A subset of the Andreas Røysum Ensemble, the trio of Norwegian clarinetist Andreas Roysum on Bb& Bass clarinets, Nakama Label leader Christian Meaas Svendsen on double bass and Danish drummer Kresten Osgood recorded these collective free improvisations on the title's date in an unnamed location, for four assertive dialogs of impressive expression.
Ngayon, the Filipino tagalog word for "Now" or "Today", effectively describes the immediacy of the second release from Bay Area guitarist and composer Karl Evangelista and his exceptional Apura band, performing five sophisticated original works.
A delicate work of experimental chamber music from UK composer Jack Oliver Cooper (Modern Nature) performed by pianist Alexander Hawkins, cellist Anton Lukoszevieze and clarinetist Heather Roche, Arrival is delineated into twelve dovetailed parts that explore minimalism, patience and restraint; thoughtful music that rewards in close contemplation.
Recording in the studio in Barcelona, the duo of two drummer/percussionists, New York-born Ra Kalam Bob Moses and Spain's Vasco Trilla, present a stunning collection of diverse and inspired improvisations using a vast collection of instruments including native flute, congas, dumbek, melodica, metallic instruments, timpani, flat bells, clock chimes, vibrators and magnetic tape.
A previously unreleased archival recording of drummer Drew Gardner's 1995 Bay Area quintet with a stellar set of free jazz collaborators--John Tchicai on tenor & soprano saxophones, Marco Eneidi on alto saxophone, Roberto De Haven on alto saxophone and Vytas Nagisetty on bass, beautifully recorded in the studio in Oakland, CA by Myles Boisen; exceptional!
Trumpeter Chris Williams in a limited white label cassette release of a post-processed/collaged live concert at Blue Whale in Los Angeles, 2018, performing on trumpet & electronics with a quintet of incredible free players: Patrick Shiroishi on saxophones & objects, Joshua White on piano, Eric Revis on acoustic bass & electronics and Guillermo Brown on drums & electronics.
The second chapter in the duo of West Coast improvisers Chris Williams on trumpet, cornet, objects & mutes and Patrick Shiroishi on alto, soprano and tenor saxophones plus snare drum, essentially a free jazz outing of six fascinating dialogs, from call and response to pointillistic interaction, a masterful display of assertive playing through intensive listening.
The 2nd album as a leader from NY drummer's Chad Taylor's Trio with long-time collaborators and friends, saxophonist Brian Settles and pianist Neil Podgurski, in nine diverse compositions with contributions from all three players along with two works from late pianist Andrew Hill; a wonderfully balanced album of creative jazz, from meditative to joyfully upbeat and rhythmically compelling.
The third album in Chicago 6- & 12-string guitarist Elijah McLaughlin's numbered album series of original compositions, rich flowing works of lyrical textures augmented with environmental field recordings and tape loops, performed with Jason Toth on upright bass, Katinka Kleijn on cello, effects, Joel Styzens on hammered Dulcimer and Adler Scheidt on piano.
Exploring the crossing point of jazz and funky electro-beats, experimental electronics and dub grooves, the Chicago trio of Quin Kirchner on drums, percussion, sampler & electronics, Daniel Van Duerm on acoustic & electric pianos, organ, mellotron & electronics and Matthew Lux on bass & electronics dig more deeply into their engaging and upbeat approach to modern forms of fusion improv.
A collaboration between Montreal saxophnist Aaron Leaney (Ratchet Orchestra, Nebula) with legendary free jazz drummer and founder of Le Nouveau Jazz Libre de Quebec in 1967, Guy Thouin, performing on a wealth of winds, percussions and bells, their music infused with a rich spiritual and natural feeling of world elements, lyrical playing and folkloric rhythms.
The third volume in West Coast/Montreal/Kansas guitarist David Lord's series exploring the concept of what makes a jazz standard, in ten beautifully warm and lyrically rich Lord compositions performed with Chad Taylor on drums & percussion, Christine Tavolacci on flute, David Tranchina on double bass and Nathan Hubbard on vibraphone, marimba & percussion.
A new collaboration between keyboardist Brent Cordero and bassist Peter Kerlin, a gorgeous blurring of jazz, rock and Terry Riley-esque composition in a swirling collection of original work and a cover of Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance", performed in a core trio with drummer Ryan Sawyer and prestigious guests including Daniel Carter, Jessica Pavone, James Brandon Lewis, &c.
A co-release with Dinzu Artefacts, clarinetist John McCowen continues his investigation into the physical possibilites of the clarinet family, here on contrabass clarinet for four fully acoustic recordings of continuous tones and unexpected aural phenomena through circular breathing while generating intense harmonics and multiphonics of earth-shaking ferocity.
A New York trio of musical friends from Chris Pitsiokos on alto saxophone, Luke Stewart on electric & acoustic basses and Jason Nazary on drums, an elegantly impactful album of organic free jazz expanded through electronic textures from all three members as they enthusiastically explore new approaches to energetic, creative, contemporary improvisation; extraordinary!
Beautifully flowing acoustic avant folk under a diverse set of influences from the Dublin five-piece band led by acoustic and electric guitarist Aonghus McEvoy, with George Brennan on electronics, David Lacey on drums, Sean Maynard Smith on upright bass and Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh on viola, evolving their tracks from pastoral to edgy agitation or ecstatic drone.
Bringing together two acclaimed German improvisers who met in Nuremberg in 1982 as teens--reedist Rudi Mahall and drummer/vibraphonist Michael Griener, "bumbling" around to learn free jazz together, heard now 40 years later as authoritative players recording as a duo in 2020 & 21 in Kotzlin and Berlin for eight energetically creative and buoyantly upbeat dialogs.
Commissioned for the Tang Museum's "The Second Buddha: Master of Time", the duo of percussionist Susie Ibarra and guitarist Tashi Dorji envision the legendary figure Padmasambhava, who brought Buddhism to Tibet, through two extended improvisations of close communication and tight interaction, including gamelan-like percussion and unusually tuned guitar abstractions.
Drawing on the traditions of jazz by reference and by covers of "Bemsha Swing" (Monk), "The Happenings" (Nichols) and "Gotta Get Some Sleep" (Redman), this exuberant 2016 concert at Bimhuis in Amsterdam brings together three great Chicago players--Keefe Jackson on sax, Joshua Abrams on bass & Mikel Patrick Avery on drums--with Dutch pianist Oscar Jan Hoogland.
The second album from guitarist Brandon Seabrook's Trio with Gerald Cleaver on drums & pulsating & punctuating electronics, Cooper-Moore providing massive and unconvential bass sounds on his Diddley Bow, and Seabrook himself playing banjo in inexplicably rapid and staccato runs or electric guitar with eccentric effects; rip-roaring, sometimes surreal, absolutely superb!
The second release from guitarist and oud improviser Gordon Grdina's Boiling Point Trio with Matt Mitchell on piano and Jim Black on drums, following their excellent 2020 Martian Kitties album, solidified into a tight unit from touring, Grdina's writing showcasing each player's ability to improvise around complex rhythmic, harmonic, and melodically rich compositions.
Evoking the spirit of a seance experienced by alto saxophonist Devin Brahja Waldman, the duo of Waldman and drummer Hamid Drake are captured live at Elastic Arts, in Chicago, beginning as a mysteriously delicate concert of intricately introspective playing and spiritual reflection, building to a free jazz drum & sax duo of powerful and enthusiastic release.
Borrowing from traditional music notation, Jessica Pavone's compositions for her string ensemble with Aimée Niemann and Abby Swidler alternates between metered and time-based scores allowing the performers freedom to move between long tone sounds and clusters at the performer's chosen rate, responding to each other while creating a "collaboratively sewn musical fabric".
The duo of improvisers Lina Tullgren on violin and Japanese koto player based in Boston Alec Toku Whiting, joined on one track by Ted Reichman on synthesizer & pedals, Reichman also recording these studio sessions, as the duo apply unsual techniques with an ear toward sonic assault and unexpected twists & turns, particularly some especially aggressive interaction on "Polly Chainsaw".
An active and creatively absorbing duo between Chicago drummer Quin Kirchner and French-based pianist Rob Clearfield, recorded spontaneously during the sessions of The Shadows and The Light, with one extended improvisation per side, alternating between percolating rhythms of quick witted exchanges to gorgeous lyrical moments of hanging piano figures.
The third release from the Toronto-based Brodie West Quintet of Evan Cartwright on drums, vibraphone & guitar, Josh Cole on bass, Nick Fraser on drums, Tania Gill on piano and Brodie West on alto saxophone, performing Brodie's uniquely inclusive and sometimes atypically metered compositions, leading to fascinating solo and group interplay from reflection to fire.
After a 4-week residency in 2018 at The Burlington in Chicago, the quartet of Paul Giallorenzo (keys & electronics), Charlie Kirchen (bass), Ryan Packard (drums, electronics) and Ben LaMar Gay (cornet & electronics) workshopped their exploratory approach to free electric improv for 6 months before recording this mesmerizing version live at Chicago's Hungry Brain.
Taken from concerts during Thollem's 3-month European tour, at Centro d'Arte dell'Università di Padova; AngelicA at Teatro San Leonardo in Bologna; and Rassegna di Nuova Musica 39, performing on acoustic pianos or a Korg Wavestate, showing his technically impressive, creative drive over a diverse set of approaches to solo piano improvisation.
Confirming their place in Chicago's improv legacy, the second album from the Artifacts Trio of Nicole Mitchell on flute & electronics, Tomeka Reid on cello and Mike Reed on drums & percussion expand the AACM canon with compositions from each member, plus several insightful and lively collective improvisations and one piece each from Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams.
A fully acoustic set of creative free improvisation from the Survival Unit III trio of Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Joe McPhee on tenor saxophone & pocket trumpet and Michael Zerang on percussion, performing at the 2018 The Instigation Festival in New Orleans in a set of concerts that also was drummer Alvin Fielder's last concert, to whom this album is dedicated.
A joint release between Astral Spirts and Relative Pitch, guitarist Ava Mendoza conjures five assertive and rugged "spells" performed on solo electric guitar, passionate works of raw technical skill and bold power as she improvises over two songs composed by herself, alongside pieces written for her from Devin Hoff, Trevor Dunn and John Dikeman.
As part of Thollem McDonas' Astral Traveling Sessions concert series, the pianist met Chicago legendary drummer Avreeayl Ra and and highly active improvising bassist Matthew Lux for this exceptional concert of two extended improvisations, followed by 8 duo studio improvisations as "Sunken Cages" recorded in Philadelphia with electroacoustic drummer Ravish Momin.
One of a series of pianist Thollem McDonas' Astral Traveling Sessions, a 25-album series of concerts from around the globe, performing concerts in varying configurations with 70 musicians, here with two collaborations: in Kingston, NY with the great vibraphonist Karl Berger for 3 improvisations, and in Toronto with pianist Michael Snow for an extended piano duo.
One of a series of pianist Thollem McDonas' Astral Traveling Sessions, this unique duo configuration with NY saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh uses a sonic palette of eight re-tuned pitches for piano and saxophone in an attempt to expand harmonic empathy, bringing Eastern pitch relationships to Western improvisation through a series of extraordinary solo and duo recordings.
Thirteen succinct improvisations pitting Gordon Grdina's swinging middle-eastern flavors on the oud offset by gritty, experimental guitar work against drummer Jim Black's well-chosen and rock-solid grooves, an engaging album that shifts and explores a tremendous range of ideas and adventurous attitudes that span jazz, rock and experimental genres with ease.
A perfect matching for a free jazz collective piano trio, bringing frequent collaborators Argentinian pianist Paula Shocron and drummer Pablo Diaz, part of the SLD trio heard on Listen! Foundation and Hatology, together with NY bass legend William Parker, recording in NYC for four powerful improvisations of great technical prowess and attentive explorative interaction.
An evening of free improvisation recorded in Berlin at au Topsi Pohl in 2020 from the Swedish trio of Euro Free Jazz legend Sven-Ake Johansson on drums, Niklas Fite on acoustic guitar and Joel Grip on double bass, performing two extended and dynamic improvisations, and then settling into jazz standard form for "Isn't It Romantic" and "Out of Nowhere" sung by by Johansson.
This year's An Ayler Xmas is the 5th in the series from saxophonist Mars Williams, mashing holiday classics with works by saxophonist Albert Ayler, with the amazing sextet of Josh Berman on cornet, Jim Baker on piano, viola & Arp Synth, Brian Sandstrom on bass, guitar & trumpet, Steve Hunt on drums, Peter Maunu on violin and Kent Kessler or Krzysztof Pabian on bass.
Travelling through the US & Greece to join with performers for duos and trios, in six recordings between pianist Thollem McDonas in a trio with Amy Denio & Samantha Boshnack; a duo with Seetha Shivaswamy; a trio with Mat Weisman and Rick Kodramaz; a duo with Djallo Djakate; a hand percussion duo with Jason Finkelman; and a vocal duo with Maria Karamouza.
Two side-long tracks of minimal improvisation from NY saxophonist Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers) and UK guitarist Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting); "Wicken" and "Debden" are named for and inspired by the tributaries of the River Cam in North Essex, revealing themselves in steady progressions and subtle application of instrumental technique in a beautifully flowing reflection.
Merging disparate styles into music that is clearly jazz-based, warm and beautifully structured, Chicago drummer and composer Charles Rumback's 7th album as a leader assembles a large group of luminaries including Jim Baker, Ron Miles, Jason Stein, and Greg Ward for a set of instrumentals and songs that are effusive but never sentimental, a beautiful balance.
Skronky multi-faceted NY Downtown-style improvisation with an electric edge from the quintet of Chris Pitsiokis on alto sax, winds, electronics & samples, Wendy Eisenberg on electric guitar, Richard Lenz on electric bass, Kevin Murray on acoustic & electronic drums and Nick Neuburg on percussion, rolling and rollicking through riffs and scrabbly exploration.
The Nick Mazzarella Trio, here configured as Mazzarella on alto saxophone & bells, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass and Avreeayl Ra on drums, are heard live at Constellation in Chicago in 2019, bringing together two generations of Chicago improvisers with Norwegian/US drummer Haker-Flaten for seven pieces espousing both tradition and innovative creative approaches.
The Indiana collective Crazy Doberman in a 15-performer configuration including core members Tim Gick and Drew Davis, merging jazz and indescribable approaches to free improvisation with a mix of acoustic & electronic instruments, building their pieces from mysteriously cantankerous rumination to ecstatic grooves and much in-between.
With virtually the same lineup as their Feeding Tube album Ourania, the Chicago-based duo of Mako Sica--Brent Fuscaldo (electric bass, voice, harmonica & percussion) and Przemyslaw Krys Drazek (electric trumpet, electric guitar & mandolin)--again join with Tatsu Aoki on bass & shamisen and Thymme Jones on keyboards, trumpet, balloon & voice, subbing drummer Jacob Fawcett.