The Squid's Ear
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Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Paint (Hot Cup)

The first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing and features bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, pianist Ron Stabinsky, and drummer Kevin Shea, with each composition named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title, with one apt Duke Ellington cover. ... Click to View


Moppa Elliott : Still, Up In The Air (Hot Cup)

Solo double-bass improvisations from Mostly Other People Do the Killing bassist and leader Moppa Elliot, consisting of sequences of contrasting themes, or musical cubism in the spirit of Picasso and Braque, presenting 7 of 14 sequences where the improvisation is a series of disparate musical ideas that transition rapidly in an attempt to disrupt the linear progression of thematic development. ... Click to View


Leandre / Minton: Leandre / Minton (Fou Records)

Phil Minton started as a trumpeter and became one of free improv's most outside vocalists; Joelle Leandre is a double bassist who also performs free vocal improv; this is their first recorded collaboration, and it's an unusual and wonderful album of heavy tone improvisation, plucked and bowed, and a masterfully odd free association of vocalisation. ... Click to View


Talibam! : Endgame Of The Anthropocene [VINYL] (ESP)

Talibam!'s 1st cinematic album of through-composed ecogothic geosonics, the "soundtrack to 2048's despotic nationalism and crumbling international infrastructure, underscoring an eco-mercantilistic tragedy and the desperate plundering of the last pristine landscape on Earth" from NY's duo of Matt Mottel on mini moog and synths, and Kevin Shea on drums, and midi mallet percussion. ... Click to View


Talibam! / Matt Nelson / Ron Stabinsky: Hard Vibe [VINYL] (ESP)

Talibam! with Matt Mottel on sax, Kevin Shea on drums, Matt Mottel on Fender Rhodes and synth and Ron Stabinsky on organ take inspiration from Herbie Hancock's 70's electronics, Miles Davis' "On the Corner" and Albert Ayler's New grass in compositions that transforms aspects of rhythm changes into a disciplined sequence, a new take on psychedelic jazz. ... Click to View


Crys Cole / Oren Ambarchi: Hotel Record [VINYL 2 LPs] (Black Truffle)

A double LP and the second release from the duo of Crys Cole and Oren Ambarchi, also romantic partners, as they explore their relationship through sound and voice, each side presenting a unique approach to their collaboration while maintaining a certain somnambulist feeling over rich guitar and organ work, and other unfathomable sound. ... Click to View


Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love / Kent Kessler): Thinking Out Loud (Trost Records)

The third album from this international trio of powerful improvisers--Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, and Chicago/NY saxophonist Mars William-- in four odysseys that take the listener from introspective playing to out and out blowing, using technique to serve their incredible dialog. ... Click to View


Sven-Ake Johansson / Alexander Von Schlippenbach : Schraubenlieder [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Drummer Sven-Ake Johansson is also a poet, writer and visual artist; here he joined forced with Alexander von Schlippenbach in 1988 to record these songs, never previously released, sung in German and English, for a set of 9 fascinating narrations that engage the listener independent of language, as von Schlippenbach improvises with prodigious technique. ... Click to View


Annette Peacock & Paul Bley: Dual Unity (Bamboo)

Reissuing the debut album by vocalist Annette Peacock and pianist Paul Bley recorded during their first European tour in 1970, in a quartet with compatriots Mario Pavone on bass and Laurence Cook on drums, Bley using an early Moog synthesizer; unique and original avant jazz. ... Click to View


Paul Bley Trio: Closer [VINYL] (ESP)

A vinyl reissue of Paul Bley's 2nd ESP album from 1966, a lyrical and lush trio setting with material mostly from Carla Bley, one Ornette Coleman number, and one from Annette Peacock, with Steve Swallow on bass and Barry Altschul on percussion, exploratory free jazz that uses melodic intention in assertive but not aggressive aways; a classic. ... Click to View


Pharoah Sanders : Quintet [VINYL] (ESP)

A vinyl reissue of Pharoah Sanders' 1965 debut release on ESP, in a quinet with Jane Getz on piano, William Bennett on bass, Stan Foster on trumpet and Mavin Pattillo on percussion, decidedly a jazz album from this outside player known for his association with John Coltrane in his freeist moments, here bridging lyrical and avant worlds with powerful playing. ... Click to View


Wadada Smith Leo: Najwa (Tum)

Paying tribute to musicians whose vision paved the way for modern creative players to use new approaches, language and philosophy in improvisation, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's band with four guitarists, electric bass, drums and percussion dedicates five incredible compositions to Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Ronald Shannon Jackson, and Billie Holiday. ... Click to View


Wadada Smith Leo: Solo - Reflections And Meditations On Monk (Tum)

An intimate album of solo trumpet from Wadada Leo Smith, performing compositions by Thelonious Monk, Smith professing in an essay in the accompanying booklet that he was motivated to become a composer by Monk above other contemporaries for his ideas of composition and bands; his admiration and love of Monk's work is clear in this beautifully lyrical album. ... Click to View


Aki Takase / Alexander von Schlippenbach: So Long, Eric! Homage to Eric Dolphy (Intakt)

Alexander von Schlippenbach and Aki Takase assembled an ensemble of Dolphy interpreters that includes bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, saxophonist Tobias Delius, vibraphonist Karl Berger, trumpeter Axel Dorner, trombonist Nils Wogram, &c, for a fresh take on compositions from one of free jazz's most iconic composers, Eric Dolphy, captured live in Berlin, 2014. ... Click to View


Steve Noble / Yoni Silver: Home (Aural Terrains)

The two-headed snake on the cover of this album aptly describes the sublimely sinuous and dark interplay between London free jazz drummer Steve Noble and bass clarinetist Yoni Silver, their 4-part improvisation taking on sinister elements of exceptional cymbal techniques, unusual drum tones, and extended lower register tones and high harmonics; excellent. ... Click to View


Various Artists: Asian Meeting Recordings #1 (Doubtmusic)

Otomo Yoshihide started The Asian Meeting Festival in 2005 to foster creative interaction between Japanese and other Asian musicians, since 2014 curated by DJ Sniff, and here in the 2017 edition at GOK Sound, in Tokyo, Japan with a who's-who of players including Yoshihide, Ryoko Ono, Ko Ishikawa, Son X, KEITO, Yuji Ishihara, Yuen Chee Wai, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Jim Black Trio: The Constant (Intakt)

A beautiful example of the modern piano trio, led by in-demand drummer, Jim Black, with Elias Stemeseder the pianist and Thomas Morgan on bass, in a lyrical album that uses Black's compelling and elusive drumming on 9 original Black compositions and one unexpected standard, as all three deliver complex playing that sounds accessible and engaging, a true achievement. ... Click to View


Fred Frith / Barry Guy: Backscatter Bright Blue (Intakt)

Both bassist Barry Guy and guitarist Fred Frith are key artists of Switzerland's Intakt label catalog, but surprisingly the two have never shared a stage together; Intakt had a feeling about their pairing and brought them into the studio, this superb duo album being the result in 10 brilliant tracks intertwining acoustic double bass and electric guitar. ... Click to View


Fred Frith Trio: Another Day in Fucking Paradise (Intakt)

Proclaiming that he nothing more in mind then getting together with a couple of formidable musicians, guitarist Fred Frith and Mills College alumni Jordan Glenn on drums and Jason Hoopes on electric and double bass take their listeners through 13 connected pieces that reference rock, jazz and ea-soundscape in an impressive album from a remarkable new group. ... Click to View


Lotte Anker / Fred Frith: Edge Of The Light (Intakt)

An intimate dialog between frequent collaborators, UK guitarist Fred Frith and Copenhagen saxophonist Lotte Anker, both players listening carefully as they interact in a fragile dialog of profound technique and inventive approach, using texture and nuance to create unusual and captivating interchanges that demonstrate how compatible these two very different instruments can be. ... Click to View


Schlippenbach Trio (Schlippenbach / Evan Parker / Lovens): Features (Intakt)

The long-standing Schlippenbach Trio with Evan Parker on saxophone and Paul Lovens on drums presents 15 concise "Features", improvisations of great depth and diversity, from the beautifully stark solo piano that opens the album to intense collective interactions, avoiding excess in deference to the profound expression of an inspiring group chemistry. ... Click to View


Mark Dresser : Modicana [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Double Bassist Mark Dresser, a mainstay of the Downtown NY scene as an improviser and composer, and also prominent on the US West Coast and as an international touring artist, releases a powerful album of distinctive solo playing, both technically and melodically, with 2 tracks caught live at the Umea Jazz Festival and others recorded at the University of California, San Diego. ... Click to View


Bobby Bradford / Hafez Modirzadeh / Ken Filiano / Royal Hartigan: Live at the Magic Triangle [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

A live concert at Amherst, Massachusetts in 2016 as part of the Magical Triangle Jazz Series from the quartet of legendary cornetist Bobby Bradford, Turkish saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh on tenor, in-demand New York bassist Ken Filiano, and percussionist/drummer Royal Hartigan, the band performing two Bradford compositions, with one each from Filiano, Modirzadeh and Hartigan. ... Click to View


Andrew Lamb / Warren Smith / Arkadijus Gotesmanas: The Sea of Modicum [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Captured live at the 2016 Vilnius Jazz Festival, the free jazz trio of saxophonist Andrew Lamb and percussionists Warren Smith and Arkadijus Gotesmanas provide a unique orchestration, with the percussionists building rhythmic structures over which AACM alumni Lamb's powerful saxophone work emerges; a great album of solid exploratory free jazz. ... Click to View


Yedo Gibson / Hernani Faustino / Vasco Trilla: CHAIN (NoBusiness)

A fiery and energetic album of masterful free jazz from Brazilian saxophonist Yedo Gibson, Portuguese-Brazilian drummer and percussionist Vasco Trilla, and Portuguese bass player Hernani Faustino (Red Trio, K4 Quadrado Azul), recording in the studio for 6 dynamic dialogs that uses a variety of approaches and references to free jazz and creative improv. ... Click to View


TON-KLAMI (Midori Takada / Kang Tae Hwan / Masahiko Satoh): Prophesy of Nue (NoBusiness)

Ton-Klami was an influential Japanese free improvising band active in the 90s, and leading to the solo careers of percussionist Midori Takada, pianist Masahiko Satoh, and saxophonist Kang Tae Hwan; here the band is heard in a 1995 live concert recorded at Design Plaza Hofu in Yamaguchi, Japan, recorded by Chap-Chap Records but never released. ... Click to View


Liudas Mockunas : Hydro [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Lithuanian reedist Liudas Mockunas in an unusual record of clarinet and saxophone improvisations, from solo work of powerful technique to pieces using water prepared instruments to create a wealth of bubbling and aberrant sound on the instrument, side A presenting the 7 part "Hydration Suite", Side B the 3 part "Rehydration", and "Dehydration". ... Click to View


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing: Baby Talk (The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions. ... Click to View


James Ulmer Blood W/ The Thing: Baby Talk [VINYL] (The Thing Records)

The Thing with Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on electric and double bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion, are joined by Downtown NY legend, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, for a live set at the Moldel International Jazz Festival in 2015 performing an exuberant and all-out impressive set of Ulmer composions. ... Click to View


Sun Ra & His Myth Science Solar Arkestra: The Lost Arkestra Series Vol 1 & 2 [2 10-INCH VINYL RECORDS] (Art Yard)

A double 10" featuring unreleased and rare Sun Ra recordings, including a live track from Paris in 1983, two unreleased cuts from the "Disco 3000" concert tapes, a quartet session with Sun Ra on the Crumar Mainman synth, and three selections from the Sub-Underground series of Saturn LPs, including a ballad and new material from "Live at Temple" and "What's New". ... Click to View


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The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales



  Squidco's Rewind - Top Sellers and Picks for 2016  


By Squidco 2017-01-05
:  ()

After 14 years in Squidco's existence we wonder why we're still excited about the new music that arrives almost daily. The answer to that riddle is the music itself: the more the industry pushes us to their preferred (and bland) stream of sound, the more the diversity of what we carry compels us to keep exploring, to find new approaches, ideas, or realizations of music that we've never heard before.

2016 was no exception, with about 825 new titles added to Squidco from labels around the world, a great mix of improvised, composed, intuitive, or indescribable music, a number of which meld all of those adjectives into a single release. As is our habit, we allow our customers to have the final say, and their picks are the first list. What follows is Philz' grudging list, grudging because he's the main buyer and stands behind most of what we sell. Still he has his favorites, and 25 of them are listed below the customer list. Carl Kruger, ceaseless audio explorer that he is, spent the most time on his list, which he works on during the year. Between the three lists there is a wealth of extremely interesting albums that you and we feel are worthy of your ear's time.



Customer Best Sellers for 2016

A list of the top 25 best sellers from 2016 releases in sales order.

Following that is:

Phil Zampino's Top List for 2016,
Carl Kruger's Top List for 2016.



Angry Waves (Takyanagi / Ino / Yamazaki)
Angry Waves / Vol.1
(Jinya Disc)

The late free improvising Japanese guiatarist Takayanagi Masayuki's free jazz trio with an Albert Ayler intent, formed in 1982 with Nobuyoshi Ino on bass and Hiroshi Yamazaki on drums, a pre-cursor to Takayanaki's Action Direct.


Angry Waves (Takyanagi / Ino / Yamazaki)
Angry Waves / Vol.2
(Jinya Disc)

The late free improvising Japanese guiatarist Takayanagi Masayuki's free jazz trio with an Albert Ayler intent, formed in 1982 with Nobuyoshi Ino on bass and Hiroshi Yamazaki on drums, a pre-cursor to Takayanaki's Action Direct.


Ayler, Albert Quartet with Don Cherry
European Radio Studio Recordings 1964
(Hatology)

Recorded during Albert Ayler's 1964 European tour with Don Cherry on cornet, Gary Peacock on bass, and Sunny Murray on drums, perhaps Ayler's best band and most creative period, well captured at Hilversum in The Netherlands and for Danish Radio Copenhagen, Denmark.


Braxton, Anthony
Quintet (Basel) 1977
(Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering Braxton's outstanding radio concert for Radio DRS in Safranzunft, Basel in 1977 in a quintet with George Lewis on trombone, Muhal Richard Abrams on piano, Mark Helias on double bass, and Charles "Bobo" Shaw on drums.


Braxton, Anthony
Quartet (Santa Cruz) 1993, 2nd Set
(Hatology)

Remaster of the exhilarating second set from saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton's concert at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA, 1993, one of 7 nights performing with the quartet of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Mark Dresser on bass, and Gerry Hemingway on percussion.


Braxton, Anthony / Quartet
(Santa Cruz) 1993 1st Set [REPRESS]
(Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering saxophonist Anthony Braxton's stellar release documenting his 1993 live performance with Marilyn Crispell on piano, Mark Dresser on bass, and Gerry Hemingway on percussion & marimba, demanding collective improvisation from masterful players.


Doran, Christy
In The Corner Of The Eye
(Hatology)

Irish guitarist Christy Doran in a quintet with NY Downtown stars Hank Roberts (cello) and Marty Ehrlich (reeds), UK legend Ray Anderson (trombone) and Swiss sax master Urs Leimgruber, in recordings from 1989-1991 showing incredible melodic, technical and creative skills.


Eskelin, Ellery Trio (w/ Gary Versace / Gerry Hemingway)
Willisau Live
(Hatology)

2015 recordings of tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin's trio with Gary Versace on organ and Gerry Hemingway on drums, an ebullient set live at the Jazz Festival in Willisau, Switzerland, sequencing Count Basie, Victor Young, Ernie Burnett, and Thelonious Monk tunes.


Feldman, Morton
Clarinet & String Quartet
(Hat [now] ART)

2 works for clarinet and string quartet, active compositions with a unique perspective in sound & texture; 2 versions of the 2 part 1961 work, and the larger 1983 composition.


Fujiwara, Tomas / Ben Goldberg / Mary Halvorson
The Out Louds
(Relative Pitch)

The first release from the NY/West Coast trio of Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, and Mary Halvorson on guitar, a collaborative improv of lyrical and nuanced improv, using great skill and sophistication in dialog that takes unexpected twists and turns.


Geerken, Hartmut And Chris Trent
Omniverse Sun Ra [BOOK]
(Art Yard)

Originally published in 1994, Hartmut Geerken and Chris Trent's comprehensive reference of Sun Ra includes a pictorial and annotated discography, essays and photo documents, photographs; this 2nd edition adds new photographs, photo documents, and essays.


Halvorson, Mary Octet
Away With You
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Mary Halvorson continues her string of excellent modern jazz albums with this octet release with fellow guitarist Susan Alcorn, Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon & Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Jacob Garchik (trombone), John Hebert (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).


Hawkins, Alexander / Evan Parker
Leaps in Leicester
(Clean Feed)

Established players on the London and European Free Jazz scene from two generations, saxophonist Evan Parker and pianist Alexander Hawkins come together for a duo of remarkable insight, technical skill, and inventive dialog from two masterful players.


Lacy, Steve Four
Morning Joy ...Paris Live [reissue]
(Hatology)

One night at the Paris Sunset Club by saxophonist Steve Lacy's Quartet with Steve Potts on sax, Jean-Jacques Avenel on bass and Oliver Johnson on drums, performing an exuberant mix of Lacy originals and Thelonius Monk tunes, remastered & expanded for Hat's 40th Anniversary.


Laubrock, Ingrid / Tom Rainey
Buoyancy
(Relative Pitch)

Drawing on several years and many shared projects, the duo of Ingrid Laubrock (sax) and Tom Rainey (drums) recorded this excellent album of sophisticated improvisation at the end of a 17-date tour, performing for a studio audience at Audio for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin.


Lyons, Jimmy
Push Pull [2CDs]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Originally issued on the Hat Hut label as a 3-LP set, this 1978 recording of Cecil Taylor compatriot, saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, performing live at Collective for Living Cinema in New York in a unique band with Karen Borca (bassoon), Munner Bernard Fennel (cello) and Roger Blank (drums).


Malaby, Tony Paloma Recio
Incantations
(Clean Feed)

NY Saxophonist Tony Malaby's Paloma Recio with Ben Monder on guitar, Eivind Opsvik on double bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums in a studio album performing Malaby's 4-part "Incantation Suite", lyrically free improvisation with a shimmering essence invoking dreamlike states.


Moondoc, Jemeel / Hilliard Greene
Cosmic Nickelodeon
(Relative Pitch)

Jemeel Moondoc's third release on New York's Relative Pitch label is this duo with bassist Hilliar Greene, a soulful album of bluesy free playing, Greene's solid finger and bow work anchoring Moondoc for beautiful, informed, quirky and sincerely heartfelt playing.


Morris, Joe
Perpetual Frontier The Properties of Free Music [BOOK]
(Riti Publishing)

Joe Morris wrote this book to discuss aspects of free music, including responses to his questionnaire written by Joe McPhee, William Parker, Jamie Saft, Ken Vandermark, Marilyn Crispell, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, Matthew Shipp, &c.


Morris, Joe
Shock Axis
(Relative Pitch)

A limited edition release of guitarist Joe Morri's new NY-area aggressive improvising trio with younger players Dave Parmelle on drums and Chris Cretella on electric bass, shredding with awesome technical skill and intense harmonic and melodic force, really powerful stuff!



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