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Frode Gjerstad Trio + Steve Swell
Bop Stop
(Clean Feed)

The indefatigable Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad invites trombonist Steve Swell, with whom he collaborated in 2011 on the live album "At Constellation", to join his trio with Jon Rune Strom on double bass and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, at Cleveland's Bop stop during their 2017 tour, recording this impressive concert of exemplary collective free jazz.


Cornelius Cardew / London Experimental Ensemble
Treatise
(Split Rock Records)

The full two-hour performance of Cornelius Cardew's entire 193-page legendary Treatise graphic score, performed at Iklectik in London, England on January 28, 2017 in an 11-member ensemble of some of London's most interesting improvisers including participants in Scratch Orchestra, in a double CD release with liner notes by AMM founder Eddie Prevost.


Stephen O'Malley / Anthony Pateras
Reve Noir
(Immediata)

Pianist Anthony Pateras and guitarist Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O))) performed a concert in 2011 at Instants Chavires in 2011, which they took into the studio to deconstruct and recompose on 1/4 inch tape, creating a compelling landscape of fractured musique concrete, introspective meditations, electro-acoustic textures and heavy guitar; includes a 20 page interview with O'Malley.


Matt Piet & His Disorganization (w / Berman / Mazzarella / Daisy)
Rummage Out
(Clean Feed)

A young and fresh voice in the creative Chicago improv scene, pianist and composer Matt Piet, who leads his own trio and the band Four Letter Words, and one third of Rempis/Piet/Daisy, introduces a new quartet with saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, cornet player Josh Berman, and drummer Tim Daisy, a superb example of the energetic and active Chicago scene.


Rova Saxophone Quartet
In Transverse Time
(Les Disques Victo)

Celebrating 40 years as a performing ensemble, the West Coast saxophone quartet ROVA of Bruce Ackley on soprano saxophone, Steve Adams on alto & sopranino saxophones, Jon Raskin on baritone saxophone, and Larry Ochs on tenor saxophone, reworked compositions from all members transversing their past 34 years, in an absolutely impressive and diverse album.


Benoit Delbecq 4 (w / Turner / Hebert / Cleaver)
Spots On Stripes
(Clean Feed)

French pianist Benoit Delbecq brings together frequent collaborators from New York--Mark Turner on tenor saxophone and drummer Gerald Cleaver--and from Paris--Delbecq himself and double bassist John Hebert--for an album of refined and inventive contemporary jazz, the work of masterful players with years of experience and collaborations dating back to 2003.


Kidd Jordan / Alvin Fielder / Joel Futterman / Steve Swell
Masters Of Improvisation
(Valid)

The New Orleans bass-less free jazz trio of tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan, drummer Alvin Fielder and pianist Joel Futterman are joined by New York trombonist Steve Swell for a concert at the Old US Mint for an absolutely superlative recording of lyrical and expansive collective improvisation, each player urging the other on as they create instant epics of modern jazz.


Togashi Masahiko Quartet (w / Yoshizawa / Takagi /Takayanagi)
We Now Create: Music For Strings, Winds And Percussions
(Monkey Dog)

An excellent debut from drummer/percussionist Masahiko Togashi's Quartet released in 1969, a remarkable free jazz album of strong technical and creative skills, with Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and cello, Mototeru Takagi on sax and reeds, and Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, an important advance for the players who would go on to form influential bands like New Directions.


Derek Bailey & Company
Klinker [2 CDs]
(Confront)

Derek Bailey's Company in recordings from 2000 at The Klinker in London, with four performers--Bailey on guitar, Simon H. Fell on double bass, Mark Wastell on violincello, and Will Gaines tap dancing--the concert presenting various permutations of these musicians improvising, with narrations from Bailey, Fell, Wastell and Gaines punctuating the recordings.


Anthony Braxton
Sextet (Parker) 1993 [11-CD BOX SET]
(New Braxton House)

Originally released on Hat Hut in '95, this 11-CD box blows open these 2 European concerts in Zurich and Koln, reworking the music of Charlie Parker and associated bop composers, with Braxton himself on reeds, plus saxophonist Ari Brown, trumpeter Paul Smoker, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and alternating between drummers Han Bennink and Pheeroan AkLaff; superb, essential!


Samo Salamon / Tony Malaby / Roberto Dani
Traveling Moving Breathing
(Clean Feed)

A peer of Tim Berne, David Binney, Sabir Mateen, Mark Helias, &c., Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon presents an album of original compositions and one collective improvisation from his ever-changing Bassless Trio, here with drummer Roberto Dani and saxophonist Tony Malaby on tenor and soprano, in an introspective album of profound technique and lyrical playing.


Roscoe Mitchell / Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra
Ride The Wind
(NESSA)

Reedist and composer Roscoe Mitchell in a collaboration with the Montreal - Toronto Art Orchestra, an extraordinary group of improvising musicians comprised of 6 woodwinds, piano, vibraphone, tuba, 2 each of trumpet, trombone, viola, string bass and drums plus Mitchell on sopranino saxophone, a profoundly elaborate and absorbing work for a large improvising ensemble.


Jonas Cambien Trio (w / Roligheten / Wildhagen)
We Must Mustn't We
(Clean Feed)

Leveraging influences in improvisation and contemporary compositional music, Belgian/Oslo pianist Jonas Cambien, a member of Simiskina and Platform, extends his own trio of saxophonist Andre Rolighete and drummer Andreas Wildhagen with trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen on 2 tracks, as they balance jazz, avant, free improv and other hybrid forms in a compellingly creative album.


Sara Serpa (w / Laubrock / Fiedlander)
Close Up
(Clean Feed)

Lisbon, Portugal native, singer and composer Sara Serpa in a trio with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander, recording live at Pete's House, in Brooklyn, for an album of unusual and creative vocals inspired by experimentation and changing identities, bringing a unique approach to improvised voice, here in the company of accomplished players.


Turbamulta (Raon / Sao / Ferreira / Martins / Aroso)
Turbamulta
(Clean Feed)

With orchestration of harp, daxophone, idiophones, piano, cello, guitar, percussion, sampling & electronics, the Portuguese quintet Turbamulta (roughly translates to "rowdy mob", though clearly a very sophisticated mob) was born from the band Powertrio of Eduardo Raon, Joana Sa and Luis Martins, expanded to blend compositional, EA and improv approaches into something unique and beautiful.


Rudi Mahall / Alexander von Schlippenbach
So Far
(Relative Pitch)

Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and clarinetist Rudi Mahall have been exploring the music of jazz and free improvisation for decades in their own bands or together in Globe Unity Orchestra; here they are heard in their essential element as a duo, pushing their music in rapid runs and elegant and emotional moments with imposing technique and authoritative confidence.


Francois Bayle
Tremblements [VINYL]
(Recollection GRM)

Electroacoustic composer Francois Bayle, a member of Pierre Schaeffer's Groupe de Recherches Musicales, and who worked with Stockhausen and Messiaen, in two 2-part compositions from 1978 and 1979, acousmatic music of mysterious sound sources that are presented with impressive pacing, tension and drama, using a rich and diverse palette of sound.


Mark Nauseef
All In All In all
(Relative Pitch)

Influenced by rock, jazz, Javanese and Balinese gamelan, NY drummer Mark Nauseef's career has embraced an inclusive blending of styles, heard in this fantastic new album embracing compositional and ea styles, recorded with previous collaborators including Tony Oxley, Bill Laswell, Walter Quintus, along with Sylvie Courvoisier, Pat Thomas, Miroslav Tadic, & Arthur Jarvinen.


Mattias Risberg
Stamps
(Clean Feed)

Swedish pianist Mattias Risberg demonstrates the passion he dedicates to vintage instruments like mellotron, Hammond organ, analog synthesizers, clavichord and pipe organs, here in a solo album of piano, with some light preparations, and the pedals of a Moog Taurus, in an inventive album of improvisations inspired by the vivid images of postage stamps.


Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Karyobin (1968) [2017 REISSUE]
(Emanem)

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.


Samuel Blaser / Gerry Hemingway
Oostum [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A fantastic album of free improvisation between two creative and versatile players captured live at Kerkje van Oostum, Groningen, The Netherlands in 2015--percussionist Gerry Hemingway and trombonist Samuel Blaser--both using immense talent and unorthodox approaches to their instruments as they shift from unexpected atmospheres to lyrical richness.


Martin Blume / Tobias Delius / Achim Kaufmann / Dieter Manderscheid
Frames & Terrains [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A great example of collective free improvisation from the quartet of drummer/percussionist Martin Blue, tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Tobias Delius, pianist Achim Kaufmann, and double bassist Dieter Manderscheid, performing live at the LOFT in Cologne, Germnay in 2016 for two extended intricate, melodic, and commanding performances of expressive and passionate free jazz.


Yoni Kretzmer's New Dilemma (Kretzmer / Loriot / Hoffamn / Sinton / Niggenkemper / Van Hemmen)
Months, Weeks and Days [2 CDs]
(OutNow Recordings)

The 2nd album for NY-based saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer's Chamber-Improv ensemble New Dilemma with Frantz Loriot (viola), Christopher Hoffman (cello), Josh Sinton (bass clarinet), Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass) and Flin Van Hemmen (drums), investigating "the intricacies differentiating and combining the written and the improvised continue with further depth and chance".


Jurg Frey / Magnus Granberg
Early to Late
(Another Timbre)

New ensemble pieces by Jurg Frey and Magnus Granberg played by Ensemble Grizzana, commissioned by Another Timbre with the request that both start from the same two fragments of early music, one by Johannes Ockeghem, the other by William Byrd, each composer producing fascinatingly different pieces that both contain echoes of the source material.


Derek Bailey / Tristan Honsinger
Duo [VINYL]
(Honest Jons Records)

A proper reissue of the 1976 Incus album from guitarist Derek Bailey and cellist Tristan Honsinger, primarily from a live concert at at Verity's Place in London on February 7, 1976, with two unusual studio recordings punctuating the album, an early example of their long history of collaboration and a great example of their intense, joyful, and truly free improvisation together.


Cornelius Cardew / London Experimental Ensemble
Treatise
(Split Rock Records)

The full two-hour performance of Cornelius Cardew's entire 193-page legendary Treatise graphic score, performed at Iklectik in London, England on January 28, 2017 in an 11-member ensemble of some of London's most interesting improvisers including participants in Scratch Orchestra, in a double CD release with liner notes by AMM founder Eddie Prevost.


Stephen O'Malley / Anthony Pateras
Reve Noir
(Immediata)

Pianist Anthony Pateras and guitarist Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O))) performed a concert in 2011 at Instants Chavires in 2011, which they took into the studio to deconstruct and recompose on 1/4 inch tape, creating a compelling landscape of fractured musique concrete, introspective meditations, electro-acoustic textures and heavy guitar; includes a 20 page interview with O'Malley.


Matt Piet & His Disorganization (w / Berman / Mazzarella / Daisy)
Rummage Out
(Clean Feed)

A young and fresh voice in the creative Chicago improv scene, pianist and composer Matt Piet, who leads his own trio and the band Four Letter Words, and one third of Rempis/Piet/Daisy, introduces a new quartet with saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, cornet player Josh Berman, and drummer Tim Daisy, a superb example of the energetic and active Chicago scene.


Rova Saxophone Quartet
In Transverse Time
(Les Disques Victo)

Celebrating 40 years as a performing ensemble, the West Coast saxophone quartet ROVA of Bruce Ackley on soprano saxophone, Steve Adams on alto & sopranino saxophones, Jon Raskin on baritone saxophone, and Larry Ochs on tenor saxophone, reworked compositions from all members transversing their past 34 years, in an absolutely impressive and diverse album.


Benoit Delbecq 4 (w / Turner / Hebert / Cleaver)
Spots On Stripes
(Clean Feed)

French pianist Benoit Delbecq brings together frequent collaborators from New York--Mark Turner on tenor saxophone and drummer Gerald Cleaver--and from Paris--Delbecq himself and double bassist John Hebert--for an album of refined and inventive contemporary jazz, the work of masterful players with years of experience and collaborations dating back to 2003.


Kidd Jordan / Alvin Fielder / Joel Futterman / Steve Swell
Masters Of Improvisation
(Valid)

The New Orleans bass-less free jazz trio of tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan, drummer Alvin Fielder and pianist Joel Futterman are joined by New York trombonist Steve Swell for a concert at the Old US Mint for an absolutely superlative recording of lyrical and expansive collective improvisation, each player urging the other on as they create instant epics of modern jazz.


Togashi Masahiko Quartet (w / Yoshizawa / Takagi /Takayanagi)
We Now Create: Music For Strings, Winds And Percussions
(Monkey Dog)

An excellent debut from drummer/percussionist Masahiko Togashi's Quartet released in 1969, a remarkable free jazz album of strong technical and creative skills, with Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and cello, Mototeru Takagi on sax and reeds, and Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, an important advance for the players who would go on to form influential bands like New Directions.


Derek Bailey & Company
Klinker [2 CDs]
(Confront)

Derek Bailey's Company in recordings from 2000 at The Klinker in London, with four performers--Bailey on guitar, Simon H. Fell on double bass, Mark Wastell on violincello, and Will Gaines tap dancing--the concert presenting various permutations of these musicians improvising, with narrations from Bailey, Fell, Wastell and Gaines punctuating the recordings.


Anthony Braxton
Sextet (Parker) 1993 [11-CD BOX SET]
(New Braxton House)

Originally released on Hat Hut in '95, this 11-CD box blows open these 2 European concerts in Zurich and Koln, reworking the music of Charlie Parker and associated bop composers, with Braxton himself on reeds, plus saxophonist Ari Brown, trumpeter Paul Smoker, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and alternating between drummers Han Bennink and Pheeroan AkLaff; superb, essential!


Samo Salamon / Tony Malaby / Roberto Dani
Traveling Moving Breathing
(Clean Feed)

A peer of Tim Berne, David Binney, Sabir Mateen, Mark Helias, &c., Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon presents an album of original compositions and one collective improvisation from his ever-changing Bassless Trio, here with drummer Roberto Dani and saxophonist Tony Malaby on tenor and soprano, in an introspective album of profound technique and lyrical playing.


Roscoe Mitchell / Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra
Ride The Wind
(NESSA)

Reedist and composer Roscoe Mitchell in a collaboration with the Montreal - Toronto Art Orchestra, an extraordinary group of improvising musicians comprised of 6 woodwinds, piano, vibraphone, tuba, 2 each of trumpet, trombone, viola, string bass and drums plus Mitchell on sopranino saxophone, a profoundly elaborate and absorbing work for a large improvising ensemble.


Jonas Cambien Trio (w / Roligheten / Wildhagen)
We Must Mustn't We
(Clean Feed)

Leveraging influences in improvisation and contemporary compositional music, Belgian/Oslo pianist Jonas Cambien, a member of Simiskina and Platform, extends his own trio of saxophonist Andre Rolighete and drummer Andreas Wildhagen with trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen on 2 tracks, as they balance jazz, avant, free improv and other hybrid forms in a compellingly creative album.


Sara Serpa (w / Laubrock / Fiedlander)
Close Up
(Clean Feed)

Lisbon, Portugal native, singer and composer Sara Serpa in a trio with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander, recording live at Pete's House, in Brooklyn, for an album of unusual and creative vocals inspired by experimentation and changing identities, bringing a unique approach to improvised voice, here in the company of accomplished players.


Turbamulta (Raon / Sao / Ferreira / Martins / Aroso)
Turbamulta
(Clean Feed)

With orchestration of harp, daxophone, idiophones, piano, cello, guitar, percussion, sampling & electronics, the Portuguese quintet Turbamulta (roughly translates to "rowdy mob", though clearly a very sophisticated mob) was born from the band Powertrio of Eduardo Raon, Joana Sa and Luis Martins, expanded to blend compositional, EA and improv approaches into something unique and beautiful.


Rudi Mahall / Alexander von Schlippenbach
So Far
(Relative Pitch)

Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and clarinetist Rudi Mahall have been exploring the music of jazz and free improvisation for decades in their own bands or together in Globe Unity Orchestra; here they are heard in their essential element as a duo, pushing their music in rapid runs and elegant and emotional moments with imposing technique and authoritative confidence.


Mark Nauseef
All In All In all
(Relative Pitch)

Influenced by rock, jazz, Javanese and Balinese gamelan, NY drummer Mark Nauseef's career has embraced an inclusive blending of styles, heard in this fantastic new album embracing compositional and ea styles, recorded with previous collaborators including Tony Oxley, Bill Laswell, Walter Quintus, along with Sylvie Courvoisier, Pat Thomas, Miroslav Tadic, & Arthur Jarvinen.


Mattias Risberg
Stamps
(Clean Feed)

Swedish pianist Mattias Risberg demonstrates the passion he dedicates to vintage instruments like mellotron, Hammond organ, analog synthesizers, clavichord and pipe organs, here in a solo album of piano, with some light preparations, and the pedals of a Moog Taurus, in an inventive album of improvisations inspired by the vivid images of postage stamps.


Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Karyobin (1968) [2017 REISSUE]
(Emanem)

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.


Yoni Kretzmer's New Dilemma (Kretzmer / Loriot / Hoffamn / Sinton / Niggenkemper / Van Hemmen)
Months, Weeks and Days [2 CDs]
(OutNow Recordings)

The 2nd album for NY-based saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer's Chamber-Improv ensemble New Dilemma with Frantz Loriot (viola), Christopher Hoffman (cello), Josh Sinton (bass clarinet), Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass) and Flin Van Hemmen (drums), investigating "the intricacies differentiating and combining the written and the improvised continue with further depth and chance".


Jurg Frey / Magnus Granberg
Early to Late
(Another Timbre)

New ensemble pieces by Jurg Frey and Magnus Granberg played by Ensemble Grizzana, commissioned by Another Timbre with the request that both start from the same two fragments of early music, one by Johannes Ockeghem, the other by William Byrd, each composer producing fascinatingly different pieces that both contain echoes of the source material.


Jeph Jerman
The Bray Harp
(White Centipede Noise)

Aural explorer Jeph Jerman reworks 20 years of source material into this large work of recurring sound, obscuring sources in a rugged mill that turns its sonic grist into a mesmerizing flow of ringing tones and resolute grit, constructed from Jerman's own recordings and tapes from Eric La Casa and Oskar Burmmel, and metal & wood from Ben Brucato.


Cecil Taylor
Garden 1st Set
(Hatology)

Reissue and 2015 remaster of Cecil Taylor's superb live set at Grosser Saal Volkshaus, in Basel, Switzerland in 1981, performing solo over three extended improvisations, presented for the first time in the original concert sequence.


Frode Gjerstad Trio (w/ Steve Swell)
At Constellation
(Circulasione)

The well-traveled and nearly telephathic Norwegian trio of reedist Frode Gjerstad performing on alto sax and clarinet with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and bassist Jon Rune Strom are joined by NY trombonist Steve Swell for a live concert at at Constellation in Chicago, 2014.


Bobby Bradford / John Carter Quintet
No U Turn, Live in Pasadena 1975
(Dark Tree Records)

The Bobby Bradford & John Carter Quintet captured in performance in 1975, the earliest known recording of this configuration live from their 70s period in Los Angeles, playing amazing free jazz with Stanley Carter and Roberto Mirando on bass, and William Jeffrey on drums.


Sylvie Courvoisier / Mary Halvorson
Crop Circles
(Relative Pitch)

A studio encounter between pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and electric guitarist Mary Halvorson, both using sophisticated techniques giving unique voices to their playing styles, in a set of improvisations that balance playful, subtle, energetic, and emotional playing.


Samuel Blaser / Gerry Hemingway
Oostum [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A fantastic album of free improvisation between two creative and versatile players captured live at Kerkje van Oostum, Groningen, The Netherlands in 2015--percussionist Gerry Hemingway and trombonist Samuel Blaser--both using immense talent and unorthodox approaches to their instruments as they shift from unexpected atmospheres to lyrical richness.


Martin Blume / Tobias Delius / Achim Kaufmann / Dieter Manderscheid
Frames & Terrains [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A great example of collective free improvisation from the quartet of drummer/percussionist Martin Blue, tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Tobias Delius, pianist Achim Kaufmann, and double bassist Dieter Manderscheid, performing live at the LOFT in Cologne, Germnay in 2016 for two extended intricate, melodic, and commanding performances of expressive and passionate free jazz.


Derek Bailey / Tristan Honsinger
Duo [VINYL]
(Honest Jons Records)

A proper reissue of the 1976 Incus album from guitarist Derek Bailey and cellist Tristan Honsinger, primarily from a live concert at at Verity's Place in London on February 7, 1976, with two unusual studio recordings punctuating the album, an early example of their long history of collaboration and a great example of their intense, joyful, and truly free improvisation together.


Jeph Jerman
The Bray Harp
(White Centipede Noise)

Aural explorer Jeph Jerman reworks 20 years of source material into this large work of recurring sound, obscuring sources in a rugged mill that turns its sonic grist into a mesmerizing flow of ringing tones and resolute grit, constructed from Jerman's own recordings and tapes from Eric La Casa and Oskar Burmmel, and metal & wood from Ben Brucato.


Christian Zanesi
Grand Bruit/Stop ! l'horizon [VINYL]
(Recollection GRM)

French composer Christian Zanesi, a student of Pierre Schaeffer and Guy Reibel at the Paris Conservatory and an artistic director of the Ina GRM, in an album presenting works from 1983 ("Stop ! L'horizon") and 1991 ("Grand Bruit"), the latter built on field recordings of train travel, the former an hommage to the potential of the recording studio itself.


Anemone (John Butcher / Peter Evans / Frederic Blondy / Clayton Thomas / Paul Lovens)
A Wing Dissolved in Light [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A brilliant quintet brought together for the Tampere Jazz Happening, in Finland in 2013, with NY trumpeter Peter Evans, UK saxophonist John Butcher, Australian bassist Clayton Thomas, German drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, and French pianist Frederic Blondy for a phenomenal extended improvisation presented in parts: "Une Aile Dissoute Dans La Lumiere".


Jason Stein Quartet
Lucille! [VINYL]
(Delmark)

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.


Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Myth Science Solar Arkestra
Sleeping Beauty [VINYL]
(Art Yard)

An extremely soulful electric album from Sun Ran and the Intergalactic Myth Science Solar Arkestra, a groove driven and funky swirling masterpiece from the late 70's, with Sun Ra on piano, electric piano and organ, the Arkestra propelled by the drumming of Luqman Ali over a full band with Craig Harris, Michael Ray, Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Danny Ray Thompson, &c &c.


Cortex
Avant-Garde Party Music [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Cortex propels their persuasive, groove oriented approach to jazz with this swinging album that blends free jazz styles with great hard bop, in line with a band like The Thing, this Scandinavian group wants to make your body move without indulging in excess or pandering, instead following a muse that's solidly in the exuberant free jazz tradition.


Elephant9
Greatest Show On Earth [VINYL+CD]
(Rune Grammofon)

The Norwegian Elephant9 trio of Stale Storlokken on organs and keyboard, Nikolai Haengsle on bass, and Torstein Lofthus on drums, are complemented by Pekka Pohjola of Wigwam fame, for their fifth studio album, a powerful blend of prog-era instrumental rock that's informed by impressive improvisational skill and fueled by the original enthusiasm of complex rock forms.


Quin Kirchner
The Other Side Of Time [VINYL 2 LPs + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)

Known as a superlative sideman, Chicago drummer/percussionist Quin Kirchner's debut as a leader brings together trombonist Nick Broste, bass clarinetist Jason Stein, saxophonist Nate Lepine, pianist Ben Boye and bassist Matt Ulery for an excellent album of spiritual free playing with compositions from Sun Ra, Andrew Hill, Charles Mingus, Paul Motian, Phil Cohran, &c.


Derek Bailey
Lot 74 [VINYL]
(Honest Jons Records)

An impressive vinyl reissue of guitarist Derek Bailey, one of the most unique and influential free improvisers, in his 1974 solo recording on the Incus label, with Bailey playing on two amps and two volume pedals, a veritable duo split in the stereo field with occasional banter and observations, as he blends abstract and lyrical approaches on guitar in amazing ways.


MAP (Halvorson / Nakatani / Radding)
Fever Dream [VINYL]
(TAIGA)

A beautifully produced 3-sided double LP from New York's MAP, guitarist Mary Halvorson, percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and bassist Reben Radding, amazing contemporary improvisation.


Emmett Williams
Poems 1950-2003 [VINYL]
(Edition Rz)

Fluxus originator & member of the "Darmstadt Circle" of concrete poetry, Emmett Williams in a beatiful picture disc of poems written from 1950-2003 and recorded from 2000-2003.


Tchicai / McBee / Fewell / Kohlhase / Hart
Tribal Ghost [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Recorded during his residency at New York City's Birdland in Feb 2007, saxophonist and co-founder of the New York Art Quartet John Tchicai performs with the quintet of Charlie Kohlhase (sax), Garrison Fewell (guitar), Cecil McBee (bass) and Billy Hart.


Ghost Trees
The New Gravity [VINYL]
(Future Recordings)

The 1st proper Ghost Trees full-length release from the duo of Brent Bagwell on tenor sax and Seth Nanaa on drums, presenting 8 songs honed during a year-long, cross-country tour, with the duo in tight communication in restrained and assertive improv with a wide range of influences.


Daniel Carter / Federico Ughi
Extra Room [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)

For more than 15 years multi-reedist, wind and trumpet player Daniel Carter and drummer Federico Ughi have collaborated in live performance and on record, here showing the results of their work in this duo album, the vinyl edition of their exceptional 2013 CD release that shows their melodic and technical sides, their jazz roots, and their warm camaraderie.


Kevin Drumm
The Back Room [VINYL]
(Monotype)

Kevin Drumm released this originally on a CDR in 2012 to be sold on tour, now released properly on vinly LP, 5 tracks of intensive sound, glitch and feedback from one of the modern masters of noise.


DNA
A Taste Of DNA [12-inch VINYL]
(Superior Viaduct)

An essential part of the late 70's influential Downtown NY scene, the trio of Arto Lindsay (guitar and voice), Ikue Mori (drums), and Tim Wright (bass), released few albums, but this 1981 EP captures the essence of their tightly controlled manic approach to wildly improvised rock.


Jerman / Barnes
Versatile Ambience [VINYL]
(IDEA Intermedia)

Without referencing typical genre or style, the collaboration of sound artists Tim Barnes and Jeph Jerman moves a step forward with this 45 RPM LP release of texture and atmosphere, with assistance from Ken Vandermark, Jacob Duncan, Aaron Michael Bulter, Sara Saltau & Bret Berry.


Thollem / Oliveros / Cline
Molecular Affinity [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(Roaratorio)

The 3rd recorded trio collaboration of pianist Thollem McDonas and guitarist Nels Cline, each changing the 3rd partner, this time with legendary accordionist, conceptualist and electronic artist Pauline Oliveros in a set of beautifully intertwining conversations.


Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra
I Roam The Cosmos [VINYL]
(Art Yard)

An unreleased, previously unheard live session of Sun Ra with his 18 piece Solar Arkestra recorded at Slug's Saloon in New York in 1972, performing the title track along with "Discipline 27-II", a large work and a "poetic journey to the outer limits of planetary awareness".


Yes Deer
Get Your Glitter Jacket [VINYL]
(BeCoq)

The Norwegian & Danish freejazz-noise-rock trio Yes Deer of Anders Vestergaard on drums, Karl Bjora on guitar and Signe Dahlgreen on sax, in their second album of high energy, cacophonous and brutally joyful (they say "enthusiastic despair") collective improvisation.


Luc Ferrari
Heterozygote / Petite Symphonie [VINYL]
(Recollection GRM)

Two major works from electroacoustic composer Luc Ferrari: "Heterozygote" written in 1964, where Ferrari attempts to engineer a language located both on the musical and on the dramatic plane; and "Petite symphonie intuitive pour un paysage de printemps" from 1947, part of a series of imaginary soundscapes based on recollections of a mountain landscape.


Jean-Marc Foussat
L'oiseau [VINYL]
(Fou Records)

An amazing album of electronic experimentation from multi-instrumentalist Jean-Marc Foussat, dedicating the album to the late painter and son Victor Foussat, through two extended and far-ranging works that blends concrete sounds with intense playing and sonic environments.


Matt Piet & His Disorganization (w / Berman / Mazzarella / Daisy)
Rummage Out
(Clean Feed)

A young and fresh voice in the creative Chicago improv scene, pianist and composer Matt Piet, who leads his own trio and the band Four Letter Words, and one third of Rempis/Piet/Daisy, introduces a new quartet with saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, cornet player Josh Berman, and drummer Tim Daisy, a superb example of the energetic and active Chicago scene.


Rova Saxophone Quartet
In Transverse Time
(Les Disques Victo)

Celebrating 40 years as a performing ensemble, the West Coast saxophone quartet ROVA of Bruce Ackley on soprano saxophone, Steve Adams on alto & sopranino saxophones, Jon Raskin on baritone saxophone, and Larry Ochs on tenor saxophone, reworked compositions from all members transversing their past 34 years, in an absolutely impressive and diverse album.


Benoit Delbecq 4 (w / Turner / Hebert / Cleaver)
Spots On Stripes
(Clean Feed)

French pianist Benoit Delbecq brings together frequent collaborators from New York--Mark Turner on tenor saxophone and drummer Gerald Cleaver--and from Paris--Delbecq himself and double bassist John Hebert--for an album of refined and inventive contemporary jazz, the work of masterful players with years of experience and collaborations dating back to 2003.


Kidd Jordan / Alvin Fielder / Joel Futterman / Steve Swell
Masters Of Improvisation
(Valid)

The New Orleans bass-less free jazz trio of tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan, drummer Alvin Fielder and pianist Joel Futterman are joined by New York trombonist Steve Swell for a concert at the Old US Mint for an absolutely superlative recording of lyrical and expansive collective improvisation, each player urging the other on as they create instant epics of modern jazz.


Togashi Masahiko Quartet (w / Yoshizawa / Takagi /Takayanagi)
We Now Create: Music For Strings, Winds And Percussions
(Monkey Dog)

An excellent debut from drummer/percussionist Masahiko Togashi's Quartet released in 1969, a remarkable free jazz album of strong technical and creative skills, with Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and cello, Mototeru Takagi on sax and reeds, and Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, an important advance for the players who would go on to form influential bands like New Directions.


Derek Bailey & Company
Klinker [2 CDs]
(Confront)

Derek Bailey's Company in recordings from 2000 at The Klinker in London, with four performers--Bailey on guitar, Simon H. Fell on double bass, Mark Wastell on violincello, and Will Gaines tap dancing--the concert presenting various permutations of these musicians improvising, with narrations from Bailey, Fell, Wastell and Gaines punctuating the recordings.


Anthony Braxton
Sextet (Parker) 1993 [11-CD BOX SET]
(New Braxton House)

Originally released on Hat Hut in '95, this 11-CD box blows open these 2 European concerts in Zurich and Koln, reworking the music of Charlie Parker and associated bop composers, with Braxton himself on reeds, plus saxophonist Ari Brown, trumpeter Paul Smoker, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and alternating between drummers Han Bennink and Pheeroan AkLaff; superb, essential!


Samo Salamon / Tony Malaby / Roberto Dani
Traveling Moving Breathing
(Clean Feed)

A peer of Tim Berne, David Binney, Sabir Mateen, Mark Helias, &c., Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon presents an album of original compositions and one collective improvisation from his ever-changing Bassless Trio, here with drummer Roberto Dani and saxophonist Tony Malaby on tenor and soprano, in an introspective album of profound technique and lyrical playing.


Roscoe Mitchell / Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra
Ride The Wind
(NESSA)

Reedist and composer Roscoe Mitchell in a collaboration with the Montreal - Toronto Art Orchestra, an extraordinary group of improvising musicians comprised of 6 woodwinds, piano, vibraphone, tuba, 2 each of trumpet, trombone, viola, string bass and drums plus Mitchell on sopranino saxophone, a profoundly elaborate and absorbing work for a large improvising ensemble.


Jonas Cambien Trio (w / Roligheten / Wildhagen)
We Must Mustn't We
(Clean Feed)

Leveraging influences in improvisation and contemporary compositional music, Belgian/Oslo pianist Jonas Cambien, a member of Simiskina and Platform, extends his own trio of saxophonist Andre Rolighete and drummer Andreas Wildhagen with trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen on 2 tracks, as they balance jazz, avant, free improv and other hybrid forms in a compellingly creative album.


Sara Serpa (w / Laubrock / Fiedlander)
Close Up
(Clean Feed)

Lisbon, Portugal native, singer and composer Sara Serpa in a trio with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander, recording live at Pete's House, in Brooklyn, for an album of unusual and creative vocals inspired by experimentation and changing identities, bringing a unique approach to improvised voice, here in the company of accomplished players.


Rudi Mahall / Alexander von Schlippenbach
So Far
(Relative Pitch)

Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and clarinetist Rudi Mahall have been exploring the music of jazz and free improvisation for decades in their own bands or together in Globe Unity Orchestra; here they are heard in their essential element as a duo, pushing their music in rapid runs and elegant and emotional moments with imposing technique and authoritative confidence.


Mark Nauseef
All In All In all
(Relative Pitch)

Influenced by rock, jazz, Javanese and Balinese gamelan, NY drummer Mark Nauseef's career has embraced an inclusive blending of styles, heard in this fantastic new album embracing compositional and ea styles, recorded with previous collaborators including Tony Oxley, Bill Laswell, Walter Quintus, along with Sylvie Courvoisier, Pat Thomas, Miroslav Tadic, & Arthur Jarvinen.


Mattias Risberg
Stamps
(Clean Feed)

Swedish pianist Mattias Risberg demonstrates the passion he dedicates to vintage instruments like mellotron, Hammond organ, analog synthesizers, clavichord and pipe organs, here in a solo album of piano, with some light preparations, and the pedals of a Moog Taurus, in an inventive album of improvisations inspired by the vivid images of postage stamps.


Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Karyobin (1968) [2017 REISSUE]
(Emanem)

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.


Samuel Blaser / Gerry Hemingway
Oostum [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A fantastic album of free improvisation between two creative and versatile players captured live at Kerkje van Oostum, Groningen, The Netherlands in 2015--percussionist Gerry Hemingway and trombonist Samuel Blaser--both using immense talent and unorthodox approaches to their instruments as they shift from unexpected atmospheres to lyrical richness.


Martin Blume / Tobias Delius / Achim Kaufmann / Dieter Manderscheid
Frames & Terrains [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A great example of collective free improvisation from the quartet of drummer/percussionist Martin Blue, tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Tobias Delius, pianist Achim Kaufmann, and double bassist Dieter Manderscheid, performing live at the LOFT in Cologne, Germnay in 2016 for two extended intricate, melodic, and commanding performances of expressive and passionate free jazz.


Yoni Kretzmer's New Dilemma (Kretzmer / Loriot / Hoffamn / Sinton / Niggenkemper / Van Hemmen)
Months, Weeks and Days [2 CDs]
(OutNow Recordings)

The 2nd album for NY-based saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer's Chamber-Improv ensemble New Dilemma with Frantz Loriot (viola), Christopher Hoffman (cello), Josh Sinton (bass clarinet), Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass) and Flin Van Hemmen (drums), investigating "the intricacies differentiating and combining the written and the improvised continue with further depth and chance".


Derek Bailey / Tristan Honsinger
Duo [VINYL]
(Honest Jons Records)

A proper reissue of the 1976 Incus album from guitarist Derek Bailey and cellist Tristan Honsinger, primarily from a live concert at at Verity's Place in London on February 7, 1976, with two unusual studio recordings punctuating the album, an early example of their long history of collaboration and a great example of their intense, joyful, and truly free improvisation together.


Cecil Taylor
Garden 1st Set
(Hatology)

Reissue and 2015 remaster of Cecil Taylor's superb live set at Grosser Saal Volkshaus, in Basel, Switzerland in 1981, performing solo over three extended improvisations, presented for the first time in the original concert sequence.


Frode Gjerstad Trio (w/ Steve Swell)
At Constellation
(Circulasione)

The well-traveled and nearly telephathic Norwegian trio of reedist Frode Gjerstad performing on alto sax and clarinet with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and bassist Jon Rune Strom are joined by NY trombonist Steve Swell for a live concert at at Constellation in Chicago, 2014.


Bobby Bradford / John Carter Quintet
No U Turn, Live in Pasadena 1975
(Dark Tree Records)

The Bobby Bradford & John Carter Quintet captured in performance in 1975, the earliest known recording of this configuration live from their 70s period in Los Angeles, playing amazing free jazz with Stanley Carter and Roberto Mirando on bass, and William Jeffrey on drums.


Sylvie Courvoisier / Mary Halvorson
Crop Circles
(Relative Pitch)

A studio encounter between pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and electric guitarist Mary Halvorson, both using sophisticated techniques giving unique voices to their playing styles, in a set of improvisations that balance playful, subtle, energetic, and emotional playing.


Derek Bailey / Joelle Leandre / George Lewis / Evan Parker
28 Rue Dunois Juillet 1982
(Fou Records)

A superb encounter from France in 1982 between four masters in a fertile and creative period: Derek Bailey (guitar), Joelle Leandre (double bass), George Lewis (trombone), and Evan Parker (saxophone), each bringing incredible experience to their enduring collective music.


Satoko Fujii Quartet (w/ Natsuki Tamura / Keisuke Ohta / Takashi Itani)
Live at Jazz Room Cortez
(Cortez Sound)

Presenting a different line-up from the 2001 debut of Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii's Quartet, remaining is trumpeter Natsuka Tamura, with Keisuke Ohta on violin and Takashi Itani on drums, performing evolving and rich collective improvisation with a strange edge, captured live at the Jazz Room Cortez in Mito, Japan in 2016 for two extended and bewitching sets.


Francois Bayle
Tremblements [VINYL]
(Recollection GRM)

Electroacoustic composer Francois Bayle, a member of Pierre Schaeffer's Groupe de Recherches Musicales, and who worked with Stockhausen and Messiaen, in two 2-part compositions from 1978 and 1979, acousmatic music of mysterious sound sources that are presented with impressive pacing, tension and drama, using a rich and diverse palette of sound.


Jeph Jerman
The Bray Harp
(White Centipede Noise)

Aural explorer Jeph Jerman reworks 20 years of source material into this large work of recurring sound, obscuring sources in a rugged mill that turns its sonic grist into a mesmerizing flow of ringing tones and resolute grit, constructed from Jerman's own recordings and tapes from Eric La Casa and Oskar Burmmel, and metal & wood from Ben Brucato.


Christian Zanesi
Grand Bruit/Stop ! l'horizon [VINYL]
(Recollection GRM)

French composer Christian Zanesi, a student of Pierre Schaeffer and Guy Reibel at the Paris Conservatory and an artistic director of the Ina GRM, in an album presenting works from 1983 ("Stop ! L'horizon") and 1991 ("Grand Bruit"), the latter built on field recordings of train travel, the former an hommage to the potential of the recording studio itself.


Rohan Drape / Anthony Pateras
Ellesmere
(Immediata)

A founder of the Slave Pianos collective and co-organizer of the Inland Concert Series, Australian computer and synth artist Rohan Drap joins keyboardist Anthony Pateras for an extended exploration of interlocking vintage electric organs, allowing their tones and timbres to interact in microtonal richness as they create tonal environments and gradually unfolding progressions.


CHANGES TO blind
evolvensume
(Squidco Records)

Collecting works from 2010-2017, Squidco's own Phil Zampino presents 10 tracks of electroacoustic composition sourced from studio work, live improvisation, field recordings, plunderphonics, and other indescribable approaches, a diverse set of recordings sharing a similar foreboding aesthetic and curious sonic desire.


Rutger Zuydervelt (w/ Ilia Belorukov / Rene Aquarius)
The Red Soul
(Sofa)

Music for the movie "The Red Soul" by Jessica Gorter, a chilling and fascinating look at the legacy of Josef Stalin, from an electroacoustic trio of Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) editing and processing the playing of saxophonist Ilia Belorukov and percussionist Rene Aquarius, a dark and muted set of 14 emotional tracks that reflect a dark history.


Maria da Rocha
Beetroot & Other Stories
(Shhpuma)

Using violin, viola, synth and effect pedals, Portuguese string player Maria da Rocha creates rich environments of sound and unusual rhythmic structures over which she plays with subtlety and transcendence, in her first solo album, using her unique language as she tells the story of a beet and a witch, inspired by Odyssey Ulysses and Circe from Cortazar.


Blanketship
Teen Sounds
(Gigante Sound)

Jared Blum, aka Blanketship, in an eclectic album of strange audio collage, constructed songs with absurd twists in a Negativland or Plunderphonics mold.


Blanketship
The Sound of Fun Surrounds You / Klangwunder
(Gigante Sound)

Two EPs in one CD, 1st Blanketship's wonderful plunderphonic collage "The Sound of Fun...", and then a 35 minute work for People Like Us' WFMU radio show that ran in May 2008.


Blanketship
Summer Set
(Gigante Sound)

The 1st release on Jared Blum's, aka Blanketship's, Gigante Sound label, structured experimental sampled sound collage and abstract pop with many twists & disturbing surprises!


Beaks Plinth
Organo Saturado
(Gigante Sound)

Beaks Plinth (Jared Blum) takes on a stack of organ-based records slowed to a dragging 16 2/3 and 81/3 rpms of all genres; Easy, Church, Jazz, Ice Skating music and more.


Patrik Torsson
Kolvateserenader
(Hapna)


A Taste of Ra
A Taste of Ra II
(Hapna)


Romannis Motte
Kozmische
(Mystery School Records)

Rich electronic space explorations in the tradition of Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, &c.


Jeph Jerman
Rundle [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)


Coppice
Matches
(Category of Manifestation)

The experimental Chicago duo of Joseph Kramer & Noe Cuellar in a release of various collaborative processes between 2009-2015 using a wide range of compositional structures and recorded in various locations using instruments and objects related to bellows and electronics.


Michael Pisaro
Transparent City (Volumes 1 And 2) [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Composer Pisaro made a series 10 minute field recordings from different locations in Los Angels between 2004-2006, mixing them with sine tones and punctuating them with silence, mastered for home stereo playback to create a dynamic set of impressions of the city.


Michael Pisaro
Transparent City (Volumes 3 And 4) [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Composer Pisaro made a series 10 minute field recordings from different locations in Los Angels between 2004-2006, mixing them with sine tones and punctuating them with silence, mastered for home stereo playback to create a dynamic set of impressions of the city.


Kevin Drumm
The Back Room [VINYL]
(Monotype)

Kevin Drumm released this originally on a CDR in 2012 to be sold on tour, now released properly on vinly LP, 5 tracks of intensive sound, glitch and feedback from one of the modern masters of noise.


Anthony Burr / Anthony Pateras
The Long Exhale
(Immediata)

Beautifully slow drifting compositions for clarinet, ARP 2600, piano and prepared piano from the duo of Anthony Burr and Anthony Pateras, drawing on Cage and Feldman in these expansive and tranquil works that create beautiful and quietly exotic sound environments.


Marc Baron
Un Salon Au Fond D'un Lac
(Potlatch)

Beautifully paced and enigmatically interesting compositions from Marc Baron, using only analog processes in three compositions for reel to reel tape, blending field recordings, cut-up, noise, found sound, pre-recorded and degraded tapes in unusual and absorbing ways.


Jean-Marc Foussat
L'oiseau [VINYL]
(Fou Records)

An amazing album of electronic experimentation from multi-instrumentalist Jean-Marc Foussat, dedicating the album to the late painter and son Victor Foussat, through two extended and far-ranging works that blends concrete sounds with intense playing and sonic environments.


Departement d'Education Psychique
Untitled [VINYL]
(Fou Records)

The trio of Jean-Marc Foussat on synthesizer and voice, abd Dynamo Dreesen & SVN on electronics, crossing artists more associated with electronica than free improvisation, here in their second release recorded live at Ohm in Berlin, Germany and at "Neues Deutchland" in 2016.


Alfredo Monteiro Costa / Miguel A. Garcia
Aq'Ab'Al
(Mikroton Recordings)

Audio experimenters Alfredo Costa Monteiro and Miguel A. Garcia join forces in an album titled after "Aq'ab'al", the Mayan Astrology Sign about polar opposites-- dawn and dusk, hot and cold, black and white--which represents renewal and change, through a series of opposing audio events, forceful sounds of texture, feedback, and intervention.


Hollis Taylor
Absolute Bird [2 CDs]
(ReR Megacorp)

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.


Turbamulta (Raon / Sao / Ferreira / Martins / Aroso)
Turbamulta
(Clean Feed)

With orchestration of harp, daxophone, idiophones, piano, cello, guitar, percussion, sampling & electronics, the Portuguese quintet Turbamulta (roughly translates to "rowdy mob", though clearly a very sophisticated mob) was born from the band Powertrio of Eduardo Raon, Joana Sa and Luis Martins, expanded to blend compositional, EA and improv approaches into something unique and beautiful.


Jurg Frey / Magnus Granberg
Early to Late
(Another Timbre)

New ensemble pieces by Jurg Frey and Magnus Granberg played by Ensemble Grizzana, commissioned by Another Timbre with the request that both start from the same two fragments of early music, one by Johannes Ockeghem, the other by William Byrd, each composer producing fascinatingly different pieces that both contain echoes of the source material.


Ryoko Akama
Places And Pages [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

Composer Ryoko Akama releases a 2 disc set of 23 scores in the crossroads of minimalism and sound compositions, quiet and loud, performed in a sextet with the composer herself plus Christian Muller, Cristian Alvear, Cyril Bondi, Stefan Thut, and d'incise, each section like a page in a notebook related to place, space, time or location.


Linda Smith Catlin
Drifter [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

Ten pieces dating from 1995 to 2015 from Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith, performed by Quatuor Bozzini and Apartment House, the first in Another Timbre's Canadian Composer series, a 2-CD release focusing on Smith's "equal and simultaneous drive toward abstraction and lyricism" in slowly developing, lush and sophisticated compositions.


Jurg Frey
Collection Gustave Roud [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

A double CD with five beautiful pieces that engage with the work of the extraordinary French-Swiss poet Gustave Roud, with performers including Dante Boon, Stefan Thut, Andrew McIntosh and Jurg Frey himself, 10 compositions that Frey wrote in the manner that Roud would, roaming with a sketchbook and developing the pieces based on impressions of his surroundings.


Hermann Meier
Works For Piano 1949 - 1987 [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

German pianist Dominik Blum presents his second album for the Wandelweiser label, performing a selection of compositions from Swiss composer Hermann Meier (1906-2002), whose forward-looking work with reduced scores, modern use of time and space, and graphics scores in compositions pre-dating Messiaen, Stockhausen, Boulez, &c. that are only recently being rediscovered.


Quator Bozzini / Gyula Csapo
Deja? Koja?
(Collection QB)

The Canadian Council for the Arts commissioned this work by Hungarian composer Gyula Csapo, a student of Morton Feldman amd John Cage, realized by Montreal's Quatuor Bozzini quartet, "Deja? Koja?" meaning "Already? Where to?" is a three-part work with two intermissions, an epic work that references the same basic materials in a variety of perspectives.


Morton Feldman
String Quartet (1979)
(Hat [now] ART)

The Ives Ensemble playing one of Morton Feldman's later and shorter works, the 1979 "String Quartet," in a digital DDD recording from 2005.


Christian Wolff
Early Piano Pieces
(Hat [now] ART)

Early works from avant-garde composer Christian Wolff, including pieces for prepared piano influenced by John Cage's ideas for the same instrument.


Quatuor Bozzini
Arbor Vitae
(Collection QB)

The sixth QB Collection, "Arbor Vitae", pays homage to the Canadian-American composer James Tenney with performances of the complete quartets and quintets.


Sergei Prokofiev & Dmitri Shostakovich
Works For 2 Pianists Under Soviet Rule
(Hat [now] ART)

Two works for piano composed under Stalinist rule by Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev, recorded in 2009 by pianists Ufuk & Bahar Dorduncu.


Jakob Ullmann
A Catalouge of Sounds
(Edition Rz)

Ullman's composition of subtle gradations in sound performed very softly forcing the ear to notice the smallest variations, as realized by the string trio Ensemble Oriol Berline.


David Tudor
Music for Piano
(Edition Rz)

2-CD set with recordings by the legendary 20th century avantgarde pianist performing compositions by (and with) John Cage, plus Sylvano Bussotti, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff.


Gottfried Koenig Michael
Gottfried Michael Koenig
(Edition Rz)

2CD set with electronic and software-generated compositions by pioneer G.M. Koenig.


Jakob Ullmann
Voice, Books and Fire 3
(Edition Rz)

A work resulting from Ullmann's reflections about the relationships between music and language: language as sound and language as text, and the numerous relationships between texts of different cultural and religious traditions.


Emmett Williams
Poems 1950-2003 [VINYL]
(Edition Rz)

Fluxus originator & member of the "Darmstadt Circle" of concrete poetry, Emmett Williams in a beatiful picture disc of poems written from 1950-2003 and recorded from 2000-2003.


Trophies (Bosetti / Nagai / Ches Smith)
A Color Photo of the Horse
(D.S al Coda)

Alessandro Bosetti provides voice and electronics on words & text from a variety of writers, as performed in a trio with drummer Ches Smith and fretless guitarist Kenta Nagai; fascinating and perplexing expression.


Jakob Ullmann
fremde zeit addendum [3 CDs]
(Edition Rz)

A 3 CD box with new recordings of composer Jakob Ullmann's works, recorded between 2008-2011, including "disappearing musics for six players (more or less)", "komposition fur streichquartett 2", &c.


Jakob Ullmann
fremde zeit addendum 4
(Edition Rz)

An extract from Berlin composer Jakob Ullman's 2012 3-CD box set on Edition Rz, presenting "solo III for organ" (1992/1993), an hour long work of tone and tension performed by Hans-Peter Schulz at the Big Organ in Abteikirche Neresheim.


Quartetski Does Stravinsky
Le Sacre du printemps
(Ambiances Magnetiques)

Quartetski Does Stravinsky with drummer Isaiah Ceccarelli, guitarist Bernard Falaise, reedist Phillipe Lauzier, viole de gamaba player Pierre-Yves Martel and violinist Joshua Zubot reinterpret Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in honor of its 100th anniversary.


Tredici Bacci / ENPSE
Vai! Vai! Vai!/Concetti [CASSETTE with download code]
(Astral Spirits)

On the A side Simon Hanes leads a 14 piece ensemble in an homage to the late 60s/70s Italian soundtracks with a film score to a fictional film "Vai! Vai! Vai!"; on the B side, the improvising Ensemble for the Exploration of New Perspectives in Collective Sound Exploration.


Skuggorna Och Ljuset / Magnus Granberg
Would Fall From The Sky, Would Wither And Die
(Another Timbre)

A new composition by clarinetist and composer Magnus Granberg, the leader of the highly acclaimed ensemble Skogen, this time with a new, smaller group that includes percussionist Erik Carlsson, performing his beautiful, melancholic music.


Frank Denyer
Whispers
(Another Timbre)

Five idiosyncratic compositions by English composer Frank Denyer with performers including The Barton Workshop, Elisabeth Smalt, Juliet Fraser, Kiku Day and Frank Denyer himself, using shakuhachi, voice, muted strings, percussion and an axe striking a block of wood.


Morton Feldman
Three Voices (performed by Juliet Fraser)
(Hat [now] ART)

Soprano Juliet Fraser performs Morton Feldman's late work for 3 voices, performed by 1 vocalist (originally Joan La Barbara) who performs with themself on tape, in a work that Feldman described as "lucious", "sexy", and "gorgeous", as heard in Fraser's beautiful rendering.


Simon Martin (w/ Quasar, Bozzini Quartet, Trio de guitares contemporain)
Hommage a Leduc, Borduas et Riopelle
(Collection QB)

Composer Simon Martin pays hommage to Quebec painters Ozias Leduc, Paul-Emile Borduas, and Jean-Paul Riopelle in contemplative works for each artist, performed by the ensembles Quatuor Bozzini, Quasar quatuor de saxophons, and Trio de guitares contemporain.


Eugene Chadbourne
Doc Chad Banjo Book
(Chadula)


Fanfare Pourpour / Hollmer, Lars
Karusell Musik
(Monsieur Fauteux)


Chaman Chomeur
Chaman Chomeur
(BeCoq)

A direct translation of this band's name is "unemployed shaman", the trio of Leo Ratherius (guitar), Marc-Antonie Moercant (drums) and Thomas Cockerel (bass) use trance-like rhythms to build sonic progressions like cathartic rituals, alongside open-minded improvisations.


DNA
A Taste Of DNA [12-inch VINYL]
(Superior Viaduct)

An essential part of the late 70's influential Downtown NY scene, the trio of Arto Lindsay (guitar and voice), Ikue Mori (drums), and Tim Wright (bass), released few albums, but this 1981 EP captures the essence of their tightly controlled manic approach to wildly improvised rock.


Ava Mendoza / Maxime Petit / Will Guthrie
[7-inch VINYL]
(BeCoq)

An excellent instrumental 7-inch from the trio of Ava Mendoza on guitar, Maxime Petit on bass and Will Guthrie on drums, recording in the studio in France, four rocking pieces showing the band's chops, quirky asides, and aggressive yet clean playing style.


Henry Cow
Vol. 1: Beginnings
(Recommended Records)

Part of the Henry Cow boxset, now available for individual purchase, compiled from live recordings, radio transcription, or early recordings, remastered and presented to give a complete look at the history of Henry Cow.


Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere
03
(Discus)

The improvising rock group Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere, led by Martin Archer, Chris Bywater, and Steve Dinsdale, in their 3rd album of innovative improvisation, haunting hypnotic grooves and blasts of sheer exuberance, with the band augmented by strings and trombone to give them a larger and more intense sound.


Sista Maj
Series Of Nested Universes [2 CDs]
(Space Rock Productions )

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.


Konstrukt / Keiji Haino
A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little That Way Lies A Quagmire [VINYL]
(KARLRECORDS)

The Konstrukt free improvising band from Turkey, known for their collaborations with master musicians of a wide spectrum of approaches, joins forces with improvising Japanese psych guitarist, vocalist and sound artist Keiji Haino for two 3-part works of swirling sax, synth, sound and guitars, startling vocals, and hallucinatory rhythms.


Amy Denio
The Big Embrace
(Spoot)

Her 10th solo album is a welcome addition to composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio's catalog, introducing 16 new songs, instrumental works, and general quirky superlative music that looks at life with a sharply optimistic eye and a joyful melody in her heart, taking delight in the banal and focusing criticism on the inane; wonderful!


Elephant9
Greatest Show On Earth
(Rune Grammofon)

The Norwegian Elephant9 trio of Stale Storlokken on organs and keyboard, Nikolai Haengsle on bass, and Torstein Lofthus on drums, are complemented by Pekka Pohjola of Wigwam fame, for their fifth studio album, a powerful blend of prog-era instrumental rock that's informed by impressive improvisational skill and fueled by the original enthusiasm of complex rock forms.


Golden Oriole
Golden Oriole
(BeCoq)

Rough and ready, angular instrumental rock from this Stavanger, Norway-based instrumental duo of Kristoffer Riis on guitar and Thore Warland on drums, two parts of the power-trio Staer, here creating a massive dose of momentum as they push heavy rhythmic riffs with odd tonality and a great sheen of prickly effect layers, in a compelling and muscular album.


Tyler Higgins (w / Stevens / Higgins)
Blue Mood
(Shhpuma)

Hailing from Atlanta, GA, guitarist Tyler Higgins is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer who merges genres of moody, cinematic music based around folk, blues, jazz and twisted with unusual approaches, aided in his endeavors by drummer Paul Steven and wordless vocalist Ellen Higgins, producing a alluring set of musical narratives.


Joe Morris
Perpetual Frontier The Properties of Free Music [BOOK]
(Riti Publishing)

Joe Morris wrote this book to discuss aspects of free music, including responses to his questionnaire written by Joe McPhee, William Parker, Jamie Saft, Ken Vandermark, Marilyn Crispell, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, Matthew Shipp, &c.


Spontaneous Music Ensemble
Karyobin (1968) [2017 REISSUE]
(Emanem)

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.


Steve Lacy
Free for a Minute (1966-72) [2 CDs]
(Emanem)

Four sessions on a 2 CD set, all featuring Steve Lacy and Kent Carter: (1) DISPOSABILITY, the 1965 trio record with Aldo Romano of jazz standards, originals and free improv; (2) SORTIE, the 1966 free improv quartet + Enrico Rava album; (3) previously unissued 1967 'Free Fall' Film Cues in a quintet with Rava, Karl Berger, & Paul Motian; (4) two never issued '72 quintet pieces with Steve Potts, Irene Aebi on cello and Noel Mcghie.


Christian Wolff / Eddie Prevost
Uncertain Outcomes [2 CDs]
(Matchless)

Two concerts of experimental improvisation from two giants of conceptual improvisation and composition, recorded at IKLECTIK in London in 2015 and at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire in 2016; with superb pacing and brilliant execution, these dialogs between keyboard and percussive instruments explore unique sound worlds with depth, inquisitiveness, and a sense of wonder.


John Butcher / John Edwards / Mark Sanders
Last Dream Of The Morning
(Relative Pitch)

A studio album between three UK master improvisers -- John Butcher on sax, John Edwards on double bass, and Mark Sanders on drums -- the trio pushing the envelope in technique and dialog in nearly telepathic playing that transports the listener into their environment, as the music builds and releases in effortless ways that are stunning and exulant; highly recommended.


Anthony Braxton
Solo (Victoriaville) 2017
(Victo)

On the 30th anniversary of the Victo Festival Anthony Braxton took to the stage for a magnificent solo performance on the alto sax, performing 8 spontaneous compositions and an 8+ minute version of "Body and Soul", seamlessly crossing lyrical and complex approaches to the horn using his unique intervallic, trimbral and diagrammatic language, a stunning and embraceable accomplishment.


Mat Maneri / Evan Parker / Lucian Ban
Sounding Tears
(Clean Feed)

Viola improviser and composer Mat Maneri leads this trio with British UK legend Evan Parker on soprano and tenor saxophone and Romanian ex-patriot and frequent collaborator Lucian Ban on piano, for ten compositions blending tradition, song, and improvisational tactics, recalling 20th century modern classical music in addition to jazz.


Wadada Smith Leo / Natsuki Tamura / Satoko Fujii / Ikue Mori
Aspiration
(Libra)

Pianist/composer Satoko Fujii's "Aspiration" brings together four masterful improvisers and innovators--trumpeters Wadada Leo Smith and Natsuki Tamura, and Downtown NY laptop player Ikue Mori--for an album of exciting and exceptional free playing over compositions from Fujii, Tamura, and one collective composition, a brilliant pinnacle of creative music.


Wadada Smith Leo
Najwa
(Tum)

Paying tribute to musicians whose vision paved the way for modern creative players to use new approaches, language and philosophy in improvisation, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's band with four guitarists, electric bass, drums and percussion dedicates five incredible compositions to Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Ronald Shannon Jackson, and Billie Holiday.


Korekyojinn Acoustic
Kaleidoscope
(Magaibutsu Limited)

The Korekyojin trio of Tatsuya Yoshida on percussion, Kido Natsuki on guitar and Mitsuru Nasuno on fretless bass, plus violinist Miyamoto Rei on several tracks, take their intricate and exuberant rock into acoustic territory with this impressive album, which includes acoustic takes on "Arabesque", "Careless Heart", "Four Holes in the Sky", &c.


Steve Swell (w/ Brown / Hwang / Ulrich / Boston / Pugliese)
Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen
(Silkheart)

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.


Fred Van Hove / Roger Turner
The Corner
(Relative Pitch)

Pioneering improvising pianist Fred Van Hove at UK's Cafe OTO for the first time, captured in a duo with UK drummer/percussionist Roger Turner, their first recording together, for a night of exceptional improvised interplay, sophisticated and complex playing that is constantly buoyant and charming, an enthralling conversation between two veteran players.


Wadada Smith Leo
Solo - Reflections And Meditations On Monk
(Tum)

An intimate album of solo trumpet from Wadada Leo Smith, performing compositions by Thelonious Monk, Smith professing in an essay in the accompanying booklet that he was motivated to become a composer by Monk above other contemporaries for his ideas of composition and bands; his admiration and love of Monk's work is clear in this beautifully lyrical album.


Angles 9
Disappeared Behind the Sun [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Saxophonist Martin Kuchen's amazing 9-piece Angles ensemble returns for an album titled for the grief of those who disappear due to war, crime and oppression, music that celebrates the tense balance in the challenge to confront and lead away from darkness and tyranny.


Anthony Braxton
Sextet (Parker) 1993 [11-CD BOX SET]
(New Braxton House)

Originally released on Hat Hut in '95, this 11-CD box blows open these 2 European concerts in Zurich and Koln, reworking the music of Charlie Parker and associated bop composers, with Braxton himself on reeds, plus saxophonist Ari Brown, trumpeter Paul Smoker, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and alternating between drummers Han Bennink and Pheeroan AkLaff; superb, essential!


Evan Parker / John Edwards / Steve Noble
PEN
(Dropa Disc)

Bringing together three leaders from the UK free jazz scene, the new trio of Evan Parker on tenor sax, Steve Noble on drums & percussion, and John Edwards on double bass present a masterful album drawing from the roots of free improvisation in playing that rises and recedes like a tidal force, captured live at the Oorstof concert series in Antwerp.


Morton Feldman
Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
(Another Timbre)

Morton Feldman's final composition, originally premiered in 1987, here performed by pianist Mark Knoop, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, violist Bridget Carey, and cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, recording a year after their successful performance at London's Cafe Oto, maintaining focus and concentration on this large, unhurried work of micro-variations.


Sylvie Courvoisier / Mary Halvorson
Crop Circles
(Relative Pitch)

A studio encounter between pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and electric guitarist Mary Halvorson, both using sophisticated techniques giving unique voices to their playing styles, in a set of improvisations that balance playful, subtle, energetic, and emotional playing.


Eric Revis
Sing Me Some Cry
(Clean Feed)

Double Bassist Eric Revis expands his concepts in this outstanding album with fellow New Yorkers, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Chad Taylor, and Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark on tenor saxophone, with all four players providing compositions that push the limit on structure and form while opening up the players to superb soloing settings of great modern jazz.


Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York
Fukushima
(Libra)

Diverse aspects of the 2011 disaster at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant brought on by a tsunami orchestrated in sound by composer/pianist Satoko Fujii and rendered in remarkable ways from some of New York finest improvisers, including Tony Malaby, Ellery Eskelin, Oscar Noriega, Herb Roberts, Joe Fiedler, Stomu Takeishi, Nels Cline, &c &c.


Cortex
Avant-Garde Party Music
(Clean Feed)

Cortex propels their persuasive, groove oriented approach to jazz with this swinging album that blends free jazz styles with great hard bop, in line with a band like The Thing, this Scandinavian group wants to make your body move without indulging in excess or pandering, instead following a muse that's solidly in the exuberant free jazz tradition.


Mars Williams presents (w/ Berman / Lonberg-Holm / Baker / Kessler / Sandstrom / Hunt)
An Ayler Xmas: The Music of Albert Ayler & Songs of Christmas
(Soul What Records)

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!


En Corps (Eve Risser / Benjamin Duboc / Edward Perraud)
Generation
(Dark Tree Records)

The 2nd album from En Corps, the improvising trio of Eve Risser on piano, Benjamin Duboc on double bass, and Edward Perraud on drums, was recorded live at Artacts 16 festival in St Johann, Austria in 2016, performing two building works--"Des Corps" and "Des Ames" (The Bodies, The Souls)--which evolve from intricate quiet interplay into rich harmonic interaction.


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo + KAZE
Peace (Tribute To Kelly Churko)
(Libra)

Pianist Satoko Fujii's Orchestra Tokyo + the band Kaze, bringing guests trumpeter Cristian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins alongside trumpeter Natsuki Tamura into a spectacular big band of great power but also subtle meditation, in four works that include a tribute to the late guitarist and Fujii collaborator Kelly Churko.


Keith Rowe / Michael Pisaro
13 Thirteen [2 CDs]
(erstwhile)

A collaboration between composer Michael Pisaro and AMM guitarist/improviser Keith Rowe, with each bringing scores which they improvised over, creating 13 discrete sections including samples from Shostakovich's 13th String Quartet, balancing activity, space and silence in patient ways that only two such experienced composer/improvisers could.


Imaginary Numbers (McPhee / Niggenkemper / Solberg)
Imaginary Numbers
(Clean Feed)

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.


Jurg Frey
Ephemeral Constructions
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Three works, two for large ensembles of performers on sax, guitar, clarinet, voice, percussion, horn, flute, vibes, and objects that belie the size of the group in its fragile presences, with a shorter trio of Frey, Greg Stuart and Erik Carlson transitioning the large pieces; compositions conceived as both short presences within abundant orchestration.


Rhodri Davies / David Sylvian / Mark Wastell
There Is No Love
(Confront)

Confront initiates their new Core Series with the text piece "There Is No Love" with David Sylvian on voice, vocal treatments and electronics, Rhodri Davies on harp, vibraphone and radio, and Mark Wastel on tam tam and percussion, a sophisticated spoken word piece of shadowy atmosphere and innuendo, leveraging approaches from experimental, improvised and composed music.


Mario Pavone (Pavone / Ballout / Malaby / Noriega / McEachern / Sarin)
Vertical
(Clean Feed)

Drawing from some of the finest players on the New York Downtown jazz scene, with Dave Ballou on trumpet, Tony Malaby and Oscar Noriega on reeds, Peter McEachern on trombone and Michael Sarin on drums, double bassist Mario Pavone presents a set of 11 new compositions of lyrical and sophisticated jazz anchored by the leader's powerful compositional structures.


Linda Smith Catlin
Drifter [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

Ten pieces dating from 1995 to 2015 from Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith, performed by Quatuor Bozzini and Apartment House, the first in Another Timbre's Canadian Composer series, a 2-CD release focusing on Smith's "equal and simultaneous drive toward abstraction and lyricism" in slowly developing, lush and sophisticated compositions.


Michael Attias Quartet (w/ Ortiz / Hebert / Hebert)
Nerve Dance
(Clean Feed)

New York alto saxophonist Michael Attias presents his new quartet with Aruan Ortiz on piano, John Hebert on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums, in his sixth album as a leader, a lyrical album dealing with the theory of elasticity and the concept of equality in music.


Nate Wooley
Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry for Aram Saroyan)
(Clean Feed)

Pronounced as "knife", this new project from NY trumpeter Nate Wooley brings together Chris Pitsiokos on alto sax, Brandon Lopez on bass, and Dre Hocevar on drums in a fresh take on the concepts of free jazz, using short material composed by Wooley and based on the poetry of Aram Saroyan, used in looping and repeating structures that never sound as such.


Nate Wooley
The Complete Syllables Music [4 CD Box Set]
(Pleasure of the Text Records)

Composer, improviser, and trumpet player Nate Wooley continues to cement his place as an American iconoclast by releasing the complete recordings of his revolutionary solo [Syllables] compositions as a deluxe 4 CD set consisting of two reissues of out-of-print early works: 8 [Syllables] (2013) and 9 [Syllables] (2014) as well as the premiere recording of his 150 minute epic For Kenneth Gaburo.


Albert Ayler Quartet
Copenhagen Live 1964
(Hatology)

In 1964 Albert Ayler's approach to free improvisation had found its voice, in a quartet supported by the now-legendary players Don Cherry on cornet, Gary Peacock on doublebass, and Sunny Murray on drums, heard live in a well-recorded concert at Club Montmarte, in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1964; ferocious and forward thinking, an astonishing concert!


Dunmall / Shipp / Edwards / Sanders
Live in London
(FMR)

Two extended examples of free improvisation from UK stalwarts, tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall, bassist John Edwards, and drummer Mark Sanders, joined by New York pianist Matthew Shipp, all captured live at Cafe Oto in 2010; set one is an unflagging example of energetic collective improv, set two more introspective yet vital and demanding; a superb concert!


Ikue Mori (w/ Jim Black / Okkyung Lee / Sylvie Courvoisier)
Obelisk
(Tzadik)

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.


Anemone (John Butcher / Peter Evans / Frederic Blondy / Clayton Thomas / Paul Lovens)
A Wing Dissolved in Light [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A brilliant quintet brought together for the Tampere Jazz Happening, in Finland in 2013, with NY trumpeter Peter Evans, UK saxophonist John Butcher, Australian bassist Clayton Thomas, German drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, and French pianist Frederic Blondy for a phenomenal extended improvisation presented in parts: "Une Aile Dissoute Dans La Lumiere".


Dunmall / Edwards / Noble / Sanders
Go Straight Around The Square
(FMR)

The stellar quartet of Paul Dunmall on tenor and soprano saxophone, John Edwards on bass, Liam Noble on piano, and Mark Sanders on drums performing 2 extended improvisations balancing energetic playing with contemplative conversation, captured live at the Vortex, in London, England, in 2016.


Joe McPhee / Damon Smith / Alvin Fielder
Six Situations
(Not Two)

Frequent collaborators, West Coast double bassist Damon Smith and AACM charter member Alvin Fielder on drums travel north to join free improv saxophone legend Joe McPhee at Roulette in New York City in 2016, recording this excellent example of informed free improvisation.


Nate Wooley
Battle Pieces 2
(Relative Pitch)

Commissioned by Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation, trumpeter Nate Wooley developed a modular compositional structure of small melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, conceptual, textural, and timbral fragments, allowing Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), and Matt Moran (Vibes) exceptional freedom in improvisation, here in their 2nd recording live at Koeln's Loft.


John Cage
Winter Music
(Another Timbre)

John Cage's 1957 composition in a visceral realisation for four pianos, played by John Tilbury, Philip Thomas, Mark Knoop and Catherine Laws, using chance procedures to assign each of the pianist's five of the twenty pages of the score, the pianists agreeing on an overall duration of 40 minutes and preparing their parts independently, performed without rehearsal.


Kullhammar, Aalberg Zetterber & Santos Silva
Basement Sessions Vol.4 (The Bali Tapes)
(Clean Feed)

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.


Stephen O'Malley / Anthony Pateras
Reve Noir
(Immediata)

Pianist Anthony Pateras and guitarist Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O))) performed a concert in 2011 at Instants Chavires in 2011, which they took into the studio to deconstruct and recompose on 1/4 inch tape, creating a compelling landscape of fractured musique concrete, introspective meditations, electro-acoustic textures and heavy guitar; includes a 20 page interview with O'Malley.


Satoko Fujii
Invisible Hand [2 CDs]
(Cortez Sound)

After bringing her band Kaze to the Cortez club in Mito, Japan, the owner asked pianist Satoko Fujii back to perform a solo show, captured here across two CDs showing her extensive technical skills and passionate approach to playing, in a mix of new work and new takes on previously recorded compositions.


Kontakte Trio (Trevor Taylor / Ian Brighton / Steve Beresford)
Kontakte Trio
(FMR)

An important and well-matched trio of electroacoustic improvisers, and a welcome addition to guitarist Ian Brighton's return to active music life, with Steve Beresford on piano, prepared piano and electronics, and Trevor Taylor (Circuit) on percussion and electronics, six unhurried improvisations of intricate interplay and interchange themed on physics.


The Heat Death (Moster / Kuchen / Aleklint / Hyouer, Andersen)
The Glenn Miller Sessions [3 CDs]
(Clean Feed)

With members of The Core, Angles 9, Cortex, &c. The Heat Death is a Norwegian quintet with dual reeds and winds from Kjetil Moster & Martin Kuchen, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Olay Hoyer on bass, and Dag Erik Knedal Andersen on drums, a blazing band of energetic, informed and joyful free improv in a long-anticipated releases presenting 3 CDs of extended play.


Rob Burke / George Lewis / Paul Grabowsky / Mark Helias
Shift
(FMR)

A meeting in NY's Lower East Village between four improvisors--Robert Burke on saxes, George Lewis on trombone & electronics, Paul Grabowsky on piano & snare drum, and Mark Helias on acoustic bass--playing a pre-composed work, blending 21st century composition with modern jazz sensibility, enhanced by Lewis' computer-based "shapeshifts".


Rova / Bruckmann & Kaiser
Steve Lacy's Saxophone Special Revisited
(Clean Feed)

The Californian saxophone quartet composed of Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Larry Ochs and Jon Raskin is extended with Henry Kaiser on guitar and Kyle Bruckmann on analog synth to perform the music of saxophone legend Steve Lacy in 7 compositions, putting an eclectic spin on the iconic composer and performer's music.


Keiji Haino
Watashi Dake [VINYL + DOWNLOAD CODE]
(Black Editions)

Enigmatic Japanese legend Keiji Haino's 1981 debut album receives a fitting reissue in this metallic gold and silver jacket pressing, presenting the stark vocals, whispered and screamed, punctuating dark silences over intricate and sharp guitar figures that interweave, repeat, and stretch, trance-like, emerging from dark recesses; an essential piece of the Haino puzzle.


John Butcher / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter
The Catastrophe of Minimalism
(Balance Point Acoustics)

A great trio of free improvising innovators--John Butcher on soprano and tenor sax, Damon Smith on double bass, field recordings and lloopp, and Weasel Walter on percussion--for a live set at 21 Grand Oakland in California, 5 improvisations with unexpected twists and turns, never overly agressive but always absorbing in their unique approach to their instruments.