The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey): The Other Side Of Air (Firehouse 12 Records)

Taking the reigns as composer, performer and bandleader, New York pianist Myra Melford's exceptional quintet Snowy Egret, with Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, present a brilliant album of creative jazz, with lyrical grooves and commanding soloing, a great and thoroughly modern album. ... Click to View


Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (w/ Miles / Ellman / Takeishi / Sorey): The Other Side Of Air [VINYL 2 LPs + DOWNLOAD] (Firehouse 12 Records)

Taking the reigns as composer, performer and bandleader, New York pianist Myra Melford's exceptional quintet Snowy Egret, with Ron Miles on cornet, Liberty Ellman on guitar, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums, present a brilliant album of creative jazz, with lyrical grooves and commanding soloing, a great and thoroughly modern album. ... Click to View


The Dogmatics: Chop Off The Tops [VINYL] (Dogmatics)

The second album from the duo of pianist Chris Abrahams (The Necks) and clarinetist Kai Fagaschinski (The Magic I.D., Interational Nothing) has the duo decelerating for a an intimate examination of tone and harmonics through perfectly placed notes and subtly extreme technique, creating sublime sonic environments that hover and dissolve; beautiful. ... Click to View


Georg Graewe / Damon Smith / Michael Vatcher: Unhesitating (Nuscope)

Drawing on collective improvisation and compositions from Carla Bley and Annette Peacock, the trio of pianist Georg Graewe, double bassist Damon Smith and drummer Michael Vatcher recorded this album of ferocious playing through rapid-fire interaction balanced with lovely free ballads, a reflection of their tremendous skill and their insightful approach to improvisation. ... Click to View


Achim Kaufmann: Mnemon (Nuscope)

With special attention to space and density, German pianist Achim Kauffman's solo piano album presents a set of 14 original compostions, from extremely active and technically astounding playing to inquisitive and beautifully contemplative work, a mature and fascination reflection that includes 4 works inspired by the poetry of Gabriele D.R. Guenthler. ... Click to View


About Group (Mukai / Clervaux / Coxon / Thomas / Taylor): RAK [VINYL] (Treader)

The 2nd About Group album replaces drummer Charles Hayward with Rupert Clervaux, alongside Susumu Mukai on bass, John Coxon on electric guitar, Pat Thomas on piano & synth, and Alexis Taylor on synth & electric piano, using Coxon's simple and insistent guitar themes as a foundation for four extended group compositions containing a surprising collision of sounds and influences. ... Click to View


John Tchicai: John Tchicai With Strings [VINYL] (Treader)

Recorded during a rare visit to London in 2005 after the 2004 Coimbra Jazz Fest, The late Afro-Danish saxophonist, associated with Albert Ayler John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Don Cherry, performs with orchestral strings alongside guitarist John Coxon, trumpeter/percussionist Ashley Wales, and drummer Mark Sanders; exotic, beautiful and unexpected. ... Click to View


Bernard Parmegiani : Memoire Magnetique, Vol.1 [VINYL] (Transversales Disques)

Covering the period of 1966-1990 of French Acousmatic composer and electronic music pioneer Bernard Parmegiani, this 1st volume of "Memoire Magnetique" presents never-released commercial and secret music, 17 short but intensely creative compositions that reveal a wealth of compositional strategies composed for film and performance. ... Click to View


FRANCOIS BAYLE: Electrucs ! [VINYL] (Transversales Disques)

18 never-released recordings by French electro-acousti composer Francois Bayle including the title track, an "imaginary" soundtrack, and a piece for Bernard Parmegiani, released on the 60th anniversary of Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), which joined with Institut National de l'Audiovisuel in 1975 to create INA-GRM, with Bayle at the head of the record label. ... Click to View


Clinamen Trio : Enclins (Creative Sources)

The French trio of Louis-Michel Marion on double bass, Jacques Didonato on clarinet, and Philippe Berger on viola are heard in a live recording at Radio France, on June 12th, 2017, freely improvising in understated and rich layers of harmonics and tone, actively subdued interactions in an extended excursion of introspective chamber-oriented improvisation. ... Click to View


Amu (Fujii / Tamura / Itani / Wildenhahn): Weave [CD & DVD] (Libra)

Mizuki Wildenhahn adds an unusual percussive instrument through dance to the multi-arts Amu quartet of Wildenhahn, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, pianist Satoko Fujii, and percussionist Takashi Itani, heard on the CD and seen on the DVD of this 2-disc set of their unorthodox and absorbing live performance at Kanagawa Prefectural Lake Sagami-ko Exchange Center in 2018. ... Click to View


Satoko Fujii / Yuko Yamaoka: Diary 2005-2015: Tuko Yamaoka plays the music of Satoko Fujii [2 CDs] (Libra)

A double CD of Satoko Fujii compositions, 56 short compositions from a series she started around 2005 to expand her skills as a composer, many of which fueled her many band's repertoires; in 2018 she asked respected classical pianist and educator Yuko Yamaoka to record this set of compositions as part of her 60th birthday monthly album set. ... Click to View


Satoko Fujii : Diary 2005-2015 [Scorebook] (Libra)

A book of scores to accompany the double CD of 56 Satoko Fujii compostions titled "Diary 2005-2015", performed by respected classical pianist and educator Yuko Yamaoka, released as part of Satoko Fujii's ambitious 60th birthday monthly album set. ... Click to View


Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver: Songs Of The Wild Cave (RogueArt)

An extremely unique sax and drums album, as Rova leader Larry Ochs and New York drummer Gerald Cleaver take their tenor and sopranino saxophones, and drums and percussion, into the absolute darkness and stillness of the Portel Cave in the South of France, using the resonance and inspiration of the cave to record these seven incredible improvisations. ... Click to View


Wendy Eisenberg : The Machinic Unconscious (Tzadik)

Guitarist and composer Wendy Eisenberg leads her powerful Downtown trio with Trevor Dunn on bass and Ches Smith on drums as they present hard-edged work including a piece inspired by poet Alice Notley, blending experimental and rock forms into a strange brew of eccentric improvised pieces, with an angular menacing approach and a fury of irrepressible determination. ... Click to View


Adam Hopkins: Crickets (Out Of Your Head Records)

A great example of the current Downtown/Brooklyn scene, using jazz as a jumping-off point to merge free playing, fusion, and rock stylings into an enthusiastic, and technically brilliant album, as bassist Adam Hopkins provides the ompositions performed with the sextet of Anna Webber, Ed Rosenberg, & Josh Sinton on sax, Jonathan Goldberger on guitar, and Devin Gray on drums. ... Click to View


Benoit Delbecq / Jorrit Dijkstra / John Hollenbeck: Linger (Driff Records)

The long-running collaboration of Paris pianist Benoit Delbecq and Netherlands-born, Boston-area saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra is joined by Boston drummer John Hollenbeck, the pianist and saxophonist also picking up electronics and bass synth as they improvise over 10 concepts of movement through texture and distinctive approaches to their instruments. ... Click to View


Pandelis Karayorgis Trio (w/ Damon Smith / Eric Rosenthal): Cliff (Driff Records)

Contrasting his concurrent piano trio album with Nate McBride and Luther Gray, "Pools", "Cliff" is a first encounter between Boston-area pianist and composer Pandelis Karayorgis and drummer Eric Rosenthal with double bassist Damon Smith, recently migrated from the West Coast, as the three present a concentrative album of collective improvisation revealing three masterful players. ... Click to View


Pandelis Karayorgis Trio (w/ Nate McBride / Luther Gray): Pools (Driff Records)

The classic piano trio gets Boston-area pianist Pandelis Karayorgis' take on lyrical free playing, recorded in an informal studio session as drummer Luther Gray and bassist Nate McBride run through a a set of mostly Karayorgis compositions plus two collective compositions, great modern jazz informed by a variety of projects each has collaborated on. ... Click to View


Bob Drake: L'isola Dei Lupi (ReR Megacorp)

Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and song-writer Bob Drake's 10th album, an unusual and quirky journey through rock, RIO, and prog references, exploring the "The island of the Lupi" through a strange set of songs, a showcase for Drake's immense skills and enigmatic curiosity in 16 miniatures of descriptive passages, brilliant playing and exceptional production. ... Click to View


Isotope Ensemble: Lanthanum (Creative Sources)

Creative Sources collective Isotope Ensemble led by Ernesto Rodrigues performed with a large electroacoustic group continues their investigation of isotopes, focusing on Lanthanum, a soft metal used in flints, through subtly-developing interplay the band, moving as one body, reaching several highly controlled periods of passionate improvisation, contrasting with beautifully serene sections; impressive. ... Click to View


The Necks: Body (Northern Spy)

A strong start to the Australian trio The Neck's 24th album, as Chris Abrahams on piano & keyboards, Tony Buck on drums, percussion & guitar, and Lloyd Swanton on acoustic bass present a powerhouse of free improvisation in a single hour-long work, the first half evoking jazz leaning, with a free and spacious bridge that builds suddenly to a rocking groove. ... Click to View


Matt Hannafin : John Cage: Four Realizations For Solo Percussion [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

Portland-based percussionist Matt Hannafin presents 4 works from John Cage, 2 from the 60s and 2 from the 90s: "Variations II" & "Variations III", where the performer places or drops transparencies to create a graphic score; "One4" for solo percussion incorporating improvisation; and "c Composed Improvisation" for one-sided drums using instructions and chance operations. ... Click to View


Okkyung Lee : Speckled Stones And Dissonant Green Dots [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

The title reveals two tracks from New York cellist and Downtown mainstay Okkyung Lee: "Speckled Stones", using digital and analog synthetic sounds and noise in a stammering mix of rhythm and sound, ebbing and flowing on a strange journey; and "Dissonant Green Dots" which uses penetrating tones of intense dissonance in arhythmic repetition, hypnotically assaulting the senses. ... Click to View


Sarah Hennies / Greg Stuart: Rundle [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Notice Recordings)

The duo of Sarah Hennies and Greg Stuart, who are both a part of the Meridian trio, performing at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, in Alberta, Canada, for two extended pieces using piano, percussion and objects, employing strategies and improvisation to generate indeterminate sources and sounds that create a cohesive and mysterious narrative. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Topological Constructions (Evil Clown)

The core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra--PEK on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion--is joined by fellow Orchestra violinist Mimi Rabson and special guest, violinist Elinor Speirs, for a remarkable improvised work using a huge arsenal of instruments including a new Brontosaurus Bell. ... Click to View


Oliva Block: 132 Ranks (Room40)

Commissioned for the Chicago performing space LAMPO and The Renaissance Society, Olivia Block composed this large work of drone and sound from 2016-2017, premiered on the massive Skinner Organ at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in a free concert that included a sound installation of 6 speakers placed through the chapel playing white noise, sine tones, and prerecorded organ sounds. ... Click to View


While We Still Have Bodies (Gerstein / Ali / Foster / van Hemmen): While We Still Have Bodies (Neither/Nor Records)

Using lo-fi electronics and found objects alongside their acoustic instruments, the NY quartet of Ben Gerstein (trombone), Sean Ali (double bass), Michael Foster (saxophones) and Flin van Hemmen (percussion) freely improvise with textural, rhythmic and timbral interactions, captured live at New Museum accompanying an exhibition by video artist Cheng Ran. ... Click to View


Rob Brown Quartet: Jumping Off The Page (No More Records)

Only his third date as a leader, this 2000 release features Rob Brown on alto sax and flute in a quartet with Chris Lightcap on bass, Jackson Krall on drums, and the late trumpeter Roy Campbell, a great example of New York jazz through a set of Brown original compositions, from upbeat energetic playing to rich layered soundscapes, all with soul and conviction. ... Click to View


Roy Campbell Pyramid Trio: Ancestral Homeland (No More Records)

A masterful album that embraces jazz, African and Native American musics from the late NY trumpeter Roy Campbell's fourth album from 1998 in a trio, using a strong percussive pulse over Campbell's phenomenal soloing, at times joining on percussion alongside drummer Zen Matsuura, with William Parker also taking up percussion alongside his powerful double bass work. ... Click to View


  •  •  •    Join Our Mailing List!



The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Heard In

Reviews of artist releases:
cd's, books, magazines, &c.


  John Cage 
  Klang der Wandlungen  
  (Edition RZ) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2018-09-05
John Cage: Klang der Wandlungen (Edition RZ)

It's a little amusing to imagine an innocent listener, someone with no previous exposure to the music of John Cage, purchasing this superb 3-disc set, thinking of the entirely erroneous perception he or she would have while still enjoying a marvelous musical experience.

There are only five pieces spread across the three discs and there's no indication given as to who was responsible for the curation (although the liner notes are by Jakob Ullmann and he performs the final piece as well), but all of them lie safely in what might be called the "gentler" area of Cage's music. If anyone needs a soft introduction to his art, this is it. Plus, it's pretty fantastic.

Disc One opens with "Seventy-Four", a 1992 composition (the year Cage died) for orchestra (here, the Sinfonie-orchester Baden-Baden und Freiberg), which consists of single notes played without the aid of a conductor, but using flexible time brackets and "the usual imperfection of tuning perhaps slightly exaggerated so that the music is microtonal" (from the score). What's heard in the 12-minute work is a steady, rich drone with periodic, swelling crescendi. It's almost shockingly tonal, giving the impression of a vast, calmly undulating sea. As with most of Cage's late works, the music appears fully formed, as though a door had opened to a scene already in motion. "103" (1991) is similar in approach — an orchestra (the K๖lner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester) playing single tones within time brackets — but lasts for more than an hour and a half, spread between Discs One and Two. One has the mental image of a plowed field bestrewn with small rocks and other naturally occurring items, perhaps the occasional tree or bush. More impressively, though essentially a piece that revolves around stasis, there's so much variation, minute though it may be, within its confines that the listener is endlessly fascinated, much like intently observing a landscape.

The remainder of the second disc is taken up by two pieces, "Postcard from Heaven" (1982) and the oft-performed, "In a Landscape". The former is written for from one to twenty harps and draws inspiration from ragas, with the harpist allowed a certain range of improvisation — unusual for Cage — but having to fulfill other requirements such as cycling through five pedal configurations. For this recording, harpist Gabriele Emde recorded sixteen parts in the studio and added the seventeenth live in concert. It begins with an odd series of clicking sounds, almost like ratchets of a mechanism being wound up. But soon — inevitably, perhaps, given the title and instrumentation — we ascend into the ethereal harp-world. There are allusions to koto music and other Eastern string traditions but we're generally in a dreamlike state, replete with mysteriously uttered words, floating on silvery clouds. Emde also plays "In a Landscape", most commonly heard on piano. It's arguably Cage's "prettiest" work, often mentioned as a precursor of New Age music, but its beauty runs deep. Emde's performance is as lovely as any I've heard.

Disc Three is given over to one work: "Some of the Harmonies of Maine" (1978), a piece for organ, played here by Jakob Ullmann. From the description on the johncage.org page: "This work is based on Supply Belcher's tune book The Harmony of Maine (Boston, 1794). Using chance operations, Cage determined whether a note from the original source should stay or be removed, how long it should sound, and how it should be registered." One hears intervals of long-held notes, extremely rich and vibrant, that appear in seeming random order, sometimes a single line, sometimes two or more overlaid. A sense of "hymn" remains despite the alterations as well as a feeling of sheer massiveness, though not an oppressive one. Something like a very slow, alien processional. A wonderful, unusual piece of music.

The whole set is extraordinary, a must-hear for anyone interested in Cage, including the neophyte.



John Cage: Klang der Wandlungen
Is On Sale at Squidco!
Squidco




Comments and Feedback:



The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Jason Stein's
Locksmith Isidore:
After Caroline
(Northern Spy)



Milford Graves:
Babi
[2 CDs]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)



Joe McPhee /
Hamid Drake:
Keep Going
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)



Joe McPhee:
Nation Time
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)



Brian Marsella Trio:
Outspoken: The Music Of
The Legendary Hasaan
(Tzadik)



Joelle Leandre /
Marc Ducret:
Chez Helene
(Ayler)



Chaos Echoes w/
Mats Gustafsson:
Sustain
[VINYL -
transparent blue]
(Utech Records)



Metal Chaos Ensemble:
Syncretic Discipline
(Evil Clown)



Misha Mengelberg /
Peter Brotzmann /
Evan Parker /
Peter Bennink /
Paul Rutherford /
Derek Bailey /
Han Bennink :
Groupcomposing
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)



Mary Halvorson /
Bill Frisell:
The Maid With
The Flaxen Hair
(Tzadik)



Paul Rutherford /
Ken Vandermark /
Torsten Muller /
Dylan van der Schyff:
Are We In Diego?
(WhirrbooM!)



Jonathan Finlayson :
3 Times Round
(Pi Recordings)



Stop Motion Orchestra:
Lightworks
(Megaphone /
Knock 'Em Dead)



Stop Motion Orchestra:
Lightworks
[VINYL]
(Megaphone /
Knock 'Em Dead)



John Butcher /
Eddie Prevost:
Visionary Fantasies
(Matchless)



Christopher Fox
(w/ John Butcher /
Thomas Lehn /
Paul Lovens /
Axel Dorner):
Topophony
(Hat
[now] ART)



Brandon Seabrook Trio:
Convulsionaries
(Astral Spirits)



Brandon Seabrook Trio:
Convulsionaries
[CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)



Hearts & Minds (Jason Stein /
Paul Giallorenzo /
Chad Taylor):
Electroradiance
(Astral Spirits)



Hearts & Minds (Jason Stein /
Paul Giallorenzo /
Chad Taylor):
Electroradiance
[CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)







Squidco
Click here to
advertise with
The Squid's Ear






The Squid's Ear pays its writers.
Interested in becoming a reviewer?




The Squid's Ear is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !


  Copyright © 2016 Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (125960)