Michael Vlatkovich Quartet: You’re Too Dimensional (PFMCD077)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="539"]
Michael Vlatkovich Quartet
You’re Too Dimensional.

Michael Vlatkovich: Compositions, Trombone
Jim Knodle: Trumpet
Phil Sparks: Bass
Greg Campbell: Drums, French Horn*

(05:05) 1. various manifestations of thwart & opine for curved bill thrasher & toy piano in 4 parts
(02:48) 2. no candy for the wagon full of devils
(08:15) 3. the curious intensity of a refrigerator defrosting *
(04:24) 4. wishing for 2 at 5/3
(06:26) 5. mOOn jOOiia
(10:04) 6. blue peepers
(06:25) 7. the static equilibrium of the values of savagery
(06:50) 8. i liberate monsters
(02:32) 9. balance out of life out of balance *
(06:32) 10. fools drunks & angels
total 59:37

Recorded in Seattle 2-2-13 Doug Hare – Engineer, Sonarchy Radio
Edited, Mixed & Mastered 5-01/02-13
Wayne Peet – Engineer, Newzone Studio, Los Angeles
Chuck Britt – Design

pfMENTUM CD077

PFMCD077

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

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

Colter Frazier: The Colter Frazier Quartet (PFMCD052)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="471"]
Rob Wallace: drums/percussion
Miles Jay: bass
Nick Coventry: viola/violin
Colter Frazier: tenor saxophone

Recorded (May 20–21, 2008) and mixed/mastered (June 4 and 14, 2008)
by Wayne Peet, Newzone Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Produced by Colter Frazier

Cover painting “Dream” by Nikola Toplev, http://www.nikolatoplev.com
(used by permission of the artist)

Band photos by Kara Attrep

Graphic assistance by Ted Killian

Special thanks to Jeff Kaiser, Chloe Coventry and Brian Twoomy, and to Pavlov Art Gallery in Solvang, CA

1. Lloyd’s Prayer (7:55)
2. Hopes of Reunification (5:45)
3. Where000 (5:27)
4. 4 Days and 5 Months (4:39)
5. August Ballad (3:04)
6. Late Again (6:04)
7. Flight School for Sparrow (5:58)
8. Unknown Strain II (4:50)
9. Lunch with Osby (5:32)
10. Lonely Friday (3:46)
11. 1-22-07 (2:56)
12. Focus (5:19)

All compositions by Colter Frazier (©2008 Colter Frazier Music, ASCAP)
except “Flight School for Sparrow,” composed by Miles Jay

pfMENTUM CD052

PFMCD052

Michael Vlatkovich Quartet: ALiveBUQUERQUE (PFMCD045)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="456"]
Michael Vlatkovich

Christopher Garcia: drums/percussion
Jonathan Golove: electric cello
David Mott: baritone saxophone
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone/percussion
Compositions:
1) Black Triangles, Yellow Corn, and Pink Medicine Drops 12:28
2) Poem on a Banner 9:53
3) Blue Fragments 7:28
4) Once In A Blue Moon A Decent Wolf Comes Along 9:23
5) Every Second of Every Minute of Every Hour 17:36
total: 57:02

Recorded in concert- Outpost Performance Space May 19, 2003
Recorded and mixed- Manuel Rettinger
Edited and mastered- Wayne Peet
Sculpture artist- Justo Xuana
Photos of sculpture-William Roper
All other photos- Mark Weber
Graphic design- Chuck Britt

Surely we have arrived Nefertiti. Such luminescence. Our
audience brings us forward, carrying our transcendence.
Our fate. This music like mercury silver hot upon the wheel
cycles out tentacled delicate flux rotating matter, solar,
nebraska, consonance in this tangential place ye shall
know as New Mexico. How many years has this composer
borne such honesty? The river it flows upon is specific.
Yet nothing about it holds the musicians down. There is
chance, and probability, and negotiation, and a compass
in case anybody wants to look. The delta can be treacherous
at certain times of the year. O Nefertiti how calm you are
in the center of this music.

18june03
mark weber
Albuquerque

pfMENTUM CD045

PFMCD045

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

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

Wayne Peet Quartet: Live at Al’s Bar (PFMCD027)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="416"]
Wayne Peet: Organ, Organ Bass
Russell Bizzett: Drums
Nels Cline: Guitar – Left
G.E. Stinson: Guitar, Mangled Recordings – Right

1. Five Swirls (15:21)

a. Swirl [starts at] 0:00
b. Big Lumps 5:19
c. Soft Foot 6:57
d. Another Room 12:00
e. Points 13:15

2. Five Doors (16:35)

a. Creepsville 0:00
b. Mellow 3:12
c. Surges 7:18
d. Driving Time 10:51
e. Cross Stick Coda 14:19

3. Inner Funkdom (11:29)
total playing time (43:32)

Five Swirls and Five Doors by Peet, Cline, Stinson, Bizzett • Inner Funkdom by Wayne Peet
® and © 1999 Killzone Music, BMI • Drawings by Ellington Peet • Design/Layout by Jeff Kaiser
Recorded live at Al’s Bar, Los Angeles, 4.27.99 • Jim Watson and Wayne Peet – Engineers
Mixed and mastered at Newzone Studio by Wayne Peet, Los Angeles, May 2003

pfMENTUM CD027

PFMCD027

Jeff Kaiser Double Quartet: Nothing Is Not Breath (NWCD0206)

Jeff Kaiser

[Limited copies available.]

(Cover art by Ted Killian)

Nothing Is Not Breath — Jeff Kaiser Double Quartet

Jeff Kaiser, trumpet and pump organ; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone
Vinny Golia, woodwinds; Gene Doi, woodwinds
Jim Connolly, contrabass; Hannes Giger, contrabass
Brad Dutz, percussion; Richie West, percussion

Steve Adams / Scott Walton: Cookies for Cyrano (PFMCD103)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="935"]

1. Force Field of Oblivion 6:04
2. one of countless sporadic manifestations of the alternate universe in which Olivier Messiaen is a fervent agnostic 7:15
3. Membrillo 6:14
4. Operatic 13:37
5. The Enumeration (for Glenn Spearman) 6:13
6. Ogonix 8:58
7. Black Notebook #8 13:37

Steve Adams – alto and baritone saxes, bass flute, electronics
Scott Walton – acoustic bass

All compositions by Steve Adams, © 2016 Metalanguage Music (BMI)

Recorded Feb. 25, 2015 at Fantasy Studio B by Jesse Nichols.
mixed July 8 and December 29, 2015 at Fantasy Studios by Jesse Nichols.
mastered May 5, 2016 by Myles Boisen at the Headless Buddha Mastering Lab.

The Steve Adams/Scott Walton Duo has been performing since 2013. Steve is best known as a member of the Rova Sax Quartet, with whom he has played for over twenty five years, toured internationally and released more than twenty five recordings. His compositions have been performed at the Bang on a Can and Meet the Composer Festivals. Scott Walton is a bassist and pianist whose music negotiates the terrain between jazz, free improvisation, and the classical avant-garde.  He has performed throughout North America and Europe with groups he co-leads, and in a host of collaborative contexts.

pfMENTUM CD103
PFMCD103