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Ratchet Orchestra:
Coco Swirl (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Active since the early 90's, the superb Montreal super-group Ratchet Orchestra under the direction of Nicolas Caloia with 19 performers presents 10 works including the title track, with soloists including Jean Rene, Lori Freedman, Jean Derome, Ellwood Epps, Sam Shalabi, Craig Petersen, Yves Charuest, Joshua Zubot, Scott Thomson, Isaiah Ceccarelli, &c. ... Click to View


Chris Pitsiokos :
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Dedicating his pieces to Charlie Parker, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and John Zorn, NY alto saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos is heard live at this solo concert in New Haven, CT in 2019, reflecting on the history of jazz through his intense playing style that deploys incredible technique balanced with abstraction and rapid lyricism. ... Click to View


Raoul Bjorkenheim :
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Paying tribute to his musical inspiration John Coltrane, Finnish/NY electric guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim leads a quartet with Silvia Bolognesi on contrabass, Tiziano Tononi on drums & percussion, and Emanuele Parrini on violin, as they perform five Coltrane compositions and two Bjorkenheim originals, a superlative homage to technical brilliance and conceptual vision. ... Click to View


Eugene Chadbourne / Duck Baker / Randy Hutton :
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A concert recording from 1977 in Calgary, CA captured during Eugene Chadbourne's time in Canada prior to his move to NYC, from the guitar trio of Duck Baker, Randy Hutton & Eugene Chadbourne, performing on acoustic guitars, using a variety of approaches to improvising in trio, duo and solo configurations, with original work, an Ornette Coleman mashup, and a piece by Charlie Haden. ... Click to View


Company:
1983 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Honest Jons Records)

Unreleased recordings from Derek Bailey's Company project, recorded at the BBC in 1983 with a stellar set of performers including Evan Parker (clarinet), Hugh Davies (electroncis), Jamie Muir (percussion), Joelle Leandre (bass), J.D. Parran (winds), John Corbett (trumpet), Vinko Globokar (trombone), Ernst Reijseger (cello), and Peter Brotzmann (reeds). ... Click to View


Muhal Abrams Richard:
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A compilation of works from the late Chicago multi-reedist, experimenter, and AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams, focused on his widely unknown electronic compositions, with four recording from 1968-1995 with collaborators including Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Amina Claudine Myers, Roscoe Mitchell, Maurice McIntyre, Yousef Yancey, Thurman Barker, &c. ... Click to View


Eric La Casa:
L'inspir du Rivage part 2&3 [VINYL 7-inch] (Povertech / Joe Colley)

First stock of this 1999 7" from French sound artist Eric La Casa created as part of Joe Colley's "Explorer" series, the title translating to "the shore breathing" where each composition develops from field recordings of water, the first part more naturalist and adhering to the initial recordings, the second using sound processing to create something unique and mesmerizing. ... Click to View


Rachel Musson / Naoko Saito / Audrey Lauro:
The Region Of Braille Responsibility [CD with English Braille Sheet] (Armageddon Nova)

Three female saxophonist from around the world--Rachel Musson (UK), Naoko Saito (Japan) and Audrey Lauro (Belgium)--in a compilation of solo saxophone works, two extended pieces from Musson and Satio, and four shoterr works from Laura, with a CD insert with English Braille characters, and a QR code that, when scans, plays the audio information for the album. ... Click to View


Musica Elettronica Viva:
United Patchwork [VINYL 2 LPs] (Alternative Fox)

A reissue of Musica Elettronica Viva's innovative 1978 open-structured album of free improvisation, United Patchwork, with the core performers of Frederic Rzewski on piano & electric piano, Richard Teitelbaum on synthesizer & conch shells, Alvin Curran on synthesizer & keys, plus Karl Berger on keys & vibraphone, Garrett List on trombone, and Steve Lacy on soprano sax. ... Click to View


Karkhana:
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LP-only, no 7" single. The second full-length album from Karkhana, a septet featuring members of Dwarfs Of East Agouza, A "Trio", Konstrukt, Chicago Tentet, Land of Kush, among others in four compositions of "crystal clear and deep, dark, distorted unrock compositions" in both electric and acoustic instrumentation, an internation genre-crossing album. ... Click to View


Rob Burke / Ben Monder / Tom Rainey / Ben Grayson:
Slip Sliding (FMR)

Rob Burke composed the first seven pieces for this experimental NY quartet, the multi-reedist joined by guitarist Ben Monder, drummer Tom Rainey, and Ben Grayson on electronics, the last "Discordat" a collective improvisation in 4 parts, as the band investigates emotional approaches to playin, using subtle distortion and Grayson's post-editing sonic additions. ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall Nonet The:
Interpretations of Beauty (FMR)

Paul Dunmall's nonet with Neil Metcalfe, Philip Gibbs, Trevor Taylor, Hannah Marshall, Sarah Farmer, Theo May, Alison Blunt and John Edwards on one track is a larger ensemble blurring improvisation and compositional approaches through violin, viola, cello, double bass guitar, reeds, flute, and guitar; sophisticated chamber improvisation of superb quality. ... Click to View


Nicolas Field / Albert Cirera:
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After recording the Not Two trio album "Five Spontaneous Ones", the trio of Catalan saxophonist Albert Cirera, English/Swiss drummer Nicolas Field and Polish bass player Rafalm Mazur planned a concert at Klub Dragon in Poland, but when Mazur was unavailable Field & Cirera played the concert as a duo, recording this exceptional sax & drum free jazz album. ... Click to View


Quatuor Bozzini:
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Long-time collaborators the Quatuor Bozzini string quartet of Clemens Merkel, Alissa Cheung, Stephanie Bozzini and Isabelle Bozzini join with Slavic composer living in Montreal Ana Sokolovic, to present a series of 14 short works -- "Ghost 1" & "Ghost 2"; "Commedia dell'arte" in 10 movements; "Blanc dominant"; and "Troisieme page apres le soleil". ... Click to View


Treesearch:
Know More Knowledge (577)

West Coast/San Diego violinist Keir GoGwilt and bassist Kyle Motl are Treesearch, improvising on contrabass and violin with warm strength and expression, using a mix of traditional and creative approaches to their instruments as they bridge jazz and modern compositional approaches to create their own unique approach to free improvisation. ... Click to View


Astroturf Noise (Harmet / Nagano / Swanson / Martin / Bernstein):
Astroturf Noise (577)

Astroturf Noise is Sam Day Harmet on mandolin, Sana Nagano on violin, Zach Swanson on bass, Billy Martin on percussion, and Sarah Bernstein on violin, living at the intersection of American folk & roots music and free improvisation, using effects and sonic additions music in an unusual mix that the quintet makes completely natural and all their own. ... Click to View


Tony Irving / Massimo Magee :
Vitriol And The Third Oraculum (577)

Two separate live recordings from the UK sax & drum duo of Massimo Magee on tenor, alto and sopranino saxophones, and drummer Tony Irving (Ascension), both captured in 2019 at The Globe in Newcastle Upon Tyne and at Hundred Years Gallery in London, as they burn through three free jazz dialogs of passionate playing informed by personal history and creative drive. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Matthew Putman:
Whoadie (577)

"Whoadie" is New Orleans slang for close friends, and the NY trio of saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter and flute player Daniel Carter, clarinetist Patrick Holmes, and pianist Matthew Putname are three close compatriots including Telepathic Band, and apt description of their chamber-oriented free improv in an album inspired by an out of tune piano. ... Click to View


FEN (Otomo Yoshihide / Ryu Hankil / Yan Jun / Yuen Chee Wai):
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FEN (Far East Network) is comprised of improvisers from Singapore (Yuen Chee Wai), Japan (Otomo Yoshihide), China (Yan Jun), and Korea (Ryu Hankil), using electroacoustic instrumetnation to create a unique merging of cultural and personal aesthetic, in their 1st album recorded in NYC using electronic feedback, computer noises and guitar; intriguing and unconventional. ... Click to View


Turbulence:
Tumult (Evil Clown)

The extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra is heard here as a quintet with PEK (reeds), Jim Warshsauer (reeds), Bob Moores (trumpet), Eric Dahlman (trumpet) and Duane Reed (baritone horn), all using an a vast collection of percussive instruments, game calls and other devices, to create a journey of tone, color, interactive playing and rhythmic intervention. ... Click to View


Tim Hodgkinson / Jason Alder / Chris Cundy / Yoni Silver / Heather Roche / Shadanga Duo / Thanos Chrysakis:
Music For Bass Clarinets (Aural Terrains)

A live performance at London's Cafe OTO from composer Thanos Chrysakis, performing compositions focused on the deeper reeds from composers Christian Wolff, Iancu Dumitrescu, Hannes Kerschbaumer, Georges Aperghis, and Chrysakis himself, in configurations from solo to quintet, with Tim Hodgkinson, Jason Alder, Chris Cundy, Heather Roce, Yoni Silver, and Shadanga Duo. ... Click to View


Thollem / Parker / Cline:
Gowanus Sessions II (ESP)

Free collective improvisation with an electronic edge from the trio of Nels Cline, double bassist William Parker and pianist Thollem McDonas, following up on their 2012 "Gowanus Session I" recorded in the same studio space, here expanding on the 1st session's shorter works with two large and evolving improvisations that balance reflective moments with intensive playing. ... Click to View


Luigi Archetti / Bo Wiget:
Weltformat (Die Schachtel)

"Weltformat" translates to "world-class", an apt description of the 20 year collaboration between sound explorers, improvisers and rock legends Bo Wiget and Luigi Archetti, heard in this diverse album of soundscapes and sonic intersections, with Archetti on guitar, mandolin, & electronics, and Wiget on cello, electronics, & vocals, fascinating their listener in shades of dark and light. ... Click to View


Luigi Archetti / Bo Wiget:
Weltformat [VINYL 2 LPs] (Die Schachtel)

"Weltformat" translates to "world-class", an apt description of the 20 year collaboration between sound explorers, improvisers and rock legends Bo Wiget and Luigi Archetti, heard in this diverse album of soundscapes and sonic intersections, with Archetti on guitar, mandolin, & electronics, and Wiget on cello, electronics, & vocals, fascinating their listener in shades of dark and light. ... Click to View


Will Guthrie:
Nist-Nah (Black Truffle)

Using instruments inspired by Australian percussionist Will Guthrie's travels to Indonesia and his fascination with Gamelan music, Guthrie explores modern percussion approach using electroacoustic composition and improvisation, focusing tradition in both hypnotically delicate textures and complex energetic music, merging rhythm and melody in fascinating ways. ... Click to View


Brunhild Ferrari / Jim O'Rourke:
Le Piano Englouti [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Recorded in concert at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe in 2014, electronic artists and composers Brunhild Ferrari and Jim O'Rourke use tapes, electronics and synths to create these two monumental works of electroacoustic improvisation, with sources including material from Luc Ferrari's "Exercises d'Improvisation", O'Rourke revising and remixing the material in 2019 for this LP release. ... Click to View


Keith Jafrate / Herve Perez:
Tete-a-Tete (Noumenon)

Recorded live in the studio in Sheffield in a single take, this first time meeting of the UK alto saxophone duo of Keith Jafrate and Herve Perez improvise freely, distinguishable by the stereo channel they reside in, as they display great technical skill and a unique sense of humor on tracks titled like "Something Funky in the Sauce" or "And a Hair in the Pudding". ... Click to View


Scott Thomson:
Murray - Trombone Solos (Tour de Bras)

Trombonist Scott Murray (Monicker, AIMToronto) performed this installment of his "Trombone Solos at Odd Hours" series by paying homage after the passing of his friend, painter and drummer John Heward, recording this concert at Heward's studio in his home on Murray Street in Montreal, in a far-ranging and emotional solo performance of fascinating technique and expression. ... Click to View


Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet (feat. John Zorn):
Voodoo [VINYL] (Black Saint Vinyl)

Pianist Sonny Clark passed in 1963, leaving a legacy of compositions that the Downtown NY trio of saxophonist John Zorn, drummer Bobby Previte, and pianist Wayne Horvitz seized upon in 1985, enlisting legendary bassist Ray Drummond to record these seven Clark compositions, blurring hard bop history with emerging improv technique, an apt reissue of a fitting memorial quartet. ... Click to View


Kosi:
Stranger In Every Town (self-released)

NY/East Coast Jazz vocalist Kosi presents her 5th album, a rewarding album of original songs that depict her experiences touring as an independent singer-songwriter through jazz idioms influenced by blues and rock forms, her strong voice emotional and expressive while supported by a core sextet of New York musicians; lyrical, solid, passionate. ... Click to View


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  Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale) 
  Das Rad  
  (Discus) 


  
   review by Darren Bergstein
  2019-06-06
Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale): Das Rad (Discus)

Martin Archer's Discus label is the UK's best kept secret, in the sense that far more than the imprint's loyal followers should be aware of its existence. Multi-instrumentalist Archer has built a formidable catalog that is genre-defying in similar ways to contemporaries ECM, Hubro, Sofa, Hat Hut, et al: ostensibly a 'jazz label' (which takes the very meaning of the word 'jazz' to heretofore unconsidered heights of stylistic fancy), Discus has long transcended such literal trappings (further-out Editions of Contemporary Music, natch), which means that Archer uses it as a conduit to release whatever sonic muse he, and that of his fellow artists, begs to pursue. This has resulted in a broad and consistently marvelous array of work that bridges the divide between compositional rigor and improvisational abandon, whipping elements of each into a heady, ultimately bracing and wholly satisfying, stew.

Das Rad (German for "The Wheel", and germane to the band's ever-spinning proclivities) seems to encapsulate and deconstruct the entire history of British avant-rock in one fell swoop. Archer and his compatriots drummer and synthesist Steve Dinsdale, of grand electro-prog trio Radio Massacre International, and guitarist/loopist/electronicist Nick Robinson court echoes of everything you loved about UK eccentric rock tropes of the past three decades, and then rocket to the heavens with an experimental zeal few of their colleagues can muster. The interstellar fug of space hucksters Hawkwind peek in from time to time, and myriad Canterbury influences are self-evident, though refracted through a prism that distorts its fabric most enigmatically ("Canterbury Steps"). Even the Pink Floyd-drenched psychedelia that informs Dinsdale's parent band RMI rears its sun-dappled head throughout the lengthier explorations of sister tracks "Porto Steps" and "London Steps", both of which are anchored by Archer's piquant, Surman-esque sax playing. Bottom line is that all anecdotal evidence aside, these fellas are simply having a blast. There's a vivacity to the playing that's absorbing and eventful in a way few of prog's ilk would cop to. Archer's serpentine lines so beautifully enmesh themselves amongst the electronics of "Porto Steps" that you forget it's essentially one long hunk of jammin' dreamdrift, rendered with a diamond-cutter's precision and more ideas than could be found in the deepest topographic ocean.

That the trio enjoys a good riff and isn't afraid to loosen up its confines with something like 'funk' ("Tenser") and/or the wide-open spaces bespoken of free jazz by way of King Crimson ("Sehnsucht") speaks volumes about where 'rock' music can still go after all these years. It's mystifying and surely ignorant when hirsute music buffs speak of progressive rock needing to adhere to a certain established vocabulary that renders it all but inert, calcified into well-trodden modes that hardly progress at all the new boss, same as the old boss. Archer, Dinsdale, and Robinson sure as hell ain't having none of that jazz; making mincemeat out of the molecular structure of blurt, bleat, and bloop, theirs is a necessary shock to the system, and pretty damn Rad at that.



Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale): Das Rad
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