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Yong Yandsen / Christian Meaas Svendsen / Paal Nilssen-Love:
Hungry Ghosts (Nakama Records)

Chinese Buddhism defines "Hungry Ghosts" as beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way, an apt description of this trio's dynamic and often bristling collective free jazz, with Malaysian saxophonist Yong Yandsen and Norwegians, Christian Meaas Svendsen on bass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, performing live in Kuala Lumpur, 2018. ... Click to View


The MacroQuarktet :
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NYC Downtown mainstays, trumpeters Dave Ballou and Herb Robertson, are heard in a full concert at The Stone in NYC in 2007 with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey, concentrating their work in the Satoko Fuji Orchestra and Orange Then Blue into their own quartet, this their first performance together their energy, inventivenss and enthusiasm is on full display. ... Click to View


Webber/Morris Big Band:
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Since 2015, composers-performers-conductors Anna Webber and Angela Morris have brought their compositions and playing skill to their Webber/Morris Big Band, 18 stellar New York improvisers integrating improvisation and composed material in unorthodox ways & with extra-musical sources, heard here at Roulette in Brooklyn in 2018 and at Buckminster Forest in 2019. ... Click to View


Adrian Waade Loseth :
Kitchen Music (Nakama Records)

Norwegian violinist Adrian Løseth Waade's first release as a leader is this melodically-inclined album of brightly evocative improvisation, buoyant strings and creative rhythmic drive with Waade providing all compositions, performed with Kjartan Laereid Gullikstad on guitar, Bardur Reinert Poulsen on bass, and Simon Olderskog Albertsen on drums. ... Click to View


Andrew Bain / Alex Bonney / Peter Evans / John O'Gallagher:
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London drummer & percussionist Andrew Bain leads a quartet with Alex Bonney on electronics & live processing, Peter Evans on trumpet & flugelhorn, and John O'Gallagher on alto sax, through two improvisations performed live at The Hexagon, Midlands Arts Centre, in Birmingham, UK in 2017, challenging idiom, genre & instrumental boundaries in a thorougly modern jazz ensemble. ... Click to View


Karl Evangelista (w/ Alexander Hawkins / Louis Moholo-Moholo / Trevor Watts):
Apura! [2 CDs] (Astral Spirits)

Filipino guitarist Karl Evangelista translates the name of the seminal South African sextet Chris McGregor Group's album "Very Urgent" to the tagalog equivalent--"Apura!"-- recording in London with McGregor group drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo and kindred soul Trevor Watts on saxophones, plus luminary pianist Alexander Hawkins, for a sophisticated album of exemplary collective improv. ... Click to View


Don Dietrich:
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Recorded in 2019 as part of the OPTION series in Chicago, this is only Borbetomagus saxophonist Don Dietrich's second solo album, which is surprisingly his first solo performance, using an amplified tenor sax modified by effect pedals on a wild and boisterously harrowing performance of free improvisation by one of the preeminent practitioners of noise jazz. ... Click to View


Jurg Frey (Davies / Correa / Chang / Thut):
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Two solo installation works from Wandelweiser composer Jürg Frey--"Paysage d'échos" in Aarau, Switzerland, in 2009; and "Equilibre fragile" in in Aarau in 2014--plus Frey's "Streichtrio" performed by Angharad Davies (violin), Johnny Chang (viola) and Stefan Thut (cello); and a solo piano work, "Eyot", performed by Antonio Correa. ... Click to View


Tonus (Serries / Verhoeven / Webster):
Segment Tones (A New Wave of Jazz)

Exploring long tones and harmonic interactions of consonance & dissonance through a slowly rotating and patiently evolving series of tones with each of the players in the Tonus trio doubling on wind instruments, as performed by Dirk Serries on soprano melodica & accordion, Martina Verhoeven on concertina & cello, and Colin Webster on clarinet & alto saxophone. ... Click to View


Liberty Ellman:
Last Desert (Pi Recordings)

Guitarist/composer Liberty Ellman's album takes its name from the four deserts--Atacama in South America, the Gobi in China, the Sahara in Egypt, and the "White Desert" of Antarctica--in seven sophisticated compositions performed with Steve Lehman on alto sax, Stephan Crump on bass, Damion Reid on drums, Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, and Jose Davila on tuba. ... Click to View


Whit Dickey (w/ Nate Wooley / Matthew Shipp):
Morph [2 CDs] (ESP)

Two albums released together as a single-priced 2-CD set, NY drummer, composer and free improviser Whit Dickey leads two groupings: on Reckoning, a duet with frequent collaborator, pianist Matthew Shipp; and Pacific Noir, a trio with Shipp and trumpeter Nate Wooley; both superb examples of modern jazz with creative inventiveness and virtuouso execution. ... Click to View


Pauline Oliveros / Alan Courtis:
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An unreleased 2009 concert from the Deep Listening Institute's Dream Festival, performed virtually via collaborative software between American electronic innovator and Deep Listening artist Pauline Oliveros on accordion and expanded instrument system, and Argentinian experimental musician Alan Courtis (Reynols) on unstringed guitar, objects and live processing. ... Click to View


Tod Dockstader:
Aerial 1 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Important Records)

The first in a 3-part series of vinyl releases for Tod Dockstader's "Aerial 1-3", his major work of electronic drone environments developed over 15 years, using over 90 hours of shortwave radio sources, cross signals and fragments, creating vast atmospheric clouds from which emerge voices, mutated conversations and unexpected patterns; amazing! ... Click to View


Bernard Parmegiani :
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Three works from Italian composer and sound artist Bernard Parmegiani, the title track "Violostries" performed with violinist Devy Erlih and Parmegiani on sound projection, intersecting several of Parmegiani's research concepts and presented as simultaneous dialogues; plus "Capture Ephemere" an active acousmatic work; and the rotating composition "La Roue Ferri". ... Click to View


Alvin Lucier:
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Continuing Black Truffle's series documenting the recent work of legendary American experimental composer Alvin Lucier, the duo String Noise of violinists Conrad Harris & Pauline Harris Kim present three long-form compositions exploring acoustic phenomena, including echolocation ("Tapper"), inter-violin resonance ("In Love Song") and sustaining long tones ("Halo"). ... Click to View


Patrick Shirioshi :
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A layered work of solo saxophone, electronics and noise from LA free improviser Patrick Shiroishi, the work often dark and primal contrasted with warmly passionate playing, in a work that reflects on the history of concentration camps for Japanese-American citizens during World War II, and on the current struggles of minorities around the globe; cathartic. ... Click to View


Bill Orcutt / Michael Morley:
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Reissuing on LP their 2016 limited cassette on the Land and Sea label of a performance by guitarists Michael Morley (Dead C) and Bill Orcutt (Harry Pussy, solo) at the L/S gallery in Oakland, Orcutt on a Fender Telecaster without effects and Morley on a modified 2006 Squire Telecaster made in Indonesia, in a conversation merging clear and crenulated playing. ... Click to View


David Behrman / Paul Demarinis / Fern Friedman / Terri Hanlon / Anne Klingensmith:
She's More Wild... [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Originally released in 1981 as a 3-track 7", this collaborative project recorded at Mills College by David Behrman, Paul DeMarinis, Fern Friedman, Terri Hanlon and Anne Klingensmith is presented for the first time in its entirety, a quirky performance art work based on texts by Friedman and Hanlon in which female narrators comically embody a series of iconic roles. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble:
The Riddle Of Steel (Evil Clown)

This Boston-area collective ensemble explores chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, heard in this 2019 recordings with three horns, doubled percussion and electronics, analog synthesis, and driving drum and bass work from Yuri Zbitnov and Mike Gruen, leveraging the Evil Clown arsenal of percussive devices as they perform an extended improvisations covering a wide scope of sonority and concept. ... Click to View


Brian Marsella:
Gatos Do Sul (Tzadik)

Pianist and composer Brian Marsella leads an all-star octet including Cyro Baptista, Mark Feldman, Jon Irabagon performing Marsella's lyrical and upbeat compositions inspired by classical, jazz, and folkloric Brazilian music and influenced by composers from Ernesto Nazareth, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Pixinguinha to Baden Powell and Egberto Gismonti; irrepressible! ... Click to View


Bill Laswell (incl. Pharoah Sanders / Herbie Hancock / Chad Smith):
Against Empire (Mod Reloaded)

Four rich and soulful pieces of electric jazz with an often Mwandishi-feel, from bassist Bill Laswell in a 9-piece ensemble of outstanding improvisers: Pharoah Sanders on sax, Peter Apfelbaum on sax, flute & keyboards, Herbie Hancock on electric piano, and 5 drummer/percussionsts--Jerry Marotta, Chad Smith, Hideo Yamaki, Satoyasu Shomura and, Adam Rudolph. ... Click to View


Charles Ives E.:
Another Songbook (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Conductor Sebastian Gottschick presents an additional selection of songs and chamber music works from composer Charles Edward Ives that reflect this broad range, 20 mostly brief and innovative works composed between 1898 and 1921, blurring the boundaries between genres through unusual motifs, themes, gestures and phrases that appear in new vocal and/or instrumental contexts. ... Click to View


Sebastian Gottschick :
Notturni (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Seven works composed in the 21st century by Sebastian Gottschick, who arranges and conducts the Ensemble Fur Neue Musick Zurich, configured as an ensemble with percussion, a sextet, a chamber ensemble with baritone and soprano, and performing himself solo on viola; sophisticated and modern works that employ complex tonality, timbre and playing techniques. ... Click to View


Turbulence:
Friction Coefficients (Evil Clown)

Saxophonist & flutist Bonnie Kane (W.O.O.) joins the Turbulence group, the extended horn section of the Leap of Faith Orchestra from Boston area collective Evil Clown led by David Peck (PEK), a concert that was live-streamed to Youtube during the Covid-19 Pandemic in February 2020, in a sextet with four reedists, two trumpeters, electronics, drums & extensive percussion. ... Click to View


Futterman / Levin / DuRoche:
Timeless Memories (JDF/CLM )

Bringing together exemplary jazz musicians from three cities--Virginia-based pianist Joel Futterman, Bary Area multi-reedist Ike Levin, and Portland, OR percussionist Tim DuRochse, for two sets of dynamic collective free jazz with a lyrical intent, joyfully spontaneous music that unfolds in ways that appear composed through the compatibility and familiarity of each artist. ... Click to View


Joel Futterman / Alvin Fielder / Ike Levin Trio:
Live At The Blue Monk (Charles Lester Music)

A burning live album presenting two sets of collective free jazz at Portland, Oregon's Blue Monk in 2006 from the trio of frequent collaborators Alvin Fielder on drumsn, Joel Futterman on piano, soprano sax & wooden flute, and Ike Levin on tenor saxophone & bass clarinet, a concert of great range, from explosive freneticism to introspective spaciousness. ... Click to View


Joe Morris :
Instantiation: Switches (Glacial Erratic)

The 4th in improving guitarist and composer Joe Morris' Instantiation series, where each part is unique, composed with specific notated and operational components such that it impossible to perform any of them the same way twice; performed with two active Boston improvisers, trombonist Eric Stilwell (hear on Joe Morris Trio "Value") and cellist & bassist Brad Barrett. ... Click to View


Kyle Bruckmann:
Triptych (Tautological) (Carrier Records)

Performing on oboe, English horn and live electronics, West Coast double-reedist Kyle Bruckmann presents three extended solo works of deep electroacoustic binding, each dedicated to a writer, artist or musician: "A Spurious Autobiography for John Barth (2015)"; "An Extruded Introversion for Blixa Bargeld (2016)"; and "A Fuzzy Monolith for James Turrell (2015)". ... Click to View


Dave Douglas (w/ Joey Baron / Dave Adewumi / Matt Stevens / Fabian Almazan / Carmen Rothwell):
Dizzy Atmosphere - Dizzy Gillespie at Zero Gravity (Greenleaf Music)

Trumpeter Dave Douglas' tribute to the great trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, exploring the many facets of the great Be-Bop progenitor's work, including the more experimental side of his discography, performed with a band of great lyrical NY jazz musicians: Dave Adewumi on trumpet, Matt Stevens on guitar, Fabian Almazan on piano, Carmen Rothwell on bass, and Joey Baron on drums. ... Click to View


Kaffe Matthews:
Foreigner [VINYL] (Objects Limited)

Recording with an Italian ELKA 400 electric accordion organ, pioneering electronic and sound aritst Kaffe Matthews presents two sonification of the word F O R E I G N E R, reflecting on her experience regularly moving from country to country, dealing with varying borders and governmental laws, by organizing sound in clusters that attempt to cross a compositional line. ... 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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