Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I am pleased to announce a new digital-only album from Rodger Coleman and me: Aphelion. Back in December, for our recording session Rodger expanded our palette with the addition of guitar (and to a lesser extent, synth) to our regular piano-drums lineup, and here are some of the results. Now of course Rodger focused almost exclusively on guitar back with UYA in Boston, but most of our playing together in Nashville had been strictly piano and drums...up til now. Please head over to Bandcamp and check it out--it's available for streaming or free (name your price) download. And let me know what you think!

If you're intrigued, come see us in Nashville on May 15; details are here.

Upcoming Gigs

May is going to be an exciting month gig-wise!

On Saturday, May 2, I will be playing in duo with Jimmy Ghaphery as part of the RVA Noise Fest IV, at Strange Matter here in Richmond. We're billed as "The New Loft," but I'm still mentally (as opposed to physically) thinking of us as New Ting Ting Loft, even though there'll only be two of us. Note: Tommy and Ben are also performing, as Ting Ting Jahe. I will post more details when I know them. We will be playing for 15 crisp minutes, I think around 6:30. I'll be playing a reduced kit, probably just a snare and hi-hat (plus toys).

Centennial Black Box Theater Sign.

On May 15, I will be playing in duo with Rodger Coleman at the Centennial Black Box Theater in Nashville on Friday, May 15, as part of their Free Form Friday series. This will be our second live duo performance (well, not counting the duet we did as part of the MIT Libraries' staff concert in Killian Hall back in UYA days!), and Rodger will be playing guitar and synth (in addition to piano? not sure). We'll be expanding on territory we explored back in December, as evidenced on our new digital-only release (see next blog post!).

Monday, March 30, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-03-29

Playlist 2015-03-30:

*Anthony Braxton: 2 Compositions (Jarvenpaa) 1988 Ensemble Braxtonia
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2014-12-29 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2014-12-30 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Aphelion
*Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman: 2010-07-03 Whitney Museum of Modern Art, NYC (CDR)
*Marilyn Crispell/Reggie Workman/Doug James: Gaia
*Marilyn Crispell/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian: Amaryllis
*Jimmy Ghaphery: 904F (streaming)
*Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Niente
*Kip Hanrahan: 1985-02-27 SOB’s, NYC (CDR)
*Mindbreath Trio: 2015-01-10 Union Arts, Washington DC (wav)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2011-05-06 Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT (CDR)
*Synthesis: Sentiments
*Alan Silva and the Celestrial Communication Orchestra: Seasons
*Sun Ra: College Tour Vol. 1: The Complete Nothing Is...
*Sun Ra & His Astro-Infinity Arkestra: Sign of the Myth
*Beach Boys: Made in California (disc 1)
*Deerhoof: 2014-11-04 Brooklyn (youtube)
*Bob Dylan and The Band: The Basement Tapes- Complete (disc 5)
*Mike Elder/Harry Forrest/Greg Jordan/Sam Byrd: 2015-03-20 (wav)
*Grateful Dead: 1970-09-17 Fillmore East "Dark Star" (CDR)
*Jimi Hendrix: 1968-10 TTG Studios, Hollywood (boot CDR)
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Winterland (disc 4)
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Like a Rolling Stone/Spanish Castle Magic, Winterland (single)
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live in Cologne
*Mastodon: The Hunter (selections)
*UYA: 1989-08-29 African Hang (wav)
*UYA: 1989-09-14 Undress Your Auntie (wav)

Reading List, Week of 2015-03-29

Reading List 2015-03-30:

*Lodge, David. “The Secret of Nabokov’s Sexual Style” in The Guardian, 2014-06-07 (started/finished)
*Rosenbaum, Ron. “Barry Diller’s Defining Moment: Will He Save MST3K?” in New York Observer, 1999-03-015 (started/finished)
*Erikson, Steven. Toll the Hounds (reread/in progress)
*Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence (in progress)
*Schmidt, Michael. The Novel: A Biography (in progress)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-03-22

On a bit of a Hendrix kick recently... (goes well with Braxton, heh heh)... will probably do some kind of post on the results at some point.

Playlist 2015-03-23:

*Anthony Braxton: Composition 96
*Anthony Braxton: 4 (Ensemble) Compositions 1992 “Composition No. 96”
*Anthony Braxton and the Fred Simmons Trio: 9 Standards (Quartet) 1993
*Anthony Braxton Ensemble: 1995-02-09 Tri-Centric Festival, NYC (CDR) “Composition No. 96”
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2014-12-29 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Mary Halvorson: 2009-03-21 NYC (CDR)
*Ingrid Laubrock: Some Times
*Ingrid Laubrock with Liam Noble & Tom Rainey: Sleepthief
*Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House:  2014-09-26 Darmstadt, Germany (CDR)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-02-23 “Pointed Down” (wav)
*Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh: Intuition
*Cul De Sac: Crashes to Light, Minutes to Its Fall
*Bob Dylan and The Band: The Basement Tapes- Complete (disc 4)
*Earth Wind & Fire: Powerlight (selections)
*Graham Central Station: Release Yourself
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Winterland (discs 1, 2, 3)
*Shelby Lynne: Just a Little Lovin’
*UYA: 1989-08-27 Sweat Bets (cassette>wav)

Reading List, Week of 2015-03-22

*Ansell, Kenneth. “Dissecting the Cow (A Complete History of Henry Cow)” in ZigZag Magazine (Issue 51, April 1975) (started/finished)
*Erikson, Steven. Toll the Hounds (reread/in progress)
*Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence (in progress)
*Schmidt, Michael. The Novel: A Biography (in progress)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-03-15

Playlist 2015-03-16:

*Anthony Braxton: Composition 95 (For Two Pianos)
*Anthony Braxton: Composition 96
*Anthony Braxton: Quartet (London) 1985
*Anthony Braxton: 4 Compositions (Ulrichsberg) 2005 Phonomanie VIII (disc 2)
*Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Sextet: 2015-02-21 Tuscaloosa AL (youtube > mp3)
*Anthony Braxton Falling River Music Trio: 2015-02-23 Tuscaloosa, AL (wav)
*Ornette Coleman: 1987-06-27 Verona, Italy (CDR)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2014-12-30 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Ghaphery/Bivins/Davis: 2006-01-21 Baltimore (CDR)
*Ingrid Laubrock: 2009-08-01 The Stone, NYC (CDR)
*Tony Oxley: Tony Oxley
*Cecil Taylor Feel Trio: Two Ts for a Lovely T (discs 5, 6)
*Cecil Taylor Quartet: 1998-12-06 Yoshi's, Oakland (CDR) (disc 1)
*John Zorn: The Dreamers
*Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.: Electric Heavyland
*Arctic Monkeys: AM
*At the Drive-In: Relationship of Command
*B-52’s: Cosmic Thing
*Bob Dylan and The Band: The Basement Tapes- Complete (disc 3)
*Bob Dylan: Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 (disc 1)
*Jimi Hendrix: Live at Monterey
*Jimi Hendrix: Stages (discs 1)
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Paris 1967/San Francisco 1968
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival
*Jimi Hendrix: Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Jimi Hendrix (selections)
*Japancakes: Belmondo
*Mr. Bungle: California
*Nine Inch Nails: And All That Could Have Been
*Rolling Stones: Undercover of the Night
*Royal Blood: Royal Blood
*Lewis Taylor: The Lost Album
*UYA: 1989-08-03 The Cage, Boston (cassette>wav)
*Neil Young: Tonight’s the Night

Reading List, Week of 2015-03-15


Reading List 2015-03-16:

*Erikson, Steven. Toll the Hounds (reread/started)
*Schmidt, Michael. The Novel: A Biography (started)
*Hickey, Dave. “Shining Hours/Forgiving Rhyme” in Art Issues, Nov/Dec. 1995 (started/finished)
*Esslemont, Ian C. The Return of the Crimson Guard (reread/finished)
*Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence (in progress)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The News

The Empress to her Adjunct:
You appear to hold to the childish notion that some truths are intransigent and undeniable. Alas, the adult world is never so simple. All truths are malleable. Subject, by necessity, to revision. Have you not yet observed, Tavore, that in the minds of the people in this empire, truth is without relevance? It has lost its power. It no longer effects change and indeed, the very will of the people--born of fear and ignorance, granted--the very will, as I said, can in turn revise those truths, can transform, if you like, the lies of convenience into faith, and that faith in turn is not open to challenge. (Steven Erikson, The Bonehunters, Tor 2008, p. 1095)
Let's hear it for climate change deniers.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fred Frith on Improvisation


Fred Frith on improvisation:
When you do it with other people, then all kinds of social aspects come into play, and mostly the qualities that make a good improviser are not dissimilar to the ones that I appreciate in my friends: being a good listener, sensitivity to your social surroundings, being there when you’re needed but knowing how to step back too, knowing when to be supportive, when to be assertive, when your opinion is valuable, when to just go along with something, when to insist! Patience. Tolerance. Openness. (Chan, "An Interview with Fred Frith: The Teaching of Contemporary Improvisation," Critical Studies in Improvisation, Vol 3, No 2, 2007)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Taylor Ho Bynum on Sun Ra

still from "Space Is the Place"

Taylor Ho Bynum on Sun Ra (thanks for the tip, Jimmy!):
Sun Ra’s taste for outrageous outfits and Saturnalian mythology was central to his work, yet sometimes overshadowed his musical importance--he was the most revolutionary American big-band leader after Duke Ellington. (Bynum, "Björk's Healing Music," New Yorker, 2015-03-10)
Not an uncommon assertion, but well put!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-03-08

Playlist 2015-03-09:

*Art Ensemble of Chicago: Tribute to Lester
*Anthony Braxton: For Trio
*Anthony Braxton: Composition 96
*Anthony Braxton: Five Compositions (Quartet) 1986
*Anthony Braxton: Ensemble (Victoriaville) 1988
*Anthony Braxton: 4 (Ensemble) Compositions 1992 “Composition No. 96”
*Anthony Braxton Ensemble: 1995-02-09 Tri-Centric Festival, NYC (CDR) “Composition No. 96”
*Anthony Braxton: 4 Compositions (Ulrichsberg) 2005 Phonomanie VIII (disc 2)
*Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Sextet: 2015-02-21 Tuscaloosa AL (youtube > mp3)
*Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet: 2015-01-23 Le Kremlin-Bicetre, France (wav)
*Brötzmann/Satoh/Moriyama: Yatagarasu
*Tom Buckner/Gerald Oshita/Roscoe Mitchell: New Music for Woodwinds and Voice
*Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet: 2013-11-09 Jazz Gallery, NYC (1st set) (CDR)
*Ian Carr with Nucleus: Solar Plexus
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2014-12-29 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*John Coltrane: Offering: Live at Temple University
*Marilyn Crispell/Gerry Hemingway: Affinities
*Miles Davis: Miles at the Fillmore (disc 2)
*Duke Ellington: Dance Date Air Force 1960 (side 1)
*Duke Ellington: The Centennial Edition: The Complete RCA-Victor Recordings (disc 24)
*Ghaphery/Bivins/Davis: Impermanence
*Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Eroina
*Mary Halvorson: 2009-02-13 Roulette, NYC (CDR)
*Coleman Hawkins: Confessin’
*Ingrid Laubrock with Liam Noble & Tom Rainey: Sleepthief
*Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House
*Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Strong Place
*Roscoe Mitchell: Sketches from Bamboo
*David Murray: Recording N.Y.C. 1986
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-02-09 “Second Thoughts on Number Five” (wav)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2010-10-17 Sibiu, Romania (CDR)
*Tom Rainey: Obbligato
*Pharoah Sanders: Live at the East
*Wayne Shorter: Speak No Evil
*Sun Ra & His Astro-Infinity Arkestra: Sign of the Myth
*Cecil Taylor Feel Trio: Two Ts for a Lovely T (discs 4, 5, 6)
*Teddy Wilson: Time Life Giants of Jazz (sides 4, 5, 6)
*Lester Young: The Complete Savoy Recordings
*Lester Young: The “Kansas City” Sessions (selections)
*John Zorn: The Gift
*Anduin: Stolen Years
*Cassiber: Beauty & the Beast (side 1)
*Jimi Hendrix: 1969-08-10? Tinker Street Cinema, Woodstock, NY (youtube > mp3)
*Red Krayola: The Parable Of Arable Land
*UYA: The Unrealized Sessions of UYA (cassette > wav)
*Various artists: Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood (selections)

Reading List, Week of 2015-03-08

Reading List 2015-03-09:

*Esslemont, Ian C. The Return of the Crimson Guard (reread/started)
*Wilmer, Valerie. “Gilmore and ‘Trane: the Sun Ra link” in The Wire, July 1985 (started/finished)
*Erikson, Steven. Reaper’s Gale (reread/finished)
*Ratey, John J., and Eric Hagerman. Spark (finished)
*Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence (in progress)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-03-01

Playlist 2015-03-02:

*Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society: Brooklyn Babylon
*Daniel Barbiero and Jimmy Ghaphery: The Convergence of Parallel Lines
*Anthony Braxton: Composition 96
*Anthony Braxton/Peter N. Wilson: Duets Hamburg 1991
*Anthony Braxton Falling River Music Trio: 2015-02-23 Tuscaloosa, AL (wav)
*Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet: The Middle Picture
*Tadd Dameron with John Coltrane: Mating Call
*Mary Halvorson Reverse Blue: 2015-01-09 NYC (CDR)
*Charles Mingus: Cumbia & Jazz Fusion
*Tony Oxley/Derek Bailey Quartet: 1993-09 Crawley, England (CDR)
*William Parker/In Order to Survive: Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy
*George Russell Sextet: 1964-07-03 Newport Jazz Festival
*Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers (discs 3, 4)
*Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra: Strange Strings (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra & His Astro-Infinity Arkestra: Sign of the Myth
*Cecil Taylor European Quintet: 1997-11-16 Wuppertal, Germany (CDR)
*McCoy Tyner: Today and Tomorrow (selections)
*Various artists: Company 5
*Caravan: In the Land of Grey and Pink (side 2)
*Ceramic Dog: Your Turn
*D’Angelo and the Vanguard: Black Messiah
*Bob Dylan and The Band: The Basement Tapes- Complete (discs 1, 2)
*Earth Wind & Fire: Faces
*Jimi Hendrix: West Coast Seattle Boy (deluxe ed.) (discs 3, 4)
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: 1968-08-11 Davenport, IA (CDR)
*Rascals: Freedom Suite (side 4)
*Rascals: Peaceful World
*Smokey Robinson: Quiet Storm (selections)
*Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St. (deluxe ed., remastered) (disc 1)
*Rolling Stones: Live at Leeds (1982-07-25) (disc 1)
*Kelley Stoltz: Double Exposure
*Who: The Who Sell Out (1995 reissue)
*Hank Williams: The Original Singles Collection (disc 2)
*Robert Wyatt: Different Every Time (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2015-03-01

Reading List 2015-03-02:

*Erikson, Steven. Reaper’s Gale (reread/in progress)
*Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence (in progress)
*Ratey, John J., and Eric Hagerman. Spark (in progress)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Quintet, Durham NC, February 27, 2015

Well the Braxton show was fantastic! The Diamond Curtain Wall Quintet played in Baldwin Auditorium down at Duke. The performers were encased by these large wooden panels that really blended perfectly with the space to create a perfect acoustic environment for the music. The quintet was arranged in a semi-circle on stage: Braxton on the left, with alto, soprano, and sopranino saxes, plus the computer setup for the SuperCollider software; Andrew Raffo Dewar on sorpano sax; Mary Halvorson in the center, on guitar; Ingrid Laubrock on tenor and soprano sax; to the far right, Taylor Ho Bynum on cornets and trumpette basse (which looks like a short trombone with valves).

They played one long piece, about an hour long (an hour which sped by in what felt like, oh, 20 minutes). The piece started off with all three sax players on soprano, playing high piercing shrieks matched by the computer and Bynum squealing in high register, punctuated with dark chords from Halvorson. There were charts in evidence; although I couldn't see them from where we were sitting (about 10 rows back, in the center), I did see a flash of pink or magenta from the edge of Laubrock's music stand.  They played a lot from the charts, and there were lots of blurringly fast unison lines, as well as a catchy melody that felt like a descendant of one of the Ghost Trance lines, only simpler and catchier. Early on, Braxton broke into a beautiful, achingly tender soulful ballad on alto. There were various combinations of players, primarily duets, one of the highlights being a fantastic duet between Dewar and Laubock on soprano. During that, Braxton and Bynum looked at each across the stage and just grinned. It was great to see the delight on all the players' faces as they created this amazing sound world for us. They were clearly having a ball.

Another fantastic moment came near the end with an aggressive soprano solo from Braxton, playing super-fast lines with circular breathing. He was very dynamic, controlling the flow with hand signals and physical conducting with the sax. Bynum served as the perfect foil for Braxton, complementing his playing and drawing him on. There were  several unison breaks and tense moments of silence, all orchestrated by Braxton, all eyes on him as he motioned and gestured with his eyes and with the sax. And all the while, the electronic sounds of the SuperCollider bubbled along. Laubrock was beautifully subtle and brilliant. In fact, all of the players were at peak form. Incredible playing from the quintet...an awesome performance!