Using mostly unprocessed electric guitars, the duo of Elliott Sharp and Scott Fields' latest release presents eight dueling guitar works using dynamic, angular tones and textures, from extremely aggressive work to clean avant-jazz with twisted technical intent.
The New York trio of trumpeter Kirk Knuffke, bassist Max Johnson and Ziv Ravitz recording mostly original compositions in the studio, modern improvisation blending melodic and free improvisation in excellent ways.
Active since 1997, the quartet of Alexander Frangenheim (double bass), Roger Turner (percussion), Pat Thomas (piano & electronics) and Philipp Waschsmann (violin & electroncis) in a wildly creative cross of non-idiomatic improv flavored by the London scene.
A masterful fountain of melodic ideas, intriguing rhythms, and exceptional technical skill from the duo of Hamid Drake on drums and frame drum, and Sylvain Kassap on clarinets and chalumeau, recording live at the France Musique at Studio Theatre d’Alfortville and in the studio.
A live performance at Judson Church in Manhattan as part of the 20th Vision Festival from the NY/France free improvising trio of Joelle Leandre on double bass, Mat Maneri on viola, and Gerald Cleaver on drums and percussion, two tracks of steadily building, incredibly compatible dialog.
Roman philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus named "Clinamen" the unpredictable (in time and space) swerve of atoms falling in the void, which aptly describes the unexpected directions taken in subtle free improvisation from this French trio, led by bassist Louis-Michel Marion, with Jacques Di Donato on clarinet, and Philippe Berger on viola.
The Swedish duo of percussionist Andreas Pollak and prepared pianist Johan Graden (Adam & Alma) in an album of references and innuendo, clandestine and furtive sounds that evoke great mystery and drama in beautifully shaped sound; evocative music that deceives to emerge from the electronic realm while in actuality coming from all acoustic sources.
Live recordings at LOFT in Cologne, Germany from the trio of George Wissel on prepared saxophone, Achim Tang on doublebass, and Simon Camatta on drums & percussion, performing seven "Movements" that use prodigious technique with reserve and direction, revealing the structure of their work as the pieces build and recede in fascinating ways.
Recorded among the Alps, "Refugio" is Laboule's (Paolo Novellino) disclosure of an ancient, dusty and seaside soundscape where it's possible to discover the necessary asylum to grow and find a refuge for melancholy.
Having previously worked together with Joe McPhee and Kent Kessler, this album distills the Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado and NY drummer/percussionist Chris Corsano to a concentrated sax and drum duo of earnest and edgy playing, bending jazz, free and blues idioms to their will with magnificent technique and power, both clearly elated in their meeting.
Recorded live at Silence Sounds in Guelph Canada, the duo of Xavier Charles on clarinet and Eric Normand on electric bass & objects eschew idiom in favor of their unique natural language on their instruments, applying patient development of truly idiosyncratic and fascinating command through a single extended work punctuated in seven diverse passages.
From 2008-16 until drummer Frank Rosaly moved to Amsterdam, alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella's Trio was an active part of Chicago's creative jazz scene; in early 2018 Rosaly returned for a visit and Mazzarella composed a suite of 6 new pieces to commemorate the trio's tenth anniversary, the exuberant result this excellent concert recorded at Co-Prosperity Sphere!
Exploring human relationships and self perception through the use of physical objects and their potential sounds, San Antonio drummer Claire Rousay, who has worked with Jacob Wick, Ken Vandermark, Brandon Lopez, &c. recorded these six solo drum performances in the studio, developing each in a way that shows her strong technical skills and narrative voice on the drums.
Portland Oregon composer and sound artist Jeff Lane, co-founder of the Chicago/Portland record label Never Anything, as his alter-ego Tereshkova in a large work of electronic composition, part concrete, part acousmatic, spanning two cassettes with four side-long pieces, each an extended journey in mood, motion, perplexing sources and embrace-ably interesting.
A beautiful solo set of 12 improvisations, Michael Attias performing on alto sax with his left hand and piano with his right, captured in the natural reverberation of La Maison en Bois in Abeville-La-Riviere, France; surprisingly his 1st solo album, developed over 12 years yet played in under an hour with no retakes, a wonderful nuanced reflection in tone, melody & color.
A beautifully hypnotic album of saxophone, accompanied by Pan-Ney, Shruti Box and Organ, recorded in overdubs by composer/wind player Werner Durand in this 2nd chapter of his trilogy focused on the Pan-Ney, a self-built instrument for repetitive foundations, as Durand draws on elements of nature, mythology, dance, religion, literature and folklore.
Recording in Toronto, the core trio of drummer Nick Fraser, saxophonist Tony Malaby and pianist Kris Davis are joined on four tracks by tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trumpeter Lina Allemano, in an album of composed and collective improvisation, merging Toronto, NY and European influences in an accomplished album of diverse approaches and orchestrations.
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.
Recorded in the mid-90s, Livebatts! was a project of John White (Cornelius Cardew, Scratch Orchestra) developed to exploit "toy" keyboards of the 80s--cheap battery-driven instruments that hold tremendous potential for "serious" music-making--used here in a playful quartet with vocalist MJ Coldiron, Andrea Rocca (guitar & samples) and Nancy Ruffer (electrified flute).
Quietly lurking as it prepares to attack, this Kobra is the free improvising quaret of Aurora Nealand on accordion, alto saxophone, voice & objects, Steve Marquette on acoustic & electric guitars, Anton Hatwich on bass, and Paul Thibodeaux on drums, captured live at Chicago's Hungry Brain during the Instigation Festival for a mysterious 2-part "New Omens" and some "Telly Attire".