DMG NEWSLETTER FOR May 13th, 2016
The Sun is Out & Spring has Sprung!
Time for Us to Listen to What is Being Sung
Words of Wisdom and Sounds of Mystery
Put Your Ear to the Globe and Hear the History:
With Another Wild & Wooly Assortment of Great Discs from:
James Blood Ulmer/G Calvin Weston/Amin Ali! David Cross & Robert Fripp! Thumbscrew: Michael Formanek/Mary Halvorson/Tomas Fujiwara! Rez Abassi & Junction! Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey! Michael Bisio & Kirk Knuffke! Bill Frisell/Eivind Kang/Thomas Morgan/Petra Haden/Rudy Royston!
Kali Z. Fasteau/Kidd Jordan/Mixashawn Rozie! Yoni Kretzmer/Jason Ajemian/Kevin Shea! Defunkt Live! Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matt Garrison! Avishai Cohen/Bill McHenry Quintet! Nik Bartsch Mobile! Alan Ferber! Glenn Branca Symphony 13! Pita! Mani Neumeier Talking Guru! Adam O'Farrill! Dan Blake!
Plus Archival Recordings from: Larry Young in Paris - ORTF Recordings! Sun Ra Rare LP set! Ground Zero! Red Square! Vivien Goldman! Helios Creed! Unsane! Michael Chapman LP, Revolutionaries, Leroy Smart, Derrick Morgan & More!
The DMG FREE Weekly In-Store Concert Series Continues With:
Sunday, May 15th:
6pm: T.J. BORDEN & LESTER ST. LOUIS - Cello Duo
7pm: BRIAN GRODER / MICHAEL BISIO / JAY ROSEN - CD Release Set
Sunday, May 22nd: Bruce up at Victo Fest/Chris Pitsiokos will be your host
Sunday, May 29th:
6pm: FESTER: SEAN ALI & DAVID GROLLMAN
June 5th Double-Header:
6pm: TidePool Fauna: KYOKO KITAMURA / INGRID LAUBROCK / KEN FILIANO
7pm: CARATE URIO QUINTET With JOACHIM BADENHORST
Downtown Music Gallery 25th Anniversary Celebration at Roulette:
Monday, June 20th, from 7pm til 11pm:
JON MADOF'S ZION 80
BURNT SUGAR ARKESTRA
BILL LASWELL's METHOD OF DEFIANCE With MIKE SOPKO
DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a former Buddhist temple & beauty salon. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Music Always Free & the Vibes are Quite Cosy!
JOHN ZORN'S FILMWORKS XX: Sholem Aleichem
May 18th 2016, 7:00 pm at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street - New York, NY 10011
John Zorn and his ensemble will be featured in the first-ever live performance of music written to accompany the documentary, Sholem Aleichem, Laughing in the Darkness. Drawing on and departing from Jewish musical traditions, Zorn's score is filled with lyricism, color, and a keen sense of irony and dark humor, echoing the stylistic approach of Sholem Aleichem. The performance will feature John Zorn, accordionist Robert Burger, harpist Carol Emanuel, and the world acclaimed Masada String Trio; Mark Feldman, Greg Cohen, and Erik Friedlander.
Advance tickets available at: www.yivo.org/Sholem-Aleichem
And Now for This Week's Dynamite Discs:
JAMES BLOOD ULMER / GRANT CALVIN WESTON / AMIN ALI / ORIGINAL TRIO - Freelancing Live [LTD Edition] (A.R.M. 006; USA) Featuring James 'Blood' Ulmer on guitar & vocals, Amin Ali on electric bass and G Calvin Weston on drums. This is a previously unreleased live set from Bremen, Germany in 1981. Over the past few years, James Blood Ulmer has been releasing a number of rare live sets on his own American Revelation label. This great trio are the same rhythm team who worked with Mr. Ulmer on his 'Free Lancin'' studio effort on Columbia from around the same period of time. The studio version of 'Free Lancin'' also included several horns plays (like David Murray & Oliver Lake), but this live set & tour is just the trio. What I always dug about Blood Ulmer during this time was the way his music blended jazz, rock, funk in a seamless and distinctive way. I caught Blood & his band opening for both Captain Beefheart and Public Image around this time and he did a great job of appealing to both audiences. Right from the opening song, there is an immediate jolt, as Blood's nervous, jagged lines combine jazz and funk just right. Blood sings on a few of these songs and again he sounds spirited in his delivery, 'Jazz is the teacher, funk is the preacher' are his words of wisdom and they still ring true. In this trio, Blood has chosen two strong, dependable sidemen who are amazing and completely locked together no matter where they go, speeding up, slowly down and adding layers interlocking lines. There is a joyous, uplifting, earthy vibe to this music that makes me feel great, a sound that is unique to James Blood Ulmer that puts him in a class of his own. Also, Blood has an original tone to his guitar, uses liberal amounts of distortion and he plays these odd, jagged lines which dance to their inner rhythm, both obvious and mysterious at the same time. Every time I think I know where the trio will end up, the switch directions and drop in assorted surprises. It is starting make more sense that Blood Ulmer could and did appeal both to progressive and punk audiences alike, since his music is in between those often rigid categories and/or expectations. Question, whatever happened to bassist Amin Ali, son of Rashied? His playing here is pretty incredible so, where is he now..? Grab this gem quickly as they will not last very long and the only place to get in the future is directly from Blood, no where else. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $18 (We got just 25 copies & that is all we are likely to get)
DAVID CROSS & ROBERT FRIPP - Starless Starlight (DGM 327025; UK) "We reported back in January that David Cross & Robert Fripp, musicians who need no introduction here, would be releasing, Starless Starlight: 'A beautiful and unexpected collision of violins and Soundscapes." 'Starless Starlight' is "a fascinating album length exploration of a melody - composed by David Cross and Robert Fripp - that emerged as one of the key themes on the King Crimson masterpiece, Starless"."The melody resurfaced in two improvisations performed and recorded by Fripp in 2006 and these recordings plus the Starless theme itself were subsequently transformed and augmented by David Cross (and co-producer Tony Lowe)."- Bob Mulvey, TPA
New from Cuneiform:
THUMBSCREW [MICHAEL FORMANEK / MARY HALVORSON / TOMAS FUJIWARA] - Convallaria (Cuneiform 415; USA) This is the second disc from Thumbscrew who still feature: Mary Halvorson on guitar, Michael Formanek on acoustic bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. Unlike many of the bands which are led by each of three musicians here, Thumbscrew are more democratic, the writing is split between all three members. The music was written and developed during a BNT Mellon Jazz Residency in Pittsburgh, PA. Since all three members lead several different bands, each one has evolved as strong, diverse composers as well as being immensely gifted musicians. When I listened to this entire, long disc, earlier this week, I was amazing at how much thought and work went into creating it. Ms. Halvorson is one of the most talked-about and unique jazz guitarists to emerge in years. She seems to re-invent her playing in each of her half dozen+ projects. Yes, it is true that she has a handful of distinctive licks and certain devices that she uses relatively often but where she places these sounds and the way her pieces unfold still keep us all guessing. The opening song, "Cleome", seems to blend an elegant folk/rock theme with a fine Fripp/Frith-like sustained guitar solo which is both understated and quietly hypnotic. I dig the way "Screaming Piha" erupts with so much restraint although Ms. Halvorson's guitar is noisy and fractured sounding, the trio never let things go into the red/overload zone. The title piece, "Convallaria", which is a flower also known as "Lily of the Valley", evolves slowly builds in tempo throughout with a some, sublime story-like solos from all three Thumbscrew members. "The Cardinal and the Weathervane" starts out most subdued and then switches into high gear when Mary hits that distortion pedal and things are turned inside-out and then it settles down once more to a more somber conclusion. Although many of these songs show a good deal of restraint, there is also quite a bit of more subtle complexities found below the surface if you take the time to look or listen closer. Time for another spin to find the buried treasure within. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
RES ABBASI & JUNCTION [With MARK SHIM / BEN STIVERS / KENNY GROHOWSKY] - Behind the Vibration (Cuneiform 424; USA) "A junction is the point at which several things converge. For the visionary and award-winning jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi, his new band Junction weaves together musical currents he's spent his career navigating. Abbasi has been at the center of some of the most enthralling and culturally expansive music of the past two decades, and Behind the Vibration introduces a bracing new body of music, a sinewy 21st century approach to jazz-rock inspired by his far-flung influences.
"Everything I do musically is stimulated by call and response," Abbasi says. "The new album reflects a continuum of what I've been doing all along - finding fresh orchestrations to present my music through. In some ways this project connects me more directly back to my first love, the energy that comes out of rock music."
Junction is a supremely mallable ensemble that has forged a poised and texturally acute group approach. While exploring a vivid palette of electronic sounds and aggressive grooves, Junction maintains the dynamics, precise calibration, and interactive imperative of an inspired jazz "acoustic" combo. This is exciting, electrifying (and electric) music. "
Two New Gems from Relative Pitch Records Delivered on Saturday, both Outstanding Duos!
INGRID LAUBROCK / TOM RAINEY - Buoyancy (Relative Pitch 1048; USA) This is the second duo disc from the dynamic duo: Ingrid Laubrock on soprano & tenor saxes and Tom Rainey on drums. Ms. Laubrock and Mr. Rainey are a married couple who have been working together musically as well, playing in each other's projects, supporting each others visions. Since each project is so different, things evolve in a variety of ways due to the personnel and direction of each one. I've caught this duo a few times live and they have gotten better through time. This disc was recorded live at Audio for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin during a tour in 2014. Over the past few years both of these gifted musicians have made many more fans around the world since all of their recordings and concerts are so inspired. This disc captures them at their best, listening closely and interacting superbly. An intimate, intricate conversation evolves as it unfolds. I have a drum teacher friend named Ken who is a Tom Rainey fanatic, anything Mr. Rainey records, he wants. I feel the same way about Mr. Rainey and Ms. Laubrock, especially after hearing them so much over the past few years, always pushing themselves to a higher level of adventure and creativity. The four pieces on this disc are long and take their time to develop. "Twenty Lines" starts with soft rustling static-like sounds, calmly building from there. When Ms. Laubrock switches to soprano midway, the tempo increases and the vibe changes into a more free and fractured excursion, finally sailing into a more restrained ending. "The Museum of Human Achievement" has a poignant elegance, organic in the way it naturally unfolds eventually erupting into an intense fever pitched foray. The last piece, "Thunderbird" also starts quietly and remains subdued throughout, bringing us down to a calm conclusion. The title of this disc, 'Buoyancy' reminds me of the way these two play together, floating on a raft in the ocean, sometimes calm, sometimes stormy. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MICHAEL BISIO & KIRK KNUFFKE - Row for William O. (Relative Pitch 1043; USA) Featuring Micahel Bisio on contrabass and Kirk Knuffke on cornet. This disc is dedicated to and was inspired by William O. Smith, the contemporary classical composer and jazz clarinetist who worked with Dave Brubeck (as early as 1950) and Shelly Manne. The duo open with a composition by Mr. Smith called "Drago". After the opening theme, the duo take off for the stratosphere with some incredible interplay: tight, somersaults, sailing around one another in quick flashes. For the title track, the duo slow down to a stark, lovely, ballad-like pace with some sublime playing from both musicians, which builds to a quick grand conclusion. One of the highlights of Mr. Bisio's Accortet set that I caught at the Zurcher Gallery a couple of month's ago was when the duo of Bisio & Kirk Knuffke played a piece called, "I Want to Do to You What Spring Does to Cherry Trees". That piece is found here and I found it to be touching, a delicate balance of elegant playing from both players. "Oh See O.C." is for the late Ornette Coleman and it is another highlight with quick, incredible interplay, both musicians soaring together, spinning out lines in a flash. This is a magical duo that sound as if they have been working together for a long time, sharing the same spirit and craft, like dancing shadows working together in joyous unison. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BENT KNEE - Say So (Cuneiform 417; USA) "Bent Knee is a band without frontiers. The Boston-based group seamlessly connects the worlds of rock, pop and the avant-garde into its own self-defining statement. On its third release (and Cuneiform debut) Say So, the band focuses on the sound of surprise. It's rock for the thinking person. The group's lyrics are dark and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations and the difficulty of conquering them. Its mercurial sound matches its subject matter. It's a thrilling aural roller-coaster ride with arrangements designed to make listeners throw their arms up in wild abandon as they engage with them.
Bent Knee is a true collective. The band operates as a democratic entity with sky-high standards and a determination to push boundaries. The group has remained on a skyward trajectory since forming in 2009. Its last two albums, 2014"s Shiny Eyed Babies and its self-titled 2011 release, have been celebrated as significant art-rock achievements by important music publications, including Consequence of Sound, The Needle Drop, Innerviews, and Eclipsed. The group has performed more than 300 shows across the U.S., Canada and Japan to date and will embark on its first European tour this year. They've also headlined at major festivals and venues including The Lincoln Center, ROS -fest, Tulsa Center of the Universe, and Campbell Bay Music Fest.
The group are quite singular in their combination of accessibility and envelope-pushing. "What Bent Knee does is fuse the most extreme ends of pop and avant-garde music together," says Welch. "We feel those things aren't nearly as mutually exclusive as most people think." - Cuneiform
MANI NEUMEIER - Talking Guru Drums (Purple Pyramid 0211; USA) Guru Guru drummer and one of the most influential percussionists of all-time, Mani Neumeier, offers this eclectic album of explorations into psychedelic, world, and folk music. Composed entirely by Neumeier, the album features guest vocalists, field recordings, and background singing by a group of Maori people of New Zealand.
BILL FRISELL With EYVIND KANG / THOMAS MORGAN / RUDY ROYSTON / PETRA HADEN - When You Wish Upon a Star (Okeh/Sony; USA) "When You Wish Upon a Star features Bill Frisell's interpretations of film and television themes, some - like "Bonanza" and "Tales from the Far Side" - revealing fond memories of youthful gogglebox habits. He's assisted by his jazz trio, expanded by the singer Petra Haden and violist Eyvind Kang - the latter effective in uncovering the Irish flavour of the lilting "To Kill a Mockingbird", while Haden brings clarity and charm to "You Only Live Twice" and "When You Wish Upon a Star", recalling Crystal Gayle's work on One from the Heart. Frisell is meticulous throughout, never playing more than necessary, and slanting the arrangements to bring out the themes' essential characters. The two major pieces are a three-part suite of Morricone's "Once Upon a Time in the West", which shifts between haunting, tense and elegiac, and a poignant 10-minute take on "The Godfather"." - Andy Gill, Independent
KALI Z. FASTEAU / KIDD JORDAN / L. MIXASHAWN ROZIE - Intuit (Flying Note 9017; USA) Featuring Kali Z. Fasteau on nai flute, cello, mizmar, drums & aquasonic, Kidd Jordan on tenor sax and L. Mixashawn Rozie on tenor sax, flute & djembe. For more than forty years, Ms. Kali Z. Fasteau, has been on a long journey of blending free/jazz, spiritual and world music, which began with an album called 'We Move Together' by the Sea Ensemble on ESP (released in 1975). At the time, Ms. Fasteau was married to Donald Rafael Garrett, who once worked with John Coltrane for several records made around 1965. Ms. Fasteau has traveled around the world and studied and plays many different instruments. She has worked with many of the elders of free music like Kidd Jordan (4 records), William Parker and Rashied Ali. She has also worked with Lee Mixashawn Rozie on another previous recording, a well -regarded native American musician and educator.
For this session, Ms. Fasteau switches between drums, Nai flute (or pan flute), viola, mizmar (Arabic double reed) and aquasonic (a/k/a waterphone). Both Kidd Jordan and Mixashawn Rozie plays tenor sax, with Rozie also doubling on flute and djembe (West African goblet shaped drum). The music here was recorded at several live and studio sessions in 2012 & 2013. Each of the eleven pieces are duos with Ms. Fasteau and Kidd Jordan or Mixashawn Rozie. There is a warm, somber dialogue going on when this discs begins, free yet thoughtful. Kali plays nai (ney or panpipe) flute on "Subiminal Song" adding bits or eerie echoes to give the piece a dream-like haze. The overall sound of each piece changes on each piece since it was recorded in different live and studio situations, yet the inner vibe of spirit music remains throughout. Both Kidd Jordan and Mixashawn Rozie are powerful free tenor saxists and Ms. Fasteau does a fine job of matching their intensity and creativity no matter which instrument she picks up. There is a piece that stands out ("Lineage") where Kali plays cello and Kidd plays tenor, it is hard to tell them apart since they both play similar lines, softly bending and blending their notes into one solid force. Mr. Jordan's tone is warm, tasteful and touching. Each piece evokes a different spirit or vibe, transcending the ordinary and taking us away. We enter the dream-world and meet up with old friends like Sun Ra or Don Cherry, helping us to feel better while the music flows around us providing a spiritual salve. The is a most tasty medicine. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
YONI KRETZMER / JASON AJEMIAN / KEVIN SHEA - Until Your Throat is Dry (Out Now 027; USA) Featuring Yoni Kretzmer on tenor sax, Jason Ajemian on double bass and Kevin Shea on drums. Since moving here, Israeli saxist Yoni Kretzmer has left us with ten discs, each one with different personnel. Shedding skin as he works with a number of Downtown's better avant/jazz musicians: Sean Conly, Rueben Radding, Daniel Levin, Andrew Drury and Weasel Walter. For this inspired trio date, Kretzmer has chosen originally Chicago-based bassist Jason Ajemian (worked with Tony Malaby, Nate Wooley & Matt Bauder) and Kevin Shea (MOPDTK, People w/ Mary Halvorson) on drums. Mr. Ajemian also worked on a previous trio disc with Mr. Kretzmer.
This is a studio date and it is warm & well-recorded. There just four long pieces here. Commencing with "A Walking Rant", the trio is tight, focused, free and on fire. Young drummer, Kevin Shea, who plays a diverse crew: MOPDTK, Talibam & People, is often known as a prankster and nutcase. He is also one of the best and least predictable drummers in town. His playing here is some of his most creative I"ve heard from him, keeping the cosmic, percussive moving in organic waves. The trio is truly elastic, moving together as one. I like the way the trio take their time, building slowly from the quieter regions, no need for any screaming yet. It takes long while to get to boiling point, which it does in a powerful, sprawling, explosive fashion on the third piece. Much of this is lovely, free-flowing and soaring softly together. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DEFUNKT [With JOSEPH BOWIE / BILL BICKFORD / RONNIE DRAYTON / et al] - Live at Channel Zero (ESP Disk 5008; USA) Trombonist Joseph Bowie came out of St. Louis' Black Artists Group (aka BAG), co-founded by older brother Lester Bowie. In his teens, Joe played with bluesmen Albert King and Little Milton; in his 20s, he got his avant-jazz bona fides in order as well as a member of the Human Arts Ensemble with Charles "Bobo" Shaw, in duos with Oliver Lake, and as a sideman with Frank Lowe. He moved to New York City, joined the horn section of no wave legend James Chance's band The Contortions, and then in 1978 spun off his own group, Defunkt, simultaneously funkier and jazzier. A series of stellar Defunkt albums on the Hannibal label made them stars on NYC's underground scene. After many lineup changes, the classic '80s lineup got back together for a 21st-century comeback and is still going strong. Every member applies jazz chops, rock energy, avant-garde risk-taking, and punk disregard for rules to the task of pushing killer tracks into new territory. The band has had more than a few lineups, but a few years back it coalesced around a reunion of its most classic '80s configuration and hit the road. Live at Channel Zero captures a fierce 2015 club date in Slovenia and throws in a particularly hot passage salvaged from a 2007 German gig as a bonus. If you think this doesn't fit on the ESP-Disk' roster, presumably you've overlooked the funky party music of Don Moore (ESP 2016-2) and Woodstock Workband (ESP 2010-2) and/or you've never seen Defunkt rip it up in concert. Joseph Bowie, vocals, trombone; John Mulkerin, trumpet; Bill Bickford and Ronny Drayton, guitars; Kim Clarke, bass; Kenny Martin, drums.
LARRY YOUNG With NATHAN DAVIS / WOODY SHAW / BILLY BROOKS / et al - In Paris: The ORTF Recordings [2 CD Set] (Resonance Records; USA) "The significance of this music is informed by the ripening of Young's approach, as these sessions recorded in 1964 and1965 were the precursors to his masterpiece Blue Note session Unity (1965) with Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones and the teenage trumpeter Woody Shaw, who appears here. The Nathan Davis Quartet performs a twenty-minute live version of Shaw's "Zoltan," a piece made famous from that Unity session. The piece allows the soloists to stretch-out. Davis' tenor ignites Shaw's solo before Young squares off with Billy Brooks' drums. Where organists before Young delivered a bulky soul sound, Young's affection for Coltrane's quartet led him to tailor his organ to McCoy Tyner's acoustic approach. These sides also include compositions Young recorded for Blue Note including "Talkin' About J.C.," "Luny Tune," and "Beyond All Limits."
The expanded Jazz aux Champs-Elysees All-Stars band which adds trumpeter Sonny Grey, saxophonist Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, pianist Jack Diuval, Italian drummer Franco Manzecchi, and conga player Jacky Bamboo account for three pieces here. Their swinging/hipster blues piece "Discotheque" is a pause in the evolution of Young's flights, but it is evidence that he could accent even as an accompanist. Elsewhere, the All-Stars eat up "Talkin' About J.C." and "La Valse Grise" pushing soul jazz into the 1960's Coltrane revolution.
The second disc ends with "Larry's Blues," a rare piece performed on piano. Young's sound could easily be mistaken here for that of a cross between Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner. Isn't that a perfect summation of modern music? The sound quality, especially the studio dates, is excellent making this a rare and, oh so precious find." - Mark Corroto, AAJ
2 CD Set $25
New from ECM - In stock Shortly:
JACK DeJOHNETTE / RAVI COLTRANE / MATT GARRISON - In Movement (ECM 2488; Germany) "There's a sly urgency in Jack DeJohnette's backbeat, which combines a strong forward pull with something cagey and equivocal. That rhythmic signature is crucial to the feel of some Miles Davis albums from the early 1970s and a range of other music since. The latest example is 'In Movement,' the debut ECM release by an exploratory trio with Mr. DeJohnette on drums and piano, Ravi Coltrane on saxophones and Matthew Garrison on electronics and bass guitar.
Mr. DeJohnette, 73, has known the other members of this group since they were children, by way of their fathers, the saxophonist John Coltrane and the bassist Jimmy Garrison (who played in Coltrane's quartet). That lineage provides a strong background hum for the trio, informing its repertory even without the obligations of a formal tribute.
The album opens with "Alabama," John Coltrane's mournful hymn, and later hits peak intensity with "Rashied," a tribute to his last drummer, Rashied Ali. (A roiling, spontaneous duo for drums and sopranino saxophone, that track feels revelatory and ablaze.) There are slow, pensive offerings like "Blue in Green," from a Miles Davis album on which John Coltrane appeared.
But the story here more often involves an elliptically assertive groove. On the title track, a group improvisation, Mr. Garrison lays a framework of looped chords and effects, over which Ravi Coltrane ventures a soprano saxophone melody, elucidating a song form in real time. It's an impressive show of collective intuition and no less transfixing than the trio's intently hazy take on "Serpentine Fire," the Earth, Wind & Fire staple, or a sinewy original titled "Lydia." - Nate Chinen, NY Times
AVISHAI COHEN With BILL McHENRY / YONATHAN AVISHAI / ERIC REVIS / NASHEET WAITS - Into the Silence (ECM 2482; Germany) "Avishai Cohen impressed a lot of listeners with his soulful contributions to Mark Turner's Lathe of Heaven album in 2014. Now the charismatic Tel Aviv-born trumpeter has his ECM leader debut in a programme of expansive and impressionistic compositions for jazz quartet (trumpet, piano, bass, drums), augmented by tenor saxophone on a few pieces. Into The Silence is dedicated to the memory of Avishai's father David, reflecting upon the last days of his life with grace and restraint. Avishai's tender muted trumpet sets the emotional tone of the music in the album's opening moments and his gifted cast of musicians explore its implications. Israeli pianist Yonathan Avishai has played with Cohen in many settings and solos creatively inside the trumpeter's haunting compositions, sometimes illuminating them with the phraseology of the blues. Cohen and drummer Nasheet Waits have a hypersensitive understanding and their interaction can, from moment to moment, recall the heyday of Miles Davis and Tony Williams or Don Cherry and Billy Higgins. Yet this music, while acknowledging inspirational sources, is very much of our time. Bassist Eric Revis, a cornerstone of the Branford Marsalis quartet for two decades, provides elegant support throughout. And saxophonist Bill McHenry, a subtle modernist who has worked with Paul Motian and Andrew Cyrille, shadows Cohen's lines with feeling."
NIK BARTSCH'S MOBILE - Continuum (ECM 2464; Germany) "The timing couldn't have been better. Following up on the stunning double-CD live outing, Nik Bartsch's Ronin Live (ECM, 2012), Bartsch returns with his acoustic group, Mobile, for Continuum. With clarinetist Sha and drummer Kaspar Rast crossing over from Ronin, a new addition, Nicolas Stocker, on drums and percussion completes the core quartet. A string quintet augments three of the eight tracks, infusing a multiplicity of effects in the process.
Mobile has been around for almost twenty years now with the Swiss pianist and composer, Rast and Ska as original members. They first released Aer (Tonus Music) in 2004 and there began the realization of Bartsch's unique vision of stylistically punctuating formalized musical structures while incorporating cross-cultural and cross-genre influences. The result has been music that is both disciplined and elastic with a literate quality and mesmerizing beat.
"Modul 29_14" opens quietly; a repetitive pattern of notes and chords that eventually goes to a funky, but similarly repetitive mode. In stark contrast, "Modul 12" is a minimal piece dominated by piano and brushes, the snare sometimes working against silence. "Modul 18" introduces the strings, though in a very subdued manner that adds a shadowy feeling rather than an obvious classical influence. Bartsch flashes keyboard brilliance on "Modul 5," a lightning fast cascade of notes that quickly flickers out at its conclusion. The strings return on "Modul 60," this time more clearly a chamber piece with a theatrical feel. The long "Modul 44" offers a similar ambience but here, the tremolo of the strings builds and adds more tension as the piece progresses.
Mobile remains a vehicle well suited to Bartsch's sophisticated approach to composing and arranging. There is less of the Asian influences that inspired some of Bartsch's earlier work with the group, but Mobile remains an inclusive amalgam of progressive jazz and minimalism. Without dominating the pieces in which they appear, the strings add something new to that pallet, reflecting Bartsch's interest in Gyorgy Ligeti and other classical composers. With its variety of styles, Continuum is the best of Mobile's albums to date, despite the very high bar set from the beginning.' - Karl Ackermann, AAJ
New from Sunnyside in stock next week:
DAN BLAKE With DMITRY ISHENKO/ERIC HARLAND - The Digging (Sunnyside 1437; USA) On his new recording The Digging, saxophonist/composer Dan Blake looks at his music from a different angle, accepting the test of leading and composing for a chordless sax trio, thus stripping away harmonic layers that he has leaned on in earlier projects. The new formula allows Blake to find his voice through the freeing potential of exploring the compositions in such an open and interactive setting. The title of The Digging refers to not only to the jazz nomenclature of liking something but the actual work of searching and getting beneath the surface, in this case to create a sound that is personal and believable.
ALAN FERBER With SHANE ENDSLEY/JON GORDON/JOHN ELLIS/NATE RADLEY/MARK FERBER/ et al - Roots & Transitions (Sunnyside 1452; USA) There is nothing like the birth of a child to make a new parent reexamine, well, everything. Over the first several months of his son's life, Ferber became intrigued and engrossed by the process of human growth and development, seeming to cycle through periods of relative calm and "rootedness," versus periods of "transition" involving tension, chaos, and rapid change. Trombonist/composer Alan Ferber noticed how these cycles correlate with his own growth as a composer. His new work, Roots & Transitions, written for his Nonet, is an exploration of these ideas through the process of crafting music. In Roots & Transitions, Ferber begins with tiny cell musical motives, and through the movements, drives them through cycles of calm/rootedness versus turbulence/transition, allowing the overall composition to run parallel to the growth and development unfurling in his personal life.
ADAM O'FARRILL With CHAD LEFKOWITZ-BROWN/WALTER STINSON - Stranger Days (Sunnyside 1450; USA) Though he has only been at it for a short time, Adam O'Farrill has displayed maturity in his music beyond his 21 years. The young trumpeter/composer was introduced to the music world early on and quickly ascertained the importance of history, hard work and collaboration to realize his voice as an artist. On his debut recording as a leader, Stranger Days, O'Farrill introduces his fantastic and highly interactive quartet of the same name, showcasing distinctive and subtly programmatic original pieces.
GLENN BRANCA - Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City) For 100 Guitars (Atavistic ALP 100; USA) "Glenn Branca's work as a composer spans music for experimental rock bands, large ensemble instrumentals for electric guitars, 16 symphonies, chamber ensemble pieces, an opera, a ballet, choral works and music for film, dance, theater &installation art. Now considered by many to be one of the most influential living composers (both in the fields of alternative and experimental rock, as well as contemporary classical music), Branca's work has inspired and influenced two generations of composers and musicians, major rock stars, Academy Award winners, and Pulitzer prize composers. His animated style of conducting has recently begun to change perceptions about the role of the conductor in serious music performance. Branca is the inventor of The Harmonics Guitar and a theory of music based on the Harmonic Series as well as various tuning systems. He has designed and/or built many of the instruments used in a number of his pieces. He is also a founder of The No Wave Movement that started in downtown NYC during the late 70's that has now become, after many decades, an international movement in the underground music scene."
PITA - Get In (Editions Mego 218; Austria) After the 2004 release of his last solo album, Get Off (Hapna 019), Editions Mego founder Peter Rehberg embarked on a series of soundtracks for the French artist and choreographer Gisele Vienne. Out of this collaboration were planted the seeds for the prolific KTL, Rehberg's guitar/computer duo with Stephen O'Malley. After a surprise return to live performance in 2015, Rehberg now returns to his Pita alias with the full-length document Get In. Get In extends the perennial Pita sound into a paradox of intimidation and beauty. "20150609 I" teases the juncture between the human and the tool, the improvised and the composed, and the analog and the digital. "Aahn" inhabits a field of electronic nebula, simultaneously inviting and alien. "Line Angel" could be a new form of minimalism for the post-internet crowd. "S200729" evokes an acid most splintered while "Mfbk" completes proceedings as an ambient drift underscored with classical overtones. Get In is a beautiful, engaging, and unsettling listen. A multi-headed hydra presented as the ultimate dystopian sonic journey. Recorded and mixed by Peter Rehberg at Twisted, Vienna, March 2015 - January 2016. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, January 2016. Artwork by Tina Frank. Dedicated to Thomas Jerome Newton.
LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE - Chambers (Sonic Cathedral 065; UK) Mexican psych duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete's third album. Recorded by Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas) and mastered by Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3). Chambers is a surprisingly direct record that, despite locking into a pulsating krautrock groove on "What's Holding You?" and getting lost in a fog of white noise on "Music For Dozens," always retains a very human heart and soul. There is diversity, too -- from the slide guitar and driving bass on the out-of-control "Sealed Scene" to the narco-blues of "Dead Leaves" and the folky, melancholy "Grieving." The big influences that came into play while making Chambers were Austin psych-rockers Holy Wave's Knife Hits album and the Ty Segall and White Fence collaboration Hair, which more than explains the garage-rock sensibility that pervades here. Also mentioned in their impeccable list of influences are Nico, Syd Barrett, Broadcast's The Noise Made by People, Albert Camus's existentialist tour de force "The Myth of Sisyphus," and Julio Cortozar's short stories. From 2014.
BLACK HEARTED BROTHER - Stars Are Our Home (Sonic Cathedral 070; UK) The debut album by Black Hearted Brother, the trio of Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3), Mark Van Hoen (Seefeel, Locust), and Nick Holton (Coley Park, Holton's Opulent Oog). Stars Are Our Home was recorded, re-recorded, remixed, and generally tinkered with in sheds all the way from Newquay to New York. Like many great albums (All Night Radio's criminally underappreciated Spirit Stereo Frequency springs to mind) it plays a bit like a mixtape, because, stylistically, it reflects all three of its creators. Thus, it ranges from the lengthy space-rock jam of the title-track to the downbeat disco of "My Baby Just Sailed Away," on the way taking in white noise, acoustic folk, and burbling electronics. At times its reminiscent of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, at others Blur's 13, and sometimes even a grown-up MGMT. Plus there's at least one song -- "(I Don't Mean To) Wonder -- that sounds like a garage-rock Slowdive. A kind of comedic space rock/dancehall outfit defining a zeitgeist for the 22nd century. Released 2013.
Historic, Archival, Reissues & Restocked Discs:
RED SQUARE - Rare and Lost 70s Recordings (Mental Experience 003; Spain) Ultra-rare recordings by '70s UK avant-rockers Red Square, the missing link between original free-noise practitioners like AMM, Nihilist Spasm Band, and Peter Brotzmann and post-no wavers - la The Blue Humans, Borbetomagus, Fushitsusha, and The Dead C. Named after the early Soviet Constructivists, Red Square is a pioneering free-improvising, avant-rock band. They bridged the worlds of psychedelic rock, noise, and avant-jazz, and many of the techniques and approaches to music that they helped to pioneer have become common practice today. Predating Sonic Youth by seven years, Last Exit by a decade, and Mats Gustafsson's The Thing by 25, their railing aural assaults were once considered too extreme for commercial release. Formed in Southend-On-Sea in 1974 by guitar player Ian Staples (fresh from gigging at the Middle Earth club with Ginger Johnson's African Drummers and sharing stages with Pink Floyd and Marc Bolan among others), bass clarinet/sax player Jon Seagroatt, and free-jazz drummer Roger Telford, their unusual sound was an amalgam of jazz, improv, and avant-rock, fueled by the loud electric guitar of Ian Staples, whose style has been described as a "revolutionary blend of Hendrix and Beefheart, with the sonic palettes of Derek Bailey and Stockhausen." Staples's atonal guitar riffs referenced metal without ever becoming metal. Red Square shared stages with Henry Cow, Lol Coxhill, David Toop, and National Health, and they were also involved with Music For Socialism. But their extreme sound and attitude were too much for both audience and record companies. The band imploded in 1978 with only two ultra-rare private cassette releases as their only legacy. In 2008, they reformed again and they're still playing and recording as of 2016. Rare and Lost 70s Recordings includes a complete never-before-heard heavy studio session from 1978 plus a thunderous live set opening for fellow "rock in opposition" mavens Henry Cow, recorded in perfect sound quality in 1976. Remastered by original member Jon Seagroatt (who is playing/touring with '70s pagan-folk gods Comus and Current 93 at the time of this release). Includes insert with liner notes and photos. Released in collaboration with Steve Krakow of Chicago's Galactic Zoo magazine and Galactic Archive imprint.
GROUND ZERO [OTOMO YOSHIHIDE /et al] - Consume Red (Recommended GZ2; UK) Originally released in 1997. Yet another phase in Omoto Yoshihide's Sampling Virus Project. Consume Red consists of Ground Zero sampling the music of Korean national treasure Kim Suk Chul, playing Hojok (literal reed streams with bagpipe-like intensities), accompanying on Shamisen, turntables, periodic noise interjections, etc. It's one 60 minute "ambient" piece, beautifully paced and powerfully presented. "Hints at the beautiful chaos ahead. A work that is spiritually uplifting and terrifying as a single squalling blast from an ancient sounding horn is overlaid with a steady building sound collage of sampled noise static, guitar overload, instrumental anarchy , and a drum duo who hammer home a beat that is subtly constructed yet relentless in its attack."
HELIOS CREED - The Last Laugh (Amphetamine Reptile MVD 8320; USA) "CD reissue of alien guitarist Helios Creed's second solo album originally released on Amphetamine Reptile Records in 1989 and long out of print. Space is the place for the Chrome guitarist and the Last Laugh is sci fi punk psych lift off."
UNSANE - Scattered, Smothered & Covered (Amphetamine Reptile MVD 8225; USA) "The most brutal power trio of all time unleashed this one back in 1995 and it sounds so far ahead of its time the world has still not caught up. Includes the underground hit 'Scrape.' 2016 CD reissue!"
COWS - Daddy Has A Tail (Amphetamine Reptile MVD 8222; USA) "Daddy Has a Tail is the second Cows album overall and their first album on Amphetamine Reptile Records. Originally released in 1989, this one erased the lines between punk, noise and grunge and threw them all in a blender."
VIVIEN GOLDMAN - Resolutionary (Songs 1979-1982) (Staubgold 141; Germany) There's a myth about music critics according to which they are frustrated wannabe performers. Evidence to the contrary: Vivien Goldman. The London-born, New York-based Goldman is one of the foremost chroniclers of the perfect storm of reggae, punk, hip hop, and Afrobeat, but between 1979 and 1982, she was also a working musician, creating songs that, years later, would be sampled by The Roots and Madlib. These rare girl grooves are now collected for the first time on Resolutionary, covering Goldman's first three musical formations; first as a member of experimental British new wavers The Flying Lizards, next as a solo artist with her single "Launderette" featuring post-punk luminaries, and then as half of the Parisian duo Chantage with Afro-Parisian chanteuse Eve Blouin. Goldman's eclectic musical crew included PiL's John Lydon, Keith Levene, and Bruce Smith; avant-gardists Steve Beresford and David Toop; The Raincoats' Vicky Aspinall; the mighty Robert Wyatt; Zaire's Jerry Malekani; Manu Dibango's guitarist; Viv Albertine, then of Goldman's good friends The Slits; and dubmaster Adrian Sherwood, who produced the majority of these tracks. Goldman sang in a lilting, clear-toned soprano honed during childhood. She began her singing career in the late '70s, doing backup with Neneh Cherry and Ari Up (The Slits) on Sherwood records by reggae artists including Prince Far I. Goldman was grooving to the innovations of dub. The contrast between Goldman's high, lilting tones and the deep rumble of the bass is a hallmark of all her work, giving a haunting frisson of sex and alienation to songs like The Flying Lizards' "The Window." Reggae had been her London soundtrack, but after moving to Paris in the early '80s, she absorbed music from Africa, an interplay audible in exultant Chantage tracks like "It's Only Money," a mix of steelpan, African soukous guitar, and sobbing Romani violin riding ferocious funk. As the 1990s began, Goldman moved to Manhattan and became New York University's "Punk Professor," teaching original courses on punk, Bob Marley, David Bowie, and Fela Kuti. But she never stopped singing and writing songs. Chicks on Speed released a later cut, "7 Days," on their 2006 Girl Monster compilation (COSR 033CD). Her house 12" records with artists including Berlin's Moritz von Oswald are compiled on LPs. Goldman has also co-written tracks with Massive Attack, Coldcut, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Luscious Jackson. Early in 2016, she performed dub readings onstage with Boston's Berklee Marley Ensemble. Her multimedia beat goes on.
OGOYA NENGO and THE DODO WOMEN'S GROUP - On Mande (Tal 001; Germany) Ever since her childhood, Ogoya Nengo, baptized Anastasia Oluoch in about 1940, would excite listeners around her village with her singing abilities. Very soon she had received her stage name, Ogoya Nengo (which, in the Dholuo language, means "the most precious and expensive singer in the region"). Her 2014 debut album, Rang'ala (Honest Jon's Records), was recorded and produced by Sven Kacirek and Stefan Schneider (Kreidler, to rococo rot, Roedelius Schneider) at various spots around Rang'ala Village, Siaya County, Kenya. Now Ogoya Nengo And The Dodo Women's Group present their second album, On Mande, marking the first release on Schneider and Kacirek's TAL imprint. On Mande presents an even richer instrumentation than its predecessor. We hear nyatiti lute, asili flute, orutu strings, and box guitar, which are swiftly interwoven with fierce rhythms of ohangla drums, various types of shakers, and the scintillating vocal parts of Ogoya and the Dodo Women's Goup. Dodo is a popular traditional female singing style of the Luo communities in the Siaya region of western Kenya. Men are welcome to support the singers on drums, stringed instruments, and flutes. The music on this album may have its origin in the past, but it is truly a contemporary version of a traditional folk music that is unique in that it is a living culture -- a continuously developing art form -- and therefore has an important place in contemporary music. Sven Kacirek and Stefan Schneider were fascinated by this music from their first encounter with Ogoya Nengo in 2013, and decided to record her music without any overdubbing or additional effects. Both musicians, with their individual backgrounds in electronic music and jazz respectively, found access to dodo music through its strong sense of repetition and its complex rhythmic structures, from which they drew parallels to various forms of contemporary electronic music. The recording of On Mande took place in a simple clay building next to Ogoya's house. Most of the songs on the album are songs to honor family members and people of the community -- the best electrician, the most popular wrestler -- while others are played at weddings, funerals, or drinking parties. CD in cardboard sleeve with printed inner sleeve and insert.
REVOLUTIONARIES - Burning Dub (Burning Sounds 986; UK) "1979 reggae dub album issued on CD for the first time. Dub set from the Revolutionaries, featuring Sly & Robbie and focusing on Junior English productions from Channel One Studio."
LEROY SMART - Dread Hot In Africa + Propaganda (Burning Sounds 987; UK) "1977's Dread Hot in Africa coupled with 1978's Propaganda (available on CD for the first time). Roots reggae recorded at Channel One studios with the Revolutionaries as Smart's back up band."
DERRICK MORGAN - This Is Derrick Morgan (Kingston Sounds 062; UK) Derrick Morgan is one of the greats of Jamaican music, and the undisputed king of ska. But his recording career did not stop in 1967 when the sound of ska slowed down into rocksteady. Nor did it stop in 1968 when rocksteady evolved into the early sound of reggae. This set was first released in 1974, when reggae was king, under the name In the Mood, but the working title had been This Is Derrick Morgan. The working title follows the format by which the world of reggae would normally introduce a new singer with a showcase album. In this case, for the first reissue of this album, the working title is restored to reintroduce Derrick Morgan to the new reggae sound -- though an artist of Morgan's caliber really needs no introduction, as his voice works on any rhythm put his way. One of the greats of Jamaican music showing the world -- with the help of producer Bunny Lee -- that he can roll with the reggae sound. CD version includes six bonus tracks with appearances from Hortense Ellis and Paulette Williams.
LP Only Section:
SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA - The Intergalactic Thing [2 LP Set](Roaratorio 040; USA) "One might think, with a discography as extensive as the one Sun Ra boasts, that the scope of his work has been fully apprehended by this point, but The Intergalactic Thing demonstrates its seemingly bottomless depths. This is not a complete surprise: anyone who saw Ra and the Arkestra perform will remember the sight of the band quickly shuffling through an imposingly thick stack of sheet music, when Sunny would call the next tune on the program with an encrypted hint on his keyboard. Band members tell stories of spending long hours practicing a newly-written composition, only to never play it again. Here, we have a taste of that which has been hidden: drawn from rehearsals at the Sun Ra house in Philadelphia from 1969, The Intergalactic Thing introduces a dozen never-before-heard pieces from Ra's songbook -- tunes that may have never even made it to the bandstand, let alone the recording studio -- along with a handful of reworkings of such Ra classics as 'Spontaneous Simplicity' and 'The Exotic Forest.' Without a doubt, this is one of the most important augmentations to the Sun Ra catalog in many a moon. This double LP set comes in a beautiful gatefold jacket, with extensive liner notes by Ra discographer Robert L. Campbell and a download coupon for the full album."
2 LP Set $36
METTE RASMUSSEN / PAUL FLAHERTY / CHRIS CORSANO - Star-Spangled Voltage (Hot Cars Warp 017; USA) "Star-Spangled Voltage captures the first meeting of Mette Rasmussen (alto saxophone) and Paul Flaherty (alto & tenor sax). Providing connective tissue behind the drums is frequent collaborator to both saxophonists, Chris Corsano, who also recorded and mixed the album. Long-time purveyors of the hated music, Flaherty & Corsano began playing together in 1998. A whole slew of records and tours followed, both as a duo and in collaboration with people like Joe McPhee, Thurston Moore, Heather Leigh Murray and Christina Carter, Tony Conrad, and Jim O'Rourke, among others. Rasmussen and Corsano are a newer duo, with their first meeting in 2013 being released on Relative Pitch Records as All the Ghosts at Once. But it wasn't until June 2014 that these three fire musicians found themselves under the same roof, which they would quickly proceed to blow right-the-hell off the joint. The near-telepathic connection between the three isn't something you'd expect from the first meeting of such disparate histories, but why look a gift-horse in the mouth? Flaherty's free-form gale forces and tear-jerking cries have been heard blowing in and out of his native state of Connecticut since the early '70s. In true DIY fashion, he self-released his first record, Orange-In The Midst of Chaos in 1978. Danish-born, Norway-based Rasmussen has fewer records under her belt, but in recent years she has stormed the European scene, whether it be as a soloist, in trio with Alan Silva, or in Mats Gustafsson's Fire Orchestra. Here, Rasmussen plays with pitch-wisdom well beyond her, or most anybody's, years while Flaherty unleashes with all the screaming exuberance of youth; and the two continually snake lines around Corsano's blasts as he moves between time-keeping and time-destruction. There's plenty of all-out, high energy playing on Star-Spangled Voltage, but there's also an underlying sensitivity to musicality and collective sound, so the proceedings never turn into a battle of egos. And the group has freely improvised/spontaneously composed architecture, breaking down at times into solos and duos. 'Salt', a duet between Rasmussen's prepared-sax and Corsano's bowed metal, builds an alien inner-ear landscape of difference tones, unisons and near-unisons to end side A. The album closes with a sax duet, 'In the Light of Things,' with Rasmussen and Flaherty already sounding like old friends."
Four More Volumes from the Ongoing Solo Acoustic Guitar Series (LP Only):
MICHAEL CHAPMAN - Solo Acoustic Volume Eleven (Vin Du Select Qualitite 015; USA) "The godfather of alternative guitar returns with an all-instrumental album, Homages, in tribute to his influences and contemporaries. Summoning the spirits of some of the greatest guitarists of all time, Michael Chapman proves again that he stands among them."
SARAH LOUISE - Solo Acoustic Volume Twelve (Vin Du Select Qualitite 016; USA) "Combining an elemental Appalachian spirit with a modern compositional approach, VDSQ Solo Acoustic Volume 12 serves as the vinyl debut for Sarah Louise, whose deeply ornate and engaging playing adds rich new colors to the palate of contemporary guitar."
TASHI DORJI - Solo Acoustic Volume Thirteen (Vin Du Select Qualitite 017; USA) "Rarely has a guitarist emerged with as distinctive and singular a voice as Tashi Dorji has with this series of nylon-string improvisations. Recorded in the U.S. and Bhutan, VDSQ Solo Acoustic Volume 13 stands as a defining document of a great 21st Century guitarist."
KRISTIN THORAHARALDSDOTTIR - Solo Acoustic Volume Fourteen (Vin Du Select Qualitite 018; USA) "A widescreen, cinematic vision for acoustic guitar composition from this classically trained Icelandic artist, Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir. From minimal tone poems to densely melodic ballads, VDSQ Solo Acoustic Volume 14 presents a deeply personal approach to modern guitar that takes us on a journey of unexpected beauty."
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