WBGO has premiered a track from our 2CD set, out Sept 23.
Mal Waldron – Searching in Grenoble : The 1978 Solo Piano Concert
Elijah McLaughlin Ensemble
Elijah McLaughlin Ensemble II – out everywhere 9/30/22 !
“The Chicago group, which features Elijah McLaughlin on 12 and 6 string guitars, Joel Styzens on hammered dulcimer, and Jason Toth on upright bass, blends elements of American primitivism guitar styles, with free jazz and modern classical music together into something daringly original and stunningly beautiful.” – Record Crates United
If there was a silver lining to the cloud of uncertainty that was life during the early days of the pandemic, it was that all of the isolation provided a clear break from the entrenched routines of day to day life. This respite allowed me to see in sharp contrast all of the things that were important in my life, and all of the things that were trivial, and thus expendable. It was during this time that I began to write in earnest for this 2nd Elijah McLaughlin Ensemble record.
Over the course of a year, I would bring my new compositions to my collaborators (Jason Toth and Joel Styzens), and usually after a very limited number of rehearsals we would enter the studio at the Fine Arts Building in Chicago and record the songs on an old Tascam ½” tape machine. There were four such studio sessions, in which all recorded material was culled down to these 9 songs. We recorded the material with a strong improvisational approach, and a couple of these songs are essentially first takes. I am very proud of the material on this album, and the energy we captured in the studio. I am glad to partner with Tompkins Square in sharing this album with the world.
Luke Schneider Presents Imaginational Anthem vol. XI : Chrome Universal – A Survey of Modern Pedal Steel
Curated by in-demand Nashville pedal steel maverick and Third Man recording artist Luke Schneider, the eleventh volume of Tompkins Square’s venerable acoustic guitar series ‘Imaginational Anthem’ features exclusive tracks by legend BJ Cole, as well as leading exponents on the instrument including Susan Alcorn, Luke himself, and British expat /Nashville hotshot Spencer Cullum among others. Nashville native and Merge recording artist William Tyler has written a beautiful detailed history of the pedal steel for the package (CD & LP only).
Ltd ed cassette & CD available now !
Michael Chapman – ‘Another Fish’
Another Fish by Michael Chapman
Released with the blessing of Andru Chapman on what would have been Michael Chapman’s 81st birthday.
Recorded in 2019, Another Fish was Michael’s idea for a follow up release to his 2015 Tompkins Square album, Fish. He also provided the image for the cover.
It includes some of our very favorite playing by Michael (Track 4 !!) in a discography that is mind-blowing in its breadth and quality.
MC will always be remembered by those he touched, not only for his music, but for his generosity of spirit, inspiring and encouraging the next generation of players such as Jack Rose, William Tyler, Ryley Walker, Thurston Moore and Steve Gunn.
Mastered by Gary Hobish, 2022
Michael Chapman on Tompkins Square :
”Leaving the Apple” – Imaginational Anthem vol 2
Trainsong : Guitar Compostions, 1967-2010
Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done : Friends Play Michael Chapman (Various Artists)
BOLA SETE – Samba in Seattle : Live at the Penthouse 1966-1968
“There is only one Bola” – Carlos Santana, 2021
“Fahey once said that Bola Sete’s music came from a time ‘when people were closer to themselves, God and each other.’ It oozes forth on these recordings from every scintillating note.” 8/10 – UNCUT
A 3CD set of previously unreleased live recordings.
Bola Sete – Samba in Seattle : Live at the Penthouse, 1966-1968 is the first official release of the legendary and influential Brazilian acoustic guitarist BOLA SETE’s live recordings at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA featuring bassist SEBASTIÃO NETO and drummer PAULINHO MAGALHÃES.
Produced by Grammy-nominated jazz detective ZEV FELDMAN, and remastered from the original tape reels in cooperation with THE BOLA SETE ESTATE, this deluxe 3-CD set includes an extensive 40 page booklet with rare photos from THE PENTHOUSE; essay by music critic GREG CASSEUS (aka GREG CAZ); new interviews and statements by guitar icon CARLOS SANTANA, legendary composer/pianist LALO SCHIFRIN, Sete’s friend, pianist and producer, GEORGE WINSTON, and Bola Sete’s widow ANNE SETE; plus an effusive tribute by the late guitar great JOHN FAHEY.
Samba in Seattle is a significant addition to the recorded legacy of an oft–sampled musician (A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla and Dan The Automator) whose career straddled bossa nova, jazz–pop and early New Age.
MICHAEL CHAPMAN REMEMBERED
Michael Chapman’s guitar playing slays me ! It is HIGHLY unusual for someone to play guitar that well and ALSO possess such keen songwriting skills. Also in his quiver was a voice that could express exactly what it needed to, timeless because he always sounded weary and craggy even in his twenties. He was just the complete package in a way that so few others really ever are. He was a great, expressive instrumentalist – bluesy with dark, minor shading – a crafty songwriter – especially his Harvest records – but there is plenty of later stuff to explore too. All the twists and different styles !
‘Leaving the Apple’ from Imaginational Anthem vol 2 (2006) is that kind of signature MC evocative instrumental just stacked with gravitas, levitation and emotion, maybe my favorite of his. It SOARS ! It is so, so heavy.
I became aware of Michael Chapman from Jack Rose, saw Michael open for Jack at the Knitting Factory, and that’s the first time we spoke. We decided to release some career-spanning instrumental recordings of his as a double-CD in 2010, ‘Trainsong’, his first official stateside release in many years. While we were putting it together, I learned that Light in the Attic were not only reissuing some of the Harvest records, but they were doing so in the same month as ‘Trainsong‘. It was fortuitous, as a whole load of press came down, and that started Michael’s “renaissance” as the newer breed of artists were becoming aware of Michael’s genius. Tompkins Square released ‘Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done” which combined some of his wife Andru’s tracks she’d assembled by MC’s contemporaries for his 70th birthday, along with some new tracks that I sought out. Thurston Moore, Hiss Golden Messenger, William Tyler, many more stepped up. Michael was especially touched and honored by Lucinda’s rendition of ‘That Time of Night’, which we released as a split 10″ for Record Store Day one year.
In 2015, Michael graciously flew out to NYC’s Rough Trade to play the Tompkins Square 10th Anniv show with Ryley Walker and Bob Brown. We released his solo album ‘Fish‘ around this time (his final solo acoustic album ?), which featured his tribute to Jack Rose, “Jack.” He was so flattened by Jack’s death as they had such a close bond. About a year ago, Michael sent me a CDR of ‘Another Fish’, intended as a follow up of sorts. The recording quality is so rough that I was not interested in releasing it – I need to listen again….
I will always cherish the time I spent with Michael at my home in SF and in NYC. The experience was similar to working with Charlie Louvin. The stories, the legacy, I was simply in awe of everything he had done, and there was so much road in his rear view mirror that you really felt like you were talking to a ghost sometimes. He was really in tune with younger musicians, and his love for Andru was always apparent. I think he’d be the first to admit she kept him going perhaps longer than anyone had a right to expect.
What an honor to share some time with you, Michael. We’ll be listening forever.
Russell Potter Private Press LPs Reissued
Russell Potter’s private press LPs A Stone’s Throw (1979) and Neither Here Nor There (1981) will be reissued for the first time 6/25 and are now available for pre-order.
“Though these albums landed at a time when American Primitive guitar music’s 1960s & 1970s heyday was in the rear view mirror, they absolutely look ahead to the genre’s eventual 21st Century resurrection, anticipating both in form & content many of the same concerns you find in the great contemporary work of the last two decades by Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Daniel Bachman, et al., and as such provide about as fine a stepping stone between these two eras as you’re likely to find.”
- Michael Klausman
ELSA HEWITT – LUPA
London-based producer and musical polymath Elsa Hewitt releases LUPA. Hear/download/pre-order the vinyl LP via bandcamp.
“As a document of her consistently evolving skills, it’s both inviting and elusive, as likely to please curious dabblers as those with an undying jones for electronic sounds.”
- The Vinyl District (A-)
Bobby lee – Origin Myths
Bobby Lee – Origin Myths – out March 5th digitally worldwide.
LP out May 7th. PRE-ORDER NOW
LP will have FOUR extra songs than the digital version, which has eight.
600 copies worldwide.
Bobby Lee trades in a wide screen brand of cosmic country-folk, full of space and pawn shop guitars. There are touches of JJ Cale’s analogue Americana, the swampy groove of Tony Joe White and Richard Thompson’s sinewy, modal guitar work. Amps hum in the warm afternoon sun, kids and dogs snooze on the grass and broken drum machines keep time with the universe… Open sky/scorched earth improvisations recorded to four track tape during the rare moments of solitude afforded by lockdown and early fatherhood. Bobby Lee’s “worn-denim psych-country” remains, but the ancestral spirits of Ashra, Popol Vuh and Terry Riley are present here too. Time and technological limitations have been embraced. A song dreamt up, tracked and mixed in an afternoon, never to be tampered with again. Imperfections allowed to stand; knowing that nothing is ever truly finished. The Bob Ross school of philosophy.
Mason Lindahl – Kissing Rosy in the Rain
“He can flip deftly between dense arpeggiated picking and stark, singular chords : “Sky Breaking, Clouds Falling” and Deep Wish” open with what almost resembles an unplugged Glenn Branca.” – WIRE
Mason Lindahl is a guitarist and composer based in New York City. His finger-picking style is largely influenced by minimalism and classical music. He grew up listening to folk and country music in Northern California, where he was first taught to play the guitar by his father.
Kissing Rosy in the Rain was recorded in Oakland, California and Brooklyn, NY with Lindahl’s longtime friends – Jay Pellici (Dilute, 31 Knots, Natural Dreamers) Robby Moncrieff, and Ben Greenberg (Uniform/Hubble).
A word from Tompkins Square’s Josh Rosenthal :
Over the past couple of years, I’ve found myself gravitating towards a certain kind of music. It was happening before Covid, but Covid accentuated it. My interest in this sound probably originates from my love of Terry Riley. It’s not limited to “drone,” or “ambient” sounds. It’s more about an artist staying in a zone, not caring about variation for variation’s sake, content with an artistic statement that doesn’t move from its core. I like that. I also think there’s something courageous about it. Recent examples of “it” are albums by Daniel Schmidt, Kali Malone, Luke Schneider, and Steve Tibbetts’ masterpiece, Life Of, which I wrote about for Aquarium Drunkard – each with its own sonic solar system.
And if you follow Tompkins Square’s catalog, there are some examples of “it” – notably, music by Richard Skelton (A Broken Consort) and Ran Blake. Of course a lot of the acoustic guitar music I’ve released falls roughly into this space as well.
So when my old friend sent me Mason Lindahl’s Kissing Rosy in the Rain, I saw it as yet more serendipity, a sense of things falling into place for a reason – something I have experienced so many times with the label over the past 15 years. First, I love the way it came to me. When I started the label in 2005, I needed a place and a person to help me record stuff. We recorded Max Ochs and Bern Nix in my friend Carter Matschullat’s apartment on St. Marks Place, formerly The Dom, where the Velvet Underground used to play. Carter never sent me any music to listen to until Mason. And when I heard it, I immediately loved it. Something in the Spanish guitar reminded me of Leonard Cohen. There were sonic artifacts all over the recording like little Easter eggs. The music was desperately sad and dark, but somehow uplifting and hopeful. I just loved it.
Mason has done it. He has created his own sonic world.
And it is his alone.
Technical notes ::
Mics: Neumann U48/Lucas C1/DPA 4006
Forgot what mic we put on the amp, but the amp was a Gibson Falcon. Preamps are mostly Neve 1073 and 33114, maybe a Millennia pre or Ampex 351 or DW Fearn, as well. Prob also some weirdo Stromberg-Carlson tube pre that sounds crazy. Compressors were prob Retro Sta-Level, 1178, neve 33609, Distressor, LA22? That filter that Robbie went crazy over is an Allison Labs passive filter.
Limited Ed LP : TSQ 5760