Peter Kuhn / Dave Sewelson: Our Earth / Our World (PFMCD097)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="866"]

Peter Kuhn: alto and tenor sax, Bb clarinet
Dave Sewelson: baritone and sopranino sax
Larry Roland: bass • Gerald Cleaver: drums

1) Our Earth 25:22
2) Our World 12:36
3) It Matters 11:07

Our Earth / Our World

“Just because you don’t see me, it doesn’t mean I am gone.”

The music on this CD is beautiful. It moves me to stand on one foot and hop in joy. It's laced with a dark and searing lyricism that one finds on those hot summer nights when the freedom bell tolls and all the heavy weight players would pick up their horns and blow all night. Dave Sewelson, Peter Kuhn, Larry Roland, and Gerald Cleaver are creating their own tradition and it is reborn each time they play.

The music swoops and soars into inner and outer space. Cane reeds vibrating and living in both the urban and celestial worlds at the same time. The sound re-enters with the earth touching it’s own root then resurfacing as colorful flowers made of soil and mud wrapped in a shell of hope that rests on a cradle of freedom. Then the phrase, “Just because you don’t see me, it doesn’t mean I am gone.”

Peter Kuhn who is back on the scene meeting with Dave Sewelson who still remains one of the best kept secrets on the music scene but is a hero in the tone world. Here they cross paths with Larry Roland’s mystical bass and Gerald Cleavers Saturday morning Detroit thrust. I would suggest you clean your palate and give this music a big listen. Veterans are in the house bringing in some of that old time religion. No time to experiment they know exactly where they are going into the unknown where pure creativity lives. 

—William Parker, 2015


 

If I had to choose a way to describe the music that flows through Our Earth/Our World that description would begin with intuition and conversation. The best of freely-improvised music is always rich in these details, and the dialog between Kuhn and Sewelson has obviously stood the test of time.

This disc, recorded on a brisk April evening at the 2015 Arts for Art Festival begins with the sonic swirl of Dave Sewelson’s rough-hewn baritone saxophone jostling against the slinky sinew of Peter Kuhn’s Bb clarinet. Right away, the melodic interplay between the two musicians, (an association that began some 40 years ago) rings true and devastatingly clear. Themes and riffs wrap around each other with serpentine grit and gristle, all with the surety of notated material – yet nothing was written down. “No discussion, no plan, no charts or even concepts,” Kuhn related, via email. “I had never met Larry or Gerald before the set, and they hadn’t played together before this either.”

Kuhn was making reference to the sterling rhythm section of Larry Roland on bass and the marvelous Gerald Cleaver on drums, who both leap into the fray of the 26-minute opener, “Our Earth,” with muscled dialog and multidirectional waves of motion, including a brief drum and bass duet that precedes Kuhn’s screaming essay on tenor saxophone, which wails in the best of the post-Ayler traditions – a sermon of great extremes joined at its orgiastic apex by Sewelson’s equally committed spiraling altissimo pealing. All of this flows atop the crisp martial cadences and precise control of dynamics initiated by Cleaver’s snare and the depth of Roland’s arco and pizzicato accompaniment. Sewelson returns on the tiny sopranino saxophone – his sound is dark, fat, and swollen with sonic fertility. Once again, the horns entwine and spiral into deep conversation. A joyous beginning.

Cleaver, an acknowledged master of subtle gestures, opens the second selection, “Our World,” with a stunning drum narrative that leads both hornmen into a writhing jostle of overtones on sopranino and clarinet, respectively, over the relentless ostinato of Roland. Back on baritone, Sewelson whinnies and squeals, all while alluding to an almost Motown-like pocket as Kuhn’s tenor reengages, stoking the fire with chortling repetitions and bone-chilling eruptions into the upper register.
That sense of joyful audacity deepens when Roland unleashes a monstrous solo to introduce the final selection, “It Matters,” where Kuhn’s lithe Bb clarinet burrows a serpentine course deep into the heart of the music, all the while guided by the ebb and flow of Cleaver’s drums, which both explode and illuminate.

You can feel the enthusiasm of the packed house – not just in the applause that peppers each selection – but in the spontaneous gasps and groans that accompany several unforgettable moments of deep listening. Turn it up. Enjoy. Repeat.

—Robert Bush, 2016

© 2016 Dependent Origination Music, ASCAP

Recorded at Arts For Arts Our Earth/Our World series, NYC, April 2015

Mastered by Wayne Peet, Newzone Studio, Los Angeles

Photos ©2016 Michael Klayman. Used by permission.

Layout, Jeff Kaiser

pfMENTUM CD097

PFMCD097

PFMCD096_Back

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 …

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

Bonnie Barnett Group: In Between Dreams (PFMCD063)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="512"]
Bonnie Barnett Group: In Between Dreams

1. Badinage 4:00
2. Matisse* 8:24
(verbatim text: Gertrude Stein)
3. In Between Dreams 5:21
4. Primordial 8:18
5. Nothingness† 10:27
(verbatim text: Jean-Paul Sartre)
6. Set In Stone 4:14
7. Shambala 8:01

TOTAL TIME: 49:15

Bonnie Barnett: vocals
Richard Wood: alto sax, flute, bass clarinet
Hal Onserud: bass
Garth Powell: percussion

All music FMZ Music Co. (BMI) All rights reserved.
All music © pfMentum
For more information: www.pfmentum.com

Bonnie Barnett is an improviser of unusual clarity. A cornerstone of the Los Angeles New Music scene, and the composer of the TUNNEL HUMs, Barnett has mightily contributed to the worlds of contemporary classical music and improvisation and is one of Los Angeles’ hidden treasures. Barnett’s impressive array of vocal extensions creates a personal world of sonic texture that is unrivaled. Barnett’s new CD finds her using texts, tone, and timbre in a stunning display of virtuosity that sends the listener towards worlds of subterranean as well as ethereal delights.

Vinny Golia–Los Angeles CA.–4/22/2011

Recorded (7/10) and mixed (9/10-2/11) by Scott Fraser at Architecture, Los Angeles
Mastered (2/11) by Wayne Peet at Newzone Studio, Los Angeles
*2. Matisse – text: Gertrude Stein’s portrait of the artist Henri Matisse. Permission granted by the Estate of Gertrude Stein, through its Literary Executor, Mr. Stanford Gann, Jr. of Levin & Gann, P.A.
†5. Nothingness – text: “The Origin of Negation”, excerpt from Jean-Paul Sartre’s Essay On Nothingness, courtesy of Philosophical Library, Inc.
Painting on cover: “In Principio”, acrylic on wood panels, by Peter Veblen Van Fleet, 2010.
Photos of the musicians: © Steve De Groodt 2011. All rights reserved.
Design: Ted Killian
© Bonnie Barnett 2011. All rights reserved.
All music FMZ Music Co. (BMI)

BONNIE BARNETT, vocalist, composer and improviser, resides in Los Angeles. She appears on two DICE compilations and has three releases on Nine Winds, including the 2006 “Trio For Two”, a duo with bassist Ken Filiano. She has been exploring the texts of Gertrude Stein, Jean-Paul Sartre and others, and also delights in improvising faux text.

RICHARD WOOD, alto sax, flute and bass clarinet, resides in Los Angeles. Founding member of The And Now Ensemble, he continues to amaze southern California audiences with his intense, yet zany, performances. He has a new CD, “Not Far From Here”, for quintet and septet, which will be released this year on pfMentum.

HAL ONSERUD, bass, currently resides in Santa Barbara. A long-time player on the New York scene, his improvising collaborators include Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Bill Dixon, Vinny Golia, Jackson Krall and many others.

GARTH POWELL, percussionist extraordinaire, resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has releases out on Rastascan, Roadcone, Nine Winds, Evander, Beak Doctor and Leo, and has recorded with, among others, Jaap Blonk, John Butcher, Nels Cline, Peter Kowald, Bert Turetsky, Saadet Turkos and the London Improvisors Orchestra.

pfMENTUM CD063

PFMCD063

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

Jeff Kaiser and Andrew Pask with Steuart Liebig and G.E. Stinson: The Choir Boys with Strings (PFMCD037)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="439"]
The Choir Boys with Strings
Jeff Kaiser: Trumpet, Quarter-Tone Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Electronics
Andrew Pask: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bass Penny Whistle, Electronics
G.E. Stinson: Electric Guitars, Electronics
Steuart Liebig: Contrabass Guitars, Electronics

Visit The Choir Boys home page at:
www.trippyhorns.com

1. Needlework Alice 11:59
2. Impromptu Lateral Drop 7:26
3. Tobacconist from Rimini 10:59
4. Frenchwoman Luggage Cart 8:39
5. Adulterous Dishwasher 9:40
6. Definitely Jack 10:23
7. Rest of the Skeleton 15:12
8. Wir Sind Hier 5:28

The music was created in two continuous suites.
Track numbers have been added for convenience.
Suite One: Tracks 1-5. Suite Two: Tracks 6-8.
Total Playing Time: 79:46

All music © 2006, Jeff Kaiser Music, ASCAP and Kaleidacousticon, ASCAP
Digital multitrack recording by Wayne Peet, October 5, 2005 at Ventura College Theater, Ventura, California
Art, Layout, Mixing and Mastering by Jeff Kaiser, January 2006
pfMENTUM • pfmentum.com • Box 1653 • Ventura • CA • 93002

Special thanks to Robert Lawson and Ollie Powers for the invitation to perform,
and to Roger Meyer for staging and lighting the show.

pfMENTUM CD037

PFMCD037

Jeff Kaiser / Andrew Pask: The Choir Boys (PFMCD024)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="410,408"]
The Choir Boys
Jeff Kaiser • Andrew Pask

The Choir Boys (Jeff Kaiser and Andrew Pask)

Jeff Kaiser: Trumpet, Quarter-Tone Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Live Processing
Andrew Pask: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano, Alto and Tenor Saxophones, Bass, Penny Whistle, Live Processing

Visit The Choir Boys home page at:
www.trippyhorns.com

Album info:

1. Wheeling Rebus 9:24
2. Dim Effigies 9:37
3. Carbon Icon 6:36
4. The Variability of Stammering Arrows 15:09
5. Blue Air Habit 17:31
6. Tumbling Abstention 5:47
7. Reliquaries 9:44
Total Playing Time: 73:48

(c)2005 Jeff Kaiser Music, ASCAP and Kaleidacousticon, ASCAP
All music recorded live in the studio with no overdubs or pre-recorded samples
Recorded by Andrew Pask, October 16 – 17, 2004 in Los Feliz, CA
Mixed and Mastered by Jeff Kaiser, December 4 – 5, 2004 in Ventura, CA
Photography by Michael Kelly • Relics from the collection of Michael, Gisele and Devin Kelly
CD art, design and layout by Jeff Kaiser
For more information:
pfMENTUM • PO Box 1653 • Ventura • CA • 93002

pfMENTUM CD024

PFMCD024

Tom McNalley Trio: Tom McNalley Trio (PFMCD018)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="391"]
Tom McNalley Trio

Tom McNalley: guitar
Jonas Tauber: bass
Ken Ollis: drums

1) Reddog 18:32
2) Orange Needle Society 13:53
3) ZHE 14:34
4) Mourned 9:54
5) Gallery 421 7:30
6) Loss 8:01
Total Playing Time: 72:24

All compositions by Tom McNalley, (C)2004 Tom McNalley Music, ASCAP
Recorded at Cappos Cafe, 10.6.03 by Keegan Quinn
CD mastering, art design, and layout by Jeff Kaiser
Photographs by Jonas Tauber and Tom McNalley

After getting the initial version of this CD, I sent copies to several people to see what they thought. One was my friend, author and music critic Richard Meltzer. He called and said that he loves the CD – very much, in fact – and if I wanted liner notes, he would write them. Naturally, and with gratitude, I took him up. — Tom McNalley
******

Hey, listen — I got something important to tell you:

Tom McNalley is the youngest Great Musician I’ve ever encountered.

Great! Amazing! To put things in even partial perspective, the last young’un anywhere near as adept and inventive and passionately original was probably David Murray, pre-WSQ, back when he was still a ferocious motherfucker.

Tom McNalley IS a ferocious motherfucker. By turns savage and tender — a killer and healer — nutso and nutty, then logical/lucid as Jerkoff Sebastian Bach, his playing is as hotly/coolly/sanely/madly a-dance and a-prance (at peace-and-war) with abstract notions as it is with direct emotional one-on-one — “interest” and “feeling” existentially melded (no mean feat) — “jazzy” in the least jaded, least guitar-baggaged, most mammal-elegant sense, while partaking EQUALLY of the dirty screaming scuzz of postwar blues and rock rock rock and roll…fuggit.

Sophisticated beyond its maker’s 21 years, Tom’s music spins, spills and spits forth whole vast sonic WORLDS (pardon my French), but if you’re lookin’ to hear Other Guitarists in his playing, well, you won’t hear other guitarists in his playing. Okay, splashes and soundings maybe — f’r sure he’s picked up “things” from Hendrix, McLaughlin, Sharrock, Nels Cline, Derek Bailey, Alberts Collins and King — but rarely anything as explicit as a borrowed “idea,” a riff, even a lick.

“I’ve never been lick-oriented,” says Tom. “I’ve tried to develop a sense of melody that will serve me, that’ll do me some good, and I always like to see how others handle it, but not through their licks.”

By “melody,” um, you mean tunes? Tunefulness?

“No, more like just the basis for telling a story — the unique and individual approaches of players I admire, the ones who seem to be emotionally honest, who have the chops to communicate directly and honestly. Most aren’t even guitarists. Rob Blakeslee is and has been very important to me, seeing how he makes the music that is his — the concepts he brings to his trumpet playing.

Ayler…Braxton…Charlie Parker, certainly — but not for anything to do with ‘bebop.’ Bebop as such has very little meaning to me.”
And what is the importance, the weight in the equation, of “free”?

“In a sense, I view composition as no more than a set of instructions for the band. There are things I want to happen, but they’re general. I like looseness — flexibility — so the music can go anywhere. In some cases there’ll be a written line, but usually no more than a suggestion of bass line, rhythmic groove, things like that. Half the tunes in this set, on this recording, are freely improvised — completely — there’s no written or suggested anything. Even the stuff that sounds written is very spur-of-the-moment. In real time, not trying to play to a pre-existent notion, but at the same time going for and building a musical totality, the players communicated the compositions to each other. We just played and listened.”

Played and listened: dig it!

Look, I don’t wanna make with the ultra-superlatives again — well, maybe I do — but this here album, on which Tom, bassist Jonas Tauber and drummer Ken Ollis explore, with extreme malice (and extreme care and definitude), the MYSTERY OF INTIMACY — stripmine it — achieve near-total communion — is to my ears the HOTTEST debut alb by a guitar guy & co. since Are You Experienced? Hendrix. Before you were born (that’s how old I am).

It is also — pardon my carried-away — one of the great trio albs, period, y’know like ever, up there with Trio in Real Time by Richard Grossman, the v. best of Bill Evans with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, and the bestest by Air with Steve McCall. The music these humpers make together is outstanding and astounding…I wouldn’t shit ya.

Hey — I love this record — ‘scuse me — disc. I hope you will too.

— Richard Meltzer, Portland, 2004

pfMENTUM CD018

PFMCD018

Eric Barber: Maybeck Constructions (PFMCD015)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="385"]
Eric Barber: Tenor and Soprano Saxophones

1. Taksim 8:24
2. Dark Mirror 7:33
3. Blossoming 6:25
4. Inner Conversation 6:42
5. Rubric 6:11
6. Excavations 12:16

Total Playing Time 47:31

All compositions by Eric Barber, ©2004 Eric Barber Music, ASCAP

Recorded direct to DAT, 25 January 2003, Maybeck Recital Hall, Berkeley, CA

Recorded by Eric Barber and Greg Moore. Audio Assistance by Arthur Jarvinen

Photographs by Michael Kelly. Photo of Eric Barber by Joy Barber.

CD mastering, design, and layout by Jeff Kaiser

This recording is supported in part through Subito, the quick advancement grant program of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Composers Forum

pfMENTUM CD015

PFMCD015