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Mats Gustafsson :
Naja (Black Cross Solo Sessions 5) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

For three days in his own Discaholic Studios in Nickelsdorf, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson recorded the playing-card pieces of Peter Brötzmann--compositional prompts intended for a large group or for solo playing--performing on a cross-section of the saxophone family from sopranino to bass, and also one piece for saxophone mouthpiece, creating a set of stunning improvisations. ... Click to View


Zeena Parkins:
To Dusk (Black Cross Solo Sessions 8) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Sidelined by the pandemic in June of 2020, Downtown New York electric harp improviser Zeena Parkins began daily recordings in her home studio exploring new approaches to solo electric harp performance using pedals, objects & percussions, selecting ten of the most interesting improvisations for her contribution to Corbett vs. Dempsey's Black Cross Solo Sessions. ... Click to View


Hamid Drake:
Dedications (Black Cross Solo Sessions 6) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

As prolific a drummer as Chicago-based international improviser Hamid Drake is, he has never released a solo drum album, which is finally put right with this release recorded at Experimental Sound Studio, developing strategies for these nine accomplished recordings, performed on a standard drum kit with each dedicated to prominent free jazz icon or group. ... Click to View


Arto Lindsay:
Charivari (Black Cross Solo Sessions 7) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Contrasting the explosively experimental side to his guitar work honed through the No Wave band DNA with glimmers of the lyrical approaches to his work heard in his acclaimed songwriting albums, Brazlian/Downtown New York legend Arto Lindsay shows his wide range of interests through thirteen succinct pieces of noise and thoughtful reflection. ... Click to View


Zorn / Centazzo / Chadbourne / Cora / Kondo / Bradfield:
Environment for Sextet [VINYL] (Ictus)

Hailing from the Downtown NY scene's early years, the incredibly forward-thinking sextet of Polly Bradfield on violin, Andrea Centazzo on percussion, Eugene Chadbourne on guitars, Tom Cora on cello, Toshinori Kondo on trumpet and John Zorn on reeds are heard in a live performance for WKCR Radio in New York City during Ictus label leader Centazzo's US tour. ... Click to View


Dry Thrust (Georg Graewe / Martin Siewert / Dieter Kern):
The Less You Sleep (Trost Records)

The trio of German pianist/composer Georg Graewe, guitarist Martin Siewert (Radian, Trapist, Also), and drummer Dieter Kern (DEK Trio, Bulbul, Fuckhead) bring together diverse attitudes in free improv from avant jazz to ea-/experimental approaches and bristling rock forms, sharing a unique collective voice with an oddly implied sense of humor and disconcertingly ingenious skill. ... Click to View


Ernesto Rodrigues / Flak / Bruno Parrinha:
Definitive Bucolic (Creative Sources)

An unusual trio configuration for violist Ernesto Rodrigues, joined by Bruno Parrinha on soprano & alto saxophones, and by electric guitarist Flak, who brings an experimental almost ea- approach to their 3-part improvisation, aptly named for it's deceptively calm setting, gradually becoming intricate and active through colored motion like a curious breeze that builds and recedes. ... Click to View


Bertrand Denzler / Jason Kahn:
Translations (Potlatch)

The seventh release on Potlatch for tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and the first for electronic artist Jason Kahn, in an extended electroacoustic improvisation, Denzler performing his instrument in ways Adolphe Sax did not intend intersected by Kahn's bent and crackly emissions, each increasingly assertive through to a engrossing, exhalable end. ... Click to View


Nandor Nevai / Peter Evans / Steve B / Ron Stabinsky:
Trigesisextet for Brass + Gospel Power Walls (Psykomanteum)

Two large-scale compositions from "Through-Composer of Brutal Classical" Nandor Nevai, scored for 35 brass players and a vocalist, accomplished through 10 layers of Peter Evans (trumpet, piccolo trumpet), 9 of Steve B (tenor trombone), 7 of Ron Stabinsky (bass trombone) and 10 of Nevai himself on tenor trombone & voice; plus "Gospel Power Walls" for a chorus of 5 (bad) people + brass. ... Click to View


Wilkinson / Prevost / Moore / Edwards + Catchpole:
Do Disturb (Concerts at Cafe OTO) (Matchless)

Capturing two exceptional concerts at London's Cafe OTO in 2021 & 2022, in the launch of a new quartet expanding the longstanding trio of NO Moore on electric guitar, John Edwards on double bass and Eddie Prévost on drums, with Alan Wilkinson on baritone & alto saxophones, and for one performance on each night, tenor saxophonist Nathaniel Catchpole joining. ... Click to View


Alexander Schlippenbach Von / Francois Carrier / John Edward / Michel Lambert:
Unwalled (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

A first meeting between two incredible improvised pairings--Canadians Francois Carrier on alto saxophone and Michel Lambert on drums, and Euro/UK improvisers Alexander von Schlippenbach on piano and John Edwards on double bass-- recording live in the studio in Berlin for seven improvisations of profound creative intent and inventive conversation. ... Click to View


Izumi Kimura / Artur Majewski / Barry Guy / Ramon Lopez:
Kind Of Light (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

After performing at the Ad Libitum Festival 2021, FSR's Maciej Karlowski organized this recording at Agnieszka Osiecka Polish Radio Concert Hall in Warsaw, bringing together four masterful improvisers from four countries: pianist Izumi Kimura (Japan/Ireland), cornetist Artur Majewski (Poland), bassist Barry Guy (The UK) and drummer/percussionist Ramon Lopez (Spain). ... Click to View


Joelle Leandre / Nuria Andorra:
BLA BLA BLA duo (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

A brooding meeting between free improvising double bassist Joëlle Léandre and Catalonian drummer/percussionist Nuria Andorra (Icarus Ensemble, Barcelona 216, Patchwork Ensemble), two generations of improvisers finding common ground through a simmering boil of intelligent improvisation, imaginative technical skill and passionately assertive playing. ... Click to View


Rhodri Davies:
Trem (Amgen Records)

Reissuing his 2003 album on the Confront label, Rhodri Davies' first solo album is a captivating set of uniquely voiced free improvisation, using a pedal harp, radio and tape recorders and percussive devices, and recorded in the natural resonance of All Angels, St Michael and All Angels Church in London, creating narrative and drama through Davie's intuitive sense of timing. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Parrinha:
Sans Oublier Les Arbres (Creative Sources)

After the Lisbon String Trio for the Dada album, Bruno Parrinha on B-flat, alto and bass clarinets joins with the string pairing of violist Ernesto Rodrigues and cellist Guilherme Rodrigues to record this impressionistic 3-part work, the title translating to "Without Forgetting The Trees", each movement expanding into darkly colored branches of remarkable control. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Madeira:
Cosmos (Creative Sources)

Approaching the string trio of viola, cello and double bass through improvisation and exceptionally extended techniques, the Portuguese trio of Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, and Joao Madeira on double bass "scratch, stretch and strop timbers" as they express a unique universe of string interaction from raucous to reflective. ... Click to View


Tomomi Kubo / Camila Nebbia :
Polycephaly [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

Amongst the most unique of early electronic music instruments, the Ondes Martenot is heard in six duo recordings performed at the Barcelona studio of Spanish Ondiste, Tomomi Kubo, in conversation with tenor saxophonist Camila Nebbia, both using loop pedals and Nebbia adding her voice at times, creating otherworldly and unconventional interactions of free improv. ... Click to View


Made in China (Michael Blake / Samuel Blaser / Michael Sarin):
Transmissions (For Tune)

Originally organized for a tour of China, the "Made in China" band of Michael Blake on saxophones, Samuel Blaser on trombone and Michael Sarin on drums, recorded this album in Brooklyn, performing compositions by Blake and Blaser including a tribute to free-jazz icon Ornette Coleman, and Louis Moholo's "You Ain't Gonna Know Me 'Cos You Think You Know Me". ... Click to View


Tomas Hallonsten :
Monolog (thanatosis produktion)

Stepping away from his improvisational work with groups including Exploding Customer and Fire! Orchestra, Swedish trumpeter and keyboardist Tomas Hallonsten releases a solo album of analog synthesis, early electronics and drum machines, lyrically inclinded compositions with diverse influences including George Harrison, Sun Ra and Kraftwerk, plus a cover of Joe Henderson's "Earth". ... Click to View


Fred Frith / Susana Santos Silva:
Laying Demons To Rest (RogueArt)

An evocative album of sublime improvisation between guitarist Fred Frith and trumpeter Susana Santo Silva, recorded live for France Musique/Radio France at Motoco, Mulhouse as part of Festival Météo in 2021, the two inspiring remarkable force and assertive direction in a darkly spirited conversation of deep introspection and cathartic exorcism; magnificent! ... Click to View


John Zorn / Eugene Chadbourne:
John Zorn's Olympiad Vol. 3 - Pops Plays Pops - Eugene Chadbourne Plays The Book Of Heads (Tzadik)

The third volume in John Zorn's "Olympiad" series is this solo performance in 2007 at the Kompo Cultural Center in Gyungee, Korea by Zorn associate and eccentrically eminent improviser Eugene Chadbourne, performing on electric and acoustic guitars as he interprets 15 compositions for improvisers from John Zorn's seminal 1976 series: The Book of Heads. ... Click to View


Martina Verhoeven Quintet (w/ Serries / Webster / Almeida):
Driven: Live At Roadburn 2022 (Klanggalerie)

Netherlands pianist Martina Verhoeven's quintet with Goncalo Almeida on double bass, Onno Govaert on drums, Dirk Serries on guitar and Colin Webster on saxophone is captured live in their debut performance at the Roadburn Festival 2022 Paradox in Tilburg for an extended 2-part improvisation of both dense and thrilling interaction and deep introspection, a spectacular and informed set. ... Click to View


Suspensao :
Fluxus (Creative Sources)

The sixth release by Creative Sources' detailed electroacoustic improvising group Suspensão led by violist Ernesto Rodrigues, with Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, Nuno Torres on alto sax, Antonio Chaparreiro on electric guitar, Carlos Santos on computer and Jose Oliveira on percussion & inside piano, is this impressive performance at "Temporada Miso Music 2009" in Lisbon. ... Click to View


Wilfrido Terrazas / Mariana Carvalho / Abdul Moimeme :
Livro das Grutas (Creative Sources)

A uniquely configured electroacoustic trio recording live in the studio in Lisbon in 2018 between Mexican flutist and founding member of the improv collective Generación Espontánea, Wilfrido Terrazas, and Portuguese improvisers Mariana Carvalho on prepared piano and Abdul Moimeme using two electric guitars and objects, balancing introspective moments with periods of uninhibited excitement. ... Click to View


Rhodri Davies:
Over Shadows (Amgen Records)

An extended solo titled for author Redell Olsen's book secure portable space (Reality Street), performed on Lever harp and EBows by UK electroacoustic improviser Rhodri Davies, recorded at Old School, Bracon Ash, in Norfolk in 2004 by Graham Halliwell and edited by Benedict Drew and John Wall, creating a richly evolving work of haunting plateaus and valleys. ... Click to View


Leo Chang / Lucie Vitkova:
Religion [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

Unusually orchestrated, spacious and exotic free improvisation from New York-based musicians Lucie Vítková, originally from Czech Republic and performing on accordion, hichiriki (a Japanese double reed flute), synth & harmonica, and Korean-born improviser Leo Chang performing on VOCALNORI (Amplified Gongs via Voice) and Piri (a Korean double reed instrument). ... Click to View


Illusion Of Safety & Z'ev :
Illusion Of Safety & Z'ev [VINYL w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tribe Tapes)

After the collaboration of Illusion of Safety and Z'EV which culminated in a performance at Enemy in Chicago in 2007, Z'EV approached IOS member Daniel Burke to collaborate on an album, providing Burke with a number of short acoustic recordings which Burke developed into these compositions merging his own field recordings, sampling, electro-acoustics, and Eurorack modular synth. ... Click to View


Sun Ra & His Arkestra:
Prophet [YELLOW VINYL] (Modern Harmonic)

Perhaps the only recordings on the Sequential Circuits "Prophet" analog synthesizer by Sun Ra, starting with an extended solo performance that bridges jazz tradition and future spacewaves, followed by full Arkestra performances on a set of concepts around "The Prophet", with both Marshall Allen and John Gilmore at the helm above a cosmically percussive heavy ensemble. ... Click to View


Art Ensemble Of Chicago:
The Sixth Decade: From Paris To Paris [2 CDs] (RogueArt)

Celebrating 50 years since formed as a quintet in Paris, original Art Ensemble members saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and percussionist Famoudou Don Moye present this live concert at Maison des Arts de Creteil in France with an oustanding chamber jazz ensemble including trumpeter Hugh Ragin, flutist Nicole Mitchell, bassist Jaribu Shahid, cellist Tomeka Reid and violinist Jean Cook. ... Click to View


Art Ensemble Of Chicago:
The Sixth Decade: From Paris To Paris [VINYL 2 LPs] (RogueArt)

Celebrating 50 years since formed as a quintet in Paris, original Art Ensemble members saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and percussionist Famoudou Don Moye present this live concert at Maison des Arts de Creteil in France with an oustanding chamber jazz ensemble including trumpeter Hugh Ragin, flutist Nicole Mitchell, bassist Jaribu Shahid, cellist Tomeka Reid and violinist Jean Cook. ... Click to View



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  Jean Derome 
  Resistances  
  (Ambiances Magnetiques) 


  
   review by Massimo Ricci
  2018-06-05
Jean Derome: Resistances (Ambiances Magnetiques)

When it comes to naming names in the all-encompassing landscape of contemporary music, Jean Derome's eminence remains relatively unquoted amidst the sacred cows of the last decades. A first-class reedist and composer, he's indelibly associated with René Lussier — specifically, in the duo Les Granules — beyond significant proprietary works (random memory selection: 1988's Confitures de Gagaku, on Victo). Derome has shown time and again that his idiosyncratic creativity, compositional skill and ability to put a theory into artistically fructiferous practice are second to none. In its clever mix of conceptual consistency and stimulating interplay, Résistances clearly explains why.

Though partially scored, the composition's motility principally depends on the nineteen performers reacting to previously learned hand signals. After acknowledging the crucial elements of orchestration in conjunction with the intrinsic influence of electricity in all forms — including the overall tuning — it takes a moment to realize that the scope of this opus reaches far higher than a simple "conducted improvisation" (note the involuntary irony of the term "conductor" in this context).

Across a plethora of intermingling styles, the ensemble — comprising several among Derome's regular partners in crime — connects with the basic vibe through surges of energy dressed as eruptions, conversations, screams or drones, the whole informed by a cracking musicianship. Notwithstanding the considerable emancipation allowed and the absence of jazz-related stereotypes, the lingering sensation is that of a finely regulated mechanism. Still, serendipitous mutations occasionally materialize. The bulk of "Piétinements", for example, resembles Igor Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring played by Pink Floyd circa A Saucerful Of Secrets, lysergic slide guitars and all. In a pair of collective blasts we couldn't help thinking — in principle — of Frank Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh. The absurdly jarring funk of "Mélodie 2" flowing into a marvelous "Danse Finale" may indeed prompt someone to start jumping around the house.

Please consider the above references as a mere reviewer's divertissement. In reality, there's so much shifting of acoustic identity and abundance of inventive playing here that coming to grips with this particular form of Derome's imagination could trigger intellectual paralysis in the easily affected. The remedy lies in the very cause: treat the patient to a few additional hours with this remarkable album; then it's get up, pick up your mat, and walk. Unless one's dead for real.





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