage (literally, Zorn, Patton and Baptista were on the floor) and positively explosive. They opened with a 50+ minute performance that alternated between Laswell-directed free improv and dub sections. I've never seen Painkiller, but it seemed like Laswell was totally in charge of the show, indicating who should lead each section. The performance was a frenzy -- a rhythmic storm was worked up over which a seemingly endless array of explosive leads and solos came forth. Zorn and Patton intwined around each other, Otomo (who I am only somewhat familiar with) was downright brilliant, and the rhythm section was fierce, particularly Baptista, who was all over and occasionally ranting into a megaphone. After a brief duet between Zorn and Patton, the band played another 15 or so of more or less the same sort of stuff.The only complaint is that there was so much going on during the performance that every time you watched what someone was doing you realized you were missing something else -- it was a bit overwhelming in a way, but "there was too much amazing stuff" going on is really damning with praise, suffice to say it was an amazing show.

107 Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002

01 gennaio 2006

Dedico a Derek Bailey la scaletta dei miei ascolti di inizio anno.

Dieci titoli al volo:
1968, Karyobin, Chronoscope CPE2001-2 (Spontaneous Music Ensemble)
1970, The topography of the lung, Incus 1
1972, Chapter one 1970-1972, Emanem 3CD 4301 (Iskra 1903)
1974, First duo concert (London 1974), Emanem 4006 (con Anthony Braxton)
1977, Company 6 & 7, Incus CD07
1980, Pisa 1980: improvisors' symposium, Incus 37 (LP)/psi 04.03/4 (CD)
1982, Yankees, Celluloid CELD 5006 (con George Lewis e John Zorn)
1994, Saisoro, Tzadik TZ 7205 (Derek and the Ruins)
1995, Guitar, drums 'n' bass, Avant AVAN 060
2002, Ballads, Tzadik TZ 7607