Tuesday, October 2, 2018

GADADU - Outer Song (BIRDWATCHER RECORDS October 26, 2018)

Vibrant and expansive, GADADU's second album Outer Song builds on the sparse, soulful sound of their 2015 debut LP. Lush arrangements and gritty grooves bring to life over three years of songwriting by bandleaders Hannah Selin and Nicki Adams, who co-produced the album with additional input from mixing engineer Rick Warren. The full band recorded live at The Bunker in Brooklyn, with subsequent overdubs recorded in spaces ranging from an attic, to a deconstructed piano, a gymnasium-turned-concert hall and a bedroom closet. GADADU later collaborated with The Rhythm Method to record strings on “The Lion,” “Makeshift Constellations” and “Chided.” Outer Song takes the listener on a kaleidoscopic journey, from gamelan-inspired prepared piano in “The Lion,” to seven-part vocal harmonies in “Exquisite Corpse” and oatmeal box backbeats in “Julia.” Hannah's vocals move nimbly from the depths of uncertainty to ecstatic moments of joy, carving striking melodies through forests of synthesizers, mellotron and strings.

1. The Lion
2. Exquisite Corpse
3. Julia
4. Life
5. Makeshift Constellations
6. Chided
7. Train Blues
8. Bay Songs 06:51


With a kaleidoscopic sense of time and texture, GADADU weaves driving rhythms, dynamic shifts and unorthodox song forms into a unique sound. Started in 2013 as a collaboration between Hannah Selin (voice/viola/compositions) and Nicki Adams (keys/voice/compositions), GADADU now includes Patrick Adams (trumpet), Daniel Stein (bass) and Arthur Vint (drums).

Ross Goldstein - The Eighth House (BIRDWATCHER RECORDS October 26, 2018)

The last we heard from Ross Goldstein was his second solo album Inverted Jenny, a collection of blissful and exploratory orchestral pop that arrived in the late summer of 2017. Just a little over a year later Goldstein returns with The Eighth House, a complete shift of gears that finds him immersed in a cinematic dreamworld of instrumental sounds that still hold glimmers of the psychedelic spirit inherent to everything he touches. 

The initial inspirations for the album began during sessions for Inverted Jenny, an album where Ross actually recorded and then removed vocals from many songs, opting for instrumentals that said more than lyrics could. Already leaning towards exploring deeper expression with instrumental compositions, he entered a phase of obsession with science fiction books and movies, as well as listening closer to soundtracks and incidental film music. Turning to an arsenal of classic Chamberlin and Mellotron sounds, he began composing the pieces that would become The Eighth House, fantastical and often slightly damaged scores to imagined scenes of both cosmic and Earthly. 

While plenty of homage has been paid to the anxiety-heavy synthy soundtracks of 70's b-movie horror flicks or the acid rock freak outs that soundtracked movies from the early days hippie subculture, The Eighth House goes in a very different direction. More than those popular entry points, the music here is subdued and slow-moving, curiously inspecting ideas as the album moves through various fantastical passages. Even when cartoonish sound effects meet with tense swells of strings or dramatic orchestral flourishes (early Chamberlin models recorded their sounds using players of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, no less!), the result is never garish but always patient and communicative. Bells ring in the distance, memories and possibilities are implied but left open to interpretation and strange but friendly sounds linger for just a moment before melting into something else. The result is a muted and wintery paradise that envisions Smile-era Brian Wilson scoring the softer moments of a Jodorowsky film. 

What's most striking about The Eighth House is how much of Goldstein's sonic personality comes through, even in music that's in some ways striving to disappear into the background. Whether it's lilting chamber pop, the screaming psychedelia of his band Fogwindow or in this case a slowly-unfolding narrative of celestial instrumentals, it's all unmistakably Ross, reflecting an intrinsic kindness that's always at odds with a restless searching. It's definitely present on this album of drifting wordless compositions, as he offers us ripples of boundless imagination and just-out-of-reach impressions of other worlds.

1. City Of Rocks
2. La Junta
3. Proxima B
4. Unlimited Dream Company
5. Catwatching
6. The Haunted Screen
7. Lost In America
8. Notes From The Village

PI Power Trio - The Walk (BIRDWATCHER RECORDS October 5, 2018)

“The Walk” is the much anticipated 4 song debut recording from the PI Power Trio which features Pat Irwin on guitar, Sasha Dobson on drums and vocals, and Daria Grace on bass and vocals. Irwin was a founding member of the No Wave legends, the Raybeats, as well as 8 Eyed Spy, with Lydia Lunch. He was also a long time touring member of the B-52s and recorded and performed with the band for 18 years. Sasha Dobson has also released several recordings under her own name and is also a member of Puss and Boots, with Norah Jones. Daria Grace also has her own group, The Pre-War Ponies. Together, they make the PI Power Trio. 

“The Walk” combines elements of classic instrumental rock and roll and film noir with abstract vocals from Dobson and Grace. You might hear equal parts B-52s and Raybeats, but you’ll also hear a little bit of the influence of The Black Keys and the White Stripes and the soundtracks of Nino Rota. The gorgeous voices of Dobson and Grace are featured in a reworking of the B-52s classic, 52 Girls as well as two originals by Irwin, “The Walk," and "Dreamy Vocal.” The EP also features “pH Factor” written by Irwin’s long time friend, Peter Holsapple from the legendary dB’s. The resulting sound is utterly unique and is a completely new spin on the Power Trio.

Pat Irwin on guitar
Sasha Dobson on drums and vocals
Daria Grace on bass and vocals

1. The Walk
2. Dreamy Vocal
3. ph Factor
4. 52 Girls


Oct 04
Belly Up Tavern
Solana Beach, CA

Oct 05
El Rey Theatre
Los Angeles, CA

Oct 09
Revolution Hall
Portland, OR

Oct 10
Neptune Theatre
Seattle, WA

Oct 11
The Imperial
Vancouver, BC

Liam Singer - Finish Him (BIRDWATCHER RECORDS 2018)

If we could travel to an alternate universe where Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach featured music and starring performances from Kate Bush, Nick Cave, and Sufjan Stevens, then surely we’d find an awestruck Liam Singer sitting in the front row. Now, thanks to the Catskills-based multi-instrumentalist/songwriter’s fifth album Finish Him, we no longer have to strain quite so much to imagine what that might have sounded like. 

On his previous two albums, 2013’s Arc Iris and 2010’s Dislocatia, it was easy to picture Singer’s past experience as a composition student getting lost in Steve Reich’s seminal Music for 18 Musicians at his college library. And though both of those earlier titles demonstrate Singer’s innate knack for making the cellular repetition of minimalist composers like Reich less angular and more palatable, he didn’t deviate much from the highbrow demeanor typical of chamber pop. 

With Finish Him, however, Singer throws himself a coming-out party and wears his abiding love for ‘80s pop on his sleeve. Of course, we’re talking about some of the most ambitious, grandiose pop from a time when traces of the Baroque and avant-garde began to seep into the margins of the mainstream alongside the iconic synths, gated reverbs and big hair. 

By that time, he had already found a bridge between synthesizers and minimalism via the work of Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos, and Isao Tomita. Meanwhile, in spite of his formal musical training, Singer liked to hammer away on unfamiliar instruments he’d bring home from his junk shop job while rolling tape on his 4-track, perhaps his most loyal companion during high school. 

“Every album I’ve released in my adult life,” Singer explains, “has that dichotomy of the high school kid messing around on a 4-track and the college kid who was getting super into modern classical and notation and all that, and finding my own balance between the two.” 

“That balance,” says Singer, “is definitely shifting,” especially as he draws more and more from electronic and dance elements. 

Indeed, Finish Him unifies all of Singer’s seemingly disparate influences into a rousing, surprisingly cohesive work that somehow holds together as both a complete listen threaded together by recurring motifs and as a collection of individual tracks propelled by the catchiest hooks Singer has ever indulged himself --- all wrapped up in Singer’s intentionally melodramatic delivery that lands somewhere between poignant and frivolous. 

Take the Mortal Kombat -referencing album title, which also harbors religious and sexual connotations. “I like over-the-top expressions of emotions,” he chuckles. “I’m drawn to the idea that intimate, whispered, Elliott Smith-styled vocals could impart the same drama that an operatic style can, even though they’re on the opposite ends of the performative spectrum. Scott Solter [co-producer who’s also worked with the Mountain Goats] likes to invoke Edward Gorey and the Brothers Quay when we’re working. There’s a sense of playfulness and high drama at the same time.” 

Liam Singer: Piano, Keyboards, Voice, Theremin, etc.
Cheryl Kingan: Voice, Saxophone
Jesse Perlstein: Processed Field Recordings, Noise, Vocals
David Flaherty: Drums, Percussion
Wendy Allen: Voice
Noah Hoffeld: Cello
Scott Solter: Tape Effects, Ghosts
Rebecca Pronsky: Additional Vocals, Track 4

Recorded at Figure 8 Studio, Brooklyn, NY and Orient St, Durham, NC
Additional tracking done at Acme Hall Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Recorded and Mixed by Scott Solter. Produced by Scott Solter and Liam Singer
Mastered by Steven Raets at Bunker Sound Studio, Chapel Hill, NC

1. Nest of Nerves 03:01
2. Offering 05:14
3. Test Tone 05:09
4. Until I Fall 07:06
5. 'The Gambrels Of The Sky' 02:17
6. Apollo 04:27
7. Love Me Today 04:02
8. The Devil 04:33
9. Bending Away (Remove Your Mind) 02:17
10. Down, Down, Down 04:24
11. Protection Poem 01:33
12. Still Life 07:15
13. I Want To See Sparks 03:14
14. French Goth 03:15

Shuta Hasunuma & U-zhaan: 2 Tone (BIRDWATCHER RECORDS 2018)

Shuta Hasunuma’s Compositions features a selection of new works created both in Japan and during Hasunuma’s Pioneer Works residency in winter 2017. The exhibition is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States. It gathers together sculpture and videos centered on sounds from everyday life, which probe the circumstances and frameworks surrounding human existence.

Hasunuma’s sound works center on environmental and electronic sounds and extensive collaborations with diverse musicians including Akio Suzuki, Keiji Haino, and Fluxus member Mieko Shiomi. By molding, arranging, and visualizing sounds in time and space, Hasunuma’s practice seeks to answer the question: How can something intangible like sound or music be transferred between human beings in physical, material form? Hasunuma creates situations and environments that bring together people of different ages, genders, and ethnicities. Through their interaction, they seek to illuminate afresh exactly what it is we call “sound” or “music.”

Created during Hasunuma’s residency, the video work Walking Score in Red Hook (2017) follows the artist as he walks through the Brooklyn neighborhood with a mic dragging behind him on the ground, alongside footage of earlier iterations of the performance filmed in Tokyo and Beijing. In STUDIES (2018), Hasunuma creates sculptures that exist neither as classifiable objects nor as instruments designed for sound-making. In these three-dimensional works, multiple videos and sounds play simultaneously in the same space. 

These videos are a record of a dozen people engaging collaboratively with the sculptures, producing sounds as if they were performing music. Visitors will have their own opportunity to engage with the sculptural works to produce sounds and create new actions in the present time frame.

1. Tone Tone Tone & Tone Tone Two 00:13
2. Green Gold Grey featuring Arto Lindsay 04:40
3. Mixed Bathing World 08:36
4. A Kind of Love Song featuring Devendra Banhart 04:27
5. Sporty 07:52
6. Music for Five Tablas 03:37
7. Lal 02:57
8. Suudara-Bushi 01:07
9. Radio S 06:46
10. Dryer 02:29
11. I like Peshkar 04:50
12. ISO 02:51

Alain Brühl / András Vigh / Simon H. Fell - Trois Jeux (Pour Daniel) BRUCE'S FINGERS October 6, 2018

Improvised music of an occasionally surreal kind, recorded at the first meeting of this trio of improvisors in Aubusson, central France. The combination of Vigh's hurdy-gurdy, Brühl's invented instruments and Fell's transfigured bass results in some truly off-the-beaten-track musical explorations.

Alain Brühl: soprano & alto saxes, saxopette, sonic artefacts
András Vigh: hurdy-gurdy
Simon H. Fell: double bass

01. Első Jéték [21:26]
02. Second Play [05:44]
03. Troisième Jeu [15:33]

all music composed by Alain Brühl / András Vigh / Simon H. Fell
© Brühl / Vigh / Fell 2016

recorded at Au Fabuleux Destin, Aubusson, Creuse, France; 14 October 2016
recording: Simon H. Fell
production: Brühl / Vigh / Fell
mastering: Simon H. Fell

Derek Bailey & Company - Klinker (CONFRONT RECORDINGS 2018)

This recording is more than just a document of a musical performance, it is a time capsule which magically allows the listener to travel back in time and space. But this is not simply a question of a date on a calendar or a point on a map; Klinker gives us a second chance (or for some, a first chance) to luxuriate in an atmosphere, a performance environment and a specific combination of musicians which we will never be able to experience again. 

The most obvious and immediate thing that this recording brings back is the living, human presence of Derek and Will. In publishing the entire performance from start to finish, this Confront release allows us to experience these much-missed artists at work with a degree of intimacy and familiarity absent from (for example) prestigious festival performances. Of course, any new addition to the Bailey discography is an exciting development, but I feel I must also mention just how well Will Gaines plays (and yes, I use that term deliberately) on this gig. For those who might be unsure why Derek was always so happy to play with Will, listen to how Will uses his strongly idiosyncratic technique with invention, flexibility and imperturbability in the Company context. Similarly, hearing Bailey and Gaines exchange one-liners reminds me just how strongly Derek’s early career in light entertainment imprinted his ideas about musical practice and performance ethics; with his combination of show business schmaltz and improvisational acuity Will was a marvellous foil for Derek. Listen to Will, having dangerously skirted raconteur territory in his solo introduction to WG / MW, suddenly getting serious and creative when Mark decides to join him. But most of all, listen to the constantly re-inventing interaction between these four relaxed performers, one distant Thursday night in De Beauvoir Town. 

For this recording is also a tribute to the London Improvised Music Club scene of the late 20th century. During the 1990s I played extremely regularly in clubs such as The Klinker, sometimes as often as three or four times a week; the idea of playing frequently in low-pressure situations, with an ever-changing roster of colleagues, was the very essence of improvised music for many musicians of my generation. For all kinds of reasons, Improvised Music in London no longer has the luxury of a seemingly never-ending supply of informal musician-run clubs. So, enjoy this marvellous opportunity to join us in the hot, sweaty, noisy, beery atmosphere of The Klinker Club in August 2000. But perhaps you were actually there at the time….. 

Simon H. Fell

Casey Golden - ATLAS (November 9, 2018)

‘It is rare that a musical vision is so complete, and completely of its own world.’ Australianjazz.net

​‘Golden further cements his reputation as a pianist of sheer class.’ Jazzwise (UK)

​‘Golden's flowing lines unfold with a Bach-like logic.’  All About Jazz (US)

​‘a soaring imagination at work - 4 stars’ Sydney Morning Herald

​‘Enjoyable, intriguing and stimulating... Casey Golden would appear to be one of the brightest and most original young talents on the Australian jazz scene.’ The Jazz Mann (UK)

​‘..so damn absorbing.’ Bird is the Worm (US)

‘..you’re not apt to notice the complexity since the flow is so liquid’ Something Else! (US) 

​‘..experiments with tonality and harmonic changes that could only come from a musician with his head in the 21st century.’  The Australian

Alex Munk - guitar
Henrik Jensen - bass
Will Glaser - drums

1. Atlas
2. Singularity
3. Still Life
4. The Hobbyist
5. High Up (Piano Intro)
6. High Up
7. Christmas Carol
8. The Good Fight
9. Everybody Else

All compositions by Casey Golden

Recorded at Porcupine Studios, London on January 18 and 19, 2018

Recorded and mixed by Nick Taylor
Mastered by Nate Wood at Kerseboom Mastering

Produced by Casey Golden

Carptree - Subimago (REINGOLD RECORDS October 19, 2018)

The Swedish duo with friends are releasing their 7th full lenght album both energized and inspired by making their last release and in a much shorter time than usual. The recordings started the very same day as the release Party for "Emerger". After the long hiatus after Nymf there was momentum enough for more than one release with a band now perfectly calibrated and compositions given time to grow. Here you get the distinctly familiar Carptree sound and something completely new. 

As always NFO (No future orchestra) is present with the same personel as last time. With a distinct focus on analogue instruments and amplifiers and finally an analogue master the result is a warm, organic and highly diversified album with a detailed texture.

The album is called Subimago, hinting development and transformance and the album is a hybrid in simplicity and complexity in both music and lyrics.

Carl Westholm / keyboards, theremin, bass, guitars, 12-string electric guitar, percussion, composer & producer
Nicklas Flinck / lead & backing vocals, composer, lyrics


No Future Orchestra
Ulf Edelönn / acoustic & electric guitars
Stefan Fandén / 4 & 8 string bass, 6 string & 12 string guitars, bouzouki, synth
Jesper Skarin / drums, percussion
Cia Backman / backing vocals
Öivin Tronstad / backing vocals

1. Welcome
2. By Your Own Choice
3. World Without Mind
4. Instead of Life
5. Celestial Sky
6. Someone Else's Play
7. Eye of the Storm
8. Sum of All Senses

Lalle Larsson Trio - Ashen Lights (REINGOLD RECORDS November 9, 2018)

Ashen Lights is the new trio release by Swedish keyboard player Lalle Larsson.

After the critically acclaimed projects Seven Deadly Pieces, Until Never and The Weaveworld Trilogy - Lalle is back with another strong release on Reingold Records. This time as the soloist in a more intimate trio setting.

Taking influences from all kinds of different artists, most notably John Coltrane, Allan Holdsworth and Eric Dolphy who he mentions as his biggest inspirations, Larsson is home to many musical worlds.

On this album he is focusing on creating moods and soundscapes, expressing himself through improvisation, often over extended forms of moving chords and textures. 

"To me music is all about expression. Harmonically, I would say that I am more influenced by contemporary classical music than from, let´s say, Bebop, but the compositions are definitely sketches made for improvisation. That makes it some sort of Jazz, I suppose. I’ve been composing and practicing for this album ever since I started to play 35 years ago”

On this recording Larsson teams up with renowned bassist Jonas Reingold (Steve Hackett, The Flower Kings, The Sea Within) and drummer Walle Wahlgren (Cam, Agents of Mercy) who both add a great organic feel and an elegant touch to the music.

On 'Ashen Lights' Lalle unfolds his own blend of Jazz, contemporary classical music, and 70´s Fusion. Fans of Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul and Allan Holdsworth should not miss out on this hot Electric Jazz release.

Jonas Reingold, bass
Walle Wahlgren, drums

1 Last Venus
2 Ashen Ligh
3 Highland Sky
4 Aurora´s Dance
5 Contemporary Past
6 Meadow
7 Uriels´s Moo
8 Tunnels Within Tunnels
9 Interstella
10 Homeland

Jerry González, Innovator of Latin Jazz, Is Dead at 69

Jerry González, a trumpeter and percussionist who was a central figure in Latin jazz, especially through the Fort Apache Band, which he formed almost 40 years ago with his bass-playing brother, Andy González, died on Monday in Madrid. He was 69.

The cause was smoke inhalation suffered during a fire in his home, his sister, Eileen González-Altomari, said. A product of New York City, he moved to Spain in 2000.

Mr. González spent time as a sideman for stars like the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and the pianist Eddie Palmieri, but his greatest skill was weaving together musical styles and influences from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Africa and more to create his own music.

His explorations ranged far and wide. His 1989 album with Fort Apache, “Rumba Para Monk,” infused the compositions of Thelonious Monk with Afro-Cuban flavor. His album “Ya Yo Me Curé” (1979) includes a jazz riff on the theme from “I Love Lucy.” In Spain he began playing a lot of flamenco, fronting a band called Los Pirates del Flamenco.

El hombre de 69 años herido grave por inhalación de humo en el incendio ocurrido anoche en una casa de Lavapiés ha fallecido hoy en el hospital Clínico de Madrid, han señalado fuentes sanitarias.

Según han confirmado, se trata de Jerry González, pionero del jazz latino y fundador del grupo Fort Apache Band. “Muy apenados por el fallecimiento de Jerry González, uno de los pioneros del #LatinJazz y fundador del mítico grupo #FortApacheBand. 

De origen puertorriqueño, González (Nueva York, 1949), era uno de los artistas más carismáticos y revolucionarios del jazz latino. Comenzó a tocar la trompeta durante su adolescencia y en sus años universitarios formó su primera banda junto a su hermano Andy, bajista de profesión.

A partir de 1969 comenzó a grabar con algunos de los jazzistas más importantes de la época, como Dizzy Gillespie y George Benson. Tras una década colaborando en la grabación de discos ajenos, en 1979 registró su primer álbum, ‘Yo ya me curé’, en el que fusiona el jazz y los ritmos afrocubanos, algo que se convertiría en una constante a lo largo de su carrera.

A raíz de la grabación del disco surgió la ‘Fort Apache Band’, grupo liderado por González y que fue bautizado con el nombre del conflictivo barrio donde creció. La formación sufrió diversas mutaciones hasta quedar reducida a un quinteto en 1988, año de grabación del disco ‘Rumba para Monk’, considerado la obra maestra del trompetista.

Su participación en la película ‘Calle 54’ de Fernando Trueba le dio notoriedad fuera de los círculos especializados y le abrió las puertas del mercado español. En 2002 publicó ‘Jerry González y los piratas del flamenco’, junto al cantaor Diego ‘El Cigala’ y el guitarrista ‘Niño Josele’, álbum en el que fusionaba flamenco y jazz con resultados extraordinarios.

Eddie Palmieri - Mi Luz Mayor (ROPEADOPE RECORDS December 7, 2018)

This work is dedicated to Iraida, my late wife, the love of my life.

Here I present to you the music that Iraida and I enjoyed in our youth. I would play this music in our home often, during the Holidays and on special occasions. We would dance to this music, but there were also times where the music spoke for us. Music was the constant force that touched our hearts and would heal any wounds that life sent our way. 

Ultimately, these songs represent our love story. Selecting each composition and writing new music helped me work through my grief after she passed away in 2014. Because this music is in her honor, everything from start to finish had to be of the highest caliber and I am proud to say that it is just that. 

If Iraida were here today, I know she would want you to know that life wasn’t always easy. She worked tirelessly and selflessly for the needs of our family - there truly wasn’t anything she didn’t do or wouldn’t have done for us. The career trajectory of a musician is difficult at best and like anyone in this business, there were many ups and downs. And when I was down, she always had an unrelenting drive to see me through my darkest days. I, in turn, did the best I could to be there during hers. She was my anchor, my one foot in reality. She kept me grounded and helped keep me on the right path in hopes that I would reach my highest potential. She was my life. And I was hers. Reliving this music allows me to sit again in her presence, to visit memories of our time together. I share this with you now and hope you will feel a connection to her, to another era and to me. 

I would also like to acknowledge of the profound respect, admiration and impact both Rene Hernández and Ray Santos have had on my musical life. Their arranging skills show careful study and the diligence I endeavor to carry over into my own arrangements. It is the platform from which I rarely move, where the historical integrity of the Cuban structures are preserved and expounded upon – that is the excitement that drives my creative process. I am also grateful for the contributions and arranging talent of Jose Madera – I truly believe he is an inspiration to the next generation of arrangers. 

As for the musicians…I am surrounded by Chiefs, each a master of their own instrument. I am incredibly grateful to all the musicians that are on this recording and of course, the special guests, Mr. Carlos Santana, Mr. Gilberto Santa Rosa and “La Voz del Caribe,” Herman Olivera. And a heartfelt thank you to Brian Lynch for the coda input on the new arrangement of Mi Congo. These gentlemen know they all live in my heart and pay no rent. 

My motto for this CD is “Cuidado!” 

Eddie Palmieri  (Written in collaboration with Ileana Palmieri-Campos)

1. Abarriba Cumbiaremos
2. Chica Ni Lambo
3. Mi Congo
4. Mi Luz Mayor
5. Que Falta Tu Me Haces
6. Quimbombó
7. El Resbaloso
8. Soñando con Puerto Rico
9. Tremendo Cumbán
10. Yo Soy Mulato
11. Sun Sun Babaé