The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Brulez les meubles (Beaudoin / Normand / Derome / Hollenbeck):
Tardiff [VINYL] (Tour de Bras / Ramble)

The Quebec project Brulez Les Meubles (Burn the Furniture) was conceived by long-time friends and contemporary jazz fans, bassist Eric Normand and guitarist Louis Beaudoin-de la Sablonniere, each collaboration inviting other musicians to join their warm & relaxed approach to modern jazz, here with Jean Derome on saxophone & flute and John Hollenbeck on drums. ... Click to View


Spaces Unfolding (Metcalfe / Wachsmann / Karlsen):
The Way We Speak (Bead)

All three having met in the London Improvisers Orchestra, Neil Metcalfe on flute and violinist Philipp Wachsmann each worked with drummer Emil Karlsen in separate projects including Tern, and then at Karlsen's suggestion creating this new Spaces Unfolding trio, heard in their first album, recording in the natural resonance of St. Mary's Old Church in Stoke Newington. ... Click to View


Imaginary String Trio, The (Wachsmann / Guastalla / Lash):
Imaginary Trio (Bead)

Formed from the merging of violinist Philipp Wachsmann's 2005 solo performance in Oxford in a concert that also included the duo of cellist Bruno Guastalla and bassist Dominic Lash, the trio then took that union into the studio under the name The Imaginary String Trio, producing this fascinatingly diverse and dexterous album of collective spontaneous improvisation. ... Click to View


Lih Kadim (Jaka Berger / Marko Jenic / Jure Borsic / Andre Bost Ruda / Jost Drasler / Vid Drasler):
Sunday Sextet (FMR)

With shared background in Slovik groups and ensembles including work with Szilárd Mezei and the Olfamoštvo ensemble, the Lih Kadim sextet of electroacoustic improvisers is heard in an exceptional 2021 concert of innovative and exploratory interaction, each recording taken from a successive night performing at the Cultural Centre, Bistrica Ob Sotli in Slovenia. ... Click to View


Weston Olencki:
Old Time Music [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

Multi-instrumentalist & experimental composer Weston Olencki in three historically-driven sound works, recording with saxophonist Anna Webber as they explore the tenor sax in jazz and recording studio technology; the banjo with bluegrass and the mechanized modernism of the Carolinas; and a pump organ with Sacred Harp hymnody and the aging marble industries of Vermont. ... Click to View


David Boyce / Phillip Greenlief:
Mystery School (Creative Sources)

A confluence of reeds from Bay Area saxophonists David Boyce and Phillip Greenlief, both performing on and professing an open love letter to the tenor saxophone, the positioning of each clear through stereo placement as they improvise seven dialogs of intent listening and tremendous technique, from high speed intertwining to introspective contemplation. ... Click to View


John Berndt:
New Logic For Old Saxophones (Creative Sources)

Using extended techniques, Baltimore-based saxophonist John Berndt--director of Multiphonic Choir ensemble, a member of the Red Room collective and curator of their experimental performance series, and creator of the "Relabi" style of arrhythmic pulse--presents 15 succinct improvisations pushing his reed instruments to their outer edges in astonishing ways. ... Click to View


Kelsey Mines:
Look Like (Relative Pitch)

The first complete solo release from Seattle, Washington bassist and vocalist Kelsey Mines, active in both classical music as a member of Yakima Symphony, Symphony Tacoma and the Paramount Orchestra, and as an improviser, here presenting a series of improvised solo-duets that explore how listening to our on-going internal dialogue helps us conjure honest, outward expressions. ... Click to View


Sean Meehan:
Magazine (Sacred Realism)

Working only with a cowbell from a charity shop in NYC, percussionist Sean Meehan, whose performances often take place in locations of unique resonant properties, discovered the Fort Jay powder magazine at Governor's Island--a compartment once used to store ammunition and explosives--using its sonic properties to capture these two recordings reflecting the original purpose of that space. ... Click to View


Samuel Blaser / Consort In Motion:
A Mirror To Madchaut (Songlines)

The Consort in Motion ensemble of Samuel Blaser on trombone, Joachim Badenhorst on bass clarinet, clarinet & tenor saxophone, Drew Gress on double bass, Russ Lossing on piano, Rhodes & Wulitzer and Gerry Hemingway on drums & percussion adapt the late medieval court music of Guillaume de Machaut and Guillaume Dufay into arrangements for modern creative improvisation. ... Click to View


Paul Bley Trios:
Play Annette Peacock, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Annette Peacock's response to the free-blowing loft scene was to compose using spacious intervals, allowing great harmonic and rhythmic freedom, inspiring pianist Paul Bley and his trio as heard in two unique interpretations of the same pieces from two exceptional working bands: one with bassist & drummer Mark Levinson & Barry Altschul, the other with Gary Peacock & Billy Elgart. ... Click to View


Miles Davis Quintet:
2nd Sessions 1956, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Recorded in the same October 1956 Rudy Van Gelder sessions that are heard on Miles Davis' Cookin' and Steamin' albums, these alternate takes with his quintet of John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on double bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums give us a unique view on the consistency and strength of the famous and foundational hard bop band. ... Click to View


Claudio Sanna:
Compositori Sardi Contemporanei [2 CDs] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

An astonishingly diverse album of solo piano works performed by pianist and composer Claudio Sanna, performing works from eight Sardinian composers including his own, weaving improvisation, acousmatic & musique concrete elements, turntablism, electronics, inside piano playing, chalk-board writing and more into lyrical and experimental pieces that flow together exquisitely. ... Click to View


Blue Reality Quartet (McPhee, Joe / Michael Marcus / Jay Rosen / Warren Smith):
Ella's Island (Mahakala Music)

The 2nd album from the quartet of Joe McPhee on tenor saxophone, Warren Smith on vibraphone, Michael Marcus on reeds and Jay Rosen on drums, formed from a 2018 Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf date with NY drummer Jay Rosen rounding out the quartet, this album extends their accessibly relaxed and creatively magnificent approach to free and structured jazz. ... Click to View


Chad Fowler / William Parker / Anders Griffen:
Thinking Unthinking (Mahakala Music)

Focusing on lyrically inclined grooves with a relaxed pace, the details and thoughtfully "unthought" playing from the NY trio of Chad Fowler on stritch, saxello & alto flute, William Parker on bass and Anders Griffen on drums, are heard in the Park West Studios in Brooklyn for three extended collective improvisations of passionate, expressive and empathetic playing. ... Click to View


The Attic (Amado / Almeida / Govaert):
Love Ghosts (NoBusiness)

The third release from the Portuguese trio of Rodrigo Amado on tenor saxophone, Gonçalo Almeida on double bass and Onno Govaert on drums in a studio album of assertively exploratory improvisation that builds from stark clarity to impressive hard blowing soloing and group interaction, an outstanding album of modern free jazz. ... Click to View


Rhodri Davies:
Dwa Dni (Amgen Records)

Two recording sessions yielding 15 recordings of solo harp improvisations in Rhodri Davies' fifth release on his Amgen imprint, beautifully intricate works from exuberant to introspective, with titles borrowed from the works of Lisa Jarnot, Ed Luker, Nathaniel Mackey, Redell Olsen, Sun Ra, Nisha Ramayya, Sarah Riggs and Leslie Scalapino, and cover art by Jean-Luc Guionnet. ... Click to View


Horace Tapscott Quintet:
Legacies For Our Grandchildren: Live In Hollywood, 1995 (Dark Tree Records)

The French Dark Tree label continues its curation of the unreleased material of West Coast pianist and band leader Horace Tapscott with this exuberant and substantial collection of live sessions at Catalina's Bar & Grill in Hollywood with Michael Session on saxophones, Thurman Green on trombone, Roberto Miranda on double bass, Fritz Wise on drums and vocal stylist Dwight Trible. ... Click to View


Mototeru Takagi / Kim Dae Hwan / Choi Sun Bae:
Seishin - Seido (NoBusiness)

A free jazz trio session from 1995 at Cafe Amores, in Hofu City, Japan from the trio of late tenor saxophonist Mototeru Takagi with Korean improvisers, late percussionist Kim Dae Hwan and Choi Sun Bae on trumpet, performing five thoughtful and expressive conversations with an often Ayler-esque flavor; inventive playing from lyrical charges to pointillistic interaction. ... Click to View


Mototeru Takagi / Kim Dae Hwan / Choi Sun Bae:
Seishin - Seido [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

A free jazz trio session from 1995 at Cafe Amores, in Hofu City, Japan from the trio of late tenor saxophonist Mototeru Takagi with Korean improvisers, late percussionist Kim Dae Hwan and Choi Sun Bae on trumpet, performing five thoughtful and expressive conversations with an often Ayler-esque flavor; inventive playing from lyrical charges to pointillistic interaction. ... Click to View


Gebhard Ullmann / Steve Swell / Hilliard Greene / Barry Altschul :
We're Playing In Here ? [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Substantial creative free jazz with compositions each from trombonist Steve Swell and reedist Gebhard Ullman, recording at Park West Studio in Brooklyn with Barry Altschul on drums and Hilliard Green on double bass, the structures of their compositions providing lyrical launch points for adept free soloing, amidst unusual and masterful technique and surprising asides; exceptional! ... Click to View


Yuji Takahashi / Sabu Toyozumi:
The Quietly Clouds And A Wild Crane (NoBusiness)

Better known for his work in avant compositional forms, both his own and as an interpreter of Xenakis and Toru Takemitsu, pianist Yuji Takahashi joined Japanese free jazz legendary percussionist Sabu Toyozumi in 1998 for this fully improvised live concert at C・S・Aka Renga, in Yamaguchi City, Japan, released in a collaboration with the Chap Chap label. ... Click to View


Yuji Takahashi / Sabu Toyozumi:
The Quietly Clouds And A Wild Crane [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Better known for his work in avant compositional forms, both his own and as an interpreter of Xenakis and Toru Takemitsu, pianist Yuji Takahashi joined Japanese free jazz legendary percussionist Sabu Toyozumi in 1998 for this fully improvised live concert at C・S・Aka Renga, in Yamaguchi City, Japan, released in a collaboration with the Chap Chap label. ... Click to View


Udo Schindler / Eric Zang Eriksson:
Blow & Swirl (FMR)

Udo Schindler follows his duo album with drummer Eric Zwang-Eriksson @ Salon fur Klang+Kuns, Poetry?? Ein Wurfelwurf with this recording at BASIS_Sound_Space at MUCCA - Munich Center of Community Arts in Munich, Schindler on sopranino & tenor saxophones and the deep TUBAX, interacting with Eriksson's rapid-fire and uniquely voiced drum & percussion work. ... Click to View


MMM Trio (Mascolo / Mira / Maglioccho):
Bridge In The Dark (FMR)

The MMM Trio of Carlo Mascolo on prepared trombone, Miguel Mira on cello and Marcello Magliocchi on drums & percussion recorded this album during a concert series in Puglia, Italy, placing each musician in a separate room with headphones, promoting the close listening and concentrated interaction each brings to their unusual approach to free improvisation. ... Click to View


Neumann / Smith / Graham / Rosenthal / Fujiwara / Ewen :
Quartet:Quartet:Trio [2 CDs] (Balance Point Acoustics)

A double album of electroacoustic improv sessions from Sommerville, MA, centered around electronic artist Andrew Neumann on the Buchla Music Easel--a complex additive analogue synth--heard in quartet and trio sessions with Forbes Graham (trumpet), Sandy Ewen (guitar & objects), Junko Fujiwara (cello), Damon Smith (double bass) and Eric Rosenthal (drums & percussion). ... Click to View


Hugo Costa / Raoul van der Weide / Onno Govaert :
Land Over Water (Creative Sources)

A collective trio in the free jazz idiom from Hugo Costa on alto saxophone, Raoul van der Weide on double bass & percussion objects and Onno Govaert on drums, recording in the studio in Rotterdam for two extended and two succinct improvisations, building their conversations from solo playing that gradually yields to group dialog of evolving intensity. ... Click to View


Dionee (Beriault / Servant / Normand):
Attrape-mouches (Tour de Bras / Circum-Disc)

Exploring the Venus Flytrap (dionée attrape-mouche) through a trio of electroacoustic improv, with the acoustic elements from Clarisse Beriault on oboe and acoustic bass and Robin Servant on accordion, bassist Éric Normand providing the electric foundation to their sly and savage improvisations, all three using electronics & effects to emulate the thigmonastic carnivore. ... Click to View


Kaluza / Steyer / Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Mengersen:
Echoes In A Further Range (Creative Sources)

This string and reed quintet presents a fluid approach to chamber-oriented improv with dexterous melodic and harmonic motion, utilizing contemporary and jazz idioms as they create something masterfully unique; from Anna Kaluza on alto sax, Edith Steyer on alto sax & clarinet, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello and Ulf Mengersen on double bass. ... Click to View


Edward Jordan 'Kidd' / Joel Futterman / William Parker / Hamid Drake:
A Tribute to Alvin Fielder (Live at Vision Festival XXIV) (Mahakala Music)

Recorded at Vision Festival XXIV in June of 2019, legendary drummer Alvin Fielder's friends and long time partners Kidd Jordan on tenor saxophone, Joel Futterman on piano and William Parker on contrabass are joined by drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake for an emotional and potent swinging free jazz tribute to Fielder, who passed away in January of that year. ... 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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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Weston Olencki:
Old Time Music
[CASSETTE w/
DOWNLOAD]
(Tripticks Tapes)



Brulez les meubles (
Beaudoin /
Normand /
Derome /
Hollenbeck):
Tardiff
[VINYL]
(Tour de Bras /
Ramble)



Spaces Unfolding (
Metcalfe /
Wachsmann /
Karlsen):
The Way We Speak
(Bead)



The Attic (
Amado /
Almeida /
Govaert):
Love Ghosts
(NoBusiness)



Blue Reality Quartet (
McPhee, Joe /
Michael Marcus /
Jay Rosen /
Warren Smith):
Ella's Island
(Mahakala Music)



Miles Davis Quintet:
2nd Sessions 1956, Revisited
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records
Ltd)



Paul Bley Trios:
Play Annette Peacock,
Revisited
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records
Ltd)



Claudio Sanna:
Compositori Sardi Contemporanei
[2 CDs]
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records
Ltd)



Gebhard Ullmann /
Steve Swell /
Hilliard Greene /
Barry Altschul :
We're Playing
In Here ?
[VINYL]
(NoBusiness)



Edward Jordan 'Kidd' /
Joel Futterman /
William Parker /
Hamid Drake:
A Tribute to
Alvin Fielder (
Live at
Vision Festival
XXIV)
(Mahakala Music)



XT (
Wright /
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Okkyung Lee /
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Lisbon String Trio &
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Ivo Perelman /
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Kirk Knuffke /
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Jean Derome (
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Paul Dunmall /
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That's My Life
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Marek Pospieszalski Quartet (
Pospieszalski /
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Durer's Mother
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Jessica Ackerley /
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Chris Williams /
Luke Stewart /
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James Carter /
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