New Music Monday - August 12, 2013
The term "misfit toys" has become shorthand for any group of ill-fitting or otherwise wrongheaded castoffs from the straight-ahead world. It's also the perfect name for Iowa percussionist Dan Moore's latest ensemble on a project which has been in the works for the last decade. It's been a labor of love, born of a desire to visit the halcyon days of Moore's youth with the help of his musical partners, banjoist Paul Elwood and drummer Matt Wilson, and very special guest, clarinetist Robert Paredes, who passed away shortly after his work on the project. "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is" offers up gleefully demented deconstructed arrangements of '70s radio hits and B-sides from artists as diverse as Talking Heads, Stevie Wonder, Gilbert O'Sullivan and others.
Two short snippets recorded live with trumpeter Don Cherry bookend percussionist Trilok Gurtu's new CD -- "Spellbound." Even though the other pieces on the disc do not feature the jazz legend, they all are expressions of Gurtu's great admiration for his one-time mentor and friend who died in 1995. For Gurtu jazz has become an attitude, which has made it possible for him to overcome the boundaries between styles and genres. Jazz still forms the basis for his musical ouvre, though, and the trumpet has practically become a symbol for Gurtu's own musical vision. For the new disc, he builds a bridge between continents and cultures, using trumpet masters from Norway, Italy, Germany, Lebanon and Turkey, along with the young American Ambrose Akinmusire.
Also this week, pianist Mike LeDonne and his trio are captured live at Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver on "Speak"; the Commons Collective out of the University of Northern Iowa unveils its debut disc, "Beginnings"; and saxophonist Jeremy Udden and trumpeter John McNeil debut their new quartet, "Hush Point."