An Outrider From The Maverick Tradition

Thollem McDonas reaching in -- Outpost Performance Space -- September 1, 2o13 -- photo by Mark Weber

Thollem McDonas reaching in — Outpost Performance Space — September 1, 2o13 — photo by Mark Weber

The Thursday Jazz Radio Show

March 17, 2o16 Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER KUNM Albuquerque, USA 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web KUNM.org Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)

AN OUTRIDER FROM THE MAVERICK TRADITION

We live in times fraught with trepidation. Impending doom seems ever upon the wind. Didn’t we once trust the day, and the days to come? Were we purely innocent or have things changed? I can’t but hear a warning in the intrepid saxophone raging against the night, he who will never go unquiet shackled and chained, how menaced is his message, leave a few coins in his hat and sleep this night if you can, Grendel is out there counting the moons.

. . . . I must have went to sleep last night reading Spengler (not) for this outpouring of darkness spun into archaic prose has nothing to do with our guest today who is actually a very calm person and thoughtful, though ye of gentle and delicate sensibilities be forewarned he is purely involved in modernist vision and unstinting avant temperament and it is with great respect we have someone of his commitment on the Thursday jazz show (I wonder if I’ll ever reread Spengler?)

Our guest today: Thollem McDonas will be in-studio Live and with instruments (see photos). This is a great boon to the airwaves. We’re even going to roll in the KUNM Unprepared Piano so it’s going to be some great fun.

Thollem McDonas with his gear -- August 9, 2o15 -- Albuquerque ----- Nels Cline, a long time ago (Alex Cline on drumset) -- February 8, 1985 ---- photos by Mark Weber -- Thollem and Nels have made a couple albums (the 12-inch variety) together recently

Thollem McDonas with his gear — August 9, 2o15 — Albuquerque —– Nels Cline, a long time ago (Alex Cline on drumset) — February 8, 1985 —- photos by Mark Weber — Thollem and Nels have made a couple albums (the 12-inch variety) together recently

Mary Halvorson at KUNM -- December 19, 2o13 ---- She's such a good sport that when I noticed she had the sheet on Carla Bley's "Ida Lupino" I begged her to play it, and even though she was just beginning to familiarize herself with Carla's most beautiful melody, she knocked out a rendition for the New Mexico airwaves, AND now on her new cd MELTFRAME a marvelous new version, which we will spin this day ---- photo by Mark Weber

Mary Halvorson at KUNM — December 19, 2o13 —- She’s such a good sport that when I noticed she had the sheet on Carla Bley’s “Ida Lupino” I begged her to play it, and even though she was just beginning to familiarize herself with Carla’s most beautiful melody, she knocked out a rendition for the New Mexico airwaves, AND now on her new cd MELTFRAME a marvelous new version, which we will spin this day —- photo by Mark Weber

mw2165 for klaus

Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra — Watts Towers Jazz Festival — July 11, 1981 — Horace Tapscott
conducting Left to Right: Al Hines, bass; Adele Sebastian, flute; Ufahamu Uweizi, alto; Dadisi Komolafe Arthur Wells, tenor; Michael Session, tenor; Herbert Callies, alto-clarinet; unknown baritone; Fundi LeGohn, French-horn —- photo by Mark Weber —- We’ll listen to some very recent recordings from Ufahamu’s current band in Los Angeles keeping things going, the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra lives on

Thollem McDonas -- August 9, 2o15 ----- I like how his mind thinks. Even as one doesn't exactly "think" while improvising, it's more subconscious. Still, much is revealed. Even before you start there are decisions, but, once you get into it certain affinities come forward: rhythm, harmony, spatial values (form, duration), chance and the use of chance events. Mostly a state of cool -- grace under fire as Hemingway would have it -- is what I like about Thollem -------photo & line drawing by Mark Weber

Thollem McDonas — August 9, 2o15 —– I like how his mind thinks. Even as one doesn’t exactly “think” while improvising, it’s more subconscious. Still, much is revealed. Even before you start there are decisions, but, once you get into it certain affinities come forward: rhythm, harmony, spatial values (form, duration), chance and the use of chance events. Mostly a state of cool — grace under fire as Hemingway would have it — is what I like about Thollem ——-photo & line drawing by Mark Weber

Derek Bailey and Evan Parker in Los Angeles -- October 15, 1980 at Century City Playhouse -- photo by Mark Weber ------ Evan Parker has found things on the saxophone that nobody ever dreamed existed, I love his solo records and have all ten (?) of them, and Derek is so weird (to me) that he's marvelous, it seems like his ensemble approach is to be contrary (?) He endeavors to be exactly 180 degrees opposite of whatever everybody else is doing ----- Nobody should be in this world and never have heard the album THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE LUNGS 1970), it's a masterpiece of disparate organization & wry humor

Derek Bailey and Evan Parker in Los Angeles — October 15, 1980 at Century City Playhouse — photo by Mark Weber —— Evan Parker has found things on the saxophone that nobody ever dreamed existed, I love his solo records and have all ten (?) of them, and Derek is so weird (to me) that he’s marvelous, it seems like his ensemble approach is to be contrary (?) He endeavors to be exactly 180 degrees opposite of whatever everybody else is doing —– Nobody should be in this world and never have heard the album THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE LUNGS (1970), it’s a masterpiece of disparate organization & wry humor

Krystall Klear & the Buells at Carmelos, North Hollywood (Jerry Peters, piano; Marty Krystall, tenor; Peter Erskine, drums; Buell Neidlinger, bass) -- March 25, 1981 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- Today we'll spin the recently released cd GAYLE FORCE (K2B2 Records) derived from tapes found in Buell's archive that are of tantamount historic value: From my vantage, 1965 is The Halcyon, the Way Back When, the Near Beginning of Free Jazz, of course there were others playing like this, but not many! You could arrested for this sort of playing, or tossed into the looneybin. It's Buell with the late John Bergamo when he was still a jazz player (he's Chris Garcia's mentor) in Buffalo NY on a snowy day with Charles Gayle stretching the fabric of time and stretching the seams of his tenor saxophone as well ----> E = MC2

Krystall Klear & the Buells at Carmelos, North Hollywood (Jerry Peters, piano; Marty Krystall, tenor; Peter Erskine, drums; Buell Neidlinger, bass) — March 25, 1981 — photo by Mark Weber —- Today we’ll spin the recently released cd GAYLE FORCE (K2B2 Records) derived from tapes found in Buell’s archive that are of tantamount historic value: From my vantage, 1965 is The Halcyon, the Way Back When, the Near Beginning of Free Jazz, of course there were others playing like this, but not many! You could get arrested for this sort of playing, or tossed into the looneybin. It’s Buell with the late John Bergamo when he was still a jazz player (he’s Chris Garcia’s mentor) in Buffalo NY on a snowy day with Charles Gayle stretching the fabric of time and stretching the seams of his tenor saxophone as well —-> E = MC2

Dave Douglas (trumpet) and Dave Binney (sax) and Mark Helias (bass) sidemen with Uri Caine Plays The Music of Gustav Mahler at Knitting Factory, NYC -- June 29, 1997 -- photo by Mark Weber

Dave Douglas (trumpet) and Dave Binney (sax) and Mark Helias (bass) sidemen with Uri Caine Plays The Music of Gustav Mahler at Knitting Factory, NYC — June 29, 1997 — photo by Mark Weber

Joe Maneri Trio -- June 28, 1997 at Biblios (bookstore), 317 Church, downtown NYC (Mat Maneri, electric six string violin; Randy Peterson, drumset) ---- photo by Mark Weber ------- I remember this night I got semi-lost endeavoring to get home back up to 113th Street --- not being a New Yorker I didn't know the subways close many of their stations late at night downtown and I wandered around for seemingly hours (I have a variety of spatial dyslexia) looking for a get-on, I can't tell north from south (Max Roach had the same condition, I found out one night in a cab with him!)(dyslexia refers to words, so is not exactly the right term)

Joe Maneri Trio — June 28, 1997 at Biblios (bookstore), 317 Church, downtown NYC (Mat Maneri, electric six string violin; Randy Peterson, drumset) —- photo by Mark Weber ——- I remember this night I got semi-lost endeavoring to get home back up to 113th Street — not being a New Yorker I didn’t know the subways close many of their stations late at night downtown and I wandered around for seemingly hours (I have a variety of spatial dyslexia) looking for a get-on, I can’t tell north from south (Max Roach had the same condition, I found out one night in a cab with him!)(dyslexia refers to words, so is not exactly the right term)

Nels Cline Trio at South Street Seaport Park, Manhattan NYC -- Bob Mair (bass); Michael Preussner (drums); Nels (guitar) ---- June 28, 1997 -- this park is on the East River and at one point in the performance a giant garbage scow floated behind the stage going out to, I was told, Staten Island to be buried -- But, it made for quite a vision ---- photo by Mark Weber

Nels Cline Trio at South Street Seaport Park, Manhattan NYC — Bob Mair (bass); Michael Preussner (drums); Nels (guitar) —- June 28, 1997 — this park is on the East River and at one point in the performance a giant garbage scow floated behind the stage going out to, I was told, Staten Island to be buried — But, it made for quite a vision —- photo by Mark Weber

Yes, that's where we live: The Albuquerque volcanos on the edge of town -- that basaltic ridge is 17 miles long from a volcanic eruption 150,000 years ago ---- photo by Mark Weber -- October 23, 1991 ---- We call them volcanos but they are really fumaroles, still mildly active (no snow stays on them) ---- Back in 1955 a couple college pranksters hauled some old tires up on top of the biggest volcano and lit them on fire so that from the city it looked like Vulcan was about to erupt -- you can imagine the black smoke coming from car tires -- the city was freaking out and even the fire department was ready for action (like, uh, what are they going to do?) -- in his final memoir THE FOOL'S PROGRESS (1988), Ed Abbey admitted that he was the practical joker along with a couple of his beer-drinking buddies

Yes, that’s where we live: The Albuquerque volcanos on the edge of town — that basaltic ridge is 17 miles long from a volcanic eruption 150,000 years ago —- photo by Mark Weber — October 23, 1991 —- We call them volcanos but they are really fumaroles, still mildly active (no snow stays on them) —- Back in 1955 a couple college pranksters hauled some old tires up on top of the biggest volcano and lit them on fire so that from the city it looked like Vulcan was about to erupt — you can imagine the black smoke coming from car tires — the city was freaking out and even the fire department was ready for action (like, uh, what are they going to do?) — in his final memoir THE FOOL’S PROGRESS (1988), Ed Abbey admitted that he was the practical joker along with a couple of his beer-drinking buddies

George Washington Crossing the Delaware ---- 1971 -- assemblage by Mark Weber

George Washington Crossing the Delaware —- 1971 — assemblage by Mark Weber

15 Comments

  1. Hey, I didn’t know you were at the Knit the same time I was. I was at the Uri Caine gig too. Was at the whole festival as I recall. My notes say Barry Altshul was on drums, DJ Olive on turntables, and Danny Blume on guitar too, in the Alterknit space. That’s when it was hard to see everything with 3 stages of music happening.

  2. Nels Cline

    March 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Dang Mark! Trio shot at South Street Seaport??! Whoa!

    . . . . And I also love Mary Halvorson!

    And Derek Bailey is using my old Music Man amp in the shot of him and Evan at the CCP, but I can’t for the life of me remember why I couldn’t attend that concert.

    Thanks for the perspectives!

    XO

  3. Billy the Celloist

    March 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Picture
    JOHN BERGAMO
    http://www.pas.org/About/the-society/halloffame/JohnBergamo.aspx
    MAESTRO John Bergamo,
    my 3rd tabla teacher and man with 3 feet
    one in jazz,
    one in 20th century music
    and another foot(?) in world music.
    An amazing man and an amazing musician
    who continues to show me the way.

    • Billy the Celloist

      March 14, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      the above from Chris Garcia’s site….

      • Billy the Celloist————————Do you know who’s chanting “Golden earrings, golden earrings” on the track “Olden Gearings”? It can’t be Mr Gayle because he’s busy with the saxophone.

        • Billy the Celloist

          March 15, 2016 at 4:02 am

          yes, Mark, that is John and i singing “Olden Gearings”. and John’s voice is louder due to microphony (i.e. one cheap Wollensack mike for the whole group). and Mark, thanks for playing our music; hope it wafted gently over the plumeroles and up around Eagles Nest ! soon, man !

  4. THOLLEM RULES.

    And, Mark, so do you!

    Yeah, why weren’t we able to attend that concert at the CCP? There must have been something else in life happening at the time (although it’s hard to imagine exactly what).

    History. Weird.

    Onward!

  5. I remember lee Kaplan and I going out with them to a Jewish deli/restaurant that was down from CCP. They each ordered a sandwich one pastrami and one corn beef. They had just come from Canada and just sat there looking at how big the sandwiches were And the fries and Cole slaw, I think they each finished half and Evan or Derek put a half sandwich on the amp as some kind of homage to the US and how large the food portions were. They were very funny guys

  6. Re: George Washington: Every school child in America knows the heroic story of General George Washington crossing the Delaware River in the dead of winter with an army of conscripted Hessians to surprise the British encampment in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. In my assemblage I was riffing off of Larry River’s painting “George Washington Crossing the Delaware”(1953) who in turn was riffing off the patriotic version of the same title by Emanuel Leutze (1851).

    In high school (graduated June 1972), among other pursuits, I worshiped at the altar of modern art, I threw paint a la Pollock, I had a noise band a la some of the weirder passages of Capt Beefheart, and made Dadistic assemblages by the dozen. So, I was ripe for the British avant-garde music of SME. And Derek. At that age rebellion looms strong in one’s psychology.

    I remember reading THE ABORTION by Brautigan and trying to fathom that, and Kerouac’s DR SAX, these are some strange books for a teenager to dip into, and Rimbaud, not to mention TICKET THAT EXPLODED, “Jeepers, Mr Wilson, I don’t understand what’s going on.” I”ll stick with CONFEDERATE GENERAL IN BIG SUR, ON THE ROAD, and NAKED LUNCH, thank you very much. That modernist stuff is interesting at best but it doesn’t feed one’s soul.

    So much was going on those years, all those years before you turn 21, the tidal wave of discovery is staggering, I wish I kept journals then, I didn’t start with the journals till around 1977 and only sporadically before that. But, would be interesting to follow one’s peregrinations. We all should write about those years (or not) as if within a rapture, like Patti Smith’s brilliant sparkling JUST KIDS (2o10) and her new M TRAIN (2o15). (I’ll add my review of these books in the next box.)

    *That was a very rare and the only time Derek ever visited California (Evan has been several times, since). That’s KPFK radio host Jay Green kicking back on the floor next to Derek in that photo. Jay owned the great Pasadena record store PooBah.

    **Interesting that “worshiped” is spelled with on one P ————–? I would have missed that in a spelling bee.

  7. My field notes from the Uri Caine Ensemble June 29, 1997 has Danny Blume, guitar; Uri Caine, piano; DJ Olive, turntables; Barry Altschul, drums; along with those pictured — a septet — very interesting project (they made a record at some point) —- this concert was in the basement, and there were no chairs, you just stood there like an idiot, or sat on the grungy floor (no thanks), that was a new concept to me in concert presentations, I think this was a Punk Rock thing: no chairs, because, don’t they beat each other with chairs, if they have them?

  8. The thing with Patti Smith is: She’s serious. There is gravitas and purpose and intense desire for transcendence, redemption, the light of grace. You can’t fake what she’s got. Nor can it be learned, or taught, or conjured up, or put together with a recipe. It’s something some people are born with.

    Now I’m probably the last person who should be writing a review on Patti Smith because I’m probably one of the few people of the 20th century who has never heard her renowned album HORSES — 1979? I was deep off into jazz, and that is an all-consuming area of investigation —— (I ordered HORSES two days ago the mailman will be dropping it off, soon) —- I don’t even remember exactly how I fell into JUST KIDS — was it Paula, my sister-in-law who had it laying around and I snooped it out in the Hamptons? Something like that. But, Patti Smith has the gift. Maybe it helps that I’m from her same generation, and it also helps if you know a little something about New York City, and literature, and art. (She doesn’t write about music very much.) You could say a writer like Patti Smith is on a deep dive, which brings me to another realization I had along about age 28 (I remember this nearly perfectly) and that is: for some reason when we take up the practice of Being a Writer we tend to look too deep and for years flounder around writing some embarrassing stuff, UNTIL one glorious day we somehow notice that reality floats right before our eyes, like a diaphanous shimmering chiffon veil — no deep dive necessary, one only need train themselves to see what’s right there — I tell young writers that poems are everywhere in the air and you only need learn how to notice them floating by. ANYWAY . . .

    Patti Smith sacralizes (this spellchecker is telling me that’s not a word) — makes sacred — consecrates whatever her attention is drawn to.

  9. IN THE LIT WORLD

    Would there even be a living world
    without light?
    Or, for that matter, water?
    or, air?
    the salts and minerals, magnetism,
    gravity, warmth?
    And by extension: spacetime and the
    whole swirl of the Big Bang?
    Light is the whole thing
    everything
    the inside-out top & bottom
    of it all

    –journal entry 28dec15

  10. ——————————–playlist————————–

    Saint Patrick’s Day Jazz Radio Show
    March 17, 2o16
    KUNM Albuquerque USA
    Host MARK WEBER
    Live in-studio guest: THOLLEM McDONAS

    1. Tony Bennett “Danny Boy” w/San Getz, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Ron Carter –25may64 — album JAZZ (Columbia) (*selection suggested by John Breckow)
    2. Thollem — improvisation #1 acoustic piano
    3. conversation
    4. Thollem — improvisation #2 keyboard (Nord Electro 5)
    5. Nels Cline “Moth Song” — May 1999 cd THE INKLING (Cryptogramophone)
    6. Thollem — improvisation #3 keyboard & acoustic piano
    7. Vinny Golia w/5 saxophones (Bill Plake, Andrew Pask, Matt Otto, Eric Barber, and VG on bass sax) “Dollar Sign Woman” — 16sept07 cd MUSIC FOR LIKE INSTRUMENTS: the Bb Saxophones (9 Winds Records)
    8. Thollem — improvisation #4 acoustic
    9. Mary Halvorson “Ida Lupino” Nov.2o14 cd MELTFRAME (firehouse records)
    10. Thollem — improvisation #5 acoustic
    11. Buell Neidlinger “Olden Gearings” cd GAYLE FORCE (K2B2 Records) — 1965 w/Charles Gayle, and
    Buell & John Bergamo chanting “golden earrings, golden earrings, golden earrings”
    *all dates always (on my web page) refer to recording date, not the release date

  11. Nels Cline

    March 18, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Amazing comments!

    Derek played a solo concert later in Santa Monica at Miles Playhouse – sometime in the 80s? And again I lent him my amp, had a few funny words with him, and I had to scamper off to… what exactly?! I missed him again! What was I doing?? It’s highly unlikely that I had a gig to play…
    I only heard him play ‘live’ once decades later in Barcelona in a small painting studio. He and his wife had recently moved there for his health, and I finally got to really speak with him. I thanked him for putting out “Acoustic Guitar Trio” (the improvising trio I initiated with Jim McAuley and Rod Poole) and I also thanked him for his lifetime of intrepid and uncompromising investigations and innovations. I told him that his brave path made it easy for cowards like me to benefit, take tiny bits of his broad scope and add them to our respective palettes. He was really humble and nice about my sincere gushiness, and about a year later he was gone. One thing I have learned as I have gotten older is that one needs to risk embarrassing one’s heroes and tell them sincerely what kind of impact they have/had on you before it’s too late.

    XO

  12. —————————-playlist———————–

    The Cold Snap Jazz Radio Show
    March 24, 2o16
    KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER

    1. Red Norvo Sextet (Buddy Collette, Bill Smith, Barney Kessel, Red Mitchell, Shelly Manne) “Poeme” (Jack Montrose) — 1957 — MUSIC TO LISTEN TO RED NORVO BY (Contemporary)
    2. Dave Brubeck Quartet w/ Bill Smith (in for Desmond), Joe Morello, Eugene Wright, “Pan’s Pipes” (Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen) –20mar61 cd NEAR-MYTH (Fantasy)
    3. Joanne Grauer Trio (Buddy Clark, Mel Lewis) — July 1957 “Mood for Mode” *Her first album
    4. Dena DeRose Trio (Matt Wilson, Martin Wind) + Peter Bernstein, guitar — “Sunny” (Bobby Hebb) — Aug.2o15 cd– UNITED (High Note) *She’ll be Live in-studio guest in 2 weeks!
    5. Marian McPartland solo “Theme for Piano Jazz” Live at Maybeck — 20jan91
    6. Monk “Tea for Two” (Oscar Pettiford, Art Blakey) 3apr1956 cd THE UNIQUE THELONIOUS (Riverside)
    7. George Benson Quartet (Ronnie Cuber, Lonnie Smith, Jimmie Lovelace)”Hello Birdie” –15mar66 –cd IT’S
    UPTOWN (his first album on Columbia)
    8. Cal Tjader “East of the Sun” –11sept54 cd TJADER PLAYS MAMBO (Fantasy)
    9. Art Pepper Quintet (Jack Sheldon, Pete Jolly, Jimmy Bond, Frank Butler) “Las Cuevas de Mario” cd SMACK UP (Contemporary)
    10. Pat Martino Quartet “Sunny” –Sept.1972 –HEAD AND HEART (Muse)
    11. Pete Jolly – Jan Lundren Quartet (two pianos + Chuck Berghofer, Joe LaBarbera) “The Lamp is Low” cd COLLABORATION (Fresh Sound) –Sept.2001
    12. Kazzrie Jaxen (Liz Gorrill) “How Deep is the Ocean” –1997 cd FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH (New Artists Records)
    13. Stan Getz Quintet (Bob Brookmeyer, John Williams, Teddy Kotick, Frank Isola) “Willow Weep for Me” –15aug53 cd INTERPRETATIONS (Fresh Sound — originally Norgran)

Leave a Reply

© 2016 Mark Weber

Theme by Anders Noren adapted for M.etropolis by RavanHUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: