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Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne: Forage (Screwgun)

Pianist Matt Mitchell, a member of saxophonist Tim Berne's Snakeoil, releases a solo album of Berne compositions, taking the reedist's typically frenetic material into unexpected territory, revealing dark beauty and intensely introspective aspects to Berne's music. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Karl Berger / Gerald Cleaver: The Art Of The Impov Trio Volume 1 (Leo)

Saxophonist Ivo Perelman is the anchor for the 6 volumes of "The Art of the Improv Trio", here with Karl Berger on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums in a lyrical album that flows with grace and thoughfulness, from ballad introspection to uptempo excitement, an impressive start to the series. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Mat Maneri / Whit Dickey: The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 2 (Leo)

The second volume of New York/Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman's 6-part series "The Art of the Improv Trio" is the most unique of the set, with Mat Maneri on viola and Whit Dickey on drums for a series of thirteen shorter and more intricate works of great range and diversity. ... Click to View


Trouble Kaze (Fujii / Agnel / Tamura / Pruvost / Lasserre / Orins): June (Helix Circum-Disc)

Drummer Peter Orins expands the Kaze quartet of trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost and pianist Satoko Fujii, with a second drummmer--Didier Lasserre--and a second pianist--Sophie Agnel--for a live recording of a 5-part suite of magnificently epic collective improv. ... Click to View


Nuova Camerata : Chant (Improvising Beings)

Lisbon's Nuova Camerata brings together a mix of improvisers and contemporary classical players--Carlos Zingaro, Joao Camoes, Ulrich Mitzlaff, Miguel Leiria on string with Pedro Carneiro on marimba--for a set of improvisations bridging both disciplines in passionate and unexpected ways. ... Click to View


MarsaFouty (Jean-Luc Foussat / Fred Marty): Concerts (Fou Records)

Synth improviser Jean-Marc Foussat and double bassist Fred Marty join their names and playing together for an absolutely impressive album of exploratory improv, Foussat taking their music into hallucinatory territories while Marty provides both a solid anchors and flights of textural nuance; supberb. ... Click to View


John Cage : Cartridge Music (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A 2003 recording from The Ensemble Daswirdas performing John Cage's 1960 composition "Cartridge Music", described as: "For amplified small sounds; also amplified piano or cymbal; any number of players and loudspeakers; parts to be prepared from score by performers." ... Click to View


Luigi Nono / Jurg Frey: Works For Violin Duos (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two works from two distinctive composers from different periods--Jurg Frey and Luigi Nono--both for two violins, Frey using the two violins in parallel to emphasize their distinction; Nono using powerful gestures of divergence and contrast in a dream-like duo. ... Click to View


Luke Martin: So Softly That It Came, A Wild Dim Chatter, Meaningless (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Luke Martin began this work with a field recording at Mentryville Park in Southern California, which was transcribed by himself and Amy Golden, Ben Levinson, Davy Sumner, and Ryan Gaston using Martin's system of notating silence, then combined into the final score for this recording. ... Click to View


I Am Three (Eberhard / Neuser / Marien): Mingus Mingus Mingus (Leo)

Saxophonist Silke Eberhard leads her trio with Nikolaus Neuser on trumpet and Christian Marien on drums, through a distillation of well known and lesser known Mingus tunes, restricting each tune to its essence in 3-4 minute renderings focusing on Mingus' compositional strength. ... Click to View


Simon Nabatov: Monk 'N' More (Leo)

Pianist Simon Nabatov plays the music of Thelonious Monk in a live concert from 1995, alternating those recordings with a 2013 concert of solo electroacoustic work, an unusual approach that focuses the melodic aspects of Monk while highlighting his eccentricity and intrepidity ... Click to View


Trio Kimmig (Kimmig / Studer / Zimmerline / John Butcher): Raw (Leo)

The Swiss string trio led by violinist Harald Kimmig, with Daniel Studer on bass and Alfred Zimmerlin on cello, is joined by UK saxophonist John Butcher for a set of improvisations that build with a unique percussive vitality and burning intensity. ... Click to View


John Zorn: The Garden Of Earthly Delights (Tzadik)

Composer John Zorn's Simulacrum ensemble of Trevor Dunn (bass), John Medeski (keyboards), Kenny Grohowski (drums), Matt Hollenberg (guitar), and Sara Serpa (voice) in their 6th album of heavy improv, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the passing of painter Hieronymus Bosch. ... Click to View


Jack Wright / Roughhousing: You Haven't Heard This Yet (Spring Garden Music)

The trio of Jack Wright on sax, Evan Lipson on double bass, and Zachary Darrup on guitar and objects, from a long history of camaraderie have developed a rough-neck style of interacting, here in long recording, released with 7 solo sax recordings from Wright. ... Click to View


Harris Eisenstadt : Recent Developments (Songlines)

NY Composer and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt furthers his exploration into long-form composition and unusual instrumentation in his 20th release as a bandleader, with a spectacular improv ensemble including Nate Wooley, Jeb Bishop, Han Roberts, Anna Webber, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Jean-Marc Foussat / Sylvain Guerineau / Joe McPhee: Quod (Fou Records)

Experimental improvisation from three masterful players --Joe McPhee on soprano sax, Sylvain Guerineau on tenor saxophone, and Jean-Marc Foussat on synthesizer and voice--recording in France in 2010 for two extended works of concentrated and diverse dialog. ... Click to View


Derek Bailey / Joelle Leandre / George Lewis / Evan Parker : 28 Rue Dunois Juillet 1982 (Fou Records)

A superb encounter from France in 1928 between four masters in a fertile and creative period: Derek Bailey (guitar), Joelle Leandre (double bass), George Lewis (trombone), and Evan Parker (saxophone), each bringing incredible experience to their enduring collective music. ... Click to View


Cecile & Jean-Luc Cappozzo: Soul Eyes (Fou Records)

A delicate album of melodic free playing from trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo and his partner Cecile Cappozzon piano, covering the work of Charles Mingus ("Pithecantropus Erectus", "Goodbye Porkpie Hat") and Mal Waldron ("No More Tears," "The Seagulls of Kristiansund"). ... Click to View


Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink (w/ Albert Mangelsdorff): Elements [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

In 1971 the quartet of Peter Brotzmann on tenor sax, Fred Van Hove on piano, Han Bennink on drums, and Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone took the stage at The Free Music Market in Berlin to perform this aggressive and informed album of prime European Free Improvisation. ... Click to View


Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink (w/ Albert Mangelsdorff): Couscouss de la Mauresque [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

The early 70s trio of tenor saxophonist Peter Brotzmann with Fred Van Hove on piano, Han Bennink on drums is joined by trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff for a live recording at Free Music Market, in Berlin for two extended and fiery improvisations of incredible skill and drive. ... Click to View


Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink (w/ Albert Mangelsdorff): The End [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

The final portion of the live recording at Free Music Market, in Berlin in 1970 from the trio of tenor saxophonist Peter Brotzmann with Fred Van Hove on piano, Han Bennink on drums, and joined by trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff for three extended and fiery improvisations ... Click to View


DEK Trio (Ken Vandermark / Elisabeth Harnik / Didi Kern): Burning Below Zero (Trost Records)

One of Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark's regular trios while in Austria, DEK is named for the letters of the 1st name of Vandermark, drummer Didi Kern and pianist Elisabeth Harnik, drawing inspiration from free improv, free rock, & cross-media projects of each member. ... Click to View


Johannes Bauer / Peter Brotzmann: Blue City (Live At Blue City Osaka / Japan 16. October 1997) (Trost Records)

Powerful and diverse duo recordings between trombonist Johannes Bauer and Peter Brotzmann on tenor & alto saxophone, Tarogato, & clarinet, recorded in Osaka, Japan in 1997, released as a tribute to Bauer, who passed away in 2016, part of Brotzmann's archive of unreleased material. ... Click to View


Michel Banabila : Sound Years [VINYL] (Tapu Record)

A captivating compilation from electronic composer Michel Banabila recorded between 2005-2016, a combination of studio, live and theatre recordings remixed into two continuous tracks of sound, with collaborations including Oene Van Geel and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek). ... Click to View


Liederkreis (Judith Berkson): Liederkreis [VINYL] (B. Walter Recordings)

NYC vocalist, composer and keyboardist Judith Berkson in the debut album for her one-woman band Liederkreis (translating to "song-cycle", a reference to Schumann), taking a sharp turn from previous work through experimental synth, voice and effects in unique and often aberrant ways. ... Click to View


Rotozaza (Hein / Mahall / Melbye / Lillinger): Zero (Leo)

The Berlin quartet of bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, Nicola L. Hein on guitar, Adam Pultz Melbye on bass and Christian Lillinger on drums, using traditional and extended techniques in spontaneous compositions that blend free jazz and sound improvisation in truly unique ways. ... Click to View


Ruins: Burning Stone [REISSUE] (Magaibutsu Limited)

Tatsuya Yoshida's insanely complex and exhilarating rock project Ruins started around 1986, and bassist Ryuichi Masuda (also a member of Koenji Hyakkei) has been with him since the early days; this CD reissues the 1992 Shimmy Disc album, originally an LP, here with the CD bonus tracks. ... Click to View


Kazuhisa Uchihashi / Richard Scott: Awesome Entities (Doubtmusic)

Japanese guitarist and daxophone player Kazuhisa Uchihashi joins forces with Berlin-based composer and free improvising analogue modular synthesizer player Richard Scott for an album of unique orchestration, the daxophone "humanizing" the playing with unusual voicing. ... Click to View


Henry Cow: Vol. 1: Beginnings (Recommended Records)

Part of the Henry Cow boxset, now available for individual purchase, compiled from live recordings, radio transcription, or early recordings, remastered and presented to give a complete look at the history of Henry Cow. ... Click to View


Henry Cow: Vol. 2: 1974-5 (Recommended Records)

Part of the Henry Cow boxset, now available for individual purchase, compiled from live recordings, radio transcription, or early recordings, remastered and presented to give a complete look at the history of Henry Cow. ... Click to View


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  AECO: Fifth Decade  

Time wins every time. The clock eventually beats the best of us, even those who seem to exist outside of it. Malachi Favors Maghoustut was one such man. He claimed to be 43,000 years old. He claimed at one point actually to be getting younger. We might have smiled, but at the same time we knew that if anyone could pull it off...

But the strong, stoic bassist of the venerable Art Ensemble of Chicago succumbed on January 30, after what had already been a hard few years for the mighty AECO. Before losing their bassist, trumpeter Lester Bowie passed away, and not long before that saxophonist Joseph Jarman had left the gold to devote himself to Buddhist studies. Over the last decade, they put out some of their weakest, and some fine but roundly ignored, records. With Jarman returning between the deaths of Bowie and Favors, the band missed its chance to be the original quintet, and couldn't seem to get off shaky ground.

Still - or maybe because of that - it was unnerving when the line-up for their weeklong stint at Iridium was announced. The weeklong stint at the upscale midtown Manhattan club was booked prior to Favors' death, and the thought of replacement members seemed an affront. They'd tried bringing in new members after Bowie's death - Chicago saxophonists Fred Anderson and Ari Brown both gigged with the group - but settled into the fine Favors/Roscoe Mitchell/Famadou Don Moye trio that recorded the excellent Tribute to Lester for ECM. And while there's something not just appropriate (the band hadn't added a member since Moye joined in 1969) but intriguing about the Art Ensemble as a twin-sax trio, there was something inspiring about seeing them as a full quintet again.

With members borrowed from Mitchell's Note Factory - bassist Jaribu Shahid and the talented young trumpeter Cory Wilkes - the group was confident and strong for the Iridium gigs. They weren't the same band, but they have been at least four different bands over the years, even when their membership wasn't in flux. They ended the opening night with Jarman alone onstage, singing a cappella "This music comes to you/With love/The sound is the sound of life." Malachi Favors was the ancient, but certainly wouldn't have stood in the way of the future.




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reviews about releases
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Trouble Kaze (
Fujii /
Agnel /
Tamura /
Pruvost /
Lasserre /
Orins):
June
(Helix Circum-Disc)



MarsaFouty (
Jean-Luc Foussat /
Fred Marty):
Concerts
(Fou Records)



Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne:
Forage
(Screwgun)



I Am Three (
Eberhard /
Neuser /
Marien):
Mingus Mingus Mingus
(Leo)



Simon Nabatov:
Monk 'N' More
(Leo)



Derek Bailey /
Joelle Leandre /
George Lewis /
Evan Parker :
28 Rue Dunois
Juillet 1982
(Fou Records)



Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Bennink (
w/ Albert Mangelsdorff):
The End
[VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)



Michel Banabila :
Sound Years
[VINYL]
(Tapu Record)



Harris Eisenstadt :
Recent Developments
(Songlines)



Johannes Bauer /
Peter Brotzmann:
Blue City (
Live At
Blue City Osaka /
Japan 16.
October 1997)
(Trost Records)



Will Guthrie:
People Pleaser
[VINYL]
(Black Truffle)



Bucher /
Tan /
Countryman:
Acceptance - Resistance
(Improvising Beings)



Ruins:
Burning Stone
[REISSUE]
(Magaibutsu Limited)



Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Bennink (
w/ Albert Mangelsdorff):
Couscouss de
la Mauresque
[VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)



Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Bennink (
w/ Albert Mangelsdorff):
Elements
[VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)



Neukollner (
Denzler /
von Schlippenbach /
Grip /
Johansson):
Sektion 3-7
[2 CDs]
(Umlaut Records)



Jean-Marc Foussat :
L'oiseau
(Fou Records)



Michael Pisaro (
w/ Didier Aschour /
Stephane Garin):
Resting in
a Fold of
the Fog
(Potlatch)



Jean-Marc Foussat :
L'oiseau
[VINYL]
(Fou Records)



Sylvain Guerineau /
Kent Carter /
Itaru Oki /
Makoto Sato:
D'Une Rive A L'Autre
(Improvising Beings)







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