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Quin Kirchner:
The Shadows and The Light [2 CDs] (Astral Spirits)

Recorded over 2 days in a Chicago studio in configuration from duos to an octet, drummer Quin Kirchner provides the compositions on this double CD for 11 pieces, alongside works by Frank Foster, Phil Cohran, Sun Ra & Carla Bley, presented as a story or a journey of differing styles and forms, glued together by Kirchner's remarkable drumming and coherently diverse interests. ... Click to View


Tomeka Reid Quartet:
Old New (Cuneiform)

Drawn from some of New Yorks finest and most active improvisers, cellist Tomeka Reid's string-centric quartet with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Jason Roebke on bass, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums, take Reid's lyrical compositions into exuberant territory, showing the effective power of these versatile string instruments in creative and irresistible modern jazz. ... Click to View


Kaoru Abe :
19770916@Ayler, Sapporo (Doubtmusic)

Recently discovered, unissued solo improvisations from legendary Japanese free jazz alto saxophonist Karou Abe--four extended statements from the full concert recorded in 1970 at the Sapporo jazz cafe "Ayler"--an excellent example of the passionate performances he presented, using extended and unusual technique from assertive mastery to near-silent moments; incomporable. ... Click to View


Adam Caine Quartet, feat Adam Lane / Bob Lanzetti / Billy Mintz:
Transmissions (NoBusiness)

Embracing a wide and diverse stylistic range, from burning modern electric jazz to introspective interplay, NY guitarist Adam Caines' band with fellow guitarist Bob Lanzetti, Adam Lane on acoustic bass, Billy Mintz on drums, and Nick Lyons on alto saxophone, perform with great taste, technical mastery and superb interplay, releasing an extremely well-balanced colelction. ... Click to View


Keys & Screws (Thomas Borgmann / Jan Roder / Willi Kellers):
Some More Jazz [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Two thirds of the free jazz group "Boom Box"--saxophonist Thomas Borgmann and drummer Willi Kellers--and referencing that band's 2011 album titled Jazz, Keys & Screws is rounded out as a trio with double bassist Jan Roder, following the format of "Jazz" with compositions from each player following head/solo format, fueled by each player's extensive experience. ... Click to View


DUX Orchestra (Dave Sewelson / Mats Gustafsson / Susie Ibarra / Will Connell Jr. / Dave Hofstra / Walter "Sweet" Perkins / JC Morrison):
Duck Walks Dog (With Mixed Results) [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Dux, led by guitarist JC Morrison and baritone saxophonist Dave Seweleson, plus Dave Hofstra on bass and drummer Walter Perkins, is heard in this 1994 recording from "an attic" in New York City in an expanded version of the band, adding Mats Gustafsson on baritone sax, Will Connell, Jr on clarinet and Susie Ibarra on drums, for a wild session of exuberant free playing. ... Click to View


Larry Ochs / Aram Shelton Quartet (w/ Nordeson / Dresser / Walton):
Continental Drift (Clean Feed)

Key artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, composers and bandleaders Larry Ochs on tenor and sopranino saxophone and Aram Shelton on alto saxophone join together with Swedish drummer Kjell Nordeson, joined by either double bassist Mark Dresser or Scott Walton, in an album drawn from two session featuring exhiliarating pieces of unique approach from both composers. ... Click to View


Roots Magic (Pololla / De Fabritiis / Tedeschi / Spera):
Take Root Among The Stars (Clean Feed)

Mining the area between the blues and creative jazz with pieces by Charles Tyler, Ornette Coleman, Phil Cohran and Sun Ra, this is the 3rd album from the Italian quartet of Alberto Popolla on clarinets, Errico De Fabritiis on saxophones, Gianfranco Tedeschi on double bass, and Fabrizio Spera on drums & percussion, joined by Eugenio Colombo on flute and Francesco Lo Cascio on vibes. ... Click to View


Cliff Trio (Pandelis Karayorgis / Damon Smith / Eric Rosenthal):
Precipice (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Recording at the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA, the Boston-area trio of pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, bassist Damon Smith, and drummer Eric Rosenthal are captured in concert for an adventurous album of free improvisation, Karayorgis's compositions leading this piano trio of magnificent mastery into buoyantly exciting interplay as they take their listeners to a dizzying precipice edge. ... Click to View


Anton Ponomarev Trio (w/ Per Ole Jorgens / Dmitri Lapshin):
Dodsdromen (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Aggressive "honk-n-skronk" free jazz from the Moscow based trio of alto saxophonist Anton Ponomarev, with Danish drummer Peter Ole Jørgensen (aka P.O. Jorgens know for his work with Peter Brötzmann) and bass guitarist Dmitry Lapshin, ijn a studio album of eight burning "Circles", demanding skirmishes of fiery imformed collective free jazz. ... Click to View


Magnus Granberg / Skogen:
Let Pass My Weary Guiltless Ghost (Another Timbre)

First performed in November 2019 at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and then at the Splitter Orchester festival in Berlin, this studio recording of Magnus Granberg's delicately complex and exquisitely dream-like composition features his Skogen ensemble, including Granberg, Rhodri Davies, Toshimaru Nakamura, Erik Carlsson, Petter Wastberg, &c. ... Click to View


Rhodri Davies:
Telyn Rawn (Amgen Records)

Dating back to the 13th century in Wales, the Telyn Rawn is a nearly forgotten horsehair harp; UK improvising harpist Rhodri Davies researched the instrument and its unique sound, commissioning the construction of a harp on which he performs 18 improvisations of impressive technique and sonority, launching his new Amgen Records label with this album named for the instrument. ... Click to View


Tyler Higgins (w/ Monticello / Stevens):
Broken Blues (Shhpuma)

Blues with a strong sonic sense in Atlanta, GA guitarist Tyler Higgin's 2nd release on Shhpuma, his trio again featuring drummer Paul Stevens, and here adding bassist Gabriel Monticello, known for symphonic, jazz and rock forms, bringing masterful skill to this album that richly blends blues, gospel, folk, jazz and rock forms with passion and style. ... Click to View


Nicolas Snyder:
Temporary Places (Shhpuma)

West Coast sound artist Nicolas Snyder is a composer, filmmaker, sound-documenter, gardener, and forager; fascinated by the sounds of nature, he took recordings from streams and National Parks in Vietnam, Pennsylvania, and California and merged them with music composed in the studio to create these works of great beauty as a study of locational and emotional memory. ... Click to View


Dimos Vryzas:
Really Short And Tonal (Creative Sources)

Violinist, improviser, songwriter and composer from Thessaloniki, Greece, Dimos Vryzas creates a virtual electroacoustic ensemble using violin, voice and effects, contrasting acoustic and electronic sounds in the search for music expression, his studies with Fred Frith and Alfred Zimmerlin a good indicator of the kind of sound approach Vryzas employs. ... Click to View


Takamitsu Ohta:
Three Relations Among The Flock [CASSETTE] (Winds Measure)

Takamitsu Ohta, known for his work with artists Anne-F Jacques & Ryoko Akama, in three unexpected recordings using the microphone and speaker of small devices with recording and playback ability, from five to fifteen such linked devices creating surprisingly stacatto and expressive voices from feedback, each piece aptly named for the resulting articulation each combination creates. ... Click to View


Klaus Filip / Moe Kamura:
Passagein (Winds Measure)

ppooll sound artist Klaus Filip and Japanese experimental vocalist Moe Kamura (10Tet, Taku Sugimoto) in a two part electronic improvisation of electronic tones, textures, silence, and minimalist vocalization and utterance, Filip using a dynamic frequency palette inspiring Kamura's wordless expression; lowercase or Onkyo, a meditative and moody work. ... Click to View


Ballister:
Znachki Stilyag (Aerophonic)

The tenth year of the working and touring international Ballister trio of Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophones, Fred Lonberg on Holm on cello & electronics, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drum & percussion, here in an outrageously powerful yet explorative concert at Dom Cultural Center, in Moscow, Russia in 2019, a fierce example of what this band is capable of. ... Click to View


Stirrup + 6 (Lonberg-Holdm / Macri / Rumback):
The Avondale Addition (Cuneiform)

The Stirrup trio of cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri (bass), and Charles Rumback (drums) is merged with improvisers from Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra project--Keefe Jackson & Mars Williams on reeds, guitarist Peter Maunu, violist Jen Clare Paulson, trumpeter Russ Johnson & Zoots Houston on electronics -for this compelling structured performance at Elastic Arts. ... Click to View


Tashi Dorji / Tyler Damon:
To Catch A Bird In A Net Of Wind [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Fully free improvisation from Chicago musicians, electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer/percussionist Tyler Damon, performing live in a concert at Horatio N. May Chapel in 2018, the resonance of the location adding a rich reverberant level to their evolving dialog, building to ecstatic sonic states and releasing to energetically ruminative discourse. ... Click to View


BROM (Lapshin / Ponomarev / Mikensky / Kurilo):
Dance With An Idiot [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Raw, raucous and dauntless improvisation from the Russian quartet of Anton Ponomarev on alto saxophone, Dmitry Lapshin on bass guitar, Felix Mikensky on guitar & electronics, and Yaroslav Kurilo on drums, in 7 passionate collective improvisations with a dark melodic bent with titles like "demon" or "iron hair", plus a twisted take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts". ... Click to View


Berangere Maximin :
Land of Waves [VINYL 2 LPs + DOWNLOAD] (KARLRECORDS)

The sixth album of embraceable electroacoustic and acousmatic French composer Bérangère Maximin, whose work with Ina-GRM, Stockholm's EMS points to her extraordinary skills in organize other-worldly sound, imbued with her ability to create warmly embraceable works with mystery amongst propelling rhythm, here exploring recordings from city parks & abandoned properties. ... Click to View


Sun City Girls:
Live at the Sky Church - September 3rd, 2004 [VINYL LP & DVD] (Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company)

A 2004 live performance in LP and DVD from the experimental, irreverent and twisted rock trio Sun City Girls performing at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, from strange songs of weird, blunt or vulgar intent to experimental cutups--an unorthodox exorcism in sound--all presented with bizarre theatrical accompaniment as documented on the accompanying DVD. ... Click to View


Matias Riquelme / Fernando Ulzion:
La Trahison Des Mots (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Using the natural resonance of the Apodaka church in Alava, Spain, the Bilbao-based experimental improvising duo of cellist Francia Matías Riquelme and saxophonist Fernando Ulzion on soprano and alto, present an introspective and informed set of works titled as iconic jazz compositions, an implication of the impressionist approach their expansive and thoughtful playing invokes. ... Click to View


Machinefabriek / Anne Bakker:
Short Scenes (Zoharum)

While developing a soundtrack with violinist and violist Anne Bakker, Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek, began editing a series of Bakker's improvisations, creating new works from those recordings by layering them into succinct short works or "scenes"--twenty of them in the end--that he sequenced into this album of confidently dramatic and delicately beautiful episodes. ... Click to View


Master Oogway:
Earth And Other Worlds (Rune Grammofon)

The second album from the Norwegian electric jazz quartet of Havard Nordberg Funderud on guitar, Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on saxophone, Karl Erik Horndalsveen on double bass, and Martin Heggli Mellem on drums, after their 2018 album The Concert Koan on the Clean Feed label, here in six powerfully thrilling tracks of youthful exuberance and impressive skill. ... Click to View


Master Oogway:
Earth And Other Worlds [VINYL] (Rune Grammofon)

The second album from the Norwegian electric jazz quartet of Havard Nordberg Funderud on guitar, Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on saxophone, Karl Erik Horndalsveen on double bass, and Martin Heggli Mellem on drums, after their 2018 album The Concert Koan on the Clean Feed label, here in six powerfully thrilling tracks of youthful exuberance and impressive skill. ... Click to View


Thumbscrew (Fujiwara / Halvorson / Formanek):
The Anthony Braxton Project (Cuneiform)

The Thumbscrew trio of NY improvisers Tomas Fujiwara on drums & vibes, Mary Halvorson on guitar, and Michael Formanek on double bass, turn their focus to their shared history with composer and reedist Anthony Braxton as he celebrates his 75th birthday, performing 11 previously unheard compositions selected from Composition No. 14 through No. 274; masterful and profound. ... Click to View


Toyozumi / Yandsen / Countryman:
Future of Change (ChapChap Records)

The collaboration of American alto saxophonist living in the Philippines Rick Countryman with legendary Japanese free improvising drummer Sabu Toyozumim, also performing on Erhu, continues with this outstanding performance at the LIMBO Art Gallery in Makati, Philippines in 2020, joined by Malaysian tenor saxophonist Yong Yandsen for a burning set of free jazz. ... Click to View



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  Zeena Parkins / Wobbly 
  Triplicates  
  (Relative Pitch) 


  
   review by Dave Madden
  2020-04-09
Zeena Parkins / Wobbly: Triplicates (Relative Pitch)

You might fancy yourself as some sort of experimental musician, but Zeena Parkins and Wobbly née Jon Leidecker might make you feel like an amateur. It's nothing you did, but what they have — individually and sometimes together — contributed to (many of) the arts during the last several decades.

Now a member of Negativland, Leidecker has run the gamut of Plunderphonics, IDM, clever message-driven mash-ups, radio drama cassette deck improvisation, tape-splicing investigations, and was able to escape the traps that technology focus laid for many of his 2000s peers. After traveling as part of Janus Circus (a real-ass circus troupe), post Classical education, harpist (pianist, accordionist) Parkins played on the essential recording of John Zorn's Cobra, performed on Hole's Unplugged, took up with drummer / drum machiner Ikue Mori to form Phantom Orchid, fell in with Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore and Nels Cline and Christian Marclay, and, yes, continues to collaborate with beloved Björk Guðmundsdóttir. So, she is just as capable at conjuring a Van Halen freak-out (i.e. her 1998 solo record No Way Back) as she is at intimate, thimble-sized moments appropriate for music boxes

In Parkins's Mills College office, she and Leidecker recorded harp, a variety of toy noise gadgets and phones through iPad-based pitch-tracking apps ("...machines designed to sing along" which Leidecker continues to hone) that act as curious sorta-autotune / multiplication. Parkins begins the opener ("Extreme Center") with a flamenco guitar flick and some string slides, and then introduces (presumably) Leidecker's sparkling synth dust while relatively flipping out on a whammy pedal. From this, the duo augments the palette: Parkins's notes become fewer and her stereo field increases, oozes into a microtonal cluster, and her harp leaves its body to become a wobbling drone; over this soaring gesture, expiring kitchen times and balloon squeals increase in tempi and size and eventually take over. "Ambiguous Figures" plays with similar elements, swirling them into ice cream truck / arcade game music. It's around here you start to notice that the pitch devices interpolate kinda funny and often oblige as artificial semi-intelligent shadow creatures.

Using more pause and space, "Least Action: Alone and In Relation to Their Surroundings" starts with a delicate string harmonics passage, but soon catches a manipulated reverb trail, and after some blips and engine growls, adopts a cacophonic run of bends and strums. Similarly, on "De-Storied", Parkins offers a series of doleful chords that intersect with a shellac of doubling and tripling harmonies; machines take over and pull the pensive sweetness into a hornet's nest reminiscent of Ligeti's Atmosphères. Leidecker's baby automatons come to life on "Sing Themselves", forming vowels and almost words while harp skronks in a supernaturally low register; the former adopts a cartoonish rhythm for interlude "Plankton Interregnum", slinking around until forming something to rap over.

Reading interviews with Parkins and Leidecker (where you can feel dumb but end with a list of book and record and software recommendations), the two really, really embrace / can speak to myriad types of music, which is why Triplicates defies a singular description and boasts a thorough understanding of the term experimental. Does that imply that Triplicates doesn't always succeed? No, but there are some unusual moments where things go in a direction not anticipated i.e. the drive-by quasi-gypsy snippet that opens and sprints away, never to return, in "Ambiguous Figures". And the act of instant-composing anything with another person is an experiment in itself.



Zeena Parkins / Wobbly: Triplicates
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Quin Kirchner:
The Shadows and
he Light
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