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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


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)

... 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


Gabriel Vicens:
Mural (Stradavarius )

Reflecting on the slow decay of Roman and Egyptian murals, New York City-based, Puerto Rican-born composer, guitarist, visual artist and No Base Trio member, Gabriel Vicéns, presents a collection of chamber works including two piano trios, a wind quintet performed by Nu Quintet, cello & violin and violin & piano duos, a solo piano work, and a sextet conducted by David Bloom. ... Click to View


Simulacrum:
Archetypes (Evil Clown)

One of the more electronic/ea ensembles from the Boston area collective led by David Peck, Simulacrum is an offshoot of Metal Chaos Ensemble, the core being Peck on reeds, percussion & electronics, Eric Wood on analog synth and Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, joined by Michael Caglianone (sax), Faruq Hassan (sampler), and Michael Knoblach (percussion). ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith:
Cyclic Models (Evil Clown)

A larger ensemble for the Boston-area collective Leap of Faith of David Peck on clarinets, saxophones & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, here extended with two horns, three strings, and drums including Cecil Taylor bassist Albey OnBass, plus John Fugarino on trumpets & brass, Tor Snyder on guitar and Eric Rosenthal on drums & percussion. ... Click to View


Chefkirk:
Giant Size (Love Earth Music)

Eight distinctive works for electronics and sound from the alter ego of Roger H. Smith, using noise, percussive elements and unusual synthetics, layered around static and arpeggiated rhythms and punctuated with strange asides, the works run from 3:14 to 18:37 and were developed over a year and half; an excellent introduction to the sonic diversity Chefkirk revels in. ... Click to View


Midnight Only (RJ Myato / Jabe Ledoux):
Midnight Only (Love Earth Music)

An album of dense electronics, drums and gongs from Vermont drummer and experimenter Jabe Ledoux, aka Jo Bled, and Pittsburgh noise artist RJ Myato, co-founder of NNN Coalition and curator of Enforced Existence label, in three works from assertive jumbles of sound, to buzzy drones with muted percussion and ending with an ocean of blurred and swooping harmonics. ... Click to View


Liba Villavecchia Trio (Reviriego / Trilla) + Luis Vicente:
Muracik (Clean Feed)

Trumpeter Luís Vicente joins the Spanish saxophonist Liba Villavechia's Trio with double bassist Alex Reveriego and drummer Vasco Trilla for a studio album of four Villavecchia compositions, and one each from Reviriego and Vicente, propelling the band into hard swinging free improv balanced with introspective abstraction and sonic extensions; masterful. ... Click to View


TGB (Carolino / Frazao / Delgado):
ROOM 4 (Clean Feed)

Twenty years of activity and advancement is heard in this fourth album from the dynamic tuba power trio of tubist Sergio Carolino, guitarist Mario Delgado & drummer Alexandre Frazao, an electric jazz unit of deep power and drive, on this album leaving behind cover tunes that included Deep Purple and Thelonious Monk to focus on compositions from each band member. ... Click to View


Ghost Trees:
Intercept Method [VINYL 2 LPs] (Future Recordings)

Appropriately recording in New Jersey in the Van Gelder Studios, the North Carolina sax & drum duo of Brent Bagwell and Seth Nanaa stand in the shadows of Coltrane & Ali or McHenry & Cyrlle on their fourth release, a 2-LP, 180gm red-vinyl album of swinging, structured free jazz with a lyrically inclined outside attitude; twelve tracks of concise and compelling dialogs. ... Click to View



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Heard Out

Reviews of live performance


  Shelley Hirsch / Dennis DelZotto 

  (PS1 (Queens, NY)) 


February 22, 2003 4:00 PM
   review by Phil Zampino
  2003-03-08

On a tremendously rainy day in Long Island City, Queens, a dedicated crowd headed to PS1, the schoolhouse modified to a modern art museum, to hear Shelley Hirsch and Daniel DelZotto perform. On a stage at the front of the cafe, surrounded by paintings, Hirsch worked with two mics and a small stack of electronics, while DelZotto sat at a table with a Macintosh iBook.

Arriving early for the sound check, Hirsch was working with the engineer on the mix for the first part of the show, "States." True to form this was as much a part of her performance as the scheduled performance itself, as Hirsch, singing, extemporized to the impromptu audience "you know, this is the sound check, but who knows, maybe it won't get any better than this..." It did, but it was a joy to watch her work on the effects and timing of the prerecorded soundtrack. After the sound check she mingled with the crowd, affably discussing her work.

The show began with a solo performance of the aforementioned "States," and the introduction invited us to pay special note to her gestures and movements throughout the piece. For Hirsch, working with a recording takes away none of the spontaneity and pleasure of the work, as she expressed the different sections of the piece in various personas and characterizations. "States" is a major work, a stream of consciousness piece that transforms Hirsch from chanteuse to the girl next door, shy to boisterous, and a variety of unexpected characters in between. The music draws from a huge set of genres, including jazz, indian, pop, classical, soundtrack, noise and even recorded applause. Throughout, Hirsch took on the mantles of many characters in sweeping gestures, at times using her body itself as she beat her chest and shook to affect the quality of sound, whistling and making the kind of vocal noises your mother once demanded be stopped, but in context expressing the complex language of the piece.

After a brief intermission Hirsch and DelZotto returned as a duo. This was the first time Hirsch had worked with DelZotto, who uses the program Reason to develop looping structures of synchopated rhythms, providing a solid foundation on which Hirsch was able to improvise. Hirsch explained to me that this was the first time she had worked with this musical format, and she reacted to the solid foundation with freedom and assurance. Hirsch was also experimenting with electronics, using a harmonizer that provided a degree of unpredictability that she seemed to thrive on. In an ironic gesture to the imminent NYC moratorium on cell phones in performance, a local ordinance recently passed by the Common Council, Hirsch gave out her phone number to audience so that they could phone in and participate in the performance.

The results were unusual and interesting: DelZotto kept the beats solid but varied, never settling into any single groove while providing a great degree of funky stability; his sounds included crunchy and indescribable noise that kept the sound varied and driving. Hirsch's used her harmonizer to change herself from a monstrous beast to a tiny chipmunk, a seemingly empowering act which Hirsch used as a mask to transform herself. Her improvisations covered, not surprisingly, themes of multiplicity interworked with strange images, evolving into a free association about her brother. The phone-in was a bit problematic, but acted as a mechanism to draw in the crowd, eliciting responses, laughter and discussion between Hirsch and the audience. That is, of course, the beauty of Hirsch's performances, that she seeks to break the barriers between the stage and the seats. This performance was a great example of her ability to do so.





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