Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's sextet is actually two trios interacting, with fellow drummer Gerald Cleaver, both Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook on guitar, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and Ralph Alessi on trumpet, the pairings forming unisons and contrasts that add an unrestrained sense of enthusiasm and excitement to Fujiwara's sophisticated compositions.
Mary Halvorson continues her string of excellent modern jazz albums with this octet release with fellow guitarist Susan Alcorn, Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon & Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Jacob Garchik (trombone), John Hebert (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).
Percussionist and electronics artist Matt Weston (Arthur Brooks Ensemble V, Arc Pair) in a 7" release showcasing his playing skills over his own notation systems employing additional dimensions of pre-and post-gestural strategies, using written standard notation and visual cues based on multiple and simultaneous, graphic scores.
The saxophone-heavy UK improvising band Remote Viewers returns to a trio format, with founders David Petts on tenor sax and Adrian Northover on soprano sax, plus John Edwards on double bass, as the stripped-down band employs signature harmonic territory and compositional approaches, making this a distinctively concentrated and welcome Remote Viewers album.
Sidney Bechet referred to fellow musician as "musicianers", the title for New York baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton's trio with Jason Ajemian on acoustic bass and Chad Taylor on drums and percussion, in an outstandingly creative and compelling album of modern jazz showing the strong links between these three, dating back to their work together in Chicago in the 80s.
New York reedist Josh Sinton takes the contrabass clarinet on a wild ride, performing live with no overdubs, using clip-on mics, a mixing board, a sans amp box, a volume pedal, and a bass amp, as he explores sonic possibilities and unexpected directions for this big reed instrument in his quest to redefine the old Slavic word for beauty or splendor: krasa.
An essential retrospective of UK saxophonist and flutist George Khan's long career featuring 4 concerts: a 1980 duo with People Band percussionist Terry Day; a 1968 quintet with Peter Lemer (piano), Albert Kovitz (clarinet), Frank Flowers (double bass) and Terry Day; in 1975 with Terry Day and bassist Charlie Hart; and solo in London around 2005 at Mopomoso.
After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways.
With humorous titles referencing everything from Sun Ra to Donald Trump, Italian drummer Francesco Cusa's quartet with Carlo Atti (sax), Simone Graziano (piano) and Gabriele Evangelista (bass), reimagine the concepts of traditional jazz standards and formats into contemporatry approaches of composition and playing, in a serious and lyrical album of modern creative jazz.
Mixing free jazz and and open-minded collective improv using unusual techniques from Argentinian-born, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Ada Rave and her trio with German prepared guitarist Nicola L. Hein and Netherland bassist Wilbert De Joode, blending lyrical formats as she seeks new paths in the combination of written composition and spontaneous improvisation.
The 4th volumes of this remarkable set of "basement sessions" from the Swedish trio of Espen Aalberg on drums & percussion, Jonas Kullhammar on saxophone & flute, and Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass, joined by Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, for a beautiful album of free hard bop, encompassing spiritual and ritual aspects of gamelan music in a unique and wonderful album.
Toronto drummer Nick Fraser leads the quartet of Tony Malaby on saxophones, Andrew Downing on cellos, and Rob Clutton on bass in their 3rd album together, presenting 6 Fraser original compositions, using both string players to create unique harmonic environments over which they combine lyrical and contemporary approaches to jazz and improv.
Communion is Portuguese drummer and composer Joao Lencastre's project to bring musicians from the American and international jazz scenes together, here in his 3rd release presenting a piano trio with two New Yorkers--pianist Jacob Sack and Norwegian bassist living in New York, Eivind Opsvik--for 3 Lencastre compositions, 1 Ornette Coleman piece, and 6 collective compositions.
A beautifully complex album of resonant improvisation from Swazi born trumpeter Yaw Tembe, who is committed to bring Africa to the Portuguese free music scene, Yaw, along with Paris veteran percussionist/objects manipulator Monsieur Trinitee, blend patient sonic environments with percussive platforms and both meditative and scrabbly trumpet work; an absorbing release.
"Autres Paysages" or "Other Landscapes" pins the description on the rich, turbulent, and mesmerizing music this trio creates, with French violist Joao Camoes and Jean-Marc Foussat on the EMS Synthi AKS collaborating for their 3rd album, joined by trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo, as acoustics and electronics subsume and survive seamlessly in an inspired set of recordings.
The duo of Brooklyn electronics, field recording, bass guitar and french horn artists Billy Gomberg and Anne Guthrie, using musical and abstract sounds to create something between the concrete textures of field recording and spontaneous composition, presenting restrained yet detailed sound that engages the listener through transition and mystery.
A CD intended to sell at concerts from Mars Williams' own Soul What Records label, a studio recording in 2012 from the powerhouse trio of Chicago multi-reedist Mars Williams, in-demand Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, and Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, running the gamut from furious blowing to introspective interaction.
An impressive triple-CD box with recordings of some late works by John Cage, including "Seventy-Four for Orchestra, 1992", "103 for Orchestra, 1991, part 1 & 2", In a Landscape fur Harfe", "Postcard From Heaven fur Eine Bis Zwanzig Harfen", and some of "The Harmony of Maine"; including a 32 page booklet with photos and liner notes by Jakob Ullmann.
An exceptional free improvising quintet of Montreal & Quebec improvisers--bassist Eric Normand, drummer Michel F. Cote, and bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier--with French clarinetist Xavier Charles and German trumpeter Franz Hautzinger, performing live during the 2016 Festival de Musique de Creation, creating fascinating commotion with incredible restraint.
Quebec improvisers Pierre-Yves Martel on Viola da Gamba, objects, and feedback, Eric Normand on electric bass and snare drum, are joined by Berlin pianist Magda Mayas for two extended works of free improvisation, manipulating and contorting strings with an electroacoustic edge, dark ruminations of exquisite detail, patience, and adroit interaction.
Four psychedelic blues and rock tracks from Japan's Acid Mothers Temple led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto, with vocalist Cotton Casino, synth guru Higashi Hiroshi, guitarist Mitsuru Tabata, drummer Satoshima Nani, and S/T Wold on tape, space and time, informed and psych-referencing music that slowly builds into intricate and explosive inner headspaces.
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.
Recorded in 1975 at the Swiss Willisau Jazz Festival, Joe McPhee's trio with John Synder on synth and Makaya Ntshoko on drums, and McPhee on tenor and sopranox sax, was Hat Hut's 2nd release and has been out of print since; Corbett vs. Dempsey asked McPhee what unavailable album he'd like to see in print, and this suberb album was his first choice.
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.
A split 7" release between Cremaster (Alfredo Costa Monteiro (electronics) and Ferran Fages (feedback mixing board and electroacoustic devices); and the Komora A trio of Karol Koszniec (electronics), Dominik Kowalczyk (laptop) and Jakub Mikolajczyk (modular synth).
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.
German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Vancouver pianist Kris Davis, both living and working in NY, and having worked together in a variety of groups including Laubrock's Anti-House, a trio with drummer Tyshawn Sorey, Tom Rainey's Obligatto, &c. &c., concentrate their sophisticated playing with this duo album of 7 original compositions and 2 free improvisations.
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.
Using hard bop as his jumping off point, Swiss saxophonist Omri Ziegele Tomorrow Trio with Christian Weber on bass and Han Bennink on drums--musicians who have toured and performed together over years--went into the studio hot off of a 13 day tour to record these 6 Ziegele original compositions, lyrically balanced with room for exemplary soloing and group interplay.