mercredi 24 février 2010

Billy Martin & Socket : "January 14 & 15 2005"


"With raging distortion, polyphonic-cacophony and speaking in tongues, NYC’s downtown luminaries led by Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood), channel the “mad” spirits in front of a live audience at NYC’s legendary experimental nightclub, Tonic. Two nights distilled and concentrated into one seriously potent mix of heaven and hell. May these sonic witchdoctors heal the ailing, chase the dragons and cast spells on your world".


Jamie Saft + Merzbow = "Merzdub"

(Caminante, 2006)

As Merzbow, Masami Akita has already done "tribute" projects to prog rock (Aqua Necromancer) and jazz drummers (Doors Open at 8 AM), rendering the source material all but unrecognizable. Then, there's Merzbuddha, supposedly inspired by listening to dub artists like Dennis Bovell and Keith Hudson. But Merzdub is something altogether different, even for a Merzbow collaboration album. Here, Masami Akita handed his material over to Jamie Saft, who then overdubbed multiple instruments creating pieces that veer back and forth between noise-drenched dub tunes and noisy soundscapes. Instruments, beats, and voices drift in and out of Akita's murk while the murk itself drifts in and out of the tunes. Much of the time, it's Saft's contributions that are in the forefront, but he does give the focus to Akita at many points throughout. In fact, "Kantacky Fried Dub" and "Dangermix" are almost entirely Merzbow. "Updub" is just plain loopy and "Slow Down Furry Dub" is darn near mellow and very nice...really!! They might not even clear the room if played at a party, and that's saying a lot when it comes to Merzbow. Of course, it would be quite a stretch to call any Merzbow album fun. And while Merzdub only almost qualifies based on sheer perversity, there is clearly an element of humor on display ("Skinning J-Lo" anyone?) and it's as close as you're likely to ever get with a Merzbow release. This could be the most gentle introduction to the world of Merzbow yet.

Sean Westergaard (Allmusic)


lundi 22 février 2010

Raz Mesinai : "The unspeakable"


Beginning with illbient group Sub Dub, composer, dj and percussionist Raz Mesinai, born in Jerusalem and raised in New York city, crafted shimmering, spacious music that was among the dreamiest — and often eeriest — that the genre had to offer. After Sub Dub's breakup, Mesinai continued on as Badawi, adding elements of his Israeli and Middle Eastern heritage to albums on Roir and Asphodel records. Mesinai's 1999 Badawi album The Heretic of Ether found him moving toward a more orchestral, less overtly dub-inspired sound. This trend continued with 2001's The Unspeakable, which was inspired by Mesinai's love of 20th century composers and his work on the Hellraiser 6 soundtrack — much of which wasn't used because it was "too scary for the movie." Today, his compositions blend electronics, beats and dub effects with acoustic instruments in creating an esoteric musical tapestry filled with new sonorities and a haunting spirituality. Dramatic and mysterious, his third cd for Tzadik features a host of downtown luminaries including violin virtuoso Mark Feldman and saxophone alchemist John Zorn in some of the most complex and soulful electro-acoustic music around.

Heather Phares (Allmusic)


Paul Schütze + Phantom City = "Site Anubis"

(Big Cat, 1996)

Paul Schütze devised the preceding scenario of an 800-foot high statue of Anubis standing at the centre of a devastated city as an originating premise for Site Anubis, a hallucinatory, surrealistic vision of apocalyptic dread. Site Anubis is the third piece of a four-part whole, although it’s typically cited as the last part of ‘The Pacific Unrest Trilogy,’ a label coined by writer Biba Kopff. The first piece, New Maps of Hell, appeared in 1992 and draws heavily upon the Miles Davis style found on Agharta-Pangaea. The second, New Maps of Hell II: The Rapture of Metals, carries on the themes of the first but shifts the musical style into a more controlled, gamelan-influenced zone. Site Anubis presents a nightmarish portrait of civilization collapsing, a portrait sonically conveyed by the aggressive attack of the Phantom City collective. The fourth, Shiva Recoil (LiveUnlive), is not included typically with the trilogy but is certainly an extension of Site Anubis, as it takes the ‘virtual band’ and records them performing live at the Tampere Jazz Festival in Finland.
The musicians comprising Phantom City—the name, incidentally, originating from the book title Topology of a Phantom City by French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet—never met for the recording of Site Anubis, as each one recorded in a different studio in a different country: guitarist Raoul Björkenheim in Helsinki, bass- and contra-bass clarinetist Alex Buess in a Basel studio, soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill in London, bassist Bill Laswell at Green Point Studio in Brooklyn, New York, trombonist Julian Priester in Seattle, drummer Dirk Wachtelaer in Brussels, and Schütze himself in London and Basel. Incredibly, Laswell had only Schütze’s electronic backing track to respond to. Wachtelaer had Laswell and Schütze to play against, Björkenheim had drums and bass,—in short, certain players had more information than others. A major challenge (understandably) for Schütze was to make it convincingly sound like people playing together. Eventually, the individual parts were collected and assembled, with the intent being to fashion a coherent whole in the editing room from the bits and pieces. The music is obviously controlled in the sense of being manipulated and assembled yet it still retains an ‘organic’ quality, as if the pieces naturally unfold through the interactions of its players. It’s an illusion of sorts, given the process of creation, but a thoroughly convincing one. The result is a sensuous music constructed using a solid structural foundation to support the pursuit of more liberated improvisational flights. It’s not easy listening, and nor should it be, if it’s intending to aurally evoke states of urban paranoia and technological collapse. Schütze has managed to reign in the radio signals of a dystopian version of our society and made it available as a prescient portrait of our imminent downfall. This theme is further reinforced by WaterFall, Tsunehisa Kimura’s cover image, which depicts the glorious architectural achievements of Manhattan’s cityscape on the verge of obliteration by catastrophe. That Schütze and Kimura were devising this portrait of urban destruction in 1996 is telling, given the all-too-real devastation that was wreaked upon the city in September, 2001.
Music of such quality and detail demands a close reading. The mood is established by Schütze immediately at the outset of ‘Future Nights’ with a prelude of city horns and other ambient city sounds. He functions here as he does throughout, as an omnipresent sound colourist rather than soloist. Schütze is the conceptual orchestrator of the proceedings, his presence always felt but subtly so. Wachtelaer, Björkenheim, and Laswell then enter, Laswell’s bass a resolute anchor to complement the enthralling Wachtelaer who is astonishing throughout; all great bands begin with great drummers and Wachtelaer, like Tony Williams with Miles Davis or Bill Bruford with Robert Fripp, is no exception. Björkenheim’s lines are at one moment cleanly enunciated and the next raw and distorted as befits the mood. ‘An Early Mutation’ deploys a flurry of percussive activity as a base over which multiple layers of guitars, bass, clarinet, and electronics slowly interweave. ‘Blue Like Petrol’ begins more quietly, the instruments emerging as if from sleep until they gradually cohere into a rhythm. Wachtelaer is the standout here as he constantly devises mesmerizingly inventive drum and cymbal patterns, the bass, guitar, electronics, and clarinet circling around him. Julian Priester’s trombone is featured on the cacophonous ‘The Big God Blows In’ atop a broiling, industrial base of drums, squealing guitars, and electronic noise. Schütze’s electric piano and synths assume a central place in the dirge-like ‘Ten Acre Ghost’ but are soon swallowed by the cumulative mass of bass, clarinet, guitars, and drums. ‘Eight Legs Out Of Limbo’ is an apt title for a track that sounds like its players are exclusively pursuing individual melodic strands but is, for all that, no less compelling. At one point, Schütze almost drowns the others in a huge electronic storm but they manage to individually pull themselves out of his undertow. ‘Inflammable Shadow’ is somewhat of a chill-out episode, the proverbial calm after the storm. Even here, however, the quieter volume hardly lessens the mood of dread as the instruments wend their separate ways like snakes slithering through tall grasses. While the listener is recovering from the understandable exhaustion induced by this exhilarating session, it’s worth reiterating that the incredible music of this ‘band’ is largely an illusion, as the musicians never shared studio space for their contributions. That such an illusion is so convincingly and seamlessly maintained throughout is a tribute to the editing genius of Schütze and Alex Buess.
This is a remarkable brand of ‘post-fusion,’ music inspired by the irrepressible exploratory sensibilities of fearless explorers like The Mahavishnu Orchestra in its Between Nothingness and Eternity heyday and the Miles Davis of the Dark Magus era, but in no way beholden to either stylistically. This isn’t some woeful exercise in nostalgia; Schütze is not attempting to revive or replicate the styles associated with the glorious peaks of that era. (Musicians like Mark Isham keep the Miles flame burning, for example, by producing Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project, and in New York, The Mahavishnu Project revisits the spirit in like manner. There is nothing objectionable about keeping the music of these eras alive and treating, even instating them, as jazz repertory. But when such projects become a substitute for the pursuit of new musics, the exploratory spirit personified so marvelously by those earlier artists dies.) Instead, armed with the technological advances afforded by electronics, he channels the same spirit that fuels the muse towards the creation of provocative new experimental forms. Schütze carried Phantom City further with the live recording Shiva Recoil (LiveUnlive) where the musicians achieve a level of interplay that rivals the heights scaled by McLaughlin and company years ago. For fifty minutes, the musicians create an enthralling maelstrom of sound, an achievement made even more incredible when one discovers that no rehearsals occurred prior to the performance. And then ... nothing—from Phantom City, that is. Schütze has been incredibly prolific in the years since with gallery works and site pieces but the next chapter, regrettably, in the Phantom City project is yet to be written.

Ronald Schepper (


The Foetus symphony orchestra : "York"

(Big Cat, 1997)

This recording was conceived by J.G. Thirlwell and Lydia Lunch as a travelogue and exploration of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), site of the notorious Farragut Housing Projects. These projects have been called the most dangerous in New York City, and J.G. Thirlwell resides and works next to them to this day.
First Exit To Brooklyn (aka York, a reference to the nearby York Street subway stop, also a thematic link to J.G. Thirlwell's obsession with four letter one syllable LP titles) is a meditation and catalogue of DUMBO's crime, it's denizens, it's violence and oppression, it's industrial and human waste based on ten years of first hand experience.
It was performed from a lateral libretto consisting of emotive cues and descriptions of form, format and tempo along with pre-composed music themes, which were then fleshed out and improvisatorily elaborated on by an amazing and eclectic ensemble of musicians. Composed and conducted by J.G. Thirlwell, the musicians also took cues from 9 synchronized kitchen clocks - one per member - and each other.
The musicians involved encompass a veritable who's who of the New York music scene, including Foetus live band veterans Brian Emrich (Furnace), Vinnie Signorelli (Swans, Unsane), David Ouimet (Motherhead Bug, Cop Shoot Cop, Firewater) and Kurt Wolf (Pussy Galore, Boss Hog, Loudspeaker, Emma Peel). Aided and abetted by the abundant talents of Steven Bernstein (Lounge Lizards, Spanish Fly), Oren Bloedow (Elysian Fields) and Marcus Rojas (Spanish Fly).
All involved were hand-picked for their empathy, musicality and sensitive, sensuous and swinging sensability; despite the fact that virtually none of them had ever met, the chemistry proved to be spot on. The narrative was written and performed by Lydia Lunch, who resided in DUMBO from 1987 until 1990 with partner-in-grime J.G. Thirlwell who composed and sang the lyrics. Both the narrative and lyrics are based on crimes committed on them, crimes observed, crimes against the neighborhood, criminals both reviled and revered and, in one piece, crimes Thirlwell commits upon himself.
York was recorded at the nearby Brooklyn Anchorage, one of the huge stone pillars which supports the venerable structure that is the Brooklyn Bridge. Within the cavernous pillar, which boasts fifty foot ceilings, are numerous vaults and ante chambers. While having previously being used to store discarded tires, it was taken over several years ago by Creative Time, a New York arts foundation, who have each summer been curating it to stage and display numerous amazing interactive installations, art exhibits, performances, concerts and raves.
Turn off the lights and hide the razor blades.


(liner notes)


dimanche 21 février 2010


(self published, 2008)

Steve Moore is a young multi-instrumentalist from Seattle, Washington, playing amongst others trombone and keyboards. He is accompanied on this album by Doug Wieselman on reeds, Todd Sickafoose on bass, Matt Chamberlain on drums, Eyvind Kang on violin, and the album was produced by Tucker Martine. An all-star line-up of modern jazz, with Martine as a top producer of modern rock. In contrast to much jazz, the main focus of the album is the music on the one hand and the production, with lots of post-editing, on the other, less so on the performance or individual soloing. What you get is dense but light-footed music, conjuring up lots of atmospheric images. Martine's impact is clear, and those familiar with Mylab or some of Bill Frisell's later albums will recognize his influence, but the music is all Stebmo's, using jazz elements, Americana, and sound track-like ingredients with lots of dramatic effects. This is gentle music, intimate and calm, but combining joyful and playful elements with dark and menacing background harmonies or sounds. The first track "Waiting Game" sets the scene perfectly. And on one track, "Majika", I thought darkness and gloom would definitely conquer, but then Wieselman starts playing an almost joyful theme on his clarinet. This is slow to mid tempo mood music, carefully crafted and composed, with lots of attention to detail, and overall hard to compare with other music. But if you like Chris Speed's "Deviantics", Wayne Horvitz's "Sweeter Than The Day", or some of Matthew Shipp's work on his Thirsty Ear label, you start getting a gist of what you could hear here. An excellent debut.

Stef (

A scene is only as good as its sidemen. Correction : a scene is its sidemen‚ because otherwise all we've got are songs and the people who wrote them. With jazz‚ the issue of who leads who is especially troublesome‚ as jazz‚ by definition‚ will not work without a conspiracy of many. In fact‚ sometimes it's the most unlikely conspiracies that birth the best music. STEBMO is a case in point. For a while now‚ keyboardist/trombonist Steve Moore has been a hero in the realm of linernotes. Having recorded and toured with artists as various as Skerik‚ Sufjan Stevens‚ Laura Veirs‚ Bill Frisell and sunnO)))‚ he's one of those guys you don't realize you already know and so dig in a creepy MySpace-stalker sort of way. STEBMO is his debutante ball. In a fitting move‚ Moore joined forces with drummer Matt Chamberlain‚ who has himself lurked in the not-so-deep-shadows of Marco Benevento‚ Brad Mehldau‚ Tori Amos and Critters Buggin to record a handful of florid tracks‚ owing perhaps most directly to Benevento's Invisible Baby. Ani DiFranco bassist Todd Sickafoose rounds out the core ensemble‚ but the contribution of string arrangements by Eyvind Kang (John Zorn‚ Laurie Anderson) and woodwind parts by Doug Wieselman render the album a collaborative sonic offering in the manner of which only sidemen are capable. Moore's simple piano tunes form the album's skeleton while architectural offerings on the part of the other instruments fill out its flesh. Favoring supportive collectivity over reaching ambition‚ there are few jaw-dropping solos here‚ only perfectly balanced songs that seem to have grown into precision‚ much like a well-groomed topiary. "Happy Ending" and "Majika" are gorgeous ballads that feature solitary clarinets and humble electronics. There's nothing light about "Dark Circle" or "Holding Pattern" though‚ as Moore digs into his grand piano much like the virtuosos Chamberlain has made his name supporting. Most tracks are gravely mature in their emotional depth‚ but with "Blind Ross" the band proves they can have a good New Orleans-style laugh. At the heart of a burgeoning jazz scene resigned to define its terms in relative obscurity‚ STEBMO is an album that could be easily swept under the rug. As content as these cats would be to mingle with the dust motes though‚ it would be a shame to see this one go by unnoticed.

Josh Potter (


David Moss + Michael Rodach = "Fragmentary blues"

(Traumton, 1999)

"Who could imagine ? A blues album -- a "fragmentary blues" album? Well, I never really imagined it either. But then Michael Rodach and I met in Berlin at a recording session for trumpeter/composer Paul Brody's "American Folk Songs" project. From the beginning we loved each other's sound and style, approach and eccentricities, energy and rhythms. Fate ! Then Michael invited me to play a duo with him (as live music with the old Warner Brothers "Road Runner" cartoons) for a jazz festival. So in December 1997 we played together for the first time: funk riffs, improvisation textures, fast changes, odd sustains, blues quotes, rhythm fragments, odd melodies and (James Brown inspired) screams -- all mixed with that minimalist/repetitive and definitely dada-inspired cartoon bird and coyote. After the concert we both knew it was only the beginning. And Stefi Marcus, of Traumton Studio, who heard us that night, realized the potential of our duo and invited us to record at the studio sometime and "see what happens...". And somehow we both felt that the power of our duo came from an odd mixture of improvisation, noise, fund and blues elements.
Then, after more than a year of schedule conflicts we finally set up at Traumton. We wanted a 'live'-feeling: no headphones, no room dividers, no vocal booths; just the guitar, drums, and voice hearing each other in a room, playing and responding. After 3 days recording, and some vocal and guitar overdubs (we couldn't resist, because so many songs gave us new ideas), this was the result: improvised songs based on our own eccentric perceptions of the blues. Guitar, drums, and voice -- on the one hand, pretty basic; on the other hand, perverse, distorted, fragmentary, transformed.
Through it's lyrics and rhythms, "Fragmentary Blues" pays homage to the blues music that we've heard for years. The words, voices, passion, sounds, noises, beats, fractured blues forms, quotes and warped riffs are playful elements of old and new music, Michael and I found many sounds and ideas that we'd never made before. We certainly never imagined the 20 songs on this CD before we sat down in the room together to discover these fragments and moods. But hasn't "blues" always been about personal voices, life-stories, intense moments and surprises, anyhow ? We both wonder how listeners will react."

David Moss, Michael Rodach, Berlin, June 1999 (liner notes)


mercredi 10 février 2010

Catherine Jauniaux + Ikue Mori = Vibraslaps

(RecRec, 1993)

Catherine Jauniaux is a Belgian avant-garde singer. She has been described as a "one-woman-orchestra", a "human sampler", and "one of the best kept secrets in the world of improvised music".
Catherine Jauniaux began her career as an actress in Belgium at the age of 15. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, she sang with several experimental rock groups, including Aksak Maboul and The Work. In 1983 she teamed up with The Work's Tim Hodgkinson (ex-Henry Cow) in London to record her first solo album, Fluvial. Jauniaux and Hodgkinson wrote most of the tracks for the album, which are "imagined folk songs" that include elements of "contemporary art song, African singing, Native American legends, and alien nursery rhymes". The album centres around Jauniaux's voice with additional instrumentation by Hodgkinson, Bill Gilonis (The Work), Lindsay Cooper (ex-Henry Cow) and Georgie Born (ex-Henry Cow).
In the early 1990s, Jauniaux moved to New York City where she became part of the Downtown music scene, performing with a number of musicians, including Fred Frith, Tom Cora, Marc Ribot, Zeena Parkins, Butch Morris and Ikue Mori. Jauniaux founded the duo Vibraslaps with Ikue Mori and later married Tom Cora. In 1995 Jauniaux and Cora moved to Southern France where she continued performing with various European musicians, including Louis Sclavis, Heiner Goebbels, Yoshihide Otomo and Christian Marclay.
Jauniaux works regularly with artists in the field of dance and film, and sang in Heiner Goebbels's opera, Roemische Hunde in Frankfurt in 1991. She is inspired by traditional music, both real and imagined, and her performances mix seriousness and humour. She explores sound, emotion, melody and abstraction, and her vocal improvisations range from "traditional French chansons to breathy folk to Dadaistic glossolalia".

Ikue Mori has been a key member of the downtown music scene since moving to New York from Tokyo in 1977. She began her career playing drums for the seminal "no wave" group DNA, which she formed with guitarist Arto Lindsay and keyboardist Tim Wright. After the short-lived but highly influential group broke up in 1982, Mori began improvising live and recording with experimental musicians like Fred Frith, Tom Cora and, most notably, John Zorn. By 1985, Mori had completely abandoned the standard drum set in favor of her own unique drum machine/sampler set-up. Her signature instrument evolved into a highly customized arrangement of three self-programmed drum machines which she could trigger simultaneously to perform live, as well as for use recording.
In 1990, Mori received an NEA grant to work with filmmaker Abigail Child, which marked the beginning of several soundtrack projects for the musician. Throughout the 90s, Mori played and recorded with countless musicians, including projects/albums Death Praxis with vocalist Tenko, Painted Desert with guitarists Marc Ribot and Robert Quine and Death Ambient with guitarist Frith and bassist Kato Hideki. In 1996, Mori released her first solo drum machines album, Garden. Mori continued to work with a myriad of performers in the avant-garde and electronic scenes in the late 1990s, including collaborations with gifted trumpeter Dave Douglas, Mr. Bungle vocalist Mike Patton, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, free jazz bassist William Parker and extensive work with composer/saxophonist John Zorn. Ikue Mori is one of the most respected musicians in the downtown scene, renowned for her abilities as an accomplished composer and improviser and as one of the foremost electronic music innovators.


mardi 2 février 2010



Tucker Martine and Wayne Horvitz have worked together a lot over the last decade or so, with Martine generally acting as engineer (his role in the 4 + 1 Ensemble was "limited" to live processing), but Mylab is their first fully collaborative effort together. The songs started with Martine taking various ancient public-domain folk recordings (from around the turn of the last century), which he then sampled and looped in order to form the basis for new compositions, fleshed out by Horvitz and Martine together. A long list of Seattle's musical luminaries was then brought in for overdubs, sometimes adding new parts and sometimes replacing the part created by the old samples. The result is a thoroughly modern-sounding recording built from the familiar rhythms and melodies of the folk music tradition that country, blues, and rock & roll were built from. It's a fascinating juxtaposition made more interesting by the fact that many of the instruments and the samples themselves were treated further, so sometimes it's difficult to discern whether the source is the old recordings or the recent playing. And given the modus operandi, the amount of stylistic ground covered is impressive. "Varmint" is built on a mournful fiddle figure, with Danny Barnes' dobro adding a further bluegrass flavor, which is tempered by one of several excellent Bill Frisell solos. The next track, "Fancy Party Cakes," is loaded with crazy electronic squelches, programmed (or highly treated) drums, and backward effects. "Phil and Jerry" (an ode to the Grateful Dead?) starts out sounding very African, thanks to the ngoni playing of Kassemadi Kamissogo, then moves into Pharoah Sanders territory with Skerik on sax. The title "Old Days" might be an allusion to Horvitz's old band the President, as the tune strongly recalls that band (with Andy Roth doing his finest Bobby Previte imitation on drums, while Previte appears on several other tunes). Despite the fact that there are a lot of different styles on display here, Horvitz's tonal palette on keys and individual compositional voice really ties all the songs together. Mylab is a unique-sounding project that has succeeded in making an album that is interesting and challenging while being utterly approachable. This is sonic alchemy of the highest order. Well done.

Sean Westergaard (Allmusic)


lundi 1 février 2010

Jacek Kochan : "New expensive head"

(Gowi, 2003)

Jacek Kochan is a monster drummer. Born in Poland, he has been active in the musical scenes of Poland, USA, and Canada since the late 1970s. He is also an arranger, imaginative composer and music producer, but most of all - a superior drummer. His very distinctive modern drumming style is jam-packed and full of rhythmical gradations with stylistic references from the whole history of jazz. He is fully aware of versatile jazz and contemporary music traditions, but at the same time is completely immersed in contemporary fusion, funk, electronic and club beats. He is also very fluent in the language of free jazz, but in contrary to many others modern European drummers, he has no complex of avant-guard. He is a master of sound sampling, and has an exceptional gift of time and style. His smart and intelligent music is filled with nuances, full of space, with layers of acoustic and electronic sounds, and complex textures. As a drummer he does not over-emphasize the role of his instrument, but in contrary he focuses on collective sound, melodies, adventurous arrangements, original harmonies and rhythms.

Kochan's astonishing improvisational creativity makes him one of the most highly regarded and in-demand drummers on the Polish and European jazz scenes. His music engages the listeners, keeps them interested, sometimes puzzled, but always longing for more. Furthermore, Kochan excels in a recording studio environment, where he is able to masterfully utilize many wonders of the modern recording technologies, and at the same time able to restrain himself from the traps of artificial apparatus.

During the last decades, Kochan has played with many of the most important figures of American and European jazz :
in early 80-ties he moved to New York. There he have played and recorded with jazz, funk and r&b bands and studied among the others.with Jaco Pastorius, Mike Clark, Robbie Gonzales.
By the mid 80's, Jacek moved to Montreal, where he further expanded his musical lexicon to include writing for choirs and orchestra (Tudor Singers, Repercussion) as well as playing and recording ethnic music (latin , african , balkan). There he worked with Michel Donato, Karen Young, Andrew Leroux, Yannick Rieu, Oliver Jones, Jean-Pierrre Zanella, Michel Cusson, Katleen Dyson, Helmut Lipsky, Lazaro Saucedo, Geoff Lapp, Johnny Scott and many others, perfoming at the clubs and jazz festivals.
In 1990, after moving to Toronto, he started to work as a leader and sideman in countless live and recording projects with artists like John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Pat Labarbera, Kenny Wheeler, Don Thompson, Mike Murley, Neil Swainson, Reggie Schwager, Lorne Lofsky, Bernie Senensky, John MacLeod, Dave Restivo and Brian Dickinson.
In 1995 he returned to Europe where he continues to compose, play, tour and record music with artists like Dave Liebman, Greg Osby, Marc Copland, Gary Thomas, Joey Calderazzo, Palle Mikkelborg, Eddie Henderson, Dave Tronzo, Briggan Krauss, Cuong Vu, Eric Vloeimans, Lars Danielsson, Dave Fiuczynski, Bo Stief, Christian Spering, Michel Benita, Furio DiCastri, Franz Hautzinger, Klaus Dickbauer , Eddie Schuller, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, Axel Dorner, Ernesto Molinari, Francois Corneloup, Krzysztof Knittel, Skerik, Tomas Stanko, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Adam Pieronczyk, Piotr Wojtasik, Assif Tsahar, Tomasz Szukalski, Maciej Sikala and Piotr Baron.

(notes from


Crack Sabbath : "Bar slut"


Skerik is a bi-coastal man who plays the saxophone. He is a sax lord, a cyclone of skill and activity. His musings are flashpaper origami bulls. Skerik has many musical incarnations : he is Les Claypool Frog Brigade's sax player, collaborates with Stanton Moore (Garage à Trois), Bobby Previte and Jamie Saft (Beta Popes), Wayne Horvitz (Ponga) and Peter Buck from R.E.M. (Tuatara). Four of Skerik’s more active Seattle creations are Critters Buggin, Crack Sabbath, Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet and Dead Kenny G’s :

What do the Dead Kenny G’s sound like ?

Like a free-jazz version of the Melvins.

Could you talk about your sax ?

My saxophone is black, and made of metal, and I only play STRIBORG saxophones and reeds.

Where does all the saliva go ?

It goes into a special de-humidifier that is attached to my soul, I rent it at the tool rental place in White Center. It needs to be emptied regularly.

What’s all this about mouth exercises and embouchure ? Do you do mouth exercises ?

My mouth is pink and is filled with ponies and a castle, the embouchure is connected to the moat in front of the castle, no exercises.

How did you first start playing the saxophone ?

I was forced to play by parents seeking amusement, with a guilt-ridden self-deprecating agenda.

Talk about the mechanics of the sax, how do you play ?

You blow as hard as you can and twitch your fingers fast as possible, that makes the metal heat up under the keys, causing a fissure of undulating magma.

Any special treats for the Crack Sabbath show ?

We will be featuring a regular tirade against ANYTHING by our Jewish organist Ron Weinstein. Because there is right, and there is RON. He makes Rush Limbaugh sound like Martha Stewart. We will also play a cover of the new WEEDEATER song “God Luck and Good Speed”. Every show for us lately has also been a tribute to the MELVINS and CHARLES MINGUS.

(excerpts taken from « Lineout, music & nightlife in Seattle » blog)