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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


Gabriel Vicens:
Mural (Stradavarius )

Reflecting on the slow decay of Roman and Egyptian murals, New York City-based, Puerto Rican-born composer, guitarist, visual artist and No Base Trio member, Gabriel Vicéns, presents a collection of chamber works including two piano trios, a wind quintet performed by Nu Quintet, cello & violin and violin & piano duos, a solo piano work, and a sextet conducted by David Bloom. ... Click to View


Simulacrum:
Archetypes (Evil Clown)

One of the more electronic/ea ensembles from the Boston area collective led by David Peck, Simulacrum is an offshoot of Metal Chaos Ensemble, the core being Peck on reeds, percussion & electronics, Eric Wood on analog synth and Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, joined by Michael Caglianone (sax), Faruq Hassan (sampler), and Michael Knoblach (percussion). ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith:
Cyclic Models (Evil Clown)

A larger ensemble for the Boston-area collective Leap of Faith of David Peck on clarinets, saxophones & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, here extended with two horns, three strings, and drums including Cecil Taylor bassist Albey OnBass, plus John Fugarino on trumpets & brass, Tor Snyder on guitar and Eric Rosenthal on drums & percussion. ... Click to View


Chefkirk:
Giant Size (Love Earth Music)

Eight distinctive works for electronics and sound from the alter ego of Roger H. Smith, using noise, percussive elements and unusual synthetics, layered around static and arpeggiated rhythms and punctuated with strange asides, the works run from 3:14 to 18:37 and were developed over a year and half; an excellent introduction to the sonic diversity Chefkirk revels in. ... Click to View


Midnight Only (RJ Myato / Jabe Ledoux):
Midnight Only (Love Earth Music)

An album of dense electronics, drums and gongs from Vermont drummer and experimenter Jabe Ledoux, aka Jo Bled, and Pittsburgh noise artist RJ Myato, co-founder of NNN Coalition and curator of Enforced Existence label, in three works from assertive jumbles of sound, to buzzy drones with muted percussion and ending with an ocean of blurred and swooping harmonics. ... Click to View


Liba Villavecchia Trio (Reviriego / Trilla) + Luis Vicente:
Muracik (Clean Feed)

Trumpeter Luís Vicente joins the Spanish saxophonist Liba Villavechia's Trio with double bassist Alex Reveriego and drummer Vasco Trilla for a studio album of four Villavecchia compositions, and one each from Reviriego and Vicente, propelling the band into hard swinging free improv balanced with introspective abstraction and sonic extensions; masterful. ... Click to View


TGB (Carolino / Frazao / Delgado):
ROOM 4 (Clean Feed)

Twenty years of activity and advancement is heard in this fourth album from the dynamic tuba power trio of tubist Sergio Carolino, guitarist Mario Delgado & drummer Alexandre Frazao, an electric jazz unit of deep power and drive, on this album leaving behind cover tunes that included Deep Purple and Thelonious Monk to focus on compositions from each band member. ... Click to View


Ghost Trees:
Intercept Method [VINYL 2 LPs] (Future Recordings)

Appropriately recording in New Jersey in the Van Gelder Studios, the North Carolina sax & drum duo of Brent Bagwell and Seth Nanaa stand in the shadows of Coltrane & Ali or McHenry & Cyrlle on their fourth release, a 2-LP, 180gm red-vinyl album of swinging, structured free jazz with a lyrically inclined outside attitude; twelve tracks of concise and compelling dialogs. ... Click to View


Garcia / Moimeme / Reviriego / Rodrigues / Santos:
Mars Reveri (Creative Sources)

An intense album of pyschedelic and subliminally detailed electroacoustic improvisation from the Portuguese quintet of Miguel A. Garcia on electronics, Abdul Moimeme on guitar & metals, Alex Reviriego on double bass, Ernesto Rodrigues on piano harp & viola and Carlos Santos on electronics, a powerful live set recorded in 2018 at Le Larraskito Kluba in Rekalde, Bilbao. ... Click to View


Eventless Plot:
Structures (Creative Sources)

Three configurations of delicately detailed, reductionist electroacoustic improv from the Greek Eventless Plot trio of Vasilis Liolios (inside piano, e-bow piano, objects & psaltiri), Yiannis Tsirikoglou (objects, guitar, MAX/MSP) and Aris Giatas (piano), in one piece as a trio, then with guest Chris Cundy on bass clarinet, and a third with Louis Portal on percussion. ... Click to View


Karin Johansson / Lisen Rylander Love:
Arter [VINYL] (Havtorn Records)

The Swedish title translating to "Species", the contemplatively elegant interactions between pianist Karin Johansson and tenor saxophonist Lisen Rylander are named for extinct species of animals and plants, as the two improvise over the loss of species that disappear from the earth every year, their wistful music augmented through preparations, kalimbas, live electronics and percussion. ... Click to View


Peter Van Huffel's Callisto:
Meandering Demons (Clean Feed)

A step into a darker world than Gorilla Mask from the debut of baritone saxophonist Peter Van Huffel's bass-less quartet Callisto with Lina Allemano on trumpet, Antonis Anissegos on piano & electronics and Joe Hertenstein on drums, a solid jazz quartet that shies from cliché in devilishly deep collective interplay fostered by Van Huffel's inventive compositions. ... Click to View


Dave Douglas:
Gifts (Greenleaf Music)

A new book of compositions and four interesting interpretations of Billy Strayhorn songs from trumpeter Dave Douglas' premier of a new quartet with tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and two members of the post-rock trio Son Lux — guitarist Rafiq Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang — in a lyrically embraceable and sophisticated album dedicated to the gifts of life and music we all share. ... Click to View


Sean Ono Lennon :
Asterisms (Tzadik)

The chameleonic styles of Sean Ono Lennon are in full force on this instrumental record, merging rock, jazz, experimental and cinematic styles in captivating ways, performed with the spectacular ensemble of Devon Hoff (bass), Yuka Honda (electronics), Johnny Mathar (drums), João Nogueira (Wurlitzer), Ches Smith (drums), Michael Leonhart (trumpet) & Mauro Refosco (percussion). ... Click to View


Matt Mitchell:
Illimitable [2 CDs] (Obliquity)

"100% improvised, one take, no edits" from New York pianist Matt Mitchell's solo album in four extended improvisations of impressive detail and creative direction, eschewing any particular style while crossing many, Mitchell's technical skills making complex passages clear even when he names them as abstruse, an impressive accomplishment and an absorbing album of solo piano improv. ... Click to View


Steph Richards (w/ White / Takeishi / Cleaver / Jaffee) :
Power Vibe (Northern Spy)

Using a democratic compositional concept of cues that any of the musicians can employ to redirect all players into new structures, leading to exemplary improv from the core quintet of Steph Richards on trumpet & flugelhorn, Joshua White on piano, Stomu Takeishi on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drumset, plus Max Jaffe replacing Cleaver on drums & sensory electronics for one live track. ... Click to View


John Zorn:
The Hermetic Organ Volume 12 - The Bosch Requiem (Tzadik)

Part of composer, saxophonist and organ improviser John Zorn's 70th birthday celebration, this 12th volume in his The Hermetic Organ series finds Zorn performing on the two organs at the Grote Kerk (Great Church) in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, first solo and then with John Medeski, in a tribute to the 15th century proto-Surrealist painter Hieronymus Bosch. ... Click to View



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  Hprizm 
  Signs Remixed  
  (577 Records) 


  
   review by Thomas Mellish
  2022-04-12
Hprizm: Signs Remixed (577 Records)

In Signs remixed delivers what it says on the surface: Hprizm remixes Gerald Cleaver's album Signs. As such, Signs Remixed consists of two levels. We have a first-order level where we are considering the work of Gerald Cleaver, and we have a second-order level where we are considering what Hprizm does to Gerald Cleaver's work, and as such, demands attention.

The sounds contained in Signs Remixed allow the listener to relish and savour each moment. The transcendental sounds of the album are commenced by "Jackie Smiles Craft A." A swathe of synths demarcates the birth of some glitchy monster, whose appendages crash in and out of existence asynchronously. Gusts of high-hats and polyrhythmic flurries are interspersed over sets of oscillating voices which loom in the background, shadowing the track as it progresses. The song then marches towards its apotheosis: off-kilter loops coalesce to such an extent that sounds seem to fight for air, creating an acute sense of claustrophobia.

"Signs II Proper Version" begins with an atavistic drum beat that is stalking the listener over the horizon, somewhere far away. As the drum beat approaches to accost the listener, it is met with monolithic walls of hums. These phlegmatic hums provide a dependable framework for the effervescent and stochastic drum beats to flourish in. These drum grooves persist throughout the track, and it is only ephemeral spurts of silence and rhythmic glitches that manage to disrupt these almost intransigent rhythms.. "Signs III Remix" continues this inquiry into glitch. "Signs III Remix" begins with white noise-esque sounds quickly metastasizing into sets of claps and drum beats. However, the groove of this track never manages to truly entrench itself; the rhythms, like the Ouroboros, consume themselves and trip themselves up. The listener finds themself in a rhythmic purgatory, in some liminal space between rhythm and the lack thereof.

The next tracks, in my mind, act as a palate cleanser. This sonic reprieve is spearheaded by "Blown Remix." Replacing the rich and fervid beats of before is an anemic and sparse sonic landscape. In this hauntology, insidious bell rings reverberate throughout the impoverished mix, hanging and looming for what seems like multiple eternities. These rumbling sounds are embellished now and again by a sharp, albeit parsimonious, beat.

Then we have "Tomasz Remix." A throbbing bass sequence breathes life into the track. Dainty sounds flutter above this lumbering, languid bass, occasionally pitching on it as if it were some oversized Savanna animal. These delicate flurries circle throughout the track, perhaps searching for flies that pitch on the beast-like bass. The following track, "Aka Radiator," is a tad more 'ambiguous.' This song, to my ears, is not too far removed from something on James Blake's self-titled album. The textures of this track are redolent of post-dubstep. A husky and raspy backdrop is quickly juxtaposed with an opulent bass sequence. These thick rhythms saunter with heavy feet, barging their way through the track. The decadence of these rhythms becomes starkly apparent when they phase out momentarily, and one hears insubstantial electronic epicycles attempting to fill the void.

Signs Remixed, and its toying with the notion of rhythm, is truly unique. Hprizm adroitly deconstructs the rhythms erected by Cleaver and makes them his own. In some cases, these forged rhythms are anything but; Hprizm forms arrhythmic sequences which embody the word 'glitch.' Yet, in the other cases, Hprizm creates tracks that contain unwavering rhythms, where one can easily bob their head.



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