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Sylvaine Helary : Spring Roll / Printemps [2 CDs] (Ayler)

A hybrid of theater, music, sound poetry and political manifesto from Sylvaine Helary, focused on the "Arab Spring" in Egypt, using intertwining words and voices around the quartet performances of Hugues Mayot, Sylvain Lemetre, Antonin Rayon and Sylvaine Helary. ... Click to View


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The 5th studio album from the trio of Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins alone / Koenji Hyakkei), Kido Natsuki (Bondage Fruit / Salle Gavoux), Nasunomitsuru (Altered states / Umbeltipo), avant-progressive instrumental rock, melodic and complex rock performed at breakneck speed. ... Click to View


PYN (Yoshida / Pittard / Nasuno): Songs for children who don't want to sleep (Magaibutsu)

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IST: London: Conway Hall (Confront)

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IST: New York (Davies / Fell / Wastell / Zorn): Featuring John Zorn (Confront)

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Joacim Nyberg : Fylkingen, March 27, 2014 (Confront)

Guitarist Joacim Nyberg, also performing on double bass, bell and recorder, in a live performance in Stockholm, Sweden at Fylkingen in 2014, using "Wood, steel, air. Hands, fingers, heart" in an open-ended and ardent exposition of his interpretation of jazz. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp Quartet Declared Enemy: Our Lady Of The Flowers (RogueArt)

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The Turbine! (Bankhead / Duboc / Drake / Lopez + guests): Entropy/Enthalpy [2 CDs] (RogueArt)

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Sonny Simmons: Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom and Brilliance / Chasing The Bird? [8 CD BOX] (Improvising Beings)

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Les Rhinoceros: Les Rhinoceros III (Tzadik)

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Chuck Bettis : Pixel Bleed (Living Myth)

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Rob Mazurek : Vortice of the Faun [CASSETTE with download code] (Astral Spirits)

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Mike Majkowski: Neighbouring Objects [CASSETTE with download code] (Astral Spirits)

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SSBT (Chris Cogburn, Steve Jansen & Parham Daghighi): 247 Main [CASSETTE with download code] (Astral Spirits)

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Brotzmann / van Hove / Bennink: 1971 (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Unreleased material from legendary European players Peter Brotzmann (sax), Fred Van Hove (piano) and Han Bennink (drums), captured live in 1971 for intensely heavy playing at the 2nd Internationales New Jazz Meeting Auf Burg Altena, and in detailed studio work at Radio Bremen. ... Click to View


Steve Lacy / Steve Potts: Tips (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Recorded in Paris in 1979, Steve Lacy (soprano sax) and Steve Potts (alto sax) perform music for the aphorisms of Georges Braque, as sung by Irene Aebi; originally issued on Hat Hut records, this reiusse remasters the original release and includes images from the score. ... Click to View


Tom Prehn Quartet: Axiom (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Pianist Tom Prehn's quartet with Frits Krogh on tenor sax, Poul Ehlers on bass, and Finn Slumstrup on bass, superb European free jazz recorded in 1963 in Copenhagen but never formally released, here remastered and issued with an unreleased track from 1966. ... Click to View


John Butcher / Burkhard Beins / Mark Wastell: Membrane (Confront)

Mysteriously dark electroacoustic improv from the adept trio of John Butcher on acoustic and amplified saxophones, Burkhard Beins on amplified bass drum and electronics, and Mark Wastell on amplified 32" paiste tam-tam, slowly evolving, rich environments in sound. ... Click to View


Tony Wilson 6tet: A Day's Life (Drip Audio)

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Joyfultalk: Muuixx (Drip Audio)

Vancouver-based Jay Crocker, half of Bent Spoon with Chris Dadge, in an album of electronics using homebuilt instruments and treatments, rhythmically based music with effective melodies and a quirky, sometimes lo-fi, but always engaging approach. ... Click to View


Gordon Beeferman Trio (w/ James Ilgenfritz, Michael Evans): Out In Here (OutNow Recordings)

Pianist/composer Gordon Beeferman's trio with bassist James Ilgenfritz and drummer/percussionist Michael Evans in an entirely acoustic record that conjures up electronica, noise, free jazz, and new-complexity, in a sublimely creative fashion. ... Click to View


Yoni Kretzmer / Pascal Niggenkemper / Weasel Walter: ProtestMusic (OutNow Recordings)

Passionate jazz from Brooklyn saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer, in a trio with double bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Weasel Walter, from aggressive blowing to subtle and beautiful use of sound, and despite the track titles, near-telepathic interplay. ... Click to View


Davidovski, EFT (Bukelman Bymel): Spatial Awareness (OutNow Recordings)

Formed in 2010, Israeli trio EFT of Ido Bukelman (guitar), Daniel Davidovsky (electronics) and Offer Bymel (drums) create a resilient hybridization of genres and musical approaches, incorporating free jazz, improvisation, noise and modern electronic music. ... Click to View


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  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
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