The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2019

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APR 2019 Issue
Music Highly Selective Listings

April Listings

April 4–7: Ende Times X: Festival of Noise and Experimental Liberation at Secret Project Robot. Secret Project Robot, the staunchly DIY, artist-run art and performance space, just announced it is leaving its Bushwick space, and what better sendoff than the annual summit of noise and experimental music, Ende Tymes? The brainchild of noise composer and experimental lifer Bob Bellerue, Ende Tymes is enjoying its tenth edition this year with an epic lineup over its four-night stint including, but certainly not limited to, Drew McDowall, Bonnie Baxter, Aki Onda, Hiroshi Hasegawa, and Sandy Ewen, plus duo performances by MV Carbon and Ka Baird and Ikue Mori and Charmaine Lee.

April 6: Michaël Attias Double Bill: échos la nuit Record Release Show and Quartet at Greenwich House Music School. Alto saxophonist Michaël Attias has been a forward-thinking force and stalwart of New York City’s avant-jazz landscape for decades, bringing a shapeshifting voice to ensembles like his Quartet with Aruán Ortiz, John Hébert, and Nasheet Waits. This evening’s double bill finds Attias in solo and quartet modes as he celebrates the release of échos la nuit (Out Of Your Head Records), his solo debut where he improbably plays alto and piano simultaneously before leading a quartet made up of Kris Davis (piano), Sean Conly (double bass), and Satoshi Takeishi (drums).

April 8: Bobby Previte/Jamie Saft/Nels Cline Trio at Nublu Classic (62 Avenue C). Improvised music titans, drummer Bobby Previte and keyboardist Jamie Saft, have been musical co-conspirators for years, having teamed together in Swami Lateplate and with bassist Steve Swallow as The New Standard. Here, guitar polymath Nels Cline joins Previte and Saft in a new organ-fueled, rock-centric trio who are prepping an upcoming live recording to be released by the U.K.-based experimental label, RareNoise.

April 9: False Harmonics #3: Bearthoven (performing work by Katherine Balch and Sarah Hennies) & Luisa Muhr/Wendy Eisenberg Duo at Pioneer Works. Forward-looking new-music trio Bearthoven take the traditional piano, bass, and percussion lineup and create a sound-world that’s entirely unconventional. On the recently-released American Dream (Cantaloupe Music), featuring the works of composer Scott Wollschleger, Bearthoven flawlessly craft a slow-building universe of shadowy piano jolts and caresses, plucked and scraping strings, and percussive clatter. For this evening’s third installment of False Harmonics, the trio of Karl Larson (piano), Pat Swoboda (bass), and Matt Evans (percussion) continues its work with up and coming composers with premieres of new works by Katherine Balch and Sarah Hennies.

April 9–10: String Theories Festival at Roulette. Presented by The String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the annual Strings Theories Festival brings together freethinkers working on the fringes of 21st century string music. From metal (SEVEN)SUNS), jazz and chamber music (Gabriel Zucker’s sextet) to experimental music (J.G. Thirlwell, John King, and Lisa Renée Coons), this two-night festival extends the strings reach into all spectrums of sound.

April 11: Ben Monder Trio at Barbès. Guitarist extraordinaire Ben Monder has defied category in deconstructing sonic frameworks. That manifested on 2018 standout, Starebaby, drummer Dan Weiss’s metal/jazz project that featured Monder’s dizzying fretwork. Now Monder is celebrating his own release. Day After Day, a sprawling two-disc set that finds the wildly inventive guitarist in solo mode and backed by a trio (bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Ted Poor) as he digs into meditative covers by Bob Dylan and the Beatles and a doom metal-leaning take of John Barry’s “Goldfinger” and more.

April 12: Sophia Subbayya Vastek at Daniel Goode’s Loft. On 2017’s Histories (Innova), pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek brought her serene strokes and lyrical beauty to pieces by John Cage, Michael Harrison, and Donnacha Dennehy. For this evening’s program at Daniel Goode’s Spring Street loft, Vastek will premiere pieces by Michael Vincent Waller, Jon Robertson, and Saunder Jurriaans & Danny Bensi, as well as performing a 2016 composition by Michael Byron and three other pieces by Waller.

April 17: Cimafunk at National Sawdust. Dubbed “the James Brown of Cuba”, Cuban wunderkind Cimafunk, riding high on raucous club hit “Me Voy,” hits National Sawdust as part of his first-ever U.S. tour. His Afro-Cuban soul grooves, funky rhythms, and kinetic beats should get the Sawdust audience out of their seats and into dance hysterics.

April 20: Joe Policastro Trio (with special guest Jon Irabagon) at The Iridium. Chicago bassist Joe Policastro leads a hard-bopping jazz guitar trio with six-string wizard Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. On the just-released Nothing Here Belongs, the trio, with dizzying elasticity and infectious melodicism, cover Bruce Springsteen and Talking Heads along with heady originals. Tonight, saxophonist Jon Irabagon guests.

April 23: Byron Westbrook and Eve Essex at Fridman Gallery. The electronics and laptop-manipulated soundscapes L.A.-based composer Byron Westbrook sculpts are a mind-bending miracle. It’s no wonder Westbrook is an unstoppable force in the experimental music realm. His ever-shifting textures and tones are in full throbbing force on his new tape, Voice Damage.

April 24: Blank Forms Presents Nadah El Shazly at Brooklyn Music School. Hailing from Cairo, producer, singer, and performer Nadah El Shazly melds traditional Egyptian music, electronics, and experimentation into a singular hybrid. On her 2017 solo debut, Ahwar, El Shazly joined forces with Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi, two members of The Dwarfs of East Agouza trio, plus Alan Bishop.

April 24: City Winery 10th Anniversary: Remembering Roswell Rudd featuring Sex Mob with special guests John Medeski, Nels Cline (of Wilco), Fay Victor, and more at City Winery. Last November, an all-star lineup convened at Murmurr Theater to celebrate the life of visionary trombonist, Roswell Rudd. A boisterous player with a huge sound, Rudd made an indelible mark on jazz, one that drew from Dixieland, blues, and the avant-garde. This evening, Rudd’s peers come together to pay tribute to the trombonist who passed in December of 2017 as part of the tenth anniversary celebration of City Winery.

April 25: Beat Circus at National Sawdust. Brian Carpenter, the creative brain behind the sprawling and offbeat ensemble Beat Circus, is an ace wordsmith whose blend of Americana, Sergio Leon-esque soundtrack music, and Mexican folk provides the sublime backdrop for his storytelling. On Beat Circus’s new These Wicked Things (Innova), its fourth record, Carpenter, alongside members of Morphine, Calexico, Tredici Bacci, Thalia Zedek Band, and Big Lazy, continue on his “Weird American Gothic” journey.

April 25: Kassa Overall Time Capsule with Kris Davis at Jazz Gallery. On the gloriously chaotic and groove-heavy Go Get Ice Cream And Listen To Jazz, Brooklyn-based beat scientist Kassa Overall showed he’s a rising star in mashing up just about every sonic possibility. With appearances by Arto Lindsay, Judi Jackson, Carmen Lundy, and the late great Roy Hargrove, Overall crafts a copacetic sound-world of glitchy beats, jazz, and hip hop. Tonight, Overall continues his “Time Capsule” project where he’s joined by pianist Kris Davis.

April 25: Desertion Trio with Jaimie Branch Trio at Trans-Pecos. Philadelphia-based guitar whiz Nick Millevoi has shredded his way through a galore of genres including math-jazz, Jewish doom metal, Klezmer music, and “Spaghetti Western”-styled twang. On his first two albums as leader of Desertion Trio (with bassist Johnny DeBlase and drummer Kevin Shea), Millevoi channeled the country home jams of Neil Young & Crazy Horse. On the new Twilight Time (Long Song Records), Millevoi gets in touch with his surf-rock and 1950’s and ’60’s-era pop and and lounge sides with help from Sun Ra Arkestra singer Tara Middleton and Meat Puppets keyboardist Ron Stabinsky.

April 26–28: Wadada Leo Smith’s Rosa Parks: Pure Love, An Oratorio of Seven Songs at The Kitchen. Composer and trumpet colossus and 2013 Pulitzer Prize In Music finalist Wadada Leo Smith pens sprawling masterworks at a furious clip. Over these three nights at The Kitchen, Smith presents his latest opus, his homage to civil rights hero Rosa Parks, titled Pure Love, An Oratorio of Seven Songs (TUM). Smith is joined by Diamond Voices, a trio including Karen Parks (vocals), Min Xiao-Fen (vocals and pipa), and Carmina Escobar (vocals); the RedKoral Quartet, including Shalini Vijayan (violin), Mona Tian (violin), Andrew McIntosh (viola), and Ashley Walters (cello); the BlueTrumpet Quartet, including Smith (trumpet), Ted Daniel (trumpet), and two additional trumpet players to be announced; the Janus Duo, with Pheeroan akLaff (drums) and Hardedge (electronics); as well as video in live performance by Jesse Gilbert and butoh dance performed by Oguri.

April 26: Rajna Swaminathan at The Rubin. On the Vijay Iyer-co-produced Of Agency and Abstraction (Biophilia), Rajna Swaminathan, with Miles Okazaki (guitar), Anjna Swaminathan (violin), Stephan Crump (bass), María Grand (tenor saxophone), and guest artists Ganavya Doraiswamy (vocal) and Amir ElSaffar (trumpet), creates ethereal jazzscapes in the South Indian tradition of Karnatik music. The compositions of Swaminathan, leading on the mrudangam, a barrel-shaped drum, are intricate yet free-flowing and the interplay is a revelatory force of nature.


George Grella

George Grella is the Rail’s music editor.

Brad Cohan

Brad Cohan is a music journalist based in Brooklyn who has contributed to Bandcamp, The Village Voice, NY Observer, Time Out NY, VICE, Noisey, SPIN, CLRVYNT, Red Bull Music Academy, and other fine publications.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2019

All Issues