75 Dollar Bill – 19.12.19

All three sets from December's double 75 Dollar Bill shows. Settling into the Cafe from afternoon to late at night, this special trio formation of the band features long-time collaborator Andrew Lafkas on upright bass. Given the time their music stretches into half hour reveries, warmed through with the chatter and clink of the audience. Refracted Mauritanian and Arabic modal music, New York minimalism and blown-out folk combine here to create a moving space for contemplation.  



1. Like Like Laundry - 30:25
2. WZN#3 - 19:43
3. 15 - 13:51
4. WZN#4 - 7:18
5. (intermission) - 3:35
6. intro/WZN#4 - 17:49
7. WZN#4 - 12:07
8. Water in the Lock - 5:30
9. Beni Said - 11:17
10. I Was Real - 41:27
11. WZN#3 (reprise) - 20:18.


Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Thursday 19th December 2019. Mixed by 75 Dollar Bill and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Bradford Bailey. Thanks to Rick, Che and Chris Eckman. 

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75 Dollar Bill

75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 in New York City by percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen. Played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, Brown’s earthy, elemental rhythms are both the foundation and foil for Chen’s ecstatic, modal guitar style. The duo’s electric, richly patterned music can shape shift from joyful dance tunes to slowly changing trance minimalism, an uncategorizable hybrid which draws on the modal traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East, early electric blues, Sun Ra’s space chords and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their hometown. While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, the duo frequently draws on an extended family of players, expanding into other configurations live and on record, from compact trios to their “little big band” to 25-piece marching band. 75 Dollar Bill has released a string of cassettes and three LPs. Their most recent record, the double album I Was Real, was released in 2019 (on Thin Wrist in North America, and on tak:til, a sub-imprint of Glitterbeat, in Europe and the UK) and was named #1 record of the year by WIRE magazine.
Percussionist Rick Brown has been in bands in NYC since the late 70s, including Blinding Headache, V-Effect and Run On. Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Che Chen is also a member of the band True Primes and has been an energetic organizer and improviser in the American underground since the mid-2000s. Andrew Lafkas is based in Berlin where he continues to develop solo music and music for large ensembles thru his Model Infinity Orchestra project. He is also a member of Oceans Roar 1,000 Drums, a trio with Todd Capp and Bryan Eubanks.