World of Jazz 455

  1. Jared Schonig “White Out” from Two Takes Vol 1 Quintet (Anzic Records) 0:00
  2. Henry Threadgill Zooid “Come and Go” from Poof (Pi Recordings) 7:25
  3. James Gilmore “Decorating Time” from Decorating Time (ears&eyes) 15:30
  4. Luis Vicente & Vasco Trilla “Abyssal” from Made of Mist (577 Records) 20:06
  5. Pearring Sound “Twisting Pavement” from Socially Distanced Duos (Self Released) 27:29
  6. Sean Conly “Send In The Clowns” from The Buzz (577 Records) 34:56
  7. Jared Schonig “Tig Mack” from Two Takes Vol 1 Quintet (Anzic Records) 38:35
  8. Henry Threadgill Zooid “Beneath The Bottom” from Poof (Pi Recordings) 43:07
  9. James Gilmore “The Soul Is A Lattice” from Decorating Time (ears&eyes) 51:48
  10. Pearring Sound “Present Value Impact, The Gift” from Socially Distanced Duos (Self Released) 56:54
  11. Luis Vicente & Vasco Trilla “Esglai” from Made of Mist (577 Records) 1:00:49
  12. Francisco Mela feat. Matthew Shipp and William Parker “Light of Mind” from Music Frees Our Souls, Vol. 1 (577 Records) 1:08:59
  13. Jared Schonig “Gibbs Street” from Two Takes Vol 1 Quintet (Anzic Records) 1:29:02
  14. Henry Threadgill Zooid “Now and Then” from Poof (Pi Recordings) 1:34:38
  15. James Gilmore “Vulture and Cockroach” from Decorating Time (ears&eyes) 1:41:10
  16. Luis Vicente & Vasco Trilla “Scorching Light” from Made of Mist (577 Records) 1:49:33

On this weeks show all new releases from Jared Schonig, Henry Threadgill with his Zooid band, James Gilmore, Luis Vicente & Vasco Trilla, Pearring Sound, Francisco Mela feat. Matthew Shipp and William Parker and also a preview of the new album from Sean Conly

Jared Schonig

Two Takes Vol 1: Quintet – Marquis Hill, trumpet, Godwin Louis, alto saxophone, Luis Perdomo, piano, Matt Clohesy, acoustic bass, Jared Schonig, drums and compositions. Co-produced by Amy Crawford and Jared Schonig, Recorded by Owen Mulholland at Sear Sound, Mixed by Chris Allen, Mastered by Mark Wilder

In the music of drummer/composer Jared Schonig there is a life-force, a vibrant affirmation that there are numerous great reasons to get out of bed in the morning and embrace it all. His music percolates with sincere optimism for the future, enthusiasm for the present and reverence and erudition of the past. The music on Schonig’s intrepid debut recording(s) as a leader, Two Takes Vol. 1: Quintet & Vol. 2: Big Band (available on Anzic Records on September 24) is meticulously-crafted, played with the freedom, abandon, joy and excellence that only top New York City players seem to truly capture simultaneously. With this debut as a leader we experience a musician who dreams big, makes those dreams come true, and thrives as a percussive force in many dimensions: primal and raw, shimmering and playful, pounding and exhilarating, tumultuous and brutal, complex, unpredictable and exhilarating. And, with these recordings, Schonig now joins the growing fellowship of drummers fronting their own bands, from Brian Blade to Johnathan Blake to Tyshawn Sorey, and many others.

Henry Threadgill Zooid

Henry Threadgill – alto saxophone, flute, bass flute
Liberty Ellman – acoustic guitar
Jose Davila – tuba, trombone
Christopher Hoffman – cello
Elliot Humberto Kavee – drums

Poof is composer, saxophonist and flutist and newly-minted NEA Jazz Master Henry Threadgill’s latest work with his band, Zooid, his primary musical laboratory for the last two decades. Their last release together, In for a Penny, In for a Pound, was the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music, whose committee called it “a highly original work in which notated music and improvisation mesh in a sonic tapestry that seems the very expression of modern American life.” His 2018 releases – large group efforts Dirt… And More Dirt and Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus – were also critically-lauded, with Dirt voted the No. 2 release of the year in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, who called it “densely packed elemental material; a respite from commercial and manufactured surroundings and a bed of organic possibilities.”

With Poof, Threadgill has returned to the symbiotic band, Zooid, the longest-running group of his half-century long career. Added together, its four members – Liberty Ellman on guitar, Christopher Hoffman on cello, Jose Davila on tuba, and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums, along with the leader on alto sax and flutes – have been playing with him for a total of over 75 years. These are the musicians of his inner-circle, who have dedicated countless hours to mastering the maestro’s inimitable music – or at least to the extent that mastery can be achieved in music that is constantly changing and being pushed to the teetering edge. Like In for a Penny, In for a Pound, the composition on the album are described by Threadgill as sonatas or concerti: “Come and Go” for saxophone and cello; “Poof” for saxophone and guitar; “Beneath the Bottom” for trombone; “Happenstance” for flute and drums; and “Now and Then” for tuba and guitar. By this point, the group’s reliance on the serial intervallic system that was the basis of the group’s unique sound is more felt than prescribed or, as Threadgill describes it, “stripped down to the bones,” relying on the musicians to fill in the rest of the corpus. All the other hallmarks of this music are here: unpredictable forms, percolating rhythms, the interwoven melodic strains; there’s really nothing else remotely like it. The best part of it all is that Zooid is the one platform where one still gets to hear Threadgill really play. His keening saxophone wail retains that unmistakable gutbucket blues feel, with no small measure of church thrown in to the mix.

James Gilmore

● James Gilmore – guitar & compositions
● Butler Knowles – bass
● Kassem Williams – drums

Decorating Time is a product of North Carolina’s fertile musical environment, reflecting the players’ roots in NC’s #BAM and free improvised music scenes. The group has a dark, rich sound with fantastic communication and togetherness. Indeed the ethos seems to be to prioritize the group sound throughout. Because of this, there is an abandon, an edge, and raw energy to the music. There is also, at times, a sweetness, and some surprising earworms (‘The Drip’). There are ‘out’ sounds and some free-ish time (e.g. on the wave-like ‘Theme for Kassem’), but the rhythmic language is funk and postbop: Listeners should come away with the feeling of having gone through a few unexpected doors in the twisting passages of the jazz tradition. In Gilmore’s playing you can hear the work and effort to absorb the sounds that shaped his generation of guitarists, but the result has edges and always more than a tinge of the blues. Gilmore’s use of effects, when he does use them, has a compositional dimension (e.g. on ‘The Soul Is A Lattice’ and ‘Theme for Kassem’), but for the most part, his tone is spare, natural, and clean, giving the music room to breath and allowing the compositions to speak for themselves. In navigating his own songs, Gilmore often seems to go out of his way to find angles in the music: He’s on his toes and he wants you to be as well. Amidst this stretching, his reach sometimes exceeds his grasp, but the result always compels.


Williams and Knowles equally shine. Williams’ nuanced, rich vocabulary is especially potent in the context of the tunes, bringing crispness and a sure grasp of the jazz language to Gilmore’s by turns eerie and sweet compositions. However, it’s on the free(er) tunes that Williams really shines. On the group’s reimagining of Willie Nelson’s ‘Crazy’ Williams swings completely free of Knowles’ and Gilmore’s together-but-not-together pulse with a glittering patter of cymbals and snare that one associates with Milford Graves or Andrew Cyrille. Knowles, for his part, is possessed of a massive sound and never seems to run out of ideas, which makes his playing perfect for a trio album. Like Gilmore and Williams, Knowles is shaped by the central North Carolina musical ecosystem: To work, one must have ‘the goods’. But (as with Gilmore) listeners will recognize the unmistakable stamp of the 60’s avant-garde in Knowles’ playing, especially Richard Davis and Charles Mingus.

Luis Vicente & Vasco Trilla

From Portuguese trumpet player Luis Vicente and Portuguese-Catalan percussionist Vasco Trilla, comes Made of Mist, an ethereal and avant-garde project exploring the boundaries of musical composition. Recorded in Lisbon, after performing numerous concerts around Europe together, this album documents the duo at their most artistically bold. Aspiring to create music that flows from textural to spiritually-infused free jazz, they share an aesthetic that values noise and sound at least as much as it does rhythm and harmony. Throughout the album’s six extended tracks, continuous timbral variations move the music forward through slow shifts in Trilla’s percussive density and Vicente’s abstract trumpet melodies. Despite its intense experimentality and sometimes-disorienting effect, the music is emotive, casual, and richly varied, offering an exciting and deeply original improvisational album. Made of Mist marks Luis Vicente and Vasco Trilla’s debut on 577 Records, and will be available in both digital and disc editions.

Pearring Sound

Billy Mintz, drums (1) Daniel Carter, soprano saxophone (2) Jeff Pearring, alto saxophone all tracks

2020 was an extremely difficult year for all musicians but some took advantage of the extreme limitations to express themselves in unique ways. Alto-saxophonist Jeff Pearring, who under the group name of “Pearring Sound” normally leads units ranging from trios to a quintet, wanted to interact with other inventive musicians but in a safe manner. He decided to play duets with six diverse but very talented musical partners, resulting in the eight selections that comprise Pearring Sound Socially Distanced Duos

Sean Conly

Exploring the iconic trio format, Sean Conly (Bass), Francisco Mela (Drums) and Leo Genovese (Piano) mix composition and improvised music into a shared language. Inspired by both contemporary and traditional musical arrangements, the musicians’ distinct inclinations blend together in playful form, delivered in an easy dialogue between the members of the trio. The Buzz’s 10 tracks are gentle and warm, displaying the comfort that the artists have with each other, and lending the album a similarly inviting aura throughout. This marks Sean Conly’s debut on 577 Records, the second album on the label for Leo Genovese (following Trio Sin Tiempo: Ritmos De Agua) and will be Francisco Mela’s third album on 577 Records, following MPT Trio (2021) and Music Frees Our Souls, Vol. 1 (2021). The Buzz will be available as a LP, CD and digitally on October 8, 2021.

Singles from the album will be released in advance with The Buzz on August 26th, and Send In The Clo on September 16th.

Francisco Mela feat. Matthew Shipp and William Parkerwns

In Music Frees Our Souls Vol. 1, Mela, Shipp and Parker compose an album that is equally innovative and welcoming, offering the best of experimental jazz and paying homage to McCoy Tyner’s indelible creative influence. This is the first chapter of Francisco Mela’s Music Frees Our Souls trilogy dedicated to McCoy, always featuring William Parker on bass but with different piano players on each volume. The album, Francisco Mela’s second from 577 Records following MPT Trio (2021), will be available on limited edition blue vinyl (100 copies), black vinyl, CD, digital. Music Frees Our Souls Vol. 2 & 3 are already recorded and will be released in the near future. The album is released on September 17th

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