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A few years ago, American composer and trombonist Peter Zummo discovered a 1984 recording of unreleased material from his "Six Songs" suite in his archive. "Six Songs" was the basis for "Lateral Pass" (Foom 2014), his award winning score for modern-dance choreographer Trisha Brown’s work of the same name. Material taken from Six Songs can also be heard on his seminal "Zummo With An X" (Loris Bend, 1985/Optimo 2012).
The work is now being released as a new LP, "Frame Loop". Recorded live and in single takes, it features a stellar line-up of longtime Zummo collaborators: Arthur Russell on amplified cello, Bill Ruyle on marimba, and Mustafa Ahmed on congas. Zummo plays trombone and euphonium.
Zummo describes the recording as ‘an exercise in spontaneous arrangement’. He mainly hews close to the score, while from time to time introducing canonic lines and variations. Arthur Russell, using his signature amplified cello sound, alternates between solos and rhythm playing. Bill Ruyle vamps on the notation, while Mustafa Ahmed’s improvised percussion drives the forward momentum. Sometimes the music takes its time traversing a sonic landscape; at other points, it jumps from one section to another. Players' decisions push and pull the downbeat; rounds emerge, then disappear.


Peter Gordon & Love Of Life Orchestra

Condo

    Foom drop some a-grade downtown NYC shizzle on our asses here, sit back and take notice. "Condo" (the title song) is a little-known gem from Peter Gordon's catalog, pairing David Van Tieghem's motorik drum programming and found percussion with the transparent and vibrato-free vocals of Rebecca Armstrong (Armstrong was also a member of Steve Reich's ensemble, and contributed vocals to the definitive ECM recordings of Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians, and Tehillim). Prior to them working together, Nik Colk Void (of Factory Floor) wrote to Gordon that: "(Condo) completely catches my personality and when I feel disillusioned or need comfort, I always put it on, and it makes me feel good and strong." Their correspondence culminated in the Peter Gordon & Factory Floor collaboration, Beachcombing.
    The EP is comprised of a remastered version of the title track, "Condo" (which originally appeared on 1981's Casino EP), along with 3 previously unreleased tracks from the same 1981 sessions. "Neighbors" uses “Condo” as its foundation, with Peter Gordon's solo on top; “Candy Store” sees the full band iteration of the Love of Life Of Orchestra, including Rebecca Armstrong on vocals, Fred Maher on guitar and Bill Laswell on bass; "East Village" relies only on synthesizers and electronic percussion, with a chorale layered upon a deep groove. The EP closer, "Condominium," is a nod to those DJs who would play the title track at a slower tempo. The EP’s titles are a comment on the gentrification of NYC’s East Village, which began in the early 1980’s and continues to this day, driving out low-income residents, including artists, writers and musicians, such as Gordon, Van Tieghem and Armstrong.


    Peter Gordon performed his first symphony, ‘Symphony in Four Movements’, at New York’s new-music centre, The Kitchen in February 1976, with a band that included Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Arthur Russell and Rhys Chatham. Combining disco, electronic, pop and jazz elements with experimental music since the early 1970’s, he formalized his ensemble as Love Of Life Orchestra in April 1977, initially with 12 musicians, and then performing at clubs and lofts as a rock-combo during the height of New York’s downtown experimental rock scene.

    LOLO has always shifted in size and instrumentation, ranging from a duo to a dozen or more, but the core of its personnel has remained notably stable, with several musicians on ‘Symphony 5’ having played with Gordon for over thirty years: trombonist Peter Zummo, guitarist Randy Gun, guitarist Ned Sublette and mallet percussionist Bill Ruyle have all worked with Gordon since the 1970’s. With a stellar cast including Cuban jazz luminaries pianist Elio Villafranca and bassist Yunior Terry, the renowned Latin-jazz drummer Robby Ameen, New York veteran Paul Shapiro on saxes, Katie Porter on clarinet, and second-generation LOLO member Max Gordon on trumpet. Peter Gordon conducted the performance while playing combo organ and synth.

    Recorded in front of a live audience by Grammy-winning producer Jeff Jones “The Jedi Master” on June 5, 2013, in the acoustically marvellous hall at Roulette in Brooklyn, SYMPHONY 5 captures the best of both worlds: the communication and energy of an ensemble performance, and the punch and careful attention to detail of a studio recording. The performance is tight, but loose: there’s plenty of room for the unexpected as Gordon the composer allows Gordon the conductor to make decisions on the fly. Throughout the work’s five movements (one of which, "Juvenalia" is a homage to "Project Chick" by Li'l Wayne & Mannie Fresh's hip-hop supergroup, Cash Money Millionaires), Gordon’s instrumental writing keeps moving, leading the listener through careening textures of counterpoint and groove, to say nothing of pleasure and pain; beneath all its exuberance and dry humour, flows a dark undercurrent.

    ‘Symphony 5 is the first release in an extensive series devoted to Peter Gordon, on independent London label, FOOM. The series will concentrate on new recordings, unearthed material from his personal archive, as well as a few select reissues from his discography.



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