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Following a 1964 Albert Ayler tour, trumpeter Don Cherry remained in Europe, working on new concepts of improvising based on form itself, developing his concepts with saxophonist Gato Barbieri, vibraphonist Karl Berger & bassist J.F. Jenny Clark, composing two brilliant albums: 1966's Communion with Barbieri, Henry Grimes & Ed Blackwell; and in 1967 Symphony for Improvisers as a septet. ... Click to View


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Keith Tippett / Matthew Bourne:
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Mofaya! (John Dikeman / Jaimie Branch / Luke Stewart / Aleksandar Skoric):
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Eunhye Jeong:
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SuperKlang (Aurier / Lemetre):
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Umlaut Big Band:
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As If 3 (Bommel / Weide / Janssen):
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ISM:
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The ISM trio brings together Berlin, UK and Paris improvisers Antonin Gerbal (drums), Pat Thomas (piano) and Joel Grip (double bass) for their second album since 2015, recording live at Tokyo's Knuttel House in 2018 for two extended improvisations, collective pieces that unfold from lyrical beginning into tightly packed exchanges of exhilarating blooms. ... Click to View


Graham Dunning / Edward Lucas:
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A series of unusual improvisations between London free improvising trombonist Edward Lucas (Hyperion Ensemble, London Experimental Ensemble) and experimental sound artist, turntablist & percussionist Graham Dunning, merging acoustic sources with controlled feedback, objects and field recordings, pressed to dubplate to create these engagingly strange and concise dialogs. ... Click to View


Marcus Schmickler :
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Two major works designed for multi-channel sound projections from electronic composer Marcus Schmickler: "Sky Dice / Mapping the Studio", a work for ARP 2500, Publison DHM89B, Publison Infernal Machine and Computer, premiered at Donaueschinger Tage fur Neue Musik in 2018; "Fortuna Ribbon" a 6-part work based on spatial hearing and auditory otoacoustic distortions. ... Click to View


Sean Conly:
The Buzz (577 Records)

A mix of lyrical, free and traditional compositions, the majority from leader, New York bassist Sean Conly, along with pieces from long-time collaborator Michael Attias, Sam Rivers and Paul Motian, performed in the piano trio format with drummer Francisco Mela and pianist Leo Genovese, in a great balance of jazz steeped in tradition but living fully in the present. ... Click to View


Sean Conly:
The Buzz [VINYL] (577 Records)

A mix of lyrical, free and traditional compositions, the majority from leader, New York bassist Sean Conly, along with pieces from long-time collaborator Michael Attias, Sam Rivers and Paul Motian, performed in the piano trio format with drummer Francisco Mela and pianist Leo Genovese, a great balance of jazz steeped in tradition but living fully in the present. ... Click to View


James Lewis Brandon / Red Lily Quintet (w / William Parker/ Chad Taylor / Kirk Knuffke / Chris Hoffman):
Jesup Wagon [VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tao Forms)

Led by tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and peformed by his Red Lily Quintet with Kirk Knuffke on cornet, William Parker on bass & gimbri, Christopher Hoffman on cello and Chad Taylor on drums & mbira, Lewis' work explores and reflects on the legacy of scientist George Washington Carver through 7 remarkable free jazz compositions. ... Click to View



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  Matthew Shipp 
  Greatest Hits  
  (Thirsty Ear) 


  
   review by John Eyles
  2013-07-24
Matthew Shipp: Greatest Hits (Thirsty Ear)

Whether intentionally or not, this album's title has been the source of considerable mirth. Greatest Hits? Where and when did Matthew Shipp have any kind of a "hit", never mind enough of them to fill a twelve-track album? Come to that, when was the last time a jazz musician had a hit? The title is a joke but that doesn't mean that the album itself should be treated as one. Selected by Shipp from his recordings for Thirsty Ear since the millennium, the album is a sampler of his own recordings for the label (so includes no examples of his fine work with Spring Heel Jack or the David S. Ware Quartet.) Tracks were chosen on the basis of airplay and feedback from reviewers, friends and fans. The album's cover art repeatedly name checks Shipp's Thirsty Ear releases, as well as featuring their cover art, emphasising that its intended purpose is to publicise them.

Turning to the music, we find a dazzlingly eclectic showcase of Shipp's recent work a good way to sample it before plumping for one or more of its eleven source albums. The tracks illustrate the variety of Shipp's work and the distance he travelled between 2000 and 2012. Although tracks are not programmed chronologically, the opener is the earliest, "Gesture" (from 2000's Pastoral Composure), recorded with Shipp's great quartet including Roy Campbell on trumpet, William Parker on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums. It begins with a marching rhythm from Cleaver, soon joined by power chords from Shipp and Parker's pit-of-the-stomach bass, before Campbell takes over, firing off a bravura track-stealing solo. Stunning. Next up, the title track of New Orbit, from 2001, packs a similar punch, with Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet instead of Campbell. On 2003's "Cohesion", regular Shipp collaborator Flam makes his first appearance on synths and programming; he interjects electronic sounds into an already dense soundscape of piano, bass and drums plus Khan Jamal's vibes, thus making it denser but not overbearing. Flam contributes electronic beats on "New ID" and "Nu-Bop" (yes, Shipp's titles do tend to focus on the new...) which rather crowd out the other players, reducing their contributions to short episodes. Both tracks are innovative and push at the boundaries, but neither shows off Shipp's own playing to best advantage.

While the album's other tracks focus more on Shipp's strengths as a leader, writer and innovator, his own piano playing is showcased best on the two tracks where he is solo, 2005's "Module" and "4D" from five years later. Both are relatively short, at just over the four-minute mark, but Shipp's playing is so fresh, inventive and concentrated that they seem far longer. The album concludes with the sixteen-minute trio piece "Circular Temple #1", from 2010's live double album Art of the Improviser, on which Shipp is joined by Michael Bisio on bass and Walt Dickey on drums. It is a tour-de-force improvisation with all three contributing equally and interweaving into a satisfyingly complex and wide-ranging whole. On an album without one weak track, it just gets the nod as the highlight. Or, as your friendly local DJ might say, the hits just keep on coming...



Matthew Shipp: Greatest Hits
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