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Anthony Braxton :
Solo Bern 1984 First Visit (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Thirteen years after his breakthrough solo saxophone album For Alto, Anthony Braxton is heard in an inventive solo concert on the same instrument, performing at the Altes Schlachthaus Theatre in Bern, Switzerland for a set of original numbered compositions, the standards "Alone Together" and "I Remember You", and two Coltrane pieces: "Giant Steps" and "Naima". ... Click to View


Christoph Gallio / Roger Turner:
You Can Blackmail Me Later (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

During a sabbatical in London, Swiss saxophonist Christoph Gallio (Day & Taxi) renewed his friendship with percussionist Roger Turner, with whom he had performed in a trio with Urs Leimgruber; meeting at Turner's London flat, they developed the spontaneous language heard on this freely improvised album, Gallio on soprano, alto & C-melody saxophones and Turner on drums & distinctive percussive devices. ... Click to View


Alex Hendriksen / Fabian Gisler / Paul Amereller:
Lotus Blossom (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Unabashedly lyrical and focused on jazz tradition, the Swiss trio of Alex Hendriksen on tenor saxophone, Fabian Gisler on double bass and Paul Amereller on drums present an album of standards, including pieces by Tadd Dameron, Billy Strayhorn, Jerome Kern, Thelonious Monk and Benny Golson, warmly interpreted with extraordinary band interplay and individual soloing. ... Click to View


Nick Dunston:
Colla Voce (Out Of Your Head Records)

... Click to View


Carlos Bechegas / Ernesto Rodrigues / Carlos Santos:
Echoing The Chorus Of Life (Creative Sources)

Lisbon contemporary flutist and improviser Carlos Bechegas, an associate of Carlos Zingaro and his electroacoustic trio, joins violist Ernesto Rodrigues and long-time collaborator Carlos Santos in a uniquely electronic, chamber-oriented, mysteriously crepuscular improvisation captured live at Casa do Comum, Lisbon, Portugal during the 2024 "SpectraLx" event. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi / Johan Berthling / Andreas Werliin:
Ghosted II [VINYL] (Drag City)

Driven by compelling rhythms and subtle interactions that wind around them, the trio of guitarist Oren Ambarchi, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin expand their Ghosted concept in this second album, four diverse pieces fusing "funk-jazz heads, polyrhythmic skeletons, ambient pastorals, post-kraut drones and shimmering soundtrack reveries". ... Click to View


Ryuichi Yoshida :
Sakai (Doubtmusic)

Known for his band Blacksheep, along with Gatos Meeting, OKHP, Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo, The Silence, and Missing Link, &c., Japanese baritone saxophonist steps out solo for twelve works, eight improvisations and four compositions, blurring the line between approaches, executed with Yoshida's rich tone, multiphonic accents, and powerful sonic pressure on the big reed. ... Click to View


Liam Hockley (Avram / Chrysakis / Dumitrescu / Radulescu):
Pulse Tide (Aural Terrains)

Canadian clarinetist Liam Hockley, a dedicated advocate for new and experimental music, performs compositions on a relatively obscure member of the clarinet family, the basset horn, alone and in layers of up to seven horns, in pieces from Romanian spectral composers Ana Maria Avram, Iancu Dumitrescu, and Horatiu Radulescu, along with a contemporary work by Thanos Chrysakis. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith:
Radiation Patterns (Evil Clown)

The core duet of the Boston collective Leap of Faith Orchestra comprised of David Peck on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, are joined by bassist Albey onBass, drummer Eric Rosenthal, guitarist Tor Snyder and brass player John Fugarino, making a strong sextet with a powerful string section in this extended improvisation. ... Click to View


Ensemble 5 (Geisser / Blumer / Staub / Morgenthaler / Dell):
The Human Factor (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

The long-running quartet of percussionist Heinz Geisser, bassist Fridolin Blumer, pianist Reto Staub and trombonist Robert Morgenthaler have for years extended their 4-tet with a 5th guest, here asking vibraphonist Christopher Dell to join them in the studio after a successful live performance in the spring of 2022, capturing this spectacular, wide-ranging example of collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Kenny Dorham:
Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia To Matador - Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Revisiting and remastering two essential albums from New York hard bop trumpeter Kenny Dorham, a tremendous musican who died much too young but left a legacy of 20 albums as a leader, here in his 1956 Blue Note album in a sextet that included Bobby Timmons and Kenny Burrell, and his 1963 United Artists Jazz album in a quintet with Jackie McLean, Bobby Timmons, Teddy Smith and JC. Moses. ... Click to View


Silvan Schmid / Tom Wheatley / Eddie Prevost:
The Wandering One - High Laver Levitation Volume 2 (Matchless)

A live recording of freely improvised improv captured at All Hallows Church in High Laver, Essex in 2023 from the trio of AMM drummer and Matchless label-leader Eddie Prévost, Zürich and Maastricht trumpeter Silvan Shmid, and London double bassist Tom Wheatley of the group Widdershins, heard in three investigative conversations of great creative drive. ... Click to View


Natsuki Tamura / Jim Black:
NatJim (Libra)

Right out of the gate one feels the energy and excitement between Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and NY drummer Jim Black, each pushing the other through strong instrumental character and outrageous technique over nine Tamura compositions recorded in the studio in Switzerland, their first recording in 25 years since their 1999 Buzz Records album White and Blue. ... Click to View


Joe Mcphee / Ken Vandermark:
Musings of a Bahamian Son: Poems and Other Words (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

27 concise poems written and read by saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, punctuated by 9 musical interludes between McPhee on soprano sax and Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark on clarinet and bass, fortifying McPhee's captivating words that mix life observations among jazz references to Dolphy, Monk, Brötzmann, Coleman, &c.; a truly embraceable "book" of poetry. ... Click to View


Birgit Ulher:
Split Friction - Audiovisual Works [BOOK] (Private)

Published on the occasion of Birgit Ulher's exhibition Split Friction at Errant Sound in Berlin from November 24-26, 2023, an interdisciplinary project spanning the intersection between exhibition, video, performance, concert and sound installation, documented in this 96 page full-color book with images from the installation, graphic scores, and essays in English & German. ... Click to View


STHLM svaga:
Plays Carter, Plays Mitchell, Plays Shepp (thanatosis produktion)

The Swedish free jazz septet STHLM svaga work at the liminal edges of delicate improvisation and song, for this album commissioning works from Archie Shepp, Ron Carter and Roscoe Mitchell, Carter traveling to Stockholm to provide guidance on his composition "Desert Lament"; the band also performs Coltrane's "Jupiter" and Per Henrik Wallin's piece "Winter Rhapsody". ... Click to View


Bob Drake:
The Room In The Tower (Crumbling Tones)

A great set of 11 succinct songs and instrumentals from multi-instrumentalist, prog icon Bob Drake of Thinking Plague, The Science Group, VRIL, and Peter Blegvad fame, vignettes that play with pop formats in insidious ways around recurring Drake themes including a Planet of Dogs, three rustic tales, and a perturbing room in the tower, all noted in a colored foldout poster with lyrics. ... Click to View


Space (Ullen / Bergman / Lund):
Embrace the Space (Relative Pitch)

A startlingly exciting album of piano trio jazz from three creative innovators, in the followup to the 2022 debut of the Swedish Space Trio of Lisa Ullen on piano, Elsa Bergman on double bass and Anna Lund on drums, recording in the studio for eight collective improvisations of extremely well matched, highly interactive and exhilarating modern improv. ... Click to View


Yedo Gibson:
Conic Tube (Relative Pitch)

Born in São Paulo, Brazil and working in Amsterdam and Lisbon, and also part of the London Improvisers Orchestra, Yedo Gibson unleashes an album of solo improvisation on the soprano and tenor saxophones, his "conic tubes" which he uses to express the potential to change environment and energy through technically impressive, expressive playing. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues:
Intenso como o Mar (Creative Sources)

With the nearly telepathic communication that only a father & son duo could have, Lisbon violist and Creative Sources label leader Ernesto Rodridgues and cellist Guilherme Rodrigues recorded these two string improvisations live at Cossoul in Lisbon during the "Esta Noite Improvisa-se", a melding of remarkable technique, concentration and profound expression. ... Click to View


Violaine Gestalder :
Furtive (Creative Sources)

With an impressive resume in improvised and contemporary forms, French saxophonist Violaíne Gestalder presents three major conceptual works for multiple players, using studio layering to perform all parts herself on soprano sax, voice & effects, a comprehensive, yearning, powerful and often mysteriously beautiful album that draws on her skills as a composer, improviser and experimenter. ... Click to View


Loris Binot / Violaine Gestalder :
Loris Binot & Violaine Gestalder (Creative Sources)

A contemplative and building collection of electroacoustic improvisations from French alto & soprano saxophonist Violaine Gestalder, augmenting her horn with effect pedals, and pianist Loris Binot, using preparations, magnetic bows and electronics to create sustained and percussive elements, recording in the CIM auditorium in Bal-Le-Duc, France for five rich and fascinating dialogs. ... Click to View


Gabriel Vicens:
Mural (Stradavarius )

Reflecting on the slow decay of Roman and Egyptian murals, New York City-based, Puerto Rican-born composer, guitarist, visual artist and No Base Trio member, Gabriel Vicéns, presents a collection of chamber works including two piano trios, a wind quintet performed by Nu Quintet, cello & violin and violin & piano duos, a solo piano work, and a sextet conducted by David Bloom. ... Click to View


Simulacrum:
Archetypes (Evil Clown)

One of the more electronic/ea ensembles from the Boston area collective led by David Peck, Simulacrum is an offshoot of Metal Chaos Ensemble, the core being Peck on reeds, percussion & electronics, Eric Wood on analog synth and Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, joined by Michael Caglianone (sax), Faruq Hassan (sampler), and Michael Knoblach (percussion). ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith:
Cyclic Models (Evil Clown)

A larger ensemble for the Boston-area collective Leap of Faith of David Peck on clarinets, saxophones & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, here extended with two horns, three strings, and drums including Cecil Taylor bassist Albey OnBass, plus John Fugarino on trumpets & brass, Tor Snyder on guitar and Eric Rosenthal on drums & percussion. ... Click to View


Chefkirk:
Giant Size (Love Earth Music)

Eight distinctive works for electronics and sound from the alter ego of Roger H. Smith, using noise, percussive elements and unusual synthetics, layered around static and arpeggiated rhythms and punctuated with strange asides, the works run from 3:14 to 18:37 and were developed over a year and half; an excellent introduction to the sonic diversity Chefkirk revels in. ... Click to View


Midnight Only (RJ Myato / Jabe Ledoux):
Midnight Only (Love Earth Music)

An album of dense electronics, drums and gongs from Vermont drummer and experimenter Jabe Ledoux, aka Jo Bled, and Pittsburgh noise artist RJ Myato, co-founder of NNN Coalition and curator of Enforced Existence label, in three works from assertive jumbles of sound, to buzzy drones with muted percussion and ending with an ocean of blurred and swooping harmonics. ... Click to View


Liba Villavecchia Trio (Reviriego / Trilla) + Luis Vicente:
Muracik (Clean Feed)

Trumpeter Luís Vicente joins the Spanish saxophonist Liba Villavechia's Trio with double bassist Alex Reveriego and drummer Vasco Trilla for a studio album of four Villavecchia compositions, and one each from Reviriego and Vicente, propelling the band into hard swinging free improv balanced with introspective abstraction and sonic extensions; masterful. ... Click to View


TGB (Carolino / Frazao / Delgado):
ROOM 4 (Clean Feed)

Twenty years of activity and advancement is heard in this fourth album from the dynamic tuba power trio of tubist Sergio Carolino, guitarist Mario Delgado & drummer Alexandre Frazao, an electric jazz unit of deep power and drive, on this album leaving behind cover tunes that included Deep Purple and Thelonious Monk to focus on compositions from each band member. ... Click to View


Ghost Trees:
Intercept Method [VINYL 2 LPs] (Future Recordings)

Appropriately recording in New Jersey in the Van Gelder Studios, the North Carolina sax & drum duo of Brent Bagwell and Seth Nanaa stand in the shadows of Coltrane & Ali or McHenry & Cyrlle on their fourth release, a 2-LP, 180gm red-vinyl album of swinging, structured free jazz with a lyrically inclined outside attitude; twelve tracks of concise and compelling dialogs. ... Click to View



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  Ches Smith 
  Interpret it Well  
  (Pyroclastic Records) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2023-02-13
Ches Smith: Interpret it Well (Pyroclastic Records)

Percussionist Ches Smith leads this session, but it is really a full quartet effort that features Smith's trio with Craig Taborn on piano and Mat Maneri on viola, stretched to a quartet with guest guitarist Bill Frisell.

Frisell is known for many stylistic innovations and his gregarious and wide-ranging interests, so it is not surprising finding him in this context with a group of improvisers that share links to the contemporary creative music scenes. As an addition to what Smith identifies as a "road" band, Frisell is a perfect fit, and they seem to have shared aesthetics and compatible sensibilities as players and improvisers.

The seven pieces in this outing are quite different one from the other but have the similar quality of seeming to evolve out of minimal elements to become engaging sound journeys that are made up of the four strands spun by the musicians. The compositions by Ches Smith invite a wealth of creative input by the musicians. Smith's drumming, which can be rock solid groove as well as impressionistic and ethereal abstract renditions of time, is at the center of the title piece, in which Frisell rocks out of his usually introspective shell replete with feedback and saturated distortion.

The rhythm section is really Smith and Taborn, but everyone gels with the same rhythmic concentration that makes the sequence of pieces into an organic, cohesive whole with nary a cliché to be heard, despite some unsurprising vamps in spots. But the band is able to deconstruct such banalities into florescent stretches, as in the kaleidoscopic 15-minute piece called "Clear Major" as well as in three shorter pieces.

Maneri's playing is fibrous and textural and brings lines of interest while the band is plying its groove, and Taborn's weighty rhythmic sense syncs well with Smith's savvy and urbane figures and drive.



Ches Smith: Interpret it Well
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