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Detail: Stevens / Pedersen / Gjerstad: First Detail [VINYL + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad started the forward thinking free improv group Detail in 1981 with Eivin One Pederson on keys and SME legend, drummer John Stevens; this live recorrding of the original lineup is a fantastic document of the roots of this important band. ... Click to View


Trevor Wishart: Red Bird: A Political Prisoner's Dream [VINYL] (Sub Rosa)

A reissue of Trevor Wishart's 1978 release on the York Electronic Studios, exploring the interpolation by technological means between the human voice and natural sounds, in this work examing four classes of sounds: birds; animal and body sounds; machines; and words. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke: Behold [VINYL] (Editions Mego)

The second collaborative release from Oren Ambarchi and Jim O'Rourke, Ambarchi on guitar and drums and O'Rourke on synth and piano, recording in Tokyo between 2012 and 2013, for two side long works that use subtle minimalism and building structures of sound. ... Click to View


Spunk: Adventura Botanica (Rune Grammofon)

Norwegian quartet SPUNK joins forces with modern dance exponent Odd Johan Fritzoe to create a sound and movement work celebrating Darwin's trip to Madagascar where he developed the theories of evolution, heard here in a studio recordings. ... Click to View


Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: Bonita [VINYL + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

Norwegian free vocalist Sidsel Endresen and guitarist Stian Westerhus expand on their concert recording "Didymoi Dreams" by taking their concepts into the studio for a live all-improvised set of recordings of unique, unusual, edgy, and telepathic music. ... Click to View


Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: Bonita (Rune Grammofon)

Norwegian free vocalist Sidsel Endresen and guitarist Stian Westerhus expand on their concert recording "Didymoi Dreams" by taking their concepts into the studio for a live all-improvised set of recordings of unique, unusual, edgy, and telepathic music. ... Click to View


Albatrosh: Night Owl (Rune Grammofon)

The young Norwegian jazz duo of pianist Eyolf Dale and saxophonist and clarinetist Andre Roligheten, who have played together since meeting in 2006 at the age of 17, in their 5th album, a wonderfully upbeat set of original compositions that push both players while delighting listeners. ... Click to View


Albatrosh: Night Owl [VINYL + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

The young Norwegian jazz duo of pianist Eyolf Dale and saxophonist and clarinetist Andre Roligheten, who have played together since meeting in 2006 at the age of 17, in their 5th album, a wonderfully upbeat set of original compositions that push both players while delighting listeners. ... Click to View


Motorpsycho: Demon Box [4 CD/DVD BOX] (Rune Grammofon)

Motorpsycho's breakthrough 1993 2 LP album on the Norwegian Voices of Wonder label is reissued as a quality 4 disc box set: 2 CDs with the original album in its entirety; a CD of the 2 following EPs ("Mountain" & "Another Ugly"); a CD of outtakes; and a live DVD. ... Click to View


Thanos Chrysakis / Chris Cundy / James O'Sullivan: Asphodels Abide (Aural Terrains)

Sophisticated and interactive electroacoustic improvisation from the trio of Chris Cundy on bass clarinet, James O'Sullivan on guitar, and Aural Terrains label leader Thanos Chrysakis on laptop, synth and radio, performing the six part "Asphodels Abide". ... Click to View


Machinefabriek: Loos (self-released)

A live performance at Ephemere, Studio Loos in The Netherlands from Rutger Zuydervelt, AKA Machinefabriek, in a set that mixes his sources with recordings from the room, creating a dynamic and vibrant recording that ranges from subtle near-silence to thick electronic excitement. ... Click to View


Nickolas Mohanna : Phase Line (Run/Off Editions)

Digital sound processing oscillating through a variety of media saturated sources including electronic billboards, kiosk stations, traffic control devices and other city environments, knotted into sculptural arpeggiation by sound artists Nickolas Mohanna. ... Click to View


Chris Dadge: Pith [3-inch CDR] (Bug Incision Records)

Bug Incision label leader Chris Dadge steps away from his drums for a live performance at Pith Gallery in Calgary, using field recordings and amplified objects to create intriguing and compelling environments of concrete sound, tinted from a percussionist's perspective. ... Click to View


Chris Dadge : Bin 15 [3-inch CDR] (Bug Incision Records)

Percussionist Chris Dadge recorded these two drones using amplified cymbals, violin, and snare drum inside a replica of a Saskatchewan-prairies-style grain silo erected by artist Mark Lowe at the 2011 Calgary Folk Festival. ... Click to View


Benoit Hughes: Crescent Road [3-inch CDR] (Bug Incision Records)

Autodidact Benoit Hughes recorded these improvisations to a mini-disc recorder on auto-volume, adding unusual sonic qualities to inventive playing on the piano and half-clarinet, where the physical ambiance mixes with his unbridled machinations. ... Click to View


Roger Turner & Otomo Yoshihide: The Last Train (Fataka)

UK free improvising drummer Roger Turner meets Japanese guitarist Otomo Yoshihide at the Hara Museum, Tokyo in the winter of 2013 for a performance that balances introspective improvisation with assertive and authoritative playing for a captivating and dynamic album. ... Click to View


Harris Eisenstadt (w/ Moore, Schoenbeck, Dresser): Golden State II (Songlines)

Live recordings at the 2014 Vancouver International Jazz Festival from drummer Harris Eisenstadt's excellent and lyrical Golden State chamber jazz ensemble, here as a quartet with Michael Moore on clarinet, Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon, and Mark Dresser on bass. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Peter Brotzmann / Jim O'Rourke: Two City Blues PT 2 (Trost Records)

One of two sets recorded on one intense night at Tokyo's Shinjuku Pit Inn from the trio of Japanese improvised rock legend Haino Keiji, European Free Jazz saxophone master Peter Brotzmann, and versatile American composer and musician Jim O'Rourke. ... Click to View


Mattin : Songbook #5 (Disembraining Machine )

Mattin takes 5 spontaneous 5-minute songs from 5 musicians, and a 25 minute concert structured by 5 instructions based on those song titles, then records vocals for the 5 songs as a singing lecture, then superimposes all 3 to create the five 5-minutes songs on this album. ... Click to View


Hong-Kai Wang and Mattin: Collapsing Ourselves (Mount Analogue)

A unique album of self-aware conversation from Hong-Kai Wang and Mattin, who record themselves responding to their own dialog, addressing those responses to the audience and adding their reaction to the final recordings, creating an abstract spoken ambiance. ... Click to View


Sun Ra Arkestra, The: Live in Nickelsdorf 1984 [VINYL 4 LP BOX] (Trost Records)

A sturdy 4 LP box set documenting Sun Ra's 1984 European Tour, here performing live in Nickelsdorf, Germany at Jazzgalerie, for an ebullient set of Sun Ra originals and standards with the Arkestra including John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, Danny Ray Thompson, Eloe Taylor, James Jackson, &c &c. ... Click to View


John Zorn: John Zorn's Olympiad The Early Game Pieces (Tzadik)

New York electric guitar quartet Dither (Gyan Riley, Taylor Levine, Joshua Lopes, James Moore) initiate John Zorn's Olympiad series, recording Zorn's early pre-Cobra game pieces "Fencing", Curling", and "Hockey". ... Click to View


Hypercolor: (Tzadik)

Eyal Maoz, James Ilgenfritz, and Lukas Ligeti make up Hypercolor, the NYC-based spastic jazz-rock hybrid whose ridiculous artsong craftsmanship alternately revels in complexity or brazen simplicity, favoring entropy and near-disaster over order or tidiness. ... Click to View


John Zorn: The Hermetic Organ Vol. 3. - Pauls Hall, Huddersfield (Tzadik)

The third in John Zorn's solo organ is performed live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2013, performing with unusual sonorities, spectral experimentation, hypnotic moods and stirring melodies. ... Click to View


Mike Osborne: Dawn (Cuneiform)

British Sax legend Mike Osborne in his earliest surviving recording as a co-leader with John Surman from 1966, and in 1970 with the first known recordings of his trio with the South African rhythm team of Harry Miller and Louis Moholo. ... Click to View


Henry Kaiser & Ray Russell: The Celestial Squid (Cuneiform)

Legendary UK free-jazz guitarist Ray Russell meets California avant guitarist Henry Kaiser to explore celestial squids with drummers Weasel Walter & William Winant, bassists Michael Manring & Damon Smith, and saxophonists Steve Adams, Joshua Allen, Phillip Greenlief, and Aram Shelton. ... Click to View


Soft Machine: Switzerland 1974 [CD+DVD] (Cuneiform)

Innovative UK avant/jazz-rock band Soft Machine from their 1974 line up of Mike Ratledge on keys, Karl Jenkins on keys, Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Roy Babbington on bass, and John Marshall on drums, performing live at Congress Hall, in Montreaux, Switzerland. ... Click to View


Shoko Nagai (w/ Reynolds / Goldberger / Takeishi / Black): Taken Shadow (Animul)

Experimental electronics & improvisations from NY based composer/keyboardist Shoko Nagai, using multiple textures and an open sense of time to evoke rich aural environments, with the aid of Todd Reynolds (violin), Jonathan Goldberger (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (bass) & Jim Black (drums). ... Click to View


Kinya Sogawa: Playing Bamboo (Animul)

Kinya Sogawa is one of the most outstanding shakuhachi performers in Japan today, and is also one of Japan's finest shakuhachi makers, here in an album of masterful performance on one of his own instruments. ... Click to View


Loren Connors: My Brooklyn (Analogpath)

The story of New York City told through the guitar from Brooklyn guitarist Loren Connor, performing solo live at The Stone in January 2012, and at Brooklyn's Zebulon in February 2012, intensely personal and reflective work that well echoes this magnificent borough. ... Click to View


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  Steve Dollar 
  Jazz Guide to New York City  
  (The Little Bookroom) 

   review by Kurt Gottschalk
  2004-04-27
Steve Dollar: Jazz Guide to New York City (The Little Bookroom)

Steve Dollar is asking for it. Compiling a Let's Go-style compendium of places to hear live jazz in New York City is the kind of task which will leave you as dogged by people combing for mistakes and omissions as it will thankful tourists looking to find what lies beyond The Blue Note and The Village Vanguard. Surely as soon as you've written one thing down, something else will have changed, a downtown gallery will suddenly crop up with an interesting series of programs or some old reliable will give in to the pressure of catering to beer-swigging rockers.

Fact is, however, Dollar has done an admirable job in mapping the city, and the omissions are more than outweighed by his thorough reporting and easy prose. The little black book rounds up nearly 100 Manhattan venues and tracks down a handful in Brooklyn and Queens as well. No doubt he missed something in the Bronx and Staten Island - if only the occasional perfomance at The Bronx Museum of the Arts or the Snug Harbor Cultural Center - but for tourists trekking the usual routes or newbies interested in more context than Time Out has to offer, it's an excellent resource.

Dollar approached the project as more than a reference book. His writing is natural and entertaining, and he peppers the listings with bits of New York jazz lore. He provides a peek into where bassists go for strings, relates the story of Sonny Rollins on the Williamsburg Bridge and waxes briefly about subway musicians. He also gives some undeserved praise to the sound system at Iridium, strangely claims that "you won't find a more enjoyable place to see - and hear - live music" than Joe's Pub, and corrects the German grammar for the Neues Kabarett concert series at the Brecht Forum. (I was a cofounder of that series, but no hard feelings.) He dishes some attitude ("Intrusive waitrons, ill-mannered diners smacking and slurping, the piercing jangle of cutlery - everything exists to distract you from the performers, who might as well return to their long-forsaken Holiday Inn gig," he writes, without pointing fingers, of the ever-present dinner club), but what Dollar achieved is no small feat; he went to dozens of dark rooms with a saxophonist on one side and a bar on the other and found what made each distinct. It's a valuable little handbook, even though it will be out of date before Cab Calloway's 100th birthday.





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