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© 2002-2018, Squidco LLC
Recommended Items & Staff Picks
Other New Sections:
Improv & Jazz Experimental Compositional Rock/RIO/Prog
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Sorgen, Harvey / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell: Dreamstruck Sorgen, Harvey / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell:
Dreamstruck

(Not Two -- Poland )

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A lyrical album of virtuosic free jazz from the NY trio of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Joe Fonda on bass, and Harvey Sorgen on drums.

...

Vandermark / Kugel / Tokar: No-Exit Corner Vandermark / Kugel / Tokar:
No-Exit Corner

(Not Two -- Poland )

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the second CD by the trio featuring the tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Vandermark, the drummer Klaus Kugel, and the bassist Mark Tokar has the band back at Krakow's Alchemia Club, bringing these three Chicago and European players together for a skronky, energetic romp of commanding playing alongside unorthodox approaches and powerfully creative intent.

Yoshihide, Otomo / Paal Nilssen-Love: 19th of May, 2016 Yoshihide, Otomo / Paal Nilssen-Love:
19th of May, 2016

(PNL -- Norway )

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An intensively diverse and thrilling game of "cat and dog" between Norwegian percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love and Japanese guitarist Otomo Yoshihide, performing live at Dom Cultural Center, Moscow, Russia in 2016 for two extended improvisations that exemplify incredible technical skills, reflective and introspective dialog, and cathartic release; absolutely impressive.

Olsen, Lance Austin : Dark Heart Olsen, Lance Austin :
Dark Heart

(Another Timbre -- UK )

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Four fascinating and detailed compositions from Canadian composer and painter Lance Austin Olsen, each work giving the performers space to collaborate on the results, using graphic scores and Cage-like elements from recordings; performers include Terje Paulsen, Gil Sanson, Ryoko Akama, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Katelyn Clark, Patrick Farmer and Apartment House.

Machinefabriek: Engel Machinefabriek:
Engel

(Machinefabriek -- Netherlands )

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Rutger Zuydervelt, AKA Machinefabriek, expanded the existing score for Marta Alstadsaeter & Kim-Jomi Fischer's dance piece "Engel", which is a contemporary piece combining dance and circus acrobatics, the new soundtrack a large work combining rich mirages of electronica, ambient sound, assertive noise, and even a section of Paal Nilessen-Love's drumwork.

Niggenkemper, Pascal: Sound Within Sound | Wuppertal Diary [2 CDs] Niggenkemper, Pascal:
Sound Within Sound | Wuppertal Diary [2 CDs]

(Fitschgetau -- Germany )

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Adventurous double bassist Pascal Niggenkemper was artist in residence at Wuppertal in the fall of 2017, presenting concerts with a diverse set of masterful improvisers from Europe and the US, excerpts of which are meticulously programmed in this 2-CD collection, organized by artistic endeavor and intent, from the spacious/introspective to wildly lively encounters; recommended.

Chrysakis, Thanos / Chris Cundy / Peer Schlechta / Ove Volquartz : Music for Two Organs & Two Bass C Chrysakis, Thanos / Chris Cundy / Peer Schlechta / Ove Volquartz :
Music for Two Organs & Two Bass Clarinets

(Aural Terrains -- E.U. )

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Recording at the Neustadter Kirche in Hofgeismar, Germany, the quartet of Thanos Chrysakis and Peer Schlechta organ with Chris Cundy and Ove Volquartz on bass clarinets, use the resonance and massive sound of their organs to create active improvisations of deep tones, cries, and unearthly squalls, an incredible set of interacting textures and runs.

Coleman, Steve and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. I (The Embedded Sets) [2 CDs] Coleman, Steve and Five Elements:
Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. I (The Embedded Sets) [2 CDs]

(Pi Recordings -- USA )

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With his earliest and most current performance history tied to the enduring Manhattan jazz club The Village Vanguard, alto saxophonist Steve Coleman records his Five Elements in a 2017 live show with Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Miles Okazaki on guitar, Anthony Tidd on bass, and Sean Rickman on drums for a fiery, exuberant and masterful concert of modern jazz.

Mako Sica / Hamid Drake: Ronda [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] Mako Sica / Hamid Drake:
Ronda [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]

(Astral Spirits -- USA )

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The long-running Chicago free-rock trio Mako Sica currently comprised of Przemyslaw Drazek (trumpet & guitar), Brent Fuscaldo (guitar) and Chaetan Newell (drums & piano) are joined by free improvising legend Hamid Drake on drum kit, tablas and frame drum for a beautiful and rich album of genre merging, spiritually warm, primarily instrumental music, inclusive and persuasive.

Barabe, Charles : De la Fragilite [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] Barabe, Charles :
De la Fragilite [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]

(Astral Spirits -- USA )

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Victoriaville, Quebec electronic composer Charles Barbare creates abstract electroacoustic works, here in an impressive 6-movement work that covers a wide ground from minimalistic rhythmic sections to time-stretched voices and electronics to musique mystery, his inquisitive approach allowing his scores to unfold in decipherable, dramatic and coherent ways.

Barker Trio: Avert Your I [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] Barker Trio:
Avert Your I [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]

(Astral Spirits -- USA )

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After releasing drummer Andrew Barker's duo with Daniel Carter, "Polyhedron", Astral Spirits takes on Barker's trio album with sidemen Michael Foster on tenor & soprano sax, plus electronics, and Tim Dahl on bass, Barker also adding synth & electronics, for an album of ruggedly intense, propulsive playing with a probing inquisitiveness.

Blegvad, Peter : Bandbox [6 CD BOX SET] Blegvad, Peter :
Bandbox [6 CD BOX SET]

(Recommended Records -- UK )

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Starting with Blegvad's "Downtime" LP, this box traces the evolution of the Peter Blegvad Trio into a quintet with Karen Mantler and Bob Drake, released in a solid box with a double CD of alternate versions, unreleased material and live performances, plus a 72 page book of photographs, memorabilia, drawings, documents and recollections; the ultimate reissue!

Mahobin (Fujii / Anker / Tamura / Mori): Live at Big Apple in Kobe Mahobin (Fujii / Anker / Tamura / Mori):
Live at Big Apple in Kobe

(Libra -- Japan )

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Continuing the celebration of pianist Satoko Fujii's 60th birtday by releasing one CD each month, this quartet brings an excellent set of electroacoustic improvisation to the collection in a quartet with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, New York saxophonist Lotte Anker, and New York electronic artist and former DNA drummer Ikue Mori, performing live at Tokyo's Big Apple in 2018.

Golia / Kaiser / Moses / Smith / Walter: Astral Plane Crash Golia / Kaiser / Moses / Smith / Walter:
Astral Plane Crash

(Balance Point Acoustics -- USA )

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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.

Mako Sica / Hamid Drake: Ronda [VINYL 2 LPs] Mako Sica / Hamid Drake:
Ronda [VINYL 2 LPs]

(Feeding Tube Records -- USA )

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The long-running Chicago free-rock trio Mako Sica currently comprised of Przemyslaw Drazek (trumpet & guitar), Brent Fuscaldo (guitar) and Chaetan Newell (drums & piano) are joined by free improvising legend Hamid Drake on drum kit, tablas and frame drum for a beautiful and rich album of genre merging, spiritually warm, primarily instrumental music, inclusive and persuasive.

Rodrigues, Ernesto / Guilherme Rodrigues / Adam Pultz Melbye / kriton b.: The Distant Sound Within Rodrigues, Ernesto / Guilherme Rodrigues / Adam Pultz Melbye / kriton b.:
The Distant Sound Within

(Creative Sources -- Portugal )

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Three strings--cello from Guilherme Rodrigues, double bass from Adam Pultz Melbye, and viola from Ernesto Rodrigues--plus harmonium and objects from Kriton Beyer, in a live performance at Kuhlspot Social Club in Berlin, each of the 9 movements a concentrative work named with a three-letter onomatopoeia, as the players draw sound from a mysterious dark distance.

Morris, Joe / Chris Dadge / Jonathon Wilcke: Rural Optimism Morris, Joe / Chris Dadge / Jonathon Wilcke:
Rural Optimism

(Bug Incision Records -- Canada )

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During guitarist Joe Morris' stay as a visiting scholar at University of Calgary, Morris joined the Chris Dadge / Jonathon Wilkes duo, first on stage and then in the studio to record this first-rate album of collective improvisation, merging idiosyncratic percussive activity, abstract and lyrical sax declarations, and profound and pointillistic guitar work.

Nakatani, Tatsuya: Yama Yaki Nakatani, Tatsuya:
Yama Yaki

(Nakatani-Kobo -- USA )

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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.

Nakatani Gong Orchestra: Live Concert At Silo City Nakatani Gong Orchestra:
Live Concert At Silo City

(Nakatani-Kobo -- USA )

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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.

Holy Mountain, The: Toad Of Light [VINYL] Holy Mountain, The:
Toad Of Light [VINYL]

(Shhpuma -- Portugal )

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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.

Bica, Carlos & Azul (feat. Frank Mobus / Jim Black): Azul In Ljubljana Bica, Carlos & Azul (feat. Frank Mobus / Jim Black):
Azul In Ljubljana

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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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.

Costa, Mario (w/ Marc Ducret / Beniot Delbecq): Oxy Patina Costa, Mario (w/ Marc Ducret / Beniot Delbecq):
Oxy Patina

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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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.

Schnell (Borel / Borghini / Lillinger): Live At Sowieso Schnell (Borel / Borghini / Lillinger):
Live At Sowieso

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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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".

LFU (Lisbon Freedom Unit) : Praise Of Our Folly LFU (Lisbon Freedom Unit) :
Praise Of Our Folly

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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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).

Revert, Matthew / Vanessa Rossetto: Everyone Needs A Plan Revert, Matthew / Vanessa Rossetto:
Everyone Needs A Plan

(erstwhile -- USA )

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The second collaboration between sounds artist Vanessa Rossetto and writer and sound artist Matthew Revert is a monumental work that studies the evolution of communication through fragments of spoken words, and a rich tapestry of sound from acoustic and electronic instruments, field recordings, and perplexing and dramatic sources of sound.

Capece, Lucio / Marc Baron: My Trust In You Capece, Lucio / Marc Baron:
My Trust In You

(erstwhile -- USA )

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Two electroacoustic improvisers and composers--Lucio Capece on reeds, analog synths, effects, field recordings, drums machines, speakers in motion, and Marc Baron on field recordings and analog devices--developed these 6 extraordinary recordings that blend motion, perspective, sound and noise, and concrete references in a mystifying and mesmerizing journey in sound.

Voutchkova, Biliana / Michael Thieke: Blurred Music Voutchkova, Biliana / Michael Thieke:
Blurred Music

(elsewhere -- USA )

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Berlin-based violinist Biliana Voutchkova and German clarinetist Michael Thieke (Magic I.D., International Nothing) present a stunning achievement in blending compositional, pre-structured material with live improvisation, creating a blurring of virtually identical sections that create microtonal anomalies in timing, rhythm, timbre and motive, as heard in 3 amazing performances.

Bailey, Derek: Aida [VINYL 2 LPs] Bailey, Derek:
Aida [VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records -- UK )

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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.

Mitchell, Nicole : Maroon Cloud Mitchell, Nicole :
Maroon Cloud

(FPE Records -- USA )

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"Maroon Cloud, a powerful eight-part suite by celebrated flutist Nicole Mitchell, is a paean to the human gift of imagination and its ability to foster resistance in our dystopian times. It features a drum-less quartet with Mitche...

Lubelski, Samara / Bill Nace: S/T Lubelski, Samara / Bill Nace:
S/T

(Relative Pitch -- USA )

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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.

Ghost Trees Big Band: Goodyear [2 7-inch VINYL RECORDS] Ghost Trees Big Band:
Goodyear [2 7-inch VINYL RECORDS]

(Future Recordings -- USA )

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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.

McPhee, Joe / John Edwards / Klaus Kugel: Journey to Parazzar McPhee, Joe / John Edwards / Klaus Kugel:
Journey to Parazzar

(Not Two -- Poland )

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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.

Akmee (Pedersen / Jerve / Albertsend / Wildhagen): Neptun [VINYL] Akmee (Pedersen / Jerve / Albertsend / Wildhagen):
Neptun [VINYL]

(Nakama Records -- Norway )

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Debut album from this Oslo collective quartet of free improvisers led by drummer Andreas Wildhagen (Nilssen-Love Large Unit) with Erik Kimestad Pedersen on trumpet, Kjetil Jerve on piano, and Erlend Olderskog Albertsen on double bass, a thoroughly modern band that balances more experimental playing with improv in the European tradition; a strong start.

Akmee (Pedersen / Jerve / Albertsend / Wildhagen): Neptun Akmee (Pedersen / Jerve / Albertsend / Wildhagen):
Neptun

(Nakama Records -- Norway )

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Debut album from this Oslo collective quartet of free improvisers led by drummer Andreas Wildhagen (Nilssen-Love Large Unit) with Erik Kimestad Pedersen on trumpet, Kjetil Jerve on piano, and Erlend Olderskog Albertsen on double bass, a thoroughly modern band that balances more experimental playing with improv in the European tradition; a strong start.

Rose, Simon / Philippe Lemoine: Seance Rose, Simon / Philippe Lemoine:
Seance

(Tour de Bras -- France )

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Tenor and baritone saxophones in an exchange of spectral interactions that emphasize harmonic overtones and intersections, unusual emanations from both instruments in a perfectly paced improvisations, each of the 12 dialogs named aptly for locations and crossing in Englad and France, adding a sense of journey to these mysterious and wonderful expeditions.

Lux's, Matthew Communication Arts Quartet: Contra/Fact  [VINYL] Lux's, Matthew Communication Arts Quartet:
Contra/Fact [VINYL]

(Astral Spirits -- USA )

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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.

McCowen, John: 4 Chairs In Three Dimensions [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] McCowen, John:
4 Chairs In Three Dimensions [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]

(Astral Spirits -- USA )

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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.

Spring Heel Jack / Wadada Leo Smith / Pat Thomas / Steve Noble: Hackney Road [VINYL] Spring Heel Jack / Wadada Leo Smith / Pat Thomas / Steve Noble:
Hackney Road [VINYL]

(Treader -- UK )

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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.

Flaherty, Paul / Chris Corsano: The Hated Music [VINYL 2 LPs] Flaherty, Paul / Chris Corsano:
The Hated Music [VINYL 2 LPs]

(Feeding Tube Records -- USA )

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Gary Panter's artwork is updated and the format is vinyl this time for this welcome reissue of the 2000 Ecstatic Yod CD from the now long-running duo of tenor & alto saxophonist Paul Flaherty and drummer Chris Corsano, a superb free jazz album of great invention and seriously deep playing, from hard attacks to introspective musing, truly impressive!

Nakamura, Toshimaru: Re-Verbed (No-Input Mixing Board 9) Nakamura, Toshimaru:
Re-Verbed (No-Input Mixing Board 9)

(Room40 -- Australia )

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Tokyo-based electronics artist Toshimaru Nakamura's 9th album of No-Input Mixing Board music, elucidating sound from the mixing board without any audio sources, showing the amazing evolution of his approach as he turns this "empty" "instrument" into an amazing source of rhythmic and assertive sound that's both surprising and wonderfully musical.

Musci, Roberto / Giovanni Venosta: Messages & Portraits (2018 Edition) Musci, Roberto / Giovanni Venosta:
Messages & Portraits (2018 Edition)

(Recommended Records -- UK )

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A welcome reissue of two 1980s, forward-thinking albums of electronic compositions from Milanese ethnomusicologist composers, sound engineers and performers Giovanni Venosta and Roberto Musci, incorporating exotic field recordings from their world travels into accessibly sophisticated pieces, creating unexpectedly innovative, novel and melodically rich hybrids.

Polyorchard: Sextet | Quintet Polyorchard:
Sextet | Quintet

(Out and Gone Music -- USA )

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Quintet and sextet recordings from the Polyorchard group of Jeb Bishop on trombone, Chris Eubank on cello, Bill McConaghy on trumpet, David Menestres on double bass, David Morris on tuba, Dan Ruccia on viola, Jeb Bishop on trombone, and Jacob Wick on trumpet, recording at "The Store" in Raleigh, NC, for sublime and complex and collective free improvisation.

Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes: Uplift The People Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes:
Uplift The People

(Ogun -- UK )

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Drummer Moholo-Moholo, a member of Blue Notes, Elton Dean's Ninesene, Foxes Fox, London Improvisers Orchestra, a sideman for Brotzmann, Keith Tippets sideman and drummer and most importantly, band leader in a rich, lyrical and spiritual album recorded live at Cafe Oto in 2017 with Alexander Hawkins (piano), John Edwards (bass), Shabaka Hutchings (sax) and Jason Yard (sax).

Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson): Theirs Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson):
Theirs

(Cuneiform Records -- USA )

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The second of two albums from the reborn Cuneiform label by New York free improvising jazz trio Thumbscrew with long-time collaborators guitarist Mary Halvorson, double bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, here presenting compositions from jazz greats Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Nichols, Stanley Cowell, Misha Mengelberg, &c.

Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson): Ours Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson):
Ours

(Cuneiform Records -- USA )

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The New York free improvising jazz trio Thumbscrew with long-time collaborators guitarist Mary Halvorson, double bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara in the 1st of 2 albums on the reborn Cuneiform label, here presenting creative original compositions from each of the three musicians in 9 virtuosic, sometimes quirky, and always warmly adventurous tunes.

Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano: A History Of Nothing [VINYL] Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano:
A History Of Nothing [VINYL]

(Trost Records -- Austria )

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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.

Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano: A History Of Nothing Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano:
A History Of Nothing

(Trost Records -- Austria )

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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.

Ahmed (Pat Thomas / Antonin Gerbal / Joel Grip / Seymour Wright): New Jazz Imagination [VINYL] Ahmed (Pat Thomas / Antonin Gerbal / Joel Grip / Seymour Wright):
New Jazz Imagination [VINYL]

(Umlaut Records -- France )

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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.

Hawkins, Chester: Natural Causes - Original Music For Pale Trees, A Film By Tim Ashby [VINYL] Hawkins, Chester:
Natural Causes - Original Music For Pale Trees, A Film By Tim Ashby [VINYL]

(Intangible Arts -- USA )

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Washington, DC based electronic experimenter Chester Hawkins (Blue Sausage Infant) was commissioned by director Tim Ashby to compose this work for the soundtrack to his feature-length film "Pale Trees", Hawkin's music illustrating the film's gradient of psychological colors from darkness, rage, and vengeance through a mix of kosmische drone in a Tangerine Dream vein.

Halvorson, Mary : Code Girl [VINYL] Halvorson, Mary :
Code Girl [VINYL]

(Firehouse 12 Records -- USA )

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Always open to new approaches, NY guitarist Mary Halvorson takes her trio with drummer Tomas Fujiwara and bassist Michael Formanek, adds trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and, in a twist of the thumbscrew, vocalist Amirtha Kidambi, for a mix of song and instrumental pieces that balance jazz and rock sensibilities with lyricism, intricate lines, and creative spirit.

Halvorson, Mary : Code Girl [2 CDs] Halvorson, Mary :
Code Girl [2 CDs]

(Firehouse 12 Records -- USA )

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Always open to new approaches, NY guitarist Mary Halvorson takes her trio with drummer Tomas Fujiwara and bassist Michael Formanek, adds trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and, in a twist of the thumbscrew, vocalist Amirtha Kidambi, for a mix of song and instrumental pieces that balance jazz and rock sensibilities with lyricism, intricate lines, and creative spirit.

Baron, Joey / Robyn Schulkowsky: Now You Hear Me Baron, Joey / Robyn Schulkowsky:
Now You Hear Me

(Intakt -- Switzerland )

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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.

Blonk, Jaap : Irrelevant Comments Blonk, Jaap :
Irrelevant Comments

(Kontrans -- Netherlands )

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As he delves further into electronics, Netherlands vocal improviser and experimental artists Jaap Blonk finds an ever-increasing array of approaches to modify his voice and set it into alien and astounding environments, here in 16 tracks of musique concrete, sound poetry, pulse based electronics, soundscapes, and inexplicable hybrids of the same.

Fake Humans (Fisher / Didur): Exegesis [ VINYL] Fake Humans (Fisher / Didur):
Exegesis [ VINYL]

(Shhpuma -- Portugal )

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The Toronto-based duo of Colin Fisher on woodwinds and percussion and Carl Didur on keyboards and bass bridge acoustic and electronic improv with science fiction sensibilities in their two part "Exegesis", a critical exposition of un-genred music that borrows from global sources in service to their unusual and exotic tale; a wonderfully perplexing album.

Angles 3: Parede Angles 3:
Parede

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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Martin Kuchen's Angles band changes shape constantly, originally a trio and expanding as large as Angles 10, but this album, recorded live at SMUP, Parede, Portugal in 2016, returns the band to the original trio of Kuchen on sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on double bass, and Kjell Nordeson on drums & percussion, reworking Angles compositions to their essence.

Honest John w/ Ab Baars: Treem Honest John w/ Ab Baars:
Treem

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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The Norwegian quintet Honest John of Ole Henrik Moe on violin, Kim Johannesen on guitar & banjo, Ola Hoyer on double bass, Erik Nylander on drums & drum machine, on Klaus Ellerhusen sax and clarinet, are joined by multi-reedist and shakuhachi player Ab Baars at Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria to capture this quirky, controlled, and incredibly knowledgeable concert.

Ehrlich, Marty: Trio Exaltation Ehrlich, Marty:
Trio Exaltation

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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With a history of playing together in the Andrew Hill Sextet, Marty Ehrlich immediately chose bassist John Hebert and drummer Nasheet Waits to join Ehrlich in his new trio endeavor, the multi-wind & reed player on alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet and wooden flutes as they perform 9 lyrical and sophisticated Ehrlich compositions, plus one by Andrew Hill.

Palazzi, Caterina Sudoku Killer: Asperger Palazzi, Caterina Sudoku Killer:
Asperger

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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A wicked hybrid of jazz, avant rock and cinematic elements, bassist Caterina Palazzi's quintet Sudoku Killer takes on the music of Disney in a suite where each track is dedicated to an antagonist from movies like "Snow White" or "Sleeping Beauty", performed with Giacomo Ancillotto (guitar), Maurizio Chiavaro (drums), Sergio Pomante (sax) and Antonio Raia (sax).

Pinton, Alberto: Noi Siamo: Opus Facere Pinton, Alberto: Noi Siamo:
Opus Facere

(Clean Feed -- Portugal )

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Multi-reedist and wind player Alberto Pinton's quartet Noi Siamo ("We Are") with Niklas Barno on trumpet, Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass and Konrad Agnas on drums, are caught at the Swedish Glenn Miller Cafe in Stockholm for this exciting album of knowledgable and passionate free jazz, a dynamic concert referencing Eric Dolphy, Freddy Hubbard, and Ornette Coleman.

Merce, Sergio: Three Dimensions Of The Spirit Merce, Sergio:
Three Dimensions Of The Spirit

(Edition Wandelweiser Records -- Germany )

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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.

Ichiyanagi, Toshi with Eye Music: Sapporo Ichiyanagi, Toshi with Eye Music:
Sapporo

(Edition Wandelweiser Records -- Germany )

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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.

Chadbourne, Eugene: Lets Get Weird But Comfortable Chadbourne, Eugene:
Lets Get Weird But Comfortable

(Chadula -- USA )

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Named for an audience comment that their music was "weird but comfortable", guitarist Eugene Chadbourne's band with Jeb Bishop on trombone, Jorrit Dijkstra on saxophone, Nate McBride on bass, and Curt Newton on bass are caught live in Boston covering the music of Thelonius Monk, Misha Mengelberg, Steve Lacy, Duke Ellington, Doc Chad, Willie Nelson and The James Gang.

Lee, Okkyung: Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Steel.Flower.Bird) Lee, Okkyung:
Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Steel.Flower.Bird)

(Tzadik -- USA )

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Cellist Okkyung Lee explores her Korean roots in an amazing long-form composition combining electronics, improvisation, composed melodies and noise with Korean traditional music, performed with the superb ensemble of John Edwards (bass), Ches Smith (drums), John Butcher (sax), Jae Hyo Chang (Korean percussion), Song Hee Kwon (Pansori singing), and Lasse Marhaug (electronics).

Cage, John: Two2 Cage, John:
Two2

(Another Timbre -- UK )

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One of a handful of John Cage's number pieces, this work for two pianists follows the forms of Renga poetry, composed with 36 lines of music, each containing 5 measures, and each line having 31 events occuring in the sequence 5-7-5-7-7, with the pianists allowed their own tempo but waiting to synchronize each measure, as performed by Mark Knoop and Philip Thomas.

Leandre, Joelle : A Woman's Work [8 CD BOX SET] Leandre, Joelle :
A Woman's Work [8 CD BOX SET]

(Not Two -- Poland )

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A thorough overview of bassist and vocalist Joelle Leandre's recent work in a boxed set of 8 CDs and a 16 page booklet of essays, photos and credits, each CD bringing a unique grouping from Les Diaboliques to duos with Mat Maneri, Fred Frith, Lauren Newton, & Jean-Luc Cappozzo, plus one solo disc and a quartet with Zlatko Kaucic, Evan Parker and Augusti Fernandez; magnificent.

DKV Trio (Drake / Kessler / Vandermark): Latitude 41.88 DKV Trio (Drake / Kessler / Vandermark):
Latitude 41.88

(Not Two -- Poland )

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An incredible concert at Sugar Maple in Milwaukee from the Chicago trio of Hamid Drake on drums, Kent Kessler on bass, and Ken Vandermark on reeds, a working trio of intense free jazz that formed in the 90s and has developed an almost telepathic rapport through energetic and cathartic collective playing, one of the exceptional examples of Chicago jazz.

Thornton, Clifford Memorial Quartet, The (McPhee / Lazro / Foussat / Sato): Sweet Oranges Thornton, Clifford Memorial Quartet, The (McPhee / Lazro / Foussat / Sato):
Sweet Oranges

(Not Two -- Poland )

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An absolutely fitting and exceptional tribute to late trumpeter & trombonist Clifford Thornton from a quartet of NY and European free jazz musicians, particularly Joe McPhee who recorded with Thornton and cites him as an influence, plus Daunik Lazro (sax), Makoto Sato (drums) and Jean-Marc Foussate (synth), recorded live at Nickelsdorf's Konfrontationen Festival 2017.

Gjerstad, Frode / Hamid Drake / William Parker: [4-CD BOX SET] Gjerstad, Frode / Hamid Drake / William Parker:
[4-CD BOX SET]

(Not Two -- Poland )

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4 essential albums from the trio of Frode Gjerstad on saxophones and reeds, William Parker on double bass, and Hamid Drake on drums; CD 1 presents "Ultima" originally released in 1997 on Cadence Jazz; CD 2 presents "Remember To Forget" from 1998 on Circulasione Totale; CD 3 "The Other Side" from 2006 on Ayler Records; and CD 4 "On Reade Street" from 2008 on FMR.

Fujii, Satoko / Joe Fonda: Mizu Fujii, Satoko / Joe Fonda:
Mizu

(Long Song Records -- Italy )

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With commanding instrumental skills and a growing history of collaboration, bassist Joe Fonda and pianist Satoko Fujii are heard again in two live concerts as part of their 2017 European tour, two duos from Belgium and one in Germany, the CD taking its title from the Japanese word for "water" as the two converse in powerfully emotional and technically breathtaking ways.

Fujii / Fonda / Mimmo: Triad Fujii / Fonda / Mimmo:
Triad

(Long Song Records -- Italy )

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An album recorded on the 59th birthday of pianist-composer Satoko Fujii, the second recorded with bassist Joe Fonda on the Long Song imprint, this time in a trio with soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo, the focus of the album the 42 minute monumental improvisation "Birthday Girl", a sophisticated and engaging dialog of lyrical playing and great beauty.

This Is It! (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Takashi Itani): 1538 This Is It! (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Takashi Itani):
1538

(Libra -- Japan )

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Part of pianist Satoko Fujii's "Kanreki" (60th Birthday) tour and monthly album release, the "This Is It!" Trio with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer/percussionist Takashi Itani is heard at Koendori Classics, in Tokyo, Japan, in January 2018, for an incredible album of Fujii's compositions that include quirky asides in coherent and effusive playing.

Knuffke, Kirk / Ben Goldberg: Uncompahgre Knuffke, Kirk / Ben Goldberg:
Uncompahgre

(Relative Pitch -- USA )

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Two extraordinary players from two coasts--clarinetist Ben Goldberg from the West and cornetist Kirk Knuffke from the East--in an exuberant duo of lyrical and virtuosic free jazz that astonishes the listener with the ease of their interactions in both parallel and contrasting lines, supporting the other as they express themselves uniquely; an impressive achievement!

Gjerstad, Frode / John Stevens / Johnny Mbizio Dyani: Detail 83 Gjerstad, Frode / John Stevens / Johnny Mbizio Dyani:
Detail 83

(FMR -- UK )

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A significant release from the history of the Detail trio of Frode Gjerstad on reeds, John Stevens on drums, and Johnny Dyani on bass, recorded at the Red Seahouses in Norway in 1938 during Detail's first trio tour, a smoking set of free jazz showing the power of these innovative players around the time of their first album, "Backwards and Forwards".

Dunmall, Paul / John O'Gallagher / John Edwards / Mark Sanders: Freedom Music Dunmall, Paul / John O'Gallagher / John Edwards / Mark Sanders:
Freedom Music

(FMR -- UK )

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Live recordings at Hexagon Theatre in Birmingham in 2018 from the UK free improvising quartet of Paul Dunmall on tenor saxophone, John O'Gallagher on alto saxophone, John Edwards on bass, and Mark Sanders on drums, the two saxophonists bringing distinct approaches together as they weave and parry over the powerhouse rhythm duo of Edwards and Sanders.

Carrier, Francois / Michel Lambert /  Rafal Mazur: Beyond Dimensions Carrier, Francois / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur:
Beyond Dimensions

(FMR -- UK )

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It would be an understatement to call the Canadian trio of Francois Carrier (alto saxophone), Michel Lambert (drums) and Rafal Mazur (acoustic bass guitar) a working trio, as the band seems constantly on the go, performing their complex avant jazz live in Romania in 2016 at Aethernativ, for four extended, intricate and cathartic free dialogs.

 

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