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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.


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.


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.


Runcible Quintet, The
Four
(FMR)

London-based free improvisers and members of the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), this ensemble consists of soprano saxophonist Adrian Northover, flautist Neil Metcalfe, acoustic guitarist Daniel Thompson, double bassist John Edwards and Italian-born drummer Marcello Magliocci, in their second album on the FMR label, a spectacular live performance at I'klectik in 2017.


Dave Sewelson (w/ William Parker)
Music For A Free World
(FMR)

West Coast baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson leads the accomplished quartet of Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on bass, and Marvin "Bugalu" Smith on drums through six collective compositions, plus a reprise of Sewelson's earlier "Music for a Free World" composition, and his new composition "Bill" for guitarist/composer and friend Bill Horvitz.


Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii
Intelsat
(Alister Spence Music)

Continuing her monthly releases for her 60th birthday, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii meets Australian keyboard and electronic artist Alister Spence for their second meeting, touring Japan and recording this spellbinding album merging bells, gongs, electronics, and acoustic piano, inside and out, in a passionate album that balances melodicism and sound.


Fredrik Nordstrom
Needs
(Clean Feed)

An all-star octet of Swedish improvisers is actually a double quaret with two reed players (Nordstrom & Ljugkvist), two brass players (Aleklint and Barno), two double bassists (Augustson and Zetterberg) and two drummers (Cantillo and Rundqvist), creating a powerful rhythmic foundation for a lyrical set of Nordstrom compositions and conductions.


Paul Rogers / Olaf Rupp / Frank Paul Schubert
Three Stories About Rain, Sunlight And The Hidden Soil
(Relative Pitch)

A unique merging of free improvisation and chamber jazz, the trio of UK bassist Paul Rogers with German guitarist Olaf Rupp and soprano saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert using stunning technique in sensible ways as they present three extended works, energetic yet never frenetic, stretching their concepts through tight and enthralling dialog, a great achievement.


Phil Gibbs / Marcello Magliocchi / Adrian Northover / Maresuke Okamoto
Sezu
(FMR)

An intense live concert in Bristol, UK of collective free improvisation using insane technique and ecstatic drive from the quartet of Philip Gibbs on guitar & banjo, Marcello Magliocchi on drums, Adrian Northover on soprano & alto saxophones, and Maresuke Okamoto on cello & voice, a wonderfully skilled example of unexpected directions in creative free playing.


Friends & Neighbors (Roligheten / Johansson / Gronberg / Rune Strom / Ostvang)
What's Next?
(Clean Feed)

A great example of the Norwegian creative jazz scene, the quintet of Andree Roligheten on sax & clarinet, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums take their name from an Ornette Coleman LP, as they show us 'What's Next' by blending lyrical and free approaches with unexpected twists and turns.


Alexander Schlippenbach von / Aki Takase
Live At Cafe Amores
(NoBusiness)

Legendary free jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, founder of Globe Unity Orchestra and Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, met masterful Japanese pianist Aki Takase in 1995 for a live concert at Cafe Amores, in Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan, for a concert of intricate interplay and uniquely creative approaches, taking on work by Mingus, Monk, and even Frank Zappa.


Dave Rempis / Jasper Stadhouders / Frank Rosaly
ICOCI
(Aerophonic)

With long-time Chicago partners saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly, plus Dutch guitarist and electric bassist Jasper Stadhouders (Cactus Truck, Made to Break), this new trio plays assertive and energetic free jazz that shreds melodic riffs and raw power, decelerating for contemplative moments, as heard in two large improvisations named by digital sequences.


Dave Rempis / Tomeka Reid / Joshua Abrams
Ithra
(Aerophonic)

Chamber-oriented jazz that borrows from compositional forms by three leaders of the Chicago improv scene--Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophone, Tomeka Reid on cello, and Joshua Abrams on bass--in a collective work that demonstrates the unity of stylistic approaches through the thoughtful integration of a variety of styles and strategies.


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.


Otomo Yoshihide / Paal Nilssen-Love
19th of May, 2016
(PNL)

An intensively diverse and thrilling game of "cat and dog" between Norwegian percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love and Japanese guitarist Otomo Yoshihide, performing live at Dom Cultural Center, Moscow, Russia in 2016 for two extended improvisations that exemplify incredible technical skills, reflective and introspective dialog, and cathartic release; absolutely impressive.


Harvey Sorgen / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell
Dreamstruck
(Not Two)

With six collective compositions plus two by Joe Fonda, one from Paul Motian, and the title track by Bob Windbiel, the free improvising trio of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Joe Fonda on bass, and Harvey Sorgen on drums find lyrical beauty and masterfully controlled power in this superb album of creative free jazz, a remarkable example of the modern piano trio.


Szilard Mezei Septet
Veres Pancel
(FMR)

Vojvodinian composer and violist Szilard Mezei formed this septet in 2005, his 3rd chamber group with a distinctly free jazz voice, citing influences Gyorgy Szabados, Anthony Braxton, Bela Bartok, Witold Lutoslawsky, Gyoryg Ligeti, Jimmy Giuffre, Steve Lacy, Mal Waldron, to which we would add Eric Dolphy, here in their second FMR album capturing a live concert in Serbia, 2018.


Frame Trio (Luis Vincente / Marcelo Dos Reis / Nils Vermeulen)
Luminaria
(FMR)

Recording at Centro Norton de Matos Gymnasium, in Coimbra, Portugal, the Frame Trio led by Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente and Portuguese guitarist Marcelo Dos Reis, with Belgium double bassist Nils Vermeulen rounding out their unique approach to improvised music blending jazz and free approaches as they present their six part "Luminaria" (Luminary) suite.


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.


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".


Bobby Naughton / Wadada Leo Smith / Perry Robinson
The Haunt
(NoBusiness)

Reissuing Otic Records' 1976 LP "The Haunt" led by Bobby Naughton on vibes in a trio with Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, and Perry Robinson on clarinet, very much in the India Navigation / loft scene vein of forward-thinking free improvisation: spacious and thoughtful as the players meticulously develop their concepts with uncompromising skill and artistry.


Kaoru Abe / Sabu Toyozumi
Mannyoka
(NoBusiness)


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

Two electroacoustic improvisers and composers--Lucio Capece on reeds, analog synths, effects, field recordings, drums machines, speakers in motion, and Marc Baron on field recordings and analog devices--developed these 6 extraordinary recordings that blend motion, perspective, sound and noise, and concrete references in a mystifying and mesmerizing journey in sound.


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.


Cassandra Miller
O Zomer!
(Another Timbre)

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


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.


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.


Runcible Quintet, The
Four
(FMR)

London-based free improvisers and members of the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), this ensemble consists of soprano saxophonist Adrian Northover, flautist Neil Metcalfe, acoustic guitarist Daniel Thompson, double bassist John Edwards and Italian-born drummer Marcello Magliocci, in their second album on the FMR label, a spectacular live performance at I'klectik in 2017.


Dave Sewelson (w/ William Parker)
Music For A Free World
(FMR)

West Coast baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson leads the accomplished quartet of Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on bass, and Marvin "Bugalu" Smith on drums through six collective compositions, plus a reprise of Sewelson's earlier "Music for a Free World" composition, and his new composition "Bill" for guitarist/composer and friend Bill Horvitz.


Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii
Intelsat
(Alister Spence Music)

Continuing her monthly releases for her 60th birthday, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii meets Australian keyboard and electronic artist Alister Spence for their second meeting, touring Japan and recording this spellbinding album merging bells, gongs, electronics, and acoustic piano, inside and out, in a passionate album that balances melodicism and sound.


Fredrik Nordstrom
Needs
(Clean Feed)

An all-star octet of Swedish improvisers is actually a double quaret with two reed players (Nordstrom & Ljugkvist), two brass players (Aleklint and Barno), two double bassists (Augustson and Zetterberg) and two drummers (Cantillo and Rundqvist), creating a powerful rhythmic foundation for a lyrical set of Nordstrom compositions and conductions.


Paul Rogers / Olaf Rupp / Frank Paul Schubert
Three Stories About Rain, Sunlight And The Hidden Soil
(Relative Pitch)

A unique merging of free improvisation and chamber jazz, the trio of UK bassist Paul Rogers with German guitarist Olaf Rupp and soprano saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert using stunning technique in sensible ways as they present three extended works, energetic yet never frenetic, stretching their concepts through tight and enthralling dialog, a great achievement.


Phil Gibbs / Marcello Magliocchi / Adrian Northover / Maresuke Okamoto
Sezu
(FMR)

An intense live concert in Bristol, UK of collective free improvisation using insane technique and ecstatic drive from the quartet of Philip Gibbs on guitar & banjo, Marcello Magliocchi on drums, Adrian Northover on soprano & alto saxophones, and Maresuke Okamoto on cello & voice, a wonderfully skilled example of unexpected directions in creative free playing.


Friends & Neighbors (Roligheten / Johansson / Gronberg / Rune Strom / Ostvang)
What's Next?
(Clean Feed)

A great example of the Norwegian creative jazz scene, the quintet of Andree Roligheten on sax & clarinet, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums take their name from an Ornette Coleman LP, as they show us 'What's Next' by blending lyrical and free approaches with unexpected twists and turns.


Alexander Schlippenbach von / Aki Takase
Live At Cafe Amores
(NoBusiness)

Legendary free jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, founder of Globe Unity Orchestra and Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, met masterful Japanese pianist Aki Takase in 1995 for a live concert at Cafe Amores, in Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan, for a concert of intricate interplay and uniquely creative approaches, taking on work by Mingus, Monk, and even Frank Zappa.


Dave Rempis / Jasper Stadhouders / Frank Rosaly
ICOCI
(Aerophonic)

With long-time Chicago partners saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly, plus Dutch guitarist and electric bassist Jasper Stadhouders (Cactus Truck, Made to Break), this new trio plays assertive and energetic free jazz that shreds melodic riffs and raw power, decelerating for contemplative moments, as heard in two large improvisations named by digital sequences.


Dave Rempis / Tomeka Reid / Joshua Abrams
Ithra
(Aerophonic)

Chamber-oriented jazz that borrows from compositional forms by three leaders of the Chicago improv scene--Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophone, Tomeka Reid on cello, and Joshua Abrams on bass--in a collective work that demonstrates the unity of stylistic approaches through the thoughtful integration of a variety of styles and strategies.


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.


Otomo Yoshihide / Paal Nilssen-Love
19th of May, 2016
(PNL)

An intensively diverse and thrilling game of "cat and dog" between Norwegian percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love and Japanese guitarist Otomo Yoshihide, performing live at Dom Cultural Center, Moscow, Russia in 2016 for two extended improvisations that exemplify incredible technical skills, reflective and introspective dialog, and cathartic release; absolutely impressive.


Harvey Sorgen / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell
Dreamstruck
(Not Two)

With six collective compositions plus two by Joe Fonda, one from Paul Motian, and the title track by Bob Windbiel, the free improvising trio of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Joe Fonda on bass, and Harvey Sorgen on drums find lyrical beauty and masterfully controlled power in this superb album of creative free jazz, a remarkable example of the modern piano trio.


Szilard Mezei Septet
Veres Pancel
(FMR)

Vojvodinian composer and violist Szilard Mezei formed this septet in 2005, his 3rd chamber group with a distinctly free jazz voice, citing influences Gyorgy Szabados, Anthony Braxton, Bela Bartok, Witold Lutoslawsky, Gyoryg Ligeti, Jimmy Giuffre, Steve Lacy, Mal Waldron, to which we would add Eric Dolphy, here in their second FMR album capturing a live concert in Serbia, 2018.


Frame Trio (Luis Vincente / Marcelo Dos Reis / Nils Vermeulen)
Luminaria
(FMR)

Recording at Centro Norton de Matos Gymnasium, in Coimbra, Portugal, the Frame Trio led by Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente and Portuguese guitarist Marcelo Dos Reis, with Belgium double bassist Nils Vermeulen rounding out their unique approach to improvised music blending jazz and free approaches as they present their six part "Luminaria" (Luminary) suite.


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.


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".


Bobby Naughton / Wadada Leo Smith / Perry Robinson
The Haunt
(NoBusiness)

Reissuing Otic Records' 1976 LP "The Haunt" led by Bobby Naughton on vibes in a trio with Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, and Perry Robinson on clarinet, very much in the India Navigation / loft scene vein of forward-thinking free improvisation: spacious and thoughtful as the players meticulously develop their concepts with uncompromising skill and artistry.


Kaoru Abe / Sabu Toyozumi
Mannyoka
(NoBusiness)


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

Two electroacoustic improvisers and composers--Lucio Capece on reeds, analog synths, effects, field recordings, drums machines, speakers in motion, and Marc Baron on field recordings and analog devices--developed these 6 extraordinary recordings that blend motion, perspective, sound and noise, and concrete references in a mystifying and mesmerizing journey in sound.


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.


Cassandra Miller
O Zomer!
(Another Timbre)

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


Linda Smith Catlin
Wanderer
(Another Timbre)

Eight sophisticated chamber pieces composed by Linda Catlin Smith and realized by the Canadian Apartment House ensemble, including a solo piano performed by Philip Thomas, a piano duo with Thomas and Mark Knoop, and works for percussion & cello, 2 quintet pieces for strings, percussion and winds, and two 7-piece conducted works with two percussionists, strings and brass.


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


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

For their second album together the Turkish free improvising group Konstrukt of Korhan Futaci on sax, Umut Caglar on keys & winds, Berkan Tilavel on synth & electronics, and Erdem Goymen on drums & percussion, invited legendary Japanese avant rock guitarist and vocalist Keiji Haino to Instanbul to capture this wonderfully idiosyncratic and spiritually live concert.


Mark Dresser
Modicana [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Double Bassist Mark Dresser, a mainstay of the Downtown NY scene as an improviser and composer, and also prominent on the US West Coast and as an international touring artist, releases a powerful album of distinctive solo playing, both technically and melodically, with 2 tracks caught live at the Umea Jazz Festival and others recorded at the University of California, San Diego.


Kang Hwan Tae
Live at Cafe Amores [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Korean free saxophonist Kang Tae Hwan recorded this album of sincere and satisfying solo improvisations in 1995 at Cafe Amores, in Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan, two decades after forming his first free jazz trio of experimental improvisations, demonstrating powerful technical skills and a unique voice on the sax; a long-overdue distillation of his music.


The Ex
27 Passports [VINYL]
(Ex Records)

After several years of Brass Unbound, Getatchew Mekuria, festivals and countless side projects, The Ex return to The Ex, a 4-piece led by the trio of guitars from Andy Moor, Terrie Hessels and Arnold de Boer driven by drummer Katherina Bornefeld, de Boer acerbic and insightful on this seriously great rock record; plus a 36-page photo book from Andy Moor.


The Thing (Gustafsson / Haker Flaten / Nilssen-Love + McPhee)
Again [VINYL]
(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.


Alexander Schlippenbach von / Aki Takase
Live At Cafe Amores [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Legendary free jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, founder of Globe Unity Orchestra and Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, met masterful Japanese pianist Aki Takase in 1995 for a live concert at Cafe Amores, in Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan, for a concert of intricate interplay and uniquely creative approaches, taking on work by Mingus, Monk, and even Frank Zappa.


Choi Bae Sun / Junji Hirose / Motoharu Yoshizawa / Kim Dae Hwan
Arirang Fantasy [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A 1995 live concert at Romanisches Cafe in Tokyo from the South Korean and Japanese free improvising quartet of Choi Sun Bae on trumpet, Junji Hirose on tenor & soprano saxophones, Motoharu Yoshizawa on electric vertical five strings bass, and Kim Dae Hwan on percussion, in five collective improvisations including an homage to Charlie Parker.


Dog Faced Hermans
Humans Fly [VINYL-DAMAGED]
(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.


Master Oogway
The Concert Koan [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Powerful electric jazz roots from the Norwegia quartet of Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on saxophone, Havard Nordberg Funderud on guitar, Karl Erik E. Horndalsveen on double bass, and Martin Mellem on drums, shredding inspirations from 60s electric Miles and Ornette, with a rock influenced rhythm section and electric guitar work driving great soloing.


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.


Horatiu Radulescu
Clepsydra / Astray [VINYL]
(Edition Rz)

Romanian-French composer Horatiu Radulescu with 2 works from 1983: "Clepsydra" for 16 Sound Icons played on a sideway piano, and the 1984 work "Astray" for 6 saxophones and Sound Icons.


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.


The Emetics
The Minute Album [VINYL]
(D.O.C. Records)

Crazy LP of hyper cut-up strange sounds from this Canadian duo, who play their music live without overdubs or multitracking.


Luc Ferrari
Presque Rien [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Recollection GRM)

Collecting all four of Luc Ferrari's musique concrete masterpieces "Presque Rien" on LP for the first time, forward-thinking and well-considered work from one of the masters of electroacoustic music.


Evan Parker & Joe Mcphee
What / If / They Both Could Fly
(Rune Grammofon)

Two legendary free players - saxophonist & pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee & saxophonist Evan Parker - performed these 3 exceptional improvisations live at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Norway in 2012.


The Thing
Mono [VINYL 2 LPs]
(The Thing Records)

Skronky improv from the trio of Mats Gustafsson (sax), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (electric bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) in this 180gm vinyl issue of their 2011 Smalltown Superjazz release, recorded in monaural sound for straight-to-your-brain free jazz!


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

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


DNMF (Rutger Zuydervelt / Kokke / Rene Aquarius)
DNMF [VINYL]
(Moving Furniture)

A collaborative release of Nijmegen's saxophone wielding grind duo of Rene Aquarius and Otto Kokke with sound artist Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt), tempering the duo's Ayleresque frenetic drive in response to Zuydervelt's long form drones.


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

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


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

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


Giovanni Di Domenico / Peter Jacquemyn / Chris Corsano
A Little Off The Top [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A limited LP from the trio of European improvisers Giovanni Di Domenico on piano and Peter Jacquemyn on double bass with American drummer Chris Corsano, recording in the studio in Belgium, 2013, for 3 free improvisations of dexterous and expressive playing.


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

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


Sun Ra & His Astro Infinity Arkestra
The Intergalactic Thing [VINYL 2 LPS + DOWNLOAD CODE]
(Roaratorio)

Unreleased material from Sun Ra & His Astro Infinity Arkestra recorded in the rehearsal space of Sun Ra's Philadelphia home in 1969, with a dozen never-before-heard pieces from Ra's songbook, plus reworkings of some classics; invaluable music for the Sun Ra collector.


Full Blast (Brotzmann / Pliakas / Wertmuller)
Risc [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Trost Records)

Full Blast, the long-running trio of Peter Brotzmann (reeds), Marino Pliakis (electric bass) and Michael Wertmuller (drums), recording in the studio for an album of seven masterful free improvisations of strong technical and powerfully intense 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.


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.


Runcible Quintet, The
Four
(FMR)

London-based free improvisers and members of the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), this ensemble consists of soprano saxophonist Adrian Northover, flautist Neil Metcalfe, acoustic guitarist Daniel Thompson, double bassist John Edwards and Italian-born drummer Marcello Magliocci, in their second album on the FMR label, a spectacular live performance at I'klectik in 2017.


Dave Sewelson (w/ William Parker)
Music For A Free World
(FMR)

West Coast baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson leads the accomplished quartet of Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on bass, and Marvin "Bugalu" Smith on drums through six collective compositions, plus a reprise of Sewelson's earlier "Music for a Free World" composition, and his new composition "Bill" for guitarist/composer and friend Bill Horvitz.


Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii
Intelsat
(Alister Spence Music)

Continuing her monthly releases for her 60th birthday, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii meets Australian keyboard and electronic artist Alister Spence for their second meeting, touring Japan and recording this spellbinding album merging bells, gongs, electronics, and acoustic piano, inside and out, in a passionate album that balances melodicism and sound.


Fredrik Nordstrom
Needs
(Clean Feed)

An all-star octet of Swedish improvisers is actually a double quaret with two reed players (Nordstrom & Ljugkvist), two brass players (Aleklint and Barno), two double bassists (Augustson and Zetterberg) and two drummers (Cantillo and Rundqvist), creating a powerful rhythmic foundation for a lyrical set of Nordstrom compositions and conductions.


Paul Rogers / Olaf Rupp / Frank Paul Schubert
Three Stories About Rain, Sunlight And The Hidden Soil
(Relative Pitch)

A unique merging of free improvisation and chamber jazz, the trio of UK bassist Paul Rogers with German guitarist Olaf Rupp and soprano saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert using stunning technique in sensible ways as they present three extended works, energetic yet never frenetic, stretching their concepts through tight and enthralling dialog, a great achievement.


Phil Gibbs / Marcello Magliocchi / Adrian Northover / Maresuke Okamoto
Sezu
(FMR)

An intense live concert in Bristol, UK of collective free improvisation using insane technique and ecstatic drive from the quartet of Philip Gibbs on guitar & banjo, Marcello Magliocchi on drums, Adrian Northover on soprano & alto saxophones, and Maresuke Okamoto on cello & voice, a wonderfully skilled example of unexpected directions in creative free playing.


Friends & Neighbors (Roligheten / Johansson / Gronberg / Rune Strom / Ostvang)
What's Next?
(Clean Feed)

A great example of the Norwegian creative jazz scene, the quintet of Andree Roligheten on sax & clarinet, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums take their name from an Ornette Coleman LP, as they show us 'What's Next' by blending lyrical and free approaches with unexpected twists and turns.


Alexander Schlippenbach von / Aki Takase
Live At Cafe Amores
(NoBusiness)

Legendary free jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, founder of Globe Unity Orchestra and Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, met masterful Japanese pianist Aki Takase in 1995 for a live concert at Cafe Amores, in Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan, for a concert of intricate interplay and uniquely creative approaches, taking on work by Mingus, Monk, and even Frank Zappa.


Dave Rempis / Jasper Stadhouders / Frank Rosaly
ICOCI
(Aerophonic)

With long-time Chicago partners saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly, plus Dutch guitarist and electric bassist Jasper Stadhouders (Cactus Truck, Made to Break), this new trio plays assertive and energetic free jazz that shreds melodic riffs and raw power, decelerating for contemplative moments, as heard in two large improvisations named by digital sequences.


Dave Rempis / Tomeka Reid / Joshua Abrams
Ithra
(Aerophonic)

Chamber-oriented jazz that borrows from compositional forms by three leaders of the Chicago improv scene--Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophone, Tomeka Reid on cello, and Joshua Abrams on bass--in a collective work that demonstrates the unity of stylistic approaches through the thoughtful integration of a variety of styles and strategies.


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.


Otomo Yoshihide / Paal Nilssen-Love
19th of May, 2016
(PNL)

An intensively diverse and thrilling game of "cat and dog" between Norwegian percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love and Japanese guitarist Otomo Yoshihide, performing live at Dom Cultural Center, Moscow, Russia in 2016 for two extended improvisations that exemplify incredible technical skills, reflective and introspective dialog, and cathartic release; absolutely impressive.


Harvey Sorgen / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell
Dreamstruck
(Not Two)

With six collective compositions plus two by Joe Fonda, one from Paul Motian, and the title track by Bob Windbiel, the free improvising trio of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Joe Fonda on bass, and Harvey Sorgen on drums find lyrical beauty and masterfully controlled power in this superb album of creative free jazz, a remarkable example of the modern piano trio.


Szilard Mezei Septet
Veres Pancel
(FMR)

Vojvodinian composer and violist Szilard Mezei formed this septet in 2005, his 3rd chamber group with a distinctly free jazz voice, citing influences Gyorgy Szabados, Anthony Braxton, Bela Bartok, Witold Lutoslawsky, Gyoryg Ligeti, Jimmy Giuffre, Steve Lacy, Mal Waldron, to which we would add Eric Dolphy, here in their second FMR album capturing a live concert in Serbia, 2018.


Frame Trio (Luis Vincente / Marcelo Dos Reis / Nils Vermeulen)
Luminaria
(FMR)

Recording at Centro Norton de Matos Gymnasium, in Coimbra, Portugal, the Frame Trio led by Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente and Portuguese guitarist Marcelo Dos Reis, with Belgium double bassist Nils Vermeulen rounding out their unique approach to improvised music blending jazz and free approaches as they present their six part "Luminaria" (Luminary) suite.


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.


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".


Bobby Naughton / Wadada Leo Smith / Perry Robinson
The Haunt
(NoBusiness)

Reissuing Otic Records' 1976 LP "The Haunt" led by Bobby Naughton on vibes in a trio with Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, and Perry Robinson on clarinet, very much in the India Navigation / loft scene vein of forward-thinking free improvisation: spacious and thoughtful as the players meticulously develop their concepts with uncompromising skill and artistry.


Kaoru Abe / Sabu Toyozumi
Mannyoka
(NoBusiness)


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.


Chris Pitsiokos / Susana Santos Silva / Torbjorn Zetterberg
Child Of Illusion
(Clean Feed)

A profound sense of drama in free playing from the young collective trio of NY saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos with the establish partnership of Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Swedish bassist Torbjourn Zetterberg, in jazz is chamber-like, informed by their musical background that spreads over a myriad of aesthetics, full of nuance and beautiful interplay.


Bobby Zankel & The Wonderful Sound 6
Celebrating William Parker at 65
(Not Two)

Celebrating bassist and composer William Parker's 65th birthday at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia in a band led by Bobby Zankel on alto saxophone, Muhammad Ali on drums, Dave Burrell on piano, Steve Swell on trombone, Diane Monroe on violin, and William Parker himself on bass, in a 4-part suite of beautifully turbulent and masterful free jazz.


4! (Patrizia Oliva / Carlo Mascolo / Domenico Saccente / Felice Furioso)
Factorial
(Creative Sources)

Free electroacoustic improvisation from the Italian quartet of Patrizia Oliva on voice, electronics, bawu, & objects, Carlo Mascolo on prepared trombone, Domenico Saccente on accordion and prepared piano, and Felice Furioso on drums, cupa cupa, contrabbassa, & sounded objects, using voice and unusual instrumentation to guide unusual and forward-thinking improv.


Matthew Revert / Vanessa Rossetto
Everyone Needs A Plan
(erstwhile)

The second collaboration between sound artist Vanessa Rossetto and writer and sound artist Matthew Revert is a monumental work that studies the evolution of communication through fragments of spoken words, and a rich tapestry of sound from acoustic and electronic instruments, field recordings, and perplexing and dramatic sources of sound.


HMS (Joe Houpert / Nathan McLaughlin / Erich Steiger)
Tetrad [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(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".


Alfredo Monteiro Costa
Um Em Um
(Monotype)

An unusual release from the accordion, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, placed microphones in a way to enhance the harmonics and all the particularities of every sound, layering slowly moving tones and their harmonic interaction, allowing unexpected details to emerge.


Romannis Motte
Time Sequences [CASSETTE]
(Anthems Of The Undesirable)

Five hypnotic transmissions from the aether, as manifested by Chad Davis (Hour of 13/Night Magic, The Ritualist, US Christmas, Anu, Demoncy, etc.) Science Fiction soundscapes for the cosmic students of early electronic music.


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.


Steve Roden
Between Yellow And White On One Side. Between Blue And Black On The Other [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

Part of a trilogy of cassette-related works that began with a piece sound artist Steve Roden created for an online exhibition for ICA London in early 2012, these two works were composed from 1983-84 recordings Roden made in his bedroom, recorded at double speed and here playing at half speed, half in reverse, which were organized into these two compositions.


Brume
Fractisum [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

2nd edition of French electroacoustic sound artist Christian Renou's (aka Brume) 2012 massive opus in sound, the two part "Fractisum" which uses field recordings, metallic objects, tubes, ms20 & triton synthesizer, tape, sampler, and voice to create rapidly shifting exposes of sound contrasted by periods of beautifully ringing sonic environments; brilliant.


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

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


Jerome Noetinger / SEC_
La Cave Des Etendards
(Mikroton Recordings)

Titled from the two venues where these concerts were recorded, the duo of Jerome Noetinger and Mimmo Napolitano both use revox reel to reel recorders, plus feedback systems, laptop and other electroacoustic devices to create strange and gripping aural narratives built of abstract elements yet creating deceptively concrete, compelling stories; exceptional.


Small Cruel Party
ἡσυχασμός (complacency) [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

The first new release from William Key Ransone's Small Cruel Party, two 12 minute pieces, the first a work of subtle noise that ebbs and flows in subliminal ways; the second a work of strong tone combinations with distracted percussion and unusual tonal interruptions, a unique album of atmosphere and tension.


The Rita
Vice Baron [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

The Rita, the duo of Sam McKinlay and Arlie Doyle, made samples from 1930's pre-code exploitation films, focusing on the sounds made in the changing rooms of female prostitutes depicted in those films, and manipulated the sounds to make these two tracks, inscrutably crunchy and static filled manifestoes with a sense of age and decay from the period captured.


Bruire
Muss Muss Hic! [CASSETTE]
(Ambiances Magnetiques)

Numbered edition of 250 cassette-only Bruire release


Larry Jefferson
Journey [CASSETTE]
(Rollax Records)

Electronic Artist Larry Jefferson explores issues of philosophy and loss and this is reflected in this collection of 9 songs & music in a professionally manufactured cassette.


Machinefabriek
Forks [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

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.


Gen-Ken
Termites [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

"Termites" features sounds that audio artist Gen-Ken Montgomery recorded in Pennsylvania in a wood shed, and also sounds of a bike ride in Belieze, in a cassette with an amazing photograph of a termite home in Namibia by Uschi Huber.


Francisco Lopez
Paris Hiss [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

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.


Lasse Marhaug
Purple Cane & Sleazy Tuk-Tuk [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

Two works from electronic and noise artist Lasse Marhaug: "Purple Cane" recorded in Kuala Lumpur varying a 30 second noise sequence; and "Sleazy Tuk-Tuk", recorded in Bangkok and built from field recordings of a blind woman on the road with her Casio keyboard.


Lee Noyes
Truth In Opposition [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

Sound artist Lee Noyes based this improvised laptop work on the 1776 work by James Beattie, "Essays: On the nature of truth, in opposition to Sopfifstry and Sceptifism", arguing that both consonance and dissonance are equally important to the perfection of harmony.


Jeph Jerman
Rundle [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)


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

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


Pixel Hexing
A Databending / Video Art Compilation [DVD]
(Bicephalic)

A DVD compilation of databending & video art from video and sound artists Raul Dominguez & Miguel A. Garcia, Muckrackers, loopool & Zara Kand, Kelly Donovan, Wayne Mason, Nipple Stools, CihanLucia, Third I, Carl Kruger, Meat Hands, Somnaphon, Regosphere.


Chop Shop
Grey Area [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

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.


Gen Ken & AMK
Smile [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

A collaboration of NYC sound artist Gen Ken Montgomery (Generator) and West Coast sound improviser AMK (Anthony Michael King), in an extended work of electronic improvisation presented over two cassette sides, a varied program that never overloads its listeners.


Duncan Harrison / Dylan Nyoukis
The Many Great Necked / Jeer Sabbath [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

A split cassette, the first side presenting two live sets of vocals and tapes from Duncan Harrison; the second presenting Jeer Sabbath on vocals, tapes, trumpets, piano, clarinet, guitar, violin & other assorted instruments; both recording in the UK and reworking at Wino Lodge.


Leif Elggren / Joachim Nordwall
Prepresence
(Confront)

A heavy, lo-fi, monster drone set recorded in concert at iDEALFEST, Fylkingen, Stockholm from the duo of Ideal Label head Joachim Nordwall & electronic artist Leif Elggren, using electric hair clippers and analogue synthesiser yielding a thick yet detailed performance.


Cassandra Miller
O Zomer!
(Another Timbre)

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


d'incise / Cristian Alvear
Appalachian Anatolia (14th Century)
(Another Timbre)

A composition for solo 'modified guitar' from Swiss composer d'incise peformed by guitarist Cristian Alvear, music "at the confluence of sound, melody and rhythm. Something quiet but somehow driven by a pulse, existing somewhere between the electroacoustic and the tonal conceptions of music."


Taku Sugimoto / Cristian Alvear
h
(Another Timbre)

An extended and beautiful composition for two guitars, exquisitely played by Taku Sugimoto and Cristian Alvear, captured in concert at Ftarri in Tokyo in 2017, and the first appearance on Another Timbre for this Japanese composer-guitarist Sugimoto, who is best known as an improviser, and who also features on the "Chamber and Field Works" album by Bruno Duplant.


Cassandra Miller
Just So
(Another Timbre)

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


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.


John Cage
One9 [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Edwin Alexander Buchholz performs this beautiful work by John Cage on accordion, originally written for the Japanese sho, where sounds are single tones and chords, up to six part harmonies, or as Cage wrote, "sounds brushed into existence as in oriental calligraphy".


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.


Isaiah Ceccarelli
Bow
(Another Timbre)

Montreal-based Composer-percussionist Isaiah Ceccarelli, well known through his Ambiances Magnetiques releases, in 7 compositions, a mix of timbrally-based music in which he himself performs, and through-composed pieces that focus on harmonic progressions, performed as string duos, trios, and quartets.


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.


Christoph Schiller / Morgan Evans-Weiler
Spinet & Violin
(Another Timbre)

An extended improvisation between spinet player Christoph Schiller and Boston-based composer/violinist Morgan Evans-Weiler, recorded in Schiller's workshop in Basel during Evans-Weiler's tour of Europe, a slowly moving exploration of pitch, timbre and texture executed with intensive concentration and utterly impressive control.


Antoine Beuger
Ockeghem Octets
(Another Timbre)

Wandelweiser composer Antoine Beuger presents 25 of the 50 pages of his "Ockeghem Octets", each piece dedicated to one of Beuger's heroes, performed by an octet comprised of melodica, concertina, harmonium, e-bow zither, cello, flute, accordion and alto flute, each player provided notes and a playing methodology to create these gorgeous soundscape.


Alex Mincek
Torrent
(Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records)

NY Composer and Zs founder Alex Mincek's first release since 2011 also launches Sound American's Young Composer Portrait series, presenting 4 chamber works--"Pendulum VII"; selected movements from "Harmonielehre"; "Pneuma"; and "Torrent"--performed by Wet Ink Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, and Yarn/Wire, in a deluxe hardcover book package with interviews and notes.


John Cage
Winter Music
(Another Timbre)

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


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.


Brandon Lopez
quoniam facta sum vilis [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)


Horatiu Radulescu
Clepsydra / Astray [VINYL]
(Edition Rz)

Romanian-French composer Horatiu Radulescu with 2 works from 1983: "Clepsydra" for 16 Sound Icons played on a sideway piano, and the 1984 work "Astray" for 6 saxophones and Sound Icons.


Various Artists (Zorn / Johansson / Johnson / de Vroe / Schleirmacher)
Enfants Terribles
(Hat [now] ART)


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.


Four4 (Allen / Burn / Patterson / Wastell)
John Cage
(Another Timbre)

Four percussionists perform John Cages's 1991 numbered work "Four4" in four movements using flexible time brackets in a sensitive and authoritative rendering of this fascinating work.


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.


Volker Heyn
Sirenes
(Edition Rz)

Works from Volker Heyn, an outsider artist interested in acoustic process, tone gestures, friction, discontinuous movements, &c., with recordings by Pellegrini-Quartett, Ausfuhrende: Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, &c.


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.


Luc Ferrari
Presque Rien [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Recollection GRM)

Collecting all four of Luc Ferrari's musique concrete masterpieces "Presque Rien" on LP for the first time, forward-thinking and well-considered work from one of the masters of electroacoustic music.


Laurence Crane / Apartment House
Chamber Works 1992-2009 [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

A double CD of UK's experimental music ensemble Apartment House performing 14 chamber pieces composed by and under the supervision of Laurence Crane, beautiful and informed minimal work from a unique voice in modern composition.


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

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


Upsilon Acrux
Sun Square Dialect
(New Atlantis)

The 7th release from this exceptional Los Angeles experimental community rock band, featuring dual drums, dual guitars, and Fender Rhodes, instrumental music with unconventional rock structures of intricate and weaving lines and surprising twists and turns.


The Ex
27 Passports [VINYL]
(Ex Records)

After several years of Brass Unbound, Getatchew Mekuria, festivals and countless side projects, The Ex return to The Ex, a 4-piece led by the trio of guitars from Andy Moor, Terrie Hessels and Arnold de Boer driven by drummer Katherina Bornefeld, de Boer acerbic and insightful on this seriously great rock record; plus a 36-page photo book from Andy Moor.


Lindsay Cooper
Oh Moscow
(Les Disques Victo)


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!


Talibam!
Boogie in the Breeze Blocks
(ESP-Disk)

One of NYC's oddest rock bands, Talibam! augment and mutilate rock forms with a weird mix, helped along by Jon Irabagon, Peter Evans, Chris Forsyth, &c., great and bizarre!


Sonic Youth
The Eternal
(Matador)

Sonic Youth's 16th studio album and return to an indie label adds new member Mark Ibold, presenting 12 informed and compelling songs that show SY still going strong 28 years later.


Sarah June
In Black Robes
(Silber Media)

Sarah June sings and plays all instruments on goth-tinged folk americana songs; for fans of the Cranes, PJ Harvey, or Joanna Newsom.


The Emetics
The Minute Album [VINYL]
(D.O.C. Records)

Crazy LP of hyper cut-up strange sounds from this Canadian duo, who play their music live without overdubs or multitracking.


Uneven Eleven
Live at Cafe OTO [2 CDs]
(Sub Rosa)

Merging three legends--drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat, Camberwell Now, Massacre), Guy Segers (Univers Zero) and Kawabata Makoto (Acid Mothers Temple) for a wild improvising trio caught live at Cafe Oto in Lodon in 2013; not to be missed!


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.


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.


Walk With The Penguin
Charm
(Amorfon)

Japanese steelpan player Yoshio Machida leads this pan-national pop band in their second album, blending electronics and popular forms of music referencing and using electronic and acoustic rock, funk, synthpop, and spoken word, with the majority of the band Serbian artists, and guest musicians including Tatsuhisa Yamamoto (Jim O'Rourke), Paranel, and Misha.


Peter Hammill
From The Trees
(Fie! Records)

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


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.


ZNR
Traite De Mecanique Populaire
(Recommended Records)

French composer and producer Hector Zazou's 2nd and last release with a "most exquisite and eccentric of groups, who hardly touched the world of working bands, and whose existence was tenuous, flickering, mythological - and yet who managed, stealthily, to find its way in time to legendary status by leaving an indelible trace in recorded form of their verifiable existence."


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

The long-running Chicago free-rock trio Mako Sica currently comprised of Przemyslaw Drazek (trumpet & guitar), Brent Fuscaldo (guitar) and Chaetan Newell (drums & piano) are joined by free improvising legend Hamid Drake on drum kit, tablas and frame drum for a beautiful and rich album of genre merging, spiritually warm, primarily instrumental music, inclusive and persuasive.


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

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


East of the Valley Blues (Kevin & Patrick Cahill)
Ressemblera [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)


AMM
An Unintended Legacy [3 CDs]
(Matchless)

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


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

The 2nd SME record to be issued, a 1968 classic of free improvisation as the quintet of John Stevens, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland, and Kenny Wheeler, the 1st SME to feature their new organisational method, here remastered with far superior sound and balance than previous issues, with new notes by Evan Parker, Dave Holland and Martin Davidson plus session photos.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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

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


Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York
Fukushima
(Libra)

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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".


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.


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

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


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


Rova Saxophone Quartet
In Transverse Time
(Les Disques Victo)

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


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.


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).


Akio Suzuki / John Butcher
Immediate Landscapes
(Ftarri)

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


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


Sun Ra
Astro Black
(Modern Harmonic)

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


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.


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.


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
Winter Music
(Another Timbre)

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


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.


Mark Nauseef
All In All In all
(Relative Pitch)

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