The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2019

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SEPT 2019 Issue
Music Highly Selective Listings

September Listings

September 7: Black Rock Coalition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Don’t think that they’ve gone respectable, rather that they are getting the respect that they deserve—as part of the Met Museum’s Play it Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra is appearing to remind us all what has been there in plain sight all along, that rock is nothing without African-American music and musicians. This collection of all-stars will include Fantastic Negrito, Nona Hendryx, Living Colour, Stew, Toshi Reagon, and more.

September 7-October 5: Arts For Art Presents In Gardens 2019 Featuring Tributes to Steve Cannon at Various Locations. Arts For Art, the indefatigable downtown New York City institution and the epicenter for the most forward-looking music, dance, poetry, and visual arts, follows up June’s 24th edition of Vision Festival with In Gardens, yet another of its must-see presentations. A jaw-dropping mix of giants and rising artists will take over the Lower East Side across five weekends of free outdoor performances that pay tribute to two late greats of the avant-garde and invaluable members of the AFA community: poet and A Gathering of the Tribes founder Steve Cannon and trumpeter Roy Campbell, Jr. Each weekend will include poetry readings dedicated to Cannon featuring No Land and Latasha Diggs and a trio made up of drummer Whit Dickey, bassist Brandon Lopez, and alto saxophonist Rob Brown (September 28 at First Street Green). Sunday, September 29 is not to be missed as AFA celebrates the birthday of Roy Campbell, Jr. headlined by the premiere of Circulation of Celestial Triangles Leaving Imhotep Facing the East, a piece composed by William Parker for Campbell that will be performed by trumpeters Lewis Barnes, Jaimie Branch, Ryan Fraiser, Matt Lavelle, and Kirk Knuffke, alongside tubist Dave Hofstra, baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson, drummer TA Thompson, percussionist Michael Wimberly, and Parker himself on bass. Click here for full calendar of events.–2019-press-release

September 7-October 12: Blank Forms Presents Observations at Night at James Cohan Gallery. The freethinking folks at Blank Forms have curated a mind-blowing program headlined by titans culled from the avant-garde jazz, experimental music, and poetry worlds as part of Josiah McElheny’s new solo show, Observations at Night. According to the press release, “McElheny’s sonic sculpture, ‘Moon Mirror,’ will function as both an acoustic reflector and an open stage-like platform for performances, as part of an exhibition of optically dynamic paintings and sculptures inspired by cosmic revolutionary figures like Joe McPhee and Sun Ra Arkestra singer June Tyson.” Both McPhee and the Sun Ra Arkestra will perform on September 14 and October 12, respectively, as will a host of trailblazers including, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn (September 18), flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell (September 28), cellist Okkyung Lee (October 9) and more.

September 9: Festival of New Trumpet Music Presents John Raymond’s Real Feels and Samantha Boshnack’s Seismic Belt at The Jazz Gallery. Artistic director Dave Douglas presents the seventeenth season of his Festival of New Trumpet Music, an eleven-night bacchanal showcasing brass music of the most virtuosic order. Along with a celebration and award performance by legendary trumpeter Jimmy Owens (on September 8 at 3:00PM at The New School), the double-bill of John Raymond’s Real Feels and Samantha Boshnack’s Seismic Belt is a rising jazz stars must-see event. Raymond, a nimble trumpeter and flugelhornist, wowed listeners with the deft compositions found on Real Feels Vol. 2 (Sunnyside) while Boshnack’s Live In Santa Monica displayed the prowess of a veteran bandleader with a deep-seated knack for composing sprawling and richly-detailed works.

September 9: False Harmonics #5 at Pioneer Works. Music residencies at Red Hook’s cavernous art and music space Pioneer Works have been a breeding ground for collaboration. The fifth installment of its False Harmonics concert series crystallizes that dynamic with experimentalists who are pushing the sound envelope to new sonic heights. Tonight, electronic artist Nicky Mao, a/k/a Hiro Kone, and Wetware’s Roxy Farman renew the musical alliance that stems from their August residencies by premiering a new collaborative work. This month’s artist-in-residence, the Berlin-based spoken word and sound designer Lucrecia Dalt and noisemaking heavyweight Aaron Dilloway (ex-Wolf Eyes) will perform solo sets but will also join forces during Dalt’s September residency.

September 10: Electric Telepathy Album Release Party at Pioneer Works Like Matthew Shipp and William Parker, trumpeter and clarinetist Daniel Carter is a venerable titan of New York City’s jazz avant-garde and improvised music scenes whose deep musical mind is in constant forward motion. That is shown on a recent string of collaborative albums released by the rising 577 Records label such as Radical Invisibility, New York United, and Telepatia Liquida. Carter continues pushing ofboundaries on the otherworldly Electric Telepathy, which finds him churning out entrancing psychedelic-tinged jazz alongside kindred spirits, Patrick Holmes (clarinet), Matthew Putman (keyboard), Hilliard Greene (bass), and Federico Ughi (drums).

September 12: Alan Braufman with Cooper-Moore at Murmrr Ballroom. Saxophonist extraordinaire Alan Braufmaan is a true renaissance man. In 2018, he was free jazz’s comeback player of the year when his 1975 touchstone, Valley of Search, was unearthed and reissued. A treasured document of New York City’s loft-jazz scene, the album featured the debut of pianist Cooper-Moore (then known as Gene Ashton) and put the story of 501 Canal Street—a dilapidated building where the late great tenor saxophonist David S. Ware lived with Braufman and others—in the loft-jazz annals. Braufman continues his welcome resurgence in this free show at Murmrr Ballroom where he will join forces with Cooper-Moore, saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, drummer Andrew Drury, and bassist Ken Filiano in performing Valley of Search, debuting new music, and celebrating the release of a long-lost duo set with Cooper-Moore recorded at WKCR in 1972. The evening also features a DJ set by Shamel Cee Mystery of Standing on the Corner.

September 14: Open Air Outdoor Concert Series Presents Lightning Bolt at 99 Scott Avenue. Deafeningly-loud, deliciously nihilistic and staunchly DIY, Rhode Island’s bass and drums duo Lightning Bolt have been cranking out a hyperkinetic ruckus for a quarter-century. Masked drummer and vocalist Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson are gearing up for the release of their newest blistering slab of distortion-bathed riffs and chaotic drumming called Sonic Citadel (Thrill Jockey) with this outdoor show.

September 15: The Body with Assembly of Light Choir at The Bell House. Portland, Oregon’s The Body are metal’s preeminent outliers. Since 1999, the duo of drummer Lee Buford and guitarist and vocalist Chip King have unleashed hellacious terror where extreme-music, noise, mangled techno, doom metal, and contemporary classical improbably intertwine. In celebration of its two decades of forward-thinking metal-centric mayhem, The Body enlisted the likes of Container, Moor Mother, Moss of Aura (Future Island’s Gerrit Welmers), Peter Rehberg (KTL, Pita), Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit, Bloodyminded), and more to deliver songs from their back catalog with the remix treatment that can be heard on the forthcoming Remixed (October 11 via Thrill Jockey).

September 15: Catherine Sikora and Jessica Pavone at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. Jazz Habitat & House of Improv kick off the season with a lineup headed by avant-garde A-listers. Composer, violinist, and violist Jessica Pavone has made indelible marks in the jazz, chamber, and rock landscapes toting a singular voice that transcends genre, as evidenced by her String Ensemble’s Brick and Mortar, due October 4 via Birdwatcher Records. Catherine Sikora is a virtuosic firebrand on tenor and soprano saxophones whose star is on the rise. Untitled: after, Sikora’s 2018 duo set with drummer Brian Chase, was a scorched-earth blast of Interstellar Space-like cosmic-jazz, while Warrior, her recent solo record, saw her in arresting and meditative solo mode. With Cat Toren (piano) and Ochion Jewell (tenor saxophone) duo.

September 19: Kaufman Music Center Presents Ecstatic Music: Alarm Will Sound & Eartheater at Merkin Hall. The concert kicking off the tenth season of Ecstatic Music embodies the adventurous collaborative nature this series is known for. The intrepid twenty-member chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound recently teamed up with avant-jazz jam-band Medeski Martin & Wood and now they’ve joined forces with far-out experimental musician Eartheater (a/k/a Alexandra Drewchin). Drewchin’s gloriously warped and helter-skelter soundscapes combined with AWS’s orchestrally rich histrionics should provide ecstatic and mind-bending thrills as they tackle a six-movement suite (composed by Drewchin) titled When Fire is Allowed to Finish. For this performance, composers Aaron Parker, Steve Snowden, and Conrad Winslow were enlisted to orchestrate Drewchin’s shapeshifting concepts for the ensemble. Donnacha Dennehy’s cantata, The Hunger, will also be performed by AWS. Please note Drewchin will not be appearing at this event.

September 21: Lee “Scratch” Perry and Subatomic Sound System at Industry City. At 83-years-old, Lee “Scratch” Perry is still blazing the Jamaican dub trail. Perry revolutionized the dub and reggae blueprint and continues to explore fresh sonics on the bass-booming, beats-driven, and electronics-gurgling Rainford (On-U Sound), a groove-heavy record that finds him teaming up with U.K. dub titan, Adrian Sherwood.

September 22: Kosher Style Album Launch at Littlefield. Clarinetist and composer Michael Winograd is Klezmer music royalty. The Brooklyn-based Winograd hauls a hefty resume, having played alongside Itzhak Perlman and is in tons of bands including, Yiddish Art Trio, Tarras Band, and Sandaraa. Now this leading pioneer of klezmer has struck out on his own with his new record, Kosher Style, a set that playfully rollicks with party-like intensity.

September 24–26: Jazztopad NYC Fest. Jazz has an immensley rich in Poland, represented in no small part by past masters such as Tomasz Stanko and Krzysztor Komeda, and that will be celebrated in and around Lincoln Center, in the fifth New York visit from this excellent Polish jazz festival. More than just playing, the festival features the Lutoslawski Quartet bringing the US premiere of a composition commissioned from Amir ElSaffar, but do check out the playing from the Aga Derlak Quartet and more contemporary Polish jazz stars.

September 28: Moor Mother and Jerusalem In My Heart at ISSUE Project Room. A fearless musician, poet, and activist, Philadelphia’s Moor Mother, a/k/a Camae Ayewa, makes protest music made for these times of tumult. On records such as 2016’s Fetish Bones and 2017’s The Motionless Present, Ayewa created glitch-fused collages where fragments of techno, rap, spoken word, electronic music, and free jazz meet head-on. She’s also in the excellent free jazz collective, Irreversible Entanglements. With the recent announcement of a new album (Analog Fluids Of Sonic Black Holes due November 8 via Don Giovanni Records), Ayewa is bringing her “Afrofuturist techno-gospel” to ISSUE Project Room. Tonight also features new work from Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH), the main project of Lebanon-born, Montreal-based artist and producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh.

September 29: Sequoyah Murray at Rough Trade. Twenty-something polymath Sequoyah Murray is a soul, r&b, and pop-centric wunderkind. On Before You Begin, his Thrill Jockey debut, Murray’s blissed-out soulful croon invokes Arthur Russell, but this Atlanta-based tunesmith has an aesthetic all his own. Contorted electronics, heady improvisations, psychedelic textures, and African-inspired polyrhythms meld together to form an ecstatic backdrop for Murray’s three-octave baritone resulting in something totally fresh.

September 30: Elliott Sharp at Zürcher Gallery. Elliott Sharp is the epitome of prolific. The visionary guitarist and composer is a downtown avant-garde jazz pioneer with hugely influential recordings that helped shape the scene. He continues to break new creative ground, most recently on his adventurous recordings for the wildly eclectic Infrequent Seams label. Sharp also just recorded a record with The Flying Luttenbachers’ chief Weasel Walter, Dysrhythmia’s Colin Marston, and guitarist Álvaro Domene under the name Phonon. Tonight, he goes it alone with his dizzily complex fretboard hopping as he presents a solo concert of compositions and improvisations on acoustic guitar and also on bass clarinet.


George Grella

George Grella is the Rail’s music editor.

Brad Cohan

Brad Cohan is a music journalist based in Brooklyn who has contributed to Bandcamp, The Village Voice, NY Observer, Time Out NY, VICE, Noisey, SPIN, CLRVYNT, Red Bull Music Academy, and other fine publications.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2019

All Issues