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Parkins / Wooley / Westera / Vuletic: Fugitive Beautee (Ignoring Gravity Music)

Bojan Vuletic composed these works based on lines from Baudelaire's "Les fleurs du mal", a remarkable set of songs sung by Vera Westera over the excellent musicianship of Zeena Parkins on harp, Nate Wooley on trumpet, and Bojan Vuletic handling the odd instrument. ... Click to View


Jean-Marc Foussat / Les Autres: Alternative Oblique [4 CD Box Set] (Improvising Beings)

A 4 CD anthology released on Jean-Marc Foussat's 60th birthday, presenting an amazing diversity of material from 40 years of recording, including early experiments, the development of his unique language, through improv with Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Matthias Mahler, Joe McPhee, Paul Lovens, &c. ... Click to View


Hugues Vincent / John Cuny : Tagtraum (Improvising Beings)

Free improvising cellist Hugues Vincent and pianist John Cuny in a studio release of 9 subtle duos using space, time, unusual techniques, and intent listening to develop succinct, unique and sometimes curious dialogs of spontaneous skill. ... Click to View


Walabix invite Maris: Walabix invite Maris (BeCoq)

The French quartet or Quentin Biardeau on sax, Gabriel Lemaire on sax and clarinet, Valentin Ceccaldi on cello, Adrien Chennebault on drums and guest trumpeter Bart Maris in a set of composed, structured, and freely improvised pieces, with an ear to lyricism. ... Click to View


Hasse Poulsen / Tom Rainey: Open Fist (BeCoq)

New York Drummer Tom Rainey met French guitarist Hasse Poulsen to record this album of dynamic duos in the studio, building works that ebb and flow between aggressive sound and reflective harmony, an impressive display of technical, lyrical, and powerful playing. ... Click to View


Jean-Luc Guionnet / Thomas Bonvalet : Loges De Souffle (BeCoq)

Thomas Bonvalet takes the banjo into unusual territory with Jean-Luc Guionnet performing on the organ at the protestant temple of Bergerac, France, in a beautifully terrifying album recorded during the MONC cultural arts centre's festival of avant-garde culture in 2010. ... Click to View


Lo Flopper : Lo Flopper [CASSETTE] (Music a la Coque)

Experimental "childrens jazz" in a 2-sided cassette from this Italian septet, the first side a free-form structured live performance, the second an unusual set of experiments using toys, balloons, objects, synths over strange rhythms and sound - a fun and odd release. ... Click to View


The Wire: #383 January 2016 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

Rewind 2015: Records of the year charts plus opinion, analysis, musings and reflections; Invisible Jukebox: Gnod; Global Ear: Zagreb; Marc Baron; Inner Sleeve (Noveller on Sonic Youth's Goo videos); Collateral Damage: Ergo Phizmiz; plus reviews, articles, &c &c. ... Click to View


The Wire: #384 February 2016 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

On The Cover: Alan & Sir Richard Bishop; 22a Records; The Primer: This Heat And Beyond: A user's guide to the recordings and spin-off groups from Camberwell Now to Monkey Puzzle Trio; Breadwoman; ZA!; Bastard Assignments; Bizarre Rituals; Puce Mary; Josephine Foster; &c. &c. ... Click to View


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, an essential 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 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 in 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 Banabila : 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 baritone 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", 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 silence 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


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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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