The Squid's Ear Magazine

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© 2002-2014, Squidco LLC
Selling improvised, composed & unusual music from around the globe.

Recent Squidco & Squid's Ear Updates:

Tom Chant / John Edwards / Eddie Prevost: All Change (Matchless)

Recorded in concert at The Network Theatre, Waterloo in London, 2012, the trio of Tom Chant on saxophone, John Edwards on bass and Eddie Prevost on drums present a tour de force of modern free jazz with great technical and conversational power. ... Click to View


Fred Frith / John Butcher: The Natural Order (Northern Spy)

This album documents guitarist Fred Frith and saxophonist John Butcher's first head-to-head encounter in a recording studio, two titans of their instruments playing without overdubs in a single session for remarkable creative and sonic results. ... Click to View


Bobby Bradford / Frode Gjerstad Quartet: Silver Cornet (NESSA)

The last stop on the North American tour of The Bradford/Gjerstad Quartet (Bobby Bradford-cornet; Frode Gjerstad-alto sax & clarinet; Ingetbrigt Haker Flaten-bass; Frank Rosaly-drums), bridging generations through tremendous free improvisation. ... Click to View


John Zorn: Transmigration Of The Magus (Tzadik)

Inspired by the Gnostic philosophies of the Nag Hammadi library, Zorn invokes the mystical journey of the soul through the bardo as a tribute to the passing of Lou Reed, presented by his Gnostic Trio of Bill Frisell, Kenny Wollesen, and Carol Emanuel, plus guests. ... Click to View


Wollesen / Haffner / Naujo: Rasa Rasa (Tzadik)

Rasa Rasa members Kenny Wollesen, Dalius Naujo, Jonathon Haffner and Sean Francis Conway present the ancient polyphonic vocal music of Lithuania using a mix of ensembles, reviving the infectious grooves and ancient vocal rounds, aided by new instruments devised by Wollesen. ... Click to View


Thomas Carnacki / Vulcanus 68: Split [VINYL] (Alethiometer / Gigante)

A split LP from two Bay area electronic composers inspired by the masters of tape and electronic music: Vulcanus 68 in a nostalgic rendering of spliced and collaged tape techniques; and Thomas Carnacki in an engaging collage of identifiable or sinister sound. ... Click to View


Kevin Drumm / Jason Lescalleet: The Abyss (erstwhile)

Sound and noise artists Kevin Drumm and Jason Lescalleet collaborate on this 2 CD set, a diverse set of sound pieces from slowly building drones to unsettling environments, with tapes punctuating the hallucinatory aspects of their rich and impressive aural tapestries. ... Click to View


Jurg Frey / Radu Malfatti: II (erstwhile)

Two works, one each from trombonist Radu Malfatti and clarinetist Jurg Frey, also credited with "instruments", field recordings and couterpoints, electroacoustic reductionist work of beautiful character that unfolds slowly and rewards attentive listeners in morphing sound. ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro: Continuum Unbound [3 CD Box Set] (Gravity Wave)

Three large works in a solid box with a 12 page color booklet of notes and images from composer Pisaro, working with Greg Stuart, Joe Panzner, Patrick Farmer and Toshiya Tsunoda, examining fragile discontinuities in the apparently continuous sound world. ... Click to View


Gen Ken & AMK: Smile [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

A collaboration of NYC sound artist Gen Ken Montgomery (Generator) and West Coast sound improviser AMK (Anthony Michael King), in an extended work of electronic improvisation presented over two cassette sides, a varied program that never overloads its listeners. ... Click to View


Chop Shop: Grey Area [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

Grey is the color of these murky recordings from Scott Konzelmann, AKA Chop Shop, sounding like they were recorded inside a furnace with distant punctuation occasionally contributing to the gloom of this oppressive audio environment. ... Click to View


John Hudak: Listening To The Wind [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

John Hudak created "listening to the wind" using wind chimes, half of a phone conversation, and digital manipulation, splitting the work into an "inner" and "outer" side, altering the character of this murky emission. ... Click to View


Duncan Harrison / Dylan Nyoukis: The Many Great Necked / Jeer Sabbath [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

A split cassette, the first side presenting two live sets of vocals and tapes from Duncan Harrison; the second presenting Jeer Sabbath on vocals, tapes, trumpets, piano, clarinet, guitar, violin & other assorted instruments; both recording in the UK and reworking at Wino Lodge. ... Click to View


WHO Trio (Hemingway / Wintsch / Oester): Zoo [2 CDS] (Auricle)

Percussionist Gerry Hemingway's Who Trio with Michel Wintsch on piano and synth, and Banz Oester on double bass and lamp, in an outstanding 2 CD release contrasting their work in acoustic improvisation with "electric" improv, albeit an unusual take on the latter. ... Click to View


Louis Moholo-Moholo Quartet (Hawkins / Edwards / Yarde): 4 Blokes (Ogun)

Blue Notes drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo's quartet with three of London's finest improvisers--Jason Yarde on sax, John Edwards on bass, and Alexander Hawkins on piano--in live studio recordings of exciting and impressive structured free improv. ... Click to View


Steve Lacy Four: Morning Joy ...Paris Live [reissue] (Hatology)

One night at the Paris Sunset Club by saxophonist Steve Lacy's Quartet with Steve Potts on sax, Jean-Jacques Avenel on bass and Oliver Johnson on drums, performing an exuberant mix of Lacy originals and Thelonius Monk tunes, remastered & expanded for Hat's 40th Anniversary. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee: As Serious As Your Life [reissue] (Hatology)

In 1996, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Joe McPhee's first solo release, McPhee recorded this remarkable album of solo reeds, pocket cornet, and electronics, using overdubbing to create gripping music including an homage to Miles Davis and unique versions of standards. ... Click to View


Chistopher Fox: Works For Piano, Philip Thomas piano (Hat [now] ART)

Four large and distinctive works by composer Christopher Fox performed by pianist Philip Thomas, who also writes the liner notes about the works, revealing and explaining the compositional elements, piano preparations, and physical requirements placed on the performer. ... Click to View


Stockhausen / Beethoven (Pi-hsien Chen): Klavierstucke/Sonaten (Hat [now] ART)

Alternating between Stockhausen and Beethoven, pianist Pi-Hsien Chen performs solo works including "Klavierstuck", "Sonata A-Dur Op. 101" and "Sonata C-moll Op. 111", contrasting and comparing the innovations of both composers. ... Click to View


Lacerda / Manso / Nilssen-Love / Zenicola: Bota Fogo (Bocian Records 2014/QTV/PNL)

A live recording of two extended improvisations at Audio Rebel's Quintavant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the quartet of Arthur Lacerda on guitar and electronics, electric bassist Felipe Zenicola, guitarist Eduardo Manso, and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love. ... Click to View


Michel Doneda : Everybody Digs Michel Doneda (Relative Pitch)

A collection of solo pieces from forward-thinking French soprano saxophonist Michel Doneda, using extended techniques and utilizing every inch of the horn, creating unconventional and captivating sonic expressions from the instrument. ... Click to View


Lee Noyes: Truth In Opposition [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

Sound artist Lee Noyes based this improvised laptop work on the 1776 work by James Beattie, "Essays: On the nature of truth, in opposition to Sopfifstry and Sceptifism", arguing that both consonance and dissonance are equally important to the perfection of harmony. ... Click to View


Trevor Watts: Veracity (FMR)

Pure Trevor Watts performing solo on the alto saxophone, showing his lyrical and technical skills in full force through 13 studio recordings, from succinct tracks of a minute in length to longer displays of powerful playing with great skill and ingenuity. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall / Philip Gibbs / Neil Metcalfe: The Ravens Look (FMR)

Paul Dunmall performs on soprano sax along with clarinets and contra bassoon, in a give and take album with flutist Neil Metcalf and guitarist Philip Gibbs, a trio that allows space and a free melodic approach to guide their intelligent discourse. ... Click to View


Fred Lonberg-Holm / Frode Gjerstad: Life On Sandpaper (FMR)

Frode Gjerstad in a duo with long time colleague Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm for 9 pieces performed in 2012, with Gjerstad on bass saxophone, Bb and bass clarinets and Lonberg-Holm on cello; open-ended dialog of compatible approaches to free improvisation. ... Click to View


Udu Calls Trio feat. William Parker: The Vancouver Tapes (Long Song Records)

A live recording from 1999 in Vancouver, two extended improvisations from drummer Tiziano Tononi's UDU Calls Trio featuring William Parker on double bass; Tiziano Tononi on drums, congas, gong, bells & whistles; Daniele Cavallanti on saxophone, Ney flute and bells. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarch: Quixotism (Editions Mego)

With collaborators from Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA, "Quixotism" presents guitarist Ambarchi's 5 part work, built on a foundation of pulsing double-time electronic percussion, with abstracted sonic additions punctuating and building a dream-like aural environment. ... Click to View


Darius Jones: The Oversoul Manual (Aum Fidelity)

The fourth installment in Darius Jones' on-going "Man'ish Boy" epic, an a cappella presentation from his vocal quartet, The Elizabeth-Caroline Unit using Jones' fictional, mythological sacred language used in the alien birthing ritual of a new being. ... Click to View


Matt Nelson: Lower Bottoms (Tubapede)

Brooklyn saxophonist Matt Nelson in a solo album of extended saxophone techniques along with a litany of guitar effects pedals, all run through a large 70's era Peavy combo amp with real-time feedback manipulation, a unique album of muscular playing and unusual soundscape. ... Click to View


The Gate (feat Tim Dahl / Nate Wooley): Stench [VINYL] (Smeraldina-Rima)

Massive, disturbing sound sculptures and forbidding landscapes, just what you'd expect from an album named "Stench" by tuba & amp player Dan Peck's The Gate, with Nate Wooley on trumpet & amp, Tim Dahl & Tom Blancarte on electric bass, and Brian Osborne on percussion. ... Click to View

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Acid Mothers Temple SWR
Yes, No & Perhaps
(Magaibutsu)

Acid Mother Temple SWR merge's AMT's Kawabata Kakoto (guitar, voice,) and Tsuyama Atsushi (bass, vocals, sax) with Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins, Koenji Hyakkei, &c), here in their 6th release, crazy prog-oriented rock of indescribable insanity and skill!


Mary Halvorson
Reverse Blue
(Relative Pitch)

Guitarist Mary Halvorson's project with Chris Speed on sax & clarinet, Eivind Opsvik on bass, and Tomas Fuijwara on drums, a band formed for a one-off concert at the Blue Note in NYC, that continued on based on the strength of the bond between them, as heard on this superb release.


Mostly Other People Do The Killing
Blue
(Hot Cup Records)

New York's brilliant band takes on Miles Davis' classic "Kind of Blue" in a note-for-note recreation, a head-scratching anomaly that is as close to performing a perfect replica as is imaginable.


Joe Morris
Perpetual Frontier The Properties of Free Music [BOOK]
(Riti Publishing)

Joe Morris wrote this book to discuss aspects of free music, including responses to his questionnaire written by Joe McPhee, William Parker, Jamie Saft, Ken Vandermark, Marilyn Crispell, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, Matthew Shipp, &c.


Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Black Is Back - 40th Anniversary Project
(KATALYST )

Percussionist Kahil El' Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with Ernest Khabeer Dawkins on saxophone and Corey Wilkes on trumpet, referencing the history of jazz in contemporary settings, with superb rhythmic textures and excellent soloing.


Steve Lacy
School Days (1960/3)
(Emanem)

Presenting a 1963 gig by the quartet of Steve Lacy (saxophone), Roswell Rudd (trombone), Dennis Charles (drums) and Henry Grimes (bass), playing piano-less interpretations of the music of Thelonious Monk; plus Lacy with the Monk Quintet live in Philadelphia, 1960.


Fennesz
Venice [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Touch)

Special 10th anniversary edition of Fennesz' classic "Venice" album from 2004 recorded with David Sylvian on vocals and Burkhard Stangl on guitar, presented in a gatefold double LP release.


Joshua Abrams
Natural Information
(Eremite)

Joshua Abrams (Town & Country, Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor, &c) in an infectious groove-based album built around the guimbri, a 3-stringed animal hide bass used by the Gnawa of North Africa, with a bonus 20 minutes of material not included in the LP.


Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Oliv & Familie (1968-9)
(Emanem)

Reissuing the 3rd release from drummer John Steven's Spontaneous Music Ensemble with 31 minutes of previously unissued material, with participants including Derek Bailey, Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Dave Holland, Maggie Nichols, Trevor Watts, Johnny Dyani, &c &c.


Marc Ducret
Tower-Bridge [2 CDs]
(Ayler)

Guitarist Marc Ducret completes his "Tower" series with a 12-piece ensemble including all musicians from the 4 Tower volumes, including Tim Berne, Tom Rainey, Matthias Mahler, &c. in 2 CDs of two concerts from their 2012 tour; innovative and astoundingly great modern jazz.


Wadada Smith Leo
The Great Lakes Suites [2 CDs]
(Tum)

Outstanding compositions and performances on a 2 disc set from trumpeter Leo Smith, each piece dedicated to one of the US Great Lakes, with multi-wind player Henry Threadgill, bassist John Lindberg, and drummer Jack DeJohnette, a milestone in a superlative career!


Joshua Abrams
Represencing
(Eremite)


NG4 Quartet (Keith Rowe / Anthony Taillard / Emmanuel Leduc / Julien Ottavi)
A Quartet For Guitars
(Mikroton Recordings)

Keith Rowe, Anthony Taillard, Emmanuel Leduc and Julien Ottavi perform on electric guitars and electronics, following a score of 9 sections worked out between them for over a year before recording these six improvisations.


Keith Rowe / Alfredo Costa Monteiro / Ilia Belorukov / Kurt Liedwart
Contour
(Mikroton Recordings)

Two recordings from spina!studio in St. Petersburg during the Teni Zvuka 2013 Festival, one a duo btween Keith Rowe and Alfredo Costa Monteiro, and the other filling out to a quartet with Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart; detailed interactions with impressive restraint.


Steve Lacy
Cycles (1976-80) [2 CDs]
(Emanem)

Solo saxophone performances of three of Steve Lacy's cycles--"Shots", "Sands", and "Hedges"--recorded in concert and in the studio in the late 70's and 1980, with the majority of the material previously unreleased; thoughtful, technical, lyrical, astounding music from a true master!


Udu Calls Trio feat. William Parker
The Vancouver Tapes
(Long Song Records)

A live recording from 1999 in Vancouver, two extended improvisations from drummer Tiziano Tononi's UDU Calls Trio featuring William Parker on double bass; Tiziano Tononi on drums, congas, gong, bells & whistles; Daniele Cavallanti on saxophone, Ney flute and bells.


TiPPLE (Gjerstad / Norton / Watson)
No Sugar on Anything
(Circulasione)

The trio of NY players David Watson on electric guitar, Kevin Norton on percussion, vibes and marimba, and Norwegian Frode Gjerstad on multiple reeds, for 9 uniquely voiced free improvisations recorded in the studio; diverse concepts in reflective and moving dialog.


Gjerstad / Norton / Watson
Live Tipple
(FMR)

Taking their 2010 "Tipples" CD on the road, this CD captures the trio of Frode Gjerstad (sax & clarinet), David Watson (electric guitar) and Kevin Norton (drums, vibes, percussion) live in Middletown Conneticut during their 2013 tour.


Paul Dunmall / Philip Gibbs / Neil Metcalfe
The Ravens Look
(FMR)

Paul Dunmall performs on soprano sax along with clarinets and contra bassoon, in a give and take album with flutist Neil Metcalf and guitarist Philip Gibbs, a trio that allows space and a free melodic approach to guide their intelligent discourse.


Willi Kellers Quartet
Life In A Black Box
(FMR)

Grid Mesh drummer Willi Kellers Quartet with the dual saxophone lineup of Paul Dunmall and Frank Paul Schubert and bassist Clayton Thomas (BassX3, Ames Room) performing live at Black box/CUBA, in Muenster, DE; powerful and innovative improv.


Takara / Pupillo / Nilssen-Love
Raids On The Unspeakable [VINYL]
(JVTLANDT)

Recorded in a small club in Copenhagen "Raids on the Unspeakable" excerpts a scorching and radical performance - so powerful, in fact, that the neighbors protested.


Matana Roberts / Sam Shalabi / Nicolas Caloia
Feldspar
(Tour de Bras)

A meeting beween two major musicans from the Montreal scene--Sam Shalabi (Shalabi Effect) and Nicolas Caloia (Ratchet Orchestra) and American saxophonist Matana Roberts (Coin Coin)--for a drumless trio uniquely balancing free and melodic styles in masterful ways.


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi
Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen [VINYL]
(Black Truffle)

The 5th release from the trio of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Keiji Haino, guitarist Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi on wineglass and percussion is an introspective and beautifully developed set recorded live at their March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe.


Deep Whole Trio (Dunmall / Rogers / Sanders)
That Deep Calling
(FMR)


Jemeel Moondoc
The Zoopkeeper's House (Trio/Quartet/Quintet)
(Relative Pitch)

A series of exceptional compositions by saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc plus one by Alice Coltrane, performed in a variety of group settings, from duos to quintet, with sidemen Matthew Shipp, Roy Campbell, Steve Swell, Hilliard Greene, and Newman Taylor Baker.


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