The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Alexandra Grimal / Benjamin Duboc / Valentin Ceccaldi: Bambu (Ayler)

An unusual and captivating work from the trio of saxophonist Alexandra Grimal, double bassist Benjaim Duboc, and cellist Valentin Ceccaldi, leading their album with tracks from "Respirer l'ombre" by Giuseppe Penone "spontaneously used without permission but with great admiration," leading to powerful and unpredictable directions in free improvisation; excellent. ... Click to View


Daunik Lazro / Jean-Luc Cappozzo / Didier Lasserre: Garden(s) (Ayler)

The trio of Daunik Lazro on baritone and tenor saxophone, Jean-Luc Cappozzo on trumpet & flugelhorn and Didier Lasserre on drums, alternate jazz standards from Duke Ellington (Sophisticated Lady; Hop Head), John Coltrane (Lonnie's Lament), Albert Ayler (Angels), with original compositions and the 3-part "Garden", all in the varied traditions of jazz. ... Click to View


Kyle Bruckmann Degradient: Dear Everyone [2 CDs] (Not Two)

West Coast oboist and english horn improviser composes a startlingly enjoyable work based on Matt Shears' book of recursive, encyclopedic poetry of the same name: 10 pieces colliding elements of skronk, spoken word, fried electroacoustic noise and dark prog within a Creative Music framework, with a core quartet of Aram Shelton, Jason Hoopes and Jordan Glenn, plus guest Weston Olencki and a large cast of readers. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp / Gerald Cleaver: The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 3 (Leo)

The 3rd part of NY/Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman's "Art of the Improv Trio" series, with Matthew Shipp on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, each an essential element in the interplay and subtle skills of these masterful players, with Perelman's voice exceptionally strong as he demonstrates the full range of his sax through free and melodic passage. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Joe Morris / Gerald Cleaver: The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 5 (Leo)

... Click to View


Simon Nabatov Trio: Picking Order (Leo)

Drawing from the spirit of free jazz, pianist Simon Nabatov's new trio with Dominik Mahnig on drums and Stefan Schonegg on bass, are caught live at the LOFT in Cologne, Germany in 2015 for a superb concert of jazz that balances captivating lyrical material with exciting free passages, taking unexpected directions that constantly engage. ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro: Sometimes (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The MaDam Electroacoustic Improvisation Collective based in Spain performs the first in Pisaro's 34 piece Harmony Series, which attempts to create the conditions for a harmonic situation without giving any actual notes, just numbers, durations of tones, and pauses; this work is based on "swell piece (for alison knowles)" (1967) by James Tenney. ... Click to View


Burkhard Schlothauer : More Chamber Events [2CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Composer Burkhard Schlothauer, co-founder of Editions Wandelweiser and a member of Zeitkratzer and the Wandwelweiser Composers Ensemble, in a five part work conceived as a single part, combining previous works into various possible versions as "events", working with spatial distribution, slow beats, noise, and pulse, superimposed from their origins. ... Click to View


Maria de Alvear / Antoine Beuger ‎: Besando El Tiempo [2CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

... Click to View


Skogen / Magnus Granberg: 'Ist gefallen in den Schnee' (2010) and 'Despairs had Governed Me Too Long' (2012) [double CD reissue] (Another Timbre)

Ist gefallen in den Schnee: A piece by Swedish composer-pianist Magnus Granberg, performed with Angharad Davies, Anna Lindal, Leo Svensson Sander, John Eriksson, Erik Carlsson, Henrik Olsson, Petter Wastberg and Toshimaru Nakamura; Despairs: A beautiful extended composition exquisitely played by an ensemble of fine musicians. ... Click to View


Lawrence Casserley / Jeffrey Morgan: Exoplanets (Creative Sources)

Two enounters between UK electroacoustic composer and performer Lawrence Casserly on his Signal Processing Instrument and American free jazz alto saxophonist Jefrrey Morgan, recording both in the studio in Cologne, Germany in 2016, and in concert at The Loft; a rich, subtle, and detailed astronomical encounter blending stellar electronics responsive extended playing. ... Click to View


Farhadian / Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Kurvers / Torres: De-Col//age_ (Creative Sources)

An unusual improvising string quartet with alto saxophone, Thea Farhadian (violin), Ernesto Rodrigues (viola), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello), Klaus Kurvers (double bass) and Nuno Torres (alto saxophone) present the 11-part "De-col//age_", a slowly-developing work balancing unconventional approaches to their instruments to conventional passages. ... Click to View


Ilia Belorukov / Ernesto Rodrigues / Nuno Torres: Tak Prosto (Creative Sources)

Two recordings from the lowercase acoustic improvising trio of Portuguese players Ernesto Rodriduges on viola and Nuno Torres on alto saxophone and objects with Saint Petersburg alto saxophonist Ilia Belorukov, recording at Belorukov's Spina! label's studio, and again live at Vertikal' Gallery in Saint Petersburg in 2016. ... Click to View


Warble & MDuo : Ama (Creative Sources)

Two improvising duos that share one person and joined as a trio: Berlin musician Miako Klein on recorders, Warble being Klein and NY/Berlin trumpeter Brad Henkel, the two exploring their instruments through close amplification; Mduo is Klein & NY/Berlin percussionist Michael Weilacher using extended techniques and strange actions. ... Click to View


Eric Revis: Sing Me Some Cry (Clean Feed)

Double Bassist Eric Revis expands his concepts in this outstanding album with fellow New Yorkers, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Chad Taylor, and Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark on tenor saxophone, with all four players providing compositions that push the limit on structure and form while opening up the players to superb soloing settings of great modern jazz. ... Click to View


Max Johnson: In The West (Clean Feed)

New York bassist Max Johnson expands his piano trio of Kris Davis on piano and Mike Pride on drums with Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar, adding an eclectic Western flavor to overall on-point, anchored and driven modern jazz of a high order, balancing lyrical playing with moments of free collective playing, in a beautiful and extraordinary album. ... Click to View


Nate Wooley: Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry for Aram Saroyan) (Clean Feed)

Pronounced as "knife", this new project from NY trumpeter Nate Wooley brings together Chris Pitsiokos on alto sax, Brandon Lopez on bass, and Dre Hocevar on drums in a fresh take on the concepts of free jazz, using short material composed by Wooley and based on the poetry of Aram Saroyan, used in looping and repeating structures that never sound as such. ... Click to View


Rob Mazurek: Rome (Clean Feed)

Rob Mazurek solo works are brilliant displays of honest, lyrical and emotional playing, here recording in Rome for Radio Roma, bringing the cornet to the foreground, starting with a piece only on the horn, then adding electronics, piano, and prepared piano for a set of ethereal and spiritual improvisations that are not bound by any specific genre. ... Click to View


LAMA + Joachim Badenhorst: Metamorphosis (Clean Feed)

A superb example of contemporary collective improvisation crossing from acoustic improvisation into electroacoustic material from the quartet of Joachim Badenhorst on clarinets, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Goncalo Almeida on double bass, keyboards & effects, and Greg Smith on drums & laptop, performing live at Jazzcase series Dommelhof, 2016. ... Click to View


Platform (Xavier Charles / Katrine Schiott / Jan Martin Gismervik / Jonas Cambien): Flux Reflux (Clean Feed)

The 2nd recorded outing of this Oslo based improvising quartet, comprised of 3 young Norwegian players -- Katrine Shiott (cello), Jan Martin Gismervik (drums), and Jonas Cambien (piano & keys) -- with French clarinetist Xavier Charles, performing subtle collective improvisation using extended techniques, eclectic percussion, and piano preparations. ... Click to View


Roots Magic: Last Kind Words (Clean Feed)

Deep Blues and Creative Jazz from the Italian septet Roots Magic, following up their "Hoodoo Magic" CD with another compelling album of instrumentals where the track list consists of personal renditions of Delta Blues classics (mostly Charlie Patton) played with an overtly exploratory attitude derived from the Free Jazz tradition. ... Click to View


Vitor Rua and The Metaphysical Angels: Do Androids Dream of Electric Guitars? [2CDs] (Clean Feed)

A central figure in the Portuguese creative music scene, from the pop group GNR to free improv in Telectu to contemporary composition, guitarist Vitor Rua presents a 2-CD album, one multi-tracking solo in complex and astonishing ways, and the 2nd playing the same scores with his group The Metaphysical Angels of top figures in the Portuguese avant jazz scene. ... Click to View


Mind Games (Niescier / Maroney / Ilgenfritz / Drury): Ephemera Obscura (Clean Feed)

A unconventional yet lyrical album of creative jazz from the New York quartet of Angelika Niescier on alto sax, Denman Maroney on hyperpiano, James Ilgenfritz on contrabass, and Andrew Drury on percussion, Maroney's piano preparations and Drury's objects complementing complex time signatures and intricate notated materials that yield lush, beautiful music. ... Click to View


Luis Martins Jose: Tentos - Invencoes E Encantamentos (Shhpuma)

Luis Jose Martins uses classical guitar, prepared guitar, electronics, and percussion in a solo album of incredible detail and lyrical, beautiful playing of original compositions that blend his playing with modern techniques and electronics into melodic masterpieces, performed in the natural resonance of the church of the convent of S. Bento in Avis. ... Click to View


Big Bold Back Bone (Marco von Orelli / Sheldon Suter / Luis Lopes: In Search Of The Emerging Species (Shhpuma)

Swiss musicians, trumpeter Marco Von Orelli and drummer Sheldon Suter and their Portuguese partners, guitarist Luis Lopes and electronics artist Travassos, in an album of unconventional collective improvisation using extended techniques in a large work of evolving, subtle interactions, magnifying sound and gesture in an engrossing sonic environment. ... Click to View


Raphael Vanoli: Bibrax (Shhpuma)

Amsterdam guitarist Raphael Vanoli in a solo record of discovery, hiper-amplifying his guitar so that slight motions create forceful statements, where gently blowing on the strings creates dynamics and harmonics rarely explored, effected to create complex sonic compositions with unique, unusual and fascinating properties. ... Click to View


Kokotob (Taiko Saito / Niko Meinhold / Tobias Schirmer): Flying Heart (Clean Feed)

Japanese vibraphonist and marimba player Taiko Saito is a contemporary classical player well established in the field of improv, joined by long-time collaborator, pianist Niko Meinhold, and here expanded with Tobias Schirmer on clarinet and bass clarinet for an album that uses solid compositional foundations for lyrical and contemplative modern music. ... Click to View


Jonah Parzen-Johnson : I Try To Remember Where I Come (Clean Feed)

Chicago born, Brooklyn-based saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson performs live at The Bunker on baritone saxophone, accompanying himself on analog synthesizer, using arpeggiated and repeating structures over which he improvises lyrical work using extended techniques including circular breathing, multiphonics, and overtones to great effect. ... Click to View


Keith Rowe / Michael Pisaro: 13 Thirteen [2 CDs] (erstwhile)

A collaboration between composer Michael Pisaro and AMM guitarist/improviser Keith Rowe, with each bringing scores which they improvised over, creating 13 discrete sections including samples from Shostakovich's 13th String Quartet, balancing activity, space and silence in patient ways that only two such experienced composer/improvisers could. ... Click to View


Graham Lambkin / Taku Unami: The Whistler [2 CDs] (erstwhile)

Sound artists Graham Lambkin and Taku Unami create two large works using material which they recorded together, and then which independently assembled into a single CD each, with "Whistler Vanishes in Wind" composed by Taku Unami, and "Small Mistakes in Nature" by Graham Lambkin, both fascinating collages that alternately distract and absorb the listener. ... Click to View


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  Musical Activism: An Open Call  
By Marc Ribot

On tour in Europe during the first twelve days of the recent invasion of Iraq, I witnessed something close to bereavement among audience members at the apparent consent of most Americans to Bush's agenda of war and empire.

It was exhausting, in addition with all the other pressures of performance, to deal with expectations to represent "America" in this situation. Although it felt strange to speak about the war during performances - I'm a guitarist, not a lecturer - it felt even stranger not to. The one thing about which I felt certain was that the incredible level of anger and opposition I witnessed was no longer simply about one lousy political decision, but had become a critique of the legitimacy of the power of empire, and it wasn't going to stop when the war ended.

Indeed, it hasn't. It remains nearly impossible to get on stage without addressing (or failing to address) the context within which, whether we like it or not, our music is now heard.

This database project described below was conceived as a means through which artists and musicians will be able to say what needs to be said politically in the formats where it will do the most good, to help to change a political context which, simply put, has become intolerable.

We're inviting touring artists to participate in a pilot project version to be launched around February 1, 2004. Anyone can back out at any time, but expressions of interest/commitment (along with brief bios if possible) are needed to apply for grants to build the database.

Best regards, Marc Ribot Musicians Solidarity Database [correspondence may be sent to msolidarity@squidco.com]



WHAT: The Musicians Solidarity Database will connect internationally touring recording artists/musicians with anti-war and global justice organizations local to their touring dates.

The Database is an initiative of the Musicians Solidarity Network (MSN). Although open and useful to all artists regardless of origin or tour destination, the actual possibilities will probably reflect the current touring routes. The intent is for participating artists to be able to integrate whatever degree of activity on behalf peace/democracy/social justice organizations they feel able to commit to into their regular tour itineraries with a minimum of effort, and for the organizations to benefit from cultural support.

HOW: Touring artists enter their upcoming tour schedules, tech needs, and other necessary info and preferences into the database. Major peace/ democracy/social justice organizations access the info and cross-reference the dates of their planned events with touring artists' availability. The organizations then send the musicians/artists a set of proposals (for example: to speak or perform at a demonstration). The artist accepts whichever proposals they choose, and forward their acceptance along with whatever time or tech specs apply back to the organizations. The organizations confirm the date.

Even if tour schedules are too tight to allow for an artist's participation in outside events, artists can arrange, through the data bank, to make merchandise/ literature table space available to organizations they support.

Great care will be taken to make the data-base user friendly to both artists and organizations.

WHY?: An enormous divide has opened in political understanding between the US and most of the rest of the world, particularly in Europe. Most touring artists and musicians are already well aware of this.

But artists who speak out against Bush's agenda of war and empire, particularly in the US, run the risk of alienating fans or even being subjected to radio and other forms of blacklisting.

In Europe, things are different, at least for the time Being. Manu Chao's "Clandestino" was a hit because of, not in spite of, his close identification with the social forum movement. Whether this will always be true is difficult to say: the same forces that created Bush are also pushing Europe steadily rightward. But it's true now.

The database is a way to turn this political differential into a force for progressive change in the US, enable artists who want to be active to do so, provide organizations against war and for global justice with a constant stream of performing artist support, and build a global network of artists and activists.

It will help artists to limit the economic risks of activism by connecting them with activists and audiences who share their views.

For example, contact with non-US activists and anti-war audiences will enable US musical/cultural figures (and global cultural figures who wish to sell in the US market) to speak out. It's no accident the Dixie Chicks spoke out against the war while in Europe.

As more artists risk opinions outside the US mainstream, it will change the political math that has discouraged dissent by encouraging fans to question their mass-media enforced opinions. And contact between US audiences and European/international artists willing to speak out will help break the US media censorship of the depth of world opposition to war and empire.

Of course, the issues affecting us all aren't confined to the US: the same political/economic forces that put Bush in power in the US are alive and well in Europe and elsewhere. The problems are global and gestures of solidarity from touring musicians are needed to keep the spirit of opposition global as well.

A secondary benefit of the database involves musicians and artists rights issues. There are some issues of interest from anti-war, cultural, and labor perspectives. For example, the role of the Clear Channel monopoly in censoring opposition to the war, blacklisting anti-war artists, and even organizing pro-war demonstrations in the US is both an anti-war issue, and an infringement on artists' freedom of expression.

SPECIFICATIONS Filters, both passive/automatic and active/human will ensure that participating orgs are major and respected, and that participating artists are at a sufficiently professional level to be of use to them.

  • Access to the database will be strictly limited to approved organizations.
  • Contact between artists and organizations will take place within a database 'mailbox' so that artists/managers run no risk of having personal/business email accounts flooded with requests.
  • Whatever form of participation the artist chooses - be it a gig, a single song, or a brief statement - the database format will ensure that all necessary technical requirements and conditions are met, without extensive back and forth between artists, managers and organizations.
  • Artists will have access to full information about events they are being invited to participate in and about the organizations asking them to participate.
  • Artists' participation in the database will be confidential (although at this stage, we may need to list participating artists in grant applications) unless the artists themselves choose to make it public.



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reviews about releases
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Ivo Perelman /
Matthew Shipp /
Gerald Cleaver:
The Art Of
The Improv Trio
Volume 3
(Leo)



Kyle Bruckmann Degradient:
Dear Everyone
[2 CDs]
(Not Two)



Alexandra Grimal /
Benjamin Duboc /
Valentin Ceccaldi:
Bambu
(Ayler)



Burkhard Beins /
Lucio Capece /
Martin Kuchen /
Paul Vogel:
Fracture Mechanics
(Mikroton Recordings)



Eric Revis:
Sing Me Some Cry
(Clean Feed)



Mind Games
(Niescier /
Maroney /
Ilgenfritz /
Drury):
Ephemera Obscura
(Clean Feed)



LAMA + Joachim Badenhorst:
Metamorphosis
(Clean Feed)



Max Johnson:
In The West
(Clean Feed)



Nate Wooley:
Knknighgh
(Minimal Poetry
for Aram Saroyan)
(Clean Feed)



Luis Martins Jose:
Tentos -
Invencoes E
Encantamentos
(Shhpuma)



IKB :
Dracaena Draco
[2 CDs]
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Mazen Kerbaj /
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Andreas Pollak /
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Scarassatti /
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Ulrike Brand /
Olaf Rupp:
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Bill Orcutt:
Bill Orcutt
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Rhodri Davies /
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Bob Drake:
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