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

Michael Vlatkovich Ensemblio: An Autobiography of a Pronoun (PFMCD067)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="518"]
Michael Vlatkovich, compositions and arrangements

Harry Scorzo: violin
Jonathan Golove: cello
Anders Swanson: contrabass
Brian Walsh: clarinet
Jeff Kaiser: trumpet
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone/percussion
William Roper: tuba/euphonium/cimbasso
Tom McNalley: guitar
Wayne Peet: keyboard
Ellington Peet: cymbal
Mark Burdon: percussion

Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Wayne Peet at Killzone Studio
Cover art by Michael Vlatkovich; Photo by Tom Woodbury
Graphic design by William Roper
pfMENTUM CD067
PFMCD067

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

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[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

Steuart Liebig / MINIM: Sulphur (PFMCD046)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="458,460"]
Steuart Liebig/MINIM

Andrew Pask: clarinet and bass clarinet
Sara Schoenbeck: bassoon
Brad Dutz: Drumset, percussion and marimba
Steuart Liebig: C, Eb, 12-string and prepared Contrabass guitars

1–23. Kaleidoscope (44:44)
24. The Cherry Blossom Is Only Perfect When It’s Falling from the Tree (17:16)
25. Necrological Pieties (4:16)

“Kaleidoscope” is a piece made up of 23 miniatures based on haiku. “ The Cherry Blossom Is Only Perfect When It’s Falling from the Tree” is a single movement of 13 parts based loosely on terza rima. “Necrological Pieties” was written for choreographer Shuriu Lo.

Copyright 2007 Steuart Liebig/Sisong Music (ASCAP)

Recorded January 13–14, 2007, by Wayne Peet; Mixed February and March 2007, by Wayne Peet and Steuart Liebig; all at Newzone Studios, Mar Vista, California
Conducting help from Wayne on Kaleidoscope 10, 12, 16 and 23
Brad Dutz uses Yamaha, Vic Firth, Paiste, Remo, Roland, Mountain Rythym and Factory Metal Percussion musical products
Steuart Liebig plays Fodera Basses, uses the Raven Labs PMB-1, and uses Fodera roundwound strings (Eb and C and 12-string basses)
Band photos by Ken Luey; Other photos/montages and layout by Steuart Liebig
Big thanks to Brad, Andrew and Sara; Also big thanks to Mr. Wayne
Thanks Leslie, Anya and Aron

pfMENTUM CD046

PFMCD046

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

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Nowhere Calling (PFMCD039)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[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

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

Mark Weaver: Brassum Live (PFMCD036)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="437"]
mark weaver’s brassum
Dan Clucas: cornet
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone
Mark Weaver: tuba/compositions
Harris Eisenstadt: drumset

1. Selvage 7:45
2. The Meaning of the Word/Shades of Grey 18:14
3. In Place Of (trio MV+MW+HE) 5:05
4. Brown Blue (trio DC+MW+HE) 3:44
5. Slub 3:32
6. A Grain of Mustard Seed 10:06
7. Pumpkin Pie 9:47
(total time 58:15)

all compositions by Mark Weaver

editing/mastering by Q! Productions, Albuquerque, NM
design by Mark Jackson-Weaver/Diverge Design

Tracks 1, 2 and 5 were recorded 04.09.05 by Ben Nead at the Mat Bevel Institute in Tucson, AZ. Concert presented by Zeitgeist (Steve Hahn, director)
Tracks 3, 4 and 6 were recorded 04.26.04 by Stephen Schmidt (Fly on the Wall Productions) at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, NM (www.outpostspace.org)
Track 7 was recorded 04.25.04 by/at High Mayhem Studio in Santa Fe, NM (www.highmayhem.org)

pfMENTUM CD036

PFMCDCD036

Steuart Liebig / Stigtette: Delta (PFMCD033)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="429,431"]
Steuart Liebig/Stigtette

Ellen Burr: Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo
Andrew Pask: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Sara Schoenbeck: Bassoon
Steuart Liebig: Contrabassguitars (prepared, applied tools)

hector 2:11
kprs:
mahoning 2:30
alchemy 8:49
light cloud, dark cloud 5:24
1956-j no.2 3:51
dynamite’s dionysian dance 5:08
cold green mystery 4:43
our lady of the illuminated hand 5:52
seven dreams about time 14:07
render 4:50
secret one-hand shake 4:24
knowledge is gravity 5:11

all music copyright steuart liebig/sisong music (ascap) 2005
recorded at newzone studios, mar vista, california, 28-29 may 2005, by
wayne peet. mixed at newzone studios, june-august 2005, by wayne peet
and steuart liebig. mastered by wayne peet.
artwork and layout by steuart liebig
photos by ken luey

” kprs” is a suite played as four discrete parts; “seven dreams about
time” is seven parts played as a continuous whole.

hector
Written as an hommage to Hector Berlioz and inspired by his writing for woodwinds.

paint
A four-part hommage (mahoning; alchemy; light cloud, dark cloud; 1956-j no. 2) to four of my favorite painters: Franz Kline, Jackson Pollack,Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still.

dynamite’s dionysian dance
Inspired by Frederick Neitzsche’s “Also Sparch Zarathrustra.”

cold green mystery
After a line in the “Thousand Nights and One Night” – –
also known as “The Arabian Nights” – – describing the sea.

our lady of the illuminated hand
A little requiem of sorts.

seven dreams about time
Based on a book that explains Einstein’s theories of time through fictionalized accounts of his dreams.

render
My idea of a musical illustration of the concept of
“render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s . . . ”

secret one-hand shake
A basic rhythmic idea stolen from a piece by
Herbie Hancock.

knowledge is gravity
An attempt to write something inspired by a little reading about String Theory.

pfMENTUM CD033

PFMCD033