The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Albert Ayler Quartet: Copenhagen Live 1964 (Hatology)

In 1964 Albert Ayler's approach to free improvisation had found its voice, in a quartet supported by the now-legendary players Don Cherry on cornet, Gary Peacock on doublebass, and Sunny Murray on drums, heard live in a well-recorded concert at Club Montmarte, in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1964; ferocious and forward thinking, an astonishing concert! ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp: Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich (Hatology)

A fluid and freely improvised solo set from New York pianist Matthew Shipp performing live at the Taktlos Festival in Zurich, Switzerland, 2016, presenting profoundly virtuosic playing skills and remarkable instincts in a continuous 45 minute set that maintains interest and strong bearing as he takes his audience on a commanding and coherent journey. ... Click to View


Marco Von Orelli / Max E. Keller / Sheldon Suter: Blow, Strike & Touch (Hatology)

Swiss trumpeter Marco Von Orelli leads this trio with Max E. Keller on piano and Sheldon Suter on drums, heard live at JazzAmMittwoch, Theater an Gleis, in Winterthur, Switzerland in 2014 for a thoroughly modern jazz outing of creative and extended approaches to the trio's instruments and approach to free jazz. ... Click to View


Harry Miller: Different Times, Different Places Volume Two (Ogun)

Compiling un-released material from late British bassist Harry Miller's recordings from 1977, 78 & 82, in bands with drummer Louis Moholo, guitarist Bernie Holland, pianist Keith Tippett, saxophonists Trevor Watts & Alan Wakeman, trombonist Alan Tomlinson, and trumpeter Dave Holdsworth; effusive joyful lyrical jazz infused with African rhythms. ... Click to View


Jean-Brice Godet Quartet (Godet / Attias / Niggenkemper / Costa): Mujo (Fou Records)

The debut album of French clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet, recording with a New York quartet of Michael Attias on alto sax, Pascal Niggenkemper on doublebass, and Caro Costa on drums for seven tracks of adventerous original compositions, using weaving lines in melodic heads that propel his sidemen to lyrically rich solos and asides. ... Click to View


Sophie Agnel / Daunik Lazro: Marguerite D'Or Pale (Fou Records)

The duo of French pianist Sophie Agnel and sax player Daunik Lazro traces back to their work in the quartet Qwat Neum Sixx; here the two as a duo are caught live at the "DOM" Cultural Centre, in Moscow in 2016 for 6 improvisations, contemplative to explosive dialog, inspired by the Russian novel "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov. ... Click to View


Isaiah Ceccarelli : Bow (Another Timbre)

Montreal-based Composer-percussionist Isaiah Ceccarelli, well known through his Ambiances Magnetiques releases, in 7 compositions, a mix of timbrally-based music in which he himself performs, and through-composed pieces that focus on harmonic progressions, performed as string duos, trios, and quartets. ... Click to View


Linda Smith Catlin : Drifter [2 CDs] (Another Timbre)

Ten pieces dating from 1995 to 2015 from Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith, performed by Quatuor Bozzini and Apartment House, the first in Another Timbre's Canadian Composer series, a 2-CD release focusing on Smith's "equal and simultaneous drive toward abstraction and lyricism" in slowly developing, lush and sophisticated compositions. ... Click to View


Chiyoko Szlavnics : During a Lifetime (Another Timbre)

Three works from Canadian composer Chiyoko Szlavnics, two electroacoustic compositions incorporating sinewaves, one with a saxophone quarte and the other with two accordions, two flutes and two percussionists; and a string trio of long sustained tones and slow glissandi. ... Click to View


Martin Arnold : The Spit Veleta (Another Timbre)

Canadian composer Martin Arnold is based in Toronto, writing melodic works that contain a meandering, psychedelic quality, as heard in these three compositions performed by Philip Thomas on piano and Mira Benjamin on violin, the first two pieces solos from each respectively, and the last a duo with both musicians. ... Click to View


Mat Maneri / Evan Parker / Lucian Ban: Sounding Tears (Clean Feed)

Viola improviser and composer Mat Maneri leads this trio with British UK legend Evan Parker on soprano and tenor saxophone and Romanian ex-patriot and frequent collaborator Lucian Ban on piano, for ten compositions blending tradition, song, and improvisational tactics, recalling 20th century modern classical music in addition to jazz. ... Click to View


Rova / Bruckmann & Kaiser: Saxophone Special (Clean Feed)

The Californian saxophone quartet composed of Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Larry Ochs and Jon Raskin is extended with Henry Kaiser on guitar and Kyle Bruckmann on analog synth to perform the music of saxophone legend Steve Lacy in 7 compositions, putting an eclectic spin on the iconic composer and performer's music. ... Click to View


Mario Pavone (Pavone / Ballout / Malaby / Noriega / McEachern / Sarin): Vertical (Clean Feed)

Drawing from some of the finest players on the New York Downtown jazz scene, with Dave Ballou on trumpet, Tony Malaby and Oscar Noriega on reeds, Peter McEachern on trombone and Michael Sarin on drums, double bassist Mario Pavone presents a set of 11 new compositions of lyrical and sophisticated jazz anchored by the leader's powerful compositional structures. ... Click to View


Meridian Trio (Mazzarella / Ulery / Cunningham): Triangulum (Clean Feed)

A lyrical outing from the Chicago working trio of Nick Mazzarella on alto saxophone, Matt Ulery on doublebass, and Jeremy Cunningham on drums, performing live at the Whistler in Chicago, Illinois in 2016, recorded for this debut album of Mazzarella compositions, flexible pieces that balance jazz traditions with avant options for the players. ... Click to View


Chamber 4 (Vicente / Ceccaldi / Ceccaldi / dos Reis): City Of Light (Clean Feed)

A live concert at Les Soirees Tricot Festival in Paris, France in 2016, dedicated to the "City of Light", from the quartet of Luis Vicente on trumpet, Theo Ceccaldi on violin, Valentin Ceccaldi on cello and Marcelo dos Reis on acoustic guitar and prepared guitar, in music that, like the city, exhibits gorgeous simplicity through intricate sophistication. ... Click to View


Angles 9: Disappeared Behind the Sun [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Saxophonist Martin Kuchen's amazing 9-piece Angles ensemble returns for an album titled for the grief of those who disappear due to war, crime and oppression, music that celebrates the tense balance in the challenge to confront and lead away from darkness and tyranny. ... Click to View


Honest John (Moe / Johannesen / Hoyer / Nylander / Holm): International Breakthrough (Clean Feed)

The Scandinavian quintet of Ole-Henrik Moe on violin, Kim Johannesen on guitar; Ola Hoyer on double bass; Erik Nylander on drums & drum machine; and Klaus Ellerhusen-Holm on alto saxophone and Bb on clarinet, in a daring album of mostly Ellerhusen-Holm compositions, arranged collectively into these creative and energetic gems. ... Click to View


The Selva (Jacinto / Almeida / Morao): The Selva (Clean Feed)

The Portuguese trio The Selva of Ricardo Jacinto (cello), Goncalo Almeida (double bass) and Nuno Morao (drums) in an album building on world and historic music forms focused through modern improviser's ears, creating a hybrid approach that slowly reveals its jazz roots in an unhurried but cultured take on new creative music. ... Click to View


Rune Your Day (Mathisen / Roligheten / Nergaard / Skalstad): Rune Your Day (Clean Feed)

Rather than ancient Germanic alphabet letters, "Rune" Your Day is named for Norwegian composer and band-leader, double bassist Rune Nergaard [Bushman's Revenge], and his quartet with Jorgen Mathisen on alto & soprano sax & clarinet, Andre Roligheten on tenor & baritone sax, and Axel Skalstad on drums, for an album of concentrated, creative jazz. ... Click to View


Humcrush (Storlokken / Stronen): Enter Humcrush (Shhpuma)

After a six year break the Humcrush duo of Stale Storlokken on keys and Thomas Stronen on drums & electronics return with this studio album of rhythmic angularities and experimental sound worlds, drawing on their experiences with bands including Supersilent, Food, Elephant9, Time is a blind guide, Meadow and Motorpsycho. ... Click to View


Thollem / Mazurek: Blind Curves and Box Canyons (Relative Pitch)

Recorded at an exhibition of visual works by Chicago trumpeter Rob Mazurek in Texas, this was the first meeting with pianist Thollem McDonas, in an ardent session of explorative improvisation using electric and analog piano, sythn, samplers, cornet, voice, bells and effects; inquisitive and cathartic music of great drive. ... Click to View


JR3 (Olaf Rupp / Rudi Mahall / Jan Roder): Happy Jazz (Relative Pitch)

The Berlin trio of Rudi Mahall on clarinet and bass clarinet, Olaf Rupp on electric and acoustic guitar and Jan Roder on double bass in an ironically packaged album of free improvisation of the highest standard, taking the listener on a journey of informed free jazz that references the past in thoroughly modern approaches to creative music. ... Click to View


Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society: Simultonality [VINYL] (Eremite)

Chicago bassist and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams follows up his incredible "Simultonality" album with this faster-paced album recorded with his Natural Information Society, joining traditional musics, American minimalism & jazz with the gnawa ceremonial instrument the guimbri. ... Click to View


Dunmall / Edwards / Noble / Sanders: Go Straight Around The Square (FMR)

The stellar quartet of Paul Dunmall on tenor and soprano saxophone, John Edwards on bass, Liam Noble on piano, and Mark Sanders on drums performing 2 extended improvisations balancing energetic playing with contemplative conversation, captured live at the Vortex, in London, England, in 2016. ... Click to View


Francois Carrier / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur: Oneness (FMR)

The well-traveled working group of Francois Carrier (alto saxophone, Chinese oboe), Michel Lambert (drums) and Rafal Mazur (acoustic bass guitar) performing live at Alchemia Club in Krakow, Poland in 2015 for an excellent example of collective free improvisation with distinctive and unconventional approaches to their dialog. ... Click to View


Udo Schindler / Ove Volquartz: Answers And Maybe A Question? (FMR)

Udo Schindler's Salon for Sound and Art at Krailing in Krailing, Germany is the setting for this superb live duo concert, capturing Schindler and Ove Volquartz both on bass and double bass clarinet, showing the breadth of sonic possibilites and diverse approaches from the deepest of clarinets performed by two masterful musicians. ... Click to View


Runcible Quintet, The (featuring John Edwards / Neil Metcalfe): Five (FMR)

The Runciple Quintet of John Edwards on double bass, Marcello Magliocchi on drums, Neil Metcalfe on flute, Adrian Northover on soprano saxophone, and Daniel Thompson on acoustic guitar recording at IKLECTIC, in London in 2016 for 5 excellent examples of detailed, collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Rob Burke / George Lewis / Paul Grabowsky / Mark Helias: Shift (FMR)

A meeting in NY's Lower East Village between four improvisors--Robert Burke on saxes, George Lewis on trombone & electronics, Paul Grabowsky on piano & snare drum, and Mark Helias on acoustic bass--playing a pre-composed work, blending 21st century composition with modern jazz sensibility, enhanced by Lewis' computer-based "shapeshifts". ... Click to View


Gauden / Hanslip: And How The Who Can Think the What... (FMR)

UK Tenor saxophonist Mark Hanslip and drummer Ed Gauden in their 3rd record together, here stripped down to a duo, inspired by a planned trio concert where the pianist was unable to perform; the resulting show worked so well that the two decided to take it to the studio, this album the result of impressive avant interchanges in 8 succinct tracks. ... Click to View


Szilard Mezei: Still Now (If You Still) (FMR)

An exciting album crossing free improvisation with chamber approaches and extended techniques from Serbian violist Szilard Mezei performing in a trio with pianist Marina Dzukljev and drummer/percussionist Vasco Trilla, recording in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2017. ... Click to View


Email:



The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Heard Out

Reviews of live performance


  Kristallnacht 

  (Tonic) 


Tonic September 23, 2003
   review by Phil Zampino
  2003-10-06

Kristallnacht was "the night of broken glass," November 9, 1938, when German troops unleashed a wave of pogroms against Germany's Jews.  In a matter of hours they destroyed thousands of synagogues, Jewish businesses and homes. Kristallnacht takes its name from the smashed windows of Jewish storefronts throughout Germany, and is generally considered the start of the Jewish holocaust.  It was a brutal act of terror and opression that stands in the memory of the Jewish people.

John Zorn credits the writing of this piece as one of many ways he began his particular Jewish odyssey, and much of the radical jewish culture that is associated with him and his Tzadik label begins around this period. Zorn doesn't perform this piece often, perhaps most recently ten years ago at his 40th birthday celebration at the Knitting Factory. His reticence to present this work is understandable as it's a gut wrenching, terrifying work, physically and emotionally demanding.  It also requires a Jewish ensemble of musicians, this evening faithfully reassembled from the 1992 recording with Mark Feldman on violin, Marc Ribot on guitar, David Krackuaer on reeds, Anthony Coleman on keyboard and sampler, Mark Dresser on bass, William Winant on percussion and Frank London on trumpet, with Zorn conducting.

The premier of this piece at the Knitting Factory in 1992 was an experience this writer will not soon forget. The room was blackened, all chairs and tables had been removed and the crowd stood sweating and shoved together as though they were in a cattle car on their way to a concentration camp. The presentation at Tonic was somewhat less physically intense. The audience was asked to stand due to the full house, and the lights and air were shut off as Coleman's recording of a train began its long journey, but with windows admitting dim light and in a more spacious room the claustrophobic sense was lessened, allowing more focus on the music.

The work is structured in seven movements, but in essence there are three major stylistic shifts in the piece.  Much of the piece was generated through the use of Gematria, or Jewish Numberology, in conjunction with pitch matrices derived from moments of Arnold Schoenberg's incomplete opera Moses and Aaron.  It is an eclectic mix of compositional techniques and musical styles that make it a continuously interesting and sometimes frightening listening experience.  

The first major section, after the long train sample, was a meditative and emotional piece using sephardic melodies. The piece was intensely beautiful, Frank London starting on solo trumpet, and then passing the melody from player to player.  David Krackauer in particular sent shivers down the spine with his smearing clarinet lines.  This became a symphony of anguished and crying voices against flagellating rhythms as the players joined together, while Coleman played samples of German voices overshadowing anger. The piece shifted to a macabre dance, a mocking piece still affected by harsh overdubbed voices, fading with a recording of Marlene Dietrich's mournful Jewish torch song, "Lili Marlene."

The second section, "Never Again," is the violent core of Kristallnacht.  Most players inserted earplugs as Zorn began cranking up a tone generator that is described in the notes to the CD release as containing "high frequencey extremes at the limits of human hearing & beyond, which may cause nausea, headaches & ringing in the ear."  This reporter can vouch for the last.  The piece is a shattering and disturbing reflection, disruptive and demanding.  Ribot and Coleman generated sheets of noise, and the players occassionally stamped their feet in uneven rhythms.  Feldman scraped at his violin, the music transitioned to static and devotional songs, against which belligerent overdubbed voices were heard.  Coleman worked inside the grand piano in abstracted progressions until the music quickly cut back to its harsh attack, Ribot skronking on his guitar using a ring of keys as a pick.  The movement continued in this manner for quite some time, a series of hesitations and horrors.

The third section is made of several shorter pieces, generally more reflective and using identifiably 20th century classical techniques mixed with klezmer and ethnic melodies.  It started with a twilight calm, Dresser crinkling a large piece of paper (perhaps intended to convey the sound of walking on broken glass) as the music introduced a painfully tender mood.  Feldman played sweetly as Winant gently intoned gongs.  This was followed by a briefer wall of sound with samples of argumentative voices.  The various sections oscillated between this sense of beauty and panic.  The stylistic elements of the piece were as fascinating as the cohesiveness of the composition.  Zorn's ability to accommodate such a wealth of ideas is incredible, and the player's abilities to jump emotionally and instrumentally was impressive. The composition ended with Ribot playing a driving attack, Zorn gesturing for more, more.  Krackauer moved to a large bass drum, and Frank London joined Winant on percussion as the final movement "Gariin (Nucleus-The New Settlement)" devolved into a rhythmic exposition, an uneasy ending to an uncomfortable, important work.





Comments and Feedback:



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

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Joshua Abrams
Natural Information
Society:
Simultonality
[VINYL]
(Eremite)



Brian Marsella:
Buer:
The Book of
Angels
Volume 31
(Tzadik)



JR3 (Olaf Rupp /
Rudi Mahall /
Jan Roder):
Happy Jazz
(Relative Pitch)



Rob Burke /
George Lewis /
Paul Grabowsky /
Mark Helias:
Shift
(FMR)



Francois Carrier /
Michel Lambert /
Rafal Mazur:
Oneness
(FMR)



Szilard Mezei:
Still Now
(If You Still)
(FMR)



Pedra Contida :
Amethyst
(FMR)



Tin (Dominic Lash /
Axel Dorner /
Roger Turner):
Uncanny Valley
(Confront)



The International
Nothing:
The Power Of
Negative Thinking
(Monotype)



Nate Wooley:
The Complete
Syllables Music
[4 CD Box Set]
(Pleasure of the Text Records)



Satoko Fujii
Orchestra Tokyo
+ KAZE:
Peace
(Tribute To Kelly Churko)
(Libra)



The Thing:
Garage
[VINYL]
(The Thing Records)



Anemone
(John Butcher /
Peter Evans /
Frederic Blondy /
Clayton Thomas /
Paul Lovens):
A Wing
Dissolved
in Light
[VINYL]
(NoBusiness)



Spunk:
Still Eating
Ginger Bread
For Breakfast
(Rune Grammofon)



En Corps
(Eve Risser /
Benjamin Duboc /
Edward Perraud):
Generation
(Dark Tree Records)



Evan Parker /
John Russel /
Ian Brighton /
Phillip Wachsmann /
Marcio Mattos /
Trevor Taylor:
Live From
Cafe Oto
(FMR)



Miles Okazaki:
Trickster
(Pi Recordings)



Orchestra of the
Upper Atmosphere:
02
(Discus)



The Necks:
Unfold
[VINYL 2 LPs]
(Ideologic Organ)



Evan Parker /
John Edwards /
Steve Noble :
PEN
(Dropa Disc)







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. (37314)