The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Wadada Smith Leo Great Lakes Quartet:
The Chicago Symphonies [4 CD BOX SET] (Tum)

Inspired by Don Cherry's 1966 Symphony For Improvisers and intended to illustrate the profound cultural contributions Chicagoans & Midwesterners have made, trumpeter Leo Smith's presents four expansive symphonies, three performed with Henry Threadgill (sax & flute), John Lindberg (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums), the fourth with Jonathon Haffner (sax) plus Smith, Lindberg and DeJohnette. ... Click to View


Wadada Smith Leo / Vijay Iyer / Jack Dejohnette :
A Love Sonnet For Billie Holiday (Tum)

One of two albums marking trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's 80th birthday, and showing his creative and technical skills still in peak form, here in a trio for the first time uniting independent collaborators, pianist & keyboardist Vijay Iyer and drummer Jack DeJohnette, in compositions from each of the performers plus one collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Sten Sandell / Lisa Ullen:
Double Music (Clean Feed)

The first duo album by pianists Sten Sandell and Lisa Ullén, recorded in their home country of Sweden, performing eight freely improvised piano works which include the two-part "Double Music" and two-part "Onyx", each recording contrasting complex interplay of discord and harmony with beautiful passages of introspection and intellectual depth; a remarkable merging of masterful talent. ... Click to View


Friends & Neighbors (Roligheten / Johansson / Gronberg / Rune Strom / Ostvang):
The Earth Is # (Clean Feed)

Referencing 60s free jazz (the band's name is from an Ornette Coleman album) and structuring their tunes with melodic heads that develop into intricate structures giving the players room for impressive soloing, in the 5th album from the Scandinavian quintet of Andre Roligheten (winds), Thomas Johansson (trumpets), Oscar Gronberg (piano), Jon Rune Strom (bass), and Tollef Ostvang (drums). ... Click to View


Crazy Doberman:
"Everyone Is Rolling Down A Hill" ... [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

The Indiana collective Crazy Doberman in a 15-performer configuration including core members Tim Gick and Drew Davis, merging jazz and indescribable approaches to free improvisation with a mix of acoustic & electronic instruments, building their pieces from mysteriously cantankerous rumination to ecstatic grooves and much in-between. ... Click to View


Jerome Bryerton / Damon Smith :
There Must be a Reason for Generating Sounds... [CD + BOOKMARK] (Balance Point Acoustics)

From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, drummer Jerome Bryterton & double bassist Damon Smith toured & recorded with legendary German multi-reedist Wolfgang Fuchs, who was a great influence on both musicians, here presenting a tribute to the late improviser through 11 recordings titled with quotes from Fuchs, and released with a bookmark from an improvisation workshop in Oakland. ... Click to View


New Old Luten Quintet:
Big Pauer (Euphorium)

Opening with a powerful solo set from pianist Elan Pauer the album, released on the occasion of Pauer's 80the birthday, then reveals itself to be the incredible free jazz quintet of of Pauer, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky on clarinet & shepherds' flutes, both John Edwards & Robert Landfermann on double bass, and Christian Lillinger on drums & percussion. ... Click to View


Block Ensemble (Ratkje / Joh / Pernille / Ingvaldsen / Rasmussent ...):
Hugs and Bugs (Clean Feed)

Conceived by saxophonist Kirstoffer Berre Alberts and Lasse Marhaug, who composed this large acoustic work for strings, percussion, blowing instruments, pipes (organ and accordion) and vocals, soliciting solo recordings created in isolation during the pandemic which they layered and blocked in the studio to create these two remarkable works of eccentric timbre, motion & pitch. ... Click to View


Ritual Habitual (Marogna / Almeida / Ernsting):
Pagan Chant (Clean Feed)

Presented as a a tribute to past jazz masters John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and Charlie Haden, Rotterdam's Ritual Habitual trio led by double bassist Gonçalo Almeida with drummer Philipp Ernsting and Riccardo Maronga on tenor sax, bass clarinet & synthesizers, create a sense of ritual through deep repetition of modern creative jazz rooted in free jazz tradition. ... Click to View


Steve Swell's Systems For Total Immersion:
Hommage A Luciano Berio (Silkheart)

After Bartok and Messiaen, trombonist & composer Steve Swell takes his sextet with Marty Ehrlich (winds), Sam Newsome (sax), Jim Pugliese (marimba), Ellen Christi (voice) and Gerald Cleaver (drums) into an exploration of Italian composer Luciano Berio with a diverse set of works reflecting Berio's vast curiosity and ovouer; a spectacular collection from a fantastic band. ... Click to View


William Parker / Patricia Nicholson:
No Joke! (ESP Disk)

An unapologetically political album from double bassist William Parker in collaboration with poet Patricia Nicholson, confronting injustice and inequality through spoken word set over Parker's compositions, performed with James Brandon Lewis on tenor saxophone, Devin Brahja Waldman on alto saxophone, Francisco Mela on drums, vocals, Melanie Dyer on viola and Gerald Cleaver on drums. ... Click to View


Charles Noyes K. / Elliott Sharp:
Besotted (zOaR Records)

A series of collaborative electracoustic improvisations recorded remotely during the pandemic by long-time associates, electric guitarist Charles K. Noyes and multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp, here performing on arches h line (a 9-string double neck instrument), violinoid, triple course bass pantar, analog synthesizers, sax & bass clarinet. ... Click to View


Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito):
Underground (Libra)

Pandemic restrictions having cancelled their European tour, the Futari duo of pianist Satoko Fujii and vibraphonist Taiko Saito chose instead to develop a new collaborative album of improvisations exchanged by sound file, each intently listening to the other's recordings, their care and pensive responses creating an astounding and sublime album of stunningly beautiful music. ... Click to View


Dan Phillips / Hamid Drake:
L'Avventura Di Vivere (Lizard Breath)

The second duo collaboration of Chicago percussionist Hamid Drake (Fred Anderson, Peter Brotzmann, DKV Trio, &c) and guitarist Dan Phillips (Chicago Edge Ensemble, Quartet Next, Dan Phillips Trio, Dan Phillips Quartet), recording in the studio for 11 improvisations that present a variety of moods and intensity, in textures and melodies from minimal to intricate interplay. ... Click to View


Big Bad Brotzmann Trio (feat John Edwards / John Eckhardt):
Hot Ass / Sexy Legs [3'' MINI CD] (Euphorium)

Two recordings from naTo in Leipzig, Germany, the first an energetic free jazz romp from the Big Bad Brötzmann Trio of Peter Brötzmann on tenor sax & taragato, Oliver Schwerdt on piano & percussion and Christian Lillinger on drums & percussion; then a furtively powerful double bass duo between John Edwards and John Eckhardt, a tour de force of extended technique and deep sound. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp:
Codebreaker (Tao Forms)

An unusually contemplative solo record from New York pianist Matthew Shipp, belying the intricately subtle density of his inventive approach to solo piano improvisation, with an innate lyricism through unusual motive and direction; perhaps one of the most succinct and concise albums Shipp has released, and a beautiful reflection of his creative intentions. ... Click to View


Darius Jones:
Raw Demoon Alchemy (A Lone Operation) (Northern Spy)

Drawing on compositions from black artists who have created something uniquely their own--Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, Georgia Anne Muldrow--alto saxophonist Darius Jones pulls from the depths of emotion and vulnerability in five solo tracks recorded in Portland, deeply felt blues reflecting the black experience in America and the pain of isolation. ... Click to View


Various Artists:
CICP Collaborative Recordings vol. 1 (Habitable Records)

An introduction to Habitable Records, initiated by members of the Composers and Improvisers Community Project led by Argentinian guitarist Javier Subatin, their work crossing composed and improvised boundaries, here in 18 duos and trios including work by Zé Alemeida, Pedro Melo Alves, Killick!, Federico Calcagno, Luis Figueiredo, Samuel Gapp, Javier Subatin, &c. ... Click to View


Herr Borelgrip (Pierre Borel / Joel Grip):
The Great European Stool Sample [2 LPs] (Umlaut Records)

The first album from the amalgamated band name Herr Borrelgrip, a play on the names of alto saxophonist Pierre Borel and double bassist Joel Grip, developing their work in Stockholm, Berlin and Paris starting in 2008 as a performing duo, heard here in a beautiful gatefold double LP studio release with an extensive LP-sized booklet of text in French and images. ... Click to View


Patricia Bosshard :
Onceim-CoO (Potlatch)

Two major works of evolving acoustic soundscape from Swiss violinist & composer Patricia Bosshard realized by the 27-member Orchestra des Nouvelles Creations, which includes Bosshard, Stephane Rives, Bertrand Denzler, &c.; "Sillon" employs a percussive pulse over 27 independently transforming grooves; "Reflets" a harmonic composition for bowed strings, including three double basses. ... Click to View


Eliane Radigue:
Opus 17 [2 CDs] (Important Records)

French electroacoustic composer and innovator Eliane Radigue's final work made with feedback material from 1970, five pieces that strip away at the familiar, deconstructing and decomposing classical works into mesmerizing drones, or creating rich pulsating works of sound with intense harmonic development and controlled feedback, a powerful opus of sound. ... Click to View


PEK Solo / An Orchestra of PEKs:
Electrolysis (Evil Clown)

A follow-up to Stretching the Fabric of Space, this solo release from David Peck presents an extended layered set of fize improvisations using a base of prerecorded and premixed tracks with some electronic processing to speed up and slow down, to raise and lower pitch, and to build up thick mixes of sounds from the same sonority set. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee / Michael Bisio / Fred Lonberg-Holm / Juma Sultan:
The Sweet Spot (RogueArt)

Bringing together four masterful players into the studio in NYC--Joe McPhee on saxophones, Michael Bisio on double bass, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and Juma Sultan on percussion--for a set of with one composition each from McPhee, Sultan and Lonberg-Holm, two collective improvisations, Charlie Haden's "Human Being" and Henry Grimes "For Django". ... Click to View


Miles Okazaki / Trevor Dunn / Dan Weiss / John Zorn:
Hive Mind (Tzadik)

A new collective trio of New York luminaries from bassist Trevor Dunn, guitarist Miles Okazaki and drummer Dan Weiss, Okazaki and Weiss having collaborated in Weiss' own Large Ensemble and Dunn a part of Weiss' Starebaby, here in a set of unbridled and unorthodox collective improvisations, with alto saxophonist John Zorn joining the trio on two tracks. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / John Edwards / Tony Marsh:
Medway Blues (FMR)

A superb 2009 concert at Command House, in Chatham, UK from the trio of saxophonist Evan Parker, double bassist John Edwards, and late drummer/percussionist Tony Marsh, a single 36 minute improvisation of cohesive and energetic free jazz where all three pull together as a nearly telepathic unit, plus two extended duo sections between Edwards and Marsh and a Marsh solo. ... Click to View


John Edwards / N.O. Moore / Eddie Prevost / Alan Wilkinson:
EMPoWered (577 Records)

A live performance from London's I'klectik by British musicians John Edwards (double bass), N.O. Moore (guitar), and Eddie Prévost (drums), who have a long-standing history as a trio known for both energetic playing and extraordinary introspection, here expanded with saxophonist Alan Wilkinson for two outstanding performances of technical mastery and deep communication. ... Click to View


Carlos Zingaro & Pedro Carneiro:
Elogio Das Sombras (Clean Feed)

Translating to "Eulogy of the Shadows", the free improvising duo of violinist Carlos Zingaro and percussionist Pedro Carneiro performing on marimba with a damper pedal, structure their work as though emerging out of the dark night, each step subtly increasing the glow of luminescence through intensity of interaction until receding again into obscurity; sublime. ... Click to View


Musicworks:
#140 Fall 2021 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

Canada's leading avant music magazine in their Fall 2021 issue, with articles on Understory (Nicole Rampersaud, Parmela Attariwala, and Germaine Liu), Frank Denyer, Taylor Brook, record & live reviews, plus a 14 track CD with pieces from Rocío Cano Valiño, Understory Show One: Gabriel Dharmoo/SlowPitchSound/Lan Tung, Frank Denyer, Nick Storring, &c. ... Click to View


New Old Luten Quintet:
Rabatz! (Euphorium)

The second step in this evolutionary project, the title referring to "noisy bustle; Riot" started with the trio of wind & reed player Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, pianist Elan Pauer and drummer Christian Lillinger (Radau!), then expanded to this quintet with two double bassists-John Edwards & Robert Landfermann--captured live at naTo/ in Leipzig, Germany in 2015. ... Click to View


New Old Luten Septet:
Remmidemmi! (Euphorium)

This evolutionary project titled as "loud, colorful hustle & bustle" started with the trio of wind & reed player Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, pianist Elan Pauer and drummer Christian Lillinger (Radau!), then expanded to a quintet with two double bassists-John Edwards & Robert Landfermann--and here as a septet with saxophonist Urs Leimgruber and trumpeter Axel Dörner. ... Click to View



  •  •  •     Join Our Mailing List!



The Squid's Ear
Facebook: Squidco Sales

Heard In

Reviews of artist releases:
cd's, books, magazines, &c.


  Grisey / Dumitrescu / Rasmussen / Chrysakis / Sciarrino / Freedman / Hodgkinson 
  Music for Violas, Bass Clarinets & Flutes  
  (Aural Terrains) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2021-06-21
Grisey / Dumitrescu / Rasmussen / Chrysakis / Sciarrino / Freedman / Hodgkinson: Music for Violas, Bass Clarinets & Flutes (Aural Terrains)

A selection of eight works by seven composers, all written within the past 40 years, featuring the titular instruments. Unlike similar compilations, the instrumentalists vary in addition to the composers. The bass clarinetists include Jason Alder, Tim Hodgkinson, Chris Cundy, Yoni Silver and Lori Freedman, the flutists, Karin de Fleyt and Carla Rees, with Vincent Royer and Jill Valentine in the viola chair. To this listener's ear, the release also broaches some questions with regard to extended techniques being used in service of an overarching idea rather than simply expositions of instrumental possibilities.

The first piece, and my personal favorite, is Gérard Grisey's "Nout" (1983) for solo contrabass clarinet (Alder). Intense, haunting and dirge-like, the low reed matches the writing perfectly in a manner that might well be thought of as "old-fashioned", but it absolutely works. The music calls for the tonalities and textures of the instrument, nothing is wasted or superfluous and the effect is deep and powerful; a superb performance. "Gestalten" (2018), by Niels Christian Rasmussen, is scored for bass clarinet and tape (Alder). Here, the instruments are well enough integrated into the music, but each element of the piece sounds a bit dated and bland, the bass clarinet part not so different from, say, a random Anthony Braxton exploration from the 70s and the bell-like tape sounding similarly reminiscent of work from the 60s-70s. Not bad, but not noteworthy.

Thanos Chrysakis' "Octet" (2018) uses the largest configuration of the date: two violas, three bass clarinets, a baritone saxophone sneaking in and two flutes. The 15-minute work is expansive, unfurling in irregular waves, richly arranged, erupting into dark billows led by the low reeds, subsiding into flute-laden hollows. Structurally not so interesting, but the free flow of colors is quite attractive, varied and more than capable of sustaining interest. "Hermes" (1984), by Salvatore Sciarrino is for solo flute (de Fleyt). It alternates higher, slightly overtoned pitches set against tougher, spitting phrases for a while, working subsequent variations off of this presence. Very well played but, for this listener, more an exposition of (somewhat) extended techniques and contrasts in tone and attack than a deeper musical idea.

Yoni Silver offers an improvisation on Iancu Dumitrescu's "Aura" (2013). Not knowing the original, I can't comment on any relationship, but on its own, Silver's performance is a strong, brooding one, elaborating various approaches from roaringly guttural to delicate, gauzy harmonics (and not so different from those explored by Braxton or Roscoe Mitchell) but, perhaps barely, maintaining an implied thematic line or sense of purpose that succeeds in tying things together. Just. Admittedly, I have a low degree of tolerance for free vocalise, so the fact that Freedman's "To the Bridge" (2014) begins with Shelly Hirsch-esque yowls didn't immediately ingratiate itself. Freedman's bass clarinet and clarinet playing is exceptional, though, mitigating matters somewhat. Again, the overall conception sounds not dissimilar from any number of works by the post-AACM school and there's an over-reliance on "new" sounds for their own sake, but the playing is strong enough that it comes close to compensating and there are some softer moments toward the end that are quite beautiful and moving.

Tim Hodgkinson's "Parautika" (2019), for two violas and three bass clarinets, establishes a kind of bed from which the instruments raise assorted howls, growls and expectorations. Again, apart from the relatively unique instrumentation, the basic music is quite similar to things heard in avant-jazz circles for decades. The disc closes with the second piece by Chrysakis, "Selva Oscura" (2017/18) for viola (Royer) and bass clarinet (Freedman). At nearly 15 minutes, it traverses substantial ground. Like other works here, it occasionally strays into an effect for effect's sake area but always pulls itself back into gripping, meaningful lines, music that transcends the technical. Very much a push and pull work in that sense, posing several good questions, excellently performed.



Grisey / Dumitrescu / Rasmussen / Chrysakis / Sciarrino / Freedman / Hodgkinson: Music for Violas, Bass Clarinets & Flutes
Is On Sale at Squidco!
Squidco




Comments and Feedback:



The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Steve Swell's
Systems For
Total Immersion:
Hommage A Luciano Berio
(Silkheart)



Eliane Radigue:
Opus 17
[2 CDs]
(Important Records)



Patricia Bosshard:
Onceim-CoO
(Potlatch)



Futari (
Satoko Fujii /
Taiko Saito):
Underground
(Libra)



New Old Luten Septet:
Remmidemmi!
(Euphorium)



John Edwards /
N.O. Moore /
Eddie Prevost /
Alan Wilkinson:
EMPoWered
(577 Records)



Joe McPhee /
Michael Bisio /
Fred Lonberg-Holm /
Juma Sultan:
The Sweet Spot
(RogueArt)



Will Guthrie:
People Pleaser 2
[VINYL]
(Kythibong)



Evan Parker /
John Edwards /
Tony Marsh:
Medway Blues
(FMR)



Alex Zethson
Ensemble:
Some Of Them
Were Never
Unprepared
(Relative Pitch)



Assif Tsahar /
William Parker /
Hamid Drake:
In Between
The Tumbling
Stillness
(Hopscotch Records)



New Old Luten Quintet:
Krawall!
(Euphorium)



Joao Lencastre
Communion (
Lencastre /
Cirera /
Toscano /
Lackner /
Fernrandes /
Branco /
Hasselberg /
Cascais):
Unlimited Dreams
(Clean Feed)



Federico Calcagno /
Stefano Grosso /
Filippo Rinaldo:
Piranha
(Habitable Records)



Morton Feldman (
Judith Wegmann /
Andreas Kunz):
For John Cage
[2 CDs]
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records Ltd)



Liz Allbee:
Rille
(Relative Pitch)



Ballrogg (
Ellerhusen-Holm /
Arntzen /
Stackenas):
Rolling Ball
[VINYL]
(Clean Feed)



Who Trio (
Wintsch /
Hemingway /
Oester):
Strell
[VINYL]
(Clean Feed)



Daniel Carter /
Ayumi Ishito /
Eric Plaks /
Zach Swanson /
Jon Panikkar:
Open Question
Vol. 1
(577 Records)



Paula Shocron /
William Parker /
Pablo Diaz :
El Templo
(Astral Spirits)







Squidco
Click here to
advertise with
The Squid's Ear






The Squid's Ear pays its writers.
Interested in becoming a reviewer?




The Squid's Ear is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !


  Copyright © Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (7809)