Listed: Wally Shoup + Jorrit Dijkstra
If multi-tasking is a valid measure of genius, Wally Shoup is one of the Northwest’s brightest beacons of brilliance. Based in Seattle, Shoup’s contributions to culture at large go far beyond is talents on the saxophone. Known best for his diverse and truly unique blend of Black Music, free improvisation and noise, Shoup’s actions off the stage speak as loudly as his fierce solos. As an organizer, he has helped establish the Seattle Improvised Music Festival as the longest running improv fest in the U.S. As a painter, his “Outsider Art” on canvas is an apt accompaniment to his work along the sonic fringe. As a writer, Shoup has penned articles for the Improvisor, Art Papers, The Stranger, Earshot Jazz Magazine, and Perfect Sound Forever. A book of his music writing will be forthcoming on Thurston Moore's Glasseye Book series.
Shoup has also recorded two albums with Moore, Hurrican Floyd on Subliminal and this year’s Live At Tonic on Leo. Also on Leo, Fusillades & Lamentations with his trio of Reuben Radding & Bob Rees. For more info on Wally’s music, writing and art, visit his website at http://www.speakeasy.org/wshoup.
1. John Coltrane - Meditations (Impulse) – This record, in my opinion, changed the music world. So many who encountered this music during their psychedelic period (i.e., open to transcendence) were never the same and couldn’t “go back” to watered-down or adolescent expression. This album went beyond music, beyond sound, to a place where energy, being and identity fused.
2. The Stooges - Fun House (Elektra) – Steve Mackay wasn’t in Coltrane’s or Ayler’s class, but by mating free-jazz, blow-torch sax to Iggy’s insistent exhortations to “BLOW!!!!!”, he helped turn some scanky rawk into something else entirely.
3. Soft Machine - Third (Columbia) – Elton Dean’s plaintive sax and saxello soloing over the billowing keyboards of Mike Ratledge gave a poignancy to rock-jazz that substantially deepened rock and offered hip entryway into jazz for non-aficionados.
4. Tony Williams’ Lifetime - Emergency! (Polydor) – Remember the name of the game in the psychedelic-era was to go out – to have music turn your world upside-down. So what if the jazzers knew more chords than the rockers – the rockers were upping the psychedelic quotient. When you were high, you didn’t care how many chords someone knew. With this album, the jazzers finally got a clue: Larry Young’s ethereal wash, McLaughlin’s gnarly speed, and Tony’s chops meshed into a stoner’s paradise. Fortunately, turntables allowed you to skip easily over Tony’s dreadful singing.
“Unknown Guitar (non) Hero”
This has to go to John Jasnoch, an unassuming chap from Sheffield, England who’s quietly developed a completely compelling post-Derek sound and style. (Sheffield, it should be noted, is where Derek, Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars invented/discovered ‘British (non-jazz) free improvising’ at weekly sessions at the Grapes – which is still around). Originally coming from blue-grass and rock, John manages to incorporate those influences into a personal, non-idiomatic language that makes total sense. Though his tone is twangy, insistent and unsentimental, his approach is so abstract and folksy that he ends up calling more attention to the immediacy of the music than to his guitar playing per se. Check out:
“All Time Stylistic Film Noir”
“The guy who deserves his reputation for taking the guitar to its rightful place”
Dutch saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra (1966) has been an active member of Amsterdam’s vivid jazz and improvisation scene since 1985, before moving to Boston early 2002. His music shows strong influences from the American and European improvisation traditions, as well as from ethnic, contemporary classical and electronic music. The critical press compares his clear, flexible sound and lyrical improvisation to Ornette Coleman, Paul Desmond and John Zorn, showing the broad spectrum of his saxophone style. Besides the alto saxophone, he plays soprano saxophone, Lyricon, clarinet, and tin whistles, and uses electronics such as loop and delay machines, a pitch shifter and an analog modular synthesizer to process his saxophone sounds live on stage.
In 1995 Dijkstra received the prestigious Podium Prize from the Dutch Jazz Foundation, and in 1998 he received a Fulbright grant to study and teach at the New England Conservatory in Boston. In Amsterdam Jorrit is currently co-leading the cool-jazz Quartet Sound-Lee! (with Guus Janssen, playing the music of Lee Konitz). In Boston he is active in the local improvisation and new music scene, with Curt Newton, James Coleman, Charlie Kohlhase and Andrew Neumann. – Taken from Jorrit’s web site www.jorritdijkstra.com.
Jorrit Dijkstra’s 10 favourite recordings (not in any particular order) for Dusted Magazine
1. Aphex Twin - Drukqs (Warp) – Great sonic experiments, and amazing ideas with the (prepared) midi grand piano, and with the recording and post-production. What Aphex Twin does with just reverb is a whole topic of analysis already. Still it’s groovy and organic.
2. Arditti String Quartet - John Cage’s String Quartet in Four Parts (1949-50) (Mode) – Beautiful piece, very well played (including the slight out of tune harmonics!). Cage uses a composition technique in which every time a note from his scale occurs, he uses the same orchestration. This gives the piece a static, medieval serenity, which I really like. But why is the recording so noisy (in this period Cage wasn’t quite into indeterminacy yet)?
3. Yannis Kyriakides - a conSPIracy cantata (Unsounds) –This up and coming Greek/British composer lives in Amsterdam and writes music that beautifully integrates acoustic new music with minimalist techno and noise elements. We know Alvin Lucier’s experiments with acoustic instruments and a slow sweeping sine wave creating interferences with harmonics, but Yanni takes this idea to another, more organic level in his piece Hydatorizon. The conSPIracy cantata is a longer, creepy work, with amazing soundscapes based around Cold War shortwave radio codes and the oracle of Delphi.
4. Benoît Delbecq - Nu-Turn (Songlines) – This new Hybrid, Super Audio CD from one of my favourite improvisor friends from Paris was just released. I don’t have the special CD player and surround speakers to play this format, but I can very well imagine the bonus. It’s like putting your ears to meditate inside the piano. Benoît takes György Ligeti’s multi tempo layerings and combines it with Ornette Coleman’s floating melodies and complex Pygmy rhythms into a very organic and original way of improvising on the (prepared) piano. Benoît’s musical world has been a great inspiration to me.
5. Helmut Lachenmann - Schwankungen am Rand (ECM New Series) – Sliding and gliding on the edge, he gets amazing sounds out of a chamber orchestra that you never thought were possible. It almost sounds like electronic music, and I see why he is popular these days in the electronic and noise scene. Minimalism but not, and all but a traditional conception about drama.
6. Coleman Hawkins - ...encounters Ben Webster (Verve) –I wish I could have been present at this recording session. Sad, melancholic music from two absolute masters. "Rosita" is my favourite track, and almost makes me cry everytime. Both make the saxophone sound the way it was intended: huge, sweet, subtle and raw on the edge.
7. Gil Evans and Steve Lacy - Paris Blues (Owl) – Two of my favourite jazzmusicians. The Mingus pieces are always interesting to listen to, especially when played in an introvert way, opposite to Mingus’ approach. Lacy (I studied with him for a semester) gave me this CD after I gave him a computer lesson, and my interaction with Gil Evans was that he played on the pedal of my Fender Rhodes (the rental piano was missing this part) at a jazz festival in Amsterdam late 80’s.
8. Thomas Brinkmann - Klick (max.E.) – Beautiful music made with electronic error sounds. Minimalism optima forma from this German techno musician. This music appeals to me because of the incredible clarity, subtlety, angular groovyness, the super basic daily digital life sounds and slow development of textures. Would be interesting to find out how much this is improvised or overdubbed – did he record the tracks in one go, or is this heavy cut and paste work?
9. Lee Konitz - Lone-Lee (Steeplechase) – Master of melody, and no licks or patterns whatsoever. I like the way he does Cherokee, nice and slow, no machismo tempo like the classic jazz way dictates. Pure improvisation in an especially creative period in his life (early seventies).
10: Maja Ratkje - Voice (Rune Grammophon) – I had hardly heard from this Norwegian composer, vocalist and electronic musician until I started reading the Dusted Listings. Found her wesbite, got curious, bought her solo CD last week and was very impressed. Not only does she sing beautifully and extreme at the same time, she processes her voice in a really nice and musical way. Plus nonsense texts, intense screaming, great mouth sounds and a home recorded feel to it. Her piece “Chipmunk Party” is the best, very successful use of short samples of her voice. What this record has against lot of other noise/electronic records that it’s compositionally very original, rather than just a bunch of stretchy sonic landscapes and interesting sounds.
By Dusted Magazine