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Myra Melford Trio: Alive In The House Of Saints CD 2 (Hatology)

The much-anticipated 2nd volume in pianist Myra Melford's series of live performances, "Alive In The House Of Saints" with bassist Lindsey Horner and Reggie Nicholson, documenting sublimely beautiful and innovative playing with her trio of Lindsey Horner on bass and jaxx legend Reggie Nicholson on drums, performing live in two concerts in Germany in 1993. ... Click to View


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Nick Mazzarella / Tomeka Reid: Signaling (NESSA)

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Cordame: Satie Variations (Malasartes)

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Hubert Zemler : Pupation of Dissonance (Bolt)

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One of five live collaborations with The Lisbon String Trio of violist Ernesto Rodrigues, cellist Miguel Mira, and bassist Alvaro Rosso, Quebec pianist Karoline Leblanc accompanying on the piano as the 4th string in this open-minded equation of slowly intersecting improvisation creating an unusual tapestry of sound that ebbs and flows in exceptional ways. ... Click to View


Autochthon: A (Creative Sources)

Autochthon refers to indigenous language or people, tied to their land; here the trio of Hartmut Osswald (reeds & things), Stefan Scheib (prepared double bass) and Wolfgang Schliemann (drums and objects) perform a native language of their own through improvisation in this interesting concert at Freejazz Festiva in, Saarbrucken, Germany in 2016. ... Click to View


Henry Cow: Vol. 4 & 5: Trondheim (Recommended Records)

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Tandaapushi: Borromean Rings (JVTLANDT)

The second album from this Norwegian electric improvising power trio, using dark rhythmic grooves over which guitar, electric piano, amplified objects, no-input mixing board, and pianet emerge, creating hypnotic states that lead to exultant moments through sinuous melody, building and releasing intensity while maintaining a consistent gauzy undertone. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (w/ Matthew Shipp / William Parker): The Art Of Perelman-Shipp Volume 1 Titan (Leo)

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Rob Mazurek: Chimeric Stoned Horn [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD + 3D GLASSES] (Astral Spirits)

The 2nd part of Chicago trumpeter Rob Mazurek's Astral Spirits series that started with "Vortice of the Faun", Mazurek performing on piccolo trumpet, electronics, voice, and percussion in a detailed journey, released alongside Mazurek's art opening "Constellation Scores" at URDLA, the cover showing two 3-D prints and the package comes with glasses to view them. ... Click to View


Ab Baars & Terrie Ex: Shifting Sands (Terp Records)

Dutch saxophonist Ab Baars and guitarist Terrie Ex last recorded together in 2000 for their "Hef" album, reuniting in 2015 in Amsterdam for this well-rounded and exhilarating duo album, with Ex on electric guitar and Baars on tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet and shakuhachi, demonstrating both player's growth and continued joy in improvisation. ... Click to View


Ab Baars & Terrie Ex: Shifting Sands [VINYL] (Terp Records)

Dutch saxophonist Ab Baars and guitarist Terrie Ex last recorded together in 2000 for their "Hef" album, reuniting in 2015 in Amsterdam for this well-rounded and exhilarating duo album, with Ex on electric guitar and Baars on tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet and shakuhachi, demonstrating both player's growth and continued joy in improvisation. ... Click to View


Thanos Chrysakis : Equinox (Aural Terrains)

A remarkable album of electronic composition from sound experimenter and improviser Thanos Chrysakis, ten stunning compositions that explore a diverse set of tones across a broad spectrum of rich deep timbre and beautiful high frequency ringing, bell-tones at times taking the focus, at others providing a rotating basis for ethereal experiments; sophisticated and engaging! ... Click to View


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  Willem Breuker 
  Lunchconcert for Three Amsterdam Street Organs  
  (BVHaast) 

   review by Brian Olewnick
  2004-02-17
Willem Breuker: Lunchconcert for Three Amsterdam Street Organs (BVHaast)

For some years, one of the odder recordings in my collections has been an LP issued by BVHaast in the early '80s called “The Busy Drone,” consisting of music by luminaries such as Breuker, Misha Mengelberg, Louis Andriessen and others written for Dutch street organs. These machines, which I guess still patrol Amsterdam byways, possibly are related to the American calliope tradition of the 19th century, although one imagines their Dutch cousins largely billowing out waltzes, hymns and light classical fare instead of circus tunes. The possibilities for avant-garde mischief offered by such creatures to the nascent Instant Composers Pool crowd were far too difficult to resist.

This disc at hand is largely a reissue, including the entirety of a long out of print Breuker album on the ICP label recorded in 1969, the two Breuker compositions from “The Busy Drone” (written in 1969-70, recorded in 1981) and a single new piece. The earliest sessions are a rough-hewn affair, recorded (appropriately enough) in the street with the accompanying fuzzy ambience, engine sounds and the comment of passersby. More, the music seems written by someone with little idea how to go about it. Much like a player piano, the street organs use a kind of perforated paper score fed through its innards. Breuker may have been trying to play things halfway, using his lack of technical knowledge in this field to produce some fairly brutal music and, if so, he succeeded. The compositions are strident and, despite small allusions to various popular and classical genres, largely unpleasant to hear. One would be hard pressed to identify the dedicatee of “In Memory of John Coltrane,” were the title not provided. He does get some rather jaunty, sarcastic rhythms going during “Before Og 15 KR II,” a fun little number. “Cross,” a mock religious processional, ventures into territory familiar to those who know Breuker’s soundtrack work from around this time for the films of Johan van der Keuken.

The two pieces from “The Busy Drone” are far more “accomplished” in a traditional sense, interpolating “Old Susanna,” the Hallelujah chorus and other favorites into waltz and march forms with Breuker’s standard panache. “Een Dagje Ouder (a little older)” also dates from 1970, though it was only recorded in 2003. It’s rickety (intentionally so), a little bit of a carnival joy ride on a fragile framework, tootling merrily along.

The problem is (and it’s no fault of the street organs!) the music just isn’t that rewarding. A fun, one-off project, I suppose, but that’s about it. Breuker completists will need it, but anyone looking to hear his work for the first time has about 30 or 40 albums to get before this one.





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