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Daniel Studer:
Extended II (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Presented in two sonic rendering, one for stereo playback and a binaural mix for headophones, this exceptional 2021 chamber jazz string performance at Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich displays spectacular technique and concentration, from the quintet of Daniel Studer (double bass), Harald Kimmig (violin), Frantz Loriot (viola), Alfred Zimmerlin (violoncello) and Philip Zoubek (piano). ... Click to View


Eric Dolphy:
At The Five Spot To Iron Man, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Restoring two essential albums from alto saxophonist Eric Dolphy: first his '61 live album at NYC's Five Spot in a quintet with Booker Little, Mal Waldron, Richard Davis & Ed Blackwell; then his '63 studio sessions in varying configurations with Clifford Jordan, Woody Shaw, Sonny Simmons, Prince Lasha, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Kahn Richard Davis, Garvin Bushell & J.C. Moses. ... Click to View


Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane:
1957, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

A transformative experience for John Coltrane, whose 1957 studio sessions with pianist Thelonious Monk, recorded after Monk's residency at the Five Spot, came at a transitional point for the iconic tenor saxophonist, expanding his knowledge of harmonic structure and refining his approach to soloing; with Coleman Hawkins, Art Blakey, Gigi Gryce, Ray Copeland, Wilbur Ware and Shadow Wilson. ... Click to View


Ballister (Rempis / Lonberg-Holm / Nilssen-Love):
Smash And Grab (Aerophonic)

"Smash", "Even More Smashing" and "Grab" sums up the intense energy that the Ballister trio brought to their 2022 performance at Elastic Arts in Chicago as part of the Catalytic Sound Festival, impelled by Paul Nilssen-Love's powerful drumming and Fred Lonberg-Holm's demanding cello work, with Dave Rempis roaring on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones; wow! ... Click to View


Ballister (Rempis / Lonberg-Holm / Nilssen-Love):
Smash And Grab [VINYL] (Aerophonic)

"Smash", "Even More Smashing" and "Grab" sums up the intense energy that the Ballister trio brought to their 2022 performance at Elastic Arts in Chicago as part of the Catalytic Sound Festival, impelled by Paul Nilssen-Love's powerful drumming and Fred Lonberg-Holm's demanding cello work, with Dave Rempis roaring on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones; wow! ... Click to View


John Zorn (Frisell / Riley / Lage):
Nothing Is As Real As Nothing (Tzadik)

The completion of John Zorn's second trilogy of albums performed by the extraordinarily masterful acoustic guitar trio of Bill Frisell, Gyan Riley and Julian Lage, here performing six intricate and lyrically graceful compositions dedicated to literary visionary Samuel Beckett; uniquely packaged in a clear imprinted sleeve. ... Click to View


Suspensao:
Serendipity (Creative Sources)

A fortuitous 2015 concert from the lowercase chamber/ea-improv octet Suspensão, captured live at Ler Devagar Bookstore in Lisbon from Ernesto Rodrigues (viola & harp), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello), Nuno Torres (alto sax), Eduardo Chagas (trombone), Antonio Chaparreiro (guitar), Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano & melodica), Miguel Mira (bass), Carlos Santos (electronics) and Jose Oliveira (percussion). ... Click to View


Akira Sakata / Toshimaru Nakamura / Raiga Hayashi:
Kinjo no Tabibito (Meenna)

A wild live improvisation at Apollo, in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo from legendary Japanese reedist Akira Sakata on alto sax and clarinet, Raiga Hayashi on drums, and Toshimaru Nakamura on no-input mixing board, the latter adding unusual electronic elements to otherwise characteristically energetic free jazz from the Tokyo scene, making this a wonderfully unique album. ... Click to View


Patrick Shiroishi :
I Was Too Young To Hear Silence [VINYL] (American Dreams Records)

Using the resonance of the parking garage under the Jazz Cat in Monterey Park, California, Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist Patrick Shiroishi recorded nine solo improvisations, interacting with the environmental sound and reverberant ambiance through contemplative, curious and explosive moments, at times augmenting his saxophone with the metallic notes of a glockenspiel. ... Click to View


Susan Alcorn / Septeto del Sur:
Canto (Relative Pitch)

Recording in Maria Pinto, Chile, steel guitarist Susan Alcorn combines Chilean folk and nueva cancion with free improvisation and contemporary classical in an expansive set of 5 original compositions and a group arrangement of the Victor Jara's "El Derecho de Vivir en Paz", the achingly beautiful themes paying tribute to the victims of Augusto Pinochet's regime. ... Click to View


Mia Dyberg Trio (w / Thomsen / Forchhammer):
Timestretch (Clean Feed)

Danish alto saxophonist Mia Dyberg's Trio with drummer Simon Forchhammer and Norwegian double bassist living in Denmark, Asger Thomsen, following their 2018 William S. Burroughs-inspired Clean Feed release with a solid collection of original compostions and solo improvisations from Dyberg; a well-balanced and diverse set of creative jazz expression. ... Click to View


Miha Gantar:
Amsterdam [5 CD BOX SET] (Clean Feed)

The second box set from Slovenia-born pianist Miha Gantar, named for his adopted city of Amsterdam, through five CDs presenting the many aspects of chamber-oriented, refined jazz that he composes and improvises around, with one CD each of trio and quartet settings, a CD of duos with Michael Moore, an extended solo improvisation, and a dual piano work. ... Click to View


Eclectic Maybe Band:
Bars Without Measures (Discus)

Creating structured works from real time improvisations, Guy Seger's (Univers Zero) large ensemble of absolutely impressive players breaks down to smaller grouping to record the layers of each piece, which Seger then uses as raw material for each finished piece, as elements of rock, jazz, composed, and experimental forms merge into accomplished and engaging compositions. ... Click to View


Tony Buck / Mark Nauseef:
Mongrels (Relative Pitch)

Using a wide assortment of guitars (electric, baritone, arch top acoustic, bass) + monochord, waterphone & zulu bells, Necks drummer and multi-instrumentalist Tony Buck joins with percussionist Mark Nauseef performing on bells and gongs for seven exotic improvisations rich in overtones, microtonal movement, ringing harmonics and hybrid motion. ... Click to View


Jack Wright:
What Is What (Relative Pitch)

Improviser, influencer and world traveler performing with exceptional players in interesting situations, saxophonist Jack Wright is heard in four solo improvisations that support the description of his wide vocabulary on the horn: "leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, sharp and intrusive multiphonics, surprising gaps of silence, and obscene animalistic sounds". ... Click to View


Rodrigo Pinheiro / Pedro Carneiro:
Kinetic Etudes (Phonogram Unit)

Six permutations on motion from the Kinetic duo of Portuguese pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro (Red Trio) and Pedro Carneiro performing on marimba with quarter tone extension, the duo emerging from "shadows and resonance" and ending with "inertia and collision", as they explore the interactions of keys and percussion in improvisations executed with the precision of composed music. ... Click to View


Claman / Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Tallone:
Three Shadows (Creative Sources)

Berlin recordings from the lowercase chamber improvising string quartet of New Zealand violinist Sarah Claman, Portuguese violist Ernesto Rodrigues and cellist son based in Berlin, Guilherme Rodrigues, with Swiss sound artist Caroline Cecilia Tallone on electroacoustic hurdy gurdy & amplified objects, exploring three shadow aspects of "Umbra", "Penumbra" and "Antumbra". ... Click to View


Benjamin Vergara / Amanda Irarrazabal:
Ultimo Sosiego (577 Records)

Influenced by the landscapes and sonic profiles of Chile's extreme southern territory, Chilean trumpeter Benjamin Vergara (Relincha Festival of Experimental Music) and double bassist Amanda Irarrazabal alliterate and reflect through a series of four improvisations coaxing texture and melody in their dialogs through tremendous technique and concentration. ... Click to View


Jessica Pavone:
Clamor [VINYL] (Out Of Your Head Records)

With a septet of women improvisers and contemporary performers, composer and violinist Jessica Pavone's long-form collective improv compositions are titled after innovations made by women throughout history to circumvent obstructions to their freedoms, revealed through string and bassoon orchestration that balances harmony, dissonance, drone and disruptive experimentation. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmalll (Dunmall / Kinch / Cole / Mwamba / Kane / Drake):
Bright Light A Joyous Celebration (Discus)

Recalling his Sun Quartet album, UK saxophonist Paul Dunmall's new sextet pivots off the jubilant rhythm section of drummer Hamid Drake, double bassist Dave Kane and vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, with three saxophonists--Dunmall on tenor & c-soprano saxophones, Xhosa Cole on tenor and Soweto Kinch on alto & tenor saxophones--in a truly joyful bright celebration of free flowing jazz. ... Click to View


John Butcher / Pat Thomas / Dominic Lash / Steve Noble:
Fathom [COLORED VINYL] (577 Records)

The debut for UK saxophonist John Butcher on 577 Records is this exemplary 2021 live recording at Cafe OTO in London by the quartet of Butcher on tenor and soprano saxophones, Pat Thomas on piano, Dominic Lash on double bass and Steve Noble on drums, four of the UK's leading free improvisers demonstrating their prodigious abilities in concentrated conversation. ... Click to View


Ned Rothenberg (w / Courvoisier / Halvorson / Fujiwara):
Crossings Four (Clean Feed)

Crossing styles, generations and approaches to improvisations, multi-reedist and composer Ned Rothenberg's quartet of Rothenberg on clarinets & alto sax, Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, Mary Halvorson on guitar & effects and Tomas Fujiwara on drums perform five Rothenberg compositions and one by Rothenberg & Courvoisier, of spectacular timbral, rhythmic and melodic intersections. ... Click to View


Grzegorz Tarwid Trio ( w/ Mucha / Karch):
Flowers (Clean Feed)

Lyrically upbeat and expressive piano trio compositions from Polish pianist Grzegorz Tarwid and his trio with double bassist Max Mucha and drummer Albert Karch, all active performers on the Polish and European free jazz secene, here in six works of diverse moods that start with Latin tinges and seamlessly work through playful and pointillistic pieces to end in a tranquil "Sleep". ... Click to View


Calcanhar (Mortagua / Azevedo):
Jump (Clean Feed)

The project name chosen by the duo of Portuguese improvisers, saxophonist Joao Mortagua and pianist Carlos Azevedo, translates to "heel", which they explain "represents the footprint we leave behind as we navigate a constantly evolving musical path", heard in 14 succinct improvisations that balance implicitly lyrical dialog with unconventional and often mischievous technique. ... Click to View


Benjamin Vergara :
The Impossibility Of A Single Sound (Relative Pitch)

A "subterranean homage to trumpet players of the caliber of Don Cherry, Bill Dixon, Miles Davis, Lester Bowie, Tomasz Stanko, Wadada Leo Smith, Jaimie Branch and Chet Baker", in six improvisations of unusual technique and creative concept from Chilean trumpeter Benjamin Vergarda, known for his work with Fred Frith, Keefe Jackson, &c, and director of the Festival of Experimental Music Relincha. ... Click to View


Crossland / Frangenheim:
Basic Tracks Baltimore New York (Concepts of Doing)

Nearly a decade after their first duo collaboration, Ape Green on the Creative Sources label, Wuppertal-born and Berlin-based double bassist Alexander Frangenheim joins again with Baltimore-based trombonist Patrick Crossland for two live performances of wildly creative interaction: first at the 2022 Livewire 12 Festival, then at The Record Shop in Brooklyn. ... Click to View


Joelle Leandre / Vinicius Cajado:
Storm Dance (Not Two)

Six "Dances" of a deeply turbulent nature as legendary French bassist Joëlle Léandre meets Brazilian bassist Vinicius Cajado for a 2022 live concert in Vienna at Alte Schmiede, both employing massively powerful techniques, Léandre vocalizing at times to push their dialog into tempestuous territory; at times darkly explosive but illuminated by incredible creative intent. ... Click to View


Sergio Merce:
Traslasierra (expanded landscape) (Hitorri)

A beautiful album of expanded landscapes performed on electronically modified Electronic Wind Instrument, field recordings, virtual instruments and synthesizer from Argentinian sound artist Sergio Merce, his characteristically patient pacing and use of space creating dramatic and beautiful sonic environments that hint at warm narratives in a seductive excursion. ... Click to View


Made Of Bones (Fonesca / Clemente / Dias / Sousa):
Handgun (Phonogram Unit)

Having collaborated over 15 years in bands including Slow is Possible and Cat in a Bag, the Portuguese quartet of Duarte Fonseca on drums, Joao Clemente on guitar, Nuno Santos Dias on Waldorf Zarenbourg electric piano and Ricardo Sousa on double bass, borrow from electric 70's jazz, rock and experimental forms through 10 diverse and intriguing concepts tinged with a dark wit. ... Click to View


Sheldon Suter:
Berceuses & Nocturnes (Shhpuma)

Percussionist Sheldon Suter steps out from groups including Musique Brute, Big Bold Back Bone, Marco von Orelli 6 or Jurg Wickihalder Orchestra for a seductive album of solo percussion, using zithers, portable turntables, a shruti box and harmonica in immersive works intermixing six pulsing and serene lullabies with five ominous nocturnal environments. ... 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:


Eric Dolphy:
At The Five Spot
To
Iron Man,
Revisited
(ezz-thetics
by Hat Hut Records
Ltd)



Thelonious Monk with
John Coltrane:
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(ezz-thetics
by Hat Hut Records
Ltd)



Daniel Studer:
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(ezz-thetics
by Hat Hut Records
Ltd)



Ballister (
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Nilssen-Love):
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Jessica Pavone:
Clamor
[VINYL]
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[COLORED VINYL]
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