The Squid's Ear
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Parkins / Wooley / Westera / Vuletic: Fugitive Beautee (Ignoring Gravity Music)

Bojan Vuletic composed these works based on lines from Baudelaire's "Les fleurs du mal", a remarkable set of songs sung by Vera Westera over the excellent musicianship of Zeena Parkins on harp, Nate Wooley on trumpet, and Bojan Vuletic handling the odd instrument. ... Click to View


Jean-Marc Foussat / Les Autres: Alternative Oblique [4 CD Box Set] (Improvising Beings)

A 4 CD anthology released on Jean-Marc Foussat's 60th birthday, presenting an amazing diversity of material from 40 years of recording, including early experiments, the development of his unique language, through improv with Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Matthias Mahler, Joe McPhee, Paul Lovens, &c. ... Click to View


Hugues Vincent / John Cuny : Tagtraum (Improvising Beings)

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Walabix invite Maris: Walabix invite Maris (BeCoq)

The French quartet or Quentin Biardeau on sax, Gabriel Lemaire on sax and clarinet, Valentin Ceccaldi on cello, Adrien Chennebault on drums and guest trumpeter Bart Maris in a set of composed, structured, and freely improvised pieces, with an ear to lyricism. ... Click to View


Hasse Poulsen / Tom Rainey: Open Fist (BeCoq)

New York Drummer Tom Rainey met French guitarist Hasse Poulsen to record this album of dynamic duos in the studio, building works that ebb and flow between aggressive sound and reflective harmony, an impressive display of technical, lyrical, and powerful playing. ... Click to View


Jean-Luc Guionnet / Thomas Bonvalet : Loges De Souffle (BeCoq)

Thomas Bonvalet takes the banjo into unusual territory with Jean-Luc Guionnet performing on the organ at the protestant temple of Bergerac, France, in a beautifully terrifying album recorded during the MONC cultural arts centre's festival of avant-garde culture in 2010. ... Click to View


Lo Flopper : Lo Flopper [CASSETTE] (Music a la Coque)

Experimental "childrens jazz" in a 2-sided cassette from this Italian septet, the first side a free-form structured live performance, the second an unusual set of experiments using toys, balloons, objects, synths over strange rhythms and sound - a fun and odd release. ... Click to View


The Wire: #383 January 2016 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

Rewind 2015: Records of the year charts plus opinion, analysis, musings and reflections; Invisible Jukebox: Gnod; Global Ear: Zagreb; Marc Baron; Inner Sleeve (Noveller on Sonic Youth's Goo videos); Collateral Damage: Ergo Phizmiz; plus reviews, articles, &c &c. ... Click to View


The Wire: #384 February 2016 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

On The Cover: Alan & Sir Richard Bishop; 22a Records; The Primer: This Heat And Beyond: A user's guide to the recordings and spin-off groups from Camberwell Now to Monkey Puzzle Trio; Breadwoman; ZA!; Bastard Assignments; Bizarre Rituals; Puce Mary; Josephine Foster; &c. &c. ... Click to View


Bennani / Silva / Greene / Henderson: Free Form Improvisation Ensemble 2013 (Improvising Beings)

Instant compositions live at Sunset in Paris, 2013 from the quartet of Burton Greene on piano & percussion, Alan Silva on synthesizer, Adelhai Bennani on tenor sax, and Chris Henderson on electronic drums, an essential update from a trailblazing band that started in 1964. ... Click to View


Oberg / Schubert / De Joode / Sanders: Rope (Red Toucan)

Soprano saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert and pianist Uwe Oberg have played together since 2009; for ROPE they are joined by UK drummer Mark Sanders and Amsterdam bassist Wilbert de Joode for a diverse and astounding live set performed at Just Music Fest in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2015. ... Click to View


Icepick (Nate Wooley, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten & Chris Corsano): Amaranth [VINYL + DOWNLOAD CODE] (Astral Spirits)

Nate Wooley (trumpet), Chris Corsano (percussion) and Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (bass) recording in Austin, TX for their first proper release as Icepick, 3 tracks of powerfully creative and downright smoldering modern jazz using exceptional skill and passion. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee : Zurich 1979 [1-SIDED VINYL + DOWNLOAD CODE] (Astral Spirits)

Originally recorded to cassette tape (in Zurich, in 1979) this one-sided 180Gm LP restores and remasters this amazing 20 minute solo, a tour-de-force of tenor sax starting from the mouthpiece and bell and working into a fully formed and remarkable journey of method and music. ... Click to View


Clara Iannotta : A Failed Entertainment. Works 2009-2014 (Edition Rz)

Works from Italian composer Clare Iannotta recorded from 2012 - 2014, including a work for string quartet composed for the DAAD artist-in-Berlin program titled "A Failed Entertainment" commissioned by Quaturo Diotima; plus 6 works for contemporary ensembles. ... Click to View


Gabriele Emde : Die Natur der Klange: Neue Musik fur Harfe (Edition Rz)

Harpist Gabriele Emde began performing contemporary music by exceptional 20th century artists in the early 80s; in this collection recorded from 1985 to 1987 she presents one of Cage's "Landscape" pieces, a major work by Hans Otte, and several short pieces by Lou Harrison. ... Click to View


Michel Banabila : Tapu Sampler 2016 (Tapu Record)

Michel Banabila's excellent melodically experimental electroacoustic label Tapu in their 2016 double CD sampler, with tracks from Banabila, Asid & Banabila, Banabila & Van Geel, Banabila & Machinefabriek, Banabila & Erker, and Banabila/Erker/Samson. ... Click to View


Tellef Ogrim / Anders Berg: Kume (SImlas)

The second album from the duo collaboration of acoustic and electric bassist Anders Berg and guitarist Tellef Ogrim on fretted and unfretted standard and baritone guitars, a Hadron Particle synthesizer, and other instruments, merging rock, jazz and other groove oriented styles. ... Click to View


Keiko Higuchi: Between Dream And Haze (Improvising Beings)

Free jazz vocal improvisation from Keiki Higuchi in a quartet with drummer Tatsuya Nakatani, bassist Luis Inage, and guitarist Masami Kawaguchi, creating an hallucinatory sound of unusual techniques and hazy vocal implications, revealing layers with each listen. ... Click to View


Jad Fair / Strobe Talbot: Hunger (Music a la Coque)

Jad Fair, vocalist and mastermind of Half Japanese, with the band Strobe Talbot (Nick Hobbs, Beng Gallaher, Andy Fisher), in a 33 rpm postcard flexi record of a song titled "Hunger", a limited and numbered edition of 250 copies with artwork from Jad Fair himself. ... Click to View


Ensemble SuperMusique: Les accords intuitifs (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Montreal's most creative large ensemble, led by Joane Hetu & Daniell Palardy Roger, in their 5th release presenting works composed between 1976-2015 featuring twenty musicians playing in different combinations, showing the creative breadth and skills of this amazing band. ... Click to View


The Disguises (Thomson / Caloia / Charuest / Hood / Tanguay): Songs 7 Dances from The Muted Note (Ambiances Magnetiques)

Eleven songs by Montreal trombonist Scott Thomson, settings of poems by P.K. Page (1916-2010), one of Canada's distinguished literary figures, in a band with Pierre Tanguay on drums, Yves Charuest on sax, Nicolas Caloia on double bass, and Susanna Hood on vocals. ... Click to View


Otomo Yoshihide : Guitar Solo 2015 RIGHT (Doubtmusic)

The complement to his "Guitar Solo "RIGHT", Otomo Yoshihide recorded 123 structured guitar improvisations on Masayuki Takayanagi's 1963 Gibson, then gave them to Akihiko Matsumoto who fed them into software he developed to play them back using a set of intelligent rules. ... Click to View


Roger Turner / Otomo Yoshihide: Live at SuperDeluxe (Doubtmusic)

UK free improvising percussionist Roger Turner in a duo with Japanese creative improviser Otomo Yoshihide on guitar, performing live at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe in 2015, two sets of dynamic and demanding improvisation, from near silence to driving rhythm and noise. ... Click to View


Roger Turner / Satoh Masahiko / Otomo Yoshihide: Live at Hall Egg Farm (Doubtmusic)

During legendary UK free improvising drummer Roger Turner's 2015 tour of Japan he met with guitarist Otomo Yoshihide and pianist Satoh Masahiko to record this monumental and astounding 66 minute improvisation at Fukaya City's Hall Egg Farm. ... Click to View


Junji Hirose / Kazuhisa Uchihashi: Saxophonedaxophone (Doubtmusic)

Saxophonist Junji Hirose met Kazuhisa Uchihashi at Foxhole in Kichijoji in 2014 and 2015, Uchihashi performing only on Hans Reichel's daxophone--wood shapes played in a variety of ways to create unusual sound--as heard on these 10 surprising and wonderfully idiosyncratic recordings. ... Click to View


MILESDAVISQUINTET!: Shapin' With (BeCoq)

The French trio of Xavier Camarasa on piano, Valentin Ceccaldi on cello, and Sylvain Darrifourcq on percussion, having little to do with Mile Davis, but instead a creative band using timbral changes, intensity, density, volume to create unique improv environments. ... Click to View


Silke Rollig / Burton Greene: Space Is Still The Place (Improvising Beings)

New York free jazz pianist Burton Greene and free jazz vocalist Silke Rollig recorded these thirteen improvisations at The Loft in Koln, Germany in 2013, a mix of lyrical free playing with scat and freeform vocals, accompanied by flute, and by sax, on one piece each. ... Click to View


Ute Wassermann / Birgit Ulher: Radio Tweet (Creative Sources)

The long-standing duo of trumpeter Birgit Uhler, also on radio, speaker & objects, and free improvising vocalist Ute Wasserman, in an album of 8 unbelievable improvisations of a unique and sometimes bizarre character, holding one's attention from its outlandish nature--superb! ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Dorner / Torres / Fragenheim: Nor (Creative Sources)

The freely improvising quartet of Ernesto Rodrigues, Axel Dorner, Nuno Torres and Alexander Frangenheim recorded this beautiful album of dark sound in Germany in 2014, 3 movements of understated dialog using unexpected techniques in a subtle dialog. ... Click to View


Vorfeld / Scott / Gratkowski: Sieben Entruckte Lieder (Creative Sources)

The trio of Frank Gratkowski on clarinets and alto sax, Michael Vorfeld on percussion, and Richard Scott on modular synthesizer, also known as Spectre, freely improvising in dramatic and generally reserved ways, intently focusing on sound and interchange. ... 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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In Brief: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kato Hideki, People Like Us
Ground-Zero's Early Releases Reviewed
Bark! Lacy! Massacre! Death Ambient!
May 14, 2007 New Squidco Shipping Rates
Ambiances Magnetiques @ The Stone, NYC
Emanems and Androids
Cleanfeeding from Portugal to Montreal
Squidco RSS Feed
Tough Rock
John Wall, Sonic Arts
LTM, Subliminal, &c.
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AECO: Fifth Decade
The Squid's Ear 1st Or So Anniversary
Cheek to Cheek Misdemeanors - NYC's Cabaret Laws: Infracting Cheek to Cheek
Musical Activism: An Open Call
The Upside of Dowloading
Ameri-chord: Johnny Cash Remembered - Skip Heller - Amer-chord - Johnny Cash & June Carter
The Zorn Non-Interview - Ah, John, We Hardly Knew Ye
Hope for the Snowballs - The 2003 Jazz Journalists Association Awards
A Stone Turned - Irving Wilson Stone, 1922-2003
Knit One, Pearl Zero
Support Live Strangers - An Open Invitation for New Yorkers to Take a Freakin' Chance, or a Chastisement
London's Burning - Marc Ribot


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