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Mat Maneri / Evan Parker / Lucian Ban: Sounding Tears (Clean Feed)

Viola improviser and composer Mat Maneri leads this trio with British UK legend Evan Parker on soprano and tenor saxophone and Romanian ex-patriot and frequent collaborator Lucian Ban on piano, for ten compositions blending tradition, song, and improvisational tactics, recalling 20th century modern classical music in addition to jazz. ... Click to View


Rova / Bruckmann & Kaiser: Saxophone Special (Clean Feed)

The Californian saxophone quartet composed of Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Larry Ochs and Jon Raskin are extended with Henry Kaiser on guitar and Kyle Bruckmann on analog synth to perform the music of saxophone legend Steve Lacy in 7 compositions, putting an eclectic spin on the iconic composer and performer's music. ... Click to View


Mario Pavone (Pavone / Ballout / Malaby / Noriega / McEachern / Sarin): Vertical (Clean Feed)

Drawing from some of the finest players on the New York Downtown jazz scene, with Dave Ballou on trumpet, Tony Malaby and Oscar Noriega on reeds, Peter McEachern on trombone and Michael Sarin on drums, double bassist Mario Pavone presents a set of 11 new compositions of lyrical and sophisticated jazz anchored by the leaders powerful structures. ... Click to View


Meridian Trio (Mazzarella / Ulery / Cunningham): Triangulum (Clean Feed)

A lyrical outing from the Chicago working trio of Nick Mazzarella on alto saxophone, Matt Ulery on doublebass, and Jeremy Cunningham on drums, performing live at the Whistler in Chicago, Illinois in 2016, recorded for this debut album of Mazzarella compositions, flexible pieces that balance jazz traditions with avant options for the players. ... Click to View


Chamber 4 (Vicente / Ceccaldi / Ceccaldi / dos Reis): City Of Light (Clean Feed)

A live concert at Les Soirees Tricot Festival in Paris, France in 2016, dedicated to the "City of Light", from the quartet of Luis Vicente on trumpet, Theo Ceccaldi on violin, Valentin Ceccaldi on cello and Marcelo dos Reis on acoustic guitar and prepared guitar, in music that, like the city, exhibit gorgeous simplicity through intricate sophistication. ... Click to View


Angles 9: Disappeared Behind the Sun [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Saxophonist Martin Kuchen's amazing 9-piece Angles ensemble returns for an album titled for the grief of those who disappear due to war, crime and oppression, music that celebrates the tense balance in the challenge to confront and lead away from darkness and tyranny. ... Click to View


Honest John (Moe / Johannesen / Hoyer / Nylander / Holm): International Breakthrough (Clean Feed)

The Scandinavian quintet of Ole-Henrik Moe on violin, Kim Johannesen on guitar; Ola Hoyer on double bass; Erik Nylander on drums & drum machine; and Klaus Ellerhusen-Holm on alto saxophone and Bb on clarinet, in a daring album of mostly Ellerhusen-Holm compositions, arranged collectively into these creative and energetic gems. ... Click to View


The Selva (Jacinto / Almeida / Morao): The Selva (Clean Feed)

The Portuguese trio The Selva of Ricardo Jacinto (cello), Goncalo Almeida (double bass) and Nuno Morao (drums) in an album building on world and historic music forms focused through modern improviser's ears, creating a hybrid approach that slowly reveals its jazz roots in an unhurried but cultured take on new creative music. ... Click to View


Rune Your Day (Mathisen / Roligheten / Nergaard / Skalstad): Rune Your Day (Clean Feed)

Rather than ancient Germanic alphabet letters, "Rune" Your Day is named for Norwegian composer and band-leader, double bassist Rune Nergaard [Bushman's Revenge], and his quartet with Jorgen Mathisen on alto & soprano sax & clarinet, Andre Roligheten on tenory & baritone sax, and Axel Skalstad on drums, for an album of concentrated, creative jazz. ... Click to View


Humcrush (Storlokken / Stronen): Enter Humcrush (Shhpuma)

After a six year break the Humcrush duo of Stale Storlokken on keys and Thomas Stronen on drums & electronics return with this studio album of rhythmic angularities and experimental sound worlds, drawing on their experiences with bands including Supersilent, Food, Elephant9, Time is a blind guide, Meadow and Motorpsycho. ... Click to View


Thollem / Mazurek: Blind Curves and Box Canyons (Relative Pitch)

Recorded at an exhibition of visual works by Chicago trumpeter Rob Mazurek in Texas, this was the first meeting with pianist Thollem McDonas, in an ardent session of explorative improvisation using electric and analog piano, sythn, samplers, cornet, voice, bells and effects; inquisitive and cathartic music of great drive. ... Click to View


JR3 (Olaf Rupp / Rudi Mahall / Jan Roder): Happy Jazz (Relative Pitch)

The Berlin trio of Rudi Mahall on clarinet and bass clarinet, Olaf Rupp on electric and acoustic guitar and Jan Roder on double bass in an ironically packaged album of free improvisation of the highest standard, taking the listener on a journey of informed free jazz that references the past in thoroughly modern approaches to creative music. ... Click to View


Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society: Simultonality [VINYL] (Eremite)

Chicago bassist and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams follows up his incredible "Simultonality" album with this faster-paced album recorded with his Natural Information Society, joining traditional musics, American minimalism & jazz with the gnawa ceremonial instrument the guimbri. ... Click to View


Dunmall / Edwards / Noble / Sanders: Go Straight Around The Square (FMR)

The stellar quartet of Paul Dunmall on tenor and soprano saxophone, John Edwards on bass, Liam Noble on piano, and Mark Sanders on drums performing 2 extended improvisations balancing energetic playing with contemplative conversation, captured live at the Vortex, in London, England, in 2016. ... Click to View


Francois Carrier / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur: Oneness (FMR)

The well-traveled working group of Francois Carrier (alto saxophone, Chinese oboe), Michel Lambert (drums) and Rafal Mazur (acoustic bass guitar) performing live at Alchemia Club in Krakow, Poland in 2015 for an excellent example of collective free improvisation with distinctive and unconventional approaches to their dialog. ... Click to View


Udo Schindler / Ove Volquartz: Answers And Maybe A Question? (FMR)

Udo Schindler's Salon for Sound and Art at Krailing in Krailing, Germany is the setting for this superb live duo concert, capturing Schindler and Ove Volquartz both on bass and double bass clarinet, showing the breadth of sonic possibilites and diverse approaches from the deepest of clarinets performed by two masterful musicians. ... Click to View


Runcible Quintet, The (featuring John Edwards / Neil Metcalfe): Five (FMR)

The Runciple Quintet of John Edwards on double bass, Marcello Magliocchi on drums, Neil Metcalfe on flute, Adrian Northover on soprano saxophone, and Daniel Thompson on acoustic guitar recording at IKLECTIC, in London in 2016 for 5 excellent examples of detailed, collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Rob Burke / George Lewis / Paul Grabowsky / Mark Helias: Shift (FMR)

A meeting in NY's Lower East Village between four improvisors--Robert Burke on saxes, George Lewis on trombone & electronics, Paul Grabowsky on piano & snare drum, and Mark Helias on acoustic bass, playing a pre-composed work, blending 21st century composition with modern jazz sensibility, enhanced by Lewis' computer-based "shapeshifts". ... Click to View


Gauden / Hanslip: And How The Who Can Think the What... (FMR)

UK Tenor saxophonist Mark Hanslip and drummer Ed Gauden in their 3rd record together, here stripped down to a duo, inspired by a planned trio concert where the pianist was unable to perform; the resulting show worked so well that the two decided to take it to the studio, this album the result of impressive avant interchanges in 8 succinct tracks. ... Click to View


Szilard Mezei: Still Now (If You Still) (FMR)

An exciting album crossing free improvisation with chamber approaches and extended techniques from Serbian violist Szilard Mezei performing in a trio with pianist Marina Dzukljev and drummer/percussionist Vasco Trilla, recording in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2017. ... Click to View


Silence Ensemble led by Peter Urpeth: John Cage: Speech (FMR)

These recordings of pieces by John Cage were made at a performance called Silence & Transmission led by Peter Upreth conducting an ensemble of four performers using radios and voice, held at An Lanntair Arts Centre, Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides on 20th September 2012, as part of the celebrations for Cage's centenary. ... Click to View


Ashley Long John: PSI (FMR)

Virtuoso UK bassist Ashley John Long presents a startling array of approaches and techniques on the double bass over 11 improvisations, from concise shorter presentations to expansive displays of skill, excitement or introspection, all with an ear to captivating his listener. ... Click to View


Peter Urpeth / Maggie Nicols: Other Worlds (FMR)

Originally developed for the soundtrack to Sean Martin and Louise Milnes 2011 documentary, "A Boat Retold", vocalist Maggie Nichols and pianist Peter Urpeth revisited the material for album release, creating this wonderful pair of extemporaneous, otherworldly narratives. ... Click to View


Pedra Contida : Amethyst (FMR)

The Portugese quintet of Angelica V. Salvi on harp, Miguel Carvalhais on computer, Nuno Torres on alto saxophone, Marcello doe Reis on electric guitar, and Joao Pais Filipe on drums & percussion in a live concert in Brazil at Salao for a far-ranging album of beautifully building electroacoustic free improvisation to frenetic, collective dialog. ... Click to View


Luc Ferrari: Tinguely 1967 [VINYL] (Sub Rosa)

A musique concrete compositions written in 1967 by Luc Ferrari used for a television program by C. Caspari, using recordings Ferrari made in 1966 at an exhibition of Jean Tinguely's frantically moving sculptures; plus a 1964 soundtrack to a 33 minute black-and-white film by Jean Barral. ... Click to View


Luc Ferrari: Heterozygote / Petite Symphonie [VINYL] (Recollection GRM)

Two major works from electroacoustic composer Luc Ferrari: "Heterozygote" written in 1964, where Ferrari attempts to engineer a language located both on the musical and on the dramatic plane; and "Petite symphonie intuitive pour un paysage de printemps" from 1947, part of a series of imaginary soundscapes based on recollections of a mountain landscape. ... Click to View


Toxic: Mat Walerian / Matthew Shipp / William Parker: This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People (ESP)

Multi-wind player Mat Walerian's 3rd ESP release is also the last album approved by ESP founder Bernard Stollman, and also the first with William Parker since 1973 (who also provides the reference to the title of the album), with Matthew Shipp playing on organ, in an album of intense and far-reaching free jazz, from lyrical beauty to hard blowing. ... Click to View


Albert Ayler: Prophecy [VINYL] (ESP)

Albert Ayler's first ESP album from 1975 in a trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray, a live album captured at the Cellar Cafe, in New York City, New York, on June 14th, 1964, showing Ayler future-facing free playing in now classic compositions including "Spirits", "Prophecy", and two variations of "Ghosts". ... Click to View


John Zorn: There Is No More Firmament (Tzadik)

Collecting John Zorn's recent compositions from 2013-2016, with the stellar assistance of performers that include Peter Evans (trumpet), Tyshawn Sorey (drums), Christian McBride (bass), presenting 9 works connected by a twisted and complex story of a magical descent into madness. ... Click to View


Brian Marsella: Buer: The Book of Angels Volume 31 (Tzadik)

Brian Marsella, pianist from Banquet of the Spirits, Zion80 and The Flail, in a trio album taking on John Zorn's Masada compositions, The Book of Angels, with the actual Masada rhythm section of Trevor Dunn on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums, in 16 lyrical and effusive pieces focused through the eyes of piano masters from Satie to Pullen. ... Click to View


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  Sleepytime Gorilla Museum 
  Live  
  (Sickroom Records) 

   review by Kurt Gottschalk
  2003-10-10
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum: Live (Sickroom Records)

Dig if you will a picture: a darkwood conference room at UMG/EMI/AOL. Around the table sit several men in business casual, and a kind-eyed tribe dressed all in white, or black, some perhaps in bloomers, one with the head of a donkey. They are playing their new recording for the record execs, who aren’t pleased. There’s too much talking on it, they say, and the sound quality isn’t good enough. They only reprise one of their “hits,” the only obvious single, “Baby Doctor,” is too long, and they’re not, they say, releasing a record where audience is told to kill the president. “Besides,” says the skinny one, trying to exude confidence, “you can’t do a live record until your fourth release.”

Even in an imaginary world, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum don’t get to release their new record on a major label, because even in an imaginary world Live is an odd record. And not just odd in the sense that if you know anything about Sleepytime of course it is. Live is more like a fan club release. While their previous disc, Grand Opening and Closing (Seeland) was designed to be a head-turner, this disc is more for the indoctrinated. It’s culled from audience tapes, so the sound quality while acceptable throughout varies from track to track. But moreso, it’s filled with odd, one-off moments. It’s not the best of the last three records plus a surprise cover thrown in (pity on the latter, since it probably would have been This Heat’s “S.P.Q.R.”), rather it’s a collection of the sort of moments that you wish you had on tape after a show, or with which you can sympathize anyway if you’ve seen them live.

Like a good fan club release, John, Paul, George and Ringo each get their moment. Moe! covers Cheer Accident, Dan Rathbun tells a story, Nils Frykdayh banters and Frykdahl and Carla Kihlstedt are great on a version of what is here called “Sleep is Rong (finally)” from the first record. Since departed donkey-headed drummer Frank Grau propels them along well.

Still, if Grand Opening and Closing was a touring exhibit, this is more something from the museum gift shop, a souvenir to remind you of the time you were there. You had a good time. You don’t want to forget it. And if that’s a lackluster endorsement, well, another new disc is expected by the end of the year.



Sleepytime Gorilla Museum: Live
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