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Transmap+ (Evan Parker / Matt Wright / Robert Jarvis):
Grounded Abstraction (FMR)

A 2022 concert of acoustic and electroacoustic interaction at The Jazz Centre UK from the Trans Map duo of Evan Parker on soprano saxophone and Matthew Wright on laptop processing, the "+" in Transmap+ being trombonist Robert Jarvis, a versatile collaborator since London Improvisers Orchestra and here a 3rd voice expanding their spectacular open collective free improv. ... Click to View

Paul Dunmall / Phillip Gibbs / Andrew Ball / Neil Metcalfe / Hilary Jeffery:
Newsagents (FMR)

Reissuing the limited 2003 release on saxophonist Paul Dunmall's DUNS label, this wonderfully sophisticated concert at Victoria Rooms in Bristols featured collaborators and jazz luminaries Philip Gibbs on guitar, Neil Metcalfe on flute, Andrew Ball on piano & celesta and Hilary Jeffrey on trombone, a quintet of tempered intensity and incredibly expressive power. ... Click to View

Bucher / Tan / Countryman:
Sacred Fire Of The Free (FMR)

The continuing collaboration from the collective free jazz trio of Philippines-based American alto saxophonist Rick Countryman, Philippines bassist Simon Tan and Swiss drummer Christian Bucher is heard in this studio session of eight lyrically inclined tracks of spontaneous interaction, a well-balanced mix of energetic grooves and contemplative group conversation. ... Click to View

MUC Chamber Art Trio (Udo Schindler / Sebastian Grams / Gunnar Geisse):
Resilient Perspectives (...A Real Fact) (FMR)

A fascinating chamber jazz trio performing in a 2021 live concert in the Galerie at arToxin, in Munich, Germany from the collective free improvising trio of Udo Schindler on alto & sopranino saxophones & bass clarinet, Sebastian Gramss on double bass and Gunnar Geisse on laptop guitar, subtitled RESILIENT PERSPECTIVES... a real fact? [LowToneStudies#9+] ... Click to View

William Parker:
Universal Tonality [2 CDs] (Centering Records)

An incredible performance recorded at Roulette in NYC by a large ensemble of 16 jazz luminaries of various ages, cultures and musical backgrounds, led by composer and bassist William Parker, who explains that Universal Tonality is another name for love, the profusion of which is interpreted by vocalist Leena Conquest in a profoundly inspired concert of magnificent artistry. ... Click to View

Die Hochstapler :
Beauty Lies (Umlaut Records)

Their group name Die Hochstapler translating to "The Impostors", the fourth exuberant free jazz album from the Berlin quartet of Pierre Borel on alto saxophone, cymbals & bird calls, Louis Laurain on trumpet & vocals, Antonio Borghini on double bass and Hannes Lingens on drums & vibraphone was recorded during their February 2022 residency at Au Topsi Pohl. ... Click to View

Hannes Lingens:
Nachthund [VINYL + CD] (Umlaut Records)

Three recordings from percussionist Hans Lingens in his 2nd solo album on Umlaut, working at the intersection between improvised and composed forms of experimental music: "Nacht", a montage of prerecorded layers of mostly rolls and brush sounds; and two recordings in one take using close miking as he performs on a single cymbal with mallets ("Hund") and a bass bow ("Manatee"). ... Click to View

Ingrid Laubrock / Tom Rainey:
Counterfeit Mars (Relative Pitch)

Relentlessly playing through the pandemic, the husband & wife duo of tenor & soprano saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey honed their skills, developing this album of primarily composed pieces worked out through improvising; thirteen succinct, fascinating and sometimes quirky dialogs, displaying a depth that only two such close collaborators could achieve. ... Click to View

Tatsuya Nakatani / Shawn Hansan / Michal Stover / Jeff Harshbarger:
Kansas City Ship (Nakatani-Kobo)

One of four releases from percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani's 2019 tour, each from a different region and performing with local improvisers, this spectacular concert recorded at The Ship, in Kansas City, MO with Shawn Hansan on organ & sunthesizer, Michal Stover on pedal steel guitar and Jeff Harshbarger on contra bass for a diverse, extended collective improvisation. ... Click to View

Fred Moten / Brandon Lopez / Gerald Cleaver:
S/T (Relative Pitch)

Fred Moten, prolific poet, theorist, critic, English Professor and 2020 MacArthur Fellow, provides the insightful and incisive text fueling the improvisation of New York drummer Gerald Cleaver and contrabass player Brandon Lopez, the synergy of Moten's words reminding of Gil Scott-Heron or Amiri Baraka; issued on LP by Reading Group, this CD edition adds two tracks. ... Click to View

Multicolored Midnight (Cuneiform)

The seventh album from the exceptional free improvising jazz trio Thumbscrew of Michael Formanek on double bass & electronics, Tomas Fujiwara on drums & vibraphone and Mary Halvorson on guitar, with compositions from all members as they refine and expand on their communal interplay fueled by the great chemistry forged over their near decade of recording and performing. ... Click to View

Paul Dunmall Quintet (w / Saunders / Foote / Owston / Bashford):
Yes Tomorrow (Discus)

An exhilarating departure from saxophonist Paul Dunmall's Coltrane-esque approach to free improvisation with this electrified quintet of Steven Saunders on guitar, Richard Foote on trombone, James Owston on bass and Jim Bashford on drums, playing with upbeat urgency through a set of Dunmall compositions, often letting Saunder's riffs take the foreground around a first-rate set of solos. ... Click to View

Julie Tippetts / Martin Archer:
Illusion [2 CDs] (Discus)

Their first album after a 6-year break, the collaboration of vocalist Julie Tippetts and multi-reedist & electronic artist Martin Archer is heard in two distinct presentations: a large and stunningly complex suite with an ensemble of acoustic and electronic artists; and a sequence of 13 separate and contrasting songs, performed by various small groups drawn from the JTMA Ensemble. ... Click to View

Jason Purtill (feat. Leo Genovese / Sean Conly):
Simple Twist (577 Records)

Meeting in the studio with an open mind to approach, guitarist Justin Purtill and long-time friend, pianist Leo Genovese, are joined by bassist Sean Conly to record this set of original Purtrill songs, along with songs by John Hurt, Joe Price, and the title track by Bob Dylan, a relaxed and expressive session of jazz-based originals and interpretations. ... Click to View

Chris Pitsiokos :
Art of the Alto (Relative Pitch)

Each of the eight tracks on NY saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos' 2nd solo release for Relative Pitch is named for a type of stone--"Obsidian", "Feldspar", "Anthracite", &c.--each a unique take on its mineral counterpart through incredible technique and concentration, taking the alto saxophone into extreme or reflective territory complementing the nature of each element. ... Click to View

Jon Lipscomb:
Conscious Without Function (Relative Pitch)

Swedish guitar improviser Jon Lipscomb (LOPLOP, Swedish Fix) takes his listeners on a rugged trip across the strings, using distortion, tremolo and rapid-fire technique as he mines territories between free improv, noise and rock, his nimble mind stopping to explore areas of interest then cascading into new, turbulent environments; frightfully powerful. ... Click to View

Tatsuya Nakatani / Donald Miller / Rob Cambre / Emmalee Sutton :
Moisant Stock Yards (Nakatani-Kobo)

A recurring trio in New Orleans between touring percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and guitarists Rob Cambre (Malevitus, Rough Seven, The Death Posture) and Donald Miller (Borbetomagus) performing at Mudland Public Theatre in 2018 for two extended, gritty and ringing exchanges. ... Click to View

Tatsuya Nakatani / Kris Tiner:
Dagny (Nakatani-Kobo)

An extended improvisation in two parts at Dagny's Coffe Company in Bakersfield, CA: first a solo performance by Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani in a sweeping sonic manifestation of bowed gongs, cymbals, bass drums and objects, which then continues as a duo with trumpeter Kris Tiner for an exhilaratingly peak of adept brass excitement ending in a pensive reflection. ... Click to View

Rie Nakajima / Takahiro Kawaguchi:
Utsuho [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)

Rapid and lucid activity of mechanical and organic activity, a mad mechanism under the control of master machinists perking the ears in inexplicable ways, from the collaboration of Japanese sound artists Rie Nakajima and Takahiro Kawaguchi, their uncredited sources seemingly a mix of motors, bells, squeaky toys, material flurries, whistles, &c. &c.; playfully fascinating. ... Click to View

The Haters / Kavader:
De Haters Und Kadaver [CASSETTE] (Tribe Tapes)

A split cassette of dark industrial noise from the long-running experimental sound unit The Haters founded by G.X. Jupitter-Larsen, in a cantankerous 10 minute buzz saw drone; and a "Venemous Agent" from the Israeli noise band Kadaver, aka Michael Zolotov, in a cycling work that builds to an oscillating throb of metalic and rumbling sources; edition of 75. ... Click to View

Anthony Braxton / James Fei:
Duet (Other Minds) 2021 (Other Minds)

Composed for a performance at the 2021 OM 25 Festival in San Fransisco between saxophonist & composer Anthony Braxton and saxophonist James Fei, "Composition 429" uses Braxton's new music system Lorraine, a combination of traditional notation and color-coded symbols of the composer's design to indicate specific sound types or performance techniques. ... Click to View

Alexander Schlippenbach von :
Globe Unity (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Wild, nearly unprecedented and an exhilarating direction in European Free Improvisation heard in the 1st recordings from 1966 of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity band, a 14-piece ensemble that included young saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Gerd Dudek & Kris Wanders, bassist Peter Kowald, bass clarinetist Willem Breuker, trumpeter Manfred Schoof, &c. ... Click to View

Alexander Schlippenbach von :
Globe Unity [VINYL] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Wild, nearly unprecedented and an exhilarating direction in European Free Improvisation heard in the 1st recordings from 1966 of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity band, a 14-piece ensemble that included young saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Gerd Dudek & Kris Wanders, bassist Peter Kowald, bass clarinetist Willem Breuker, trumpeter Manfred Schoof, &c. ... Click to View

Devin Waldman Brahja / Hamid Drake:
Mediumistic Methodology [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Evoking the spirit of a seance experienced by alto saxophonist Devin Brahja Waldman, the duo of Waldman and drummer Hamid Drake are captured live at Elastic Arts, in Chicago, beginning as a mysteriously delicate concert of intricately introspective playing and spiritual reflection, building to a free jazz drum & sax duo of powerful and enthusiastic release. ... Click to View

Aonghus McEvoy :
Under & Cracked [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Beautifully flowing acoustic avant folk under a diverse set of influences from the Dublin five-piece band led by acoustic and electric guitarist Aonghus McEvoy, with George Brennan on electronics, David Lacey on drums, Sean Maynard Smith on upright bass and Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh on viola, evolving their tracks from pastoral to edgy agitation or ecstatic drone. ... Click to View

Artur Malecki & The Creature Trio (w/ Chmiel / Aftyka):
Widoki (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Widoki, Polish for Views, is the debut album of the free improvising trio of Artur Malecki on drums, Michal Aftyka on double bass & electric bass and Przemylaw Chmiel on tenor & soprano saxophones, performing seven compositions from drummer Malecki and one collective improvisation, a strong and wide-ranging set of recordings from a band with a fresh perspective on creative jazz. ... Click to View

Cyprien Busolini / Bertrand Gauguet:
Miroir (Akousis Records)

An album of intensive listening through concentrated improvisation from the long-running collaboration of French improvisers, Cyprien Busolini on viola and Bertrand Gauguet on alto saxophone, both using unfaltering techniques as they metamorphose their instruments from delicate silence to forceful tones, oscillating and vacillating across two extended improvisations. ... Click to View

Tragic Assembly:
Blood Drains And Memories (Soul City Sounds)

The Durham, NC free improvising trio of Crowmeat Bob on alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet & guitar, Phil Venable on double bass and Charles Chance on drums notch up their playing, with Crowmeat Bob performing on both reeds and electric guitar as the band explores breaking down the barrier between subconsciousness and expression through collective improv. ... Click to View

Tatsuya Nakatani / Kyle Motl:
Quicksand (Nakatani-Kobo)

Innovative Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani met with bassist Kyle Motl (Peter Kuhn Trio) at Nakatani Kobo Studio, in New Mexico to record these two extended improvisations, the 1st creating an aural environment through ringing metal and bowed contrabass, the 2nd a set of agitated and disruptive interactions through incredible technical skill and expressive dialog. ... Click to View

Bun Itakura / Mishio Ogawa :
Stardust (Ultragash)

A flowing twilight electro-jazz cover of the standard "Stardust" from Japanese guitarist Bun Itakura and vocalist Mishio Ogawa, expanding the melody and Ogawa's phrasing with encompassing electronics and percussion from Takefumi Kobayashi; backed with an experimental "Mystery Making Factory" using paint brush, harmonic tone guitar, and mbira. ... Click to View

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  Jennifer Allum & Ute Kanngiesser 
  Bell Tower Recordings  

   review by Massimo Ricci
Jennifer Allum & Ute Kanngiesser: Bell Tower Recordings (Matchless)

Percolations of metropolitan activity and the quiet attendance of the bell tower's mechanics figure as not irrelevant protagonists in this austere duet for violin and cello. The recordings were made in 2012 at Hackney's St Augustine's Tower; credit must be given to Emanuele Costantini's brilliant engineering job for achieving the result of an extremely graphic acoustic character.

The record consists of three tracks, durations ranging from nine to thirty minutes. What immediately strikes a focused ear is the exemplary nudity of the tones, requiring no ornaments or gadgets to reveal their profoundness. Allum and Kanngiesser attest to the necessity of practicing an instrument in the proper way: far removed from classicist propositions, they just sniff the air and sense the surrounding vibrations. What is seized by sheer intuition gets converted into music which notwithstanding the delicateness of numerous of its shades is definitely solid in terms of impact and definition, all pitches existing for a reason evident to those in possession of a kindred insight. The small noises deriving from condensed scraping gestures and bumps add strength to a "being right there" kind of pragmatic brightness.

In particular, the longest improvisation ("Bell Room") gives the musicians an opportunity to respond and ultimately conform to the environment more intensely than anywhere else. Sometimes they stop playing altogether, allowing the echoes from the city to take over. Heavy traffic, sirens, airplanes, birds: all of these elements have been utilized time and again in similar contexts, yet in this case they are welcomed as a necessary perspective. And as an active one too, as certain frequencies seem to pervade the interplay by autonomous decision.

Having juxtaposed all of the above to the introspective instrumental dialogue and the occasional appearance of the clock, we can't help but remind ourselves that confidence, indecision, conscious smiling and smoggy bedlam belong to the interior soundtrack of a life. Allum and Kanngiesser are intent in scrutinizing the core of its secret code: finding answers inside the oscillation of strings, still remaining unwavering in front of an advancing incertitude. And still entirely aware of the transitoriness of the whole.

Jennifer Allum & Ute Kanngiesser: Bell Tower Recordings
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:

Paul Dunmall /
Phillip Gibbs /
Andrew Ball /
Neil Metcalfe /
Hilary Jeffery:

Transmap+ (
Evan Parker /
Matt Wright /
Robert Jarvis):
Grounded Abstraction

Die Hochstapler :
Beauty Lies
(Umlaut Records)

William Parker:
Universal Tonality
[2 CDs]
(Centering Records)

Ingrid Laubrock /
Tom Rainey:
Counterfeit Mars
(Relative Pitch)

Tatsuya Nakatani /
Kris Tiner:

Paul Dunmall Quintet (w/
Saunders /
Foote /
Owston /
Yes Tomorrow

Julie Tippetts /
Martin Archer:
[2 CDs]

Devin Waldman Brahja /
Hamid Drake:
Mediumistic Methodology
(Astral Spirits)

Anthony Braxton /
James Fei:
Duet (
Other Minds) 2021
(Other Minds)

Alexander von Schlippenbach:
Globe Unity
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Magnus Granberg:
Night Will
Fade and Fall
[2 CDs]
(thanatosis produktion)

River People (
Bucher /
Countryman /
Alegre /
Sol Expression
(ChapChap Records)

Blue Lines Trio (
Scheen /
van der Weide /
Chance and Change
(Casco Records)

Hal Russell /
Joel Futterman:
The Chicago River
[3 CDs]
(Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Dreamstruck (
Crispell /
Fonda /
With Grace
In Mind
(Fundacja Sluchaj!)

The Work:
The Worst of Everywhere
[2 CDs]

Rempis /
Reid /

Seabrook /
Cleaver /
In The Swarm
(Astral Spirits)

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