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  Top Lists by Customer Orders
See 2016 Top Sellers and Staff Top Lists

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.


Peter Urpeth / Olie Brice / Terry Day / Ntshuks Bonga)
Wraith Island (Live At Cafe Oto)
(FMR)

Actually four quartet improvisations and two duets, London creative improvisers Peter Urpeth on piano, Olie Brice on bass, Terry Day on drums and Ntshuks Bonga on saxophone took to Cafe Oto in January, 2017, to record this excellent album of collective free improvisation drawing on decades of experience in an absorbing and engaging concert.


Francois Carrier / Michel Lambert
Out Of Silence
(FMR)

Freely improvised music from the masterful duo of Canadian saxophonist Fracois Carrier and drummer/percussionist Michel Lambert, performing live at Ryan's Bar in Stoke Newington, London in 2015, seven tracks showing the depth of discussion between these two long collaborating musicians, supporting and pushing each other to great heights.


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.


Leandre / Minton
Leandre / Minton
(Fou Records)

Phil Minton started as a trumpeter and became one of free improv's most outside vocalists; Joelle Leandre is a double bassist who also performs free vocal improv; this is their first recorded collaboration, and it's an unusual and wonderful album of heavy tone improvisation, plucked and bowed, and a masterfully odd free association of vocalisation.


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.


Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Paint
(Hot Cup)

The first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing features bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, pianist Ron Stabinsky, and drummer Kevin Shea, with each composition named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title, with one apt Duke Ellington cover.


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.


Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg-Holm
The Houdan
(FMR)

A live recording from Kongsberg Jazzfestival in 2017 between frequent collaborators, Norwegian improviser Frode Gjerstad on reeds and Chicago improviser Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics, their second FMR album as a duo, alongside their work in the Cello Quartet and VCDC, showing the progression of their dynamic and fascinating dialog.


John Butcher / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter
The Catastrophe of Minimalism
(Balance Point Acoustics)

A great trio of free improvising innovators--John Butcher on soprano and tenor sax, Damon Smith on double bass, field recordings and lloopp, and Weasel Walter on percussion--for a live set at 21 Grand Oakland in California, 5 improvisations with unexpected twists and turns, never overly agressive but always absorbing in their unique approach to their instruments.


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.


Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra
The Word For it Now
(FMR)

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


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

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


Philip Jeck
Iklectik
(Touch)

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


Rob Mazurek
Chimeric Stoned Horn [CD]
(Astral Spirits)

Astral Spirits first CD release comes with a pair of 3D glasses, to allow the listener to view Mazurek's 3D lithographs that cover this album of piccolo trumpet explorations with electronics, voice and percussion, a deeply personal and spiritual album from the Chicago trumpeter, released in conjunction with Mazurek's art opening "Constellation Scores" at URDLA in France.


Insub Meta Orchestra
13 & 27
(Another Timbre)

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


Szilard Mezei / Tim Trevor-Briscoe / Nicola Guazzaloca
Exuvia
(FMR)

An amazing example of extremely detailed collective free improvisation from the trio of Szilard Mezei on viola, Tim Trevor-Briscoe on alto & tenor saxophone, soprano clarinet, and bass clarinet, and Nicola Guazzaloca on piano, Mezei's strings adding a rapid-scatter of expressive playing, as the trio pitches forward and lays back for lyrical moments; astonishing!


Tomas Fujiwara
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


Fred Van Hove / Roger Turner
The Corner
(Relative Pitch)

Pioneering improvising pianist Fred Van Hove at UK's Cafe OTO for the first time, captured in a duo with UK drummer/percussionist Roger Turner, their first recording together, for a night of exceptional improvised interplay, sophisticated and complex playing that is constantly buoyant and charming, an enthralling conversation between two veteran players.


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing
Baby Talk
(The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions.


Pascale Criton
Infra
(Potlatch)

Four fascinating compositions by Pascale Criton exploring microtonalities on instruments tuned in 1/16th tone (violin, viola, guitar) based on gestural processes developed in close collaboration with the musicians: one duo with Silvia Tarozzi and Deborah Walker, one solo piece with Deborah Walker, and two pieces performed by Dedalus Ensemble.


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.


Jurg Frey
Collection Gustave Roud [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

A double CD with five beautiful pieces that engage with the work of the extraordinary French-Swiss poet Gustave Roud, with performers including Dante Boon, Stefan Thut, Andrew McIntosh and Jurg Frey himself, 10 compositions that Frey wrote in the manner that Roud would, roaming with a sketchbook and developing the pieces based on impressions of his surroundings.


Olivia Block
Olivia Block
(Another Timbre)

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


Alan Tomlinson Trio ( w/ Dave Tucker / Phillip Marks)
Out And Out
(FMR)

London Jazz Composers Orchestra trombonist Alan Tomlinson, performing on tenor and alto trombone, with his trio of Dave Tucker on guitar and Phillip Marks on percussion, are caught live in Birmingham, Lancaster, London, and during the Harwich Festival, from 2009-16, demonstrating the strong rapport and exciting dialog these players have developed over years performing together.


Peter Urpeth / Olie Brice / Terry Day / Ntshuks Bonga)
Wraith Island (Live At Cafe Oto)
(FMR)

Actually four quartet improvisations and two duets, London creative improvisers Peter Urpeth on piano, Olie Brice on bass, Terry Day on drums and Ntshuks Bonga on saxophone took to Cafe Oto in January, 2017, to record this excellent album of collective free improvisation drawing on decades of experience in an absorbing and engaging concert.


Francois Carrier / Michel Lambert
Out Of Silence
(FMR)

Freely improvised music from the masterful duo of Canadian saxophonist Fracois Carrier and drummer/percussionist Michel Lambert, performing live at Ryan's Bar in Stoke Newington, London in 2015, seven tracks showing the depth of discussion between these two long collaborating musicians, supporting and pushing each other to great heights.


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.


Leandre / Minton
Leandre / Minton
(Fou Records)

Phil Minton started as a trumpeter and became one of free improv's most outside vocalists; Joelle Leandre is a double bassist who also performs free vocal improv; this is their first recorded collaboration, and it's an unusual and wonderful album of heavy tone improvisation, plucked and bowed, and a masterfully odd free association of vocalisation.


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.


Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Paint
(Hot Cup)

The first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing features bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, pianist Ron Stabinsky, and drummer Kevin Shea, with each composition named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title, with one apt Duke Ellington cover.


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.


Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg-Holm
The Houdan
(FMR)

A live recording from Kongsberg Jazzfestival in 2017 between frequent collaborators, Norwegian improviser Frode Gjerstad on reeds and Chicago improviser Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics, their second FMR album as a duo, alongside their work in the Cello Quartet and VCDC, showing the progression of their dynamic and fascinating dialog.


John Butcher / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter
The Catastrophe of Minimalism
(Balance Point Acoustics)

A great trio of free improvising innovators--John Butcher on soprano and tenor sax, Damon Smith on double bass, field recordings and lloopp, and Weasel Walter on percussion--for a live set at 21 Grand Oakland in California, 5 improvisations with unexpected twists and turns, never overly agressive but always absorbing in their unique approach to their instruments.


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.


Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra
The Word For it Now
(FMR)

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


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

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


Philip Jeck
Iklectik
(Touch)

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


Rob Mazurek
Chimeric Stoned Horn [CD]
(Astral Spirits)

Astral Spirits first CD release comes with a pair of 3D glasses, to allow the listener to view Mazurek's 3D lithographs that cover this album of piccolo trumpet explorations with electronics, voice and percussion, a deeply personal and spiritual album from the Chicago trumpeter, released in conjunction with Mazurek's art opening "Constellation Scores" at URDLA in France.


Insub Meta Orchestra
13 & 27
(Another Timbre)

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


Szilard Mezei / Tim Trevor-Briscoe / Nicola Guazzaloca
Exuvia
(FMR)

An amazing example of extremely detailed collective free improvisation from the trio of Szilard Mezei on viola, Tim Trevor-Briscoe on alto & tenor saxophone, soprano clarinet, and bass clarinet, and Nicola Guazzaloca on piano, Mezei's strings adding a rapid-scatter of expressive playing, as the trio pitches forward and lays back for lyrical moments; astonishing!


Tomas Fujiwara
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


Fred Van Hove / Roger Turner
The Corner
(Relative Pitch)

Pioneering improvising pianist Fred Van Hove at UK's Cafe OTO for the first time, captured in a duo with UK drummer/percussionist Roger Turner, their first recording together, for a night of exceptional improvised interplay, sophisticated and complex playing that is constantly buoyant and charming, an enthralling conversation between two veteran players.


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing
Baby Talk
(The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions.


Pascale Criton
Infra
(Potlatch)

Four fascinating compositions by Pascale Criton exploring microtonalities on instruments tuned in 1/16th tone (violin, viola, guitar) based on gestural processes developed in close collaboration with the musicians: one duo with Silvia Tarozzi and Deborah Walker, one solo piece with Deborah Walker, and two pieces performed by Dedalus Ensemble.


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.


Jurg Frey
Collection Gustave Roud [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

A double CD with five beautiful pieces that engage with the work of the extraordinary French-Swiss poet Gustave Roud, with performers including Dante Boon, Stefan Thut, Andrew McIntosh and Jurg Frey himself, 10 compositions that Frey wrote in the manner that Roud would, roaming with a sketchbook and developing the pieces based on impressions of his surroundings.


Olivia Block
Olivia Block
(Another Timbre)

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


Alan Tomlinson Trio ( w/ Dave Tucker / Phillip Marks)
Out And Out
(FMR)

London Jazz Composers Orchestra trombonist Alan Tomlinson, performing on tenor and alto trombone, with his trio of Dave Tucker on guitar and Phillip Marks on percussion, are caught live in Birmingham, Lancaster, London, and during the Harwich Festival, from 2009-16, demonstrating the strong rapport and exciting dialog these players have developed over years performing together.


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

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


Andrew Lamb / Warren Smith / Arkadijus Gotesmanas
The Sea of Modicum [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Captured live at the 2016 Vilnius Jazz Festival, the free jazz trio of saxophonist Andrew Lamb and percussionists Warren Smith and Arkadijus Gotesmanas provide a unique orchestration, with the percussionists building rhythmic structures over which AACM alumni Lamb's powerful saxophone work emerges; a great album of solid exploratory free jazz.


Icepick (Nate Wooley, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten & Chris Corsano)
Amaranth [VINYL + DOWNLOAD CODE]
(Astral Spirits)

Nate Wooley (trumpet), Chris Corsano (percussion) and Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (bass) recording in Austin, TX for their first proper release as Icepick, 3 tracks of powerfully creative and downright smoldering modern jazz using exceptional skill and passion.


Anemone (John Butcher / Peter Evans / Frederic Blondy / Clayton Thomas / Paul Lovens)
A Wing Dissolved in Light [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A brilliant quintet brought together for the Tampere Jazz Happening, in Finland in 2013, with NY trumpeter Peter Evans, UK saxophonist John Butcher, Australian bassist Clayton Thomas, German drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, and French pianist Frederic Blondy for a phenomenal extended improvisation presented in parts: "Une Aile Dissoute Dans La Lumiere".


Christian Wolff
Berlin Exercises [VINYL]
(God Records)

A series of shorter works composed by Christian Wolff written to explore the process of practicing and working within specified limits, exercises for both the composer and the performers, recorded live in Berlin in 2000 by an ensemble directed by Peter Ablinger and including Wolff on piano & melodica, Robin Hayward on tuba, Anette Krebs on guitar, &c.


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing
Baby Talk [VINYL]
(The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions.


Harris Eisenstadt / Mivos Quartet
Whatever Will Happen That Will Also Be [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

NY free jazz drummer and composer Harris Eisenstadt brings his talents to the compositional world with this four movement suite performed by the Mivos Quartet of Olivia De Prato, Josh Modney, Victor Lowrie and Mariel Roberts, a creative composition blending melodic and textural approaches to the strings in a bold rendering of Eisenstandt's work.


Bobby Bradford / Hafez Modirzadeh / Ken Filiano / Royal Hartigan
Live at the Magic Triangle [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A live concert at Amherst, Massachusetts in 2016 as part of the Magical Triangle Jazz Series from the quartet of legendary cornetist Bobby Bradford, Turkish saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh on tenor, in-demand New York bassist Ken Filiano, and percussionist/drummer Royal Hartigan, the band performing two Bradford compositions, with one each from Filiano, Modirzadeh and Hartigan.


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

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


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.


Duval Halperin, Willson
Music of John Coltrane [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

A tribute to John Coltrane from bassist Dominic Duval, tenor saxophone Jimmy Halperin and drummer Brian Willson with compositions like "Moments Notice", Naima" &c.


The Necks
Mindset [VINYL]
(Recommended Records)

The Necks 16th release layers polyrhythmic material to form seething blocks of sound, in two long pieces, one more stripped back to the live trio, the other featuring multiple strata of swirling Hammonds, noise-guitar and electronics.


Melodic Art-Tet (Brackeen, Abdullah, Parker, Blank, Waters)
Melodic Art-Tet [VINYL 2 LPs]
(NoBusiness)

1974 recordings at WKCR in NYC from the quintet of Charles Brackeen (flute & sax), Ahmed Abdullah (trumpet), William Parker (bass), Roger Blank (drums) and Tony Waters (percussion), beautifully recorded and essential free improvisation.


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

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


Kidd Jordan / Peter Kowald / Alvin Fielder
Live In New Orleans [VINYL 2 LPs]
(NoBusiness)

The free improvising trio of saxophonist Kidd Jordan, drummer Alvin Fielder, and bassist Peter Kowald performing at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center in New Orleans in 2002.


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

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


Mats Gustafsson w/ John Russell & Phil Minton
a duo(s) [VINYL]
(Bocian)

Multi-reedist Mats Gustafsson explores unique environments in improvised music with two duos performed live at Cafe OTO, one duo per side, the first with free vocalist Phil Minton for understated gargling and instrumental aberrations; the second with guitarist John Russell.


Apuh!
Ett [VINYL]
(Palsrobot)

Debut LP of the young Gothenburg, Sweden trio of saxophonist Adrian Asling Sellius, drummer Hampus Ohman-Frolund, and double bass player Matt Dimming, drawing on elements of pop and rock, klezmer, cinematic soundscapes, experimental noise, and free jazz.


Stefan Keune / Dominic Lash / Steve Noble
Fractions [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Five freely improvised tracks recorded live in 2013 at London's Vortex Jazz Club from the trio of Stefan Keune on soprano & tenor sax, Dominic Lash on double bass, and Steve Noble on drums & percussion, playing demanding active work and more introspective inner dialog; exceptional!


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

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


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

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


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.


Steve Lehman Camouflage Trio
Interface [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)

Reissuing and re-mixing New York saxophonist Steve Lehman's 2004 album with his previous Camouflage Trio of Mark Dress on double bass and Pheeroan Aklaff on drums, perfoming a stupendous set of original compositions live at Teatro Academica Gil Vicente in Coimbra, Portugal.


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

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


Peter Brotzmann / William Parker / Hamid Drake
Song Sentimentale [VINYL]
(Otoroku)

One of a dual CD/LP release documenting three nights at London's Cafe Oto by the trio of Peter Brotzmann on reeds, William Parker on double bass, guembri, shakuhachi, and shenai, and Hamid Drake on drums, an incredible display of improvised music from three masters of the form.


ErikM
L'art De La Fuite [VINYL]
(Sonoris)

A selection of first recordings originally released in 1995 as a self-titled homemade tape by eRikm, mainly composed with turntables and prepared records, along with other sources, a unique blend of innovative musique concrete and post-industrial sound.


Peter Urpeth / Olie Brice / Terry Day / Ntshuks Bonga)
Wraith Island (Live At Cafe Oto)
(FMR)

Actually four quartet improvisations and two duets, London creative improvisers Peter Urpeth on piano, Olie Brice on bass, Terry Day on drums and Ntshuks Bonga on saxophone took to Cafe Oto in January, 2017, to record this excellent album of collective free improvisation drawing on decades of experience in an absorbing and engaging concert.


Francois Carrier / Michel Lambert
Out Of Silence
(FMR)

Freely improvised music from the masterful duo of Canadian saxophonist Fracois Carrier and drummer/percussionist Michel Lambert, performing live at Ryan's Bar in Stoke Newington, London in 2015, seven tracks showing the depth of discussion between these two long collaborating musicians, supporting and pushing each other to great heights.


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.


Leandre / Minton
Leandre / Minton
(Fou Records)

Phil Minton started as a trumpeter and became one of free improv's most outside vocalists; Joelle Leandre is a double bassist who also performs free vocal improv; this is their first recorded collaboration, and it's an unusual and wonderful album of heavy tone improvisation, plucked and bowed, and a masterfully odd free association of vocalisation.


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.


Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Paint
(Hot Cup)

The first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing features bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, pianist Ron Stabinsky, and drummer Kevin Shea, with each composition named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title, with one apt Duke Ellington cover.


Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg-Holm
The Houdan
(FMR)

A live recording from Kongsberg Jazzfestival in 2017 between frequent collaborators, Norwegian improviser Frode Gjerstad on reeds and Chicago improviser Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics, their second FMR album as a duo, alongside their work in the Cello Quartet and VCDC, showing the progression of their dynamic and fascinating dialog.


John Butcher / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter
The Catastrophe of Minimalism
(Balance Point Acoustics)

A great trio of free improvising innovators--John Butcher on soprano and tenor sax, Damon Smith on double bass, field recordings and lloopp, and Weasel Walter on percussion--for a live set at 21 Grand Oakland in California, 5 improvisations with unexpected twists and turns, never overly agressive but always absorbing in their unique approach to their instruments.


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.


Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra
The Word For it Now
(FMR)

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


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

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


Rob Mazurek
Chimeric Stoned Horn [CD]
(Astral Spirits)

Astral Spirits first CD release comes with a pair of 3D glasses, to allow the listener to view Mazurek's 3D lithographs that cover this album of piccolo trumpet explorations with electronics, voice and percussion, a deeply personal and spiritual album from the Chicago trumpeter, released in conjunction with Mazurek's art opening "Constellation Scores" at URDLA in France.


Szilard Mezei / Tim Trevor-Briscoe / Nicola Guazzaloca
Exuvia
(FMR)

An amazing example of extremely detailed collective free improvisation from the trio of Szilard Mezei on viola, Tim Trevor-Briscoe on alto & tenor saxophone, soprano clarinet, and bass clarinet, and Nicola Guazzaloca on piano, Mezei's strings adding a rapid-scatter of expressive playing, as the trio pitches forward and lays back for lyrical moments; astonishing!


Tomas Fujiwara
Triple Double
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


Fred Van Hove / Roger Turner
The Corner
(Relative Pitch)

Pioneering improvising pianist Fred Van Hove at UK's Cafe OTO for the first time, captured in a duo with UK drummer/percussionist Roger Turner, their first recording together, for a night of exceptional improvised interplay, sophisticated and complex playing that is constantly buoyant and charming, an enthralling conversation between two veteran players.


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing
Baby Talk
(The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions.


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.


Alan Tomlinson Trio ( w/ Dave Tucker / Phillip Marks)
Out And Out
(FMR)

London Jazz Composers Orchestra trombonist Alan Tomlinson, performing on tenor and alto trombone, with his trio of Dave Tucker on guitar and Phillip Marks on percussion, are caught live in Birmingham, Lancaster, London, and during the Harwich Festival, from 2009-16, demonstrating the strong rapport and exciting dialog these players have developed over years performing together.


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

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


Rhodri Davies / David Sylvian / Mark Wastell
There Is No Love
(Confront)

Confront initiates their new Core Series with the text piece "There Is No Love" with David Sylvian on voice, vocal treatments and electronics, Rhodri Davies on harp, vibraphone and radio, and Mark Wastel on tam tam and percussion, a sophisticated spoken word piece of shadowy atmosphere and innuendo, leveraging approaches from experimental, improvised and composed music.


Laubrock Ingrid Anti-House (w/ Halvorson, Davis, Hebert, Rainey, Noriega)
Roulette of the Cradle
(Intakt)

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock's NY band with guitarist Mary Halvorson, pianist Kris Davis, bassist John Hebert, and drummer Tom Rainey in their 3rd album as Anti-House, with strong compositions pushing the quintet into great improvisational territory as the band pushes and pulls each other to create something greater than each player.


Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman / Evan Parker / Ikue Mori
Miller's Tale
(Intakt)

Collective improvisation from a quartet of masters -- NY based Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, Mark Feldman on violin, Ikue Mori on electronics, and London improviser Evan Parker on soprano and tenor sax -- for four pieces as a quartet and five duos of varying configurations, folding back the structure of the band through more intimate conversations; simply excellent.


Barry Guy / Marilyn Crispell / Paul Lytton
Deep Memory
(Intakt)

Inspired by Irish painter Hughie O' Donoghue, bassist and composer Barry Guy takes the same trio from his albums "Odyssey" and "Ithaka"--pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Paul Lytton--on an impressionist album of expressive and emotional playing, with lyrical and explosive peformances that reflect a haunting music showcasing each player's skills; stunning.


Ernesto Rodrigues / Yedo Gibson / Miguel Mira / Luís Lopes / Vasco Trilla
Nepenthes Hibrida
(Creative Sources)


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.


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".


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

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


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

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


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

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


R/S (Rehberg / Schmickler)
One (Snow Mud Rain)
(erstwhile)

Mego founder and electronic artist Peter Rehberg met with Schmickler (Kontakta) in 2007 for two days of explosive, dense recording with a remarkable clarity.


Ghedalia Tazartes
Une Eclipse Totale de Soleil
(Alga Marghen)

Incredible and bizarre long compositions as only Tazartes can construct, featuring unusual song sections, a canary, and the vacuum-cleaner's miracule.


Miimo
Live at Super Deluxe
(Amorfon)

Miimo are a Japanese dub & electronica group consisting of Yoshio Machida, Norihide Saji and Tatsu, whose tracks have appeared in documentaries and TV spots throughout Japan.


Anthony Pateras
Collected Works 2002-2012 [5 CD BOX]
(Immediata)

Electroacoustic composer and performer Anthony Pateras in a beautiful 5-CD box set documenting a broad variety of works from ensembles to solo work, an excellent overview of one of Australia's most vital composers and performers.


Gen-Ken
Termites [CASSETTE]
(Banned Productions)

"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.


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

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.


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 Productions)

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.


Matthew Revert / Vanessa Rossetto
Earnest Rubbish
(erstwhile)

Three extended compositions using field recordings and electronic processing from Vanessa Rossetto and Matthew Revert, using obscure references in song titles to mask subtle dovetailing and transitioning of concrete sound and mysterious tones.


Staplerfahrer / Bonehole
Excessive Extension [CASSETTE]
(Bicephalic)

Part of a series of 8 split release cassettes, hand-painted & numbered; this release presents the Dutch sound artist Steffan de Turck (Staplerfahrer) reworking material recorded in a duo with Jos Smolders; and 2 tracks from Korean sound artist Noizaki Eum Kyeong (Bonehole).


Astral Colonels (Anthony Pateras / Valerio Tricoli)
Good Times in the End Times
(Immediata)

Anthony Pateras & Valerio Tricoli worked 7 years transforming pianos, organs, harpsichords, tape machines and synthesizers into an expansive sonic otherworld that celebrates the "End of Times" in three parts; a meticulous and fascinating work.


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.


Ben Owen
Birds And Water, 1
(Notice Recordings)

Ben Owens presents the 1st of his "Birds and Waters" series, two long, unedited works created at the Experimental Television Centre in Owego, NY, using David Jones' image processing system including a multi-input syncable sequencer and a bank of oscillators.


Jack Harris / Samuel Rodgers
Primary / Unit 11
(Notice Recordings)

Long form compositions using unidentifiable field recordings, amplified objects, and other inexplicable sound from the duo of Jack Harris and Samuel Rodgers, drawing the listener into complacency and then jarring them to awareness; an engaging release.


ErikM
L'art De La Fuite [VINYL]
(Sonoris)

A selection of first recordings originally released in 1995 as a self-titled homemade tape by eRikm, mainly composed with turntables and prepared records, along with other sources, a unique blend of innovative musique concrete and post-industrial sound.


John Autryno - Zorn
Flauros: The Book Of Angels Volume 29
(Tzadik)

Zorn's Book of Angels series presenting the Masada composition books performed by a wide variety of groups, here with AutorYno, a wild power trio of three Paris avant rockers, taking Masada into heavy rock territory blanding Metal, Punk, Thrash, Dub and Surf rock.


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.


Amalgamated
Solve et Coagula [CASSETTE + ART BOOK]
(Aubjects)

The Amalgamated collective in a two cassette package including an extensive booklet of fractal images and a folding card with images; the music presents dark and detailed industrial sound, a mix of drone and collage that engulfs the listener into their alchemical world.


Somnoroase Pasarele / Alan Courtis / Directives / Crank Sturgeon
Noosphertilizer IV [2 CASSETTES]
(Aubjects)

5 artists in a split release of 3 cassette tapes, the artists (Somnoroase Pasarele / Alan Courtis / Directives / Crank Sturgeon ) are based in disparate geographical regions of Earth: Romania, Argentina, Massachussetts USA, San Francisco USA, and Normal IL USA.


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

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


Machinefabriek
Assemblage
(Zoharum)

A great collection of short film soundtracks and pieces that appeared on compilation albums and out-of-print CDRs, including the "Nerf" EP, the tracks for the book "Things That A Mutant Needs To Know" by Reinaldo Laddaga, and 3 soundtracks of which two are for a short movie and one for a video installation, alongside tracks from other compilations.


Insub Meta Orchestra
13 & 27
(Another Timbre)

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


Pascale Criton
Infra
(Potlatch)

Four fascinating compositions by Pascale Criton exploring microtonalities on instruments tuned in 1/16th tone (violin, viola, guitar) based on gestural processes developed in close collaboration with the musicians: one duo with Silvia Tarozzi and Deborah Walker, one solo piece with Deborah Walker, and two pieces performed by Dedalus Ensemble.


Jurg Frey
Collection Gustave Roud [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

A double CD with five beautiful pieces that engage with the work of the extraordinary French-Swiss poet Gustave Roud, with performers including Dante Boon, Stefan Thut, Andrew McIntosh and Jurg Frey himself, 10 compositions that Frey wrote in the manner that Roud would, roaming with a sketchbook and developing the pieces based on impressions of his surroundings.


Olivia Block
Olivia Block
(Another Timbre)

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


Melaine Dalibert
Ressac
(Another Timbre)

Two beautiful piano solos in an open-ended modular form, written and performed by the young French composer Melaine Dalibert, who also played on Giuliano d'Angiolini's "Cantilena", using space, sustain and unhurried progressions to create hypnotic and resonant environments that captivate in ways reminiscent of Morton Feldman.


Ana-Maria Avram / Iancu Dumitrescu
Ilan Volkov conducts and plays Ana-Maria Avram and Iancu Dumitrescu
(Edition Modern)

World premieres of new compositions by spectral composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram performed live with the Hyperion International Ensemble under the batton of Ilan Volkov at the 15th George Enescu Festival in 2015.


Michael Pisaro / Reinier van Houdt
The Earth And The Sky [3 CDs]
(erstwhile)

erstwhile records releases their first CD on their ErstClass imprint, issuing and collecting historically important work, here with composer Michael Pisaro's piano works from 1994-2016, 11 compositions performed by Netherlands pianist Reinier van Houdt.


Ryoko Akama
Places And Pages [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)

Composer Ryoko Akama releases a 2 disc set of 23 scores in the crossroads of minimalism and sound compositions, quiet and loud, performed in a sextet with the composer herself plus Christian Muller, Cristian Alvear, Cyril Bondi, Stefan Thut, and d'incise, each section like a page in a notebook related to place, space, time or location.


176 (Chris Abrahams / Anthony Pateras)
Music In Eight Octaves
(Immediata)

In 2005 Australian pianists Chris Abrahams (The Necks) and Anthony Pateras multi-tracked 4 takes in each octave of the piano, superimposing them over each other to create a kaleidoscopic maelstrom of pianistic energy, layers of piano creating a hypnotic and dizzying set of textures and unexpected sonic intersections.


Christian Wolff
Berlin Exercises [VINYL]
(God Records)

A series of shorter works composed by Christian Wolff written to explore the process of practicing and working within specified limits, exercises for both the composer and the performers, recorded live in Berlin in 2000 by an ensemble directed by Peter Ablinger and including Wolff on piano & melodica, Robin Hayward on tuba, Anette Krebs on guitar, &c.


Harris Eisenstadt / Mivos Quartet
Whatever Will Happen That Will Also Be [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

NY free jazz drummer and composer Harris Eisenstadt brings his talents to the compositional world with this four movement suite performed by the Mivos Quartet of Olivia De Prato, Josh Modney, Victor Lowrie and Mariel Roberts, a creative composition blending melodic and textural approaches to the strings in a bold rendering of Eisenstandt's work.


Stefan Wolpe
Enactments
(Hat [now] ART)


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.


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

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


Robert Ashley
Tap Dancing in the Sand
(Unsounds)

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


Ana-Maria Avram / Dumitrescu, Iancu
iO Quartet
(Edition Modern)

Four performances of Iancu Dumitrescu & Ana-Maria Avram's iO String Quartet playing their compositions for string quartet & tape live in London, Brussels and Paris.


John McGuire
Works For Instruments [2 CDs]
(Edition Rz)

Instrumental compositions by "post-minimalist" John McGuire who took classes with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gottfried Michael Koenig, among others.


Giuliano d'Angiolini
Simmetrie Di Ritorno
(Edition Rz)

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


Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis
(Edition Rz)

A collection of historical and essential works from Xenakis including Syrmos, Le Polytope de Montreal, Terretektorh, Nomos Gamma, ST/48-1,240162, Achorripsis, Persepolis, Polytope de Cluny.


Harley Gaber
Indra's Net
(Edition Rz)

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


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

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


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

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


Clarence Barlow
Musica Derivata
(Hat [now] ART)

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


Peter Ablinger
Grisailles
(Hat [now] ART)

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


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.


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

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


Ron Samworth (Samworth / Adler / JP Carter / Naylor / Peggy Lee / James Meger)
Dogs Do Dream
(Drip Audio)

Presented at the Vancouver International Improvisation Festival and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, guitarist Ron Samworth's conceptual work explores the life and dreams of a dog, with narration from Barbara Adler and an incredible ensemble including cellist Peggy, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, trumpeter JP Carter, drummer Dylan van der Schyff, etc.


Univers Zero
Rhythmix
(Cuneiform)


Univers Zero
Crawling Wind
(Cuneiform)


Univers Zero
The Hard Quest
(Cuneiform)


Univers Zero
Uzed
(Cuneiform)


Henry Cow
Leg End (Original Mix)
(Recommended Records)


Henry Cow
Unrest (Remastered)
(Recommended Records)


Henry Cow
In Praise of Learning
(Recommended Records)


Henry Cow
Western Culture
(Recommended Records)


Univers Zero
Implosion
(Cuneiform)


Camberwell Now
All's Well
(Recommended Records)


Univers Zero
Relaps
(Cuneiform)

"Relaps" presents a peek into the recorded archives of one of the founding members of the Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement, the great avant-rock ensemble Univers Zero.


The World Heritage
Invitation to the World Heritage [DVD + CD]
(Magaibutsu)

CD & DVD of this supergroup of Japanese improvising and advanced rock forms with members of Ruins, Koenji Hyakkei, Korekyojinn, ROVO, Boredoms, Bondage Fruit, &c!


Walk With the Penguin
Steal a Spoon for You
(Amorfon)

Steelpan and electronics player and Amorfon label leader Yoshio Machida met the Serbian CINC band for these sophisticated and lovely post-rock pieces recorded in Belgrade, 2006.


Deluge Grander
The Form of the Good
(Emkog)

Deluge Grander's 2nd album refines their approach further, adding a more classical approach in densely arranged and progressive forays into sophisticated rock music.


The World Heritage
Live At Goodman
(Magaibutsu)

The World Heritage in their 5th release recorded live at Tokyo's Akihabara Goodman in 2012, amazing improvised instrumental rock from Tatsuya Yoshida (drums), Seiichi Yamamoto (guitar), Natsuki Kido (guitar), Yuji Katsui (violin) and Mitsuru Nasuno (bass).


Acid Mothers Temple SWR
Yes, No & Perhaps
(Magaibutsu)

Acid Mother Temple SWR merge's AMT's Kawabata Kakoto (guitar, voice,) and Tsuyama Atsushi (bass, vocals, sax) with Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins, Koenji Hyakkei, &c), here in their 6th release, crazy prog-oriented rock of indescribable insanity and skill!


Hedvig Mollestad Trio
Black Stabat Mater
(Rune Grammofon)

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


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

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


PYN (Pittard / Yoshida / Nasuno)
L'elan Createur
(Magaibutsu Limited)

Following their 2015 album "Songs for children who don't want to sleep", the quartet of Yan Pittard on guitar & oud, Mitsuru Nasuno on bass, Maki Nakano on vocals, and Tatsuya Yoshida on drums present this soundtrack album, which translates to "the creative urge".


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

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


John Zorn
The Garden Of Earthly Delights
(Tzadik)

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


Ruins
Burning Stone [REISSUE]
(Magaibutsu Limited)

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


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.


Sylvie Courvoisier / Mary Halvorson
Crop Circles
(Relative Pitch)

A studio encounter between pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and electric guitarist Mary Halvorson, both using sophisticated techniques giving unique voices to their playing styles, in a set of improvisations that balance playful, subtle, energetic, and emotional playing.


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

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


Anthony Braxton
Quintet (Basel) 1977
(Hatology)

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


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

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


Corsano / Courviosier / Wooley
Salt Task
(Relative Pitch)

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


Morton Feldman
Three Voices (performed by Juliet Fraser)
(Hat [now] ART)

Soprano Juliet Fraser performs Morton Feldman's late work for 3 voices, performed by 1 vocalist (originally Joan La Barbara) who performs with themself on tape, in a work that Feldman described as "lucious", "sexy", and "gorgeous", as heard in Fraser's beautiful rendering.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Christian Wolff / Eddie Prevost
Uncertain Outcomes [2 CDs]
(Matchless)

Two concerts of experimental improvisation from two giants of conceptual improvisation and composition, recorded at IKLECTIK in London in 2015 and at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire in 2016; with superb pacing and brilliant execution, these dialogs between keyboard and percussive instruments explore unique sound worlds with depth, inquisitiveness, and a sense of wonder.


Mary Halvorson Octet
Away With You
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


Evan Parker / John Edwards / Steve Noble
PEN
(Dropa Disc)

Bringing together three leaders from the UK free jazz scene, the new trio of Evan Parker on tenor sax, Steve Noble on drums & percussion, and John Edwards on double bass present a masterful album drawing from the roots of free improvisation in playing that rises and recedes like a tidal force, captured live at the Oorstof concert series in Antwerp.


Korekyojinn Acoustic
Kaleidoscope
(Magaibutsu Limited)

The Korekyojin trio of Tatsuya Yoshida on percussion, Kido Natsuki on guitar and Mitsuru Nasuno on fretless bass, plus violinist Miyamoto Rei on several tracks, take their intricate and exuberant rock into acoustic territory with this impressive album, which includes acoustic takes on "Arabesque", "Careless Heart", "Four Holes in the Sky", &c.


Musica Elettronica Viva
Symphony No 106
(Les Disques Victo)

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


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

Saxophonist Martin Kuchen's amazing 9-piece Angles ensemble returns for an album titled for the grief of those who disappear due to war, crime and oppression, music that celebrates the tense balance in the challenge to confront and lead away from darkness and tyranny.


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.


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

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


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

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


En Corps (Eve Risser / Benjamin Duboc / Edward Perraud)
Generation
(Dark Tree Records)

The 2nd album from En Corps, the improvising trio of Eve Risser on piano, Benjamin Duboc on double bass, and Edward Perraud on drums, was recorded live at Artacts 16 festival in St Johann, Austria in 2016, performing two building works--"Des Corps" and "Des Ames" (The Bodies, The Souls)--which evolve from intricate quiet interplay into rich harmonic interaction.


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

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


Jimmy Giuffre 3
Bremen & Stuttgart (1961) [2 CDs]
(Emanem)

The sophisticated and influential Jimmy Giuffre 3 led by clarinetist Giuffre with Paul Bley on piano and Steve Swallow on double bass, in a 2-CD reissue of their only known well-recorded concerts, alongside two tracks from their "Fusion" album not included in the ECM reissue.


Michael Pisaro / Reinier van Houdt
The Earth And The Sky [3 CDs]
(erstwhile)

erstwhile records releases their first CD on their ErstClass imprint, issuing and collecting historically important work, here with composer Michael Pisaro's piano works from 1994-2016, 11 compositions performed by Netherlands pianist Reinier van Houdt.


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.


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

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


Derek Bailey / Joelle Leandre / George Lewis / Evan Parker
28 Rue Dunois Juillet 1982
(Fou Records)

A superb encounter from France in 1982 between four masters in a fertile and creative period: Derek Bailey (guitar), Joelle Leandre (double bass), George Lewis (trombone), and Evan Parker (saxophone), each bringing incredible experience to their enduring collective music.


Fred Van Hove / Roger Turner
The Corner
(Relative Pitch)

Pioneering improvising pianist Fred Van Hove at UK's Cafe OTO for the first time, captured in a duo with UK drummer/percussionist Roger Turner, their first recording together, for a night of exceptional improvised interplay, sophisticated and complex playing that is constantly buoyant and charming, an enthralling conversation between two veteran players.


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.


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

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


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

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


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

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


Harris Eisenstadt
Recent Developments
(Songlines)

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


Michael Attias Quartet (w/ Ortiz / Hebert / Hebert)
Nerve Dance
(Clean Feed)

New York alto saxophonist Michael Attias presents his new quartet with Aruan Ortiz on piano, John Hebert on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums, in his sixth album as a leader, a lyrical album dealing with the theory of elasticity and the concept of equality in music.


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.


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.


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

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


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

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


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo + KAZE
Peace (Tribute To Kelly Churko)
(Libra)

Pianist Satoko Fujii's Orchestra Tokyo + the band Kaze, bringing guests trumpeter Cristian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins alongside trumpeter Natsuki Tamura into a spectacular big band of great power but also subtle meditation, in four works that include a tribute to the late guitarist and Fujii collaborator Kelly Churko.


Mario Pavone (Pavone / Ballout / Malaby / Noriega / McEachern / Sarin)
Vertical
(Clean Feed)

Drawing from some of the finest players on the New York Downtown jazz scene, with Dave Ballou on trumpet, Tony Malaby and Oscar Noriega on reeds, Peter McEachern on trombone and Michael Sarin on drums, double bassist Mario Pavone presents a set of 11 new compositions of lyrical and sophisticated jazz anchored by the leader's powerful compositional structures.


Keith Rowe / Michael Pisaro
13 Thirteen [2 CDs]
(erstwhile)

A collaboration between composer Michael Pisaro and AMM guitarist/improviser Keith Rowe, with each bringing scores which they improvised over, creating 13 discrete sections including samples from Shostakovich's 13th String Quartet, balancing activity, space and silence in patient ways that only two such experienced composer/improvisers could.


John Escreet (w/ Evan Parker / John Hebert / Tyshawn Sorey)
The Unknown (Live in Concert)
(Sunnyside Records)

Pianist John Escreet brought his trio with drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist John Hebert on a tour of Europe in 2016, meeting with British saxophonist Evan Parker in Amsterdam's Bimhuis and at Rotterdam's Lantaren Venster to record these profound performances of free improvisation.


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

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


Matt Mitchell plays Tim Berne
Forage
(Screwgun)

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


Eric Revis
Sing Me Some Cry
(Clean Feed)

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


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

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


Paul Dunmall Quintet
The Dreamtime Suite
(FMR)

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


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

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


Morton Feldman
Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
(Another Timbre)

Morton Feldman's final composition, originally premiered in 1987, here performed by pianist Mark Knoop, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, violist Bridget Carey, and cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, recording a year after their successful performance at London's Cafe Oto, maintaining focus and concentration on this large, unhurried work of micro-variations.


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

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