The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Fred Frith / Nicolas Humbert / Marc Parisotto: Cut Up The Border (RogueArt)

Filmakers and composers Nicolas Humbert and Marc Parisotto revisit the tapes recorded by Jean Vapeur for the film by Humbert & Werner Penzel, "Step Across the Border" with soundtrack by Fred Frith, extracting more of Vapeur's fascinating field recordings and adding music by Fred Frith with additional music & voice from Tom Cora, Iva Bittova, John Zorn, &c. ... Click to View


Claudia Solal / Benoit Delbecq: Hope Town (RogueArt)

French vocalist Claudia Solal provides the lyrics, sung-spoken narratives, prose and poetic forms performed with pianist Benoit Delbecq, who uses internal preparations and a variety of creative approaches to keys, both intricate and melodic, setting the fascinating and insightful stories that Solal spiels; a wonderful union of instrument and word. ... Click to View


Kuzu (Rempis / Dorji / Damon): Purple Dark Opal (Aerophonic)

In 2018 on their 2nd tour, the Kuzu trio of Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & baritone saxophones, Tashi Dorji on guitar, and Tyler Damon on drums, captured this, their 15th concert in the tour, at The Sugar Maple, in Milwaukee, an extended improvisation that lives up to its title in dark ruminations that reveal beauty and rare color through powerful and passionate playing. ... Click to View


McPhee / Reid / Lopez / Nilssen-Love / Rempis: Things Beyond Thule Volume 1 [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (Aerophonic)

Already planning a duo concert at Chicago's Hungry Brain between saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love as part of their Transmission Series, the duo expanded to a trio with the inclusion of visiting cellist Tomeka Reid, and then to a quintet by adding New York legend Joe McPhee on trumpet & sax, and NY bassist Brandon Lopez, recording this masterful, limited album. ... Click to View


Bones (Ziv Taubenfeld / Shay Hazan / Nir Sabag): Reptiles [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Amsterdam-based bass clarinetist Ziv Taubenfeld leads the Bones trio, performing Taubenfeld's compositions, with double bassist Shay Hazan and drummer Nir Sabag, the three friends since their youth, as their improvisation emphasizes lower tones through slowly slinking, saurian improvisation that bridges tonal work and energetic scrabbling. ... Click to View


Tim Barnes: DEAD-LOOP [VINYL] (Amish Records)

Percussionist, Quakebasket label leader, and experimental artist Tim Barnes both subverts and respect the forms of electronica by turning it on its side, extracting unusual rhythms and structures from rhythmic elements and samples, at times following conventional direction and then breaking off into Barne's instinctive drive for abstraction and diversion. ... Click to View


PEK Solo: Coefficient of Unity (Evil Clown)

A great example of the state of David Peck (PEK)'s approach to improvisation & arsenal of instruments, in an epic solo work merging acoustic and electronic sources with an unhurried path in a coherent form improvisation using reeds, sheng, fog horn, game calls, gongs, chimes, crotales, daxophone, [d]ronin, mpa 019, therimin, aquasonic, loops, & signal processing. ... Click to View


Jim Black Trio (w/ Elias Stemseder / Thomas Morgan): Reckon (Intakt)

... Click to View


Ellery Eskelin / Christian Weber / Michael Griener: The Pearls (Intakt)

In their second album the trio of saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Christian Weber and drummer Michael Griener revisit the music of jazz tradition through the modern ears of the free improvisation, alternating the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, Harry Edison/Count Bassie, and Russell Robinson with original group compositions, a fascinating contrast in time and style. ... Click to View


Chris Speed Trio (w/ Tordini / King): Respect For Your Toughness (Intakt)

Recorded Live in Brooklyn, the 3rd album from the trio of tenor saxophonist Chris Speed, double bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Dave King focuses on Chris Speed compositions in a traditional vein, using shades of classic bop styles that leave room for creative expression through comfortably lyrical pacing propelled by King's incredibly interactive rhythms; beautiful. ... Click to View


Awatair (Gos / Tokar / Gadecki): Awatair Plays Coltrane (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Surprising, singular and unconventional interpretations of four pieces from John Coltrane--"The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost", "Naima", "Improvisation For Mr. J.C.", and "Inspired by Seraphic Light"--from the Gdansk trio of Michael Gos (drums), Mark Tokar (bass) and Tomasz Gadecki (tenor & baritone sax), comissioned by and performed at the 2019 Jazz Jantar Festival. ... Click to View


Alvin Curran / Jon Rose: Cafe Grand Abyss (Recommended Records)

Two masterful, virtuosic and inquiring musicians--Alvin Curran on piano, sampler & shofar, and Jon Rose on violins, 6-string drain pipe and singing saw--in an incredible album of improvisation that seems to know no boundary, farcically claiming to be revisiting their earliest experiences in cocktail club bands, but instead shredding the concept with breakneck speed and surprise; wow! ... Click to View


Stefan Aeby: Piano Solo (Intakt)

Spending two days in a recording studio in Berne, pianist Stefan Aeby recorded these 14 short works, a mixture of improvised and composed works using preparations and electronics to evoke a set of diverse recordings, from energetic structural works to evocative lyricism, nothing overstaying its welcome, carrying the listener through an inquisitive and compelling set of ideas. ... Click to View


Saadet Turkoz / Elliott Sharp : Kumuska (Intakt)

Distilling their work on previous albums Kumuska and Marmara Sea to the duo of creative New York bass clarinetist & guitarist Elliott Sharp, and Bosporus vocalist Saadet Turkoz, whose free singing include European, Indian and Asian influences while incorporating jazz & blues, as the two present 9 songs of the familiar focused throu a world view. ... Click to View


Reid Anderson / Dave King / Craig Taborn: Golden Valley is Now (Intakt)

Taking the improvising duo Bad Plus of electric bassist Reid Anderson and acoustic & electronic drummer Dave King and adding Craig Tabor on synthesizer, electric & acoustic pianos, for an accessible album of rhythmic and melodic tunes, electronics adding effervescence and a pop sensibility amongst sly rhythmic twists, strong grooves, and memorable themes. ... Click to View


Estamos Trio (McDonas / Escobar / Tamez): Dire Warning (Relative Pitch)

Highlighting issues between the US & Mexican borders, Thollem McDonas' Estamos Trio presents their 2nd album, here with Carmina Escobar (vocals, electronics, guitarron), Milo Tamez (percussion, found objects, electronics) and Thollem (keyboard, vocals, clay pot) in a work commissioned by and recorded at the 2018 "Casa Tomada" (House Taken Over) in Santa Fe for SITE. ... Click to View


Sunwatchers / Eugene Chadbourne: 3 Characters [VINYL 2 LPs] (Amish Records)

Eugene Chadbourne brings his guitars and voice to join the Sunwatchers band of Peter Kerlin, Jim McHugh, Jason Robira, and Jeff Tobias, as they perform the music of great American rock band Minutemen, with Minuteman Mike Watt joining on "spiel & labor leader", alongside original pieces by Sunwatchers, and experimental rock band Henry Flynt & The Insurrections. ... Click to View


Turbulence: Upheaval (Evil Clown)

Turbulence is a smaller grouping of the Boston-based Evil Clown collective, typically with a majority of horns, here as the quintet of PEK (reeds & winds), Ellwood Epps (trumpet), Bob Moores (trumpets), Jim Warshauer (sax and winds), and Michael Caglianone (saxophones), a fully acoustic group of wind instruments and brass, taking a chamber approach to distinctive improvisation. ... Click to View


Sub-Unit #1: Potential & Kinetic Energies (Evil Clown)

This "Sub-unit" from Boston's improvising Leap of Faith Orchestra presetns a duo between Eric Zinman on piano, percussion and synth and David Peck on an array of saxophones, clarinets, bassoon and other reeds, plus small percussion, Theremin and accordion, in a unique and active duo with both players suggesting a larger ensemble through diverse strategeis and instrumentation. ... Click to View


Wade Matthews: Aspirations And Inspirations (Creative Sources)

Recording in Madrid in 2002, and at The Groupe de Musique Electroniqueacoustique d'Albi-Tarn in France in 2004, Wade Matthews presents 9 solo works using close miking, circular breathing, percussive sounds from the instruments themselves, and other creative and unusual extended techniques, in an idiosyncratic and fascinating album of personal expression. ... Click to View


ROVA (Raskin / Ochs / Voigt / Ackley): Saxophone Diplomacy (Hatology)

A much needed reissue of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet's historic 1983 tour of Russia, Latvia and Romania, as Jon Raskin on alto, baritone & soprano sax plus clarinet, Andrew Voigt on alto, sopranino & soprano sax + flute, Bruce Ackley on soprano sax & clarinet, and Larry Ochts on tenor & sopranino sax tear apart six incredible multi-reed improvisations; incredible! ... Click to View


Liquid Quintet (feat Agusti Fernandez / Artur Majewski / Albert Cirera / Rafal Mazur / Ramon Prats): Flux (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Hailed as the most pyrotechnic and adventurous concert of the 12th Ad Libitum Festival in Warsaw, Poland, the collective quintet of Agusti Fernandez on piano, Artur Majewski on trumpet, Albert Cirera on saxophones, Rafal Mazur on bass, and Ramon Prats on drums, rage and flow through three movements of "Flux", starting at the "Source" and ending in an "Estuary"; awesome. ... Click to View


George Graewe / Ernst Reijseger / Gerry Hemingway: Concertgebouw Brugge 2014 (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Performing together since 1989, at first frequently and now as very special events, this concert at Concertgebouw in Brugge of pianist Georg Graewe, cellist Ernst Reijseger, and drummer and marimba player Gerry Hemingway, is a superb example of the both telepathic and confidently confrontational interplay of their chamber-oriented and superbly paced improvisation. ... Click to View


Steve Swell / Robert Boston / Michael Vatcher: Brain In A Dish (NoBusiness)

Trombonist Steve Swell stands out in this trio of collective improvisation, recorded in the studio in Brooklyn with pianist Robert Boston, also on organ, and drummer Michael Vatcher, in a set of eleven outstanding dialogs that range from highly energetic to deeply introspective, with quirky and unusual technique from Vatcher and Swell adding unique qualities to their collective "brain". ... Click to View


Juan Vinuesa Jazz Quartet (Vinuesa / Berman / Roebke Avery): Blue Shots From Chicago (NoBusiness)

Spanish tenor saxophonist Juan F. G. Vinuesa leads his quartet with Josh Berman on cornet, Jason Roebke on bass, and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums and percussion, three bright stars of the Chicago scene, performing Vinuesa's compositions and arrangements of lyrical modern jazz that blend structure and melody with plenty of space for free playing; wonderful. ... Click to View


Katarsis4 (Bizys / Janonis / Pancerovas / Jusinskas): Katarsis4 (NoBusiness)

A diverse, unique and sometimes explosive saxophone quartet from Lithuania founded by Arminas Bizys, Kazimieras Jusinskas, Algirdas Janonis, and Danielius Pancerovas, using extended techniques, the saxophones themselves, and found objects as they articulately merge structurally free improvisation, academic approaches and motives from Lithuanian folk music. ... Click to View


Anthony Coleman : Catenary Oath [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Downtown NY cornerstone pianist Anthony Coleman is heard in a solo album of Coleman originals including a piece dedicated to Roscoe Mitchell, plus one piece each by Billy Strayhorn, John Klenner, and Ellington/George/Hodges/James, all beautifully captured at Boston's Jordan Hall as Coleman reveals his unique logic and inventive approach to solo performance. ... Click to View


Bobby Bradford / Frode Gjerstad / Kent Carter / John Stevens: Blue Cat [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

The 2nd in NoBusiness' archive series of the Norwegian Detail collective, here with Frode Gjerstad on alto sax, Bobby Bradford on cornet, Kent Carter on bass, and John Stevens on drums, captured live in London in 1991 during a UK record, in a 3-part work of informed free-jazz and free playing, exciting music with complex, swinging subtlety. ... Click to View


Sounds of Liberation: Unreleased (Columbia University 1973) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Originally formed by vibraphonist Khan Jamal in 1970 in the Germantown section of Philadelphia (the homefront of Sun Ra's Arkestra) and expanded to a septet when saxophonist Byard Lancaster joined, the band only released one official LP, this soulfully funky, upbeat and lyrical album extending their output with a well-recorded album captured at Columbia University in 1973. ... Click to View


Marc Copland: Gary ((Illusions))

Having a long association with pianists Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Bill Evans, and Marc Copland, it's fitting that the compositions of legendary bassist Gary Peacock are revealed in this solo album from Marc Copland with whom he has most recently worked, Copland interpreting his evocative compositions with thoughtful sensitivity and masterful skill. ... Click to View


Arto Lindsay / Joe McPhee / Ken Vandermark / Phil Sudderberg: Largest Afternoon (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Bringing together Chicago's long partnership of saxophonists Joe McPhee and Ken Vandermark with frequent Vandermark collaborator, drummer Phil Sudderberg, and New York guitarist Arto Lindsay, meeting on a winter afternoon in a Chicago studio to record these fifteen collective, freely improvised conversations of intense energy, unexpected twists and turns, and brilliant playing. ... Click to View


Cyanobacteria / Hubsch: Are You an Orchid or a Dandelion? (Toxo Records)

The trio of Renato Grieco on bass, Francesco Gregoretti on drums, Carl Ludwig Hubsch on tuba in a studio album of dense, deep improvisation, using amplification and feedback with extreme technique and meticulously controlled playing to create slowly evolving sonic environments of profound depth and mystery, a shadowy and fascinating album fraught with suspense. ... Click to View


Fred Lonberg-Holm / Joe McPhee: No Time Left for Sadness (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

"This Time", "That Time" and "Next Time", the three titles from the first duo meeting of Joe McPhee on tenor saxophone and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, also bringing electronics, the distillation of their playing outside of Survival Unit III a revelation in intensity and unconventional creativity, fueled by magnificent playing and an empathetic rapport. ... Click to View


David Grubbs / Mats Gustafsson / Rob Mazurek: The Underflow (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Recorded during two nights at Underflow Records and Art Gallery in Athens, Greece in 2019, The Underflow trio of Mats Gustafsson (reeds, fluteophone, electronics) from Sweden, with Chicago-based Rob Mazurek (trumpet, electronics), and David Grubbs (electric guitar) present an album of wide-ranging, powerful, often explosively eccentric, and always informed improvisation. ... Click to View


Joke Lanz / Jason Kahn / Norbert Moslang / Gunter Muller / Christian Weber: kangaroo_kitchen [2 CDS] (Mikroton Recordings)

Two astounding and wide-ranging electroacoustic improvisations from 5 prominent musicians on the Swiss experimental scene--Joke Lanz (turntables), Jason Kahn (synth, radio, mixer), Norbert Moslang (cracked everyday electronics), Gunter Muller (ipods & electronics), and Christian Weber (bass, revolver)--captured live at the 2018 Mikroton Mikroten Festival in Kaliningrad and Moscow. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Crumpled Dimensions (Evil Clown)

The core Leap of Faith trio of David Peck (PEK) on winds & percussion, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion, a subunit of Boston's Leap of Faith Orchestra, is joined by Jim Warshauer (reeds) and Eric Dahlman (trumpet, overtone voice) for an exciting and far-ranging improvisation of exotic instrumentation and intention. ... Click to View


VocColours / Yoichiro Kita: Live in Japan (Creative Sources)

A strange album of vocal improvisation from the the VocCoulours quartet of Brigitte Kuepper, Gala Gabriele Hummel, Norbert Zajac, and Iouri Grankin, performing live with Koichi Makigami on (voice & theremin), Yoichiro Kita (trumpet & laptop), Keiko Komori (bass clarinet), and Morgan Fisher (keyboards & toys); a truly unique album of startling utterance, texture, and environment. ... Click to View


Goh Kwang Lee: Avalanche (2 CDs) (Herbal International)

A double CD of experimental composition from Malaysian sound artist Goh Lee Kwang, hypnotic works of strangely repeating glitch that bookend shorter works of rich percussive abstractions, including a work with processed voice and an extended percussive "Ritual", singular pieces reflecting Kwang's curious mind and long experience merging aberrant and subtle sound. ... Click to View


Etienne Nillesen / Nicola Hein / Magda Mayas / Eve Risser / Marta Warelis: Piano Trialogues (Creative Sources)

Nicola L. Hein, performing on prepared guitar, and Etienne Nillesen on extended snare drum, present three trio recordings with three different pianists--Magda Mayas, Eve Risser, and Marta Warelis--each adding a different dimension to Hein & Nillesen's playing, as heard in these three live recordings from The Loft in Cologne, Germany in 2018. ... Click to View


Alexandra Grimal / Joelle Leandre: Desordre (Montagne Noire)

A playful, thoughtful, and quick witted encounter between Egyptian saxophonist Alexandra Grimal and French double bassist Joelle Leandre, at times each on voice, emphasizing a "desired disorder" in their approach to instant composition and declaring that neither determines the course of the music, but that they follow it simply as the music decides; wonderful. ... Click to View


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The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales



  Philz Top 18 for 2019  


By Phil Zampino 2020-01-03

Having just published our 2019 Top 50 List By Customer Orders, I started thinking about which albums from the year I found most amazing, and which I returned to multiple times during the year. The number listed is an odd one, 18, but they were the albums that came to mind as I considered this list, and really, what's in a number?

This list is substantially different from our sales list, but I suppose it represents my personal quirks and interests, that which fuels me as we plan our catalog for the year. In fact, more than a couple of these have been non-starters on the store, always a sad fate for a deserving album; I won't tell you which weren't as well received as I believed they should be. Nor will I tell you which were well received but might not have made the top 50. As I write the abstracts for each album as they're added to our Recently Released section, most of what needs to be known will be in the original listing. However, I will in most cases elaborate as an addendum my own personal interest in each.




Andersen, Arild / Clive Bell / Mark Wastell:Tales Of Hackney (Confront)

Andersen, Arild / Clive Bell / Mark Wastell
Tales Of Hackney
(Confront)

World instrumentation of shakuhachi, thai flute, shinobue, thai mouth organ, and shruti box blends with western orchestration of double bass, percussion and electronics as Clive Bell, Arild Andersen, and Mark Wastell come together in the studio after their well-received concert at Cafe Oto in London to develop these beautifully lyrical improvisations.


addendum I found myself returning to this album repeatedly as I introduced the album to our store for two reasons: one, it insinuates itself to its listeners by appearing to be a more conventional jazz album and then envelops them in a dream-like world. Wastell never fails to mesmerize me, and with Clive Bell and Arild Andersen the three use their eclectic instrumentation to create something other-worldly, at times familiar, and at times as exotic as one could imagine.




Bauer, Matthias:Spontan In Granit (Creative Sources)

Bauer, Matthias
Spontan In Granit
(Creative Sources)

Berlin double bassist Mathias Bauer, a member of Unitedberlin, Asian Art, Junge Music and mosaik, and half of the duo Alchimia Organica, presents a series of 18 solid and diverse spontaneous improvisations, most averaging under 3 minutes, captivating the listener through articulate momentum, exceptional technique, and inventive narrative.


addendum: I have become quite interested in solo performance albums over the years, which are certainly the most daring of presentations, and the most naked. I'm also an enthusiast of concise statement, and Bauer gives his listeners a succinct set of unique recordings, taking the bass into unusual territory and revealing a curious and exploratory mind.




Rodrigues / Leblanc / Lopes:Montreal (Creative Sources)

Rodrigues / Leblanc / Lopes
Montreal
(Creative Sources)

Named for the city in which it was recorded, the trio of Karoline Leblanc on harpsichord, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, and Paulo J Ferreira Lopes on gongs & cymbals, is a mysterious and ritualistic album, Lopes' gongs slowly intoning as the strings use unusual techniques, much of the harpsichord played inside; a subtle and beautiful reflection of historic Montreal.


addendum: In 2003 I took a chance on a Portuguese label that had sent me several review CDs to consider: Creative Sources. I was under the spell of so-called lowercase or Onkyo music at the time, and found the work of violist Ernesto Rodrigues and his then small group of similar-minded colleagues exceptional. The label now has more than 600 titles, justifying my decision through an ever-evolving set of releases with an ever-expanding number of musicians, many of which would otherwise be unknown to me. All that aside, whenever Rodrigues, and now his son, cellist Guilherme Rodrigues, release an album that they perform on I'm eager and interested. Montreal did not disappoint, a perfect example of why I return to Rodrigues' work regularly. The album is a single 57 minute work, the trio using restraint, and subtle extended techniques and reverberant ambience to enfold the listener, with subtle field recordings extending the music. Having been to Montreal many times, I draw the sense of a quiet morning in the historic district, and each motion and gesture feels appropriate and focused. Turn the volume up and give the music your attention, the rewards are found in this trio's finesse.




London Experimental Ensemble:Child Ballads (Split Rock Records)

London Experimental Ensemble
Child Ballads
(Split Rock Records)

Drawn from 305 traditional ballads from England and Scotland alongside their American variants, anthologised by Francis James Child during the second half of the nineteenth century, are here sung by Ed Pettersen in the fascinating intersection of traditional lyrics and experimental interpretations of melodies, performed by the 11-piece London Experimental Ensemble.


addendum: The name of this album may be deceptive, as it refers to Francis James Child, and not to children's songs. Child anthologized traditional ballads, and the London Experimental Ensemble draws from these to create modern and, well, more experimental versions of those songs. I have returned to this album many times, spurred by the ensemble's exceptional Treatise album interpreting the music of Cornelius Cardew. I am also reminded of Lindsay Cooper's exceptional Rags album as I hear history reflected and morphed through modern ears and interpretations.




Wooley, Nate (Wooley / Sawyer / Halvorson / Alcorn):Columbia Icefield (Northern Spy)

Wooley, Nate (Wooley / Sawyer / Halvorson / Alcorn)
Columbia Icefield
(Northern Spy)

With two guitarists--Mary Halvorson and Susan Alcorn on pedal steel--and Ryan Sawyer on drums, New York trumpeter explores the Rocky Mountains Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, through sophisticated compositions and superbly illustrative sound, an exceptional album of improvisation and intention from four modern masters.


addendum: There are three albums with trumpeter Nate Wooley in this list, and there's no doubt I'm a dedicated fan of his work. What I find most interesting is how unpredictable each release from him is, from creative modern improvisation (jazz) to conceptual experimental works, to work with sounds, or driven by twisted theory. His accomplices in this work are extraordinary players of our time, and he brings out the best in his performers as they seem to do to him. Columbia Icefield is a perfect example of what I find fascinating in his work, as his quartet with guitarists Mary Halvorson and Susan Alcorn, and drummer Ryan Sawyer, interpret a massive Canadian icefield in sound. If that sounds "cold", you'll be surprised at how well the concept brings that sense of vast area to life, over three long-form compositions using electronics in specific ways that complement the otherwise acoustic orchestration. "Seven in the Woods" brings the album together for me, in beautiful solos and group interaction that surprises in approach, as the piece shifts focus while maintaining location.




Dark Star Safari (Rohrer / Bang / Honore / Aarse):Dark Star Safari (Arjunamusic)

Dark Star Safari (Rohrer / Bang / Honore / Aarse)
Dark Star Safari
(Arjunamusic)

Percussionist Samuel Rohrer invited Jan Bang and Eivind Aarset to his Berlin studio to record the 10 improvisations that create the basis for these haunting songs, the band taking that material to enhance and shape resulting compositions, inspiring Jan Bang to develop the lyrics reminiscent of David Sylvian's recent work, resulting in this darkly impressive album.


addendum: The description in my abstract might say enough about this wonderfully dark and compelling album. I had no idea Jan Bang had this aspect of expressive lyricism and vocal skill, which has drawn me back to this album many times.




I Am Three & Me (Nicols, Maggie / Silke Eberhard / Nikolaus Neuser / Christian Marien):Mingus' Sounds Of Love (Leo Records)

I Am Three & Me (Nicols, Maggie / Silke Eberhard / Nikolaus Neuser / Christian Marien)
Mingus' Sounds Of Love
(Leo Records)

Following their 2016 album "I Am Three, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus", the German trio of Silke Eberhard on alto saxophone, Nikolaus Neuser on trumpet, and Christian Marien on drums invited British improvising vocalist Maggie Nicols to further explore the works of jazz legend Charles Mingus in song and spoken word in a thoroughly enjoyable and worthy tribute to his work.


addendum: I feel like all I should have to write is "Mingus" to explain this release, but no doubt there's a tremendous amount of his work interpreted already. What distinguishes this for me is Maggie Nicols, who joins saxophonist Silke Eberhard, trumpeter Nikolaus Neuser, and drummer Christian Marien, as they take a really quirky and loving take on the late composer and bassist's music. This is the 2nd release for the trio, the first four years prior, and the compatibility and seamlessness of their playing is remarkable. I get a kick out of the trio being bass-less, but somehow that's fitting for their approach to his music. Great tracks include "Weird Nightmare", "Haitian Fight Song" and "The Clown", the last read superbly by Nicols. And the strangest is Mingus' description of how to toilet train a cat. Quirky probably doesn't do justice to the album and the way the music and voice work together, but through irreverence the band shows reverence to one of the greatest jazz composers of the last century.




Fictive Five, The (Ochs / Wooley / Filiano / Niggenkemper / Eisenstadt):Anything Is Possible (Clean Feed)

Fictive Five, The (Ochs / Wooley / Filiano / Niggenkemper / Eisenstadt)
Anything Is Possible
(Clean Feed)

A tour-de-force of modern creative jazz from the quintet of Larry Ochs on tenor & sopranino saxophones, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Ken Filiano on bass & effects, Pascal Niggenkemper on bass & effects, and Harris Eisenstadt on drums, the familiar history of the musicians and the staggering skill of each bearing out the album's title, in 2 collective and 3 Ochs compositions.



continued...




The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Jim Black Trio
(w/ Elias Stemseder /
Thomas Morgan):
Reckon
(Intakt)



McPhee /
Reid /
Lopez /
Nilssen-Love /
Rempis:
Things Beyond Thule
Volume 1
[VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(Aerophonic)



Fred Frith /
Nicolas Humbert /
Marc Parisotto:
Cut Up The Border
(RogueArt)



Kuzu
(Rempis /
Dorji /
Damon):
Purple Dark Opal
(Aerophonic)



PEK Solo:
Coefficient of Unity
(Evil Clown)



Stefan Aeby:
Piano Solo
(Intakt)



Awatair
(Gos /
Tokar /
Gadecki):
Awatair Plays Coltrane
(Fundacja Sluchaj!)



Alvin Curran /
Jon Rose:
Cafe Grand Abyss
(Recommended Records)



Sunwatchers /
Eugene Chadbourne:
3 Characters
[VINYL 2 LPs]
(Amish Records)



Joke Lanz /
Jason Kahn /
Norbert Moslang /
Gunter Muller /
Christian Weber:
kangaroo_kitchen
[2 CDS]
(Mikroton Recordings)



George Graewe /
Ernst Reijseger /
Gerry Hemingway:
Concertgebouw Brugge
2014
(Fundacja Sluchaj!)



Katarsis4
(Bizys /
Janonis /
Pancerovas /
Jusinskas):
Katarsis4
(NoBusiness)



Marc Copland:
Gary
((Illusions))



ROVA
(Raskin /
Ochs /
Voigt /
Ackley):
Saxophone Diplomacy
(Hatology)



Michael Formanek
Very Practical Trio
(w/ Tim Berne /
Mary Halvorson):
Even Better
(Intakt)



Bobby Bradford /
Frode Gjerstad /
Kent Carter /
John Stevens:
Blue Cat
[VINYL]
(NoBusiness)



Juan Vinuesa
Jazz Quartet
(Vinuesa /
Berman /
Roebke Avery):
Blue Shots From Chicago
(NoBusiness)



Liquid Quintet
(feat Agusti Fernandez /
Artur Majewski /
Albert Cirera /
Rafal Mazur /
Ramon Prats):
Flux
(Fundacja Sluchaj!)



Steve Swell /
Robert Boston /
Michael Vatcher:
Brain In A Dish
(NoBusiness)



Willem Breuker /
Han Bennink:
New Acoustic
Swing Duo
[2 CDS]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)







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