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Thumbscrew:
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The seventh album from the exceptional free improvising jazz trio Thumbscrew of Michael Formanek on double bass, electronics, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, vibraphone and Mary Halvorson on guitar, with compositions from all members as they refine and expand on their communal interplay fueled by the great chemistry forged over their near decade of recording and performing. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall Quintet (w / Saunders / Foote / Owston / Bashford):
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An exhilarating departure from saxophonist Paul Dunmall's Coltrane-esque approach to free improvisation with this electrified quintet of Steven Saunders on guitar, Richard Foote on trombone, James Owston on bass and Jim Bashford on drums, playing with upbeat urgency through a set of Dunmall compositions, often letting Saunder's riffs take the foreground around a first-rate set of solos. ... Click to View


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Jon Lipscomb:
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Anthony Braxton / James Fei:
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Alexander Schlippenbach von :
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Alexander Schlippenbach von :
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Wild, nearly unprecedented and an exhilarating direction in European Free Improvisation heard in the 1st recordings from 1966 of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity band, a 14-piece ensemble that included young saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Gerd Dudek & Kris Wanders, bassist Peter Kowald, bass clarinetist Willem Breuker, trumpeter Manfred Schoof, &c. ... Click to View


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Aonghus McEvoy :
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Artur Malecki & The Creature Trio (w/ Chmiel / Aftyka):
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Cyprien Busolini / Bertrand Gauguet:
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An album of intensive listening through concentrated improvisation from the long-running collaboration of French improvisers, Cyprien Busolini on viola and Bertrand Gauguet on alto saxophone, both using unfaltering techniques as they metamorphose their instruments from delicate silence to forceful tones, oscillating and vacillating across two extended improvisations. ... Click to View


Tragic Assembly:
Blood Drains And Memories (Soul City Sounds)

The Durham, NC free improvising trio of Crowmeat Bob on alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet & guitar, Phil Venable on double bass and Charles Chance on drums notch up their playing, with Crowmeat Bob performing on both reeds and electric guitar as the band explores breaking down the barrier between subconsciousness and expression through collective improv. ... Click to View


Tatsuya Nakatani / Kyle Motl:
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Innovative Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani met with bassist Kyle Motl (Peter Kuhn Trio) at Nakatani Kobo Studio, in New Mexico to record these two extended improvisations, the 1st creating an aural environment through ringing metal and bowed contrabass, the 2nd a set of agitated and disruptive interactions through incredible technical skill and expressive dialog. ... Click to View


Bun Itakura / Mishio Ogawa :
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River People (Bucher / Countryman / Alegre / Hori):
Sol Expression (ChapChap Records)

Evoking images of Indigenous Filipinos through free improvisation, with titles referencing the rivers, rains and environment that define them, the multi-national River People quartet of Christian Bucher on drums, Johnny Alegre on guitar, Tetsuro Hori on bass and Rick Countryman on alto saxophone are captured in the studio in Manila for seven superb collective conversations. ... Click to View


Sana Nagano:
Anime Mundi (577 Records)

A superb chamber jazz trio from NY improviser and violinist Sana Nagano, with Karl Berger on piano & vibraphone and Billy Martin on drums & percussion, Nagano having a long history with each through Berger's Improvisers Orchestra and with Martin through Creative Music Studio, their connections evident in their articulately energetic and confident collective conversations. ... Click to View


Sana Nagano:
Anime Mundi [VINYL] (577 Records)

A superb chamber jazz trio from NY improviser and violinist Sana Nagano, with Karl Berger on piano & vibraphone and Billy Martin on drums & percussion, Nagano having a long history with each through Berger's Improvisers Orchestra and with Martin through Creative Music Studio, their connections evident in their articulately energetic and confident collective conversations. ... Click to View


Hal Russell / Joel Futterman:
The Chicago River [3 CDs] (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Late Chicago saxophonist, trumpeter & vibraphonist Hal Russell (NRG Ensemble) and legendary pianist Joel Futterman, also on curved soprano saxophone & Indian flue, are heard in the complete recordings from their two day concert for the victims of the 1992 Great Flood of the Chicago River, presenting a five part work of flowing free jazz force and currents of creative power. ... Click to View


Blue Lines Trio (Scheen / van der Weide / Hadow):
Chance and Change (Casco Records)

The free swinging Dutch piano trio of Michiel Scheen on piano, Raoul van der Weide on contrabass, cracklebox & objects and George Hadow on drums, in a set of buoyant and ebullient improvisations, a mix of composed and collective works that bring together tradition and freedom, melody and abstraction, while clearly enjoying their playful approach to creative jazz. ... Click to View


Magnus Granberg :
Night Will Fade and Fall Apart [2 CDs] (thanatosis produktion)

The 6 piece Tya Ensemble of string, piano, percussion and vibraphone performs Swedish composer Magnus Granberg's beautifully delicate and dusky work, conceived from historic and recent song structures and written so that individual parts also may be performed as solo pieces, as heard in an extended ensemble version and four solo and one duo configuration. ... Click to View


Alex Zethson:
Residy (thanatosis produktion)

The Residy, or remains of a unique variation on JS Bach's Goldberg Variation no. 21, performed live by pianist Alex Zethson who maintains the structure, rhythmic movement and note order of Bach's composition, while dispersing the notes and intervals into two synths and an E-bowed grand piano to evoke these meditative and expansive interpretations. ... Click to View


Gareth Davis / Machinefabriek:
Standards (of Sorts) (Sublime Retreat)

Frequent collaborators Rutger Zyderveldt (Machinefabriek) and bass & contrabass clarinetist Gareth Davis join together for five "Standards" through electronics, synthetics and unorthodox reed work, transmuting their instruments as they create variations from a few notes, some of them "misremembered", from jazz and contemporary classical standards. ... Click to View


Amelia Cuni / Alex Mendizabal:
Stimmen Aus Himmel Und Holle (ANTS Records)

Translating to "Voices from Heaven and Hell", the meeting of two Berlin artists--Amelia Cuni, whose vocal work is described as in/voluntary singing; and Alex Mendizabal, a sound artist who here electronically manipulates the voice of Cuni--using texts from poet Erin Honeycutt as the two apply diverse, fascinating and sometimes unnerving approaches to voice, utterance and expression. ... Click to View


Various Artists:
Free Percussion/Water [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)

Demonstrating the striking diversity modern solo percussionists present, the Italian tape label TSSS Tapes compiles an international set of solo works from explorers Tim Daisy, Jeph Jerman, Ted Byrnes, Wojtek Kurek, Clinton Green, Rie Nakajima, Emilio Berne, Shakeeb Abu Hamdan, Lucie Nezri, Karen Willems, Paolo Sanna, Li Qing, Carlos Godinho, and Rodrigo Vieira. ... Click to View



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  Isaiah Ceccarelli 
  Toute Clarte M'Est Obscure  
  (Ambiances Magnetiques) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2022-08-16
Isaiah Ceccarelli: Toute Clarte M'Est Obscure (Ambiances Magnetiques)

It is likely going too far to call it a trend, but in recent months there have been a number of releases from contemporary composers who reference pre- or early Renaissance composers in their pieces, both titularly and within the work, especially people like Hildegarde von Bingen and Johannes Ockeghem. It would seem to be a decent enough fit, especially to the extent that elements like drones, intertwined organ-y harmonies, etc. could be reasonably extended and transformed from such initial models. Ceccarelli, in previous releases on the Another Timbre label, has touched on this area, offering variations on Kyrie Eleisons and other church-based forms. On this gorgeous recording, he continues, obliquely, down the same path.

The only semi-direct reference to earlier times is in the enclosed text, in French, from an anonymous 14th century source. Ceccarelli employs a 16-member ensemble, including voice. The opening "Prelude" harks back directly to pre-Renaissance forms, though in a kind of state of suspension, the notes hanging a bit, less rigidly channeled. "Boudons", running more than 17 minutes, stretches things out beautifully and softly, luscious extended chords wafting through the room, gently buffeted by ringing percussion. In an odd way, it reminds this listener of a severely toned-down early version of Glenn Branca's massive sound clouds — all the better, as well. Ceccarelli expands the palette in "Des Nuages Noirs", forming a kind of sonic brocade (with soprano) that drifts further from traditional sources, still with long tones but the harmonies have modernized; quite a moving piece. The first of two "Intermédes" is a mid-tempo dance, summoning memories of medieval recorder music while the second is a dark, low-string driven dirge, somber and chilling.

"Aubade", another lengthy work, is in adjacent territory to "Boudons", a rich, welling hum, on the surface steady-state but containing all manner of complexities and just gorgeously arranged, an ecstatically enveloping experience. Another stately, almost minuet-like dance, "Même An Milieu de la Vie" leads, after the intervening second "Interméde" to the title piece. It shimmers in the air, with organetto, strings and metallophones forming a pulsing bed over which soprano Ellen Wieser floats in and out. Though remnants of an ecclesiastic sensibility remains, it goes beyond that, out into the wonders of the real world.

A marvelous recording, leaving this listener eager for more.



Isaiah Ceccarelli: Toute Clarte M'Est Obscure
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