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Robert Dick : Our Cells Know (Tzadik)

Using multiphonics, percussive effects, circular breathing and other extended approaches to the contrabass flute, composer/performer/improviser Robert Dick releases a mesmerizing album of improvisations, breaking new terrain by letting the largest of flutes lead his muse. ... Click to View


John Zorn : The Mockingbird (Tzadik)

John Zorn's Gnostic Trio of Bill Frisell on guitar, Carol Emanuel on harp and Kenny Wollesen on vibes and chimes, perform Zorn's compositions inspired by the classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" in lyrical chamber jazz of great depth and nuance. ... Click to View


Jacob Bandolin do : Great Jewish Music (Tzadik)

A tribute to Jacob do Bandolim, one of the founders of the Brazilian instrumental style choro in the 30's and 40's, in compositions from Tzadik artists Davka, Cyro Baptista, Carla Kihlstedt, Jon Madof, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, Ben Perowsky, Rob Burger, Jamie Saft, &c. ... Click to View


Smith Quartet with John Tilbury: Morton Feldman: Music for Piano and Strings Volume 3 [DVD-AUDIO] (Matchless)

Recorded live at the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music in 2006, this is the 3rd and final volume of works by Morton Feldman performed by the Smith Quartet with John Tilbury on piano, recorded in high quality DVD audio and with extensive liner notes by Tilbury. ... Click to View


Dave Douglas High Risk: Dark Territory (Greenleaf Music)

Electronic-inspired ensemble High Risk with Dave Doublas on trumpet, Jonathan Maron on bass, Mark Guiliana on drums and Shigeto on electronics, exploring the intersection of creative improvisation and modern electronic music production in persuasively rhythmic music. ... Click to View


Universal Indians w/ Joe McPhee: Skullduggery [VINYL 2 LPs] (Clean Feed)

The free improvising trio of John Dikeman on sax, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums, invites Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto sax for a release of rugged free improv using unorthodox approaches and amazing dexterity in their playing. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Yamauchi / Santos: The Presence Of Air Particles Ignited By Memory (Creative Sources)

Temarkably detailed, slowly moving improvisation from the trio of Katsura Yamauchi on alto sax, Carlos Santos on electronics, and Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, harp and objects, a beautiful balance of acoustic and electronic sound in intensely concentrated music. ... Click to View


Johannes Nastesjo / Vasco Trilla: Ginkgo (Creative Sources)

The duo of Johannes Nastesjo on double bass and Vasco Trilla on drums and percussion, an album of extended techniques and unexpected devising, using quietly agressive techniques balanced by concentrative improv to create unexpected eruptions and unusual sonic environments. ... Click to View


Fridolin Blumer : Camping; Cafe Bar (Creative Sources)

A solid solo outing from Zurich-based double bassist Friodlin, presenting his 4-part "Camping; Cafe Bar" work, blending the jazz idiom with discursive asides and unusual techniques, plus a lovely and appropriately titled work "But Beautiful". ... Click to View


Miimo: Miimo 4 (Amorfon)

Using bass, drums, steelpan, electronics and programming, the trio of Tatsu, Norihide Saji and Amorfon label leader Yoshio Machida create a "pulse dub" album of polyrhythms and phase, producing warm, complex and embraceable music that includes a cover of Bjork's "Hyperballad". ... Click to View


Tony Marsh / Chefa Alonso: Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9) (Emanem)

During her stay in London from 2004-2008, saxophonist Chefa Alonso developed a rewarding duo with percussionist Tony Marsh of great technical and musical value, as heard on these excellent recordings from Red Rose and Ryan's Bar in London, and Matadero in Huesca, Spain. ... Click to View


Spontaneous Music Ensemble: Withdrawal (1966/7)[REISSUE] (Emanem)

Featuring the earliest published recordings of Barry Guy & Evan Parker, percussionist John Steven's presents transitional sextet and septet performances of his groundbreaking free improv group from 1966 & '67 with Trevor Watts, Paul Rutherford, Kenny Wheeler, and Derek Bailey. ... Click to View


Duck Baker : Outside (1977-83) (Emanem)

Fingerstyle guitarist Duck Baker was influenced by Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor, recording these solo original improvisations plus 2 Ornette Coleman pieces from '77-'83 in London, Torino & Calgary, plus 2 duos with guitar madman Eugene Chadbourne. ... Click to View


Kent Carter: Oratorios and Songs (2010) (Emanem)

The Riviere Ensemble led by bassist Kent Carter with Christiane Bopp (trombone), Albrecht Maurer (violin), Katrin Mickiewicz (viola) and Laura Tejeda Martin (mezzo soprano) recording original works in historic churches in France, blending classical, jazz, free improv & traditional musics. ... Click to View


Anker / Lonberg-Holm & Jackson / Serries: Two Duos [CASSETTE with download] (Astral Spirits)

Two aspects of reed & string duos, side A presents Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm with Danish/NY saxophonist Lotte Anker in 4 free improvisations of unusual technique; side B is UK saxophonist Dave Jackson & Dirk Serries on electric guitar for an extended improv live at Cafe Oto. ... Click to View


Chatoyant: Place Of Other Destination [CASSETTE w/ download] (Astral Spirits)

With members of Wolf Eyes and Volebeats, Crime and the City Solution, &c. this Detroit quartet blends acoustic and electronic instruments in spontaneous composition with a rock aesthetics, a dark fusion of sound that plays both burning improv and mysterious soundscape. ... Click to View


Black Spirituals: Black Tape [CASSETTE with download] (Astral Spirits)

The duo of Zachary James Watkins on guitar and electroncis and Marshall Trammell on drums in a dark album of distorted riffs and heavy polyrhythmic drumming, free playing that demands attention while entrancing the listener in gritty sound. ... Click to View


In Love With (Ceccaldi / Ceccaldi / Darrifourcq): Axel Erotic (BeCoq)

The French experimental jazz trio of Theo Ceccaldi (violin), Valentin Ceccaldi (cello) and Sylvain Darrifourcq (drums, percussuions, zither) in a playful release of quick paced, creative improvisations in an album of exciting and somewhat off-kilter music; superbe! ... Click to View


Louis Minus XVI : Kindergarten (BeCoq)

Joining noise rock and free jazz, the Louis Minus XVI quartet is fronted by two saxophonists--Adrien Douliez on alto and Jean Baptiste Rubin on tenor--with Maxime Petit on bass and Frederic L'homme on drums, in a balanced album of powerful and introspective compositions. ... Click to View


Bi-Ki?: Quelque Chose Au Milieu (BeCoq)

The alto sax duet of Jean-Baptiste Rubin and Sakina Abdou sculpt sound material that draws on the acoustic resources of the space within which they play, captured here in various locations in Northern France by the keen ear of saxophonist/conceptualist Jean-Luc Guionnet. ... Click to View


Michael Moser: Antiphon Stein [2 Vinyl LPs] (Edition Rz)

A site-specific sound installation in the nave and choir of Minoritenkirche in Krems/Stein that engages with the architecture and sound of this church space from composer Michael Moser working with Berndt Thurner, Klaus Lang, Hannah Schwegler and Nik Hummer. ... Click to View


Ghedalia Tazartes : 5 Rimbaud 1 Verlaine [VINYL 10-inch] (Holidays Records)

A 10" vinyl reissue of outside artist Ghedalia Tazartes' tribute to the poetry of Rimbaud and Verlaine, reinterpreting six small poems through a variety of genres that are playful and profound, previously available only in a small mini CD edition on the Jardin au Fou label. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann / William Parker / Hamid Drake: Song Sentimentale (Otoroku)

One of a dual CD/LP release documenting three nights at London's Cafe Oto by the trio of Peter Brotzmann on reeds, William Parker on double bass, guembri, shakuhachi, and shenai, and Hamid Drake on drums, an incredible display of improvised music from three masters of the form. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann / William Parker / Hamid Drake: Song Sentimentale [VINYL] (Otoroku)

One of a dual CD/LP release documenting three nights at London's Cafe Oto by the trio of Peter Brotzmann on reeds, William Parker on double bass, guembri, shakuhachi, and shenai, and Hamid Drake on drums, an incredible display of improvised music from three masters of the form. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall / Philip Gibbs / Ashley John Young: Now Has No Dimension (FMR)

Live recordings from the trio of Paul Dunmall on soprano and tenor sax, Philip Gibbs on guitar, and Ashley John Young on double bass, performing at Cardiff University School of Music Concert Hall in 2016, a great example of concentrative, complex and lively interplay. ... Click to View


Frode Gjerstad / Ramiro Molina: Unseen Seas (FMR)

Frode Gjerstad returned to Chile after his 2013 Trio tour to meet with guitarist Ramiro Molina, both to sample the amazing fish recipes Molina introduced him to, but more importantly, to perform live and to record these delicate and sophisticated improvisations. ... Click to View


Luis Conde / Fabiana Galante / Frode Gjerstad: Give And Take (FMR)

During multi-reedist Frode Gjerstad's tour of South America in 2015 he met with pianist Fabiana Galante and fellow reedist Luis Conde to record these excellent improvisations, all three using unusual and extended techniques to create these 8 captivating dialogs. ... Click to View


Stefan Keune / Lovens, Paul: Live 2013 (FMR)

Working together in various ensembles since the early 90s, Stefan Keune on sopranino, alto and baritone saxophone and Paul Lovens on drums and cymbals captured these three extraordinary improvisation in the studio in Brussels, Belgium and live Munich Underground in Germany. ... Click to View


Trevor Watts / Stephen Grew: Con Fluent (FMR)

Saxophonist Trevor Watts and pianist Stephen Grew improvised these pieces at a distance, Grew sending recordings of two separate solo concerts from Newcastle, which Watts improvised over resulting in these intricate and exuberant "Improvised Compositions". ... Click to View


Rob Hall / Chick Lyall: Myth (FMR)

A lyrical and sincere dialog from the Scottish duo of Rob Hall on clarinets and Chick Lyall on piano, recoreded at the chapel in St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh, blending improvisation with chamber music, free jazz, contemporary classical and folk idioms. ... 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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