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Gen Montgomery Ken:
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Jean Derome:
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Drawing on the work of Steve Lacy's quintet, Montreal saxophonist Jean Derome pays homage to the late saxophonist through a selection of 9 Lacy pieces with lyrics from Brion Gysin, Lao Tseu, Herman Melville, &c, in a quintet with Derome on alto sax, bass flute & voice, Karen Young providing vocals, Alexandre Grogg on piano, Normand Guilbeault on bass, & Pierre Tanguay on drums. ... Click to View


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Montreal's true supergroup since 1998 with many of the city's essential Musique Actuelle performers and composers, directed by Danielle Palardy Roger and including Jean Derome, Joane Hetu, Scott Thomson, Lori Freedman, Alexander St. Onge, &c. &c., as they take on a piece by Quebec composer Symon Henry, performed in an exceptional concert in the Chapel in Bon-Pasteur. ... Click to View


Gabriel Dharmoo :
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Prevost / Solberg / Pettersen / Moore / Brice / Hardie-Bick:
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Ken Vandermark / Paal Nilssen-Love Duo:
AMR (NO LABEL)

The long-running duo of Chicago saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Vandermark and Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love are heard in this live concert at AMR in Geneva, Switzerland in 2018, performing the first four letters of the alphabet ("A", "B", "C" & "D"), each letter a unique creative approach in evolving their remarkable and enthralling dialogs. ... Click to View


Decoy (Alexander Hawkins / John Edwards / Steve Noble) With Joe McPhee:
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John Carter Octet:
Dauwhe [VINYL] (Black Saint Vinyl)

A much-needed reissue of John Carter's 1982 LP "Dauwhe", the first chapter in his "Roots and Folklore" saga, a 5-part epic through African American heritage, performed with Carter himself on clarinet, Bobby Bradford (cornet), James Newton (flute), Charles Owens (sax, oboe & clarinet), Red Callender (tuba), Roberto Miranda (bass), William Jeffrey (drums), and Luis Peralta (percussion). ... Click to View


Philip Samartzis / Eric La Casa :
Captured Space [CASSETTE] (Cronica)

Kruger National Park in the north-east corner of South Africa is the subject of Eric La Casa and Philip Samartzis's audio exploration, using field recordings made over 10 days in and around the park, and taking them into the studio to organize them into an aural representation of the park's exotic mystery, placidity and tension, with a tinge of the modern world nearby. ... Click to View


Laboratorio Della Quercia:
Laboratorio Della Quercia [VINYL 2 LPs] (Alternative Fox)

Documenting the 12-day Italian experimental jazz festival at the ancient amphitheater Tasso della Quercia in 1978, revolving around Italian improvisers Tommaso Vittorini, Eugenio Colombo, Maurizio Giammarco, Alberto Corvini, Danilo Terenz, with visiting players Steve Lacy, Steve Potts, and Evan Parker, trombonist Roswell Rudd, pianist Frederick Rzewski, and drummer Noel McGhee. ... Click to View


Turbulence:
Eddy Flux (Evil Clown)

The extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra from the Boston-area collective led by reedist/multi-instrumentalist David Peck, here with PEK on an assortment of saxophones, clarinets, flutes, game calls and percussion, the other horns from Michael Caglianone on sax, game calls, wind sirens and percussion, with drums, bells, bowls and other percussion from Yuri Zbitnoff. ... Click to View


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  String Theory 
  3 of 9 Dimensions  
  (Evil Clown) 


  
   review by Nick Ostrum
  2020-02-13
String Theory: 3 of 9 Dimensions (Evil Clown)

The indefatigable David Peck (PEK) is at it still. While the recent announcement of the retirement of long-time Leap of Faith percussionist Yuri Zbitnov might damper Evil Clown's output indeed, Zbitnov was a key, creative driving force in numerous Leap of Faith projects until I happened upon 3 of 9 Dimensions, I had not heard a PEK recording on which Zbitnov had not made an indelible and essential mark. String Theory (a revolving unit but, here, Glynis Lomon, Elinor Speirs [a member of LoF just since 2018], Eric Zinman, and PEK himself) was established in 2015. Recorded live at Cambridge, MA's Outpost 186, 3 of 9 Dimensions is the evolving String Theory unit's 15th album and the first with Speirs and the second with Zinman.

As far as chamber ensembles go, String Theory is forceful. At times, Lomon (cello) and Speirs (violin) fall into sweet melodies or entangled whispers. There are a few moments when Zinman lays a few tight, wistful runs on his upright. At times, PEK sets his horns down and only slowly begins to rummage through his box of noise makers. That said, even these quieter moments are pregnant with a surprising gravity. The focus lies on the discordant and the disquieting quiet, rather than the sonorous and tranquil. To the extent this music is sometimes bucolic (and sections do evoke bird chirps, wisps of wind, and calm landscapes), it is considerably heavier than such a romantic description might indicate. And, even given the absence of a primary drummer a point PEK emphasizes in his program notes this album is nevertheless filled with percussive bluster from the musicians' primary strings and reeds to a small arsenal of cymbals, bells, rattles, and other musical instruments and trinkets, including Lomon and PEK on the aquasonic. Near the end of the performance, Lomon and Speirs round out the resulting musical kerfuffle with an extended section of overlain Leandre-esque vocalizations, which gradually release to the final fade to a lone violin. Zbitnov will be missed. But, if String Theory can be read metonymically, LoF will continue, maybe less percussively rich, but hardly less clangorously.

It is also worth noting that this album is a departure from other PEK project, and not just because of the absence of Zbitnov. Part of the reason is stylistic. Part seems tactical, as isolating a chamber unit allows the musicians to practice and perform as a concentrated unit rather than simply a section of the larger orchestra. At the same time, however, this ensemble also opens the seasoned LoF listener to some the nuances and overlain textures that underly the cacophony of the collective's sound. It lends insight into how, despite the sheer mass of the larger unites, these Evil Clown projects share a logical and interpersonal cohesion that effectively steer the groups away from the entropic free blowing that so often follows in other large, improvisational ensembles. This recording shows another, more grounded (i.e. less cosmos-focused) side of PEK (and Lomon, Speirs, and Zinman) than the big band does. At the same time, it is still very much of the LoF ilk in its playful and resourceful curiosity. And for that, I am grateful.



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