Martin Longley stays up past your bedtime to report on late night happenings in the city that never sleeps.
Darmstadt Essential Repertoire/Ensemble LPR (le) Poisson Rouge November 4, 2014 This rendition of Terry Riley's In C" was presented by a grouping that virtually has no name. The Darmstadt Essential Repertoire team (long associated with Brooklyn's Issue Project Room) have been presenting an annual invocation of this pioneering minimalist classic by the almost octogenarian Californian composer. In recent years, the Poisson on Bleecker Street has been involved, and the venue's in-house ensemble formed the core of this massive stage invasion. The 1964 work is now celebrating its 50th anniversary, so a special resonance ...read more
The Matthew Shipp Trio Dizzy's Club November 3, 2014 It's not often that a hero of New York's alternative downtown improvising scene ventures uptown to play a mainline jazz club. It's even more of a rarity for a Dizzy's set to consist of a single long piece. In fact, it's a virtual certainty that such a thing has never occurred before. Pianist Matthew Shipp seemed to find himself an entirely new audience on this Monday evening, as few of the regular faces were in sight from the gigs he plays below 14th Street. ...read more
Television/J Spaceman & Kid Millions Skirball Center For The Performing Arts October 25, 2014 New York University's performance theatre has turned into a regular home for these Joshua Light Show mini-seasons. This was the last of three evenings where the veteran old-school psychedelic light outfit was playing host to a pair of acts each night, suitably aligned to its sense of far-out oily-liquid spectacle. Founded by New Yorker Joshua White, the JLS was a pivotal part of the late-1960s and early-70s scene at the Fillmore East, the city's prime counter-culture venue at the ...read more
Atomic Bomb! Central Park October 4, 2014 This was the climactic set on the first day of the inaugural New York version of the Modern Sky festival, an event that originates in Beijing. There could have been a percentage of audience members concealing their nine-album box sets of William Onyeabor's complete works, but it was probably small. A much less intimidating collection of this retiring Nigerian funk-pop master's output can be found as a single disc, on the Luaka Bop label's Who Is William Onyeabor? release. That's also the subtitle of Atomic Bomb!, ...read more
Ches Smith's We All Break The Stone September 30, 2014 The California drummer Ches Smith has long been transplanted to New York City, so that now he's indelibly embedded in its streets, he's frequently playing in a vast variety of settings. Some of these were presented during his six-night residency at the Stone, John Zorn's deeply uncompromising Alphabet City corner-venue. We All Break is a curious name for a combo that revolves around the core art of Haitian vodou (voodoo) percussion. Sounds more like an alternative rock or electronic outfit. The roots of ...read more
Ensemble musikFabrik Avery Fisher Hall July 20, 2013 Karlheinz Stockhausen and Sun Ra must surely vie for the stellar position of most cosmically attuned composer within the bounds of the omniverse. Stockhausen's Licht is arguably his major work, at least in terms of sheer scale. It's a seven-day-long operatic cycle that its composer must have been relieved to complete before his demise. This performance of Michael's Reise Um Die Erde (Michael's Journey Around The World)" is a mere fragment when set beside the whole sprawl, lasting only around an hour. It's the second, ...read more
Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri The Rubin Museum Of Art June 7, 2013 This was the first in a three-part series where the Rubin's acoustic-only theatre was taken over by artists from the ECM label, all of them celebrating the release of new albums. It was an ideal situation for Lucian Ban (piano) and Mat Maneri (viola) to commune in intimate no-microphone fashion with the museum's always attentive Friday night audience. The candles were on the tables, the lighting was suitably dimmed. The Transylvanian Concert (ECM, 2013) disc was recorded live ...read more