4 compositions from violist/composers Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang, the 1st focusing on the mysterious compositions of Vedic-era composer Viola Torros, exploring monady, melody and harmony; the second, one composition each from Chang performed with the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, and from Lamb using the secondary rainbow synthesizer she developed with Bryan Eubanks.
Submerging the listener into the immediacy of pure perception through the economy of materials and atemporality, Catalan guitarist Ferran Fages presents the 3rd piece of his trilogy for guitar and sinteones, referencing Feldman, Lucier and Szlavnics as he specifies tunings for the guitar accompanied by pure resonating sinetones used as memory vehicles or shadows.
Works for solo piano by Mark R Taylor, beautifully played by Teodora Stepancic, the first CD release by a remarkable but neglected English composer whose piano works present a metrically rhythmicized exploration of a generative spectrum, here featuring works dating between 1979 and 2018 and performed by Serbian pianist Teodora Stepancic.
Two compositions, one by composer Michael Pisaro and performed by the electroacoustic ensemble "Ordinary Affects" including violinist Morgan Evans-Weiler, then an acoustic composition from Evans-Weiler himself performed with violin, clarinet, cello, harpsichord and piano; both exquisite works that draw out tone and time in patiently unfolding fluidity.
Very much in an AMM mold of electroacoustic improvisation, this album of intense cooperation and sonic depth presents five sections numbered by Roman numerals, performed in the studio by the adept and investigative quintet of Thanos Chrysakis on computer & synthesizers, Sue Lynch on reeds, James O'Sullivan on guitar, and Joe Wright on sax & dynamic feedback system.
Reuniting bassist Dave Holland with saxophonist Evan Parker, a longtime friend from their early days in London, and joined by Craig Taborn on piano and electronics, and Ches Smith on percussion, as the group performs as a quartet and also in a variety of permutations of duo and trio configurations, in a set of rich and informed dialogs of masterful skill.
A tour-de-force of solo improvisation from French trombonist Christiane Bopp, flawlessly captured by sound engineer Jean Marc Foussat, as Bopp transforms her instrument through technical skill, lyrical ability, and unusual technique, creating virtual duets, furtive expression, and thundering emotion, an absolutely impressive example of modern trombone language.
The third album from drummer Rudy Royston features his new chamber-like quintet featuring Gary Versace (accordion), John Ellis (woodwinds), Hank Roberts (cello) and Joe Martin (bass) playing music inspired by Royston's upbringing in Texas, lyrical and sophisticated modern jazz from a drummer frequently called upon by jazz masters Bill Frisell, JD Allen, or Dave Douglas.
Returning to his native Chicago after a stint in NYC, saxophonist Greg Ward (Tortoise) formed this new group with Matt Gold and Dave Miller (guitars & effects), Matt Ulery (bass), and Quin Kirchner (drums), recording this impressive album of modern jazz: lyrical, funky and perfectly paced, engaging but never indulgent, with unexpected compositional twists and turns.
The fourth release from Chicago bass clarinetist Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore, a trio with Jason Roebke on bass and New York drummer Mike Pride, playing modern creative jazz with a twisted melodic sense through Stein's original compositions, alongside one collective comoposition and John Coltrane's "26-2", a great example of 21st century jazz.
Uniting masterful players from across the East Coast into the Boston area, with Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, Boston native/Chicago-based bassist Nate McBride, DC drummer Luther Gray, North Carolina/Chicago-based trombonist Jeb Bishop, and Chicago guitarist Jeff Parker, in a strong album of lyrical free jazz with compositions from all five players.
The 2nd volume of Sound American's "New American Songbooks" turns from the 1st volume's group approach to the singular voices of 4 masterful pianists--Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruan Ortiz, and Matthew Shipp--as they interpret the music of traditional hymns, Carla Bley, filmaker/composer Ed Bland, and bandcamp era composers Ryan Power & Christopher Weisman.
NY Composer John Zorn and Dowtown luminary John Zorn's instrumental quartet of Trevor Dunn on bass, Kenny Grohowski on drums, Julian Lage on guitar, and Matt Hollenberg on guitar in their second album of fiery improvisation, focusing on the Salem Witch Trials of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692 through superlative playing and passionate improvisation; burning!
A quartet of creative improvisers from Montreal--Joane Hetu (sax and voice), Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba, harmonica), Emilie Mouchous (synth)--and from Germany--Carl Ludwig Hubsch (tuba)--blend conventional instruments with objects and profound techniques to create detailed and carefully controlled aural environments, enveloping the listener in rich, imaginative environments.
Composer/percussionist Danielle Palardy Roger's musical satire about capitalism, performed with some of Montreal's finest improvisers using conventional & unconventional instruments and voice, captured live at the Gesu Amphitheater, in Montreal in 2018: Michel F Cote, Andre Duchesne, Joane Hetu, Elizabeth Lima, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Alexander St-Onge, and Ida Toniato.
The meticulous and magnificently creative mind of wind player and composer Jean Derome used a 2010 Sudoko puzzle as a guide for his "Sudoko Pour Pygmees", presented alongside "7 Dances (for 15)" and "5 Thoughts (for hard rubber)", performed by an octet of Montreal mainstays including Pierre Tanguay, Pierre Cartier, Guido Del Fabbro, Bernard Falaise, &c.
Prepared piano and percussion from Ofer Pelz and Preston Beebe, the percussionist using a diverse set of approaches to drums, cymbals and devices, blurring the sonic distinctions with Israeli-born Montreal-based pianist Ofer Pelz, whose preparations transform the piano in remarkable ways as the two focus on time, texture, space, and ambiance through seven fascinating improvisations.
The counterpart to Montreal bass clarinetist Lori Freedman's album "Excess" of recordings from her 11-city North American solo tour "The Virtuosity of Excess", this CD "Solor" was developed after that tour allowing Freedman to focus on her past and current creative work, presenting 5 of her solo compositions, 3 of which were written for the album, plus two improvisations.
A fun, odd and eccentric album constructed from extracts of hours of tape reels and audio cassettes by Montreal turntablist Martin Tetrault, a mix of plunderphonic sources, unusual turntable technique, and experimental audio collage drawn from an insanely diverse set of sources, in this sequel to his 1992 "Snipettes!" cassette, here with 31 new fascinating miniatures.
Legendary UK drummer Roger Turner and Canadian guitarist Arthur Bull, seasoned improvisers since the 70s and already working as a duo, joined with Montreal trombonist Scott Thomson during Thomson's 2017 residency in Halifax through suddenlyListen, touring and recording this album of propulsive and dynamic creative improvisation during their 2018 tour of Eastern Canada.
The Montreal free improvising, experimenting duo "Not The Music" of bassist Eric Norman & bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier invited UK saxophonist John Butcher for concerts in Ottawa and Montreal, recording the two impressive 5-part series heard on this album--"en consequence" (consequently) and "par irruption" (by bursting), of masterful and profoundly pensive prowess.
Using voice, kick drum, electronics with immersive spatialization, and bass clarinet, Lori Freedman presents an exhilarating and impressive live performance at Montreal's Studio 270, exploring the beauty of extremes, her playing and incredible sense of timing the culmination of her 11-city North American tour titled "The Virtuosity of Excess"; absolutely impressive.
The Montreal string quartet Quatuor Bozzini of Alissa Cheung on violin, Clemens Merkel on violin, Stephanie Bozzini on viola, and Isabelle Bozzini on cello is extended with double bassist Pierre-Alexandre Maranda as they perform composer Simon Martin's work of long tones and timbres, exploring the nature and philosophy of sound, and our relationship to it.
Montreal's Bozzini Quartet of Clemens Merkel (violin), Alissa Cheung (violin), Stephanie Bozzini (viola), and Isabelle Bozzini (cello) perform two Phil Niblock orchestral works exploring overtone patterns in acoustic instruments: "Disseminate" (1998) and "Baobab" (2011), which Niblock adapted for the quartet by arranging multiple tracks that are mixed into the final work.
An extremely intimate album of solo saxophone improvisation from Chicago tenor saxophonist, improviser, and composer Gerrit Hatcher, known for his work with Mars Williams, Julian Kirshner, &c., in his second solo album, playing music that can be embraced and understood, sharing his vulnerabilities and conviction alongside his strength on the horn.
Berlin double bassist Mathias Bauer, a member of Unitedberlin, Asian Art, Junge Music and mosaik, and half of the duo Alchimia Organica, presents a series of 18 solid and diverse spontaneous improvisations, most averaging under 3 minutes, captivating the listener through articulate momentum, exceptional technique, and inventive narrative.
German saxophonist and leader of the Salon for Klang + Kunst started the Improx, or "The X for the Unknown and the Unheard" with Gunnar Geisse, here in the third edition of the series with Swiss free improvising vocalist Franziska Baumann, captured live at two performances in 2018 in Germany & Switzerland, for unusual, quick-witted and innovative interchanges.
"3 Phases", or 3 aspects of the approach that violist Ernesto Rodrigues applies to improvisation, in 3 different groupings over 3 different concerts at O'Culto da Ajuda, in Lisbon, here in an electroacoustic ensemble with Miguel Mira, Guilherme Rodrigues, Joao Silva, Eduardo Chagas, Paulo Curado, Noel Taylor, Miguel Almeida, Andre Holzer, Andre Hencleeday, Carlos Santos, and Joao Valinho.
The 8-limbed creature that is Creative Source's Octopus presents their 3rd album of diaphanous improvisation, using two reeds (clarinet & tenor sax), trumpet, resonator guitar, viola, double bass, snare drums and electronics, as they slowly prowl in subaqueous and subtle improvisation of powerful technique, cautiously moving with rich details and deft direction.
German violinist & composer Dietrich Petzold joins violist Ernesto Rodrigues and cellist Guilherme Rodrigues, Petzold also bringing along a viola, clavichord and bowed metal objects, as the three perform live at SKUC Gallery, in Ljubljana, Slovenia for the 6 improvisations that build from languid tonal environments to detailed, rapid improv, all with remarkable control and patience.
"3 Phases", or different aspects of the approach that violist Ernesto Rodrigues applies to improvisation, in three different groupings over three different days, all live at O'Culto da Ajuda, in Lisbon, Portugal in 2018, here in an ea-improv setting with Albert Cirera on tenor saxophone, Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano, & Carlos Santos on field recordings & sine waves.
"3 Phases", or different aspects of the approach that violist Ernesto Rodrigues applies to improvisation, in three different groupings over three different days, all live at O'Culto da Ajuda, in Lisbon, Portugal in 2018, here in an acoustic sax trio with strings, with Bruno Parrinha on soprano, Nuno Torres on alto, Paulo Galao on tenor sax.
Recorded on New Years Eve in Sintra in the Penedo region of Portugal, three strings--viola from Ernesto Rodrigues, cello from Guilherme Rodrigues, and a second cello from Miguel Mira--are joined by Carlos Santos on electronics for three extended and richly detailed improvisations, active yet concentratively controlled, using impressive and extended techniques.
A live performance at Galeria Monumental, in Lisbon of diverse textures, extended techniques, and intent listening from the free improvising septet of Ernesto Rodrigues (viola), Joao Silva (trumpet), Paulo Curado (flute), Bruno Parrinha (alto sax & bass clarinet), Miguel Almeida (classical guitar), Carlos Santos (computer & synth), and Joao Valinho (snare drum & objects).
Recording in Germany, Creative Source's two Rodrigues'--Ernesto on viola and Guilherme on cello--along with double bassist Klaus Kurvers, celebrate legendary improvising cellist Tristan Honsinger's birthday in this studio album of active playing with a chamber quartet feeling through superb technical skills yielding electrifying string improvisation.
Eleven instrumental works with each piece based on and emulating the sound characteristics of blackbirds, such as "whistling", "squealing", or "flutes", captured in a live concert at multi-reedist Udo Schindler's Salon fur Klang+Kunst in Krailling in Berlin, from the duo of Schindler and long-time musical collaborator, violinist Georges-Emmanuel Schneider, also on live electronics.
An album of free improvisation from the Bulgarian trio of Jivko Bratanov on piano, Vasil Hajigrudev on double bass, and Georgi Angelov on percussion, obliquely referencing the jazz tradition while steering from idiomatic tendencies, pushing themselves through dialog that emphasizes unusual sounds through technique, with a strong percussive element from all players.
Four voices--Norbert Zajac, Brigitte Kupper, Gala Hummel, Iouri Grankin--sing and speak over the piano work of Russian improviser Andrei Razin in a moody and often startling album that set tonal environments or disorient the listener through constrasting layers of vocalization, as Razin darts among them or sets an atmosphere of lingering tones; often curious, frequently stunning.
Guitarist Henk Zwerver leads this collective free improvising band in their second release, now extended to a septet with the addition of Salvoandrea Lucifero on trombone, joining Zwerver: Ziv Taubenfeld on bass clarinet, Luis Vicente on trumpet, Nico Chientaroli on piano, Raoul ven der Weide on double bass, objects, and George Hadow on drums.
John Cage wrote his "Number Pieces" in the last years of his life, using his time bracket technique of short fragments allowing the performer flexibility in interpretation; each piece is titled for the number of performers and its ordinal position in the series, and most pieces are dedicated to a musician; here pianist Guy Vandromme performs three of the "One", or solo, series.
The 2nd part of a trilogy for guitar and sinetones composed between 2015-18, alongside "What Might Occur (Rereadings of Triadic Memories by Morton Feldman for guitar and sinewaves)" (2015-17) and "Un Lloc Entre Dos Records" (2017); this work, originally written in 2016, and revised in 2018, is heard in a recording at GMEA, France, with guitarist Benjamin Maumus.
Two works for solo piano from composer Tom Johnson and performed by Keiko Shichijo; "Spaces" was written after his teacher, Morton Feldman, helped Johnson elucidate his voice as a composer through a study of chords; "An Hour for Piano" was written in 1971 based on a series of short, improvisatory sketches written for modern dance, merged and expanded to exactly one hour.
Two clarinetists--John McCowen, also the composer, and Madison Greenstone, both on clarinet & bass clarinet--taking the title from Boethius' (427-524 AD) printed work on ancient Greek music: "De institutione musica", as they generate long-form drones using the harmonic interactions and interference patterns of similar tones, overtones, and difference tones; impressively intense.
A beautiful rendering of French composer Eric Satie's 1918 masterwork "Socrate", originally for four sopranos and chamber orchestra, here stripped to its essence as a duo with Olalla Aleman on soprano and Guy Vandromme on piano, maintaining Satie's characterist reserve and refinement in the 3 parts: "portrait of socrates"; "banks of the ilissus"; and "death of socrates".
An adaptation from "Sileen", a composition commissioned by Musica For The Festival Oortreders at Neerpelt, Belgium, 2016 performed with 50 members of a local music school; "Sileen II" was realized with only Gareth Davis on bass clarinet plus sounds from Machinefabriek, recorded in the same pitch and tempo as "Sileen', then slowed to half its speed and one octave lower.
Looking back and fondly imagining some of the locations and configuration that UK guitarist Ian Brighton played in the 70s, Brighton developed the pieces on this album, each compositions varying the personnel from life-long partners (Taylor, Wachsmann, Mattos) to musicians Brighton has performed with since his 2016 return to improvisation (Carrier, Beresford, Metcalfe).
Reissuing the 1977 album from UK guitarist Ian Brighton, written as an instrumental story for children, apparently very sophisticated children, in a mix of composed and freely improvised passages, using non-idiomatic approaches with unusual and extended techniques, open atmospheric passages and strange transitions, a peculiar and wonderful album of imaginative playing.
Two saxophones take the front line in Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album, the leader on tenor saxophone with fellow tenor player Julian Siegel, also on bass clarinet, while Mark Sanders drums and Percy Pursglove handles bass and also trumpet, as the band falls into a hard bop mode, weaving lines together over wonderfully turbulent and soulful grooves; outstanding.
Paul Dunmall's 2018 studio album in a quartet with James Owston on bass, Jim Bashford on drums, Philip Gibbs on guitar, and Dunmall on tenor saxophone, Gibbs's hollow-body opening up the band sound as Owston and Bashford trade rapid responses or provide solid grooves, the themes of the dialogs focused on space and time through intricate, complex and profound interaction.
Scottland's large improvising ensemble of around 20 musicians, merging backgrounds in free improvisation, jazz, classical, folk, pop, experimental musics and performance art, in a 2-CD release of a piece commissioned by the BBC and featuring pianist Marilyn Crispell and saxophist Evan Parker, written using graphic scores, through composition, photographs and artwork.
Recorded in 1989 and only now released, this studio album includes Pat Thomas on keys & electronics in a sextet with guitar & bass, synth, turntables, electronic wind instruments, drum machines, samplers, &c., merging ea-improv approaches with disruptively odd asides, fragmented voices, and swelling interventions, making something otherworldly out of then-revelatory technology.
A persuasive album of lyrical groove-based electric free improv from the Hungarian quintet of Daniel Vaczi on saxophones & piano, Balazs Horvath on double bass, Zsolt Sarvari Kovacs on drums, Marton Fenyvesi on electric guitar & effects and Aved Janos on saxophones, Vaczi also programming the Budapest Music Center's player piano in unusual ways for the 3-art "Fabula".
Each track on this album is named for a tractor brand (Eicher, Kubota, &c.) and the liner notes are directions regarding a tractor's maintenance, as the ea-trio of UK improvisers Pat Thomas on piano & electronics, Dominic Lash on double bass, and Lawrence Casserley on a signal processing instrument provide 10 inventive improvisations that validate a sound working condition.
A magnificent tribute to the music of Carla Bley in 12 arrangements of Bley's early songbook, performed by a trio led by Finnish pianist and band leader Iro Haarla, with long-time associate Ulf Krokfors on double bass and free jazz legend and Bley associate, drummer Barry Altschul, in a heartfelt, lyrical and refined approach to Bley's elegant compositions.
The long-running association of Chicago legends, trombonist George Lewis and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, are recorded live at CTM Festival at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, in Berlin in 2018, accompanied by Lewis' laptop adding a third voice that responds and generates textural and rhythmic accompaniment in response to the playing of both improvisers; impressive and exotic.
Collecting three pieces from composer Phil Niblock written in the '70s and early '80s, performed by cellist David Gibson, each a long-form acoustic drone with a focus on rhythms and overtones that rise from closely tuned instruments, Gibson's highly focused playing heard in multiple layers of differing scores to create each pieces hallucinatory effect; play loud!
The complete performance of alto saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp's concert at L'Archiduc, in Brussels, Belgium in 2017, two extended sets that reveal the intimate conversations between the two New Yorker's styles, in beautiful phrasing, extended expressions, and impressive mastery, as they merge free playing with innate lyricism.
An absolutely impressive example of collective free improvisation as the quartet of Japanese jazz masters Takashi Seo on acoustic bass and Akira Sakata on alto saxophone, clarinet, vocals, and percussion meet Australian Darren Moore on drums & percussion, and Russian Simon Nabatov on piano for an extended 6-part live set at Chiba's "Jazzspot" Candy.
Starting with their 1994 "Critical Mass" album, and as a follow-up to pianist Matthew Shipp and violist Mat Maneri's initial duo on Hatology, "Gravitational Systems", the collaboration of pianist Matthew Shipp and violist Mat Maneri expands with this 13-part "Conference", in a freely improvised and empathetic music of force and fragile sophistication; beautiful.