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Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Black Is Back - 40th Anniversary Project (KATALYST )

Percussionist Kahil El' Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with Ernest Khabeer Dawkins on saxophone Dawkins and Corey Wilkes on trumpet, referencing the history of jazz in contemporary settings, with superb rhythmic textures and excellent soloing. ... Click to View


Adasiewicz's, Jason Sun Rooms: From The Region (Delmark)

Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms explores the sparse territory of the vibraphone trio with fellow Chicago player Mike Reed on drums and Texan via Norway bassist Ingrebrigt Haker-Flaten replacing Nate McBrite; tasteful and lyrical jazz with a modern edge. ... Click to View


Abrams, Joshua: Natural Information (Eremite)

Joshua Abrams (Town & Country, Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor, &c) in an infectious groove-based album built around the guimbri, a 3-stringed animal hide bass used by the Gnawa of North Africa, with a bonus 20 minutes of material not included in the LP. ... Click to View


NG4 Quartet (Keith Rowe / Anthony Taillard / Emmanuel Leduc / Julien Ottavi): A Quartet For Guitars (Mikroton Recordings)

Keith Rowe, Anthony Taillard, Emmanuel Leduc and Julien Ottavi perform on electric guitars and electronics, following a score of 9 sections worked out between them for over a year before recording these six improvisations. ... Click to View


Rowe, Keith / Alfredo Costa Monteiro / Ilia Belorukov / Kurt Liedwart: Contour (Mikroton Recordings)

Two recordings from spina!studio in St. Petersburg during the Teni Zvuka 2013 Festival, one a duo btween Keith Rowe and Alfredo Costa Monteiro, and the other filling out to a quartet with Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart; detailed interactions with impressive restraint. ... Click to View


Uchihashi, Kazuhisa / Noid / Tamara Wilhelm: I Hope It Doesn't Work (Mikroton Recordings)

Three unusual voices in electroacoustic improv from Uchihashi Kazuhisa on guitar and daxaophone, Tamara Wilhelm on DIY electronics, and Noid on cell, recorded at two concerts: Kleylehof/Nickelsdorf in 2011; and festival Konfrontationen 2013. ... Click to View


Fennesz: Venice [VINYL 2 LPs] (Touch)

Special 10th anniversary edition of Fennesz' classic "Venice" album from 2004 recorded with David Sylvian on vocals and Burkhard Stangl on guitar, presented in a gatefold double LP release. ... Click to View


Castello, Angelica / Billy Roisz / Burkhard Stangl / Dieb13: Scuba (Mikroton Recordings)

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Triac (Tatone / Seracini / Polidoro): In A Room (Laminal)

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Shea, David: Rituals (Room40)

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Spontaneous Music Ensemble: Oliv & Familie (1968-9) (Emanem)

Reissuing the 3rd release from drummer John Steven's Spontaneous Music Ensemble with 31 minutes of previously unissued material, with participants including Derek Bailey, Kenny Wheller, Evan Parker, Dave Holland, Maggie Nichols, Trevor Watts, Johnny Dyani, &c &c. ... Click to View


Rutherford, Paul Trio: Gheim - live at Bracknell 1983 (Emanem)

A short-lived improvising trio led by Paul Rutherford (trombonist) with Paul Rogers (double bass) and Nigel Morris (drums) performing live in 1983, originally issued on cassette on the Ogun label, here with more than 24 minutes of additional studio material. ... Click to View


Lacy, Steve: Cycles (1976-80) [2 CDs] (Emanem)

Solo saxophone performances of three of Steve Lacy's cycles--"Shots", "Sands", and "Hedges"--recorded in concert and in the studio in the late 70's and 1980, with the majority of the material previously unreleased; thoughtful, technical, lyrical, astounding music from a true master! ... Click to View


Halvorson, Mary: Reverse Blue (Relative Pitch)

Guitarist Mary Halvorson's project with Chris Speed on sax & clarinet, Eivind Opsvik on bass, and Tomas Fuijwara on drums, a band formed for a one-off concert at the Blue Note in NYC, that continued on based on the strength of the bond between them, as heard on this superb release. ... Click to View


Grimal, Alexandra / Giovanni Di Domenico: Chergui [2 CDs] (Ayler)

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Lacy, Steve: School Days (1960/3) (Emanem)

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Moholo, Louis / Frode Gjerstad: Sult (FMR)

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Shetland Improvisers Orchestra: First Steps (FMR)

The 1st release from this collective directed by Raymond MacDonald on sax and George Burt on drums (GIO), presenting work from workshop sessions and a complete set from the 2012 Glasgow Improvisers Festival, 6 unique and sometimes eccentric work, including a piece for Lol Coxhill. ... Click to View


Bianco, Tony: Utoma Quartet (FMR)

Borrowing from Elvin Jones' concepts, drummer Bianco's band uses 2 saxophones (Mike Fletcher and Mark Hanslip), bass (Colin Somervell) and drums, for energetic and ecstatic jazz compositions creating a continual pulse with long lines and looped synchronicity. ... Click to View


Acid Mothers Temple SWR: Yes, No & Perhaps (Magaibutsu)

Acid Mother Temple SWR merge's AMT's Kawabata Kakoto (guitar, voice,) and Tsuyama Atsushi (bass, vocals, sax) with Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins, Koenji Hyakkei, &c), here in their 6th release, crazy prog-oriented rock of indescribable insanity and skill! ... Click to View


Zorn, John: Valentine's Day (Tzadik)

John Zorn brings together Downtown New Yorkers, Marc Ribot on guitar, Trevor Dunn on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, for 12 instrumental miniatures combining atonal lyricism with rock intensity; scronky, demanding and exciting hybrids of improv and rock. ... Click to View


Rodiriguez, Roberto / Zorn, John: Aguares: The Book Of Angels Volume 23 (Tzadik)

Drummer Roberto Rodriguez interprets John Zorn's "Book of Angels" in this 23rd volume from the series, recording in Israel with a wonderfully compelling ensemble emphasizing both rhythmic and melodic elements in nine exciting compositions. ... Click to View


Smith, David / Bill Laswell / John Zorn: The Dream Membrane (Tzadik)

Bill Laswell on bass and drones and John Zorn on shofar and alto saxophone perform darkly evocative ambient music to readings by magus David Chaim Smith from selections of his mystical text "The Awakening Ground". ... Click to View


Sealed Knot, The: Surface/Plane (Confront)

Listed as one of The Wire's Top 10 Improvised Music Records in 2003, this reissue of The Sealed Knots Meniscus release presents two live 2001 concerts in the UK from the subtlely sophisticated trio of UK & Berlin artists Mark Wastell, Burkhard Beins, and Rhodri Davies. ... Click to View


Wastell, Mark: Caressed On The Brow By Unseen Hands (Confront)

This long overdue re-issue celebrates the unique encounter of eleven like-minded musicians from Japan, England, Wales, Germany, Basque Country & Norway, brought together in the studio for one day only for this daytime recording session followed by an evening concert. ... Click to View


Leandre, Joelle / Michael Duch: (Live at) Gramolna (Confront)

Two double bass players--Joelle Leandre and Michael Duch--performed as a duo live in at nyMusikk in Oslo, then recorded this album of freely improvised bass interactions the next day in the studio at Gramolna in Trondheim; dark and commanding explorations of deep strings. ... Click to View


Moholo-Moholo, Louis Unit: For the Blue Notes (Ogun)

Ogun marks their 40th anniversary by releasing this superb album from drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo's Unit as an octet including Alexander Hawkins on piano, John Edwards on bass, and Jason Yarde on saxes, performing a heartfelt tribute to The Blue Notes live in Italy. ... Click to View


Perelman, Ivo / Mat Maneri: Two Men Walking (Leo)

The second collaboration between saxophonist Ivo Pereleman and violist Mat Maneri, pairing two single-melody instruments in a melding of sound, technique and personalities that captivates in exceptional unison and counterpoint playing. ... Click to View


Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp / William Parker: Book Of Sound (Leo)

A single extended work in 6 parts from the trio of Ivo Perelman (sax), Matthew Shipp (piano) and William Parker (bass), emotional and masterful music from a trio that has developed their sound over years working together; superb! ... Click to View


Smith, Wadada Leo: The Great Lakes Suites [2 CDs] (Tum)

Outstanding compositions and performances on a 2 disc set from trumpeter Leo Smith, each piece dedicated to one of the US Great Lakes, with multi-wind player Henry Threadgill, bassist John Lindberg, and drummer Jack DeJohnette, a milestone in a superlative career! ... Click to View


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Ingebrigt Haker Flaten 
Steel: Live in Bucharest  
(Tektite Records) 


review by Florence Wetzel
2012-05-22
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Steel: Live in Bucharest (Tektite Records)

Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is surely one of the most energetic players on the international music scene. Born in Norway in 1971, Flaten studied with bassist Odd Magne Gridseth at the Trondheim Conservatory of Music in the early nineties, then spent ten years honing his craft before his first release as a leader, Quintet (Jazzland, 2004). In addition to solo projects, over the years Flaten has worked with groups such as the Thing, Atomic, Free Fall, and Scorch, as well as in duets with three great international saxophonists: Joe McPhee (American), Evan Parker (English), and Håkon Kornstad (Norwegian).

Now based in Austin, Texas, Flaten recently took the plunge and started his own label, Tektite Records. Since Flaten is an integral part of the creative music world in both Scandinavia and the United States, he is ideally positioned to present today's music. Plans for the label include solo work from other artists, some of Flaten's ensemble work, and a box set of creative music concerts from Texas. Steel is the label's second release, a solo concert by Flaten that was recorded in 2010 at the Round Hall of the National Center of Dance in Bucharest, Romania.

The concert is in four parts and lasts just over twenty minutes, but it's amazing how much ground Flaten covers. Each piece has a distinctive feel, with various sonic flavors — jazz, free, classical, rock, noise, Middle Eastern — floating through the performance. Part one is notable for Flaten's strong, resonant plucking that gives each note its full due. Flaten's notes sing and linger, twist and turn, and his runs are wonderfully shaped. He can be a tremendously lyrical player as well, dancing his fingers over the strings in Spanish-tinged flourishes. In part two, Flaten busts out his bow, showing his strength as an arco player. One gets a sense of his deep concentration and intention as he moves the music from spare sounds to frenzied cries reminiscent of the human voice. Part three has insistent, forceful playing with a bit of a rock feel, and at one point Flaten sounds like he's hitting his bow on the floor — this must have been quite a concert to see as well as hear. The performance comes to an exciting close with part four, where Flaten sounds like he's playing backward and forward and sideways, then winds up by doing a call-and-response with himself.

In jazz clubs where a listening policy is not enforced, bass solos suffer the most; it can be practically impossible to hear bassists when there's a screen of conversation and clinking glasses. So it's a real pleasure to hear a bass on its own, with an audience that is listening quietly and respectfully. It's also a joy to behold someone so intimate with their instrument, so playful and open-minded and intense. Steel is a must for bass lovers, and for anyone who loves creative music played with passion and taste. Flaten's label is off to an excellent start, with more exciting music on the way.



Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: Steel: Live in Bucharest
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