Today’s Bandcamp List: Strange Meetings, Curtis Macdonald, Liilaa, KOKO and Clark-Jones-Pottie


I listen to a lot of music.  I make lists of what I like.  I’m not able to write about everything, not nearly as much as the music deserves.  This new List column series will attempt to squeeze in some extra recommendations of stuff that I typically wouldn’t find time to write about on this site or my various other spots.

Here’s some quick hits of interesting stuff I found on Bandcamp today.


Strange Meetings – Strange Meetings (Produção de Música Contemporânea)

strange-meetings-strange-meetingsThis captivating 1997 album is culled from sessions back in ’96, then pieced together in the studio.  A trio of guitarist Jan Weber, multi-reedist Maurício Mirá and bassist Celio Barros slip through an entire spectrum of imagery, and all of it falling somewhere within the bounds of ambient music.  Sometimes it’s with a vague World Jazz form of expressionism, sometimes with an ambient drone, and others where the music would’ve fit in quite nicely on an ECM Records compilation.  All of it is seriously intriguing.  A good Sunday afternoon choice, when you’re feeling worn out from a long, exciting weekend.

Your album personnel:  Jan Weber (guitar, classical guitar, 12-string guitar, percussion), Maurício Mirá (clarinet, alto sax, winds, reeds, percussion) and Celio Barros (double bass, acoustic bass guitar).

More listening and for sale on their Bandcamp page.


Curtis Macdonald – Scotobiology (Self-Produced)

curtis-macdonald-scotobiologyThere’s a real shadowy presence that hangs over this trio set from alto saxophonist Curtis Macdonald, acoustic bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Craig Weinrib.  It wouldn’t be inaccurate to utilize the word ‘ambient’ to describe the music, except for the fact that there’s a perpetual state of unease in all of the expressions, and so the concept of attaining serenity is sort of neutralized if you can’t ever truly let your guard down.  That said, whether developing parallel ideas or locked into the same image, there are moments of an hypnotic nature, and it’s the kind of thing that carries over even into the tracks where the tempo moves with a bit more immediacy.

Your album personnel:  Curtis Macdonald (alto sax), Christopher Tordini (acoustic bass) and Craig Weinrib (drums, cymbals).

More listening and for sale on their Bandcamp page.


Liilaa – Dog Farm (Simlas Produksjoner)

liilaa-dog-farmThere’s a strange flow to this punctuated free jazz set, as if a morse code machine attempted to coo a love song.  The Liilaa trio of double bassist Nina de Heney, alto saxophonist Björn Almgren and drummer Henrik Wartel keep the momentum always headed forward, but the little curls of melodic thoughts and the stream-of-conscious rhythms mesh in all the right ways, and it’s why the music never gets so tangled that it’s forced to come to a standstill.  When de Heney contributes some arco to the proceedings, the atmosphere possesses a strange beauty, and serves as a nice bridge between longer passages of controlled fury.  Released originally in 2012, and it’s part of a larger drop of prior recordings recently uploaded to a Bandcamp page by Simlas Produksjoner, a Norway-based label specializing in improvised music that utilizes live electronics.

Your album personnel:  Nina de Heney (double bass), Björn Almgren (alto sax) and Henrik Wartel (drums).

More listening and for sale on their Bandcamp page.


KOKO – Live in Bogotá (Self-Produced)

koko-live-in-bogotaThis 2012 live performance from KOKO, a duo of vibraphonist Taiko Saito and pianist Niko Meinhold is seriously enchanting.  The collisions between their rhythmic crosscurrents are plenty riveting when they adopt similar flight patterns, but it’s when their individual melodic paths join in unison when that enchantment really takes hold.  The various influences seem purposely vague, as it isn’t so much the language they’re speaking at any one time that’s of interest, but the flow of the conversations.

Your album personnel:  Taiko Saito (marimba, vibraphone) and Niko Meinhold (piano).

More listening and for sale on their Bandcamp page.


Clark | Jones | Pottie – Frisell (Self-Produced)

clark-jones-pottie-frisellI’m a sucker for any ensemble that wants to dig into the Bill Frisell songbook.  The trio of guitarist Neil Clark, bassist Alisdair Jones and drummer Ambrose Pottie offer up their versions of three Frisell compositions, “Blues for Los Angeles,” “Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa” and “Variation on a Theme” (check out Frisell’s Gone, Just Like a Train and Ghost Town for the originals).  The spirit and sound of the originals are present in the trio’s renditions, but thankfully they use them as an excuse to go off in their own direction rather than as some reverential tribute album.  Plenty likable.

Your album personnel:  Neil Clark (guitars), Alisdair Jones (bass guitars) and Ambrose Pottie (drums).

More listening and for sale on their Bandcamp page.