Friday, April 27, 2007

Scale of the Day: A Pythagorean Ionian

APythagoreanIonian
The A Pythagorean Ionian Scale. This is the familiar "major" scale tuned using octaves, just perfect fifths, just perfect fourths and any compound (or inversion) of those three intervals.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Scale of the Day: E Mixolydian mapped to the Square-root-of-2

EMixolydianMappedToTheSquareRootOf2

The E Mixolydian mapped to the Square-root-of-2 Scale. Three quarter-tones break up what would otherwise pass for an equal-tempered chromatic scale. It also allows 7 notes to exist within a span of 600-cents. Add in the "harmonic equivalence" at the tritone and there's little risk of this sounding like a standard chromatic scale.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sounds Like Now

Brian Sacawa of Sounds Like Now held his "unofficial" CD release party for American Voices at An die Musik this evening. If you've ever wondered what "now" sounds like, it's kinetic and sounds like many things. To my ears, "now" sounded like several fruitful collaborations with a healthy range of composers exploring different aesthetic avenues. The most striking thing was the balanced, two-way dialogue between composer and performer that became increasingly visible over the course of the recital.

The sequence of compositions presented a nice arc as the first and last pieces displayed an open embrace of rhythmic pulse and electronics. "The Garden of Love" by Jacob ter Veldhuis derived melodic fragments from spoken voice - a technique and timbre that has much in common with "Different Trains" by Steve Reich. But what set this work apart was the use of purely electronic sounds and passing uses of drum samples for a new angle on this technique. And "Pastlife Laptops and Attic Instruments," a duet with the composer Erik Spangler (a.k.a. DJ Dubble8) on turntables, laptop (and a pre-recorded track) worked a vibe inspired by electronica/hip-hop. This particular composition has grown into a longer-running collaboration of two turntables and a saxophone known as Hybrid Groove Project.

Situated just after or before these displays of rhythmic intensity were a pair of acoustic works of resonant emotional intensity. "Descanso/ After Omega" by David T. Little - which I liked a great deal - for saxophones, piano, vibraphone (frequently bowed) and crystal glasses. The crystal glasses were played behind the audience, providing a backdrop of an invisible drone for the staggered melodic phrases from the instruments at the front of the performance space. The texture had an aching beauty hinting at the deep agony of loss. "Walimai" by Michael Djupstrom for saxophone and piano was another direct collaboration with the composer playing the piano part. This virtuosic piece loosely followed the narrative of a short, tragic love story by Isabel Allende.

At the center of the sequence of compositions was a gem by Alexandra Gardner for saxophone and electronics called "Tourmaline." Gardner describes this work as a conversation between the two parts. And the interaction between the "live" and "pre-recorded" elements did feel seamless as the harmonic qualities of one seemed to pass through or resonate to the other with some carefully rehearsed timing.

HurdAudio Rotation: Anderson, Coleman, Hill

Laurie Anderson: Life on a String. 2001. Nonesuch: 79539-2.
Laurie Anderson: vocals, keyboards, violins, gongs
with various (small) combinations of:
Elena Barere: concert master - Joey Baron: drums, percussion - Martin Brumback: percussion arrangement - Vinicius Cantuaria: percussion - Mino Cinelu: percussion - Timothy Cobb: bass - Greg Cohen: acoustic bass - Jill Dell'Abate: orchestra conductor - Enrico DiCecco: violin - Jonathan Dinklage: violin - Karen Dreyfus: viola - Barry Finclair: violin - Danny Frankel: percussion, hand claps, "box-o-toys" - Eric Friedlander: cello - Bill Frisell: guitar - Jean Ingram: violin - Mitchell Froom: keyboards, claviola, mellotron, wurlitzer - Liheng: baritone banhu - Vincent Lionti: viola - Eyvind Kang: violin - John Kelly: background vocals - Ann Leathers: violin - Jeanne LeBlanc: cello - Dwight Mikkelsen: copyist - Heidi Modr: violin - Jan Mullen: violin - Tom Nelis: vocals - Van Dyke Parks: string arrangements, conductor, keyboards - Ellen Payne: violin - Joel Pitchon: violin - Sue Pray: viola - Lou Reed: guitar - Ben Rubin: bells - Peter Scherer: keyboards, percussion - Jamshied Sharifi: additional keyboards, strings - Ricky Sortomme: violin - Skuli Sverrisson: bass, little organ, percussion programming, high bass, sounds, bowed guitars, keyboards - Chris Speed: saxophone - Cuong Vu: trumpet - Carol Webb: violin - Judith Willmer: viola - Hal Willner: turntables, samples - Mocean Worker: beats, keyboards - Fredrick Zlotkin: cello
This disc is dripping with good taste. For all the production, collaboration and detail in this studio effort, the end result ultimately enhances the understated poetry that makes these songs work. There are some great players involved in this project. Yet the sound is unmistakably Anderson's as she molds the right textures for what she has to say.

Ornette Coleman: Dedication to Poets and Writers. Recorded at Town Hall, 1962. Magic Music: 30010-CD.
Ornette Coleman: saxophone
David Izenzohn: bass
Charles Moffett: percussion
Selwart Clark: violin
Nathan Goldstein: violin
Julian Barber: viola
Kermit Moore: cello
This disc has long been a personal favorite for me. This was Ornette Coleman's first project after breaking onto the scene with his great quartet of the late 1950's and early 1960's. And he was already staking out creative directions that would continue to unfold throughout his career (finally earning him a Pulitzer Prize this year. He can add it to his lifetime achievement Grammy. I'm still lobbying for the international holiday.).
This concert presents Ornette's new trio, plus a string quartet and various combinations of the two ensembles. The sonic results are staggering as each piece represents an incredible new direction that he would continue to pursue over the decades. "Dedication to Poets and Writers" is a piece for string quartet that needs to be added to the canon of works for that medium. My ears can't get enough of that harmolodic chamber music. The fact that Ornette did not record or perform for two years after this concert suggests that people weren't ready for the boundary smashing that Ornette's genius had already undertaken.

Andrew Hill: Point of Departure. 1964. Blue Note: 7243 4 99007 2 1.
Andrew Hill: piano, compositions
Kenny Dorham: trumpet
Eric Dolphy: alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Joe Henderson: tenor saxophone
Richard Davis: bass
Tony Williams: drums

Right from the first note of the first track, "Refuge" kicks this off with one of those compositions, sounds and performances that is so essential that one cannot imagine jazz without it. Great personnel. Great compositions. This disc is a true must have in any serious jazz collection.

And "Refuge" isn't the only essential track on this collection. Andrew Hill's compositional sensibilities were in full force for this session and I don't think he ever let up.

Scale of the Day: C Mixolydian

CMixolydian-interval-analysis

The intervallic content of the C Mixolydian Scale. Nothing fancy today. This is just the straight C Mixolydian as one would find it on any conventionally tuned, equal tempered instrument.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Scale of the Day: E Mixolydian augmented 4

EMixolydianAugmented4

The E Mixolydian augmented 4 Scale as one would find it on any conventionally tuned, equal tempered instrument. This scale features a simple alteration with the raised fourth degree.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Scale of the Day: C Dorian

CDorian

The C Dorian Scale as one would find it on any conventionally tuned, equal tempered instrument. This is an extremely common scale and should be pragmatically well under the fingers of any working musician.

Of the seven diatonic modes, the Dorian is the only one to contain all intervallic inversions - i.e. the major second and minor seventh, the minor third and major sixth, and the perfect fourth and perfect fifth. This quality gives the Dorian its unique symmetry and places it squarely in the middle of the light-to-dark spectrum of the seven modes.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Strings and Ayler

Jenny Scheinman: 12 Songs. Recorded December 13 - 14, 2004 - released in 2005. Cryptogramophone: CG125.
Jenny Scheinman: violin
Ron Miles: cornet
Doug Wieselman: clarinets
Bill Frisell: guitar
Rachelle Garniez: accordion, piano, claviola
Tim Luntzel: bass
Dan Rieser: drums
You must be living right if you can get Bill Frisell and Ron Miles to play in your band (and play your compositions). This is one hot ensemble and they breathe plenty of life and animation into these wide ranging pieces. There's some mesmerizing textures in "The Buoy Song" as Scheinman subtly weaves her violin between the light layers of Wieselman's clarinet, Frisell's guitar and Rieser's delicate touch on the cymbals.

Ludwig van Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets (volume II). Performed by The Orford String Quartet. Recorded in 1989. Delos International: D/CD 3032.
Orford String Quartet:
Andrew Dawes: violin
Kenneth Perkins: violin
Terence Helmer: viola
Denis Brott: cello
String Quartet in G Major, op. 18 no. 2
String Quartet in B-Flat Major, op. 130
These string quartets have drawn me in more than the Symphonies do. They have the same substance without the overwhelming familiarity that I strain to hear beyond with the symphonic works. And it's the late quartets in particular - like op. 130 - with their irregular number of movements and odd durations that have the strongest appeal at present.

Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost [box set] disc 1. Released in 2004. Revenant Records. Disc 1 consists of:

Herbert Katz Quintet (1962)
Herbert Katz: guitar
Albert Ayler: tenor saxophone
Teuvo Suojarvi: piano
Heikki Annala: bass
Martti Aijanen: drums
Unbelievably "straight" standards from this group (Sonny Rollins' "Sonnymoon for Two", George and Ira Gershwin's "Summertime" and Bronislau Kaper's "On Green Dolphin Street"). There's little hint of the torrential storm and tone that would make Ayler such an enduring force. This is a nice documentation - but I'm glad Ayler strayed from this territory. These are hardly memorable versions of these workhorses.

Cecil Taylor Quartet (1962)
Cecil Taylor: piano
Jimmy Lyons: alto saxophone
Albert Ayler: tenor saxophone
Sunny Murray: drums
The 21-minutes-plus of this group playing together is the major attraction to hearing this first disc. This material is irresistible, explosive and free. Here Ayler's sensibilities are given room to develop and take flight. This is an inspired combination of players.

Albert Ayler Trio (1964)
Albert Ayler: tenor saxophone
Gary Peacock: bass
Sunny Murray: drums
After the long buildup from the previous two groups we finally get to Ayler's own trio as the full sonic image of his sound and his compositions comes into focus. It's hard to imagine a better rhythm section for this kind of sound.

Scale of the Day: E Flat Aeolian mapped to the Square-root-of-2 1% wide

EFlatAeolianMappedToTheSquareRootOf2-1PercentWide

The E Flat Aeolian mapped to the Square-root-of-2 1% wide Scale. This scale combines several interesting challenges. You start with a scale with several "quarter-tones," detune it by stretching everything outward from the E-flat above middle-C, and try to treat all the 1.419 (6-cent sharp "tritones") as harmonic equivalents. This is unfamiliar harmonic territory to say the least.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Solo, Trio, Solo

Forbes Graham: Another Return. 2007. CD-R - available from the composer at Polyrhythmatics.net.
Forbes Graham: trumpet, laptop computer.
The laptop computer serves as a microscope into the plumbing of the trumpet as Forbes Graham builds sonic worlds from the minutia of the brass instrument. After seeing Graham performing live at the Red Room a few weeks ago I had to come back and listen to this music on CD just to hear how it would strike me without the visual element of his performance. The characteristics of "trumpet" are still in the sounds. One can hear the shape of the tubing amplified, the spit rolling around the pipes and the air moving through the columns through all the electronic manipulations. Graham has an ear for the tension of amplified quiet.

Bill Frisell: Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones. 2001. Nonesuch. 79624-2.
Bill Frisell: electric and acoustic guitars, loops
Dave Holland: bass
Elvin Jones: drums
The pieces on this disc will be familiar to anyone who has followed Bill Frisell's career. It's the trio, and the way they interpret these compositions, that becomes the focal point here. And I always come away from hearing this one with renewed awe for the drumming of the late Elvin Jones. Frisell has played with so many great drummers. But teaming up with Elvin Jones may be the most inspired combination on record.

Gunda Gottschalk: Wassermonde. 2002. Elephant 002.
Gunda Gottschalk: solo violin and viola
This is a well-recorded representation of the solo Gottschalk experience. She has a unique, beautiful sound and a fascinating approach toward solo improvisation. Though on this recording, the formal structure of this 66-minute work is incredibly clear, and a little more obvious than what I heard live. Perhaps I bring a different level of attentiveness to this recording than when seeing her perform. Her ability to return to themes and sounds developed earlier within a single improvisation is convincing and does make for a satisfying listening experience.

Scale of the Day: E Flat Aeolian 2% narrow

EFlatAeolian2PercentNarrow

The E Flat Aeolian 2% narrow Scale. With further compression, the octave is now 24-cents narrow. Which makes this "harmonic equivalent" into a 'dissonance' with a good bite to it.

Andrew Hill: 1931 - 2007


















NEW YORK (AP) -- Andrew Hill, a groundbreaking jazzman, pianist and composer known for his complex post-bop style, died early Friday, his record label announced. He was 75.

Andrew Hill's music has been in the HurdAudio Rotation lately and I've consistently been struck by the quality of his playing and especially by his accomplishments as a composer. There is sadness in his passing and love for the music he leaves behind.

Some outpouring of that love around the blogs: Foxy Digitalis, Fonocaptador, The Friday Riff, Tom Hull - on the web, The Jazzcat, Radio Mute Forum, Foucault's Lunchbox, Perfect Sounds, Fojazz, Gapersblock, SFBG, Time Out NY and JazzHQ.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Scale of the Day: E Flat Aeolian diminished 4 1% narrow

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The E Flat Aeolian diminished 4 1% narrow Scale. Now we take the systematic de-tuning of equal tempered scales in the opposite direction with this altered Aeolian scale. The compressed octaves (12-cents flat) are a dissonance of similar strength to the 1% wide version as both are just "off" from the 2/1 octave by the same amount.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scale of the Day: E Flat Aeolian diminished 4 2% wide

EFlatAeolianDiminished4-2PercentWide

The E Flat Aeolian diminished 4 2% wide Scale. We're stretching the octaves a little wider apart with this scale. At nearly 2-bits wide (24-cents) one can hear the beating as the 2.028:1 frequency ratio goes quickly out of phase with the more familiar 2:1 (the "in-tune" octave).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Support the Arts: Commission Music

Celeste H - of Les said, the better - is offering an opportunity to commission a short electronic work. Click the banner above, or go here for more information.

I've heard some pieces from Celeste. They were satisfying manglings of the most noxious hate-radio personalities on the air. I think this is a fair offer as you can expect quality work from this progressive, creative composer.

Scale of the Day: E Flat Pythagorean Aeolian 1% wide

EFlatPythagoreanAeolian1PercentWide

The E Flat Pythagorean Aeolian 1% wide Scale. The interval not yet seen in the "scale of the day" is the 1.587 "minor sixth" - which is only 1/10th of a cent sharper than the equal tempered "minor sixth."

Monday, April 16, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: The 3 B's - Beethoven, Brotzmann and Big Band

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonies No. 1 & 2 (disc 1). Performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth, James Lockhart and Guenther Herbig. Recorded August 1994 at C.T.S. Studios, London, England. The International Music Company: 205297-305.
Symphony No. 1 in C major (Op. 21) (1800)
Symphony No. 2 in D major (Op. 36) (1803)
I revisited these old, old juggernauts today. This is clearly "early" Beethoven as these symphonies retain their classical 4-movement form and the harmonic modulations are more restrained than what would follow later in Beethoven's creative output. Hearing these works reminds me why these symphonies continue to be a fetish for so many.

Peter Brotzmann/Michael Zerang: Live in Beirut 2005. Al Maslakh Recordings 03.
Peter Brotzmann: tenor saxophone, tarogato, B flat clarinet
Michael Zerang: drums, darbuka, percussion
Hearing Brotzmann play live last Friday night left me hungry for more from this forceful improviser. There's an undeniable pleasure to hearing the Dionysian release from both sides of this duo. This set was recorded at the 2005 Irtijal Festival of Improvised Music in Beirut, Lebanon as a cross-pollination between the German-born free-improviser and the middle-eastern/Arabic underground scene. I'm curious to hear more documentation like this from the Al Maslakh label. My Brotzmann craving is still not entirely sated.

Peter Apfelbaum & The Hieroglyphics Ensemble: Jodoji Brightness. 1992. Antilles: 314-512 320-2.
Peter Apfelbaum: tenor saxophone, piano, organ, synthesizer, drums, percussion
Bill Ortiz: trumpet, flugelhorn
Jeff Cressman: trombone, pyramid bell, percussion
James Harvey: trombone
Paul Hanson: alto and tenor saxophones, basoon
Tony Jones: tenor saxophone
Peck Allmond: sprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, trumpet
Norbert Stachel: soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophones, clarinet, flute, piccolo
Will Bernard: guitar
Stan Franks: guitar
Jai Uttal: guitar, harmonium, dotar, percussion
Bo Freeman: bass
Joshua Jones V: drums, timbales, bass drum, congas, bata, vocals
Deszon X. Claiborne: drums, percussion
"Buddha" Robert Huffman: congas, bell tree, gongs, bata, vocals
Rachel Durlin: violin
Steven Bernstein: trumpet
Sekou Heath: bata, percussion, vocals
This one makes a return appearance to the HurdAudio rotation as I keep coming back to hear the writing/arranging.

Scale of the Day: E Flat Aeolian mapped to the Cube-root-of-2

EFlatAeolianMappedToTheCubeRootOf2

The E Flat Aeolian mapped to the Cube-root-of-2 Scale. There's something subversive about compressing all the intervals of the traditional "harmonic minor" scale into the span of an equal tempered major third. Conceptually, there's the contrast of squeezing minor into major. Cognitively, however, the "tonality" of major/minor doesn't really carry over as one ends up with a scale with several sixth-tones. The compositional/improvisational challenge is to treat each 400-cent "major third" as a harmonic equivalence.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: A Corporeal Slice of Heaven

Paul Plimley Trio: Safe-Crackers. 1999. Les Disques VICTO: cd066
Paul Plimley: piano
Lisle Ellis: bass
Scott Amendola: drums
There is so much going on in Plimley's compositions/improvisations that it's hard to believe how effortless and unencumbered he makes it sound. There's an entire jazz tradition drawing upon Cecil Taylor, George Shearing and Paul Bley (just to name a few) running underneath these pieces and yet the sound is so unsaturated. It's like watching a 10-ton elephant floating on air. The interactions and the amount of space these performers give one another is outstanding. Scott Amendola has some of the softest, most satisfying brush-work I've heard recorded. This is a great disc.

Ron Miles (with Bill Frisell): Heaven. 2002. Sterling Circle Records: SC5151
Ron Miles: trumpet
Bill Frisell: guitar
Ron Miles and Bill Frisell have collaborated on several great projects together. This time around it's just the two of them for a set of duets for trumpet and guitar. These two have a real melodic compatibility and Ron Miles' original compositions catch my ear.

Harry Partch: Delusion of the Fury - A Ritual of Dream and Delusion
Conducted by Danlee Mitchell under the supervision of Harry Partch. 1971. Innova Records: 406.
This is a re-release of the first Partch recording I ever heard. The unbelievable first side from the vinyl of Harry Partch describing and demonstrating his instruments is sadly absent. But the brilliance and impact of this final opus of Harry Partch is well preserved. This work gives a glimpse of what opera could be if it hadn't strayed so far from its Greek origins. The instruments are on stage, incorporated into the overall drama, and the vocals preserve the intonation and rhythms of speech. One can almost sense Partch objecting to hearing a recording - separated from the corporeal whole of the theatrical experience - as the percussion and chanting seep from the speakers in a tale of magic and madness. This work needs to be re-staged.

Scale of the Day: E Flat Aeolian diminished 4 mapped to the 3/2

EFlatAeolianDiminished4MappedToThe3-2

The E Flat Aeolian diminished 4 mapped to the 3/2 Scale. Again, with the altered nature of the diminished fourth degree this scale takes on its harmonic qualities from the uneven distribution of pitches over the span of the 3/2 (just perfect fifth). Of particular interest is the tight 58.50 cents between the third and fourth degrees compared to the wide 175.48 cents between the fourth and fifth degrees.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Peter Brotzmann's State of the Tenor = LOUD!

Since moving to Baltimore I've been exposed to a lot of European improvisers as they tour through the city of firsts. It has left me hungry to hear more.

Last night Peter Brotzmann brought his trio, featuring Marino Pliakas on electric bass and Michael Wertmuller on drums, to the cozy confines of the Red Room. Given Brotzmann's reputation for "sonic terror," one might expect the state department would keep the 66-year-old reedsman on its no-fly list. Unfortunately, it was most of the group's instruments, reeds and merchandise that were lost in transit as the band soldiered on in the wake of a nightmare of 21st century travel. This did little to strip this trio of its considerable fire power as they unleashed two sets of throbbing, high-density noise.

This trio is essentially a speed-metal rhythm section with a free jazz saxophonist as the front man. And it works well because of the musicianship of all the players involved. The aggressive physicality of this music is a welcome blast and a chance to hear all the intricate moving parts of this thick mass of sound. It's the details of this swirling, pounding sonic assault that makes this music so engaging. At times, the tide would recede as the rhythm section would pull back to expose the sturdy, coarse yet oddly lyrical playing of Brotzmann before pulling things back into the undertow. I was awed by this group's ability to allow moments of solos to flow organically from this rough sonic fabric without allowing the overall energy level or musical consistency to falter. The skillful fluctuation in density is one of this trio's great strengths. The unflinching exploration into territories of extreme densities and hard-grooving, high-bpm pulse reveals beautiful shards of noise-laced, dissonant detail devoid of the mindless anger often associated with hard-core musics. I'd love to dig through Brotzmann's recorded output (and paintings) to piece together how his sound has evolved into this exquisite darkness.

update: Here's another review of the same show.

Scale of the Day: E Flat Pythagorean Aeolian mapped to the Triative

EFlatPythagoreanAeolianMappedToTheTriative

The E Flat Pythagorean Aeolian mapped to the Triative Scale. All the intervals of the standard Pythagorean Aeolian scale are stretched out to fill the interval of the triative (3/1). The 2.065 (at 1255.58 cents) - the Pythagorean "minor sixth" degree stretched outward - is the new interval not yet encountered in the "scale of the day" entries.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Scale of the Day: E Flat Aeolian augmented 4 mapped to the Square-root-of-2

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The E Flat Aeolian augmented 4 mapped to the Square-root-of-2 Scale. In this scale the "augmented fourth" degree translates into a leap of 150 cents from the third degree before coming up against the "fifth" degree just a quarter-tone higher. The adjacent intervals around this part of the scale makes for some interesting gravity as that "fifth" degree seems to pull toward that augmented fourth.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Scale of the Day: E Flat Pythagorean Aeolian diminished 4

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The E Flat Pythagorean Aeolian diminished 4 Scale. The 8192/6561 Pythagorean diminished fourth isn't an interval you hear every day. It has a completely different quality from the 81/64 Pythagorean major third (the "enharmonic equivalent" in equal temperament). The different harmonic shades of diminished 4ths and major thirds - even within the confines of a 3-limit just intonation system - highlights vast harmonic terrain that simple 100-cent semitones simply blur beyond recognition. The 19683/16384 augmented second between the diminished fourth and perfect fifth adds a nice contour to this scale.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Scale of the Day: A Phrygian 1% narrow

APhrygian1PercentNarrow

The A Phrygian 1% narrow Scale. This time, the equal tempered phrygian scale is systematically de-tuned the other way. The resulting "compressed" octaves have a similar effect of disorienting the ear from the expected strong consonance.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Scale of the Day: A Phrygian 2% wide

APhrygian2PercentWide

The A Phrygian 2% wide Scale. The "octaves" are even more jarring at +24 cents off the standard 2/1 frequency ratio.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Scale of the Day: D Sharp Phrygian 1% wide

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The intervallic content of the D Sharp Phrygian 1% wide Scale. The most disorienting aspect of this scale are the 12-cent wide octaves that are treated as harmonic equivalents even as the interval width topples this strong 'consonance' into a bitter 'dissonance.' More specifically, this scale sounds like an "out-of-tune" equal tempered Phrygian. Which is exactly what it is.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: The Easter Free Jazz Blues Resurrection

Clusone Trio: Clusone 3. Ramboy #01, 1991. Continuing with my explorations of Michael Moore's creative output I turn my ears to the Clusone Trio:
Michael Moore: alto sax, clarinet, melodica
Ernst Reijseger: cello
Han Bennink: percussion
high energy drumming is restrained to mere glee through some spirited This is a great trio and a great listen. Bennink'sinterpretations of music by Moore, Bobby Troup, Paulo Moura, Franky Douglas, Berbie Nichols, Hermeto Pascoal and Misha Mengelberg. The arrangements, improvisations and compositions are pure joy. I suspect Michael Moore will continue to become a sonic obsession at HurdAudio.

Elliott Sharp's Terraplane: Blues for Next. 2000. KFW-85. Terraplane is:
Sim Cain: drums
Sam Furnace: alto and baritone sax
David Hofstra: electric and acoustic bass, tuba
Elliott Sharp: guitars, tenor sax, compositions
This is a double-CD. The first disc: "Plus" is a mixed bag of Terraplane plus a guest performer. These guests include: Dean Bowman: vocals, Eric Mingus: vocals, and Hubert Sumlin: electric guitar. The second disc: "Quartet" showcases works performed by Terraplane featuring some great solos from the late Sam Furnace.

My usual, knee-jerk aversion to vocals has eroded somewhat over the past few years. Eric Mingus is the standout vocalist on the "plus" collection and there is a real satisfaction to hearing great blues singing over this band. Some of the other tracks on "plus" are a bit rough and leave the vocals disconnected from the overall experience. The "quartet" disc is a more focused and consistent experience as Elliott Sharp brings his sound and compositional approach to the blues format with some meaty results.

Terry Riley: Atlantis Nath. This one is becoming a frequent part of the HurdAudio rotation as the ears continue to crave this multi-faceted expression from this deeply spiritual composer. Terry Riley doesn't get nearly enough credit both for his arrangements and the substance of compositional ideas.