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Fred Frith:
Guitar Solos/Fifty [VINYL 2 LPs] (Week-End Records)

While still a member of Henry Cow, guitarist Fred Frith released his first solo album simply titled Guitar Solos in 1974, a remarkable album of expression through preparations, treatments and effects; 50 years later Frith expands on that album with new compositions using a similar setup as the originally, paired in this 2-LP release with the remastered original album. ... Click to View


Phil Durrant / Daniel Thompson:
Live / Studio (Bead)

The improvising string duo of stalwart London improvisers, Daniel Thompson on acoustic guitar and Phil Durrant on the octave mandola, are heard in two settings of texturally rich, intricate interactions, first at Cafe OTO in 2022 for an extended improvisation, then at Cable Street Studios two months later for six succint, impressively diverse dialogs. ... Click to View


Impetus Group (Serries / Webster / Verbruggen / Verhoeven / Jackson)):
Density Dots (Klanggalerie)

Their impetus motivated by the 60's & 70's London improv scene, epitomized by Derek Bailey's Company group, guitarist Dirk Serries leads this assemblage of quick-witted improviser as they challenge each other through pointillistic and sublime passages; from Tom Jackson (clarinet), Colin Webster (sax), Martina Verhoeven (piano), Dirk Serries (guitar) & Teun Verbruggen (drums). ... Click to View


Cassiber:
The Cassiber Box redux [6 CDs, 1 DVD and Book] (Recommended Records)

Reissuing the 2013 box set of the 1980s UK/Euro improvising rock band Cassiber, including their 4 remastered studio albums + 2 additional CDs, a 2 hour DVD, and a 32-page color book, revealing an amazing band merging experimental rock, fringe jazz, punk, pop, plunderphonics, improvisation, & musique concrete with an energetic and complex form of studio composition - superb! ... Click to View


Surplus 1980:
Illusion of Consistency [VINYL + CD + DOWNLOAD] (Surplus Industries)

Composed using an "exquisite corpse" method during the pandemic, where each player provided a partially complete track with instructions to expand their concept, enlisting an incredible set of musicians across the US & Europe, directed by Moe! Staiano, including Jesse Quattro, Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, , GW Sok, Amy X Neuburg, Darren Johnston, &c &c. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi:
With Pats On The Head, Just One Too Few Is Evil, One Too Many Is Good That's All It Is [VINYL 3 LPs] (Black Truffle)

Documenting the complete performance at the now-shuttered Tokyo underground club SuperDeluxe, the trio of Keiji Haino on guitar, voice, flute, snare & oboe, Jim O'Rouke on 6-string bass, electric guitar, synth & electronics, and Oren Ambarchi on drums & percussion, performed for 2 hours in an amazingly diverse set of acoustic and electronic improvisation. ... Click to View


Djll / Perkins:
Kinda (Artifact Recordings)

Expanding on their 2007 release Kinda Green, the decades-long collaboration of SF Bay Area improvisors Tom Djll on trumpet & electronics and Tim Perkis on "coding" and electronics presents six unusual spontaneous compositions of live trumpet, electronics and real-time manipulation, release by the Ubu, Incorporated project supporting experimental and electronic music. ... Click to View


Robert Cahen:
La nef des fous [VINYL] (Recollection GRM)

Electroacoustic composer Robert Cahen studied at ORTF and CNSM in Paris under Pierre Shaeffer, turning to video work in the 1970s and applying musique concrete concepts to moving image, these compositions recorded at the GRM studios between 1971 and 1974 showing his mastery over sound and his expressive ability to morph transitions through rich sonic detail. ... Click to View


Horacio Vaggione :
Schall / Rechant [VINYL] (Recollection GRM)

Specializing in micromontage, granular synthesis, and microsound, Argentinian-born and Paris-based electroacoustic composer Horacio Vaggione recorded these four compositions at at INA GRM in Paris between 1994 and 2002, each a fascinatingly detailed work illustrating his research into sound and compositions, with a stunning aesthetic for dramatically unfolding concepts. ... Click to View


Fully Celebrated Orchestra (Hobbs / Bynum / Ayers / Gray / Shanko):
Sob Story (Relative Pitch)

Picking up from their last album in 2005, Lapis Exilis, alto saxophonist Jim Hobb's Fully Celebrated Orchestra joyfully returns with a new set of lyrical Hobb's compositions, Timo Shanko still creating a solid bass foundation and Luther Gray taking Django Carranza's place, extending the band with AYCH member Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and Ian Ayers on guitar. ... Click to View


Reid / Edwards / Coudoux:
(Relative Pitch)

Three innovative cellists at the intersection of improvisation, contemporary compositional and experimental forms — Tomeka Reid from Chicago, Isidora Edwards from Chile and based in London, and Elisabeth Coudoux from Germany — meet in Wiesbaden to record these four multi-layered improvisations merging their unique perspectives with great concentrative expression. ... Click to View


Isabelle Duthoit / Franz Hautzinger:
Dans le Morvan (Relative Pitch)

French free vocalist Isabelle Duthoit and world traveling improviser and Zeitkratzer trumpeter Franz Hautzinger continue their collaborations at GMEA Centre National de Creation Musicale, in Albi, France to record these 11 unusual duos, using outrageous technique and inexplicable intent to create aberrant accompaniments to your most subtle and frightening dreams. ... Click to View


[ism] (Pat Thomas / Joel Grip / Aontonin Gerbal):
Maua (577 Records)

Recordings from the Berlin club Au Topsi Pohl where the [ism] piano trio of Pat Thomas on piano, Joel Grip on double bass and Antonin Gerbal on drums played 4-nights in a row, May 18-21, 2022, Thomas performing on a Bösendorfer grand piano, creating an omnipresent and precise sound that drove the band to great heights of interactive, warmly diverse playing. ... Click to View


Frank Denyer / Octandre Ensemble:
Screens (Another Timbre)

An exceptional collection of works by composer Frank Denyer written between 1973 and 2021, especially the monumental 5-part "Five Views of the Path", performed by the UK Octandre Ensemble led by composer Christian Mason and conductor Jon Hargreaves, which focuses on modern composers with an emphasis on works of timbre and ritual, Denyer's work being an ideal match. ... Click to View


Martin Arnold:
Flax (Another Timbre)

Commissioned in 2020 by pianist Philip Thomas, whose health prevented him from performing the work, Canadian composer Martin Arnold's 79-minute hypnotic solo work for piano emphasizes the keyboard's upper register in slow moving textural melodies influenced by innovative 50's & 60's bop pianists, performed in 2022 at the University of Huddersfield by pianist Kerry Yong. ... Click to View


Star City Survivor:
Wilderness (Soul City Sounds)

The follow-up to their debut album, Orbital Decay, finds guitarist Phil Venable and drummer Tommy Jackson delving deeper into their free duo referencing free jazz, ambient, no wave, and other forms of experimental and avant-garde music, their often turbulent dialog inspired by a desire to find hope in the world despite a contemporary period of death and injustice. ... Click to View


Tamarisk (Carter / Menestres / Weathers):
House of the People, Property is Theft (Editions Glomar)

The Tamarisk trio of bassist David Menestres, guitarist Andrew Weathers and vocalist Christina Carter (Charalambides) are heard live at Casa del Popolo, in Montreal and at PIT, in Brooklyn, New York, joined in Brooklyn by flutist Laura Cocks, each performance an extended journey between assertive, cathartic improvisation and introspective rumination. ... Click to View


Paquet X Landry:
Planter du sel (Tour de Bras)

Alternating between classical and electric guitars, Pascal Landry and Francois Paquet use a non-traditional broadcast system where the signal from their electric guitars is sent through materials selected by the musicians, creating unique tones and timbres, and providing an interesting visual aspect to their dialogs, captured here in the studio in Beauport, Quebec in 2021. ... Click to View


Terton (Belogenis / Dunn / Sawyer):
Outer, Inner, Secret (Tzadik)

In Tibetan Buddhism a terton is a person who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts or terma, an apt description of the masterful, exploratory free jazz heard in the New York City band Terton of Trevor Dunn on bass, Louie Belogenis on tenor & soprano saxophones and Ryan Sawyer on drums, in ten powerfully assertive studio improvisations. ... Click to View


Nate Wooley:
Moths (Editions Verde)

Nate Wooley's exquisite improvised composition begins with a musical gesture and four parameters of change from each player--harmonic motion, articulation, extension, & physicality--which directs their "flight" in its slowly evolving pace, creating a varying mosaic of sound, as beautifully rendered by Laura Cocks (flute), Madison Greenstone (clarinet) and Eric Wubbels (keys & voice). ... Click to View


DUOT & ZARM Ensemble (Cirera / Prats / Zingaro / Alves / Mitzlaff / Rosso):
DUOT with Strings (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

The DUOT pairing of Argentinian, Barcelona-based sax player Albert Cirera and Spanish drummer Ramón Prats is joined on their 6th album by the Portuguese string quartet ZARM Ensemble of Carlos Zingaro on violin, David Alves on violin, Ulrich Mitzlaf on cello and Alvaro Rosso on double bass for a dynamic concert at Igreja do Espírito Santo in Caldas Da Rainha, Portugal. ... Click to View


Vuoto Bersagli (Carlo Mascolo / Giacomo Mongelli / Pino Montecalvo):
Vuoto Bersagli (FMR)

A unique approach to improvisation, the Italian trio of Carlo Mascolo on trombone & no-input trombone, Giacomo Mongelli on drums & objects and Pino Montecalvo on trombone & toy junk, use a "Blind Instant Composition" approach to their live studio improvisations, where the players are unable to see each other, forcing close listening & response to their quirky and fascinating conversations. ... Click to View


Andrew Bazzicalupo :
The Ball I Threw Has Not Yet Reached The Ground (Tour de Bras)

Recording in the studio in Nice, France, guitarist Andrea Bazzicalupo's solo album is a collection of pieces, consisting exclusively of improvisations and instant creations, moving between sonic explorations, melodic textures, experimental material and spontaneous compositions, a well-paced collection of introspective and assertive explorations. ... Click to View


Hollow Deck:
Over East [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

Straddling quirky folk song and experimental sound collage, the long-running Western Massachusettes duo of fiddler, banjo player & singer Mia Friedman and clarinetist, wind player & sound artist Andy Allen (Guerilla Toss) present an album of observational songs with unusual perspectives and an anything goes approach to the music that surrounds each song; delightful. ... Click to View


Tom Djll:
Thistle (Soul On Rice)

Using analog computers that "require a lot of real-time intervention to flesh out their neurotic narratives", the typically trumpeter Tom Djll (Grosse Abfahrt) turns his attention to a series of prickly sound works of strange intention and direction, through fourteen works titled like a series of math equations mashed into a dictionary; good weird fun. ... Click to View


+DOG+:
To Share Forever With You (Love Earth Music)

Love Earth Music label leader and sound artist Steve Davis' +DOG+ project is joined by a cast of noise and sound artists--Bobby Almon, Chuck Foster, Edward Giles, Jack Szymczak, LOB, Mackenzie Kourie, Ron Karlin--for a mix of rich sonic assaults, collage constructions and possibly some live captures, in an interesting and well-produced collection of diverse approaches to sound. ... Click to View


T. Mikawa x Victoria Shen:
Personality Chrysler (Love Earth Music)

A duo recorded in Tokyo in 2019 as a live performance, and through remote collaboration on the internet, between NY sound artist Victoria Shen, who focuses her work on extreme textures and gestural tones, using "chaotic sound" to oppose signal and information to elude traditionally embedded meaning, and Japanese noisician Toshiji Mikawa of Hijokaidan & Incapacitants fame. ... Click to View


Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio (Fujii / Sugawa / Takemura):
Jet Black (Libra)

A trio of leaders in their own right performing pianist Satoko Fujii's demanding compositions, bassist Takashi Sugawa and drummer Ittetsu Takemura rise to the challenge in a set of six exciting works that push and pull this remarkable piano trio in unexpected directions, responding to the twists and turns of Fujii's intense and intricate directions; superlative! ... Click to View


Kaze (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Christian Pruvost / Peter Orins):
Unwritten (Circum-Libra / Libra)

The Kaze quartet of trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeter & flugelhorn player Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins, continues its avant-embracing and uniquely voiced project with this live performance at Lille, France, an episodic and spontaneously diverse set of three collective improvisations of intuitive, adventurous interaction. ... Click to View


Mats Gustafsson :
Hidros 9 Mirrors (Trost Records)

Forming his NU Ensemble in 1997 to merge free-jazz, improv, noise and contemporary forms, Mats Gustafsson presented Hidros One for 9 improvisers, tape & conductor that same year, progressing over 25 years to this 9th conduction of the Hidros concept in his largest ensemble yet: 25 musicians in two 9-piece ensembles plus soloists, captured live at the 2022 Avant Art Festival in Warsaw, Poland. ... Click to View



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  John Butcher / Eddie Prevost 
  High Laver Levitations Vol 1: Unearthed  
  (Matchless Records) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2024-02-12
John Butcher / Eddie Prevost: High Laver Levitations Vol 1: Unearthed (Matchless Records)

While he might well dispute it, for most listeners, Eddie Prévost's instrumental approach can be broadly divided into two areas: engagement with the musical philosophy developed by him and his colleagues in AMM and what might be described as a European free-jazz aesthetic. The latter was first heard on record during the period following the initial AMM break-up in the early 70s when Prévost and saxophonist Lou Gare formed AMM II and has surfaced periodically when he interacts with numerous members of the Euro (and US and elsewhere) free-jazz community. When in that "mode", for this listener, there's pretty much no drummer at his level. His ability to incorporate lessons from, among others, Max Roach and Ed Blackwell, into entirely new forms is astounding and his fluidity and imagination unmatched. A prime example of this is his solo feature on 'Blackheath Breakdown' from the 2008 recording on Matchless with Alexander von Schlippenbach, an amazing 20-minute journey that finds him firmly in a jazz tradition, yet utilizing some AMM-inspired approaches (such as sticking with one attack for 4-5 minutes) to generate wave upon wave of inspired playing. One could say John Butcher straddles a similar divide, if one not defined so starkly, ranging from more atmospheric, non-idiomatic approaches to ones more firmly grounded in the free jazz tradition as, for example, his collaborations with John Edwards and Mark Sanders.

As for the recording at hand, it's solidly in that free jazz framework and, as such, one of the very finest things in that vein I've heard in many years. Both musicians are at the absolute pinnacle of their game, all the more impressive in Prévost's case as he's been battling physical afflictions with regard to both his hearing and eyesight in recent times. And for those listeners wary of his (to some, not to me) possibly obsessive use of the bowed cymbal, you may rest easy; there's not a single example to be found herein. There's a whole lot of cymbal work, to be sure, in addition to the drum kit, including something of a concentration on the sock cymbal. Indeed, one is reminded of Roach's habit of opening concerts with a piece for solo sock cymbal.

We have three lengthy, free-wheeling performances. Describing them in detail would be a fool's errand but they're full of wonderful elasticity, of push and pull, of innumerable variations in dynamics, densities, timbres, rhythms and flights of imagination. Butcher's tone, on both soprano and tenor, is so rich and burnished, his flow of ideas ceaselessly swirling, but leaving so many inviting openings. And Prévost just fills the space so fully, with such spontaneously created structure and colors as to leave the listener's jaws agape. As heard often before, there's something Roach-like in his inherent melodicism, some over-riding concern with pitch that elevates his music well beyond technical prowess, into the ineffable. He also conjures up Blackwell's bubbling tom-tom work in places like the middle of the second cut, 'Digging'.

That pull between echoes of familiarity and forthright plunging into the unknown is just one of the things that makes Unearthed so rewarding, drawing the observer back again and again. Essential listening. The disc also comes with extensive and excellent liner notes from David Grundy.



John Butcher / Eddie Prevost: High Laver Levitations Vol 1: Unearthed
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


[ism] (
Pat Thomas/
Joel Grip/
Aontonin Gerbal):
Maua
(577 Records)



Frank Denyer/
Octandre Ensemble:
Screens
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Fully Celebrated Orchestra
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Bynum/
Ayers/
Gray/
Shanko):
Sob Story
(Relative Pitch)



Reid/
Edwards/
Coudoux:

(Relative Pitch)



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Belogenis/
Dunn/
Sawyer):
Outer, Inner, Secret
(Tzadik)



Nate Wooley:
Moths
(Editions Verde)



DUOT &
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Prats/
Zingaro/
Alves/
Mitzlaff/
Rosso):
DUOT with Strings
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Mirrors
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Peter Orins):
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Satoko Fujii
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Jet Black
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