Thursday, February 4, 2021

Diego Rivera - Indigenous (Posi-Tone Records 2021)

Bandleader and saxophonist extraordinaire Diego Rivera explores the "Indigenous" multi-cultural roots of our human family with his second release for Posi-Tone Records. With a program of exciting original compositions, a few tasty covers, and a special guest appearances by trumpet virtuoso Etienne Charles, this whole session swings swiftly into action and shines with bright moments from the get go.
Also on the date is an all-star rhythm section of pianist Helen Sung, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Donald Edwards. With the deep emotionality of this musical offering, Diego Rivera has noticeably advanced his intention and expression up onto another level and the poignancy of these performances will entreat jazz enthusiasts everywhere to dig deeper into the "Indigenous" message with amazement and delight.

New Faces - New Sounds (Posi-Tone Records 2021)

Posi-Tone Records rolls out a second volume of "New Faces" with a musical message that stays focused on "New Sounds." This group of "New Faces" (trumpeter Brandon Lee, alto saxophonist Markus Howell, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, pianist Caili O'Doherty, bassist Adi Meyerson and drummer Cory Cox) was assembled and sent off under the supervision of producer Marc Free to explore a wonderland of melodic mysteries and harmonic possibilities.
The performances of these emerging artists are specifically intended to provide you with an insight into the musical aesthetics and operational ethos of Posi-Tone Records with an engaging program of fresh cuts and a few dusky gems from the label's previous releases. Please take a moment to relax and experience the "New Sounds" of these talented artists as they work to provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a more delightful today and a brighter tomorrow.

Hermann Nitsch - Orgelkonzert (i dischi di angelica 2020)

"No composer could do that and no 'musical' improviser either; it’s a mystical, spiritual, experiential thing, only he could do that." Chris Cutler

Hermann Nitsch, father of the Viennese Actionism, is one of the most celebrated living artists: his transgressive performances continue to cause quite a stir, and his paintings are exhibited in the most prestigious museums worldwide. His music production, on the other hand, is still relatively unknown to both the public and the specialised press, overshadowed by his fame as a performance artist. And yet his works showcase an astounding mastery of sound matter even in the absence of formal music studies, as demonstrated by this ORGELKONZERT (IDA045), which documents the closing concert of the 29th edition of AngelicA in 2019.

In his quest for the Total Art Work which engages all the senses, Nitsch started to incorporate “choirs of shouters” and bruitist orchestras into his Orgies Mysteries Theatre, in an attempt to evoke the very roots of music - the scream and the Dionysian racket - and to mutually intensify sound and action. And it was precisely in Bologna in 1977 that the Requiem in the Church of Santa Lucia marked a turning point in his use of drones, the long and drawn-out sounds which became a constant in his musical style from then on.

Over the years Nitsch also composed several concert pieces (symphonies for choir and orchestra, string quartets) and held numerous organ recitals. At his concert in Bologna at the Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi he played the Tamburini opus 544 organ, equipped with approximately 5000 pipes divided into 60 registers: it is the same organ used by Terry Riley and Olivier Latry in 2013, and by Francesco Filidei in a duet with Roscoe Mitchell in 2017 (released on i dischi di angelica - IDA 040) as part of AngelicA’s concerts.
There was no written score for this performance - the only pre-determined characteristic was the general (classic-symphonic) structure in four movements - and Leopoldo Siano and Josef Smutny acted as assistants to his playing technique of employing small wooden boards, thus allowing for the creations of massive clusters.

As the scholar Leopoldo Siano writes in the liner notes: “Nitsch has an unbelievable perception of form. He acts on sound in the same way he would act on blood, flesh and other colourful substances. His approach to sound is exquisitely focused on action.” “Curiously standing somewhere in-between Anton Bruckner and John Cage” his music places itself somewhere halfway “between primordial noise and harmony of the spheres”: it is, indeed “made up not only of an excessive and brutal nature, but also of a contemplative one. One is a counterpart for the other. This can perhaps be better understood by listening to his organ music.”

Released in 500 copies included a limited edition of 150 copies with a special insert hand signed by the Artist.

1. Orgelkonzert - I 16:28
2. Orgelkonzert - II 14:36
3. Orgelkonzert - III 13:32
4. Orgelkonzert - IV 21:13
5. applause 01:57

Misha Mengelberg - Rituals of Transition (i dischi di angelica 2020)

In 2002 Misha Mengelberg was invited for the second time to the AngelicA Festival in Bologna. That edition, the twelfth, took part entirely in a squatted social centre of the city, and, in collaboration with Tristan Honsinger, was conceived as one large opera lasting six days an opera within which the performances of many national and international artists fitted in like individual mobile “modules”.

Especially for this occasion and on the festival director’s suggestion, who had attended a performance by the ICP Orchestra in Amsterdam during which Mengelberg had unexpectedly stood up from the piano and started singing, on the evening of 17th may 2002 the musician entered the venue pushed on a mobile platform, from which he performed a very short programme of “Solo Songs” at the end he acted as if he was falling asleep and was pushed back behind the scenes.

This burning set of approximately 15 minutes of “songs” –in the broadest sense of the term, as the highly original Dutch composer-improviser could conceive them - is the starting point of this CD, complemented by other previously unreleased live recordings of concerts held between 2002 and 2010 in the Netherlands, Ukraine and France, provided by the Mengelberg Foundation.

As the saxophonist Ab Baars, author of the liner notes, describes them: ‘The improvisations on this cd are everything: annoying, exciting, meaningless, brilliant, swinging, crazy, too long, too short, irritating, beautiful, moving. And light as a feather. They come and they go again. Without intention. They are. Without boast. Just as there are objects in a hotel room that you talk to in a friendly way, grumble or ignore and keep saying goodbye to over and over, like you do in life’.

Rituals of Transition is the second release that i dischi di angelica dedicates to the great Dutch musician and composer. 

The first was the self-titled Misha Mengelberg (AI 010), recorded during the 1996 edition of the festival, which features a solo concert and, for the first time on a record, two compositions for symphonic orchestra by Mengelberg. The world premiere concert by Asko Ensemble and The Instant Composers Pool from the 2007 edition of the festival was, instead, released as part of the collection of 52 CDs Instant Composers Pool (ICP 1275-1).

1. Amsterdam 04:28

2. Kiev I 19:23

3. Kiev II 08:58

4. Kiev III 01:40

5. Pantin 07:57

6. Bologna 13:44

Misha Mengelberg : piano, voice

Music by Misha Mengelberg

1 - Recorded by Marc Schots at the BIMHUIS, February 24th, 2010, during Gallery of Tones - Pianolab, Amsterdam, Holland

2 and 3 and 4 - Recorded by Radio ERA at the National Philharmonic, November 7th, 2005, Kiev, Ukraine

5 - Recorded by Hamid Kolli at La Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues, February 2nd, 2007, Pantin, France

6 - Recorded by BH Audio at the TPO Teatro Polivalente Occupato, May 17th, 2002; Misha Mengelberg presented Solo Songs, a concert that was inside of Galleria San Francesco - Opera Mobile by Tristan Honsinger, during AngelicA, Festival Internazionale di Musica, 12th edition, May 13>18, 2002, Bologna, Italy

Cecil Taylor at AngelicA 2000 Bologna (i dischi di angelica 2020)

 In the year 2000, when Bologna was European Capital of Culture, AngelicA Festival, then in its tenth edition, invited Cecil Taylor to hold a concert at the Teatro Comunale - Opera House of Bologna: solo, with his piano (and his dance and his poetry readings) he opened an evening that ended with a rendition of the luminous piece Coptic Light by Morton Feldman performed by the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, conducted by Jurjen Hempel.

This unusual juxtaposition (not in the history of the festival!) should not surprise: initially ascribed only to free jazz, throughout the decades Taylor’s music has been re-evaluated in all its formal complexity, and is nowadays recognised as one of the most singular productions in the musical landscape of the Nineteenth century.

The additional uniqueness of this release is that it adds a second CD, titled Rap, to the recording of that memorable concert, which documents the public meeting-interview that Taylor agreed to give in Bologna on the following day.

Moderated by the musicologist (and founding member of the band Stormy Six) Franco Fabbri, and transcribed and notated in its entirety in the forty pages booklet (in English/Italian) by the jazz critic and historian Francesco Martinelli, Taylor opened the meeting by reading a complex statement of his on the definition of music, inclusive of an explanatory glossary at the end. What came after was no less bewildering, with Taylor using the moderator’s questions as a springboard for an explosive tour de force of quotes and references: from the classical ballet stars Katherine Dunham and Maya Plissetskaya and the tap dancers Bojangles and Nicholas Brothers to the petroglyphs of the Hopi Native Americans and the Coptic manuscripts, the structures of Xenakis and the architect Calatrava, the Orisha deities and the dynamics of cell growth in bark, Derek Bailey and Stravinsky…

Thus offering the listeners an experience almost equivalent to the extraordinary internal mobility of his concerts, and a precise grid of interpretation of the imaginaries he drew from to create his unique sound, scenic and vocal theatre.

The release is completed by No Matter What - Montage of Meanings, an homage that the director of the festival Massimo Simonini paid to Taylor in May 2020, editing together extracts of the concert and of the public meeting.

1. Dance of All Seasons - part 1 26:34

2. Dance of All Seasons - part 2 26:51

3. Dance of All Seasons - part 3 12:35

4. Audience / Applause 01:31

5. Dance of All Seasons / Possessing a Door 10:03

6. The Arc of Suspension 07:33

7. No One has the Ownership of Pure Genius 05:02

8. Through the Devotion to Sound to Make Words 03:20

9. I Have Many People That I Bow To 08:24

10. The Ingredient of Life 11:48

11. And Then Usually You Have a Good Time 03:44

12. No Matter What 03:17

Track 1, 2, 3, 4: Dance Of All Seasons

Cecil Taylor: piano, voice

music and poetry by Cecil Taylor

Recorded by BH Audio at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, May 10, 2000, during AngelicA, Festival Internazionale di Musica, 10th edition, may 5>13 + july 5>6, 2000, Bologna, Italy

Track 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11: Rap

Cecil Taylor: voice

Franco Fabbri: interviewer

words and poetry by Cecil Taylor

Recorded at the Palazzo dei Notai, Bologna, May 11, 2000, during AngelicA, Festival Internazionale di Musica, 10th edition, may 5>13 + july 5>6, 2000, Bologna, Italy

Track 12: Montage of Meanings - No Matter What

Cecil Taylor: piano, voice

Massimo Simonini: montage (of meanings)

music, poetry and words by Cecil Taylor

Montage produced by Massimo Simonini at Home Studio, Vignola, May, 2020

40 pages booklet with photos, transcription and translation by Francesco Martinelli of the words and poetry by Cecil Taylor.

Note - June 2020

track titles have been given by the production and have a merely indicative value in order to follow and identify the subjects and statements discussed by Cecil Taylor in the talk of CD 2. Correspondingly to CD 1 and to CD 2 has been assigned a title, inspired by the talk itself.

Producer - Executive Producer: Massimo Simonini

Mastered in May 2020 by Bob Drake at Studio Midi-Pyrénées, La Borde Basse, Caudeval, France

Design: Massimo Golfieri, Concetta Nasone

Peter Brötzmann & Maâlem Moukhtar Gania & Hamid Drake - The Catch of a Ghost (i dischi di angelica 2020)

 “3 names, 3 cultures, 3 continents, 3 different concepts of time and timing – this is the essence of this trio. This is what we have to bring together. I am rather optimistic.” Peter Brötzmann, Wuppertal, 1st April 2019

With these simple words Peter Brötzmann, one of the greatest representatives in the development of a unique European approach to free improvisation since the ‘60s, announced the unprecedented trio lined up for his return to AngelicA festival in 2019. A trio in which, to the trusted Hamid Drake – one of the best living drummers and his historic collaborator since the times of the Die Like a Dog quartet –, he added Maalem Mokhtar Gania, last representative of a legendary line of Gnawa music masters from Essaouira, son of Maalem Boubker Gania and brother of Maalem Mahmoud Gania, who died prematurely and had been the protagonist with Brötzmann and Drake of an explosive trio in Wels in 1996.
The Bologna trio documented in the CD The Catch of a Ghost thrilled and surprised the attending audience with the great energy and liveliness of the sound textures created by the dialogue among the musicians, but also with the continuous ability to (re)invent itself coupled with boundless physical force of Brötzmann’s emission, who proved that at the age of 78 that he has nothing to envy to his younger self of 50 years ago, at the beginning of his career.

1. The Catch of a Ghost 33:29
2. Almost With The Sun 11:12
3. Sound That Shimmers 13:16
4. Dip And Dive 14:13

Premiere recording

Music by Peter Brötzmann, Maâlem Moukhtar Gania, Hamid Drake

Roscoe Mitchell - Splatter (i dischi di angelica 2020)

 Internationally renowned musician and composer Roscoe Mitchell, since his debut with Sound in 1966, has defined his style through an innovative approach towards composition in what is traditionally an improvised music genre, pre-empting the development of jazz and its relationship with contemporary music in the following decades.

Splatter, drawn from two concerts held at the AngelicA festival in Bologna in 2017, presents the most recent developments of this research, with two examples from his cycle Conversations for large orchestra. Started in 2016, it is based on the transcription and subsequent orchestration of what originated as his improvisations with the trio including Craig Taborn and Kikanju Baku, for the album Conversations I and II which was released in 2014.

From the evening with the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna directed by Tonino Battista, the CD includes the Italian premiere of Splatter and the word premiere of Distant Radio Transmission, a work which further broadens the reflections on the relationship between composition and improvisation, incorporating the contribution of two improvisers (Thomas Buckner and Mitchell himself) in response to, and counterbalancing, the “improvised/transcribed/composed” material.

The lion’s share of the CD is represented by a duet, the fruit of a proposal by the Festival, a concert with a musician that Mitchell met for the first time on the same day: Francesco Filidei. Filidei, from Pisa, is an organist and former assistant of Jean Guillou at Saint-Eustache’s Church in Paris, as well as a composer whose music has been performed at the most significant contemporary music festivals by orchestras like Itinéraire, Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Ensemble intercontemporain, Percussions de Strasbourg, Quartetto Prometeo and Klangforum Wien.

Breath and Pipes, recorded at the Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi in Bologna, is a testament to this encounter: as Joshua Marshall writes in the CD liner notes, it is “an improvisatory tour de force, demonstrating the uncanny sort of electrokinetic thrill which emerges out of the capacity of two brilliant improvisers to truly surprise one another”.

Premiere recording

Roscoe Mitchell alto, soprano, sopranino saxophone
Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Tonino Battista conductor
Thomas Buckner baritone voice
Francesco Filidei organ

1 - SPLATTER for orchestra
Music by Roscoe Mitchell, Craig Taborn, Kikanju Baku
Transcription and orchestration by Christopher Mega Luna

2 - DISTANT RADIO TRANSMISSION for improvisers and orchestra
Music by Roscoe Mitchell, Craig Taborn, Kikanju Baku
Transcription by Stephen P. Harvey
Transcription and orchestration of air sounds for strings by John Ivers
Orchestration by Roscoe Mitchell

Music by Roscoe Mitchell, Francesco Filidei