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Evan Parker's Electroacoustic Ensemble, merging reeds, strings and percussion with live signal processing to create something indescribably transformative is further amplified with the addition of free improvising vocalist and Tuvan throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak, adding an unearthly layer of interaction and transmogrification to this incredible 1996 FIMAV performance. ... Click to View


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Dave Tucker / Pat Thomas / Thurston Moore / Mark Sanders:
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Donald McKenzie II Sturge Anthony (feat. Nels Cline / Melvin Gibbs / Vernon Reid):
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Coultrain:
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West Coast songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Coultrain, aka Aaron Michael Frison or Seymour Liberty, in an collection of songs based around a sequence of images reminiscent of a dream, capturing the hazy state of mind that drove the process behind this album, as well as its dreamy effect; soulful and introspective, an album of poetic observation and reflection. ... Click to View


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Pianist Alexander Hawkins' six movement composition is realized by the UK Riot Ensemble, known primarily for their work with notated contemporary music, adding Evan Parker's incredible soprano sax soloing, and filtered through Matthew Wright's live electronic processing, resulting in this amazing hybrid masterwork that bridges modern 21st Century forms. ... Click to View


Mark Feldman:
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Including six of his own compositions, a work by Sylvie Courvoiser and Ornette Coleman's "Peace Warrior", New York violin virtuoso Mark Feldman's new solo album, recorded in the studio in Brooklyn, is a touchpoint to his skills and creative imagination today, 26 years after his first solo album, displaying a profound ability to engage and inspire his listeners. ... Click to View


Aki Takase / Christian Weber / Michael Griener:
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Bringing an innate lyricism to free improvisation in the piano trio format, albeit a thoroughly modern take on that format where all performers are equal and active participants, from Aki Takase on piano, Christian Weber on bass, and Michael Griener on drums, performing five Takase originals, one from Griener & Takase, and 8 collective works. ... Click to View


Yuma Uesaka / Cat Toren / Colin Hinton:
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The Brooklyn trio of Yuma Uesaka on tenor saxophone & clarinets, Cat Toren on piano & synthesizer, and Colin Hinton on drums, percussion, gongs, glockenspiel, & vibraphone, in a sophisticated album of modern creative improvisation with a lyrical attitude and a confidently introspective approach, all three players contributing original compositions to this debut album. ... Click to View


E. Gibbs Jason:
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Working in a Derek Bailey vein of solo guitar improvisation, Portland, Maine improviser E. Jason Gibbs presents 14 performances on the acoustic guitar, cohesive pieces of confident development that reference not only the London improviser, but also shades of Americana and a unique voice and set of strategies uniquely his own. ... Click to View


Sun Ra and His Arkestra:
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Recorded during the The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra sessions in 1961 after moving the Arkestra to the Philadelphia/NY area from his original Chicago base, these two ballads are sung by Ricky Murray, "I Struck a Match..." written by Sun Ra and very much an Arkestra tune, while "Dreamsville" is a Livingston-Mancini-Evans tune that receives Ra's big band treatment. ... Click to View


John Zorn (Gosling / Hashimoto / Roeder / Smith):
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Zorn's compositions on this album bridge the worlds of contemporary compositional and fully improvised jazz, Zorn conducting a quartet with Stephen Gosling's piano and Sae Hashimoto's vibraphone parts fully notated, while drummer Ches Smith and bassist Jorge Roeder provide an improvisational rhythm section, bringing to life these dynamic and lyrical works. ... Click to View


John Zorn Gnosis Quartet:
Gnosis: The Inner Light (Tzadik)

John Zorn's Gnostic Quartet of Bill Frisell on guitar, Carol Emanuel on harp, John Medeski on organ, piano & Fender Rhodes, and Kenny Wollesen on vibraphone perform Zorn's melodic compositions dedicated to one of Zorn's earliest mentors, Ennio Morricone, through nine compositions of "beautiful harmonies, a driving rhythmic pulse and stunning lyricism." ... Click to View


John Zorn (Frisell / Riley / Lage):
Teresa de Avila (Tzadik)

The third and final CD in composer John Zorn's trilogy inspired by historic figures of Christian mysticism, following works for Francesco d'Assisi and Julian of Norwich, these 10 pieces are conducted by Zorn and written specifically for the acoustic guitar trio of Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Gyan Riley; an album of breathtaking character and inspired playing. ... Click to View


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



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  Bin Li 
  I am also here  
  (Edition Wandelweiser) 


  
   review by John Eyles
  2020-09-24
Bin Li: I am also here (Edition Wandelweiser)

Bin David Li was born in Fuzhou, China, and now lives and works in New York City. He is a member of Wandelweiser, who have published four of his scores. Although his first album I am also here is credited solely to Bin Li, his fellow Wandelweiser member Switzerland's Stefan Thut is a key contributor to it, the two effectively working as a duo on two versions of the title piece, one titled in English, the other Chinese. Bin Li has given several performances based on the score, including one with Thut on cello; the CD versions are quite different from any other version. According to the score, both performers need to be "present" during the performance and do not "see" each other. However, for these recordings, Thut played the piece at Gimmelwald in Switzerland and Bin Li at Manhattan, USA, a distance of about four thousand miles apart. The two versions are presented as a pair, the first, running for about fifteen-and-a half minutes, featuring viola da gamba and voices speaking in English, the second forty-two-and-a-half minute version featuring qin a fretless Chinese board zither with seven strings and voices speaking Chinese.

Much of the first version comprises prolonged silences, audible sounds accounting for less than half a minute of its running time. Some Wandelweiser releases include silences so listeners can hear the beginning of each note and its decay to silence. On other releases, prolonged silences are more akin to those John Cage advocated, as in his 4' 33" during which listeners were encouraged to listen to the ambient sounds of their environment. Neither of these seems particularly applicable in this case; the four words "I" "am" "also" & "here" are each spoken once, separately, over a period of about ten minutes, the silences between them serving to raise anticipation and heighten tension, a very different experience to the two cited above. For Bin Li, silence seems to be a motif running through the album; on the cover he quotes Wittgenstein's closing line of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." and a poem by the Tang dynasty Buddhist poet Wang Wei.

Although considerably longer than the first version, the second seems fuller and more inviting, most importantly because parts of it feature background field recordings of bird song and other ambient sounds, meaning that its silences feel more Cageian, not like pregnant pauses during which one is waiting for something to occur.

Rounding off the album is the twelve-minute "You"; in Chinese, the "you" sound means "also" or "again" so the track has different meanings to different listeners. As with the opening track, "You" is dominated by silence. After about five minutes, the title is pronounced once then silence resumes; right at the end of the track, the word is again whispered several times through a Japanese hichiriki flute with the reed removed, producing an eerily chilling sound which suggests Bin Li might have a promising future sound tracking horror movies.... Fascinating.



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