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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Now, two duos with the participation of Udo Schindler, German multi-instrumentalist who has been paying particular attention to bass and bass variants of the clarinet, but also uses the soprano saxophone and, in "Empty Pigenhole", the ...
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.
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.
Kern is the Berlin-based free improvising acoustic trio of clarinetist and saxophonist Edith Styer, trombonist Matthias Muller (Splitter Orchester, Xenon), and drummer Yorgos Dimitriadis (Fabric Trio, Glue), recording in the studio for 10 works of informed dialogs of great restraint and consummate control, from a mix of collective compositions and two from Steyer.
Four controlled improvisations from the New York City based trio of Michael Lytle on clarinet, Denman Maroney on piano, and Stephen Flinn on percussion, non-idiomatic collective improvisations that often have the feeling of electroacoustic improv through Flinn's use of percussion, Maroney's inside piano work, and Lytle's upper register playing.
A beautiful album of darkly lyrical jazz duos from Israeli saxophonist and bass clarinetist Albert Beger and collaborator and member of the Albert Beger Quartet Shay Hazan, on double bass and guimbri, for seven pieces recorded in the studio: 6 improvised works and the composed piece "Cycles".
Nine freely improvised introspections as "enlightening spots on different forms of life in a rather muddy environment" from Lucerne, Switzerland based tenor saxophonist Elio Amberg and pianist Christoph Baumann, wonderful miniatures of great style and skill, a diverse exploration of their fictional pond that's quite spellbinding and exciting.
Croatian guitarist and electroacoustic musician Ame Zek in an album of electroacoustic improvisation using prepared guitars, acoustic percussions, self made objects, contact microphones, analog modular synthesizer, amplified feedback speakers, magnetic field microphones and digital midi machines; an album of raw, raspy, dark and dissonant sound.
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.
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.
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.
"We've written about Frangenheim before, whether playing solo, as on "The Knife Again", or in duo with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura on "Nax". On "Talk For A Listener", he goes far beyond conventions, getting rid of any foothold 'a listener"...
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Toronto-area saxophonist Colin Fisher, best known for his group I Have Eaten The City, with his collective quartet of NY players Daniel Carter on tenor, alto & soprano saxophones + clarinet & flute, Brandon Lopez on upright bass, and Marc Edwards on drums & percussion, for three extended and exploratory improvisations of exemplary creative insight.
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.
An extended and rich confluence of strings from R Keenan Lawler and John Krausbauer, using resonator guitar and banjo, sustained tones that intertwine in a beautiful and optimistic drone, minimalistic yet drenched in a profusion of harmonic detail; a beautiful and elusive dream mixing between an Indian raga and an alien electronic environment.
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).
An excellent first meeting of two guitarists recording on a February afternoon and released in the sequence recorded with no edits or changes, from Jim McAuley on guitar and Scot Ray on lap steel slide guitar with effects, an innately lyrical blending of styles masking the strong technical skills and long histories of these two superlative players.
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".
'Spilla' means 'to play' in the language of Neapolitan musicians, and playing here are NY guitarist and composer Elliott Sharp and Italian guitarist Sergio Sorrentino, presenting world premier recordings of 4 works recorded live in Vercelli, Italy: two improvisations and two graphic scores performed on electric guitar with incredible technique and passion.
Stochastic music for percussion and synthesizers from New York avant conceptualist and keyboardist Charlemagne Palestine, here on piano & electronics, with the Italian duo Trrma' of Giovanni Todisco on percussion and Guiseppe Candiano on synth, in two side-long works of irregular rhythm, complexity and dissonance that build and recede in a suspenseful journey.
A momentous 2020 concert at London's Cafe OTO, presented in two discs, the 1st with label leader Jean-Marc Foussat in a solo improvisation on synth and voice, the 2nd in a trio with Daunik Lazro on tenor & baritone sax, and Evan Parker on soprano sax, the 2 saxophones weaving and responding to Foussat's remarkable alien soundscapes and vocalization in an immersive extended improvisation.
Having played together in a variety of settings, but never as a trio, saxophonist Sabir Mateen, clarinetist Patrick Holmes and drummer Federico Ughi met in a recording studio in Tuscany, Italy to record this album of wide-ranging free improvisation, Mateen's Farfisa playing and vocal declamations bringing a Sun Ra element to the vehement and profound dialog.
Exploring the lineage of the Dukes of Bedford, the Russell lineage in Bedford, England, in groupings of acoustic & electric guitarists John Russell, Ray Russell, and Henry Kaiser along with double bassist Ollie Brice, from duos to quartets, eight Duke "Russells" from 1680 to 2003 are explored through intricate and joyfully creative and technically amazing string improvisations.
Taking his title from a poem by Octavio Paz with titles from translations by Lysander Kemp of other Octavio Paz poems, this solo album from double bassist Damon Smith is his definitive statement on the instrument: 23 tracks from 46 seconds to 5 minutes 50, developed over 15 years and displaying Smith's incredible technique and creative intent; incomparable.