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Francois Carrier / Michel Lambert / Alexey Lapin: The Russian Concerts Volume 1 (FMR)

The first of two volumes documenting Canadian alto saxophonist Francois Carrier and the trio of Michel Lambert on drums and Alexy Lapin on piano in their 2010 superb tour of Russia, here performing at DOM Cultural Center and Nikitskaya Jewish Cultural Center. ... Click to View


Francois Carrier / Michel Lambert / Alexey Lapin: The Russian Concerts Volume 2 (FMR)

The second of two volumes documenting Canadian alto saxophonist Francois Carrier and the trio of Michel Lambert (drums) and Alexy Lapin (piano) in their 2010 superb tour of Russia, performing at Nikitskaya Jewish Cultural Center, ESG-21, and JFC Jazz Club. ... Click to View


Willi Kellers Quartet: Life In A Black Box (FMR)

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The Wire: #368 October 2014 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

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The Wire: #369 November 2014 [MAGAZINE+CD] (The Wire)

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Ilan Volkov conducts Ana-Maria Avram / Iancu Dumitrescu: Hyperion International Ensemble (Edition Modern)

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Philip Corner: Satie Slowly [2 CDs] (Unseen Worlds)

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Angharad Davies : Six Studies (Confront)

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BEFOREHAND (Lazaridou / Wastell): Live at Hundred Years Gallery (Confront)

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Jeph Jerman: Analog (NO LABEL)

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Jeph Jerman: Quo Modo Deum (No Label)

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Various Artists: Fluviology (Runningonair Music)

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Rob Mazurek & Black Cube SP (featuring Sao Paulo Underground): Return The Tides: Ascension Suite And Holy Ghost [VINYL] (Cuneiform)

Two weeks after the passing of his mother to cancer, cornetist Rob Mazurek and his Black Cube sextet recorded this profound album blending acoustic and electronics with intense spiritual and emotional energy, a fitting tribute that explores our connection to the next stage. ... Click to View


Rob Mazurek & Black Cube SP (featuring Sao Paulo Underground): Return The Tides: Ascension Suite And Holy Ghost (Cuneiform)

Two weeks after the passing of his mother to cancer, cornetist Rob Mazurek and his Black Cube sextet recorded this profound album blending acoustic and electronics with intense spiritual and emotional energy, a fitting tribute that explores our connection to the next stage. ... Click to View


Ideal Bread (Stinton / Knuffke / Hopkins / Fujiwara): Beating the Teens [2 CDs] (Cuneiform)

The 3rd album NYC's Steve Lacy repertory band Ideal Bread led by John Sinton (baritone saxophone) with Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Adam Hopkins (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums) in a double CD recomposing Lacy's "Scratching The Seventies / Dreams" in unique and fascinating ways. ... Click to View


Anthony Pirog (with Michael Formanek and Ches Smith): Palo Colorado Dream (Cuneiform)

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Richard Pinhas / Yoshida Tatsuya: Welcome In The Void (Cuneiform)

Electronics and guitar from French psychedelic rock legend Richard Pinhas (Heldon) merges with the percussion mastery of Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins, Koenji Hyakkei and Korekyojinn) for a remarkable two part duo of sonic and percussive exchanges recorded in Paris and Tokyo. ... Click to View


Richard Pinhas / Oren Ambarchi: Tikkun [CD & DVD] (Cuneiform)

Richard Pinhas of Helodon fame meets guitarist and sound artist Oren aMbarchi, Masami Akita (Merzbow) on loops, noise &effects, and Duncan Pinhas on sequencer, effects & noise, plus Eric Borelva for additional drums in a studio CD / live DVD 2 disc release. ... Click to View


Zeitkratzer / Keiji Haino: Zeitkratzer + Keiji Haino (Zeitkratzer)

Keiji Haino collaborates with Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer for their 2nd release, with Haino concentrating solely on his voice without electronic manipulation, in a live recording at Jahrehunderthalle in Bochum, Germany for a frightful mix of ferocious chamber music. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi: Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The 5th release from the trio of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Keiji Haino, guitarist Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi on wineglass and percussion is an introspective and beautifully developed set recorded live at their March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe. ... Click to View


Zeitkratzer / Keiji Haino: Live At Jahrhunderthalle Bochum [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

Keiji Haino collaborates with Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer for their 2nd release, with Haino concentrating solely on his voice without electronic manipulation, in a live recording at Jahrehunderthalle in Bochum, Germany for a frightful mix of ferocious chamber music. ... Click to View


Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Black Is Back - 40th Anniversary Project (KATALYST )

Percussionist Kahil El' Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with Ernest Khabeer Dawkins on saxophone and Corey Wilkes on trumpet, referencing the history of jazz in contemporary settings, with superb rhythmic textures and excellent soloing. ... Click to View


Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms: From The Region (Delmark)

Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms explores the sparse territory of the vibraphone trio with fellow Chicago player Mike Reed on drums and Texan via Norway bassist Ingrebrigt Haker-Flaten replacing Nate McBrite; tasteful and lyrical jazz with a modern edge. ... Click to View


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John Zorn 
Spillane  
(Elektra Nonesuch (1987)) 

review by Steve Smith
2003-08-18
John Zorn: Spillane (Elektra Nonesuch (1987))

If 1985's The Big Gundown was the shot heard 'round the world for both John Zorn and New York's burgeoning downtown scene, then its follow-up, Spillane, was the revolution for real. The signal difference this time was that where the previous record had demonstrated the bold vision and commanding range of John Zorn's musical language as applied to western soundtrack compositions by Ennio Morricone, this time the compositions--and the vision--were Zorn's alone. Yet, from the very first line of his lengthy and revealing liner notes, Zorn challenges the assumption that the music contained therein could be solely attributed to him. "Whether we like it or not," Zorn says, "the era of the composer as an autonomous musical mind has just about come to an end." Instead, Zorn cites the increasingly collaborative efforts of such disparate composers as Cage, Stockhausen, Ellington and Reich as being the touchstones of a more open approach to musical creativity.

Given the astonishing talent pool present in mid-'80s New York -- and in particular, early core collaborators Anthony Coleman, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz and Bobby Previte -- who can blame Zorn for wanting to yoke their talents to his larger vision? And that's essentially exactly what he does on the titular composition, the first of his so-called "file card" compositions to achieve widespread circulation. (Its immediate predecessor, Godard, was originally available only on a hard-to-find Nato LP; perhaps that's just as well, since most American listeners could likely relate to the pulp fiction of Spillane's crime novels more readily than to the more abstract French filmmaker.)

To guide the combined efforts of his ensemble, Zorn made use of a series of file cards, each of which contained an idea or impression gleaned from author Mike Hammer's literary ouevre --bloodcurdling screams, sleazy bar saxophone, twanging and searing guitars, and of course, John Lurie's laconic, world weary narration. The music drastically changes from moment to moment, yet somehow, a satisfying unified whole is the result: In effect, the dramatic subect serves to unify the composition in much the same way as classical form or tone rows had served in previous eras. Perhaps most incredibly of all, while Spillane sounds like a piece that could only have been achievedin the controlled circumstances of a studio recording, Zorn went on to lead ensembles in a handful of breathtaking live performances in subsequent years. Despite its patchwork origin, Spillane breathes, snaps, howls andtumbles into the gutter like a living organism. Nothing overstays its welcome; nothing goes to waste. (In fact, a handful of cast-offs from Spillane were absorbed into Zorn's incidental music for the Mabou Mines production The Bribe, which was recorded at the same time in the same studio with most of the same musicians, but remained unreleased until 1998. The score almost sounds like an extended meditation on the themes and moods of Spillane.)

The two other works on the original Nonesuch disc are nearly as fascinating: Two-Lane Highway is nothing less than a concerto for the great electric bluesman Albert Collins. To accomodate the soloist's laconic drawl and wailing leads, Zorn slowed the pace of this dusty imaginary Texas travelogue. Collins is shadowed by the eerie wail and Hendrix murmurs of Robert Quine's guitar, buttressed by the fat, rich chords of Big John Patton's organ, and prodded along by bassist Melvin Gibbs and dual drummers Previte and Ronald Shannon Jackson. It's a fascinating glimpse at a compositional format that Zorn was not to revisit. Forbidden Fruit wedded the Kronos Quartet and turntable artist Christian Marclay (using recordings of music for strings only) into a disquieting and frequently cacophonous web of scapes, plucks, ghostly whirrs and Grosse Fuge snippets to back the cooing of vocalist Ohta Hiromi. Ifthe piece doesn't reach the heights of the brilliant works Zorn would go on to write for Kronos in subsequent years, still, the birth of one of Zorn's most significant artistic relationships of the decade remains eminently listenable and a giddy thrill ride. While most of the music from that particular period in New York's musical history sounds comfortable and familiar -- and some, indeed, perhaps awkward and dated -- Spillane maintains a sense of weird mystery and self-sufficiency. Who's screaming at 8:50? Presumably that's Zorn drunkenly singing just ten seconds later? And just who is ranting in Russian at the 16-minute mark? Even with the passing of 16 years, the piece refuses to divulge all of its secrets, and yet it is so distinctive and instantly recognizable that enough that the piece can be easily identified by couple of drums beats, a guitar riff and a sax lick sampled on Amon Tobin's track "Cruzer" (from the 1997 album Adventures in Foam, released under the name Cujo). Zorn reissued Spillane on his own Tzadik imprint in 1999, paired at last with Godard. To my mind, that's a mixed blessing: Great to have the earlier piece more easily accessible, but while Spillane the composition is a masterpiece, Spillane the album was no less estimable. Indeed, in 1987, it was the call of the wild, and it remains utterly sui generis.





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