Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 32



If your summer travel plans don’t include th’ great Northwest (during June, anyway), you’d better be in TOUCH with yer’ travel agent, I’d say!

From the 19th through the 22nd of June, the 4th Annual Olympia EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC FESTIVAL will be in full swing. Zzaj Productions has been associated with this gala event since the very first one, in 1995. It’s grown to be an international event! You can find out (plenty) more about it at the festival web page(s); just point your browser to We have a whole host of performers lining up for this, but there’s still time to submit your work(s) for consideration. You can find out much more at the pages noted above, but (in a nutshell), we’re looking for “experimental” music(s), spoken-word & art. You should send CD’s, tapes, records, and video to Zzaj Productions, 5308 65th Avenue, SE, Lacey, WA 98513.

We look forward to seeing some IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION readers here this year, either as spectators or as performers. I’ll be performing with “The Imaginary Band”, some live improv jazz & spontaneous spoken word material.

THANKS (in advance) for your support!

Ernesto Diaz-Infante: ITZ’AT – How odd (in my mind, anyway) that this CD was recorded on the very day that Kramtones & I did OUR first CD! Th’ spirit was with Ernesto just as strongly as it was with us on this day. Th’ difference is in the instrumentation – pure (and undiluted) solo piano! His approach is leisurely but with a strong sense of balance and focus! Much departure from the normal concept (some might have) of improvisation, but (to this writer) that’s what improv really IS… something DIFFERENT than you (would or might) expect! There are moments where his playing reminds me (greatly) of one of my closest musical friends (right here in Olympia), John Alkins. Others where you KNOW this is th’ “soul” of Diaz-Infante being rendered through his fingertips. Quiet, introspective and solid playing with a masterful touch. MORE need to hear this! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer! Contact at Pax Recordings, POB 697, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Steven Halpern: AFRO-DESIA This CD was released by Halpern’s (own) Inner Peace label, though I suspect it came to US by way of Creative Service Company (wife’s been “cleaning” my desk, so I didn’t get to keep all th’ envelopes). Anyone who has a penchant for New Age music knows (surely) who Steven is… but do NOT mistake this for “just another” in th’ new-age stack! He’s joined by the late SURU EKEH, Nigerian master drummer, on a foray into brand new territory for this kind of music. & what a beautiful journey it is. The percussion really ENERGIZES the music & seems to carry Halpern to new heights in his dynamic approaches. No doubt about it – in the hands of these masters, the marriage of the African continent with New Age is pure bliss! The bass player (Marc van Wageningen) provides some very important reference points, punctual but (very) smooth. If you love well-integrated (musical) ideas with a taste of th’ “natural” spirit, this comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! It’s number ONE at th’ top of my “keeper” list for 1998! Contact at POB 2644, San Anselmo, CA 94979-2644, or visit the website at Rotcod Zzaj

Kimiko Itoh (with Makato Ozone): Wow! Them su-shi bars ain’t never HAD it so good… I mean, can you imagine a lounge singer in one o’ those lil’ corner joints? Actually, having spent about 15 years in the Far East, I can tell you that people from that neck of the woods KNOW how to do a party (or a lounge act) up in STYLE – WAY better than most Americans do (we THINK we’re sophisticated – but if you’ve ever been to a nightclub in Seoul (or Tokyo, I imagine), you’ll KNOW that we’ve LOST our touch for “edge” living – but, enuff o’ my ranting (save it for the last page, right?). Itoh is CRYSTAL clear in her lyrical style; in th’ jazz vein, she’s the BEST singer I’ve heard (from the Eastern portion of the globe) – bar NONE! She doesn’t just “repeat” the words of those standards… she knows (EXACTLY) what they MEAN! In fact, her rendition of “On A Clear Day” surely IS th’ best I’ve heard! Sweet… sweet… sweet! She is supremely complimented in this grand effort by the pianist, Makato Ozone. Ozone has that “original” touch that most pianists only dream of – & arranging skills most players would DIE for; I mean, this guy COOKS! Maybe it’s just th’ air (or something) in Montreux – this session/recording is absolute PURITY! If yer’ true love is unadulterated jazz – this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! A beautiful cool-ection! Contact at Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

The Jim Cifelli New York Nonet: Bullet Trane – Red-hot JAZZ (absolutely SCORCHES) on this independent CD, in from Jim direct. I believe he was referred by B&K Communications, a promoter who has sent us a LOT of great material! Either way, this is one AMAZING set of music. Th’ title trak pays homage to John Coltrane, of course, & there are other covers here as well. What’s most amazing about this grouping is that (even though) there are 9 people playing (as indicated by a gigantic red 9 on th’ CD cover, I s’pose), they can make it sound either way… big band, or small group setting. True jazz mastery, with a strong flavor of hornz (prob’ly ‘coz Cifelli plays trumpet/flugelhorn). Recording was done in studio last summer; nice & clean, with an edge – though it’s probably Cifelli’s arrangements that keep it on th’ edge. Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, ‘specially for those who love full-bodied jazz with a big-band flavor! Contact Jim direct at 140 Cabrini Blvd., Apt 134, New York, NY 10033, or through B&K Communications, at 1168 Commonwealth Ave., 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02134 or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

This Elegant Chaos: HELLO THANE – Don Campau (of KKUP) recommended that this group send their EP CD to us for review. Any who know me (by now) know that if CAMPAU sez’ itz’ good – it’s GOOD! In fact, that’s th’ highest recommendation any group could get, ‘s far ‘s I’m concerned! Home produced (there’s a rather long story about production in th’ liner notes) & ruff&ready pop-rockin’ stuff that has a real touch of “english” – which it surely should ‘ave, since these boyz’re from Birmingham! It was also nice that th’ toonz were L-O-N-G enough to “flesh out” th’ EP to more than just a “demo” length (which thangs drive THIS reviewer NUTZ!) Spotz’ where it takes me back to late-60’s psychedelic group sounds – but, mebbe’ that’s just a flashback, eh? 7 toonz that’ll have yer’ tappin’ yer’ toezies, if not dancin’ outright (while yer’ prep yer’ ‘nannapeel). Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, ‘specially for those ready ta’ trip on a lil’ retro! Contact at 48 Hambleton Rd., Halesowen, West Midlands B63 1HH, via e-mail to or at Rotcod Zzaj

Hal McGee/EHI: HOMEMADE ALIEN MUSIC – Th’ EHI portion of this CD is, I assume, Brian Noring. Hal we all know (those of who have followed home-based music for any length of time, anyway). There are moments (that seem like eons) under th’ influence of cannabis (or any other “mindbender”) when th’ space between seconds can seem like years. This makes for a unique (& not at all unpleasant) sensation for an electronic artist – they’re able to “hear” more. What comes out in th’ mix for the listener (not necessarily infected with hempheavy timesense) can be VERY interesting – as is HOMEMADE ALIEN MUSIC. Th’ acronym is not lost on this (former) hemphead, either… it truly IS B-I-G-A-S-S! Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those into electronic spacials! Contact at F.D.R. Tapes, 1258 E. 25th St., Des Moines, IA 50317-2619, or at 1909 SW 42 Way, Apt E., Gainesville, FL 32607-5407. Rotcod Zzaj

Marion Meadows: PLEASURE It’s been YEARS since I’ve heard Meadows, & as many since I’ve heard a CD so APTLY titled! Th’ earlier stuff I’d heard was way-phunk-based (which is jus’ FINE wi’ this reviewer), but at a much lower “maturity” level. There’s a musical FOCUS in these pieces that is often (quite) lacking in th’ workz’ of many be-bop&bounce artists! Don’t get me wrong… this doesn’t take away from th’ SOUL he can express! There’s still plenty o’ hip-swayin’ soprano sax goin’ on, with some o’ dat’ finger-poppin’ stuph as well! It’s just that it’s th’ first time (in some time) that there’s (such a) “dimension” at th’ “greater” depth we (usually) reserve for more “serious” form-based players. Sweet, SWEET music that WILL bring you pleasure… & th’ kind that can’t HELP but move th’ creator (in both senses) to a tear or two! CLEAN! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. Contact at Debra Harner Media Relations, 4220 Tosca Road, Woodland Hills, CA 91364, or via e-mail to

DeFront: PASSPORT – Surely is an advantage fer’ an ol’ phart like me ‘avin’ run a review magazine fer’ (nearly) 10 years… ALWAYS get (to hear) th’ absolute CUTTING edge! This lil’ CD (in from Laurie Nourie, of Catwalk Enterprises) is one RAWKIN’ scorcher. There are spots that remind me of another of my favorite kick-azz metal groups, Pandora’s Lunchbox. Main difference (to these ol’ earz’) is that there’s a much heavier bass (Jefferson Silveira) undercurrent than on (many of) Kenyatta’s works. Indie to th’ bone, some real kick, parry & thrust goin’ on here; specially th’ guitars (Luis Melo)! Vox don’t slouch either (Jefferson Silveira). Sho’ make me wish I had ‘dem shiny black boots back on! Ya’ know, ridin’ on down thee road! These boyz’ will go FAR, ‘coz they’ve got th’ SPIRIT of defiance combined in their BLOOD! Only thing I didn’t (particularly) like was th’ b/w lyric sheets on the insert – too hard to read all th’ words… but that’s (only) a minor crit – this is th’ kinda’ music a few MO’ o’ them w.a.s.p.s. NEED to get a taste of (shake ‘em UP a little). Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – be SURE & send ALL yer’ releases in here, DeFront! Contact at (408)927-8705, through Catwalk at POB 143, New Alamaden, CA 95042-0143, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

David Liebman Ensemble: COLTRANE’S MEDITATIONS – I’ve been listening to David’s music for MANY years now… always had (somehow) a flavor of “eastern” for me. This re-creation of Coltrane’s masterpiece (from the beginning of the “late” period), this wonderful performance of “J.C.’s” “Meditations” just amplifies (for me) on my initial impression of Leibman’s mastery and range. Nearly a jazz “orchestra” he’s assembled here, too monstrous to itemize. David’s tenor sax weaves in/out/around & through th’ other instruments magically, making it an almost “religious” experience. For those who play music, pieces like these are (about) as close as one can get to “nirvana”. For anyone with a serious interest in jazz (listener or player), this is not only MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – it’s an absolute NECESSITY! Leibman & crew at the PINNACLE! Contact at 1168 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02134, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Virginia Mayhew: NINI GREEN – This young lady SPEAKS saxophone (as her native tongue, it would seem). All styles, all types of sax – alto, tenor & soprano; she must dream with these horns in th’ background. Equally comfortable in th’ “big-band” arena as with a lonely improv wandering, she’s a performer supreme. There’s a list (that’s WAY too long to reprint here) in the liner promos of BIG names she’s played with, but that’s not th’ important thing – it’s her highly-charged spirit that makes this a musical experience you won’t soon forget. As soon as you pop this CD in, yer’ off to jazz wonderland. It’s a quite traditional jazz experience, but

her style & personality shine THROUGH! For those who love meaty jazz sax, this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, in fact it gets the PICK of this issue for “strongest jazz saxophone”! Thoroughly enjoyable. Contact at One Sheridan Sq., # 6F, New York, NY 10014, via e-mail to or to the promoter at 1168 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02134 ( Rotcod Zzaj

Gregor Hubner: PANONIEN – It’s often (to this reviewer) just unbelievable how much TALENT there is out there today. & Gregor (and crew) prove that beyond th’ shadow! His strong piano skills & th’ rest of th’ quint (sax, bass & drums), along with guest trumpet Tim Hagans start off with a KICKIN’ bop number. Segues into several other stylistic adventures that will have you thirsting for MORE ‘fore it’s all over! There are some of th’ tightest “integrations”, totally seamless performances that emphasize th’ group love of th’ experience, rather than one player’s interpretations of it. I absolutely LOVE this music, & for any in our readership who CRAVE raw talent with (both) sensitivity & largesse, this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Hubner is one you should WATCH for, ‘coz it will be HIS tunes that are th’ jazz standards in the early 21st! Contact at 1168 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02134

( Rotcod Zzaj

Helen Hooke & Red Boots: PATTERNS OF THE HEART – Switch gears for a minute now… away from all th’ jazz & blooz, movin’ to a more “country” oriented space. Might still be smoky-blue in there, & that would keep track with th’ mood established by Hooke’s lyrical theme. Th’ “patterns” she speaks of are th’ “ruts” we tend to get in with our relationships, be they personal or business related. Music is pretty standard fare for country, nothing really stood out for me (basic clickety-clack & alla’ that)… Hooke’s descriptions of life & th’ livin’, were (at times) haunting… hit too close to home – which is, of course, th’ sign of a GREAT country composer/singer. Her violin stands OUT from th’ pack, too, leading th’ band with energy & clearly demonstrated love of playing/singing. Gets a RECOMMENDED for anyone with a taste for some heavy country! Contact at POB 1563, Port Washington, NY 11060, or via e-mail to (or to the promotional agent, Susan White, at Rotcod Zzaj

Paragon: FLUX – What an apt descriptor for this exciting CD in from Paragon. Strains of ambient/new age, but enhanced by energy levels that come only from the “etherspace”. Ian Hunter, Graham Harding & Nick Stauffer join (musical) forces to perform compositions that will help you transcend th’ mundane/ordinary. Edmonton, Alberta must have some “majick” in th’ ground – whatever causes greatness is channeled cleanly through the hands and fingers of these visionary independent artists. Many pieces in with an orchestral flavor, which could have wound up making it sound like “so many others” – but that etherzone (I mentioned before) is penetrated & the sonic images they paint will lay over your mind like a tapestry of hitherto unfathomed beauty. This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those in tune with the majestic! Contact at or visit their website at Rotcod Zzaj

Rich Norman: BLOOD ON THE RIM – This CD from Rich seemed (to me) to be th’ better of th’ two on which he performed with “The Kind”. That could be because he has some very nicely done “songs/poems” on it, as well as plenty of high-energy jazz instrumental work! A lot of those pieces are where Norman performs solo, as “No Drum Machines Allowed”. Any way you cut it, this is not for the musically challenged. You must be able to soak in th’ spirit of adventure he employs throughout all of his work. “The Kind” (a group of six) are somehow able to (do more than just) keep up with Rich’s hyper-speed drumming – lending their own voice/tone to the whole experience – eSPECIALly th’ keyboards of Casey Filson! I haven’t had as much fun listening to jazz-oriented musics in many many years now! This is F-U-N, & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer! Contact at # 252, 25NW 23rd Place, Suite 6, Portland, OR 97210-559, at his website or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

James Kennedy: ACROSS THE BORDERS – Wow – jazz has fully penetrated thee heartlandz’ ov’ th’ midwest, people. This little CD (in from “Heart Consort Music”) presents some very comfortable (yet highly inspired) 6/12 string guitar jazz & contemporary music from James. This is a studio performance (I’ve got a tape of live things (from Montreaux & other venues) that will be reviewed in the next issue), with far more “energy content” than many studio efforts we listen to. Th’ title track would lead one to place this in a “sort of jazz” field, but that segues in to “Freedom Train”, a rip-rollicking guitar panorama experience on which yer’ can hear them ol’ wheels a-rollin’ (must be that “midwestern” experience, eh?)! Very effective use of multiple vistas, making it very hard to attach a “category” to Kennedy’s style. There’s a (seemingly) unbounded fountain of energy in his fingers, & the theme expressed in the liner notes (“people who make their ways, against all odds, across the borders to freedom”) is clearly illustrated and totally accessible. This is music that can make an “instant” connection with the listener. Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer. Contact at 410 First St. West, Mount Vernon, IA, 52314, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

DMR Diversions: MAIN SITE – This CD, in from David Michael Ross, is part of a new phenomenon that seems to be cropping up all OVER the place… independently produced CD’s that (not only) have music for your stereo player – they also have MPEG music that can be listened to from your computer. If you’re tired of browsing the WWW to find music that’s to your taste – QUIT IT! Just purchase this amazing collection of tunes. You need go no further – it’s ALL here. Jazz, improv, instrumentals, whatever you want to hear (56 pieces from 20 different artists)! I first started working with David (through the nets) a year or so back, & I’m really IMPRESSED with his taste(s) in music… he has a unique ability to spot combinations of tunes that “fit” – EVERY time! This gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for those in search of good music (who have little time to locate their own anymore). This HAS it all! Contact at POB 2102, Ridgecrest, CA 93556, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

If, Bwana: TRIPPING INDIA – Well, it ain’t (really) got much reference to India, but it WILL have you “tripping”. Our long-time musical manipulation ami (Al Margolis) takes some very interesting piano/percussive works & melds sonic bits in & amongst th’ wanderings. Th’ pianos are in “stretch” mode, lookin’ in all directions for their muse. Another thing that sets this apart is the use of several DIFFERENT artists, rather than just sticking with one for the whole CD. MOST interesting – in some spots, almost “cosmic”. Those looking for something refreshingly different in piano-based improvisation (at a fairly relaxed pace) will agree with me when I say this comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at Pogus, POB 150022, Van Brunt Station, Brooklyn, NY 11215-0022 Rotcod Zzaj

Ripsnorter: PULSE – Yer’ wanna’ “tie one on”? Get outta’ yer’ rutz’ & blow th’ whole (dreary) world A-WAY? Yer’ BETTER get hold o’ sum o’ THIS! One rollickin’ ride into metal-land, I’ll tell ya’, kiddies! Th’ only names given are first (as in Jamey, “lead stud”, who plays one WICKED lead guit-ar), prob’ly to protect th’ innocent from th’ slingz/arrowz/&bazookaz that would be fired by numerous parents if they could find out where these boyz’ wuz’ at (&, as per usua, they’d be WRONG – if ya’ LISTEN to th’ lyrics, this has a FAR different “message” than most of these groups – positive approach)! Way more than jus’ “standard metal fare”, I really thot this one KICKED AZZ – gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those into rawkin’ road music! Contact at 7521 Lyndale Ave. S., # 108, Richfield, MN 55423, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Jimmy Reid: FOREVER LOVED – There are some who despair (i.e., piss&moan) that all th’ “good jazz artists” are gone, & that these “young whippersnappers” don’t have it in their guts. Oh, yeah? BUNK! This young sax player disproves THAT theory – by about a million times. What’s so beautiful is that he comes to us straight from the “streets”. According to th’ liner notes, it was only a few months ago that Jimmy was (literally) playing to pay the rent in th’ streets of L.A. This boy has GOT it, people. If you don’t buy another CD before the end of the century, GET THIS ONE – it’s gonna’ become a classic. Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, in fact, it gets the “pick” of this issue for “best jazz sax”. One of the sweetest to come along in (many) years (watch out, Kenny)! Contact at 4220 Tosca Rd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Primary Colours: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE – This little jazz (piano-centric) trio is some H-O-T playing, on a debut CD (in from Braithewaite & Katz Communications, released on the JAZZHEADS label). Gerard D’Angelo’s piano style is straight-ahead & energetic expression that will make yo’ heart sing! Th’ thing that makes this (whole) effort stand out is that th’ bass (Frank Wagner) & drums (Dave Meade) are like finely woven cloth… texturally pleasing & brightly colored (not “flashy”, though) sonic adventures that stay in th’ “comfort” zone (for most jazz listeners). Clear focus & clean recording all the way through, this comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Those who yearn for th’ “good old ways” of basic artistry will quickly put this in their “keeper” stack. Contact at 1168 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02134

( Rotcod Zzaj

Harlan Mark Vale: 1997 COMPOSITIONS – Most of you know (by now) that Mark (aka Kramtones) plays music with me on (many of) my improvisational outings – a very strong musical influence on all of my work over the last 10 years (or more). What you may not be aware of is that he’s a composer in his own write! The pieces on this tape are astoundingly JOYOUS! His music seems to have gotten more (& more) that way over the last three years. There was a time (a couple years back) when I would have had to “categorize” his work (somewhere in the “new age” field). While those roots are still evident, 1997 appears to have been a WONDERFUL year… he takes his synth-based compositions FAR beyond th’ cliché that such music has become. This is (more like) “exploratory age”, reaching down to the furthest parts of his inner being & refining (his) feelings into an (almost) orchestral array that sounds (to me) like a choir of angels on soma (or whatever they would use up there to expand & heighten th’ conscious). His music(s) will make even the most jaded misogynist feel that there is SOMETHING to live for… & those not so afflicted WILL feel like they’ve joined th’ heavenly cruise! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all! Contact at 7922 Bittern Ct. SE, Olympia, WA 98513 or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

What follow are reviews of ALL th’ submissions for this year’s EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC FESTIVAL. We GENUINELY appreciate all the submissions & look forward to hearing (all) those who were selected live & in person (19-22 June 1998, here in Olympia… see for all th’ latest news)!

Rich Norman: UNAPPRECIATEDITIS – Rich had sent us a CD of tradjazz (to be reviewed in this issue or next), & I happened to mention the ’98 Experimental Music Festival… I wasn’t sure if he’d be interested, as there are some pretty “out” groups – but he was REALLY interested… sent a packet with another CD (also to be reviewed later) & a video! I pulled out THIS tape & was VERY pleasantly surprised! Though Rich expounds on th’ need for some “form” (reference points, compositional bases, call it what yer’ will), he makes it abundantly clear on this session that (form based or not), he FULLY understands the free spirit necessary for experimental music! He plays all instruments (vibes, synth, drums, midi) in a refreshingly complicated session that would’ve made Zappa exceedingly proud! Having Rich perform at this year’s festival would do a GREAT deal to “take it up a notch”… in the STRONGEST terms possible – I recommend him as a FIRST choice! Let’s not let this chance slip by! Experimental, but with the HIGHEST level of jaded excellence I’ve heard on any of these submissions yet! If you want music that’s pure joy to behold – GET THIS! (2 of the titles alone make it well worth the purchase – “Growing Up On Amphetamines”, and “Insect Jazz”) Contact at # 252, 25NW 23rd Place, Suite 6, Portland, OR 97210-559, at his website or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Jason DuMars: I’ve heard Jason before, think it was down in Portland while watching a show that Ed Chang put on. This is the first time I’ve listened to his intricate solo sax work at any length. Most intriguing! Some solid lines, doesn’t get carried away at th’ “screech” level, as do many horn players in solo mode! VERY “full-bodied” sound! Side A of his demo is from a live performance (in Portland, I believe). Side B is at the Knitting Factory, with Nick Didkovsky (leader of Dr. Nerve) and Kevin Norton. He stands on a par with masters of improvisation like Wally Shoup & should be STRONGLY considered for the 1998 festival. I think his work merits a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (the highest rating I give). He can be contacted at POB 10685, Portland, OR 97296-0685, via e-mail to, or on the web at Rotcod Zzaj

Mitchell S. Walcott – Highly ambient, drone to start, moves to water/mechanical sounds, this music is based (in great part) on the manipulation of various sounds and waves… those who feel it important to have something to “grasp” at (in their listening) still have something here, but it’s not a pattern of chords, just a sonic wave sound. Often, music of this nature will stay on a “drone” course, with no percussives or instruments to break it up… Walcott’s use of percussion/cymbals on “Invisible Entity”, though repetitive, is (also) ingenious. The high note in the listening experience is that he understands that compositions like these MUST have “variance”. IF he is able to pull these wonders off in live performance mode, he should be at the TOP of the list for the ’98 festival in the “sound artist” category! I really enJOYed his “city” piece… not just well-recorded, but BEAUTIFULLY merged! Gets a RECOMMENDED from me! Mitchell can be contacted at 3350 Leonard NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Recent Works Clay Chaplin 23424 8th Street Newhall, CA 91321 (805)254-8329> Clay Chaplin is a composer of interactive electronic music from the California Institute of the Arts. He received a B.M. (with Honors) in Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Technology in Music and Related Arts program in 1995. He has been graduate teaching assistant at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and for Tom Erbe, Sara Roberts, Mort Subotnick and Mark Trayle at CalArts. He’s played with L.A.’s Digital Improvisation Ensemble. And was also audio engineer, sound designer, and computer technician for Morton Subotnick’s interactive opera ‘Intimate Immensity’. He’s done a few collaborations with Canadian choreographer Anik Bouvrette and has done work for O.O. Discs and the Ars Nova label. Mr Chaplin has performed his music all over the world. The International Computer Music Association Conference in Hong Kong, the Korean Electro-Acoustic Society in Seoul, the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival in New York, and the Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists in Toronto and many others. The five pieces of music on this CD are completely experimental. He controls computers in real-time sound processing similar to 20th century composers Steve Reich, Carl Stone or maybe even Charles Dodge of which you may be more familiar. Instant sound collage. “Brenda’s Truthful Hanging(1998)” is a structured improvisation using three different stories about law enforcement as sound sources. Segments and phrases from the stories are randomly selected and processed in real-time. “Run On Sentence (1997)” is a duet (?) with bassist Todd Sickafoose improvising against a magnetic tape. The tape was created from bass samples processed in Soundhack and Pro Tools. A video was created in Adobe Premiere of processed images of signs and billboards. In performance the bassist is centered in front of the video projection. Through the use of an envelope follower, the amplitude of the instrument controls a spot light which allows Todd to control the intensity of the projected images. “Brenda Improvisation (1998)” is a spontaneous improv/variation on sources from the first piece. “Jerry Deals (1998)” is the result of using the Supercollider software synthesis programming environment. And “Torquewrenches (1995)” which again makes use of text, is centered around a poem by Kevin Opstedal called ‘Night Sounds’. Each line of the text was processed in Soundhack and infinitely regenerated into a continually evolving sound environment. This kind of artist is exactly what I’m looking for in a participant in The Experimental Music Festival. An obvious excellent choice. Way Cool! -K

David Knott Willamette University 900 State Street #A252 Salem, OR 97301 David Knott is a guitarist from the free improvisation school of thought. Last year he played with Jeph Jerman as the duo version of Blowhole. To me this was a high point in audience participation with random ‘jingling of keys’ as the structure. He also has a degree in Associate of Arts and instrument making at Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. He’s produced music for KUOW fm and an improvisational series at Seattle’s Anomalous Records as well. Since 1997 he has been at Willamette working in music therapy and meditations. To support a project that he is pursuing this summer(’98) he has applied for a Julie Carson Undergraduate Research Grant and plan to conduct “Sonic Tools: Experimental Instrument Building and Creative Self-Expression for Homeless Youth” of the Orion Center in Seattle. The first side of this C-60 has excerpts from ‘The albatross”(Boundary Music) – The Young Composers Orchestra. And excerpts from “Voice and Stringboard Improvisations” recorded at Anomalous Records July 1997. The second side of this tape is a solo guitar free improvisation that he recorded in February 1998 at his home in Salem. It has a wide range of minimalist string squeaking to what sounds like a Baroque etude or something. For this years contribution to Festival, David has proposed an idea for the reading of a text based composition by all participants. To him, the idea encourages these 4 things: interplay between players of many different skill levels, etc ; reinforces the act of attentive listening and making no sound; introducing one’s self to the sonic environment; and thinking about the concepts of free improvisation through meditation. He sees it as 45-60 minute piece that could be presented in a workshop format or a concert situation as well. With players and/or audience members alike, it’s a learning experience. David has control over his instruments. He utilizes a great many aspects and approaches to the sound, performance and style. From concrete’ to concerto, this is a keeper. -K

The Ken Aldcroft Trio w/ Rod Murry and Tom Foster 1844 East 1st Avenue Vancouver B.C.> V5N 1B1 Canada (604)253-2068 The instrumentation for this Canadian trio is guitar, trombone and drums. The bassless trio reflects mostly the traditions of jazz and, to a somewhat lesser degree, improvised music. They site their influences as Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian and Dave Douglas. Ken Aldcroft (guitar) studied with Rod Ellias and Steve Fisk after receiving a B.M. in Jazz Studies from St. F.X. University in 1993. He’s played the Vancouver International Jazz Festival w Claude Ranger quartet and the Pt. Townsend Jazz Festival as well. Trombonist Rod Murry also graduated from St. F.X. University in 1992. He has played with Hard Rubber Orchestra, Fred Stride Big Band, Now Orchestra and the acid jazz group Shazzam. He has also played with George Lewis, Cambell Ryga and Kate Hammett-Vaughn. Tom Foster has played drums in theatre, television, radio, studio, film scores and jingles. He toured Japan and Mainland China in 1983 w/ Tommy Banks Quintet and Canada and Europe w/ EDJE (the winners of the Alcan Jazz competition). He has performed with Pepper Adams, Sonny Stitt, Art Farmer, Kenny Wheeler and Herb Ellis. The music on this cassette is all recorded live and direct to stereo in 1997. To me, it sounds like early John Abercrombie (Gateway) with perhaps Jack DeJohnette joining Jullian Priester or something like that. Very nice sparse fusion jazz from the early 1970’s. These are very accomplished players in this jazz idiom, however they do not stray very far from their traditional structures. I really liked this kind of music when it was new, but for some reason it took me a while to warm up to this tape. Once I did though, there was a lot of very subtle interplay going on between the players. The thread of creativity constantly flows throughout these jazz improvisations. A very good strong tape. – K p.s. As far as the Festival is concerned, I would not consider them REALLY experimental in any way. Improvisation yes, experimental no. Great Jazz though! With just enough chances thrown in to spice it up with spontaneity. To see music being created right before your eyes.

STRAYLIGHT 480 Riverdale Avenue #3E Yonkers, NY 10705 (212) 732-7126 or (914) 476-3863 The electro-acoustic improvisational trio features Jason Finkelman on berimbau, riti (African fiddle) and multiple percussion, Geoff Gersh on electric guitar and Charles Cohen on analog Buchla Music Easel. Straylight has been presented by the Pauline Oliveros Foundation in Kingston and Woodstock and performed at The Cooler, Knitting Factory, Soundlab and CB’s 313 Gallery in NYC. They have also composed for theatre and dance including Cynthia Oliver’s ‘Unremoveable Jacket’. Finkelman studied berimbau with Adimu Kuumba in Philadelphia as well as jazz studies program at SUNY New Paltz. He not only organized this group but also the cross cultural trio ‘Uji’ w/ Steve Gorn and John Wieczorek. Charles Cohen also comes from Philadelphia. He specializes in improvisational performance in collaborative, cross-disciplinary projects. His sounds are produced with analog and digital electronic instruments that he has collected and constructed over a 28 year period. Even a Buchla Music Easel that he bought from inventor Donald Buchla 20 years ago. Geoff Gersh is from upstate New York where he performs solo and with other groups. He also composes for film and dance and was the co-composer for Cynthia Oliver’s 1995-1996 Bessie Award winning ‘Death’s Door’. This is great experimental music! Concise and to the point. Pulsing rhythms from Afro-Brazilian and Morocco-Japan are recombinant with pure electronic waves and electric guitar textures and lines. Kinda like Harmonia meets Nana Vasconcelos. And in the tradition of Pauline Oliveros, Straylight is very conscious of how the performance environment influences the music. Performance atmosphere is everything here. They are really listening to what they are doing, before it gets said. A very musical series of sound landscapes. This demo cassette gets a big thumbs up from me. A great hands on approach to sound constructs. Simple tools effectively used to create good music. A must have for the Festival. -K

Randy Pringle: – Randy sez’ (on his little note inside th’ tape) that he has “different” music. Ah, yeah, from th’ standpoint of music being considered for an EXPERIMENTAL music festival… this surely IS “different”. What I mean to say is that it doesn’t fit/belong in th’ “experimental” niche in any way, shape or form. Very nice, very sweet synth pieces that remind me (at least a bit) of some of Ken Clinger’s KC Collab works – & that’s not BAD at all, Randy. It’s just that we don’t WANT music that “fits th’ norm” as a part of this festival. Consider adding some vox on your next submission to “I.N.”, & I’ll give it a full-blown ‘zine review/critique. This isn’t what we want for E.M.F. 1998, though, I don’t think! Contact at Rotcod Zzaj

Michael Masley: MYSTERY REPEATS ITSELF – Some absolutely stunning artistry here, on “cymbalom” (like a chromatic hammered dulcimer) and flute(s). The comparison (for this reviewer) that can be made is to some of the grand solo work(s) performed by Sue Ann Harkey during the first festival. We should (at least) follow up with Michael to see if there’s any chance he’d be in our area. I would STRONGLY favor his artistry over some of the other submissions I’ve heard! His music would provide a contrast that is essential to the broad scope we wish to have for “experimental”! Contact at Rotcod Zzaj p.s. (from Kramtones) As far as the Experimental Music Festival goes, even though upon hearing this music it doesn’t cause mothers to hurriedly escort their children off the street, the fact that it IS pleasant should not deter us from the acceptance of a pioneer-experimental-street-musician that has ‘made it’. Honor your roots.

The Glass Orchestra: Eric Cadesky, Paul Hodge, Richard Sacks and Michael J. Baker -This is a 1989 CD release from the amazing Toronto quartet, The Glass Orchestra. It is their fourth since they were founded in 1977. The Glass Orchestra is the only ensemble in the world whose musicians create and perform contemporary compositions entirely with glass instruments. Glass music has a documented history of over 2000 years in many different cultures and forms. The musicians of the orchestra carry on this long tradition of glass music by designing, building and playing their own instruments. The ensemble travels with over 1/2 ton of glass musical instruments. Even with the best of care glass instruments will break, either in performance or in shipping. The instruments are always being broken, recycled and replaced. The Glass Orchestra has developed a philosophy about broken instruments – instead of a broken instrument be thrown away as garbage, there are now two or more instruments to take it’s place. The instrument groups of the Glass Orchestra are set up similar to a classic orchestra. In the percussion section there are glass bowls, bells and custom designed bell-gongs. There are also glass xylophones, tube drums, large open tubes, gourds, ‘testubular’ ( test tubes set in foam rubber) and wind chimes or ‘icicles’. In the string section they use wine glasses, large bowls that are played with a wet finger on the rim, like Ben Franklin’s Glass Armonica. The brass section is made up of short and long tubes from 8″ to 5 feet in length. The wind and woodwind section consists of glass flutes, pan pipes, bottles of different shapes. There is a ‘glass water flute’ with no holes, that uses water to determine it’s pitch. They have glass interpretations of bag-pipes, clarinets and saxophones. They also build custom double and single reed instruments too. One is called the glass slide clarinet which is a hybrid of a trombone and a clarinet. The ensemble has performed all over the world. Their 1989 tour of Asia included appearances in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and the Zhuhai International Arts Festival in China, with a Royal Command performance in Thailand. These performances have the feel of improvisational explorations, with all the micro tonal eastern flavors of a Gamelan orchestra from Java or Bali. The quartet started out as a informal improvisatory group, but now they have migrated to fixed compositions and repertoire. New pieces are created by either developing material suggested during free improvisational sessions or by one or two members bringing an idea to the group, then if the idea works it is developed to a longer concept, where the ensemble will form it into a finished piece. The Glass Orchestra is visually stunning and musically relevant. Delicate and evocative. Highly Recommended! – Contact at 211 College Street, Toronto, Canada M5T 1R1, (416)971-8671, via e-mail to or at their website, K.

HECTOR HIDALGO: This is a first (1997) CD release from Latin American composer Hector Hidalgo. Hector grew up in Colombia, South America and studied classical electroacoustic music in college. He has composed works for bands and symphonic orchestras as well as for film. Hector has also worked as a university music teacher. In 1986 he moved to New York and got a masters degree in music composition. He was awarded the Honor Prize for the best musical composition work for Symphonic Orchestra by the Colombian government in the 1993 “Colcultura” composition contest. The music is a selection of 8 instrumental atmospheric electronic songs, that utilize synthesizers and samplers. The inspirations come from ‘ inner meditation, relaxation and mental exploration of our universe’. “Through my music, I express the unity and balance found between the human race and the universe.”(His words). There are some passages reminiscent of Vangelis, Halpern, Benoit & Tomita only obviously with Latin American influences. Kind of a ‘Hearts of Space’ kind of thing from 10 years ago. The perfect Sunday morning coffee soundtrack. These are slow, moving and beautiful orchestrations with traditional melodic and harmonic values suitable for tranquil reflection. While this music clearly falls into the ‘New Age” area, I do appreciate the fact that it is pleasant to listen to, since I do enjoy new age music and compose it myself sometimes. However as a demo for consideration in the Experimental Music Festival, I don’t think it is really that much of an experimental album to warrant participation in this festival, as we are looking primarily for the more cutting edge improvisers and/or experimentalists to showcase. Even in it’s beautiful application of traditional elements, this music is, dare I say it…. ‘normal’. (And yes, we are looking for the weird AND wonderful.) I don’t think that there is even one minor second interval located anywhere on the entire disc. It is for the most part, a major key event. Having said that, I still can recommend this disc to the new age enthusiast or anyone who likes pretty ambient synthesizer backdrops. Contact at Hector Hidalgo, 36-16 170th St., Flushing, NY 11358, via phone at (718)353-2953. or via e-mail to -K

Unfolkus – This was a 5 piece demo. The huge bass clarinet sure sounds like Paul Hoskins, so it is reminiscent of The New Art Orchestra. There is no personnel information listed on the demo. But again from listening I think I hear a bass clarinet/saxophone, electric guitarist, bass/stick perhaps and a percussionist (drums and non- traditional percussives). These pieces are experimental episodes that reflect seasoned listening with precise improvisatory navigation. Chaos and minimalist vistas are explored with equal vigor and participation. The sonic creativity is realized, recognized and then expounded upon. So actually, UnFolkUs is the antithesis of how this ensemble performs together. They are a mature, tight free improvisational band. They move as one unit and experiment with one single musical virtual goal in mind, while still utilizing the full power of the individual performers. I enjoyed this tape musically even more than their performance at last years festival, which was more of a visual titillation. Fun to watch, but at a safe from physical harm distance. I would recommend this one, too. Contact at Eveline Muller, 414 14th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122, via phone at (206)328-4097, or via e-mail to – K

Stinkhorn: Seattle based jazz improvisation quartet. They blend some of the great jazz traditions seamlessly with electric fusion and their own style of harmonic free improv. Stinkhorn has been performing since 1993 at places like The 1996 Earshot Jazz Festival for one. And their 1997 Bumbershoot Performance was noted in Downbeat for another. It is easy to hear why everyone enjoys this band, myself included. The disc is a well polished musical gemstone. Each of the 10 tracks on this album are song-form style compositions. “Heliacal Rising” is an absolutely gorgeous piece of melodic improvisation. While others tunes tap into hints of specific influences, like I hear John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman, Hatfield and the North, and early King Crimson, the music always remains uniquely their own. The nice thing about this disc is that no matter how discordant some of the tonalities are at times, they are always pleasing to listen to. Which is a true testament to the ability of these performers. As we all know, sometimes improv can end up as a …”king of the hill / dog-pile of sound”. Not the case here. This album gives jazz improvisation a good name. A CD that you can listen to and enjoy, over and over again. The arrangements feature the amazing talents of both Michael Monhart on sax and Brian Heaney on guitar. This is not to slight Morris and Ouchi in the least, as they offer the perfect stable support for this well balanced musical gyroscope. The name is STINKHORN! Smells funny, but sounds great! Highly Recommended. Contact Michael Monhart, 4627 1st Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105, or via phone to (206)545-7515 – K.

Compomicro-Dexall: Well I think this is a trio, that consists of ‘electric bass, drums and voice effects for most profound entertainment values understood by skilled craftsmen the world over!’ (their words). The music is a brash splattering of dynamics, grunting rhythms and nano-extemporaneous textural melodies. And I mean that in a good way. Two song demo that includes: “Pitstop for Farley” and “Robot Shrap”. The duality of hard and soft is deployed here where a vocal effect triggers a rhythmic response. The result is somewhere between early Butt Hole Surfers’ angst, The Residents and a gurgling out takes from the Forbidden Planet soundtrack. (Or is that the sound of bong-water thru an analog delay?) Anyway, these references are strictly from the neophyte’s perspective. Zeal of delivery can go a long way to become a means to an end. However the music still has a promising creative central spark that hopefully will develop in the years to come. I’m not sure why, but I identified with this on some level. Maybe it was the sound of the vocals in that kind-of-a rubbery echoplex-ian reverb haze of Moondog or Gilli Smyth’s spacewhispers on Planet Gong? Contact Jake Rodriguez at 600 Oak St. #16, San Francisco, CA 94117, via phone to (415)437-2848, or e-mail at

CRACKSTOP / Cursing Beauty Live Michael P. Lockwood 706 Euclid Avenue Syracuse, NY 13210 This C-60 demonstrates Crackstop in two live performances. One is in a ‘Battle of the Band’ context and the other is from a smaller concert of their own. Side one of this tape sounds like a duo that plays keyboard, mono sampler, guitar, bullhorn-vocals, harmonica, drill, garbage can (?) and the occasional disgruntled audience member saying, “Crackstop sucks!” and “That, was a song?” The second side of this tape is a trio w/ Michael Lockwood, P.J. Tanner, Johnny Demon. In their words,”This is all fun and games until Crackstop pokes your eyes out”. The ‘material’ is simply a series of short reactionary anti-statements against the evil “traditional music” mask. However such an easy target would still require the ‘complainer’ to supply a valid alternative argument for their position. This may be a ‘Free Country’ but ‘listening’ to angry screaming puke can be less than endearing without a squeegee and a humorous taste for the bizarre’. [Protective clothing optional] A few song titles were, ‘I Hate Aliens’, ‘Gawdamn These Bugs’, ‘Hunting for Ducks’, ‘I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Crackstop’ and “You’ll Dance To Anything…” was one of my faves, with the obvious parody. Regardless of their blatant bitter fight for survival in a ‘cruel musical world’ they do manage to come up some good experimental noise anti-harmony. [Probably much to their dismay]. Especially with their own show/crowd. It’s allot easier than the dog eat dog arena of World Wide Wrestling/Battle o’ de Bangs. “This is the end of music, get used to it!” “Thanks everyone for hating us.” If this is your kind of pain … go for it. As far as the Festival is concerned, they are defiantly an experimental band worthy of a shot. If we had the California Raisin/ squirrel boy from UBZUB last year, this would fill that slot. -K

Bionaut: Au Naturel – Highly ambient CD in from this Massachusetts-based duo. Th’ electronics are ever-present, wonderfully woven and creative – not just another “new age ambience”. Experimental? Most assuredly, and with the added benefit of clear path and direction. Green and Eggleston create a slow build of passion that will sneak up on you and change your mood – without your even knowing it’s happened. That, to me, is the true mark of (musical) genius. IF we were able to get these gents here, we would have pulled off a MAJOR coup for the EMF! Contrast is the keyword, & Bionaut create such (seemingly effortlessly) in SPADES! They PAINT with their synths, masterpieces both beautiful and subtle. If (for some reason) they’re not able to make it this year, we should consider them MOST strongly for the 5th year! This comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at 1600 Falmouth Rd., Suite 109, Centerville, MA 02632, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Tin Ear: NAME THAT MOOD – An astounding orchestral adventure that deserves a slot in the festival without DOUBT! Some had mentioned that they thought some “chamber experimental” would be a stark contrast to other forms of experimental music we present… well, THIS one is the TICKET! Alan Loucks

and his (sadly departed) brother David (who was murdered in his studio in 1995) (synths, toy pianos, guitars & a host of other instrumentation) are joined by Robert Geddes (percussion) in a “space opera” mode that stands OUT from the rest. All others are imitations! This is some POWER-filled

music that will have you questioning your MOTHER’S moods. This is recommended for the festival in the STRONGEST terms possible – gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at ADGL Productions, POB 99282, Seattle, WA 98199, or via e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Ray Brooks 6533 Fifth Avenue NE, Apt #1 Seattle, WA 98115-6477 (206) 525-5026> Ray Brooks is a piano player from Florida who recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. His background includes improvising music for silent films, dances, videos and plays. He has also performed as “church organist, orchestral string bass player, electronic wildman and lounge pianist as well as stints in bluegrass, country and blues bands”. While this 3-song demo displays Ray’s obvious talent in the traditional jazz and stride piano styles, it is barely what I would call experimental by any means. Only in the first piece, “Disjointed Jumpin'” does he stretch out by any degree, although he is technically ‘improvising’, it is well within a narrow standard harmonic form. This is neither here nor there, it merely lacks ‘Life Force” in the message. I would like to see him really take a chance with explorations more unknown to him. Ray is good at staying ‘in bounds’, let’s see him go ‘out of bounds’ with that keyboard prowess. More of “The Electronic Wildman” side of him and less of the “Lounge Pianist”. Pass. –K

CREVICE 2 Uncle Buzz Records/ UBR04 5014 Arbor Ridge San Antonio, TX 78228 Fax (210)521-5067 < James Sidlo-Guitar, Cello, Loops, E-Bow, Fx Bryan Stanchak-Moogs, Oscillators, Pianica, E-Bow, Destructo-Percussion(7) Robert Jimenez-Violin, Cello, Processors Jeff Decuir-Korgs, Theremin, Sub-Bass, Turntable, Vocal, Percussion Phil Luna-Fender Rhodes Organ, Analog Fx Steve Garcia-Saxphones Sunn Thomas-Live Video w/Jill Austen-Flute. Johnny Rod-Prophet & Piano Mark Semmes-Steel Guitar James Cob-Saxophone After CREVICE 1 was released, the weirdos in town really started coming out of the woodwork. First, the group began receiving bizarre tape loops in the mail from a local guitar-cello-effects nut. next came the violinist, then the two sax players and a guy who made music by blowing into toilet paper rolls and smashing up Barry Manilow records “to force the records to make better music than they were originally created to make.” Naturally, they were asked to join the group. The original 3-piece CREVICE had intended to make their second album another all-studio project. Instead now doubled in size, Crevice spent the following year playing live at various clubs, boxing rings, art galleries, warehouses and experimental music festivals. The shows were taped for use in this new album, CREVICE 2. The weirdness is definitely still here. The ripped-out atmospheres, synth-washes and disembodied voices, now joined by violins, cellos, saxes, flute (and a little help from Barry Manilow) come on like some fucked-up orchestra from Mars. But the album can be downright pretty at times with it’s strange, soft passages and hypnotic drones. This 4th release from the Texas label Uncle Buzz, CREVICE 2 contains seven new hi-fi hallucinations. Crevice also appears on another Uncle Buzz release, “ACID RANCH 2000, a compilation CD featuring 17 psychedelexperimental bands from Texas. All this info is directly from their very accurate press release. The only other thing that I can add to the above is this. These guys are INCREDIBLE! A improvisational band extrordinair. I loved the E-Bow guitar drones, the polytonic tone clusters of theremins and violins melt into a delicious brass alloy that your soul can wear as a skeleton. Touching. Intimate. Even at the harshest of regenerative moments. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! -K

DREAMLAND James Sidlo 7226 Blanco Road #4008 San Antonio, TX 78216 < DreamLand (San Antonio, Texas) want to perform at this year’s 4th Olympia Experimental Music Festival. It is a duo with James Sidlo(Crevice, Honey Barbara) and Johnny A. Rodriguez(Daddy Monkey, PULSE, Electro-Acoustic Technological Music Ensemble). They describe their music as ‘New rAge Music’. I say anything that even comes close to the power of CREVICE, needs to be heard. Get ‘Em. – K

EXPOSE’: Exploring The Boundaries of Rock Issue No.14/Winter 1998 6167 Jarvis Avenue #150 Newark, CA 94560 Peter Thelen – Editor EXPOSE’ is a great resource for anyone interested in “Progressive Rock” music from around the world. This is an 80-page quarterly print magazine that has a companion web site as well. It includes in-depth interviews, special feature stories, a news and rumors section, information on books, new releases, archives, reissues and an extensive review listing. To give you an idea of just what area of musics are covered in this particular issue, I’ll shall illustrate by their examples. The Interview section has personal interviews with Georgia’s Volare’ at Progday ’97. Another with Focus keyboardist Thijs Van Leer. Monoco/French guitarist Marc Ceccotti band Edhels. Djam Karet in 1997. Eloy guitarist Frank Bornemann. Zendik. Mexico’s 0.720 Aleacion. Brussels guitarist Roger Trigaux for Present(ex- Univers Zero). The Review Section includes recordings by Heretic, Robert Wyatt, Disipline, Zello, Cast, Bondage Fruit and Melting Euphoria. New Releases include Flux, Silver Apples, Paolo Lotti, Ozone Quartet, Machine For Making Sense, VA, Alien Planetscapes, Faith and Disease, Guru Guru, Osamu Kitajima, Porcupine Tree, John Greaves, Peter Hammill, Clarion, Robert Fripp, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and tons more. The Archive area has The Strawbs, Ashra, Alan Stivell, Nekropolis, Procol Harum, Santana and The Magic Mushroom Band. In Reissues we have Fiori-Seguin, Neo, La Dueseldorf, Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels, Space Art, Christian Marclay, Derek Bailey, Alvin Lucier and Dagmar Krause. The ‘News and Rumors’ has listings for Progfest ’98 to be held in the San Francisco area in October that are under consideration includes artists like Banco, Magma, Roy Harper, Daevid Allen, Ozric Tentacles, Kansas and David Cross. Victoriaville ’98 boasts Volapuk, Accordion Tribe and John Zorn chamber works. While Strange Days ’98 will have likely appearances by Hawkwind and Bedouin. Gentle Giant news: First a King Biscuit live release of a 1975 concert, and a new album of alternate versions of songs and some previously unreleased material with a working title of “Under Construction”. Art Zoyd on tour in Europe. Birdsongs of the Mesozoic finished doing a soundtrack for animated film by Luke Jaeger called “5 Dreams”. And new releases from the Amoebic Ensemble, Curlew, Soft Machine, Glass Hammer, Universe Zero and Spook’s Beard. All in all this is a very useful ‘zine to keep you plugged into this area of creative cross pollinated ‘rock music’ with other species of world music. VERY highly recommended reading -K 

Zzaj-rant: I’ve been focusing on the music reviews for the upcoming EXPERIMENTAL FESTIVAL so much in the last couple of issues that I’ve got a whole STACK of poetry (most of it music related, as I prefer) that needs to be published. SO – those in our readership who buy this ‘zine for the poetry in it (or to see their OWN material published herein) will be glad to know that issue # 33 will feature PRIMARILY poetry! I’m not sure exactly how I’ll lay it out yet, but I’m inclined to think the poems will be th’ MAIN text, with music reviews in boxes. MAY let it become sort of an annual event kind of thang, too – give me your feedback, people!

Poetry is (in my mind) vital to the development & life of music… before there were musical instruments – how did rhythm (or melody) get communicated? Y’all know that I don’t go for “scholarly” explana of music – or poetry… my own (uneducated) guess, however, is that spoken word WAS th’ original “instrument”. I see “formal” musical instruments as an “extension” of the vocal act. Words on paper have often inspired me to a particular piece (or form) of music on my keyboard, so there’s no doubt in my mind that spoken/written word is an essential element of (musical) life! There may be some writers of poetry who feel they don’t have any musical talent – think AGAIN!

To those who were itching to see their words in print in this issue, please be patient – I think you’ll be VERY pleased with what comes in th’ next go-round. & be SURE & keep those poems coming our way. Remember, too, that they don’t all have to be in print… I would love to receive some tapes of spoken word works for review. If you’ve never experimented with putting YOUR words to music – get in TOUCH with me! I’ve often collaborated with poets (John M. Bennett, Joan Payne Kincaid, Belinda Subraman, just to name a few), & am quite willing to do so in the future. In fact, some of Zzaj Productions most interesting tapes are based on (or woven around) the poetry of others.

Guess that’s about it for this issue! If you’re going to be in this area in June, please contact me for tickets for the 1998 EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC FESTIVAL! C’ ya’ next time!


Rotcod Zzaj

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