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Don Cherry:
Complete Communion & Symphony For Improvisers, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Following a 1964 Albert Ayler tour, trumpeter Don Cherry remained in Europe, working on new concepts of improvising based on form itself, developing his concepts with saxophonist Gato Barbieri, vibraphonist Karl Berger & bassist J.F. Jenny Clark, composing two brilliant albums: 1966's Communion with Barbieri, Henry Grimes & Ed Blackwell; and in 1967 Symphony for Improvisers as a septet. ... Click to View


Nick Fraser Quartet:
If There Were No Opposites (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

First recording in 2012 as a trio with saxophonist Tony Malaby as a guest, 9 years later Toronto drummer Nick Fraser's quartet with Malaby as a permanen member, Rob Clutton on double bass and Andrew Downing on cello show their long collaborations strenght in a set of improvisations plus compositions for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and the DJD production, Juliet & Romeo. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (Duos w/ Dave Burrell / Marilyn Crispell / Aruan Ortiz / Aaron Parks / Sylvie Courvoisie / Agusti Fernandez / Craig Taborn / Angelica Sanchez / Vijay Iyer):
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Referring to the brass saxophone and the piano's ivory keys, Brazilian saxophonist based in New York City Ivo Perelman celebrates his 60th birthday with this 9-CD set of diverse approaches to sax & piano duos, performed with some of world's finest improvising pianists: Dave Burrell, Marilyn Crispell, Aaron Parks, Augusti Fernandez, Craig Taborn, Angelica Sanchez and Vijay Iyer. ... Click to View


Alex Ward:
Gated (Discus)

... Click to View


Blue Lines Trio (Scheen / van der Weide / Hadow):
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With all the tongue-in-cheek aspects of Dutch improvisers, the piano trio of Michiel Scheen on piano, Raoul van der Weide on bass, crackle box & sound objects and George Hadow on drums, all hail from a superb pedigree of European Free Improv involvement, proven through comprehensible playing with a wonderful sense of humor and joy in their approach to delightfully smart playing. ... Click to View


Axel Dorner:
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A companion of sorts to the Euphorium release from Leimgruber/Turner/Dorner/da Boff/Flesh, London/Leipzig/Luzern, trumpeter Axel Dörner breaks off solo for an extended improvisation recorded at the same studio on the same day in Leipzig, employing his unique approach to the instrument in an 18-minute exploration of tone, timbre, and unexpected brass utterance. ... Click to View


Alex Reviriego:
Raben [CASSETTE W/ DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

Spanish double bassist (Memoria Uno) in a solo album recorded by Ferran Fages in 2019, the second chapter of his "German Poets Trilogy" following his 2018 Blaue Tauben album, here inspired by the writings of Romanian-born poet Paul Celan in an intense and moving album of dense foreboding depicted through nine improvisations of heavy bowing, ruminative harmonics and dark friction. ... Click to View


Axioms:
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The second album of free improv with poetry from the Boston-based Evil Clown collective band Axioms of David Peck, Jane SpokenWord and Albey onBass, this album extending the trio with Glynis Lomon on cello and Steve Niemitz on drums & percussion, heard in an extended improvisation bridging the distance between poetic discussion of truths and abstract musical structures. ... Click to View


Anne-F Jacques / Takamitsu Ohta:
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Using small objects and contact microphones to create peacefully clacking, mewling and idiosyncratic utterances, sound artists Takamitsu Ohta and Anne-Francoise Jacques developed this installation shown in 2019 at the Bonjour! Gendaibunmei gallery in Kyoto, recorded by Jacques as a tour of the various sonic manifestations that a visitor to the gallery might experience. ... Click to View


Keith Tippett / Matthew Bourne:
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Two generations of remarkable pianists--Keith Tippets and Matthew Bourne--performed a series of two-piano concerts between 2017 and 2019, also recording in the studio, as heard in this 2-CD release, the first a set of consequential piano duos recorded at Leeds Conservatoire in 2019, the 2nd disc a live performance at Daylight Music at Union Chapel, London, Tippetts' final public performance. ... Click to View


Takatsuki Trio Quartet w/ Tobias Delius / Alex Dorner:
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The Berlin-based collective Takatsuki Trio of Rieko Okuda on piano, Antti Virtaranta on double bass and Joshua Weitzel on guitar & Shamisen are expanded to a Quartett in two extended live sets at Berlins' Kuhlspot Social Club in 2020, first in an expansive set with trumpeter Axel Dorner, and then an intensely active set with tenor saxophonist & clarinetist Tobias Delius. ... Click to View


The Remote Viewers :
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Three CDs of three concerts at London's Iklecktik Club, presenting primarily compositions by David Petts plus collective improvisations, from Adrian Northover, David Petts, Caroline Kraabel and Sue Lynch on saxophones, John Edwards on bass and Rosa Theodora on piano, with Northover, Edwards & Petts adding percussion and electronics to their cryptically rich music. ... Click to View


New Rumours And Other Noises (Ada Rave / Nicolas Chentaroli / Raoul van der Weide):
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The debut of the Amsterdam-based trio of Argentinian pianist Nicolas Chientaroli and saxophonist & clarinetist Ada Rave with Dutch bassist Raoul van der Weide, all three using preparations, objects and voice to extend their unique approach to instant composition, heard in eight succinct, animated and sometimes eccentric dialogs recorded at BIMHuis. ... Click to View


Xavier Pamplona Septet:
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Initiating his Netherlands-based ensemble in 2016, contrabassist Raoul van der Weide assembles younger musicians, alongside Michael Moore for one piece, orchestrated up to a septet performing a dizzying and joyfully fun array of original compositions including pieces from ICP composers Bert Koppelaar, Guus Janssen and Tristan Honsinger, and a piece from Fred Katz. ... Click to View


Homei Yanagawa:
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Two extended pieces of solo free improvisation from Japanese alto saxophonist Homei Yanagawa, aka Yoshinori Yanagawa, who regularly performs solo, releasing this album 30 years after his first solo album in 1991, Ground and Figure, here recording in the studio for confidently active and diverse approaches to solo expression; engaging and absorbing work. ... Click to View


The Pitch (Baltschun / Nutters / Joh / Thieke):
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The Pitch is the Berlin quartet of Boris Baltschun on JI organ &, sines, Koen Nutters on upright bass, Morten Joh on JI electric vibes & cassette tape delay and Michael Thieke on clarinet, performing at Karl-Marx-Strasse 28 as they break off into solos, duos and trios to create spaciously reflective electroacoustic music of indirect melodic warmth and development; gorgeous. ... Click to View


An PEK Solo Orchestra of PEKs:
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The first "Orchestra of PEKS" album to feature Tim Kaiser's recent electro-acoustic instrument, this multi-track solo recording also introduces multi-wind / multi-instrumentalist David Peck's new West African Kora, in a wild electroacoustic set performed on a dizzying array of reeds, winds, strings, electronics, metallic percussion, wood percussion, sirens and thunder tube. ... Click to View


Rodrigo Amado / This Is Our Language Quartet:
Let The Free Be Men (Trost Records)

Referencing Ornette Coleman in the group name, Portuguese tenor saxophonist engages three US free jazz players--legendary saxophonist and pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee, double bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Chris Corsano--for this 2017 concert at Jazzhouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, capturing four exemplary, at times explosive, and always tightly interactive collective improvisations. ... Click to View


Mofaya! (John Dikeman / Jaimie Branch / Luke Stewart / Aleksandar Skoric):
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A fiery record of collective free improvisation from the Mofaya! Quartet of American saxophonist based in The Netherlands John Dikeman, Chicago trumpeter Jaimie Branch, US East Coast bassist Luke Stewart and Slovenian drummer Aleksandar Skoric, recording live at Roze Tanker in Amsterdam for three exhilarating improvisations that embody US & European Free Jazz forms. ... Click to View


Lee Ranaldo / Jim Jarmusch / Marc Urselli / Balazs Pandi:
Churning of the Ocean (Trost Records)

Dark, often unsettling and rich in detail and innuendo, bassist Marc Urselli brings together this quartet with Lee Ranaldo on guitar, pedals & bells, Jim Jarmusch on guitars, pedals & synth, and Balazs Pandi on drums for their second album of sublimely tension-filled improvisation, patiently building to stealthy momentum and retreating back into night. ... Click to View


Eunhye Jeong:
Nolda (ESP Disk)

The title referring to the Korean word for "play" in a sense of transcending physical reality without abandoning it, pianist Eunhye Jeong, aka Chi-Da, presents a playful and free-flowing enjoyment in nine original compositions, revealing discerning experience and a nimble approach to her instrument as she explores a diverse range of moods through impressive technical skill. ... Click to View


SuperKlang (Aurier / Lemetre):
SuperKlang (Umlaut Records)

An effusive album of violin and percussion, fueled by the Iranian zarb drum and augmented with an eclectic mix of frame drums, nyckelharp and Tibetan bowls, from the French duo of violinist Frederic Aurier and percussionist Sylvain Lemetre, both trained classical musicians drawn to jazz forms, their duo an eclectically enjoyable blend of experimental and danceable, joyful music. ... Click to View


Umlaut Big Band:
Mary's Ideas [2 CDs] (Umlaut Records)

Rare and newly discovered works from jazz composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams performed by the Umlaut Big Band in their series of portraits of forgotten jazz artist, here taking a broad look at the prodigious career of this essential and gifted pianist, composer & arranger, whose influence on swing and early be-bop deserves this fitting and inclusive overview. ... Click to View


As If 3 (Bommel / Weide / Janssen):
Klinkklaar (Casco Records)

Bassist Raoul van der Weide formed this sophisticated Dutch piano trio with pianist Frank van Bommel and drummer Wim Janssen (the latter two part of Guus Janssen's trio) exploring instant composition in a variety of conceptual approaches, including richly lyrical music, darkly mysterious environments, and spirited and inventive interplay; an accomplished and encompassing album. ... Click to View


ISM:
Japanese Flower [VINYL] (Umlaut Records)

The ISM trio brings together Berlin, UK and Paris improvisers Antonin Gerbal (drums), Pat Thomas (piano) and Joel Grip (double bass) for their second album since 2015, recording live at Tokyo's Knuttel House in 2018 for two extended improvisations, collective pieces that unfold from lyrical beginning into tightly packed exchanges of exhilarating blooms. ... Click to View


Graham Dunning / Edward Lucas:
End Of A Cable [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)

A series of unusual improvisations between London free improvising trombonist Edward Lucas (Hyperion Ensemble, London Experimental Ensemble) and experimental sound artist, turntablist & percussionist Graham Dunning, merging acoustic sources with controlled feedback, objects and field recordings, pressed to dubplate to create these engagingly strange and concise dialogs. ... Click to View


Marcus Schmickler :
Sky Dice / Mapping the Studio [VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD] (Editions Mego)

Two major works designed for multi-channel sound projections from electronic composer Marcus Schmickler: "Sky Dice / Mapping the Studio", a work for ARP 2500, Publison DHM89B, Publison Infernal Machine and Computer, premiered at Donaueschinger Tage fur Neue Musik in 2018; "Fortuna Ribbon" a 6-part work based on spatial hearing and auditory otoacoustic distortions. ... Click to View


Sean Conly:
The Buzz (577 Records)

A mix of lyrical, free and traditional compositions, the majority from leader, New York bassist Sean Conly, along with pieces from long-time collaborator Michael Attias, Sam Rivers and Paul Motian, performed in the piano trio format with drummer Francisco Mela and pianist Leo Genovese, in a great balance of jazz steeped in tradition but living fully in the present. ... Click to View


Sean Conly:
The Buzz [VINYL] (577 Records)

A mix of lyrical, free and traditional compositions, the majority from leader, New York bassist Sean Conly, along with pieces from long-time collaborator Michael Attias, Sam Rivers and Paul Motian, performed in the piano trio format with drummer Francisco Mela and pianist Leo Genovese, a great balance of jazz steeped in tradition but living fully in the present. ... Click to View


James Lewis Brandon / Red Lily Quintet (w / William Parker/ Chad Taylor / Kirk Knuffke / Chris Hoffman):
Jesup Wagon [VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tao Forms)

Led by tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and peformed by his Red Lily Quintet with Kirk Knuffke on cornet, William Parker on bass & gimbri, Christopher Hoffman on cello and Chad Taylor on drums & mbira, Lewis' work explores and reflects on the legacy of scientist George Washington Carver through 7 remarkable free jazz compositions. ... Click to View



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  Paul Bley Trio 
  Touching & Blood Revisited  
  (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2021-09-30
Paul Bley Trio: Touching & Blood Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

If you were asked by Oscar Peterson to sub for him, or you played with the likes of Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, and Coleman Hawkins, and had Charles Mingus produce your first album, you must have been doing something right. This was the case for Montreal-born pianist Paul Bley, who certainly had mastered the craft of song interpretation and jazz improvisation early in his career and developed his own voice in the process. So the next thing was to take the music somewhere else. Famously, this is what he wanted to do, as he expressed in the Downbeat article (July 13, 1955), "PAUL BLEY, Jazz Is Just About Ready For Another Revolution," in which he was quoted as saying "I'd like to write longer forms, I'd like to write music without a chordal center." This is the kind of thing Bley went on to do over a prolific career until his death in 2016.

To revisit the Bley output is to observe the evolution of his distinct and distinguished envelope-pushing approach. This recent Hat Hut reissue of early trio recordings (the full Touching album from 1965 and the title track of Blood from 1966) provide an excellent glimpse into the aesthetic at work that earned Bley so much respect and which inspired others to follow the free jazz piper.

One of many notable features of Bley's early music is the peculiarity of his own compositions, but also his use of pieces by Annette Peacock and Carla Bley. The compositions were no doubt instrumental in fashioning the Bley trio sound which is characterized on these recordings by the use of space, timbral coloring and gradations of dynamics, rather than straight-ahead rhythm playing in the tradition of swing and post-swing idioms. Along for the ride for the first seven tracks are Kent Carter on double bass and Barry Altschul on drums, and on the final track ("Blood") Carter is replaced by Mark Levinson. The first session was recorded in Copenhagen, the second in Haarlem the Netherlands. Both are robust sessions of creative playing that colors outside the lines of jazz parameters common at the time, allowing for ingenious individual expression outside post-bop orthodoxy.

The first five tracks contain lots of stops and starts and exploration of the melodic, harmonic and rhythmical material in a very free and unconventional manner. Track six, "Both," has a hard-bop flourish to it, but is reminiscent of another great iconoclastic pianist from the same generation, Cecil Taylor, in its heavy percussive reiterations of motif and its use of the piano's extended range and dynamics. Bley, like Taylor, stands as one of the pillars of post-modern jazz who merits a re-listen now and then, and this release provides a fitting occasion to indulge.



Paul Bley Trio: Touching & Blood Revisited
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