Monthly Archives: January 2014

jon-hassell-2I was at this show. I had just started to work in NYC and I was going to a lot of shows, particularly if they were free.

I got there on Friday afternoon, not realizing there were no Friday shows at the World Financial Center. I went extra early to make sure I’d get the best seat, then sat and read, listening to my walkman to kill the time. The place was quite empty, a few folks done with work were leaving through the Winter Garden Atrium where the concert was happening. Eventually I realized this was only a sound check, Brian Eno was there to supervise the sound mixing, walking around with a tablet of graph paper under his arm. Jon Hassell was on stage and it was pretty cool to hear his horn without the electronic processing from the studio. I was too shy to say hello to them. 

The day of the concert, the atrium was packed with people.

pdf of program, NY Times review: Eno Hassell World Financial Center 1989

edit: “Brian Eno and Jon Hassell live at the World Financial Center, New York in 1989 is to get an official release as part of the expanded edition of Hassell’s album, City: Works Of Fiction on All Saints Records in April 2014 – Eno contributed percussion and live mixing to the performance” Brian Eno/Dark Shark Facebook post, January 16, 2014. (update here)

The New Jon Hassell Group
live mix by Eno
Jon Hassell Trumpet – percussion – Electroniks
Brian Eno percussion – Electroniks–live mix
Gregg Arreguin–guitar–Electroniks
Dan Schwartz—bass
Jeff Rona — keyboards–Electroniks
Adam Rudolph — acoustic and electronic percussion, vocal
* video by Antos Simon



Bootleg Series #3: Miles at Fillmore (March 2014)

Sony will release a four-CD set comprising the complete sets performed at New York’s Fillmore Auditorium on Wednesday, June 17, Thursday, June 18, Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20. Edited versions of these sets were issued by Columbia in October 1970. Bonus material will include other tracks from Fillmore performances in April 1970.


The latest in the Columbia/Legacy Miles Davis bootleg series is to be released in late-March, the label has indicated.

Miles At The Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 is a 4-CD set recorded over four nights (presented here as a disc per night) in June 1970 at the Fillmore East in New York city issued along with bonus tracks from the April 1970 San Francisco Fillmore West gigs (the same month Bitches Brew came out).

It’s Miles’ band that sees the trumpeter joined by Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira, and Steve Grossman. Two LPs from the shows were issued in October 1970 but this time EVERYTHING is included full and unedited, clocking in at some 135 minutes of previously unreleased music, the label says. It’s issued with a 36-page booklet that includes a substantial contribution from Carlos Santana.



Two hours of previously unreleased performances by Miles Davis, leading a band that included Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, Airto Moreira and Steve Grossman, will be included in “Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 3,” a four-CD set to be released by Columbia/Legacy on March 25.

The set includes what Legacy describes as the unedited recordings of the performances Davis and his group gave at the Fillmore East from June 17 to 20, 1970, with bonus material from Davis’s April 11, 1970 performance at the Fillmore West. Like many of Davis’s concert recordings, full versions of the Fillmore shows have traded hands among collectors for several years.

The concerts took place shortly after the release of “Bitches Brew,” an album in which Davis blended rock influences into his own increasingly personal and wide-ranging brand of jazz. His Fillmore dates were an attempt to reach the rock audience. He shared the bill with Laura Nyro at the Fillmore East and with the Grateful Dead at the Fillmore West.

A heavily edited double-LP version of the Fillmore East performances, the tracks listed simply as “Wednesday Miles,” “Thursday Miles,” “Friday Miles” and “Saturday Miles” – that is, excerpts from one of the shows on each LP side – was released in October 1970 as “Miles Davis at Fillmore.” On the new version, as on the 1997 reissue, the individual songs (among them, “Bitches Brew,” “It’s About That Time,” “Sanctuary” and “I Fall in Love Too Easily”) are separately tracked and identified. Pieces not included in earlier incarnations include “Paraphernalia,” “Footprints” and “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down.” – Allan Kozinn, NY Times, January 24, 2013

Tyshawn Sorey is known to many as a jazz percussionist, but not as a new music composer/musician. Here is a performance of Morton Feldman’s Durations and a composition dedicated to Harold Budd.

“Some years ago In the middle of the night, I had this really crazy dream of multiple groups performing Feldman’s graphic scores simultaneously. I wanted to experience the sound of a larger ensemble playing the entire series of Morton Feldman’s “Durations” simultaneously. I slept to this every night for nearly one year… I combined these five performances by the great Ensemble Avantgarde. That’s all that I will say about this one – but the SOUND of this is really the point, for me. I hope you enjoy.”

“World premiere @ Roulette – 12/12/12. Margaret Lancaster (alto flute) Russell Greenberg (vibraphone) Dave Broome (piano)”

I previously featured his Movement for Piano here.

988527_10200572764174656_1704174546_n“This collection came to me by way of Eugene Chadbourne, who got it from a guy who offered him a copy of “the Sun Ra band book” a few years ago. No idea who that guy was, or if this was actually the band book at one point (see comment below), but he provided a very nice collection of over 90 charts from Sun Ra covering 1936-1978. Most were composed by Sun Ra, but there are also charts by Ronald Boykins, Julian Priester, Marshall Allen and others.”

more at tone science.

533411_3524710589544_159331864_nSome rules for students and teachers
from John Cage

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student – pull everything out of your teacher;
pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher – pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: be self-disciplined – this means finding someone wise or smart
and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way.
To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something.
It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re
different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that?
By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.”

Always be around.
Come or go to everything.
Always go to classes.
Read anything you can get your hands on.
Look at movies carefully, often.
Save everything – it might come in handy later.

Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie.

Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie.

I’d heard this name a few years ago and finally followed up on checking these guys out a few months ago. Simple, lush, long tones, minimalism…folks call it ambient. My favorites: The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid (2001) and …and Their Refinement of the Decline (2007).

Suddenly, these guys are on tour. I didn’t know they’re the next big thing.

A review in the NY Times.

A show in Brooklyn – with the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, December 17, 2013 – recorded by WXQR for their streaming only radio station Q2.

I’m looking forward to a new 2014 album.

Dennis Johnson's November.

Dennis Johnson’s November.

When I was picking my notable releases of 2013 list last week, I was sure to include Dennis Johnson’s November on mine. Released early in the year, I really didn’t see anyone else pointing at this gem of the ocean. As Jim Neighbors used to say, surprise, surprise…Monday night Steve Smith also picked it as his best of 2013 Classical for Time Out (he also writes for the NY Times).

I made it a point to let Kyle Gann know about it on his blog.

David: “I included it in my notable releases of 2013 a few days ago on my blog.”

Kyle: “Well I expect that from someone like you. And no, I don’t mean that sarcastically.”

He has a good point. I have a history of listening to this sort of music. Not a real big surprise, sometimes I need other people to explain these things to me.

I met Dennis Johnson one Saturday afternoon about fifteen years ago, had a nice little chat. He didn’t have too much to say about music, he was staying at La Monte Young’s Dream House, visiting. I babbled on enthusiastically about my adventures in discovering microtonality.

Spinning on Air, Dennis Johnson’s “November”.


Kyle also mentioned his transcription of Harold Budd’s Children on a Hill…a recording of the original recently showed up on uTube, I made the connection with his writing about it here. People should be performing and recording Harold’s music. Now. Don’t wait until later.


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