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Fabrice Villard / Pierre-Stephane Meuge:
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Wills McKenna / Norman W. Long / Ishmael Ali / Bill Harris:
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Success Pistols (Finer / Bevins / Davidovici / Hong):
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Borrowing from jazz/improvised music, new compositional forms and avant reductionist traditions, the Montreal quartet Success Pistol release their debut album of compositions by saxophonist Dustin Finder, oral instructions including game pieces that leave room for improvisation; with Scott Bevins on trumpet, and husband and wife duo Eli Davidovici on bass and Mili Hong on drums. ... Click to View


Nat Baldwin:
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Philippakopoulos, Anastassis :
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An album of concentrated expression for solo piano in three works from French composer Anastassis Philippakopoulos and meticulously performed by Serbian pianist Teodora Stepancic, exploring intervals through minimalistic progressions, titled "Piano 1", "Piano 2" & "Piano 3", each in two or three parts as they build to explosive moments in the final movement. ... Click to View


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Ollie Brice (w / Challenger / Glaser / Yarde / Musson / Crowley / Bonney / Macari / Roberts / Hunter):
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Henry Kaiser / Anthony Pirog:
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Florian Wittenburg :
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Wade Matthews / Carmen Morales:
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Quatuor Umlaut (Karl Naegelen / Morton Feldman):
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Leap Of Faith:
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Fire! w/ Stephen O'Malley / David Sandstrom:
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A one-side EP with a screen print on the B-Side, of a raucous, dark and incredibly epic journey in heavy electric jazz from Fire! configured as the quintet of Mats Gustafsson on bass saxophone, organ & live electronics, Johan Berthling on electric bass, Andreas Werliin on drums, Stephen O'Malley on guitar and David Sandstrom on drums; awe inspiring! ... Click to View


Flying Luttenbachers, The:
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Zorn / Chadbourrne / Bradfield / Baker / Hutton:
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Two exceptional live performances of John Zorn's interactive "Fencing" concept leading free improv into unusual directions, from the early Downtown NY scene in 1978, first at Zorn's own loft in the trio of guitarists Eugene Chadbourne, Duck Baker and Randy Hutton; then at Bard College, in Kingston, NY with Zorn on multiple reeds, Chadbourne on guitar and Polly Bradfield on violin. ... Click to View


Heroes Are Gang Leaders:
LeAutoRoiOgraphy [BLACK VINYL] (577 Records)

Led by tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, this 12-piece ensemble of pointed and ecstatic free jazz and spoken word are heard at the 2019 Sons D'Hiver Festival in Paris, 2019, their sound influenced by chamber elements and sharpened through insightful and demanding observations and the influence of Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones). ... Click to View


Eunhye Jeong (Jeong / Burik / Ridley / Mela / Kim):
End of Time / KM-53 Project Vol. 1 (577 Records)

An energetic and sophisticated album of free improvisation based around three compositions by and under the direction of Boston-based South Korean pianist Eunhye Jeong, in a quintet with Allison Burik on alto saxophone & bass clarinet, Max Ridley on double bass, Francisco Mela on drums and Mina Kim on cello, who also performs Jeong's solo work for cello on the center track. ... Click to View


John Zorn (Marsella / Roeder / Smith):
Suite for Piano (Tzadik)

Blurring the lines between composed and improvised music, John Zorn's ten-part composition in his "Suite for Piano" was inspired in part by the Goldberg Variations and Schoenberg's solo piano music, set in the classic piano trio format and performed by extraordinary New York musicians and improvisers, Brian Marsella on piano, Jorge Roeder on bass, and Ches Smith on drums. ... Click to View


Kirk Knuffke Trio (w/ Bisio / Shipp):
Gravity Without Airs [VINYL 2 LPs + DOWNLOAD] (Tao Forms)

A mix of original compositions and collective improvisations from the NY trio of cornetist Kirk Knuffke, bassist Michael Bisio and pianist Matthew Shipp, in a double album of exemplary creative jazz from three players steeped in both tradition and forward-thinking approaches to improvisation, filled with spectacular playing from enthusiastic to introspective; a superb release. ... Click to View


AAVD Trio (Alexander Adams / Danny Andrade / Daniel Van Duerm):
Anti Glow (Amalgam)

Experimental improvisation driven by the foundations of electric piano, organ & electronics of Chicago keyboardist Daniel Van Duerm, fueled by the flexible and unusual drumming of Alexander Adams and passionately expanded by the cathartic tenor sax wrangling of Danny Andrade, dark and light come together to form an "anti-glow" from this intriguing young trio. ... Click to View


Stefan Thut:
Among (Inexhaustible Editions)

Creating complex intervals that the players must "notice among each other" as a model for coexistence, cellist Stefan Thut's score for three string players and sine waves, here configured for double bass (Félicie Bazelaire), acoustic guitar (Fredrik Rasten) and cello (Thut) with Léo Dupleix on sine waves tuned to multiples of prime numbers and attached to the wooden boxes that serve as transducers. ... Click to View


Amirtha Kidambi / Luke Stewart:
Zenith/Nadir [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

Referencing the highs and lows to which the NY duo of free improvising vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and bassist Luke Stewart take their listeners, both bringing along electronics as they divert between clear acoustics and extreme processing, pouring out the turbulence of the time with a unique sense of duress and oddly hopeful musing; frighteningly unique and fascinating. ... Click to View


Hippie Diktat:
Gran Sasso [VINYL] (nunc.)

The 3rd album from the French Hippie Diktat trio of Antoine Viard on baritone sax, Julien Chamla on drums and Richard Comte on guitar, drawing parallels to Sunn O))) and the raw power of Peter Brötzmann, here in a four-part work of primal rhythms and powerful textures, applying the use of space and timing around repetition to create a bedrock of brawny sound. ... Click to View


Richard Comte / Julien Pontvianne:
Sunken Music (nunc.)

The long-standing duet of guitarist Richard Comte and tenor saxophonist Julen Pontvianne (Onze Hours Onze) is a conversation of introspective and resonant repetition around silence, tonal decay, slow call and response and submerged themes, here symbolically immersed as they explore four sunken islands from around the world: Vordonis; Lohachara; Semionovski and Elugelab. ... Click to View



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  Expanse meets the JMDE Quartet 
  Scope  
  (Evil Clown) 


  
   review by Nick Ostrum
  2021-10-05
Expanse meets the JMDE Quartet: Scope (Evil Clown)

Per the man himself, PEK's Grand Aesthetic, his singular musical system, is designed to work with almost limitless configurations of musicians and instruments. His system has already been run through various arrangements, ranging from solos (including entire orchestras of overdubbed PEKs) to small and mid-sized ensembles to the massive Leap of Faith Orchestra. The system has often worked best, or at least most reliably, when stalwart collaborators such as Glynis Limon, Bob Moores, and Yuri Zbitnov have taken part in the projects. However, it really shows its promise and flexibility when musicians external to the already wide Leap of Faith universe enter the fray.

Expanse is a new group consisting of Michael Knoblach on percussion and and PEK on, well, everything imaginable. Add to that Eric Dahlman on trumpet and gong, David Wellans on flutes and piccolo, and Jimmy Zhao on a host of instruments of Asian derivation (erhu, hulusi, bawu, dizi, xiao, xun, tao di), and you have the combined Expanse and JMDE Quartet captured here.

Different instruments introduce different palettes of sound and new collaborators lead to new musical paths. Scope is a case in point for this claim, as the additions of Dahlman, and, maybe more notably, Wellans and Zhao bring an earthiness and numinosity to this session that is unique among Evil Clown's recent releases. On the one hand, wafting melodies pervade this release more than anything I have heard from PEK since his work with Raqib Hassan in the late 1990s. At the same time, this uncharacteristically hypnotic melodicism and earthy percussion (45 minutes in, when the ensemble really seems to settle in) evoke a ritualism his recent projects seem to systematically avoid.

Now, this release might not be a complete departure. The cosmic electronic effects remain, as does PEK's relentless push to explore different combinations of tones and timbres while eschewing hooks and repetition. Scope distinguishes itself as it stops short of the cosmic spaciness featured in the larger Leap of Faith ensembles, the heavy grind of Metal Chaos, or the tangled and windy torrents of Turbulence. Instead, the quintet turns its attention to the realm between the mundane and the supernatural and conjures a surprising euphony and sense of transcendence. (Just listen to how the heavy sirens dissipate when faced with a gust of echoing flutes and chirping scrapes at 53' to hear how this music explores that liminal space.) Scope, in other words, is alternately steeped in the Evil Clown aesthetic and a step beyond it.

Scope is likely to appeal to fans of previous PEK releases. Maybe more importantly, however, this one might even convince a few of those holdouts who have been looking for more tunefulness among the blasts and abrasions.



Expanse meets the JMDE Quartet: Scope
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