Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's sextet is actually two trios interacting, with fellow drummer Gerald Cleaver, both Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook on guitar, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and Ralph Alessi on trumpet, the pairings forming unisons and contrasts that add an unrestrained sense of enthusiasm and excitement to Fujiwara's sophisticated compositions.
Mary Halvorson continues her string of excellent modern jazz albums with this octet release with fellow guitarist Susan Alcorn, Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon & Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Jacob Garchik (trombone), John Hebert (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).
Cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum draws on a variety of techniques from improvised conduction to big band orchestration to deconstructed fanfares, with a large 15 member ensemble of impressive improvisers embodying a diversity of generations, backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender, presenting three large scale compositions that are ambitious and wonderfully accomplished.
Percussionist and electronics artist Matt Weston (Arthur Brooks Ensemble V, Arc Pair) in a 7" release showcasing his playing skills over his own notation systems employing additional dimensions of pre-and post-gestural strategies, using written standard notation and visual cues based on multiple and simultaneous, graphic scores.
Four psychedelic blues and rock tracks from Japan's Acid Mothers Temple led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto, with vocalist Cotton Casino, synth guru Higashi Hiroshi, guitarist Mitsuru Tabata, drummer Satoshima Nani, and S/T Wold on tape, space and time, informed and psych-referencing music that slowly builds into intricate and explosive inner headspaces.
Two of Downtown NY's most innovative performers collaborate for an album placing the rich acoustic piano work of Craig Taborn beside the slippery electronics of Ikue Mori, the result of their live performances that started at New York's Village Vanguard in 2016 and leading to this album, which presents a set of 11 unique and sophisticated dialogs.
Two guitarists -- Gyan Riley and Julian Lage -- perform 10 lyrical John Zorn compositions inspired by Shakespeare and written for the moon, a symbol of love, lust, madness and dreams, as the two guitarists play in unison and interweaving figures, a beautiful album of contemplative, refined and elegant works from one of New York's most prolific composers.
Burning Ghost is the West Coast rock influenced improvising quartet of Daniel Rosenboom on trumpet, guitarist Jake Vossler, Richard Giddens on double bass, and Aaron McLendon on drums, in a fiery album of heavy playing that borrows from jazz and metal rock forms, with ominious political overtones in their titles while showing articulate and impressive playing skill.
Ikue Mori's Obelisk project brings together her unique electronics with Downtown Scene key players, Jim Black on drums, Okkyung Lee on cello, and Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, an album driven by Mori's melodic compositions that take unexpected twists and turns in dramatic and lyrical playing, Mori's electronics bringing an exotic charm and ringing beauty to her works.
A new set of works from Downtown New York composer John Zorn inspired by the surrealism of Luis Bunuel and the psychotropic dream world of William S. Burroughs, in three compositions performed by Jack Quartet, the rhythm section from the piano quintet Obscure Objects of Desire, plus vivbraphonist Sae Hashimoto, pianist Steve Gosling, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey.
Born from rock bands like Cleric and Simulacrum, this NY instrumental, improvising rock trio blends avant-garde classical, free jazz, dissonant math metal, ambient and world music into a powerful new mix, with Nick Shellenberger on bass and synth, Matt Buckley on drums & percussion, and Matt Hollenberg on guitar; intricate, edgy, demanding and driven music.
The saxophone-heavy UK improvising band Remote Viewers returns to a trio format, with founders David Petts on tenor sax and Adrian Northover on soprano sax, plus John Edwards on double bass, as the stripped-down band employs signature harmonic territory and compositional approaches, making this a distinctively concentrated and welcome Remote Viewers album.
The final album from John Zorn's "Book of Angels" series presenting Zorn's Masada compositions, here with 10 previously unrecorded compositions from "Masada Book Two" performed by NY guitarist Mary Halvorson in a quartet with Drew Gress on bass, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, and Miles Okazaki on guitar, in an album of joyfully exciting and melodic improvisations.
During a week in April 2017 John Zorn travelled to Paris, where he performed several concerts including "The Interpretation of Dreams", presented an evening with guests, and performed solo on the organ at the Grande salle Pierre Boulez, the full concert of which is presented on this CD, along with 30 minutes of recordings made before the evening's concert.
Peter Brotzmann's 9-piece ensemble for the 164th NDR-JAZZWORKSHOP with the South African rhythm team of Harry Miller (bass) and Louis Moholo (drums), plus Frank Wright & Willem Breuker(sax), Hannes Bauer & Alan Tomlinson (trombone) and Alexander Von Schlippenbach (piano).
Sidney Bechet referred to fellow musician as "musicianers", the title for New York baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton's trio with Jason Ajemian on acoustic bass and Chad Taylor on drums and percussion, in an outstandingly creative and compelling album of modern jazz showing the strong links between these three, dating back to their work together in Chicago in the 80s.
New source for this amazing album: "Massive and intense in-studio interpretation of John Coltrane's masterwork, Ascension, as performed by an all-star ensemble featuring The Rova Saxophone Quartet, Nels Cline (Wilco), guitar legend Fred Frith, Ikue Mori (formerly of No New York stars DNA), turntable wizard Otomo Yoshihide, plus other stellar guests."-Larry Ochs
New York reedist Josh Sinton takes the contrabass clarinet on a wild ride, performing live with no overdubs, using clip-on mics, a mixing board, a sans amp box, a volume pedal, and a bass amp, as he explores sonic possibilities and unexpected directions for this big reed instrument in his quest to redefine the old Slavic word for beauty or splendor: krasa.
Organized by Camper van Beethoven violinist Johan Segal, Sista Maj is an instrumental psychedelic rock trio with Mikael Tuominen on bass, baritone guitar and sitar, and Andreas Axelsson on drums and percussion, with Segal also on organ, electric guitar, synth and bass, for a double CD exploring sophisticated heavy electric rock, jazz, hypnotic, and space music.
An unusual and distinctive record from violinist and ornithologist Hollis Taylor, a book with 2 CDS presenting 41 tracks of recordings of the Australian pied butcherbird, each track pairing a bird, environmental sound, and a single instrumentalist, with an impressive list of performers who take unique approaches to the challenge of accompanying a bird.
The 2nd SME record to be issued, a 1968 classic of free improvisation as the quintet of John Stevens, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland, and Kenny Wheeler, the 1st SME to feature their new organisational method, here remastered with far superior sound and balance than previous issues, with new notes by Evan Parker, Dave Holland and Martin Davidson plus session photos.
An essential retrospective of UK saxophonist and flutist George Khan's long career featuring 4 concerts: a 1980 duo with People Band percussionist Terry Day; a 1968 quintet with Peter Lemer (piano), Albert Kovitz (clarinet), Frank Flowers (double bass) and Terry Day; in 1975 with Terry Day and bassist Charlie Hart; and solo in London around 2005 at Mopomoso.
Heavy rock riffs and shredding from Australian guitarist Oren Ambarchi, his version of karaoke being repeating rock structures plundered and played over, giving him a platform to show his power tools, which are heavily modified and effected guitar lines in an oddly compelling album of rock machinations from this typically explorative, experimental player.
After their 2012 album "139", the duo of UK electroacoustic experimenters John Wall and Mark Durgan return for a second album of unusual sound composed from improvisations between the two recorded in Wall's Utterpsalm Studio in London between 2012-15, restructuring their recordings into fascinating ecosystems of sound.
Deluxe box set edition of the 1998 Materiali Sonori CD, originally released to accompany the book release of "Sonora: John Zorn", here in its first vinyl release presenting early Downtown NY recordings between the duo of Zorn and guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, with vital players including Tom Cora, Polly Bradfield, Davey Williams, Fred Frith, Mark Kramer, &c.
New York's literate and genre-encompassing rock band Barbez led by guitarist and journalist Dan Kaufman present their 5th album, renderings of protest songs from The Spanish Civil War in a tribute to the Spanish International Brigades, blending avant-rock, contemporary classical, and folk music styles into a compelling and historically important set of songs.
Italian-born American artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer Harry Bertoia in a CD/DVD package containing historic recordings made in Harry Bertoia's Sonambient barn, where he developed sculptures with sonic properties, including four recently discovered audio recordings and a DVD of interview footage, showing Bertoia at work.
Anyone who follows the work of Japanese drummer/percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani knows that cooking on the road is an integral part of his traveling life, and this slender cookbook provides images, descriptions, and insight into this cooking and his life on the road, with suggestions for meals that would make the perfect accompaniment to an evening of Nakatani's music.
After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways.
Three complete 2016 concerts at North Sea Jazz Festival, Ljubljana Jazz Festival and Oslo Jazz Festiva, and 3 CDs to present them, from drummer Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity, a superb free/post-bop group with a core of Nilssen, bassist Petter Eldh, and saxophonist Andre Roligheten, featuring 3 saxophonists: Fredrik Ljungkvis, Kristoffer Berre Alberts, and Jorgen Mathisen.
Two pianists dedicate to their instruments at the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev Dom during the 57th Jazz Festival Ljubljana: Paris-based pianist Eve Risser (Umlaut, En-Corps, &c) and Slovenian pianist Kaja Draskler (I/O, Draskler Octet, &c.), to record these inventive duos, weaving their keys together or working inside and out of the piano in incredible sonic approaches.
With humorous titles referencing everything from Sun Ra to Donald Trump, Italian drummer Francesco Cusa's quartet with Carlo Atti (sax), Simone Graziano (piano) and Gabriele Evangelista (bass), reimagine the concepts of traditional jazz standards and formats into contemporatry approaches of composition and playing, in a serious and lyrical album of modern creative jazz.
Mixing free jazz and and open-minded collective improv using unusual techniques from Argentinian-born, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Ada Rave and her trio with German prepared guitarist Nicola L. Hein and Netherland bassist Wilbert De Joode, blending lyrical formats as she seeks new paths in the combination of written composition and spontaneous improvisation.
The 4th volumes of this remarkable set of "basement sessions" from the Swedish trio of Espen Aalberg on drums & percussion, Jonas Kullhammar on saxophone & flute, and Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass, joined by Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, for a beautiful album of free hard bop, encompassing spiritual and ritual aspects of gamelan music in a unique and wonderful album.
Toronto drummer Nick Fraser leads the quartet of Tony Malaby on saxophones, Andrew Downing on cellos, and Rob Clutton on bass in their 3rd album together, presenting 6 Fraser original compositions, using both string players to create unique harmonic environments over which they combine lyrical and contemporary approaches to jazz and improv.
Communion is Portuguese drummer and composer Joao Lencastre's project to bring musicians from the American and international jazz scenes together, here in his 3rd release presenting a piano trio with two New Yorkers--pianist Jacob Sack and Norwegian bassist living in New York, Eivind Opsvik--for 3 Lencastre compositions, 1 Ornette Coleman piece, and 6 collective compositions.
A beautifully complex album of resonant improvisation from Swazi born trumpeter Yaw Tembe, who is committed to bring Africa to the Portuguese free music scene, Yaw, along with Paris veteran percussionist/objects manipulator Monsieur Trinitee, blend patient sonic environments with percussive platforms and both meditative and scrabbly trumpet work; an absorbing release.
Playing both pocket trumpet and tenor sax, Joe McPhee joins German/French/NY bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, and Norwegian drummer Stale Liavik Solberg, for an authoritative and bold album of collective free improv, three extended conversations that center on "A Supreme Love (For John Coltrane)", pointing to the history and sympathies of these impressive musicians.
"Autres Paysages" or "Other Landscapes" pins the description on the rich, turbulent, and mesmerizing music this trio creates, with French violist Joao Camoes and Jean-Marc Foussat on the EMS Synthi AKS collaborating for their 3rd album, joined by trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo, as acoustics and electronics subsume and survive seamlessly in an inspired set of recordings.
Chicago and Norway free improvisers come together in the quartet of Kjetil Moster (tenor sax), Jeff Parker (guitar), John Herndon (drums) and Joshua Abrams (double bass), having played once in Chicago's bar Rodan in 2008, and finally reunited to bring this album, blending polyrhythmic, rock, jazz, free playing, textural and grooves together into an exhilarating music.
Steve Swell presents an homage to composer Olivier Messiaen in a sextet with Rob Brown (saxophone), Jason Kao Hwang (violin & viola), Robert Boston (piano & organ), Tomas Ulrich (cello), and Jim Pugliese (drums & percussion) performed live at Metro Baptist Church in NYC, 2017, a presentation of encompassing and passionate free music that knows little boundary.
Wasteland Jazz Unit is Jon Lorenz on saxophone and John Rich on clarinet, based in Cincinnati, Ohio that please their own ears by playing an amorphous, hyper-amplified free improvised noise of blasting screaming horn squeals, damaged contact mics, feedback tones and the like, in a cassette of dark, aggressive sound.
UK Sound experimenter Stephen Cornford took the bare wires of two microphone cables and submerged them in the cavaties of a large but run-down car battery, plugged it into a mixer, panned hard left and right and recorded, adding a 12 Volt trickle charger to the external terminals of the battery and made a second recording, the results heard here unchanged.
Part of a trilogy of cassette-related works that began with a piece sound artist Steve Roden created for an online exhibition for ICA London in early 2012, these two works were composed from 1983-84 recordings Roden made in his bedroom, recorded at double speed and here playing at half speed, half in reverse, which were organized into these two compositions.
American sound artist Jason Zeh recorded these two extended works of drone and slowly evolving interpositions on the ruins of the Great Black Swamp in 2011 & 2012, each side a single work that initiates a rich sonic platform that ultimately shifts sinuously as new sounds dovetail each other, lulling the listener hypnotically, then furtively altering the environment.
2nd edition of French electroacoustic sound artist Christian Renou's (aka Brume) 2012 massive opus in sound, the two part "Fractisum" which uses field recordings, metallic objects, tubes, ms20 & triton synthesizer, tape, sampler, and voice to create rapidly shifting exposes of sound contrasted by periods of beautifully ringing sonic environments; brilliant.
Ukrainian sound artist Edward Sol collaborated with Puerto Rican sound experimenter Jorge Castro (Cornucopia) via the post to create these two long works of harmonic drones from indecipherable sources creating slowly building chambers of rich noise that resonate and shift above deep underpinnings of cavernous bass.
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!
The duo of Brooklyn electronics, field recording, bass guitar and french horn artists Billy Gomberg and Anne Guthrie, using musical and abstract sounds to create something between the concrete textures of field recording and spontaneous composition, presenting restrained yet detailed sound that engages the listener through transition and mystery.
A unique cover of Brian Eno's "Taking Tiger Mountain" using synthesizer, field recordings, electromagnetic feedback, treatments, objects, oscillators, shruti box, reel to reel, ukelin, guitar, piano, clarinet, cello and voice, from Joda Clement and Mathieu Ruhlmann joined by Cristian Alvear, Gregory Moskos, Alexandra Spence, Tim Clement, Judith Hamann and A.F. Jones.
A massive work from composer Jurg Frey focused on the dynamic relationship between sound and silence, and how it can affect our perception of the silence in a frame of space and time, using environmental sounds of field recordings and silence to create a massive work over six hours, modifying pitch, rhythm, dynamics, texture, and overtone, here properly released on 5 CDs.
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.
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.
An impressive triple-CD box with recordings of some late works by John Cage, including "Seventy-Four for Orchestra, 1992", "103 for Orchestra, 1991, part 1 & 2", In a Landscape fur Harfe", "Postcard From Heaven fur Eine Bis Zwanzig Harfen", and some of "The Harmony of Maine"; including a 32 page booklet with photos and liner notes by Jakob Ullmann.
Reissuing free improvising guitarist Eugene Chadbourne's 1977, San Francisco recording of compositions by the likes of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman, plus a few standards and originals, captured on an ailing quarter-track tape deck, but saved for the force of his playing, here restored, corrected, and remastered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.