Daniel John Plonsey: Discography

Photo by Raven Nielsen, from Stanford Day of Noise, 1995.


CD, except as specified

Upcoming Releases, 2019

  • Saxophone and Clarinet Trios
    Music of El Cerrito Volume 14

    As leader or co-leader

    1. String Trios and Duets
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 13

      All music composed by Dan Plonsey.
      Masha Albrect, violin; Sarah Willner, viola; Mary Artmann, cello.
      Recorded Fall, 2017. Engineered by John Finkbeiner.

    2. New Zombies
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 11
      Listen/buy at: New Zombies at cdbaby

      All music composed by Dan Plonsey.
      Cory Wright, Michael Zelner, Aaron Bennett, Dan Plonsey: saxophones; Lynn Murdock: keyboards; John Shiurba, John Finkbeiner: guitars; Steve Lew: bass; Suki O'Kane, Jason Levis: percussion; John Hanes: Drums
      Recorded in October, 2017, released September, 2018. Produced by Michael Zelner and Dan Plonsey

    3. Horton Clears the Fence
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 12a
      Composed by Dan Plonsey.

      Dan Plonsey, clarinet.
      Recorded in 2015, released May, 2016.
      Engineered and produced by Plonsey.

    4. Kabaddi Season
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 9
      Composed by Dan Plonsey.

      Dan Plonsey, tenor saxophones, Roland TR-808 samples.
      Recorded in 2014/15, released in September, 2015.
      Engineered and produced by Plonsey.

    5. Dog Walk Season
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 10
      Composed by Dan Plonsey.

      Dan Plonsey, tenor and alto saxophones, clarinet; Jay Rozen, tuba; Randy Porter, guitar; Josh Smith, drums, tenor saxophone, and guitar.
      Recorded June, 2015, released in September, 2015.
      Engineered by Myles Boisen.

    6. If I Were a Person Who
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 5
      Composed by Dan Plonsey.

      Dan Plonsey, C melody saxophones; Lynn Murdock, keyboards; John Shiurba, electric guitar; Cory Wright, bass clarinet; Eli Crews, bass; Michael Zelner, clarinet; Josh Smith, soprano saxophone; Suki O'Kane, drums; John Hanes, balaphon and gongs.
      Recorded in 2011, released in Spring, 2013.
      Engineered and co-produced by Myles Boisen.

    7. Hockey Season
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 7
      Composed by Dan Plonsey.

      Dan Plonsey, C melody saxophone, clarinet, toys; Phillip Greenlief, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Josh Smith, soprano saxophone, clarinet; Cory Wright, bass clarinet, clarinet, baritone sax; Michael Zelner, clarinet; David Ryther, violin; Myra Chachkin, cello; John Shiurba, banjo; Lynn Murdock, keyboards; LaMantia, tenor steelpan; Suki O'Kane, marimba; John Hanes, baliphone; Wayne Vitale, Balinese drum.
      Recorded in 2011, released in 2013.
      Engineered and co-produced by Myles Boisen.

    8. New Monsters: First Appearances
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 6
      Composed by Dan Plonsey.

      Randy McKean, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone; Dan Plonsey, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Cory Wright, baritone sax, piccolo, clarinet; Michael Zelner, clarinet, organ; Chris Grady, trumpet; Tom Yoder, trombone; Jay Rozen, tuba; Murray Campbell, English horn, oboe, violin; Sarah Willner, viola; Lynn Murdock, organ; John Shiurba, guitar; Steve Horowitz, bass; Suki O'Kane, drums, percussion; Ward Spangler, drums, mallet instruments, percussion.
      Recorded July 12 & 13, 2010; released in 2012.
      Engineered and co-produced by Myles Boisen.

    9. Football Season
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 4
      Composed by Dan Plonsey.

      Dan Plonsey, alto and baritone saxophones; with: Matt Ingalls, clarinet; Randy McKean, alto saxophone; Cory Wright, tenor saxophone and bass clarinet; Jared Prolo, bassoon; Tom Yoder, trombone; Lynn Murdock, keyboards; John Shiurba, electric bass; Josh Smith, drums and tenor saxophone. Recorded in 2009, released in Spring, 2013.
      Engineered and co-produced by Eli Crews.

    10. This Humanly Mess, The Imperfect Masters

      Music of El Cerrito for clarinet and boots, vol #23.
      This is the third recording by Imperfect Masters: Plonsey and Robert Horton.
      Full of Nothing, FON35, 2012.
      Here's a nice review in heathen harvest
    11. New Monsters: Live at 55
      New Monsters Live at Studio 55, available as MP3. With: Plonsey, tenor saxophone and clarinet; Steve Adams, alto and soprano saxophones and flute; Scott Looney, piano; Steve Horowitz, electric bass; John Hanes, drums.
    12. New Monsters

      (Posi-tone, March, 2012).
      With: Plonsey, tenor saxophone and clarinet; Steve Adams, alto and soprano saxophones and flute; Scott Looney, piano; Steve Horowitz, electric bass; Jim Bove, drums.
    13. Wise King Taken by the Foolish One
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 2B

      (UNlimited Sedition, December, 2006).
      Sample bits of music
      A two-hour-long 2-CD piece in 26 sections, this is the second part of the Kingdoms Diptych. As with the first part (Volume 2a, see below), the music is performed by Daniel Popsicle. More information: Full Press Release I consider this recording to be one of my very best works.
      I did a great deal of writing around this piece, mostly after it was recorded, reflecting upon the multiple meanings of the title in light of the music. Start at the page about the Kingdoms Diptych and then proceed into the collection of Wise King essays.
    14. Music of El Cerrito, Volume 8: "Jazz" at Yoshi's

      (digitalis, foxglove 086; released September 30, 2005).
      Sample bits of music
      Review by Apex Online
      The music on this CD is culled from a performance by a 20-person version of Daniel Popsicle at Yoshi's, September 30, 2002. The concert was under the auspices of Jazz in Flight.
    15. Imperfect Masters:No One Knows Why

      (students of decay, SoD-31, 2007).
      Sample bits of music
      Since for whatever reason I've listed this discography in most- to least-recent order, this is the second release by Imperfect Masters, a collaboration with Robert Horton. Unlike the first release, these tracks are the result of improvisation and utilize relatively little overdubbing. My own satisfaction with these pieces waxes and wanes - I'm not often happy with my work on the first track - it was the first playing we'd done that day and has the hesitancy that sometimes marks a first attempt. I hope to do more with Robert in the near future - I feel that we're close to if not quite entirely on top of something interesting in the world of improvisation - a world I spend less and less time with - it too often seems old and predictable.
    16. Imperfect Masters:Strike Out

      (digitalis, foxglove 104; released February, 2006)
      Sample bits of music
      This is a collaboration with Robert Horton, who is credited with: vibrator percussion tree, sex machine, computer, practice bagpipe chanter, trumpet, perc, casio mt-68, casio fz-1, sampler, bass guitar, bowed boot, dulcimer organ, filters, soundhack, vocals, soprano recorder, reel to reel, sine waves, broken cassette player, noise cancelling microphones, fuzz boot, snare, mouth pieceless trumpet, cds, turntable, rubber band, string harp, clay ruby bass. I play: alto sax, reverse alto, oboe, alto clarinet, clarinet, bass, violin, farfisa organ, flute-like instrument, bass clarinet, baritone sax, soprano sax, tenor sax. There are guests: Gino Robair, Henry Kuntz, Hal Hughes and Mike Sugar.
    17. Music of El Cerrito, Volume 2a: Moving About, Humming, Still Our Flowers Are Blooming, Under the Old Portcullis

      (UNlimited Sedition, April, 2004).
      Sample bits of music
      A one-hour-long piece in 16 sections plus 1 re-mix by Robert Horton, performed by Daniel Popsicle. More information: Full Press Release
      Review in Dusted Magazine
      Review in Jazz Weekly
      Review in ?Musica? Piero Scaruffi's Music Review
    18. What Leave Behind: Concerto for Electric Guitar and Toy Orchestra
      by Dan Plonsey, performed by Fred Frith and Toychestra.

      (S.K. Records, May, 2004)
      Sample bits of music
    19. birdless inspiration, dancing plotless, forward deck, flashlit gloaming, potlid

      ARTSHIP Recordings 09, January, 2002. Improvisation upon solo baritone saxophone, mini cd (21 minutes).
    20. Daniel Popsicle Plays Music by Dan Plonsey
      Music of El Cerrito Volume 1
      yes.no.lp, 2000.
      The first recording of Daniel Popsicle. Half the tracks are from the first performance at the Starry Plough, December 2, 1999, and the rest from a recording by Myles Boisen, at his studio, in 2000. Approximately 50 copies made, never sold commercially.
    21. Baseball Season
    22. Music of El Cerrito Volume 3
      yes.no.lp, 2000.
      Recorded by Myles Boisen, at his studio, 2000. Approximately 50 copies made, never sold commercially.
    23. Open Door And Desire

      NewTone Records, 1999.
      Sample bits of music
      Volume 2 of music for multiple saxophones (plus keyboard and voice).
      Review in All About Jazz
    24. Understanding Human Behavio

      Music for oboe, cheap synth and voice, performed live, with real-time processing and effects by Myles "Earl Wacky" Boisen. Limited Sedition 006, 1999.
      Sample bits of music
      This CD, recorded the day after my 40th birthday, is one of the most popular with people who actually like music, and who aren't afraid of the sound of the oboe as played by someone who can't play it, but who can do certain other things.
    25. Ivory-Bill
      Music and Arts, May 20, 1997.
      Solo and multiple saxophone compositions (all parts played by Plonsey).
      Sample bits of music
      Reviews of Ivory Bill:
    26. Child King Dictator Fool

      The Great Circle Sax Quartet. New World Records 80516-2, March, 1997.
    27. Another Curiosity Piece

      Plonsey, Hinds, Hinds, Ben-Ya'akova. Omni Sonic, 1996. More info and musical samples.
    28. Dipping Into Color
      The Manufacturing of Humidifers.
      yes.no.lp / retro.P 03 (tape), 1992.
      Clockwise from top center: Steve Horowitz, Plonsey, Ward Spangler, Jim Bove, Randy Porter
    29. Dire Images of Beauty
      The Manufacturing of Humidifers.

      Plonsey, Randy Porter, Steve Horowitz, Ward Spangler, and Raj Mehta yes.no.lp / retro.P 02, 1991.
    30. The Manufacturing of Humidifers
      The Manufacturing of Humidifers.

      Plonsey, Randy Porter, Steve Horowitz, and Jim Bove yes.no.lp / retro.P 01 (tape), 1989.

      As leader or co-leader on a compilation

    31. Wavelength Infinity
      (compilation of Sun Ra compositions). Rastascan, 1995. (review)
      An arrangement of Sun Ra's composition "Constellation" which includes a half-sung recitation of his poem "The Art Scene" with members of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, trumpet, bass and tenor sax.
    32. Somethin' Else!!!, (compilation). Somethin' Else magazine (tape)
      The tape is a compilation which includes a re-mix of "But we Love You, Charlie Brown" (from Ivory Bill). The magazine includes a long interview with Plonsey, as well as interviews and articles about Evan Parker, Gino Robair and others. The tape also includes a piece from Parker/Guy/Lytton's June 21, 1995 concert at Beanbender's.
    33. (Y)earbook, Vo2l. 1 (compilation). Rastascan, 1993.

      I contributed a solo tenor sax piece, "The Idiotic Repetion of Idiots." This was taken from a session of solo recordings engineered by Steve Horowitz in his basement studio. I believe I have a DAT of the complete session.
    34. Akrobat Schooon, (compilation). Akrobat Schooon (tape)
      One track by the Manufacturing of Humidifiers (from the Dire Images of Beauty sessions), and one by Everything in the World (which would become Dreamland), 1990.
    35. Freeway Compilation Tape, (compilation). Freeway Magazine (tape)
      One track by the Manufacturing of Humidifiers, an alternate take of "Itchy Day" from Dipping Into Color, 1990.

      As a collaborator or sideman

    36. Henry Kuntz, Envision Ensemble: live at Berkeley Arts Festival
      Henry Kuntz, Dan Plonsey, Brian Godchaux, Esten Lindgren, John Kuntz.
      performed October 10, 2014.
      Humming Bird Records HBD OI/CDR 11
    37. John Shiurba, 5 x 5: 2.5 = A
      with: John Shiurba, guitar; Devin Hoff, contrabass; Ava Mendoza, guitar; Plonsey, alto and baritone sax, oboe; Gino Robair, drums.
      Recorded 5/5/09 at Tom's Place, Berkeley, by Tom Duff. Mastered by John Shiurba.
      All compositions by John Shiurba. Released 2013, Limited Sedition, ULS08.
    38. John Shiurba, 5 x 5: 1.3 = D
      with: John Shiurba, guitar; Matt Ingalls, clarinet, violin; Plonsey, alto sax, alto clarinet, oboe, violin; Gino Robair, percussion, vioin; Matthew Sperry, contrbass.
      Recorded 9/20/02 at Guerilla Recording by Myles Boisen. Mastered at Headless Buddha by Myles Boisen.
      All compositions by John Shiurba.
      Released 2013, Limited Sedition, ULS04.
    39. Instant Composers Group #1

      Dave Barrett and I played "instant compositions" by Steve Horowitz and Randy Hostetler. Steve and Randy gave us instructions for structured improvisations, and we then we played. Recorded in Steve's basement studio. I don't believe Steve ever released this as a CD, but it can be downloaded from Amazon or itunes. There's some nice playing here, and Steve and Randy's ideas assured the project of strong contrasts. The main thing I remember is being asked to play along with someone snoring, and then Steve and Randy removed the snoring, leaving just Dave and me.
    40. Steve Horowitz's Mousetrap

      (Fluff-Tone Records, 2007).
      This is a 3-CD set that comes in a video box. The first two CDs are of Steve's band with Peter van Bergen and myself on reeds; Steve Horowitz, bass; and Dave Revelli, drums. Michael Moore, alto sax, appears on several tracks. These CDs were recorded in May, 1999, live at sevearl locations in the Netherlands, and in an Amsterdam studio. The third CD is really a collaboration between Horowitz and myself of Sun Ra inspired compositions, including four of mine. it features van Bergen and myself, reeds; Joost Buis, trombone; Horowitz, bass; and Jim Bove, drums, and was recorded February, 2001 at the Bimhuis.
    41. First Light, Robert Horton.
      I play clarinet on the first track.
    42. Kyrgyz, Tom Carter, Robert Horton, Loren Chasse, Christine Boepple.
      On track 6 I play alto sax.
    43. just before setting the sky on fire, Robert Horton.
      I play alto sax on the last track.
    44. La Tigre e la Neue, soundtrack (to the Roberto Benigni movie), with music by Tom Waits and others. Sony BMG, 2005.
      I play clarinet on the first track, "You Can Never Hold Back Spring" (Waits/Brennan).
    45. Orphans, Tom Waits,
      Epitaph, 2006.
      This 3-CD set appears to collect recent Waits recordings that hadn't found places on his recent albums. I appear only on CD 2 (a.k.a. "Bawlers"), track 2, in the same recording of "You Can Never Hold Back Spring" (Waits/Brennan) as in the above item.
    46. A Piece of Time, Robert Horton. (nothing out there #32, (2015)
      I play saxophone on tracks 3 and 12, "That's a joke son," and "A walk with Louis," respectively.
    47. Future Ears free jazz copy? noise, Robert Horton. (jyrk, hoalrecords, 2005)
      I play alto sax on tracks 1 and 4, "pluto" and "free jazz copy ? noise" respectively. I'll add a description eventually, but meanwhile, buy it and Play Loud Only!!!!!
    48. John Schott's Typical Orchestra, John Schott's Typical Orchestra. (John Schott, 2005).
      I play baritone sax on the sixth track, "The World is Upside Down" (Schott). This is a really good album that grows with repeated listenings. It's really quite an idiosyncratic approach to music - more an informed parallel universe of genres which are similar to ours but which are infected by various... difficulties and/or shortcuts. Or you could say: music made by a person whose consciousness of a huge amount of music history leads to crossings and double-crossings. Or you might notice nothing awry and just appreciate the album's complex yet listenable sounds.
    49. The Beck of Beyond, Frank Pahl. (Novel Cell Poem, 2003).
      I play clarinet on one track, "Binary Plonsey." This is a really magical album of mechanically played instruments mixed with guitar, bass, whistling, harmonium, singing, euphonium, etc., mostly played by Frank Pahl. There are many layers of shimmering and twinkling sounds co-existing with drones and/or simple chord changes. Highly recommended!
    50. Nine Compositions (DVD) 2003 , Anthony Braxton.
      The ensemble includes Taylor Ho Bynum, Greg Kelley, John Shiurba, Scott Rosenberg, Dan Plonsey, Gino Robair, Jay Rozen, Kyle Bruckmann, Liz Allbee, Justin Yang, ma++ Ingalls, and Sara Schoenbeck. 6.5 hours of 12-tets and smaller ensembles.
    51. 6 Compositions (GTM) 2001 , Anthony Braxton.
      Co-released by Rastascan, Limited Sedition, Barely Auditable.
      This is a 4-CD set, of which I appear on CDs 1 and 2 (Composition 286 for tentet), and on CD 3 (Composition 289 for saxophone quartet). Recorded January 6 and 7, 2001, Middletown, CT.
    52. Blood Money, Tom Waits,
      Anti 86629-2 (2002).
      There's only a little Dan Plonsey audible on this CD, but I spent more time working on it than on many other albums in this list; certainly I got paid more!
    53. New Millenium Orchestra, Myles Boisen & Friends.
      Limited Sedition, LS027.
      Another 4 CD set! A 2-day music improvisation event supervised by Myles Boisen, recorded by Myles Boisen, Oakland, CA, 12/31/00 & 1/1/01. 35 tracks, 286 minutes, limited to 63 numbered copies. I appear on CD 3 and 4. Available Mar 21, 2002.
      Collective Personnel: Myles Boisen, Matthew Brubeck, Kyle Bruckmann, Lara Bruckmann, Erik Carter, Graham Connah, John Finkbeiner, Larry Ochs, Dan Plonsey, Gino Robair, John Shiurba, Dave Slusser, Matthew Sperry, Karen Stackpole, Ron Thompson.
    54. Shuffle Play,
      John Schott. New World, 2000.
      Several solos I'm pleased with on a very very fine album of music composed, re-composed, and un-composed by John Schott. This is a great album!
    55. Buddy Systems, Gino Robair. Miniscus, 1999.
      One of the dozen duets of Gino Robair (percussion) and friends, on clarinet
    56. Insect & Western (Insect Attracter),
      Eugene Chadbourne. Leo Records, 1998.
    57. Horror Part One, Eugene Chadbourne,
      'Originally [sic] released on the now defunct House of Chadponk label, the first in the horror series was released in 1997, with saxophonists Walter Mali and Dan Plonsey and others. Dedicated to "Godfather of Gore" Lucio Fulci, director of such classics as "Zombie," "The Gates of Hell" and "The Beyond."'
    58. Jungle Cookies, Eugene Chadbourne. Old Gold, 1998. Also available (perhaps?) as a tape from Eugene Chadbourne as, Harinpakker Steeg (And on the eight day God created Mad Doctors: And God said, "Jungle Cookies" so there were Jungle Cookies), Eugene Chadbourne. 1997 (tape)
      This 2-CD set or tape is a collection of a handful of collages. On several, solo sax improvisations (from the Ivory Bill recording sessions) are mixed into various environments, most notably the sounds of Harinpakker Steeg, a street in Amsterdam.
    59. Goya,
      Eugene Chadbourne. Double cassette.
      This was listed on ebay, details given are: Private issue double cassette.Has Chadbourne solo banjo piece as well as music by the quartet: ASHLEY ADAMS, TOM HEASLEY, DAN PLONSEY, GINO ROBAIR. Tapes come in stickered Goya box.
    60. Some Prefer Cake,
      Eskimo. Vaccination Records 1998.
      Alto and tenor sax on a few tracks, a couple solos. Eskimo is one of my all-time favorite bands! This album is a soundtrack to a film, and not necessarily the first Eskimo CD to hear, but it's still very very very good.
    61. Wondering in Volume, Mumble and Peg. Vaccination Records Vac013, 1997.
      Clarinet backgrounds on one track. I like this album, but by now (November, 2000), the band has progressed far beyond where they were in 1997, so look for whatever their most recent release happens to be!
    62. Pack Small "r" Half Inch, Ron Anderson. Rastascan, 1996.
      Various saxophones on about 5 tracks. My favorite Ron Anderson project (he's known as leader of the Molecules). Crazy stop/start stuff, with rhythms that had to be learned painstakingly by ear being entirely un-notatable. Not at all easy listening, take it 5-10 minutes at a time. At most!
    63. Connections, John Hinds. Omni Sonic, 1995. (review)
      Saxophones on a couple tracks. John is a genius.
    64. God's Fools,
      Dreamland. Caliban, 1994. More info and musical samples.
    65. The Code, Steve Horowitz and The Code. Ponk, 1994.
      Bass Clarinet on one track.
    66. American Works for Balinese Gamelan Orchestra, Gamelan Sekar Jaya. New World Records, 1993.
      Baritone sax on the first piece, an arrangement by Evan Ziporyn of a Balinese composition, for gamelan and sax quartet (of which three of the players are members of the Great Circle Saxophone Quartet).

    Ensembles in which I Play/have Played

    As an occasional guest: And in the more distant past...
    See also:
    Main Plonsey Page
    Includes band bios, links to audio samples, photos, etc.
    and past appearances too.
    BEANBENDER's: From 1995-2000, With Bill Hsu, Nancy Clarke, Alan Brightbill and Steve Mays, Plonsey booked shows of weird weird weird wonderful bizarre music related to but distinct from jazz, new music, whatever else. Here is our archive of shows and (self-written) reviews.

    Dan Plonsey