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The collaborative quartet of current and former Chicago improvisers and band leaders from Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & baritone saxophones, Jeff Parker on guitar, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Jeremy Cunningham on drums, are heard live at Elastic Arts in Chicago during the 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival, capturing these three extended and masterful conversations. ... Click to View


Charlie Parker:
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Chrome Hill (Lerheim / Arntzen / Lofthus / Nymo):
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Self-described as Scandinavian jazz rock noir, the Chrome Hill quartet of Asbjorn Lerheim on baritone guitar, Roger Arntzen on double bass, Torstein Lofthus on drums & vibraphone, and Atle Nymo on tenor saxophone, present a dramatic album of contrasts inspired by cinematic and musical moods, merging elements of folk, Delta blues and cowboy rock into their darkly cool sound. ... Click to View


Warriors of the Wonderful Sound Expanded Ensemble, The:
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AACM legend Muhal Richard Abrams was commissioned by Philadelphia saxophonist Bobby Zankel to compose for Zankel's large ensemble Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, this monumental piece premiered in 2012, but only in 2018 was a 2nd performance possible, conducted by Marty Ehrlich and receiving 2 standing ovations, the band recording this studio version the next day at Drexel University. ... Click to View


Lencastre / Nuno / Faustino / Valinho:
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Three heavy "Concept" pieces of electric jazz from the quartet of Lisbon saxophonist José Lencastre, electric bassist Felipe Zenicola (from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), drummer João Valinho and Jorge Nuno, a guitarist generally associated with psychedelic rock, as the band slowly seethes through a brew that flirts with rock and 70s fusion in unique ways. ... Click to View


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Luisa Goncalves :
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Joao Lobo (Lobo / Lobo / Kempeneer):
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Drummer Joao Lobo's trio with guitarist Norberto Lobo and double bassist Soet Kempeneer perform the drummer's dynamic compositions, along with one traditional works, a tight trio of highly interactive playing and a sense of familial interplay as the band weaves around Lobo's layered drumming and emphatic grooves, taking time for introspection among their energetic spontaneity. ... Click to View


Andre Goncalves :
Instrumentals (Shhpuma)

A compilation of compositions for conventional, acoustic, musical instruments, performed through synthetics and computer processing as an album of electronic music, composed by Lisbon based sound and media artist André Gonçalves, each of 9 parts simply titled "Instrumental", and each a fascinating microcosm of kinetic, synthetic-acoustic potential. ... Click to View


Kahil El'Zabar:
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Chicago multi-percussionist Kahil El'Zabar composes, arranges and conducts a tour de force musical testament to speak about the turbulent issues in America and the world today, as well as his hopes and love for a better tomorrow, in a 12-piece ensemble including Hamiet Bluiett, Tomeka Reid, Corey Wilkes, Dennis Winslett, and the James Sanders String Quartet. ... Click to View


Sabu Toyozumi / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan / Isla Antinero / Stella Ignacio:
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Recorded during Sabu Toyozumi's first collaboration with Rick Countryman in 2017, this album features music from the same nights that produced Jya-Ne and Center of Contradiction: 6 tracks from an August 11th quintet performance with voice and trombone, and electric bass; plus 2 tracks from the following night in a trio format with acoustic bass. ... Click to View


Schubert / Schlippenbach / Blume:
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"Merge" aptly describes the nearly telepathic interplay between these three European Free Improv masters -- Alexander von Schlippenbach on piano, Frank Paul Schubert on alto & soprano saxophones, and Martin Blume on drums -- recorded live in 2019 at Ruhr Jazz Fest, in Bochum, Germany, for an expansive 47 minute improvisation and a brief "Forgin the Work" conclusion. ... Click to View


Jooklo Trio (Genta / Vanzan / Lopez):
It Is What It Is (Relative Pitch)

A raucous blast of free jazz, electrifyingly extending the Italian improv unit Jooklo Duo of drummer/percussionist David Vanzan and saxophonist Virginia Genta, here on amplified tenor & sopranino saxophones, with New York improviser Brandon Lopez on electric bass, burning six hair-raising pieces of aggressive free improv of exemplary relentlessness. ... Click to View


Samara Lubelski :
Partial Infinite Sequence (Relative Pitch)

Performing solo on violin with surrounding effects that emphasize the dramatic tension in her extended sequences, Samara Lubelski presents two substantial journeys into the infinite, swirling in delays and reverb as her bow transitions from rapid up and down to long drawing and sustaining, pulling a variety of sounds that elate her listeners in spirals and eddies. ... Click to View


Susanna Gartmayer / Christoph Kurzmann:
Smaller Sad (Klanggalerie )

The first meeting between the Austrian duo of bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer and Christof Kurzmann, here using ppool software, voice and rubber band, creating 4 elusive and immersive works that float somewhere in the void between experimental electronics, improvisation and song, creating diaphanous tension and mysterious environments; spellbinding. ... Click to View



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  Thollem / Parker / Cline 
  Gowanus Sessions II  
  (ESP) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2020-11-09
Thollem / Parker / Cline: Gowanus Sessions II (ESP)

Guitarist Nels Cline is a perplexing musician to contemplate, in the best sense of the term, which comes to us from the Latin words plexus and perplexus meaning "interwoven" and "entangled," respectively. The consequent sense of bewilderment is also applicable, as Cline is hard to pigeonhole. His lines often involve layering and multi-timbral kinds of qualities that he manipulates so masterfully. Cline is joined by the equally perplexing bassist William Parker and Thollem McDonas on piano on this release, which features a 38-minute diptych of tunes entitled "Life in the World" and "World in a Life."

The album title comes from the venue where the music was recorded, the Gowanus Arts Building in Brooklyn, New York, and the session evidently allowed for a free rendering of the entanglements of the creative imaginations of these players in this session that gives listeners a couple of hypnotic, paradoxically understated and intense tracks.

While entanglements are not usually desirable and attractive, the strands laid out for entanglement here make for an experience of enthralling sonic shapes. Cline's effect-drenched playing is nicely contrasted with the straight acoustic piano lines and chords drawn from the vast traditional palette of the instrument, from crystalline Bach-inian lines, to Schuman-esque arpeggios, to Cecil Taylor hurricane-like flurry of notes. There are even some harmonically ambiguous and colorful impressionistic passages and an Ellingtonian sweetness in the voicings at times. Bassist William Parker, for his part, contributes his sure-footed rhythmic sense and timbral richness to the mix, as well as threads of scrapes and bowed passages that stoke the collective composition and help the cohesion of musical ideas happen.

The titles of the two pieces suggest a mirror-image effect. The proportions of the pieces are fairly large, at 18 minutes each, and the strands in the tapestry of sounds that are woven into the fabric of the spontaneous compositions are clearly echoed in each of the inter-referential pieces, the result of complex yet fleet musical thinking in the meeting of these very different, yet highly attuned creative collaborators.



Thollem / Parker / Cline: Gowanus Sessions II
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