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Devin Gray (w/ Kris Davis / Chris Tordini / Chris Speed): RelativE ResonancE (Skirl)

Excellent NY jazz from drummer/composer Devin Gray's superb quartet with Kris Davis on piano, Chris Speed on reeds, and Chris Tordini on double bass, in 8 compositions that are as enjoyable lyrically as it is following the structures, twists and turns of each piece. ... Click to View

Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined (feat Areni Agbabian): Eat The Air (Skirl)

NY saxophonist Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined, made up of musicians that he performed alongside in Butch Morris' ensembles, in an album of melodic works including highly composed music and collective free improvisation, graced with the voice of Areni Agbabian. ... Click to View

Leah Paul: Trenza (Skirl)

Flutist Leah Paul presents two engaging compositions in multiple movements, performed with a chamber ensemble of Chris Speed (reeds), Rob Jost (french horn), Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon), Peter Sachon (cello), Tanya Kalmanovitch (viola), Ben Kono (oboe) and Michel Gentile (flute). ... Click to View

Barry Altschul 3dom Factor: Tales Of The Unforseen (Tum)

Sophisticated free improv from percussionist Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor trio of frequent collaborator Joe Fonda on bass and Mostly Other People Do the Killing's saxophonist Jon Irabagon, presenting new compositions plus an Annette Peacock piece and a little Monk. ... Click to View

Milford Graves / Bill Laswell: Space/Time ~ Redemption (Tum)

Five extended improvisations from New York collaborators, legendary drummer and percussionist Milford Graves and bassist Bil Laswell, who have worked together for several years developing a uniquely active yet dream-like, deeply rhythmic sound world. ... Click to View

Olavi Trio (Hauta / Hongisto / Louhivuori): Oh, La Vie! (Tum)

A trio of Finnish free improvisers--Jari Olavi Hongisto on trombone, Teppo Olavi Hauta on double bass, and Niilo Olavi Louhivuori on drums, with all 3 handling percussion, for 12 spontanously composed studio works of open and equalitarian trio improvisation. ... Click to View

Lindsay Cooper / Fred Frith / Gianni Gebbia / Lars Hollmer: Angels On The Edge Of Time (Angelica)

A superb concert recorded in 1992 at the Angelica Festival Internazionale di Musica in Bologna from a quartet of Rock in Opposition luminaries Lindsay Cooper & Fred Frith (Henry Cow), Lars Hollmer (Samla Mamas), and free improvising saxophonist Gianni Gebbia. ... Click to View

Mikko Innanen / William Parker / Andrew Cyrille: Song For A New Decade [2 CDs] (Tum)

A 2-CD release from the impressive trio of Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen and legendary US improvisers bassist William Parker, and drummer Andrew Cyrille, presenting one studio disc of Innanen compositions recorded in 2010, and a live CD from IBEAM Brooklyn in 2012. ... Click to View

Albatre: Nagual [VINYL] (Shhpuma)

Hailing from Rotterdam's rich underground scene, the trio of Hugo Costa on alto sax, Goncalo Aleida on bass, and Philipp Ernsting on drums, with all 3 doubling on electronics, in a dramatic and energetic album bledning freejazz, improv, metal, and punk music. ... Click to View

Alfredo Monteiro Costa : Um Em Um (Monotype)

An unusual release from the accordion, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, placed microphones in a way to enhance the harmonics and all the particularities of every sound, layering slowly moving tones and their harmonic interaction, allowing unexpected details to emerge. ... Click to View

Dave Phillips / Hiroshi Hasegawa: Insect Apocalypse (Monotype)

A duo from Dave Phillips and Hirsohi Hasegawa, where Phillips' field recordings are filtered and effected by Hasegawa, creating an intense mixture of apocalyptic insect environments and inexplicable sound, slowly unfolding and captivating at high volume. ... Click to View

Rydberg (Werner Dafeldecker / Nicolas Bussmann): Rydberg (Monotype)

Rydberg was a Swedish physicist with a moon crater named after him, here celebrated by the the duo of Nicholas Bussmann (sampler, electronics) and Werner Dafeldecker (function generator, electronics) in an album blending ambient electronics and muted, guiding rhythms. ... Click to View

Peeping Tom (Dorner / Badaroux / Grip / Gerbal): Four Girls (Umlaut Records)

Presenting four of Europe's most active free improvisers, Peeping Tom uses the language of jazz--bop, free, swing--alongside modern improvisational approaches and unusual/extended techniques to make sophisticated yet accessible music that surprises and captivates. ... Click to View

Chris Dingman: The Subliminal and the Sublime (Inner Artist)

A sublime five-part suite commissioned by Chamber Music America, performed by Loren Stillman (sax), Fabian Almazan (piano), Ryan Ferreira (guitar), Linda Oh (bass), and Justin Brown drums), exploring the subliminal patterns hidden below apparent reality. ... Click to View

Astrid: The West Lighthouse Is Not So Far (Monotype)

The French Astrid quartet in their 4th album, where the titles of pieces are based on lighthouses' names, the band creating impressively ambient soundscapes filled with rich detail and lush, languid orchestration of guitar, violin, reeds, synths, harmoniums, &c. ... Click to View

Eugene Chadbourne : DOCHADEMONIC "hate" (Chadula)

... Click to View

Eugene Chadbourne : DOCHADEMONIC "love" (Chadula)

The companion set to Doc Chad's DOCHADEMONIC "hate" CD, with Chad on guitars, banjos, vocals, highly modified duck call, and a host of other instruments, with collaborators including Charles Tyler, Grimsley High School Stage Band, Walter Malli, Ernie Durawa, Walter Daniels &c. ... Click to View

Eugene Chadbourne : The 13 Society (Chadula)

A great collection of original Doc Chad songs and cover versions, including songs by Yusef Islam, Lowell George, Country Joe McDonald, Marty Balin, Terry Kirkman, and Don Van Vliet, performed solo and on guitar, banjo, dobro, turntables & cassettes, with Rogier Smal on drums. ... Click to View

Eugene Chadbourne : Eddie Chatterbox: The Sound Of Genius (Chadula)

Doc Chad's mysterious Eddie Chatterbox project, presenting tributes to master musicians he's had the opportunity to work with, this album including music from drummer Ed Cassidy, saxophonist Walter Malli, drummer Sunny Murray, bassist Peter Kowald, and throughout, guitarist Derek Bailey. ... Click to View

Devin DiSanto / Nick Hoffman: Three Exercises (ErstAEU)

A self-aware release presenting 3 exercises exploring the relationship between performer and audience, DiSanto & Hoffman recorded and reworked these pieces from live performance, including introductions and explanation, using sound created using common objects and stochastic synthesis. ... Click to View

Kevin Parks / Vanessa Rossetto: Severe Liberties (ErstAEU)

Balancing detached and decontextualized sound with melodic moments, the New York duo of Kevin Parks and Vanessa Rossetto construct 3 large works of sound, journeys that take the listener in and out of the process with concrete, studio, and inexplicable sound. ... Click to View

Polwechsel: Untitled (No.7) [VINYL] (God Records)

This Polweschel quartet explores the borders between structured compositions and improvisation, with two percussionist (Burkhard Beins and Martin Brandlmayr) and two strings players (Werner Dafeldecker and Michael Moser), in an exceptional display of tension and dynamics. ... Click to View

Michael Bisio (w/Kirk Knuffke, Art Bailey & Michael Wimberly): Accortet (Relative Pitch)

Chronicling 30+ years of New York bassist Michael Bisio's life as a composer in song form and otherwise, in a quartet with Art Bailey on accordion, Kirk Knuffke on cornet, and Michael Wiberly on drums, balancing freedom and swing in a euphorically compelling album. ... Click to View

Dead Neanderthals: Worship The Sun (Relative Pitch)

Intense free improvisation recorded in the studio from the Netherlands duo of Rene Aquarius on drums and Otto Kokke on saxophone, in an ever-shifting display of technical prowess and twisted approaches to playing, a controlled grindcore of cathartic jazz. ... Click to View

Joe McPhee / Paal Nilssen-Love: Candy [7 CDs] (PNL)

Working together since 2000, and performing as a duo since 2007, this solid 7 CD box set presents free improvising saxophone and pocket trumpet legend Joe McPhee with Europe's most amazing drummer, Paal Nilssen-Love, in live sets from 2007-2014 recorded around the world. ... Click to View

Liberty Ellman Sextet: Radiate (Pi Recordings)

Guitarist Liberty Ellman leads a sextet with Steve Lehman (alto sax), Jose Davila (tuba), Stephan Crump (bass), Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet) and Damon Reid (drums) in a diverse collection of eight original compositions of energetic, lyrical and informed NY jazz. ... Click to View

Ercklentz / Neumann : LAlienation (Herbal International)

Lowercase free improvisation from the duo of Sabine Ercklentz and Andrea Neumann performing on trumpet and a specially designed amplified piano frame, recording 5 detailed and mysteriously constructed works using space and structure in intriguing sound work. ... Click to View

Ivo Perelman / Mat Maneri / Joe Morris: Counterpoint (Leo)

The trio of Joe Morris on guitar and Mat Maneri on viola, with Ivo Perelman taking the tenor saxophone taking the place of the late Joe Maneri from their long-standing trio association, in an album of superb chamber jazz focusing on unusual compositional structures. ... Click to View

Ivo Perelman / Karl Berger: Reverie (Leo)

Celebrating Ivo Perelman's 25th anniversary as a recording artist in a duo with legendary vibist Karl Berger (here on piano) for a special recording brimming with lyricism and a unique mix of virtuosity, wild abandon and romance. ... Click to View

Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp: Callas [2 CDs] (Leo)

A collection of performances by the tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp, each piece named for characters from arias sung by Greek opera vocalist Maria Callas, 16 lyrical free improvisations as Perelman evokes Callas' distinctive voice. ... Click to View


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  Sleepytime Gorilla Museum 
  (Sickroom Records) 

   review by Kurt Gottschalk
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
Is On Sale at Squidco!

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