September 20, 2017:
I'll be out of the office for the next week, Carl taking control of the shop while I'm away. I'm heading back to my home town of Syracuse to see my father, clarinetist Gerald Zampino, and to celebrate the birthday of my aunt.
In the meantime, just a few words about Nate Wooley's latest Battle Pieces 2:
Wooley, Nate: Battle Pieces 2 (Relative Pitch)
Wooley, Nate (w/ Ingrid Laubrock, Sylvie Courvoisier & Matt Moran): Battle Pieces (Relative Pitch)
There can be no doubt that I'm an enthusiast for the work of NY trumpeter Nate Wooley, who's work appeals to me both for his strong playing style, effectively using unusual techniques as comfortable and appropriate language in his soloing, and his curious mind casting his music into a variety of settings from traditional playing to electroacoustic improv to avant compositional and conceptual work.
For the Battle Pieces concept, Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation commissioned Wooley to create a new music. Wooley developed this modular compositional structure of small melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, conceptual, textural, and timbral fragments, allowing Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), Matt Moran (Vibes) exceptional freedom in improvisation, here in their 2nd recording live at Koeln's Loft. It's incredibly impressive work, something that you will want to listen to repeatedly to glean all that the structure allows the improvisers.
A couple of updates from this week, and the last until about the 26th.
September 20, 2017: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Joker - Où est-il donc ce rêve (Ambiances Magnetiques) by Marc Medwin.
September 19, 2017: New @ Squidco:
Nate Wooley -Battle Pieces 2
Rempis Percussion Quartet, The (w/ Haker Flaten/Daisy/Rosaly) -Cochonnerie
Dave Rempis -Lattice
Wadada Smith Leo/Natsuki Tamura/Satoko Fujii/Ikue Mori -Aspiration
Satoko Fujii Quartet (w/ Natsuki Tamura/Keisuke Ohta/Takashi Itani) -Live at Jazz Room Cortez
Satoko Fujii/Natsuki Tamura -Kisaragi
Gato Libre (Fujii/Tamura/Kaneko) -Neko
Musicworks -#128 Summer/Fall 2017 [MAGAZINE + CD]
Rudiger Carl Inc. -King Alcohol (New Version) [2 CDs]
Hans Reichel -Wichlinghauser Blues
Hans Reichel -Bonobo
Billy Bang -Distinction Without a Difference
Leap of Faith Orchestra -Possible Universes
Crux Trio (Hanslip/Somervell/Gauden) -BELieVE
David Myers Lee -Superpositions [CASSETTE with Download Code]
Asi Mina -Bialo
September 18, 2017:
Sometimes the most exhausting listens are the most rewarding, and such is the case with Rudiger Carl's "King Alcohol", a romp through the roots of free jazz. While many modern practitioners play with the same technical and aggressive skills, there's something about being among the first to explore the possibilities of free jazz that make this music so exciting. Rudiger is best known for his accordion work, bringing that traditional instrument into the free improv world. Here we hear Rudiger on his first instrument, the saxophone, and his style and approach represent the strength and excited of the European Free Improv world that continues to influence modern players.
Carl, Rudiger Inc.: King Alcohol (New Version) [2CDs] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
The other happy reissues from Corbett vs. Dempsey are the two Hans Reichel albums, both originally released on the FMP label.
Reichel, Hans: Wichlinghauser Blues (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Reichel, Hans: Bonobo (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
These are solo albums from the late, great free improvising guitarist, and both superb examples of his abilities and influence. Personally, Reichel became a bit of an obsession for me in the 80s, after discovering his 1979 solo album The Death of the Rare Bird Ymir. C vs. D's Wichlinghauser Blues reissue takes us back to Reichel's recorded start, his first solo album from 1973 originally issued as FMP 050. Bonobo is his 3rd album, from 1975 and originally issued as FMP 0280. Though mostly known for his solo playing, Reichel fits neatly into my own interests in his playing style, which to me is closely tied to the work of Fred Frith; in fact, Reichel recorded with Tom Cora, who's Frith/Cora project Skeleton Crew is in my top 10 RIO rock outfits. He also played with Shelley Hirsch in The September Band (where are those important reissues?), connecting him again to artists very important to me in the Downtown NY.
Reichel's style borrows from free improvisation, blues and rock forms, his technique outrageously powerful, with articulate rapid runs and a picking style so strong that his voice on the instrument is clearly heard. His playing takes on hallucinatory edges, and his playing is both melodic and ruminating, pensive and introspective while maintaining an assertive command. It's both joyful and intellectually serious, never indulgent, always aiming to captivate both the listener and the player.
Both of these reissues are guitar albums, but it should be noted that Reichel was also an instrument builder, his most important creation the daxophone. This innocuous looking instrument consists of a mount for various shaped hard wood "tongues" which are bowed and struck; the bowing creates an eerily human vocal sound, allowing him to create unusual conversational music unlike anything else I've encountered. Not heard on these records, I strongly suggest seeking out Shanghaied on Tor Road: The World's 1st Operetta Performed on Nothing but the Daxophone. But start with these reissues, giving credit to Corbett vs. Dempsey for reissuing such important music and re-introducing one of the great improvising guitarists to the modern listener.
I added a new category last week, "Prepared Instruments" for albums featuring artists using various preparations to their otherwise acoustic instruments. A few electronic and otherwise instruments will be pulled into the category, but primarily it's intended for players who use traditional approaches to modifying their instruments (prepared piano, prepared guitar, prepared drums) and the new breed of advanced technique players (prepared trumpet, prepared saxophone, &c). This is similar to our category for performers playing the somewhat nebulous "Objects", non-musical instruments used acoustically or amplified to create sound in improvisation or compositional performance.
Last, a few updates since my last entry.
September 18, 2017: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Quartetski - Quartetski Does Bartok — Mikrokosmos, Sz 107 (Ambiances Magnetiques) by Dave Madden.
September 13, 2017: New @ Squidco:
Tony Buck -Unearth
Roscoe Mitchell -Discussions
Akira Sakata/Manuel Mota/Giovanni Di Domenico/Mathieu Calleja -Jomon [VINYL]
Massimo Pupillo/Alexandre Babel/Caspar Brotzmann -Live At Candy Bomber Studios, Vol.1 [VINYL]
Zeitkratzer/Svetlana Spajic/Dragana Tomic/Obrad Milic -Serbian War Songs [VINYL]
Zeitkratzer + Elliott Sharp -Oneirika: Live at Berghain Berlin [VINYL]
Charlemagne Palestine -The Lower Depths [3 CDs]
Hermann Nitsch -Orgelkonzert Jesuitenkirche 20.11.2013
Hermann Nitsch -Orgelkonzert Jesuitenkirche 20.11.2013 [VINYL 2 LPs]
Pat Patrick And The Baritone Saxophone Retinue -Sound Advice (2017 Repress) [VINYL]
September 12, 2017: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Eric La Casa - Paris Quotidien (Swarming) by Brian Olewnick.
September 11, 2017:
Monday opened the door to an impressive set of packages delivered by USPS, UPS, and DHL from New York City, Chicago, Boston, London, and Japan, representing a number of purchases in transit during our move. I also drove to our post office to pick up a package from France. In all we received new titles and restocks from Libra, FMR, Pulsewidth, Fou, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Trost, Room40, Alga Marghen Wide Hive, Karl Records, Art Yart, Sucata Tapes, and Someone Good. So clearly, this is going to be a busy and wonderful week of new music!
Two highly recommended experimental albums of note, for which I'll simply copy the abstract I wrote for them:
The Elks (Kai Fagaschinski / Liz Allbee / Billy Roisz / Marta Zapparoli): This Is Not The Ant (Mikroton Recordings): This Is Not The Ant
An extremely balanced group of electroacoustic improvisers, Kai Fagaschinski on clarinet and Liz Allbee on trumpet make up the acoustic side, though sounding as electronic and other-worldly as Billy Roisz on e-bass and electronics and Marta Zapparoli on reel-to-reel tapes and tape machines, creating incredibly wide-ranging and psychedelic sonic environments.