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Eastman, Julius – “Femenine” – [Frozen Reeds]

Julius_Eastman

Julius Eastman was a black gay composer/vocalist in late 70s/early 80s New York, performing and recording with the New York Philharmonic and Meredith Monk and others. He suffered from mental illness, the super threw all of his stuff out on the street in ’81 and 9 years later he died in obscurity at a in Buffalo. Scholars have been putting the pieces together since then.
This concert was in 1974 in Albany. 12 or 15 performers memory is hazy. At the performance soup was served and Eastman wore a dress. A mechanism of Eastman’s invention plays sleigh bells for about 70 minutes. The vibraphone hammers out a motif that is expanded upon by the ensemble. In Eastman’s words, “the end sounds like Angels opening up heaven … euphoria.”

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bad Jazz – “Daymare” – [eh?]

    e93

    One long track 39m. Piano and a bunch of fumbling. Will make you think something is wrong with the car. About 38 minutes in a toy drum machine takes over. Noises. A plastic straw makes an ominous sound and brings the proceedings to an absurd finale.
    Tanya Chen (Tender Buttons) plays piano, electronics, toys.
    The liner notes have a picture of some salmon fillets and a microphone.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 11, 2017 at 8:22 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Brahms – “Sonatas For Viola and Piano, Op. 120″ – [Capitol Records]

    In 1912 Rudolf Firkusny was born in Moravian Napajedla, in what is now Czechoslovakia period he studied with Janacek, touring Europe in the 1920s and premiering in London in 1933 and New York in 1938. He fled the Nazis in 1939, escaping to Paris and settling in New York.
    William Primrose was a Scottish violist, teacher, and author. He was part of the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Jascha Heifetz and others. He began in 1924 as a professional violinist and switched to the viola in 1930. Late in life he developed hearing difficulties that prevented him from hearing certain pitches. He died in Utah.

    Brahms’ Op. 120 are his final chamber works. Published in 1895. Brahms loved the clarinet and wrote These originally for clarinet and piano although he also wrote a version for viola. Side A begins with a 4 bar piano theme in octaves that has been shown in recent analysis to be generative of every musical idea that follows. Side B is not too shabby either.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Mad Professor Meets Jah9 – “In The Midst of The Storm” – [VP Records]

    jah9

    9 digital-style dubs on a blue spatter transparent LP in an edition of 1000. Pressed exclusively for Record Store day 2017 by VP Records out of Jamaica, Queens.
    Jah9 is dub poet and certified yoga instructor. Mad Professor got his name as a boy due to his fascination with electronics. He began his career in music in 1973, as a service technician.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 24, 2017 at 4:08 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Reggae
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  • Ra Al Dee Experience – “Diatessaron” – [Ajna Offensive]

    raaldee

    The mystical, oriental music project of Mors Dalos Ra/guitars,saz (of Necros Christos) and Ben Ya Min Al Dee/percussion. Driving Persian instrumentals with mystical Sinai hand-drumming Exodus meditations. All instrumental except the title tune. Wide appeal.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Brahms, Johannes / Festival Quartet – “Piano Quartet In C Minor, Op. 60″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

    brahmsop60

    Brahms couldn’t seal the deal and abated his frustration through musical composition.
    First movement premiered by Clara Schumann, who Brahms was in love with
    Often called the Werther quartet – a common theme for 19th century suicidal love birds
    Almost twenty years later Brahms is in love with Mrs. Elisabeth von Herzogenberg and he finds enough of himself to finish.

    The festival quartet came together at the summer festival in Aspen, and features:
    Szymon Goldberg, violin
    William Primrose, viola
    Nikolai Graudan, cello
    Victor Babin, piano

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Ghost In The House – “Second Sight” – [Public Eyesore]

    R-9945433-1489002433-2561.jpeg

    Squaky improvised classicist jazz quartet adds surreal spoken word about Dream Machines, dockside disembodied heads, bats. Recorded in SF
    Kyle Bruckmann on oboes, english horn
    Tom Nunn – metallic pwecussive sounds
    David Michalek – strings, percussion – composed the tunes
    Karen Stackpole – gongs, percussion.
    Guests include vocals contributed by Dean Santomieri

    Spoken words on tracks 3, 6, 8

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Cudd, Patti – “Eos” – [Innova Recordings]

    726708696726-front-cover

    Patti Cudd teaches percussion and new music studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the College of St. Benedict & St. John???s University.
    Varied 3 disc set explores many ways of “scraping, scratching, tapping and striking”. Sometimes hand percussion, sometimes with mallets, vibes, sometimes computers. 16 of the 22 tracks are new commissions. The album also features works by Morton Feldman, Brian Ferneyhough and Christian Wolff ??? the only ones here without the use of electronics.
    These sounds, many solo except for Max MSP type processing, invite contemplation.. some are very commanding and others could be beds. Dig in, play it all the time. Sayles once told me that a solo percussionist is a foundational part of the KFJC sound.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 17, 2017 at 5:51 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Dickey / Maneri / Shipp – “Vessel In Orbit” – [Aum Fidelity]

    dick

    Jazz piano trio with a viola instead of bass. Drummer Whit Dickey is here searching, and expansive. Matthew Shipp’s piano is lyrical, more melodic. Maneri’s viola tone catalyzes. This is great date – something notable is happening.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Xenakis Ensemble – “Waakvlam” – [BVHaast]

    xxx

    The Xenakis Ensemble is a Dutch ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music. Based in Middelburg, it is known as one of the few ensembles specializing in the works of the composer Iannis Xenakis (YAWN-iss zen-KNOCK-kiss). Many Xenakis titles in A library. 3 long (20mins) and 1 short (3:30).

    Opens with a Xenakis composition featuring the signature sound of percussionn and horn blasts alternating with horror string glissandos.
    Track 2 William Breuker – harpsichord and chamber orchestra with lots of percussion.
    Track 3 David Del Puerto exploratory marimba concerto, a real treat for marimbologists.
    Track 4 Xenakis – shorter Xenakis piece, not so terrifying. Enjoyable, maybe.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Eide, Khalifa Ould & Abba, Dimi Mint – “Moorish Music From Mauritania” – [World Circuit]

    eko

    Dimi Mint Abba was born in 1958 to a low-caste Mauritanian family specializing in the griot tradition. She is accompanied here by her husband Khalifa Ould Eide and her two daughters. Moorish music is highly structured improvised music, with intricate vocal and rhythmic interplay. Handclaps, rattle, hand drums, hammer-ons. She died in June, 2011 in Casablanca, Morocco. Her fans included Youssou N’Dour and Ali Farka Toure.

    Tracks 1-6 feature tidinit/lute, 7-11 feature electric guitar. Fans of Gnawa and Saharan blues music will find much to enjoy.

    She began her career in 1976 when she won the Umm Kulthum Contest in Tunis. Her winning song “Sawt Elfan” (“Art’s Plume” – Track 7) has the refrain “Art’s Plume is a balsam, a weapon and a guide enlightening the spirit of men”, which can be interpreted to mean that artists play a more important role than warriors in society.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Brahms / Heifetz / Reiner – “Violin Concerto In D, Op. 77″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

    bh2R-2818811-1302459943

    The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, was composed by Johannes Brahms in 1878 and dedicated to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. It is Brahms’s only violin concerto, and, according to Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Brahms – “Complete Quartets For Piano & Strings Vol. 2″ – [Capitol Records]

    bhR-6882147-1428678818-6892

    The Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26 by Johannes Brahms, for piano, violin, viola and cello. It was completed in 1861 and received its premiere in November 1863 by the Hellmesberger Quartet with the composer playing the piano part.
    This quartet is long and shows the influence of Schubert. When performed badly it is quite interminable. None of that here, Victor Allen at the piano with members of the Hollywood String Quartet, Felix Slatkin- violin, Alvin Dinkin- viola, Eleanor Allen- cello.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 6, 2017 at 10:40 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Akropolis Reed Quintet – “Space Between Us, The” – [Innova Recordings]

    arq

    3rd album of modern wind from the Akropolis Reed Quintet. Diverse set of chamber works.
    Track 1 – electroacoustic, intense- street preachers.
    Track 11 – audience participation.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Vakoka – “Introducing Vakoka” – [World Music Network]

    INTRO102

    Vakoka means “something precious given from the ancestors”. Madagascar is an island off of the SE coast of Africa settled 1500 years ago by Polynesians. Wood flutes, violin, accordion, snaredrum, call and response, hand drums. Diverse ensembles give contrasting sounds from track-to-track, deeper tracks reward. Mississippi Records’ “Fanajana” & “Fanafody” Madagascar comps provide contrast.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 29, 2017 at 8:28 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Beethoven – “Sonata No. 9 In a Minor, No. 6 In a Major” – [Epic Records]

    kreutzer

    The Kreutzer Sonata is very demanding. It is emotionally varied, technically difficult, and long (performances can last 40 minutes.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
  • Comment on this review
  • Beethoven – “Trios: In G, Op. 9, No. 1 / In C Minor, Op. 9, No.” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

    trioop9

    Composed 1797-8, published in Vienna 1799. At the time of publication, Beethoven thought these were his best works. The musicologist Gerald Abraham has remarked that in terms of their style and aesthetic value the string trios of Op. 9 rank with Beethoven’s first string quartets which ousted the trios from the concert halls.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Monochromie – “Colors In The Dark” – [Time Released Sound]

    mcitd

    French composer Wilson Trouve and Alameda’s Time Released Sound bring us 11 tracks of ambient piano, field recordings, guitar, and synthesizer swells, all processed and encased in layers of shellac. Romantic and pastoral impulses dominate. The piano work is tonally related to minimalism, but uncharacteristically, it brings a romantic sentiment to the proceedings

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Necks, The – “Silent Night” – [Fish of Milk]

    neckssilentnight

    2 CD’s, 2 long slow-moving tunes, 63 & 53 mins from Australia’s The Necks. CDs mix together nicely. Repetitive piano and sidewinding bass phrases, some electroacoustic and film sample sounds. Drum machines. 88 BPM. Made me want to go out at night and repossess some vehicles. 6 minutes in, “Can I get a beer?” You’ll need one. 15 minutes, a guy gets roughed up. 37 minutes in, this lady gets thrown out a window. Ambulances wail, the crime scene photographers do their job. Let’s go on a stakeout.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Cutler, Grant – “Self Portrait” – [Innova Recordings]

    gc961

    Brooklyn’s Grant Cutler recorded musicians improvising to delayed recordings of themselves, building odd warm drones. The compositional process is guided by the dumb logic of delay, and the results are anything but. Klangfarbenmelodie colors, shifting terrain, structures constructing and desconstructing simultaneously. 8 short tunes 3-7 minutes each. We have another Cutler 12″ in the library.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 11:48 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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