Cult & Leper, Crank Sturgeon, LSDV -Smokey’s Bar, September 14

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Wild Stars

The shirt the bassist wears prism breaking light on the others drum and piano switch the beat goes on a prog seance from the seventies with incandescent light show wild stars don’t fuck your sister stop I know where you were the sneaky bass crawling like a gecko up the wall of the start of the song searing grand spacey keyboard like a saucer with a flat Cale sings like California autistic intervals queer like Gary Neumann nasty La Peste vocals marquee act at The Rat in ’77 

 
Bass Patrick Kuehn
Drums Jeff Balter
Guitar Sam Lisabeth
 
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Skeleton Circus Player

Crank’s got a raw appeal skeleton circus player playing thumbtacks on a book of French lyrics a common apple polished and small with shades of green on white speckled red 

He’s Sui generis a genuius of his own realm his poetry is excruciating  like Frank Zappa baked over a can of Sterno

But weird words coalesce rhythms accrue so new you can’t see through it like Howl when it came out he’s in the slam mode but he takes it much deeper

 
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Floozy Funky Music
 
Asian child speaking floozy funky music psycho yodeling Maurice Gibb at the mic Bee Gees in slo-mo color TV sets on the fritz couples making out in underwear young tough in leather beating up woman in bra video arcade beeping morphing into echo fat guy who looks a little like Paul McCartney sixties convertible couple traffic and explosions old disco scene from seventies sound in infinite regress of flack and fuzz flowers in jungle woman fucked from behind they said acid would help me forget my problems

Gold

I don’t want gold
I’m just sick of being
Alone, so I go out
Tonight, throw

The stone a couple
Miles up the road,
Out west to Lower
Allston, ‘cross

The t-pike, Cult & Leper
And Crank, the crazy sturgeon
With black caviar
In her soul

Rocking in a chair
Like old granddad
Sipping on a bottle of the stuff
Out on the porch of Smokey’s

Yoko Miwa – Act Naturally (Victor Entertainment, Japan)

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Yoko Miwa is The Beatles of Boston Jazz, dark and heavy, but with a light touch which gives her effervescent appeal. Live at Scullers, her last effort, saw her in Rubber Soul mode, exploring new territories, but still with a retro feel. Her new CD, Act Naturally, like Revolver, is revolutionary.

 

She opens with a McCoy Tyner number, “Inner Glimpse”. She gives us an inner glimpse of her soul here, which is light and mellow, and slightly sad on the surface, like her hero Bill Evans, but seethes with magma underneath. I always love it best when she does these dark modal workouts, but here even I was challenged. She made me search my soul, just like Coltrane.

 

The next song, “Me Deixa Em Paz”, is a light Latin palate cleanser, before the next number, John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”, which starts like a simple Japanese child’s tune, a single note rendition of the melody. It proceeds to strip of layer after layer of a love relationship, like she is cleaning a wound, which she finally dresses with soft gauze, and it’s as lovely in the end as if she were putting you to bed, and covering you with blankets and a duvet.

 

Elsewhere, she dips into standards, like Cole Porter’s “You Do Something to Me”, but the other sexy, revolutionary number is Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”.  She’s as gentle as Emmy Lou Harris here, and you can here a country lilt in her touch, just like a soft female voice.

 

Miwa’s drummer is Scott Goulding, who is like a gentle version of Max Roach. Her bassist is Will Slater, elastic and cool. She is so invested in the trio format it is like a contemplative devotion. Recently she did a film score, with more instrumentation, and it makes you wonder what she could do if she expanded her palette. But there is such minimalist charm in her trio, you could be happy if she just stayed there, as happy as if The Beatles stayed together

Peter Gumaskas – Gethsemane Blues

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Weirdo Records, September 9

Four-dollar tripod he ‘s funny with winning looks tall wide panel of knobs he sits on an amp which makes a hum ever so slight and comforting crucifix and bathing suit babe on his arm the knobs get going sinister twang a little unease a touch of evil which gets exciting green lights flash the sound undulates subtly now there are red lights it’s a busy street intersection he steps on a pedal which looks like a black key among wood like ivories and there are whistles
 
An aerial attack of fighter planes over Georgia plains tobacco smoke in the air it gets airier and spacey with drops of quiet silence cicadas whisper to crickets it’s as civil as a cricket game when they break for tea the sound gets heavy and difficult a haze that won’t let up in humid weather but there’s a break like floral lightning in the air
 
The Garden of Gethsemene grand in an Israel morning a gold cross glistens in the sunrise you can hear it it sparkles so loud a foamy surf rides in from Galilee footprints swirling in the surface it’s so peaceful with a weird funk blast getting almost warlike but falling short as cicadas return at the end of summer
 
I breathe deep as in a cloudburst busting my balloon I’m in a free fall in autumn air as high as eagles

Satoko Fuji & quartet Kaze

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 When I first hear Satoko Fujii’s piano, I think of sea water flowing around islands. Here, the waves hit rocks, crashing and splashing, taking strange directions and rippling with the wind. They change color with the light, roiled up now with weird seaweed.
 
Fujii moves in her improvisation with apparent scattered purpose. A heavy dose of rock will precede reflective pastels, hard on a free jazz break, where she attacks the board. It is exciting and disorienting. Stay with her though, and patterns develop. Random seashells are polished, and strung together on a beautiful chain.

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Fujii performed tonight at The Lily Pad in Cambridge, with quartet Kaze, behind their new CD, Tornado, kicking off a US tour. Kaze (“wind” in Japanese) is different from Fujii’s other projects (she has recorded about 60 albums), because there is no leader. All four musicians compose and improvise collectively. Natsuki Tamura, her husband, plays dark and plaintive trumpet, sputtering and dipping and looping, then spitting forth with grand sonorities. Peter Orins, French, is the drummer, who ekes powerful statements out of sharp, abrupt onslaughts, sometimes as simple as tapping a rim. Christian Pruvost, also French, of Madagascar origins, plays trumpet as well, with a funkier feel, very percussive – and is sometimes outright funny, as when he picked up a child’s noisemaker in the last number and made sounds like a baby bawling.

 
Here are some   notes on the show:
 
Lily Pad, September 2
Rough As Raku
 
Dark sputtering trumpet and Satoko working the strings inside the body spirits escape like divine wind with the touch of white keys throwing a carpet of calm over troubled waters Natsuki in jazz t-shirt pulsing tics of fractured sound and sonorities begin with the tick of the snare rim trumpets are sentries at castle gates fluttering like birds above battlements and the stuff gets funky with a hand jive swing all silent except sole brass fanfare smooth as pistons in a Mercedes over autobahn in the late summer sunset Satoko striping street with white median line and the music gets juicy and dicey like a shrill dentist’s drill rock and roll drums eat up the stage like a tomcat swallowing a goldfinch up the steps of the Tokyo temple or is it Paris or New York the Brooklyn Bridge where Rollins plays in his sleep
 
And the sounds awake in September morning sun slow wind to heavy skin exhilarating as Fuji breezes and now piano plays deep solo like lace and chains in a chamber sharp and cool as a knife in fresh salmon the tones get  rough as raku but polished like pretty pearls from Pacific oysters cracked fresh on a diver’s naked breasts