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Icepick (Nate Wooley / Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten / Chris Corsano):
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Phil Wachsmann :
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UK-based violinist Phillip Wachsmann, an essential player bringing contemporary approaches of indeterminacy, conceptualism and electroacoustics to the early community of improvisers and experimentalists, in a reissue of his 1984 Bead Records album, presenting his astute and sophisticated live solo performance for violin and electronics at the Actual Festival in July 1984, London. ... Click to View


Francesco Gregoretti :
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A solo percussion album from Francesco Gregoretti, employing traditional instruments and unusual object to create unique audio environment that use predictable rhythmic elements against capricious approaches, giving his playing a personal style fueled by resonance and natural feedback; an album that balances chaotic and structured environments in riveting ways. ... Click to View


Musicworks:
#137 Fall 2020 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

Fall 2020 issue of Canada's finest new music magazine, focusing on guitars--hollow, heavy, bowed, cracked, pedalled, flung, trusty companions & feedback demons; Plus articles on Casey Koyczan, Susan Alcorn, Amy Brandon, Aidan Baker, Eliza Kavtion, C. Diab, Markus Lake, Catherine Debard, Cloud Chamber, &c; and an 11-track CD with music from the aforementioned. ... Click to View


Milford Graves / Don Pullen:
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Originally issued in two volumes on their own SRP Records in 1966 & 67 as In Concert At Yale University and Nommo, the duo of drummer/percussionist Milford Graves and pianist Don Pullen are heard live in in this excitingly energetic and revelatory concert at Yale University, redefining the roles of their instruments during the most exploratory period of free jazz. ... Click to View


Schlippenbach Quartet:
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Remastered and with the original cover, the expanded Schlippenbach Trio of pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach, saxophonist Evan Parker on soprano & tenor, drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, and German double bassist Peter Kowald, a stellar group captured in two incredibly inventive concerts at Third New Jazz Festival Moers and at Quartier Latin in 1974 & 1975. ... Click to View


Peter Kowald Quintet:
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First ever CD reissue of the only band under bassist Peter Kowald's own name, remastered; originally released by FMP in 1972, this is exemplary European Free Jazz from one of the orignal innovators in a quartet with Peter Kowald on tuba, bass, & alphorn, Gunter Christmann and Paul Rutherford on trombones, Peter van der Locht on alto saxophone, and Paul Lovens on drums. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / Agusti Fernandez:
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Reissuing this astonishing 1995 studio recording, capturing the first encounter between two legendary free jazz performers--UK saxophonist Evan Parker on tenor and soprano saxophones and pianist Augustí Fernández--in an 8-part dialog of mercurial speed balanced with moments of passionate introspection, resissued with new mastering, restoring this essential meeting. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Arcado String Trio:
Deep Resonance (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Saxophonist Ivo Perelman declares that he "metamorphosed into a string instrument" himself while playing with the dynamic string trio drawn of NY Downtown luminaries--cellist Hank Roberts, violinist Mark Feldman and bassist Mark Dresser--blending technical mastery with profound creative impulse as the quartet weaves a tapestry of free jazz and instant composition. ... Click to View



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  George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell 
  Voyage and Homecoming  
  (RogueArt) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2019-10-10
George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell: Voyage and Homecoming (RogueArt)

It's problematic but it might be possible to argue that the two AACM members most consistently committed to experimentation over the five plus decades of its existence have been Roscoe Mitchell and George Lewis. Problematic because what the term "experimentation" implies is such within the context of Western art music, by no means the sole aesthetic ground for pushing limits, attempting to establish new formal structures, etc. But both Mitchell and Lewis have worked a great deal with musicians operating out of post-Cage strategies, sometimes successfully, sometimes, in this listener's opinion, uncomfortably, as though forcing their music into strictures that don't always serve them well.

The music heard in this recording is from a concert in Berlin, given on February 2, 2018, some 47 years since the pair first met. There are three works. 'Quanta' is a lengthy dialogue between Lewis on laptop and Mitchell on sopranino saxophone. The latter rarely takes any prisoners when wielding this particular axe, venturing into the raw, ultra-high territory afforded by its dimensions. Lewis had, since the early 80s, associated with IRCAM, the Paris-based electronic music studio and, to an extent, the sounds he develops from his computer have something of the (over) synthesized character typical of that organization, a kind of scrubbed clean, metallic aspect. That said, it's often a fine complement for Mitchell's grainier attack, his spittle counteracting any smoothness, the harsh reed sounds bouncing between globular tones. Midway through, Lewis disrupts things, sending his laptop into more skittery, pricklier territory. Mitchell vaults into the circular breathing torrents he's practiced since at least 'The Flow of Things' (Black Saint, 1987), over intriguingly dreamy electronics (possibly sampling some syrupy strings) very effective before Lewis brings things to an amusing conclusion, getting his laptop to attest, in a female voice, "unable to continue", over and over.

Lewis' Voyager program has been used to trigger acoustic instruments and for this work, it's a piano. The second piece, accurately titled, 'Voyager', begins with only a piano thus activated. It plays I've no idea on the input in a manner a few steps from Cecil Taylor, somewhat more romantic, maybe closer to some figuration of a smoother, more supple than usual Muhal Richard Abrams. In and of itself, it's fascinating to listen to, to try to imagine what kind of algorithms went into the programming, how choices are made. The piano plays solo, as it were, for some seven minutes before Lewis enters with some jaunty trombone, the program clearly listening to him, and he to it. Sometimes it seems imitative, sometimes veering off on its own to chart out new possibilities. When Mitchell joins in on alto a few minutes later, Voyager shifts to a rapid-fire attack recalling Conlon Nancarrow but also evincing some impressive dynamic shifts and pauses. The pair soon engage in a very satisfying and quiet, almost balladic sequence. The 25-minute track is perhaps a bit less cohesive than 'Quanta' but certainly opens up prime territories for future investigation.

The final piece, 'Homecoming', is an acoustic duo, Lewis generating his patented, exuberant sputtering before turning to hyper-low burbles, to which Mitchell, on soprano, responds with gasped wheezes. It's a rough and tumble, engaging and joyous dialogue, an aural equivalent of two friends wrestling around on the ground, getting plenty dusty, and a fine way to end the evening.

This particular exploration was, to these ears, quite successful, one of the strongest uses of Lewis' system I've heard. Looking forward to more. [Annoying label decision gripe: Why append a separate, 90-second track of applause at the end?]



George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell: Voyage and Homecoming
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