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Ratchet Orchestra:
Coco Swirl (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Active since the early 90's, the superb Montreal super-group Ratchet Orchestra under the direction of Nicolas Caloia with 19 performers presents 10 works including the title track, with soloists including Jean Rene, Lori Freedman, Jean Derome, Ellwood Epps, Sam Shalabi, Craig Petersen, Yves Charuest, Joshua Zubot, Scott Thomson, Isaiah Ceccarelli, &c. ... Click to View


Chris Pitsiokos :
Speak In Tongues And Hope For The Gift Of Interpretation (Relative Pitch)

Dedicating his pieces to Charlie Parker, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and John Zorn, NY alto saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos is heard live at this solo concert in New Haven, CT in 2019, reflecting on the history of jazz through his intense playing style that deploys incredible technique balanced with abstraction and rapid lyricism. ... Click to View


Raoul Bjorkenheim :
Solar Winds (Long Song Records)

Paying tribute to his musical inspiration John Coltrane, Finnish/NY electric guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim leads a quartet with Silvia Bolognesi on contrabass, Tiziano Tononi on drums & percussion, and Emanuele Parrini on violin, as they perform five Coltrane compositions and two Bjorkenheim originals, a superlative homage to technical brilliance and conceptual vision. ... Click to View


Eugene Chadbourne / Duck Baker / Randy Hutton :
The Guitar Trio In Calgary 1977 (Emanem)

A concert recording from 1977 in Calgary, CA captured during Eugene Chadbourne's time in Canada prior to his move to NYC, from the guitar trio of Duck Baker, Randy Hutton & Eugene Chadbourne, performing on acoustic guitars, using a variety of approaches to improvising in trio, duo and solo configurations, with original work, an Ornette Coleman mashup, and a piece by Charlie Haden. ... Click to View


Company:
1983 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Honest Jons Records)

Unreleased recordings from Derek Bailey's Company project, recorded at the BBC in 1983 with a stellar set of performers including Evan Parker (clarinet), Hugh Davies (electroncis), Jamie Muir (percussion), Joelle Leandre (bass), J.D. Parran (winds), John Corbett (trumpet), Vinko Globokar (trombone), Ernst Reijseger (cello), and Peter Brotzmann (reeds). ... Click to View


Muhal Abrams Richard:
Celestial Birds [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

A compilation of works from the late Chicago multi-reedist, experimenter, and AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams, focused on his widely unknown electronic compositions, with four recording from 1968-1995 with collaborators including Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Amina Claudine Myers, Roscoe Mitchell, Maurice McIntyre, Yousef Yancey, Thurman Barker, &c. ... Click to View


Eric La Casa:
L'inspir du Rivage part 2&3 [VINYL 7-inch] (Povertech / Joe Colley)

First stock of this 1999 7" from French sound artist Eric La Casa created as part of Joe Colley's "Explorer" series, the title translating to "the shore breathing" where each composition develops from field recordings of water, the first part more naturalist and adhering to the initial recordings, the second using sound processing to create something unique and mesmerizing. ... Click to View


Rachel Musson / Naoko Saito / Audrey Lauro:
The Region Of Braille Responsibility [CD with English Braille Sheet] (Armageddon Nova)

Three female saxophonist from around the world--Rachel Musson (UK), Naoko Saito (Japan) and Audrey Lauro (Belgium)--in a compilation of solo saxophone works, two extended pieces from Musson and Satio, and four shoterr works from Laura, with a CD insert with English Braille characters, and a QR code that, when scans, plays the audio information for the album. ... Click to View


Musica Elettronica Viva:
United Patchwork [VINYL 2 LPs] (Alternative Fox)

A reissue of Musica Elettronica Viva's innovative 1978 open-structured album of free improvisation, United Patchwork, with the core performers of Frederic Rzewski on piano & electric piano, Richard Teitelbaum on synthesizer & conch shells, Alvin Curran on synthesizer & keys, plus Karl Berger on keys & vibraphone, Garrett List on trombone, and Steve Lacy on soprano sax. ... Click to View


Karkhana:
Bitter Balls [VINYL] (Unrock)

LP-only, no 7" single. The second full-length album from Karkhana, a septet featuring members of Dwarfs Of East Agouza, A "Trio", Konstrukt, Chicago Tentet, Land of Kush, among others in four compositions of "crystal clear and deep, dark, distorted unrock compositions" in both electric and acoustic instrumentation, an internation genre-crossing album. ... Click to View


Rob Burke / Ben Monder / Tom Rainey / Ben Grayson:
Slip Sliding (FMR)

Rob Burke composed the first seven pieces for this experimental NY quartet, the multi-reedist joined by guitarist Ben Monder, drummer Tom Rainey, and Ben Grayson on electronics, the last "Discordat" a collective improvisation in 4 parts, as the band investigates emotional approaches to playin, using subtle distortion and Grayson's post-editing sonic additions. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall Nonet The:
Interpretations of Beauty (FMR)

Paul Dunmall's nonet with Neil Metcalfe, Philip Gibbs, Trevor Taylor, Hannah Marshall, Sarah Farmer, Theo May, Alison Blunt and John Edwards on one track is a larger ensemble blurring improvisation and compositional approaches through violin, viola, cello, double bass guitar, reeds, flute, and guitar; sophisticated chamber improvisation of superb quality. ... Click to View


Nicolas Field / Albert Cirera:
Live at Dragon (FMR)

After recording the Not Two trio album "Five Spontaneous Ones", the trio of Catalan saxophonist Albert Cirera, English/Swiss drummer Nicolas Field and Polish bass player Rafalm Mazur planned a concert at Klub Dragon in Poland, but when Mazur was unavailable Field & Cirera played the concert as a duo, recording this exceptional sax & drum free jazz album. ... Click to View


Quatuor Bozzini:
Ana Sokolovic: Short Stories (Collection QB)

Long-time collaborators the Quatuor Bozzini string quartet of Clemens Merkel, Alissa Cheung, Stephanie Bozzini and Isabelle Bozzini join with Slavic composer living in Montreal Ana Sokolovic, to present a series of 14 short works -- "Ghost 1" & "Ghost 2"; "Commedia dell'arte" in 10 movements; "Blanc dominant"; and "Troisieme page apres le soleil". ... Click to View


Treesearch:
Know More Knowledge (577)

West Coast/San Diego violinist Keir GoGwilt and bassist Kyle Motl are Treesearch, improvising on contrabass and violin with warm strength and expression, using a mix of traditional and creative approaches to their instruments as they bridge jazz and modern compositional approaches to create their own unique approach to free improvisation. ... Click to View


Astroturf Noise (Harmet / Nagano / Swanson / Martin / Bernstein):
Astroturf Noise (577)

Astroturf Noise is Sam Day Harmet on mandolin, Sana Nagano on violin, Zach Swanson on bass, Billy Martin on percussion, and Sarah Bernstein on violin, living at the intersection of American folk & roots music and free improvisation, using effects and sonic additions music in an unusual mix that the quintet makes completely natural and all their own. ... Click to View


Tony Irving / Massimo Magee :
Vitriol And The Third Oraculum (577)

Two separate live recordings from the UK sax & drum duo of Massimo Magee on tenor, alto and sopranino saxophones, and drummer Tony Irving (Ascension), both captured in 2019 at The Globe in Newcastle Upon Tyne and at Hundred Years Gallery in London, as they burn through three free jazz dialogs of passionate playing informed by personal history and creative drive. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Matthew Putman:
Whoadie (577)

"Whoadie" is New Orleans slang for close friends, and the NY trio of saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter and flute player Daniel Carter, clarinetist Patrick Holmes, and pianist Matthew Putname are three close compatriots including Telepathic Band, and apt description of their chamber-oriented free improv in an album inspired by an out of tune piano. ... Click to View


FEN (Otomo Yoshihide / Ryu Hankil / Yan Jun / Yuen Chee Wai):
No One's Island (Mikroton Recordings)

FEN (Far East Network) is comprised of improvisers from Singapore (Yuen Chee Wai), Japan (Otomo Yoshihide), China (Yan Jun), and Korea (Ryu Hankil), using electroacoustic instrumetnation to create a unique merging of cultural and personal aesthetic, in their 1st album recorded in NYC using electronic feedback, computer noises and guitar; intriguing and unconventional. ... Click to View


Turbulence:
Tumult (Evil Clown)

The extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra is heard here as a quintet with PEK (reeds), Jim Warshsauer (reeds), Bob Moores (trumpet), Eric Dahlman (trumpet) and Duane Reed (baritone horn), all using an a vast collection of percussive instruments, game calls and other devices, to create a journey of tone, color, interactive playing and rhythmic intervention. ... Click to View


Tim Hodgkinson / Jason Alder / Chris Cundy / Yoni Silver / Heather Roche / Shadanga Duo / Thanos Chrysakis:
Music For Bass Clarinets (Aural Terrains)

A live performance at London's Cafe OTO from composer Thanos Chrysakis, performing compositions focused on the deeper reeds from composers Christian Wolff, Iancu Dumitrescu, Hannes Kerschbaumer, Georges Aperghis, and Chrysakis himself, in configurations from solo to quintet, with Tim Hodgkinson, Jason Alder, Chris Cundy, Heather Roce, Yoni Silver, and Shadanga Duo. ... Click to View


Thollem / Parker / Cline:
Gowanus Sessions II (ESP)

Free collective improvisation with an electronic edge from the trio of Nels Cline, double bassist William Parker and pianist Thollem McDonas, following up on their 2012 "Gowanus Session I" recorded in the same studio space, here expanding on the 1st session's shorter works with two large and evolving improvisations that balance reflective moments with intensive playing. ... Click to View


Luigi Archetti / Bo Wiget:
Weltformat (Die Schachtel)

"Weltformat" translates to "world-class", an apt description of the 20 year collaboration between sound explorers, improvisers and rock legends Bo Wiget and Luigi Archetti, heard in this diverse album of soundscapes and sonic intersections, with Archetti on guitar, mandolin, & electronics, and Wiget on cello, electronics, & vocals, fascinating their listener in shades of dark and light. ... Click to View


Luigi Archetti / Bo Wiget:
Weltformat [VINYL 2 LPs] (Die Schachtel)

"Weltformat" translates to "world-class", an apt description of the 20 year collaboration between sound explorers, improvisers and rock legends Bo Wiget and Luigi Archetti, heard in this diverse album of soundscapes and sonic intersections, with Archetti on guitar, mandolin, & electronics, and Wiget on cello, electronics, & vocals, fascinating their listener in shades of dark and light. ... Click to View


Will Guthrie:
Nist-Nah (Black Truffle)

Using instruments inspired by Australian percussionist Will Guthrie's travels to Indonesia and his fascination with Gamelan music, Guthrie explores modern percussion approach using electroacoustic composition and improvisation, focusing tradition in both hypnotically delicate textures and complex energetic music, merging rhythm and melody in fascinating ways. ... Click to View


Brunhild Ferrari / Jim O'Rourke:
Le Piano Englouti [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Recorded in concert at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe in 2014, electronic artists and composers Brunhild Ferrari and Jim O'Rourke use tapes, electronics and synths to create these two monumental works of electroacoustic improvisation, with sources including material from Luc Ferrari's "Exercises d'Improvisation", O'Rourke revising and remixing the material in 2019 for this LP release. ... Click to View


Keith Jafrate / Herve Perez:
Tete-a-Tete (Noumenon)

Recorded live in the studio in Sheffield in a single take, this first time meeting of the UK alto saxophone duo of Keith Jafrate and Herve Perez improvise freely, distinguishable by the stereo channel they reside in, as they display great technical skill and a unique sense of humor on tracks titled like "Something Funky in the Sauce" or "And a Hair in the Pudding". ... Click to View


Scott Thomson:
Murray - Trombone Solos (Tour de Bras)

Trombonist Scott Murray (Monicker, AIMToronto) performed this installment of his "Trombone Solos at Odd Hours" series by paying homage after the passing of his friend, painter and drummer John Heward, recording this concert at Heward's studio in his home on Murray Street in Montreal, in a far-ranging and emotional solo performance of fascinating technique and expression. ... Click to View


Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet (feat. John Zorn):
Voodoo [VINYL] (Black Saint Vinyl)

Pianist Sonny Clark passed in 1963, leaving a legacy of compositions that the Downtown NY trio of saxophonist John Zorn, drummer Bobby Previte, and pianist Wayne Horvitz seized upon in 1985, enlisting legendary bassist Ray Drummond to record these seven Clark compositions, blurring hard bop history with emerging improv technique, an apt reissue of a fitting memorial quartet. ... Click to View


Kosi:
Stranger In Every Town (self-released)

NY/East Coast Jazz vocalist Kosi presents her 5th album, a rewarding album of original songs that depict her experiences touring as an independent singer-songwriter through jazz idioms influenced by blues and rock forms, her strong voice emotional and expressive while supported by a core sextet of New York musicians; lyrical, solid, passionate. ... Click to View


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  SKIST 
  Ellipsis  
  (Polarity) 

   review by Darren Bergstein
  2008-05-07
SKIST: Ellipsis (Polarity)

Downtown NYC croney Samm Bennett is surely one of the few unsung denizens of a scene already populated by a legion of inscrutable iconoclasts. A journeyman percussionist and former student of African drumming, forgetting his tenure as a member of many a John Zorn band, Bennett's resumé reads like a studio/tour diary of East side luminaries: collaborations with the late cellist Tom Cora (as Third Person), Cuneiform avant-jazz tropes Curlew and Dr. Nerve, George Cartwright, six-string terrorist Elliott Sharp, saxophonist Graham Haynes, ad infinitum.

Angular, obtuse, and (curiously enough) extremely electronic, his duo Skist, with Japanese vocalist Haruna Ito, hosts some of the most provocative and progressive music of Bennett's storied career. A record that mysteriously slipped under most folks' radar, throughout Ellipsis, Bennett's former African drumming teachings reveal an extraordinarily rich fulcrum of polyrhythms, adjunct meters, and a range of genuinely askew and innovative time signatures, made all the more remarkable due to meticulous programming techniques rather than hand-derived skin-smacking. Cross-eyed and painless, Bennett smears a witches cauldron of capricious noises over Ito's stream-of-consciousness lyrics, sang in a restrained falsetto whose cadences entwine themselves around Bennett's sticky beats like a molasses fog.

At times, the pronounced rhythmic matrices and layers of electronic gimcrackery reveal startling sights; Bennett and Ito appear to acknowledge electronica's 90s hallmarks (IDM, glitch music, clicks n' cuts) yet their referencing of such tropes is honorary at best, since they're too enthralled by the charismatic sound design to care. "Slow Wave Sleep" gallops along on a drum 'n' bass chassis, Bennett tossing rippling lo-fi synth squiggles and sandshifting nuclei below Ito's jetstream vocals, but the aural palette is rendered with such elaborate panache only the most elitist overachiever would renounce it - Skist's somersaulting beats could in fact revive what has now become a moribund genre. On "Return", popping, jack-in-the-box electronics subvert the worlds Ito invokes by their sheer abnormality, while a triage of triangle discharge, soft synth whipsnaps and elastic pop imbibing "Trace Me" summons up all manners of electronic listening music's ghosts, from the gelatinous microforms of the late General Productions Recordings crew to the queasy listening propagated by conduits connecting Sandoz and The Black Dog, to the initial sparks generated by early 12k releases. Bottom line: Ellipsis is that rare record that denies, defies and deifies all that's most attractive about blips and bleeps, and quite superbly, too.



SKIST: Ellipsis
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Raoul Bjorkenheim:
Solar Winds
(Long Song Records)



Ratchet Orchestra:
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Company:
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Muhal Abrams Richard:
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Decoy
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Brunhild Ferrari /
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