The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Oliver Schwerdt / Barry Guy / Baby Sommer:
Fucking Ballads (Euphorium)

An enthusiastic and energetically powerful trio meeting between three masters--Oliver Schwerdt on grand piano & percussion, Barry Guy on double bass and Baby Sommer on drums & percussion--performing live in 2021 at naTo, in Leipzig for two extended improvisations of remarkable communication, incredible virtuosity, but most importantly, incredible and compelling creative drive! ... Click to View


JAKAL (Fred Lonberg-Holm / Keefe Jackson / Julian Kirshner):
Peroration (Amalgam)

Formerly known as J@K@L, this Chicago trio has explored hard hitting improvisation since 2014, the band name an amalgamation of the performer's names--Keefe Jackson on tenor & sopranino saxophone & tube, Julian Kirshner on drums and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, tenor guitar and electronics--in a dynamic and exciting 2022 concert at Elastic Arts, in Chicago. ... Click to View


The Remote Viewers :
Inside The Blizzard / Trivia (Remote Viewers)

UK Composer David Pett's Remote Viewers present two large works: "Inside the Blizzard" in five parts of configurations from solo to quintet; and "Trivia", a quintet work in eight parts; solid, compelling work of forceful confidence from members Adrian Northover, Sue Lynch, Caroline Krabbel & Petts on sax, John Edwards on bass, Hutch Demouilpied on trumpet and Rosa Theodora on piano. ... Click to View


Teiku (Harlow / Taylor / Shahid / Formanek / Leafar):
Teiku (577 Records)

Teiku, a Talmudic acronym that roughly translates to "unanswered question", was co-founded by pianist Josh Harlow and percussionist Jonathan Barahal Taylor to explore each of their family's unique Passover vocal melodies through improvisation and sonic exploration, performed in a quintet with Art Ensemble/Sun Ra bassist Jaribu Shahid and reedists Peter Formanek & Rafael Leafar. ... Click to View


Jorge Nuno:
Labirinto (Phonogram Unit)

After recovering from heart surgery, Portuguese guitarist Jorge Nuno (Ensemble MIOA, Isoptope, Voltaic Trio, &c) records this solo improv album to show his resilience, performed primarily on acoustic guitar in a balanced journey of assertive and introspective playing, accompanied by an insert of a text work by Rui Baião. ... Click to View


Bruno Duplant / Rutger Zuydervelt:
Edge Of Oblivion (Machinefabriek)

The third collaboration between sound and electronic artists Bruno Duplant and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) is a darkly heavy and dramatic work of subtle motion that slowly unfolds and shifts through vast sonic environments, fueled by acousmatic sources that take the listener to the edge of darkness and then pulls them back in warm waves or rich ambiance. ... Click to View


Felix Profos / Peter Conradin Zumthor:
Grund (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Since 2021 Swiss composer Felix Profos and drummer Peter Conradin Zumthor have performed as the duo Grund, Profos performing on harmonium and on the 1973 Italian organ Bontempi Pop3, Zumthor on bass drum, gong, bells & snare, their extended work on this self-titled album a tranquil and meditative work of slow transitions with moments of terse activity, receding with grace and serenity. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith:
Emergent Spacetime (Evil Clown)

The core of the Boston improvising collective Leap of Faith Orchestra are the duo of cellist Glynis Lomon and reedist and multi-instrumentalist David Peck, here joined by Eric Woods on analog synth and new collective member Jared Seabrook on drums & percussion, for two examples of Peck's broad palette concept yielding evolving transformations through free playing ... Click to View


Expanse:
Reach (Evil Clown)

Perhaps the most synthetic of Evil Clown releases, Expanse represents space and restraint, this the 8th album from the Boston improvising collective of David Peck on reeds, winds, synths and percussion, Robin Amos on synths, Michael Knoblach on percussion (including egg beater, humpty dumpty toy, and teething rings) and Joel Simches providing real-time processing; inexplicably interesting. ... Click to View


Ethnic Heritage Ensemble:
Open Me, A Higher Consciousness Of Sound And Spirit (Spiritmuse Records)

Celebrating 50 years, percussionist Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble as the trio of El'Zabar, Corey Wilkes (trumpet) and Alex Harding (bar. sax), joined on tracks by James Sanders (violin) and Ishmael Ali (cello), reinterpret classics including "Great Black Music", "Ornette" and Aretha Franklin's "Compared to What", along with Miles' "All Blues" and McCoy Tyner's "Passion Dance". ... Click to View


Simon Hanes:
Tsons of Tsunami (Tzadik)

Drawing on a far-ranging set of influences--jazz, rock, contemporary, surf & exotica--California-born improvising guitarist Simon Hanes (of Trigger, who covered Zorn's Bagatelles) now resides in NYC, appropriately releasing an album of eclectic, generally upbeat, sometimes quirky, typically melodic instrumentals performed with an octet ensemble of incredible musicianship. ... Click to View


Joel Futterman:
Perspicacity (Soul City Sounds)

Five extended improvised piano solos from Joel Futterman recording in his home base of Virginia Beach, each an incredible journey in free playing that quotes and comments on the history of jazz piano, living up to the album's title through insight, perceptiveness, wit and intuition, Futterman's technique and mastery expressing narratives of amazing confidence and solid direction. ... Click to View


Kimmel.Ali.Harris (Jeff Kimmel / Ishmael Ali / Bill Harris):
Flora Oblique [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Amalgam)

The third release for the Chicago collective improvising trio of Jeff Kimmel on clarinet & electronics, Ishmael Ali on cello & electronics and Bill Harris on drums & feedback, acoustic interplay in the foreground with electronics adding layers of intriguing sonic pressure as their playing evolves through clear and cohesive conversation over punctuated & textural foundations. ... Click to View


Anthony Donofrio :
These Calm Words (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

An exquisite recording of composer Anthony Donofrio 1972 work for solo vibraphone captured at the University of Nebraska where Donofrio teaches and directs their new music ensemble, this extended work for solo vibraphone performed by Donofrio himself, living up to its title in a delicate advancement from clear playing to unusual vibraphone timbres and technique. ... Click to View


Eva-Maria Houben (Kei Kondo / Takahiro Kuroda):
His Master's Voice / Aus Den Fliegenden Blattern Eines Fahrenden Waldhornisten / Lose Verbunden (Ftarri Clasical)

One of two albums capturing a May 15th, 2023 concert in Tokyo by composer Takahiro Kuroda at the Ftarri performance space, titled "Square of Thoughts Vol. 2: Eva-Maria Houben and Horn + x", this album presenting two Houben works for solo horn performed by virtuoso horn player Kei Kondo, and one solo piano piece performed by Kuroda on upright piano. ... Click to View


Eva-Maria Houben (Takahiro Kuroda / Kei Kondo):
Echo Fantasy II (Ftarri Clasical)

The second of two albums capturing a May 15th, 2023 concert in Tokyo by composer & pianist Takahiro Kuroda at the Ftarri performance space, titled "Square of Thoughts Vol. 2: Eva-Maria Houben and Horn + x", this album presenting a 2018 Houben composition for horn and piano titled "Echo Fantasy II", performed by virtuoso horn player Kei Kondo and Takahiro Kuroda on upright piano. ... Click to View


Rutger Zuydervelt :
Kites (music for a performance by Roshanak Morrowatian) (Machinefabriek)

Music for a solo dance piece performed by Roshanak Morrowatian and composed by Netherland electronic artist Rutger Zuydervelt, the subject of the dance reflecting on the experience of young asylum seekers forced from their native countries to grow up somewhere unfamiliar, the music in seven parts weaving fragments of Iranian popular music into Zuydervelt's abstract electronics. ... Click to View


Simulacrum:
Mimesis (Evil Clown)

Expanding on their 2023 Homunculus, the Boston-based collective ensemble Simulacrum with a core of David Peck on reeds, percussion, keys and direction, Eric Woods on analog synth and Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar are expanded with Cecil Taylor bassist Albey OnBass, synthesist Eric Zinman, reedist Michael Caglianone and drummer Michael Knoblach. ... Click to View


John Butcher + 13:
Fluid Fixations (Weight of Wax)

Commissioned for the 2021 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, John Butcher's fantastic work for 14 improvisers of unique approach employs what Butcher refers to as "psychological orchestration"--imagining how each performer might respond to particular ideas & their sonic company--the score, which includes photographic imagery, directing specific solos, duos & small groupings. ... Click to View


Phantom Orchard (Ikue Mori / Zeena Parkins):
Hit Parade of Tears (Tzadik)

Distilling their ensemble to its original duo configuration, New York improvisers Zeena Parkins and Ikue Mori reflect on the stories of Japanese author Izumi Suzuki through ten mysteriously eclectic and beautifully developed compositions of harp (acoustic and electric), electronics, percussion, harmonium, ondes martenot, and much more; wonderful, imaginative and evocative work. ... Click to View


Sean Lennon Ono:
Asterisms [VINYL] (Tzadik)

The chameleonic styles of Sean Ono Lennon are in full force on this instrumental record, merging rock, jazz, experimental and cinematic styles in captivating ways, performed with the spectacular ensemble of Devon Hoff (bass), Yuka Honda (electronics), Johnny Mathar (drums), João Nogueira (Wurlitzer), Ches Smith (drums), Michael Leonhart (trumpet) & Mauro Refosco (percussion). ... Click to View


Chorale Joker / Ensemble SuperMusique:
Demantibule•es (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Merging members of Ensemble SuperMusique with a subset of the ensemble Chorale Joker, Joane Hétu presents four premieres that explore our experiences during the pandemic, SuperMusique focused on electronics and synthetic instruments and offset by a wind quintet, the music and vocal interactions often explosive, reflecting on our mental states during an overwhelming cultural malady. ... Click to View


Josh Berman / Eli Wallace / Ishmael Ali / Bill Harris:
An-Ill Fitting Garment [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Amalgam)

Cornetist Josh Berman, drummer Bill Harris, and cellist Ishmael Ali meet with NY pianist Eli Wallace in Chicago, recording live in the studio for a session that focuses on acoustic interplay using unusual techniques, inside piano playing, textural percussion with scrapes & drags and melodic & harmonic fragments, Fitting quite well in a set of interesting moods and motion. ... Click to View


IKZ (Chris Dammann / Kevin Davis / John Niekrasz / Toby Summerfield):
I Saw The Cryptic Problem Of My Generation Destroyed (Amalgam)

Four improvisations that start as dense and scrabbly electroacoustic improv and then transport into beautiful sonic interaction from the Chicago collaborative quartet of Chris Dammann (Scott Clark) on double bass, Kevin Davis (Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore) on cello, John Niekrasz (Poor School, The Naked Future) on drums and Toby Summerfield (Larval, Algernon, Scott Clark) on guitar. ... Click to View


Joao Gato / Bruno Parrinha:
Two (Phonogram Unit)

Two Portuguese saxophonists of different generations both playing on alto sax--Bruno Parrinha, an established and extraordinary player involved with many projects on Clean Feed and Creative Sources, and João Gato, leader of Apophenia Quartet--present 11 improvisations recorded in the studio, their voices intertwining amid masterful technique and creative impulse. ... Click to View


Danya Pilchen :
Two Songs. Anne, Germaine, Koen, Seamus, Danya (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two "songs" from a series of works by Netherlands composer and pianist Danya Pilchen, exploring the possibilities of making and experiencing time through attentive listening, these works focused on creating a dialogue between two measures of time, performed with Anne La Berge on flute, Germaine Sijstermans on clarinet, Seamus Cater on harmonica and Koen Nutters on double bass. ... Click to View


Paul Newland:
Things That Happen Again (Another Timbre)

A portrait of UK interdisciplinary composer Paul Newland's music through five pieces dating from 2009 to 2023 performed by members of London's Apartment House ensemble, including a string quartet, two different trio combinations, a short work for solo piano, and a score for open instrumentation, realised in this recording by a septet. ... Click to View


Michel Banabila :
The Unreal Realm (Tapu Records)

A collection of works from Netherlands composer Michel Banabila, including a piece developed with saxophonist Dave Liebman and previously released only digitally; a work with Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek); a work with Pierre Bastien; and excerpts from scores for Yin Yue's choreography in two works: "Somewhere" for New York Live Arts and "Timeless Tide" for BalletMet. ... Click to View


Rotem Geffen:
The Night Is The Night (thanatosis produktion)

Singer, songwriter and pianist Nelly Klayman-Cohen, aka Rotem Geffen, explores the fringes of dreamy pop music with lyrics in German, English and Hebrew that explore themes of memory, love, grief, loss, and the night as a vibrating room, with collaborators including Alexander Zethson on keyboards, Isak Hedtjar on clarinets and winds, Vilhelm Bromander on double bass, &c. ... Click to View



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The Squid's Ear
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The Bottom Shelf is where artists keep the records in their collections that they might not want you to see. Revealing early influences, unusual appetites or just guilty pleasures, we offer a peek at the shelves of some of our favorite musicians.


  Ron Anderson  

I still have a lot of the records from my adolescence, some of my favorites were lost when about fifty or so were stolen by a roommate about eight years ago. One LP that I miss to this day, maybe my favorite record from that time, is Frank Zappa's Lumpy Gravy. That record really changed my life or at least my ideas about what music could be. I now have about 300 or 400 records (I still buy records sometimes), and went though the shelves and pulled out five that might surprise you. (To put this in the proper perspective, note that at the moment I'm listening to 5 pieces for Orchestra by Anton Webern conducted by Pierre Boulez.)

Chicago - Live at Carnegie Hall Before I knew anything about electric guitar, except the Hendrix songs that you would hear on Top 40 radio, the first guitarist to make a big impression on me was Terry Kath of the band Chicago. And the record was Live at Carnegie Hall recorded in 1971. Lots of long wah-wah guitar solos, with some great drumming by Danny Seraphine. But of course it was the guitar that got to me, fast, sometimes loose, and powerful. Needless to say, you have to skip through the record to avoid hearing all the saccharine pop songs.

Jan Akkerman - Profile Jan Akkerman was the guitar player from the Dutch rock band Focus and he put this record out in 1972. One side is pretty much just cheap blues, some classical Etudes, really cheesy. But the other side is a long, free-rock freak out. That side opens with a very short quiet intro followed by incredibly fast and brutal riffs over a scorching drum-and bass-groove. Really unbelievable. I have played this for many people over the years, and not one has ever even come close to guessing the date of the record, never mind the musician. The last person I played it for was Will Redmond who I was working with in PAK at the time. He is still bugging me to make him a tape.

Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste I really think that this band had some great ideas and made some complex rock music. Really. Like the first track Pantaguel's Nativity and the second track Edge of Twighlight, strange vocal harmonies, percussion sections that sound like they were lifted from Edgar Varese, and odd meters that groove.

Van Der Graaf Generator - Still Life Lyrics are based somewhat on the novel by Arthur C. Clark, Childhood's End. Most of the writing is very dark, just check out title track, Still Life. But I just love the overall sound of the record, the way the saxophones are mixed with the bass and the keyboards. There is also a great live Van Der Graaf record, Vital where they sound more like a punk band, released in 1978, two years after Still Life. As a side note: John Lydon of the Sex Pistols lists Peter Hammill (composer and leader of Van Der Graaf) as a main influence.

Lew Davies and his Orchestra - Strange Interlude 1961 About eight or ten years ago I started to buy a lot of thrift store records. In Oakland, CA, at that time, you could find some real gems for under a dollar. The title of this one says it all, with great arrangements using ondioline ("an electrically operated keyboard instrument which, unlike most other instruments such as the piano, can play only one note at a time. It is relatively small-only about a yard wide - and on its sides there are levers used for switching to such things as a woodwind sound or an electronic beep-beep that can be set at any tempo," according to the liner notes), cymbalum, theremin, contrabass clarinet in bizarre combinations. Really great and lots of fun. If you're ever lucky enough to see this record somewhere buy it.



Ron Anderson calls himself an "intuitive music maker." His primary instrument is electric guitar, but he has a fascinationwith old keyboards, recording effects and "anything that can make a sound." He has released 40 records under his name and with his groups Rat At Ratr, The Molecules and Ronruins (with Tatsuya Yoshida), among others, and has recorded or performed with Ulan Bator, Fred Lonberg-Holm, James Chance, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, The Sun City Girls, Shelly Hirsch, Otomo Yoshihide, Gino Robair, Yamamoto Seiichi, Jack Wright, John Zorn, Donald Miller, Hoppy Kamiyama, Daniel Carter, Haco and Terrie Ex. His current project is the fast-cut rock band PAK.




Previous Bottom Shelf Articles:
Our Own Bottom Shelves
Anthony Coleman's Bottom Shelf
Gary Lucas


The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


JAKAL (
Fred Lonberg-Holm /
Keefe Jackson /
Julian Kirshner):
Peroration
(Amalgam)



The Remote Viewers:
Inside The Blizzard /
Trivia
(Remote Viewers)



Oliver Schwerdt /
Barry Guy /
Baby Sommer:
Fucking Ballads
(Euphorium)



Bruno Duplant /
Rutger Zuydervelt:
Edge Of Oblivion
(Machinefabriek)



Simon Hanes:
Tsons of Tsunami
(Tzadik)



Ethnic Heritage Ensemble:
Open Me,
A Higher Consciousness
Of Sound And Spirit
(Spiritmuse Records)



Phantom Orchard (
Ikue Mori /
Zeena Parkins):
Hit Parade
of Tears
(Tzadik)



Chorale Joker /
Ensemble SuperMusique:
Demantibule•es
(Ambiances Magnetiques)



Sean Lennon Ono:
Asterisms
[VINYL]
(Tzadik)



Joel Futterman:
Perspicacity
(Soul City Sounds)



Michel Banabila :
The Unreal Realm
(Tapu Records)



John Butcher + 13:
Fluid Fixations
(Weight of Wax)



Christof Migone /
Alexandre St-Onge:
undoundone
(Ambiances Magnetiques)



Anthony Braxton :
10 Comp (
Lorraine) 2022
(New Braxton House)



Ensemble SuperMusique:
Musiques Emeraude
(Ambiances Magnetiques)



Rempis /
Karayorgis /
Heinemann /
Harris:
Truss
(Driff Records & Aerophonics)



Paul Paccione:
Distant Musics
(Another Timbre)



Peter Evans
Being & Becoming (
Evans /
Ross /
Jozwiak /
Ode):
Ars Memoria
(More Is More)



Gregorio /
Smith /
Bryerton:
The Cold Arrow
(Balance Point Acoustics)



Chad Fowler /
Shanyse Strickland /
Sana Nagano /
Melanie Dyer /
Ken Filiano /
Anders Griffen:
Birdsong
(Mahakala Music)







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