January 17, 2020:
A shorter entry this week as we received a great number of new releases, and we continue to catch up from the holidays. In the next week we should see the two new Aerophonic albums arrive, and we're expecting the three new ezz-thetic albums including Alberty Ayler, Sun Ra, and Cat Hope & Erkki Veltheim. With luck the latest FMR albums will arrive late next week as well. We also will introduce the new Tim Barnes "DEAD-LOOP" LP, which arrived yesterday. We also have the two new RogueArt CDs, of which I expect to write about the new Fred Frith / Nicolast Humbert / Marc Parisotto album next week. Last, you'll also see the incredible duo of Jon Rose & Alvin Curran in our Just In Stock section. As you can see, we've been busy!
Two very different approaches to the saxophone quartet were introduced into our catalog this week, their recordings some 40 years apart, and in comparison, showing the evolution of modern improvisation and saxophone technique. Both are incredible albums, remarkable in their intention and importance.
The first is the reissue of ROVA Saxophone Quartet's album Saxophone Diplomacy, so named as the US West Coast-based quartet took their saxophones behind the iron curtain to tour Russia, Latvia & Romania in 1986. Their playing bridges more traditional jazz forms and free playing with serious creative twists and turns, and their technical skills on their respective horns are nothing short of awesome.
Compare this with the 2019 recordings of Lithuania's Katarsis4, where the players (Arminas Bizys, Kazimieras Jusinskas, Algirdas Janonis, and Danielius Pancerovas) borrow liberally from nonidiomatic improv, free jazz, and compositional forms. Each player uses extended techniques, merging styles and approaches that taking the listener on a journey of mood and texture, from robust playing to reflective environments.
Neither album deserves any more credit than the other (except to note the boldness of ROVA for the challenges of that tour) and both bring out the intensity of creative drive and determination each brings to their music. Personally I find it fascinating to see how much ground modern music has covered to make both of these albums seem current while using such distinctive approaches.
ROVA (Raskin / Ochs / Voigt / Ackley): Saxophone Diplomacy (Hatology)
A much needed reissue of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet's historic 1983 tour of Russia, Latvia and Romania, as Jon Raskin on alto, baritone & soprano sax plus clarinet, Andrew Voigt on alto, sopranino & soprano sax + flute, Bruce Ackley on soprano sax & clarinet, and Larry Ochts on tenor & sopranino sax tear apart six incredible multi-reed improvisations; incredible!
Katarsis4 (Bizys / Janonis / Pancerovas / Jusinskas): Katarsis4 (NoBusiness)
A diverse, unique and sometimes explosive saxophone quartet from Lithuania founded by Arminas Bizys, Kazimieras Jusinskas, Algirdas Janonis, and Danielius Pancerovas, using extended techniques, the saxophones themselves, and found objects as they articulately merge structurally free improvisation, academic approaches and motives from Lithuanian folk music.
I've returned to the Corbett vs. Dempsey album "Acoustic Swing Duo" several times, as I'm often intrigued by starting points. This was issued as ICP 001, the first LP on the now-legendary Dutch label Instant Composers Pool, and was issue issued in 1967. The label name tells so much of the attitude and intention of the musicians released, much like the Incus label: interested in non-idiomatic improvisation alongside European Free Jazz. In fact, Bailey and Bennink are presented as a duo on their eponymously named 1971 ICP 004 album. In fact, the 3rd track on New Acoustic Swing Duo is also an Instant Composition, "I.C.P. 1 For Maarten Derksen".
These are the early years for the movement that established some of free improvisation's legendary improvisers, particularly the late Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, Willem Breuker, John Tchicai, Derek Bailey, Steve Lacy, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, and Paul Rutherford. New Acoustic Swing Duo maintains a fine line between completely free improvisation and the free jazz then developing in Europe. There seem to be no rules in their sometimes frenetically shifting approach, and as the logic becomes clear to the listener the pace changes again, as their youthful creative drive pushes them to new and equally fascinating territory.
The album absolutely "swings", but with a swagger unheard in the vast majority of jazz of its time. You can almost feel the players smirking in satisfaction as their intense runs lead them out to spacious reflection or vicious smears of percussive blast and malevolent timbre. It's exciting, thrilling really, and still unique from the vast majority of creative improvisation of our current time. In a word, this is timeless, even if this is an album that brings us back to a particular point of time.
Willem Breuker / Han Bennink: New Acoustic Swing Duo [2 CDS] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Remastering and re-issuing the very first album on the new Dutch artist-run free improvised music label, ICP Records (Instant Composers Pool), "New Acoustic Swing Duo" shows brings reedist Willem Breuker and drummer Han Bennink together for 6 incredible improvisations, the 2nd CD extending the album with a live concert at Jazzclub Podium in Essen, DE in 1968.
Pricing Update: I'd like to point out that we've re-priced all of our single CD Intakt titles with the addition of 9 new titles on the label, with the new price being $17.95. The Swiss-based Intakt label is one of the great labels in free improvisation, their first album (Irene Schweizer, Live At Taktlos) having been released in 1986, and their catalog having almost 350 titles to date with no sign of slowing. Next week's mailing list should have the majority of the new title fully cataloged and announced, but the new pricing is available immediately.
See all Intakt titles in our catalog
Last, here are the most recent updates and announcements from our Squidco and The Squid's Ear sites. You can always see the latest fully cataloged items in our store by using our
New Releases section.
You can see the newest additions to our catalog that are in stock and ready to ship, but not yet fully cataloged, in our to our Just In Stock section.
Items that have been recently restocked can be found in our Recently Restocked section.
January 16, 2020: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Evan Parker & Kinetics - Chiasm (Clean Feed) by John Eyles.
January 16, 2020: New @ Squidco:
ROVA (Raskin/Ochs/Voigt/Ackley) -Saxophone Diplomacy [CD] (Hatology)
George Graewe/Ernst Reijseger/Gerry Hemingway -Concertgebouw Brugge 2014 [CD] (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Katarsis4 (Bizys/Janonis/Pancerovas/Jusinskas) -Katarsis4 [CD] (NoBusiness)
Bobby Bradford/Frode Gjerstad/Kent Carter/John Stevens -Blue Cat [VINYL] (NoBusiness)
Marc Copland -Gary [CD] ((Illusions))
Arto Lindsay/Joe McPhee/Ken Vandermark/Phil Sudderberg -Largest Afternoon [CD] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Fred Lonberg-Holm/Joe McPhee -No Time Left for Sadness [CD] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Joke Lanz/Jason Kahn/Norbert Moslang/Gunter Muller/Christian Weber -kangaroo_kitchen [2 CDS] (Mikroton Recordings)
VocColours/Yoichiro Kita -Live in Japan [CD] (Creative Sources)
Etienne Nillesen/Nicola Hein/Magda Mayas/Eve Risser/Marta Warelis -Piano Trialogues [CD] (Creative Sources)
January 16, 2020: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Wadada Leo Smith / Sabu Toyozumi - Burning Meditation (NoBusiness Records) by Dave Madden.
January 14, 2020: New @ Squidco:
Liquid Quintet (feat Agusti Fernandez/Artur Majewski/Albert Cirera/Rafal Mazur/Ramon Prats) -Flux [CD] (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Steve Swell/Robert Boston/Michael Vatcher -Brain In A Dish [CD] (NoBusiness)
Juan Vinuesa Jazz Quartet (Vinuesa/Berman/Roebke Avery) -Blue Shots From Chicago [CD] (NoBusiness)
Willem Breuker/Han Bennink -New Acoustic Swing Duo [2 CDS] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Mats Gustafsson/Wendy Gondeln /Wolfgang Voigt/Martin Siewert -The Shithole Country & Boogie Band [CD] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Sounds of Liberation -Unreleased (Columbia University 1973) [CD] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Cyanobacteria/Hubsch -Are You an Orchid or a Dandelion? [CD] (Toxo Records)
Lars Akerlund/Eryck Abecassis -Falls [CD] (Mikroton Recordings)
Leap Of Faith -Crumpled Dimensions [CD] (Evil Clown)
Goh Kwang Lee -Avalanche (2 CDs) [2 CDs] (Herbal International)
January 14, 2020: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Jim Denley / Eric Normand - Plant II (Tour De Bras) by Massimo Ricci.
January 13, 2020: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Nicola L. Hein - The Oxymothastic Obhectar (Shhpuma) by Brian Olewnick.