Nurse With Wound – “Drunk With the Old Man of the Mountains ” – [Durtro]

Jawbone   2/5/2007   A Library, CD

Formed in 1978, industrial/ experimental band Nurse With Wound (Steven Stapleton et al) have over 100 albums and singles to their name. This is a 2005 re-release of a 1987 very limited edition release (100 copies- each with two original signed “paintings” [manipulated photographs] by Steven Stapleton).

What sets “Drunk With the Old Man of the Mountains” apart from the rest? Well, who wouldn’t want to get drunk with the old man of the mountains, or at least say it? And besides, digitally packed onto this disc is 45 minutes of industrial fun. ‘Industrial fun’? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Not in the capable hands and humor of Stapleton and friends:

Track 1. “Mourning Smile” (5:13) A heavy organ chord, some mellotron meandering, more heavy organ, distant hunting horns, tape manipulation, then suddenly it devolves into the last thing you would expect, a barrelhouse piano romp.

Track 2. “Swamp Rat” (12:39) Ambience, waves crashing, then persistent tribal drumming with scratchy Fred Frith-like guitar noodling that gives way to a kazoo and goofy laughing midway.

Track 3. “Sheela-Na-Gig” (5:26) Starting out suspiciously like Pink Floyd’s “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict” this is 5 minutes of screaming banshees that would sound perfect on a Halloween themed show.

Track 4. “Astral Dustbin Dirge” (12:20) Begins with a moaning manatee and ends with a female mini-orgasm, and a lot of quietness interspersed with little ambient freak outs in between.

Track 5. “Shattering Man Falling” (9:24) Krautrock-like klanging of industrial type objects with manipulation in a slow distant unhurried manner.


Ali, Rashied Quintet – “Judgement Day Vol. 1 ” – [Survival Records]

Jawbone   11/16/2006   CD, Jazz

Very solid effort from this NYC quintet led by the Art Blakey of our day. Drummer Ali has played with the likes of Coltrane (John and Alice), Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Fortune and James Blood Ulmer, but he is also known for nurturing young upcoming talent. This disc features great blowing by Jumaane Smith (trumpet) and Lawrence Clark (tenor) along with the very McCoy Tyneresque tinkling of Greg Murphy (piano).

Hard bop is the subject at hand. And much of this disc sounds like it could have been recorded in 1957, which is entirely a good thing. A lot of hard blowing swinging jazz came out of that period, right around when the avant-garde was starting to bubble and burst forth from the be-bop scene.

Standout tracks are:

4. “Judgement Day” (8:17) Middle Eastern sounding theme, fast hard swinging be-bop.

6. “Raw Fish” (5:58) Slow, quirky, dissonant, but nicely held together by harmonic horns.

9. “Multi Culti” (6:28) Gorgeous take on a multi-tempo Don Cherry composition.


Archetti, Luigi / Wiget, Bo – “Low Tide Digitals ” – [Rune Grammafon]

Jawbone   10/25/2006   A Library

Manipulated guitars, cellos and electronics are employed to create tiny ambient soundscapes that never fail to intrigue. Starting below the ocean waves in a submarine, where giant squid are thumping and scraping on the steel hull (stuck 1), moving above the surface to a cargo container deep in the bowels of a ship, with distant rumblings of the massive engine (stuck 2), transported onshore to a cliffside cavern full of eerie creatures and warm breezes (stuck 3), its a fascinating journey.

The first non-Norwegian artists on the Rune Grammophon label, Swiss based Luigi Archetti and Bo Wiget are multimedia composers/ musicians/ artists and two talented dudes (checkout Luigi’s amazing website at Luigiarchetti.com). Luigi is also a longtime member of legendary Krautrock band Guru Guru (who knew they were still together?).


Fahey, John – “Hitomi” – [Important Records] (33rpm)

Jawbone   10/24/2006   12-inch, Country

At times shimmering, ghostly, hypnotic and drenched in reverb. At times bluesy in a slow, zen, discordant way. John Fahey’s last album to be released while he was still among the living, was his first to be self produced and self recorded since 1961. Supposedly, a live recording (there is no audience noise), the album lopes along at a very relaxed pace, until side 4, when it takes off in a free jazz workout known as “A History of Tokyo Rail Traction” (complete with locomotive sound effects). This is the only non-solo piece on the album, where Fahey is accompanied by Tim Knight and Rob Shrivener on keyboards and guitars.

After 40 years of recording and 40 albums, Hitomi was originally released in 2000, just months before Fahey’s death at age 61 after undergoing sextuple bypass surgery. A few postmortem releases have come out since, but this remains an interesting final testament from the father of American Primitive Guitar.


Zakarya – “413A” – [Tzadik]

Jawbone   9/16/2006   A Library

Imagine, if you will, Tom Waits in a drag-down knock-out brawl with Popeye, while Bluto lurks in the shadows waiting to pilfer the pockets of the loser (#4). Zakarya conjure up such images with their instrumental blend of accordian, odd time signatures and metalesque guitars.

Borrowing freely from experimental rock, free jazz, metal riffs, klezmer and Capt. Beefheart-like rhythms, this is an interesting and unusual release.

Paris based Zakarya’s third release on Tzadik features guest guitarist Marc Ribot throughout.


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