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Cecil Taylor (w/ Lyons / Dixon / Grimes / Silva / Cyrille):
With (Exit) To Student Studies, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Changing approaches to his music with new quartet of Jimmy Lyons on alto sax, Alan Silva on double bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums, pianist Cecil Taylor's incredible 1966 concert in Paris presented four extended compositions, here remastered and reissued with a track from a compilation LP--"With (Exit)"--extending his quartet with Bill Dixon on trumpet and Henry Grimes on double bass. ... Click to View


Strictly Missionary (Pitsiokos / Eisenberg / Lenz / Murray / Neuburg):
Heisse Scheisse [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

Skronky multi-faceted NY Downtown-style improvisation with an electric edge from the quintet of Chris Pitsiokis on alto sax, winds, electronics & samples, Wendy Eisenberg on electric guitar, Richard Lenz on electric bass, Kevin Murray on acoustic & electronic drums and Nick Neuburg on percussion, rolling and rollicking through riffs and scrabbly exploration. ... Click to View


John Zorn (Bill Frisell / Julian Lage / Gyan Riley):
A Garden of Forking Paths (Tzadik)

The fifth set of compositions from John Zorn for the guitar trio of Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Gyan Riley, these works inspired by the short stories of Argentine philosopher and writer Jorge Luis Borges, each of the nine pieces drawing on elements of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass, world music and more, rendered impeccably by the masterful skills of all three guitarists. ... Click to View


Baldrian Quartett:
Frieda Bertelsohn Martholdy: Streichquartette – Entschlummern sollst Du, sollst entschlummern (Bruit)

A tongue-in-cheek album packaged like a Deutsche Grammophon release of a string quartet by fictional composer Frieda Bertelsohn Martholdys (1878-1907), which is instead a superb live ea-improv performance at the 2018 Music Unlimited Festival in Austria by Gaudenz Badrutt (electronics), Kai Fagaschinski (clarinette), Jonas Kocher (accordion) & Christof Kurzmann (electronics). ... Click to View


Mark Feldman / Katinka Kleijn:
Sine Nomine (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Blurring free improvisation and compositional strategies in this encounter at the "First Meeting Series" at FAB Music Studio Chicago between New York violinist Mark Feldman and Chicago cellist Katinka Kleijn, a remarkable concert in two parts showing imaginative skills of phenomenal technical expertise and experience, instant compositions of the highest order. ... Click to View


Cath Roberts / Olie Brice:
Conduits (Relative Pitch)

Recording in real-time during the pandemic, UK improvisers, baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts (Favourite Animals, Madwort Sax Quartet) and double bassist Olie Brice (Olie Brice Quintet, Tobias Delius, &c) recorded these extended improvisations simulateously at their homes, beautifully paced and intently listening as they keep the conversation going despite a world of restrictions. ... Click to View


Alan Silva / Itaru Oki / Richard Comte / Makoto Sato:
Celebration (nunc.)

Recorded live in Paris in 2019 as a celebration of improvising keyboardist Alan Silva's 80th birthday, and released with a dedication to the memory of trumpeter Itaru Oki, the quartet completed with guitarist Richard Comte and drummer Makoto Sato, in a 3-part improvisation that is sadly the final recording for Oki, standing as a great example of his voice. ... Click to View


Dave Douglas:
Overcome [VINYL] (Greenleaf Music)

Beginning with a reimagining of the Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome", trumpeter Dave Douglas' album is an emotional and powerful statement of human engagement towards justice--Racial justice; Climate justice; Voting justice; Gender justice--performed with Ryan Keberle on trombone, Fay Victor on voice, Camila Meza on voice, guitar, Jorge Roeder on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. ... Click to View


Udo Schindler / Peter Jacquemyn:
Fragile Eruptions (FMR)

Live recordings of two sessions of fully free and uniquely creative duo improvisations by Udo Schinlder on clarinets, saxophone and brass, and Peter Jacquemyn on double bass & voice, recorded on November 29th, 2019 at the 98th Salon für Klang+Kunst Kralling/Munich by Udo Schindler (part one) & on the next day at Galerie arToxin by Gottfried Düren (part two). ... Click to View


Artifacts (Nicole Mitchell / Tomeka Reid / Mike Reed):
...and then there's this [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

Confirming their place in Chicago's improv legacy, the second album from the Artifacts Trio of Nicole Mitchell on flute & electronics, Tomeka Reid on cello and Mike Reed on drums & percussion expand the AACM canon with compositions from each member, plus several insightful and lively collective improvisations and one piece each from Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver:
Welcome Adventure! Vol. 2 [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (577 Records)

The 2nd of two studio albums from the quartet of Daniel Carter on saxophone & flute, Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums, recordings from the same sessions as the 1st volume with five shorter works, as the long-time collaborators and friends show their nearly telepathic rapport in adventurous and masterful modern jazz. ... Click to View


Osvaldo Coluccino :
Absum (Inexhaustible Editions)

Composer, sound artist and poet Osvaldo Coluccino in a six-part electroacoustic composition for electronics, violin and objects, the title carrying several meanings: 1) not being there, being absent, 2) being free, 3) abstaining, opposing, being alien, 4) differing, being different, 5) (regarding places) being distant, being far away, 6) being inferior. ... Click to View


Ernstalbrecht Stiebler / Tilman Kanitz:
The Pankow-Park Sessions, Vol.1 (Another Timbre)

Six potent duo improvisations for cello and piano by composer & pianist Ernstalbrecht Stiebler and fellow-Berlin resident Tilman Kanitz, who have been developing their dialog together for several years in studio, focusing much of their momentum on pitch and harmony, their work all the more remarkable for Stiebler only having begun improvising in his mid-80s. ... Click to View


Cecil Taylor:
Respiration (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

An incredible solo concert from legendary New York pianist Cecil Taylor in October, 1968 at the Sala Kongresowa (Congress Hall, Palace of Culture and Science) in Warsaw during the Jazz Jamboree, recorded by Polski Radio and remastered in 2021, an excellent example of the nimble mind and quick technical skills of Taylor's personal take on improvisation; stunning! ... Click to View


Steve Coleman and Five Elements:
Live at the Village Vanguard, Volume II (Mdw Ntr) [2 CDs] (Pi Recordings)

Recorded a year after Volume 1, alto saxophonist Steve Coleman's Five Elements band with Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Anthony Tidd on bass, Sean Rickman on drums and, replacing guitarist Miles Okazaki, improvising vocalist Kokayi credited as "wordsmith", performing at The Village Vanguard for a sophisticated, rhythmically fascinating and energetic concert; exemplary! ... Click to View


Miles Okazaki (w/ Mitchell / Tidd / Rickman):
Thisness (Pi Recordings)

Trickster, the stellar quartet of New York guitarist Miles Okazaki with Matt Mitchell on piano, Fender Rhodes & synth, Anthony Tidd on electric bass and Sean Rickman on drums, in a sequel to The Sky Below, blending acoustic and electric jazz in four captivating compositions that Okazaki describes as striving towards something like collective dreaming. ... Click to View


David Virelles:
Nuna (Pi Recordings)

Cuban/NY pianist David Virelles in his first solo album, 14 original compositions and 2 from Cuban composers, blending modern jazz with Cuban, African and European influences, a tour-de-force of clear and balanced, irrepresible rhythms and elegant ballads, an inspired album opening on marimbula and expanded with percussion from Julio Barreto on three tracks. ... Click to View


Musson / Moore / Brice / Prevost:
Under the Sun (Matchless)

Quartet, the masterful grouping of Rachel Musson on tenor sax, NO Moore on electric guitar, Olie Brice on double bass and Eddie Prévost on drums, an improvising ensemble of wonderfully unpredictable momentum, from passages of quiet introspection to thunderous density, but always with attentive listening and imaginative responses, heard in this spectacular 2021 concert at Iklektic. ... Click to View


Thollem:
Obstacle Illusion (Astral Spirits)

Taken from concerts during Thollem's 3-month European tour, at Centro d'Arte dell'Università di Padova; AngelicA at Teatro San Leonardo in Bologna; and Rassegna di Nuova Musica 39, performing on acoustic pianos or a Korg Wavestate, showing his technically impressive, creative drive over a diverse set of approaches to solo piano improvisation. ... Click to View


Tern (Philipp Wachsmann / Martin Hakett / Emil Karlsen):
In Air (FMR/Bead)

Two sessions from the free improvising electroacoustic trio of Philipp Wachsmann on violin & electronics, Martin Hakett on synthesizer and Emil Karlsen on drums & percussion, first for three studio recordings in 2019, and then in concert at the 2020 "Sounds Like This" festival at Leeds College for two wonderfully idiosyncratic and masterful conversations. ... Click to View


Action & Tension & Space:
Tellus [VINYL] (Rune Grammofon)

With one foot in fusion-oriented improv and the other in psychedelic/prog rock, the 4th album from the Norwegian quartet of Per Steinar Lie on lapsteel & electric guitar, Oystein Braut on guitar, organ & Mellotron, Julius Lind on double bass and Orjan Haaland on drums are joined by keyboard wiz Sigbjorn Apeland and percussionist Stale Liavik Solberg. ... Click to View


Nandor Nevai w/ Tim Dahl / Trevor Dunn:
(Psykomanteum)

A dark trio of NYC heavyweights Tim Dahl and Trevor Dunn on bass and Nandor Nevai ( _ (Underscore)) on drums and conducting, in Nevai's fifth iteration of the _ ("UNDRSKOR") project, following a fusion of forms referred to as 'Neauxtheque' invoking "Danger Classical", the Martial Pop subgenre of Industrial and the virtuosic demands of Technical Death Metal. ... Click to View


Reinier van Houdt :
Drift Nowhere Past / The Adventure Of Sleep [2 CDs] (elsewhere)

Interested in compositional work involving sound, timing, space, physicality, memory, noise & environment, Dutch composer Reinier van Houdt shares six works developed for erstwhile record's festival AMPLIFY 2020: quarantine, each piece focused on a specific day of the month; and a complementary set of four compositions about everyday recurring situations. ... Click to View


Quentin Tolimieri :
Monochromes [3CDs] (elsewhere)

Berlin-based composer & pianist Quentin Tolimieri's goal for the 15 compositions of "Monochrome" was to hear the acoustic piano differently, removing traditional structures of European harmony, each piece focused on a single or "monochromatic" theme that unfolds over an extended period of time, whether languorous or intensely active, each piece unique and self-contained. ... Click to View


Dan Clucas / Kyle Motl / Nathan Hubbard:
Daydream and Halting (FMR)

A collective West Coast trio from double bassist Kyle Motl (Treesearch) with cornetist Dan Clucas, also on violin and moxeno (an Andean wind instrument) and drummer Nathan Hubbard, imbued with a spiritual and natural chamber jazz feeling, their improvisations influenced by concepts of daydreams, incandescence and zephyrs; a beautiful and open-minded album. ... Click to View


Hippie Diktat:
Fire On (Self Released)

Six raw instrumentals bridging free jazz and free rock forms, clearly influenced by both Brötzmann and Sunn O))) (as referenced in the track "SunnA)))") from the French Hippie Diktat trio of Antoine Viard on amplified baritone sax, Julien Chamla on drums and Richard Comte on guitar, recording at l'Ecluse, in Reims in 2013 for six ruggedly inspired tracks. ... Click to View


Sun Ra Arkestra & Salah Ragab:
Meets Salah Ragab in Egypt [VINYL] (STRUT)

The last installment in Strut's Sun Ra reissue series is also the first time that Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab in Egypt album has been reissued, bringing to light these studio recordings between the Arkestra and Egyptian drummer Salah Ragab, recorded during Ra's 1983 Egyptian tour, and featuring two Ragab compostions from his Cairo Jazz Band. ... Click to View


Forkelid / Carlsson / Hielm:
Can't Hide [Vinyl] (FRIM Records)

The first release on the Swedish label Association For Free Improvised Music (FRIM) is the trio of Gustaf Hielm (Mats/Morgan Band) on bass, Elin Forkelid (Anna Högberg Attack!) on saxophones and Erik Carlsson (Swedish Azz, Skogen) on drums, a free-blowing session of heavy collective playing in the European Free Jazz tradition for two extended "Question" & "Answer" sessions. ... Click to View


Trio Xolo:
In Flower, In Song (577 Records)

The debut of Trio Xolo, bringing together Mexican-American bassist Zachary Swanson, inventive Lithuanian ex-pat & long-time New York drummer/percussionist Dalius Naujokaitis and lyrical Baltimore saxophonist Derrick Michaels, three players steeped in both tradition and avant free playing, captured live in-studio for an album of perceptive creative jazz. ... Click to View


Gabby Fluke - Mogul :
Love Songs (Relative Pitch)

An album of raw and emotional "love songs", 17 unique solo violin improvisations and vocal utterance as the New York improviser runs her bow with passionate openness and intimacy through raspy edges, ardent plucking, introspective aching, and moments of beauty, all displayed through immense technique and powerful control over her instrument. ... Click to View


Jessica Pavone:
...of Late (Astral Spirits)

Borrowing from traditional music notation, Jessica Pavone's compositions for her string ensemble with Aimée Niemann and Abby Swidler alternates between metered and time-based scores allowing the performers freedom to move between long tone sounds and clusters at the performer's chosen rate, responding to each other while creating a "collaboratively sewn musical fabric". ... Click to View



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  Satoko Fujii 
  Piano Music  
  (Libra Records) 


  
   review by Thomas Mellish
  2022-06-23
Satoko Fujii: Piano Music (Libra Records)

For two reasons Piano Music is an intriguing work. The first concerns the form of this album: it is typified by a cohesiveness in that each of its minutiae sprawl like a tree extending toward the sun. Yet, despite this appearance of organicity, this album is the product of sounds being sewn and stitched together. The second reason regards the title of this album: it is ironic. Fujii obfuscates the signs of the piano such that they can no longer be recognized; the instrument that is borne from this series of blurring can only be called a "piano" nominally.

Rather than using its keys, Fujii uses the strings of their "piano" to produce the individual moments that are aggregated to compose their sonic tapestry. Among other methods, through either affixing EBows to its high strings or by rubbing its low strings with a big felt mallet, Fujii uses their "piano" to engender foreign tones and alien textures.

Piano Music begins with "Shiroku." Initially, this track unfurls to reveal a throbbing, organ-like drone. The rigidity provided by this drone is juxtaposed with swarms of shimmering movements. These swarms eventually phase out and give way to individual shrieks; however, these shrieks merely dissipate into the void, going unanswered. Such shrieks are redolent of those singular whales that sing haplessly into the oceanic abyss, dreaming of a response. The next track, "Fuwarito," breaks away from "Shiroku." In the former, elongated drones are substituted for rhythmic flurries, which go into remission just as quickly as they metastasize. However, in another sense, "Fuwarito" is a continuation of "Shiroku." Just like the latter, the former contains swarms of shimmering movements. The swarms of "Furwarito," though, have a different character to them, possessing a nebulae-esque serenity as each of their elements glisten, piercing through the mix.

Fujii says that she wants to make music that no one has heard before. Not that this was ever in doubt, but Fujii continues to realize this sentiment. The tones and textures produced in this album are far beyond the conceived rubric of the piano; new sonic territory has been discovered. I wonder what new land Fujii will find next.



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