The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Boneshaker (Williams / Nilssen-Love / Kessler): Fake Music (Soul What Records)

Masterful, fervent free jazz from trans-Atlantic trio of Mars Williams on saxophones, Kent Kessler on bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, capture live at Elastic Arts, in Chicago in 2017 for three impressive collective improvisations of intense energy, articulate and extended expression, and ecstatic improvisation in an exceptional and cohesive concert. ... Click to View


Federico Ughi feat. Rachel Musson: Transoceanico [VINYL] (577)

"Transoceanico" signifies the global reach of Rome, Italy-born improvising drummer Federico Ughi, celebrating 20 years since his first album recorded in London while residing there, leading to his current Brooklyn launchpad for many global tours, this magnificent LP realized in a superb free jazz trio with bassist Adam Lane and tenor saxophonist Rachel Musson. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Watson Jennison / William Parker / Federico Ughi: Live! Volume 1: Erie [VINYL] (577)

Working together in tours and recording since 2005, the NY trio of multi-reedist and wind player Daniel Carter, bassis William Parker and drummer/percussionist Federico Ughi are joined by saxophonist Watson Jennison also on flute, recorder and keyboards for this enlightened album of modern and transcendent jazz in a limited, remastered LP edition with bonus material. ... Click to View


Polyorchard (Estoppey / Jackson / Menestres / Ruccia): Black Mountain (Out & Gone Records)

The North Carolina improvising collective Polyorchard, wrote this set of unusual and diverse improvisation for the 8th {Re}HAPPENING at Black Mountain College on March 31, 2018, this album a studio recording of that music featuring saxophonist Laurent Estoppey, Michael Thomas Jackson on clarinet and radio, David Menestres on bass and objects, and Dan Ruccia on viola and piano. ... Click to View


Polyorchard (Pence / Jackson / Menestres / Ruccia / Phaneuf): Sommian (Out & Gone Records)

The North Carolina improvising collective Polyorchard is heard in this exceptional studio album, configured as a quintet with Michael Thomas Jackson on clarinet, David Menestres on double bass, Crowmeat Bob Pence on bass clarinet, Charles Phaneuf on clarinet, and Dan Ruccia on viola, for the 6 lettered "Sommian" suite of collective and far-ranging experimental improv. ... Click to View


Phil Durrant / Martin Vishnick: Rifinitori di Momenti (Confront)

Two seasoned and broad-minded improvisors - Phil Durrant (Mimo, Lunge, Beinhaltung) here performing on mandolin, and Martin Vishnick performing on classical guitar, in a series of duets of contrasting and intertwining string discourse using profound and sometimes strange techniques, from unhurried abstractions to focused and urgent interplay; impressive. ... Click to View


Turbulence: Flow Across Scales (Evil Clown)

A larger than previous Boston collective's Turbulence ensemble with 6 of the regular horn players from Leap of Faith Orchestra, performing multi-reedist and instrumentalist PEK's extended framework, with drummer percussionist Yui Zbitnoff; the ensembe breaks down to three duos and guest saxophonist Bob O'Brien, captured live at Outpost 186, in Cambridge, MA in August 2018. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble: Luminiferous Aether (Evil Clown)

Metal Chaos Ensemble, formed in 2015 as a working project to explore rhythms on metallic instruments guided by rule-based chaotic systems of a very large number of small components, presents a quintet studio recording using three dedicated drummers, reeds, electronics, and accompanying "tape" mixes, resulting in epic, inspired and wonderfully unpredictable improvisation. ... Click to View


Gil Sanson / Lance Austin Olsen: Works on Paper [2 CDs] (elsewhere)

Two meticulous works in two parts each using layered collage of acoustic instruments, objects, electronics, field recordings, voices, fragments of past compositions and early classical music samples, with A.F. Jones providing voice, from Venezuelan composer/artist Gil Sanson and Canadian-based composer/painter Lance Austin Olsen: "Pra Min" and "Meditations". ... Click to View


Teppo Hauta-aho / Jukka Kaariainen: Winter Suite (Creative Sources)

Finnish composer and bassist Teppo Hauta-aho, who works in both classical and improvised music and has recorded albums with Anthony Braxton and Evan Parker, is joined by Finnish experimental guitar Jukka Kaariainen for an album that brings warmth to the frosty austerity of winter through intricate dialog from stark reserve to rapid, fascinating flurries. ... Click to View


Hanna Schorken: You Told Me How To Dance (Creative Sources)

Hanna Schorken is a published German writer & poet, jazz vocalist and free improviser, since 2005 living in Koln and developing an exceptional and idiosyncratic approach to sound poetry and experimental voice recordings, heard in here in a 7 part work where each movement completes the titles of the poem "I So Liked Spring; You; Told; Me; How; To; Dance". ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro : Nature Denatured and Found Again [5 CD Box Set] (Gravity Wave)

A 5 CD box set of compositions written by Michael Pisaro using field recordings captured along the Grosse Muhl River in Austria during the 2011-15 Flussaufwartstreiben project, now accompanying performances made along that river by Antoine Beuger (flute), Jurg Frey (clarinet), Marcus Kaiser (cello), Radu Malfatti (trombone), Andre Moller (guitar), and Kathryn Pisaro (oboe). ... Click to View


Ingrid Laubrock (w/ Halvorson / Davis / Wooley): Contemporary Chaos Practices - Two Works For Orchestra With Soloists (Intakt)

Studio recordings of two startlingly impressive compositions for orchestra and improvisers, with four soloists--Mary Halvorson (guitar), Kris Davis (piano), Nate Wooley (trumpet), and Laubrock (saxophone)-- presenting "Vogelfrei" written for the 2014 second Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Reading, and "Contemporary Chaos Practices" written for the 2017 Moers Festival. ... Click to View


Alexander Hawkins : Iron Into Wind (Intakt)

A masterful performance at Radio Studio Zurich in Switzerland in 2018 from London jazz pianist Alexander Hawkins, improvising over a wide range of interests from jazz & blues to avant compositional work, with impressive skill as he runs complex and diverging figures on each hand that are coherent and exhilarating to follow, balanced with beautiful reflective sections. ... Click to View


Winged Serpents (Courvoisier / Davis / Taborn / Marsella / Ortiz / Coleman): Six Encomiums For Cecil Taylor (Tzadik)

The Winged Serpents is a collective of solo pianist brought together by John Zorn to pay tribute to brilliant free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, taking their name from his 1985 Soul Note album "Winged Serpent", Craig Taborn, Sylvie Courvoisier, Brian Marsella, Kris Davis, Aruan Ortiz, and Anthony Coleman each pay homage in original improvisations that invoke the spirit of Taylor's work. ... Click to View


Cleric (John Zorn - Masada Book 3): The Book Beri'ah Vol 2 | Chokhma (Tzadik)

John Zorn's Masada Book Three, "The Book Beri'ah", continues in its second volume with this powerful and demanding album from the Philadelphia avant-metal band of Ludovic Beier on accordion & accordina, Timba Harris on violins, Matt Hollenberg on guitars & Oud, Dan Kennedy on bass, Larry Kwartowitz on drums, and Nick Shellenberger on keyboards & vocals. ... Click to View


Mandhira De Saram / Benoit Delbecq: Spinneret (Confront)

Delicate improvised interaction based around a day of meditative composing from London-based violinist Mandhira de Saram, a founding member and leader of the Ligeti Quartet, and French pianist Benoit Delbecq, an active improviser also involved in theater, dance, and visual arts; here the two use profound control and mastery to create intensity without excess. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Order Of Ramifications (Evil Clown)

The core trio of the Boston collective Leap of Faith Orchestra of improvisers, approaching large work using unique compositional techniques and an arsenal of traditional and unusual instruments and percussive devices, here joined by Elinor Spiers on violin, log drums, glockenspiel, metal, wood, crotales, and cymbells, for a uniquely detailed and immense improvisation. ... Click to View


Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Miguel Mira / Anna Piosik / Carlos Santos: Eris (Creative Sources)

A quintet album of minimal/lowercase electroacoustic improvisation recordeded at Penedo in Portugal from Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, Miguel Mira on cello, Anna Piosik on trumpet, and Carlos Santos on electronics, each performer using extended techniques, contrasting atmospheric tones with percussive, often pointillistic approaches. ... Click to View


Carlo Costa: Oblio (Neither/Nor Records)

New York-based Italian percussionist and Neither/Nor label leader Carlo Costa in a solo percussion album of two pieces using drum set, concert bass drum, singing bowls, bells, triangles, wood blocks, tiles, styrofoam, cymbals, violin bows, marbles, chains, knives, and other objects, creating fascinating alien soundscapes of momentous activity without histrionics. ... Click to View


Mattin: Songbook #6 [VINYL] (Munster Records, Insulin Addicted Records, Crudités Tapes)

Spanish sound artist and vocalist Mattin in his 6th "Songbook" album, performed with Farahnaz Hatam, Pan Daijing, Colin Hacklander, Werner Dafeldecker, and Dean Roberts, a vicious mix of essentially no-wave rock and experimental music, six songs at exactly six minutes each covering topics of the conflicts, confusion and frustrations of our modern age. ... Click to View


Nate Wooley (Wooley / Sawyer / Halvorson / Alcorn): Columbia Icefield (Northern Spy)

With two guitarists--Mary Halvorson and Susan Alcorn on pedal steel--and Ryan Sawyer on drums, New York trumpeter explores the Rocky Mountains Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, through sophisticated compositions and superbly illustrative sound, an exceptional album of improvisation and intention from four modern masters. ... Click to View


The Seen: Archive : Volumes Vi - X : 2014 To 2016 (Confront)

Five concerts of exceptional free improvisation, recorded in London, the last at Cafe OTO, across 5 CDs of collective ensembles known as "The Seen", presenting of some of the UK & Europe's finest improvisers, including Mark Wastell, John Butcher, David Toop, Dominic Lash, Phil Durrant, Angharad Davies, Jason Kahn, Bertrand Denzler, Yoni Silver, Chris Burn, &c. ... Click to View


Arild Andersen / Clive Bell / Mark Wastell: Tales Of Hackney (Confront)

World instrumentation of shakuhachi, thai flute, shinobue, thai mouth organ, and shruti box blends with western orchestration of electric bass, percussion and electronics as Clive Bell, Arild Andersen, and Mark Wastell come together in the studio after their well-received concert at Cafe Oto in London to develop these beautifully lyrical improvisations. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp Trio / Nicole Mitchell: All Things Are (RogueArt)

Chicago and New York come together in Brooklyn to record this excellent encounter between pianist Matthew Shipp and flutist Nicole Mitchell, with Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums, bridging exciting free playing with strong lyrical elements, balancing kinetically exuberant interaction with introspective and dark moments; inspired and masterful. ... Click to View


Ernesto Rodrigues / Tristan Honsinger / Guilherme Rodrigues / Klaus Kurvers: Ignis Fatuus (Creative Sources)

Recording in Germany, Creative Source's two Rodrigues'--Ernesto on viola and Guilherme on cello--along with double bassist Klaus Kurvers, celebrate legendary improvising cellist Tristan Honsinger's birthday in this studio album of active playing with a chamber quartet feeling through superb technical skills yielding electrifying string improvisation. ... Click to View


Matthias Bauer: Spontan In Granit (Creative Sources)

Berlin double bassist Mathias Bauer, a member of Unitedberlin, Asian Art, Junge Music and mosaik, and half of the duo Alchimia Organica, presents a series of 18 solid and diverse spontaneous improvisations, most averaging under 3 minutes, captivating the listener through articulate momentum, exceptional technique, and inventive narrative. ... Click to View


Irene Kepl / Fred Marty: Pirouette (Creative Sources)

Austrian violinist and composer Irene Kepl met French double bassist Fred Marty joined in the studio in France in 2018 to record this lively album of string interactions, both players showing masterful skills informed by classical and improvisational training, shown through impressive and mischievous technique and dialog that "Pirouettes", "Rolls", "Skids" and even takes a "U-Turn". ... Click to View


Eric La Casa / Eamon Sprod: Friche : Transition (Swarming)

Making something out of "nothing", audio explorers and sonic organizers Eric La Casa from France and Australian Eamon Sprod spent a week on the waste grounds in the North East of Paris along the Canal Ourcq, capturing field recordings which they used to develop these active compositions, captivating by morphing everyday sounds into something intriguingly mysterious and remarkable. ... Click to View


Carlo Costa / Jason Nazary: Dim Thickets [CASSETTE] (Anticausal Systems)

Bringing together two New York percussionists for a wild ride of that finds drummer Jason Nazary performing exclusively on electronics against and alongside Neither/Nor label-leader Carlo Costa's percussion, using glitch and aberrant electronics in actively constrained ways as the two dart and weave around each other in an exciting and unique improvisational dialog. ... Click to View


  •  •  •    Join Our Mailing List!



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:


Winged Serpents
(Courvoisier /
Davis /
Taborn /
Marsella /
Ortiz /
Coleman):
Six Encomiums
For Cecil Taylor
(Tzadik)



Ingrid Laubrock (w/ Halvorson /
Davis /
Wooley):
Contemporary Chaos
Practices -
Two Works For
Orchestra With Soloists
(Intakt)



Alexander Hawkins:
Iron Into
Wind
(Intakt)



Michael Pisaro :
Nature Denatured and
Found Again
[5 CD Box Set]
(Gravity Wave)



Arild Andersen /
Clive Bell /
Mark Wastell:
Tales Of
Hackney
(Confront)



Matthew Shipp Trio /
Nicole Mitchell:
All Things Are
(RogueArt)



The Seen:
Archive : Volumes Vi - X :
2014 To 2016
(Confront)



Ernesto Rodrigues /
Tristan Honsinger /
Guilherme Rodrigues /
Klaus Kurvers:
Ignis Fatuus
(Creative Sources)



Nate Wooley (Wooley /
Sawyer /
Halvorson /
Alcorn):
Columbia Icefield
(Northern Spy)



Anthony Braxton :
GTM (Syntax) 2017
[12 CD BOX SET]
(New Braxton House/
Firehouse 12 Records)



David Torn /
Tim Berne /
Ches Smith:
Sun Of
Goldfinger
(ECM)



David Torn /
Tim Berne /
Ches Smith:
Sun Of
Goldfinger
[VINYL]
(ECM)



The Urge Trio:
Live At The
Hungry Brain
(Veto)



Tomas Fujiwara :
Triple Double
[VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)



Flying Luttenbachers, The:
Shattered Dimension
(ugEXPLODE)



Rodrigues /
Rodrigues /
Santos:
Cyclic Symmetry
(Creative Sources)



Alister Spence /
Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe:
Imagine Meeting You Here
(Alister Spence Music)



Fred Frith Trio:
Closer To
The Ground
(Intakt)



London Experimental
Ensemble:
Child Ballads
(Split Rock Records)



Jason Hwang Kao
(Bynum /
Daley /
Drury /
Filiano /
Li /
Swell /
Guowei):
Blood
(True Sound Recordings)







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. (57371)