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Yong Yandsen / Christian Meaas Svendsen / Paal Nilssen-Love:
Hungry Ghosts (Nakama Records)

Chinese Buddhism defines "Hungry Ghosts" as beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way, an apt description of this trio's dynamic and often bristling collective free jazz, with Malaysian saxophonist Yong Yandsen and Norwegians, Christian Meaas Svendsen on bass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, performing live in Kuala Lumpur, 2018. ... Click to View


The MacroQuarktet :
The Complete Night: Live At The Stone NYC [2 CDs] (Out Of Your Head Records)

NYC Downtown mainstays, trumpeters Dave Ballou and Herb Robertson, are heard in a full concert at The Stone in NYC in 2007 with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey, concentrating their work in the Satoko Fuji Orchestra and Orange Then Blue into their own quartet, this their first performance together their energy, inventivenss and enthusiasm is on full display. ... Click to View


Webber/Morris Big Band:
Both Are True (Greenleaf Music)

Since 2015, composers-performers-conductors Anna Webber and Angela Morris have brought their compositions and playing skill to their Webber/Morris Big Band, 18 stellar New York improvisers integrating improvisation and composed material in unorthodox ways & with extra-musical sources, heard here at Roulette in Brooklyn in 2018 and at Buckminster Forest in 2019. ... Click to View


Adrian Waade Loseth :
Kitchen Music (Nakama Records)

Norwegian violinist Adrian Løseth Waade's first release as a leader is this melodically-inclined album of brightly evocative improvisation, buoyant strings and creative rhythmic drive with Waade providing all compositions, performed with Kjartan Laereid Gullikstad on guitar, Bardur Reinert Poulsen on bass, and Simon Olderskog Albertsen on drums. ... Click to View


Andrew Bain / Alex Bonney / Peter Evans / John O'Gallagher:
No Boundaries [VINYL] (Whirlwind)

London drummer & percussionist Andrew Bain leads a quartet with Alex Bonney on electronics & live processing, Peter Evans on trumpet & flugelhorn, and John O'Gallagher on alto sax, through two improvisations performed live at The Hexagon, Midlands Arts Centre, in Birmingham, UK in 2017, challenging idiom, genre & instrumental boundaries in a thorougly modern jazz ensemble. ... Click to View


Karl Evangelista (w/ Alexander Hawkins / Louis Moholo-Moholo / Trevor Watts):
Apura! [2 CDs] (Astral Spirits)

Filipino guitarist Karl Evangelista translates the name of the seminal South African sextet Chris McGregor Group's album "Very Urgent" to the tagalog equivalent--"Apura!"-- recording in London with McGregor group drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo and kindred soul Trevor Watts on saxophones, plus luminary pianist Alexander Hawkins, for a sophisticated album of exemplary collective improv. ... Click to View


Don Dietrich:
Option [VINYL] (Feeding Tube Records)

Recorded in 2019 as part of the OPTION series in Chicago, this is only Borbetomagus saxophonist Don Dietrich's second solo album, which is surprisingly his first solo performance, using an amplified tenor sax modified by effect pedals on a wild and boisterously harrowing performance of free improvisation by one of the preeminent practitioners of noise jazz. ... Click to View


Jurg Frey (Davies / Correa / Chang / Thut):
Echo.Trio.Fragile.Eyot (A New Wave of Jazz)

Two solo installation works from Wandelweiser composer Jürg Frey--"Paysage d'échos" in Aarau, Switzerland, in 2009; and "Equilibre fragile" in in Aarau in 2014--plus Frey's "Streichtrio" performed by Angharad Davies (violin), Johnny Chang (viola) and Stefan Thut (cello); and a solo piano work, "Eyot", performed by Antonio Correa. ... Click to View


Tonus (Serries / Verhoeven / Webster):
Segment Tones (A New Wave of Jazz)

Exploring long tones and harmonic interactions of consonance & dissonance through a slowly rotating and patiently evolving series of tones with each of the players in the Tonus trio doubling on wind instruments, as performed by Dirk Serries on soprano melodica & accordion, Martina Verhoeven on concertina & cello, and Colin Webster on clarinet & alto saxophone. ... Click to View


Liberty Ellman:
Last Desert (Pi Recordings)

Guitarist/composer Liberty Ellman's album takes its name from the four deserts--Atacama in South America, the Gobi in China, the Sahara in Egypt, and the "White Desert" of Antarctica--in seven sophisticated compositions performed with Steve Lehman on alto sax, Stephan Crump on bass, Damion Reid on drums, Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, and Jose Davila on tuba. ... Click to View


Whit Dickey (w/ Nate Wooley / Matthew Shipp):
Morph [2 CDs] (ESP)

Two albums released together as a single-priced 2-CD set, NY drummer, composer and free improviser Whit Dickey leads two groupings: on Reckoning, a duet with frequent collaborator, pianist Matthew Shipp; and Pacific Noir, a trio with Shipp and trumpeter Nate Wooley; both superb examples of modern jazz with creative inventiveness and virtuouso execution. ... Click to View


Pauline Oliveros / Alan Courtis:
Telematic Concert [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (SpleenCoffin)

An unreleased 2009 concert from the Deep Listening Institute's Dream Festival, performed virtually via collaborative software between American electronic innovator and Deep Listening artist Pauline Oliveros on accordion and expanded instrument system, and Argentinian experimental musician Alan Courtis (Reynols) on unstringed guitar, objects and live processing. ... Click to View


Tod Dockstader:
Aerial 1 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Important Records)

The first in a 3-part series of vinyl releases for Tod Dockstader's "Aerial 1-3", his major work of electronic drone environments developed over 15 years, using over 90 hours of shortwave radio sources, cross signals and fragments, creating vast atmospheric clouds from which emerge voices, mutated conversations and unexpected patterns; amazing! ... Click to View


Bernard Parmegiani :
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Three works from Italian composer and sound artist Bernard Parmegiani, the title track "Violostries" performed with violinist Devy Erlih and Parmegiani on sound projection, intersecting several of Parmegiani's research concepts and presented as simultaneous dialogues; plus "Capture Ephemere" an active acousmatic work; and the rotating composition "La Roue Ferri". ... Click to View


Alvin Lucier:
String Noise [2 CDs] (Black Truffle)

Continuing Black Truffle's series documenting the recent work of legendary American experimental composer Alvin Lucier, the duo String Noise of violinists Conrad Harris & Pauline Harris Kim present three long-form compositions exploring acoustic phenomena, including echolocation ("Tapper"), inter-violin resonance ("In Love Song") and sustaining long tones ("Halo"). ... Click to View


Patrick Shirioshi :
Descension [VINYL] (Thin Wrist)

A layered work of solo saxophone, electronics and noise from LA free improviser Patrick Shiroishi, the work often dark and primal contrasted with warmly passionate playing, in a work that reflects on the history of concentration camps for Japanese-American citizens during World War II, and on the current struggles of minorities around the globe; cathartic. ... Click to View


Bill Orcutt / Michael Morley:
Electric Guitar Duets [VINYL] (Palilalia)

Reissuing on LP their 2016 limited cassette on the Land and Sea label of a performance by guitarists Michael Morley (Dead C) and Bill Orcutt (Harry Pussy, solo) at the L/S gallery in Oakland, Orcutt on a Fender Telecaster without effects and Morley on a modified 2006 Squire Telecaster made in Indonesia, in a conversation merging clear and crenulated playing. ... Click to View


David Behrman / Paul Demarinis / Fern Friedman / Terri Hanlon / Anne Klingensmith:
She's More Wild... [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Originally released in 1981 as a 3-track 7", this collaborative project recorded at Mills College by David Behrman, Paul DeMarinis, Fern Friedman, Terri Hanlon and Anne Klingensmith is presented for the first time in its entirety, a quirky performance art work based on texts by Friedman and Hanlon in which female narrators comically embody a series of iconic roles. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble:
The Riddle Of Steel (Evil Clown)

This Boston-area collective ensemble explores chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, heard in this 2019 recordings with three horns, doubled percussion and electronics, analog synthesis, and driving drum and bass work from Yuri Zbitnov and Mike Gruen, leveraging the Evil Clown arsenal of percussive devices as they perform an extended improvisations covering a wide scope of sonority and concept. ... Click to View


Brian Marsella:
Gatos Do Sul (Tzadik)

Pianist and composer Brian Marsella leads an all-star octet including Cyro Baptista, Mark Feldman, Jon Irabagon performing Marsella's lyrical and upbeat compositions inspired by classical, jazz, and folkloric Brazilian music and influenced by composers from Ernesto Nazareth, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Pixinguinha to Baden Powell and Egberto Gismonti; irrepressible! ... Click to View


Bill Laswell (incl. Pharoah Sanders / Herbie Hancock / Chad Smith):
Against Empire (Mod Reloaded)

Four rich and soulful pieces of electric jazz with an often Mwandishi-feel, from bassist Bill Laswell in a 9-piece ensemble of outstanding improvisers: Pharoah Sanders on sax, Peter Apfelbaum on sax, flute & keyboards, Herbie Hancock on electric piano, and 5 drummer/percussionsts--Jerry Marotta, Chad Smith, Hideo Yamaki, Satoyasu Shomura and, Adam Rudolph. ... Click to View


Charles Ives E.:
Another Songbook (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Conductor Sebastian Gottschick presents an additional selection of songs and chamber music works from composer Charles Edward Ives that reflect this broad range, 20 mostly brief and innovative works composed between 1898 and 1921, blurring the boundaries between genres through unusual motifs, themes, gestures and phrases that appear in new vocal and/or instrumental contexts. ... Click to View


Sebastian Gottschick :
Notturni (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Seven works composed in the 21st century by Sebastian Gottschick, who arranges and conducts the Ensemble Fur Neue Musick Zurich, configured as an ensemble with percussion, a sextet, a chamber ensemble with baritone and soprano, and performing himself solo on viola; sophisticated and modern works that employ complex tonality, timbre and playing techniques. ... Click to View


Turbulence:
Friction Coefficients (Evil Clown)

Saxophonist & flutist Bonnie Kane (W.O.O.) joins the Turbulence group, the extended horn section of the Leap of Faith Orchestra from Boston area collective Evil Clown led by David Peck (PEK), a concert that was live-streamed to Youtube during the Covid-19 Pandemic in February 2020, in a sextet with four reedists, two trumpeters, electronics, drums & extensive percussion. ... Click to View


Futterman / Levin / DuRoche:
Timeless Memories (JDF/CLM )

Bringing together exemplary jazz musicians from three cities--Virginia-based pianist Joel Futterman, Bary Area multi-reedist Ike Levin, and Portland, OR percussionist Tim DuRochse, for two sets of dynamic collective free jazz with a lyrical intent, joyfully spontaneous music that unfolds in ways that appear composed through the compatibility and familiarity of each artist. ... Click to View


Joel Futterman / Alvin Fielder / Ike Levin Trio:
Live At The Blue Monk (Charles Lester Music)

A burning live album presenting two sets of collective free jazz at Portland, Oregon's Blue Monk in 2006 from the trio of frequent collaborators Alvin Fielder on drumsn, Joel Futterman on piano, soprano sax & wooden flute, and Ike Levin on tenor saxophone & bass clarinet, a concert of great range, from explosive freneticism to introspective spaciousness. ... Click to View


Joe Morris :
Instantiation: Switches (Glacial Erratic)

The 4th in improving guitarist and composer Joe Morris' Instantiation series, where each part is unique, composed with specific notated and operational components such that it impossible to perform any of them the same way twice; performed with two active Boston improvisers, trombonist Eric Stilwell (hear on Joe Morris Trio "Value") and cellist & bassist Brad Barrett. ... Click to View


Kyle Bruckmann:
Triptych (Tautological) (Carrier Records)

Performing on oboe, English horn and live electronics, West Coast double-reedist Kyle Bruckmann presents three extended solo works of deep electroacoustic binding, each dedicated to a writer, artist or musician: "A Spurious Autobiography for John Barth (2015)"; "An Extruded Introversion for Blixa Bargeld (2016)"; and "A Fuzzy Monolith for James Turrell (2015)". ... Click to View


Dave Douglas (w/ Joey Baron / Dave Adewumi / Matt Stevens / Fabian Almazan / Carmen Rothwell):
Dizzy Atmosphere - Dizzy Gillespie at Zero Gravity (Greenleaf Music)

Trumpeter Dave Douglas' tribute to the great trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, exploring the many facets of the great Be-Bop progenitor's work, including the more experimental side of his discography, performed with a band of great lyrical NY jazz musicians: Dave Adewumi on trumpet, Matt Stevens on guitar, Fabian Almazan on piano, Carmen Rothwell on bass, and Joey Baron on drums. ... Click to View


Kaffe Matthews:
Foreigner [VINYL] (Objects Limited)

Recording with an Italian ELKA 400 electric accordion organ, pioneering electronic and sound aritst Kaffe Matthews presents two sonification of the word F O R E I G N E R, reflecting on her experience regularly moving from country to country, dealing with varying borders and governmental laws, by organizing sound in clusters that attempt to cross a compositional line. ... Click to View


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  Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: AGG 
  Dirt...and More Dirt  
  (Pi Recordings) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2019-02-13
Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: AGG: Dirt...and More Dirt (Pi Recordings)

Threadgill, at 74, has had a very long and illustrious career. Had he stopped playing after Air's demise, his legacy would have been assured, but his work with the Sextett in the 80s and Very Very Circus in the 90s only added to his fine corpus.

The disc is divided into two suites, "Dirt" (six episodes) and "And More Dirt" (four), played by an ensemble that varies between fourteen and fifteen and includes instrumentation that Threadgill has adopted for quite a while now, such as tuba, cello and Liberty Ellman's electric guitar. The first section of "Dirt" is a type of composition that Threadgill has long since perfected, a "gathering storm" approach beginning here with bowed bass and percussion, harmonium added in after a couple of minutes, then tuba, guitar, a piano solo and eventually the entire ensemble in an engaging contrapuntal welter. It works fine, even if it's a construct we've often heard before. Following a brief piano duo, the first suite contains four sections, each lasting between about four or five minutes: a light, tuba-anchored lilt featuring one of the altoists, either Roman Filiú or Curtis Robert Macdonald and a trombonist (Jacob Garchik or Ben Gerstein), then Threadgill; a similarly jaunty number with two good trumpet solos (Jonathan Finlayson and Stephanie Richards); a softer, more plaintive work featuring spare percussion, including a single, clear bell that morphs into the final section, a semi-funky march. If I have a complaint, it's simply that, as well-performed as they are, the pieces are essentially nothing we haven't encountered in Threadgill's work before. I also miss the caliber of instrumentalists like, say, Fred Hopkins, Steve McCall, Diedre Murray, etc., musicians whose identity stood out clearly. As well, the extreme poignancy that Threadgill has evinced in his writing is somewhat absent (until the final piece, as mentioned below).

"And More Dirt" picks up seamlessly, with an opening section that perhaps recalls Mingus a little bit, with a nice underlying cushion provided by the harmonium that supports piano, guitar, cello and flute solos. Another short piano duo leads to a brief, spiky section, a little reminiscent of Muhal Richard Abrams. Finally, however, the fourth portion of this suite arrives at the kind of gorgeous writing and music I'd been waiting for. Cautious piano introducing Threadgill on alto, playing with the deep emotion, the sadness borne of the weight of history that shoots us back to the great recordings from Air. The ensemble enters with the slow swagger of a New Orleans funeral, Threadgill wailing atop. A great finale; would that there was more like this throughout. There are listeners for whom Threadgill can do no wrong and, I'm sure, they'll be quite pleased with the current effort but I hear, for all its craftsmanship and professionalism, something of water being treaded.



Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: AGG: Dirt...and More Dirt
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