The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

RED Trio w/ John Butcher: Summer Skyshift (Clean Feed)

The second collaboration between the Portugese Red Trio of Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano), Hernani Faustino (double bass) and Gabriel Ferrandini (drums) with UK saxophonist John Butcher, performing live at Jazz em Agosto Festival in 2015, revealing new aspects to their project. ... Click to View


Tony Malaby Paloma Recio: Incantations (Clean Feed)

NY Saxophonist Tony Malaby's Paloma Recio with Ben Monder on guitar, Eivind Opsvik on double bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums in a studio album performing Malaby's 4-part "Incantation Suite", lyrically free improvisation with a shimmering essence invoking dreamlike states. ... Click to View


Pascal: Niggenkemper 7eme Continent: Talking Trash (Clean Feed)

With 2 clarinetists--Joris Ruhl and Joachim Badenhorst--and 2 prepared pianists--Eve Risser and Philip Zoubek--plus flutist Julian Elvira, leader/bassist Pascal Niggenkempber explores his "different twins" concept in 9 uniquely orchestrated and impressive improvisations. ... Click to View


Steve Lehman Camouflage Trio: Interface [VINYL 2 LPs] (Clean Feed)

Reissuing and re-mixing New York saxophonist Steve Lehman's 2004 album with his previous Camouflage Trio of Mark Dress on double bass and Pheeroan Aklaff on drums, perfoming a stupendous set of original compositions live at Teatro Academica Gil Vicente in Coimbra, Portugal. ... Click to View


Nick Millevoi: Disertion (Shhpuma)

Guitarist Nick Millevoi leads an ensemble that includes Jamie Saft on Hammon Organ, Ches Smith on drums, Johnny Deblase on bass, Dan Blacksberg on trombone and June Bender on violin, for an album equally embracing and subverting a wealth of rock and jazz forms. ... Click to View


Starlite Motel (Alberts / Saft / Haker-Flaten / Nilssen): Awosting Falls [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Scandinavian and American musicians join together to form this quartet, with Kristoffer Berre Alberts on saxes, Jamie Saft on organ and keys, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric bass, and Gard Nilssen on drums & electronics, for an album of spacey and groove oriented jazz. ... Click to View


Festen (Hedtjarn / Ullen / Bergman / Carlsson): Festen (Clean Feed)

A remarkable album of free improvisation from the Scandinavian quartet of Isak Hedtjarn on clarinet, Lisa Ullen on piano, Elsa Bergman on double bass, and Erik Carlsson on drums, captivating the listener with active and detailed interplay of strong intention and technical skill. ... Click to View


Jonas Cambien Trio: A Zoology of the Future (Clean Feed)

Belgian pianist based in Oslo, Jonas Cambien's Trio with Andre Roligheten on reeds and Andreas Wildhagen on drums, in an album of unique compositions using simple ideas yielding complex improvisation & dialog, named for the Dougal Dixons book "After Man: A Zoology of the Future". ... Click to View


Sei Miguel : (Five) Stories Untold (Clean Feed)

... Click to View


Bruno Parrinha / Luis Lopes / Ricardo Jacinto: Garden (Clean Feed)

A dark and gritty album of experimental improvisation from the Portuguese trio of Jose Bruno Parrinha on reeds, Luis Lopes on electric guitar, and Ricard Jacinto on cello and electronics, dense yet restrained playing that occasionally emerges to moments of beauty. ... Click to View


Okkyung Lee / Bill Orcutt: Live at Cafe OTO [VINYL] (Otoroku)

Two string players who have developed distinctive improvisation styles--cellist Okkyung Lee and guitarist Bil Orcutt--meet for their first encounter at London's Cafe Oto, for an exultant and sophisticated duo showing intense skill and strong conversational powers. ... Click to View


Roger Turner / Yukihiro Isso: Takanehishigu [VINYL] (Otoroku)

UK drummer/percussionist Roger Turner in his first meeting with Japanese Noh flutist Yukihiro Isso, an accomplished improviser who has performed with Cecil Taylor, Peter Brotzmann, John Zorn, &c., for a unique and fascinating conversation bridging two traditions. ... Click to View


Asiq Nargile : Yurt Yeri [VINYL] (Otoroku)

Nargile Mehtiyeva aka Asiq Nargile, the only female Asiq living and performing in the ethnic Azeri region of Georgia, performs on the long-neck lute, or saz, accompanying herself on voice, in an ecstatic live performance at London's Cafe Oto in 2014. ... Click to View


Jungle: Mat Walerian / Matthew Shipp / Hamid Drake: Live at Okuden [2 CDs] (ESP)

The 2nd LP from Polish multi-wind & reedist Mat Walerian, his 2nd with NY pianist Matthew Shipp, and the 2nd recorded within the live Okuden Concert Series, adding drummer Hamid Drake for an excellent album of free improvisation that flows beautifully from track to track. ... Click to View


Brooklyn Express, The (Fonda / Tononi / Cavallanti / Swell / Robertson): No Time Left! (Long Song Records)

Long time collaborators, Italian saxophonist Daniele Cavallanti and drummer Tiziano Tononi, travelled to NYC to record with friends new and old, the results of which are this dynamic free jazz album recorded with Steve Swell (trombone), Herb Robertson (cornet) and Joe Fonda (bass). ... Click to View


Emanuele Parrini : The Blessed Prince (Long Song Records)

Violinist Emanuele Parrini leads his quartet with Dimitiri Grechi Espinoz on alto sax, Giovanni Maier on double bass, and Andrea Melani on drums, performing Parrini's 3 part "The Blessed Prince", and original compositions from bassist Maier; lyrical and innovative modern jazz. ... Click to View


Friction (Akinobu / Minoru / Reck): Zone Tripper (Tzadik)

Friction, one of the most important and longest running underground bands in Japan, is currently the trio of Reck (bass, guitar & vocals), Iami Akinobu (guitar) and Sato Minoru (drums), in a hard-edged album of original songs and remixes; demanding and powerful modern rock. ... Click to View


Nova Express Quintet / John Zorn: Andras: The Book Of Angels Volume 28 (Tzadik)

The 28th release in John Zorn's Book of Angels series, performing the Masada song books in distinct groupings, brings together the all-star NY group of Cyro Baptista, Joey Baron, Trevor Dunn, John Medeski, and Kenny Wollesen for a blend of jazz, Afro-Cuban bop, Exotica, and more. ... Click to View


New Zion Trio & Cyro Baptista: Sunshine Seas [VINYL] (Rarenoise Records)

The third album from Jamie Saft's New Zion Trio with Brad Jones on bass, Craig Santiago on drums, and Vanessa Saft on vocals, finds the trio joined by percussionist Cyro Baptista for an album of compelling dub and grooves with an upbeat spiritual pulse. ... Click to View


David Fiuczynski : Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam! [VINYL] (Rarenoise Records)

Dedicated to both composer Olivier Messiaen and hip-hop record producer J Dilla, David Fiuczynski uses non-Western tuning to show the connections between exotic bird calls and J Dilla's 'flam beats' while referencing Messiaen, Gagaku, and other Pan-Asian ingredients. ... Click to View


Kuhn / Sewelson / Cleaver / Roland: Our Earth / Our World (pfmentum)

Multi-reediest Peter Kuhn in a trio with saxophonist Dave Sewelson, bassist Larry Roland, and drummer Gerald Cleaver, performing live at Arts For Arts Our Earth/Our World music series in 2015 for three extended and free improvisations of masterful skill and joy. ... Click to View


Ken Vandermark : Site Specific [2 CDs + BOOK] (Audiographic Records)

2 CDs and a book of photos documenting solo work from Chicago improviser Ken Vandermark performing on clarinet, tenor, and baritone sax in 4 sites--a house, a cavern, a train trestle, & a skate park--dedicating the performances to important musicians, and to Buster Keaton, and Jay Adams. ... Click to View


The Artaud Beats : Logos (Recommended Records)

After performing at Jean-Herve Peron's 2010 Avant Garde Festival, Yumi Hara (keys, violin & voice), Geoff Leigh (winds & electronics), John Greaves (bass & piano) and Chris Cutler (drums & percussion) present their first studio album mixing open-minded composed and improvised music. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi / Kassel Jaeger / James Rushford: Pale Calling [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The first collaboration between Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger and James Rushford presents two side-long recordings of slowly cycling electronics, distracted vocal mumbles and often unidentifiable field recordings, a layered and mesmerizing haze of obscured audio stratum. ... Click to View


Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval : [2 CDs] (Potlatch)

An intense and dynamic album of unusual electroacoustic improvisation from the duo of Pascal Battus performing on rotating surfaces, styrofoam, paper, plastic objects, and microphones, and Dafne Vicente-Sandoval performing on bassoon, microphones and mixing board. ... Click to View


Serocki Kazimierz : Pianophonie (Bolt)

Two works for piano and orchestra from Polish composer Kazimierz Serocki, recorded for Polish Radio in Krakow in 1973 with Jerzy Witkowski on piano (Forte e piano) and for Great Polish Radio in Katowice in 1979 with Szablocs Esztenyi on piano ("Pianophonie"). ... Click to View


Barbara Majewska Kinga / Emilia Sitarz: play Franz Schubert Winterreise (Bolt)

Barbara Kinga Majewska and Emilia Sitarz interpret Franz Schubert's "Winterreise" (Winter Journey), a song cycle of 24 poems by Wilhelm Muller, exposing new tensions and interrelations existing in Schubert's cycle in unexpected and unusual ways. ... Click to View


Joanna Sokolowska Halszka: plays Franz Schubert Winterreise (Bolt)

Vocalist Joanna Halszka Sokolowska interprets Franz Shubert's "Winterreise", a 19th century work setting the poems of Wilhelm Muller to music, recorded in a single take on a winter night in Warsaw, Poland at the Komuna Theater, a fragile and unique look at this famous work. ... Click to View


Antoine Beuger: Keine Fernen Mehr (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Antoine Beuger introduces this album with a short poem by Amy Lowell in reference to the larkspur, in two discs with 17 tracks on each of Beuger whistling, quietly and with a silence and patience of intense concentration emerging from near silence. ... Click to View


Frey . Beuger / Duo Contour : Duos (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The duo Contour of Stephen Altoff (trumpet) & Lee Forrest Ferguson (percussion) perform Antoine Beuger's "dedekind duos" dedicated to mathematician Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind; and Jurg Frey's "22 Sachelchen" or "small things", 22 focused miniature compositions. ... Click to View


Email:



The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Heard In

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


  John Zorn 
  Redbird  
  (Tzadik (1995)) 

   review by Brian Olewnick
  2003-08-20
John Zorn: Redbird (Tzadik (1995))

For all his hyperkinetic musical activity over the last few decades, some of Zorn's most beautiful moments have, for me, been those rare examples of stasis, when he reaches a territory and allows himself to observe instead of quickly disrupting it. Granted, those moments are few and far between, but things like the closing minutes of his string quartet Forbidden Fruit, the brief, lonesome surf guitar forays played by Ribot in Bar Khokba or even, in an odd way, the entirety of Leng T'Che with its obsessive exploration of one fearful emotion are among the examples of his music that have had the most staying power for me.

When 'Redbird' appeared, I was immediately heartened by the lovely Agnes Martin painting adorning its front cover. Not only was this a refreshing change from what I found to be the increasingly puerile and shock-for-shock's-sake illustrations more typically found on his releases, but for what it possibly promised regarding the music within. Happily, the artwork and music share a common sensibility.

The first of two pieces, 'Dark River' is a solo performance by Jim Pugliese on bass drum. It has, ostensibly, one zone of reference: the low rumble. But over the course of its nine minutes, Pugliese creates a palpable world wherein one never has any sense of sameness but instead a breathing pocket of reality. No steady rhythms, only mild fluctuations in volume, just a natural, billowing flow of deep, echoing booms achieving an almost wind-like quality at times. I have no idea how much of this is to the credit of Pugliese's own creativity or Zorn's score (I imagine a bit of both) but it's a trivial matter. It's also, presumably intentionally, an intriguing prologue to 'Redbird' proper, a processional of sorts, dark into medium light.

Zorn had cited Morton Feldman as an influence on many prior occasions but I was rarely, if ever, able to hear it in his actual music. That breathing quality, the ultra-slow rhythms as subtly irregular as they were organic, found little expression in the younger composer's work. Redbird is about as close as I've heard him get, and it's a ravishing achievement. I'm reminded very much of Feldman's orchestral work For Samuel Beckett in the sense the listener gets of having stumbled into an ongoing performance, a piece that began well before you hear the first note and continues well after the disc is over. Scored for harp, viola, cello and percussion, it also has an instrumental flavor akin to a number of Feldman's chamber works. Other influences make their presence known to be sure: one hears snatches of George Crumb and you can even pick up some sonorities in the strings that recall Ornette Coleman's 'The Skies of America'. There's also a plaintive, almost romantic aspect to some of the writing, something Feldman might abhor (though he, too, didn't sidestep it completely) but which, in my opinion, is a central part of Zorn's persona. The overall feeling is of being on a gentle seesaw, undulating back and forth, seeing almost the same view reappear time after time but always noticing some new detail, some different tinge. Eventually, it stops rather than ends.

It's been several years now since I've picked up a new Zorn release; although he'd occasionally explore similarly intriguing areas (as in Duras), too much of his recent work had struck me as treading water, and less and less interesting water at that. Although it's perhaps too much to ask of so restless a composer, I still wouldn't mind if, at least once in a while, he picked a plot of land and worked it, then worked it some more, then continued to work it. I'm fairly confident that I'd be pleasantly surprised at what he was able to grow.





Comments and Feedback:



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

Squidco



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


  Copyright © 2014 Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (2621)