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© 2002-2017, Squidco LLC
New In Improvisation
See all in:  Free Improv  •  Jazz  •  EA-Improv  •  lowercase
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Lopez / Nelson / Nicodemou / Cleaver: The Industry Of Entropy Lopez / Nelson / Nicodemou / Cleaver:
The Industry Of Entropy

(Relative Pitch -- USA )

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A great example of Downtown New York modern improvisation that takes unexpected twists and turns, from the collective quartet of bassist Brandon Lopez, a frequent collaborator with Nate Wooley and Ivo Perelman, tenor saxophonist Matt Nelson ( tUnE-yArDs), vibraphonist Andria Nicodemou (Thread Ensemble, Taylor Ho Bynum), and Gerald Cleaver (Veil of Names, Uncle June, &c).

Hall's, Ben Racehorse Names (w/ Joe Morris): The New Favorite Thing Called Breathing Hall's, Ben Racehorse Names (w/ Joe Morris):
The New Favorite Thing Called Breathing

(Relative Pitch -- USA )

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Out and unusual compositions from drummer Ben Hall and his sextet with Mick Dobday on electric piano & organ, Anthony Levin DEcanini on electronics, Ronnie Zawadi on percussion, John Dierker on reeds, Mike Khoury on viola & violin, and joined by Joe Morris on guitar, for 6 "Spines", free compositions using odd compositional structures leading to superb solo and group playing.

Frangenheim, Alexander / Nikolaus Neuser / Richard Scott: Trialectics Frangenheim, Alexander / Nikolaus Neuser / Richard Scott:
Trialectics

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Active and exciting electroacoustic improvisation with a strong emphasis on the electronics from Richard Scott and his uniquely developed modular synthesizer, from this Berlin-based collective trio with double bassist Alexander Frangenheim and trumpeter Nikolaus Neuser, exploring Trialectics, a complex system of 21st century thought and formal logic.

Otopus (Rodrigues / Humm / Curado / Piosik / Hencleeday / Almeida / Santos / Godinho): Vulgaris Otopus (Rodrigues / Humm / Curado / Piosik / Hencleeday / Almeida / Santos / Godinho):
Vulgaris

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Correctly configured, the Portugese ensemble Octopus is an octet, and though named after the most common of the breed, this 8-tentacled orchestration of strings, flute, trumpet, piano, guitar, electronics and percussion, all using extended techniques, slides deftly and with incredible restraint through a large, detailed dark-water work of electroacoustic improvisation.

Third Coast Ensemble: Wrecks Third Coast Ensemble:
Wrecks

(RogueArt -- Austria )

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Merging France's Nautilis Ensemble with musicians from Chicago created this large improvising orchestra, here in a new suite composed by Rob Mazurek and dedicated to Great Lake Michigan and the devestation of thousands of shipwrecks over many centuries, using historical data, first hand accounts of shipwrecks off both shores, magical realism and steampunk aesthetics.

Parker, William : Conversations II Dialogues & Monologues [CD & BOOK] Parker, William :
Conversations II Dialogues & Monologues [CD & BOOK]

(RogueArt -- France )

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The 2nd volume in New York free improvising basist William Parker's "Conversations" series, more than 500 pages with 32 interview between William Parker and artists including Marshall Allen, Tim Berne, Wadada Leo Smith, Mark Dresser, Henry Grimes, &c &c, plus a CD excerpting those interviews and punctuated with duos between Parker and saxophonist Kidd Jordan.

Made to Break: Trebuchet Made to Break:
Trebuchet

(Trost Records -- Austria )

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The eight release from Ken Vandermark's hard-hitting quartet with Austrian electronic improviser Christof Kurzmann, Netherlands bassist Jasper Stadhouders, and Chicago drummer and frequent Vandermark collaborator Tim Daisy, for 3 vigorous and extreme pieces dedicated to Shellac, Susan Sontag, and Kerry James Marshall; powerful, informed, essential.

Made to Break: Trebuchet [VINYL] Made to Break:
Trebuchet [VINYL]

(Trost Records -- Austria )

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The eight release from Ken Vandermark's hard-hitting quartet with Austrian electronic improviser Christof Kurzmann, Netherlands bassist Jasper Stadhouders, and Chicago drummer and frequent Vandermark collaborator Tim Daisy, for 3 vigorous and extreme pieces dedicated to Shellac, Susan Sontag, and Kerry James Marshall; powerful, informed, essential.

Kodian Trio: II [VINYL] Kodian Trio:
II [VINYL]

(Trost Records -- Austria )

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The uniquely voiced free improvising Kodian Trio formed of saxophonist Colin Webster using aggressive techniques and unusual approaches to his horn, electric guitarist Dirk Serries (vidnaObmana) throwing spiky lines in forceful and unorthodox dialog, and in-demand UK drummer Andrew Lisle providing underpinning and punctuation, in six far-ranging and impressive tracks.

Boneshaker: Thinking Out Loud [VINYL] Boneshaker:
Thinking Out Loud [VINYL]

(Trost Records -- Austria )

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The third album from this international trio of powerful improvisers--Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, and Chicago/NY saxophonist Mars William-- in four odysseys that take the listener from introspective playing to out and out blowing, using technique to serve their incredible dialog.

Becoming Animal (Massimo Pupillo / Gordon Sharp): A Distant Hand Lifted [VINYL] Becoming Animal (Massimo Pupillo / Gordon Sharp):
A Distant Hand Lifted [VINYL]

(Trost Records -- Austria )

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An album of dark atmospheric electroacoustic sound with voice and introductory narrative from Zu bassist Massimo Pupillo and Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk, the first meeting between the two, performed live at Cafe Oto for four pieces of rich sonics, emotional and hypnotic playing from two creative masters with a long history of powerful and passionate music.

Mikami, Kan / John Edwards / Alex Nielson: Live at Cafe Oto [VINYL] Mikami, Kan / John Edwards / Alex Nielson:
Live at Cafe Oto [VINYL]

(Otoroku -- UK )

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More typically a solo performer, Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami has created a distinctive path for his voice, guitar and poetic lyrics; here he is propelled in an improvisational setting with two powerful UK players--John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums--captured live at London's Cafe Oto for a growling concert of finesse and brusque attitude.

Golia, Vinny Wind Quartet: Live At The Century City Playhouse Golia, Vinny Wind Quartet:
Live At The Century City Playhouse

(Dark Tree Records -- France )

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Dark Tree's Southern California archive series adds this phenomenal session from multi-woodwind player Vinny Golia's Wind Quartet with clarinetist John Carter, trombonist Glenn Ferris, and cornetist Bobby Bradford, recorded fairly early in their careers in 1979 live at Century City Playhouse in LA for two sets of exploratory, dexterous and astounding jazz.

Kobi, Christian (solo and with Taku Sugimoto / Yoko Ikeda / Wakana Ikeda: Atta! Kobi, Christian (solo and with Taku Sugimoto / Yoko Ikeda / Wakana Ikeda:
Atta!

(Monotype -- Poland )

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Four solo saxophone improvisations, two on tenor and two on soprano, using remarkable technique and concentration from Swiss improviser Christian Kobi performing live in Tokyo and Osaka in 2017, plus a live quartet improvisation with flutist Wakana Ikeda, violinist Yoko Ikeda, and guitarist Taku Sugimoto for an open-approached performance of detailed, minimal improv.

Tamura, Natsuki / Alexander Frangenheim: Nax Tamura, Natsuki / Alexander Frangenheim:
Nax

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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An impressive, creative, startling meeting between Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and German double bassist Alexander Frangenheim, taking Tamura out of his more typical structured improv and Frangenhemin into more active and agressive styles than his Creative Sources output; a great album reminding just how fun and awe inspiring free improvised music can be.

Polyorchard: Red October [CASSETTE w/DOWNLOAD] Polyorchard:
Red October [CASSETTE w/DOWNLOAD]

(Out and Gone Music -- USA )

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Polyorchard founder and double bassist David Menestres leads the quartet of Jeb Bishop on trombone, Shawn Galvin on percussion, and Laurent Estoppey on saxophone, using skills drawn from both improvisation and compositional music to present six free dialogs showing intent listening amongst the four as they create complex, interweaving, sophisticated statements; impressive!

Polyorchard: Color Theory in Black and White Polyorchard:
Color Theory in Black and White

(Not On Label -- USA )

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Two trios, "Black" with cellist Chris Eubank and violist Dan Ruccia, and "White" with trombonist Jeb Bishop and saxophonist Laurent Estoppey, each with the foundation of bassist David Menestres, balancing experience in free improvisation and compositional music to create an exciting hybrid, a chamber collective of tumult and control.

Oyauchi, Aishi : Wrong Exit Oyauchi, Aishi :
Wrong Exit

(Armageddon Nova -- Japan )

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Under-recorded but legendary Japanese free improvising saxophonist Aishi Oyauchi in a double CD, performing on alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, and piano through 52 untitled and inventive pieces, from a few seconds in length to several minutes, presented as 7 composite tracks; part of the Armageddon Nova Series exploring radical free improvisation.

Various Artists: Lao Dan / Rick Countryman / Colin Webster: Saxophone Anatomy Various Artists: Lao Dan / Rick Countryman / Colin Webster:
Saxophone Anatomy

(Armageddon Nova -- Japan )

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Saxophone solo improvisation omnibus by three free saxophonists from around the globe: Lao Dan from China recording in an underground bomb shelter in an agressive solo performance; US ex-pat Rick Countryman from the Philippines in a traditional yet extremely free jazz exposition; and London's Colin Webster on baritone sax for an exploration of extended techniques.

Chrysakis, Thanos / Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Miguel Mira / Abdul Moimeme: Micrograp Chrysakis, Thanos / Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Miguel Mira / Abdul Moimeme:
Micrographia

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Recording in Portugal, the quintet of Aural Terrains label leader Thanos Chrysakis on piano, Creative Sources label leader Ernesto Rodrigue on viola, son Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, Miguel Mira on double bass and Abdul Moimeme on electric guitar, three parts of microscopic collective electroacoustic improvisation of highly focused, detailed interplay.

Trio 3 (Lake / Workman / Cyrille): Visiting Texture Trio 3 (Lake / Workman / Cyrille):
Visiting Texture

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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This time around the long-standing trio of drummer Andrew Cyrille, bassist Reggie Workman, and saxophonist Oliver Lake doesn't add a 4th player to the group, instead focusing on the trio itself and their intuitive and implicitly lyrical approach to free jazz, in this 11th album recorded in the studio to feature their masterful collective playing as a group of equals where "music is the leader".

VCA (Vilanova / Castrillon / Andean): Ceres VCA (Vilanova / Castrillon / Andean):
Ceres

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Electroacoustic improvisation from the trio of Marc Vilanova on saxophone, Sergio Castrillon on cello, and pianist James Andean also performing on objects and electronics, in nine collective improvisations of close-knit dialog balancing intense activity and silent space, building tension and releasing it in unexpected and wonderfully eccentric ways.

Black, Jim: Malamute Black, Jim:
Malamute

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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New York drummer Jim Black's multinational quartet, which toured Europe in 2015, is captured in the studio for an album of acoustic-electric improvisation that experiments with tunes and structures, using Elias Stemeseder's keyboards and Black's samplers in unexpected ways around strong playing from saxophonist Oskar Gudjonsson and bassist Chris Tordini.

Adachi / Buck / Frangenheim / Gratkowski: Goldsbleed Adachi / Buck / Frangenheim / Gratkowski:
Goldsbleed

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Creative Sources core artist double bassist Alexander Frangenheim met Zeitkratzer multi-reedist Frank Gratkowski, The Necks drummer Tony Buck, and free improvising vocalist Adachi Tomomi, in one of a series of concerts at the loft Studio Boerne 45 in Berlin in 2015; this, their first meeting, yielded an impressive flow of creative and far-ranging collective dialog.

Smash & Teeny with John Butcher: Gathering [2 CDs] Smash & Teeny with John Butcher:
Gathering [2 CDs]

(Spool -- Canada )

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Smash and Teeny are Toronto-based sound artists Nilan Perera and Sarah Peebles performing on guitar, laptop, detuned sho, and effects, here in a double CD of their intertwining improvisation combining active and spatial environments, joined on disc 2 for an extended dialog with John Butcher, plus a video featuring Chung Gong.

Tippetts, Julie / Mark Wastell: Unraveling The Waterfall Tippetts, Julie / Mark Wastell:
Unraveling The Waterfall

(Confront -- UK )

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An intensely concentrative and deeply spiritual performance at Cafe Oto in 2017 from the duo of Julie Tippetts on voice, Sri Lankan hand drums, bells, singing bowls, water bowls, thumb piano, seed pod shaker, Balinese mini xylophone, and struck hand drum, and Mark Wastell on tam tam, cracked ride cymbal, shruti box, chimes, hand drum, Indian temple bells, and singing bowls.

Edwards, John / Olie Brice: At Iklectik Edwards, John / Olie Brice:
At Iklectik

(Confront -- UK )

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Double double bass from the duo of John Edwards and Olie Brice performing live at Iklectik Arts Lab, in London in 2017, a return of sorts as Brice's first live improv gig was opening for the Sunny Murray Trio with Edwards and Bevan; here the two combine, in contrast and confluence as they demonstrate massive technique and concentrative conversation.

Giallorenzo, Paul Trio: Flow Giallorenzo, Paul Trio:
Flow

(Delmark -- USA )

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Nine original compositions from pianist Paul Giallorenzo in his 2nd Delmark CD, reducing the band to a classic piano trio with compatriots Joshua Abrams on bass and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, in a passionate album that balances high energy polytonal swing to profound and lyrical ballads, with abstract blues and free-form inventiveness; excellent.

Stein, Jason Quartet: Lucille! Stein, Jason Quartet:
Lucille!

(Delmark -- USA )

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Bass clarinetist Jason Stein draws from the work of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Lennie Tristano plus original compositions, with his quartet of Chicago peers Keefe Jackson (tenor sax & contrabass clarinet) and Joshua Abrams (bass) and NY drummer Tom Rainey, in enthusiastically energetic and lyrical music that uses modern creative skills to look forward and back.

Stein Quartet, Jason: Lucille! [VINYL] Stein Quartet, Jason:
Lucille! [VINYL]

(Delmark -- USA )

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Bass clarinetist Jason Stein draws from the work of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Lennie Tristano plus original compositions, with his quartet of Chicago peers Keefe Jackson (tenor sax & contrabass clarinet) and Joshua Abrams (bass) and NY drummer Tom Rainey, in enthusiastically energetic and lyrical music that uses modern creative skills to look forward and back.

Guy, Barry: The Blue Shroud Guy, Barry:
The Blue Shroud

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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A massive work from bassist/composer Barry Guy inspired by the covering of Picasso's painting Guernica at the UN as we argued for war with Iraq, realized with a 14-member group that includes violinist Maya Homburger, pianist Agusti Fernandez, percussionists Lucas Nigglie & Ramon Lopez, with songs on texts by Irish poet Kerry Hardie; profound and inspired.

Lisbon String Trio with Blaise Siwula : K'ampokol Che K'aay Lisbon String Trio with Blaise Siwula :
K'ampokol Che K'aay

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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One of the most active albums from the set of Lisbon String Trio (plus one) albums released in 2017, saxophonist Blaise Siwula brings a unique virtuosity to this live album from Galeria Monumental in Lisbon, prompting at times a chamber jazz feeling, alongside very free improvisation with impressive transitions from spacious to highly detailed playing.

Lisbon String Trio with Carlo Mascolo : Intonarumori Lisbon String Trio with Carlo Mascolo :
Intonarumori

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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One of six Lisbon String Trio albums, each joining the core trio of Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Alvaro Rosso on double bass, and Miguel Mira on cello with a 4th improviser, here with trombonist Carlo Mascolo, performing live at Mira's Palace in Lisbon, Portugal for one of the most harmonically unique albums of the set as the trombone weaves in and out of the strings.

String Theory: Heptaphonies String Theory:
Heptaphonies

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Drawing its name from the seven members making up this string ensemble led by violist Ernesto Rodrigues, String Theory complements the concurrent Lisbon String Trio albums by magnifying concepts in freely improvised string interactions, using unusual harmonics, melodic and percussive approaches to instruments, and quickly moving quietly intense interaction.

Ozo: A Kind of Zo Ozo:
A Kind of Zo

(Shhpuma -- Portugal )

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Acoustic free improvisation with an ea-attitude, improvising drummer/percussionist Pedro Oliveira (Bernardo Sassetti) and classical pianist Paulo Mesquita used prepared instruments in a dialog that contrasts solid rhythmically melodic piano progressions with a mix of propulsive percussion, deep resonant tones, environmental timbre, and percussive interventions.

Bailey, Derek: Solo Guitar Volume 1 [VINYL 2 LPs] Bailey, Derek:
Solo Guitar Volume 1 [VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records -- USA )

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A reissue and remaster of the late free improvising legend Derek Bailey's "Solo Guitar Volume 1" released on Bailey's own Incus label in 1971, is the first in a series of 3 albums from the Honest Jon's label to re-issue Bailey's early albums, this volume adding tracks from previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972; essential.

Bailey, Derek / Anthony Braxton: Royal [VINYL 2 LPs] Bailey, Derek / Anthony Braxton:
Royal [VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records -- UK )

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Reissuing the 1984 album of the live collaboration between New York multi-reedist Anthony Braxton and UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, caught in performance at the Royal Hotel, in Luton, England in 1974, and originally intended to be released as two volumes; here the first volume and never-released second volume are in one newly mastered double LP.

Bailey, Derek / Han Bennink: Derek Bailey & Han Bennink [VINYL 2 LPs] Bailey, Derek / Han Bennink:
Derek Bailey & Han Bennink [VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records -- UK )

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The third volume in Honest Jon's Records reissue of early and essential albums from UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, remastering and adding additional unreleased material, here from Bailey's duo album with Dutch drummer Han Bennink from 1972 recorded in '69, originally issued on Bailey's Incus label, alongside a previously unreleased '70 improv session.

Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp / Nate Wooley: Philosopher's Stone Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp / Nate Wooley:
Philosopher's Stone

(Leo -- UK )

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An inevitable meeting of New York luminaries, trumpeter Nate Wooley joins saxophonist Ivo Perelman with frequent sideman Matthew Shipp for an album of complex and sophisticated collective free improvisation, spectacular playing and like-minded conversation of incredible technique and lyrical innuendo; released with the quartet album "Octagon".

Perelman, Ivo / Nate Wooley / Brandon Lopez / Gerald Cleaver: Octagon Perelman, Ivo / Nate Wooley / Brandon Lopez / Gerald Cleaver:
Octagon

(Leo -- UK )

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The second release pairing Brazilian-born, New York-based saxophonist Ivo Perelman with trumpeter Nate Wooley, in a quartet with bassist Brandon Lopez and drummer Gerald Cleaver, a frequent hard bop configuration, here in an 8 part set of studio recordings that range from exultant and vigorous group interplay to pointillist interaction, a superb album of creative modern jazz.

Haino, Keiji / John Butcher: Light Never Bright Enough Haino, Keiji / John Butcher:
Light Never Bright Enough

(Otoroku -- UK )

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Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.

Haino, Keiji / John Butcher: Light Never Bright Enough [VINYL] Haino, Keiji / John Butcher:
Light Never Bright Enough [VINYL]

(Otoroku -- UK )

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Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.

Jamal, Khan / The Creative Arts Ensemble: Drum Dance to the Motherland [VINYL] Jamal, Khan / The Creative Arts Ensemble:
Drum Dance to the Motherland [VINYL]

(Eremite -- USA )

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A definitive vinyl remaster of vibraphonist Khan Jama's 1972 album in a sextet of vibes, marimba, drums, African percussion, glockenspiel, guitar, bass, and live sound effects, a legendary album fusing free jazz, black psychedelia, and early dub elements, a truly unique album from an artist with a profound perspective applying a wide rhythmic spectrum to free jazz.

Mikami, Kan / John Edwards / Alex Nielson: Live at Cafe Oto Mikami, Kan / John Edwards / Alex Nielson:
Live at Cafe Oto

(Otoroku -- UK )

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More typically a solo performer, Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami has created a distinctive path for his voice, guitar and poetic lyrics; here he is propelled in an improvisational setting with two powerful UK players--John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums--captured live at London's Cafe Oto for a growling concert of finesse and brusque attitude.

Mitchell, Roscoe With Yuganaut (Rush / Abbs / Mann): Four Ways Mitchell, Roscoe With Yuganaut (Rush / Abbs / Mann):
Four Ways

(NESSA -- USA )

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Chicago luminary, multi-wind player Roscoe Mitchell has collaborated over the previous 2 decades with multi-instrumentalist Stephen Rush, here joining Rush's band Yugonaut with Tom Abbs on bass, cello, violin, tuba & digideroo and Geoff Mann on drums, cornet & banjo, to perform these energetic improvisations live at Ann Arbor's Edgefest in 2009.

Bowie, Lester: Numbers1 & 2 - 50TH Anniversary Edition Bowie, Lester:
Numbers1 & 2 - 50TH Anniversary Edition

(NESSA -- USA )

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Remastering the 1st release on the Nessa label, two quartet sessions recorded in '67 and led by trumpeter Lester Bowie which would lead to the formation of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, performed with Roscoe Mitchell (reeds), Malachi Favors (bass) and, on the 2nd quartet, Joseph Jarman (reeds), an incredible forward-looking album of free improvisation.

Fujii, Satoko Orchestra New York: Fukushima Fujii, Satoko Orchestra New York:
Fukushima

(Libra -- Japan )

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Diverse aspects of the 2011 disaster at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant brought on by a tsunami orchestrated in sound by composer/pianist Satoko Fujii and rendered in remarkable ways from some of New York finest improvisers, including Tony Malaby, Ellery Eskelin, Oscar Noriega, Herb Roberts, Joe Fiedler, Stomu Takeishi, Nels Cline, &c &c.

Borderlands Trio (Stephan Crump / Kris Davis / Eric McPherson): Asteroidea Borderlands Trio (Stephan Crump / Kris Davis / Eric McPherson):
Asteroidea

(Intakt -- Austria )

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The New York collective trio of bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Eric McPherson focuses on starfish (asteroida), which can regenerate lost sections of itself, as this band creates highly focused group compositions that use melodic elements as rhythm and vice versa, recontextualizing and transforming their confident and masterful playing.

Rainey, Tom Obbligato: Float Upstream Rainey, Tom Obbligato:
Float Upstream

(Intakt -- Austria )

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An album of standards interpreted by NY drummer Tom Rainey's and his band Obbligato of Ralph Alessi on trumpet, Ingrid Laubrock on saxophones, Kris Davis on piano, and Drew Gress on bass, sincerely approaching the great songbooks that fuel traditional jazz, each updated and modulated but not overtly deconstructed, as the band finds great inspiration for group interplay.

Hawkins, Alexander / Elaine Mitchener Quartet (w / Neil Charles / Stephen Davis) : UpRoot Hawkins, Alexander / Elaine Mitchener Quartet (w / Neil Charles / Stephen Davis) :
UpRoot

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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Oxford-based keyboardist and composer Alexander Hawkins balances free improv and lyrical jazz forms in a quartet with bassist Neil Charles, drummer Stephen Davis, and vocalist Elaine Mitchener, with both Hawkins compositions and pieces from Archie Shepp, Jeanne Lee, and Patty Waters, a beautiful balance that appeals to modern listeners steeped in the history.

Rodiguez, Manolo : Trampantojos Rodiguez, Manolo :
Trampantojos

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Portuguese guitarist Manolo Rodriguez chose these 9 pieces from about 8 hours of improvised music, recorded on a Gibson acoustic guitar with piezo microphones on various parts of the guitar, passed through effects and finally controlled by a mixer, intended as a tribute to "the sense of sight as an intermediary of thought, and to artists who, with their eyes, have changed the world."

Angelo, Miguel : I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert Angelo, Miguel :
I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Porto bassist Miguel Angelo's solo release is an album of pure improvisation, unrepeatable takes, which, for the artist, makes musical and emotional sense as a satisfying moment of musical sensation, through 11 tracks on the double bass of powerful playing, creative impulse, lyrical and rhythmic inventiveness, and ultimately, great satisfaction.

Rodrigues, Ernesto / Eduardo Chagas / Abdul Moimeme / Joao Madeira: Cloud Voices Rodrigues, Ernesto / Eduardo Chagas / Abdul Moimeme / Joao Madeira:
Cloud Voices

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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A three part improvised work for viola, trombone, electric guitar and double bass from, respectively, Ernesto Rodrigues, Eduardo Chagas, Abdul Moimeme, and Joao Madeira, an ascending conversation that uses innuendo, mystery, subtle movement, silence and swells to create atmospheric environments, each "voice" shifting enigmatically in sublimely hazy ways.

Cochrane, Chris / Stuart Popejoy: Geologic Popejoy Cochrane, Chris / Stuart Popejoy:
Geologic Popejoy

(Infrequent Seams Records -- USA )

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Downtown NY guitarist Chris Cochrane (No Safety, Curlew) joins up with bassist Stuart Popejoy (Sugarlife, Bassoon, Sarah Bernstein Quartet) for an album of exploratory sonic environments born from improvisation, with rich guitar processing, glitch, heavy riffs, and indescribable sonic environments in a well-balance album of informed experimentation.

Sun Ra: Cosmos Sun Ra:
Cosmos

(Inner City -- USA )

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A grooving cosmic album issued in 1976 on the French Cobra label, Sun Ra leads his large ensemble on a Rocksichord keyboard, alongside Arkestra members Marshall Allen, Danny Davis and John Gilmore on sax, Craig Harris on trombone, Ahmed Abdulla on trumpet, Vince Chancey on French Horn, Jac Jackson, Eloe Omoe, and Danny Ray Thompson on winds, Larry Bright on drums, and Tony Bunn on bass.

Saunier, Greg / Mary Halvorson / Ron Miles: New American Songbooks, Volume 1 [VINYL] Saunier, Greg / Mary Halvorson / Ron Miles:
New American Songbooks, Volume 1 [VINYL]

(Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records -- USA )

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Two essential Downtown New York improvisers--guitarist Mary Halvorson and trumpeter Ron Miles--are joined by drummer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof in response to Nate Wooley's request that the three expand the American Songbook, creating astounding instrumental versions of music by Fiona Apple, Elliott Smith, The Partridge Family, John Williams, James P. Johnson, &c.

Large Unit: Fluku Large Unit:
Fluku

(PNL -- Norway )

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The 3rd album from Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's big band Large Unit, here in a 12-member configuration, adding saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts (Starlite Motel, Cortex) to the band, in an album centered on Nillsen-Love's penned title track "Fluku", and the equally impressive "Playgo", large complex works that showcase the group's collective and individual voices.

Large Unit: Selected Tracks 2013-2017 Large Unit:
Selected Tracks 2013-2017

(PNL -- Norway )

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An excellent introduction to Norwegian percussionist and composer Paal Nilssen-Love's big band, Large Unit, through tracks showing the breadth of the band's ability in game pieces, ballads, a collaboration with Brazilian percussionists, live recordings from their 2015 North American tour and at Moers festival in Germany, and their first concert at Molde Jazzfestival in 2013.

Gjerstad, Frode / Paal Nilssen-Love : Nearby Faraway Gjerstad, Frode / Paal Nilssen-Love :
Nearby Faraway

(PNL -- Norway )

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The 25 year collaboration of Norwegian free improvisers Frode Gjerstad on saxophones and clarinets and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, starting with Circulasione Totale Orchestra and best experienced in their duo recordings, here in an album dedicated to Frode's close friend and musical colleague, pianist and accordion player Elvin One Pedersen.

Konstrukt / Keiji Haino: A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little That Way Lies A Quagmire [VINYL] Konstrukt / Keiji Haino:
A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little That Way Lies A Quagmire [VINYL]

(KARLRECORDS -- Germany )

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The Konstrukt free improvising band from Turkey, known for their collaborations with master musicians of a wide spectrum of approaches, joins forces with improvising Japanese psych guitarist, vocalist and sound artist Keiji Haino for two 3-part works of swirling sax, synth, sound and guitars, startling vocals, and hallucinatory rhythms.

Chrysakis, Thanos / Kurt Liedwart / Nuno Torres / Ernesto Rodrigues : Skiagraphia Chrysakis, Thanos / Kurt Liedwart / Nuno Torres / Ernesto Rodrigues :
Skiagraphia

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Three label leaders come together for an album of free electroacoustic improvisation--Thanos Chrysakis (Aural Terrains); Kurt Liedwart (Mikroton); Ernesto Rodrigues (Creative Sources), with Nuno Torres on sax--for an extended dialog built of exotic and microscopic sound, string aberrations, and reed abnormalities; exceptional.

Mayas, Magda / Pierre-Yves Martel / Eric Normand: Boule-spiel Mayas, Magda / Pierre-Yves Martel / Eric Normand:
Boule-spiel

(Tour de Bras -- France )

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Quebec improvisers Pierre-Yves Martel on Viola da Gamba, objects, and feedback, Eric Normand on electric bass and snare drum, are joined by Berlin pianist Magda Mayas for two extended works of free improvisation, manipulating and contorting strings with an electroacoustic edge, dark ruminations of exquisite detail, patience, and adroit interaction.

Ayler, Albert: Bells (White Vinyl 180gm) [VINYL] Ayler, Albert:
Bells (White Vinyl 180gm) [VINYL]

(ESP-Disk -- USA / EU )

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Albert Ayler's 1965 ESP album originally released as a 1-sided clear vinyl LP, the single "Bells" song actually an amalgamation of his piece "Holy Ghost" which transitions into "Bells", here augmented with "Vibrations aka (tune Q)2", performed with brother Donald on trumpet, Charles Tyler on alto sax, Lewis Worrell on bass, and Sunny Murray on drums.

Die Enttauschung  (Axel Dorner / Michael Griener / Rudi Mahall / Jan Roder): Lavaman Die Enttauschung (Axel Dorner / Michael Griener / Rudi Mahall / Jan Roder):
Lavaman

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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The remarkable European Free Jazz quintet Die Enttauschung, crossing bop forms with modern creative approaches to jazz for over 20 years, takes a new drummer--Michael Griener--and adds trombonist Christof Thewes, to join Rudi Mahall on clarinets, Axel Dorner on trumpet, and Jan Roder on bass, for an exciting and upbeat album of succinct tunes that both revere and abuse jazz history in wonderful ways.

Schweizer, Irene / Joey Baron : Live! Schweizer, Irene / Joey Baron :
Live!

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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Two generations and two monumental masters of free improvisation from Europe and New York joined together at the unerhort!-Festival Rote Fabrik Zurich in 2015 to unleash this technically awesome and ebullient duo in a fantastic concert of dynamic power, lyrical insight, intense rhythmic support and counterpoint, and profound musical ideas; incredible!

Trio Heinz Herbert (w/ Dominic Landolt / Ramon Landolt / Mario Haenni): The Willisau Concert (Live) Trio Heinz Herbert (w/ Dominic Landolt / Ramon Landolt / Mario Haenni):
The Willisau Concert (Live)

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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Textural improv of improbable grooves and tones driven by intense periods of interaction balanced with spatial sonic environments; adventurous and exuberant dialog caught live at the Jazzfestival Willisau, in Switzerland, 2016 from the trio of Dominic Landolt on guitar, Ramon Landolt on Hammond organ, synthesizer & samples and Mario Haenni on drums.

Takase, Aki / Paul Ayumi : Hotel Zauberberg Takase, Aki / Paul Ayumi :
Hotel Zauberberg

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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Pianist Aki Takase and violinist Ayumi Paul's 1st collaboration is an 18 movement suite for violin and piano blending composition and improvisation, with 11 movements from Takase and 5 written with Paul, plus Mozart's "K. 1 minuet in G major" and the Preludio movement from Bach's solo violin partita in E major; an absorbing set of recordings inspired by the writings of Thomas Mann.

Pan-Scan Ensemble: Air And Light And Time And Space Pan-Scan Ensemble:
Air And Light And Time And Space

(PNL -- Norway )

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"Pan-Scan" refers to pan-Scandinavian, and the nine players on this thrilling and joyful recordings are all of that origin, performing live at Blow Out in Mir, Oslo, Norway in 2016, including both Lotte Anker and Ann Hogberg on sax, Thomas Johansson, Emil Stranberg and Goran Kajfes on trumpet, Sten Sandell on piano, and Paal Nilssen-Love and Stale Liavik on drums.

Ortiz, Aruan : Cub(an)ism Ortiz, Aruan :
Cub(an)ism

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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Cuban pianist Aruan Ortiz explores a range of musical idioms and styles, drawing on experiences from many phases of Ortiz' life in Cuba, Spain, France and the US, exploring cubist principles, faceting, and multiple perspectives with folkloric elements, as he presents 10 original compositions of passionate and playful music, performed with virtuosic skill.

Hassler, Hans: Wie Die Zeit Hinter Mir Her Hassler, Hans:
Wie Die Zeit Hinter Mir Her

(Intakt -- Austria )

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Swiss accordionist Hans Hassler stands above the (small) crowd of improvising accordionist in the breadth of his career, his ability to balance both lyrical, abstract, serious, and humorous aspects in his approach to the instrument, a true original in intent and ability to engage his listeners, in 15 original and diverse compositions recorded in 2017.

Charles, Xavier / Michel F Cote / Franz Hautzinger / Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand: Torche! Charles, Xavier / Michel F Cote / Franz Hautzinger / Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand:
Torche!

(Tour de Bras -- France )

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An exceptional free improvising quintet of Montreal & Quebec improvisers--bassist Eric Normand, drummer Michel F. Cote, and bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier--with French clarinetist Xavier Charles and German trumpeter Franz Hautzinger, performing live during the 2016 Festival de Musique de Creation, creating fascinating commotion with incredible restraint.

Williams, Mars presents (w/ Berman / Lonberg-Holm / Baker / Kessler / Sandstrom / Hunt): An Ayler Xm Williams, Mars presents (w/ Berman / Lonberg-Holm / Baker / Kessler / Sandstrom / Hunt):
An Ayler Xmas: The Music of Albert Ayler & Songs of Christmas

(Soul What Records -- USA )

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Chicago saxophonist Mars Williams directs his Albert Ayler tribute band, Witches and Devils, to merge Ayler-esque compositions with Christmas songs, performed by Josh Berman (cornet) Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Jim Baker (keys, viola), Kent Kessler (bass), Brian Sandstrom (bass, guitar, trumpet); an unexpected and welcome present for your free jazz festivities!

Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love /  Kent Kessler): Unusual Words Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love / Kent Kessler):
Unusual Words

(Soul What Records -- USA )

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A CD intended to sell at concerts from Mars Williams' own Soul What Records label, a studio recording in 2012 from the powerhouse trio of Chicago multi-reedist Mars Williams, in-demand Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, and Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, running the gamut from furious blowing to introspective interaction.

Irabagon, Jon  / Joe Fiedler / Todd Neufeld: In Formation Network Irabagon, Jon / Joe Fiedler / Todd Neufeld:
In Formation Network

(Nuscope -- USA )

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Saxophonist Jon Irabagon, trombonist Joe Fiedler, and guitarist Todd Neufeld met in April, 2017 in Mount Vernon at the Oktaven Audio studio to record these nine varied compositions, presenting a unifying trio sound and identity that reflects Chicago's Giuffre trio, but with a unique collective attitude as the trio employs a varied set of compositional strategies.

Sharp, Elliott / Mary Halvorson / Marc Ribot: ERR Guitar Sharp, Elliott / Mary Halvorson / Marc Ribot:
ERR Guitar

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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Elliott Sharp's New York Studio zOaR was the meeting place for three New York guitarists--Sharp himself, Mary Halvorson, and Marc Ribot--who find common ground by blending a variety of approaches to the instrument in 12 excellent and generally succinct collective improvisations, stretching, bending, plucking and inexplicably effecting their guitars.

 

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