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© 2002-2017, Squidco LLC
  Top Lists by Customer Orders

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.


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.


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.


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.


Mars Williams presents (w/ Berman / Lonberg-Holdm / 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!


Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity
Live in Europe [3 CDs]
(Clean Feed)

Three complete 2016 concerts at North Sea Jazz Festival, Ljubljana Jazz Festival and Oslo Jazz Festiva, and 3 CDs to present them, from drummer Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity, a superb free/post-bop group with a core of Nilssen, bassist Petter Eldh, and saxophonist Andre Roligheten, featuring 3 saxophonists: Fredrik Ljungkvis, Kristoffer Berre Alberts, and Jorgen Mathisen.


Nick Fraser (w/ Malaby / Downing / Clutton)
Is Life Long?
(Clean Feed)

Toronto drummer Nick Fraser leads the quartet of Tony Malaby on saxophones, Andrew Downing on cellos, and Rob Clutton on bass in their 3rd album together, presenting 6 Fraser original compositions, using both string players to create unique harmonic environments over which they combine lyrical and contemporary approaches to jazz and improv.


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.


Eve Risser / Kaja Draksler
To Pianos
(Clean Feed)

Two pianists dedicate to their instruments at the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev Dom during the 57th Jazz Festival Ljubljana: Paris-based pianist Eve Risser (Umlaut, En-Corps, &c) and Slovenian pianist Kaja Draskler (I/O, Draskler Octet, &c.), to record these inventive duos, weaving their keys together or working inside and out of the piano in incredible sonic approaches.


Parker, Moster Abrams & Herndon
Ran Do
(Clean Feed)

Chicago and Norway free improvisers come together in the quartet of Kjetil Moster (tenor sax), Jeff Parker (guitar), John Herndon (drums) and Joshua Abrams (double bass), having played once in Chicago's bar Rodan in 2008, and finally reunited to bring this album, blending polyrhythmic, rock, jazz, free playing, textural and grooves together into an exhilarating music.


Tomas Fujiwara
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's sextet is actually two trios interacting, with fellow drummer Gerald Cleaver, both Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook on guitar, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and Ralph Alessi on trumpet, the pairings forming unisons and contrasts that add an unrestrained sense of enthusiasm and excitement to Fujiwara's sophisticated compositions.


Mary Halvorson Quartet (w/ Gress / Fujiwara / Okazaki)
Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32
(Tzadik)

The final album from John Zorn's "Book of Angels" series presenting Zorn's Masada compositions, here with 10 previously unrecorded compositions from "Masada Book Two" performed by NY guitarist Mary Halvorson in a quartet with Drew Gress on bass, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, and Miles Okazaki on guitar, in an album of joyfully exciting and melodic improvisations.


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.


Tree Ear (Strinning / Troller / Hemingway)
Witches Butter
(Clean Feed)

After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways.


FCT Trio meets Carlos Atti (Atti / Graziano / Evangelista / Cusa)
From Sun Ra to Donald Trump
(Clean Feed)

With humorous titles referencing everything from Sun Ra to Donald Trump, Italian drummer Francesco Cusa's quartet with Carlo Atti (sax), Simone Graziano (piano) and Gabriele Evangelista (bass), reimagine the concepts of traditional jazz standards and formats into contemporatry approaches of composition and playing, in a serious and lyrical album of modern creative jazz.


Sun Ra
Discipline 27-II [2017 REMASTER]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The 2nd volume in Sun Ra's "Discipline" series was recorded during the same sessions as 1972's Impulse release "Space Is the Place", with Sun Ra on electronic keyboards and Moog, and a large band including Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Danny Davis, Akh Tal Ebah, June Tyson, &c.


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.


Ada Rave Trio (w/ Nicola L. Hein / Wilbert De Joode)
The Sea, the Storm and the Full Moon
(Clean Feed)

Mixing free jazz and and open-minded collective improv using unusual techniques from Argentinian-born, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Ada Rave and her trio with German prepared guitarist Nicola L. Hein and Netherland bassist Wilbert De Joode, blending lyrical formats as she seeks new paths in the combination of written composition and spontaneous improvisation.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Musicianer (Sinton / Ajemian / Taylor)
Slow Learner
(Iluso)

Sidney Bechet referred to fellow musician as "musicianers", the title for New York baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton's trio with Jason Ajemian on acoustic bass and Chad Taylor on drums and percussion, in an outstandingly creative and compelling album of modern jazz showing the strong links between these three, dating back to their work together in Chicago in the 80s.


Joao Lencastre's Communion 3 (Lencastre / Sacks / Opsvik)
Movements In Freedom
(Clean Feed)

Communion is Portuguese drummer and composer Joao Lencastre's project to bring musicians from the American and international jazz scenes together, here in his 3rd release presenting a piano trio with two New Yorkers--pianist Jacob Sack and Norwegian bassist living in New York, Eivind Opsvik--for 3 Lencastre compositions, 1 Ornette Coleman piece, and 6 collective compositions.


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.


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.


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.


Mars Williams presents (w/ Berman / Lonberg-Holdm / 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!


Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity
Live in Europe [3 CDs]
(Clean Feed)

Three complete 2016 concerts at North Sea Jazz Festival, Ljubljana Jazz Festival and Oslo Jazz Festiva, and 3 CDs to present them, from drummer Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity, a superb free/post-bop group with a core of Nilssen, bassist Petter Eldh, and saxophonist Andre Roligheten, featuring 3 saxophonists: Fredrik Ljungkvis, Kristoffer Berre Alberts, and Jorgen Mathisen.


Nick Fraser (w/ Malaby / Downing / Clutton)
Is Life Long?
(Clean Feed)

Toronto drummer Nick Fraser leads the quartet of Tony Malaby on saxophones, Andrew Downing on cellos, and Rob Clutton on bass in their 3rd album together, presenting 6 Fraser original compositions, using both string players to create unique harmonic environments over which they combine lyrical and contemporary approaches to jazz and improv.


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.


Eve Risser / Kaja Draksler
To Pianos
(Clean Feed)

Two pianists dedicate to their instruments at the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev Dom during the 57th Jazz Festival Ljubljana: Paris-based pianist Eve Risser (Umlaut, En-Corps, &c) and Slovenian pianist Kaja Draskler (I/O, Draskler Octet, &c.), to record these inventive duos, weaving their keys together or working inside and out of the piano in incredible sonic approaches.


Parker, Moster Abrams & Herndon
Ran Do
(Clean Feed)

Chicago and Norway free improvisers come together in the quartet of Kjetil Moster (tenor sax), Jeff Parker (guitar), John Herndon (drums) and Joshua Abrams (double bass), having played once in Chicago's bar Rodan in 2008, and finally reunited to bring this album, blending polyrhythmic, rock, jazz, free playing, textural and grooves together into an exhilarating music.


Tomas Fujiwara
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's sextet is actually two trios interacting, with fellow drummer Gerald Cleaver, both Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook on guitar, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and Ralph Alessi on trumpet, the pairings forming unisons and contrasts that add an unrestrained sense of enthusiasm and excitement to Fujiwara's sophisticated compositions.


Mary Halvorson Quartet (w/ Gress / Fujiwara / Okazaki)
Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32
(Tzadik)

The final album from John Zorn's "Book of Angels" series presenting Zorn's Masada compositions, here with 10 previously unrecorded compositions from "Masada Book Two" performed by NY guitarist Mary Halvorson in a quartet with Drew Gress on bass, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, and Miles Okazaki on guitar, in an album of joyfully exciting and melodic improvisations.


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.


Tree Ear (Strinning / Troller / Hemingway)
Witches Butter
(Clean Feed)

After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways.


FCT Trio meets Carlos Atti (Atti / Graziano / Evangelista / Cusa)
From Sun Ra to Donald Trump
(Clean Feed)

With humorous titles referencing everything from Sun Ra to Donald Trump, Italian drummer Francesco Cusa's quartet with Carlo Atti (sax), Simone Graziano (piano) and Gabriele Evangelista (bass), reimagine the concepts of traditional jazz standards and formats into contemporatry approaches of composition and playing, in a serious and lyrical album of modern creative jazz.


Sun Ra
Discipline 27-II [2017 REMASTER]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The 2nd volume in Sun Ra's "Discipline" series was recorded during the same sessions as 1972's Impulse release "Space Is the Place", with Sun Ra on electronic keyboards and Moog, and a large band including Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Danny Davis, Akh Tal Ebah, June Tyson, &c.


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.


Ada Rave Trio (w/ Nicola L. Hein / Wilbert De Joode)
The Sea, the Storm and the Full Moon
(Clean Feed)

Mixing free jazz and and open-minded collective improv using unusual techniques from Argentinian-born, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Ada Rave and her trio with German prepared guitarist Nicola L. Hein and Netherland bassist Wilbert De Joode, blending lyrical formats as she seeks new paths in the combination of written composition and spontaneous improvisation.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Musicianer (Sinton / Ajemian / Taylor)
Slow Learner
(Iluso)

Sidney Bechet referred to fellow musician as "musicianers", the title for New York baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton's trio with Jason Ajemian on acoustic bass and Chad Taylor on drums and percussion, in an outstandingly creative and compelling album of modern jazz showing the strong links between these three, dating back to their work together in Chicago in the 80s.


Joao Lencastre's Communion 3 (Lencastre / Sacks / Opsvik)
Movements In Freedom
(Clean Feed)

Communion is Portuguese drummer and composer Joao Lencastre's project to bring musicians from the American and international jazz scenes together, here in his 3rd release presenting a piano trio with two New Yorkers--pianist Jacob Sack and Norwegian bassist living in New York, Eivind Opsvik--for 3 Lencastre compositions, 1 Ornette Coleman piece, and 6 collective compositions.


Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love / Kent Kessler)
Unusual Words
(Soul What Records)

A CD intended to sell at concerts from Mars Williams' own Soul What Records label, a studio recording in 2012 from the powerhouse trio of Chicago multi-reedist Mars Williams, in-demand Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, and Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, running the gamut from furious blowing to introspective interaction.


Chicago / Sao Paulo Underground feat Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah and the Underground - Primative Jupiter [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Live from Lisbon's Jazz em Agosto Festival, cornetist Rob Mazurek merges his Chicago and Sao Paulo Underground bands, adding bassist Matthew Lux and jazz legend tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, for a potent blend of modern jazz, electronics, and free improvised music.


Starlite Motel (Alberts / Saft / Haker-Flaten / Nilssen)
Awosting Falls [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Scandinavian and American musicians join together to form this quartet, with Kristoffer Berre Alberts on saxes, Jamie Saft on organ and keys, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric bass, and Gard Nilssen on drums & electronics, for an album of spacey and groove oriented jazz.


Bobby Bradford / Hafez Modirzadeh / Mark Dresser / Alex Cline
Live At The Open Gate [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

West Coast cornetist Bobby Bradford captured live in 2013 for a superb set at the Center for the Arts in Los Angeles, part of the Open Gate Theatre Sunday evening concert series, in a quartet with Hafez Modirzadeh on alto sax, Mark Dresser on bass, and Alex Cline on drums.


Dave Burrell / Bob Stewart
The Crave Play the music of Jelly Roll Morton and Dave Burrell [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Frequent collaborators, pianist Dave Burrell and tuba player Bob Stewart take on the early jazz music of Jelly Roll Morton alongside original compositions from Burrell, performed live at the Kolner Stadtgarten in Cologne, Germany in 1994 for a joyful look forward and back.


Taylor Bynum Ho
Enter the Plustet [VINYL]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum draws on a variety of techniques from improvised conduction to big band orchestration to deconstructed fanfares, with a large 15 member ensemble of impressive improvisers embodying a diversity of generations, backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender, presenting three large scale compositions that are ambitious and wonderfully accomplished.


William Hooker
Earth's Orbit [VINYL 2 LPs]
(NoBusiness)

NY drummer William Hooker performing with Darius Jones and Adam Lane at The Stone in NYC, and with Aaron Bennett, Weasel Walter and Damon Smith at The Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco.


Amalgam (Watts / Clyne / Stevens / Guy)
Prayer For Peace [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Limited vinyl reissue of the legendary Amalgam recording with Trevor Watts, Jeff Clyne, John Stevens and Barry Guy performing at Advision London on the May 20, 1969.


Pauline Oliveros
To Valerie Solanas And Marilyn Monroe In Recognition [VINYL]
(Roaratorio)

Oliveros wrote this piece in the late 60s for Valerie Solanas, noted for publishing the "SCUM Manifesto" and for shooting Andy Warhol; presented on LP for the first time, in 3 renditions.


Mimeo
WIGRY [2 VINYL LPs]
(Monotype)

A double LP from the incredible electro-acoustic improvising band of Phil Durrant, Christian Fennesz, Thomas Lehn, Cor Fuhler, Maffe Matthews, Keith Rowe, Rafael Toral, Jan Prins, Marcus Schmickler, and Peter Rehberg!


Boneshaker (Williams / Nilssen-Love / Kessler)
Boneshaker [VINYL]
(Trost Records)

An apt title for the driven and exhilarating free jazz from the transatlatic trio of Mars Williams (reeds, toy instruments), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums & percussion) and Kent Kessler (bass).


Aperiodic
Future Feedback [VINYL LP & CD]
(Phratry Records)

A combination of noise and free jazz with elements of no wave and hardcore, Aperiodic (Kevin Parrett, Ben Perkins, Matt Schulz) uses gu qin, rudra veena, and surbahar as well as standard Western instruments to create unique, improvised music.


Thomas Borgmann / Wilber Morris / Reggie Nicholson
Nasty & Sweet [VINYL 2 LPs]
(NoBusiness)

Very limited 2 LP release of the trio of Thomas Borgmann (reeds), Wilber Morris (bass) and Reggie Nicholson (drums) performing live at the Tampere Jazz Festival in 1999, plus one track from St. Ingbert in 1998.


Evan Parker / Barry Guy / Paul Lytton
Live at Maya Recordings Festival [VINYL 2 LPs]
(NoBusiness)

Superb improvisation from three masters - Evan Parker on sax, Barry Guy on bass and Paul Lytton on drums - performing at the Maya Recordings Festival, September 23 - 25, 2011 at Theater am Gleis, Winterthur, Switzerland.


Jim O'Rourke / Lasse Marhaug / Paal Nilssen-Love
The Love Robots [VINYL]
(PNL/PICA)

The trio of Jim O'Rourke on guitar, Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and Lasse Marhaug on electronics in an album of beautiful psychedelic noise recorded at Gok Sound Studio in Tokyo.


Konstrukt & Joe McPhee
Babylon [VINYL]
(Roaratorio)

NY saxophonist and pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee meets Turkish free-improv group konstruKt, who have collaborated with Evan Parker, Marshall Allen and Peter Brotzmann, for these fascinating improvisations mixing jazz, traditional instrumentation, and electronics.


The Thing With Thurston Moore
Live [VINYL]
(The Thing Records)

On tour for their album "Boot!", the Scandinavian free-jazz monsters of Mats Gustafsson (sax), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass) teamed up with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth fame at London's Cafe OTO to produce some heavy improvised thunder.


Keir Neuringer
Ceremonies Out Of The Air [VINYL 2 LPs]
(New Atlantis)

Composer, saxophonist, writer, and interdisciplinary artist Keir Neuringer in a solo album of five extended improvisations performed before an invited audience, an emotional album of physical exhalations of grief at the loss of his mother months before the recording.


Convergence Quartet (Taylor Ho Bynum / Alexander Hawkins / Dominic Lash / Harris Eisenstadt)
Owl Jacket [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

The 4th release from the international quartet of NY cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, Canadian drummer Harris Eisenstadt, and UK bassist Dominic Lash and pianist Alexander Hawkins, with compositions from all 4 players, including an adaptation of traditional Ghanaian & Gambian pieces.


All Included
Satan in Plain Clothes [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

With members from Angles, Universal Indians, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Friends and Neighbors, &c. the quintet of Martin Kuchen (sax), Thomas Johansson (trumpet), Mats Aleklin (trombone), Jon Rune Strom (bass) and Tollef Ostvang (drums) play modern, energetic jazz that kicks Satan's ass; highly recommended!


Tatsuya Nakatani
Confirmation [VINYL]
(TAIGA)

The first vinyl solo album from one of the world's most active percussionists, Tatsuya Nakatani, recording live at Nakatani-kobo in Easton Pennsylvania in 2015, in an incredible display of unexpected sonic territory from drums, bows, bells, bowls and cymbals.


Roswell Rudd / Jamie Saft / Trevor Dunn / Balazs Pandi
Strength & Power [VINYL]
(Rarenoise Records)

A New York quartet blending generations and styles in passionate, rich, and deeply layered improvisation from pianist Jamie Saft, trombonist Roswell Rudd, drummer Balazs Pandi, and drummer Trevor Dunn, free jazz drawing on diverse form and intense conversational skills.


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.


Pauline Oliveros + Musiques Nouvelles
Four Meditations/Sound Geometries [VINYL]
(Sub Rosa)

Pauline Oliveros surrounded by Belgian ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, performing two long pieces for orchestra, using her Expanded Instrument System and 5.1 Surround Sound System in a mix of conducted and improvised music using metaphors and listening concepts.


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!


Borbetomagus
The Eastcote Studios Session [VINYL]
(Dancing Wayang)

A rare studio album from the aggressive and influential free improv trio Borbetomagus of saxophonists Jim Sauter & Don Dietrich and guitarist Donald Miller, recorded in London in 2014, and described by Sauter himself as "unlike anything we've ever recorded before".


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.


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.


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.


Mars Williams presents (w/ Berman / Lonberg-Holdm / 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!


Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity
Live in Europe [3 CDs]
(Clean Feed)

Three complete 2016 concerts at North Sea Jazz Festival, Ljubljana Jazz Festival and Oslo Jazz Festiva, and 3 CDs to present them, from drummer Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity, a superb free/post-bop group with a core of Nilssen, bassist Petter Eldh, and saxophonist Andre Roligheten, featuring 3 saxophonists: Fredrik Ljungkvis, Kristoffer Berre Alberts, and Jorgen Mathisen.


Nick Fraser (w/ Malaby / Downing / Clutton)
Is Life Long?
(Clean Feed)

Toronto drummer Nick Fraser leads the quartet of Tony Malaby on saxophones, Andrew Downing on cellos, and Rob Clutton on bass in their 3rd album together, presenting 6 Fraser original compositions, using both string players to create unique harmonic environments over which they combine lyrical and contemporary approaches to jazz and improv.


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.


Eve Risser / Kaja Draksler
To Pianos
(Clean Feed)

Two pianists dedicate to their instruments at the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev Dom during the 57th Jazz Festival Ljubljana: Paris-based pianist Eve Risser (Umlaut, En-Corps, &c) and Slovenian pianist Kaja Draskler (I/O, Draskler Octet, &c.), to record these inventive duos, weaving their keys together or working inside and out of the piano in incredible sonic approaches.


Parker, Moster Abrams & Herndon
Ran Do
(Clean Feed)

Chicago and Norway free improvisers come together in the quartet of Kjetil Moster (tenor sax), Jeff Parker (guitar), John Herndon (drums) and Joshua Abrams (double bass), having played once in Chicago's bar Rodan in 2008, and finally reunited to bring this album, blending polyrhythmic, rock, jazz, free playing, textural and grooves together into an exhilarating music.


Tomas Fujiwara
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's sextet is actually two trios interacting, with fellow drummer Gerald Cleaver, both Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook on guitar, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and Ralph Alessi on trumpet, the pairings forming unisons and contrasts that add an unrestrained sense of enthusiasm and excitement to Fujiwara's sophisticated compositions.


Mary Halvorson Quartet (w/ Gress / Fujiwara / Okazaki)
Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32
(Tzadik)

The final album from John Zorn's "Book of Angels" series presenting Zorn's Masada compositions, here with 10 previously unrecorded compositions from "Masada Book Two" performed by NY guitarist Mary Halvorson in a quartet with Drew Gress on bass, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, and Miles Okazaki on guitar, in an album of joyfully exciting and melodic improvisations.


Tree Ear (Strinning / Troller / Hemingway)
Witches Butter
(Clean Feed)

After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways.


FCT Trio meets Carlos Atti (Atti / Graziano / Evangelista / Cusa)
From Sun Ra to Donald Trump
(Clean Feed)

With humorous titles referencing everything from Sun Ra to Donald Trump, Italian drummer Francesco Cusa's quartet with Carlo Atti (sax), Simone Graziano (piano) and Gabriele Evangelista (bass), reimagine the concepts of traditional jazz standards and formats into contemporatry approaches of composition and playing, in a serious and lyrical album of modern creative jazz.


Sun Ra
Discipline 27-II [2017 REMASTER]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The 2nd volume in Sun Ra's "Discipline" series was recorded during the same sessions as 1972's Impulse release "Space Is the Place", with Sun Ra on electronic keyboards and Moog, and a large band including Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Danny Davis, Akh Tal Ebah, June Tyson, &c.


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.


Ada Rave Trio (w/ Nicola L. Hein / Wilbert De Joode)
The Sea, the Storm and the Full Moon
(Clean Feed)

Mixing free jazz and and open-minded collective improv using unusual techniques from Argentinian-born, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Ada Rave and her trio with German prepared guitarist Nicola L. Hein and Netherland bassist Wilbert De Joode, blending lyrical formats as she seeks new paths in the combination of written composition and spontaneous improvisation.


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.


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.


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.


Musicianer (Sinton / Ajemian / Taylor)
Slow Learner
(Iluso)

Sidney Bechet referred to fellow musician as "musicianers", the title for New York baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton's trio with Jason Ajemian on acoustic bass and Chad Taylor on drums and percussion, in an outstandingly creative and compelling album of modern jazz showing the strong links between these three, dating back to their work together in Chicago in the 80s.


Joao Lencastre's Communion 3 (Lencastre / Sacks / Opsvik)
Movements In Freedom
(Clean Feed)

Communion is Portuguese drummer and composer Joao Lencastre's project to bring musicians from the American and international jazz scenes together, here in his 3rd release presenting a piano trio with two New Yorkers--pianist Jacob Sack and Norwegian bassist living in New York, Eivind Opsvik--for 3 Lencastre compositions, 1 Ornette Coleman piece, and 6 collective compositions.


Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love / Kent Kessler)
Unusual Words
(Soul What Records)

A CD intended to sell at concerts from Mars Williams' own Soul What Records label, a studio recording in 2012 from the powerhouse trio of Chicago multi-reedist Mars Williams, in-demand Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, and Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, running the gamut from furious blowing to introspective interaction.


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.


Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love / Kent Kessler)
Thinking Out Loud
(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.


Stephen Cornford
Battery Acid
(Banned Productions)


Harry Bertoia
Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture Of Harry Bertoia [CD + DVD]
(Important Records)

Italian-born American artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer Harry Bertoia in a CD/DVD package containing historic recordings made in Harry Bertoia's Sonambient barn, where he developed sculptures with sonic properties, including four recently discovered audio recordings and a DVD of interview footage, showing Bertoia at work.


John Tilbury
Plays Samuel Beckett
(Matchless)


Ami Yoshida / Kurzmann, Christof
a s o
(erstwhile)


Various Artists
Psychogeographical Dip
(GD Stereo)

The first in a series of compilations based on the concept of psychogeographical recordings in electroacoustic music, here describing abandoned McCarren Park in Brooklyn.


Vlor
A Fire Is Meant for Burning
(Silber Media)

Minimalist guitar collaborations from members of Remora, Aarktica, Lycia, Rivulets, 6P.M., Red Morning Chorus, & Jessica Bailiff.


Vlor
Six-Winged
(Silber Media)

The long-distance collaborative Vlor project constructs rock and sound work from a wide array of rock influcences leveraging their dichotomy to creative a cohesive brooding music.


Riccardo Wanke Dillon
to r.s.
(Sedimental)

Wanke uses electric and acoustic guitars, acoustic piano, objects and natural sounds to create a sensitive long work in four parts of static compositions, drones and looped music.


Machinefabriek
Forks [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt, recorded the music on this release with tuning forks, steel wool, contact mics, memo recorders, looped cassettes from an answering machine tape, a ring modulator, and looper pedals.


Francisco Lopez
Paris Hiss [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

Francisco Lopez created this work by dubbing a blank cassette back and forth for hundreds of generations in real time with no noise reduction; this is the reissue of the original 1997 release.


Randy Greif
Dirt Crawl Blues [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

A 4 track cassette of beats, robotic voices and other Greif oddities, definitely an obscure gem from the large discography of this experimental explorer.


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.


Chop Shop
Grey Area [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

Grey is the color of these murky recordings from Scott Konzelmann, AKA Chop Shop, sounding like they were recorded inside a furnace with distant punctuation occasionally contributing to the gloom of this oppressive audio environment.


John Hudak
Listening To The Wind [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

John Hudak created "listening to the wind" using wind chimes, half of a phone conversation, and digital manipulation, splitting the work into an "inner" and "outer" side, altering the character of this murky emission.


Otomo Yoshihide
Guitar Solo 2015 RIGHT
(Doubtmusic)

The complement to his "Guitar Solo "RIGHT", Otomo Yoshihide recorded 123 structured guitar improvisations on Masayuki Takayanagi's 1963 Gibson, then gave them to Akihiko Matsumoto who fed them into software he developed to play them back using a set of intelligent rules.


Gino Robair
Two Pieces, Two Decades Apart [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

Gino Robair recorded this cassette of ham radio in Alaska while on tour with organist Dave Hyatt, taking his feed off the radio of a friendly operator while they listened to an anonymous operator trolling the airwaves and taunting others, over strange whines and radio timbre.


Graham Lambkin
Community [2 CDs]
(erstwhile)

Using electronics, field recordings and spoken word, Graham Lambkin explores "Community" in abstract and literal ways, reflecting on society and describing aspects of community through spoken word and sound, a thought-provoking and complex work of organized sound.


Cornford Stephen / Ben Gwilliam
On Taking Things Apart
(Winds Measure)

Sound and visual artists Stephen Cornford and Ben Gwilliam recorded their installation at Q-02 in Brussels, where they took apart a Grundik TK5 tape machine and repurposed the components to create these innovative and diverse recordings of stunning textures and interactions.


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.


Burkhard Beins / Lucio Capece / Martin Kuchen / Paul Vogel
Fracture Mechanics
(Mikroton Recordings)

"Fracture Mechanics" is the scientific study of cracks in any material, an apt title from these European experimental innovators--Burkhard Beins, Lucio Capece, Martin Kuchen, and Paul Vogel--pulling back the curtain on process and creating an impressive album crossing acoustic and electronic improv, organized sound, and inexplicable interaction; recommended.


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.


Eric La Casa
Paris Quotidien [CD+60 page booklet of photos & text]
(Swarming)

Eric La Casa documents his home environment in Paris through audio investigation and field recordings, creating 3 large works that reveal the properties, singularities, banalities and features of his audio environment in perspective to his status as a citizen of the city, presented in a gatefold CD package with a color 60-page booklet of photos and text.


Anthony Pateras / Erkki Veltheim
The Slow Creep Of Convenience
(Immediata)

Anthony Pateras performs on pipe organ alongside Erkki Veltheim on electric violin, presenting a single extended work joining both instruments as a unified timbral force, producing exquisite and hypnotic sensorial phenomena over 50 minutes, as the duo investigate spectral phenomena in sound; includes a 24 page illuminating booklet interviewing both artists.


David Myers Lee
Superpositions [CASSETTE with Download Code]
(Cronica)

David Lee Myers, AKA Arcane Device, explores feedback in its most beautiful forms, over decades developing systems to capture the microscopic edges of errant signals and convert them into lovely long tones, using a series of matrix mixers to manipulate them in real time, creating works of fragile charm, impressive interstices of rhythm, and gorgeous melodic nodes.


Alice Kemp
Fill My Body With Flowers And Rice [VINYL]
(Fragment Factory)

Sound composer and multi-disciplinary artist Alice Kemp's first full length vinyl album is a mysterious and beautifully paced release blending acoustic and electronic sources, field recordings, voice and inexplicable sound to create dream-like sonic environments, subtle and suggestive sound that contains clues of ritual, longing, and beauty.


Insub Meta Orchestra
13 & 27
(Another Timbre)

Coordinated and composed by d'incise and Cyril Bondi, this incredible Swiss-based collective of 30 to 40 experimental musicians was founded in 2010 and has presented concerts and recordings since; this CD presents two works, "13 unissons" splitting the orchestra into 13 subgroups; and "27 times" where each musician plays 27 times in 30 minutes; phenomenal.


Linda Smith Catlin
Dirt Road
(Another Timbre)

Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith's extended composition for violin and percussion in 15 parts, performed by percussionist Simon Limbrick and violinist Mira Benjamin, a unique orchestration that reveals a journey of steady pace, tension and beauty.


John Cage
Klang der Wandlungen [3 CDs]
(Edition Rz)

An impressive triple-CD box with recordings of some late works by John Cage, including "Seventy-Four for Orchestra, 1992", "103 for Orchestra, 1991, part 1 & 2", In a Landscape fur Harfe", "Postcard From Heaven fur Eine Bis Zwanzig Harfen", and some of "The Harmony of Maine"; including a 32 page booklet with photos and liner notes by Jakob Ullmann.


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.


John Zorn
Midsummer Moons
(Tzadik)

Two guitarists -- Gyan Riley and Julian Lage -- perform 10 lyrical John Zorn compositions inspired by Shakespeare and written for the moon, a symbol of love, lust, madness and dreams, as the two guitarists play in unison and interweaving figures, a beautiful album of contemplative, refined and elegant works from one of New York's most prolific composers.


Cornelius Cardew
Material
(Hat [now] ART)


John Cage
Imaginary Landscapes
(Hat [now] ART)


Isaac Babel
The Sin Of Jesus
(Hat [now] ART)

Transcription of Soviet writer Isaac Babel's The Sin of Jesus into music by applying a rule system where words determine melody, letters determine rhythm & harmony, &c.


Jennings / Cage / Tilbury / Lexer
Lost Daylight
(Another Timbre)

Pianist John Tilbury is captured with remarkable clarity by Sebastian Lexer as he performs works by composers Terry Jennings and John Cage (with Lexer on electronics); superb performances!


Morton Feldman
For Bunita Marcus
(Nuscope)

Pianist Louis Goldstein plays Morton Feldman's soft, slow, and beautiful 1985 solo piano composition for Feldman's pupil and long-time associate, Bunita Marcus.


Galina Ustvolskaya
Piano Sonatas 1-6
(Hat [now] ART)

Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya's piano sonatas performed by Marianne Schroeder, innovative works that integrate dissonance, drone, overtone and harmonic density.


Delta Saxophone Quartet
Uneasy Dreams [DVD]
(FMR)

The Delta Saxophone Quartet presents works by some of UK & Ireland's most original composers: Michael Finnissy, Mike Searby, Stephen Goss, Gerald Barry, and Tim Ewers.


Harley Gaber
Indra's Net
(Edition Rz)

A hybrid acoustic tape piece of solo violin on four track tape, and a work for four violins, composed in 1974 by Harley Gaber, delicate pieces that he considered complements to his large work "The Winds Rise in the North".


Harley Gaber
The Winds Rise In The North
(Edition Rz)

Composer Harley Gaber wrote this piece for strings as an emotional examination of the questions posed by Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu, here performed by a quintet including violinist Malcolm Goldstein.


Christian Wolff
Kompositionen 1950-1972 [2 CDs]
(Edition Rz)

A portrait of Christian Wolff, documenting the composer's early activity through recordings made close to the time of their composition from artists including Cornelius Cardew, Frederic Rzewski, David Tudor, &c.


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.


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

The 2nd CD of Romanian electroacoustic composer Iancu Dumitrescu & Ana-Maria Avram's performance with the Contemporary Music Ensemble Israel conducted by both composers, with special guest Stephen O'Malley on guitar.


Richard Glover
Logical Harmonies
(Another Timbre)

Seven recent works from UK composer Richard Glover, whose process music is based on the exposition of simple harmonic patterns which transform in deceptive ways, gradually altering the nature of the overall sonority.


Clarence Barlow
Musica Derivata
(Hat [now] ART)

Composer Clarence Barlow, like Beethoven, builds his own labyrinths, brick by brick, and then searches for an escape by creating conceptual forms to get around the traps of time, tonality, and style.


Dieter Ammann
The Freedom of Speech
(Hat [now] ART)

The Ensemble fur Neue Musik Zurich plays seven pieces by Swiss composer Dieter Ammann, each made through a very slow creative process that contrasts the very lively and gestural music.


Jurg Frey
Grizzana and other pieces 2009-2014 [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

The Ensemble Grizzana (Ryoko Akama, Mira Benjamin, Richard Craig, Emma Richards, Philip Thomas and Seth Woods) performs a series of delicate and beautiful chamber pieces by Swiss composer and clarinetist Jurg Frey, who also performs on clarinet.


James Saunders
Assigned #15
(Another Timbre)

Leading contemporary music ensemble Apartment House perform a new piece developing out of James Saunders's long-term modular project '#unassigned'; the new piece, "assigned #15" creates a mesmeric, dense, jungle-like soundworld across its 45 minutes duration.


Charlemagne Palestine
Organo Rinascimentale Non Temperato
(Angelica)

In 2004 Charlegmane Palestine updated his 1977 work "Schlingen Blangen", a piece that could be played for days nonstop in "sonic constant chemical acoustic + architectural evolution + transformation in space", here in the version from that year's Angelica Festival.


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.


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.


Burning Ghosts (Giddens / McLendon / Rosenboom / Vossler)
Reclamation
(Tzadik)

Burning Ghost is the West Coast rock influenced improvising quartet of Daniel Rosenboom on trumpet, guitarist Jake Vossler, Richard Giddens on double bass, and Aaron McLendon on drums, in a fiery album of heavy playing that borrows from jazz and metal rock forms, with ominious political overtones in their titles while showing articulate and impressive playing skill.


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Those Who Came Never Before
(Nod and Smile Records)

Four psychedelic blues and rock tracks from Japan's Acid Mothers Temple led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto, with vocalist Cotton Casino, synth guru Higashi Hiroshi, guitarist Mitsuru Tabata, drummer Satoshima Nani, and S/T Wold on tape, space and time, informed and psych-referencing music that slowly builds into intricate and explosive inner headspaces.


Shardik (Shellenberger / Buckley / Hollenberg)

(Tzadik)

Born from rock bands like Cleric and Simulacrum, this NY instrumental, improvising rock trio blends avant-garde classical, free jazz, dissonant math metal, ambient and world music into a powerful new mix, with Nick Shellenberger on bass and synth, Matt Buckley on drums & percussion, and Matt Hollenberg on guitar; intricate, edgy, demanding and driven music.


Richard Johnson Leo / Gregg Bendian
Who Knew Charlie Shoe?
(Cuneiform)

Innovative guitarist Richard Leo Johnson and "junk" percussionist Greg Bendian on 21 unsual and melodic compositions extending Johnson's "Legend of Vernon McAlister."


Robert Wyatt
Comicopera
(Domino)

Wyatt's 3 act Comicopera merges rock, jazz and experimentation with pathos and humor taking us from chaos to redemption, aided by the likes of Eno, Phil Manzanera, Karen Mantler, &c.


No-Neck Blues Band
Clomeim
(Locust)

A studio album from New York's cryptic and experimental No-Neck Blues Band, sculpted from several days of recording to create these haunting and unusual pieces.


Black Happy Day
In the Garden of Ghostflowers
(Silber Media)

A collaboration between Tara Vanflower & Timothy Renner bridging ambient music and americana using guitars, banjo & dulcimer with feedback & effects.


Jack and Jim Show (Jimmy Carl Black / Eugene Chadbourne)
We Don't Have That In The Home!
(Chadula)

The final Jack and Jim CD (Eugende Chadbourne and the late Jimmy Carl Black), recorded live in Japan, insanely great covers of Zappa, Beefheart and their ilk.


Pinhas / Merzbow / Wolf Eyes
Victoriaville May 2011
(Les Disques Victo)

French guitarist Richard Pinhas, Japanese electronics and noise artist Merzbow, and the American trio Wolf Eyes performed together at the 2011 Victo Festival, with this massive recording one result.


Bret Higgins Atlas Revolt
Higgins, Bret; Atlas Revolt
(Tzadik)

A Canadian quintet led by double bassist Bret Higgins (Zebrina) merging latin, R&B, soul, film soundtracks, jazz and more into moody and infectious grooves, lyrical and upbeat music that borrows freely from a variety of world and folk styles in exuberant ways.


Keiji Haino / Mitsuru Nasuno / Yoshimitsu Ichiraku
After Seijaku [2 CDs]
(Doubtmusic)

The Seijaku Trio of Keiji Haino (electronics, guitar, voice), Mitsuru Nasuno (bass, electronics) and Yoshimitsu Ichiraku (electronics), recording 2 years after the "Last Live" album, in an epic voyage of meditative and intricate electronics performed live in Tokyo.


Hedvig Mollestad Trio
Black Stabat Mater
(Rune Grammofon)

Another strong instrumental rock album, blending heavy prog, free jazz and psychedelia with forceful and technically excellent guitar work from leader Mollestad, backed by fellow Norwegians Ellen Brekken on bass and Ivar Loe Bjornstad on drums; keeping the 70s alive!


Huy (Junji / Kazuhisa / Yoshida)
Huy
(Magaibutsu Limited)

The Japanese trio of Hirose Junji on tenor saxophone, Innocence label founder Uchihashi Kazuhisa on guitar, and Yoshida Tatsuya on drums, initiating Magaibutsu's "Improv Session Series" with this on-fire album of controlled chaos, recorded live at Foxhole in Kichijoji.


Yoshida Tatsuya / Cho Sokkyo / Tzboguchi Masayasu
TYU
(Magaibutsu)

The frequent and super-speed improvising duo of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi join forces with Tzboguchi Masayasu on keyboards and vocoder for an energetic, melodic, and at times outlandish album that pays homage to astonishingly complex rock forms.


Eugene Chadbourne
There'll Be No Tears Tonight
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

A much-needed reissue of Eugene Chadbourne's ground-breaking free country improv album recorded in NYC with a great Downtown NY lineup including Tom Cora, John Zorn, Scott Manring, and David Licht, performing twisted takes on classics by Paycheck, Haggard, Miller, &c.


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.


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.


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.


Oren Ambarchi
Stacte Karaoke II [VINYL 12-inch]
(Black Truffle)

Heavy rock riffs and shredding from Australian guitarist Oren Ambarchi, his version of karaoke being repeating rock structures plundered and played over, giving him a platform to show his power tools, which are heavily modified and effected guitar lines in an oddly compelling album of rock machinations from this typically explorative, experimental player.


Barbez w/ Velina Brown
For Those Who Came After: Songs Of Resistance From The Spanish Civil War
(Important Records)

New York's literate and genre-encompassing rock band Barbez led by guitarist and journalist Dan Kaufman present their 5th album, renderings of protest songs from The Spanish Civil War in a tribute to the Spanish International Brigades, blending avant-rock, contemporary classical, and folk music styles into a compelling and historically important set of songs.


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.


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.


Corsano / Courviosier / Wooley
Salt Task
(Relative Pitch)

First recorded meeting of Chris Corsano (drums), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), and Nate Wooley (trumpet) in the studio in Brooklyn, 2015, for a completely open, sensitive set of improvisations that are constantly on the edge, at times explosive, and always in a focused dialog.


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.


Anthony Braxton
Quintet (Basel) 1977
(Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering Braxton's outstanding radio concert for Radio DRS in Safranzunft, Basel in 1977 in a quintet with George Lewis on trombone, Muhal Richard Abrams on piano, Mark Helias on double bass, and Charles "Bobo" Shaw on drums.


Morton Feldman
Patterns In A Chromatic Field [2 CDs]
(Hat [now] ART)

Feldman's idiosyncratic large composition is also one of his more active, influenced by John Cage, and using a score that defines organizational procedures in chordal and chromatic patterns, as realized in this '93 recording by Rohan de Saram (cello) and Marianne Schroeder (piano).


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.


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.


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.


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.


James Tenney
Bass Works (performed by Dario Calderone)
(Hat [now] ART)

Fascinating works for doublebass from American composer James Tenney, 3 pieces for solo doublebass, and a large work for viola, cello, doublebass and tape delay system, performed by bassist Dario Calderone with William Lane on viola and Francesco Dillon on cello.


BassDrumBone + guests Joe Lovano / Jason Moran
The Long Road [2 CDs]
(Auricle)

The 40th Anniversary release for the creative free improvising jazz trio of Gerry Hemingway (drums), Mark Helias (bass) and Ray Anderson (trombone), with guests Joe Lovano on sax and Jason Moran on piano; superb lyrical soulful collective improvisation of the finest order.


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.


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.


Neukollner (Denzler / von Schlippenbach / Grip / Johansson)
Sektion 3-7 [2 CDs]
(Umlaut Records)

The Neukollner trio of Bertrand Denzler on sax, Joel Grip on double bass, and Sven-Ake Johnasson on drums is joined by pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach for a double album of exhilarating free jazz that conjurs standards-based jazz through well-structured instant compositions.


Angles 9 (Zethson / Stahl / Broo / Kajfes / Aleklint / Hegdal / Berthling / Werlin / Kuchen)
Disappeared Behind the Sun
(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.


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.


Keith Rowe
The Room Extended [4 CDs]
(erstwhile)

A massive and rewarding work of organized sound extending ea-improviser, AMM guitarist Keith Rowe's work "The Room" into a massive 4 CD set of compositions, layering work familiar from his recent improvisations with classical compositions, field recordings, &c. &c.


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.


John Butcher / Thomas Lehn / Matthew Shipp
Tangle
(Fataka)

After "Exta", where saxophonist John Butcher and electronics artist Thomas Lehn met with pianist John Tilbury, the duo now meet with New York pianist Matthew Shipp for a distinct improvisational entanglement of Butcher's dense streams, Lehn's rich sound floor, and Shipp's thick repetitions.


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.


Evan Parker / Mark Nauseef / Toma Gouband
As The Wind
(psi)

A brilliant album of subtle and masterful improvisation recorded in 2012 at and using the reverb of the St. Peters church in Whitstable by soprano saxophonist Evan Parker with two percussionists: Toma Gouband on lithophone-based percussion and Mark Nauseef on metallophone-based percussion.


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.


Harris Eisenstadt
Recent Developments
(Songlines)

NY Composer and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt furthers his exploration into long-form composition and unusual instrumentation in his 20th release as a bandleader, with a spectacular improv ensemble including Nate Wooley, Jeb Bishop, Han Roberts, Anna Webber, &c. &c.


Albert Ayler Quartet with Don Cherry
European Radio Studio Recordings 1964
(Hatology)

Recorded during Albert Ayler's 1964 European tour with Don Cherry on cornet, Gary Peacock on bass, and Sunny Murray on drums, perhaps Ayler's best band and most creative period, well captured at Hilversum in The Netherlands and for Danish Radio Copenhagen, Denmark.


Musica Elettronica Viva
Symphony No 106
(Les Disques Victo)

Documenting a reunion of Musica Elettronica Viva's founders Frederic Rzewski (piano and vocals), Richard Teitelbaum (keyboards and computer) and Alvin Curran (keyboards, computer and shofar) at the 32nd International Festival Of Current Music in Victoriaville, Canada in 2016.


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.


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.


Tomas Fujiwara / Ben Goldberg / Mary Halvorson
The Out Louds
(Relative Pitch)

The first release from the NY/West Coast trio of Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, and Mary Halvorson on guitar, a collaborative improv of lyrical and nuanced improv, using great skill and sophistication in dialog that takes unexpected twists and turns.


Morton Feldman
For John Cage
(Hat [now] ART)

Morton Feldman was a friend, flatmate and student of John Cage's innovative approaches to composition; he wrote this 3 part work for violin and piano in 1982 as a 70th birthday present for Cage, here performed by violinist Josje Fosie Ter Haar and pianist John Snijders.


Evan Parker / John Russel / Ian Brighton / Phillip Wachsmann / Marcio Mattos / Trevor Taylor
Reunion: Live From Cafe Oto
(FMR)

London's Cafe Oto organized a reunion of String Thing, guitarist Ian Brighton's project with violinist Phillip Wachsmann, bassist Marcio Mattos, & Trevor Taylor on percussion and electronics, adding guitarist John Russell and saxophonist Evan Parker, here capturing an impressive night of improv, and Brighton's first public appearance in nearly 40 years.


Ballister (Renpis / Lonberg-Holm / Nilssen-Love)
Slag
(Aerophonic)

The trans-Atlantic Ballister trio of Dave Rempis (saxes), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello & electronics) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums & percussion) release their 6th album, a live concert at Cafe Oto in London in 2015, a hard-hitting, euphoric release of free-improvising power.


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.


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.


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 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.


Willem Breuker Kollektief
Angouleme, 18 Mai 1980 [2 CDs]
(Fou Records)

The late Willem Breuker's Kollektief was an ensemble focusing on jazz roots in theatrical and dramatic performances, emphasing the fun aspects of historic jazz bands with energetic orchestration and soloing, described as a "mix of circus music, jazz and improvisation".


Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne
Forage
(Screwgun)

Pianist Matt Mitchell, a member of saxophonist Tim Berne's Snakeoil, releases a solo album of Berne compositions, taking the reedist's typically frenetic material into unexpected territory, revealing dark beauty and intensely introspective aspects to Berne's music.


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.


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.


Mark Dresser Seven (Mitchell / Ehrlich / Boroff / Dessen / White / Black)
Sedimental You
(Clean Feed)

Downtown NY scene pioneering bassist, currently on the West Coast, Mark Dresser presents an album of original compositions performed with an amazing septet including Marty Ehrlich, Jim Black, Joshua White, Michael Dessen, David Morales Borof, and Nicole Mitchell.


George Lewis & Splitter Ochester
Creative Construction Set
(Mikroton Recordings)

An amazing album of advanced techniques and sonic possibilities from the Berlin based Splitter Orchester, bringing together 25 superlative players from the "Echtzeitmusik" electroacoustic improvisation, here performing George Lewis's composition "Creative Construction Set".


Mats Gustafsson / Craig Taborn
Ljubljana [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Celebrating the 400th release of Clean Feed Records, Swedish free jazz phenomenon, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson meets with NY jazz pianist Craig Taborn for an unlikely yet highly satisfying encounter that pushes each improviser into unfamiliar, edge-of-their seats, territory.


Harris Eisenstadt Canada Day (w/ Wooley / Bauder / Niggenkemper)
On Parade in Parede
(Clean Feed)

A live recording of drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day band performing as a quartet with trumpeter Nate Wooley, saxophonist Matt Bauder, and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, recorded at SUMP during their 2016 European tour, an exemplary set of free playing over a great set of original compositions, including a large work in 3 sections and 5 parts.


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.


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.


Yoshida Tatsuya / Cho Sokkyo / Tzboguchi Masayasu
TYU
(Magaibutsu)

The frequent and super-speed improvising duo of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi join forces with Tzboguchi Masayasu on keyboards and vocoder for an energetic, melodic, and at times outlandish album that pays homage to astonishingly complex rock forms.


Paul Dunmall Quintet
The Dreamtime Suite
(FMR)

Saxophonist Paul Dunmall's quintet with Hamid Drake, Dave Kane, Steve Tromans, and Percy Pusgove, bridge traditional with chamber jazz and world music, including a work for bagpipes and frame drum, in a monumental suite of improvisational possibilities.


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!


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.


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.


Khan Jamal / The Creative Arts Ensemble
Drum Dance to the Motherland [VINYL]
(Eremite)

A definitive vinyl remaster of vibraphonist Khan Jama's 1972 album in a sextet of vibes, marimba, drums, African percussion, glockenspiel, guitar, bass, and live sound effects, a legendary album fusing free jazz, black psychedelia, and early dub elements, a truly unique album from an artist with a profound perspective applying a wide rhythmic spectrum to free jazz.


Keiji Haino / John Butcher
Light Never Bright Enough
(Otoroku)

Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.


Greg Saunier / Mary Halvorson / Ron Miles
New American Songbooks, Volume 1 [VINYL]
(Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records)

Two essential Downtown New York improvisers--guitarist Mary Halvorson and trumpeter Ron Miles--are joined by drummer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof in response to Nate Wooley's request that the three expand the American Songbook, creating astounding instrumental versions of music by Fiona Apple, Elliott Smith, The Partridge Family, John Williams, James P. Johnson, &c.


Borderlands Trio (Stephan Crump / Kris Davis / Eric McPherson)
Asteroidea
(Intakt)

The New York collective trio of bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Eric McPherson focuses on starfish (asteroida), which can regenerate lost sections of itself, as this band creates highly focused group compositions that use melodic elements as rhythm and vice versa, recontextualizing and transforming their confident and masterful playing.


Ivo Perelman / Nate Wooley / Brandon Lopez / Gerald Cleaver
Octagon
(Leo)

The second release pairing Brazilian-born, New York-based saxophonist Ivo Perelman with trumpeter Nate Wooley, in a quartet with bassist Brandon Lopez and drummer Gerald Cleaver, a frequent hard bop configuration, here in an 8 part set of studio recordings that range from exultant and vigorous group interplay to pointillist interaction, a superb album of creative modern jazz.


Derek Bailey / Anthony Braxton
Royal [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

Reissuing the 1984 album of the live collaboration between New York multi-reedist Anthony Braxton and UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, caught in performance at the Royal Hotel, in Luton, England in 1974, and originally intended to be released as two volumes; here the first volume and never-released second volume are in one newly mastered double LP.


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 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.


Keiji Haino / John Butcher
Light Never Bright Enough [VINYL]
(Otoroku)

Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.


Derek Bailey
Solo Guitar Volume 1 [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

A reissue and remaster of the late free improvising legend Derek Bailey's "Solo Guitar Volume 1" released on Bailey's own Incus label in 1971, is the first in a series of 3 albums from the Honest Jon's label to re-issue Bailey's early albums, this volume adding tracks from previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972; essential.


Derek Bailey / Han Bennink
Derek Bailey & Han Bennink [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

The third volume in Honest Jon's Records reissue of early and essential albums from UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, remastering and adding additional unreleased material, here from Bailey's duo album with Dutch drummer Han Bennink from 1972 recorded in '69, originally issued on Bailey's Incus label, alongside a previously unreleased '70 improv session.


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.


Ruins
Burning Stone [REISSUE]
(Magaibutsu Limited)

Tatsuya Yoshida's insanely complex and exhilarating rock project Ruins started around 1986, and bassist Ryuichi Masuda (also a member of Koenji Hyakkei) has been with him since the early days; this CD reissues the 1992 Shimmy Disc album, originally an LP, here with the CD bonus tracks.


Bill Orcutt
Bill Orcutt
(Palilalia)

Guitarist Bill Orcutt's self-titled solo album brings a mix of standards and original compositions, starting with Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and eclectically running us to "The Star Spangled Banner", each song unfolding as he delivers in an unhurried way with rich sustain and reverb on a 4-string Telecaster, performing at The Living Room in San Francisco.


Roots Magic
Last Kind Words
(Clean Feed)

Deep Blues and Creative Jazz from the Italian septet Roots Magic, following up their "Hoodoo Magic" CD with another compelling album of instrumentals where the track list consists of personal renditions of Delta Blues classics (mostly Charlie Patton) played with an overtly exploratory attitude derived from the Free Jazz tradition.


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.


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.


Mary Halvorson
Away With You [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Mary Halvorson continues her string of excellent modern jazz albums with this octet release with fellow guitarist Susan Alcorn, Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon & Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Jacob Garchik (trombone), John Hebert (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).


Paul Giallorenzo Trio
Flow
(Delmark)

Nine original compositions from pianist Paul Giallorenzo in his 2nd Delmark CD, reducing the band to a classic piano trio with compatriots Joshua Abrams on bass and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, in a passionate album that balances high energy polytonal swing to profound and lyrical ballads, with abstract blues and free-form inventiveness; excellent.


Ideal Bread (Sinton / Knuffke / Radding / Fujiwara)
The Ideal Bread
(KMB Jazz)

This NYC quartet with Josh Sinton, Reuben Raddin, Tomas Fujiwara, & Kirk Knuffke pays tribute to the music of Steve Lacy through reworkings of his compositions.


Angles 9
In Our Midst [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Clean Feed's 2nd LP is their 4th Angles release, expanding saxophonist Martin Kuchen's band to 9 pieces with Mattias Stahl, Johan Berthling, Alexander Zethson, Mats Aleklint, Eirik Hegdal, Goran Kajfes, and Magnus Broo in an album of rare expressiveness and power.


Angles 9
Injuries [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)

Now a nine-piece, Martin Kuchen leads the magnificently powerful Angles band through 7 demanding compositions, with trumpeter Magnus Broo back in the band alongside Alexander Zethson, Mattias Stahl, Jonan Berthling, Andreas Werlin, Eirik Hegdal, Mats Aleklint & Goran Kajfes.


TOTEM> (Eisenbeil / Blancarte / Drury)
Voices of Grain
(New Atlantis)

Interactive, muscular NY improvisation from guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, electric bassist Tom Blancarte, and drummer Andrew Drury, extending Totem>'s intensity & group empathy while expanding their range of expression in compositions balancing free playing and mysterious soundwork.


Keiji Haino / John Butcher
Light Never Bright Enough
(Otoroku)

Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.


Borderlands Trio (Stephan Crump / Kris Davis / Eric McPherson)
Asteroidea
(Intakt)

The New York collective trio of bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Eric McPherson focuses on starfish (asteroida), which can regenerate lost sections of itself, as this band creates highly focused group compositions that use melodic elements as rhythm and vice versa, recontextualizing and transforming their confident and masterful playing.


Ivo Perelman / Nate Wooley / Brandon Lopez / Gerald Cleaver
Octagon
(Leo)

The second release pairing Brazilian-born, New York-based saxophonist Ivo Perelman with trumpeter Nate Wooley, in a quartet with bassist Brandon Lopez and drummer Gerald Cleaver, a frequent hard bop configuration, here in an 8 part set of studio recordings that range from exultant and vigorous group interplay to pointillist interaction, a superb album of creative modern jazz.


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 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.


Ruins
Burning Stone [REISSUE]
(Magaibutsu Limited)

Tatsuya Yoshida's insanely complex and exhilarating rock project Ruins started around 1986, and bassist Ryuichi Masuda (also a member of Koenji Hyakkei) has been with him since the early days; this CD reissues the 1992 Shimmy Disc album, originally an LP, here with the CD bonus tracks.


Bill Orcutt
Bill Orcutt
(Palilalia)

Guitarist Bill Orcutt's self-titled solo album brings a mix of standards and original compositions, starting with Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and eclectically running us to "The Star Spangled Banner", each song unfolding as he delivers in an unhurried way with rich sustain and reverb on a 4-string Telecaster, performing at The Living Room in San Francisco.


Roots Magic
Last Kind Words
(Clean Feed)

Deep Blues and Creative Jazz from the Italian septet Roots Magic, following up their "Hoodoo Magic" CD with another compelling album of instrumentals where the track list consists of personal renditions of Delta Blues classics (mostly Charlie Patton) played with an overtly exploratory attitude derived from the Free Jazz tradition.


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.


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.


Paul Giallorenzo Trio
Flow
(Delmark)

Nine original compositions from pianist Paul Giallorenzo in his 2nd Delmark CD, reducing the band to a classic piano trio with compatriots Joshua Abrams on bass and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, in a passionate album that balances high energy polytonal swing to profound and lyrical ballads, with abstract blues and free-form inventiveness; excellent.


Ideal Bread (Sinton / Knuffke / Radding / Fujiwara)
The Ideal Bread
(KMB Jazz)

This NYC quartet with Josh Sinton, Reuben Raddin, Tomas Fujiwara, & Kirk Knuffke pays tribute to the music of Steve Lacy through reworkings of his compositions.


TOTEM> (Eisenbeil / Blancarte / Drury)
Voices of Grain
(New Atlantis)

Interactive, muscular NY improvisation from guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, electric bassist Tom Blancarte, and drummer Andrew Drury, extending Totem>'s intensity & group empathy while expanding their range of expression in compositions balancing free playing and mysterious soundwork.


Bardeau / Couratier / Lecinte / Lemaire
Quaturo Machaut
(Ayler)

Taking their name from composer Guillaume de Machaut, Quentin Biardeau directs his saxophone quartet as they reinterpret his 1365 polyphonic mass "Messe de Nostre Dame", using the resonance of the the Abbey of Noirlac, France to enhance these beautifully paced compositions.


Okkyung Lee / Christian Marclay
Amalgam
(Northern Spy)

A wild and exciting duo between cellist Okkyung Lee and legendary turntable improviser Christian Marclay performing live at London's Cafe Oto for a single long track that runs through an astonishing dynamic of invention and atmospheres in a gripping and spellbinding set.


Angles 9 (Zethson / Stahl / Broo / Kajfes / Aleklint / Hegdal / Berthling / Werlin / Kuchen)
Disappeared Behind the Sun
(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.


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.


Barry Guy
The Blue Shroud
(Intakt)

A massive work from bassist/composer Barry Guy inspired by the covering of Picasso's painting Guernica at the UN as we argued for war with Iraq, realized with a 14-member group that includes violinist Maya Homburger, pianist Agusti Fernandez, percussionists Lucas Nigglie & Ramon Lopez, with songs on texts by Irish poet Kerry Hardie; profound and inspired.


Nicole Mitchell
Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds
(FPE Records)

The second astounding album from Chicago Flutist Nicole Mitchell on the FPE label, continuing her project in the sphere of Sun Ra and Afrofuturists, merging fiction, fantasy and sound in an electro-chamber octet, encompassing contemporary classical, globally oriented fusion, gospel, avant-rock, spoken word, and funk-inspired groove research.


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.


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.


Jason Stein Quartet
Lucille!
(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.


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.


Irene Schweizer / Joey Baron
Live!
(Intakt)

Two generations and two monumental masters of free improvisation from Europe and New York joined together at the unerhort!-Festival Rote Fabrik Zurich in 2015 to unleash this technically awesome and ebullient duo in a fantastic concert of dynamic power, lyrical insight, intense rhythmic support and counterpoint, and profound musical ideas; incredible!


John Edwards / Olie Brice
At Iklectik
(Confront)

Double double bass from the duo of John Edwards and Olie Brice performing live at Iklectik Arts Lab, in London in 2017, a return of sorts as Brice's first live improv gig was opening for the Sunny Murray Trio with Edwards and Bevan; here the two combine, in contrast and confluence as they demonstrate massive technique and concentrative conversation.


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.


Greg Saunier / Mary Halvorson / Ron Miles
New American Songbooks, Volume 1 [VINYL]
(Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records)

Two essential Downtown New York improvisers--guitarist Mary Halvorson and trumpeter Ron Miles--are joined by drummer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof in response to Nate Wooley's request that the three expand the American Songbook, creating astounding instrumental versions of music by Fiona Apple, Elliott Smith, The Partridge Family, John Williams, James P. Johnson, &c.


Derek Bailey / Anthony Braxton
Royal [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

Reissuing the 1984 album of the live collaboration between New York multi-reedist Anthony Braxton and UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, caught in performance at the Royal Hotel, in Luton, England in 1974, and originally intended to be released as two volumes; here the first volume and never-released second volume are in one newly mastered double LP.


Keiji Haino / John Butcher
Light Never Bright Enough [VINYL]
(Otoroku)

Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.


Derek Bailey
Solo Guitar Volume 1 [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

A reissue and remaster of the late free improvising legend Derek Bailey's "Solo Guitar Volume 1" released on Bailey's own Incus label in 1971, is the first in a series of 3 albums from the Honest Jon's label to re-issue Bailey's early albums, this volume adding tracks from previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972; essential.


Derek Bailey / Han Bennink
Derek Bailey & Han Bennink [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

The third volume in Honest Jon's Records reissue of early and essential albums from UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, remastering and adding additional unreleased material, here from Bailey's duo album with Dutch drummer Han Bennink from 1972 recorded in '69, originally issued on Bailey's Incus label, alongside a previously unreleased '70 improv session.


Mary Halvorson
Away With You [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Mary Halvorson continues her string of excellent modern jazz albums with this octet release with fellow guitarist Susan Alcorn, Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon & Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Jacob Garchik (trombone), John Hebert (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).


Angles 9
In Our Midst [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Clean Feed's 2nd LP is their 4th Angles release, expanding saxophonist Martin Kuchen's band to 9 pieces with Mattias Stahl, Johan Berthling, Alexander Zethson, Mats Aleklint, Eirik Hegdal, Goran Kajfes, and Magnus Broo in an album of rare expressiveness and power.


Angles 9
Injuries [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)

Now a nine-piece, Martin Kuchen leads the magnificently powerful Angles band through 7 demanding compositions, with trumpeter Magnus Broo back in the band alongside Alexander Zethson, Mattias Stahl, Jonan Berthling, Andreas Werlin, Eirik Hegdal, Mats Aleklint & Goran Kajfes.


Crys Cole / Oren Ambarchi
Hotel Record [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Black Truffle)

A double LP and the second release from the duo of Crys Cole and Oren Ambarchi, also romantic partners, as they explore their relationship through sound and voice, each side presenting a unique approach to their collaboration while maintaining a certain somnambulist feeling over rich guitar, organ work, and other unfathomable sound.


Mathias Landaeus
Into Life [VINYL]
(Moserobie Music)

Pianist Mathias Landaeus leads his trio with Johnny Aman on bass and Jonas Holgersson on drums through five original pieces, a mazurka by Chopin, and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", an eclectic take on the piano trio blending modern techniques with both traditional and creative compositions.


Nacka Forum (Kajfes / Kullhammar / Berthling / Osgood)
We Are The World [VINYL]
(Moserobie Music)

Nacka Forum, the Scandinavian quartet of Jonas Kullhammar on sax and other winds, Goran Kajfes on trumpet & cornet, Johan Berthling on double bass and Kresten Osgood on drums, in their 5th studio album of lyrical free jazz of massive technical and creative skill.


International Nothing, The
The Power Of Negative Thinking
(Monotype)

The 4th album from The International Nothing, originally the clarinet duo of Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke, now extended with Christian Weber on double bass and Eric Schaefer on percussion, adding new facets to their sonic spectrum of precise microtonal interaction.


Joe McPhee & Chris Corsano
Under A Double Moon [VINYL]
(Roaratorio)

Saxophone and free jazz legend Joe McPhee performing live in Paris with open-minded drummer Chris Corsano, 5 challenging and modern takes on improvisation.


Mary Halvorson
Bending Bridges [2 VINYL LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Limited edition LP of Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson's second recording with her amazing working quintet of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, saxophonist Jon Irabagon, bassist John Hebert, and drummer Ches Smith.


The Thing
Boot! [VINYL]
(The Thing Records)

The sixth studio album from the trio of Mats Gustafsson (saxophones), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (electric bass), and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), the first release on their own label, a record that transforms rock, noise, and improv in intense and exultant ways.


Taylor Bynum Ho
Navigation (Possibility Abstracts X & XI) [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

The 2nd of 3 releases documenting composer/cornetist Taylor Ho Bynums' Navigation project, in 2 LPs of studio recordings with his Sextet: Jim Hobbs on saxophone, Bill Lowe on trombone & tuba, Mary Halvorson on guitar, Ken Filiano on bass, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums & vibraphone.


Peter Brotzmann / Harry Miller / Louis Moholo
Opened, But Hardly Touched [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Cien Fuegos)

Reissue of the superb 1981 FMP album from the trio of Peter Brotzmann on sax and clarinet, Harry Miller on bass, and Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums, recording live in Berlin in 1980.


Danny Fox
Wide Eyed [VINYL]
(Hot Cup Records)

Pianist Danny Fox's trio with bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest and drummer Max Goldman in an album showing how the tight rapport this touring band has developed on the road, performing Fox's melodic and inventive compositions with a wealth of influences and style.


Chris Forsyth / Nate Wooley
Third [VINYL]
(Rekem Records)

The 3rd collaboration between guitarist Chris Forsyth and trumpeter Nate Wooley following "The Duchess of Oysterville" and "Chocolate Monk", here recording live in concert in Philadelphia for the two part "Evening Rage", creating rich sonic palettes of unexpected sound.


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.


Ken Vandermark / Fred Lonberg-Holm
Resistance [VINYL]
(Bocian)

Live recordings from the duo of frequent collaborators Ken Vandermark on sax & reeds and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics performing at Chicago's Heaven Gallery in 2013, for a superb set with surprising twists and turns and a great range of dynamics and approaches.


MV Carbon
The Sun Will Turn On You
(Discombobulate)

New York City based, interdisciplinary artist and composer MV Carbon in an album of voice and sound, built of dark rhythm and sound, adding depth and innuendo to the simplest of songs.


Anthony Davis / Paul Plimley / Al Neil / John Kameel Farah
Past Piano Present | Live at Western Front 1985 - 2015 [VINYL LP with DOWNLOAD]
(Western Front New Music)

Four innovative and creative pianists performing solo at the Western Front between 1985 and 2015--Anthony Davis, Paul Plimley, Al Neil, John Kameel Farah--compiled on this extraordinary LP, the 2nd essential archive from one of Canada's most important performance spaces.


Hauf / Jackson / Stein / Rosaly / Hess / Hartman
Next Delusion [VINYL]
(Shameless)

A powerful band fueled by three woodwind players (Boris Hauf, Keefe Jackson, Jason Stein) and three drummers (Frank Rosaly, Steven Hess, and Michael Hartman), capable of both rage and introspection in collective improvisation that's one part joy, one part catharsis.


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.


Khan Jamal / The Creative Arts Ensemble
Drum Dance to the Motherland [VINYL]
(Eremite)

A definitive vinyl remaster of vibraphonist Khan Jama's 1972 album in a sextet of vibes, marimba, drums, African percussion, glockenspiel, guitar, bass, and live sound effects, a legendary album fusing free jazz, black psychedelia, and early dub elements, a truly unique album from an artist with a profound perspective applying a wide rhythmic spectrum to free jazz.


Keiji Haino / John Butcher
Light Never Bright Enough
(Otoroku)

Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.


Greg Saunier / Mary Halvorson / Ron Miles
New American Songbooks, Volume 1 [VINYL]
(Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records)

Two essential Downtown New York improvisers--guitarist Mary Halvorson and trumpeter Ron Miles--are joined by drummer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof in response to Nate Wooley's request that the three expand the American Songbook, creating astounding instrumental versions of music by Fiona Apple, Elliott Smith, The Partridge Family, John Williams, James P. Johnson, &c.


Borderlands Trio (Stephan Crump / Kris Davis / Eric McPherson)
Asteroidea
(Intakt)

The New York collective trio of bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Eric McPherson focuses on starfish (asteroida), which can regenerate lost sections of itself, as this band creates highly focused group compositions that use melodic elements as rhythm and vice versa, recontextualizing and transforming their confident and masterful playing.


Ivo Perelman / Nate Wooley / Brandon Lopez / Gerald Cleaver
Octagon
(Leo)

The second release pairing Brazilian-born, New York-based saxophonist Ivo Perelman with trumpeter Nate Wooley, in a quartet with bassist Brandon Lopez and drummer Gerald Cleaver, a frequent hard bop configuration, here in an 8 part set of studio recordings that range from exultant and vigorous group interplay to pointillist interaction, a superb album of creative modern jazz.


Derek Bailey / Anthony Braxton
Royal [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

Reissuing the 1984 album of the live collaboration between New York multi-reedist Anthony Braxton and UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, caught in performance at the Royal Hotel, in Luton, England in 1974, and originally intended to be released as two volumes; here the first volume and never-released second volume are in one newly mastered double LP.


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 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.


Keiji Haino / John Butcher
Light Never Bright Enough [VINYL]
(Otoroku)

Japanese avant blues guitarist, vocalist and modern shaman Keiji Haino met UK free improvising vocalist John Butcher in 2012 when Butcher opened for Haino's Fushitsusha band at Cafe Oto; in 2016 they met to play two concerts, one in Hong Kong, one at London's Cafe Oto, the latter resulting in this powerful concert, five dialogs of intertwining reed, guitar and voice.


Derek Bailey
Solo Guitar Volume 1 [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

A reissue and remaster of the late free improvising legend Derek Bailey's "Solo Guitar Volume 1" released on Bailey's own Incus label in 1971, is the first in a series of 3 albums from the Honest Jon's label to re-issue Bailey's early albums, this volume adding tracks from previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972; essential.


Derek Bailey / Han Bennink
Derek Bailey & Han Bennink [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Honest Jons Records)

The third volume in Honest Jon's Records reissue of early and essential albums from UK free improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, remastering and adding additional unreleased material, here from Bailey's duo album with Dutch drummer Han Bennink from 1972 recorded in '69, originally issued on Bailey's Incus label, alongside a previously unreleased '70 improv session.


Roots Magic
Last Kind Words
(Clean Feed)

Deep Blues and Creative Jazz from the Italian septet Roots Magic, following up their "Hoodoo Magic" CD with another compelling album of instrumentals where the track list consists of personal renditions of Delta Blues classics (mostly Charlie Patton) played with an overtly exploratory attitude derived from the Free Jazz tradition.


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.


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.


Mary Halvorson
Away With You [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Mary Halvorson continues her string of excellent modern jazz albums with this octet release with fellow guitarist Susan Alcorn, Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon & Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Jacob Garchik (trombone), John Hebert (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).


Paul Giallorenzo Trio
Flow
(Delmark)

Nine original compositions from pianist Paul Giallorenzo in his 2nd Delmark CD, reducing the band to a classic piano trio with compatriots Joshua Abrams on bass and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, in a passionate album that balances high energy polytonal swing to profound and lyrical ballads, with abstract blues and free-form inventiveness; excellent.


Ideal Bread (Sinton / Knuffke / Radding / Fujiwara)
The Ideal Bread
(KMB Jazz)

This NYC quartet with Josh Sinton, Reuben Raddin, Tomas Fujiwara, & Kirk Knuffke pays tribute to the music of Steve Lacy through reworkings of his compositions.


Angles 9
In Our Midst [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Clean Feed's 2nd LP is their 4th Angles release, expanding saxophonist Martin Kuchen's band to 9 pieces with Mattias Stahl, Johan Berthling, Alexander Zethson, Mats Aleklint, Eirik Hegdal, Goran Kajfes, and Magnus Broo in an album of rare expressiveness and power.


Angles 9
Injuries [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)

Now a nine-piece, Martin Kuchen leads the magnificently powerful Angles band through 7 demanding compositions, with trumpeter Magnus Broo back in the band alongside Alexander Zethson, Mattias Stahl, Jonan Berthling, Andreas Werlin, Eirik Hegdal, Mats Aleklint & Goran Kajfes.


TOTEM> (Eisenbeil / Blancarte / Drury)
Voices of Grain
(New Atlantis)

Interactive, muscular NY improvisation from guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, electric bassist Tom Blancarte, and drummer Andrew Drury, extending Totem>'s intensity & group empathy while expanding their range of expression in compositions balancing free playing and mysterious soundwork.


Okkyung Lee / Christian Marclay
Amalgam
(Northern Spy)

A wild and exciting duo between cellist Okkyung Lee and legendary turntable improviser Christian Marclay performing live at London's Cafe Oto for a single long track that runs through an astonishing dynamic of invention and atmospheres in a gripping and spellbinding set.


Angles 9 (Zethson / Stahl / Broo / Kajfes / Aleklint / Hegdal / Berthling / Werlin / Kuchen)
Disappeared Behind the Sun
(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.


Barry Guy
The Blue Shroud
(Intakt)

A massive work from bassist/composer Barry Guy inspired by the covering of Picasso's painting Guernica at the UN as we argued for war with Iraq, realized with a 14-member group that includes violinist Maya Homburger, pianist Agusti Fernandez, percussionists Lucas Nigglie & Ramon Lopez, with songs on texts by Irish poet Kerry Hardie; profound and inspired.


Nicole Mitchell
Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds
(FPE Records)

The second astounding album from Chicago Flutist Nicole Mitchell on the FPE label, continuing her project in the sphere of Sun Ra and Afrofuturists, merging fiction, fantasy and sound in an electro-chamber octet, encompassing contemporary classical, globally oriented fusion, gospel, avant-rock, spoken word, and funk-inspired groove research.


Aaron Dilloway
Banned/Bent [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

Two sides of "Banned" and "Bent" from experimental sound artist Aaron Dilloway, using synthetic and sampled sounds to create a revolving audio excursion of bizarre sonic substance, thickly mysterious and satisfying.


subterrene
Bathetic Resonance
(Mystery School Records)

Layered and manipulated sound created in the studio and captured through live improvisation to create these rich, resonant compositions from Grant Stewart, a member of Machine Language, Daedal, A Perfect Mirror, The Eschaton Manifest, and The Inference Engine.


Rutger Zuydervelt
Astroneer (Original Game Soundtrack)
(Machinefabriek)

Rutger Zuydervelt AKA Machinefabriek's first game soundtrack is for System Era's Astroneer game, a sci-fi exploration and adventure game, in discrete tracks presenting the themes and melodies that are played continuously in reaction to the action of the player in the game.


subterrene
Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been
(Bad Architect Records)

Rich sonic atmospheres from subterrene, aka Grant Stewart, a member of the 910 Noise collective, using slowly evolving and dovetailing drones that resonate and reveal shimmering beauty, deeply controlled and maintaining aural interest without any sense of impatience, maintaining a steady hand that reveals hidden harmonics amongst beautiful clouds of sound.


Borful Tang
Herd and Unherd
(Gigante Sound)

Borful Tang returns after a 3 year hiatus with this plunderphonic narrative work that cuts up vinyl, field recordings, Christian broadcasts and alien worshippers.


Various Artists
Tesla: Werkstatt_Klangapparate [DVD]
(Edition Rz)

Four artistic projects concerning historic sound devices from Steve Roden & Martin Riches, Thilges and Frank Bretschneider in a DVD of sound and video performance captured at Tesla in Berlin, 2006.


Patrik Torsson
Kolvateserenader
(Hapna)


Patrik Torsson
Gasthamnar [3" CD]
(Hapna)


Jason Crumer
Gentrification Suite [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

Jason Crumer (Aluminum Noise, Now in Darkness World stops turning, Reverse Baptism, &c) in 3 detailed sound works ranging from building quiet burbles to extreme noise responses, a wild ride from rich to stark sound.


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.


Triac (Tatone / Seracini / Polidoro)
In A Room
(Laminal)

Triac is an electronic music trio from Italy formed in the end of 2011 by Rossano Polidoro, Marco Seracini and Augusto Tatone, using laptop, fisa, electric bass, piano synth to investigate minimal ambient music.


Chop Shop
Grey Area [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

Grey is the color of these murky recordings from Scott Konzelmann, AKA Chop Shop, sounding like they were recorded inside a furnace with distant punctuation occasionally contributing to the gloom of this oppressive audio environment.


Johannes Frisch / Ralf Wehowsky
Which Head You're Dancing In?
(Monotype)

Deconstructed sounds from Ralf Wehowsky (RLW) on electronics & Johannes Frisch on double bass, citing Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz" album as an (abstract?) influence, using noise, glitch, acoustics and jump-cut compositional styles that surprise but won't make you want to dance.


Jeph Jerman / Tim Barnes
Matterings
(erstwhile)

The pairing of eccentric sound artist Jeph Jerman with Quakebasket label leader/percussionist Tim Barnes, using unidentifiable sound sources, field recordings, and the occasional acoustic instrument to create unique, curious and absorbing environments.


Murmer
Framework 1-4 [2 CDs]
(Herbal International)

Patrick McGinley (Murmer) in a series of bold experiments with untreated field recordings, exploring notions of musicality within the structures of found sound, written partially as a reaction against the idea of documentary or objective presentation of found sound.


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.


Rydberg (Werner Dafeldecker / Nicolas Bussmann)
Rydberg
(Monotype)

Rydberg was a Swedish physicist with a moon crater named after him, here celebrated by the the duo of Nicholas Bussmann (sampler, electronics) and Werner Dafeldecker (function generator, electronics) in an album blending ambient electronics and muted, guiding rhythms.


Various Artists
Pole Reports from Space [2 CDs]
(Bolt)

An excellent introduction to the Polish Radio Experimental Studio led by Joseph Patkowski, through music associated with space imagery and science fiction, with works from Krzysztof Penderecki, Zdenek Liska, Arturas Bumsteinas, Edward Artemeiv, Marcin Cichy, and Sultan Hagavik.


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.


Various Artists
30/4
(Fragment Factory)

Germany's Fragment Factory released this compilation to celebrate their 4th anniversary, with artists Joachim Montessuis, AMK, Aaron Dilloway, Philip Marshall, Krube., Michael Barthel, GX Jupitter-Larsen, Michael Muennich, Giuseppe Ielasi, Leif Elggren and Michael and Basil Esposito.


Takahiro Kawaguchi / Utah Kawasaki
Amorphous Spores
(erstwhile)

Unusual sound work from the Japanese duo of Takahiro Kawaguchi and Utah Kawasaki (Astro Twin), using self-made instruments and electronics to create unexpected sonic emissions that follow curious paths separated by periods of quiet or textural sound.


Takuji Naka / Tim Olive
The New Attractive
(EM Records)

The magnetic heads on Takuji Naka's cassette decks and Tim Olive's magnetic pickups explain The New "Attractive" aspect of the title, as this duo use pliable metals, analog electronics and a battered spring reverb unit to create a unique journey in sound.


MV Carbon
The Sun Will Turn On You
(Discombobulate)

New York City based, interdisciplinary artist and composer MV Carbon in an album of voice and sound, built of dark rhythm and sound, adding depth and innuendo to the simplest of songs.


Michael Pisaro
Hearing Metal 1
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Greg Stuart realizes Michael Pisaro's first and haunting "Hearing Metal" on tam-tam, a large piece of metal which is mic-ed and recorded to create a vast and rich sound when played by bow or hand, here in 3 compositions layering the instrument in combination with sine tones.


Krzysztof Penderecki / Eugeniusz Rudnik
Homo Ludens [2 CDs]
(Bolt)

In the 1960s Eugeniusz Rudnik and Krzysztof Penderecki used the Polish Experminental Radio as a laboratory for their experiments in electronic and tape music, here in a 2 CD release presenting these remarkable and forward-thinking works of great technical skill and creativity.


Bardeau / Couratier / Lecinte / Lemaire
Quaturo Machaut
(Ayler)

Taking their name from composer Guillaume de Machaut, Quentin Biardeau directs his saxophone quartet as they reinterpret his 1365 polyphonic mass "Messe de Nostre Dame", using the resonance of the the Abbey of Noirlac, France to enhance these beautifully paced compositions.


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.


Giuliano d'Angiolini
Cantilena
(Another Timbre)

Six chamber works by the Paris-based Italian composer Giuliano d Angiolini, following his Edition Rz release by presenting more examples of Giuliano's careful and particular use of indeterminate elements in a series of compositions that are musically exquisite.


Chiyoko Szlavnics
During a Lifetime
(Another Timbre)

Three works from Canadian composer Chiyoko Szlavnics, two electroacoustic compositions incorporating sinewaves, one with a saxophone quartet and the other with two accordions, two flutes and two percussionists; and a string trio of long sustained tones and slow glissandi.


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.


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.


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.


Olivia Block
Olivia Block
(Another Timbre)

Olivia Block created this unique suite for piano and organ, played inside and out, over a span of several years, developing techniques inside the piano through rehearsals and performances, sketching the basic ideas out, including motivation, physical materials etc, leaving room for improvisation between the composed bits, here executed in Chicago in 2017.


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.


John Cage
Imaginary Landscapes
(Hat [now] ART)


Giuliano d'Angiolini
Simmetrie Di Ritorno
(Edition Rz)

Six compositions for chamber ensembles from composer Giuliano d'Angiolini, performed by Ensemble 2e2m, Quatuor Parisii, Franck Ollu, Pierre Roullier, Monique Bouvet, &c.


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.


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: Lang, Klaus / Arditti String Quartet
20 Jahre Inventionen III
(Edition Rz)

The string quartet sei-jaku by German composer Klaus Lang, documented on this CD, was performed on June 30, 2002 in the Grober Sendesaal of the SFB Berlin by the Arditti String Quartet during the festival Inventionen 2002.


Orchestra Of The National Center For Korean Traditional Performing Arts, The
Yomillak: The Selection Of Korean Classical Music
(Edition Rz)

Orchestra of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts performs selection of Korean Classical Music, including "Yomillak", first performed in 1447, along with 3 other historic works.


Ana-Maria Avram / Dumitrescu, Iancu
Live in London (I)
(Edition Modern)

Electro-acoustic composers Ana-Maria Avram and Iancu Dumitrescu with large groups including the Hyperion Ensemble, plus Tim Hodginkson on clarinet, performing in Conway Hall, London in 2008.


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.


John Cage & Domencio Scarlatti
Changes
(Hat [now] ART)

Pianist Pi-Hsien Chen performs both the playful and quirky sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti juxtaposed to John Cage's I Ching developed compositions, "Music of Changes", which complement each other in unexpected and sublime ways.


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.


Morton Feldman played by John Tilbury & Philip Thomas
Two Pianos And Other Pieces 1953-1969 [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

"Two Pianos" is one of Morton Feldman's most experimental and radical works, performed here by John Tilbury & Philip Thomas; plus lesser known works including 'Piece for Four Pianos', 'Between Categories', 'False Relationships and the Extended Ending' and 'Two Pieces for Three Pianos'.


Magnus Granberg
How Deep is the Ocean, How High is the Sky?
(Another Timbre)

Swedish composer Magnus Granberg (Skogen) places baroque instruments alongside prepared piano, objects and electronics in an exquisite 60-minute piece performed with an excellent set of performers including Cyril Bondi, d'incise, Eric Ruffing, Christoph Schiller, &c.


Anthony Pateras / Erkki Veltheim
Entertainment = Control
(Immediata)

Acoustic hallucinations for violin and piano from the duo of violinist Erkki Veltheim and pianist Anthony Pateras, exploring spectral techniques throughout extended temporal structures to generate unrelenting harmonic waves that create a singular psycho-harmonic texture.


Jurg Frey
Circles and Landscapes - works for solo piano played by Philip Thomas
(Another Timbre)

Five new or recent pieces from composer Jurg Frey, alongside his 1993 work "In Memoriam Cornelius Cardew", all performed by pianist Philip Thomas, presenting slowly unfolding compositions emphasizing the physical space and time within which sounds are situated.


Quasar (quatuor de saxophones)
Du souffle
(Collection QB)

Montreal saxophone quartet Quasar (Jean-Marc Bouchard, Marie-Chantal Leclair, Mathieu Leclair, & Andre Leroux) in their 3rd incredible album of contemporary saxophone compositions, presenting 14 rich and varied compositions, including commissioned and premier works.


Christian Wolff / Wandelweiser Komponisten Ensemble
Stones
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Antoine Beuger, Burkhard Schlothauer, Chico Mello, Jurg Frey, Kunsu Shim, Michael Pisaro, and Thomas Stiegler participate in this realization of Christian Wolff's compositions to make sounds or draw sounds out of stones, alone or with other surfaces, acoustically or amplified.


Ruins
Burning Stone [REISSUE]
(Magaibutsu Limited)

Tatsuya Yoshida's insanely complex and exhilarating rock project Ruins started around 1986, and bassist Ryuichi Masuda (also a member of Koenji Hyakkei) has been with him since the early days; this CD reissues the 1992 Shimmy Disc album, originally an LP, here with the CD bonus tracks.


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.


Peter Hammill
From The Trees
(Fie! Records)

Peter Hammill continues his immense solo career, intricately linked to his work with Van Der Graaf Generator, but more focused in intelligent lyrics, profound vocal layering, and fluid song structures, a unique voice who for more than 35 studio albums has developed an approach to songwriting and intellectual observation of subtle sophistication and detail.


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.


Zywizna: Roginski, Raphael with Genowefa Lenarcik
plays Zaswiec Niesiacku and other Kurpian songs
(Bolt)

Guitarist Raphael Roginski reinterprets the music of the Kurpi region of Poland, performed with vocalist Genowefa Lenarcik who was born in 1940 in the village of Krobia, part of the Kurpi region, and is the daughter of folk singing legend Stanislaw Brzozowy; together they bring out the rich heritage of this region, expanded by the natural sounds of the forests of Northeaster Poland.


B.E.P.
Hamburger Midnight
(Inkanish)


This Heat
Out of Cold Storage Box Set (6 CDs)
(This Is/Recommended Records)


Henry Cow
Concerts [remastered]
(Recommended Records)

Henry Cow captured in concert between their "In Praise of Learning of Learning" and "Western Culture" releases. in concerts that featured Robert Wyatt in his last public performances.


Uchihashi Kazuhisa / Yoshida Tatsuya
Improvisations 2
(Magaibutsu)


Peter Hammill
Singularity
(Fie! Records)


Various Artists
Recommended Records Sampler [2 CDs]
(Recommended Records)

Originally released in 1982, this is a collection of specially commissioned and (at the time) newly recorded pieces by the most interesting groups and individuals then in the ReR catalogue.


Hotel Hotel
The Sad Sea
(Silber Media)

Instrumental post rock inspired by a torturous ocean journey: the sounds of hurricanes funneled through violins, guitars, drums, & effect pedals; nice squid cover!


Deluxx
The Tidy Boy [VINYL]
(Spirit of Orr)

One part Sonic Youth, one part early Residents, Deluxx is the anomalous output of NY/Boston transplant Mark Peretta, a one-man band of crazy riffs and warped song-spieling.


Seijaku
Mail From FUSHITSUSHA
(Doubtmusic)

Guitarist/vocalist Haino Keiji, bassist Nasuno Mitsuru and drummer Ichiraku Yoshimitsu play the 21-st century blues, dark, distorted and dynamic rock for your shattered future.


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.


Uchihashi Kazuhisa / Yoshida Tatsuya
Improvisations 4 [DVD AUDIO + IMAGES]
(Magaibutsu)

The 4th improvisation release of drummer Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins, Koenji, &c) and guitarist Uchihasi Kazuhisa (Altered States) is a DVD audio release presenting 36 remarkable live tracks from 6 concerts recorded 2004-2012.


Miriodor
Cobra Fakir
(Cuneiform)

Miriodor continues to impressive with their intricate and melodic blend of rock and improvisation, here as a trio of Pascal Globensky (keyboards), Remi Leclerc (drums) and Bernard Falaise (guitars), in 11 intriguing and ingenious compositions sure to delight.


PAK & Ron Anderson / Nonoko Yoshida / Tatsuya Yoshida
NYJPN
(Magaibutsu)

A CD to complement the 2014 Japanese tour of PAK (Nonoko Yoshida on sax & Tatsuya Yoshida on drums) with NY bassist Ron Anderson, complex avant rock with strong melodic hooks and crazy technical prowess, highly recommended!


Papal Bull
Argot Of Incomprehension
(Discombobulate / Sing ing Knives)

A bizarre album of vocalizations, dictaphone recordings, and other phlegmatic and spittled output from the UK duo of Jon Marshall and Joe Murray, who appropriately name this strange album with the word "Incomprehension", a word which the 14 tracks of this CD live up to.


Seijaku
Last Live [2 CDs]
(Doubtmusic)

Long form twisted blues from the Japanese Seijaku Trio of Keiji Haino (guitar, voice, violin & flute), Mitsuru Nasuno (bass) and Yoshimitsu Ichiraku (drums), performing live at Club Goodman in Tokyo in 2014, for an album of profoundly introspective and dark music.


The Artaud Beats
Logos
(Recommended Records)

After performing at Jean-Herve Peron's 2010 Avant Garde Festival, Yumi Hara (keys, violin & voice), Geoff Leigh (winds & electronics), John Greaves (bass & piano) and Chris Cutler (drums & percussion) present their first studio album mixing open-minded composed and improvised music.


Sarah Murcia
Never Mind The Future
(Ayler)

Revisiting Sex Pistols' "Never Mind the Bollocks" in a band with Benoit Delbecq on piano, Gilles Coronado on guitar, Olivier Py on sax, Franck Vaillant on drums, and Sarah Murcia on bass, splitting the vocals with Mark Tompkins in a unique take on a punk classic.


Kazuto Shimizu / Yoshida Tatsuya / Nasyuno Mitsuru
SYN LIVE
(Magaibutsu Limited)

The Japanese improvising rock trio of Kazuto Shimizu on keyboards, Nasyuno Mitsuru on bass, and Yoshida Tatsuya on drums performing live at Club Goodman in Akihabara, Japan, 2016 for technically superb, fast paced, turn-on-a-dime, joyful prog-oriented playing.


Bill Orcutt / Chris Corsano
Live At Various / Various Live [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Palilalia)

Reissuing 2 Palilalia cassettes from the tour following guitarist Bill Orcutt (here on electric) and drummer/percussionist Chris Corsano's "The Raw and the Cooked" LP, both in excellent form as they play Northampton, Mexico City, Brooklyn, Montreal, Cleveland and Rochester.


Yoshida Tatsuya / Cho Sokkyo / Tzboguchi Masayasu
TYU
(Magaibutsu)

The frequent and super-speed improvising duo of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi join forces with Tzboguchi Masayasu on keyboards and vocoder for an energetic, melodic, and at times outlandish album that pays homage to astonishingly complex rock forms.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Angles 9 (Zethson / Stahl / Broo / Kajfes / Aleklint / Hegdal / Berthling / Werlin / Kuchen)
Disappeared Behind the Sun
(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.


Neukollner (Denzler / von Schlippenbach / Grip / Johansson)
Sektion 3-7 [2 CDs]
(Umlaut Records)

The Neukollner trio of Bertrand Denzler on sax, Joel Grip on double bass, and Sven-Ake Johnasson on drums is joined by pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach for a double album of exhilarating free jazz that conjurs standards-based jazz through well-structured instant compositions.


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.


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.


BassDrumBone + guests Joe Lovano / Jason Moran
The Long Road [2 CDs]
(Auricle)

The 40th Anniversary release for the creative free improvising jazz trio of Gerry Hemingway (drums), Mark Helias (bass) and Ray Anderson (trombone), with guests Joe Lovano on sax and Jason Moran on piano; superb lyrical soulful collective improvisation of the finest order.


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.


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.


Corsano / Courviosier / Wooley
Salt Task
(Relative Pitch)

First recorded meeting of Chris Corsano (drums), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), and Nate Wooley (trumpet) in the studio in Brooklyn, 2015, for a completely open, sensitive set of improvisations that are constantly on the edge, at times explosive, and always in a focused dialog.


Harris Eisenstadt
Recent Developments
(Songlines)

NY Composer and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt furthers his exploration into long-form composition and unusual instrumentation in his 20th release as a bandleader, with a spectacular improv ensemble including Nate Wooley, Jeb Bishop, Han Roberts, Anna Webber, &c. &c.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Morton Feldman
Patterns In A Chromatic Field [2 CDs]
(Hat [now] ART)

Feldman's idiosyncratic large composition is also one of his more active, influenced by John Cage, and using a score that defines organizational procedures in chordal and chromatic patterns, as realized in this '93 recording by Rohan de Saram (cello) and Marianne Schroeder (piano).


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.


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.


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.


Evan Parker / John Russel / Ian Brighton / Phillip Wachsmann / Marcio Mattos / Trevor Taylor
Reunion: Live From Cafe Oto
(FMR)

London's Cafe Oto organized a reunion of String Thing, guitarist Ian Brighton's project with violinist Phillip Wachsmann, bassist Marcio Mattos, & Trevor Taylor on percussion and electronics, adding guitarist John Russell and saxophonist Evan Parker, here capturing an impressive night of improv, and Brighton's first public appearance in nearly 40 years.


Ballister (Renpis / Lonberg-Holm / Nilssen-Love)
Slag
(Aerophonic)

The trans-Atlantic Ballister trio of Dave Rempis (saxes), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello & electronics) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums & percussion) release their 6th album, a live concert at Cafe Oto in London in 2015, a hard-hitting, euphoric release of free-improvising power.


Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne
Forage
(Screwgun)

Pianist Matt Mitchell, a member of saxophonist Tim Berne's Snakeoil, releases a solo album of Berne compositions, taking the reedist's typically frenetic material into unexpected territory, revealing dark beauty and intensely introspective aspects to Berne's music.


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.


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.


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.


Willem Breuker Kollektief
Angouleme, 18 Mai 1980 [2 CDs]
(Fou Records)

The late Willem Breuker's Kollektief was an ensemble focusing on jazz roots in theatrical and dramatic performances, emphasing the fun aspects of historic jazz bands with energetic orchestration and soloing, described as a "mix of circus music, jazz and improvisation".


Bill Orcutt
Bill Orcutt
(Palilalia)

Guitarist Bill Orcutt's self-titled solo album brings a mix of standards and original compositions, starting with Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and eclectically running us to "The Star Spangled Banner", each song unfolding as he delivers in an unhurried way with rich sustain and reverb on a 4-string Telecaster, performing at The Living Room in San Francisco.


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!


Yoshida Tatsuya / Cho Sokkyo / Tzboguchi Masayasu
TYU
(Magaibutsu)

The frequent and super-speed improvising duo of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi join forces with Tzboguchi Masayasu on keyboards and vocoder for an energetic, melodic, and at times outlandish album that pays homage to astonishingly complex rock forms.


Keith Rowe
The Room Extended [4 CDs]
(erstwhile)

A massive and rewarding work of organized sound extending ea-improviser, AMM guitarist Keith Rowe's work "The Room" into a massive 4 CD set of compositions, layering work familiar from his recent improvisations with classical compositions, field recordings, &c. &c.


Mats Gustafsson / Craig Taborn
Ljubljana [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Celebrating the 400th release of Clean Feed Records, Swedish free jazz phenomenon, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson meets with NY jazz pianist Craig Taborn for an unlikely yet highly satisfying encounter that pushes each improviser into unfamiliar, edge-of-their seats, territory.


Harris Eisenstadt Canada Day (w/ Wooley / Bauder / Niggenkemper)
On Parade in Parede
(Clean Feed)

A live recording of drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day band performing as a quartet with trumpeter Nate Wooley, saxophonist Matt Bauder, and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, recorded at SUMP during their 2016 European tour, an exemplary set of free playing over a great set of original compositions, including a large work in 3 sections and 5 parts.


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.


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.


Albert Ayler Quartet with Don Cherry
European Radio Studio Recordings 1964
(Hatology)

Recorded during Albert Ayler's 1964 European tour with Don Cherry on cornet, Gary Peacock on bass, and Sunny Murray on drums, perhaps Ayler's best band and most creative period, well captured at Hilversum in The Netherlands and for Danish Radio Copenhagen, Denmark.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Jean-Brice Godet Quartet (Godet / Attias / Niggenkemper / Costa)
Mujo
(Fou Records)

The debut album of French clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet, recording with a New York quartet of Michael Attias on alto sax, Pascal Niggenkemper on doublebass, and Carlo Costa on drums for seven tracks of adventerous original compositions, using weaving lines in melodic heads that propel his sidemen to lyrically rich solos and asides.


Mostly Other People Do The Killing
Loafer's Hollow
(Hot Cup)

New Yorks' Mostly Other People Do the Killing step back in time to the 1930s-40's in modern swing-ear compositions from bassist Moppa Elliott, performed with the amazing septet of Steven Bernstein, Jon Irabagon, Kevin Shea, Ron Stabinksy, David Taylor, and Brandon Seabrook.


Angelica Sanchez Trio (w/ Michael Formanek / Tyshawn Sorey)
Float the Edge
(Clean Feed)

Fiction, folklore and everyday sounds fuel the compositions of NY pianist Angelica Sanchez, with her trio of Michael Formanek on double bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, the band explores concepts of lucid dreaming, backyard birds, novels, mythical creatures and ancient structures, in a magnificent album of inspired free improvisation.