Chicago bassist Matthew Lux (Isotope 217, Exploding Star Orchestra) in an album of effusive and spiritual percussive grooves under electronic and acoustic leads, performed with Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, electronics and percussion, Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, percussion, mellotron and more, and Jayve Montgomery on various woodwinds, samples and percussion.
Using only acoustic techniques and recording live, New York clarinetist and contrabass clarinetist John McCowen (Tweak Bird, Wei Zhongle) draws out an incredibly impressive array of harmonic difference tones, interference beats and inexplicable sound from these typically monophonic instruments, using circular breathing to create long drones and aberrant textures.
Lithunian reedist Liudas Mockunas, Polish bassist and electronicist Jacek Mazurkiewicz (3Fonia, Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra, Modular String Trio) and Norwegian drummer Hakon Berre (Aram Shelton, Susana Santos Silva) are captured live in Warsaw at Mozg in 2015 for three exploratory improvisations with Mockunas on clarinet, soprano & tenor saxes.
The hard-working duo Ghost Trees of saxophonist Brent Bagwell and drummer Seth Nanaa, extended their group to a 10-piece band of interesting orchestration--piano, vibraphones, sax, pedal steels guitar, bass, cellos and violas--taking over the Charlotte, NC Goodyear building to present their unique compositions blending conceptual composition and improvisation.
Referencing geothermal physics in the titles of their improvisations, these three Spanish improvisers create a riveting and radical set of experimental works, with Irene Aranda working inside and out of the piano, Johannes Nastejo extending and adapting his double bass, and percussionist Nuria Andorra using an arsenal of metallic and percussive objects.
Recording in Asheville, NC, the Ghost Trees Duo of Seth Nanaa on drums and Brent Bagwell on tenor sax release their 3rd album as a clear vinyl LP, 11 inventive dialogs of expressive and energetic jazz born from fifteen years working together, from the trio The Eastern Seaboard to their own hard-working duo and recent Ghost Tree Big Band project.
Issuing on CD the duo album of violinist Samara Lubelski and guitarist Bill Nace, originally released on Nace's Open Mouth label early in 2018, presenting a series of psychedelic textural works, Lubelski creating vibrant and reiterating structures that Nace uses as a foundation for swells and expressive emanations; hypnotic and mesmerizing.
A study on vibrating surfaces in an album of active environments in the debut album from the duo of Angelica Castello and Jerome Noetinger, both using tapes, samples, loops, radios and electronics, with Noetinger on revox and Castello on Paetzold flute, presenting seven staggering and awe-inspiring works, each wild canvases of sound from atmospheric to tectonic.
Expanding on Burkhard Stangl colo concert at the 2014 Reheat festival at Kleylehof based on Consuelo Velazquez's song "Besame Mucho", the duo of Stang and Angelica Castello recomposed it, mixing new pieces with old plus home recordings, accidental recordings, live performances, &c, creating a Chesterfield diary of songs, of noise, of longing and of dreaming.
Combining free jazz spontaneity with the urgency of funk and rock, NY-based German saxophonist and bass clarinetist Welf Dorr (Funk Monk) presents his Unit with drummer Joe Hertenstein, bassist Dmitry Ishenko and guitarist Dave Ross, in an energetic album of tunes that combine determination and passion with upbeat grooves balanced by beautiful ballad work.
Translating to "Gold", the trio of Kurt Liedwart on modular synthesizer abd cracked everyday homemade electronics, Julien Ottavi on computer, and Keith Rowe on guitar & electronics recorded this album during Poland's Sanatorium Of Sound 2017 festival, bridging EA Improv, noise, minimal electronics and contemporary music in two large works.
The debut album of free electronic music explorers Kurt Liedwart on synthesizers, cracked homemade and everyday electronics, and Petr Vrba on synthesizers and electronics, where each track is built upon a permutating sonic foundation of well-paced compositions that transition between hypnotic abstract structural forms and textural and timbral experimentation.
Since 1971 the trio of Norbert Moslang on cracked everyday electronics, Jason Kahn on analog synthesizer & radio, and Gunter Muller on ipods & electronics, aka MKM, have convened for free improvisations of rhythmic noise, samples and fractured electronics, here in three concert recordings, two from Russia at DOM Cultural Center and one at Art Space Teplo.
Three masters of ea-improv with a wealth of history and experience--Gunter Muller on iPods, electronics, Kurt Liedwart on electronics, and Norbert Moslang on cracked everyday electronics-- performing at Ground Hodynka Gallery in Moscow during the 2017 Swiss Noise Festival, resulting in two dense, mysterious and information-packed electronic improvisations.
Titled from the two venues where these concerts were recorded, the duo of Jerome Noetinger and Mimmo Napolitano both use revox reel to reel recorders, plus feedback systems, laptop and other electroacoustic devices to create strange and gripping aural narratives built of abstract elements yet creating deceptively concrete, compelling stories; exceptional.
Tokyo-based electronic composer Yui Onondera (critical-path) and New York experimenter Stephen Vitiello use a variety of sound sources--electric violin, electric & acoustic guitars, field recordings, found objects, modular synthesizer, toy piano, &c--to create a set of 8 "Quivers" from trembling agitation to exquisite atmospheric repositories of sound.
The third and most ambitious release from Splitter Orchester, with an amazing mix of experimental and ea musicians including Boris Baltschun, Kai Fagaschinski, Michael Thieke, Burkhard Beins, Axel Dorner, Matthias Muller, Magda Mayas, &c. &c., in a slow moving work exploring fields of harmonic relationships consisting of pitch sets, a beautiful work of drone and depth.
Only their 3rd album since 2005, the trio of Phil Durrant (modular and software synthesizers), Bertrand Denzler (tenor saxophone) and Burkhard Beins (percussion and objects) went into the studio in Berlin to record four tracks that bring the distinct skills of each player into focus while accentuating the tremendous concentration and interplay each brings, a real achievement.
Two long sides of "blissed-out, super tight Acid Mothers Temple jams that somehow stretch into the future while staying strongly rooted in the group's celebrated psychedelic history" performed with AMT core members Cotton Casino (voice), Kawabata Makoto (guitar), Higashi Hiroshi (keys), Mitsuru Tabata (guitar), Staoshima Nani (drums), and S/T Wolf (bass).
Following up their 2015 Not Two album "This is Our Language", the quartet organized by tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado with Joe McPhee on soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on double bass, and Chris Corsano, a superb album of intense communication and soloing from a collective that merges free and lyrical playing, from ballads to full-on fury.
A reissue of the 1981 Incus LP of guitarist Derek Bailey with one-time King Crimson percussionist Jamie Muir ("Larks Tongues in Aspic"), also a member of Bailey's Music Improvisation Company, an album of hovering harmonics from Bailey's feedback amidst Muir's kitchen-sink collection of items that creates a unique and riveting complement to Bailey's playing.
Extending UK improvising guitarist Derek Bailey's 1980 solo album on his own Incus label with a full additional album of solo guitar recordings from the BBC in the same year, giving a fuller story of Bailey's development of his self-defined non-idiomatic improvisation, wonderfully commanding playing of great technical skill and clear intention.
One of the exemplary albums of European free jazz originally issued on Peter Brotzmann's on BRO label in 1968, aggressive but astute music from now-legendary players Brotzmann, Evan Parker & Gerd Dudek on tenor sax (Brotzmann doubles on baritone sax), Peter Kowald on bass, Fred Van Hove on piano, Buschi Niebergall on bass, and two drummers - Han Bennink and Sven-Ake Johansson.
The Spring Heel Jack duo of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist John Coxon and keyboard & electronics player Ashley Wale are joined by UK improvising masters Pat Thomas on synth, keyboard & theremin, Steve Noble on drums, and US legend Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, for a six "Scene" album of staggeringly intense improvisation over rich soundscapes; superb.
Written in 1963 for up to 15 peformers plus a conductor who may also make sound, Japanese composer and Fluxus artist Toshi Ichiyanagi's score has 16 pages marked with combinations of lines, dots and letters indicating duration, number of events, and moments of restraint, each player using a different page, with certain options of switching pages with another player during performance.
Marianne Schuppe continues to reimagine songs and their relation to tone and melody, here in a series of 11 songs realized with voice, lute, and uber bows, creating delicate accompaniment to her lucid movements between pure sound and words, singing and speaking her lyrics of succinct phrases rich in subtle intimation and evocative imagery; beautiful.
Fourteen pieces for solo guitar from Norwegian composer Johan Lindvall, sparse yet warmly spaced pieces that focus on the individual notes or simple chords in intimate ways, meditative yet warmly evocative; two sections are presented in multiple movements, with "five songs for voice and guitar", Rasten singing words written by Marianne Moore; lovely and refined.
Pianist and composer Dante Boon performs his own work "Years, Numbers", alongside Antoine Beuguer's "Pour Etre Seul(e), Sans Reserve" and Taylan Susam's "Tombeau", and Bueger's "Nov. (piano)", four works of graceful and introspective beauty using minimal approaches to tone, chord, or spaciousness, recorded live at University Of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2014.
A sextet of Cyril Bondi (vibraphone), d'Incise (metallic objects), Magnus Granberg (piano), Anna Lindal (Baroque violin), Anna-Kaisa Meklin (viola de gamba) and Christoph Schiller (spinet) perform two works composed by Bondi and d'Incise, recorded by Simon Reynell of Another Timbre, works of repetition with distinct variations that evolve as each piece progresses.
Conservatory trained Argentinian saxophonist Sergio Merce uses a prepared tenor sax and a microtonal sax to create rich harmonics and slowly moving tonal works, layering aberrant and alluring tones in restrained configurations that allow each stratum of sound to be distinguished and appreciated, creating mesmerizing compositions of elusive and illusionistic sound.
A full scale concert of Tatsuya Nakatani's Gong Orchestra with 15 performers bowing and striking Nakatani's collection large gongs under the conduction of Nakatani, recorded at the Silo City performance space in Buffalo, NY in 2017 in a rich, deep and mysterious album of large tones using the natural resonance of the Marine A Grain Elevator.
Recorded in his home state of New Mexico, Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani presents a 46 minute continuous improvisation of acoustic percussion, a perfect reflection of his solo performance sets, Nakatani alternating between extremely rapid interactions and reflective and atmospheric environments, always creative and quick-witted through staggeringly impressive playing.
A live recording of a 2018 improvisation between Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and tuba & dijeridu performer and THE ROOST Creative Music Series concert organizer Mark Weaver, through eleven concise dialogs illustrating the unique and diverse approaches of each player, finding middle ground through unusual technique and compatible creative drive.
Agrakal is the trio of Marco Colonna (clarinet), Augusti Fernandez (piano), and Zlatko Kaucic (percussions), three musicians able to cross cultures and attitudes and develop a new language of abstract collective jazz, Fernandez being the pivot point between the trio, having previously recorded and toured as a duo with both Colonna and Kaucic.
Spanish drummer residing in France, Ramon Lopez leads this trio with British trumpeter Percy Pursglove and Polish bassist Rafal Mazur for an album alternating compositions from Lopez with collective improvisations, the trio patiently unfolding their conversations with a strong melodic bias that balances introspective playing with fiery technique.
Recorded at Metallurgov House Of Culture in the Ukraine as the 2nd concert of their tour, the trio of Joe McPhee (trumpet, alto saxophone), John Edwards (double bass), and Klaus Kugel (drums) present a masterful concert that includes a 29-minute "Re-Hairing In Zaporozhye" a 19-minute "To Rush At The Wind", and a wonderfully unconventional tribute to Cecil Taylor.
The Baltimore area quartet of Dave Ballou on trumpet, Anthony Pirog on guitar, Adam Hopkins on double bass, and Mike Kuhl on drums, met in 2011 at Baltimore's Windup Space where Adam Hopkins organized weekly concerts through the Out Of Your Head Collective; finding common ground they took the name BeepHonk, this being their first album, appropriately recorded live.
For their 7th album after 20 years of collaboration, double bassist Carlos Bica's trio Azul with Frank Mobus on guitar and Jim Black on drums presents this exemplary live album recorded at the 2015 Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Lsovenia, clearly illustrating their characteristic clean and lyrically melodic sound through beautiful textural and energetic playing.
Expanding the long-running Celano/Baggiani Group of guitarist Guillermo Celano and drummer Marcos Baggiani with clarinetist and saxophonist Joachim Badenhorst, this trio works to re-imagine the boundaries between composition and improvisation, between conventional harmony and abstract sound explorations through melody, groove and texture.
The Norwegian quartet formerly known as "Damp" with baritone guitarist Asbjorn Lerheim, tenor saxophonist Atle Nymo, drummer Torstein Lofthus, and double bassist Roger Arntzen, blend expressive forms of jazz with blues and rock in an expansive and rich set of tunes that both pay homage and look to new and inclusive formations of emotional and effusive music.
Drummer, composers and electronic artist Mario Costa in his first solo album as a leader, presenting 9 original compositions performed at the 26th Festival de Jazz na Praca da Erva in a trio with French improvisers Benoit Delbecq on piano, prepared piano and synth, and Marc Ducret on guitar, a great album and an absolutely stunning concert by three masterful players.
The Scandinavian trio led by saxophonist Mia Dyberg with Asger Thomsen on double bass and Dag Magnus Narvesen on drums take a divserse set of approaches to improvisation, pursuing melody, texture and timbre in upbeat and concise compositions, primarily written by Dyberg with 3 from Thomsen, imparting playfulness and experimentation to an open interpretation of creative jazz.
For their first album together the trio of Bryan Qu on alto saxophone & objects, Quincy Mayes on piano & objects, and Mark Ballyk on percussion, voice & objects, resolved to live together for three months, achieving through intense effort the synthesis of different approaches to improvisation to create this large and encompassing "imaginary film".
Cinematic aesthetics and themes from the Norwegian Holy Mountain duo, performing on the uncommon pairing of two instruments--accordion played by Andreas Angell, and drums with acoustic and electronic parts and vintage synthesizer played by Aleksander Tidemann--in their 3rd release inspired by the dystopian sci-fi visions of John Carpenter, Philip Glass and Daft Punk.
Without a leader, this 9 piece collective ensemble includes members of Red Trio (Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernaani Faustino and Gabriel Ferrandini), Garden (Jose Bruno Parrinha, Ricardo Jacinto, Luis Lopes), the duo Eitr (Pedro Sousa and Pedro Lopes), 2/3 of the Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio (Amado, Ferrandini) and hafl of the Luis Lopes Humanization 4tet (Lopes and Amado).
An album of accelerated bebop from the perspective of the original intention of the form, performed live in Berlin from the trio of Pierre Borel on saxophone, Antonio Borghini on bass, and Christian Lillinger on drums, their goal to investigate speed, stasis and trance and play jazz "on its verge, at high speed, where body memory, intuition and the unconscious are essentials".
An astounding album of dual drums and percussions from Downtown NY legend Joey Baron and contemporary composition innovator and collaborator Robyn Schulkowsky, their second album together after a 15 year history that has included a residency at Grand Central Station, tours in South America, Europe, and China, and performances using the sculptures of artist Eduard Habicher.
The Swiss Kukuruz Quartet of 4 pianists--Duri Collenberg, Lukas Rickli, Philip Bartels, and Simone Keller--continue their explorations of the works of late NY composer & pianist Julius Eastman, a pioneering figure in minimalism and an influential member of the 1980s Downtown New York scene; here in four works: "Fugue No.7", "Evil Nigger", "Buddha" and"Gay Guerrilla".
An eclectic guitar trio album from Dave Gisler and his trio of Raffaele Bossard on bass and Lionel Friedli on drums, an impressive display of skill and style from languorous ECM-dreaming lyricism to hard driving and gritty electric hard bop, a collection characterized by its determination in a variety of settings and approaches to improvisation.
NY bassist and saxophonist Elliott Sharp's Carbon project in a trio album with electric harpist Zeena Parkins and drummer Bobby Previte for what Sharp describes as "part cosmic turbulence and part roiling soundscape... the musicians building their activities on and against shifting electro-acoustic drones and matrices of rhythm, unisons splitting and refracting."
Melbourne, Australia's Astra Choir directed by John McCaughey use choral voice and appropriate instrumentation to interpret and present music from mediaeval to modern electronic and post-minimal music, here taking on compositions from Morton Feldman, Will Ogden, Pauline Oliveros, Warren Burt, Earle Brown, and Robert Carl.
A series of etudes and pieces for double bass composed by Bertrand Denzler specifically for Paris-based cellist and double bass player Felicie Bazelaire, presenting 7 etudes and 2 named compositions based on systems that require Bazelair to reveal the complexity of certain characteristics of the double bass within the framework of a solo performance.
A series of unusual compositions originally written by Jacques Demmiere and Vincent Barras, here reworked by Demmiere and violinist Anouck Genthon, each piece focusing on sounds, breaths, frictions, silences, vowels and consonants, weaving and complementing each other through a mix of traditional, extended and unconventional techniques; fascinating.
Meridian percussionist and frequent collaborator with Vic Rawlings and Annie Lewandowski, Tim Feeney presents a fascinating solo album of "four improvised poundings" using "a drum, a pair of sticks, a metal plate, a pair of dowels, a heavy cymbal, a large room, a small squirrel, a static listening, a punishing listening, a boring listening, a quickening listening".
Pregnant Spore is Justin Marc Lloyd, Chicago-based experimental noise artist who performs under a variety of monikers, here in a rapid-paced album of rich and ruptured sound, unusual rhythmic sources, reverse phonetics, quickly changing pace and direction while maintaining an odd sense of cohesion; fascinating and perplexing.
Ahmed Abdul-Malik was a jazz bassist and oud player, a member of bands led by Art Blakey, Earl Hines, Randy Weston, and Thelonious Monk and whose own albums fused aspects of Arabic and East African musics; the band Ahmed of Pat Thomas, Joel Grip, Antonin Gerbal, and Seymour Wright revisit and rethink his compositions and influence, as heard in this massive and elucidating recording.
Combining folk and ethnic rhythms in traditional popular forms, the Trio La Soustraction of des Fleurs of Jean-Francois Vrod on violin & voice, Frederic Aurier on violin & voice, and Sylvain Lemetre on zarb & voice focuses on the music of the mountains of the Massif Central, melodic music with unique timbres, forms, pre-texts, and a richly complex set of musical objects.
Sebastien Beliah is a Paris-based double bass player, a member of Umlaut Big Band, The Coquettes, Un poco loco, &c., here in a solo album of bass noir, dark and resonant tones evoked through strong bowing, finding harmonics between the strings and from the instrument itself, creating beautiful passages in a mirage of engulfing deep timbre.
Musaeum Clausum is a French-German trio that features Louis Laurain on cornet (Die Hochstapler, Umlaut Big band, ONCEIM), Hannes Lingens on drums (Obliq, Konzert Minimal) and Sebastien Beliah on bass.(Un Poco Loco, Ensemble Hodos, Umlaut Big Band), in an album of patiently developing improvisation giving each player freedom and flexibility within a composed framework.
The West Coast Plane Crash trio of Henry Kaiser (guitar), Damon Smith (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums) is extended with Vinny Golia (reeds) and Ra-Kalam Bob Moses (drums) for two absolutely impressive improvisations that show forcefully restrained and coherent playing that follows an intuitive narrative only possible from such skilled and virtuosic musicians.