Sunday, January 30, 2011

HurdAudio Rotation: Three Ways to Get Your Freak On

Doctor Nerve with the Sirius String Quartet: Ereia. 2000. Cuneiform Records: rune 126.

Nick Didkovsky: electric guitar, composition
Greg Anderson: bass
Leo Ciesa: drums
Yves Duboin: soprano saxophone, flute
Rob Henke: trumpet
Michael Lytle: bass clarinet
Kathleen Supove: keyboards
Joyce Hammann: violin
Mary Whitaker: violin
Ron Lawrence: viola
Tomas Ulrich: cello
Todd Reynolds: violin
Liz Knowles: violin
Mary Wooten: cello

Ereia is a direct manifestation of the multiple impulses that inform Nick Didkovsky's creative influences. The relentlessly progressive guitar rocker with a slant toward cerebral avant art music finds himself with a band, a string quartet and a commission at his disposal. Conceived as a 3-movement work, Ereia is scored for string quartet alone in the first movement, a conducted improvisation and the third movement as a culmination of the two forces as a composed work for full ensemble. The decision to sandwich the conducted improvisation as a live recording between two studio realizations further adds to the contrast between these three parts. Though there are plenty of similarities to thread the entire work together and challenge multiple assumptions about the artificial lines that divide genre, medium and aesthetic. Ereia sustains an aggressive luminosity throughout while also revealing several moments of human frailty. Beauty and ugly co-mingling within a sonic stew.

Sun Ra: Disco 3000: Complete Milan Concert 1978. (Re-released in 2009) Art Yard: CD 001.

Sun Ra: piano, organ , moog synth, rhythm machine, vocals
John Gilmore: tenor saxophone, drums, vocals
Luqman Ali: drums, vocals
Michael Ray: trumpet, vocals
June Tyson: vocals

Space is definitely the place. A place rich with the blues, dancing aliens, friendly galaxies, somewhere over the rainbows and some far-out analog synth freak outs. Sun Ra's singularity finds particular resonance in this 2+ hour live set from 1978. Clearly an important document of the Sun Ra sound from that era. The stripped down group drawn from members of the Arkestra gives the ears a chance focus on a mature John Gilmore and the explosive energy of Michael Ray.

The Peter Brötzmann Octet: The Complete Machine Gun Sessions. 2007 re-issue of the 1968 sessions. FMP/Atavistic: Archive Edition ALP 262 CD.

Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Even Johansson: drums
Peter Kowald: bass
Willem Breuker: tenor saxophone
Fred Van Hove: piano
Evan Parker: tenor saxophone
Buschi Niebergall: bass
Han Bennink: drums

Eight improvising musicians assembled in Bremen's Lile Eule in May of 1968 and subsequently changed the world with a blistering performance that still leaves cochlear scars to this day. The backdrop of political assassinations, an increasingly unpopular war in Vietnam, the disastrous convention in Chicago and an environment of protests across North America and Europe serves as the spiritual and psychological backdrop for the barely channeled energy of Machine Gun. It's an energy that glows with a different quality. Aggressive and focused, it is clear to these ears why this recording continues to be so important to the local improvised music scene here in Chicago. Harsh and completely necessary. This is a music that could, and has, diverted rivers in the development of free jazz archetypes.

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