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Anthony Braxton Saxophone Quartet:
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A complement to the New Braxton House Lorraine box, these live performances of Anthony Braxton's Lorraine system are performed in four European cities by Braxton himself on alto, soprano & sopranino saxophones, James Fei on sopranino & alto saxophones, Chris Jonas on alto & tenor saxophonse, Ingrid Laubrock on soprano & tenor saxophones, and Andre Vida on baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton :
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Thirteen years after his breakthrough solo saxophone album For Alto, Anthony Braxton is heard in an inventive solo concert on the same instrument, performing at the Altes Schlachthaus Theatre in Bern, Switzerland for a set of original numbered compositions, the standards "Alone Together" and "I Remember You", and two Coltrane pieces: "Giant Steps" and "Naima". ... Click to View


Simon Nabatov:
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Composer and pianist Simon Nabatov sets to music two major works of modern Russian literature - Mikhail Bulgakov's The Fatal Eggs and Heart of a Dog, each interpretation spanning an album's worth of material and performed with an extraordinary septet of chamber jazz performers through piano, sax, trombone, viola, cellos, bass and drums. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp:
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A standout in the many collaborations between New York pianist Matthew Shipp and Brazil-born, NY-based tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, recording in the studio for eight elegantly lyrical improvisations that invoke both devotional and decisive dialogs, from an introspective "Prayer" to a dissipated "Lustihood", a spellbinding set of fraternal invocations. ... Click to View


Modney (Modney / Wooley / Gentile / Roberts / Pluta / Symthe / ...):
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aExploring tuning systems and the extremes of harmonicity and dissonance through compositions that employ prime numbers of players in solo, trio, quintet, septet, and undectet (11) configurations, violinist Modney takes listeners into transcendent and turbulent spaces spanning improvisation and composition, detailed in a 24-page booklet with collages from Ellsworth Kelly. ... Click to View


David Leon:
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An exotic album of improvised music with a wide focus, founded in saxophonist David Leon's interest in Afrocuban folkloric music, expanded through DoYeon Kim's gayagum, a traditional 12-string Korean zither, and punctuated with the exploratory drumming, percussion and glockenspiel of Lesley Mok; assertively unpredictable and continuously intriguing improv. ... Click to View


Barry Chabala / Clara Byom:
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The first meeting between two improvisers also versed in contemporary and avant music - guitarist Barry Chabala and clarinetist and accordionist Claray Byom - recording live at The Jean Cocteau Cinema, in Santa Fe, New Mexico as part of the Sandbox Music Series, for five freely improvised works that include radio, objects, iPhone and toys as part of their expansive dialogs. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Madeira / Taylor / Parrinha / Taubenfeld / Carmelo / Trinite:
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In four parts this primarily acoustic octet of Lisbon improvisers evolve a deceptive narrative of collective interaction, highly textured through rich combinations that emerge and subside throughout the natural development of their converstations; with Ernesto & Guilherme Rodriguez, João Madeira, Noel Taylor, Bruno Parrinha, Ziv Tuabenfeld, Guilherme Carmelo and Monsieur Trinite. ... Click to View


Zosha Warpeha :
Silver Dawn (Relative Pitch)

A beautifully contemplative collection of vignettes performed on solo Hardanger d'amore, a sympathetic-stringed relative of the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, from Brooklyn improviser and composer Zosha Warpeha, in 13 works of thoughtfully spacious playing utilizing the resonance and rich texture of the Hardanger fiddle in works that seemingly suspend time despite beguiling momentum. ... Click to View


Christoph Gallio / Roger Turner:
You Can Blackmail Me Later (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

During a sabbatical in London, Swiss saxophonist Christoph Gallio (Day & Taxi) renewed his friendship with percussionist Roger Turner, with whom he had performed in a trio with Urs Leimgruber; meeting at Turner's London flat, they developed the spontaneous language heard on this freely improvised album, Gallio on soprano, alto & C-melody saxophones and Turner on drums & distinctive percussive devices. ... Click to View


Alex Hendriksen / Fabian Gisler / Paul Amereller:
Lotus Blossom (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Unabashedly lyrical and focused on jazz tradition, the Swiss trio of Alex Hendriksen on tenor saxophone, Fabian Gisler on double bass and Paul Amereller on drums present an album of standards, including pieces by Tadd Dameron, Billy Strayhorn, Jerome Kern, Thelonious Monk and Benny Golson, warmly interpreted with extraordinary band interplay and individual soloing. ... Click to View


Nick Dunston:
Colla Voce (Out Of Your Head Records)

A wild "Afro-Surrealist Anti-Opera" from composer & bassist Nick Dunston, performed with an ensemble of string players (including JACK Quartet) and vocalists, in a gripping hybrid of acoustic and electronic music, using the studio for post-processing to create Dunston's self-described "warped narrative", an understatement for this incredibly passionate, surreal and absolutely impressive work. ... Click to View


Carlos Bechegas / Ernesto Rodrigues / Carlos Santos:
Echoing The Chorus Of Life (Creative Sources)

Lisbon contemporary flutist and improviser Carlos Bechegas, an associate of Carlos Zingaro and his electroacoustic trio, joins violist Ernesto Rodrigues and long-time collaborator Carlos Santos in a uniquely electronic, chamber-oriented, mysteriously crepuscular improvisation captured live at Casa do Comum, Lisbon, Portugal during the 2024 "SpectraLx" event. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi / Johan Berthling / Andreas Werliin:
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Driven by compelling rhythms and subtle interactions that wind around them, the trio of guitarist Oren Ambarchi, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin expand their Ghosted concept in this second album, four diverse pieces fusing "funk-jazz heads, polyrhythmic skeletons, ambient pastorals, post-kraut drones and shimmering soundtrack reveries". ... Click to View


Ryuichi Yoshida :
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Known for his band Blacksheep, along with Gatos Meeting, OKHP, Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo, The Silence, and Missing Link, &c., Japanese baritone saxophonist steps out solo for twelve works, eight improvisations and four compositions, blurring the line between approaches, executed with Yoshida's rich tone, multiphonic accents, and powerful sonic pressure on the big reed. ... Click to View


Liam Hockley (Avram / Chrysakis / Dumitrescu / Radulescu):
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Canadian clarinetist Liam Hockley, a dedicated advocate for new and experimental music, performs compositions on a relatively obscure member of the clarinet family, the basset horn, alone and in layers of up to seven horns, in pieces from Romanian spectral composers Ana Maria Avram, Iancu Dumitrescu, and Horatiu Radulescu, along with a contemporary work by Thanos Chrysakis. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith:
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The core duet of the Boston collective Leap of Faith Orchestra comprised of David Peck on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, are joined by bassist Albey onBass, drummer Eric Rosenthal, guitarist Tor Snyder and brass player John Fugarino, making a strong sextet with a powerful string section in this extended improvisation. ... Click to View


Ensemble 5 (Geisser / Blumer / Staub / Morgenthaler / Dell):
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The long-running quartet of percussionist Heinz Geisser, bassist Fridolin Blumer, pianist Reto Staub and trombonist Robert Morgenthaler have for years extended their 4-tet with a 5th guest, here asking vibraphonist Christopher Dell to join them in the studio after a successful live performance in the spring of 2022, capturing this spectacular, wide-ranging example of collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Kenny Dorham:
Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia To Matador - Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Revisiting and remastering two essential albums from New York hard bop trumpeter Kenny Dorham, a tremendous musican who died much too young but left a legacy of 20 albums as a leader, here in his 1956 Blue Note album in a sextet that included Bobby Timmons and Kenny Burrell, and his 1963 United Artists Jazz album in a quintet with Jackie McLean, Bobby Timmons, Teddy Smith and JC. Moses. ... Click to View


Silvan Schmid / Tom Wheatley / Eddie Prevost:
The Wandering One - High Laver Levitation Volume 2 (Matchless)

A live recording of freely improvised improv captured at All Hallows Church in High Laver, Essex in 2023 from the trio of AMM drummer and Matchless label-leader Eddie Prévost, Zürich and Maastricht trumpeter Silvan Shmid, and London double bassist Tom Wheatley of the group Widdershins, heard in three investigative conversations of great creative drive. ... Click to View


Natsuki Tamura / Jim Black:
NatJim (Libra)

Right out of the gate one feels the energy and excitement between Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and NY drummer Jim Black, each pushing the other through strong instrumental character and outrageous technique over nine Tamura compositions recorded in the studio in Switzerland, their first recording in 25 years since their 1999 Buzz Records album White and Blue. ... Click to View


Joe Mcphee / Ken Vandermark:
Musings of a Bahamian Son: Poems and Other Words (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

27 concise poems written and read by saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, punctuated by 9 musical interludes between McPhee on soprano sax and Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark on clarinet and bass, fortifying McPhee's captivating words that mix life observations among jazz references to Dolphy, Monk, Brötzmann, Coleman, &c.; a truly embraceable "book" of poetry. ... Click to View


Birgit Ulher:
Split Friction - Audiovisual Works [BOOK] (Private)

Published on the occasion of Birgit Ulher's exhibition Split Friction at Errant Sound in Berlin from November 24-26, 2023, an interdisciplinary project spanning the intersection between exhibition, video, performance, concert and sound installation, documented in this 96 page full-color book with images from the installation, graphic scores, and essays in English & German. ... Click to View


STHLM svaga:
Plays Carter, Plays Mitchell, Plays Shepp (thanatosis produktion)

The Swedish free jazz septet STHLM svaga work at the liminal edges of delicate improvisation and song, for this album commissioning works from Archie Shepp, Ron Carter and Roscoe Mitchell, Carter traveling to Stockholm to provide guidance on his composition "Desert Lament"; the band also performs Coltrane's "Jupiter" and Per Henrik Wallin's piece "Winter Rhapsody". ... Click to View


Bob Drake:
The Room In The Tower (Crumbling Tones)

A great set of 11 succinct songs and instrumentals from multi-instrumentalist, prog icon Bob Drake of Thinking Plague, The Science Group, VRIL, and Peter Blegvad fame, vignettes that play with pop formats in insidious ways around recurring Drake themes including a Planet of Dogs, three rustic tales, and a perturbing room in the tower, all noted in a colored foldout poster with lyrics. ... Click to View


Space (Ullen / Bergman / Lund):
Embrace the Space (Relative Pitch)

A startlingly exciting album of piano trio jazz from three creative innovators, in the followup to the 2022 debut of the Swedish Space Trio of Lisa Ullen on piano, Elsa Bergman on double bass and Anna Lund on drums, recording in the studio for eight collective improvisations of extremely well matched, highly interactive and exhilarating modern improv. ... Click to View


Yedo Gibson:
Conic Tube (Relative Pitch)

Born in São Paulo, Brazil and working in Amsterdam and Lisbon, and also part of the London Improvisers Orchestra, Yedo Gibson unleashes an album of solo improvisation on the soprano and tenor saxophones, his "conic tubes" which he uses to express the potential to change environment and energy through technically impressive, expressive playing. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues:
Intenso como o Mar (Creative Sources)

With the nearly telepathic communication that only a father & son duo could have, Lisbon violist and Creative Sources label leader Ernesto Rodridgues and cellist Guilherme Rodrigues recorded these two string improvisations live at Cossoul in Lisbon during the "Esta Noite Improvisa-se", a melding of remarkable technique, concentration and profound expression. ... Click to View


Violaine Gestalder :
Furtive (Creative Sources)

With an impressive resume in improvised and contemporary forms, French saxophonist Violaíne Gestalder presents three major conceptual works for multiple players, using studio layering to perform all parts herself on soprano sax, voice & effects, a comprehensive, yearning, powerful and often mysteriously beautiful album that draws on her skills as a composer, improviser and experimenter. ... Click to View


Loris Binot / Violaine Gestalder :
Loris Binot & Violaine Gestalder (Creative Sources)

A contemplative and building collection of electroacoustic improvisations from French alto & soprano saxophonist Violaine Gestalder, augmenting her horn with effect pedals, and pianist Loris Binot, using preparations, magnetic bows and electronics to create sustained and percussive elements, recording in the CIM auditorium in Bal-Le-Duc, France for five rich and fascinating dialogs. ... Click to View



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   review by Brian Olewnick
  2004-06-17
psi - Black American Flag  (Evolving Ear);
Ernesto Diaz-Infante/Chris Forsyth - as is stated…before known  (Evolving Ear)
Chris Forsyth/Chris Heenan - Chris Forsyth/Chris Heenan  (Reify);

Guitarist Chris Forsyth’s presence is the only real unifying link between these discs, which are otherwise relatively disparate in approach. psi is a trio comprised of Forsyth, electronicist Jaime Fennely and percussionist Fritz Welch, exposed here in two longish improvisations, one recorded in the studios of Columbia University's WKCR, one live in Brooklyn. The radio station track (oddly titled “Headfirst Into the Flames” though it sounds little like a Last Exit tribute) is all harsh sputters and raw scrapings, Welch’s percussion notable for its up-frontness; almost every sound he creates is etched vividly into the foreground. Aside from that, the piece is rather routine, three musicians making interesting noises but not particularly gelling into anything larger. The second track fares much better as the trio sets up subtle, intersecting and overlapping drones and percussive lines, all within a similar intensity level, swirling and evolving inside a limited sonic space, providing some exquisite tension. It peaks about 10 minutes in, subsiding in lovely fashion to some delicately (and tonally) strummed guitar over shuffling clatter from Welch and intermittent, ominous hums from Fennely. Quickly, Forsyth lurches into some fuzz-drenched work and is echoed by the electronics; now we pick up some Last Exit, psi crunching and grinding its way through a few minutes of brain-ravaging meltcore improv. Once again, they recalibrate and settle into a relatively lush, less troubled ambience, a small, insectile area abuzz with bowed cymbals, gentle guitar and pesky blats of static. Just as you think the piece is going to unwind in languor and quietude, Forsyth leads a hard-picked charge and rallies the troops for a brief but exciting free-for-all to cap things off.


The duo recording with Ernesto Diaz-Infante (on acoustic guitar) is made up of eleven pieces of relatively short length that do, in fact, come off as “songs.” There’s just enough of a hint of rhythm and of recurring structure, not to mention a fairly soft-edged attack, that you can barely imagine a vocal emerging from the haze. Often, effects are dropped, as on the lovely “how little observed…half a mile distant” and the two wander briefly into Loren Connors territory, strumming as gently as they are off-kilter, evoking an enchanting avant-folk sensibility. Forsyth is just as likely to intentionally throw sand into the gears, interjecting staticky pops and crackles, a healthy gambit lest things get too smooth. A little Fahey sneaks in too, especially in some of the more languid pieces like “some years since,” where Diaz-Infante acts as quasi-tambura to Forsyth’s more abstract explorations. The longest song, “some weeks of close scrutiny” is perhaps also the strongest, a very attractive balance achieved between pastoral, acoustic ruminations and granular, “a-musical” electronics. (as is stated…before known) is a fine, understated album, one that should appeal to listeners fond of the abovementioned musicians as well as, say, Burkhard Stangl.


The final disc finds Forsyth teaming with multi-reedist Chris Heenan, here playing alto saxophone, bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet. Integrating reeds into contemporary electro-acoustic improvisation has been an ongoing challenge, one that is rarely met with much success as the musicians are generally unable to cast aside the “baggage” accrued (in all likelihood) from years of jazz or jazz-influenced playing, something that ill fits the current format. Heenan deals with this conundrum in pretty convincing fashion, especially on the lower clarinets that allow him to dwell more often in the purely sonic aspects of the winds as opposed to the history that, despite all best intentions, tends to percolate up on the alto. As on the prior disc, Forsyth remains subdued, occupying generally tonal zones or layering waves of static, constructing fairly lush matrices for Heenan to weave amongst. There’s a lull of sorts in the middle of the disc as matters get perhaps a bit too relaxed, but the first couple of tracks, “I am not a technologist” and “I listen” as well as the final “I like the way you use language” (leaving aside the odd use of titular “I’s” in a duo recording) are fascinating, intricately evolving works.


All three discs are solid recordings. At his best, Forsyth provides some of the finer free improv emanating (at least partially) from a New York-based musician this side of Sean Meehan in quite some time.





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