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Quin Kirchner:
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Recorded over 2 days in a Chicago studio in configuration from duos to an octet, drummer Quin Kirchner provides the compositions on this double CD for 11 pieces, alongside works by Frank Foster, Phil Cohran, Sun Ra & Carla Bley, presented as a story or a journey of differing styles and forms, glued together by Kirchner's remarkable drumming and coherently diverse interests. ... Click to View


Tomeka Reid Quartet:
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Drawn from some of New Yorks finest and most active improvisers, cellist Tomeka Reid's string-centric quartet with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Jason Roebke on bass, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums, take Reid's lyrical compositions into exuberant territory, showing the effective power of these versatile string instruments in creative and irresistible modern jazz. ... Click to View


Kaoru Abe :
19770916@Ayler, Sapporo (Doubtmusic)

Recently discovered, unissued solo improvisations from legendary Japanese free jazz alto saxophonist Karou Abe--four extended statements from the full concert recorded in 1970 at the Sapporo jazz cafe "Ayler"--an excellent example of the passionate performances he presented, using extended and unusual technique from assertive mastery to near-silent moments; incomporable. ... Click to View


Adam Caine Quartet, feat Adam Lane / Bob Lanzetti / Billy Mintz:
Transmissions (NoBusiness)

Embracing a wide and diverse stylistic range, from burning modern electric jazz to introspective interplay, NY guitarist Adam Caines' band with fellow guitarist Bob Lanzetti, Adam Lane on acoustic bass, Billy Mintz on drums, and Nick Lyons on alto saxophone, perform with great taste, technical mastery and superb interplay, releasing an extremely well-balanced colelction. ... Click to View


Keys & Screws (Thomas Borgmann / Jan Roder / Willi Kellers):
Some More Jazz [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Two thirds of the free jazz group "Boom Box"--saxophonist Thomas Borgmann and drummer Willi Kellers--and referencing that band's 2011 album titled Jazz, Keys & Screws is rounded out as a trio with double bassist Jan Roder, following the format of "Jazz" with compositions from each player following head/solo format, fueled by each player's extensive experience. ... Click to View


DUX Orchestra (Dave Sewelson / Mats Gustafsson / Susie Ibarra / Will Connell Jr. / Dave Hofstra / Walter "Sweet" Perkins / JC Morrison):
Duck Walks Dog (With Mixed Results) [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Dux, led by guitarist JC Morrison and baritone saxophonist Dave Seweleson, plus Dave Hofstra on bass and drummer Walter Perkins, is heard in this 1994 recording from "an attic" in New York City in an expanded version of the band, adding Mats Gustafsson on baritone sax, Will Connell, Jr on clarinet and Susie Ibarra on drums, for a wild session of exuberant free playing. ... Click to View


Larry Ochs / Aram Shelton Quartet (w/ Nordeson / Dresser / Walton):
Continental Drift (Clean Feed)

Key artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, composers and bandleaders Larry Ochs on tenor and sopranino saxophone and Aram Shelton on alto saxophone join together with Swedish drummer Kjell Nordeson, joined by either double bassist Mark Dresser or Scott Walton, in an album drawn from two session featuring exhiliarating pieces of unique approach from both composers. ... Click to View


Roots Magic (Pololla / De Fabritiis / Tedeschi / Spera):
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Mining the area between the blues and creative jazz with pieces by Charles Tyler, Ornette Coleman, Phil Cohran and Sun Ra, this is the 3rd album from the Italian quartet of Alberto Popolla on clarinets, Errico De Fabritiis on saxophones, Gianfranco Tedeschi on double bass, and Fabrizio Spera on drums & percussion, joined by Eugenio Colombo on flute and Francesco Lo Cascio on vibes. ... Click to View


Cliff Trio (Pandelis Karayorgis / Damon Smith / Eric Rosenthal):
Precipice (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Recording at the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA, the Boston-area trio of pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, bassist Damon Smith, and drummer Eric Rosenthal are captured in concert for an adventurous album of free improvisation, Karayorgis's compositions leading this piano trio of magnificent mastery into buoyantly exciting interplay as they take their listeners to a dizzying precipice edge. ... Click to View


Anton Ponomarev Trio (w/ Per Ole Jorgens / Dmitri Lapshin):
Dodsdromen (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Aggressive "honk-n-skronk" free jazz from the Moscow based trio of alto saxophonist Anton Ponomarev, with Danish drummer Peter Ole Jørgensen (aka P.O. Jorgens know for his work with Peter Brötzmann) and bass guitarist Dmitry Lapshin, ijn a studio album of eight burning "Circles", demanding skirmishes of fiery imformed collective free jazz. ... Click to View


Magnus Granberg / Skogen:
Let Pass My Weary Guiltless Ghost (Another Timbre)

First performed in November 2019 at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and then at the Splitter Orchester festival in Berlin, this studio recording of Magnus Granberg's delicately complex and exquisitely dream-like composition features his Skogen ensemble, including Granberg, Rhodri Davies, Toshimaru Nakamura, Erik Carlsson, Petter Wastberg, &c. ... Click to View


Rhodri Davies:
Telyn Rawn (Amgen Records)

Dating back to the 13th century in Wales, the Telyn Rawn is a nearly forgotten horsehair harp; UK improvising harpist Rhodri Davies researched the instrument and its unique sound, commissioning the construction of a harp on which he performs 18 improvisations of impressive technique and sonority, launching his new Amgen Records label with this album named for the instrument. ... Click to View


Tyler Higgins (w/ Monticello / Stevens):
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Blues with a strong sonic sense in Atlanta, GA guitarist Tyler Higgin's 2nd release on Shhpuma, his trio again featuring drummer Paul Stevens, and here adding bassist Gabriel Monticello, known for symphonic, jazz and rock forms, bringing masterful skill to this album that richly blends blues, gospel, folk, jazz and rock forms with passion and style. ... Click to View


Nicolas Snyder:
Temporary Places (Shhpuma)

West Coast sound artist Nicolas Snyder is a composer, filmmaker, sound-documenter, gardener, and forager; fascinated by the sounds of nature, he took recordings from streams and National Parks in Vietnam, Pennsylvania, and California and merged them with music composed in the studio to create these works of great beauty as a study of locational and emotional memory. ... Click to View


Dimos Vryzas:
Really Short And Tonal (Creative Sources)

Violinist, improviser, songwriter and composer from Thessaloniki, Greece, Dimos Vryzas creates a virtual electroacoustic ensemble using violin, voice and effects, contrasting acoustic and electronic sounds in the search for music expression, his studies with Fred Frith and Alfred Zimmerlin a good indicator of the kind of sound approach Vryzas employs. ... Click to View


Takamitsu Ohta:
Three Relations Among The Flock [CASSETTE] (Winds Measure)

Takamitsu Ohta, known for his work with artists Anne-F Jacques & Ryoko Akama, in three unexpected recordings using the microphone and speaker of small devices with recording and playback ability, from five to fifteen such linked devices creating surprisingly stacatto and expressive voices from feedback, each piece aptly named for the resulting articulation each combination creates. ... Click to View


Klaus Filip / Moe Kamura:
Passagein (Winds Measure)

ppooll sound artist Klaus Filip and Japanese experimental vocalist Moe Kamura (10Tet, Taku Sugimoto) in a two part electronic improvisation of electronic tones, textures, silence, and minimalist vocalization and utterance, Filip using a dynamic frequency palette inspiring Kamura's wordless expression; lowercase or Onkyo, a meditative and moody work. ... Click to View


Ballister:
Znachki Stilyag (Aerophonic)

The tenth year of the working and touring international Ballister trio of Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophones, Fred Lonberg on Holm on cello & electronics, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drum & percussion, here in an outrageously powerful yet explorative concert at Dom Cultural Center, in Moscow, Russia in 2019, a fierce example of what this band is capable of. ... Click to View


Stirrup + 6 (Lonberg-Holdm / Macri / Rumback):
The Avondale Addition (Cuneiform)

The Stirrup trio of cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri (bass), and Charles Rumback (drums) is merged with improvisers from Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra project--Keefe Jackson & Mars Williams on reeds, guitarist Peter Maunu, violist Jen Clare Paulson, trumpeter Russ Johnson & Zoots Houston on electronics -for this compelling structured performance at Elastic Arts. ... Click to View


Tashi Dorji / Tyler Damon:
To Catch A Bird In A Net Of Wind [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Fully free improvisation from Chicago musicians, electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer/percussionist Tyler Damon, performing live in a concert at Horatio N. May Chapel in 2018, the resonance of the location adding a rich reverberant level to their evolving dialog, building to ecstatic sonic states and releasing to energetically ruminative discourse. ... Click to View


BROM (Lapshin / Ponomarev / Mikensky / Kurilo):
Dance With An Idiot [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Raw, raucous and dauntless improvisation from the Russian quartet of Anton Ponomarev on alto saxophone, Dmitry Lapshin on bass guitar, Felix Mikensky on guitar & electronics, and Yaroslav Kurilo on drums, in 7 passionate collective improvisations with a dark melodic bent with titles like "demon" or "iron hair", plus a twisted take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts". ... Click to View


Berangere Maximin :
Land of Waves [VINYL 2 LPs + DOWNLOAD] (KARLRECORDS)

The sixth album of embraceable electroacoustic and acousmatic French composer Bérangère Maximin, whose work with Ina-GRM, Stockholm's EMS points to her extraordinary skills in organize other-worldly sound, imbued with her ability to create warmly embraceable works with mystery amongst propelling rhythm, here exploring recordings from city parks & abandoned properties. ... Click to View


Sun City Girls:
Live at the Sky Church - September 3rd, 2004 [VINYL LP & DVD] (Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company)

A 2004 live performance in LP and DVD from the experimental, irreverent and twisted rock trio Sun City Girls performing at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, from strange songs of weird, blunt or vulgar intent to experimental cutups--an unorthodox exorcism in sound--all presented with bizarre theatrical accompaniment as documented on the accompanying DVD. ... Click to View


Matias Riquelme / Fernando Ulzion:
La Trahison Des Mots (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Using the natural resonance of the Apodaka church in Alava, Spain, the Bilbao-based experimental improvising duo of cellist Francia Matías Riquelme and saxophonist Fernando Ulzion on soprano and alto, present an introspective and informed set of works titled as iconic jazz compositions, an implication of the impressionist approach their expansive and thoughtful playing invokes. ... Click to View


Machinefabriek / Anne Bakker:
Short Scenes (Zoharum)

While developing a soundtrack with violinist and violist Anne Bakker, Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek, began editing a series of Bakker's improvisations, creating new works from those recordings by layering them into succinct short works or "scenes"--twenty of them in the end--that he sequenced into this album of confidently dramatic and delicately beautiful episodes. ... Click to View


Master Oogway:
Earth And Other Worlds (Rune Grammofon)

The second album from the Norwegian electric jazz quartet of Havard Nordberg Funderud on guitar, Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on saxophone, Karl Erik Horndalsveen on double bass, and Martin Heggli Mellem on drums, after their 2018 album The Concert Koan on the Clean Feed label, here in six powerfully thrilling tracks of youthful exuberance and impressive skill. ... Click to View


Master Oogway:
Earth And Other Worlds [VINYL] (Rune Grammofon)

The second album from the Norwegian electric jazz quartet of Havard Nordberg Funderud on guitar, Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on saxophone, Karl Erik Horndalsveen on double bass, and Martin Heggli Mellem on drums, after their 2018 album The Concert Koan on the Clean Feed label, here in six powerfully thrilling tracks of youthful exuberance and impressive skill. ... Click to View


Thumbscrew (Fujiwara / Halvorson / Formanek):
The Anthony Braxton Project (Cuneiform)

The Thumbscrew trio of NY improvisers Tomas Fujiwara on drums & vibes, Mary Halvorson on guitar, and Michael Formanek on double bass, turn their focus to their shared history with composer and reedist Anthony Braxton as he celebrates his 75th birthday, performing 11 previously unheard compositions selected from Composition No. 14 through No. 274; masterful and profound. ... Click to View


Toyozumi / Yandsen / Countryman:
Future of Change (ChapChap Records)

The collaboration of American alto saxophonist living in the Philippines Rick Countryman with legendary Japanese free improvising drummer Sabu Toyozumim, also performing on Erhu, continues with this outstanding performance at the LIMBO Art Gallery in Makati, Philippines in 2020, joined by Malaysian tenor saxophonist Yong Yandsen for a burning set of free jazz. ... Click to View



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  Yui Onodera and Stephen Vitiello 
  Quiver  
  (Mikroton Recordings) 


  
   review by Dave Madden
  2019-01-24
Yui Onodera and Stephen Vitiello: Quiver (Mikroton Recordings)

While once a startling, exciting reaction to Serialism and avant-garde experimentation in the mid-20th Century, tonal minimalism is kind of a novelty / cheese and wine party topic in 2018. This approach has become so pedestrian, easily realized, and predictable that you can essentially make it with an app — even Brian Eno stepped out from behind the curtain and made several of his own. Turn on a machine or grab a string quartet, set them on G major, slowly modulate to G minor over the course of 40 minutes, and you're set (and watch the crowds gather because people slightly more astute than your average bear seem to love it).*

If you suffer from the same triggers, just hang on through the first minutes of "Quiver #1." The work begins with a familiar, speedy pattern of looping bloop boop blip bloop bloop blip and fills out with a swelling counterpoint a few octaves down; sputtering guitar licks fill in the gaps, and we're somewhere near Christopher Willits' six-string-based explorations of reverb and space that produce the pop version of electroacoustic music.

Hang on!

Near 1:29, the mix does the aural equal of wringing a towel and nearly turns inside out. The piece falls into a swath of cut & paste glitches, production stutters, and missing frames à la Oval or The Books. Now the track vacillates as not entirely stable — and nowhere near pop — with the aforementioned minutia darting like tornado detritus; if you were to compare this music to a sphere — and it does visually invoke that image (also: Eight tracks named Quiver, eight planets...) — these thin, rhythmic grains swirling across the stereo field act as both instigator and cork to whatever is currently churning under the dome (divine creationism, bubbling swamp, microbial evolution, etc.).

The authors of Quiver, Tokyo's Yui Onodera on electric strings and found objects, New Yorker Stephen Vitiello on guitars, modular synth, and toy piano (he is the gentleman who once had a studio on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center) and New Jersey born noise maker Kenneth Kirschner, remain focused on realizing disparate moods with restrained tweaks to the same bionic ensemble. "Quiver #5" introduces a submerged vibraphone (toy piano?) into rumbling bass and creaking walls. "Quiver #7" is saturated with sustained guitar notes that, say, Daniel Lanois would pull out his tool belt; some works lean heavily on field recordings — either processed (lots of delay and simple things such as reverse) or exposed (i.e. the mono-syllabic, cheery toddler engaged in busy work at the end of "Quiver #3").

Listened to sequentially, Quiver is a soundtrack to a movie not made. I twice said aloud, "Why aren't there more film scores that walk this line of 1) harmonic convention 2) enough pull toward Spectral textures to create intrigue and inspire musicians to reach outside so-called consonance?" If anything, what I think about most is how this gorgeous, complicated album has made me put on the brakes and question my bias when reading the label "Minimalist" slapped on anything released after 1985. That's a significant win.



*I should say that I appreciate anything that disrupts monotony and is an insufferable prick to status quo, and Minimalism was a mission accomplished amidst the Schoenberg and Cage regurgitations. But we need more La Monte Youngs and less Einstein on the Beach. Have I offended everyone yet?



Yui Onodera and Stephen Vitiello: Quiver
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Quin Kirchner:
The Shadows and
he Light
[2 CDs]
(Astral Spirits)



Cliff Trio
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Precipice
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(Fundacja Sluchaj!))



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Among The Stars
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Tyler Damon:
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In A Net Of Wind
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DOWNLOAD]
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