The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Sakata, Akira / Johan Berthling / Paal Nilssen-Love: Arashi [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Japanese saxophone legend Akira Sakata meets double bassist Johan Berthling (Fire!) and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, &c) for 4 extended and intense studio recordings where all 3 push themselves into a mind-blowing album of free improvisation. ... Click to View


Kuchen, Martin & Landaeus Trio: Four Lamentations And One Wicked Dream Of Innocence [VINYL] (Moserobie Music)

Angles and Exploding Customer saxohponist joins pianist Mathias Landaeus' trio with Jonas Holgerson on drums and bassist Johnny Aman in a classic jazz quartet setting, released in a limited blue vinyl edition for 2014's Record Store Day. ... Click to View


Musicworks: #119 Summer 2014 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

The summer 2014 issue of Canada's premiere new music magazine and VA CD, with articles on The Isaiah Ceccarelli, Petra Glynt, Erin Sexton, Caduc, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Louis Andriessen, Gil Delindro, plus reviews, listings, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Sakata, Akira / Johan Berthling / Paal Nilssen-Love: Arashi (Trost Records)

Japanese saxophone legend Akira Sakata meets double bassist Johan Berthling (Fire!) and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, &c) for 4 extended and intense studio recordings where all 3 push themselves into a mind-blowing album of free improvisation. ... Click to View


Schwalm, J. Peter (w/ Brian Eno, Eiving Aarset, Christine Schutze): Wagner Transformed (Intergroove Classics)

Centered around Wagner's 200th birthday Peter Schwalm and Brian Eno explore how Wagner might reinterpret some of his works with the use of technology. ... Click to View


Bishop, Sir Richard: Road to Siam [VINYL 10-inch EP] (Unrock)

... Click to View


Marhaug, Lasse: Purple Cane & Sleazy Tuk-Tuk [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

Two works from electronic and noise artist Lasse Marhaug: "Purple Cane" recorded in Kuala Lumpur varying a 30 second noise sequence; and "Sleazy Tuk-Tuk", recorded in Bangkok and built of field recordings of blind woman on the road with her Casio keyboard. ... Click to View


Crumer, Jason: Gentrification Suite [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

Jason Crumer (Aluminum Noise, Now in Darkness World stops turning, Reverse Baptism, &c) in 3 detailed sound works ranging from building quiet burbles to extreme noise responses, a wild ride from rich to stark sound. ... Click to View


Wright / Falesch: I'd Rather Be A Sparrow (Spring Garden Music)

Electronics artist Bob Falesch in a duo with saxophonist Jack Wright, both using idiosyncratic approaches to their instruments for unexpected and often startling results, a unique album of unusual electroacoustic improvisation. ... Click to View


Sun Ra Arkestra: Live in Nickelsdorf 1984 [3 CDs] (Trost Records)

A triple CD documenting Sun Ra's 1984 European Tour, here performing live in Nickelsdorf, Germany at Jazzgalerie for an ebullient set of Sun Ra originals and standards with the Arkestra including John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, Danny Ray Thompson, Eloe Taylor, James Jackson, &c &c. ... Click to View


Zu: Goodnight Civilization [VINYL 12-inch] (Trost Records)

A one-sided EP from the power trio Zu (Massimo Pupillo (bass), Gabe Serbian (drums), Luca Tommaso Mai (saxophone) with guest Barney Greenway of Napalm Death on vocals, the first new release form the band since 2009. ... Click to View


Edwards / Sanders / Tilbury: A Field Perpetually At The Edge Of Disorder (Fataka)

Three superb London improvisers, two from the new generation of free improv--bassist John Edwards and drummer Mark Sanders--in a trio with legendary pianist John Tilbury in a two part work of tension and release, performed live at Cafe Oto in 2013. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Enter (Rune Grammofon)

28 of Northern Europe's finest jazz and improvising musicians join the Fire! Trio of Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums) for a remarkable four part work directed by Gusfasson, blending improvised & rock forms with 3 vocalists. ... Click to View


Sandell, Sten & Paal Nilssen-Love: Jacana (Rune Grammofon)

Rune Grammofon's latest release of duo combinations brings together Swedish pianist Sten Sandell and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, two free improvising masters from similar circles captured live in an outstanding set at the 2013 Kongsberg Jazz Festival. ... Click to View


Street Priest: More Nasty [CASSETTE] (Humbler)

The West Coast trio of Kristian Aspelin on guitar, Matt Chandler on bass, and Jacob Felix Heule on drums in a unique cassette of energetic sound, textural noise and explorative free improvisation. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Enter [VINYL 2LPs+CD] (Rune Grammofon)

28 of Northern Europe's finest jazz and improvising musicians join the Fire! Trio of Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums) for a remarkable four part work directed by Gusfasson, blending improvised & rock forms with 3 vocalists. ... Click to View


Sandell, Sten & Paal Nilssen-Love: Jacana [VINYL] (Rune Grammofon)

Rune Grammofon's latest release of duo combinations brings together Swedish pianist Sten Sandell and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, two free improvising masters from similar circles captured live in an outstanding set at the 2013 Kongsberg Jazz Festival. ... Click to View


Wolff, Christian: Pianist: Pieces [3 CDs] (Sub Rosa)

Philip Thomas plays the piano works of Christian Wolff, 3 CDs with 150 tracks of large works blending experimental concerns with classical tendencies that reference modern & traditional composers transformed with Wolff's unique compositional voice. ... Click to View


Pascal: Nihilist Chakai House [VINYL] (Discombobulate)

An album of solo drumming from Pascal Nichols, who is part of the duo "Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides", here in a diverse set of approaches performed on drums, djembe, goblet bowls, cowbells, blocks, &c. &c... an album that's become an in-store favorite. ... Click to View


Mollestad, Hedvig Trio: Enfant Terrible (Rune Grammofon)

Norway's free avant/metal prog trio is led by guitarist Hedvig Mollestad with her trio of Ivar Loe Bjornstad on drums and bassist Ellen Brekken, in an album of driving anthemic rock that balances Mahavishnu and Zeppelin riffs in excellent and demanding instrumental rock. ... Click to View


Lane, Adam Full Throttle Orchestra: Live In Ljubljana (Clean Feed)

A joyful and sophisticated performance from bassist and leader Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra, an 8-piece band including Nate Wooley, Susana Silva, Reut Regev, David Bindman, Avram Fefer, Adam Lane & Igal Foni performing live at the 53rd Ljubljana Jazz Festival. ... Click to View


Kullhammar / Aalberg / Zetterberg / Mathisen: Basement Sessions Vol. 3 - The Ljubljana Tapes (Clean Feed)

Tenor, soprillo saxophonist & flautist Jonas Kullhammar's trio with Torbjorn Zetterberg (bass) and Espen Aalberg (drums) is extended to a quartet with tenor saxophonist Jorgen Mathisen, in the 3rd "Basement Sessions" release recorded live at the 5th Ljubljana Jazz Festival. ... Click to View


Cortex: Live! (Clean Feed)

Four Norwegian jazz musicians--Thomas Johansson (cornet), Kristoffer Alberts (reeds), Ola Hoyer (double bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums)--representatives of a new generation of Scandinavian jazzmen playing new music with the tools and forms of the older generation. ... Click to View


Chicago / Sao Paulo Underground feat Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah and the Underground - Primative Jupiter [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Live from Lisbon's Jazz em Agosto Festival, cornetist Rob Mazurek merges his Chicago and Sao Paulo Underground bands, adding bassist Matthew Lux and jazz legend tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, for a potent blend of modern jazz, electronics, and free improvised music. ... Click to View


Morris, Joe Quartet: Balance (Clean Feed)

Joe Morris reunites his NY quartet as their last configuration from 2000, with violist Mat Maneri, bassist Chris Lightcap, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and Morris on guitar, bringing us an update on the intently informed collective improvisation that defines this great- band. ... Click to View


Baloni: Belleke (Clean Feed)

A New York-born trio of European free improvisers, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst, and viola player Frank Loriot present a unique orchestration that blends contemporary compositional forms with free improvisation in sublime ways. ... Click to View


Chicago / Sao Paulo Underground feat Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah and the Underground / Spiral Mercury (Clean Feed)

Live from Lisbon's Jazz em Agosto Festival, cornetist Rob Mazurek merges his Chicago and Sao Paulo Underground bands, adding bassist Matthew Lux and jazz legend tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, for a potent blend of modern jazz, electronics, and free improvised music. ... Click to View


Kosi: Pictures Of Us (Kosi)

New York jazz vocalist Kosi in an album extending her duo format to a larger ensemble using lyrical jazz forms to create an intimate and emotional album of original and traditional songs. ... Click to View


Le Ton Mite: Version D'Un Ouvrage Traduit (Music a la Coque)

An unusual set of pop compositions from Brussels-based Le Ton Mite, short vignettes blending compositional and folk elements into lovely miniatures, graced with a personal and idiosyncratic style reflected in the collage art covering the album. ... Click to View


Szilard: Spokes (Palaver Press)

Jeremy Young, aka Szilard, in his debut full-length release as a solo performer on guitar and sine waves, with texts from Charles Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs Du Mal" (1857) read by Aki Onda, Ella Joyce Buckley, Liam Singer and Catherine Metayer. ... 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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