Steuart Liebig / MINIM: Quicksilver (PFMCD023)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="405,407"]
Steuart Liebig / MINIM

Quicksilver

Ellen Burr: Flute, Piccolo and Alto Flute

Jeff Gauthier: Electric 4 and 5-String Violins

Jeanette Kangas: Drumset, Percussion and Vibraphone

Steuart Liebig: C, Eb and Prepared Contrabass guitars

1-23: Mosaic – (51:38)
24: Chrysanthemum – (15:37)
25: A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise – (12:21

Copyright 2004 Steuart Liebig/Sisong Music (ASCAP)

Recorded April 2002, by Wayne Peet
Mixed June and October 2003, and March and July 2004
by Wayne Peet and Steuart Liebig; all at Newzone Studios, Mar Vista, California

Jeff Gauthier plays 4- and 5-string electric violins made by Rich Barbera, and a bow made by some dead French guy.

Jeanette Kangas (formerly known as Jeanette Wrate) plays
Paiste cymbals exclusively.

Steuart Liebig plays Fodera Basses, uses the Raven Labs PMB-1,
and uses Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats strings (C basses) and Fodera roundwound strings (Eb and C basses).

Live Band and dancer (Belinda Cheng and John Dowell) photos by Anthony Cheng. Band rehearsal photos by Belinda Cheng.

Cover photos/montages by Steuart Liebig.
Thanks to David Poelman for digital assistance
Layout by Steuart Liebig and Jeff Kaiser.

Thanks Leslie, Anya and Aron.

“Mosaic” is a piece made up of 23 miniatures based on haiku. “Chrysanthemum” is a single movement of 14 parts. “A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise” was written for a collaboration with choreographer Belinda Cheng for the Auricle Dance Company and premiered on 17 November 2002.

NOTES:

Mosaic: 23 Miniatures After Haiku

The idea for a piece comprised of a group of 23 miniatures for small improvising ensemble has been one that I had kept in the back of my mind and in small sketchbooks for some four years. I envisioned an ensemble in which I would be able to utilize some of the “prepared bass” and less “bass-like” techniques that I had been using for a number of years. Additionally, I wanted to write for some less-usual (for me) techniques for both tuned and untuned percussion and a standard melody instrument. Finally, after many years of languishing as only sketches, these miniatures were written in a fairly short time.

There were a few catalysts for this seemingly sudden turnaround. One was that I had just finished a long-term writing and recording project that consisted of four long-form pieces (now released as Pomegranate, on Cryptogramaphone Records) and, still feeling the creative ferment from that experience, needed the opportunity to do much shorter pieces that were formally less involved (though, as whole group, the overall structure does have some formal complexities and is pretty long!). The second was the decision to move from a trio setting to a quartet setting, thereby opening up more orchestrational possibilities. Third, I decided to base the pieces on haiku; rather than choosing specific poems, however, I chose to base the pieces on some of the syllabic rules of haiku—while hopefully achieving some of the brevity, feeling and wonder that one experiences from reading this sort of poem.

As such, these 23 pieces are all based on the number 17—a piece may have 17 measures, thematic material made up of 17 notes, etc. The overall piece is structured to have a solo piece (four) for each member of the quartet; a duet and trio for the different possible groupings in the quartet (six and four, respectively); and nine pieces for the full quartet. I tried to have contrasting sections and parts that referred back to other parts of the overall piece and to evoke differing moods and emotions throughout.

A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise

This piece was written as part of a collaboration with choreographer/dancer Belinda Cheng. The title comes from a passage in the novel, Art & Lies, by Jeanette Winterson. The piece itself is broken into two major sections. The first is a sort of unfolding that the phrase suggested to me. The second is a more pictorial setting of the action in the book: three people (the characters Handel, Sappho and Picasso) on a subway, each with his/her own thoughts.

Chrysanthemum

This piece is based on the structure of a sonnet: 14 lines of 10 syllables each. In this case, I have “cells” of 10 notes (stated at the beginning and end as two 5-notes chords) that I have treated in a more or less serial fashion in 14 discrete sections. That is, each written section of the piece uses only those 10 original notes, though they are reordered or split between the various players. Again, I have split the quartet that performs the piece into some of its component parts: each player gets a solo and there are four trios, the remaining six sections are for the full quartet. Again, I attempted to have contrasting sections. Whereas Mosaic is played in 23 sections with breaks, this piece is performed as one continuous whole.

pfMENTUM CD023

PFMCD023

Tom McNalley Trio: Tom McNalley Trio (PFMCD018)

Jeff Kaiser

[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

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Locustland (PFMCD017)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="389"]
Steuart Liebig/The Mentones
LOCUSTLAND

The Mentones
Tony Atherton: alto saxophone
Joseph Berardi: drumset, percussion
Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica
Steuart Liebig: contrabassguitar

broom – – 3:27
graveyard – – 4:41
mojave boxcar – – 4:46
drifter – – 7:47
honky tonk burn – – 6:48
westpoint, mississipi – – 8:19
small fry – – 0:45
burnt umber – – 2:50
nighthawk – – 5:43
howl & tumble – – 4:01
gasoline jelly – – 6:33
lightning bug – – 3:47
nowhere calling – – 5:57

©2004, steuart liebig/sisong music (ascap)
recorded at newzone studios, by wayne peet;
mixed at newzone studios, by wayne peet and steuart liebig
mar vista, california, 2000

photos/montages by steuart liebig
layout by steuart liebig and jeff kaiser
gear thanks to fodera basses, thomastik-infeld strings and raven labs

“First let’s talk about Steuart Liebig, the multi-faceted miscreant who squeezed the hybrid beast known as the Mentones out of his juicy mind. Steuart is well known in L.A. as one of the most significant improvising electric bass torturers and electronic manipulators in recent memory and, I’m grateful to say, a major contributor to most of the music I’ve done in the last decade and a half. The metaphor of a diamond with its many facets comes to mind, but that doesn’t quite get it. Imagine the diamond periodically reverting to its primal molten state and shooting out semi-controlled bursts of radioactive plasma melting everything in its reach. I could say that for Steuart the Mentones is an anomaly, but in a way every project he constructs is an anomaly. I will say this—there is nothing like the Mentones on this earth that I’ve ever heard of and even though you may recognize some of its disparate original elements, you will be whacked by how cohesively they come together in Liebig’s compositions. An adult dose of Little Walter crashing his Coupe de Ville into Ornette Coleman’s harmolodien. Howling Wolf gnawing on John Coltrane’s left ear like Mike Tyson. As for the other men in the Mentones: Bill Barrett takes the chromatic harp well beyond its limits like a rubber band stretched into a Mobius strip. Tony Atherton is soulful, relentless and driving. Joe Berardi grooves these odd time signatures like his mother nursed him on non-Euclidean geometry. It’s all that and it’s definitely enough.”

– G.E. Stinson

pfMENTUM CD017

PFMCD017

Rich West: Bedouin Hornbook (PFMCD016)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="387"]
Rich West Bedouin Hornbook

Chris Heenan: bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Bruce Friedman: trumpet
Jeremy Drake: electric guitar
Scot Ray: eb tuba
Rich West: drums

1. Bugge 11:20
2. Tribology 6:34
3. Twang 14:41
4. Tread 8:22
5. Friends of the Vacuum 9:00
6. Tychai 1 and 2 7:25
7. Curly 4:10
8. Furcifer 6:44
Total Time 68:16

All compositions by Rich West
©2004, Richwest Recordings, ASCAP
Recorded April 29, 2002 and March 12, 2003
Recorded and Mastered by Scott Fraser
Mixed by Rich West and Scott Fraser
at Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
CD Design and Layout by Jeremy Drake and Jeff Kaiser

“The sad thing about L.A. is that it’s hard keeping people in the same room for extended periods of time.”
— Rich West

The title is from a book by Nate Mackey, which I haven’t read. However, in the spirit of Richard Meltzer’s infamous “previews” of bands to whom he’s neither listened or talked prior to writing about them, I’ll concentrate on the nomadic implications of Bedouin (from Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language); nomad, “a member of a tribe, nation or race having no permanent home, but moving about constantly in search of food, pasture, etc.”, and suggest that this band is composed of nomads as only an L.A. band can be. Luckily, Rich West was able to get them in the same room at least long enough to produce this exuberant album. It’s not just that the tunes (he says, “everyone had a hand in some of the arrangements”) are strong and interesting (shades of Igor Stravinsky, Frank Zappa, Nino Rota), the playing — both written and improvised — is, too.

A surprising variety of moods and textures is developed, ranging from the inviting and theatrical “welcome to the show” feel of Tribology to the especially attractive Gyuto-Monks-meet-Fellini scenario on Twang. The sounds are oddly appealing in some non-traditional ways (murky trumpet, bell-like guitar). When it’s all over, you feel as if you’ve been someplace new. I can’t imagine any other five players who could play this music and make that happen. This is music that knows the difference between self-expression and self-indulgence, for which we should all be very happy.

— Dorothea Grossman, Los Angeles, CA, October 2003

pfMENTUM CD016

PFMCD016

Eric Barber: Maybeck Constructions (PFMCD015)

Jeff Kaiser

[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

The Jeff Kaiser Ockodektet: 13 Themes for a Triskaidekaphobic (PFMCD013)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="381"]
The Jeff Kaiser Ockodektet is:
Eric Barber: Soprano and Tenor Saxophones
Vinny Golia: Saxophones, Clarinets, Flutes
Emily Hay: Flutes
Lynn Johnston: Saxophones and Clarinets
Jason Mears: Alto Saxophone
Dan Clucas/Kris Tiner: Trumpets
Michael Vlatkovich: Trombone
Eric Sbar: Euphonium and Valve-Trombone
Mark Weaver: Tuba
Ernesto Diaz-Infante: Acoustic Guitar
Tom McNalley: Electric Guitar
G.E. Stinson: Electric Guitar, Electronics
Jim Connolly/Hal Onserud: Contrabass
Wayne Peet: Organ, Theremin, Electronics
Brad Dutz: Percussion
Richie West: Drum Set and Percussion
Jeff Kaiser: Conductor, Trumpet

Track List
1. My Uncle Toby’s apologetical oration 6:57
2. Gravity was an errant scoundrel 5:55
3. This sweet fountain of science 8:44
4. The Curate’s folly betwixt them 5:47
5. Devout, venerable, hoary-headed man, meekly holding up a box 4:43
6. The stranger’s nose was no more heard of 1:18
7. Uncle Toby understood the nature of a parabola 4:01
8. The Accusing Spirit which flew up to heaven’s chancery 6:55
9. A thousand of my father’s most subtle syllogisms 7:23
10. His life was put in jeopardy by words 5:44
11. The heat and impatience of his thirst 5:16
12. Nothing but the fermentation 4:11
13. I wish my Uncle Toby had been a water-drinker 6:09
Total Playing Time: 1:13:13

All compositions and arrangements by Jeff Kaiser
©2003 Jeff Kaiser Music, ASCAP
Recorded at Ventura City Hall, Ventura, CA, 9.7.02
Recording, mastering, design, and layout by Jeff Kaiser

“Number helps more than anything else to bring order into the chaos of appearances.”
— C. G. Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche

pf MENTUM CD013

PFMCD013

 

Brad Dutz and John Holmes: My Bongo (PFMCD012)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="379"]

Percussion Duos
list of axii used:
1. Gongs, Cymbals, Cupchimes
2. Kidi, Sogo, Kagan
3. Indianbells, Bird Call, Cymbals, Springs, Gongs, Pods, Harmonica, Conga, Drumset
4. Marimba, Drumset, Woodblocks, Cupchimes
5. Bellchimes, Pandiero, Congas, Drumset, Arp Axxe, Cowbells
6. Eight Metal Discs, Cupchimes, Pods
7. Xylophone, Steel Drum, Drumset
8. Two sets of Bongos
9. Drumset, Congas, Bongos, Cymbals
10. Vibes, Drumset
11. Tabla, Drumset, Caxixi, Gyli, Melodica
12. Crotales, Drumset, String Cajon,
Tar-Ine, Bongos, Waterphone
13. Gyli, Drumset, Cajon, Kagan, Kidi, Sogo, Bowed Crotales
14. Glass Marimba, Drumset
15. Bougarabous, Bongos, Drumset
16. Gongs, Cymbals, Cupchimes

Track List:
1. We Like Gongs 5:14
2. Ewe Day 3:18
3. Indiana 2:27
4. Peanut Jelly 3:43
5. Caught In The Middle 4:22
6. Klem 5:09
7. Croquets 4:35
8. My Bongo 2:30
9. Tribute To Elvin 6:36
10. B-17 Apricot Seeds 4:04
11. DuoSolos 5:55
12. Pig On Cow 6:39
13. Another One Pumpkin 4:54
14. Is She Mute 3:28
15. Bougarabou 4:53
16. We Still Like Gongs 4:12

Tracks 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14 and 15 by Brad Dutz
©2003 Leaky Spleen Music, BMI

Tracks 4, 12 and 13 by John Holmes
©2003 Cymblicity Music, BMI

Artwork by Kaoru, Cover: Iro #212, Back: Iro #168
Recorded by Brad Dutz. CD Mastered by Wayne Peet

Layout and Design by Jeff Kaiser
pfMENTUM CD012

PFMCD012

Eric Sbar: niceJaquet / Cactus (PFMCD011)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="377"]

“In both metaphysics and art, honesty is the best policy. Keep it clean.”
-Edward “Cactus Ed” Abbey

niceJaquet is:

Eric Sbar: compositions, euphonium
Sky Grealis: flute, piccolo
Ronit Kirchman: violin, voice
Jason Mears: alto saxophone
Sara Schoenbeck: bassoon
Ivan Johnson: bass
Joanna Malfatti: percussion
Joshua Jade: percussion

1. Bubba Lou 9:06
2. 4tet 2:28
3. Group 11.52
4. Cherry’s Parfait 4:17
5. Gotcha 6:56
6. Relay 6:02
7. Chorale 10:38
Total Playing Time – 51:10

All compositions and arrangements by Eric Sbar
(c)2003 FattySbar Music, ASCAP
Recorded by Scott Farr. Mixed by Wayne Peet
CD mastering, design, and layout by Jeff Kaiser

pfMENTUM CD011

PFMCD011

Jeff Kaiser and Brad Dutz: The Order of Her Bones (PFMCD008)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="372"]
Jeff Kaiser: trumpet, flugelhorn, and voices.
Brad Dutz: marimba, glass marimba, vibes, xylophone, bass slit drum, gongs, nipple gongs, wind gong, bell plate, heavy bell, Indian bells, bell chimes, sea urchin chimes, obsidian chimes, cup chime, crotales, rotosound, bird whistles, Brazilian birdcalls, clay jay call, Rawcliffe clay bowls and tuba flute, rainstick, hadjira, concertina, ratchet, shakers, caxixi, bones, pods, balloon whistle, pandiero, riq, bougarabou, spinner, finger cymbals, cymbals, bongos, cajon, string cajon, frame drum, snare drum, bass drum, and voices.

1. The White Haired Gentleman Approaches 6:41

2. Magnification Embrace 5:50

3. The Scrupulous Hand of Childhood 6:18

4. Wounds and Contusions 3:18

5. The Vigilant Conspiracy 5:28

6. The Order of Her Bones 1:48

7. Stories, RumorsÉ 6:58

8. Finches and Wrens 5:42

9. It Becomes Translucent 5:32

10. Bring Me Some Eggs 3:16

11. No Coffee? Nothing? 4:56

12. Faintly Appearing 5:02

Total Playing Time: 60:50

1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 by Jeff Kaiser and Brad Dutz
© 2002 Jeff Kaiser Music, ASCAP and Leaky Spleen Music, BMI 4, 8, 12 by Brad Dutz
© 2002 Leaky Spleen Music, BMI Recorded by Brad Dutz at Apperson Street Studios in Tujunga, CA on 3.19.01, 6.4.01, and 9.15.01 Mastered by Jeff Kaiser
Design and layout by Jeff Kaiser
Brad Dutz endorses Paiste, VIC FIRTH, REMO, Yamaha, and Mountain Rythym

pfMENTUM CD008

PFMCD008