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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

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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

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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)

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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)

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

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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

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  Riccardo Dillon Wanke 

   review by Max Schaefer
Riccardo Dillon Wanke: Caves (Sedimental)

Riccardo Dillon Wanke deals with the fabric of minimalist improvisation, classical composition, and folk balladry on Caves. His playing with them is intellectually tough, shattering conventional changes, while using one eye to artfully manage the debris, and saving the other to remain highly susceptible to possible permutations as he gauges the sounds around him.

These different dimensions are from the beginning located in one and the same compositional space, and they are generally revealed for their surprisingly complementary aspects. The lucid, rigid control and sense of equilibrium of this aural space is feed by an antipathy and conflict among the elements, which tag each other like thorns, get in amongst each other like bracken, not to paralyze the proceedings, but to corrugate its skin the better to sink beneath it, and so further extend their movement into more oblique dimensions. The evolution is thus alert and unforced, and each phase feels part of a developing argument.

Rather than technique or spontaneous self-expression, its the sonic relationships that put forward those arguments on "E" and several others like it. Clotted circular structures of acoustic playing, deadpan and untutored, slowly bleed into sustained purring multiphonics. During dead moments such this, Wanke remains immobile and unobtrusive, silently counting time while awaiting the next natural point of entry into the music. This occurs some five minutes later, at the nine minute mark, when breathy fluttering phantom notes weave beneath an elaborate mesh of resonant echoes, high-frequency canopies and metallic micro-rhythms in the undergrowth.

Where these works exhibit classical formality in their highly regulated and robust treatment of a series of events, as the performance progresses, Wanke embraces increasing extremes of texture and stylistic reference points - chromaticism extends beyond its tipping point, dissolving into clusters, multiphonics are elongated into torrential arpeggio's, and thick amplifier distortion and vibrating pools verge on volatility before they soften and spawn subtle half-melodies. The pieces so arranged achieve full statements, making their points without overindulgence, remaining clear and concise while making certain commitments to risk. It's apparent throughout just how beautifully made and directly affecting these pieces are, and what a significant contribution Caves makes to experimental music of a minimalist bent.

Riccardo Dillon Wanke: Caves
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