- Jakob Bro, Arve Henriksen, Jorge Rossy “Reconstructing A Dream” from Uma Elmo (ECM) 00:00
- Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman “Caught in the Undertow” from A Lifeboat (Part I) (577 Records) 10:16
- Paul Dunmall, Keith Tippett, Philip Gibbs, Pete Fairclough “Song and Dance and” from Onasante (577 Records) 17:00
- George Russell Sextet “Stratusphunk” from Live Rareities 1960 (Naked Lunch) 24:35
- Jakob Bro, Arve Henriksen, Jorge Rossy “Housework” from Uma Elmo (ECM) 31:44
- Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman “Coming Up” from A Lifeboat (Part I) (577 Records) 42:40
- Treesearch “Bleach Feathers” from Birdward (577 Records) 46:02
- Bennie Maupin “Penumbra” from Penumbra (Cryptogramophone) 52:29
- Dave Tucker, Pat Thomas, Thurston Moore, Mark Sanders “The New Normal Part 1” from Educated Guess Vol. 1 (577 Records) 1:00:00
- Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble “Now (Forever Momentary Space)” from NOW! (International Anthem) 1:08:10
- Jakob Bro, Arve Henriksen, Jorge Rossy “Sound Flower” from Uma Elmo (ECM) 1:15:55
- Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman “Stranded” from A Lifeboat (Part I) (577 Records) 1:21:29
- E. Jason Gibbs & Nat Baldwin “Microstates” from Microstates (Orbit 577) 1:28:04
- James Brandon Lewis & Red Lily Quintet “Chemurgy” from Jesup Wagon (Tao Forms) 1:34:59
- Soundprints “Pythagoras” from Other Worlds (Greenleaf) 1:44:54
- Joe McPhee, Bill Smith Ensemble “Ghosts” from Visitation (Sackville) 1:53:56
On this weeks show five brand new albums from 577 Records, one each from Greenleaf, Tao Forms, International Anthem and ECM. There’s also plus a dip in the archive for some classic tracks
With Uma Elmo, his fifth album as a leader for ECM, Danish guitarist-composer Jakob Bro presents a new trio featuring Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen and Spanish drummer Jorge Rossy. Astonishingly, given the trio’s musical synergy, the first time these three musicians ever performed together was for the album’s sessions at the Swiss Radio studio in Lugano, with Manfred Eicher producing. Among the album’s highlights is the opening “Reconstructing a Dream”, a darkly lyrical reverie which underlines an observation about Bro’s work by London Jazz News: “there is no hurry to this music, but there is great depth.”
“To Stanko” is Bro’s hushed tribute to the late, great Polish trumpeter who featured the guitarist in his quintet for the ECM album Dark Eyes. Another track that serves as an homage to a late elder is “Music for Black Pigeons,” which was given its evocative title by saxophone sage Lee Konitz, with whom Bro also worked closely.
Listeners will recognize Arve Henriksen’s whispering, intimate sound from his 2008 ECM album Cartography, as well as from his collaborations for the label with Trio Mediaeval and Tigran Hamasyan. Rossy is well known to jazz fans on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly for his decade-plus tenure in Brad Mehldau’s career-making first trio. As for the leader, DownBeat aptly noted in its review of his previous ECM album, Bay of Rainbows, that “Bro’s guitar is luminous… his music both hypnotic and dramatic.”
Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman
In the first lockdown, Matthew Putman (on keyboard) and Michael Sarian (on trumpet and flugelhorn) began to meet up (with precautions) for semi-regular sessions in Sarian’s makeshift home studio. The conditions were less-than-ideal—a borrowed 20-year-old keyboard, an inadequate microphone, and cramped NYC apartment acoustics—but they continued their “weekly pilgrimages, searching for [their] cadences, rhythms and melodies through the Fall.” The sessions gave them much-needed sanity, grounding their friendship and keeping them afloat, as Sarian describes, “much like a lifeboat,” making a project that is exploratory and open-minded, full of searching and synchronicity. These three chapters represent three separate sessions recorded in a three-week time period. The album, A Lifeboat (Part I), is the duo’s debut on vinyl, following their 2020 project (Improvisations Volumes I & II), and precedes a second volume scheduled for later this year. Both the CD & LP editions feature poetry by 577’s Daniel Carter, and is available April 23, 2021.
Paul Dunmall, Keith Tippett, Philip Gibbs, Pete Fairclough
Originally recorded in 2000 for a small 100-copy release, Onosante has become a 4-track improvisational project suspended in time. Performed by Paul Dunmall (Saxophones, Fife, Bagpipes), Keith Tippett (Piano), Philip Gibbs (Guitar) and Pete Fairclough (Drums), the album is a deeply creative testament to collaboration, with particularly interesting instrumentation and a characteristic warmth. The compositions are complex but never crowded, conveying a poetic ease between the performers, in what Dunmall calls “a revelation,” and “a mini-masterpiece of improvised music.” This release marks the 20-year anniversary of its first publication, the memory of Keith Tippett’s recent passing and the first of many releases from legendary UK musician Paul Dunmall later this year on 577 Records. Onosante is available in CD and digital editions on April 16, 2021.
George Russell Sextet
Here is the maverick George Russell Sextet caught in a rare live recording from a concert held at Music Inn, in Lenox Massachusetts on September 1, 1960. George Russell’s kaleidoscopic sound conception takes shape through the collective interplay of a brilliant tight band featuring George Russell himself on piano, Al Kiger – trumpet, Dave Baker – trombone, Dave Young – tenor sax, Chuck Israels – bass and Joe Hunt – drums. A great example of challenging modern and yet swinging Jazz, including highlights such as Russell’s original Stratusphunk and an early Carla Bley’s tune called Dance Class.
Treesearch’s sophomore album Birdward is aesthetically omnivorous, further investigating many of the innovative musical compositions that defined their debut collection, Know More Knowledge (577 Records, 2020). In this album, violinist Keir GoGwilt and bassist Kyle Motl are joined by horn player Nicolee Kuester, combining original poems written by GoGwilt and Kuester with precise musical arrangement. Their spoken recitations alternately play signifying and rhythmic roles—the incessant lilt of Kuester’s voice in “Beautiful bird, quiet birds” bleeds into the fraught skittering of Motl’s bass, while GoGwilt’s poetic images of the natural world and fracturing relationships float over his colleagues’ instruments in “Certain Bird” and “Shame.” To arrange their lyrics on inventive bass lines and sparse violin, they use “starling form,” a matrix of 27 word-spaces, invented by Christopher GoGwilt, allowing for rhythmic, reversible recitations. Some tracks are through-composed by one or more of the members; some have just a hint of architecture in a melody or bass line around which all three improvise. Throughout, the listener divides their attention between the instrumentation, and the lyrical human dialogue, an effect that suggests an interpretive biomimicry. The emotional scope of Birdward is as wide as its stylistic roamings: earnest and snarky, serious and frivolous, funny and devastated.
An all-acoustic album, featuring Daryl Munyungo Jackson on percussion, drummer Michael Stephans and bassist Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz. Focusing on bass clarinet and using two percussionists instead of the more conventional two horns/bass/drums lineup, this album explores unconventional tones and structures . Released in 2006.
Dave Tucker, Pat Thomas, Thurston Moore, Mark Sanders
Dave Tucker says that he brought this disparate group of musicians together for a live performance at London’s Cafe Oto last March on “an educated guess,” predicting that the artists—Mark Sanders (Drums & Percussion), Pat Thomas (Piano & Keys), Dave Tucker (Guitar) and Thurston Moore (Guitar)—would be able to create something extraordinary through improvisation. The condition of their encounter would later become the collective’s name, an “Educated Guess” and the eponymous title of their first release, the first installment of a two-part volume. The album is another experiment in chance: an eclectic composition of spontaneous performance, layering guitars over complex, sometimes-scattered drum arrangements, and punctuating the noise with distinctive electronic manipulation. Demonstrating their different backgrounds, UK improvised music heroes Thomas and Sanders, already on a few 577 Records’ releases, join forces with UK-based guitarist Tucker (a longtime collaborator with The Fall, Dudu Pukwana, Louis Moholo) and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth to create something deeply inventive and experimental, pushing the boundary of noise music towards a complicated, dissonant electronica. The album, released online and on vinyl, is available on April 2nd, 2021.
Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble
Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble’s new album “NOW” was created in the final throes of Summer 2020, following months of pandemic-induced fear & isolation, the explosion of social unrest, struggle & violence in the streets, and as the certain presence of a new reality had fully settled in. Set up safely in the garden behind Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio, the music was recorded in only a few takes, capturing the first times members of BME had ever played or sang the tunes. For Locks, the impetus was more about getting together to commune and make art than it was about producing an album. In his words: “It was about offering a new thought. It was about resisting the darkness. It was about expressing possibility. It was about asking the question, ‘Since the future has unfolded and taken a new and dangerous shape… what happens NOW?’”
releases April 9, 2021
Angel Bat Dawid – clarinet
Ben LaMar Gay – cornet & melodica
Dana Hall – drums
Damon Locks – samples & electronics
Arif Smith – percussion
E. Jason Gibbs & Nat Baldwin
Microstates documents a day of focused, measured improvisation from E. Jason Gibbs (acoustic guitar) and Nat Baldwin (double bass). As its name suggests, the album is full of fragmented and immersive musical interludes, testing the boundaries of their instrument’s intended usages and the structure of composition. The pieces capture just a single day of performance but are the product of a year of collaboration where Gibbs and Baldwin developed a common language and shared aesthetic to explore time, texture, frenetic energy, and silence. The music is patient, dynamic, and follows unpredictable paths of intimate interplay, reflecting the dark complexities of a world on fire, with the bright potential for new horizons of radical expression. E. Jason Gibbs previously featured as a guitarist on the 5-volume WALK MY WAY project (2021), and has another solo album, Wolves of Heaven, planned for release with Orbit577 in March 2021. Microstates is available digitally and as limited-edition CDs on April 24, 2021.
James Brandon Lewis & Red Lily Quintet
= Red Lily Quintet =
James Brandon Lewis: tenor saxophone, composition
Kirk Knuffke: cornet
William Parker: bass, gimbri (on tracks 2 & 7)
Chris Hoffman: cello
Chad Taylor: drums, mbira (on track 6)
There is so much special about this recording, James’ 9th, starting with [on the way in] the lavish artwork, including a reproduction on the cover of Carver’s own tantalizing drawing of the Jesup Agricultural Wagon, which is shown in a photograph on the back cover, rendering a dialogue of representation and abstraction that Lewis models in the music.
If “revelation” is a word commonly used to describe master saxophonists like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and Dewey Redman, then it fits easily in the horn of James Brandon Lewis, who is a keen student of those and many other elders. But while boundless energy characterizes his playing, it is also grounded by a deep sense of narrative, which is why he is attracted to histories, like Carver’s, or to theories like his own Molecular Systematic Music, used on his superb previous 2020 Intakt album, ‘Molecular’, or to artistic genres such as surrealism, modeled by Lewis on the stunning ‘An UnRuly Manifesto’ from 2019.
Helping James get it all out on Jesup Wagon is the Red Lily Quintet, anchored by the tectonic rhythm section of bassist William Parker and drummer Chad Taylor, and rounded out by cornetist Kirk Knuffke and cellist Chris Hoffman.
The new album from Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and Sound Prints! Full-length studio album featuring the outstanding rhythm section of Lawrence Fields, Linda May Han Oh, and Joey Baron. All new compositions from Lovano and Douglas! Pythagoras
Joe McPhee & Bill Smith Ensemble
Released March 1985
Recorded November 06, 1983, McClear Palace Studios, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Joe McPhee: flügelhorn, pocket trumpet, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Bill Smith: soprano saxophone, sopranino saxophone, alto saxophone
David Prentice: violin
David Lee: double bass
Richard Bannard: drums