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Matthew Shipp Trio: To Duke (RogueArt)

Pianist Matthew Shipp's trio with Whit Dickey on drums and Martin Bisio on bass, take on Duke's Ellington's classic compositions, adding free elements and unexpected angles without losing the melodic charm of these classic jazz standards; recommended. ... Click to View


Roscoe Mitchell Trio: Angel City (RogueArt)

Art Ensemble founder Roscoe Mitchel on reeds, winds and percussion, in an extended electroacoustic work performed with James Fei on reeds and analog electronics and William Winant on percussion; a composition/improvisation blending sound and space in creative and compelling ways. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi: Tea Time for Those Determined to Completely Exhaust Every Bit of This Body They've Been Given [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi return for their 6th album, the second set from their March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo, extending and refining the mix of heavy sound work redefining the guitar, drum & bass format in powerful ways. ... Click to View


Great Waitress: Lucid (Splitrec)

Berlin pianist Magda Mayas with the Australian duo of accordionist Monika Brooks and clarinetist Laura Altman in understated improvisations that reveal unexpected sonic properties while pushing the boundaries of each player's instruments. ... Click to View


Teletopa (Collins / Evans / Aherns / Frampton): Tokyo 1972 [2 CDs] (Splitrec)

The 1972 recording at a Tokyo radio station of the forward-thinking improvisation of David Ahern (violin, percussion, electronics), Roger Frampton (percussion, electronics, saxophone), Peter Evans (percussion, electronics) and Geoffrey Collins (flute, percussion electronics). ... Click to View


Dale Gorfinkel: Switches & Hose (Splitrec)

Dale Gorfinkel is a multi-instrumentalist, improvisor, instrument creator and installation artist, creating unexpected aural environments exploring acoustic phenomena or creating acoustic sculptures from using common materials like switches, balloons, hoses, cages, &c. ... Click to View


Chris Abrahams / Clare Cooper: Germ Studies For Guzheng & DX7 (Splitrec)

The Australian duo of pianist Chris Abrahams (Necks) & Berlin harpist Clare Cooper in a series of 198 short improvisations performed on Yamaha DX7 and the 14th century Guzheng harp, presented with 198 illustrations in an unusual and obsessively rewarding project. ... Click to View


Teletopa (Collins / Evans / Aherns / Frampton): Tokyo 1972 [VINYL 3 LPs] (Splitrec)

The 1972 recording at a Tokyo radio station of the forward-thinking improvisation of David Ahern (violin, percussion, electronics), Roger Frampton (percussion, electronics, saxophone), Peter Evans (percussion, electronics) and Geoffrey Collins (flute, percussion electronics). ... Click to View


Dale Gorfinkel: Switches & Hose [VINYL] (Splitrec)

Dale Gorfinkel is a multi-instrumentalist, improvisor, instrument creator and installation artist, creating unexpected aural environments exploring acoustic phenomena or creating acoustic sculptures from using common materials like switches, balloons, hoses, cages, &c. ... Click to View


Nate Wooley / Ken Vandermark: East By Northwest (Pleasure of the Text Records)

A superb live set between trumpeter Nate Wooley and multi-reedist Ken Vandermark performing on clarinet, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone, captured live at the 2014 Okka Fest in Milwaukee, intelligent free improvisation balancing introspection and fire. ... Click to View


Carlo Costa Quartet: Sediment (Neither/Nor Records)

A new NY label from percussionist Carlo Costa in its 1st release, a quartet with Steve Swell on trombone, Sean ali on bass and Jonathan Moritz on sax, presenting an improvisational language that subsumes the individual players into a distinct group sound. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann & Jason Adasiewicz: Mollie's in the Mood [VINYL] (Bro)

Brotzmann's own BRO label releases this performance at Chicago's Hideout of the duo of Peter Brotzmann on alto and tenor sax, b-flat clarinet and tarogato, and vibraophonist Jason Adasiewicz from their 2012 US tour for three stunning tracks of free improvisation. ... Click to View


Ballister: The Ballister Monologues [CASSETTE with download code] (Astral Spirits)

Ballister's first cassette release finds the the trio of Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Dave Rempis (reeds) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello & electronics) performing live at The Northern Door in Austin, Texas for a furious and dynamic set of two extended improvisations. ... Click to View


Will Guthrie: Stepped Stoned [CASSETTE with download code] (Astral Spirits)

France-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie in a solo recording of powerful and diverse playing using a combination of drums, percussion, objects, junk, amplification and electronics. ... Click to View


Broken Trap Ensemble (Shelton / Rankin-Parker / Dutton / Pearce): Upes [CASSETTE with download code] (Astral Spirits)

West Coast Bay Area creative improvisers Aram Shelton (alto sax), Teddy Rankin-Parker (cello), Kristina Dutton (violin) and Daniel Pearce (drums) in a balanced release borrowing from jazz, modern improv, classical, folk, drone and beyond. ... Click to View


Sult (Dryer / Heule / Moe / Skaset): Svimmelhed (Conrad Sound-Humbler Records)

West Coast/Oslo acoustic improvising ensemble Sult is the quartet of bassist Tony Dryer, percussionist Jacob Felix Heule, bassist Guro Skumsnes Moe, and acoustic guitarist Havard Skaset, playing subduedm informed and textured work with a dark intent. ... Click to View


Philip Corner: Through Two More-Than-Mysterious Barricades (Improvizations After Francois Couperin) [VINYL] (Roaratorio)

Fluxus musician Philip Corner uses French Baroque composer Francois Couperin's "Les Barricades Misterieuses" as the starting point for his piano improvisations, here presenting two unique perspectives on the piece, the 1st from 1992 and the 2nd from 2004. ... Click to View


Cornelius Cardew : Nova Musicha No. 6: Four Principles on Ireland and Other Pieces (1974) [VINYL] (MiruMir (Cramps))

180 gram reissue of Irish composer Cornelius Cardew's 1974 album, a series of compositions based on the revolutionary songs of different countries (i.e. the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the Islamic Rebellion of 1937, the uprisings in West Berlin in the early seventies). ... Click to View


Schlippenbach Trio: First Recordings [VINYL] (Trost Records)

These 1972 trio recordings of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach's Trio with Evan Parker on tenor & soprano sax, and Paul Lovens on drums recording at the Workshop Freie Musik at the Acadamy of the Arts, Berlin, were found in the FMP archives and are issued for the first time ever. ... Click to View


Christof Kurzmann : Then & Now [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Christof Kurzmann has been a part of Extended Versions, The Magic I.D., Made to Break, El Infierno, Trio x 3, &c; this double LP collects unreleased tracks from a diversity of projects with collaborators B. Fleischmann, Ken Vandermark, Robert Wyatt, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Buck, &c. &c. ... Click to View


David Sylvian (w/ Franz Wright / Christian Fennesz): There's a Light That Enters Houses With No Other House In Sight (Samadhi Sound)

David Sylvian's long form composition is a collaboration with American Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright, with music performed by Sylvian, Christian Fennesz and John Tilbury in a single long narrated work of insight and remarkable electroacoustic accompaniment. ... Click to View


Sun Ra: Discipline 27-II [VINYL] (Saturn)

The 2nd volume in Sun Ra's "Discipline" series was recorded during the same sessions as 1972's Impulse release "Space Is the Place", with Sun Ra on electronic keyboards and Moog, and a large band including Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Danny Davis, Akh Tal Ebah, June Tyson, &c. ... Click to View


Solidarity Unit, Inc: Red, Black and Green [VINYL] (Eremite)

Percussionist Charles "Bobo" Shaw produced this album, which documents what happened at the Black Artists Group Room in St. Louis, MO, on September 18, 1970, the day Jimi Hendrix died, performed in an ensemble including Oliver Lake on sax & flute and Joseph Bowie on trombone. ... Click to View


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

A much-needed vinyl reissue of the seminal London & European Free Improv trio release from 1970, an amazing album showing the relationships between established jazz forms and the emerging modern language. ... Click to View


Luigi Nono: Seguente [2 CDs] (Edition Rz)

Reissuing composer Luigi Nono's 1990 Edition Rz LP with the addition of 3 works, presenting 6 remarkable symphonic works combining live electronics and voice, intended to expand the technical possibilities of sound and the perceptive faculties of the listener. ... Click to View


Ferdinand Kriwet : Hortexte Radio Texts Zwei [VINYL 2 LP Picture Discs] (Edition Rz)

A beautiful 2 picture disc LP and booklet of radio plays (Horspiele) from sound artist and poet Ferdinand Kriwet, presenting 6 works including Hortext (radiotext) I, and Rotoradios I & II. ... Click to View


Chris Forsyth / Nate Wooley: Third [VINYL] (Rekem Records)

The 3rd collaboration between guitarist Chris Forsyth and trumpeter Nate Wooley following "The Duchess of Oysterville" and "Chocolate Monk", here recording live in concert in Philadelphia for the two part "Evening Rage", creating rich sonic palettes of unexpected sound. ... Click to View


ROIL (Chris Abrahams / Mike Majkowski / James Waples): Raft Of The Meadows [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Free improvisation using the jazz idiom as a jumping off point from the trio of pianist Chris Abrahams (The Necks), bassist Mike Majkowski, and drummer James Waples, superb technical playing with a melodic intent and excellent pacing. ... Click to View


Barry Guy : Five Fizzles for Samuel Beckett [10-inch VINYL] (NoBusiness)

A limited 10-inch pressing from European Free Improvisation bassist Barry Guy, performing with the ambiance of St. Catherine's Church in Vilnius, Lithuania, using extended techniques and unusual approaches to the instrument that are both remarkable and satisfying. ... Click to View


Ted Daniel's Energy Module (feat. Oliver Lake and Daniel Carter): Innerconnection [VINYL 2 LPs] (NoBusiness)

Trumpeter Ted Daniel's Energy Module with Daniel Carter, Oliver Lake, Richard Pierce and Tatsuya Nakamura, a post-bop free improvising quintet from the mid-70s, here in an unreleased studio session showing raw power and superb playing. ... 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
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Ameri-chord: Johnny Cash Remembered - Skip Heller - Amer-chord - Johnny Cash & June Carter
The Zorn Non-Interview - Ah, John, We Hardly Knew Ye
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London's Burning - Marc Ribot


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