Two works from English composer Michael Finnissy: "Choralvorspiele" for solo piano (Mark Knoop) in 8 parts, technically demanding choral preludes blending Norwegian and American melodies; and an 11-part work celebrating Hans Christian Andersen's lesser known paper cut-outs performed by Knoop and soprano Juliet Fraser, with texts from Andersen in German and English.
The core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra is Boston area PEK on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion, here expanded with Eric Dahlman on trumpet, whistles and game calls, and and Jim Warshauer on saxophone, in an incredibly diverse live performance at Outpost 186, in Cambridge, 2018.
The core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra--PEK on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion--is joined by fellow Orchestra violinist Mimi Rabson and special guest, violinist Elinor Speirs, for a remarkable improvised work using a huge arsenal of instruments including a new Brontosaurus Bell.
The largest ensemble of Boston-area David M. Peck's Leap of Faith collective using Peck's frame notation compositional method of written descriptions and graphic symbols to allow large ensembles to create major works without extensive rehearsing, accompanied by a 23 page booklet that illustrates that concept and details this 2018 Killian Hall, MIT, concert.
PEK and Yuri Zbitnov's working project exploring chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments using a wide range of sonorities, including gongs, chimes, glockenspiel, Tibetan Bowls and other metallic sounds and horns, plus accompaniment tracks, with special guests Bob Moores on trumpet and guitar and Eric Woods on analog synth and performing real time Signal Processing.
The Boston ensemble of unique instrumentation layering percussion, bowed and struck metal, synth, vibes and other percussive devices, whose core players are drawn from the Leap of Faith ensemble, is joined by Eric Woods on analog synth, along with two guitar players and Joel Simches on real time signal processing, allowing for an expanded palette of sound.
PEK and Yuri Zbitnov lead the Metal Chaos Ensemble, here in a septet rendering of this Boston-area free improvising group that embraces an impressive arsenal of percussive, electronic and acoustic instruments, using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation.
Swiss pianist and composer leads her Luzia von Wyl Ensemble, a 10 piece band orchestrated with piano, bass, drums, flute, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, cello, and marimba, in a series of original jazz pieces that embrace third-stream jazz and Middle Eastern modal melodies, her players taking on exceptional solo spots fueled by her sophisticated compositions.
French composer and producer Hector Zazou's 2nd and last release with a "most exquisite and eccentric of groups, who hardly touched the world of working bands, and whose existence was tenuous, flickering, mythological - and yet who managed, stealthily, to find its way in time to legendary status by leaving an indelible trace in recorded form of their verifiable existence."
Powerful electric jazz roots from the Norwegian quartet of Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on saxophone, Havard Nordberg Funderud on guitar, Karl Erik E. Horndalsveen on double bass, and Martin Mellem on drums, shredding inspirations from 60s electric Miles and Ornette, with a rock influenced rhythm section and electric guitar work driving great soloing.
Inspired by European improvisation, 60's NY-loft-avant-garde and Ethiopian jazz, Heaven, the Norwegian collaborative project of Danish saxophonist Henrik Pultz Melbye and Norwegian drummer Ole Mofjell, merge rhythmic and melodic realms, adding stretches of noise and non-idiomatic sounds, in fast-paced, highly-energetic, and highly-informed performances.
An all-star octet of Swedish improvisers is actually a double quaret with two reed players (Nordstrom & Ljugkvist), two brass players (Aleklint and Barno), two double bassists (Augustson and Zetterberg) and two drummers (Cantillo and Rundqvist), creating a powerful rhythmic foundation for a lyrical set of Nordstrom compositions and conductions.
Eleven new works from New York pianist Jacob Sacks in a quintet with some of NY's finest--Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, Tony Malaby on tenor & soprano saxophones, Michael Formanek on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums--referencing traditional jazz influences like Monk & Mingus with superbly creative soloing fostered by the freedom of Sack's compositions.
A profound sense of drama in free playing from the young collective trio of NY saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos with the establish partnership of Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Swedish bassist Torbjourn Zetterberg, in chamber-like jazz, informed by their musical background that spreads over a myriad of aesthetics, full of nuance and beautiful interplay.
Reacting to negative comments about Brazilian music, Sao Paulo-born double bassist Arthur Decloedt recruited saxophonist Filipe Nader to create a new, spontaneous and free-form take on Brazilian jazz, using pop songs as a jumping off point, with four vocalists and a five piece band creating compelling new and unusual hybrids of Brazil's rich, rhythmic and compelling music.
Rotterdam based band comprising two Portuguese players--Gonccalo Almeida on bass and Hugo Costa on sax--and German drummer Philipp Ernsting, the trio adding electronics, keys and effects, in their third album slamming hard free jazz and rock angst into a controlled chaos, a maelstrom of powerful riffs, rugged soloing, and mesmerizing grooves.
Sporting a strange sense of humor and blending rock and improvisation, instrumentally this Amsterdam is the duo of Raphael Vanoli on guitar, synth, & electronics and Gerri Jager on drums, synths, & electronics, with Sandor Caron providing sound design, here in an album of stylistic amalgamations of unexpected and upbeat rhythmic oddity and fun melodic inventiveness.
Drummer/percussionist, trombonist, pianist and importantly here, composer, Tyshawn Sorey in an amazing and ambitious work "Pillars", assembling an ensemble of virtuosic NY performers (Joe Morris, Todd Neufeld, Ben Gerstein, Stephen Hayes, Zach Rowden, Carl Test, Mark Helias) as he references Tibetan rituals, Stockhausen, and Anthony Braxton, and much more.
The French free improvising trio of pianist Cecile Cappozzo, double bassist Patrice Grente, and drummer Etienne Ziemniak are heard in performance at "la Maison en Bois" in Abbeville-la-Riviere in 2018, with trumpeter Jean-Luc Capozzo joining them on the title track, as they bring order to the 4 part "Chaos" through superb collective improvisation.
Two generations of improvisers--Valentin Ceccaldi on cello the senior, and the younger performer, David Chevallier on electric guitar and 6- and 12-stringed acoustic guitars--meet for the first time to intertwine strings in Nantes, France, with Benjamin Duboc recording seven diverse dialogs of imaginative style and authoritative technique.
Jean-Marc Foussat recorded the French improvising duo of electric guitairst Marc Ducret and double bassist Joelle Leandre at 19PaulFort in May, 2018, the title drawn from a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, as the two trade acoustic and electric string approaches in a sophisticated dialog of exceptional technique and inventive approaches; superb.
With a frontline of Jonathan Finlays on on trumpet, Steve Lehmanon alto saxophone and Brian Settles on tenor saxophone and flute, plus three members from Finlayson's band Sicilian Defense--Matt Mitchell on piano, John Hebert on bass and Craig Weinrib on drums--"3 Times" features intricate counterpoint, interlocking rhythmic complexity, gorgeous harmonies and strong melodies.
Pure William Parker in this solo album from 1998, as the New York double bassist presents 6 original works that demonstrate his skills as a composer, and his profound playing style, focused primarily on bowing with two pizzicato pieces, displaying an exceptional range of styles and emotions; the album cover is by Jeff Schlanger, painted during live recording of this music.
A series of inspired solo and duo performances from AMM founder, percussionist Eddie Prevost and free improvising saxophonist John Butcher, captured live at London's Iklectik in 2018, splitting the album between solo and duo work as the two morph their instruments into incredible sonic devices, with intense concentration and dialog nothing short of fantastic.
Recorded in 1976 at WBAI-FM/Free Music Store in New York, drummer percussionist Milford Graves goes head to head with two reedists, Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover, an absolute stunner of percussive momentum and force, drawing the reeds into a frenzy of unbridled free playing; issued with a 2nd CD of a private recording of Graves plus unpublished photos.
After working together on the theater production Das Fliegende Kind (The Flying Child), the trio of Mats Gustafsson, David Sandstrom (Refused), and Andreas Werliin (Fire!) recorded this 18 minute improvisation, a work of percussive force and rolling sax tone that builds to an explosive fury of sound, released on a stunning 1-sided picture disc.
Drawing on many collaborations, from Peter Brotzmann's large groups to Gustafsson's The Thing, this duo album recorded in 2008 is finally issued to unleash 1 blistering album of saxophone duos, Joe McPhee on altos sax, alto clarinet, pocket trumpet and voice, with Gustafsson on baritone and slide saxophone, alto fluteophone and live electronics; brace yourself!
Keeping this essential album in print, Corbett vs Dempsey reissues the saxophonist & pocket trumpeter's 1971 release on the CJR label alongside 3 bonus tracks, a smoking album titled for a poem by Amiri Baraka, captured live at Vassar College Urban Center for Black Studies with Mike Kull (piano), Tyrone Crabb (bass), Bruce Thompson (percussion) and Ernest Bostic (percussion).
From Philadelphia comes this exuberant album with its feet firmly planted in jazz tradition as the trio of pianist Brian Marsella, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Anway Marshall pay tribute to composer and pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali (1931-1980), an influence on Coltrane, Tyner, etc., with 7 Ali originals and a composition for Ali from Marsella.
The long-running collaboration of Paris pianist Benoit Delbecq and Netherlands-born, Boston-area saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra is joined by Boston drummer John Hollenbeck, the pianist and saxophonist also picking up electronics and bass synth as they improvise over 10 concepts of movement through texture and distinctive approaches to their instruments.
The classic piano trio gets Boston-area pianist Pandelis Karayorgis' take on lyrical free playing, recorded in an informal studio session as drummer Luther Gray and bassist Nate McBride run through a a set of mostly Karayorgis compositions plus two collective compositions, great modern jazz informed by a variety of projects each has collaborated on.
Contrasting his concurrent piano trio album with Nate McBride and Luther Gray, "Pools", "Cliff" is a first encounter between Boston-area pianist and composer Pandelis Karayorgis and drummer Eric Rosenthal with double bassist Damon Smith, recently migrated from the West Coast, as the three present a concentrative album of collective improvisation revealing three masterful players.
US Composer Sarah Hennies wrote these pieces for vibraphone for Lenka Novosedlíková to be performed at the church in Kyjatice, Slovokia, a medieval building the two discovered while traveling, and that they challenged each to bring life to the building while respecting it's contemplative character and using the psychoacoustic dimensions of space.
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.
Essentially a string trio, guitarist Brandon Seabrook's Trio with upright bassist Henry Fraser and cellist Daniel Levin is anything but typical string fair, blending improvisation with complex composition and rock sensibilities as one of New York's most unique downtown players takes listeners on a diverse and sometimes demented journey through genre and style.
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.
Leveraging influences in improvisation and contemporary compositional music, Belgian/Oslo pianist Jonas Cambien, a member of Simiskina and Platform, extends his own trio of saxophonist Andre Rolighete and drummer Andreas Wildhagen with trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen on 2 tracks, as they balance jazz, avant, free improv and other hybrid forms in a compellingly creative album.
Two guitarists with unique approaches to their instruments -- Paris-based Julen Depsrez and Lisbon-based Luis Lopes -- in an experimental album of evolving sound through extreme modification of guitar sound and sustain, mysteriously building their interactions from whispering sonics to growling harmonics, tightly controlled but bristling with complex energy.