The really big to-do this week's just gotta be the appearance of the latest issue of none other than Tim Hinely's long-running 'zine DAGGER! And mister, this just ain't any typical toss-out mag by any means, but a neat, compact, four page first edition of an alphabetized ongoing project entitled "the A Issue" (sorta like the old OP) where not only does editor Tim Hinely get to spurt forth about some of his favorite "A" musical acts but other names from the past such as (for example) Al Quint do as well! No "real" theme here, but whatever is "A"-oriented and fits into the DAGGER-scope of must-hear music (whether it be a review, history of a group etc., take the Adverts and I don't mean please!) made it into this 'un and sheesh, the whole thing reminds me of some quickie stapled fanzine of yore filled with excitement and energy only it's 2015 and we're not supposed to do things like this anymore!
Heck, even Eddie Flowers took time out from his Gizmos World Tour to submit a review! If Tim can handle it, "B", "C" and so forth will show up eventually (and after that who knows, like maybe the Cyrillic alphabet???) and I gotta admit that reading nice, fresh writeups on acts that I might or might not have cared about in the past really does stimulate the ol' musical juices in me to the point where I might be considering re-activating my own excuse for a fanzine, if I only had the money and an audience to make such a project feasible! If you're in the mood for some TOTALLY HOTCHA musically-induced reading that reminds you of the Golden Age of Rock Screeding, just check the link on the left and see what Tim can do for you!
***Not that much new happening this week, though a HEFTY, HEAPING HELPING OF THANKS must go to both Tom Gilmore and Bill Shute for their disque donations. Really guys, I dunno what I would do w/o you other'n be scraping the bottom of my teenage record collection for booty to write up and like, you guys do about as much for this blog as Charles Manson did for home security systems. And with those words let's cut to the chase and get to the reviews!
The Chris Pitsiokos Trio-GORDIAN TWINE CD (New Atlantis)
To be honest with you, I get the feeling that Pitsiokos is not gonna be the big new jazz player of the future nor anything even near one for that matter. He's too good to be one, too out-there and angular for the standard bowtie bozos who speak for a good portion of those lighter than air jazz tastes that are so prevalent these days. Now, if he played as if he was conjuring up a buncha seagulls in flight or the chitchat atmosphere of an early evening cocktail party I get the feeling that Pitsiokos would be welcomed into the jazz world with open arms, but judging from this particular spinner it's more than obvious that the exact opposite's gonna be true.
Still, a mighty pow'rful set featuring Pitsiokos on sax (sounds tenor but these ears have lied to me before) with bassist Max Johnson and drummer Kevin Shea, both players who are more'n copasetic with Pitsiokos' hard-edged drive. Pitsiokos reminds me a bit of Roscoe Mitchell and Luther Thomas in that fringe way they both play(ed), while the bass and drums are definitely in that outta-pattern between-the-notes fashion that drew more'n a few rock 'n roll noise lovers to this music in the first place! Well, at least w/o the artistic pretense and starry-eyed altruism that I always suspected the likes of Grace Slick just oozed when they would go on and on about John Coltrane.
And the music man, is it bared wire INTENSE in the great BYG/WILDFLOWERS tradition of over-the-fence and running wild playing. And not only that, but it sure makes for subliminal (?) tension building while I'm reading those DICK TRACY collections which seem to be the basis of my mere existence these days!
Once you get past the cash-in title track this ain't a bad listen at all. Not a tip top sixties spin true, but there are some nice folk rockers (such as the album closer entitled "On The Run") intermingled with the at-times cornball instrumentals. Yet another supermarket album for Aunt Flabby to get for her nephew even though 99-cents might seem a trifle too much for her to spend considering the ever-rising price of Carter's Little Liver Pills. But given the balance of worthy rock to trendy pop moves I do get the feeling that neph ain't gonna be using this one for pea shooter practice any day soon.
Yoko Ono-COUGH PIECE 1961 CD-r burn
Got this 'un from Bill, and really I think it was neat of him to show us (via the custom cover) all of the old cars he used to drive into the ground trying to get to the greyhound track in time for the first race! And this recording is a particularly wild ride in itself, an early vocal piece from Mrs. Lennon herself which features the famed nightingale doing a whole bunch of coughing while a strange electric hum and occasional clicking whir and clank in the background. In many ways reminiscent of Vito Acconci's SALIVA WATERWAYS recordings even though this predates that a good fortysome years, but with all of that coughing, boy did I want to reach out for a box of Smith Brothers! For a moment there I thought I was listening to an audio book of CAMILLE!
Haven't even thought of John Stevens for years so the arrival of this li'l platter sure brought back latent English free jazz memories. Stevens is joined here by two Norwegian locals who certainly know their avant jazz stylings, and the resultant sound is something that should bring a smile to the face of a jazz fanabla who's been inundated with way too much martinis and cocktail bloviations these past ten or so decades. Stevens plays hot and in between the beat like the best of the new thing types, while keyboardist Elvind One Pedersen reminds me of Burton Greene in his classically-minded take on the atonal realm. Frode Gjerstad handles flute, bass clarinet and soprano sax just like the trailblazers who went before him did, and if you can locate a copy of this 1982 live sesh then you just might be all the happier for it! Well it sure beats ROMANTIC WARRIOR all hollow!
This late-sixties self-produced obscurity tended to be way too hippie for my sense of values, but some of you might enjoy this Christian (hah!---just give those lyrics a listen and you'll believe otherwise) rock group's hard rock musings that are about as good or as bad as the heavies they were emulating. Most of it is typical post-psychedelic burnout rock custom made for a decrepit old house with a portable stereo player and nothing else, but there are a few moments of doof addledness that redeem this one a tad. For a listening experience that's bound to stick to you like fat-laden poop to an anus just give their Vanilla Fudge-inspired version of "I'll Be There" a spin!
Honestly, I dunno why the lassie on the cover is plugging her nose because this set's pretty solid what with its r 'n b/soul groove that's more driving than you'll ever be! True this one does have Jerry Lee Lewis from his sixties country days, "Party Doll" singer Buddy Knox doing some popsy non-hit and an unknown garage band doing their take on the infamous hit "Little Bit O' Soul", but its the soul that makes up the backbone of this 'un. Cookie V's almost as good as Fontella Bass even if I could never envision her warbling with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, while Jerry McCain's "Twist '62" actually sounds about as non-twisty as an early-sixties single could get. No need to tell you the greatness of not only Booker T but four sides of James Brown (inc. "Say It Loud"!) while the Soul Agents do a version of "Seventh Son" that ain't as strong as the original but hey, it ain't like they turd all over it. A good one from Bill and hey Miss, if you wanna plug yer nostrils at any sorta music maybe I can direct you to a few choice college radio labels out there, eh?