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Third Coast Ensemble: Wrecks (RogueArt)

Merging France's Nautilis Ensemble with musicians from Chicago created this large improvising orchestra, here in a new suite composed by Rob Mazurek and dedicated to Great Lake Michigan and the devestation of thousands of shipwrecks over many centuries, using historical data, first hand accounts of shipwrecks off both shores, magical realism and steampunk aesthetics. ... Click to View


Made to Break: Trebuchet (Trost Records)

The eight release from Ken Vandermark's hard-hitting quartet with Austrian electronic improviser Christof Kurzmann, Netherlands bassist Jasper Stadhouders, and Chicago drummer and frequent Vandermark collaborator Tim Daisy, for 3 vigorous and extreme pieces dedicated to Shellac, Susan Sontag, and Kerry James Marshall; powerful, informed, essential. ... Click to View


Made to Break: Trebuchet [VINYL] (Trost Records)

The eight release from Ken Vandermark's hard-hitting quartet with Austrian electronic improviser Christof Kurzmann, Netherlands bassist Jasper Stadhouders, and Chicago drummer and frequent Vandermark collaborator Tim Daisy, for 3 vigorous and extreme pieces dedicated to Shellac, Susan Sontag, and Kerry James Marshall; powerful, informed, essential. ... Click to View


Boneshaker: Thinking Out Loud [VINYL] (Trost Records)

The third album from this international trio of powerful improvisers--Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, and Chicago/NY saxophonist Mars William-- in four odysseys that take the listener from introspective playing to out and out blowing, using technique to serve their incredible dialog. ... Click to View


Kodian Trio: II [VINYL] (Trost Records)

The uniquely voiced free improvising Kodian Trio formed of saxophonist Colin Webster using aggressive techniques and unusual approaches to his horn, electric guitarist Dirk Serries (vidnaObmana) throwing spiky lines in forceful and unorthodox dialog, and in-demand UK drummer Andrew Lisle providing underpinning and punctuation, in six far-ranging and impressive tracks. ... Click to View


Becoming Animal (Massimo Pupillo / Gordon Sharp): A Distant Hand Lifted [VINYL] (Trost Records)

An album of dark atmospheric electroacoustic sound with voice and introductory narrative from Zu bassist Massimo Pupillo and Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk, the first meeting between the two, performed live at Cafe Oto for four pieces of rich sonics, emotional and hypnotic playing from two creative masters with a long history of powerful and passionate music. ... Click to View


Novaks Kapelle: Fartwind - Complete Discography (1967-1979) [2 CDs] (Trost Records)

Hard rocking Novaks Kapelle was an Austrian underground rock band, formed in 1967 by Erwin Novak, Walla Mauritz, Peter Travnicek and Helge Thor, with Paul Brown Steiner joining in 1970, and after a period of quiet, in 1978 jazz guitarist Harri Stojka joined the band; this double CD collects all known tracks, presenting a fascinating evolution of style. ... Click to View


Kan Mikami / John Edwards / Alex Nielson: Live at Cafe Oto [VINYL] (Otoroku)

More typically a solo performer, Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami has created a distinctive path for his voice, guitar and poetic lyrics; here he is propelled in an improvisational setting with two powerful UK players--John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums--captured live at London's Cafe Oto for a growling concert of finesse and brusque attitude. ... Click to View


William Parker : Conversations II Dialogues & Monologues [CD & BOOK] (RogueArt)

The 2nd volume in New York free improvising basist William Parker's "Conversations" series, more than 500 pages with 32 interview between William Parker and artists including Marshall Allen, Tim Berne, Wadada Leo Smith, Mark Dresser, Henry Grimes, &c &c, plus a CD excerpting those interviews and punctuated with duos between Parker and saxophonist Kidd Jordan. ... Click to View


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Feat. Pika: Astro Infinity Discotheque [VINYL 2 LPs] (Bam Balam Records)

A live album in 2016 from the mind-blowing and prolific Japanese psychedelic improvising rock band Acid Mothers Temple with Kawabata Makoto, Higashi Hiroshi, Mitsuru Tabata, Stoshima Nani, S T, and Pika, performing some of their well known works and starting with Gong's "Flying Teapot", all recorded at 15th Acid Mothers Temple Festival at Tokuzo (Nagoya). ... Click to View


Strycharski / Andriessen: Ghost (Bolt)

Polish composer and recorder player Dominik Strycharski wrote these pieces in response to a work for the recorder by composer Louis Andriessen that he dedicated to Frans Bruggen: "Melodie"; Strycharski response is "Harmonie", performed in a duo with pianist Sebastian Zawadzki to demonstrate the impracticability of harmony in its purest forms. ... Click to View


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 Natsuki 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 Niesiacku 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 doesn'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 collective playing 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


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  The Zorn Non-Interview  

Ah, John, We Hardly Knew Ye

"If the tapes are rolling or you remember what I said, that's the fucking interview. You want to hear an artist's voice? You're hearing it."

This was about halfway through a telephone call with John Zorn, most of which involved him explaining why, after three months of negotiations, he had decided not to grant The Squid's Ear an interview. We were working on a special issue to coincide with his fiftieth birthday and a month of concerts he was doing at Tonic. We had suggested talking to him about the different projects that were to be presented, and he called the idea boring. Besides, he said, he'd much rather have a conversation with an artist than a journalist. We suggested he speak with another musician or composer about surviving in the so-called "classical" world. He nixed the idea without offering a reason, but assured us we'd come up with something. After a few more go-rounds, he went back to the original idea, and suggested early July. Phone calls in July weren't returned, however, and a little Web investigation revealed that he was touring Europe with Electric Masada. Upon his return, he'd decided not to do the interview.

"Look, Kurt, I think you can do this without me," he said. "Listen to the music and answer the questions yourself." When I suggested that our readers would like to hear his take on revisiting his work, he said that sounded like People magazine.

"These little peppery phrases that you put through the article don't even matter," he said. "What matters is what's happening, the music.

"What, how did I decide to work with this drummer from Chicago? He knows Bill, that's easy. You can figure it out yourself. Whatever you guys write about, you write about. I can't be concerned with it or I would have killed myself years ago."

How do you revisit old works, I asked him. Do you listen to your old records? Do you work from scores?

"No, not at all."

And a long pause. The silence, I told him, was deafening.

What is it like to go back and work with material that you've said was from an angry period in your life, like Painkiller or Kristallnacht when you're now doing very different sorts of things?

"Kristallnacht is not just an angry piece," he replied. "It's the story of the Jewish people.

"If you take a look at the month, there's no angry music in it. Don't make the mistake that every time someone screams on a saxophone, it's about rage, it's about some Japanese woman screaming and being tortured.

"Given the 20 minutes we just spent on the phone, I could have answered all of your questions," he said. "But I can't deal with it, man." We talked for another 25, after which I sat down to write. I soon realized, however, that the last thing I wanted to do was go through a month of Zorn performances, write about my impressions of the various projects and speculate about why certain things were not included. Turns out, I guess, I can't blame him.

Over the course of September, a surprising array of Zorn's projects, compositions and musical ideas will be presented at Tonic, his Lower East Side home since breaking all ties with the Knitting Factory, reportedly after discovering that they were broadcasting his rehearsals over the Internet without his knowledge. There will be improv meetings with Mike Patton, Ikue Mori, Milford Graves, Yamatanka Eye, Fred Frith, Susie Ibarra, Wadada Leo Smith and Derek Bailey. A half dozen "game pieces" will be presented, in which participating musicians have a set of constraints under which they can attempt to influence the progress of a performance during its course. Nine contemporary classical compositions, including a premiere, will be presented, along with as many nights of the various Masada permutations. And, of course, the uncatagorizable make up a large part of the bill: Kristallnacht, New Traditions in East Asian Bar Music, Locus Solus, Book of Heads, the sorts of things that make Zorn the enigmatic figure that he is.

What's left out? Well, Naked City for a start. After two shows in Europe over the summer, hopes were high that he'd bring the group home. Rumor is that the paycheck across the Atlantic was more than they could pass up. Stateside we don't treat our artists so well. Big picture might be that we get what we deserve. But what we deserve ain't so bad. We do have the home field advantage, after all, and 30 nights of Zorn is nothing to sneeze at. We shall endeavor in these pages to cover most, if not all, of the month. We'll also keep trying to get the man to talk to us, although the former goal holds much more promise. We hadn't set out to do a fanzine, we just kind of ended up there.



The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Alexander Frangenheim/
Nikolaus Neuser/
Richard Scott:
Trialectics
(Creative Sources)



Otopus
(Rodrigues/
Humm/
Curado/
Piosik/
Hencleeday/
Almeida/
Santos/
Godinho):
Vulgaris
(Creative Sources)



Peter Blegvad :
Go Figure
(Recommended Records)



Ben Hall's
Racehorse Names
(w/ Joe Morris):
The New
Favorite Thing
Called Breathing
(Relative Pitch)



Boneshaker:
Thinking Out
Loud
[VINYL]
(Trost Records)



Made to Break:
Trebuchet
(Trost Records)



Third Coast Ensemble:
Wrecks
(RogueArt)



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, Raphae
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
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