The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Cortex: Avant-Garde Party Music [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Cortex propels their persuasive, groove oriented approach to jazz with this swinging album that blends free jazz styles with great hard bop, in line with a band like The Thing, this Scandinavian group wants to make your body move without indulging in excess or pandering, instead following a muse that's solidly in the exuberant free jazz tradition. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / Barry Guy / Paul Lytton: Music For David Mossman (Intakt)

David Mossman is the founder of The Vortex Jazz Club in London, where in January 1983 the British trio of Evan Parker on sax, Barry Guy on bass, and Paul Lytton on drums recorded their first album together on the Incus label, "Tracks"; returning now, 43 years later, to pay tribute to the club and to record this absolutely impressive album of commanding free improvisation. ... Click to View


Amok Amor: We Know Not What We Do (Intakt)

An edgy, technically spectacular, inventive and slightly twisted jazz quartet of German-based free improvisers Christian Lillinger (drums), Petter Eldh (bass), Wanja Slavin (sax), with NY trumpeter Peter Evans (Mostly Other People Do the Killing) on trumpet, for 9 innovative compositions that thrill, amuse, and keep you on the edge of your seat. ... Click to View


Jurg Wickihalder / Barry Guy / Lucas Niggli: Beyond (Intakt)

A working trio formed from 3 generations of free jazz players dedicated to performing and recording, Jurg Wickihalder (sax), Barry Guy (bass) and Lucas Niggli (drums) spent two days at the Loft in Cologne, Germany recording this album of virtuosic skill and joyful playing, effortlessly passing from lyrical to abstract sections with always a song in their collective heart. ... Click to View


Eskelin / Weber / Griener: Sensations of Tone (Intakt)

Taking their title from a 19th century text by Hermann von Helmholtz on acoustics and perception of sound, the trio of NY saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, German drummer Michael Griener, and Swiss bassist Christian Weber present a a series of improvised pieces alternated with early jazz compositions, juxtaposing both approaches to highlight their similarities and the differences. ... Click to View


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

For more than 20 years Brazilian tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and New York pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in a diverse set of projects that have led to more than 30 albums; this first volume of 6 albums brings the two together with frequent collaborator William Parker for a 6 part work, fittingly dedicated to Saturn's largest moon, "Titan". ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (w/ Matthew Shipp / Bobby Kapp): The Art Of Perelman-Shipp Volume 2 Tarvos (Leo)

For more than 20 years Brazilian tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and New York pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in a diverse set of projects that have led to more than 30 albums; this second volume brings the duo together with legendary drummer Bobby Kapp, who's nimble and relaxed approach showcases himself and the duo of Pereleman Shipp with grace. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (w/ Matthew Shipp / William Parker / Whit Dickey): The Art Of Perelman-Shipp Volume 3 Pandora (Leo)

For more than 20 years Brazilian/NY saxophonist Ivo Perelman and NY pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in a diverse set of projects that have led to more than 30 albums; this 3rd volume celebrating that brings David S. Ware's (or Shipp's Trio) rhythm section the studio for a turbulent and ultimately fiersome album of free improv that only such long relationships can invoke. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (w/ Matthew Shipp / Michael Bisio): The Art Of Perelman-Shipp Volume 4 Hyperion (Leo)

For more than 20 years Brazilian/NY saxophonist Ivo Perelman and NY pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in a diverse set of projects that have led to more than 30 albums; this 4th volume celebrating that partnership adds another long-term compatriot, NY bassist Michael Bisio, for a 10 part series of improvisations exploring a diverse set of approaches. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (w/ Matthew Shipp / William Parker / Whit Dickey): The Art Of Perelman-Shipp Volume 5 Rhea (Leo)

For more than 20 years Brazilian/NY saxophonist Ivo Perelman and NY pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in a diverse set of projects that have led to more than 30 albums; this 5th volume celebrating that partnership brings the duo together with bassist William Parker and drummer Whit Dickey, where the long-term bonds of all 4 players push each to great heights. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (w/ Matthew Shipp): The Art Of Perelman-Shipp Volume 6 Saturn (Leo)

For more than 20 years Brazilian/NY saxophonist Ivo Perelman and NY pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in a diverse set of projects that have led to more than 30 albums; this 6th volume bring us back to the core, evoking the planet Saturn in a 10-part series of duos between these two masterful players, showing fire and angular playing in mid-tempo exploration. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman (w/ Matthew Shipp / Andrew Cyrille): The Art Of Perelman-Shipp Volume 7 Dione (Leo)

For more than 20 years Brazilian/NY saxophonist Ivo Perelman and NY pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in a diverse set of projects that have led to more than 30 albums; this 7th and final volume brings legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille together with the duo in a subtle album propelled by Cyrille's authoritative rhythms and superb interaction of all three players. ... Click to View


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", documenting sublimely beautiful and innovative playing with her trio of Lindsey Horner on bass and jazz legend Reggie Nicholson on drums, performing live in two concerts in Germany in 1993. ... Click to View


Michael Adkins Quartet (w/ Russ Lossing / Larry Grenadier / Paul Motion): Flaneur (Hatology)

Much is made of Canadian saxophonist Michael Adkin's mid-tempo approach to jazz, heard here in his 3rd album, "Flaneur", which translates to "stroller" or "saunterer", an apt description of the lyrical, unhurried yet technically adept and sophisticated approach taken by his quartet with Russ Lossing on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass and Paul Motian on drums. ... Click to View


Samuel Blaser Trio (w/ Marc Ducret / Peter Bruun): Taktlos Zurich 2017 (Hatology)

With a history of work in Switzerland, NY and Berlin, trombonist Samuel Blaser brings his multi-national trio with avant improvising guitarist Marc Ducret and Dutch drummer Peter Bruun to the stage of the Taktlos Festival in Zurich, Switzerland in 2017 for a set of extended improvisations, all three players displaying a unique language of incisive and fascinating free jazz. ... Click to View


Markus Eichenberger / Daniel Studer: Suspended (Hatology)

Swiss compatriots with a long history of creative approaches to improvisation, double bassist Daniel Studer and clarinetist & bass clarinetist Markus Eichenberger join together for a studio album recorded at Radio Zurich in 2016, an album of furtive tension and suspense, each track named for a motion or subtle action that they carefully describe. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / William Parker / Federico Ughi: The Dream [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

This album was developed to present Daniel Carter, typically a wind/reed/trumpeter player, on an album that included his piano playing, which then advanced by adding the goal of both Carter and long-time collaborator, drummer Federico Ughi, to record with bassist William Parker, who rounds out this excellent trio on bass, tuba and shakuhachi. ... Click to View


Sabir Mateen (w/ Steve Swell / Matt Lavelle / Matthew Heyner / Michael Thompson): Prophecies Come To Pass [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

Saxophonist Sabir Mateen's NY based Shapes, Textures, and Sound Ensemble with Steve Swell on trombone, Matt Lavelle on trumpet, Matthew Heyner on bass and Michael T.A. Thompson on drums, run though a gamut of post-bop and collective, creative jazz forms with energy, incredible dexterity, and tremendous group interplay, a great example of the modern spirit of jazz. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Demian Richardson / Matthew Putman / David Moss / Federico Ughi: The Gowanus Recordings [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

A unique collective jazz album drawing on science and math in 5 improvised works from the New York quintet of Daniel Carter on alto & tenor sax, clarinet and trumpet, Demian Richardson on trumpet, Matthew Putman on piano, Dave Moss on upright bass, and Federico Ughi on drums, in a limited edition LP with a download code; superlative playing in rich layers of interaction. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Federico Ughi: Extra Room [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

For more than 15 years multi-reedist, wind and trumpet player Daniel Carter and drummer Federico Ughi have collaborated in live performance and on record, here showing the results of their work in this duo album, the vinyl edition of their exceptional 2013 CD release that shows their melodic and technical sides, their jazz roots, and their warm camaraderie. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Patrick Holmes / Matthew Putman / Hilliard Greene / Federico Ughi: Telepathic Alliances [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

Recording in Brooklyn, the quintet of Daniel Carter on alto, soprano & tenor saxophones, Patrick Holmes on clarinet, Matthew Putman on piano, Hilliard Greene on bass, and Federico Ughi on drums bring together players of a very different backgrounds who share a nearly telepathic level of communication through free improv, in an album graced with Carter's poetry. ... Click to View


Donald McKenzie II Sturge Anthony (w/ Nels Cline, Arnold Lee, Melvin Gibbs, David Hofstra, Vernon Reid, CX Kidtronik): Silenced [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (577)

A six track album from drummer Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II written about the abuse of force from those charged to protect us, in a series of duos with amazing performances from guitarist Nels Cline, saxophonist Arnold Lee, bassist Melvin Gibbs, bassist Dave Hofstra, guitarist Vernon Reid, and drummer/keyboardist CX KIDTRONIX; disturbing and important work. ... Click to View


Federico Ughi (Ughi / Irwin / Snyder / Adu / Swanson): Heart Talk [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (577)

New York drummer Federico Ughi in a band with long time collaborator David Schnug on sax, Mike Irwin on trumpet, and Jeff Snyder on electronics, more of a creative jazz album than electric, with Leila Adu on vocals and Zach Swanson on bass on 2 tracks each; informed, intelligent and lyrical free improvisation from a tight-knit group of superb players. ... Click to View


Gabriele Meirano / Xu Fengxia: New Vintage Sessions [CDr + DOWNLOAD] (577)

A collaboration between the China based Italian pianist Gabriele Meirano and the Berlin based Chinese musician Xu Fengxia, a pioneer in combining Chinese music with improvisation; the two first played together when Peter Brotzmann invited them to join him in a trio concert at the Shanghai Art Center in 2011, here in a duo that fuses Far East sounds and the blues. ... Click to View


Grant Weston Calvin / Lucas Brode: Flying Kites [CD + DOWNLOAD] (577)

A powerful recording that features heavy, intricate and deep grooves from Philadelphian Grant Calvin Weston (Ornette Coleman's Prime Time) on drums, percussion and synths and Lucas Brode on guitars, effects and loops, a great album of creative improvisation that blends fusion-oriented playing balanced with modern sound collage and atmospheric moments. ... Click to View


Gabriele Meirano / Federico Ughi: Coordinate Orientali [CD + DOWNLOAD] (577)

A duo between two Italian born improvisers--New York based drummer and 577 Label leader Federico Ughi, and pianist Gabriele Meirano, active in the London jazz club scene for more than a decade--for an album of insightful free jazz in a dialog that shows both thoughtful and challenging moments in an open-minded, ultimately lyrical conversation between two like-minded players. ... Click to View


Nick Mazzarella / Tomeka Reid: Signaling (NESSA)

A fully and freely improvised duo from Chicago artists Nick Mazzarella on alto saxophone and Tomeka Reid on cello, using flowing and long lyrical lines with an unhurried sense of depth and richness even in the most complicated of runs, and playful inventiveness throughout, opening the album with a tribute to the duo work of Julius Hemphill and Abdul Wadud. ... Click to View


Amy Denio: The Big Embrace (Spoot)

Her 10th solo album is a welcome addition to composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio's catalog, introducing 16 new songs, instrumental works, and general quirky superlative music that looks at life with a sharply optimistic eye and a joyful melody in her heart, taking delight in the banal and focusing criticism on the inane; wonderful! ... Click to View


David Myers Lee: Ether Music (Starkland)

Best known for his work under the name Arcane Device in the 80s and 90s, New York sound artist David Lee Myers carves a unique path in electronics and what he refers to as "feedback music", developing unique approaches and instruments to generate distinctive forms of electronic music, here in a 10 track album of stunningly beautiful and mysterious sound. ... Click to View


Sainct Laurens (Pierre-Yves Martel / Philippe Lauzier): Volume 2 [VINYL] (Etrons)

Using circular breathing and continuous sound, the Montreal duo of clarinetist and saxophonist Philippe Lauzier and Pierre-Yves Martel on viola da gamba, objects & feedback is a concentrative album of understated but definitive sound that develops with a profound level of precision and control, using suspense, tension, release and confidence in each other's unusual dialog. ... Click to View


  •  •  •    Join Our Mailing List!



The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales



  In the Air There's a Feeling of Boombox  

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night Marks its 10th Anniversary


By Kurt Gottschalk
Photo by Zak Sherzad 2003-01-08

Phil Kline Phil Kline was standing on a bench in Washington Square, shouting to a crowd that had grown to thirty times the size when he began his annual avant Christmas pageant in 1991.

The rules were few: press play on your boombox (if you have one) on three, and follow him across town to Tompkins Square.

"Should we turn off our cell phones?" someone yelled back.

"I don't care," he replied. "They sound great."

Later, city sounds, traffic noise, diesel brakes and conversations from passers by would all become part of the roving installation. It's almost as if the city is bordering on breaking into song, car horns punctuating an arhythm through an East Village rendering of "Silver Bells."

Kline counted to three and together the assembled pressed 'play.' The effect was immediate. A New York City park becomes a holiday haven, a quiet, heavenly, surreal space. There actually is something magical about it. And spreading a little cheer might be the only thing left that would shock fashionably nonplussed New Yorkers. It's a Christmas tradition for a cynical, and not entirely Christian, city.

New York is a city of transplants, different cultures, different religions, and different levels of attachment to the beliefs brought with them. It's a place where Pakistani restaurants have prayer and meditation rooms for cab drivers to use during long shifts, and where parts of the prevailing Jewish population disparage others as "conveniently Kosher," becoming devout only on the high holidays.

Kline describes himself as "ethnically Christian." It's a spiritual nuance he said he envies in Jewish friends, and which people raised in Christian homes (he hails from the heartland, having grown up in Akron, Ohio) don't claim as eloquently: retaining the cultural aspects of a religious tradition without holding on to the more devout practices.

And, in a sense, being ethnically Christian is what led him eleven years ago to organize a group of friends and walk through Greenwich Village with two dozen boomboxes playing ethereal, angelic sounds to celebrate Christmas.

The motivation was to "do something that's about Christmas that's not about buying gifts, getting plane tickets, hating your parents," he said. "I thought 'Let's do something to put the magic back.'"

In the ensuing years, the soundtrack to his Unsilent Night has been revised, but the concept hasn't changed: a prerecorded Christmas caroling parade, tape recorders playing church bells, choirs and celestial sounds. There's a recording of a12th-century chant incorporated in his soundtrack, as well as a hymn by Martin Luther. "There are no bits of "Silent Night," however.

"In the first one there were, but they were so buried in the mix no one would ever know," he said.

Call it New Age with an edge. The tape recorders, dispersed through the crowd, create a formless, constantly changing soundscape, and because they don't all play at the same speed, and can be further affected by the cold, dissonance and overtones resonate as the boomboxes become increasingly out of sync.

Unsilent Night has been performed by groups working with Kline's permission across the US and Canada, and as far as Berlin. Kline makes tapes available to anyone willing to pay shipping and organize the night.

"I decided from the get-go that this piece should always be free," he said. "How can you charge someone to go Christmas caroling?"

Like the recording, the parade route underwent several revisions before settling on its Washington Square - to - Tompkins Square route, crossing from the West Village to the East Village in about 45 minutes.

At this season's parade on December 14, Kline led nearly 600 people in his DIY rite, gathering a group who heard about it through his email list, local press, and word of mouth. Most came without boomboxes, relying on the two dozen he brought (in 11 years, he's only lost one, and had two given to him after one parade).

The numbers were bolstered by a crew of drunken Santas, members of a noisy anarchist group calling themselves "Santacon." In the last few years, The parade has grown far too big for traffic laws to easily apply (and Kline doesn't go through the process of getting a parade permit). Now, self-appointed crossing guards stop traffic to let the carolers cross.

As the parade wound through the streets, reactions varied from eyes lighting up to confusion to holiday road rage and Village denizens too cool to let on they've noticed. With a wide grin across his face, Kline stopped at the entry to Tompkins Square -- a park famous for drum circles, homeless riots and young punkers asking for spare change -- and watched his flock walk past.

"It's not just any Christmas party," he said quietly.



The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


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



Gabriele Meirano /
Federico Ughi:
Coordinate Orientali
[CD + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Daniel Carter /
William Parker /
Federico Ughi:
The Dream
[VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Sabir Mateen
w/ Steve Swell /
Matt Lavelle /
Matthew Heyner /
Michael Thompson):
Prophecies Come To Pass
[VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Donald McKenzie II Sturge Anthony
(w/ Nels Cline,
Arnold Lee,
Melvin Gibbs,
David Hofstra,
Vernon Reid,
CX Kidtronik):
Silenced
[CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Sainct Laurens
Pierre-Yves Martel /
Philippe Lauzier):
Volume 2
[VINYL]
(Etrons)



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



Nick Mazzarella /
Tomeka Reid:
Signaling
(NESSA)



David Myers Lee:
Ether Music
(Starkland)



Amy Denio:
The Big Embrace
(Spoot)



Lasse Marhaug:
Void
[7"]
(BeCoq)



Thanos Chrysakis:
Equinox
(Aural Terrains)



Tom Cora:
Live At
The Western Front
(Klanggalerie)



Gard Nilssen's
Acoustic Unity :
Live in Europe
[VINYL 3 LPs + 3 CDs]
(Clean Feed)



The Heat Death
(Moster /
Kuchen /
Aleklint /
Hyouer, Andersen):
The Glenn Miller
Sessions
[3 CDs]
(Clean Feed)



Nick Millevoi's
Desertion Trio
(w/ Jamie Saft):
Midtown Tilt
(Shhpuma)



Tree Ear
(Strinning /
Troller /
Hemingway):
Witches Butter
[VINYL]
(Clean Feed)



Szilard Mezei Trio
(w/ Malina /
Csik):
Cink
(FMR)



Rose /
Kellers /
Roder:
New World
(FMR)



Paul Dunmall /
Percy Pursglove /
Tony Orrell:
Nothing in Stone
(FMR)







Squidco
Click here to
advertise with
The Squid's Ear






The Squid's Ear pays its writers.
Interested in becoming a reviewer?




The Squid's Ear is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !


  Copyright © 2016 Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (25987)