Ted Reichman – accordion, electronics, guitar, hammond organ, percussion, piano, pump organ, zither
Dougie Bowne – drums
Joyce Hammann – violin, viola
Roberto Rodriguez – percussion
Mark Stewart – cello, electric guitar, mandocello, tenor banjo
Doug Wieselman – clarinets, bass harmonica, guitar
“A veteran of countless Tzadik projects led by (among others), David Krakauer, Marc Ribot, Roberto Rodriguez and Anthony Coleman, accordionist Ted Reichman steps out on his own in this moody, hypnotic portrait of one of the 20th Century’s greatest photographers, Andre Kertesz.”
Though I’m no photography expert, I had known about Kertész’s work for a while. My parents had a copy of “The Concerned Photographer,” a classic book featuring Kertész along with Man Ray, Robert Capa, and others. Besides their incredible range of subject matter, from the riverbanks of Hungary to the sidewalks of Paris and the streetscapes of New York City, Kertész’s photos also captured a certain strange atmosphere that had always appealed to me. He seemed to imbue the most intimate photos of his family with a sense of abstraction, of outside-ness. But an image of anonymous gypsy children, or even a cloud over a skyscraper, could express deep warmth and empathy. It didn’t make sense, but I was very attracted to it.
Produced and recorded by Ted Reichman and Anthony Burr.
Ted Reichman – piano, guitar, percussion, electronics
Mary Halvorson – electric guitar
John Hollenbeck – drums
There is almost no accordion on My Ears Are Bent. Can you find the accordion?
My Ears Are Bent is a New York record in the sense that it was partially inspired by musical traditions that I associate with New York for various, mostly non-literal, reasons: stride piano, the softer side of free jazz, downtown no-wave improvisation, dub, hip-hop. I originally named names: Nat Cole, Big Maceo, Paul Bley, DNA, Augustus Pablo. But that’s kind of gauche, right?
It‘s also a New York record in the more literal sense that after a few years of somewhat nomadic existence, I was once again living in New York full-time and was re-encountering the people, places, literature, and history of the city. Marc Ribot once told me that living in the East Village was like “living in a personal mythology.” I agree. Which is one of the reasons why I left Manhattan and settled in Brooklyn, a place where one can patch together one’s own personal mythology, rather than one worn by previous generations of bohemia. That’s probably not really true on any level, but it felt nice to write it.
Anyway, from the 1920’s until the 1960’s, a much better writer than me named Joseph Mitchell wrote many excellent newspaper and magazine articles on New York City and other related topics, some of which are collected in a book called “My Ears Are Bent.” It was originally published in 1938, and reissued in September 2001. Nobody I know seems to have read it, but it contains many nicely hewn observations of this city. I don’t think the music on this record has very much to do with the stories of Joseph Mitchell, except for the fact that he documented his experience of this teeming, lonely, moronic, brilliant, exalted, abject, youthful, ancient, cockeyed, sincere, sanctified, hell-bent city and in my own way, I attempted to do so as well.
Theo Bleckmann – voice, electronics
Judy Dunaway – balloons
Adam Good – electric guitar
Drew Gress – bass
John Hollenbeck – percussion
Reuben Radding – bass
Ted Reichman – accordion
Chris Speed – clarinet
“This place makes the Knitting Factory look like Carnegie Hall” – Mark Dresser
The gigs that started it all… alt.coffee was the laboratory where John Hollenbeck, Matt Moran, Reuben Radding, Ted Reichman and many others developed a new style of New York creative music.
This limited edition CD, only available here at tedreichman.com, features a rare early track by the Claudia Quintet and the only commercially available recordings of Ted & John’s pre-Claudia band, Refuseniks, plus stunning improvisations by some of New York’s greatest musicians.