Monday, March 07, 2005


Hey, there was SOUND last night! Plus the cybercast only stopped and kicked me off once every ten minutes (with length of time diminishing as the kickoffs proceeded throughout the evening), and I could actually see the figures MOVING for a good portion of the show, so things really weren't that bad as far as my oft-glitched cyberviewing went, unless you wanna count the fact that Don Fellman called me up towards the beginning of Noisetet's set. But we didn't talk that long, and in fact I even let him listen in because when it comes to unmitigated sonic blast Don can be a bit of a doofus. He thought one musical phrase on the trumpet sounded like the opening of "Wild Thing."

Anyway, these Texans transplanted to New York put up a pretty fine avantstew that seems to be in such shortage these days. (Sounded like Earth People w/o the peace tendencies!) Noisetet, a group I would surmise is co-led by Danny Silverman and Brian Sebastian (forget which instruments they play) put up a wild sonic miasma that seemed to straddle jazz and rock concerns, reminding me at one point of various Miles Davis scrunch effects a la "He Loved Him Madly" (or other pre-simp fusionisms a la Lifetime) run into an AACM (or better yet, BAG) radical jazz mindset that always seemed to appeal to me even though it shut off everyone around me faster than a spigot. And toss in a tad of underground rock credo (not alternative/new music etc.) and you had one pretty good example of something at least I can become obsessed about these days given that the thrills just keep getting harder to come by as we drift further and further from the core of it all.

Anyhow, Noisetet consisted (at least last night) of an electric guitarist, trumpeter, upright bassist, a guy who I think alternated between a keyboard and alto sax (if anyone out there is "in the know" please include me amongst the enlightened!) and drummer, accompanied by two femme dancers in front of the stage doing what looked like the Grateful Dead dance o' ecstasy. The sounds emitted by this aggregate were beautifully feral...dark, majestic strains of sonic shard complete with great post-Murray drumming, restrained-yet-out gtr playing and of course the horns/keys, the trumpet coming close to various late-sixties Ornette endeavors all coagulated together by some great arco bass playing.

The final minutes of the show were the best, as Noisetet built themselves up into a frenzied coda complete with the saxist playing what I think was a theremin on the brink of annihilation or perhaps a sick stylophone, sorta giving an effect akin to winding up a balsa wood airplane then letting it soar! The whole thing reminded me of a lotta classic heavy metal epiphanies with those total-eruption endings which they copped off the avant garde anyway, so it's sorta like the originators taking the idea from the folks who ripped 'em off in the first place!

Hope this show was recorded for "posterity" (I sure wouldn't mind hearing it again!), and although I ordered the Noisetet CD which should be arriving in the mail one of these weeks I don't think it's gonna come anywhere near what I witnessed last night. Another group on the avant garde treadmill to give a listen to before they go the way of all those others who sorta slipped through the cracks while talents of lesser stature gobbled up all the glory (which you already know...).


dee pop said...

The cd is also great, which was why i asked them to play in the first place.

Anonymous said...

You can post THIS if youd like! Again, thanks for the encouragement! Glad you dug it!
NOISETET personnel at CBGB gallery 3/6/05 was:
Brian Sebastian drums. gongs
David Phelps guitar
Albey Balgochian bass
Donny Silverman circuit bent electronics. woodwinds
Brian Groder trumpet
Amanda Butterfield
Jackie Moynihan dancers
Ann Donahue

Fans of improv music will also enjoy

Christopher Stigliano said...

Donny's letter is factual except that the website he mentioned SHOULD read! I've just been there and could spend HOURS listening to the avant/freestyle/improv musics they offer, many performed by the same folks you see at the CBGB Lounge every Sunday (and soon Wednesday) evening! Let's just hope that the big rent debacle taking place on the Bowery passes over so we'll have YEARS of not only avant jazz, but other high energy musics to enjoy for a longer time than any of us could imagine!