7.21.11 RESBOX guest hosted by Kim Fowley » Slumgum | Ted Byrnes + Han-Earl Park | G.E. Stinson + Hans Fjellestad + Jie Ma

RESBOX presents
THURSDAY JULY 21, 2011 8-11PM
RESBOX
4773 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA, 90027 |  323.666.4268

 

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SLUMGUM

“After hearing them in Aspen this past summer, NJMH Directors Loren
Schoenberg and Christian McBride agreed that Slumgum was a brilliant
band … we were both knocked out by their originality and artistry. We
decided right then and there to bring them to NYC as soon as we
could.” –Christian McBride and Loren Schoenberg, National Jazz Museum in Harlem

“[An] energized crowd is expected to be on hand for this weekend’s
performance at ArtSpace 404 by Slumgum, an outstanding risk-taking
jazz quartet from Los Angeles which calls to mind Wayne Shorter circa
Speak No Evil fronting the Art Ensemble of Chicago … A sense of
constant discovery runs through the quartet’s songs; their soloing is
masterful, their veneer metropolitan and their technical prowess
top-notch.” –Gabe Meline, North Bay Bohemian

“Try standing on top of your desk. the new perspective will make
things you’ve seen a million times seem fresh.  L.A.’s Slumgum has the
same effect, creating expressive compositions you thought you knew
well, but then taking it somewhere else.  Of course, experimental jazz
is largely about the talent behind each outrageous noise, and, here,
the drums and bass can barely tether Jon Armstrong on the tenor sax or
Rory Cowal on the piano.  Listless wandering leads to a blazing
overflow of sound, as if the whole band is playing harmoniously to a
wild and atmospheric solo, and each measure can feel a world apart.
With elements of Miles Davis and world music, like Russian polka, try
to hold on for the ride.” –Jonathan Lopez, Good Times Santa Cruz

“Slumgum is a jazz quartet from L.A. with a name that only a beekeeper
could love.  The young group’s sophisticated, elegant blend of modern
classical music and avant-garde jazz belies its icky moniker.  The
members formed Slumgum when they met as students at the Herb Alpert
School of Music at CalArts.  However, expect the band to sound more
like the Art Ensemble of Chicago than the trumpeter who gave us
Whipped Cream (and Other Delights). “Minuet in G” is an example of the
group playing with contemporary classical conventions; the short song
quickly unravels into dissonance before the band members reel it back
in with restraint and a hint of melody.  Slumgum isn’t afraid to
embark on a free form jazz odyssey, as evidenced by the monumental
“Long Shadows” that’s just shy of 20 minutes.  The song’s length
allows each of the members of Slumgum to make some bold moves—in
particular, finishing the song with a harmonized vocal chant.” –David Dunlap, Washington City Paper

“The California quartet Slumgum has a unique approach to genre and
technique: they blend jazz and contemporary classical music in a way
that beautifully muddies the boundaries between composition and
improvisation … Slumgum’s daring ‘a little bit of this, a little bit
of that’ technique results in a sound that’s rich, compelling and,
most of all, pure.” –Sophie Gandler, http://www.beaconpass.com

“[Slumgum] produced a vital and exciting mix of jazz, improv and
contemporary classical music. As I watched and listened to these four
young men (they appear to be in their mid-to-late twenties), I grew
more and more mesmerized not only by their music but by the process of
their collaboration and the immersion it required, all of which was
evident on the stage. A subtle interplay of signals they’ve worked out
over their three years together brought a wild freshness to the sound
and a sense of courtesy to their presentation. Their faces and bodies
were rapt in the music. Crescendos and solos were vivid, creative and
emotional. Transitions were seamless and quietly serene, a languid and
long drawn-out note on the sax or bowed on the bass bringing time and
attention to a change, without a beat lost. Hearing this gave me a
sense of the scope of their improvisation and the flexibility, skill,
talent and trust it took to create serious music that didn’t feel a
bit improvised. I am stunned again now remembering their solo riffs
and the incredible vitality of their skill and talent—seeing fingers
flying over keys, strings and stops, and the unusual and empowering
drumming—jazz that made something lurch spontaneously inside me and
spurred the plainly feeble response of applause. It is the mix of
practiced skill and the confidence they showed in their music, the
trust they had in their process that impressed me as a writer. I saw
the confidence and trust on that stage and how it allowed the
musicians to leap at the subtlest of hints toward the next
direction—the confidence in their skill brought on by years of
practice, the trust born of playing together for three years and
paying attention to one another’s signals. I haven’t three other
musicians to challenge me into the unknown at my keyboard, but I would
do well to apply the same principles to my work. Thank you Slumgum,
for the inspiration.” –Eugenia Kim, http://www.redroom.com

“One of LA’s most compelling jazz groups” – http://www.socalcreativemusic.blogspot.com

“[Slumgum’s music] rolled over the now-packed club like a menu of ever-
changing clouds … the result ebbed and flowed like fog coming in from the
beach, then dissipating to reveal a fresh layer of cloud cover above. Whether
meshing in ensemble play or laying back to give someone space to solo,
Slumgum was superb—and quite magical. What came to mind was that their
approach referenced the deep coolness of West Coast jazz sounds from the
’50s—Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker—while adding a lot more fire and flair. If jazz
improv is a group of people collaboratively levitating an object above the
audience’s heads, Slumgum managed to fly a saucer into the room. The group
will return next month for the In the Flow Festival, a don’t-miss event.” –Jackson Griffith, Sacramento News & Review

“Nice players … solid compositions, concepts, and solos” –Brick Wahl, LA Weekly

Slumgum website 

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TED BYRNES

Ted Byrnes is a drummer/percussionist living in Los Angeles. An alumni of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, he comes from a jazz background and has since made his home in the worlds of free improvisation, new music, electro-acoustic music, and noise.

With musical interests ranging from funk to gamelan to the singular beauty of everyday ambient sounds, Ted’s playing is often viewed as more textural or even melodic than rhythmic per se, and generally uses a ‘prepared’ drum kit – placing bowls, blocks, cymbals, shells, and chains on the the drum heads. This expanded array of sounds – much more than what a traditional drum kit would contain – forces the listener into hearing, and viewing, drumset playing in a different way. The inspiration came not only from other drummers and musicians, but also from seeing artists in other mediums expanding their palettes.

Ted currently divides his playing time between two trios and a variety of ad hoc free improvisation situations. The trios include “Still Life with Bomb” with Gregory Lenczycki (electronics) and Ari Desano (accordion) and a trio with Anna Homler (vocals, toys) and Spastic Colon’s Jorge Martin (electronics). Additionally, Ted has performed with the legendary Charlemagne Palestine, and provided percussion for a projector/light installation by legendary original Fluxus artist Jeff Perkins and has also performed in ensembles and solo at a variety of Los Angeles galleries and museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Ted also performed at the SASSAS 10th anniversary concert in September 2009.

Ted Byrnes website

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HAN-EARL PARK

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-Earl Park has been working within/from/around traditions of fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, mostly open improvised musics for over fifteen years, sometimes engineering theater, sometimes inventing ritual. He feels the gravitational pull of collaborative, multi-authored contexts, and has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries, concert halls, and (ad-hoc) alternative spaces in Austria, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.

A constructor of low- and mid-tech electronic and software devices, and an occasional score-maker, he is interested in partial, and partially frustrating, context-specific artifacts; artifacts that amplify social relations and corporeal identities and agencies, and, in some instances, objects that obscure the location of the author.

He is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, is involved in collaborations with Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder, Alex Fiennes and Murray Campbell. Recent performances include Mathilde 253 with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith; duo concerts with Paul Dunmall, and with Richard Barrett; trios with Matana Robers and Mark Sanders, with Catherine Sikora and Ian Smith, and with Jin Sangtae and Jeffrey Weeter; as part of the Evan Parker-led 20-piece improvising ensemble; and the performance of Pauline Oliveros’ ‘Droniphonia’ alongside the composer. Park has also recently performed with Lol Coxhill, Pat Thomas, Corey Mwamba, Mark Trayle, Pedro Rebelo, Alexander Hawkins, Mike Hurley, Chick Lyall, Thomas Buckner and Kato Hideki. Festival appearances include Sonorities (Belfast), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), VAIN Live Art (Oxford), and the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology Festival (California). His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions and DUNS Limited.

http://allaboutjazz.com/hanearlpark

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G.E. STINSON

G.E. Stinson is an American guitarist and founding member of new age / electronic musical group Shadowfax. Inspired by blues masters such as Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters, Stinson experimented with blues, jazz and other musical genres before co-founding Shadowfax in 1974. He remained with the band for six albums. He departed Shadowfax after recording “The Odd Get Even” (1989), entering the Los Angeles underground music community to refine his ‘extended technique’ and ‘frequency manipulation’. Since then he has worked with a number of musicians on various projects, including Napalm Quartet, Splinter Group, Stinkbug, Metalworkers, and others.

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HANS FJELLESTAD 

Hans Fjellestad is a musician and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He studied music composition and improvisation with George Lewis at University of California San Diego (UCSD), and classical piano with Krzysztof Brzuza. Fjellestad has composed for film, video, theater, dance and has presented his music, film and video art throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

He has an extensive discography both as a solo artist and in collaboration with many legendary players on the international experimental music scene. An “innovative musician” (All About Jazz) and “mad scientist improviser” (International DJ Magazine), his music has been described as “unbridled sonic freedom… raw, almost shamanic energy that embodies the true essence of unrestricted music” (XLR8R) and a “spicy concoction… refusing to behave itself, it screams, throws things and makes a mess” (The Wire).

Fjellestad has performed and/or recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Peter Kowald, Lé Quan Ninh, Lisle Ellis, Haco, Miya Masaoka, Money Mark, G.E. Stinson, Donkey, Yoshimi P-We, Takayuki Kato, Saga Yuki, Kojima Takashi, Arai Minako, Susan Rawcliffe, Trummerflora Collective, Thomas Dimuzio, Tetsu Saitoh, David Scott Stone, Marcos Fernandes, Audrey Chen, David Slusser, Baiyon, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Raymond MacDonald, Jakob Riis, P.O. Jørgens, Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen, Aiyun Huang, Sean Griffin, Eamonn Doyle, Mike Keneally, Nortec Collective, among many others. His recordings are released on Hollywood Records, Accretions, Circumvention Music, Brain Escape Sandwich, Barely Auditable Records, Pan Handler, and Vinyl Communications.

Fjellestad (or his alter-ego, “33”) has appeared with Tino Corp., The Album Leaf, Lee Ranaldo, Nels Cline, Jello Biafra, Pauline Oliveros, Pamelia Kurstin, KK Null, Carl Stone, Pamela Z, performing in such far-flung venues as The Stone (NYC), The Roxy (Prague), Shinjuku Pit Inn (Tokyo), Super Deluxe (Tokyo), UPLINK Factory (Tokyo), Urbanguild (Kyoto), Big Apple (Kobe), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Taipei Zhong-Shan Hall (Taiwan), Red Room (Baltimore), ABC No Rio (NYC), Bimbo’s 365 Club (San Francisco), Steve Allen Theater (Hollywood), Velvet Jones (Santa Barbara), Jazzorca (Mexico City), Don Loope (Tijuana), SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles), Den Anden Opera (Copenhagen), Yokohama Jazz Promenade, Festival Beyond Innocence (Osaka), REDCAT NOW Festival (Los Angeles), Points In A Circle Festival (Brooklyn), San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Big Sur Experimental Music Festival, Outsound New Music Summit (San Francisco), Spring Reverb Festival (San Diego/Tijuana), San Diego Repertory Theatre, and the Northwest Electroacoustic Music Festival (Portland).

His film and video work has shown at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Tokyo’s Shibuya Cinema Society, Los Angeles Grand Performances Series, BorDocs Foro Documental Tijuana, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Point Loma Wastewater Plant, Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Miami Art Central, Salina Art Center, IAF Videoart Festival Tijuana, and the São Paulo International Short Film Festival.

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JIE MA


From a long line of traditional Chinese musicians, Jie Ma began studying music and playing the pipa at age 5. She became a professional musician at age 14. Jie received her Bachelor of Music degree from one of China’s top music schools, the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, in 2001. Jie also studied in China under celebrated pipa masters Wang Fendi, Liu Dehai, and Kuang Yuzhong, and ruan master Jilian Liu. Jie was also an adjunct professor in the music department at Liao Ning Normal University, and she has taught Pipa to a wide range of students in China and the United States.After coming to the United States, in 2004, Jie began exploring the possibilities of blending traditional pipa technique with Western and other sounds. In addition to working with classical musicians and composers, Jie has worked extensively with jazz and rock musicians on experimental and improvisational projects. Jie enjoys playing traditional Chinese arrangements, creating her own works, and fusing Chinese and other styles to create a unique sound that is all hers.In pursuit of her passion for music and the pipa, Jie has performed in China, Japan, and throughout the United States, as a soloist, in ensembles, and as a featured performer. In 2009, Jie was referred in the U.K. newspaper, the Guardian, as one of the “notable” pipa players in the West.In 2008, Jie was invited to perform at the Los Angeles Center for the Arts at Eagle Rock where she shared the stage with avant-garde musicians such as Vinny Golia on clarinet and Alex Cline on percussion. In 2008, Jie was invited to perform Zhou Long’s “Farewell for Pipa, Erhu, and Ensemble” with the Seattle Chamber Players at Town Hall, Seattle. In 2007, Jie performed with the San Francisco Girls Chorus in its season premiere themed “Magic Strings.” In 2006, Jie was invited to perform in an avant-garde project entitled “Sound for Picture” with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, in which the sound of pipa narrated the history of San Francisco through the eyes of early Chinese experience during the Gold Rush. Jie also performed in the New York Winter Jazz Festival in 2006 where she gave a duet performance with percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. In 2005, and again in 2007, Jie performed at the Pan-Asian Musical Festival at Stanford University. In 2005, she also played with the Citywinds Woodwind Quintet in San Francisco in a concert that combined modern chamber music with Chinese traditional ensemble.In San Francisco, where she lives, Jie frequently collaborates with avant-garde musicians such as Philip Gelb on shakuhachi, jazz musicians such as Jeffrey Chin on piano, and jazz fusion musician Gary Schwantes on saxophone and Chinese bamboo flute. In her continuing effort to push the boundaries of the pipa in many different contexts, Jie has played with a wide variety of musicians from a number of different genres, including jazz, country, blues, and rock.

http://majiepipa.com/

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with guest host KIM FOWLEY

Kim Fowley is an American record producer, impresario, songwriter, musician, film maker, and radio actor. He is best known for his role behind a string of novelty and cult rock pop singles in the 1960s, and for managing The Runaways in the 1970s. He has been described as “one of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock & roll” and as “a shadowy cult figure well outside the margins of the mainstream.”

Kim Fowley website

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