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Notice Recordings’ Chicago origins were heavily galvanized by regularly seeing sets by cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and multi-instrumental improviser Zoots Houston. Both have since separately relocated to Kingston, NY, where they continue to engage with the kinds of musical exchanges exemplified here. This set, recorded live at Chicago’s Elastic Arts, finds them performing with percussionist Ben Bennett. Bennett, a musician and performance artist, is a notable figure in the current and vibrant free improv and jazz scene in NYC; recent collaborations include Michael Foster and Jack Wright, among others. All three players metaphorically deconstruct their instruments while scattering pockets of agitated hot air on the performance floor, augmented with pedals, radioesque static sweeps, tightly propelled breaths, and extended techniques. This is dry, heavily structural, bristling stuff, with periodic digressions into melody and a strong control of focused and at times uncomfortably magnified timbres. Much of the material is urgent and electronic, filling the space and remaining firmly gestural. These two sidelong sets display slices of time coming from strong voices within this niche of contemporary improvisation. released November 18, 2019Ben Bennett - percussionZoots Houston - synthesizer, objectsFred Lonberg-Holm - celloRecorded live at Elastic Arts, Chicago by Dave Zuchowski, July 21, 2016Mastered by Branic Howard, Open Field, Portland, ORArtwork and layout by E. Lindorff-ElleryLetterpress printed by Small Fires Press, New Orleans

Ben Bennett/Zoots Houston/Fred Lonberg-Holm – Pinkie No

"A classically trained Chinese bamboo flutist, Lao Dan picked up the saxophone again around 2013 as he went wildly astray in the world of avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. While demonstrating an ever-growing ability to deliver explosive force and intensity in his free playing, Lao Dan keeps a brutal honesty in his approach to the instrument. He plays ‘jazz’ as what it is, not what it’s supposed to be. Navigating constantly between the East and the West, Lao Dan embraces a unique aesthetics which fuses all his past influences into a voice of glorious mayhem and sheer zaniness.Recorded in June 2019, this is a solo set in which two instruments – tenor saxophone and Zheng, also known as the Chinese zither – were played successively and simultaneously by hands and feet. The recording was made in one go with no overdub or effect added. Lao Dan never learned to play the Zheng properly before this very first attempt. As a result, he didn’t struggle at all to play it in an awkward way, while with the saxophone he did, as always, try very hard to do that.The cover art, created by Shenzhen-based artist Tiemei, is a portrait of Shennong, the Deity of medicine and agriculture in ancient Chinese mythology. The three tracks in Chinese Medicine are named after three species of herb each believed to have unique medicinal properties. It is our responsibility to remind you to take them with extra caution. In Chinese medicine, after all, every drug is a thirty-percent poison."

Lao Dan – Chinese Medicine

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