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Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Paint (Hot Cup)

The first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing and features bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, pianist Ron Stabinsky, and drummer Kevin Shea, with each composition named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title, with one apt Duke Ellington cover. ... Click to View


Moppa Elliott : Still, Up In The Air (Hot Cup)

Solo double-bass improvisations from Mostly Other People Do the Killing bassist and leader Moppa Elliot, consisting of sequences of contrasting themes, or musical cubism in the spirit of Picasso and Braque, presenting 7 of 14 sequences where the improvisation is a series of disparate musical ideas that transition rapidly in an attempt to disrupt the linear progression of thematic development. ... Click to View


Leandre / Minton: Leandre / Minton (Fou Records)

Phil Minton started as a trumpeter and became one of free improv's most outside vocalists; Joelle Leandre is a double bassist who also performs free vocal improv; this is their first recorded collaboration, and it's an unusual and wonderful album of heavy tone improvisation, plucked and bowed, and a masterfully odd free association of vocalisation. ... Click to View


Talibam! : Endgame Of The Anthropocene [VINYL] (ESP)

Talibam!'s 1st cinematic album of through-composed ecogothic geosonics, the "soundtrack to 2048's despotic nationalism and crumbling international infrastructure, underscoring an eco-mercantilistic tragedy and the desperate plundering of the last pristine landscape on Earth" from NY's duo of Matt Mottel on mini moog and synths, and Kevin Shea on drums, and midi mallet percussion. ... Click to View


Talibam! / Matt Nelson / Ron Stabinsky: Hard Vibe [VINYL] (ESP)

Talibam! with Matt Mottel on sax, Kevin Shea on drums, Matt Mottel on Fender Rhodes and synth and Ron Stabinsky on organ take inspiration from Herbie Hancock's 70's electronics, Miles Davis' "On the Corner" and Albert Ayler's New grass in compositions that transforms aspects of rhythm changes into a disciplined sequence, a new take on psychedelic jazz. ... Click to View


Crys Cole / Oren Ambarchi: Hotel Record [VINYL 2 LPs] (Black Truffle)

A double LP and the second release from the duo of Crys Cole and Oren Ambarchi, also romantic partners, as they explore their relationship through sound and voice, each side presenting a unique approach to their collaboration while maintaining a certain somnambulist feeling over rich guitar and organ work, and other unfathomable sound. ... Click to View


Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love / Kent Kessler): Thinking Out Loud (Trost Records)

The third album from this international trio of powerful improvisers--Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, and Chicago/NY saxophonist Mars William-- in four odysseys that take the listener from introspective playing to out and out blowing, using technique to serve their incredible dialog. ... Click to View


Sven-Ake Johansson / Alexander Von Schlippenbach : Schraubenlieder [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Drummer Sven-Ake Johansson is also a poet, writer and visual artist; here he joined forced with Alexander von Schlippenbach in 1988 to record these songs, never previously released, sung in German and English, for a set of 9 fascinating narrations that engage the listener independent of language, as von Schlippenbach improvises with prodigious technique. ... Click to View


Annette Peacock & Paul Bley: Dual Unity (Bamboo)

Reissuing the debut album by vocalist Annette Peacock and pianist Paul Bley recorded during their first European tour in 1970, in a quartet with compatriots Mario Pavone on bass and Laurence Cook on drums, Bley using an early Moog synthesizer; unique and original avant jazz. ... Click to View


Paul Bley Trio: Closer [VINYL] (ESP)

A vinyl reissue of Paul Bley's 2nd ESP album from 1966, a lyrical and lush trio setting with material mostly from Carla Bley, one Ornette Coleman number, and one from Annette Peacock, with Steve Swallow on bass and Barry Altschul on percussion, exploratory free jazz that uses melodic intention in assertive but not aggressive aways; a classic. ... Click to View


Pharoah Sanders : Quintet [VINYL] (ESP)

A vinyl reissue of Pharoah Sanders' 1965 debut release on ESP, in a quinet with Jane Getz on piano, William Bennett on bass, Stan Foster on trumpet and Mavin Pattillo on percussion, decidedly a jazz album from this outside player known for his association with John Coltrane in his freeist moments, here bridging lyrical and avant worlds with powerful playing. ... Click to View


Wadada Smith Leo: Najwa (Tum)

Paying tribute to musicians whose vision paved the way for modern creative players to use new approaches, language and philosophy in improvisation, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's band with four guitarists, electric bass, drums and percussion dedicates five incredible compositions to Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Ronald Shannon Jackson, and Billie Holiday. ... Click to View


Wadada Smith Leo: Solo - Reflections And Meditations On Monk (Tum)

An intimate album of solo trumpet from Wadada Leo Smith, performing compositions by Thelonious Monk, Smith professing in an essay in the accompanying booklet that he was motivated to become a composer by Monk above other contemporaries for his ideas of composition and bands; his admiration and love of Monk's work is clear in this beautifully lyrical album. ... Click to View


Aki Takase / Alexander von Schlippenbach: So Long, Eric! Homage to Eric Dolphy (Intakt)

Alexander von Schlippenbach and Aki Takase assembled an ensemble of Dolphy interpreters that includes bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, saxophonist Tobias Delius, vibraphonist Karl Berger, trumpeter Axel Dorner, trombonist Nils Wogram, &c, for a fresh take on compositions from one of free jazz's most iconic composers, Eric Dolphy, captured live in Berlin, 2014. ... Click to View


Steve Noble / Yoni Silver: Home (Aural Terrains)

The two-headed snake on the cover of this album aptly describes the sublimely sinuous and dark interplay between London free jazz drummer Steve Noble and bass clarinetist Yoni Silver, their 4-part improvisation taking on sinister elements of exceptional cymbal techniques, unusual drum tones, and extended lower register tones and high harmonics; excellent. ... Click to View


Various Artists: Asian Meeting Recordings #1 (Doubtmusic)

Otomo Yoshihide started The Asian Meeting Festival in 2005 to foster creative interaction between Japanese and other Asian musicians, since 2014 curated by DJ Sniff, and here in the 2017 edition at GOK Sound, in Tokyo, Japan with a who's-who of players including Yoshihide, Ryoko Ono, Ko Ishikawa, Son X, KEITO, Yuji Ishihara, Yuen Chee Wai, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Jim Black Trio: The Constant (Intakt)

A beautiful example of the modern piano trio, led by in-demand drummer, Jim Black, with Elias Stemeseder the pianist and Thomas Morgan on bass, in a lyrical album that uses Black's compelling and elusive drumming on 9 original Black compositions and one unexpected standard, as all three deliver complex playing that sounds accessible and engaging, a true achievement. ... Click to View


Fred Frith / Barry Guy: Backscatter Bright Blue (Intakt)

Both bassist Barry Guy and guitarist Fred Frith are key artists of Switzerland's Intakt label catalog, but surprisingly the two have never shared a stage together; Intakt had a feeling about their pairing and brought them into the studio, this superb duo album being the result in 10 brilliant tracks intertwining acoustic double bass and electric guitar. ... Click to View


Fred Frith Trio: Another Day in Fucking Paradise (Intakt)

Proclaiming that he nothing more in mind then getting together with a couple of formidable musicians, guitarist Fred Frith and Mills College alumni Jordan Glenn on drums and Jason Hoopes on electric and double bass take their listeners through 13 connected pieces that reference rock, jazz and ea-soundscape in an impressive album from a remarkable new group. ... Click to View


Lotte Anker / Fred Frith: Edge Of The Light (Intakt)

An intimate dialog between frequent collaborators, UK guitarist Fred Frith and Copenhagen saxophonist Lotte Anker, both players listening carefully as they interact in a fragile dialog of profound technique and inventive approach, using texture and nuance to create unusual and captivating interchanges that demonstrate how compatible these two very different instruments can be. ... Click to View


Schlippenbach Trio (Schlippenbach / Evan Parker / Lovens): Features (Intakt)

The long-standing Schlippenbach Trio with Evan Parker on saxophone and Paul Lovens on drums presents 15 concise "Features", improvisations of great depth and diversity, from the beautifully stark solo piano that opens the album to intense collective interactions, avoiding excess in deference to the profound expression of an inspiring group chemistry. ... Click to View


Mark Dresser : Modicana [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Double Bassist Mark Dresser, a mainstay of the Downtown NY scene as an improviser and composer, and also prominent on the US West Coast and as an international touring artist, releases a powerful album of distinctive solo playing, both technically and melodically, with 2 tracks caught live at the Umea Jazz Festival and others recorded at the University of California, San Diego. ... Click to View


Bobby Bradford / Hafez Modirzadeh / Ken Filiano / Royal Hartigan: Live at the Magic Triangle [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

A live concert at Amherst, Massachusetts in 2016 as part of the Magical Triangle Jazz Series from the quartet of legendary cornetist Bobby Bradford, Turkish saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh on tenor, in-demand New York bassist Ken Filiano, and percussionist/drummer Royal Hartigan, the band performing two Bradford compositions, with one each from Filiano, Modirzadeh and Hartigan. ... Click to View


Andrew Lamb / Warren Smith / Arkadijus Gotesmanas: The Sea of Modicum [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Captured live at the 2016 Vilnius Jazz Festival, the free jazz trio of saxophonist Andrew Lamb and percussionists Warren Smith and Arkadijus Gotesmanas provide a unique orchestration, with the percussionists building rhythmic structures over which AACM alumni Lamb's powerful saxophone work emerges; a great album of solid exploratory free jazz. ... Click to View


Yedo Gibson / Hernani Faustino / Vasco Trilla: CHAIN (NoBusiness)

A fiery and energetic album of masterful free jazz from Brazilian saxophonist Yedo Gibson, Portuguese-Brazilian drummer and percussionist Vasco Trilla, and Portuguese bass player Hernani Faustino (Red Trio, K4 Quadrado Azul), recording in the studio for 6 dynamic dialogs that uses a variety of approaches and references to free jazz and creative improv. ... Click to View


TON-KLAMI (Midori Takada / Kang Tae Hwan / Masahiko Satoh): Prophesy of Nue (NoBusiness)

Ton-Klami was an influential Japanese free improvising band active in the 90s, and leading to the solo careers of percussionist Midori Takada, pianist Masahiko Satoh, and saxophonist Kang Tae Hwan; here the band is heard in a 1995 live concert recorded at Design Plaza Hofu in Yamaguchi, Japan, recorded by Chap-Chap Records but never released. ... Click to View


Liudas Mockunas : Hydro [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Lithuanian reedist Liudas Mockunas in an unusual record of clarinet and saxophone improvisations, from solo work of powerful technique to pieces using water prepared instruments to create a wealth of bubbling and aberrant sound on the instrument, side A presenting the 7 part "Hydration Suite", Side B the 3 part "Rehydration", and "Dehydration". ... Click to View


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing: Baby Talk (The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions. ... Click to View


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing: Baby Talk [VINYL] (The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions. ... Click to View


Sun Ra & His Myth Science Solar Arkestra: The Lost Arkestra Series Vol 1 & 2 [2 10-INCH VINYL RECORDS] (Art Yard)

A double 10" featuring unreleased and rare Sun Ra recordings, including a live track from Paris in 1983, two unreleased cuts from the "Disco 3000" concert tapes, a quartet session with Sun Ra on the Crumar Mainman synth, and three selections from the Sub-Underground series of Saturn LPs, including a ballad and new material from "Live at Temple" and "What's New". ... Click to View


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Travelogue


  James Pugliese's Travelogue  

Writing in Napoli 9/21/03

Well this keyboard is a little easier than the ones in Paris. Someday Iíll make a coffee table book of all the Internet Cafes in the world.

9/14/03
So we arrive in Venezia, nice chat with Sim Caine on the plane. Everyone is going to La Biennale. Zeena and Elliot arrive just before us and Mark Stewart was also on our plane. Iím here with Elliot Sharpís Carbon. We get on a boat taxi to go to the hotel. Quite a ride, choppy and high volume. Of course Aunt Dolores calls my cell while we are on the boat. My first Italian cell call. I am very excited to have my own Italian phone number. The phone is in my pocket ringing and it takes a while for me to recognize that it is my phone. I am tired, no sleep so Iím not quite ready to discuss my plans for the day. Aunt Dolores is tuff, she wants information and I donít have any. Here I am in Venezia yelling back and forth on my mobile with Aunt Dolores. A true Napolitano. I ask her if she can call me back at 5pm. What is my family doing in Venezia? Touring Italia. I promised to meet them here and it has to be today.

I get to the hotel take a nice shower then a great walk. Finally at around 5pm I wander over to Piazza San Marco where I know the family is wandering. Know that I am giving up a great dinner with Massimo Ungari, an old friend and big promoter in Venezia who always takes us to great restaurants. I get the big call and Aunt Dolores is yelling at me. She needs information and I better have it! Not only did I have it I was showered, suit jacket, fine haircut, feeling good and I had a plan. I chose the spot where we would meet and we did. We proceeded to have full blown, in your face, tourist fun. They had great stories about their trip to Castelanova di Conza (more on this later).

9/15/03
After a good sleep, next day, we rehearse and perform. Met old and new friends. Great food and great performing. You canít go wrong when the band is Elliot, Zeena, Sim and myself. What fun. It was so late after the concert that we had to have the after-party in my room. Everyone else had small rooms with no light. Jim Pugliese gets big room with large windows overlooking the water. Elliot claims prejudice toward non-Italians, I agree. Tomorrow I am on my way to Napoli to meet with Marco Capelli (great guitarist) and also to visit the village where my grandparents were born. In conversation Elliot tells me that Max Neuhaus lives on the Island of Capri and that he can hook me up with him. As a young drummer/percussionist I idealized Max. His recording of Stockhausenís Zyklus blew me away and is one of the reasons that I got into this avant thing.

9/16/03
I canít believe that Iíve never been to Napoli. Napoli is fine. Difficult to describe but kind of what you would imagine old New York was around the turn of the century. A mix of new and old buildings, stray dogs everywhere, melting pot of the world and exciting. This is the central train station so I'll find more after wandering today. I could definately live here because the energy is incredible!! It's flooded with passion and petty con crime and street vendors like you've never imagined. In Rome you have the old stuff mixed with new and here the old stuff is kind of static, not changing, and I mean culturally not physically.

9/17/03
Yesterday walking along the Gulf of Napoli I've never seen the sky so blue or the sun so bright, hot sun healing sun, cool breeze off the water. Boats leave from here going to Greece, Tunisia, Corsica, Sicily, wow, the sun melts my brain dripping romance into my heart then my blood.

Last night, riding on the back of Marco's Vespa, stopping here, stopping there, red lights disappear, pedestrians, cars, vespas all become one big flow. The only laws are natural and they work perfectly together. Amazing Neopolitan dinner and then to a small quiet piazza. Every building a different color and in the middle an ancient church where on Friday Sept. 19th the miracle of San Genero will take place as it does every year on this date. His hardened blood will turn to liquid and thousands will come to see.

Now the moon is shinning brightly on the piazza and I'm sipping grappa with Marco and some newfound friends, musicians, architectural historian, lawyer and again I smile. Tomorrow I rented a car and I will drive to Castelanova di Conza.

Jim Pugliese - Cemetery
9/19/03
I just returned from Castelnuovo di Conza the village where my paternal grandparents were born. I left very early this morning and the ride was fantastic.

The view is spectacular. It literally sits on top of a peak surrounded by cliffs. I looked around and yes everything looked completely modern. This scared me a little. Because of the devastating earthquake that occurred in 1980. Some of my relatives were killed. When I got there no one was around. Empty! No shops, things still being built, shutters mostly closed. I saw a sign for the cemetary and Centro Storica so I headed up there.

I knew Guiseppina (my grandmothers cousinís daughter) lived by the cemetary. I pass the municipal building on the way up. The sun is hot and still no one around. I go to the cemetary and there's lots of new marble and stones. Just a few old ones which scared me even more. A lot was lost in the quake. The last names on the stones read like my high school year book. There was one very old crypt. I could see inside and there were stacks of ancient coffins with no bodies and a lot of votive candles. Uprooted from the quake? Chills! I snap pictures of the Puglieses and the Annichiarricos, say a prayer and leave. I feel my body transforming in some weird way, floating, losing my senses. For some reason I began to walk back down the hill to the car as though I was going to leave. I had only been there an hour or so. I could't imagine meeting or speaking to anyone at this point. I arrived at the car and was just about to get in when Centro Storica flashed through my mind. I looked back up to the very top of the hill and saw crumpled stone or some kind of ruins at the top. I turned and went back up. I reached the top and heard two men talking softly. They were standing at the very peak of the hill up a set of earthquaked stairs and crumpled stone. I was a little scared to go up so I walked ahead just below them along an older, abandoned building separated by the quake sitting on a clilff.

Finally I got up the nerve to walk up the stairs. I greeted the two men and they returned the greeting. They seemed to be in a pensive mood. One of them asked what I was doing there. I asked if they speak English and they say no. My Italian is much better now so I was able to tell them that I am Jim Pugliese and that my grandparents were from Castelnuovo. They asked for their names and I told them Emiddio and Rachela.

One of them said ďah siĒ, looked to the other signore and said "Donato". The other man said ďsi siĒ. I asked about the quake. One of the men, Michele, was dressed nicely and seemed to be somewhat well-to-do. The other was "The Padre" and what they were staring at and talking about was a bunch of crumpled stones that were once the The Padre's church. November 19th 1980, 87 people died and every house, every building in this town collapsed. Only a handful were re-built, the rest of the village is brand new. Michele wanted to know where my grandparents house was.

I said that I didn't know. He said that he would show me pictures of the quake.

Michele, The Padre and myself got into Michele's car and were about to drive away when someone called, "Michele!"

" Ah Louie ho un Americano in la machhina," ("I have an American in my car.")

"Americano? Chi eh?" ("Who is it?")

"Pugliese"

"Pugliese! AH!"

Louie Grasso came up and introduced himself. He lived in Bellvelle and Bloomfield, NJ for a while and spoke English fairly well. Now the fun began.

Jim Pugliese & Mayor
[Jim Pugliese & The Major]
Louie is the former Major (mayor) of Castelanuovo. He got into Michele's car and now Michele, The Padre, Louie and I headed to the Municipal Building. I was going to meet the major, the head of the Polizia and Louie's brother who was in charge of the archives. Before I knew it I was in the building and Louie was introducing me to everyone. As he introduced me one by one they all followed us upstairs and talked about Lorenzo and Donato and Vincenzo and the earthquake. Louie's cousin went into one room and started looking through documents, meantime we all went to the Major's office. I had started a riot. All of the official pictures of the quake were spread out on the mayor's desk and everyone was yelling at each other. Lots of different arguments about who my relatives were. Then the picture of the church came up, taken just after the quake. The only thing left standing is an arched doorway with no door and directly in the middle of the arch standing straight up was a statue of the Madonna. They began yelling at each other about what happened to the Madonna. No one knew where it was. Meantime Louie's cousin was trying to Xerox birth records of my family on this old machine and Louie was trying to cut them on a paper cutter after they were xeroxed.

None of this was working of course. By now there were 10 or 12 people in the office all talking and yelling about different things. True Napolitanos.

Finally things calmed down and they took a picture of me with the Major under the official Coat of Arms of Castelnuovo. Louie said, "Adesso andiamo vedere Donato Pugliese." ("Now we go to see Donato."). I asked if we were related and he said of course, his father and my grandfather were first cousins. I said that no one knows about him. He said that is because he lived in Switzerland for many years and just returned 7 years ago.

So again Michele, The Padre, Louie and I got into the car and drive just around the corner. There was this beautiful little man with a trowel and some mud building this beautiful wall. Louie shouted from the window, "Eh, Pugliese I have a Pugliese from America here." Donato was a little startled. I got out of the car and introduced myself. I explained who I was and he told me stories about how my grandfather used to send money to his father and to Guiseppina from America. Louie said that Donato is a good man. Donato had heard through the grapevine that Dolores was here and he felt bad that they didn't try to find him. I explained that they didn't know about him. I asked if we could go to see Guiseppina. They all simultaneously made the sign of the cross and said "No!" Apparently she has lost her mind. Donato asked if I could stay for a few days, and that he had a house I could stay in. I said that I had to get the car back to Napoli tonight and we agreed that the next time I would come with my family and stay. He gave me his address and phone. After taking a picture with Donato, The Padre, Michele and Louie looked on as we hugged each other and kissed each other hard on both cheeks and tears ran down both of our eyes. I cried hard all the way down the mountain but it was a good cry, and now I physically understand "family."

Well, tomorrow back to New York. I guess there wasnít much about music in all of these writings, but then again maybe there was.





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