The Squid's Ear
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Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne: Forage (Screwgun)

Pianist Matt Mitchell, a member of saxophonist Tim Berne's Snakeoil, releases a solo album of Berne compositions, taking the reedist's typically frenetic material into unexpected territory, revealing dark beauty and intensely introspective aspects to Berne's music. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Karl Berger / Gerald Cleaver: The Art Of The Impov Trio Volume 1 (Leo)

Saxophonist Ivo Perelman is the anchor for the 6 volumes of "The Art of the Improv Trio", here with Karl Berger on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums in a lyrical album that flows with grace and thoughfulness, from ballad introspection to uptempo excitement, an impressive start to the series. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Mat Maneri / Whit Dickey: The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 2 (Leo)

The second volume of New York/Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman's 6-part series "The Art of the Improv Trio" is the most unique of the set, with Mat Maneri on viola and Whit Dickey on drums for a series of thirteen shorter and more intricate works of great range and diversity. ... Click to View


Trouble Kaze (Fujii / Agnel / Tamura / Pruvost / Lasserre / Orins): June (Helix Circum-Disc)

Drummer Peter Orins expands the Kaze quartet of trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost and pianist Satoko Fujii, with a second drummmer--Didier Lasserre--and a second pianist--Sophie Agnel--for a live recording of a 5-part suite of magnificently epic collective improv. ... Click to View


Nuova Camerata : Chant (Improvising Beings)

Lisbon's Nuova Camerata brings together a mix of improvisers and contemporary classical players--Carlos Zingaro, Joao Camoes, Ulrich Mitzlaff, Miguel Leiria on string with Pedro Carneiro on marimba--for a set of improvisations bridging both disciplines in passionate and unexpected ways. ... Click to View


MarsaFouty (Jean-Luc Foussat / Fred Marty): Concerts (Fou Records)

Synth improviser Jean-Marc Foussat and double bassist Fred Marty join their names and playing together for an absolutely impressive album of exploratory improv, Foussat taking their music into hallucinatory territories while Marty provides both a solid anchors and flights of textural nuance; supberb. ... Click to View


John Cage : Cartridge Music (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A 2003 recording from The Ensemble Daswirdas performing John Cage's 1960 composition "Cartridge Music", described as: "For amplified small sounds; also amplified piano or cymbal; any number of players and loudspeakers; parts to be prepared from score by performers." ... Click to View


Luigi Nono / Jurg Frey: Works For Violin Duos (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two works from two distinctive composers from different periods--Jurg Frey and Luigi Nono--both for two violins, Frey using the two violins in parallel to emphasize their distinction; Nono using powerful gestures of divergence and contrast in a dream-like duo. ... Click to View


Luke Martin: So Softly That It Came, A Wild Dim Chatter, Meaningless (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Luke Martin began this work with a field recording at Mentryville Park in Southern California, which was transcribed by himself and Amy Golden, Ben Levinson, Davy Sumner, and Ryan Gaston using Martin's system of notating silence, then combined into the final score for this recording. ... Click to View


I Am Three (Eberhard / Neuser / Marien): Mingus Mingus Mingus (Leo)

Saxophonist Silke Eberhard leads her trio with Nikolaus Neuser on trumpet and Christian Marien on drums, through a distillation of well known and lesser known Mingus tunes, restricting each tune to its essence in 3-4 minute renderings focusing on Mingus' compositional strength. ... Click to View


Simon Nabatov: Monk 'N' More (Leo)

Pianist Simon Nabatov plays the music of Thelonious Monk in a live concert from 1995, alternating those recordings with a 2013 concert of solo electroacoustic work, an unusual approach that focuses the melodic aspects of Monk while highlighting his eccentricity and intrepidity ... Click to View


Trio Kimmig (Kimmig / Studer / Zimmerline / John Butcher): Raw (Leo)

The Swiss string trio led by violinist Harald Kimmig, with Daniel Studer on bass and Alfred Zimmerlin on cello, is joined by UK saxophonist John Butcher for a set of improvisations that build with a unique percussive vitality and burning intensity. ... Click to View


John Zorn: The Garden Of Earthly Delights (Tzadik)

Composer John Zorn's Simulacrum ensemble of Trevor Dunn (bass), John Medeski (keyboards), Kenny Grohowski (drums), Matt Hollenberg (guitar), and Sara Serpa (voice) in their 6th album of heavy improv, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the passing of painter Hieronymus Bosch. ... Click to View


Jack Wright / Roughhousing: You Haven't Heard This Yet (Spring Garden Music)

The trio of Jack Wright on sax, Evan Lipson on double bass, and Zachary Darrup on guitar and objects, from a long history of camaraderie have developed a rough-neck style of interacting, here in long recording, released with 7 solo sax recordings from Wright. ... Click to View


Harris Eisenstadt : Recent Developments (Songlines)

NY Composer and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt furthers his exploration into long-form composition and unusual instrumentation in his 20th release as a bandleader, with a spectacular improv ensemble including Nate Wooley, Jeb Bishop, Han Roberts, Anna Webber, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Jean-Marc Foussat / Sylvain Guerineau / Joe McPhee: Quod (Fou Records)

Experimental improvisation from three masterful players --Joe McPhee on soprano sax, Sylvain Guerineau on tenor saxophone, and Jean-Marc Foussat on synthesizer and voice--recording in France in 2010 for two extended works of concentrated and diverse dialog. ... Click to View


Derek Bailey / Joelle Leandre / George Lewis / Evan Parker : 28 Rue Dunois Juillet 1982 (Fou Records)

A superb encounter from France in 1928 between four masters in a fertile and creative period: Derek Bailey (guitar), Joelle Leandre (double bass), George Lewis (trombone), and Evan Parker (saxophone), each bringing incredible experience to their enduring collective music. ... Click to View


Cecile & Jean-Luc Cappozzo: Soul Eyes (Fou Records)

A delicate album of melodic free playing from trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo and his partner Cecile Cappozzon piano, covering the work of Charles Mingus ("Pithecantropus Erectus", "Goodbye Porkpie Hat") and Mal Waldron ("No More Tears," "The Seagulls of Kristiansund"). ... Click to View


Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink (w/ Albert Mangelsdorff): Elements [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

In 1971 the quartet of Peter Brotzmann on tenor sax, Fred Van Hove on piano, Han Bennink on drums, and Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone took the stage at The Free Music Market in Berlin to perform this aggressive and informed album of prime European Free Improvisation. ... Click to View


Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink (w/ Albert Mangelsdorff): Couscouss de la Mauresque [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

The early 70s trio of tenor saxophonist Peter Brotzmann with Fred Van Hove on piano, Han Bennink on drums is joined by trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff for a live recording at Free Music Market, in Berlin for two extended and fiery improvisations of incredible skill and drive. ... Click to View


Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink (w/ Albert Mangelsdorff): The End [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

The final portion of the live recording at Free Music Market, in Berlin in 1970 from the trio of tenor saxophonist Peter Brotzmann with Fred Van Hove on piano, Han Bennink on drums, and joined by trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff for three extended and fiery improvisations ... Click to View


DEK Trio (Ken Vandermark / Elisabeth Harnik / Didi Kern): Burning Below Zero (Trost Records)

One of Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark's regular trios while in Austria, DEK is named for the letters of the 1st name of Vandermark, drummer Didi Kern and pianist Elisabeth Harnik, drawing inspiration from free improv, free rock, & cross-media projects of each member. ... Click to View


Johannes Bauer / Peter Brotzmann: Blue City (Live At Blue City Osaka / Japan 16. October 1997) (Trost Records)

Powerful and diverse duo recordings between trombonist Johannes Bauer and Peter Brotzmann on tenor & alto saxophone, Tarogato, & clarinet, recorded in Osaka, Japan in 1997, released as a tribute to Bauer, who passed away in 2016, part of Brotzmann's archive of unreleased material. ... Click to View


Michel Banabila : Sound Years [VINYL] (Tapu Record)

A captivating compilation from electronic composer Michel Banabila recorded between 2005-2016, a combination of studio, live and theatre recordings remixed into two continuous tracks of sound, with collaborations including Oene Van Geel and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek). ... Click to View


Liederkreis (Judith Berkson): Liederkreis [VINYL] (B. Walter Recordings)

NYC vocalist, composer and keyboardist Judith Berkson in the debut album for her one-woman band Liederkreis (translating to "song-cycle", a reference to Schumann), taking a sharp turn from previous work through experimental synth, voice and effects in unique and often aberrant ways. ... Click to View


Rotozaza (Hein / Mahall / Melbye / Lillinger): Zero (Leo)

The Berlin quartet of bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, Nicola L. Hein on guitar, Adam Pultz Melbye on bass and Christian Lillinger on drums, using traditional and extended techniques in spontaneous compositions that blend free jazz and sound improvisation in truly unique ways. ... Click to View


Ruins: Burning Stone [REISSUE] (Magaibutsu Limited)

Tatsuya Yoshida's insanely complex and exhilarating rock project Ruins started around 1986, and bassist Ryuichi Masuda (also a member of Koenji Hyakkei) has been with him since the early days; this CD reissues the 1992 Shimmy Disc album, originally an LP, here with the CD bonus tracks. ... Click to View


Kazuhisa Uchihashi / Richard Scott: Awesome Entities (Doubtmusic)

Japanese guitarist and daxophone player Kazuhisa Uchihashi joins forces with Berlin-based composer and free improvising analogue modular synthesizer player Richard Scott for an album of unique orchestration, the daxophone "humanizing" the playing with unusual voicing. ... Click to View


Henry Cow: Vol. 1: Beginnings (Recommended Records)

Part of the Henry Cow boxset, now available for individual purchase, compiled from live recordings, radio transcription, or early recordings, remastered and presented to give a complete look at the history of Henry Cow. ... Click to View


Henry Cow: Vol. 2: 1974-5 (Recommended Records)

Part of the Henry Cow boxset, now available for individual purchase, compiled from live recordings, radio transcription, or early recordings, remastered and presented to give a complete look at the history of Henry Cow. ... Click to View


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  Knit One, Pearl Zero  

It's difficult to count how many times we've said goodbye to the Knitting Factory: when they left their Houston Street hole for tony Tribeca, when John Zorn broke all ties with the club and label, when they were threatened with bankruptcy. No doubt there's someone out there who maintains it was all over when they first got a liquor license.

But when Michael Dorf, whose financial dealings and commitment to the music have often been questioned, announced that the club had been sold earlier this year, it seemed undeniably the end of an era.

Big ups to Village Voice writer Ted Hendrickson, then, who got KnitMedia President Jared Hoffman to put his mouth where his money is. "The problem was that the cutting-edge genres that made the Knitting Factory what it was in the early years continued to be a focus," Hendrickson is quoted as saying in the May 7-13, 2003 issue. "And the cutting edge always changes. Selling tickets is not a measure of how well you're doing. It's whether the people who buy the tickets come in the door and drink."

It's not a new modus operandi for the Knit. Another musician, who has been playing at the Knit since the Houston Street days, reports that records of bar receipts have long been kept with artists' names. Musicians who bring in the drinkers got the most bookings. It's disheartening, but it's business.

Regardless of the reasons, changes in booking policies have been plainly apparent at the Knit. And while it's not entirely a rock club (a recent night featured Tim Berne's Big Satan in the Old Office and Gary Lucas playing in the larger, remodeled Tap Bar), the artists who were featured on the old Live at the Knitting Factory cds aren't likely to be found on Leonard Street often, if at all.

Which is only a sign of changing times, not the end of time itself, unless you're reading the New York Press, the neoconservative free weekly response to the Voice. In an article headlined "Too Many Solos: New York Jazz - purists vs. tourists." Tim Marchman opined ridiculous about jazz players, venues and audiences in New York City, seeming to believe that the only viable place left for jazz musicians to turn is Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center, and (rightly) criticizing the program's booking policies. "What does it mean for audiences when a quarter of the spots in the most influential jazz series are held for people who started recording in the 1950s, and another half are held for [tributes to] the dead?"

Setting aside potential debates about what performers are deserving, and what "jazz" is anyway, we still take exception with Mr. Marchman's depiction of a typical night out on the town.

"Go into any club where jazz is played and you'll likely find yourself surrounded by people who are nostalgic for something they've never known," Marchman writes. "They applaud after every solo, and how a group reacts to such a crowd tells a lot about them. Some get discouraged and lock themselves into head-solos-head, letting even the drummer take his chorus every song of every set; some batter out purposefully clattering notes, sneering that no one notices; some do what they wish and just play, somewhat deadened. None of them, no matter what they do, can much affect their situation. They've been turned into living museum exhibitions, like the women who churn butter in preservationist towns in central Pennsylvania."

Marchman doesn't refer to any venues other than Lincoln Center in the piece, but we feel certain he didn't ask anyone we know where to go to hear some live jazz. While we won't deny that things could be better - things could always be better, for working musicians - we do have some suggestions for Marchman, and will even extend an invitation for a night on the town.

It's hard to guess where he might have been looking if he missed the Jazz Gallery, the Jazz Standard and Up Over Jazz Cafe. But while we're out, we'd certainly also swing by Tonic, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this summer. The Brecht Forum has been running it's monthly Neues Kabarett series for going on five years as well, and CBGBs Lounge on Sunday nights continues to be the best deal in town. The Village Vanguard, Sweet Rhythm and Makor all have their nights.Issue Project Room is a new East Village gallery that started a promising music series with performances by Anthony Coleman and Marc Ribot. Location One, Pen and Brush and Three Jewels Cafe are also spaces that serve functions other than being a performance venue, but host adventurous jazz and improvised music.

And who knows? Maybe there'll even be something going on at the Knit.




Previous Blog & Editorial Articles:
Internet Radio, MusicWorks, Blossom Toes & Rational Diet!
Creative Sources & psi - June 2007 Releases
In Brief: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kato Hideki, People Like Us
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AECO: Fifth Decade
The Squid's Ear 1st Or So Anniversary
Cheek to Cheek Misdemeanors - NYC's Cabaret Laws: Infracting Cheek to Cheek
Musical Activism: An Open Call
The Upside of Dowloading
Ameri-chord: Johnny Cash Remembered - Skip Heller - Amer-chord - Johnny Cash & June Carter
The Zorn Non-Interview - Ah, John, We Hardly Knew Ye
Hope for the Snowballs - The 2003 Jazz Journalists Association Awards
A Stone Turned - Irving Wilson Stone, 1922-2003
Knit One, Pearl Zero
Support Live Strangers - An Open Invitation for New Yorkers to Take a Freakin' Chance, or a Chastisement
London's Burning - Marc Ribot


The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Trouble Kaze (
Fujii /
Agnel /
Tamura /
Pruvost /
Lasserre /
Orins):
June
(Helix Circum-Disc)



MarsaFouty (
Jean-Luc Foussat /
Fred Marty):
Concerts
(Fou Records)



Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne:
Forage
(Screwgun)



I Am Three (
Eberhard /
Neuser /
Marien):
Mingus Mingus Mingus
(Leo)



Simon Nabatov:
Monk 'N' More
(Leo)



Derek Bailey /
Joelle Leandre /
George Lewis /
Evan Parker :
28 Rue Dunois
Juillet 1982
(Fou Records)



Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Bennink (
w/ Albert Mangelsdorff):
The End
[VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)



Michel Banabila :
Sound Years
[VINYL]
(Tapu Record)



Harris Eisenstadt :
Recent Developments
(Songlines)



Johannes Bauer /
Peter Brotzmann:
Blue City (
Live At
Blue City Osaka /
Japan 16.
October 1997)
(Trost Records)



Will Guthrie:
People Pleaser
[VINYL]
(Black Truffle)



Bucher /
Tan /
Countryman:
Acceptance - Resistance
(Improvising Beings)



Ruins:
Burning Stone
[REISSUE]
(Magaibutsu Limited)



Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Bennink (
w/ Albert Mangelsdorff):
Couscouss de
la Mauresque
[VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)



Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Bennink (
w/ Albert Mangelsdorff):
Elements
[VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)



Neukollner (
Denzler /
von Schlippenbach /
Grip /
Johansson):
Sektion 3-7
[2 CDs]
(Umlaut Records)



Jean-Marc Foussat :
L'oiseau
(Fou Records)



Michael Pisaro (
w/ Didier Aschour /
Stephane Garin):
Resting in
a Fold of
the Fog
(Potlatch)



Jean-Marc Foussat :
L'oiseau
[VINYL]
(Fou Records)



Sylvain Guerineau /
Kent Carter /
Itaru Oki /
Makoto Sato:
D'Une Rive A L'Autre
(Improvising Beings)







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