Wednesday, October 31, 2007

August 1, 2006

"Are we there yet?" - Rabnett 5 (Reclaimation)
"Dolphin dance" - Kazumi Watanabe (Kilowatt)
"Roustabout" - Great Uncles of the Revolution (Blow the…)
"Upon reflection" - Amanda Tosoff Quartet (Still life)
"Ouagadougou" - David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters (David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters)
"N.Y.C." - Weather Report (Weather report)
"Flashback" - Fred Anderson (Timeless)
"Clashing" - Drums & Tuba (Mostly ape)
"End of the struggle" - October Trio (Day in)
"Lenny's mode" - Lenny Breau (Cabin fever)
"Cat and mouse" - Jack DeJohnette (Elephant sleeps but still remembers…)
"Fire revisited" - Steve Coleman and Five Elements (On the rising of the 64 paths)
"Hypochristmutreefuzz" - Eric Dolphy (Last date)
"Swingin' machine" - Mose Allison (Sage of Tippo)
"Minor swing thing" - Brian Buchanan Ensemble (Plays the music of Dennis van Westerborg)
"Ballad for old souls" - Muhal Richard Abrams (Things to come from those now gone)
"Toads of the short forest" - Ed Palermo Big Band (Ed Palermo big band plays the music of Frank Zappa)
"One of these things first" - Chris Gestrin and Simon Fisk (Poor boy: songs of Nick Drake)
"Blues of the prairies" - Oscar Peterson Trio (Canadiana Suite)
"Maiera" - Fred Stone (Ready or not 2)
"Forgotten travelers" - Groove Collective (People people music music)
"No hype blues" - Deep Blue Organ Trio (Live at the Green Mill)
"Pocket fiction" - Ben Adams Quintet (Old thoughts for a new day)
"Reasons" - Nomo (Newtones)

This day featured a fairly interesting setlist with a number of Canadian performers and many first-time plays (some I've only played once e.g. Mose Allison; I'll have to play more Mose sometime soon). I also played several things from the CJSW library, which I hadn't delved into much before. I recall really digging Muhal Richard Abrams' "Ballad for old souls" and "Toads of the short forest" by Ed Palermo. If I remember correctly, the Ed Palermo Big Band has done two CDs of Frank Zappa tunes arranged for big band ("Toads..." originally appeared on the Mothers of Invention record Weasels ripped my flesh, a personal fave); I later played a great version of "Moggio".

Note: the Weather report album listed above (I played "N.Y.C." from this recording) is the 1982 album not the group's eponymous first recording from 1971.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October 30, 2007

Back to normal, more or less. This was the first show after the Funding Drive week. I should again thank everyone who pledged, on my show and on others. I am deeply appreciative of your generosity as is everyone else at CJSW. The donated funds will allow the station to keep presenting the great programming and to grow from that.

Onto the setlist for this week:

"BQE" - D.D. Jackson (Suite for New York)
"What da' funk!" - Greg Chako (Paint a picture, tell a story)
"Solaris I" - Francois Couturier (Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky)
"Endemic" - Mike Allen & George McFetridge (Threads)
"Gilmore's hat" - William Parker/Raining On The Moon (Corn meal dance)
"Away from home" - Joel Frahm with Brad Mehldau (Don't explain)
"Passion dance" - McCoy Tyner (Quartet)
"Challenger deep" - Charlie Hunter and Bobby Previte as Groundtruther with John Medeski
"Everyday living" - Dean McNeill (Prairie fire: large jazz ensemble)
"Feeling good" - Rufus Harley (The pied piper of jazz)
"Acknowledgement" - Turtle Island Quartet (A love supreme: the legacy of John Coltrane)
"Piano concerto #2 in C minor: Movement I - part II" - The Classical Jazz Quartet
(Play Rachmaninov)
"Oh! Love of life" - Healing force (The songs of Albert Ayler)
"Ella Dunham" - Jerrold Dubyk Quartet (The way you see it)
"Recessional (for Oliver Johnson)" - Steve Lacy & John Heward (Recessional (for Oliver Johnson))
"I'll be seeing you" - Bobby Hutcherson (For sentimental reasons)
"Celeste" - Bernie Worrell (Improvisczario)

This week, I was pleased to finally play a piece by Rufus Harley ("Feeling good"). I've played other performers who used bagpipes in a jazz (ish) vein, such as Rare Air and Albert Ayler, but Rufus Harley was the grand master of the "jazz pipes". Now, I just need to find his version of "A love supreme"!

The long track for the day was "Recessional (for Oliver Johnson)", a duo performance (sax and percussion) by the late Steve Lacy and John Heward. I managed to fit in about 30 minutes of the 38 minute performance. I like playing very long tunes every couple of weeks, if only to show the variation in length that you find in jazz. Also, playing a long track allows me to catch up on paperwork and hit the washroom.

Apologies to the Turtle Island Quartet. This morning I kept calling them the Turtle Island String Quartet but there's no "string" in their name; it's Quartet only.


Monday, October 29, 2007

July 25, 2006

The fourth show. I'd lasted a month. Yay!

"Herbildoodlyu"- Hugh Fraser Quintet (In the mean time)
"Brood" - Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble (Live at the original Velvet Lounge)
"Sandino" - Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra (Dream keeper)
"Rumba for Chano" - Hilario Duran (From the heart)
"Melancholy" - Alvinn Pall Sextet (Ready or not 2)
"Epistrophy" - Theolonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane (Live at Carnegie Hall)
"Tales of Rumi" - Charles Lloyd (Sangam)
"Quiet encephalitics" - Mackrosoft (Antonio's giraffe)
"Slow change" - Bobby Hutcherson (Now!)
"Opposite people" - Follow Follow (Afro groove)
"Green ideas" - Lisa Miller (Q)
"Abstract 3" - Jim Hall (Jim Hall and basses)
"(Theme from) Chariots of fire" - Bad Plus (Suspicious activity?)
"Peace one" - John McLaughlin (My goals beyond)
"Midnight cowboy" - Ben Allison (Cowboy justice)
"Moods in mambo" - Charles Mingus (Epitath)
"Treacle" - Monder/Van Der Schyff/Gestrin (Distance)
"Sneak attack" - Cheebacabra (Exile in the woods)
"Ghosts" - Marc Ribot (Don't blame me)
"Actions for free jazz orchestra" - Krzysztof Penderecki (Actions)
"Small obstacles" - Michael Bates' Outside Sources (Fine balance)
"Peppermint falls" - Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, William Parker (Palm of soul)
"Buchmish" - Matt Darriau (Paradox trio)
"Little B's poem" - Joey DeFrancesco (Organic vibes)
"Beloved gift" - Bernie Senensky Trio (Ready or not 2)
"By many names" - Fred Anderson (Timeless)

A fair amount of Canadian and playlist tunes this week (Ready or not 2 is exploited twice for another week). A few favourites make their appearances here, including "Peace one" by John McLaughlin, which I've played at least one since this time.

I also got some phone calls this week, pretty much the first I'd received. Most of them were telling me how to pronounce Krzysztof Penderecki's last name. I still don't think I've got it right but this is a never-ending problem; I regularly pronounce names incorrectly. I've joked on air that if I ever take a wrestling moniker, it should be The Mangler for what I do to jazz performers' names.

Friday, October 26, 2007

July 18, 2006

Show number three:

"At the edge of the maplewood" - Tony Quarrington & Friends (Group of Seven suite)
"Song of the underground railroad" - Gary Bartz (Shadows)
"Goin' to town" - Deep Blue Organ Trio (Live at the Green Mill)
"Airegin" - Hubert Laws (In the beginning)
"How would you like to have a head like that" - Jean-Luc Ponty (King kong)
"Perceptions" - Nick Ayoub (Ready or not 2)
"Eleanor Rigby" - Stanley Jordan (Blue note plays the Beatles)
"Prairie dog ballet" - Jim Pearce (Prairie dog ballet)
"Semiocto" - Yusef Lateef (Psychicemotus)
"Petite piece detachee" - Pierre Bastien (unamed homemade CD of various things)
"Entrance" - Michael Bates' Outside Sources (Fine balance)
"Breakfast with Visigoths" - Kick the Cat (Weirdo)
"What's in a name?" - Common Ground (High Voltage)
"First take" - Ornette Coleman Double Quartet (Free jazz)
"Arere" - Francisco Mela (Melao)
"Carnival skin" - Carnival Skin (Carnival skin)
"Caustic reptiles of the cloven hoof" - Kakalla (Seeds of analog rebellion)
"All of the humans blow up" - Tangerine Awkestra (Aliens took my mom)
"Corcavado" - Linton Garner Trio (Quiet nights)
"Atlantic rising" - Sunship Ensemble (Ready or not 2)
"Pombral" - Sao Paulo Underground (Sauna: um, dois, tres)
"Directions" - Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith (Yo Miles! Sky garden)
"Conversation with Martin" - Ben Adams Quintet (Old thoughts for a new day)
"Exile in the woods" - Cheebacabra (Exile in the woods)

I think the July 18, 2006 featured the inauguration of my "play something Canadian first" policy. Almost every show since that time has begun with a Canadian performer. On some shows, I've started every hour (after the BBC news) with a Canadian track.

Speaking of Canadian stuff, two tracks from the CD Ready or not 2 were played on July 18. This is a collection of jazz tunes recorded for the CBC in the 1970s (or thereabouts), largely in Montreal (I think). It's a great record; the tunes are definitely of their time but they aren't stereotypically 70s tracks either. We played it to death at CJSW but it was worth it. One of these days, I'll pull it out of the CJSW library and spin a track or two (but it needs a break for a while). I should also try to locate Ready or not 1; that would be interesting to hear.

Another CD that was on the playlist at that time was Carnival skin by Carnival Skin, which featured a track of the same name. I have to admit it was fun being able to say "that was 'Carnival skin' by Carnival Skin from the CD Carnival skin".

"All of the humans blow up" comes from an album "(Aliens took my mom) by The Tangerine Awkestra, a free jazz group of 3-7 year-olds. This is a release on the totally crazy (in a good way) Mulatta Records (

One last note: The second track on this program was "Song of the underground railroad" by Gary Bartz, a song originally written and recorded by John Coltrane for the Africa/brass sessions (it didn't make the original single-LP release of Africa/brass but it is available on the expanded CD edition). "Song of the underground railroad" is probably my favourite "big band" tune. I like Bartz's version but I prefer Coltrane's; one of these days, I'll track down Coltrane's and play it.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

July 11, 2006

This was the second-ever Breaking the Tethers show:

"The promise" - Pharoah Sanders (Priceless jazz collection)
"Kitty: Tommy, quick! Get up…" - Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson (Industry)
"The tackle" - Joey DeFrancesco (Organic vibes)
"To Barney Kessell" - Pete Townshend (Scoop)
"Home alone" - Kristian Alexandrov (Funked up jazz)
"Prince Lasha" - Odean Pope (Locked & loaded)
"El otro tipo" - Roberto Occhipinti (Yemaya)
"Seven steps to Samba" - Terrain (Time to travel)
"Low life" - Shuffle Demons (Bop rap)
"Big eater" - Bad Plus (These are the vistas)
"A love supreme" - Alice Coltrane (World galaxy)
"Volunteer slavery" - Rare Air (Primeval)
"Fly by night" - Rahasaan Roland Kirk (The inflated tear)
"Cricket" - Mackrosoft (Antonio's giraffe)
"Togo" - Old and New Dreams (Tribute to Blackwell)
"Seven oceans" - Simon Fisk Trio (Trainwrecks)
"Full frontal saxophone" - Roscoe Mitchell (Sound songs)
"Song for Lee" - Paul Butterfield Blues Band (Anthology: the Elektra years)
"Life of Riley" - Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Up from the skies)
"Afterburner" - Tuatara (Trading with the enemy)
"Interlude #2" - Francois Bourassa Trio (Jeune vieux jeune)
"Currents" - Rashied Ali, Peter Kowalk, Assif Tasher (Deal, ideas, & ideals)
"Resolution" - Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, William Parker (Palm of soul)
"Minor swing" - Stephane Grappelli (Live 1992)
"Fused" - EMP project (Wherever we go)
"Mitote" - Joris Teepe's Groningen Art Ensemble (Jazz in, jazz out)
"Crumble" - Calexico (Feast of wire)

Again, a fairly large number of tracks played on this show (27, I believe). It's an interesting mix of tunes from the CJSW playlist at the time as well as favourites of mine (e.g. Alice Coltrane's hinduism-meets-James-Brown-style-hard-funk version of "A love supreme") and a number of "jazzish" tracks from performers not normally associated with jazz, at least not in a big way (e.g. Pete Townshend with "Barney Kessell", which is dedicated to the jazz guitar great of the same name; Richard and Danny Thompson; Paul Butterfield; Calexico; etc). Also note the first appearance of many on Breaking the Tethers of the Bad Plus with "Big eater"; the drumming on this track garnered a phone call from a listener.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

July 4, 2006 - First Show!

In the spirit of "clearing the deck", here's the list of songs and such from the very first edition of Breaking the Tethers, back on July 4, 2006:

"Lonnie's lament" - John Coltrane (Afro-blue impressions)
"Norwegian wood" - Buddy Rich (Blue note plays the Beatles)
"A place for you and I" - Manic Thematic Trio (Say yes)
"Talking heads" - Ben Allison (Cowboy justice)
"Moggio" - Ed Palermo Big Band (Take your clothes off when you dance)
"Encor instant coffee" - Vestibules (Get spiffy!)
"No mystery" - Fareed Haque (Sacred addiction)
"Endless" - Silk Road Music (Endless)
"Footprints" - Miles Davis Quintet (Miles smiles)
"Follow your heart" - John McLaughlin (My goals beyond)
"Promises kept" - Sonny Sharrock (Ask the ages)
"Little camels" - Rabih Abou-Kahlil, Joachim Kuhn, Jarrod Cagwin (Journey to the centre of an egg)
"Mistress of storms" - Michael Occhipinti (Creation dream: the songs of Bruce Cockburn)
"Lemming" - Metalwood (The recline)
"Key" - Matthew Shipp (Equilibrium)
"Slightly all the time" - Soft Machine (Third)
"Chasing the sun" - Richard Underhill (Moment in time)
"Sea of sounds" - Sun Ra (Space is the place)
"Fourth ward" - Nomo (Newtones)
"Ramblin'" - Ginger Baker Trio (Going back home)
"Stolen moments" - Oliver Nelson (Red hot on Impulse)
"Police people" - Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman (Song X : 20th anniversary)
"Music for a three-piece orchestra: edge" - Hiromi (Spiral)
"DFU" - Groove Collective (People people music music)
"No exit" - Pentangle (Sweet child)
"Cloudburst" - Jon Hendricks (Jazz singing: the jazz vocal collection)
"Paranoid android" - Brad Mehldau (Largo)

Looking back, I think this is a really strong first show set. There are so many great performances and tunes it would take too long to get into. Some of these have made reappearances in the intervening year and a half. Perhaps the most surprising thing to me is that I managed to squeeze 28 tracks into the 180 minutes (less, actually, taking the BBC news, promos, ads, and such into account), including one of the lenghty tunes from Soft Machine's Third album ("Slightly all the time"; a fantastic performance from a fantastic record). These days, I usually max out around 23 tracks; maybe I'm playing longer tunes or I'm becoming more verbose or both?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 23, 2007 - Funding Drive Show

CJSW is in the midst of our annual funding drive so this show was a little different than usual. Essentially much more talk, much less music. I was lucky to be joined by three other CJSW programmers today: the infamous Chef Wayne (South Louisiana Gumbo, Mondays 7-8 pm), Naomi Herback (Jazz for Quantum Cats, Fridays 6-9 am), and Megan Mitchell (Lush Life, Wednesdays 6-9 am). They helped me out a great deal and definitely increased the fun factor. I think we raised $405 in pledges, which is in line with the amount that came in last year, $500. 6-9 am is on the early side for most folks so the pledges tend not to be as high as on other programs; still every bit helps keep CJSW going strong. Many thanks to those who pledged during Breaking the Tethers! More information about the funding drive can be found at and

And now to the track list. As mentioned, less music than normal but I still managed to fit in some good stuff:

"There" - James Brown (Jazz)
"Lonnie's lament" - John Coltrane (Afro-blue impressions)
"Ellis in wonderland" - Herb Ellis (Ellis in wonderland)
"Amber water" - Tom Teasley (Painting time)
"Space odyssey" - Marcus Belgrave (Gemini)
"Mumbo jumbo" - Paul Motian Band (Garden of eden)
"Tom Sawyer" - Bad Plus (Prog)
"Bug" - Norman Howard & Joe Phillips (Burn baby burn)
"Euphoria" - Michael Wolff (Impure thoughts)
"Take five" - Donald Harrison (Real life stories)
"For all we know" - McCoy Tyner (Quartet)
"Peace one" - John McLaughlin (My goals beyond)
"C.A.C." - Albert Ayler Quartet (The Hilversum session)

As this was a special show, I threw in a number of all-time favourites of mine ("Lonnie's lament" from Afro-blue impressions, the first track I ever played on Breaking the Tethers; "Space odyssey"; "Mumbo jumbo" - I can listen to this one over and over and over again; "Tom sawyer" - ah, those crazy Bad Plus guys and their covers; "Peace one"). I've played all of these before and though I try not to repeat tracks and performers too often, I thought it would be appropriate for this show. The setlist will be more back to "normal" (at least more fulsome) next week.

BTW, in the list above the tunes/songs are listed in quotation marks, followed by the performer, with the album from which the track comes in parantheses.

Subsequent posts will feature tracklists from current shows as well as those from the past year and a bit (I have a database set up with detailed information on all the shows I've done). I hope this isn't too confusing but I'd like to "clear the deck" and also provide an easy way for folks to access all track lists from all Breaking the Tethers programs. It will take a while but, eventually, I'll be caught up and all track lists will be online.


Welcome To The Breaking The Tethers Blog

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Breaking the Tethers blog!

Breaking the Tethers is a jazz radio show that I host on CJSW FM, the campus and community radio station located at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta. The program is on the air from 6-9 am every Tuesday. I try to play a variety of music that has the "jazz" label but I am most interested in the more avant garde/wilder/freakier side of genre as well as jazz that borders on other styles of music. You can listen to my show on 90.9 FM or via streaming audio at (which is the home page for the station; lots of great information here)

I've been meaning to set up a blog for Breaking the Tethers for a while now (I've had the program since July 4, 2006!) but have only now got around to doing this (which is kind of odd, considering I'm involved in a few other blogs). The primary thing I'm looking to do here is to post the track lists from each program. I'll also weigh in with some thoughts on the tunes and performers played, provide some news here and there, and whatever else might strike my fancy. I hope this is of interest to listeners and readers. Questions, discussions, and suggestions are always welcome.

I should note that in my other life, I am the Serials Librarian at the University of Calgary library ( But enough about that. Let's stick to the music here.

More posts soon!