Tues Feb 17 in Philly: CHROMATIC MYSTERIES, new ensemble featuring Marshall Allen

This just in from Scott Verrastro…

featuring Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra)

Tuesday, February 17
Johnny Brenda’s
1201 N. Frankford Ave., Philly
$10, doors at 8pm, 21+

Chromatic Mysteries is a new Philly-based ensemble — or perhaps a conduit for extraterrestrial audio manipulation — comprised of members from such sonic explorers as Sun Ra Arkestra, Bardo Pond, Kohoutek, and New Ghost. Horns collide with guitars that melt with percussion to create alien emissions that communicate with man’s primordial urges.

As a young musician, Marshall Allen (b. 1924 in Louisville, Kentucky)
performed with pianist Art Simmons, Don Byas and James Moody
before enrolling in the Paris Conservatory of Music. After relocating to
Chicago, Allen became a pupil of Sun Ra, subsequently joining the
Arkestra in 1958 and leading Sun Ra’s formidable reed section for the
next 40 years. Marshall, along with John Gilmore, June Tyson and
James Jacson, lived, rehearsed, toured and recorded with Sun Ra
almost exclusively for much of Sun Ra’s musical career. As a member
of the Arkestra, Allen pioneered the Free Jazz movement of the early
’60s, having remarkable influence on leading voices in the avant-garde.
He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra recordings in addition to
collaborations with Phish, Sonic Youth, Digable Planets, and Medeski,
Martin & Wood. Allen assumed the position of maestro in 1995,
following the ascension of Sun Ra in 1993 and John Gilmore in 1995.
Allen continues to be committed to the study, research, and
development of Sun Ra’s musical precepts.

Have you seen this man walking the streets of Philly? His signature
single dread emits musical spores over sidewalks, music halls and
coffeehouses. Elliott Levin is the ubiquitous Philadelphia musician.
He has played with everyone…reading his poetry into his flute, literally,
improvising with Charles Cohen, Rick Iannacone and New Ghost, the
list is long. Elliott studied music and creative writing at the University of Oregon. He also studied extensively with Michael Guera (former
saxophonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra), Cecil Taylor (pianist/
composer/improviser), and Claire Polin (flutist/composer). Born in
1953, Levin is a Philadelphia-born-and-based jazz musician and poet.
For 10 years he toured the world with Harold Melvin & The Blue
Notes, as saxophonist in The Sound of Philadelphia band. He regularly
performs jazz and poetry with Cecil Taylor’s groups Phthongas and
Unit Core Ensemble, Odean Pope’s Sax Choir, New Ghost, Interplay,
Talking Free Be-Bop, Gloria Tropp, and Miguel Algarin. His original
music and poetry was recorded for broadcast throughout the USA as
part of the New American Radio Series. He is also currently a member
of drummer (Ornette Coleman, James Blood Ulmer, Lounge Lizards)
G. Calvin Weston’s Big Tree; Animus (world/fusion music); The
Philadelphia Phenomenon (w/ Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Rick Iannacone,
Calvin Weston); and the West Philadelphia Orchestra.

Born in 1878 to a Madagascar whaler and a Nepalese snake charmer,
Outer Philadelphia’s Michael Gibbons has been tantalizing intoxicated
audiences for well over a century. In 1989, after decades roving the
southern seas as a pirate, inventing cures and pharmaceuticals as a mad scientist, and designing top-secret UFOs as an astrophysicist during the Cold War, Gibbons, at the age of 111, along with his brother and one-time cellmate John, formed the well-regarded and mightily feared pop combo The Bardo Pond. Armed with electrified guitars and almost as many pedals an hair follicles, The Brothers Gibbons kidnapped Swedish debutante Isobel Sollenberger, Japanese samurai dishwasher Clint Takeda, and some shlub named Joe, licked a few toads and conquered the Psychedelphia scene. However, not content with utter global domination and thousands of passionate caresses from women the world over, Gibbons decided to unleash his solo machinations upon the unsuspecting public, in the form of “kosmische raga folk” (according to one victim, Ed Hardy), as 500mg. Gibbons continues to emit fuzzed-out washes of meditative drone, squealing feedback, and chemically-influenced riffs in such socially unacceptable configurations as Alasehir, Vapour Theories, Alumbrados, Baikal, Third Troll, and Curanderos, and can be found at the offices of Matador, Siltbreeze, ATP, and Important begging for royalty checks.

Drummer/percussionist Scott Verrastro utilizes a plethora of sticks,
brushes, bells, shakers, cymbals and gongs, metal, contact mics, and
household items — in addition to a traditional drum kit — to coax a wide palette of sounds. Verrastro received a degree in music literature from Northeastern University in Boston and continues to examine many forms of music, including all styles of improvisation and traditional folk. His main percussion influences are Milford Graves, Rashied and Muhammed Ali, Sunny Murray, Han Bennink, Jaki Liebezeit, Bill Bruford and Jamie Muir from King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, and yes, even John Bonham, Bill Ward, Keith Moon, and Nick Mason. His improv psych band Kohoutek explores all of this territory, veering from drony Krautrock-inspired psych to abstract noise freak-outs and everything in between. Verrastro also plays in a duo with guitarist Chris Grier (To Live and Shave in L.A.) called Thee Ultimate VAG, a trio with guitarists Anthony Pirog and Ed Ricart called PRV Trio, often accompanies guitarist Jeff Barsky in Insect Factory and multi-instrumentalist John Stanton in Kuschty Rye Ergot, and has collaborated with saxophonists Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra Arkestra), Elliott Levin, Paul Flaherty, Dan Scofield, and John Dikeman. He has also performed with Damo Suzuki (of Can), Richard Pinhas (of Heldon), numerous Bardo Pond projects, and multi-instrumentalists Mike Tamburo and Little Holwin’ Wolf.

Born in Ancon, Panama, Edward J. Ricart began his studies in Prague
with Tony Ackerman, a student of the great trumpeter Bill Dixon. He’s
opened the book to his very own chapter of ‘avant’ guitaring, combining the ferocity of no wave and vintage hardcore with the endless spiritual possibilities afforded by free jazz and improvisation. In the process, he’s unleashed a fire music fit to score the technological developments and social unrest of this modern age. He currently performs as a member of DC’s avant-rock PRV TRIO. He can occasionally be seen onstage with DC space-rock stalwarts KOHOUTEK, and noise troupe SONIC SUICIDE SQUAD, who will be touring in support of Acid Mothers Temple this coming April. In the past year, his ensembles have supported Sabir Mateen, Eugene Chadbourne, Elliott Sharp, The Convocation, Toshi Makihara, Uri Caine, Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone. Equally
likely to perform everything from math rock to modern classical, you can catch him on tour this February as a member of CHROMATIC
MYSTERIES with Marshall Allen, Elliott Levin, Scott Verrastro, and
Michael Gibbons.

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith. https://linktr.ee/jaywbabcock

One thought on “Tues Feb 17 in Philly: CHROMATIC MYSTERIES, new ensemble featuring Marshall Allen

  1. Pingback: Tues Feb 17 in Philly: CHROMATIC MYSTERIES, new ensemble featuring Marshall Allen | Arthur Magazine OFFICIAL « Love, Gloom, Cash, Love

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