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Marker (Vandermark / Clinkman / Marquette / Stewart / Sudderberg): New Industries [2 CDs] (Audiographic Records)

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Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley: Deeply Discounted II​ / ​Sequences Of Snow [LP] (Audiographic Records)

The 3rd release from the duo of Chicago multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and NY trumpeter Nate Wooley, two long-form compositions written for the LP format and developed while touring North America during 2017; "Deeply Discounted II," is inspired by John Cage's "Cheap Imitation", while "Sequences of Snow," is dedicated to the experimental filmmaker & musician, Michael Snow. ... Click to View


Ken Vandermark / Paal Nilssen-Love: Screen-Off (PNL)

For their 10th album, the duo of multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love took inspiration from experimental cinema, enlisting producer Lasse Marhaug tp scour YouTube for concerts from their past 10 years, extraction 60 seconds of audio from each and joining them into 2-minute segments, 21 of which create this unusual album of awe-inspiring performance. ... Click to View


Paal Nilssen-Love : New Brazilian Funk (PNL)

Brought together by dummer Paal Nilssen-Love for the 2018 Roskilde Festival in Denmark, this quintet merges Norwegians Nilssen-Love and long-time collaborator Frode Gjerstad on alto sax with the Brazilian trio of Felipe Zenicola on electric bass, Kiko Dinucci on electric guitar, and Paulinho Bicolor on cuica, for an thrilling and exuberant concert of energetic improvisation. ... Click to View


Paal Nilssen-Love : New Japanese Noise (PNL)

One of two concerts drummer Paal Nilssen-Love organized for the 2018 Roskilde festival in Denmark is this quintet, adding Brazilian guitarist Kiko Dinucci from the "New Brazilian Funk" concert, alongside legendary Japanese free jazz saxophonist Akira Sakata, noise artist Kohei Gomi (Pain Jerk) and Toshiji Mikawa (Incapacitants), for a concert of controlled chaos and mastery. ... Click to View


Arashi (Akira Sakata / Johan Berthling / Paal Nilseen-Love): Jikan (PNL)

The third album from the Arashi trio of Akira Sakata on alto saxophone, Bb clarinet & vocals, Johan Berthling on double bass, and Paal Nilssen on Love on drums & percussion, formed in 2013 at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway and touring steadily since, here captured live at Pit Inn, in Tokyo for four intense free improvisations of inspired power. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Arrival (Rune Grammofon)

Trimmed back to a mere 14 musicians, the Fire! Orchestra core trio of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin and Orchestra original singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg add a string quartet, expanding their palette as they release their warmest and most embraceable album to date, from original material to covers of Robbie Basho and Chic. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Arrival [VINYL 2 LPs + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

Trimmed back to a mere 14 musicians, the Fire! Orchestra core trio of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin and Orchestra original singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg add a string quartet, expanding their palette as they release their warmest and most embraceable album to date, from original material to covers of Robbie Basho and Chic. ... Click to View


Biota / Mnemonists: The Biota Box [6 CD BOX SET] (Recommended Records)

From Mnemonists to Biota, this box collects the first 5 studio album released by the Colorado collective on the UK Recommended Records label, adding a bonus disc of all new recordings built from the group archives, and includes 14-page booklet of artwork & historical notes shedding light on their gorgeous abstractions through free improvisation and studio composition. ... Click to View


Charles Hayward : (Begin Anywhere) (Klanggalerie)

This Heat and Camberwell Now drummer, songwriter, vocalist, experimenter and sociological observer Charles Hayward steps away from his drums for an intimate album of song, performing on piano with minimal accompaniment as he presents new songs and new versions of songs including pieces from Camberwell Now; powerfully fragile, insightful, fascinating. ... Click to View


Izumi Kimura / Barry Guy / Gerry Hemingway : Illuminated Silence (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Performing at St. Ann's Church in Dublin, Ireland, the trio of Japanese pianists living in Ireland Izumi Kimura is joined by London bassist Barry Guy and Swiss based drummer Gerry Hemingway for 8 superb improvisations, including renderings of Guy's "Blue Horizon", "Ancients" and "Finding It" and Agusti Fernandez' "How to Go Into a Room You Are Already In". ... Click to View


Peter Evans / Agusti Fernandez / Barry Guy : Free Radicals At DOM (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Radical masters of free jazz--Spanish pianist Agusti Fernandez and British bassist Barry Guy--meet young(er) radical trumpeter Peter Evans at the Moscow Cultural Center DOM for this 1027 concert of free improvisation, a fiery and informed concert of two sets, each in three parts, and an encore, showing technical mastery, inventive interaction, and sheer excitement in performance. ... Click to View


Phicus / Martin Kuchen: Sumpflegende (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

The Catalan free improvising trio Phicus of Alex Reviriego on double bass, Ferran Fages on electric guitar, and Vasco Trilla on drums continue their pursuit of 4th partners, here joined by Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen on tenor & alto saxophones for a studio album of collective improvisation with elements of ea/lowercase playing balanced with dynamic language. ... Click to View


Brad Barrett / Joe Morris / Tyshawn Sorey : Cowboy Transfiguration (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Using a participatory compositional process, the NY trio of Brad Barrett on bass & cello, Joe Morris on guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, follow a framework to make choices based on density, rhythmic ratios, register, melody, and timbre, encouraged to employ small particles of sounds and blend timbres with an awareness of implied pulse and an inclination to disrupt it. ... Click to View


Greene / Smith / Moses: Life's Intense Mystery (Astral Spirits)

Performing live at Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA, the trio of free jazz piano legend Burton Green in a trio with bassist Damon Smith and drummer Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, in 6 collective improvisations, with impressive playing from all three as they segway through the three part "Life's Intense Mystery", taking exploratory moments and even some "Kid Play" inbetween. ... Click to View


Greene / Smith / Moses: Life's Intense Mystery [CASSETTE w/DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Performing live at Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA, the trio of free jazz piano legend Burton Green in a trio with bassist Damon Smith and drummer Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, in 6 collective improvisations, with impressive playing from all three as they segway through the three part "Life's Intense Mystery", taking exploratory moments and even some "Kid Play" inbetween. ... Click to View


Shirosihi / Golia / Fujioka / Cline: Borasisi (Astral Spirits)

Two drums and two saxophones merge to create this epic 2-part free jazz trek - "Right Eye Sun" and "Left Eye Moon", the album title taken from a sun deity in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Cat's Cradle", who mated with the moon; this pairing of is realized by West Coast masterful musicians Patrick Shiroishi & Vinny Golia (sax) and Dylan Fujioka and Alex Cline (drums & percussion). ... Click to View


Shirosihi / Golia / Fujioka / Cline: Borasisi [CASSETTE w/DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Two drums and two saxophones merge to create this epic 2-part free jazz trek - "Right Eye Sun" and "Left Eye Moon", the album title taken from a sun deity in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Cat's Cradle", who mated with the moon; this pairing of is realized by West Coast masterful musicians Patrick Shiroishi & Vinny Golia (sax) and Dylan Fujioka and Alex Cline (drums & percussion). ... Click to View


Jason Alder / Thanos Chrysakis / Caroline Kraabel / Yoni Silver: Music for Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinets & Electronics (Aural Terrains)

Exploring the low end of the clarinet family with Jason Alder on bass, contra bass, B flat & E flat clarinets, Yoni Silver on bass clarinet, plus Caroline Kraabel on baritone saxophone & voice, Thanos Chrysakis expanding the sonic space with laptop & synthesizers, in a 5-part series of beautifully paced, absorbing and subtly detailed collective improvisations. ... Click to View


Umlaut Big Band: Plays Don Redman: The King Of Bungle Bar (Umlaut Records)

Don Redman was an American big band leader popular in the 1930's, responsible for work on animations, sound tracks, and recordings of pre-swing hot jazz arrangements of popular tunes; here the French Umlaut Big Band under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Badaroux pays homage to his music in rich orchestration showing the melodic, inventive, and complexities of Redman's music. ... Click to View


Marc Ducret: Lady M (Illusions)

Taking on one of Shakespeare's most famous and frightening female characters, Lady Macbeth, in an 11-piece ensemble that include luminaries Liudas Mockunas, Samuel Blaser, and French guitarist Marc Ducret himself, using operatic form to focus his compositions on the emotional depth of his character, blending composed, improvised and sonic material into an exciting and unsettling work, drawing incredible performances from his players. ... Click to View


DKV Trio / Joe McPhee : The Fire Each Time [6 CD BOX] (Not Two Records)

A 6-CD boxset of recordings from the DKV Trio of Hamid Drake (drums), Kent Kessler (bass), and Ken Vandermark (reeds), plus guest Joe McPhee, the box dedicated to James Baldwin, recorded during the quartet's 2017 tour in Europe, and at shows in Chicago and Milwaukee that year, documenting six concerts with performances including Joe McPhee's "Nation Time". ... Click to View


Daniel Studer (w/ Loriot / Zimmerlin / Zoubek): Extended: For Strings & Piano (Hat Hut Ezz-Thetics)

A live album at Kunstraum Walcheturm from Swiss double bassist Daniel Studer's quintet of strings and piano, with Harald Kimmig on violin, Frantz Loriot on viola, Alfred Zimmerlin on violoncello, and Philip Zoubek on piano, performing an inventive set of Studer compositions extending string improvisation to extremes through unorthodox structures and techniques. ... Click to View


Monopiece / Jaap Blonk (Corde / Robidoux / Russell): (Shhpuma)

An absurdly paced and spectacular album of electronic improvisation, percussion and voice, as the West Coast improvising trio Monopiece of Nathan Corder on electronics, Matt Robidoux on guitar, and Timothy Russell on percussion meet legendary improvising vocalist and electronics artist Jaap Blonk, recording at The Center for Contemporary Music, at Mills College. ... Click to View


Urs Leimgruber / Jean-Marc Foussat: Face to Face [2 CDS] (Fou Records)

The perfect foils for each other, German saxophonist Urs Leimgruber and French AKS sysnthesist Jean-Marc Foussat are heard in two complete concerts, one at the WIM in Zurich and one at the Kunsthalle in Lucerne, both exploring sound, timbre, momentum and atmosphere through extended techniques and extreme playing, and an amazing display of soundscape and sonic force. ... Click to View


Thomas / Butcher / Solberg : Fictional Souvenirs [CD] (Astral Spirits)

Performing in concert at Iklectik in London in 2017, the UK and Norwegian free improvising trio of Pat Thomas on Moog Theremini & IPad based electronics, John Butcher on saxophones, and Stale Liavik Solberg on drums & percussion impress through a mix of masterful free playing and eclectic electroacoustic conversations, an adventurous and wonderfully unpredictable set. ... Click to View


Thomas / Butcher / Solberg : Fictional Souvenirs [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Performing in concert at Iklectik in London in 2017, the UK and Norwegian free improvising trio of Pat Thomas on Moog Theremini & IPad based electronics, John Butcher on saxophones, and Stale Liavik Solberg on drums & percussion impress through a mix of masterful free playing and eclectic electroacoustic conversations, an adventurous and wonderfully unpredictable set. ... Click to View


Harris Eisenstadt (Malaby / Roebke / Bishop): Old Growth Forest II [CASSETTE with DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

NY drummer Harris Eisenstadt composes for his quartet with Jeb Bishop on trombone, Tony Malaby on tenor & soprano saxophones, and Jason Roebke on bass, recording live at a Jazzshares concert in The Parlor Room, Northampton, Massachusetts, in their second tour performing Eisenstadt's inventive compositions leading to strong, lyrical soloing with unexpected twists and turns. ... Click to View


Harris Eisenstadt (Malaby / Roebke / Bishop): Old Growth Forest II [CD] (Astral Spirits)

NY drummer Harris Eisenstadt composes for his quartet with Jeb Bishop on trombone, Tony Malaby on tenor & soprano saxophones, and Jason Roebke on bass, recording live at a Jazzshares concert in The Parlor Room, Northampton, Massachusetts, in their second tour performing Eisenstadt's inventive compositions leading to strong, lyrical soloing with unexpected twists and turns. ... Click to View


Baczkowski / Lopez / Corsano: Old Smoke (Relative Pitch)

This smoking album of free jazz leads the New York trio of Steve Baczkowski on saxophone, Brandon Lopez on bass, and Chris Corsano on drums to fiery playing as they burn up the stage at Hallwall, in Buffalo, New York in 2018, over seven concise collective conversations expressing both passion, restraint, and profoundly masterful skill. ... Click to View


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  Jorrit Dijkstra 
  Pillow Circles  
  (Clean Feed) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2010-09-29
Jorrit Dijkstra: Pillow Circles (Clean Feed)

The title of this collection of compositions that serve as improvisation vehicles, with its connotations of lullabies and slumber, is the hardest thing to figure out in this octet session led by the Dutch alto-saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra. Certainly the music is not a problem to understand and enjoy, as it slides down so smoothly, with its appealing melodic contours and robust arrangements and improvisation.

The most distinct thing about Pillow Circles is its sinewy and octet instrumentation, with reeds, strings and percussion that blend superbly, from the opener, "Pillow Circle 34: for Henry Threadgill" whose theme recalls the twists and turns of George Russell's "Ezzthetic," a precursor that resonates as a mid-20th century prototype of the kind of music jazz has morphed into, whether the mainstream jazz radio and festival world has caught on or not. The same orchestration persists throughout in these "Pillow Circles," each dedicated to a different musician.

Reedists Dijkstar and Tony Malaby play a variety of instruments, with lyricon, analog synth and "crackle box" added to the leader's alto sax, and Malaby switching gears between tenor and soprano sax. These two front-line voices are fortified very nicely by Jeb Bishop's urbane trombone, and the pleasant entanglements of strings provided by Oene Van Geel's viola, Paul Pallesen's guitar and banjo, Raphael Vanoli's guitar and Jason Roebke's bass. This blend stands out in lines with lots of pluck and positive insistence, whether in the quiet moments in a piece like "Pillow Circle 18: for Fred Frith," or many of the more momentous and dynamically active pieces of the nine cuts that make up this disc. Setting the mood or responding sensitively, percussionist Frank Rosaly is a versatile accompanist, able to deliver the steady but subtle rock feel of some of the passages, as well as the more aleatory, musique actuelle moments.

As a composer, Dijkstra is someone who knows how to write for the people he hires to play his music, but he also seems to allow lots of room for the spontaneity of the meeting of musicians to happen. The improvising, buttressed by some solid pre-composed ideas, are a big part of what make this release worth the listen.



Jorrit Dijkstra: Pillow Circles
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