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

See 2016 Top Sellers and Staff Top Lists

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

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


Mars Williams presents
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
(ESP)

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


Joe Morris / Do Yeon Kim
Macrocosm
(Glacial Erratic)

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


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!


Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver
Songs Of The Wild Cave
(RogueArt)

An extremely unique sax and drums album, as Rova leader Larry Ochs and New York drummer Gerald Cleaver take their tenor and sopranino saxophones, and drums and percussion, into the absolute darkness and stillness of the Portel Cave in the South of France, using the resonance and inspiration of the cave to record these seven incredible improvisations.


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.


Mary Halvorson / Joe Morris
Traversing Orbits
(RogueArt)

Two of this generation's most influential and skilled guitarists, Mary Halvorson and Joe Morris bring their distinct styles and jaw-dropping mastery of their instruments into a duo of collective improvisation, neither player using effects but instead impressing by (often high-speed) lyricism, incredibly precise interaction, and the warmth their long association brings to them.


John Butcher / Eddie Prevost
Visionary Fantasies
(Matchless)

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


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

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


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

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


Achim Kaufmann
Mnemon
(Nuscope)

With special attention to space and density, German pianist Achim Kauffman's solo piano album presents a set of 14 original compostions, from extremely active and technically astounding playing to inquisitive and beautifully contemplative work, a mature and fascinating reflection that includes 4 works inspired by the poetry of Gabriele D.R. Guenthler.


William Parker
Flower In a Stained-Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear [2 CDs]
(Centering Records)

Two full-length albums--"Flower In a Stained-Glass Window" and "The Blinking of The Ear"--recorded in the summer of 2018 with two distinct groups, "Flower" dedicated to the inspiration of Martin Luther King features the vocals and narration of Leena Conquest; "Blinking" was recorded during Parker's 2018 residency at the Stone presenting his concept of universal tonality.


Georg Graewe / Damon Smith / Michael Vatcher
Unhesitating
(Nuscope)

Drawing on collective improvisation and compositions from Carla Bley and Annette Peacock, the trio of pianist Georg Graewe, double bassist Damon Smith and drummer Michael Vatcher recorded this album of ferocious playing through rapid-fire interaction balanced with lovely free ballads, a reflection of their tremendous skill and their insightful approach to improvisation.


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.


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

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


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

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


John Tchicai
John Tchicai With Strings [VINYL]
(Treader)

Recorded during a rare visit to London in 2005 after the 2004 Coimbra Jazz Fest, the late Afro-Danish saxophonist, associated with Albert Ayler John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Don Cherry, performs with orchestral strings alongside guitarist John Coxon, trumpeter/percussionist Ashley Wales, and drummer Mark Sanders; exotic, beautiful and unexpected.


The J. & F. Band (Fonda / Jaimoe / Tononi + Bjorkenheim, Caruso, Mandarini, Paganelli)
From The Roots To The Sky [2 CDs]
(Long Song Records)

Outstanding instrumental work as New York improvising bassist Joe Fonda and Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe join forces with Italian jazz musicians Tiziano Tononi, Alberto Mandarini, Gianluigi Paganelli, Beppe Caruso and Finnish guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim, plus a host of guest musicians, as they hybridize jazz, rock, blues, avant and jam music with consummate skill.


New Monuments (Dietrich / Spencer / Hall)
New Earth
(Pleasure of the Text Records)

Burning free improvisation from the New Monument trio of saxophonist Don Dietrich (Borbetomagus), violinist/vocalist C. Spencer Yeh, and drummer Ben Hall ( Graveyards), their 3rd formal album after releases on Bocian and Important Records, as the trio tangle strings, reeds and drums in a turbulent set of improvisations that scorch the earth to make something new.


Martin Kuchen / Ed Pettersen / Roger Turner
The End Of The Universe
(Split Rock Records)

Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen (Angles), US guitarist Ed Pettersen, and UK percussionist Roger Turner join together in London for a studio album of improvisations referencing the vastness of space through the exploration of textures and sounds, influenced by the "Interstellar Transmissions" album that improvised with the sounds of the Voyager spacecraft.


The Way Ahead (Roligheten / Alberts / Barno / Aleklint / Stahl / Hoyer / Ostvang)
Bells, Ghosts And Other Saints
(Clean Feed)

An incredibly informed and modern album of free jazz drawing on an Albert Ayler influence from the Norwegian and Swedish septet of Andre Roligheten on tenor saxophone, clarinet, Kristoffer Alberts on alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, Niklas Barno on trumpet, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Mattias Stahl on vibraphone, Ola Hoyer on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums.


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.


Kazuo Imai / Roger Turner
Molecules [2 CDs]
(Ftarri)

Caught live at Bar Isshee in Tokyo, Japan in 2017, the duo of Kazuo Imai (nylon string guitar) and Roger Turner (snare drum, tom tom, cymbals, metal & wood) present two distinct sets, each one on a separate CD, the first using open but continuous playing of great control and precision, the second a more unpredictable and assertive set of unorthodox interplay.


Wachsmann / Taylor / Mattos / Brighton
Strings
(FMR)

Three strings, percussion and electronics from the quartet of Phillip Wachsmann on violin, electronics, Trevor Taylor on percussion, electronics, Marcio Mattos on bass, cello, electronics, and Ian Brighton on electric guitar, which grew out of the 2016 return of guitarist Ian Brighton and his String Thing, released on FMR as "Reunion: Live From Cafe Oto".


Joelle Leandre / Marc Ducret
Chez Helene
(Ayler)

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


Mars Williams presents
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
(ESP)

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


Joe Morris / Do Yeon Kim
Macrocosm
(Glacial Erratic)

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


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!


Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver
Songs Of The Wild Cave
(RogueArt)

An extremely unique sax and drums album, as Rova leader Larry Ochs and New York drummer Gerald Cleaver take their tenor and sopranino saxophones, and drums and percussion, into the absolute darkness and stillness of the Portel Cave in the South of France, using the resonance and inspiration of the cave to record these seven incredible improvisations.


Mary Halvorson / Joe Morris
Traversing Orbits
(RogueArt)

Two of this generation's most influential and skilled guitarists, Mary Halvorson and Joe Morris bring their distinct styles and jaw-dropping mastery of their instruments into a duo of collective improvisation, neither player using effects but instead impressing by (often high-speed) lyricism, incredibly precise interaction, and the warmth their long association brings to them.


John Butcher / Eddie Prevost
Visionary Fantasies
(Matchless)

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


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

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


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

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


Achim Kaufmann
Mnemon
(Nuscope)

With special attention to space and density, German pianist Achim Kauffman's solo piano album presents a set of 14 original compostions, from extremely active and technically astounding playing to inquisitive and beautifully contemplative work, a mature and fascinating reflection that includes 4 works inspired by the poetry of Gabriele D.R. Guenthler.


William Parker
Flower In a Stained-Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear [2 CDs]
(Centering Records)

Two full-length albums--"Flower In a Stained-Glass Window" and "The Blinking of The Ear"--recorded in the summer of 2018 with two distinct groups, "Flower" dedicated to the inspiration of Martin Luther King features the vocals and narration of Leena Conquest; "Blinking" was recorded during Parker's 2018 residency at the Stone presenting his concept of universal tonality.


Georg Graewe / Damon Smith / Michael Vatcher
Unhesitating
(Nuscope)

Drawing on collective improvisation and compositions from Carla Bley and Annette Peacock, the trio of pianist Georg Graewe, double bassist Damon Smith and drummer Michael Vatcher recorded this album of ferocious playing through rapid-fire interaction balanced with lovely free ballads, a reflection of their tremendous skill and their insightful approach to improvisation.


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.


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

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


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

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


The J. & F. Band (Fonda / Jaimoe / Tononi + Bjorkenheim, Caruso, Mandarini, Paganelli)
From The Roots To The Sky [2 CDs]
(Long Song Records)

Outstanding instrumental work as New York improvising bassist Joe Fonda and Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe join forces with Italian jazz musicians Tiziano Tononi, Alberto Mandarini, Gianluigi Paganelli, Beppe Caruso and Finnish guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim, plus a host of guest musicians, as they hybridize jazz, rock, blues, avant and jam music with consummate skill.


New Monuments (Dietrich / Spencer / Hall)
New Earth
(Pleasure of the Text Records)

Burning free improvisation from the New Monument trio of saxophonist Don Dietrich (Borbetomagus), violinist/vocalist C. Spencer Yeh, and drummer Ben Hall ( Graveyards), their 3rd formal album after releases on Bocian and Important Records, as the trio tangle strings, reeds and drums in a turbulent set of improvisations that scorch the earth to make something new.


Martin Kuchen / Ed Pettersen / Roger Turner
The End Of The Universe
(Split Rock Records)

Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen (Angles), US guitarist Ed Pettersen, and UK percussionist Roger Turner join together in London for a studio album of improvisations referencing the vastness of space through the exploration of textures and sounds, influenced by the "Interstellar Transmissions" album that improvised with the sounds of the Voyager spacecraft.


The Way Ahead (Roligheten / Alberts / Barno / Aleklint / Stahl / Hoyer / Ostvang)
Bells, Ghosts And Other Saints
(Clean Feed)

An incredibly informed and modern album of free jazz drawing on an Albert Ayler influence from the Norwegian and Swedish septet of Andre Roligheten on tenor saxophone, clarinet, Kristoffer Alberts on alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, Niklas Barno on trumpet, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Mattias Stahl on vibraphone, Ola Hoyer on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums.


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.


Kazuo Imai / Roger Turner
Molecules [2 CDs]
(Ftarri)

Caught live at Bar Isshee in Tokyo, Japan in 2017, the duo of Kazuo Imai (nylon string guitar) and Roger Turner (snare drum, tom tom, cymbals, metal & wood) present two distinct sets, each one on a separate CD, the first using open but continuous playing of great control and precision, the second a more unpredictable and assertive set of unorthodox interplay.


Wachsmann / Taylor / Mattos / Brighton
Strings
(FMR)

Three strings, percussion and electronics from the quartet of Phillip Wachsmann on violin, electronics, Trevor Taylor on percussion, electronics, Marcio Mattos on bass, cello, electronics, and Ian Brighton on electric guitar, which grew out of the 2016 return of guitarist Ian Brighton and his String Thing, released on FMR as "Reunion: Live From Cafe Oto".


Joelle Leandre / Marc Ducret
Chez Helene
(Ayler)

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


Chicago Edge Ensemble (Phillips / Drake / Williams / Bishop / Pablan)
Insidious Anthem
(Trost Records)

Drawing together some of Chicago's finest improvisers--leader Dan Phillips on guitar, Mars Williams on saxophones, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Krzysztof Pabian on double bass, and Hamid Drake on drums--for their second album, a balance set of creative jazz tunes with solid compositions that lend themsevles to exultant soloing, unusual sonic moments, and great collective playing.


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

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


Fujii Orchestra, Satoko
South Wind
(Libra)

Satoko Fujii Orchestra in original compositions, an amazing lineup of mostly New York players including Steven Bersteain, Herb Robertson, Briggan Krause, etc.


Chris Corsano / Bill Orcutt
Brace Up! [VINYL]
(Palilalia)

The first studio release after a series of live albums, the duo of Chris Corsano (drums) and Bill Orcutt (guitar), are heard recording in Brussells for 12 fierce, technically excellent, and powerfully fervent instrumentals as the two change up direction and intensity in a wealth of creative impulses played with exuberant enthusiasm on a wild ride.


Universal Indians w/ Joe McPhee
Skullduggery [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)

The free improvising trio of John Dikeman on sax, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums, invites Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto sax for a release of rugged free improv using unorthodox approaches and amazing dexterity in their playing.


Eli Keszler
Stadium [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Shelter Press)

Rapid beats, quirky percussion, drifting bass and unusual tones, Eli Keszler's 9th solo album was inspired by his move from Brooklyn into Manhattan, as the creative drummer fuses environments of avant-jazz and electronica into 12 understated pieces, developing embraceable and warm soundscapes over which he reveals an astonishing stream of restless, rhythmic dexterity.


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

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


Made to Break
Lacerba [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

The electroacoustic quartet of Christof Kurzmann (electronics), Devin Hoff (bass), Ken Vandermark (reeds) and Tim Daisy (drums) performing live in Lisbon, an innovative and significant band developing new languages for improvisation.


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

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


Bernard Parmegiani
Memoire Magnetique, Vol.1 [VINYL]
(Transversales Disques)

Covering the period of 1966-1990 of French Acousmatic composer and electronic music pioneer Bernard Parmegiani, this 1st volume of "Memoire Magnetique" presents never-released commercial and secret music, 17 short but intensely creative compositions that reveal a wealth of compositional strategies composed for film and performance.


Sarah Hennies (performed by Lenka Novosedlikova)
Sisters [VINYL]
(Mappa)

US Composer Sarah Hennies wrote these pieces for vibraphone for Lenka Novosedlíková to be performed at the church in Kyjatice, Slovokia, a medieval building the two discovered while traveling, and that they challenged each to bring life to the building while respecting it's contemplative character and using the psychoacoustic dimensions of space.


Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey)
The Other Side Of Air [VINYL 2 LPs + DOWNLOAD]
(Firehouse 12 Records)

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


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

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


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.


Szilard Mezei Tubass Quintet
Canons - 2nd Hoisting [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)

Four extended compositions from the Tubass Quintet led by Szilard Mezei (performing on double bass instead of his usual viola) performing with a heavy group of 4 double bassists and tuba.


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

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


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.


Baloni
Ripples [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

The trio of Belgian reedist Joachim Badenhorst, French-Japanese violist Frantz Loriot, and French-German bassist Pascal Niggenkemper formed the Baloni trio in Brooklyn in 2008, presenting a blend of chamber and free jazz; reserved to frenetic playing that consistently surprises.


Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity (Roligheten / Eldh / Nilssen)
Firehouse [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen (Zanussi 5, Bushman's Revenge, Puma, &c.) leads his new Acoustic Unity trio of Petter Eldh on double bass and Andre Roligheten (Albatrosh) on sax through 8 tightly conceived original jazz compositions with contributions from all 3 players.


Albatre
Nagual [VINYL]
(Shhpuma)

Hailing from Rotterdam's rich underground scene, the trio of Hugo Costa on alto sax, Goncalo Aleida on bass, and Philipp Ernsting on drums, with all 3 doubling on electronics, in a dramatic and energetic album bledning free jazz, improv, metal, and punk music.


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

Wild free jazz grooves, another monster of an album from the trio of reedist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love with guests Anna Hogberg on alto sax and Goran Kajfes on cornet; intense, passionate, and precise.


Snik
Metasediment Rock [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

SNIK IS led by trombonist Kristoffer Kompen and bassist Ole Morten Vagan, who provide the compositions for their quartet with saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts and drummer Erik Nylander, in an album that ranges from meditative free playing to hard swinging bop oriented jazz.


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

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


Hearts & Minds (Stein / Giallorenzo / Rosaly)
Hearts & Minds [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)

The Chicago trio of Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Paul Giallorenzon on keys, and Frank Rosaly on drums, performing a joyful album of lyrical jazz, blending compositions and free playing with modern creative skills and unpredictable, enthusiastic soloing; superb!


Cortex (Johansson / Alberts / Hoyer / Nilssen)
Live in New York [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Approaching the free side of 60s postbop in the Ornette Coleman vein, the Cortex quartet of Thomas Johansson (trumpet), Kristoffer Alberts (sax), Ola Hoyer (double bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums) are captured for a dynamic and captivating set at IBeam in Brooklyn in 2015.


John Zorn
A Dreamers Christmas [VINYL]
(Tzadik)

Zorn's take on Christmas with his Dreamers (Marc Ribot, Kenny Wollesen, Joey Baron, Jamie Saft, Trevor Dunn, Cyro Baptista, with guest vocalist Mike Patton) performing 7 of Zorn's favorite Christmas songs along with 2 originals.


Friends & Neighbors (Roligheten / Johansson / Gronberg / Rune Strom / Ostvang)
What's Wrong [VINYL]
(Clean Feed)

Following jazz traditions blending lyrical and free approaches with unexpected twists and turns from the Norwegian quintet of Andree Roligheten on sax, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums.


Black Bombaim & Peter Brotzmann
Black Bombaim & Peter Brotzmann [VINYL]
(Shhpuma)

Portugese stoner rock band Black Bombaim and German free jazz saxophonist Peter Brotzmann recorded this album live at Estudios Sa Da Bandeira in Portugal, a power trio + 1 of uncompromising and burning improvisation, a less common but completely rewarding setting for Brotzmann.


Mars Williams presents
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
(ESP)

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


Joe Morris / Do Yeon Kim
Macrocosm
(Glacial Erratic)

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


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!


Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver
Songs Of The Wild Cave
(RogueArt)

An extremely unique sax and drums album, as Rova leader Larry Ochs and New York drummer Gerald Cleaver take their tenor and sopranino saxophones, and drums and percussion, into the absolute darkness and stillness of the Portel Cave in the South of France, using the resonance and inspiration of the cave to record these seven incredible improvisations.


Mary Halvorson / Joe Morris
Traversing Orbits
(RogueArt)

Two of this generation's most influential and skilled guitarists, Mary Halvorson and Joe Morris bring their distinct styles and jaw-dropping mastery of their instruments into a duo of collective improvisation, neither player using effects but instead impressing by (often high-speed) lyricism, incredibly precise interaction, and the warmth their long association brings to them.


John Butcher / Eddie Prevost
Visionary Fantasies
(Matchless)

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


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

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


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

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


Achim Kaufmann
Mnemon
(Nuscope)

With special attention to space and density, German pianist Achim Kauffman's solo piano album presents a set of 14 original compostions, from extremely active and technically astounding playing to inquisitive and beautifully contemplative work, a mature and fascinating reflection that includes 4 works inspired by the poetry of Gabriele D.R. Guenthler.


William Parker
Flower In a Stained-Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear [2 CDs]
(Centering Records)

Two full-length albums--"Flower In a Stained-Glass Window" and "The Blinking of The Ear"--recorded in the summer of 2018 with two distinct groups, "Flower" dedicated to the inspiration of Martin Luther King features the vocals and narration of Leena Conquest; "Blinking" was recorded during Parker's 2018 residency at the Stone presenting his concept of universal tonality.


Georg Graewe / Damon Smith / Michael Vatcher
Unhesitating
(Nuscope)

Drawing on collective improvisation and compositions from Carla Bley and Annette Peacock, the trio of pianist Georg Graewe, double bassist Damon Smith and drummer Michael Vatcher recorded this album of ferocious playing through rapid-fire interaction balanced with lovely free ballads, a reflection of their tremendous skill and their insightful approach to improvisation.


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.


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

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


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

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


John Tchicai
John Tchicai With Strings [VINYL]
(Treader)

Recorded during a rare visit to London in 2005 after the 2004 Coimbra Jazz Fest, the late Afro-Danish saxophonist, associated with Albert Ayler John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Don Cherry, performs with orchestral strings alongside guitarist John Coxon, trumpeter/percussionist Ashley Wales, and drummer Mark Sanders; exotic, beautiful and unexpected.


The J. & F. Band (Fonda / Jaimoe / Tononi + Bjorkenheim, Caruso, Mandarini, Paganelli)
From The Roots To The Sky [2 CDs]
(Long Song Records)

Outstanding instrumental work as New York improvising bassist Joe Fonda and Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe join forces with Italian jazz musicians Tiziano Tononi, Alberto Mandarini, Gianluigi Paganelli, Beppe Caruso and Finnish guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim, plus a host of guest musicians, as they hybridize jazz, rock, blues, avant and jam music with consummate skill.


New Monuments (Dietrich / Spencer / Hall)
New Earth
(Pleasure of the Text Records)

Burning free improvisation from the New Monument trio of saxophonist Don Dietrich (Borbetomagus), violinist/vocalist C. Spencer Yeh, and drummer Ben Hall ( Graveyards), their 3rd formal album after releases on Bocian and Important Records, as the trio tangle strings, reeds and drums in a turbulent set of improvisations that scorch the earth to make something new.


Martin Kuchen / Ed Pettersen / Roger Turner
The End Of The Universe
(Split Rock Records)

Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen (Angles), US guitarist Ed Pettersen, and UK percussionist Roger Turner join together in London for a studio album of improvisations referencing the vastness of space through the exploration of textures and sounds, influenced by the "Interstellar Transmissions" album that improvised with the sounds of the Voyager spacecraft.


The Way Ahead (Roligheten / Alberts / Barno / Aleklint / Stahl / Hoyer / Ostvang)
Bells, Ghosts And Other Saints
(Clean Feed)

An incredibly informed and modern album of free jazz drawing on an Albert Ayler influence from the Norwegian and Swedish septet of Andre Roligheten on tenor saxophone, clarinet, Kristoffer Alberts on alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, Niklas Barno on trumpet, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Mattias Stahl on vibraphone, Ola Hoyer on double bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums.


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.


Kazuo Imai / Roger Turner
Molecules [2 CDs]
(Ftarri)

Caught live at Bar Isshee in Tokyo, Japan in 2017, the duo of Kazuo Imai (nylon string guitar) and Roger Turner (snare drum, tom tom, cymbals, metal & wood) present two distinct sets, each one on a separate CD, the first using open but continuous playing of great control and precision, the second a more unpredictable and assertive set of unorthodox interplay.


Wachsmann / Taylor / Mattos / Brighton
Strings
(FMR)

Three strings, percussion and electronics from the quartet of Phillip Wachsmann on violin, electronics, Trevor Taylor on percussion, electronics, Marcio Mattos on bass, cello, electronics, and Ian Brighton on electric guitar, which grew out of the 2016 return of guitarist Ian Brighton and his String Thing, released on FMR as "Reunion: Live From Cafe Oto".


Joelle Leandre / Marc Ducret
Chez Helene
(Ayler)

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


Chicago Edge Ensemble (Phillips / Drake / Williams / Bishop / Pablan)
Insidious Anthem
(Trost Records)

Drawing together some of Chicago's finest improvisers--leader Dan Phillips on guitar, Mars Williams on saxophones, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Krzysztof Pabian on double bass, and Hamid Drake on drums--for their second album, a balance set of creative jazz tunes with solid compositions that lend themsevles to exultant soloing, unusual sonic moments, and great collective playing.


Fujii Orchestra, Satoko
South Wind
(Libra)

Satoko Fujii Orchestra in original compositions, an amazing lineup of mostly New York players including Steven Bersteain, Herb Robertson, Briggan Krause, etc.


Cilantro (Angelica Castello / Billy Roisz)
Borderland
(Mikroton Recordings)

Cilantro is the duo of multi-instrumentalists Angelica Castello on paetzold, ukulele, organ, tapes, & electronics, and Billy Roisz on electric bass, organ, tv, piezzo, computer & electronics, scrutinizing the activity in bordering areas between noise and silence, tenderness and rudeness, beat and drone, inner consciousness and outer awareness, control and freedom.


Oliva Block
132 Ranks
(Room40)

Commissioned for the Chicago performing space LAMPO and The Renaissance Society, Olivia Block composed this large work of drone and sound from 2016-2017, premiered on the massive Skinner Organ at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in a free concert that included a sound installation of 6 speakers placed through the chapel playing white noise, sine tones, and prerecorded organ sounds.


Christina Kubisch
Dreaming Of A Major Third
(Edition Rz)

Christina Kubisch developed software to react to the variations in sunlight reflected on solar panels installed at an historic mill complex in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the sun's interactions driving pitch-shifted and envelope-altered samples from the original bells of that museum's clock tower to create a beautiful and illusory long-form recording.


Banabila & Machinefabriek
Macrocosms
(Tapu Record)

The 4th collaboration between electronic artists Michel Banabila and Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt), in captivating music exploring the concepts of macro and micro: how insiginificant we become when zooming out, and how small worlds can be found when zooming in.


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".


Sissy Spacek
Basement [CASSETTE]
(Banned Production)

The Los Angeles grindcore/noise band of Charlie Mumma, John Wiese, and Phil Blankenship in a cassette of brutal noise performed at Bronson, in Los Angeles California in 2014, both tracks using a similar explosive approach to sound, "Deja Vu" having more space between events while "Unfolding Universe" adds a thick noise floor that approaches white noise at time.


Charles Barabe
De la Fragilite [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)

Victoriaville, Quebec electronic composer Charles Barbare creates abstract electroacoustic works, here in an impressive 6-movement work that covers a wide ground from minimalistic rhythmic sections to time-stretched voices and electronics to musique mystery, his inquisitive approach allowing his scores to unfold in decipherable, dramatic and coherent ways.


Eliane Radigue
Jouet Electronique / Elemental I [VINYL]
(Alga Marghen)

Composer Eliane Radigue's "Jouet Electronique" (1967) for feedback on magnetic tape and "Elemental I" (1968) for feedback of natural sounds on magnetic tape, recorded at Pierre Henry's Studio Apsome; "Jouet Electronique" applies studio modifications to feedback from microphones and speakers; "Elemental I" explores recordings of water, fire, air and earth.


Eli Keszler
Stadium
(Shelter Press)

Rapid beats, quirky percussion, drifting bass and unusual tones, Eli Keszler's 9th solo album was inspired by his move from Brooklyn into Manhattan, as the creative drummer fuses environments of avant-jazz and electronica into 12 understated pieces, developing embraceable and warm soundscapes over which he reveals an astonishing stream of restless, rhythmic dexterity.


Sarah Hennies / Greg Stuart
Rundle [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Notice Recordings)

The duo of Sarah Hennies and Greg Stuart, who are both a part of the Meridian trio, performing at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, in Alberta, Canada, for two extended pieces using piano, percussion and objects, employing strategies and improvisation to generate indeterminate sources and sounds that create a cohesive and mysterious narrative.


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

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


Electropleinair Sound Diary
The Wind Rises
(Recommended Records)


Iolini
Electroacoustic, Chamber Ensemble, Soundscapes & Works for Radio
(Recommended Records)


Lagos / Venosta / Mariani
Electronic Adventures in Flamenco
(Recommended Records)


Alvin Curran
TotoAngelica
(Angelica)


Lingam
Musiche Per un Film Immaginario
(Recommended Records)


Stevan Tickmayer Kovacs
Cold Peace Counterpoints
(Recommended Records)

A suite of fiendishly complex compositions for mixed real (Bob Drake, Chris Cutler, Djorge Delibasic, Pegja Milosavljevic) and virtual resources.


Marko Ciciliani
Tullius Rooms
(Unsounds)

Large scale composition for piano, electronics and ambient recordings by Marko Ciciliani with a diverse musical landscape of sounds performed by Ciciliani and Josh Dillon.


Anne Chaton James & Andy Moor
Le Journaliste
(Unsounds)

Part of a series of 100 portraits in sound iniated by Anne James Chaton, a journey into the texts and columns of newspapaper and radio broadcasts of a single journalist.


Fossils
A Common Confusion
(Bug Incision Records)

Another slab of basement strangeness from this Hamilton, Ontario-based trio/duo that pivots around sound artist David Payne; a baffling work of sound and noise.


Rolf Julius
(Halb) Schwarz
(Edition Rz)

Six dense, mysterious and abstract electronic compositions created over a decade by German sound sculpture artist and composer Rolf Julius.


Scanner & David Rothenberg
You Can't Get There from Here
(Monotype)

Philosopher and reed player David Rothenberg joins Scanner (Robin Rimbaud) on laptop and electronics for a release of improvised studio and live recordings.


Peter Cusack
Favourite Sounds of Berlin
(Recommended Records)

Site recordings from Berlin by audio explorer Peter Cusack, documenting evocative locations throughout the city based on an inquiry into Berlin resident's favorite sounds, with a booklet detailing the 31 recordings and the scope of the project.


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

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


Ikue Mori
Light In The Shadow
(Tzadik)

A beautifully paced and uniquely voiced album of electronic soundscapes from luminary New York performer Ikue Mori, 10 works including a realization of Izumi Kyoka's story "Koya Hijuri", 3 pieces for Mozu birds, the 2-part "Pomegranate Seeds", and one of Zorn's Masada compositions.


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.


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.


John Cage
Imaginary Landscapes
(Hat [now] ART)


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'.


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.


Hermann Meier
Works For Piano 1949 - 1987 [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

German pianist Dominik Blum presents his second album for the Wandelweiser label, performing a selection of compositions from Swiss composer Hermann Meier (1906-2002), whose forward-looking work with reduced scores, modern use of time and space, and graphics scores in compositions pre-dating Messiaen, Stockhausen, Boulez, &c. that are only recently being rediscovered.


Michael Finnissy
Choralvorspiele / Andersen-Liederkreis
(Hat [now] ART)

Two works from English composer Michael Finnissy: "Choralvorspiele" for solo piano (Mark Knoop) in 8 parts, technically demanding choral preludes blending Norwegian and American melodies; and an 11-part work celebrating Hans Christian Andersen's lesser known paper cut-outs performed by Knoop and soprano Juliet Fraser, with texts from Andersen in German and English.


Nino Rota
Amarcord
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

A reissue of "Amarcord Nino Rota", a tribute album assembled by producer Hal Willner, originally released by Hannibal Records in 1981, with interpretations of classic soundtrack compositions by the Italian composer from Jaki Byard, Bill Frisell, Steve Lacy, Muhal Richard Abrams, Carla Bley, Gary Windo, David Amram, George Adams, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, &c.


Cassandra Miller / Quatuor Bozzini
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.


Bernard Parmegiani
Memoire Magnetique, Vol.1 [VINYL]
(Transversales Disques)

Covering the period of 1966-1990 of French Acousmatic composer and electronic music pioneer Bernard Parmegiani, this 1st volume of "Memoire Magnetique" presents never-released commercial and secret music, 17 short but intensely creative compositions that reveal a wealth of compositional strategies composed for film and performance.


Sarah Hennies (performed by Lenka Novosedlikova)
Sisters [VINYL]
(Mappa)

US Composer Sarah Hennies wrote these pieces for vibraphone for Lenka Novosedlíková to be performed at the church in Kyjatice, Slovokia, a medieval building the two discovered while traveling, and that they challenged each to bring life to the building while respecting it's contemplative character and using the psychoacoustic dimensions of space.


Matt Hannafin
John Cage: Four Realizations For Solo Percussion [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Notice Recordings)

Portland-based percussionist Matt Hannafin presents 4 works from John Cage, 2 from the 60s and 2 from the 90s: "Variations II" & "Variations III", where the performer places or drops transparencies to create a graphic score; "One4" for solo percussion incorporating improvisation; and "c Composed Improvisation" for one-sided drums using instructions and chance operations.


Satoko Fujii
Diary 2005-2015 [Scorebook]
(Libra)

A book of scores to accompany the double CD of 56 Satoko Fujii compostions titled "Diary 2005-2015", performed by respected classical pianist and educator Yuko Yamaoka, released as part of Satoko Fujii's ambitious 60th birthday monthly album set.


Various Artists
Music from the ONCE Festival 1961-1966 (US and Canadian orders)
(New World Records)


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.


Chistopher Fox
Works For Piano, Philip Thomas piano
(Hat [now] ART)

Four large and distinctive works by composer Christopher Fox performed by pianist Philip Thomas, who also writes the liner notes about the works, revealing and explaining the compositional elements, piano preparations, and physical requirements placed on the performer.


Clara Iannotta
A Failed Entertainment. Works 2009-2014
(Edition Rz)

Works from Italian composer Clare Iannotta recorded from 2012 - 2014, including a work for string quartet composed for the DAAD artist-in-Berlin program titled "A Failed Entertainment" commissioned by Quaturo Diotima; plus 6 works for contemporary ensembles.


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.


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

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


Kazimierz Serocki
Pianophonie
(Bolt)

Two works for piano and orchestra from Polish composer Kazimierz Serocki, recorded for Polish Radio in Krakow in 1973 with Jerzy Witkowski on piano (Forte e piano) and for Great Polish Radio in Katowice in 1979 with Szablocs Esztenyi on piano ("Pianophonie").


Zeitkratzer
Performs Songs From The Albums "Kraftwerk" And "Kraftwerk 2"
(Zeitkratzer)

The 20th anniversary of director Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer ensemble, who have reinterpreted in surprising ways the music of a far-ranging and eclectic set of composers and performers, as they take on the innovative electronic rock band Kraftwerk in six interpretations from their first two albums.


Silence Ensemble led by Peter Urpeth
John Cage: Speech
(FMR)

These recordings of pieces by John Cage were made at a performance called Silence & Transmission led by Peter Upreth conducting an ensemble of four performers using radios and voice, held at An Lanntair Arts Centre, Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides on 20th September 2012, as part of the celebrations for Cage's centenary.


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.


Burkhard Schlothauer
More Chamber Events [2CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Composer Burkhard Schlothauer, co-founder of Editions Wandelweiser and a member of Zeitkratzer and the Wandwelweiser Composers Ensemble, in a five part work conceived as a single part, combining previous works into various possible versions as "events", working with spatial distribution, slow beats, noise, and pulse, superimposed from their origins.


Hermann Nitsch
Orgelkonzert Jesuitenkirche 20.11.2013
(Trost Records)

Austrian avant-garde musician and multimedia artist Hermann Nitsch performed these powerful and mesmerizing solo organ drone works during the 2013 "Shut up and listen" festival in in the Jesuit church of Vienna, releasing the 4 recordings with an 8-page booklet of art and an essay from Nitsch himself, with mastering by Martin Siewert.


Baker / Glover
Love, Approximately
(Bad Architect Records)

Bridging folk traditions with modern aesthetics, the duo of Evan Baker on guitar and Austin Glover on violin, both contributing songs, sing about everyday events, music, and life, the songs having a bluesy and even early Kinks feel at times, made unique through a cappella moments and languid instrumental sections.


Fat
Automat Highlife
(Recommended Records)


Fred Frith
Step Across the Border
(Recommended Records)


Eugene Chadbourne
At Clouds and Water Jan 12-1979
(Chadula)


Michael Maksymenko
Businesscide
(Recommended Records)

Maksymenko, founder of the Swedish Beefheart influenced band Kraljursastalten, in a solo release with that band, and with Henry Kaiser, Drumbo French, Sten Standell, &c.


Scarcity Of Tanks
Vulgar Defender
(Total Life Society Records)

New York/Ohio skronkers Scarcity of Tanks with Jim Sauter of Borbetomagus plus Kid Millions in a hard free rock free improv blast.


Albatre
Nagual [VINYL]
(Shhpuma)

Hailing from Rotterdam's rich underground scene, the trio of Hugo Costa on alto sax, Goncalo Aleida on bass, and Philipp Ernsting on drums, with all 3 doubling on electronics, in a dramatic and energetic album bledning free jazz, improv, metal, and punk music.


Naked Wolf (Ex / Gibson / Jaeger / Provan / Szafirowski)
Ahum
(Clean Feed)

Bridging improv and rock, this quintet including Luc Ex on guitar uses instrumental and vocal forms to draw on a wealth of styles with references to free improv, post-punk and RIO styles, beautifully pacing the album from energetic improv to slowly unfolding atmospheres.


Andrew Smiley
Dispersal [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)

An uncommon solo guitar album from Andrew Smiley, a member of Little Women and the Chris Pitsiokos Quartet, creating textures on the guitar by applying unconventional techniques with his pick and fingers instead of using effects or guitar preparations, and accompanying himself on voice in Haino-esque ways, creating an album of sharp contrast and color.


Thurston Moore / Umut Caglar
Dunia [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)

Recorded in Istanbul, Turkey, guitarist Thurston Moore teams up with Konstrukt guitarist Umut Caglar to record these three rich and twisting pieces, each guitarist extracting unique performances from the other over three pieces that draw on technique and effects to create fragile and heavy sonic environments, an impressive album of modern guitar potential.


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

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


The Ex
27 Passports
(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.


Don Cherry
Home Boy, Sister Out
(WeWantSounds)

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


Satoko Fujii Orchestra 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


John Butcher / Eddie Prevost
Visionary Fantasies
(Matchless)

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


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

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


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

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


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".


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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).


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

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


Joelle Leandre / Marc Ducret
Chez Helene
(Ayler)

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


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

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


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.


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).


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.


Sun Ra
Astro Black
(Modern Harmonic)

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


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

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


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

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


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.


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

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


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.


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
Braxton: (Willisau) 1991 Studio [2 CDs]
(Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering the two studio albums from the 1992 4-CD boxset of Anthony Braxton's Quartet with Marily Crispell (piano), Mark Dresser (double bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums & marimba) recording in Willisau, Switzerland, realizing 10 Braxton numbered compositions with masterful skill and virtuosity, an exceptional set of modern jazz.


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.


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

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


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

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


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.