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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)

Grid Mesh drummer Willi Kellers Quartet with the dual saxophone lineup of Paul Dunmall and Frank Paul Schubert and bassist Clayton Thomas (BassX3, Ames Room) performing live at Black box/CUBA, in Muenster, DE; powerful and innovative improv. ... Click to View


Icepick (Nate Wooley, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten & Chris Corsano): Hexane [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

The Icepick trio features Nate Wooley on trumpet, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on bass & Chris Corsano on drums, freely improvising live in Brooklyn at Shapeshifter Lab in 2013 for two extended improvisations of superbly detailed technique, concept, and sonic approach. ... Click to View


John Dikeman : The Double Trio [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

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Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra: Visits Planet Earth [VINYL] (Saturn)

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

October 2014 issue of the UK's best modern music magazine, with Robert Fripp on the cover, plus articles on Jeremiah Cymerman, Pharmakon, Bruce Lacey, Mdou Moctar, Gazelle, plus CD, DVD, Video, Book & Live reviews, &c. &c. ... Click to View


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

November 2014 issue of the venerable UK magazine, with Richard Dawson on the cover, plus articles on Alfred 23 Harth, Autechre, Moniek Darge, Kenny Wheeler, Katie Gately, Joe Maneri with Ashley Paul, plus live, recorded & print reviews, &c &c &c. ... Click to View


Ornette Coleman : The Shape of Jazz to Come [VINYL] (So Far Out)

180G reissue of Ornette's classic harmolodic free jazz album, approaching jazz structures in a revolutionary way by creating a language where chord structures are absent, performed in a quartet with Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Higgins (drums), and Don Cherry (trumpet). ... Click to View


Univers Zero: Relaps/Archives 1984-1986 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Sub Rosa)

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Iancu Dumitrescu / Ana-Maria Avram: Paris-London (III), Spectrum XXI Festival (Edition Modern)

Three works from Romanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu, and two from Ana-Maria Avram, recorded at the 6th edition of the Spectrum XXI Festival held in London, Paris, Berlin and Bucharest in 2011, presenting works gravitating around the "Spectral Music" nucleus. ... Click to View


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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Seijiro Murayama / Eric La Casa: Paris: Public Spaces (Ftarri/Swarming)

Twelve recordings constructed from 2012 field recordings of public locations in Paris by Eric La Casa and Seijiro Murayama, including subway stations, parks, open gardens, tunnels and fountains; a fascinating portrait of communal sound in this great city. ... Click to View


Angharad Davies : Six Studies (Confront)

Six unorthodox sketches for acoustic violin, focusing on advanced techniques and preparations including a plastic peg, a spring, and a nail file, from London based Angharad Davies, recording live improvisations at Goldsmiths University. ... Click to View


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

The duo of Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga on zither and Mark Wastell on his electronics set including bowls and shruti box, formed for the release concert for Angharad Davies' "Six Studies" in 2014 and recording this excellent improvised dialog of rich and unusual sound. ... Click to View


Jeph Jerman: Analog (NO LABEL)

Sound explorer Jeph Jerman's "Analog" in two extended works merging field recordings and inexplicable sound, a hazy balance of muffled and indeterminate sound with great motion and punctuated moments, like hallucinatory memories heard from the wheel well of a car. ... Click to View


Jeph Jerman: Quo Modo Deum (No Label)

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Various Artists: Fluviology (Runningonair Music)

Runningonair releases recordings from the Ologies concert series at the Railway in Winchester, England, initiated to expand the experimental music scene in the Hampshire area, here with Delphine Dora, Sophie Cooper, Serbastiane Hegarty, and Joe Evans. ... Click to View


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)

Washington, DC guitarist and electronic artist Anthony Pirog's trio with Michael Formanek on bass and Ches Smith on drums in his debut album, blending acoustic playing with electronics in immersive songs of soundscape and strong technical skills in 11 cathartic songs. ... Click to View


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 
First Recordings 1973  
(Tzadik (1995)) 

review by Phil Zampino
2003-08-20
John Zorn: First Recordings 1973 (Tzadik (1995))

A very young John Zorn peers out from the cover of First Recordings 1973 implying that these recordings are the work of a precocious young man destined to become an important figure in jazz and improvised music. This may color the perception of the release, which in fact are the early recordings of a 19- and 20-year-old, sitting at home or working on his college projects. I'd imagine Zorn snickers a bit at that cover, or the picture on the back showing him as a nerdish young man playing guitar, an instrument with which he's not well associated.

Still there must have been something happening in the young mind of this musical innovator, because at the age of 19 Zorn's conception of sound and his ability to embrace a vast conceptual realm are as impressive as they are dichotomous and strange. Which translates to "you might not like this a lot, but if you're a fan, you will be fascinated." None of the two large and three shorter recordings on this disc are incredible in either their ability to captivate or in their overall sound quality. Zorn himself points out that one piece is a "strange, akward tribute" to one of the musical figures he revered (Albert Ayler), and on another that his vocals are "perhaps too revealing" while noting that his parents had him under observation at a psychiatric clinic from ages 8 to 16. There is something seething in these recordings, and perhaps his parents had no way of coping with the creative energy that was to be unleashed.

The first work on the cd, "Mikhail Zoetrope," is from 1974, and was recorded by Zorn in his bedroom. He describes it as the craziest piece he's ever written, and it's not difficult to believe it. Recorded in two passes, first on the left channel and then the right, it shows Zorn improvising with toy percussion, glasses, pots and pans, a cassette player, turntable, TV set, vacuum cleaner, and of course a sopranosax. The piece is an uneasy call-and-response utilizing concepts ranging from Braxton to Cage to Kagel. The soprano playing is distinctively Zorn, and the quirky instrumentation invokes years of squawking, screaming, tinkling and indescribable noise to come. At 22 minutes for the first part alone this is no passing fancy, but a serious work that may not completely come together, but certainly has a lot to say.

"Conquest of Mexico" from 1973 is another thing altogether, the remaining scraps of a musique concrète composition that functioned as the basis for a soundtrack to the filmed version of a "happening" Zorn organized in his last year at college in St. Louis. This piece was augmented at presentation with a live improvising ensemble, but here is presented as a raw series of electronic tone experiments, using psychedelic effects. What is notable, aside from being an early “filmwork,” is that Zorn utilized the same punch-in approach to composing the piece as he was to use later in such pieces as Spillane, Godard, and The Big Gundown. Difficult to listen to on its own, but perhaps telling as the one of the influences is Antonin Artaud, an innovate yet clinically institutionalized surrealist theater figure from France in the 1920's. This no doubt would make Zorn's parents just a bit more uneasy post-observation.

The remaining three pieces "Wind Ko/la," "Automata of Al-Jazari" and "Variations on a Theme by Albert Ayler/Requiem for Albert" present respectively "a little song" as Zorn intones into the mic; a one-minute piece that genre-hops every bar with film quotes interspersed; and a somewhat meandering tribute to Ayler that includes early sax work with electronic mayhem and a panoply of relatively crude studio effects noteable again for the breadth of ideas and the shadow of what was to come.





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