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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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  Scott Clark 
  Dawn & Dusk  
  (Out of Your Head Records) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2024-04-11
Scott Clark: Dawn & Dusk (Out of Your Head Records)

Many animals are crepuscular, and dawn and dusk appeal to them and awaken their spirits. Something awakening is powerfully at work on this release titled Dawn & Dusk that quietly howls as the pack of musicians join forces to create a haunting group sound.

The members of the pack, led by drummer and composer Scott Clark, are comprised of Laura Ann Singh, vocals; Bob Miller, trumpet and flugelhorn; J.C. Kuhl, bass clarinet and tenor sax; Michael McNeill, piano; Adam Hopkins, bass. They present four pieces, "The Wind," "Dawn & Dusk," "Silent Singing," and "Above the Gray", recorded in a studio and subsequently the same four tracks presented in an undisclosed live setting, for a total of eight tracks. The duplication of the pieces, albeit with slightly altered feel and improvisations, keep the same spirit of calm — the kind of calm one associates with sunrises and sunsets, magical, liminal moments wherein the dramatic evidence of the earth's rotation, the movement of life in its multifarious forms are intimately apparent.

Adding to this transcendental or ethereal and spiritual effect are the lyrics penned by Clark and Singh. They are simple, lyrical phrases that propose some soul-guidance, conveying a message that is heightened by Singh's crystalline articulation, urging the listener to "Find peace in yourself/ Find love in the space between/The light within/ The pain in your eyes/The wind" (The Wind). The melismatic nature of the music is reminiscent of many a strain of world music, like flamenco singing, Sufi chant or shamanistic recitation, to name but a few. The effect is one of wrapping the listener in a warm blanket of sound, a heartfelt embrace. With its ostinato drone background melodic figures over which the drums improvise variations on the pulse and flow of the piece, the band works like a breathing organism.

This music bears a clear stamp of its composer, and comes across as pure song of subdued joy, something which at times resembles a precursor in the jazz repertoire, i.e. Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti" as recorded by the Miles Davis quartet way back, where the band repeats the melodic motif, while an exuberant Tony Williams pounds away on the drums in an outpouring of heart energy. Much of that same effect is here present in this soulful offering.



Scott Clark: Dawn & Dusk
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