Henry Kaiser
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Monster Island (Visible, 1976)
Ice Death (Parachute 005, 1977), 7/10
Improvised (Music Gallery, 1978)
Moose And Salmon (Music Gallery, 1979)
Protocol (Metalanguage, 1979), 6.5/10
With Friends Like These (Metalanguage, 1979)
Outside Pleasure (Metalanguage 111,1980), 6.5/10
Aloha (Metalanguage, 1981), 7.5/10
Mah Jong Hell (Mystery Tape Laboratory, 1983)
It's A Wonderful Life (Metalanguage 124, 1984), 7.5/10
Invite The Spirit (Celluloid, 1984), 7/10
Marrying For Money (Minor Music, 1986), 6/10
Devil In The Drain (SST, 1987), 5/10
Crazy-backwards Alphabet (SST, 1987), 5/10
Those Who Know History Are Doomed To Repeat It (SST, 1988), 5.5/10
Popular Science (Rykodisc, 1989) **
Alternate Versions (SST, 1989)
Heart's Desire (Reckless, 1990), 5/10
Hope You Like Our New Direction (Reckless, 1991) **
Invisible Means (Windham Hill, 1990), 4/10
Siamese Stepbrothers (Cuneiform, 1995), 5/10
Hope You Like Our New Direction (Reckless, 1991), 5/10
Tomorrow Knows Where You Live (Victo, 1991), 6/10
Acoustics (Victo, 1993), 6/10
The Five Heavenly Truths (FOT, 1992), 6/10
Lemon Fish Tweezer (Cuneiform, 1992) anthology
A World Out Of Time Volume (Shanachie, 1992), 4/10
A World Out Of Time Volume 2 (Shanachie, 1993), 4/10
A World Out Of Time Volume 3 (Shanachie, 1994), 4/10
The Sweet Sunny North (Shanachie, 1994), 4/10
The Sweet Sunny North Volume 2 (Shanachie, 1996), 4/10
Eternity Blue (Shanachie, 1995), 4/10
Wireforks (Shanachie, 1995), 6/10
Yo Miles (Shanachie, 1998), 5/10
Psychedelic Guitar Circus (Sky Ranch , 2003), 5/10
Sky Garden (2004), 6/10
Jazz Free (2008), 5/10
The Starbreak Splatterlight (2009), 5/10
A Little Stroke Of Light (2010), 6/10
Everything Forever (2011), 5/10
Solo Acoustic On Beardsell Guitars (2011), 5/10
Kamura (2012), 6/10
Lake Monsters (2013), 5/10
Relations (2013), 5/10
Garden Of Memory (2014), 5/10
Plane Crash Two (2014), 5/10
The Deconstruction Of What You Know (2014), 5/10
You Can't Get There From Here (2015), 5/10
Nearly Extinct (2015), 5/10
Skip To The Solo (2015), 6/10
Megasonic Chapel (2015), 5.5/10
Lake Monsters (2015), 5/10
The Celestial Squid (2016), 6.5/10
Nazca Lines (2016), 5/10
Links:

San Francisco-based guitarist Henry Kaiser (1952) adopted Derek Bailey's approach to creative atonal improvisation and Captain Beefheart's approach to post-psychedelic timbric and rhythmic mayhem on Ice Death (october 1977), featuring both solos and collaborations with improvisers such as guitarist Eugene Chadbourne and alto saxophonist John Oswald, the duets of Protocol (december 1978), with the Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo and the Italian percussionist Andrea Centazzo, the chaotic guitar duets with Fred Frith of With Friends Like These (july 1979), that was also his first experiment in using the studio as an instrument, and finally the solo album Outside Pleasure (august 1979). The double-LP album Aloha (september 1981) contained two lengthy solo showcases for his extended technique The Shadow Line, a vast catalog of abominable blues, jazz, rock and Indian mistakes, and the studio-processed Aloha Gamera (a remix ante-litteram). Kaiser successfully wed creative improvisation and ethnic music on Invite The Spirit (august 1983), for a trio with Korean zither and percussion (Charles Noyes).
Instead the 27-minute It's A Wonderful Life, off It's A Wonderful Life (september 1984), began to display his twisted genius for composition, freely adapting elements of bluegrass, blues, rock, Indian and Japanese stringed instruments. The hypnotic scales, the fractured melodies and the intricate tonal zigzagging framed by neurotic tempos were closer in spirit to an acid-rock jam or to a melodic fantasia than to Derek Bailey's blasts of noise.
Other notable pieces of bizarre improvisation were the live duet with Bill Frisell, Last Of The Few (november 1985), off Marrying For Money; the live duet with guitarist Jim O'Rourke, A Long Life Is A Slow Death, off Tomorrow Knows Where You Live (march 1991); the 25-minute solo The Five Heavenly Truths, off The Five Heavenly Truths (august 1990).
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Henry Kaiser (1952), prolifico ed eclettico chitarrista di Oakland (California) inizio' nella scia di Derek Bailey con album come Ice Death (october 1977), raccolta di diciassette conciliaboli dadaisti fra la chitarra e sassofoni, tromboni, violoncelli. Ogni brano e' una miniatura di emissioni sonore del tutto casuali nella quale prevale il senso dello humour sulla razionalita'. E' un'arte di dissonanze calibrate che si spiega in Blue Dolphin, con i cinguettii di John Oswald al sax alto e i solfeggi isterici di Laurel Spring, e in Wind Crystal, la piece piu' ardua e rarefatta, tutta giocata sulle stecche delle chitarre. Improvised (Music Gallery, 1978) e Moose And Salmon (february 1979 - Music Gallery, 1979) sono collaborazioni con Oswald.

Se l'album Protocol eccede nell'effettismo, il live Outside Pleasure mette a frutto il repertorio di trucchi cacofonici in suite-delirio dai toni clowneschi come Outside Pleasure (con i pizzicato e i crescendo piu' psicotici della storia della chitarra), The Stormy Present (con una serie agghiacciante di glissando psichedelici) e The Farmer In Heaven (con vaghe reminescenze dei balletti giapponesi), massacri armonici infestati da stecche e scordature.

Tali opere di transizione preparano il terreno per Aloha, album doppio che rappresenta il vertice di questa fase: The Shadow Line e' il suo assolo definitivo, capace di lambire uno spettro sterminato di fonti, dai glissando hendrixiani alle distorsioni psichedeliche, dai cluster pianistici all'alea cage-ana, con un intermezzo elettronico da fantasmi. La suite dell'orrore Aloha Gamera e' invece trattata elettronicamente in studio mescolando le caratteristiche stecche assortite di chitarra con ogni sorta di ronzii e overdub, ma la concitazione e' tale che, nei momenti di massimo clangore, sembra di sentire passi di flamenco e imitazioni di clavicembalo.

Outside Aloha Pleasure (Dexter's Cigar, 1996) combines Outside Pleasure and Aloha.

The cassette Mah Jong Hell (Mystery Tape Laboratory, 1983) collected solo home demos with old drum machines.

Con la suite It's A Wonderful Life (sul lavoro omonimo) la sua tecnica compositiva inizia a manifestare palesemente tendenze centrifughe verso gli idiomi piu' disparati, bluegrass, blues, rock, indiani e giapponesi.

With It's A Wonderful Life Kaiser's compositional technique began to show a centrifugal drift towards disparate idioms of popular and classical music. palesemente tendenze centrifughe verso gli idiomi piu' disparati,
What sets apart Kaiser's improvisations is that they don't seem to belong to any of the established traditions. There is little or no jazz in It's A Wonderful Life, despite the free-form format. There are, on the other hand, subtle references to the rock, bluegrass and blues traditions, and not so subtle tributes to Indian and Japanese classical music. The hypnotic scales, the fractured melodies and the intricate tonal zigzagging are framed by neurotic tempos, giving the performance a very modern, urban feeling. In fact, the overall effect is closer to an aicd-rock jam or to a melodic fantasia a` la Mike Oldfield than to Derek Bailey's guitar improvisations. The delirious (almost heavy-metal) solo of Let's Drink adds Indian drumming and funky syncopation. The Book Of Gold, instead, is a concerto for guitar noises, an austere exploration of timbres.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Andrea Marengo)

Con It's A Wonderful Life la tecnica compositiva di Kaiser cominciava a mostrare palesemente tendenze centrifughe verso gli idiomi più disparati della musica popolare e classica. Le improvvisazioni di Kaiser erano però caratteristiche proprio perché nessuna di esse sembrava appartenere a quelle tradizioni fondate. Benché presenti un formato free-form, c'è poco o nulla di jazz in It's A Wonderful Life. Vi sono, tuttavia, ingegnosi riferimenti al rock, al bluegrass e alla tradizione blues, e non molti tributi alla musica indiana o alla classica giapponese. Le scale ipnotiche, le melodie frammentate e le tonalità zigzaganti sono incorniciate da cadenze neurotiche che danno all'eseguzione un feeling molto urbano e moderno. Infatti, l'effetto generale è più vicino ad una jam acid-rock o ad una fantasia melodica alla maniera di Mike Oldfield piuttosto che a una improvvisazione chitarristica di Derek Bailey. Il delirante (pressochè heavy-metal) assolo di Let's Drink aggiunge tamburellii africani e sincopi funky. The Book Of Gold è invece un concerto per rumori di chitarra nonché un'austera esplorazione timbrica.

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I dischi della prima fase della carriera di Kaiser contribuirono a ridefinire il concetto di musica da camera in un'accezione piu'ampia. Gia' in queste prime opere il jazz d'avanguardia di Kaiser non e' mai troppo intellettuale o astratto e conserva sempre l'elemento umano, spesso sotto forma di un'umorismo provocatorio. Kaiser amplia il vocabolario della musica creativa di Derek Bailey accettando contaminazioni con qualsiasi congegno elettronico e con qualsiasi forma di gestualita', finendo per assomigliare piu' a Chadbourne che al maestro inglese e finendo cosi' per imbattersi nella scuola progressiva rock: per esempio Who Needs Enemies (october 1983), in coppia con Fred Frith, e' un campionario di duetti irregolari e di rumori assortiti. La sua formazione era d'altronde quella di un ragazzo medio californiano, cresciuto ascoltando i dischi della Magic Band di Captain Beefheart e le jam "acide" dei Grateful Dead, e la cui filosofia musicale e' quella delle radio alternative che, durante l'era hippie, trasmettevano musica non commerciale a ruota libera, mescolando con disinvoltura i generi piu' diversi.

Eterogeneo e caotico, fantasioso e divertente, il linguaggio musicale di Kaiser fini' per incorporare elementi di tutte le culture, tutti arricchiti dalla sua cacofonia virtuosa: Invite The Spirit, ispirato alla musica cerimoniale Coreana, in trio con Noyes e un arpista coreano (Sang Won Park), e' uno dei suoi capolavori, con brani da camera in cui le scordature piu' assurde armonizzano con naturalezza con le atmosfere sciamaniche e confuciane del "sinawi".

Avvicinantosi sempre piu' all'ambiente del rock, Kaiser registro' Marrying For Money (november 1985), ristampato come Re-Marrying For Money (SST, 1989), totalmente improvvisato con un power-trio rockeggiante che rifa' il verso ai Massacre e che sfoggia un fantastico assortimento di stecche (Set Up), minimalismi grotteschi (Big Clock, Java Jack), dissonanze violente (Too Late For Tears, Tapping The Source) e superbi blues alla Beefheart (Pigs And Battleship, Hairy Eyeball), e si sublima nel lungo delirio post-psichedelico di Last Of The Few in duo con Bill Frisell. Con questo disco Kaiser approdo' a una maniera matura di applicare la sua tecnica estesa di chitarra all'improvvisazione libera del rock.

Kaiser's rock and funk souls rule on Devil In The Drain (february 1987 - SST, 1987). Sugagaki for Conlon sounds like Frank Zappa (both the verbose guitar solos and the band-like synclavier arrangements) mixed with some Weather Report and some Herbie Hancock. Dark Memory #4 is a three-part work: a dissonant keyboard study, a watercolor of atmospheric guitar tones, and a frantic Mahavishnu Orchestra-like fugue. The haunting Roadside Picnic evolves from a subdued piano sonata to a polyrhythmic industrial nightmare. The mood runs the gamut from the comic intermezzo King of the Wild Frontier to the Irish square-dance cum Japanese court ballet of If This Goes On, via the dreamy gamelan concerto of Free to Choose. The only reference to his past life as a free improviser is the intricate, quasi-raga out-of-tune guitar solo Lost Horizon, one of his best ever. (Translation by/ Tradotto da Andrea Marengo)

Il rock e il funk-soul di Kaiser dominano in Devil In The Drain (february 1987 - SST, 1987). Sugagaki For Conlon somiglia alla musica di Frank Zappa (sia per i prolissi assoli di chitarra, sia per gli arrangiamenti della band che diventano simili a un sintetizzatore Synclavier) mescolata a quella dei Weather Report e a quella di Herbie Hancock. Dark Mermory #4 è un lavoro in tre parti: la prima è un dissonante studio per tastiera, la seconda è un acquerello di note chitarristiche atmosferiche, la terza è un'affannosa fuga orchestrale alla maniera di Mahavishnu. Nella struggente Roadside Picnic una sommessa sonata per pianoforte si trasforma in un incubo poliritmico industriale. L'atmosfera spazia dall'intermezzo comico di King Of The Wild Frontier alla quadriglia irlandese mescolata ad un balletto da corte giapponese di If This Goes On, per proseguire con il concerto di gamelan trasognato di Free To Choose. L'unico riferimento alla sua vita passata come improvvisatore è l'intricato assolo di chitarra quasi raga fuori tono di Lost Horizon, uno dei suoi migliori di sempre.

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Seguirono Those Who Know History Are Doomed To Repeat It, in cui rivede alla sua maniera la Dark Star dei Grateful Dead e brani di Beefheart; Crazy-Backwards Alphabet (december 1986), con un quartetto rock (compreso John French) che suona blues bianchi alla Mayall (Get To You), cesella strumentali astratti e cacofonici (Dropped D's, We Are In Control?) e di nuovo resuscita la baldanza sbilenca della Magic Band (Lobster On The Rock).

Ha inizio cosi' l'era delle collaborazioni, tanto nel rock, e cioe' il Live, Love, Larf & Loaf (march 1987) con Richard Thompson, John French e Fred Frith, quanto nel jazz, con Popular Science (may 1989 - bozzetti surreali in duo con il tastierista russo Sergey Kuryokhin). Quest'ultimo e' un festival del bizzarro allestito nel segno del post-moderno: Out Taco Sauce, Sales Pitch, Electricity Vs Foods, Barking Dogs Vs Minimalists resteranno fra le gag piu' riuscite della sua carriera. Il quartetto non si ripetera` purtroppo sul mediocre Invisible Means (march 1990 - Windham Hill, 1990).

Kaiser e' musicista superficiale e giocherellone, pronto a qualsiasi esperienza, anche se scarsamente dotato in fase compositiva, che eccelle soprattutto nell'assolo. I suoi momenti piu' felici rimangono probabilmente le solenni fantasie per stecche di Aloha Gamera, It's A Wonderful Life e Last Of The Few.

Heart's Desire (october 1989 - Reckless, 1990) documents a live performance of Kaiser with a band that included industrial guitarist Bruce Anderson and Grateful Dead's keyboardist Tom Constanten, the precursor to the Siamese Stepbrothers (Cuneiform, 1995). Hope You Like Our New Direction (Reckless, 1991) is, instead, another display of his eclectic background.

Thankfully, Kaiser returned to his free-form noise guitar roots with Tomorrow Knows Where You Live (march 1991 - Victo, 1991), duets with 22-year old Jim O'Rourke and solos of each of the two (best is O'Rourke's droning Just as A Wall Of Quiet Flowing Stands Near), Acoustics (august 1993 - Victo, 1993), a quartet with O'Rourke, Oswald and violinist Mari Kimura, and the 25-minute solo-guitar title-track of The Five Heavenly Truths (FOT, 1992).

Lemon Fish Tweezer (Cuneiform, 1992) is a career retrospective (with, alas, rarities).

Kaiser and David Lindley recorded five albums of music from Madagascar (with the help of Malagasy musicians): A World Out Of Time Volume (Shanachie, 1992), A World Out Of Time Volume 2 (Shanachie, 1993), A World Out Of Time Volume 3 (Shanachie, 1994), The Sweet Sunny North (Shanachie, 1994), The Sweet Sunny North Volume 2 (Shanachie, 1996).

Eternity Blue (Shanachie, 1995) is a Grateful Dead tribute.

Passwords (november 1997) was a trio with pianist Paul Plimley and cellist Danielle DeGruttola.

Wireforks (Shanachie, 1995) is duets with Derek Bailey.

The Mistakes is a rock band started by Mike Keneally.

Yo Miles (january 1998 - Shanachie, 1998) with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith (and a rhythm section) is a collection of jams on Davis' themes.

Psychedelic Guitar Circus (Sky Ranch , 2003) is another collection of (psychedelic-era) covers.

Through (january 1999) collected duets with Italian guitarist Roberto Zorzi.

Sky Garden (Cuneiform, 2004) is another collaboration with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, this time a double-disc recording split between more Miles Davis covers and Smith's compositions. Zakir Hussain, Greg Osby and John Tchicaiare among the guests.

Infinity Squared (july 2006) documented a live duet with percussionist Andrea Centazzo (also on sampling).

Indestructible Fantasy (june 2006), released only ten years later, featured Alexei Pliousnine (electric guitar), Marco Eneidi (alto sax), Rova Saxophone Quartet's Jon Raskin (alto, baritone and sopranino saxes), Scott Looney (piano), Damon Smith (double bass), Gino Robair (drums) and John Hanes (percussion).

Where Endless Meets Disappearing (may 2009) was a solo work of 18 brief pieces.

The trio Henry Kaiser, Charles Noyes and Weasel Walter recorded the live Ninja Star Danger Rock (2011). Plan Crash (2011) documents a trio with bassist Damon Smith and drummer Weasel Walter.

Kaiser sculpted the 70 minute A Little Stroke Of Light (2010) using an harmonizer and an antiquated Lexicon PCM-41 digital delay to process his live guitar improvisation.

Everything Forever - 80 Minute Live Trance Guitar Solo (2011) is a solo electric guitar sonata with no overdubbing. Solo Acoustic On Beardsell Guitars (february 2011) was totally improvised.

Invisible Rays (march 2011) was the trio of drummer Morgan Agren and guitarists Henry Kaiser and Trey Gunn.

Teuffel Tesla Duets (may 2012) was a collaboration with Killick Hinds.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Andrea Marengo)

Heart's Desire (ottobre 1989 - Reckless, 1990) documenta un'esibizione dal vivo di Kaiser qui affiancato ad una band che include il chitarrista industrial Bruce Anderson e il tastierista Tom Constanten dei Grateful Dead, mentre il predecessore di Siamese Stepbrothers (Cuneiform, 1995) ovvero Hope You Like Our New Direction (Reckless, 1991) è invece un'altra dimostrazione della sua formazione eclettica.

Kaiser, ritornò gratificato alle sue radici chitarristiche free-form noise su Tomorrow Knows Where You Live (marzo 1991 - Victo, 1991), contenente duetti con il ventiduenne Jim O'Rourke e gli assoli di entrambi (il momento migliore è il droning di O'Rourke presente in Just As A Wall Of Quiet Flowing Stands Near), Acoustics (agosto 1993 - Victo, 1993), ovvero un quartetto con O'Rourke, Oswald e la violinista Mari Kimura, e l'assolo di chitarra della title-track di The Fire Heavenly Truths (Fot, 1992).

Lemon Fish Tweezer (Cuneiform, 1992) è una retrospettiva di carriera comprendente rarità. 

Kaiser e David Lindley registrarono cinque album di musica malgascia (facendosi aiutare da alcuni musicisti del Madagascar): A World Out Of Time Volume (Shanachie, 1992), A World Out Of Time Volume 2 (Shanachie, 1993), A World Out Of Time Volume 3 (Shanachie, 1994), The Sweet Sunny North (Shanachie, 1994) e The Sweet Sunny North Volume 2 (Shanachie, 1996).

Eternity Blue (Shanachie, 1995) è un tributo ai Grateful Dead.

Passwords (novembre, 1997) era un trio con il pianista Paul Pimley e la violoncellista Danielle DeGruttola.

Wireforks (Shanachie, 1995) contiene duetti con Derek Bailey.

I Mistakes sono una rock band iniziata da Mike Keneally.

Yo Miles (gennaio 1998 - Shanachie, 1998), realizzato con la collaborazione del trombettista Wadada Leo Smith (e una sezione ritmica), raccoglie jam basate su brani di Davis.

Psychedelic Guitar Circus (Sky Ranch, 2003) è un'altra raccolta di cover (di brani dell'era psichedelica). 

Through (gennaio 1999) raccoglieva duetti con il chitarrista italiano Roberto Zorzi.

Sky Garden (Cuneiform, 2004) è un'altra collaborazione con il trombettista Wadada Leo Smith. La registrazione è divisa in due parti comprendenti l'una Cover di Miles Davis, l'altra composizioni di Smith. Zakir Hussain, Greg Osby e John Tchicaiare erano alcuni degli ospiti presenti alla registrazione.

Infinity Squared (luglio 2006) documentava un duetto dal vivo con Andrea Centazzo (anche impegnato nell'uso dei campionamenti). 

Where Endless Meets Disappearing (maggio 2009) era un lavoro solista di diciotto brevi tracce. 

Il trio composto da Henry Kaiser, Charles Noyes e Weasel Walter registrò il live Ninja Star Danger Rock (2011). Plan Crash (2011) documenta un trio con il bassista Damon Smith e il batterista Weasel Walter. 

Kaiser scolpiva i settanta minuti di A Little Stroke Of Light (2010) usando un armonizzatore e i delay digitali di un antiquato Lexicon PCM-41 per processare le sue improvvisazioni chitarristiche dal vivo. 

Everything Forever - 80 Minute Live Trance Guitar Solo (2011) era un opera per sonata di chitarra solista senza overdubbing. Solo Acoustic On Beardsell Guitars (febbraio 2011) era completamente improvvisato.

Invisible Rays (marzo 2011) era il trio composto dal batterista Morgan Agren e i chitarristi Henry Kaiser e Trey Gunn.

Teuffel Tesla Duets (maggio 2012) era una collaborazione con Killick Hinds.

The guitar trio of Nels Cline, Henry Kaiser and Mermen's Jim Thomas, along with drummer Weasel Walter and Mermen's bassist Allen Whitman, recorded Jazz Free (september 2008).

The Starbreak Splatterlight (september 2009) featured Canadian pianist Paul Plimley and drummers Lukas Ligeti and Weasel Walter.

Kamura (november 2012) documents an improvised collaboration between Henry Kaiser (acoustic & electric guitars, piano), Torsten Mller (five string acoustic bass) and percussionist Randy Raine-Reusch (who plays a lot of exotic instruments: khaen, ajeang, biwa, zheng, changgo, suling gambu, prepared zheng, bowed zheng, sho).

Lake Monsters (november 2013) documents guitar duets between Henry Kaiser and Sandy Ewen, notably the 22-minute Irizima.

Relations (november 2013) documents duets with bassist Damon Smith.

The 4-disc box-set Garden Of Memory (june 2014) delivers almost six hours of live guitar solos. A bonus disc contains A Little Stroke Of Light and No Trouble With The Tromba.

Henry Kaiser, bassist Damon Smith and drummer Weasel Walter returned for Plane Crash Two (april 2014), notably the 21-minute False Alarms.

The Deconstruction Of What You Know (2014) features Joshua Allen on tenor sax, Randy Hunt on acoustic bass and William Winant on drums.

The double-disc Collection Of Curiosities For Airplay: 1977-2002 (Playola, 2014) collects material from 25 years of his career.

The double-disc set You Can't Get There From Here (june 2010 - Fractal, 2015), whose highlight is the 24-minute You Can't Get There From Here, features Michael Manring on bass, Danielle DeGruttola on cello, Chinese musician Wu Na on guqin, Indian musician Aanatha Krishnan on mridangam and Indian vocalist Gautam Tejas Ganeshan.

Nearly Extinct (april 2015) documents an improvised collaboration with Steve Parker (trombone), Damon Smith (double bass) and Chris Cogburn (drums), notably the lengthy jams East Cape Yupik and Hixxkaryana.

Henry Kaiser and Alan Licht recorded Skip To The Solo (august 2015) with a rhythm section.

Henry Kaiser, Tania Chen (piano), Danielle DeGruttola (cello), Soo-Yeon Lyuh (haegum) and William Winant (percussion) recorded the 80-minute piece of Megasonic Chapel (january 2015).

Lake Monsters (Balance Point Acoustics, 2015) collects duets with fellow guitarist Sandy Ewen.

The Celestial Squid (april 2014) was a collective improvisation with fellow guitarist Ray Russell (a British free-jazz veteran who composed the early James Bond scores beginning with Dr No in 1962) and guesting drummers Weasel Walter and William Winant, bassists Michael Manring (electric) and Damon Smith (acoustic), and saxophonists Steve Adams, Joshua Allen, Phillip Greenlief and Aram Shelton. Seven lengthy jams span the range from rocking dissonance (guKTen LIMPo) to agonizing post-blues (The Enumeration), and from thundering boogie (Disinterested Bystander) to abstract noisescape (Construction #14) via the chaos of The Celestial Squid that is both clownish and romantic. This is the perfect setting for Kaiser the jazz improviser, who too often has preferred to take the low road of solo improvisation instead of the high road of group improvisation. In reality, he excels when he is surrounded by equally creative and unorthodox souls. If nothing else, having to deal with other players bends his egocentric brainy guitar science to truly engaging and spontaneous artistic expression. Less indulgent than Megasonic Chapel and better played than Nearly Extinct or You Can't Get There From Here, this is probably the best Kaiser album of this new prolific stage.

Kaiser played fretless bass on Talk To Me About Invisible People (2016) with Kobe Dupree (synth and turntables), Jack Thompson (fretted bass and turntables) and Alexei Pliousnine (lap steel guitar).

Nazca Lines - Solo Acoustic Guitar (HK, 2016) collects 22 solo improvisations on 18 different acoustic guitars.

A Rainbow For Riley (Fractal, 2016) is a tribute to Terry Riley, performed with Russian guitarist Alexei Pliousnine.

Tania Chen on piano, Henry Kaiser on guitars, Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet and William Winant on percussion recorded Ocean Of Storms (2016).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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