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Icepick (Nate Wooley / Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten / Chris Corsano):
Hellraiser [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

The 3rd album from the improvising trio of Nate Wooley on trumpet, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Chris Corsano on drums is a live recording at the 2018 Experimental Sound Studio's Option Series, a smoldering session of collective improvisation that builds tension through impressive rhythmic texture and releases it in cathartic and passionate passages. ... Click to View


Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale):
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The 2nd release from the UK instrumental rock band Das Rad of Nick Robinson on guitars, keyboards & electronics, Martin Archer on woodwind, keyboards, synth bass & electronics, and Steve Dinsdale on drums, keyboards & electronics, expand their sound and referenes as they tug on the heartstrings of prog, krautrock and other advanced rock forms with modern and mellotron fueled orchestration. ... Click to View


Kaze (Fujii / Tamura / Pruvost / Orins) w/ Ikue Mori:
Sand Storm (Libra/ Circum-Disc)

The cooperative quartet Kaze of Satoko Fujii on piano, Peter Orins on drums, Christian Pruvost on trumpet, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, joins with elextroacoustic improviser Ikue Mori for seven exploratory pieces recorded in the studio after a one-week tour in Austria, France, and Russia, their enthusiasm for their extraordinarily unique group sound clearly evident. ... Click to View


Gato Libre (Tamura / Fjuii / Kaneko):
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The 8th album from Gato Libre with compositions from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura in a trio with Yasuko Kaneko on trombone and typically pianist Satoko Fujii on accordion, Koneko translating to kitten, as Tamura explores 8 new cats from strays to shop cats through deceptively simple pieces of melodic appeal of warm color, tone & texture; absolutely charming. ... Click to View


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 tradition 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:
The Complete Yale Concert, 1966 (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

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:
Three Nails Left (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Remastered and with the original cover, the expanded Schlippenbach Trio of pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach, saxophonist Evan Parker on soprano & tenor, and drummer percussionist Paul Lovens, with German double bassist Peter Kowalds, 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:
Peter Kowald Quintet (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

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


Chris Dingman (May Han Oh / Tim Kelper):
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Finding rich warmth in NY vibraphonist Chris Dingman's melodic and optimistic compositions, several inspired by Dingman's interest in West African music traditions, performed in a trio with bassist Linda May Han Oh (Pat Metheney) and drummer Tim Keiper (Cyro Baptista, David Byrne); an inspiringly lyrical album with exceptional soloing and improvisation interplay. ... Click to View


Chris Dingman :
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Vibraphonist Chris Dingman set up his vibraphones next to the bedroom where his father was under hospice care from a rare heart ailment, setting an atmosphere of calm and compassion to help soothe, heal, and carry him through his final challenges, released here as a 5-CD set of 5 hours of ethereal sounds through poignant melodies, swirling textures, and undulating pedal tones. ... Click to View


Plan Kruutntoone / Reinier van Houdt :
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Plan Kruutntoone joins forces with avant-garde realm: Reinier van Houdt for a conceptual narrative blurring improvised music, compositional and rock forms with a narrative based around Zorro and Rosa, geography (and Spielberg) and Brodski, or in their terms: composed and deranged music and lyrics (and other words) on guitars, basses, drums and a piano. ... Click to View


Plan Kruutntoone / Reinier van Houdt :
Pas Maar Op, Want Deze Tas Is Van Zorro (En Zorro Houdt Van Mij)[VINYL] (esc.rec.)

Plan Kruutntoone joins forces with avant-garde realm: Reinier van Houdt for a conceptual narrative blurring improvised music, compositional and rock forms with a narrative based around Zorro and Rosa, geography (and Spielberg) and Brodski, or in their terms: composed and deranged music and lyrics (and other words) on guitars, basses, drums and a piano. ... Click to View


No Base Trio:
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The trio of alto saxophonist Jonathan Suazo, guitarist Gabriel Vicens, and drummer Leonardo Osuna, formed in 2010 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, emerging from a standards-based band influenced by jazz, rock, electronic and ambient music to a fully free improv group, focusing on creative improvisation that balances lyrical moments with raw sound & energetic momentum. ... Click to View


Kidd Jordan / Joel Futterman / Alvin Fielder Trio:
Live At The Tampere Jazz Happening 2000 (CLM)

A superb live album recorded at the 2000 Tampere Jazz Happening, Pakkahuone, Finland, and the 4th release from the trio of Kidd Jordan on tenor sax, Joel Futterman on piano, soprano sax indian wooden flute, and Alvin Fielder on drums & percussion; improvisation performed like old friends, the album divided into six tracks plus an encore but performed as one long piece. ... Click to View


Tony Oxley:
February Papers (Discus)

Reissuing percussionist and electronic innovator Tony Oxley's 1977 Incus album, collecting works from Oxley's evolving approaches, including a quartet with bassist Barry Guy and violinists David Bourne & Philipp Wachsmann; a trio with Barry Guy and Ian Brighton on electric guitar; and solo pieces including a piece for Evan Parker emulating his sound through electronics. ... Click to View


Morton Feldman:
Triadic Memories [2 CDs] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

The second of four connected solo piano works by Morton Feldman, Triadic Memories is about that reality, the acoustic space created by the piano's strings and soundboard, as Feldman attempted to expand the temporal frame of his music, heard here in Judith Wegmann's 2019 recording, where thThe second of four connected solo piano works by Morton Feldman, Triadic Memories is about the acoustic space created by the piano's strings and soundboard, as Feldman worked to expand the temporal frame of his music, heard her in Judith Wegmann's 2019 studio recording where that space is revealed by a magnificent Bosendorfer 280VC piano.at space is revealed by a magnificent Bosendorfer 280VC piano. ... Click to View


Marco Von Orelli :
The Unasked Answer (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

A remarkable album of solo trumpet improvisation of incredible and creative technique, performed on trumpet, cornet, piccolo trumpet and slide trumpet, from Swiss trumpeter Marco von Orelli, the album title referencing a work by Charles Ives for offstage string ensemble, woodwind quartet and, most significantly for this album, solo trumpet. ... Click to View


Zeena Parkins / Jeff Kolar:
Scale (Two Rooms Records)

Commissioned by choreographer Jennifer Monson, the collaboration of Downtown NY electric harpist and sound artist Zeena Parkins and Chicago sound artist Jeff Kolar explore the intersection of acoustic phenonema against electronic, synthetic & radio sounds, inspired by the timing of natural phenomena like ocean currents and daylight emergence; fascinating. ... Click to View


Zeena Parkins / Jeff Kolar:
Scale [VINYL] (Two Rooms Records)

Commissioned by choreographer Jennifer Monson, the collaboration of Downtown NY electric harpist and sound artist Zeena Parkins and Chicago sound artist Jeff Kolar explore the intersection of acoustic phenonema against electronic, synthetic & radio sounds, inspired by the timing of natural phenomena like ocean currents and daylight emergence; fascinating. ... Click to View


Alvin Lucier:
Works for the Ever Present Orchestra [2 CDs] (Black Truffle)

Pieces written for the Ever Present Orchestra, a 13-piece ensemble formed in 2016 exclusively to perform composer Alvin Lucier's works, with a core of 4 guitarists, 3 saxophones, 4 violins and piano, here presenting Lucier's continuing exploration of the behaviour of sound in physical space, blending electronic and acoustic sources with subtle tension and mystery. ... Click to View


Alvin Lucier:
Works for the Ever Present Orchestra [VINYL 2 LPs] (Black Truffle)

Pieces written for the Ever Present Orchestra, a 13-piece ensemble formed in 2016 exclusively to perform composer Alvin Lucier's works, with a core of 4 guitarists, 3 saxophones, 4 violins and piano, here presenting Lucier's continuing exploration of the behaviour of sound in physical space, blending electronic and acoustic sources with subtle tension and mystery. ... Click to View


Cyanobacteria:
From The Arabian Gulf [CASSETTE] (Toxo Records)

Francesco Gregoretti of the bands Strongly Imploded, Grizzly Imploded and Oddly Imploded (Shhpuma) joins forces with double bassist Renato Grieco (Carl Ludwig Hubsch) to create an unusual set of improvisations on the lower end, using drums and double bass, and described as "a primordial and grotesque sound; a clumsy symbiont of feedback, strings and skins"; intriguing. ... Click to View


Dreyblatt Arnold:
Star Trap [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Previously unreleased 1990's recordings from Arnold Dreyblatt and his Orchestra of Excited Strings, including six pieces performed by three different iterations of the Orchestra; ensembles of modified percussion, string, and wind instruments; pieces using Dreyblatt's Dynamic Processing System; plus 2 pieces composed for the 10th anniversary of the Orchestra in Europe. ... Click to View


Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit:
Axis/Another Revolvable Thing [2 CDs] (Blank Forms)

Reissuing the 1975 album of Japanese guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi's New Direction Unit with Kenji Mori on reeds, Nobuyoshi Ino on bass & cello, and Hiroshi Yamazaki on percussion, in a 2-CD set of the band's open-minded free-flowing and conceptual improvisation series "Fragments", captured live at Yasuda Seimei Hall in Tokyo, Japan and presented in performance order. ... Click to View


Okuden Quartet (Mat Walerian / Matthew Shipp / William Parker / Hamid Drake):
Every Dog Has Its Day But It Doesn't Matter Because Fat Cat Is Getting Fatter [2 CDs] (ESP-Disk)

Reed player Mat Walerian's 4th album as a leader, in a quartet with Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on double bass & shakuhachi, and Hamid Drake on drums, the name "Okuden" meaning "inner teachings, as Walerian's compositions vary from a fully free introspective opener to joyful jazz idiom, a perfect set for this versatile and enlightened set of musicians. ... Click to View


Triofolio (Chris Cundy / Paul K. Scott / Saul Scott):
Ordinary Evidence (FMR)

Performing a set of UK bass clarinetist Chris Cundy's compositions, along with one collective improvisation, TrioFolio is complemented with the father/son team of double bassist Paul K. Scott and drummer Saul Scott, exploring the borders between classic modern jazz and free forms of improvisation, all heard in the lower instrumental spectrum through rich lyrical jazz. ... Click to View



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  Christophe Rocher / Joe Fonda / Harvey Sorgen 
  New Origin  
  (Not Two Records) 


  
   review by Marc Chenard
  2019-12-03
Christophe Rocher / Joe Fonda / Harvey Sorgen: New Origin (Not Two Records)

After its Classic Jazz and Swing Era heyday, the clarinet was basically left out in the cold during the bop revolution and its subsequent 'modernistic' offshoots, including the New Thing. But after years spent in the doghouse, it would find a new lease on life at the dawning of the postmodern era. Nowadays, clarinets of all sizes enjoy broad acceptance in the wider realm of improvised music, while finding ways back into more mainstream jazz practices, mostly as doubles for saxophonists.

The renewed interest in the proverbial licorice stick also stems from a handful of European musicians who have carried the instrument to the forefront of today's creative music. Two names that come to mind here are Michel Portal and Louis Sclavis. If one were asked to draw up a list of current-day clarinet specialists, the leader of this recent trio recording issued on the Not Two label need be included. A triple threat on bass, Bb and Eb clarinets (the latter not heard on this album), Christophe Rocher is part of a dynamic music community working out of Brest, a seaside port town on the French Atlantic coast. In recent years, his activities have expanded geographically thanks to the Bridge, an intercontinental touring project involving American and French improvisers.

This arrangement opened the door for him to collaborate with the stateside bass-drum team of Joe Fonda and Harvey Sorgen, both of whom provide impeccable backing for the reedist. In a little over an hour, the trio deftly lays down a dozen tracks that run a wide range of moods and occasional grooves ranging from the aggressive to the pensive, some tracks weaving both together in fresh and exciting ways. What's more, the clarinetist has a very focused tone in quiet and virtuosic passages alike, very much in keeping with the French school of playing, but he can go for the jugular with overtone squeals and conjure all sorts of extended techniques at the drop of a hat.

In almost equal proportions, the band tackles seven tunes, four by Fonda, two from Rocher and a cover of O. C's "Broken Shadows", inserting five group improvs along the way. The concise nature of the pieces (the lone exception being "Song for my Mother" at over 11 minutes) help greatly in holding the listener's interest. Both that and the resourcefulness of the musicians (technical and purely musical) are definite assets that contribute to the overall success of this outing. And when there are no lags in the music or that the listener's interest never ebbs, that is surely a good sign.



Christophe Rocher / Joe Fonda / Harvey Sorgen: New Origin
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


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Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten /
Chris Corsano):
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