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

Evoking images of Indigenous Filipinos through free improvisation, with titles referencing the rivers, rains and environment that define them, the multi-national River People quartet of Christian Bucher on drums, Johnny Alegre on guitar, Tetsuro Hori on bass and Rick Countryman on alto saxophone are captured in the studio in Manila for seven superb collective conversations. ... Click to View


Sana Nagano:
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A superb chamber jazz trio from NY improvisers Sana Nagano on violin, Karl Berger on piano & vibraphone and Billy Martin on drums & percussion, Nagano having a long history with each through Berger's Improvisers Orchestra and with Martin through Creative Music Studio, their connections evident in the articulately energetic and confident collective conversations. ... Click to View


Sana Nagano:
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A superb chamber jazz trio from NY improvisers Sana Nagano on violin, Karl Berger on piano & vibraphone and Billy Martin on drums & percussion, Nagano having a long history with each through Berger's Improvisers Orchestra and with Martin through Creative Music Studio, their connections evident in the articulately energetic and confident collective conversations. ... Click to View


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Blue Lines Trio (Scheen / van der Weide / Hadow):
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The free swinging Dutch piano trio of Michiel Scheen on piano, Raoul van der Weide on contrabass, synthesizer & objects and George Hadow on drums, in a set of buoyant and ebullient improvisations, a mix of composed and collective works that bring together tradition and freedom, melody and abstraction, while clearly enjoying their playful approach to creative jazz. ... Click to View


Magnus Granberg :
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The 6 piece Tya Ensemble of string, piano, percussion and vibraphone performs Swedish composer Magnus Granberg's beautifully delicate and dusky work, conceived from historic and recent song structures and written so that individual parts also may be performed as solo pieces, as heard in an extended ensemble version and four solo and one duo configuration. ... Click to View


Alex Zethson:
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The Residy, or remains of a unique variation on JS Bach's Goldberg Variation no. 21, performed live by pianist Alex Zethson who maintains the structure, rhythmic movement and note order of Bach's composition, while dispersing the notes and intervals into two synths and an E-bowed grand piano to evoke these meditative and expansive interpretations. ... Click to View


Gareth Davis / Machinefabriek:
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Frequent collaborators Rutger Zyderveldt (Machinefabriek) and bass & contrabass clarinetist Gareth Davis join together for five "Standards" through electronics, synthetics and unorthodox reed work, transmuting their instruments as they create variations from a few notes, some of them "misremembered", from jazz and contemporary classical standards. ... Click to View


Amelia Cuni / Alex Mendizabal:
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Translating to "Voices from Heaven and Hell", the meeting of two Berlin artists--Amelia Cuni, whose vocal work is described as in/voluntary singing; and Alex Mendizabal, a sound artist who here electronically manipulates the voice of Cuni--use texts from poet Erin Honeycutt as the two apply diverse, fascinating and sometimes unnerving approaches to voice, utterance and expression. ... Click to View


Various Artists:
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Demonstrating the striking diversity modern solo percussionists present, the Italian tape label TSSS Tapes compiles an international set of solo works from explorers Tim Daisy, Jeph Jerman, Ted Byrnes, Wojtek Kurek, Clinton Green, Rie Nakajima, Emilio Berne, Shakeeb Abu Hamdan, Lucie Nezri, Karen Willems, Paolo Sanna, Li Qing, Carlos Godinho, and Rodrigo Vieira. ... Click to View


Dreamstruck (Crispell / Fonda / Sorgen):
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Officially taking their group name from the title of their first album, The Dreamstruck trio of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Joe Fonda on bass and Harvey Sorgen on drums are heard in this innately lyrical and masterfully controlled, concise set of studio recordings, with compositions from each performer and two collective improvisations, a remarkable example of the modern piano trio. ... Click to View


Rempis / Reid / Abrams:
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Seabrook / Cleaver / Cooper-Moore:
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Lionel Hampton Orchestra 1958:
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The Work:
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Christian Wolfarth :
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39 tracks make up this compelling 3-part solo percussion work from Swiss improviser and composer Christian Wolfarth, using a game approach where some sequences are determined by the roll of a dice for note values, rest and tempo, Wolfarth performing on dead wood, a drum or 39 pine cones, augmented with recordings of stones, water, footsteps, church bells, &c. ... Click to View


David Ryan (Crosby / Innocenti / Lash):
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A collection of three modified solo pieces and one collective performance with a minimalist aesthetic through compositions by David Ryan, performed by William Crosby on guitar, Luca Innocenti on church organ & Hammond organ and Dominic Lash on contrabass, each score allowing for interpretation and improvisation, particularly the final collaborative piece. ... Click to View


Sage Harlow J :
Variations Without A Theme (Drones Ongs) (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Australian sound poet and vocalist Sage J Harlow aka Sage Pbbbt, whose innovative vocal work takes inspiration from Tuvan and Mongolian overtone singing and Inuit throat singing, created this mysterious set of electroacoustic compositions on the unceeded lands of the Whadjuk People of the Noongar Nation, developing four works of spellbinding spectral ambience. ... Click to View


Samuel Blaser:
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Jeff Parker / Eric Revis / Nasheet Waits:
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Jeff Parker / Eric Revis / Nasheet Waits:
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Though having worked together in various collaborations, the trio of Jeff Parker on guitar, Eric Revis on double bass and Nasheet Waits on drums had never recorded as a trio before this 2016 studio date in Pasadena, CA, each player contributing compositions for the album, along with one collective improvisation and a cover of Marion Brown's "Similar Limits". ... Click to View


Sylvain Kassap Sextet :
Octobres (RogueArt)

An extension to a cycle of recordings that started in 1985 with his Saxifrages Octet, clarinetist Sylvain Kassap leads his sextet through original compositions that integrate jazz, compositional and avant rock structures into a unique chamber jazz form, a sophisticated approach to writing as Kassap commemorates the 1917 October Revolution in Russia. ... Click to View


Graewe / Lonberg Holm / Gratkowski:
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In 2004 legendary European Free Jazz pianist Georg Graewe and German multi-reedist Frank Gratkowski met with Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm on the stage at LOFT in Cologne, Germany to perform these six collective improvisations with an innate chamber jazz feeling, particularly the four part "Trilinear Polarity"; a spectacular set available for the first time. ... Click to View


Joel Futterman:
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Playfield (Carter / Muhr / Ishito / Plaks / Namenwirth / Takahashi / Swanson / Panikkar):
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Having previously released outdoor live performances integrating the sounds of NY into their expansive improvisations, the Playfield octet led by Daniel Carter with Ayumi Ishito (Sax), Eric Plaks (Piano & Rhodes), Aron Namenwirth (Guitar), Yutaka Takahashi (Guitar), Luisa Muhr (voice), Zachary Swanson (Bass) and Jon Panikkar (Drums) step inside to record three far-reaching and inclusive studio improvisations. ... Click to View


Yamazaki / Ino / Hayashi:
TRYANGLE (Doubtmusic)

Two 60's collaborators of Japanese guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi--drummer Hiroshi Yamazaki and bassist Nobuyoshi Ino--formed this "Tryangle" to invite third improvisers for their performances, here joining forces with alto saxophonist Eiichi Hayashi (Catle Band, Aki Takase) for this exceptional live concert at Koen-dori Classics, in Tokyo, Japan in 2022. ... Click to View


New Monuments (Don Dietrich / Ben Hall / Camille Dietrich / Tony Gordon):
Language is the Skin [CD w/ DOWNLOAD] (Torn Light)

Recording in Detroit in 2021 the ruggedly extreme free jazz quartet New Monuments of Don Dietrich (Borbetomagus) on saxophone, Ben Hall on percussion, Camille Dietrich on cello and Tony Gordon on electric bass guitar shred through six collective improvisations, taking time for burning solo moments and electrically-fueled exchanges; scorching! ... Click to View


Nickolas Mohanna :
Sight Drawings [VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD] (Run/Off Editions)

Using sources from the world about him--field recordings, sampled orchestral noises, and voice recorders--New York composer and sound artist Nickolas Mohanna explores the spatial impressions of sound within a delicate acousmatic language, weaving inexplicable sounds into reorganized, recognizable components, creating a solid and compelling structural language. ... Click to View


Marina Rosenfeld :
roygbiv&b [BOOK] (Run/Off Editions)

A handsome spiral-bound book to accompany experimental sound artist and turntablist Marin Rosenfeld's roygbiv&b project riffing on the title through performance memory exercises, with text including a "User's Manual", a foreward by musicologist Benjamin Piekut, color & b/w images from the performance & exhibition, and four fold-out pages with scores. ... Click to View



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  Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio 
  Moon on the Lake  
  (Libra Records) 


  
   review by John Eyles
  2021-07-21
Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio: Moon on the Lake (Libra Records)

Pianist Satoko Fujii made the jazz world sit up and take notice during 2018, the year of her sixtieth birthday, when she released an album every month. Those twelve releases displayed the range of her music from solo playing, through various small ensembles, right up to two separate orchestra recordings, with some groups, such as the quartet Amu and a couple of new trios, being heard for the first time. Ever since, she has kept up a steady flow of impressive new recordings and collaborations. Recorded live at Tokyo's Pit Inn, in September 2020, Moon on the Lake is the debut of Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio; it marks her first piano-bass-drums trio recording since Spring Storm (Libra, 2013) by Satoko Fujii New Trio with bassist Todd Nicholson and drummer Takashi Itani, that group's only album to date.

For her new trio, the pianist selected two in-demand younger players from the Japanese jazz scene, bassist & cellist Takashi Sugawa with whom she had played some years before, along with her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer Ittetsu Takemura, who was a member of the pianist's Kira Kira quartet which released the highly praised Bright Force in her birthday year. As the bassist and drummer (not to mention the pianist!) are very busy, this trio had few opportunities to play together; they debuted at Pit Inn in August 2019 and played at the Tokyo jazz club Classics in the following December; remarkably, the recording that comprises Moon on the Lake was from their third date together.

Despite that, right from the start of the jaunty, rhythmic opening track, "Hansho", the three have an obvious rapport and sound right for each other, as if they had long experience together. They do not always sound like a conventional piano trio, as is made all too obvious by "Wait for the Moon to Rise", in which all three coax atypical sounds from their instruments which gradually gel into a richly detailed, coherent soundscape. At the heart of the album is a new eighteen-minute version of "Aspiration" the title track of a 2017 album which featured the pianist with Wadada Leo Smith and Natsuki Tamura on trumpets, and Ikue Mori on electronics; the version here is very different, with all three players individually showcased, notably some attention-grabbing arco from Takashi. The album ends on a high with the restraint of the title track highlighting some beautiful piano passages.

On the evidence of this album, we have to hope that this becomes the pianist's trio of choice. Existing fans of Satoko will find plenty here to keep them enthralled; newcomers, eager to know what all the fuss is about, can confidently begin their voyage of discovery here.



Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio: Moon on the Lake
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Dreamstruck (
Crispell
Fonda
Sorgen):
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The Work:
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Reid
Abrams:
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Seabrook
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Cooper-Moore:
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Revisited
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Ltd)



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Lonberg Holm
Gratkowski:
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DOWNLOAD]
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