The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Magnus Granberg : Es Schwindelt Mir, Es Brennt Mein Eingweide (Another Timbre)

An hour-long work for an ensemble of six musicians by Swedish composer Magnus Granberg performed by Anna Lindal on baroque violin, d incise on vibraphonen electronics, Cyril Bondi on percussion, Anna Kaisa Meklin on viola da gamba, Christoph Schiller on spinet, and Magnus Granberg himself on prepared piano, transforming material from a song by Franz Schubert. ... Click to View


John Cage : Two2 (Another Timbre)

One of a handful of John Cage's number pieces, this work for two pianists follows the forms of Renga poetry, composed with 36 lines of music, each containing 5 measures, and each line having 31 events occuring in the sequence 5-7-5-7-7, with the pianists allowed their own tempo but waiting to synchronize each measure, as performed by Mark Knoop and Philip Thomas. ... Click to View


Bondi / Martel / Schiller: tse (Another Timbre)

With backgrounds in both improvisation and compositional music, the new trio of Cyril Bondi on harmonium, Pierre-Yves Martel on viola da gamba, and Christoph Schiller on spinet, agreed on a sequence of pitches for this 5 part improvisational work, allowing space for the players to explore pitch and melody within a contemplative and pensive framework. ... Click to View


Angles 3: Parede (Clean Feed)

Martin Kuchen's Angles band changes shape constantly, originally a trio and expanding as large as Angles 10, but this album, recorded live at SMUP, Parede, Portugal in 2016, returns the band to the original trio of Kuchen on sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on double bass, and Kjell Nordeson on drums & percussion, reworking Angles compositions to their essence. ... Click to View


Honest John w/ Ab Baars : Treem (Clean Feed)

The Norwegian quintet Honest John of Ole Henrik Moe on violin, Kim Johannesen on guitar & banjo, Ola Hoyer on double bass, Erik Nylander on drums & drum machine, on Klaus Ellerhusen sax and clarinet, are joined by multi-reedist and shakuhachi player Ab Baars at Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria to capture this quirky, controlled, and incredibly knowledgeable concert. ... Click to View


Chris Pitsiokos / CP Unit: Silver Bullet In The Autumn Of Your Years (Clean Feed)

Pushing the envelope in genre-smashing collective improvisation, Brooklyn-based sax and synth player Chris Pitsiokos and his CP Unit with 2 electric bassists--Tim Dahl and Henry Fraser--2 drummers--Jason Nazary and Connor Baker--and guitarist Sam Lisabeth, take a twisted path through improv, rock, and electronics that always shows a fierce allegiance to free jazz. ... Click to View


Scott Clark: Tonow (Clean Feed)

Drummer Scott Clark continues to explore his Native American roots in this album dedicated to the protests at Standing Rock, North Dakota, each heartfelt piece titled for aspects of those demonstrations, performed with bassist Cameron Ralston, trumpeter Bob Miller, saxophonist Jason Scott, guitarist Alan Parker, and extended with Chicago guitarist Tobin Summerfield. ... Click to View


Lynn Cassiers : Imaginary Band (Clean Feed)

Composer, vocalist and electronics artist Lynn Cassiers' new septet with Sylvain Debaisieux (soprano and tenor saxophone), Ananta Roossens (violin), Niels Van Heertum (euphonium), Erik Vermeulen (piano), Manolo Cabras (double bass) and Marek Patrman (drums) in their adventurous debut album blending improv, pop aesthetics, electronics, dreamlike voice, and solid playing. ... Click to View


AMM: An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs] (Matchless)

A beautiful 3-CD set with a hardcover book presenting 3 full concerts from 2015 & 2016 of the AMM trio configuration of John Tilbury (piano), Keith Rowe (guitar) and Eddie Prevost (percussion). The 70 page book, dedicated to saxophonist Lou Gare, includes an AMM discography, plus photos, an essays by Paige Mitchell and Allen Fisher; Keith Rowe; Eddie Prevost; and Lou Gare. ... Click to View


Mary Halvorson : Code Girl [2 CDs] (Firehouse 12 Records)

Always open to new approaches, NY guitarist Mary Halvorson takes her trio with drummer Tomas Fujiwara and bassist Michael Formanek, adds trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and, in a twist of the thumbscrew, vocalist Amirtha Kidambi, for a mix of song and instrumental pieces that balance jazz and rock sensibilities with lyricism, intricate lines, and creative spirit. ... Click to View


Mary Halvorson : Code Girl [VINYL] (Firehouse 12 Records)

Always open to new approaches, NY guitarist Mary Halvorson takes her trio with drummer Tomas Fujiwara and bassist Michael Formanek, adds trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and, in a twist of the thumbscrew, vocalist Amirtha Kidambi, for a mix of song and instrumental pieces that balance jazz and rock sensibilities with lyricism, intricate lines, and creative spirit. ... Click to View


The Thing (Gustafsson / Haker Flaten / Nilssen-Love + McPhee): Again (The Thing Records)

The Thing "again" as Gustafsson on saxophones, Haker Flaten on electric and acoustic bass, and Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion present 3 extended blues-based, Ayler-inflected free jazz pieces, with Gustafsson's powerfully emotional playing over Haker-Flaten and Nilssen-Love's powerful polyrhythmic foundations; Joe McPhee joins for one track taking on a Frank Lowe piece. ... Click to View


The Thing (Gustafsson / Haker Flaten / Nilssen-Love + McPhee): Again [VINYL] (The Thing Records)

The Thing "again" as Gustafsson on saxophones, Haker Flaten on electric and acoustic bass, and Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion present 3 extended blues-based, Ayler-inflected free jazz pieces, with Gustafsson's powerfully emotional playing over Haker-Flaten and Nilssen-Love's powerful polyrhythmic foundations; Joe McPhee joins for one track taking on a Frank Lowe piece. ... Click to View


Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes: Uplift The People (Ogun)

Drummer Moholo-Moholo, a member of Blue Notes, Elton Dean's Ninesene, Foxes Fox, London Improvisers Orchestra, a sideman for Brotzmann, Keith Tippets sideman and drummer and most importantly, band leader in a rich, lyrical and spiritual album recorded live at Cafe Oto in 2017 with Alexander Hawkins (piano), John Edwards (bass), Shabaka Hutchings (sax) and Jason Yard (sax). ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / William Parker / Matthew Shipp: Seraphic Light (Live At Tufts University) (Aum Fidelity)

A long-form 3-part work of collective improvisation from 3 masterful New York free jazz legends--Daniel Carter on flute, trumpet, clarinet, and saxophones, William Parker on bass, and Matthew Shipp on piano--performing live at Tufts University in 2017 in a beautifully thoughtful and lyrical concert presented after a screening of the '59 film "The Cry of Jazz". ... Click to View


Ceramic Dog (Ribot / Ches Smith / Shahzad Ismaily): Y R U Still Here? [VINYL] (Northern Spy)

... Click to View


The Ex: 27 Passports (Ex Records)

After several years of Brass Unbound, Getatchew Mekuria, festivals and countless side projects, The Ex return to The Ex, a 4-piece led by the trio of guitars from Andy Moor, Terrie Hessels and Arnold de Boer driven by drummer Katherina Bornefeld, de Boer acerbic and insightful on this seriously great rock record; plus a 36-page photo book from Andy Moor. ... Click to View


The Ex: 27 Passports [VINYL] (Ex Records)

After several years of Brass Unbound, Getatchew Mekuria, festivals and countless side projects, The Ex return to The Ex, a 4-piece led by the trio of guitars from Andy Moor, Terrie Hessels and Arnold de Boer driven by drummer Katherina Bornefeld, de Boer acerbic and insightful on this seriously great rock record; plus a 36-page photo book from Andy Moor. ... Click to View


Mette Rasmussen / Tashi Dorji: (Feeding Tube Records)

Captured live, the excitingly assertive improvisation of Danish saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and Bhutan electric guitarist Tashi Dorji on the stage at Hotel2Tango in Montreal, Quebec in 2016, and at La Sala Rosa, each pushing the limits on their instruments while retaining control of their conversation, a taught balancing act of extraordinary playing. ... Click to View


Elisabeth Harnik / Joelle Leandre: Tender Music (Trost Records)

Two like-minded musicians with a history in compositional and improvised music, pianist and prepared pianist Elisabeth Harnik and double bassist and vocalist Joelle Leandre met at WIST, in Graz, Austria in 2016 to perform and record this live album of insightful and compelling dialog between two masterful musicians full of creativity and virtuosic skill. ... Click to View


Zu / Mats Gustafsson: How To Raise An Ox [VINYL] (Trost Records)

The first vinyl edition of the 2004 collaboration of Italian power trio Zu of Luca Tommaso Mai on baritone sax, Massimo Pupillo on bass, and Jacopo Battaglia on drums, with Swedish baritone sax phenomenon Mats Gustafsson, what Atavistic calls a "hypno-skronk implosion" of dueling baritones sax over wonderfully intense and skronky free improvisation; a classic! ... Click to View


Marty Ehrlich: Trio Exaltation (Clean Feed)

With a history of playing together in the Andrew Hill Sextet, Marty Ehrlich immediately chose bassist John Hebert and drummer Nasheet Waits to join Ehrlich in his new trio endeavor, the multi-wind & reed player on alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet and wooden flutes as they perform 9 lyrical and sophisticated Ehrlich compositions, plus one by Andrew Hill. ... Click to View


Chrome Hill: The Explorer (Clean Feed)

The Norwegian quartet formerly known as "Damp" with baritone guitarist Asbjorn Lerheim, tenor saxophonist Atle Nymo, drummer Torstein Lofthus, and double bassist Roger Arntzen, blend expressive forms of jazz with blues and rock in an expansive and rich set of tunes that both pay homage and look to new and inclusive formations of emotional and effusive music. ... Click to View


Lana Trio w/ Sofia Jernberg: Lana Trio w/ Sofia Jernberg (Clean Feed)

The Norwegian experimental collective improvising group of Henrik Munkeby Norstebo on trombone, Kjetil Jerve on piano, and Andreas Wildhagen on drums & percussion are the core trio here, presenting their third release by adding free improvising vocalist Sofia Jernberg, bringing a sense of unpredictability to a finely controlled chaos of technical mastery. ... Click to View


Rafael Toral / Hugo Antunes / Joao Pais Filipe / Ricardo Webbens: Space Quartet (Clean Feed)

Composer, engineer and electronic artist Rafael Toral has completed his Space Program series and now launches his "Space Quartet" with double bassist Hugo Antunes, drummer/percussionist Joao Pais Filipe, synth player Ricardo Webbens, and Toral himself on modular feedback, blending solid acoustic rhythms with interstellar and abstract sound; singular. ... Click to View


Kirk Knuffke / Ben Goldberg: Uncompahgre (Relative Pitch)

Two extraordinary players from two coasts--clarinetist Ben Goldberg from the West and cornetist Kirk Knuffke from the East--in an exuberant duo of lyrical and virtuosic free jazz that astonishes the listener with the ease of their interactions in both parallel and contrasting lines, supporting the other as they express themselves uniquely; an impressive achievement! ... Click to View


Tomeka Reid / Kyoko Kitamura / Taylor Ho Bynum / Joe Morris: Geometry of Caves (Relative Pitch)

Bringing New York and Chicago performers together, the quartet of cellist Tomeka Reid, guitarist Joe Morris, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and free vocalist Kyoko Kitamura present an album of expressive and creative collective improvisation, bridging chamber forms and free jazz with a captivatingly eccentric appeal from Kitamura's wordless vocalese. ... Click to View


Tatakai Trio (Kuchen / Lindsjo / Strid): HappI (Relative Pitch)

A trio of well-versed Swedish free improvisers--Martin Kuchen on soprano & sopranino saxophones, Raymond Strid on drums, and Anders Lijndsjo on guitar--in 8 studio improvisations of unusual and highly rhythmic and upbeat interplay, titled with happy adjectives, an apt description of the joy these three find in unconventional approaches to improvisation. ... Click to View


Stephanie Richards : Full Moon (Relative Pitch)

An extremely interesting experimental record of free improvisation and electronics from the duo of Dino J.A. Deane and trumpeter Stephanie Richards, whose work with Henry Threadgill and Butch Morris is felt in these pieces where Richards explores resonance in brass and percussion as Deane samples and manipulates her playing live; an inventive and effusive album. ... Click to View


Fujii / Fonda / Mimmo: Triad (Long Song Records)

An album recorded on the 59th birthday of pianist-composer Satoko Fujii, the second recorded with bassist Joe Fonda on the Long Song imprint, this time in a trio with soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo, the focus of the album the 42 minute monumental improvisation "Birthday Girl", a sophisticated and engaging dialog of lyrical playing and great beauty. ... Click to View


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The Squid's Ear
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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)
  • June 19, 2018:

    It's been very quiet in this blog, owing to my trip to New York City and Connecticut. for the last 10 days. That was extended a day from American Airline's massive technical glitch causing the cancellation of 100s of flights, my return flight being one of them. All that aside, it was great to be back in the city for a few days, catching up with friends and hearing some live music. Of that, the best was no doubt Bruce Gallanter's weekly free series, where I heard two sets, one from Carlo Costa / Christian M Svendsen / Sam Kulik - Percussion / Bass / Trombone; and the other from and Jonathan Moritz / Sean Ali / Carlo Costa - Sax / Bass/ Drums. Carlo Costa (Neither/Nor) records organized the night, knowing that bassist Christian M Svendsen (Nakama Records) would be in town for a couple of days while waiting for Paal Nilssen-Love's Large Unit tour to start. Both sets were incredible examples of fully free improvisation, two journeying sets of incredible technique, imaginative development, and intense listening between the players.

    I spoke with Svendsen and Costa after the show, as well as with David Grollman of Wee Tapes and Prom Night, and we made plans to add the new Nakama Records in the near future, and to revisit Neither/Nor to catch up with the label.

    We carry several Nakama releaases that are in stock now, and I can't recommend them highly enough:

    Filosofer: Landet Er Gitt Oss [VINYL] (Nakama Records)

    An hallucinogenic and commanding blending of improvisation, song, spoken word, and tonal/timbral music from double bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen's Filosofer, creating beautiful sonic environments out of which voice and message emerge and submerge, buoyed by a string quartet (two violins and two double basses), computers, turntables, synths and samplers.



    Svendsen, Christian Meaas : Avin (Nakama Records)

    Known more for his double bass work, Christian Meaas Svendsen releases a stunningly beautiful album of unusually orchestrated pop songs with an 8-piece band of Nordic improvisers and performers, a dramatic album of tension and release which, despite lyrics in Norwegian, draws all listeners in through inventive and innovative musical structures.



    Tanaka, Ayumi / Johan Lindvall / Christian Wallumrod: 3 Pianos [VINYL LP] (Nakama Records)

    This trio joins 3 disparate approaches to composition and improvisation--Japanese improviser Ayumi Tanaka, Oslo composer Johan Lindvall, and ECM artist Christian Wallumrod-developing the engaging material on this album by focusing on elements like tuning, register, intervals and dynamics, for an absorbing album of compatible and concentrative playing.



    From Neither/Nor Records we have this fascinating album, which reflects the set that I heard at DMG:

    Costa, Carlo Quartet: Sediment (Neither/Nor Records)

    A new NY label from percussionist Carlo Costa in its 1st release, a quartet with Steve Swell on trombone, Sean ali on bass and Jonathan Moritz on sax, presenting an improvisational language that subsumes the individual players into a distinct group sound.



    June 7, 2018: New @ Squidco:
    Magnus Granberg -Es Schwindelt Mir, Es Brennt Mein Eingweide [CD] (Another Timbre)
    John Cage -Two2 [2 CDs] (Another Timbre)
    Bondi/Martel/Schiller -tse [CD] (Another Timbre)
    Angles 3 -Parede [CD] (Clean Feed)
    Honest John w/ Ab Baars -Treem [CD] (Clean Feed)
    Chris Pitsiokos/CP Unit -Silver Bullet In The Autumn Of Your Years [CD] (Clean Feed)
    Scott Clark -Tonow [CD] (Clean Feed)
    Lynn Cassiers -Imaginary Band [CD] (Clean Feed)






    These were the last updates before I left for this trip. I'll be working dilligently this week to get our next mailing list together and get a large list of new releases on my desk in stock, and ultimately, fully cataloged. It's going to be a busy week, but I'm feeling recharged from the time off!

    June 6, 2018: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Insub Meta Orchestra - 13 & 27 (Another Timbre) by Jeph Jerman.

    June 6, 2018: New @ Squidco:
    AMM -An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs] (Matchless)
    Mary Halvorson -Code Girl [2 CDs] (Firehouse 12 Records)
    Mary Halvorson -Code Girl [VINYL] (Firehouse 12 Records)
    The Thing (Gustafsson/Haker Flaten/Nilssen-Love + McPhee) -Again [CD] (The Thing Records)
    The Thing (Gustafsson/Haker Flaten/Nilssen-Love + McPhee) -Again [VINYL] (The Thing Records)
    Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes -Uplift The People [CD] (Ogun)
    Daniel Carter/William Parker/Matthew Shipp -Seraphic Light (Live At Tufts University) [CD] (Aum Fidelity)
    Ceramic Dog (Ribot/Ches Smith/Shahzad Ismaily) -Y R U Still Here? [VINYL] (Northern Spy)
    The Ex -27 Passports [CD] (Ex Records)
    The Ex -27 Passports [VINYL] (Ex Records)
    Mette Rasmussen/Tashi Dorji - [LP] (FEEDING TUBE RECORDS)
    Elisabeth Harnik/Joelle Leandre -Tender Music [CD] (Trost Records)
    Zu/Mats Gustafsson -How To Raise An Ox [VINYL] (Trost Records)

    June 5, 2018: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Jean Derome - Resistances (Ambiances Magnetiques) by Massimo Ricci.


  • May 31, 2018:

    My most frequent sentiment as I sit down to write in this blog is that I haven't found the time to adequately express the excitement of the new music we keep seeing come in the door. This is the perfect week for that, as I prepare for a quick trip to Syracuse, NY this weekend to see family, and then a longer trip to NYC the following week to catch up with friends and see (hear) some music. That's made for a tight week as I turn everything over to Carl to keep things running. The secondary consequence for that is that our mailing list for the next two weeks will arrive on Thursday instead of Friday, and my guess is I'll have no blog entry for the next two weeks after this (though the NY journey may prompt a few words).

    That said, I don't have anything more (or less) profound to say than Clean Feed! Tzadik! Another Timbre! Relative Pitch! Chadbourne! Northern Spy! Dare2 Records! Mary Halvorson! Jason Kahn! The real story I'd like to tell is found in our Just In Stock Section, and in our New Releases section.

    Personally over the last couple of weeks I've spent the most time on the following albums, which isn't to say anything against the rest. And those that just arrived are yet to be listened to, and will be accompanying me on my travels. More detail when I'm able!

    Tatakai Trio (Kuchen / Lindsjo / Strid): HappI (Relative Pitch)

    A trio of well-versed Swedish free improvisers--Martin Kuchen on soprano & sopranino saxophones, Raymond Strid on drums, and Anders Lijndsjo on guitar--in 8 studio improvisations of unusual and highly rhythmic and upbeat interplay, titled with happy adjectives, an apt description of the joy these three find in unconventional approaches to improvisation.



    Richards, Stephanie : Full Moon (Relative Pitch)

    An extremely interesting experimental record of free improvisation and electronics from the duo of Dino J.A. Deane and trumpeter Stephanie Richards, whose work with Henry Threadgill and Butch Morris is felt in these pieces where Richards explores resonance in brass and percussion as Deane samples and manipulates her playing live; an inventive and effusive album.



    Knuffke, Kirk / Ben Goldberg: Uncompahgre (Relative Pitch)

    Two extraordinary players from two coasts--clarinetist Ben Goldberg from the West and cornetist Kirk Knuffke from the East--in an exuberant duo of lyrical and virtuosic free jazz that astonishes the listener with the ease of their interactions in both parallel and contrasting lines, supporting the other as they express themselves uniquely; an impressive achievement!



    Fujii / Fonda / Mimmo: Triad (Long Song Records)

    An album recorded on the 59th birthday of pianist-composer Satoko Fujii, the second recorded with bassist Joe Fonda on the Long Song imprint, this time in a trio with soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo, the focus of the album the 42 minute monumental improvisation "Birthday Girl", a sophisticated and engaging dialog of lyrical playing and great beauty.



    Hawkins, Chester: Natural Causes - Original Music For Pale Trees, A Film By Tim Ashby [VINYL] (Intangible Arts)

    Washington, DC based electronic experimenter Chester Hawkins (Blue Sausage Infant) was commissioned by director Tim Ashby to compose this work for the soundtrack to his feature-length film "Pale Trees", Hawkin's music illustrating the film's gradient of psychological colors from darkness, rage, and vengeance through a mix of kosmische drone in a Tangerine Dream vein.



    continued...




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