The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Vinny Golia Wind Quartet: Live At The Century City Playhouse (Dark Tree Records)

Dark Tree's Southern California archive series adds this phenomenal session from multi-woodwind player Vinny Golia's Wind Quartet with clarinetist John Carter, trombonist Glenn Ferris, and cornetist Bobby Bradford, recorded fairly early in their careers in 1979 live at Century City Playhouse in LA for two sets of exploratory, dexterous and astounding jazz. ... Click to View


Christian Kobi (solo and with Taku Sugimoto / Yoko Ikeda / Wakana Ikeda: Atta! (Monotype)

Four solo saxophone improvisations, two on tenor and two on soprano, using remarkable technique and concentration from Swiss improviser Christian Kobi performing live in Tokyo and Osaka in 2017, plus a live quartet improvisation with flutist Wakana Ikeda, violinist Yoko Ikeda, and guitarist Taku Sugimoto for an open-approached performance of detailed, minimal improv. ... Click to View


Natsuki Tamura / Alexander Frangenheim: Nax (Creative Sources)

An impressive, creative, startling meeting between Japanese trumpeter Natuki Tamura and German double bassist Alexander Frangenheim, taking Tamura out of his more typical structured improv and Frangenhemin into more active and agressive styles than his Creative Sources output; a great album reminding just how fun and awe inspiring free improvised music can be. ... Click to View


Raphael Roginski : Populista Presents BOX [3 CDs + POSTER] (Bolt)

Raphael Roginski's Trilogy - 3 CDs in Bolt's Populista series: CD 1. "Raphael Roginski plays John Coltrane and Langston Hughes African mystic music"; CD 2. "Zywizna plays Zaswiec Niesiacku and other Kurpian songs"; CD 3. "Populista presents Raphael Roginski plays Henry Purcell featuring Olga Myslowska and Sebstian Witkowski"; in a slip box with a poster. ... Click to View


Polyorchard: Red October [CASSETTE w/DOWNLOAD] (Out and Gone Music)

Polyorchard founder and double bassist David Menestres leads the quartet of Jeb Bishop on trombone, Shawn Galvin on percussion, and Laurent Estoppey on saxophone, using skills drawn from both improvisation and compositional music to present six free dialogs showing intent listening amongst the four as they create complex, interweaving, sophisticated statements; impressive! ... Click to View


Polyorchard: Color Theory in Black and White (Not On Label)

Two trios, "Black" with cellist Chris Eubank and violist Dan Ruccia, and "White" with trombonist Jeb Bishop and saxophonist Laurent Estoppey, each with the foundation of bassist David Menestres, balancing experience in free improvisation and compositional music to create an exciting hybrid, a chamber collective of tumult and control. ... Click to View


Various Artists: Lao Dan / Rick Countryman / Colin Webster: Saxophone Anatomy (Armageddon Nova)

Saxophone solo improvisation omnibus by three free saxophonists from around the globe: Lao Dan from China recording in an underground bomb shelter in an agressive solo performance; US ex-pat Rick Countryman from the Philippines in a traditional yet extremely free jazz exposition; and London's Colin Webster on baritone sax for an exploration of extended techniques. ... Click to View


Aishi Oyauchi : Wrong Exit (Armageddon Nova )

Under-recorded but legendary Japanese free improvising saxophonist Aishi Oyauchi in a double CD, performing on alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, and piano through 52 untitled and inventive pieces, from a few seconds in length to several minutes, presented as 7 composite tracks; part of the Armageddon Nova Series exploring radical free improvisation. ... Click to View


Zywizna: Roginski, Raphael with Genowefa Lenarcik: plays Zaswiec NiesiÄ…cku and other Kurpian songs (Bolt)

Guitarist Raphael Roginski reinterprets the music of the Kurpi region of Poland, performed with vocalist Genowefa Lenarcik who was born in 1940 in the village of Krobia, part of the Kurpi region, and is the daughter of folk singing legend Stanislaw Brzozowy; together they bring out the rich heritage of this region, expanded by the natural sounds of the forests of Northeaster Poland. ... Click to View


subterrene: Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been (Bad Architect Records)

Rich sonic atmospheres from subterrene, aka Grant Stewart, a member of the 910 Noise collective, using slowly evolving and dovetailing drones that resonate and reveal shimmering beauty, deeply controlled and maintaining aural interest without any sense of impatience, maintaining a steady hand that reveals hidden harmonics amongst beautiful clouds of sound. ... Click to View


Alessandro Bosetti : Notebooks (Bolt)

Czech composer Leos Janacek was fascinated with speech melodies, writing them down in notebooks to use in his compositions; Italian composer Alessandro Bosetti has adapted these notes, using the words themselves to create a series of works that builds rhythmic structures in place of melody, injecting himself and other performers into Janacek's interest in the voice. ... Click to View


Raphael Roginski (feat. Olga Myslowska / Sebstian Witkowski): plays Henry Purcell (Bolt)

Polish guitarist Raphael Roginski presents works from baroque English composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695), considered one of the greatest English composers, performed on solo guitar and with accompaniment by Sebastian Witkowski on synth and Olga Myslowska on voice, a beautiful and languorous album that pays homage to the profound lasting qualities of Purcell's music. ... Click to View


Boguslaw Schaeffer : Travel Notes (Bolt)

Several compostions by Polish composer Boguslaw Schaeffer developed in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio from 1966-1978, including works for tape, electronic computer, voice, a quadraphonic generator, the SynLab synthesizer, composed using both graphic and notated scores, and realized with incredibly detailed layering and development of the material. ... Click to View


DJ Lenar: Drite Shtilkayt (Bolt)

Using recordings of Polish Jewish cantors with cello arrangements from Marek Czerniewicz, DJ Lenar (aka Marcin Lenarczyk) dedicates an album to the memory of Polish Jews by reimagining the recordings in subtle and sincere ways, reinforcing the powerful voices that guide the liturgical music of the Jewish faith, accompanied by a booklet of inspirational text. ... Click to View


Refusenik (Arturas Bumsteinas): Musikaliszer Pinkos (Bolt)

A collection of more than two hundred Hebrew religious chants compiled and published by cantor Abraham Berenstein in 1927 in Vilna, Poland (today Vilnius, Lithuania), re-composed by Arturas Bumsteinas using fragments of melodies found found in the Berenstein's book, with electronics recorded on the old Russian analogue synthezier Polyvox then mixed in EMS. ... Click to View


Trio 3 (Lake / Workman / Cyrille): Visiting Texture (Intakt)

This time around the long-standing trio of drummer Andrew Cyrille, bassist Reggie Workman, and saxophonist Oliver Lake don't add a 4th player to the group, instead focusing on the trio itself and their intuitive and implicitly lyrical approach to free jazz, in this 11th album recorded in the studio to feature their masterful playing collectively as a group of equals where "music is the leader". ... Click to View


Thanos Chrysakis / Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Miguel Mira / Abdul Moimeme: Micrographia (Creative Sources)

Recording in Portugal, the quintet of Aural Terrains label leader Thanos Chrysakis on piano, Creative Sources label leader Ernesto Rodrigue on viola, son Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, Miguel Mira on double bass and Abdul Moimeme on electric guitar, three parts of microscopic collective electroacoustic improvisation of highly focused, detailed interplay. ... Click to View


VCA (Vilanova / Castrillon / Andean): Ceres (Creative Sources)

Electroacoustic improvisation from the trio of Marc Vilanova on saxophone, Sergio Castrillon on cello, and pianist James Andean also performing on objects and electronics, in nine collective improvisations of close-knit dialog balancing intense activity and silent space, building tension and releasing it in unexpected and wonderfully eccentric ways. ... Click to View


Edward Sol / Alpha Crucis: Excessive Weight [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

Ukrainian sound artist Edward Sol collaborated with Puerto Rican sound experimenter Jorge Castro (Cornucopia) via the post to create these two long works of harmonic drones from indecipherable sources creating slowly building chambers of rich noise that resonate and shift above deep underpinnings of cavernous bass. ... Click to View


Rutger Zuydervelt : Astroneer 2 (Original Game Soundtrack) (Machinefabriek)

The second volume of Rutger Zuydervelt AKA Machinefabriek's soundtrack for System Era's Astroneer game, a sci-fi exploration and adventure game, in discrete tracks presenting the themes and melodies that are played continuously in reaction to the action of the player in the game. ... Click to View


Jim Black: Malamute (Intakt)

New York drummer Jim Black's multinational quartet, which toured Europe in 2015, is captured in the studio for an album of acoustic-electric improvisation that experiments with tunes and structures, using Elias Stemeseder's keyboards and Black's samplers in unexpected ways around strong playing from saxophonist Oskar Gudjonsson and bassist Chris Tordini. ... Click to View


Adachi / Buck / Frangenheim / Gratkowski: Goldsbleed (Creative Sources)

Creative Sources core artist double bassist Alexander Frangenheim met Zeitkratzer multi-reedist Frank Gratkowski, The Necks drummer Tony Buck, and free improvising vocalist Adachi Tomomi, in one of a series of concerts at the loft Studio Boerne 45 in Berlin in 2015; this, their first meeting, yielded an impressive flow of creative and far-ranging collective dialog. ... Click to View


Brume: Fractisum [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

2nd edition of French electroacoustic sound artist Christian Renou's (aka Brume) 2012 massive opus in sound, the two part "Fractisum" which uses field recordings, metallic objects, tubes, ms20 & triton synthesizer, tape, sampler, and voice to create rapidly shifting exposes of sound contrasted by periods of beautifully ringing sonic environments; brilliant. ... Click to View


Jason Zeh: A Series Of Objects [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

American sound artist Jason Zeh recorded these two extended works of drone and slowly evolving interpositions on the ruins of the Great Black Swamp in 2011 & 2012, each side a single work that initiates a rich sonic platform that ultimately shifts sinuously as new sounds dovetail each other, lulling the listener hypnotically, then furtively altering the environment. ... Click to View


Smash & Teeny with John Butcher: Gathering [2 CDs] (Spool)

Smash and Teeny are Toronto-based sound artists Nilan Perera and Sarah Peebles performing on guitar, laptop, detuned sho, and effects, here in a double CD of their intertwining improvisation combining active and spatial environments, joined on disc 2 for an extended dialog with John Butcher, plus a video featuring Chung Gong. ... Click to View


Julie Tippetts / Mark Wastell: Unraveling The Waterfall (Confront)

An intensely concentrative and deeply spiritual performance at Cafe Oto in 2017 from the duo of Julie Tippetts on voice, Sri Lankan hand drums, bells, singing bowls, water bowls, thumb piano, seed pod shaker, Balinese mini xylophone, and struck hand drum, and Mark Wastell on tam tam, cracked ride cymbal, shruti box, chimes, hand drum, Indian temple bells, and singing bowls. ... Click to View


John Edwards / Olie Brice: At Iklectik (Confront)

Double double bass from the duo of John Edwards and Olie Brice performing live at Iklectik Arts Lab, in London in 2017, a return of sorts as Brice's first live improv gig was opening for the Sunny Murray Trio with Edwards and Bevan; here the two combine, in contrast and confluence as they demonstrate massive technique and concentrative conversation. ... Click to View


Barry Guy: The Blue Shroud (Intakt)

A massive work from bassist/composer Barry Guy inspired by the covering of Picasso's painting Guernica at the UN as we argued for war with Iraq, realized with a 14-member group that includes violinist Maya Homburger, pianist Agusti Fernandez, percussionists Lucas Nigglie & Ramon Lopez, with songs on texts by Irish poet Kerry Hardie; profound and inspired. ... Click to View


Jason Stein Quartet: Lucille! (Delmark)

Bass clarinetist Jason Stein draws from the work of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Lennie Tristano plus original compositions, with his quartet of Chicago peers Keefe Jackson (tenor sax & contrabass clarinet) and Joshua Abrams (bass) and NY drummer Tom Rainey, in enthusiastically energetic and lyrical music that uses modern creative skills to look forward and back. ... Click to View


Jason Stein Quartet : Lucille! [VINYL] (Delmark)

Bass clarinetist Jason Stein draws from the work of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Lennie Tristano plus original compositions, with his quartet of Chicago peers Keefe Jackson (tenor sax & contrabass clarinet) and Joshua Abrams (bass) and NY drummer Tom Rainey, in enthusiastically energetic and lyrical music that uses modern creative skills to look forward and back. ... Click to View


  •  •  •    Join Our Mailing List!



The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Heard In

Reviews of artist releases:
cd's, books, magazines, &c.


  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.





Comments and Feedback:



The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Natsuki Tamura /
Alexander Frangenheim:
Nax

(Creative Sources)



Vinny Golia Wind Quartet:
Live At The
Century City Playhouse

(Dark Tree Records)



Raphael Roginski :
Populista Presents
BOX
[3 CDs + POSTER]

(Bolt)



Zywizna: Roginski, Raphael
with Genowefa Lenarcik:
plays Zaswiec Niesiacku
and other
Kurpian songs

(Bolt)



subterrene:
Are You Now
Or Have You
Ever Been

(Bad Architect Records)



Polyorchard:
Red October
[CASSETTE
w/DOWNLOAD]

(Out and Gone Music)



Trio 3
(Lake /
Workman /
Cyrille):
Visiting Texture

(Intakt)



Boguslaw Schaeffer:
Travel Notes

(Bolt)



Alessandro Bosetti:
Notebooks

(Bolt)



Raphael Roginski
(feat. Olga Myslowska /
Sebstian Witkowski):
plays Henry Purcell

(Bolt)



Brume:
Fractisum
[CASSETTE]

(Banned Productions)



Barry Guy:
The Blue Shroud

(Intakt)



Lisbon String Trio
with Blaise Siwula :
K'ampokol
Che K'aay

(Creative Sources)



Jason Stein Quartet:
Lucille!

(Delmark)



Jason Stein Quartet :
Lucille!
[VINYL]

(Delmark)



Lester Bowie:
Numbers1 & 2 -
50TH Anniversary
Edition

(NESSA)



Ivo Perelman /
Matthew Shipp /
Nate Wooley:
Philosopher's Stone

(Leo)



Ivo Perelman /
Nate Wooley /
Brandon Lopez /
Gerald Cleaver:
Octagon

(Leo)



Derek Bailey:
Solo Guitar
Volume 1
[VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records)



Derek Bailey /
Anthony Braxton:
Royal
[VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records)



Derek Bailey /
Han Bennink:
Derek Bailey &
Han Bennink
[VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records)







Squidco
Click here to
advertise with
The Squid's Ear






The Squid's Ear pays its writers.
Interested in becoming a reviewer?




The Squid's Ear is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !


  Copyright © 2016 Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (38231)