Monday, April 30, 2012

Fred Frith and Theresa Wong

Fred Frith and Theresa Wong (San Vito di Leguzzano, Vicenza, Italy, 21 April 2012).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Smugglers Way

Vinyl might not be so hip any more, because here come the flexi discs! Nice!??
Domino Records released the flexi disc fanzine "Smugglers Way" for Record Store Day (21 April).

Some of us got hold of it (there are probably still a few left), and are now owners of five very soft records in bright colours, and a fanzine, with the story "Wee Stevie Baxter" by James Yorkston, being my favorite. I had a post on Yorkston´s book "It´s lovely to be here" last year.
Among the records, I choose Cass McComb´s cover of Leonard Cohen´s "Teachers".

The records:
Dirty Projectors – "You Against The Larger World"
Real Estate – "In My Car"
Cass McCombs – "Teachers" (Leonard Cohen)
John Maus – "No Title (Molly)"
Villagers – "Shards"

More info, pictures and sounds over here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

ARMS - Shipbuilding

ARMS - Shipbuilding [Robert Wyatt & Elvis Costello cover] by cokemachineglow

ARMS have made a cover of Elvis Cosello/Clive Langer and Robert Wyatt´s song "Shipbuilding".
To be released on a "Fantasy Covers podcast, The 80s Part Two", by Cokemachine Glow.

Friday, April 27, 2012

New album from Cosa Brava

I have mentioned Cosa Brava several times in this blog, and still love their previous album "Ragged Atlas" (Intakt 2010)!
Now they are back with a new album called "The Letter" on the same record company, and check it out, it´s almost as great as "Ragged Atlas"

They may not like it, but this is a bit prog, is´nt it? Since prog seems to be hip again, let´s hope for more listeners for this bunch of fine musicians too. Anyway, don´t let this prog talk scare you. We are not talking massive rock here, but in fact good melodies and still a touch of Henry Cow and Art Bears. Disagree? Just tell!
Watch the videos, and then start buying the music.

Musicians on "The Letter":

Fred Frith guitar, bass, voice
Carla Kihlstedt violin, bass harmonica, voice
Zeena Parkins accordion, keyboards, foley objects, voice
Shahzad Ismaily bass, voice
Matthias Bossi drums, percussion, mayhem, voice
The Norman Conquest sound manipulation

Special guests: Michael Elrod tambura
William Winant concert bass drum, crotales

Cosa Brava are touring Europe in May, and they even visit Norway to play at the Mai:jazz festival in Stavanger (described as "experimental rock- and imrovisation band fronted by Fred Frith" in the programme). Wish I could be there!

Dieselstraße, ESSLINGEN, Germany
more information ...
Mai:Jazz, STAVANGER, Norway
more information ...
Made Festival, UMEÅ, Sweden
more information ...
Stadtgarten, KÖLN, Germany
more information ...
Tafelhalle, NÜRNBERG, Germany
more information ...
Generalmusikdirektion, GRAZ, Austria
more information ...
Turnhalle im PROGR, BERN, Switzerland
more information ...
Moods, ZÜRICH, Switzerland
more information ...
Treibhaus, INNSBRUCK, Austria
more information ...
Festival Angelica, Teatro San Leonardo, BOLOGNA, Italy
more information ...
Le Bikini, TOULOUSE, France
more information ...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More artists for Moldejazz 2012

Anyone going to Molde International Jazz Festival 2012 this summer? It´s happening 16 - 21 July. I´m not sure if the programme is complete now, but here are a few of the concerts I´m ordering tickets for right now:

AKI Takase / Han Bennink

Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble.

Globe Unity Orchestra celebrating 40 years with these fine musicians: Evan Parker, Gerd Dudek, Henrik Walsdorff (sax/clar), Rudi Mahall, (bass clar), Axel Dørner, Jean-Luc Capozzo (tp), Nils Wogram, Christoph Thewes (trb), Alexander von Schlippenbach (p), Paul Lytton, Paul Lovens (dr).

Neneh Cherry and The Thing

Schlippenbach, Lovens, Parker.

Håkon Kornstad "Tenor Battle" with Håkon Kornstad (ts, voc), Per Zanussi (b), Sigbjørn Apeland (org), Øyvind Skarbø (dr, perc).

Neneh Cherry & The Thing: Dream Baby Dream by smalltownsupersound

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kevin Ayers: The Harvest Years 1969 - 1974

It´s not that long ago, is it? Since we had the previous Kevin Ayers CD box? In 2008 EMI released four CDs in "Songs for insane times. An anthology 1969 -1980".

EMI is at it again now, with "The Harvest Years 1969 - 1974". Here we get five original albums with bonus material, on five CDs: "Joy of a toy" (1969), "Shooting at the moon" (1970), "Whatevershebringwesing" (1972), "Bananamour" (1973) and "The confession of Dr. Dream and other stories" (1974, originally on Island, not Harvest).

I have to confess that I have not bought everything by Kevin Ayers (like in 100%), but it seems like the original material here is from the remastered editions released in 2003, and the bonus material is from BBC recordings, previously released on albums like "Singing the bruise" (Strange Fruit 1997). And no info is given on who is playing, or where the bonus material has been released (or not been released) earlier.
Kevin Ayers fanatics, please enlighten us!

Not to good on the information side perhaps, but the box is so cheap it´s almost embarrassing, and the music is just, eh, necessary!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beautiful Cosmos

superwickedcoolkid recently uploaded a pretty charming video for Ivor Cutler´s "Beautiful Cosmos".

You will find "Beautiful Cosmos" on "Jammy Smears" (Virgin 1976), and I hereby recommend that album, and everything else that Ivor Cutler has released!

Oh no! Not Piglet!

Street artist Argus has turned cruel!
Piglet is slaughtered on the wall of Bergen´s old slaughter house "Bergen Kjøtt" ("Bergen Meat").

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Intensity Of Purpose

Peter Urpeth is writing the biography of the fantastic saxophone player Evan Parker. The free jazz/improv musician Parker is a regular visitor to this blog, partly because he has worked with Robert Wyatt too.

The name of the biography is "The intensity of purpose", and lucky you may support this release! Just head on over to Unbound, and tell them how much you can afford right now.

Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing

Helen Petts has made the movie "Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing" for The Hatton Gallery (Newcastle). In the movie she follows the artist Kurt Schwitters, and his travels from Nazi Germany, to Norway and The Lake District. The movie will be shown at the gallery from 28 June.

Follow the artist on the blog with the same name as the movie, and on YouTube.
Sylvia Hallett plays the Hardanger fiddle in the top video (not in the final edit of the movie), while Adam Bohman is playing music in the spirit of Schwitters below.

Schwitters visited the island of Hjertøya, just outside Molde, several times during the 30s. A post in Norwegian on Wyatting, for those of you who dare.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stein Urheim: Kosmolodi

I guess some of you have at least one thumb up for the Norwegian record company Hubro, that has released among others Mats Eilertsen, Erland Dahlen, Kjetil Bjørnstad, Splashgirl, Sigbjørn Apeland and 1982? In connection with Record Store Day (21 April) they added the Bergen based guitarist Stein Urheim´s album "Kosmolodi" to their catalogue.
Only 150 copies made, but it will be ready for download in May.

You get four tracks of acoustic guitar blues (a bit like "Paris Texas" maybe?), and some folk and jazz too. The track "Vårbopvariasjoner" (meaning "Spring Bop Variations") has got it all!
A really nice album.

Stein Urheim seems able to play most instruments you can buy in an instrument store, and you may know him from The Last Hurrah!!? He as not visited Robert Wyatt and Stuff before, but over at Wyatting you may read som Norwegian posts on Stein & Mari and his triple CD from 2009.
On "Kosmolodi" he is joined buy John Hegre (g, effects), Nils Are Drønen (dr), Alexander Grieg (b) and Mari Kvien Brunvoll (voice, effects).

The cover and the labels are all white, but thanks for the info on the red inlay card!

The picture of Stein Urheim was taken at the shop Robot in Bergen, on Record Store Day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Wire Salon - An audience with Robert Wyatt 1 & 2

And then there were two videos on YouTube, from "The Wire Salon - An audience with Robert Wyatt" at Cafe Oto 12 April. Just keep them coming!

And there we got part 3 too! Added 22 April:

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Ballister is a super strong free jazz trio with:
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello/electronics
Paal Nilssen-Love – drums

They have released two albums, both of them recorded live in Chicago in 2010:
"Bastard String" (Own company 2010, 600 copies, now available as download from Candy Dinner).
"Mechanisms" (Clean Feed 2012).

These fine musicians are dynamite, and Lonberg-Holm´s cello is making this sound real special.
Just buy the albums, right now!

Covers: Lasse Marhaug.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

300 Acting Spaces with Kornstad and Gunia

The 300 Acting Spaces project keep rolling. Håkon Kornstad and Alex Gunia played in Oslo 16 April.
You will find all the concerts on 300as´s YouTube channel too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Wire Salon: An audience with Robert Wyatt

The Wire uploaded The Wire Salon with Robert Wyatt, that took place at London's Cafe Oto, 12 April, 2012, so just head on over here to listen! You may download it too.

From The Wire site:
"A rare onstage discussion with Robert Wyatt, in which the great singer-songwriter talked about selected tracks from his back catalogue. The discussion was chaired by The Wire's Tony Herrington and included an audience Q&A section.

Han Bennink is 70!

Wild man of the drums, Han Bennink, is 70 today! Let´s just celebrate together with AAJ.

The picture is from the Molde International Jazz Festival in 2009, where he did both a solo concert and a duo concert with Frode Gjerstad.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Beefheart: Bat Chain Puller

I finally got my "new" Captain Beefheart album! "Bat Chain Puller" (VAULTernative Records 2012) may be bought from, and only there I presume?

"Bat Chain Puller" should have been released in 1976, after a couple of albums not counted among Beefheart´s best (to put it mildly) (especially "Bluejeans & Moonbeams" in 1974), but a quarrel between Frank Zappa (who made the recordings possible) and Herb Cohen (both Zappa´s and Beefheart´s manager), and Don Van Vliet (AKA Captain Beefheart) signing too many papers, stopped it. Since then, the tapes have been stored in the Zappa family vaults. Or so the story goes!

The musicians who joined Beefheart in the studio were: John French (drums), John Thomas (keyboards), Moris Tepper (guitar) and Denny Walley (guitar, accordion), but they are not called "The Magic Band" on this release.

Several of the tracks were recorded again later, and may be found on both "Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)" (1978) and "Doc at the Radar Station" (1980), and I guess you will not be shocked by the fact that the originals have been available on bootlegs too.

But finally the time was more than ripe for a release, and my guess is that most die hard Beefheart fans already got it on heavy rotation. Strange beats, fantastic musicians, raw vocal, far out poetry and great sound quality. You even get a fine booklet with words by John French and Denny Walley. Buy!

Read a more detailed description over at The Captain Beefheart Radar Station, and it might be about time to get John French´s book "Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic" too?

According to a bat chain puller is:

"A bat chain refers to the chain that hangs down from a signal post on a train line. The signal device that was pulled down was called a bat and different bats had different colours to signal the train driver as to the condition of the track ahead, or whether the train could proceed,etc.
The bat chain puller was the person who set the signals for the approaching train according to track status reports received by telegraph.
The song BCP probably metaphorically refers to the fact that this job is obsolete in the world of train spotters in this automated world".

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tape To Zero 2012

The mini festival Tape to Zero is happening at Nasjonal Jazzscene (Oslo) Thursday 26 April and Friday 27. April 2012.

The programme:

Thursday 26 April:

Erland Dahlen (solo)

Bendik Hofseth/Kjetil Husebø/Jonas Barsten Johnsen

Spin Mavel (trio with Martin France/Tim Harries/Terje Evensen)

Friday 27. April:

Steinar Løberg Værnes (solo)

Eyes of a Blue Dog (Rory Simmons, Terje Evensen, Elisabeth Nygård).

Thomas Strønen/Bjørn Charles Dreyer/Kjetil Husebø

Sound: Johnny Skalleberg. Video: Sigurd Ytre-Arne

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Robert Wyatt at Cafe Oto

Some lucky people attended "The Wire Salon: An audience with Robert Wyatt" at Cafe Oto in London on Thursday (12 April 2012).

Stealing from Cafe Oto´s site: "For April’s edition of The Wire Salon, the great singer-songwriter and National Living Treasure will take to the Cafe Oto stage for a second discussion, but this time he will be playing back and talking about selected tracks from his own back catalogue, a unique body of work that includes the first wave English psychedelia of Soft Machine, and a series of solo recordings which combine radical political sentiments with an aesthetic sensibility informed by Vaudeville, 60s pop, modern jazz, Cuban music and more".

Twitter reports are all very positive (no surprise!), and The Wire tweeted that they had recorded the talk (only sound?). Will of course be posted here when available!

Fabio Lugaro and Cafe Oto both published nice photos on Flickr.

On questions about the meaning of his songs, Robert Wyatt answered (according to @paulbarnett1 on Twitter): " songs have meaning in the same way that cat's eyes have meaning to a drunk driver".

Friday, April 13, 2012


Those of you interested in Norwegian jazz, better look out for the new record company Va Fangool. They will work with young musicians who play "alternative and free music", and their first release is the trio Wolfram´s self titled album.

Wolfram is Halvor Meling (sax), Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson (double bass) and Jan Martin Gismervik (drums). These guys are new to me, but they play quite easily accessible free jazz (that´s possible?!), of good quality!
We get ten tracks, the longest is called "6:29", the shortest "02:33" and the album clocks in at 38:33. Yes, all tracks are named after their duration. I would not mind some longer musical journeys though!

Exciting trio, exciting new record company!

Producer and mix master: Frode Gjerstad.
Cover: Ida Kristine Gismervik.

Wolfram I by Wolframtrio

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Overseas IV

Just a short note, so you don´t forget to check out the New York based Norwegian bass player Eivind Opsvik´s "Overseas IV" (Loyal Label 2012).
You get beat and style changes by the pound, and a fine mix of jazz, free jazz, prog and baroque (!?), all molded into a close to perfect whole.
Well, baroque might be stretching it a bit, but I promise you some great harpsichord playing here!

The previous releases in the "Overseas" series were released in 2008 (Loyal Label), 2004 (Fresh Sound) and 2002 (Fresh Sound).

The band is (these days):
Kenny Wollesen - drums, cymbals, timpani, vibraphone, marching machine
Jacob Sacks - harpsichord, farfisa organ, piano
Tony Malaby - saxophone
Brandon Seabrook - electric guitar, mandolin
Eivind Opsvik - bass

Cover: Yokoland.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Older Than My Old Man Now

Loudon Wainwright III´s new album "Older Than My Old Man Now" is to be released on Proper Records 16 April.
He brings along most of his family, and even friends like John Scofield, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Dame Edna Everage (Barry Humphries). The duet between Loudon and Dame Edna is called "I remeber sex", and you have got less than a week now, to prepare for that one.

If we have to have a man with an acoustic guitar around here, then Loudon Wainwright III is the man!

How jazz secretly invaded pop music

Why don´t you read "How jazz secretly invaded pop music" in The Independent today (11 April 2012).

The main focus in the piece is Radiohead, but I steal the part on Robert Wyatt, with comments from Get The Blessing´s Jim Barr and Peter Judge:

" ....and Get The Blessing’s OC DC use jazz technique to push moving pop melodies. The latter album includes a vocal cameo from Robert Wyatt, who has been here before. “He embodies all the things we’ve been talking about,” says Barr. “He does jazz but makes it sound like pop, and vice versa.”

“People have been doing what we’re trying to do for the last 40 years,” says Get The Blessing’s trumpeter Pete Judge. “It just suddenly makes sense in terms of pop, in different ways than it did in the 1960s when Robert Wyatt was doing it with Soft Machine, when it was left-field. Now, because Radiohead can make big-selling albums that are incredibly weird, there’s an evolution. The dots start to get joined up.”"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nattjazz 2012

If you are heading towards the west coast of Norway 23 May - 2 June, you better check out Bergen´s Nattjazz festival programme!
Their site is strictly in Norwegian (so far?), but foreigners are welcome (I hope), and you will get the general idea.

I think (!) I´m looking forward to hear the folk improv trio 1982 with pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole! Try playing the videos at the same time? Øyvind Skarbø, Sigbjørn Apeland and Nils Økland from 1982, are all playing other concerts too.

A mark in my calendar for each of these concerts: Splashgirl, Agba (Terje Isungset and Per Jørgensen) with Sigbjørn Apeland, JÆ, Trespass with Joe McPhee, Håkon Kornstad Tenor Battle (wig alert!) and Arve Henriksen "Tidssoner for trompet og treverk".

Added the day after:
And then it seems like BJ Cole is playing with med In the Country too (happening in Oslo today)!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Thing at Sting (Stavanger 2011)

Back from Easter holiday today, after a long drive from Molde.
Enjoying The Thing, and looking forward to "The Cherry Thing" (Smalltown) in June.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Robert Wyatt guests on the track "Richardson Road" (pianos, backing vocal, cornet) on Grasscut´s upcoming album "Unearth".

Vinyl, CD and mp3´s for all of you from 16 July 2012.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peaceful Easter to all of you! Logging off for a week.

- Peter Brötzmann, John Edwards, Steve Noble @ Cafe Oto 28.3.12.
- Ken Vandermark & Christof Kurzmann live at Centro Cultural São Paulo 24.3.12.
- Otomo Yoshihide (turntables) Choi Joonyong (opened VCR, objects) Jin Sangtae (carhorn, objects) in Seoul.
- Albatrosh live in Amsterdam, February 2012.
- Cakewalk live in Bergen, March 2012.
- Deaf Center "Plateaux". Various Artists - Lost in the Humming Air (Music inspired by Harold Budd).
- OK Go - "Skyscrapers" (official video).