The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Black Bombaim & Peter Brotzmann: Black Bombaim & Peter Brotzmann [VINYL] (Shhpuma)

Portugese stoner rock band Black Bombaim and German free jazz saxophonist Peter Brotzmann recorded this album live at Estudios Sa Da Bandeira in Portugal, a power trio + 1 of uncompromising and burning improvisation, a less common but completely rewarding setting for Brotzmann. ... Click to View


Peter Kowald Quintet: Peter Kowald Quintet [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

A reissue of Peter Kowald Quintet's self-titled album, originally released by FMP in 1972, with the line up of Peter Kowald on tuba, bass, and alphorn; Gunter Christmann and Paul Rutherford on trombone Peter van der Locht on alto saxophone; and Paul Lovens on drums. ... Click to View


Various Artists: An Anthology Of Noise and Electronic Music Volume 3 [3 VINYL LPs] (Sub Rosa)

Reissuing the 3rd volume of Sub Rosa's Anthology Of Noise and Electronic Music as a 3-LP vinly set, presenting music from a wide range of artists from historical to contemporary, including avant compositional, improvised, rock, concrete, sound, noise, and electronic music. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Bricktop (Trost Records)

Live recordings at Sugar Maple/Okka Fest in 2015 from the duo of saxophonist Joe McPhee on tenor & soprano, and double bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, in a set dedicated to Paris jazz singer and club owner Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith, aka Bricktop. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee / Raymond Boni: Live From The Magic City (Birmingham, Alabama) (Trost Records)

During the 80s free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee teamed up with French guitarist Raymond Boni to perform and release albums; this live concert at the University of Alabama is from that period, an excellent example instant composition inspired by Eric Dolphy. ... Click to View


Sun Ra / Merzbow: Strange City (Cold Spring Records)

Blurring the lines between Sun Ra's avant jazz and Merzbow's approach to noise, these pieces are based on rare and unreleased tracks authorized by the Sun Ra archive, worked into compositions that morph and micro-inspect each track into something unique and outer-worldly. ... Click to View


John Cage: Complete Song Books [VINYL 2 LPs] (KARLRECORDS)

Volume 3 in Karl Record's Perihel series is dedicated to one of the most iconic composers of 20th century: John Cage, with 92 pieces of his "Song Books" in new interpretations by Reinhold Friedl, recorded at Rashad Becker's Clunk Studio who also contributed live electronics. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi vs. Ricardo Villalobos : Hubris Variation [VINYL 12-inch] (Black Truffle)

Oren Ambarchi's "Hubris" is remixed by electronic music legend Ricardo Villalobos, who transforms Ambarchi's layered web of countless sustained and pulsating palm-muted guitars into a funky, mesmerizing and propulsive long-form piece. ... Click to View


Sun Ra / Merzbow: Strange City [VINYL] (Cold Spring Records)

Blurring the lines between Sun Ra's avant jazz and Merzbow's approach to noise, these pieces are based on rare and unreleased tracks authorized by the Sun Ra archive, worked into compositions that morph and micro-inspect each track into something unique and outer-worldly. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton : Quintet (Basel) 1977 (Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering Braxton's outstanding radio concert for Radio DRS in Safranzunft, Basel in 1977 in quintet with George Lewis on trombone, Muhal Richard Abrams on piano, Mark Helias on double bass, and Charles "Bobo" Shaw on drums. ... Click to View


Jackson Harrison Trio: Sintering (Hatology)

Melodic and texturally rich jazz from the trio of pianist Jackson Harrison with Ben Waples on double bass and brother James Waples on drums, a lyrical album of original compositions named for the process of coalescing a powder into a solid by heating it without liquefaction. ... Click to View


Musicworks: #126 Fall 2016 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

Canada's premiere music magazine, with articles on The Sound Future of Virtual Reality; Roarke Menzies; Heidi Chan; Erin Gee; Eric Normand; Carmen Braden; Nick Dourado; plus a CD with recordings from Eric Normand, Carmen Braden, Erin Gee, Nick Dourado, Heidi Chan, and Plumes Ensemble. ... Click to View


James Tenney: Bass Works (performed by Dario Calderone) (Hat [now] ART)

Fascinating works for doublebass from American composer James Tenney, 3 pieces for solo doublebass, and a large work for viola, cello, doublebass and tape delay system, performed by bassist Dario Calderone with William Lane on viola and Francesco Dillon on cello. ... Click to View


Morton Feldman: Three Voices (performed by Juliet Fraser) (Hat [now] ART)

Soprano Juliet Fraser performs Morton Feldman's late work for 3 voices, performed by 1 vocalist (originally Joan La Barbara) who performs with themself on tape, in a work that Feldman described as "lucious", "sexy", and "gorgeous", as heard in Fraser's beautiful rendering. ... Click to View


Iancu Dumitrescu : Live In New York w/ Either/Or (Edition Modern)

Iancu Dumitrescu premieres six new works of Spectral compositions performed by the 13 piece Either/Or Ensemble under the direction of Richard Carrick, presented in Colubmia University's Miller Theater in 2016, an amazing album of microcosmic and macrocosmic sound. ... Click to View


Rupp / Fischerlehner: Live in Aarhus (Farai-Records)

The roots of Xenofox, the duo of electric guitarist Olaf Rupp and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner, performing at the 2014 Lydfestival in Aarhus, Denmark in an excursive set of free improv with a rock-oriented edge that ebbs and flows with power and technical skill. ... Click to View


Xenofox (Rupp / Fischerlehner): Hundred Beginnings (Farai-Records)

The debut of Xenofox, the duo of Olaf Rupp on electric guitar and Rudi Fischerlehner on drum playing electric improv that ranges from critically dense to spacious and exploratory, blending rock and European Free Improv sensibilities into a moody and absorbing album. ... Click to View


Lipchitz: Lipchitz [CASSETTE] (Wee Space Tapes)

An unusual duo of voice and percussion from New York City percussionist David Grollman (Prom Night, Wee Tapes) and vocalist Ryan Krause, using space, dynamics and acoustic to create improvised works that range from atmospherically tonal to bizarrely interactive. ... Click to View


Fredrik Nordstrom : Gentle Fire, Restless Dreams [2 CDs] (Moserobie Music)

Saxophonist Fredrik Nordstrom releases two sides of his music, the hard-hitting "Gentle Fire" and the more contemplative "Restless Dreams" in a 2 CD release with Gerald Cleaver on drums and Swedish jazz musicians Jonas Ostholm on piano and Torbjourn Zetterberg on double bass. ... Click to View


Isabelle Duthoit / Georg Graewe: Parlance (Nuscope)

The duo of French clarinetist Isabelle Duthoit and Viennese pianist Georg Graewe in a subtle and sophisticated set of improvisations with chamber music inclinations, using impressive technique that serves their beautiful and mesmerizing dialog. ... Click to View


Grip / Denzler / Johansson: Neukollner Modelle [VINYL] (Umlaut Records)

Three generations of European improvisers from Paris to Berlin, the trio of bassist Joel Grip, saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and drummer Sven Ake Johansson present a two part extended work of intense yet lyrical playing, what Johansson refers to as "Constructive Free Jazz". ... Click to View


Henry Threadgill & Zooid: In for a Penny, In for a Pound [VINYL] (Pi Recordings)

Henry Threadgill's new epic work in four movements written specifically to feature each of the musicians in Zooid: "Ceroepic" for Elliott Kavee (drums), "Dosepic" for Christopher Hoffman (cello), "Tresepic" for Jose Davila (trombone & tuba), and "Unoepic" for Liberty Ellman (guitar). ... Click to View


The Remote Viewers : No Voice From The Hall (Remote Viewers)

The 15th album from the UK based, saxophone heavy Remote Viewers led by David Petts, bridging compositions and improvisation with a rock sensibility, in a sextet that includes improv heavies Mark Sanders on drums and John Edwards on bass. ... Click to View


Annette Peacock & Paul Bley: Dual Unity (Bamboo)

Reissuing the debut album by vocalist Annette Peacock and pianist Paul Bley recorded during their first European tour in 1970, in a quartet with compatriots Mario Pavone on bass and Laurence Cook on drums, Bley using an early Moog synthesizer; unique and original avant jazz. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi: Hubris (Editions Mego)

Continuing on from "Sagittarian Domain" & "Quixotism", Oren Ambarchi joins forces with Jim O'Rourke, Chris Cole, Keith Fullerton Whitmanm, Konrad Sprenger, Mark Fell, Will Guthrie, Joe Talia, Ricardo Villalobos and Arto Lindsay for this album of driving rhythm and sound. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi: Hubris [VINYL] (Editions Mego)

Continuing on from "Sagittarian Domain" & "Quixotism", Oren Ambarchi joins forces with Jim O'Rourke, Chris Cole, Keith Fullerton Whitmanm, Konrad Sprenger, Mark Fell, Will Guthrie, Joe Talia, Ricardo Villalobos and Arto Lindsay for this album of driving rhythm and sound. ... Click to View


Bill Orcutt / Chris Corsano: Live At Various / Various Live [VINYL 2 LPs] (Palilalia)

Reissuing 2 Palilalia cassettes from the tour following guitarist Bill Orcutt (here on electric) and drummer/percussionist Chris Corsano's "The Raw and the Cooked" LP, both in excellent form as they play Northampton, Mexico City, Brooklyn, Montreal, Cleveland and Rochester. ... Click to View


Free Nelson Mandoomjazz: The Organ Grinder [VINYL 2 LPS] (Rarenoise Records)

The Edinburgh trio of Archibald (drums), Colin Stewart (bass) and Rebecca Sneddon (alto saxophone) play an experimental blend of doom metal and free jazz, with guests trumpeter Luc Klein and trombonist Patrick Darley, in an album that bridges heavy rock with melodic improv. ... Click to View


The Quartet: Quartet, The [CASSETTE] (Wee Space Tapes)

A Downtown NY quartet of drummer percussionists--Carlos Costa, Flin van Hemmen, Max Jaffe, and David Grollman--all active in the NY improv scene, here merging for an album of unique approaches to their instruments, from thunderous drones to curious experiments. ... Click to View


Biting Tongues: Still On Hawaiian Time [CASSETTE] (The Tapeworm)

Capturing 2 performances from '82 &'83, the improvising quintet of Howard Walmsley, Ken Hollings, Eddie Sherwood, Colin Seddon, Graham Massey present "an unpredictable "post-punk avant-funk" mix of spoken word, percussion, random tapes, films and free-form soloing". ... Click to View


Email:



The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Heard In

Reviews of artist releases:
cd's, books, magazines, &c.


  Richard Crandell 
  Spring Steel  
  (Tzadik) 

   review by Darren Bergstein
  2008-03-24
Richard Crandell: Spring Steel (Tzadik)

The mbira, or thumb piano, has broken free of its indigenous African origins for some years now, but few beyond its native inhabitants have mastered the instrument. White Plains, New York, musician Richard Crandell, however, has taken the mbira to heart and head, making the metallophone's chiming resonances very much his own. Self-taught, with a background well-steeped in the music of fellow minimalists and innovators such as Leo Kottke, Steve Reich, and John Fahey, Crandell's tightly designed and salubriously executed works are an absolute wonder, primarily because they're so damned beautiful to listen to.

One might think that the mbira has a limited tonal range, and to some extent it does, but here on Spring Steel, Crandell manages to sidestep both cliché and obviousness by exploring variable timbres, tunings, and tendencies. It doesn't hurt that he's sometimes accompanied by percussionist Cyro Baptista, who provides his own Latin American flavorings to the aural fiesta. Right off the bat, with the utterly sublime "Inner Circle," it's clear Crandell's onto something. Attaining a smooth flow of sound that feels like tumbling down a river of woodblocks, Crandell weaves a most definite type of trance music that might well suggest Reichian tropes; of course, thanks to Baptista's own sparse yet effective array of percussive accents (shakers, rainsticks, triangles, other myriad noisemakers), this "fifth-world" music, "minimal" that it is, says more about places and timeframes than most so-called pirated "world" music.

The rest of Spring Steel follows the same kind of moiré patterns Crandell sets up at the beginning of the recording. Of course, the art of keeping this all from becoming simply a one-trick pony is varying the speed of play or altering the clusters of notes in seemingly simple yet deceptively ingenious ways. The best example of this is throughout the nine-plus minutes of "Zen Dagger," where Crandell's labyrinthine thrums dance magnificently around Baptista's shaker tableau; only Nana Vasconcelos' little-known but extraordinary solo recordings approach these for sheer innovation. As it is, getting up close and personal with Crandell's unique soundworld nearly opens up Castaneda-like dimensions; it's zen and the art of mbira maintenance.



Richard Crandell: Spring Steel
Is On Sale at Squidco!
Squidco




Comments and Feedback:



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

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Iancu Dumitrescu :
Live In New York
w/ Either/Or
(Edition Modern)



James Tenney:
Bass Works
(performed by Dario Calderone)
(Hat
[now] ART)



Anthony Braxton :
Quintet
(Basel) 1977
(Hatology)



Oren Ambarchi:
Hubris
(Editions Mego)



Oren Ambarchi:
Hubris
[VINYL]
(Editions Mego)



Fredrik Nordstrom:
Gentle Fire,
Restless Dreams
[2 CDs]
(Moserobie Music)



Henry Threadgill &
Zooid:
In for a Penny,
In for a Pound
[VINYL]
(Pi Recordings)



BassDrumBone +
guests Joe Lovano /
Jason Moran:
The Long Road
[2 CDs]
(Auricle)



Schall Und Rausch
(Mukarji /
Arrias /
Dorner /
Fagaschinski):
Vapour
(Confront)



Mary Halvorson
Octet:
Away With You
(Firehouse 12 Records)



Illegal Crowns
(Halvorson /
Fujiwara /
Delbecq /
Ho Bynum):
Illegal Crowns
(RogueArt)



Nicole Mitchell's
Black Earth Ensemble &
Ensemble Laborintus:
Moments Of
Fatherhood
(RogueArt)



Rova::Orkestrova:
No Favorites!
(for Lawrence "Butch" Morris)
(New World Records)



Graham Lambkin:
Community
[2 CDs]
(erstwhile)



Jackson /
Baker /
Kirshner:
The Noisy Miner
[CASSETTE with
DOWNLOAD CODE]
(Astral Spirits)



Jimmy Giuffre 3:
Bremen & Stuttgart
(1961)
[2 CDs]
(Emanem)



Spontaneous Music
Orchestra:
Search & Reflect
(1973-81)
[2 CDs]
(Emanem)



Jonathan Finlayson /
Sicilian Defense:
Moving Still
(Pi Recordings)



Dunmall /
Noble /
Edwards /
Sanders:
Chords Of
Connections
(FMR)



Bob Drake :
Arx Pilosa
(Recommended Records)







Squidco
Click here to
advertise with
The Squid's Ear






The Squid's Ear pays its writers.
Interested in becoming a reviewer?




The Squid's Ear is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !


  Copyright © 2016 Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (644)