She might be best known as the drummer for Natalie Merchant and Ani DiFranco, but Allison Miller is an accomplished artist in her own right, standing out in a crowded NYC jazz scene with her compositions and skills behind the kit. Her sophomore album with Boom Tic Boom — a group that includes pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman (Bill Frisell), and bassist Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco) — is another such testament.
“The Transfiguration Fear Lucid Nightmares”
Formed in Tokyo in 1990, Sigh isn’t like most extreme metal bands. To the uninitiated: imagine a mad scientist who has left traditional morality behind in his quest for discovery. Imagine Mr. Bungle, doubled down on metal brutality. Imagine John Zorn as a founding member of Iron Maiden. Imagine that someone left Scandinavian-style metal out on the counter overnight and that strange, hypnotic, polychromatic molds have started to grow on it. You still haven’t quite imagined the unique strangeness of Sigh, but you’re getting there.
The 19th installment in John Zorn’s Masada Book 2: The Book of Angels is a doozy. As with the rest of the series, these are Zorn pieces given to an extraordinary talent (or set of talents) to perform, re-imagine, or demolish, and acoustic/electric bassist and oudist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz has done all three with his batch of songs.
Recorded live with The Ictus Ensemble in 2010 at the Holland Festival, Laborintus II is the latest recording credit from the eternally unpredictable Mike Patton. The three-part offering, written to celebrate Dante’s 700th birthday, is a new take on the work of experimental Italian composer Luciano Berio (as inspired by poet Edoardo Sanguineti).