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OT: What's on your iPod/CDplayer/Turntable
I'm just loving a few things that I'm listening to right now
and not only wanted to share them with you all but wanted
to know what people are currently listening to.
1) When I was in Zurich, I got the chance to go see
Nik Bartsch's RONIN play at their legendary 'Montags'
shows (with a really nice opening solo looping set
by our own Bernhard Wagner).
I was just blown away. It's the best live instrumental
music I've seen in a very long time. Minimal, textural
compositions/improvisations exploring the realms of
polyrhythms and odd time signatures. Every member of his
ensemble firing on all cylinders (bass and contrabass clarinet.
innovative percussion, fretless 6 string bass and traspset) all
mixing with Nik's amazing grand piano/prepared acoustic piano/
electric piano improvisations. Two fisted on two instruments he
was playing simultaneously in two different time signatures in
waves of acoustic 'loops' that cycled to and from each other.
The sound was amazing to boot. They record every night
so they have the sound in this venue dialed in.
Nik Bartsch's RONIN ---- 'Holon'
just doesn't leave my car stereo for very long. I'm in love and it's
also inspiring because
this music is just made for live looping experiments (as Bernhard's lovely
and funky set in Rome and Zurich proved.
2) All day (and as I type) I've been listening to the lovely new
John Hassell CD , "Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the
. This record is as good as any past Hassell records
and that says volumes as he has a half dozen that are in my top 50 list
of favorite CDs of all times. It is beautiful, haunting, melancholy,
and even alien sounding and as intelligent as it gets for a close to
ambient record. And thanks, Massimo, for hipping me to this little
3) Just recently I discovered the music of the superlative and creative
drummer/composer Brian Blade so I've purchased both of his jazz CDs
with Brian Blade and the Fellowship.
In the past I've tended to avoid drummer led jazz projects (a horrid
since I'm a writing drummer) but Blade completely avoids having his records
sound like vehicles for drumming. He's a really good writer and these
good as any recent releases in jazz.
Then when I heard that he was also writing singer songwriter material I
Brian Blade "Mama Rosa" is just a revelation!
He has written a beautiful melancholy meditation on growing up. He has
voice. The songs are really well written. His chordal vocabulary is
so the record is really interesting but it doesn't sound sophisticated.
It's just simply put, lovely.
4) Chris and I are driving down to Los Angeles (500km) to see the
British pop band, Elbow's only west coast
appearance. There first three CDs are fantastic and incredibly
inventive. The production is a marvel,
full of fascinating timbral choices of traditional instruments, found
sounds and electronics.
Imagine if a band with the stylistic scope of the Beatles were playing
in the Naughties only
further north in England and with a decidedly darker/moodier and more
Elbow "Asleep in the Back'
Elbow "One of Thousands'
Elbow "Leaders of the Free World" (which I'd start with first, it's
I'm actually not as enamored of their latest release but it doesn't
matter because the first three are so good.
5) Then I sit not 100 feet away from the window of my brother's studio.
He's writing, recording and developing material for his new CD. For
having played frequently
with someone for a very long time, I"m always amazed that every couple
of days I hear music
come out of his studio (and it wafts through our compound on these hot
summer days when
the windows are open) that is beautiful thought provoking and which has
asking him, "how did you do that". I promote and demonstrate the
Looperlative LP-1 but Bill is just becoming a master at using it and
leaves me far in the dust
in terms of his creative depth in using it.
It's not out yet and I'd probably get one free for being family, but I"m
gonna buy this
sucker when it gets released.
Bill Walker "As Yet Untitled"
What are you guys and gals listening too?