Ethan Sherman: Building Blocks (PFMCD101)

Jeff Kaiser

Ethan Sherman
Building Blocks

[playlist ids="1135"]
  1. Jungle Gym (Slow) 2:27
  2. Keltner 7:01
  3. Dangling 5:28
  4. Norway 6:51
  5. Pretty Polly 3:32
  6. Motivation 4:53
  7. Jungle Gym (Fast) 1:45
  8. Positive Space 3:12
  9. Snowshoe 4:34

Ethan Sherman – guitar
Chris Rolontz – bass
Christian Euman – drums

Recorded October 3, 2016 at Paperchaser Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Engineered and mixed by Tyler Chester
Assistant engineering by Rob Peterson
Mastered by Ryan Stewart
Production assistance by Jacob Mann
Design by Aaron Vinton
All compositions except “Pretty Polly” (trad.) © 2017 Ethan Sherman (BMI)

pfMENTUM CD101
PFMCD101

New recording by Logan Hone, gigs and more…

And yet MORE pfMENTUM stuff! New release, Logan Hone Logan Hone, release concert Jeff Kaiser, solo trumpet concert What a great disc! Listen to free track by clicking here. Logan Hone’s Similar Fashion Logan Hone: Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet Lauren Baba: Viola Gregory Uhlmann: Guitar Mike Lockwood: Drums 1. Mother Figure 2. MJT 3. Missed the Boat 4. Fresh and Clean …

Logan Hone’s Similar Fashion (PFMCD096)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="770"]

Logan Hone’s Similar Fashion

Logan Hone: Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Lauren Baba: Viola
Gregory Uhlmann: Guitar
Mike Lockwood: Drums

1. Mother Figure
2. MJT
3. Missed the Boat
4. Fresh and Clean
5. Snapshoot
6. Movable Walls
7. Play
8. Don’t Touch That
9. Morning Bear

Recorded on March 14, 2015 at Studio City in Los Angeles, CA
Recorded and mixed by Greg Hartunian
Mastered by Carl Saff in August, 2015
Artwork and design by Jessica Li

Tracks 1-6 and 8 © 2015, Logan Hone (ASCAP)
Track 7 © 2006, Christian Asplund (ASCAP). Used by permission.
Track 9 © 2015, Lauren Baba (ASCAP)

pfMENTUM CD096

PFMCD096

Michael Vlatkovich: Mortality (PFMCD091)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="569"]
ensemblio:
michael vlatkovich: trombone
dan clucas: trumpet
jill torberson: french horn
bill plake: tenor sax
david riddles: bassoon, flute, soprano sax, clarinet
andrew pask: alto sax, bari sax, bass clarinet
bill roper: tuba, bombardondino
harry scorzo: violin
jonathan golove: cello
tom mcnalley: guitar
dominic genova: bass 
wayne peet: piano, keyboard
carol sawyer: voice
ken park: all percussion

[NOTE: do to a printing error, track 4 was left off the package. What you see below is correct.]

1. adeptly disguised as chairs and tables the audience listened quietly — 9:08
2. as quickly as it came — 6:31
3. or do you have change for a $20 — 5:25
4. out of the wall and into the night — 5:27
5. sometimes a red nose and big shoes aren’t enough — 2:33
6. mortality — 11:32
7. hiding out as a verb — 5:49
8. goodbye — 7:06

© 2015 julius ivory music, ascap
music composed m vlatkovich
recorded 2014 wayne peet engineer
edited mixed and mastered sept. 2014
front photo chuck britt
back photo bill roper
design jeff kaiser

pfMENTUM CD091

PFMCD091

Odeya Nini: Vougheauxyice (Voice) (PFMCD083)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="551"]
Vougheauxyice (Voice)

Odeya Nini: Voice

1. Mi See Ti 3:37
2. Dalai 6:16
3. Everyday Cantor 3:07
4. Idiomia 4:35
5. Tunnel 6:22
6. Tapestry of Synonyms 6:34
7. There Are So Many Things That I Have To Tell You 9:52
8. Cyclicality 6:36

1-4 were recorded in a private home in Joshua Tree, CA, September 25, 2012.
5 was recorded in an aqueduct in San Francisquito Canyon, CA, April 1, 2013.
7 was recorded at California Institute for the Arts, June 2012.

All tracks except 7 were recorded and mixed by Justin Asher
7 was recorded and mixed by Brian Saia
6 was edited by Odeya Nini
Mastered by Joe Panzner

Except for track 6, all of the pieces are in a single take, no editing. 1-5 are compositions with an open form. There is a compositional road map, but they are not performed the same way twice. 7 and 8 are improvised. Several microphones where set up in the space for 1-5, allowing for the voice to be recorded with movement and gesturing.

Photography – Adeline Newmann and Odeya Nini
Design and layout – Thea Lorentzen
Art – Saul Alpert Abrams

NOTES:

Vougheauxyice (Voice)

The voice is an instrument that both listens and reveals. It takes from all that is around us and all that is inside us as it communicates a free and composed response outward. In this work I explore the language of the voice like a dancer. I think of shape, form, gesture and the vast range of motion in the voice’s movement through space. The voice is often thought of as intangible, but in this work I try to mold its natural physical tendencies, sensing its vibrations, and feeling the touch of its waves on my skin and in my bones.

Mi See Ti

A simple melody alluding false solfege syllables that repeat themselves, diverging more and more. A play with forms of interpretation from contained and proper, to unruly swells.

In performance this piece incorporates theatrical elements, changes of facial expression and a collapsing of the body to the floor between each iteration. It questions ideas of beauty in the voice, presentation, intention, the relationship and cohesion (or negation) of the body’s expression simultaneous to the expression of the voice, and the role of the singer as an exhibitionist.

Dalai

Dalai was written while spending time in Mongolia in the summer of 2012. I learned that the meaning of the word Dalai, that we know so well from Dalai Lama, means ocean in Mongolian. Traveling in the Gobi desert, the power of the wind was omnipresent, and absolutely striking to me. It was possible to see the storms and changes of weather traversing the endlessly flat desert from miles away—often surprisingly quick—bringing gusts more powerful than I had ever experienced. Every turn of the head gave variation to the sound of the howling wind: so violent at times and peaceful in its aftermath. The obsession with wind was an easy to acquire, the more I listened, the more I realized the sound of crashing waves and the ocean’s movements were the sounds of wind. In a landlocked country such as Mongolia, I sensed the ocean all around me. Wind, ocean, breath.

Everyday Cantor

Everyday Cantor features voice and field recording. The sounds of sacred song in the everyday act of showering. Is there a difference between singing in a cathedral or singing under the shower head? The devotional voice reveals itself and then becomes drenched in everyday simplicity.

Idiomia

Inspired by random sequences of bird calls and the meaning that comes out of non verbal sonic communication. The answer is in the ear of the beholder. The voice has dynamic expression, calls, yells, gentle flutters, overtones, ingressive and egressive breathing. What is it saying? The mind wants to distill the voice, but allow it to migrate.

Tunnel

Tunnel is an improvisation on a traditional Yemenite Jewish folk song called Tzur Manoti. My Yemenite roots have always been strong in me, I see them on my face, and hear them in my voice. I often question how I fit along the continuum of my spiritually devoted ancestors, having arrived at this experimental art form. In this song I find a passageway between who I am today and the narrative of kindred souls. The result is a contemporary translation which keeps me present in my explorations (and realizations) of free form, allying me with my deep past.

Tapestry of Synonyms

We are what we hear. A collage of field recordings collected over the last four years including goats, monks, trains, plates, horses, helicopters, microwaves, wind storms, rain on tents, creaking cabinet doors, dragging chairs, tin foil crumbling, fire crackling, locks clacking, teeth brushing, family and friends from California, New York, Mexico, Mongolia Italy and Israel.

The collection of textures from our environment are juxtaposed with the voice, which we often do not consider as related. However, whether in texture or song, we do find part of our surroundings, mimicking, blending, connecting.

There is only reverb added to some of these field recordings. Besides being sliced and pasted, there are no other manipulation or altering effects.

The voice of Archie Carey, my grandmother Rachel Nini and my parents David and Tamar Nini are included.

There Are So Many Things that I Have To Tell You

Language can be tricky, slippery and twofold. This piece is a stream of consciousness improvisation with words, surfacing moods and thoughts otherwise submerged.

I sit in front of my loop pedal and amp, not knowing what stories will emerge, and allow them to flow. No story quite like the last, It is always a new and exciting journey.

Cyclicality

One voice layers on another, and another and another, shifting, morphing, coasting.

Beneath all these layers, I am still only one.

Thank you to all these wonderful people and places who created this album with their patient and skillful talents, generosity, inspiration and love. Endless gratitude.

Justin Asher, Joe Panzner, Brian Saia, Julie Tolentino + Feral Studios, CalArts, Adeline Newmann, Saul Alpert Abrams, Thea Lorentzen, Pieter Performance Space, Gerry Hemingway (for teaching me that music is sound in time), and ALL the incredible people who supported this album on Kickstarter.

Thank you to my dear family, Achinoam, Roy, Sharra, to my grandmother Rachel whose voice of many lives always plays in my ear, and especially to my parents David and Tamar Nini for their endless unquestioning love and support. My voice is your voice.

. . . and to Archie, for absolutely everything. This album is for you.

pfMENTUM CD083

PFMCD083

Dick Wood: Not Far From Here (PFMCD065)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="514"]
Dick Wood: Not Far From Here

Dick Wood: alto sax, flute, whistle, boom box

Dan Clucas: cornet, flute, octokoto, other sounds

Hal Onserud: bass

Mark Trayle: live electronics with Supercollider graphics

Marty Mansour: drums, percussion on tracks 1 and 3

Dan Ostermann: trombone with space mute

Chuck Manning: tenor saxophone, percussion

1 Ignatious 7:05
2 Mango Season 1 1 : 1 1
3 Cook the Books 8 : 1 1
4 Not Far From Here 8:35
5 No Known Knowns 7:29
6 And Now 5:07

Not Far from Here
dick wood
All compositions by Dick Wood
© 2011 Zyc Slick Productions

recorded by Scott Fraser at Architecture, Los Angeles
June 15 & (tracks 1 & 3) Oct. 19, 2008
mastered by Wayne Peet, April 2011, Newzone Studio, Los Angeles
all compositions by Dick Wood
cover photo by Steve DeGroodt
model Sapna Khurama
liner notes Paul Wood
graphics Patt Narrowe
special gratitude to Scott Fraser,
Bobby Bradford, Nels Cline,
Bonnie Barnett, Woody Aplanalp,
Lewis Jordan, Ben and Linda Wood,
Sue Dorsey, Lissa Callaghan,
John Wood, Joanne Parker
thanks to
Emily Hay, Kay Sera, Noriko Honma
© 2011 zyc slick productions

pfMENTUM CD065

PFMCD065

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

Jeff Kaiser and Gregory Taylor / The Desert Fathers: Coptic Icons (PFMCD050)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="467"]
The Desert Fathers

Jeff Kaiser: Quartertone Trumpet, Laptop
Gregory Taylor: Laptop

ONLY AVAILABLE DIGITALLY

1. Visions (Saint Anthony) 31:14
2. The White Monastery (Saint Shenouda) 26:02

Recorded direct-to-disc 4.27 and 4.28.07 at the Boise Experimental Music Festival
CD art, mix and mastering by Jeff Kaiser
© 2007, Gregory Taylor, BMI and Jeff Kaiser Music, ASCAP
For more information:
www.pfMENTUM.com • PFMCD050

The Desert fathers—a collection of ascetics, monks, and hermits—fled the persecutions and chaos of the Roman Empire in the third century AD and settled in the deserts of Egypt, seeking safety and solace in loose-knit refugee communities at the margins of civilization. When the persecutions stopped, they remained-drawn as individuals by the solitude, privation, and self-discipline borne of desert life.

Born the son of wealthy landowners, orphaned, and later disciple of a local ascetic, St. Anthony the Great is noteworthy as the first to actually pursue an isolated (anchoritic) life in the desert itself. His biographies describe in vivid detail the afflictions and visions of his isolation—torments from which he emerged enlightened, serene, and healthy. After this, he moved further into the wilderness even as his fame grew, founding his own monastery where he dedicated himself and his disciples to prayer and the discipline of manual labor.

Shenouda the Archimandrite first visited the White Monastery (so named for the color of limestone of its outer walls) located near the Upper Egyptian city of Souhag as a boy. He remained there as a result of a vision granted to the monastery’s abbot, and eventually served as its abbot during its heyday as a thriving ascetic community.

Anthony and Shenouda were both canonized after their deaths as saints in the Coptic Orthodox Church. As monks, they combined their own individualized practices with regimens attuned to their lives in a desert environment and introduced elements of shared communal practice (the sharing of meals and liturgical practice) into their communities that laid the foundations for what we now think of as Christian monasticism.

pfMENTUM CD050

PFMCD050

The Empty Cage Quartet: Hello the Damage! (PFMCD040)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="446"]
Jason Mears: alto saxophone, clarinet, wood flutes
Kris Tiner: trumpet, flugelhorn
Paul Kikuchi: drums, percussion
Ivan Johnson: contrabass

Disc 1: First Set (24:20 / 21:17)
1. Attack of the Eye People (Mears)
Who Are They If We Are Them? (Mears)
The Mactavish Rag (Tiner)
2. And Who Is Not Small (Tiner)
Function-3 (Tiner)

Disc 2: Second Set (42:57)
1. Swan-Neck Deformity (Kikuchi)
The Empty Cage (Mears)
Swim Swim Swim, Eat Eat Eat (Mears)

Recorded live at Café Metropol in Los Angeles, California on Friday, December 30, 2005
Recorded live to two track by Paul Kikuchi
Mastered by David Christensen and Paul Kikuchi
Cover photo and album design: Kio Griffith
Band photos: Allen D. Glass II
Thank you to Kio Griffith, Misato Nagare, Dottie Grossman, David Christensen, Rocco Somazzi, Allen D. Glass II, Jeff Kaiser and Vinny Golia
© 2006 Jason Mears Music, ASCAP and Kris Tiner Music, ASCAP
For more information: www.mtkjquartet.com

Finale
When the camera pulls back
on people you care about
because you have followed
their story all season
and you know
what makes them happy
and what hurts them
and you love them
and want to protect them,
that’s your cue to sit back,
let the music take care of them now.

When I wrote that, I wasn’t thinking about The Empty Cage Quartet, but I see a connection. They share a common view, something about expansiveness or maybe a sense of what I can only call “mission.” These guys actually care about us, and want to make us better through their musical example, God help them. It’s a tall order, admittedly, but saxophonist Jason Mears and trumpeter Kris Tiner talk seriously about the band as a positive model for social change, incorporating and expanding upon what they learned under the tutelage of people like Wadada Leo Smith and Vinny Golia.

Mears, Tiner, Kikuchi and Johnson (“The MTKJ;” now “The Empty Cage Quartet”) came together at The California Institute of the Arts, in Southern California, circa 2002. They began playing music that was admittedly “horrible” (Kris Tiner’s word), at first, but which has evolved to a very telepathic kind of communication that transcends historical models of creative new music and almost doesn’t require language in its usual sense. They’re bent on transcending the clichés of “free jazz,” with its historically associated bias toward self-expression at the expense of everything else. They all contribute tunes and are dedicated to finding ways of getting around traditional improvisation and composition, to create music that is “continuous” and spontaneous. At the same time, in their musical explorations, they incorporate and honor the earlier forms they want to transcend. There is, for example, homage to without imitation of the Anthony Braxton and Ornette Coleman quartets.

So they use a system which in effect means that, in performance, any player can cue a composition at any time. For that to work on a level that approaches art requires the ability to almost literally read each other’s minds. Forget about not paying attention. Forget about playing on chord changes. It’s very akin to linking arms and jumping off the proverbial edge-of-the-cliff. It takes enormous mutual trust, acquired through the time-honored method of playing and touring. It is a truism that there’s no substitute for playing together a lot over a period of time in different settings and circumstances. The bonding that emerges from this kind of intensity has created, for these four, a unity that is probably more rock-solid than that of most “real” families.

And that makes them happy. They like it when audiences are touched and even inspired by the music they make together. Drummer Kikuchi tells about a gig in Olympia, WA, when the audience behaved as if they were at a rock show, yelling and “getting into” the show, letting the music take them to new places.

A word about the title of this CD: “Hello the Damage” was the all-too-literal English translation of part of a French review damning the group’s last CD. Anyone familiar with the often hilarious nonsense masquerading as “translation” on the Babelfish web site will sympathize.

This is a band whose musical growth rate has been amazing. They’re dedicated to doing something new, and the strength of their musicianship and vision are collectively and individually impressive enough to make that happen.

I’m going to leave the last word (well, almost) here to Kris Tiner, who, talking about how much he appreciates the work of Thelonious Monk, Charles Ives and Morton Feldman, says, “You can tell they love music.” Amen.

Dottie Grossman
Los Angeles, CA
April, 2006

[Ed. from a reviewer friend: This expression (in french “bonjour les dégâts…”, “damage” is a plural in french, it makes it more spectacular) became famous after is was used in an advertisement against alcohol when driving : “Un verre ça va, trois verres bonjour les dégâts” “One drink is alright, three drinks, hello the damage” : nobody speaks about 2 drinks, the case becomes a hole where reason gets drowned).]

pfMENTUM CD040

PFMCD040