Photo by Ricardo Adame. Margate Park, Chicago, September 2020
Dave Rempis and I have been shaking the rust off for about an hour every Friday evening over the past month, hitting on occasion with Josh Abrams on bass. Setting up on Chicago’s north side adjacent to Lake Michigan, we have been performing for friends and strangers alike and have relished the opportunity to do so safely during the pandemic. Dave has been streaming these via his Instagram page if you’d like to check them out: @daverempis
Ken Vandermark wrote of one performance:
“Jazz On A Summer’s Day 2020: Thanks to Dave Rempis and Tyler Damon for bringing challenging music to a safe place to listen on Friday afternoon, August 21st. It was a beautiful day and a group of listeners, masked and safely distanced, met to hear the duo under a canopy of trees in the park near Foster and Marine Drive. Based on the current circumstances and projections on the near future, it looks like this may be one of the only viable ways to make live music possible in front of an audience sharing the same space for a while. Much appreciation to Dave and Tyler for giving an example of how to work through this period as a musician, and for playing with passion under challenging circumstances.”
Many thanks Ken!
Photo by Ricardo Adame.
To Catch A Bird In A Net Of Wind, my latest LP with Tashi Dorji released this past April on Austria’s Trost label, was recently reviewed in Wire Magazine #440 in conjunction with a broader feature on Tashi’s excellent new LP on Drag City, Stateless. Marc Masters reports:
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]