Tag Archives: Free Jazz

Dialectical Imagination (Free Jazz duo)

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I’m no authority on Free-Jazz, and though I enjoy listening, I’ve never deigned to write about it. It contains many elements, and  being improvisational in nature, is wide open to interpretation, so do take a listen and explore these worlds from your perspective, recieve your own impressions.

Dialectical Imagination are a duo that consists of Eli Wallace and Rob Pumpelly. Rob also runs the label Atma Nadi and has studied under some notable artists such as Pauline Oliveros and Fred Frith while at Mills College. Eli has an MM in Jazz Composition from The New England Music Conservatory in Boston. He has also performed at the Outsound New Music Summit. Both have ties to the Bay Area, Rob being located in Oakland and Eli having grown up in El Cerrito. They have also both performed with Bay Area Free Jazzer Rent Romus.

The duo were kind enough to send me a hard copy of the latest release “The Angel and The Brute Sing Songs of Wrath” which comes as a cleverly designed usb stick housed in a cassette shell. The instrumentation consists of piano and drums/percussion. The music is top notch and expertly executed, there is obvious musicianship in this.  Themes drift from chaotic and driving frenetic rhythms, and dissonance, to light and ethereal piano guided interludes. Both musicians take turns to shine while maintaining a musical dialog. This would fit right in with any of the Free-jazz or ‘Black Classical’ music of that era. Highly enjoyable and not too challenging for those who might normally be put off by this sort of abstractness, there is an inherent flow to this.

The duo will be performing in the Bay Area, in Oakland, at The Octopus Literary Salon on Dec 26th.

Here’s an excellent set from Seattle 2016:






NextNow presents: Alphastare @ Hardly Strictly Personal 2017


Once again I was invited back to perform at HSP 2017. I missed the first 2 days but here is a bit of video from day 3 including my set. I always enjoy these events and the cross section of local talent it presents.

Here’s a 2 angle video of my set on March 5th day 3 of Hardly Strictly Personal, a  post Beefheart themed event and a benefit for Homeless Action and Earthjustice. This went down in Berkeley Ca at The Finnish Kaleva Hall and was organized by Mika Pontecorvo and NextNow 

I caught a bit of video of United Separatists set featuring Tim Orr on drums/percussion and Drew Wheeler on waterphone, effected guitar etc.

I also got some footage of Ebola Buddha’s set. They perpetuate ‘literary happenings’ crowd participation encouraged:

Event Flyer by Jason Barry


The schedule changed a bit as things developed, but here’s the general line up:16586929_10155852431692846_4088908515224311842_o

14th Annual SF New Music Summit

028Outsound Presents hosted their 14th annual New Music Summit which runs through August 1st. This is the first time I’ve attended and I gotta say I’ve been missing out! I attended the ‘Touch the Gear’ portion of the event where artists set up their gear and let you play around with it and ask questions etc. Really nice folks with an array of gear and it was really cool to see the kids get to mess around with weird synths and some of the more crafted acoustic and electroacoustic instruments.

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Check the event page for the rest if the happenings as there are still a few days left to attend if you reside in the Bay Area California.

This is a series of short video clips from the event, including a bit near the beginning of Tom Nunn playing one of his constructions. Also I do an impromptu set with the blessing of Matt Davignon. Thanks for that and I will see you next year!