Mezz Gacano and Self-Standing Ovation Boskàuz Ensemble — Kinderheim
(Lizard LIZARD CD 0136, 2018, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-09-02
If you are into weird music, then this new Italian album called Kinderheim is for you. Italian musician Davide Mezzatesta (AKA Mezz Gacano) and his RIO band the Self Standing Ovation Boskàuz Ensemble present 17 oddly named compositions that are all over the map. Some are semi-classical compositions of woodwinds, piano, and strings. Others are dissonant minimal jazz rock chamber music compositions. Most of these outré instrumentals are complex yet raw. There are numerous comparisons to Frank Zappa and Robert Fripp without sounding derivative. Davide even sports Frank Zappa-esque facial hair. Make no mistake, Kinderheim is difficult music and fortunately with the first 16 tracks ranging from one to four minutes, that is the proper duration to fully develop each idea and not turn off the listener. One track that I found different from the rest is “Cerchio di Permità Gravemente” with its delicate toy piano in counterpoint to groaning, grunting, cramping sounds. The closing track “Bitter(n) Stormy over Vesuvio,” a reference in name only to the Henry Cow track from Unrest, "Bittern Storm Over Ulm," as there is no musical resemblance, is somewhat of an anomaly at nearly 21 minutes. After the first two and a half minutes of interweaving lines of drums, sax, and guitars it all goes silent for ten minutes. Then the remaining eight minutes features singing, talking, lots of random stuff, death metal, and what most people would consider to be “normal” music. Since there is no explanation, I cannot determine if the ten minute gap is intentional or a mistake, and if the first two and half minutes is supposed to be “Bitter(n) Stormy over Vesuvio” or if it also includes the end as well. Or if the final eight minutes contains experiments they decided to leave out but mistakenly included. Whatever the case, Kinderheim is one strange album that is in a class all by itself. Approach with caution.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more