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Steve Lacy: Free for a Minute (1966-72) [2 CDs] (Emanem)

Four sessions on a 2 CD set, all featuring Steve Lacy and Kent Carter: (1) DISPOSABILITY, the 1965 trio record with Aldo Romano of jazz standards, originals and free improv; (2) SORTIE, the 1966 free improv quartet + Enrico Rava album; (3) previously unissued 1967 'Free Fall' Film Cues in a quintet with Rava, Karl Berger, & Paul Motian; (4) two never issued '72 quintet pieces with Steve Potts, Irene Aebi on cello and Noel Mcghie. ... Click to View


Paul Rutherford : In Backward Times (1979-2007) (Emanem)

Four very different previously unissued concert settings featuring trombonist Paul Rutherford: 2 festival solos - one from 1979 with electronics and one from 2004 without; a 1988 duo with Paul Rogers a few months before their ROGUES CD; and a 2007 trio with Veryan Weston and Marcio Mattos, which turned out to be Rutherford's last public appearance. ... Click to View


Barry Guy: Frogs [VINYL 7-inch PICTURE DISC] (Trost Records)

A 7" limited vinyl picture disc made to celebrate legendary European Free Jazz bassist Barry Guy's 70th birthday, with Guy providing "acoustic sounds" along with his collaborating frogs, Wasserfrosch (Rana Esculenta) and Laubfrosch (Hyla Arborea), size A presenting Frogs & Barry Guy, and side 2, Barry Guy & Frogs; quirkly and wonderful free improv. ... Click to View


Christian Wolff : Berlin Exercises [VINYL] (God Records)

A series of shorter works composed by Christian Wolff written to explore the process of practicing and working within specified limits, exercises for both the composer and the performers, recorded live in Berlin in 2000 by an ensemble directed by Peter Ablinger and including Wolff on piano & melodica, Robin Hayward on tuba, Anette Krebs on guitar, &c. ... Click to View


Phill Niblock: Rhymes With Water [VINYL] (God Records)

A beautiful set of minimalist compositional drone from New York composer Phill Niblock, commissioned by the performers Natalia Pschenitschnikowa on bass flute and Erik Drescher on glissando flute, recorded at PIETHOPRAXIS, in Cologne, Germany by Marcus Schmickler, and in Berlin, Germany, by Thomas Ankersmit. ... Click to View


Simon Rummel Ensemble: IM MEER (Umlaut Records)

German composer and improviser Simon Rummel presents the 2nd release from his 11-piece Simon Rummel Ensemble, blending his interest in acoustic phenomena and improvisational harmonics in an extended work that shift from beautiful tonal work to disruptive cacophony and back to melodic music blending jazz and 20th century approaches; a great achievement. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee / Bryan Eubanks: My Undocumented Alien Clarinet [VINYL] (Penultimate Press)

Recorded and presented as part of Pauline Oliveros Foundation's New Vanguard Series in Kingston, NY in 2006, the unusual duo of Joe McPhee on b-flat and e-flat alto clarinets and synthesizer and Bryan Eubanks on open circuit electronics explores unusual dynamics and psychoacoustic intersections of both acoustic and electronic instruments. ... Click to View


Blaise Siwula / Jorge Nuno: Waterscapes (Creative Sources)

Waterscapes is the performing duo of New York saxophonist Blaise Siwula and guitarist Jorge Nuno, interwining distinct approaches to acoustic and electric improvisation, creating rich sound environments and rapid interaction that draws the listener in and then sweeps them off their feet with passionate, complex and informed dialog. ... Click to View


Carlo Mascolo: My Tubes (Creative Sources)

A unique take on this large brass instrument from Italian trombonis and Free Flow Festival director Carlo Mascolo, using preparations, focusing on components of the instrument, and using extreme techniques to create a startlingly diverse set of sounds, vocalisations, microtonal output and simply bizarre utterances as Mascolo attempts bring new language to horn. ... Click to View


Alfredo Monteiro Costa / Miguel A. Garcia: Aq'Ab'Al (Mikroton Recordings)

Audio experimenters Alfredo Costa Monteiro and Miguel A. Garcia join forces in an album titled after "Aq'ab'al", the Mayan Astrology Sign about polar opposites-- dawn and dusk, hot and cold, black and white--which represents renewal and change, through a series of opposing audio events, forceful sounds of texture, feedback, and intervention. ... Click to View


John Butcher / John Edwards / Mark Sanders: Last Dream Of The Morning (Relative Pitch)

A studio album between three UK master improvisers -- John Butcher on sax, John Edwards on double bass, and Mark Sanders on drums -- the trio pushing the envelope in technique and dialog in nearly telepathic playing that transports the listener into their environment, as the music builds and releases in effortless ways that are stunning and exulant; highly recommended. ... Click to View


Fred Van Hove / Roger Turner: The Corner (Relative Pitch)

Pioneering improvising pianist Fred Van Hove at UK's Cafe OTO for the first time, captured in a duo with UK drummer/percussionist Roger Turner, their first recording together, for a night of exceptional improvised interplay, sophisticated and complex playing that is constantly buoyant and charming, an enthralling conversation between two veteran players. ... Click to View


Magda Mayas / Jim Denley: Tempe Jetz (Relative Pitch)

A pairing of two innovative players, Berlin-based pianist Magda Mayas and Australian sound and wind artist Jim Denley, Mayas playing inside and out of the piano and Denley on alto sax and bass flute, both providing field recordings adding unexpected elements in a set of extremely balanced recordings that entrance the listener with unlikely and captivating settings. ... Click to View


John Butcher: Resonant Spaces [VINYL] (Blume)

Extreme acoustic space recordings from saxophonist John Butcher, part of Arika's Resonant Spaces event, with performances from resonant and remote corners of Scotland. ... Click to View


Lean Left: I Forgot To Breathe (Trost Records)

The 7th album from the quartet of Netherlands guitarists Andy Moor and Terrie Hessels (The Ex) with Chicago free improvising multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and Netherlands drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love in an album balancing amazing energy with profound introspective moments in thrilling edge-of-your-seat improvisation - excellent! ... Click to View


Lean Left: I Forgot To Breathe [VINYL] (Trost Records)

The 7th album from the quartet of Netherlands guitarists Andy Moor and Terrie Hessels (The Ex) with Chicago free improvising multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and Netherlands drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love in an album balancing amazing energy with profound introspective moments in thrilling edge-of-your-seat improvisation - excellent! ... Click to View


Kontakte Trio (Trevor Taylor / Ian Brighton / Steve Beresford): Kontakte Trio (FMR)

An important and well-matched trio of electroacoustic improvisers, and a welcome addition to guitarist Ian Brighton's return to active music life, with Steve Beresford on piano, prepared piano and electronics, and Trevor Taylor (Circuit) on percussion and electronics, six unhurried improvisations of intricate interplay and interchange themed on physics. ... Click to View


Viv Corringham / Lawrence Casserley: Anemoi (FMR)

Lawrence Casserley is a pioneer of real time electroacoustic music, since the 60s working with other artists and developing his Signal Processing Instrument, using physical gestures to process and morph sounds; here he works with British vocalist and Deep Listening teacher Viv Corringham in an other-worldly collaboration of voice and electonics. ... Click to View


Kamins / Smith / Fielder / Hertenstein: After Effects (FMR)

A great example of traditional free improvisation spanning generations from the quartet of Danny Kamins on baritone saxophone, Damon Smith on double bass, and two drummer/percussionists--Alvin Fielder and Joe Hertenstein--for 10 tracks of swinging free music recorded in the studio in Texas, 2016, jazz with a lyrical intention and powerful rhythmic underpinnings. ... Click to View


Pat Thomas: The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari [VINYL] (Otoroku)

Inspired by the automatic water clock invented by Iraq inventor, engineer, and father of robotics, Badi' al-Zaman ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari built in the 12th century, pianist Pat Thomas recorded these four exceptional improvisations of powerful solo piano with an unusual and inventive twist live at London's Cafe Oto in 2015. ... Click to View


Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Azioni/Reazioni 1967-1969 [4CD + DVD BOX] (Die Schachtel)

Box set CD reissue of the 2007 release of this seminal Italian free improvising group's complete recordings from 1967-69, in a deluxe box with 4 CDs, a DVD containing the original film "Nuova Consonanza" shot by Theo Gallher of their 1967 concert, and a 64 page LP-size book in English and Italian with essays, group commentary, collected reviews, &c. ... Click to View


Cilantro (Angelica Castello / Billy Roisz): Borderland (Mikroton Recordings)

Cilantro is the duo of multi-instrumentalists Angelica Castello on paetzold, ukulele, organ, tapes, & electronics, and Billy Roisz on electric bass, organ, tv, piezzo, computer & electronics, scrutinizing the activity in bordering areas between noise and silence, tenderness and rudeness, beat and drone, inner consciousness and outer awareness, control and freedom. ... Click to View


Burkhard Beins / Lucio Capece / Martin Kuchen / Paul Vogel: Fracture Mechanics (Mikroton Recordings)

"Fracture Mechanics" is the scientific study of cracks in any material, an apt title from these European experimental innovators--Burkhard Beins, Lucio Capece, Martin Kuchen, and Paul Vogel--pulling back the curtain on process and creating an impressive album crossing acoustic and electronic improv, organized sound, and inexplicable interaction; recommended. ... Click to View


The Holy Quintet (Change / Drouin / Lash / Lazardiou / Ryan): Borough (Mikroton Recordings)

The meeting of Johnny Chang (viola), Jamie Drouin (suitcase modular synth), Dominic Lash (double bass), Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga(zither, and David Ryan (bass clarinet) recording at Bourough welsh Congregational Chapel, in London in 2013, recorded by Another Timbre label leader Simon Reynell, for a unique merging of disparate approaches to ea-improv. ... Click to View


Kurt Liedwart / Andrey Popovskiy / Martin Taxt: Hjem (Mikroton Recordings)

A live concert at Dom Cultural Center in Moscow, Russia in 2015 from Norwegian tuba player Martin Taxt, Saint Petersburg violinist and object player Andrey Popovskiy, and ppool performer Kurt Liedwart focusing on sinewaves and noise, in an extended lowercase improvisation exploring harmonic and microtonal sounds. ... Click to View


Ayumi Tanaka / Johan Lindvall / Christian Wallumrod: 3 Pianos (Nakama Records)

This trio joins 3 disparate approaches to composition and improvisation--Japanese improviser Ayumi Tanaka, Oslo composer Johan Lindvall, and ECM artist Christian Wallumrod-developing the engaging material on this album by focusing on elements like tuning, register, intervals and dynamics, for an absorbing album of compatible and concentrative playing. ... Click to View


Ayumi Tanaka / Johan Lindvall / Christian Wallumrod: 3 Pianos [VINYL LP] (Nakama Records)

This trio joins 3 disparate approaches to composition and improvisation--Japanese improviser Ayumi Tanaka, Oslo composer Johan Lindvall, and ECM artist Christian Wallumrod-developing the engaging material on this album by focusing on elements like tuning, register, intervals and dynamics, for an absorbing album of compatible and concentrative playing. ... Click to View


Christian Svendsen Meaas : Avin (Nakama Records)

Known more for his double bass work, Christian Meaas Svendsen releases a stunningly beautiful album of unusually orchestrated pop songs with an 8-piece band of Nordic improvisers and performers, a dramatic album of tension and release which, despite lyrics in Norwegian, draws all listeners in through inventive and innovative musical structures. ... Click to View


Christian Svendsen Meaas : Avin [VINYL LP] (Nakama Records)

Known more for his double bass work, Christian Meaas Svendsen releases a stunningly beautiful album of unusually orchestrated pop songs with an 8-piece band of Nordic improvisers and performers, a dramatic album of tension and release which, despite lyrics in Norwegian, draws all listeners in through inventive and innovative musical structures. ... Click to View


Tipple (Frode Gjerstad / Kevin Norton / David Watson): Live at Elastic Arts (FMR)

Tipple, the trio of Frode Gjerstad on alto sax and clarinet, Kevin Norton on percussion, and David Watson on electric guitar, are captured live for an energetic and masterly concert at Elastic Arts, in Chicago, Illinois in 2015, four "Elastic" improvisations of intense interaction, from collective conversation to stunning solo statements; jaw dropping. ... Click to View


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The Squid's Ear
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Travelogue


  Okkyung Lee Tour Diary  


[Photo: Peter Gannushkin]
before you go on reading this long travelogue, i have to warn you that you are not going to find out so much about music or other stuff as you might expect... this is about one person's journey who happens to be a working musician and encountered lots of unexpected dramas... also you see, this trip was going to be really special one for me since a part of the trip was going to be my very first gig in europe... but it turned out to be even more than that and a really unforgettable one...

for your better understanding of the whole situation, let me explain a couple of things beforehand... sometime in may this year, it was finalized that i would go to venice, italy in september with lawrence d. "butch" morris as a member of his sheng/skyscraper group to perform at venice biennale... so i had to have my visa revalidated outside the country so i could come back to the states after the performance... yes, i do not have a green card or citizenship... i have something called o-1 visa status, known also as an artist visa... which i didn't get to take care of until mid august, see... meanwhile pianist/composer/friend vijay iyer invited me to go to portland, OR to perform his "in what language" project written with poet mike ladd at time based arts festival in september, right before butch's gig... so being how i am with lots of things, i really thought i could take care of all of this within 11 days... so, i was to leave new york to portland on the 13th of september, then come back to new york on the 17th... then the same day, go to toronto to take care of my visa and come back on the 18th... then finally off to venice on the 19th, do the gig on the 20th and come back on the 21st...

i knew it was a pretty insane schedule but it had to be that way because i put off taking care of things until the very last minute...

so here is how it all really went...

september 12, friday - day minus 1, new york

7:30 am - alright, alright... i'm up... have to be in upper east side by 9... alright...

8:15 am - well, i think i am going to reward myself with a doughnut plant doughnut for getting up so early... some sugar will help me get going...

8:20 am - jesus, how many doughnuts is this guy buying? 24? fine... let's not lose it yet... but then what about this japanese mother & daughter team...? they sure are taking their time... let me take a deep breath... i think I'm going to have both cashew and fresh white peach... yeah, what the hell...

8:32 am - i think i'll be pretty much on time... these doughnuts are good... cannot finish them now though...

9:03 am - where is this italian consulate...? is this the door? looks like it's for, uh-hum, short people...

9:10 am - oops, i forgot to take my box cutter out of my bag this morning... security guard is giving me a funny look... i smile back...

10:32 am - i'm sick of waiting... i have a rehearsal in midtown from 11...

10:43 am - alright... let's not panic... why didn't i think about bringing that goddam INS letter? the one that's been making my life hell... well, nobody told me in advance... why would the italian consulate need to see my INS documentation anyway... this italian lady behind this glass thingy looks tough... she's not going to give me a break, is she... the place closes at 11:30! she tells me to come back by noon... i have about an hour to drop off my cello at the rehearsal place, go home, and come back! great! right... i shove in what was left of the doughnuts...

11:03 am - at carroll studio, told vijay it's an emergency situation... thank god, he is understanding...

11:55 am - i'm at grand central... is it really 11:55 already? ok... next stop, get off and transfer to 6... ah, god...

11:58 am - where the hell is the 6? should i run? should i wait? should i run? ah...

12:06 pm - out of the 68th street station... i'm running, running... fuck...i hope they will let me in... out of breath... today is the only day i can get this done... otherwise... ah, bye bye venice... it has to work! press the buzzer and this voice says it's closed! i yell out "patricia told me to come back!"

12:27 pm - alright... now i have to get somebody to pick up my passport on tuesday because i need it by wednesday when i come back from portland... and of course the consulate has to be closed on wednesdays... ah, erica!

3:30 pm - back home... ah... at least i could do half an hour of the rehearsal for vijay... thank god, he's not pissed... ok... time to go and pick up a flight case from david gage string shop in chinatown...

4:02 pm - noah? what's he doing here...? a friend from NEC... [FOOTNOTE 1: The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston] the first time in 3 years... he says he's doing an internship here... after all he is a bass player...

4:13 pm - i was just told that i need a soft case to use their flight case... i don't have a soft case... i haven't had one for last 15 years... what the hell... they don't have any left at the shop... midtown...? ah... sick of running around the day before i'm leaving...

4:28 pm - what an asshole! this cabbie wouldn't let me put the case in the back of the cab! fine... i gave him a finger... i'll take the subway... this thing weighs about... 40 lbs... and it's big... almost as tall as i am... down the stairs... arg...

4:40 pm - i'm out of breath... this thing is so awkward... how am i going to get home...? i live in a 5th floor walk up...

4:42 pm - maybe jason (viseltear) from the violin shop (viseltear & young) around the corner has a soft case i can borrow! he's an angel... always saves my ass...

4:44 pm - alright... jason is not in but this guy on the phone will trade me a soft case for a cup of tea...! ha!

5:17 pm - ah... i'm dead... cannot believe i schlepped this shit up 5 floors... now i gotta go to mode (records, my part time job) for a second... cannot believe this guy who lend me this soft case didn't even ask my name...

5:58 pm - at mode... have to buy plane tickets to go to toronto next wednesday... the last time i checked, orbitz.com has the best price... should i spend extra $60. to go direct? nah... i choose the one that flies to washington dc first... sounds dumb but hey, i save $60...

7:15 pm - back home... hungry... what should i eat?

9:46 pm - at tonic, talked to erik (friedlander) a little bit... i asked him for advice for flying with my cello for the first time... his advise was get to the airport early and be nice! it's a bit tough for me to be "nice"... but i will do it if i really have to... hope they are not such jerks at the airport...

10:28 pm - zorn's bar kokhba is happening... even though i am quite distracted... see zeena (parkins) in spunky outfit... she looks better and better each time... want to be cool like zeena...

11:32 pm - walking toward to tim (barnes) & erica (bricking)'s house... i have to give erica this letter of permission so she can pick up my passport for me this tuesday...

11:35 pm - forgot to send this deposit slip to motria (sabat) in toronto... i think i must use the one i received from the consulate... i'll fed ex it to her tomorrow morning... yikes...

12:45 am - it's always good to see them... i'm lucky to have them as friends... where is this F train?

1:15 am - i ended up not seeing any of elliott (sharp)'s show... oh, well...

2:10 am - looking for some travel size stuff... a 24-hour rite aid on grand... they don't have the shampoo i want... this one looks alright...

3:30 am - i think i'm pretty much packed... i'm bringing only 2 small bags since i have to carry that giant shit... maybe i can sleep for a few hours... set the alarm for 7:30 again...

september 13th, saturday, day 1, new york to portland, OR

i woke up at 7:40 and went to kinko's on houston... thankfully it was open at 8 and did have a fed ex drop off box... i filled out a fed ex envelop and when just about to drop it off, i saw this sign saying that there's a fed ex location open on saturdays at newark airport... so i thought, great! i can do it at the airport and even make it sure it'll get there by wednesday...

taking a car service from delancey was a good idea... the driver was a lot cooler than that stupid cabbie from the day before... i got there plenty of time ahead as erik suggested... and this lady at check in didn't even charge me anything! wow, i got lucky... it was kinda weird seeing someone else carrying my cello off to somewhere though... i got scared for a second... see, since i was a kid, i have carried my cello...

then i had about an hour to kill so tried to find this fed ex location... nobody seemed to know... i called the fed ex main office and they told me it was in building 155... so...

i asked for the building 155 to this woman in a uniform who told me to go outside and take P5 bus... outside, huh...? then on P5 bus, the driver told me that it's on the other side of his route... ah... he let me get off and told me that about 15-minute walk should get me to the building 155... it was looking pretty gray out... like it was going to rain any minute... but i really had to get this sent... i felt like such an idiot for not dropping it off earlier but what else could i do... so i started to walk... wearing these mesh slippers and carrying two bags... not too heavy but still... after 5 minutes, i realized it was not going to be a 15-minute walk... i do walk slowly and the map i found didn't look that promising... but once i started to walk, it was hard to turn back... i am known to be stubborn... i tried to catch a bus or something but nobody seemed to want to stop for me... then it started to rain a bit... then it started to rain some more... then it really started pouring down and i was getting... soaked... i felt like a real idiot... my feet were all wet... bottom of my pants were getting wet... my fed ex envelop was wet... my bags were wet... i was miserable... finally after almost 30 minutes of walking in rain, i made it to fed ex... dropped it off... the lady at the counter said it would get to toronto by monday... then this nice fed ex truck driver gave me a ride back to the terminal... it took about 5 minutes by truck... ah... i do really walk slowly...

flights went pretty smooth... changed flight at denver... as soon as i got my cello case back from oversized baggage claim area at portland, i opened it up and she was fine! i was so relieved... it was really beautiful out when we finally got outside of portland airport...

i was with 3 other musicians... trevor (shaun holder), drummer, rudresh (mahanthappa), saxophonist and ambrose (akinmusire), trumpeter... we had enough stuff with us... with my flight case and trevor's drum stuff... we were supposed to be picked up by someone from the festival... so... there was this guy showed up with... a jetta... even my regular cello case doesn't fit in the trunk of a jetta! it's a really very nice car but doesn't do me any good! so... there i was... waiting for a van for another 45 minutes... sick of waiting... thank god, trevor waited with me...

finally got to our hotel called mark spencer... a small charming place... and i got to share a room with latasha... i like latasha... we got to relax a bit then went to see donna uchizono, a choreographer from new york... i saw her work some time last year in new york and liked it a lot... i got to the theater a bit late but caught most of it...



continued...




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