Zentner, Michael - Present Time (blow out price!)
Guitarist/violinist Michael Zentner was a founding member of The Muffins (he appears on Chronometers) and left before the best-known period of their work (when they went from a 5 piece to a 4 piece and added drummer Paul Sears). He did a bunch of musical work in the mid/late 1970s and found himself in NYC for a few years where he worked on this, his first solo album. Appearing on it is a pretty amazing cast of guests: Daevid Allen, Bill Bacon, George Bishop, Peter Blegvad, Carla Bley, Alan Braufman, Kenwood Denard, Fred Frith, John Greaves, Lisa Herman, Percy Jones, Hansford Rowe, Frank Wyatt and a few others. It's less than the sum of those amazing parts of course - if it was greater than the sum, then it would be the greatest album in the world!
".... How he managed to get chunks of Brand X and Henry Cow to play with him, hoom cares. The results speak for themselves: playful, toylike melodies twisted into strange and fantastical creations by some of the better warped minds in the business. Reminds me of Allen’s later adventures some of the time (“Parts,” “Chapter VII”), other times of Jean-Luc Ponty. The Ponty comparison is worth idling at, because both play the violin (Zentner also plays guitar) and both “compose” songs that take a simple theme and riff off it for a while. Present Time is more subversive than Ponty’s music, however, truer to the progressive spirit. And the music is also more complex; the interplay of “A Piece of Odd” for example yields richer results than Ponty’s later, hermetic recordings. So if you’re lingering over another Ponty purchase (mulling over an Individual Choice), consider expanding your world instead with Present Time. It’s better suited to the sonically adventurous (“The Case of the Stolen Riff”), the sort of folks who have at least one Van Der Graaf Generator album under their Van Allen belt..."-conellyco.com