CKCU-FM 93.1 from Ottawa, Canada
This page is a historical summary of RWAC programs over the last few years. You can also receive the actual programs for a given day via the news letter. Press here to be on the RWAC news letter mailing list
Music on Demand and play lists: If you missed a show, no problem, you can listen to it on demand for 30 days: http://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/95/index.html just click on the date.
November 7th, 2012: the cultural clash of Italian guitarist Paolo Angeli and Japanese violinist and vocalist Takumi Fukushima
Host: Bernard Stepien:Guitarist Angeli and violinist Fukushima are into another kind of fusion. Fukushima is Japanese, granted, but she plays her violin like Paganini (oh, yet another Italian), that means mostly like classical music. But that would be too simple. She also wanders into American folk music and if that wasn’t enough, her Japanese built-in Kabuki burst out at unexpected moments. Angeli is Italian or more precisely Sardinian. He plays guitar but in two radically different ways that you would expect a guitar to be played. First of all he plays it by holding it vertically like a cello and secondly he mostly uses bowing rather than plucking. The result of this fusion is pleasant with enough disturbances like elements of Rock and Free Jazz to keep a commercial radio station at bay. Tonight, we will survey their Itsunomanika CD recorded in Italy.
October 31st, 2012: Special funding drive mix
Host: Bernard Stepien:Tonight is the second and last night of CKCU-FM RWAC funding drive. We have a cross-selection of artist that we featured over the last year and that we will feature in the coming year. This includes:
- · William Parker
- · Lina Allemano
- · Alexander von Schlippenbach
- · Michael McNeill
- · John Zorn & Fred Frith
- · Megan Jerome
- · Serguey Kuryokhin
- · Urs Leimgruber & Evan Parker
October 24th, 2012: Toronto guitarist Ken Aldcroft
Host: Bernard Stepien: For the last decade, Vancouver born guitarist Ken Aldcroft has been working at the Toronto Jazz Scene in many ways. He developed an interesting distinctive sound making his electric guitar sound somewhat acoustic. On the stylistic side, Aldcroft explores many different styles of Jazz. Tonight we will sample four of his CDs in preparation of his show at IMOO this coming Sunday:
- 1. Home, featuring solo guitar compositions with a strong folk music influence
- 2. Hat & Beard in a duo with drummer Dave Clark that explores the music of Thelonious Monk.
- 3. One Sunday, a duo with the great NYC bass player William Parker.
- 4. Notes of the Miasms in a duo with saxophonist Andy Haas.
October 17th, 2012: Russian avant-garde: Alexey Kruglov and Vladimir Tarasov
Host: Bernard Stepien: Avant-garde Jazz in Russia has gone through a parallel process to the political and economic changes that led to the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Before, Free-Jazz was a way to shock the musical establishment that was mainly centered on either official classical music or folk music, the music of the people after all. Back then, musicians like the late Sergey Kuryokhin went to great length to shock the public using for instance a band composed of real pigs or entitling his projects like “Lenin Was A Mushroom”. Today and over the last decade, Russian avant-garde nicely melted with its counterpart in the rest of the world with considerably more tamed projects very comparable to what you can hear even here in Ottawa at the remarkable IMOO series but also conceptually somewhat going back to the roots of Russian avant-garde as far back as the music of great Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. Some critics even talk about very concrete and well thought constructions mixing all the characteristics of avant-garde improvised music like irony, meditative, aggressive, explosive, drawing from the sounds of nature and as many theatrical sounds you can imagine. More important is the fact that Russian avant-garde musicians are not isolated. They perform frequently with their western counterparts. Drummer Tarasov performs frequently with Andrew Cyrille, Joelle Leandre, Anthony Braxton and many others. Also, they now face exactly the same consumerism hurdles as their western counterparts. Tonight, we will sample their Dialogos CD on the Solyd records label, a very Russian impressionistic recording where the duo draws as many sounds as possible from a vast collection of reed and percussion instruments. More on: http://homini-lupus.livejournal.com/168216.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3lKOkZMpUY
October 10th, 2012: Summer Jazz part III: Berlin guitarist Olaf Rupp
Host: Bernard Stepien: On my way to a conference in Prague I felt the urge to stop in not far away Berlin. I stayed with saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert and after a couple of days of two hour sessions of duo practices we decided to hit the town which in Berlin is a very natural thing. Berlin, which has the highest unemployment rate in Germany has become a major musical tourist attraction. Tourists come from all over the world to see shows of all kinds, from classical music to Rock to Jazz and even Free-Jazz. Thus one could say that in this vibrant city of Berlin, music saves the show! That night, guitarist Olaf Rupp was playing in one of the zillions of Berlin art galleries that feature avant-garde Jazz among other styles of music. Olaf Rupp has an impressive trail of 30 CDs over a decade that started with the famous FMP label. I quickly realized that I was facing something new to me. Olaf Rupp has developed a unique technique on the guitar. First of all, he holds his guitar vertically like a Chinese pipa. Then, he uses all of the well-known guitar plucking like rasgueado, arpeggio and tremolos in continuously changing musical elements. Somehow he seems to have developed an independence of each individual finger on the right hand that allow him to build parallel rather than linear musical elements whether they are melodic lines, chords or clusters but more important all in a virtuoso speed. Olaf Rupp’s music is also a visual experience. See the following web sites not to mention youtube: http://www.audiosemantics.de/ http://www.olafrupp.de/ Tonight, we will review some of his solo improvisation as well as collaborations with saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert on the qliqq label.
October 3d, 2012: a preview of IMOO-Fest
Host: Bernard Stepien: The Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outaouais just turned 2 years of existence with over 60 concerts under the belt. This longevity is probably the result of a pragmatic approach to the problem of the 1%. Improvised music, the statistics say has only 1% of market share. Thus, curators Linsey Wellman and Craig Pedersen seconded by Renée Yoxon on the communication side ended up focusing on one concept: make it small and see what happens. But this may not be enough. The second most important factor of this two year success is probably a well-oiled network of interconnected high caliber travelling improvised music troubadours that don’t mind stopping over at the UMI café at IMOO to perform in front of a couple dozen spectators (maximum capacity) not to forget a string of talented local free improvisers. The best example was two weeks ago with Huntsville, a group coming as far away as Norway (6500 km away) on its way to the well-established Guelph Jazz Festival. Finally, this case of micro-economy of course resolves at the cash register. The $5 donation suggestion is low enough to encourage people to donate without restraint but also more important, to come back.
This week, IMOO will feature its first micro-festival, IMOO-Fest at Club Saw on Friday and Saturday evenings. Club Saw has about double the capacity than the UMI café. Like any festival, there will be some high profile bills such as Montreal internationally renowned improviser and clarinetist Lori Freedman and equally internationally renowned but fortunately for us now local percussionist Jesse Steward. This in addition of an array of local groups that have made some sensation during the IMOO two concerts per month series over these past two years. All of this will be combined into a perfect melting pot: the IMOO-Orchestra directed this time by clarinetist Lori Freedman that apparently is writing us some arrangements in addition to its directed improvisation principle…
Tonight, the IMOO curators will be in the studio and entertain you as usual answering my inquisitive questions.
Roddy Ellias with Adrian Vedady and John Fabroni at GigSpace, a short concert reviewGigSpace is the place where you can avoid fork and knives white noise and instead take a full bite of music thanks in part to the fact that GigSpace is a converted recording studio but may be more because its owner/artistic directors are also very professional musicians. Thus, its acoustics are just ideal and everything is done from a musician’s point of view. Combine this with a new series featuring Roddy Ellias and your entertainment dollar may experience an upsurge of ROI (return on investment). Last Saturday, Roddy Ellias opened the series in a trio setting with Montreal bassist Adrian Vedady and drummer John Fraboni. First reason to attend a concert by Roddy Ellias: Roddy is a double agent, one foot in Chamber Music another one in Jazz, thus, sooner or later both musical styles end up mixing. However, a good mix may not be enough. In this case, it appears that Roddy has benefited from this experience and developed a unique skill of transforming one music to the other and vice-versa. But this is not exactly what I heard last Saturday. Instead, the concept of transformation was applied at a completely different level. The most striking example for me that night was the interpretation of Duke Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood, one of my favorite tunes since hearing Archie Shepp’s version back in the ‘60s. As you all know, this is a least a beautiful composition but also a worn out standard by now. Roddy started with a very pro-forma interpretation quasi à la Joe Pass to soon replace a few notes with other notes that almost turned it into a new composition with lots of surprises if it wasn’t for the constant reminder at unexpected moments that he was still playing In a Sentimental Mood, sort of a surprising anti-surprise strategy. At times, the music sounded like the equivalent of seeing your picture in a distortion mirrors at country fair attractions. Thus, Roddy playing standards is the ultimate deception for people with straight ahead tastes. It is only a jumping board to the wildest explorations in melodic and harmonic derivations. There is a lot of freedom in Roddy Ellias’ playing, including the use of space so typical of Thelonious Monk not to mention the use of dissonances. One Problem with Roddy Ellias: there are only a few CDs available. Reason: Roddy complains about not having enough gigs with the band of his choice to polish a project and bring it to recording (read too busy on the heavily sponsored Chamber Music side…). He is just a perfectionist! What I heard last Saturday with this trio (a now steady trio) could have produced a very enjoyable CD, both for the 99% straight ahead and the 1% avant-garde crowds. Thus, see for yourself and just attend one of the next concerts in that series, next concert is on October 20th with Petr Cancura. Last chance, April 20th 2013.
September 26th, 2012: Ottawa guitarist Tim Bedner
Host: Bernard Stepien: For some obscure reasons, Ottawa seems to attract top Jazz musicians. Guitarist Tim Bedner left an 8 year position of adjunct professor at Pittsburgh Duquesne University to move to Ottawa where he performs in all kinds of settings besides his day gig jobs as educator both at Carleton University and the private Alcorn Music Studios. He has an interest for the avant-garde as his association with Oliver Lake and more recently a performance at the IMOO series testifies. Tonight, Tim will be in the studio to talk about his latest CD, of Light and Shadow and his various involvements in performance and cultivating a Jazz venue, GigSpace that many people don’t seem to know about but that is an ideal venue for listening to Jazz without fork and knives noise interference.
September 19th, 2012: Summer Jazz part II: An Evening at the St-Emilion Jazz Festival
Host: Bernard Stepien & Peter Hum: By coincidence, our Ottawa Citizen friend Peter Hum was vacationing last July on the island of Oléron just 15 nautical miles away from my summer home in France. France is the country that hosted 165 jazz festivals this summer in many different kinds of settings, usually some antique, medieval, renaissance or contemporary venues but also frequently coupled with a non-Jazz theme. It is so that in France, Jazz is considered as a major cultural contribution that looks good for any municipality that gets involved and that is good for business in general. Somehow, we got news of the première of the St-Emilion Jazz Festival which took place in a medieval village where some of the best Bordeaux wine is produced and shipped worldwide, thus the St-Emilion Jazz festival was a coupling between Jazz, St-Emilion wine and Perigord extra delicate food. Peter got it through facebook, myself through a banner in an article of the local Sud-Ouest newspaper that talked about a truck plunging into the ocean from the causeway leading to Peter’s vacation location. I just wanted to ensure the same fate didn’t occur to him. However, we quickly came to the conclusion that we could plot a trip against our wives legendary other priorities using each other as an alibi to go. It worked! Peter already reported this memorable outing on his blog: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/08/09/saint-emilion-jazz-festival-road-trip/ Of that night I only knew Dee Dee Bridgewater from way back in the ‘70s when she was into Free-Jazz on the New York scene, soon to drift away into more commercial configurations. I had never paid attention to Brian Blade but fortunately, Peter knew him well and guaranteed me that I would not be disappointed. Indeed, this was for me a real discovery. I know the functioning of the New York Jazz scene well, having spent decades going back and forth including in company of my late friend saxophonist Billy Robinson that gave me opportunities to talk to lots of musicians and also commuted there weekly for a couple years a decade ago. Thus, I know for a long time that there are hundreds of outstanding musicians down there who are kept in the dark thanks to major labels marketing strategies that makes them concentrate on a small set of musicians. Drummer and composer Brian Blade somewhat fits into this category despite the fact that he is one of the most in demand drummers, performing with Kenny Garret, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea on the Jazz side but also with Bob Dylan on the pop music side. The performance at St-Emilion was intense and thanks to the continuous thirst for people like Archie Shepp from the French public, all elements of commercialism were happily left aside which is unfortunately not the case for marketing managers-oriented CD productions. They played what they wanted to play, blending in the lyrical with the hardest Post-Bop and Post-Free they could. Blade is also a composer but composer is in my opinion not the right word for Brian Blade. He is a musical architect that gives his works elaborate constructions with symphonic overtones and concentrates on suites of musical entities and the way to nest them. On the performing side itself, Blade doesn’t confine himself to a rhythm section role. Instead he follows his musicians wherever they go as an extension to their melodic lines, sometimes even anticipating their moves. This may explain why he is in such demand as a sideman. Tonight, Peter Hum will be in the CKCU studio to share our emotions about this memorable evening of Jazz in St-Emilion.
September 12th, 2012: British guitarist Derek Bailey recording Good Cop Bad Cop
Host: Bernard Stepien: Each musician tries to develop his own approach to music to differentiate himself from the competition so to speak. British guitarist Derek Bailey extended this concept to the limits. In the ‘70s Bailey was not satisfied with permanent bands. He found the outcome too predictable and somewhat limiting. Thus, from there on he played with constantly renewed personnel to ensure that he will be challenged in his habits at all times and more likely produce music he never thought of before. Good Cop bad Cop was recorded live in 2003 with an array of equally prodigious musicians, Tony Bevan, Paul Hession and Otomo Yoshihide. The music is as described above, un-predictable, constantly changing with each intervention of another musician and undoing what the preceding soloist was doing as soon as possible thus making boredom for the listener potentially impossible.
September 5th, 2012: Summer Jazz – part I: French drummer, pianist, accordionist, poet and off-beat politician Bernard Lubat
Host: Bernard Stepien: If you are in France and jazzman Bernard Lubat turns up on a concert poster, don’t even start to think! Just go, you won’t be disappointed. Bernard Lubat has been cultivating the concept of one man show for a while. Fully proficient on four instruments (drums, piano, accordion, voice), his art is probably focused on yet two more extensions: poetry and circus. Since all of his music is sawn with poetry that can turn into acid political satire targeted at all the political spectrum and that all of that is in French or more precisely an extended French where words, like Jazz chords are carefully altered to reveal their true meaning or sometimes exactly their opposite all of that with the appropriate rhythm effects that one could expect from a percussionist, you may be first at a loss. However, the circus component should break the language barrier at once. During most of the concert I was wondering what the three large frying pans hanging above the grand piano were for. At one point, the revelation came. After having thrown a batch of ping pong balls in the piano that were jumping all over the place to create both a visual effect (the circus part) and random sounds (the music part) (the composition was appropriately called “et que ça saute!”), the frying pans revealed their function. Lubat had a typical but bigger than usual toy dart gun with suction cups. At the very appropriate moment, while un-suspiciously playing piano, Lubat would fire his gun and the percussive impact of the arrow would of course produce a sound on the frying pan at exactly the right point in time in the improvisation of a standard including the right pitch. I forgot which tune it was he was playing, but I think it was Stella by Starlight, a favorite worn out standard commonly played at any jam-session. The French crowds love that kind of complex combinations of art and casual events. The venue was of course packed with people having driven sometimes up to two hours to get to this venue. For the iconoclasts, Lubat defines himself as an Amusicien (Amusician) which after much thinking could be interpreted in two opposite ways: an anti-musician or an amuse-ician. Your choice! Note: the very long, winding and complex syntax errors laden phrases of the above text are intended to somehow render the complexity of Lubat’s both personality and art. This summer I had the luck to catch Lubat at the most unusual venue one could think: Le Théatre d’Ardoise on the island of Oléron in France. That island is not known for its Jazz festivals like the French Riviera. The local demand for Jazz is low there. But artistic director Jean-Marc Chailloleau, also owner of the oyster processing basins around the theatre and co-founder of a pirate radio station where he also hosted a Jazz program in the ‘80s, has a different idea: program a festival spread over the two months French people take their extensive vacation that a typical Nortel Networks manager still don’t understand today with a very mixed content ranging from folk music to Jazz but always with the combination music, theatre, and high-end gastronomy food. This is not to mention the venue itself, an artificial roman theatre made of shale slates that are usually used to attract oyster larvae in the ocean. This symbiosis between Jazz, art, nature and architecture should land him a UNESCO world heritage label soon unless he stays too quiet. http://www.letheatreardoise.com Lubat can be viewed on: http://vimeo.com/9229754
August 29th, 2012: Beach combers treasure trove
Host: Bernard Stepien: A long summer with lots of findings: · Attila Zoller, Hans Koller, Martial Solal in 1965 · Charlie Parker at Massey hall, 1953 · Roscoe Mitchell, Nine To Get Ready, 1997 · Ben Riley featuring Wayne Escoffery, 2010 · Erroll Garner, Caravan, 1953 · Frank Paul Schubert, Shots & Coups, 2012 · Tim Bedner, Of Light And Shadow, 2012 · Sun Ra, My Brother the Wind, 1969
August 22nd, 2012: Trumpets, trumpets, trumpets!
Host: David Broscoe: Inspired by recent IMOO shows, David Broscoe samples recent trumpet recordings from Axel Dörner, Ellwood Epps, Peter Evans, Craig Pedersen, and Nate Wooley. Axel Dörner and Ellwood Epps – Twine – live at le Cagibi Peter Evans, James Fei, Damon Smith, Weasel Walter Craig Pedersen – Grey Areas #1-#9 Nate Wooley, Tatsuya Nakatani, Steve Swell – Lovely Hazel
August 15th, 2012: Sampling the complete remastered box set of Julius Hemphil’s recordings
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays compositions by Julius Hemphill, prompted by the release of the Complete Remastered World Saxophone Quartet box set on Black Saint/Soul Note
August 8th, 2012: Mark Keill’s favorite musicians
Host: Mark Keill: Another week away from home! Co-host Mark Keill will ensure you have a good RWAC program.
August 1st, 2012: French saxophonist Barney Wilen
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: The Curious Case of Barney Wilen's Moshi. Barnney Wilen was a French old-school tenor and soprano saxophonist who came to fame playing with Miles Davis on the seminal soundtrack Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud. Fine. By the late 60s he took a strange, sharp turn into blistering psychedelic rock fusion with the album Dear Prof. Leary. But things got stranger still when he went to Africa in 1970 with some recording equipment and an entourage intent on chasing after the songs of the pygmies. Combining snippets of field recordings, African folk songs, animal noises, whimsical singing and all kinds of delightful weirdness, Moshi is the album he made when he came back. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky investigates.
July 25th, 2012: Portuguese Horn Player Rodrigo Amado part II
Host: Ron Steeds: Guest host Ron Steeds profiles the Portuguese horn player Rodrigo Amado that includes his work with his Motion Trio, his Lisbon Improvisation Players and his work with Dennis Gonzalez Yells At Eels. This is the second of a two part feature. Part one aired July 4. You can still listen to part one by using our ON DEMAND feature!
July 18th, 2012: Ten Freedom Summers
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: In which we scratch the surface of the sprawling, ambitious new 4-CD epic concept album of that name by trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith. An abstract evocation of the American civil rights movement with Smith's Golden Quintet and the 8-piece Southwest Chamber Music ensemble, the album is way too big for one show, so consider this part one.
July 11th, 2012: Rare Noise Records
Host: Mark Keill: This week a look at a few of the artists on the UK recording label RareNoise. Founded in 2008 with the purpose, amongst other things, to "seek musicians who are both very literate and at complete ease with breaking boundaries of genre. From Electronica to Ambient to Indie Rock, to Dub, to Drum'n Bass to Jazz to Funk to Classical - no boundaries."
July 4th, 2012: Portuguese hornplayer Rodrigo Amado part I
Host: Ron Steeds: Guest host Ron Steeds profiles the Portuguese hornplayer Rodrigo Amado that includes his work with his Motion Trio, his Lisbon Improvisation Players and his work with Dennis Gonzalez Yells At Eels. This is the first of a two part feature. Part two will air July 25.
June 27th, 2012: Don Cherry – Live at Café Montmartre 1966 vol 1.
Host: Jim Reil: Guest host Jim Reil will play all of Don Cherry's Live at Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 1. Recorded in Copenhagen, this is a truly inspired recording featuring Cherry on trumpet, a young and fiery Gato Barbieri on tenor saxophone, Karl Berger on vibraphone, Bo Stief on bass and Aldo Romano on drums.
June 20th, 2012: Don Pullen Black Saint/Soul Note reissues
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: Italian labels Black Saint and Soul Note have been reissuing out-of-print free jazz works in great budget-priced box sets. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky checks out the new 7-cd set of pianist Don Pullen's early works.
June 13th, 2012: Escalator over the hill
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: A peek into the vast vault of vinyl at the CKCU library reveals an avant-garde gem from 1971, Carla Bley's "jazz opera" The Escalator Over the Hill. Featuring Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce, Roswell Rudd and many more. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky gives it a spin.
June 6th, 2012: Extraordinary New York bassist William Parker
Host: Bernard Stepien: After reviewing the Ottawa International Jazz Festival for a couple weeks, a good idea might be to warm up with the Montreal Suoni del Popolo off festival right before. One artist that is repeatedly featured at Suoni del Popolo is the extraordinary bassist William Parker that has now a four decades track record of developing a distinctive sound and technique on avant-garde bass. Parker has catapulted the bass into a different orbit as the traditional rhythm section role. He fully extended his forefathers innovations, Jimmy Garrison, Mingus and many others in sculpting a unique soloing style loaded with rich textures using the arco and elaborate melodies that you would expect normally from horns or pianos. He has also used this soloing style even in band contexts, especially with the great Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, Charles Gayle, Matthew Shipp and Jameel Moondoc. Most of us here in Ottawa discovered him sometimes in the late ‘70s at the Saw Gallery. We still haven’t recovered from that explosion of energy. Besides playing the bass, William Parker is also a very articulate activist and organizer always with the focus of Music along with social issues. A couple of weeks ago, I landed at Montreal’s Cheap Thrills where I found this triple CD box of pure solo William Parker. His liner notes in a way sum up his art: “Fräulein Miller owned about 200 slaves in South Carolina. Legend has it she was a benevolent master who would save pieces of stale cake for the slaves from time to time. This was something she was proud of. Then one day several slaves made their way into the kitchen stealing large knives. They had made the decision to cut the throats of the overseers and escape. At the crucial moment just before bloodshed was to occur they heard the sound of a low string instrument. It was a bass being bowed and the music was like a dance but you couldn’t dance to it without listening and you couldn’t listen without feeling it. These displaced and tortured Africans held out their arms, they intertwined them like branches from a tree. Becoming unified as one voice they looked in the slave master’s eyes turning and walked off the plantation into the horizon never to be seen again.”
May 30th, 2012: Ottawa International Jazz Festivals avant-garde picks
Host: Bernard Stepien: The Ottawa International Jazz Festival under the artistic direction of saxophonist Petr Cancura has come up with a well-balanced programming on the avant-garde side of things between New York based musicians and Europeans and the various stylistic genres that range from classical music extensions to post ‘60s free Jazz to Imaginary Folklore oriented. In preparation for this celebration we will sample the music of: · Brooklynn’s Rob Garcia complex melodies · Maya Homburger/Barry Guy/Pierre Favre classical oriented music · Brian Blade’s lyrical side of not so straight ahead Jazz · Angelika Niescier rising German star with a Berlin energy loaded Jazz · Ig Henneman’s Dutch Instant Composers Pool oriented sense of improvised orchestration · Luca Ciarla, Italy’s stealth unbalanced fiddling
May 23d, 2012: Valley Giants – An OIJF sponsored CD
Host: Bernard Stepien: Petr Cancura, the Ottawa International Jazz Festival music director will be in the studio to talk about an interesting initiative to feature local musicians on an official OIJF CD. Knowing how local musicians in general all over the world are struggling to either record or distribute their own CDs, this initiative is certainly a major contribution.
May 16th, 2012: Anthony Braxton Creative Orchestra 1978
Host: Bernard Stepien: The immense creativity of Anthony Braxton is probably responsible for the definite anchoring of Jazz into the academic world. His music is beyond the revolt of the ‘60s that was principally aimed at de-commercialising Jazz. Instead, he turned it what the French call “un art savant” highlighting its scientific qualities. In the ‘70s, he concentrated on two formats that are common in western classical music, tour de force solo performances on the saxophone similar to a Rostropovich cello solo performance and large bands similar to classical symphonic orchestras (up to 160 musicians involved). However, all of that did not distract him from the roots of Jazz and he frequently pays tribute to the tradition and primarily the Be-Bop idiom that as an alto saxophonist is plugged irremediably into Charlie Parker. Tonight, we will survey his 1978 recordings Creative Orchestra (Köln) on the Hatology label that features an obvious tribute to Duke Ellington and further back in time, to the American March King, John Philip Sousa to whom we owe many famous marches including Stars and Stripes Forever. What a mix! Would the younger generation say.
May 9th, 2012: British unsetting extreme vocalist Phil Minton
Host: Bernard Stepien: Phil Minton has had a long career exploring the capabilities of producing music with the human voice well beyond established standards. He has done anything imaginable with his voice. Burping is considered as a musical element here. He is known to master the technique of producing multiple simultaneous burps. Minton can be sometimes funny like Donald Duck or outrageously dramatic. Tonight we will sample his solo CD, No doughnuts in hand that is part of a series about doughnuts over the last three decades, 1982, 1996 and now 2007. It illustrates particularly well the extraordinary vocabulary he has developed over the years. His unique technique has attracted continuous engagements. Since the 60’s, Minton has performed on over 100 vinyl or CDs and is considered equally unique with another Britton, Evan Parker.
May 2nd, 2012: UNESCO Jazz Day includes Ottawa Local musicians
Host: Bernard Stepien: A couple of days ago, UNESCO decided to celebrate Jazz as an artifact of humanity. Here in Ottawa, this includes a pretty array of fine musicians. Thus, tonight we will focus on the various directions that our local musicians have taken. · The travelling music of saxophonist Doug Martin, Amsterdam · The hypnotic music of saxophonist Linsey Wellman, Ephemera · The rhythmically Balkanic music of drummer Mike Essoudry · The complex, multi-layered and humoristic music of trumpetist Craig Pedersen, Days Like Today · The lyrical music of bassist John Geggie, Geggie Project with Marilyn Crispell · The celebrative music of pianist Peter Hum, A Boy’s Journey · The ethnically loaded music of saxophonist Petr Cancura, People Music · The exploration of Jazz history of saxophonist Dean Pallen, Sunswept Sunday · The multi-phonics of saxophonist David Broscoe, Rake And last but not least, RWAC now uses a percussionist Jesse Stewart composition as its theme song.
April 25th, 2012: MPS – Jazz meets India, 1966
Host: Bernard Stepien: A few weeks ago we had the pleasure to discover the involvement of the German, Black-Forest based MPS record label with Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson at the NAC 4th stage. During the ‘60s, I knew the MPS label quite well, but for some obscure reasons I completely missed the straight ahead Jazz side of MPS mostly because yet another Black-Forest institution, the Baden-Baden located Südwest Funk radio was pumping us the most avant-garde Jazz side of MPS over the air along with the most avant-garde classical music, all of this, as if it wasn’t enough, within the context of a major avant-garde festival, the Donaueschingen Ton Kunst Festival. With these three hot spots for avant-garde in the same region, you had no other choice than to be caught in an avant-garde cross-fire. By the way, this may provide some explanations about myself for those still wondering.
Another trendy thing during the ‘60s was the exploration of ethnic music and its fusion with avant-garde Jazz. John Coltrane was of course the first to explore Indian music and out of it came his modal playing style as an alternative to the II-V-I fireworks of his famous composition Giant Steps. Many others followed suit. Among them, German, French and Swiss avant-garde Jazz musicians that were busy with the concept of pan-European Jazz projects. Tonight, we will sample the Jazz Meets India MPS recording that features an Indian traditional Sitar-Tabla-Tambura trio with Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer, German cornetist Manfred Schoof and French saxophonist Barney Willen.
April 18th, 2012: Gil Evans – Out of the Cool, 1960
Host: Bernard Stepien: Gil Evans was particularly known through his work with Miles Davis. Sketches of Spain is probably the most impressive work in collaboration with Miles Davis. However, few know that his best work ever, Out of the Cool, was on his own and with a well populated band using the various emerging or well established artists of the time like Elvin Jones, Jimmy Knepper, Ron Carter, etc… As its title suggests, Out of the Cool signals a new era or even more after the abrupt changes from wild Be Bop to Cool Jazz to Free Jazz, a radical departure or at least some soul searching. As usual, Jazz being based primarily on fast evolution, Gil Evans was beyond Duke Ellington which by definition was a challenge. The recipe for this success is somewhat simple, a very uncommon distribution of musical instruments with a penchant for the very low pitch tuba, trombones vs the higher pitch trumpets (two of them) and alto saxophones with few tenor saxophones and the unusual sound of the oboe that Yusef Lateef explored so well.
In any case, this recording should be a pretty good antidote to schmooze jazz!
April 11th, 2012: Fred Frith – to SAIL, to SAIL, 2008
Host: Bernard Stepien: A guitar is traditionally a plucked strings instrument. In the hands of guitarist Fred Frith, this is no longer true. Over the last 35 years he found ways to play the guitar in a myriad different ways beyond recognition. He has had a prolific recording activity too. Some critics said that the year 2008 was an exception with few recordings, but his to SAIL, to SAIL CD is an extensive master piece he must have extensively focused on. Frith, normally an electric guitarist, concentrates his art on an acoustic steel guitar this time. He recorded only three CDs on the acoustic guitar in his career. But on this particular CD he threw all the techniques he found over the years at it. Sliding, percussion in a dulcimer like fashion, oriental sounding like a Chinese Pipa or Japanese Biwa, semi-muted strings, thumbing like on an African mbira, percussively metallic, flamenco-like organic strings, Gamelan percussive, overtones by the ton, bouncing objects, resonances, textures, rubbing, bowing, oscillating, drumming, dense, sparse, peaceful.
April 4th, 2012: Kikuri Keiji Haino – Masami Akita
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jazz and Rock have crossed paths many times over the last half a century. The early forms instigated by Miles Davis consisted in playing good old Be Bop lines over Rock rythms and harmonies but usually for mostly commercial purposes. But during the same time span, some Rock musicians got interested in the Improvisation side of Jazz and into the free form side of Free Jazz. In any case, the iconic II-V-I got replaced with the Noise concept as a basic material. Japanese guitarist Keiji Haino has been doing that for three decades now. He is a cult artist in Japan. Take this and mix it with the equally incendiary style of Masami Akita and you get the optimal shake up of the day. Tonight, we will look at a 2007 recording, Pulverized Purple, from a live performance at the Victoriaville Festival that by the way is looming around the corner…
March 28th, 2012: Ornette Coleman classic: Something Else, 1958
Host: Bernard Stepien: For about 10 years, Ornette Coleman’s peers thought that he didn’t know the changes and was out of tune. In a way they may not be totally wrong but where they were wrong is that they didn’t realize that you can play music with other musical principles as changes and playing in tune may be highly boring. In fact, Ornette was after freedom as a free and continuous flow of ideas with the only preoccupation to carry emotions. Most people think that Ornette’s music is highly abstract. In fact, it is very much straight ahead Be Bop in dynamics and phrasing. Technically it is a case of destabilized II-V-I (a favorite Be Bop structural element). The freedom adds an element of unpredictability that is the best insurance against boredom. Tonight’s featured album, Something Else, reflects the exceptional energy resulting from this freedom to go anywhere in the musical world.
Special event: tonight, RWAC will install a new theme song. After 35 years of Arthur Blythe`s In the Tradition blues, one of my favorite musicians, we will switch to Canadian content and also honor one of our Carleton University professors, Jesse Stewart. To make it even more atrociously Canadian content the new theme song will be his composition Different Strokes from his Music for Found Objects that was performed using the iconic Canadian canoe paddles.
March 21st, 2012: OLD STUFF by the New York Art Quartet
Host: Ron Steed: Guest host Ron Steeds features the recently released OLD STUFF by the New York Art Quartet. This recording is made up of two live performances in Denmark in October, 1965 that were broadcast on Danish Radio. The quartet is a truly international ensemble - Roswell Rudd is American, John Tchicai is Danish, Finn Von Eyben is Dutch and Louis Moholo is South African. The CD came out on Cuneiform Records in 2010.
March 14th, 2012: September trio
Host: David Broscoe: Harris Eisenstadt (drums, compositions) with Ellery Eskelin (tenor) and Angelica Sanchez (piano), Clean Feed, recorded 2010 Geek alert - A thinly disguised excuse for another show featuring Elery Eskelin, who recently made the switch from a Selmer Mark VI to a 1927 Conn. This recording is the first documentation of Eskelin on the Conn. David Broscoe compares and contrasts this recording with older Eskelin recordings, and muses abut Eskelin's evolving relationship with the 'jazz tradition.' Eskelin blogs about the transition here http://elleryeskelin.blogspot.com/2010/04/first-installment.html and throughout his blog http://elleryeskelin.blogspot.com/
March 7th, 2012: Regal – the double duo sessions (2011) (TetraArtist)
Host: Mark Keill: T. Bruce Wittet, Ian Froman - drums, percussion From http://regals.bandcamp.com/ "Two guitarists and two drummers travel across North America to unite in collective improvisation and composition, yielding ... more an unusually wide dynamic range and broad palette of textures." REGALS: a unique 'double duo' uniting renowned guitarists Wayne Eagles & Ken Rosser with highly-respected drummers T. Bruce Wittet & Ian Froman. Recording mastered by David Torn."
February 29th, 2012: Montreal trumpetist Elwood Epps
Host: Bernard Stepien: Elwood Epps started his musical career in Toronto over 20 years ago. Somehow he got attracted by the vibrant Montreal scene, especially the avant-garde side of it and since 2005 established there. His art covers practically the entire Jazz history. Epps describes himself as being influenced by Louis Armstrong, Maurice Andre, Miles Davis, Bix Beiderbecke, Bill Dixon, Wadada Leo Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Dave Douglas, Laurie Frink, Booker Little, Amy Horvey, Cat Anderson, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart. Tonight we will sample his CD Pink Saliva, one of over 40 recordings he appears on, where he focuses on what the younger generations call ambient music. It is a rather lyrical and ecstatic mix of Miles Davis post ‘60s and Bill Dixon’s music featuring sound textures and slow dynamic on single notes on wall to wall electronics. What is remarkable here is that such a minimalistic music captivates ones attention and prevents distraction. Epps developed a rare virtuosity in the very low register of the instrument, something most trumpetists avoid altogether. Elmwood Epps will be featured again in the IMOO series on March 18th.
February 22nd, 2012: Art Blakey all stars including Thelonious Monk, 1972
Host: Bernard Stepien: Producer Georges Wein really believed in Jazz. He organized hundreds of concerts to capacity audiences around the world. Tonight, we will look at one of them recorded at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1972 that featured an all stars band led by drummer Art Blakey with Roy Eldridge, Al McKibbon, Sonny Stitt, Clark Terry, Kai Winding and especially pianist Thelonious Monk that was here filling the role of a sideman. What a sideman! This supposed to be straight ahead Jazz concert was driving high on energy as if something was on their tail, i.e. Free Jazz.
February 15th, 2012: American saxophonist Patrick Breiner
Host: Bernard Stepien: For those (very few) who forgot to drop by the IMOO series last Sunday at the UMI cafe, tonight there will be a catchup session on RWAC. The IMOO series organized by Craig Pedersen, Linsey Wellman and Renée Yoxon is based on a simple principle, network all kinds of musicians that play improvised music. First of all they highlighted the fact that there are a number of local musicians that are actively playing improvised music but also they catch travelling musicians into their orbit. This was the case last Sunday of American saxophonist Patrick Breiner who played a first set solo and a second set joined by Craig Pedersen and Scott Warren in a rare convergence session. Breiner's approach to improvisation is based mostly but not exclusively on minimalism à la Steve Reich or Evan Parker. He calls it attention splitting - playing several lines simultaneously in order to create the illusion of several instrumentalists. His repetitive lines are systematically disturbed with minute sound or texture changes creating the impression of constantly changing moods. However, this is not the only music he plays. The '30s are equally important to him and he can trick you into a Ben Webster snapshot anytime you want. One additional interesting thing about these travelling musicians, they bring their CDs providing a rare opportunity to escape from the orbit of major labels. I couldn't resist. Thus, we will enjoy a solo CD, Stumpfest that corresponds to what he performed at IMOO last Sunday. I just realized that there is something old and new in these travelling musicians. The old part is that these musicians are like medieval troubadours. They bring live music wherever they go. who would had thought that such a thing is still useful today. However, they achieve this mostly using the most advanced computer technology, the internet, facebook and twitter to guide them through the maze of suburban TV addicted populations. But somehow, this all works...
February 08th, 2012: Ottawa saxophonist Doug Martin
Host: Bernard Stepien: Travelling and Jazz creativity have been known for a long time as a win-win combination. Ottawa saxophonist Doug Martin`s latest CD, Odyssey, is precisely achieving this. He will be in the studio to explain us in detail how exactly this process works.
February 01th, 2012: Archie Shepp in Chambery, 1987
Host: Bernard Stepien: During the second half of the '70s, Archie Shepp underwent a radical transformation in his approach to music. All of the techniques and sound strongly rooted into the Blues or even field hollers he developed during the '60s to support the radicalism of avant-garde Jazz were put to use in a wall to wall exploration of Jazz history. Sidney Bechet, Erroll Garner, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and many others combined with the reverence to great saxophonists like Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster were the main staple of a legion of concerts in Europe and particularly in France. Chambery in the French Alps is a small provincial town, probably the size of Hawksberry. Still, like in many other provincial towns across Europe, Shepp always plays in front of packed audiences.
January 25th, 2012: Marion Brown: Afternoon of a Georgia Faun (1970) / Geechee Reflections (1973) / Sweet Earth Flying (1974)
Host: David Broscoe: Celebrating the Impulse! reissue of the long out-of-print Geechee Reflections / Sweet Earth Flying by alto/soprano player Marion Brown, David Broscoe plays selections from three atmospheric albums invoking Brown’s southern roots.
January 18th, 2012: Guitarist Henry Kaiser and Korean music
Host: Bernard Stepien: Henry Kaiser is a very prolific San Francisco Bay Area guitarist. The terminology prolific can be applied to both the quantity of music, usually measured by the number of recordings, the quantity of musical styles he approaches and integrates and finally the quantity of technical experiments he attempts on the guitar. In short, Henry Kaiser is in the lineage of British guitarist Derek Bailey which of course is very far away from the style of Django Reinhardt and has had a mutually beneficial parallel career with Fred Frith, another post Reinhardt guitarist that has pretty similar artistic preoccupations. Among the many musical sources of inspiration, Henry Kaiser has developed a fascination for world music like many other avant-garde musicians. Tonight we will examine his work with Korean kayogum and tonso player Sang-Won Park where Kaiser performs a rare exercise of blending in and out of the musical source, Korean traditional music in a way that is usually more common to visual arts rather than music.
January 11th, 2012: Chicago's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Host: Bernard Stepien: Chicago has been an important source of Jazz musicians since the start. Its strategic position relative to the Mississippi river that used to be a major communication route before railroads and aviation has largely contributed to this situation in the past. Early Jazz musicians streamed in all the way from New Orleans which included musicians such as Louis Armstrong. More remarkable is the fact that Chicago has also been at the centre of avant-garde Jazz thanks in part to the sense of organization of Chicago musicians with the founding ofan organization, the AACM in the late '60s. This has produced some major projects and musicians, one of them being the Art Ensemble of Chicago, a world travelling band. May be the success of the AEOC can be attributed to the fact that it tried to free itself from pigeon holes and consider Jazz for what it is, i.e. diversified and the result of a constant evolution. The same preoccupation was central to the Sun Ra Arkestra resulted to be equally prestigious and also a constant source of ideas and concepts.
Kahil el Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, mostly known as a post Art Ensemble of Chicago group is in direct lineage with these above mentioned giants. However, what distinguishes him from the others is among other things his deep exploration of African instruments whether percussion or the unique African Mbira and all the true distinctive African musical concepts that go with it. More important may be and in sharp contrast with his predecessors, is the size of the Band as a trio without the classic rythm section format, a trumpet and reeds against the drums and sometimes the humble in size but so rich African Mbira. In other words, this may sound like doing more with less, the ultimate dream of politicians with the difference that in this case, it actually really works! Conceptually though, the size of the band has to do more with the traditional African street musicians bands. Thus, besides the main core instruments, all of this comes with some extras drawn from the African musician world like the little bells attached to the legs that give an extra coloring and effect while doing the good old Jazz stomping and of course the moanin' and other vocal effects that are an essential part of the EHE's music.
The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble will be performing at the Mercury lounge on February 4th as it has been doing for a number of years now. This year, however, the Ottawa International Jazz Festival will be chapperonning the show. Worth of note is that on the same day, in matinée, the IMOO-Orchestra, a local successful organization directly inspired by Chicago's AACM will also be performing as part of the Jazz festival.
January 4th, 2012: Anthony Braxton/Joëlle Léandre duo 2007
Host: Bernard Stepien: Two continents, two giants of avant-garde Jazz. Anthony Braxton is an avant-garde musician that believe it or not has well entered his fifth decade of his career. Right from start, as a result of following the Art Ensemble of Chicago, he established himself a terrifying reputation as an academic musician in Europe. Sooner or later he worked with European musicians. In recent years, this means also French bassist and vocalist, Joëlle Léandre. This association is surprising in many ways because it is a splendid example of Ying and Yang. Both are virtuoso of course, but the mathematical calculated music of Braxton smacks head on with the quasi anarchistic and unpredictable utterances of Léandre and this, to everyone's delight. More impressive is the fact that this combination actually perfectly works, i.e. it doesn't seem to be conflictual. They even talk about convergence. Tonight, we will sample a double CD, Heidelberg Loppem, 2007 on Leo records
December 28th, 2011: Soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett, Radio Guantanamo
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jane Bunnett has an interesting career. She got attracted to Jazz via Charles Mingus, not exactly a straight ahead musician, got Free Jazz players such as Don Pullen and Dewey Redman on her first recording, and overall has been influenced by Steve Lacy. However, all of those musicians have potentially one thing in common, they all got attracted by one or another form of world music. Thus, it is no surprise that Bunnett has visited Cuba and ever since then has collaborated with some exceptional Cuban musicians to everyones satisfaction.Tonight, we will sample her Radio Gunatanamo CD that you could use for a perfect New Years party music.
December 21st, 2011: Christmas present from Berlin
Host: Bernard Stepien: There have been lots of reports lately in the press that things are changing in Berlin. Apparently, Berlin has become a major tourist mecca mostly because of culture of all sorts including and especially music. Classical, Rock or Jazz all have been thriving since the early '90s when the wall came down. However, as basic economics tells us, this had an impact on prices. Rents, once at symbolic levels, are now skyrocketing. Many attributed the low rents as a prime factor for the presence of a huge number of musicians in Berlin. This certainly helped, but low rents alone are far from being determining. A musician also needs something even more basic, a crowd. There has never been a shortage of such crowds in Berlin and now with all these tourists, this is even less of a problem. As an economist by training, I always watch insignificant indicators that most of my collegues would consider as superfluous. My true economic indicator this time came in the form of a Christmas present from a musician friend in Berlin, saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert. He sent me not just one, but three CDs either as a leader or sideman. All without any signs of arts funding, another sign that business must be good and especially all in improvised music rather than anything commercial like one would espect it from normal tourist business. These are: A duo between saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert and trombonist Matthias Müller A trio led by drummer Jörg Fischer A trio led by drummer Willi Kellers
December 14th, 2011: Argentinian saxophonist Gato Barbieri
Host: Bernard Stepien: Argentinian saxophonist Gato Barbieri is may be an exception to the rule in the world of Free Jazz. Believe it or not, he made a successful commercial career at the bewilderment of Free Jazz aficionados of course. However, his path is quite interesting. First geograpically, he went straight to Europe, Rome, Italy and Paris, France before landing in New York. In Europe he started playing with all kinds of American Jazz musicians and especially Don Cherry with whom he had a common affinity for world music that they both incorporated into their Jazz.One of the main characteristic of his style is the concurrency of extreme avant-garde with very soft playing. Coltrane is never far away but so is Albert Ayler. This eventually landed him a sound track gig on the famous Last Tango in Paris.
Tonight we will sample his very first CD recorded in 1967 on the ESP-DISK label, In Seach of the Mystery.
the ESP-DISK label is still alive and religiously re-issues all of this beautiful music of the '60s and beyond that could constitute a very good Christmas present: http://espdisk.com/official/
December 7th, 2011: Christmas shopping list
Host: Bernard Stepien: Get something unusual for Christmas this year!
trumpeter Erik Truffaz, Mantis on Blue Note Florina Brass Band from Greece Alekzey Kruglov/Vladimir Tarasov on solyd records. Ray Anderson, Old Bottles - new wine Albert Ayler, music is the healing force Ellwood Epps, saliva Kellylee Evans, Nina John Zorn/Fred Frith, late work Art Blakey with Monk as a sideman 1972 Cecil Taylor, Chinampas (poems)
November 30th, 2011: Jazz & classical music part III: European clarinetist Lajos Dudas
Host: Bernard Stepien: Classical music started in Europe. Jazz started in America. Both spread around the world in all kinds of forms. After looking at how North American musicians tackle Classical music and Jazz fusion in previous weeks, this week we will look at European clarinettist Lajos Dudas that like all Europeans started musical life as a classical musician and quickly switched to Jazz. Also, on previous week we looked at "traditional" classical music vs straight ahead Jazz musicians, this week it is more classical avant-garde vs Jazz avant-garde. Lajos Dudas is Hungarian and studied at the Bela Bartok conservatory and the Franz Liszt academy of music, two of the most prestigious classical music institutions of Europe. This may explain his interest for both avant-garde genres. His approach is different from others who tackle the classical vs Jazz problem. He is not into swinging up classical music neither symphonizing Jazz. Instead both styles come through sometimes in a single phrase and thus naturally show their complementarity. Important is that at all times you feel surrounded by both classical music and Jazz atmosphere. Tonight, we will sample his latest CD What's up Neibor with pianist Hubert bergmann http://www.allaboutjazz.com/lajosdudas
November 23d, 2011: the Craig Pedersen quartet CD
Host: Bernard Stepien: Craig Pedersen is one of the busiest Jazz musicians in Ottawa. No surprise! His art extends in almost any direction. As a trumpet player, he doesn't hesitate to incorporate Duke Ellington's early works in his Jungle style, extensively composes complex pieces with a Bach fugue feeling and finally explores new areas with computer music or computer driven music and electronics. More important is that the analog and electronic sides of his art are fully intertwined, thus a natural guarantee against boredom. The problem with local geniuses is that they sooner or later get attracted to bigger cities like New York. For now Pedersen is only commuting there once a month for the next six months thanks to a Canada Council grant to further study trumpet there, however sooner or later someone will hook him there...
Tonight, Pedersen will be in the studio to talk about his new CD to be released this coming Tuesday, November 29th at the Club Saw.
November 16th, 2011: Jazz & Classical music part II - Cellist Tristan Honsinger
Host: Bernard Stepien: Last week we looked at classical musicians playing Jazz. This week we will look at Jazz avant-garde musicians tackling classical music.Tristan Honsinger is a well known American cellist that played with Cecil Taylor but being based in Europe (Italian sector) for decades plays regularly with the outstanding Dutch ICP Ochestra. In Italy, he is involved with another project that integrates Jazz with theatre. Here his approach is not really fully to play classical music or Jazz. In the recording that we will feature tonight, Call Me US, Honsinger plays in a duo with Italian Massimo Simonini that plays records, cds and tapes of classical music. Honsinger swirls around the melodies. The theatrical part represents about 50% of the recording. Here, there are statements that should make a few wakes around town: "do you like classical noise?", "I like classical noise" says Honsinger while Simonini gets into "ti piace la musica classica? Il pianoforte? Pensavo a uno strumento stanco...".
November 9th, 2011: Jazz & Classical music part I - Matt Haimovitz - Claudia Hommel's Jazz Fauré Ensemble
Host: Bernard Stepien: First thanks again to all of our 19 donors that sent in their pledges to the 2011 CKCU-FM funding drive during our RWAC shows to bring the show total to $ 610. There are a few people we have not heard from but we are confident that they will eventually find some time among their oversaturated schedules to fix the problem (details below)
This week and the next couple of weeks, we will be exploring the relationship between Jazz and classical music.
Classical music and Jazz have crossed their paths many times since the '20s. It mostly got started by classical musicians that were curious to see how Jazz was made. In these early days, one thing was established: it was not the notes. Effectively it was proven that classical musicians playing Jazz charts still sounded like classical musicians while Jazz musicians playing classical charts still sounded like Jazz musicians. Contemporary classical composers such as Igor Stravinsky pushed the curiosity even further by incorporating Jazz elements in their compositions. Later, things somewhat changed. Clarinetist Benny Goodman switched to classical music when the Swing music era was over. The '60s brought their lot of revolutions and experimentations, one of them was to rethink this classical music - Jazz relationship altogether. French pianist Jacques Loussier thought that Johann-Sebastian Bach was an early Jazz musician and played his music note for note and proved that it took little efforts to make it naturally swing. American pianist Dave Brubeck explored the fusion between classical compositions and Jazz and Blues improvisation.They had one thing in common: to be Jazz musicians. This year, another movement started and is worth of note: classical musicians play Jazz in a classical way. We all know what Jazz is. A music that is mainly improvised, that uses unusual harmonies, that has specific ways of phrasing, but more above all, it swings. It may be harder, especially for a Jazz musician, to define classical music. It is mostly composed, has large structural elements, uses contrasts between levels of sound, the famous pianissimo and fortissimo but more important, it does not swing.
Tonight, we will have a look at two interesting projects:
Montreal cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O'Riley for a collaboration that blurs the boundaries between classical and pop that includes two compositions of Jazz Fusion musician John McLaughlin. Here the intent seems to be to transform Jazz into classical music altogether but also introduce classical improvisation in the process. Claudia Hommel's The Jazz Fauré Ensemble that fuses both very romantic and ascetic compositions of 19th century composer and musician Gabriel Fauré with straight ahead Jazz. Fauré was known to be among one of the first classical musician to explore new harmonies, precisely those that Jazz uses for a long time. Here the exercise consists in playing Fauré's music the way it always was and have a Jazz combo playing strictly Jazz behind. the result is surprisingly.
November 2nd, 2011: Funding Drive show part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: First of all, thank you for last week's pledges of $ 370 towards RWAC. CKCU-FM entered its 36 years of existence with a continuous commitment to alternative radio which means alternative spoken words and alternative music of which avant-garde Jazz is a full part of. More important is that CKCU-FM has always been devoted to feature the music of local artists. Thus, tonight again, while calling for pledges we will feature the music of Ottawa local Jazz musicians that will include: Doug Martin, Odyssey CD Craig Pedersen, CD Jesse Stewart, Music for found objects CD Christine Fagan, Once CD Peter Turner quintet, +one CD Anna William, CD Bernard Stepien Orchestra A Very Ayler Christmas CD Radar, Radar sampler CD Generator, IMOO CD Peter Turner, One + CD
October 26th, 2011: Funding Drive show part I
Host: Bernard Stepien: CKCU-FM entered its 36 years of existence with a continuous commitment to alternative radio which means alternative spoken words and alternative music of which avant-garde Jazz is a full part of. More important is that CKCU-FM has always been devoted to feature the music of local artists. Thus, tonight, while calling for pledges we will feature the music of Ottawa local Jazz musicians that will include: Mike Tremblay/Mark Fergusson HOME CD Linsey Wellman, Ephemera CD Dean Pallen & J.P. Allain Sunswept Sunday CD Petr Cancura's People Music CD Peter Hum's A Boy's Journey CD John Geggie's Project CD with Marilyn Crispell Mike Essoudry's Mash Potatoe Mashers CD
October 19th, 2011: Hong Kong Free Jazz - guitarist Chan Wai-Fat
Host: Bernard Stepien: Forget about the usual hot spots for Jazz avant-garde such as New York City, Berlin, London or Paris. Hong Kong has its own representative of the genre. Guitarist and composer Chan Wai-Fat started in Rock groups in 1991 and produced one of his first improvised music CD in 1996. A strong interest in traditional folk music from around the world including Chinese itself had its mark on Fat's music and landed him film music contracts. Tonight we will sample his 1996 recording Foo Cup Kwan nan (hardly Breathing) that features various instruments besides the guitar including little toys, a damaged string cello, a detuned guitar, a prepared guitar and the mysterious octavilla.
October 12th, 2011: Jerry Granelli & the SF Jazz Collective
Host: Bernard Stepien: The Ottawa International Jazz Festival is opening it's fall season tonight with the San Francisco Gerry Granelli trio followed tomorrow by the San Francisco Jazz Collective. Jerry Granelli has been looking for new sounds for over four decades. His association with also San Francisco based pianist, Denis Zeitlin in the '60s propelled him in a freer direction. He also had a deep look at Native American music to ensure a steady deviation from main stream. The SF Jazz Collective is an all leaders group that started in 2004 and has since devoted each year on the repertoire of a specific composer, Ornette Coleman in 2004, John Coltrane in 2005, Herbie Hancock in 2006, Thelonious Monk in 2007, Wayne Shorter in 2008, McCoy Tyner in 2009 and Horace Silver in 2010. In short, a very eclectic focus on all horizons of Jazz. This year, the SF Collective pushes the limits by exploring five decades long career and 72 millions albums sold pop music giant Stevie Wonder. This is particularly significant since Jazz was at one time America's pop music. This sounds like a full circle story.
October 5th, 2011: Johannes Welsch : SCHIZOPHONIA (Sonic Flame 2011)
Host: Mark Keill: SCHIZOPHONIA is an experimental album released by European percussionist Johannes Welsch in September 2011. It consists of spoken word pieces, instrumentals and combinations thereof. The first track, appropriately entitled "Spell", prepares the listener for a unique experience through a series of spells in a fictitious language ending in chaos and noise. Several of the instrumentals including "Cold Train", "Requiem" and "La Maladie" are carried by Welsch's unique approach to drumming. The artist never hesitates to feature the drum kit as lead instrument full well covering the spectrum from trance-like pulse to ecstatic frenzy. Multi-instrumentalist John O'Connor (aka Johnny Black) contributes various voices such as slide guitar on the intense "Murky Liquid Infusion Blues", saxophone & vocals on the shamanic "Where Are We?", and accordion, shaker & vocals on the infamous "Will Save The World". One of the most daring moments on this album, other than the cursing of a fellow drummer on "Scheiss Schlagzeuger", is the description defying "Silence". SCHIZOPHONIA - while uniquely versatile and unbearably entertaining this cutting edge work is strangely coherent. More album info - http://schizophonia.info/ Johannes Welsch is the “curator” of the Dunrobin Sonic Gym which has hosted a number shows over the past little year including Pauline Oliveros, Glen Velez and most recently David Mott w. Jesse Stewart and Johannes More Sonic Gym info - http://sites.google.com/site/dunrobinsonicgym/home
September 28th, 2011: Tenor/Bass/Drums
Host: David Broscoe: A classic jazz format as exemplified by Charles Gayle w William Parker and Rashied Ali (Touchin' on Trane, FMP, recorded 1991) Coltrane/Garrison/Jones ('Chasing the Trane' from Live at the Village Vanguard, Impulse!, recorded 1961) Rollins/Garrison/Jones (East Broadway Run Down, Impulse!, recorded 1966) John Butcher w Matthew Sperry and Gino Robair (12 Milagritos, Spool, recorded 1998) and others...
September 21st, 2011: The Respect Sextet - Sun Ra vs Karl Heinz Stockhausen
Host: Bernard Stepien: Classical music and Jazz have crossed paths many times in Jazz history. Usually, this happens with pianist. French pianist Jacques Loussier explored the music of Johan Sebastian Bach and jazzed it up. American Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck had a crack at Mozart. While this was all straight ahead Jazz, Jazz avant-garde has its own cases. Pianist Cecil Taylor is often described as a classical avant-garde musician. The New York based Respect Sextet tackles the integration of the classical avant-garde composer Karl heinz Stockhausen with the music of Sun Ra. Here, the sextet explores also the format of larger ensemble usually called big band. Their size is relatively small for a big band, but they produce a fascinating big band sound. Stockhausen and Sun Ra had many things in common, they both believed to be from outer space, Stockhausen from Sirius and Sun Ra from Saturn, their compositional language, they both cultivated a cult-like inner circle of musicians, but also their approach to music including mysticism. However, at first glance, their music seems incompatible. But this is where the magic of the Respect Sextet creeps in... From the Respect Sextet perpective, this project is a case of "conglomarrangement". As usual, after a while, the listener should no longer distinguish who composed what.
September 14th, 2011: Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outaouais (IMOO) first anniversary
Host: Bernard Stepien: One year ago, the Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outaouais (IMOO) held its first concert at the Umi Café. Thirty one shows later, they are excited to celebrate their first anniversary! The last year has been successful beyond what could be imagined. They had the opportunity to present and promote some fantastic local artists, as well as hosting acts from Montreal, Toronto, Sackville, New York City, Vancouver and even Oslo. Both IMOO curators, Linsey Wellman and Craig Pedersen will be in the studio to talk about their project and play us some of the music that happened at the IMOO series
September 7th, 2011: Matthew Shipp - The Muliplication Table
Host: Bernard Stepien: Matthew Shipp is a very prolific pianist (97 CDs since 1987) both in classical music and Jazz. Thus, he engages in the classical avant-garde with equal enthusiasm as with the Jazz avant-garde. Another way to put it, he is engaged in some of the most radical projects, especially with musicians such as David S. Ware but also never forgets the roots of Jazz. The Multiplication Table is a recording from 1997, thus from the end of the last century. Shipp is often described as the pianist of the new century implying that his music also brings something new. The interesting aspect of this recording is that he tackles some well known standards such as Autumn Leaves and a couple Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn compositions. Shipp is into deconstructing rather than destroying standards. Standards have left an imprint in peoples minds that can be turned to ones advantage when reshaping them into new music.
August 31st, 2011: Cecil Taylor - Max Roach, 1979
Host: Bernard Stepien: Cecil Taylor and Max Roach are iconic contributors to two distinct revolutions in Jazz history. Max Roach was instrumental for shaping the Be-Bop style in the '40s while Cecil Taylor was instrumental for shaping Free Jazz in the '60s. Both of these musical styles have survived to this day. Be Bop has taken Jazz out of dance halls to more culturally respectable concert halls while Cecil Taylor made an essential connection with the world of classical avant-garde giving Free Jazz not only respectability but more of a prestigious status. After all Cecil Taylor was sponsored by one of the most expensive piano brand, Bösendorfer during the '70s and '80s. Max Roach was by far not an old timer of a revolutionary music. Throughout his life he continued to push Jazz forward searching for unexplored territory. His associations with Free Jazz musicians such as Archie Shepp and Anthony Braxton are already a good track record. Max even went a step further by seeking associations with the new generation of Black musicians called rappers. Thus, in 1979 came the idea to play together with Cecil Taylor. Columbia University in NYC has a well established link to Jazz. For one thing, they harbor one of the finest university radio-station, WKCR of the world and second, they organize a free (moneywise) Jazz Festival every year in August that reflects all components of Jazz and is staffed with the leading Jazz artist. Another Max Roach - Cecil Taylor concert took place in the same location in the year 2000. I was there...
August 24st, 2011: Beach comber mix part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: Itsunomanika with Italian prepared guitarist Paolo Angeli and Japanese violinist Takumi Fukushima. 2.abstract truth by John Vanore's big band 3. Sonny Rollins and Don Cherry quartet in Stockholm, 1962, 1963 4. Kyle Brenders quartet 5. David Murray trio, live '93 acoustic octfunk 6.Fred Frith, Clearing customs... 7. Cecil Taylor and Max Roach, 1979
August 17th, 2011: Impulse 2-for-1 Reissues
Host: Rob Bitchofsky: Legendary label Impulse has just reissued a fleet of its back catalog in 2-for-1 sets. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky checks it out with tracks from Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and more.
August 10th, 2011: Beach comber mix part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: Derek Bailey - good cop bad cop World Saxophone Quartet, experience Sun RA, jazz in silhouette JC Jones - histing myself Cecil Taylor, complete remastere recordings Black Saint & Soul Note Barney Willen - jazz meets India Steve Lacy - Roswell Rudd, monk's dream
August 3d, 2011: Beach comber mix part I
Host: Bernard Stepien: John Zorn & Fred Frith Heinz Sauer with Joachim Kühn early Steve Lacy Huong Thanh & Nguyên Lê Sun Ra, the Antique Blacks Roland Kirk & Al Hibbler Henry Kaiser
July 27th, 2011: Kip Hanrahan and American Clavé, Part 2
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: Guest host Rob Bitschofsky returns with the second part of the music of American producer, composer and percussionist Kip Hanrahan.
July 20th, 2011: more of guitarist Nels Cline
Host: Jim Reil: Tonight, co-host Jim Reil will merge RWAC with IAMT. Thus, you will hear more of guitarist Nels Cline: Nels Cline: Co-Host Jim Reil presents an overview of the diverse and exciting improvisation-focused recordings of guitarist Nels Cline, who is better known for his work with Wilco.
July 13th, 2011: Kip Hanrahan and American Clavé, Part 1
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: American producer, composer and percussionist Kip Hanrahan brings together extraordinary casts of avant-garde jazz musicians like Chico Freeman, Billy Bang, David Murray, and the late Don Pullen with virtuoso latin percussionists and some eclectic rock and funk players. The resulting albums on his label, American Clavé, are dense, tense and atmospheric, with angular fragments of stories half sung, half mumbled. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky presents some of Hanrahan's compelling, provocative, rich and beautiful music.
July 06th, 2011: David Broscoe
Host: Bernard Stepien: David Broscoe features saxophonist John Butcher's 'Resonant Spaces' release (2008), where Butcher recorded in and interacted sonically with specific Scottish locales, including caves, empty oil tanks, and abandoned ice houses. Photographs http://www.johnbutcher.org.uk/Lightbox/Resonant/Photo_Resonant.html Wire article http://www.johnbutcher.org.uk/wire_resonant.html Review http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=31851
June 29th, 2011: Montreal saxophonist François Carrier
Host: Ron Steeds: Guest host Ron Steeds features the recent Ayler Records release, Entrance 3, by Montreal saxophonist François Carrier as well as other recent releases
June 22th, 2011: lowercase improv
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays cuts from: Over the Transom - Jack Wright with hell & bunny (alto, cello, percussion) http://www.springgardenmusic.com/jackbio.html Live in Munich - Jim Denley & Kim Myhr, (alto/flutes/electronics, guitar/simple mechanics) http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/artist/denley-jim More Gloom, More Light - nmperign with Gunter Muller (soprano, trumpet, percussion/electronics) http://soundcloud.com/intransitive-recordings/nmperign-glass All three releases might be described as lowercase improv, with an emphasis on the space between notes, relatively low volumes, and a deceptively anti-virtuostic approach. Of course all attempts at musical categorization are flawed; see this Dan Warburton piece on terminology for sub-genres of improvised music http://www.bagatellen.com/archives/features/000407.html
June 15th, 2011: George Lewis live electronics
Host: Bernard Stepien: Les Exercices Spirituels is the latest release (2010) of George Lewis, trombonist and computer generated improvisation expert over four decades. It features basically improvised chamber music, a genre that has been taking hold these days despite Lady Gaga's stealing the show 99% of the time. George Lewis has been working with live electronics since the '70s when micro computers were only reserved to a hand full of hackers. His works with computers are plainly astonishing. I will always remember the duet performance he did with Aki Takase, piano, at the Total Music Meeting festival in Berlin in 2001 where it was difficult to distinguish who or what (the computer) was playing what to the point where they went back stage and the computer kept performing on his own, having fully digested the complex melodic and rythmic patterns of the live artists. This kind of perfection has landed Lewis in the Land of contemporary music like the one played at IRCAM in Paris, France with people like Pierre Boulez et al. What is the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival waiting for inviting George Lewis, this outstanding composer to perform here? Some of the compositions that will be played tonight have been commissioned by the Vancouver Olympiades.
June 8th, 2011: Pharoah Sanders Takes on the World
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: Throughout his career, sax giant Pharoah Sanders has blended threads of music from other cultures into his sonic tapestry. With stops in Japan, Morocco, India and more, guest host Rob Bitschofsky presents a sampling of Sanders' global explorations.
June 1st, 2011: Trumpet player Tim Brynes
Host: Mark Keill: This week a look at some of the work of New York City based composer and trumpet player Tim Brynes. He has performed and / or composed for various bands, including Candiria, Budd Dwyer, Romance, Friendly Bears, Kayo Dot and Ron Anderson`s PAK. He also has his own solo project named Hazel Rah ( yes, named after the Watership Down character ) which are his compositions for guitar, percussion, and synthesizer which will be the focus of tonight’s show. http://www.myspace.com/timbyrnes
May 25th, 2011: German pianist Wolfgang Dauner
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: German pianist Wolfgang Dauner kicked off his career with one of the first European free jazz recordings in 1964, and went on to produce a handful of surprising and delightful albums that combine jazz, rock, electronic weirdness and world music. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky presents some Dauner gems from the first half of the 70s
May 18th, 2011: Charles Mingus - the Clown, 1957
Host: Bernard Stepien: Mingus album's The Clown featured something new: a narration in addition to music. Mingus explained: "The Clown" tells the story of a clown "who tried to please people like most jazz musicians do, but whom nobody liked until he was dead. My version of the story ended with his blowing his brains out with the people laughing and finally being pleased because they thought it was part of the act. I liked the way Jean changed the ending; leaves it more up to the listener." This probably was enough for some to criticize this album which prompted Mingus to narrow down his choice of tracks as he explained back then: "I selected these four over two others that were more intricate because some of those guys had been saying that I didn't swing. So I made some that did. This album also has the first blues I've made on record" Mingus that can not swing? Well, in the CD re-edition, the "controversial" tracks appear as bonus tracks. We will take them further under the magnifying glass. Today, this music still sounds free and especially refreshing.
May 11th, 2011: John Tchicai - Pierre Dørge duo, 1981
Host: Bernard Stepien: John Tchicai has been involved with Jazz avant-garde since the early '60s, playing with Archie Shepp and Don Cherry in the New York Contemporary Five, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and many others. However, his style has always been very different from his peers that specialized in outpours of notes, multiphonics, etc... Instead, John Tchicai concentrated on a lyrical melodic approach. So one may wonder why he attracted such interest from hard core avant-garde musicians? The answer may be simple, he was African (His father was Congolese) and thus he had first hand experience with pure African music with its melodic and polyrythmic systems, something any American avant-garde musician craved for. Even more important is that John Tchicai has released an long list of recordings. Tonight we will focus on his duo work with guitarist Pierre Dørge for the SteepleChase label recorded in 1981.Pierre Dørge was leading the New Jungle Orchestra at that time.
May 4th, 2011: Alsacian clarinet trio: Angster/Hassap/Foltz
Host: Bernard Stepien: Sometimes I think that there has been some revenge of the clarinet going on in the last few Jazz history decades. Somehow, the French are fascinated with Eric Dolphy's clarinet solos (Alone Together being a corner stone of the genre). Thus explains the Louis Sclavis and Michel Portal. However, in Strasburg, Alsace, Armand Angster is involved with a collective, Accroche Note, that straddles both the world of Jazz and contemporary classical music. One of its components is a clarinet trio (first recording in 1990 with Berlin's FMP) that happily stands up to other famous clarinet trios like Berlin based Gebhard Ullmann's trio and the Brooklynn based The Clarinets (Anthony Burr, Oscar Noriega, Chris Speed) not to mention the legendary clarinet quartet with Alvin Baptiste's Clarinet Summit with John Carter, Jimmy Halmilton and David Murray. Tonight, we will explore Armand Angster's Ramdam (2007) release.
April 27th, 2011: Post Easter Bunny Bop
Host: Bernard Stepien: Too much chocolate and well overdue features! Tonight's program is a Jazz oriented Easter Egg Hunt: Featuring Jane Ira Bloom, Christine Fagan, Ludovic Beier, Archie Shepp, Ted Nash, Gary Bartz, Linsey Wellman/Mike Essoudry, Collin Vallon Adela Pege, Ramon Valle, Nino Josele.
April 20th, 2011: Ivo Perelman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Brazilian tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman moved from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Boston in 1981 to study at the Berkley School of Music. Since then, he has been performing and recording both in the US and Europe, namely with pianist Paul Bley and Matthew Shipp. He is known for extreme projects such as his Blue Monk Variations, 1996 where he made a CD exclusively playing Thelonious Monk's Blue Monk in a solo format. Tonight, we will play his Clean Feed double CD, Soulstorm, that has yet another peculiarity, the band. Pedro Costa, producer of Clean Feed offered Perelman to be recorded, but Perelman after accepting the offer told Pedro Costa to find the sidemen. On top of the fact that this project has been achieved with a band that never played together before, the choice of instruments is also out of the ordinary and did not deter Perelman from further engaging. Bass, Torbjörn Zetterberg and Cello, Daniel Levin perfectly blends in with the low register by definition of the tenor. The result is stunning. The conclusion: who needs drums in Jazz? Also, that story is in sharp contrast with the traditional picture of too marketing oriented producers of major labels that are notorious for steering musicians off their holy missions.
April 13th, 2011: Don Cherry in Copenhagen 1966
Host: Bernard Stepien: Now that we recovered from the Evan Parker/John Geggie/Jean Martin concert we can look into the future in confidence. However, this also means looking back to the early days of avant-garde Jazz which usually means Europe and more specifically Copenhagen. In the early '60s, there were lots of the founding fathers of avant-garde spending time playing and meeting in Copenhagen. In 1966, Don Cherry assembled an interesting band with saxophonist Gato Barbieri, vibraphonist Karl Berger. The repertoire was also interesting since it included at least an explicit folkloric tune, Black Orpheous and an implicit folkloric tune, Ghosts, a composition of saxophonist Albert Ayler inspired from a Swedish folk song that was also intensively playing Copenhagen these days. Today, this performance and the introduction of Don Cherry about Ayler almost sounds like he knew what was to happen to Ayler less than a half decade later but also that he was a key composer and performer in this new idiom that would leave a subtantial imprit on this music.
April 6th, 2011: Evan Parker/John Geggie
Host: Bernard Stepien: For the avantgarde Jazz aficionados, this week will look like an all hands on deck scenario. Evan Parker, one of the celebrated high-priests of European Free Jazz will be in Town (April 10th at Club Saw). The second noteworthy fact about this concert is that John Geggie will be involved. Geggie has already made some moves to show that he has a deep interest in the new music with several concerts, one of the most staggering being his association with pianist Mailyn Crispell. Although some may think that Geggie is more into Cool Free Jazz, a form devoid of any radicalism, this concert should prove that radicalism is not the essential element of Free Jazz. The Evan Parker House Full Of Floors CD that we will present tonight illustrates that Evan Parker seeks similar esthetical forms. In any case, this concert should reinforce the international stature of Ottawan John Geggie. A comparative study with Geggie's Across the Sky and Geggie Project will be attempted...
March 30th, 2011: Japanese Saxophonist Nobuyasu Furuya
Host: Bernard Stepien: Nobuyasu Furuya moved to Europe from Japan on recommendation of German saxophonist extreme Peter Brötzmann. He played mostly in eastern European countries, settled for five years in Berlin, studied some very exotic Turkish military music (classical Janissary bands) and finally settled in Portugal. Tonight we will feature his first CD that was nominated the best debut release of 2010 (on the Clean Feed label) by the All About Jazz New York Magazine.
March 23d, 2011: Toronto multi-reedist Kyle Brenders
Host: Bernard Stepien: We've got what you forgot! This sounds like the typical commercial of a well know corner store/dépanneur but in our case, we will feature an artist that you possibly forgot to check out at the IMOO series at the UMI café last Sunday. The IMOO series started too modestly with local avantgarde musicians that are typically considered by the local listeners as worth of little note unless they move out of Ottawa and come back on family visits. However, IMOO quickly got an interest from real out of towners with artists coming from as far as New Brunswick, Vancouver, Montreal and now Toronto with Kyle Brenders. Last Sunday, Kyle Brenders group played the IMOO and revealed a strong influence from Anthony Braxton with who Kyle studied with. They as usual offered CDs for sale that sold well that night as a result of course of the music being played live there that showed some deep research in composition and arranging. I bought the latest CD of the group that IMOO featured and as a bonus I got a Kyle Brenders solo CD. This bonus CD business could suggest that solo recordings are hard to sell. Having always been a great fan of solo concerts in the past, I think that after listening to Brenders Flow and Intensities solo CD I would have personnally been willing to pay $ 10 for the solo CD too.
March 16th, 2011: American composer/accordionist Pauline Oliveros
Host: Bernard Stepien: from the press release: A true pioneer in the fields of electronic music, free improvisation, and contemporary composition, Pauline Oliveros has been at the forefront of several major musical innovations over the past four decades. The recipient of many honours, she received the 2010 William Schuman award, one of the most prestigious awards for American composers. Her performance practice is rooted in what she calls Deep Listening®, a musical philosophy that is intended to heighten awareness of sound, silence, and sounding. No less a figure than John Cage once remarked "Through Pauline Oliveros and Deep Listening I finally know what harmony is.... It's about the pleasure of making music." In preparation for this exceptional concert, tonight we will play Pauline Oliveros Primordial/Lift 1998 CD.
March 9th, 2011: Russian accordionist Evelyn Petrova
Host: Bernard Stepien: Evelyn Petrova started accordion at age 12 because her grand-mother thought she could play lots of weddings. A more classical training got her beyond weddings but she never forgot the Russian folk music that she grew up with in her grand-mother's village somewhere around St Petersburg. Tonight we will focus on her 2004 Year's Cycle CD that is devoted to the twelve months of a year in which she uses Russian folk songs material from different places in Russia for each month. The music has a very traditional presence. The folk songs are fully played but through various techniques of playing and singing, each of them gets transformed into Free Jazz where central elements of the tradition get boosted sometimes in a histerical way not to mention constantly shifting rythms.
March 2nd, 2011: Joelle Léandre, the Stone Quartet
Host: Bernard Stepien: Joëlle Léandre is one of the formemost European Free Jazz player. She however started in classical avant-garde and even studied with John Cage in the '60s. Over the years she has visited many countries where she usually stays for a year or more as an artist in residence, either studying or performing with the foremost national performers. This includes Berlin, Germany but also Japan and the U.S. Tonight, we will sample her international association with the 2006 Stone Quartet project that includes some of the top American Free Jazz players like Marilyn Crispell, Roy Campbell, jr and Mat Maneri. Léandre is well known for mixing music with acting and this mostly in some dramatic expressions. Unfortunately, this contribution can not be rendered on radio.
February 23d, 2011: Ran Blake tackles the George Gershwin songbook
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ran Blake is one of the most fascinating pianist. Fortunately, instead of just performing like most Jazz musicians, he devoted most of his career to education, thus transmitting his knowledge to legions of young musicians that includes our local pianist Steve Boudreau that studied with him at the New England Conservatory. Ran Blake has been influenced by two major sources of music, on the Jazz side nothing less than the great Thelonious Monk and on the classical music side Bela Bartok and Igor Strawinski. The result is of course different and he even got a name for it: the Third Stream. His music is a high art of deconstructing the Jazz heritage, extracting an essential melodic line or harmonic pattern and practically re-composing it. Tonight, we will explore this deconstruction principle in his Hatology CD on the George Gershwin song book but I will also play both the graduation recital piece of Steve Boudreau at the New England Conservatory and a small interview on Steve's experience with Ran Blake. You will see or hear for yourself that we are lucky to have a piece of Ran Blake roaming around right here in Ottawa through the Steve Boudreau medium...
February 16th, 2011: Flamenco Jazz of Gerardo Nuñez and Chano Dominguez
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jazz and Flamenco have a long common history. The most obvious image of their marriage can be found in Gil Evans/Miles Davis Sketches of Spain in the late '50s. John Coltrane during the '60s got involved too. Olé was the result. But in it's constant evolution there was yet another fusion that occurred and ironically during the Jazz Fusion period with Chick Corea's notorious Spain. Further back, Jazz, an off-spring of blues has a distant but determining ancestor in western African music of the griots. That same music trickled its way through Spain along the caravan routes crossing the Saharian desert. All that remained to do was to formally reunite Jazz and Flamenco. This officially occured in the '70s when Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia teamed up with Jazz saxophonist Pedro Iturralde. Nowadays in Spain, Flamenco Jazz is a big thing. Any visit to a Spanish CD store will confirm that.
There has been a Jazz Flamenco project around for a couple of decades now that is called Jazzpaña that actually started with the involvement of Gil Evans but unfortunately his death arrived before the first concert was staged. Currently there is a version II of this project led by pure flamenco guitarist Gerardo Nuñez and jazz/flamenco pianist Chano Dominguez. The later explains his art as follows: “In jazz you improvise with a structure in the background and in flamenco [the improvisation] is part of the form. In flamenco, in a soleá, or in a bulera, the guitarist doesn't know what the cantaor is doing until the moment comes, and the cantaor doesn't know the falseta (variation, or melodic phrase, interspersed between successions of chords) that the guitarist is going to play for him.”
February 9th, 2011: Rampage on CD re-issues
Host: Bernard Stepien: Another trip in Europe and a bag full of re-issues with some surprises.
1. Herbie Mann, originally a tenor player decided to break the rules and play the very mellow flute against any odds.
2. Charlie Mingus, the Clown was also a story teller.
3. Cecil Taylor in 1959 was cranking up record after record playing mostly standards but in a way that prefigured the rest of his very successful career.
4. Jelly Roll Morton in the '20 was doing his own re-issues merely by releasing piano rolls.
5. Ran Blake, Steve Lacy and Ricky Ford in 1990 were deconstructing the George Gershwin songbook
6. Herbie Hancock in 1972 was starting to experiment with electric sounds
7. Finally Clarinetist Lajos Dudas pushed the concept a step further by re-issuing a sample of his recordings over a 50 years career period.
February 2nd, 2011: The Art Ensemble of Chicago / Roscoe Mitchell Reissues
Host: David Broscoe:
Art Ensemble - Go Home + Chi Congo (Free Factory) a repackaging of two recordings fom 1970, recorded in Paris. The recordings date from the period just before and just after Famadou Don Moye joined the band. One cut, 'Dance' is for an expanded big band including a string ensemble.
Roscoe Mitchell - The Maze (Delmark) Recorded in 1978, this release contains a long trio for Mitchell, Leo Smith, and George Lewis, a beautiful, quiet solo piece for soprano saxophone, and 'The Maze' a piece for 8 percussionists, featuring an AACM who's who.
January 26th, 2011: The return of Yo Miles!
Host: Rob Bitchofsky: Guitarist Henry Kaiser and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith formed Yo Miles! in the late 90s to "explore the alchemical implications of what Miles Davis was doing in the peak electric period, 1973-75." Last year, the ensemble released two recordings, Lightening and Shinjuku, with some previously unreleased live and studio cuts, along with the return of some tracks from out-of-print earlier releases. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky checks it out.
January 19th, 2011: Evan Parker's Time Lapse
Host: Bernard Stepien: Since that day sometime around 1978 or so a young then unknown soprano saxophonist performed at the Saw Gallery on Rideau street, a number of people of this region keep buying CDs from Evan Parker. Three decades later, the concept has not aged at single bit. Evan Parker has a unique technique and concept that few tried to imitate. On the other hand, one could ask how such a concept could survive so long. Jazz has always constantly evolved throughout its history either because the demanding listeners eventually got bored hearing the same thing over and over again or musicians would stretch their creativity to outsmart the competition. Instead, Evan Parker stuck to his multiphonics concept and even to the solo performance concept. Mind you, he sounds like if there were three musicians performing. His performance schedule mainly in festivals all over the world would make any straight-ahead Jazz musician green of envy. Many have attempted to define what he actually does. Minimalistic music is often heard and may not be appropriate since his music at times sounds like a Bach fugue. Someone told me once that Evan told him that he plays in deed Bach fugues every day as an exercise. Minismalistic music is based on constant repetition with little changes. A Bach fugue is a constant flow of intertwining phrases. Quite a difference.
However, his style and concepts are in fact also constantly evolving. First of all, even when taking one CD, the various tracks available sound different from each other. In fact, some even say that his music is mostly unpredictable which of course is different than random. In order to puzzle us even more, on his latest recordings of Time Lapse, Evan Parker adds the concept of over-dubbing thus reinforcing his multilayer concept a step further. To me this concept is equivalent to taking his former solo concepts through a magnifying glass that I am sure will help many to understand what his previous concepts were all about. Sometimes, this new music sounds like traditional African music.
Tonight we will explore his latest CD, Time Lapse and may be also play a track of African music just to see how it works...
January 12th, 2011: Sam Rivers, from Miles Davis to Free Jazz
Host: Bernard Stepien: Of the many styles of Free Jazz, Sam Rivers has always belonged to a separate category. His association with the great Miles Davis could have led him in the opposite direction. However, in the '60s, the draw of freedom was stronger. His main contribution was to channel the exhuberance of Free Jazz improvisation in a more ordered framework with more composition and arrangements. This sense of organisation has landed Sam Rivers in many prestigious projects. in the '70s he practically moved his operation in Europe, namely Chateauvallon in France, started to teach in several universities and be recorded by major labels. Tonight we will sample two sets of recordings that illustrate this evolution: first a 1967 recording on the bluenote label.
January 5th, 2011: Schlippenbach's Chamber Free Jazz
Host: Bernard Stepien: Chamber music and Jazz is seemingly a recent combination. Well, this all depends on opinions. For me, most of Cool Jazz of the '50s could qualify for this new fad of Chamber Jazz. A good starting point is to play cello like Esperanza Spalding and ensure that some überinvolved marketing manager doesn't stick around too much so that the music doesn't turn into sticky sirup. However, Chamber Free Jazz has been around for a while. First of all there are a number of Free Jazz cellist around to act as a starter. One of them is Tristan Honsiger, a well know member of the Dutch ICP orchestra. German Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach pushed the concept even further with his recent trio that not only includes cellist Tristan Hosinger but also a very classical music sounding Italian clarinetist Daniel d'Agaro. While d'Agaro is relatively new to the scene, both Schlippenbach and Honsinger are long established musicians that are known for their penchant for extremes, Schlippenbach for Free Jazz big bands (Globe Unity Orchestra) or trios with multi phonics expert Evan Parker and Honsinger for associations with Cecil Taylor. Friulian Sketches is a CD that features all of these extreme musicians in a contained but certainly atonal music. The music is mostly tender. But make no mistake, for Europeans, this is actually a marketing coup. Modern chamber music is a big thing in Europe. An advice: how about the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival bringing them over here in Ottawa? tonight, we will sample Schlippenbach's Friulian Skeches.
December 29th, 2010: Post-Christmas catching up with presents selection
Host: Bernard Stepien:
December 22nd, 2010: Ottawa Pianist Peter Hum A Boy's Journey CD
/ Host: Bernard Stepien: notch Jazz talents at all levels from performers to writers and broadcasters. His CD A Boy's Journey is yet another perfect demonstration of this state of affairs. This reflects through two properties, first of all, four of the five members of the group are either born or studied in Ottawa and two of them Kenji Omae and Nathan Cepelinski went straight from local high-school to the limelight of professional Jazz in the States, then second is the rich compositions written by Peter Hum himself and the near Swiss clockwork precision in the unfolding of the solos especially how they relate to each other. In other word this is a remarkable group work where the group prevails over the individual. Tonight we will extensively sample this recording and needless to say that it should sit under every Christmas tree in town. Where to buy it? Check out Peter's web site: click here
But even more important is that Peter Hum and Kenji Omae, Alec Walkington and Mike Essoudry will be performing at the Cafe Paradiso on Tuesday, December 28th at 7:30 PM. To me live Jazz always beats recorded Jazz but they are not mutually exclusive.
December 15th, 2010: Seasonnal selection for under the Christmas tree
Host: Bernard Stepien: A selection of avantgarde and local musicians to consider as a gift to both an aficionado or newbie in Jazz. This will include Christine Fagan new CD Once from Ottawa, Austrian accordeonist Martin Krusche with vocalist Katja Krusche, saxophonist Evan Parker's Time Lapse, saxophonist Ornette Coleman's Something Else, Roland Kirk's Volonteered Slavery, Howard Johnson's Tuba quintet.
December 8th, 2010: Swedish pianist Susanna Lindeborg
Host: Mark Keill: This week a look at some of the music of Swedish piano and keyboardist Susanna Lindeborg. Tracks will include solo, duo with fellow Swede Ove Johansson on saxophone and her group Mwendo Dawa which also includes Ove Johansson plus Jimmi Roger Pedersen on bass and David Sunby on drums.
Susanna Lindeborg web site Mwendo Dawa web site
December 1st, 2010: Sampling the blue notes: the OGUN collection box set
Host: Ron Steeds: Join guest host Ron Steeds for a sampling of the BLUE NOTES: THE OGUN COLLECTION box set, featuring Johnny Dyani, Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, Louis Moholo, and Nick Moyake.
November 24th, 2010: Saxophonist Dean Pallen CD release
Host: Bernard Stepien: This fall has been an avalanche of CD releases by local musicians. Brian Browne, Peter Hum and many others that usually ply the local scene. Among them someone lesser known saxophonist Dean Pallen that has been exploring quasi in secret the works of Duke Ellington and extending them. He will be in the studio for an interview on this secretive activity.
November 17th, 2010: Linsey Wellman's live interview on Ephemera
Host: Bernard Stepien: Since his graduation in 2001 at Carleton University, Linsey Wellman has matured into a fully loaded musician worth the detour. Linsey has since been involved in complementary, overlaping and opposite musical styles ranging from world music to extreme avantgarde. His latest project is a solo CD where the techniques laid down by the greats like Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker and David Mott are widely extended. Here is how Linsay describes his music:
Ephemera is a 45 minute meditation for solo alto saxophone, improvised around a diverse set of parameters; different with each performance, but always recognizable. It can be described as an exploration of texture, timbre, melody and tonal relationships in the ‘free’ music tradition, incorporating approaches to techniques such as circular breathing and multiphonics. Alternatively, if works of art can be said to be descriptions of the (or a) world, this one can be said to contain tenderness, passion, frustration, chaos, anger, joy, love and beauty. In a world where narratives are being standardized by political and economic forces, Ephemera is a small act of rebellion.
Tonight, we propose an interview with Linsey where we discuss the material of his latest Ephemera CD.
This is in preparation for his live performance at Club Saw, tomorrow at 8:00 PM.
November 10th, 2010: Bill Carrothers - Armistice 1918
Host: Bernard Stepien: Bill Carrothers, I would almost say, according to a legend started music without much formal training, which of course also means not reading music. However, his acute analysis of worn out standards to reveal new details is well known and may point even more towards an academic pianist such as Ran Blake. One of the most interesting side of his work is his quasi-musicological exploration of war time music. His first project on the songs of the American Civil War raised much attention. His second project in 2003 that we will focus on tonight, Armistice 1918 was about the First World War. Again, it was a collection of songs of the time interspersed with Carrothers own compositions to revisit this era 's music. It won wide acclaim both in Europe and more specifically in France and the UK and in North America. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about war times music is military music. Well, Albert Ayler took care of that but more on a peace time side. Bill Carrothers focused on the ordinary people’s music. Its treatment was probably best described by New York Times critic Ben Ratliff that described it as orderly Free Jazz. However, don't expect Cecil Taylor's energy. This is more about long distilled emotions. The material is drawn from the straight ahead Jazz with harmonies, chords, etc... but only as a raw material. The assembly is where the freedom is to be found and that part would shock even the hardiest straight ahead aficionado.
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November 3d, 2010: Romance Without Finance is a Nuisance - part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: Today is the day to show your support for alternative radio. CKCU-FM has now been broadcasting for 35 years with a wide variety of programming that you won't find anywhere on commercial radio. I have provided you with plenty of good reasons to pledge a three weeks ago, so I won't bother you again. Let's get to the facts! Once you have made your pledge you will be able to enjoy a special mix of your favorite avantgarde Jazz, however preceded by the now legendary Charlie Parker's Romance Without Finance is a Nuisance. The mix will include my own choices of Stevko Busch , Gridmesh and Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Gil Evans and Anthony Braxton.
October 27th, 2010: Romance Without Finance is a Nuisance
Host: Bernard Stepien & Mark Keill: your support for alternative radio. CKCU-FM has now been broadcasting for 35 years with a wide variety of programming that you won't find anywhere on commercial radio. I have provided you with plenty of good reasons to pledge a couple weeks ago, so I won't bother you again. Let's get to the facts! Once you have made your pledge you will be able to enjoy a special mix of your favorite avantgarde Jazz however preceded by the now legendary Charlie Parker's Romance Without Finance is a Nuisance. The mix will include my own choices of Petr Cancura, Megan Jerome, Thomas Posner, Stevko Busch , Gridmesh and Cecil Taylor and many others chosen by Mark Keill.
October 20st, 2010: Myra Melford Extended Ensemble, the impressionists
Host: Bernard Stepien: Myra Melford is a classically trained pianist who switched to improvised music to become a fixture on the New York City alternative Jazz scene in the early '90s. Her preferences are for larger ensemble that are carefully not called big bands mostly because even in a larger band context, the music still revolves around small combos concepts leaving ample space for individual performers. Another central component of her art is the incorporation of non-western musical elements in her music, mostly following studies of Indian classical music in North India in the year 2000. Tonight, we will sample one of her early recordings on the Swiss Hatology label, Even The Sounds Shine that reveals her impressionistic approach to Jazz especially in her composition La Mezquita Suite that has been inspired by Andalusian culture both on the musical side with Flamenco and on the architecture side with the Moorish mosque of Cordoba called La Mezquita in Spain that is considered as a jewel of architecture mostly due to its forest of columns and colored arches that produce a sense of peace and healing according to Myra's own words.
October 13th, 2010: Steve Lacy - Mal Waldron play Monk in Italy
Host: Bernard Stepien: Once in a while I have to make an easy program, easy to prepare and easy to listen. The combination Steve Lacy/Mal Waldron and Monks music falls into this category. I have been following both musicians for decades and I can day dream Monk's music, so the chances of getting lost are infinitesimal. Steve Lacy, who played with Monk for a few years, has been culturing Monk's music ever since then to the point of even maintaining his chops on this music on the entire Monk repertoire, an achievement when you consider the continuous production of his own music throughout his life. Thus Lacy was in a privileged position to be an expert in Monk's music down to the note. Tonight, we will inspect one of his duo with Mal Waldron recorded in 1992 in Italy at a remote little town of Vignola near Modena Jazz Festival on an obscure local record label. Particularly impressive on this recording is the version of Misterioso where each note is played with a different intonation and emotion and giving the illusion that there are two horn players instead of one.
October 6th, 2010: French clarinetist Louis Sclavis vs ECM
Host: Bernard Stepien: The ECM label is a living legend in European Jazz. It is often associated with a very specific sound. Keith Jarrett was one of the first beneficiaries of this organization. Lesser known musicians like trumpetist Paul Smoker also got a taste of ECM. Avantgarde people are not excluded from it but sometimes they are asked to play music that matches the ECM sound. French clarinetist Louis Sclavis didn't escape this requirement. Sclavis having been involved in a wide range of projects didn't have any problems to adapt. As usual with French musicians, projects have a taste of satiric content. This time it is the French language itself that has been the target. The music as usual is also of the wide range side with vignettes made of Rock, Free Jazz and even Be Bop.
September 29th, 2010: NY bassist Mark Dresser
Host: Bernard Stepien: Mark Dresser is one of the quiet giants of Free Jazz sometimes playing classical music as a day gig and coming like Mingus from Los Angeles. He has recorded over 100 CDs with top post '60s Free Jazz giants like Anthony Braxton and many others over the last four decades. Since the mid '90s he emerges as a leader doing his own things. His style could be summed up as Free Chamber Jazz where the focus is on sound atmospheres, all with great virtuosity. Tonight we will sample an early '10 recording with pianist Denman Maroney, Time Changes.
September 22nd, 2010: Swedish trumpeter Magnus Broo
Host: Bernard Stepien: While lots of musicians go into virtuosity, piling up zillions of chords or saturating the spaces with 16th, others sometimes opt for the quieter parsimonious pieces where slow moving sound textures prevail. This is the case of trumpeter Magnus Broo that recorded "The Forgottens" on the clean feed label. . On one of web sites we can read: "Despite being a very clever and well-trained instrumentalist, MagnusBroo has not developed a single sound or phrase that illustrates the extravagance he is capable of. Instead, he uses his ability to express his unending creativity and deep musicality".
September 15th, 2010: Early saxophonist Ellery Eskelin recordings
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ellery Eskelin started as a post bop player in the '80s. However, his style quickly evolved into free form mostly as an extension to Be Bop especially since he got associated with accordeonist Andrea Parkins and drummer Jim Black. The Bop phrasing is still there but the II-V-I orthodoxy is gone and at times no chords can be distinguished at all. His compositions are very taxing, both as one critic said on the audience and the musician. His music certainly keeps you awake like the sharp turns of a mediteranean winding mountain road. Tonight we will sample the pre-Parkins/Black trio 1990 Hatology recording Forms.
September 8th, 2010: A Canadian loaded trio led by saxophonist Joe McPhee
Host: Bernard Stepien: Some Canadian Free Jazz musicians are a well kept secret. Fortunately, once in a while some of their American counterparts involve them in projects abroad and voilà, suddenly we discover that we don't know some of our own treasures. Saxophonist/trombonist Joe McPhee has been involved in many joint projects with non-American musicians, particularly in Europe. To make things even worse for Canadian politicians and their acclaimed support of the arts, some day in 1994, the Swiss truly renowned label Hat Hut recorded the outstanding Vancouver pianist Paul Plimley and then Vancouver based bassist Lisle Ellis in Zurich, Switzerland. The session was dedicated to the music of legendary drummer Max Roach, quite a paradox for a drum less trio. Paul Plimley emerges as one musician that blends in atonality with harmony in seem less runs of complex melodic material.
September 1st, 2010: America vs Europe, early Free Jazz
Host: Bernard Stepien: Comparing American and European Free Jazz is always a perilous adventure. The are questions: which continent really started it? Europeans claim they did mostly because their classical music collegues were already playing free way back. But the problem is that they were playing among other things American composer Edgar Varese. As many Jazz musician say, the best is to play them and see for yourself what the fuss is all about. Tonight we will see how that works by comparing an early Archie Shepp/Bill Dixon from 1962, Peace to one of German Alexander von Schlippenbach's Enja recordings, Payan from 1972.
August 25th, 2010: Italian baritone saxophonist Alberto Pinton
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tonight we will look at lesser known artist Alberto Pinton, an Italian who settled in Stockholm after studying at Berklee College in Boston. He is now considered as one of the best European Baritone saxophonist. Fortunately, the European label Clean Feed that is gaining acceptance among Free Jazz enthusiasts. Tonight we will look at his Chant CD recorded in 2008 that features a quartet with Swedish musicians Torbjörn Zettenberg, Kjell Nordeson and Jonas Kullhammar. To me this CD could be summarized as "how can you sound as a big band if you are only a quartet". The answer is simple, use two baritone saxophones. The natural multiphonics of the baritone saxophone gives the illusion to hear two or three instruments. Put two in the band and well the actual calculations are left as an exercise to the reader...
August 18th, 2010: Ten versions of Caravan
Host: Bernard Stepien: Like every year since over a decade, Jazzworks is hosting a Jazz camp where top caliber Jazz musicians offer advice and direction to Jazz musicians aficionados. It is never too late to register, see http://www.jazzworkscanada.com. For a number of years, I have contributed indirectly to this event by giving some head start to the Jazzworks participants by taking a tune and see how many versions I can find in my records/CDs collection. This year, we will have a look at Juan Tizol's composition Caravan, one of the flagship tunes of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The original performance took place in 1936 and in its first version, Caravan happened to be the first official Latin Jazz composition. It also is influenced by middle eastern music, thus gives a glimpse of early modal improvisation. It is a relatively challenging tune mostly because of the lack of harmonic diversity. Chords usually act as markers, reminding the performer where he is. Too many chords are technically demanding, but only one chord for most of the tune like Caravan generates an absence of markers resulting in the performer often getting lost. The Jazz greats have all found ways to avoid this problem. The original version's arrangements were as usual carefully engineered and gave the maximum diversity of solos to fit in the then 3 minutes 78 rpm record side. Tonight we will listen to nine additional versions that illustrate the creativity of Jazz musicians: a very coltranish sheets of sounds version by alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe a stunning version by pianist Erroll Garner a very serene version by vocalist Jeanne Lee and pianist Mal Waldron another version by Duke ellington in 1945 featuring the melody played as chords a rather deconstructed version by pianist Thelonious Monk that adds some thematic color and assymetrical rythmic patterns. a full effects oriented version by saxophonist James Carter on baritone saxophone, reminiscent of Cat Anderson's original version rendering. An up-tempo version by guitarist Joe Pass that features burst of melodic improvisations. a quasi-symphonic version by clarinetist Louis Sclavis a small combo version by Duke Ellington's trio with bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach.
August 11th, 2010: Beachcombing mix
Host: Bernard Stepien: A bag of oldies this time. Boy are the majors and independents pushing for LP replacements. This will include Dave Brubeck's Time Out, Jimmy Giuffre's Ad Lib, Joe McPhee with Canadian pianist Paul Plimley, Chet Baker with Gerry Mulligan, Gil Evans in 1946, Cab Calloway, Cannonball Adderley portrayed as a leader with Miles Davis as a sideman (the weirdest marketing trick I have ever seen), French Monique Rouquier with some Jazz Manouche and finally Sonny Rollins and Don Cherry in 1962.
August 4th, 2010: Greek Fender-Rhodist Pandelis Karayorgis
Host: Bernard Stepien: Karayorgis is a well established pianist. For this particular concert recorded in Cambridge, MA in 2006, he chose to distord somewhat things by playing instead the Fender-Rhodes. The Fender-Rhodes electric piano has been a trademark of fusion Jazz of the 70's and '80s. Consequently, something else had to be done to distinguish itself from that era. No problem, add some filters that further distords the sound and all of a sudden you sound like Sun Ra without really sounding like him. Finally, choose an unusual repertoire and the surprise effect is guaranteed. In this case, some of Thelonious Monk lesser known compositions that range through the more modal range like Green Chimners or Brake's Sake or extreme chordal pieces like Light Blue or Humph, throw in Sun Ra's Saturn, Micha Mengelberg's Hypochristmutreefuzz and finally some originals.
July 28th, 2010: ElectroAcousticSilence
Host: Ron Steeds: A new ElectroAcousticSilence recording is always a reason to celebrate. Let's celebrate the release of their new album "Flatime". Guest host Ron Steeds plays from it and new releases from Hannah Marshall/Nicola Guazzloca/Gianni Mimmo/Leila Adu - The Shoreditch Concert - and from Lol Coxhill/Enzo Rocco - Fine Tuning: The Grandisca Concert.
July 21th, 2010: German pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays cuts from two Psi CDs, Parker/Schlippenbach/Lytton's 'America 2003', recorded live on tour, and 'Friulian Sketches' (2008) w/ Daniel D'Agaro (clarinet) and Tristan Honsinger (cello). Although both recordings are improvised, 'Friulian Sketches', with its 'classical' instrumentation and its 'indoor', transparent approach, stands in contrast to the Parker/Schlippenbach/Lytton trio and its explicit referencing of the jazz tradition, at least as a point of origin.
July 14th, 2010: Saxophonist Lou Reed
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: Lou Reed channels Albert Ayler: Lou just appeared at the Montreal Jazz Festival in a controversial show with John Zorn and Laurie Anderson that resulted in much booing and walking out. I was at the show, so I'll describe the scene and play some cuts from a previous recording of the trio playing in New York. In his recent book on Lou's seminal rock band The Velvet Underground, Johan Kugelberg asks Lou if Ayler was an influence, and Lou enthusiastically agrees, adding that Ornette Coleman was also a major influence. We'll hear some squalid Velevet Underground song and let the listeners decide, and hear Ornette's appearance on Lou's last major studio album, The Raven.
July 7th, 2010: New York guitarist Marco Oppedisano
Host: Mark Keill: A few tracks from some recent work from NY guitarist Marco Oppedisano From Wikipedia : "Marco Oppedisano (born November 20, 1971 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American guitarist and composer whose compositions focus on the innovative use of electric guitar in the genre of electroacoustic music. Since 1999, his musique concrète/acousmatic music compositions have utilized multitrack recording and extended performance techniques for electric guitar and bass. In addition to musique concrète, recent compositions by Oppedisano also consist of "live" electric guitar in combination with a fixed playback of various electronic, acoustic (specifically female voice courtesy of his wife, Kimberly Fiedelman) and sampled sounds. His electroacoustic music has been described as “...mindbending music for guitar and electronics... hear Oppedisano’s intricate roar.” (Time Out New York) and "....in-your-face and almost confrontational music, which however never sees salvation in total mayhem, but in creating an immediate emotional and endorphinal experience..." (Tokafi)" http://www.myspace.com/marcooppedisanomus
June 30th, 2010: Saxophonist Arthur Doyle
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays selections from his recordings as sideman and as leader. From Derek Taylor, All Music Guide Arguably more able to engender polemical reaction than any other living saxophonist, Arthur Doyle stands noticeably apart in the free jazz canon (if there can rightfully be considered such a thing). A pariah to some, a prophet to others, he approaches his instruments in manner that makes the term ‘idiosyncratic’ seem painfully inept. His sound and phrasing are such to elicit immediate opinion. A fellow saxophone iconoclast Charles Gayle works on an analogous level, but even his detractors have been want to admit his ability on the horn. Not so with Doyle. The press has routinely lambasted him as a charlatan and hack. This in spite of the fact that he’s been an active figure in the music for decades, contributing to such legendary recordings as Noah Howard’s The Black Arc (Freedom). In his own words clarifying his technique, “first you have to come from belly, like you are throwing everything out of it. Next you humming and whistling at the same time making your lip irate.”
June 23d, 2010: Sound Symposium
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Alnoor Allidina presents a preview of this year's Sound Symposium, an adventurous festival that takes place in St. John's every two years. On tonight's program you will a sampling from the works of: Yael Acher, IMA Ensemble, Moritz Eggert, Rick Sacks, and Aiyun Huang.
June 16th, 2010: Lennie Tristano, the avant-garde influence
Host: Bernard Stepien: Brainy music! This is what most people remember of Lennie Tristano. He was there right in the middle of Be Bop, exploring further what Monk and Powell had started a half dozen years earlier. He founded also his own school, litterally and even decided to focus on teaching rather than performing, thus paving the way for today's Academic Jazz. His music is complex but always melodious even when some of the unusual notes are highlighted. His first hour disciples, Lee Konitz and Warn Marsh carried his music to this day that really means accross an ocean of 50 years of avantgarde exploration of all kinds but more surprisingly, his concepts influenced totally opposite spectrum musicians such as Bill Evans and Cecil Taylor. His composition WOW still remains a challenge even for academically trained musicians. Tonight, we will sample his recordings he made right upon his arrival in New York City in 1946 with those well established musicians such as Charlie Parker, Max Roach and Dizzy Gillespie besides his own school with Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh.
June 9th, 2010: Berlin Frank Paul Schubert - Günter Baby Sommer duo
Host: Bernard Stepien: Frank Paul Schubert came to Ottawa last year with his Gridmesh collective. He has been a Berlin resident for a dozen years now and insists on making a living from playing exclusively Free Jazz. His skills have not gone unnoticed. He associates frequently with Free Jazz heavy weights like Alexander von Schlippenbach on the west side and Günter Baby Sommer on the east side not to mention frequent joint projects with musicians from all over Europe. His style is mostly lyrical but with elements that are not commonly associated to lyricism. His models are drawn from Indian music and particularly Indian Jazz saxophonists. Most people define Günter Sommer as the Han Bennink of East Germany. He certainly has an equal sense of humor on stage but there are differences. Han Bennink is a disciple of swing drummer Zutty Singleton while Sommer is more into Max Roach. In fact, the distinctive feature of Sommer is his melodic approach to drumming in addition to a solid sense of rythm even if it is free rythm. Tonight, we will sample their "Hic Sunt Leones" CD that the very distinguished Wire Magazine wrote that its power and finesse make it for album of the year material (2008).
June 2nd, 2010: Peter Brötzmann Chicago tentet, 2004
Host: Bernard Stepien: Peter Brötzmann is the most radical European Free Jazz musician of the sixties. His first recording, Adolphe Sax, dates from 1966. Although European musicians were unknown in the US at that time, he immediatly received support from iconic American Free Jazz musicians such as Don Cherry and Lee Konitz. More recently, he associated with the new Chicago scene and started a long lasting collaboration with Ken Vandermark that conceptually is kind of at the opposite spectrum of Free Jazz compared to Brötzmann. Over the last 50 years he slowly but surely acquired the status of a founding father. Tonight we will have a look at his Chicago tentet project that explores the long lasting but difficult relationship between Jazz and poetry.
May 26th, 2010: Sun Ra, Live at the Pit-Inn, Tokyo, 1988
Host: Bernard Stepien: This is a recording of the late period of Sun Ra, five years prior to his death. Think about it, 15 years way beyond the vanishing of the big band celebrities, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, Sun Ra's big band was thriving and all of this with a repertoire that was both radically different than the swing bands era and well in sync with it using well known standards. Sun Ra's fan base was constantly growing. Sun Ra ended up lecturing at Berkeley, his scores are stored at the library of congress as part of the national heritage.
May 19th, 2010: Satoko Fujii, 10 years ago
Host: Bernard Stepien: Before this show, starting at 9 PM, you will hear recent recordings of Satoko Fujii with her husband in 2009 on In A Mellow Tone. This would be around the 29th CD that Satoko released since 1996. She is a very prolific player that combines the complexity and energy of Cecil Taylor's music with a more lyrical approach that could have come from Paul Bley, one of her teacher at Berkley twenty years ago. Tonight, we will sample her early trio setting from 1996 with two heavy weight, Mark Dresser and Jim Black that features a 34 minutes long piece.
May 12th, 2010: Polish clarinetist Vaslav Zimpel in Krakow
Host: Bernard Stepien: The city of Krakow in Poland has become a Jazz Mecca for avantgarde musicians. There are numerous venues where all kinds of Jazz are performed and a healthy number of good jam session where locals and visiting artists get together to experiment. One of these venues is the Alchemia in the Kazimierz section of Krakow. Tonight we will feature such an assembly made of Polish clarinetist Vaslav Zimpel, American drummer Tim Daisy, American alto saxophonist Dave Rempis and Ukrainian bass player Mark Tokar. Dave Rempis and TIm Daisy usually perform with Ken Vandermark. They happilly play a European flavored Free Jazz where classical Avantgarde sounds are welcome. They actually play a theme from Anton Webern.
May 5th, 2010: Polish pianist Mateusz Kolakowski - Chopin vs Monk
Host: Bernard Stepien: Mateusz Kolakowski is one of the musical prodigy of our times. A classical pianist by training, he embraced Jazz early and end up starting to tour the US at age 15. Somehow, during one of these tours he ended up in Kennebunk, Maine and got himself a picture taken with former president Bush, sr. Being Polish of course means studying Chopin to the perfection. The liner notes of Ad Libitum CD (2004) say that he merges Chopin and Monk. This is one of the typical commercial gimmigs of promoters. If you listen more carefully you will notice that the fusion is somewhere else and that is between Jazz standards and Cecil Taylor... His originals though are closer to Chopin. In any case, his music will quickly demonstrate the irrelevance of promoters anxieties.
April 28th, 2010: German improvisational ensemble Fliegen und Surfen
Host: Mark Keill: This week a look at 2 discs from the German improvisational ensemble Fliegen und Surfen Fliegen und Surfen - Fliegen und Surfen (2009) and Fliegen und Surfen - bornem ( 2006 ) http://www.fliegenundsurfen.de/start.htm The ensemble's musical language has in recent years developed a unique vocabulary mainly from the fields of rock, blues, new music, global merger and sound performance. The Ensemble: Monika Lilleike - vocals Frank Post - guitarist Guy Winter - bass Bernd Wegener - percussion
April 21st, 2010: trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith
Host: Rob Bitschofsky: With two new albums from three different groups and two reissues last year, uncompromising American trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is in the middle of a fertile period. Guest host Rob Bitschofsky checks in with a set of music from his recent releases.
April 14th, 2010: Italian improv label Amirani Records
Host: Ron Steeds: Guest host Ron Steeds profiles the Italian improv label Amirani Records. Hear music by Gianni Mimmo, Xabier Iriondo, Electroacousticsilence, Thollem McDonas, Nicola Guazzaloca, reFLEXible, Gianni Lenoci, Carlos Zingaro, Marcello Magliocchi and others.
April 7th, 2010: A Rablesian set to the birth of spring
Host: Ron Bitschofsky: Sounds Like Spring: Guest host Rob Bitschofsky stumbles gamely though a rabblesian set dedicated to the birth of spring. Featuring Henry Threadgill, Arthur Blythe, Anthony Davis, Pharoah Sanders, Don Pullen and more.
March 24th, 2010: Brooklyn's The Thirteenth Assembly
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe features Brooklyn's The Thirteenth Assembly: Thomas Fujiwara drums, Mary Halvorson electric guitar, Taylor Ho Bynum cornet, and Jessica Pavone viola. We'll hear the full quartet, duos (Ho Bynem/Fujiwara, Halvorson/Pavone - who recently perfomed at Ottawa's Raw Sugar coffee house) the Mary Halvorson trio, and if there's time, a bit of Anthony Braxton (common thread and teacher of 3 of the band members).
March 17th, 2010: Abdullah Ibrahim part I
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Alnoor Allidina has been listening to a lot of Abdullah Ibrahim lately. Tonight he presents the first part in a 2-part series on this wonderful South African pianist. Ibrahim has great jazz credentials: he was "discovered" in Zurich by Duke Ellington in the early sixites, when he was still performing as Dollar Brand. Of course, at this point Ibrahim's career was already over a decade old. In tonight's program we will hear from a variety of his many albums, focusing on jazz tunes and some of his more outside playing. Part two airs Sunday afternoon on This Island Earth (1-4pm EDT) and features tunes clearly influenced by his South African upbringing.
March 10th, 2010: UK saxophonist Theo Travis
Host: Mark Keill:With six albums as a leader to his credit, numerous guest appearances and a continuing member of a number of groups including as replacement to Elton Dean in Soft Machine Legacy, Travis has garnered recognition and a number of awards since his first release in 1993. His second album was named Best British Jazz CD in 1994 by the jazz on CD Readers/Critics poll. He was also nominated Rising Start in the 1996 and 1998 British Jazz Awards and was named best Newcomer of 1993 by London's Financial Timers.
March 3d, 2010: Polish tenor saxophonist Mikolaj Trzaska
Host: Bernard Stepien: Saxophonist Trzaska once said: "Once in everybody’s life there is a time when one has a chance and duty to be revolutionary". He is considered as the top Jazz musician in Poland and travels frequently in the rest of Europe. Trzaska has collaborated with Peter Brötzmann (, Lester Bowie, Tomasz Sztanko, Joe McPhee and many others of the European and American Jazz avantgarde. On a recent trip to Krakow in Poland I picked up a 1994 recording Taniec Smoka of his Milosc (love) group. It is a fascinating mix of traditional and avant-garde Jazz from all possible directions all melted in a free run with many surprises.
February 24th, 2010: Greek clarinetist & saxophonist Floros Floridis
Host: Bernard Stepien: Clarinetist and saxophonist Floros Floridis is the man who put Avantgarde Jazz on the map in Greece in 1979. His collaborations with late bassist Peter Kowald and east German Günter Sommer places him high on the total free jazz scale. Tonight we will play his latest Jazzwerkstatt recording Sweet, Sour, Sharp & Soft that feature two other Berlin living Greeks, pianist Antonis Anissegos and drummer Yorgos Dimitriadis, all forming the Grix band. Anissegos, a well travelled classical pianist is a well known fixture of the Berlin Free Jazz scene. Dimtriadis before moving to Berlin has spent a decade collaborating with various French musicians in Paris. more on: http://www.florosfloridis.com/ http://www.myspace.com/yorgosdimitriadis http://www.myspace.com/antonisanissegos
February 17th, 2010: Favorite recordings of last decade
Host: Alnoor Allidina: For his first program of the year, Alnoor Allidina takes a look at some of his favourite recordings of the last decade. Yes, it's almost March and he's still doing 'best-of' shows but mostly it just gives him an excuse to play the likes of: Raw Materials, Avishai Cohen, Matthew Shipp, Fred Lomberg-Holm, Linsey Wellman & Mike Essoudry and so on.
February 10th, 2010: The Alto in My Life
Host: David Broscoe: The Alto in My Life - A variant on Morton Feldman's The Viola in My Life David Broscoe plays pieces including the alto saxophone, featuring Matana Roberts, Philippe Lauzier, Steve Lehman, Darius Jones and Charlie Parker.
February 3d, 2010: One for Haiti: Archie Shepp's Magic of Ju-Ju
Host: Bernard Stepien: Archie Shepp is one of the main figures of '60s Free Jazz. The Magic of Ju-Ju cues into Voo Doo ceremonies that are still very active in Haiti. Of course, no medias mentioned Voo Doo during the earth quakes aftermath because it so clashes with the North American religious establishment that provided the brunt of the aid in the early hours. But it is there and Archie Shepp didn't miss the opportunity in 1967 to highlight this important component of African culture still surviving in the island. However, the 18 minutes this track lasts made many people think that they were on a diet for 40 years. The Coltranian energy of this Archie Shepp composition is immense. Some however said that it was a piece of no consequence. For many it sums up what Archie Shepp is all about. Today, this recording is considered as a masterpiece. Most tracks are faded out, so let's hope someday Impulse will re-release them in full length.
January 27th, 2010: Pianists Brad Mehldau, the philosopher vs Bill Carrothers, the historian
Host: Bernard Stepien:A few weeks ago, Ottawa Citizen arts editor Peter Hum wrote an article on Matthew Shipp's blasting of the Jazz medias. Shipp stated that medias always talk about the same artists (http://jazzblog.ca) like Keith Jarrett that have been around for 40 years and thus neglect the younger generation or musicians that merely decided to play outside the so-called established main stream. Tonight, I will try to help understand what the problem exactly is by comparing two CDs by artists that precisely seem to attract very different media attention: - the well documented, reviewed and acclaimed pianist Brad Mehldau. - the quasi totally ignored pianist Bill Carrothers. They are roughly the same age, both in their early thirties and they both made their debut CD in the mid-nineties. They both belong to main-stream Jazz but are not afraid to deviate from it and have both a passion for esoteric material. Brad Mehldau relates his work to philosopher Nietsche. Bill Carrothers did some intensive research on music from war times. What differentiates them? Brad Mehldau's is well known for his left/right hands independence and he gets into incredible cross-rythm frenzies. Bill Carrothers developed a rare melodic and harmonic independence. His technique is stealth though. The new melody may be inserted at the least expected moment and thus most of the time getting unnoticed. This unnoticesness is unfortunately very bad, marketing wise. Brad Mehldau is classically trained while Bill Carrothers never really took any serious nor extensive music lessons. Both are known to create unusual athmospheres. We will explore this characteristic using Brad Mehldau's Places that I think is a good match to Carrothers 1918 and Swing Sing Song.
January 20th, 2010: Randomlee collecting Lee Konitz recordings
Host: Bernard Stepien: For some obscure reason, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is always on my priority list when going through Cd bins at CDs store around the world. Lee Konitz that started his career in Lenny Tristano's very good company seems to have no problems finding gigs over the last five decades. Lee Konitz has the characteristic to sound both deceptively straight ahead and totally free. This is mostly because he plays straight ahead Jazz the mostly freely as possible, altering anything he can find in his path, melodies, harmonies and rythm, the three essential elements of Jazz. My random sampling of CD bins landed three interesting CDs: an early recording with Gerry Mulligan in 1953 that shows that Lee was not imitating Charlie Parker a recording from 1999 with John Abercrombie a recording from 1997 with pianist Brad Mehldau where it is difficult determining which of the two musicians gets into the other's game. A couple of weeks ago, a local musician told me that a Lee Konitz composition, Subconsciouslee, was not a real tune. This was not Roddy Elias. Roddy played with Lee in Halifax for a week or so a while ago and keeps telling me ever since then that Lee doesn't consider himself as a Free Jazz musicians. This raises another question, why does Lee hang out systematically with some of the fiercest Free Jazz musicians? Roddy Elias will be performing with vocalist Jeri Brown at the cafe Paradiso this coming Saturday. I think it is a duty not to miss an opportunity to sample a musician who played with Lee Konitz and certainly knows that Lee's compositions are real tunes. Last question: is Lee Konitz a controversial musician?
January 13th, 2010: Writer Peter Hum vs broadcaster Bernard Stepien
Host: Bernard Stepien: Writing and broadcasting are somehow two opposite but complementary worlds. The broadcaster tries to focus on the music and usually sacrifices providing explanations since the music will happen only at the moment it is played and as Eric Dolphy once said vanishes in thin air. The writer writes a story that will be permanent in time. It can be stored in a safe place and be read 10 years down the road. But, unfortunately this applies only to the story and not the music that can not be stored on paper. Consequently, we decided to put these two essential components of propagation of the arts in a same day. During day time you will be able to read Peter's story about the Portuguese "clean feed" label that is devoted to European and North American artists that explore various combinations of instrumentation and styles that stray at various degrees from what is usually known as main stream Jazz. Thus, tonight you will have to operate two machines:
1. turn on your computer and connect to http://jazzblog.ca to read Peter's explanations
2. turn on your radio and select 93.1 on the dial at 11 PM and hear what Peter was talking about, namely the actual music. On this occasion we will explore the CDs of:
1.Marty Ehrlich Rites quartet
2. Nicolas Masson Parallels
3. Tony Malaby's apparitions
4. Will Hoslhouser trio
January 6th, 2010: the unique solo work of German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff
Host: Bernard Stepien: The late German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff was mostly known for his unique technique that allowed him to play chords on a normally single note instrument, the trombone. This was achieved by huming a note while normally playing another note on his trombone. He also developed a rare skill for multiphonics on the trombone that normally doesn't allow this. Less has been said about his solo work or at least how these solos have been constructed. Here again, the single note trombone could be thought to be at a loss with it's single note feature. Instead Albert Mangelsdorff developed a structuring method that gave the listener the illusion to be in presence of multiple instruments and this without the re-recording technique that was prevailing in before computer music times. Many even compared him to John Coltrane. This of course led to instant fame and Mangelsdorff was one of the few European musicians to travel frequently in North America in company of significant American musicians like Dizzy Gillespie or Steve Lacy. Another characteristic of his style consists in happilly using the Be Bop idiom in any context, even when playing with such Free-Jazz extremists like Peter Brötzmann. Tonight we will survey three LPs from the '70s that appeared on the German MPS label that was notorious for documenting the European avant-garde. These LP's have now been re-released as two CDs.
December 30th, 2009: New York bassist Joe Morris Wild Life with Petr Cancura
Host: Bernard Stepien: We all know Petr Cancura since he was once a local musician and comes back once in a while to play straight ahead gigs locally. What we know less is what Petr is doing in Brooklyn. Well, the truth is, he plays Free Jazz among other things. Guitarist and Bassist Joe Morris just happens to be one of those fierce Free Jazz players that crossed Petr's path. So, be prepared!
December 23d, 2009: the John Geggie project
Host: Bernard Stepien:John Geggie has been launched into the international but highly competitive Jazz circuit for a while now. While this normally would mean a loss for the local scene, the good news is that Geggie collects associations with some heavyweights around the world and brings them back home like Santa Claus. One of these heavy weights is pianist Marylin Crispell that like John encompasses many different musical genres and particularly classical music. John will be in the studio tonight and provide ample explanations.
December 16th, 2009: Albert Ayler's Copenhague's tapes
Host: Bernard Stepien: Albert Ayler is famous up to this day. Even here in Ottawa, you can find some of his CD's among the sparsely settled Jazz racks in CD stores and all this despite his very short career abruptly ended by his death in 1971. Two factors can explain why local CD store sacrify space from Smooth Jazz for this extreme avand-garde style. First, his music was revolutionary even over the quite revolutionary Free Jazz that was happening during the '60s. So, no chances to disappear in obscurity. Second, his music impressed so much his listeners, that one of them, the great John Coltrane was particularly impressed to the point to become his instant friend. John Coltrane's click precisely happened in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was where Charlie Parker was already thriving over a decade earlier, so they were ready for this. Later, Coltrane introduced Ayler to the Impulse label and this certainly guaranteed Ayler's place in Jazz history. Tonight's featured CD documents extensively this celebrity debut, including explanations by Ayler himself, a very soft spoken gentlemen in sharp contrast with his powerful music.
December 9th, 2009: Anthony Braxton, Coventry concert 1985
Host: Bernard Stepien: Anthony Braxton belongs to the most prolific composers of Jazz with a repertoire matching Duke Ellington's or higher. His approach to music is quasi scientific with intense research in the world of assembling the basic elements of Jazz that are rythm, timbre, harmonies, dissonances and melodic lines. Proof of this is that Anthony Braxton when following the Art Ensemble of Chicago to Paris left the impression that his music was too academic. But Braxton's first solo recordings quickly erased this first impression and later he had no problem obtaining funding (argh, yet another academic word) for very ambitious projects involving up to four symphonic orchestras. Tonight, we will sample the Coventry concert recording that marked the beginning of an important phase in Braxton's career, the use of a quartet as a vehicle for his music that included Marylin Crispell, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway. Thus, when John Geggie brings Marylin Crispell to the NAC, it is a piece of Braxton that we get there too. Thanks, John!
December 2nd, 2009: Joe McPhee's Survival Unit II, 1971
Host: Bernard Stepien:Saxophonist Joe McPhee is little know in North America. Like many other avant-garde musicians, he quickly headed for Europe where over the years he engaged in long associations with European musicians like Evan Parker, Raymond Boni, André Jaume or Irene Schweitzer. More important is that he connected with the Swiss Hat Hut label that ended up extensively documenting his music (14 CDs). One of his characteristics is to be both a reed and brass instrumentalist. He also plays a stylistic duality with his tone and phrasing going from the most traditional to the most extreme. Nice harmonies can be heard close to multi-phonics at all time. Tonight we will sample such a recording that ironically was made in New York by a local radio station in 1971. The only trace of this recording was actually a low quality cassette. The very swiss watch precision Hat Hut label went through extensive expenses to remaster this recording. The reason is probaly because it was made at a time of political turmoil due to the war in Vietnam and the repression of aspiring black people. This is an important document of pre-Obama days.
November 25th, 2009: Berlin guitarist Andreas Willers
Host: Bernard Stepien: Andreas Willers art is centered around the guitar but with some twists like among other thing real time looping. One thing we immediately think of when we hear the word looping is of course computer music of which the tekno people transformed into an endless repetitious adventure. The difference between today's computer music and guitarist Andreas Willers is very clear. In Andreas case, you still need a real live musician. The looping is nothing pre-recorded or sampled. It is made on the fly and thus self adapts constantly to the unexpected events that are the rule in improvised music. In other words, two performances of the same tune will result in a possibly completely different result. It is truly instant composition. This has nothing to do with pressing the play button of your Windows media player. Although Andreas is associated with a variety of musicians such as Paul Bley, Louis Sclavis, Enrico Rava, Dave Liebman, Gebhard Ullmann among others and is currently involved in the Berlin Gridmesh project that we had the pleasure to sample last March here in Ottawa at the Cube Gallery, tonight we will focus on his two recent solo CDs Orange Years and Drowning Migrant. some QUOTES taken from Andreas web site: - Paul Bley: 'I work with the best and Andreas continues the lineage.' - John Abercrombie: 'Some of the most original music I’ve heard in a long time. Excellent!' (about The Private Ear) - Roger Dury (Editor JAZZIS Magazine, USA): 'Andreas Willers sounds unlike anybody Ive heard. He should be famous.' more can be found on: http://www.andreaswillers.de/bio_en.html
November 18th, 2009: The Dutch Clusone trio plays medleys
Host: Bernard Stepien: Holland has one of the most active Free Jazz projects in Europe, the ICP ochestra. The members of this orchestra also spawn unlimited combinations of smaller ensembles that don't fall into the usual soloist instrument/bass/drum category. Instead, a more almost Chamber Music like setting is the rule. Some of these also are very short lived because they just happened for a specific occasion. The Clusone 3 trio composer of saxophonist Michael Moore, cellist Ernst Reijseger and Han Bennink is one of them. The ingredients of this particular trio are the same as the ones for the ICP, a mix of schmaltzy interpretations of originals or standards that even Fats Waller would be pride of, with the very planned and controlled chaos. Tonight we will focus on a recording of 1998 made in Stockholm. Again, CKCU-FM and RWAC would like to thank all of those who have pledge during funding drive including the post-pledgers that usually pop up around that time.
November 11th, 2009: French trumpet player Erik Truffaz goes to India
Host: Bernard Stepien: Erik Truffaz is an enigmatic musician in the sense that despite the fact that he has been signed by the Blue Note major Jazz label, he really conveys the perfect ECM sound and despite all that he seems to be ignored by Jazz encyclopediae of all kinds. His music is main stream but with a slight avantgarde touch. One thing is for sure, he doesn't want to be confined to his main stream status and thus decided to travel to discover world's musics in their natural habitat, thus potentially uninfluenced by western styles and esthetics. One such travel lead him to India where he met some pure classical Indian musicians and came back with a 35 minutes CD. This short (50% below CD capacity) CD reveals the difficulties in the confrontation of cultures, not that playing ragas rather than II-V-I changes was difficult but rather playing something without loosing your soul. The result is very interesting and quite different from any other experiments recorded so far by any other musicians including Coltrane. The jazz musicians kept playing pure Jazz while the Indian musicians kept playing pure Indian music with perfectionistic tendencies. Still, this is neither a collage, neither like attending two different concerts at the same time.
November 4th, 2009: special funding drive mix
Hosts: Bernard Stepien, Mark Keill: As is the tradition with funding drive specials, we will present a mix of recordings that we have presented in the past or that we will present in the future. This, just to show you how lucky you are to have us around...
October 28th, 2009: Funding drive with guest saxophonist Richard Page
Host: Bernard Stepien: Toronto saxophonist moved in to the region a little more than a year ago. Since then, he worked his way gigging all over the place to pay the bills but not forgetting to contribute to creation. Tonight, between call for pledges we will explore his latest experiments with strings.
October 21 st, 2009: Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy
Host: David Broscoe: Steve Lacy at the New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden 2002 Polwechsel - Archives of the North (2006) Two releases on Hatology of European Electro-Acoustic Ensembles. Steve Lacy joins Austrian composer Bernard Lang and, among others, English turntablist Philip Jeck in a performance encompassing jazz, modern composition and looping. Polwechsel also draws heavily on modern composition. 'Archives of the North employs the full spectrum sonic potential of a jazz band, composed with the austerity and calculation of musique concrete - and duly assets itself as neither' (liner notes). Saxophonist John Butcher is determined not to sound like a saxophone at the best of times and that is particularly true in his playing with Polwechsel, in marked contrast to the mix of the pieces with Steve Lacy, where the soprano is front and centre.
October 14th, 2009: Norvegian guitarist Terje Rypdal
Host: Mark Keill: Tonight an hour' worth of music from guitarist Terje Rypdal from some of his numerous ECM releases. "Norwegian guitar icon Terje Rypdal surfaced more than three decades ago as a new guitar voice, but he strode out of the fields of rock music, not jazz. He was influenced a great deal by the electronic jazz/fusion of the late 1960s and early 1970s and his early work with the likes of saxophonist Jan Garbarek and renowned composer George Russell brought him to the eye of American listeners, through the ECM label with which he has been affiliated since 1970." - All About Jazz
October 7th, 2009: Sun Ra's comet Kahoutek
Host: Bernard Stepien:Sun Ra was the Duke Ellington of avant-garde Jazz. There are number of characteristics of his big band that matched Duke's:, the big band format itself, especially at a time where big bands were economically over. a very devoted and constant personnel, a very large number of compositions, a large amount of record releases (189), the longevity of the bands. But beyond these common characteristics, Sun Ra brought us something radically different. Despite a full knowledge of traditional Jazz, after all he was In Fletcher Henderson's band, his exploration of electronic instruments like the Moog synthetizer and various home made electrical instruments is unique. Also, while Duke Ellington's prolific recording ended during the '60s due to the raise of pop music, Sun Ra's instead pick up steam. Another very important aspect of his music is that like Duke, he made great black music for the black people but also for all these intellectuals that were even happy with the utopia aspect that his music represented. Tonight we will explore a re-issue on ESP-Disk "comet Kahoutek" that features a wide use of synthesizers with all the space sounds that go with it. An interesting quote, Sun Ra once said "My music will at first scare people. It represents happiness and they are not used to it". (re-translated from French...)
September 30th, 2009: Saxophonist Ken Vandermark
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ken Vandermark moved to Chicago from Boston young enough to be considered a full Chicago musician. This of course means AACM and exposure to this incredible palette of avantgarde musicians residing in Chicago. Although his initial training is in classical music, the shift to Jazz was irrevocable and he quickly embraced some of the harder aspects of Free Jazz including reaching to extreme European musicians like Peter Brötzman or Mats Gustafsson with whom he performs regularly. Tonight we will survey his 2005 recording "Broken Lines" that features the diversity of his style.
September 23d, 2009: Pianist Matthew Shipp
Host: Bernard Stepien: Matthew Shipp is a piano virtuoso that in two decades has not deviated from his original plans of being strictly himself. Classically trained and mastering the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Matthew has connected to Jazz at age 12. There he listened to two masters, Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor. However, these two models are far from being used to become a stylist and may be neither an innovator as his music is a constant re-assembly of certainly known material but in such a variety of combinations and especially what these days we call re-mixes where elements of different sources are glued together so that their distinctiveness dissolves. Each of his pieces is different but can never be traced to any particular Jazz influence. His career shows associations with a very limited group of New York musicians with David S. Ware, William Parker as the corner stones. He declares Jazz to be his religion and at one point declared that he is not interested in club performances but his discography is impressive. All of this made him a key New York City Free Jazz player.
Tonight we will sample his 1996 By Law Of Music CD on the Hat Hut records label.
September 16th, 2009: Trombonist Roswell Rudd
Host: Bernard Stepien: Trombonist Roswell Rudd literally pioneered the use of trombone in Free Jazz on this continent as far back as the '60s when he was associated with Archie Shepp. However, studying with Herbie Nichols and his early years in Dixieland loaded him with the essentials to be harmonic literate. His in-depth exploration of the music of Thelonious Monk with Steve Lacy also gave him everything one needs to be an academic. Thus, Roswell is yet another illustration that Jazz is not dead, at least not by the definition of records and CDs merchants. Being an academic freed him from the daily chores of gigging to make a living and thus enabled him to play any style of Jazz in any experimental setting he wished.
Tonight we will explore one of his recent recordings, Keep Your Heart Right, 2007, that may disapoint some Free Jazz ayatollas but certainly will illustrate Roswell's extreme skills in assembling all kinds of essential components of Jazz history, including Free Jazz and pepper it up with his usual exotic timbre.
September 9th, 2009: Chicago's violinist Leroy Jenkins
Host: Bernard Stepien: Leroy Jenkins has been associated with the main Free Jazz currents of the end of the '60s. From his début with Anthony Braxton in 1968 in Paris through the '70s and '80s. Some describe him as the Albert Ayler of the violin. However, he mysteriously disappeared from the limelights. Tonight, we will sample a live recording at a Festival in Austria.
September 2nd, 2009: Italian vocalist Franca Masu vs tango
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tonight will be yet another of those ambiguous programmes. First, I described Franca Masu as Italian. Right, she has an Italian passport and lives in Sardegna which is in Italy, but as some of you who speak Italian may have noticed like myself when I bought the CD that I will feature tonight, the name Masu is not that Italian after all. The explanation is simple, Franca Masu is a member of a Catalunian community in the town of Alghero that migrated there sometime during the middle ages at a time where crossing the Mediteranean sea was as common as crossing the atlantic theses days. This ethnic background somewhat set the stage for a Jazz vocalist that would be used to double identities. Franca stepped into the world of Tango, the Tango Nuevo of Astor Piazzola that attracted attention over the last few decades from Jazz aficionados of all kinds.
Critic Neri Pollastri from All that Jazz said:
"...Interprete unica di canzoni in dialetto algherese, Franca Masu è anche voce di grande suggestione, che mantiene viva la tradizione del canto femminile sardo, e sofisticata realizzatrice di architetture musicali.....Aquamare, un disco particolare e affascinante."
Tonight, we will explore her first CD, How Como Ayer of a series of four or five CDs that is a 80% Astor Piazolla composition streched into any direction that Jazz and especially free Jazz can take. Franca is both an auditive and visual experience. Her numerous entries on youtube should keep our friend Peter Hum busy for the rest of the week. I am still trying to cope with Peter's youtube postings on his marvelous blog... http://www.francamasu.com/
August 26th, 2009: European Pianist Bojan Zulfikarpasic
Host: Bernard Stepien: Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, Bojan Zulfikarpasic moved to Paris in 1989 and quickly became a fixture there. He draws his inspiration from three sources:
Bojan is one more master of stylistic seemless fusion. A straight ahead piece is mainly composed of unsual intervals, a solo may involve constant alternatives between playing the keys and plucking directly the strings all in one phrase or even a short motiv. The balkanic influence is never explicit except in one piece. It is always well integrated with whatever a passage explores (straight or free). A homage to Ornette Coleman by playing his Mothers Of The Veil composition sets the record straight.
- straight ahead Jazz
- balkanic traditional music
- avant-garde Jazz
More on Bojan at: http://www.bojanz.com/bio.html
August 19th, 2009: Worn out standards for a Jazz camp
Host: Bernard Stepien: While there are articles after articles presenting business statistics on CD sales to support that Jazz is a dieing art relegated to some classical status, the Jazz education industry seems to be on a healthy stretch. Summer jazz camps for both young and older musicians are increasing in numbers, size and level of competence. Jazz is a very complex music that is based on improvisation. Ironically improvisation can not really be improvised. It too follows complex rules that require experienced musicians to be explored. The exploration of this complexity seems to fascinate an increasing number of musicians. Here in Ottawa, every year, Jazzworks organizes a wonderful Jazz camp with an outstanding faculty led by Ottawa bassist of international reputation John Geggie. Tonight's program will be devoted to the exploration of a few worn out standards to give a head start to this year's participants on how to handle a tune and give it totally opposite directions. We will look at the following selection of standards:
- 1. Someday my prince will come with Miles Davis that litteraly propulsed it into orbit during the Cool Jazz era vs Marshen Allen from the Sun Ra orchestra that adds a few ornementations.
- 2. Donna Lee, an iconic difficult Charlie Parker composition with two radically different handlings of that tune: Charlie Parker the pure bopper vs Bill Carothers that turns it into a fireworks of slow motion.
- 3. Body and Soul, the ultimate reference by Coleman Hawkins is harmonically transformed by Thelonious Monk but still sounds mysteriously the same while Sonny Rollins cultivates the art of bandless solo and Lee Konitz and Martial Solal try out every possible harmonic and rythmic or even melodic alteration.
- 4. Jitterbug waltz, the father, Fats Waller vs the son, Eric Dolphy and further down the road
August 12th, 2009: Beach combing mix - part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: Another summer and more opportunities to come accross recordings that you can't find in your local stores here. This time we will sample:
- 1. Don Byas, Lover man
- 2. Rudi Fischerlehner Pinx
- 3. Jesse Stewart music for found objects
- 4. Louis Armstrong forays into the Swing era.
- 5. Brad Mehldau's going places
- 6. Leroy Jenkins revolutionary ensemble
- 7. le jazz fait son cirque, Jazz and circus music
August 5th, 2009: Beach combing mix
Host: Bernard Stepien: Another summer and more opportunities to come accross recordings that you can't find in your local stores here. This time we will sample:
- 1. trombonist Roswell Rud's recent recordings thanks to musicologist Verna Gillis Soundscape project.
- 2. Sun Ra's concert for the comet Kohoutek.
- 3. a duo by violinist Ramsey Ameen and bassist Sirone from a Cecil Taylor CD from the late '70s,.
- 4. a recent recording by veteran psychiatrist and pianist Denny Zeitling.
- 5. one or two blues from Bessie Smith recorded in 1929, what a match for our own 2009 financial crisis.
- 6. Bill Carrothers Swing Sing Songs, a pianist that I increasingly understand, but many others don't
July 29th, 2009: The Recommended Sampler 1982 - 25th Anniversary Edition
Host: Mark Keill: Tonight’s show will feature tracks from this recently re-released compilation of artists from Recommended Records "Originally released in 1982, this is a collection of specially commissioned and (at the time) newly recorded pieces by the most interesting groups and individuals then in the Recommended catalogue. Never reissued, it has slowly become a prized collectors' item - and remains an indispensable snapshot of the range and musical brilliance of this critical moment in the history of a small community of left-field groups struggling towards new musical languages. The breadth of imagination displayed is exemplary and it is amazing how fresh and original this music still sounds, and how much things have changed in only 25 years. What was intended on its release as a practical compendium has now become a definitive document so, on the occasion of Recommended's 30th anniversary, we have decided to reissue it fully re-mastered and with additional accompanying material." - ReR Records “Recommended Records was founded in 1978 by Chris Cutler, a percussionist, composer, and founding member of avant-garde British bands Henry Cow and Art Bears. Cutler's label was a natural outgrowth of the Rock in Opposition movement, which sponsored a number of festivals in the late '70s. Not coincidentally, the majority of festival participants were European musicians overlooked by the mainstream American and British music press, and with his label, Cutler deliberately set out to document this music -- along with British and American music that was equally on the margins.” - Answers.com
* - Feliu Gasull Influences - Univers Zero Boss De Crosses Dans Le Doulos - Aksak Maboul/The Honeymoon Killers Slice - Henry Cow Viva Pa Ubu - Henry Cow Radio Extract - Decibel Simulacres - Art Zoyd 2 From Chronometers - The Muffins Commerce Nostalgique - Conventum Pool - This Heat
July 22nd, 2009: Montreal Ratchet Orchestra
Host: David Broscoe: Live At The Sala Rosa November 28, 2007 Montreal's Ratchet Orchestra is yet another fine example of Sun Ra's legacy. David Broscoe also features selected 1940s Afro-Cuban recordings by Dizzy Gillespie which may have served as models for certain Ra compositions. Ratchet Orchestra review by David Dacks, Exclaim Magazine, Sept 2008: This is a lovely recording of a band that have gradually expanded from a quartet to a truly orchestral sound. Several generations of Montreal musicians participate in this project, which displays a wonderful variety of approaches to improvisation, from myriad takes on noise to European classical derivations or the bluesiest of wails. These noir-ish, expansive compositions are obviously influenced by Sun Ra, but in the right ways. Ratchet master Nicolas Caloia never indulges in lame, quasi-mystic space motifs; rather he finds inspiration in the orchestral sounds of Ellington, Ra’s former boss Fletcher Henderson and occasionally, Egyptian icon Om Khalsoum. With over 27 players in the orchestra, seemingly every instrument is doubled, if not tripled up. A large contingent of strings makes for some arresting ensemble sounds, as in the beguiling “Carmine” and the initial part of “T(h)rust.” The large scale improvs (Alan Silva, etc.) of the ’60s also come to mind but this disc’s stylistic range, contemporary electric sounds and overall gusto never sound like revisionism.
July 15th, 2009: Soft Heap - Soft Heap ( 1978 ) Esoteric
Host: Mark Keill: Tonight's show will feature the recently re-mastered and only release of Soft Heap. Line-up :
- Hugh Hopper / bass
- Elton Dean / saxes
- Alan Gowen / keyboards
- Pip Pyle / drums and percussion
- Mark Charig / cornet and trumpet
- Radu Malfatti / trombone
"Comprising former Soft Machine members Hugh Hopper on bass and Elton Dean on saxophone, former Hatfield & The North drummer Pip Pyle, and Gilgamesh keyboard player Alan Gowen, the group recorded this sole album for Charly Records in 1978, drawing stylistically upon each member's musical pedigree and producing a record of excellence." - Esoteric
July 8th, 2009: Ornette Coleman
Host: Alnoor Allidina: On Saturday July 11th, the legendary Ornette Coleman takes the stage of the Lebreton Gallery at the War Museum. He appears with his son Denardo on percussion and two bassists: Tony Falanga and Greg Cohen.
This band was recorded live in concert in October 2005. The ensuing disc, entitled Sound Grammar, won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Tonight we focus heavily on this recording in anticipation of the upcoming Ottawa concert.
July 1st, 2009: Celebrating Canadian musicians
Host: Alnoor Allidina: In keeping with the theme of the day, Alnoor Allidina presents a mix of Canadian jazz. We will hear from the likes of Barnyard Drama, Radar, Chris Gestrin, Peggy Lee, Dylan Van Der Schyff, Seppuku, LaConnor and more!
June 24th, 2009: Alexander von Schlippenbach's Monk Casino
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays selections from Monk's Casino, the complete works of Thelonious Monk, performed by a crack German Band let by pianist Alex von Schlippenbach. Monk's Casino will be performing at the Fourth Stage as part of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival Thursday June 25th at 7:00.
Excerpt of a review entitled unAMERICAN ACTIVITIES from the website One Final Note, by Ken Waxman: German pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach aptly [captures the essence of Monk] on Monk’s Casino (Intakt), a three-CD set that exemplarily recasts many of Monk’s compositions while performing them all—including a couple that were never recorded. Unlike the fusoids and neo-cons who amplify the pianist’s unique song structure as a way to appear far out, these 57 tracks probably contain some of Schlippenbach’s most mainstream playing. Paradoxically, this is truer to Monk’s vision than those purported improved versions of his tunes since he didn’t consider his work weird, just unique. Schlippenbach, who often includes some Monk in his solo programs and free improv works, can identify with that. Classically educated and a member of mainstream bands in the 1960s, Schlippenbach is part of Europe’s first generation of free jazzers. Best known for his 30-year association with British saxophonist Evan Parker and German drummer Paul Lovens in a trio, his large scale writing and arranging skills were put to use in versions of the Globe Unity Orchestra. Besides freeform numbers, he also arranged work by Monk and Jelly Roll Morton for the band. Set up as with a “pick any number” wheel of fortune motif, this set resulted from two dedicated live gigs in a Berlin club by the pianist’s combo specifically designed to record the oeuvre. While his playing here may be slightly conventional—in a Monkian sense—that doesn’t mean that some of the 57 tracks don’t get POMO stimulus. Consider the group’s make-up. The other four other players were initially the Die Enttäuschung band, whose first CD was a Monk tribute. Individually, though, they don’t function as a copycat ghost band. As simpatico here as drummer Frankie Dunlop and bassist John Ore—who coincidentally also played with Sun Ra—were with Monk, bassist Jan Roder and drummer Uli Jennessen are no neo-boppers. Jennessen is in a free jazz trio with Canadian bassist Joe Williamson and eccentric American guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, while Roder has worked with everyone from Berlin pianist Uli Gumpert to Romanian pianist Mircea Tiberian. As for the front line, Monk’s trumpeters of choice were solid mainstreamers like Ray Copeland, Clark Terry, and Thad Jones. While sufficiently muted or brassy when needed here, Axel Dörner sometimes demonstrates the extended technique that elsewhere has allowed him to originate a minimalist trumpet vocabulary. Furthermore, except when one reedist tripled on it during his 1963 Philharmonic Hall concert, Monk never recorded with a bass clarinet. His combo preference was for the tenor saxophone, which for many years was handled by Charlie Rouse. Thus without a role model, bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall brings his own personality to these pieces. In fact, his playing is as innovative on his chosen axe as other Monk saxophonists such as John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins were on theirs. Nürnberg-native Mahall has done everything from recording atonal solo numbers to playing with cool alto saxophonist Lee Konitz. His fondness for quick glissandi sometimes suggests Eric Dolphy, another Monk admirer. Ranging from near-palindromes—musical verses that sound the same backwards and forwards—to out-and-out contrafacts—or tunes consisting of a new head superimposed upon an already existing set of changes—to down-to-earth rhythmic numbers, the band actually plays 71 [!] Monk compositions. Taking anywhere from 41 seconds to ten minutes to perform, each man has plenty of scope to express a specific musical personality.
June 17th, 2009: Canadian percussionist Jesse Stewart
Host: Bernard Stepien: Percussionist Jessie Stewart has specialized in making music out of unusual and plainly casual objects ranging from very Canadian canoe paddles to shells found on a beach, to more industrial pipes of all sizes and material, daily life kitchenware and scary circular saw blades that rival any of the best brands cymbals. But his art goes beyond hitting any casual object in his path. Jessie has extensively studied the accoustical properties of these objects and determined that sounds differ and lead to more expressive power when held at some critical points and in not less critical position or altered with the presence of liquids such as water. Water, the very essential element of life can also be an essential element of sound. Whales have discovered that already and have exploited its properties for millions of years. So did Jessie in a more recent history.
Jessie Stewart will be with us in the studio and comment extensively on how you can move from a casual sound to music, very much in the footsteps of Concrete Music composer Pierre Schaeffer worked with his steam engine collage way back in the '50s.
June 10th, 2009: one more trip to Europe and more acquisitions
Host: Bernard Stepien: Travelling to Europe in June is always a good idea because this is the time lots of zillions of Jazz festivals reveal their programming. The good news is that the Ottawa International Jazz Festival has a good proportion of the line up of the Nice, France Jazz festival this year. This with the difference that we have more Canadian artists featured while they have more European ones. The comparison may look trivial but one should not forget that the dwindling nmber of Jazz giants makes programming a Jazz festival increasingly harder. The obvious question is of course, why aren't there new giants? Well, the world of Jazz marketing strategy has considerably evolved and this for various reasons. There is no doubt that technically or artistically there is a large number of heavy weight young players today. Most of them however no longer live like their predececors exclusively from performing which back then meant extensively touring. The new generation instead is involved in all kinds of broader cultural activities including education. All of this makes the job of a Jazz festival increasingly more complex. The choices are usually in the exact alchemy of left over giants and newly discovered talents.
Tonight, we will go throught some recent acquisitions on the usual second hand market. This will include some essential roots recordings by blues singer Leadbelly and New Orleans King Oliver, avant-garde guitarist Andreas Willer and his revisiting of the banjo, a sample of Bill Carrothers Armistice 1918, Jazz and Circus music from French Alain Reynaud, German Albert Mangelsdorff Tromboliness, may be more than usual jazzified Tango by Italian singer Franca Masu and how the most succesful jam-session standard Blue Bossa started with Joe Henderson in 1963.
June 3d, 2009: Geggie Project with John Geggie, Marilyn Crispell, and Nick Fraser
Host: David Broscoe: In anticipation of the upcoming Ottawa International Jazz Festival, David Broscoe features the 'Geggie Project' CD featuring Marilyn Crispell and Nick Fraser, released on Montreal's Ambience Magnetiques label. John Geggie will very ably lead the nightly jam sessions at the festival again this year. In the Fall of 2003, Ottawa double bassist John Geggie invited the internationally renowned improvising pianist Marilyn Crispell to perform with him as part of his annual jazz concert series staged at the National Arts Center. Eight months later, this duo was reunited on stage at the concert hall of the National Library of Canada during the city’s international jazz festival. Buoyed by these performances, the bassist set out to capture some of their musical magic for posterity, this time with a long-time acquaintance of his, Toronto-based drummer Nick Fraser. On October 31, 2006, the trio convened for a three day recording session in the aforementioned hall, a room with a reputation for pristine acoustics but an even greater one for the famous instrument it now houses: the Steinway D owned by the legendary Glenn Gould and bequeathed to this institution in his own will. Given these assets, there is a special aura that glows over the fourteen pieces of this side. Divided equally between composed themes for group improvisation (all penned by Geggie) and spontaneously created pieces, the tracks span a wide array of moods and textures, ranging from the lyrical, to the driving, to the spiky, even the abstract. Who knows? Maybe Glenn may have been smiling from above… And if it were so, chances are you will too when listening to this most vibrant musical offering!
from the Ambience Magnetiques website
John Geggie, a frequent collaborator of pianist DD Jackson, also finds a satisfying rapport with Crispell on Geggie Project, splitting the program evenly between his original pieces and collective improvised tracks. The recorded sound is uncommonly fine, with Crispell's bell-like single notes filling out the contours of the opening "Credo". Thanks to her seasoned touch, Geggie's compositions breathe exactly as they should, particularly the rubato ballad "Across the Sky" and the tempo-based, off-kilter "Or Not," which recalls some of Crispell's work with Paul Motian. Fraser steps up on the starkly contrapuntal "View from the Bridge"—essentially a drum feature—and pairs up with Crispell authoritatively on "Weather Forecast," one of three duets (the others being "Entre Chien et Loup" and "PH," for piano and bass). Here, as on Sibanye (We Are One) and Phases of the Night, Crispell acquits herself as one of our most adaptable and imaginative pianists, a team player par excellence.
May 27th, 2009: A rare trio: Cecil Taylor, Elvin Jones and Dewey Redman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Cecil Taylor went though many different phases during his half a century career sofar. from regular trios in the 50s and 60s to the Cecil Taylor Unit during the 70s to extensive solo explorations during the 80 and 90, Cecil started increasingly to associate with numerous musicians for single concerts projects. This was the case in the late 90s when he teamed up with John Coltrane veteran Elvin Jones and lesser known but equally important Dewey Redman.
May 20th, 2009: Accordeonist Richard Galliano & clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi
Host: Bernard Stepien: Richard Galliano has been described as the Art Tatum of the accordion by Peter Hum or the Ottawa Citizen, so that should be enough of an introduction. Italian clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi started to be noticed in the early '90 and got immediately enrolled by accordeonist Richard Galliano. That too, says it all. He is classically trained but branched early into classical avant-garde music. His interest in Jazz is merely an extension of his interest for world music. Many people think that Jazz is a kind of folklore music. This actually is one of the reasons he teamed up with Galliano who himself is known to navigate through world music, particularly the South American branch. Tonight, we will explore their 1991 Coloriage CD.
May 13th, 2009: Bill Carrothers Blues and Greys Civil War times music
Host: Bernard Stepien: Bill Carrothers cultivates the art of slow motion where each note is carefully crafted both as dynamics and relation to some other notes usually located in what some musicians call harmonies. While sounding seemingly totally unspectacular, his music still remains a must and also can be fully identified on the first note or more precisely chord exactly like anyone could identify Charles Mingus on the first single note. The content of his music can be discovered more or less the same way as when playing with Google-Earth. You can enjoy the overview as well as the details and vice versa. His music is loaded with emotions especially when dealing with a repertoire that no other Jazz musician had ether tried, namely war times music. Tonight we will sample his first recording on this subject where he mostly concentrates practically with obsession on the melodies with no buzy improvisation except for a couple tunes. Instead, the melodies after first being slowly deconstructed are transformed in melodic chord progressions which takes you through hymns, blues, all in a ghost like athmosphere. Bill Carrothers is officially labeled as an avant-garde musician with an extensive quasi historian like knowledge of his art.
May 6th, 2009: Recent chaotic acquisitions
Host: Bernard Stepien: A quick glimpse in my chaotic CD acquisition pattern over the last few months:
- 1. Vietnamese saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan
- 2. flutist Jeremy Steig duo with Eddie Gomez
- 3. German pinaist Karsten Sitterle's code of Disease
- 4. Bluesman Big Bill Bronzy Mississipi blues
- 5. Serbian pianist Bojan Zulfikarpasic
- 6. Matthew Shipp's string trio
- 7. Sonny Rollins' plays for Bird
- 8. Lee Konitz/Brad Meldau/Charlie Haden
- 9. Cecil Taylor/Dewey Redmen/Elvin Jones
- 10. Clifton Chenier's on the road
April 29th, 2009: Count Basie's Afrique 1970
Host: Bernard Stepien: What is Count Basie doing in an Avant-Garde Jazz program? Well, Avant-Garde Jazz as everybody knows didn't start in the '60s but instead is like perpetual motion, it happened again and again throughout Jazz history. Count Basie did his part by establish the four beats to the bar concept to replace the two beats oriented music of the '20s. But his Avant-Garde probably was rooted in his accute sense of orchestration where individual musicians dissolved into the band, but playing a key role. The most astounding example is of guitarist Freddie Green which role was to double on the walking bass by walking chords instead and as a result never taking a single solo in his 50 years career but still remains an essential musical component of Basie's sound. Even basie himself took the role of single key component, rarely taking an elaborate solo but instead carving simple but effective phrases over a canapé de big band. a couple of weeks ago I came accross a CD recorded in 1970 entitled with a french name of Afrique. This was enough to pique my curiosity and inside I discovered a jewel, namely some well digested pure african heritage that is used in the same component approach as every single musician in the band. For some obscure reasons, there is even a very Free Jazz solo by saxophonist in there.
April 22nd, 2009: Sun Ra, 1970's recordings carved in stone
Host: Bernard Stepien: If there is one recording that must be taken on a desert island, certainly this BYG Actuel double CD recorded in 1970 in New York must be on the list. Everything that characterizes Sun Ra is on there. The best part is certainly his organic electronics Moog synthetizer solos. Organic in the sense that he drives the electronics as if they were an accoustic instrument with a rare sense of dynamics that only fingers, arms or lips can normally achieve. The music is totally free but carefully placed in the velvet of Jazz tradition that for Sun Ra goes back to his involvement with Big Band era Fletcher Henderson.
April 15th, 2009: Hamiet Bluiett's Baritone Nation
Host: Bernard Stepien: Baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett is well known for his work with the World Saxophone Quartet. The WSQ is a typical full range of saxophones from baritone to soprano quartet modelled on the classical music's string quartet. It allows a great variety of texture but may be with the drawback that only higher pitch instruments get most of the exposure. This was certainly not the case for the WSQ, but many musicians of the lower register instrument familly must have felt something similar and as a result ventured in full low register instruments quartets. This is the case of the french Tuba Pack, an all tuba quartet, or various string bass quartets with Joëlle Léandre, William Parker or Peter Kowald. For baritone saxophones, the temptation to do an all baritone quartet was unbearable especially since many of its top representatives like Hamiet Bluiett or James Carter to name only a very few have refined the art of making a baritone sound like any other saxophone, including soprano. I remember particularly the duet concert with Hamiet and DD Jackson in Ottawa, years back where Hamiet sounded like the WSQ all by himself. Tonight, we will feature Hamiet Bluiett's Baritone Nation that was incidently recorded in Montreal in 1997 and featured in the Radio Canada program "Silence on jazz", a reminder that both SRC and CBC once were fine radios. Today, after some interference of the cultural mediocrity of the current conservative government, the focus seems to be on smooth Jazz.
April 8th, 2009: Drummer Weasel Walter
Host: David Broscoe: Weasel Walter achieved some fame in the early 1990s in Chicago with the band The Flying Luttenbachers, featuring at various times Hal Russell and a young Ken Vandermark. Since then he relocated to Oakland and worked as a multi-instrumentalist, producer and record label owner (UgEXPLODE), in a number of musical genres. David Broscoe plays cuts featuring Weasel Walter with Gianni Gebbia (alto), James Fei (alto), Peter Evans (trumpet), Mary Halvorson (guitar), among others. Homepage: http://nowave.pair.com/weasel_walter/ Interview 2006: http://www.paristransatlantic.com/magazine/interviews/weasel.html
April 1st, 2009: Charles Lloyd revival?
Host: Bernard Stepien: Charles Lloyd is the most elusive Saxophonist in Jazz history. His initial west coast '60s San Francisco flower power Fillmore West recordings with very significant pianist Keith Jarrett, drummer Jack de Jonette and bassist Cecil McBee were an instant success. Then he vanished into obscurity. Some 30 years later, Charles Lloyd decided to resurface with another association with equally significant pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Higgins that show him as an almost hard bopper. Lets try do explain this phenomenon...
March 25th, 2009: Albert Ayler's New grass
Host: Bernard Stepien: Albert Ayler's New Grass 1968 LP has been widely decried in its times as at best a display of banalities totally lacking the energy of any recordings made by Ayler prior to 1964. This recording has nethertheless been re-edited on CD a few years ago. Forty or so years later, what appeared to be a banality, usually to be interpreted as being more main stream, instead reveals to be closer to the title of one of the compositions on this album, namely New Generation. It is a rather rocky, souly or gospelly Albert Ayler composition, perfectly in tune with our current Obama times.
March 18th, 2009: Berlin based Grid Mesh trio
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jazz in Europe went through a number of fascinating phases and particularly in Germany where during 12 years it was merely prohibited. The early phase was described by some critics as the imitation of American musician phase. This even somewhat included Free-Jazz. Things changed dramatically already at the end of the '60s when all over Europe, musicians started to follow their original paths both in material and concepts. A number of well known stars like Evan Parker, Peter Brötzmann or Irene Schweizer and many others made a close to four decades successful career since then. But all along, new emerging musicians appeared and survive thanks to a well oiled circuit of highly specialized festivals all over Europe that is far from fading out. In Berlin, the political situation that lasted almost five decades and that left its imprint even up to today favored yet another kind of Jazz breeding ground. The presence of American troops guaranteed a constant flow of musicians either as members of a military band or as visiting artists. The locals that were divided in two also had an interesting agenda of mutually showing off to the other side. This resulted in one of the best funding of the arts situation anybody has ever seen. This is the case of the group Grid Mesh that will appear this coming Friday, March 20th at the Cube Gallery at 8 PM. tonight we will explore their latest CD. Grid Mesh uses specific ingredients to assemble their improvisations:
More impressive is that all of these ingredients are evolving seemlessly as each musician fades his role in and out. Grid Mesh is an assembly between two rather extreme Rock musicians, guitarist Andreas Willer and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner and full time Free-Jazz saxophonist Frank-Paul Schubert that in recent years frequently associates himself with the old Avant-garde like Günter Sommer or Alexander von Schlippenbach. However, don't expect some fusion music like in the '70s, it is all very abstract European Free-Jazz.
- an ambiguity between accoustic and electric sounds.
- a constant redistribution of rythmic roles among musicians.
- well planned developments.
- easy identifiable structure that sometimes borders classical music concepts.
- a focus on sounds taken from the various backgrounds of the musicians like the rock music electric guitar or the breath through a saxophone.
March 11th, 2009: Thelonious Monk and Rock Music?
Host: Bernard Stepien: Thelonious Monk retired just about when the Jazz-Rock Music fusion occurred. Thus he naturally missed the opportunity to consider some involvement in that new direction of Jazz in the '70s. However, despite an unlimited number of tributes to Monk's music by all kinds of musicians, both main-stream and avant-garde, it seemed that no one had even dared considering exploring how Monk's music could be fused with Rock music. Well, once again, I very accidentally came across such an experiment by San Francisco guitarist Charlie Hunter just did that, period. The experiment yielded two CDs in total obscurity. It wasn't until I read the last pages of a book by musicologist Gabriel Solis, Monk's Music, Thelonious Monk and Jazz history in the making where more evidence of such attempts are described. There, it is mentioned that famous Rock critic Goldberg considers that Monk rocks and he compared him to John Lennon and Charles Ives as a veritable pantheon of far out musicians from across generic borders. He also provides us with this story: one day some interviewer asked Monk where Jazz was going. Monk replied: "Where's Jazz going? I don't know. Maybe it's going to hell. You can't make anything go anywhere. It just happens". Thus, tonight we will play some "mixes" of the T.J.Kirk CD - If four was one -, where the motivistic approach of Monk's compositions are put in a Rock perspective, including such astonishing hard compositions like Brilliant Corners that even Monk needed 27 takes to finalize that recording, way back.
March 4th, 2009: trumpetist Charles Tolliver
Host: Bernard Stepien: Charles Tolliver has been associated early with musicians that wanted to play differently like max Roach, Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson. He tried to solve the freedom of recording problem facing any Jazz musician by starting a cooperative record label Strata-East. Like many others, moving to Europe was the best of solutions. Tonight we will look at his Live at the Quasimodo in Berlin, 1988 CD.
February 25th, 2009: Arthur Blythe – Hipmotism - 1991
Host: Bernard Stepien: Arthur Blythe started his career in R & B. This may explain the constant blues/gospel feeling that he projects in his music that itself is composed of both ancient and avantgarde Jazz elements. He thus is an avantgarde musician with a back to the roots agenda. Tonight we will survey a 1991 recording, Hipnotism that features the usual very unusual instrumentation of Howard Johnston tuba against a marimba and guitar all in company of avantgarde heavy weights Don Moye from the Art Ensemble Of Chicago and baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett. Arthur Blythe is one of the few avantgarde musicians that landed on a commercial record label, Columbia until the orthodox Marsalis borthers came on board and cleaned things up.
February 18th, 2009: Jazz and ethnic music - Swiss yodel and Arabic music
Host: Bernard Stepien: Over the last three decades, Europe has been acting as a natural melting pot for Jazz and various traditional musics from around the world. Recently I came accross two extreme cases: Swiss yodel by Swiss American Erika Stucky and arabic music by French Lebanese Toufic Farroukh. Ericka Stucky is born in California by Swiss parents and after spending her youth in the Bay Area, one day she decided to stay in her grand parents remote valley in Switzerland and fell in love with Yodel. Ironically, it is her appearances in a free Jazz festival in Europe that primed her career. Her music is far from being close to Albert Ayler but the way she assembles Blues, Yodel, country and western songs has made lots of free Jazz aficionados thinking. We will sample some extremely ambiguous cuts from her Suicidal Yodel CD. Taoufic Farroukh has attempted something new with the fusion of Jazz and Arabic music. Gone are the Coltranisms. Instead, Taoufic is more in tune with the current trends of collage oriented music that sometimes is close to random sampling, a favorite to computer produced music freaks but with the difference that this time this is achieved by a pure musicians, 19 of them to be precise. The result is of course phenomenal with even world war II famous Lili Marleen song surfacing among the already crowded material.
February 11th, 2009: the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble from Chicago
Host: Bernard Stepien: As we all know, Chicago has been a hotspot for Jazz since the very beginning of Jazz history. Chicago benefitted from the natural pipeline, the Mississipi river, that siphoned all the afro-american talents from the Deep South and put them in yet another mini melting pot there. The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble's music is strongly rooted in traditional African music that has one among many characteristics to achieve lots with little basic elements that are either musical instruments or melodic features. Here one of the key features of the EHE is the use of an amplified thumb piano that illustrates the afro-american musical genius by combining this seemingly primitive instrument with modern technology. They will be performing at the Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, February 17th at 8 PM.
February 4th, 2009: Evan Parker, Han Bennink
Host: Bernard Stepien: Evan Parker that started on tenor saxophone accomplished one of the greatest tour de force in Jazz history by creating a musical style that is extremely unique. The starting point was of course John Coltrane's forays into multiphonics, but Parker has extended this seed in totally unexpected directions. One of the most remarquable feature of his style is found in his multi-instrumental countrapunctal renditions on a single horn. Drummer Han Bennink could be considered as a quasi opposite of Evan Parker since his stylistic features are totally in sync with Jazz drumming tradition. The avant-garde nature of Han Bennink is always quickly revealed when he is playing with someone else. There, the most impressive stylistic feature is the way he merges with other musician’s material. In fact the basic impression a listener would have is that Bennink follows the other musicians anywhere no matter how complex or unexpected their musical phrases are going. This is re-enforced by his stage behaviour (some people call it clowning) where while walking around the stage he hits various objects besides the drum kit itself at the most appropriate instants.
January th, 2009: Joe Henderson, the state of the tenor
Host: Bernard Stepien: Joe Henderson has been described by critics as not embarking in the spectacular aggressiveness of Free-Jazz during its blooming years in the '60s. He is the result of two giants influences, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane of whom he acquired and further developed rythmic, melodic and harmonic freedom as an extension of the Be Bop heritage. Tonight we will survey his State of the Tenor double CD recorded in 1985 with Ron Carter and Al Foster.
January 21st, 2009: Obama celebration, musicians from Chicago
Host: Bernard Stepien: If Jazz has started in New Orleans, it is Chicago that catapulted it to fame. Some could quickly draw a parallel with Barack Obama's ascension to presidency and they should feel free to do so. Avant-garde Jazz is well represented in Chicago thanks the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) a rather neighbourhood oriented and very successful Jazz organization. Thus we should not have any problems to assemble this celebration program. We will open with Anthony Braxton's rendition of a Sousa march followed by some Art Ensemble of Chicago fireworks, then we will have a closer look to individual projects led by trombonist George Lewis, violinist Leroy Jenkins and not to forget current AACM president Kahil el Zabar. Also, we will include a rather neighbourhood man, saxophonist Fred Anderson that both him and the Jazz club he is running have been a fixture of the Chicago South Side for decades. All of this will be peppered with vignettes from the Chicago musician forefathers, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Jimmy Yancey and many others time permitting.
January 14th, 2009: Louis Sclavis explores traditional dances
Host: Bernard Stepien: Louis Sclavis is one of the foremost European improvised music creator. He is mainly a clarinettist that took most of his inspiration from New Orleans clarinettist Sydney Bechet. Besides this obvious link to American Jazz, he never really embraced the Jazz tradition, not even Charlie Parker but of course as a clarinettist and especially a bass clarinettist, he zeroed-in on Eric Dolphy. The most common depiction of his music is lyricism. Lyricism is known on this side of the water as being the perfect product marketable in Hollywood. Louis never made it to Hollywood but certainly drew lots of attention from French film makers like Bertrand Tavernier among many others. Tonight we will survey a compilation CD, Danses et autres scènes that were composed for various French avant-garde movies (the ones where there is always some Ontario censored nudity). There are nearly three dozens of these dances drawn from many concrete folklores but sometimes turned in the trademark Louis Sclavis Imaginary Folklore, few of them contain improvisation and all are very short (65 minutes divided by 36 makes always something below 2 minutes). But like impressionist painters, the beauty of these recordings is not in the details but in the overall impression.
January 7th, 2009: Freddie Hubbard, the avant-garde musician
Host: Bernard Stepien: Considering that Freddie Hubbard had hit the big audience by taking part to the Jazz-Rock scene during the '70s some may have forgotten that 10 years earlier, Freddie was right there with the Avant-garde musicians from start, especially with Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and many others. Tonight we will survey these early associations with the Jazz Avantgarde.
December 31st, 2008: Canadian Latin trumpet Nick Ali
Host: Bernard Stepien: Nick Ali is one of the most successful Canadian Latin musician. Those hot Latin rythms and melodies should thaw the ice wherever you are...
December 24th, 2008: Sonny Rollins the sideman
Host: Bernard Stepien: It is difficult today after nearly six decades to even think that Sonny Rollins started his saxophone giant career as a sideman. A recently released CD reminds us that Sonny became a Jazz giant at age 19 and that all elements of his art were already fully ripe when he was recording only as a sideman. The 1949 recordings we will feature tonight actually occured the same year as Sonny's first recording as a leader. Sometimes, the recording industry has been doing the right thing.
December 17th, 2008: Toronto saxophonist Richard Page
Host: Bernard Stepien: Hamilton native saxophonist Richard Page decided to leave the limelight of Toronto to settle in Ottawa recently. His various demonstrations of stop choruses à la Sonny Rollins in local jam-sessions have led me to think that it would be a great idea to explore his unlimited influences right here live on air.
December 10th, 2008: Jazz-Chamber Music by Lajos Dudas
Host: Bernard Stepien: Clarinetist Lajos Dudas is well known in Europe for breaking the barrier between Jazz and European classical music. While many others have attempted that, Lajos streched that concept somewhat further in creating a unique style where the musical ideas constantly shuttle between one idiom and the other including in a single phrase. More interesting is however that he has applied this concept to all forms of Jazz and classical music styles. Tonight, we will focus on a 1997 radio recording that merges avantgarde Jazz with the chamber music idiom with a touch of world music. The instrumentation, clarinet, alto-saxophone and voice is already sufficiently unusual both in Jazz and chamber music to produce an instant jump into exotism, but as this wasn't enough, the ethnic background of bulgarian vocalist Yldis Ibrahimova and the use of a composition of well known classical avant-garde composer Bela Bartok is the icing on the cake.
December 3d, 2008: Canadian Saxophonist Linsey Wellman
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe presents saxophone/drum duo recordings, including 'Bridge Out' a new release from Paul Flaherty and Randall Colbourne. Linsey Wellman, Ottawa sax/flute/bass clarinet player will join me to discuss his upcoming concert/CBC recording session with drummer Mike Essoudry on Dec 14th at Ottawa U. Perhaps he will add some colour commentary on the other cuts, by such artists as Dewey Redman/Ed Blackwell, Peter Brotzmann/Hamid Drake, Ellery Eskelin/Han Bennink and John Butcher/Paal Nilsson-Love.
November 26th, 2008: Canadian Pianist Peter Hum
Host: Bernard Stepien: Like many Ottawa native musicians, Peter Hum had to go elsewhere to play on a regular basis with a variety of top musicians. This means Kingston, Ontario where he lived and studied and naturally came in the range of Toronto musicians and Montreal during the '80s where he had regular weekly performances with all the local Montreal based musicians. Back to Ottawa in the mid '90s for a day job with the Ottawa Citizen, Peter gradually took advantage of the local and constantly developing pool of musicians that include Kenji Omae, Petr Cancura and now Billy Robinson propelled Wunderkind Nathan Cepelinski that all had extensive exposure in New York City. Peter will be in the studio to comment on his local experiences and introduces us to the concepts that he will develop this coming Saturday at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa on 30 Cleary Ave. at 8 PM with Nathan Cepelinski, Alec Walkington and Ted Warren.
November 19th, 2008: Don Cherry, Where is Brooklyn?
Host: Bernard Stepien: In 1966, Don Cherry that had started his avant-garde career with Ornette Coleman ten years earlier, was touring and recording intensively with a myriad of people. Besides his regular projects with Steve Lacy and Sonny Rollins, Don Cherry recorded with Pharoah Sanders that was mostly involved with John Coltrane at that time, legendary bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ed Blackwell. It was around the same time that he decided to follow Albert Ayler in Europe and just stay there for two decades, enjoying a wide audience and total freedom to play whatever he wanted to play which included strays in any musical direction one could imagine. Tonight, we will sample a blue note recording from this erawith a title, Where is Brooklyn that would be very appropriate these days, since Brooklyn has been blooming both businesswise and in the arts.
November 12th, 2008: Strings, Joëlle Léandre/Carlos Zingaro
Host: Bernard Stepien: With two European musicians, French Joëlle Léandre and Portuguese Carlos Zingarro, this could be yet another comparative study of Europe vs American free Jazz. The problem is that Joëlle worked in Buffalo, NY at the end of the '60s and subsequently with American composer John Cage. Interestingly enough, most of her career consisted in playing duets, either with other bass players like William Parker or Peter Kowald, but also an unlimited range of instruments. More or less same story for Carlos Zingaro. He is a big fan of John Cage and he worked extensively with the Creative Music Foundation with Anthony Braxton, Georges Lewis, etc... Consequently, the comparison will need to be in the realm of American and European classical avantgarde. Tonight, we will feature yet another of Joëlle's duets, this time with violinist Carlos Zingaro entitled Écritures or Scriptures in English where they focus on Instant-Scriptures. Well, Scriptures inevitably implies a music that is written, but they insist that improvised music is in a way also written, more in the brains of performers rather than on a piece of paper.
November 5th, 2008: Funding drive mix - Essential recordings for a desert island
Host: Bernard Stepien & David Broscoe & Mark Keill: Tonight is the second of two RWAC shows to fall into the CKCU-FM funding drive zone. For this occasion, our second show will focus on our suggestions to what recordings are essentials in case you are suddenly strandded on a desert island, which due to the state of commercial airlines these days is no longer a hypothetical case anymore. Even less hypothetical are airline luggage restrictions that inevitably would force you not to take your records collection along. Thus, a careful choice of recordings will need to be made. We will propose about a 9 recordings tonight (3 for each co-host).
October 29th, 2008: Special funding drive mix - Part I: Canadian and local musicians
Host: Bernard Stepien & Alnoor Allidina: Tonight is the first of two RWAC shows to fall into the CKCU-FM funding drive zone. For this occasion, our first show will focus on Ottawa and Canadian musicians Linsey Wellman, Mike essoudry, Rob McFadden, Adrian Cho, Steve Groves, Adam Duncan and Peter van Huffel.
October 22nd, 2008: Steve Lacy, the composer
Host: Bernard Stepien: Steve Lacy's career started under spectacular auspices. Attracted to soprano saxophone thanks to the influence of Sydney Bechet, he got involved with the great Cecil Taylor and then Thelonious Monk that were both known not to practice smooth Jazz. This certainly beats the current carreer path proposed by nowadays academic Jazz training. After some good start on the american scene, Steve Lacy could not resist the various offers or just perfect environment found in Europe to further develop his art. After an initial period in Italy, known for its high musical tastes for centuries, Lacy moved to Paris at a very appropriate time where the political scene changed in favor of the arts, in sharp contrast with the behavior of our Canadian politicians towards the arts. Ironically, it has now been revealed, that the french minister of Culture, Jack Lang, used secret funds without too much authorization to sponsor the arts. This is not a dream, this is actually true. One beneficiary of these secret funds was of course Steve Lacy that had been commissioned to compose an Anthem in honour to the 200th Anniversary of the French Revolution. Tonight's show will be devoted to the recording of this Anthem at the Besançon festival in 1989.
October 15th, 2008: the pan-European group Speeq
Host: Bernard Stepien: Besides the European free-Jazz stars that are active since the '60s, there are like everywhere else legions of lesser known and usually younger musicians. The group Speeq has been formed in Holland by bassist Luc Ex and guitarist Hasse Poulsen but to ensure that it would not be pigeon holed as Dutch, there is British drummer Mark Sander in the picture too. The recording we will present tonight has been recorded in my home town, Strasburg, the capital of Europe. Consequently, it is no surprise that on this occasion, they were joined by Norvegian vocalist Sidsel Endresen that is among other things a recording artist of the prestigious ECM label. Sidsel Endresen is perfecting her art in the minimalist genre and treading the thin line that separates classical and Jazz avant-garde. She is a master of abstraction even when applied to the most concrete thing in the world, language.
October 8th, 2008: John Coltrane's stylistic turning point - Ole 1961
Host: Bernard Stepien: John Coltrane was merely the Barack Obama of Jazz back in the '60s. He was a musician that already had a prestigious position in the musicians who can play changes hierarchy thanks to very complex compositions like Giant Steps or Count Down. Despite the fact that these compositions are built with the simple component based on the technical II-V-I chord progression, their assembly transformed them into authentic fireworks. When switching record labels, the Atlantic label gave him one fundamental right: freedom. Coltrane used this freedom extensively and ended up revolutionizing Jazz. Ole not only is one of his debut albums for Impulse, but it came exactly a year after Miles Davis/Gil Evans Sketches of Spain that itself was quite a revolution in the be bop saturated musical landcape by officializing the new exploration of modal music rather than harmonic music. This recording has at least one additional mystery, the flute and the altosaphone solos are attributed to a Mysterious George Lane. This was really Eric Dolphy using a pseudonym probably to avoir some contract breach.
October 1st, 2008: Berlin residing Canadian saxophonist Peter van Huffel
Host: Bernard Stepien: As our ridiculous conservative minority government further aggravates the state of the arts in our beloved country (Canada), some of our top artists are fleeing the country towards more hospitable countries where musicians are highly respected because they are considered as valuable cultural assets and they are usually showered with cultural money. This is the case of Kingston born saxophonist Peter van Huffel who moved to Berlin after a harsh but enriching period in New York City.
I never knew of Peter van Huffel before until I read about him in Peter Hum's Ottawa Citizen blog that I am increasingly considering myself as a very valuable asset for both musicians and general public alike because it brings us news from a world that we barely have access to in Ottawa on a live basis: link to Peter Hum's blog
Tonight I will play two CDs of Peter van Huffel that Peter lent me. The first one, my favorite so far, features a bassless trio with trombonist Samuel Blaser that opens on the first track with a vibrant homage to the late German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorf and with drummer Ziv Ravitz on drums, all recorded in Brooklyn, NY where Jazz is currently blooming. The second one is a quintet setting with Canada bassist Michael Bates, guitarist Scott Dubois, pianist Jess Stacken and drummer Jeff Davis.
Both recordings feature Peter van Huffel in a Free-Jazz context where both melody, harmony and rythm evolve spontaneously in all kinds of directions, privileging transparency and complementarity of soloists and creating a wide variety of athmospheres and impressions that just leads you to want more of it.
September 24th, 2008: Sun Ra - Janus
Host: Bernard Stepien: Janus was a roman god that had two faces, one looking back of the head and one looking ahead. This of course symbolized looking both into the past and into the future. Sun Ra is the Jazz Avant-garde composer and musician that best fits this view of things. His recording Janus is a perfect illustration of this principle applied to Jazz history. From a perfectly oiled '30s big band to the roaring sounds of a space rocket departing for Saturn, all is in there.
During the intermission we will also sample Toronto's Harley Card latest recording. He will perform on October 6th at the National Library.
September 17th, 2008: Evan Parker's Transatlantic Art Ensemble
Host: Bernard Stepien: The difference between the European and American Free-Jazz has been a topic of discussion among Jazz aficionados for a long time not to mention the clowns that say that Free-Jazz is not music. Europeans define Free-Jazz as an extension of classical avant-garde music and are mostly concentrating on sound textures, while Americans define it as a natural extension of Jazz and Blues and thus concentrate on their melodic and rythmic heritage. The reality is of course that many forms of Free-Jazz actually draw from both sides (Cecil taylor or Anthony Braxton are notorious examples). Tonight, we will sample an attempt to illustrate this dilemma with the Transatlantic Art Ensemble that has been assembled by European master Evan Parker and American master Roscoe Mitchell. They chose half of the musicians and compositions each. Then, as the plot thickens, the improvisations are handled with pairs of musicians, one from each camp including Parker and Mitchell themselves who happen to have played only once together before. The result is far from anything looking like confrontational but instead a perfect fit between both styles. Thus, these musicians may have proved that the big debates about the above mentioned differences may be useless after all.
September 10th, 2008: saxophonist James Carter
Host: Bernard Stepien: James Carter is this saxophone Wunderkind that has swallowed the entire history of Jazz saxophone from Coleman Hawkins to Albert Ayler and even Evan Parker, fully digested it and regurgitates it in all forms of combinations, thus providing a steady flow of surprises during his performances that usually leaves the audience mostly happilly exhausted. Besides his encyclopedic knowledge of the saxophone, he also uses the concept of combinatorics for the layout of his bands. Sometimes he invites two or three other famous saxophonists for a saxophone party or he assembles an heteroclite assembly of instruments. Tonight, we will focus on his Organ trio (that is not really a trio to start with since it is really a quintet), with non-mainstream musicians like Hamiett Bluiett on Baritone saxophone, acid jazz guitarist James Blood Ulmer and organist Gerard Gibbs and still the usual drum kit taken care of by Leonard King. All of this providing a musical voyage through jazz of all kinds and blues.
September 3d, 2008: Subject: David S. Ware - Earthquation
Host: Bernard Stepien: David S. Ware is a musician who was first associated in the '70s with the most revered free-jazz musician, Cecil Taylor. More surprising however would be his association with saxophonist giant Sonny Rollins who actually recommended him to move to NYC and even frequently practices with him. Of course, we all know that Sonny Rollins is a Free-Jazz musican. THis can be heard mostly through live recordings of the '60s in company of trumpetist Don Cherry. Ware is frequently quoted of being the artisan of the Free-Jazz revival of the '90s around his peers, Matthew Shipp and William Parker, especially since he was less active during the '80s. He has been admired by main stream Brantford Marsalis who facilitated his recordings with the very institutional Columbia label. Tonight, we will sample precisely a CD, Earthquation of this revival decade where his radicalism is maxed out to our pleasure. For us of course, the best part has to be Ware's composition Canadian Sunset.
August 27th, 2008: Beach combing mix part III
Host: Bernard Stepien: A last batch of acquisitions while vacationing and visiting various flea markets or second hand CD stores in Europe. Tonight's selection includes tenor saxophonist David S.Ware's Earthquation, bassist Joëlle Léandre's Écritures with violinist Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker's Boustrophedon with the Transatlantic Art Ensemble, a CD from a local french band called Tinta Azul that had the very good idea to play a gig in the sea side village where I was staying and finally a very bizarre double CD from Italian composer Battista Lena that mixes hard dyed jazz musicians like Enrico Rava with a local village brass band from Chianciano Terme all with as theme the russian cosmonauts. The intriguing part of this recording is that the two CDs have exactly the identical music but one has the lyrics in french while the other the lyrics in italian. Yet another typical European marketing coup!
August 20th, 2008: All the things you are - the ultimate jam-session tune
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tomorrow, the Jazzworks jazz camp will start again like every year since over a decade at various locations, now at McDonald lake in Quebec. Apparently, there are still a few empty spots, see http://www.jazzworkscanada.com This camp consists in learning the secrets of Jazz improvisation using some mythical tunes which harmonies, a key factor to jazz improvisation are challenging enough to get the maximum experience out of it. Such a tune certainly is All The Things You Are, a composition from Jerome Kern composed in 1939 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_Things_You_Are) that tops the jam session hit parade. Tonight, we will give the participants of the Jazzworks Jazz camp a head start by looking how this innocent tune was used by some of the greatest Jazz Giants. This will include:
1. a 1953 version by Charlie Parker on the Jazz at Massey hall album
2. a 1953 version by Lee Konitz with the Gerry Mulligan quartet CD
3. a 1955 version by Charles Mingus on the Mingus at Bohemia CD
4. a 1957 version by Sonny Rollins on the A Night at the Village Vanguard CD
5. a 1960 version by Thelonious Monk on the in Philadelphia CD
6 a 1963 version by Sonny Rollins on the Rollins with Coleman Hawkins CD
7. a 1998 version by accordionist Frederic Schlick on his My favorite art CD
August 13th, 2008: Beach combing mix part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: Yet another summer of traveling with interesting finds around local flea markets or used CD store. Tonight's crop will feature extracts from:
Don Cherry's Where is Brooklyn 1966 CD
Lee Konitz & Jerry Mulligan 1953 experiments that show that Lee was really into avantgarde even without the influence of Lennie Tristano.
Jelly Roll Morton's band from the '30s
Marcel Loeffler, yet another French (really Alsatian) accordeonist from 2004
Paquito d'Rivera Blowin' CD from 1981
Archie Shepp's Parisian version of Attica Blues from 1979, a rare gem
August 6th, 2008: Beach combing mix
Host: Bernard Stepien: Yet another summer of traveling with interesting finds around local flea markets or used CD store. Tonight's crop will feature extracts from James Carter organ trio CD, an Abbey Lincoln anthology of her '50s recording, Steve Lacy's Anthem, a composition commisioned by the French government for the bicentenial of the French Revolution, Coleman Hawkins barrel house days that probably date back to the late '30s, Charles Lloyd accoustic masters CD from 1993 and finally we will open the show with a rare gem, Hungarian clarinetist Lajos Dudas Chamber Music Live from 1990 that will confirm the new trend of the marvelous Ottawa Chamber Music Festival to feature Jazz concerts.
July 30th, 2008: Tim Berne's Bloodcount 'Seconds'
Host: David Broscoe: recorded 1997, released 2007 Review from John Kelman, allaboutjazz.com: Seconds, a three-disc set from Screwgun, consists of two CDs taken from 1997 performances that find the original 1994 group—[alto/bari saxophonist Tim] Berne, tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Chris Speed, guitarist Marc Ducret, contrabassist Michael Formanek and drummer Jim Black—reduced to a guitar-less quartet. It also includes a DVD with the hour-long cinema verité documentary Eyenoises...The Paris Movie 1994, directed by Susanna Schonberg, that uses the 51-minute “Eyecount,” from Memory Select, as the sonic backdrop to follow the quintet from sound check through performance. While the absence of Ducret on the 1997 performances is undeniably felt, the quartet still manages to retain the uncanny combination of complex structure and interactive free play that made Bloodcount’s earlier releases so compelling.
July 23d, 2008: Jason Kao Hwang's EDGE
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight we feature recordings by violinist/composer Jason Kao Hwang, namely those of his EDGE quartet. This New York based group features Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet, Andrew Drury on percussion, and Ken Filiano on bass. "We're called 'EDGE' because we're in between many worlds. [...] That's where our vibration is, in between the expectations of ethnicity, culture, and genre" - Jason Kao Hwang We will also sample from a duo project featuring Kao Hwang and Korean zitherist Sang Won Park. Enjoy!
July 16th, 2008: Minamo - Satoko Fuji/Carla Kihlsted ( 2007 )
Host: mark Keill: CD Live recordings from San Francisco in 2002 and Wels, Austria in 2005. "Carla Kihlstedt and Satoko Fujii show us exactly how improvisation can be the strongest tool in the composer's tool box." - Larry Ochs (ROVA Sax Quartet) from the liner notes
July 9th, 2008: Anthony Braxton at FIMAV 2007
Host: David Broscoe: Braxton brought two ensembles to the Festival International de Musique Actuelle Victoriaville in May 2007. The first was the Diamond Curtain Wall trio composed of Braxton on multiple saxophones (from sopranino to contrabass), Taylor Ho Bynum on multiple trumpets and cornets and Mary Halvorson on guitar. The ensemble was shadowed by 'supercollider' software acting as a fourth voice. The second was the 12+1 tet with a stellar cast of sympathetic young musicians, playing one of the last of Braxton's Ghost Trance series compositions. David Broscoe samples from both concerts, recorded on the Victo label. DIAMOND CURTAIN WALL TRIO Diamond Curtain Wall is relatively new. Here is an intimate opportunity to hear Braxton feature his recent foray into the world of laptop and interactive electronics. Braxton and laptop? What would this element bring to his music? Use of electronics is hardly unprecedented in Braxton’s music. After all, he played with Richard Teitelbaum starting in the early ’70s and featured Bob Ostertag on synthesizer in a late ’70s version of his creative orchestra. But for the first time, Braxton is diving in to working with interactive electronics himself! As is always the case with Braxton, particular performances, groupings, and compositional forms are a point on an ever-evolving line. During the Sunday afternoon performance captured here, there was particular magic which Halvorson described as “an exciting feeling of going into the unknown.” All of this comes through from the first probing counterpoint to the final hovering notes punctuated by a burst of electronic squall that fades into a quavering overtone. Michael Rosenstein, October 2007 THE 12+1tet CONCERT WAS “THE” CONCERT OF THE 24TH FIMAV 2007! This concert offers a striking opportunity to hear the ensemble in full force. The 70-minute piece builds an inner logic of staggering detail, while never loosing the propulsive flow. The shifting layers and counter-structures mount with scorching intensity and then break into pools of quiet tension only to explode off again. The momentum can march along with a galvanizing pulse, fracture into freedom, or cascade with a roiling sense of swing. Braxton has stated that the music played by this ensemble is the culmination of the Ghost Trance series. But as is always the case with Braxton, the consummation of one phase simply serves as the launching point for what is to come. And for both those who have been following his career for decades and initiates alike, the search is sure to bring new rewards. Michael Rosenstein, November 2007
July 2nd, 2008: Sun Ra in Italy 1978 - 'Media Dreams' and 'Disco 3000'
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays selections from 'Media Dreams' and 'Disco 3000', two recent Art Yard CD releases of the Sun Ra 1978 tour of Italy. The new releases reveal the context for edited pieces found on previously released Saturn records 'Media Dream', Disco 3000' and 'Sound Mirror'. These records are unusual in that the band is a quartet, with Michael Ray (trumpet), John Gilmore (tenor and percussion), Luqman Ali(drums) along with Ra (keyboards and rhythm machine). All musicians add occasional vocals.
June 25th, 2008: Rob McFadden's Travelling in Curves
Host: Alnoor Allidina: At this time of year, it is only fitting that we preview an upcoming jazz festival show. Guitarist and composer Rob McFadden will be in the studio tonight to discuss his Traveling in Curves project. We'll also listen to tunes from the recently released disc featuring McFadden, Zakari Frantz, Jennifer Giles, Alun Davies, and Mike Essoudry. The compositions sound fresh, the arrangements are thoughtful, and the musicianship is wonderful.
June 18th, 2008: Spanish saxophonist/flautist Jorge Pardo
Host: Bernard Stepien: European musicians are sometimes shrouded in obscurity. This is not the case with Jorge Pardo that early in the '80s went on a different kind of Fusion experiment. How to define fusion music? This all depends of course what you are doing with it. In the case of Jorge Pardo, fusion means blending in roots music with Jazz. For a Spaniard, there can only be one kind of roots music, that is Flamenco. Flamenco Jazz musicians abound in Spain and one can find even a section devoted to this genre in any good CD store in Madrid. Jorge Pardo, that spent time in New York City seems to have achieved something else by blending the two genres in an non obvious way. Here there are no flamenco falsettas being swinged somewhat neither Jazz standards being relooked with flamenco harmonics. The blending is more subtle. Sometimes, a Jazz standard is played straight with however a Cante Jondo approach, but not an imitation. Sometimes, Jorge makes straight fun of the fusion thing by taking a fake earlier century spanish/classical music fusion example like the Bolero de Ravel and rendering it with a Chick Corea more recent spanish Jazz fusion example like Spain on flute, a very non-Flamenco musical instrument. After touring extensively in past decades with flamencist Paco de Lucia, recently, Jorge has been touring extensively with Chick Corea. Tonight we will focus on his duos compilation.
June 11th, 2008: New York's Vision Festival XIII
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Vision Festival XIII is currently underway in NYC. Tonight we feature musicians appearing at this year's festival. We will sample from the likes of: The Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet, Mark Dresser & Denman Maroney, The NU Band, Kioku, Hamid Darke, and this year's recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award, Kidd Jordan.
June 4th, 2008: The Australian The Necks trio
Host: Mark Keill: "This extraordinary Australian trio have just entered their third decade, and Townsville, a live 53-minute recording, is a fine example of what you might expect at one of their totally improvised gigs. Superficially, they are a traditional jazz trio (piano, double bass, drums) yet their unclassifiable music falls somewhere between jazz, ambient, minimalism and the avant garde. Likewise, the usual problems that beset live albums (irritating audience participation routines, had-to-be-there levels of excitedness, poor sound quality) simply don't apply; this is every bit as engaging as any of their studio efforts ...." Jon Lusk BBC
May 28th, 2008: Brussel based Octurn Jazz ensemble
Host: Mark Keill: " Octurn is a contemporary jazz ensemble based in Brussels. Octurn is unpredictable. For over a decade now, it has staked out its own musical landscapes by continually mixing and blending approaches and gamely covering its tracks, all the while keeping originality and searching spirit.From its early days, Octurn has been bringing a music both powerful and unique in nature, which cannot be captured into any category, and developing an orchestral style that situates it in the most contemporary spheres: Octurn delivers complex jazz that respects the traditions of the written and improvised music, while stretching its boundaries. The collective's music is further typified by Asian musical elements, contemporary electronic sounds and a certain flavour for orchestral masses dwelling in the solist's background. Octurn's new projects draw up fascinating geometries. The music is instilling the emptiness of collective meditation, evoking a state of conscious dreaminess, a music which goes from freezing time to suddenly bursting into a deafening chaos." - http://www.octurn.com/
May 21st, 2008: Archie Shepp in the '60s
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp is one of the key players of the '60s avantgarde. Back then he was the most feared of Free-Jazz players. In the last three decades, while everyone was concentrating on fusion or smoothe Jazz, Shepp continued to explore the music of his Afro-American heritage, thus not sticking to whatever can be described as his original style that most people expected to continue infinitum... Tonight, I will concentrate on what made this spiritual musical leader, namely the avalanche of recordings from the '60s on the Impulse label. Consequently, expect some scratchy vinyl, Some of these I must have played over 500 times. the selection will be taken from Live in San Francisco, the Magic of Ju-Ju, four for Trane, the way ahead, Mama too tight, Fire Music, the Cry of my People, for Losers.
May 14th, 2008: Tenor saxophone hidden secrets: Pete Christlieb and Warne Marsh
Host: Bernard Stepien: Lee Konitz who was intensively associated with Lennie Tristano did not immitate Charlie Parker. Warne Marsh who studied with Lennie Tristano did not immitate Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane or Albert Ayler. Instead, Warne Marsh specialized into linear improvisation. This style of improvisation didn't get unnoticed, Anthony Braxton became one of his premier fan and officially declared in endless interviews that Warne Marsh is one of his models. Then the plot thickens. Pete Christlieb, another west coast tenor who specialized in big bands of all kinds but with a rather fascinating edge since through his parents he got exposed to unusual visitors: Igor Stravinski, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen. He has a big sound had a quasi antidote penchant for those Lennie Tristano inspired saxophonists. One of the very few recordings Pete Christlieb made was with Warne Marsh in 1978 (mostly because Pete is too busy with Hollywood sound track gigs). Consequently, it appears that this recording is beyond obscurity and has a perfect place on Rabble Without A Cause. All of that is of course the usual radical departure from the top 40 scene that commercial radios are hooked on and so on...
May 7th, 2008: French accordionist Richard Galliano solo CD
Host: Bernard Stepien: French accordionist Richard Galliano took on a rather challenging course in his career. The accordion was primarily an instrument confined to a kind of urban folk musique called Musette that initially really had its roots in provincial Auvergne's Cabrette (a kind of bagpipe). His encounter with Jazz started with being an accompanist for french pop singer Claude Nougaro who specialized in singing Jazz tunes with his own lyrics. But, soon enough he moved up the ladder with associations with Chet Baker, Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis and Ron Carter, thus setting foot to both mainstream and avantgarde Jazz. For over a decade, Richard is mostly on his own and packing festival venues all over Europe. Tonight, we will feature a solo concert at a festival in southern Italy that fully reflects Galliano's maturity in his New Musette creation parallel to Astor Piazolla's New Tango. His case is probably one of the most accomplished in the Fusion of unlimited cross civilizations and cross eras musical styles.
April 30th, 2008: Ottawa guitarist Steve Groves New York adventures
Host: Bernard Stepien: During over a decade, Ottawa native Steve Groves has been making a living as a Jazz Guitarist in New York City. Tonight he will present us remarkable recordings of concerts he performed with Sunny Murray and Sayid Abdul Kabir during the '80s.
April 23d, 2008: the jazz mix: Ottawa musicians or musicians who played in Ottawa
Host: Bernard Stepien: A wide selection of musicians reflecting my acquisitions over the last six months. This includes, Ottawa musicians Kenji Omae, D.D. Jackson, Linsey Wellman and Mike Essoudry, Toronto's Andy Milne, somewhat in a similar genre pianist Bill Carrothers who played in Ottawa with John Geggie, pinaist François Bourassa, soon to play in Ottawa German saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert, Archie Shepp that played in Ottawa several times in his career (guess why?), a cut of Miles Davis to prove some local musicians that My Funny Valentine was played slow and if we have time we might throw in some unusual Arturo Sandoval
April 16th, 2008: Ottawa's Impression in Jazz Orchestra
Host: Bernard Stepien: Despite the impressive number of musicians involved in this project, the Impression in Jazz Orchestra does not define itself as a traditional Jazz big band. As a matter of fact, the terminology big band does not even appear in its name. Their focus is more on the works that they perform that are drawn from a wide variety of historical big bands repertoire but set around a symphonic concept that musicians like Charlie Parker were craving for (see his experience with strings) back in the old days. The size of the band varies from simple to double depending on the specific project being tackled. The second characteristic of this band is that the repertoire is also varied, project oriented and corresponds to a constant exploration of different material. There is a a kind of scientific approach to this project like in archeology, revealing the unavoidable lost treasure. Tonight, Adrian Cho, the founder and bassist of the band will share his Impressions with us.
April 9th, 2008: trumpeter Rajesh Mehta
Host: Bernard Stepien: The trumpet has been associated with Jazz from day one. Some of Jazz's major evolutionary steps also involved the trumpet like Louis Armstrong's historical West End Blues or Dizzy Gillespie's major contribution to Be Bop. For the Jazz avantgarde of post Be Bop, the situation is simple, every trumpeter was carrying forward the heritage of their predecessors, from Clifford Brown for main stream to Freddie Hubbard, Don Cherry or Lester Bowie for avantgarde Jazz. But fortunately, an indian Born Anthony Braxton protégé, Rajesh Mehta came with a different idea that consisted in focusing on texture rather than melody. Tonight we will sample his Hatology CD with Paul Lovens.
April 2nd, 2008: French Saxophoniste Lionel Martin
Host: Bernard Stepien: French saxophonist Lionel Martin started in his native Lyon in good company, having national stars like Louis Sclavis in his neighborhood that provided him with good influence. Thus, Lionel's style can be summarized as a constant search leaving no stones unturned in both Jazz history and Jazz Avantgarde. Another influence was Steve Lacy that lived in France for quite a while and was constantly available around France for inspiration. His style has also been influenced by other forms of art like dancing. He has been nurturing cross-breeding of arts for a long time which can be felt in his on stage performances. Lionel Martin is not unknown to Ottawa audiences, he appeared here already twice in the past two years and local pianist Adam Daudrich even used him for his debut CD Animots.
March 26th, 2008: Bass quartet with Barre Phillips, Joëlle Léandre, William Parker and Tesu Saitoh
Host: Bernard Stepien: Avantgarde Bass players are a tight community. German bassist Peter Kowald died in William Parker's appartment but this was not the end of a long friendship. A bass quartet with former duettist with Peter Kowald got formed and a memorable performance at the FIMAV 2003 got spontaneously organized. Some of us still remember the outstanding duo between Peter Kowald and William Parker at FIMAV 2002, the quartet was a natural keeping the flame alive ceremony loaded with emotions. Tonight we will sample the Bass quartet assemble in Peter's honor and of course now that the snow seems to be over we can look forward to FIMAV 2008.
March 19th, 2008: New York's T. DeSteno and B.Magnuson quartet
Host: Bernard Stepien: The world of Jazz seems forever be split into two worlds: the world of big names and the world of local musicians which implies that the first ones are known world wide while the others are known only locally. The second thought would be to think that all big names come from big cities such as New York and that finally any New York musician is a big name. Everbody knows that this is not true but once in a while we need to prove that. Tonight we will play a CD by New York local musicians that are local mostly not because they are not big names but because they are normally too busy as studio musicians to be able to travel and let themselves make known outside of the city. Fortunately, their experiments in Free Jazz are well documented with an impressive array of CDs mainly thanks to poeple such as the ones behind the CIMP label that insist in giving a chance to local musicians wherever they are.
March 12th, 2008: the Paul Cram Orchestra
Host: Bernard Stepien: In theory, the Jazz big band format is a thing of the past that fell to the Jazz economics sometime in the '60s when even immenselly popular bands like the Duke Ellington's stopped being top sellers. For some obscure reasons, since then, a number of big band projects have thrived around the world, including right here in Canada. This is the case of Vancouver saxophonist and composer Paul Cram. Tonight we will sample his Victoriaville recording "Camping out".
March 5th, 2008: New York Saxophonist Ellery Eskelin
Host: Bernard Stepien: Saxophonist Ellery Eskelin's main feature is to churn an endless supply of musical ideas that are usually very complex and have been described by some critics as taxing for both the listener and the performer. But this complexity has at least one benefit, neither the listener nor the performer is at risk to sleep in during a performance and quite to the contrary will walk out of the performance fully recharged with energy and lots of food for thought. This music is often described also as busy but it is very transparent and the musicians never step on each others toes and in any case they re-inforce each others ideas. Tonight, we will present a 2006 recording, Quiet Musics released last fall. The title sounds like a real pradox program but it holds to its promises. An essential element of Ellery Eskelin's group is accordionist and keyboardist Andrea Parker. That will be my contribution for this year's women's day...
February 27th, 2008: early saxophonist John Carter
Host: Bernard Stepien: Once in a while there are paradoxes in the Jazz world. Multi-reed instrumentalist John Carter was initially known as a saxophone player, but his greatest achievements, the Clarinet Summit starting in 1983 came at a time where he decided to solely concentrate on the clarinet. The second interesting aspect of John Carter is the fact that he came from Forth-Worth, TX where a few other well known and influential musicians came from, Julius Hemphil, Billy Robinson and last but certainly not least Ornette Coleman. All of them were playing together either at high school or at University and of course either influenced each other stylistically or quite on the contrary started new directions. John Carter played alongside Ornette Coleman since the '40s and in his early work that we will feature tonight (1969), the influence or more appropriately his common concepts with Ornette can be clearly identified. Worth of note is also John Carter's academic career that can be felt throughout his works.
February 20th, 2008: French classical avantgardist Jean-Pierre Drouet vs Free Jazz
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jean-Pierre Drouet is a famous percusionist in contemporary music (classical avantgarde). His background among other things is the French IRCAM, a very reputed music institute led by classical avantgarde composer Pierre Boulez. However, Jean-Pierre Drouet has been systematically hanging around jazz-clubs all over the world, fascinated by improvisation. Tonight we will focus on a Radio France recording from it's series "à l'improviste" with french opera oriented improvisation Françoise Kubler and Imaginary Folklore (this is the way he describes Jazz) clarinetist Louis Sclavis. This recording illustrates the old story about the difference between North American and European free jazz, where the first draws its elements from the Afro-American heritage, heavily laden with the Blues while the later instead is mainly focused on the abstractedness of sound.
February 13th, 2008: New York's World Saxophone Quartet 25th anniversary
Host: Bernard Stepien: The World Saxophone Quartet, founded in 1976 is by definition a post '60s group. What does that exactly mean? Well, the '60s are often linked to musical radicalism with the raise and full bloom Free-Jazz style of music. The '70s had their equal share of what we could describe as controlled radicalism or may be even scientific radicalism with people like Anthony Braxton that really bloomed in that particular period. But, during the '70s there was more controlled radicalism going on with radical high priests such as Archie Shepp that suddenly switched to live black music history. Some critics call this period the repertory period. Tonight we will carefully separate and analyse the radical from the repertory in the WSQ's 25 anniversary CD that was released in 2000, quite a while ago, but still sound as fresh as what was made in the '70s with the appropriate and unavoidable dose of radicalism.
February 6th, 2008: Ottawa fusion sitarist Adam Duncan
Host: Bernard Stepien: Adam Duncan (b 1979) has been pursuing music since he was 6 years old. As a multi-instrumentalist (guitar and sitar), he’s able to combine different elements from both the sitar and the guitar. His passion for learning and music led him to Indian Classical music (ICM), and his sitar Guru Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan. A catalyst for spreading knowledge about ICM, Adam now runs the Ottawa Sitar school, and the Canadian Society for Indian Music. Since meeting his Guru, Adam has combined the elements of ICM and jazz in his guitar playing to create a fresh, new sound among the World Fusion groups. Since receiving a B.A. Honors degree in composition from Ottawa University, he has published 3 books, and written many articles by request.
January 30th, 2008: New york guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil
Host: Bernard Stepien: New York guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil is yet another master of musical ambiguity. In this case we are talking about figuring out if the music is composed or improvised. Tonight's focus is on a 2004 recording released in 2007 where the main piece, Inner Constellation is a 47 minutes collage of 27 short vignettes that are very distinctives from each other and thus obviously composition driven. However, each of the compositions are made of a composed part and an improvised part that defies the laws of traditional Jazz in that they must be well separated. This is where you never know where composition starts or ends as it is intermingled with improvisations. All of this is of course heavily influenced by pianist Cecil Taylor's recent approaches that Bruce Eisenbeil has had a great opportunity to study during at least the master class that Cecil Taylor has given in 2001 in NYC during a total count of 42 hours over three weeks (I was there and counted them). Consequently, if you are tired of playing Sudoku, tonight you may enjoy figuring out where composition starts and ends during those 47 minutes of a very Coltrane inspired composition. By the way, using the word collage might actually be unappropriate since even the transition from one vignette to another doesn't occur radically, so that might also be your next concurrent game.
January 23d, 2008: Pierre-Yves Martel: Quartetski Does Prokofiev
Host: David Broscoe: Amidst the unrest of the Russian Revolution, Sergei Prokofiev wrote his Visions fugitives op.22, a series of short pieces for solo piano. The Visions were ideas or sketches that he captured and then set down on paper before they faded from his consciousness. Most of them are tens of seconds long, the longest barely reaching the two-minute mark. It was the spontaneity of the pieces that caught the attention of Montreal double bassist Pierre-Yves Martel, whose ensemble Quartetski Does Prokofiev re-envisions the Visions fugitives in an improvisational context. Martel arranged the pieces for free-jazz quartet with the intention of using them as vehicles, bridges and platforms with which to explore new musical spaces. In his arrangements, he remained faithful to the spirit of the Russian composer, imagining how Prokofiev would have orchestrated the Visions had he adapted them to a modern jazz ensemble.
January 16th, 2008: The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Les stances à Sophie
Host: Bernard Stepien: Avant-garde Jazz is by definition a very diverse musical genre where musicians have been exploring many different sometimes opposite musical styles. Among the many famous musicians or bands, the Art Ensemble of Chicago is handling this diversity all by itself. Their diversity was practically unavoidable judging from the impressive arsenal of musical instruments of all kinds, from the full family of woodwinds to a museum style collection of small instruments, musical toys, etc... that would always find a place in the long and sometimes unpredictable improvisations that featured lyrical to harsh free moments, all of it taken from all styles of historical Jazz to African roots music. Tonight, we will sample one of their early recordings made in Paris, France that was originally intended for a motion picture "les stances à Sophie" and thus not previously released as a record or CD.
January 9th, 2008: Bass clarinet
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays music featuring bass clarinet. The focus is on bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall's 2006 solo recording on the psi label, appropriate titled 'solo'. Other selection may include pieces featuring Michael Moore, John Tchicai, John Gilmore, and Eric Dolphy.
January 2nd, 2008: Academic Jazz, the way of the future!
Host: Bernard Stepien: Now and then we can read alarming news that Jazz may be dead as an art form. Usually, this is substantiated by statistics that exactly like in politics are happilly mis-used, mis-interpreted or may be even totally wrong. (Jazz recordings represent only 3% of sales today as opposed to 75% in the '30s). Well, may be Jazz as a popular art form of entertainment in places such as speakeasies, ballrooms is dead but it is becoming clearer everyday that Jazz as an official serious art form is far from being dead. Two factors seem to confirm that claim:
1. The number of Jazz festivals is constantly increasing with sometimes the smallest towns, let's take for example Brockville, Ontario, insisting on having a Jazz festival of some sort and having all sorts of politicians lecture us on the local economic benefits of a Jazz festival.
2. The number of universities that include a jazz class in their curiculum is also steadily increasing. One immediate benefit of this is that it provides an alternative to day gigs such as Lester Young's brick laying adventures to a number of Jazz musicians, but more important it provides them with a hassle free environment where to develop their art and moreover to transmit it to the next generations.
Thus, tonight, I will present a CD organized by the Jazz-Is magazine that features precisely big bands (a jazz band form normally dead by commercial standards) from various universities, conservatories and other famous music schools.
December 26th, 2007: Oscar Peterson's radio show recording
Host: Bernard Stepien: Back in 1975, during my first year of doing jazz radio shows, I was given a record of Oscar Peterson commenting his own music. I am not sure if this recording was distributed outside radio circles, so just in case, this is a good opportunity to hear Oscar, both playing and talking. Oscar Peterson, a well established Be Bop musician never failed to include a slice of jazz history (what preceded him) in his music. This included boogie-woogie, stride piano or some of the key features of pianist such as Count Basie.
December 19th, 2007: Christmas shopping list
Host: Bernard Stepien: There is always someone out there who never heard of Jazz before. This is the perfect opportunity to change that. Tonight we will feature some suggestions for the perfect Christmas gift, jazzwise:
1. from NYC saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, his latest recording entitled quiet music, very appropriate for Christmas.
2. from an international trio composed of Canadian François Houle, british Evan Parker and french Benoît Delbecq, la lumière de pierres, for those like myself that think the winter solstice is very important.
3. From France, accordeonist Richard Galliano's latest solo CD in concert in Orvieto, in warm Italy.
4. from Victoriaville, Quebec, the bass collective with Barre Phillips, Joëlle Léandre, William Parker, Tetsu Saitoh, After you gone.
5. from NYC, guitarist's Bruce Eisenbeil' Inner Constellation
6. from Chicago's Ken Vandermark, A discontinuous Line
7. from Ottawa, Adam Daudrich's Animots, which would of course be a great opportunity to encourage a local musician.
December 12th, 2007: Hungarian Clarinetist innovator Lajos Dudas
Host: Bernard Stepien: Clarinetist Lajos Dudas is well known in Europe for being at ease at any musical genre and thus is tagged as being a crossover, from classical music to jazz, whether straight ahead or avantgarde. While in his 50 or so recordings over the last 30 years, one may find an even distribution of these recordings among musical genres, this could be a very short sighted impression because the most important and interesting feature of Lajos Dudas is when he starts to mix all of them in a single solo to the point where you no longer know where you are. Classical elements are seamlessly welded with jazz elements in a way that it is no longer possible to determine what is what. This of course creates a sense of familiarity and surprise at the same time when listening to his performance that certainly keeps you awake. Tonight we will survey three of his recent recordings, Artistry in duo, Jazz in the City and his last release Jazz on stage.
December 5th, 2007: Polish avant-garde extreme of tubist Zdzislaw Piernik
Host: Bernard Stepien: Here in North America, the Tuba is closely associated with New Orleans and all recent generations of tubist have always had something of New Orleans into their music. In Poland, to be a tuba player usually means playing classical music. Tuba virtuoso Zdzislaw Piernik fell into that category and was for decades entrenched in it playing mostly classical avantgarde compositions that sometimes were even composed specially for him. The reason of this interest of composers is simple, Piernik developed a remarkable array of musical features on his tuba, thus providing unlimited combinations of textures, effects. The basic ingredients of his art consist in using different mouthpieces, first of the brass familly, but second also from the entire reeds familly, from oboe to saxophones. Other features of prepared tuba consist in deviating some of the tubing into sort of side horns, thus enabling high pitch sounds to be produced, a paradox for a tuba. One fine day, Piernik decided to enter the world of improvisation that in Poland they call may be more appropriatedly, intuitive music. This revealed another facet of this tuba giant, the art of careful planing in the use of his musical features to constantly sound fresh and intriguing without at any time imposing himself on other musicians but rather provide them with a fiery launch pad. The recording I will play tonight was purchased directly from the artist at a rather also intriguing Jazz Festival, the Jazz d'Or Jazz festival in Strasburg, a couple of weeks ago. It features saxophonist Michal Gorczynski that features a kind of antimater to Piernik and proves that avantgarde jazz is very serious business in Poland and especially fierce and without any concessions to any form of commercialism. In my opinion, this is real paradise! Needless to say that it could be a great idea for the local avangarde jazz festivals like Victoriaville's FIMAV and the Guelph Jazz festival to start thinking about Piernik. Local miracles such as an appearance at the Ottawa OIJF are not prohibited by any law either!
November 28th, 2007: Quebec's l'Infonie
Host: Mark Keill: “Infonie was created during Quebec/Kébèk's expo '67. Inspired by the concept of hell by Refus global de Borduas, L'Infonie was a concrete manifestation of total acceptance. In the beginning they created a parallel world with a commercial culture, an aesthetic approach diving in all kinds of forms of expression, in a revitalizing happening mad creation. A book with 333 3/3 pages and 33 illustrations was the curriculum vitae (birth, evolution, ending) of l'Infonie, something that would characterise Kébèk from 1969 until 1973. With 33 artists, all lucid dreamers, L'Infonie became a polyvalent spectacle with paintings, sculptures, theatre, poetry, and music (popular, concrete, electronic and contemporary, folk and free jazz). The first book was followed by 6 others, 8 discs, a dozen of films, painting expositions, 5 theatre pieces. Walter retlaW uaerdouB Boudreau was the musical motor of l'Infonie, Claude Edualk Ts-Nyamreg St-Germain was the delirious teller, and Raôul luôaR yauguD Duguay was the verbal motor. Together they formed a creative basic trinity.” I’ll be playing tracks from: L'Infonie -Vol. 3 (1969) and L'Infonie - Volume 333 (1972)
November 21st, 2007: Ottawa Linsey Wellman & Mike Essoudry CD release
Host: Alnoor Allidina: On tonight's program, we feature two well-known musicians on the Ottawa scene: Mike Essoudry and Linsey Wellman. Over the years they have collaborated on various projects; their latest has resulted in a wonderful CD which will be officially released tomorrow night at the Avant Garde bar. Mike and Linsey will be in the studio and will provide us with a sneak peak of the disc!
November 14th, 2007: New York Jemeel Moondoc - William Parker Duo
Host: Bernard Stepien: It was on a dark and stormy night that sometime in the fall of 1978 we had the great privilege to discover the Jameel Moondoc trio that included William Parker. The second has achieved a rather remarkable career and today is a free jazz star. The first is still around and well alive and has not lost a single note of his then big sound and has been playing steadily in free jazz circles. The recording we will feature tonight is new world pygmies recorded in 1998 and were the fire of Cecil Taylor's music is omnipresent, William Parker played in his group for quite a while and Jemeel Moondoc studied intensively with him in Wisconsin way back.
November 7th, 2007: Italian Tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Daniele D'Agaro
Host: Bernard Stepien: Italian saxophonist and clarinetist Daniele D'Agaro started his musical career in 1979. First he moved to Berlin for a couple of years and then Amsterdam where he quickly started to perform regularly with the Dutch avantgarde heavyweights like Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink and american but Amsterdam based Tristan Honsinger. His musical explorations brought him in the ethnic music circles but also in unusual projects such as saxophone vs pipe organ duos. Since the turn of the century (2001), Daniele has been collaborating with Chicago musicians Robert Barry and Kent Kessler among others that were associated with Sun Ra as far back as the '50s. Tonight, we will explore the Chicago Overtones CD on the swiss Hatology label. In this recording, Daniele toys with the concept of microwave music, that is re-cooked music from the past or more precisely his avoidance to play the micro wave game. Instead, he strongly believes in reshaping the older material to give it a new life.
October 31st, 2007: Funding drive mix part 2
Host: Bernard Stepien & Mark Keill: This is our second and last week funding drive show this year. Again, we will present a mix of past and future show material. This week we will feature Don Byron, Lajos Dudas, Sidney Bechet, Louis Sclavis, all clarinetists. Mark will bring his usual twilight zone jazz to the show. All of this would be a trad/avantgarde salsa.
October 24th, 2007: Funding drive mix with Helen Glover
Host: Bernard Stepien & David Broscoe: Tonight, Ottawa vocalist Helen Glover will help us achieve our funding drive goals. She will talk about her Fats Waller project and other local choir projects.
October 17th, 2007: The long forgotten flutist Paul Horn
Host: Bernard Stepien: Paul Horn started his career as an almost pure mainstream saxophonist and flutist (with Chico Hamilton). One fine day in the '60s he travelled to India, recorded the famous Paul Horn inside the Taj Mahal. He just sold three quarters of a million copies of this record at a time when even people like John Coltrane, considered as an ultimate star, was barely selling a couple thousands copies of his own recordings. The question arose around that time if Paul Horn was still a jazz musician. Today everybody agrees that he is more of a New Age musician, actually a leader in this category and others say that he is a world music musician. His latest CDs entitled among others Tibet certainly reflects that. Tonight, we will play his 1980 recording of a live concert at the Antibes-Juan-les-Pins jazz festival that features him as a pure and certainly lovely jazz musician. Could he still do it today. Well, the people of Victoria in B.C. may be see him show up at local jam-sessions.
October 10th, 2007: The Thelonious Monk Cook Book
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tonight, the three Wednesday night Jazz shows, Roots and Rythms, In a Mellow Tone and Rabble Without a Cause are teaming up to present Thelonious Monk Radio from 8PM to midnight. Each of us have selected a theme around Monk. At RWAC, we have decided to do a Thelonious Monk Cookbook where we will explain what a Monk composition consists of. This will be a very superficial study. We have just one hour and thus we will sample two important aspects of Thelonious Monk's compositions: first the use of repeated melodies and other structures. Second the elements of complexity of Monk's most difficult compositions that represent at least 20% of his works.
October 3d, 2007: Vancouver John Korsrud's Hard Rubber orchestra
Host: Bernard Stepien: The big band format has been a central concept in early Jazz. World war II restrictions and changing tastes in pop music have killed it. But pockets of the concept have survived and now and then musicians try to revive it in various flavors. Usually the flavor consists in choices of repertoires, various distributions of instruments to create unusual texture, choices of musicians. In the avantgarde branch of Jazz, there has been a good sample of them, from Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, Sun Ra's arkestra in America and the globe Unity Orchestra, the Dutch ICP orchestra, the William Breuker Kollektief and even the very officially formal Orchestre National de Jazz in France. One thing all these bands have in common is the endless search in trying to find the right balance between two opposite approaches of producing music: composing and arranging vs improvisation.
Vancouver based Hard Rubber Orchestra has found a way to be unique in this subtle mix of these two basic components. It's leader trumpeter John Korsrud calls it a form of multilingualism. There is no clear distinction between composition and improvisation, thus taking the Dutch Instant Composers's Pool to the word. Composed elements can be so to speak improvised by stretching their rythmic properties or inserting improvised elements. No wonder, the Hard Rubber Orchestra has landed the nick name of Godzilla of the Vancouver Jazz scene. Tonight we will focus on their 1997 FIMAV recording Cruel yet fair.
September 26th, 2007: Lee Konitz, Attila Zoller, Don Friedman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Lee Konitz is a musician that is very hard to pigeon hole. He has been exposed to a wide chunk of jazz history that started with his first gigs in 1942. His exposure is very contrasted, from big bands with Stan Kenton to very experimental things with Lennie Tristano, to high profile exposure with Miles Davis. Even more remarkable is the fact that after a period where he was getting little work, the last two decades have shown an explosion of projects involving again all kinds of jazz styles, from straight ahead with Brad Mehldau to free jazz with Derek Bailey or Charlie Haden. Tonight we will sample the 1995 Hatology CD that reflects all of this wide spectrum of Lee Konitz.
September 19th, 2007: French pianist Issam Krimi
Host: Bernard Stepien: Is there life in France beyond French pianist Martial Solal. Yes, there is in deed and thanks to the academic phase of Jazz. Like everywhere else, Jazz is now intensively taught in the most prestigious universities and the result is a legion of high caliber musicians. Basic economics of course explain why most of these musicians do not enjoy the stardom their forefathers enjoyed so to speak. The big names era is almost over. Instead there is this capilarity of Jazz where a good Jazz musician can be found in the most remote areas of the country. French pianist Issam Krimi belongs to this new breed. His schooling is very formal even in non musical subjects, his music is eclectic. Having originally studied both traditional and avantgarde classical music and musicology, both mechanical technique and knowedge about a variety of musics were secured early and are now used to produce music of diversified elements. Tonight we will survey his first CD recorded in 2004 where the focus will be both synthesizer rather than accoustic piano and a music flirting with elements of Rock but with a definitive free-jazz orientation.
September 12th, 2007: Steve Lacy's three N.Y. Capers
Host: Bernard Stepien: Well, tonight we are rehearsing for the all Thelonious Monk Evening that will take place at CKCU-FM on October 10th from 8PM to midnight. Tonight however we will feature a not so unrelated to Monk musician, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, that had a career spanning over a half a century with a prodigious body of work where the central concept was to try everything and still call it home. Steve Lacy started as a dixieland musician in the early '50s but soon got hooked on the new thing by joining Cecil Taylor in 1955. What a transition! The rest is history and out of that tonight we will sample a session recorded in 1979 that had the characteristic to include two former Cecil Taylor's musician, Ronnie Boykins and Dennis Charles.
September 5th, 2007: French trombonist Yves Robert
Host: Bernard Stepien: French trombonist Yves Robert is among the lesser known european jazz musicians. He however has a long path of collaborations with various european stars including German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, Bernard Lubat, Louis Sclavis, André Jaume, Michel Portal, Steve Lacie (long time based in France), Joëlle Léandre and collectives like La Marmite Infernale from Lyon or Un Drame Musical Instantané that are particularly well known in Europe. This constant and frequent wandering among peers has left an imprint on Yves Robert as his technique and style incorporates a little bit of all elements found in these alliances. One that is particularly standing out is his use of a technique invented by Albert Mangelsdorff that consists in singing while playing trombone which results in the production of heavily textured polyphonies. Sooner or later this type of behavior attracts interest from famous record producers and this ended up with Yves Robert recording on the legendary German record label ECM.
August 29th, 2007: Max Roach memorial program part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: Well, last week we played some Max Roach but not enough to pay respect to such a Giant. Today we will first play some "Canadian content" with the Charlie Parker Massey Hall concert that has been since called the best jazz concert in Jazz History. Max was there! Second we will look at his association with the post bop avantgarde of Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton and Cecil Taylor.
August 22nd, 2007: Max Roach memorial program
Host: Bernard Stepien: Max Roach, one of the essential member of the Be-Bop Revolution passed away last thursday, August 16th, 2007. His association with an impressive string of jazz giants Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor amongs dozens made him an essential component of Modern Jazz and especially Avantgarde Jazz. Max Roach introduced many new concepts: hard driving pulses playing melodies with drums. abstract melodies made of rythm textures rather than single notes Tonight we will go through a sample of these associations/techniques focussing especially on a landmark of solo recordings, Drums Unlimited.
August 15th, 2007: Recent acquisitions preview part 2
Host: Bernard Stepien: After nearly two months on the road, there was lots of new acquisitions especially in Paris where used CDs are now worth 3,50 euros. This week we will sample Jelly Roll Morton, an avantgarde musician of his times, after all he claimed to have invented Jazz, drummer Aldo Romano polishing up some cool jazz, Yes Robert, a french trombonist that was after Albert Mangelsdorff multiphonics style, Thelonious Monk at Town Hall, Albert Ayler's New Grass, Ken Vandermark 5, John Coltrane's essential Ole.
August 8th, 2007: Recent acquisitions preview
Host: Bernard Stepien: After some intensive travelling over the last couple months, the stack of acquired CDs has been growing steadily. While we will devote shows to each individual CD in the upcoming months, today I will give you a few samples of both recent releases by hungarian clarinetist Lajos Dudas, german alto saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert, New York guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil and then some "oldies" that I found intriguing such a flutist Paul Horn from 1980, Don Byron, Jameel Mundoc & William Parker from 1999, a Sonny Rollin's Cowboy song from the '50s and a tribute to the french railways for fining some current gypsy jazz (Jazz Manouche) stars in the latest high speed train because they dared to play their guitars during a journey to Strasburg this summer. All of that despite the full satisfaction of passengers of coach # 8 and that despite the 108 euros fine didn't stop calling for encores until the train stopped at it's destination.
August 1st, 2007: Chicago
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight's program features adventurous recordings made by contemporary Chicago musicians, some from studio recordings, and others from live recordings at Chicago mainstays like The Empty Bottle. The program will feature the likes of The Lightbox Orchestra, Jeff Parker, Jason Roebke, Frank Rosaly, and more.
July 25th, 2007: French flutist Jean Cohen-Solal
Host: Mark Keill: "Born in 1946, Jean Cohen-Solal studied music at the National Academy in Nimes from 1956 to 1963. Flute was his major, but he also studied the double bass. He learned counterpoint, harmony, chamber music & orchestration. From 1963 to 1966, he attended the Academy of Versailles with Cazauran Stone as his double bass teacher, and studied flute with Roger Bourdin and Gaston Crunelle and with the CNSM of Paris... Jean developed his own style with the flute -- a mix somewhere between classical and jazz to avant-garde. Many techniques were used in this recordings, consisting of (among others) of the use of multiple tracks for different flutes and added effects like distortion, wha wha, and others. He also played the double bass in a very unique way that took his music into darker atmospheres." MIO Records Tune it to hear tracks from both releases: Flute Libres - 1971 (MIO ) Captain Tarthopom - 1973 (MIO)
July 18th, 2007: Elton Dean's Soft Mountain
Host: Mark Keill: Soft Mountain – Soft Mountain (2007 ) HUX “As the late saxophonist Elton Dean’s final recordings are released, his remarkable ability to fit into any context becomes clearer than ever. From total spontaneity to groove-centrism, from rock-edged improv to detailed form, Dean consistently brought his own freewheeling yet never self-indulgent voice to each and every context. A year after he unexpectedly passed at the age of sixty, Soft Mountain is a bittersweet reminder of what’s been lost.” All About Jazz Recorded 10th August 2003 in Tokyo, Japan Elton Dean sax Hugh Hopper bass Hoppy Kamiyama keyboards Yoshida Tatsuya drums Music composed by E. Dean, H. Hopper, H. Kamiyama & Y. Tatsuya
July 11th, 2007: Toronto's Music (in) Galleries preview
Host: David Broscoe: Inspired by the MUSIC(in) GALLERIES event in Toronto this coming Saturday July 14th, David Broscoe plays selections from a range of Toronto improvising musicians, including Ryan Driver, Jean Martin, Christine Duncan, Eric Chenaux, Nick Fraser, Nick Fraser, Evan Shaw, Paul Newman, Dave Fish and Michael Herring. A brief description of the event from organizer (and trombonist extrordinaire) Scott Thompson: AIMToronto Presents the Second Annual MUSIC(in)GALLERIES 2-5pm, Saturday 14 July, 2007. Live creative music at no cost to the public in seventeen Queen Street West art galleries from Trinity Bellwoods Park to Gladstone Avenue. Short, overlapping sets by small groups of improvising musicians (thirty eight players in total) starting at 2pm, moving steadily westward, and finishing at 5pm. see www.aimtoronto.org for more info.
July 04th, 2007: Myspace discoveries
Host: Mark Keill: a few of the artists out on the edge that I have dioscovered, or more accurately contacted me through Myspace Lezet "." (2006 ) Abdicate Cell "“Melody and hubbub play their respective parts on the nature of the compositions present on this e.p. The experimental musician from Serbia is here inspired by asthma seizures, the percussive effects of the instruments that forged the pieces, and their creative potential.Ideas are expressed sonically through a series of dissonant musings ; but dissonance is heavily subjected to the melodic mainframe.The title itself - “.”- argues the desired length of a musical piece. Is making of a 10-second composition more rewarding and inspirational than an 8-minute one?”" Abdicate Cell Marco Oppedisano - renewal ( 2006 ) independent "Marco Oppedisano is a composer, guitarist and producer with ample recording and performance experience as a guitarist in music ranging from rock/pop, jazz, hip hop, club/dance music, contemporary concert music, free improvisation, film music and musical theater." - http://www.myspace.com/marcooppedisanomus “...mindbending music for guitar and electronics... hear Oppedisano’s intricate roar.” – Time Out New York Coachmania - The Coachmen On Holidays in Septimania ( 2007 ) indipendent "The Coachmen were formed in New York in the early days of the new wave, but took forever to make an album (Sonic Youth's guitarist Thurston Moore was one of the original founders in 1978). Coachmania - The Coachmen on Holiday in Septimania (2007) is the follow-up to Jonathan Thomas' Welcome to Septimania. The 15 fragments run the gamut from the festive county-fair organ theme of Autumn Heather to the epic fuzzed-out French ditty Estampie Terrible, ...The Coachmen roam a musical territory that extends from high-brow sophistication to utter chaos"
June 27th, 2007: saxophonist Anthony Braxton
Host: David Broscoe: Inspired by this group's performance last month at FIMAV in Victoriaville, David Broscoe plays excerpts from the box set "9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006" by Anthony Braxton. Incidentally, rumour has it that the Victo performance may be released on the Victo label. From the Firehouse12 website: Anthony Braxton's 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 is a nine-CD-plus-one-DVD box set documenting what Time Out New York called "last Spring's epochal run" at New York's Iridium Jazz Club with his 12+1tet. Described by Braxton as "THE point of definition in my work thus far," these concerts featured the world premieres of Compositions 350 through 358, the final works in his Ghost Trance Music series, recorded over the course of this rare four-night stand on an American stage.
June 20th, 2007: the ICP orchestra
Host: Bernard Stepien: The ICP Orchestra has a quasi National Monument status in Holland. It has been around for decades but the music keeps evolving. The secret of their success lies deep in their approach to music which goes from the roots of Saturday night balls to the most abstract cerebral avantgarde music. The next secret may also be the optimal mix of heavy wight musicians. Usually such a combination of musicians should be unmanageable, but here it actually always works. This includes the trad rooted drummer Han Bennink that never misses an opportunity to step out of mainstream, deceptively piano-bar oriented pianist Misha Mengelberg that among other things cultivates a blind devotion to Thelonious Monk, something that I would not even think of criticizing. While these two musicians officially play the role of locomotives that pull the ICP Orchestra in opposite directions, these musicians rely on a incredible mix of musical colors that makes the orchestra produce a constantly unpredictable musical vocabulary (a terminology that today's critics seem to have locked on). This is produced by cellist Tristan Honsiger and Ernst Reijseger, trombinist Wolter Wierbos, trumpeter Thomas Heberer, saxophonists Michael Moore and Ab Baars and bassist Ernst Glerum.
June 13th, 2007: John Butcher - soprano and tenor saxophone
Host: David Broscoe: Two duo recordings featuring John Butcher: the first is a 2006 release 'Concentric' on the Clean Feed label with the Norwegian drummer Paal Nilsson-Love. It's the closest I've ever heard Butcher get to 'Free Jazz', with Butcher playing saxophone so that it actually sounds like a saxophone most of the time! The second recording is also a 2006 release 'The Big Misunderstanding Between Hertz and Megaherz' on the Potlatch label, with Austrian Christof Kurzmann on sampling software. Here Butcher and the electronics are often indistinguishable.
June 6th, 2007: Recent acquisitions
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Alnoor Allidina presents some of his recent acquisitions. Will include new albums by Jerry Grannelli, Fred Lonberg-Holm and the Free Zen Society.
May 30th, 2007: the Scorch Trio
Host: Mark keill: Scorch Trio will be in at la sala rossa in Montreal on June 19. Scorch Trio are: Raoul Björkenheim (guitar ) Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass) Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) Tonight's show will preview the event with tracks from the following 2 discs: Scorch Trio - Scorch Trio - ( 2002 ) RUNE GRAMMOFON The unique Finnish guitar master Raoul Björkenheim teams up with the hot, young Norwegian rhythm section of Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) in a classic powertrio setup. Burning with an untamed energy this is neither jazz nor rock, but a free spirited music that in places may remind you of another trio, Hendrix' criminally underrated Band Of Gypsys. Recorded live in the studio to analogue tape during two days one January, the sound of this record is excellent with much warmth and clarity. The whole session exudes confidence. The trio's level of integration far outstrips its existence as an entity, telepathically divining when to drive towards critical mass and when to allow space into the proceedings. And the scope of their improvisational ideas is breathtaking. To be able to both listen and react at this level of intensity is a rare gift. Quite simply, this is joyous music, with a spirit very much akin to The Mahavishnu Orchestra's The Inner Mounting Flame. What the trio will be capable of when they have had time to draw breath is a truly exciting prospect. The Wire (UK) Scorch Trio - Luggumt ( 2004 ) RUNE GRAMMOFON One listen to “Kjøle Høle” on Scorch Trio's sophomore effort, Luggumt , and you quickly realize that this may be one of the most aptly-named groups on the scene today. Blistering in its intensity, the trio combines the searing energy of a rock power trio with the broadest freedom and exploration that jazz has to offer. Kind of like Jimi Hendrix meets Albert Ayler, but with a more elastic Scandinavian time sense. All about Jazz
May 23d, 2007: Ottawa saxophonist Petr Cancura
Host: Bernard Stepien: In anticipation to Petr Cancura's two concert at the Black Sheep Inn and the Cafe Nostalgica this week, we will have Petr in the studio to tell us more about his musical life in New York City. here is a preview of Petr's interview: Straight from Brooklyn, The Petr Cancura Trio features two of New York?s best: Richie Barshay on drums (Herbie Hancock, Chic Corea, Kenny Werner) and bassist Garth Stevenson (George Garzone, David Tronzo). Petr grew up in Bohemia (southern Czech Republic), playing Czech folk music. It was in Ottawa, where he met some key musicians with whom he began honing his skills as a saxophonist and improviser. Upon graduating from New England Conservatory, Petr now lives in New York City pushing the musical envelope with people like Joe Morris, Kenny Wollesen and Bob Moses. Petr?s music is fun. With the intent to say something through music, his positive energy shines with every note. Each song is a journey. The music of the trio hits on a lot of styles from around the world. Richie Barshay is a very skilled and musical percussionist versed in jazz as much as Balkan and Indian music. Garth Stevenson, who went to Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, has a big warm sound, incredible technique and beautiful musicality that holds everything together in the trio.
April 16th, 2007: The revenge of the accordion
Host: Bernard Stepien: My good old friend Ron Sweetman who is doing a marvelous program on keyboards tonight had the insistance that his program will not contain accordions despite the fact that they are keyboards in a way too as he explained in his last newsletter: "[I know that accordians have keyboards as well, but I'm allergic to accordians!]". Having studied accordion during 11 years between 1957 and 1968 and playing it regularly since then, I could not let such an event go by unnoticed! Thus, in order to show that there is no shame in playing jazz accordion and that this instrument, a reed instrument by the way, swings as good as any officially accepted reed instrument in the jazz world, we will have a closer look at the accordion through jazz history by sampling some of its remarkable players such as Clarence Clay, Melrose, Clifton Chenier, Joseph Petric, Richard Galliano, Frederic Schlick, Viviane Arnoux and even a recently discovered polish accordion trio (Marcin Galazyn, Janusz Wojtarowicz and Pawel Baranek) that plays some interesting fusion style between jazz, chamber music and world music from all directions.
May 9th, 2007: Evan Parker's electro-accoustic experiments
Host: Bernard Stepien: 30 years ago, when Evan Parker came for the first time in Ottawa, performing at the Saw Gallery, a local critic pointed out that the music he heard was not from some electronic device but in deed from a 60 cm long tube made of copper and with the only help of Evan's breath. Somehow, this was a double edge statement that could have been interpreted in two different ways: either an allegory to accoustic music or some sort of compliment consisting in stating that although Evan Parker was playing exclusively an accoustic instrument, he in deed sounded like something electronic which was quite fashionable in those days. The recording we are presenting tonight adds to this confusion, since here Evan Parker performs electro-accoustic music, that is very fashionable these days. As could be expected, it is very hard to distinguish what is accoustic from what is electronic. May be we could consider this as the ultimate revenge of accoustic instruments.
May 2nd, 2007: Pianist Cecil Taylor's In the brewing luminous
Host: Bernard Stepien: Cecil Taylor's musical cells concept are an endless source of regeneration of his music, whether within a performance or between performances throughout his career. Tonight, we will focus on his Unit that was thriving during the '70s and '80s with yet another layer of cells this time consisting of musicians such as the late Jimmy Lyons on alto saxophone, Ramsey Ameen on violin, Alan Silva on bass and cello, Jerome cooper drums and balaphon and Sunny Murray on drums.
April 25th, 2007: Quebec saxophonist Jean Derome
Host: Bernard Stepien: One of the most intriguing characteristics of the Ottawa Jazz scene is that it doesn't take any advantage whatsoever of the incredible pool of talented avantgarde musicians of the Montreal scene just 180km away. These travel worldwide but not to Ottawa! There could be lots of cross-breeding potential there between Ottawa and Montreal musicians, but it just doesn't happen. However, someone somewhere seems to have noticed that already and organized the Quebec scene series. This coming Saturday, it will be Jean Derome's turn, this at the National Library at 8 PM, an event not to be missed. Jean Derome and his numerous associates in not less numerous projects over the last 25 years presents a mix of jazz in the pure Duke Ellington style, musique actuelle and European style imaginary folklore where anything could happen, from multiphonics to crooner style singing. Tonight, we will feature the 1997 recorded CD "Plinc! Plonc!" that features a duo between Jean Derome and Pierre Tangay.
April 18th, 2007: Anthony Braxton's Charlie Parker project
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ever since the first time I met and interviewed Anthony Braxton in 1976 there was the constant question about Anthony's relationship to the Jazz tradition. His commitment to the exploration of Jazz tradition has been well documented since the early '70s. His album on the exploration of Sousa marches or Scott Joplin's ragtime are well known landmarks in Jazz history. Tonight we will address Anthony's 1993 Charlie Parker project that was interesting from many different aspects, one of them being the presence of European Free Jazz stars, Han Bennink and Mischa Mengelberg but also Iowa trumpeter Paul Smoker. In the extensive liner notes Anthony wrote: "Tradition in the '80s and '90s has been used in a way that it has become the only component. I don't think this is a healthy use of tradition. I think the tradition should always be a component, but no more than one - third of the model, and that's how I've tried to approach it: tradition as a component. And a component that doesn't determine the feel of composite relationships, but is there as a source whose fundamentals can be tested and reshaped in accordance with the particulars of whatever is being built."
April 11th, 2007: NYC guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil's Carnival Skin CD
Host: Bernard Stepien: As we all know, Free Jazz comes like any other art form in many different forms. Sometimes, Free Jazz is associated with high levels of energy like for example Arlbert Ayler or the European Globe Unity Orchestra. NYC guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil introduced another level of energy that I would describe as transparent energy. Eisenbeil says "We like to use space and silence for dramatic effect. I personnally like to keep one foot in the abyss". His carefully chosen band members, a blend of American and European musicians ensures a maximization of cross-cultural breeding. In his latest CD Carnival Skin, the band addresses elements from all important Free Jazz and traditional Jazz influences. The presence of clarinetist Perry Robinson gives us a guaranteed load of Eric Dolphy overtones. But most important for me, the mere fact that a Free Jazz band can play a traditional Jazz ballad form without omitting any of the Free Jazz basic elements is a stunt worth checking them out.
April 4th, 2007: ANIMOts
Host: Bernard Stepien: Debut CD by ottawa-born composer/jazz pianist Adam Daudrich. Recorded in Lyon France on a cross culture exchange led by producer and cross context artist Luke Gilliam. It is a long way from Ottawa to Lyon, France. However, this seemingly provincial town is musically hyperactive. It is the home town of french bass clarinetist of international fame Louis Sclavis and many other ateliers including the unconventional La Marmite Infernale. Thus, Adam was in the perfect surrounding to let his creativity flowing naturally to produce a concoction based on open forms AND through-composed forms and trying to blur the line between improvisation and composition. Not surprisingly, the core group of musicians on this recording are revolving around their Trio Résistances project that sounds like a political statement and is in fact one since they define their music as an act of resistance to cultural consumerism. The members of the band on that CD are Bruno Tocanne on drums, Lionel Martin on saxophones, Fred Roudet on trumpet, Benoit Keller on Bass and Adam Daudrich on Fender Rhodes electric piano. Adam will be in the studio tonight to answer my question and who knows, may be those of the listeners questions as well.
March 28th, 2007: Pauline Oliveros, a music suspended in time
Host: Bernard Stepien: Pauline Oliveros chose two radical ways to be an avantgarde musician: 1. she plays accordion, an accoustic instrument seldom used in jazz and considered übermarginal. 2. she focuses on sound texture rather than the usual melodic lines. On the first count, everything seems normal if it wasn't that after a while you are wondering if you are facing electronic music or accoustic music. One could say, that her music has electronic qualities until you realize that any accordion player has been faced with these kinds of sounds at least a half a century before and you can only come to the conclusion that all Pauline did was to focus on them and make us realize that they are considerably more interesting than anyone had ever thought before. Pauline's music is fascinating for many similar reasons as autralian aboriginal Didjeridoo music is or the more recent tekno music that uses similar concept for their ambient music branch. For some obscure reason people like music that gives them a sense of peace. Now, probably the more fascinating part is the stylistic differentiation that Pauline achieves with this deceptively simple musical concept. All of this is usually called Deep Listening. This could almost be an advice!
March 21st, 2007: Charles Mingus Pithecanthropus Erectus
Host: Bernard Stepien: For those who missed the many programs devoted to the entire works of Charles Mingus put on by my old friend Ron Sweetman sometimes in the late '70s or early '80, here is another chance to catch up with this incredible work based solely on spontaneus genius. Well, let's face it, some new listeners may have not been born back then. So, for those, here is a crash course in Mingus history: Charles Mingus was a bass player that got his initial exposure to music in Black Church with his father and other relatives. This gave him the quasi ritualistic approach to his music. He also liked big bands, especially Duke Ellington's. While being part of the Be Bop founding fathers, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach with whom he played extensively, he later became one of the leaders of the musicians that were exploring the New Thing, also called Free Jazz. In a way we could say that Mingus has contributed to two Jazz Revolutions. The recordings we are playing tonight are a good illustration of this vital transition period in Jazz history. It is by many critics considered nothing less than the starting point of Free-Jazz.
March 14th, 2007: Alexander von Schlippenbach goes latin with Carlos Bechegas
Host: Bernard Stepien: German pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach is best know for being the founding father of a pan-european movement of free-jazz musicians in the mid '60s that led him further down his career to marvelous associations with european musicians such as british Evan Parker or swedish drummer Sven Ake Johansson. While his influences are initially american with Thelonious Monk or Monk influenced Cecil Taylor, Schippenbach is known to have developed a style that includes many pure european elements using even classical music features. Tonight we will explore his association with Portuguese flutist Carlos Bechegas in a recording they made in 2003 at the Jazz à Luz festival.
March 7th, 2007: Tom Cora and Fred Frith Skeleton Crew
Host: Alnoor Allidina: On tonight's program we feature the music of Skeleton Crew, an experimental jazz / rock group from the early to mid-eighties. The original lineup consisted solely of multi-instrumentalists Tom Cora and Fred Frith. They released two albums: Learn to Talk and The Country of Blinds. The latter album also features Zeena Parkins. Along with the original tracks we will sample from live cuts included on the CD re-issues
February 28th, 2007: Multitracking and the Solo Saxophone
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays cuts from the recent Tzadic release 'Time Lapse' by Evan Parker. The CD features a number of multitracked pieces nestled with Parker's genre-defining solo saxophone improvisations. These pieces were recorded between 1996 and 2001. The multitracked pieces bring to mind composers such as Steve Reich as well as African hocket horn ensembles. By contrast, a few tracks from Roscoe Michell's 'Sound Songs', where the same multitrack approach was used to a different effect, will be featured.
February 21st, 2007: Psychic Warrior - Psychic Warrior (Hux ) 2004
Host: Mark Keill: Alex Maguire - Hammond Organ & Fender Rhodes Electric Piano Elton Dean - Alto Saxopone and Saxello Fred Baker - Electric and Acoustic Bass Guitars Liam Genockey - Drums and Percussion Alex Maguire is the driving force behind this quartet, having written most of the material, and it marks a switch from his usual instrument of the piano, to the Hammond Organ and Fender Rhodes. After having studied with John Cage and Howard Riley, Alex went on to perform throughout Europe and USA. He has worked with Elton Dean in several projects (including Newsense, Headless, EDQ etc) and with Fred Baker in Pip Pyle's Bash. Elton Dean is a totally unique musician and over the years he has lent his immense talents to bands like Soft Machine, Soft Heap, In Cahoots and L'Equip'Out, as well as many jazz ensembles featuring Keith Tippett, Hugh Hopper, Pip Pyle, Mark Hewins and John Etheridge. Fred Thelonious Baker is predominently reknowned among Canterbury music fans for his work with Phil Miller's In Cahoots, but this outstandingly talented bass player is also a highly respected musician on the British jazz and folk scenes.1992). Liam Genockey is one of the most versatile drummers currently working in the UK. He has been able to turn his hand to virtually every style of music. He's played with Paul Brady, Gerry Rafferty & Trevor Watt, among others. He is currently a member of the British folk band, Steeleye Span. " Psychic Warrior successfully straddles the fence between method and liberty, occasionally resting on either side but more often sitting firmly atop, aspiring to the best of both possible worlds." All About Jazz
February 14th, 2007: The Vandermark 5 group
Host: Alnoor Allidina: The Vandermark 5 put on an amazing show at Zaphod's on Saturday. They played a few compositions from their latest disc, A Discontinuous Line, released on the Atavistic label. Tonight on Rabble Without A Cause, Alnoor Allidina presents other current releases from this adventurous label. We will sample from contemporary discs by Bridge 61, Almanac, and Boxhead Ensemble. In addition, we will listen to recent reissues on the Atavistic Unheard Music Series including the likes of Steve Lacy and Albert Mangelsdorff.
February 7th, 2007: Sonore: Vandermark/Gustafsson/Brotzmann
Host: David Broscoe: In anticipation of the Vandermark 5 show this coming Saturday Feb 10 at Zaphods, David Broscoe plays music from the last musical configuration involving Chicago's Ken Vandermark to play in town, Sonore Peter Margasak wrote in the Chicago Reader: Most all-saxophone groups, from ROVA to the World Saxophone Quartet to New Winds, improvise from written material/ using arrangements that approximate more-standard instrumentation—one musician articulates something like a bass line, while others play riffs and someone solos. Sonore, a new trio made up of three of improvised musics strongest voices — Germany's Peter Brotzmann, Sweden's Mats Gustafsson, and Chicago's Ken Vandermark — breaks the mold: all of the material is improvised, though it doesn't sound that way; The musicians have worked together extensively, particularly in Brotzmanns titanic Chicago Tentet, and it shows in their fleet telepathic communication On their fine debut/ No One Ever Works Alone (Okka Disk); the players masterfully anticipate each other s moves; one will fall into a fixed riff that gives the others a sturdy iaunchpad, or all three might suddenly coalesce around a shared licL Sonore artfully avoids the cacophonous tangle that can result from three screaming saxophones: one or two players will drop out for a spell, allowing a new direction to be cast/ or they'll all dial down the proceedings to just above a whisper.
January 31st, 2007: Phil Woods - greek cooking
Host: Bernard Stepien: World music is a big thing today. You can even hear lots of it on various CKCU-FM programs. Forty years ago, things were very different. Only a small minority of world travelers would know something about far away music. Alto saxophonist Phil Woods, a 1948 Juilliard graduate, was hanging out a lot in ehtnic Greek restaurants in Boston and got attracted by this modal music. This eventually led him to record an album on impulse - Greek Cooking. In a way, this experiment was a happy alternative to the then crowded eastern music influences that were customary during the '60s with mainly Indian classical music with John Coltrane and Arabic music with numerous musicians.
January 24th, 2007: The Belgian combo Aka Moon
Host: Mark Keill: "The Belgian experimental jazz-rock combo Aka Moon is comprised of members Fabrizio Cassol (alto sax), Michel Hatzigeorgiou (electric bass), and Stèphane Galland (drums), and has been together since the early '90s. Taking its name from a culture of Pygmies, Aka Moon's music is a highly original blend of both jazz and dance theatre. During the group's career, they've augmented their sound from time to time with other players/instruments (keyboards, guitar, etc.). By 2001, the trio had issued a total of 11 albums." -Allmusic "This is a group that from the outset seemed to be in a state of grace. Ever since their 1992 debut, after visiting the Aka pygmies of Central Africa, the musicians of Aka Moon have constantly been seeking out new encounters. The originality of their itinerary is astonishing and has revealed unsuspected worlds of melody and rhythm. Encounters are also a feature of Amazir: this session sees Aka Moon in the company of such internationally acknowledged musicians as Robin Eubanks (USA), Fabian Fiorini (Belgium), Magic Malik (France) and Nelson Veras (Brazil). This recording is special in not having been conceived as a uniform sequence of traditional musical numbers in ‘standard forms’, as was true of Aka Moon in the past. All the pieces on this CD ( Amazir ) are independent of each other, though there are a few cross-over features: on the one hand there are Cuban influences with characteristic rhythms; on the other hand these compositions are an extension of music inspired by the Yi Ching, the Chinese book of divination, with its particular harmonic vibrations." - Cypres records
January 17th, 2007: Alice Coltrane in memoriam
Host: Bernard Stepien: Alice Coltrane, the wife of the late John Coltrane died last week. She contributed to the jazz world by at least two actions: maintain the legend of John alive and introduce the harp to jazz. Being a jazz celebrity's wife is certainly not a good idea from a critics point of view. There will be a few quotes of such critics tonight, however, as a mother of two sons (Ravi Coltrane and Oran Coltrane) that both embraced music and now have their successful musical life of their own, we can easily say that the fulfillment of mother duties has certainly exceeded the biological expectations and as far as I am concerned, this is a contribution to art in itself. Tonight we will sample her own album Ptah the El Daoud and her contribution to the John Coltrane Live at the Village Vanguard album.
January 10th, 2007: Anthony Braxton in Victoriaville 2005
Host: David Broscoe: "A radical thinker in a class by himself, Braxton writes compositions that represent a complex view of the world. One look at his charts—which combine standard notation, passages of notes in specific colours and unique graphical representations—and it’s clear that there’s an advanced process in play. And watching the sextet perform, witnessing the kind of concentration and attention required by everyone with everyone, provided definite insight into how Braxton’s revolutionary compositions make the transition from written page to performance. In addition to Braxton, the sextet included Taylor Ho Bynum on trumpet, Jay Rozen on tuba, Jessica Pavone on violin and viola, Chris Dahlgren on contrabass, and Aaron Siegel on drums and percussion. Braxton’s compositions aren’t so much atonal as they are polychromatic, with different combinations of instruments playing abstruse lines at times in unison, other times contrapuntally, creating a seemingly infinite variety of colours and shaded gradations. Time can be rigidly defined or completely fluid, and improvisational passages can be open-ended, with direction coming from virtually everyone in the ensemble—in fact, smaller subsets within the ensemble are sometimes directed by more than one player simultaneously." John Kelman, AllAboutJazz.com Needless to say, that Christmas being behind us, you can now start planning a trip to FIMAV'07!
January 3d, 2007: Jazz encyclopedia review part II- clinkers
Host: Bernard Stepien: Well, since some people are still on vacation and in a festive mood, may be a good idea would be to continue sampling my Christmas present, the Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia published in 2005. Last week we already had fun discovering Cook's enlightened opinions about some of the avantgarde greats, this week we will focus on lesser known and mostly european musicians and extremely well known pre-avantgarde stars like Charles Mingus and others.
December 27th, 2006: Jazz encyclopedia review
Host: Bernard Stepien: Well, for Christmas I received a Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia published in 2005. So, that was quite an update from my last jazz encyclopedia purchase around 10 years ago. Tonight we will sample some of the entries of this new acquisition and verify that the music correspond in deed to the words. So far, after reading a dozen entries, I am impressed how the author can go straight to the point with minimal details and especially put all jazz musicians, old and new on the same pedestal.
December 20th, 2006: Saxophonist Albert Ayler
Host: Bernard Stepien: A small sample of the gigantic short work of saxophonist Albert Ayler from the previously unreleased recordings available in a 10 CDs box. THis, of course is also a unique opportunity for those who never heard of Albert Ayler to get prepared for Bernard Stepien's sextet rendition of Christmas carols à la Albert Ayler, this coming Friday, at the Mercury Lounge, 7PM.
December 13th, 2006: French bass clarinetist Michel Portal
Host: Bernard Stepien: Michel Portal belongs to this class of musicians that makes full use of ambiguities for the sake of art. His music is neither fully straight nor fully free and in any case neither in between. He also avoids being pigeon holed by improvising improvisation. That of course is yet another step above the fray. Also, he has been around for quite a while, thus the recording we will feature tongith, Turbulence has been recorded in 1986 but far from sounding old, like quasi all of free jazz works anyway, this one sounds like way past 2000 especially since it features some interesting electronic sound modification of accoustic instruments, something that we thought only our contemporary tekno people could do.
December 6th, 2006: Ottawa based Radar
Host: Bernard Stepien: the Ottawa based Radar group is composed of saxophonist and flutenist Linsey Wellman, keyboardist Jennifer Giles and percusionist Rory McGill. Tonight, we will feature their new CD that you will be able to purchase during their CD release party that will take place at the Avantgarde Bar, Thursday December 7th from 8:30 PM to midnight.
November 29th, 2006: Frank Gratkowski, clarinets and alto saxophone
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays cuts several Gratkowski releases. First is triskaiekaphonia, a very spacy 2004 trio outing with Gratkowski on clarinets, Thomas Lehn on analogue synth and Melvyn Poore on tuba and euphonium. Second is a 2003 neo-Braxtonish quartet recording Facio with Woler Wierbos on trombone, Dieter Manderscheid on bass and Gerry Hemingway (from Braxton's rhythm section) on drums. If there is time I may play a cut or two from Michiel Braam's Bentje Braam Playing the Second Coolbook, a neo-Tristano romp from 1997 featuring Gratkowski.
November 22nd, 2006: Japanese trumpeter Yoichiro Kita and German bassist Eberhard Kranemann
Host: Bernard Stepien: In the continuing series of my exotic CD acquisitions, tonight, I will feature a CD that I got while performing at a venue in Europe that usually attracts tourists because this obscure venue is listed as a "something special is always happening there" place among the local going-out-tonight listings. Consequently, I noticed a couple of japanese tourist that were listening religiously during the two sets. At the end, it turned out that they were special kinds of tourist since they were musicians, trumpeter Yoichiro Kita and his body painting wife and they gave me their CD in retribution to my own music. So, here it is, some pure avantgarde music without any restraints, even for tourists. Kita specialises in brass, all the way from piccolo trumpet to trombone and has a penchant for electronics and other noise generators. He is performing in duet with german bassist Kranemann that also plays various string instruments such as Hawaiian guitar. All of this illustrate well the CD title: one world - one sound.
November 15th, 2006: Matthew Shipp and strings
Host: Bernard Stepien: Matthew Shipp is well anchored in the New York City scene. Matthew Shipp's agenda in 2006, shows an average of four concerts a month. For an improvised music musician, this is considered high. His piano style has sometimes been described very appropriately as "Morse Code Piano". This exploration of jazz piano can lead anywhere, from blues to hip hop to rock and somehow in my opinion to classical music in the case of the recording we will play you tonight where he explores strings in collaboration with violinist Mat Maneri and bassist William Parker. One thing about this recording is that it contains 14 tacks of no longer than 3' each. Something that should appeal to the local traditionalists. However they also reflect more the methaphysical world of concepts Matthew is attached to. In deed, this recording has a chamber music feel, yet another reason to please the local Ottawa crowd.
November 8th, 2006: Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson
Host: Bernard Stepien: Mats Gustafsson is known for his extended saxophone techniques and even the invention of a new musical instrument, the flutophone, a combination of a normal flute with a saxophone mouthpiece. This actually was the result of travelling light with a flute and only his saxophone mouthpiece to avoid carrying the saxophone. This was way before Air Canada's Viola smashing favorite past time (see article in the Ottawa Citizen) and even before Mats visited Canada, the land of Transport Canada's saxophone carrying travellers hunters. Tonight we will enjoy Mats trio project Norköpping recorded in 2003 with pianist Sten Sandell and drummer Raymond Stri, another slightly non-traditionnal jazz-combo format.
November 1st, 2006: the annual funding drive mix part II
Hosts: Bernard Stepien & David Broscoe: A sample of the jazz works carved in stone, just as a reminder about how beautiful it is to listen to free jazz once per week at least.
October 25th, 2006: the annual funding drive mix part I
Hosts: Bernard Stepien & David Broscoe: Yes, tonight is the night of the CKCU-FM 93.1 annual funding drive for Rabble Without A Cause, your favorite avantgarde jazz program. This is the time you get to think about what miracle brings you commercial free, non top 40's, non boring official radio. Last year, our show, RWAC, collected a total of $ 1072. Thus, this is our minimum goal this year!
October 18th, 2006: Pianist Ran Blake takes a bite at hard bop
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ran Blake and Horace Silver have quite opposite concepts of jazz. Ran is a master of contrasts and texture and playing with silence, Horace instead is a hard bop/high energy kind of guy. Tonight we will feature Ran Blake's "Horace is blue: A silver noir" where Ran plays Horace silver compositions and transforms them in a completely different world. This of course is way beyond playing changes (a popular hang-up among some musicians).
October 11th, 2006: Violinist Leroy Jenkins
Host: Bernard Stepien: Throughout the history of Jazz, the violin has always had a place of intruder because of the very limited number of practitioners but nevertheless was associated to major contributors like Stuff Smith, Stephane Grapelly or Jean-Luc Ponty. Chicago violinist Lery Jenkins played a similar role in the avantgarde. A member of AACM he performed with all the greats of the avantgarde like Anthony Braxton, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor. His music is very acid and fits well into the musical conceptual world of Albert Ayler. Tonight, we will survey two of his 1978 recordings, Survival of America and the Legend of Ai Glatson.
October 4th, 2006: Chicago pianist Muhal Richard Abrams
Host: Bernard Stepien: Muhal Richard Abrams has an interesting career path. From top local musician ending up in the rythm section of visiting stars like Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Gene Amons, Roland Kirk and many others, he suddenly started to get involved in the international avantgarde circuit in the mid '70s that would bring him regularly to New York City and all of the europeans festivals. Among other things he founded the AACM, a very important feature in Chicago's avantgarde jazz but also international landscape. Most other Chicago musicians consider him as a music's spiritual leader and this because of his general attitude toward music which consists in listening to anything, from Scott Joplin to Thelonious Monk, old blues legends or gospel music. Tonight, we will feature one of his duetts with another pianist, Claudine Amina Myers.
September 27th, 2006: Schlippenbach/Honsiger project
Host: Bernard Stepien: Alexander von Schlippenbach is one of the most prominent European avant-garde jazz musician mostly because he has been promoting collaborations between musicians of different European countries. While his long time association with soprano saxophonist Evan Parker is well known and documented, others are less prominent. Tonight we will feature his 2002 Broom Riding CD that features the cellist Tristan Honsinger that although he is American and even lived part of his youth in Montreal, is mostly associated with the Ducth avant-garde around a multitude of projects with the various members of the ICP orchestra. We actually saw him last year during one of the Dutch series at the NAC 4th stage.
September 20th, 2006: Trumpeter Dave Douglas
Host: Bernard Stepien: Contemporary jazz musicians frequently go beyond their roles as entertainers and intrude into politics especially when things slowly become unbearable. In his Hatology label Constellations CD from 1995, Dave Douglas looks at the music of Eastern Europe, both classical and folkloric music and dedicates this re-work to the victims of former Yugoslavia. Dave Douglas is one of the most significant trumpet players of the last decade. His associations with other avantgarde musicians reads like a who's who of important contemporary artists.
September 13th, 2006: Sonny Rollins, a September 11th experience
Host: Bernard Stepien: Sonny Rollins was in his New York downtown apartment on september 11th, 2001 and witnessed the fall of the second WTC tower. The legend says that he was on the news covered with ash and hurriedly moving north clutching his saxophone. More important is that his late wife Lucille convinced him not to cancel a Boston concert on the following Saturday. This concert was recorded and released as the "without a song" CD in 2005 (why so late?) and is considered as one of the best recordings of Sonny Rollins over the last 30 years.
September 6th, 2006: Norvegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad
Host: Bernard Stepien: The nordic countries have always been very receptive to all forms of jazz but particularly its new ventures. They welcomed Charlie Parker as a hero, picked up Miles Davis by limousine directly at the foot of the airplane, skipping customs and immigration, a usual procedure reserved only to heads of states, they extensively recorded Eric Dolphy before he disappeared. It is thus not surprising that a country like Norway produced many intriguing musicians. Among them, saxophonist and clarinetist Frode Gjerstad that line his art up with some of the most radical musicians such as Peter Brötzmann. Tonight we will sample an association between these two musicians on the CD entitled "Sharp Knives Cut Deeper". It is useless to say, that their music is not for the faint harted, however, surprisingly, their presence at a typical european avantgarde jazz festival is always good news for the cash register. Frode started his life in Stavanger a small town of only 50000, not really a hot ground for free-jazz. However, after discovering the music of Eric Dolphy and especially the Albert Ayler, the final click started it all. By the way, he defines himself as a non-professional musician, teaching social sciences three days a week to pay the bills.
August 30th, 2006: Walt Dickerson vibraharp solo
Host: Bernard Stepien: My favorite second hand CD shop is in La Rochelle, France. It is the most inconspicious store I have seen. It sells mostly used cothes, but also has a good selection of CDs and DVDs and especially there is no mention on the front that it actually sells CDs and DVDs. Apparently, according to the owner for 7 years, there is no need for that since everybody knows us, she said!. There among those true jazz aficionados I found something I never seen before, a Vibraphone solo by Walt Dickerson recorded in 1977. His music is somewhere on the twilight zone between straight ahead and avantgarde. After all, Walt's lineage is more with Red Norvo and Teddy Charles rather than the absolute must of Lionel Hampton/Milt Jackson but he is one of the very few musicians to have used Sun Ra as a side man (1965 Impressions of a patch of blue" not to mention his use of "sound sheets" à la John Coltrane. This is probably why he called this CD, shades of love.
August 23d, 2006: Bennie Wallace plays Monk
Host: Bernard Stepien: Bennie Wallace graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1968 and since then has enjoyed success in developing his own style that has the main feature of being a cross between Ben Webster's raspy tone and the use of frequent large intervals from Eric Dolphy. His style fits well both main stream and avantgarde jazz. Tonight we will survey his work on Thelonious Monk's repertoire.
August 16th, 2006: the jazz mix
Host: Bernard Stepien: Once in a while I depart from the single CD/single featured artist format to present a sample of recent acquisitions. CDs are selling for as little as 5 euros on the used CD market in Europe, so expect a lot of goodies: This includes saxophonist Jean Derome's Evidence, japanese trumpetist Yoichiro Kita, french bass clarinetist Michel Portal, the ICP orchestra, vibraphonist Walt Dickerson, french saxophonist and vocalist Daniel Huck, drummer Susie Ibarra, saxophonist Ted Nash, Vocalist Melissa Stylianou, the Paul Cram Orchestra and Billy Robinson with Stacie McGragor.
August 9th, 2006: New York bassist William Parker
Host: Bernard Stepien: 30 years have gone by since we, Ottawans had discovered New York bassist William Parker when he performed with saxophonist Jameel Moondoc at the Saw Gallery sometime in the second half of the seventies. Then editor of Coda Jazz magazine, Bill Smith coud'nt believe his ears. Soon after, William got snatched by foremost pianist Cecil Taylor and the rest is history. Today, William is one of the foremost bass players that travels worldwide and cranks up numerous associations with all kinds of musicians from hard core free-Jazz to straight ahead. Among these his association with Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson stand in the foreground. Tonight, thanks to some present from a very good friend who hates free-jazz but accidentally purchased one of these CDs following the recommandation of the Ottawa Citizen jazz column (probably Peter Hum if not Doug Fisher or may be james Hale (correct me if I am wrong)), I have the pleasure to present William Parker's O'Neal's Porch CD (2000) that features Hamid Drake on drums, Rob Brown on Alto saxophone and Lewis Barnes on trumpet and that features some nice voicings.
August 2nd, 2006: Raw Materials
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight we feature the duo of pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. These New York-based musicians have been collaborating in various configurations for over 10 years. They frequently play live as a duo under the name Raw Materials and have just released a disc of the same name. In addition to their new disc, we will feature selections from their individual projects.
July 26th, 2006: Shelley Burgon & Trevor Dunn - Brooklyn 2005
Host: David Broscoe: With the upcoming show at the Avant-Garde Bar featuring two of the hosts of Rabble ( PianoLessMonk Aug 11, Fri), a look back at one of the shows from last October at the Avant-Garde Bar featuring Shelley Burgon ( John Zorn, Chris Speed, Ikue Mori,Tin Hat Trio ) on pedal harp and Trevor Dunn (John Zorn Electric Masada, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Susie Ibarra, Marc Ribot) on contrabass. Brooklyn 2005 is a self-released disc of 15 acoustic live tracks recorded, as the title indicates, in Brooklyn in 2005. The disc is only available from the Trevor Dunn website ( http://www.trevordunn.net/ ) or at live appearances. "Wavering between patient meditation and maniacal catharsis, Trevor Dunn and harpist Shelley Burgon mine the narrow fissure between pure improvisation and through-composed chamber music, slashing at the extreme interplay between steel, string and wood. Strings are beaten or jimmied with clothespins, the harp alternately caressed and throttled. The sonic equivalent of a Joseph Cornell box, the duo has a haunting, cinematic quality that is both staggeringly complex and achingly beautiful." - Tim Duroche, Willamette Week, Portland, OR
July 19th, 2006: Standard approaches
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe approaches various artist's approach to Standards, inspired by Toronto's The Reveries (Eric Chenaux, Ryan Driver, Doug Tielli) cracked but surprisingly reverent approach. The show features cuts from artists including Ab Baars, Anthony Braxton, Ellery Eskelin, Sonny Rollins and Cecil Taylor.
July 12th, 2006: The Guayaveras vs Berthiaume/Bailey/Frith
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe compares and contrasts two duo recordings: Toronto's The Guayaveras (Eric Chenaux - Electric guitar, Ryan Driver - synth; recorded in 2000) vs duos between Montreal's Antoine Berthiaume and either Fred Frith or Derek Bailey (recorded between 2001-2003).
July 5th, 2006: Trio Résistances plus Radar
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe features the music of the French ensemble Trio Résistances, who will playing at the Avant Garde Bar on Thursday, July 6th.
"By turns lyrical, impulsive, meditative and humourous, the music of the Trio Résistances, led by drummer Bruno Tocanne and featuring Lionel Martin on saxophones and Benoît Keller on bass is full of wonderful surprises. Inspired as much by the revolutionary messages of Martin Luther King and Salvador Allende, as by free-thinking musicians as Paul Motian and Charlie Haden, this trio shares an uncompromising belief in self-expression and a relentless pusuit of the path less travelled... "
Music Network, Ireland
Also, some hot-off-the-press recordings from Ottawa's Radar (Jennifer Giles, Rory Magill, Linsey Wellman), the opening act for Trio Résistances on Thursday.
Rounding out the hour will be music from Montreal sax and clarinet player Phillipe Lauzier, including cuts from his new Ambiances Magnétiques CD 'Today is a Special Day'.
June 28th, 2006: Sam Rivers' Avant Big Bands
Host: Alnoor Allidina: This year's Vision Festival featured an entire evening dedicated to Sam Rivers. Rivers, now living in Florida, is 82 but still has enormous amounts of energy. At the festival he played with his trio and also played with his big band, the Rivbea Orchestra. This was amazing stuff - definitely avant garde but groovy enough to get the crowd dancing. Tonight we feature Aurora, the latest release from the Rivbea Orchestra. Throughout the evening, we will intersperse cuts from another great Rivers big band record from 1974 entitled Crystals.
June 21st, 2006: Focus on a Canadian participant to the Ottawa International Jazz Festival: Melissa Stylianou
Host: Bernard Stepien: It is once again the time of the year where we will may be finally know if Jazz is dead or not at least in light of the non-jazz encroachments the local press has already complained about. As many of my collegues have pointed out throughout the years, why not make the OIJF a pure canadian talent show. In order to help the OIJF brass to ripen this concept we will feature one of these, namely vocalist Melissa Stylianou that had the very good taste to include two outstanding compositions in one of her CDs, Ugly Beauty by Thelonious Monk and Jitterbug Waltz by Fats Waller.
June 14th, 2006: Berlin-New York reed player Gebhard Ullmann
Host: Bernard Stepien: Berlin is a natural musical crossroads resulting from cold war overbidding. When a city like that attracts musicians from all over, sooner or later, some locals end up playing with some of the visitors in their home countries and town. Gebhard Ullmann thus has been commuting between Berlin and New York and further develop this cross-breading exercise. Tonight we will look at such an exercise with portuguese bassist Carlos Bica and swedish pianist Jens Thomas.
June 7th, 2006: The Fell Clutch - The Fell Clutch ( Animul ) 2006
Host: Mark Keill: From All About Jazz, NYC: "What King Crimson did for rock and Voivod did for heavy metal, the quartet of Ned Rothenberg, David Tronzo, Stomu Takeishi and Tony Buck might one day do for improvised music if their performance at Issue Project Room (Nov. 13th, 2005) was any indication. The granite rotunda of the Brooklyn venue was transformed into a cyclotron for two stunning sets of music, beams of sound spinning around at hyperspeed. Those that know Tronzo's slide guitar as a warm inviting presence were chilled by its bleak, almost apocalyptic message. Buck's drums and Takeishi's electric fretless effected bass provided searing rhythms over which the guitar and Rothenberg's circular breathed reeds bubbled, volcanic in purpose and execution. If Ornette Coleman innovated the 'time, no changes' approach to jazz, this quartet's advance was 'intensity over time'. Andrey Henkin, All About Jazz, NY (Selected top 10 performances of the year 2005)
may 24th, 2006: Ottawa's local scene
Host: Bernard Stepien: Despite some very harsh conditions in Ottawa for local musicians to develop, there are at least two interesting events this week involving Ottawa musicians that of course had to move out of town to make it but fortunately for us insist in coming back in town and bring us a sample of where they now live. The first one is bassist Pierre-Yves Martel that has been making some frequent apparitions on the local scene in all kinds of formats. He will play this very night at the cafe Nostalgica. He developed an incredible voice in improvised music that is increasingly heard in Montreal and very popular for decades in Europe where Montreal frequently live as well. The othe one is saxophonist Paul Newman that thrives in Toronto in that interesting combination of american and british influenced improvised music. he will play in the Tim Turvey trio. See dates below in the jazz calendar section.
may 17th, 2006: Pierre-Yves Martel's Engagement & Confrontation: Improvisations for Solo Prepared Double Bass
Host: David Broscoe: Pierre-Yves will be releasing his new solo prepared bass CD on Montreal's Ambiances Magnetiques label this coming Saturday May 20. This Wednesday night on Rabble David Broscoe will be playing selections from the CD, along with cuts featuring other performers playing prepared instruments. Selections will include one of Cage's prepared piano pieces from the '40s, pieces by Francois Houle(clarinet)/Benoit Delbecq(piano, prepared piano) and Mark Dresser/Denmon Maroney(piano, prepared piano)/Dave Douglas, and an early Eugene Chadbourne piece for prepared guitar.
may 10th, 2006: Cecil Taylor - Trance 1962
Host: Bernard Stepien: The year 1962 was a very important turning point in Cecil Taylor's carreer because he renewed his trio format from the traditional piano/bass/drums format to a bassless trio that included what would become long time associates saxophonist Jimmy Lyons and drummer Sonny Murray. But even more important is the fact that this was the year when Cecil Taylor started to play intensively in Europe, something quasi unthinkable in the USA at that time because of the market shifting of recording companies that were concentring on pop music instead of Jazz as they had done for nearly half a century. The out of tune piano somewhere in Copenhagen illustrates certainly the efforts of the emerging avant-garde scene in Europe, but one thing is now sure, this is what started this immense interest in this kind of music there that would eventually lead Cecil Taylor to be an exclusive high-end Bösendorfer pianos player.
may 3d, 2006: Le Minotaure jazz Orchestra
Host: Bernard Stepien: Spanish bull fight music, the Paso Doble, has been used by many jazz artists as a source of inspiration and to add color to their music. The most notorious ones are the abstraction of Gil Evans/Miles Davis sketches of Spain, Mingus frequent spanish references including via closer Mexico, more recently the spanish overtones in Carla Bley's big band.
French saxophonist Jean-Marc Padovani went a step further in the use of this cultural heritage by creating a spannish banda that actually plays jazz. Le Minotaure Jazz Orchestra is more than a jazz project because it mixes professional and amateur musicians, namely employees of the french Utility EDF. Tonight we will feature a recording made at the EDF jazz festival in Soulac in the south west of France were bandas happilly flourish despite the modern influences of tekno music. Somehow, young people of that region find blowing a tuba considerably more fun than spinning a record!
April 26th, 2006: yet another unusual project by New York Trombonist Roswell Rudd
Host: Bernard Stepien: Roswell Rudd is a significant trombonist in jazz history because he contributed to the renaissance of the trombone in modern jazz and especially in the avant-garde. His early associations with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy with whom he explored the music of Thelonious Monk are well known. He has also been associated with the creme of the avantgarde like Archie Shepp and Cecil Taylor. Despite all that, Roswell Rudd was not on the jazz giants list. It is only one fine day in 2001 when residing in NYC that I heard a full day (24 Hours) of a live birthday celebration on WKCR, Columbia's University radio that I realized that Roswell Rudd was involved in about a 100 records or CD and mostly on unusual projects. Tonight we will concentrate on a 1995 recorded suite about the legendary writer Georg Büchner that is the author of the play Woyzeck. This is as much as Roswell can strech the concept of unusual project!
April 19th, 2006: pianist Richard Grossman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Richard Grossman is a rather special case in the history of improvised music, most of his works were posthumously released. He thought of himself as a jazz player and his music as a natural extension of jazz tradition. However, his music happens to be completely free improvisation with little or no advance preparation, just drawing from his many musical experiences in different musical domains and on different musical instruments. He was constantly exploring uncharted territory with the risk of not knowing where the music was taking him. Tonight we will explore his recordings between 1989 and 1992.
April 12th, 2006: The Art Ensemble of Chicago: Tutankhamun
Host: Bernard Stepien: The long jazz tradition in Chicago had sooner or later to produce a significant contribution to improvised music and this was the AACM with its numerous stars but also the Art Ensemble of Chicago that is a unique assembly of talents and concepts that even survived the death of some of its all essential members. Like many jazz musician before, for the AEOC, moving to Europe proved to be a determinant choice as the reception to new forms of art there usually is as smooth as a local gig for a mainstream band. One thing has to remembered though is that the AEOC landed in France at the worst possible time, culturally speaking, since in 1969, the politicians in power were in a revenge mode over the 1968 revolution. Today, there has been another revolution there but in a considerably different artistic context. Tonight we will focus on an early recording from the 1969 Paris phase, Tutankhamun.
April 5th, 2006: pianist Matthew Shipp and guitarist Joe Morris
Host: Bernard Stepien: Matthew Shipp represents the post '60s new generation of avantgarde musicians that started to raise during the '90s. He is involved with some of the most radical musicians of the current phase of free-jazz such as saxophonist David S. Ware and bassist William Parker. However, this radicalism is mixed with classical music elements and very traditionally harmonic jazz. Tonight we will sample him in duo with guitarist Joe Morris. Joe Morris has one of the most intriguing musicians story. He learned to play guitar during the '70s while at school and ended up playing his first professional gig the same year. Also, his interest to jazz came from listening to John Coltrane's Om recording that I happen to play not too long ago on this program.
March 29th, 2006: clarinetist John Carter
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays cuts from the late great clarinetist and composer John Carter. The featured recording is Carter's landmark 'Suite of Early American Folk Pieces' for solo clarinet, a title which belies Carters sophisticated and virtuosic approach to his instrument. Cuts by students and acolytes Ab Baars and Francois Houle will be interspersed.
March 22nd, 2006: focus on trombones: Paul Rutherford and Giacinto Scelsi
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe presents two very different (non-jazz) takes on trio improvisation where the lead melodic instrument is trombone. The first recording is 'Iskra3' by Paul Rutherford, with Robert Jarvis and Lawrence Casserley providing live computer processing of Rutherford's trombone. The second recording 'Suono Rotundo' features trio improvisations with trombone, bass and drums inspired by renegade classical composer (and superb improvisor) Giacinto Scelsi.
March 15th, 2006: Berlin musicians Frank Schubert and Antonis Anissegos
Host: Bernard Stepien: Large metropolis like New York, Paris, London and Berlin enjoy a constant flow of jazz musicians in their never endless supply of jazz clubs of all kinds. This inevitably leads to the endless combinations of musicians that share the same vision of jazz. Tonight we will survey the association of Berlin alto saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert and pianist Antonis Anissegos that are members of the emerging Berlin avant-garde scene. Avant-garde jazz in Berlin has always been a major topic especially when the city was divided between east and west by the infamous wall. For the musicians in the east, free jazz meant a form of freedom of expression because it allowed them to ruffle neo-conservatist-stalinist traditionalist feathers at little cost and no risk since there were no words involved. For the musicians in the west, avant-garde was plainly in!
March 8th, 2006: Myra Melford/Han Bennink duo
Host: Bernard Stepien: Myra Melford and Han Bennink are two avant-garde musicians that have at least one important thing in common, they both have a fascination for very traditional jazz. Myra is constantly using elements from blues pianists of the '20s and '30s like Jimmy Yancey or Cow Cow Davenport, while Han does exactly the same on the drummer side with the swing of drummers like Zuty Singleton. They use these elements either as starting points to develop firy improvisations that sound like extrapolations of the traditional material or as very related quotes in the middle of equaly firy improvisations that appear exactly like when an archeologist removes a layer of dirt and reveals an ancient piece of jewelry.
March 1st, 2006: Gutbucket Tenor Ancient and Modern
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe samples the recordings of Lockjaw Davis, Big Jay McNeely, Arnett Cobb, Archie Shepp, Glen Spearman, Kidd Jordan and Fred Anderson, and Tobias Delias. Tenor saxophone expressionism from the 40s into the new millennium.
February 22nd, 2006: violinist Billy Bang
Host: Bernard Stepien: While violin is a relatively rare instrument in Jazz compared to others like piano or saxophones, practically all its performers are stars, from Stuff Smith to Stephane Grapelly to jean-luc Ponty. Billy Bang, that started his career as an avant-garde musician has now become a favorite quasi main stream musician appearing in many festivals around the world. Tonight we will focus on a 1982 avant-garde recording with veteran free jazz drummer Denis Charles who was one of the pillars of the early Cecicl Taylor trio.
February 15th, 2006: John Coltrane - OM & Ascension
Host: Bernard Stepien: John Coltrane is both one of the most famous avant-garde and jazz in general musician. His numerous hits are even played by commercial radios. Tonight we will concentrate on recordings you will never hear on commercial radio, OM and Ascension, that relate to the many spiritual aspects of Coltrane's music.
February 8th, 2006: Lee Konitz and Franz Koglmann vs Duke Ellington
Host: Bernard Stepien: The music of Duke Ellington has been a constant and prime source of inspiration for jazz musicians regardless of the era they lived in or the style of Jazz they practice. Austrian trumpeter and composer Franz Koglmann teams up with veteran american alto saxophonist Lee Konitz in recreating the Duke Ellington sound contour using small combos formats of trios, quartets and quintets by assembling some critical instrument combinations like clarinet/bass/trumpet or brass trios of tuba/trombone/trumpet vs Lee Konitz's alto saxophone that recreate the essential sound and harmonic qualities of Duke Ellington's big band musical concepts. Besides Duke's outstanding compositions like the Mooche or Ko-ko, Franz Koglman, the composer produced three composition/orchestrations of his own entitled "Thoughts About Duke", quite a program.
February 1st, 2006: Ottawa saxophonist Paul Newman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ottawa saxophonist Paul Newman has established himself firmly on the Toronto avangarde Jazz scene. Tonight we will survey his latest 2005 CD Synapse that features 12 of Paul's very complex compositions. Paul is also a Thelonious Monk admirer and there is definitively some Monk influence in his art.
January 25th, 2006: New York trumpeter Cuong Vu
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ottawa bassist John Geggie is once again sharing with us the talents that he encounters far away from Ottawa. This coming Saturday he will feature New York Trumpeter Cuong Vu that is recognized as a leader of a new generation of Jazz musician. Cuong's art is an assembly of what a today's young musician has been musicaly exposed to, i.e. pop music, funk and jazz. Cuong is already holding a number of various awards including a grammy in company of Pat Metheny group. Tonight, we will sample a couple of CDs of these new adventures in Jazz that way beyond jazz fusion.
January 18th, 2006: Dutch solo drummer Han Bennink
Host: Bernard Stepien: Han Bennink is one of the european avantgarde drummer giants that however bases his art on the very traditional drumming style of drummers like Zutty Zingleton. in fact his performances are a constantly changing mix of elements that you would not expect together, but also a constant mix of intensities even over short periods of time. Most characteristic of his style are sudden, often brutal interventions that instantly trigger enthusiasm among listener, even the ones that think that he is a clown. While Han Bennink is widely known for his various associations with other musicians, especially with Misha Mengelberg in the ICP Orchestra, tonight we will enjoy a 1982 solo recording. Last fall, Han was with us in Ottawa, but only 35 people showed up for the NAC 4th stage gig. One reason may be that Han records only on his own label and that the CDs are sold only on stage during gigs. One more reason to avoid missing such an opportunity, that thanks to the Dutch ambassy should repeat itself in 2006. No risk of conservative traditional Arts budget cuts in Holland!
January 11th, 2006: British guitarist Derek Bailey
Host: Bernard Stepien: Following Derek Bailey's death last week, we will present a little cross section of Derek's work spanning over the last 4 decades. Derek Bailey is a self-tought musician that went into total improvisation as early as 1965. He rapidly got associated with another radical free jazz musician, soprano saxophonist Evan Parker. He also was one of the co-founders of the british Incus label that recorded exclusively all the hard core free-jazz musicians.His art was the one of deconstructing all established elements of traditional Jazz. In this process he landed a recording with the famous german ECM label that usually is reserved for cool free-jazz ! Tonight we will sample some of his associations with Anthony Braxton, Georges Lewis, Cecil Taylor, Han Bennink and his ECM experiment.
January 4th, 2006: soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy - clinkers
Host: Bernard Stepien: Steve lacy has been thriving in an avantgarde style that priviledged melody, but an extremely free melody that could take the most unexpected turn at any moment. Tonight we will focus on a 1977 recording entitled Clinkers.
December 28th, 2005: pianist Andrew Hill
Host: Bernard Stepien: A rare recording from 1964 (point of departure) features a number of musicians that had a significant impact on jazz in years to come: Kenny Dorham, Eric Dolphy, Joe Henderson, Richard Davis and Tony Williams. Andrew Hill, a haitian born musician, has been associated with a number of avantgarde musicians besides Dolphy. His association with chicago Bassist Malachi Favors as early as the mid '50s confirms his penchant for this art form.
December 21st, 2005: One for the jam-session: Jitterbug Waltz from A to Z
Host: Bernard Stepien: Although Fats Waller has recorded his composition Jitterbug Waltz only once in 1942, there are 256 recordings by various Jazz artists since then, from straight ahead to avantgarde. Tonight we will start the programm with Fats Waller 1942 original organ version. I finally acquired it a couple weeks ago although I have been chasing it for 30 years after Archie Shepp asked me if I had any record of Fats Waller playing that tune back in 1975. Then we will explore the various transformations other musician made to it like Art Tatum and his endless ornamentations, of course one of the most famous one by Eric Dolphy on the flute, a ferocious big band version by the Vienna Art Orchestra, Arthur Blythe's version on the alto saxophone, Melissa Stylianou's vocal version, Jean Derome's vocal and flute pilgrimage version, Ellis Marsalis un-Tatum version and Peter Leitch's guitar version. Needless to say that this program should be some inspiration for your Christmas Shopping!
December 14th, 2005: Arthur Blythe plays Monk
Host: Bernard Stepien: The art of Arthur Blythe can be most appreciated in his juxtapositions of concepts: for example, his choice of instruments, tuba vs cello vs alto saxophone on Light Blue, the use of separate jazz styles in a way that is not really what we usually call fusion because each style can still be clearly distinguished like on We See, improvisations that thrive through different styles within the same phrase as on Off Minor. The recording we will play tonight has been made in 1983, one year after Monk's death. This is a milestone among the dozens or may be hundreds of tributes to Monk that have followed.
December 7th, 2005: Chicago's Fred Anderson free-jazz time capsule
Host: Bernard Stepien: Fred Anderson's career is very different than anything you would expect in showbizz. He co-founded the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) with all the greats that ended up becoming avantgarde jazz stars like Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton and the various members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and many others. After a few recordings back in the '60s, Fred Anderson did not produce a single recording for nearly 25 years. For a normal musician, this would mean extinction. Instead, he has been concentrating on opening venues entirely dedicated to free-jazz and could be found working the bar and mostly playing with his band during weekends. His latest venture is called the Velvet lounge (http://www.velvetlounge.net ). It is only in the recent decade and mostly as an associate of New York musicians like William Parker and Hamid Drake, that people have started to focus on his be-bop oriented free-jazz and his rather interesting improvisation technique where he uses the principle of gradual buildup starting from a simple motive and eventually ending up in a fireworks f free-jazz. His style has not changed since the '60s, thus he is kind of a free-jazz time capsule.
Fred Anderson's approach to being simultaneously a musician and a bar owner should be a model for those people at the Bayou Blues and Jazz Club, here in Ottawa, that are in an intensive soul-searching session these days! His experiment worked to the point that he doesn't feel he needs to play out of town since he got all he needs in his own neighborhood!
And by the way, if you check the velvet lounge's web site, you will notice that this idea of subsidizing a neighborhood club is not only working in Europe. There in Chicago, they managed to raised $ 20,000.00!
November 30th, 2005: Montreal turntablist Martin Tetreault
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays recent recordings featuring turntablist Montreal Martin Tetreault. According to the DAME website, Tetreault has abandoned the musical citation that he had been using in his work since he began in 1985 and now explores the intrinsic qualities of the turntable: the sound of the motor, of interference, and so on. He also uses needles, prepared surfaces (with thanks to John Cage), and small electronic instruments. The bruitiste approach of remaining analogical has allowed him to leave behind the question But what about royalties? and to get himself invited to electronic-music events!
The first recording, ‘Ahhh’, consists of Tetreault and Otomo Yoshihide on turntables, recorded live on tour in Europe in 2003. Rather than selecting complete performances from their European tour, the pair spread the cuts over four CDs, ‘Grr’ featuring loud cuts, ‘Toc’ featuring more rhythmic cuts, ‘Hmmm” perhaps self explanatory, and ‘Ahhh’ featuring quieter but still intense selections.
The second recording, ‘Tout le monde en place pour un set américain’, is a collaboration between Tetreault, Xavier Charles, Kristoff K.Roll and Diane Labrosse, recorded live at FIMAV 2003 in Victoriaville.
November 23d, 2005: the Art of parsimony in Jazz improvisation by Alberto Braida
Host: Bernard Stepien: What to do in Jazz improvisation has been a much debated subject for almost a century now. There are people who think that some musicians play too many notes, too fast or not enough chords and others that think that the music of Fats Waller is too primitive, etc...
Italian Pianist Alberto Braida and multi-clarinetist Giancarlo Locatelli are taking a somewhat extreme position on this subject by focussing on some minute musical details and putting them up front. Their music is composed probably of an equal amount of silence between notes. The idea apparently stems from cooking. They decided to focus on the ingredients rather than on the final dish!
November 16th, 2005: Jimmy Giuffre / André Jaume duo
Host: Bernard Stepien: Multi-reedist Jimmy Giuffre is one of the model for musicians who avoid being pigeon holed because they entrench themselves in a particular style. Jimmy giuffre has explored all jazz styles that came by over a forty years period. The most intriguing part of this exploration is probably that being considered as one of the master of the California/West Coast cool jazz, he also is well known as an avant-garde player. This is almost a paradox. His second contribution is in the rehabilitation of the clarinet in modern jazz. One fine day, french saxophonist and bass clarinetist André Jaume decided to study composition and arrangement with Jimmy Giuffre in Boston. This was the start of an interesting collaboration between the two musicians.
Tonight's CD is important in many ways, but one is that this concert with André Jaume is the first concert in Europe Jimmy Giuffre got involved since the 60's and more important illustrates what happens when two composition freaks meet.
November 9th, 2005: Ellery Eskelin with accordeon
Host: Bernard Stepien: Baltimore raised saxophonist Ellery Eskelin had a very diversified formative years that started with studying with Stan Kenton to rock band/chamber totalism band of Mikel Rouse Broken Consort. All of that gave him the idea of doing phrasing and timbre manipulations as a concept to focus on. Among the various attempts to create new musical athmospher, Ellery Eskelin started to put the saxophone into unusual musical instrumentation contexts. Early combinations included tuba player Joe Daly and bakdav drums and percussions player Arto Tuncboyanciyan. Tonight, we will focus on his The Secret Museum recording featuring accordeonist Andrea Parkins and percussionist Jim Black.
November 2th, 2005: Funding drive mix II !
Hosts: Bernard Stepien and Alnoor Allidina: Well, we have entered the second week of the CKCU-FM funding drive with already $335 worth of pledges. This second Funding drive mix will be devoted to another great retrospective of the artists we have featured in the past year and that some of you may have missed, these are: Jerry Granelli - Sandhills Reunion, Douglas, Lee, Van der Schyff, Sclavis - Bow River Falls, Spaceways Incorporated Plus Zu - Radiale, Rudresh Mahanthappa - Mother Tongue
October 26th, 2005: Funding drive mix!
Hosts: Bernard Stepien and David Broscoe: Well, it has been 11 and 1/2 months that we have provided you with this still unusual music called jazz avantgarde, not to mention some local musicians since our last funding drive in 2004. Tonight, it is funding drive night again and while we are waiting for you to call in your pledge, we will play some of the music we featured throughout the year, that is Vancouver pianist Paul Plimley, legendary pianist Lennie Tristano, Ottawa's musical poet Susan McMaster and her GEODE project, clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre, saxophonist John Coltrane in his early works, Montreal's Jean Derome's Evidence Monk project, Billy Robinson with Stacie McGregor, Bik Brent Braam and samples from future shows with Big Jay McNeely, Tobias Delus, Koch-Schutz-Studer, John Carter, Steve Lacy.
October 19th, 2005: Misha Mengelberg meets the chicagoans
Host: Bernard Stepien: Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg and the chicagoans, Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake all have in common the capability to play any known form of jazz, from New Orleans to swing to bop to cool to extreme abstract avantgarde. The CD presented tonight, Misha Mengelberg in Chicago will enable us to verify this fact when mixing both groups of musicians together.
October 12th, 2005: Mats Gustavsson's background music
Host: Bernard Stepien: Anyone knowing swedish Mats Gustavsson's usual style of hard core jazz avantgarde must be wondering if the title of the CD I will present tonight is not one of these humoristic advantures that jazz musicians in general are well known for. In fact, this is a well planned coup based on some straight ahead technical hobbyist detail, a saxophone mouth piece, the Brillhart. While all post Coltrane/Rollins saxophonists stick to the Otto Link mouth piece for its bright and big tone, the cool jazz saxophonists all use instead the much softer Brillhart mouth piece. On this CD, this is exactly what Mats Gufstafsson and Guillermo Gregorio are using. The result is slightly different than something like music by Muzak (does that company still exist ? I hope not!). On top of it, there were wittnesses! This recording was made in Chicago happilly surrounded by the locals, like Ken Vandermark.
October 5th, 2005: Lee Konitz & Martial Solal and the art of re-composition
Host: Bernard Stepien: Both saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Martial Solal have in common an early interest in avantgarde music actually even before it was called that way. Actually, they both are followers of this art that classical pianist Glen Gould once called re-composition. The CD that we will play tonight is composed in majority of worn out standards such as Just Friends, Star Eyes, Body and Soul, Cherokee, but they will be fully reworked with concepts far beyond the canons of be bop or any other established style. The second interesting aspect of these recordings is the difference in behavior of Lee Konitz playing with Martial Solal that has a a different concept of rythm than the strict keeping time of Lennie Tristano.
September 28th, 2005: the british Poco Clarinet Trio
Host: Bernard Stepien: The UK is home to some of the foremost avantgarde musicians like Evan Parker or Mike Westbrook. Fortunatly, besides the big names, there are always a number of lesser known musicians that thrive in parallel circuits. Chris Cundy, bass clarinet and soprano saxophone, is one of them. His work involves both the composed pieces of contemporary music (classical avantgarde) and free-jazz. Tonight we will explore his works with the Poco Clarinet Trio in company of Mindy lee and Simon Spencer.
September 21st, 2005: Roscoe Mitchell Quintet 2005
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe liberally samples the new Roscoe Mitchell Quintet CD entitled ‘Turn’, recorded in January 2005. This is the same band that performed as part of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival this past summer: Tani Tabbal drums, Jaribu Shahid bass, Craig Taborn piano, and Cory Wilkes trumpet and flugelhorn. David will compare this recording to previous works by Mitchell.
Cuts by R L Burnside and Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown, both of whom passed away in the past few weeks, will be interspersed. Hope the combination works for you!
September 14th, 2005: Bow River Falls
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Recorded during the proceedings of the Banff Jazz Workshop in June 2003, tonight's disc is an inspired collaboration featuring Dave Douglas, Peggy Lee, Louis Sclavis, and Dylan Van Der Schyff.
September 7th, 2005: A tribute to New Orleans
Host: Bernard Stepien: There is no doubt anywhere that Jazz music has started in New Orleans as a result of a rather fascinating melting pot of many cultures that could only meet in a habor, point of exchange by definition between the world and the hinterland. To see New Orleans under water and under the legendary incompetence of politicians is the most dreadfull sight for a jazz musician or jazz aficionado. Thus, the idea of this program that will trace as many New Orleans musicians as we can pack them within an hour, so many there are. Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and many others of the jazz legend but also more recent contributors that keep the New Orleans bands tradition alive such as the Dirty Dozen Brass band or even more local zulu congregation bands taking more recent jazz and blues current and transforming them into this unique sound of the New Orleans jazz band with tubas and clarinets, all non electonic instruments that can still work when a hurricane shut the power and the house is flooded !
August 31st, 2005: Archie Shepp with hungarian saxophonist Mihaly Dresch
Host: Bernard Stepien: This second program devoted to Jazz in Hungary features the quartet of saxophonist Mihaly Dresch with special guest Archie Shepp who has been working regularly in Europe for over three decades now. Mihaly Dresch is a well known musician specialized into fusion between jazz and hungarian folk music that weaves a seemless path between mostly be bop and lyrical hungarian folk music. His style is probably closer to John Coltrane which of course is a perfect match to Archie Shepp that started his career precisely in company of John Coltrane.
August 24th, 2005: Hungarian clarinetist Lajos Dudas
Host: Bernard Stepien: Hungary is a land loaded with music that spans many genres. It has a very strong tradional music that is based on virtuosity which has influenced both classical music composers such as Franz List and avantgarde composers such as Bela Bartok, both being listed in the famous composers category. Consequently, when a hungarian musician plays jazz, he can not avoid the weight of music history in his country. Clarinetist Lajos Dudas who actually studied at the Bela Bartok conservatory and the Franz List music academy didn't escape this phenomena and his latest duo CD with guitarist Philipp van Endert entitled Seitenblicke (looking on the side) reflects that reality. This recording is neither straight ahead neither fully avantgarde but is a fusion of all you can find in jazz, hungarian folk and classical music.
August 17th, 2005: In Memoriam Billy Robinson
Host: Bernard Stepien: As many of you already know, my longtime friend (since 1972) Billy Robinson passed away last Friday here in Ottawa. Somehow I happened to be partly responsible for Billy's presence in Ottawa because when I moved to Ottawa back in 1973 I noticed that there was very little jazz around here and got the idea to start organizing gigs for Billy with whom like many others at that time I was studying, would solve the problem. I have organized many concerts with Billy in the '70s and at one of them, at the Berceau des artistes in Hull, he met his future wife Suzanne that ensured that he would be associated with Ottawa for the rest of his life.
Tonight I will feature one of my personnel recordings of Billy made at the Wasteland in 1974 after a raindowned concert that I organized with the Department of Communication at the Astrolabe theatre. The rythm section was rather interesting since it was composed of Jimmy Garrison on bass, long time associated with saxophonist John Coltrane and drummer Billy Hart, at that time associated with Herbie Hancock. This recording illustrates the fact that Billy Robinson was not exactly a local musician but rather a world class musician that was living here and especially sharing his experience with many local musicians.
Billy is now gone, probably jamming with Charles Mingus by now, but he left an imprint on a generation of local musicians that were fortunate to study with him. If you want to hear Billy live today, well, the next possibility is to check out Nathan Cepelinski that is a stylistic carbon copy of Billy that surely with evolve into yet another new style. Well, nathan is playing tonight at Vineyards from 7:00 to 10:30 PM, just before this memorial program. Check him out.
This is only the first memorial radio program for Billy Robinson, Ron Sweetman will devote his August 24th show to his records and CDs.
August 10th, 2005: strings in avantgarde: Carlos Zingaro with Peggy Lee
Host: Bernard Stepien: The violin has always been present in jazz since the early days and continues to be present in the avantgarde. The portuguese violinist Carlos Zingaro is one of the few european representative but has been involved with quasi all greats of both european and american avantgarde musicians such as Evan Parker, Rüdiger Carl, Anthony Braxton, Georges Lewis and many others. Vancouver based Peggy Lee is one of these over gifted musicians that has been a rising star in this highly specialized world of avantgarde jazz. The combination of these two musicians ensures an even stronger bag of soft surprises.
August 3d, 2005: Mal Waldron vs Marion Brown
Host: Bernard Stepien: Saxophonist Marion Brown is one of the lesser known avantgarde musicians. This is not because he run out of steam, uite on the contrary his early associations with John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon and many others gave him full credibility. In fact Marion Brown was quickly snapped by academia and devoted most of his time to teaching and research at various universities.
The CD we will feature tonight is unusual in many ways. Both the association with relatively straight ahead pianist Mal Waldron and the repertoire of standards and Monk tunes makes it intriguing. The result of not really entirely free neither straight makes it an interesting experiment.
July 27th, 2005: Jerry Granelli on songlines
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Vince Guaraldi, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Sly Stone, Buck 65 - percussionist Jerry Granelli has played with all of them over the course of his lengthy career. As you can tell from this list of musicians, Granelli delights in exploring different musical possibilities. Tonight we listen to a few of these explorations: Sandhills Reunion, V16 Project, and Crowd Theory.
July 20th, 2005: Ecstasy Mule: Rogue State
Host: Mark Keill: (Mexican Lime Punch)2005 (Label: Batterrie)
Casey Gottschalk and Len37 - guitars
"Ecstasy Mule humbly consider themselves to be a blues band in the style of Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne and Fred Frith. Their first record, "Rogue State (Mexican Lime Punch)" is 13 tracks ranging in length from 11 seconds to 11 minutes, recorded in one session on two resonator guitars without effects or overdubs." Squidco
The Nels Cline Singers - Instrumentals 2002 (Label:Cryptogramophone)
Nels Cline - guitar Devin Hoff - bass Scott Amendola - drums
July 13th, 2005: Dutch group PALINCX
Host: Ron Sweetman: Composed of Han Buhrs III vocals, harmonica, rubberband bass; Jacq Palinckx electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards, tapes, effects, voices; Donotask [pronounced DO NOT ASK] turntables, rubberband bass, keyboards, effects; Bert Palinckx double bass, bass guitar and I suspect leader; and Alan Purves, drums, percussion, vocals.
July 6th, 2005: John Surman - Way Back When (Cuneiform ) 2005
Host: Mark keill: John Marshall - drums Brian Odgers - bass Mike Osborne - alto sax John Surman - soprano/baritone sax John Taylor - keyboards
Recorded as a farewell jam session in 1969 as John Surman was about to head off and become part of the Trio with Barre Philips and Stu Martin, it has remained hidden until this year when it was released by Cuneiform records.
From the Cunieform website:
"In mid-October, 1969, I left the UK to meet up with bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Stu Martin to begin working with them as "The Trio". Before I left however, a few close friends and I held a sort of 'farewell' session in Tangerine Studios in London. On hand were drummer John Marshall, electric pianist John Taylor and Brian Odgers on bass guitar - later Mike Osborne appeared with his alto and joined us. Shortly after I left England, the studios closed down and, although a few test pressings were made, the original tapes got lost in the general confusion. Much to my surprise the masters had survived and were uncovered in 2003...what you are hearing accurately reflects the sound of the sixties...it offers genuine insight into some of the musical directions that were being explored at the end of that swinging decade in the UK." - John Surman
June 29th, 2005: Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight we will listen to two albums from this Indian-American saxophonist and composer. Both albums reflect Rudresh Mahanthappa's interest in the meeting of cultures and musical traditions.
The first album is entitled "Black Water", a term that refers to the loss of identity when leaving one's homeland. The second album is entitled "Mother Tongue" and was inspired by the question "Do you speak Indian?". This is often asked to East-Indians in the west but just like Chinese, Indian as a spoken language does not exist. Mahanthappa asked the question to Indian emigrants and their children and melodically transcribed these responses to form the thematic material of the disc.
June 22nd, 2005: Accoustic soprano saxophonist Evan Parker
Host: Bernard Stepien: I can see already a few eyebrowses raising on the title of this program. Why accoustic ? Well, this can be considered as a humble contribution to the Ottawa International Jazz Festival that described Evan Parker as "one of Britain's foremost electronic jazz innovators" in its plush brochure. Evan Parker came to Ottawa for the first time in the mid '70s. Back then we were all amazed at what we heard precisely because it was NOT electronic but coming out of a relatively small accoustic reed instrument. Evan Parker has developed an incredible technique that allows him to control a continuous and smooth switching between lower and upper register, something extremely difficult on a reed instrument. This extraordinary technique also allows him to maintain parallel melodic lines in this two opposite registers given the impression that his music is a fugue like the ones from Johann Sebastian Bach.
Tonight we will enjoy two recordings that are very distant in time and that both illustrate the above described technique: Monoceros from 1978 and lines burnt in light from 2001.
June 15th, 2005: Sonny Rollins and the avangarde
Host: Bernard Stepien: Sonny Rollins is one of the last jazz giant and he will be coming to Ottawa in a couple of weeks. Tonight we will look at his freejazz period that took place during the mid '60s.
June 8th, 2005: Violin and Viola in Improvised Music
Host: David Broscoe: presents recordings featuring the violin or viola in improvised music. String players include Mark Molnar, Phil Durrant, Carlos Zingaro, Mat Maneri, and Ig Henneman. Generally these recordings are quiet and intimate. Collaborators include John Butcher, Peggy Lee, Sebi Tramontana, Joelle Leandre, Ellery Eskelin, Misha Mengelburg and Ab Baars.
June 1st, 2005: Swedish trio GUSH
Host: David Broscoe: features the 2003 recording Norrköping by the Swedish trio GUSH.
From Atavistic’s website:
Elegant, masterful trio recordings from one of Sweden's national living treasures. Mats Gustafsson (reeds), Sten Sandell (piano) and Raymond Strid (drums) set course for a sublime oblivion, driven by this longstanding (ca. 1988) group's unique brand of instrumental telepathy.
For those previously acquainted with Mr. Gustafsson's power-soul-honk in such projects and collaborations with The Brötzmann Tentet, Sonore, The Thing (w/ Joe McPhee), HIDROS 3 (w/ Sonic Youth), Jim O’Rourke, David Grubbs, John Corbett & Ken Vandermark: another dimension of his estimable facility is on full display here, conjuring empathic textures within & without Sandell's world-class keystrokes and Strid's titanic structures.
”GUSH: from things to sounds - from sounds to things”
May 25th, 2005: Big Bent Braam: Dutch Pianist Michiel Braam’s Big Band
Host: David Broscoe: In anticipation of the band’s July 1st date at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, David Broscoe profiles the 2004 CD ‘Growing Pains.’ Given its size (13 pieces) the band is extremely flexible and allows for considerable group improvisation. That flexibility combined with intricate writing and arranging and terrific chops makes for exciting music.
May 18th, 2005: L'orchestre de Contrebasses from France
Host: Bernard Stepien: Following last weeks program on Ottawa bassist John Geggie and Mark Dresser that performed a remarkable concert at NAC 4th stage last Saturday, this week as promissed we will look at some other extreme bass oriented example with the french Orchestre de Contrebasses that is composed of six bass-players. This of course could also be considered as a String oriented jazz group like for example the Kronos Quartet, but this group is actually way beyond chamber music and jazz fusion. Well, the CD title, Musiques de l'Homme puts this Orchestra in the context of world music that is along with Jazz one of the main point of interest of the french public. However, the main focus of this group remains Jazz with both it's essential components of improvisation and swing!
May 11th, 2005: double bass: John Geggie and Mark Dresser
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ottawa bassist John Geggie has been conducting a very successful series of concert at the NAC 4th stage for a second year in a row. This coming Saturday will see yet another coupling with an international star, bassist Mark Dresser. John will be with us in the studio tonight to talk about the fascinating musical experiences this series brought him and help us sort through Mark Dresser's recordings.
May 4th, 2005: Ornette Coleman in the '70s
Host: Bernard Stepien: During the '60s, Jazz underwent a major transformation with two main factors: first it's loss of pop music status and second a bloom of creativity by its avantgarde musicians. The first factor would prove determinant for the '70s with an increasing number of jazz musicians becoming interested into pop music. The decisive factor was probably the projects led by trumpetist Miles Davis that understood quickly that his survival would consists in playing the same music as before but wrapped into rock and funk music. Ornette Coleman on the avantgarde side probably got the message loud and clear and did more or less exactly the same with his own music. Tonight we will survey some of his efforts in this direction with his 1971 recording Science Fiction.
April 27th, 2005: Montreal multi-reed Jean Derome
Host: Bernard Stepien: Montreal's jazz avantgarde scene is well alive thanks in part for multi-reed jean Derome. Derome is involved in a myriad of projects with various other Montreal musicians that eventually led to the collective Ambiances Magnetiques but also has a link to Europe and has been a regular guest of the Victoriaville festival.
Tonight we will make a short summary of these projects with guitarist Rene Lussier, baritone saxophonist Cherles papasoff and a number of his own projects that have the characteristic to bear casual titles such as confiture de gagaku.
Jean Derome will be appearing this coming Saturday April 30th at Le petit Chicago in Hull (Gatineau for the new comers!). A highly recommended outing.
April 20th, 2005: The dutch Clusone trio
Host: Bernard Stepien: Holland has been in the export and transshipment business for quite a few centuries now. This economic reality also applies to its artists because after all artists have always followed the trade flows. Thus it is not a surprise that Holland and Amsterdam in particular is loaded with jazz musicians that come and go, assemble and disband and provide the fertilizing ground for constantly changing styles and techniques. There are at least two major jazz institutions in Amsterdam, the ICP orchestra and the William Breuker Kollektief. From both of these core institutions there are a number of derivatives that are composed of subsets of these bands. The clusone trio is one one them with one of the most prolific drummer in Europe, Han Benninck, a cellist, Ernst Reijsinger, for whom just the fact to play an unusual instrument for jazz would suffice but that also has an unlimited creativity and finally, Michael Moore, the american alto saxophonist that constitutes the non-european element of the band. Finally the music being played is also marked by the geographical location of Holland and goes from any direction Jazz has taken so far.
April 13th, 2005: Early Coltrane
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane is known to have been propelled to stardom in a very short time. However, there was such a thing as formative years like for any other musicians and eventually a first recording, Dakar, on his own name in 1957. Tonight we will focus on this 1957 recording and try to see how this would leed to "the rest is history" part!
April 6th, 2005: Italian pianist Umberto Petrin plays Monk
Host: Bernard Stepien: Being highly interested in the music of Thelonious Monk, I of course try to collect as many CDs of various people playing this music as possible. Last fall I came accross some italian musicians practising the same game. Italian pianist Umberto Petrin tries something different on Monk's music. Actually, Petrin is a well known italian free jazz musician that incorporates Monk and Tristano's music in his style. He has performed with the corner stone Monk or Tristano musicians such as Lee Konitz and Steve Lacy but also with other avantgarde celebrities such as Tim Berne and Michael Moore. Recently he performed in duet with pianist Cecil Taylor as a result of his participation in the Orchestra Instabile. The CD we will feature tonight, Monk's World, has the special feature to have been honored by the legendary avant garde poet LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) that actually gave the title to this album.
Some interesting link about Umberto Petrin and Cecil Taylor experience: http://www.the-temple.net/taylor/ruvotext.html
March 30th, 2005: Ottawa native saxophonist Paul Newman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Paul Newman grew up in Ottawa and went to music school at St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, and the Banff Centre in Alberta. Since 1988 he has lived and played in Toronto. Currently he plays with guitarist Ken Aldcroft, Joe Sorbara's Pickle Juice Orchestra, Ottawa's Rakestar, the free improvisation quartet Sunshine(with Geordie Haley, guitar, alex porter, drums, and Jason Hammer, bass) and his own band, Open House with Dave Fish, drums and Michael Herring, bass. Recent cds include Some Ra with Rakestar, Rosasharn's Dream with Gordon Allan, an upcoming cd with the Pickle Juice Orchestra, Symmetry with Open House featuring Ottawa's Rob Mosher on soprano saxophone and Black Lake with Open House and the words and voice of poet Ronna Bloom. He is currently at work writing large ensemble music for the Pickle Juice Orchestra.
March 23d, 2005: Cecil Taylor- Student Studies - 1966
Host: Bernard Stepien: Cecil Taylor is considered today as one of the Jazz giants. However, like many others, this status has not been reached with ease. Taylor started as a sideman for people such as Johnny Hodges, an influence that can still be heard today. Ironically, during the '60s, the high days of jazz avantgarde, Taylor was working relatively rarely with the exception of a six month tour in Europe in 1966. Instead, he was quietly practicing 10 hours a day to prepare what would be the catapulting into glory during the '70s and on. Tonight, we will concentrate on one of the few recordings available during the '60s and made in France. This particular recording is actually a turning point. It documented the shift from purely improvised music to composed music for Taylor. Now for the history side, shortly after that in the '70s, Taylor would make it live on TV during prime time just after the 20:00 hours evening news, all the way from Juan-les-Pins!
March 16th, 2005: Bassist Mark Dresser & trombonist Ray Anderson
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ray Anderson is another musician that maintains a double life with a foot in Be Bop and another in Free Jazz. His early association with Anthony Braxton and especially trombonist Georges Lewis put him on the map at an early stage in his career. However, since dixieland trombonist Kid Ory is not only an early influence but also a constant reference, Anderson's music is diverse by definition as can be witnessed in one of his resounding success story, the Slickaphonics. Mark Dresser was originally a classical musician playing for the San Diego Symphony. One fine day he decided to move to NYC to the loft of his calfornian friend David Murray. This is where he met Ray Anderson but also where he got immerged in the post '60s free jazz movement. In the last decade, Mark Dresser has been involved with every single young or not so young but blooming free jazz musician on the scene. Mark's subtle style is well in sync with what characterises the current softer free jazz movement. The art of Mark Dresser consists in breaking the line between the two traditional roles of a bass player, i.e. accompanist or soloist. The same principle is applied to his bass playing technique where both lyricism and free jazz noises are happilly mixed in the true spirit of a DJ!
March 9th, 2005: Clarinetist/saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jimmy Giuffre, originally a Texas musician, became one of the driving forces of the West Coast jazz. His over 40 years career have seen him involved in quasi every aspect of Jazz including Free-Jazz during the '60s. Tonight, we will focus on his European involvements with recordings from two appearances at the famous Parisian Olympia in 1960 and 1965. These include a good mix of main stream tunes like the worn out “Mack the Knife” and Ornette Coleman’s “Cross Road” that illustrate this stylistic versatility that so caracterizes him.
March 2nd, 2005: Anthony Braxton/Leo Smith Duets
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe samples the two Pi recordings, ‘Organic Resonance’ and ‘Saturn, Conjunct the Grand Canyon in a Sweet Embrace’ by Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith, recorded live in concert at Tonic in NY in 2003. In their interplay and collective turn-on-a-dime changes in direction, these performances reflect many years of friendship between the two musicians.
Braxton will be performing this year in duo with Fred Frith and with his sextet at FIMAV in Victoriaville (19 – 23 May) www.fimav.qc.ca
February 23d, 2005: Ottawa's GEODE Music & Poetry project
Host: Bernard Stepien: The Music and poetry project of Poet Susan McMaster and bassist Alrick Hubener is well and alive. Tonight, we will sample their third CD that this time includes David Broscoe on reeds, Jennifer Giles on piano, Jamie Gullikson on percussion, John Higney on lap steel Guitar and Mark Molnar on cello.
They also will be appearing at the NAC 4th stage this Sunday, February 27th. http://web.ncf.ca/smcmaster
February 16th, 2005: Archie Shepp and the Chicago avantgarde
Host: Bernard Stepien: The chicago avantgarde has been well structured since the '60s thanks to it's AACM organization. Numerous world class players have come out of it with the Art Ensemble Of Chicago being the most prominent. Today, the latest flame keeper of this organization, drummer Kahil el Zabar, is well and active and is involved in countless projects that always include the essential link to the music of ancient Africa. Tonight we will sample his 1999 association with legendary saxophonist Archie Shepp who although he too has always maintained a link with Africa in his work has since then reinforced his involvement in Africa related projects.
Kahil el Zabar and his Ethnic Heritage ensemble will be among us at the mercury lounge this coming Friday at 8 PM, this is a rare opportunity to sample a piece of this historical movement.
February 9th, 2005: the greek avantgarde, Antonis Anissegos
Host: Bernard Stepien: Antonis Anissegos is a greek pianist and composer that stradles both western classical avantgarde music and jazz avantgarde and even traditional music of Greece and other european traditions. As a young artist, he tours Europe extensively in all kinds of configurations ranging from solo performance to symphonic orchestra. His well established composing skills enables him to approach improvised music in a very structured way. Tonight we will survey his solo recording "take your right side to the left" where each of the words of that phrase is a title of a piece. Another good quality is also that he is a resident of Berlin in Germany.
His web site loaded with mp3s is worth the detour: www.enstase.com
February 2nd, 2005: Lennie Tristano, the 1947 avantgarde
Host: Bernard Stepien: Lennie Tristano was a jazz giant that had voluntarily little exposure, preferring to explore new jazz sounds in his living room rather than clubs which is repeatedly turned down gigs. After all, his day gig as a music instructor probably helped him concentrate on his music rather on the struggle of club dates. This dedication attracted numerous jazz musicians to study with him and later perform or record with him. His music was an avantgarde within an avantgarde that back in the '40s had the name Be Bop. Tonight we will feature one of his first recordings Supersonic from 1947.
January 26th, 2005: Anthony Braxton plays Monk
Host: Bernard Stepien: Anthony Braxton is a very prolific musician that has been involved in countless jazz projects practically to the extend of a Duke Ellington. While most of his career has been devoted so far to very abstract material both composed and improvised, from time to time Anthony Braxton likes to remind us that he is also fully committed to preserving the art of his predecessors. In this 1987 recordings, Anthony Braxton explores the music of Thelonious Monks. It is composed of only six Monk carefully chosen Monk compositions. Two are known as extremely harmonic complex pieces that are rarely touched by other musicians: Brilliant corners that required 27 takes by Monk's band back then despite such high caliber musicians like Sonny Rollins Skippy, a 64 bars long and tortuous and definitively non AABA piece played up tempo Two more pieces that illustrate the incredible rythmic structures that Monk used to like and that is probably an explanation to Braxton's own often complex rythmic patterns: Played twice that combines 3/4 cells in an otherwise 4/4 time signature and especially making the transition between these time signature as ambiguous as possible. Four in one, a fireworks of uneven combinations of 16th notes that however eventually fall back right on the beat, that essential component of the mythical jazz swing. And finally two ballads that illustrate Monk's lyrical side: reflections, a short piece ask me now, a long piece For this exercice, Braxton has chosen some Monk related disciples such as Mal Waldron on piano that has been exploring Monk on his own usually with Steve Lacy and bassist Buell Neidlinger that was directly involved with Thelonious Monk or indirectly with Cecil Taylor that himself was a fond Monk disciple.
January 19th, 2005: Evan Parker trio & Peter Brötzmann trio
Host: Bernard Stepien: There are many actors in the music world. Musicians are of course the primary and essential actors, but there are more that contribute significantly like the festival organizers. Norman Grantz was well known in the old days for organizing unusual meetings or combination of musicians. This tradition is kept alive by current festival organizers and Michel Levasseur has done it many times for the famous FIMAV. Tonight we will listen to one of these combinations of putting two well defined and rehearsed bands together, the Evan Parker Trio with Alexander Schlippenbach on piano and Paul Lytton on drums (a bass less trio) on one side and the William Parker trio with Hamid Drake on drums and Peter Brötzmann on saxophones/clarinet. However, while these two groups never played before in such a combination of bands, the individual musicians are far from being strangers to each other. The four european members of this sextet play constantly in all kinds of configurations from duo to big band. The two well known american giants have also played individually with their european counterparts for quite some time. The result is a continuous flow of ideas that melt together as if this group would have existed forever.
January 12th, 2005: Australian violonist Jon Rose
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jon Rose is a project oriented avantgarde jazz violonist. So far he has accumulated 23 such projects where he confronts the violin to some violin related topics or even non-musical component of casual life such as great fences of Australia, the german Brezel, shoping in a department store, sport & violin, etc... All of this to rewrite the world into a violincentric world. After all, if you look closely at things, sooner or later you will discover a hidden violin. For example, when you look at a fence, if you really concentrate on it, you will discover like Jon Rose that the fence is a kind of string instrument. But while the titles of these projects may appear to come straight out of some circus for some, he is a true virtuoso that can play very fast but also with any imaginable sound that he can produce with a violin and plays about 50 major concerts a year around the world. Tonight we will present one of his latest recordings for the chinese violin factory project (2001). For some obscure but good reason, Jon Rose always seems to try to tackle something big. China with its two billions people and one of the few remaining communist party in the world to orchestrate all that seemed to be a good choice to unleash some creativity. The result fully reflects, violin speaking, that commensurate topic. For something big like that, one violin is surely not enough, so no problem, he recorded this project with a full symphonic violin orchestra. Now the fun part is probably that this apparent nonsense has been going on for the last 30 years at least and that considering the latest 6 digits grant he received in Germany late last year, things don't seem to show an end yet. More on Jon Rose can be found on his equally creative web site: http://www.jonroseweb.com This reading is highly recommended, especially for people that think that they seen it all!
January 5th, 2005: Vancouver pianist Paul Plimley
Host: Bernard Stepien: Paul Plimley is an avantgarde pianist that like Fred Anderson likes to use scales and chords as raw material and even ready-to-play tunes such as "Snow" as interpreted by Georges Shearing. He however is a genuine free player and even plays with less restrictions when outside of Canada such as at the Total Music Meeting in Berlin last November. In a nutshell, his style can be interpreted as an unlimited collage of abrubtly interrupted familiar material to form a splendid new phenix reborn from its ashes. His last appearances in Ottawa was back in 1998 or so with the Vancouver Now Orchestra conducted by trombonist and computerist (never though of that before!) George Lewis. I am still wondering why he doesn't appear on the next Ottawa International Festival programme that was released today. In the mean time, we will sample his last released CD on the Victo label recorded in 1999.
December 29th, 2004: Five men singing - Blonk, Makigami, Dutton, Minton and Moss
Host: Bernard Stepien: This is the time of the year where most people are involved in some sort of singing, from Christmas carols to drinking songs on New Year's Eve. Thus, I came to the conclusion that this must be the most appropriate time to present a fascinating recording made by avant garde singers Jaap Blonk, Koichi Makigami, Paul Dutton, Phil Minton and David Moss recorded in 2003 at the Victoriaville festival. in this recording, these five wise men have tackled every possible technique to use the human voice in any context or intensity. and of course, happy new year ! (the next victoriaville festival is only five months away!)
December 22th, 2004: Albert Ayler Goin' Home - a free jazz christmas present
Host: Bernard Stepien: There are plenty of very good christmas carols oriented jazz recordings around this time of the year but quasi none in the free-jazz branch. The closest I came up to this concept is a recently issued recording of free jazz legend Albert Ayler playing entirely classic deep south spirituals. Since this recording was made with bassist henry Grimes, Sunny Murry on drums and Call Cobbs jr on piano on February 1964, it is probably still load with Christmas spirit. This of course let us take the opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas and a successfull New Year, and don't forget to include avantgarde jazz recordings on your Christmas shopping list.
December 15th, 2004: The Stroh-violin of Aleksander Kolkowski
Host: Bernard Stepien: The advent of the gramophone has revolutionized the distribution of music. This is a well known fact. However, there is a side effect that few people have noticed in that the gramophone technology has also produced new musical instruments. The early shellac records of music did not reproduce some instrument's music well, mostly because their sound are insufficiently directional. The german inventor John Matthias Augustus Stroh came up with an interesting solution and took out the body of a violin to replace it with a ingenious device taken straight out of a gramophone. The violin's bridge sits on a diaphragm that is feeding a bell shaped pavillion exactly like a gramophone. Philadelphia/Berlin violonist Aleksander Kolkowski that owns such an instrument decided to explore a sort of going back to the roots by combining his Stroh-violin music with the scratchy sounds of a pre-electric gramophone. As we all know, with tekno music around, the traditional record (vynil or shellac) doesn't seem to let go. Let's see if the stroh-violin will make it to the local disco clubs!
December 8th, 2004: Bassist Michael Bates
Host: Bernard Stepien: On december 14th, the Bayou will make an exception by changing somewhat it's Tuesday night schedule that usually indicates Brian Downey big band, by giving the opportunity to hear a New York based canadian bassist Michael Bates that is on tour in Canada. His band will feature besides his usual members Mark-Timmermans on drums and Quinsin Nachoff on saxophone and clarinet, Toronto based Kevin Turcotte on trumpet. Both Bates and Turcotte are university of Toronto music dept alumni. Tonight we will feature his lates CD "outside sources" that features exclusively his compositions.
December 1st, 2004: the Avantgarde mix !
Host: Bernard Stepien: Younger audiences are now fully conditionned to the concept of mix. This program will address their expectations and provide such a concept in the jazz avantgarde domain. tonight we will enjoy works by Billy Robinson, Joëlle Léandre, Roland kirk, Rake, Nancy Walker, jean Derome, Jorge Pardo, Geode and Frank Paul Schubert.
November 24th, 2004: Andrew Cyrille, Jeanne Lee, Jimmy Lyons 1979
Host: Bernard Stepien: The jazz world has always had a great variety of band configurations from big to small, solo performer, steady and occasional. In the jazz-avantgarde world where traditionally steady weekly gigs in jazz clubs are quasi inexistent, the tendency is for more occasional and spontaneous groups of performers. Tonight, we will have a closer look at such of an unusual reunion between three musicians that were at that time more engaged in long term bands. Also, this assembly of musicians is probably the most unconventional you can find in the jazz world: alto saxophone, voice and drums. The absence of the essential bass and not to mention the traditional piano accompaniement of vocalist makes this recording a brand new experience, even 25 years later. While Jeanne Lee was performing extensively with her then husband Günter Hampel and Jimmy Lyons was the core musician of the Cecil Taylor unit, Andrew Cyrille, that had already played extensively with Cecil Taylor, was already involved into a myriad of associations with all the avantgarde musicians of the time not to mention his solo performances. Today, he remains one of the most active jazz musicians in New York, his long time home.
November 17th, 2004: Accroches notes
Host: Bernard Stepien: Accroches notes is another european collective based in the heart of Europe in Strasbourg. The two pillars of this group are clarinetist Armand Angster and founder vocalist Françoise Kubler. The group is well known to both classical and jazz avantgarde communities mostly because its improvised music uses elements of both. She has an extensive repertoire that spans Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Berg, Webern, Xenakis and Cage among others. One main feature of this group is the use of human languages from all over the world as sound elements by vocalist Françoise Kubler. Consequently, her "lyrics" are totally incomprehensible since the various words spanning mostly different languages are not assembled for their meaning but exclusively for their sound texture. She also mixes vocal musical genres, from gospel to italian opera, all in a free jazz athmosphere. The group also focuses on breaking the boundaries between instrumental sounds and vocal sounds. Tonight we will sample the FMP CD recorded in Berlin in 1995.
November 10th, 2004: Future RWAC shows preview
Host: Bernard Stepien: The funding drive is always a turning point here at CKCU. Today we will feature some excerpts of the shows to come. This will include the following artists, not to mention as usual some local artists that we usually feature whenever they have a gig:
Françoise Kubler, vocalist from France Albert Ayler, with rare gospel recordings Alberto Braida, pianist from italy Jimmy Giuffre, reeds, 1960 and 1965 recordings, or how to jump from "My Funny Valentine" to jass avantgarde. John Rose, violin from Australia with his chinese violin factory project Lennie Tristano, pianist, with recordings from the late '40s. Aleksander Kolkowski, Stroh Violin and gramophone, two related music instruments, so to speak. Rune Kristoffersen, electronics from Norway A history of Jazz flute, from Frank Wess, buddy Colette, jerome Richadson, Bud Shank, Roland Kirk, Bennie Maupin and many others. Antonis Anissegos, pianist from Greece another series of Thelonious Monk oriented shows with a rather special way to revisit Monk's legacy by Umberto Petrin, Giancarlo Schiaffini band, Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron, Bennie Wallace, Anthony Braxton.
November 3d, 2004: Funding drive dynamite mix
Host: David Broscoe and Alnoor Allidina: Hear the best selection of past and future RWAC programs that will show you why it is worth to dial and donate to CKCU-FM - Rabble without a Cause.
October 27th, 2004: Ottawa vocalist Anna Williams
Host: David Broscoe and Alnoor Allidina: Anna Williams will have a CD release concert this coming Saturday, October 30th at 8:00 PM at the NAC 4th stage. Tonight this program will feature this CD Odyssey that was recorded with Rob Frayne on tenor saxophone, Nancy Walker on piano, Kieran Overs on Bass, Ted Warren on drums and special guest Roddy Ellias on 10-string accoustic guitar. Anna Williams will be in the studio and answer our hosts questions and will help us convince you to dial and donate for the CKCU-FM funding drive. All of this of course will illustrate that CKCU and especially this prgram Rabble Without a Cause is featuring local Ottawa musicians.
October 20th, 2004: The Instant Composer Pool orchestra (ICP)
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays music from the ICP Orchestra and Frank Gratkowski in anticipation of the upcoming ICP and Michiel Braam/Frank Gratkowski concerts at the NAC 4th stage as part of the OIJF's Dutch Jazz series on November 1st and 15th. A last chance to play longer cuts on the show before we go into Funding Drive and ask you to support Jazz and Improvised Music programming on CKCU!
October 13th, 2004: Paul Dumnall Moksha Big Band-I Wish You Peace ( 2004 Cunieform )
Host: Mark Keill: From the Cuniefom website: " I Wish You Peace is a landmark recording in the career of one of modern jazz's emerging giants: British jazz musician Paul Dunmall. A world-class reed player, Dunmall is described as "A powerful player often cited as the cream of British saxophonists" by the Guiness Who's Who In Jazz, and a "Superlative saxophone and clarinet player...one of the best reed players in Europe if not the world." by Venue. He is a member of the UK improvising ensemble Mujician and leads the Paul Dunmall Octet among many other credits. To celebrate the British musician's 50th anniversary in 2003, the BBC enabled Dunmall to fulfill his longstanding dream to compose and record for a big band at Gateway Studios. This gave Dunmall an unprecedented opportunity to assemble and write for the large ensemble of his dreams, which he named the Moksha Big Band after a Hindu word meaning "the supreme liberation of the soul." Numbering 14 players plus a conductor, the Moksha Big Band includes both established and new talent from the UK free-jazz pool, including Keith Tippett, Tony Levin, Paul Rogers, Chris Bridges, Howard Cottle, Hilary Jeffrey, Gethin Liddington, Simon Picard, Paul Rutherford, John Adams, Mark Sanders, Philip Gibbs, David Priseman and conductor Brian Irvine. Like the best 'energy jazz', I Wish You Peace is an intensely visceral yet spiritual work. The music goes from intensely hot and focused jazz to rowdy 'blowing' from the large ensemble"
October 6th, 2004: Aka Moon with Ictus - INVISIBLE MOTHER Carbon 7, July '99
Host: Mark Keill: AKA MOON: Fabrizio CASSOL, alto sax, composer Michel HATZIGEORGIOU, electric bass Stéphane GALLAND, drums ICTUS ensemble, conductor George-Elie OCTORS Tkashi Yamane - clarinets Piet VAN BOCKSTAL - oboe & English horn George VAN DAM - violin Paul DE CLERCK - viola Gery CAMBIER - double bass Jean-Luc PLOUVIER - piano & celesta From the liner notes: "The music of INVISIBLE MOTHER is based mainly on two ancestral schools of knowledge: the I Ching (Chinese book of changes), which follows the principle of mutation of the different elements; and Karnatic music (from South India), which includes specific rhythms and harmonic logics (gati betam & srutti betam) in keeping with the moods and colours of the different ragas and talas. We also try to connect two different approaches: the tradition of Western written music (Ictus) & improvised music (Aka Moon), which means the synchronisation of different attitudes to sounds, memories, times, spaces and intentions...
September 29th, 2004: Assif Tsahar
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight we feature three diverse large ensemble projects from New York based reedman/composer/conductor and Hopscotch Records' founder Assif Tsahar. In fact, all discs tonight have been released on his label. We will hear Assif Tsahar with the New York Underground Orchestra (a 21-piece chamber orchestra) on 2002's "The Labyrinth", with the Zoanthropic Orchestra (a 15-piece big band) on a disc released in 2002 entitled "Embracing the Void", and with his Brass Reed Ensemble on 1999's "The Hollow World." All attempts will be made to keep run-on sentences to a minimum.
September 22nd, 2004: Alto saxhophonist Arthur Blythe
Host: Bernard Stepien: Arthur Blythe is an alchemist that knows how to combine sound textures coming from very extremely opposite musical instruments such as the Tuba against a guitar, a vibraphone or a baritone saxophone and various jazz styles from be bop to avantgarde via funk. Tonight we will feature an early '90s recording with Hamiett Bluiett, Kelvin Bell, Bob Steward, Arto Tuncboyaci and Famoudou Don Moye.
September 15th, 2004: Volker Schlott: alto-saxophon vs accoustics
Host: Bernard Stepien: Volker Schlott is one of the many german musicians that made Berlin their home. This geographical position automatically favors the exposure to the permanent stream of musicians that flows there and of course the development of many exotic projects. One of these projects is the reeds-solo that as its title indicates is a solo performance on various reed instruments. However, the venue where this CD was recorded, the Schleswig St-Petri Dom, provided a definite plus due to it's remarkable accoustics. Thus, one may say that this CD consists not only in Volker Schlott playing various reeds intruments, but maybe more playing accoustics. The repertoire seems to be intentionally chosen among light tunes with bluesy intonations which for an avantgarde musician is quasi a tour de force.
September 8th, 2004: André Jaume vs Indonesian Gamelan
Host: Bernard Stepien: André Jaume is, what you would call in french jazz mythology, a provincial musician since he was initially based in Marseilles rather than Paris and now even made his home in a remote village in Corsica, somewhat like Asterix! However, his fame goes far beyond the province mainly due to his long collaboration with Joe McPhee but also due to one of his more recent project involving indonesian Gamelans. The experiment went to extremes because he carefully chose a Gamelan that had never heard of Jazz, maybe only some tourist rock'n roll at worst. Somehow, he got them to hook into Thelonious Monk's Jackie-ing. The result is probably a more tonal music despite the odd tonal distributed indonesian scales (pelog and slenderlo). The music we will hear tonight is of the third or fourth session with the Gamelan. Recently I read in Le Monde that Andre is planning to issue the first session where the effect of surprise was still fully fresh!
September 1st, 2004: SONORE (Vandermark, Brötzmann, Gustafsson)
Host: Mark Keill: We will be previewing music by members of SONORE (Ken Vandermark, Peter Brotzmann, and Mats Gustafsson) who will be playing Babylon on Sept 4.
August 25th, 2004: Qualia
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe presents music by QUALIA, a project of Matt Stevens (guitar) and Emilio Reyes Le Blanc (alto) with Zak Lober (bass) and Jim Doxas (drums). Emilio’s band will be playing Thursday night at the Bayou. Musical reference points might include Paul Motian’s work with Frizell and Lovano and Tim Berne’s electric bands. We will also be previewing music by members of SONORE (Ken Vandermark, Peter Brotzmann, and Mats Gustafsson) who will be playing Babylon on Sept 4.
August 18th, 2004: Guelph jazz festival preview
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Alnoor Allidina presents a preview of the Guelph Jazz Festival, which takes place September 8 to 12. Scheduled performers include Andrew Cyrille, Hamid Drake, Susie Ibarra, Oliver Lake, Joelle Leandre, William Parker, Barre Phillips, Roswell Rudd, Archie Shepp and Reggie Workman.
August 11th, 2004: Repetition (repetition)
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe presents the second in an indeterminate series on the use of repetition in Jazz and improvised music. Includes cuts by Monk, Charlie Parker, Ornette, Sun Ra, Matthew Shipp, Ellery Eskelin and the Splatter Trio. As with the previous program in the series, the musical devices profiled include ostinato, repeated melody fragments, and drones, to name a few. I promise I'll keep the explanation to a minimum and let the music do the talking.
August 4th, 2004: Clarinet Utopia
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight we feature two very different takes on the clarinet ensemble, both recorded live in Berlin in 1984. Hamiett Bluiett's "Live in Berlin with the Clarinet Family" (on Black Saint) is an adventurous yet somewhat rhythmically restrained group composed of eight clarinettists accompanied by bass and percussion. Various members of the clarinet family are played by: Bluiett, Don Byron, Kidd Jordan, Dwight Andrews, Buddy Collette, Eugene Ghee, J.D. Parran, and John Purcell. The second disc of the evening, Peter Brötzmann Clarinet Project: Berlin Djungle, has recently been reissued by Atavistic as part of its Unheard Music Series. This fantastic disc features a single extended composition played Brötzmann, John Zorn, Tony Coe, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Louis Sclavis, and J.D. Parran. William Parker and Tony Oxley make up the rhythm section and to top it off, the ensemble includes Toshinori Kondo on trumpet and Johannes Bauer and Alan Tomilson on trombone!
July 28th, 2004: Recommended records
Host: Mark Keill: To mark the launch of ReR USA, This show will showcase a few of the ReR artists featured on two specially produced samplers for the occasion including: Chris Cutler, David Lee Myer, Fred Frith,Tod Dockstader, Erno Kiraly, Peter Cusak, Thomas Dimuzio and many more "ReR/Recommended Records was established in 1978 by Chris Cutler and Nick Hobbs specifically to import and distribute new, interesting and experimental music from all over the world to the British Isles. The criteria for choosing the music featured was that the products should hold up under tough scrutiny in terms of artistic and musical excellence." www.rerusa.com
July 21st, 2004: Solo Guitar from Fred Frith and Rene Lussier
Host: Mark Keill: Tonight Mark samples Frith's revolutionary 1974 classic 'Guitar Solos' and Lussier's solo guitar output.
July 14th, 2004: New Releases on Ambiances Magnétiques
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight we sample from four recent and diverse releases on the Montreal label Ambiances Magnetiques. These include:
Trio Derome Guilbeault Tanguay - 10 compositions
Mélanie Auclair - Puce à l'Oreille
Ensemble SuperMusique - Canevas <<+>>
The Unexpected - The Unexpected One
July 7th, 2004: Jazz and Repetition
Host: David Broscoe : David Broscoe plays cuts by Bud Powell, Monk, Available Jelly, the Spatter Trio, Charlie Parker, Ornette, Roscoe Mitchell and others which use repetitive musical devices (ostinato, repeated melody fragments, and drones, to name a few).
June 30th, 2004: Rock meets the avant garde - The Bad Plus and Spaceways Incorporated
Host: David Broscoe :Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson, and David King have all had experience playing free jazz but also bring large amounts of pop, rock, world, and classical experience to the Bad Plus. The result? Alongside their own original compositions, this piano trio cover everyone from Ornette Coleman to Kurt Cobain to the Aphex Twin. We will sample from These Are The Vistas and Give in anticipation for their show this Sunday at the jazz festival (4pm, Confederation Park).
The music of Spaceways Incoroporated is equally influenced by popular genres like hard rock and funk but is quite a bit darker than that of the Bad Plus. We will sample from their latest offering, Radiale. This is a collaboration with the Italian trio called Zu. So, alongside Hamid Drake, Nate McBride and Ken Vandermark, we will hear from Tacopo Battaglia, Luca T. Mai, and Massimo Pupillo.
June 23d, 2004: Roswell Rudd
Host: David Broscoe :In anticipation of the Friday night Jazz Festival concert by MaliCool, a collaborative project of American trombonist Roswell Rudd and the Malian kora player Toumani Diabate, David Broscoe plays recording from throughout Rudd’s career. Rudd is featured both as a leader and as a sideman with Steve Lacy and Archie Shepp.
June 16th, 2004: The Leipziger Saxophon Quartett
Host: Bernard Stepien :Saxophone quartetts seem to be some craze in Germany these days. On a single night, I recently enjoyed four saxophone quartetts programmed in the same night. The Leipziger saxophon quartett has been put together by musicians from Leipzig, the city of Johan Sebastian Bach. It has a repertoire of both composed and improvised pieces but moreover it sorts of reworks the concept of saxophon quartett bei featuring pieces for four bariton saxophones or other combinations that don't respect the traditional one of each (soprano, alto, tenor and bariton) and that offer a prominent spot for the most forgotten bass saxophone.
June 9th, 2004: Goodbye Steve Lacy!
Host: Bernard Stepien :This show will be a memorial to the late Steve Lacy that departed this world last week. Steve Lacy had at least several qualities, among them the first is that he was a disciple of Thelonious Monk, the second that he was a pure soprano saxophonist, having even influenced John Coltrane to explore that instrument and third that he established in Europe where he was widely known for his artistic contribution and even ended up being decorated with the french Legion d'honneur for his achievements. Tonight we will sample his work ranging from his association with Cecil Taylor in the '50s to his extensive post '70s recordings with among other things his wife Irene Aebi.
June 2nd, 2004: German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff
Host: Bernard Stepien :Albert Mangelsdorff has been a major creator in the avantgarde jazzworld by introducing multiphonics to the trombone. By playing one note and simultaneously huming another one, he gets some harmonics going where you can hear three or more notes at the same time. This has been a long evolution from his new orleans days and is beyond the stunt concept. While Mangelsdorff has been involved in all kinds of band formats, from the jazz combo to big bands, tonight we will feature him solo in his Purity album. This is probably the best format to hear Mangelsdorff shifting through constantly evoluating textures and moods.
May 26th, 2004: Rob Mazurek - Silver Spines
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Rob Mazurek is probably best known for his work with Isotope 217 as well as with the Chicago Underground duo/trio/quartet. Tonight we feature his solo disc from 2002, Silver Spines. Mazurek plays the majority of the instruments on this disc; he is credited with cornet, Moog synthesizer, tubular bells, and found sounds. Although some of the tracks are solo cornet performances, the majority of the music tonight will be Mazurek's version of electronic meets acoustic.
May 19th, 2004: John Surman in the '70s
Host: Mark Keill: This 1999 2 cd compilation on Sequel has combined two 70's recordings of this British saxophone player into one package "John Surman & Friends, the Dawn Sessions". It consists of "Where Fortune Smiles" - 1971 ( Dave Holland - bass, John McLaughlin - guitar, John Surman - saxophone, Stu Martin - drums, Karl Berger - vibraphone) and " Live at Woodstock Town Hall " - 1976 (John Surman - saxophone,clarinet / Stu Martin - drums, synthesizer ).
May 12th, 2004: Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (2004)
Host: David Broscoe: FIMAV for those who haven't yet decided...
The 21st edition Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victorialle (www.fimav.qc.ca) is coming up this May 20th to 24th. Join David Broscoe as he samples featured performers at this year's FIMAV. Highlighted performers include Derek Bailey, Tim Berne, John Butcher, Fennesz, Francois Houle, Louis Sclavis, and John Zorn.
May 5th, 2004: Marion Brown
Host: David broscoe: David Broscoe profiles alto player Marion Brown' recordings from 1966 to 1970. These recordings document Brown's transition from the spheres of Coltrane (Brown played on Coltrane's 'Ascension') and Ornette Coleman (Ornette lent Brown his plastic alto when Brown first arrived in New York) to the sounds and musical structures associated with European Free Improv and the AACM.
April 28th, 2004: Italian Instabile Orchestra
Host: Alnoor Allidina: The Italian Instabile Orchestra is an 18 piece big band that in the words of the All Music Guide takes the "kitchen sink" approach to music. Thus while listening to tonight's disc, Live In Noci And Rive-De Gier, you will hear everything from folk music to avant garde jazz. Quite often the transition between styles is abrupt and certainly makes for interesting listening. In addition, we will listen to a small sample of the recently released collaboration between Cecil Taylor and the Italian Instabile Orchestra, Owner of the Riverbank.
April 21st, 2004: L' Ensemble Pierre Labbé - Risque et pendule (2003 Ambiances Magnetiques)
Host: Mark Keill: with: Jean-Claude Patry / Frédéric Alarie / Nathalie Bonin / Bernard Falaise / Pierre Labbé / Claude Lavergne / Julie Trudeau The Ensemble Pierre Labbé's first album for the label Ambiances Magnétiques,Risque et pendule offers a fusion of avant-garde jazz and contemporary/classical music. Featuring some of the most dynamic and versatile musicians from those fields, the Ensemble Pierre Labbé delivers a first-rate musical performance. The ensemble's process is based on a search for balance between written music and improvisation. Their compositional concern steps away from the developments found in conventional jazz (theme-chorus-theme) to focus instead on a cohabitation between composition and improvisation. Organic and sensitive, the album Risque et pendule presents nine pieces that make judicious leaps across stylistic boundaries. You will pick up the warmth of jazz, the refinement of contemporary music, the energy of rock and the wildness of musique actuelle.
April 14th, 2004: Tim Berne 'Science Friction Live' vs Miles Davis 'Filles de Kilimanjaro'
Host: David broscoe: What do they have in common? Fender Rhodes
Despite the many differences (35+ years; Miles is spare/ Berne is dense; bass player/no bass player; different solo instruments, etc) Bernes Science Friction project evokes the late 60s Miles recordings, largely to the the very distinct sound of the Fender Rhodes piano (Herbie Hancock with Miles/Craig Taborn with Berne).
Also upcoming festivals feature the Science Friction band (FIMAV, Victoriaville, May 23rd) and members of the late 60s Miles Davis' band (Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, June 24th), so this program will serve as an oblique introduction to some of the upcoming festival dates.
April 7th, 2004: Is this Jazz ?
Host: David broscoe: Another program in the informal 'is this Jazz?' or maybe 'what kind of music is this?' series: 'memories and a list of things to do' Barnyard Drama Christine Duncan, voice Jean Martin, drums, turntables, loops, voice, trumpet (known in Ottawa mainly as a member of Chelsea Bridge) Exclaim Magazine, review of a Toronto show on January 10th 2003: The highlight of the night was Martin and Duncan’s Barnyard Drama [with] ... Martin’s sensitively grooving and textural drums, and well thought-out turntables and electronics. This was a great platform for Duncan’s wildly expressive vocals, taking off from Maggie Nicols’ anything-goes approach. Her recitations matched the mood of Martin’s soundscapes very well and made for a compelling performance ... Comparisons and contrasts are provided by selections from the atmospheric 'Stoke' by English turntablist Philip Jeck.
March 31st, 2004: Tape - Milieu ( Hapna 2003 )
Host: Mark Keill: Andreas Berthling, Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten - Synthesizer, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Piano, Trumpet, Accordion, Glockenspiel, Harmonium, Concrete Sounds, Zither, Melodica, Computer, Alto Recorder, Banjo, Violin, Chinese Flute 2nd disc from this Swedish trio on the Hapna label and continues their journey somewhere between electro-acoustic, avant, folk and jazz. "Birthed patiently by lamplight, Milieu's unspoken landscape is inhabited by a sleepytime progression of percussive washes, analog whirls, acoustic arpeggios. Beneath it, there's a sense that the ever-present vibraphone and glockenspiel are tapping out a secret language. It follows the tone set by its successor, Opera, but the nocturnal rumbles are more tuneful with less static downstrokes. Overall, there are more flourishes to rustle the upper branches: Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten blend acoustic instruments, electronics and field recordings in a way that shows the stitching but isn't collagist. It's the barroom mope of Tom Waits' Closing Time re-approached by Tortoise." Pitchfork
March 24th, 2004: Cecil Taylor at FIMAV 2002
Host: Bernard Stepien: Cecil Taylor's concert at FIMAV 2002 with trumpeter Bill Dixon and drummer Tony Oxley is a very interesting case of public reaction. The public was certainly ill prepared with a one hour delay. The music was fantastic but the venue (a large transformed hockey arena) was not the accoustical paradise the public was expecting to hear a man of such great stature. Anyone who would focus on Cecil's music like myself already would have noticed that the music was of high caliber. This turned out to be true as soon as Radio-Canada broadcasted the recording of this concert a couple of weeks later where at last the minimalistic but very appropriate patterns of trumpeter Bill Dixon became fully audible. Now that this concert is out on CD (victo label), we also can fully appreciate what the intent and development of this concert was. The result would certainly appeal to young audiences since the music has the quality of ambiant music straddling the good old jazz concept of a ballad and the spacey athmosphere of a Sun Ra. There were two encores, one with the ensemble and one solo. It looks like Cecil fully understood the public's preoccupation and thus played the encores in a more traditional Cecil Taylor way of fast and powerfull runs on the piano as to say "is this what you really want ?". Thus tonight, we will play this CD in reverse sequence, starting with the encores and going back to the real thing.
March 17th, 2004: Poetry and jazz, the Ottawa poet Susan McMaster
Host: Bernard Stepien: While the human voice has been a primary factor in Jazz's success over the years it has been quasi exclusively due to vocalists. Poets that recite their poems in a jazz context are considerably rare but not insignificant. Back in BeBop times we can find Steve Allen's "Bob Fables", in the '60s New Thing era, Archie Shepp included several poets or writers in his works mainly to highlight explicitly the political content or the history of his music (invocation to Mr Parker by Bartholomew Gray), more recently East-German pianist Hannes Zerbe mounted some ambitious projects on works of Kurt Schmitters and Berthold Brecht while pianist Cecil Taylor went a step further by writing and reciting himself poems or working with poets such as Naima Wade and Allen Grossman. Tonight, we will explore the mix of jazz and poetry with Ottawa poet Susan McMaster who just released a second CD of poetries in company of bassist Alrick Huebener and accordionist/pianist Jenifer Giles and guest artists. Susan will perform at the NAC 4th stage this coming Saturday, March 20th.
March 10th, 2004: Live interview: bassist Steve Haines and pianist Peter Hum
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ottawa is gradually becoming a noted source of excellent jazz performers that usually make it out of town. This week we have the pleasure to welcome back bassist Steve Haines, a Nepean boy, that definitively made it at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro where he is now director of the Miles Davis program of jazz studies. We will listen to his latest recording "Beginner's view" on the Artist house label. He will be appearing tomorrow, thursday march 11th at the Bayou in company of local jazz celebrities Peter Hum, Rob Frayne, Petr Cancura and Mike Essoudry. In addition to that we will listen to some african music on thumb piano by another Ottawa native Woody Woods that will be playing with sudanese Thumb Piano player Alex Atiol and local drummer Scott Warren at the Mercury Lounge this Friday. This looks like a very busy week for jazz and roots music lovers that for sure will have them go through "the burden of limitless opportunity" syndrome explained to us last Saturday in the Ottawa Citizen: http://www.canada.com/search/story.html?id=576704c8-dfe1-423a-8302-6b037f4c6617
March 3d, 2004: Joe McPhee: Tenor and Fallen Angels
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays a landmark solo tenor sax set by Joe McPhee. Recorded in 1976 and 1977and issued as Hat Art's first release, it was long out of print until it was rereleased to celebrate Hat Art's 25th anniversary. Charles Walker, writing on the sudden-thoughts.com website, comments ...the most important thing to note about it is not so much the melodic or rhythmic development of McPhee's lines, but the stirring variety of tonal approaches to be found, the vast sonic vocabulary he uncovers under all that metal and felt. Its momentum, so to speak, arises out of the thoughtful juxtaposition of one technical event against those preceding and following it. If one moment he is garrulous and gruff, the next he hovers in breathy high notes, which suddenly slide downward in overblown fury.
February 25th, 2004: Hommage to Malachi Favors - part II
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe continues the tribute to the recently departed Malachi Favors, best known as the bass player in the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC). Tonight we listen to cuts from the 1966 recording 'Sound' by the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, the first released recording by members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the precursor of the Art Ensemble. This innovative sextet included three of the members who later were to make up the AEC, Mitchell, Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors. Many of the musical elements associated with the AEC were already present, including the use of 'little instruments', the incorporation of 'folk' melodies and the concern with ensemble improvisation rather than more conventional 'soloist over rhythm section' approach. We'll fast forward 30 years to close the show with a piece featuring Malachi Favors called 'Malachi' from a 1996 Roscoe Mitchell trio recording 'The Day and the Night'.
February 18th, 2004: Thelonious Monk, the blues pianist
Host: Bernard Stepien: Thelonious Monk is known as one of the major inovators in the history of jazz. But despite this continous search for new ideas, Monk was also one of the most dedicated artist in conserving afro-american musical traditions such as the blues. His approach to the blues is quasi identical to a Jimmy Yancey or Otis Spann. This dedication to the ancient blues form let him to even use traditional blues piano fragments in his other jazz compositions such as in the two first bar of his "Bye-Ya" composition bridge or influence his non-blues compositions by inserting blues harmonics in the middle of opposite spectrum harmonies. Tonight we will look exclusively at Thelonious Monk's blues compositions ranging from the all time hit of Blue Monk to the esoteric Misterioso to the one short phrase repetition of Blue Hawk or Raised Four, to the elaborate compositions of Functional and Something in Blue to yet another jazz tradition, the stride blues of Blue Sphere and more.
February 11th, 2004: Chicago bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut
Host: Bernard Stepien: Malachi Favors who passed away around a week ago was one of the pillars and cofounder of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, one of the most successfull free jazz collective in history. Although he always kept a low key, he represented both the mystic and ancient african component of the Art Ensemble and was responsible for developing the canvas upon which his fellow musicians would improvised being sometimes quasilly steered by him which is a quality way beyond providing good walking bass.
Tonight we will survey some of his contributions within the art ensemble of Chicago. I wish some of his recent years solo appearances would have been released on CD. There is one in particular that I heard at the 2001 Vision Festival in New York that I will never forget.
February 4th, 2004: Ottawa Rake-Star collective
Host: Bernard Stepien: The Rake-star collective is a big band that regroups various musicians usually involved in other projects. It specializes in the exploration of the music of the late Sun Ra that was one of the most extreme combination of traditional jazz (big band a la Fletcher Henderson), avantgarde jazz, african traditional music and finally space age sounds. One fine day, David Broscoe, one of the founding members of this collective end up receiving a big envelope of Sun Ra's scores from the Library of congress in Washington, DC. This prompted him to experiment with this music with various musicians he was playing with around that time. The rest is history, i.e. the various one way people regrouped and worked out a finely polished repertoire of Sun Ra and Sun Ra like originals that fully reflect the master's concept is now well established. One important note is that this is a pianoless (Sun Ra substituteless) band, but with all the Sun Ra techniques transferred to the other non-piano instruments. Quite a stunt ! This group has released a CD and will be appearing at the centrepoint theatre on Sunday, February the 8th.
January 28th, 2004: Vancouver cellist Peggy Lee
Host: Bernard Stepien: Peggy lee is an artist that deserves attention for three main reasons:
She plays cello, a rarely used instrument in Jazz, in yet a new way compared to the established Abdel Wadud, Bernard Fanelle, Tristan Honsiger, Ernst Reijsiger, Ron Carter or Dave holland. Her style is a blend of heavy lyricism combined with traditional avant-garde techniques
She is an outstanding composer and arranger that gives her less than 10 band sound like a big band or even a symphony orchestra. her compositions are of extreme complexity but the listener nevers gets lost in them because at each turn, he gets set in a confortable and enjoyable athmosphere. I would almost recommend her music to the tekno/house music scene as the ultimate chill-out !
She is from Vancouver. This might seem strange as a quality, but Vancouver has some geo-jazzistic properties that are not insignificant. It is after all the West Coast, it is further away from Europe, and it certainly is not close to New York Either. Such properties should naturally be conducive to generating a difference which in turn brought her in playing with all the most significant avant-garde players in the world.
January 21st, 2004: Duets with Tenor
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays featuring tenor sax and other instruments. Featured tenor playes are Ab baars, John Butcher, Ellery Eskelin, Frank Lowe., Wayne Marsh, Joe McPhee, and Ken Vandermark. Also, we are hoping to speak to Mark Molnar about the upcoming Generator/ A Silver Mount Zion show to be held this coming Sunday at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield.
January 14th, 2004: Mingus - Fable of Faubus - part II
Host: Bernard Stepien: This is the second program devoted to Charles Mingus famous Fables of Faubus composition. Last week we started off with a super polished version from 1959 to quickly jump to the free-jazz oriented version of 1964 with the presence of Eric Dolphy. This week we shall start again with an Eric Dolphy solo on this piece followed by what we could describe as post Dolphy versions but also fully free-jazz assimilated versions that now become some mix between the wildness of Dolphy and the cleanliness of the original Columbia version. One very unexpected version will include relatively conservative vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. Tonight we will sample the later versions from 1964 to 1972.
January 7th, 2004: Mingus - Fable of Faubus - part I
Host: Bernard Stepien: We all know that Jazz is a music based on the concept of improvisation as opposed to western classical music that is instead entirely written or to pop music that consists in repeating over and over the same 32 bars. This has the unavoidable consequence that everytime a Jazz musician plays a specific tune, it will be somewhat different except for stylistic considerations. Recently I acquired a CD entitled Mingus 1959 that was a re-release of some early Mingus Columbia recordings. This CD features one of my favorite tune, Fables of Faubus but in what I would describe as the cleanest and most polished way I ever heard it performed before. Mind you my perception of that tune has been forever imprinted by the Mingus Jazz Workshop version of 1964 that was different for a very good reason and that is because of the provocative presence of alto saxophonist and bass clarinetist Eric Dolphy. This version is actually probably responsable for the quasi standard status of Fables of Faubus wouldn't it be for its length and complex rythmic and harmonic patterns, giving it a quasi symphonic status. This explains among other things that this tune turns up frequently on Mingus recordings throughout his career and especially on recently released CDs that feature some of the historic european concert tours during the '60s and '70s. Thus, I decided that it would be interesting to provide CKCU-FM listeners with a good sample of the evolution of this tune in Mingus hands which will result in two shows on that subject. Tonight we will sample the early version from 1959 to 1964.
December 31st, 2003: The count down with space specialist Sun Ra
Host: David Broscoe: What better way to celebrate the New Year's Eve countdown than by listening to Sun Ra, who's music always has one foot in the past and one in the future! In keeping with the ceremony, ritual (and silliness) of New Year's Eve, David Broscoe presents a selection of Sun Ra vocal tracks.
December 24th, 2003: John Coltrane's A Love Supreme
Host: Bernard Stepien: First of all the RWAC team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and since Christmas is a time for love and piece we thought that it would be a good idea to feature John Coltrane's memorable A Love Supreme which unfortunatly is the "official" version. A alternate take has been recently released on CD that would correspond more to today's music philosophy, but this will be for another time.
December 17th, 2003: Electronic Improv
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe explores three radically different approaches to the use of electronics in improvised music. First the duo of Montreal's Martin Tetreault and Japan's Otomo Yoshihide, who's focus over the years has shifted to coaxing sounds out of turntables and other electronic devices themselves, rather than using them to play records and discs. Next, the Music in Movement Electronic Orchestra (MIMEO) with John Tilbury. In the live recording of Keith Rowe's graphic score 'The Hands of Caravaggio', the ensemble updates the notion of the Piano Concerto for the 21st century, with the orchestra as a loose coalition of electronics of various vintages, from laptops to 'amplified metal garbage'. The pianist Tilbury is simultaneously aided and hindered by a second player, Cor Fuhler, manipulating the inside of the piano. Finally the Germany's Tied and Tickled Trio combines spacy sampling and groove oriented Jazz Funk.
December 10th, 2003: Pre-Funk Herbie Hanco ck
Host: Bernard Stepien: Herbie Hanco ck has gone to at least three transformations: he started as a classical pianist and switched to Jazz, once in Jazz he moved around several styles from cool jazz to hard bop, sometimes bordering free jazz to finally enter electronics with Funk Jazz, nowadays even flirting with techno and house music. But in this evolution there has been one constant all the way: whenever he wanted he re-played accoustic jazz he was performing in the mid sixties. Tonight we will sample that constant factor in Hanco ck's career.
December 3d, 2003: Archie Shepp's evolution in the '60
Host: Bernard Stepien: Archie Shepp was among the high priest of the Jazz avantgarde that was thriving during the '60s. While at that time his main stylistic trait was to play music outside of the mainstream harmonic and time based rythmic styles, one thing was already certain and that is that Shepp knew perfectly how to handle straight ahead Be Bop and that he also paid an immense respect his elders like Coleman Hawkins or Charlie Parker, pretty much in a similar to today's James Carter. In the "Yasmina the Black Woman" 1969 recording that will be presented tonight, all of this is there, the free bordering to african influences, the steady pulse of Be Bop on Sonny's Back and the irremediable hommage to Coleman Hawkin's Body and Soul pet tune interpreted with Ben Webster's breaths oriented style. This particular recording also gave a hint on what would come up later which is mainly associations with all kinds of other musicians. In this case Lester Bowie and Malachi favors on the avantgarde side but also Hank Mobley on the Hard Bop side not to mention the presence of our national Billy Robinson on recordings of the '70s. This show is a start of a long series that I will devote to Archie Shepp that has given us a very long series of musical gifts in the form of recordings but also in the more subtle form of influences. French drummer Bernard Lubat pointed out to me a few years ago when most people started to question Archie's current trends that without him a lots of jazz and jazz musicians would have not existed since then.
November 26th, 2003: Bob Drake: 13 Songs and a Thing (Recommended) 2003
Host: Mark Keill: "The latest collection of twisting, turning instrumentals and songs, and another instant classic. In a category of one, Bob undermines musical, technical and production norms with a breathtaking amalgam of broken rules and unimaginable musical logic. " - ReR Megacorp Fifth solo release from multi instrumentalist (guitars, vocals, bass, drums, synth, violin,), producer and engineer Bob Drake. Bob is best known for his work with 5uus, Science Group and Thinking Plague as well as his influence on the sound on many Recommended Records releases.
November 19th, 2003: The Bassoon in Improvised Music
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe, a bassoonist himself, plays music featuring bassoonists Karen Borca (with Jimmy Lyons, Joe Morris and if we have time, with Cecil Taylor) Lindsay Cooper (with 'Henry Cow', featuring Tim Hodgkinson, Fred Frith, and Chris Cutler) Joseph Jarman (his bassoon playing with the 'Art Ensemble of Chicago' created a distinctive feel to the tunes) Sara Schoenbeck (half of the duo 'Yesca One' with Travis Baker on bass)
November 12th, 2003: Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos
Host: Bernard Stepien: Wolter Wierbos is one of Europe's best trombonist. He appears on 70 CDs or records with all the possible combinations of european or american avantgarde musicians such as the ICP Orchestra led by Mish Mengelberg, to Pianist Cecil Taylor. Tonight we will focus on a solo recording that is 22 years old but re-issued on CD still sounds fresh like the first day that could be today.
November 5th, 2003: Special funding drive mix
Host: Bernard Stepien: more money to CKCU is tonight's main theme. There will be some music too!
October 29th, 2003: The early years of the Art Ensemble of Chicago
Host: Bernard Stepien and David Broscoe: With over thirty years, the Art Ensemble of Chicago has had a remarkable long life span for an avantgarde jazz group. Starting from a strictly free jazz format that was very popular among black musicians during the '60s, the Art Ensemble slowly evolved into an all out exploration of black music in general. Tonight we willl look back at the early years with recordings such as bap-tizum, the Paris recordings, the fanfarre of warriors and more. However, since this is CKCU-FM funding drive night as well, you will hear a lot of encouraging messages to help you make this vital decision for CKCU-FM: to pledge or not to pledge, this is the question. Please remember that commercial free programming doesn't exactly come for free and despite the help of 200 volunteers there still are a few bills to take care of. Most important, besides pledging you could help too by convincing others to do so. A little bit of peer pressure doesn't hurt when considering the survival of a community radio station. For those who read the Ottawa Citizen, some of them may have noticed the unprecedent plug given to CKCU-FM by columnist Charles Gordon last week. Here is an excerpt of his column. The full text can be retrieved from the Ottawa Citizen archives at: by searching Charles Gordon and then selecting the article "the arts deserve city funding too".
October 22nd, 2003: Alto saxophonist Gary Bartz
Host: Bernard Stepien: er been heard of. The case of bassist Henry Grimes is probably the most notorious with Henry having not touched or owned a bass for twenty years or so. Saxophonist Gary Bartz was a very prolific musicians during the late sixties to early eighties before he accepted a nine year long studio work engagement preventing him from making recordings. Three years ago I however saw him several times in company of avantgarde musicians like Andrew Cyrille and many others playing gigs around Manhattan like any other local musician so to speak. enjoy ! So what happens ? Well, surprisingly, after consulting Gary's web site I discovered that he decided to surf the jazz revival wave by merely releasing recordings of these lost years and more fascinating to revive his Ntu Troop ensemble that was dedicated to a fusion style between jazz, african music and blues. Gary Bartz is heavily influenced by John Coltrane and Mingus whith whom he worked extensively and especially met another important alto player, Eric Dolphy. Gary's new ntu Troop recording is scheduled to be out next spring. In the mean time, lets enjoy his "Home" recording with Ntu Troops from 1969.
October 15th, 2003: Pianist Marilyn Crispell
Host: Bernard Stepien: Philadelphia born pianist Marilyn Crispell has a long record of excellence in avantgarde jazz since she entered the Creative Music studio in Woodstock, NY where she worked intensively with saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton (1977). Marilyn's art consists mainly in playing "tunes" but instead of improvising on the actual melodic and harmonic structure of the tune she uses them as starting ideas for a totally free improvisation. She maintained for a long time several quartet projects concurrently as to maximize the influx of ideas that inevitably comes with interacting with other musicians. She also played duos with other pianist such as Cecil Taylor and Irene Schweitzer.
October 8th, 2003: Dutch saphophonist Ab Baars
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ab Baars clicked on avantgarde jazz following a concert of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago sometimes in the early '70s in Rotterdam, his home town. All of it got reinforced with the continuous stream of avantgarde classical music like Olivier Messiaen that thanks to some serious state backing was omnipresent in Holland at that time. Since then Ab Baars has developed a unique style of music that again can't be pigeon holed to the generic avantgarde style if there is such a thing in the first place. Baars music is a rare blending of concepts coming from diverse areas such as chamber music and multiphonics techniques and some insistnece on not using chords, neither fixed beat, and not even a plain melody. The result however shows some mature form as defined to be easily recognizable when you walk past it accidentally. More important is the fact that Ab Baars will be among us on October 27th at the Mercury Lounge. Don't miss this unique opportunity to enjoy what has become a well know Amsterdam athmosphere, all without having to go through the current nightmare of air travel !
October 1st, 2003: Viviane Arnoux/Francois Michaud accordeon/violin duo
Host: Bernard Stepien: The accordeon and the violin have always been more strongly associated with other music worlds than jazz and within jazz they have been exceptions. In Europe and more precisely in France, these two instruments had even more distinct courses since the accordeon was for a very long time merely rejected by the mostly intellectual jazz public because it was the musical instrument of the working class and the violin that was at least unquestionably associated with the high standard of classical music had at least associated with one major jazz player, Stephane Grapelly. Viviane Arnoux is part of the post rejection era along with new jazz/accordeon stars such as Richard Galiano which has inspired a substantial number of new musicians to use the accordion in jazz and muselled once for ever the previous jazz accordion critics. One thing is for sure, is that any jazz accordion player is inevitably linked to or influenced by the folkloric repertoire that is widely know accross the world. The result is of course a melting pot repertoire where folkloric elements end up as basic components of jazz improvisations or folkloric music is improvised à la jazz ! Francois Michaud follows exactly this same line and even insists on forgetting about the Stephane Grapelly or even Jean-Luc Ponty's inheritance. The ambiguity between jazz and folkloric music is fully intentional and allows a lot of surprises that are always the basic aspect of jazz improvisation in the first place.
September 24th, 2003: Julius hemphill historical recordings
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe goes back to the vaults to feature two classic recordings from the 70s by alto saxophonist and composer extrordinaire, the late Julius Hemphill. Dogon AD and Coon Bid'ness were Hemphill's first recordings as leader. Both albums feature bass-less groups with Abdul Wadud on cello along with musicians including Hamiet Bluiett, Arthur Blythe and Philip Wilson.
September 17th, 2003: Free jazz and pipe organ with Fritz Hausel & Stephan Grieder
Host: Bernard Stepien: The pipe organ is a very intriguing musical instrument that although is well know by the western christian community has been seldomly been used in the Jazz world with the exception of Fats Waller. This is probably due to the portability problem that was later solved by the more convenient version of Hammond organ but at the expense of loss of this very special sound texture. Swiss, Basel based musicians Stephan Grieder and Fritz Hauser have filled the vacuum by recording a Pipe Organ / drums duo in the St. Leodegar church at the Hofkirche in Luzern, Switzerland. But, again the result is very different from Fats Wallers early '30 experiments where bacically all he did was to play his favorite hits exactly like on a piano without changing a single note. Despite the long time association between the pipe organ and the Church, Stephan Grieder doesn't play sacred music à la Duke Ellington. He instead focuses on the sound space and uses the Pipe organ for its sound texture and the sacred connotation as part of the everyday soundscape. Finally, all is a matter of personnal interpretation. This morning my 8 years old grand-dautgher made the following remark: "cool, this is vampire music !". The conclusion is that no matter how good you are, there is no way you can compete with Sesame Street !
September 10th, 2003: Jeanne Lee/Waldron duo
Host: Bernard Stepien: A year ago I presented Jeanne Lee's debut recording with Ran Blake from 1961. Today we will look at a very similar recording in a duo format with pianist Mal Waldron from 1994. Both recordings consist mainly of standards except for a couple compositions of Mal Waldron. However, these standards are twisted in every new shape possible by the constantly shifting dynamics on Jeanne's voice. In Caravan, the opening piece, Jeanne is building up the athmosphere at the very slow pace of a caravan crossing the Sahara desert. Her style is way beyond traditional scating since she introduces improvisation with lyrics while exposing the song. The real scating part is an explosion of contrasts where the Caravan melody can be heard throughout in filigree.
September 3d, 2003: Tenor saxophonist and composer Paul Newman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ottawa born saxophonist Paul Newman has been developing a style of avantgarde playing from a deept knowledge of avantgarde tradition. Tonight, we will feature a recording of a live concert at Toronto's Artword Theatre last spring and that features some complex compositions of Paul Newman relegating Monk's Brilliant Corner's to kindergarden activities.
August 27th, 2003: Cecil Taylor's el conquistador
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tonight we will study one of Cecil Taylor's key recording from his second period that included musicians such as alto-saxophonist Jimmy Lyons and trumpeter Bill Dixon. That particular period already showed the highly structured forms of Taylor's composition and the use of sounds rather than individual notes or harmonies as the basics to his music going to the extreme of melodic clusters.
August 20th, 2003: Aaron Alexander Sextet
Host: Bernard Stepien: Aaron Alexander is a New York jazz musician that has a strong interest in Klezmer music and has been involved in a number of Klezmer band like one of the most know Klezmatics that have also toured Canada. His debut CD "Blues for Sparky" that I will feature tonight is however not another klezmer project but is under a joyfull influence of Klezmer that can be heard in filligree. It proves once more that jazz is a creative music that can apply the principle of improvisation to any material or integrate any music material in it especially when it is in the good hands of Aaron Alexander.
August 13th, 2003: Paul Bley & Gary Peacock
Host: Bernard Stepien: Paul Bley started his long career by replacing Oscar Peterson after he left for NewYork in 1947. This however didn't prevent him from escaping from the Tatum/Parker idiom and build a style of his own that differentiate itself from any known current. Bley participated to the october revolution of free jazz but his music is mostly mellow, melodic and rich in harmonies. While harmonies are well distinguishable, there are no fixed AABA like structures to be recognized. His music is like a magma, flowing away with no looking back but in a consistent way. While Bley has worked with an unlimited list of jazz stars from Sonny Rollins to Art Blakey, Mingus and Eric Dolphy, at one point Don Ellis introduced him to bassist Gary Peacock. The collaboration between these two musicians has since never ended. Tonight we will present a 1989 re-issued recording with this duo "partners" with an aditional bonus for the french reading, the even astonishing liner notes of the french newspaper Le Monde, Francis Marmande.
August 6th, 2003: Toronto's "Exit Man" band
Host: Bernard Stepien: Exit Man is a Toronto band made up of graduates of the jazz performance class of the Uiversity of Toronto. Their music is a synthesis of pop and jazz. "exit man" is the product f the band members collective interests in the popular music of today (Bjork, Alanis, Radiohead, Edgar Meyer, Madonna, Portishead, among others) with our "freer" jazz sensibilities. We makeover popular music of today much in the same way jazz musicians of the 50s and 60s remade new songs of that era (see: John Coltrane + "My Favorite Things"). We play originals with a similar aesthetic. We fiddle around with electronics, too.
July 30th, 2003: Early Evan Parker: Recordings from the 1970s
Host: David Broscoe: In anticipation of soprano and tenor sax player Evan Parker's appearances at the Guelph Jazz Festival (Sept 3rd - 7th), I will be playing solo recordings and duets with drummers Paul Lytton and John Stephens. I'm still amazed by this material from early in Evan's career. Evan continues to grow as a musician. Regular listeners to Rabble may remember Parker's recent solo recording 'Lines Burned in Light' which Bernard Stepien featured not so long ago.
July 23d, 2003: Trance Music and Jazz
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays selections from a new release 'Eloping with the Sun' with Joe Morris on banjo and banjouke, William Parker on sintir and Hamid Drake on frame drum. A familiar trio playing instruments not usually associated with them. The use of the sintir and banjouke reminds us of North and West African musics, designed to invoke healing and trance. Other (potential) trance-inducing recordings are played, including those by Supersilent, Ellery Eskelin and David Mott.
July 16th, 2003: Ottawa Jazz Festival Preview
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Continuing the theme of the evening, tonight we will listen to some adventurous musicians soon to appear at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. The program will include pianist John Stetch, saxophonist David Mott, and percussionist Susie Ibarra. From Stetch we will sample his recent solo disc, "Ukranianism". Mott will be presented in duet with pianist David Lopato from an album entitled "The Standard Line". Finally we will hear the Susie Ibarra Trio (Ibarra, Charles Burnham on violin, and Cooper Moore on piano and harp) from their 1999 release "Radiance".
July 9th, 2003: Vancouver musician and composer Chris Gestrin
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Tonight's spotlight is on Vancouver musician and composer Chris Gestrin. In particular we will sample from his latest disc, Stillpoint. The disc is an adventurous blend of the acoustic and the electronic and in addition to Gestrin features Brad Turner, Dylan van der Schyff, Andre Lachance, and Jon Bentley. Chris Gestrin is a musician in demand, especially around this time of year (his group recently opened for Wayne Shorter at the Vancouver Jazz Festival). Luckily he was able to take some time to talk with us and the results will be heard on tonights program.
July 2nd, 2003: Some of William Parker's Best Friends Are... Tenor Players
Host: David Broscoe: A silly stolen concept perhaps. David Broscoe plays recordings from the past ten years by various tenor players, all of which feature William Parker on bass. Featured leaders and tenor players are Charles Gayle, David S. Ware, Glenn Spearman, Fred Anderson/Kidd Jordan and Peter Brotzmann.
June 25th, 2003: Avantgarde standards
Host: Bernard Stepien: A few weeks ago, Ron Sweetman presented the fascinatng Ken Vandermark CD playing pieces composed by other avantgarde musicians/composers. This suddenly made me aware that there is such a thing as avantgarde standards. I quickly went through my collection and dug up a list of ten candidates for the status of avantgarde standard. But what is the definition of a standard to start with ? here are some possibilities:
a tune belonging to the Broadway songbook ?we will discuss these concepts on air using the following list:
a tune that is played by a lots of other musicians ?
a tune that has a top 40 quality ? (whatever that means !)
a tune composed by an avantgarde musician but that could pose as a Broadway standard ?
the best composition of an avantgarde musician ?
a Tune that is played at jam-sessions ?
1. Noonah by Roscoe Mitchell
2. Lonely women by Ornette Coleman
3. oowala by the Art Ensemble of Chicago
4. G------77AR- - -36X by Anthony braxton
5. the hard Blues by Julius Hemphill
6. Ghosts by Arbert Ayler
7. Giant Steps by John Coltrane
8. We travel the spaceways by Sun Ra
9. Streams & chorus of seeds by Cecil Taylor
10. where june bugs go by Archie Shepp
June 18th, 2003: Anthony Braxton - Georges Lewis duet
Host: Bernard Stepien: First a remark. The Beaver Harris drum solo CD programme last week got an unusual response with people phoning in or e-mailing in even before the show started ! This is very surprising because most experts didn't even know, including myself, of the existence of this almost forgotten recording. Conclusion is that there will be more drum solos coming up ! This week we will enjoy the duet of Anthony Braxton and Georges Lewis recorded live at the Moers festival in 1976 and that features among other thing a remarkable version of Charlie Parker's Anthropology. Anthony Braxton is a very prolific composer and has accumulated a very impressive list of CDs featuring all sizes of groups from solo to symphony orchestra duets (two full orchestras) and that has continuously mixed traditional jazz elements with the most adventurous free jazz elements.
June 11th, 2003: Drummer Beaver Harris
Host: Bernard Stepien: Drum solo projects are relatively rare. Last week I mentioned that Gerry Hemingway was keen on solo projects. Recently I came accross a re-release of a 1977 recording of a drum solo project entitled African Drum by Beaver Harris. The jazz drum set is a unique creation of the jazz world that corresponds to a percutionist's one man show but most of the time this is where the one man show ends because the drum set is used primarily for keeping time. In this project, Beaver Harris goes way beyond keeping time and shows that you can listen to a drum for longer than the traditional jazz drum solo.
June 4th, 2003: Drummer Gerry Hemingway
Host: Bernard Stepien: The CD featured tonight will be fascinating for two main reasons: First the band format is a quartet while it was supposed to be a quintet. Cellist Ernst Reijseger landed in the hospital a few days before the recording and Gerry Hemingway decided not to rewrite the arrangements before the recording. Second, two members of this quartet, alto saxophone Michael Moore and trombonist Walter Wierbos are currently member of the ICP Orchestra and that even were here in Ottawa on April 4th. A third reason could be that we have an equal number of americans and europeans in the band with Mark Dresser on bass. The result of these two coincidences in addition to the "mixed" band makes for an interesting game of wondering where you are musico-geographically and what is really not missing ?
May 28th, 2003: Swiss trumpeter Hans Kennel
Host: Bernard Stepien: Switzerland, the land of the almighty Alpenhorn, certainly has some interesting trumpet players. One of them, Hans Kennel had yet another idea about concepts, this time to use the renaissance baroque brass ensemble format to play jazz (two trumpets, two trombones and a french horn). The result is the slightly different sound as a big band because of course there are no dominating saxophones and there is no drums either ! Somehow this format also has a different sound as Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy but overtones of Miles Davis, Gil Evans and even Mingus are hovering around.
May 21st, 2003: cellist Tristan Honsiger
Host: Bernard Stepien: American cellist Tristan Honsinger has been based for a long time in Amsterdam, Holland. he is an active member of the ICP Orchestra let by Misha mengelberg. Amsterdam is also a city that is still a microcosm of the '60s where every style of music is accepted and co-exists whit each other. Both these characteristics have influenced Tristan Honsiger and his music is highly theatrical and mixes schmaltzy latin rythms with hard core shreaking avantgarde saxophones and saturday night at the tavern athmosphere. The fact that currently, Tristan has moved to Italy of course adds yet another of these musical ingredients, namely opera !
May 14th, 2003: saxophonist Anthony Braxton
Host: David Broscoe: Ghost Trance Music: David Broscoe plays selections from a new release 'Four compositions (GTM) 2000' on Delmark records, the same label that released his seminal recordings '3 Compositions of New Jazz' and 'For Alto' more than thirty years ago. Braxton continues along his visionary path exploring the regular pulsating rhythms common to other GTM recordings, but at the same time he is looking back. He references the jazz tradition by using the classic jazz quartet instrumentation (multiple reeds, piano, bass, percussion) and his own compositional lineage by incorporating pieces from his 130 series in the performance. Selected recordings from the 130 series will be interspersed with cuts from the new release.
May 7th, 2003: pianist Matthew Shipp
Host: David Broscoe: Shipp announced his retirement from recording a few years ago but was quickly tempted back as recording artist for and artistic director of the Blue Series recordings on the Thirsty Ear label. As a 'classical avant guard player' (Shipp's own words), Shipp wanted to explore other styles including 'new music', 'ambient' and 'beats and DJ culture' (Shipp's words again). The first featured recording is 'Nu Bop', a collaboration with the experimental Hip Hop collective 'Antipop Consortium'. The second recording, 'Equilibrium', is a synthesis of all of Shipp's explorations. Both recordings feature Khan Jamal on vibes along with the great William Parker on bass.
April 30th, 2003: violinist Carla Kihlstedt
Host: Mark Keill: Carla Kihlstedt is one of the most versatile violinists in new music, is much at home performing Stravinsky's Histoire du Solidat on the concert stage, swinging jazz solos in the popular Tin Hat Trio, scraping noise improvisations with Derek Bailey or rocking out at CBGBs with her SF based band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. 2 Foot Yard, her first CD under her own name is a creative compendium of genre-breaking instrumentals and vocal miniatures, featuring some of the greatest performers out of the exciting SF/Bay Area scene.
April 23d, 2003: vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Le
Host: Bernard Stepien: World music and jazz have a lots in common probably because Jazz is may be a world music too. Tonight we will enjoy the cross-breeding between jazz and vietnamese music
April 16th, 2003: German trumpet player Thomas Heberer
Host: Bernard Stepien: After the fascinating interview of ottawa trumpeter Charles Gordon last week it looked like a good idea to privilege trumpeters for another week. Those who had the good idea to attend the Instant Composers Pool concert a couple of weeks ago must have noticed one of its member, german trumpeter Thomas Heberer and especially be intrigued by his CD that was for sale that night that consist of a Louis Armstrong project. This illustrates of course once again that avantgarde musicians have a deep respect for the jazz tradition especially when in the case of Louis Armstrong, it was yet another case of avant-garde, this time in the '20s ! We will enjoy this CD "What a wonderful world".
April 9th, 2003: Ottawa trumpet player, columnist and writer Charles Gordon
Host: Bernard Stepien: Trumpeter Charles Gordon studied journalism in New York City in the middle of Greenwhich Village during the golden era of Be Bop and avantgarde Jazz in the '60s. He will share his exceptional jazz experiences with us and show us how playing the music himself rather than just talk or write about it makes a difference. he will talk about his latest interest in Tom Harrell and his various participation in Thelonious Monk projects.
April 2nd, 2003: Instant Composer Pool Orchestra
Host: Bernard Stepien: Rooted in Eric Dolphy's firy music back in the '60s, The ICP Orchestra, under the guidance of pianist and composer Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han benninck, offers constant new assemblies of known or unknown musical material in a process that is way beyond collage and more into a deep research in musical alchemy that brushes aside stylistic pigeon holing. Tonight I will prepare you for their concert that will take place tomorrow thursday April 3d at the national library by playing one of their hard to find in CD stores CD Rabbit Hole that features some traditional turn of the century cafe and taverns music with all the jazz elements at hand, free, traditional, non willingly liberated or not ! The concert tomorrow is a rare appearance in North America of the ICP and should not be missed by anyone, free jazz fundamentalist or not !
march 26th, 2003: Julius Hemphill
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe goes back to the vaults to feature two classic recordings from the 70s by alto saxophonist and composer extrordinaire, the late Julius Hemphill. Dogon AD and Coon Bid'ness were Hemphill's first recordings as leader. Both albums feature bass-less groups with Abdul Wadud on cello along with musicians including Hamiet Bluiett, Arthur Blythe and Philip Wilson.
march 19th, 2003: Toronto musicians Nancy Walker and Kieran Overs.
Host: Bernard Stepien: Nancy Walker is a very dedicated pianist and composer that has been exploring ways to avoid the pitfalls of main stream Jazz by enriching her compositions and performances with original harmonic and rythmic features. Husband and bassist Kieran Overs is a great stylist that reworks some of the greatest compositions in jazz history. Tonight we will review the latest CD release from the Walker/Overs couple that features an all out Walker originals vs some famous jazz stars composition such as Duke Ellington's Angelica and Kenny Barron's Bacchannal.
march 12th, 2003: John Coltrane - Rashid Ali duett.
Host: Bernard Stepien: John Coltrane went through three distinct musical phases in his life: the straight ahead phase with Miles Davis, the Modal phase with the Garrison, Tyner, Jones Quartett and finally the totally free phase. Tonight I will present the Interstellar impulse CD which presents a John Coltrane in full search of the new thing. This recording certainly prompted a generation of Tenor saxophone players like David S. Ware or Charles Gales to embark on his foot steps. And really think about it, if you start listening Coltrane's work in reverse chronological order, you may come to the conclusion that the search for freedom was there from the start. Giant steps was just a sophisticated way to make everybody think there were changes while Coltrane really used the abrupt shifts of II-V-I patterns to go way beyond straight ahead jazz.
march 5th, 2003: Solo guitar, the Roddy Ellias way.
Host: Bernard Stepien: In anticipation of Roddy Ellias solo performance at the Bayou Jazz and Blues club this coming Friday, March 7th, we will have a closer look at his last solo guitar CD. Roddy is preparing another CD to be released this summer, this time concentrating on works of Charles Mingus and Miles Davis among others and some more of his own compositions. Roddy Ellias is teaching Guitar and composition at Concordia University in Montreal and has developed a fascinating cross-breeding between jazz and classical music.
February 26th, 2003: Wolfgang Puschnig's free jazz yodel
Host: Bernard Stepien: Jazz and roots music has been a long affair. Usually they take place with the direct link of African music or other african influenced musics. From Duke Ellington's arabic sounding Caravan, to Phil Woods experiments with Greek traditional musicians, Mikhail Alperin's explicit russian folk music material, the list is too long to be fully exhaustive. One thing is for sure, the central european and more precisely germanic musical traditions have so far escaped that trend for as German bassist Peter Kowald once explained, germanic folk music has been misused by political nationalists of all kinds. However, on the other hand, European avantgarde musicians have always been busy reversing these theories mainly to distance themselves from american jazz imperialism ! Austrian Wolfgang Puschnig decided to handle one of the most controvertial of all, the alpine Yodel. Tonight we will sample another of his yodel experiment made in 2002 with a very interesting band that has at least one characteristic not to have percussion instruments and where french Michel Godard's Tuba plays a pivotal role exactly like in Tyrolian brass bands. The result is a fascinating cross breed between the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, the various famous saxophone quartetts that dot the free jazz scene but all of it with great European music.
February 19th, 2003: European drummer Sven Ake Johannson
Host: Bernard Stepien: Sven Ake Johannson is the drummer of the first hour of the european free jazz scene. He was associated with German Saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach in the mid sixties and was then already known for his whimsical musical dramatization where besides the use of any percussion material that sometimes includes the floor of the stage, Sven contributes with the sounds of the accordion or by singing. He is known to have outgrown the role of the drummer in a jazz combo and entered an interdisciplinary improvisational concept with theatrical actions. He comments on such actions by saying: "The spontaneous movement during the performance merely leads to spatial visual actions. In case this also brings an additional effect, then OK !". Schlippenbach compares Sven's art to the experiments of Arnold Schönberg in the Pierrot Lunaire. Among his many concepts, Sven uses the one that consists in chain associations of basic motives.
February 12th, 2003: AALY Trio / DKV Trio Double or Nothing
Host: David Broscoe: AALY Trio with Mats Gustafsson: Saxes, Kjell Nordeson: Drums, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Bass, DKV Trio with Ken Vandermark: Saxes, Clarinets, Hamis Drake: Drums, Kent Kessler: Bass. Two amazing bands together, one on the left channel and the other on the right. A nod to Ornette Coleman's landmark "Free Jazz" for double quartet but with very different results. Extended tunes include Angels by Ayler and Nu by Don Cherry.
February 5th, 2003: Martin Tetreault / Otomo Yoshihide (turntables/samplers) 21 Situations
Host: David Broscoe: Quebec's Martin Tetreault knocked me out a few years ago at Victoriaville with his solo low-tech 3-turntable tribute to Musique Concrete. On this Ambience Magnetique recording he teams up with eclectic Japanese musician Otomo Yoshihide. Tunes are generally short with one-word titles. 'Tradition' mixes Quebecoise traditional music with Japanese traditional music. Other tunes such as 'Emission' reflect Otomo's fascination with sine waves. An unclassifiable recording full of diverse music!
january 29th, 2003: the world of accordeon of Pauline Oliveiros
Host: Bernard Stepien: The accordeon is probably the least played and accepted strange musical instruments in the Jazz world. It however has grown in both musician's and public's favor in recent years thanks notably to the avantgarde jazz world with people such as french Richard Galiano and american Pauline Oliveiros. The two are a world apart themselves with Galiano getting his source of inspiration into tradition, Pauline is all out in uncharted territory. Her world is the world of long sounds with dynamic textures that of course are very conducive to meditation, thus her concept of sonic meditations that would also attract a number of young ambiant music enthusiasts. tonight we will enjoy the Roots of the Moments CD.
january 22nd, 2003: The Berlin Clarinet Trio
Host: Bernard Stepien: East Berlin lives ! Avantgarde Jazz has had at least one major distinctive accomplishment in Jazz history, that is to have put the clarinet, an early Jazz artifact, back on the Jazz map. Since New Orleans Jazz, the clarinet has been confined to a handfull of stars like Benny Goodman or Budy de Franco, but nothing of the wall to wall type. Today, the clarinet is systematically played by saxophonists and there are a number of clarinet specialists like Louis Sclavis, Richard Stolzman, Eddie Daniels, all the members of New York's Clarinet Summit and many others. Little known are still some remarkable east Germans like Jürgen Kupke that I personnally know only because some east Berlin friend and musician brought to my attention. Gebhard Ullman, at least made it to the IOJF, and some of you remember him. The third player, Theo Nabicht I also personnally never heard of but one thing is sure is that he equals the two others. Tonight, we will survey one of their many trio recordings from 1998, where the full spectrum of athmosphere Jazz will be addressed. Be prepared for the smackiest version of the old worn out "tea for two" standard you ever heard.
january 15th, 2003: Dhafer Youssef, Ud and Sufi chanting
Host: Bernard Stepien: Mediterranean Jazz ! Tunisian artist Dhafer Youssef brings more than a touch of today's fashionable world music into Jazz. While John Coltrane brought indian modal concepts into Jazz, the result was still american. With Dhafer Youssef, the arabic elements are not confined to the usual Maquam but also include the entire arabic tradition of Ud playing that transpired through andalusian music which subtle dynamics eventually landed in the hands of the great Mile Davis. But more important is that Dhafer wanders frequently seamlessly from one musical idiom to the other where it is sometimes difficult to distinguish if he plays jazz with Ud playing techniques or arabic music à la jazz. No wonder that ECM producer Manfred Eicher noticed his art and immediatly signed him for the CD I will present tonight, the Man of Wool.
january 8th, 2003: Rob Frayne live interview
Host: Bernard Stepien: Ottawa saxophonist Rob Frayne is always busy on new compositions, new groups with special assembly of local talents and sounds. Tonight he will be in the studio to talk about his most recent experiments and also about some other canadian musicians new adventures. Rob will play some unreleased tracks from the upcoming Frayne/Mark Eisenman duo: Skezzix 1 & 2, some remixes of the reFrayne SEXtet, a new song called L'amore, Non Basta, some surprises and favorite bits from Django Bates and Patrick Zimmerli !
December 25th, 2002: The Avant-garde mix !2002: last week's release from Montreal's Ambiance Magnetique- Jean Derome and Fred Frith.
Host: Mark Keill: new CD: All is bright, but it is not day from the Ambiances Magnétiques website: The three musicians involved in this trio have known each other for a long time, but this CD is the result of a very new collaborative project. Recorded in a California studio, this CD is also the singular result of spontaneous, real-time sound processing. Only a listen will demonstrate the breadth of this sturdy musical exchange between three excellent musicians, virtuosic with listening and improvisation, and a rogue recording engineer.
December 11th, 2002: Satoko Fujii Quartet - Vulcan
Host: Mark keill: "Four forward-looking artists combine their experience and creative passion for one smokin' session. Satoko Fujii has consistently maintained that dramatic tension be applied to jazz in moderate doses. Vulcan rises and falls with a natural feeling. Like the world around us, her compositions encounter changes in mood - from violent to gentle, bold and humble - dark and mysterious one moment and sunny the next." AllAboutJazz Personnel: Satoko Fujii- piano; Natsuki Tamura- trumpet, toys; Takeharu Hayakawa- bass; Tatsuya Yoshida- CANOPUS drums, voice
December 04th, 2002: Spaceways Incorporated
Host: Alnoor allidina: Alnoor Allidina plays music from Spaceways Incorporated. This trio is made up of Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, and Nate McBride. Their first album was released on Atavistic in 2000 and the title tells the whole story: Thirteen Cosmic Standards by Sun Ra and Funkadelic. Version Soul, their second album was released this year and features all original tunes by Vandermark and McBride.
November 27th, 2002: Mark Dresser
Host: Jean Thibault: Jeam Thibault will be featuring a CD from the Mark Dresser Trio `Eye`ll Be Seeing You`, 2 pieces of music for film, the first composed for Dali`s `Un Chien Andalou` and the second is Jean Vigo`s `A propos de Nice` 1930 Documentary. Recorded, edited and mixted in 1997-8 at the Knitting Factory.
November 20th, 2002: The Necks - piano bass drums
Host: Mark Keill: Australian trio Chris Abrahams (piano), Tony Buck (drums), and Lloyd Swanton (bass) conjure a chemistry together that defies description in regular terms. "These three musicians are among the most respected and in-demand in Australia, working in every field from pop to avant-garde. Over 160 albums feature their presence individually or together, but the music of The Necks stands apart from everything else they have done. Featuring lengthy pieces which slowly unravel in the most intoxicating fashion, frequently underpinned by an insistent deep groove, the eight albums by The Necks stand up to re-listening time and time again. The deceptive simplicity of their music throws forth new charms on each hearing. Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, nor ambient, nor jazz, the music of The Necks is possibly unique in the world today. " - Press release Piano bass drums, recorded live in Sydney in 1996 and released in 1998, is a journey very reminiscent of the Necks marvellous performance at this years' FIMAV. "What's really exciting about this project is that it demonstrates the awesome illustrative power free improvisation can have" - Revolver
November 13th, 2002: The inexhaustible document
Host: David Broscoe: What is more musical, a piano or a transistor radio? What is more musical, the industrial revolution or the electronic? AMM have given us a unique musical gift. They have let us know what an improvising ensemble of talented and visionary players can create if it persists for thirty five years. ... [AMM's] truncated history can suggest institutions like the Juilliard String Quartet, the MJQ, or the Art Ensemble of Chicago, but AMM has lived without a repertoire. Further, an early work by AMM bears little sonic resemblance to a recent one. The early is loud, the recent apparently quiet; the early, abrasive; the later relatively gentle. What persists is a willingness to explore and to take chances. Stuart Broomer Coda March/April 2000 AMM a longstanding British free-inprovisation group with a core of Keith Rowe (table-top guitar, electronics) and Eddie Prevost (percussion). David Broscoe samples the 1986 recording The Inexhaustible Document with Rowe, Prevost, pianist John Tilbury and Arditti Quartet cellist Rohan de Saram. The Inexhaustible Document is as arresting a cello work as composed music has given us in the 200 years that they've been written - Shostacovich, Kodaly. What improvisation means in AMM: elsewhere there is music that argues for improvisation; AMM, more lethal, assumes the world of composition. Stuart Broomer Coda March/April 2000
November 6th, 2002: Yearly RWAC retrospective
Host: Bernard Stepien, David Broscoe, Alnoor Alladini: The complete RWAC team will present a selection of musicians that have been featured throughout the year. David Broscoe and Bernard Stepien will also bring their horns and won't stop playing until the pledge line phone rings ! Then probably we will reverse this game to "will stop playing as soon as the pledge line phone rings" (520-CKCU - 520-2528)
october 30th, 2002: Sun Ra vs Roland Kirk similarities
Host: Bernard Stepien: Sun Ra and Roland Kirk are well known for their contribution to Jazz and although one would not immediatly think that they were similiar because of the format they worked with (big band vs small jazz combo), in many way they are.
Bernard Stepien and David Broscoe that have been talking about this project for many years have finally decided as a special Funding Drive gift to improvise it !
So, tonight we will check how Ra and Kirk have been major jazz innovators, have blended the full spectrum of jazz styles, had a great interest in their african roots, were interested in hits (space is the place vs volonteered slavery), were using all kinds of exotic material (Disney movies songs) and many more...
october 23d, 2002: Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker
Host: Bernard Stepien: Danemark and especially Copenhagen have allways been a major international venue for Jazz music throughout jazz history. Charlie Parker just loved the place, Eric Dolphy made it his home at one point and Ornette Coleman recorded some of his major hits there. It is consequently not surprising that this exposure to jazz has led some of the local musicians to become quiet famous. You are all familiar with people like Nils-Orsted Petersen but there are more and especially among the less know avantgarde. Saxophonist Lotte Anker who was featured in this year's Guelph jazz Festival has had a successful association with american pianist Marilyn Crispell. Tonight I will feature her latest CD "Poetic Justice" where the soft may be more feminine approach to free jazz from atonal to melodic will be illustrated.
october 16th, 2002: Ottawa guitarist Roddy Elias
Host: Bernard Stepien: Last week we have enjoyed Mike Westbrook jazzing up classical opera music of the famous composer Rossini. This week we will potentially do the reverse, i.e. enjoy the legendary local guitarist Roddy Ellias turning Jazz into classical music. Roddy Ellias has been a jazz performer for at least 25 years but is also professor at Montreal's Concordia university where he teaches classical guitar. He will be in live in the On-Air studio tonight to comment on his latest fascinating experiments merging jazz and classical guitar music for which he has provided us with recent recordings with Toronto barythone saxophonist David Mott and another famous local Ottawa jazz bassist that is also intensively involved into classical music (NACO), John Geggie, and also most important, he will bring along his 10 string custom made guitar to illustrate the necessary techniques involved in his art.
october 9th, 2002: Mike Westbrook vs Gioacchino Rossini
Host: Bernard Stepien: The use of classical music compositions by jazz musicians is nothing new and goes as far back as the '20s and in all formats, from Errorl Garner solo piano version of Tchaikowski's humoresque to New Orleans or swing big bands versions. However when the Westbrook familly (Mike and kate) decided to embark on the exploration of the works of Opera composer Gioacchino Rossini it was time to fasten seat belts. While so far most attempts to use classical music in Jazz consisted in transposing the classical material into one specific Jazz style representative of its era, Mike and kate Westbrook churned Rossini into a palette of jazz or jazz influenced styles from New Orleans marching bands, melodramatic silent films, arabian nights snake-charmer routine, pseudo-tangos, Tuba heavy solos, Salvation army brass trios, etc... Champagne required !
october 2nd, 2002: The East meets the Far East with Aki Takase and Conrad Bauer
Host: Bernard Stepien: The duet of east-German trombonist Conrad Bauer with Japanese (Berlin living) pianist Aki Takase was one of the best moments of the FIMAV’02 Festival. The fine people at the corresponding Victo label had also the good idea to release a new CD of this duett that consists mainly of a some interesting concept: rather than just play notes, they play endless developments of clichés taken from the full spectrum of jazz from very traditional to very avant-garde in a total seamless manner.
September 25th, 2002: Reggie Workman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Reggie Workman has been associated with an impressive number of jazz giants from Coltrane to Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, max Roach, Sonny Rollins and Archie Shepp. He has been the essential bassist of the Blue Note label as solid as a rock. However, he has waited until 1986 to produce his first recording as a leader. His style consists in a discrete virtuosity, never attempting to show off but making systematically a point and giving the priority to the effect of his playing on the ensemble and remarkably working on the sound. Tonight, I will feature another of his recordings as a leader "cerebral caverns" released in 1995 that shows all of these skills including the way he selected his band with such sound texture ingredients as Elizabeth Panzer on harp, Tapan Modak on tabla, Gerry Hemingway on electronic drum pads, the very sound texture oriented reeds
September 18th, 2002: The Brooklyn Sax Quartet
Host: Bernard Stepien: Going to avant-garde Jazz festivals has some side effects: buying unusual CDs that are hard to find at home even despite some dedicated people efforts in Ottawa. Tonight, I will feature people I never heard of but discovered in those festival CDs bins, the four saxophonists David bindman, Sam Furnace, Fred Ho and Chris Jonas that formed a saxophone quartett that plays differently than the WSQ or the Rova SQ, etc...
September 11th, 2002: Misha Mengelberg
Host: Bernard Stepien: Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg that is a fierce follower of Thelonious Monk has been involved in many prestigious European jazz projects since his debut with Eric Dolphy back in the '60s. While his most recent decade experiences are centered around the large ensemble of the Instant Composer Pool orchestra, tonight we will feature a 1997 CD of musical chess games between himself and four talented musicians mostly one at a time. These are Steve Potts on saxophones, Thomas hebere on trumpet, Michel Godard on tuba and serpent and Achim Kremer on percussion. Some of these instruments are somewhat uncommon in contemporary jazz and are prone to contribute some surprising color.
August 28th, 2002: Early Ornette Coleman
Host: Bernard Stepien: Many people associate the jazz avant-garde movement with the ‘60s. The reality is that some musicians were already there a long time before. Thelonious Monk was already developing his free rhythmic and harmonic concepts back in 1938 while backing Coleman Hawkins, Cecil Taylor was already playing his totally atonal, arythmic concepts in 1954, and Ornette Coleman, the man who is officially declared as Mr Avantgarde that started it all (obviously not quite correct) had already made recordings about his harmolodic concepts back in 1958/59 (close !). Tonight, I will present some of these transition compositions like “the blessing”, “the disguise”, “ramblin’”, “blues connotations” and “lonely woman” that sounded very straight to today’s standards but had enough atonalities and rhythmic free cells to ruffle a lot’s of feathers in the trad jazz community in the ‘50s.
August 21st, 2002: Mikhail Alperin
Host: Bernard Stepien: Mikhail Alperin is a russian pianist that settled in Norway after the Perestroika. He is a very impressive and impressionistic musician with remarkable composing skills that produce intriguing athmospheres using all the tricks Jazz history has in store. In my opinion he is a cross-breed between Cecil Taylor and Fats Waller concentrating most of the time on melody and straight ahead harmonization but in combinations that are more in Cecil's fashion. Tonight we will survey his ECM "North Story" CD where he leads a quartett with Arkady Shilkloder, Tore Brunborg, Terje Gewelt and Jon Christensen.
August 14th, 2002: Louis Sclavis
Host: Bernard Stepien: Louis Sclavis is one of the foremost contemporary european avangarde jazz musician. his work on bass clarinett has fully extrapolated the work of the great Eric Dolphy. Tonight we will focus on a CD recorded at the Dunois in 1985 at the height of France's Socialist rule era thall out cultural revival. The Dunois is located in the outskirts of Paris amids a cheap housing project and was meant to eradicate crime by providing culture to the working class ! What a program ! Another interesting aspect of this CD is that this was one of the first collaboration between Sclavis and two east german musicians, trombonist Conrad Bauer and drummer Guenter Sommer. All of that 4 years before the Berlin Wall came down !
August 7th, 2002: Gil Evans
Host: David Broscoe: Inspired by a new biogaphy of Gil Evans, David Broscoe plays selections from the various phases from the composer/arranger/pianist's career. Selections highlight Evan's penchant for choosing non-show tunes, most notably the compositions of Jimi Hendrix as performed by his late 70s early 80s big band. Miles Davis's 1949/1950 'Birth of the Cool' sessions and the Cecil Taylor contributions to the mid 60s 'Into the Hot' session are also featured.
July 31st, 2002: Ray Anderson (trombone), Gerry Hemingway (percussion),and Mark Helias (bass)
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Alnoor Allidina dives into CKCU's vast Bill Grant record library and surfaces with two vinyl treasures. The first, "Right Down Your Alley", was released in 1984 on Soul Note and is their second recording as a trio. The other album is entitled "You Be" and was initially released in 1986 on Minor Music. Although "Right Down Your Alley" was released under Anderson's name, it is clear that the music belongs to all three artists. In later years, the trio has adopted the moniker BassDrumBone. This more aptly describes the music and emphasizes the nature of this trio - a collective where each musician makes an equal contribution. Two of tonight's featured musicians have been in the Ottawa press lately. By all accounts the trio of Hemingway, Michel Wintsch, and Bänz Oester played a superb show at the NAC last week. Anderson was originally to appear with the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra, but had to cancel due to a serious family matter.
July 24th, 2002: The Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra (NOJO)
Host: Alnoor Allidina: NOJO is a unique sounding, 16-piece big band co-led by Paul Neufeld and Michael Occhipinti. In anticipation of their appearance at the Ottawa Jazz Festival Alnoor Allidina plays music from their recently released disc, Highwire. Along with the talented members of NOJO, Highwire also features Don Byron on clarinet and Hugh Marsh on violin. NOJO is playing on Thursday July 24th at 6:30 PM in Confederation Park. This year, they are touring as a 9-piece ensemble and are joined by trombonist/vocalist Ray Anderson. One of the co-leaders of the band, Michael Occhipinti, was gracious enough to spend an hour on the phone talking about NOJO, the new disc, and other interesting topics. However, due to a series of unfortunate events the recording is much too poor for radio play. Tonight then, the music will do most of the talking and a summary of the interview will be provided. Here's a link to their website: http://www.nojomusic.com
July 10th, 2002: The Clusone Trio
Host: Alnoor Allidina: Alnoor Allidina plays music from Han Bennink, Ernst Reijseger, and Michael Moore - aka The Clusone Trio. Tonight we will sample from two "live" recordings: "I am an Indian" and "Love Henry".
July 3d, 2002: Roscoe Mitchell
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe samples the 'non-Art Ensemble' ensembles of multi-instrumentalist and Art Ensemble of Chicago founder Roscoe Mitchell. Musicians in the featured ensembles include Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Spencer Barefield, Hugh Ragin and Malachi Favors. Recordings date from the 1970s through the 1990s.
June 26th, 2002: Steve Lacy
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe goes to the vaults to sample some prime 1970's recordings of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. Lacy's musical partners include Mal Waldron, Steve Potts and Michael Smith.
June 19th, 2002: A New Generation of Braxton Sidemen James Fei, Chris Jonas and Kevin Norton
Host: David Broscoe: Many fans (and detractors!) are aware of the members of Anthony Braxton's 'classic quartets' of the 70's to early 90's, musicians such as George Lewis, Marilyn Crispell, Gerry Hemingway and Mark Dresser. In the mid 90's Braxton launched a new musical conception, Ghost Trance Music. A new generation of innovative players helped him realize his conception. David Broscoe features recordings of three of those players as leaders, saxophonists James Fei and Chris Jonas, and percussionist Kevin Norton.
Review: Anna Williams, at the Bayou 16/6/2002 by Bernard Stepien
Anna Williams, the Ottawa resident african singer gave us a marvelous concert at the Bayou. A well chosen repertoire of selected jazz classics well beyond the concept of jazz standards with marvelously sometimes complex arrangements by saxophonist Rob Frayne left no place for small talk in the audience. Anna Williams by all means a female vocalist seems to have closer links to the voice of a Joe Williams when it comes to the deepness of her voice in the low register and a bebopish virtuosity of a Sheila Jordan when transforming a song into a fireworks of dynamics, jumping registers with a rare fluidity. It is often said that saxophonists like Archie Shepp have vocal qualities but in the case of Anna Williams one could easily say that she has horn qualities à la ben Webster. The other quality that struck me was that Anna Williams sings music rather than lyrics, where lyrics are secondary and probably close to jump to the style of french singer Francoise Kubler that uses words strictedly for their musical qualities à la Kurt Schmitters into totally meaningless phrases. The emphasis is considerably more on patterns, sophisticated melodic lines in improvisation or in reworking of classics such as A night in Tunisia rather than telling a story in layman terms in other words an instrumentalist vocalist. But the Bayou customer got more than a vocalist that night since the all star band was rock solid. Toronto pianist Nancy Walker had a endless supply of pretty chords in all combinations of inversions that flowed from her hands as if she was swimming in them. New York drummer Aaron Alexander provided a close rythmic accents to whatever was developing up front and to my astonishment performed a quasi pianissimo solo (drummers are supposed to be loud). Bassist Kieran Overs was in perfect interaction with Anna Williams and guest Guitarist Roddy Elias sounded like a band by himself when performing a duett with Anna Williams on his classical accoustic guitar that with its extra bass and mid range strings, a feature dating back to the 17th century and some electronics sounded like an african Kora. And finally Rob Frayne's opening Monk's dream certainly set the evening into a sophisticated mood.
June 12th, 2002: Ottawa vocalist Anna Williams
Host: Bernard Stepien: Tonight I will present ottawa vocalist Anna Williams that has studied at Carleton University with Ranee Lee and with Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton at the banff Centre for the arts. Her voice ranges from the very resounding low to a crystal clear high with a rare skill for assembling phrases made of soft and strong elements that flow seemlessly, for sure a retention of her west african (Sierra Leone) heritage where music is merely a way of life and animates every single citizen in everyday life. She will be appearing in concert at the Bayou Jazz and Blues club this coming sunday at 8 PM in company of an all-star band including Toronto and New York artists, Nancy Walker, Kieran Overs and Aaron Alexander and Rob Frayne that I will also feature in this program.
June 5th, 2002: Carlos Zingaro & Richard Teiltelbaum
Host: Bernard Stepien: While jazz violin is relatively rare in main stream jazz despite some stars like Stephan Grappelli, Stuff Smith and Jean-Luc Ponty, Avant garde jazz seems to enjoy a steady stream of good fiddlers. Carlos Zingaro is a portuguese violin and computer enthusiast that has started a double career in music and graphic arts back in the seventies and has become quickly a musical partner of many avant-garde greats such as Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Joelle leandre and many others. His strong roots in classical music (Chamber Orchestra of Lisbon U.) gave him a different sound and a "controlled" virtuoso style where melodic lines are complex but not overloaded. Tonight we will hear him in company of Richard Teitelbaum on synthetizers and computer which will make two weeks of computer oriented musics in a row.
The CD presented tonight has been partly recorded at the Victoriaville FIMAV and is available in Canada (Victo label).
may 29th, 2002: musician and computer with Georges Lewis
Host: Bernard Stepien: This program will feature George Lewis CD "Endless Shout" that features three aspects of his art as trombonist, composer and computer music scientist. Georges Lewis is a Chicago musician that was part of the AACM lead by Muhal Richard Abrams and from which a number of very fine musicians/groups such as the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Anthomy braxton originated. In the mid seventies he got interested in computers at a time where micro computers where home made assemblies and 95% of the population was in today's terms "computer illiterate" and produced some interesting work on computer interactive improvisation. His most recent project in that direction is called "Voyager" that is the most advanced software project in interactive improvisation that I heard of. While nowadays computer music has reached the bottom of banality with such things as tekno music, the Voyager project has been revived last fall at the Berlin Total Music Meeting with a duett Aki Takase/Georges Lewis and a laptop computer. So maybe this was a trio after all. That performance made some wake in the local Berlin jazz community since at times, Aki and Georges would leave the stage and let the computer play by itself in a very creative way must I admit. Some viewed the computer as "replacing" the human musician but I personnally view the computer as yet another musical instrument that you play by writing rules rather than notes. In any case, Georges' computer experiments look as fresh today as they were 25 years ago !
may 22nd, 2002: A review of british avant-garde musicians
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe plays selections from ' Not Necessarily "English Music" ', a double CD curated by David Toop. On the CDs is a collection of experimental music from Great Britain covering the years 1960 - 1977. Some selections are more 'classical' or composed; others are more or less improvised. The focus will be on the improvised tracks, featuring Evan Parker, Paul Lytton, AMM, John Stevens, Derek Bailey, Mike Cooper, Frank Perry and others.
may 15th, 2002: Getting ready for the Vision Festival in New York City
Host: Bernard Stepien: David S. Ware, Joseph Jarman, Fred Anderson, William Parker, Steve Swell, Joe Morris. New York's Vision Festival has become the best window of opportunity to sample a large quantity of New York an other avant garde musicians. It is also reflecting the changing times with the schedule showing mostly musicians that developed over the last decade or that were for a long time unkonwn to the general public even if they were very popular among their community such as Fred Anderson. Last year I attended many nights at the Vision festival and I was able to verify that there is much more to jazz than big names. This festival has also the quality of being organized by local musicians rather than a money making producer which results in a better diversity of music and musicians. All of that for a little US $ 20.00 per night ! There is no doubt that this is a success story to be imitated at all cost !
May 8th, 2002: Getting ready for FIMAV'02 in Victoriaville, Québec
Host: Bernard Stepien: Peter Kowald, William Parker, Conrad Bauer, Rene Lussier, Eugene Chadbourne and the greatest of all, Cecil Taylor. The FIMAV'02 is 15 years old. Quite an achievement for a music that CBC's Ross Porter recently described as a music that attracts only a half dozen afficionados in some obscure Lower East Side cafe ! One of the features of FIMAV like many others like the Guelph festival in Canada and countless festivals in Europe is that the crowd comes from all over the world and this is not only because opportunities to hear these people might be rare but mostly because each appearance of these artists brings something new and sometimes unpredictible. This years FIMAV'02 has all of it, big names like Cecil Taylor but also unusual matings of musicians in duett format that feature sometimes two of the same musical instrument: Peggy Lee/Marilyn Lerner, Hamid Drake/Gerry hemingway, Aki Takase/Conrad Bauer, Peter Kowald/William Parker, Eugene Chadbourne/Rene Lussier. Tonight we will focus on a few samples of all of these greats.
may 1st, 2002: The Art Ensemble of Chicago
Host: Bernard Stepien: The Art Ensemble of Chicago has been one of the longest lasting avant-garde group with over three decades of success. Their formula is a mix of genres covering all aspects of jazz, from New Orleans to modern jazz. The reason for this optimal mix might reside in another mix, the mix of widely different personnalities of the musicians that compose it. These differences in trun are also different in nature itself. Lester Bowie, trumpet found most of his influences in guitar players, while Malachi Favors, bass insists on the back to the african roots scenario and Joseph Jarman having lived through some violent experiences maintains that level of violence in his playing and finally Roscoe Mitchell, an extreme multi-reed player by the size of his reed instruments collection (see some canadian Sackville recordings about that) appears as the quietest member of the group if it wasn't for his voracious urge to compose. In deed, while most of the Art Ensemble's music is perceived as pure improvisation, it is in fact carefully planed. Tonight we will listen a double album recorded live in Paris in 1969 before Don Moye joined the group (This time I didn't have any memory lapses !). That year is probably comparable to what is happening on this very day of may 1st with as usual the musicians making a point against politicians !
April 24th, 2002: Petr Cancura
Host: Bernard Stepien: Petr Cancura is one of the most known recent local musician. He graduated from University of Carleton music department last year and has decided to stay around Ottawa for a while getting involved in numerous local projects with some of the leading local Jazz musicians. He will be our guest tonight and explain his many upcoming projects including tomorrow's appearance at the Bayou Jazz and Blues Club.
April 17th, 2002: Dan Friedman & Mark Molnar
Host: David Broscoe: David Broscoe features Ottawa Musicians Dan Friedman on saxophones and Mark Molnar on cello and violin recorded live at a February show in Toronto. The evening's playlist is rounded out by a grab bag of other recent recordings of Toronto improv scenesters, including Friedman and Ryan Driver, Allison Cameron, Stephen Parkinson . Dan will be in the studio to discuss these works.
Where is Bernard ?
Bernard Stepien is by no means on vacation tonight since he will be the guest of Ron Sweetman's In A Mellow Tone at 9 PM where he will be asked to justify himself for having chosen four essential CDs that anyone should have in his jazz collection. The choices are:
- Thelonious Monk, Solo recordings in London, 1971. This is one of his rare solo albums where he plays a number of his neck breaking compositions like Trinkle tinkle, little rootie tootie, jackieing and blue sphere, all of which are treated in the stride style that was not the original intent of these compositions.
- William Parker's Lifting the Sanctions 1998 solo contrabass CD to illustrate the life in New York's Lower East Side creative caldron.
- Jeanne Lee and Ran Blake 1961 record the new include at least one european musician since they contributed heavily to this form of art to the point that without Europe even american avantgarde musicians may not have survived (quote from Cecil Taylor).
a good provision of popcorn is recommended !
and here is some biographical information about Dan Friedman: Dan Friedman grew up in Ottawa, where he learned as much as he could about the saxophone from Rob Frayne before moving to Toronto to study music at York University. There he made a name for himself as an improvising and composing saxophonist with a flair for the radically ecclectic, performing in such ensembles as 40 Fingers Sax Quartet, CCMC and The Raunches. Although he returned to Ottawa in 1999, Dan continues to make regular appearances in Toronto concerts with other members of the Ulterior Foundation (see http://www.boywithmachine.org ). He has also been known to cavort with local Ottawa yokels RakeStar and Big Fish Eat Little Fish, and has played the Toronto/Montreal circuit in duo with violinist Mark Molnar. In his other life, Dan programs computers (http://www.webobjects.com), hits people with planets http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/ottawa_aikikai ), and occasionally pokes his head in at Rasputin's to sing Georgian and British folk music.
April 10th, 2002: Chucho Valdes
Host: Bernard Stepien: Cuban music and jazz have a long history of interactions from Jelly Roll Morton's remarks that jazz should always have some spanish flavor back in the '20s to Dizzy Gillespie's work with Chano Pozo during the early be bop era. Some people could have seen an end to all that with Fidel's revolution. But quite the contrary happened since under the revolution musicians became civil servants and thus had no preoccupation with day gigs at the post office like Coleman hawkins. This policy led to a supercharged new generation of musicians like Paquito d'Rivera, Arturo Sandoval and pianist Chucho Valdes and many others that have become a major export item for cuba well ahead of sugar. Chucho Valdes has been a major integrator of new jazz currents of the '60s and '70's with free jazz and jazz rock that has been performed mainly under his Irakere group. His influences are can be found in Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor and Coltrane but also in all remaining components of Chucho's experience in the classical and cuban folk music fields. Tonight we will concentrate on small combos format recorded at the end of the '90s where it is sometimes hard to determine if Chucho is playing piano or a bata drum.
April 3d, 2002: Mike Westbrook
Host: Bernard Stepien: British pianist, composer, arranger and tuba player Mike Westbrook is among one of the best known european musician and had a career that now spans through a fifth decade. Among his many projects, one of the most noteworthy is his "street-music format" of the Welfare State project and his various brass bands which is somewhat unexpected coming from a pianist. His association with classical music has landed him a number of contracts around major european festivals like the Westbrook-Rossini project where he end up composing an opera. Tonight we will feature on a very narrow segment of his wide range of musical domains by playing one of his early solo piano recordings from 1977 that is based on poetry, one of his major focus around that period.
March 27th, 2002: Kenny Barron & Regina Carter
Host: Bernard Stepien: The violin is traditionally associated with classical music or various folk musics such as country and western on this continent. Regina Carter that has been a rising star with a career path similar to her cousin James Carter has decided to bend the violin into other directions and follow the path of the few known jazz violin stars like Stuff Smith, Stephane Grapelly and Jean-Luc Ponty and also into some more unexpected areas such as R&B. Kenny Barron is a well established star that has played in many jazz context from Be Bop with Dizzy Gillespie to more Funk styles around Chick Corea, a lots of latin music due to the fact that at one point he lived in a latin neighbourhood and some romantic classical music such as Schumann. The result of a week long duo gig at Sweet Basil in NYC has resulted in the Freefall CD that I will present you tonight and that illustrates the capability of these musicians to migrate from one musical style to another.
March 20th, 2002: Misha Mengelberg
Host: Bernard Stepien: Misha mengelberg's Debut recording occured with Eric Dolphy. He also is known to have studied extensively the work of Thelonious Monk that he often quotes like his master's voice. The result is a fantastic style of movable target style that makes Mengelberg's music switch back and forth between good old main stream sometimes even schmalzy jazz and highly abstract avant-garde. All of this in a very elastic, clash-less and progressive way where it is sometimes hard to determine if we are still in main stream or already in avant-garde or vice versa, somewhat comparable in visual arts to Salvatore Dali's concept of melting watches. Ironically he declared in an interview with CODA jazz magazine that he was a lousy pianist ! The perfect musical intrigue ! Although Mengelberg is well know for his involvement in the Instant Composer Orchestra, tonight we will focus on his latest solo piano CD.
March 13th, 2002: Rob Frayne & Lindsey Wellman
Host: Bernard Stepien & David broscoe:In order to get you in the right mood for Rob Frayne’s Three tenors Roland Kirk project at the Bayou Jazz & Blues Club this coming Thursday, March 14th, we will review Roland Kirk’s music and ask our guest to comment and explain us their motivation for this wonderful project. Roland Kirk started his career during the 60’ when Jazz suddenly no longer was a pop music. However, despite this adverse context, Kirk ended up becoming one of the rare jazz musician to enjoy a pop artist status. The reason behind his success can be traced in any of his characteristics, multi-simultaneous reed instrumentalist, collector and performer of 45 different musical instruments, toys not to mention the use of casual sound, and a jazz influence ranging from new Orleans to Coltrane and the avant-garde.
March 6th, 2002: Evan Parker
Host: Bernard Stepien:After enjoying Dave Holland live last week, lets hear another outstanding british musician ! Evan Parker may be the most formidable saxophonist after John Coltrane. First of all, he has created one of the most unique styles of music that are apart of main stream and avant-garde jazz alike. He has taken the exploration of sounds on a saxophone to an extreme limit. His style his often referenced wrongly to as minimalistic. Instead he produces constant swirls of sound that keep developing on top of each other managing even to create multi voice effects that even Johan Sebastian Bach would have loved. Tonight we will survey his latest recording Lines burnt in light that has been universally acclaimed as one of his best recordings that was recorded in the rich accoustics of London's St Michael and all Angels Church.
February 27, 2002: Ellery Eskelin
Host: David Broscoe:David Broscoe features the latest release 'Vanishing Point' by New York tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin. After focusing his energy for several years on the 'Jazz Trash' trio (Eskelin, Andrea Parkins on accordion and sampler, Jim Black on drums) with its mutant 'organ trio' vibe and Eskelin distinctive compositional approach, this CD, recorded in December 2000, marks a departure for Eskelin. 'Vanishing Point' is a series of collective free improvisations with a 'chamber jazz' instrumentation (tenor plus viola, cello, bass and vibes). Points of reference might include Thomas Chapin's 'With Strings' and Ned Rothenberg's 'Powerlines' both of which have been featured previously on Rabble. Context tonight will include Charlie Parker 'With Strings' and Oliver Lake's 'Heavy Spirits'.
February 20, 2002: Ronald Shannon Jackson & Akika Sakata
Host: Bernard Stepien:Among the many flavors of avant-garde Jazz there is also a fusion version with current pop-music Rock and Funk. Ronald Shannon Jackson came from the Texas cradle of Fort Worth where he grew up with Julius Hemphill, Ornette Coleman and probably Billy Robinson. He played with a number of famous avant-garde musicians such as Charles Mingus, Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman with whom he brought the fusion element in the Dancing in Your Head album. Tonight we will survey one of his little known recordings while in Japan in 1988.
February 13, 2002: Joe Lovano
Host: Bernard Stepien:Playing with different bands is nothing new for a Jazz musician but playing with different bands on the same gig is somewhat more unusual especially when the bands belong to different Jazz styles. This reflects Tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano’s continuous search for new ideas and belief that Jazz is mainly an interactive music. Lovano’s initial training is in Be Bop but Free Jazz has attracted him permanently. The Fights of Fancy CD is the second experiment with different trios illustrating once more his diversified interest in different aspects of Jazz with Toots Tielemans on the more traditional side and Dave Douglas, mark Dresser and Idris Muhammad on the current avant-garde side. And here some interesting quote: “Move over Pavarotti, the greatest Italian tenor around today isn’t Luciano, but Lovano.” Will Friedwald, The Village Voice
February 6, 2002: Ottawa Local Musicians
Host: Bernard Stepien: Local musicians are the local community's unsung heros. They don't get major publicity nor reviews. However they are here 365 days a year and provide great live entertainment. Tonight's programme will concentrate on three local groups:
- Trombonist Peter Turner's band that is very active (65 gigs per year) and has even some international fans thanks to some well designed internet strategy.
- The Glebop spin-offs that has launched a very successful series of concert at the Cock and Lion and the Bayou Jazz and Blues Club revolving around an array of singers
- Rake, a local avant-garde group that has been venturing into advanced musical material and is delighting the local off-beat crowd.
January 2, 2002: Paul Frank Schubert
Host: Bernard Stepien: Paul Frank Schubert is a german musician that is currently located in Berlin, Germany, one of the main jazz centre of Europe. He is currently involved in a "jazz-fusion" project that mixes jazz with european and indian classical music.
January 9, 2002: Peter Kowald Ort Ensemble Wuppertal
Host: Bernard Stepien: Peter Kowald: Bass with Evan Parker: Soprano saxophone, Le Quan Ninh: percussion, Carlos Zingaro: violin and a couple dozen of local Wuppertal musicians Peter kowald is a european avant garde musician that endlessely tours the world. One day in 1995 he decided to stay at home for one year and use local ressources to perform his art. Well, first of all a continuous flow of visitors from all over the world started to stream in this provincial, economically depressed town of Wuppertal. A long series of recordings was the result but also the creation of the Ort Ensemble, litterally Local Ensemble. This ensemble is about the exploration of sound and spontaneous creativity, listening to others, etc... There are no flashy solos by any of the local or international stars involved but a constant magma of sound that shifts through instrumental texture and the use of minimalistic changes that contrast enough with the main stream to raises eyebrowses, all in a pianissimo mode !
January 16, 2002: Sun Ra's piano solos, 1966
Host: Bernard Stepien: The great Sun Ra is very well know for his big band work that combine influences from swing era big band traditions, space sounds and echoes of ancient africa. But Sun Ra is primarily a pianist/keyboardist and appears always as such in the context of his big bands. Piano solo recordings are rare and originate only in two periods: mid-sixties and end of the seventies. The mid-seventies recordings are bluesy and sentimental while the mid-sixties are more complex and space sound oriented and more remarkable accoustic piano that has almost electronic qualities. Tonight we will focus on the mid-sixties period and do some comparisons with the mid-seventies.
January 23, 2002: Anthony Braxton - Muhal Richard Abrams duet, 1976
Host: Bernard Stepien: Playing free improvisation in a duet format is probably one of the greatest challenge for jazz musicians. There are no charts to read neither well established chord sequences to follow. This art is entirely based on listening the partner and follow him wherever he goes or set the tone while still blending into his music. This duet recording is a classic and features even jazz and ragtime classics like Maple Leaf Rag from Scott Joplin and Miss Ann from Eric Dolphy.
January 30, 2002: James Carter, 1993
Host: Bernard Stepien: James Carter is a phenomenal saxophonist that has explored all reed instruments and all jazz styles historically attached to them. The result is a unique collage like style where within the same phrase you can hear bits and pieces of all of the great master's sounds, licks and intonations in all kinds of combinations. This in addition to an exceptional virtuosity that consists not only in playing fast melodic lines a la Paganini but also by constructing neck breaking phrases that jump registers or switch sound textures without breaking continuity. While Chasin' the Gypsy is the most acclaimed of his recent recordings, we will concentrate on an early recording from 1993 just to prove that a genius always takes time to be recognized. In the case of James Carter, that length of time was considerably shorter than usual. Despite his high skills in playing all of those various traditional kinds of jazz, James Carter is officially listed as an avant-garde musician, which must explain why James is a Marsalis prot‚g‚ while other famous avant-garde musicians such as Cecil Taylor are regularly bashed by the same Marsalis !
December 26, 2001: Kenji Omae and Nick Ali
Host: Bernard Stepien:
- Kenji Omae is a Ottawa native phenomenal Tenor Saxophonist that had the very good idea to visit his parents for the holidays and play a gig at the Bayou Blues and Jazz club on Bank street. Half of this program will feature his music and a live interview.
- Nick Ali is a Toronto based trumpeter that has the characteristic of never be unemployed ! He is in high demand for studio work and organizes all sorts of projects of which we will sample a pre-release of his Cruzao, a latin band project. Nick Ali is a regular musician at the Ottawa International jazz Festival.
December 18, 2001: Joelle Leandre and Ruediger Carl Duett
Host: Bernard Stepien: Joelle Leandre and Ruediger Carl were exploring separatly very similar musical materials before swiss pianist Irene Schweitzer suggested them to work together. This duett recorded in 1992 by the FMP label (Berlin) entitled Blue Goo Park proved that Irene was right ! This CD is organized in Carl's favorite structure of numerous short (1 to 3 minutes) pieces that each explore a different sound, rythmic structure, sound texture, similarities or differences of their instruments, casual sounds and language as a source of sound. The three hightlights of this recording that will be featured tonight are:
- the oui-non piece that explores the concept of opposite opinions, sexes and sound with a second version further exploring the sounds of italian opera music.
- the Ron Ronade piece that features the best of Joelle Leandre's exploration of people anxities with an overemphasized casual conversation of a typical french house wise's about dogs, cats and american airports, all with Ruediger Carl's all out exploration of siren sounds on the accordeon.
- the typical Ruediger carl one note piece with all the variations of texture and dynamics you can imagine.
September 26, 2001: Thelonious Monk and Body & Soul
Host: Bernard Stepien: The unlimited creativity and composing skills of Thelonious Monk are explored via five different versions of Body & Soul that he recorded solo between 1961 and 1963.
September 19, 2001: the Knitting Factory Label
Host: Bernard Stepien: The Knitting Factory is the avant garde center of New York City. Just 8 blocks from ground zero, it has been hit hard by the events. We present two CDs from this label, Ori Kaplan Percussion ensemble and Rashied Ali Le Roy Jenkins duo.
September 12th, 2001: Archie Shepp in New York
Host: Bernard Stepien: Archie Shepp has re-enacted his legendary association with Roswell Rudd during the sixties in this week long gig at the jazz Standard in Midtown Manhattan during the Fall of the year 2000.
September 5th, 2001: ???
Host: Bernard Stepien
June 6th, 2001: Swedish Jazz
Host Mark Keill: Johan Berthing, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Sten Sandell - S/T , recorded live at the Umea Jazz Festival 1998 & Aaly Trio + Ken Vandermark - Live at the Glenn Miller Cafe 1998
June 13, 2001: Derek Bailey
Host David Broscoe: Derek Bailey String Theory. In this 2000 recording Bailey explores sustained tones and feedback. Solo and with singer Vanessa Mackness.
June 20th, 2001: William Parker Solo
Host Bernard Stepien: Bassist William Parker pays tribute to his bassist forefather using some of the 10 different techniques developed by avantgarde bassists since Jimmy Garrison on this remarkable 1998 CD Lifting the Sanctions.
May 2, 2001: Matthew Shipp
Host Alnoor Alladini:
Thirsty Ear Blue Series - The Blue Series is Thirsty Ears new jazz line with artistic director Matthew Shipp. Indirectly a William Parker show since he plays bass on all 4 albums.
Matthew Shipp - Pastoral Composure, Thirsty Ear, 2000
Matthew Shipp - New Orbit, Thirsty Ear, 2001
William Parker Trio - Painters Spring, Thirsty Ear, 2000
Matt Maneri Quartet - Blue Decco, Thirsty Ear, 2000
May 9, 2001: Guyvoronsky & Petrova
Host Bernard Stepien: Enjoy russian avantgarde jazz from St-Petersburg with Viacheslav Guyvoronsky on trumpet and Ron Sweetman's favorite musical instrument, the accordeon played by Evelin Petrova. Both musicians stem from the classical music zone and have moved to jazz or improvisation (classical).
May 16, 2001: Eugene Chadbourne/Frank Lowe
Host David broscoe: Don't Punk Out. Recorded 1977, Reissued 2000. Emanem 4043. w/ Frank Lowe Quintet. Live at Soundscape. Recorded 1982 Eugene Chadbourne/John Zorn. School. Recorded 1977-78 Eugene Chadbourne. Volume 2: Solo Acoustic Guitar. Recorded 1976
May 22nd, 2001: Mikhail Alperin
Host Bernard Stepien: Internationally reknown russian pianist Mikhail Alperin gives us his way to integrate traditional music with avantgarde jazz.
May 29, 2001: Bill Dixon
Host Alnoor Alladini:
Bill Dixon - Bill Dixon in Italy vol. 1, Soul Note, 1980
Bill Dixon in Italy vol. 2, Soul Note, 1980
April 11, 2001 Los Angeles Saxophonist Robert Reigle
Host Bernard Stepien presents Los Angeles tenor saxophonist Robert Reigle that also participated with him at the Cecil Taylor Workshop last February in New Yor City.
April 18, 2001 New Jersey Guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil
Host Bernard Stepien presents New jersey guittarist Bruce Eisenbeil that also participated with him at the Cecil Taylor Workshop last February in New Yor City. His latest resleased CD Mural on the Creative Improvised Music Projects is presented.
April 25, 2001 John Lewis Memorial program
Host Bernard Stepien pays tribute to the inventor of third stream jazz that mixes jazz with classical music. A remarkable record "orchestra USA" that featured some avantgardistic pieces including solos by Eric Dolphy is presented.
March 7, 2001 Cecil Taylor
Host Bernard Stepien: The Cecil Taylor Workshop Sequel,four decades of Cecil Taylor, tonight Cecil in 1988 with Tristan Honsiger, cello, Evan Parker, saxophones.
March 14, 2001 Cecil Taylor
Host Bernard Stepien: The Cecil Taylor Workshop Sequel,four decades of Cecil Taylor, tonight Cecil in 1980 with Jimmy Lyons, alto sax, Ramsay Ameen, violin, Alan Silva, Bass, Jerome Cooper: drums, Sunny Murray, Drums.
March 21, 2001 Cecil Taylor
Host Bernard Stepien: The Cecil Taylor Workshop Sequel,four decades of Cecil Taylor, tonight Cecil in 1974 Solo at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
March 28, 2001 Jimmy Lyons
Host David Broscoe: The late Jimmy Lyons, Cecil Taylor's longstanding alto player, as a leader, featuring bassoonist Karen Borka
February 14, 2001 Cecil Taylor
Host Bernard Stepien: The Cecil Taylor Workshop Sequel,four decades of Cecil Taylor, tonight Cecil in 1962 with Jimmy Lyons and Sonny Murray, Copenhagen.
February 21, 2001 Dan Friedman
Host David Broscoe: Ottawa Saxophonist and Composer Dan Friedman returns with more of his recent recordings (100% Can Con)
January 17th, 2001 Jeanne Lee Memorial Program
Host Bernard Stepien: Jeanne Lee sadly passed away last Fall in NYC. two of her 25 recordings will be presented: the first know recording with Pianist Ran Blake dating back to 1961 but re-issued twice and even recipient of the highest awards in 1988. The second recording is one of her latest ones with pianist Mal Waldron, while on tour in Japan, including Hiroshima.
January 24th , 2001 Peter Broetzmann, Ajim Jaroschek Duo
Host Bernard Stepien: Peter Broetzmann is one of the most radical tenor saxophonist of the european free jazz scene. Here he explores the world of pianist Ajim Jaroschek.
December 20th, 2000 The Schlippenbach Trio
Host Bernard Stepien: One of the finest European avantgarde jazz trios with Alexander von Schlippenbach on Piano, Even Parker on tenor and soprano saxophone and Paul Loven on Drums. This trio has been performing together since the early '70s strictly at the occasion of a dozen or so concerts a year. They claim to maintain that tradition in order to implicitly renew themselves and thus avoid to fall into stereotypes. Evan Parker plays some of his best multi-dimensional melodic contours on this 1998 recording. Reference FMP Complete Combustion
December 27th, 2000 Joelle Leandre
Host Bernard Stepien: Joelle Leandre is a contrabassist and singer/actor that presents a new style of bass playing away from the tradition of walking bass. In this Urban Music 1994 recording she explores the hassle of uran life. One of the main characteristics of Joelle Leandre is her multi-faceted experience in avantgarde jazz, classical and contemporary music as well as switching from bass to voice and casual moises without notice. Her virtuosity consists in making smooth transitions between these multi-faceted talents.
October 6th, 1999 Sweetman's treats
Host: Ron Sweetman takes over the controls while bernard looses his over Vermont !
October 13th, 1999 Live interview of guitarist Rody Ellias
Rody Ellias has been playing electric guitar in Ottawa since the late '60s and has embraced a career as a music professor at Concordia University.
He has developed a unique style of seamless jazz and classical accoustic music where one never really knows for sure on which sides he stands. Don't miss his CD release concert this coming Monday at the National Library.
October 20th, 1999 Whilhelm Breuker vs Italian Bandas
Most of european avantgarde musicians have always had a deep interest in traditional music very often as a substitute for the Blues that every american jazz musician considers his roots. Wilhelm Breuker has been fascinated by southern italian Bandas.
October 27th, 1999 Jazz from Israel, clarinetist Harold Rubin
Born in South Africa, Harold Rubin emigrated to Israel in 1963 where besides his work as an architect, he pursued a musical career in avantgarde Jazz appearing even in the TV film "How do you say Jazz in Hebrew".
September 1st, 1999 The Guelph Jazz Festival Part I
Preview of the guelph jazz festival: cellist Peggy Lee, drummer Susi Ibarra and
tumpet Dave Douglas.
September 8th, 1999 The Guelph Jazz Festival Part II
Preview of the guelph jazz festival: Bassists Dominic Duval and William Parker,
saxophonist Jean Derome, Clarinetist Francois houle, drummer Gerry Heminway,
pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink.
September 15th, 1999 The Alter-Naive music of Bernard Lubat
Where does music start ?
Host Bernard Stepien: Bernard Lubat lives in "poetsic" (poesique) ! He gets intentionally lost
in his music ! His pianistic adventures is brand new but it has been going
for a long time !
When a child, he thought his fingers were drum sticks !
Bernard Lubat considers himself as a jazz failure but his Uzeste Festivals, the
smallest among the 178 festivals that France enjoyed this summer alone, attracts
wide attention and coverage in prestigious national newspapers such as
"Le Monde". But all of that is happening in a small viallage of south western
France, just 50 km south of Bordeaux ! that might explain !
September 22nd, 1999 Drummer and painter Bertrand Renaudin
Host Bernard Stepien: A close look at a small french label directed by drummer Bertrand Renaudin.
This special CD celebrates the tenth anniversary of this CC productions label
that features many unknown french musicians but also some stars like
Richard Galliano, Francois Jeanneau and french resident Steve Potts.
Bertrand Renaudin has been travelling extensively to "drum and rythms areas"
of the world such as Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans.
September 29th, 1999 Billy Robinson Live Interview
A live interview of Billy Robinson about his new book that explains
his view on JAZZ mized with some rare recording of Billy Robinson
with Jimmy Garrison and Billy Hart in 1974 in Ottawa.
May 5th: Preview of FIMAV'99 part I
A preview of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville. This festival is devoted to all forms of avant-garde musics. This year, a new direction towards electroaccoustic can be felt. Don't miss however the purely accoustic voice of Miranda !~
May 12th: Preview of FIMAV'99 part II
A preview of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriav ille. This festival is devoted to all forms of avant-garde musics. This edition also features more "traditional" 60' style avant-garde such as the british group the Mujician and the german Peter Broetzmann tentet.
May 19th: Peter Kowald Duetts
Peter Kowald is a key European Bass player. this FMP CD is a compilation of Duetts with musicians around the world such as Joelle Leandre, Evan Parker, Japanese shakuhaci players, etc...
Rabble without a cause: CKCU (93.1 FM) at 11:00 p.m. A tribute to Jakie Byard
Jackie Byard was a musician that could switch from Jelly Roll Morton to Cecil Taylor within a blink of an eye. His 1982 solo recording "to them-to us" reflects well this quality.
March 10th: Boston Duets
Expressive freedom and compositional unity are the main characteristics of saxophonist Oliver Lake and pianist Donal Fox. Donal Fox's classical background lead him to "third stream" music. Oliver Lake has a wide experience in composing that has been rewarded widely over the three last decades.
March 17th: Barry Espin - Paul Newman
Ottawa native saxophonist Paul Newman is one of the few that has embraced Jazz avant-garde locally. He like many others had to move to Toronto to be able to perform his art. A good move, since he met with bassist and vocalist Barry Espin.
March 24th: Free Jazz in Israel
Live recording in a Kibbutz of the K.E.I trio (Kobi Shefi, guitars, Eran Borowich, Bass and Ilan Bar-el, drums), one of the rare musicians to explore free jazz in Israel.
Rabble without a cause: CKCU (93.1 FM) at 11:00 p.m. Richard Parris Quartet
Featuring the music of Richard Parris that will perform in the Ellington now series at the After eight jazz cafe as part of a celebration of Duke Ellington's 100th birthday.
January 1999 is Thelonious Monk month !
January 6th: Steve Lacy - More Monk
Steve Lacy is one of the most important self declared disciples of Thelonious Monk. He knows his music well since he was part of Monk's band for 16 consecutive months. Monk's music is known to be extremely complex and challenging, playing it solo is a tour de force !
January 13th: Bud Powell plays Monk in 1964
Enjoy rare private recordings of Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk's best friend, at his rue de Clichy Home in Paris, and at Birdland in New York.
January 20th: Monk and other giants
It has always been a producers ultimate dream to assemble giants of jazz. Enjoy some interesting cross breedings with John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Gerry Mulligan and Clark Terry.
January 28th: The striding Monk
one of Thelonious Monk characteristics was the use of stride piano techniques. Most of these solo gems are scattered over decades and various LPs. Enjoy them tonight under one single roof !