The 2nd of NI-VU-NI-CONNU's 5-LP John Butcher series, the duo of pianist Sophie Agnel and soprano & tenor saxophonist John Butcher is informed by previous collaborations as a duo and in a trio with cellist Márkos Albert, here in a superb 2019 concert of balanced tension and intense interaction captured at Ausland in Berlin, a meeting of two perfectly matched improvisers.
The first of NI-VU-NI-CONNU's 5-LP John Butcher series, presenting concerts from 2019 in Berlin and Leipzig of acoustic free improvisation fueled by incredible technique, extreme concentration and open-minded approaches to free interaction, from the trio of Burkhard Beins on percussion, John Butcher on tenor & soprano saxophones and Werner Dafeldecker on double bass.
First meetings between British pianist Matthew Bourne and Norwegian drummer Emil Karlsen, two intrepid and like-minded improvisers using unusual techniques, preparations, inside playing and unusual percussive sources that fuel technically superb performances from both musicians, heard in six improvisations informed by masterful skill and creative drive.
The 5th of NI-VU-NI-CONNU's 5-LP John Butcher series and part of a 2 night residency at ausland in Berlin coinciding with his 65th birthday, tenor & soprano saxophonist John Butcher is joined by the long-running duo Spill of pianist Magda Mayas and drummer Tony Buck (The Necks) for two extended works of evolving, absorbing introspection and eruption.
The 3rd of NI-VU-NI-CONNU's 5-LP John Butcher series and part of a 2 night residency at ausland in Berlin coinciding with his 65th birthday, the long-running trio of tenor & soprano saxophonist John Butcher with Thomas Lehn on synthesizer and Gino Robair on percussion, Blipoo Box & found objects perform four perfectly complementary and startling improvisations.
An unusual conglomerate of styles across 2 CDs from bassist Moppa Elliott, featuring three bands: Advancing on a Wild Pitch, his jazz band with Danny Fox, Christian Coleman, Sam Kulik & Charles Evans; Unspeakable Garbage, his rock band with Jon Irabagon and Nick Millevoi; and the 9-piece "dance" band Acceleration Due To Gravity with Nate Wooley, Ava Mendoza, Mike Pride, &c.
After a few years of working, touring and one-off performances in New York City with Mazz Swift (violin & voice), Ron Stabinsky (synthesizers) and Levy Lorenzo (percussion & electronics), trumpeter Peter Evans recorded this incredible album, a new direction in his work with small ensembles, incorporating electronics into his exceptional compositions for creative improvisation.
The project name inspired by the concepts of space and restraint, this well-recorded live performance between multi-reedist/instrumentalist David Peck and drummer Michael Knoblach, both using a wealth of percussive devices and sonorous instruments, was live-streamed from the Boston Evil Clown Headquarters, showing the "Breadth" of their expansive ears.
A new quintet lineup for the long-running Boston collective Leap of Faith, expanding the core duet of David Peck on reeds & flutes and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, with trumpeter Ellwood Epps, double bassist Nate McBride, drummer Eric Rosenthal, and transformed by live signal processing from Joel Simches, performing a powerful and extended post-pandemic concert.
Each of the compositions from bassist Moppa Elliot for this trio version of MOPDTK with Ron Stabinsky on piano & synthesizer and Kevin Shea on drums & synthesizer, is named after a Pennsylvania town that has experienced a disaster, including floods, fires, nuclear meltdowns, &c, re-imagining each event through complex and surprisingly lyrical compositions.
A impressive album of virtual guitar duos from Swedish-born and New York-based experimental guitarist Anders Nilsson, challenging himself to imagine playing the pieces as 4-handed piano music, or as performed on a kora, or by a string quartet, through three extended pieces that balance complex interaction with thoughtful beauty and instrospection; exceptional.
The 3rd release for the trio of Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis, German pianist Elisabeth Harnik and Chicago percussionist Michael Zerang, performing live at the 2020 ArtActs Festival in St Johan Austria for five outstanding improvisations fueled by their previous trio & duo work and flavored with inside piano preparations, hand percussion and superb soloing from all three.
An offshoot of the Metal Chaos Ensemble featuring three of the core members--PEK on reeds, winds and the Evil Clown arsenal of percussion, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Bob Moores on space trumpet, guitar, and electronics, joined by guest Mike Gruen on electric bass, using a new SoundCraft mixer allowing advanced real-time signal processing from Joel Simches.
An offshoot of Metal Chaos Ensemble featuring the core members of that band--David Peck on clarinets, saxophones, flutes, winds & percussion, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Bob Moores on space trumpet, guitar & electronic--with Joel Simches performing real-time signal processing, in an extended improv concert of acoustics & electronics streamed live from The Evil Clown Headquarters.
A 9-horn section from the Leap of Faith Orchestra performing an expansive improvisation of thoughtful and melodic interaction augmented with the Evil Clown arsenal of percussive instruments, from David Peck on clarinets, sax & winds, Jared Holiday on sax & bass clarinet, David WelansÊ& Dennis LIvingston on flutes, Elwood Epps & Bob Moores on trumpet and Duane Reed on horns & trombone.
The debut of this thoroughly modern piano trio from Sweden of pianist Lisa Ullen, bassist Elsa Bergman and drummer Anna Lund, merging traditional and free jazz forms along with influences from contemporary compositional music, approaching their collective music using a diverse set of strategies and techniques that yield a spectrum of captivating conversations.
An apt title for the creatively mechanistic rhythms and electronic machinations of David Lee Myers' long-running project Arcane Device, in an album of ten succinct tracks of distinct cadence, pulse and encompassing electronics, described by Myers as "Analog rhythms, microtonal swarms, and feedback tonalities for pagan rituals on Monster Island."
Like passages through an electronic corridor, New York electronic artist David Lee Myers (Arcane Device) presents a series of "interludes"--long passages of rich electronic sound--and "intervals" of punctuated rhythms, described by Myers as: "In-between spaces for catching one's breath amid frigid landscapes, existential pauses, and mercurial pools of aboriginal pleadings."
The 4th of NI-VU-NI-CONNU's 5-LP John Butcher series and part of a 2 night residency at ausland in Berlin coinciding with his 65th birthday, tenor & soprano saxophonist John Butcher is joined in a quartet by electroacoustic improvisers, trumpeter Liz Allbee, Ignaz Shick on turntables, sampler & electronics and Marta Zapparoli on tapes, reel-to-reel tape machines and antennas.
The second collaboration between the Swedish chamber rock band Isildurs Bane led by keyboardist and composer Mats Johansson and lyricist, vocalist and guitarist Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator) presents two new multi-part suites with lyrics by Hammill--"In Disequilibrium" and "Gently (Step by Step)"--detailed, astute and powerful works of sophisticated progressive rock.
The third in tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III and guitarist Matthew Stevens' rotating quintet configuration of their "In Common" project, here with Kris Davis on piano, Dave Holland on bass and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, performing "one-page songs" written for the musicians involved, lyrical jazz reflecting on the tradition through modern creative freedom.
Their association stretching back to their time together in music school, pianist Anita Tomasevich is the perfect interpreter of Serbian composer Andreja Andric's December, exploring a single minor chord in each of six movements, challenging the performer to explore shades of tone color by working through gradual changes; plus Meditation (II) for 2 pianists.
A slyly disruptive set of minimalist compositions from New York electronic artist Dominic Coles, recounting six dreams, each described in the liner notes, by using the voice to drive various forms of synthesis on computer and through circuitry, a curious and surprisingly detailed retelling through unexpected tone, punctuation, confrontation and silence.
Recorded during an extended stay at the Half Note in NYC from saxophonist John Coltrane's Quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner, double bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones, originally recorded for radio broadcast, here reissued and resequenced to demonstrate Coltrane's evolution in presentation & performance, while also mapping a future to his music.
Three works from English composer Christopher Fox performed by the five-member Ensemble SEV, with two renderings of his work "This is the Wind" along with three duos, each combining two of a set of six "Paralogos", a solo work for violin--"Planes and Folds"--and the title piece "Hieroglyph" about decoding the incomprehensibility of unfamiliar music.
Reissuing and remastering Sun Ra's 1966 Arkestra album Nothing Is, the complete live recording from St. Lawrence University in NY with a classic ensemble including saxophonists Marshall Allen, Pat Patrick & John Gilmore, bassist Ronnie Boykins, drummer Cliffor Jarvis, &c., an incredible concert with an exemplary set of Sun Ra compositions and performances.
Next generation tenor saxophonist Zoh Amba, a Tennessee transplant living in NYC who grew up playing with the mountains & forest of her native state, in her debut album with the quartet of pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Barron, performing a mix of Amba compositions and collective improvisations, including one with John Zorn on alto sax.
Formed by double bassist Patrice Grente and drummer Etienne Ziemniak in 2010, the French band Carnalisme, meaning "This fuzzy, troubled and slippery place, which everyone owns and no one can spot", produce a raucous blend of hard rock and free improvisation, here in their 4th release and joined by guitarist Guillaume Gargaud for a profoundly blistering album.
Four compositions depicting the John Muir Trails, a high-quality set of biking trails near Madison and Milwaukee two hours from Chicago, composed by Eva-Maria Houben and performed by the West Coast percussion duo DesoDuo of Katie Eikam and Kevin Good, portraying the trails through bowed cymbals, marimba & vibraphone along with field recordings from the outdoor ambiance.
The Little Village Foundation run by keyboardist Jim Pugh assembled this band through Indian blues harmonica player & singer Aki Kumar, who brought drummer June Core and guitarist Rome Yamilov, deciding to make the release a "crazy guitar album" by adding Henry Kaiser; along with vocalist Lisa Leuschnet they hit the mark in an exuberantly diverse set of blues performing the music of J.B. Lenoir.
Extraordinary New York drummer & percussionist Francisco Mela is joined by Taiwan pianist and composer residing in NY, Shinya Lin, for two extended collective improvisations of joyful interaction, a complex interweaving of keys and drums augmented by percussive preparations from Lin and vocal exclamation from Mela, an upbeat and exuberantly intricate encounter.
A member of London Improvisers Orchestra, Wuppertaler Improvisationsorchester, and Insub Meta Orchestra Geneva, cellist Marei Seuthe is primarily involved with classical chamber music, contemporary music, music theatre, but here exposes her playing in a solo sonic exploration of microscopic intent performed on every inch of the cello.
Composer, pianist and band leader Manuel Valera presents his second album with New York-based New Cuban Express Big Band, a large ensemble performing Valera's compositions that fuse the music of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Brazil to forge innovative sounds and textures, leaving room for outstanding solos from vocalists and instrumentalists.
Intended for late night listening, John Zorn's seven rich and evocative compositions are beautifully rendered by the Downtown New York quartet of Bill Frisell on guitar, Brian Marsella on piano & Fender Rhodes Piano, John Medeski on organ and Kenny Wollesen on drums & chimes, in an album to accompany a dream-like evening of reflective music.
Putting less focus on the strings and more into sonic environments, French guitarist Pierre Gerard releases a set of eight abstract compositions for voice, guitar, cello, piano, violin, bass clarinet, electronics & field recordings, intended for random playing, employing silence and active sections to catch the passive or background listener off guard.
The title's play on words for Swiss percussionist Peter Conradin Zumthor's piano compositions is explained by his performance being effected by piano tuner Rene Waldhauser while playing, the piano being slowly detuned while Zumthor plays a series of aggressive key separations in a percussive manner, the modified tuning generating unexpected turbulence and harmonic overtones.
An extraordinary and powerful concert at the 2009 Jazz in Luz Festival recorded at Marquee of Luz-Saint-Sauveur when Japanese improvising guitarist and vocalist Keiji Haino joined the electroacoustic improvising trio Marteau Rouge of Jean-Francois Pauvros on electric guitar, Makoto Sato on drums and Jean-Marc Foussat on analog synthesizer & voice.
A leader on the Portuguese free jazz scene, tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado assembles a collective quartet with three exemplary Norwegian improvisers--Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Jon Rune Strom on double bass and Gard Nilssen on drums--for a dynamic concert at ZDB club in Lisbon in 2017, three dialogs of sparking, fiery interactions and a final "Response".
Two burning improvisations from the Chicago / Norwegian trio Ballister of Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophones, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello & electronics and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion, performing live at Alchemia in Krakow, Poland in 2019 in an exuberantly assertive concert from three incredibly active artists in the trans-Atlantic community of improvising musicians.
Barcelona pianist Agustí Fernández and Polish bass guitarist Rafał Mazur correspond through solo tracks recorded in their respective studios, each missive an unusual and impressive free improvisation using extended techniques, inside playing and inexplicable exclamation, in a five-part exchange where each message is alternately addressed "Dear Agusti" and "Dear Rafał".
A tribute to NY reedist & wind player Mark Whitecage, who passed away in March 2021, in a concert at Rochester's BopShop in 2018 by the band he is probably best known for: Nu Band, with trumpeter Thomas Heberer taking Roy Campbell's original seat, plus Lou Grassi on drums and Joe Fonda on bass, a great concert blending modern creative jazz with passionate playing and a bit of hard bop.
A collection of four concerts, each presented on a single CD, from the chamber-oriented and technically superb trio of Tim Trevor-Briscoe on alto saxophone & clarinet, Szilard Mezei on viola and Nicola Guazzaloca on piano, captured at at Korzo Zenehaz in Hungary; Cultural Centre of Vojvodina in Novi Sad Serbi; Regional Creative Atelier in Serbia; and Harom Hollo in Budapest.
An idiosyncratic and wonderfully wild improvisational music theater group revolving around composer & cellist Tristan Honsinger, using spoken word and song through eclectic and active free improvisation including strings, reeds, trumpet, toy piano, tap dance, bass & drums, a truly unique and joyfully quirky album that fulfills Honsinger's goal of uniting music, theater & poetry.
Five varied and fascinating percussion duos under the title "Rhythm Mapping - Approximating Velocity" from French composer Karl Naegelen and performed by the duo of Sylvain Darrifourcq and Toma Gouband, both using traditional drums and percussion along with objects and vegetal lithophones (a collection of plants and stones); an innovative, upbeat and compelling album.
Setting out to explore a standard song format for modern times through the instrumental piano jazz format, the French/German trio of basist Joel Grip, drummer Michael Griener and pianist Simon Sieger present a set of six Grip compositions along with two Sieger/Grip and one Sieger piece, all sophisticated, creative and lyrically infused modern jazz.
The 2nd installment in percussionist Matt Weston's opera for percussion and electronics in a limited cassette + download, a cantankerous set of recordings that alternate disruption with introspectively unusual techniques realized through graphic, multidimensional and instantaneous scores, each piece a narrative exploring mental health struggles as they develop over time.
Insub.Meta director Cyril Bondi developed this work to question the life course of an artist--their starting point, daily routines and essence--realized through sound and narration in an intimate soundscape of six artists who converge, converse, accompany and answer each other, accompanied by sounds made during warm-ups, rituals and rehearsals.
Five extended works of descriptive ambience from Finnish composer and musician Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, working with algorithmic and electronic manifestations over five pieces--four works "Across" and one "Across (Lines)"--based on environmental field recordings of birds and ambiance, structures that he morphs & reiterates to create different facets of a single outdoor space.
Playful in its seriousness, the sound poetry of Greta Monach (1928-2018), an early proponent of computer generated concrete poetry, and known for her notated sound poem series for four voices, "Fonerga", is performed by University of Victoria voice artists Cathy Fern Lewis, Laura Brandes, Daniel Brandes and Christopher Butterfield; awe-inspiring and exotically amusing.
24 short works for clavichord from German composer Christoph Schiller and performed by French keyboardist Ed Williams (Heard Of Bears, TANDEM, Grand 8 Ensemble), slowly developing pieces that bring clusters of notes like falling leaves that slowly fade into silence, thoughtful works of space around unanticipated clusters, presented as groups of "Fuge" variations.
Composer and sound artist Chaz Underriner composed these eight meditation in 2021 during residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the NYU Music Technology studios, recorded at Stetson University in Florida with an ensemble including four vocalists, cello, piano, percussion, electronics and field recordings; beautifully introspective and thought provoking works.
A double album of experimental works and songs, virtual meetings curated by composer Dante Boon, recorded in the performer's individual cities as ensembles formed from musicians who have never met, including the Moscow duo The Same Ensemble of Sasha Elina and Kirill Shirokov, Amsterdamn's Seamus Cater's Tree Space, Berlin's Konzert Minimal, and sound artist Gabi Losoncy.
A serious album of expressive free jazz from innately lyrical playing to scrabbly exploration, by the Twin Cities, Minneapolis trio of George Cartwright on saxophones, Josh Granowski on upright bass and Dave King on drums, performing live at Jazz Central Studio for two CDs of superb playing, the title inspired by the novel "A Calculated Life" by Anne Charnock.
Reinventing their band with the late drummer Alvin Fielder and saxophonist Kidd Jordan, the core trio of vocalist Kelley Hurt, pianist Christopher Parker and alto saxophonist Chad Fowler bring together drumming legend Brian Blade, bassist William Parker and trumpeter Marc Franklin for three extended works, rich journeys in expressive, soulful and lyrical free jazz
With exceptionally quick spontaneity and astute anticipation, free improvising pianist Joel Futterman and drummer Steve Hirsh engage in a series of extended dialogs across two CDs of "Warp" & "Weft" in multiple parts, pushing each other in both technical and expressive interaction, weaving complex interplay with startling ease and creative intention.
Sun Ra alumni, bassist Tyler Mitchell leads a small ensemble including current Arkestra leader, saxophonist Marshall Allen, drummer Wayne Smith and percussionsit Elson Nascimento through a series of Sun Ra compositions and core pieces, along with a Thelonious Monk tune and two Mitchell compositions, in a band with saxophonist Chris Hemingway & Nicoletta Manzini.
An open and free album of modern jazz evoking loft-style collective improvisation but controlled under the compositions of pianist Christopher Parker, in his debut album as a leader with the incredibly talented sextet of Kelley Hurt on vocals, Daniel Carter on winds, Jaimie Branch on trumpet, William Parker on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums
Four extended collective improvisations of implicit lyricism and transcendent power from Brazilian-born New York-based tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, recording in the studio with his quartet of frequent collaborator and masterful bassist William Parker, also performing on shakuhachi, along with pianist Christopher Parker and drummer Chad Anderson.
A soulful and even honky-tonk take on jazz from baritone saxophonist and vocalist Dave Sewleson, covering tunes like Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy" (two versions) or leaning back on riffs from popular music through lap steel guitarist Mike Neer, with Dave Hofstra on bass and Bernice "Boom Boom" Brooks on drums, a surprisingly enjoyable merging of popular and free playing.
With the chamber-like orchestration of vibes and viola in the front line, the debut of bassist Michael Bisio's quartet with Karl Berger on vibes and sharing compositional credits, Mat Maneri on viola and Whit Dick on drums, is fueled by masterful improvisation and astute communication, an exemplary album of open-minded creative jazz executed with consummate skill.