I hope you’re all staying sharp of mind and healthy in body and spirit.
With no end in sight, and the unavoidable prolonging of this tragedy due to the criminal negligence and inhumane cruelty of many of our alleged leaders (and the spineless kowtowing to mounting fascist power of the so-called “left” establishment), it is difficult, nay impossible, to predict when we might all be able to (safely & responsibly) commune again for the sake of music and camaraderie.
That said, here are a couple of new quartet releases from March and May of 2019 recorded here in Chicago which exist solely in the digital realm to hold you over until we can get back to in-person communion (click titles or album art for links):
Michael Foster – soprano & tenor saxophones
Dave Rempis – alto, tenor & baritone saxophones
Jason Roebke – upright bass
Tyler Damon – drums/percussion
Recorded live at Hungry Brain, March 17th, 2019 by Dave Zuchowski.
Joshua Abrams – upright bass
Tyler Damon – drums/percussion
Forbes Graham – trumpet
Ava Mendoza – electric guitar
Recorded live at May Chapel, May 4th, 2019 by Dave Zuchowski as part of Dave Rempis’ Exposure Series. Mastered by Weasel Walter. Artwork by Forbes.
Tashi & I, Spring 2019. Photo by Kari Leigh Ames.
As usual, it has been a little while since my last post. I’m only stopping by to drop off the pertinent information, so here’s what has come out recently, what’s coming out soon and where you may find me in the coming months. The image above was commissioned for a forthcoming release on Austria’s Trost label (who released a trio CD of Tashi, Mette Rasmussen and I back in 2017).
Thanks to everyone for the support in 2019. Looking forward… – T
Late Winter / early Spring 2020 dates
– Tuesday. January 7th – Kuzu + Joshua Abrams w/ Manas @ Elastic Arts (3429 W. Diversey Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Sunday, March 8th – Kuzu @ The Mothlight (701 Haywood Rd.), Asheville, NC
– Monday, March 9th – Kuzu @ Marshall University, Smith Recital Hall (1 John Marshall Dr.), Huntington, WV
– Tuesday, March 10th – Kuzu @ Explorer Academy (2901 Saltwell Rd.), Huntington, WV
– Tuesday, March 10th– Kuzu @ University of Kentucky, John Jacob Niles Gallery (160 Patterson Dr.), Lexington, KY
– Wednesday, March 11th – Kuzu @ Joe’s Cafe (6014 Kingsbury Ave.), presented by New Music Circle, St. Louis, MO
– Thursday, March 12th – Kuzu w/ Lytton/Vandermark duo @ Elastic Arts (3429 W. Diversey Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Friday, March 13th – Kuzu @ Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.), Milwaukee, WI
– Saturday, March 14th – Kuzu @ Cafe CODA (1224 Williamson St.), Madison, WI
Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon – “To Catch A Bird In A Net Of Wind” (Trost , 2020)
Forthcoming duo LP on Austria’s Trost label. Recorded in Chicago at Exposure Festival 2018. Preorder now at Trost’s Bandcamp page…
Kuzu – Purple Dark Opal (Aerophonic, 2020)
Released February 2020. Recorded in 2018 at Milwaukee’s Sugar Maple, Purple Dark Opal may be my favorite recorded document to date (that I’ve had a hand in, of course…) – A handful went out to the public at our recent last-minute appearance at Elastic in quartet mode with Joshua Abrams. Order now via Aerophonic.
“…merges more passion and emotions than a David Mamet play.” – Mark Corroto, All About Jazz
“…for all the runs, flushes and an all-in mentality, there is not a wasted minute where we catch them floundering. […] Purple Dark Opal is an essential recording that showcases this group’s prowess when left to their own devices.” – Taylor McDowell, Free Jazz Blog
Sam Weinberg / Henry Fraser / Tyler Damon – Foment (Amalgam, 2019)
“Foment represents a first-meeting of New Yorkers saxophonist Sam Weinberg & bassist Henry Fraser with Chicago drummer Tyler Damon. Although the three musicians had not played in this formation before the recording, Weinberg and Fraser have been working in close partnership, in various capacities and configurations, for half a decade. Their rapport is evident, but here modified, tinkered with, and expanded upon by the expansive drumming of Damon whose voice opens the record on the sprawling “Sleet”. Throughout the course of this close to hour long recording–spread out over two lengthy tracks– the trio traverses a host of dynamic and timbral zones, without ever sacrificing a palpable sense of momentum and entropy. Recorded in the winter of 2019, “Foment” is a document of forward-thinking 21st century improvised music from an irrepressible crew of fledgling musicians.”
Kuzu – Lift To Drag (Medium Sound, 2019)
Recorded in October 2018. Taylor McDowell over at Free Jazz Collective writes:
“Taken from a performance at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, Lift to Drag consists of 80-minutes of improvisation at its finest. The two extended tracks leave ample room for this trio to seize rhythmic or melodic ideas, construct wild grooves from it, only to burn it down in strident anarchy.“
Digital downloads are available HERE from Medium Sound. A repress of the cassette is available now if you missed the first run; available from the above link or in-person at shows…
Eddie Flowers & The Wax-Lip-Swamp-Dub – s/t (Feeding Tube, 2020; originally released on cassette in 2019 by Long Gone Sound System)
A one-off improvised recording session at the now-defunct Magnetic South in Bloomington while Eddie was visiting from Long Beach yielded this strange document which now rears its fried head on LP. Byron sez:
“The music created by The Wax-Lip-Swamp-Dub unit is thick with acid-haze (generated by a real random assortment of instruments) and powered into fields of Can-like glory by the superb drumming of Tyler Damon. Eddie’s vocals sprawl across the top of it all, giving an entirely new meaning to R. Meltzer’s phrase, “blabbermouth lockjaw of the soul.” The vocals here are all that, but they lay out like a beatnik rattlesnake frying happily in the Texas sun. It is a beautiful trip.
Hint to travelers: the higher you fly, the better your view.”
January 9, 2020 [permalink] 2020, Aerophonic, Amalgam, Byron Coley, Cassette, CD, Dave Rempis, Duo, Eddie Flowers, Feeding Tube, Free Jazz Blog, Henry Fraser, Joshua Abrams, Kari Leigh Ames, kuzu, Live, LP, Mark Corroto, Medium Sound, Quartet, Reviews, Sam Weinberg, Tashi Dorji, Taylor McDowell, tour, Trio, Vinyl, Wax Lip Swamp Dub
Mette Rasmussen Quintet, Mainz, DE, November 2018. Photo by Frank Schindelbeck.
I’m catching up after some much needed Winter hibernation…after 111 shows in 83 cities last year I’ve taken this time to get settled in my chosen home of Chicago. I’ve been enjoying playing in a wide range of improvising ensembles here in the city, working on recordings and laying the groundwork for the rest of the year. Thanks to everyone who had any role whatsoever in helping me transition here and on the road.
Since my last transmission a couple of cassette releases have arrived: Eddie Flowers & the Wax-Lip-Swamp-Dub on Long Gone Sound System (LP forthcoming on Feeding Tube) & the cassette version of Thee Open Sex’s full-length from last year, White Horses (LP on Sophomore Lounge). See my DISCOGRAPHY page for more info or check ‘me out on Bandcamp. Much more on the horizon that I’m tremendously excited about but I can’t say much about those releases just yet…
Dorji (not pictured) / Damon / Lopez at Magnolia Records, Knoxville, TN, March 2019. Photo by Julia Dratel.
UPCOMING PERFORMANCES APRIL/MAY
– Wednesday, April 17th – solo w/ Heart of the Ghost @ Constellation (3111 N. Western Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Wednesday, April 24th – trio w/ Chloe Yu Nong Lin & Andrew Scott Young @ Cafe Mustache (2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Saturday, May 4th – quartet w/ Ava Mendoza, Forbes Graham & Joshua Abrams w/ Claire Rousay solo & Forbes Graham / Tomeka Reid duo @ Horatio N May Chapel (Rosehill Cemetary, Ravenswood Ave.), Chicago, IL – 2PM
– Monday, May 20th – duo w/ Rob Frye @ Myopic Books (1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Sunday, May 26th – duo w/ Chris Pitsiokos @ Hungry Brain (2319 W. Belmont Ave.), Chicago, IL
April 12, 2019 [permalink]
Kuzu – “Hiljaisuus” artwork by Id M Theft Able
Tashi Dorji & I have a forthcoming LP with extraordinary saxophonist and human being Dave Rempis. We’re calling our new trio KUZU and our new record, entitled Hiljaisuus, is out September 14th via Astral Spirits (though we’ll also have copies available at our August dates):
“KUZU is a hard-charging but patient trio that came together in the fall of 2017, after saxophonist Dave Rempis, a stalwart of the Chicago improvised music scene, worked with both Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums) individually as part of a lengthy solo tour of the U.S. that he undertook in the spring of that year. Dorji and Damon’s work as a guitar/percussion duo has become well-known, a highly refined and specific language developed through relentless touring and recording over the last few years, with a sound that straddles improvised music, rock, and any number of as-yet-undefined territories. These two provide an incredibly fresh take on the possibilities inherent to spontaneous composition. Superimposing Rempis into this mix was a logical next step after the relationships they’d forged individually.
Musically, these three create a highly focused pallet of sounds. At times, spacious gestures carve up the canvas with the austerity of a calligrapher, while at others those sparse gestures build into an unstoppable tsunami of energy. Those waves are never impulsive or impetuous though, they ebb and flow logically and patiently out of simple and clearly defined sources. This trio pursues every gesture with tenacity, passing them back and forth until they’ve explored every facet of an idea.”
Catch us on tour next month in Texas and in October in Eastern/Midwestern US/Canada:
– Monday, August 13th – Kuzu @ house show, Beaumont, TX
– Tuesday, August 14th – Kuzu w/ Dane Rousay @ High Wire Art Gallery (326 Josephine St.), San Antonio, TX
– Wednesday, August 15th – Kuzu w/ Carter/Smith/Ruth/Gonzalez/Gonzalez quintet, Espina/Daghighi/Butler trio @ Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.), Dallas, TX*
– Thursday, August 16th – Kuzu w/ Soft Healer, Dane Rousay. DJ Gerard Cosloy @ Sonic Transmissions Festival, Sahara Lounge (1413 Webberville Rd.), Austin, TX
*This date also features a screening of Milford Graves Full Mantis
– Thursday, October 4th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ The Mothlight (701 Haywood Rd.), Asheville, NC
– Friday, October 5th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ If ART Gallery (1223 Lincoln St.), Columbia, SC
– Saturday, October 6th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Ruby Deluxe (414 Fayetteville St.), Raleigh, NC
– Sunday, October 7th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ October Revolution In Jazz & Contemporary Music, Philadelphia, PA
– Monday, October 8th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Tubby’s (586 Broadway), Kingston, NY
– Tuesday, October 9th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Casa Del Popolo (4873 Boul Saint-Laurent), Montréal, QC
– Wednesday, October 10th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (341 Delaware Ave.), Buffalo, NY
– Thursday, October 11th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Bop Stop (2920 Detroit Ave.), Cleveland, OH
– Friday, October 12th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Trinosophes (1464 Gratiot Ave.), Detroit, MI
– Saturday, October 13th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Elastic Arts (3426 W. Diversey Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Sunday, October 14th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.), Milwaukee, WI
– Monday, October 15th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Southern Illinois University, Old Baptist Recital Hall, Carbondale, IL
– Tuesday, October 16th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Outside The Spotlight series, Lexington, KY
– Wednesday, October 17th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ The Blockhouse (201 S. College Ave.), Bloomington, IN
Tashi & I also have a forthcoming duo cassette on Magnetic South called Soft Berm. This tape was recorded straight-to-cassette in glorious mono by John Anderson at Reverberation Vinyl in Bloomington, IL. Here’s a little taste of that performance as documented by Michael Mayer:
I’m also excited to announce the first new Open Sex LP in five years, White Horses, out September 7th on Louisville’s Sophomore Lounge records:
Artwork by Xerox the Kidd
“(Thee) Open Sex Music comes from a decade-long practice of reductive composition and improvisation. The group has encompassed over 20 artists lurking around punk and experimental music circles, interchangeably shifting from minimal tape purr, Hypnotist beat and proto-punk textures.
The most consistent participants, guitarist and sound tech John Dawson (Magnetic South Recordings) and percussionist Tyler Damon (Dorji/Damon Duo, Circuit Des Yeux), anchor the two side-long pieces on “White Horses” with their evolving language and repetitive form. They are joined by Ben Lumsdaine (Spissy, C&R House Band), Mark Tester and Landon Caldwell (both of Creeping Pink and Burnt Ones) whose electronic pianos hover overhead and dissipated into colored vapor.
Recorded and mixed by Cooper Crain, mastered by Mikey Young.”
Release shows are slated for Indianapolis at Hoy Polloy on August 30th and Bloomington, Indiana at the Blockhouse on August 31st. Details forthcoming…
Last weekend Circuit Des Yeux had some hometown dates with appearances at the Empty Bottle and at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Here’s an excerpt of what the Chicago Tribune had to say about the set:
“Best set of the weekend: I have no idea what a band is going to have to do to oust Circuit Des Yeux as set of the weekend. Conjure thunder? (…) Soft yet loud, this was a set that rocked harder than anything to date that weekend, the band part of the drama rather than mere accompaniment, setting Fohr’s amazing voice in bedrock. She cooed, moaned, screamed and bellowed, went deep, so deep with songs broad in scope, and nigh flawless in execution. Wow.”
Circuit Des Yeux has some dates scheduled through the end of the year, including a free show with Deerhunter at House of Vans in Brooklyn and some stateside performances of Haley’s re-imagined score to Charles Bryant’s 1923 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé:
– Saturday, August 18th – Circuit Des Yeux w/ Deerhunter @ House Of Vans (25 Franklin St.), Brooklyn, NY
– Sunday, August 19th – Circuit Des Yeux presents Salomé (1923) film score @ National Sawdust (80 N. 6th St.), Brooklyn, NY
– Friday, August 24th – Circuit Des Yeux presents Salomé (1923) film score @ The Art Institute Of Chicago (111 S. Michigan Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Saturday, September 8th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Hopscotch Festival, Raleigh, NC
– November 9th-11th – Circuit Des Yeux presents Reaching For Indigo: Gaia Infinitus feat. members of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra @ Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht, NL
– Tuesday, November 13th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Folk (Olof Palmes Plats 413 04), Gothenburg, SE
– Wednesday, November 14th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Revolver (Møllergata 32), Oslo, NO
– Thursday, November 15th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Fasching (Kungsgatan 63), Stockholm, SE
– Friday, November 16th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Inkonst (Bergsgatan 29), Malmö, SE
– Saturday, November 17th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Püschenfest, Puschen (Schlesische Str. 38), Berlin, DE
– Monday, November 19th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Klub FAMU (Smetanovo nábř. 2), Prague, CZ
– Tuesday, November 20th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Orpheum Extra (Orpheumgasse 8), Graz, AT
– Wednesday, November 21st – Circuit Des Yeux @ A4 (Karpatská 3089/2), Bratislava, SK
More announcements to follow but that’s it for now… – T
July 29, 2018 [permalink] Art Institute Of Chicago, Astral Spirits, Cassette, Chicago Tribune, Circuit Des Yeux, Columbia, Dave Rempis, Hopscotch, kuzu, Le Guess Who, LP, Magnetic South, Mars Williams, Matt Lux, Medellin, Monofonus Press, National Sawdust, Open Sex, Pickathon, Pitchfork Music Festival, Salomé, Sonic Transmissions, Sophomore Lounge, Tashi Dorji, tejas, texas, Thee Open Sex, Trio, White Horses