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  Top Lists by Customer Orders
See 2017 Top Sellers and Staff Lists

See 2016 Top Sellers and Staff Top Lists

Ian Brighton
Marsh Gas [REISSUE]
(FMR)

Reissuing the 1977 album from UK guitarist Ian Brighton, written as an instrumental story for children, apparently very sophisticated children, in a mix of composed and freely improvised passages, using non-idiomatic approaches with unusual and extended techniques, open atmospheric passages and strange transitions, a peculiar and wonderful album of imaginative playing.


Milford Graves
Babi [2 CDs]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Recorded in 1976 at WBAI-FM/Free Music Store in New York, drummer percussionist Milford Graves goes head to head with two reedists, Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover, an absolute stunner of percussive momentum and force, drawing the reeds into a frenzy of unbridled free playing; issued with a 2nd CD of a private recording of Graves plus unpublished photos.


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo
Kikoeru, Tribute to Masaya Kimura
(Libra)

Completing a year of monthly albums for pianist Satoko Fujii's "kanreki", or 60th birthday, is this impressive and cathartic album written for Fujii's Orchestra Tokyo as a tribute to late tenor saxophonist and 10 year orchestra member Masaya Kimura, with four compositions from Fujii and two from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, in an album of both profound testimonly and celebratory release.


Ian Brighton
Imaginings
(FMR)

Looking back and fondly imagining some of the locations and configuration that UK guitarist Ian Brighton played in the 70s, Brighton developed the pieces on this album, each compositions varying the personnel from life-long partners (Taylor, Wachsmann, Mattos) to musicians Brighton has performed with since his 2016 return to improvisation (Carrier, Beresford, Metcalfe).


Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (feat. Marilyn Crispell / Evan Parker)
Parallel Moments Unbroken [2CDS]
(FMR)


John Tilbury / Keith Rowe / Kjell Bjorgeengen
Sissel
(Sofa Music)

AMM alumni, pianist John Tilbury and guitarist Keith Rowe, join with Norwegian performer/conceptualist Kjell Bjorgeengen, whose work is often an amalgamation of sound waves, moving images and lights; here Kjell suggested a painting by Nicolas Poussin as a focal point for the trio's improvisation at this performance in Stavanger, Norway.


Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey)
The Other Side Of Air
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Taking the reigns as composer, performer and bandleader, New York pianist Myra Melford's exceptional quintet Snowy Egret, with Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, present a brilliant album of creative jazz, with lyrical grooves and commanding soloing, a great and thoroughly modern album.


Wadada Smith Leo
Rosa Parks: Pure Love
(Tum)

Inspired by the civil rights movement and the iconic Rosa Parks, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's album pays tribute through impressive compositional skills that merge work with RedKoral Quartet, Blue Trumpet Quartet, Diamond Voices, and Janus duo, featuring excerpts from Anthony Braxton, Steve McCall, Leroy Jenkins, and words from Martin Luther King Jr and a text by Rosa Parks.


John Cage / Guy Vandromme
Number Pieces (Piano)
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

John Cage wrote his "Number Pieces" in the last years of his life, using his time bracket technique of short fragments allowing the performer flexibility in interpretation; each piece is titled for the number of performers and its ordinal position in the series, and most pieces are dedicated to a musician; here pianist Guy Vandromme performs three of the "One", or solo, series.


John Butcher / Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand
How Does This Happen?
(Ambiances Magnetiques)

The Montreal free improvising, experimenting duo "Not The Music" of bassist Eric Norman & bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier invited UK saxophonist John Butcher for concerts in Ottawa and Montreal, recording the two impressive 5-part series heard on this album--"en consequence" (consequently) and "par irruption" (by bursting), of masterful and profoundly pensive prowess.


Aine O'Dwyer / Graham Lambkin
Green Ways [2 CDs]
(erstwhile)

A unique sound document originally envisioned as a sound map of Ireland, collecting and composing with live recordings from performances in Doon, Dungarvan, Plaistow, Shoreditch, Singo & Stratford, using song, sound, spoken word, extraneous, ambient recordings and abstract and unidentifiable elements, making for an absolutely fascinating and somewhat bizarre album; recommended.


Marion Brown / Dave Burrell
Live At The Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
(NoBusiness)

In 1981 Archie Shepp and Roman Wiggins coordinated the University of Massachusettes's week-long event of workshops, concerts & lectures focused on modern jazz, the opening concert the wonderfully sophisticated duo of alto saxophonist Marion Brown and pianist Dave Burrell peforming 7 pieces of compositions from each, plus two Strayhorn pieces, ending with "Lush Life"; essential.


Dunmall / Siegel / Pursglove / Sanders
As One Does
(FMR)

Two saxophones take the front line from Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album, the leader on tenor saxophone with fellow tenor player Julian Siegel, also on bass clarinet, while Mark Sanders drums and Percy Pursglove handles bass and also trumpet, as the band falls into a hard bop mode, weaving lines together over wonderfully turbulent and soulful grooves; outstanding.


Paul Dunmall / Philip Gibbs / James Owston / Jim Bashford
Inner And Outer
(FMR)

Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album in a quarte with James Owston on bass, Jim Bashford on drums, Philip Gibbs on guitar, and Dunmall on tenor saxophone, Gibbs's hollow-body opening the sound as Owston and Bashford trade rapid responses or provide solid grooves, the themes of the dialogs focused on space and time through intricate, complex and profound interaction.


Tom Johnson
Spaces . An Hour For Piano
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two works for solo piano from composer Tom Johnson and performed by Keiko Shichijo; "Spaces" was written after his teacher, Morton Feldman, helped Johnson elucidate his voice as a composer through a study of chords; "An Hour for Piano" was written in 1971 based on a series of short, improvisatory sketches written for modern dance, merged and expanded to exactly one hour.


Ferran Fages
Detuning Series For Guitar
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The 2nd part of a trilogy for guitar and sinetones composed between 2015-18, alongside "What Might Occur (Rereadings of Triadic Memories by Morton Feldman for guitar and sinewaves)" (2015-17) and "Un Lloc Entre Dos Records" (2017); this work, originally written in 2016, and revised in 2018, is heard in a recording at GMEA, France, with guitarist Benjamin Maumus.


Erik Satie (Aleman / Vandromme)
Socrate
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A beautiful rendering of French composer Eric Satie's 1918 masterwork "Socrate", originally for four sopranos and chamber orchestra, here stripped to its essence as a duo with Olalla Aleman on soprano and Guy Vandromme on piano, maintaining Satie's characterist reserve and refinement in the 3 parts: "portrait of socrates"; "banks of the ilissus"; and "death of socrates".


Wadada Smith Leo / Sabu Toyozumi
Burning Meditation
(NoBusiness)

"Burning" is an accurate description of the energetic, spiritual and enthusiastic duo of Japanese percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and NY trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith, also performing on koto, flute, percussion and voice, caught live at C.S Akarenga in Yamaguchi City for 6 stunning dialogs, including one dedicated to late trumpeter Don Cherry.


Tyshawn Sorey
Pillars [3 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Drummer/percussionist, trombonist, pianist and importantly here, composer, Tyshawn Sorey in an amazing and ambitious work "Pillars", assembling an ensemble of virtuosic NY performers (Joe Morris, Todd Neufeld, Ben Gerstein, Stephen Hayes, Zach Rowden, Carl Test, Mark Helias) as he references Tibetan rituals, Stockhausen, and Anthony Braxton, and much more.


George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell
Voyage And Homecoming
(RogueArt)

The long-running association of Chicago legends, trombonist George Lewis and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, are recorded live at CTM Festival at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, in Berlin in 2018, accompanied by Lewis' laptop adding a third voice that responds and generates textural and rhythmic accompaniment in response to the playing of both improvisers; impressive and exotic.


Rutger Zuydervelt
Sileen II
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

An adaptation from "Sileen", a composition commissioned by Musica For The Festival Oortreders at Neerpelt, Belgium, 2016 performed with 50 members of a local music school; "Sileen II" was realized with only Gareth Davis on bass clarinet plus sounds from Machinefabriek, recorded in the same pitch and tempo as "Sileen', then slowed to half its speed and one octave lower.


Wadada Smith Leo / Sabu Toyozumi
Burning Meditation [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

"Burning" is an accurate description of the energetic, spiritual and enthusiastic duo of Japanese percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and NY trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith, also performing on koto, flute, percussion and voice, caught live at C.S Akarenga in Yamaguchi City for 6 stunning dialogs, including one dedicated to late trumpeter Don Cherry.


Davis / Mitchell / Ortiz / Shipp
New American Songbooks, Volume 2 [VINYL]
(Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records)

The 2nd volume of Sound American's "New American Songbooks" turns from the 1st volume's group approach to the singular voices of 4 masterful pianists--Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruan Ortiz, and Matthew Shipp--as they interpret the music of traditional hymns, Carla Bley, filmaker/composer Ed Bland, and bandcamp era composers Ryan Power & Christopher Weisman.


Valid Tractor (Pat Thomas / Dominic Lash / Lawrence Casserley)
On The Validity Of Tractors
(FMR)


Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver / Nels Cline
What Is To Be Done
(Clean Feed)

The first release from the trio of Nels Cline, Gerald Cleaver, and Larry Ochs in a 2016 concert at Gallery5 Arts, in Richmond, Virginia, captured as part of the trio's series touring around the Northeast each December since 2015, playing what Larry Ochs describes as music that "seeks sonically to soothe, to inspire, and to conspire", in three urgent and powerful improvisations.


Milford Graves
Babi [2 CDs]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Recorded in 1976 at WBAI-FM/Free Music Store in New York, drummer percussionist Milford Graves goes head to head with two reedists, Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover, an absolute stunner of percussive momentum and force, drawing the reeds into a frenzy of unbridled free playing; issued with a 2nd CD of a private recording of Graves plus unpublished photos.


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo
Kikoeru, Tribute to Masaya Kimura
(Libra)

Completing a year of monthly albums for pianist Satoko Fujii's "kanreki", or 60th birthday, is this impressive and cathartic album written for Fujii's Orchestra Tokyo as a tribute to late tenor saxophonist and 10 year orchestra member Masaya Kimura, with four compositions from Fujii and two from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, in an album of both profound testimonly and celebratory release.


Ian Brighton
Imaginings
(FMR)

Looking back and fondly imagining some of the locations and configuration that UK guitarist Ian Brighton played in the 70s, Brighton developed the pieces on this album, each compositions varying the personnel from life-long partners (Taylor, Wachsmann, Mattos) to musicians Brighton has performed with since his 2016 return to improvisation (Carrier, Beresford, Metcalfe).


Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (feat. Marilyn Crispell / Evan Parker)
Parallel Moments Unbroken [2CDS]
(FMR)


John Tilbury / Keith Rowe / Kjell Bjorgeengen
Sissel
(Sofa Music)

AMM alumni, pianist John Tilbury and guitarist Keith Rowe, join with Norwegian performer/conceptualist Kjell Bjorgeengen, whose work is often an amalgamation of sound waves, moving images and lights; here Kjell suggested a painting by Nicolas Poussin as a focal point for the trio's improvisation at this performance in Stavanger, Norway.


Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey)
The Other Side Of Air
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Taking the reigns as composer, performer and bandleader, New York pianist Myra Melford's exceptional quintet Snowy Egret, with Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, present a brilliant album of creative jazz, with lyrical grooves and commanding soloing, a great and thoroughly modern album.


Wadada Smith Leo
Rosa Parks: Pure Love
(Tum)

Inspired by the civil rights movement and the iconic Rosa Parks, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's album pays tribute through impressive compositional skills that merge work with RedKoral Quartet, Blue Trumpet Quartet, Diamond Voices, and Janus duo, featuring excerpts from Anthony Braxton, Steve McCall, Leroy Jenkins, and words from Martin Luther King Jr and a text by Rosa Parks.


John Cage / Guy Vandromme
Number Pieces (Piano)
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

John Cage wrote his "Number Pieces" in the last years of his life, using his time bracket technique of short fragments allowing the performer flexibility in interpretation; each piece is titled for the number of performers and its ordinal position in the series, and most pieces are dedicated to a musician; here pianist Guy Vandromme performs three of the "One", or solo, series.


John Butcher / Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand
How Does This Happen?
(Ambiances Magnetiques)

The Montreal free improvising, experimenting duo "Not The Music" of bassist Eric Norman & bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier invited UK saxophonist John Butcher for concerts in Ottawa and Montreal, recording the two impressive 5-part series heard on this album--"en consequence" (consequently) and "par irruption" (by bursting), of masterful and profoundly pensive prowess.


Aine O'Dwyer / Graham Lambkin
Green Ways [2 CDs]
(erstwhile)

A unique sound document originally envisioned as a sound map of Ireland, collecting and composing with live recordings from performances in Doon, Dungarvan, Plaistow, Shoreditch, Singo & Stratford, using song, sound, spoken word, extraneous, ambient recordings and abstract and unidentifiable elements, making for an absolutely fascinating and somewhat bizarre album; recommended.


Marion Brown / Dave Burrell
Live At The Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
(NoBusiness)

In 1981 Archie Shepp and Roman Wiggins coordinated the University of Massachusettes's week-long event of workshops, concerts & lectures focused on modern jazz, the opening concert the wonderfully sophisticated duo of alto saxophonist Marion Brown and pianist Dave Burrell peforming 7 pieces of compositions from each, plus two Strayhorn pieces, ending with "Lush Life"; essential.


Dunmall / Siegel / Pursglove / Sanders
As One Does
(FMR)

Two saxophones take the front line from Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album, the leader on tenor saxophone with fellow tenor player Julian Siegel, also on bass clarinet, while Mark Sanders drums and Percy Pursglove handles bass and also trumpet, as the band falls into a hard bop mode, weaving lines together over wonderfully turbulent and soulful grooves; outstanding.


Paul Dunmall / Philip Gibbs / James Owston / Jim Bashford
Inner And Outer
(FMR)

Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album in a quarte with James Owston on bass, Jim Bashford on drums, Philip Gibbs on guitar, and Dunmall on tenor saxophone, Gibbs's hollow-body opening the sound as Owston and Bashford trade rapid responses or provide solid grooves, the themes of the dialogs focused on space and time through intricate, complex and profound interaction.


Tom Johnson
Spaces . An Hour For Piano
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two works for solo piano from composer Tom Johnson and performed by Keiko Shichijo; "Spaces" was written after his teacher, Morton Feldman, helped Johnson elucidate his voice as a composer through a study of chords; "An Hour for Piano" was written in 1971 based on a series of short, improvisatory sketches written for modern dance, merged and expanded to exactly one hour.


Ferran Fages
Detuning Series For Guitar
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The 2nd part of a trilogy for guitar and sinetones composed between 2015-18, alongside "What Might Occur (Rereadings of Triadic Memories by Morton Feldman for guitar and sinewaves)" (2015-17) and "Un Lloc Entre Dos Records" (2017); this work, originally written in 2016, and revised in 2018, is heard in a recording at GMEA, France, with guitarist Benjamin Maumus.


Erik Satie (Aleman / Vandromme)
Socrate
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A beautiful rendering of French composer Eric Satie's 1918 masterwork "Socrate", originally for four sopranos and chamber orchestra, here stripped to its essence as a duo with Olalla Aleman on soprano and Guy Vandromme on piano, maintaining Satie's characterist reserve and refinement in the 3 parts: "portrait of socrates"; "banks of the ilissus"; and "death of socrates".


Wadada Smith Leo / Sabu Toyozumi
Burning Meditation
(NoBusiness)

"Burning" is an accurate description of the energetic, spiritual and enthusiastic duo of Japanese percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and NY trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith, also performing on koto, flute, percussion and voice, caught live at C.S Akarenga in Yamaguchi City for 6 stunning dialogs, including one dedicated to late trumpeter Don Cherry.


Tyshawn Sorey
Pillars [3 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Drummer/percussionist, trombonist, pianist and importantly here, composer, Tyshawn Sorey in an amazing and ambitious work "Pillars", assembling an ensemble of virtuosic NY performers (Joe Morris, Todd Neufeld, Ben Gerstein, Stephen Hayes, Zach Rowden, Carl Test, Mark Helias) as he references Tibetan rituals, Stockhausen, and Anthony Braxton, and much more.


George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell
Voyage And Homecoming
(RogueArt)

The long-running association of Chicago legends, trombonist George Lewis and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, are recorded live at CTM Festival at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, in Berlin in 2018, accompanied by Lewis' laptop adding a third voice that responds and generates textural and rhythmic accompaniment in response to the playing of both improvisers; impressive and exotic.


Rutger Zuydervelt
Sileen II
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

An adaptation from "Sileen", a composition commissioned by Musica For The Festival Oortreders at Neerpelt, Belgium, 2016 performed with 50 members of a local music school; "Sileen II" was realized with only Gareth Davis on bass clarinet plus sounds from Machinefabriek, recorded in the same pitch and tempo as "Sileen', then slowed to half its speed and one octave lower.


Valid Tractor (Pat Thomas / Dominic Lash / Lawrence Casserley)
On The Validity Of Tractors
(FMR)


Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver / Nels Cline
What Is To Be Done
(Clean Feed)

The first release from the trio of Nels Cline, Gerald Cleaver, and Larry Ochs in a 2016 concert at Gallery5 Arts, in Richmond, Virginia, captured as part of the trio's series touring around the Northeast each December since 2015, playing what Larry Ochs describes as music that "seeks sonically to soothe, to inspire, and to conspire", in three urgent and powerful improvisations.


Mary Halvorson
Code Girl [2 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


Joe McPhee / Hamid Drake
Keep Going
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The second duo album between saxophonist & pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee and drummer/frame drummer Hamid Drake begins with McPhee reciting words by Harriett Tubman (Keep Going), as the two inform and astound through masterful playing, together and solo, shaking the listener through intense and unambiguously clear playing, with pieces reflecting our world situation.


Akira Sakata / Simon Nabatov / Takashi Seo / Darren Moore
Not Seeing Is A Flower
(Leo)

An absolutely impressive example of collective free improvisation as the quartet of Japanese jazz masters Takashi Seo on acoustic bass and Akira Sakata on alto saxophone, clarinet, vocals, and percussion meet Australian Darren Moore on drums & percussion, and Russian Simon Nabatov on piano for an extended 6-part live set at Chiba's "Jazzspot" Candy.


Wadada Smith Leo / Sabu Toyozumi
Burning Meditation [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

"Burning" is an accurate description of the energetic, spiritual and enthusiastic duo of Japanese percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and NY trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith, also performing on koto, flute, percussion and voice, caught live at C.S Akarenga in Yamaguchi City for 6 stunning dialogs, including one dedicated to late trumpeter Don Cherry.


Kuzu (Dave Rempis / Tashi Dorji / Tyler Damon)
Hiljaisuus [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)

Kuzu is a hard-charging but patient trio that came together in the fall of 2017, after saxophonist Dave Rempis, a stalwart of the Chicago improvised music scene, worked with both Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums) individually as part of a lengthy solo tour of the U.S.; this new trio is captured at Elastic Arts, in Chicago in an intense and dynamic live set.


Bobby Bradford / Hafez Modirzadeh / Roberto Miranda / Vijay Anderson
Live At The Blue Whale [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Cornetist Bobby Bradford leads this quartet with soprano saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, also playing karna and khaen; bassist Roberto Miguel Miranda; and East Coast drummer Vijay Anderson, in a live concert at the Blue Whale in Los Angeles in 2017, a sophisticated avant jazz outing including a set of variations for Ornette Coleman, a great example of modern creative form.


Jones Jones (Larry Ochs / Mark Dresser / Vladimir Tarasov)
A Jones In Time Saves Nine [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

The 3rd album from the trio of Larry Ochs (Rova Saxophone Quartet) on tenor & sopranino saxophones, Downtown NY mainstay and West Coast migrant Mark Dresser on bass, and Ganelin Trio alumnus Vladimir Tarasov on drums and percussion, in four superb examples of collective improvisation captured live in two concerts in Berkeley and San Diego, CA in 2016.


Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Matthew Putman / Hilliard Greene / Federico Ughi
Telepatia Liquida [VINYL + DOWNLOAD CODE]
(577)

Recorded on the last night of 577's Forward Festival 2017 in Brooklyn, the quintet of Daniel Carter (reeds & trumpet), Patrick Holmes (clarinet), Matthew Putman (piano), Hilliard Greene (bass) and Federico Ughi (drums) take their audience on three remarkable journeys of almost chamber-oriented collective free jazz, adventurous and not-to-be-missed examples of modern jazz.


Tyshawn Sorey
Pillars IV [VINYL 2 LPs 180g with DOWNLOAD]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Vinyl edition with a unique 4-part, 4th "Pillar": Tyshawn Sorey in an amazing and ambitious work "Pillars", assembling an ensemble of virtuosic NY performers (Joe Morris, Todd Neufeld, Ben Gerstein, Stephen Hayes, Zach Rowden, Carl Test, Mark Helias) as he references Tibetan rituals, Stockhausen, and Anthony Braxton, and much more.


About Group (Mukai / Clervaux / Coxon / Thomas / Taylor)
RAK [VINYL]
(Treader)

The 2nd About Group album replaces drummer Charles Hayward with Rupert Clervaux, alongside Susumu Mukai on bass, John Coxon on electric guitar, Pat Thomas on piano & synth, and Alexis Taylor on synth & electric piano, using Coxon's simple and insistent guitar themes as a foundation for four extended group compositions containing a surprising collision of sounds and influences.


Teletopa (Collins / Evans / Aherns / Frampton)
Tokyo 1972 [VINYL 3 LPs]
(Splitrec)

The 1972 recording at a Tokyo radio station of the forward-thinking improvisation of David Ahern (violin, percussion, electronics), Roger Frampton (percussion, electronics, saxophone), Peter Evans (percussion, electronics) and Geoffrey Collins (flute, percussion electronics).


Henry Threadgill & Zooid
In for a Penny, In for a Pound [VINYL]
(Pi Recordings)

Henry Threadgill's new epic work in four movements written specifically to feature each of the musicians in Zooid: "Ceroepic" for Elliott Kavee (drums), "Dosepic" for Christopher Hoffman (cello), "Tresepic" for Jose Davila (trombone & tuba), and "Unoepic" for Liberty Ellman (guitar).


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.


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

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


Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Matthew Putman / Hilliard Greene / Federico Ughi
Telepathic Alliances [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)

Recording in Brooklyn, the quintet of Daniel Carter on alto, soprano & tenor saxophones, Patrick Holmes on clarinet, Matthew Putman on piano, Hilliard Greene on bass, and Federico Ughi on drums bring together players of a very different backgrounds who share a nearly telepathic level of communication through free improv, in an album graced with Carter's poetry.


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.


Peter Brotzmann The Octet
Machine Gun - Alternate Takes [VINYL]
(Cien Fuegos)

First time issued on vinyl: alternate takes from the essential "Machine Gun" album on Brotzmann's BRO label in 1968, aggressive but astute music from now-legendary players Brotzmann, Evan Parker & Gerd Dudek on tenor sax (Brotzmann doubles on baritone sax), Peter Kowald on bass, Fred Van Hove on piano, Buschi Niebergall on bass, and two drummers - Han Bennink & Sven-Ake Johansson.


Dave Holland Feat. Evan Parker / Craig Taborn / Ches Smith
Uncharted Territories [3 LPS]
(Dare2 Records)

Reuniting bassist Dave Holland with saxophonist Evan Parker, a longtime friend from their early days in London, and joined by Craig Taborn on piano and electronics, and Ches Smith on percussion, as the group performs as a quartet and also in a variety of permutations of duo and trio configurations, in a set of rich and informed dialogs of masterful skill.


Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore
After Caroline [VINYL]
(Northern Spy)

The fourth release from Chicago bass clarinetist Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore, a trio with Jason Roebke on bass and New York drummer Mike Pride, playing modern creative jazz with a twisted melodic sense through Stein's original compositions, alongside one collective comoposition and John Coltrane's "26-2", a great example of 21st century jazz.


Kaoru Abe / Sabu Toyozumi
Banka [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

NoBusiness continues their essential 70's reissue series of renowned Japanese free improvisers, here in an LP and extended CD edition of the live duo of percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and saxophonist Kaoru Abe on alto, soprano & sopranino saxophones, the LP presenting their 1978 concert at Gaja, Hatsudai in Tokyo, the CD extended with a live set at Minor, Kichijoji the same year.


Heaven (Henrik Pultz Melbye / Ole Mofjell)
IAPOE [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Inspired by European improvisation, 60's NY-loft-avant-garde and Ethiopian jazz, Heaven, the Norwegian collaborative project of Danish saxophonist Henrik Pultz Melbye and Norwegian drummer Ole Mofjell, merge rhythmic and melodic realms, adding stretches of noise and non-idiomatic sounds, in fast-paced, highly-energetic, and highly-informed performances.


Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke w/ Special Guest U-Zhaan
Hence [VINYL]
(Editions Mego)

Accompanied by Japanese master tabla player U-zhaan, the 3rd album from Australian guitarist and experimenter Oren Ambarchi and Chicago/NY/Japan musician Jim O'Rourke uses U-zhaan's warmly active rhythms as a platform for shifting sounds and resonant repetition, hypnotic and psychedelic as it draws the listener into wonderful swirls of sound.


Ikue Mori / Christian Ronn
Chordis et Machina [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(Resipiscent Records)

A sublime album contrasting the physical acoustics of upright, grand and prepared pianos with elusively slippery electronics, plus some Buchla and Serge synthesizer additions, as New York electroacoustic improviser Ikue Mori and Danish experimenter Christian Ronn meet at the Elektron Musik Studion (EMS) in Stockholm to record this wonderfully hallucinatory album.


Eliane Radigue
Geelriandre / Arthesis [VINYL]
(Important Records)

Two hallucinatory works for keyboards that envelop their listeners in deep, slowly shifting sound, from composer and electronic explorer Eliane Radigues, the first "Geelriandre" from 1972 and realized on an ARP 2500 synthesizer, with Gerard Fremy on prepared piano; "Arthesis" from 1973 was realized by Radigue on a Moog Synthesizer at the University of Iowa.


Martin Kuchen / Rafal Mazur
Baza [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A unique freely improvised sax and bass duo from Angles leader Martin Kuchen on alto and sopranino saxophones, and Rafal Mazur on acoustic bass guitar, recording live at BAZA Club in Krakow, Poland in 2017 they perform the two part "Baza", initiating with mastery and determination, morphing to more meditative playing, and ending with impressive assertion.


Knuffke / Wollesen / Ellis
Chew Your Food [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Talented trumpeter and composer from New York Kirk Knuffke recording live at Roulette in 2009 in a trio with Kenny Wollesen on drums and Lisle Ellis on bass.


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.


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!


Milford Graves
Babi [2 CDs]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Recorded in 1976 at WBAI-FM/Free Music Store in New York, drummer percussionist Milford Graves goes head to head with two reedists, Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover, an absolute stunner of percussive momentum and force, drawing the reeds into a frenzy of unbridled free playing; issued with a 2nd CD of a private recording of Graves plus unpublished photos.


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo
Kikoeru, Tribute to Masaya Kimura
(Libra)

Completing a year of monthly albums for pianist Satoko Fujii's "kanreki", or 60th birthday, is this impressive and cathartic album written for Fujii's Orchestra Tokyo as a tribute to late tenor saxophonist and 10 year orchestra member Masaya Kimura, with four compositions from Fujii and two from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, in an album of both profound testimonly and celebratory release.


Ian Brighton
Imaginings
(FMR)

Looking back and fondly imagining some of the locations and configuration that UK guitarist Ian Brighton played in the 70s, Brighton developed the pieces on this album, each compositions varying the personnel from life-long partners (Taylor, Wachsmann, Mattos) to musicians Brighton has performed with since his 2016 return to improvisation (Carrier, Beresford, Metcalfe).


Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (feat. Marilyn Crispell / Evan Parker)
Parallel Moments Unbroken [2CDS]
(FMR)


John Tilbury / Keith Rowe / Kjell Bjorgeengen
Sissel
(Sofa Music)

AMM alumni, pianist John Tilbury and guitarist Keith Rowe, join with Norwegian performer/conceptualist Kjell Bjorgeengen, whose work is often an amalgamation of sound waves, moving images and lights; here Kjell suggested a painting by Nicolas Poussin as a focal point for the trio's improvisation at this performance in Stavanger, Norway.


Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey)
The Other Side Of Air
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Taking the reigns as composer, performer and bandleader, New York pianist Myra Melford's exceptional quintet Snowy Egret, with Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, present a brilliant album of creative jazz, with lyrical grooves and commanding soloing, a great and thoroughly modern album.


Wadada Smith Leo
Rosa Parks: Pure Love
(Tum)

Inspired by the civil rights movement and the iconic Rosa Parks, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's album pays tribute through impressive compositional skills that merge work with RedKoral Quartet, Blue Trumpet Quartet, Diamond Voices, and Janus duo, featuring excerpts from Anthony Braxton, Steve McCall, Leroy Jenkins, and words from Martin Luther King Jr and a text by Rosa Parks.


John Butcher / Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand
How Does This Happen?
(Ambiances Magnetiques)

The Montreal free improvising, experimenting duo "Not The Music" of bassist Eric Norman & bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier invited UK saxophonist John Butcher for concerts in Ottawa and Montreal, recording the two impressive 5-part series heard on this album--"en consequence" (consequently) and "par irruption" (by bursting), of masterful and profoundly pensive prowess.


Marion Brown / Dave Burrell
Live At The Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
(NoBusiness)

In 1981 Archie Shepp and Roman Wiggins coordinated the University of Massachusettes's week-long event of workshops, concerts & lectures focused on modern jazz, the opening concert the wonderfully sophisticated duo of alto saxophonist Marion Brown and pianist Dave Burrell peforming 7 pieces of compositions from each, plus two Strayhorn pieces, ending with "Lush Life"; essential.


Dunmall / Siegel / Pursglove / Sanders
As One Does
(FMR)

Two saxophones take the front line from Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album, the leader on tenor saxophone with fellow tenor player Julian Siegel, also on bass clarinet, while Mark Sanders drums and Percy Pursglove handles bass and also trumpet, as the band falls into a hard bop mode, weaving lines together over wonderfully turbulent and soulful grooves; outstanding.


Paul Dunmall / Philip Gibbs / James Owston / Jim Bashford
Inner And Outer
(FMR)

Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album in a quarte with James Owston on bass, Jim Bashford on drums, Philip Gibbs on guitar, and Dunmall on tenor saxophone, Gibbs's hollow-body opening the sound as Owston and Bashford trade rapid responses or provide solid grooves, the themes of the dialogs focused on space and time through intricate, complex and profound interaction.


Wadada Smith Leo / Sabu Toyozumi
Burning Meditation
(NoBusiness)

"Burning" is an accurate description of the energetic, spiritual and enthusiastic duo of Japanese percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and NY trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith, also performing on koto, flute, percussion and voice, caught live at C.S Akarenga in Yamaguchi City for 6 stunning dialogs, including one dedicated to late trumpeter Don Cherry.


Tyshawn Sorey
Pillars [3 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Drummer/percussionist, trombonist, pianist and importantly here, composer, Tyshawn Sorey in an amazing and ambitious work "Pillars", assembling an ensemble of virtuosic NY performers (Joe Morris, Todd Neufeld, Ben Gerstein, Stephen Hayes, Zach Rowden, Carl Test, Mark Helias) as he references Tibetan rituals, Stockhausen, and Anthony Braxton, and much more.


George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell
Voyage And Homecoming
(RogueArt)

The long-running association of Chicago legends, trombonist George Lewis and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, are recorded live at CTM Festival at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, in Berlin in 2018, accompanied by Lewis' laptop adding a third voice that responds and generates textural and rhythmic accompaniment in response to the playing of both improvisers; impressive and exotic.


Wadada Smith Leo / Sabu Toyozumi
Burning Meditation [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

"Burning" is an accurate description of the energetic, spiritual and enthusiastic duo of Japanese percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and NY trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith, also performing on koto, flute, percussion and voice, caught live at C.S Akarenga in Yamaguchi City for 6 stunning dialogs, including one dedicated to late trumpeter Don Cherry.


Davis / Mitchell / Ortiz / Shipp
New American Songbooks, Volume 2 [VINYL]
(Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records)

The 2nd volume of Sound American's "New American Songbooks" turns from the 1st volume's group approach to the singular voices of 4 masterful pianists--Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruan Ortiz, and Matthew Shipp--as they interpret the music of traditional hymns, Carla Bley, filmaker/composer Ed Bland, and bandcamp era composers Ryan Power & Christopher Weisman.


Valid Tractor (Pat Thomas / Dominic Lash / Lawrence Casserley)
On The Validity Of Tractors
(FMR)


Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver / Nels Cline
What Is To Be Done
(Clean Feed)

The first release from the trio of Nels Cline, Gerald Cleaver, and Larry Ochs in a 2016 concert at Gallery5 Arts, in Richmond, Virginia, captured as part of the trio's series touring around the Northeast each December since 2015, playing what Larry Ochs describes as music that "seeks sonically to soothe, to inspire, and to conspire", in three urgent and powerful improvisations.


Mary Halvorson
Code Girl [2 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


Joe McPhee / Hamid Drake
Keep Going
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The second duo album between saxophonist & pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee and drummer/frame drummer Hamid Drake begins with McPhee reciting words by Harriett Tubman (Keep Going), as the two inform and astound through masterful playing, together and solo, shaking the listener through intense and unambiguously clear playing, with pieces reflecting our world situation.


Akira Sakata / Simon Nabatov / Takashi Seo / Darren Moore
Not Seeing Is A Flower
(Leo)

An absolutely impressive example of collective free improvisation as the quartet of Japanese jazz masters Takashi Seo on acoustic bass and Akira Sakata on alto saxophone, clarinet, vocals, and percussion meet Australian Darren Moore on drums & percussion, and Russian Simon Nabatov on piano for an extended 6-part live set at Chiba's "Jazzspot" Candy.


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!


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

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


Dave Holland Feat. Evan Parker / Craig Taborn / Ches Smith
Uncharted Territories [2 CDs]
(Dare2 Records)

Reuniting bassist Dave Holland with saxophonist Evan Parker, a longtime friend from their early days in London, and joined by Craig Taborn on piano and electronics, and Ches Smith on percussion, as the group performs as a quartet and also in a variety of permutations of duo and trio configurations, in a set of rich and informed dialogs of masterful skill.


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

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


Rutger Zuydervelt
Sileen II
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

An adaptation from "Sileen", a composition commissioned by Musica For The Festival Oortreders at Neerpelt, Belgium, 2016 performed with 50 members of a local music school; "Sileen II" was realized with only Gareth Davis on bass clarinet plus sounds from Machinefabriek, recorded in the same pitch and tempo as "Sileen', then slowed to half its speed and one octave lower.


Martin Tetreault
Plus de Snipettes!!
(Ambiances Magnetiques)

A fun, odd and eccentric album constructed from extracts of hours of tape reels and audio cassettes by Montreal turntablist Martin Tetrault, a mix of plunderphonic sources, unusual turntable technique, and experimental audio collage drawn from an insanely diverse set of sources, in this sequel to his 1992 "Snipettes!" cassette, here with 31 new fascinating miniatures.


CHANGES TO blind
evolvensume
(Squidco Records)

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


Toshiya Tsunoda / Taku Unami
Wovenland
(erstwhile)

The liner notes give good detail to each composition from these Japanese sound artists and composers Toshiya Tsunoda and Taku Unami, reworking and transforming field recordings from a diverse set of environmental locations by changing pitch, playback speeds, frequency, amplitude, &., creating 11 compositions, imbuing the mundane with unusual and surprising aural attributes.


Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke w/ Special Guest U-Zhaan
Hence [VINYL]
(Editions Mego)

Accompanied by Japanese master tabla player U-zhaan, the 3rd album from Australian guitarist and experimenter Oren Ambarchi and Chicago/NY/Japan musician Jim O'Rourke uses U-zhaan's warmly active rhythms as a platform for shifting sounds and resonant repetition, hypnotic and psychedelic as it draws the listener into wonderful swirls of sound.


Ikue Mori / Christian Ronn
Chordis et Machina [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(Resipiscent Records)

A sublime album contrasting the physical acoustics of upright, grand and prepared pianos with elusively slippery electronics, plus some Buchla and Serge synthesizer additions, as New York electroacoustic improviser Ikue Mori and Danish experimenter Christian Ronn meet at the Elektron Musik Studion (EMS) in Stockholm to record this wonderfully hallucinatory album.


Eliane Radigue
Geelriandre / Arthesis [VINYL]
(Important Records)

Two hallucinatory works for keyboards that envelop their listeners in deep, slowly shifting sound, from composer and electronic explorer Eliane Radigues, the first "Geelriandre" from 1972 and realized on an ARP 2500 synthesizer, with Gerard Fremy on prepared piano; "Arthesis" from 1973 was realized by Radigue on a Moog Synthesizer at the University of Iowa.


Patrick Kosk
Mondweib
(Edition Rz)

Recordings from the Elektronic Studio at the TU Berlin, the Studio of the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, and at Patrick Kosk's own studio.


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

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


Graham Lambkin / Michael Pisaro
Schwarze Riesenfalter
(erstwhile)

Balancing active organized sound worlds from Graham Lambkin with Wandelweiser discretion from Michael Pisaro in five tracks that punctuate concrete sound compositions with Feldman-esque piano progressions, bound together by a short poem; captivating and elusive.


AMK
Wiretap [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

Legendary sound artist AMK in a 6 track cassette release of sounds performed on records and record players with sources including Elvin Jones, Gary Madeley, Aston Barrestt, Carlton Barrett, Joe Higgs, John B, John Bonham, Keith Moon and Howard Stelzer.


Joanna Sokolowska Halszka
plays Franz Schubert Winterreise
(Bolt)

Vocalist Joanna Halszka Sokolowska interprets Franz Shubert's "Winterreise", a 19th century work setting the poems of Wilhelm Muller to music, recorded in a single take on a winter night in Warsaw, Poland at the Komuna Theater, a fragile and unique look at this famous work.


Howard Stelzer
The Case Against
(Monotype)

Howard Stelzer's 6th full-length solo album of composed cassette-tape music, using cassette recording made in New England, fed into a complex set of effect processors, to create a steadily enveloping deep-water/deep-space dive of rich, encompassing sound.


Anthony Burr / Anthony Pateras
The Long Exhale
(Immediata)

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


R. Dockery Lee / Smokey Emery
Cathedrelic [CASSETTE with DOWNLOAD CODE]
(Astral Spirits)

An album of dark and cavernous sound in the second release from the sound-sculpting duo of R. Lee Dockery and Smoke Emery (aka Daniel Hipolito), two long tracks that evolve with the patience and intensity of a dark sacramental journey in deeply detailed drone.


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.


Ezio Piermattei
Tre Madri Ludopatiche [CASSETTE]
(Discombobulate)

Using an eclectic set of audio tools, objects, voice and electronics, Ezio Piermantel creates a bizarre sound world of concrete and inexplicable sound that fascinates the listener in a strange non-narrative that still manages to tell a story in sound and noise; truly unique.


Flamingo Creatures
Fisch Versucht Das Sprechenlernen
(Discombobulate)

Ten tracks of unusual electroacoustic experiments from the duo of Ronnie Oliveras and Ruth Maria Adam, using sound boxes and a variety of instruments to create a psychedelic yet embraceable set of recordings that leave the listener scratching their head but still grounded by tangible music, albeit in the strangest of settings.


Yoshio Machida / Constantin Papageorgiadis
Music from the SYNTHI 100
(Amorfon)

Japanese artist Yoshio Machida and Belgian artist Constantin Papageorgiadis recorded these 12 tracks on an EMS Synthi 100 keyboard, a modular analogue/digital hybrid synth designed in 1971 of which 31 were constructed, this one being on loan from Gent University in Belgium, here manipulated without keyboards to create these rich electronic "Generations" and "Experiments".


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

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


John Zorn
The Urmuz Epigrams
(Tzadik)

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


Kevin Drumm
Inexplicable Hours
(Sonoris)

Chicago experimenter and improviser Kevin Drumm releases the sequel to his 6-CD boxset "Elapsed Time", using audio generators and various electronic devices to generate beautiful ambient environments and drones that are complemented by field recordings and short spoken sections, a rich work of subtle complexity, dark warmth, and mystery.


Hong Chulki / Will Guthrie
Mosquitoes and Crabs
(erstwhile)

Recording in Seoul, South Korea at Mullae Arts Village in 2016, the duo of Australian drummer/percussionist Will Guthrie and improvising noise artist Hong Chulki release 8 pieces with concise works under 1 minute to larger improvisations up to 8 minutes, contrasting interesting rhythms with indescribable electronics, found sounds, and unusual environments.


Michael Pisaro
Etant Donnes
(Gravity Wave)

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


Yui Onodera / Stephen Vitiello
Quiver
(Mikroton Recordings)

Tokyo-based electronic composer Yui Onondera (critical-path) and New York experimenter Stephen Vitiello use a variety of sound sources--electric violin, electric & acoustic guitars, field recordings, found objects, modular synthesizer, toy piano, &c--to create a set of 8 "Quivers" from trembling agitation to exquisite atmospheric repositories of sound.


Tom Johnson
Spaces . An Hour For Piano
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two works for solo piano from composer Tom Johnson and performed by Keiko Shichijo; "Spaces" was written after his teacher, Morton Feldman, helped Johnson elucidate his voice as a composer through a study of chords; "An Hour for Piano" was written in 1971 based on a series of short, improvisatory sketches written for modern dance, merged and expanded to exactly one hour.


Ferran Fages
Detuning Series For Guitar
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The 2nd part of a trilogy for guitar and sinetones composed between 2015-18, alongside "What Might Occur (Rereadings of Triadic Memories by Morton Feldman for guitar and sinewaves)" (2015-17) and "Un Lloc Entre Dos Records" (2017); this work, originally written in 2016, and revised in 2018, is heard in a recording at GMEA, France, with guitarist Benjamin Maumus.


Erik Satie (Aleman / Vandromme)
Socrate
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A beautiful rendering of French composer Eric Satie's 1918 masterwork "Socrate", originally for four sopranos and chamber orchestra, here stripped to its essence as a duo with Olalla Aleman on soprano and Guy Vandromme on piano, maintaining Satie's characterist reserve and refinement in the 3 parts: "portrait of socrates"; "banks of the ilissus"; and "death of socrates".


John McCowen
Mundanas I - V
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)


Morgan Evans-Weiler / Michael Pisaro
Lines And Tracings
(Another Timbre)

Two compositions, one by composer Michael Pisaro and performed by the electroacoustic ensemble "Ordinary Affects" including violinist Morgan Evans-Weiler, then an acoustic composition from Evans-Weiler himself performed with violin, clarinet, cello, harpsichord and piano; both exquisite works that draw out tone and time in patiently unfolding fluidity.


Jurg Frey
String Quartets
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

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


Jurg Frey
24 Worter
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Composer Jurg Frey's "Landscape with Words" presents 27 compositions, 24 of which are based on individual words in orchestration with piano and violin, understated and minimal yet sumptuously lyrical and evocative, using space and tension to illustrate each segment.


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

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


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

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


Eva Houben Maria
Organ Sonatinas And Drones [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

American organist and composer Carson Cooman performs three sontatinas, each in three movements, and the 2014 work "drones", by German contemporary composer Eva Maria Houben, a member of the Wandelweiser group, all slowly evolving works of tone and subtle harmonics.


Satoko Fujii / Yuko Yamaoka
Diary 2005-2015: Tuko Yamaoka plays the music of Satoko Fujii [2 CDs]
(Libra)

A double CD of Satoko Fujii compositions, 56 short compositions from a series she started around 2005 to expand her skills as a composer, many of which fueled her many band's repertoires; in 2018 she asked respected classical pianist and educator Yuko Yamaoka to record this set of compositions as part of her 60th birthday monthly album set.


Mark Taylor R.
Aftermaths
(Another Timbre)

Works for solo piano by Mark R Taylor, beautifully played by Teodora Stepancic, the first CD release by a remarkable but neglected English composer whose piano works present a metrically rhythmicized exploration of a generative spectrum, here featuring works dating between 1979 and 2018 and performed by Serbian pianist Teodora Stepancic.


Quatuor Bozzini
Phill Niblock: Boabab
(Collection QB)

Montreal's Bozzini Quartet of Clemens Merkel (violin), Alissa Cheung (violin), Stephanie Bozzini (viola), and Isabelle Bozzini (cello) perform two Phil Niblock orchestral works exploring overtone patterns in acoustic instruments: "Disseminate" (1998) and "Baobab" (2011), which Niblock adapted for the quartet by arranging multiple tracks that are mixed into the final work.


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.


Michael Von Biel

(Edition Rz)

German composer, cellist and fluxus artist Michael von Biel in 5 works, two performed by the Pellegrini-Quartett in 2003, a string quartet from '67, and two electronic works from '64 & '68.


Iancu Dumitrescu / Ana-Maria Avram
Live In Berlin
(Edition Modern)

Spectral composers Iancu Dumitrescu & Ana-Maria Avram present 4 works recorded live in Berlin from 2009-14, with participants including Yoni Silver, Tim Hodgkinson, Stephan O'Malley, orchestration including stretchable steel and computer, crystals, prepared piano, &c.


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

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


Beat Keller / Tom Johnson / Joseph Kudirka
String Trios
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A superb program of string trios from minimalist composers Beat Keller, Tom Johnson, and Joseph Kudirka, from cinematic to spacious sound work, as realized by the trio of Julia Schwob on violin, David Schnee on viola, and Nicola Romano on cello.


Eva-Maria Houben
Livres D'heures - Books Of Hours [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Developed from the 13th & 14th century concept of a "book of hours", a prayer book for laymen, and particularly the book of the Duke of Berry (1340-1416) which describes relationships between people; performed by Andreas Feilen, Eva-Maria Houben, and Erik Carlson.


Christoph Schiller
Spinet, 2016
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Christoph Schiller performs on the spinet, often improvising with electronics and objects; here he uses the spinet alone in patiently developing compositions that emphasize the individual tones and harmonics of the instrument played on the keys and inside the instrument.


Marc Sabat
Harmony
(Another Timbre)

The fifth CD in the Canadian Composers Series is also the debut appearance on Another Timbre by the Jack Quartet, performing works by composer Marc Sabat--two string quartets and a violin/cello duo--all combining an exploration of the soundworld of Just Intonation with a strong underlying lyricism.


Cem Guney
A Hint Of An Emotion
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The duo of Beat Keller and Philipp Bowee on electric guitars perform 6 subtle compositions from Turkish-born sound artists and composer Cem Guney's, including 'a bas relief of a talisman' dedicated to Charles Ives and 'soft kill incubator' dedicated to Sylvia Alexandra Schimag.


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.


Eva-Maria Houben
Voice With Piano
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Three compositions for voice and piano from German composer Eva-Maria Houben, also performing on piano with soprano vocalist Irene Kurka--"Adagio" in three pieces; "Lyri"; and "Lieder Fur Die Insel (Songs for the Island)--with texts from poet Felix Timmermans (adagio) and Hilde Domin (lyrik); beautiful, stark, haunting music that presents at its own pace.


Eva-Maria Houben
Voice With Harp
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Five works for harp and voice from composer Eva-Maria Houben and soprano Tatiana Kuzina, opening with a lovely "Aeolian Harp", and including two works from her "Voice and Piano" album recorded for harp--"Adagio" in 3 movements, and "Songs for the Island" in 5 movements--alongside "Hatid" and "Two Songs with Piano" in two movements.


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Reverse Of Rebirth In Universe
(Riot Season)

A new chapter for Acid Mothers Temple and The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. as original members Kawabata Makoto (guitar, speed guru) and Higashi Hiroshi (synthesizer, noodle god) welcome Jyonson Tsu (vocal, midnight whistler), Satoshima Nani (drums, another dimension), and Wolf (bass, space and time) in a sophisticated spacer that references Gong, Grateful Dead, and even Bobby Vinton.


Holy Fuck
Cassette No. 1 [CASSETTE]
(Self Released)

Cassette Day release of "Demos, live tracks, outtakes, noise, assorted bullshit" from this Canadian band, who create the equivalent of modern electronic music without actually using the techniques associated with that music--looping, splicing, programming, &c.


Stop Motion Orchestra
Lightworks
(Megaphone / Knock 'Em Dead)

Fitting squarely in the Rock In Opposition mold, Stop Motion Orchestra is an Austin, Texas-based instrumental chamber rock band orchestrated with sax, violin, guitar, synth-bass, drums, here in their second album bringing a bright and melodic force that reminds of Hamster Theatre, Debile Menthol or L'Ensemble Raye; sophisticated, charming and knowledgeable music.


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Sacred And Inviolable Phase Shift
(Bam Balam Records)

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.'s studio album with 5 extended improvised psychedelic rock pieces from guitarist Kawabata Makoto, bassist Wolf, drummer Satoshima Nani, synth player Higashi Hiroshi, and new guitarist/vocalist Jyonson Tsu also on bouzouki; wonderfully detailed and completely spaced out rock from the Japanese masters of the form.


Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale)
Das Rad
(Discus)

Influenced by progressive rock, kosmiche, and fusion forms, the UK trio Das Rad of Nick Robinson on guitars & electronics, Martin Archer on sax, reeds, winds, keys and electronics, Steve Dinsdale on drums and percussion, and Julie Archer on voice, bringing 70s sounds to modern sensibilities and superb creative playing, a great achievement.


Hifiklub
E Lisboa
(Shhpuma)

A collaborative French instrumental rock band led by and with compositions from the core quartet of Anthony Belguise (drums), Jean-Loup Faurat (guitar), Regis Laugier (bass) and Nico Morcillo (guitar), with a list of 22 international guests across 8 songs and instrumentals, including Rafael Toral, Maria Radich, Paulo Furtado, Carlos Zingaro, Rui Carvalho, &c.


Henry Cow
Concerts [remastered]
(Recommended Records)

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


Henry Cow
Box 1: The Road Volumes 1-5
(Recommended Records)

Henry Cow's early years on the road, live recordings masterfully restored by Bob Drake, with early unreleased material, improvisations, shows with Robert Wyatt - wow!


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

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


Tigon
Infinite Teeth [VINYL]
(New Atlantis)

San Francisco's Tigon play a hard-edged form of rock, avoiding the cliches of hardcore through intelligent use of dissonance and channeled power, with a Fugazi-like vocal approach over super-heavy riffing and sound.


Punkappella
Wake Up [7-inch VINYL]
(Front Rock)

A 7" 6 song release of Mike Pride's "punk" vocal troupe Punkappella, with Dusan Hedl, Bojan Tmoazic, Rick Klaus Theis, and Jessica Pavone on vocals; double sided sleeve contains lyrics for these unusual vocal vignettes.


Andrew Weathers Ensemble
Fuck Everybody, You Can Do Anything
(Full Spectrum)

Experimental improvising in the 3rd studio release from Andrew Weathers and his Ensemble paying homage to America's myriad cultural traditions in sound tapestry and song, completing a trilogy that began in 2011 with "We're Not Cautious".


Ich B!n Nintendo (Winther / Nergaard / Johansen)
Lykke
(Shhpuma)

The Ich Bin Nintendo trio of Christian Skar Winther (guitar & voice), Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard (bass) and Joakim Heibo Johansen (drums) take their improvised noise music into the post-punk world with demanding and energetic music that voices it's power and exultation.


BZ BZ UEU
Tapes & Vinyls
(Music a la Coque)

Reissue of Italian improvising rock band of Jacopo Andreini (sax), Pino Montecalvo (bass), Carlo Lupori (drums), Efisio Biancofiore (guitar), Edi Leo (trumpet), active from 1993 to 2005, in their first demo tape recorded live in studio in 1994 plus two 7" split with NO and God Is My Co-Pilot.


Henry Cow
Vol. 1: Beginnings
(Recommended Records)

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


Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere
03
(Discus)

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


Haco
Qoosui
(Someone Good / Room40)

An hypnotic, lush and beautiful album of sound and lilting voice from Japanese vocalist and electronic experimenter Haco (After Dinner), seven songs of subtle sophistication that create dreamlike environments of floating tones and invoking voice, refined from decades of experimentation and investigation to yield this enchanting album.


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.


Amy Denio
The Big Embrace
(Spoot)

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


Loren Connors
Pretty As Ever [VINYL]
(Recital)

The Recital label continues its Loren Conners editions/reissue series with their 4th album of the guitarist's music, collecting and remastering tracks from out of print albums "Sails" and "Little Match Girl" in an album of ballads, complemented with a 12-page art-booklet of previously unpublished illustrations by Conners himself.


Fred Frith / Hardy Fox
A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And Earth
(Klanggalerie)

Fred Frith's solo career started on the West Coast Ralph Records label, home of The Residents; Frith met Residents front man Hardy Fox in passing in 1991, making recordings on a Pacific beach using Fox's Walkman, which they brought to a multi-track studio to record the basis for an ultimately unreleased album, now revived decades later as Fox rediscovered this fascinating material.


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

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


Ceramic Dog (Ribot / Ches Smith / Shahzad Ismaily)
Y R U Still Here?
(Northern Spy)

In the Downtown NY tradition of blurring rock and improvisation, the trio of Marc Ribot on guitar and voice, Shahzad Ismaily on bass, Moog, percussion and voice, and Ches Smith on drums, percussion and electronics, answer their own question 'why are you still here' through 11 genre-crossing songs of turmoil and inquisitiveness, perfect for the polarities of the time.


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

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


Don Cherry
Home Boy, Sister Out
(WeWantSounds)

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


AMM
An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs]
(Matchless)

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


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

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


Milford Graves
Babi [2 CDs]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Recorded in 1976 at WBAI-FM/Free Music Store in New York, drummer percussionist Milford Graves goes head to head with two reedists, Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover, an absolute stunner of percussive momentum and force, drawing the reeds into a frenzy of unbridled free playing; issued with a 2nd CD of a private recording of Graves plus unpublished photos.


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

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


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

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


Satoko Fujii
Solo
(Libra)

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


Tim Berne / Matt Mitchell Duo
Angel Dusk
(Screwgun)

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


Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey)
The Other Side Of Air
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Taking the reigns as composer, performer and bandleader, New York pianist Myra Melford's exceptional quintet Snowy Egret, with Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, present a brilliant album of creative jazz, with lyrical grooves and commanding soloing, a great and thoroughly modern album.


Satoko Fujii
Ninety-Nine Years
(Libra)

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


John Butcher / Eddie Prevost
Visionary Fantasies
(Matchless)

A series of inspired solo and duo performances from AMM founder, percussionist Eddie Prevost and free improvising saxophonist John Butcher, captured live at London's Iklectik in 2018, splitting the album between solo and duo work as the two morph their instruments into incredible sonic devices, with intense concentration and dialog nothing short of fantastic.


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

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


Frode Gjerstad / John Stevens / Johnny Mbizio Dyani
Detail 83
(FMR)

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


Tyshawn Sorey
Pillars [3 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Drummer/percussionist, trombonist, pianist and importantly here, composer, Tyshawn Sorey in an amazing and ambitious work "Pillars", assembling an ensemble of virtuosic NY performers (Joe Morris, Todd Neufeld, Ben Gerstein, Stephen Hayes, Zach Rowden, Carl Test, Mark Helias) as he references Tibetan rituals, Stockhausen, and Anthony Braxton, and much more.


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

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


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

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


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

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


Jemeel Moondoc Quartet
The Astral Revelations
(RogueArt)

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


Ingrid Laubrock / Tom Rainey
Utter
(Relative Pitch)

After their 2016 tour of the US West Coast, husband and wife free improvising duo Ingrid Laubrock (tenor & soprano sax) and Tom Rainey (drums) entered a Brooklyn studio with a set of co-written compositions, which they weave together with free improv, relying on cues that can trigger a given composition at any time, adding a unique layer of communication to their exuberant playing.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Paul Dunmall / Jon Irabagon / Mark Sanders / Jim Bashford
The Rain Sessions
(FMR)

Dedicated to Cecil Taylor and taking advantage of NY saxophonist Irabagon's UK visit, this album presents four drum duets "time two", as two tenor saxophonists--Paul Dunmall and Jon Irabagon--meet two lyrical drummers--Mark Sanders and Jim Bashford--following Dunmall long-standing interest in drum and sax duets, the results this ebullient and remarkable album.


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

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


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

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


Misha Mengelberg / Peter Brotzmann / Evan Parker / Peter Bennink / Paul Rutherford / Derek Bailey / Han Bennink
Groupcomposing
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Authoritative and playful free improvisation in the European Free Jazz style, this 1978 album on Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink's Instant Composers Pool (ICP) label, included the pianist and drummer along with Peter Brotzmann, Peter Bennink and Evan Paker on sax, Paul Rutherford on trombone, and Derek Bailey on guitar, in a much-need reissue of this seminal album.


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

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


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

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


Joe McPhee / John Edwards / Klaus Kugel
Journey to Parazzar
(Not Two)

Recorded at Metallurgov House Of Culture in the Ukraine as the 2nd concert of their tour, the trio of Joe McPhee (trumpet, alto saxophone), John Edwards (double bass), and Klaus Kugel (drums) present a masterful concert that includes a 29-minute "Re-Hairing In Zaporozhye" a 19-minute "To Rush At The Wind", and a wonderfully unconventional tribute to Cecil Taylor.


Joelle Leandre / Marc Ducret
Chez Helene
(Ayler)

Jean-Marc Foussat recorded the French improvising duo of electric guitairst Marc Ducret and double bassist Joelle Leandre at 19PaulFort in May, 2018, the title drawn from a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, as the two trade acoustic and electric string approaches in a sophisticated dialog of exceptional technique and inventive approaches; superb.


Mary Halvorson
Code Girl [2 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


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

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


Mars Williams presents
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
(ESP)

After releasing "An Ayler Xmas: The Music of Albert Ayler & Songs of Christmas" on Chicago saxophonist Mars Williams' Soul What? Label, ESP approached him for a 2nd volume, resulting in this joyful and quirky holiday record with contributions from Josh Berman, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Jeb Bishop, Christof Kurzmann, Didi Kern, Thomas Berghammer, Steve Hunt, Jim Baker and Hermann Stangassinger.


Rova Saxophone Quartet
In Transverse Time
(Les Disques Victo)

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


Moore / Edwards / Prevost
Darkened, yet shone
(Matchless)

Combining free improvisation, free jazz, rock, and electronic/EA-improv, the trio of Eddie Prevost (drums), NO Moore (guitarist), and bassist John Edwards are caught live at IKLECTIK in London, 2017, for a concert that changes pace from vigorous riffs to unconventional introspection, with masterful playing and profound technique, an exceptional performance.


Joe Morris / Do Yeon Kim
Macrocosm
(Glacial Erratic)

Performing on the Korean gayageum (also known as kayagum), Do Yeon Kim joins Joe Morris performing on guitar for five incredible string improvisations using a diversity of approaches from both players, including pointillistic improv, rich rivers of chords, languid moments of beauty, and moments where it's difficult to discern who's playing what.


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

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


Joe McPhee / Hamid Drake
Keep Going
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The second duo album between saxophonist & pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee and drummer/frame drummer Hamid Drake begins with McPhee reciting words by Harriett Tubman (Keep Going), as the two inform and astound through masterful playing, together and solo, shaking the listener through intense and unambiguously clear playing, with pieces reflecting our world situation.


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!


Sun Ra
Astro Black
(Modern Harmonic)

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


Kira Kira (Tamura / Spence / Fujii / Takemura)
Bright Force
(Libra)

Since 2007 Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and Australian keyboardist Alister Spence have collaborated on performance and recording in several configurations, including work with Tony Buck, Raymond McDonald, Jim O'Rourke, &c.; this energetic and otherworldly quartet session with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer Ittetsu Takemura was recored live Knuttel House, in Tokyo, 2017.


The Thing (Gustafsson / Haker Flaten / Nilssen-Love + McPhee)
Again
(The Thing Records)

The Thing "again" as Gustafsson on saxophones, Haker Flaten on electric and acoustic bass, and Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion present 3 extended blues-based, Ayler-inflected free jazz pieces, with Gustafsson's powerfully emotional playing over Haker-Flaten and Nilssen-Love's powerful polyrhythmic foundations; Joe McPhee joins for one track taking on a Frank Lowe piece.


Dave Holland Feat. Evan Parker / Craig Taborn / Ches Smith
Uncharted Territories [2 CDs]
(Dare2 Records)

Reuniting bassist Dave Holland with saxophonist Evan Parker, a longtime friend from their early days in London, and joined by Craig Taborn on piano and electronics, and Ches Smith on percussion, as the group performs as a quartet and also in a variety of permutations of duo and trio configurations, in a set of rich and informed dialogs of masterful skill.


Marty Ehrlich
Trio Exaltation
(Clean Feed)

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


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

Their name taken from a poem by Wallace Stevens, the Netherlands-based trio of Ab Baars on sax and clarinet, Kaja Draksler on piano, and Joe Williamson on bass represent the spirit of the poem in seven compositions from Ab Baars plus two collective improvs, a great mix of serious and playful performance that diverts from detailed interaction to spacious reflectiveness.


Mette Rasmussen / Chris Corsano
A View Of The Moon (From The Sun)
(Clean Feed)

Following their Relative Pitch album "All the Ghosts at Once", the free improvising duo of alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and drummer Chris Corsano, also on slide clarinet, release their 2nd album, a live concert at Cankarjev dom, in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2015, pushing the limits on both instruments through radical technique and inventive approaches to their playing.


Mats Gustafsson / Jason Adasiewicz
Timeless
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Unexpected directions in this meeting between Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Chicago vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, in an introspective album of beautiful tonal conversations, relaxed and sophisticated dialogs that mostly eschews the more aggressive side of both musicians in deference to a thoughtful, reflective and elegant set of tunes.


Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano
A History Of Nothing
(Trost Records)

Following up their 2015 Not Two album "This is Our Language", the quartet organized by tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado with Joe McPhee on soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on double bass, and Chris Corsano, a superb album of intense communication and soloing from a collective that merges free and lyrical playing, from ballads to full-on fury.


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

The complete broadcast on the French radio station ORTF of Don Cherry's work at Studio 105, Maison de l'ORTF, Paris in March of 1967, finding multi-instrumentalist/trumpeter Don Cherry, also on cornet, piano, bamboo flute, gong, performing with Karl Berger on vibes, marimba, piano, celeste & percussion, and Jacques Thollot on drums, bells, & timbales.


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo
Kikoeru, Tribute to Masaya Kimura
(Libra)

Completing a year of monthly albums for pianist Satoko Fujii's "kanreki", or 60th birthday, is this impressive and cathartic album written for Fujii's Orchestra Tokyo as a tribute to late tenor saxophonist and 10 year orchestra member Masaya Kimura, with four compositions from Fujii and two from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, in an album of both profound testimonly and celebratory release.