Trumpeter Amir ElSaffar and his quintet expand the sonic possibilities of jazz by building on the modal music of the Iraqi maqam, adding a microtonal harmonic and melodic language influenced by the pitch-flexibility of Middle Eastern music.
Yusef Lateef provides solo saxophone accompaniment to authors Nicolas Humbert and Marc Parisotto's short stories and poems, using the music Lateef had played during the shooting of the film "Brother Yusef".
With his new trio with bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Damion Reid, saxophonist Lehman combines his own original compositions with a full program of works by jazz legends like John Coltrane and Jackie McLean.
A project about the rich jazz history of Brooklyn, NY, recorded in that burrough by NY saxophonist Joe McPhee & bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, referencing Putnam Central, The Blue Coronet, Sonny Rollins, and Brooklyn itself.
NY trumpeter Nate Wooley and Portugal's Red Trio (Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernani Faustino & Gabriel Ferrandini), recorded after their live performance at the 2010 Clean Feed Festival in NYC; powerful and thought-provoking modern improvisation.
10 compositions from drummer Tyshawn Sorey's creative quartet/quintet repertoire "41 Compositions", created as a series of platforms for improvisation, here performed with Loren Stillman, Todd Neufeld, John Escreet & Chris Tordini.
An improvisation for two laptop computers performed by Tim Blechmann and Klaus Filip, recorded live in Vienna at "neue musik in st ruprecht", 2010, contrasting minimal tones with massive bass rumble and frothing frequencies.
The duo of Liz Allbee on trumpet and Anthea Caddy on cello in beautifully paced, mysterious improvisations using a minimal approach of extended and often disconcerting techniques augmented with subtle electroacoustic touches.
Roman philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus named "Clinamen" the unpredictable (in time and space) swerve of atoms falling in the void, which aptly describes the unexpected directions taken in subtle free improvisation from this French trio, led by bassist Louis-Michel Marion, with Jacques Di Donato on clarinet, and Philippe Berger on viola.
A co-production between BeCoq Records and Creative Sources, the quartet of saxophonist Mathhiew Lebrun with 3 guitarists--Leo Rathier, Paul Menard, and Thomas Coquelet--use preparations, feedbacks, glass, cymbals, microswitches, and unusual sax techniques to create unusual sonic environments that ebb and flow in introspective and disquieting ways.
Rafael Toral's Space Program, post-free jazz electronic music, is made manifest in this duo between the electronicist and drummer Davu Seru, performing live in Minneapolis during Toral's 2011 tour of the US.
Two basses and a lower-end saxophone from the trio of Damon Smith on double bass, Andrew Durham on electric bass, and Danny Kamins on baritone sax, Durham also adding effects and "Radio Manipulation" to their deep sound, Durham & Kamins the core of CARL with Damon Smith adding extra underpinnings to their slowly developing, sometimes pensive, sometimes cantankerous, profound improvisation.
Recorded live at Silence Sounds in Guelph Canada, the duo of Xavier Charles on clarinet and Eric Normand on electric bass & objects eschew idiom in favor of their unique natural language on their instruments, applying patient development of truly idiosyncratic and fascinating command through a single extended work punctuated in seven diverse passages.
A beautiful solo set of 12 improvisations, Michael Attias performing on alto sax with his left hand and piano with his right, captured in the natural reverberation of La Maison en Bois in Abeville-La-Riviere, France; surprisingly his 1st solo album, developed over 12 years yet played in under an hour with no retakes, a wonderful nuanced reflection in tone, melody & color.
A beautifully hypnotic album of saxophone, accompanied by Pan-Ney, Shruti Box and Organ, recorded in overdubs by composer/wind player Werner Durand in this 2nd chapter of his trilogy focused on the Pan-Ney, a self-built instrument for repetitive foundations, as Durand draws on elements of nature, mythology, dance, religion, literature and folklore.
Toronto-area saxophonist Colin Fisher, best known for his group I Have Eaten The City, with his collective quartet of NY players Daniel Carter on tenor, alto & soprano saxophones + clarinet & flute, Brandon Lopez on upright bass, and Marc Edwards on drums & percussion, for three extended and exploratory improvisations of exemplary creative insight.
Recording in Toronto, the core trio of drummer Nick Fraser, saxophonist Tony Malaby and pianist Kris Davis are joined on four tracks by tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trumpeter Lina Allemano, in an album of composed and collective improvisation, merging Toronto, NY and European influences in an accomplished album of diverse approaches and orchestrations.
An extended and rich confluence of strings from R Keenan Lawler and John Krausbauer, using resonator guitar and banjo, sustained tones that intertwine in a beautiful and optimistic drone, minimalistic yet drenched in a profusion of harmonic detail; a beautiful and elusive dream mixing between an Indian raga and an alien electronic environment.
Recorded in the mid-90s, Livebatts! was a project of John White (Cornelius Cardew, Scratch Orchestra) developed to exploit "toy" keyboards of the 80s--cheap battery-driven instruments that hold tremendous potential for "serious" music-making--used here in a playful quartet with vocalist MJ Coldiron, Andrea Rocca (guitar & samples) and Nancy Ruffer (electrified flute).
An excellent first meeting of two guitarists recording on a February afternoon and released in the sequence recorded with no edits or changes, from Jim McAuley on guitar and Scot Ray on lap steel slide guitar with effects, an innately lyrical blending of styles masking the strong technical skills and long histories of these two superlative players.
Quietly lurking as it prepares to attack, this Kobra is the free improvising quaret of Aurora Nealand on accordion, alto saxophone, voice & objects, Steve Marquette on acoustic & electric guitars, Anton Hatwich on bass, and Paul Thibodeaux on drums, captured live at Chicago's Hungry Brain during the Instigation Festival for a mysterious 2-part "New Omens" and some "Telly Attire".
'Spilla' means 'to play' in the language of Neapolitan musicians, and playing here are NY guitarist and composer Elliott Sharp and Italian guitarist Sergio Sorrentino, presenting world premier recordings of 4 works recorded live in Vercelli, Italy: two improvisations and two graphic scores performed on electric guitar with incredible technique and passion.
Stochastic music for percussion and synthesizers from New York avant conceptualist and keyboardist Charlemagne Palestine, here on piano & electronics, with the Italian duo Trrma' of Giovanni Todisco on percussion and Guiseppe Candiano on synth, in two side-long works of irregular rhythm, complexity and dissonance that build and recede in a suspenseful journey.
While both improvisers were in New York City for the 2019 Vision Festival, multi-reedist and European Free Improv legend Peter Brötzmann met Chicago cellist and electronics artist Fred Lonberg-Holm to record their 3rd album together, their 1st album in the studio a diverse set of incredible concentration, with Brötzmann performing on tenor saxophone, woodwind, and clarinet.
A momentous 2020 concert at London's Cafe OTO, presented in two discs, the 1st with label leader Jean-Marc Foussat in a solo improvisation on synth and voice, the 2nd in a trio with Daunik Lazro on tenor & baritone sax, and Evan Parker on soprano sax, the 2 saxophones weaving and responding to Foussat's remarkable alien soundscapes and vocalization in an immersive extended improvisation.
Having played together in a variety of settings, but never as a trio, saxophonist Sabir Mateen, clarinetist Patrick Holmes and drummer Federico Ughi met in a recording studio in Tuscany, Italy to record this album of wide-ranging free improvisation, Mateen's Farfisa playing and vocal declamations bringing a Sun Ra element to the vehement and profound dialog.
Trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez merges his Yells at Eel project with bassist Aaron Gonzalez and drummer/percussionist Stefan Gonzalez, with Texas-based experimental rock band Pinkish Black--Daron Beck on keyboards and Jon Teague on drums & synthesizers--for a gripping and masterful hybrid of improvisation, dark synthetic rock and heavy moods; a riveting journey.
Exploring the lineage of the Dukes of Bedford, the Russell lineage in Bedford, England, in groupings of acoustic & electric guitarists John Russell, Ray Russell, and Henry Kaiser along with double bassist Ollie Brice, from duos to quartets, eight Duke "Russells" from 1680 to 2003 are explored through intricate and joyfully creative and technically amazing string improvisations.
Taking his title from a poem by Octavio Paz with titles from translations by Lysander Kemp of other Octavio Paz poems, this solo album from double bassist Damon Smith is his definitive statement on the instrument: 23 tracks from 46 seconds to 5 minutes 50, developed over 15 years and displaying Smith's incredible technique and creative intent; incomparable.