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September 6, 2014 Saturday

"ENDLESS WALTZ", a Kaoru Abe commemoration.
9:00PM - - -
"ENDLESS WALTZ", a Kaoru Abe commemoration.

“I want to become faster than anyone. Faster than cold, than man alone, than the Earth, than Andromeda. Where, where is the crime?”
– Kaoru Abe

Including performances by:
Jamison Williams [soprano saxophone]
Eric Fontaine [tenor saxophone]
Thomas Milovac [double bass]
Ben Shirley [cello]
Scotty Bryan [percussion]
Dan Kozak [reeds]
A.J. Herring [trombone]
Lenni Bukowski [reeds]
Michael Lanier [double bass]
Noah Cerezo [sax / fr. horn / tmpt]
Billy Henderson [drums]


(May 5, 1949 - September 9, 1978)

"To some listeners, this avant-garde Japanese player from the '70s wins the sweepstakes for the most abrasive saxophone sound in history, an important competition indeed in this genre. With some saxophonists claiming their tone can remove coats of varnish from antiques, cook a 20-pound goose in one hour, or even wound a small rodent at 200 feet, there is no denying the impact of Kaoru Abe on alto sax; and on clarinet, he hardly harbored ambitions to be the new Artie Shaw. Unfortunately, his premature death meant he never lived to see the heyday of Japanese avant-garde music, nor enjoy the prestige his type of abilities on saxophone might have garnered him as the interest in free jazz increased in the '90s. He also never held at least half of his releases in his hands, since some of the best material from this player was only released in the years after his death. The entire CD format, allowing the expansive playing time required to properly document his unfolding energy discourse, was also not something he lived to enjoy. Several small labels have practically created cottage industries out of his posthumous releases, pumping out an annual multiple-CD set for several years running. Fans of his playing tend to count backwards from the date of his death to the recording date, the higher the resulting number basically indicating the greater possibility of genius contained within. There are several explanations of this, one rooted in debauchery, and the other in perhaps a worse curse, multi-instrumentalism.

At any rate, this performer's lifestyle is said to have been soaked with liquor, stuffed with drugs, and sniffing with loneliness and tragedy. It had enough of these elements to inspire a movie treatment, nonetheless, so fans of Japanese free jazz have the option of searching for the film Endless Waltz, which supposedly tells the tale of his marriage to the writer Suzuki Izumi -- who had even more problems than he did, if the screenplay is to be believed. In the decade that he didn't quite finish out, the '70s, some fans feel his talents sizzled with the inevitability of a roaring fire that is repeatedly doused with filthy water. If this was the case, he certainly shouldn't be blamed personally for following a lifestyle that many believe to be required for such a career. Dexter Gordon performed brilliantly after drinking entire bottles of vodka, and several acknowledged free jazz masterpieces were recorded by players whipped out of their minds on LSD.

Aida's Call Some of the lack of appeal of Abe's later material has got to come not from the perception that he is out of it but from his introduction of other instruments, including the dreaded harmonica and crudely played guitar. Historically, there are few known cases of saxophonists being praised for adding other instruments into their arsenal, so any critical about-face on this issue can be considered an important development in itself. Other Japanese music scholars have praised the later-Abe material and his use of diverse instruments, but even they seem to feel his work on the alto saxophone has never been equalled. One thing is for sure, no matter how extremely noisy the Japanese music scene has gotten, it has yet to produce another reed player as good as this one. His solo sets were said to be the peak of his creative form, but he also took advantage of opportunities to record with the master American free jazz drummer Milford Graves and the British father of free improvisation, guitarist Derek Bailey. Abe contributes immensely powerful playing to these two completely different contexts. He also can be heard on recordings with other Japanese free players, such as the Aida's Call album, in which he holds forth with dynamic trumpeter Toshinori Kondo and virtuoso bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa, yet another booze casualty. One of Abe's earliest groupings was the New Directions duo in 1970 with Masayuki Takayanagi." [Eugene Chadbourne]

“Sound that stops the capacity for judgment. Sound that never decays. Sound that breaks free from every possibe image. Sound that comes from both death and birth. Sound that dies. The sound around me. Sound like the symptoms of eternal cold turkey. Sound that resists private ownership. Sound that goes insane. Sound that spills over from the cosmos. The sound of sound.”
–Kaoru Abe, on his musical concerns

“I want to become faster than anyone. Faster than cold, than man alone, than the Earth, than Andromeda. Where, where is the crime?”
– Kaoru Abe

JAMISON WILLIAMS [soprano saxophone]

"In the tradition of players like Brötzmann and (most famously) Albert Ayler, Williams is a proponent of the extended techniques of the saxophone, spitting out harmonics, weeping “multiphonics”, the reed equivalent of a guitarist creating feedback and noise from an amplifier and effects pedals." Dan Brown (Folio Weekly)

"— the dutiful student of sound." Shelton Hull (Folio Weekly)



Ben Shirley [cello]
Scotty Bryan [percussion]
Eric Fontaine [winds]

Living Space was born in early 2012 when saxophonist Eric Fontaine came to check out a local jazz jam session and met a guitar player named Benjamin Shirley. Upon learning that Ben was also a very experienced cellist and shared an interest the music of the avant-garde great Anthony Braxton, the two immediately exchanged phone numbers and scheduled a time to jam. They discovered a unique sound due to the special combination of instrumentation, with the cello functioning both as the bass and as a melodic instrument, and the saxophone or clarinet (especially the low-pitched clarinets and saxes that Eric likes) likewise switching to the oppose role in response. Wanting to expand to a trio, Scotty Bryan was a first choice with his sensitive musical ear and versatility with a wide variety of percussion instruments. Living Space explores the possibilities of their pristine acoustic instrumentation through creative improvisation and new compositional techniques, resulting in a music that is spontaneous and magical. Narratives: Vol. 1 is their first official recording and is indicative of BeHip Records' dedication to the best acoustic sound in improvised music.

Eric Fontaine is a saxophonist who has been working in Atlanta's music scene since 2003 with various groups playing such generes as funk, latin, avant-guarde, rock, hip-hop, afro-beat, blues, and of-course jazz. Originally starting off on piano when he was 5 and trained in classical piano till college, he was exposed to his father's jazz records when he was little and began playing saxophone in his school band at 10. In highschool, Eric was accepted to the 1999, 2000, and 2001 International Honor Band held in Berlin and Vienna, as well as other local honor bands including the 2003 Georgia All-State Jazz Band and the 2003 Atlanta Youth Jazz Orchestra. Eric is a former student of the renowned saxophonist Sam Skelton who he was able to study with thanks to a Music Minor scholarship award at Georgia Tech (where Eric has a BS and MS in Computer Engineering) which also required a semester of classical saxophone repertoire at Georgia State.

Benjamin Shirley plays cello and guitar. In addition to music studies at UNC Chapel Hill, he has studied with the great composer and improviser Anthony Braxton. Ben brings to Living Space his passion for creative improvisation and knowledge of music from Brazilian pop to drone metal to Indonesian gamelan music. While a relative newcomer to Atlanta, Ben has had the opportunity to play with many bands and musicians there and currently teaches beginning strings to children at a private academy.

Scotty Bryant plays drums and all manner of percussion. He studied ethnomusicology and music at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. He plays in various bands around town, including the reggae group Bird City Revolutionaries, The Ruination, The Atlanta Funk Society, and Abby Wren & What it is. He currently teaches elementary piano lessons privately in addition to bartending.


THOMAS MILOVAC [double bass]
Thomas Milovac is a Double Bassist, Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, and Improviser working out of Orlando, Florida. Though only being 16-years-old, Thomas has pushed boundaries of music further than any of his fellow colleagues and musicians. Ever since hearing the works of modern composers such as Ligieti, Stockhausen, Braxton, as well as the works of free improvisation and free jazz masters like Brotzmann, Coleman, and Kowald, Thomas has had a large range of influences from the classical, jazz, and free music realms. He has been asked to sit in for professional bass players, to play bass for musicals, teach younger children at neighboring schools, and play for honors bands in his district. In addition to leading his own jazz group, which received awards on the state level, he has received awards himself including “Best Soloist” at Lakeside Jazz Festival. Though playing many genres, Thomas still has a deep passion for creative improvisation and pushing limits not previously explored.


NOAH CEREZO [sax / fr. horn / tmpt]
A 15-year-old multi-instrumentalist from New Jersey and raised in Florida, Noah Cerezo is young musician able to play classical, jazz, and free music styles. He is able to play various saxophones, French horn, and trumpet. He plays with fellow musician Thomas Milovac in a group that performs in the Orlando area and has received awards at the state level. He has preformed in district and honors groups. He was introduced to the world of free music by some friends, and since then has enjoyed playing the music and listening to such artists as Coltrane, Braxton, and Brotzmann.


MICHAEL LANIER [double bass]

With a wide range of influences in the arts, Michael Edward Lanier is a man of many different advents within artistic creation. Leaning to play music on guitar and bass guitar as young as he knew how to draw, read, and write, M E Lanier began to show an interest in Blues, Jazz, and Classical Music more and more as his Grandmother later taught him to play simple tunes on the piano. His interest in art and literature stemmed from reading comics and story books from writers such as Edgar Allen Poe and Shel Silverstein, while his interest for music sparked with hearing Jimi Hendrix.

Michael Edward Lanier has performed under many aliases with his talents on bass, guitar, and piano. He has been known to play the bass for many projects that have come and gone without hardly a whimper. Brief stints in different higher learning institutions have given him training in music, visual arts, and writing. As a member of Vantage Bulletin, Lanier (M E L) has aided projects such as Thomas Edison, Emily Dickinson, and Trap Bomb (amongst many solo efforts). As a musician, visual artist, and writer, Michael E Lanier already has the capacity of being known as somewhat prolific in the world of underground art.


DAN KOZAK [reeds]
"Dan Kozak came to being in the enchanted land known as Brooklyn, New York way back in the 1950's. In his mid-teens he became an obsessive collector of all sorts of musical recordings. At age 15 he fell prey to the works of John Coltrane, & jazz then became the centerpiece of his musical addiction. In 1971, for reasons no one can recall, Dan found himself in the Land of Oz, otherwise known as Kansas. On a lark, Dan decided to check out the instrument of his idol, & rented a tenor saxophone. With the aid of mentor Richard Mason, Dan found himself unable to be away from the horn."

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2001 Eyedrum, Inc. www.eyedrum.org


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