The Squid's Ear Magazine

MAW (Meadows / Ackerley / Wallace): Live Recordings [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

Releasing their first studio work in 2020, this album presents the first two live concerts in Brooklyn and Saugerties for the ea-improv trio MAW of Frank Meadows on upright bass, Jessica Ackerley on electric guitar and Eli Wallace on prepared piano & synth, in two 2-part improvisations: the darkly heavy "Mise-en-Place" and the brighter experiments of "Opus 40".

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product information:

Label: Notice Recordings
Catalog ID: NTR080
Squidco Product Code: 33566

Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Side A recorded at Mise-en-Place, Brooklyn, New York, on October 12th, 2021, by Nathaniel Morgan.

Side B recorded at Opus 40, in West Saugerties, New York, on October 3rd, 2021.


Frank Meadows-upright bass

Jessica Ackerley-electric guitar

Eli Wallace-prepared piano, synth

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Live Recordings presents MAW on the trio of Frank Meadows (bass), Jessica Ackerley (guitar), and Eli Wallace (piano/synth)-fully testing the possibilities of their creative dialogue in front of a live audience for the first time. Two concerts in Brooklyn and Saugerties, both staged in October 2021, display the performance of an acute democratic understanding, acquired across formative years of private sessions and conversation, including the late 2020 recording session that produced their Atlantic Rhythms debut A Maneuver Within.

Notice Recordings became aware of the trio via Ackerley, a recent Notice artist who recorded a blistering album with Patrick Shiroishi. Having then become familiar with Wallace and Meadows' engaging playing in other configurations, we were immediately allured by the prospect of the new trio.

On this album, MAW traces a broad rhythmic and dynamic range, engaging in fierce rhythmic interplay and patiently suspended motion, all the while maintaining a controlled emphasis on colorful gesture and textural counterpoint. The trio's knowledge of each other, as well as a diverse range of influences, is carefully condensed into a hard-won syntax which produces the concise recorded summaries presented here.

Each set has a heaviness, but they are never imposing. They are taut and physical, yet their fluidity is inviting. Atmosphere becomes important here: One can feel the dark, open, resonant room of "Mise-en-Place" and its industrial surroundings on Side A, augmented by Wallace's prepared piano, a thunderous and haptic blend with Ackerley and Meadows' playfully interwoven string work.

Alternatively, Side B's recording has the close intimacy of the small gallery setting at Opus 40 in upstate New York, albeit with the door open to a rainy evening, permitting the occasional pastoral ambiance, such as cawing of crows, to settle into the recording. Despite this, Side B is an intense endeavour, with swathes of Wallace's synth laced throughout the performance, a fine example of an unhinged and untamed "electric MAW"."-Notice Recordings

Artist Biographies

"Frank Meadows is a bassist, sound artist, and improviser currently based in New York City. His solo sets for double bass touch on drone, modern classical, and free improvisation in and around prepared sound collage. He's collaborated with the likes of Tashi Dorji, Shane Parish and more."

-Discogs (

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"During the past decade, Jessica Ackerley has established herself on the Canadian and American music scenes as a unique and versatile guitarist, composer and bandleader. Born in Alberta, Canada, Jessica now resides in New York City, where she has worked alongside notable musicians such as Tyshawn Sorey, Daniel Carter, Marc Edwards, Luke Stewart, Patrick Shiroishi, and Jason Nazary, to name a few. She has performed at established venues like John Zorn's The Stone, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Blue Note, and has toured both as a bandleader and side musician throughout Canada and the United States. Her musical palette is diverse, split between highly refined compositional structure, free improvisation, and Black American Music, as well as noise soundscapes derived from experimental rock, as explored in her collaborative band, ESSi.

In 2017 and 2019, Ackerley released her debut and sophomore albums as a bandleader - Coalesce and A New Kind of Water - to much acclaim, making critics' year-end lists on Jazz Right Now, Avant Music News, Free Jazz Blog and Jazz Times Magazine. In 2019, she founded The Brink Guitar Festival, a four-day event featuring some of the most innovative players on the instrument such as Miles Okazaki, Elliott Sharp, Wendy Eisenberg, and Dan Lippel, among others. She has been commissioned by Adult Swim to compose and record a track for their 15-song Jazz compilation entitled New Jazz Century alongside other tracks by notable artists Matana Roberts, Anna Webber, and Jaimie Branch. As a recording artist, she has performed and released 11 albums as a side musician and bandleader to date. As an educator and mentor, she has lectured at Grant MacEwan University and University of Toronto, as well as guided many aspiring musicians in private study throughout the years. Jessica continuously expands her musical horizons with various projects, never setting boundaries or compromising her limits as a guitarist and artist."

-Jessica Ackerley Website (

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"Eli Wallace is a pianist, improviser, and composer who resides in Brooklyn, NY, leading his own projects, collaborating with other like-minded artists, and co-curating the interdisciplinary performance series Invocation with Drew Wesely. His work as a pianist displays his vast milieu of experiences from classical, jazz, free improvisation studies, and extensive piano preparation, while his compositions employ notational strategies to broaden the manner in which sounds are created and the ways in which musicians interact. Over the past decade he has appeared on dozens of albums and has performed at such esteemed venues as The Stone, New York, NY, Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, IL, and the Outsound New Music Summit, San Francisco, CA."

-Eli Wallace Website (

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Track Listing:


1. Mise-en-Place a. 9:39

2. Mise-en-Place b. 13:07


1. Opus 40 a. 11:48

2. Opus 40 b 10:26

Related Categories of Interest:

Physical Releases that include Download Codes
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Instruments with Preparations
New in Improvised Music
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Notice Recordings.

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