Never judge a blog until you've walked in Hollywood while legally parked. In the grand tradition of the Amoeba Run - as practiced at The Standing Room - HurdAudio is "singing and parking in LA" as I do my best M.C- impression in SoCal style.
For anyone sadly uninitiated - or even more sadly out of range to experience California's finest retail experience - Amoeba is more than just a single-celled organism. It's also a CD mecca for serious collectors on the left coast who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty sifting through massive quantities of used inventory. I've been to all 3 Amoebas at one time or another and unearthed some serious sonic treasures at each. There's nothing better than having a "home town" Amoeba and I have no complaints about the one on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. With fresh gift certificates in hand from the holidays this was a good day to be in tinsel town.
Don Byron: Ivey-Divey. This one made a lot of Best-of lists in 2004. And with Jack DeJohnette working the kit and Jason Moran on the piano I have high expectations.
Don Byron: You Are #6 - More Music for Six Musicians. This is a group I saw play at the Experience Museum in Seattle a few years ago. This is a follow-up to the excellent Music for Six Musicians.
John Cage: Music for Prepared Piano, Vol. 2 performed by Boris Berman. A fine Naxos disc that opens with "The Perilous Night."
John Cage: Three Constructions performed by the Donald Knaack Percussion Ensemble and Jay Clayton on voice. I've heard all three "constructions" performed live at various times and it's good to finally get a recording into my collection. The program looks interesting. Between the constructions are inserted a pair of vocal works I'm not familiar with: "A Flower" (1950) for voice and closed piano and "Forever And Sunsmell" (1942) for voice and percussion duo. All these works are from a particularly fertile creative period from 1939 - 1950 in Cage's output.
Cornelius Cardew: The Great Learning Paragraph 2 & 7/David Bedford: Two Poems for Chorus on Words of Kenneth Patchen. I don't know much about David Bedford, but he's in good company on this disc as I picked it up for the amazing Cornelius Cardew and his Scratch Orchestra performing this "The Great Learning."
Cornelius Cardew: Piano Music 1959 - 1970 performed by John Tilbury. Another Matchless Recordings documenting Cardew's music.
Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation. The last of the RCA-Victor label Dave Douglas and the only one I didn't pick up the day it was released. Long live Greenleaf Music.
Mark Dresser: Eye'll Be Seeing You. Wonderful bass player Mark Dresser teams up with a pair of downtown greats: Chris Speed on clarinet and Anthony Coleman on piano and organ for this Knitting Factory disc from 1998.
Mark Dresser/Denman Maroney: Time Changes. A recent disc with Maroney on "hyperpiano", Michael Sarin on drums (a great drummer) and Alexandra Montano on voice. I don't know what I'm in for with this one but Dresser has never let me down.
Andrew Hill: Point of Departure. With Kenny Dorhan, Eric Dolphy, Joe Henderson, Richard Davis and Anthony Williams. I am ashamed not to have had this classic Blue Note from 1964 sooner than this day. One of the all time great jazz albums.
Conlon Nancarrow: Pieces Nos. 1 and 2 for Small Orchestra/Tango?/String Quartet No. 1 performed by Continuum. I missed my chance to hear these live back in 1989 so here's my chance to make up for lost time. I've heard the Arditti play Nancarrow's first string quartet. It's a great work.
Harry Partch: U.S. Highball performed by the Kronos Quartet with David Barron. I did see a full staging of U.S. Highball in New York with the original Partch instruments. That was a great experience. I'm undecided on the aesthetic principle of arranging this music for string quartet. Though I understand that Ben Johnston scored these arrangements with Partch's permission.
John Schnider: Just Guitars. Just intonation guitar performances of music by Lou Harrison, Harry Partch, Carter Scholz, Terry Riley and John Schneider.
Elliott Sharp/Merzbow: Tranz. Feeding an ongoing Elliott Sharp addiction.
Matthew Shipp: Harmony and Abyss. Catching upon Shipp's Thirsty Ear recordings.
Matthew Shipp: Nu Bop. Another Thirsty Ear from this great pianist and creative mind.
Sun Ra: The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra. More Sun Ra for HurdAudio.
Stefan Wolpe: Music for Any Instruments. Filling in that gaping hole in that Wolpe collection.