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Anthony Braxton Saxophone Quartet:
Sax QT (Lorraine) 2022 [4 CDs] (I Dischi di Angelica)

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 :
Solo Bern 1984 First Visit (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

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:
Raging Bulgakov [2 CDs] (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

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:
Magical Incantation (Soul City Sounds)

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 / ...):
Ascending Primes [2 CDs] (Pyroclastic Records)

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:
Bird's Eye (Pyroclastic Records)

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:
(un) natural (Roeba)

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:
A Tale Unfolds (Creative Sources)

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:
Ghosted II [VINYL] (Drag City)

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 :
Sakai (Doubtmusic)

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):
Pulse Tide (Aural Terrains)

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:
Radiation Patterns (Evil Clown)

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):
The Human Factor (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

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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  Mount Washington 
  Mount Washington  
  (Reify Records) 

   review by Marc Chenard
  2004-06-25
Mount Washington: Mount Washington (Reify Records)

An intriguing recording in many ways, this disc documents a rare joint venture of European and American free improvisers. While there have been many such examples of collectives in the past, these have pretty well occurred across the Big Pond rather than Stateside. But on April 10, 2003, eight musicians found their way to Southern California for an event called the Line Fest. Included here are three Germans (drummer Martin Blume, reedist Wolfgang Fuchs and bassist Torsten Müller - the latter now residing in Vancouver), one Englishman (violinist Philip Wachsmann) and four Americans (harpist Ann LeBaron, guitarist Jeremy Drake, trombonist Tucker Dullin and altoist and bass clarinetist Chris Heenan). It's striking to note that the Europeans are (for once) much better known than their US counterparts (excepting the harpist, of course). But this doesn't mean that the former outshine the latter by virtue of their reputation. Quite to the contrary, because this ensemble is a real collective in which the whole counts more than its individual parts. When it comes to medium to larger sized improvisational groups, there are generally two ways to go about things: either everyone takes a rip and casts aside the need to listen, or each participant chooses to maximize listening by replacing the power play with a greater degree of individual discipline and restraint. For the most part, this ensemble follows the latter course rather than the former, which ought to be expected four string players present. On another count, the inclusion of Wolfgang Fuchs is very telling as well, for he is known as being the nominal leader of a similar size group, the King Übü Orchestrü, an exemplary outfit in terms of group discipline in free music playing. Describing this music is pretty well futile, but still one senses a kind of polarity between the winds and the strings throughout, in that one group of instruments tends to dominate the proceedings for a while, only to let the other take over. Of the seven unnamed tracks (spanning 5 to 12 minutes each) lasting just a little over an hour of total playing time, the final one is probably the most revealing in terms of this shift: whereas the beginning is dominated by hard attacks from the reeds and bone, the horn slowly make room for the pizzicato strings that gradually decrease their activity to a sparse finale. As is the case of much improvised music, the whole process is where the interest lies, and there's no doubting the fact that anyone privy to this session (done in the large living room of a painter friend of Chris Heenan) would have gotten the most out of this. A recording, however well done technically, never quite captures the magic of the event unfolding in real time. Even if this writer might be jaded by his privilege of having such easy access to so much of this kind of music, he is not compelled very often often to go back and listen to works such as this on a regular basis.





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