The Squid's Ear Magazine

Lowe, Allen And The Constant Sorrow Orchestra: In the Dark [3 CDs] (ESP Disk)

After suffering and recovering from cancer surgery for a tumor in his sinus, the darkest period of despair in NY-area tenor saxophonist Allen Lowe's life, he turned to composition of new jazz works, finding that the music poured out of him, as heard in this set of lyrical and sophisticated original compositions performed with his aptly named ensemble: The Constant Sorrow Orchestra.

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Allen Lowe-tenor saxophone

Aaron Johnson-alto saxophone, clarinet

Ken Peplowski-clarinet

Lisa Parrott-baritone saxophone

Brian Simontacchi-trombone

Kellin Hannas-trumpet

Lewis Porter-piano

Alex Tremblay-bass

Kyle Colina-bass

Rob Landis-drums

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 825481508025

Label: ESP Disk
Catalog ID: ESPDISK 5080CD
Squidco Product Code: 33132

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 6 panel
Recorded at Teaneck Sound, in Teaneck, New Jrsey, in April and June, 2022, by Dave Kowalski.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Allen Lowe writes: In the Dark is a commemoration of the worst time of my life - a period of time during which, having been operated on to remove a cancerous tumor in my sinus, I slept for only brief periods of time. Sometimes I made it as long as two hours continuously, but most often I dozed off for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, maybe an hour - encamped as I was on my couch, trying not to wake my wife as I wandered in the dark contemplating the long night ahead. Sometimes I turned the television set on and slept fitfully to the sound of the late news shows. Most often I slept most peacefully at about 5 am, only to be awakened an hour or two later by the light that flooded my living room, even with the curtains closed. I could barely breathe through my nose, or any other place; my face had been carved up by the surgeons who saved my life, and I sometimes did mad circles in the dark to see if I could exercise and avoid collisions with inanimate objects like chairs, doors, stairways, tables, etc. I have never before (or since) felt that desperate about anything.

For a little while, in the late stages, I was able to breathe better, but then something called neuropathy set in, as what felt like a low-level electric current seething through my left foot. So - at this point I would go to bed at 11PM, and at 1 AM, like clockwork, that left foot began to vibrate, which it would continue to do for five or six hours, leaving me, at 6 or 7 am, with the very temporary relief of sleep - all the while trying to ignore the sunlight that tormented me like a celestial alarm clock that never stopped ringing.

At some point during this ordeal I started composing again. To my surprise - because I felt blank and near-death - the music poured out of me, and the result is this recording (and its ESP companion, America: The Rough Cut). I don't why it all happened like this, but I am reasonably sure that I will never be this prolific again, that I will never again produce this much good music this quickly.

The music is sometimes structured, sometimes free-improvised, sometimes blues and American song form; Ken Peplowski is let loose to play free jazz on some tracks; Aaron Johnson shows himself to be one of the best and most creative saxophonists playing today; Lewis Porter is a phenomenal pianist, adept at all forms and musical structures. Anthony Braxton has said "Allen Lowe is the tradition," and I am honored to accept his recognition. "-ESP-Disk

Artist Biographies

"Allen Lowe grew up in Massapequa Park, New York in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He started playing saxophone in jazz groups at age 15 and had some of his first jazz experiences, as a teenager, at the legendary Lower East Sideclub Slugs, seeing Ornette Coleman's band and Charles Mingus, among others. Coming of age at the end of the 1960s he also saw groups like Super Session (Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper), the Grateful Dead (at their first Central Park concert in 1967), the Mothers of Invention (at Columbia University, 1968). Not to mention Louis Armstrong at Freedomland, circa 1964. When his young band (with guitarist Joel Perry) was booked for a festival in Bedford Stuyvesant circa 1968, they turned out to be one of the opening acts for the comeback appearance of Eubie Blake.

After he dropped out of college in the middle 1970s Lowe returned to New York City, at a time when jazz was in something of an eclipse. He befriended a few veterans of the bebop era, like Al Haig, Curly Russell, Bill Triglia, Percy France, Dick Katz, Dave Schildkaut, and Tommy Potter. He even spent an odd afternoon with Lenny Tristano at Tristano's house in Jamaica Estates, became good friends with Barry Harris and Bob Neloms, got to know Jaki Byard while writing for a Boston music publication, and, in this same capacity, had some strange adventures one afternoon in Boston with Art Pepper.

Lowe had long since stopped performing, and by the time he picked up the saxophone again in the early 1980s he was living in New Haven Connecticut (by way of a brief attendance at the Yale School of Drama), where he became active in the local jazz scene with musicians like the bassist Jeff Fuller and drummer Ray Kaczynski. Originally an unreconstructed bebopper, he gradually became more and more interested in what was then known as "new music," and began composing, performing and recording more actively in the new idiom. He was in contact with musicians like Julius Hemphill, Don Byron, David Murray, Doc Cheatham, Roswell Rudd, Loren Schoenberg, Jimmy Knepper, Randy Sandke, and others, all of whom subsequently played or recorded with Lowe's bands. During this time Lowe recorded 2 compact discs at the Knitting Factory (with Murray, Cheatham, Hemphill, Schoenberg) as well as sessions for Enja and Music and Arts (with Ben Goldberg, Randy Sandke, Roswell Rudd) - and on the Music and arts Album he performed what turned out to be the first jazz interpretation of Blind Willie Johnson's Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.

In 1990 Lowe began working for the Mayor of New Haven, and became Director of Jazz New Haven, the yearly summer free outdoor festival held on the New Haven Green. He ran the festival for three years, booking musicians like Tony Williams, Max Roach, Jaki Byard, Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, Ray Barretto, and James Moody.

In 1996 he moved to South Portland Maine, and what followed was a period of involuntary musical retirement. There was little musical work, no interest in his music, and a local arts scene dominated by folk music, retro-Indie Rock, and people under the age of 30. Out of sheer boredom he took up the guitar and began composing again, and also taught himself the technique of sound restoration. During this time Lowe wrote 4 books - American Pop from Minstrel to Mojo (a survey of American music from 1896-1946, published by Cadence and issued with a 9 CD set); That Devilin' Tune: A Jazz History 1900-1950 (published by Music and Arts and issued with a 36 CD set); God Didn't Like It: Electric Hillbillies, Singing Preachers, and the Beginning of Rock and Roll, 1950-1970 (unpublished); The Lost Generation: Jazz of the 1950s (unpublished); and then, most recently, Really the Blues? A Blues History, 1893-1959 (with a 36 CD set and 80,000 words of notes). For all of these that were issued with compact discs sets Lowe did all mastering and sound restoration, and also began doing freelance sound work, for Rhino, Shout, Rykodisc, Sony, Michael Feinstein, Terry Gross (Fresh Air), Venus Records, and others. The last two historical reissue projects he has done (That Devilin Tune and Really the Blues?) remain as two of the largest independent projects ever done on the history of American music, and were completed without any outside, institutional support.

As a result of all of this one reviewer called Lowe "the Harry Smith of the 21st century." Greil Marcus remarked that "Lowe has made a substantial contribution to American culture, and all of those who want to see our musical history whole are in his debt." John Szwed commented that "Allen Lowe has forced us to rethink everything we 'know' about jazz - but I'll add that he's also forced us to question what we know about pop, country, and the blues as well. He has historicized pop music brilliantly...and the fact that he did it, and not one of the 'big' recording companies who are sitting on treasures of American music, is all the more astonishing. This collection should be in every household, or at the least in every library and school. Bravo! Encore!"

In the meantime, Lowe began doing yearly lectures on various musical topics and moderating panels at the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and the annual EMP Pop Conference in Seattle, Washington. He also lectured for the United States Information Agency in Europe. His books were used in courses at both Harvard and Yale, and entries appeared on him in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz and The Penguin Guide to Jazz on Compact Disc. There is also an entire chapter on him in the book Bebop and Nothingness, by Francis Davis.

Finally, around 2001, Lowe began playing and recording again, on both guitar and alto saxophone. In 2007 he recorded a disc with Matthew Shipp, Lewis Porter, Randy Sandke, Marc Ribot, Scott Robinson, and Erin Mckeown. A mix of jazz, punk rock, and American roots music, it received little national notice, but high praise from the likes of Anthony Braxton "Allen Lowe is a great writer. It's hillbilly music but it's trans-national. Allen Lowe is one of the few musicians doing anything new today. He is the tradition. I'm a big fan of Allen Lowe and I think as a musician and a scholar he is very important and I think he is deeply misunderstood because he doesn't hate himself" and led to Lowe's inclusion in a book called Jazz Jews (Mike Gerber, Five Leaves Publications) in which it was advised that Lowe "extracts the most soulful sounds out of a synthesizer since Steve Wonder, composes ambient-evocative instrumentals, and songs with vernacular lyrics that stick in the mind like those of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Mose Allison or Lou Reed."

An uncomfortable encounter in 2008 with Wynton Marsalis led to Lowe's current project/obsession, the reissue Really the Blues? A Blues History 1893-1959 (see above) as well as a recording project and New York concert of his own music based on the blues and its various related forms. He has been recording in the last year with Matthew Shipp, Marc Ribot, Lewis Porter, Randy Sandke, and Roswell Rudd, and is currently rehearsing a new Portland-based group in a series of blues and blues variations that also touch on gospel and other forms of street-music."

-Allen Lowe Website (

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"Aaron M. Johnson is a Saxophonist, Clarinetist and Flutist based in New York City where he leads his quartet and freelances as a jazz musician and commercial woodwind doubler. In addition to leading his own group in nearly every New York jazz establishment, from Smalls to Jazz at Lincoln Center, he has worked with notable jazz musicians such as Jon Batiste, Dick Hyman, Chuck Israels, Ken Peplowski, Connie Crothers, Slide Hampton, John Colianni, Ed Palermo, Pete Barbutti, Joey "G Clef" Cavaseno, Jon-Erik Kellso, Dwayne Clemons, Sacha Perry and many more. Johnson is currently an artist in residence for the famed Catskill Jazz Factory and 23arts. Through these organizations, he has premiered 4 commissioned projects since 2017.

As a commercial/classical/woodwind musician, Aaron has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, played in the house band for Bill Irwin's Old Hats, Toured with 2009 American Idol Winner Lee DeWyze and is a member of the Siletz Bay Festival Orchestra (Oregon) in addition to freelancing with many local/regional symphonies/chamber ensembles in the New York Metro Area. Currently playing lead alto with the John Colianni jazz orchestra, Aaron is also a member of the Ken Peplowski big band and leads his own groups and projects nationally as well as abroad.

In addition to his performing, Aaron Johnson is an in demand scholar and lecturer of Jazz history. He has presented and spoken many times at Jazz at Lincoln Center, conducting pre-concert lectures, moderating panels and presenting listening party lectures. Other schools Aaron has presented at include NYU and the College of William & Mary.

Aaron plans to release his first two albums in the fall of 2019- the first, recorded in January, is a quartet album produced by Ken Peplowski and Engineered by Bill Moss at Flux studios featuring Jordan Piper (piano), Neal Miner (bass) and Charles Goold (drums). The 2nd, a live concert recorded at the Oregon Coast Music festival in July and engineered by Vincent Cavarra, features Jazz great Chuck Israels on Bass as well as frequent collaborator Jordan Piper on Piano and will be released by Joey Cavaseno's label, Soul Kid Jazz. "

-Aaron Johnson Website (

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""When you grow up in Cleveland, Ohio, playing in a Polish polka band, you learn to think fast on your feet", says Ken Peplowski, who played his first pro engagement when he was still in elementary school. "From my first time performing in public, I knew I wanted to play music for a living."

Ken, and his trumpet-playing brother Ted, made many local radio and TV appearances and played for Polish dances and weddings virtually every weekend all through high-school. "That's where I learned to improvise, 'fake' songs, learn about chord changes, etc.- it's exactly like learning to swim by being thrown into the water!"

By the time Ken was in his early teens, he was experimenting with jazz by playing in the school "stage" bands, and also by jamming with many of the local jazz musicians. "By the time I hit high school, I was teaching at the local music store, playing in our family band, and playing jazz gigs around town while still getting up early every day for school."

After a year of college, Ken joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow. "Buddy heard me with my quartet at a Cleveland jazz festival along with Teddy Wilson's trio and the Dorsey band, and made an offer right then and there for me to not only play lead alto, but to have a feature spot on the clarinet with the rhythm section. It was a great 'road-school' - we learned the discipline that goes with playing one-nighters every day for 48 weeks out of the year, and Buddy was a great, very generous bandleader."

Peplowski met Sonny Stitt while on the road with the Dorsey band, and studied with him. "He was, and is, an inspiration to all of of us who make a living 'on the road' - I've never heard anybody play with such amazing consistency as Sonny, through all kinds of settings."

In 1980, Ken moved to New York City,and was soon playing in all kinds of settings, from traditional to avant-garde jazz. "Everything's a learning experience in jazz music - there's always an element of the unpredictable." In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone.

Peplowski signed with Concord Records, under the tutelage of Carl Jefferson, the founder and president, and recorded close to 20 albums as a leader, including "The Natural Touch" in 1992 which won Best Jazz Record of the Year by the Prises Deutschen Schallplatten Kritiken, and "The Other Portrait", recorded in Sophia Bulgaria with the symphony orchestra and highlighting Ken's classical side. He also recorded two records on the Nagel Heyer label,"Lost In The Stars" and "Easy To Remember", the latter of which features Bobby Short on his last recording. "I loved Bobby Short's approach to the American songbook, and we'd talked about doing a record together for a while - I'm glad we got this one 'in the can.'

"What's in the future? "Who knows? I love all kinds of music, andI'd like to find more opportunities to bridge the gaps between different musical styles - I consider myself an interpreter of material - if something interests me, I try to put my own spin on it, without thinking or worrying about playing in any particular style. Basically, I like a challenge, I'm a sucker for a good melody, and I love playing for audiences, big or small."

And he has certainly achieved these goals, be it in small clubs, the Hollywood Bowl (where he played a sold-out concert), headlining in Las Vegas, the Newport Jazz Festival, pops concerts, European festivals and clubs, or at home in NYC, doing everything from playing on the soundtracks to Woody Allen movies, guest soloing on records (his more interesting recent ones were Marianne Faithfull and Cuban vocalist Isaac Delgado) to taking on the role of music director for interactive French and Italian cookbooks ("Menus And Music").

The litany of musicians Ken has collaborated with includes: Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Madonna, Hank Jones, Dave Frishberg, Rosemary Clooney, Tom Harrell, James Moody, Cedar Walton, Houston Person, Steve Allen, Bill Charlap, Woody Allen, Marianne Faithfull, Isaac Delgado & Erich Kunzel. ("Although not necessarily in that order," says Ken).

Peplowski also does many workshops for students of all ages- "My goal is to get the students to learn how to teach themselves, and to learn how to bring out their own best qualities; after all, jazz is about individuality-first you learn the rules, then you break them. I would like to think of myself as a lifelong student!"

Ken Peplowski is a Buffet-Crampon artist, and plays the R-13 clarinet,with a Portnoy mouthpiece and Van Doren German-cut reeds. He also plays a Conn tenor sax and a Berg Larsen mouthpiece.

Ken's new CD is called "Sunrise" and it's a big band record of new arrangements written exclusively for him, plus some reworking of classic arrangements. His upcoming CD is a duo record with Brazilian guitarist Diego Figuereido entitled "Amizade".

He is currently the artistic director of the Sarasota Jazz Festival, the Newport Beach Jazz Party, and the Oregon Coast Jazz Party in Newport, Oregon. Ken Peplowski has also been bestowed this year's "Creative Arts Prize In Recognition Of Outstanding Contribution In The Field Of The Creative Arts" by the Polish American Historical Association."

-Ken Peplowski Website (

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"As an expatriate Australian who has shown that she can succeed on the competitive New York jazz scene, alto and baritone saxophonist Lisa Parrott has been based in New York since the early '90s.

In 2021, Lisa received a Chamber Music America Performance Plus grant for her new harmolodic septet, 'We Love Ornette'. The grant included workshops with drummer and son of Ornette Coleman, Denardo Coleman, and a subsequent recording. After spending two days recording at Samurai Hotel in November 2022, the 'We Love Ornette' debut recording will be released in 2023.

In 2022, Lisa was honored to play and act in the inaugural sold out run of the HERE Theater's NYC production of Taylor Mac's 'The Hang' that was described by the New Yorker as a dada drag jazz opera extravaganza!"

-Lisa Parrott Website (

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"Trombonist, educator, arranger, composer, musician, and artist Brian Simontacchi started on trombone at age 8 in the Denville, NJ public school system. It was apparent from the very beginning that he had talent. One teacher remarked when he was 9 that he could major in music. This left an impression on him.

Glenn Miller and the music of the swing era left an early impression on him, but it wasn't until he discovered "The Best of John Coltrane" that he truly fell in love with jazz and improvised music.

Brian attended the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music, receiving a scholarship to study with renowned legend Steve Davis starting in the fall of 2010. Other professors during Brian's time included Jeremy Pelt, Nat Reeves, Eric McPherson, Rene McLean, Javon Jackson, Andy LaVerne, Shawnn Monteiro and Abraham Burton. Brian grew from their tutelage.

Brian graduated in May of 2014 with a B.M. in Jazz Studies. Since then Brian has been fortunate to work regularly with the likes of Josh Evans, Allen Lowe, Fabio Morgera, Mark Johnson, The Makanda Project, Frank Lacy, Jovan Alexandre, Jonathan Barber, Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra, Dr. Lewis Porter and more. In September 2013, Brian was fortunate to record alongside NEA Jazz Master Gary Bartz on Allen Lowe's project "Man with Guitar: Where's Robert Johnson?"

In 2019, Brian formed o3 with Corey Garcia and Matt Dwonszyk. Brian is currently working with Frank Lacy's Septet and the Josh Evans Big Band."

-Brian Simontacchi Website (

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"Lewis Porter, pianist, keyboardist, and composer, appears on 30 albums with Dave Liebman, Marc Ribot, Gary Bartz and many others, and his 2018 album Beauty And Mystery features John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Tia Fuller. His latest are the exciting jazz-rock album Transcendent with guitar virtuoso Ray Suhy, on Sunnyside, and Solo Piano on the new label Next To Silence. AllAboutJazz writes that Porter's music draws from many sources to make "a beautifully creative whole" and that he is "a first-rate pianist," to which NYC Jazz Record adds that he has "a mind-boggling array of approaches at his ...fingertips." He received a Grammy nomination in 1995. He has performed across the USA and Europe with Liebman (who premiered one of Dr. Porter's saxophone concertos), Joe Lovano, Wycliffe Gordon, Ravi Coltrane, Ribot, and many others.

Awarded a Ph.D. in musicology in 1983, he is well-known as a jazz educator, researcher, and author, most notably of a celebrated book on John Coltrane. A long-time former music professor at Rutgers in Newark and at Tufts U, he also taught at The New School, The Manhattan School of Music, NYU, William Paterson U, and Brandeis, as well as being a guest teacher throughout the USA and Europe. He also teaches private students worldwide by Zoom/Skype/Facetime/GoogleMeet, etc. Please follow him at and on Facebook."

-Lewis Porter Website (

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"Born and raised in North Providence RI, Alex Tremblay found his passion in music at a young age. He came from a family of musicians which enabled him to hone his craft at a young age and would eventually lead him to further his studies at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, where he was a student of the schools renowned jazz department that was founded by the legendary Jazz Saxophonist/Composer, Jackie McLean.

It was there that he met an studied with one of his bass heroes, Professor Nat Reeves. After completing his studies in 2013 he moved to New York City to continue to study, grow, and perform. Since moving to New York his most recent teachers have been Larry Grenadier and Gregg August. He currently resides in Brooklyn and is an active member of the music community in and around New York City.

He has performed at many well known New York venues as well as venues abroad such as, The Cotton Club (Tokyo), Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Iridium, BB King's, Minton's, The Cutting Room, Shanghai Jazz, The Kitano, Smoke Jazz Supper Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Fat Cat, Sleep No More, Bar Next Door, SubCulture, and Terra Blues.

He has also performed with the likes of Jerry Dodgion, Bennie Wallace, Lew Tabackin, Jonathan Barber, Jovan Alexandre, Gary Smulyan, Johnny O' Neal, Larry Willis, Donald Vega, Pete Malinverni, Shawnn Monteiro, Steve Davis, Winard Harper, David Schnitter, Lawrence Clark, Philip Dizack, Jumaane Smith, Khalili Kwame Bell, Antoinette Montague, Josh Evans, Solomon Hicks, Highline Chamber Ensemble, Billy Drummond, Don Hahn, John Mosca, and Ralph LaLama."

-Alex Tremblay Website (

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Track Listing:


1. Kickin' The Bucket 5:52

2. Ralphie's Theme 5:54

3. Hiding From A Riff 6:24

4. In The Dark: Night Terrors 7:20

5. Castles In The Sand 4:23

6. In The Dark: Tears 8:16

7. Out To Brunch 7:03

8. Boyce's Choice 6:22

9. In The Dark: Elvis Don't You Weep 8:53

10. In The Dark: For Helen 4:58


1. Junkie Rumble 4:43

2. Innuendo In Blue 8:51

3. Goodbye Barry Harris 3:13

4. In The Dark: Desparate Circles 5:00

5. What Are We Doing? 3:26

6. Blues For Old Jews 6:56

7. In The Dark: Elsa My Dear 3:14

8. Velasco's Revenge 7:15

9. The Potato Eaters 5:03

10. Jelly Roll's Broadway Blues 4:24

11. Hassan's Nap 5:45


1. In The Jungles 7:05

2. Poem For Eric Dolphy 3:17

3. Do You Know What It Means To Leave New Orleans? 9:21

4. Nita's Mom 5:47

5. In The Dark: For Francis 4:14

6. Crippled Clarence 4:32

7. Duke Dreams 4:04

8. In The Dark: Dance Of The Apparitions 5:14

9. Declension 4:46

10. Memories Of Jackie 4:54

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Large Ensembles
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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Irniger, Christoph Pilgrim
Ghost Cat
Zurich tenor saxophonist & composer Christoph Irniger in his fourth album on the Intakt label with his creative and cooperative band Pilgrim of Stefan Aeby on piano, Dave Gisler on guitar, Raffaele Bossard on bass and Michael Stulz on drums, performing Irninger's lyrical and thoughtful compositions, along with one from bassist Raffaele Bossard.
Malecki, Artur & The Creature Trio (w/ Chmiel / Aftyka)
(Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Widoki, Polish for Views, is the debut album of the free improvising trio of Artur Malecki on drums, Michal Aftyka on double bass & electric bass and Przemylaw Chmiel on tenor & soprano saxophones, performing seven compositions from drummer Malecki and one collective improvisation, a strong and wide-ranging set of recordings from a band with a fresh perspective on creative jazz.
Ayler, Albert Quintet
At Slugs' Saloon 1966, Revisited
(ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Combining the two Italian ESP/BASE LPs from 1982 and the 1995 ESP reissues, this spectacular concert with perhaps Ayler's most essential band--Ayler on tenor sax, Donald Ayler on trumpet, Michel Samson on violin, Lewis Worrell on double bass and Ronald Shannon Jackson on drums--is fully remastered to bring out more details from the complete, ecstatic 1966 concert.
Allbee, Liz / John Butcher / Ignaz Schick / Marta Zapparoli
Lamenti Dall'infinito [VINYL]
The 4th of NI-VU-NI-CONNU's 5-LP John Butcher series and part of a 2 night residency at ausland in Berlin coinciding with his 65th birthday, tenor & soprano saxophonist John Butcher is joined in a quartet by electroacoustic improvisers, trumpeter Liz Allbee, Ignaz Shick on turntables, sampler & electronics and Marta Zapparoli on tapes, reel-to-reel tape machines and antennas.
Agnel, Sophie / John Butcher
La Pierre Tachee [VINYL]
The 2nd of NI-VU-NI-CONNU's 5-LP John Butcher series, the duo of pianist Sophie Agnel and soprano & tenor saxophonist John Butcher is informed by previous collaborations as a duo and in a trio with cellist Márkos Albert, here in a superb 2019 concert of balanced tension and intense interaction captured at Ausland in Berlin, a meeting of two perfectly matched improvisers.
Ayler, Albert
La Cave Live, Cleveland 1966 Revisited [2 CDs]
(ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Never-before released recordings of tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler's 1966 band recording in his home town of Cleveland at club La Cave, recorded over two nights in a superb sextet with brother Donald on trumpet, Frank Wright on tenor sax, Michel Samson on violin, Clyde Shy on double bass and Ronald Shannon Jackson on drums, performing Ayler's compositions and Don Cherry's "D.C.".
New York Contemporary Five
Copenhagen 1963, Revisited
(ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Originally released in 1964 on The Sonet label as Volumes 1 & 2, this CD remasters this exceptional 1963 concert of original material and pieces by Ornette & Monk, complete in sequence as performed at Jazzhaus Montmarte in Copenhagen with Archie Shepp on tenor saxophone, Don Cherry on cornet, John Tchicai on alto saxophone, Don Moore on double bass and J.C. Moses on drums.
Michael and Peter Formanek
(Out Of Your Head Records)
Since 2017 the father/son duo of double bassist Michael Formanek and woodwind player Peter Formanek have performed, recorded and toured together, here recording in the studio in 2019 with the wind player on tenor saxophone and clarinet, the familial history and life of collaboration showing in the warmth and easy discourse between the two, heard in 13 succinct improvisations.
Harriott, Joe Quintet
Free Form & Abstract Revisited [2 CDs]
(ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Two essential early 60s release from famed UK saxophonist Joe Harriott, an innovator bringing free jazz concepts to the British audience with his quintet of Shake Kane on trumpet & flugelhorn, Pat Smythe on piano, Coleridge Goode on double bass and Phil Seaman on drums, referencing the new forms of jazz from US artists like Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman.
Thumbscrew (Fujiwara / Halvorson / Formanek)
Never Is Enough [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
Recorded at the same time and influenced by the recording of their 2020 album The Anthony Braxton Project, the NY Thumbscrew trio of Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Mary Halvorson on guitar, and Michael Formanek on double bass & electric bass present 9 original compositions, three pieces from each of the musicians, of melodically inclined forward thinking, creative jazz.

The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

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