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Alexandra Grimal / Benjamin Duboc / Valentin Ceccaldi: Bambu (Ayler)

An unusual and captivating work from the trio of saxophonist Alexandra Grimal, double bassist Benjaim Duboc, and cellist Valentin Ceccaldi, leading their album with tracks from "Respirer l'ombre" by Giuseppe Penone "spontaneously used without permission but with great admiration," leading to powerful and unpredictable directions in free improvisation; excellent. ... Click to View


Daunik Lazro / Jean-Luc Cappozzo / Didier Lasserre: Garden(s) (Ayler)

The trio of Daunik Lazro on baritone and tenor saxophone, Jean-Luc Cappozzo on trumpet & flugelhorn and Didier Lasserre on drums, alternate jazz standards from Duke Ellington (Sophisticated Lady; Hop Head), John Coltrane (Lonnie's Lament), Albert Ayler (Angels), with original compositions and the 3-part "Garden", all in the varied traditions of jazz. ... Click to View


Kyle Bruckmann Degradient: Dear Everyone [2 CDs] (Not Two)

West Coast oboist and english horn improviser composes a startlingly enjoyable work based on Matt Shears' book of recursive, encyclopedic poetry of the same name: 10 pieces colliding elements of skronk, spoken word, fried electroacoustic noise and dark prog within a Creative Music framework, with a core quartet of Aram Shelton, Jason Hoopes and Jordan Glenn, plus guest Weston Olencki and a large cast of readers. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp / Gerald Cleaver: The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 3 (Leo)

The 3rd part of NY/Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman's "Art of the Improv Trio" series, with Matthew Shipp on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, each an essential element in the interplay and subtle skills of these masterful players, with Perelman's voice exceptionally strong as he demonstrates the full range of his sax through free and melodic passage. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Joe Morris / Gerald Cleaver: The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 5 (Leo)

... Click to View


Simon Nabatov Trio: Picking Order (Leo)

Drawing from the spirit of free jazz, pianist Simon Nabatov's new trio with Dominik Mahnig on drums and Stefan Schonegg on bass, are caught live at the LOFT in Cologne, Germany in 2015 for a superb concert of jazz that balances captivating lyrical material with exciting free passages, taking unexpected directions that constantly engage. ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro: Sometimes (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

The MaDam Electroacoustic Improvisation Collective based in Spain performs the first in Pisaro's 34 piece Harmony Series, which attempts to create the conditions for a harmonic situation without giving any actual notes, just numbers, durations of tones, and pauses; this work is based on "swell piece (for alison knowles)" (1967) by James Tenney. ... Click to View


Burkhard Schlothauer : More Chamber Events [2CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Composer Burkhard Schlothauer, co-founder of Editions Wandelweiser and a member of Zeitkratzer and the Wandwelweiser Composers Ensemble, in a five part work conceived as a single part, combining previous works into various possible versions as "events", working with spatial distribution, slow beats, noise, and pulse, superimposed from their origins. ... Click to View


Maria de Alvear / Antoine Beuger ‎: Besando El Tiempo [2CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

... Click to View


Skogen / Magnus Granberg: 'Ist gefallen in den Schnee' (2010) and 'Despairs had Governed Me Too Long' (2012) [double CD reissue] (Another Timbre)

Ist gefallen in den Schnee: A piece by Swedish composer-pianist Magnus Granberg, performed with Angharad Davies, Anna Lindal, Leo Svensson Sander, John Eriksson, Erik Carlsson, Henrik Olsson, Petter Wastberg and Toshimaru Nakamura; Despairs: A beautiful extended composition exquisitely played by an ensemble of fine musicians. ... Click to View


Lawrence Casserley / Jeffrey Morgan: Exoplanets (Creative Sources)

Two enounters between UK electroacoustic composer and performer Lawrence Casserly on his Signal Processing Instrument and American free jazz alto saxophonist Jefrrey Morgan, recording both in the studio in Cologne, Germany in 2016, and in concert at The Loft; a rich, subtle, and detailed astronomical encounter blending stellar electronics responsive extended playing. ... Click to View


Farhadian / Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Kurvers / Torres: De-Col//age_ (Creative Sources)

An unusual improvising string quartet with alto saxophone, Thea Farhadian (violin), Ernesto Rodrigues (viola), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello), Klaus Kurvers (double bass) and Nuno Torres (alto saxophone) present the 11-part "De-col//age_", a slowly-developing work balancing unconventional approaches to their instruments to conventional passages. ... Click to View


Ilia Belorukov / Ernesto Rodrigues / Nuno Torres: Tak Prosto (Creative Sources)

Two recordings from the lowercase acoustic improvising trio of Portuguese players Ernesto Rodriduges on viola and Nuno Torres on alto saxophone and objects with Saint Petersburg alto saxophonist Ilia Belorukov, recording at Belorukov's Spina! label's studio, and again live at Vertikal' Gallery in Saint Petersburg in 2016. ... Click to View


Warble & MDuo : Ama (Creative Sources)

Two improvising duos that share one person and joined as a trio: Berlin musician Miako Klein on recorders, Warble being Klein and NY/Berlin trumpeter Brad Henkel, the two exploring their instruments through close amplification; Mduo is Klein & NY/Berlin percussionist Michael Weilacher using extended techniques and strange actions. ... Click to View


Eric Revis: Sing Me Some Cry (Clean Feed)

Double Bassist Eric Revis expands his concepts in this outstanding album with fellow New Yorkers, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Chad Taylor, and Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark on tenor saxophone, with all four players providing compositions that push the limit on structure and form while opening up the players to superb soloing settings of great modern jazz. ... Click to View


Max Johnson: In The West (Clean Feed)

New York bassist Max Johnson expands his piano trio of Kris Davis on piano and Mike Pride on drums with Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar, adding an eclectic Western flavor to overall on-point, anchored and driven modern jazz of a high order, balancing lyrical playing with moments of free collective playing, in a beautiful and extraordinary album. ... Click to View


Nate Wooley: Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry for Aram Saroyan) (Clean Feed)

Pronounced as "knife", this new project from NY trumpeter Nate Wooley brings together Chris Pitsiokos on alto sax, Brandon Lopez on bass, and Dre Hocevar on drums in a fresh take on the concepts of free jazz, using short material composed by Wooley and based on the poetry of Aram Saroyan, used in looping and repeating structures that never sound as such. ... Click to View


Rob Mazurek: Rome (Clean Feed)

Rob Mazurek solo works are brilliant displays of honest, lyrical and emotional playing, here recording in Rome for Radio Roma, bringing the cornet to the foreground, starting with a piece only on the horn, then adding electronics, piano, and prepared piano for a set of ethereal and spiritual improvisations that are not bound by any specific genre. ... Click to View


LAMA + Joachim Badenhorst: Metamorphosis (Clean Feed)

A superb example of contemporary collective improvisation crossing from acoustic improvisation into electroacoustic material from the quartet of Joachim Badenhorst on clarinets, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Goncalo Almeida on double bass, keyboards & effects, and Greg Smith on drums & laptop, performing live at Jazzcase series Dommelhof, 2016. ... Click to View


Platform (Xavier Charles / Katrine Schiott / Jan Martin Gismervik / Jonas Cambien): Flux Reflux (Clean Feed)

The 2nd recorded outing of this Oslo based improvising quartet, comprised of 3 young Norwegian players -- Katrine Shiott (cello), Jan Martin Gismervik (drums), and Jonas Cambien (piano & keys) -- with French clarinetist Xavier Charles, performing subtle collective improvisation using extended techniques, eclectic percussion, and piano preparations. ... Click to View


Roots Magic: Last Kind Words (Clean Feed)

Deep Blues and Creative Jazz from the Italian septet Roots Magic, following up their "Hoodoo Magic" CD with another compelling album of instrumentals where the track list consists of personal renditions of Delta Blues classics (mostly Charlie Patton) played with an overtly exploratory attitude derived from the Free Jazz tradition. ... Click to View


Vitor Rua and The Metaphysical Angels: Do Androids Dream of Electric Guitars? [2CDs] (Clean Feed)

A central figure in the Portuguese creative music scene, from the pop group GNR to free improv in Telectu to contemporary composition, guitarist Vitor Rua presents a 2-CD album, one multi-tracking solo in complex and astonishing ways, and the 2nd playing the same scores with his group The Metaphysical Angels of top figures in the Portuguese avant jazz scene. ... Click to View


Mind Games (Niescier / Maroney / Ilgenfritz / Drury): Ephemera Obscura (Clean Feed)

A unconventional yet lyrical album of creative jazz from the New York quartet of Angelika Niescier on alto sax, Denman Maroney on hyperpiano, James Ilgenfritz on contrabass, and Andrew Drury on percussion, Maroney's piano preparations and Drury's objects complementing complex time signatures and intricate notated materials that yield lush, beautiful music. ... Click to View


Luis Martins Jose: Tentos - Invencoes E Encantamentos (Shhpuma)

Luis Jose Martins uses classical guitar, prepared guitar, electronics, and percussion in a solo album of incredible detail and lyrical, beautiful playing of original compositions that blend his playing with modern techniques and electronics into melodic masterpieces, performed in the natural resonance of the church of the convent of S. Bento in Avis. ... Click to View


Big Bold Back Bone (Marco von Orelli / Sheldon Suter / Luis Lopes: In Search Of The Emerging Species (Shhpuma)

Swiss musicians, trumpeter Marco Von Orelli and drummer Sheldon Suter and their Portuguese partners, guitarist Luis Lopes and electronics artist Travassos, in an album of unconventional collective improvisation using extended techniques in a large work of evolving, subtle interactions, magnifying sound and gesture in an engrossing sonic environment. ... Click to View


Raphael Vanoli: Bibrax (Shhpuma)

Amsterdam guitarist Raphael Vanoli in a solo record of discovery, hiper-amplifying his guitar so that slight motions create forceful statements, where gently blowing on the strings creates dynamics and harmonics rarely explored, effected to create complex sonic compositions with unique, unusual and fascinating properties. ... Click to View


Kokotob (Taiko Saito / Niko Meinhold / Tobias Schirmer): Flying Heart (Clean Feed)

Japanese vibraphonist and marimba player Taiko Saito is a contemporary classical player well established in the field of improv, joined by long-time collaborator, pianist Niko Meinhold, and here expanded with Tobias Schirmer on clarinet and bass clarinet for an album that uses solid compositional foundations for lyrical and contemplative modern music. ... Click to View


Jonah Parzen-Johnson : I Try To Remember Where I Come (Clean Feed)

Chicago born, Brooklyn-based saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson performs live at The Bunker on baritone saxophone, accompanying himself on analog synthesizer, using arpeggiated and repeating structures over which he improvises lyrical work using extended techniques including circular breathing, multiphonics, and overtones to great effect. ... Click to View


Keith Rowe / Michael Pisaro: 13 Thirteen [2 CDs] (erstwhile)

A collaboration between composer Michael Pisaro and AMM guitarist/improviser Keith Rowe, with each bringing scores which they improvised over, creating 13 discrete sections including samples from Shostakovich's 13th String Quartet, balancing activity, space and silence in patient ways that only two such experienced composer/improvisers could. ... Click to View


Graham Lambkin / Taku Unami: The Whistler [2 CDs] (erstwhile)

Sound artists Graham Lambkin and Taku Unami create two large works using material which they recorded together, and then which independently assembled into a single CD each, with "Whistler Vanishes in Wind" composed by Taku Unami, and "Small Mistakes in Nature" by Graham Lambkin, both fascinating collages that alternately distract and absorb the listener. ... Click to View


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Reviews of artist releases:
cd's, books, magazines, &c.
Hoahio - Peek-ara-boo  (Tzadik);
Haco and Hiromichi Sakamoto - Ash in the Rainbow  (Detector/ReR)
Yesterday’s Heroes - 1979  (La Louche)

Without cutting short a 13-year career, singer and popstress Haco might have hit her peak with Ohayo! Hoahio!, released by Tzadik in 2000. Its blend of koto, sine wave, electronics and the catchy melodies she’s been mining since her days leading After Dinner was nearly perfect, more fully formed than Hoahio’s first disc and glossier than her previous projects.

The group’s third record, Peek-ara-boo, finds Haco and Michiyo Yagi (one of the best avant koto player around, and there are others) joined by percussionist Mari Era, who takes the place of departed sine wave maven Sachiko M. With light percussion and ringing tones, Hoahio come off as more of a pop band, and unabashedly so. The album opens with the rocking groove “DJ Hashimoto,” which is as good as anything on Ohayo! From there they work more or less like the old band, with delicate koto songs, odd little interludes and great off-kilter pop, augmented by nice textures from the percussionist’s vibraphone, bass marimba and bamboo xylophone. Even with the bar as high as they set it, Peek-ara-boo more than satisfies.


Haco is capable of gallons of tenderness and melancholy, and it’s in full effect on her collaboration with cellist and composer Hiromichi Sakamoto. Ash in the Rainbow is a set of songs she composed around Sakamoto’s 1999 album Zero-shiki, saying she found melodies buried within his sound constructions, and then remixed and edited it into a new work (bringing Mari Era in to round out the sound). His soundtracks are perfect for her sad songs, and the pairing works easily. Like Bjork or Tricky, Haco often floats her vocals above a soundscape with little or no direct musical support. The tracks aren’t far from Hoahio’s recordings, although occasionally – as on “Airhead” – she gets pushed in new directions. The strings, singing saws and electronic whooshes make Rainbow one of her best releases, and aside of After Dinner and Hoahio probably her best. In a just world, it would carry a “contains the hit single ‘Zero Hills’ sticker on the shrinkwrap.


Yesterday’s Heroes is a project perfectly realized by Haco and Terre Thaemlitz, although it is by it’s nature mediocre. The title, 1979, refers to the year we are to imagine the record came out, and on the title track (also “Yesterday’s Heroes,” a nod to band theme songs of the time) Haco intones “We don’t want to be/Yesterday’s heroes” over a scratchy “Whiter Shade of Pale” backing track. That spills into “New Wave, New Days,” the band’s icy call to arms. Elsewhere there are such small tributes as a Kraftwerkesque vocoder and a buried “O Superman” vocal pulse and plenty of vinyl pops. Haco and Thaemlitz have reimagined the forgotten bands of the 1980s (it sounds more like 1982 than 1979, but perhaps Yesterday’s Heroes are the fantasy forgotten forebears to groups like Altered Images, Missing Persons and Human Sexual Response). They work the beat-driven electronics and cold female vocals, the sort of stuff that would become alt dance music a few years later – in fact, what might have influenced After Dinner in the early ’80s. There’s even an homage to their would-have-been followers Men Without Hats with a short, sparse cover of their “No Dancing.” Many’s the musician that goes back to their roots. In a curious way, Yesterday’s Heroes became them.

- Kurt Gottschalk



Hoahio - Peek-ara-boo is On Sale at Squidco - Click Here!

Haco and Hiromichi Sakamoto - Ash in the Rainbow is On Sale at Squidco - Click Here!

Yesterday’s Heroes - 1979



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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Ivo Perelman /
Matthew Shipp /
Gerald Cleaver:
The Art Of
The Improv Trio
Volume 3
(Leo)



Kyle Bruckmann Degradient:
Dear Everyone
[2 CDs]
(Not Two)



Alexandra Grimal /
Benjamin Duboc /
Valentin Ceccaldi:
Bambu
(Ayler)



Burkhard Beins /
Lucio Capece /
Martin Kuchen /
Paul Vogel:
Fracture Mechanics
(Mikroton Recordings)



Eric Revis:
Sing Me Some Cry
(Clean Feed)



Mind Games
(Niescier /
Maroney /
Ilgenfritz /
Drury):
Ephemera Obscura
(Clean Feed)



LAMA + Joachim Badenhorst:
Metamorphosis
(Clean Feed)



Max Johnson:
In The West
(Clean Feed)



Nate Wooley:
Knknighgh
(Minimal Poetry
for Aram Saroyan)
(Clean Feed)



Luis Martins Jose:
Tentos -
Invencoes E
Encantamentos
(Shhpuma)



IKB :
Dracaena Draco
[2 CDs]
(Creative Sources)



Mazen Kerbaj /
Ernesto Rodrigues /
Guilherme Rodrigues /
Carlos Santos /
Sharif Sehnaoui :
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Ernesto Rodrigues /
Guilherme Rodrigues /
Nuno Torres /
Rodrigo Pinheiro /
Naoto Yamagishi:
Mizutekiteki
(Creative Sources)



Andreas Pollak /
Johan Graden:
Terror Of
Positivity
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Scarassatti /
Rodrigues /
Rodrigues /
Torres:
Amoa Hi
(Creative Sources)



Ulrike Brand /
Olaf Rupp:
Shadowscores
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Bill Orcutt:
Bill Orcutt
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Rhodri Davies /
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Bob Drake:
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(Recommended Records)







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