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Recently @ Squidco:

District Five (Ruegg / Svosve / Huter / Amereller): Decoy (Intakt)

Lyrical and creative modern jazz from the young Swiss quartet of Xaver Ruegg on double bass, Tapiwa Svosve on alto saxophone, synths, electronics, Vojko Huter on guitar, synths, electronics, and Paul Amereller on drums, members of the Gamut Kollektiv and aiming to extend conventional acoustic improvisational forms with rich sonic additions and modern grooves. ... Click to View


Metamorphic: The Two Fridas (Discus)

This excellent London-based contemporary jazz/folk sextet formed in 2011, the instrumentalists having met at Middlesex University in 2001, and adding vocalist Kerry Andrew (Juice), pianist Laura Cole composing most of the music and text based on her personal experiences; pieces include two collective improvs and 2 reworkings of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman". ... Click to View


Chris Meloche / Martin Archer / Gino Robair / Lyn Hodnett: The Sincerity Of Light (Discus)

The quartet of Canadian electronics composer Chris Meloche, label leader Martin Archer on woodwinds and electronics, who orchestrated these pieces, performed with improvsations from Gino Robair on percussion and electronics and Lyn Hodnett on voice, a 3 part work of rich interactive loops, drones and soundscape, ranging from spine-chilling to lush and lovely environments. ... Click to View


Eclectic Maybe Band: The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes (Discus)

Univers Zero bassist Guy Seger brought this eclectic group of improvisers into the studio to develop the music on this genre-defying album, informed by a sextet of musicians who have performed and recorded with projects and artists including Vanishing Pictures, X-Legged Sally, Wrong Object, Tony Levin, Tony Bianco, Paul Schutze, Trevor Watts, Zeena Parkins, Jim O'Rourke, &c. ... Click to View


Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites: Safety Signal From A Target Town (Discus)

Saxophonist Martin Archer composed the five works on this, the 3rd release for Engine Room Favorites, his AACM-influenced big band with a tremendous orchestration of horns with drums, vibes, piano and bass, here with their most complex yet melodic and rich, including melodic elements of folk music, powerful rhythms from prog-oriented rock, and free improv and jazz. ... Click to View


Laura Steenberge : Harmonica Fables (Nueni)

A truly unique album of solo harmonica and voice from Bay Area performer and composer Laura Steenberge, who's studies in folk music, psycholinguistics, acoustics and medieval Byzantine chant brings a sense of the ancient to modern experimentalism, transforming the instrument in a variety of illusive ways that are both enigmatic and entirely embraceable. ... Click to View


Florian Stoffner / Albert Cirera: I'm A Resonant Aircraft (Creative Sources)

Swiss electric guitarist Florian Stoffner (Manuel Mengis Grupp) and Spanish/Portuguese saxophonist Albert Cirera (Agusti Fernandez Liquid Trio) present the 8 part "IRMA" in concise free improvisations, restrained but alert and quick-witted dialogs that explore their instruments with alternate approaches to each in articulate ways. ... Click to View


Niklas Fite / Alexander Frangenheim: Sugar Is A Necessary Fluid (Creative Sources)

Two string players, Swedish acoustic guitarist and banjo player Niklas Fite, and German double bassist Alexander Frangenheim, recording in the studio in Berlin in 2017 for 10 succinct improvisations ranging from quick interactive discourse of a pointillistic nature to near silent meditations using unusual and extended techniques, a quirky and informed album. ... Click to View


Paul Flaherty / Gene Moore / Gene Janas / Federico Ughi: Morfina [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

First conceived during the 2016 Forward Festival when noise guitarist Gene Moore and NYC experimental bassist Gene Janas invited noted avant-garde drummer Federico Ughi for the second part of their set, the results being so impressive that they asked saxophonist Paul Flaherty to join them to record this album and to perform at the Forward Festival 2017. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Tobias Wilner / Djibril Toure / Federico Ughi: New York United [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

An excellent blend of electronics and acoustics as saxophonist, flutist and trumpeter Daniel Carter meets sound artist Tobias Wilner from world-renowned electronic pop band Blue Foundation, with Wu-Tang Clan bass player Djibril Toure and drum wiz Federico Ughi rounding out this forward-thinking album of hazy and rhythmic electroacoustic environments. ... Click to View


Silvan Schmid Quintet: At Gamut (Hatology)

Swiss trumpeter Silvan Schmid is a cofounder of the Gamut Kollektiv, organizing festivals and concerts, here caught live in 2016 at Gamut Series No 1 at Amboss Rampe in Zurich with his own quintet of Tapiwa Svosve on sax, Silvan Jeger on cello, Vincent Glanzmann on drums, and Lucas Wirz on tuba performing 6 Schmid compositions of profoundly lyrical free jazz. ... Click to View


Bucher / Tan / Countryman: Tributary (Self Released)

American ex-pat and Philippines-based alto saxophonist Rick Countryman joins with Philippines bassist Simon Tan and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher to capture this live concert in the that starts by paying homage to Eric Dolphy, amongst a strong set of jazz and blues influenced numbers and the two part building and flowing "Tributary". ... Click to View


Bucher / Countryman: Estuary (Self Released)

A live concert in the Philippines from American expatriate saxophonist Rick Countryman and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher, a classic free jazz drum and sax duo informed by creative playing and superb rhythmic interplay, balancing lyrical progressions with a wonderful stream of concepts, this is a great example of the far reach of free jazz. ... Click to View


Sabu Toyozumi / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan / Stella Ignacio / Isla Antinero: JYA-NE (Self Released)

Four configurations of free jazz recorded live during a vist by trombonist Sabu Toyozumi to Manila: first in a duo with alto saxophonist Rick Countryman; then in a duo with drummer and erhu player Sabu Toyozumi; then expanded to a quintet with vocalist Stella Ignaci and electric bassist Simon Tan; and last as a free jazz trio with Countryman, Tan, and Toyzumi. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Thought Experiment (Evil Clown)

The core trio of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion--joined by Mimi Rabson on violin, the quartet recording with the full Leap of Faith Orchestra arsenal of instruments; plus an expanded LOF recording of the Orchestra work "Possible Worlds". ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Gravitation (Evil Clown)

The core of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on reeds and winds, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion-- joined by Eric Zinman on piano, recorded at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA, where Evil Clown has a residency on the third Saturday of each month, presenting a variation of subunits one of their larger units. ... Click to View


PEK Solo: Fulcrum (Evil Clown)

Extracting the leader from a multitude of ensembles, David Peck's solo album has him performing on tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, clarinet, contraalto clarinet, bassoon, tarota, hand chimes, accordion, [d]ronin, wood, metal, aquasonic, daxophone, Atlantis gong, plus pre-recorded mixes adding a "soloist with tape" aspect to his complex and rich performance. ... Click to View


Turbulence: Amorphous Solids (Evil Clown)

Turbulence is the extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra, a varying-sized ensemble, recording here at Boston area's Outpost 196 as a quartet with PEK on reeds, Bob Moores on trumpet and Dan O'Brien on sax, clarinets & flutes, all playing an assortment of percussive devices, with Leap of Faith core member Yuri Zbitnoff as a dedicated percussionist. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble: Shape Memory (Evil Clown)

Wind player David Peck and percussionist Yuri Zbitnoff formed Metal Chaos Ensemble to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, employing an arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments, becoming one of Evil Clown's most prolific sub-units, here with Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Eric Zinman on percussion. ... Click to View


Mekaniks: The Great Klown Panik of 2017 - Klownpocalypse (Evil Clown)

A collaboration of Leap of Faith members, percussionist Yuri Zbitnov, multi-reedist and wind player David Peck, with guests from the Evil Clown roster, adding electroacoustic elements including looping, sampling and electronic processing to their improvisation, here with Joel Simches on real-time signal processing, alongside sound artists Greg Grinnell & Bob Moores. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton : Braxton: (Willisau) 1991 Studio [2 CDs] (Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering the two studio albums from the 1992 4-CD boxset of Anthony Braxton's Quartet with Marily Crispell (piano), Mark Dresser (double bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums & marimba) recording in Willisau, Switzerland, realizing 10 Braxton numbered compositions with masterful skill and virtuosity, an exceptional set of modern jazz. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp : Symbol Systems (Hatology)

Originally issued in 1995 on the No More Records label, this was New York pianist Matthew Shipp's 6th release as a leader and first solo album, still a rarity in his discography, as we hear Shipp in 14 succinct improvisation that explore texture, tone, and his frameworks that embrace a structured approach to theoretical aspects of the music with warmth and lyricism. ... Click to View


Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt... And More Dirt (Pi Recordings)

Composer, saxophonist and flutist Henry Threadgill presents 2 full-length works for his 15 piece band "14 or 15 Kestra: Agg", as he explores new ways of integrating composition with group improvisation, here using an entirely new system of improvisation based on preconceived series of intervals realized in multi-layered counterpoint, rigorous polyphony, and timbral contrasts. ... Click to View


Henry Threadgill : Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus (Pi Recordings)

Composer Henry Threadgill's Double Up band does not include Threadgill himself, but for this second release with the group he adds a 3rd piano (also doubling on harmonium) alongside two alto saxophones, cello, tuba, drums and percussion, the octet performing Threadgill's complex yet effortlessly intricate and distinctive compositions that allow his performers to shine. ... Click to View


Globe Unity Orchestra: Globe Unity - 50 Years (Intakt)

Fifty years after pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach joined the Manfred Schoof Quintet with the Peter Brotzmann Trio and named it the Globe Unity Orchestra, the ensemble is larger and stronger than ever, here celebrating the milestone in a band of 18 of the globe's most impressive improvisers, recorded live in a commanding concert at Jazzfest Berlin 2016. ... Click to View


Espen Eriksen Trio w/ Andy Sheppard: Perfectly Unhappy (Rune Grammofon)

Pianist Espen Eriksen's Trio with bassist Lars Tormod Jenset and drummer Andreas Bye in their third album of melodic and inventive creative jazz, here with 8 new lyrical pieces informed by their extensive touring, and charged by the addition of legendary UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard, for whom Eriksen wrote a set of tunes tailored to his playing. ... Click to View


Espen Eriksen Trio w/ Andy Sheppard: Perfectly Unhappy [VINYL + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

Pianist Espen Eriksen's Trio with bassist Lars Tormod Jenset and drummer Andreas Bye in their third album of melodic and inventive creative jazz, here with 8 new lyrical pieces informed by their extensive touring, and charged by the addition of legendary UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard, for whom Eriksen wrote a set of tunes tailored to his playing. ... Click to View


Joe Talia: Tint [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Known more as a drummer than a composer, Australian-born and Tokyo-relocated Joe Talia composed and organized this two-part, album-length electroacoustic composition using his skills as a percussionist. performing on modular synths and tape machines, and using his vast studio skills as an engineer and producer to create these impressive electronic works. ... Click to View


Variable Geometry Orchestra: Ma'adim Vallis [2 CDS] (Creative Sources)

Two mesmerizing, diverse, and incredibly sophisticated large scale conductions led by Ernesto Rodrigues and an ensemble of more than 30 performers on reeds, guitars, strings, electronics, pianos, voice, megaphone, brass, drums and percussion, rich yet restrained with moments of mystery and excitement, in two complete concerts from Lisbon in 2017 & 2018. ... Click to View


Christoph Schiller / Eric Ruffing: Trance (Creative Sources)

Finding common ground between the acoustic past and the electronic present, the duo of Christoph Schiller on spinet and Eric Ruffing on analogue synthesizer present two extended improvisations of tempered interaction, exploring periods of extended sound, timbre and decay, scrabbling inside playing, restrained electronic whines, and active pointillistic playing. ... Click to View


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  12 Stories About John Zorn and One About A Fan  

Claudia Heuermann's Documentary Shows Musician and Filmmaker in Action


By Kurt Gottschalk 2003-09-03

Claudia Heuermann had found herself in a dilemma. The filmmaker was in the midst of making a self-funded documentary on John Zorn when her subject fell off the map. Calls were no longer returned and planned interviews weren't happening. She seemed to have nowhere to turn.

Nowhere to turn, that is, except to herself. During her onscreen interviews with the saxophonist, composer and avant entrepreneur, Zorn suggested that she put herself into the project, that she make the film her own. Halfway through production, he had left her with no other choice.

"Zorn suggested taking something that has to do with me, and I took that very literally," Heuermann said. In order to complete the project, she created a series of flashbacks that told the story of her own discovery of Zorn's music and of creating the film. "Somehow that put so many pieces in place. It took care of it all. That was quite a good tip I got from Zorn."

A Bookshelf On Top of the Sky: 12 Stories About John Zorn offers unique glimpses into the workings of one of the most prolific and influential musicians to come out of New York's downtown scene. Before he cut her off, Zorn granted Heuermann access to rehearsals and allowed her to film concerts. Scenes showing preparation for a performance of his complex game-piece Cobra especially offer a rare chance to see the enigmatic and often cloistered artist at work. She also managed to dig up some old Naked City live footage to include. But it's as much a film about a young German woman's arrival in New York, discovery of the overlapping Jewish and downtown improv scenes, and her move from listening to pure punk to punk-infused improvisational music. And despite the break in communications, Heuermann said Zorn had seen the movie and gave it a green light. "He was the first to get a copy," she said. "I asked him about edits, he said no changes have to be made."

Heuermann was a fan of classical music and hardcore punk and had studied violin when she moved to New York City in 1997. Her first exposure to Zorn's music was the brutal, extended Naked City piece Leng T'che (one of the scenes reenacted in the film). Although she was new to his work, the music felt "very, very, very familiar," she said. Despite the genre with which Zorn is most often associated, "jazz" wasn't a connection for her. "I do not listen really often to classic jazz," she said. "I'm not a jazz fan, which explains why there's not really an historical context in the film. I wasn't interested in that."

The film is also missing any voices other than her own and Zorn's; it's a very personal project, but limited by being so insular. Those wishing for the "definitive" documentary on Zorn's community and working methods will have to wait. But the 12 Stories does chart one person's musical explorations as guided by Zorn's work, a path many viewers will no doubt find familiar.

While speaking with frequent collaborators would have made for a more rounded documentary, Heuermann had already done that route. Her first film, Sabbath in Paradise was a broader project about Jewish music in New York City and included interviews with Roy Nathanson, Marc Ribot, Andy Statman, David Krakauer, Frank London and Michael Alpert. The film received the Prix du Long M?trage award at the Nyon documentary festival in 1997.

"When I made my first film, many people talked about Zorn, but it was what everybody knew already," she said. "I had the idea that I could not find out anything interesting by talking to them. Then I talked to Zorn and he also suggested I not talk to anyone else, so I thought I didn't need to talk anyone else because the music was there."

Prior to the New York premiere of 12 Stories in December 2002, the film received a dozen screenings in Europe, including showings in Switzerland, Munich, Portugal, Italy and three in Germany, and received the "Young Lion" award at the 2002 Munich Film Festival for best documentary. In 2003, the film has shown at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic and the Toronto International Documentary Festival. Showings at the Leeds International Film Festival in England and a screening in Quebec are also in the works and Tzadik is planning to release the film on DVD next year.

Heuermann, 37, studied Art and Design at the FH Trier in Germany from 1985-1989 and Media Art and Film at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne from 1990-1993. Her work in films also includes experimental video installations, several short films and documentaries and a self-produced video for Zorn's Leng T'che

She is currently developing plans for her next film, while continuing her work as an editor for German television, which is how she has funded her previous films. But next time, she said, she hopes to find some backing.

"I cannot do a project like that again, with all the self-financing," she said. "It's too difficult. My next film will not be a music film, and it will probably have to do with New York." She said she is considering a project about New Yorkers and their relationships with rats. "I'm curious about the meaning of rats in history. It's going to be a horror documentary."



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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


District Five
(Ruegg /
Svosve /
Huter /
Amereller):
Decoy
(Intakt)



Metamorphic:
The Two Fridas
(Discus)



Martin Archer &
Engine Room
Favourites:
Safety Signal
From A
Target Town
(Discus)



Chris Meloche /
Martin Archer /
Gino Robair /
Lyn Hodnett:
The Sincerity
Of Light
(Discus)



Kuhn /
Sewelson /
Cleaver /
Roland:
Our Earth /
Our World
(pfmentum)



Daniel Carter /
Tobias Wilner /
Djibril Toure /
Federico Ughi:
New York
United
[VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Paul Flaherty /
Gene Moore /
Gene Janas /
Federico Ughi:
Morfina
[VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Bucher /
Tan /
Countryman:
Tributary
(Self Released)



Anthony Braxton:
Braxton:
(Willisau)
1991 Studio
[2 CDs]
(Hatology)



Globe Unity
Orchestra:
Globe Unity
- 50 Years
(Intakt)



Joe Talia:
Tint
[VINYL]
(Black Truffle)



Henry Threadgill
14 or 15
Kestra: Agg:
Dirt...
And More Dirt
(Pi Recordings)



Henry Threadgill:
Double Up,
Plays Double Up
Plus
(Pi Recordings)



Christoph Schiller /
Eric Ruffing:
Trance
(Creative Sources)



Variable Geometry
Orchestra:
Ma'adim Vallis
[2 CDS]
(Creative Sources)



Frans de Waard /
Takuji Naka /
Tim Olive:
False Mercury
(845 Audio)



Leap of Faith
Orchestra:
SuperClusters
(Evil Clown)



Thanos Chrysakis /
Chris Cundy /
Peer Schlechta /
Ove Volquartz :
Music for
Two Organs &
Two Bass Clarinets
(Aural Terrains)



Joe Lovano /
Dave Douglas Sound Prints:
Scandal
(Greenleaf Music)



John Zorn:
Insurrection
(Tzadik)







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