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The Many Faces Of Mike Pride

Mark Corroto By

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When you hear a new artist, naturally you tell others and spread the word. When the discovery is someone like percussionist and multi- instrumentalist Mike Pride—with his huge discography—you ask yourself, where have I been?

Born in Maine in 1979, Pride now makes his home in NYC. Like saxophonist and fellow New Yorker John Zorn, pinning Pride down to a single classification is nearly impossible. He comes to jazz and improvisation from a punk rock perspective, but his respect for the tradition of improvisation is readily apparent in these recordings. Here is a sampling of just a few of the projects he has organized.

James Ilgenfritz/Aaron Ali Shaikh/Mike Pride

Deal Breaker



This limited edition recording (just 200 copies) reconfigures two jazz standards, plus one Pride original. Both "There Will Never Be Another You and "Stella By Starlight only surface briefly during the lengthy discourse the musicians carry on. Sticking with the traditional drum kit, Pride and acoustic bassist James Ilgenfritz alter time constantly—stretching the tension, exaggerating the silences, and developing a platform for alto saxophonist Aaron Ali Shaikh to apply his craft. This classic acoustic improvisation trio is a fully formed affair.

Mike Pride's From Bacteria To Boys


Funhole Records


Another traditional saxophone/bass/drums setup, this recording brings the noise with a funk/punk/modern Downtown sound. The repetitive saxophone on the opener recalls John Lurie's early work, weaving rhythms with head nodding beats. The thumping stops long enough to reveal the multi-time mix of hypnotic sounds here. Pride alternates between the hard driving opener and his flair for minimal sounds and more open landscapes. The two minute "I'm Not Your Friend exercises the noisier side of hardcore feedback and mayhem—Peace (not peaceful) out.

Charlie Looker & Mike Pride


Funhole Records


Guitarist Charlie Looker (Zs, Brutal Chamber Sextet, Lavender) created this 23-minute EP as a duet with Pride to either honor the hardcore tradition or begin a revolution in classical music. Pride echews the light touch for his snare and kick drum here. He continuously prods Looker to blow the top off, but the guitarist maintains his note production. Fans of drummer Mick Harris (Napalm Death, Scorn) will revel in the intensity these two can bring to such a small setting.

Mike Pride

The Ensemble Is An Electronic Device

Public Eyesore


Yet another approach by Pride. This time free improvisation without regular rhythms and beats. As these affairs go, pieces can be hit-and-miss. Parts thrill and leave you wondering, others get you annoyed. The electronics and slices of dissonance parse well with Aaron Ali Shaikn's stabbing soprano and alto saxophone sound, as does the hand-in-glove feel of Gerald Menke's pedal steel guitar and Jessica Pavone's viola. Pride wields bells and electronics on this drone based ethereal 35-minute composition.

Bunda Love Quartet

Strange Mane

Sachimay Recordings


This improvisation album is from Sachimay Recordings' artist series Interventions. The open-ended nature of the series allows, actually calls for, experimentation. Recorded in 2005 in Portland, Maine sounds and voices are suspended somewhere between language and music. Well, not exactly music making. The abstractions produced are minimalist improvisation with some stellar results, more poetry than sound.

Tracks and Personnel

Deal Breaker

Tracks: There Will Never Be Another You; Stella By Starlight; For Ustad Bismillah Khan and Namagiripettai Krishan.

Personnel: James Ilgenfritz: double bass; Aaron Ali Shaikh: alto, soprano & sopranino saxophones; Mike Pride; drums.


Tracks: I'm Not Afraid To Be A Man; Simply Frances; .11111233334; I'm Not Your Friend.

Personnel: Darius Jones: alto Saxophone; Evan Lipson: bass; Mike Pride: drums.


Tracks: Period.

Personnel: Charlie Looker: guitar; Mike Pride: drums.

The Ensemble Is An Electronic Device

Tracks: The Ensemble Is An Electronic Device.

Personnel: Gerald Menke: pedal steel guitar; Brian Moran: electronics; Jessica Pavone: viola; Aaron Ali Shaikh: soprano & alto saxophones; Mike Pride: percussion, electronics, cassette.

Strange Mane

Tracks: Baadatchibo-t-t-t; HOO! Headwayer, my ha; Strange Mane; The Sound Of S.D. Warren's Smell; Message For Gooreday; Peckerhead.

Personnel: Mike Pride: amplified & non-amplified percussion, open circuit wiring, dual feedback machine, voice, drum machine stick; id m theft able: voice, electronics, percussion, etc.; Blanca Martin: violin; Don Pride: classical guitar.


Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
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