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Jason Alder / Piotr Michalowski: Contradictions (Creative Sources)

Dialogs on the lowest of reed instruments from the Ann Arbor, Michigan duo of Jason Alder and Piotr Michalowski, using Leblanc paperclip contrabass clarinet and Selmer rosewood contrabass and contra-alto clarinets, as they apply diverse approaches to avant improvisation of deep interaction, from active grumblings to beautiful tonal stretches. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton : Dortmund (Quartet) 1976 (Hatology)

An essential album in Braxton's catalog, this 1976 recording at the Jazzfestival "Jazz Life" in Dortmund, German with the superb quartet of Dave Holland on bass, Barry Altschul on drums & percussion, and George Lewis on trombone, in an album of post-bop avant modern jazz performing five Braxton numbered compositions; challengingly brilliant and exhilarating! ... Click to View


Misha Mengelberg : Two Days In Chicago [2 CDs] (Hatology)

In 1998 European legendary free improvising pianist Misha Mengelberg spent two days in Chicago, recording in the studio and then live at The Velvet Lounge in a variety of settings of collective free playing and covering Monk tunes, with the support of Ken Vandermark, Fred Anderson, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Hamid Drake, Ab BAars, Wilbert de Joode, &c. ... Click to View


Rachel Musson / Pat Thomas / Mark Sanders: Shifa: Live at Cafe Oto [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

"Shifa, or "Healing", is the London-based trio of saxophonist Rachel Musson, pianist Pat Thomas, and drummer Mark Sanders, here in a live concert at Cafe Oto in 2018 of two collective improvisations, a tonic of arching sax lines, rolling and potent drumming, powerful block chords and intricate lines, from dark to joyful moments, an intoxicating tonic for the ears. ... Click to View


Chester Hawkins : Cops Need Serial Numbers [USB mp3 & wav + pdf] (Intangible Arts)

DC electronic explorer Chester Hawkins releases this very limited edition of 50 USB album of 10 extended forays into psychedelic electronics, synth and tabletop guitar, synth journeys to hard drone & abstract concrete elements enhancing the way, the album shaped like a metal bullet that unscrews to reveal the USB drive, housed in a handsome black case. ... Click to View


Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman: Time Gone Out (Intakt)

At around 20 years of collaboration, the duo of pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman has redefined the dialog between European and American approaches to improvisation and composition, bridging traditional and modern approaches, here in a studio album of power and restraint, energy and fragility, discipline and freedom. ... Click to View


Russ Lossing Trio: Ways (Hat Hut Ezz-Thetics)

An essential part of the New York jazz scene since the mid-80s, pianist Russ Lossing's compositions employ concept and space in unique and personal ways, as heard in these 8 original works performed with his trio of long-time collaborators, double bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Billy Mintz, in an album of highly evolved and lyrically sophisticated music. ... Click to View


Richard Pinhas / Tatsuya Yoshida: Ascension (Magaibutsu Limited)

The collaboration between Magaibutsu label leader, Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins, Korekyojinn, Koenji, The World Heritage, &c) on drums, keyboards & voice, and Heldon mastermind Richard Pinhas on guitar & effects, continues with this CD of live material from their 2014 Japanese tour, extending the 2015 "Live in Japan" album, including the 8-part "Ascension". ... Click to View


Christophe Rocher / Joe Fonda / Harvey Sorgen: New Origin (Not Two)

The trio of bassist Joe Fonda, drummer Harvey Sorgen and clarinetist Christopher Rocher in an album dedicated to reedist Perry Robinson, a heartfelt album balancing structured composition and collective work, with authoritative free playing from all three as Rocher switches between bass clarinet and b-flat, Fonda plucks and bows, and Sorgen skilfully mixes it up. ... Click to View


Robert Dick / Joelle Leandre / Miya Masaoka: Solar Wind (Not Two)

Virtuosic collective improvisations with Robert Dick on flute, bass flute, contrabass flute, & piccolo flute, Joelle Leandre on contrabass and Miya Masaoka on koto & percussion, Dick and Leandre punctuating the conversation with their voice on 4 pieces, as the three record in the studio in NYC in 2018 for 12 succinct dialogs that balance abstraction and passionate intention. ... Click to View


Big Tent (Jerome Kitzke / Steve Rust / Harvey Sorgen): I Am Waiting (Not Two)

The New York trio of pianist Jerome Kitzke, bassist Steve Rust on electric and acoustic, and drummer/percussionist Harvey Sorgen, alternate consummately clever approaches to collective playing with Kitzke's humorously ironic and insightful reading of four poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti from his "A Coney Island of the Mind" in honor of his 100th birthday. ... Click to View


Jeb Bishop Flex Quartet: Re-Collect (Not Two)

A set of Jeb Bishop compositions performed at The Hungry Brain in Chicago, from the inventively lyrical quartet of Jeb Bishop (trombone), Russ Johnson (trumpet), Frank Rosaly (drums), and Jason Roebke (bass), performing music written for this same quartet at the invitation of Ken Vandermark for the Okka Festival 7 in Milwaukee; optimistic and joyful modern jazz! ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp : Invisible Light, Live Sao Paulo (Hat Hut Ezz-Thetics)

Captured live at the 2016 Jazz at the Factory Festival in Sao Paulo, this addition to New York pianist Matthew Shipp's catalog finds the masterful player presenting his own compositions like "Symbol Systems", "Gamma Ray" or "Invisible" light alongside unique takes on "Angel Eyes", "On Green Dolphin Street", "Yesterdays" and "Summertime". ... Click to View


Marco von Orelli / Tommy Meier / Luca Sisera / Sheldon Suter: Lotus Crash (Hat Hut Ezz-Thetics)

Trumpeter Marco von Orelli's piano-less quartet with Tommy Meier on tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, Luca Sisera on double bass, and Sheldon Suter on drums is caught live at Theater am Gleis, in Winterthur, Switzerland in 2018, and at Boudoir au Revoir, the same year, performing von Orelli's compellingly clever compositions, plus one each from Adam lane and Tommy Meier. ... Click to View


NYUK (Nasuno / Yoshida / Uchihashi / Nasuki): NYUK (Magaibutsu)

An extension of the Korekyojinn band of Nasuno Mitsuru, Yoshida Tatsuya, and Kido Natsuki, by adding guitarist Uchihashi Kazuhisa (Altered States, Ground Zero, Innocent Records), for eight intense improvisations recorded at Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo in 2013, a startling album of jaw-dropping polyrhythmic, avant rock interaction and intention; spectacular. ... Click to View


Aki Takase: Hokusai Piano Solo (Intakt)

Under the inspiration of Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai, Berlin-based improvising pianist Aki Takase recorded these impressive works over two days at the Sendesaal Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, some live during an award ceremony where she was awarded The Berlin Jazz Prize, some in the studio, along including a duo with pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach. ... Click to View


Albert Ayler Quartets: Spirits To Ghosts (remastered) (Hat Hut Ezz-Thetics)

Three variations of quartet settings from iconoclastic free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, remastering and combining two Debut Records albums, "Spirits" from 1964 with Norman Howard (trumpet), Sunny Murray (drums), and alternating bass between Henry Grimes & Earle Henderson; and 1965's "Ghosts" on Debut Records with Don Cherry (trumpet), Gary Peacock (bass), and Sunny Murray. ... Click to View


Marion Brown: Capricorn Moon To Juba Lee (remastered) (Hat Hut Ezz-Thetics)

Merging and remastering two essential albums from free jazz saxophonist Marion Brown: his 1966 ESP album "Marion Brown Quartet" with trumpeter Alan Shorter, bassist Reggie Johnson and percussionist Rahied Ali; and his 1967 Fontana album "Juba-Lee" in a septet with Reggie Johnson, drummer Beaver Harris, pianist Dave Burrell, trombonist Grachan Moncur III & saxophonist Bennie Maupin. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / Matthew Wright / Trance Map+: Crepuscule in Nickelsdorf (Intakt)

Composed by saxophonist Evan Parker and electronic artist Matthew Right, "Trance Map" has Parker triggering interactions with samples from Wright's record collection, contorted by live processing, here in an incredible expanded performance at Konfrontationen 2017 with Adam Linson on bass & electronics, John Coxon on turntable & electronics, and Ashley Wales on electronics. ... Click to View


Leap of Faith: Nucleosynthesis (Evil Clown)

A core trio setting for Boston's framework improvising Leap of Faith with David Peck (PEK) on clarinets, saxophone and assorted winds, Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion, and Glynis Lomon on cellos and percussion, along with "2 gongs, a ton of Tibetan bowls and bells, various orchestral castanets, various seed pod and other wood rattles, and other small thing". ... Click to View


Eclectic Maybe Band: Reflections In A Moebius Ring Mirror (Discus)

The second album of this Guy Segers (Univers Zero) project in an eclectic ensemble of improvisers, rock musicians and experimenters, a genre-defying project of primarily instrumental work with interventions of song, merging acoustic & electric instruments with electronics, live improvisation with studio manipulation, to find new forms of mesmerizing music. ... Click to View


Keith Tippett: The Unlonely Raindancer (Discus)

Mujician pianist Keith Tippetts embarked on his first solo tour in 1979, capturing these concert recordings that were originally released in 1980 on vinyl on the Universe Label; long out of print, Discus has revived these extraordinary recordings, showing the incredible technical abilities, endurance, and quick-witted creative powers of this legendary improviser. ... Click to View


Frostlake: Ice & Bone (Discus)

The second album from multi-instrumentalist Frostlake (Jan Todd, also of Orchestra of The Upper Atmosphere), hallucinatory songs of layered vocals accompanied by the creative bass of Terry Todd, for rich atmospheres with warm instrumentation augmented by field recordings; absorbing music that draws its listeners into their beautiful, psychedelic dream states. ... Click to View


Beck Hunters: Has It Been Found? (Discus)

UK Tenor saxophonist and bassoonist Beck Hunter (Feet Packets, Gated Community) leads his trio with Anton Hunter on guitar and Johnny Hunter on drums, their second album of confident, self-possessed free improvisation with both an assertive edge and excellent exploratory moments, a sense of humor and a serious intent, a great example of collective improv. ... Click to View


Michael Zerang: Asssyrian Caesarean [VINYL] (Holidays Records)

His first solo album in a career spanning back to 1976, Chicago percussionist Michael Zerang presents a diverse set of improvisations demonstrating the wealth of approaches he has developed over the year, including the use of vibrating drumhead surfaces, expressive friction passages, multiple timbre percussion, and straight up trap-set drumming; absolutely impressive. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi: In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims... [VINYL 2 LPs] (Black Truffle)

The ninth album from the enduring trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi, recorded in 2015 at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe, with both Ambarchi and O'Rourke performing on drums and percussion, O'Rourke also using a Hammond Organ and Ambarchi on flute, while Haino asserts himself on guitar, electronics and voice, in 2 groove-based pieces and 2 side-long epics. ... Click to View


Limbo Ensemble: Limbo (Creative Sources)

A fascinating confluence of improvisation and contemporary compositional approaches from this Spanish ensemble led by composer and drummer Nasim Lopez Palacios, using 5 reeds, trumpet, flute, piano, electric guitar, harp, double bass, drums and electronics in an extended work exploring space, tension and motion, with a beautiful build to catharsis. ... Click to View


Rob Mazurek: Love Waves Ecstatic Charge (Astral Spirits)

One of three releases in Rob Mazurek's Marfa Trio, recorded in Marfa, TX, using 106 distorted still images and fragmented skipping sound from video shot at Abbaye Royal de Fontevraud, France in 2005, repurposed for this intense and wild sound work which processes the images through modular synth and computer, shaped by Mazurek's unique approach to sound. ... Click to View


Rob Mazurek: Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV (Astral Spirits)

Recordings from the 4-channel sound composition for the ESS Florasonic installation series at Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago, of Rob Mazurek's work using recordings of electric eels from National Institute of Research and Technology in Manaus, Brazil, combined with analog/digital synthesis to create environments of beautiful undulating and radiant sonic textures. ... Click to View


Mark Hanslip / Emil Karlsen: Planish (Noumenon)

Saxophonist Mark Hanslip and drummer Emil Karlsen, two active figures on the UK free improv and jazz scene, in a sax & drum duo fueled by live performances, here in their first album of informed and exploratory dialog, five works that run the gamut from textural open playing to fiery free jazz, a solid first endeavor and addition to Karlsen's Noumenon label. ... Click to View


Emil Karlsen: Flux (Noumenon)

Norwegian-born drummer Emil Karlsen living in London presents his first solo drum album, and the first album on his Noumenon label, a series of 11 dynamic compositions and improvisations exploring extended techniques, timbre and textures, inspired as much by the likes of Cecil Taylor and Andrew Cyrille as by John Cage and Igor Stravinsky. ... Click to View


Jeb Bishop / Alex Ward / Weasel Walter: Flayed (ugEXPLODE)

An assertive album of free improv bringing together players from New York (drummer Weasel Walters), London (clarinetist & electric guitarist Alex Ward), and Chicago (trombonist Jeb Bishop), their previous shared projects and cross-genre intentions in rock, hardcore jazz and other experimental forms leading to this wonderfully quirky and masterful album of excoriating free jazz. ... Click to View


Rob Mazurek: Desert Encrypts Vol. 1 (Astral Spirits)

The third volume in trumpeter Rob Mazurek's Marfa Trilogy, inspired by the desert surroundings of Marfa, TX where Mazurek held his first Desert Encrypts Festival, this album captured live with the superb quartet of Kris Davis on piano, Chad Taylor on drums, and Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on bass, for 6 passionate and compelling works of modern jazz. ... Click to View


Martin Archer : Another Fantastic Individual (Discus)

Reflecting on the Horweb Sax Quartet he was a member of during the 80s, UK improvising saxophonist Martin Archer uses AACM influences (and covers one Roscoe Mitchell piece) as he plays all parts of a series of "solo" saxophone recordings, layering his playing alone and in harmony, in call and response, and in insanely creative ways that never cease to engage his listeners. ... Click to View


Flying Luttenbachers, The: Shattered Dimension [VINYL 2 LPs] (God Records)

Weasel Walter is the constant in the no-wave influenced free improvising band Flying Luttenbachers, formed in 1991 and on hiatus since 2007; Walter reassembled the concept in 2018 for a tour in France, then again in 2019 with this lineup of saxophonist Matt Nelson, guitarist Brandon Seabrook and bassist Tim Dahl, recording this startling, demanding and excellent album. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi: Simian Angel [VINYL] (Editions Mego)

Oren Ambarchi renews the focus on his unique approach to the electric guitar, joining with Downtown NY Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista on congas, shakers and berimbau, in a duo based on Ambarchi's explorative playing, also conjuring organ and piano tones, as each side-long piece take the listener on a journey of passionate playing of subtlety and warmth. ... Click to View


Eugene Chadbourne : Solo Guitar Volume 3-1/3 [VINYL] (Feeding Tube Records)

The third of four volumes in Feeding Tube's series of solo albums from guitarist Eugene Chadbourne documents recordings made in Calgary, Canada in the 70s while he waited out Vietnam & Nixon; Chadbourne programmed this volume to reveal material never heard before, improvised in a creative period of playing influenced by jazz, country, folk, blues and free experimental styles. ... Click to View


Pauline Oliveros / Guy Klucevsek: Sounding / Way [VINYL] (Important Records)

One of two reissues from the collaboration of Important Records and the Pauline Oliveros Trust, this album with accordionist Guy Klucevsek was originally self-released in 1986 on cassette, each side presenting a piece for two accordions, here with Guy Klucevsek's "Tremolo No. 6" on side A and Pauline's Oliveros' "The Tuning Meditation" on Side B. ... Click to View


Pauline Oliveros : Tara's Room [VINYL] (Important Records)

One of two reissues from the collaboration of Important Records and the Pauline Oliveros Trust, this solo accordion album from Pauline Oliveros self-released in 1987 on cassette is a rich album in the vein of her Deep Listening work, two warmly beautiful pieces using a just intonation accordion and her Expanded Instrument System in order to bend time and pitch. ... Click to View


Leap of Faith: First Principles (Evil Clown)

Performed by a core set of 7 players who frequent the Boston-area Evil Clown collective, this subgroup from the Leap of Faith Orchestra is caught live at Third Life Studios in Somerville, MA, in a drummer-less setting of rhythm from PEK's arsenal of percussive devices and instruments, for a diverse & extended work of transformations across highly varied sonorities. ... Click to View


Sfyria Trio: Rockefeller Concert [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Since 2016 Sfyria Trio is the Chicago/NY free improvising trio of tenor saxophonist Sam Decker (Shorve, Logan Strosahl Team, Green and Grass), bassist Charlie Kirchen (The Few, Rooms, Charlie Kirchen Quartet), and drummer Matt Carroll (Ohmme, Typical Sisters, Rooms), performing their unique improv idiom incorporating elements from a wide range of musical perspectives. ... Click to View


Susan Alcorn / Joe McPhee / Ken Vandermark: Invitation To A Dream [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

An excellent album of informed free improvisation in the debut of this masterful trio of legendary musicians spread across the US--Joe McPhee on soprano sax & pocket trumpet [NY], Ken Vandermark on tenor sax & clarinet [Chicago], and Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar [Texas], a profound album from assertive to introspective playing in seven captivating collective improvisations. ... Click to View


Jonathon Crompton : Intuit (New Lab Records)

The debut as a leader for Australian saxophonist residing in Brooklyn, Jonathan Crompton, in a strong album of original compositions with astute arrangements over a diverse set of styles, moods and complexity, performed brilliantly with 4 saxophonists (Crompton, Ingrid Laubrock, Patrick Breiner & Patrick Booth), plus Adam Hopkins (bass) and Kate Gentile (drums). ... Click to View


Joe McPhee: Tenor & Fallen Angels (Hatology)

... Click to View


Sven Johansson Ake: 6 Little Pieces (Hatology)

... Click to View


Cornelius Cardew : Treatise (Hat [now] ART)

... Click to View


Anthony Braxton (Guillermo Gregorio , Jim O'Rourke, &c.): Compositions No. 10 & No. 16 (+101) (Hat [now] ART)

Recordings of 3 of composer Anthony Braxton, with clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio the consistent partner in all three: A variation of Composition 10(1) with Jim O'Rourke on accordion; Composition No 16 a duo with O'Rourke on hurdy gurdy; and another variation of Composition 10(2) with O'Rourke on electronics. ... Click to View


Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Be Known Ancient/Future/Music (Spiritmuse Records)

Led by Chicago percussionist and AACM member Kahil El'Zabar and founded in 1981, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble releases this album of Afro-centric spiritual jazz, El'Zabar's voice drawing us into the compelling rhythms and grooves he and cellist Ian Maksin provide as foundations for baritone saxophonist Alex Harding and trumpeter Corey Wilkes' profound soloing. ... Click to View


Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Be Known Ancient/Future/Music [2 LPS] (Spiritmuse Records)

Led by Chicago percussionist and AACM member Kahil El'Zabar and founded in 1981, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble releases this album of Afro-centric spiritual jazz, El'Zabar's voice drawing us into the compelling rhythms and grooves he and cellist Ian Maksin provide as foundations for baritone saxophonist Alex Harding and trumpeter Corey Wilkes' profound soloing. ... Click to View


John Zorn: Nove Cantici Per Francesco D'Assisi (Tzadik)

Inspired by the life and thought of the spiritual figure Saint Francis of Assisi, John Zorn composed these ten guitar trios as a suite to be performed during a residency at the Frick museum in New York City, with guitarists Julian Lage and Gyan Riley, heard on his previous "Midsummer Moons" album, joined by guitarist Bil Frisell; contemplative and lyrical music. ... Click to View


Klezmerson: The Book Beri'ah Vol 6-Tiferet (Tzadik)

This Mexican Klezmer groups with three percussionists, and a number of guests on this album, blends rock, jazz, and funk with Klezmer and Mexican styles, an unusual hybrid to take on the 6th Volume of John Zorn's Book Beri'ah, "Tiferet", combining flute and horns with guitar riffs as they take on Zorn's complex melodies and themes of irresistibly warm grooves. ... Click to View


Leap of Faith: Chargeā€Transfer Complex (Evil Clown)

Reed player, composer and multi-instrumentalist David Peck (Aka PEK) presents a string-oriented edition of his long-running Leap of Faith ensemble, where violinist Mimi Rabson and cellist Glynis Lomon make up half of the quartet, all taking on a vast arsenal of percussive instruments, and Yuri Zbitnoff sporting a set of "shiny new drums". ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble: Basilisk (Evil Clown)

Formed in 2015 by reedist and multi-instrumentalist David Peck and percussionist Yuri Zbitnov to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, using the now extended arsenal of exotic percussive instruments the collective has amassed, in a 2-part album with Mike Gruen on electric bass creating a power trio of unusual rhythmic intention. ... Click to View


John Zorn: Encomia (Tzadik)

Stephen Gosling performs solo piano works by John Zorn, 3 impressionistic pieces in the tradition of Debussy and Ravel paying tribute to legendary ballet dancer Nijinsky, to author Novalis who is credited with inventing the prose poem, and 3rd century poet Nossis, and a duo for piano & violin with Chris Otto inspired by the art of Hilma af Klint and the writings of Sigmund Freud. ... Click to View


Zion80 (John Zorn): The Book Beri'ah Vol 8-HOD (Tzadik)

Jon Madof's 10-piece Zion80 ensemble exploring the Jewish tradition through the lense of afro-beat, funk, rock and jazz takeJon Madof's 1Jon Madof's 10-piece Zion80 ensemble exploring the Jewish tradition through the lenses of afro-beat, funk, rock and jazz, takes on John Zorn's 8th volume of his Book Beri'ah in 9 lyrically upbeat and effusive compositions that are rhythmically exciting and charged by superb soloing, a great album of irresistible beats and euphoric melody.0-piece Zion80 ensemble exploring the Jewish tradition through the lense of afro-beat, funk, rock and jazz takes on John Zorn's 8th volume of his Book Beri'ah in 9 lyrically upbeat and effusive compositions that are rhythmically exciting and charged by superb soloing, a great album of irresistible beats and euphoric melody.s on John Zorn's 8th volume of his Book Beri'ah in 9 lyrically upbeat and effusive compositions that are rhythmically exciting and charged by superb soloing, a great album of irresistible beats and euphoric melody. ... Click to View


Jeph Jerman / Steve Jansen: Third (Not On Label)

The third release from the US Southwest audio exploring duo of Steve Jansen and Jeph Jerman, expanding on their previous cassette releases with two works recorded in Cottonwood, AZ and Phoenix, AZ; curious and compelling sonic environments using unidentifiable sound sources that layer and intertwine, each building and receding enigmatically. ... Click to View


Jeph Jerman: Voiced [CS w/BOOK] (Fidgety Editions)

Originally released on cassette on the Netherlands Counter Culture Chronicles label, this expanded and revised edition of Jerman's confounding album of fragmented vocal collage along with voices, hiss, birds, snippets of radio broadcasts and other field recordings, includes a 72-page book of texts and recording information, a unique and confounding album of sound. ... Click to View


Barry Guy : Blue Horizon. Barry Guy@70 (Live At The Ad Libitum Festival 2017) [3 CDs] (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Three astonishing concerts on 3 consecutive nights at the Ad Libitum Festival 2017 in Warsaw, Poland from British bassist Barry Guy in 3 configurations: 1st in a duo with Spanish pianist Agusti Fernandez; 2nd in a trio with US pianist Marilyn Crispell and British drummer Paul Lytton; and 3rd in a double bass duo with French bassist Joelle Leandre. ... Click to View


Joelle Leandre: Strings Garden [3 CDs] (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Three concerts from 2016 & 2017 of different string duos anchored by Leandre's double bass, starting at rue Victor Masse 75009 in Paris in a double bass duo with Bernard Santacruz; then a bass and cello duo at Le Triton Les Lilas, France with Gaspar Claus; and completing the set, a performances at DZIK, in Warszaw, Poland with violinist and violist Theo Ceccaldi. ... Click to View


Agusti Fernandez : River Tiger Fire [4 CDs] (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Recorded at the 2014 Ad Libitum Festival in Warsaw, pianist and composer Agusti Fernandez was invited to perform four concerts in celebration of his 60th birthday, choosing his working trio Aurora for once concert, a solo performance of "El Laberint de la Memoria", his electroacoustic Thunder trio, and a large ensemble conduction: "River, Tiger Fire". ... Click to View


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  Mary Halvorson and Joe Morris 
  Traversing Orbits  
  (Rogue Art) 


  
   review by Paul Serralheiro
  2019-04-16
Mary Halvorson and Joe Morris: Traversing Orbits (Rogue Art)

This release brings together two of the linchpins and reference points of contemporary guitar artistry. Morris, former teacher of his duo partner on this session, has established a style of linear construction in improvised composition that sends out as many webs as a spider on speed, but with a poise in intent and linear logic that is fascinating to observe. Halvorson for her part brings a more textural approach to her lines, although on this session she does not deploy her usual panoply of electronic effects, but sticks to acoustic sonorities. This means that at times, as in the pristine counterpoint of "Brain Draft," this release sounds like two gypsy guitarists in sympathetic improvisational flourishes, one melismatically embellishing the harmonico-rhythmic articulations of the other.

The guitars on this recording are simply captured acoustically at times, at others the electric amplification is fairly pronounced, but mostly the approach is an exploration of the instrument's natural resonance. This aesthetic persists throughout, as the two guitarist's minds percolate a warp and weft of woven lines driven by the imaginations of each in confluence with one the other. At times they resemble Bach-ian well-tempered line writing, as in the middle passage of "Shivering Sunshine," or a kind of Vila Lobos-meets-Paco de Lucia, via Charlie Christian and Tiny Grimes, as in "Traces of Three."

Ballads, if such a term can apply to this brain-powered playing, include some passing moments in several tunes, but dominate in the wistful "Full of Somehow." Although not quite a ballad, the theme statement of "In Other Terms" seems reflective and stately, offering a vigorous meditative vibe which reflects Beethoven in its thick timbres, as the guitarists blend resonant attacks with filigree rhythmic cells.

On the more abstract side there is the extended technique-exploiting principle of "Semaphore" with its snare drum, bell-ringing, Hawaiian slide effects and plain noise elements. The two musicians saw away at the strings, reminding us that the "stone is stony," as a poetic theorist once defined the purpose of art; six strings on a wooden frame is essentially what Morris and Halverson are working with here. Now, what can be done with it is limited only by the physical dexterity and fertility of imagination of the players involved... and there is plenty of both in this release.



Mary Halvorson and Joe Morris: Traversing Orbits
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