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Robbie Avenaim / Chris Abrahams / Jim Denley:
Weft (Relative Pitch)

The Australian trio of percussionist Robbie Avenaim, keyboard player Chris Abrahams performing on a Waldorf Q+ Synthesiser and bass flutist Jim Denley, all compatriots in a variety of groupings, in an extended studio improvisation of spacious textures and rapidly understated percussive elements aptly, titled for the weaving and cris-crossing threads on a loom. ... Click to View


Sergio Armaroli / Fritz Hauser:
Angelica (Leo Records)

Performed at the Angelica Contemporary Music Festival in Bologna, Italy in 2019 and recorded with superb fidelity, drummer/percussionist Fritz Hauser joined with xylophonist Sergio Armaroli for an enthralling performance that balances chamber jazz forms with fully free exploration, avant yet embraceable as two interact in exquisite and authoritatively unhurried ways. ... Click to View


John Brennan Wolf:
Nitty Gritty Ditties (Leo Records)

33 songs in 74 minutes performed by Dublin composer, performer, improvisor, pianist and organist John Wolf Brennan, covering an elective and huge cross-section of styles and genres, from composers including Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, The Rolling Stones, Lars Hollmer, Tom Waits, Cornelius Cardew, Bela Bartok, Paul McCartney, John McLaughlin, &c! ... Click to View


Kontrabassduo Studer-Frey:
Zip (Leo Records)

Naming each track for the teeth of a different type of zip-fastener (curved, triangular, saggitate, &c) Swiss double bassists Daniel Studer and Peter K. Frey improvise a fascinating set of interlocking and intersecting abstractions, recorded livat at Kronen Galerie, in Zurich as the two celebrated their 20th anniversary as a duo through a series of 10 half-hour concerts. ... Click to View


Christer Bothen :
Ambrosia [3 CD BOX SET] (thanatosis produktion)

Swedish contrabass clarinetist Christ Bothen in six extended works, the first and third disks a series of solo works using incredible technique and concentration, the 2nd disc a large work in an ensemble with fellow deep reediss Hans Koch & Per Texas Johansson, double bassist Vilhelm Bromander, pianists Kristine Scholz & Tisha Mukarji, and a spectral narrative from Sofia Jernberg. ... Click to View


New Old Luten Quintet:
Tumult! (Euphorium)

A tumultuously wonderful free jazz epic recorded in Leipzig in 2013 from original New Old Luten founders, saxophonist & clarinetist Enrst-Ludwig Petrowsky and drummer Christian Lillinger, the band configured as a quintet with Elan Pauer taking on the piano role plus percussives, and the dual and powerful double bassists Edwards and Robert Landfermann. ... Click to View


Axel Dorner / Elan Pauer / Christian Lillinger:
Dirn Bridge (Euphorium)

Four impressive free improvisations of tremendous mastery and advanced and unusual technical skill from the trio of Axel Dorner on trumpet, Elan Pauer on piano & percussion and Christian Lillinger on drums & percussion, performing at naTo, in Leipzig, Germany in 2013, augmented in one track by John Edwards knocking on the venue door. ... Click to View


Tibor Prettschnoder / Neues Leipziger Streichquartett :
The Largo And The Lame (Euphorium)

Ominous and dense with layers of strata intended for nighttime listening, the German quartet of Axel Dorner on trumpet & electronics, Matthias Lorenz on cello, and both Robert Landfermann and John Edwards on double bass recorded these four tremendous electroacoustic improvisations at their live performance at naTo in Leipzig, Germany in 2013. ... Click to View


Jason Kahn:
Days Falling [VINYL 2 LPs] (Editions)

After riding through his city of Zurich to the Kunstraum Walcheturm studio in 2020, Jason Kahn was struck by the quiet aspects of the usually busy city, now quelled by pandemic; entering the studio feeling the desolation and strange sense of peacefulness in the midst of so much tragedy and suffering, he recorded these "songs" of passionate free vocal improvisations and acoustic guitar. ... Click to View


Jean Jones Claude (JC) :
Drones - 5th And Tibetan Bowls For Barre (Kadima)

Jean Claude "JC" Jones seamlessly merges two violins from Ariel Lanyi & Ilan Volkov, bass from Hagai Bilitzky and his own performance on bass & lap style spanish plugged-in guitar and tibetan bowls, creating 13 beautifully contemplative drones that weave distinctive tones and timbres and rich resonance; dedicated to Barre Phillips & Francois Lagarde. ... Click to View


Jean Jones Claude (JC):
Give It Your All - Wild Guitar Musings 2 (Kadima)

Active and informed improvisations on acoustic guitar from Jean Claude "JC" Jones, label leader of the Kadima Collective and also known as a double bassist, though his roots are in the guitar, which has returned to with vigor since 2016, preforming on lap-style prepared and prepared spanish guitar, heard here in 13 concise pieces titled by single words. ... Click to View


Jos Smolders:
Bagatellen [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (esc.rec.)

Inspired by Jeroen Diepenmaat's Xerox collage art book, "co//age co//py", sound artist Jos Smolders developed these tracks as a response through 9 brief works and one larger construction, intersecting voice, synth, sax, piano and field recordings in a mix of oddly and abruptly sliced sound offset with periods of beauty; a compellingly curious album. ... Click to View


Alexey Kruglov / Carolyn Hume / Paul May / Oleg Yudanov:
Last Train From Narvskaya (Leo Records)

Ganelin Trio saxophonist joins with the UK improvising duo of pianist Carolyn Hume & drummer Paul May, with percussionist Oleg Yudanov rounding out this sophisticated quartet of chamber-oriented collective free improvisation, their studio debut alternating three concise conversations with two extended works, each unfolding in great detail through expressive technique. ... Click to View


Sergio Armaroli / Giancarlo Schiaffini / Harri Sjostrom:
Duos & Trios (Leo Records)

A series of trios and duos between Italian vibraphonist Sergio Armaroli, trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini and saxophonist Harri Sjöström performing on soprano and sopranino, the three developing a compositional language based around phrases and propositions applied toward the creation of events through notes and timbre intended to create moods and sensations. ... Click to View


Gregg Belisle-Chi :
KOI - performing the music of Tim Berne (Relative Pitch)

After hearing Matt Mitchell's solo piano album performing the music of saxophonist Tim Berne, Brooklyn-based acoustic guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi asked himself how Berne's compositions would sound on his own instrument, reaching out to the composer himself for guidance as he went into the studio to interpret and record these 10 Berne compositions. ... Click to View


Robert Dick / Nicola L. Hein:
Structures of Unreason (Shhpuma)

Taking guitar and flute into very strange territory informed by vast experience and technical skill, NY flutist Robert Dick and electric guitarist Nicola L. Hein create truly unique and dramatic sound worlds, sometimes tense, sometimes beautiful, but always fascinating in momentum and expression, unique musical structures that refuse to be easily categorized; extraordinary! ... Click to View


Colonna / Miranda / Spera:
N-EST (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Ten collective improvisations and Steve Lacy's "Blues for Alda" from the Italian trio of Marco Colonna, who typically performs on clarinet but here also on bass clarinet, alto saxophone and flute, with the rhythm section of Dario Miranda on double bass and Fabrizio Spera on drums, in a wonderfully astute album of highly cultivated and sincere discourse. ... Click to View


Francisco Mela feat. Matthew Shipp / William Parker:
Music Frees Our Souls, Vol. 1 (577 Records)

A member of pianist McCoy Tyner's Trio and Joe Lavano's Quartet, New York drummer Francisco Mela's own career as a leader is heard in this energetic trio album with two of NY's finest--pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker--recording in the studio in Brooklyn in 2020 for two extended and powerful collective improvisations and a brief "Dark Light". ... Click to View


Jessica Ackerley / Daniel Carter:
Friendship: Lucid Shared Dreams and Time Travel (577 Records)

Developed over outdoor sessions performed during the summer of 2020 around NYC, this is the first release from the duo of multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter and acoustic guitarist Jessica Ackerley, their warm collaboration heard in effortless interactions inspired by the dream-like, meditative approach in both improvisers playing; lovely. ... Click to View


Devin Gray / Jessica Pavone / Wendy Eisenberg:
Universal Dwellings (Rataplan Records)

... Click to View


Melaine Dalibert :
Night Blossoms (elsewhere)

French composer & pianist Melaine Dalibert's 6th solo album, works developed using an algorithmic approach to composing, such as retrograde sequences or cellular automaton, generating beautifully delicate patterns that he performs on instruments chosen for their tonal qualities, David Sylvian adding electronic coloring to the pieces "Yin" and "Yang". ... Click to View


Pierre Gerard:
Pieces Of Apparatus (A New Wave of Jazz)

In the same character as a Wandelweiser/Jürg Frey work, guitarist Pierre Gérard offers up five minimalistic or reductionist improvisations, sparse works that follow the patterns of his mind and his improvisatory method, allowing his thoughts to linger and follow a music that is curiously compelling; an idiosyncratic companion to a quiet evening or afternoon. ... Click to View


Frisque Concordance (Georg Graewe / John Butcher / Wilbert De Joode / Mark Sanders):
Distinct Machinery [2 CDs] (Random Acoustics)

The second incarnation of Frisque Concordance, formed in 1992 by Georg Graewe & John Butcher and currently the quartet of Butcher on tenor & soprano saxophones, Graewe on piano, Wilbert de Joode on double bass and Mark Sanders on drums, in a 2-CD set, the first a superb studio set recorded in Vienna in 2017, the second a live concert at the 2018 Konfrontationen Festival in Nickelsdorf. ... Click to View


Jauniaux / Charles / Mariage :
L'amour (Ayler)

Three consummate improvisers--Catherine Jauniaux on voice, Xavier Charles on clarinet and Jean-Sebastien Mariage on electric guitar--met at la Muse en Circuit in Alfortville, France after touring, recording this authoritative version of their profound and extended work, which uses lyrics excerpted from Marguerite Duras' 1971 cinematic novel L'amour. ... Click to View


Natsuki Tamura :
Koki Solo (Libra)

"Koki" translates to "rare in ancient times," referring to ones 70th birthday, a milestone that trumpeter Natsuki Tamura achieves this year, providing proof that such an age is no longer rare, nor that it has affected the tremendous creative and physical powers that Tamura applies to his playing, as heard in this inventive solo album on trumpet, piano, voice and even pots & pans! ... Click to View


Martin Kuchen:
Det Forsvunnas Namn [VINYL] (thanatosis produktion)

Using baritone and alto saxophones, speakers and an iPod, Swedish improviser Martin Kuchen (Angles, Exploding Customer, UNSK, Looper, &c) takes his listeners on a demented tour of extended technique and curiously unexpected sounds from the saxophone, focusing on textures and non-abrasive approaches to create an abundance of unexpected and oddly engaging, concise improvisations. ... Click to View


Disquiet (Kurzmann / Brandlmayr / Jernberg / Williamson):
Disquiet [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Recorded at the Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen Festival 2018 and formed by Austrian musician Christof Kurzmann, the quartet of Kurzmann performing on lloopp and voice, Sofia Jernberg on voice, Martin Brandlmayr on drums and Joe Williamson on double bass question the political situation of the European refugee crisis in a brilliantly emotional and inspired performance. ... Click to View


Matthias Muller / Ricardo Tejero / Vasco Trilla:
Implositions (Orbit577)

The first release from the Barcelona-based trio of Matthias Muller (trombone), Ricardo Tejero (saxophone), and Vasco Trilla (percussion), the band examining "physics, metaphysics, and the root causes of tension that hold our world together" through fully improvised improvisation using unusual voicing, textures, modes of expression and techniques. ... Click to View


Arvind Ganga / Riccardo Marogna:
Ballads From The Wrecked Ship (A New Wave of Jazz)

A uniquely voiced duo album from Netherlands improvisers, electric guitarist Arvind Ganga and sax & bass clarinetist Riccardo Marogna also performing on electronics, taking their dialog into unusual territory while maintaining a clear thread on jazz-influenced modes, creating an exotic combination that often takes unexpected narrative turns; fascinating. ... Click to View


Arcane Device:
Nodes (pulsewidth)

Using feedback systems that he has developed over more than three decades, along with samples, noises and eurorack modular synthesis, New York sound artist David Lee Myers, aka Arcane Device, releases his 20th album of active electronic interactions, astonishing music with a clarity of purpose and innately optimistic approaches to free form and rhythmic sonic experimentation. ... Click to View



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  Joe McPhee 
  Nation Time  
  (Corbett vs. Dempsey) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2019-06-11
Joe McPhee: Nation Time (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The recording as time machine is a wonderful thing, especially when it sends us to places like Vassar College in upstate New York's Poughkeepsie in 1971 to hear multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee in concert with pianist Mike Kull, bassist-trumpeter Tyrone Crabb and percussionists Bruce Thompson and Ernest Bostic in extended pieces celebrating the energy of revolution that seemed in the air at the time of rising Black Power, and the waves of energy of the Youth Movement that announced huge possibilities of social change.

The sense of enormous potential permeates this album, with its music that packs the punch of anger-energy but also the bubbling over of the celebration of "Nation Time," a phrase, attributed to Amiri Baraka, which McPhee chanted to begin the concert, announcing the desire for people to get together and celebrate identity and to raise the flag of affirmation of the human spirit...never a bad thing. From the ashes of the old, new life might arise.

And arise it does in the three incredibly fiery originally released pieces, albeit not all of equal quality in terms of sound capture due to the imbalance in stage mic-ing in spots. Nonetheless, the energy on this live date is anything if not exciting and offers the effect of a salve for the soul in troubled, atomized times such as ours. In this reissue of a 1971 CjR release, along with the original three tracks ("Nation Time", "Shakey Jake" and "Scorpio's Dance), we get three additional, previously unreleased tracks: a collectively improvised "Blues in C," "Naima" and "Secret Love," all from the same event recorded on December 12 and 13 in 1970 at Vassar College's Urban Center for Black Studies.

McPhee's getting the audience to chant "It's Nation Time" in answer to his question "What time is it?" sparks the fireworks of this set of funky, free and uplifting music. The title track is indicative of the kind of power of the music, a forceful, soulful, funky, celebration of a kind of Afro-centrism that is both culture-specific and universal in its call to solidarity. The funky jam of "Shakey Jake" is equally infectious and uplifting and includes the participation of Otis Greene on alto sax, Herbie Lehman on organ and Dave Jones on electric guitar. This is a slice of funkified, hip-swaying and fist-pumping spontaneous anthem material.

Listeners wanting McPhee's trade mark adventurous musical tightrope walking will not be disappointed, especially in the beautiful "Scorpio Dance" with its clear trumpet line which is then deconstructed into smears and growls and all kind of wise expressions of the spirit that animate this session. The three new tunes significantly enlarge the experience of the original landmark album and are equally well worth the listen.



Joe McPhee: Nation Time
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