Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Crackleknob Review from Massimo Ricci!!!!!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009



Can impavid fighters against remunerative compromise sound so intelligibly sweet while improvising, to the point of having us wondering where the score is? Does artistic significance automatically imply inhospitable counterpoint? Is procedural sharpness a necessary negation of the magnification of conterminous instrumental details?

Crackleknob is a fully grown, moderately aerated recording combining brilliantly unique representatives of the modern jazz/free music scene gathered under the umbrella of respect, both reciprocal and for the audience. Mary Halvorson’s rational approach to the fingerboard is nirvana for those, like yours truly, who are tired of listening to trite versions of standards and/or incoherent finger-babbling aptly described as “spontaneous abandonment of technique” to hunt hypothetical liberties, a smart translation for “absence of ideas”. Reuben Radding is a lyrically composite bassist, his timbre a balanced mixture of demulcent harmonics, visionary abstractions and immediate mutability, cogent insertions permanently at the service of a pre-established cooperative cleverness. Nate Wooley is still able to extract drops of vital juice from the ghosts of famous men with the horn to transform those essences in invigorating fumes of timbral disintegration and not-exactly-diplomatic excrescences, halfway through a caustically refined helpmate and a coroner analyzing the corpse of a hermaphrodite variety of jazz.

“Quavering Voices Of The Mutilated” is the ultimate explanation of what these people do together: as Halvorson seams obstinately angular patterns and logically articulated spikes of anti-melodic percussiveness tinged by her strings’ nudity, at times deciding to dish up the companions with solitary chordal shards and Fripp-ish dissonant arpeggios, Radding punctuates the interplay with a considerable degree of ascendancy on the trio’s essential sonority, appearing as a man who has finally decided to settle for a somewhat regular way of life after having tasted the assorted facets of sonic intemperance, Wooley observing, taking notes and – often unexpectedly – coming out with cloudy lines that might occasionally manifest anomalously, yet maintain that quid of prosperousness guaranteeing auditory fulfilment even to the less expert recipient. “Caldwell, 1925” is a remarkable pictogram of how delicately acoustic this collaboration reveals itself to be, Wooley placing stripes of lament adjacent to Halvorson's clean-sounding whirlwinds, Radding choosing the right strokes to collate the parts in a total unity, potential breakup tendencies absorbed by a wonderfully emotional, only apparent fragility that - on the contrary - defines once and for all the genuine soul of this human combination, which indeed inhabits a superior responsiveness.

Explains the trumpeter: “In general, we work at making the cleanest, most elegantly simple piece of music that we can”. But it’s not stylishness or minimalism we’re dealing with. Crackleknob is one of those albums where skilled ears notice the presence of something much deeper, the sense of almost supernatural intuition that distinguishes a masterpiece from a mere “good job”. A record that hopefully won’t remain covered by the soil of ignorance, shining bright amidst the diverse intriguing challenges that these musicians have tackled in their respective careers to date. Let’s use the word: a classic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hello New York,

have a seat
can I get anyone something to drink?
no, huh....none of you?
okay, well, let's get started then. First of all thanks for coming on short notice. I appreciate that all 8 million of you could get the morning off of work.

The reason I asked you all here to my office is...oh, excuse me, young man, can you give up your chair to that pregnant lady? yes, you....thanks, I appreciate it. Anyway, as I was saying, the reason I brought you all here is because it is that time of year again, summer....deeeeeeeep summer and I thought maybe you could use a pep talk.

Listen, I'm right there with you, summer sucks, it's hot and humid and everything smells like pine forest urine and no one looks good because they are all sweaty and grimy and it is so muggy that your new skort doesn't fit right and you can't find a mr. softee when you want one and you start wondering where the guy pees in there and now there is no way you could ever eat that ice cream......okay, so yes, I get it.

But, I've been noticing that a lot of your frustration is being taken out on some very innocent bystanders, tourists. Yes, it's easy, and yes, they can be annoying, but there is something I thought it might be good to bring to your attention.....with very few exceptions none of you are from New York!!!!! All I'm proposing is that once a day until the first day of coat wearing (probably about Sept. 15th or so) you make a concerted effort to show just a little bit of empathy. Maybe take a moment to remember that you are from Oregon or Nebraska or California or Japan or wherever and well, if you were just here for a week and saw the Wall Street bull for the first time, would want a picture of yourself next to his giant brass testicles too....and then you would want a pic of your grandma next to the giant testes and then your sister and her kids.....New York is full of family wonder like this and we have an obligation to let the people of this great Earth take advantage of it. You would want the same if you were taking a stroll through Ellis, Kansas for the first time, wouldn't you? Yes, you would. You would want to take it all in without a bunch of douchy, sweaty locals rolling their eyes at you or throwing their hands up in disgust. I know it is hard, but I am asking just for one time a day, the rest of the time, douche away to your hearts content, it's part of what makes NY so great (?). I think the change would be palpable. Oh, and if you are actually FROM New York, once every other day, you deserve it.

And just to show you that I"m not a tyrant, I've prepared a magical festival of brother and sisterhood for your listening pleasure. It stretches through next week, so please pay attention.

Starting Thursday!!!!!

Douglass Street Music Collective

8/20/2009 8:00 PM at Two is the Loneliest Number
295 Douglass, Brooklyn, 11217
Cost: $10 suggested donation

An Evening of Duos curated by Jacob Wick. Featuring: -- holus-Bolus the duo: Jon Irabagon + Josh Sinton (woodwind reeds) -- pianos: Denman Maroney and Carl Maguire -- mouthpieces: Nate Wooley + Jacob Wick (brass)

Now, on the weekend, I'll be out of town at my sister-in-law's wedding, so we are going to have to be on an honor system, can we do that....excuse me? more time and louder...thank you, I knew we could.

The Stone
Ave C and 2nd street
10 pm

In Medias Res

Tyshawn Sorey (drums, composition) Nate Wooley (trumpet) Steve Ruel (woodwinds) Terrence McManus (guitar) Christopher Tordini (bass)
A concert-length composition composed during the spring of 2009. This will be the first and only performance of this composition for the year.


20 Greene Street
8 pm

Sparks Orchestra Slays Again!

Peter Evans, Tom Blancarte, Okkyung Lee, Brandon Seabrook, Dan Blake, Sylvie Courvoisier, Dan Peck, Nate Wooley create buckets of delicious blood.


Tea Lounge
9 pm
too lazy to look up the address for the millionth know where it is.


Stephen Gauci, Isabel Pupo-Walker, Tom Armstrong, Tim Lefebvre, Nate Wooley Latin experimental magic carpet ride?

take Friday off, see your family, then let's finish it up with a nice picnic!

Saturday, August 29, 2009, 4pm

on Roosevelt Island
Presented by Generate Records, celebrating its 10th anniversary with an afternoon of performances, and new recording release!

Music for an IMAGINARY BAND is a (real) 7-piece group led by Gordon Beeferman and comprised of some of New York's most uniquely creative musicians. The band straddles the fertile and still not-totally-charted territory where classical 'new-music,' jazz and free improvisation intersect. Beeferman's compositions range from the gnarly to the operatic, and are both incredibly detailed and very free; the band's intensive improvisational explorations are tethered to highly structured frameworks.

Gordon Beeferman - piano & compositions
Nate Wooley - trumpet; Matt Bauder, Evan Rapport, Josh Sinton - saxophones; Brad Kemp - bass; Alex Lambert- drums

Hey everyone, thanks a lot for hanging in there for the whole talk. I"ll let you guys go now, but I've told all your bosses that you wouldn't be back until noon, so take an hour and have a nice lunch. Oh, and there are cookies on the way out.....