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Jean Derome:
Somebody Special (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Drawing on Steve Lacy's quintet, Montreal saxophonist Jean Derome pays homage to the late saxophonist through a selection of 9 Lacy pieces with lyrics from Brion Gysin, Lao Tseu, Herman Melville, &c, in a quintet with Derome on alto sax, bass flute & voice, Karen Young providing vocals, Alexandre Grogg on piano, Normand Guilbeault on double bass, Pierre Tanguay on drums. ... Click to View


Ensemble SuperMusique / Symon Henry:
voir dans le vent qui hurle les étoiles rire et rire (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Montreal's true supergroup since 1998 of some of the city's essential Musique Actuelle performers and composers, directed by Danielle Palardy Roger and including Jean Derome, Joane Hetu, Scott Thomson, Lori Freedman, Alexander St. Onge, &c. &c., take on Quebec composer Symon Henry's piece, performed in an exceptional and impressive concert in the Chapel in Bon-Pasteur. ... Click to View


Gabriel Dharmoo :
Quelques fictions (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Stunningly unusual vocal music from composer, music researcher and vocalist based in Montreal, Gabriel Dharmoo, collecting works from 2012 to 2019, performed with small and large ensembles using almost completely wordless voice, utterance, guttural sound, swoops and, melodic flights, augmented with physical percussion like stamping and clamping; brilliant and enthralling. ... Click to View


Prevost / Solberg / Pettersen / Moore / Brice / Hardie-Bick:
Plumes of Ash in Moonlight [2 CDs] (Split Rock Records)

Bringing together two innovative improvising percussionists--Eddie Prevost of AMM fame, and Stale Liavik Solberg (VCDC, John Butcher)--for a studio album of wide-ranging and sometimes hair-raising electroacoustic improvisation, recorded live and unedited with Olie Brice on double bass, Tony Hardie-Bick on piano & tapes, Ed Pettersend on lap steel, and NO Moore on guitar. ... Click to View


Ken Vandermark / Paal Nilssen-Love Duo:
AMR (NO LABEL)

The long-running duo of Chicago saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Vandermark and Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love are heard in this live concert at AMR in Geneva, Switzerland in 2018, performing the first four letters of the alphabet ("A", "B", "C" & "D"), each letter a unique creative approach in evolving their remarkable and enthralling dialogs. ... Click to View


Decoy (Alexander Hawkins / John Edwards / Steve Noble) With Joe McPhee:
AC/DC (Otoroku)

The UK Decoy trio of John Edwards (bass), Steve Noble (drums) and Alexander Hawkins (keys) joins forces with pocket trumpet and saxophone player Joe McPhee during McPhee's residency at London's Cafe OTO, recording these two huge sets of brilliant free improv, Hawkins performing on organ adding a unique and soulful tone to the set that balances powerful energy with innate lyricism. ... Click to View


John Carter Octet:
Dauwhe [VINYL] (Black Saint Vinyl)

A much-needed reissue of John Carter's 1982 LP "Dauwhe", the first chapter in his "Roots and Folklore" saga, a 5-part epic through African American heritage, performed with Carter himself on clarinet, Bobby Bradford (cornet), James Newton (flute), Charles Owens (sax, oboe & clarinet), Red Callender (tuba), Roberto Miranda (bass), William Jeffrey (drums), and Luis Peralta (percussion). ... Click to View


Philip Samartzis / Eric La Casa :
Captured Space [CASSETTE] (Cronica)

Kruger National Park in the north-east corner of South Africa is the subject of Eric La Casa and Philip Samartzis's audio exploration, using field recordings made over 10 days in and around the park, and taking them into the studio to organize them into an aural representation of the park's exotic mystery, placidity and tension, with a tinge of the modern world nearby. ... Click to View


Laboratorio Della Quercia:
Laboratorio Della Quercia [VINYL 2 LPs] (Alternative Fox)

Documenting the 12-day Italian experimental jazz festival at the ancient amphitheater Tasso della Quercia in 1978, revolving around Italian improvsers Tommaso Vittorini, Eugenio Colombo, Maurizio Giammarco, Alberto Corvini, Danilo Terenz, with visiting players Steve Lacy, Steve Potts, and Evan Parker, trombonist Roswell Rudd, pianist Frederick Rzewski, and drummer Noel McGhee. ... Click to View


Turbulence:
Eddy Flux (Evil Clown)

The extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra from the Boston-area collective led by reedist/multi-instrumentalist David Peck, here with PEK on an assortment of saxophones, clarinets, flutes, game calls and percussion, the other horns from Michael Caglianone on sax, game calls, wind sirens and percussion, with drums, bells, bowls and other percussion from Yuri Zbitnoff. ... Click to View


Ratchet Orchestra:
Coco Swirl (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Active since the early 90's, the superb Montreal super-group Ratchet Orchestra under the direction of Nicolas Caloia with 19 performers presents 10 works including the title track, with soloists including Jean Rene, Lori Freedman, Jean Derome, Ellwood Epps, Sam Shalabi, Craig Petersen, Yves Charuest, Joshua Zubot, Scott Thomson, Isaiah Ceccarelli, &c. ... Click to View


Chris Pitsiokos :
Speak In Tongues And Hope For The Gift Of Interpretation (Relative Pitch)

Dedicating his pieces to Charlie Parker, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and John Zorn, NY alto saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos is heard live at this solo concert in New Haven, CT in 2019, reflecting on the history of jazz through his intense playing style that deploys incredible technique balanced with abstraction and rapid lyricism. ... Click to View


Raoul Bjorkenheim :
Solar Winds (Long Song Records)

Paying tribute to his musical inspiration John Coltrane, Finnish/NY electric guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim leads a quartet with Silvia Bolognesi on contrabass, Tiziano Tononi on drums & percussion, and Emanuele Parrini on violin, as they perform five Coltrane compositions and two Bjorkenheim originals, a superlative homage to technical brilliance and conceptual vision. ... Click to View


Eugene Chadbourne / Duck Baker / Randy Hutton :
The Guitar Trio In Calgary 1977 (Emanem)

A concert recording from 1977 in Calgary, CA captured during Eugene Chadbourne's time in Canada prior to his move to NYC, from the guitar trio of Duck Baker, Randy Hutton & Eugene Chadbourne, performing on acoustic guitars, using a variety of approaches to improvising in trio, duo and solo configurations, with original work, an Ornette Coleman mashup, and a piece by Charlie Haden. ... Click to View


Company:
1983 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Honest Jons Records)

Unreleased recordings from Derek Bailey's Company project, recorded at the BBC in 1983 with a stellar set of performers including Evan Parker (clarinet), Hugh Davies (electronics), Jamie Muir (percussion), Joelle Leandre (bass), J.D. Parran (winds), John Corbett (trumpet), Vinko Globokar (trombone), Ernst Reijseger (cello), and Peter Brotzmann (reeds). ... Click to View


Muhal Abrams Richard:
Celestial Birds [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

A compilation of works from the late Chicago multi-reedist, experimenter, and AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams, focused on his widely unknown electronic compositions, in four recording from 1968-1995 with collaborators including Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Amina Claudine Myers, Roscoe Mitchell, Maurice McIntyre, Yousef Yancey, Thurman Barker, &c. ... Click to View


Eric La Casa:
L'inspir du Rivage part 2&3 [VINYL 7-inch] (Povertech / Joe Colley)

First stock of this 1999 7" from French sound artist Eric La Casa created as part of Joe Colley's "Explorer" series, the title translating to "the shore breathing" where each composition develops from field recordings of water, the first part more naturalist and adhering to the initial recordings, the second using sound processing to create something unique and mesmerizing. ... Click to View


Rachel Musson / Naoko Saito / Audrey Lauro:
The Region Of Braille Responsibility [CD with English Braille Sheet] (Armageddon Nova)

Three female saxophonist from around the world--Rachel Musson (UK), Naoko Saito (Japan) and Audrey Lauro (Belgium)--in a compilation of solo saxophone works, two extended pieces from Musson and Satio, and four shorter works from Laura, with a CD insert with English Braille characters, and a QR code that, when scanned, plays the audio information for the album. ... Click to View


Musica Elettronica Viva:
United Patchwork [VINYL 2 LPs] (Alternative Fox)

A reissue of Musica Elettronica Viva's innovative 1978 open-structured album of free improvisation, United Patchwork, with the core performers of Frederic Rzewski on piano & electric piano, Richard Teitelbaum on synthesizer & conch shells, Alvin Curran on synthesizer & keys, plus Karl Berger on keys & vibraphone, Garrett List on trombone, and Steve Lacy on soprano sax. ... Click to View


Karkhana:
Bitter Balls [VINYL] (Unrock)

LP-only, no 7" single. The second full-length album from Karkhana, a septet featuring members of Dwarfs Of East Agouza, A "Trio", Konstrukt, Chicago Tentet, Land of Kush, among others in four compositions of "crystal clear and deep, dark, distorted unrock compositions" in both electric and acoustic instrumentation, an international genre-crossing album. ... Click to View


Rob Burke / Ben Monder / Tom Rainey / Ben Grayson:
Slip Sliding (FMR)

Rob Burke composed the first seven pieces for this experimental NY quartet, the multi-reedist joined by guitarist Ben Monder, drummer Tom Rainey, and Ben Grayson on electronics, the last "Discordat" a collective improvisation in 4 parts, as the band investigates emotional approaches to playing, using subtle distortion and Grayson's post-editing sonic additions. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall Nonet The:
Interpretations of Beauty (FMR)

Paul Dunmall's nonet with Neil Metcalfe, Philip Gibbs, Trevor Taylor, Hannah Marshall, Sarah Farmer, Theo May, Alison Blunt and John Edwards on one track, is a larger ensemble blurring improvisation and compositional approaches through violin, viola, cello, double bass guitar, reeds, flute, and guitar; sophisticated chamber improvisation of superb quality. ... Click to View


Nicolas Field / Albert Cirera:
Live at Dragon (FMR)

After recording the Not Two trio album "Five Spontaneous Ones", the trio of Catalan saxophonist Albert Cirera, English/Swiss drummer Nicolas Field and Polish bass player Rafalm Mazur planned a concert at Klub Dragon in Poland, but when Mazur was unavailable, Field & Cirera played the concert as a duo, recording this exceptional sax & drum free jazz album. ... Click to View


Quatuor Bozzini:
Ana Sokolovic: Short Stories (Collection QB)

Long-time collaborators the Quatuor Bozzini string quartet of Clemens Merkel, Alissa Cheung, Stephanie Bozzini and Isabelle Bozzini join with Slavic composer living in Montreal Ana Sokolovic, to present a series of 14 short works -- "Ghost 1" & "Ghost 2"; "Commedia dell'arte" in 10 movements; "Blanc dominant"; and "Troisieme page apres le soleil". ... Click to View


Treesearch:
Know More Knowledge (577)

West Coast/San Diego violinist Keir GoGwilt and bassist Kyle Motl are Treesearch, improvising on contrabass and violin with warm strength and expression, using a mix of traditional and creative approaches to their instruments as they bridge jazz and modern compositional approaches to create their own unique approach to free improvisation. ... Click to View


Astroturf Noise (Harmet / Nagano / Swanson / Martin / Bernstein):
Astroturf Noise (577)

Astroturf Noise is Sam Day Harmet on mandolin, Sana Nagano on violin, Zach Swanson on bass, Billy Martin on percussion, and Sarah Bernstein on violin, living at the intersection of American folk & roots music and free improvisation, using effects and sonic additions in an unusual mix that the quintet makes completely natural and all their own. ... Click to View


Tony Irving / Massimo Magee :
Vitriol And The Third Oraculum (577)

Two separate live recordings from the UK sax & drum duo of Massimo Magee on tenor, alto and sopranino saxophones, and drummer Tony Irving (Ascension), both captured in 2019 at The Globe in Newcastle Upon Tyne and at Hundred Years Gallery in London, as they burn through three free jazz dialogs of passionate playing informed by personal history and creative drive. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Matthew Putman:
Whoadie (577)

"Whoadie" is New Orleans slang for close friends, and the NY trio of saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter and flute player Daniel Carter, clarinetist Patrick Holmes, and pianist Matthew Putname are three close compatriots, which includes Telepathic Band, and apt description of their chamber-oriented free improv in an album inspired by an out of tune piano. ... Click to View


FEN (Otomo Yoshihide / Ryu Hankil / Yan Jun / Yuen Chee Wai):
No One's Island (Mikroton Recordings)

FEN (Far East Network) is comprised of improvisers from Singapore (Yuen Chee Wai), Japan (Otomo Yoshihide), China (Yan Jun), and Korea (Ryu Hankil), using electroacoustic instrumentation to create a unique merging of cultural and personal aesthetic, in their 1st album recorded in NYC using electronic feedback, computer noises and guitar; intriguing and unconventional. ... Click to View


Turbulence:
Tumult (Evil Clown)

The extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra is heard here as a quintet with PEK (reeds), Jim Warshsauer (reeds), Bob Moores (trumpet), Eric Dahlman (trumpet) and Duane Reed (baritone horn), all using an a vast collection of percussive instruments, game calls and other devices, to create a journey of tone, color, interactive playing and rhythmic intervention. ... Click to View


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  John Cage 
  Dream  
  (Wergo) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2009-08-11
John Cage: Dream (Wergo)

Bassist Stefan Scodanibbio conducts and performs five wide-ranging works of Cage and the results are extraordinary. The pieces chosen represent as encompassing a selection as one could ask for on a single disc: "Concert for Piano and Orchestra", "Freeman Studies n. 1-5 (for solo contrabass)", "Dream" (arranged for piano and contrabass), "Ryoanji" (for contrabass and tape) and "Radio Music" (here played by five "radio performers") .

The "Concert for Piano and Orchestra" was written in 1957-58 with David Tudor in mind. Here the pianist is Fabrizio Ottaviucci, accompanied by a miniature chamber ensemble: two winds, three strings and three percussionists, conducted by Scodanibbio. The score is very open-ended, each instrumentalist's part composed via chance operations, each performer instructed to create a personal system that tells them how long to play, when to enter, etc. The conductor is charged with keeping things interesting, not allowing too easy unisons, speeding up or slowing down the proceedings in an effort to keep the players on their toes and out of ruts. The approach works marvelously, never letting matters get too dry but also never allowing them to spiral out of control, managing to keep a loose kind of web surrounding the anarchy, a fine balance. A self-consistent mini-world is created, rich in timbral and dynamic variation, endlessly surprising and captivating.

The "Freeman Etudes" were originally written in the late 70s for violinist Paul Zukofsky with an unusual social aspect to them: Cage wanted to reflect the societal and cultural difficulties he perceived in the world at the time and the consequent malaise felt by many in the face of these problems. He figured if he wrote a piece that was incredibly difficult to perform, the audience would take heart upon hearing these thorny problems overcome and possibly apply that lesson in the "real world". Thus, the Freeman Etudes are quite a challenge for a violinist; how much more so for a double bassist? Scodanibbio, unsurprisingly, pulls it off with aplomb and grace, maintaining a light touch and dancelike attack. The work's relative astringency contrasts well with the preceding feast the entire disc is sequenced very nicely and leads into one of the special highlights of the recording, the 1948 composition, "Dream". At this point in Cage's career, one can still hear misty echoes of his preoccupation with Balinese gamelan, though that music has been diffused into a general atmosphere that's, well, dreamy. Beautifully performed by Ottaviucci and Scodanibbio, the piano lines also carry a Satie-like flavor, melodic and nostalgic, underlined by the bass' deep, somber arco. It's an extremely evocative piece, one that admirers of the Sonatas and Interludes for Piano will love.

"Ryoanji", written in 1983 and revised in 1985, is rendered here via double bass and tape, the sense of calm moved out into open space with the gentle tolling of a temple bell and Scodanibbio's multiple, elegiac lines twining through the air, sometimes even conjuring up whale song. It's both wonderfully meditative and yet earthbound, with a mournful aspect that's nonetheless at peace with its condition and a sense of time-suspension that's miraculous. In a final, delicious twist, the disc concludes with "Radio Music" from 1956. Judging the "quality" of such a performance might be a fool's errand, but this one works superbly, establishing a rich matrix of verbiage, music, feedback and static. It's full, vibrant and fascinating.



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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


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