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The Locals (Thomas, Ward / Thomas / Lash / Hasson-Davis):
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An upbeat and energetic performance at the Konfrontation Festival, Ulrichsberg in 2006, featuring six early compositions by Anthony Braxton, arranged by pianist Pat Thomas and performed by the quintet of superb improviser and interpreters Alex Ward on clarinet, Evan Thomas on electric guitar, Dominic Lash on electric bass, and Darren Hasson-Davis on drums. ... Click to View


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Jeremiah Cymerman / Charlie Looker:
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Jeremiah Cymerman / Charlie Looker:
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A series of ominous duos on the dark side from NY improviser Jeremiah Cymerman on clarinets & pedals, and Charlie Looker (Extra Life, Psalm Zero) on guitars & piano, each of the five pieces exploring murky caverns of warmly bleak environments rendered through Looker's deep piano & guitar work, perforated by cracks of light through Cymerman's riffs & exclamations. ... Click to View


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Saxophonist Herve Perez and double bassist Gus Garside spent much of the pandemic lockdown recording these intimate duos, interpretations of a 13th Century Poem, "The Guest House" by Rumi, recording in their respective homes using software designed for real-time audio collaboration, as they developed this introspective set of dialogs with strong lyrical affinity between the two. ... Click to View


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Natsuki Tamura / Satoko Fujii / Ramon Lopez:
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Step In (Carlo Morena / Joe Fonda / Felix Lecaros Herrera):
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Pianist Carlo Morena leads this lyrical and energetic piano trio with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer FĂ©lix Lecaros Herrera, performing 6 Morena compositions and one piece by Emil Boyd, recording at the Firehouse 12 studio in Connecticut for the 3rd album under the Step In name, and the first with drummer Herrera; upbeat but never cloying, a very compelling album. ... Click to View


Mars Williams / Vasco Trilla:
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Georg Graewe / Sonic Fiction Orchestra:
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Gary Lucas:
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Vasco Trilla:
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Alex Cunningham :
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A muscular album of improvised "fiddling" from St. Louis violinist Alex Cunningham, five works of assertive playing based on recurring and evolving figures, often rapid string patterns that show Cunningham's skill and stamina on the instrument, interspersed with quirky expressions and extraneous instrumental sound that keep his listeners on edge and captivated. ... Click to View


Steve Baczkowski / Bill Nace:
Success [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

A rough-and-tumble improv encounter between Steve Baczkowski performing on tenor & baritone saxophones and Bill Nace performing on electric guitar, captured live at The Wild Detectives in Dallas, Texas for two extended improvisations, the first a cantankerously energetic exchange, the second mysteriously evolving from introspective to barbed interaction and back. ... Click to View


Montgomery & Turner :
Sounds Passing Through Circumstances [CASSETTE W/ DOWNLOAD] (Astral Editions)

Chicago sound artists Jayve Montgomery on saxophone & flute and Nick Turner on Mellotron, present an epic two part work of effected sound, two contemplative pieces of twilight environments, the first mysteriously punctuated with distant percussive elements, the second a hopeful work of glacial melody and harmonic tones; a great sonic companion under the influence. ... Click to View


William Parker:
Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World (Volumes 1-10) [10 CD BOX SET] (Centering Records)

A 10-album collection in a solid box set of vocal and instrumental suites recorded expressly for this set between late 2018 and early 2020, with women's voices at its core (both on voice & other instruments), taking a vast view of music from around the globe through free improvisation and re-imagined sonic collage, performed by groupings of extraordinary performers. ... Click to View


Gerrit Hatcher Group (Hather / Ernst / Gay / Jackson / Kirshner):
The Good Instinct of the Morning (Kettle Hole Records)

The first album as a bandleader from Chicago tenor saxophonist Gerrit Hatcher in a full quintet of well-known Chicago improvisers -- cornetist Ben LaMar Gay, tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Katie Ernst, and drummer Julian Kirshner -- in an album that would fit well in the ESP/Ayler free-jazz mode, tipped off by a cover of Charles Tyler's "Man Alone". ... Click to View


Udo Schindler / Damon Smith / Karina Erhard:
The Munich Sound Studies Vol 1 (FMR)

Performing at the Gottfried Duren/arToxin at Galerie ar Toxin in 2019, the trio of Udo Schindler on clarinet, bass clarinet & alto horn, Damon Smith on double bass, and Karina Erhard on C flute & alto flute present a sophisticated set of free improvisations with a chamber improv feeling, using tremendous technique and intent listening through six fascinating dialogs. ... Click to View


Schindler. Udo / Damon Smith / Jaap Blonk:
The Munich Sound Studies Vol 2 & 3 (FMR)

Refined and free ranging improvisation between German reedist Udo Schindler performing on bass clarinet, tenor & sopranino saxophones and also on cornet, and US double bassist Damon Smith, recorded 3 days after the first volume in this series, presenting two sets from the same day of informed and diverse dialogs between two masterful improvisers. ... Click to View


Udo Schindler / Jaap Blonk:
Lakefront Discussions (FMR)

Extremely well paired in their unusual approaches to their instruments both acoustic and electronic, this live recording between Udo Schindler on reed & brass instruments and Jaap Blonk improvising with his voice and using computer electronics, results in eight diverting and inspired recording of extreme creative approaches and impressive technical skill. ... Click to View


Schnee (Christof Kurzmann / Burkhard Stangl) :
Cher [VINYL] (Mikroton Recordings)

The fourth album in 20 years from the Schnee duo of guitarist Burkhard Stangl (efzeg, Polwechsel) and Christof Kurzmann performing on lloop, voice and "ruber bands", creating music for films that have not yet been created through intensely moody electroacoustic environments, Kurzmann's voice sometimes guiding the narrative of their visionary sound. ... Click to View


Jeam Van Schouwburg Nichel / Lawrence Cassserely / Yoko Miura:
Arcturus Sverdrup Balance On Tour (FMR)

A collection of live recordings from Sverdrup Balance, the trio of Lawrence Casserley on signal processing instrument, Yoko Miura on piano & Melodeon, and Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg on voice, recorded during their 2019 autumn tour in U.K., Belgium and North Italy, a skewed but generally optimistic group of ea- and voice improvisers with a wealth of creative inspirations. ... Click to View


Hali Palombo:
Cylinder Loops [CASSETTE W/ DOWNLOAD] (Astral Editions)

Using early cylinder recordings from the UCSB Cylinder Archive, Chicago composer Hali Palombo creates twelve brief and diverse compositions by looping each scratchy and sometimes strange recording, audio phantasms from one of the earliest forms of audio recording, repurposed into fascinating vignettes of experimental and intuitive approaches to sound art. ... Click to View


Werner Durand:
Schwingende Luftsaulen 3 (ANTS Records)

A beautifully hypnotic album of wind music, especially on the Pan-Ney, an instrument developed by Berlin composer Werner Durand, along with electronics and a piece using the talking drum as performed by Marika Falk, presenting early works from the 1990s that bridge both improvisation and composition with an embraceable sound that reveals underlying complexity. ... Click to View


John White:
Electric Music [2 CDs] (ANTS Records)

English experimental composer and musical performer John White recorded the pieces on this 2 CD retrospective set between 1980 and 1995, a combination of serious, popular and novelty pieces, often exploring areas of contradiction, particularly linear and rhythmic, within an unlikely sound-world in which parameters such as volume, timbre, texture and speed remain fixed. ... Click to View



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  Paul Lovens / Florian Stoffner 
  Tetratne  
  (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd) 


  
   review by Jeph Jerman
  2021-02-23
Paul Lovens / Florian Stoffner: Tetratne (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

A snappy set of four shortish guitar/percussion blurts recorded in Ljubljana in 2019. These improvisations are extremely well-recorded, allowing you to hear every knock, swizzle and plunk in very high definition. There's a lot of flinty scrambling at the outset, rising and falling repeatedly and punctuated by very well-placed bass drum booms (BOOMS!). Stoffner spends a lot of time in front of the nut and behind the bridge of his instrument, and uses his array of effects pedals sparingly. A beautiful metal-istic recital opens up around the 9-minute mark, sporting one loud cough that seems to have been on purpose. Flappy scrabbling and knocking. Lots of indeterminant notes, the guitar must've been melting or at least sprayed with some evil lubricant. This stuff makes so much sense it makes me laugh. Out loud. If these gentlemen haven't been playing together for ages it certainly seems otherwise.

The second foray leaves more space and thus the sounds are free to linger a bit. This is the ballad, obviously. Stoffner begins speaking early on, I mean actual words are coming out his guitar, before the slipperiness returns and then Lovens throws several spanners into the works. Thankfully they both recover. And stroll on with spurs attached. Ping and ring and clack and hum.

You know how there often seems to be a lull during a lot of improvisations where everyone involved is kind of head-scratching and at a loss as to what to play next? That doesn't seem to happen here. Every tiny stall or pause gets quickly plastered over with some bit of spackle or framer's tape and before you can say "hesitation" it's back to the job-at-hand with a wry smile and nimble digits. Both players seem to have an inexhaustible supply of building materials, and they obviously know how to use them. We're all the better for it.

The biggest surprise here is the snippet of popular song that starts off the last piece. You'll know it and maybe wonder why. It seems to add a tiny bit of nonchalance to the proceedings, whether we think it was needed or not. Incidentally, there's a great video of this duo floating around the internet, just in case you happen to need more.



Paul Lovens / Florian Stoffner: Tetratne
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