Lucid Culture


Edgy, Memorable Rainy-Day Jazz From Jorma Tapio & Kaski

Reedman Jorma Tapio & Kaski play purposeful, moody jazz that shifts between incisive compositions and thoughtful, cohesive improvisation. Their latest album Aliseen is streaming at Spotify.

They open with Reppurin Laulu, a bracingly terse melody with Tapio on alto sax, choosing his spots over an ominously hypnotic, boomy, qawwali-inflected gallop from bassist Ville Rauhala and drummer Janne Tuomi. They immediately flip the script with Henkaeys, a study in eerie, airy extended technique over a muted swing and then spare cymbal accents.

The spare fragmentary bass-and-sax riffs of the next track, Lasten Juhlat expand to more of a wry conversation as the drums linger off to the side, a deadpan bowed bass solo at the center. From there the group edge their way into Siltasalmi, a slow, brooding ballad, interrupted by desolate solos from bass and drums

Tapio switches to throaty-toned flute for the lithely swinging She’s Back and stays there through Lost, a ghostly tableau punctuated by sparse bass and cymbal whispers. With allusively modal sax, incisive bass chords and Tuomi’s light-fingered touch on the cymbals and snare, Manner brings to mind JD Allen’s trio work, at that group’s most pensive.

Tapio returns to flute for Huli, a catchy, upbeat miniature. The album’s most epic track, Way Off again evokes Allen’s work in a more turbulent context as the bandleader choose his spots and wails with the bass and drums each clustering in separate corners; Rauhala provides a moody, spacious solo at the center.

The album winds up with Nukunuku, a study in contrasts between warmly muted flute and gritty bowed bass, and then the marching title track, the bass’ reedy harmonics mimicking a harmonica. If this was a shot at maintaining a consistent mood throughout a whole slew of styles, it’s a calmly smashing success.

November 21, 2020 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SOS: Need Your Help, But Not Your Money

In 2015, when this blog almost died after a computer crash, offers of help poured in from around the world. Your response was humbling, to say the least. Five years later, Lucid Culture still runs on your donated equipment.

Today this blog is facing the threat of eviction and needs your help – but not your money. Let me explain.

A landlord with the nerve to try to evict a tenant while a statewide ban on evictions is in effect might well have other dirty tricks in mind. What is most at stake here is the vast, museum-quality archive of recordings this blog has accumulated over the years.

Most of that archive is safely housed outside of New York City. However, the vinyl records in the collection are still here. I’ve come up with a couple of possible solutions and need your help.

The safest option is to move the vinyl out. That requires a vehicle. Do you, or someone among your friends, family or colleagues have a car that could be used to make the move? Any vehicle with room for three passengers would work. The entire collection weighs about the same as three average-sized adults.

The move wouldn’t take more than an afternoon or an evening. No lifting would be involved: you’d never have to leave the car. All expenses would be paid and you would be compensated as well. If you or anyone you know are interested in helping out, set a price and let’s talk: please email lucidculture [at] gmail [dot] com and include your number so we can talk on the phone. Please also keep in mind that I would be glad to help you out with something, whether now or in the future.

I also have a plan B, which is a little more adventurous. That would mean moving what’s left of the archive or a portion thereof to another location somewhere in New York City. I might be able to do that myself on the train with a hand truck. Do you or someone you know have a spare room? A walk-in closet in your office? An empty rehearsal space? A basement at your business? A backyard shed? Such things exist in New York – I’ve seen them!

From there, the records would be moved out of your space, probably in several trips, over the next few months, assuming that your place, unlike mine, is safe from eviction. If you have room, I’d love to talk with you: please reach out to lucidculture [at] gmail [dot] com.

What I am not asking for is money. There is no reason why your hard-earned income should go to a sleazy landlord with a problematic track record, who has no legal right to ask for it at this time anyway. If we buy off the landlord now, that would only embolden them to go after other tenants.

I would gladly accept pay for honest work, and am very grateful for any job offers or referrals you might have: please feel free to circulate this among your friends. But I don’t want a handout. In a normal economy, there are plenty of opportunities for sound engineers, sidemen or, believe it or not, music writers. With your support during the 2015 computer fiasco, I was able to keep this blog alive. With your help now, I can continue to advocate for musicians at a time when so many others have been forced to quit.

A few people have suggested setting up a gofundme, or a kickstarter. But gofundme and kickstarter both take a cut of the money. And I don’t want your money going to pay them, when all we really need is the use of a vehicle or a storage space, at no expense to you.

Every spiritual tradition I’ve encountered teaches that we live in a universe of unlimited abundance, and I believe that is true. The secret is to find that abundance and then make sure that everybody can access it. I am so honored to have had your support over the years. That means the world to me, and I will be eternally grateful for any help you can offer now.

So what can I help YOU with? 

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment