The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Detail (Frode Gjerstad / Johnny Mbizo Dyani / John Stevens): Day Two (NoBusiness)

The history of the early Detail trio of Frode Gjerstad on tenor & soprano saxophones, Johnny Mbizo Dyani on double bass, and John Stevens on drums continues to be unearthed, with this studio session at Staccato Studios, in Stavanger, Norway in 1982, in two extended improvisations demonstrating the impressive skill and direction the band possessed. ... Click to View


The Attic (Rodrigo Amado / Goncalo Almeida / Onno Govaert): Summer Bummer (NoBusiness)

Following up their 2017 album live at SMUP in Lisboa, the Attic trio of Rodrigo Amado on tenor saxophone, Goncalo Almeida on double bass, and Onno Govaert on drums are heard in this concert at the 2018 Summer Bummer Festival in Antwerp, Belgium, in a solid set of confidently exploratory improvisation and engrossing group dialog balancing pensive reflection and fire. ... Click to View


Whit Dickey / Kirk Knuffke: Drone Dream [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Two implicitly lyrical players -- trumpeter Kirk Knuffke and Whit Dickey -- in their second album together of well paced, thoughtful dialog, and intimate set of recordings that show the adept skills of both as they promote their inherent melodic intentions on their instruments, neither overpowering but conversing in a warm and rewarding give and take. ... Click to View


Kang Hwan Tae / Midori Takada: An Eternal Moment (NoBusiness)

A concert in 1995 at Cafe Amores, in Hofu, Yamaguchi of the duo of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada and alto saxophone Kang Tae Hwan, both using exception and unusual approaches to their music, using their backgrounds in free jazz, theater and studies in traditional African and Asian percussion to create a unique hybrid, from hypnotic to frenetic; fascinating. ... Click to View


Kang Hwan Tae / Midori Takada: An Eternal Moment [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

A concert in 1995 at Cafe Amores, in Hofu, Yamaguchi of the duo of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada and alto saxophone Kang Tae Hwan, both using exception and unusual approaches to their music, using their backgrounds in free jazz, theater and studies in traditional African and Asian percussion to create a unique hybrid, from hypnotic to frenetic; fascinating. ... Click to View


Albert Beger Quartet: The Gate [VINYL] (NoBusiness)

Israeli saxophonist Albert Beger's Quartet with Milton Michaeli on piano, Shay Hazan on bass, and Ofer Bymel on drums, the leader also on Shakuhachi, in a studio set of Beger compositions, drawing on his work with William Parker and Hamid Drake in six recordings that balance structure and freedom in soloing, a fine album of modern creative jazz. ... Click to View


Dunmall / Gibbs / Taylor / John Long: Landscapes (FMR)

The counterpart to the Dunmall session "Seascapes" recorded at the same Victoria Rooms at the University of Bristol's music department, this quartet sees Dunmall on soprano sax and flute joined by three string players--Benedict Taylor on viola, Ashley John Long on bass, and guitarist Phil Gibbs, for six detailed collective improvisations leaning toward chamber jazz. ... Click to View


Electro-Phonic Art Trio (Casserley / Wachsmann / Taylor): Through The Rings Of Saturn (FMR)

Lawrence Casserley on percussion & processing, Philipp Wachsmann on violin, and Trevor Taylor on percussion & electronics, use the rings of Saturn as their music in 2 recordings from Iklectick Arts Lab in London, and 3 recordings in the studio, using the mass of the moons around the rings as the durations of each track; subdued yet deeply spacious, superb interaction. ... Click to View


David Leahy / Philipp Wachsmann: Translated Space (FMR)

Drawing on double bassist David Leahy's "Musicians in Space" research and improvisation series, Leahy met up with free improvising violinist Philipp Wachsmann to record these twelve improvisations, collective conversation in a meeting of strings with influences from chamber and fully free approaches, tempered and detailed dialog of impressive virtuosity. ... Click to View


Circuit (Seagroat / Chatzigiannis / Taylor / Hutchinson / Medley / Wachsmann): Cell (FMR)

UK percussionist and electronic artist Trevor Taylor's Circuit project in an extended electroacoustic version with Jon Seagroat on reeds & electronics, Tim Chatzigiannis on computer & electronics, Mathew Hutchinson on piano, Paul Medley on reeds, and Philipp Wachsmann on violin & electronics, in carefully controlled and sublimely detailed improvisation. ... Click to View


Dunmall / Pursglove / Tromans / Kane / Drake: Soultime (FMR)

The 2nd concert at Eastside Jazz Club for the quintet of Paul dunmall on saxophone & penny whistle, Percy Pursglove on trumpet, Steve Tromans on piano, Dave Kane on bass, and Hamid Drake on drums, in a powerfully passionate and profoundly masterful set of lyrical free jazz, the perfect example of Dunmall's skill at assembling inspired jazz bands; highly recommended! ... Click to View


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

The NoBusiness label initiates its Sam Rivers Archive Series with this CD of River's Loft-era trio. the leader on tenor & soprano saxophones, flute & Piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Norman Connors on drums, for two sets at a Jazz Workshop residency in Boston in the summer of 1971, a superb concert showing inspired group interaction and River's intense focus. ... Click to View


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


Federico Pozzer : Breaths (Another Timbre)

Three works from Italian composer and pianist Federico Pozzer in his "breathing" series, compositions where the musicians follow the concept of inhaling, exhaling, and pausing, set against certain fixed actions or interactions as they devise their own musical actions, the goal to overcome both the players' freedom in decision-making and strictness in the score. ... Click to View


James Weeks: Windfell (Another Timbre)

Violinist Mira Benjamin requested British composer James Weeks write a long-duration piece for her, Weeks evoking the image of a violin alone in a remote hill played only by the wind, using an evolving palette of timbral and harmonic material resolving with long sequences of Just Intonation three-part chords, Benjamin also whistling and singing softly. ... Click to View


Damon Smith : Winter Solos for Robert Ryman [CASSETTE] (Balance Point Acoustics)

Reflecting on the passing of artist and musician Robert Ryman, double bassist Damon Smith dedicated this concert of outstanding playing, technique and momentum at Cafe Fixe in Brookline, MA to Ryman, as Smith sought to present a definitive solo concert as an overview of his own work, ably realizing Ryman's concept of finding all the things you can do with your instrument. ... Click to View


Fennesz: Live at the Jazz Cafe [CASSETTE] (Touch)

Riffing on material from his "Agora" album, guitarist and experimenter Christian Fennesz is caught live at the Jazz Cafe in Camden, London in 2019 in a rich album of shimmering, swirling electronics, lush and reflective music that absorbs the listener with alluring and evolving passages, released as a limited cassette in an edition of 200 copies. ... Click to View


Don Cherry: Complete Communion: Live in Hilversum May 9th, 1966 [VINYL] (DBQP)

Recorded live in 1966 around the time of trumpeter Don Cherry's "Complete Communion" and "Togetherness" albums, this exhilarating concert features Bo Stief on bass, Don Cherry on cornet, Aldo Romano on drums, Karl Berger on keyboards, and Gato Barbieri on tenor saxophone as they work through Cherry originals, plus pieces by Mongo Santamaria, Luiz Bonfa and Benny Golson. ... Click to View


Sunny Murray / Bob Dickey / Robert Andreano: Homework (NoBusiness)

Returning home to Philadelphia in 1994 for some "Homework" with Bob Dickie on bass and Robert Andreano on guitar, recording at Robert Andreano's studio, legendary free jazz drummer Sunny Murray leads this trio through six collective improvisations, from Hendrix meets Ayler fury to introspective and hypnotic passage, a much needed reissue of a superb and previously obscure album. ... Click to View


  •  •  •    Join Our Mailing List!



The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Heard In

Reviews of artist releases:
cd's, books, magazines, &c.


  The Magic I.D. 
  till my breath gives out  
  (erstwhile records) 

   review by Phil Zampino
  2008-03-02
The Magic I.D.: till my breath gives out (erstwhile records)

Erstwhile Record's first foray into "pop" music won't strike many as being in a pop mold, but it does extend the understated forms of electro-acoustic music into more embraceable yet still abstract song territory. lowercase song forms, you think? Not completely, but there are so many tonal and minimal aspects to this album that the comparison has to be made. It's probably more accurate to say that this blends the sensibility of minimal ea-improvisation with the avant/minimal compositional world, adding a song sensibility that understands and plays with popular form. The pieces have a strong use of dynamics and harmonics, with unconventional repetition and rhythm, a detached but clear vocal style, wielded with a subtle hand that implies the concentrative interaction of improvised music in conjunction with strong compositional skills.

Michael Thieke is perhaps best known for his work with on the Creative Sources label, alone and in a quartet with label leader Ernesto Rodrigues; he's also a part of The International Nothing, another fascinating minimalist recording group which, not surprisingly, has all of the players on The Magic I.D. at one point or another. Clarinetist Kai Fagaschinksi has worked with vocalist and electronics artist Christof Kurzmann on their excellent duo record under the name Kommando Raumschiff Zitrone, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, covering the Roberta Flack number of the same name, along with other songs of delicacy and a hint of space's massive vacuum. Kurzmann has also recorded with John Butcher on The Big Misunderstanding Between Hertz and Megahertz. Margareth Kammerer is also heard as a vocalist on Otomo Yoshihide's ONJO New Jazz Live Series 1 & 2.

"True Holiday" opens till my breath gives out with a Kafka-esque quality of distant despair in the dual tonal clarinet work of Thieke and Fagaschinski. They practically birth the album in long coloured tones that suddenly break into Kammerer's impassive vocal, telling us that she can prove that we've met before. In fact, in an over-the-shoulder way, one almost shivers to feel that they've been listening to this song for years without ever noticing it. That implication is prominent, a distantly familiar soundscape and subdued words, ideational tales that carry an isolable openness; they simply make sense when you finally hear them.

"Martin Fierro" is the most song-like of the album, backed by the strumming guitar of Margareth Kammerer. It's a pretty piece in its way, and acts as a bit of relief from the remote intensity of the balance of the songs. "Loopstuck" shows the stylistic border for this band, coming close to silliness in its plaintive sing-song quality, ultimately brought back by Kammerer's entrance with the warmly pale abstraction that makes these pieces work. "Wintersong" is an extraordinary example of what this band is capable of, Kurzmann's voice carrying a European pathos in a song that parallels the starkness of winter with the colourless march of nation states. The song evokes an Art Bears sensibility while only needing a hint of their instrumentation. The intensity of tones and their intersection makes a sort of pure tension that hunches your shoulders as though something were about to drop out of the sky, using urgent siren-like dissonance, disturbed thumping sounds, and electronically pulsing panic buttons. When the music breaks free of the instrumental section for the final lyric it leaves you expecting winter to wrap its frozen arms around you, a superb example of how less can be so much more.



The Magic I.D.: till my breath gives out
Is On Sale at Squidco!
Squidco




Comments and Feedback:



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

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


John Zorn:
The Hierophant
(Tzadik)



Derek Bailey /
Han Bennink /
Evan Parker:
Topographie Parisienne
[4 CDs]
(Fou Records)



Satoko Fujii /
Ramon Lopez:
Confluence
(Libra)



Hans Koch /
Jacques Demierre:
Incunabulum
(Herbal International)



Electric Bird Noise:
Hearn-Roberts-Strong-Watts
(Silber)



Line Hook & Sinker
(Tristan Honsinger /
Antonio Borghini /
Axel Dorner /
Tobias Delius):
Fishy Business
(Relative Pitch)



Anthony Braxton
(w/ Nels Cline,
Greg Saunier,
Taylor Ho Bynum):
Quartet
(New Haven)
2014
[4 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)



ICP Tentet:
Tetterettet
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)



Dudu Pukwana /
Misha Mengelberg /
Han Bennink:
Yi Yole
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)



Anna Webber:
Clockwise
(Pi Recordings)



Toshiya Tsunoda :
Extract From
Field Recording
Archive
[5 CD Box Set]
(erstwhile)



Art Ensemble of Chicago, The :
We are on the Edge:
A 50th Anniversary
Celebration
[2 CDS]
(Pi Recordings)



Matt Mitchell :
Phalanx Ambassadors
(Pi Recordings)



Ken Vandermark /
Nate Wooley:
Deeply Discounted IIW /
WSequences Of Snow
[LP]
(Audiographic Records)



Paal Nilssen-Love :
New Brazilian Funk
(PNL)



Biota /
Mnemonists:
The Biota Box
[6 CD BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)



Fire! Orchestra:
Arrival
(Rune Grammofon)



Izumi Kimura /
Barry Guy /
Gerry Hemingway :
Illuminated Silence
(Fundacja Sluchaj!)



Shirosihi /
Golia /
Fujioka /
Cline:
Borasisi
(Astral Spirits)



Harris Eisenstadt (Malaby /
Roebke /
Bishop):
Old Growth
Forest II
[CASSETTE with DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)







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. (92066)