Ellen Burr and Michael Unruh: Where am I from, Where am I going (PFMCD076)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="537"]
Ellen Burr: flute, alto flute, piccolo
Michael Unruh: bass clarinet

This recording is dedicated to the Wichita State University
teachers who gave me the love and skill to pursue music:
Frances Shelly, flute; Walter Mays, composition;
and Arthur Wolff, who introduced me to free improvisation.
–Ellen Burr

1. (4:26)
2. (4:26)
3. (2:41)
4. (2:34)
5. (3:21)
6. (4:46)
7. (8:29)
8. (4:43)
9. (5:37)
10. (3:51)
11. (4:16)
12. (8:31)
13. (4:55)
14. (2:57)
15. (7:24)

Recorded by Michael Unruh, Spring 2011
All music © and 2013 Ellen Burr ASCAP and Michael Unruh
Mixed and mastered November 2012 at Killzone Studio, Wayne Peet
Cover art by Chiyoko Myose, Where Am I From, Where Am I Going
Layout and design by Holly Hood

pfMENTUM CD076

PFMCD076

Gilbert Isbin and Scott Walton: ReCall (PFMCD073)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="532"]
Gilbert Isbin: lute
Scott Walton: bass

1. Solace 2:32
2. Flutter 3:19
3. Panting 2:24
4. Soedansdochter 3:19
5. Unhinged 2:06
6. Embra 2:47
7. Oblique 3:19
8. Pensive 1:53
9. Along Green Ditches 3:21
10. Blooming 2:11
11. Weaving 3:41
12. Spatter 2:49
13. Knomish 2:42
14. Terpsichore 2:35
15. Recall 2:13
Total 42:01

Tracks 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 and 15 composed by Gilbert Isbin
Tracks 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 14 composed by Gilbert Isbin and Scott Walton
Soedansdochter is a medieval Flemish folksong, arranged by Isbin and Walton

Recorded at Banquet Sound Studios, Sebastopol, CA, October 26 and 27, 2011
Recorded and Mixed by Darryl Webb
Mastered by Wayne Peet

Cover Photograph by Marie-Anne Ver Eecke

Special thanks to Marie-Anne Ver Eecke, Sophie Plassard, Jos Demol,
Larry Ochs,Bill Horvitz, Darryl Webb and Jeff Kaiser.

Gilbert Isbin plays an eight-course lute after Wendelio Venere 1592,
built by Dirk De Hertogh, Wolvertem, Belgium

© Gilbert Isbin and Scott Walton 2012. All rights reserved.
Over the past three decades, guitarist/composer Gilbert Isbin has released an impressive string of recordings for various labels. A few years ago, wanting a new challenge, he began studying the lute–not the most common jazz instrument, although its Arabian nephew, the oud, gains more and more recognition. I have always adored the sound of the lute, and it struck me that there is little modern music written for–and performed on–this marvelous instrument. Gilbert’s work is a significant contribution to the development of contemporary lute music. His compositions are both reflective and lyrical, infused with compelling melodies.

Contrabassist and pianist Scott Walton lent his stunning tone and superb technique to the well-received album Venice Suite (2003), recorded in Los Angeles with Gilbert, and violinist Jeff Gauthier. Since meeting at those sessions, Scott and Gilbert have teamed up for numerous concerts in Europe and the United States. Their innovative collaboration finds its inspiration in progressive jazz, classical avant-garde, Renaissance chamber music and even blues. The interplay between both musicians–which proves mutual respect–is remarkable, resulting in intelligent improvisations that capture the listener’s attention. The fifteen tracks on this album are in exquisite balance, revealing an unequivocal beauty. –Jos Demol, Jazz’halo, 14 July 2012

pfMENTUM CD073

PFMCD073

Michael Vlatkovich Tryyo: Pershing Woman (PFMCD071)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="526"]
PERSHING WOMAN
Vlatkovich Tryyo

michael vlatkovich: trombone
jonathangolove: electric cello
damon short: drums

recorded live 10.2.2010 by damon short • grand rapids, michigan • hugo claudin’s mexicains sans frontieresedited and mastered by wayne peet • los angeles, california • newzone studio
art by julia fitzgerald • layout by jeff kaiser and michael vlatkovich
music composed by m.vlatkovich • ©2012, julius ivory music

1. our costumes should tell us who we are and what we think – 6:09
2. pursued by more past than future – 6:34
3. black triangles yellow corn and pink medicine drops – 7:43
4. with whom each dance – 4:51
5. once in a blue moon a decent wolf comes along/hostages of romance (medley) – 7:17
6. the imponderable hiding in extra large clothing – 12:18
7. pershing woman – 5:40
8. neighborhood beasts let down their hair – 7:20
9. i let my magic tortoise go – 5:17

pfMENTUM CD071

PFMCD071

Zen Widow: Screaming in Daytime (Makes Men Forget) (PFMCD069)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="522"]
Zen Widow
Featuring Wadada Leo Smith

Zen Widow is:
Gianni Gebbia (alto saxophone)
Matthew Goodheart (grand piano, electro-acoustic gongs and cymbals)
Garth Powell (drums and percussion)
Special guest artist—Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet)

1. Gifts We Have Forgotten 13:05
2. Notated Memory 12:05
3. Black On White Paper 7:05
4. This Seeming Dream 7:36
5. Musa Physics 15:42
Total Time: 55:41

“Screaming in Daytime (makes men forget)” is Zen Widow’s third album, our first collaboration with Wadada Leo Smith, and it is in large part homage to tenor firebrand: Glenn Spearman.

Many of the melodies are constructed from fragments of his compositions. We inverted, rearranged, and modified what wasn’t completely new or created on the spot. Wishing to maintain the essence of Glenn’s rich compositional style was the priority, without resorting to a typical “tribute” collection of an artist’s past works.
All four of us worked with and deeply respected Glenn. I was a young artist right out of music school when I first worked with him. Already a master of the free jazz idiom, he was both thoughtful and generous to treat me as an equal given his age and experience. Although I frequently find myself thinking about the music we shared, this disc represents where the four of us are today—looking up and outward towards our friend.

The San Francisco Bay Area has been the home of a multitude of great artists as it continues to be. Yet, the fire and passion that was stoked throughout our community left a vacuum with Glenn’s passing. That loss is felt to this day. Glenn’s work with Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons, The Glenn Spearman Double Trio with Larry Ochs, The Creative Music Orchestra with Marco Eneidi, and numerous other projects were all testaments to Glenn’s spirit and incredible power.

As improvisers we try to be in the moment, but it’s still hard not to gaze back and think of Glenn.

—Garth Powell 2012

I am very honored to dedicate this recording to Glenn Spearman, I worked with him only once at the Beanbenders concert series in Berkeley. I was very impressed by his solid sound, his gentleness and kindness of spirit. This recording is a double honor for me because of the great sounds of Wadada. He was the original soloist in the trio where I started my musical career with Peter Kowald and Gunther Baby Sommer. Wadada’s trumpet voice is the ideal to show our gratitude to Glenn.

Drops of Gold are falling forever in the long and everlasting dharma of the Great Black Music.

—Jòraku Gianni Gebbia 2012

In February of 1998, my group “Trio and. . .” played at the closing night of Radio Valencia in San Francisco. Performing was my regular line up of Glenn Spearman on tenor and Donald Robinson on drums, with Wadada Leo Smith as guest. The night was intense, beautiful, a fulfillment, these great artists sounding above those simple musical structures of my own making. A few weeks before I had been asked “If you could play with any musicians you wanted, who would it be?” My answer was: this group.

I did not know it at the time, but it was the beginning of an end of an era in Bay Area improvised music. Whatever forces drive certain moments in musicking, they had secretly begun to diverge. The group of artists centered around Radio Valencia moved to other venues. Glenn, in his own words, “went to join the ancestors” some nine months later. The scene slowly evolved into something else. The movement of that night, the deep interaction between Glenn and Wadada over the flux of the rhythm section, remains a personal embodiment of that time. All of these musicians had a profound impact on me, so generous in their time and artistry in support of a younger man struggling to find his formation. Glenn was my mentor; he brought me inside of his world, working closely, hours playing, absorbed in the details of his and our music. He taught me focus and intensity, maturity of vision. From Wadada I learned the concentrated, delicate, sensuous detail of shape and sculpture in each utterance. From Donald: flow, patience, attention, integrity.

To revisit Glenn’s music, over a decade after his death, with the collaborative Zen Widow and (once again) the generous addition of Wadada Leo Smith, moves into sound that complex network of events that exist as cadences in our lives. Glenn’s unending musicality calls back from the ancestors to play among the living.
I still learn from these artists, all of them. If asked again, if I could again play with any musicians I wanted, the answer again would be: this group.

—Matthew Goodheart 2012

Recorded Live to two-track analog at Ocean Way Recording—Studio A—Hollywood, California by Mike Ross (second engineer Patrick Spain)

Production and generous implementation of Audioquest microphone cables with DBS technology by Joe Harley

Mastered by Bernie Grundman—Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, California

Disc Manufacturing and 1:1 glass mastering—Groove House, Woodland Hills, California

Graphic Layout and Design—John Benz, Petaluma, California

Photography: Front Cover: Heike Neubauer–Antoci, Mettanest Studio, Dresden, Germany
Back Cover Group Photo: David Swann Photography
Inside Face Group Photo: David Goggin

Special thanks to Shantee Maggie Baker, John Benz, Michael Ehlers, Marco Eniedi, David Goggin, Bernie Grundman, Joe Harley, Jeff Kaiser, Wayne Powell, Mike Ross, David and Susan Thompson, everyone at Ocean Way Recording Hollywood, and all of our friends across the world who tirelessly create and support improvised music.

All compositions by Gebbia, Goodheart, Powell, and Smith. Evolving Door Music BMI 2012, SIAE 2012
© 2012 All Rights Reserved

pfMENTUM CD069

PFMCD069

Louis Lopez / Mike Lockwood / Daniel Eaton: Grampus / Ilk Ilk (PFMCD068)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="520"]
Grampus

Louis Lopez: trumpet, voice, laptop
Mike Lockwood: drums, percussion
Daniel Eaton: trombone, analog synth, laptop

1. Grampthem 6:46
2. Chart no. 2 7:28
3. Hydrosphere Here 3:19
4. Chortle of the Bakunawa 3:26
5. Impish Saddleride 4:08
6. Spyhobbing 4:08
7. Lozen 6:17
8. Ull 2:42
9. Mu Chart 3:51
10. Large Indefinite Quantity 5:35
11. Hot Air Ballon 6:41
12. ILKILKILKILKIL

All improvisations recorded live 6.19.11 and 7.15.11
CalArts Dizzy Gillespie Recording Studio, Valencia, CA
All music © by Louis Lopez, ASCAP; Daniel Eaton ASCAP; Mike Lockwood ASCAP
Mixed by GRAMPUS
Mastered by Wayne Peet
Album design and cover art by Kangmin Kim
Additional photography by Lauren Randolph

pfMENTUM CD068

PFMCD068

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

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[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

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

Michael Vlatkovich and Dottie Grossman: Call & Response & Friends (PFMCD060)

Jeff Kaiser 0 Comments

[playlist ids="501,503"]
Artists: Los Angeles Recording:
Dottie Grossman: poems
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone
Rich West: drums/percussion
Anders Swanson: bass

L.A. Recording 7/09: Killzone Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Corvallis Recording (indicated by *) 11/05:
Dottie Grossman, poems; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone;
David Storrs, drums/ percussion, toys; Jim Knodle, trumpet

Corvallis Recording: Califas Studio, Corvallis, OR

engineer: Wayne Peet
producers: Michael Vlatkovich, Dottie Grossman
front cover art: Billy Mintz
design: Ted Killian

1. Benjamin Called (1:38)
2. I Wish (1:49)
3. Tumbleweed (:57)*
4. Early Wednesday morning (1:20)*
5. Veterans Hospital (1:18)*
6. Mendocino Coast 1967 (2:21)
7. Merry Christmas, Michael (1:12)*
8. Two Henny Youngman Poems (1:57)
9. This Winter (1:38)
10. Two Appropriations (1:39)*
11. The Two Times I Loved
You The Most In a Car (2:37)
12. Two Poems About Trucks (2:20)
13. Africa (1:29)*
14. Melting Pot (2:35)
15. Zoey Steps Out (1:18)*
16. Quotation (1:56)
17.Little Rock (2:03)*
18.Two More Henny
Youngman Poems (1:48)
19. Helicopter Noise (:50)*
20. This Is What I Do Best (1:33)
21. The People Who Hate Wind (1:22)*
22. Just Before (1:45)
23. Noon Concert (1:36)
24. Another Nose Poem (1:52)*
25. Definition of Happiness/
If I Were Directing This Movie (1:27)*
26. From Iceland (1:36)*
27. Alaska (1:49)
28. What Henny Youngman Loves
Most About America (:47)
29. Vince Salvino (1.16)*
30. Fortune Cookie (3:11)
31. Henny Youngman’s True
Confession (2:06)*
32. Sorry To Disappoint You (1:39)
33. Future Past (1:42)
34. Mark Weber-Type Poem (1:41)

Track 1

Benjamin called
from Long Beach Island,
New Jersey.
I said, “I can hardly hear you;
the ocean’s so noisy.”
He put down the phone
for a second
and screamed,
“Atlantic, will you please
shut up? —
I’m talking to Dottie.”

Track 2

I wish there was a town
called Nirvana
in Nevada.
It would be
a beautiful place,
in a valley,
where the only industry
was happiness.
Wouldn’t it be fun
to send a letter there —
addressed to
“Nirvana, NV”?

Track 3

Something is draped on a fence
until it is time to be tumbleweed.
In this room,
you are heroic,
tasting of summer and vitamins.
Step outside
and the tumbleweed rolls.

Track 4

Early Wednesday morning,
nobody’s kicked up any dust,
nobody’s made a dime, yet.
All the pet dogs
have left-alone faces.

Track 5

Veterans Hospital

The uniform white buildings
shine as pointlessly
as dead men’s teeth.
Here, everything is slower,
even southern,
as they dance to mark
the time between the palm trees
and forget in the clean cut grass.

Track 6

Mendocino Coast, 1967

Inland, where the grasses and grapes lived,
we could not have imagined
the rocks, the cold clouds —
the surf that would surround us
like a headache,
and those long tubes of kelp
like noodles
from another world
where, with the music of foghorns
and wind chimes,
even the kind moon
seemed dangerous.

Track 7

Merry Christmas, Michael

You remind me of a dolphin,
navigating the waves
with your own mysterious sonar
that sounds a lot like a trombone.

Track 8

2 Henny Youngman Poems

Henny Youngman On National Poetry Month

Henny Youngman hates National Poetry Month;
it gives him performance anxiety.

Henny Youngman To His Priest

Forgive me, Father,
for I have sinned.
I’m sexually aroused
by sacred music.

Track 9

This winter feels colder than ever,
or maybe I’m just more sensitive
these days,
when the wind is
a fire engine
and the moon is sinister
and blue.
I’m all bundled up for it,
stamping my feet,
drinking rum,
counting the days
until the yellow flowers.

Track 10

(two appropriations)

Tuna Fishing

“A March 22 “Outdoors” article
about tuna fishing
inadvertently identified an angler
as Rusty Johnson.
His name is Frosty Johnson.”

The Rhythm of Commercials On The Discovery Health Channel

Will a new nose help Wendy
rediscover her self esteem?

Track 11

The Two Times I Loved You the Most In A Car

It was your idea
to park and watch the elephants
swaying among the trees
like royalty
at that make-believe safari
near Laguna.
I didn’t know anything that big
could be so quiet.

And once, you stopped
on a dark desert road,
to show me the stars
climbing over each other
riotously
like insects;
like an orchestra
thrashing its way
through time itself.
I never saw light that way
again.

Track 12

Convoy

Tonight on the road,
the trucks are majestic;
they sashay like elephants
through the turns,
with jewels on their heads
and tails.

Night Convoy

The trucks are wearing rubies in their hair.
They are like beautiful movie stars,
walking carefully in high heeled shoes,
making whooshing noises in the dark.

Track 13

Africa:
its vowels are so seductive,
I get dizzy.
I’ve no wish to deplete
the wildebeest,
I only wish to eat the wildebeest.
Last year’s skeleton crop
set a new record.
The air is succulent
with lions and mahogany.

Track 14

We were sitting around the melting pot
(which is what I call my hairdresser’s):
a Korean, a Vietnamese, and myself (the American)
discussing our homelands calmly
like three women anywhere,
with no mention of bloodshed or memories.
I told them I’d been reading
about Angor Wat
and the Cambodian jungles
where heartless nature
buried the ancient temples
and we all agreed
that could never happen here
in Santa Monica.

Track 15

At eight months old,
Zoey steps out,
wearing a new tooth
and a rose
in her purple hat.

Track 16

“I don’t own an exquisite way to move around in the night.”

Doug Benezra, 9/18/05

It occurs to me that,
when I die,
they might find the necklace
I dropped behind the bed
and wonder
how long it was there,
and whether I’d missed it.
But will they care
about my favorite color,
my long-range plans,
or my habit of searching myself
for signs of rust?

Track 17

“The town has several antique shops and fruit stands, in addition to restaurants and gas stations.“
…from the Little Rock, CA website.

Little Rock

No, not that one —
This one’s in the desert,
about a two hour drive from here
It’s the color of western movies
(blue skies, brown horses).
There’s even a mirage —
rare water and
big Medjool dates,
a fruit stand in the uncomplaining dust
on the way to Valyermo,
to Saint Andrew’s Abbey,
where the dead monks sleep
in the tight-packed earth
of The Holy Land
off the main road.

Track 18

Henny Youngman doesn’t understand
why camping is not permitted
on the cemetery plot
he just paid for.

Henny Youngman On National Public Radio

Once again, I made it through the pledge drive
without contributing a dime.

Track 19

When I remember
how quiet you used to be,
the helicopter noise
in my head
disappears.

Track 20

This is what I do best:
I phone you
and say Congratulations,
Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday,
Happy New Year,
How’s your sister?
Are you better?
Is it hot enough for you?
Thanks, I love you, too.

Track 21

The people who hate wind
are insulated, inland;
they wear hats to keep them safe
from
flying poems.

Track 22

Just before I killed that bug,
I had the guilty thought
that it might be you, reincarnated,
but I told myself that,
if you did return,
it would be as a much higher life-form,
maybe a hummingbird.

Track 23

Noon Concert

These frail, white widows
who get their hair done weekly
in tight curls,
like little flowers
bend their heads
until the applause
says it’s time
to be brave, again.

Track 24

If the bridge of the nose
is really the seat of wisdom,
yours is The Britannica,
edited by Einstein,
illustrated by Picasso.

Track 25

Definition of Happiness #302

Yellow plates on a black table,
and my new curtains,
dancing a tango
in the open window.

If I were directing this movie,
we’d be walking through clouds
wet as dogs’ breath.
Just a dot of pink, for excitement,
and no music, just ice where the wind was.

Track 26

Since she was from Iceland
and didn’t know any better,
she said, “I miss the green of the east.
It’s so yellow here.
Of course, at home, we don’t have any trees.
Once, in New Jersey, I could see Manhattan
across the river,
as if it was a picture of Manhattan.”

Track 27

Alaska

Once, I got into a taxi
whose driver wore a turban.
We chatted about traffic and travel
and he said he absolutely loved Alaska,
where he’d worked on the pipeline for five years.
He blushed when he told me, “You know,
I’m a Muslim. We’re supposed to pray
five times a day, facing Mecca.
But sometimes, when nobody’s watching,
I face Alaska.”

Track 28

What Henny Youngman
loves most about America
is that anybody can
grow up to be the Pope.

Track 29

We were all sitting around,
talking about what kind of animal
we’d like to be,
and Vince said, “A gorilla,
because they’re the most like us.”

Track 30

Fortune Cookie

You are going to look exactly
like your father —
one of those draped,
semi-ecstatic old Jews
you see framed
on the mantel
in grandmothers’ houses.
Like him,
you will lapse into Yiddish,
throwing your hands up
in mock surrender.
And your lips will move
when you read,
and your children will
imitate you.

Track 31

Henny Youngman’s True Confession
(thanks to M.B.)

I think that, if I were to talk to a rabbi,
he’d listen and all,
but then we’d just end up
with him asking me
to explain the Internet.
I went to a palm reader,
said, “I’m in love with a straight guy
who can’t love me back.”
She said, “Why would you
want to do that?”
I’m, like, exiled,
all the best people are.

Track 32

Sorry To Disappoint You

As the elder in your Chinese house,
I have almost no wisdom to offer:
A few books, a few poems –
I’m not sure there’s anything else,
except that I once shook John Coltrane’s hand,
and sex in the morning is more fun
than cereal.
The rest you already know.

Track 33

Future Past

If I had stayed asleep
I would have missed
the fun of speaking English,
the quiet satisfaction
of appointments kept,
the way dreams change
when you try to describe them.

Track 34

Mark Weber-Type Poem

So my latest rejection comes from Iowa,
about a week before Christmas:
“Thank you for allowing us
to consider your work…”
I picture the writer
at a desk overlooking a corn field.
There’s a droopy plant
on the windowsill
and a volume of Yeats or Keats
nearby.
It has been a tough day,
and here I come,
galloping into that landscape
with my palm trees and deserts,
coyotes and surfers.

pfMENTUM CD060

PFMCD060

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