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Krennerich / Schubert / Osswald / Fischer:
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Four German saxophonists are heard in three sophisticated and extremely creative chamber-oriented improvisations recorded at Kulturzentrum Hufeisen from Andreas Krennerich on soprano, sopranino & baritone saxophones; Frank Paul Schubert on alto & soprano saxophones; Hartmut Osswald on tenor sax & bass clarinet; and Nils Fischer on baritone sax & contrabass clarinet. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Almeida / Hencleeday / Parrinha / Parrinha / Santos / Valinho:
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The concept of a Spiegel, or mirror, is explored by this perceptively patient electroacoustic octet led by violist Ernesto Rodrigues, each of the 3 tracks an evolution of the first recorded improvisation, the 2nd "Spiegel" layering and reacting to the first recording, and the 3rd to the previous two, ultimately reflecting a conversation of 24 virtual musicians. ... Click to View


Pan (Kim / Benes / Haag / Alsadi / Saremi):
I Had A Dream (Creative Sources)

Perhaps referring to their "Pan"-global membership, with improvisers from Europe, Iran, Palestine and South Korea, an unusual instrumentation including the kanun and keneche, the Pan quintet recorded this album using unconventional composing methods and the integration of sound processing and extraneous interjections, a truly unique album of encompassing improvisation. ... Click to View


Stephen Flinn:
Red Bell (Creative Sources)

An immersive album of solo percussion, slowly sculpted through bowed cymbals, tension across drum heads, resonance and extraneous percussive elements, from New York-based experimental percussionist, composer & improviser, each piece unfolding a meditative yet substantial story built of powerful elements, creating mysterious and often daunting soundscapes. ... Click to View


Schindler / Kepl:
Fabulierblattchen (Creative Sources)

Track titles are borrowed from Friederike Mayröcker for their "concentrated word acrobatics and linguistic sensuality", and apt analogy to the duo of Udo Schindler on clarinets & cornet, and Iren Kepl on violin, who are recorded live at the 95th Salon für Klang+Kunst Krailling in Munich, 2019, in a set of 9 delicately virtuosic dialogs that use extended and unusual techniques. ... Click to View


Naoki Kita / Guilherme Rodrigues / Naoto Yamagishi :
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The trio of Portuguese cellist Guilherme Rodrigues, Japanese percussionist Naoto Yamagish currently residing in France, and Japanese violinist Naoki Kita, active in improvisation and contemporary fields in Portugal and Berlin, met in Saitama, Japan at Barber Fuji to record these open conversations integrating extraneous noise and incidental instrument sounds. ... Click to View


Rasmus Borg:
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Seven improvisations for solo piano from Swedish composer and pianist Rasmus Borg, recording in Stockholm in a contemplative contemporary mode, as evidenced by titles like "Nocturne", "Waltz", "Toccata", &c, referencing established forms through instant compositions, a reflection of his statement that Borg likes "melody, harmony, going in circles, canons". ... Click to View


Franklin / Gill:
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A series of improvisations recorded in an afternoon in Melbourne, Australia between bass guitarist Joseph Franklin and saxophonist Sam Gill on alto & soprano, this the debut of their duo work that since 2018 has developed a unique discourse of adept interaction from calmly precise to rapid & disciplined exchanges, connected by with textural and exploratory periods. ... Click to View


Other Plastics (Dominic Coles / Hunter Brown):
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Unusual glitch and extreme electronics improvised by the duo of New York artist Dominic Cole and Chicago/NY artist Hunter Brown (Sound Tribe Sector Nine), using approaches including glitch, noise & circuit bending in 9 pieces with tongue-in-cheek titles, balancing erratic moments with exploratory sections and near silence, an interesting and enigmatic album of aberrant electronics. ... Click to View


[SNDNG STTNS] Kifpfmuller / Janek feat. Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues :
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Since 2014 the collective [SNDNG STTNS] has explored theatrical situations between musictheatre, staging and composition with live music, instruments, recordings, samples, speach and live editing, this work featuring cellist Guilherme Rodrigues bridges the art of the brazilian "violeros" with contemporary music, acoustic and electronic composition and improvisation. ... Click to View


Cortex (Hoyer / Nilssen / Alberts / Johansson):
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Seriously joyful and consequential "avant-garde party music" from the Norwegian Cortex quartet of Ola Hoyer on double bass, Gard Nilssen on drums & percussion, Kristoffer Berre Alberts on saxophone, and Thomas Johansson on trumpet, in their 6th album of irresistible, upbeat free jazz. ... Click to View


Ballrogg (Ellerhusen-Holm / Arntzen / Stackenas):
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The Norwegian trio Ballrog, which started as the duo of Klaus Ellerhusen-Holm on clarinet and Roger Arntzen on double bass, then expanded with guitarist Ivar Grydeland, who is replaced by guitarist David Stackenäus, a perfect choice for the lyrical chamber approach of intertwining lines and fluid melodic statement, with a sense of "free chamber americana"; beautiful. ... Click to View


Chrome Hill (Lerheim / Arntzen / Lofthus / Nymo):
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Self-described as Scandinavian jazz rock noir, the Chrome Hill quartet of Asbjorn Lerheim on baritone guitar, Roger Arntzen on double bass, Torstein Lofthus on drums & vibraphone, and Atle Nymo on tenor saxophone, present a dramatic album of contrasts inspired by cinematic and musical moods, merging elements of folk, Delta blues and cowboy rock into their darkly cool sound. ... Click to View


Warriors of the Wonderful Sound Expanded Ensemble, The:
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AACM legend Muhal Richard Abrams was commissioned by Philadelphia saxophonist Bobby Zankel to compose for Zankel's large ensemble Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, this monumental piece premiered in 2012, but only in 2018 was a 2nd performance possible, conducted by Marty Ehrlich and receiving 2 standing ovations, the band recording this studio version the next day at Drexel University. ... Click to View


Lencastre / Nuno / Faustino / Valinho:
Anthropic Neglect (Clean Feed)

Three heavy "Concept" pieces of electric jazz from the quartet of Lisbon saxophonist José Lencastre, electric bassist Felipe Zenicola (from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), drummer João Valinho and Jorge Nuno, a guitarist generally associated with psychedelic rock, as the band slowly seethes through a brew that flirts with rock and 70s fusion in unique ways. ... Click to View


Savina Yannatou / Joana Sa:
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A gorgeous and sinuous album of piano and voice from Portuguese pianist Joana Sá, using preparations and props to accompany the incredibly illustrative voice of Greek vocalist Savina Yannatou, whose profound skills create a sense of mystery and narrative that surpasses language and intent, creating something uniquely fragile yet fiercely alluring. ... Click to View


Luisa Goncalves :
Unno (Clean Feed)

A rich and lyrical album of solo piano improvisation from Lisbon-based Portuguese pianist Luísa Gonçalves, improvised yet merging elements of contemporary compositional music into beautiful and graceful forms that she reveals in a contemplative and pensive mood, savoring her notes and progressions while allowing melody to come forward in sophisticated ways. ... Click to View


Joao Lobo (Lobo / Lobo / Kempeneer):
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Drummer Joao Lobo's trio with guitarist Norberto Lobo and double bassist Soet Kempeneer perform the drummer's dynamic compositions, along with one traditional works, a tight trio of highly interactive playing and a sense of familial interplay as the band weaves around Lobo's layered drumming and emphatic grooves, taking time for introspection among their energetic spontaneity. ... Click to View


Andre Goncalves :
Instrumentals (Shhpuma)

A compilation of compositions for conventional, acoustic, musical instruments, performed through synthetics and computer processing as an album of electronic music, composed by Lisbon based sound and media artist André Gonçalves, each of 9 parts simply titled "Instrumental", and each a fascinating microcosm of kinetic, synthetic-acoustic potential. ... Click to View


Kahil El'Zabar:
Kahil El'Zabar's America The Beautiful (Spiritmuse Records)

Chicago multi-percussionist Kahil El'Zabar composes, arranges and conducts a tour de force musical testament to speak about the turbulent issues in America and the world today, as well as his hopes and love for a better tomorrow, in a 12-piece ensemble including Hamiet Bluiett, Tomeka Reid, Corey Wilkes, Dennis Winslett, and the James Sanders String Quartet. ... Click to View


Sabu Toyozumi / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan / Isla Antinero / Stella Ignacio:
The Search for the Five Senses (Sol Disk Records)

Recorded during Sabu Toyozumi's first collaboration with Rick Countryman in 2017, this album features music from the same nights that produced Jya-Ne and Center of Contradiction: 6 tracks from an August 11th quintet performance with voice and trombone, and electric bass; plus 2 tracks from the following night in a trio format with acoustic bass. ... Click to View


Schubert / Schlippenbach / Blume:
Forge (Relative Pitch)

"Merge" aptly describes the nearly telepathic interplay between these three European Free Improv masters -- Alexander von Schlippenbach on piano, Frank Paul Schubert on alto & soprano saxophones, and Martin Blume on drums -- recorded live in 2019 at Ruhr Jazz Fest, in Bochum, Germany, for an expansive 47 minute improvisation and a brief "Forgin the Work" conclusion. ... Click to View


Jooklo Trio (Genta / Vanzan / Lopez):
It Is What It Is (Relative Pitch)

A raucous blast of free jazz, electrifyingly extending the Italian improv unit Jooklo Duo of drummer/percussionist David Vanzan and saxophonist Virginia Genta, here on amplified tenor & sopranino saxophones, with New York improviser Brandon Lopez on electric bass, burning six hair-raising pieces of aggressive free improv of exemplary relentlessness. ... Click to View


Samara Lubelski :
Partial Infinite Sequence (Relative Pitch)

Performing solo on violin with surrounding effects that emphasize the dramatic tension in her extended sequences, Samara Lubelski presents two substantial journeys into the infinite, swirling in delays and reverb as her bow transitions from rapid up and down to long drawing and sustaining, pulling a variety of sounds that elate her listeners in spirals and eddies. ... Click to View


Susanna Gartmayer / Christoph Kurzmann:
Smaller Sad (Klanggalerie )

The first meeting between the Austrian duo of bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer and Christof Kurzmann, here using ppool software, voice and rubber band, creating 4 elusive and immersive works that float somewhere in the void between experimental electronics, improvisation and song, creating diaphanous tension and mysterious environments; spellbinding. ... Click to View


Tomeka Reid / Joe Morris:
Combinations (RogueArt)

New York and Chicago string improvisers combine for an album of dense abstractions through individual lines that weave between the two players, briefly combining then moving off to independent methods, as guitarist Joe Morris and cellist Tomeka Reid meet in a Brooklyn studio to record ten improvisations, including one each dedicated to their home cities. ... Click to View


Charlotte Greve / Vinnie Sperrazza / Chris Tordini:
The Choir Invisible (Intakt)

The first recording for the New York-based trio formed in 2017 by Germany/NY saxophonist Charlotte Greve, Brooklyn-based bassist Chris Trodini and drummer Vinnie Sperazza, all three composing for the band as they integrate composed structures and improvised sections with an ear towards lyrical interplay, create a diverse and optimistic first outing of buoyant jazz. ... Click to View


Christoph Irniger Trio (w / Raffaele Bossard / Ziv Ravitz):
Open City (Intakt)

Swiss saxophonist & composerChristoph Irniger extends his long-running trio of bassist Raffaele Bossard and drummer Ziv Ravitz with Brooklyn alto saxophonist Loren Stillmand and German trombonist Nils Wogram, combining arrangement and improvisation in the jazz tradition, performed with inventive clarity and a strong regard for melody, making this an upbeat and creative album of modern jazz. ... Click to View


Ernesto Rodrigues / Miguel Almeida / Andre Lanca / Bernardo Alvares / Felice Furioso:
Un Seul Regard Le Chant Petri De Beaute Un Mot Vert (Creative Sources)

Acoustic and sublime minimal acoustic improvisation with an emphasis on strings from the Portuguese quintet of Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Miguel Almeida on acoustic guitar, Andre Lanca on electric guitar, Bernardo Alvares on double bass, and Felice Furioso on percussion, performing live during the Small Format Materials Festival at Galeria Monumental, in Lisbon. ... Click to View



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  Normand Guilbeault Ensemble 
  Live at Upstairs 2008. Hommage a Mingus  

  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2009-10-20
Normand Guilbeault Ensemble: Live at Upstairs 2008. Hommage a Mingus ()

This group of Montreal musicians, led by double-bassist Norman Guilbeault, has spent quite some time at Charles Mingus' music. This is the second recording devoted to the late master's work, the previous being a studio outing, whereas this "Hommage a Mingus" features the sextet in a live setting, which heightens the intensity of the performances of this round of tunes.

There seems to be a love affair between Montreal and Mingus. Musicologist and band leader Andrew Homzy, author of Mingus: More than a Fake Book, was also the individual who dug through Mingus' archives to resurrect Epitaph, and local Uptown records' Bob Sunenblick released a bunch of previously unavailable Mingus Tracks (among them "Song with Orange" done here by the ensemble).

Guilbeault's team, which features some top-notch players from the local scene, among them Jean Derome (who appears on alto and bari saxes, flute and voice) and trumpeter and Montreal Off Festival founder Ivanhoe Jolicoeur, one of the city's most fiery players are perfect choices for the Mingus charts.

The main treat of this album is that these are musicians who have a real feeling for the Mingus style and who pull it off fabulously with hot bluesy playing and off-the-beaten-track virtuosity. This is an unusual opportunity to hear Jean Derome on baritone saxophone, which, although not his usual horn, he plays with a lot of heart. Mathieu Belanger on clarinets, one of Montreal's best, contributes to the rich texture to the music, and the sextet is rounded out with the solid playing of Norman Deveault on piano and Claude Lavergne on drums. This CD also offers listeners the chance to hear one of Montreal's best jazz vocalists, Karen Young, on the chiaroscuro ballad "Weird Nightmare" and the impressionistic tone poem "Eclipse" which also has some nice chorale writing. The leader himself shines in passages where the bass takes the lead, as in the introduction to "Prayer for Passive Resistance", and when driving the spirited cacophony of "Sue's changes."

The transcriptions are faithful to the originals, but not pedantic, since these are all working musicians with individual styles which they bring to bear on their reading of the scores scores that offer a good variety of material, representative of Mingus' abilities to elicit inside and outside playing. The recording reminds us of Mingus' importance as a composer and that, despite the loose aspect of his work-shopping approach which built on sketches for the players who took the music off with Mingus' presence, the spirit of Mingus lives despite his absence!



Normand Guilbeault Ensemble: Live at Upstairs 2008. Hommage a Mingus
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