The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Anthony Braxton / Quartet: (Santa Cruz) 1993 1st Set (Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering saxophonist Anthony Braxton Quartet's stellar performances on Quartet (Santa Cruz) 1993, with Marilyn Crispell on piano, Mark Dresser on bass, and Gerry Hemingway on percussion & marimba, demanding collective improvisation from masterful players. ... Click to View


Cecil Taylor : Garden 1st Set (Hatology)

Reissue and 2015 remaster of Cecil Taylor's superb live set at Grosser Saal Volkshaus, in Basel, Switzerland in 1981, performing solo over three extended improvisations, presented for the first time in the original concert sequence. ... Click to View


Chris Corsano / Okkyung Lee / Bill Nace : Live At Stone [VINYL] (Open Mouth)

The trio of Chris Corsano (drums), Okkyung Lee (cello) and Bill Nace (guitar) performing live at John Zorn's NYC improv club The Stone in 2014, three free improvising titans of the modern age in a very limited LP. ... Click to View


Marco von Orelli 5 : Alluring Prospect (Hatology)

Innovative arrangements mark trumpeter Marco von Oreilli's quintet release, performed with trombonist Lukas Briggen, pianist Michael Wintsch, basis Kasper von Gruningen, and drummer Samuel Duhsler, through 7 original and lyrical compositions that never fail to surprise. ... Click to View


Michel Wintsch : Roof Fool (Hatology)

Innovative and idiosyncratic Swiss pianist Michel Wintsch in a set of original compositions that combine ambient sound and intentionality, displaying great technical skills and a unique mind that embraces melody and the unexpected aspects of improvisation. ... Click to View


Fred Frith And Helen Mirra: Kwangsi - quail [VINYL] (Shhpuma)

Helen Mirra uses the index of a W.G. Sebald's novel to create a mysterious, intriguing and fascinating audio world, performed by Mirra on printing press and acoustic guitar, and Fred Frith on rainsticks, mbira, charango, music box, voice, shoes and other objects. ... Click to View


Uneven Eleven: Live at Cafe OTO [2 CDs] (Sub Rosa)

Merging three legends--drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat, Camberwell Now, Massacre), Guy Segers (Univers Zero) and Kawabata Makoto (Acid Mothers Temple) for a wild improvising trio caught live at Cafe Oto in Lodon in 2013; not to be missed! ... Click to View


Uneven Eleven: Live at Cafe OTO [VINYL] (Sub Rosa)

Merging three legends--drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat, Camberwell Now, Massacre), Guy Segers (Univers Zero) and Kawabata Makoto (Acid Mothers Temple) for a wild improvising trio caught live at Cafe Oto in Lodon in 2013; not to be missed! ... Click to View


Joana Sa & Luis Jose Martins: Almost a Song (Shhpuma)

A beautiful collaboration between Luis Jose Martins on classical guitar, percussion & electronics, and Joan Sa on piano, toy piano, celestra, idiophones & electronics, gentle music that's nearly a song, but actually sophisticated, textured, and lovely contemporary improvisation. ... Click to View


Charlemagne Palestine & Rhys Chatham: Youuu + Mee = Weee (First) [VINYL] (Sub Rosa)

LP edition of the 1st of 3 CDs from the collaboration between Charlemagne Palestine on Bosendorfer piano, orgue Yamaha and voice, and Rhys Chatham on trumpet, loop pedal & electric guitar, presenting a large and slowly evolving composition. ... Click to View


Norberto Lobo / Joao Lobo: Oba Loba (Shhpuma)

A magnificent septet led by Norbert Lobo on guitar and Joao Lobo on drums, blending jazz with free folk elements, instrumental music that defies easy categorization but which wins the listener over with its inherent melodicism and embracing love of expression. ... Click to View


Helen Mirra / Ernst Karel: A Map Of Parallels 41-N And 49-N At A Scale Of Ten Seconds To One Degree (Shhpuma)

A map of the latitudes delineating the geographical area where the European - North American history of deforestation and resforestation has played out, in a work of guitar and field effects from Portugese artist Helen Mirra and sound artist Ernst Karel. ... Click to View


Joana Gama / Luis Fernandez: Quest (Shhpuma)

Classical pianist Joana Gama and live electronic processing artist Luis Fernandes bridge compositional and experimental forms in this lyrical work, where Fernandes transforms, dissects, loops and otherwise mutates the Gama's playing in unexpected and elegant ways. ... Click to View


Simao Costa: ANO PRE CAU TION PER CU SSION ON SHORT CIRCUIT (Shhpuma)

Portuguese composer and pianist Simao Costa in an album of solo prepared piano in the style of John Cage, using transducers, speaker & objects, paced like a Morton Feldman composition, balancing tones and percussive sound in exquisite compositions. ... Click to View


Parque: The Earworm Versions (Shhpuma)

Intermedia artist Ricardo Jacinto with Nuno Torres (sax), Ricardo Jacinto (cello), Andre Sier (electronics), Dino Recio (percussion), Nuno Morao (percussion, melodica) and Joao Pinheiro (percussion, vibes) in a structured improvisation in an electro-acoustic environment. ... Click to View


Pao: PÃO (Shhpuma)

The Portugese trio of Pedro Sousa (sax), Tiago Sousa (keys & percussion) and Travassos (tapes and electronics), using amplified objects and circuit bending amidst acoustic and electric sources that blends melodic sound sources in rich and unexpected ways. ... Click to View


Filipe Felizardo : Guitar Soli for the Moa and the Frog (Shhpuma)

The third solo venture for Lisbon-based guitarist and visual artist Filipe Felizardo, performing without effects and loops over a lush and spare framework, for a "ghost blues meditation" in 8 movements of focused, beautifully paced and sonically oriented playing. ... Click to View


Marco Eneidi / Damon Smith / Peter Kowald: Ghetto Calypso (Not Two Records)

17 succinct improvisations recorded in 2000 from the trio of the late and legendary German free improvising bassist Peter Kowald, West Coast bassist Damon Smith, and alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi, powerful and lyrical improv with a nod to Ayler amidst brilliant playing. ... Click to View


Henry Kaiser / Damon Smith: Relations (Balance Point Acoustics)

The duo of Henry Kaiser and bassist Damon Smith perform 8 free improvisation with titles from the book "Company Week" by Peter Riley, a commentary on Derek Bailey's 1997 collective, Kaiser using a 1998 Monteleone Radio Flyer 7 string guitar at the request of Smith. ... Click to View


Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith: Background Information (Balance Point Acoustics)

Houston based guitarist Sandy Ewen met BPA label leader, bassist Damon Smith to record these open-minded improvisations in the studio, with Smith also using 7 string electric upright bass, laptop, and field recordings played in real time. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Peter Brotzmann / Jim O'Rourke: Two City Blues PT 1 [VINYL] (Trost Records)

The first of two releases documenting the trio of three towering figures--German free jazz legend Peter Brotzmann, Japanese avant-garde wizard Keiji Haino, and wildly versatile American composer and musician Jim O'Rourke--recording at Shinjuku Pit Inn, in Tokyo, 2010. ... Click to View


Ghost Trees: The New Gravity (Future Recordings)

The 1st proper Ghost Trees full-length release from the duo of Brent Bagwell on tenor sax and Seth Nanaa on drums, presenting 8 songs honed during a year-long, cross-country tour, with the duo in tight communication in restrained and assertive improv with a wide range of influences. ... Click to View


Jessica Pavone: Knuckle Under [VINYL] (TAIGA)

Jessica Pavone's recent solo works for viola and voice stem from years of concentrated long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration, combining her long tone rituals with delay, understated melodies and sparse lyrical content. ... Click to View


Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Eroina [VINYL] (Holidays Records)

A 1971 recording from this early Italian free improvising group featuring Ennio Morricone, a series of haunting improvisations, each inspired by the effects of a different drug, made of electronic glitches, skronky horns, pounded piano, funky drums, and tape experiments. ... Click to View


Eleh: Homage [3 CDs] (Important Records)

Eleh's Homage series remastered for CD, allowing all frequency combinations to be heard, presenting 3 CDs lovingly dedicated to hypnotic square waves, rippling sine waves and triangle/saw tooth waveforms in slowly moving and meditative compositions. ... Click to View


Yannis Kyriakides + Andy Moor: A Life Is a Billion Heartbeats [VINYL] (Discrepant)

Yannis Kyriakides and Andy Moor's exploration and mining of the rich and mysterious terrain of Greek rebetika music from early 20th century, using a combination and juxtaposition of rebetika elements with their own distinct sonic explorations. ... Click to View


Klezmerson: Amon: The Book Of Angels Volume 24 (Tzadik)

Tzadik's series reinterpreting John Zorn's Masada compositions releases the 24th "Book of Angels", performed by Klezmerson, a Mexico-based ensemble led by violist & composer Benjamin Shwartz, who founded the group in 2003 to integrate music from a Mexican standpoint. ... Click to View


Ikue Mori: Light In The Shadow (Tzadik)

A beautifully paced and uniquely voiced album of electronic soundscapes from luminary New York performer Ikue Mori, 10 works including a realization of Izumi Kyoka's story "Koya Hijuri", 3 pieces for Mozu birds, the 2-part "Pomegranate Seeds", and one of Zorn's Masada compositions. ... Click to View


John Zorn: Hen To Pan (Tzadik)

A chamber ensemble led by cellist Jay Campbell presents 3 realizations of Zorn's composition for 2 celli "Ouroboros" (2 with percussionist Tyshawn Sorey) along with his canonic puzzle "Occam's Razor" and the ten metaphysical ambiguities comprising the piano trio "The Aristos" . ... Click to View


Kali Fasteau Z (with Jordan / Rozie / Parran / McBee): Piano Rapture (Flying Note)

New York pianist Kali Z. Fasteau in a quintet with L. Mixashawn Rozie on sax, flute, and djembe, Kidd Jordan on tenor sax, J.D. Parran on flute and clarinet, and Ron McBee on percussion, a beautiful journey in jazz that borrows from the past while looking to the future. ... 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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