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Daniel Carter / Stelios Mihas / Irma Nejando / Federico Ughi: Radical Invisibility (577)

Debut of this group named by NY multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, with Stelios Mihas on guitar, Federico Ughi on drums, and (mysterious) Irma Nejando on bass, presenting this studio album of free, well-matched and interactive collective improvisations of acoustic and electric instrumentation, each track dedicated to artists who inspired the members of the quartet. ... Click to View


G. Weston Calvin: The Phoenix Orchestra - Dust and Ash [VINYL] (577)

An excellent example of modern fusion as drummer G. Calvin Weston (Ornette Coleman, James Blood Ulmer), also on pocket trumpet, joins the Phoenix Orchestra, a Philadelphia-based strings & electric octet, for a funk driven album of spectacular playing with melodic force and compelling rhythm, showing shades of Cobham or Mahavishnu but with all feet fully in the present. ... Click to View


Christian Svendsen Meaas: New Rituals [3 CDS] (Nakama Records)

Ritual and unveiling of Buddhist philosophy in a 3-CD exploration of the relationship between form and freedom, between modern Western culture and traditional Eastern culture, and between written and open musical material, from composer and bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen presented in 3 parts: (1) ensemble and a chant-choir, (2) ensemble, and (3) solo bass. ... Click to View


Kasper Vaernes Skullerud / Andreas Wildhagen: Troposgrafien (Nakama Records)

The long-running duo of Norwegian saxophonist Kasper Skullerud Vaernes and drummer Andreas Wildhagen, who also work together in Nakama's KNYST! trio with bassist and Nakama founder Christian Meaas Svendsen, and the Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit, in an album of five freely improvised dialogs of great technical skill, intent listening and exchange, and dynamic energy. ... Click to View


Kasper Vaernes Skullerud / Andreas Wildhagen: Troposgrafien [VINYL] (Nakama Records)

The long-running duo of Norwegian saxophonist Kasper Skullerud Vaernes and drummer Andreas Wildhagen, who also work together in Nakama's KNYST! trio with bassist and Nakama founder Christian Meaas Svendsen, and the Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit, in an album of five freely improvised dialogs of great technical skill, intent listening and exchange, and dynamic energy. ... Click to View


Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit: April Is The Cruellest Month [VINYL] (Blank Forms)

Culled from 1975 sessions by the New Direction Unit intended for but never issued on the ESP label, this insanely intense and interactive example of Japanese Free Jazz is finally unleashed, from the late legendary guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi and his quartet with wind and reed improviser Kengi Mori, percussionist Hiroshi Yamazaki, and bassist Nobuyoshi Ino. ... Click to View


Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit: April Is The Cruellest Month (Blank Forms)

Culled from 1975 sessions by the New Direction Unit intended for but never issued on the ESP label, this insanely intense and interactive example of Japanese Free Jazz is finally unleashed, from the late legendary guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi and his quartet with wind and reed improviser Kengi Mori, percussionist Hiroshi Yamazaki, and bassist Nobuyoshi Ino. ... Click to View


Lee Ranaldo / Jim Jarmusch / Marc Urselli / Balazs Pandi: [CD] (Trost Records)

Producer & bassist Marc Urselli devised this first meeting between himself and Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, filmaker/guitarist Jim Jarmusch, and drummer Balazs Pandi's, recording in Urselli's NY studio to capture these live analog recordings of improvisations using no overdubs, a twilight set of evolving and absorbing explorations merging rock & experimental approaches. ... Click to View


Lee Ranaldo / Jim Jarmusch / Marc Urselli / Balazs Pandi: [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Producer & bassist Marc Urselli devised this first meeting between himself and Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, filmaker/guitarist Jim Jarmusch, and drummer Balazs Pandi's, recording in Urselli's NY studio to capture these live analog recordings of improvisations using no overdubs, a twilight set of evolving and absorbing explorations merging rock & experimental approaches. ... Click to View


Don Cherry / Dave Holland / Steve Lacy / Masahiko Togashi: Live at Yubin Chokin Kaikan Hall, Tokyo on May 14, 1986 [VINYL] (Victory)

The quartet of Don Cherry on pocket trumpet, piano & vocals, Dave Holland on bass, Steve Lacy on soprano saxophone, and Masahiko Togashi on drums & percussion, recording live in 1986 at Yubin Chokin Hall, in Tokyo, brought together by Togashi and performing compositions from Lacy ("The Crus", "Quakes"), Cherry ("Mopti"), and Togashi ("I Speak to the Stars"). ... Click to View


Marker (Vandermark / Clinkman / Marquette / Stewart / Sudderberg): New Industries [2 CDs] (Audiographic Records)

The Chicago quintet of multi-reedist Ken Vandermark, drummer Phil Sudderberg, keyboardist/violinist Macie Stewart, and guitarists Andrew Clinkman and Steve Marquette, in a 2-CD release presenting studio and live recordings of each composition, showing how this outstanding improvising group balances dissonance and complexity with wildly swinging playing. ... Click to View


Ken Vandermark / Nate Wooley: Deeply Discounted II​ / ​Sequences Of Snow [LP] (Audiographic Records)

The 3rd release from the duo of Chicago multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and NY trumpeter Nate Wooley, two long-form compositions written for the LP format and developed while touring North America during 2017; "Deeply Discounted II," is inspired by John Cage's "Cheap Imitation", while "Sequences of Snow," is dedicated to the experimental filmmaker & musician, Michael Snow. ... Click to View


Ken Vandermark / Paal Nilssen-Love: Screen-Off (PNL)

For their 10th album, the duo of multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love took inspiration from experimental cinema, enlisting producer Lasse Marhaug to scour YouTube for concerts from their past 10 years, extracting 60 seconds of audio from each and joining them into 2-minute segments, 21 of which create this unusual album of awe-inspiring performance. ... Click to View


Paal Nilssen-Love : New Brazilian Funk (PNL)

Brought together by dummer Paal Nilssen-Love for the 2018 Roskilde Festival in Denmark, this quintet merges Norwegians Nilssen-Love and long-time collaborator Frode Gjerstad on alto sax with the Brazilian trio of Felipe Zenicola on electric bass, Kiko Dinucci on electric guitar, and Paulinho Bicolor on cuica, for a thrilling and exuberant concert of energetic improvisation. ... Click to View


Paal Nilssen-Love : New Japanese Noise (PNL)

One of two concerts drummer Paal Nilssen-Love organized for the 2018 Roskilde festival in Denmark is this quintet, adding Brazilian guitarist Kiko Dinucci from the "New Brazilian Funk" concert, alongside legendary Japanese free jazz saxophonist Akira Sakata, noise artist Kohei Gomi (Pain Jerk) and Toshiji Mikawa (Incapacitants), for a concert of controlled chaos and mastery. ... Click to View


Arashi (Akira Sakata / Johan Berthling / Paal Nilseen-Love): Jikan (PNL)

The third album from the Arashi trio of Akira Sakata on alto saxophone, Bb clarinet & vocals, Johan Berthling on double bass, and Paal Nilssen on Love on drums & percussion, formed in 2013 at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway and touring steadily since, here captured live at Pit Inn, in Tokyo for four intense free improvisations of inspired power. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Arrival (Rune Grammofon)

Trimmed back to a mere 14 musicians, the Fire! Orchestra core trio of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin and Orchestra original singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg add a string quartet, expanding their palette as they release their warmest and most embraceable album to date, from original material to covers of Robbie Basho and Chic. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Arrival [VINYL 2 LPs + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

Trimmed back to a mere 14 musicians, the Fire! Orchestra core trio of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin and Orchestra original singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg add a string quartet, expanding their palette as they release their warmest and most embraceable album to date, from original material to covers of Robbie Basho and Chic. ... Click to View


Biota / Mnemonists: The Biota Box [6 CD BOX SET] (Recommended Records)

From Mnemonists to Biota, this box collects the first 5 studio albums released by the Colorado collective on the UK Recommended Records label, adding a bonus disc of all new recordings built from the group archives, and includes a 14-page booklet of artwork & historical notes shedding light on their gorgeous abstractions through free improvisation and studio composition. ... Click to View


Charles Hayward : (Begin Anywhere) (Klanggalerie)

This Heat and Camberwell Now drummer, songwriter, vocalist, experimenter and sociological observer Charles Hayward steps away from his drums for an intimate album of song, performing on piano with minimal accompaniment as he presents new songs and new versions of songs including pieces from Camberwell Now; powerfully fragile, insightful, fascinating. ... Click to View


Izumi Kimura / Barry Guy / Gerry Hemingway : Illuminated Silence (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Performing at St. Ann's Church in Dublin, Ireland, the trio of Japanese pianist living in Ireland, Izumi Kimura, is joined by London bassist Barry Guy and Swiss based drummer Gerry Hemingway for 8 superb improvisations, including renderings of Guy's "Blue Horizon", "Ancients" and "Finding It" and Agusti Fernandez' "How to Go Into a Room You Are Already In". ... Click to View


Peter Evans / Agusti Fernandez / Barry Guy : Free Radicals At DOM (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Radical masters of free jazz--Spanish pianist Agusti Fernandez and British bassist Barry Guy--meet young(er) radical trumpeter Peter Evans at the Moscow Cultural Center DOM for this 2017 concert of free improvisation, a fiery and informed concert of two sets, each in three parts, and an encore, showing technical mastery, inventive interaction, and sheer excitement in performance. ... Click to View


Phicus / Martin Kuchen: Sumpflegende (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

The Catalan free improvising trio Phicus of Alex Reviriego on double bass, Ferran Fages on electric guitar, and Vasco Trilla on drums, continue their pursuit of 4th partners, here joined by Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen on tenor & alto saxophones for a studio album of collective improvisation with elements of ea/lowercase playing balanced with dynamic language. ... Click to View


Brad Barrett / Joe Morris / Tyshawn Sorey : Cowboy Transfiguration (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Using a participatory compositional process, the NY trio of Brad Barrett on bass & cello, Joe Morris on guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, follow a framework to make choices based on density, rhythmic ratios, register, melody, and timbre, encouraged to employ small particles of sounds and blend timbres with an awareness of implied pulse and an inclination to disrupt it. ... Click to View


Greene / Smith / Moses: Life's Intense Mystery (Astral Spirits)

Performing live at Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA, the trio of free jazz piano legend Burton Green in a trio with bassist Damon Smith and drummer Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, in 6 collective improvisations, with impressive playing from all three as they segway through the three part "Life's Intense Mystery", taking exploratory moments and even some "Kid Play" inbetween. ... Click to View


Greene / Smith / Moses: Life's Intense Mystery [CASSETTE w/DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Performing live at Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA, the trio of free jazz piano legend Burton Green in a trio with bassist Damon Smith and drummer Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, in 6 collective improvisations, with impressive playing from all three as they segway through the three part "Life's Intense Mystery", taking exploratory moments and even some "Kid Play" inbetween. ... Click to View


Shirosihi / Golia / Fujioka / Cline: Borasisi (Astral Spirits)

Two drums and two saxophones merge to create this epic 2-part free jazz trek - "Right Eye Sun" and "Left Eye Moon", the album title taken from a sun deity in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Cat's Cradle", who mated with the moon; this pairing is realized by West Coast masterful musicians Patrick Shiroishi & Vinny Golia (sax) and Dylan Fujioka and Alex Cline (drums & percussion). ... Click to View


Shirosihi / Golia / Fujioka / Cline: Borasisi [CASSETTE w/DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Two drums and two saxophones merge to create this epic 2-part free jazz trek - "Right Eye Sun" and "Left Eye Moon", the album title taken from a sun deity in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Cat's Cradle", who mated with the moon; this pairing is realized by West Coast masterful musicians Patrick Shiroishi & Vinny Golia (sax) and Dylan Fujioka and Alex Cline (drums & percussion). ... Click to View


Jason Alder / Thanos Chrysakis / Caroline Kraabel / Yoni Silver: Music for Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinets & Electronics (Aural Terrains)

Exploring the low end of the clarinet family with Jason Alder on bass, contra bass, B flat & E flat clarinets, Yoni Silver on bass clarinet, plus Caroline Kraabel on baritone saxophone & voice, Thanos Chrysakis expanding the sonic space with laptop & synthesizers, in a 5-part series of beautifully paced, absorbing and subtly detailed collective improvisations. ... Click to View


Umlaut Big Band: Plays Don Redman: The King Of Bungle Bar (Umlaut Records)

Don Redman was an American big band leader popular in the 1930's, responsible for work on animations, sound tracks, and recordings of pre-swing hot jazz arrangements of popular tunes; here the French Umlaut Big Band under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Badaroux pays homage to his music in rich orchestration showing the melodic, inventive, and complexities of Redman's music. ... Click to View


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  Smash & Teeny with John Butcher 
  Gathering  
  (Spool) 


  
   review by Dave Madden
  2018-08-22
Smash & Teeny with John Butcher: Gathering (Spool)

How many artists can list "bee biologist" in their collaboration roster? On Sarah Peebles's (the Smash in Smash and Teeny) biography page, there is an image of her wearing headphones and squinting intently through a magnifying glass into an ornate wooden box. Further exploration of her work suggests that this is an "audio bee cabinet" she designed for various international installations (Resonating Bodies). Pretty cool.

A player of rock, jazz and No Wave over the past 30 years, Nilan Perera's efforts stress anti-guitar and its extensions via effects and looping devices. Like Willem De Kooning proving he can still sketch a portrait, he can nimbly shred but prefers to churn out fluid, organic bunches of microbursts and sheets of pedal combinations where a few notes form endless patterns and intricate structures.

As a duo on disc one, Peebles's (laptop and sh) and Perera's end product is a tug of war between placid soundscapes and field recordings (i.e. lakeside avian calls, tramping through snow and earth, jets passing overhead), approximation of natural versus mechanical noise, and fiery passion, both musicians participating on all sides.

With "Looking Glass," a neutral drone purrs alongside Super 8 camera film ticks and vibrated, twanging strings. As the piece progresses, an enveloping engine rumble interjects, and Perera grinds his instrument into mangled scrapes and metallic wrenches. On "Stridulation Nation," Perera performs in a hushed jumble of filtered finger-taps as Peebles introduces a dense, looping bed of synthetic crickets that almost rises to a fatal chokehold; Perera flips on his distortion pedal, lowers his fader on the mixer and rocks / weirds out like Nels Cline at his most bombastic while the "insects" morph into stuttering mechanical clicks under the weight. "Kite Storm Warning" wobbles as a drunken music box playing a melody founded in repeating rhythmic chimes, slide guitar, hammer-ons, shimmering pan-tonal drones and extremely detuned strings.

Another reoccurring element in this set is Peebles's sustained single / sometimes microtonal sh lines. Due to the sh's commonplace role in gagaku a music she focused on in an academic setting her performance guides works such as "Salt Phase Results" and "Lacemaker's Ruin" into an idiosyncratic meditative, tranquil base (ala Takemitsu's In An Autumn Garden) over which Perera's active slinky bow riffs flourish.

Disc two's twenty-six-minute "Hummingbird" adds another color: John Butcher (does he need an introduction?) His soprano sax playing here mirrors the "natural" feel he engaged in with Akio Suzuki on Immediate Landscapes. That is, his attempts are subtle, nonchalant, non-invasive to Smash & Teeny's environment, integrate with the acoustic (or lack thereof) space, and simply assume the role of another voice (or bird call, or heavy breath) in the textural gaggle. On the contrary, the shorter "Crunchy Hands," crunching samples feed Butcher's wanton honks and Perera's blazing runs.

The included eleven-minute film, "Kaladar Kodex," features Cinnamon Sphere, the trio of Peebles, Perera and calligrapher Chung Gong, and impeccably showcases the visuals Smash & Teeny's audio output inspires: a grassy field behind an old house and a barn, Peebles behind a relatively hulking PC monitor (the recordings are from 2004), a barefoot, messy-haired Perera in camo pants seated on a wooden chair with surrounding guitar accoutrement. Chung Gong uses an enormous flappy brush (mop?) to slather canvases in real-time with the music; grasshoppers fiddle around, clouds wander by. It's unassuming, relaxed, shows a simple facade while actually being particularly complex.



Smash & Teeny with John Butcher: Gathering
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


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