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Simon Nabatov Quintet (w/ Speed / Robertson / Hebert / Rainey):
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Russian-born Germany/NY-based pianist Simon Nabatov's Quintet with the new lineup of Chris Speed on tenor sax & clarinet, Herb Robertson on trumpet & cornet, John Hebert on double bass and Tom Rainey on drums, performing Nabatov's magnificently lyrical, sophisticated and often chamber-oriented compositions, an incredible achievement in writing and performance. ... Click to View


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Kaja Draksler Octet:
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An extended work for 10 improvisers using a composite composition of graphic scores, open notations, and two trio sub-pieces titled "skelf" (electric guitar, double bass and drums) and "antiphon" (violin, viola and double bass), all directed by UK saxophonist Matt London in an ensemble with reeds, winds, brass, strings, electric guitar, and Mark Sanders on drums. ... Click to View


Geordie Approach, The (Birkeland / Fadnes / Charkey):
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Two Norwegians and a Geordie (ie, NE Englander), from drummer Stale Birkeland, saxophonist Petter Frost Fadnes, and guitarist Chris Sharkey, since 2007 creating epic works of rich electroacoustic improvisation, recording their third album after extensive touring through Europe and Japan, using the the natural resonance of the Chapel FM, in Leeds to enrich their sound. ... Click to View


Corey Mwamba :
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A sophisticated and lyrical album of modern jazz led by UK vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, also on glockenspiel & beak flute, in a quartet with Laura Cole on piano, Andy Champion on double bass, and Johnny Hunter on drums & small percussion, with all pieces "devised and scored" by Mwamba alongside one collective improvisation; powerfully refined modern jazz. ... Click to View


GGRIL:
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The GGRIL (Grand groupe régional d'improvisation libérée) improviser ensemble based in Quebec invited German saxophonist living in NYC, Ingrid Laubrock, to compose three works, taking the band on adventerous journeys of texture, abstraction and melody, harnessing the power of the band's unique orchestration of electric guitars, percussion, and strings. ... Click to View


Benjamin Vergara / Fred Frith:
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Recording in Chile at the University Austral in 2018, trumpeter Benjamin Vergara and guitarist Fred Frith take us on two extended journeys through free electroacoustic improvisation, Frith's providing diverse and intense sonic environments over which Vergara's virtuosic and intuitive approach to the trumpet soars; impressive, creative, cathartic. ... Click to View


Mathieu Bec / Robin Servant:
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The Canadian free improvising duo of accordionist Robin Servant (GGRIL, P.O.W.E.R., Danielle Palardy Roger) and drummer Mathieu Bec (Dubovnik, Michel Doneda) are heard in this 2019 performance at la Maison de la Culture du Pic Champlain, in a gripping set of dialogs using preparations and extended techniques to create unusual sonic approaches to both instruments. ... Click to View


Lisbon String Trio & Gabriel Ferrandini:
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Portugal's Lisbon String Trio of saxophonist Nuno Torres, electric guitarist Abdul Moimeme and violist Ernesto Rodrigues, are joined by Red Trio/ Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio drummer Gabriel Ferrandini for this concert performance at O'Culto da Ajuda, in Lisbon, Portugal as part of the CreativeFest XIII, finding inspired balance in introspective sections and periods of exciting activity. ... Click to View


Krci (Loris Binot / Emilie Skrijelj):
Krci (Creative Sources)

Filled with mystery and innuendo, the duo of French pianist and keyboardist Loris Binot, performing on prepared piano, prepared Fender Rhodes, Moog & electronics, and French-based accordionist Emilie Skrijelj, also on samples & electronics, are heard in a recording at the performing arts theater at CCAM in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy for two extended and superbly intriguing improvisations. ... Click to View


Dopolarians (William Parker / Kidd Jordan / Alvin Fielder / Chad Fowler / Christopher Parker / Kelley Hurt):
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Legendary players, drummer Alvin Fielder, bassist William Parker, and saxophonist Kidd Jordan joined younger generation players pianist Christopher Parker, vocalist Kelley Hurt, and saxophonist Chad Fowler in New Orleans to record this exceptional album of modern jazz compositions primarily from Fowler, plus a collective improvisation and a narrative from Hurt. ... Click to View


Dave Sewelson (w/ Steve Swell / William Parker / Marvin Bugalu Smith):
More Music for a Free World (Mahakala Music)

Baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson leads this collective quartet of New York associated players Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on bass, abd Marvin Bugalu Smith on drums, a masterful example of modern creative jazz with a strongly lyrical attitude, through two extended improvisations and ending with a shorter "Reflections"; exemplary free jazz. ... Click to View


The Balderin Sali (feat Paul Lovens / Evan Parker / Philipp Wachsmann):
Variations [2 CDs] (Leo Records)

Part of The Soundscapes Concert Series organized by saxophonist Harri Sjostrom and named for the Helsinki venue where it was recorded, over 2 days 11 incredible musicians in various configurations presented a spectacular set of performances, with improvisers including Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Phil Wachsmann, Sebi Tramontana, Harri Sjostrom, Teppo Hauta-aho &c. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp:
Efflorescence Volume 1 [4CDs] (Leo Records)

"Efflorescence", to reach an optimum stage of development or blossom, as heard through four studio-recorded CDs, expanding on the warm and enduring duo of saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp in beautifully flowing, succinct improvisations with a lyrical inclination, allowing for exploration through the sophisticated support each brings; beautiful. ... Click to View


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  Ferguson / van Heumen 
  Whistle Pig Saloon  
  (Creative Sources) 


  
   review by Dave Madden
  2009-07-30
Ferguson / van Heumen: Whistle Pig Saloon (Creative Sources)

There is an ongoing tradition in academic electroacoustic music: over thinking and too much talk. Composers spend months of preparation for a piece, forming a system and working out every detail to eschew errors and exert control over the processes of a once-exciting creative spark. This occasionally works, but more than naught even with the elder statesmen of the genre these factors equal a sterile homogeny and a lack of happy accidents and exciting miscues that lead to attractive tangents. Because of the complexity and otherworldly nature of their sonic palette, many then feel the best way to connect (aka apologize) an audience to their universe is through lengthy extra-musical programs that break down the results. Unfortunately, this desire ultimately stunts the mystery an audience could feel while mentally interpreting the work.

Robert van Heumen and John Ferguson, however, prefer to withhold their agenda, leaving listeners free to enjoy and translate this almost-palpably visual, cerebral yet immediately mesmeric work as they see fit. With that, to say "the duo launches into their set" is a fitting metaphor, as this music exudes the grace and violence of a NASA enterprise: at times lingering in static poses on the dark side of the moon, other moments crashing face-first into the sun. On "Perpetual Mole", shimmering, hammered, pitch-bending guitar chords hover above barely-registered high frequency blips and swirling bursts of hiss. Soon, all systems are go and the music literally blasts off, mangling the digital limit and overwhelming the soundboard with psychoacoustic mischief (the passage will make you look up and wonder one, who put a pack of dogs on my roof? and two, why are they stomping? before settling into a floating gesture of pops and echoing harmonics. After a mountain of sub-woofer rumbles and ear-drum-piercing feedback a clamor definitely heard inside a shuttle's boosters Ferguson interrupts "Somatic Listening" with a naked, jazzy excerpt of "Blackbird", a phrase van Heumen immediately aborts in favor of more thunder; interestingly, the duo repeatedly skews the line of "what is tension, what is release", and you find yourself more uneasy and rigid during the quieter, representational moments.

The two continue in this fashion throughout the disc, reeling off an endless host of keen, compound sounds with an inimitable familiarity of their technique and each other...but wait? What exactly are they doing? Sure van Heumen could offer countless diagrams of his joystick-meets-laptop method in the liner notes, and Ferguson's unique anti-guitar attack deserves an explanation, but the duo prefers to let their demanding "I can't do anything else but stare at the speakers while this is on" music draw up schematics, construct the diorama and tell the stories.



Ferguson / van Heumen: Whistle Pig Saloon
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