November 14, 2017:
The last two weeks were all about purchasing for the fall and winter, as we prepared orders with a number of great labels, and received a few of those purchases already. In particular, the latest Silkheart release, Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen is on its way to us from Sweden; two new releases from Russia's Mikroton label; two from Chicago's versatile reedist Josh Sinton; the latest Victo release, Anthony Braxton's solo concert from the 30th anniversary of the festival; several new Corbett vs. Dempsey albums from Joe McPhee, Eugene Chadbourne, and Sun Ra; and this exciting set from Clean Feed:
Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity : Live in Europe [3 CDs]
Eve Risser / Kaja Draksler: To Pianos
FCT Trio meets Carlos Atti (Atti / Graziano / Evangelista / Cusa): From Sun Ra to Donald Trump
Ada Rave Trio (Rave / Hein / De Joode): The Sea, the Storm and the Full Moon
Aalberg, Kullhammar, Zetterber & Santos Silva: Basement Sessions Vol.4 (The Bali Tapes)
Nick Fraser (Fraser / Malaby / Downing / Clutton): Is Life Long
Joao Lencastre's Communion 3 (Lencastre / Sacks / Opsvik): Movements In Freedom
Sirius (Tembe / Trinite): Acoustic Main Suite Plus The Inner One
Imaginary Numbers (McPhee / Niggenkemper / Solberg): Imaginary Numbers
Joao Camoes, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Jean-Marc Foussat: Autres Paysages
Moster, Parker, Abrams & Herndon: Ran Do
For those items that are coming up, you can see them in our Upcoming Releases Section where you can ask us to email you when they're available to order.
Remote Viewers, The : Last Man In Europe (Remote Viewers)
I wanted to make a special mention about the new The Remote Viewers album, Last Man In Europe, which has been in rotation in my library. This configuration of the band is a unique, dropping the number of saxophonists to just two, with the amazing UK bassist John Edwards the sole accompanist. Tenor saxophonist David Petts handles all the formal compositions, with humorous titles that may or may not abstractly explain the music; the band collectively takes credit for 4 of the recordings. Adrian Northover is the second saxophonist, here on soprano; he's a founding member of the band, from their early Leo Records releases, and he also provides the album cover and inside photo.
I personally find Petts' compositions the most interesting aspect of the band, and it's what first brought me to listen to the band. His writing combines chamber aspects, but also a certain dramatic sensibility that I associate with rock, albeit in the RIO forms, and shades and approaches from creative free jazz. Harmonic dualities are characteristic, the two horns working in unison using unusual combinations of tones, progressing the music and then breaking off in staccato hesitation. Weaving tones between the saxes are often at play, creating a sense of motion much greater than expected. Edwards is the wild card here, plucking and bowing, he provides both support and counterpoint to the sax lines; his presence on recent albums has given The Remote Viewers a solid basis for their compositions, and brought prodigious technique and skill to the band. He also provides the excellent mixing and mastering for the release, which was beautifully recorded with great clarity. Looking back at their first 1999 album, Low Shapes In Dark Heat, a trio album of sax and synth, one can contrast with both the progress the playing and writing has evolved, but also the consistency with which Petts has maintained his signature over the music. Really fine work.
This last week we caught up with the Tzadik label, which we had slipped behind in during our move of offices. The list of "new" releases is impressive, with surprises to our ears from Burning Ghost, a West Coast improv quartet with experimental & rock leanings that's based on long-running collaborations. Ikue Mori's Obelisk also takes center stage, proving difficult to keep in stock (re-orders should arrive by the end of the week).
Taborn, Craig / Ikue Mori: Highsmith (Tzadik)
Two of Downtown NY's most innovative performers collaborate for an album placing the rich acoustic piano work of Craig Taborn beside the slippery electronics of Ikue Mori, the result of their live performances that started at New York's Village Vanguard in 2016 and leading to this album, which presents a set of 11 unique and sophisticated dialogs.
Zorn, John : Midsummer Moons (Tzadik)
Two guitarists -- Gyan Riley and Julian Lage -- perform 10 lyrical John Zorn compositions inspired by Shakespeare and written for the moon, a symbol of love, lust, madness and dreams, as the two guitarists play in unison and interweaving figures, a beautiful album of contemplative, refined and elegant works from one of New York's most prolific composers.
Burning Ghosts (Giddens / McLendon / Rosenboom / Vossler): Reclamation (Tzadik)
Burning Ghost is the West Coast rock influenced improvising quartet of Daniel Rosenboom on trumpet, guitarist Jake Vossler, Richard Giddens on double bass, and Aaron McLendon on drums, in a fiery album of heavy playing that borrows from jazz and metal rock forms, with ominious political overtones in their titles while showing articulate and impressive playing skill.
Mori, Ikue (w/ Jim Black / Okkyung Lee / Sylvie Courvoisier): Obelisk (Tzadik)
Ikue Mori's Obelisk project brings together her unique electronics with Downtown Scene key players, Jim Black on drums, Okkyung Lee on cello, and Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, an album driven by Mori's melodic compositions that take unexpected twists and turns in dramatic and lyrical playing, Mori's electronics bringing an exotic charm and ringing beauty to her works.
Zorn, John: The Interpretation Of Dreams (Tzadik)
A new set of works from Downtown New York composer John Zorn inspired by the surrealism of Luis Bunuel and the psychotropic dream world of William S. Burroughs, in three compositions performed by Jack Quartet, the rhythm section from the piano quintet Obscure Objects of Desire, plus vivbraphonist Sae Hashimoto, pianist Steve Gosling, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey.
Shardik (Shellenberger / Buckley / Hollenberg): (Tzadik)
Born from rock bands like Cleric and Simulacrum, this NY instrumental, improvising rock trio blends avant-garde classical, free jazz, dissonant math metal, ambient and world music into a powerful new mix, with Nick Shellenberger on bass and synth, Matt Buckley on drums & percussion, and Matt Hollenberg on guitar; intricate, edgy, demanding and driven music.
Halvorson, Mary Quartet (w/ Gress / Fujiwara / Okazaki): Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32 (Tzadik)
The final album from John Zorn's "Book of Angels" series presenting Zorn's Masada compositions, here with 10 previously unrecorded compositions from "Masada Book Two" performed by NY guitarist Mary Halvorson in a quartet with Drew Gress on bass, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, and Miles Okazaki on guitar, in an album of joyfully exciting and melodic improvisations.
Zorn, John: The Hermetic Organ Vol. 5 _Philharmonie De Paris (Tzadik)
"John Zorn returns to his original instrument with a new volume of organ improvisations recorded at his infamous Weekend in Paris in April 2017. The organ at the Grand Salle Pierre Boulez is one of the most powerful and versatile in France, and Zorn approaches it with great sensitivity and wild abandon. Includes both the full 40 minute concert recording, and over 30 additional minutes of Zorn alone at the manuals in rehearsal the same day."-Tzadik
Finally, a few updates from the last week or so.
November 7, 2017: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: The Elks (Fagaschinski / Allbee / Roisz / Zapparoli) - This Is Not the Ant (Mikroton) by Darren Bergstein.
November 8, 2017: New @ Squidco:
Mary Halvorson Quartet (w/ Gress/Fujiwara/Okazaki) -Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32 [CD] (Tzadik)
Ikue Mori (w/ Jim Black/Okkyung Lee/Sylvie Courvoisier) -Obelisk [CD] (Tzadik)
Craig Taborn/Ikue Mori -Highsmith [CD] (Tzadik)
John Zorn -Midsummer Moons [CD] (Tzadik)
John Zorn -The Interpretation Of Dreams [CD] (Tzadik)
Burning Ghosts (Giddens/McLendon/Rosenboom/Vossler) -Reclamation [CD] (Tzadik)
Shardik (Shellenberger/Buckley/Hollenberg) - [CD] (Tzadik)
Machinefabriek -Becoming [CD + DOWNLOAD] (Not On Label)
Peter Brotzmann Group -Alarm (1981) [CD] (Atavistic)
Rova::Orkestra -Electric Ascension (2003) [CD] (Atavistic)
November 9, 2017: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: The Runcible Quintet - Five (FMR) by John Eyles.