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Anthony Braxton Saxophone Quartet:
Sax QT (Lorraine) 2022 [4 CDs] (I Dischi di Angelica)

A complement to the New Braxton House Lorraine box, these live performances of Anthony Braxton's Lorraine system are performed in four European cities by Braxton himself on alto, soprano & sopranino saxophones, James Fei on sopranino & alto saxophones, Chris Jonas on alto & tenor saxophonse, Ingrid Laubrock on soprano & tenor saxophones, and Andre Vida on baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton :
Solo Bern 1984 First Visit (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Thirteen years after his breakthrough solo saxophone album For Alto, Anthony Braxton is heard in an inventive solo concert on the same instrument, performing at the Altes Schlachthaus Theatre in Bern, Switzerland for a set of original numbered compositions, the standards "Alone Together" and "I Remember You", and two Coltrane pieces: "Giant Steps" and "Naima". ... Click to View


Simon Nabatov:
Raging Bulgakov [2 CDs] (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Composer and pianist Simon Nabatov sets to music two major works of modern Russian literature - Mikhail Bulgakov's The Fatal Eggs and Heart of a Dog, each interpretation spanning an album's worth of material and performed with an extraordinary septet of chamber jazz performers through piano, sax, trombone, viola, cellos, bass and drums. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp:
Magical Incantation (Soul City Sounds)

A standout in the many collaborations between New York pianist Matthew Shipp and Brazil-born, NY-based tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, recording in the studio for eight elegantly lyrical improvisations that invoke both devotional and decisive dialogs, from an introspective "Prayer" to a dissipated "Lustihood", a spellbinding set of fraternal invocations. ... Click to View


Modney (Modney / Wooley / Gentile / Roberts / Pluta / Symthe / ...):
Ascending Primes [2 CDs] (Pyroclastic Records)

aExploring tuning systems and the extremes of harmonicity and dissonance through compositions that employ prime numbers of players in solo, trio, quintet, septet, and undectet (11) configurations, violinist Modney takes listeners into transcendent and turbulent spaces spanning improvisation and composition, detailed in a 24-page booklet with collages from Ellsworth Kelly. ... Click to View


David Leon:
Bird's Eye (Pyroclastic Records)

An exotic album of improvised music with a wide focus, founded in saxophonist David Leon's interest in Afrocuban folkloric music, expanded through DoYeon Kim's gayagum, a traditional 12-string Korean zither, and punctuated with the exploratory drumming, percussion and glockenspiel of Lesley Mok; assertively unpredictable and continuously intriguing improv. ... Click to View


Barry Chabala / Clara Byom:
(un) natural (Roeba)

The first meeting between two improvisers also versed in contemporary and avant music - guitarist Barry Chabala and clarinetist and accordionist Claray Byom - recording live at The Jean Cocteau Cinema, in Santa Fe, New Mexico as part of the Sandbox Music Series, for five freely improvised works that include radio, objects, iPhone and toys as part of their expansive dialogs. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Madeira / Taylor / Parrinha / Taubenfeld / Carmelo / Trinite:
A Tale Unfolds (Creative Sources)

In four parts this primarily acoustic octet of Lisbon improvisers evolve a deceptive narrative of collective interaction, highly textured through rich combinations that emerge and subside throughout the natural development of their converstations; with Ernesto & Guilherme Rodriguez, João Madeira, Noel Taylor, Bruno Parrinha, Ziv Tuabenfeld, Guilherme Carmelo and Monsieur Trinite. ... Click to View


Zosha Warpeha :
Silver Dawn (Relative Pitch)

A beautifully contemplative collection of vignettes performed on solo Hardanger d'amore, a sympathetic-stringed relative of the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, from Brooklyn improviser and composer Zosha Warpeha, in 13 works of thoughtfully spacious playing utilizing the resonance and rich texture of the Hardanger fiddle in works that seemingly suspend time despite beguiling momentum. ... Click to View


Christoph Gallio / Roger Turner:
You Can Blackmail Me Later (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

During a sabbatical in London, Swiss saxophonist Christoph Gallio (Day & Taxi) renewed his friendship with percussionist Roger Turner, with whom he had performed in a trio with Urs Leimgruber; meeting at Turner's London flat, they developed the spontaneous language heard on this freely improvised album, Gallio on soprano, alto & C-melody saxophones and Turner on drums & distinctive percussive devices. ... Click to View


Alex Hendriksen / Fabian Gisler / Paul Amereller:
Lotus Blossom (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Unabashedly lyrical and focused on jazz tradition, the Swiss trio of Alex Hendriksen on tenor saxophone, Fabian Gisler on double bass and Paul Amereller on drums present an album of standards, including pieces by Tadd Dameron, Billy Strayhorn, Jerome Kern, Thelonious Monk and Benny Golson, warmly interpreted with extraordinary band interplay and individual soloing. ... Click to View


Nick Dunston:
Colla Voce (Out Of Your Head Records)

A wild "Afro-Surrealist Anti-Opera" from composer & bassist Nick Dunston, performed with an ensemble of string players (including JACK Quartet) and vocalists, in a gripping hybrid of acoustic and electronic music, using the studio for post-processing to create Dunston's self-described "warped narrative", an understatement for this incredibly passionate, surreal and absolutely impressive work. ... Click to View


Carlos Bechegas / Ernesto Rodrigues / Carlos Santos:
Echoing The Chorus Of Life (Creative Sources)

Lisbon contemporary flutist and improviser Carlos Bechegas, an associate of Carlos Zingaro and his electroacoustic trio, joins violist Ernesto Rodrigues and long-time collaborator Carlos Santos in a uniquely electronic, chamber-oriented, mysteriously crepuscular improvisation captured live at Casa do Comum, Lisbon, Portugal during the 2024 "SpectraLx" event. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi / Johan Berthling / Andreas Werliin:
Ghosted II [VINYL] (Drag City)

Driven by compelling rhythms and subtle interactions that wind around them, the trio of guitarist Oren Ambarchi, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin expand their Ghosted concept in this second album, four diverse pieces fusing "funk-jazz heads, polyrhythmic skeletons, ambient pastorals, post-kraut drones and shimmering soundtrack reveries". ... Click to View


Ryuichi Yoshida :
Sakai (Doubtmusic)

Known for his band Blacksheep, along with Gatos Meeting, OKHP, Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo, The Silence, and Missing Link, &c., Japanese baritone saxophonist steps out solo for twelve works, eight improvisations and four compositions, blurring the line between approaches, executed with Yoshida's rich tone, multiphonic accents, and powerful sonic pressure on the big reed. ... Click to View


Liam Hockley (Avram / Chrysakis / Dumitrescu / Radulescu):
Pulse Tide (Aural Terrains)

Canadian clarinetist Liam Hockley, a dedicated advocate for new and experimental music, performs compositions on a relatively obscure member of the clarinet family, the basset horn, alone and in layers of up to seven horns, in pieces from Romanian spectral composers Ana Maria Avram, Iancu Dumitrescu, and Horatiu Radulescu, along with a contemporary work by Thanos Chrysakis. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith:
Radiation Patterns (Evil Clown)

The core duet of the Boston collective Leap of Faith Orchestra comprised of David Peck on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, are joined by bassist Albey onBass, drummer Eric Rosenthal, guitarist Tor Snyder and brass player John Fugarino, making a strong sextet with a powerful string section in this extended improvisation. ... Click to View


Ensemble 5 (Geisser / Blumer / Staub / Morgenthaler / Dell):
The Human Factor (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

The long-running quartet of percussionist Heinz Geisser, bassist Fridolin Blumer, pianist Reto Staub and trombonist Robert Morgenthaler have for years extended their 4-tet with a 5th guest, here asking vibraphonist Christopher Dell to join them in the studio after a successful live performance in the spring of 2022, capturing this spectacular, wide-ranging example of collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Kenny Dorham:
Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia To Matador - Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Revisiting and remastering two essential albums from New York hard bop trumpeter Kenny Dorham, a tremendous musican who died much too young but left a legacy of 20 albums as a leader, here in his 1956 Blue Note album in a sextet that included Bobby Timmons and Kenny Burrell, and his 1963 United Artists Jazz album in a quintet with Jackie McLean, Bobby Timmons, Teddy Smith and JC. Moses. ... Click to View


Silvan Schmid / Tom Wheatley / Eddie Prevost:
The Wandering One - High Laver Levitation Volume 2 (Matchless)

A live recording of freely improvised improv captured at All Hallows Church in High Laver, Essex in 2023 from the trio of AMM drummer and Matchless label-leader Eddie Prévost, Zürich and Maastricht trumpeter Silvan Shmid, and London double bassist Tom Wheatley of the group Widdershins, heard in three investigative conversations of great creative drive. ... Click to View


Natsuki Tamura / Jim Black:
NatJim (Libra)

Right out of the gate one feels the energy and excitement between Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and NY drummer Jim Black, each pushing the other through strong instrumental character and outrageous technique over nine Tamura compositions recorded in the studio in Switzerland, their first recording in 25 years since their 1999 Buzz Records album White and Blue. ... Click to View


Joe Mcphee / Ken Vandermark:
Musings of a Bahamian Son: Poems and Other Words (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

27 concise poems written and read by saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, punctuated by 9 musical interludes between McPhee on soprano sax and Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark on clarinet and bass, fortifying McPhee's captivating words that mix life observations among jazz references to Dolphy, Monk, Brötzmann, Coleman, &c.; a truly embraceable "book" of poetry. ... Click to View


Birgit Ulher:
Split Friction - Audiovisual Works [BOOK] (Private)

Published on the occasion of Birgit Ulher's exhibition Split Friction at Errant Sound in Berlin from November 24-26, 2023, an interdisciplinary project spanning the intersection between exhibition, video, performance, concert and sound installation, documented in this 96 page full-color book with images from the installation, graphic scores, and essays in English & German. ... Click to View


STHLM svaga:
Plays Carter, Plays Mitchell, Plays Shepp (thanatosis produktion)

The Swedish free jazz septet STHLM svaga work at the liminal edges of delicate improvisation and song, for this album commissioning works from Archie Shepp, Ron Carter and Roscoe Mitchell, Carter traveling to Stockholm to provide guidance on his composition "Desert Lament"; the band also performs Coltrane's "Jupiter" and Per Henrik Wallin's piece "Winter Rhapsody". ... Click to View


Bob Drake:
The Room In The Tower (Crumbling Tones)

A great set of 11 succinct songs and instrumentals from multi-instrumentalist, prog icon Bob Drake of Thinking Plague, The Science Group, VRIL, and Peter Blegvad fame, vignettes that play with pop formats in insidious ways around recurring Drake themes including a Planet of Dogs, three rustic tales, and a perturbing room in the tower, all noted in a colored foldout poster with lyrics. ... Click to View


Space (Ullen / Bergman / Lund):
Embrace the Space (Relative Pitch)

A startlingly exciting album of piano trio jazz from three creative innovators, in the followup to the 2022 debut of the Swedish Space Trio of Lisa Ullen on piano, Elsa Bergman on double bass and Anna Lund on drums, recording in the studio for eight collective improvisations of extremely well matched, highly interactive and exhilarating modern improv. ... Click to View


Yedo Gibson:
Conic Tube (Relative Pitch)

Born in São Paulo, Brazil and working in Amsterdam and Lisbon, and also part of the London Improvisers Orchestra, Yedo Gibson unleashes an album of solo improvisation on the soprano and tenor saxophones, his "conic tubes" which he uses to express the potential to change environment and energy through technically impressive, expressive playing. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues:
Intenso como o Mar (Creative Sources)

With the nearly telepathic communication that only a father & son duo could have, Lisbon violist and Creative Sources label leader Ernesto Rodridgues and cellist Guilherme Rodrigues recorded these two string improvisations live at Cossoul in Lisbon during the "Esta Noite Improvisa-se", a melding of remarkable technique, concentration and profound expression. ... Click to View


Violaine Gestalder :
Furtive (Creative Sources)

With an impressive resume in improvised and contemporary forms, French saxophonist Violaíne Gestalder presents three major conceptual works for multiple players, using studio layering to perform all parts herself on soprano sax, voice & effects, a comprehensive, yearning, powerful and often mysteriously beautiful album that draws on her skills as a composer, improviser and experimenter. ... Click to View


Loris Binot / Violaine Gestalder :
Loris Binot & Violaine Gestalder (Creative Sources)

A contemplative and building collection of electroacoustic improvisations from French alto & soprano saxophonist Violaine Gestalder, augmenting her horn with effect pedals, and pianist Loris Binot, using preparations, magnetic bows and electronics to create sustained and percussive elements, recording in the CIM auditorium in Bal-Le-Duc, France for five rich and fascinating dialogs. ... Click to View



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  Joker 
  O est-il donc ce rve  
  (Ambiances Magnetiques) 


  
   review by Marc Medwin
  2017-09-19
Joker: O est-il donc ce rve (Ambiances Magnetiques)

What is to be done when the bar for innovative choral music has been set so high? What's left when the voice has seemingly been rung dry, every facet of range and timbre used, abused and exploited? Somehow, despite fantastic odds, Joane Hetu has found solutions, presented in nearly an hour of what sits nicely, humorously and often disturbingly on the periphery of choral music history.

The language is French, that is when there is a language to be discerned. The spoken word sections clarify that much. As for the rest, no proverbial stone is left unturned, and, given the hour-long work's subject matter, this is as it should be. The notes speak of night, of dreams, somehow invoking the spontaneity inherent in the construction of both. The text is peppered with allusions to dreams, and the rapidity with which everything changes is certainly of the dream world. At times, it is as if the language we're hearing, even sound itself, has been transported to Twin Peaks, where all notion of forward and backward motion are subsumed and erased. Tonality and atonality are treated with similar polarization and unification; Hetu is unafraid of the triad, but it is merely a point of reference, some sort of historical burden to be shouldered and dropped post-haste. Rhythm, register, color, breath, time all are her playthings, encountered and abandoned at will, only to resurface, like those wild arpeggiated 1950s ascending triads she'll insert, just when least expected. The whole history of 20th and 21st century choral music is here, from Holst's long-sustained sonorities to Messiaen's syllabic rhythms, from Ligeti's uninhibited and dark humor to Xenakis' crunchy dissonances that claw at the ear with high-register harmonics.

It is to Joker's credit that, ultimately, the music sounds like all and none of these historical precedents. Maybe it's just this mixture of performers and composers that allows the challenging score to be rendered with such success. They laugh, warble, exhale with sudden vengeance, sigh, croon and, yes, sing, with the conviction of an ensemble long nurtured, though this is its debut. The recording is nothing less than breathtaking, spacious and detailed, allowing each subgroup to be heard in the whole's context. This is a journey for the listener, undoubtedly akin to that of the composer and performers, and each listen brings new revelations.





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