The Squid's Ear
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William Parker: Flower In a Stained-Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear [2 CDs] (Centering Records)

Two full-length albums--"Flower In a Stained-Glass Window" and "The Blinking of The Ear"--recorded in the summer of 2018 with two distinct groups, "Flower" dedicated to the inspiration of Martin Luther King features the vocals and narration of Leena Conquest; "Blinking" was recorded during Parker's 2018 residency at the Stone presenting his concept of universal tonality. ... Click to View


David Ware S. Trio: The Balance (Vision Festival XV +) (Aum Fidelity)

The fourth edition in Aum-Fidelity's DSW-ARC Series (David S Ware Archives), presenting an outstanding and incendiary David S. Ware concert, in trio with William Parker (bass) and Warren Smith (drums & percussion) caught live at the 2010 Vision Festeival, alongisde 4 studio tracks recorded in Brooklyn in 2009 during the recording of the Onecept album. ... Click to View


Chris Corsano / Bill Orcutt: Brace Up! [VINYL] (Palilalia)

The first studio release after a series of live albums, the duo of Chris Corsano (drums) and Bill Orcutt (guitar), are heard recording in Brussells for 12 fierce, technically excellent, and powerfully fervent instrumentals as the two change up direction and intensity in a wealth of creative impulses played with exuberant enthusiasm in a wild ride. ... Click to View


Tashi Dorji: But a night that ends, as all nights end, when the sun rises [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Moone Records)

Guitarist Tashi Dorji's two part work is pieced together in a non-linear/non-hierarchical form where every segment balances fragile and intense playing, his improvisations reflecting eastern and western approaches, with fragmentary passage that resolve into tightly focused playing that imparts a wonderful sense of lyrical and emotional depth. ... Click to View


Jean-Luc Guionnet / Dan Warburton / Eric La Casa: Metro Pre saint-Gervais (Swarming)

A reissue of the 2002 Chloe label album, where Jean Luc Guionnet on alto saxophone, Dan Warburton on violin, and Eric La Casa on microphones use the ambiance of the Paris Pre Saint-Gervais metro station as the starting point for free improvisations, using their surrounding as inspiration while they record a most unusual album of urban sound and discourse. ... Click to View


Jeph Jerman / Steve Jansen: Second First [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (That's Cool Records)

Two live performances of objects, tapes, devices and guitar from the duo of Steve Jansen and Jeph Jerman, each recording from a live performance, "Second" captured at a "homecore" performance during the 2016 Idea Festival in Houston, TX, and "First" recorded at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX during the same festival; consuming and stunning journeys in sound. ... Click to View


Jeph Jerman / Steve Jansen: First Second [CASSETTE] (That's Cool Records)

Two studio recordings of objects, tapes, devices and guitar from the duo of Steve Jansen and Jeph Jerman, starting with seemingly random elements of sound that transform into rich soundscapes with subtle activity and extraneous, unidentifiable sound keeping the listener's curiosity and interest, as the two pieces slowly build in sonic richness and force. ... Click to View


Eli Keszler: Stadium (Shelter Press)

Rapid beats, quirky percussion, drifting bass and unusual tones, Eli Keszler's 9th solo album was inspired by his move from Brooklyn into Manhattan, as the creative drummer fuses environments of avant-jazz and electronica into 12 understated pieces, developing embraceable and warm soundscapes over which he reveals an astonishing stream of restless, rhythmic dexterity. ... Click to View


Eli Keszler: Stadium [VINYL 2 LPs] (Shelter Press)

Rapid beats, quirky percussion, drifting bass and unusual tones, Eli Keszler's 9th solo album was inspired by his move from Brooklyn into Manhattan, as the creative drummer fuses environments of avant-jazz and electronica into 12 understated pieces, developing embraceable and warm soundscapes over which he reveals an astonishing stream of restless, rhythmic dexterity. ... Click to View


Eliane Radigue: Jouet Electronique / Elemental I [VINYL] (Alga Marghen)

Composer Eliane Radigue's "Jouet Electronique" (1967) for feedback on magnetic tape and "Elemental I" (1968) for feedback of natural sounds on magnetic tape, recorded at Pierre Henry's Studio Apsome; "Jouet Electronique" applies studio modifications to feedback from microphones and speakers; "Elemental I" explores recordings of water, fire, air and earth. ... Click to View


Christina Kubisch : Dreaming Of A Major Third (Edition Rz)

Christina Kubisch developed software to react to the variations in sunlight reflected on solar panels installed at an historic mill complex in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the sun's interactions driving pitch-shifted and envelope-altered samples from the original bells of that museum's clocktower creating a beautiful and illusory long-form recording. ... Click to View


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


Dustin Carlson (Carlson / Mitchell / Gentile / Hopkins / Morgan / Trudel / Gouker): Air Ceremony (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


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  The Zorn Non-Interview  

Ah, John, We Hardly Knew Ye

"If the tapes are rolling or you remember what I said, that's the fucking interview. You want to hear an artist's voice? You're hearing it."

This was about halfway through a telephone call with John Zorn, most of which involved him explaining why, after three months of negotiations, he had decided not to grant The Squid's Ear an interview. We were working on a special issue to coincide with his fiftieth birthday and a month of concerts he was doing at Tonic. We had suggested talking to him about the different projects that were to be presented, and he called the idea boring. Besides, he said, he'd much rather have a conversation with an artist than a journalist. We suggested he speak with another musician or composer about surviving in the so-called "classical" world. He nixed the idea without offering a reason, but assured us we'd come up with something. After a few more go-rounds, he went back to the original idea, and suggested early July. Phone calls in July weren't returned, however, and a little Web investigation revealed that he was touring Europe with Electric Masada. Upon his return, he'd decided not to do the interview.

"Look, Kurt, I think you can do this without me," he said. "Listen to the music and answer the questions yourself." When I suggested that our readers would like to hear his take on revisiting his work, he said that sounded like People magazine.

"These little peppery phrases that you put through the article don't even matter," he said. "What matters is what's happening, the music.

"What, how did I decide to work with this drummer from Chicago? He knows Bill, that's easy. You can figure it out yourself. Whatever you guys write about, you write about. I can't be concerned with it or I would have killed myself years ago."

How do you revisit old works, I asked him. Do you listen to your old records? Do you work from scores?

"No, not at all."

And a long pause. The silence, I told him, was deafening.

What is it like to go back and work with material that you've said was from an angry period in your life, like Painkiller or Kristallnacht when you're now doing very different sorts of things?

"Kristallnacht is not just an angry piece," he replied. "It's the story of the Jewish people.

"If you take a look at the month, there's no angry music in it. Don't make the mistake that every time someone screams on a saxophone, it's about rage, it's about some Japanese woman screaming and being tortured.

"Given the 20 minutes we just spent on the phone, I could have answered all of your questions," he said. "But I can't deal with it, man." We talked for another 25, after which I sat down to write. I soon realized, however, that the last thing I wanted to do was go through a month of Zorn performances, write about my impressions of the various projects and speculate about why certain things were not included. Turns out, I guess, I can't blame him.

Over the course of September, a surprising array of Zorn's projects, compositions and musical ideas will be presented at Tonic, his Lower East Side home since breaking all ties with the Knitting Factory, reportedly after discovering that they were broadcasting his rehearsals over the Internet without his knowledge. There will be improv meetings with Mike Patton, Ikue Mori, Milford Graves, Yamatanka Eye, Fred Frith, Susie Ibarra, Wadada Leo Smith and Derek Bailey. A half dozen "game pieces" will be presented, in which participating musicians have a set of constraints under which they can attempt to influence the progress of a performance during its course. Nine contemporary classical compositions, including a premiere, will be presented, along with as many nights of the various Masada permutations. And, of course, the uncatagorizable make up a large part of the bill: Kristallnacht, New Traditions in East Asian Bar Music, Locus Solus, Book of Heads, the sorts of things that make Zorn the enigmatic figure that he is.

What's left out? Well, Naked City for a start. After two shows in Europe over the summer, hopes were high that he'd bring the group home. Rumor is that the paycheck across the Atlantic was more than they could pass up. Stateside we don't treat our artists so well. Big picture might be that we get what we deserve. But what we deserve ain't so bad. We do have the home field advantage, after all, and 30 nights of Zorn is nothing to sneeze at. We shall endeavor in these pages to cover most, if not all, of the month. We'll also keep trying to get the man to talk to us, although the former goal holds much more promise. We hadn't set out to do a fanzine, we just kind of ended up there.



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

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Chris Corsano /
Bill Orcutt:
Brace Up!
[VINYL]
(Palilalia)



William Parker:
Flower In a
Stained-Glass Window &
The Blinking of
The Ear
[2 CDs]
(Centering Records)



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



Francois Bayle:
Electrucs !
[VINYL]
(Transversales Disques)



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



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



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



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



Isotope Ensemble:
Lanthanum
(Creative Sources)



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



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



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



Adam Hopkins:
Crickets
(Out Of Your
Head Records)



Leap Of Faith:
Topological Constructions
(Evil Clown)



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



The Necks:
Body
(Northern Spy)



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



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)







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