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Sara Schoenbeck :
Sara Schoenbeck (Pyroclastic Records)

A document of bassoonist Sara Shoenbeck's collaborations recorded between 2019-2021 in recording studios across North America, showing the inspired curiosity she brings to improvisation through a diverse set of duos performed with Harris Eisenstadt, Nicole Mitchell, Nels Cline, Roscoe Mitchell, Matt Mitchell, Mark Dresser, Wayne Horvitz, Peggy Lee and Robin Holcomb. ... Click to View


Courvoisier / Halvorson:
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The second collaboration between pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and guitarist Mary Halvorson, six years after Crop Circles and a product of their tours together and the result of their both writing compositions specifically for their duo project, showing a level of communication that allows incredible inventiveness and moments of poignant exchange; exceptional. ... Click to View


William Parker (Parker / Carter / Drake):
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A 2nd season from composer, improviser & bassist William Parker, after his 2000 Thirsty Ear release Painter's Spring, this new trio album with drummer Hamid Drake, wind player Daniel Carter performing on trumpet, flute and reeds, and Parker himself on bass, trombonium & shakuhachi, paint the season with sound as they celebrate the winter through visionary jazz music. ... Click to View


Friedrichsschwerdt:
Gay - Wir Saunawirt (Euphorium)

The curious album of Friedrich Kettlitz, co-founder of Euphorium_Freakestra, reciting his poems (in German) set in 25 miniature recordings, also performing on english worker's flute, pling, metal kettle, felt head mallet, temple bell, in a duo with Oliver Schwerdt on piano, as well as small percussive devices, voice, slide whistles, a zither, and little cubic cardbox. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Parrinha / Hencleeday / Valinho:
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Two extended acoustic improvisations of reductionist approaches recorded in the studio in Parede, Portugal in 2021 from the quartet of Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Bruno Parrinha on bass clarinet, Andre Hencleeday on piano and Joao Valinho on percussion, guided by a poem from Rodrigues as they slowly and exquisitly explore a "Closed Window" and an "Open Window". ... Click to View


Florian Wittenburg :
Kranenburg Tree (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Using a metasynth, a software instrument that allows the user to draw or paint music, and a photograph of a small tree observed at a former train station in the German town of Kranenbur, composer Florian Wittenburg generates complex sound structures from the simple structures of the tree's branches used as a template for four rich sonic sketches. ... Click to View


Eva-Maria Houben :
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"Trios" refers to the relationship of two keyboards and the pedals of an organ, as performed by accomplished American composer Carson Cooman as he patiently unfolds Eva-Maria Houben's three minimal compositions exploring the relationships between three melodic lines or three-tone chords, presented on the Organ Probsteikirche St. Ludgerus, in Billerbeck, Germany. ... Click to View


Aaron Breylin Foster / Luke Martin:
Recursive Retent (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Excerpting part of an eight-hour performance recorded over an amplified live environment of a text score for two pianists using one piano, each positioned at the opposite registers of the piano, one player creating a block of note phrases using intervals of a 2nd or 3rd with each note allowed to decay before the next, repeated by the other player following a set of rules. ... Click to View


Leo Genovese:
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Essentially a piano trio, Portuguese pianist and composer Leo Genovese leads his trio with Demian Cabaud on bass and renowned drummer Jeff Williams (Lookout Farm, Dave Liebman), also joined by Argentinian vocalist Nadia Larcheron for four pieces, Genovese's compositions using interesting structures that balance warmly lyrical and experimental approaches to modern jazz. ... Click to View


Ming Bau Set (feat Gerry Hemingway / Vera Baumann / Florestan Berset):
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Meeting regularly since 2018, these three Luzern, Switzerland improvisers have developed a shared language of collective creative improv, the best known of the three being drummer & percussionist Gerry Hemingway working with two younger generation musicians, acoustic & electric guitarist Florestan Berset and vocalist Vera Baumann, here in their first wonderfully paced album. ... Click to View


Whit Dickey / William Parker / Matthew Shipp:
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An exemplary piano trio of compatriots who have collaborated in configurations since the 1980s--drummer Whit Dickey, bassist William Parker and pianist Matthew Shipp--three New York legendary free players in their first record as a trio since 1992's Circular Temple, here in six studio group improvisations demonstrating their easy confidence in profound collective conversation. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp:
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A fascinating solo piano record from New York free improvising luminary Matthew Shipp, a contemplative album that surprised even the pianist himself as he thoughtfully dissected harmonics to wring melodic fragments that bring sense to discursive streams of thought, his playing both investigational and charming, drawing an unlikely comparison to Bill Evans. ... Click to View


Andrea Parkins:
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Using piano, synthesizer, electronic feedback, field recordings and amplified objects, sound artist Andrea Parkins' long-cycle installation composition explores time and space in an 8-channel, multi-room work designed so that adjacent acoustical spaces respond to each other, creating shifting and unexpected sonic juxtapositions; CD package include a link to "The Third Room". ... Click to View


New Old Luten Trio:
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A 3" CD-EP of the New Old Luten Trio, expanded into a quintet by the addition of two double bassists--John Edwards and Robert Landfermann--to the lineup of Euro Free Jazz reedist Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, pianist Elan Pauer (aka Oliver Schwerdt) and drummer/percussionist Christian Lillinger, in the warm-up set before the concert yielding the album Tumult!. ... Click to View


Konstrukt feat. Thurston Moore:
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A blistering set of improvisations featuring two electric guitarists--Konkstrukt's own Umut Caglar and NY Sonic improviser Thurston Moore--performing live at SalonIKSV in Istanbul, Turkey, blurring acoustics and electronics as the quintet creates intrepid environments for an intense journey in free improvisation, howling and biting along the way. ... Click to View


Vanessa Rossetto / Lionel Marchetti:
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Three distinct compositions from the collaborative work of sound artists Vanessa Rossetto and Lionel Marchetti, the first a wonderfully complex work of musique concrète and acousmatic sources guided by the composers' instincts; "The Tower" expands their concepts through the addition of 18 voices, while the final track features the violin of Anouck Genthon. ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro-Liu :
Revolution Shuffle [2 CDs] (erstwhile)

Alarmed by the warning signs of social deterioration, political overreach and planetary damage warning of an imminent need for revolutionary change, composer and sound artist Michael Pisaro-Liu sought and plundered references in sound from historic and current sources, producing 53 tracks that are arranged to tell a story in a mosaic form; an incredible achievement. ... Click to View


Simulacrum:
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An offshoot of the Boston-area collective Metal Chaos Ensemble featuring multi-reedist PEK, also on percussion & electronics, Eric Woods on analog synth and Bob Moores on space trumpet, guitar and electronics, with guests Grant Beale on guitar & electronics and William Middlemiss Jr on guitar and electronics, in an electronic and clamorous extended improvisation. ... Click to View


Arcane Device:
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The darker side of David Lee Myer's Arcane Device project, six lettered works from his Noisewall Sessions 2020-2021, using feedback and controlled glitch, delicate noise and drone in long-form extended improvisations; six incredible sonic journeys, each copy of the 2-CD album a in an individual and numbered monoprint package, each copy unique from the other. ... Click to View


Arcane Device:
Ruins (No Rent)

Four mysteriously untitled and extended works of electronics subtitled Impressions From the Next Era, using feedback, aberrant sound, glitch, rich synthetics, bi-directional sound and indescribable sonic sources to fuel David Lee Myer's latest in his long-running and essential listening project Arcane Device; shimmering, inscrutable, and awe-inspiring. ... Click to View


Big Bad Brotzmann Quintet:
Bambule! (Euphorium)

An intense concert of collective European Free Jazz in two extended improvisations recorded at naTo in Leipzig, German in 2019 from the quintet of Peter Brotzmann on tenor saxophone, clarinet & tarogato, Oliver Schwerdt on grand piano, percussion & little instruments, John Edwards and John Eckhardt on double bass, and Christian Lillinger on drums & percussion. ... Click to View


Ornette Coleman :
New York Is Now & Love Call, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

An overlooked chapter in Ornette Coleman's recording career, these two Blue Note albums recorded in NY in 1968 and issued in '68 & '71 feature the innovative alto saxophonist joined by West Coast tenor saxophonist recently moved to NYC, Dewey Redman, and Coltrane sidemen, drummer Elvin Jones & bassist Jimmy Garrison, for two sessions of inventive and accomplished free jazz. ... Click to View


New York Contemporary Five:
Copenhagen 1963, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Originally released in 1964 on The Sonet label as Volumes 1 & 2, this CD remasters this exceptional 1963 concert of original material and pieces by Ornette & Monk, complete in sequence as performed at Jazzhaus Montmarte in Copenhagen with Archie Shepp on tenor saxophone, Don Cherry on cornet, John Tchicai on alto saxophone, Don Moore on double bass and J.C. Moses on drums. ... Click to View


Keith Tippett / Julie Tippetts / Philip Gibbs / Paul Dunmall:
Mahogany Rain (577 Records)

Originally recorded in 2005 for a small 100-copy release, the single extended track on Mahogany Rain offers an hour of mesmerizing improvisational sound, sparsely composed and deeply experimental and performed by Keith Tippett on piano & percussion, Julie Tippetts on xylophone & voice, Philip Gibbs on guitars, and Paul Dunmall on soprano & tenor saxophones. ... Click to View


Josh Sinton:
b. (FiP recordings)

The third solo saxophone record from Brooklyn improviser Josh Sinton, and his first recorded solely on the baritone saxophone, an instrument for which Sinton explains he has dedicated half his life, heard in this remarkably diverse set on the lower horn that he approaches lyrically, technically, emotionally and with startling singularity. ... Click to View


Krokofant w/ Stale Storlokken / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten:
Fifth (Rune Grammofon)

As on their prior album Q, the Nordic Krokofant free improvising jazz/rock trio of Axel Skalstad on drums & vibes, Tom Hasslan on guitar and Jorgen Mathisen on saxophone are joined by bassist Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (The Thing) and Stale Storlokken (Elephant9, Supersilent), cementing their lineup as they forge adventurous and spectacular playing on this Fifth album. ... Click to View


Sex Magick Wizards:
Your Bliss My Joy (Rune Grammofon)

The sophomore release from this Norwegian instrumental rock band, with all members of the quartet coming from an improvisation/jazz background that fuels their diverse interests in the rock format, from blistering runs, dark blues grooves and even a nod to Swedish folk jazz; a dynamic album of great technical playing but more importantly, a strong commitment to rock. ... Click to View


Michelangelo Decorato / Leo Cicala:
Thauma (Creative Sources)

An introspectively lovely and reflective album of electroacoustic composition through minimal electronics, piano, samples and electronics, from the collaboration of Italian sound artists Michelangelo Decorato and Leo Cicala, with trumpeter Luca Calabrese joining on one piece; sophisticatedly languid, alluring and detailed ambient music. ... Click to View


Pascal Battus / Michel Doneda:
Miracle (Potlatch)

Dovetailing and combining the rich harmonics of Michel Doneda's soprano and sopranino saxophone with Pascal Battus' rotating surfaces--mechanisms from small consumer electronics and their like put in motion and in contact with resonators and vibrators--this French improvising duo create fascinatingly shifting, unusual textures and sonic environments. ... Click to View


Attitude! (Tang / Ishito / Wu):
Pause & Effect [VINYL] (ESP-Disk)

Combining free jazz and post-punk rock forms with pointed commentary about issues of race, gender, the pandemic, and political autonomy, through provocative vocal works expressing modern angst, from three Asian-American female performers living in NYC: tenor saxophonist Ayumi Ishito, drummer Wen-Ting Wu, and activist and Tiananmen Square survivor Rose Tang on voice, guitar & piano. ... Click to View



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  Fred Frith, Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay, Myles Boisen 
  all is bright but it is not day  
  (Ambiances Magnetiques) 

   review by Phil Zampino
  2003-05-23
Fred Frith, Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay, Myles Boisen: all is bright but it is not day (Ambiances Magnetiques)

The album opens as a sinister laugh cackles and Fred Frith saying "That's an interesting technique you have there." The laugh becomes oddly infectious as Tanguay pushes the first improv off with a hearty beat, interrupted by a ruptured duck call, strange wind instruments and distant guitar strumming. Interesting technique is what defines this album, and it's no surprise that three improvisers of this stature have created a series of works that are dynamic, encompassing, humorous, psychedelic and fascinating.

Guitarist Frith and multi-wind instrumentalist Jean Derome are well known, and equally deserving of such attention is the excellent drummer Pierre Tanguay (Derome and Tanguay are each part of Montreal's Ambiences Magnetiques collective). San Francisco-based engineer Myles Boise might also be little recognized, functioning here both as engineer and real-time sound manipulator. The musicians are all masters of their instruments and it shows as they pull off a sometimes introspective, sometimes dizzying, often melodic display of ideas. Boisen intervenes, subtly shifting the sound quality of one or all of the musicians, panning and manipulating the image of the sound or even chopping the sound out to shake up the listener. Derome here would give John Zorn a run for his money, with a host of saxes, small wind instruments, hand percussions and game calls. He provides the most melodic moments of the release, generally on breathier instruments where he plays with a kind of naivety to good affect. Tanguay is very active, cutting up and holding together the improvisations, and also providing unusual percussive elements and "objets". Frith is perhaps the most conservative on this session, more often creating underpinnings over which the ideas are developed. The works are neither predictable nor chaotic, and everyone is clearly listening closely as they move into adventurous territories or pull back to let the music surround.

The entire album was realized in one day in a California studio, and one can't imagine that any alternate takes exist of any of these works. They are as ethereal as they are interesting, and monumental as an almost telepathic display of master improvisers working together and having a good time of it. The music is dramatic, playful, frightening, complex, joyous, thoughtful, accessible and a little bit tilted. All improvisations should be so successful!





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