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Daniel Carter1 / Patrick Holmes / Matthew Putman / Hilliard Greene / Federico Ughi:
Telepathic Mysteries Vol. 1 (577)

Referring to an improvisational style only possible after many years of collaboration, which they refer to as a "ghostly, boundary-pushing music between friends", the this is the 4th sublime album from the quintet of Daniel Carter on reeds & trumpet, Patrick Holmes on clarinet, Matthew Putman on piano & keys, Hilliard Greene on bass, and Federico Ughi on drums. ... Click to View


Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe / Four Men Only (Joos / Eichhorn / Zimmer / Buhler / Thellman):
Complete Recordings [3-CD BOX SET] (NoBusiness)

From 1986-73 the German Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe of Herbert Joos on flugelhornn, Wilfried Eichhorn on sax & wiends, Helmuth Zimmer on piano, percussion, Klaus Buhler on double bass, Rudi Theilmann on drums, and Wolfgang Czelusta on trombone, and then Four Men Only after Buhler left, were a force in the European Free Jazz scene, here in a 3-CD box collecting their works. ... Click to View


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

Recorded over 2 days in a Chicago studio in configurations 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, made cohesive by Kirchner's remarkable drumming and coherently diverse interests. ... Click to View


Chris Brown:
Retrospectacles [2 CDs] (fo'c'sle)

A fascinating 2-CD retrospective of the solo piano and computer work from 1990 to 2016 of San Francisco Bay Area experimentalist composer Chris Brown, whose work focuses on evolving paradigms of human-machine interaction through live signal processing, generative polyrhythmic textures, and a cohabitation of both formal control and indeterminacy. ... Click to View


Moritz / Ali / Costa :
Estuary (Neither/Nor Records)

After having collaborated in a variety of contexts for a few years, in 2017 Jonathan Moritz, Sean Ali and Carlo Costa started to perform regularly as a trio and over time honed a distinctive sound, using space through patient development, abstraction and textural playing and central tenets in their jazz-influenced improvisations, here in their first album. ... Click to View


String Theory:
Tin (Creative Sources)

The Portuguese String Theory ensemble led by violist Ernesto Rodridgues explores the element "Tin" in this live performance at CreativeFest XIII at O'Culto da Ajuda, in Lisbon, 2019, leading a 10-piece ensemble of strings--violin & violas, cellos, double basses, guitars and piano--through an extended improvisation of remarkably detailed yet controlled interaction. ... Click to View


Skrijelj / Rodrigues / Mira / Malmendier:
lluvia (Creative Sources)

A live performance at CreativeFest XIII at O'Culto da Ajuda, in Lisbon in 2019 from the quartet of Emilie Skrijelj on accordion, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Miguel Mira on cello, and Tom Malmendier on percussion, Lluvia referencing rain as the quartet quietly builds and releases tension through subtle cues, persistent figures, tonal innuendo and shades. ... Click to View


Gelber Flieder:
Olbaumgewachse (Creative Sources)

Gelber Lilac, or Yellow Lilac, is the electro-acoustic trio trio of Yves Arques (Tricentric) on objects, electronics, Joao Camoes (Open Field string trio) on viola, and Luise Volkmann (Autochrom) on saxophone, presenting a romantic still life in improvisational colors and extended techniques, recorded live at La Petite Maison, in Paris in 2016. ... Click to View


Emily Davis / Christopher Riggs / George Romaine:
Extinction Burst (Bug Incision Records)

Chicago-based guitarist Christopher Rigg, founder of the Holy Cheever Church Records, developed this set of pieces called "extinction bursts", performed with Emily David on drums and George Romaine on piano, a work he refers to as "maximalist harsh free jazz wall", using a lurching and squealing guitar figure over which David and Romain overlay slow progressions. ... Click to View


Joel Futterman:
Blues For My Brother (Creation Music)

Four solo imporovisations from pianist Joel Futterman, starting with the nearly 20-minute "Blue For Ronnie" dedicated to his brother Ronald, a lyrical and soulful work that reflects traditional blues and ragtimes forms within a modern perspective, alongside 3 other rich works of the strong technical and melodic skill that define Futterman's mastery and intentions. ... Click to View


Uchihashi Kazuhisa / Yoshida Tatsuya:
Improvisations 5 [2 CDs] (Magaibutsu)

21 wild rides from the fully improvised duo of guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi on guitar & effects, and Tatsuya Yoshida on drums, voice & sampler, two CDs from four separate concerts at Japanese venues Akihabara Goodman in 2012 & 2014, Kichijoji FOXHOLE in 2014, and Okubo Hikarino-Uma in 2017; intensely exciting and magnificently masterful improv instrumental rock! ... Click to View


Sanhedrin (Haino / Yoshida / Nasuno):
Change The Density So That You Can Crawl Up From The Sea Of ​​Duty (Trailights Record)

Formed in the mid-2000s in the wake of the band Knead, this is the first new Sanhedrin album in six years sees the return of Keiji Haino on guitar, Mitsuru Nasuno on bass guitar and Tatsuya Yoshida on drums, performing live at Akihabara Club Goodman in Japan for four extended rock improvisations, dense, soulful avant-prog with feedback drenched resonance. ... Click to View


Daimonji (Hoppy / Yoshida / Nasuno) :
Eutopia [3 CDs] (Magaibutsu)

A triple CD from the quartet of Hoppy Kamiyama on keyboards, voice, Tatsuya Yoshida on drums & voice, Mitsuru Nasuno on bass and Kinuzuki on guitar, frequent collaborators in a mostly instrumental setting of high intensity improvised rock forms, three complete sets of dense avant/progressive music with incredible technical dexterity and a twisted creative sense. ... Click to View


Petra Haden (w/ John Zorn / Jesse Harris feat. the Julian Lage Trio):
Songs For Petra (Tzadik)

The songwriting team of John Zorn and Jesse Harris, who worked together on Zorn's The Song Project, wrote these beautiful melodies & lyrics that merge elements of rock and jazz for singer Petra Haden, performed in a quintet with Jesse Harris on acoustic guitar, keys, background vocals, Kenny Wollesen on drums, percussion, Julian Lage on guitar, and Jorge Roeder on bass. ... Click to View


Guillaume Gargaud :
Strange Memories (Setola Di Maiale / Chant)

Guitarist/composer Guillaume Gargaud of Le Havre, France steps away from his more typical electric guitar work for an album of acoustic guitar improvisations, freely associative playing of rich harmonic and melodic development, from ostensibly meandering fragility to powerful chord work, revealing a strong and confident center through imaginative progressions that captivate his listeners. ... Click to View


Bruckmann / Djll / Heule / Nishi-Smith:
Brittle Feebling (Humbler)

The title gives a sense of the unusual acoustic improvisation this West Coast collective perform, and their description "prickles and bleats, an abrasive delicacy; fricative rasp and withheld breath seethe together in a discomfiting cuddle" — from Kyle Bruckmann on oboe & English horn, Tom Djll on trumpet, Jacob Felix Heule on floor tom, and Kanoko Nishi-Smith on koto. ... Click to View


Ellen Fullman / David Gamper w/ Stuart Dempster:
Pink Sea Thrift [VINYL] (fo'c'sle)

Six works by iconic composer Ellen Fullman in a duo with David Gamper, an original member of Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Band — ecstatic and mesmerizing improvisations recorded in the resonant space of the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA — plus 2 tracks of a duo between Ellen Fullman and Deep Listening Band founding member Stuart Dempster on trombone & didjeridu. ... Click to View


akuji Naka / Tim Olive:
Minouragatake [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

Working extensively together in recording and touring, Japanese experimental sound artist Takuji Naka and Canadian ex-pat Tim Olive living in Kobe, Japan, recorded thise seven improvisations in the studio in Kyoto, 2019, using lo-fi electronics, distressed cassette tape and self-made instruments to create a unique sound in unusual dialogs of mysterious sonic motion. ... Click to View


Sub-Unit No. 1:
Main Sequence (Evil Clown)

A new sub-unit of the Leap of Faith Orchestra showcases the work of David Peck (PEK) on clarinets, saxophones, and a wide array of percussive devices, in a duo with new drummer Michael Knoblach, also on an assortment of percussive devices including antique sheep shears, African circumcision rattles, dan mo, &c, for 5 unique improvisations recorded in the studio. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Lonberg-Holm / Pinheiro:
Multiforms (Creative Sources)

A dynamic encounter between Chicago improvising cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, Red Trio pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, and Creative Sources label leader, violist Ernesto Rodrigues, performing live during the CreativeFest XIII at O'Culto da Ajuda, in Lisbon, Portugal, in one extended improvisation and a relatively concise coda; powerful and assertive, masterful work. ... Click to View


Udo Schindler / Masako Ohta :
Music In Space (Creative Sources)

Tokyo pianist Masako Ohta, who works in both compositional and improvisation fields and here perform inside and out of the piano, met mutli-instrumentalist Udo Schindler, here on clarinets and alto horn, as part of the art exhibition by Philp Fischer Ulrich: "monitorobjekte" at Salon fur Klang+Kunst, in Krailling/Munich, Germany in 2019. ... Click to View


Chemical Expansion League, The (Bohman / Lynch / Northover / Mengersen):
Grappling with the Orange Porpoise (Creative Sources)

Some of the London free improv scene's finest players, including members of Remote Viewers, Custodians Of The Realm, London Improvisers Orchestra, The Runcible Quintet, &c, met with visiting Berlin double bassist Ulf Mengersen to record this fascinating collective improvisation, using objects, preparations, and a WASP synthesizer for wonderfully unusual results. ... Click to View


Monicker (Scott Thomson / Arthur Bull / Roger Turner):
Libr'aerie (Bug Incision Records)

The second release from the trio of legendary London improvising drummer Roger Turner, Montreal trombonist Scott Thomson and guitarist Arthur Bull, aka Moniker, after their 2018 Ambiances Magnetiques album "Spine", in three improvisations about "Books", quick witted active improvisation with a carefree and bright approach to exceptionally detailed interaction. ... Click to View


Sam Shalabi / Norm Adams / Tim Crofts:
Collateral (Bug Incision Records)

Produced for their Spring 2018 Canadian Tour, the trio of Montreal/Cairo-based oud and guitar player Sam Shalabi, and Halifax collaborators, cellist Norm Adams and pianist Tim Crofts (both part of the suddenlyLISTEN performance series) present a live concert at St. Matthew's United Church in Halifax, brilliantly merging Arabic, compositional & free approaches. ... Click to View


Phil Minton / Dieb13:
With, Without (Klanggalerie)

Combining concerts from a number of festivals and venues between 2009 & 2017, this album presents the best of the collaboration between London free improvising vocalist Phil Minton and Austrian turntablist and experimenter Dieb13, each of them masterfully unleashed in overwhelmingly creative, outlandish, sometimes frightening/sometimes uproarious, truly unique music. ... Click to View


Michael Moore (w/ Wierbos / de Joode / Vatcher):
Felix Quartet (Ramboy)

Recorded at the historic Bimhuis during the Felix Meritis festival, this was the first meeting of the Felix Quartet featuring frequent collaborators Michael Moore on sax & clarinet and trombonist Wolter Wierbos, with Wilbert de Joode on bass and Michael Vatcher on drums & hammer dulcimer, performing Moore's superb compositions written for this event & for these players. ... Click to View


Holshouser / Bennink / Moore:
Live in NYC (Ramboy)

A rollicking set of interwoven tunes and improvisations from the trio of Michael Moore on clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone & melodica, Will Holshouser on accordion, and Han Bennink on drums, performing live at Drom, in New York City in 2009 during a 2-week American tour, a joyfully upbeat and lyrical set of improvisations with exuberant drive. ... Click to View


Joel Futterman:
Remembering Dolphy (JDF Music)

Pianist Joel Futterman pays a tribute to late alto saxophonist Eric Dolphy through six Dolphy original compositions, plus one Mal Waldron track and two Futterman originals referencing Dolphy's well-known Blue Note record, "Out to Dinner" parts one & two, each track unedited with no overdubs and the album presented in the sequence in which it was recorded. ... Click to View


Rachel Musson / Pat Thomas / Mark Sanders:
Shifa - Live In Oslo [VINYL] (577)

Performing as part of the Blow Out Festival 2019, the UK improvising trio Shifa, meaning "healing", of Rachel Musson on tenor saxophone, Pat Thomas on piano, and Mark Sanders on drums, are captured live in Oslo for four dramatic and masterful collective improvisations, passionate and building works, releasing their tension and rebuilding in powerful waves. ... Click to View


Rachel Musson / Pat Thomas / Mark Sanders:
Shifa - Live In Oslo (577)

Performing as part of the Blow Out Festival 2019, the UK improvising trio Shifa, meaning "healing", of Rachel Musson on tenor saxophone, Pat Thomas on piano, and Mark Sanders on drums, are captured live in Oslo for four dramatic and masterful collective improvisations, passionate and building works, releasing their tension and rebuilding in powerful waves. ... 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 ne 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 Bjrk Gumundsdttir. 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 Atmosphres. 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:


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