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Includes a free copy of Trouble with the Treble while quantities last!
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J. Gregg J. / David Van Auken:
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JAKAL (Fred Lonberg-Holm / Keefe Jackson / Julian Kirshner):
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Teiku (Harlow / Taylor / Shahid / Formanek / Leafar):
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Bruno Duplant / Rutger Zuydervelt:
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Felix Profos / Peter Conradin Zumthor:
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Leap Of Faith:
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Expanse:
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Ethnic Heritage Ensemble:
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Simon Hanes:
Tsons of Tsunami (Tzadik)

Drawing on a far-ranging set of influences--jazz, rock, contemporary, surf & exotica--California-born improvising guitarist Simon Hanes (of Trigger, who covered Zorn's Bagatelles) now resides in NYC, appropriately releasing an album of eclectic, generally upbeat, sometimes quirky, typically melodic instrumentals performed with an octet ensemble of incredible musicianship. ... Click to View


Joel Futterman:
Perspicacity (Soul City Sounds)

Five extended improvised piano solos from Joel Futterman recording in his home base of Virginia Beach, each an incredible journey in free playing that quotes and comments on the history of jazz piano, living up to the album's title through insight, perceptiveness, wit and intuition, Futterman's technique and mastery expressing narratives of amazing confidence and solid direction. ... Click to View


Kimmel.Ali.Harris (Jeff Kimmel / Ishmael Ali / Bill Harris):
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The third release for the Chicago collective improvising trio of Jeff Kimmel on clarinet & electronics, Ishmael Ali on cello & electronics and Bill Harris on drums & feedback, acoustic interplay in the foreground with electronics adding layers of intriguing sonic pressure as their playing evolves through clear and cohesive conversation over punctuated & textural foundations. ... Click to View


Anthony Donofrio :
These Calm Words (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

An exquisite recording of composer Anthony Donofrio 1972 work for solo vibraphone captured at the University of Nebraska where Donofrio teaches and directs their new music ensemble, this extended work for solo vibraphone performed by Donofrio himself, living up to its title in a delicate advancement from clear playing to unusual vibraphone timbres and technique. ... Click to View


Eva-Maria Houben (Kei Kondo / Takahiro Kuroda):
His Master's Voice / Aus Den Fliegenden Blattern Eines Fahrenden Waldhornisten / Lose Verbunden (Ftarri Clasical)

One of two albums capturing a May 15th, 2023 concert in Tokyo by composer Takahiro Kuroda at the Ftarri performance space, titled "Square of Thoughts Vol. 2: Eva-Maria Houben and Horn + x", this album presenting two Houben works for solo horn performed by virtuoso horn player Kei Kondo, and one solo piano piece performed by Kuroda on upright piano. ... Click to View


Eva-Maria Houben (Takahiro Kuroda / Kei Kondo):
Echo Fantasy II (Ftarri Clasical)

The second of two albums capturing a May 15th, 2023 concert in Tokyo by composer & pianist Takahiro Kuroda at the Ftarri performance space, titled "Square of Thoughts Vol. 2: Eva-Maria Houben and Horn + x", this album presenting a 2018 Houben composition for horn and piano titled "Echo Fantasy II", performed by virtuoso horn player Kei Kondo and Takahiro Kuroda on upright piano. ... Click to View


Rutger Zuydervelt :
Kites (music for a performance by Roshanak Morrowatian) (Machinefabriek)

Music for a solo dance piece performed by Roshanak Morrowatian and composed by Netherland electronic artist Rutger Zuydervelt, the subject of the dance reflecting on the experience of young asylum seekers forced from their native countries to grow up somewhere unfamiliar, the music in seven parts weaving fragments of Iranian popular music into Zuydervelt's abstract electronics. ... Click to View


Simulacrum:
Mimesis (Evil Clown)

Expanding on their 2023 Homunculus, the Boston-based collective ensemble Simulacrum with a core of David Peck on reeds, percussion, keys and direction, Eric Woods on analog synth and Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar are expanded with Cecil Taylor bassist Albey OnBass, synthesist Eric Zinman, reedist Michael Caglianone and drummer Michael Knoblach. ... Click to View


John Butcher + 13:
Fluid Fixations (Weight of Wax)

Commissioned for the 2021 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, John Butcher's fantastic work for 14 improvisers of unique approach employs what Butcher refers to as "psychological orchestration"--imagining how each performer might respond to particular ideas & their sonic company--the score, which includes photographic imagery, directing specific solos, duos & small groupings. ... Click to View


Phantom Orchard (Ikue Mori / Zeena Parkins):
Hit Parade of Tears (Tzadik)

Distilling their ensemble to its original duo configuration, New York improvisers Zeena Parkins and Ikue Mori reflect on the stories of Japanese author Izumi Suzuki through ten mysteriously eclectic and beautifully developed compositions of harp (acoustic and electric), electronics, percussion, harmonium, ondes martenot, and much more; wonderful, imaginative and evocative work. ... Click to View



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Reviews of live performance


April 2003
   review by Kurt Gottschalk
  2003-05-21
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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