Barrelhouse Grind

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Barrelhouse Grind” from Always Outnumbered by Steuart Liebig and Tee-Tot Quartet. Genre: Improvisation, Creative, Composition.

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Jeff Kaiser

Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet with Anna Abbey: It’s Only Gravity That Makes Wearing A Crown Painful (PFMCD061)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="506,508"]
Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet with Anna Abbey

Laura Hackstein: Violin
Sally Barr: Violin, Five-String Violin on Channel Crossing
Nick Coventry: Viola
Jim Connolly: Double Bass, Melodica
Anna Abbey: Toy Piano, Piano

1. It’s Only Gravity That Makes Wearing A Crown Painful 3:58
2. Tealight No. 6 1:52
3. Why Won’t You Be My Neighbor? 3:25
4. Tealight No. 1 1:51
5. Tealight No. 8 2:00
6. Bewitched By The Baby In A Clamshell 3:53
7. Tealight No. 9 1:16
8. Tealight No. 3 1:54
9. Dimestore 5:49
10. Tealight No. 11 1:02
11. Channel Crossing 4:23
12. Tealight No. 5 0:56
13. Bobo Is Hungry 5:57
14. Tealight No. 2 0:53
15. Tealight No. 10 1:49
16. There Are Some Things That Even A 500 Year Old Tree Has Not Seen 6:13
17. Tealight No. 4 0:35
18. Tealight No. 12 1:38
19. The Watts Towers 5:16
20. Tealight No. 7 1:43

All music ©2010 James Connolly Music, ASCAP except
Why Won’t You Be My Neighbor? ©2010 WB Music Corp. OBO Vernon Music Corporation

Tealights No. 5 and No. 10 by Jim Connolly with Jaco Connolly
Tealight No. 6 by Jim Connolly with Anna Abbey

The cover is Wooden Drummer, by Yevgenia Nayberg • Nayberg.org
Recorded by Jim Connolly, January 3-6 and May 10, 2010, Deane Chapel, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA
Mastered by Robinson Eikenberry, July 2010, Santa Barbara, CA
Graphics by Ted Killian

pfMENTUM CD061

PFMCD061

David Borgo / Paul Pellegrin: Kronomorphic (PFMCD059)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="499"]
David Borgo and Paul Pellegrin
Kronomorfic
Micro Temporal Infundibula

David Borgo: tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophones
Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica
Paul “Junior” Garrison: electric guitar
Nathan Hubbard: vibraphone and marimba
Danny Weller: double bass
Paul Pellegrin: drum set and hand percussion

1. Deprong Mori 6:38
2. Tehuantepec 4:27
3. Perambulate 8:26
4. Dendochrone Currents 8:01
5. Gnomon 8:03
6. Repolarization 6:22
7. Jeannot’s Knife 6:11
8. Autopoiesis 5:56
9. Ossuary 6:30

Special guests:Jeff Kaiser – trumpet and live electronics on Jeannot’s Knife
Evan Adams – oboe on Gnomon
Perambulate composed by David Borgo© 2010 by David Borgo Music, ASCAP
All other songs composed by Paul Pellegrin© 2010 by Paul Pellegrin Music, ASCAP
All songs arranged by David BorgoProduced by David Borgo and Paul Pellegrin
Recorded by Joe Kucera at UC San Diego, Studio A
Mixed by Joe Kucera and David Borgo
Mastered by Jeff Kaiser
Special thanks to Mike Saul and Shawn Fleming
Dedicated to Veronica, Elian and Lola Pellegrinand to Sylvia, Diego and Joaquin Borgo
www.kronomorfic.com

Liner Notes:

“Any detailed description of this phenomenon would baffle the layman, but any comprehensible explanation would insult an expert.” —Kurt Vonnegut

We live our lives in time, but we experience our life across time, as a dynamic and complex overlay of temporal narratives that shape meaning. Folklore, history and culture all saturate space with time, and our personal evolving time-place nexus helps us to make sense of the multiple contexts we embody and experience.
One of music’s most laudable qualities may be its ability to bring us fully into the present, but it does this via its own complex layering of sound, space and time. “Infundibula” comes from the Latin word for funnel, and it is used to describe, among other things, a variety of funnel-like structures in the lungs, heart, kidneys, ovaries and brain. Kurt Vonnegut adopted the term in his novel The Sirens of Titan to describe a kind of wormhole through time and space “where all the different kinds of truths fit together.”

Kronomorfic is a collaborative effort to explore layers of musical time that coexist and interweave in ever more complex interrelationships. The compositions are mostly structured using hybrid rhythmic phrases in polymetric time (e.g., 5/3/4, 6/7/9, 8/12/15). These hybrid phrases provide the clave (or “key”) from which the melodic counterpoint, rhythmic modulation and improvisations emerge. For us, Micro Temporal Infundibula are intermediary time strata within these claves that allow disparate and seemingly conflicting rhythms to communicate with one another.

Deprong Mori was named for a species of bat in Venezuela (the “piercing devil”) believed to be able to penetrate solid objects. Technically the song alternates sections with meters of 10, 9 and 13 beats, but these shifts can be heard as different perceptual facets of a sonic prism formed by a single interlocking ostinato. Tehuantepec, the Isthmus that represents the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, may evoke the marimba melodies from that region, but here they take on an entirely new character in a 10-beat meter. The loping drum and bass patterns of Perambulate create a 3-against-4 feel that underlies the tune’s polychordal harmony and outward-bound solos. Dendochrone Currents, an elliptical reference to the science of tree ring dating, starts with a meditative guitar intro and then establishes a polymeter of 12/15/8 (with the marimba, horns, and bass respectively) before launching into solos over a 6-against-9 feel (with an implied stratum of 4). Gnomon, named for the part of the sundial that casts a shadow, starts with a collective free improvisation that leads into alternating sections of 12 and 9 beats. The soloing is over a heated Balkan-inspired feel that alternates 2-3-2-2-2-3-2-3-2-3 with 2-3-2-2-3-3-3.

Repolarization combines a vibes part in 7, a horn melody in 6, and a bass line in 9. The “polarity” of the title refers to the way in which the horns and vibes synchronize only at the beginning of their phrases in the A sections and only at the end of their phrases in the B sections. Jeannot’s Knife, a French parable about a knife whose blade and handle has been replaced 15 times, raises the question of whether an object which has had all its component parts replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The reference here is both to the way in which the composition unfolded—with an initial rhythmic structure generating a melody that, in turn, implied a different rhythmic structure—and to how the horns and vibes create their melodic phrases anew each time by selecting pitches from a pre-given hexachord. Rhythmically, the vibes and horns phrase in 7-against-5 (heard in the hi-hat), while the bowed bass plays a repeating 7-beat phrase across the meter of 5. The hand drumming cycles with two iterationsof the bass line and can be counted 3-3-3-5. The trumpet-with-live-electronics solo by special guest Jeff Kaiser seems to push the paradox of the title even further, as the notion of “component parts” gives way to a feeling of hybridity and distributed agency.

Autopoiesis, or “self-creation,” refers to any system that regenerates itself, acting as both producer and product. It offers an intriguing metaphor for the way in which the rhythms of these complex claves often seem to generate one another. Two claves are used in this tune: 3/4/5/ and 3/5/7. The bass plays in 5 throughout, while the horn melody modulates between3 and 7, and the vibes between 4 and 3. Ossuary was inspired (even haunted) by a visit to the ossuary in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, a chapel with chandeliers, candelabra, chalices and a coat of arms all made from human bones. The tune starts with a clave of 6/8/5 (in the drums, vibes and bass respectively) that alternates with a 9-against-6 feel when the horns enter, before giving way to a contrasting section in a 9/8/6/ clave (in the bass, horns, and vibes respectively). The improvised solos happen over the “big 9” in the bass, then the melody returns and slowly recedes as the drums, bowed bass, vibes and electric guitar all come to rest.

pfMENTUM CD059

PFMCD095

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Angel City Dust (PFMCD057)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="482"]
The Mentones

Tony Atherton: alto saxophone
Joseph Berardi: drumset, percussion
Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica
Steuart Liebig: contrabassguitars

this is an uprising. intonations that the physical world is meaningless tonight and there is no other. liebig with the sound of pianos in his head walks the city creating a logic not to be distinguished from lunacy. his stanzas hang like hives in some fauvist hell where berardi flaps the fire’s bellow, the wind that stokes, the actual bite; where barrett’s flitterings sparkle like eyesight falling to earth, scribbling a primitive astronomy amongst atherton’s groaning expletives, reed as beast of light.

this is an uprising. a kind of elegy found in space, more than an imitation for the ear. it’s in the hues not chosen or chosen quickly in an elemental freedom, flying as insects of fire into a cavern of sound where all have converged upon a common image, illimitable spheres, the law of causation suspended. liebig, brown as bread dreaming of birds. barrett, shrill as glass that will not melt in the heat. berardi, bottles clanking, water fluttering. atherton, a diviner of foam. this is a tour of shifting scenes, voices in the clouds, lion in the lute, articulate fangs, salvation through barbarous chanting. the discord ferments as liebig, a damned universal clock existing in multiple time zones, wields his groove, totemic, a hammock, monolithic. berardi, unrelenting saboteur toppling boats. and listen to that, barrett’s ululation in the city of a burning cloud, where atherton deals in the sweet vertical.

this is an uprising. of metaphysical wailers, crazed rhapsodical sound poets in the hot blast clatter of invention, where liebig, the steward, the sober man still dancing, calls ravens down from the sky.

– scot ray, montana, 3.09

fingeroo – – 1:02
wool – – 5:27
all gone – – 4:10
empty – – 2:48
locustland – – 3:52
fire & ice – – 4:21
lonelyheart – – 7:13
slow burn fever – – 5:30
kingfish – – 4:03
out, down and over – – 5:30
headlock – – 3:12
peach tree – – 2:53
topped off – – 5:32

gear thanks: fodera basses,thomastik-infeld strings,
nordstrand pickups, mike cooper,
rick turner and raven labs; seydel harmonicas, ben bouman and pat missin; paiste cymbals

photos/montages/layout
by steuart liebig
band photos by wayne peet
recorded at newzone studio, 10–11 january 2009, by wayne peet,
assisted by ellington peet; mixed at newzone studio,
by wayne peet and steuart liebig, mar vista, california, 2009

pfMENTUM CD057

PFMCD057

Steuart Liebig / Tee-Tot Quartet: Always Outnumbered (PFMCD053)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="473,475"]
Steuart Liebig/Tee-Tot Quartet

Joseph Berardi: drumset, percussion
Dan Clucas: cornet
Scot Ray: dobro
Steuart Liebig: contrabassguitar

Tracks

07-04-00 4:58
serenade 5:06
wrong how long 4:00
stutterstep 4:26
fearless 7:49
clean, shaved and sober 3:52
bobtail 1:54
cooked and chopped 3:15
chucktown 4:17
mercy kitchen 7:26
sunshine candy 4:24
barrelfoot grind 4:26
lonewolf 4:28

© 2008 steuart liebig/
sisong music (ascap)
www.stigsite.com

artwork and layout by Steuart Liebig
cover photos by Scot Ray
band photos by Tee-Tot Quartet
recorded by Wayne Peet, assisted by Aaron Druckman, at Newzone Studio, Los Angeles, 19–20 May 2007
mixed by Wayne Peet and Steuart Liebig, July–August 2007
Steuart Liebig uses Fodera basses and Fodera roundwound strings, the Raven Labs PMB-1 and pickups by Rick Turner
Joe Berardi uses Paiste cymbals and attack drums heads
big thanks to Tee-Tot, Wayne Peet, Jeff Kaiser, and Leslie Rosdol, Anya Liebig and Aron Liebig

Always Outnumbered

. . . is an unholy transfiguration of the jazz and blues canon—a perverted translation of the sacred 78s of Chicago jazz and blues circa 1920–1950 into a more sinister modern dialect. On the opening track, 07-04-00, you can hear some noxious sonic concoction brewing, an aural hormetic designed to make you stronger if you can survive the cocktail.

Tee-Tot are expatriate pioneers that flew a few light-years past Europe and landed in a neighboring multiverse with fewer happy endings. These four veterans of the Los Angeles new music scene bring something completely different to each tune, different from the last tune and different from anything you normally hear on their respective instruments.

Joe Berardi is a medium for myriad gods of groove. He’s a maniacal Baby Dodds wielding his contraption for the dark side on Sunshine Candy, an angry Fred Below demonstrating primal scream therapy through the art of the shuffle on Chucktown and on Serenade he’s a fallen military snare player tapping ‘help me die’ in Morse code in vain.

Steuart Liebig constructs wide melodic avenues through the hostile landscapes of convoluted tunes like Wrong How Long. As heard on Cooked and Chopped he uses compelling melodies to drive the band from beneath instead of walking the well-worn footpaths of predictable chord progressions. He reinvents the bass role as an interactive melodic instrument in contrast to the bebop obsession of “chasing a melodic rat around a harmonic maze.” He’s also comfortable playing little or nothing at all for large patches, as on Fearless, an oblique tribute to Mingus—a “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” for a lost and dispirited Lester Young.

Dan Clucas channels a deranged Cootie Williams, commands a gaggle of nuclear geese and employs various subsonic pitches possibly responsible for climate change. He employs all manner of ornamentation and virtual pedals from a very ill-mannered velar growl to a vibrato that would have made Clara Rockmore nervous. On Clean, Shaved and Sober, he celebrates the decline of a late-stage Bix Beiderbecke suffering from years of poor-grade Prohibition-era alcohol.

Scot Ray possesses a wide arsenal of portamento that would make any carnatic pandit blush. A seemingly infinite variety of sounds come out of his dobro’s resonator, from distressed ermine lamentations to the wailing of the damned. Considering today’s totalitarian atmosphere, Scot’s frenetic picking, rubbery phrasing and anxiety-provoking note choices on Stutterstep alone should earn him a place on a government list. Somewhere in hell an unfortunate freshman soul attempts to decipher his solo on Barrelfoot Grind.

Contemporary jazz and blues music lies wasting in a gurney of predictable mimicry, its circulation gone sluggish, its pulse nearly arrested as it grows more necrotic by the year. Tee-Tot debrides the bed sores of the sedentary modern roots scene.

Steuart has more than a few bands. They are all distinct from one another, draw from disparate sources and are all degenerate—in the best sense of the word. The dozen or so albums from these groups have explored everything from Muddy Waters to Anton Webern. There’s never a shortage of great melodies or superb improvisation, and this disc is no exception.

–Bill Barrett, Los Ageles, January 2008

pfMENTUM CD053

PFMCD053

Antony DiGennaro: A Lonesome Fog (PFMCD051)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="469"]
1. Winston Niles Rumfoord 3:38
2. Insomnia I 1:23
3. A Foot Unsocked 4:22
4. Dunes 2:37
5. Sleep I 2:46
6. The Boatman Calls 2:41
7. Insomnia II 0:55
8. Sleep II 8:22
9. Hoist By One’s Own Petard 4:04
10. The Day of the Lobster 4:02
11. Insomnia III 2:39
12. The Giant 10:04

The music contained herein is merely a brief snapshot, expressing my state of mind at the moment of its conception and execution. It is also an homage to the beautiful and often overlooked natural landscapes that this country has to offer.
This music is all solo guitar, free of overdubs, electronic devices (except for microphones, amplifiers and guitar pickups) and post-processing, save for the mastering process.

Special thanks to members of tinhorn justice, plotz!, mossman, the dog of tears, sandra powers, wenchung lu, bob clendenen, wayne peet, steuart liebig, michael jon fink, vinny golia, barry schrader, susie allen, ulrich krieger, arthur jarvinen, doug maher, tom monaghan, owen cunningham, bryden and tessa digennaro, and the rest of my friends, teachers and family

Extreme special thanks to jeff kaiser, kyle ross and to my parents

Recorded/engineered by kyle ross at relec multimedia studios, val verde, ca
Produced/mixed by antony digennaro
Mastered by wayne peet at newzone studios, los angeles, ca
Graphic design by sandra powers with assistance by steuart liebig
Photography by antony digennaro

pfMENTUM CD051

PFMCD051

Jim Connolly and The Gove County String Quartet (PFMCD044)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="454"]
Sally Barr: Violin
Laura Hackstein: Violin
Kirsten Monke: Viola
Jim Connolly: Contrabass

1 – Even Dust Sparkles on the Moon – 4:11
2 – Pinocchio – 4:25
3 – Forgetting the Names of Trees in the Polish Woods – 5:13
4 – On Rue Clark – 4:22
5 – Patience Makes the Ocean Blue – 6:30
6 – Noodling for Flatheads – 2:51
7 – Hymn for John – 5:42
8 – Peter and Amy – 3:02
9 – Crows would steal the Stars if they could fly that high – 5:34
10 – Time Rides the Ferris Wheel – 3:46
11 – Once, For the Last Time – 4:00

All Music © 2007 James Connolly Music (ASCAP)
except “Across the Universe” as Lennon / McCartney
© ATV (Northern Songs Catalog) / EMI Blackwood Music

Recorded at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, CA
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Jeff Kaiser
Cover Painting “Circus” By Yevgenia Nayberg
Graphic Assistance Provided By Ted Killian

pfMENTUM CD044

PFMCD044

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Nowhere Calling (PFMCD039)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="445,443"]
The Mentones
Tony Atherton: alto saxophone
Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica
Joseph Berardi: drumset, percussion
Steuart Liebig: contrabassguitars

chatterbox – – 4:17
double-blade axe – – 3:58
coal – – 4:41
back seat, white cadillac – – 7:08
hardcase – – 2:30
iodine cream – – 4:10
manchild hustle – – 3:16
way high lonesome – – 4:55
the single-double two-step – – 1:58
rocking chair – – 6:29
angel city dust – – 3:47
daisy man – – 2:00
rooster rocket – -1:53

© 2006, steuart liebig/sisong music (ascap)

photos/montages by steuart liebig;
band photos by amparo fernandez;
inside photo from david witham video, processed by joseph berardi;
layout by steuart liebig
recorded at newzone studio, by wayne peet; mixed at newzone studio, by wayne peet and steuart liebig, mar vista, california, 2006

gear thanks: fodera basses, thomastik-infeld strings, rick turner and raven labs; pat missin; paiste cymbals and attack drums heads

Liner Notes by Nels Cline:
The Mentones. The name conjures up some preconceptions: a sort of retro outfit, maybe a blues/rock or R&B thing. Dudes. Maybe Texan dudes. Or Oklahomans. The kind of band dudes get rowdy to, or maybe even couples shake their tailfeathers to. Interestingly, although the name is derived from bandleader/composer/bassist Steuart Liebig’s street name in Los Angeles County, there are shards of truth in these preconceptions. But they certainly don’t tell the tale. The Mentones—and yes, they ARE all men— actually do play a kind of blues boogie, though their brand of this is calculatedly skewed in a kind of Bartokian way. This is an all-instrumental thing, so already we’re talking some kind of FUSION band, right? The kind men might dig, since the rumbling roots of the band’s concept are blues, boogie, and some kind of out jazz freakout. HOWEVER: I have watched women groove mightily to The Mentones! I’ve heard them applaud their taut, economical solo workouts! And it’s not because these guys are working the image thing, OK? Not a hipster hat, no sharkskin, no stage presence is in evidence (sorry, cats)! What, then, IS this SoCal combo all about? Why are these hepcats and hepkittens in major DIGULATION MODE?? *** If one follows the prolific and mercurial output of CONTRABASS guitarist Steuart Liebig, one quickly gets dazzled—if not fully bogged down—in the myriad projects he has formed and for which he composes. I have truly lost count of how many bands Steuart is doing concurrently— it’s well over five—and each one operates within tight conceptual parameters. The Mentones is Herr Liebig’s rockingest combo, and it is specifically created to simultaneously refer to and mangle elements of blues, R&B, and, to my mind, surf and the old “instrumental hits” idea, particularly as it played out in the mid-60s. I am also repeatedly reminded of the early quartet music of Ornette Coleman, not stylistically, but in the tight and focused ensemble statements. There are no 5-minute solo forays here. Each piece is highly compressed, and some are over before you even know they’ve started. There appear to be other tightly controlled parameters. For example, it all seems to be about meaty vamps and unison or octave melodies between alto saxophone and harmonica. It’s a thing! I know this because I’ve known Steuart for 30 years! It’s how he thinks and works. His writing for octets, chamber trios, is rife with neo-modernist harmonies. But not in The Mentones. I cherish a fantasy (apologies in advance to Oliver Reed): Lee Marvin, looking for a out-of-the-limelight spot to have a drink or five, stops into a Salvadoran joint like Culver City’s Club Tropical. On the dance floor, The Mentones are at it, pounding out the mighty Liebig salvo, “Hardcase.” Marvin walks right up to the band, his towering, manly frame blocking the view of many of the reverent denizens. As they WHOMP! the song’s abrupt conclusion Marvin, a few Patron Silvers into his evening asks, to no band member in particular, “What are you guys supposed to be, some kind of LOCRIAN BLUES BAND?!” Too bad Lee’s joined his ancestors, but man, he’d be right! With melodies derived from obscure modes (Steuart is positively besotted with flatted fifths) or completely chromatic, the CHUG and CHURN of the bass and drums ram the solar plexus while the peculiar (and totally singular) melodies dance like satyrs in the cerebellum. *** A few words about the men of The Mentones: On alto saxophone is Tony Atherton. Sure, he sounds like he’s sucked up plenty of the toxic stench in Naked City, or perhaps worshipped at the feet of Big Satan. But the maniacal frothing of his playing is totally ROCK ’N ROLL. If he was around in the late 50s, he’d have been the kid in high school who hung out with all the older nighthawks, jamming into the wee hours—or at least as long as the benzedrine in his inhaler lasted. His imposingly tall frame and gentle demeanor barely mask what is obvious: he is a TOTALLY GONE CAT. After negotiating the written material to a tee, he then uncorks the reedy gusher of his horn/psyche. Bill Barrett plays the harmonica. Simply stated, he is one of the most cogent and arresting soloists ON ANY INSTRUMENT playing today. I kid you not. Listen to this shit! He goes from classic blues harp to fucking campfire memories to ghostly shakuhachi rushes without ever losing the moan and shriek of the blues. His playing is consistently haunted. It haunts the music like a spectre, imbuing each moment it inhabits with what David Briggs called “The Spook.” Drummer Joe Berardi has credits longer than the ‘thank yous’ on a Mariah Carey record. I’ve seen him in so many situations spreading his excellence around that it’s dizzying. Do some homework on this man. In The Mentones, Joe really GETS DOWN. Whether playing prepared drums, a tin can, or just laying it down normal-style, this is a BURNER for Joe (and beautifully recorded, I might add). There remains one question: how can a man so consistently well dressed SHRED like that? As for the fearless leader himself, Steuart Liebig here eschews his effects pedal dazzle for a virtuosic though never out-of- the-pocket piledrive through the lexicon of bass and guitar. You see, Steuart bought one of those 6-string basses right when they came out. These things were the fulfillment of a dream, much in the way the MiniMoog was the fulfillment of a dream for Jan Hammer. If only these select individuals were the only ones to bring these instruments to light! Anyway, now Steuart has 3 or 4 of these monster basses. One fretless, one fretted/flatwound, one fretless, one fretted/roundwound, all customized, stickered, slathered with the foam of the mad scientist he is. He plays slide, digs deep into involuntary bowel movement frequencies, and skitters around in the guitar’s range like a musician version of the Manster. AND OH YES, he writes all these neo-Peter Gunn, Locrian, Willie Dixon jams. When The Mentones perform, Steuart name checks his bandmates about 23 times—per set! But I hope that you, the holder of this fine CD, can take a minute to let the names of these men seep into your over-stimulated brain. *** By the way, this disc really starts to ramp up around track 9 (programmers take note!), so all you kids put on your crash helmets and don’t miss the exciting conclusion of Nowhere Calling! Cowabunga!
Nels Cline—Glendale, CA, April 1, 2006

pfMENTUM CD039

PFM039