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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


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Joel Futterman :
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Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg Holm / Steve Swell / William Parker:
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Przemyslaw Chmiel Quartet:
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Sun Ra And His Solar-Myth Arkestra:
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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


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Julius Gabriel:
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Icepick (Nate Wooley / Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten / Chris Corsano):
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Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale):
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Gato Libre (Tamura / Fjuii / Kaneko):
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Phil Wachsmann :
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UK-based violinist Phillip Wachsmann, an essential player bringing contemporary approaches of indeterminacy, conceptualism and electroacoustics to the early community of improvisers and experimentalists, in a reissue of his 1984 Bead Records album, presenting his astute and sophisticated live solo performance for violin and electronics at the Actual Festival in July 1984, London. ... Click to View


Francesco Gregoretti :
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Musicworks:
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Fall 2020 issue of Canada's finest new music magazine, focusing on guitars--hollow, heavy, bowed, cracked, pedalled, flung, trusty companions & feedback demons; Plus articles on Casey Koyczan, Susan Alcorn, Amy Brandon, Aidan Baker, Eliza Kavtion, C. Diab, Markus Lake, Catherine Debard, Cloud Chamber, &c; and an 11-track CD with music from the aforementioned. ... Click to View


Milford Graves / Don Pullen:
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Originally issued in two volumes on their own SRP Records in 1966 & 67 as In Concert At Yale University and Nommo, the duo of drummer/percussionist Milford Graves and pianist Don Pullen are heard live in in this excitingly energetic and revelatory concert at Yale University, redefining the roles of their instruments during the most exploratory period of free jazz. ... Click to View


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Remastered and with the original cover, the expanded Schlippenbach Trio of pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach, saxophonist Evan Parker on soprano & tenor, drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, and German double bassist Peter Kowald, a stellar group captured in two incredibly inventive concerts at Third New Jazz Festival Moers and at Quartier Latin in 1974 & 1975. ... Click to View


Peter Kowald Quintet:
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First ever CD reissue of the only band under bassist Peter Kowald's own name, remastered; originally released by FMP in 1972, this is exemplary European Free Jazz from one of the orignal innovators in a quartet with Peter Kowald on tuba, bass, & alphorn, Gunter Christmann and Paul Rutherford on trombones, Peter van der Locht on alto saxophone, and Paul Lovens on drums. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / Agusti Fernandez:
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Reissuing this astonishing 1995 studio recording, capturing the first encounter between two legendary free jazz performers--UK saxophonist Evan Parker on tenor and soprano saxophones and pianist Augustí Fernández--in an 8-part dialog of mercurial speed balanced with moments of passionate introspection, resissued with new mastering, restoring this essential meeting. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Arcado String Trio:
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Saxophonist Ivo Perelman declares that he "metamorphosed into a string instrument" himself while playing with the dynamic string trio drawn of NY Downtown luminaries--cellist Hank Roberts, violinist Mark Feldman and bassist Mark Dresser--blending technical mastery with profound creative impulse as the quartet weaves a tapestry of free jazz and instant composition. ... Click to View


Chris Dingman (May Han Oh / Tim Kelper):
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Finding rich warmth in NY vibraphonist Chris Dingman's melodic and optimistic compositions, several inspired by Dingman's interest in West African music traditions, performed in a trio with bassist Linda May Han Oh (Pat Metheney) and drummer Tim Keiper (Cyro Baptista, David Byrne); an inspiringly lyrical album with exceptional soloing and improvisation interplay. ... Click to View


Chris Dingman :
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Vibraphonist Chris Dingman set up his vibraphones next to the bedroom where his father was under hospice care from a rare heart ailment, setting an atmosphere of calm and compassion to help soothe, heal, and carry him through his final challenges, released here as a 5-CD set of 5 hours of ethereal sounds through poignant melodies, swirling textures, and undulating pedal tones. ... Click to View


Plan Kruutntoone / Reinier van Houdt :
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Plan Kruutntoone joins forces with avant-garde pianist Reinier van Houdt for a conceptual narrative blurring improvised music, compositional and rock forms, with a narrative based around Zorro and Rosa, geography (and Spielberg) and Brodski, or in their terms: composed and deranged music and lyrics (and other words) on guitars, basses, drums and a piano. ... Click to View


Plan Kruutntoone / Reinier van Houdt :
Pas Maar Op, Want Deze Tas Is Van Zorro (En Zorro Houdt Van Mij)[VINYL] (esc.rec.)

Plan Kruutntoone joins forces with avant-garde pianist Reinier van Houdt for a conceptual narrative blurring improvised music, compositional and rock forms, with a narrative based around Zorro and Rosa, geography (and Spielberg) and Brodski, or in their terms: composed and deranged music and lyrics (and other words) on guitars, basses, drums and a piano. ... Click to View


No Base Trio:
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The trio of alto saxophonist Jonathan Suazo, guitarist Gabriel Vicens, and drummer Leonardo Osuna, formed in 2010 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, emerging from a standards-based band influenced by jazz, rock, electronic and ambient music to a fully free improv group, focusing on creative improvisation that balances lyrical moments with raw sound & energetic momentum. ... Click to View


Kidd Jordan / Joel Futterman / Alvin Fielder Trio:
Live At The Tampere Jazz Happening 2000 (CLM)

A superb live album recorded at the 2000 Tampere Jazz Happening, Pakkahuone, Finland, and the 4th release from the trio of Kidd Jordan on tenor sax, Joel Futterman on piano, soprano sax & indian wooden flute, and Alvin Fielder on drums & percussion; improvisation performed like old friends, the album divided into six tracks plus an encore but performed as one long piece. ... Click to View


Tony Oxley:
February Papers (Discus)

Reissuing percussionist and electronic innovator Tony Oxley's 1977 Incus album, collecting works from Oxley's evolving approaches, including a quartet with bassist Barry Guy and violinists David Bourne & Philipp Wachsmann; a trio with Barry Guy and Ian Brighton on electric guitar; and solo pieces including a piece for Evan Parker emulating his sound through electronics. ... Click to View


Morton Feldman:
Triadic Memories [2 CDs] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

The second of four connected solo piano works by Morton Feldman, Triadic Memories is about that reality, the acoustic space created by the piano's strings and soundboard, as Feldman attempted to expand the temporal frame of his music, heard here in Judith Wegmann's 2019 recording, where thThe second of four connected solo piano works by Morton Feldman, Triadic Memories is about the acoustic space created by the piano's strings and soundboard, as Feldman worked to expand the temporal frame of his music, heard her in Judith Wegmann's 2019 studio recording where that space is revealed by a magnificent Bosendorfer 280VC piano.at space is revealed by a magnificent Bosendorfer 280VC piano. ... Click to View


Marco Von Orelli :
The Unasked Answer (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

A remarkable album of solo trumpet improvisation of incredible and creative technique, performed on trumpet, cornet, piccolo trumpet and slide trumpet, from Swiss trumpeter Marco von Orelli, the album title referencing a work by Charles Ives for offstage string ensemble, woodwind quartet and, most significantly for this album, solo trumpet. ... Click to View



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  Steve Swell Quintet Soul Travelers with Special Guest Leena Conquest 
  Astonishments  
  (RogueArt) 


  
   review by Nick Ostrum
  2020-08-12
Steve Swell Quintet Soul Travelers with Special Guest Leena Conquest: Astonishments (RogueArt)

Free jazz has expanded in so many directions over just the last generation that one can find something to scratch nearly any stylistic itch. In ways, this is wonderful. In others, listeners can get lost in the morass of vanguard sound art and hyper-minimalism or -maximalism and, for extended periods, lose sight of the roots of the experiments. In the process, one can lose a connection with those musicians which have built on that same improvisational foundation more linearly, in not less progressively. When I catch myself in this process, I most often find my way back home to New York's downtown scene.

The Steve Swell Quintet Soul Travelers are some of the luminaries of a generation of musicians who made their name and continue to explore the depths of soulful fire music: William Parker, Jemeel Moondoc, Dave Burrell, Gerald Cleaver, Leena Conquest (on "Astonishments" and "Being Here"), and, of course, Steve Swell. Astonishments is their second release (with the addition of Conquest) and, if you are familiar with the line-up, you likely know what to expect. Expertly practiced, relentlessly genuine, aggressively melodic free jazz.

Given the personnel and spirit, however, this should not be surprising. It might also be unsurprising that despite the Swell's name gracing the cover, his lyrics, and his compositions, this sounds more Soul Travelers as a collective than Swell as leader. Moondoc and Swell frequently tangle their horns vying for the front stage only, at times, to be elbowed back by Conquest and her muscularly graceful delivery. (As usual, she shines, here.) Cleaver and Parker, meanwhile, hold an infectiously chaotic rhythm with astounding precision and lyricism. For his part, Burrell is concerted and masterful. At times as he reinforces a melody or grounds one in abstraction here or interjects a few sparse chords into a group improvisation tending toward entropy there, it feels like he is the last sinew holding this exuberant beast together. Songs swing between raw ebullience on the one hand and dreamy, sweltering grooves on the other. They tend to be busy, but not compulsively so. There are harmonies, but never without clunk and coarseness. And always, this album delivers.

Astonishments, in other words, is where it's at. The music, honestly, could have been written twenty years ago, as could the socially incisive and ultimately hopeful lyrics. (That is, apart from the elegiac section of "Astonishments", wherein Conquest runs through a list of members of the NY scene lost over the last decade.) Indeed, "Being Here" was first performed back in 2006. In other hands, this rootedness and temporal fungibility might seem like a throwback in less able hands. Here, it is a strength. It speaks to the timelessness of the message and of the music.

Is this any of the Soul Travelers' most shocking or novel album? Clearly not. It is, however, a worthy addition to their catalogs, and one that offered the necessary reminder to this listener that all abstract music does not need to be just doom, gloom, glitchy cacophony, and extended techniques. It can have warmth, heart, and rhythm and still convey that uncompromising potency that characterizes the best of the radical fringes.



Steve Swell Quintet Soul Travelers with Special Guest Leena Conquest: Astonishments
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