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Instant Composers Pool:
Incipient ICP, 1966-71 [2 CDs] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Founded in 1967 by pianist Misha Mengelberg, drummer Han Bennink, and saxophonist & clarinetist Willem Breuker, this double CD documents the earliest years of the ICP collective through live & studio recordings from 1966-71, with an impressive cast of jazz and contemporary compositional players creating a delightfully diverse set of approaches to improvisation. ... Click to View


Vario 34 (Christmann / Frangenheim / Gustafsson / Lehn / Lovens):
Vario 34-3 (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Since 1979 cellist & trombonist Günter Christmann has led around 50 variations of "Vario", inviting musicians, actors, dancers, & filmmakers to partake; Vario 34--Christmann, Paul Loven (percussionist), Mats Gustafsson (sax), Thomas Lehn (live-electronics), and Alexander Frangenheim (bass)--first performed in 1993, and these Berlin recordings are from their 3rd meeting in 2018. ... Click to View


Van Dykes Park:
The Histories (Old Black Joe) [7'' Vinyl] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

... Click to View


Dan Weiss Starebaby:
Natural Selection (Pi Recordings)

The follow-up to NY drummer/composer Dan Weiss's 2018 release Starebaby is an unconventional compounding of electric jazz, doom metal, electronic music, and improvisation, performed with Matt Mitchell on piano & Prophet 6, Craig Taborn on piano, Fender Rhodes & synthesizers, Ben Monder on guitars, and Trevor Dunn on electric bass. ... Click to View


Hafez Modirzadeh (Davis / Sorey / Taborn):
Facets (Pi Recordings)

Using an unusual re-tuning of the piano, saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh enlists three inventive pianists--Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, and Craig Taborn--for a set of melodically-oriented duos, Modirzadeh using alternate fingerings and embouchure adjustments to achieve intervals between major and minor, together freeing the improvisers to explore new tonal possibilities. ... Click to View


Cyclone Trio (Massimo Magee / Tim Green / Tony Irving):
The Clear Revolution (577)

An exciting album of free jazz from the Australia/London-based Cyclone Trio, their name apt in the feverish interaction between saxophonist Massimo Magee and dual drummers Tony Irving and Tim Green on the opening work, the album patterned like a storm that slows introspectively for a quiet eye, then drums up a final gale force that dissipates to a sort of calm; brilliant. ... Click to View


Fred Lonberg-Holm :
Lisbon Solo [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

Using a variety of extended techniques, Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm conjures a barrage of multiphonics, interwoven timbral excursions and minuscule textural knots lined along the peripheral architecture of these pieces, captured live in the studio at at Namouche Studios, in Lisbon in 2019 for a series of 10 fascinating and distinctive free improvisations. ... Click to View


Gabby Fluke-Mogul :
Threshold (Relative Pitch)

Applying extended techniques from rubbing & scraping to sawing and striking, New York violinist Gabby Fluke-Mogul presents a bold solo violin album of 6 pieces with titles like "Bruise" or "Teeth", drawing an incredible gamut of unusual sounds from the violin and its body, occasionally adding vocal utterance, all laid out with a wonderfully quirky sense of timing. ... Click to View


Signe Emmeluth:
Hi Hello I'm Signe (Relative Pitch)

A single piece recorded live for Ingebrit Haker Flaten's 2020 Sonic Transmissions Festival finds the Danish saxophonist in an extended improvisation of varying moods, applying a diverse set of methods and technical approaches to the horn, from quiet meditate work to full-throated exuberance, in a remarkably personal journey of confident exposition. ... Click to View


Periferiya (Kobi / Korber / Liedwart / Muller / Myasoedov / Shershenkov) :
Boundary Scan [VINYL 2 LPs] (Mikroton Recordings)

A Russian-Swiss collaboration between Boris Shershenkov (St. Petersburg), Kurt Liedwart and Mikhail Myasoedov (Moscow), Thomas Korber (Zurich), Christian Kobi (Berne) and Christian Muller (Biel), recording in the remote Vallée de Joux, on the border between Switzerland & France, leveraging diverse approaches to sound to create these six detailed electroacoustic improvisations. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall / Percy Pursglove / Olie Brice / Jeff Williams:
Palindromes (West Hill Records)

Capturing their 2nd gig together, double bassist Olie Brice and trumpeter Percy Pursglove invited two prominent improvisers who had never played together before — drummer Jeff Williams and tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall — to join them for a 2020 concert at Cafe Oto in London, presented into two palindromic-ally named and profound improvisations: "Tattarratta" 1 & 2. ... Click to View


Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & The Maxx:
Live [VINYL] (MNJ)

The Norwegian big band Trondheim Jazz Orchestra joins together with the Swedish-origin trio The MaXx (Oscar Gronberg-keyboards, Petter Kraft-guitar & saxophone, Tomas Jarmy-drums) to develop and perform this monumental work of modern electric jazz, an abstract rock opera written specifically to leverage the power of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. ... Click to View


Ashbury Stabbins Duo:
Fire Without Bricks (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

A lost gem from of British free sax and drums & percussion duo of saxophonist Larry Stabbins and percussionist Roy Ashbury, originally released in 1976 on the Bead Label, their interplay including masterful and extended techniques from Stabbins and an array of chimes, chains, wood blocks, shakers, and bowed cymbals augmenting Ashbury's kit; captivating dialog. ... Click to View


Marek Malinowski Trio:
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Working together since 2015, the Polish guitar trio of Marek Malinowski on guitar, Robert Rychlicki-Gasowski on double bass & bass guitar, and Wojciech Zadruaynski on drums, present Marek Malinowski's embraceable mix of lyrically inclined modern jazz compositions with an explorative side, balancing structure with free space for sprightly spontaneity; a trio to keep track of. ... Click to View


The Underflow (Gustafsson / Grubbs / Mazurek):
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The followup to their 2019 Corbett vs. Dempsey album and formalizing their trio name as "The Underflow", is an epic double LP of diverse and inspired free-ea from the trio of Mats Gustafsson on flute, fluteophone, baritone saxophone & live electronics, David Grubbs on electric guiar & voice, and Rob Mazurek on piccolo trumpet, wooden flute, electronics, percussion & voice. ... Click to View


MKM (Norbert Moslang / Jason Kahn / Gunter Muller):
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A stunning album of electroacoustic improv that truly pushes the envelope, from the MKM trio of Gunter Muller on iPods & electronics, Jason Kahn on modular synthesizer, mixer & radio, and Norbert Moslang on cracked everyday electronics, three masters of the form in their 5th Mikroton release after decades working together in configurations on labels like For4Ears. ... Click to View


Hermann Nitsch:
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Recording of the premiere performance of Hermann Nitsch's large-scale symphony for full orchestra, brass ensemble and choir, in five movement, composed for the 155th Action of the Orgien-Mysterien-Theater, and performed in 2018 as the first action to be staged in the Nitsch Museum, Mistelbach, coinciding with the occasion of Nitsch's 80th birthday. ... Click to View


Catherine Lamb :
Muto Infinitas (Another Timbre)

A 50-minute duo minimalist composition for quartertone bass flute and double bass in just intonation from composer Catherine Lamb, who refers to the tuning structure as "rational" intonation, the piece unmetered as the melody emerges almost imperceptibly; recorded in Andreaskirche, Berlin in 2019 and performed by Rebecca Lane (flute) and Jon Heilbron (bass). ... Click to View


Various Artists curated by Nick Vander:
Walk My Way, Volume Three (Orbit577)

... Click to View


Joshua Abrams:
Natural Information [VINYL] (AGUIRRE RECORDS)

Joshua Abrams' (Town & Country, Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor, &c) 2010 album in an infectious groove-based album built around the guimbri, a 3-stringed animal hide bass used by the Gnawa of North Africa, performed with Chicago all-stars Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone, Emmett Kelly on guitar, Frank Rosaly on drums, and Noritaka Tanaka on drums. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall / Matthew Shipp / Joe Morris :
The Bright Awakening (RogueArt)

A brilliant example of trans-Atlantic collective free improv from the quartet of New York free jazz heavies Matthew Shipp on piano, Joe Morris on double bass, Gerald Cleaver on drums, and UK tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall, playing in the tradition of ecstatic and extended free jazz in a nearly hour long live performance recorded at Roulette in Brooklyn in 2012. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp / Evan Parker:
Leonine Aspects (RogueArt)

Meeting in France in 2017 for the Festival Météo de Mulhouse, Evan Parker alternating between soprano and tenor saxophones and Matthew Shipp on acoustic piano, present an epic extended improvisation that naturally evolves through several sections, followed by a brief post-script, each musician attentively focused as they support the clarity of each other's playing. ... Click to View


Ikue Mori / Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura:
Prickly Pear Cactus (Libra)

Extending their previous collaborations during the time of pandemic, NY electronic improviser Ikue Mori and Japanese improvisers Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and Satoko Fujii on piano developed this extraordinary ea-improv album via file exchange, starting with Fujii's piano improvisations to which Mori & Tamura added their layers, with Mori mixing the final, startling results. ... Click to View


Albert Ayler Quintet 1966:
Berlin, Lorrach, Paris & Stockholm. Revisited [2 CDs] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler's 1966 quintet brought a unique orchestration to his music, heard in these live performances in Berlin, Lörrach, Paris & Stockholm in November of 1966, four concerts presented chronologically as performed with the exemplary playing of brother Donald Ayler on trumpet, Michel Samson on violin, William Folwell on bass, and Beaver Harris on drums. ... Click to View


Jim O'Rourke / Apartment House:
Best That You Do This For Me (Another Timbre)

The UK ensemble Apartment House commissioned this work from composer & experimenter Jim O'Rourke based on their performance of other O'Rourke works, here interpreting a new graphic score designed like a sonic mobile, creating a minimal yet episodic piece of flexible interpretation as the performers whistle, hum and quietly sing in combination with bowed harmonics. ... Click to View


Josten Myburgh:
Sculthorpe Studies (Another Timbre)

A large work by the Western Australian composer Josten Myburgh, using harmonies taken from the music of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe blended with environmental field recordings, performed by Josten Myburgh on sax & electronics, Jet Kye Chong on percussion, Jameson Feakes on guitar, Djuna Lee on bass, Stuart James on piano & electronics, and Kirsten Smith on flutes. ... Click to View


Claire Chase:
Density 2036 [4 CDs] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Part of flutist Claire Chase's project to commission a modern body of work for the instrument, this 4-CD set features 17 works by 15 composers, including the multi-part album-long composition "Pan" by Brazilian-born Marcos Balter, with works for the entire flute family from piccolo to contrabass flute; participants include Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, Pauline Oliveros, &c. ... Click to View


Sun Ra Quartet:
The Sky Is A Sea of Darkness When There is No Sun To Light The Way/Somewhere in Space [7-inch VINYL] (Art Yard)

A 7" single of two recordings from the Sun Ra Quartet, the first a 1978 recording featuring John Gilmore's "The Sky Is A Sea Of Darkness When There Is No Sun To Light The Way" performed with Michael Ray on trumpet, Luqman Ali on drums, and Gilmore on sax; the B-side presenting a 1958 version of "Somewhere in Space"; 70gm vinyl with picture sleeve. ... Click to View


Bill Dixon:
In Italy - Volume One [VINYL] (Soul Note Vinyl)

Originally released in 1980, this album reissues late trumpeter Bill Dixon's recording from Barigozzi Studio, in Milano, Italy in 1980, performing Dixon's tapestry-like compositions with Dixon on trumpet & piano, Arthur Brooks on trumpet, Stephen Haynes on trumpet, Stephen Horenstein on tenor & baritone saxophones, Alan Silva on bass, and Freddie Waits on drums. ... Click to View


Jessica Ackerley / Patrick Shiroishi:
Extremities [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

Employing a variety of strategies to free improv, guitarist Jessica Ackerley and saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi present 9 diverse dialogs, from nearly silent and introspective interaction to full blown exclamation, using exceptional technique to coax unusual sounds from their instruments, always in service to well conceived momentum and expression. ... Click to View



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  John Butcher / John Edwards / Mark Sanders 
  Last Dream of the Morning  
  (Relative Pitch) 


  
   review by John Eyles
  2018-01-16
John Butcher / John Edwards / Mark Sanders: Last Dream of the Morning (Relative Pitch)

The trio of saxophonist John Butcher, bassist John Edwards and drummer Mark Sanders has deep roots dating back years. As early as 1996, Edwards and Sanders were playing together as the rhythm section in Evan Parker's quartet, a role they repeated many times over in a range of groupings, eventually leading to them being nicknamed 'the Sly and Robbie of improv', the only pairing that seriously challenged them for that title being Edwards with drummer Steve Noble. Although Butcher and Sanders spent their teenage years in the same South London suburb, they didn't meet until years later and only played together later still, first recording together with Steve Beresford in 1993. It was not until 2008 that the saxophonist and drummer recorded together again, a duo for the Treader Duos compilation, followed by a full duo album, Daylight, for Emanem in 2012. Interestingly, the symmetry is completed by two further Emanem duo albums, both released in 2003, Optic by Butcher and Edwards, and Nisus Duets by Edwards and Sanders, plus the latter pair's 2015 album JEMS for Treader.

Despite such extensive links between the three, they do not play together as a trio often, and Last Dream of the Morning is the first release of them together, making it an invaluable piece in the extensive jigsaw that documents the improv universe. It was studio-recorded in November 2016 at The Fish Factory in Willesden, London, and features five tracks varying in length from just over four minutes to nearly eighteen, a total of some fifty-two minutes. Straight from the start of the opening track, "Lucid", it is clear that we are in for a treat. All three players sound in top form, playing with energy, fluidity and empathy. Butcher in particular plays throughout the track's seven-and-a-half minutes, without any of the pregnant pauses for reflection that can sometimes punctuate his music. In that time, he showcases his tenor playing, employing a range of techniques that are seamlessly integrated into a flowing tour-de-force performance. As always, Edwards and Sanders are equal partners in the creative process, maintaining the rhythmic pulse but doing a great deal more than that. Always working as a team, the three all contribute equally to moving the music forward.

"Syphon", the next track, is of similar length, but is a total contrast to the first, with Butcher's playing being far more subdued and integrated with the bass and drums. Again, all three players are equal partners and the track highlights the quality of the recording as each can be heard with crystal clarity throughout. Next up, "Sand Dance", the album's longest track, features several Butcher solos that highlight differing facets of his playing; these are interspersed and punctuated by solo passages featuring Sanders and Edwards, so the piece does not turn into a one-man show, but spotlights the trio separately and together. Altogether, that also neatly sums up the album three outstanding players, each of whom is captivating on their own but who complement one another so well that together the whole far exceeds the sum of the parts.





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