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Joe McPhee :
Black Is The Color: Live in Poughkeepsie and New Windsor, 1969-70 [2CDS] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Unreleased material from McPhee's archives, three live settings of the saxophonist and trumpeter Joe McPhee in upstate NY: a quartet with with vibraphonist Ernie Bostic and the rhythm section of Tyrone Crabb and Bruce Thompson live at Vassar College; live in New Windsor with saxophonist Reggie Marks; and an outdoor concert at Poughkeepsie's Lincoln Centre. ... Click to View


Clara de Asis / Mara Winter:
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During pandemic lockdowns, flutist Mara Winter and experimentalist Clara de Asís explored locations of natural resonance to capture this mix of composition and improvisation, delicate and detailed recordings of diverse intent, using harmonically rich tones and textures that resonate in mysterious and haunting ways, beautiful dream-like secrets and reveries. ... Click to View


Kraig Grady:
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Microtonal composer Kraig Grady in a work for specially adapted brass instruments (Kris Tiner, trumpets; Subhraag Singh-saxophones; Emmett Kim Narushima-trombones) and organ (Terumi Narushima) using a the Meta-Slendro tuning, an obscure 17-tone scale, to create an expansive and organic work assembled from recordings of each musician playing meditations on single notes. ... Click to View


Oliver Leith / George Barton / Siwan Rhys :
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UK composer Oliver Leith presents a work in 8 movements for piano, keys and percussion performed by Siwan Rhys (keys) and George Barton, an invocation of everyday life through a personal and often idiosyncratic orchestration reflective of personal ritual & habits, our good and our irrational, often contradictory impetus, through quirky and embraceable episodes. ... Click to View


Eventless Plot (Vasilis Liolios / Yiannis Tsirikoglou / Arias Gatas):
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With 20 years of performance history, the "Eventless Plot" trio of Thessaloniki, Greece -- Vasilis Liolios (Psaltery, percussion, electronics), Yiannis Tsirikoglou (electronics) and Arias Gatas (piano, percussion, electronics) -- present three chamber works, performed with other other Greek instrumentalists; extraordinary works of embracing creativity and depth. ... Click to View


Keith Rowe / Mark Wastell:
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Performing at The Printing House, in Dublin, Ireland, the duo of Keith Rowe on guitar & electronics and Mark Wastell on amplified textures & electronics are heard in their final set of the evening, louder and more gestural, taking the audience on a long musically referential journey of theme, statement and variations, seemingly traditional yet using unique strategies. ... Click to View


Maja Ratkje S.K.:
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A live recording using the natural resonance of Pfarrkirche, Lockenhaus during the 2018 Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus from avant vocalist and improviser Maja S. K. Ratkje, using layers of voice processed by software created by Øyvind Brandtsegg, plus sung parts from the Norwegian traditional "Hanen sten på stabburshella" and the American traditional "Mining for Gold". ... Click to View


Acid Mothers Temple:
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Acid Mothers Temple's Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo was first released on CD in 2007 by Ace Fu Records, here re-mastered for vinyl, "Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo" being a phrase expounded by a 13th century Japanese Buddhist monk called Nichiren translating loosely to "I devote myself to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra" or "... the Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Flower Teaching". ... Click to View


The Residents :
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Colored vinyl double LP Record Store Day release of the soundtrack to the eyeballed band's 2001 "Icky Flix" DVD, 20 re-worked classic Residents tracks, originally released as a 14-track soundtrack CD, here in an extended edition that includes 6 additional tracks, "reimaginings" not included on the original version of the album. ... Click to View


Konrad Strumpfel & The Set:
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An unissued album from Bavarian experimenter & songwriter Konrad Strumpfel and "The Set", the Czech duo of Herbert Lukundra & Josif Afkak, who added their contributions to Strumpfel's work which had been sent to them by post, the strengthening of the "Iron Curtain" between the USSR & Europe in the late 80s prohibiting the release of their collaboration. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Matthew Shipp:
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A meeting in the studio of long-time friends and collaborators, pianist Matthew Shipp and Daniel Carter performing on alto, tenor & soprano saxes, clarinet & trumpet, having played together in many groupings this is only their first duo recording, in a thoughtful set of free improvisations with an innate lyricism and beautiful sense of pacing; masterful and evolved. ... Click to View


Jaap Blonk's Retirement Overdue (w/ Petruccelli / Stadhouders / Rosaly):
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Antonin Artaud (Jaap Blonk):
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Improvised and heavy forms of experimental rock from the French duo of piccolo bassist Eric Brochard and drummer Fabrice Favriou, their music dramatic, ritualistic and urgent as they reference Maya Deren and mythological experience, their music hypnotically mesmerizing and sonically rich, slowly whirling dervishes in five varying sequences that growl and transfix. ... Click to View


What Happens In A Year (Sinton / Neufeld / Merega):
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The 1st release of NY baritone saxophonist & bass clarinetist Josh Sinton's FiP label (Form is Possibility) is the debut of the "What Happens in a Year" trio with Todd Neufeld on electric guitar and Giacomo Merega on electric bass, an album of free collective improvisation fueled by a patiently ethereal and authoritative ethic through subtle dialog of tone, texture and pulse. ... Click to View


Dan Clucas / Jeb Bishop / Damon Smith / Matt Crane:
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Three quartet improvisations and six duo combinations between Dan Clucas on cornet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Damon Smith on double bass, and Matt Crane on drums, recording in the studio in Rhode Island, 2018, the various permutations of each player elucidating the full group interactions through focused and captivating investigations of instrumental combinations. ... Click to View


Otomo Yoshihide / Chris Pitsiokos:
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Performing live at the Tempo Reale Festival in Florence, Italy in 2018, the duo of Japanese improviser Otomo Yoshihide on turntables & guitars and NY saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos fascinate with seven free dialogs, from extreme techniques of fragmented sound to jazz-oriented reference, a well-matched pair for both splintering collision and accomplished statement. ... Click to View


Iannis Xenakis:
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Back in Stock: Recollection GRM assembles Greek experimental composer Iannis Xenakis' works for Groupe de Recherches Musicales circa 1957-1962: "Concret PH" (1958); "Orient-Occident" (1960); "Diamorphoses" (1957-58); "Bohor" (1962). ... Click to View


The Thing (Gustafsson / McPhee / Haker Flaten / Nilssen-Love):
She Knows... (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Named for a Don Cherry composition included on this album, the core trio of The Thing--Mats Gustafsson on reeds, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums--is joined by saxophonist and pocket trumpter Joe McPhee, recording classic free jazz and harmolodic pieces by Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, James Blood Ulmer, Frank Lowe, & Joe McPhee. ... Click to View


Albert Ayler Quartet With Don Cherry:
European Recordings Autumn 1964 (Revisited) [2 CDs] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Essential radio and live recordings from saxophonist Albert Ayler's European tour in 1964 with Don Cherry on cornet, Gary Peacock on double bass and Sunny Murray on drums, a quintessential grouping for Ayler's compositions, here in outstanding renditions of classic works including "Spirits", "Ghosts", "Vibrations", "Mothers", "Childrens", plus Don Cherry's "Infant Happiness". ... Click to View


Joel Futterman :
Intervals (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Each of the three parts of NY pianist Joel Futterman's "Intervals" is unedited first takes, a referendum on 40 years of playing and expanding his powers at free jazz that embraces tradition and future, alway engaging his listeners through fully formed figures, phrase and motifs, a great combination of familiar jazz elements and imaginative free invention. ... Click to View


Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg Holm / Steve Swell / William Parker:
Tales From (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

After a tour through upstate New York State with Chicago cellist and electronic artist Fred Lonberg-Holm, saxophonist Frode Gjerstad headed to New York City for a planned trio recording which evolved into this informed quartet with Steve Swell on trombone and William Parker on bass, tuba, cornet & flutes, an outstanding example of Transatlanic collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Cooper-Moore & Stephen Gauci:
Conversations Vol. 1 [VINYL] (577)

The first of two volumes from legendary Downtown NY pianist Cooper-Moore and saxophonist Stephen Gauci, recorded after a seven-month residency at Happylucky No. 1 Gallery in Brooklyn, allowing the two players to develop a natural dialog of unique and idiosyncratic approaches to their instruments, resulting in these 6 commanding recordings freely improvised in the studio. ... Click to View


Gadt / Osborne / Zakrocki / Olak:
Spontaneous Chamber Music Vol.3 (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

The third volume in this free improvising series, starting with the collaboration of Polish violinist Patryk Zakrocki and guitarist Marcin Olak, varying the additional players as they explore chamber-oriented free improvisation, here with the impressive vocal improvisation of Anna Gadt and cellist Annemie Osborne, ripping apart the calendar in 14 monthly machinations. ... Click to View


Przemyslaw Chmiel Quartet:
Witchcraft (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Led by Polish multi-reedist and composer Przemyslaw Chmiel and his quartet of Mateusz Gramburg on piano, Piotr Narajowski on double bass, and Michał Szeligowski on drums, this is their debut album, presenting a sophisticated set of structured compositions that allow for great spontaneity and lyricism, a strong start for this expressive young band. ... Click to View


Sun Ra And His Solar-Myth Arkestra:
The Solar-Myth Approach (Vol. 1 & 2) [2 CDs] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Originally issued on the BYG label as a 2 volume set, these albums present a variety of tracks from various undocumented sessions in New York and Philadelphia in the 1960s, with similar personnel in the makeup of the Arkestra during this time, here fully remastered and presented as a 2-CD set including a bonus track correcting an original mastering problem; essential Ra! ... Click to View


David Myers Lee:
That Which Is It (pulsewidth)

Using electronic and digital tools similar to those that fuel his Arcane Device project, New York sound artist David Lee Myers presents an accessibly engaging set of compositions using modular electronics, feedback matrices, guitar textures, voices, and frogs in 11 polyrhythmic adventures; quirky yet non-chaotic, sublime experimental works of tone and texture. ... Click to View


Julius Gabriel:
Geminga (Creative Sources)

Using the natural resonance of the chapel of Oficinas do Convento, in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, saxophonist Julius Gabriel recorded these ten diverse solo improvisations, performing on soprano, tenor & baritone saxophones, applying unusual and extended techniques to his playing in a mixture of technical prowess and implicit wit & melodicism. ... Click to View


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):
Adios Al Futuro (Discus)

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



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  Hildegard Kleeb / Roland Dahinden / Alexandre Babel 
  Lines  
  (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2020-02-19
Hildegard Kleeb / Roland Dahinden / Alexandre Babel: Lines (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Pianist Kleeb and trombonist Dahinden have appeared on numerous recordings released under the Hat umbrella over the past decades, generally performing works by contemporary composers some of which might have involved degree of improvisation. In 2016, they recorded an improvised duo session, Stones, for hatOLOGY. Here, they’re joined by percussionist Alexandre Babel in a set of ten improvised performances.

As is often the case, depending on where the listener is coming from re: improvisation, the resultant enjoyment of this session will vary. The music, by and large, is very active; it’s rare that one or more of the musicians sits out until they have something pertinent to contribute. Instead, there’s a fairly constant flow of notes in what might be called a “conversational” style with the musicians clearly reacting to each other. This is all well and good and fits in comfortably with much improvised music of the past 50 years, music that has its audience. Kleeb is, of course, an outstanding pianist and her touch, sense of form and clarity of sound serve her very well here. Dahinden, to these ears, spends too much time investigating effects that have been around since at least Vinko Globokar; he’s fine but a sense of individuality that emerges naturally with Kleeb is hard to ascertain. Babel spends a large portion of time on sustained vibraphone, sometimes to a cloying degree and is elsewhere general quite active, light and scurrying. This listener would have welcomed some marimba or other less ringing percussion. That said, the trio negotiates its lines nimbly, evoking a nice selection of colors and, especially given the short duration of the tracks (between two and six minutes), handily maintains interest.

My gripe, coming from a post-AMM perspective, is that one senses that no real chances were taken; there’s no tension of possible failure. They know what they’re capable of and execute it, confident that something jewel-like will emerge. In doing so, they produce a set that, had someone played it blindfold-style and said that it was a 1975 session of, say, Fred van Hove, Albert Manglesdorff and Günter Sommer (albeit exceedingly well recorded), I could have accepted that. In 2018, there’s no longer any sense of danger, of the unexpected, of encountering roadblocks. For many listeners, of course, this isn’t a problem and they’ll find much to enjoy here: very competent music performed by three excellent musicians. Others might find themselves anxious for one or two missing, subtle ingredients that could have provided a welcome feeling of uncertainty.



Hildegard Kleeb / Roland Dahinden / Alexandre Babel: Lines
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