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Instant Composers Pool:
Incipient ICP, 1966-71 [2 CDs] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Founded in 1967 by pianist Misha Mengelberg, drummer Han Bennink, and saxophonist & clarinetist Willem Breuker, this double CD documents the earliest years of the ICP collective through live & studio recordings from 1966-71, with an impressive cast of jazz and contemporary compositional players creating a delightfully diverse set of approaches to improvisation. ... Click to View


Vario 34 (Christmann / Frangenheim / Gustafsson / Lehn / Lovens):
Vario 34-3 (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Since 1979 cellist & trombonist Günter Christmann has led around 50 variations of "Vario", inviting musicians, actors, dancers, & filmmakers to partake; Vario 34--Christmann, Paul Loven (percussionist), Mats Gustafsson (sax), Thomas Lehn (live-electronics), and Alexander Frangenheim (bass)--first performed in 1993, and these Berlin recordings are from their 3rd meeting in 2018. ... Click to View


Van Dykes Park:
The Histories (Old Black Joe) [7'' Vinyl] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

... Click to View


Dan Weiss Starebaby:
Natural Selection (Pi Recordings)

The follow-up to NY drummer/composer Dan Weiss's 2018 release Starebaby is an unconventional compounding of electric jazz, doom metal, electronic music, and improvisation, performed with Matt Mitchell on piano & Prophet 6, Craig Taborn on piano, Fender Rhodes & synthesizers, Ben Monder on guitars, and Trevor Dunn on electric bass. ... Click to View


Hafez Modirzadeh (Davis / Sorey / Taborn):
Facets (Pi Recordings)

Using an unusual re-tuning of the piano, saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh enlists three inventive pianists--Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, and Craig Taborn--for a set of melodically-oriented duos, Modirzadeh using alternate fingerings and embouchure adjustments to achieve intervals between major and minor, together freeing the improvisers to explore new tonal possibilities. ... Click to View


Cyclone Trio (Massimo Magee / Tim Green / Tony Irving):
The Clear Revolution (577)

An exciting album of free jazz from the Australia/London-based Cyclone Trio, their name apt in the feverish interaction between saxophonist Massimo Magee and dual drummers Tony Irving and Tim Green on the opening work, the album patterned like a storm that slows introspectively for a quiet eye, then drums up a final gale force that dissipates to a sort of calm; brilliant. ... Click to View


Fred Lonberg-Holm :
Lisbon Solo [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

Using a variety of extended techniques, Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm conjures a barrage of multiphonics, interwoven timbral excursions and minuscule textural knots lined along the peripheral architecture of these pieces, captured live in the studio at at Namouche Studios, in Lisbon in 2019 for a series of 10 fascinating and distinctive free improvisations. ... Click to View


Gabby Fluke-Mogul :
Threshold (Relative Pitch)

Applying extended techniques from rubbing & scraping to sawing and striking, New York violinist Gabby Fluke-Mogul presents a bold solo violin album of 6 pieces with titles like "Bruise" or "Teeth", drawing an incredible gamut of unusual sounds from the violin and its body, occasionally adding vocal utterance, all laid out with a wonderfully quirky sense of timing. ... Click to View


Signe Emmeluth:
Hi Hello I'm Signe (Relative Pitch)

A single piece recorded live for Ingebrit Haker Flaten's 2020 Sonic Transmissions Festival finds the Danish saxophonist in an extended improvisation of varying moods, applying a diverse set of methods and technical approaches to the horn, from quiet meditate work to full-throated exuberance, in a remarkably personal journey of confident exposition. ... Click to View


Periferiya (Kobi / Korber / Liedwart / Muller / Myasoedov / Shershenkov) :
Boundary Scan [VINYL 2 LPs] (Mikroton Recordings)

A Russian-Swiss collaboration between Boris Shershenkov (St. Petersburg), Kurt Liedwart and Mikhail Myasoedov (Moscow), Thomas Korber (Zurich), Christian Kobi (Berne) and Christian Muller (Biel), recording in the remote Vallée de Joux, on the border between Switzerland & France, leveraging diverse approaches to sound to create these six detailed electroacoustic improvisations. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall / Percy Pursglove / Olie Brice / Jeff Williams:
Palindromes (West Hill Records)

Capturing their 2nd gig together, double bassist Olie Brice and trumpeter Percy Pursglove invited two prominent improvisers who had never played together before — drummer Jeff Williams and tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall — to join them for a 2020 concert at Cafe Oto in London, presented into two palindromic-ally named and profound improvisations: "Tattarratta" 1 & 2. ... Click to View


Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & The Maxx:
Live [VINYL] (MNJ)

The Norwegian big band Trondheim Jazz Orchestra joins together with the Swedish-origin trio The MaXx (Oscar Gronberg-keyboards, Petter Kraft-guitar & saxophone, Tomas Jarmy-drums) to develop and perform this monumental work of modern electric jazz, an abstract rock opera written specifically to leverage the power of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. ... Click to View


Ashbury Stabbins Duo:
Fire Without Bricks (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

A lost gem from of British free sax and drums & percussion duo of saxophonist Larry Stabbins and percussionist Roy Ashbury, originally released in 1976 on the Bead Label, their interplay including masterful and extended techniques from Stabbins and an array of chimes, chains, wood blocks, shakers, and bowed cymbals augmenting Ashbury's kit; captivating dialog. ... Click to View


Marek Malinowski Trio:
Scratching Fork (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Working together since 2015, the Polish guitar trio of Marek Malinowski on guitar, Robert Rychlicki-Gasowski on double bass & bass guitar, and Wojciech Zadruaynski on drums, present Marek Malinowski's embraceable mix of lyrically inclined modern jazz compositions with an explorative side, balancing structure with free space for sprightly spontaneity; a trio to keep track of. ... Click to View


The Underflow (Gustafsson / Grubbs / Mazurek):
Instant Opaque Evening [VINYL 2 LPs] (Blue Chopsticks)

The followup to their 2019 Corbett vs. Dempsey album and formalizing their trio name as "The Underflow", is an epic double LP of diverse and inspired free-ea from the trio of Mats Gustafsson on flute, fluteophone, baritone saxophone & live electronics, David Grubbs on electric guiar & voice, and Rob Mazurek on piccolo trumpet, wooden flute, electronics, percussion & voice. ... Click to View


MKM (Norbert Moslang / Jason Kahn / Gunter Muller):
Bangalore [VINYL] (Mikroton Recordings)

A stunning album of electroacoustic improv that truly pushes the envelope, from the MKM trio of Gunter Muller on iPods & electronics, Jason Kahn on modular synthesizer, mixer & radio, and Norbert Moslang on cracked everyday electronics, three masters of the form in their 5th Mikroton release after decades working together in configurations on labels like For4Ears. ... Click to View


Hermann Nitsch:
Musik der 155. Aktion [2 CDs] (Tochnit Aleph)

Recording of the premiere performance of Hermann Nitsch's large-scale symphony for full orchestra, brass ensemble and choir, in five movement, composed for the 155th Action of the Orgien-Mysterien-Theater, and performed in 2018 as the first action to be staged in the Nitsch Museum, Mistelbach, coinciding with the occasion of Nitsch's 80th birthday. ... Click to View


Catherine Lamb :
Muto Infinitas (Another Timbre)

A 50-minute duo minimalist composition for quartertone bass flute and double bass in just intonation from composer Catherine Lamb, who refers to the tuning structure as "rational" intonation, the piece unmetered as the melody emerges almost imperceptibly; recorded in Andreaskirche, Berlin in 2019 and performed by Rebecca Lane (flute) and Jon Heilbron (bass). ... Click to View


Various Artists curated by Nick Vander:
Walk My Way, Volume Three (Orbit577)

... Click to View


Joshua Abrams:
Natural Information [VINYL] (AGUIRRE RECORDS)

Joshua Abrams' (Town & Country, Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor, &c) 2010 album in an infectious groove-based album built around the guimbri, a 3-stringed animal hide bass used by the Gnawa of North Africa, performed with Chicago all-stars Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone, Emmett Kelly on guitar, Frank Rosaly on drums, and Noritaka Tanaka on drums. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall / Matthew Shipp / Joe Morris :
The Bright Awakening (RogueArt)

A brilliant example of trans-Atlantic collective free improv from the quartet of New York free jazz heavies Matthew Shipp on piano, Joe Morris on double bass, Gerald Cleaver on drums, and UK tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall, playing in the tradition of ecstatic and extended free jazz in a nearly hour long live performance recorded at Roulette in Brooklyn in 2012. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp / Evan Parker:
Leonine Aspects (RogueArt)

Meeting in France in 2017 for the Festival Météo de Mulhouse, Evan Parker alternating between soprano and tenor saxophones and Matthew Shipp on acoustic piano, present an epic extended improvisation that naturally evolves through several sections, followed by a brief post-script, each musician attentively focused as they support the clarity of each other's playing. ... Click to View


Ikue Mori / Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura:
Prickly Pear Cactus (Libra)

Extending their previous collaborations during the time of pandemic, NY electronic improviser Ikue Mori and Japanese improvisers Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and Satoko Fujii on piano developed this extraordinary ea-improv album via file exchange, starting with Fujii's piano improvisations to which Mori & Tamura added their layers, with Mori mixing the final, startling results. ... Click to View


Albert Ayler Quintet 1966:
Berlin, Lorrach, Paris & Stockholm. Revisited [2 CDs] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler's 1966 quintet brought a unique orchestration to his music, heard in these live performances in Berlin, Lörrach, Paris & Stockholm in November of 1966, four concerts presented chronologically as performed with the exemplary playing of brother Donald Ayler on trumpet, Michel Samson on violin, William Folwell on bass, and Beaver Harris on drums. ... Click to View


Jim O'Rourke / Apartment House:
Best That You Do This For Me (Another Timbre)

The UK ensemble Apartment House commissioned this work from composer & experimenter Jim O'Rourke based on their performance of other O'Rourke works, here interpreting a new graphic score designed like a sonic mobile, creating a minimal yet episodic piece of flexible interpretation as the performers whistle, hum and quietly sing in combination with bowed harmonics. ... Click to View


Josten Myburgh:
Sculthorpe Studies (Another Timbre)

A large work by the Western Australian composer Josten Myburgh, using harmonies taken from the music of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe blended with environmental field recordings, performed by Josten Myburgh on sax & electronics, Jet Kye Chong on percussion, Jameson Feakes on guitar, Djuna Lee on bass, Stuart James on piano & electronics, and Kirsten Smith on flutes. ... Click to View


Claire Chase:
Density 2036 [4 CDs] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Part of flutist Claire Chase's project to commission a modern body of work for the instrument, this 4-CD set features 17 works by 15 composers, including the multi-part album-long composition "Pan" by Brazilian-born Marcos Balter, with works for the entire flute family from piccolo to contrabass flute; participants include Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, Pauline Oliveros, &c. ... Click to View


Sun Ra Quartet:
The Sky Is A Sea of Darkness When There is No Sun To Light The Way/Somewhere in Space [7-inch VINYL] (Art Yard)

A 7" single of two recordings from the Sun Ra Quartet, the first a 1978 recording featuring John Gilmore's "The Sky Is A Sea Of Darkness When There Is No Sun To Light The Way" performed with Michael Ray on trumpet, Luqman Ali on drums, and Gilmore on sax; the B-side presenting a 1958 version of "Somewhere in Space"; 70gm vinyl with picture sleeve. ... Click to View


Bill Dixon:
In Italy - Volume One [VINYL] (Soul Note Vinyl)

Originally released in 1980, this album reissues late trumpeter Bill Dixon's recording from Barigozzi Studio, in Milano, Italy in 1980, performing Dixon's tapestry-like compositions with Dixon on trumpet & piano, Arthur Brooks on trumpet, Stephen Haynes on trumpet, Stephen Horenstein on tenor & baritone saxophones, Alan Silva on bass, and Freddie Waits on drums. ... Click to View


Jessica Ackerley / Patrick Shiroishi:
Extremities [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

Employing a variety of strategies to free improv, guitarist Jessica Ackerley and saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi present 9 diverse dialogs, from nearly silent and introspective interaction to full blown exclamation, using exceptional technique to coax unusual sounds from their instruments, always in service to well conceived momentum and expression. ... Click to View



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  SKIF++ (Carey / van Heumen / Koolwijk) 
  .next  
  (Creative Sources) 


  
   review by Jeph Jerman
  2010-11-11
SKIF++ (Carey / van Heumen / Koolwijk): .next (Creative Sources)

A trio of laptoppists that more than one review compares to rockstars, so well regarded are they. However, Jeff Carey, Robert van Heumann and Bas van Koolwijk make a kind of music most unlike a lot of laptop sound. The first and last improvisations here are rapid successions of sounds and textures that are difficult to process, memory being of no aid. The dizzying parade of howls, chatterring, warbling tones and grainy clicks can be quite jarring and very alien sounding. At the same time, things move so quickly that the chance of becoming bored is almost nil.

The longest track here ,"thinner" (indeed!), slows things down considerably, and takes its time assembling a more careful and cohesive statement. Sounds hang around longer and transform more slowly, starting from a base of winds and insectile chirping. There's a bit of that weird heterodyning effect that's often on evidence with digital sound, and in this context it adds to the overall coldness of the music, one that could only be made with technology. This is not a criticism of SKIF++'s work, indeed one of their stated aims seems to be to expose the sound-making and altering devices for what they are, and even turn them against themselves, bringing to mind all manner of philosophical ponderings perhaps better left to others. I prefer to listen as the sounds uncoil out of the speakers. A mid-section of quiet beeping and gentle burble/crackle is particularly nice, even more so as it hangs around for a while. I was often reminded of recordings I've heard of sound from space, albeit a bit more unnatural sounding, no doubt due to the machines involved.

The liner notes state Bas van Koolwijk's contribution to be "interactive visuals", and are described as an integral part of the live performances by SKIFF++. I had to wonder then why said visuals are not represented on this release except as cover graphics. A trip to their web site gave me an example of van Koolwijk's contribution. I cannot say at this point whether the music was any better or worse with the graphic representation of the sounds, just different, giving the mind a different context, rather like an odd cross of a scientific display and a feature film for robots.



SKIF++ (Carey / van Heumen / Koolwijk): .next
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Paul Dunmall /
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