The Squid's Ear
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Chris Pitsiokos / Susana Santos Silva / Torbjorn Zetterberg: Child Of Illusion (Clean Feed)

A profound sense of drama in free playing from the young collective trio of NY saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos with the establish partnership of Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Swedish bassist Torbjourn Zetterberg, in jazz is chamber-like, informed by their musical background that spreads over a myriad of aesthetics, full of nuance and beautiful interplay. ... Click to View


Friends & Neighbors (Roligheten / Johansson / Gronberg / Rune Strom / Ostvang): What's Next? (Clean Feed)

A great example of the Norwegian creative jazz scene, the quintet of Andree Roligheten on sax & clarinet, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums take their name from an Ornette Coleman LP, as they show us 'What's Next' by blending lyrical and free approaches with unexpected twists and turns. ... Click to View


Jacob Sacks: Fishes (Clean Feed)

Eleven new works from New York pianist Jacob Sacks in a quintet with some of NY's finest--Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, Tony Malaby on tenor & soprano saxophones, Michael Formanek on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums--referencing traditional jazz influences like Monk & Mingus with superbly creative soloing fostered by the freedom of Sack's compositions. ... Click to View


Mette Rasmussen / Chris Corsano: A View Of The Moon (From The Sun) (Clean Feed)

Following their Relative Pitch album "All the Ghosts at Once", the free improvising duo of alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and drummer Chris Corsano, also on slide clarinet, release their 2nd album, a live concert at Cankarjev dom, in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2015, pushing the limits on both instruments through radical technique and inventive approaches to their playing. ... Click to View


Master Oogway: The Concert Koan [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Powerful electric jazz roots from the Norwegia quartet of Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on saxophone, Havard Nordberg Funderud on guitar, Karl Erik E. Horndalsveen on double bass, and Martin Mellem on drums, shredding inspirations from 60s electric Miles and Ornette, with a rock influenced rhythm section and electric guitar work driving great soloing. ... Click to View


Heaven (Henrik Pultz Melbye / Ole Mofjell): IAPOE [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Inspired by European improvisation, 60's NY-loft-avant-garde and Ethiopian jazz, Heaven, the Norwegian collaborative project of Danish saxophonist Henrik Pultz Melbye and Norwegian drummer Ole Mofjell, merge rhythmic and melodic realms, adding stretches of noise and non-idiomatic sounds, in fast-paced, highly-energetic, and highly-informed performances. ... Click to View


Peter McEachern Trio : Bone-Code (Clean Feed)

A trombone trio led by Peter McEachern, with the frequent collaborators, the formidable rhythm team of Mario Pavone on bass and Michael Sarin on drums; here they dedicate their lyrical, blues tinged but avant embracing album to Roswell Rudd as they play a set of McEachern compositions, along with one from Mario Pavone and one from Alice Coltrane. ... Click to View


Jonas Cambien Trio (w / Roligheten / Wildhagen): We Must Mustn't We [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Leveraging influences in improvisation and contemporary compositional music, Belgian/Oslo pianist Jonas Cambien, a member of Simiskina and Platform, extends his own trio of saxophonist Andre Rolighete and drummer Andreas Wildhagen with trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen on 2 tracks, as they balance jazz, avant, free improv and other hybrid forms in a compellingly creative album. ... Click to View


Gunter Sommer Baby (w/ Till Bronner): Baby's Party (Intakt)

For his 75th birthday celebration, German free jazz legend Guther "Baby" Sommer joined with German trumpeter and flugelhornist Till Bronner for a rhythmically inventive, lyrical, and joyful album of free improvisation, nine pieces from Sommer plus "Danny Boy" (Weatherly) and Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood", making for a stylish and upbeat party! ... Click to View


Stefen Aeby Trio (w/ Andre Pousaz / Michi Stulz): The London Concert (Intakt)

The Stefan Aeby Trio at the Intakt Festival at Vortex Jazz Club in London 2017, the pianist leading his trio with bassist Andre Pousaz and drummer Michi Stulz through lyrical original compositions from Aeby, with one from Pousaz, a wonderful example of the modern piano trio that embrace a wealth of styles and approaches while flowing clearly in jazz history. ... Click to View


Skerebotte Fatta: Riders From The Ra (Creative Sources)

Members of the Polish Infant Joy Quintet and Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra--saxophonist Jan Malkowski and drummer Dominik Mokrzewski--pair off in a dynamic album of solid free jazz, influences feeling like Albert Ayler or Steve Lacy, as the two show great technical and creative skills, sometimes in great motion, sometimes reflective, showing great command and direction. ... Click to View


Ornette Coleman : Looking For Ornette [DVD] (La Huite)

Two films documenting and seeking insight into the work of late alto saxophonist and free jazz trail blazer Ornette Coleman, to some an iconoclast, to others a pioneering musician; the first film by Jacque Goldstein creates a portrait through interviews of those influenced by him; the 2nd, Stephane Jourdain follows Coleman's influence in today's music. ... Click to View


Donald Sturge / Anthony McKenzie II (feat. Elliot Sharp, Bill Laswell, Vernon Reid): Silenced II - Views from the Auction Block [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

Drummer Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II trades off duos with a set of masterful musicians in the second volume of his "Silenced" project, here with guitarist Elliott Sharp for a complex and inspired dialog; with bassist Bill Laswell for a rich and moody soundscape; and with guitarist Vernon Reid in a piece for McKenzie's daughter; plus one solo drum piece. ... Click to View


Listening Group (feat. Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Jeff Snyder / Stelios Mihas / Federico Ughi): Live at the Forward Festival 2016 [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

A live performance at Forward Festival 2016, in Brooklyn, NY, merging chamber music, free improvisation, free and avant jazz and other forms in a an ensemble with Daniel Carter (sax & trumpet), Claire de Brunner (bassoon), Patrick Holmes (clarinet), Nick Lyons (sax), Jeff Snyder (electronics), Stelios Mihas (guitar), Jonah Rosenberg (piano), Zach Swanson (bass), and Federico Ughi (drums). ... Click to View


Listening Group (feat. Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Jeff Snyder / Stelios Mihas / Federico Ughi): Live at the Forward Festival 2016 (577)

A live performance at Forward Festival 2016, in Brooklyn, NY, merging chamber music, free improvisation, free and avant jazz and other forms in a an ensemble with Daniel Carter (sax & trumpet), Claire de Brunner (bassoon), Patrick Holmes (clarinet), Nick Lyons (sax), Jeff Snyder (electronics), Stelios Mihas (guitar), Jonah Rosenberg (piano), Zach Swanson (bass), and Federico Ughi (drums). ... Click to View


Choi Bae Sun / Junji Hirose / Motoharu Yoshizawa / Kim Dae Hwan: Arirang Fantasy (NoBusiness)

A 1995 live concert at Romanisches Cafe in Tokyo from the South Korean and Japanese free improvising quartet of Choi Sun Bae on trumpet, Junji Hirose on tenor & soprano saxophones, Motoharu Yoshizawa on electric vertical five strings bass, and Kim Dae Hwan on percussion, in five collective improvisations including an homage to Charlie Parker. ... Click to View


Choi Bae Sun / Junji Hirose / Motoharu Yoshizawa / Kim Dae Hwan: Arirang Fantasy [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

A 1995 live concert at Romanisches Cafe in Tokyo from the South Korean and Japanese free improvising quartet of Choi Sun Bae on trumpet, Junji Hirose on tenor & soprano saxophones, Motoharu Yoshizawa on electric vertical five strings bass, and Kim Dae Hwan on percussion, in five collective improvisations including an homage to Charlie Parker. ... Click to View


Morton Feldman: Triadic Memories & Piano [2 CDS] (Hat [now] ART)

Two substantial works for solo piano from late composer Morton Feldman, performed by Dutch avant-garde pianist John Snijders; "Triad Memories" is presented in two sections over 2 CDs, following Feldmans's socre, Snijders holding the sustain pedal halfway down for unusual harmonic decay, while "Piano" exploring permutations in a work of suspended time and motion. ... Click to View


Morton Feldman: Trio (Hat [now] ART)

Reissuing the 1996 recording of Morton Feldmans' "Trio" performed by Ives Ensemble members Job Ter Haar on cello, John Snijders on piano, and Josje Ter Haar on violin, Feldman's compositions sparse with tension over spacious moments of lyrical beauty, tense dissonance, unhurried repetition, and a sense of drifting momentum, evasive yet beautiful music. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble: Blast Furnace (Evil Clown)

PEK and Yuri Zbitnov's working project exploring chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments using a wide range of sonorities, including gongs, chimes, glockenspiel, Tibetan Bowls and other metallic sounds and horns, plus accompaniment tracks, with special guests Bob Moores on trumpet and guitar and Eric Woods on analog synth, and performing real time Signal Processing. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Proof Theory (Evil Clown)

The core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra is Boston area PEK on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion, here expanded with Eric Dahlman on trumpet, whistles and game calls, and and Jim Warshauer on saxophone, in an incredibly diverse live performance at Outpost 186, in Cambridge, 2018. ... Click to View


Antonis Anissegos / Christos Yermenoglou: Intertitles (Creative Sources)

Berlin pianist Antonis Anissegos and Greek drummer Christos Yermenoglou in an album of obscurely titled free improvisations, sophisticated and thoughtful discourse using both traditional and extended techniques, Anissegos inside and out of the piano, as the two converse through understated yet strong melodic threads, a truly lovely and accomplished album. ... Click to View


Univers Zero: Ceux Du Dehors [VINYL] (Sub Rosa)

A remarkable work of chamber rock in the the 1981 third album from Belgian band Univers Zero led by drummer/percussionist Daniel Denis, who alo provides the complex and darkly brooding compositions for the ensemble, inspired and guided by the writing of H. P. Lovecraft, here in a much-needed vinyl reissue. ... Click to View


Mike Westbrook: Starcross Bridge (Hatology)

A solo piano album of lyrical jazz compositions from London pianist and band leader Mike Westbrook, including pieces from Monk, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Lennon & McCartney, and original work from himself and his partnership with Kate Westbrook, an album of musical and personal references with the title track dedicated to saxophonist Lou Gare. ... Click to View


Luzia von Wyl Ensemble: Throwing Coins (Hatology)

Swiss pianist and composer leads her Luzia von Wyl Ensemble, a 10 piece band orchestrated with piano, bass, drums, flute, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, cello, and marimba, in a series of original jazz pieces that embrace third-stream jazz and Middle Eastern modal melodies, her players taking on exceptional solo spots fueled by her sophisticated compositions. ... Click to View


Dave Rempis / Jasper Stadhouders / Frank Rosaly: ICOCI (Aerophonic)

With long-time Chicago partners saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly, plus Dutch guitarist and electric bassist Jasper Stadhouders (Cactus Truck, Made to Break), this new trio plays assertive and energetic free jazz that shreds melodic riffs and raw power, decelerating for contemplative moments, as heard in two large improvisations named by digital sequences. ... Click to View


Dave Rempis / Tomeka Reid / Joshua Abrams: Ithra (Aerophonic)

Chamber-oriented jazz that borrows from compositional forms by three leaders of the Chicago improv scene--Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophone, Tomeka Reid on cello, and Joshua Abrams on bass--in a collective work that demonstrates the unity of stylistic approaches through the thoughtful integration of a variety of styles and strategies. ... Click to View


Ken Vandermark (w/ Daisy / Kurzmann / Stadhouders / / Wooley / Yeh): Momentum 2 & 3 [2 CDs] (Audiographic Records)

Two sessions blending free jazz with experimental ea work: Nashville with Tim Daisy (drums), Christof Kurzmann (ppooll), Jasper Stadhouders (electric bass), Vandermark (reeds), Nate Wooley (trumpet) and C. Spencer Yeh (violin); then Chicago with Tim Barnes (drums), Nick Macri (acoustic bass), Lou Mallozzi (turntables), Vandermark (reeds) and Mars Williams (sax). ... Click to View


Akira Sakata / Nicolas Field: First Thirst | Live at Cave12 (Not Two)

The long-running collaboration of Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata, also on clarinet and voice, in a concert at Cave12 in Geneva, Switzerland with Swiss drummer Nicolas Field, for 4 recordings of intense and dynamic free improvisation with unusual moments from Sakata's vocalizing, extended and thoughtful drum soloing, and introspective moments on clarinet. ... Click to View


Harvey Sorgen / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell: Dreamstruck (Not Two)

With six collective compositions plus two by Joe Fonda, one from Paul Motian, and the title track by Bob Windbiel, the free improvising trio of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Joe Fonda on bass, and Harvey Sorgen on drums find lyrical beauty and masterfully controlled power in this superb album of creative free jazz, a remarkable example of the modern piano trio. ... Click to View


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  An Earful of Fred  


By Len 37 Siegfried 2003-03-28

With Friends Like These (Metalanguage) - 1979
Who Needs Enemies (Metalanguage) - 1983
(Reissued with extra tracks as With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends on Cuneiform)
Quirky and unrelenting. Frith and Henry Kaiser show how to use the guitar in a manner other than the way it was intended to be used, and how to have a dialogue in that language with great authority. One of the first albums to show me that very out avant can really work, and can actually be catchy.

Stop Complaining (FMP) - 1991
Hans Reichel in duet with Frith Kazuhisa Uchihashi. Frith and Reichel take sound from subtle depths to raucous heights and back again. They display a sympathetic ear towards each other that can only be had through years of honing their craft, listening and playing as a single action. It's so fucking fun to go along for the ride...subtle and amazing.

Guitar Solos (Caroline) - 1974
(reissued several times, most recently, in 2002, on Fred Records) A how-to guide on extended guitar technique. If you play guitar (or even if you don't), this album will show you that more can be said on the instrument than you had ever imagined. Open you ears and let it pour in. "Hello Music" is your invitation!

Live at Loft Shinjuku (Floor Records) - 1982
It really captures the excitement of Fred, live and unpredictable. Performed with Totsuzen Danball, a duo comprised of guitarist Shunji Tsutaki and Eiichi Tsutaki on organ and percussion. The have a very interesting groove all their own, and when Fred finds his space in the center, watch out... sparks ensue.

Live in Japan: The Guitars on the Table Approach (Recommended Records Japan) - 1982
Fred presented live, solo, with guitar firmly placed on a tabletop. If you have ever thought about what type of sounds can be produced using foreign objects on a guitar, this is the release for you. I t's hard to imagine what objects are being used at times, and even harder to imaging being able to control and shape these sounds into something both puzzling and beautiful.

Learn To Talk (Rift) - 1984
(Various reissues, slated for release on Fred Records in 2003)
Covering everything from formal Sousa marches to the most eclectic out improvisation, Frith and Tom Cora, as Skeleton Crew, present a document that is hard to imagine being produced by only two people. Two one-man bands communicating with their instruments better than most people can by talking. Exciting, enigmatic and surprising, this is the FINEST ROCK RECORD EVER MADE.

Step Across the Border (Rec/Rec) 1990
(Reissued by Fred Records, 2003)
This record takes the listener on a journey around a world of sound, quite literally, as Frith travels the United States and Europe, playing with a remarkable array of musicians, alarm clocks, seagulls and cars. The short list of artists who appear on the record, and the film of the same name, includes John Zorn, Bob Ostertag, Haco, Zeena Parkins, Tom Cora, Bill Laswell, Iva Bittova, Rene Lussier, Lars Hollmer, Tim Hodgkinson and Kevin Norton. This disc will push almost any listener in a new direction, regardless of what horizons they might already have.

Technology of Tears (SST) - 1988
(Issued on cd by SST in 1998, but with the final side of the double album omitted.)
Music for dance, and showing a side of Fred not often seen: sequenced compositions and a generally more electronic approach with a hard edge. With John Zorn, Christian Marclay, Jim Staley and Tenko. Amazing!





Read Mike Chamberlain's Interview with Fred Frith.

See the Fred Frith section at Squidco.



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