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Bennani / Silva / Greene / Henderson: Free Form Improvisation Ensemble 2013 (Improvising Beings)

Instant compositions live at Sunset in Paris, 2013 from the quartet of Burton Greene on piano & percussion, Alan Silva on synthesizer, Adelhai Bennani on tenor sax, and Chris Henderson on electronic drums, a great update from a trailblazing band that started in 1964. ... Click to View


Oberg / Schubert / De Joode / Sanders: Rope (Red Toucan)

Soprano saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert and pianist Uwe Oberg have played together since 2009; for ROPE they are joined by UK drummer Mark Sanders and Amsterdam bassist Wilbert de Joode for a diverse and astounding live set performed at Just Music Fest in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2015. ... Click to View


Icepick (Nate Wooley, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten & Chris Corsano): Amaranth [VINYL + DOWNLOAD CODE] (Astral Spirits)

Nate Wooley (trumpet), Chris Corsano (percussion) and Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (bass) recording in Austin, TX for their first proper release as Icepick, 3 tracks of powerfully creative and downright smoldering modern jazz using exceptional skill and passion. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee : Zurich 1979 [1-SIDED VINYL + DOWNLOAD CODE] (Astral Spirits)

Originally recorded to cassette tape (in Zurich, in 1979) this one-sided 180Gm LP restores and remasters this amazing 20 minute solo, a tour-de-force of tenor sax starting from the mouthpiece and bell and working into a fully formed and remarkable journey of method and music. ... Click to View


Clara Iannotta : A Failed Entertainment. Works 2009-2014 (Edition Rz)

Works from Italian composer Clare Iannotta recorded from 2012 - 2014, including a work for string quartet composed for the DAAD artist-in-Berlin program titled "A Failed Entertainment" commissioned by Quaturo Diotima; plus 6 works for other contemporary ensembles. ... Click to View


Gabriele Emde : Die Natur der Klange: Neue Musik fur Harfe (Edition Rz)

Harpist Gabriele Emde began performing contemporary music by exceptional 20th century artists the early 80s; in this collection recorded from 1985 to 1987 she presents one of Cage's "Landscape" pieces, a major work by Hans Otte, and several short pieces by Lou Harrison. ... Click to View


Michel Banbila: Tapu Sampler 2016 (Tapu Record)

Michel Banabila's excellent melodically experimental electroacoustic label Tapu in their 2016 double CD sampler, with tracks from Banabila, Asid & Banabila, Banabila & Van Geel, Banabila & Machinefabriek, Banabila & Erker, and Banabila, Erker, Samson. ... Click to View


Tellef Ogrim / Anders Berg: Kume (SImlas)

The second album from the duo collaboration of acoustic and electric bassist Anders Berg and guitarist Tellef Ogrim on fretted and unfretted standard and bariton guitars, a Hadron Particle synthesizer, and other instruments, merging rock, jazz and other groove oriented styles. ... Click to View


Keiko Higuchi: Between Dream And Haze (Improvising Beings)

Free jazz vocal improvisation from Keiki Higuchi in a quartet with drummer Tatsuya Nakatani, bassist Luis Inage, and guitarist Masami Kawaguchi, creating an hallucinatory sound of unusual techniques and hazy vocal implications, revealing layers with each listen. ... Click to View


Jad Fair / Strobe Talbot: Hunger (Music a la Coque)

Jad Fair, vocalist and mastermind of Half Japanese, with the band Strobe Talbot (Nick Hobbs, Beng Gallaher, Andy Fisher), in a 33 rpm postcard flexi record of a song titled "Hunger", in a limited and numbered edition of 250 copies with artwork from Jad Fair himself. ... Click to View


Ensemble SuperMusique: Les accords intuitifs (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Montreal's most creative large ensemble, led by Joane Hetu & Daniell Palardy Roger, in their 5th release presenting works composed between 1976-2015 featuring twenty musicians playing in different combinations, showing the creative breadth and skills of this amazing band. ... Click to View


The Disguises (Thomson / Caloia / Charuest / Hood / Tanguay): Songs 7 Dances from The Muted Note (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Eleven songs by Montreal trombonist Scott Thomson settings of poems by P.K. Page (1916-2010), one of Canada's distinguished literary figures in a band with Pierre Tanguay on drums, Yves Charuest on sax, Nicolas Caloia on double bass, and Susanna Hood on vocals. ... Click to View


Otomo Yoshihide : Guitar Solo 2015 RIGHT (Doubtmusic)

The complement to his "Guitar Solo "RIGHT", Otomo Yoshihide recorded 123 structured guitar improvisations on Masayuki Takayanagi's 1963 Gibson, then gave them to Akihiko Matsumoto who fed them into software he developed to play them back using a set of intelligent rules. ... Click to View


Roger Turner / Otomo Yoshihide: Live at SuperDeluxe (Doubtmusic)

UK free improvising percussionist Roger Turner in a duo with Japanese creative improviser Otomo Yoshihide on guitar, performing live at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe in 2015, two sets of dynamic and demanding improvisation, from near silent to driving rhythm and noise. ... Click to View


Roger Turner / Satoh Masahiko / Otomo Yoshihide: Live at Hall Egg Farm (Doubtmusic)

During legendary UK free improvising drummer Roger Turner's 2015 tour of Japan he met with guitarist Otomo Yoshihide and pianist Satoh Masahiko to record this monumental and astounding 66 minute improvisation at Fukaya City's Hall Egg Farm. ... Click to View


Junji Hirose / Kazuhisa Uchihashi: Saxophonedaxophone (Doubtmusic)

Saxophonist Junji Hirose met Kazuhisa Uchihashi at Foxhole in Kichijoji in 2014 and 2015, Uchihashi performing only on Hans Reichel's daxophone--wood shapes played in a variety of ways to create unusual sound--as heard on these 10 surprising and wonderfully idiosyncratic recordings. ... Click to View


MILESDAVISQUINTET!: Shapin' With (BeCoq)

The French trio of Xavier Camarasa on piano, Valentin Ceccaldi on cello, and Sylvain Darrifourcq on percussion, having little to do with Mile Davis, but instead a creative band using timbral changes, intensity, density, volume to create unique improv environments. ... Click to View


Silke Rollig / Burton Greene: Space Is Still The Place (Improvising Beings)

New York free jazz pianist Burton Greene and free jazz vocalist Silke Rollig recorded these thirteen improvisations at The Loft in Koln, Germany in 2013, a mix of lyrical free playing with scat and freeform vocals, accompanied by flute, and by sax, on one piece each. ... Click to View


Ute Wassermann / Birgit Ulher: Radio Tweet (Creative Sources)

The long-standing duo of trumpeter Birgit Uhler, also on radio, speaker & objects, and free improvising vocalist Ute Wasserman, in an album of 8 unbelievable improvisations of a unique and sometimes bizarre character, holding one's attention from its outlandish nature--superb! ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Dorner / Torres / Fragenheim: Nor (Creative Sources)

The freely improvising quartet of Ernesto Rodrigues, Axel Dorner, Nuno Torres and Alexander Frangenheim recorded this beautiful album of dark sound in Germany in 2014, 3 movements of understated dialog using unexpected techniques in a subtle dialog. ... Click to View


Vorfeld / Scott / Gratkowski: Sieben Entruckte Lieder (Creative Sources)

The trio of Frank Gratkowski on clarinets and alto sax, Michael Vorfeld on percussion, and Richard Scott on modular synthesizer, also known as Spectre, freely improvising in dramatic and generally reserved ways, intently focusing on sound and interchange. ... Click to View


Fred Frith / Darren Johnston: Everybody's Somebody's Nobody (Clean Feed)

Bay Area trumpeter Darren Johnston meets improvising guitar legend Fred Frith for an incredibly well-paced series of duos, remarkable improv that uses space, skill, extended techniques and unexpected approaches to both instruments in vivid and beautiful discourse. ... Click to View


Harris Eisenstadt : Old Growth Forest (Clean Feed)

New York drummer Harris Eisenstadt revives his trio with trombonist Jeb Bishop and bassist Jason Roebke, adding tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, recording in the studio after two concerts at John Zorn's venue The Stone in 2015, heard in here in momentous and heartfelt jazz. ... Click to View


Dre Hocevar : Collective Effervescence (Clean Feed)

Freely improvised collective with an electroacoustic inclination and chamber music reserve from the quintet of Dre Hoceva (drums), Bran De Looze (piano), Lester St. Louis (cello), Chris Pitsiokos (sax) and Philip White (electronics & signal processing). ... Click to View


Renku: Live in Greenwich Village (Clean Feed)

A live recording at Greenwich House Music School in New York City in 2014, and the 3rd album from the Renku trio of Michael Attias on alto sax, John Hebert on double bass, and Satoshi Takeishi on drums, lyrical and intimate trio work from three masterful players. ... Click to View


Protean Reality: Protean Reality (Clean Feed)

Hard driving free jazz and hard bop from the German trio of Chris Pitsioko on alto sax, Noah Punkt on electric bass, and Philipp Scholz on drums and percussion, referencing the past with their foot clearly in the present through propulsive and creatively heavy playing. ... Click to View


Left Exit (Feat Michael Duch / Klaus Holm): Mr. K [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

This progressive/folk/jazz/improv/experimental/psych quartet from Norway covers a diverse set of approaches to improvisation, from textural, minimalistic and radically abstract, like something AMM would play, to the use of graphic and written notation. ... Click to View


This Heat: This Heat [VINYL REISSUE] (Light in the Attic)

An impressive and unprecedented achievement in rock composition, This Heat's first album blends sonic work with avant rock, drawing liberally from no wave, punk, progressive, and more, influencing a generation and producing some of rock and improvs finest players. ... 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.



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