On the Record rounds up details about new and pending recordings of interest to the new-music community: contemporary classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.
This list of upcoming release dates is culled from press releases, Amazon and other online record stores, social-media posts, and similar resources. Dates cited correspond to U.S. release of physical recordings where applicable, and are subject to change. These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schlegelmilch, Goldberger & Black: Three of a Mind
The organ trio is a time-honored jazz convention—only in conventional terms, the band usually is built around the Hammond B-3, the funky old keyboard heard on recordings by Jimmy Smith, Larry Young, and Medeski Martin & Wood. But Visitors, a new album by the trio of organist JP Schlegelmilch, guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, and drummer Jim Black, is built around an altogether different instrument: the Yamaha YC-30, an instrument favored by outward-bound players like Miles Davis, Sun Ra, and (maybe?) Donald Fagen.
Despite that instrument’s vintage, Visitors – due Sept. 21 on saxophonist Chris Speed’s Skirl Records – offers a thoroughly updated vision of what an organ trio can do. Schlegelmilch’s spacey tones and psychedelic drones meet their match in Goldberger’s throaty guitar sound; Black provides his trademark mix of textural finesse and outright pummel. The trio’s tight interplay speaks to similarly open minds, as well as plenty of time logged together on various bandstands.
Via email, Schlegelmilch and Goldberger took questions about how the band and album came to be.
NATIONAL SAWDUST LOG: Tell us about how the three of you got together originally. I understand that the band started with JP and Jonathan connecting? Where had the two of you come from, and how did you meet?
JP SCHLEGELMILCH: Jonathan and I met through playing informal sessions with mutual musician friends. We lived in the same neighborhood (Greenpoint, Brooklyn) and eventually started playing duo, so I started writing music for guitar and piano. I grew up in New Hampshire.
JONATHAN GOLDBERGER: That was it…I’d stroll over to JP’s place with a coffee and we’d improvise. I grew up in Florida, then moved to NYC from Colorado back in 2001.
What did you hear in each other’s work that led you to collaborate? What were your shared interests and goals?
SCHLEGELMILCH: Jonathan has a unique approach to expanding the sound of his guitar through effects, and his playing has a lot more raw energy than many other contemporary jazz guitarists. We also shared musical tastes beyond jazz, especially more experimental rock artists like Talk Talk, Dirty Projectors, and Sufjan Stevens.
GOLDBERGER: I really dig JP’s writing, and his approach to improvising has this great emphasis on texture, which always appeals to me.
How did you come to decide that Jim Black was the missing piece of the band?
GOLDBERGER: Not long after I moved to NYC, I played in a big band led by Andrew D’angelo. I met so many killer musicians in that group—most of whom I’d go on to play in other projects with—and Jim was one of them. He’s one of the most influential drummers alive, he makes music come to life in whatever project he’s on … He’s probably the missing piece in any band.
SCHLEGELMILCH: I think that when I heard bands like AlasNoAxis, YeahNo, and Human Feel, I recognized an aesthetic that I really identified with. I like the way these bands were able to put rock music, free improvisation, strong melodies, and an interesting approach to compositional form together in a meaningful way. I’d always aspired to play with Jim, and this group’s music seemed meant for him somehow.
Reading up on jazz history, you can’t miss references to the Hammond B-3 organ. But this group is built around a different instrument, the Yamaha YC-30. How did this instrument spark this band’s musical approach? Where might listeners have heard it before?
SCHLEGELMILCH: Jonathan introduced me to the Yamaha YC-30 organ when he sent me an eBay listing. He told me it was the keyboard that Miles Davis played during his electric period (you can hear it on the track “Rated X”). It was also supposedly Sun Ra’s favorite keyboard! The Talking Heads also used it, and Terry Riley played the Yahama YC-45 organ (tuned to just intonation!) in his improvised solo concerts. There’s a hypnotic quality to the organ’s tone that makes playing a simple drone feel really satisfying. I found that I wrote things on the organ that were harmonically much simpler and straightforward than what I would do on piano.
GOLDBERGER: I think it’s on Miles’s Pangaea and Agharta albums, too. Our intention was to approach the definitive organ/guitar/drum trio from a new angle. The Hammond organ is such a beautiful and classic instrument—we thought, let’s try something with a different timbre that hasn’t been heard so much in this context.
How did the music on your new album take shape? Did you write pieces in advance and work on them together, or did you come up with everything in full collaboration?
SCHLEGELMILCH: Some of the music grew out of the duo collaborations we did years ago, and the last two pieces on the album were part of a suite that I wrote for piano and guitar. The rest we wrote specifically for this organ trio.
Is there a specific meaning to the album’s title?
GOLDBERGER: Visitors can mean a lot of things, but for me it’s a nod to the themes surrounding the ’70s film The Man Who Fell to Earth, as well as the novel Stranger in a Strange Land. My filmmaker brother Julian Goldberger shot the photo for the cover, and he captured our vibe perfectly.
SCHLEGELMILCH: I feel it suggests a kind of impending environmental disaster. Visitors could mean humans as visitors on the planet, and I love that the image of the deserted beach suggests something post-apocalyptic.
How did you connect with Skirl?
GOLDBERGER: Skirl is musician Chris Speed’s label; I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, and have fortunately had the chance to play with him on a few different projects over the years. The label itself has a great aesthetic, both musically and visually. It just made sense to be part of that family.
Where do you hope to see things go from here?
SCHLEGELMILCH: We’re playing some shows throughout the Northeast to promote the album over the next few months. I’ve been writing new music, and sensing lots of possibilities for new musical directions that could be explored.
GOLDBERGER: Let’s make another record!
Visitors is available for pre-order on vinyl and CD through the Skirl Records website, and in a variety of download file formats on Bandcamp. Schlegelmilch, Goldberger, and Black celebrate their new release with a show on Sept. 20 at 9pm at Nublu in Manhattan’s East Village; nublu.net.
New This Week
Anthony Roth Costanzo – ARC – Les Violons du Roy/Jonathan Cohen – music of George Frideric Handel and Philip Glass (Decca Gold) Sarah Davachi – Gave in Rest (Ba Da Bing) M. Geddes Gengras – Light Pipe (Room 40) Georg Friedrich Haas – Trois Hommages – Mabel Kwan (New Focus) Kuzu (Dave Rempis, Tashi Dorji, Tyler Damon) – Hiljaisuus (Astral Spirits) Wet Ink Large Ensemble – Wet Ink: 20 – music by Eric Wubbels, Katherine Young, Sam Pluta, Anthony Braxton, Kate Soper, and Alex Mincek (Carrier)
(☆ – new addition this week)
Nat Evans – Flyover Country (self-released; see related Log article here.)
Aizuri Quartet – Blueprinting – music by Gabriella Smith, Caroline Shaw, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Lembit Beecher, and Paul Wiancko (New Amsterdam) ☆ Ben Bennett and Michael Foster – Lives (Anticausal Sounds)
Andrew Bernstein – An Exploded View of Time (Hausu Mountain) Du Yun – Dinosaur Scars – International Contemporary Ensemble (New Focus) Jlin – Autobiography (Planet Mu) Lorelei Ensemble – Impermanence – music from the Codex Calixtinus and Turin Manuscript, and by Guillaume de Fay, Toru Takemitsu, and Peter Gilbert (Sono Luminus) ☆ Shai Maestro – The Dream Thief (ECM)
Brian Marsella Trio – Outspoken–The Music of the Legendary Hassan (Tzadik) Lansing McLoskey – Zealot Canticles – The Crossing/Donald Nally (Innova) Cory Smythe – Circulate Susanna (Pyroclastic) Christopher Trapani – Water Lines – performances by Talea Ensemble, Longleash Trio, Marilyn Nonken, and JACK Quartet (New Focus)
Jakob Bro – Bay of Rainbows (ECM)
Rimarimba – Below the Horizon (Freedom to Spend) ☆ Stefano Scodanibbio – Alisei – Daniele Roccato, Ludus Gravis Ensemble/Tonino Battista (ECM) Sam Slater – Wrong Airport Ghost (Bedroom Community) Massimo Toniutti – El Museo Selvatico (Black Truffle) ☆ Jörg Widmann – Arche – Marlis Petersen, Thomas E. Bauer, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg/Kent Nagano (ECM)
Clara de Asís – Without – performed by Erik Carlson and Greg Stuart (elsewhere; related Log article here.) Jürg Frey – 120 Pieces of Sound (elsewhere; related Log article here.) Stefan Thut – about – performed by Ryoko Akama, Stephen Chase, Eleanor Cully, Patrick Farmer, Stefan Thut, and lo wie (elsewhere; related Log article here.)
☆ Philip Corner – EXTREEMIZMS early & late – performances by Silvia Tarozzi, Deborah Walker, Rhodri Davies, and Philip Corner (Unseen Worlds)
☆ Wayne Horvitz – Those Who Remain (National Sawdust Tracks)
☆ Michele Mercure – Beside Herself (Freedom to Spend)
Irmin Schmidt – 5 Klavierstücke (Mute) ☆ Jeffrey Zeigler – The Sound of Science – compositions by Graham Reynolds, Foday Musa Suso, Yuka C. Honda, Paola Prestini, Sarah Lipstate, Felipe Pérez Santiago, and Maja S.K. Ratkje (National Sawdust Tracks)
This week's tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Rew, Christian Wolff, Ellen Arkbro, and John Zorn.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Playlist-May-20-2019.jpg5002000Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-20 18:00:232019-05-21 17:28:31Playlist (Something like a bird).
Ahead of Linda May Han Oh's National Sawdust show May 16, watch a video premiere from her new album, 'Aventurine,' which finds the bassist, composer, and bandleader celebrating creativity and evolution.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Oh-banner-3.jpg8001500Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-15 12:00:282019-05-15 13:54:27Video Premiere: Linda May Han Oh