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Repressed for 2019!
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The 2nd album from the Portuguese trio of cellist Ricardo Jacinto, double bassist Goncalo Almeida, and drummer Nuno Morao, blending free jazz and freely improvised music using effect pedals and electronic devices to expand their collective improvisations, textured playing influenced by folk melodies and an experimental post-rock bent; mesmerizing and passionate. ... Click to View

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Paulo Galao / Guilherme Rodrigues / Nuno Morao: Hymn (Creative Sources)

A suite in seven parts named in Latin with abstract spiritual connotations from the Portuguese free improvising trio of Paulo Galao on clarinet & bass clarinet, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, and Nuno Morao on percussion, each movement using subdued yet detailed and active motion, a confident and adept meditation of powerfully controlled communion. ... Click to View

Ernesto Rodrigues / Lauri Hyvarinen / Abdul Moimeme / Carlos Santos: Kuori (Creative Sources)

Finnish guitarist Lauri Hyvarinen joins Portugues Creative Sources collective members Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Abdul Moimeme on electric guitar, and Carlos Santos on synthesizer, for a studio album whose title refers to the shell of an object, a mysterious reference peeled away by this quartet through subliminal playing of intense technique and concentration. ... Click to View

Carlos Bica / Daniel Erdmann / Dj Illvibe: I Am The Escaped One (Clean Feed)

Portugese double bassist Carlos Bica joins forces with German saxophonist Daniel Erdmann and turntablist DJ Illvibe, the son of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, for a unique album of improvisation blending experimental and jazz approaches with substantive layers of genre-blending from Illvibe's record arsenal, all handled with accessible control and lyrical sophistication. ... Click to View

Oli Steidle & The Killing Popes (Steidle / Mobus / Nicholls / Downes / Donkin): Ego Pills (Shhpuma)

Rapid fire playing and a wicked humor fuels drummer Olie Steidle's album with guitarist Frank Mobus, keyboardists Kit Downes and Dan Nicholls, and bassist Phil Donkin, mashing together electro-jazz, art rock, hardcore and club music into upbeat and twisted music, building up to a narrative "Speed Junky on Funny Human Darts"; insanely embraceable and stunning. ... Click to View

Oli Steidle & The Killing Popes (Steidle / Mobus / Nicholls / Downes / Donkin): Ego Pills [VINYL] (Shhpuma)

Rapid fire playing and a wicked humor fuels drummer Olie Steidle's album with guitarist Frank Mobus, keyboardists Kit Downes and Dan Nicholls, and bassist Phil Donkin, mashing together electro-jazz, art rock, hardcore and club music into upbeat and twisted music, building up to a narrative "Speed Junky on Funny Human Darts"; insanely embraceable and stunning. ... Click to View

Luis Vicente / Vasco Trilla: A Brighter Side Of Darkness (Clean Feed)

Starting from silence, the improvisations on this collective and fully spontaneous album from trumpeter Luis Vicente and percussionist Vasco Trilla never reaches cathartic crescendo, but as only skilled innovators such as they can do, they captivate the listener in other-worldly environments of advanced technique and profound intention; engrossing and ineffable. ... Click to View

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Reviews of live performance

April 2003
   review by Kurt Gottschalk
Derek Bailey and Ikue Mori (Tonic) - April 10, 2003
Derek Bailey and Cyro Baptista (Tonic) - April 11, 2003
Derek Bailey and Shaking Ray Levis (Tonic) - April 12, 2003

Derek Bailey is a masterful soloist whose collaborations can fly or fall flat. So it was more than promising that he began a three-night stint in New York with one of this town's master collaborators.

Ikue Mori often burrows deep in the mix during joint projects, but in this duet each opened with defined roles: Mori setting a fluid, pastoral mood and Bailey gently playing atop. As if looking to upset the apple cart, Mori soon shifted her laptop from elemental sound to jagged electricity, coaxing Bailey into harmonics and hum. From there, it was anyone's game, the duo somehow working as a quartet, each playing both under and over the other. Simply put, great improvisers often make great music.

The question has been posed before whether Bailey really listens when he plays with others. The answer seems clearly to be yes, but only when viewed from afar. Bailey isn't the sort of player who engages in call-and-response and riff mimicry. He's as often engaged in soliloquy as in dialogue. But that's in part because his vocabulary on the guitar is just so extensive. His playing varies with different projects, and he refers more to the way in which collaborators plays than to what they just played. With Mori, he left open spaces of feedback and hum, custom built for her to fill. He thumped his low strings to suggest her percussive flights, he strummed quickly and laid on and off the volume pedal, emitting distorted shrapnel as Mori's rhythm lines sometimes explode, pan and fade.

Bailey and Cyro Baptista, who paired off for the second night, are an odd and long-standing duo. The percussionist is full of fast and abrupt shifts, moving helter skelter through an array of drums and devices. Bailey's changes are just as fast, but aren't built of alterations in instrument, tempo or mood. With no central nervous system, the duo presumably would need to be aware of where the other is at all times for anything to happen at all.

That, however, is a challenge for Baptista, who leads far more than he follows. For this duet, he had an unusually large arsenal in tow, including a six-piece gamelan, bass, conga and clay drums and electronics, in addition to his myriad of handheld devices. As it happens, his unending evolutions worked well with Bailey; while there's never a thing to hold on to for more than 10 or 12 seconds, the broken phrases and splintered thoughts kept motion forward, and Bailey, surprisingly (and to his credit) became the backbone. Baptista's electronics (primarily reverb and delay applied to voice or mouth instruments, and an electronic drum pad) weren't used to smooth the edges of his scattershot playing, but did help to create some less hyper atmospherics.

For the second set, however, roles were reversed, with Cyro in charge, swinging Brasilia, laying down funky harp, looping, speeding up and singing along with himself on "All the Way." Bailey played Oscar Peterson to Baptista's Ella Fitzgerald, a pure accompanist, chordal structures and arpeggios. The meeting of two good-humored souls shone through. It's a bit of camp, and all told not the most satisfying of Bailey's meetings, but pure entertainment, right down to Bailey blowing the smoke off his pistol-finger to close the set.

The third night's meeting with the Tennessee two, the Shaking Ray Levis, featured Bailey's heaviest playing of his visit, going more for volume and overdrive than in the previous two relatively subdued affairs. His distorted guitar meshed nicely with Dennis Palmer's keyboard wash, and his fast lines fit well with Bob Stagner's quick drumming, making this the most overtly ensemble playing of the three nights. The Levis alone are a dynamic ensemble, mixing drum flurries and swaying electronics with occasional vocals.

If the previous two nights were about Bailey's circuitous, obtuse means of collaborating, this was straightforward from the top, at times verily avant rock. Bailey let distortion ring over clustered notes, while Palmer let loose the occasional blues holler. "Well, George Bush is doing alright," he drawled. "You can bet he's raking in the cash like nobody's business, and he's losing control like a sorcerer's apprentice." And if Bailey didn't exactly play the blues with Palmer, he somehow still played like a bluesman.

Over the course of three nights, what became apparent is that Bailey's choices makes sense, even if sometimes they make sense of something that happened 20 minutes ago. He's ike a grandfather sitting at a table, whittling or maybe fixing a clock, who suddenly answers a question that was asked, ignored and forgotten already. And you didn't think he was listening.

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Recent Selections @ Squidco:

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