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Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo + KAZE: Peace (Tribute To Kelly Churko) (Libra)

Pianist Satoko Fujii's Orchestra Toky + the band Kaze, bringing guests trumpeter Cristian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins alongside trumpeter Natsuki Tamura into a spectacular big band of great power but also subtle meditation, in four works that include a tribute to the late guitar and Fujii collaborator Kelly Churko. ... Click to View


Satoko Fujii : Invisible Hand [2 CDs] (Cortez Sound)

After bringing her band Kaze to the Cortez club in Mito, Japan, the owner asked pianist Satoko Fujii back to perform a solo show, captured here across two CDs showing her extensive technical skills and passionate approach to playing, in a mix of new work and new takes on previously recorded compositions. ... Click to View


The Thing: Garage [VINYL] (The Thing Records)

Heavy free jazz in the 3rd release from the trio of Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, covering an eclectic set of punk and free jazz titles including Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Sonics, White Stripes, Norman Howard and Brotzmann; thick and sick free improvisation. ... Click to View


Julius Hemphill : Raw Materials and Residuals [VINYL + CD] (Black Saint)

An essential 70s Black Saint album from New York saxophonist Julius Hemphill in a trio with Abdul Wadud on cello and Don Moey on percussion, merging blues, free jazz, free bop and inspired approaches to improvisation, reissued on vinyl LP with a CD copy included. ... Click to View


Sound American: The Cassette Issue tape: Featuring Nate Wooley [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Nate Wooley's Sound American online magazine presents a complete rehearsal of the trio of Philip White (electronics), Chris Pitsiokos (sax) and C. Spencer Yeh (violin), as they discuss their work and develop a piece entitled "Shredding Treatise"; and an interview by Nate Wooley of Baltimore music researcher, record producer, and writer Ian Nagoski. ... Click to View


Monas (Fisher / DeBlase / Millions): Freedom [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

With connections from both the free jazz and improvising rock scene, including Borbetomagus, Many Arms, Caribou, Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Zevious, &c, the trio of Colin Fisher (saxophone, guitar), Johnny DeBlase (electric bass) and Kid Millions (drums) debut their Monas project of intense, electronically spiked, free form improvisation. ... Click to View


Jerman / Barnes: Karst [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Experimental sound artists Jeph Jerman and Tim Barnes continue their exploration heard in their erstwhile and Confton releases, here in two new tracks recorded in Arizona and Louisville as they prepared for their 2016 performance at the No Idea Festival in Austin, TX. ... Click to View


Birchall / Smal / Webster: Drop Out [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Two sides of the London trio of David Birchall on guitar, Rogier Smal on drums, and Colin Webster on alto saxophone, bringing a bit of madness into very free improv, the first side an immersion in unflagging collective improvisation of great detail, the second side a bringing introspective dialog into an evolving collaborative free-for-all. ... Click to View


More Eaze / A.F. Jones & Steve Flato: Split Release [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

A split tape from Austin-based More Eaze (aka Marcus Rubio) and San Diego-based duo A.F. Jones and Steve Flato, More Eaze presenting a work of surprising twists, drone, and audio turns; Jones & Flato create an electronic composition of strange detail using a wide auditory palette encompassing the lowest to highest tones. ... Click to View


Marteau Rouge ‎ (Pauvros / Sato / Foussat): ... Un Jour Se Leve [VINYL] (Fou Records)

The free improvising trio of Makoto Sato on drums, Jean-Francois Pauvros on guitar and Jean-Marc Foussat on synthesizer & voice in a studio album of unique electro-acoustic dialog recorded in Paris in 2013. ... Click to View


Departement d'Education Psychique: Untitled [VINYL] (Fou Records)

The trio of Jean-Marc Foussat on synthesizer and voice, abd Dynamo Dreesen & SVN on electronics, crossing artists more associated with techno with free improvisation, here in their second release recorded live at Ohm in Berlin, Germany and at"Neues Deutchland" in 2016. ... Click to View


En Corps (Eve Risser / Benjamin Duboc / Edward Perraud): Generation (Dark Tree Records)

The 2nd album from En Corps, the improvising trio of Eve Risser on piano, Benjamin Duboc on double bass, and Edward Perraud on drums, was recorded live at Artacts 16 festival in St Johann, Austria in 2016, performing two building works--"Des Corps" and "Des Ames" (The Bodies, The Souls)--which evolve from intricate quiet interplay into rich harmonic interaction. ... Click to View


Anemone (John Butcher / Peter Evans / Frederic Blondy / Clayton Thomas / Paul Lovens): A Wing Dissolved in Light [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

A brilliant quintet brought together for the Tampere Jazz Happening, in Finland in 2013, with NY trumpeter Peter Evans, UK saxophonist John Butcher, Australian bassist Clayton Thomas, UK drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, and French pianist Frederic Blondy for a phenomenal extended improvisation presented in parts: "Une Aile Dissoute Dans La Lumiere". ... Click to View


Klaus Treuheit / Lou Grassi: Port of Call [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

An informed set of creative iprovisations recorded in the studio and drawing clearly from the traditional jazz idiom between German pianist Klaus Treuheit and NY drummer Lou Grassi, performing original 4-part compositions including the "Misterioso", "L'espace Sonore", and "Lament # Pb". ... Click to View


Paul Rutherford / Sabu Toyozumi: The Conscience [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

The 1st in a series of unreleased concerts from the 90s recorded in Japan by Chap-Chap Records, acquired by NoBusiness to bring them to light; this duo album brings the late and influential UK free improvising trombonist Paul Rutherford together with drummer Sabu Toyozumi for five far-ranging dialogs of both reflective and enthusiastical energetic playing. ... Click to View


Itaru Oki / Nobuyoshi Ino / Choi Sun Bae: Kami Fusen [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

An exciting and uniquely orchestrated free jazz trio concert recorded live at Cafe Amores, Hofu, Yamaguchi in Japan in 1996 from the trio of Itaru Oki on trumpet and bamboo flute, Nobuyoshi Ino on bass, and Choi Sun Bae on trumpet, Ino providing often stunningly quick bass lines over which the otherwise rhythm-less band are afforded great flexibility. ... Click to View


Itaru Oki / Nobuyoshi Ino / Choi Sun Bae: Kami Fusen (NoBusiness)

An exciting and uniquely orchestrated free jazz trio concert recorded live at Cafe Amores, Hofu, Yamaguchi in Japan in 1996 from the trio of Itaru Oki on trumpet and bamboo flute, Nobuyoshi Ino on bass, and Choi Sun Bae on trumpet, Ino providing often stunningly quick bass lines over which the otherwise rhythm-less band are afforded great flexibility. ... Click to View


Spunk: Still Eating Ginger Bread For Breakfast (Rune Grammofon)

Norway's unconventional improvising quartet SPUNK with Maja S. K. Ratkje, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Lene Grenager and Kristin Andersen are heard live at Nasjonal Jazzscene in Oslo, Norway in 2015, capturing these two sets of uniquely unexpected and jaw-dropping recordings from a band on the cutting edge of avant improvisation. ... Click to View


Whit Dickey / Mat Maneri / Matthew Shipp: Vessel In Orbit (Aum Fidelity)

While working with Matthew Shipp on an Ivo Perelman album, drummer Whit Dickey and pianist Shipp agreed to record an album of their own and enlisted violist Mat Maneri to record this album of deep space-themed improvisations, collective music of heavy propulsion that bursts from impassioned exchange to convoluted clusters of sound. ... Click to View


Daunik Lazro / Joelle Leandre / George Lewis: Enfances 8 Janv. 1984 (Fou Records)

A live recording at 28 rue Dunois, in Paris, France in 1984 from the trio of Daunik Lazro on alto sax, Joelle Leandre on double bass and voice, and George Lewis on trombone, a trans-Atlantic enounter of creative inventiveness and innovative vision, a great document of three persistent masters captured early in their incredible careers. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / John Edwards / Steve Noble : PEN (Dropa Disc)

Bringing together three leaders from the UK free jazz scene, the new trio of Evan Parker on tenor sax, Steve Noble on drums & percussion, and John Edwards on double bass present a masterful album drawing from the roots of free improvisation in playing that rises and recedes like a tidal force, captured live at the Oorstof concert series in Antwerp. ... Click to View


Ballister: Low Level Stink [VINYL & DVD] (Dropa Disc)

One of the super-groups of free improvisation, colliding elements of jazz, rock, ea-improv and beyond, the Ballister trio of Chicago stalwarts Dave Rempis (sax) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello) are captured live at the Oorstof concert series in De Studio, Antwerp, presenting the concert in a limited, combined vinyl LP and DVD release. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / John Russel / Ian Brighton / Phillip Wachsmann / Marcio Mattos / Trevor Taylor: Live From Cafe Oto (FMR)

London's Cafe Oto organized a reunion of String Thing, guitarist Ian Brighton's project with violinist Phillip Wachsmann, bassist Marcio Mattos, & Trevor Taylor on percussion and electronics, adding guitarist John Russell and saxophonist Evan Parker, here capturing an impressive night of improv, and Brighton's first public appearance in nearly 40 years. ... Click to View


Fred Lonberg-Holm / Adam Golebiewski: Relephant (Bocian)

Chicago free improvising cellist and electronicist Fred Lonberg-Holm and Poznan, Germany drummer, having worked together in larger group settings, met as a duo at MDK Dragon Club in Ponzan to record these four far-ranging improvisations of unusual textures, rhythms and sonic interactions. ... Click to View


Antoine Chessex / Apartment House / Jerome Noetinger: "Plastic Concrete" / "Accumulation" (Bocian)

Two long-form compositions combining acoustic and electronic orchestration by Antoine Chessex, convoluted works that take unusual twists and turns from spirited interaction to beautiful sonic passages, performed at London's Cafe Oto by an ensemble including Dominic Lash, Andrew Sparling, Jerome Noetinger, &c. ... Click to View


Miles Okazaki: Trickster (Pi Recordings)

Intricate interplay in modern jazz from guitarist Miles Okazaki in a quartet with fellow New Yorkers Craig Taborn on piano, Anthony Tidd on bass, and Sean Rickman on drums--Tidd and Rickman his compatriots in Steve Coleman and Five Elements--performing Okazaki's playfully complex and innovative compositions that drive some serious grooves. ... Click to View


The Necks: Unfold [VINYL 2 LPs] (Ideologic Organ)

Four side-long improvisations from the Australian trio of Chris Abrahams on piano, Tony Buck on drums, and Lloyd Swanton on bass, each side a masterpiece of slowly transpiring and evolving music, unhurriedly expanding each track to reveal tension and allure. ... Click to View


Archer / Clark / Grew / Hunter: Felicity's Ultimatum (Discus)

The 2nd release in a new series of small groups drawn from members of the Discus Music family, where the group meets, writes, rehearses and records in one single session, here developing ten compositions from all four players edited into a continuous sequence of structure and improvisation, embracing melody, texture and pure abstraction. ... Click to View


Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere: 02 (Discus)

An absolutely impressive album blending advanced/progressive rock forms with improvisation, starting from collective improvisation and layering in the studio to create a sophisticated psychedelic music, the second album from this ensemble that is headed by Martin Archer (reeds & keys), Chris Bywater (keys & synth), and Steve Dinsdale (drums & percussion). ... Click to View


Daniel Levin / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten / Chris Corsano: Spinning Jenny (Trost Records)

Three innovative improvisers, Daniel Levin on cello, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Chris Corsano on drums, in a studio album of collective free playing that's traverses both ferocious and introspective aspects of their dialog with tremendous technical skill and wonderful creative strategies. ... Click to View


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  In Brief: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kato Hideki, People Like Us 

   review by Phil Zampino
  2007-06-18

3 recent releases that i feel compelled to write about, having nothing to do with each other... - phil

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum: In Glorious Times
(The End Records)

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's fourth studio release keeps the torch alive on theatrical rock while making their own road. Somehow the band manages to nod to Rock in Opposition (RIO), avant prog, and dark metal with the same set of movements. In fact one review refers to them as Metal In Opposition, and the official review quote from The End Records calls them Rock-against-Rock.

The music is incredibly well crafted complex and demanding rock, intelligent and expressive and letting go a lot of energy. It incorporates an extended orchestration that's generally pushed by guitar, but also includes found and built instruments, percussive devices, samples, drop-in recordings, some odd electronics (electric pancreas??), and some lovely acoustic instruments.

The two lead vocalists are active musicians outside of Sleepytime: Frykdahl is also heard in Faun Fabels, while violinist Carla Kihlstedt, beside her own 2 Foot Yard, is a prolific improviser in both the improv and avant rock scenes.Comparisons might be Present or Art Zoyd for the dark chamber rock element, Cop-Shoot-Cop for aggressive energy and percussive elements, Magma for the sense of drama and extended orchestrations, name your favorite dark metal band for that certain sensibility on the rockers, Gabriel era Genesis on-stage and in costume, and Art Bears for the irony and articulation.



Hideki, Kato: Hope & Despair
(Extreme)

Curious compositional improvisations from Downtown New Yorker Kato Hideki, working with Zeena Parkins, John Zorn and a percussive and electronic ensemble, playing Hideki's compositions inspired by black & white photography. The title comes from photographer Robert Frank, which is written over the left page of the insert: "Black and white is the vision of hope and despair." Hideki explains: "Physically photos don't have time in terms of actual movement. But I feel good pictures have a sense of time, even though they don't move like films. While you are looking at the pictures, they have their own lives. I believe this is the beauty of photography."

Further inspiration came from the concept of time in music from Eastern cultures. Hideki used the form of Japanese Noh theater when developing "Hope & Despair". Noh has a specific structure consisting of Jo (introduction), Ha (break) and Kyu (fast): to start the action moves very slowly - it is said, "one step is a thousand miles." - followed by a sudden movement, completely out of context with the introduction, and last a sudden series of quick actions and the piece ends abruptly. Hideki explains: "I have been influenced by this culture, and so I abstractly imported this concept into my music. Indeed it is demanding for an audience to pay such close attention, to watch what is happening during every single second of the performance. But when you do so, you can actually feel the expansion of time. The more attention you pay, the greater the impression."


People Like Us / Ergo Phizmiz: Perpetuum Mobile
(Soleilmoon)

Fun, frequently bizarre, and sometimes serious plunderphonic-oriented release with a huge vocabulary of genre, rhythmic and erratic sample sources used in strange ways. "A Bastards Waltz" sounds like Ranaldo and The Loaf being weirder than even they themselves were...

"Perpetuum Mobile" is the result of a uniquely schizophrenic "open source" compositional process: the UK's finest collage composers (collage-posers?) Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett) uploaded files to a shared server, downloaded and processed each other's work, and flung the resulting fragments back at each other. The result is an interpenetrating audio-collage so intricate that neither party can recall who did what to whom.

So far, so avant-garde; but what makes this record different is that Ergo and Vicki then wrote and sang their own vocals on top of their Frankenstein creation. Here you will find slyly absurdist lyrics replete with monkeys, carousels, trousers, apple trees, tinkling bells, dogs, sausages, whiskey, and cannibalism. No matter how fraught with trauma, these ballads and ditties are sung with a straight face and mixed front and center, and the results feel like 1930s British music hall standards from an alternate universe: half Ivor Cutler, half George Formby."-Soleilmoon





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Previous Blog & Editorial Articles:
Internet Radio, MusicWorks, Blossom Toes & Rational Diet!
Creative Sources & psi - June 2007 Releases
In Brief: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kato Hideki, People Like Us
Ground-Zero's Early Releases Reviewed
Bark! Lacy! Massacre! Death Ambient!
May 14, 2007 New Squidco Shipping Rates
Ambiances Magnetiques @ The Stone, NYC
Emanems and Androids
Cleanfeeding from Portugal to Montreal
Squidco RSS Feed
Tough Rock
John Wall, Sonic Arts
LTM, Subliminal, &c.
News Starting
AECO: Fifth Decade
The Squid's Ear 1st Or So Anniversary
Cheek to Cheek Misdemeanors - NYC's Cabaret Laws: Infracting Cheek to Cheek
Musical Activism: An Open Call
The Upside of Dowloading
Ameri-chord: Johnny Cash Remembered - Skip Heller - Amer-chord - Johnny Cash & June Carter
The Zorn Non-Interview - Ah, John, We Hardly Knew Ye
Hope for the Snowballs - The 2003 Jazz Journalists Association Awards
A Stone Turned - Irving Wilson Stone, 1922-2003
Knit One, Pearl Zero
Support Live Strangers - An Open Invitation for New Yorkers to Take a Freakin' Chance, or a Chastisement
London's Burning - Marc Ribot


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