31 agosto 2020

Torna in circolazione il breve lavoro che Ben Watt compose tra l'estate e l'inverno del 1981 e che realizzò con il prezioso apporto di Robert Wyatt: Summer into Winter, ristampato da Cherry Red in squillante vinile trasparente color turchese in occasione del primo dei tre appuntamenti del Record Store Day di quest'anno.


30 agosto 2020

Un super classico di Phil Miller, Calyx, in una delle due versioni presentate nei concerti londinesi dell'anno scorso in ricordo del Nostro: qui in azione sono Alex Maguire, Sarah Gail Brand, Rick Biddulph, Jakko Jakszyk, Fred T. Baker e Mark Fletcher.


29 agosto 2020

Un omaggio col cuore da parte dell'Artchipel Orchestra a Phil Miller: Truly Yours, attesissimo, disponibile tra pochi giorni in allegato al numero di settembre di Musica Jazz.


28 agosto 2020

Un omaggio a Lol Coxhill, uno a Fred Frith, un omaggio ciascuno a Robert Wyatt, Lindsay Cooper e Annette Peacock, a Keith Tippett, Howard Skempton, Ennio Morricone e Béla Bartók, a National Health, Van der Graaf Generator e Keith Jarrett. A tutti li porge Luciano Margorani. Uno anche a Tappo.


27 agosto 2020

Un omaggio alla grande Gertrude Stein e ai suoi enigmatici Teneri Bottoni (1914): Massimo Giuntoli, e chi altri?


26 agosto 2020

Chi ha apprezzato l'album di debutto pochi mesi fa vorrà forse conoscerne anche le lunghe fasi preparatorie: sono documentate in Metamorphosis (Demo Mixes and B​-​Sides). Zopp!


25 agosto 2020

Sam Ellidge fotografa papà in un momento di libera uscita dall'ospedale, naturalmente a fianco di Alfie. Lo segnala Dave Larder, con sollievo, riportando anche a noi il sorriso: "Finally, Robert gets to visit Louth town centre with Alfie and Sam. Only an hour or so, then back to hospital to continue his recovery. It’s great to see him on the mend and even greater to see him and Alfie back, side by side, which just happens to be the title of their new book."


24 agosto 2020

Una copia di Shooting at the Moon lasciata tra le rose a Deià in memoria di papà, che pochi giorni fa avrebbe compiuto 76 anni. Ne riferisce agli amici Galen, figlia di Kevin Ayers, con un pensiero rivolto anche al passante - forse casuale - che lì troverà il libro: "It’s your birthday and my mother, husband and I have come to show you one of your dreams come true-your very own lyric book. Happy birthday daddy, I love that we made this happen for you. To commemorate our mutual love for treasure hunts I have left a copy of your book by your graveside and whomever finds it amidst my roses for you, it’s theirs."

23 agosto 2020

Quante volte lo si è ascoltato, ma un Platterback così non lo si era mai visto! "First UK screening of a Westbrook Music Theatre classic featuring Wills Morgan, Kate Westbrook, Karen Street, Chris Allan, Mike Westbrook. Filmed in the Czech Republic in 2002."


22 agosto 2020

Quattro splendidi album di Keith Tippett sobriamente raccolti in unico box a favore (anche) di nuovi ascoltatori: è un'iniziativa della FMR in omaggio al Musician Supreme.

Collecting four albums with late pianist Keith Tippett (1947- 2020): The Bern Concert, a 1993 live duo with Howard Riley; Linückea, a 2000 studio album with The Kreutzer String Quartet plus a narrated work; The Dartington Trio of Keith Tippett, Julie Tippetts & Paul Dunmall live in 2003; and the Dartington Trio Live at The Priory at the Southend International Jazz Festival. The set is presented as a box that slides into a sturdy cardboard outer jacket. Each cd is in a cardstock white sleeve. For those unfamiliar with the albums included in this set, it's a great value in acquainting oneself with a variety of settings that bring out a different aspects of Tippett's innovative approach to the piano.

21 agosto 2020

Da Martin Archer di Discus Music giungono aggiornamenti circa la realizzazione del nuovo album di Keith e Julie Tippett come Couple in Spirit, progettato a suo tempo ma rinviato dapprima dalla malattia e poi dalla prematura scomparsa del Nostro. Con una brillante idea di Julie: "You’ll recall of course that Keith’s solo piano album The Unlonely Raindancer was released last year on Discus. That record is 80 minutes long, but in the background we have ten concerts worth of unreleased piano music from that tour. Julie’s thought is that she will now complete a new Couple In Spirit album after all - by choosing pieces from Keith’s 1979 playing, and making her own brand new multitrack overdubs for voice and her various instruments. I think it is a wonderful and very moving idea. The completed cd will be a double - one disc of the new Couple In Spirit music, plus a second disc of Keith’s original solo performances. Julie has already started work!"

20 agosto 2020

La storia dell'album originale la racconta Joe Boyd, tra i diretti (e indiretti) responsabili della sua prima realizzazione, nel 1968. La sua ripubblicazione ora assieme a una seconda inedita registrazione di poco successiva è per lui fonte di doppia sorpresa e soddisfazione: Dudu Phukwana and the "Spears", recuperato da Matsuli Music in vinile e in digitale, disponibile tramite Bandcamp.

Dudu Pukwana and the Spears recorded in London, but were only ever released in South Africa. The story behind this extraordinary music and the famous names involved are documented in this extended edition of Dudu Pukwana’s debut album. In 1964 the Blue Notes left South Africa to play at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France, and more or less stayed away forever after. In January 1969 alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana went home briefly along with producer Joe Boyd who persuaded Johannesburg record company Trutone to license the recordings for release in South Africa. Matsuli Music’s discovery of a second unpublished London recording session, following Dudu’s South Africa visit, reveals hitherto unknown music, and history. In addition to Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention) and Joe Mogotsi (Manhattan Brothers) putting their own spin on mbaqanga hits like Sibuyile, the Blue Notes’ fabled Church Mouse and an early version of Andromeda can also be heard. With Pukwana’s explosive style and energy evident throughout, this album fills in an exciting and important lost piece of the Blue Notes’ and South Africa’s exile jazz story.


19 agosto 2020

Uno degli album più belli di Harry Beckett (1935-2010), uscito per Cadillac Records nel 1975 e mai ristampato da allora, è stato da poco recuperato in vinile - ma le copie parrebbero già esaurite - e in cd: Joy Unlimited, con una nuova presentazione di John Thurlow, autore del recente The Many Faces of Harry Beckett.


18 agosto 2020

Chris Biscoe approda alfine alla piattaforma Bandcamp, soprattutto allo scopo di mantenere disponibili due suoi pregevoli omaggi a Eric Dolphy e Charles Mingus prodotti in passato, a lui assai cari ma da tempo di difficile reperibilità: Gone in the Air e Profiles of Mingus. A proposito del primo disse: "I read about Eric Dolphy before I heard his music. What I read, about a man radically extending the language of the saxophone while remaining in the jazz tradition, immediately attracted me, and predisposed me to like his music. I also read that Ornette Coleman was an iconoclast tearing jazz apart. What I didn't know, until I heard their records, was that Ornette Coleman's tunes and melodic improvisations would be immediately attractive to a relative newcomer to jazz, while some of Eric Dolphy's playing would sound to me like someone who had gone one step too far. Forty-something years later I still find Dolphy far from easy listening but impossible to ignore. Looking again at Eric Dolphy's recordings it is more evident than ever that the blues and pre-bop jazz were an essential part of the mix with natural sounds, classical music, and post-bop jazz that went to make up his unique sound." E del secondo: "The first Charles Mingus record I bought was Mingus Ah Um and it’s still my favourite. It has everything: gospel, blues and ballads, great passion and lyricism, as well as heartfelt and characteristically original tributes to Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Jelly Roll Morton and Lester Young, What strikes me now is that every track is a portrait of some sort, and we have used this as the theme of the recording."


17 agosto 2020

Kate Westbrook riprende il celebre episodio di Diana e Atteone dalle Metamorfosi di Ovidio e vi dà nuova ambientazione, in riva al mare, non lontano dai graniti di Dartmoor: un'intera serie col carboncino disegnata nei mesi dell'isolamento imposto dalla pandemia, contemporaneamente agli ultimi ritocchi a Earth Felt the Wound. "In the lockdown months, my love of charcoal has deepened. The medium is as old as art itself. A versatile drawing material, charcoal is made from willow that is burnt slowly. When worked on paper, it will smudge, stipple, make the finest of lines, and the crudest. When erased, the black/grey paper surface becomes almost luminous. The story of Diana and Actæon fascinates me and I have made many large oil paintings on the subject, as well as work in other media. Ovid’s tale describes the goddess Diana bathing in a woodland pool, Actæon the hunter spying on her, and the consequences. To explore the relationship between the nude figure and landscape, I have re-imagined this classic confrontation. My most recent version of the story brings the two protagonists to the open sea. These charcoal drawings have run in parallel to the release of my Granite Band album Earth Felt the Wound."


16 agosto 2020

Phil Minton è tra i Magnifici Otto della Mike Westbrook Band immortalati da Joseph Rusnak nel 1990 in occasione del debutto londinese di Off Abbey Road: è la proposta ferragostana in visione presso il WestbrookJazz Moving Picture Show.


15 agosto 2020

Metti che tuo nonno sia Phil Minton...

14 agosto 2020

Macho Melting
Hamlet Coming
Magic Menthol
Matching Mole

13 agosto 2020

Nel quartetto di esploratori psicospaziali - Moon Men - guidati dal temerario Bret Hart ai confini del prog (probabilmente) si fa chiamare Major Dom Fook, ma è sempre lui: Dave Newhouse!


12 agosto 2020

Altra buona notizia dal pianeta The Muffins è l'avvio di una promettente serie - denominata Hand Systems Tapes - volta a recuperare in digitale antichi documenti archiviati su audiocassetta, molti dei quali mai o pochissimo diffusi a suo tempo. Si comincia con Territory, raccolta di registrazioni dal vivo e in studio effettuate tra il 1975 e il 1978 dal gruppo Illegal AliensDave Newhouse con Billy Swann, Scott Raffel e Steve Feigenbaum, e con loro anche Gary Mayne, Reid Brown, Barney Jones e Laurie Liebenson.


11 agosto 2020

E' il terzo album di Manna/Mirage e non sarà l'ultimo, anche se il suo titolare - Dave Newhouse - ha per un po' affermato il contrario: Face, bellissimo, rigorosamente autoprodotto, ahimé già esaurito in tutte le sue copie.


10 agosto 2020

La formazione rimase insieme poco più di sette mesi, nel periodo post-Hot Rats e pre-200 Motels, lavorò duro ma si divertì molto. Lasciò ai zappofili un ricordo indelebile - non a tutti ugualmente gradito - ma poche tracce di sé nei documenti ufficiali, tranne alcune cose in Chunga's Revenge e in successive antologie. Un box di quattro cd ne raccoglie ora il lascito, quasi tutto inedito: The Mothers 1970. Uno spasso, soprattutto dal vivo: in poche ore Román García Albertos ne ha trascritto ogni battuta.

The Mothers 1970 collects together more than four hours of previously unreleased performances by the heralded lineup which lasted roughly seven months: Aynsley Dunbar (drums), George Duke (piano/keys/trombone), Ian Underwood (organ/keys/guitar), Jeff Simmons (bass/vocals) and Flo & Eddie aka Howard Kaylan (vocals) and Mark Volman (vocals/percussion) of The Turtles who performed under the aliases to skirt contractual limitations of performing under their own names. This iteration of The Mothers came to an end in January of 1971 when Simmons quit the band during the making of the 200 Motels movie. “It’s no secret that Frank was excited about this group. The cast of characters and their personalities, musically and personally, made for a very eventful and humorous chapter in Zappa’s career. Frank had a blast with these guys. Their sound was unique, their humor was like no other and yet their time was ultimately short lived.”


09 agosto 2020

Ospite lunedì scorso di Option, appuntamento settimanale con le musiche contemporanee proposto dall'Experimental Sound Studio di Chicago, è stato Eugene Chadbourne, con un simpatico concertino in streaming da casa e una chiacchierata a distanza con Andrew Clinkman. Lo si può rivedere - però in qualità non eccelsa - su YT.

Option is a weekly music salon on Monday nights at Experimental Sound Studio. Its programming explores contemporary perspectives on improvisation and composition in a 'salon' format, enabling local, national, and international artists to publicly discuss their practice and ideas as well as perform. Organized by Chicago musicians Andrew Clinkman, Tim Daisy, and Ken Vandermark, the schedule of concerts represents an insider's view of what is currently most exciting in music and the arts.


08 agosto 2020

Le idee grafiche e le illustrazioni di Andrew Swainson accompagnano le produzioni di Andy Partridge da almeno vent'anni, incluse le più recenti riedizioni dei lavori di XTC e Dukes of Stratosphear e i lavori da solista o in contitolarità con Peter Blegvad. Ne parla lo stesso Swainson intervenendo al nuovo episodio, il sesto, della serie What Do You Call That Noise? curata da Mark Fisher.

Illustrator and graphic designer Andrew Swainson has been collaborating with Andy Partridge for over 20 years. As well as working on XTC and Dukes of Stratosphear re-releases, such as Skylarking and The Complete and Utter Dukes, he helped create the distinctive look of records including: Powers, Partridge's tribute to abstract electronic artist Richard M Power, made to look like an early 60s paperback book; Gonwards, by Peter Blegvad and Andy Partridge, complete with Mexican-style loteria card game; Orpheus-The Lowdown, another Blegvad-Partridge collaboration, with its haunting X-ray imagery; Fuzzy Warbles, the gorgeous compendium of unreleased XTC rarities. In this episode, Swainson joins XTC fans Mark Fisher, Sarah Crookall, Laura Wade, David White and Peter Mills – not to mention a brief visit by Andy Partridge – to talk about his mesmerising designs.


07 agosto 2020

Mike Adcock invece è tra i protagonisti di una registrazione di qualche anno fa dell'Unseemly Trio, finita nel dimenticatoio e ora recuperata e resa disponibile da Structured Disasters tramite Bandcamp. Con Adcock c'erano Mark Browne Steve Nash, e quella sera a loro si unì anche Lol CoxhillThe Starry Voluptuary Has Been Born, dal vivo a Londra il 18 marzo 2002, al Red Rose Club.


06 agosto 2020

Nel tempo del confinamento domestico imposto dalla pandemia Sylvia Hallett ha potuto rivolgere particolari attenzioni al giardino in stato di abbandono di fianco a casa sua, a Tottenham. E lo ha fatto risuonare: Tree Time.

Tree Time is a reflection on the derelict Tottenham garden, now a forest, next door to me, full of sycamores, holly, walnut, horse chestnut, hazel, elder, jasmine and ivy where the birds nest and the bees go for nectar, and the squirrels chase and chatter along their aerial runways. Underground in the root system a family of foxes dig out their tunnels and palaces. During this time of pandemic lockdown, I have been fortunate to have time to listen to the wind soughing in the trees, and get drawn into a different time dimension - the trees speak slowly and ponderously, over centuries, rooting down to the memories that are stored in their fibrous trunks. There is a huge canopy of Russian Vine at one end, and every year it advances further into my garden until I deal with it. I used some of this vine along with other small branches - beech, ash and sycamore - to make sound, using a violin bow to bring out their resonant qualities.


05 agosto 2020

Non rallenta l'attivismo della London Improvisers Orchestra, impegnata a vario titolo in produzioni e iniziative ideate e portate a compimento aggirando strategicamente le avversità di questo dannato periodo. Ce n'è ampia traccia su Bandcamp: tra i materiali pubblicati Traces of Bicarbonate, sulle proteste iniziate in Cile nell'ottobre 2019; Winter Pass for Cello and Orchestra, da un testo di Edward Thomas; Dedicated to Steve Beresford e Birthday Piece, intitolati rispettivamente a Beresford e Philipp Wachsmann.

Sulla genesi di Together Alone spiega Caroline Kraabel: "I miss the glorious web of connections formed by the London Improvisers Orchestra improvising together live. Could some aspects of those connections be maintained even if we didn't hear each other? For ten days I visited LIO musicians in lockdown, or on video-call, in order to conduct each of them in their own version of a score broken up into 30-second segments, each with a single cue (not necessarily the same for all the musicians). Memories, the experience of having played together, and great skill at improvisation made these segments recorded in isolation into something that, when combined (the parts were simply aligned to start at the same time), sounds recognisably like the LIO. It was a privilege to be able to see everyone, and to hear the miraculous synchronicity and surprises in the music.".

E di Bubbles scrive Sue Lynch: "Bubbles refers to the covid-related term as to how we might meet up in groups, whilst still social distancing. We can meet, but only with certain people, but we must still keep our distance. It is both hopefully pleasurable but restrained. In this instance people were paired either alphabetically or as possibly strangers to each other. The results have been both revealing and beautiful".


04 agosto 2020

E' il dossier che ancora mancava sull'impareggiabile Portsmouth Sinfonia, atto a riassumerne il credo estetico e a documentarne le memorabili scorribande nel corso degli anni Settanta: The World’s Worst-A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia, curato da Christopher M. Reeves e Aaron Walker e pubblicato in sobria e magnifica veste da Soberscove Press. Così ne saluta l'uscita Benjamin Piekut: "Our contemporary political leaders appear to be rank amateurs, but the Portsmouth Sinfonia’s story proves that challenges to professionalism (the good kind) have been around for several decades. With every passing year, the ensemble feels further ahead of its time - not only in its solicitation of trained and untrained musicians or its fluent facility with the cultivated and the vernacular, but also in the visionary path it found for a post-Cagean music that went through art school in its post-conceptual phase. This incredible collection brings together historical documents - liner notes, programmes, flyers, letters - with the invaluable remembrances of several members of the Sinfonia. It should serve as a guiding inspiration for every future shambolic disaster born of love."


03 agosto 2020

Sul numero di settembre 2020 di Mojo Martin Aston riporta una conversazione tenuta con Alfreda Benge lo scorso aprile, in vista della pubblicazione presso Faber del libro con Robert Wyatt Side By Side: Selected Lyrics.

“Some relationships are face-to-face, poking into each other’s brains,” notes Alfreda ‘Alfie’ Benge of Robert Wyatt, her creative and domestic partner for the last 50 years. “But ours has worked because we’re sitting side by side, watching the world together, and talking about it. And we’re each other’s best friend. I’m so lucky.”


02 agosto 2020

Caroline Kraabel e John Edwards si sfidano a vicenda nei riconoscimenti al buio proposti da Invisible Jukebox sul numero di agosto 2020 di The Wire: Spaceheads, Feminist Improvising Group, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Adam Bohman e John Wall tra gli ascolti. L'etichetta Takuroku, lanciata recentemente dal Cafe Oto londinese per documentare lavori prodotti nel periodo di confinamento imposto dalla pandemia, ospita il loro Day Night.


01 agosto 2020

L'album di Kate Westbrook con la Granite Band Earth Felt The Wound - già noto ai sostenitori che ne hanno promosso la pubblicazione - è da ieri ufficialmente disponibile alla generalità del pubblico, su Westbrook Records. Lo accompagna un trittico di video raccolti da Chris Topley per la pregiata serie WestbrookJazz Moving Pictures Show; uno di questi - Threat of Natural Disaster, brano tra i più scabrosi e drammatici dell'intero album - è interpretato con grande effetto dalle immagini in bianconero di Martha Shepherd.

Sulla forza e la ricchezza tematica del lavoro scrive Duncan Heining su LondonJazz: "What you get here is a complete package. Every detail has been attended to and got just right. From the bossa nova of the opening The Streams of Lovely Lucienne to the rock-blues of Bathing Belles and Fiscal Analysts and Drowned in the Flood, music and lyrics move across landscapes of concern and affiliations, lamenting the beauty of a natural world under threat. There is a novelistic quality to several of these songs. Lucienne seems to contrast the innocence of childhood with the growing uncertainties of adolescence in its protagonist, while Rooster Rabelais is an Aesop-like fable. Threat of Natural Disaster is repeated in a French translation with different music and succeeds in linking the Westbrooks’ enthusiasms for fine art (Kate is a remarkably gifted painter), Rossini, landscape and the natural world. Its setting of Altdorf connects Rossini – the village built a theatre for a performance of his opera, William Tell – and J.M.W. Turner, who painted Storm in the St. Gotthard Pass and Little Devil’s Bridge nearby. But the way the music is structured here is also intriguing. The sound is often quite compressed. The twin guitars of Matthew North and Jesse Molins form a middle strata, with the rhythm section of Mike Westbrook on keys, Billie Bottle on bass guitar and piano and Coach York on drums forming the bedrock, leaving the voice of Kate and saxophone of Roz Harding to tell the story of sediment and the passage of time."