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  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!


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

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


Dunmall / Schubert / Dessanay / Bashford
Sign Of The Times
(FMR)

With packaging embellished by 5 images of Paul Dunmall's wood engravings, this album catches the saxophonist on soprano, alto and tenor in the company of saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert on soprano and alto, with Sebastiano Dessanay on bass and Jim Bashford on drums, performing live at Lamp Tavern, in Birmingham for an album of intertwining reeds and solid rhythmic support.


Peter Kuhn Trio (Kuhn / Motl / Hubbard)
Intention
(FMR)

Clarinetist and bass clarinetist Peter Kuhn defines his "intentions" with his trio of bassist Kyle Motl and drummer Nathan Hubbard, recording in the studio in 2017 for an album of determined, informed and demanding free improvisation, a reflection of Kuhn's life and his direction to create superb modern jazz music with power, release, and inventive joy.


Paul Dunmall / Percy Pursglove / Tony Orrell
Nothing in Stone
(FMR)

Recording at Jazz at the Fringe in Bristol in 2017, saxophonist Paul Dunmall shows his Coltrane influence in three extended improvisation with the trio of long-time collaborator Tony Orrell on drums and percussion, and bassist and trumpeter Percy Pursglove, in a concert that presents masterful playing, impressive creative asides, and insightful soloing.


Szilard Mezei Trio (w/ Malina / Csik)
Cink
(FMR)

Blending Serbian ethnic flavors, rich experience in both improvised and compositional/symphonic music, with inventive and creative free improvisation, viola player Szilard Mezei's leads his trio with double bassist Ervin Malina and drummer Istvan Csik through seven original compositions, two of which were captured live in performance in Novi Sad.


Susana Silva Santos
All The Rivers | Live At Panteao Nacional
(Clean Feed)

Exploring the ambient sound of the immense marble temple of the Portuguese National Pantheon, trumpeter Susana Santos Silva recorded this beautiful and spiritual solo improvisation as part of the Rescaldo Festival, adding tin whistle and bells as her stunning tone and impressive technique resonated and invoked the spirit of this 17th century monument.


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

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


Rose / Kellers / Roder
New World
(FMR)

Exceptional improvisation with a dark underpinning and masterful technique from the Berlin-based collective trio of Simon Rose on baritone and alto saxophones, Willi Keller on drums, and Jan Roder on double bass, recording in the studio and mixed by Olaf Rupp, for an intense ride through seven recordings with titles like "Human Head" or "That Metal Smell".


Delta Saxophone Quartet
Bowie, Berlin & Beyond
(FMR)

The UK's Delta Saxophone Quartet of Chris Caldwell, Peter Whyman, Graeme Blevins and Tim Holmes, known for their interpretations of compositional and popular music, take on the music of David Bowie, particularly focused on his Berlin years, and also connected pieces from Brian Eno's ambient output, and Brecht's "Alabama Song" in reference to Bowie's "Baal" album.


Jon Strom Rune Quintet
Fragments
(Clean Feed)

Playing both upright & electric bass and doubling that with 2nd bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen, Jon Rune Strom leads his quintet of young Norwegian players--trumpeter Thomas Johansson, saxophonist Andre Roligheten, and drummer Andreas Wildhagen--for a live set at one of Norway's premiere jazz clubs, Nasjonal Jazzscene, for a jazz album of powerfully expressive free playing.


Michael Dessen Trio
Somewhere In The Upstream
(Clean Feed)

Blending the acoustic aspects of his regularly performing trio with unusual electronics, trombonist Michael Dessen's NY trio with bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss carve out a unique territory that balances lyrical, aggressive, and swinging aspects of free jazz with other-worldly interactions, in an album honoring late saxophonist Yusef Lateef.


John Cage
Ryoanji
(Hat [now] ART)

21 years after visiting the sparse rock and sand garden Ryoan-ji (Peacful Dragon) in Kyoto he wrote this piece, here in a remastered and redesigned 2nd edition.


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.


John Cage
Sonatas & Interludes (1946 - 1948)
(Hat [now] ART)

John Cage composed these 20 sonatas and "interludes" from 1946-1948, unique and inventive compositions for conventional and prepared piano, which noted Cage interpreter James Tenney recorded in 2002.


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.


Roscoe Mitchell / Matthew Shipp
Accelerated Projection
(RogueArt)

A masterful concert recorded at Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy in 2005 between Chicago AACM legendary saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell, performing on alto and soprano saxophones, and New York pianist Matthew Shipp, a member of Mitchell's Note Factor for 10 years, here presenting a 7 part work, pushing and challenging each other to great heights.


Igor Lumpert / Innertextures (Ward / Tordini / Grohowski)
Eleven
(Clean Feed)

The 3rd release of saxophonist Igor Lumpert's Innertextures, expanded to a quartet with the Chicago saxophonist Greg Ward joining the previous trio of Chris Tordini on double bass, and now with Kenny Grohowski on drums, with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson joining on two tracks and bass clarinetist John Ellis on another, all performing Lumpert's exuberant and clever compositions.


John Cage
Imaginary Landscapes
(Hat [now] ART)


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

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


Morton Feldman
Clarinet & String Quartet
(Hat [now] ART)

2 works for clarinet and string quartet, active compositions with a unique perspective in sound & texture; 2 versions of the 2 part 1961 work, and the larger 1983 composition.


Karlheinz Stockhausen
Mantra (performed by Mark Knoop, Roderick Chadwick and Newton Armstrong)
(Hat [now] ART)

Stockhausen's late 60s composition "Mantra" was a return to his intricately systematised approach to musical construction, expanding the possibilities and potentialities of the serial principle to allow for more melodic and embraceable compositions.


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.


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

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


Nakatani / Kawabata / Chou
Perigee [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD CODE]
(Astral Spirits)

Perigree: when the moon is closest to the earth: this unique album of free improvisation joins world traveling percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, guitarist Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple, Mainliner, etc) and cellist Henna Chou in an album of mystical sound, from bowing percussion, long string tones, muted riffs and disquieting rhythm; consummate and cathartic.


Third Coast Ensemble
Wrecks
(RogueArt)

Merging France's Nautilis Ensemble with musicians from Chicago created this large improvising orchestra, here in a new suite composed by Rob Mazurek and dedicated to Great Lake Michigan and the devestation of thousands of shipwrecks over many centuries, using historical data, first hand accounts of shipwrecks off both shores, magical realism and steampunk aesthetics.


Dunmall / Schubert / Dessanay / Bashford
Sign Of The Times
(FMR)

With packaging embellished by 5 images of Paul Dunmall's wood engravings, this album catches the saxophonist on soprano, alto and tenor in the company of saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert on soprano and alto, with Sebastiano Dessanay on bass and Jim Bashford on drums, performing live at Lamp Tavern, in Birmingham for an album of intertwining reeds and solid rhythmic support.


Peter Kuhn Trio (Kuhn / Motl / Hubbard)
Intention
(FMR)

Clarinetist and bass clarinetist Peter Kuhn defines his "intentions" with his trio of bassist Kyle Motl and drummer Nathan Hubbard, recording in the studio in 2017 for an album of determined, informed and demanding free improvisation, a reflection of Kuhn's life and his direction to create superb modern jazz music with power, release, and inventive joy.


Paul Dunmall / Percy Pursglove / Tony Orrell
Nothing in Stone
(FMR)

Recording at Jazz at the Fringe in Bristol in 2017, saxophonist Paul Dunmall shows his Coltrane influence in three extended improvisation with the trio of long-time collaborator Tony Orrell on drums and percussion, and bassist and trumpeter Percy Pursglove, in a concert that presents masterful playing, impressive creative asides, and insightful soloing.


Szilard Mezei Trio (w/ Malina / Csik)
Cink
(FMR)

Blending Serbian ethnic flavors, rich experience in both improvised and compositional/symphonic music, with inventive and creative free improvisation, viola player Szilard Mezei's leads his trio with double bassist Ervin Malina and drummer Istvan Csik through seven original compositions, two of which were captured live in performance in Novi Sad.


Susana Silva Santos
All The Rivers | Live At Panteao Nacional
(Clean Feed)

Exploring the ambient sound of the immense marble temple of the Portuguese National Pantheon, trumpeter Susana Santos Silva recorded this beautiful and spiritual solo improvisation as part of the Rescaldo Festival, adding tin whistle and bells as her stunning tone and impressive technique resonated and invoked the spirit of this 17th century monument.


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

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


Rose / Kellers / Roder
New World
(FMR)

Exceptional improvisation with a dark underpinning and masterful technique from the Berlin-based collective trio of Simon Rose on baritone and alto saxophones, Willi Keller on drums, and Jan Roder on double bass, recording in the studio and mixed by Olaf Rupp, for an intense ride through seven recordings with titles like "Human Head" or "That Metal Smell".


Delta Saxophone Quartet
Bowie, Berlin & Beyond
(FMR)

The UK's Delta Saxophone Quartet of Chris Caldwell, Peter Whyman, Graeme Blevins and Tim Holmes, known for their interpretations of compositional and popular music, take on the music of David Bowie, particularly focused on his Berlin years, and also connected pieces from Brian Eno's ambient output, and Brecht's "Alabama Song" in reference to Bowie's "Baal" album.


Jon Strom Rune Quintet
Fragments
(Clean Feed)

Playing both upright & electric bass and doubling that with 2nd bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen, Jon Rune Strom leads his quintet of young Norwegian players--trumpeter Thomas Johansson, saxophonist Andre Roligheten, and drummer Andreas Wildhagen--for a live set at one of Norway's premiere jazz clubs, Nasjonal Jazzscene, for a jazz album of powerfully expressive free playing.


Michael Dessen Trio
Somewhere In The Upstream
(Clean Feed)

Blending the acoustic aspects of his regularly performing trio with unusual electronics, trombonist Michael Dessen's NY trio with bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss carve out a unique territory that balances lyrical, aggressive, and swinging aspects of free jazz with other-worldly interactions, in an album honoring late saxophonist Yusef Lateef.


John Cage
Ryoanji
(Hat [now] ART)

21 years after visiting the sparse rock and sand garden Ryoan-ji (Peacful Dragon) in Kyoto he wrote this piece, here in a remastered and redesigned 2nd edition.


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.


John Cage
Sonatas & Interludes (1946 - 1948)
(Hat [now] ART)

John Cage composed these 20 sonatas and "interludes" from 1946-1948, unique and inventive compositions for conventional and prepared piano, which noted Cage interpreter James Tenney recorded in 2002.


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.


Roscoe Mitchell / Matthew Shipp
Accelerated Projection
(RogueArt)

A masterful concert recorded at Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy in 2005 between Chicago AACM legendary saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell, performing on alto and soprano saxophones, and New York pianist Matthew Shipp, a member of Mitchell's Note Factor for 10 years, here presenting a 7 part work, pushing and challenging each other to great heights.


Igor Lumpert / Innertextures (Ward / Tordini / Grohowski)
Eleven
(Clean Feed)

The 3rd release of saxophonist Igor Lumpert's Innertextures, expanded to a quartet with the Chicago saxophonist Greg Ward joining the previous trio of Chris Tordini on double bass, and now with Kenny Grohowski on drums, with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson joining on two tracks and bass clarinetist John Ellis on another, all performing Lumpert's exuberant and clever compositions.


John Cage
Imaginary Landscapes
(Hat [now] ART)


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

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


Morton Feldman
Clarinet & String Quartet
(Hat [now] ART)

2 works for clarinet and string quartet, active compositions with a unique perspective in sound & texture; 2 versions of the 2 part 1961 work, and the larger 1983 composition.


Karlheinz Stockhausen
Mantra (performed by Mark Knoop, Roderick Chadwick and Newton Armstrong)
(Hat [now] ART)

Stockhausen's late 60s composition "Mantra" was a return to his intricately systematised approach to musical construction, expanding the possibilities and potentialities of the serial principle to allow for more melodic and embraceable compositions.


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.


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

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


Third Coast Ensemble
Wrecks
(RogueArt)

Merging France's Nautilis Ensemble with musicians from Chicago created this large improvising orchestra, here in a new suite composed by Rob Mazurek and dedicated to Great Lake Michigan and the devestation of thousands of shipwrecks over many centuries, using historical data, first hand accounts of shipwrecks off both shores, magical realism and steampunk aesthetics.


Miller / Martino / Northover
The Dinner Party
(FMR)

A collective free improvising trio active on the London jazz scene for the last few years, comprised of Kurt Weil interpreter, pianist Vladimir Miller whose first quartet was formed in 1987; double bassist Pierpaolo Martino, who studied with Joelle Leandre and Mark Dresser; and saxophonist Adrian Northover known for The Remote Viewers and London Improvisers Orchestra.


Kabas + Luis Vicente + Carlos Godinho
Negen / Live at SMUP [2 CDs]
(FMR)

The Belgian creative improvising quartet Kabas of Jan Daelman on flute, Thijs Troch on piano, Nils Vermeulen on double bass, and Elias Devoldere on drums for a 2-CD release, one album in studio with trumpeter Luis Vicente (Deux Maisons, Chamber 4), and one live at Portugal's SMUP with both Vicente and percussionist Carlos Godinho (Variable Geometry Orchestra).


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.


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).


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.


Ab Baars & Terrie Ex
Shifting Sands [VINYL]
(Terp Records)

Dutch saxophonist Ab Baars and guitarist Terrie Ex last recorded together in 2000 for their "Hef" album, reuniting in 2015 in Amsterdam for this well-rounded and exhilarating duo album, with Ex on electric guitar and Baars on tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet and shakuhachi, demonstrating both player's growth and continued joy in improvisation.


Otomo Yoshihide / Paal Nilssen-Love
[VINYL]
(JVTLANDT)

The fiery, complex and exultant duo of drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love and Otomo Yoshihide on electric guitar, performing at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse in May 2013, an intense and rewarding set from two authoritative improvisers.


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!


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

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


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.


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.


Kodian Trio
II [VINYL]
(Trost Records)

The uniquely voiced free improvising Kodian Trio formed of saxophonist Colin Webster using aggressive techniques and unusual approaches to his horn, electric guitarist Dirk Serries (vidnaObmana) throwing spiky lines in forceful and unorthodox dialog, and in-demand UK drummer Andrew Lisle providing underpinning and punctuation, in six far-ranging and impressive tracks.


Made to Break
Trebuchet [VINYL]
(Trost Records)

The eighth release from Ken Vandermark's hard-hitting quartet with Austrian electronic improviser Christof Kurzmann, Netherlands bassist Jasper Stadhouders, and Chicago drummer and frequent Vandermark collaborator Tim Daisy, for 3 vigorous and extreme pieces dedicated to Shellac, Susan Sontag, and Kerry James Marshall; powerful, informed, essential.


Dog Faced Hermans
Humans Fly [VINYL]
(Sorcerer Records)

Sharing guitarist Andy Moor of The Ex, this quartet's first album established them as a truly alternative and intelligent rock band that incorporated free playing, a band literate and technically skilled but upholding a punk/no-wave drive and determination, with political and socially conscious attitudes, and superlative upbeat and danceable music.


Thomas Dimuzio / Alan Courtis
Monk Style or Scream [VINYL]
(Monotype)

One long-form sound composition each from Argentinian guitarist and sound artist Alan Courtis and San Francisco experimenter Thomas Dimuzio, each developing their track using sound sources provided by the other artist, which they manipulated, layered and morphed into these fascinating side-long works, presented together on green translucent vinyl.


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.


Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity
Live in Europe [VINYL 3 LPs + 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.


Daniel Carter / William Parker / Federico Ughi
The Dream [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)

This album was developed to present Daniel Carter, typically a wind/reed/trumpeter player, on an album that included his piano playing, which then advanced by adding the goal of both Carter and long-time collaborator, drummer Federico Ughi, to record with bassist William Parker, who rounds out this excellent trio on bass, tuba and shakuhachi.


Sabir Mateen (w/ Steve Swell / Matt Lavelle / Matthew Heyner / Michael Thompson)
Prophecies Come To Pass [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)

Saxophonist Sabir Mateen's NY based Shapes, Textures, and Sound Ensemble with Steve Swell on trombone, Matt Lavelle on trumpet, Matthew Heyner on bass and Michael T.A. Thompson on drums, run though a gamut of post-bop and collective, creative jazz forms with energy, incredible dexterity, and tremendous group interplay, a great example of the modern spirit of jazz.


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).


The Group (Abdullah / Brown / Bang / Sirone / Hopkins / Cyrille)
Live [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A previously unreleased concert recording from 1986 of a group of leading out jazz artists (Billy Bang, Fred Hopkins, Andrew Cyrille, &c.) playing original compositions as well as a cover of Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat".


Tetuzi Akiyama / Tom Carter / Christian Kiefer
The Darkened Mirror [VINYL]
(Monotype)

The guitar trio of Tetuzi Akiyama, Tom Carter and Christian Kiefer with guests Scott Leftridge on bass and Chip Conrad on percussion in a set of beautiful works bringing out the best of these 3 acclaimed players.


Jaap Blonk
Mixed From Heaven [VINYL]
(Plant Migration Records)

Loose remixes of Jaap Blonk's very first series of short sound poems in 1993, "Liederen uit de Hemel" ("Songs from Heaven," 1985-87), reconfigured with electronics and unusual approaches to sound.


Ballister (Rempis / Lonberg-Holm / Nilssen-Love)
Both Ends [VINYL]
(Bocian)

The trio of Dave Rempis (sax), Fred Lonberg-Hold (cello & electronics) and Paal Nilssen-Love in a vinyl edition of their hard-hitting and powerful free improvisation performing live in concert in February, 2012 at Powiekszenie, Warsaw.


Mats Gustafsson / Lasse Marhaug
The Oslo Tapes [VINYL 12"]
(Bocian)

The duo of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and sound artist Lasse Marhaug in a studio album of textural soundwork, crossing unusual amplified sax techniques with extreme electronics to create unidentifiable but engrossing works that defy description.


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

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


Cortex
Live! [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)

Four Norwegian jazz musicians--Thomas Johansson (cornet), Kristoffer Alberts (reeds), Ola Hoyer (double bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums)--representatives of a new generation of Scandinavian jazzmen playing creative music with the tools and forms of the older generation.


Dunmall / Schubert / Dessanay / Bashford
Sign Of The Times
(FMR)

With packaging embellished by 5 images of Paul Dunmall's wood engravings, this album catches the saxophonist on soprano, alto and tenor in the company of saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert on soprano and alto, with Sebastiano Dessanay on bass and Jim Bashford on drums, performing live at Lamp Tavern, in Birmingham for an album of intertwining reeds and solid rhythmic support.


Peter Kuhn Trio (Kuhn / Motl / Hubbard)
Intention
(FMR)

Clarinetist and bass clarinetist Peter Kuhn defines his "intentions" with his trio of bassist Kyle Motl and drummer Nathan Hubbard, recording in the studio in 2017 for an album of determined, informed and demanding free improvisation, a reflection of Kuhn's life and his direction to create superb modern jazz music with power, release, and inventive joy.


Paul Dunmall / Percy Pursglove / Tony Orrell
Nothing in Stone
(FMR)

Recording at Jazz at the Fringe in Bristol in 2017, saxophonist Paul Dunmall shows his Coltrane influence in three extended improvisation with the trio of long-time collaborator Tony Orrell on drums and percussion, and bassist and trumpeter Percy Pursglove, in a concert that presents masterful playing, impressive creative asides, and insightful soloing.


Szilard Mezei Trio (w/ Malina / Csik)
Cink
(FMR)

Blending Serbian ethnic flavors, rich experience in both improvised and compositional/symphonic music, with inventive and creative free improvisation, viola player Szilard Mezei's leads his trio with double bassist Ervin Malina and drummer Istvan Csik through seven original compositions, two of which were captured live in performance in Novi Sad.


Susana Silva Santos
All The Rivers | Live At Panteao Nacional
(Clean Feed)

Exploring the ambient sound of the immense marble temple of the Portuguese National Pantheon, trumpeter Susana Santos Silva recorded this beautiful and spiritual solo improvisation as part of the Rescaldo Festival, adding tin whistle and bells as her stunning tone and impressive technique resonated and invoked the spirit of this 17th century monument.


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

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


Rose / Kellers / Roder
New World
(FMR)

Exceptional improvisation with a dark underpinning and masterful technique from the Berlin-based collective trio of Simon Rose on baritone and alto saxophones, Willi Keller on drums, and Jan Roder on double bass, recording in the studio and mixed by Olaf Rupp, for an intense ride through seven recordings with titles like "Human Head" or "That Metal Smell".


Delta Saxophone Quartet
Bowie, Berlin & Beyond
(FMR)

The UK's Delta Saxophone Quartet of Chris Caldwell, Peter Whyman, Graeme Blevins and Tim Holmes, known for their interpretations of compositional and popular music, take on the music of David Bowie, particularly focused on his Berlin years, and also connected pieces from Brian Eno's ambient output, and Brecht's "Alabama Song" in reference to Bowie's "Baal" album.


Jon Strom Rune Quintet
Fragments
(Clean Feed)

Playing both upright & electric bass and doubling that with 2nd bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen, Jon Rune Strom leads his quintet of young Norwegian players--trumpeter Thomas Johansson, saxophonist Andre Roligheten, and drummer Andreas Wildhagen--for a live set at one of Norway's premiere jazz clubs, Nasjonal Jazzscene, for a jazz album of powerfully expressive free playing.


Michael Dessen Trio
Somewhere In The Upstream
(Clean Feed)

Blending the acoustic aspects of his regularly performing trio with unusual electronics, trombonist Michael Dessen's NY trio with bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss carve out a unique territory that balances lyrical, aggressive, and swinging aspects of free jazz with other-worldly interactions, in an album honoring late saxophonist Yusef Lateef.


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

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


Wadada Smith Leo
Najwa
(Tum)

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


Roscoe Mitchell / Matthew Shipp
Accelerated Projection
(RogueArt)

A masterful concert recorded at Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy in 2005 between Chicago AACM legendary saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell, performing on alto and soprano saxophones, and New York pianist Matthew Shipp, a member of Mitchell's Note Factor for 10 years, here presenting a 7 part work, pushing and challenging each other to great heights.


Igor Lumpert / Innertextures (Ward / Tordini / Grohowski)
Eleven
(Clean Feed)

The 3rd release of saxophonist Igor Lumpert's Innertextures, expanded to a quartet with the Chicago saxophonist Greg Ward joining the previous trio of Chris Tordini on double bass, and now with Kenny Grohowski on drums, with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson joining on two tracks and bass clarinetist John Ellis on another, all performing Lumpert's exuberant and clever compositions.


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

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


Nakatani / Kawabata / Chou
Perigee [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD CODE]
(Astral Spirits)

Perigree: when the moon is closest to the earth: this unique album of free improvisation joins world traveling percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, guitarist Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple, Mainliner, etc) and cellist Henna Chou in an album of mystical sound, from bowing percussion, long string tones, muted riffs and disquieting rhythm; consummate and cathartic.


Third Coast Ensemble
Wrecks
(RogueArt)

Merging France's Nautilis Ensemble with musicians from Chicago created this large improvising orchestra, here in a new suite composed by Rob Mazurek and dedicated to Great Lake Michigan and the devestation of thousands of shipwrecks over many centuries, using historical data, first hand accounts of shipwrecks off both shores, magical realism and steampunk aesthetics.


Miller / Martino / Northover
The Dinner Party
(FMR)

A collective free improvising trio active on the London jazz scene for the last few years, comprised of Kurt Weil interpreter, pianist Vladimir Miller whose first quartet was formed in 1987; double bassist Pierpaolo Martino, who studied with Joelle Leandre and Mark Dresser; and saxophonist Adrian Northover known for The Remote Viewers and London Improvisers Orchestra.


Kabas + Luis Vicente + Carlos Godinho
Negen / Live at SMUP [2 CDs]
(FMR)

The Belgian creative improvising quartet Kabas of Jan Daelman on flute, Thijs Troch on piano, Nils Vermeulen on double bass, and Elias Devoldere on drums for a 2-CD release, one album in studio with trumpeter Luis Vicente (Deux Maisons, Chamber 4), and one live at Portugal's SMUP with both Vicente and percussionist Carlos Godinho (Variable Geometry Orchestra).


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.


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.


Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra
The Word For it Now
(FMR)

Recordings from the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra Festival in Scotland recorded in 2013 & 2015, the 20+ piece orchestra blending acoustic, electronic and vocal instruments into incredibly diverse and rich compositions, here presenting "A Peculiar Slumber" I & II, and the impressive and large work "A Bit in the Air", both exploring words and loss of control.


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.


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.


Made to Break
Trebuchet
(Trost Records)

The eighth release from Ken Vandermark's hard-hitting quartet with Austrian electronic improviser Christof Kurzmann, Netherlands bassist Jasper Stadhouders, and Chicago drummer and frequent Vandermark collaborator Tim Daisy, for 3 vigorous and extreme pieces dedicated to Shellac, Susan Sontag, and Kerry James Marshall; powerful, informed, essential.


DJ Lenar
Drite Shtilkayt
(Bolt)

Using recordings of Polish Jewish cantors with cello arrangements from Marek Czerniewicz, DJ Lenar (aka Marcin Lenarczyk) dedicates an album to the memory of Polish Jews by reimagining the recordings in subtle and sincere ways, reinforcing the powerful voices that guide the liturgical music of the Jewish faith, accompanied by a booklet of inspirational text.


CHANGES TO blind
evolvensume
(Squidco Records)


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.


John Wall / Mark Durgan
Contrapt
(Harbinger Sound)

After their 2012 album "139", the duo of UK electroacoustic experimenters John Wall and Mark Durgan return for a second album of unusual sound composed from improvisations between the two recorded in Wall's Utterpsalm Studio in London between 2012-15, restructuring their recordings into fascinating ecosystems of sound.


Thomas Dimuzio / Alan Courtis
Monk Style or Scream [VINYL]
(Monotype)

One long-form sound composition each from Argentinian guitarist and sound artist Alan Courtis and San Francisco experimenter Thomas Dimuzio, each developing their track using sound sources provided by the other artist, which they manipulated, layered and morphed into these fascinating side-long works, presented together on green translucent vinyl.


Thanos Chrysakis
Equinox
(Aural Terrains)

A remarkable album of electronic composition from sound experimenter and improviser Thanos Chrysakis, ten stunning compositions that explore a diverse set of tones across a broad spectrum of rich deep timbre and beautiful high frequency ringing, bell-tones at times taking the focus, at others providing a rotating basis for ethereal experiments; sophisticated and engaging!


Otomo Yoshihide
Guitar Solo
(Doubtmusic)


Various Artists
An Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music Volume 1
(Sub Rosa)


Beaks Plinth
Organo Saturado
(Gigante Sound)

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


Michael Moser
Resonant Cuts: (2 CDs AND BOOK)
(Edition Rz)

Book and 2 CDs documenting a 2010 concert and sound installation by Carsten Seiffarth and Michael Moser, with Polweschsel & guests (Burkhard Beins, Axel Dorner, &c) performing the concert.


Hell Hoarse [Chuck Bettis & Brendan Murray]
Skull Puddle
(Living Myth / Uppercase)

Last copies of this duo between Brendan Murray on electronics and Chuck Bettis on electronics & throat, a disturbing and engrossing album of voice manipulation, samples and electronics.


Christof Kurzmann
The Air Between
(Charhizma)


Maja Ratkje S. K.
In Dialogue with Eugeniusz Rudnik
(Bolt)

Two compositions from Eugeniusz Rudnik, and a large work from vocalist Maja S. K. Ratkje performed live at The Polish Radio Experimental Studio using Rudnik's samples, her voice, and her own concrete elements in a virtual "dialog" with the composer.


Eric Cordier / Seijiro Murayama
Nuit
(Herbal International)

On the surface an album of organized field recordings, which Eric Cordier recorded in both France and Japan, from outdoor sounds (frogs/birds) to indoor environments, over which Murayama added percussion and vocal utterances, synthesizing unusual and engaging environments.


Helge Sten
Monochromes
(Bolt)

Supersilent's Helge Sten presents three works--"Quads", "Monochrome", and "Solitude Of Sounds" by Tomasz Sikorski--dark sound works based on sampling, time stretching, and other effects, that slowly move and fascinate the listener in subtle detail and determination.


Tekla Mrozowicka / Marcin Cichy
Prominences
(Bolt)

Polish electronic composers and performers Tekla Mrozowicka and Marcin Cichy in a beautifully paced sound work of resonating textures with melodic progressions and mysterious concrete punctuations, an embraceable abstract accomplishment.


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.


Miimo
Miimo 4
(Amorfon)

Using bass, drums, steelpan, electronics and programming, the trio of Tatsu, Norihide Saji and Amorfon label leader Yoshio Machida create a "pulse dub" album of polyrhythms and phase, producing warm, complex and embraceable music that includes a cover of Bjork's "Hyperballad".


Derek Rogers
Silence is Being Substituted
(Glistening Examples)

Derek Rogers sculpted these six compositions from live performances, organizing them using strings and synthesizers, and employing digital processing and granular synthesis with concert and field recordings, creating richly complex works that evolve with beautiful pacing.


Dog Hallucination
call aesthetics [3-inch CD]
(Aubjects)

D. Petri and Doggy P. Lips create rich sonic environments of processed guitars layered with strong tribal percussion, here in a followup to the 2015 release "Mitzi" is the 23 minute 3" CD EP named after various permuations of the equation 1-3.


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.


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

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


Phill Niblock
Rhymes With Water [VINYL]
(God Records)

A beautiful set of minimalist compositional drone from New York composer Phill Niblock, commissioned by the performers Natalia Pschenitschnikowa on bass flute and Erik Drescher on glissando flute, recorded at PIETHOPRAXIS, in Cologne, Germany by Marcus Schmickler, and in Berlin, Germany, by Thomas Ankersmit.


Philip Jeck
Iklectik
(Touch)

Named for the IKLECTIK performance space in London, England, Jeck's four part piece creates beautiful atmospheric passages which transition with field recordings, muted spoken word, symphonic-like passages, and other obscure sources, occasionally increasing in assertiveness but never leaving an exotic dream state of beautiful tonal environments.


HMS (Joe Houpert / Nathan McLaughlin / Erich Steiger)
Tetrad [CASSETTE]
(Astral Spirits)

Blurring the lines between experimental music, improv, and composition, the trio of Joe Houpert, Nathan McLaughlin, and Erich Steiger use the studio to rework their improvisations, accenting aspects of the acoustic and electronic elements and morphing them in unexpected ways; "think Henry Flynt meets Cluster meets Revolutionary Ensemble".


John Cage
Sonatas & Interludes (1946 - 1948)
(Hat [now] ART)

John Cage composed these 20 sonatas and "interludes" from 1946-1948, unique and inventive compositions for conventional and prepared piano, which noted Cage interpreter James Tenney recorded in 2002.


John Cage
Imaginary Landscapes
(Hat [now] ART)


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

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


Morton Feldman
Clarinet & String Quartet
(Hat [now] ART)

2 works for clarinet and string quartet, active compositions with a unique perspective in sound & texture; 2 versions of the 2 part 1961 work, and the larger 1983 composition.


Karlheinz Stockhausen
Mantra (performed by Mark Knoop, Roderick Chadwick and Newton Armstrong)
(Hat [now] ART)

Stockhausen's late 60s composition "Mantra" was a return to his intricately systematised approach to musical construction, expanding the possibilities and potentialities of the serial principle to allow for more melodic and embraceable compositions.


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.


George Crumb
Vox Balaenae
(Hat [now] ART)


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.


Pierre Boulez
Notations & Piano Sonatas
(Hat [now] ART)


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

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


Earle Brown
Synergy
(Hat [now] ART)

Remastered edition of Earle Brown's conducting debut with the Ensemble Avantgarde in Leipzig, presenting his proportional and graphic score "Event: Synergy II", along with 2 other works of distinctive structure.


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.


Peter Ablinger
Grisailles
(Hat [now] ART)

Peter Ablinger's works for three pianos are made up of overlapping sound-layers, repeated octaves, and barely audible sounds made by fingers darting across keys; played by Hildegard Kleeb.


Stockhausen / Beethoven (Pi-hsien Chen)
Klavierstucke / Sonaten
(Hat [now] ART)

Alternating between Stockhausen and Beethoven, pianist Pi-Hsien Chen performs solo works including "Klavierstuck", "Sonata A-Dur Op. 101" and "Sonata C-moll Op. 111", contrasting and comparing the innovations of both composers.


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.


Guillermo Gregorio
Degrees Of Iconicity
(Hat [now] ART)


Makrokosmos Quartet
Magic Worlds Of Sound
(Hat [now] ART)

Makrokosmos Quartet playing the Crumb piece from which their name derives, along with works by Stefano Gervasoni and Georg Friedrich Haas.


James Tenney
Music for Violin and Piano
(Hat [now] ART)


Morton Feldman
For Bunita Marcus
(Hat [now] ART)

Feldman's 1985 solo piano composition for Feldman's pupil and long-time associate, from a 1990 digital recording remastered for this new edition.


Arnold Schonberg
Works For Piano
(Hat [now] ART)

Pi-hsien Chen performs Arnold Schonbgergs, a small part of his oeuvre, yet significant in that they reflect the evolution and development of this great composer's compositional powers.


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.


Makrokosmos Quartet
Round Midnight
(Hat [now] ART)

The Makrokosmos Quartet is comprised of two pianists and two percussionists, and although the work is dedicated to Thelonious Monk, the musicians stay true to themselves and play the compositions in their own style.


Fritz Hauser
Pieces For Percussion
(Hat [now] ART)

Ensemble XII performs pieces by percussionist Fritz Hauser that were composed with an attention to detail that is heard in the timbre, texture, density and dynamics of his arrangements.


Counterpoise (Carisi / Sauter / Wolff / Wolfpe)
Counterpoise
(Hat [now] ART)

Four composers - John Carisi, Eddie Sauter, Christian Wolff, and Stefan Wolpe - create a program of works with a measured balance in the interrelated and contrasting material.


Richard Rijnvos
Block Beuys
(Hat [now] ART)

A series of compositions by Richard Rijnvos that were inspired by an installation in the Hessisches Landesmuseum consisting of an arrangment of about 270 objects known as the 'Block Beuys'.


Peter Blegvad
Go Figure
(Recommended Records)

Peter Blegvad expands his trio with Henry Cow alumni, drummer Chris Cutler and bassist John Greaves, this time with Karen Mantler on keys and chordal instruments, and Bob Drake on guitar, voice and percussion, reworking songs from his solo career and work with Slapp Happy, alongside new numbers of classic Blegvad wordplay, wit, depth and humor; like the label, Recommended!


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.


Dog Faced Hermans
Humans Fly [VINYL]
(Sorcerer Records)

Sharing guitarist Andy Moor of The Ex, this quartet's first album established them as a truly alternative and intelligent rock band that incorporated free playing, a band literate and technically skilled but upholding a punk/no-wave drive and determination, with political and socially conscious attitudes, and superlative upbeat and danceable music.


Kramer (Feat Bill Frisell)
The Brill Building, Book Two
(Tzadik)

Guitarist Bill Frisell joins forces with producer/arranger Kramer for an exploration of the legendary song writing teams that were developed in the legendary Brill Building at 1619 Broadway in New York City, where songwriters like Paul Simon, Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Doc Pomus, Al Kooper, & Carole King created some of American culture's most endearing work.


Lesego Rampolokeng with the Kalahari Surfers
End Beginnings
(Recommended Records)


Pale Nudes
Wise to the Heat
(RecRec Records)


Lindsay Cooper
Rags / The Golddiggers
(Recommended Records)


Kayo Dot
Choirs Of The Eye
(Tzadik)


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


Keiji Haino / Tatsuya, Yoshida
Hauenfiomiume
(Magaibutsu)

Follow-up to their Tzadik CD, surprising shorter pieces developed from the editing of Haino's lyrical and extreme guitar and voice in conjunction with Yoshida's percussion, keys and voice.


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.


Seijaku
You Should Prepare To Survive Through Even Anything Happens
(Doubtmusic)

Haino Keiji's Seijaku with bassist Nasuno Mitsuru and drummer Ichiraku Yoshimitsu here showing their devotion to the 20th-century blues spirit in a unique and twisted style.


Cassiber
The Cassiber Box [6 CDs, 1 DVD and Book]
(Recommended Records)

A 6 CD/DVD box set of the 1980s UK/Euro improvising rock band Cassiber, an amazing band merging experimental rock, fringe jazz, punk, pop, plunderphonics, improvisation, & musique concrete with an energetic and complex form of studio composition - superb!


Tank Of Danzig
Not Trendy
(Music a la Coque)

Blending elements of punk, no wave and free improvisation reminding of Crass, The Ex, Gang of Four, &c., the cry of free jazz driven by strong bass lines and groove guitar riffs, this Italian band sings in English on a mix of socially conscious songs and observant themes.


Bob Drake
Arx Pilosa
(Recommended Records)

Another twisted, complex and irresistible album from multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Bob Drake, practically presenting a history of the rock genre in 20 short pieces that twist and turn in inventive, humorous, peculiar, mesmerizing, and masterly songs.


John Zorn
49 Acts Of Unspeakable Depravity In The Abominable Life And Times Of Gilles De Rais
(Tzadik)

Simulacrum's 5th CD, with John Medeski on organ, Kenny Grohowski on drums and Matt Hollenberg on guitar, powerful playing that blends heavy rock, blues, funk and jazz with modern classical music, here performing composer John Zorn's 10 part suite on decscending into madness.


John Zorn
The Garden Of Earthly Delights
(Tzadik)

Composer John Zorn's Simulacrum ensemble of Trevor Dunn (bass), John Medeski (keyboards), Kenny Grohowski (drums), Matt Hollenberg (guitar), and Sara Serpa (voice) in their 6th album of heavy improv, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the passing of painter Hieronymus Bosch.


Henry Cow
Vol. 4 & 5: Trondheim
(Recommended Records)

Perhaps the most exceptional of the "road' albums from the Henry Cow Box Set, this 1976 Trondheim concert found the band missing bassist John Greaves and singer Dagmar Krauss, so instead of their set list they shut off the lights and gave the audience pure improvisation using EA and concrete approaches, heard in spectacular detail in Bob Drake' remaster.


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.


Faust
Fresh Air
(Bureau B)

Recorded during their 2016 US tour, Peron and Werner "Zappi" Diermaier used ever-changing ensembles from different locations on the tour to make these recordings, mated with Peron's field recordings, to blend rhythm, noise, spoken word, strong rock and blues hooks, and experimental/industrial elements; another great, eclectic Faust release!


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.


Electric Bird Noise
The Spider / The Christ Child / The Crow
(Silber)

Guitarist Brian McKenzie is known best for his dramatic rock persona, where his multi-instrumental approach to song-writing shows great skill; on this album, McKenzie gets down to the guitar itself, with loops, effects and electronics creating a cohesive set of 9 pieces that maintain an edgy, discordant approach to enthralling sound.


Peregrine Falls (Grdina / Loewen)
Peregrine Falls
(Drip Audio)

Named for the moment when a Peregrine Falcon falls from flight to attack its prey, the Vancouver duo of Gordon Grdina on guitars, oud, electronics and Kenton Loewen on drums and percussion present a heavy album of improvised rock with raw energy, riveting technique and powerful grooves with an Arabic influence and essence; of interest to King Crimson fans.


Sick Boss (Schmidt / Meger / Peggy Lee / JP Carter / Naylor / Page)
Sick Boss
(Drip Audio)

A richly refined and sophisticated album drawing on improvisation, experimenation and rock elements from the collaborative Vancouver ensemble Sick Boss of core members guitarist Cole Schmidt, bassist James Meger and drummer Daniel Gaucher, with guests including guitarist Tony Wilson, cellist Peggy Lee, trumpeter JP Carter, synth player Tyson Naylor, &c. &c.


The Honkies
How Do We Prevent The Advance Of The Desert?
(Music a la Coque)

From 1987-93 this bizarre UK band took Rock-In-Opposition attitudes on tour in the UK & Europe, presenting their strangely informed approach to improvised rock with a punk attitude, fueled by dual saxes from Kathy Hulme & Caroline Kraabel, trumpeter Andy Diagram, and drummer Re Harrison, as heard on this reissue of their wonderfully weird 2nd album.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


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

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


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.


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.


Wadada Smith Leo
Najwa
(Tum)

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


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

Steve Swell presents an homage to composer Olivier Messiaen in a sextet with Rob Brown (saxophone), Jason Kao Hwang (violin & viola), Robert Boston (piano & organ), Tomas Ulrich (cello), and Jim Pugliese (drums & percussion) performed live at Metro Baptist Church in NYC, 2017, a presentation of encompassing and passionate free music that knows little boundary.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Eric Revis
Sing Me Some Cry
(Clean Feed)

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


Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York
Fukushima
(Libra)

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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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
Solo - Reflections And Meditations On Monk
(Tum)

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Albert Ayler Quartet
Copenhagen Live 1964
(Hatology)

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


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

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


Cortex
Avant-Garde Party Music
(Clean Feed)

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


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

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


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

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


Nate Wooley
Battle Pieces 2
(Relative Pitch)

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


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.


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

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


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

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