Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog pulled into Portland Tuesday night with one of the best sets I have seen in awhile. Ribot, along with Ches Smith (drums/electronics), and Shahzad Ismaily (bass/percussion/moog), displayed an amalgamation of genre bending sounds. The trio's songbook flowed seamlessly from free improv, to punk, to math rock, to free-jazz(ish) in front of a packed house at the renowned Mississippi Studios.
Even in unfamiliar territory, familiarity was found within a punk-fusion variation of Paul Desmond's Take 5; offering glossy licks and cool jazz scales over a turbulent free-punk mash. Ribot switched gears by singing on a handful of numbers. His singer-songwriter persona brought a certain cynicism into the equation which was evident in songs like "Masters of the Internet." Ceramic Dog's performance kept the crowd looking around the corner to see what was coming. Altogether a bitches brew containing Smith's melodic, mathy drumming, Ismaily's noisy, improvised base lines, and at the helm Ribot's thrashy, amplified guitar chops. ______ You can check out Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog's latest studio album, Your Turn, at Northern Spy a Records.
Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog , a noise/avant-garde/free-punk outfit, will be playing at Mississippi Studios Tuesday night , 5/27/14. Portland's ethereal vibe/drums duo, 1939 Ensemble, will be kicking things off at 8pm. GIG INFO: Ceramic Dog 05/27/14 Doors: 7pm, Show: 8pm Mississippi Studios 3939 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227
Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sun Ra's arrival on the planet Terra... Tomorrow Tabor Space is the place... From the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble: The PJCE celebrates Sun Ra with new pieces by George Colligan, Ken Ollis and Galen Clark. 6:30 — Meet the Composers, Appetizers and Silent Auction
7:30 — Concert
Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215
I'm just off off the heels of visiting New York with friends and family. Lingering on our time there I'm dialed into Ornette's 1968 Blue Note masterpiece, New York Is Now!
Although I haven't posted about this album, I'm probably the most familiar with it from Coleman's large discography. It's simple, well stated, and prominant in its presence. Since this session is backed by Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison, a unique back drop is created for Coleman to work within. In typical Blue Note fashion this album swings, swings, and swings some more. I love Jone's heavier use of the kick drum here. It anchors the group with pops and flutters behind Coleman's melodic playing. And Dewey Redman's presence is a welcomed contrast to Coleman's concepts. New York Is Now! is a must listen for fans of Coleman, Coltrane's Classic Quartet, and post-bop. It warrants re-listens, and appears to fit in the background of most situations. It's a small drop in Ornette's Large discography, and along with its sister release, Love Call, stands out from anything else he's released.
Couple of show announcements ...
Wednesday, 4/16, at Mississippi Studios you can catch the Chris Speed Trio, featuring Dave King of The Bad Plus and Chris Tordini, with the Blue Cranes also on the bill for the night. Northern Spy recording duo, Jooklo Duo, will be hitting three locations throughout Oregon. Thursday, 4/17, at Interzone in Corvallis, OR as part of their The Red Room: Improvised Music Series, along with two dates in Portland: Friday, 4/18 at Valentines, and Easter Sunday, 4/20, at Reed College.
... Speaking of Northern Spy artists, I've been really into Locus by the Chicago Underground Duo. This amalgamation of genres feels like a love child between The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Aphex Twin, and Thurston Moore. We hear processed sounds that are pulled from analog and digital sources, and derive anywhere between a synthesizer and a Game Boy. Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor take us on an adventurous sound experiment across the realms of music. Heavily rhythmic within its melodies, Locus creates a sense of eagerness from one cut to another. Each track is like a layer revealing a next step onward into uncharted territory. Through every listen I find myself wanting to re-cue this record once the last note hits.
April 19 is Record Store Day. Northern Spy has an exciting lineup of RSD only releases. So check in with your local haunt for some shiny new wax from J. Spaceman & Kid Millions, or a Deerhoof + Marc Ribot / Ceramic Dog split 7".
Off the heels of their new album, Rocks or Cakes, Brooklyn based band Cloud Becomes Your Hand will be performing at Valentine's in Old Town Portland. Cloud Becomes Your Hand joins ambient themes along with well arranged electronics and harmonies. Staggering from Post Punk-esq noise, to whimsical melodies reminiscent of carnival or marching band music, to tracks that create an old school, spacey Sci-Fi feel. About Northern Spy Records - Weather it be jazz, noise, prog, minimalist, electronic, etc., Northern Spy's portfolio stretches to the far edges of the avant-garde universe. Including the latest release from the Chicago Underground Duo, entitled Locus; dropping this week.
This show is one for the books and a must see for any experimental music fan. Peter Brötzmann and Paal Nilssen's Love Duo will be performing tonight at the Secret Society thanks to Portland's Creative Music Guild. There's isn't anything I can say about Brötzmann that hasn't already be said. So this post is strictly to promote the event. See you tonight.
I only recently discovered this album this year and it has
been in regular rotation for me. I am only somewhat familiar
with the musings of Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor's
successful Chicago Underground Duo and Trio with Noel Kupersmith, but when I learned that
Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker joined the the collective I sought this out.
Chicago Underground Quartet is a near flawless listen which is partially owed to its stylized
production. With a nice amplifier and good set of speakers
you're treated with lush low ends complimented by bright
highs, and the warmth of acoustic meets electric happenings in between. This is particularly observed in Four in the
Evening where a simple theme is tooled between
Kupersmith's bass and Mazurek on cornet. It's a short
spacey piece that leads right into my favorite track, A Re-occurring Dream. Another minimalist themed composition
that highlights licks over a simple blues line. For me, I
can't help but think of "Audrey's Dance" from Twin Peaks. Those two slow paced tracks are the perfect setup for the
fast tempoed, free-form movement, Welcome. Which begins with a burst of cymbal splashes and an
intriguing guitar melody. The melody is repetitively emphasized
here before the formation of the Quartet's improvisation skills kick in. It may seem abrasive at times but everything is weighted nicely here.
Total Recovery mixes it up with a tight groove that offers a platform for Parker and Mazurek. It's the perfect piece before the next improve cut, Sing, Charge, Fixture. Where, different from Welcome, the spacing and
silence is as much a part of the composition as the
instruments being played. Nostalgia, the concluding track, sounds as if it
would fit perfectly over an obscure Science Fiction movie with the galactic sounding moog. It's the perfect segue out the album's atmospheric setting.
But even afterwards, there is a short Easter Egg for those who are patient enough.
The self-titled Chicago Underground Quartet is a strong
album. I would imagine that anyone who is interested in the
Chicago Underground Duo probably already owns it, but if you
are fan of contemporary jazz and experimental music this is a
must for your library. 2001 - Thrill Jocky. Noel Kupersmith - Bass; Rob Mazurek - Cornet, Electronics; Jeff Parker - Guitar; Chad Taylor - Percussion, Vibraphone.
Last night the Creative Music Guild hosted their twice-monthly Outset Series at Revival Drum Shop. Before the show it was announced that German, free-improv iconPeter Brötzmann will be playing Portland on November, 17. Playing as a duo Joe Cunningham and Reed Wallsmith (of Blue Cranes, and Battle Hymns & Gardens) performed a set that contained an ocarina, utilized plastic wrappers as percussion pieces, and the bells of their saxophones placed together during their fiery conclusion (pictured above). Following Cunningham and Wallsmith was the project Ifsh by Ryan Steuwe of Eat. Offering a droned-out, spontaneously combustible set of sounds and samples; his work felt as much analog as it did electronic.
Writings about different albums primarily from the 1960s of the avant-garde. However, I may touch on titles pertaining to bop, hard-bop, soul jazz and post bop, as well as contemporary avant-garde releases.