The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Nakatani Gong Orchestra: Live Concert At Silo City (Nakatani-Kobo)

A full scale concert of Tatsuya Nakatani's Gong Orchestra with 15 performers bowing and striking Nakatani's collection large gongs under the conduction of Nakatani, recorded at the Silo City performance space in Buffalo, NY in 2017 in a rich, deep and mysterious album of large tones using the natural resonance of the Marine A Grain Elevator. ... Click to View


Jerome Noetinger / SEC_: La Cave Des Etendards (Mikroton Recordings)

Titled from the two venues where these concerts were recorded, the duo of Jerome Noetinger and Mimmo Napolitano both use revox reel to reel recorders, plus feedback systems, laptop and other electroacoustic devices to create strange and gripping aural narratives, built of abstract elements yet deceptively concrete, compelling stories; exceptional. ... Click to View


New Thing Unit: For Cecil Taylor (Creative Sources)

Dedicated to the late free jazz legend Cecil Taylor, this Lisbon sextet of Paulo Alexandre Jorge on tenor saxophone, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Eduardo Chagas on trombone, Manuel Guimaraes on piano, Miguel Mira on cello, and Pedro Santo on drums performs four energetic and well-balanced collective improvisations, respecting and evoking the incredible legacy Taylor left behind. ... Click to View


Brinicle (McCormick / Bjorgo / Antalova): First Frost (Creative Sources)

Dynamic and compelling improvisations from the Oslo-based international guitar trio of Brinicle is an improvising trio comprised of Norwegian Hakon Norby Bjorgo on upright bass, Canadian Mike McCormick on electric guitar and Michaela Antalova on drum kit, who met in 2015 to join their interestes in the intersection of avant improvisation and post-rock. ... Click to View


J@K@L (Keefe Jackson / Julian Kirshner/ Fred Lonberg-Holm): After A Few Days (Jaki Records)

The amalgamation of the names of Chicago mainstays, saxophonist Keefe Jackson, drummer Julian Kirshner and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, tenor guitar and electronics, J@K@L are captured live the Hungry Brain in Chicago in a concert of intricate, dynamic, fast-paced and expressive free improvisation with a unique palette and extraordinarily strong communication. ... Click to View


Polyorchard: Sextet | Quintet (Out and Gone Music)

Quintet and sextet recordings from the Polyorchard group of Jeb Bishop on trombone, Chris Eubank on cello, Bill McConaghy on trumpet, David Menestres on double bass, David Morris on tuba, Dan Ruccia on viola, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Jacob Wick on trumpet, recording at "The Store" in Raleigh, NC, for sublime and complex and collective free improvisation. ... Click to View


Simon Rose / Philippe Lemoine: Seance (Tour de Bras)

Tenor and bariton saxophones in an exchange of spectral interactions that emphasize harmonic overtones and intersections, unusual emanations from both instruments in a perfectly paced improvisations, each of the 12 dialogs named aptly for locations and crossing in Englad and France, adding a sense of journey to these mysterious and wonderful expeditions. ... Click to View


Michel Bonneau / John Heward / Scott Thomson : 4x3 (Tour de Bras)

An unusual mix of instruments from the Montreal trio of percussionist Michel Bonneau on congas & balafon, John Heward on drums, and Scott Thomson on trombone, all members of Ratchet Orchestra and Heward's Murray Street Band, in an album of active and uniquely layered confident rhythmic floors over which Thomson freely plays with remarkable technique. ... Click to View


Beaudoin-de-la-Sablonniere, Louis / Eric Normand / Louis-Vincent Hamel: Brulez les Meubles (Tour de Bras)

Seeking to extend the guitar trio into new and unique territory, the Quebec trio of Eric Normand on electric bass, Louis Beaudoin-de-la-Sablonniere on electric guitar, and Louis-Vincent Hamel on drums, reference performers like Jim Hall, Sonny Sharrock, John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell while focusing on harmolodic force and unusual melodic lines. ... Click to View


Bill Orcutt: Why Does Everybody Love Free Music But Nobody Loves Free People? [VINYL 2 LPs] (Palilalia)

An horribly recorded album of solo guitar that begins with the concert promoter screaming at the audience, as Bill Orcutt takes the stage and plays an amazing set of solo acoustic guitar, a visceral album that perfectly fits Orcutt's history and playing style. ... Click to View


Giles Thornton Jazz Orchestra: Be In Today (FMR)

A large band project from UK composer, arranger and conductor Giles Thornton, directing 29 musicians through original works and reinterpretations of ballads like Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You", in a blend of acoustic and electronic musicians that avoids overt fusion overtones while keeping the music melodic with the occasional exotica flair. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann The Octet : Machine Gun [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

One of the exemplary albums of European free jazz originally issued on Peter Brotzmann's on BRO label in 1968, aggressive but astute music from now-legendary players Brotzmann, Evan Parker & Gerd Dudek on tenor sax (Brotzmann doubles on baritone sax), Peter Kowald on bass, Fred Van Hove on piano, Buschi Niebergall on bass, and two drummers - Han Bennink and Sven-Ake Johansson. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann The Octet : Machine Gun - Alternate Takes [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

First time issued on vinyl: alternate takes from the essential "Machine Gun" album on Brotzmann's BRO label in 1968, aggressive but astute music from now-legendary players Brotzmann, Evan Parker & Gerd Dudek on tenor sax (Brotzmann doubles on baritone sax), Peter Kowald on bass, Fred Van Hove on piano, Buschi Niebergall on bass, and two drummers - Han Bennink & Sven-Ake Johansson. ... Click to View


Derek Bailey / Jamie Muir: Dart Drug [VINYL] (Honest Jons Records)

A reissue of the 1981 Incus LP of guitarist Derek Bailey with one-time King Crimson percussionist Jamie Muir ("Larks Tongues in Aspic"), also a member of Bailey's Music Improvisation Company, an album of hovering harmonics from Bailey's feedback amidst Muir's kitchen-sink collection of items that creates a unique and riveting complement to Bailey's playing. ... Click to View


Derek Bailey: Aida [VINYL 2 LPs] (Honest Jons Records)

Extending UK improvising guitarist Derek Bailey's 1980 solo album on his own Incus label with a full additional album of solo guitar recordings from the BBC in the same year, giving a fuller story of Bailey's development of his self-defined non-idiomatic improvisation, wonderfully commanding playing of great technical skill and clear intention. ... Click to View


Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano: A History Of Nothing (Trost Records)

Following up their 2015 Not Two album "This is Our Language", the quartet organized by tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado with Joe McPhee on soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on double bass, and Chris Corsano, a superb album of intense communication and soloing from a collective that merges free and lyrical playing, from ballads to full-on fury. ... Click to View


Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano: A History Of Nothing [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Following up their 2015 Not Two album "This is Our Language", the quartet organized by tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado with Joe McPhee on soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on double bass, and Chris Corsano, a superb album of intense communication and soloing from a collective that merges free and lyrical playing, from ballads to full-on fury. ... Click to View


Spring Heel Jack / Wadada Leo Smith / Pat Thomas / Steve Noble: Hackney Road [VINYL] (Treader)

The Spring Heel Jack duo of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist John Coxon and keyboard & electronics player Ashley Wale are joined by UK improvising masters Pat Thomas on synth, keyboard & theremin, Steve Noble on drums, and US legend Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, for a six "Scene" album of staggeringly intense improvisation over rich soundscapes; superb. ... Click to View


Fay Victor's SoundNoiseFunk (feat Joe Morris): Wet Robots (ESP)

SoundNoiseFUNK is New York free vocalist Fay Victor's quartet with Sam Newsome on soprano sax, Joe Morris on electric guitar and Reggie Nicholson on drums, a great collective group of leaders who perfect support Fay's wordless vocals and pointed statements, the title "Wet Robots" refererring to technology that is useless to help in an apocalyptic age; impressive. ... Click to View


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.:: Hallelujah Mystic Garden Part 1 (Important Records)

Two long sides of "blissed-out, super tight Acid Mothers Temple jams that somehow stretch into the future while staying strongly rooted in the group's celebrated psychedelic history" performed with AMT core members Cotton Casino (voice), Kawabata Makoto (guitar), Higashi Hiroshi (keys), Mitsuru Tabata (guitar), Staoshima Nani (drums), and S/T Wolf (bass). ... Click to View


Buck Curran: Morning Haikus, Afternoon Ragas [VINYL] (ESP-Disk)

American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, known for the psych-folk duo Arborea with Shanti Deschaine, in his second solo album of mostly instrumental acoustic guitar work, rich, reflective and confident work that fits in a John Fahey mode, with Adele Pappalardo providing vocals on one track, and Nicolo Melocchi playing Basuri Flute on another. ... Click to View


Joelle Leandre : A Woman's Work [8 CD BOX SET] (Not Two)

A thorough overview of bassist and vocalist Joelle Leandre's recent work in a boxed set of 8 CDs and a 16 page booklet of essays, photos and credits, each CD bringing a unique grouping from Les Diaboliques to duos with Mat Maneri, Fred Frith, Lauren Newton, & Jean-Luc Cappozzo, plus one solo disc and a quartet with Zlatko Kaucic, Evan Parker and Augusti Fernandez; magnificent. ... Click to View


Samara Lubelski / Bill Nace: (Relative Pitch)

Issuing on CD the duo album of violinist Samara Lubelski and guitarist Bill Nace, originally released on Nace's Open Mouth label early in 2018, presenting a series of psychedelic textural works, Lubelski creating vibrant and reiterating structures that Nace uses as a foundation for swells and expressive emanations; hypnotic and mesmerizing. ... Click to View


Irene Aranda / Johannes Nastejo / Nuria Andorra: Inner Core (Relative Pitch)

Referencing geothermal physics in the titles of their improvisations, these three Spanish improvisers create a riveting and radical set of experimental works, with Irene Aranda working inside and out of the piano, Johannes Nastejo extending and adapting his double bass, and percussionist Nuria Andorra using an arsenal of metallic and percussive objects. ... Click to View


Matthew Lux's Communication Arts Quartet: Contra/Fact [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

Chicago bassist Matthew Lux (Isotope 217, Exploding Star Orchestra) in an album of effusive and spiritual percussive grooves under electronic and acoustic leads, performed with Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, electronics and percussion, Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, percussion, mellotron and more, and Jayve Montgomery on various woodwinds, samples and percussion. ... Click to View


Andrew Barker / Daniel Carter : Polyhedron [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Four duos from New York multi-reedist, wind and brass improviser Daniel Carter and drummer/percussionist Andrew Barker, dedicating each of four pieces to each player's past collaborators--Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, William Parker and Charles Water--through informed dialog that push each player into passionate territory with strong lyrical affinity. ... Click to View


John McCowen: 4 Chairs In Three Dimensions [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Using only acoustic techniques and recording live, New York clarinetist and contrabass clarinetist John McCowen (Tweak Bird, Wei Zhongle) draws out an incredibly impressive array of harmonic difference tones, interference beats and inexplicable sound from these typically monophonic instruments, using circular breathing to create long drones and aberrant textures. ... Click to View


Liudas Mockunas / Jacek Mazurkiewicz / Hakon Berre: Live In Warsaw [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Lithunian reedist Liudas Mockunas, Polish bassist and electronicist Jacek Mazurkiewicz (3Fonia, Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra, Modular String Trio) and Norwegian drummer Hakon Berre (Aram Shelton, Susana Santos Silva) are captured live in Warsaw at Mozg in 2015 for three exploratory improvisations with Mockunas on clarinet, soprano & tenor saxes. ... Click to View


Luke Stewart: Works for Upright Bass & Amplifier [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Bassist and sound artist Luke Stewart is a Washington, DC stalwart, a member of a variety of improvised and rock bands and active in Sonic Circuits, and also an Artist-In-Residence at Union Arts and Manufacturing; this solo work uses the resonant feedback of an amplifier with unusual double bass technique to coax a fascinating journey that accompanied his 2017 art exhibit. ... Click to View


Ghost Trees Big Band: Goodyear [2 7-inch VINYL RECORDS] (Future Recordings)

The hard-working duo Ghost Trees of saxophonist Brent Bagwell and drummer Seth Nanaa, extended their group to a 10-piece band of interesting orchestration--piano, vibraphones, sax, pedal steels guitar, bass, cellos and violas--taking over the Charlotte, NC Goodyear building to present their unique compositions blending conceptual composition and improvisation. ... 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
sold at Squidco.com
written by
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Peter Brotzmann The Octet:
Machine Gun
[VINYL]

(Cien Fuegos)



Peter Brotzmann The Octet:
Machine Gun -
Alternate Takes
[VINYL]

(Cien Fuegos)



Amado /
Mcphee /
Kessler /
Corsano:
A History
Of Nothing

(Trost Records)



Amado /
Mcphee /
Kessler /
Corsano:
A History
Of Nothing
[VINYL]

(Trost Records)



Spring Heel Jack /
Wadada Leo Smith /
Pat Thomas /
Steve Noble:
Hackney Road
[VINYL]

(Treader)



Derek Bailey:
Aida
[VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records)



Joelle Leandre :
A Woman's Work
[8 CD BOX SET]

(Not Two)



John McCowen:
4 Chairs In
Three Dimensions
[CASSETTE]

(Astral Spirits)



Matthew Lux's
Communication Arts Quartet:
Contra/Fact
[VINYL]

(Astral Spirits)



Ghost Trees Big Band:
Goodyear
[2 7-inch VINYL RECORDS]

(Future Recordings)



Samara Lubelski /
Bill Nace:


(Relative Pitch)



Okkyung Lee:
Cheol-Kkot-Sae
(Steel.Flower.Bird)

(Tzadik)



Clifford Thornton
Memorial Quartet, The
(McPhee /
Lazro /
Foussat /
Sato):
Sweet Oranges

(Not Two)



Derek Bailey /
Evan Parker:
The London Concert
[VINYL]

(Otoroku)



Francois Carrier /
Michel Lambert /
Rafal Mazur:
Beyond Dimensions

(FMR)



Paul Dunmall /
John O'Gallagher /
John Edwards /
Mark Sanders:
Freedom Music

(FMR)



Frode Gjerstad /
Hamid Drake /
William Parker:
[4-CD BOX SET]

(Not Two)



DKV Trio
(Drake /
Kessler /
Vandermark):
Latitude 41.88

(Not Two)



Evan Parker /
Derek Bailey /
Han Bennink:
The Topography
of the Lungs
[VINYL]

(Otoroku)



Frode Gjerstad /
John Stevens /
Johnny Mbizio Dyani:
Detail 83

(FMR)







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