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Fred Frith's solo performances are amongst some of his most fascinating, and this live album at Ateliers Claus in Brussels, 2018 does not disappoint, Frith using every inch of his guitar and an arsenal of objects, in tandem with his masterful playing, to create an extended and fascinating journey in sound, remarkable in its breadth and bold creative power. ... Click to View


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Sam Rivers / Cecil McBee / Norman Connors: Emanation (Sam Rivers archive sessions. Vol.1) (NoBusiness)

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Szilard Mezei Tul A Tiszan Innen Ensemble: Turizmus [2 CDs] (FMR)

Szilard Mezei's Tiszan Innen Ensemble is a chamber jazz ensemble of rare sophistication and talent, 11 musicians performing Mezei's compositions and arrangements based on Hungarian folk songs, in active and lyrical pieces with wonderful interplay between sections and individual players, and excellent moment of lively and passionate soloing. ... Click to View


Joao Lencastre: Parallel Realities (FMR)

An absorbing album of free and electroacoustic improvisation from drummer/composer Joao Lencastre, introducing his Parallel Realities group of creative Portuguese avant jazz players Albert Cirera on sax, Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano, Pedro Branco on guitar and Joao Hasselberg on bass & electronics, composed for subgroups playing unique yet related passages in parallel. ... Click to View


Elephant9: Psychedelic Backfire I (Rune Grammofon)

The first of two "Psychedelic Backfire" concerts at Oslo's Kampen Bistro, taken from a 4 night residency by the Norwegian Elephant 9 rock trio of drummer Torstein Lofthus, bassist Nikolai Haengsle, and keyboardist Stale Storlokken, expanding on tracks from their excellent studio catalog in strongly lyrical and technically superb instrumental and improvised rock forms. ... Click to View


Elephant9 w/ Reine Fiske: Psychedelic Backfire II (Rune Grammofon)

The second of two "Psychedelic Backfire"s, The Norwegian Elephant 9 improvising rock trio of drummer Torstein Lofthus, bassist Nikolai Haengsle, and keyboardist Stale Storlokken are joined by Dungen guitarist Reine Fiske for an exciting live concert at Kampen Bistro, in Oslo in 2019, the interaction of Fiske and Storlokken a fine example that prog rock is still a vital form. ... Click to View


Fresh Dust Trio: Hilarious Experts (FMR)

Slovenian drummer/percussionist Jaka Berger wrote 3 of the 4 pieces for this trio with guitar Samo Salamon and pianist Marina Dzukljev, also on objects, the 4th piece a collective improvisation, as the three apply experimental approaches to their playing while never leaving their collaborative conversation, making room for inspired soloing. ... Click to View


Ferran Fages / Alfredo Costa Monteiro / Ruth Barberan: Istmo (Creative Sources)

The second album from the trio of Ferran Fages (acoustic turntable), Ruth Barberan (trumpet), and Alfredo Costa Monteiro (accordion) expands on their first "Atolon" album with these two recordings of intense electroacoustic improvisation, a mixture of ritual, controlled chaos, mysterious and often disruptively provocative sound, and other inexplicable evolutions. ... Click to View


Ferran Fages / Ernesto Rodrigues: Cru (Creative Sources)

A composite of environmental sounds, electronics, and viola, recorded in Barcelona, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal from intrepid audio explorers Ferran Fages and Ernesto Rodrigues, the single long work taking the listener on a theoretical journey of transparent traffic, squealing wheels and indeterminate location, engrossing in its detail and the mystery it presents. ... Click to View


William Parker / In Order To Survive: Live / Shapeshifter [2 CDs] (Aum Fidelity)

Presenting both sets of the second night of bassist William Parker's concerts at Brooklyn's ShapeShifter Lab with his group In Order to Survive of pianist Cooper-Moore, alto saxophonist Rob Brown and drummer Hamid Drake, an extraordinary event that featured all new Parker compositions, including an extended suite for late trombonist Grachan Moncur III. ... Click to View


Whit Dickey / The Tao Quartets: Peace Planet & Box of Light [2 CDs] (Aum Fidelity)

Two unique and exceptional studio albums with differing quartets from drummer Whit Dickey in a single set: "Peace Planet" with Matthew Shipp (piano), Rob Brown (alto sax) & William Parker (bass) in a thoughtfully flowing set of collective improvisations; and the more propulsive session "Box of Light" with Rob Brown (alto sax), Steve Swell (trombone), & Michael Bisio (bass). ... Click to View


Apartment House: Perform Olivier Messiaen and Linda Catlin Smith (Another Timbre)

The UK ensemble Apartment House performs two works--Olivier Messiaen's "Quatuor pour la fin du Temps" in 6 movements; and Linda Catlin Smith's "Among the Tarnished Stars"--taking a fresh modern approach to the Messiaen, drawing out its experimental character, and the sense of drama and intricate gradations of sonority in Smith's rich and mysterious work. ... Click to View


Catherine Lamb : Point/Wave (Another Timbre)

The first piece composer Catherine Lamb has written specifically for acoustic guitar was commissioned by Chilean guitarist Christian Alvear, extending concepts from an installation piece titled "Secondary Rainbow" with Bryan Eubanks, Lamb employs electronics over an infinite cycle of four "environmental chords" which overlap and resonate with one another. ... Click to View


Cyril Bondi / Pierre-Yves Martel / Christoph Schiller / Angharad Davies: Awire (Another Timbre)

During the tour in support of their "Tse" release, the quartet of Cyril Bondi on Shruti box, pipe & harmonica, Christoph Schiller on spinet & effects, Pierre-Yves Martel on Viola da Gamba, pipe & harmonica, and Angharad Davies on violin, captured this performance at London's Cafe OTO, improvised over a sequence of pitches with astonishing creativity. ... Click to View


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  Duane Pitre/Pilotram Ensemble 
  Organized Pitches Occurring in Time  
  (Important Records) 

   review by Brian Olewnick
  2007-10-21
Duane Pitre/Pilotram Ensemble: Organized Pitches Occurring in Time (Important Records)

Drones are funny critters. Generally speaking, one desires to hear detail within the drone, a swirling mass of microscopic sounds, accidental emergent patterns and perhaps an implicit granularity just out of the range of perception. On the other hand, "pure" drones can have their own kind of beauty; witness Sachiko M's sine tones. But unless one enjoys simply zoning out to the ambient hum, they need to perform the contradictory function of mutating while essentially remaining the same, no mean trick. Just as intriguing is when and how the listener determines that a give piece has run its course, where all available sonic images have been heard and the music begins to tread water.

All of these issues come into play on Duane Pitre's fascinating recording of two 25 minute works with titles that explicitly recall La Monte Young. "The Ensemble Chord in Eb with a Minor 7th and a Pump Organ Base" is just that, a gorgeously elaborated, extended chord performed by a small ensemble consisting of Pitre (guitar), Casey Block (tone generator), Craig Colorusso (guitar), Julianne Carney (violin), Lathan Hardy (alto saxophone), John DeRosa (pump organ), Tianna Kennedy (cello) and Jon Elterman (viola). And for about 17-18 minutes it succeeds wonderfully, a beautiful arrangement of textures sinuously twining through space, providing layer upon layer of detail depending where the listener chooses to focus. It hovers like a varicolored cloud, inviting and rewarding deep listening. However, as it reaches a long decrescendo, not only does the music begin to unwind, it also drifts a bit, losing the focus and rigor it earlier contained. It's a lovely piece, just a third or so too long.

Its companion work, "The Ensemble Chord in C with a Major 7th and a Guitar Base", for sextet (losing the last three above named musicians, with Colorusso switching to bass clarinet and with the addition of Harry Rosenblum on alto saxophone) has a similar problem. The disappearance of the pump organ, which was a predominant color in the first piece, lends an entirely different tonal configuration to this one. It's drier, more metallic though just as initially beguiling. Various elements recede and come to the fore, the bass clarinet's prominence later in the piece being especially attractive (and inevitably calling to mind Reich's "Music for Eighteen Musicians"). It's every bit as intriguing as the first piece. Once again, however, a bit short of the 20 minute mark, it loses just enough steam, just that amount of grit to make a subtle difference but enough of one that it might have the listener glancing at the clock. It's quite possible that in a live setting, in an appropriately resonant room, this would be less of a concern, but on disc there's just a tinge of wearing out one's welcome.

At 36-40 minutes, this would have been a superb recording. As is, it's still very much worth hearing and by and large extremely enjoyable.



Duane Pitre/Pilotram Ensemble: Organized Pitches Occurring in Time
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