Taking their name from composer Guillaume de Machaut, Quentin Biardeau directs his saxophone quartet as they reinterpret his 1365 polyphonic mass "Messe de Nostre Dame", using the resonance of the the Abbey of Noirlac, France to enhance these beautifully paced compositions.
Four recent pieces by Berlin-based instrumentalist, composer and improviser, Lucio Capece, all focusing on the process of listening, one performed by Konzert Minimal, the other solo performances including a work for hanging speakers and helium balloons.
Drummer Harris Eisenstadt continues his excellent NY quintet with Nate Wooley, Matt Bauder, Chris Dingman, and new bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, through 7 original compositions of lyrical modern jazz that leaves room for open-ended and extraordinary soloing.
Electric Bird Noise artist Brian Lea McKenzie extends his concepts in a new duo with vocalist Claudia Gregory (Exhaust the Fox, Claudia Versus the Queen of Hearts), with a new band name and a compelling set of epic electro-rock songs.
German pianist and Euro Free Jazz stalwart Georg Graewe in his first solo release in more than a decade, a remarkable set of succinct compositions balancing astonishing technical skills with beautifully expressive playing, presented in several series of "stills" and "stories".
Saxophonist Junji Hirose met Kazuhisa Uchihashi at Foxhole in Kichijoji in 2014 and 2015, Uchihashi performing only on Hans Reichel's daxophone--wood shapes played in a variety of ways to create unusual sound--as heard on these 10 surprising and wonderfully idiosyncratic recordings.
The trio of New Zealand saxophonist Lucien Johnson, living in Paris, with the rhythm section of Alan Silva on double bass and Makoto Sato on drums for an expressive album of free jazz with inventive counterpoint and soulful playing in the Ayler tradition.
Pianist Jeff Kowalkowski is a long-standing fixture on the Chicago creative jazz scene; here he is joined by veterans of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, drummer Avreeayl Ra and bassist Harrison Bankhead for an inventive album of free improv.
Two live sets of exemplary improvisation: the first revelatory encounter of pianist Sebastian Lexer and drummer/percussionist Steve Noble from 2011, and a more considered and spacious meeting in 2014, both from London's Cafe OTO.
Revisiting Sex Pistols' "Never Mind the Bollocks" in a band with Benoit Delbecq on piano, Gilles Coronado on guitar, Olivier Py on sax, Franck Vaillant on drums, and Sarah Murcia on bass, splitting the vocals with Mark Tompkins in a unique take on a punk classic.
The long-running duo of US-based Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and French saxophonist Michel Doneda in an album merging superb technical skills and creative approaches in an almost telepathic dialog of surprising twists and turns.
A meeting between two accomplished saxophonists recorded live at Kernel Brewery, in London in 2014, and at The Studio in Derby, with Seymour Wright on alto saxophone and Evan Parker on both alto and soprano, criss-crossing and combining in exuberant and astonishing ways.
Flutist Leah Paul presents two engaging compositions in multiple movements, performed with a chamber ensemble of Chris Speed (reeds), Rob Jost (french horn), Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon), Peter Sachon (cello), Tanya Kalmanovitch (viola), Ben Kono (oboe) and Michel Gentile (flute).
Referencing sci-fi, C.S. Lewis, and alien worlds, the compositions of Marek Poliks each have a central metaphor like alien environment and warmth, spaceship and cradling, performed by ensembles using traditional and electronic instruments and objects.
Free improvising saxophonist Simon Rose, on baritone and alto sax, meets composer/arranger Stefan Schultze on prepared piano for 11 exploratory works based around Schultze's "modules"--bits and pieces attached inside the piano--creating unusual platforms for free improvisation.
An album of tones and tonal environments from Barry Chabala and A.F. Jones, using guitars and effects to create slowly moving tones punctuated with unusual utterances of unknown origin; rich and curiously non-specific sound that lives in the back- and foreground.
European Free improvising legend Fred Van Hove performing on piano and accordion with two bassists--fellow Belgian Peter Jacquemyn, and West Coast bassist Damon Smith--for an album of dizzying flights and growling bass turning convention on its side in sensational ways.
Drummer/percussionist Hubert Zemler's second solo album with two compositions inspired by electronic music, particularly by works of the ensemble Suaves Figures, recorded in the vaults of the Camaldolese Church in Bielany, Warsaw with Milosz Pekala on vibraphones.