Posts Tagged ‘ improvisation ’

Russo Harrington Bogie Zahn Goldberger: June 29, 2019 Nublu NYC

July 3, 2019
photo by nyctaper

These are the types of nights that NYC music aficionados live for. A one-time-only live improvisation session by a group of five local stellar musicians in an intimate setting, who could really ask for more. Local guitar wizard Dave Harrington has made a nice career playing with a variety of musicians, and indeed bassist Spencer Zahn, horn player Stuart Bogie, and percussionist Joe Russo all performed at the release shows in February for Dave’s 2019 release Pure Imagination, No Country.

This night at Nublu though was a truly collaborative effort by the quintet (also including guitarist Jonathan Goldberger) as each segment of the set was improvised. Harrington revealed to me in between sets that there was one point where he and Zahn began to riff on a piece they had rehearsed earlier that week, but for the most part these tracks are all the work of expert musicians using their interpretive skills in real time. The result is two hours of breathtaking wholly unique music that was both a joy to hear live and will forever be a thoroughly engaging listen.

Dave Harrington returns to Nublu on July 19 for another night of magic with his Merry Pranksters (members this time are secret!), and attendance is highly recommended.

I recorded this set from a spot about 15 feet from the stage with the Schoeps cards and the sound (other than a little chatter) is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Set from [HERE]

Stream the Complete Set:

Russo Harrington Bogie Zahn Goldberger
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Upfront Audience

Schoeps CCM4u’s > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Set 1
[Total Time 54:23]
01 Improvisation 1
02 Improvisation 2
03 Improvization 3
04 Improvization 4
Set 2
[Total Time 1:02:23]
05 Improvisation 5
06 [band introductions]
07 Improvisation 6
08 Improvisation 7
09 Improvisation 8

Joe Russo – percussion
Dave Harrington – guitar, effects
Stuart Bogie – sax, flute, clarinet
Spencer Zahn – stand-up bass
Jonathan Goldberger – guitar

Please SUPPORT these artists: websites for Joe Russo, Dave Harrington, Stuart Bogie, Spencer Zahn, and Jonathan Goldberger

Ryley Walker feat. Garcia Peoples: June 20, 2019 Rocks Off Concert Cruise

June 21, 2019

When you’re already committed to playing a show on a low-ceilinged boat with stripper(?) poles and questionable stabilizers, you might as well take some risks musically, too. Last Saturday’s Rocks Off Concert Cruise with Garcia Peoples (recorded live by yours truly, natch) was a choppy-watered success, but I didn’t expect to be back on that boat quite so soon.

But the return of Ryley Walker to a New York stage (even if a floating one), coupled with the fact that his backing band would in fact be Garcia Peoples, was more than enough justification. If the weather outdoors was a bit more inconsistent this go round, the water presented fewer challenges and the vibes onstage were good as ever.

What we got here were two extended solo versions of “Summer Dress” (firmly back in the rotation, it seems) and “The Roundabout,” including an expanded take on Ryley’s hilarious Nick Drake imitation (practically daring him to turn this thing into an actual song). Walker looked strong and in command up there after a little time off, and in excellent spirits even when some rough water stumbled him away from the mic once or twice. After that set, the boat-tested crew from GP came and joined Walker for a thirty-five minute collab of psychedelia, drone, and other genres that Ryley’s Twitter will surely make jokes about this morning. The jam made an already-unusual show completely one of a kind, and yet another example of how with Ryley on center stage, you really don’t ever know quite what you’re gonna get.

Given the challenging acoustics of the boat, I recorded this set up close with Schoeps MK4V microphones in a mobile setup. That turned out to be a good decision — the sound quality is excellent. Hope you dig it!

Download the complete show from its page on the Live Music Archive

Ryley Walker feat. Garcia Peoples
Rocks Off Concert Cruise
The Lucille
New York, NY USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack for

Schoeps MK4V (FOB, DFC, DIN)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices MixPre6>24/48 WAV>Adobe Audition CC>Izotope Ozone 5>Audacity>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 57:40]
01 [intro]
02 Summer Dress
03 [banter-pirate band]
04 The Roundabout
05 Rocks Off Jam


Ryley Walker / David Grubbs / Ryan Jewell / C. Spencer Yeh: March 26, 2019 Union Pool

April 15, 2019

Ryley Walker’s March residency at Union Pool covered all the bases of Walker’s sound, from relatively “straight-ahead” song-based performances to instrumental blowouts with friends and colleagues like Ryan Jewell and Steve Gunn. Count this final night’s performance firmly in the latter camp, as Walker and residency mainstay Jewell were joined by David Grubbs (Gastr del Sol, others) and C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core) for a full set of avant-garde experimentation that found Walker stepping away from the mic but fully present as guitarist and spiritual force.

Ryley Walker’s March residency at Union Pool covered all the bases of Walker’s sound, from relatively “straight-ahead” song-based performances to instrumental blowouts with friends and colleagues like Ryan Jewell and Steve Gunn. Count this final night’s performance firmly in the latter camp, as Walker and residency mainstay Jewell were joined by David Grubbs (Gastr del Sol, others) and C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core) for a full set of avant-garde experimentation that found Walker stepping away from the mic but fully present as guitarist and spiritual force.

Over the course of these residency shows (plus bonus Queens show), I’ve said my piece about Ryley Walker and “who” he is musically, so I won’t belabor the point. Suffice it to say that even if you follow all things Walker, this unique collaboration is a standout, something not likely to be repeated. Walker made it known what an honor it was for him to play with these musicians. It was equally our honor to have heard it.

I recorded this set in the same manner as the other Union Pool shows, with Doug Graham’s outstanding house mix leading the way. Enjoy!

Thanks to Union Pool and Will S for continuing to book and host interesting and experimental music in north Brooklyn.

Download the complete show from its Live Music Archive page.

Ryley Walker/David Grubbs/Ryan Jewell/C. Spencer Yeh
2019-03-26 (Residency Night 4)
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY  USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Doug Graham) + Schoeps MK5c (XY, at SBD)>KC5>CMC6>>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24/48 polyWAV>Adobe Audition CC>Izotope Ozone 5>Audacity 2.3.0>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 UP Quartet Jam Pt 1
02 UP Quartet Jam Pt 2
03 UP Quartet Jam Pt 3
04 UP Quartet Jam Pt 4
05 UP Quartet Jam Pt 5


Sunburned Hand of the Man: August 28, 2017 Rough Trade NYC

September 12, 2017

Sunburned Hand of the Man are such a disparate psychedelic force (with over 100 releases to their name) that you can’t ever guarantee what’s going to come out of them. For this set, we got a ten-person band on the stage of Rough Trade NYC to play a four-part improvisation that the band referred to as the “Blizzard of Zoz.” Compared to some of the sets we served up to you last year, the “Blizzard of Zoz” was a bit more of a groove-driven affair, expanding over 42 mind-melting minutes from a low drone into a tight groove, then heading into freakout territory. Don’t worry, these sets were plenty noisy, too. The intensity of the proceedings was maximized by the Mad Alchemy liquid light show going on behind the band, which absorbed us all through the end.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK22 “open cardiod” microphones and a soundboard feed from Noel Ford, engineer of Dinosaur Jr. and several other bands. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete set: [MP3/FLAC/Apple Lossless]

Sunburned Hand of the Man
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK22 (at SBD, DFC, PAS bar)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Noel Ford)>>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24bit polyWAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, adjust levels, compression, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Blizzard of Zoz Pt 1
02 Blizzard of Zoz Pt 2
03 Blizzard of Zoz Pt 3
04 Blizzard of Zoz Pt 4

Support Sunburned Hand of the Man: Website | Buy Sunburned releases via Bandcamp

Rhyton: December 3, 2016 Union Pool

December 18, 2016

I love catching bands with whom we have an ongoing relationship, getting to hear new material or the refashioning of older material—and there’s a rare intimacy that develops when you’ve recorded and mixed and mastered someone’s music. We’ve been following Rhyton for a while now, since way back in 2012 when they played our Northside Showcase at 285 Kent. Each time it’s something different, some shows tending towards the band’s improvisational side, others outing songs or trying out brand new material. This set from a couple weeks back at Union Pool—the first we’ve seen since this year’s Redshift was released—splits the difference with a few songs off that album combined with the jams. “Turn to Stone” is a Joe Walsh/Eagles cover made Rhyton’s own and there’s a plenty good chance the band will have you unwittingly enjoying an Eagles tune, so watch out.

I recorded this set from our usual location in the venue, with a board feed from Union Pool FOH, Doug. Despite some chatter in the quieter passages, the sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Download and Stream via Bandcamp:

Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for

Soundboard [engineer: Doug] + AKG C480B/CK63 > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, compression, mixdown, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [37:50]
01. Intro Jam
02. Redshift > Jam
03. The Nine
04. Turn to Stone [Joe Walsh]

Buy Rhyton’s Redshift (and other Rhyton records) via Thrill Jockey
• • Connect with the band on Facebook

Tom Carter, Chris Corsano, Carter Thornton: December 5, 2015 Trans-Pecos (Solo and Trio Sets)

December 9, 2015


These are the moments that Trans-Pecos was meant for: daring performances by a crew of avant-garde artists, coming together at the night’s endpoint for a brave and spectacular jam. If you’re not familiar with these players, Tom Carter has appeared on this site several times. The experimental guitarist and co-founder of the band Charalambides continued his long tradition of exceptional work with this year’s Long Time Underground, released earlier this year by Three Lobed Recordings. Carter Thornton, who I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing before, is a “guitarist” of a sort, but also a builder of instruments and master manipulator of electronic sounds. He’s appeared with a number of well-know underground acts, including fellow Three Lobed alums Enos Slaughter and Gnaw, a doom metal supergroup of sorts. And Chris Corsano — who we saw all over the place during the 2012 Hopscotch Music Festival as its “resident improviser” — is a drum innovator who turns most people’s conception of that instrument on its head.

This night featured each of the three players performing a solo set, with Thornton followed by Carter and then Corsano. Thornton played two new compositions, “Right Turn on Green” and “Who Shot JR” followed by Carter performing a new short improv and two Long Time Underground tracks. Corsano’s improvisation was, as expected, an otherworldly experience, but even that had to take a back seat to the first-time-ever trio performance that followed, when the group combined to create a dense composition featuring electronic sounds, guitars and Corsano’s drumming, which the group is calling “Twelve-Five.” This is something that’ll reward repeat listens, as the careful listener can pick out the roles each of the artists is filling at different times during the performance. We are thrilled to share all of these unique pieces of music.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones at the stage lip, mixed at certain times with the soundboard feed to bolster the electronic sound. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete sets (other than Tom Carter MP3s): [MP3/FLAC]

Download the Tom Carter MP3s (FLAC is at the link above): [MP3]

Stream the complete sets: 

Carter Thornton
Queens, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (stage lip)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Right Turn On Green
02 Who Shot JR?


Tom Carter
Queens, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (stage lip)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 “Colors for Jack”
02 August Is All
03 Beauty Draws the Seed


Chris Corsano
Queens, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (stage lip)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 improvisation


Tom Carter-Chris Corsano-Carter Thornton
Queens, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (stage lip)>KC5>CMC6+Soundboard>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Twelve-Five

Support Tom Carter: Website | Twitter | Purchase records from Tom Carter via Discogs

Support Chris Corsano: Website | Store 

Support Carter Thornton: WebsiteBandcamp

Tom Carter / Barry Weisblat Duo: February 24, 2015 FLAC/MP3/Streaming

March 24, 2015


The guitarist Tom Carter has made a couple of appearances on this site, being one of this city’s most exciting innovators on the instrument. While Carter was already known for his eclectic tastes, both as a solo act and with Charalambides, this combination of Carter and the multi-instrumentalist Barry Weisblat took things further into the out realm. The two appeared at last month’s installment of the “Music From NY Underground: On the Way Out” event held monthly at Freddy’s Bar in Park Slope, and produced an improvisational composition worthy of that title. Weisblat arrived armed with a host of obscure devices able to create a host of tones and textures, to which Carter overlaid his signature guitar sound. The end result was a thought-provoking, almost cinematic drone sequence that was revelatory to see created, but will reward patient repeat listening even more. We are excited to have been able to witness and capture this unique musical interaction, and hope you feel the same.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK5 microphones in the ORTF configuration near the performers, together with a feed from the small PA system mixer. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

For those interested, the next installment of this series happens tonight (March 24, 2015) at Freddy’s. Check it out.

Download the complete set: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete set:

Tom Carter/Barry Weisblat Duo
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK5 (cardiod, DFC, ORTF)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (light effects and EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (amplify, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 33:28]
01 improvisation

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Tom Carter by buying his music from Wholly Other, the “Buy Music” links at the Help Tom Carter page and visiting the Tom Carter page maintained by Kranky, and please support Barry Weisblat by visiting the Q-02 page for him and checking out his work on the Free Music Archive.


Tony Conrad: September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Vintage 21, Raleigh, NC – Streaming Full Set

September 28, 2014

[photo by acidjack]

The appearance of Tony Conrad at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that makes a festival unique. Conrad is a living legend in a number of out fields, having made his name as a filmmaker, artist, musician, composer, teacher and writer. As a member of the pre-Velvet Underground band Theatre of Eternal Music, Conrad was one of the earliest progenitors of improvisational noise and drone music, making him an influence on a huge number of acts who had the benefit of newer technologies than the gadgets that Conrad built from scratch.

At the Vintage 21 stage at Hopscotch, Conrad began seated with a cardboard box in front of him, onto which he drew a rough circle that he cut out with an Xacto knife. A violin bow, when inserted through that space, created a drone effect that became the centerpiece of Conrad’s first composition. Offering this as a live recording doesn’t really do it justice; to watch Conrad create his art was as much an experiential pleasure as an aural one, if not more so. Conrad then moved to a violin, face painted black, with extra strings hanging off of it, and in drawing the bow across it, created new cascades of noise.

While improviser-in-residence was normally the influenced rather than influencer among the many acts he joined over the weekend, that was not the case when Moore and Conrad got together. The two created a dynamic noise piece that set yet another bar for the weekend. Conrad, almost giddy at his reception by the crowd, seemed almost as pleased to introduce Moore as Moore was to join the master. This was an experience that wouldn’t be repeated, in the weekend, or possibly ever.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed and Schoeps MK41 microphones. The sound quality is excellent. At the artist’s request, this set is streaming only. Enjoy!

Stream the full set:

Tony Conrad
Hopscotch Music Festival
Vintage 21
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK41 (at SBD, DINa)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, levels, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, fades, dither and downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Improvisation 1
02 [banter]
03 Improvisation 2 [w/ Thurston Moore]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Tony Conrad, learn more about him on Wikipedia, and buy his music on Discogs and iTunes.

Mary Halvorson: July 14, 2014 The Wick – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

July 15, 2014

[photos courtesy of P Squared Photography]

Mary Halvorson is a multi-talented, multifaceted musician who represents the best of the New York scene, which is to say that she seems to be everywhere all at once. A survey of her recent shows includes everything from more sedate jazz gigs at Cornelia Street Cafe, appearances with Tim Berne at the avant-jazz club Roulette, a show in the band People at Death By Audio, and of course, her current performances as opening act for Buzz Osborne aka King Buzzo of the Melvins, currently promoting his new solo album (that recording soon). As the New Yorker put it more succinctly, “she’s in tons of bands”.

While we have tried to feature many of the best-known current virtuoso guitarists on this site, this is a first appearance for Halvorson, a slight embarrassment to us given both her talent and how prolific she is. As this set at Bushwick’s The Wick demonstrated, she is a singular improviser who in a single set can cut across generations and genres. For this set, Halvorson chose to go the all-covers route, including songs by Ornette Coleman, Oliver Nelson, the bassist Chris Lightcap, and a host of other U.S. and international leading lights of jazz and guitar music. To their credit, Buzzo’s metal-minded audience understood what was going on, giving Halvorson her due. She deserves all that and more.

I recorded this set with a simplistic onstage rig of two small Countryman omnidirectional microphones split two and a half feet apart. While there is some ambient noise evident at points, the sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream “Platform” [Chris Lightcap]

Download the complete set: [MP3] | [FLAC]


Mary Halvorson
The Wick
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Countryman B3 (onstage, split 2.5ft)>CA-UBB>Sony PCM-M10>24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust levels, compression)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Sadness [Ornette Coleman]
02 Cheshire Hotel [Noël Akchoté]
03 Ida Lupino [Carla Bley]
04 Blood [Annette Peacock]
05 Cascades [Oliver Nelson]
06 [banter]
07 Someday My Prince Will Come [Frank Churchill]
08 Solitude [Duke Ellington]
09 Platform [Chris Lightcap]
10 Reflections [Thelonious Monk]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Mary Halvorson, visit her website, and buy records from her substantial discography, which isn’t available all in one place but can generally be purchased at Discogs.


Oneida: April 2, 2011 Ocropolis IV – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Sample

April 7, 2011

Oneida ocropolis
[Photos courtesy of Jim Dalton]

This Saturday, we went on a journey with the band Oneida that began at 1pm and ended at well after midnight on the following day. Continuing one of the band’s most exciting and ambitious traditions, the band performed six improvisational sets for a select audience in their private Williamsburg studio and rehearsal space known as the Ocropolis. The impetus in this case was disaster relief for the people of Japan – in particular, an effort organized by Shinji Masuko of the Boredoms for Japanese artists and musicians who may fall outside of some more traditional safety nets – and we are sure that both the donations and the inspiration will be warmly received by our brethren in the Far East.

Ambition is an important word to consider when reflecting upon these performances. A band that released a 3xCD set (the critically lauded Rated O) in 2009, Oneida have never been particularly respectful of the commercial strictures of modern bands. And with a fan base that revels in their ability to test the sonic limits at every show, they haven’t had to be. Armed with the freedom to do what they want and the courage to actually do it, Oneida can make some fucking incredible noise.

The level of musicianship required to create these 35-45 minute improvisations cannot be understated. Like the bastard child of free jazz, minimalism, punk and rock n roll, these sets managed to explore a huge range of textures, sounds and moods while remaining cohesive and captivating. Throughout each, we were buoyed by a sea of perfect beats by wunderkind drummer Kid Millions (whose snare hits threatened to overwhelm the first set’s mix entirely) as organist/guitarist Bobby Matador, guitarist/bassist Hanoi Jane, guitarist Shahin Motia, and organist Barry London created an intense vortex of sound. Fittingly, the highlight of the entire day was the climactic final set, a 40-minute slab of deadly psych rock that left us all reeling. It would be days before we could fully process what had taken place before us – longer still for our ears to stop ringing. Despite being a band with musical ambitions so huge, Oneida had once again fulfilled them.

We recorded this set with six high-end microphones placed strategically around the room to capture the full breadth of the band’s sound. You may notice some differences in sound between the sets as we moved microphones around to achieve optimal placement.

Special thanks to Oneida for inviting us to be a part of this extraordinary event. Watch for their next Ocropolis event, a multi-day art and music installation at Secret Project Robot, where they will do a series of full-album performances of the Thank Your Parents trilogy.

Please note that because this was a charity event, you will be expected to donate an amount of your choosing to Shinji Masuko’s Japan relief PayPal account in order to download the recordings. Once you have forwarded your receipt to, you will be given the location of the FLAC and MP3 files.


Stream a sample of the sixth and final set:

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Ocropolis IV
The Ocropolis
Brooklyn, NY  USA

Digital Master Recording
Premiere download offered at
Recorded by nyctaper and acidjack
Produced by acidjack

AKG C 414 B-XLS (wide cardiod mode)+DPA 4021+Neumann KM150>Tascam DR-680 (24/48)>6x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audacity (mixdown, set fades, smooth peaks, level adjustments, amplify and balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Afternoon Session
Set I
01 Introduction [Afternoon Set I]
02 Improvisation [Afternoon Set I]

Set II
01 Improvisation [Afternoon Set II]

01 Improvisation [Afternoon Set III]

Evening Session
Set I
01 Improvisation [Night Set I]

Set II
01 Improvisation [Night Set II]

01 Improvisation [Night Set III]

In addition to supporting Oneida’s designated Japan relief organization, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Oneida, visit their website, visit their MySpace page, visit their page at Jagjaguwar Records, and purchase the latest CD Rated O at the Jagjaguwar site [HERE] and their earlier releases [HERE].

Support nyctaper

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