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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):
Brass And Ivory Tales [9-CD BOX SET] (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

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):
Blue Lines Trio (Casco Records)

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:
Untitled [3''CD] (Euphorium)

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:
Hypothesis (Evil Clown)

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:
Oto to Secchi [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)

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:
Aeolian [2 CDs] (Discus)

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:
Berliner Quartette (Orbit577)

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 :
The Remote Code [3 CDs] (Remote Viewers)

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):
The Moonlight Nightcall (Casco Records)

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:
Play The (Casco Records)

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:
Homura (Armageddon Nova)

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):
KM28 [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

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:
Prisms (Evil Clown)

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):
Like One Long Dream (Trost Records)

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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  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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