The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

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)

Saxophonist John Dikeman, part of Cactus Truck and Universal Indians, with his own double trio of Jeb Bishop (trombone, electronics), Joshua Abram & Jason Roebke (bass), Mike Reed & Frank Rosaly (drums), for three extended and ecstatic free improvisation. ... Click to View


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

A 180 gram reissue of Sun Ra's 1958 Saturn release with a large and classic configuration of the Arkestra, recorded between '56-'58 in Chicago, and showing the evolution from more traditional jazz to the outer planetary work the Arkestra is more associated with. ... Click to View


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)

A 2 LP set documenting the final 1980s line-ups of this innovative chamber rock band, original members of the Rock In Opposition movement led by drummer Daniel Denis, here presenting live tracks and extracts from concerts from the last two configurations of the band. ... Click to View


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)

Ilan Volkov directs the Bucharest based chamber group Hyperion Ensemble merging the history of Romanian music with moder avant-garde music, here performing the music of Ana-Maria Avram & Iancu Dumitrescu with guest guitarist Stephan O'Malley. ... Click to View


Philip Corner: Satie Slowly [2 CDs] (Unseen Worlds)

Composer Philip Corner takes on Satie's piano works with an emphasis on pacing, allowing the pieces to develop their beautiful lyricism; 17 pieces over two CDs, including "Gymonpedies", "Ogives", "Fanfares of the Rose+Cross", &c. ... Click to View


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)

"Quo Modo Deum" translates to 'This is the way of God', which sound artist Jeph Jerman invokes through a 2 CD release starting with intoning bells, proceeding through six recordings of minimal drones of varying character. ... Click to View


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


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 is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !


  Copyright © 2014 Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (549)