Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 45

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Issue # 45 REVIEWS:


Robin Butterfield & Llewellyn – HEALING MASSAGE:  We haven’t had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Butterfield previously, but have reviewed (at least) a couple of Llewellyn’s works before.  This journey is (as the title may imply) greatly therapeutic.  While it’s true that “new age” fans will enjoy this music a great deal, it should not be “lumped” in the pile of throwaways that so many reviewers tend to heap such CD’s in.  Extremely sensitive and relaxing, this music can heal the sorrows and put life back where blackness has been.  I’ve been the pleased recipient of many massages, especially during my (many) years in the Orient.  After getting past the “G.I.” aspects of such (especially in Thailand) & finding folks who were doing it for more than just the greenbacks, it was clear that the touch of another could reach deep in to the soul & release the stresses that had built up.  Having experienced it, I know that this CD would be the perfect match for a massage session.  It allows the listener to escape into other states of mind… somewhat methodically, but that’s (actually) part of the trance.  Piano, flutes, acoustic guitar and angelic (synthesized) voices ply the strings of the heart & you just float away.  Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, even for those who might not find new age their (normal) cup of tea!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Automatic Music – AND IN ARCADIA I AM:  I believe this was a project of Fred Hall’s (down North Carolina way, where our long-time playin’ friend Bret Hart now resides).  In fact, if I remember right, Bret told me he was in on this project… hard to tell, as the CD has no credits on it.  It’s a suitable mixture of styles, sure to turn any rabid rawk fan on instantly!  Strains of (one of my) heroes peek through, namely Beefheart, especially from the standpoint of the rhythms – about as rabidly “sdrawkcab” as you kin’ get – & you all know THAT’S what I like about thee good Cp’n… his rhythm makes you LISTEN!  Be prepared for the strange, as you might expect from any project named “Automatic Music”.  It is indeed much like stream-of-consciousness playing, & (tho’ some might disagree), that ain’t (at all) bad!  Bass was mixed a bit high on the intro to cut 5, but calmed down enough to be listenable.  In the overall, this rates a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, no question.  Next time out, tho’, let’s have a lil’ better labeling on th’ koverz, pleez!  Contact at
or via their site, at   Rotcod Zzaj

Caroline Peyton – CELTIC CHRISTMAS SPIRIT:  This ‘zine is known (around the world) for finding (receiving) music that, while often traditional, is different!  This CD is a wonderful example of that, in from our friends at Creative Service Company.  Though it certainly should be played/enjoyed during the season, the ancient spiritual strains can be enjoyed year ’round!  This kind of composition (from the ancient corners of man’s voice in earliest Ireland) stirs memories most of us have – but (may) have forgotten.   I’m genuinely impressed with the high spirits it passes on to the listener, and the insights it offers to the musical roots we all share (whether we will admit to it or not).  Amurrikan Christians will, in many sectors, (not only) IGNORE this, they will decry it’s existence as unholy, because it clearly conveys a sense of sadness overcome by the joy humanity can express when they share the collective spirit.  My own experiences with many in the “Christian” movement in our country tells me that they will FEAR this kind of spirit – put it down as some kind of “humanitarianism”.  What a ridiminous notion!  This (not only) gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it is also the “PICK” of Y2K for “best spiritual music”.  Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918… also via e-mail to   Rotcod Zzaj

Wobbleshop – BITTERGREEN:  Brian Holmes and Levi Nunez have put together one RAWKIN’ lil’ CD here!  It’s a pleasure to hear a duo that’s not just folk oriented!  Highly original, just about every instrument sound you can imagine & energy that just won’t QUIT!  The accordion weavin’ in & out of “Rural Dakota” (just th’ kind of folk orientation you might imagine) distorted the lyrical image just finely – enuff to make it a CLASSIC single release, no doubt!  What makes me feel like a band/group “has it” is when comparisons fail!  These guys could be compared to lots of players, but if you try & reach out & SNAP a handle on them, their music immediately melts into something you didn’t expect, & I don’t know about YOU (dear reader), but I LOVE that kind of music, particularly when it has such potential!  The lyrics take me back to early ’60’s originality, deep phrases behind/under seemingly harmless words.  This not only gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it gets the “PICK” of this issue for “best original CD”!  Simply superb & doesn’t forget the most IMPORTANT element of what (I think) music orter be… FUN!  Contact at Big Record Company, 1460 7th St., #201, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2631, via email to or on their site, at (orb-viously),   Rotcod Zzaj

Hellborg/Lane/Selvaganesh – GOOD PEOPLE IN TIMES OF EVIL:  Now, THIS album isn’t something for the “normal” people!  I mean, if you want cheezed-up rehash disko trax or the “same ol’ smooth jazz”, turn on yer’ RADIO, or watch TV!  If, on the other hand, you want your music to be an adventure… LISTEN to this!  Hellborg’s bass is magical, weaving dreams down under Lane’s lead guitar, with Selvaganesh’s percussives balancing out what can only be described as a heavenly musical journey!  Super energies combine with the wizardry of truly creative spirits to form swirling portals to time(s) & space(s) most musicians (or listeners) can only dream of!  Imagine yourself at the entrance to a wormhole, waiting patiently for the rush(es) to begin… builds are slow, patterns ancient & you are being escorted by players with a perception of how the universe flows.  Hop ON this rhythmic rocket & indulge your wildest fantasies!  That’s just the kind of musical journey you’ve been waiting for all these years, right?  Well, “GOOD PEOPLE” will “take you there” (as songsters used to say).  This is a wonderful example of what music ought to be… it’s not only a “keeper”, it’s a timeless GEM!  Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & the “PICK” of this issue for “best exploratory music”.  Contact at Bardo Records, 522 LaGuardia Place, # 421, New York, NY 10001, or on their site at   Rotcod Zzaj

Esteban Ramirez – WELCOME HOME:  This seems to be a time for sweet solo piano CD’s… or, that’s just how they fell in the stack – I’m not sure.  Either way, though, this is some wonderful and introspective original piano composition.  Mr. Ramirez is aided on four of the cuts by a live cellist, but the keys are the focus on the album, no doubt.  His compositions are lovely and enchanting, but somehow seem to emulate other players.  I wouldn’t turn this album off, because it’s sensitively and skillfully played, but I’m not sure I’d purchase it, either.  On the other hand, I realize that my penchant for uncharted waters & dangerous turf makes me a bad one to judge that for others.  Listeners who crave sounds that are more traditional will rate this (along with me) as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  A very enjoyable album, with a talented player/composer.   Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918… also via e-mail to   Rotcod Zzaj

Henri Dikongue – MOT’A BOBE:  The music on Henri’s CD can be summed up (from my perspective, anyway) in two words – wonderfully energetic!  Of course, there’s more to say, too.  His compositions combine the musics of cultures that hold joy high in their voices… Cuba, Africa, the Caribbean & others!  One of the most noticeable parts of his music(s) are the intricacy & interweaving of harmonies through & through.  I imagine his being a resident of Paris has much to do with the strong flavors of Europa that float in, around & under, too.  The title track slows things down to ballad speed, & we’re treated to a (very) soulful rendering (even though it’s in another langauge, the soul shines through).  Some NICE mixing on cut 4, real reggae orientation & some echo stuff that is very enchanting!  There are strong elements of jazz (or what we here in the Americas would consider such, anyway) on several of the cuts, with Latino leanings.  Anyone who couldn’t get up & let their soul dance to this music belongs in a graveyard without doubt.  This transcends the “world music” pigeonhole that many reviewers will put it in.  It is (in my estimation) “Universal Music” that is clearly in synch with the spheres!  Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Kyle Bruckmann – ENTYMOLOGY:  This MUST be what a bug’s life is like!  Bruckmann is a MASTER at squeezing patterns we’ve never heard before out of his reeds.  I know (from watching folks like Jeffrey Morgan, live) that circular breathing & an ABSOLUTE focus on the moment are the only manner in which sounds like this can be discovered.  For the human ear, it’s (usually) a far reach, unless you’re on some kind of hallucinogen… not that we’d recommend that, as this excursion will elevate your spirits to levels that even the BEST blow can never attain (& that is the vox of experience, too).  Headphones are essential, & don’t try & play this when mom’s gonna’ be yellin’ for supper… you need a good solid 45 minutes of no interruptions to absorb this improvised adventure.  Is it recommended?  For those who need brain surgery, or those in search of what a mosquito feels like in it’s darkest AND (most) joyous moments – it’s MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – “regulars” should avoid this like the plagues (those skeeters tend to carry around).  Seriously?  This is one of the most intimate and best-blown solo excursions I’ve heard in (at least) 3 years!  GET it, if yer’ at all into improvisation.  Contact at Barely Auditable Records, 2649 W. Walton, 3, Chichago, IL 60622, via email to  or on their site, at   Rotcod Zzaj

Marilynn Seits – KARMIC TRIBUTE: We reviewed an entirely different kind of CD by Marilynn in the last issue, ALONG THE SILK ROAD… this album features solo piano. Though the concepts are different (this round is straight-ahead traditional jazz), the spirit is clearly the same… creative, introspective & gentle (even in it’s wildest moments). Readers/listeners who want piano jazz that serves as (only) background should go back to the K-mart racks – Marilynn’s touch and interpretation (alone) is an adventure in/of itself. You will find yourself wrapped in memories of dark & smoky rooms (or whatever environment your first exposure to the jazz giants was). There are moments when it feels (& I’m not hyping at ALL) like her hands are acting like a medium in a weird jazz seance, letting Monk speak through her fingers – COOL! This is (according to her press kit) her first CD that’s not all original music – & it’s a SMASHING success! Well recorded, full of life & a tribute that will be well received by those artists (even the ones on the other side) she brings back to life for us! Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at  or via e-mail to  ) Rotcod Zzaj

Gary Hassay/Dave Pollitt – DBOPS POLLITTICS:  Though I’m not 100% positive as to the political intent (& who would WANT to be, on an improvised album, anyway), this is one HECKUVVA CD!  Excursionary, there are trade-offs & switchbacks throughout between Gary’s alto & Dave’s violin highs & lows.  They were at a (relatively) slow pace, no scorchers speedwise, but from the standpoint of intricacy, this outing will astound even the most hardcore of improv listeners (& players, for that matter).  As with any improvised recorded music, it’s much better in live performance, but Dave & Gary have managed to capture a great deal of that ambience through the close attention they pay to each other.  They also are able to avoid the “squeek/whistle” mode often associated with violin/sax improv, which will make it accessible to a much broader audience.  For the pure improv-head & the dabbler alike, this will be pure pleasure, & a “keeper”!  If you haven’t “dabbled” (with improvised/freestyle music) before, this would be an excellent place to start.  It gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, without qualification!  Contact at 743 N. 19th St., Allentown, PA 18104, or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Kolo – DIVERSIONS OF GRANDEUR:  If yer’ dig dance trax that just keep on chooglin’, you won’t be able to pass this CD up!  Bass & beat heavy, as you might expect.  In fact, listening through for the third time (now) tells me that it’s really bass-centric – to their credit, though, the bass mix is complimentary, & not (too) overpowering!  “Triple Agent” (track 3) has some nice lead-line synthwork, & in the overall, this has some excellent drum-work, too. If they wanna’ make it better for next go-round, I’d really like to hear a lil’ live lead guitar!   Horn sounds are a lil’ cheezy (Casio, mebbe’?), but all-in-all, I’d give this a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (tho’ only for those who need their daily hip-hop dose).  Contact at 411A Highland Ave., # 312, Somerville, MA 02114, via email to  or on the site at   Rotcod Zzaj

Llewellyn – MOONLORE:  Deep – rich – cleansing – satisfying.  Those are the descriptors that come to mind for the music on this grand CD!  Celtic celebrations brought to vibrant life… even if you DON’T understand anything about what those traditions mean, Mr. Llewellyn’s music will reach down to the depths and drag memories (regardless of your cultural background) up you never knew were there.  His compositions rely heavily on the ancient rhythms & finely crafted percussion, in addition to his excellent keyboard and synthesizer work.  You will find a multitude of (little) instrumentation weaving in & out, too, if you listen to this with headphones (strongly recommended).  I’ve been impressed by his skills since the first time we reviewed him, & have come to greatly appreciate the beauty in his compositions – you will too!  Sweet, sweet, sweet!  Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Karen Nunis Blackstone – GIVE ME SANITY:  A blues lady of mixed cultural descent, Karen provides a very interesting and insightful collection of songs on this CD.  Nice solid acoustic guitar work throughout & some interesting percussion backgrounds – definitely not what you might expect with ‘da blooz – but I thought it was a very healthy mix!  Her voice sounds (at times) like a mix between a cement truck that didn’t quite get thee rocks all blended down before they started pouring & a Catholic choir girl (which she was at one time).  Her lyrics are poignant & penetrating, & she sings them with the searing qualities often associated with that good ole’ soul music!  Genre-wise, it would probably fall out somewhere betwixt straight-up folk & Rickie Lee Jones best funk-lickz!  There are some GREAT bass lines on cut 5, “Out The Door”… in fact, it’s my favorite track on th’ album… slow & slinky, th’ kind that sneaks UP on ya’  (wierd – an eastern flute sequence, with electric leads that remind one a lot of an old, old album called “Hardcore Jollies”, by the Funkadelics)!  This is a great little excursion – you’ll (not only) be glad you met her, you’ll agree with me that this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Paul Winter and the Earth Band – JOURNEY WITH THE SUN:  A “journey” indeed!  Heavy “eastern” influences on this wonderful and enchanting musical trip/rock opera with Winter & folks like (Grateful Dead percussionist) Mickey Hart, cellist Eugene Friesen (any relation to bassist David, I wonder) & others.  There are moments on the first track when one MUST think mid-to-late ’60’s, when the Beatles were just “hooking in” to the Maharishi, hookahs & other shades of that whole aura of energy!  Paul’s soprano is astounding, in every respect on each of the pieces, as you might expect… sharing, leading, riding & romping the sonic magic throughout!  The vocals by Arto Tuncboyaciyan are masterpieces in and of themselves, evoking images of both the beautiful and the sad – simply amazing.  Track 9, “Yaku”,  (as you might expect) was my favorite, featuring some of Hart’s RAMU (computer-linked percussives)… crystal clear recordings help to amplify the bouncing rhythms, culled from (nearly) all cultural backgrounds!  You won’t find much more majick this year – GET THIS ONE, it’s MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone who enjoys music with high energy and thoughtful introspection.  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Abby Rabinovitz – WE USED TO DANCE:  Well, it sounds (to me) like flutist Abby never forgot how to KEEP the rhythm going on this CD.  Searing energies through & through, this will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Think middle European when concentrating – but don’t plan on it being a “sitting” – you will find yourself (first) tapping your toes, (then) wiggling other parts of your anatomy until (finally) you’re up on your feet (after you look out the window to make sure no nosy neighbors are watching – or to invite them to c’mon & join in), dancin’ yer’ BUNZoff!  Ms. Rabinovitz is a skilled composer, but (more importantly), she is able to FEEL the bounce & convey the REAL through her music.  There are slower moments of intimacy, too, but for the most part, this is spirited music that will magick karpet you (very quickly) back to the passion of the dance!  Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us for those who enjoy music that lifts you UP!  Contact at B&K Communications, 411A Highland Ave., Suite 353, Somerville, MA 02144, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Morning 40 Federation:  YOUNG BROTHER:  I’m STILL tryin’ ta’ figger out where TEKITO label got THIS band/CD.  Accordin’ to their guitarist, Ryan Scully, the 40 is tied to “the 40’s”, which he perceived as a pretty sleazy time.  Dunno’ ’bout that, but they DO play some sax-influenced rawkin’ stuff that will sorta’ remind you of world war.  Izzit’ GOOD?  Ay-up!  Izzit’ GREAT?  That prob’ly won’t be determined until the NEXT war, but these boyz’ from down New Orleans will have ’em dancin’ inna’ streetz UNTIL the bomb falls!  Tell ya’, I really DIG this, people.  There are (believe it or not) even strains of one of Amurrika’s rhythm-perversion HEROES in there, Cp’n Beefheart (in places), as well as lyrical reminders (somehow, in my twisted brain) of Unka’ Frank (Zappa).  An even dozen cutz of temporary insanity that will last through until (at least) the 2040’s!  Some reviewers would want to toss this kinda’ music in thee JUNK BIN – but I rate it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, because th’ energy quotient is rippin’, & it is without question a style of rawkin’ you (just) don’t (& won’t) hear every day!  Contact at PMB # 432, 828 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70116, or visit their website at  Rotcod Zzaj

Frank Gratkowski Trio – QUICKSAND:  Not the kind of improv that “mires” you down, as the title might indicate.  This CD (from a label we were only recently introduced to, “Meniscus”, out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, of all places) features some very intriguing reed work by Frank, “racy” keyboards by Georg Graewe & magical percussives by Paul Lovens.  It was recorded in early ’99 in Cologne, Germany (which makes me wonder if our old friend Jeffrey Morgan wasn’t hangin’ somewhere in the wings).  This is actually the first full-length work I’ve heard from Gratkowski, & it’s a great way to start.  Most of the tracks feature the kind of intricacy only lovers can achieve, & I know (from experience) that (for musicians) requires complete focus & involvement with the moment!  Some reviewers (the kind who only listen to half a cut or two & then write) will write this off as “random”, which (in their kind of reviews) somehow implies “unsound”.  How WRONG they would be.  The thing that’s most impressive about this recording is how well (and smoothly) the random blends…. & not into unintelligible mish-mosh, either.  Anyone with even the least amount of interest in improvised music will agree totally with me when I declare this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  It is truly one of the best improvised recordings I’ve listened to in Y2K!  Contact via the label page at or email to   An interesting postscript to this review:  On December 9th, 2000, I happened to be glancing through the ENTROPY STUDIOS listings for upcoming performances.  Here’s what I saw – Frank Gratkowski  and John Lindberg  It was far more than I had bargained for… Frank was HIGHLY impressive, as was John Lindberg.  Portions of the sax percussion solo on one of their duets was (not only) humorous, it was ON!  Lindberg’s bass was solid through & through, & Gratkowski’s smooth and flowing clarinet against that made for a splendid listen.   Th’ comfortable atmosphere at ENTROPY helped (as it always does), too… ‘s a really nice place to listen to improv… THAT was my C-mas present!   Rotcod Zzaj


Our friend HENRY SCHNEIDER will now provide a “review interlude”… we genuinely thank him for getting back in touch with us & writing some reviews for us… enJOY!

Siren Circus Solid Poems on a Ghost of a Subject  (Carbon 7 C7-044, CD 57:56)    Somewhere between Nina Hagen, Laurie Anderson, and Philip Glass lies the musical territory of Siren Circus. Gothic images of twisted and sick relationships abound in this collection of 15 quirky songs by Anglo-Canadian sisters Cathryn and Lucie Robson. Cathryn and Lucie compose, sing, and play most of the instruments on these songs ranging in styles from intricate compositions to minimalistic ballads, from humorous tales to melancholic stories – in a mixture of cabaret and pop music. Solid Poems is a unique listening experience and an enticing choice for the adventurous listener.   Contact at Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium;   Henry Schneider – November 2000

Hardscore Surf, Wind, & Desire  (Carbon 7 C7-045, CD 65:54)   Not at all what you would expect for surf music, this is a far cry from Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys. The title is in fact an allusion to the band Earth, Wind, and Fire. What Hardscore accomplishes on this CD is immersing the listener in an aquatic world of crabs, sharks, cod, ships, and people through a hybrid of classical and rock instrumentations, firmly in the realm of Frank Zappa. There is a lot of surreal humor here. How else could you treat subjects like interactions between crabs, codfish, sharks, etc.? Hardscore is an amazing band that deserves your attention.  Contact at Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium; Henry Schneider – November 2000

Slang Los Locos  (Carbon 7 C7-046, CD 46:31)   Slang is a trio of Francois Garny (bass), Manuel Hermia (woodwinds), and Michel Seba (percussion) from Belgium. Francois’ bass playing is extraordinary and is well complimented by Manuel’s sax and flute and Michel’s drumming. Garny brings the lowly bass to the musical forefront as a solo instrument. The resulting music is an amalgam of sophisticated jazz and ethnic themes. Not for the casual listener, Slang’s music demands your attention and is well worth your time and effort.   Contact at Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium;   Henry Schneider – November 2000


…we now return to our regularly scheduled reviewing…

Ron Imhoff – CHEMISTRY:  Believe it or not, we reviewed the 7th track on this CD, “Solitude”, nearly 5 years ago.  Sometimes seems hard to believe how much music has passed thru this reviewers’ ears in that span of time.  According to Ron, that song “was the foundation” for this recording.  Though he calls it “New Age Music”, I think it leans away from that kind of labelling… his guitar work alone adds far more character than any “new soup” I’ve heard lately.  The other thing that makes a strong impression is the compositional skill he displays… clearly an “evolution” of the pieces that began with the “Solitude” track into clear sonic images of calm energies that will soothe even the most savage among us.  I keep coming back to his guitars, though… he blends them seamlessly to convey a sense of “undercurrent” that elevates (each of) the tunes to soaring… not “searing”, but “high”, if you can catch my drift.  Totally a D.I.Y. effort, to include some stunning cover art.  Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact at Kookie Jar Records, Chemistry, POB 245, Glen Gardner, NJ 08826, or via email to    Rotcod Zzaj

Wilkins & Allen Quartet – PETTY THEFT:  Nothin’ petty ’bout th’ music they play, tho’, folks!  Skip (Wilkins) has some of the best hands/fingers you’ve ever heard on a keyboard… highly energetic, with chords that stick to yer’ ribs.  Jill (Allen) does flute more than poetic justice.  Clear tones & hot licks from both of these talented players.  Their special guest is none other than David Liebman… shows you what kind of stature, they’ve got, eh?  There is some RED-hot bass underpinning from Tony Martino & their drummer (Tom Whaley) keeps the driving energy going through & through!  Don’t expect a blast of improvised stuff, though.  This is pretty straight-up jazz, no chaser, the kind that is intended to be listened to from start to finish.  What my ears keep coming back to (even though the flute stands out) is Wilkins’ keyboards!  It’s not just the mix, it’s the CHOPS!  Some SUPER jazz to bid adieu to Y2K with & welcome the new year!  This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all fans of straight-up jazz with an edge.  Contact through Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Jovino Santos Neto – AO VIVO EM OLYMPIA (LIVE IN OLYMPIA):  You might know that Jovino would pick th’ year I left thee majickland (of OlyWa) to perform there.  We’ve been listening to & reviewing his great jazz for (at least) 3 years now, & this CD captured a live performance that I wish I hadn’t missed!  Sweet jazz, but not th’ “smooth” stuff (that sounds like stale syrup).  His quintet is captured with full crowd noise, nice interactions & (most importantly) jazz that is A-L-I-V-E!!!  It sounds like it was a “full house” at the State theater that night to listen to Neto’s amazing keyboards, energized reeds by Harvey Wannapel, deep bass by Chuck Deardorf, “just the right touch” drums by Mark Ivester & some lively percussion by Jeff Busch!  Actually, this is one of the best live recordings I’ve heard in the last 5 years or so… it really captured the moment and the music!  Jovino’s keyboards speak to you, even if you’re not the best listener around!  The players compliment each other all the way through this wonderful CD.  If you’re a jazz aficionado, you’ll agree when I declare this (nolo contendre) to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Some GREAT jazz that your ears (& heart) will cherish for many years to come.  Contact at Liquid City Records, POB 4418, Seattle, WA 98104, or through the WWW site at   Rotcod Zzaj

The Timbre Project – FREE SOUVENIRS:  Some impressive acoustic pop balladry on this CD, but it doesn’t stop there… moves right on into some rawkin’ backbeat-oriented heavier rock stuph!  Flawlessly executed & very tight compz that will have ya’ doin’ more than just tappin’ yer’ lil’ toezie-wozies!  This is a great recording, not sure why it didn’t jump outta’ th’ stak a lil’ earlier at me – I mean, this kinda’ music is somethin’ you’ll find yer’self goin’ back to.. & back to… & back to!  VERY high energy, lyrics that have a bite (but don’t gnaw yer’ leg off).  Th’ odd beats on “Junkie Disco Girl” (trak 7) will keep ya’ guessin’ (that’s why it was my favorite track)!  Another thing that was mighty attractive to these aural appendages is that they MIXED th’ styles up, won’t LET you get stuck in any ruts.  Only complaint (recordingwise) is that the vinyl album (or so it seemed) used for the intro/outro had too many scratches in it.  All in all, though, comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those who dig on acoustic/electric folk/kowboy/rawk that’ll keep yer’ blood pumpin’!  Contact at POB 426006, Cambridge, MA 02142, or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj


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We WANT your announcements/links about great places for D.I.Y.’er’s… SEND us your links… e-mail to   Another thing that’s REALLY important for (all of ) you to remember is – WE review ALL your works!  Snail for submissions is:  Zzaj Productions, c/o Dick Metcalf, 642 Dorchester Road., # RR, Rochester Hills, MI 48307  So TELL every artist you know – SEND that Zzaj yo’ STUPH!!!!!!!


Try  - a growing list of venues and event listings 
around the country.  If you would like to submit your venue -- please do not 

I would like to give you a free info spot at 

Take a look at the site and write back if you are interested.

Jens Christensen 
Dear Friends and Fomentors of adventurous music,
Finally, after 2 years on the air and over 100 broadcasts, the Sonar Map
radio show has a new website! Surf  for the complete
archived playlists of the program along with my writings on music, strange
items, and, as they used to say on TV in the 1970s, much, much more.

Also, I have released my first solo compact disc in 4 years!

N30: Live at the WTO Protest November 30, 1999 is a 78-minute compact disc
featuring three pieces: cocaine, Harbinger, and N30. cocaine is the first
in a series of aural safaris into the streets of Seattle. Armed with stereo
microphones and a small card inscribed "cocaine," folks read from the card
while I recorded the results. Harbinger overlays fast, shifting pulsations
irregular phrases. Imagine Philip Glass and Conlon Nancarrow as club DJs. 

N30 is my second aural safari. An orthophonic "you are there" recording,
N30 uses my front-line field recordings made at the WTO protest in Seattle
on November 30, 1999, and will immerse you in a vivid sonic maelstrom of
chants, drumming, and violence. The cd was funded in part by the King
County Arts Commission. 

N30 was pressed in a limited edition of 500. Regrettably, I am too busy
with composing music to pursue traditional avenues of distribution. The cd
is also available by mail order or on-line at .
Best wishes,

Christopher DeLaurenti is a composer and freelance music writer (the
Tentacle, Seattle Weekly, Earshot Jazz, etc.), as well as radio host of the
Sonar Map and Attacca: Uncut Classical. Sonar Map News is an infrequent
(twice per year, tops!) email. If you have no idea why you got this
message, or wish to be removed from this list, please reply to this
message. Thank you! 
     I am representing Bloodtreaty Records, a label
based out of Michigan that focuses mainly on the
electronic and industrial genres of music.  We are
currently compiling a list of high quality sources
such as yours to send press releases for publication
and to submit materials for review.  If interested
please respond naming the particular parties at your
establishment we would seek to be in regular contact
with along with their email and/or mailing addresses. 
Thank you very much for your time, and we look forward
to hearing back from you.  Take care.



Bloodtreaty Records 
All music industry personnel should submit their information for the 2nd 
edition of the MMD (Midwest Music Directory) which will hit the streets 
June 1st 2001 
The MMD is a music reference guide containing bands, clubs, managers, 
promoters, recording studios, booking agents, radio stations, producers, 
record labels, entertainment attorneys, and more from the following 

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, 
Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, 
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, & Wyoming. 

20,000 - 50,000 copies will be distributed to every music industry 
contact we can find in the Midwest. 

Help us to help the indie scene - pass this message along to anyone and 
everyone you know who works in the indie music scene.  If this is a 
record label, artist management company, publicist, booking agent or 
anyone who works with a number of music related individuals & / or 
businesses, PLEASE pass this message along to those you represent, and 


Just go to our web site and submit your information.  The address is  
Would you add a link to us on your site? Perhaps a banner? 
We have awesome banners at: 
B L A C K L I G H T   R E C O R D S
New Industrial & Gothic Music 
Distributed by Metropolis Records. 
Also at: 
~Fatal Blast Whip & Temple Of The Times Debut EPs Now Available
+Remixes from Luxt, Pulse Legion, Imperative Reaction, Battery,& Scar Tissue..
*In heavy rotation now. FBW- Constelltion, and TOT - R.F.T.L.C.
-Home to artists like BLACKHOUSE, TORN SKIN & MORE
^Owner has toured with NIN, Manson, and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
-A lot of the cds have remixes from Battery, 16 Volt, Sanctum, Pulse Legion & More.
!Real Audio, MP3's, Biographys, Interviews, & More At The Website. 
%Sign the guestbook, join the Blacklight Mailing List for free stuff.
Blacklight Records 
fax# (765)868-0916
All submissions are reviewed for listing in the Genome Project. If listed,
we ask that you reciprocate a link to us. You can get either text and/or
graphic links @ 

Submit your music news to Mi2N at no cost. Simply submit your press
releases or announcements at 

Sounni de Fontenay, Editor in Chief 
i spoke with you on the phone years ago when i was looking for my old friend bret hart. i was in korea with him in the navy.
anyways here is a link to music i am doing under the name frank o pollizzi band. take care 
Above is the link to my web page where I've recently added a new song 
called DAYDREAM.  Not only is it quite possibly my best one, but it's 
a song that I think all of you will love!  

So download it, turn your speakers way up, and enjoy!

              -Dave, from The Silence Thief
CEAIT Electronic Music Festival 2001
Friday, January 12th through Sunday, January 14th
California Institute of the Arts
Roy O. Disney Music Hall

The 4th annual CEAIT Electronic Music Festival will take place in January of
2001 at the California Institute of the Arts. This year's festival will
focus on improvisation using computer instruments. A discussion forum
featuring a panel of invited improvisers and computer musicians will convene
on the afternoon of Saturday, January 13th. The audience and panel will
discuss current issues in improvised music with an emphasis on the computer
as an instrument for improvisation. The concert on Saturday night will
feature improvised music and will include performances by a number of the
discussion panel members. The Friday and Sunday night concerts will feature
selected works from the submissions pool. Throughout the festival, audio and
video installations will be featured in the area surrounding the concert
hall. The CEAIT Festival web page will include an online mp3 jukebox of tape
pieces and easy access to live broadcasts via Real Video of the discussion
forum and all of the concerts.

As they become available, details about the festival will be posted on the
CEAIT Festival web page.


We are accepting pieces that are no more than fifteen minutes in length.
Pieces can be composed or improvised for the following:  tape alone, video
tape, instrumental performers with tape or computer, live
electronics, or computer alone.
Audio and video installations  will also be considered providing that the
artist or group is responsible for setting up and running any such piece.
For pieces involving performers, the composer should either be in
attendance or should make necessary arrangements for the performance.
For pieces with video, we can provide VHS, 3/4", Video CD, DV, or Laserdisc
playback .

Please include with each submission:
  -  any bios  
  -  any program notes
  -  the composers or group's contact information
  -  a list of technical requirements

We can accept submissions on DAT, CD, VHS, Video CD, DV tape, CD-Rom, or

An individual composer or group may submit a maximum of two works for


All submissions should be postmarked by Saturday, December 9th, 2000 and
sent to the following address:

Clay Chaplin
California Institute of the Arts
School of Music
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355

Email --> 
Web Site --> 


Clay Chaplin
Menschenfeind News 
Facialmess/Eugenics Council "An Exercise in Self Worship" 7" now available. limited to 200 copies 

    Facialmess is the Japan based harsh electronic project of Kenny Sanderson, a British national living in indefinite exile. facialmess has has been releasing noiseworks on vinyl, tape and cd since 1995, included in the discography are collaborative efforts with Suppression, Sore Throat andBastard Noise.More recent works have also featured fractured beats, along with the more usual harsh cut up collages. 

On this recording E.C. consists of Rosemary Malign & D.N. 
E.C. is known for its violent live performances, and harsh electronic sounds. The last release was a split cd with Dr.Randall Phillip creator of Fuck magazine. 
This release along with Randalls books and magazines can be purchased at the menschenfeind website. 

Info on E.C. / Randall Phillip cd 
After being turned away from more then one pressing plant due to the harsh content, and graphic artwork The Cd  will finally be made available. It contains material from the Eugenics Council's limited edition cdr "Genocide Now" along with all new material. Rosemary has recently been featured on the Susan Lawly Release "Extreme Music From Women" her Track Produced by William Bennet of Whitehouse. She has also been published in  "Apocalypse Culture" released through Feral House.Any one who is familiar with Dr. Randall Phillip's magazine "F*ck",  his Book "Extermination Zone", or His movie "Tape Terror" will enjoy his 
audio work. For those not familiar with Dr. Phillip, prepare yourself for one of the most brutal writer/artist of the century. 
Dr. Phillips  writing can also be found in "Answer Me 4". 

"Well, if you're a sucker for brutal, cynical and controversial projects, look no further: here the duo Eugenics Council teams up with the infamous 
  Randall Phillip, editor of the (euphemistically speaking) extreme fanzine Fuck“. What you get is a long ear-splitting and stomach-revolting bad trip 
                               through the destruction of almost every possible target of anti-PC hysteria" 

                                            --Eugenio Maggi from an Italian music mag 

"F*ck is a Tour de Force of Ugliness that tests the limits of the first amendment. Reading Fuck is like being gang raped. You are guaranteed to be 
offended & you'll probably want to put up money to have Mr. Phillips face bashed in." -- extracted from the philadelphia welcomat 

E.C. has recently finished up a small north east tour. Shows and recordings have frequently involved the use of welders,explosives,bent casio's,tasers,korg poly6,sig. generators, road kill, etc. Some pics can be found at the Menschenfeind webpage. 

Review of E.C./Lockweld colab. performance 
A chainsaw was wielded into the crowd, through wood, through a ladder, through beer cans, etc.... Karen screamed and jumped as if on Hello Kitty narcotics..... Dustin was busy catching things on fire, welding, and throwing motors into barrels.... This was controlled chaos, no, this was pure chaos and close to a riot. Fucking incredible, and the sound of it matched as the rumble of electronics, metal and chainsaw mixed into a cacophony of perverse modern technology that not only embraced the audience but made them a part (or nearly parts heh heh) of the show. This was the perfect finale for Finality and couldn't have been more explosive than this. It ended a little while after the set with explosives in the bathroom courtesy of Eugenics 

 E.C. / Facial Mess 7" $4 postage paid U.S. $7 world 
Menschenfeind Productions 
po box 13207 
st.louis mo 

cash or money orders only! 
Wholesale prices are available. 

Credit card orders accepted 
Check the Menschenfeind website for a large list of cd's, vinyl,video, and cassettes 

Menschenfeind Productions is an independent label and distro that deals with Extreme music and 
culture. About once a month an email is sent out to those who have expressed interest in the 
organization, or affiliated groups. 

Remove Instructions: 
This list is being sent to those that have visited the menschenfeind site or related sites. 
if you do not want to receive info related to extreme/underground music and culture,  reply to 
This email is meant only for those who have expressed an interest in the label, mag.,or other affiliated groups. 
If you feel you name was added by mistake reply to the above address for immediate removal. 

for more info,reviews live pics,etc visit 



I just wanted to let everyone know that my debut recording, Downside Heaven, 
is now available at 

Please take a couple minutes, check out my music, and send me some of your 
positive feedback.

Thank you,


PORTLAND, OR -- EMEDIATEdesigns   ) announces
that (, a new site dedicated to the
music and bands of Seattle, found a large audience during October, the
site's first month online. Seattlite, which features streaming and
downloadable music from local musicians as well as an artist directory, had
over 1600 unique users during the month.

"The numbers for October exceeded our expectations," said Matt Mair Lowery,
PDXBands/Seattlite Site Director. "It affirms our belief that there is a
demand for the great music being created in the northwest. We also added
many new artists to the site throughout the month. The interest of the
artists makes it clear that Seattlite is forging a viable online community
for local musicians."

Other Seattlite Statistics for October:

Homepage Hits 1653
Total Webpage Hits 43416
Average Homepage Hits per day 55
Average Unique Visitors per day 53

The launch of followed EMEDIATEdesigns' success with , which currently features music from
nearly 100 Portland-area artists. has brought the music of
Portland artists to an international audience while also creating a strong
online community for the artists themselves. The site has drawn the
attention of Portland clubs, radio stations, and even VH1.

This month,'s featured artist is The Melody Unit. The Melody
Unit's “Odds Against Tomorrow” is available now through's featured artist for November is Jeroan Van Aichen. Jeroan's
CD “Ancient Chinese Secret” is available now from and are EMEDIATEdesigns sites. EMEDIATEdesigns
specializes in affordable web development, graphic design and network

For more information, contact:

Matt Mair Lowery
PDXBands/Seattlite Site Director
P.O. Box 9307

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Rochelle Hope Mehr


consciousness is a knotty thing:
a steel-trap mind
may be commandeered
by claptrap
yapping and yawing
into the mewling
maw of Hell


Rochelle Hope Mehr


There will be no sleep tonight,
no thrashing about in the same roily dreams.

How I would have loved to have loved you,
to have suffered the stridency of stricture.

There is not a thing I can say about you
that is original:

Your cliché chafes,
clanging me into resonant wakefulness.


Rochelle Hope Mehr


Much of the time
is spent
in anticipation
of the big event.

Much of the day
slants its light
in derision
of the night.

Much of my mind
is split
between the twit
and the wit.

The rest I degrime
to the sublime.


Peter Vetrano

Season of Hemanta,
please interpret as you see
this April snow upon the mountain…
such a paradox
I do not comprehend.
(Hemanta is the late winter season in India)


Peter Vetrano

Cicada throught the tall grass, we sing and we play
and let the wind gusts carry us through the mountain
and I gleefully trespass over private fences and
through dense wood
until you run out of gas (I knew you would need to
Okay  it is best-we must not overdo
but it is strange
this timeout tho
I am older than you


Peter Vetrano

Rampant in a pale eagerness,
a morning baptism colors the pavement
and gathers an illusion
in a childless park.


Peter Vetrano

so familiar to my ears
old-fashioned tongue lashing
God’s anger
God’s tears.


Peter Vetrano

We bike   we climb
trolley ride to the end of the line
pianissimo andante
stop sign
I am infatuated with you
I am afraid  to read your mind.


Peter Vetrano

Quand je ne voudrais pas,
me fait mauvais le soleil.
(When I don’t want it , the sun    harms me.)


Peter Vetrano

You say you will not go with me
I am too old…
perhaps more correctly
are           too young



Robert Betts            odium resartum
(for amadou diallo, succumbed to The Perpetual Absurdity on feb. 4, 2000)
aren’t you really
being prejudiced
mrs diallo   (!)  (?)
o why (say can) can’t you (You)
SEE            (see?)
to a well-
police (in blue)
a wallet
held (in
really DOES
like a GUN    (?)             (.)
   copyright, 2000, by Robert Betts 

Mad, lofty world,
Who can image your plunge
Down into the storm?
Kinema into darkness’s tomb,
And a gleeful, blind herd, tumbling like rain.
No one can stop all that mad rush
But who can illuminate
Your madness, and the congealing nightmare vision?
Who will defy the three-in-one God:
Mars, CUPIDitas, Mammon?
I  saw him towering bravely over the squall line.
He was no don’t worry, be happy troubadour,
Eyes gay, and glittering.
His long hail mingled with the roiling clouds.
He had a mystic’s eyes, clear, but wild.
He still stands above the storm, straddling thunderbolts.
Lightning anointed his pen
  copyright, 2000, by Robert Betts racial hic and ille
(based on four words--pain can be useful--writer Julia Duncan wrote in an
apologist-oriented article in the Spring, 2000 issue of  Absolute Magnitude
magazine, by which she defended science fiction author Harlan Ellison for
making caustic and brutal overgeneralizations in his written assessment of
unpublished science fiction writers. her passionate defense made me wonder:
"would she have defended al roker for having written the same thing?")

jill left the workshop in tears but pain i think can be useful
who the hell does he think he is well mike i ve had an earful
my he s jogging early god look at his muscle tone
i think he robbed someone hon god where s my cell phone
she overcharged me thirty cents well to err is human
haven t  you heard of school bitch i m telling george too man
the calc midterm was tough but pam  used the right integral
so what i never saw her i know she peeked that s all
he puts us to shame love cause he s read greg corso
so what he s read john wilmot love damn he tries to impress so
curt cobain gone oh god these drugs are a scourge
so len bias is dead hell don t you get what you deserve
   copyright, 2000, by Robert Betts 



THE SYSTEM Gary Graham Shaka Sankofa Dead in Texas June 22, 2000

8:49 PM

Jailed age l7 on Death Row for l9 years indited in a single mock trial, inept defense lawyer pleas of innocence and defense witnesses not called…. State- sanctioned murder directed by Texas Governor George Bush.

At the water’s edge the jetty reaches out like life wanting continuance~ thoughts wander with the morning breeze he will never feel cloud pictures he will never see this continuum of waves; children can never touch this father again…

how we love to kill… there is a man in Texas playing God whose name is Satan.

A bird flies up gold-red in the sun’s projection/ white butterfly on green sea grass flutters summer beginning while his life has ended.

He speaks of injustice, [ that baggage of the poor];

young handsome thirty six dynamic vivid dark eyes that see and have seen too much always rowing toward freedom;

they are killing me tonight they are murdering me tonight

he speaks to witnesses until his heart stops no more breath one eye open the other winks the future.

Life is a gift, who can be so arrogant and heartless to take it away?


He fought to hold on until the Governor ordered him killed the way a shot bird falls in the sea.

The little shadow of moon lies directly opposite the sun… the expansive beauty of the earth to which all should have access is more and more walled off by greed, forbidden to victims of the Criminal Justice System.

The systems have stopped: arteries, veins, muscles, nerves, lungs, lymph, sperm will not seek their legacy, the brain shuts down/ past present future over…. who discards in the name of legality?

The gulls fly on…in the north west wind at l0:AM you sit on a bench in the shade, wishing he could be here in this place ~half a day since we learned his fate.

He said They all know I’m innocent

In the distance someone paddles a kayak, paddle- tips flash silver in the sun on his journey; destination is the south harbor where cliffs rise greenness, sand is struck golden and all is pure light.

Leave the evil places to those who govern them and those who acquiesce. Feel the wind’s pulse the ocean’s flow the beat of the gulls’ wings inhale the salty air witness the little searchlight suns beneath leaf shadows; be mute and listen watch the tv image walking to death vitally alive~


Joan Payne Kincaid

 Portland, OR 97207 

INTERVIEW with Satoko Fujji (& Natsuki Tamura)

Zzaj:  What is your “driving force” for improvised music?  In my own case,  it’s because I have limited training, and that certainly doesn’t seem to be  the case for your playing.  So, with that in mind, your motivation must be a  deeper one… is it cultural, spiritual, purely personal, or something else?

 Satoko: I had been learning classical piano from when I was four years old  to twenty years old. When I was nineteen years old, I have found that I  couldn’t improvise. I mean, I of course could play difficult written music,  but I couldn’t play anything without music paper at all. I remembered I had  so much fun to improvise before I began to study classical piano, and was  so depressed, because this sounds like a well trained dog that can do so  many things if they are told to do so but cannot do anything if they don’t  get commands. The reason that I tried to improvise is that because I began  to ask to myself whether all written classical music is my expression or  not.  I stopped playing piano at all then, and began to have a band that  all players improvise by their voice and by clapping. We didn’t t use any  musical instruments. I took this way because I knew that I couldn’t  improvise by playing piano. It was great experience for me to release  myself and listen to myself carefully instead of playing the STYLE.  Improvisation is still based on this experience for me. Instead of reading music, I try to hear my voice. My voice includes all about myself… everything… cultural, spiritual, purely personal…etc.

Zzaj:  What are your feelings on musical training?  Is it an absolute necessity?  I know (from having lived in Korea for about 15 years) that having degrees in anything you pursue brings much more respect.  How important is formal training to any musician, do you think?  Does formal training make for a better improvisor?

Satoko: I think there are so many ways to get some point, not only one way.  There are so many great musicians who doesn’t have any musical academic  training. To be a great improvisor, I think we should listen to ourselves.  If some feel they would like to have formal training, they should follow  their feeling. But if others feel they don’t want to have formal training,  they should follow it. Well… there are so many ways to get a train  station from my place.

  Zzaj:  One reason we’ve been so impressed with your compositions is because they seem to blend the true freedom of improvisation with a concrete musical structure?  How do you “balance” the 2 concepts?

Satoko: I do like both written and un-written music. As I wrote I had been  studying classical piano (all written music) for fifteen years, and went to  extreme to improvise even without musical instruments for several years.  Now I do like both, and would like to use both. When I compose I don’t make strict plan, try to compose like improvise. When I write something I just do so, and if I would like to have improvisation part, I just put it.  Making musical structure can be improvisation in this manner.

Zzaj:  Some of the folks I’ve played improvised music with seem to play  better when they’re in another “mind zone”.  Do you think you get into that zone in your playing, or is it an important aspect of improvising?

Satoko: Before I play music, especially improvise, I try to feel my heart strings. This may sounds affected. But I think many musicians have their own manner to set themselves in this mood. Some of them don’t eat before they play, and some others meditate. If I can get certain mind zone before I play, I am sure that I can play something. Sometimes I can set myself in  the zone right after I began to play, then the things would be easy. But even I cannot get in the zone, the music can be great. I think there is no rule to play.

Zzaj:  How do you see digital music (particularly online distribution) affecting the way you produce/distribute/sell your material 5 years from now?

Satoko: Are you asking about music business or music itself?  Well in both case, I really am interested in digital scene. These days, I cannot imagine I do the things that now I am involving without computer. I do have a website, and have got many responses already. I am sure we can do more with computer. But I think CDs or some other real format will not be gone even MP3 gets easier and faster. People like to touch something, I guess. The booklet in the CD and the disk itself is the things that people can touch and be attached.

Zzaj:  You’ve mentioned that you’ll be touring in Europe during November and  December?  What’s your schedule after that?

Satoko: I do have some gigs in Japan that has been already booked. And also am planning to go to New York sometime in the beginning of the year 2001 to record some new music.

Zzaj:  What is your definition for “good” improvised music?  Does it really matter, or is that strictly up to the ears of the improvisor (or the listener)?

Satoko: When I listen to music, I would like to be thrilled.  I call these music “good music”. Again, there might be so many ways to be thrilled. And  I know all of us don’t have same way to feel it. For example, I was so  thrilled but some people would not be and would sleep in same concert. Music is like that. Everyone has different feel and taste and sense. And then all of them can be true.

Zzaj:  Some folks are not aware that you’re married to Natsuki Tamura  (another fabulous jazz player from Japan).  Does the music affect your  relationship?  Positively, negatively or both?

Satoko: So far…our music affects our relationship positively, and our  relationship affects our music positively. It is so great for me to have someone very close-by who likes and understands my music. I can be strong to express my voice into my music because of that. I haven’t found any negative affection.

Zzaj:  I’ve noticed that you’re collaborating with a lot of musicians in other regions of the world.  Any exciting recording projects coming up soon?

Satoko: Yes. Duo music with Mark Feldman will be released soon from ewe that is Japanese label. We have recorded this in New York in last year. I am extremely happy with the music we made.

Zzaj:  This magazine is dedicated to the idea that music “belongs to the people”, & not to the record companies.  What are your thoughts on that?

Satoko: I agree. I don’t make music for record companies. Well…  Fortunately or unfortunately no record companies has asked me to do so. With their characters, any art including music cannot be in the system of  capitalism. Well… sometimes we have to eat mist, not bread. But we also  have to eat real bread to make music. Getting bread may be more difficult  thing for musicians than making good music.

Zzaj:  How vibrant do you think the jazz scene is in Japan these days? I’ve reviewed an ever increasing number of experimental and improvising players from there in the last 10 years.  Do you think jazz and improvisation is changing any attitudes or aspects of your culture?

Satoko: I have moved back to Japan from New York three years ago. I still am doing back and force between Tokyo and New York. In this situation, I am able to see many things in Japan that I probably cannot see if I spend all my life in Japan. This year I have released two CD set, by my NY orchestra and Tokyo orchestra. I really wanted to show the differences. There are so many great musicians in NY and in Japan, but they are different, doesn’t mean good or bad, high or low. I have to tell I am kind of disappointed with Japanese Jazz business scene, record companies and magazines. Most of  them are too busy to make money not to make good music. There are so many great musicians who are not famous at all in Japan, because record companies and press don’t make any attention to them. BUT, they are here anyway. And I am glad there are musicians like them in Japan.  I think good music can change our culture,  these days many people seems like they don’t want to change at all, even in better way though. But I  also know several people including me can get a lot of energy from good music.



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     As we approach the beginning of the real 21st century, many of us are wondering where the MUSIC will go (particularly those of us who make our OWN).  Since George W. probably can’t hit a lick (that’s th’ ONE thang Slick Wilie had goin’ for him, in my estimation – he knew (to some degree, anyway, how ta’ BLOW)!

     Will the next 4 years be the onset of some kind of repression of the arts?  There are prob’ly (more than) a few ‘publicans who would LOVE that to happen.  Rigidly ENFORCE their brand of “civilized” music on us, with rigid controls on what could air on the Internet… total eradication of shows like Jerry Springer (not that I think THAT would be a bad idea… I just think it should come as a demand from the PEOPLE)… what kind of art have YOU seen inspired by “family values” of late?  I mean, there’s nothin’ wrong with a taste of nostalgia for Norman Rockwell (I’ve occasionally been afflicted with such such), but for Colin or Barbara to be TELLIN’ me I can only look at that – & nothin’ else?  I think NOT!  & no matter WHAT you think of politicians – their JOB is to lie well enough to make the masses swallow the spew of the FEW (i.e., the rich, powerful and (often) religous freaks who OWN the corporate structures)

     Will the music of W-A-R be back on thee airwaves (once) again?  I’ve no doubt… that’s nothin’ against Mr. Powell… he’s (in my eyes) a GOOD General… carried out the orders of the corporate machine quite effectively, & took care of his soldiers MUCH better than many others I worked for while in the military.  Unfortunately, good Generals & soldiers only march to the beat(s) of dawg-breath civilians (just kidding, folks) like George W.  All politicians (demo, republican, Ventura party, makes no difference) are “out of synch” with the music of the spheres, having allowed themselves to be sucked into a lifestyle that (somehow) makes them believe that people need their opinions!  Nothing could be further from the truth… what people (like me) need more than anything else (I think) is about 100 years of improvisational politics.  Send Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Davey Williams or LaDonna Smith to the White House (with Zzaj as the reporter)… let them use the national resources at hand (broadcast stations, military satellite systems, the White House lawn, etc.) to run nitely improv workshops… fill the halls of Congress with totally random (& beautiful) sonic sculpture that would automatically make ANY elected representative sign up for the Betty Ford center!  Since we must (at least once in a while) view the world through the rims of reality, though, I’m afraid we will (rather) see a world (over the next 4 years) that uses BOMBS for it’s percussion & RULES as it’s (totally dissonant) “instruments” for “harmony”.  Gourd be with us all!

     I’ve said before (& will for many years to come) that the only way we can rid ourselves of the scourge of those without rhythm/harmony/melody in their beings (i.e., any person who DESIRES to be in office) is to IGNORE them… NOT ignore with attitudes full of apathy, or lazy-minded ranting about “them boyz’ up in Washington”.   Use EVERY opportunity you have as you play (a CD, a live performance, a radio broadcast) to SAY to the people that the beautiful music they’ve just heard is NOT the product of a politically diseased mind… tell them that beauty is not possible without art and the freedom of expression it demands.  Write your liner notes to express your opinions about attitudes of repression… explain at your performances that if the people join together with you and WRITE to those (same) politicians each and every time they lie to them (rather than letting themselves become immune to it) – & TELL them that liars are the lowest form of life on the planet… the politician (male or female) will slink away & HIDE in a corner (where they belong, with all the other dunces).  You must remember, however, that this would need to be a PERSISTENT effort, & it would need to apply to EVERY elected official.  The thing that people with this political mindset (it’s really a form of personality disorder, something that should be classified right along with alcholism, only worse) desire more than ANYTHING – is to be loved!  If we remind them EACH & EVERY time they lie that liars are lower than silverfish, & that the only way we CAN “love” them is if they step DOWN (certainly would be the HONORABLE thing for them to do).  There aren’t too many politicians around who could stand that kind of pressure… you don’t have to swear at them… no need to take out massive ads… just send them a note (maybe even an email) that clearly (but politely) tells them that (in your mind), their opinion DOES NOT COUNT!  Write songs & produce vids (maybe with subliminals in them)  that encourage those in office to check themselves in (somewhere, anywhere) for TREATMENT of their sickness!  Tell them that if they learn how to play a flute, the piano, maybe (even) a harmonica – they’ll be TALKING your language.  What a wonderful thing it would be… mental institutions filled to overflowing with near suicidal politicians, asking to be taught how to live again through the simplicity and enchantment of music therapy.

     Is ‘da Zzaj phreakin’ out again?  Well, prob’ly, but the ridiculous (and criminal) amounts of capital spent on this most recent “election” (which could actually make a novel about a CIA/Bush/Cheney plot to steal the country from the voters & put it back in the hands of W.A.S.P. country club members – but, of course, that’s another story, to be told at a later time – by an author much more skilled than this writer) could (in my imagination) be much better spent feeding folks who have no home, or curing those with political afflictions of the cancers in their minds!   What do YOU think?



Till next issue….



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