The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Polyorchard (David Menestres / Jeb Bishop):
Ink [2 CDs] (Out & Gone Records)

A remarkable set of duos recorded live at three concerts during April 2019 in Bloomington IN, Nashville, TN and Columbus, OH, between Polyorchard leader, double bassist David Menestres, and trombonist Jeb Bishop, two free improvisers using extended and unusual approaches to their instruments as a means to fascinating dialog as they engage their listeners. ... Click to View


Dean Roberts:
Not Fire (erstwhile)

Berlin-based songwriter Dean Roberts' first album in 12 years is a collection of dark and melancholic songs, set in unusual formats based around guitar, electronics, strings, with subtle rhythmic elements, performed by Dean's Dark Moth ensemble, and a additional musicians that include Boris Hauf on piano and Neck's keyboards Chris Abrahams on harp. ... Click to View


Dietrich Petzold / Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Jan Roder:
Get Your Own Picture (Creative Sources)

An improvising string quartet with Creative Sources label leader Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, son Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, German violinist and violist Dietrich Petzold and German double bassist Jan Roder, recording in the studio in Berlin in 2018 for seven active improvisations with a chamber feel, each named by the letters making up the word "PICTURE". ... Click to View


Sivan Silver-Swartz :
Untitled 6 (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

An hour long work for the string quintet of Nigel Deane (violin), Patrick Behnke (viola), Tanner Pfeiffer (viola), Tal Katz (cello) & Julius Tedaldi (cellos) performing on two contrasting charts, one where musical elements change and recur, the other where things change but don't recur, creating a textural feel of dovetailed motion and intricate interstices. ... Click to View


Rishin Singh :
Out From The Blinding White (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Two understated compositions for solo piano from Kuala Lumpur composer living in Berlin, Rishin Singh, both performed by pianist Dante Boon, with the first piece written for Boon himself, a minimal work of slowly rising and descending progressions; the other piece "For Eva-Maria Houben" dedicated to the Wandelweiser composer, using recurring yet distinctly varying patterns. ... Click to View


Mark Hannesson:
Undeclared (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

"Undeclared" refers to a 2006 drone attack in Pakistan that struck a school, killing more than 80 civilians including 70 children, which took place on a day that was intended for a peace agreement; Hanneson pays homage to the victims by finding a sound for each of them, rendering the piece 3 times by himself, by Rene Holtkamp on guitar, and by Antoine Beuger on children's glockenspiel. ... Click to View


Kory Reeder:
Love Songs / Duets (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Four duets of gracefully moving music that focuses on tone without repeating melodies or rhythms from composer Kory Reeder in his first release, performed by Erin Cameron & Luke Ellard both on bass clarinet; Jonathan Kierspe (saxophone) & Samuel Anderson (bass trombone); Alaina Clarice & Linda Jenkins, both on flute; and Mia Detwiler (violin) & Kory Reeder (piano). ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra / Krzysztof Penderecki:
Actions [VINYL] (Rune Grammofon)

"Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra" was originally written by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki for the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, assembled by Don Cherry for the occasion and conducted by composer himself; this new extended reading and conduction of the score from 2018 was originated and conducted by Mats Gustafsson, a powerful update and expansion of the original work. ... Click to View


Beatriz Ferreyra :
Echos+ [VINYL] (Room40)

Presenting three of Argentine born, French based composer Beatriz Ferreyra most engaging compositions, fascinating works of musique concréte and acousmatic music that both entertain and startle the listener in sound that is both enigmatic and easily embraceable, particularly the opening piece "Echos" deconstructing voice, song and laughter in remarkable ways. ... Click to View


William Parker:
I Plan To Stay A Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield [VINYL] (Aum Fidelity)

Parker's definitive document of his Curtis Mayfield songbook project with Hamid Drake, Dave Burrell, Sabir Mateen, Darryl Foster & Amiri Baraka, promoting Mayfield's positive messages of hope and fortitude. ... Click to View


Jurg Frey:
Fields, Traces, Clouds (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Three compositions from clarinetist and Wandelweiser peer Jurg Frey, performed by Luke Martin on electric guitar, Laura Cetilia on cello, J.P.A. Falzone on piano, vibraphone, Morgan Evans on Weiler on violin, Jurg Frey on clarinet, composer; beautifully reflective music indicating Frey's working method and his relationship with wide, quiet sound spaces. ... Click to View


Melaine Dalibert :
Anastassis Philippakopoulos: Piano Works (elsewhere)

Wandelweiser member and composer Anastassis Philippakopoulos has twelve of her compositions for solo piano performed and realized by French composer/pianist ​Melaine Dalibert, each built around slow moving melodic progressions that resonate through patient performance, each fragment and note ringing beautifully, mysteriously, and dramatically. ... Click to View


The Giving Shapes (Robyn Jacob & Elisa Thorn):
Earth Leaps Up (elsewhere)

Nine song pieces for piano, harp, and vocal by The Giving Shapes, a Vancouver-based collaborative project between harpist/vocalist Elisa Thorn and pianist/vocalist Robyn Jacob, lovely pieces that weave their two voices with two compatibly yet uniquely timbred strings, merging contemporary popular forms with contemporary compositional music. ... Click to View


Mark Hannesson / Dante Boon / Anastassis Philippakopoulos :
hannesson . boon . philippakopoulos (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Three solo piano works from three composers--Mark Hannesson, Dante Boon, and Anastassis Philippakopoulos--are performed by Dante Boon in this Berlin studio album, three extremely compatible works that prove to be quintessential examples of Wandelweiser minimalism finding melody, progression and abstraction in subtle and elusive ways; sublime. ... Click to View


Bin Li :
I Am Also Here (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

A work of silence and intervention from Manhattan-based Chinese composer and sound artist Bin Li presented in two versions of the title track, with Stefan Thut on viol & voice on the 1st version, and voice only on the 2nd, using the locations of Manhattan and Gimmelwald, Switzerland as the background of careful viol and voice placement; intriguing and compelling. ... Click to View


Rieko Okuda / Antti Virtaranta / Girial Baars:
LAB H Tapes (Creative Sources)

Two distinct improvisation from the trio of Japanese musician Rieko Okuda on piano & viola, Finnish musician Antti Virtaranta on double bass, and Russian musician Girilal Baars on voice & old wheel, the first with Baars primarily focused on free vocals in a Phil Minton-esque mode, the second all instrumental with Baars performing on "old wheel". ... Click to View


Polwechsel / Klaus Lang:
Unseen (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

The innovative acoustic free improvising ensemble Polwechsel, bridging contemporary music and free improvisation in ways that sound deceptively electroacoustic and comprised of Michael Moser on cello, Werner Dafeldecker on double bass, and Martin Brandlmayr & Burkhard Beins on cymbals & percussion, are joined by Klaus Lang performing on the church organ of St. Lambrecht's Abbey. ... Click to View


Noah Kaplan Quartet:
Out Of The Hole (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

West Coast composer and saxophonist Noah Kaplan, associated with Anthony Coleman, David Tronzo, Peter Erskine, Rinde Eckert, Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Joe Maneri, &c., here in his 3rd album with his Noah Kaplan Quartet, in a set of original compositions and one standard performed with Joe Morris (guitar), Giacomo Merega (electric bass) & Jason Nazary (drums, electronics). ... Click to View


Christopher Fox :
Music For Piano (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Six compositions for solo piano written by English composerb Christopher Fox between 1991 and 2015, performed by Netherlands pianist John Snijders at Abbey Road Studios in London, each work uniquely approached in both writing and performance, each a concept or style that brings something unique to Fox's music while still retaining his voice and character in composition. ... Click to View


Burkhard Stangl / Dieb13:
Jardin Des Bruits (Mikroton Recordings)

Returning to their duo work together 17 years after their erstwhile records eh, guitarist Burkhard Stangl and turntablist Dieb13 explore and expand the sonic properties of their work in this new "Garden Of Noises", using electronics and recordings of soundscapes from Paris and Montreuil, recorded live at Instants Chavires in France, 2019. ... Click to View


Oyvind Skarbo / Fredrik Ljungkvist / Kris Davis / Ole Morten Vagan:
Inland Empire (Clean Feed)

A transatlantic all-star quartet of modern improvisers influenced by contemporary compositional music and creative jazz, with pieces from all four players--Fredrik Ljungkvist on tenor sax & clarinet, Kris Davis on piano, Ole Morten Vagan on double bass, and Øyvind Skarbø on drums--creating superb modern, unforseeable, and joyful music. ... Click to View


Patty Waters (w/ Greene / Pavone / Altschul):
An Evening In Houston (Clean Feed)

The distinctively unique voice and unconventional stylings of Patty Waters bring a set of standards and folk songs to a live quartet session in Houston, Texas in 2018 with the stellar backup of Burton Greene on piano, Mario Pavone on bass, and Barry Altschul on drums, covering songs by Billy Holiday, Nat King Cole & Hank Williams along with a trio instrumental of Monk's "Off Minor". ... Click to View


Andre Moller O. / Christoph Nicolaus / Rasha Ragab:
Music For Stone Harps [2CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Christoph Nicolaus began working with the stone harp around 2007, a block of granite with a slanted top that is deeply notched to create fins that resemble a loaf of bread, played by "bowing" the sides with wet hands causing each to vibrate in unique and beautiful tones; this album collects 13 compositions & improvisations performed between 2008 and 2018, in rich and uniquely evocative sound. ... Click to View


Bruno Duplant / Pierre Gerard:
Soleil Clandestin (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Five "Soleil Clandestin" soundscapes using abstract voice, guitar, electronics, field recordings & percussion from sound artists Bruno Duplant and Pierre Gerard, on the surface peaceful, minimal and using space and silence, but buried inside are disquieting additions through vocal abstractions placed in unusual position to the sound; curious and captivating. ... Click to View


Milo Fine / Joseph Damman:
Acceptance Of Sorrow (Aural Terrains)

An album off free improvisations culled from the long-running Minneapolis duo of amplified acoustic guitarist Joseph Damman and multi-instrumentalist Milo fine, recorded in concert at Studio Toile d'Angles in 2018, with Fine performing on percussion, a Bosendorfer imperial piano, B-flat clarinet & marimba, for 8 pieces of explorative and accomplished dialog. ... Click to View


Martin Archer :
Anthropology Band [2 CDs] (Discus)

Inspired by the music of 70's Miles Davis electric work, composer and saxophonist Martin Archer presents 15 compositions performed in two parallel sessions over two CDs, the first in a septet that includes Corey Mwamba, Pat Thomas and Dave Sturt, and the second an extended ensemble with brass and wind sections, each bringing distinctive life to these inspired compositions. ... Click to View


Tetuzi Akiyama / Herve Boghossian:
Suketchi (Tour de Bras)

Translating to "sketch", the duo of Japanese improvising guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama and French guitarist Hervé Boghossian recorded these sketches in the studio in Marseille, France, seven succinct free improvisations of an open and intuitively lyrical nature performed on acoustic guitars, in a gorgeous album of uniquely spacious interlaced string improvisation. ... Click to View


Sakina Abdou / Barbara Dang / Peter Orins:
Lescence / Gmatique (Tour de Bras)

Three musicians who are active members of the Lille-based collective Muzzix--Peter Orins on drums, Barbara Dang on grand piano, Sakina Abdou on saxophone & recorder--captured live at La Malterie, in Lille, France for two extended improvisations of minimalist conversation using extended techniques and unusual approaches to their instruments; fascinating. ... Click to View


Anticlan (Costa / Amador / Ernsting):
Close To The Bone (Creative Sources)

The second album of open-minded free improvisation of great drive, skill and and experimental determination from the Anticlan trio, a facet of the Albatre trio in the duo of Portuguese saxophonist Hugo Costa and German drummer Philipp Ernsting, along with Mexican guitarist residing in Rotterdamn, Josue Amador, recording in the studio in Rotterdam, 2019. ... Click to View


Jean D. L. (w/ Hermant / Ranaldo / Young):
Forays (Shhpuma)

A set of beautiful electro-acoustic compositions, dream-like and rich in details using sources of acoustic instruments, field recordings, guitar, electronics and voice, organized into hazy and beautiful reflections, with contributions from Margaret Hermant on xylophone & violin, Jeremy Young on electronics, and Lee Ranaldo providing field recordings and voice. ... Click to View


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  Jorrit Dijkstra and Pandelis Karayorgis with Bishop / Malaby / Ho Bynum / &c 
  Bathysphere  
  (Driff) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2017-01-13
Jorrit Dijkstra and Pandelis Karayorgis with Bishop / Malaby / Ho Bynum / &c: Bathysphere (Driff)

The art of the chart is not dead. It's just moved to another address. Used to be that the arranger was a lynchpin of popular music, hired to score canvases full of nuance and color for name bands or soundtracks. Left somewhat to the wayside with the development of multi-tracking and affordable and easily available software of all sorts that facilitated scoring that and the rise and triumph of smaller combos the chart writers faded from prominence. But here the arranger's art is alive and kicking in seven tunes for a 15-piece big band that includes a number of top improvisers. The compositions and arrangements are signed by pianist Pandelis Karayorgis and saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra.

The tour de force of musicianship heard here is impressive. The writing is sinewy and clever, making use of the wide palette afforded by this band and allowing for lots of improvising, even while the chart moves along in a very calculated manner. The rhythmic writing and playing stays close to traditions of big band writing from the likes of Thad Jones-Mel Lewis and Neil Hefti (two names that come to mind), but the idiom is definitely inflected with contemporary stylistic traits. The success of this revisionism results from these musicians' obvious skill with the traditions of big-band playing, combined with the equally obvious experience of these players in a more avant-garde context.

This recording is not about avant-garde composition, by any means, but it walks with impressive balance along a fine line between experimentation and conservatism, respecting traditions of jazz arranging, while bringing in some new qualities of its own. Examples are found in the oblong melodic lines and post-abstract-expressionism of "Chip Log," the hyper-minimalism of the exposition of "Bathychord" and the Frank Zappa-meets-Cecil Taylor of "Coelacanth." The fact that this big band also includes a quotient of electronics with its traditional roster of brass, reeds and rhythm section, and that it eschews any blatant ironic statement, adds to the post-post-modernist effect.



Jorrit Dijkstra and Pandelis Karayorgis with Bishop / Malaby / Ho Bynum / &c: Bathysphere
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Jurg Frey:
Fields, Traces, Clouds
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)



Fire! Orchestra /
Krzysztof Penderecki:
Actions
[VINYL]
(Rune Grammofon)



William Parker:
I Plan To Stay
A Believer:
The Inside Songs
of Curtis Mayfield
[VINYL]
(Aum Fidelity)



Melaine Dalibert :
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Piano Works
(elsewhere)



Beatriz Ferreyra:
Echos+
[VINYL]
(Room40)



Polwechsel /
Klaus Lang:
Unseen
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records Ltd)



Noah Kaplan Quartet:
Out Of The Hole
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records Ltd)



Andre Moller O. /
Christoph Nicolaus /
Rasha Ragab:
Music For
Stone Harps
[2CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)



Burkhard Stangl /
Dieb13:
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(Mikroton Recordings)



Oyvind Skarbo /
Fredrik Ljungkvist /
Kris Davis /
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Encomiast:
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