New CDs From Gatto Pazzo…

We are hard at work to bring you the first two releases by Gatto Pazzo. Both releases are home-made, limited edition productions. There will be a total of 15 of each release made and that will be it. They will be available at the B.L.U.R.T show on Wednesday, October 10th at Sip.

The first CD is “Doberman Dalmatian”. It comes in a custom Dalmatian fur jewel case. The music is one long improvisation that has been split for listener convenience.

The other release that will be available at Sip is the EP length “Japanese Lunches/Lamb Package Toe Prick”. This will come in a custom translucent sleeve containing original artwork by the band, one framable piece per song title. There will be a total of 15 prints along with the CDEP.

Very excited about these creations!

Another new development that I am excited about is the addition of The Dex Romweber Duo to the Tav Falco/Panther Burns show with The Delusionaires as opening act in Atlanta on October 19th. This will be an amazing show, one that you will be very sad if you miss it!!!

Great shows coming up. Hope to see everyone there.

October Feast

There is plenty brewing for the month of October.

Gatto Pazzo will deliver a rare (only the third) performance at the October 10th B.L.U.R.T. show at SIP in Orlando. Gonna be a great show with other artists including Kevin Greenspon (from California), Electric Inertia (from Ohio), Hardon Collider (from Ohio), Whitey Alabastard (from outer space), Quantyzer, and our ol’ pal Trotsky’s Watercooler.

Available for the first time at this B.L.U.R.T. show will be the first two releases from the extremely limited edition art/CD projects by Gatto Pazzo. These items will be hand-made, unique, beautiful, will include lots of artwork by the trio, and will not last long, as they will be produced in very small numbers.

A very exciting event on October 19th: The Delusionaires will crawl out of the basement for a one-time special show, filling the honorable slot of warm up band for the amazing Tav Falco and Panther Burns!!!!! This will be a very special evening. Hangovers predicted.

And rounding out the month will be the latest installment of the improvised music showcase at Urban ReThink on October 28th beginning at 3pm. Details are still being worked out, but, as always, these showcases are not to be missed.

September Show

A quick group of shows happening the early part of September has kept me busy with rehearsals: Crater Tater will be sharing the stage with Gargamel on Friday, September 7th, Hal McGee will host a new Apartment Music afternoon on September 15th (I will be performing a duo with cellist John David Eriksen), and Son of CHANG will make it’s second and last (?) one-time-only performance at Uncle Lou’s on Wednesday, September 19th.

I pulled out the first of the cue card pieces from 2009 which was originally performed by CHANG and have reworked it for Son of CHANG and our show at Uncle Lou’s. We will be performing two pieces: VRRROOOM! and Zip-Zip-Tang. Also on the bill that night is SSLOTS, Free Dr*gs, and more.

On track from a fall release is the new vinyl offering from The Delusionaires, Flooze Party.

Some very creative and clever ideas for limited edition artwork/CD releases from Gatto Pazzo will be emerging over the next few months. This is very exciting to me, as the releases will be available in very limited quantities and all will be hand made, one-of-a-kind packaging incorporating our artwork with unique ideas.

Summer Comes To A Close

The onslaught of sweltering humidity and routine afternoon thunderstorms marks the last full month of summer, although in Florida, September brings little relief. No new releases yet, but at least two are in the works.

The Delusionaires will soon have a new vinyl release of all new recordings. Artie Mondello has been putting in much overtime to make sure it moves forward as quickly as possible.

I have been sifting through hours and hours of Gatto Pazzo recordings to compile a sampling of what we do. I find editing to be the most difficult part of preparing a new release. Should be out in a few months. Could be a multi-disc release.

Two upcoming shows of note:

On Friday, August 17th, the one-time-only performance of Vrrrooom! by Son of CHANG will occur at Uncle Lou’s in Orlando. An all-star cast of Danny Feedback, Evan Shafran, and Todd Elliott will join me as we cue card the terrain of my imagination. 10pm start time. Son of CHANG will be only a portion of the evening’s event know as B.L.U.R.T. Other performances include Hal and Mark McGee, C.A.N.S., The Jim Parsons Project, and more. Also, as part of the B.L.U.R.T. show, I will be performing in an improvised trio with Dana Fasano and Dan Reeves, founder of B.L.U.R.T.

Urban ReThink will be the location of the second performance of my game piece, Milton Bradley, as improvisors from all over Florida will gather in Orlando for an afternoon of musical mayhem. Joining me for Milton Bradley will be Kris Gruda, Jamison Williams, and Jason Dean Arnold. The afternoon event will start at 3pm. To read more about the Milton Bradley game piece please follow this link. Also scheduled on this event will be SugaWack, Fresh Ground Umlaut, and more.

A couple of new/unavailable tracks have been added to the soundcloud page. Have a listen.

Catching Up In July

As summer rolls along and the rains appear daily, it’s time for catching up on recordings that have been seriously neglected.

July begins with a new recording session, one I never would have predicted, with The Delusionaires at Mondello Manor. This weekend session will wind up with a live performance, but it will only be for invited guests. Yes, we are playing a wedding.

Gatto Pazzo has been a recording machine, with several hours worth of amazing sessions already captured in it’s short existence. This one is going to be fun to work on but difficult to edit down and trim for release.

Other recording that may, or may not see the light of day, include the Sun Ra tribute (needs a lot of post production), Kami No Kura live, Milton Bradley live at CageFest, The Fortune live in NYC, and a few others.

Looks like very limited time in the hammock this summer…

Summer Checklist

Now that a hectic May is over, I get a chance to catch up on some neglected recordings and projects.

The first project I want to get back in action is a trio known as Gatto Pazzo, with Kris Gruda and Evan Shafran. Very excited about this project. We’ve already got several CD’s worth of material recorded, all of it worthy of release, however, not all of it will be. With the summer break, I’d like to get this trio back in performance mode and get some of the recordings mixed.

Crater Tater has a few shows coming up throughout the month of June: the 8th at Copper Rocket, the 23rd at Peacock Room, and I think one on the 30th, but I’m not sure of the location for that one.

Live recordings of Kami No Kura and Milton Bradley are also in the works. And never count out an unexpected solo effort showing up.

Celebrating Sun Ra, Heading North, and Heading South

May has become a nearly overwhelmingly busy month, and it’s already a third over.

An event that has consumed much of my attention and that I am very excited about is the organizing and presentation of The Angel Race Big Band celebrating the life and work of Sun Ra. This show will be part of the grand opening of +Solo, a new experimental music gallery in Jacksonville, FL, and will take place on Friday, May 25th.

+Solo co-founder Jamison Williams has put together an amazing grand opening that will take place on the 25th and 26th. Experimental and improvising artists from all over will be on hand. Definitely, an event not to be missed.

The Sun Ra commemoration is in remembrance of the anniversary of Sun Ra leaving this plane of existence in 1993. The Angel Race Big Band, named after one of Ra’s compositions, will include many of the musicians performing during the +Solo grand opening. The piece will consist of Sun Ra compositions, improvisations conducted in the manner of Ra, as well as spoken word audio from the man himself.

Before this is to take place, there is the matter of my visit across the northern border to the town of Victoriaville, Quebec to experience the mecca of experimental and improvised music, FIMAV. This year’s line-up looks extremely tasty, even for a seasoned visitor as myself. In the years since my first FIMAV, 1989, I have missed very few. Go and check out the schedule!

The Wednesday after the Sun Ra set (May 30) finds me heading southbound on I-95 to the palm fronds of Miami and another amazing performance space, PAX, where I will be performing in the quartet, Entirely Experimental Ensemble, named by the organizer of the performance, Stephen Magagodi. The quartet will consist of some of my favorite musicians, Kris Gruda, Steve Bristol and Kyle Motl. This will be fun!
 A lot going on in the next two and a half weeks. Now, back to work.

Travelin’ The Spaceways: A Tribute to Sun Ra

Note to Jacksonville: A new experimental music venue is opening up in late May, courtesy of Jamison Williams, saxophonist extraordinaire. The new venue, called +Solo, will have it’s official grand opening on May 25th and 26th, during the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. A veritable who’s who of Florida improvisors will be on hand, performing throughout the night.

For my contribution on the night of the 25th I am organizing a large ensemble in commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the passing of Sun Ra who left this planet on May 30, 1993. The performance will be a conducted, semi-structured improvisation that will include several of Sun Ra’s compositions. I’m very excited about this as Sun Ra was a HUGE influence on my development as an improvisor.

Stay tuned. Second stop is Jupiter.

“Milton Bradley” game piece (2012)

Following is a detailed description of my chance operation game piece I will be presenting at CageFest, a week long celebration of the ideas of John Cage. This performance will be on March 24th at the CoRK Arts District in Jacksonville. It will be part of the all day event titled Circus of Happening: A Chance-Determined Series of Arranged Convergence.

Milton Bradley (2012) is a chance operation piece based on the structure and advancement techniques used in family board games. The full description of the operation is “chance operation within finite parameters using board game mechanics resulting in instant compositions.” Rules and parameters are followed in order much the same way as board game participation.

Participants are positioned around a table. Before commencement, the players have selected three instruments and placed each in separate groups, Blue, Red, or Yellow, with Blue being their primary instrument.

  1. The first player to take their turn spins the dial. The dial will determine the number of participants to play on this particular piece. The spinner will land on either solo, duo, trio, quartet, leader decides, high roller decides, exquisite corpse, or blinder quartet.
    • Solo, duo, trio, and quartet are self-explanatory and the participants are chosen by the leader, or player in charge.
    • Leader decides: the player in charge determines how many and who is playing that piece.
    • High roller decides: The remaining players roll an eight sided die. The player with the highest number rolled will determine the participants.
    • Exquisite corpse: All players will perform but will play one at a time, beginning with the leader, moving right to left. Each player will continue from the previous players end point, which will be random and determined by the players themselves.
    • Blinder quartet: All players will participate and will play over each other, disregarding anything the others are playing.
  1. The leader rolls large die to determine length of piece, from one to six minutes.
  2. The leader draws a card from the deck to determine the interpretation. This may be either a style description, a photograph, a drawing, an emotion, a situation, or the interpretation of a graphic score. The interpretation of the card is completely up to the leader of the piece and any instructions to the participants is allowed.
    • If a graphic score card is drawn, the graphic score will be projected behind the participants and will also display on a laptop on the table.  The graphic score can be divided up, sectioned, and designated by the leader in any way they wish.
  1. Finally, the leader will select a color tile from the grab bag. This will determine instrumentation.

Tile colors:
Blue: primary instrument of participant
Red: secondary instrument
Yellow: third instrument option
Green: leaders choice. Leader will select the instrumentation for participants.
Black: participants will select their own instruments to play in the piece.

  1. Timer will be set for the minutes determined in step 2. When leader is ready to begin he/she will begin the timer. Buzzer will designate the end of the piece.
  2. Player to the right will be the next leader.

Milton Bradley (Nov. 8, 1836-May 30, 1911) worked as a draftsman, patent agent, and lithographer, and owned the first color lithography shop in Massachusetts. An American game pioneer, Milton Bradley was credited by many with launching the board game industry in North America.

Struggling to find a new way to use his lithography machine, Bradley visited his friend George Tapley. Tapley challenged him to a game, most likely an old English game. From this encounter, Bradley conceived the idea of making a purely American game. He created “The Checkered Game of Life”, which had players move along a track from Infancy to Happy Old Age, in which the point was to avoid Ruin and reach Happy Old Age. Squares were labeled with social/moral positions from honor and bravery to disgrace and ruin. Players used a spinner instead of dice because of the negative association with gambling.

Introduced in 1860 and considered to be the first “family board game”, The Checkered Game of Life was an instant success. In 1864 Bradley and his business partners formed Milton Bradley & Company. He bought out his partners in 1878, and re-named the business the Milton Bradley Company.

Since Bradley’s death in 1911, the business he founded has introduced such enjoyable diversions as Battleship in 1931, Chutes and Ladders in 1943, Yahtzee in 1956, Operation in 1965, Twister in 1966, and Connect Four in 1975. To celebrate the company’s centennial, Bradley’s original game was re-designed and re-introduced, its name shortened to The Game of Life, in 1960. The Milton Bradley Company became a subsidiary of Hasbro in 1984, and Parcheesi and Scrabble became Milton Bradley games after being purchased by Hasbro in 1989.

Recaps and Looking Ahead

Whew, this has been a roller coaster of a ride the past couple of weeks. It all began with a stellar performance with Crater Tater February 18 at the Copper Rocket and ended up last night at the bring-down-the-house style party with the Delusionaires reunion at Will’s Pub. Both are intensely great bands that I am proud to be part of.

Sandwiched in between these two shows Keaton Orsborn, Lucy Bonk, Jadi Lane and I rented a tank and headed North, performing live conducted improvisation interpretations of “The Fortune”. First stop was Conundrum in Columbia, South Carolina. Owner Tom Law showed up the real Southern hospitality and was an incredibly gracious host. It was the premier performance of The Fortune and worked well as a trio of electronics, field recordings (Keaton), more electronics, bowls, waterjars (Lucy), game calls, reeds and the voice of John Ajac provided by my laptop, not to mention the visual presentation that accompanied the performance, courtesy of Keaton and Jadi.

The following performance was at The Stone in New York City. The Stone is a legendary performance space that provides a venue for intense music. There we were joined by my old friend Mario Schambon on percussion. This brought it all together! The performance was amazing and I am very happy with the way it came off. Thanks to Al Margolis  and Pogus for inviting us to perform during his curated event.

Tonight (March 3) will find me in Gainesville for Laboratory Music 5. The Lab Music series are always a blast and it’s always great to see my friends.

Coming up later this month I will be presenting my chance operations piece, “Milton Bradley”, in Jacksonville on the 24th, the Civic Minded Five will present performances by Jaap Blonk (March 25), Fred Ho (March 25), Wolter Wierbos (April 1), David Manson (April 1), and Endangered Blood (April 8).

One final note: Another glowing review of The Fortune CD released on Ilse. This one comes to us from The Free Times out of Columbia, SC:

Jim Ivy’s The Fortune – As if one needed further proof that Tom Law’s little art space (Conundrum) could bring in top shelf avant garde music: two days after this gig, Florida improvisor Jim Ivy presents the very same program at John Zorn’s legendary New York City avant outpost The Stone. A collaboration between Ivy, a saxophonist by trade, and writer John Ajac, The Fortune blends bleating reed instruments, oscillating electronics and shamanistic spoken word into a haunting and harrowing work of music, an aural story that unfolds on a sonic canvas.

~ Patrick Wall

 Thanks for the kind words Patrick.