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This Is It! (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Takashi Itani): 1538 (Libra)

Part of pianist Satoko Fujii's "Kanreki" (60th Birthday) tour and monthly album release, the "This Is It!" Trio with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer/percussionist Takashi Itani is heard at Koendori Classics, in Tokyo, Japan, in January 2018, for an incredible album of Fujii's compositions that include quirky asides in coherent and effusive compositions. ... Click to View


Flamingo (Chris Heenan / Adam Pultz Melbye / Christian Windfeld / Roy Carroll): Loud (Relative Pitch)

This Berlin-based collaboration with sound engineer Roy Carroll performing on electronics and features the trio of Chris Heenan on contrabass clarinet, Adam Pultz Melbye on double bass, and Christian Windfeld on snare drum, percussion & objects, using a reductionist approach to deep sonic improvisation of mysterious origins, in an extended journey fo sound. ... Click to View


My Cat Is An Alien: The Sky With Broken Arms (Opax Records / Elliptical Noise)

The long-running Italian improvising duo of brothers Maurizio Opalio and Roberto Opalio, celebrating their 20th anniversary in this album using electric guitar, effects, loops, keyboards, and wordless vocalizations to create this hauntingly beautiful extended composition, an hallucinatory mediation with a repeating motif over which an interstellar tapestry of sound emerges. ... Click to View


Roberto Opalio : Once You'll Touch The Sky You Will Never Return To Dust (Opax Records / Elliptical Noise)

Half of the Italian improvising duo My Cat Is an Alien, Roberto Opalio uses prepared mini-keyboard, handmade shortwave receiver, alientronics, and vocalizations to create this improvised prelude and statement, a shifting work that draws the listener into mesmerizing sonic environments of alien origin and transports them deceptively between ringing and textured vistas. ... Click to View


DNMF (Machinefabriek + Dead Neanderthals): Smelter [CD] (Moving Furniture)

The DNMF collaboration of Netherland's sonic experimenter Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) and the Dead Neanderthals duo of saxophonist Otto Kokke and drummer Rene Aquarius, in their second album of heavy, droning style, reveling in a resonant, high-volume, long-form work of hypnotic sound merging of metal, drone and dark ambience. ... Click to View


DNMF (Machinefabriek + Dead Neanderthals): Smelter [CASSETTE] (Tartarus Records)

The DNMF collaboration of Netherland's sonic experimenter Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) and the Dead Neanderthals duo of saxophonist Otto Kokke and drummer Rene Aquarius, in their second album of heavy, droning style, reveling in a resonant, high-volume, long-form work of hypnotic sound merging of metal, drone and dark ambience. ... Click to View


DNMF (Machinefabriek + Dead Neanderthals): Smelter [VINYL] (Moving Furniture)

The DNMF collaboration of Netherland's sonic experimenter Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) and the Dead Neanderthals duo of saxophonist Otto Kokke and drummer Rene Aquarius, in their second album of heavy, droning style, reveling in a resonant, high-volume, long-form work of hypnotic sound merging of metal, drone and dark ambience. ... Click to View


District Five (Ruegg / Svosve / Huter / Amereller): Decoy (Intakt)

Lyrical and creative modern jazz from the young Swiss quartet of Xaver Ruegg on double bass, Tapiwa Svosve on alto saxophone, synths, & electronics, Vojko Huter on guitar, synths, & electronics, and Paul Amereller on drums, members of the Gamut Kollektiv and aiming to extend conventional acoustic improvisational forms with rich sonic additions and modern grooves. ... Click to View


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Metamorphic: The Two Fridas (Discus)

Having met at Middlesex University in 2001, this sophisticated London-based contemporary jazz/folk sextet formed in 2011, recently adding vocalist Kerry Andrew (Juice), as pianist Laura Cole composes music and text based on her personal experiences; pieces include two collective improvs and 2 reworkings of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman". ... Click to View


Chris Meloche / Martin Archer / Gino Robair / Lyn Hodnett: The Sincerity Of Light (Discus)

The quartet of Canadian electronics composer Chris Meloche and label leader Martin Archer on woodwinds and electronics orchestrated these pieces, performed with improvsations from Gino Robair on percussion and electronics and Lyn Hodnett on voice, for a 3 part work of rich interactive loops, drones and soundscape, ranging from spine-chilling to lush and lovely environments. ... Click to View


Eclectic Maybe Band: The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes (Discus)

Univers Zero bassist Guy Seger brought this eclectic group of improvisers into the studio to develop the music on this genre-defying album, informed by a sextet of musicians who have performed and recorded with projects and artists including Vanishing Pictures, X-Legged Sally, Wrong Object, Tony Levin, Tony Bianco, Paul Schutze, Trevor Watts, Zeena Parkins, Jim O'Rourke, &c. ... Click to View


Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites: Safety Signal From A Target Town (Discus)

Saxophonist Martin Archer composed the five works on this, the 3rd release for Engine Room Favorites, his AACM-influenced big band with a tremendous orchestration of horns with drums, vibes, piano and bass, here with their most complex yet melodic and rich release yet, including melodic elements of folk music, powerful rhythms from prog-oriented rock, and free improv and jazz. ... Click to View


Laura Steenberge : Harmonica Fables (Nueni)

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Swiss electric guitarist Florian Stoffner (Manuel Mengis Grupp) and Spanish/Portuguese saxophonist Albert Cirera (Agusti Fernandez Liquid Trio) present the 8 part "IRMA" in concise free improvisations, restrained but alert and quick-witted dialogs that explore their instruments with alternate approaches to each in articulate ways. ... Click to View


Niklas Fite / Alexander Frangenheim: Sugar Is A Necessary Fluid (Creative Sources)

Two string players, Swedish acoustic guitarist and banjo player Niklas Fite, and German double bassist Alexander Frangenheim, recording in the studio in Berlin in 2017 for 10 succinct improvisations ranging from quick interactive discourse of a pointillistic nature to near silent meditations using unusual and extended techniques, a quirky and informed album. ... Click to View


Paul Flaherty / Gene Moore / Gene Janas / Federico Ughi: Morfina [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

First conceived during the 2016 Forward Festival when noise guitarist Gene Moore and NYC experimental bassist Gene Janas invited noted avant-garde drummer Federico Ughi for the second part of their set, the results being so impressive that they asked saxophonist Paul Flaherty to join them to record this album and to perform at the Forward Festival 2017. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Tobias Wilner / Djibril Toure / Federico Ughi: New York United [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

An excellent blend of electronics and acoustics as saxophonist, flutist and trumpeter Daniel Carter meets sound artist Tobias Wilner from world-renowned electronic pop band Blue Foundation, with Wu-Tang Clan bass player Djibril Toure and drum wiz Federico Ughi rounding out this forward-thinking album of hazy and rhythmic electroacoustic environments. ... Click to View


Silvan Schmid Quintet: At Gamut (Hatology)

Swiss trumpeter Silvan Schmid is a cofounder of the Gamut Kollektiv, organizing festivals and concerts, here caught live in 2016 at Gamut Series No 1 at Amboss Rampe in Zurich with his own quintet of Tapiwa Svosve on sax, Silvan Jeger on cello, Vincent Glanzmann on drums, and Lucas Wirz on tuba performing 6 Schmid compositions of profoundly lyrical free jazz. ... Click to View


Bucher / Tan / Countryman: Tributary (Self Released)

American ex-pat and Philippines-based alto saxophonist Rick Countryman joins with Philippines bassist Simon Tan and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher to capture this live concert in that starts by paying homage to Eric Dolphy, amongst a strong set of jazz and blues influenced numbers and the two part building and flowing "Tributary". ... Click to View


Bucher / Countryman: Estuary (Self Released)

A live concert in the Philippines from American expatriate saxophonist Rick Countryman and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher, a classic free jazz drum and sax duo informed by creative playing and superb rhythmic interplay, balancing lyrical progressions with a wonderful stream of concepts, this is a great example of the far reach of free jazz. ... Click to View


Sabu Toyozumi / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan / Stella Ignacio / Isla Antinero: JYA-NE (Self Released)

Four configurations of free jazz recorded live during a vist by trombonist Sabu Toyozumi to Manila: first in a duo with alto saxophonist Rick Countryman; then in a duo with drummer and erhu player Sabu Toyozumi; then expanded to a quintet with vocalist Stella Ignaci and electric bassist Simon Tan; and last as a free jazz trio with Countryman, Tan, and Toyzumi. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Thought Experiment (Evil Clown)

The core trio of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on clarinets, saxophones & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion--joined by Mimi Rabson on violin, the quartet recording with the full Leap of Faith Orchestra arsenal of instruments; plus an expanded LOF recording of the Orchestra work "Possible Worlds". ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Gravitation (Evil Clown)

The core of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on reeds and winds, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion-- joined by Eric Zinman on piano, recorded at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA, where Evil Clown has a residency on the third Saturday of each month, presenting a variation of subunits from one of their larger units. ... Click to View


PEK Solo: Fulcrum (Evil Clown)

Extracting the leader from a multitude of ensembles, David Peck's solo album has him performing on tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, clarinet, contraalto clarinet, bassoon, tarota, hand chimes, accordion, [d]ronin, wood, metal, aquasonic, daxophone, Atlantis gong, plus pre-recorded mixes adding a "soloist with tape" aspect to his complex and rich performance. ... Click to View


Turbulence: Amorphous Solids (Evil Clown)

Turbulence is the extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra, a varying-sized ensemble, recording here at Boston area's Outpost 196 as a quartet with PEK on reeds, Bob Moores on trumpet and Dan O'Brien on sax, clarinets & flutes, all playing an assortment of percussive devices, with Leap of Faith core member Yuri Zbitnoff as a dedicated percussionist. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble: Shape Memory (Evil Clown)

Wind player David Peck and percussionist Yuri Zbitnoff formed Metal Chaos Ensemble to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, employing an arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments, becoming one of Evil Clown's most prolific sub-units, here with Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Eric Zinman on percussion. ... Click to View


Mekaniks: The Great Klown Panik of 2017 - Klownpocalypse (Evil Clown)

A collaboration of Leap of Faith members, percussionist Yuri Zbitnov, multi-reedist and wind player David Peck, with guests from the Evil Clown roster, adding electroacoustic elements including looping, sampling and electronic processing to their improvisation, here with Joel Simches on real-time signal processing, alongside sound artists Greg Grinnell & Bob Moores. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton : Braxton: (Willisau) 1991 Studio [2 CDs] (Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering the two studio albums from the 1992 4-CD boxset of Anthony Braxton's Quartet with Marily Crispell (piano), Mark Dresser (double bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums & marimba) recording in Willisau, Switzerland, realizing 10 Braxton numbered compositions with masterful skill and virtuosity, an exceptional set of modern jazz. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp : Symbol Systems (Hatology)

Originally issued in 1995 on the No More Records label, this was New York pianist Matthew Shipp's 6th release as a leader and first solo album, still a rarity in his discography, as we hear Shipp in 14 succinct improvisation that explore texture, tone, and his frameworks that embrace a structured approach to theoretical aspects of the music with warmth and lyricism. ... Click to View


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  Ensemble Supermusique 
  Jeux de Pistes  
  (Ambiances Magnetiques) 


  
   review by Marc Medwin
  2017-10-04
Ensemble Supermusique: Jeux de Pistes (Ambiances Magnetiques)

At this point, there is nothing innovative or even novel about the combination of improvisation and composition save the way the symbiotic relationship is achieved. On this score, Ensemble Supermusique succeeds on all counts. This disc offers up four of what might be described, loosely and inadequately, as graphic scores, though whatever images are involved are not nearly as graphic in detail as the excellent playing and recording.

The oldest entry is John Rea's "Tempest," composed in 1969 and here adapted for a much larger temporal canvas than its original two minutes. Sussurations and long-form semidrone encompass voices and instruments of deliciously indeterminate character, leaving aside the point or two at which identification is readily and vividly apparent. Entering and exiting as the proverbial lamb, everything bubbles and seethes with an energetic undercurrent, planes of sound nearly intersecting as unisons ebb and flow into each other, forming complex but clear sonorities that shake hands before exiting.

The other three scores were composed in the past few years, and easily the most whimsical among them is Malcolm Goldstein. Any fan of Ligeti's "Aventures" pieces will absolutely love this realization, such is its cheek and daring. Swoops and glides abound, punctuated by vocal outbursts reminiscent of Phil Minton at his seriocomic best. The occasional unison is fodder both for pause and momentary reflection before the zaniness recurs, turntable often at the ready and a wonderful upward and rapid flick out of focus concluding the proceedings. Danielle Palardy Roger's "TanGRAM" is a study in what Jack Kerouac, describing Proust's Cambre Cathedral, called slow concentric waves. According to shapes based on the ancient Chinese puzzle, we ascend and descend in arcs and lines that creep glacially in and out of cognition as timbres converge and diverge. There are a few similar passages in "Tempest," but "TanGRAM" is pure slow-motion bliss and horror as some percussion rolls a foundation of dread and dynamics slowly increase, eventually leading to fragmentation in the final minutes.

By way of total contrast, Jean Derome's "L'Argent" roils, beats and explodes with the unbridled passion only an energetic ensemble of improvisers and composers can bring to the table. Huge fits and starts pervade this sectionalized assault on the senses, and, were it not for a first-rate recording, much of its nuance would be lost in the noise. Fortunately, interstitial and timbral delineation is possible, and a few of the episodes are greeted by the whoops and hollers of a particularly appreciative audience. No sound is left unused, from looped electronics to all combinations of acoustic sonic layering; as with the rest of the discs, the results excite and mesmerize by turn, capturing what was undoubtedly a fiery and introspective performance.



Ensemble Supermusique: Jeux de Pistes
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