The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL

  PayPal

  Mastercard

  Visa

  Discover

  American Express



© 2002-2018, Squidco LLC
  Top Lists by Customer Orders
See 2016 Top Sellers and Staff Top Lists

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

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.


Joe Morris / Chris Dadge / Jonathon Wilcke
Rural Optimism
(Bug Incision Records)

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.


AMM
An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs]
(Matchless)

A beautiful 3-CD set with a hardcover book presenting 3 full concerts from 2015 & 2016 of the AMM trio configuration of John Tilbury (piano), Keith Rowe (guitar) and Eddie Prevost (percussion). The 70 page book, dedicated to saxophonist Lou Gare, includes an AMM discography, plus photos, and essays by Paige Mitchell and Allen Fisher; Keith Rowe; Eddie Prevost; and Seymour Wright.


Joe Morris / Rob Oxoby
Dancing With Penguins
(Bug Incision Records)

Improvising guitarist/bassist, writer, and educator Joe Morris spent four months as visiting scholar at the University of Calgary, during which time he recorded with University of Calgary professor and double bassist Rob Oxoby, this freely improvised album with Morris on electric guitar, a great confluence of strings in 6 concentrated and adept dialogs.


Bucher / Countryman (w/ Simon Tan / Isla Antinero)
Extremely Live in Manila
(ChapChap Records)

A live concert in Quezon City from the Manila based duo of Rich Countryman on alto saxophone and Swiss drummer Christian Bucher, who are joined on one track by acoustic bassist Simon Tan and trombonist Isla Antinero.


Golia / Kaiser / Moses / Smith / Walter
Astral Plane Crash
(Balance Point Acoustics)

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.


Paul Rutherford / Ken Vandermark / Torsten Muller / Dylan van der Schyff
Are We In Diego?
(WhirrbooM!)


Marker (w/ Ken Vandermark)
Wired For Sound
(Audiographic Records)

The debut from this Chicago band merging strong grooves with free playing, with 2 guitarists--Andrew Clinkman & Steve Marquette, plus Macie Stewart on keys & violin, Phil Sudderberg on drums, and Ken Vandermark on reeds, each of the 3 tracks dedicated to an artist: Belgian movie director Chantal Akerman; German choreographer Pina Bausch; and Anthony Braxton and Bernie Worrell.


Moore / Edwards / Prevost
Darkened, Yet Shone
(Matchless)


Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes
Uplift The People
(Ogun)

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).


Irene Aranda / Johannes Nastejo / Nuria Andorra
Inner Core
(Relative Pitch)

Referencing geothermal physics in the titles of their improvisations, these three Spanish improvisers create a riveting and radical set of experimental works, with Irene Aranda working inside and out of the piano, Johannes Nastejo extending and adapting his double bass, and percussionist Nuria Andorra using an arsenal of metallic and percussive objects.


Ikeda / Prevost
The Whole Moon Rests in a Dewdrop on the Grass
(Matchless)


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.


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.


Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg
Dirt... And More Dirt
(Pi Recordings)

Composer, saxophonist and flutist Henry Threadgill presents 2 full-length works for his 15 piece band "14 or 15 Kestra: Agg", as he explores new ways of integrating composition with group improvisation, here using an entirely new system of improvisation based on preconceived series of intervals realized in multi-layered counterpoint, rigorous polyphony, and timbral contrasts.


Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda
Mizu
(Long Song Records)

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.


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

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.


Peter Blegvad
Bandbox [6 CD BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)

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!


Barker Trio
Avert Your I [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)

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.


Don Cherry Trio
Studio 105, Paris 1967
(Hi Hat)


Peggy Lee
Echo Painting
(Songlines)


Lisbon String Trio & Carlos Zingaro
Theia
(Creative Sources)


Frode Gjerstad / Hamid Drake / William Parker
[4-CD BOX SET]
(Not Two)

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.


John Cage
Two2
(Another Timbre)

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.


Toshi Ichiyanagi with Eye Music
Sapporo
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

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.


Joe Morris / Chris Dadge / Jonathon Wilcke
Rural Optimism
(Bug Incision Records)

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.


AMM
An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs]
(Matchless)

A beautiful 3-CD set with a hardcover book presenting 3 full concerts from 2015 & 2016 of the AMM trio configuration of John Tilbury (piano), Keith Rowe (guitar) and Eddie Prevost (percussion). The 70 page book, dedicated to saxophonist Lou Gare, includes an AMM discography, plus photos, and essays by Paige Mitchell and Allen Fisher; Keith Rowe; Eddie Prevost; and Seymour Wright.


Joe Morris / Rob Oxoby
Dancing With Penguins
(Bug Incision Records)

Improvising guitarist/bassist, writer, and educator Joe Morris spent four months as visiting scholar at the University of Calgary, during which time he recorded with University of Calgary professor and double bassist Rob Oxoby, this freely improvised album with Morris on electric guitar, a great confluence of strings in 6 concentrated and adept dialogs.


Bucher / Countryman (w/ Simon Tan / Isla Antinero)
Extremely Live in Manila
(ChapChap Records)

A live concert in Quezon City from the Manila based duo of Rich Countryman on alto saxophone and Swiss drummer Christian Bucher, who are joined on one track by acoustic bassist Simon Tan and trombonist Isla Antinero.


Golia / Kaiser / Moses / Smith / Walter
Astral Plane Crash
(Balance Point Acoustics)

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.


Paul Rutherford / Ken Vandermark / Torsten Muller / Dylan van der Schyff
Are We In Diego?
(WhirrbooM!)


Marker (w/ Ken Vandermark)
Wired For Sound
(Audiographic Records)

The debut from this Chicago band merging strong grooves with free playing, with 2 guitarists--Andrew Clinkman & Steve Marquette, plus Macie Stewart on keys & violin, Phil Sudderberg on drums, and Ken Vandermark on reeds, each of the 3 tracks dedicated to an artist: Belgian movie director Chantal Akerman; German choreographer Pina Bausch; and Anthony Braxton and Bernie Worrell.


Moore / Edwards / Prevost
Darkened, Yet Shone
(Matchless)


Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes
Uplift The People
(Ogun)

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).


Irene Aranda / Johannes Nastejo / Nuria Andorra
Inner Core
(Relative Pitch)

Referencing geothermal physics in the titles of their improvisations, these three Spanish improvisers create a riveting and radical set of experimental works, with Irene Aranda working inside and out of the piano, Johannes Nastejo extending and adapting his double bass, and percussionist Nuria Andorra using an arsenal of metallic and percussive objects.


Ikeda / Prevost
The Whole Moon Rests in a Dewdrop on the Grass
(Matchless)


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.


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.


Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg
Dirt... And More Dirt
(Pi Recordings)

Composer, saxophonist and flutist Henry Threadgill presents 2 full-length works for his 15 piece band "14 or 15 Kestra: Agg", as he explores new ways of integrating composition with group improvisation, here using an entirely new system of improvisation based on preconceived series of intervals realized in multi-layered counterpoint, rigorous polyphony, and timbral contrasts.


Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda
Mizu
(Long Song Records)

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.


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

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.


Don Cherry Trio
Studio 105, Paris 1967
(Hi Hat)


Peggy Lee
Echo Painting
(Songlines)


Lisbon String Trio & Carlos Zingaro
Theia
(Creative Sources)


Frode Gjerstad / Hamid Drake / William Parker
[4-CD BOX SET]
(Not Two)

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.


John Cage
Two2
(Another Timbre)

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.


Toshi Ichiyanagi with Eye Music
Sapporo
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

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.


LFU (Lisbon Freedom Unit)
Praise Of Our Folly
(Clean Feed)

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).


Fish-Scale Sunrise (Ab Baars / Kaja Draksler / Joe Williamson
No Queen Rises
(Relative Pitch)


Ingrid Laubrock / Tom Rainey
Utter
(Relative Pitch)


The Necks
Unfold [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Ideologic Organ)

Four side-long improvisations from the Australian trio of Chris Abrahams on piano, Tony Buck on drums, and Lloyd Swanton on bass, each side a masterpiece of slowly transpiring and evolving music, unhurriedly expanding each track to reveal tension and allure.


Verbruggen / Dumoulin / Haker Flaten / Wooley
kaPSalon [VINYL + 3 PRINTS]
(Rat Records)

Recorded during the Jazz Middelheim Festival in 2014, the quartet of Belgium drummer and label-leader Teun Verbrougeh and pianist Jozef Dumoulin are joined with Norwegian bassist living in the US Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, and New York trumpeter Nate Wooley, to record this set of formidable free jazz, released in a vinyl LP with 3 12x12 prints, one for each piece.


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.


Paul Flaherty / Chris Corsano
The Hated Music [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Feeding Tube Records)

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!


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

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.


Matthew Lux's Communication Arts Quartet
Contra/Fact [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)

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.


Derek Bailey / Jamie Muir
Dart Drug [VINYL]
(Honest Jons Records)

A reissue of the 1981 Incus LP of guitarist Derek Bailey with one-time King Crimson percussionist Jamie Muir ("Larks Tongues in Aspic"), also a member of Bailey's Music Improvisation Company, an album of hovering harmonics from Bailey's feedback amidst Muir's kitchen-sink collection of items that creates a unique and riveting complement to Bailey's playing.


Derek Bailey
Aida [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

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.


Jerman / Barnes
The Finger'd Remove [VINYL]
(Feeding Tube Records)


Boneshaker
Thinking Out Loud [VINYL-DAMAGED]
(Trost Records)

The third album from this international trio of powerful improvisers--Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, and Chicago/NY saxophonist Mars William-- in four odysseys that take the listener from introspective playing to out and out blowing, using technique to serve their incredible dialog.


Joelle Leandre & India Cooke
Journey [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Two strings take 6 journeys at the International Society for Improvised Music, as bassist Joelle Leandre met violinist India Cooke for their 2nd recorded duo after their 2005 Red Toucan release.


Anthony Levin-Decanini
Pairings / Birth Plan [VINYL]
(Broken Research)

Chicago improviser Anthony Levin-Decanini in two multi-part works of unsettling and deconstructed sound work using a roll-up keyboard, xo laptop, and a language master.


Tony Malaby / Juan Pablo Carletti / Christopher Hoffman
Nino/Brujo [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Percussionist Juan Pablo Carletti leads a trio with Tony Malaby on sax and Christopher Hoffman on cello, beautifully unfolding jazz that balances light and dark, melodic and free approaches with textural percussive work.


Evan Parker / Derek Bailey / Han Bennink
The Topography of the Lungs [VINYL]
(Otoroku)

2018 Reissue: A much-needed vinyl reissue of the seminal London & European Free Improv trio release from 1970, an amazing album showing the relationships between established jazz forms and the emerging modern language.


Detail: Stevens / Pedersen / Gjerstad
First Detail [VINYL + CD]
(Rune Grammofon)

Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad started the forward thinking free improv group Detail in 1981 with Eivin One Pederson on keys and SME legend, drummer John Stevens; this live recording of the original lineup is a fantastic document of the roots of this important band.


Martin Kuchen / Jon Rune Strom / Tollef Ostvang
Melted Snow [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Martin Kuchen (Angles, Fire! Orchestra, All Included, &c) on tenor and soprano sax, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums for an album of muscular playing and intense interaction, including a breakdown of All Included's "Satan In Plain Clothes".


Thomas Borgmann / Max Johnson / Willi Kellers
One For Cisco [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Recorded live at the New York Tenor Sax Festival 2015 in Ibeam, Brooklyn, the German trio of saxophonist Thomas Borgmann, bassist Max Johnson and drummer Willi Kellers perform the two part "One for Cisco", a soulful work with an open free-bop attitude of modern creative language.


Harry Partch
A Portrait [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(New World Records)

A portrait of instrument builder and microtonal composer Harry Partch presented through representative work, in a beautiful limited 180g vinyl LP with a 12 page booklet of rare photos and essays, plus an MP3 download; essential listening from an extraordinary composer.


Derek Bailey / John Tilbury
Playing with a Dead Person [VINYL]
(Bolt)

Despite their desire to record together, UK improvisers, guitarist Derek Bailey and pianist John Tilbury, never quite worked it out; so Tilbury instead took these solo Bailey recordings into the studio and improvised to them, making Bailey the dead leader of their duo.


Okkyung Lee / Bill Orcutt
Live at Cafe OTO [VINYL]
(Otoroku)

Two string players who have developed distinctive improvisation styles--cellist Okkyung Lee and guitarist Bil Orcutt--meet for their first encounter at London's Cafe Oto, for an exultant and sophisticated duo showing intense skill and strong conversational powers.


Steve Swell Quintet (Swell / Moondoc / Burrell / W. Parker / Cleaver)
Soul Travelers [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(RogueArt)

A great set of Downtown NY players led by trombonist Steve Swell, with Jemeel Moondoc on alto sax, Dave Burrell on piano, William Parker on double bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums, a heartfelt and masterfully soulful album of excellent modern jazz in a limited LP.


Universal Indians w/ Joe McPhee
Skullduggery [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)

The free improvising trio of John Dikeman on sax, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums, invites Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto sax for a release of rugged free improv using unorthodox approaches and amazing dexterity in their playing.


Hearts & Minds (Stein / Giallorenzo / Rosaly)
Hearts & Minds [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)

The Chicago trio of Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Paul Giallorenzon on keys, and Frank Rosaly on drums, performing a joyful album of lyrical jazz, blending compositions and free playing with modern creative skills and unpredictable, enthusiastic soloing; superb!


John Dikeman / Luis Vicente / Hugo Antunes / Gabriel Ferrandini
Salao Brasil [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Live recordings from Salao, Brazil in 2016 by the quartet of John Dikeman on tenor saxophone, Luis Vicente on trumpet, Hugo Antunes on double bass, and Gabriel Ferrandini on drums, for two sets of exploratory and often explosive free jazz.


Judson Trio (Joelle Leandre / Mat Maneri / Gerald Cleaver)
An Air of Unreality [VINYL]
(RogueArt)

A live performance at Judson Church in Manhattan as part of the 20th Vision Festival from the NY/France free improvising trio of Joelle Leandre on double bass, Mat Maneri on viola, and Gerald Cleaver on drums and percussion, two tracks of steadily building, incredibly compatible dialog.


Joe Morris / Chris Dadge / Jonathon Wilcke
Rural Optimism
(Bug Incision Records)

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.


AMM
An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs]
(Matchless)

A beautiful 3-CD set with a hardcover book presenting 3 full concerts from 2015 & 2016 of the AMM trio configuration of John Tilbury (piano), Keith Rowe (guitar) and Eddie Prevost (percussion). The 70 page book, dedicated to saxophonist Lou Gare, includes an AMM discography, plus photos, and essays by Paige Mitchell and Allen Fisher; Keith Rowe; Eddie Prevost; and Seymour Wright.


Joe Morris / Rob Oxoby
Dancing With Penguins
(Bug Incision Records)

Improvising guitarist/bassist, writer, and educator Joe Morris spent four months as visiting scholar at the University of Calgary, during which time he recorded with University of Calgary professor and double bassist Rob Oxoby, this freely improvised album with Morris on electric guitar, a great confluence of strings in 6 concentrated and adept dialogs.


Bucher / Countryman (w/ Simon Tan / Isla Antinero)
Extremely Live in Manila
(ChapChap Records)

A live concert in Quezon City from the Manila based duo of Rich Countryman on alto saxophone and Swiss drummer Christian Bucher, who are joined on one track by acoustic bassist Simon Tan and trombonist Isla Antinero.


Golia / Kaiser / Moses / Smith / Walter
Astral Plane Crash
(Balance Point Acoustics)

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.


Paul Rutherford / Ken Vandermark / Torsten Muller / Dylan van der Schyff
Are We In Diego?
(WhirrbooM!)


Marker (w/ Ken Vandermark)
Wired For Sound
(Audiographic Records)

The debut from this Chicago band merging strong grooves with free playing, with 2 guitarists--Andrew Clinkman & Steve Marquette, plus Macie Stewart on keys & violin, Phil Sudderberg on drums, and Ken Vandermark on reeds, each of the 3 tracks dedicated to an artist: Belgian movie director Chantal Akerman; German choreographer Pina Bausch; and Anthony Braxton and Bernie Worrell.


Moore / Edwards / Prevost
Darkened, Yet Shone
(Matchless)


Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes
Uplift The People
(Ogun)

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).


Irene Aranda / Johannes Nastejo / Nuria Andorra
Inner Core
(Relative Pitch)

Referencing geothermal physics in the titles of their improvisations, these three Spanish improvisers create a riveting and radical set of experimental works, with Irene Aranda working inside and out of the piano, Johannes Nastejo extending and adapting his double bass, and percussionist Nuria Andorra using an arsenal of metallic and percussive objects.


Ikeda / Prevost
The Whole Moon Rests in a Dewdrop on the Grass
(Matchless)


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.


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.


Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg
Dirt... And More Dirt
(Pi Recordings)

Composer, saxophonist and flutist Henry Threadgill presents 2 full-length works for his 15 piece band "14 or 15 Kestra: Agg", as he explores new ways of integrating composition with group improvisation, here using an entirely new system of improvisation based on preconceived series of intervals realized in multi-layered counterpoint, rigorous polyphony, and timbral contrasts.


Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda
Mizu
(Long Song Records)

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.


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

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.


Barker Trio
Avert Your I [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)

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.


Don Cherry Trio
Studio 105, Paris 1967
(Hi Hat)


Peggy Lee
Echo Painting
(Songlines)


Lisbon String Trio & Carlos Zingaro
Theia
(Creative Sources)


Frode Gjerstad / Hamid Drake / William Parker
[4-CD BOX SET]
(Not Two)

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.


LFU (Lisbon Freedom Unit)
Praise Of Our Folly
(Clean Feed)

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).


Fish-Scale Sunrise (Ab Baars / Kaja Draksler / Joe Williamson
No Queen Rises
(Relative Pitch)


Ingrid Laubrock / Tom Rainey
Utter
(Relative Pitch)


Pascal Niggenkemper
Sound Within Sound | Wuppertal Diary [2 CDs]
(Fitschgetau)

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.


Graham Lambkin / Taku Unami
The Whistler [2 CDs]
(erstwhile)

Sound artists Graham Lambkin and Taku Unami create two large works using material which they recorded together, and then which independently assembled into a single CD each, with "Whistler Vanishes in Wind" composed by Taku Unami, and "Small Mistakes in Nature" by Graham Lambkin, both fascinating collages that alternately distract and absorb the listener.


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.


Sidsel Endresen / Jan Bang
Hum
(Confront)

Using sampler, dictaphone, and voice, the duo of Sidsel Endresen and Jan Bang improvise and interact to create unorthodox hybrids of fractured electronics and articulated word, as edgy and engaging as it is unusual, captured live at Victoria Nasjonal Jazzscene, in Oslo, Norway in 2016, a great followup to Bang's "And Poppies From Kandahar" Samadhi album.


Roberto Musci / Giovanni Venosta
Messages & Portraits (2018 Edition)
(Recommended Records)

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.


Toshimaru Nakamura
Re-Verbed (No-Input Mixing Board 9)
(Room40)

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.


Lucio Capece / Marc Baron
My Trust In You
(erstwhile)

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.


Machinefabriek
Engel
(Machinefabriek)

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.


Kato Hideki
Green Zone
(Doubtmusic)


Anne Chaton James & Andy Moor
Le Journaliste
(Unsounds)

Part of a series of 100 portraits in sound iniated by Anne James Chaton, a journey into the texts and columns of newspapaper and radio broadcasts of a single journalist.


Anthony Levin-Decanini
Pairings / Birth Plan [VINYL]
(Broken Research)

Chicago improviser Anthony Levin-Decanini in two multi-part works of unsettling and deconstructed sound work using a roll-up keyboard, xo laptop, and a language master.


Marc Baron
Hidden Tapes
(Potlatch)

Five fascinating works composed from old cassette tapes accelerated or slowed down, layered and transformed with analog devices, with the addition of sources from movies soundtracks and classical or liturgical music extracts.


Ergo Phizmiz
Play Robert Ashley "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon"
(Bolt)

Ergo Phizmiz reinterprets Robert Ashley's disturbing avant-classical work "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon", in a group with Ergo Phizmiz (voice, piano), Lula (voice), Maciej Cieslak (guitar), Julia Zietek (violin), Alessandro Bosetti (laptop), and DJ Lenar (turntable).


Ryoko Akama / Bruno Duplant / Dominic Lash
Next To Nothing
(Another Timbre)

Four text scores composed by Ryoko Akama and performed by himself on VCS3 synthesizer with Bruno Duplant on percussion & tone generator and Dominic Lash on double bass, clarinet & laptop; four beautifully evolving and carefully paced works.


Arcane Device
Noise Matrix Mantras / Modular Waves [2 CDs]
(pulsewidth)

After more than 20 years David Myers revives Arcane Device with this 2 disc set, applying his fascinating approach to feedback and electronic music through 14 live tracks using a noise matrix, and 4 larger works using modular waves.


Joyfultalk
Muuixx
(Drip Audio)

Vancouver-based Jay Crocker, half of Bent Spoon with Chris Dadge, in an album of electronics using homebuilt instruments and treatments, rhythmically based music with effective melodies and a quirky, sometimes lo-fi, but always engaging approach.


Astrid
The West Lighthouse Is Not So Far
(Monotype)

The French Astrid quartet in their 4th album, where the titles of pieces are based on lighthouses' names, the band creating impressively ambient soundscapes filled with rich detail and lush, languid orchestration of guitar, violin, reeds, synths, harmoniums, &c.


Kevin Parks / Vanessa Rossetto
Severe Liberties
(ErstAEU)

Balancing detached and decontextualized sound with melodic moments, the New York duo of Kevin Parks and Vanessa Rossetto construct 3 large works of sound, journeys that take the listener in and out of the process with concrete, studio, and inexplicable sound.


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.


Jason Kahn
Monads [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Editions)

Getting down to the atomic, elementary nature of his work, electroacoustic explorer Jason Kahn dedicates each side of this double LP release to his interests in percussion, electronics, environmental recording and voice, constructing unique compositions that reveal the strong and recognizable methodology that drives him in his work.


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.


Merzbow
Noisembryo [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Hospital Productions)

A reissue of Merzbow's 1994 CD originally released on The Releasing Eskimo, a high point in Merzbow's discography of wild energy through high-speed loops, roving automotive bass, and cacophonic drum machines, together with the surprising inclusion of a Merzbow's own voice, in a very limited vinyl release with paintings and collages of Masami from the original sessions.


John Zorn
The Urmuz Epigrams
(Tzadik)

With the collaboration of percussionist Ches Smith, John Zorn creates a magnificent and dreamlike series of parallel tracks, a "modern reconstruction" and a set of faux 78rpm albums purportedly from 1923, as an homage to pre-dada absurdist, Romanian writer Urmuz (Demetru Dem), using the studio and card-file composition to create a bizarre and astonishing set of 8 x 2 pieces.


Christian Wolff / Antoine Beuger
Where Are We Going, Today
(erstwhile)

Using piano, objects, charango, flute, voice, whistles, and a copy of the Editions Wandelweiser recording of Christian Wolff's "Stones", improvisers and composer Christian Wolff and Antoine Beuger present the two part "Where Are You Going Today", a series of events punctuated by silence and Beuger's brief recitations, creating great tension and mystery.


Michael Pisaro
Etant Donnes
(Gravity Wave)

An unusual album for American composer Michael Pisaro: six works based almost entirely on samples, punctuating more characteristic work in keeping with his Wandelweiser and EMW work with rhythmic and popular forms, albeit with Pisaro's characteristic inclusions, surprising the listener in an illusionary approach yielding serious electroacoustic compositions.


Jeph Jerman
The Bray Harp [VINYL]
(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.


John Cage
Two2
(Another Timbre)

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.


Toshi Ichiyanagi with Eye Music
Sapporo
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

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.


Jurg Frey
String Quartets
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Composer Jurg Frey's 1988 work "String Quartet" realized by Nadia Francavilla, Clemens Merkel, Stephanie Bozzini and Isabelle Bozzini, exploring ideas of audibility: the moment when sound waves move in space and the air touches the body.


Jurg Frey
String Quartet No. 3 / Unhorbare Zeit
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two works from composer Frey performed by Montreal's string ensemble Quatuor Bozzini: "String Quartet No. 3", a minimal work of colors, sensations, shadows, durations; and "Unhorbare Zeit" exploring durations without sound, or empty volumes, to achieve lucidity and transparency.


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.


Hermann Nitsch
Musik Der 135. Aktion, Kuba [2 CDs]
(Trost Records)


Cassandra Miller
Just So
(Another Timbre)

A disc of extraordinary string works by Canadian composer Cassandra Miller, presenting four string quartets superbly played by the Quatuor Bozzini quartet of Clemens Merkel on violin, Alissa Cheung on violin, Stephanie Bozzini on viola, and Isabelle Bozzini on cello, including the large work "About Bach", awarded the Jules Leger Prize for New Chamber Music.


Cornelius Cardew
The Great Learning [4 CDs]
(Bolt)

A nearly 5-hour long recording of Cornelius Cardew's work based on one of the 4 classic books of Confucian religion, and the first work to be referred to as minimalist, performed at Wigry in Sejny, 2010.


Various Artists
Wandelweiser und so weiter [6 CD Box]
(Another Timbre)

A gorgeous 6 CD box of Wandelweiser works, compositions integtrating silence and sound from composers including John Cage, Angharad Davies, Michael Pisaro, Dominic Lash, Sam Sfirri, Antoine Beuger, Phil Durrant, &c., &c.


Cassandra Miller
O Zomer!
(Another Timbre)

Two ensemble works and two solo pieces by Christian Wolff's favourite contemporary composer, Cassandra Miller, who is blazing a very personal trail through the experimental music world, with brilliant performances by Apartment House, Mira Benjamin, Philip Thomas, and Charles Curtis with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov.


Avram, Dumitrescu Cutler, Hodgkinson, Hyperion Ensemble
Musique Action
(Recommended Records)


Robert Ashley
Tap Dancing in the Sand
(Unsounds)

A selection of works by the great musical pioneer Robert Ashley performed by the Dutch Ensemble MAE directed by Yannis Kyriakides, including pieces written for the Ensemble MAE.


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.


Giacinto Scelsi
Giacinto Scelsi
(Edition Rz)

Six works by composer Giacinto Scelsi performed by groups including the Ensemble 2E2M, collected and remastered from the original recordings.


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.


Various Artists
30 Jahre Inventionen 1982-2012 [2 CDs + DVD]
(Edition Rz)

Two re-releases of Edition RZ LPs that are now available in this double CD box with additional tracks, as well as a mainly acousmatic DVD that features electronic tracks by a variety of electroacoustic composers.


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.


Iancu Dumitrescu / Ana-Maria Avram
Live in Israel
(Edition Modern)

Romanian electroacoustic composer Iancu Dumitrescu & Ana-Maria Avram's performed these 5 works in January, 2011 with their Contemporary Music Ensemble Israel conducted by both composers, with special guest Stephen O'Malley on guitar.


Antoine Beuger
Silent Harmonies In Discrete Continuity
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Antoine Beuger's minimalist work for American painter Marcia Hafif, known for her monochrome paintings, in 24 tonal works each 3 minutes long using stationary waves of eight frequencies from a different octave and punctuated by silence.


Antoine Beuger
Two . Too (For Erwin-Josef Speckmann) [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Jurg Frey on clarinet and Irene Kurka on soprano vocals perform Wandelweiser composer Antoine Beuger's extended composition "Two"; then the duo of Rhodri Davies on harp and Ko Ishikawa on sho are layered on the first recording, creating a refreshingly new take on the piece.


Beuger Frey / Duo Contour
Duos
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The duo Contour of Stephen Altoff (trumpet) & Lee Forrest Ferguson (percussion) perform Antoine Beuger's "dedekind duos" dedicated to mathematician Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind; and Jurg Frey's "22 Sachelchen" or "small things", 22 focused miniature compositions.


Harry Partch
A Portrait [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(New World Records)

A portrait of instrument builder and microtonal composer Harry Partch presented through representative work, in a beautiful limited 180g vinyl LP with a 12 page booklet of rare photos and essays, plus an MP3 download; essential listening from an extraordinary composer.


Sylvia Ocougne / Chico Mello
Musica Brasileira Descomposta
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The Brazilian duo of Silvia Ocougne and Chico Mello, residing in Berlin, create a sonic collage of traditional popular and contemporary elements influenced by both Berlin and Brazil, using the unusual orchestration of instruments including tuba, matchbox, clarinet, &c.


Mannfred Werder
2003 [3 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Pushing the envelope on minimalism, Manfredd Werder's 3 scores for "2003" present just 6 tones, the instructions telling 3, 2 or 1 performers to play a pitch or sound for 3-7 seconds twice during the performance; realized by Erik Carlson, Stephanie Richards, and D. Edward Davis.


John Cage
Cartridge Music
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A 2003 recording from The Ensemble Daswirdas performing John Cage's 1960 composition "Cartridge Music", described as: "For amplified small sounds; also amplified piano or cymbal; any number of players and loudspeakers; parts to be prepared from score by performers."


Mako Sica / Hamid Drake
Ronda [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Feeding Tube Records)

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.


Vitor Rua & The Metaphysical Angels
When Better Isn't Quite Good Enough [2 CDs]
(Recommended Records)

Guitarist Vitor Rua (GNR, Telectu) recorded the 15 pieces of this 2-CD set first as a series of overdubbed solo improvisations, using his virtuosic skills to create intriguing and compelling works, which he orchestrated and recorded with the quintet of Hernani Faustino on bass, Luis San Payo on drums, Manuel Guimaraes on organ, Nuno Reis on trumpet, and Paulo Galao on clarinets.


Mako Sica / Hamid Drake
Ronda [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)

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.


This Heat
This Heat (1st album)
(This Is/Recommended Records)


TriPod
TriPod
(MoonJune Records)


Steve MacLean
Bridges
(Recommended Records)

A specially priced double CD collecting two decades of composition and experimentation from Dr. Nerve alumnus guitarist Steve MacLean.


Condor Moments
And Though We're Told We've Got It All, The All We've Got Is Freezing Cold..
(What Delicate)

Complex, twisted, technically interesting and eminantly enjoyable, eclectic and humorous rock mining a vast set of styles with ease; recorded and mixed by Bob Drake.


Henry Cow
Box 2: The Road: Volumes 6-10 with DVD
(Recommended Records)

Henry Cow's early years on the road, live recordings masterfully restored by Bob Drake, including the only known video of Henry Cow in Switzerland - amazing and essential!


Mats/Morgan Band
The Music or The Money?
(Cuneiform)

Complex, quirky, and downright amazing rock from the band of Mats Oberg and Morgan Agren, here reissuing their 2nd album from 1997, and more than 45 minutes of live and unreleased material.


Scarcity Of Tanks
Vulgar Defender
(Total Life Society Records)

New York/Ohio skronkers Scarcity of Tanks with Jim Sauter of Borbetomagus plus Kid Millions in a hard free rock free improv blast.


The World Heritage (Yamamoto Seiichi / Katsui Yuji / Kido Natsuki / Nasuno Mitsuru / Yoshida Tatsuya)
The Land of Light
(Magaibutsu)

The Japanese improvising rock quintet The World Heritage--Yamamoto Seiichi, Katsui Yuji, Kido Natsuki, Nasuno Mitsuru, and Yoshida Tatsuya--with two guitars, violin, bass and drums, in a live recording of dynamic collective improvisation at Akihabara Goodman in 2013.


Univers Zero
Heresie [VINYL]
(Sub Rosa)

A much-needed reissue of Univers Zero's second album, "Heresie", originally released in 1979, here in its 2010 Cuneiform Records remix; a classic of chamber rock music in the Rock in Opposition approach, featuring heavy use of dissonance and dark, brooding, and extremely complex melodies, a classic and important record showing creative paths in rock music.


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Feat. Pika
Astro Infinity Discotheque [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Bam Balam Records)

A live album in 2016 from the mind-blowing and prolific Japanese psychedelic improvising rock band Acid Mothers Temple with Kawabata Makoto, Higashi Hiroshi, Mitsuru Tabata, Stoshima Nani, S T, and Pika, performing some of their well known works and starting with Gong's "Flying Teapot", all recorded at 15th Acid Mothers Temple Festival at Tokuzo (Nagoya).


Thurston Moore / Umut Caglar
Dunia [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)

Recorded in Istanbul, Turkey, guitarist Thurston Moore teams up with Konstrukt guitarist Umut Caglar to record these three rich and twisting pieces, each guitarist extracting unique performances from the other over three pieces that draw on technique and effects to create fragile and heavy sonic environments, an impressive album of modern guitar potential.


Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites
Safety Signal From A Target Town
(Discus)

Saxophonist Martin Archer composed the five works on this, the 3rd release for Engine Room Favorites, his AACM-influenced big band with a tremendous orchestration of horns with drums, vibes, piano and bass, here with their most complex yet melodic and rich release yet, including melodic elements of folk music, powerful rhythms from prog-oriented rock, and free improv and jazz.


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.:
Hallelujah Mystic Garden Part 1
(Important Records)

Two long sides of "blissed-out, super tight Acid Mothers Temple jams that somehow stretch into the future while staying strongly rooted in the group's celebrated psychedelic history" performed with AMT core members Cotton Casino (voice), Kawabata Makoto (guitar), Higashi Hiroshi (keys), Mitsuru Tabata (guitar), Staoshima Nani (drums), and S/T Wolf (bass).


Don Cherry
Home Boy, Sister Out
(WeWantSounds)

Trumpeter Don Cherry recorded this funk album in France in 1985 with a set of multi-ethnic Paris players including Elli Medeiros and produced by Ramuntcho Matta, the songs crossing funk with jazzy vamps, rock roots and modern approaches, reissued with new liner notes and 5 bonus tracks including the cult 1983 single "Kick" featuring legendary author Brion Gysin.


Bill Orcutt
Why Does Everybody Love Free Music But Nobody Loves Free People? [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Palilalia)

A roughly recorded album of solo guitar that begins with the concert promoter screaming at the audience, as Bill Orcutt takes the stage and plays an amazing set of solo acoustic guitar, a visceral album that perfectly fits Orcutt's history and playing style.


Obnox (Lamont Thomas)
Templo del Sonido [RED VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)

Ohio garage and free rock mainstay Lamont Thomas, AKA Obnox, was approached by Astral Spirits to make a free jazz record, the unexpected results sounding more like a rock record in a wild ride of noise, funk, electro, voice, and percussion, a savage album with the protest and pointed sensibilities of the early 60s; pressed on translucent red vinyl.


Univers Zero
Ceux Du Dehors [VINYL]
(Sub Rosa)


AMM
An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs]
(Matchless)

A beautiful 3-CD set with a hardcover book presenting 3 full concerts from 2015 & 2016 of the AMM trio configuration of John Tilbury (piano), Keith Rowe (guitar) and Eddie Prevost (percussion). The 70 page book, dedicated to saxophonist Lou Gare, includes an AMM discography, plus photos, and essays by Paige Mitchell and Allen Fisher; Keith Rowe; Eddie Prevost; and Seymour Wright.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg
Dirt... And More Dirt
(Pi Recordings)

Composer, saxophonist and flutist Henry Threadgill presents 2 full-length works for his 15 piece band "14 or 15 Kestra: Agg", as he explores new ways of integrating composition with group improvisation, here using an entirely new system of improvisation based on preconceived series of intervals realized in multi-layered counterpoint, rigorous polyphony, and timbral contrasts.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Satoko Fujii
Solo
(Libra)

A stunning album of solo performances, the first of 12 monthly releases from Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii celebrating her 60th birthday, in an impressive set of seven original compositions illustrating her incredible skills in both profoundly beautiful and technically spectacular playing inside and out of the piano, an exceptional start to the series.


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.


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.


Satoko Fujii
Ninety-Nine Years
(Libra)

Composer-pianist Satoko Fujii's new Orchestra Berlin, a ten-piece ensemble, presents a powerful work written specifically for this group in thought-provoking compositions of and uninhibited energy, with performers including saxophonists Gebhard Ullmann, Paulina Owczarek & Matthias Schubert, trombonist Matthias Muller, bassist Jan Roder, and drummers Peter Orins and Michael Griener.


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.


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.


Henry Threadgill
Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus
(Pi Recordings)

Composer Henry Threadgill's Double Up band does not include Threadgill himself, but for this second release with the group he adds a 3rd piano (also doubling on harmonium) alongside two alto saxophones, cello, tuba, drums and percussion, the octet performing Threadgill's complex yet effortlessly intricate and distinctive compositions that allow his performers to shine.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


Tim Berne / Matt Mitchell Duo
Angel Dusk
(Screwgun)

Following on New York pianist Matt Mitchell's solo album of Tim Berne compositions, the two join in the studio to record these 8 compositions in a dynamic album of dialogs that includes energetic interaction, explorative playing, and beautiful lyrical work, a profoundly intimate and connected release borne from their long history of collaboration.


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.


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.


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.


Akio Suzuki / John Butcher
Immediate Landscapes
(Ftarri)

At the same event in Scotland that John Butcher recorded his excellent "Resonant Spaces" album, he also joined forces with sound artist Akio Suzuki on a variety of objects and sound devices to record the first 5 tracks of this unusual album of very free improv, the last track by the duo recording at the 2015 Ftarri Festival at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo.


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.


Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson)
Ours
(Cuneiform Records)

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.


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.


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.


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.


Tomeka Reid / Kyoko Kitamura / Taylor Ho Bynum / Joe Morris
Geometry of Caves
(Relative Pitch)

Bringing New York and Chicago performers together, the quartet of cellist Tomeka Reid, guitarist Joe Morris, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and free vocalist Kyoko Kitamura present an album of expressive and creative collective improvisation, bridging chamber forms and free jazz with a captivatingly eccentric appeal from Kitamura's wordless vocalese.


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

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.


Lopez / Nelson / Nicodemou / Cleaver
The Industry Of Entropy
(Relative Pitch)

A great example of Downtown New York modern improvisation that takes unexpected twists and turns, from the collective quartet of bassist Brandon Lopez, a frequent collaborator with Nate Wooley and Ivo Perelman, tenor saxophonist Matt Nelson ( tUnE-yArDs), vibraphonist Andria Nicodemou (Thread Ensemble, Taylor Ho Bynum), and Gerald Cleaver (Veil of Names, Uncle June, &c).


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.


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.


Steve Lacy
Stamps [2 CDs]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Originally released on the Hat Hut label in 1979, this 2-CD set of saxophonist Steve Lacy's quintet with Steve Potts on saxophone, Irene Aebi on cello, voice & violin, Kent Carter on bass, and Oliver Johnson on drums, are heard live in two tour-de-force concerts, first at the 1977 Jazz Festival, in Willisau, Switzerland, then in 1978 at Jazz Au Totem in Paris, France.


Moholo-Moholo's, Louis Five Blokes
Uplift The People
(Ogun)

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).


Mette Rasmussen / Tashi Dorji / Tyler Damon
To The Animal Kingdom
(Trost Records)

Three young improvisers, Danish alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen, US drummer Tyler Damon and US guitarist Tashi Dorji in an exhilarating album of free jazz recorded at Array Space, in Toronto, Canada, in three extended dialogs of creative, exploratory and powerful collective improvisation, a great new trio of players to keep an eye on.


Jon Irabagon / Joe Fiedler / Todd Neufeld
In Formation Network
(Nuscope)

Saxophonist Jon Irabagon, trombonist Joe Fiedler, and guitarist Todd Neufeld met in April, 2017 in Mount Vernon at the Oktaven Audio studio to record these nine varied compositions, presenting a unifying trio sound and identity that reflects Chicago's Giuffre trio, but with a unique collective attitude as the trio employs a varied set of compositional strategies.


Vinny Golia Wind Quartet
Live At The Century City Playhouse
(Dark Tree Records)

Dark Tree's Southern California archive series adds this phenomenal session from multi-woodwind player Vinny Golia's Wind Quartet with clarinetist John Carter, trombonist Glenn Ferris, and cornetist Bobby Bradford, recorded fairly early in their careers in 1979 live at Century City Playhouse in LA for two sets of exploratory, dexterous and astounding jazz.


Sun Ra
Astro Black
(Modern Harmonic)

From 1973-75 the Impulse! label released a few Sun Ra albums, the first of which was "Astro Black" with a large Arkestra-like ensemble of well-known collaborators making up the band as they perform the title track, "Discipline, "Hidden Spheres" and "Cosmo-Fire", reissued as a 2018 Record Store Day releases in its first proper reissue.


Jemeel Moondoc Quartet
The Astral Revelations
(RogueArt)

Saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc takes his masterful NY quartet of pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist Hilliard Green, and drummer Newman Taylor Baker to perform live at Bimhuis in Amsterdam in 2016, capturing four remarkable improvisations of Moondoc compositions including an extended rendering of "Cosmic Nickelodeon", the band balancing lyricism with intensely creative playing.


Marty Ehrlich
Trio Exaltation
(Clean Feed)

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.


Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek / Tomas Fujiwara / Mary Halvorson)
Theirs
(Cuneiform Records)

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.


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.


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.