Jazz Newsby Rocco Stilo
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December 2015: The vinyl The Conjuring (New Atlantis, 2015) debuts Premature Burial, the new Peter Evans' project, that sees the reedist on piccolo trumpet, along with Matt Nelson (sax and effects) and Dan Peck (tuba and effects). Recorded in a church on fall 2013, their four pieces (notably the 17-minute Cataleptic Fantasy) feature an "ambient jazz" sound, darked with various effects, amplified by the church's acoustics. The label describes it extensively here.
Accompanied by a 200-page book, the all-reeds 2CD set Site Specific (Audiographic, 2015) was recorded outside of a studio or concert hall by Ken Vandermark on solo tenor sax, baritone sax & clarinets. The 30-minute suite House was recorded as a home concert in august 2014; the 36-minute Cavern was recorded in april 2015; in the same session was instead performed the 26-minute Tracks; Pipe, the day after in april.
Singular Curves (Auand, 2015) documents a collaboration between bassist Steve Swallow, saxophonist Ohad Talmor and drummer Adam Nussbaum. The trio began to work together since 1981, and released their first album, Playing In Traffic, in 2009, as a live september 2008 recording. The session of Singular Curves dates instead back to june 2012, featuring 13 tracks.
By the same label, T-Duality features a collaboration by Italian drummer and composer Ananda Gari with Tim Berne (alto sax), Rez Abbasi (guitar) and Michael Formanek (double bass). Balanced between themes composed and free improvisation thanks to interaction between musicians, the album was studio recorded in march 2013, collecting seven pieces. As for Rez Abbasi, let's remember he is on stage since 1991, when he recorded the first half of his debuting Third Ear (the second part was recorded in november 1992), that gathered, among others, veterans drummer Peter Erskine and pianist Marc Copland. Third Ear was followed by 1996 Modern Memory, 2002's Out Of Body, with Tony Malaby on saxes, the 2005 Snake Charmer (long-recorded from february 1990 to june 2003), the september 2005 Bazaar, with Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto sax plus Dave Liebman on soprano sax, Things To Come (recorded between december 2008 and january 2009 with Mahanthappa and Iyer), the may 2010 Natural Selection, possibly his best work, on which he was on acoustic guitar for the first time, accompanied by Bill Ware on vibraphone, Stephan Crump on acoustic bass and Eric McPherson on drums; and the december 2010 Suno Suno, an atypical bop-fusion work, again with Mahanthappa, and Vijay Iyer on piano. Abbasi's trio, with bassist John Hebert and drummer Satoshi Takeishi, recorded instead in may 2012 Continuous Beat. Intents and Purposes (april 2014) features the same quartet of Natural Selection.
Doxy restores on vinyl Shadows, that features Charles Mingus's soundtrack for the 1959 debut of John Cassavetes's namesake film. The soundtrack was recorded in spring and summer 1958 with this personnel: Mingus on bass, Jimmy Knepper on trombone, Shafi Hadi on tenor sax, Horace Parlan and Phineas Newborn both on piano, Dannie Richmond on drums, plus unidentified players on trumpet, flute and alto sax. Most of the sessions, though, was lost in original 1959 version. However, in a 1964 interview, asked about the soundtrack, Mingus replied: "I have nothing to do with the soundtrack of the film. I did write something but I could not finish what I had planned. We spent barely three hours in the studio where the music was to be recorded. We did not go beyond playing a few bars. That was it. I abandoned because we could not agree on the financial aspect [indeed, the musicians were paid about $ 20 apiece for the sessions!]. Cassavettes got hold of the music played by the tenor saxophonist who was in my band". The tracks: Untitled Percussion; Composition (7:21); Nostalgia In Times Square (12:15); Alice's Wonderland (8:54); Self-Portrait In Three Colours (3:08).
Emanem restores Fairly Early With Postscripts, a Derek Bailey album originally released in 1997, that collects 14 acoustic and electric solos by the guitarist, recorded between july 1971 and october 1998. Among the pieces, it's worth mentioning the 12:30-minute suite Six Fairly Early Pieces (july 1971), performed on amplified guitar with volume pedal.
Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Orchestra comes back with Turning Towards The Light (2015, Cuneiform). After having debuted with 1 (november 2001), followed by Web Of Light (march 2002), the ensemble released Thought Forms (Rubi Red, 2008), recorded in june 2006 (all of these were live recordings), followed by Sonic Mandala (studio session in april and may 2012). This large ensemble, renamed in this occasion Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra, recorded in december 2014 thirteen new pieces with a renovated all-guitar-and-bass lineup, comprising of Rez Abbasi, Nels Cline, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Miles Okazaki, Marvin Sewell, Damon Banks, Marco Capelli, Jerome Harris, Joel Harrison and Kenny Wessel. Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph.
Factorizations (Evil Clown, 2015) features Steve Swell on trombone along with the project Leap Of Faith, comprising of Dave Pek on clarinets, saxes, double reeds, taragato, metal & voice, Glynis Lomon on cello & voice, Steve Norton on clarinets & saxes and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & metal. Recorded in august 2015, the disc documents a solo set from Steve Swell and another set with Leap of Faith and Swell together.
John Zorn comes back with Cerberus, the 26th volume of Book of Angels series, recorded between july and august 2015. Fot his new work Zorn composed ten new pieces performed by the Spike Orchestra, a 18-musician ensemble comprising of 11 reedists, plus guitar, accordion, voice, piano, keyboards and drums.
Archive Selections Volume 2 (Planet Arts, 2015) is a 3CD set by Creative Music Studio, and ensemble created since early '80s, featuring, among others, Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Kalaparusha Trio, Frederic Rzewski & Karl Berger, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian Trio, Don Cherry, Collin Walcott, Nana Vasconsuelos, Aiyib Dieng, Baikida Carroll, Gerry Hemingway, Charles Brackeen, Steve Gorn. This is the follow-up of another 3CD set, divided in Small Ensembles, Large Ensembles and World Music. Notable, among the compositions, the duo Anthony Braxton/Marilyn Crispell in a performance recorded in december 1977; the trio of Paul Motian, Charles Brackeen on reeds and David Izenzon on bass; the duo with composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski with Karl Berger on piano; Don Cherry, who leads a large ensemble here which includes the members of his trio Codona: Nana Vasconcellos (percussion) and Collin Walcott (sitar); another large ensemble led by Gerry Hemingway; the six pieces of the third disc, featuring Trilok Gurtu, Aiyb Dieng, Ustad Dagar, Amadou Jarr and Steve Gorn.
Emanem restores several rare Evan Parker's recordings. Waterloo 1985, first released in 1999, document the 1-hour suite Dark Interior, recorded in august 1985 with the leader on sopprano and tenor saxes, accompanied by Hans Schneider (double bass), Paul Lytton (percussion and electronics), and Paul Rutherford (trombone), mostly improvised. The Ayes Have It, first released in 2001, documents a trio with Paul Rogers (double bass) and Jamie Muir (percussion); the album collects five pieces; four of them were studio recorded in december 1983; the fifth (36:30 minutes) was the title-track recorded in concert in august 1991. The Two Seasons is a 2CD set first released in 2000, that collects eleven pieces studio recorded in two sessions (february and july 1999), with John Edwards (double bass) and Mark Sanders (drums).
14 Rue Paul Fort, Paris (Leo, 2015) features Joelle Leandre (bass), Benoit Delbecq (piano) and Francois Houle (clarinets) in a seven-part 50-minute studio improvisation, recorded in november 2013.
Yesterday Night You Were Sleeping At My Place (Sofa, 2015) was the debuting 2007 album, now restored after its first obscure release, by project Muta, founded in 2003 by the trio of Alessandra Rombol… on flutes, Rhodri Davies on amplified harp & electronics, and Ingar Zach on percussion & devices. Their seven electroacoustic pieces feature an enigmatic sound, basically a jazz improvisation whose starting themes are hard to identify. Recorded in march 2006. The trio represented the same approach on the following Bricolage (recorded in april 2009), that collects six pieces mixing jazz, textures and electronica.
To Be Real (FMR, 2015) documents the trio of pianist Paul Dunmall, along with John Edwards (double bass) and Tony Marsh (drums), whose album features four pieces, the 32-minute title-track recorded live in june 2007, and the other three studio recorded in march 2007. Still by Dunmall, I Look at You, from the same label, documents a concert recorded at the Birmingham Conservatoire the last july, on which the leader was on soprano sax and clarinet, accompanied by Phillip Gibbs (acoustic guitar), Hanna Marshall (cello), Neil Metcalfe (flute) and Alison Blunt (violin). The four long and all acoustic pieces feature a free chamber music.
Credited to clarinetist Douglas Ewart, Angles Of Entrance, is restored now by Arawak, after its 1996 first obscure edition by the same label. Recorded in july 1990, its six pieces feature Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Don Byron, J.D. Parran, Ed Wilkerson, Mwata Bowden & Mr. Ewart (all on clarinets!), plus Malachi Favors on acoustic bass.
The vinyl Tongue Tied (Hapna, 2015) documents two long-side works (15 and 16:30 minutes, respectively) composed by Oren Ambarchi (guitar, drums, synthesizer), accompanied by Johan Berthling (electronic bass, double bass, Hammond organ, synthesizer), well known as member of Mats Gustafsson's trio Fire! Recorded in 2014, the disc is described here by the label.
Cold Duck (Monotype, 2015) features S4, i.e. the soprano sax quartet of John Butcher, Christian Kobi, Hans Koch and Urs Leimgruber in nine pieces studio recorded in january 2015.
Oakland/Lisboa (Rogue Art, 2015) is the second disc from the MMM Quartet, featuring Joelle Leandre (double bass), Fred Frith (electric guitar), Alvin Curran (piano, synthesizer, samples) and Urs Leimgruber (tenor & soprano saxophone). Recorded live in august 2014. MMM stands for Mills Music Mafia, which is the school (Mills College) in the Bay Area where Mr. Frith, Ms. Leandre and Mr. Curran met and teach. Their first release, let's remember, was the concert Live At The Metz' Arsenal, recorded in november 2009.
The 4LP Set Premonitions 1980-1985 (Vinyl on Demand, 2015) is a ltd ed. 500 documenting Robert Rich's early stage of composition and performance, from 1979-'85. Mostly previously unreleased, this drone-ambient-experimental collection is comprising of eleven compositions, among which: the 27-minute Selene & Ether; the 26-minute Clouds 8-15 and Nocturne; the 25-minute Live Monterey and Live Stanford; the 17-minute Manna.
After having left Pere Ubu, keyboardist Allen Ravenstine came back producing two CDs in a "2-days" session in spring 2012, along with the other keyboardist Robert Wheeler: the first, Farm Report, released by Blue Jet Corporation, features the two in an experimental and electronic album, nine pieces (among which the 17-minute Traveler and Sky Wire); the second, City Desk by the same label, keeps to feature the previous approach, other nine pieces (among which the 19-minute Comet Report). The label releases the albums here. For ReR Megacorp, Ravenstine just recorded his first "solo album", The Pharoah's Bee, on which he plays theremin and synthesizer, performing eleven pieces more minimalism-oriented.
The 2CD set John Stevens' Away/Somewhere in Between/Mazin Ennit (BGO, 2015) restores three rare vinyls by Spontaneous Music Ensemble's member, plus four bonus tracks. Away, originally released by Vertigo, documents a live performance recorded in november 1975, with the drummer, Peter Cowling on electric bass, Steve Hayton on electric guitar and Trevor Watts on alto sax. Somewhere in Between featured Stevens along with Nick Stephens (electric bass), Ron Herman (acoustic bass), Robert Calvert (soprano and tenor saxes), David Cole (electric guitar), Br‚no T'fordo (percussion) and John Martyn on vocals and guitar. The album was studio recorded in june 1976. Mazin Enni was performed by the same personnel, but Terry Quaye replaced T'fordo on percussion. Studio recorded in october 1976.
The vinyl Obscure Fluctuations (Trost, 2015) is credited to the Dikeman Noble Serries Trio, i.e John Dikeman (tenor sax), Steve Noble (drums) and Dirk Serries, a.k.a. Vidna Obmana (electric guitar). Their music, balanced between free improvisation and minimalisms, was recorded in april 2015, sporting two side-long tracks, both 23-minute long: From Assent To Refusal and The Heart Strips Bare.
Ingrid Laubrock's Ubatuba (Firehouse 12, 2015) features the German saxophonist's quintet, who recorded this album in september 2014. Personnel consists of Tim Berne (alto sax), Tom Rainey (drums), Ben Gerstein (trombone) and Dan Peck (tuba), whereas the leader was on tenor and alto. Laubrock's compositional method for these new six pieces was to create a polyphonic, melodic and organic experience, juggling the mass and area, structure and free space, balancing between melodic and dark themes and improvisations.
Great Spirit (Aum Fidelity, 2015) features William Parker on bass & compositions, and the project Raining on the Moon, comprising of Rob Brown on alto sax, Lewis Barnes on trumpet, Eri Yamamoto on piano, Hamid Drake on drums and vocals by Leena Conquest. This is the second release by his project, the follow-up of Corn Meal Dance; these seven unissued pieces come from that same session, having them been studio recorded in january 2007.
Fred Frith/Michel Doneda (Vand'ouevre, 2015) features guitarist Fred Frith with Michel Doneda on soprano & sopranino sax. The album was recorded live in february 2009. The duo propose a quiet and relaxing sound, especially in the three long tracks, the 17-minute Cut And Run, the 16-minute Allure Au Plus PrŠs, and the 13-minute The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea. Still by Frith, Field Days (ReR, 2015) collects four pieces composed for choreographer Amanda Miller and the Nederland Dans Theater. This work was performed with Lotte Anker (sax), Karla Kihlstedt (nyckelharpa and violin), William Winant (percussion), Daan Vandewalle (piano), Kiku Day (shakuhachi), and two quartets (strings and saxes). The pieces are loop-based and textural, with invocations of landscapes, with Frith multi-instrumentist, mainly on his steel guitar.
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Improviser (Swell, 2015) features, as says subtitle, Solo Trombone Improvisations, Steve Swell on solo trombone. His fifteen autoproduced solo pieces feature frequent timbre changes. Kende Dreams, instead (Silkheart, 2015), features Swell with Rob Brown (alto sax), Connie Crothers (piano), William Parker (bass) and Chad Taylor (drums). Recorded in december 2014, this work is an hommage inspired by Bela Bartok (but not a reworking of his music), especially in the 14-minute Bartok Screams and Lent-Oh!
Logos (ReR, 2015) features the project Artaud Beats, with ex Henry Cow Geoff Leigh on flute, sax, voice & electronics, Yumi Hara on piano, clavichord, synth & voice, John Greaves on bass, grand piano & voice and Chris Cutler on drums & percussion. After his 1988 From Here To Drums, Leigh released only rare recordings: the 2006 Mirage, with multi-instrumentist Cathy Williams, and the 2009 Upstream, with keyboardist Yumi Hara. This project was created since 2009, releasing until now the album Live At Avantgarde Festival, nine untitled pieces live recorded in august 2009. Logos, that reunites three members of Henry Cow, features eight pieces of avantgarde and jazz rock sound, often improvised, studio recorded in january 2014.
After their september 2010 Hands Together, Nate Wooley's Quintet comes back with (Dance to) The Early Music (Clean Feed, 2015). The album propose a reinterpretation of six Wynton Marsalis's early 1980's tracks, plus three new Wooley's compositions. Trumpetist' lineup isn't changed: Josh Sinton on bass clarinet, Matt Moran on vibraphone, Eivind Opsvik on double bass, and Harris Eisenstadt on drums.
On The Way To Two (restored now by C.A.M. Jazz) documents the duo of Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, flugelhorn) and pianist John Taylor, in an old studio session (march 2005), from which were extracted ten pieces, composed individually and/ort together, but the final 8-minute version of Billy Strayhorn's A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing. John Taylor died before the album's production was completed.
The vinyl If You Have Time (Omlatt, 2015) documents Joe McPhee (tenor sax, pocket trumpet, voice) along with Konstrukt project, i.e. Korhan Futaci (tenor sax, theremin Moog), Umut Caglar (electric guitar, synthesizer, organ), Ozun Usta (double bass) and Korhan Arguden (drums). They studio recorded in may 2014 four pieces collectively performed with many improvisations and moments quite non musical. This is the follow-up of their starting collaboration on Babylon, recorded two months before. Turkis group Konstrukt, let's remember, was founded in 2008, recording since now fifteeen albums, mostly collaborative.
Coming from the same session of Garden (november 1981), Garden, 2nd Set, collects another set of Cecil Taylor's performances, other solo five improvisations, issued for the first time, among which stands out the 25-minute Garden II.
The posthoumous Quintessential Birthday Trio - Vol. II (Asian Improv, 2015) features Fred Anderson on tenor sax, Tatsu Aoki on bass and Chad Taylor on drums. The four pieces was recorded in december 2009.
Celestial Weather (TUM, 2015) features Wadada Leo Smith on trombone and John Lindberg on contrabass. This studio recording is comprising of the 17-minute Malachi Favors Maghostut, the 34-minute namesake suite, and the 11-minute Feathers and Earth.
The 2CD set Tuning Out (Emanem, 2015) features, as say credits, ®improvised pieces for tracker action organs and strings recorded in five English churches¯ by the trio of Veryan Weston (piano and organs), Jon Rose (violins) and Hannah Marshall (cello). These 155 minutes of unissued tracks were performed in concerts in may 2014.
Planets Of Life Or Death (Strut, 2015) documents the first release of a live october 1973 Sun Ra Arkestra performance, recorded direct from the soundboard. Especially, the album sports an instrumental 17-minute version of Love In Outer Space, with the leader on electric piano and synthesizer, and the core lineup with Marshall Allen, Danny Ray Thompson and John Gilmore; whereas the 24-minute ttitle-track features a very free and pantagruelic, collective ride.
Colonial Donuts (Palilalia, 2015) documents a duet between Harry Pussy's guitarist Bill Orcutt and Barn Owl's drummer Jacob Felix Heule. The two, after three years performing together, deliver 13 duets recorded between winter and spring of 2015. This set sport a mixing of folk, blues and free improvisations.
Busman's Holiday (Erstwhile, 2015) is the second collaboration between Kevin Drumm (guitar, piano, electronics and tape) and Jason Lescalleet (Hammond organ, Casio, amplified objects & tapes). This long-redcorded work (from february to october 2015) features six lenghty pieces, electronic noise and organ drones, as, say credits, "a meditation on the inner mental environments that one encounters and endures during times of work-related travel".
Philip Corner's credited vinyl PoorManMusic (Alga Marghen, 2015) documents the 33-minute namesake unissued suite performed in march 1967 along with Max Neuhaus, Steve Reich, James Tenney, Malcolm Goldstein, Jackson Mac Low, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Carolee Schneemann, Jerome Rothenberg and the Technicians of the Sacred. This atypical work is comnposed of sounds that can only be made with one's own body. Say credits: "The simplest materials and the things your own body is and does claps, slaps, stamps. Rubbing and scratching: body, all parts, and clothing if any voices. And all the sounds your voice and breath and throat may make except words. Although a mightbe rare&special one-sound deep word and meaning/warning, affectations show up. If sincere, express. Better a middle and easy utterance of like natural soundings & thus beyond outside things, but the matter might be simple sticks of every day life. The small stones and the fabrics papers and textures, easily picked up. Rattle, rattles, nuts little bells, seeds this is not quite all of homemade noise makers".
Water Above Sky Below Now (Morphine, 2015) features the 39-minute three-part improvisation composed by Pauline Oliveros and playwright, poet, educator, and performer-improviser Ione. Oliveros performed her work on Expanded Instrument System (EIS), an electronic sound-processing environment that allows improvising musicians to transform their own acoustic input in real time. Her digital accordion, with Ione's vocals and spoken word, is manipulated and diffused through multiple channels. Recorded at New York Live Arts, Live Ideas Festival in april 2015.
The 2CD set You Can't Get There From Here (Fractal, 2015) features the leader Henry Kaiser on guitar, Michael Manring on bass, Danielle DeGruttola on cello, along with Carnatic musicians Wu Na on guqin, Aanatha R. Krishnan on mridangam & kanjira and Gautam Tejas Ganeshan on voice. Recorded in june 2010, this album features 16 tracks, brief and long (among which the 24-minute title track), combining a mixture of ancient Chinese music, jazz fusion, Carnatic Classical music of South India and improvisations.
Pianist Joshua Abrams releases Music For Life Itself & The Interrupters (Eremite, 2015), a digital only album that gathers three long compositions: 1) Life Itself, recorded in december 2013, on which the leader, on acoustic and electric bass, piano, Rhodes, guitar and harmonium, was accompanied by Rashida Black (harp), Ben Boye (piano, Pianet), Ari Brown (tenor sax), Hamid Drake (drums), Tony Herrera (trombone), Marquis Hill (trumpet), James Sanders (violin, viola) and Joshua Sirotiak (tuba); 2) A Place Called Pluto, recorded in may 2013, on which the leader, on acoustic bass and piano, played with Emmett Kelly (electric guitar) and Frank Rosaly (drums); 3) The Interrupters, recorded in december 2010, with the leader, on acoustic and electric bass, MPC1000, piano, Wurlitzer, drums and percussion, accompanied by Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), David Boykin (bass clarinet), Nicole Mitchell (flutes), Jeff Parker (electric guitar) and Tomeka Reid (cello). Abrams composed this music for film score and documentaries.
Leo releases three CDs by the more and more prolific Ivo Perelman. Butterfly Whispers (recorded in july 2015) documents a trio with pianist Matthew Shipp and drummer Whit Dickey, who collectively composed ten pieces, basically free interpreted. Villa Lobos Suite, recorded in may 2015 with violists Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch, is a tribute to the famous Brazilian guitarist featuring, however, not Lobos compositions but ten untitled pieces by the trio. Complementary Colors collects ten pieces recorded in april 2015 with pianist Matthew Shipp. As for Shipp, let's mark The Conduct Of Jazz (Thirsty Ear, 2015), that features his Trio, with Michael Bisio on bass and veteran Newman Taylor Baker on drums; they recorded seven new tracks in april 2015.
Mats Gustafsson's The Thing comes back with Shake (The Thing, 2015), a studio album with the leader on tenor and baritone saxs, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on electric and double bas, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion. The album also features as guests Anna Högberg (alto sax) and Goran Kajfes (cornet). Recorded in june 2015, it collects seven new pieces.
Self-produced and ltd ed., In The Sea features ICP Orchestra's Tristan Honsinger on cello & voice, Nicolas Caloia on double bass, Joshua Zubot on violin and Isaiah Ceccarelli on drums. That trio recorded a fine home-made, limited edition quartet CD with Isaiah Ceccarelli added on drums. The quartet premiered this work of free chamber music in september 2015.
For Julia Wolfe's newest work, Anthracite Fields (Cantaloupe, 2015), the Bang on a Can All-Stars teamed up with SATB choir in a unique oratorio that commemorates the Pennsylvania coal miners whose work fueled the industrial revolution. This work, extensively described here, was written after extensive research about life in the Pennsylvania coal fields where the purest form of coal, anthracite, is found. The five pieces she composed (among which the 20-minute Foundation), were performed by a lineup comprising of Robert Black (bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello and vocals), The Choir Of Trinity Wall Street conducted by Julian Watchner, Ken Thomson (clarinet), David Cossin (drums), Mark Stewart (guitar and vocals) and Vicky Chow (piano and keyboards).
Recorded in may 2015, Mostly Other People Do the Killing's Mauch Chunk (Hot Cup, 2015) features the core trio with Moppa Elliott (bass), Kevin Shea (drums) and Jon Irabagon (alto sax), plus the new member, the pianist Ron Stabinsky, already featured in the previous Blue. The new seven tracks sports a chamber jazz with interesting piano/sax duos, bossanova, soul and bop themes, counterpointed and improvised.
On Monochromes (Bolt, 2015), Supersilent's Helge Sten delivers three works: the 14-minute Quads, the 16-minute title-track and the 22-minute Solitude Of Sounds, composed by Polish pianist Tomasz Sikorski. The pieces feature a dark sound based on sampling and slow time stretching, a “nuggets of electronic washes with a metallic sheen bearing embedded nuggets of brief pulsations", as say credits. Studio recorded in 2014.
The vinyl The Delaware River (NoBusiness, 2015) documents a studio quartet recording dating back to march 2014, by quartet of Bobby Bradford (cornet), Frode Gjerstad (alto sax, Bb clarinet), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums). The four tracks (among which the long-side Sailing Up The) feature a creative modern free jazz.
Pianist John Tilbury and percussionist Eddie Prevost recorded in november 2012 Spanish Fighters (Matchless, 2015), containing the namesake 37-minute suite performed as a live improvisation plenty of dynamic, refined dialogs.
Scorch Trio's drummer Frank Rosaly releases Malo (Utech, 2015), the follow-up of his first “solo” album Centering And Displacement. Recorded in february 2015, the CD collects five pieces, composed by Rosaly and performed on percussion, electronics, Kalimba, bowed cymbals and Leslie speaker. Through oscillators, effects and microphones, he proposes an unconventional sound, plenty of dark, improvised and droning atmospheres.
The Hurrah (Otoroku, 2015) documents the trio of Evan Parker (tenor sax), John Edwards (double bass), and Chris Corsano (drums). The vinyl, featuring two long-side untitled pieces, was recorded live in august 2014, with no editing or post-production.
Brazen Heart (Greenleaf, 2015) is a new album by Dave Douglas Quintet, on which the leader trumpeter leads Matt Mitchell (piano), Rudy Royston (drums), Jon Irabagon (tenor sax) and Linda Oh (bass). Recorded in february 2015, this CD features nine new compositions by the leader, plus two old spirituals, with a lyrical and melodic approach, also improvised, and balanced between solos and collective.
The ltd ed. Multiverse (Peira, 2015) features Guillermo Gregorio on B-flat & alto clarinets and Paul Giallorenzo on prepared and unprepared piano. The eight pieces, recorded in february 2012, feature a chamber music basically improvised.
Larry Ochs (tenor and sopranino saxes), with Nate Wooley (trumpet), Pascal Niggenkemper and Ken Filiano (both on basses and effects) and Harris Eisenstadt (drums), recorded The Fictive Five (Tzadik, 2015), for which the founding member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet composed four new tracks, among which the 25-minute Similitude (for Wim Wenders) and the 22-minute By Any Other Name (for William Kentridge) in pure jazz style, recorded in december 2014. Ochs wrote the liner notes for the CD.
Krakow Nights (Not Two, 2015) features Peter Brotzmann (tenor & alto saxes, clarinet & tarogato), Steve Swell (trombone) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums). This 74-minute set was recorded in february 2015. Among the four pieces, the 38-minute Full Spectrum Response.
Ches Smith's These Arches comes back with International Hoohah (ForTune, 2015). The drummer's lineup is the same of previous Hammered, with Tony Malaby on tenor sax, Tim Berne on alto sax, Mary Halvorson on electric guitar, Andrea Parking on accordion and the leaderh on drums & compositions. Recorded live in july 2012, the six tracks feature a mixing of jazz, dronings and progressive rock.
Before The Code (Trost, 2015) features the Ken Vandermark's group Made To Break in a new studio recording, dating back to november 2014. As always, this is a pure free jazz, with the leader on various reeds, Christof Kurzmann on electronics, Jasper Stadhouders on bass, Tim Daisy on drums. Three long pieces.
Vertigo (Northern Spy, 2015) is the Necks 18th album, featuring the namesake 44-minute suite. The current lineup is comprising of Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards). The music this time is even more improvised than in previous releases.
Lee Ranaldo releases Ambient Loop For Vancouver (Important, 2015), recorded in 2004 and released as a single, full length track (54 minutes), with contributions from Alan Licht on guitar, Christian Marclay on turntables, and William Hooker on drums. Says the leader: “This slowly changing, low volume ambience has since been used in various performance, reading and installation situations over the years. On its own, played on repeat, it creates a quiet shifting atmosphere with certain musical elements returning in different formations across its almost one hour running time. This CD was originally only available packaged inside the 10th Anniversary edition of my first book Road Movies, which was published by Soft Skull Press in 2004. A recently discovered limited overrun of those original CDs is now being made available on its own for the first time”.
XE (Northern Spy, 2015) is the new album by Zs, whose founder Sam Hillmer is accompanied by percussionist Greg Fox and virtuosic avant-classical guitarist and composer Patrick Higgins. The five new tracks (two long, three brief) have been composed and recorded on the road across three European tours, after two and half years in the making.
US bebop saxophonist Phil Woods died on september 29 for complications of emphysema, at 84.
Guitarist John Scofield studio recorded in march 2015 Past Present (Impulse, 2015), leading a lineup along with Larry Grenadier (double bass), Bill Stewart (drums) and Joe Lovano (tenor sax). he composed nine new pieces, whose themes interact with improvisations by his partners.
Tom Rainey trio, featuring the veteran drummer along with Ingrid Laubrock (saxes) and Mary Halvorson (guitar), releases Hotel Grief (Intakt, 2015), an album comprising of five tracks extracted from a live tour (notably the 17-minute title-track and the 19-minute Proud Achievements In Botany) in december 2013.
Barry Altschul's project 3dom Factor, featuring the leader drummer along with Jon Irabagon (tenor, soprano and sopranino saxes, flute) and Joe Fonda (double bass) releases Tales Of The Unforeseen (TUM, 2015) Recorded in february 2014. Three of the album's six compositions are free group improvisations (notably the 26-minute As The Tale Begins), with Altschul also performing the solo A Drummer's Tale.
Jon Irabagon also releases his Inaction Is An Action (self-produced, 2015), an album of solo sopranino sax. Recorded in december 2014, with this release he takes on the solo saxophone traditions of some of his personal influences such as Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Evan Parker and Roscoe Mitchell. Another self-produced Irabagon's album is Behind The Sky, recorded in april 2014 with Tom Harrell on trumpet and flugelhorn, Luis Perdomo on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. It features 11 original compositions in the modern, mainstream jazz style.
Still Irabagon. He plays tenor and soprano saxes, along with Peter Evans (trumpets), Moppa Elliott (double bass) and Kevin Shea (drums & electronics) on Mostly Other People Do The Killing's new album Hannover (Jazzwerkstatt, 2015). Recorded live in february 2014, this is the latest al last MOPDTK album with Evans, now replaced by pianist Ron Stabinsky. Among the four long pieces, a 22-minute version of a track based on Gillespie's A Night in Tunisia and David Sanborn's Hideaway themes.
Ticonderoga (Clean Feed, 2015) is the namesake debuting album, inspired by John Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard Again, by the project created by Joe Morris (double bass), Charles Downs (drums), Jamie Saft (piano) and Joe McPhee (tenor and soprano saxes). Four pieces studio recorded in december 2014, the quartet having decided to develop a project under the influence of the Coltrane's album. The project name is a Mohawk word meaning “junction of two waterways”.
Distant Groove (FMR, 2015) documents the quartet of Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Louis Moholo-Moholo (drums), Frode Gjerstad (alto sax and clarinets) and Nick Stephens (bass), in a 4-part free studio improvisation (40 minutes) recorderd in 2013.
Lydia Lunch's project Retrovirus releases Urge To Kill (Widowspeak/Brava, 2015), live studio recorded in november 2014 by the vocalist along with Weasel Walter (guitar), Tim Dahl (bass) and Bob Bert (drums). Basically, Lydia reinterpreted many of her old songs, plus a 8-minute reworking of Suicide's Frankie Teardrop.
Still by Walter, Deadly Orgone Radiation project's Power Trips (Copepod, 2015) features Guapo's James Sedwards on guitar, Alex Ward on guitar & alto sax and Weasel Walter on drums. The six pieces are basically improvised.
Eddie Chadbourne (various stringed instruments), with later lamented Ed Cassidy and Sunny Murray (both on drums), Peter Kowald (bass), Derek Bailey (guitar) and Walter Malli (soprano sax), release The Sounds Of Genius (Chadula, 2015), a very old recording with seven pieces dating back to 1992.
Hommage à Eberhard Weber (ECM, 2015) is a recording of part of the 75th birthday jubilee tribute two-day concert to the German bassist, held in january 1975 and performed by Pat Metheny (guitars), Jan Garbarek (soprano sax), Gary Burton ( vibraphone), Paul McCandless (oboe and soprano sax), Scott Colley (double bass), Danny Gottlieb (drums), plus the SWR Big Band conducted by Mike Gibbs. The bassist has not been able to play, since suffering a stroke in 2007. The concerts centered around a specially commissioned 35-minute suite by Pat Metheny, the rest being arranged around recordings of Weber's solos.
The 6CD boxset (plus DVD) Extended Duos (Audiographic, 2015) documents Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Ken Vandermark (various reeds) in their eighth collaboration, but for the first time along with guests: Mick Beck and Akira Sakata (both on reeds), Tamaya Honda (drums), Jim O'Rourke (guitar), Masahiko Satoh (piano) and Michiyo Yagi (koto). The 23 live duos they composed consist of long-CD suites recorded between october 2011 and june 2014.
The 2CD set Song For A New Decade (TUM, 2015) documents the trio of William Parker (double bass), Andrew Cyrille (drums) and Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen (alto and baritone saxes, Indian clarinet, Uilleann chanter, nose flute, whistles, percussion) in two CD-long session, the first studio recorded in january 2010, the second live recorded in june 2012. The eight studio tracks were composed by Innanen, whereas the six live pieces documents lenghty collectively improvised “songs”, without the bassist.
The Puzzle (Whaling City Sound, 2015) is the second production of Dave Liebman latest project Expansions, after their debuting Samsara. With the same lineup: the leader on soprano sax and wooden recorder; Matt Vashlishan on clarinet, flute, alto sax, straw and EWI; Bobby Avey on acoustic piano and electric keyboard; Tony Marino on basses; Alex Ritz on drums. This album is more much improvised than the previous, with many solos. The eleven pieces were recorded in spring 2015.
Blue Buddha is a new project created by a quartet comprising of Dave Douglas (trumpet), Bill Laswell (bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums) and American saxtenorist Louis (or Louie) Belogenis, on stage since 1990. They debuted with a self-titled, recorded in february 2015, and featuring seven pieces basically improvised in studio.
John Zorn's Inferno (Tzadik, 2015) features John Medeski on organ, Matt Hollenberg on guitar and Kenny Grohowski on drums. The third CD from Zorn's new instrumental ensemble is inspired by the work and thought of Swedish playwright, poet, painter, philosopher, novelist, alchemist and occultist August Strindberg. The seven pieces, among which the 21-minute namesake suite, feature metal, jazz, minimalism, atonality, ambient and more. Recorded in may and june 2015.
The 7CD box-set Candy (PNL, 2015) documents 36 live sets from 2007-2014 recorded around the world by the duo of Joe McPhee (clarinet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn, soprano, alto and tenor saxes) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums, percussion). Among this tour de force, let's mention the 8-part suite Molde (55 minutes) and the 6-part suite Palm Tavern (53 minutes).
The vinyl Untitled (No.7) (God, 2015) documents the latest Polwechsel performance, studio recorded in august 2012. Werner Dafeldecker's project features the leader on doublebass along with Michael Moser (cello), Burkhard Beins and Martin Brandlmayr (both on percussion). The quartet has built the three pieces starting from themes composed and developped with several improvisations. Still by Dafeldecker, Rydberg (Monotype, 2015) docuements a collaborations with Nicolas Bussmann, studio recorded in 2013 e 2014. The music, ambient/electronics oriented, was performed by Werner on function generator, electronics, Bussmann playing instead on sampler. Among the three pieces, notable the 20-minute Elevator.
Angels On The Edge Of Time (Angelica, 2015) features Lindsay Cooper on soprano sax & bassoon, Fred Frith on guitar, violin & radio, Gianni Gebbia on alto & soprano sax & bird calls and Lars Hollmer on accordion, melodica & keyboard. Recorded at the Angelica Festival Internationale in Italy (may 1992) by the “one-off” lineup, this is an until now unissued performance.
Organo Rinascimentale Non Temperato (still by Angelica, 2015) featuring Charlemagne Palestine on pipe organ playing a new version (quite one hour) of his classic Schlingen Blangen, recorded in may 2004. Original version, let'sa remember, was recorded in 1988 (71 minutes). The reworked piece features a cosmic drone, slowly expanding.
Ken Vandermark project Resonance Ensemble, featuring the leader on baritone sax and clarinet, Mikolaj Trzaska on alto sax and clarinet, Dave Rempis on alto and tenor saxes, Mark Tokar on bass, Waclaw Zimpel on clarinets, Michael Zerang and Tim Daisy on drums, Christof Kurzmann on electronics, Steve Swell on trombone, Magnus Broo on trumpet and Per-Åke Holmlander on tuba, comes back with Double Arc (Not Two, 2015). Their sixth release, one hour long piece in two parts, was recorded after several reharsals in november 2013, and then mixed by the leader over more than one year. Here how Vandermark speaks about it: “It is the longest piece I’ve written since Collide, for the Territory Band and Fred Anderson in the summer of 2006. Like that composition, Double Arc features a guest joining an established ensemble - in this case the incomparable Christof Kurzmann performing on lloopp. Over the course of an hour it is possible to hear my interests in the variety of genres that had influenced me most until that stage: soundtracks from American action films of the 1970s; the early period of the New York School composers (John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff); the work of the “Midwest School” of improvising composers based in Chicago and St. Louis in the late 1960 through mid 1970s (particularly that of Julius Hemphill); the free jazz of the 1960s (both in America and Europe); 70s funk from the United States, Nigeria, and Ghana; “free improvisation” languages developed in Europe during the 1970s and 80s; the arrangements that Gil Evans created for Mile Davis in the 1950s. Though unintentional at the time it was composed, hearing Double Arc now with an objectivity provided by the year and a half between its creation and completion, it is evident to me that in many ways Double Arc can be perceived as a collection of genre studies... It is a concerto written for the creative brilliance of Christof Kurzmann, who did much, much more than rise to the challenges that I presented him. Double Arc is dedicated to Witold Lutoslawski, one of my favorite composers.
Still by Vandermark (clarinets and sax), but paired with bassist Barry Guy, Not Two releases Occasional Poems, a 2CD set studio recorded in november 2014. No credits nor infos are available at the moment.
The 4CD boxset Enough Still Not To Know (SOFA, 2015) documents a collaboration between John Tilbury (piano) and Keith Rowe (guitar and electronics). Studio recorded in july 2014 as a a video installation by Norwegian visual artist Kjell Bjørgeengen, the music, four CD-long tracks, is mostly improvised, the two exploiting a mutual understanding that dates back to '60s.
The 2CD set Kanreki (Not Two, 2015) gathers a stellar cast, featuring Steve Swell (trombone), Paul Flaherty (tenor sax), C. Spencer Yeh (violin and voice), Weasel Walter and Michael Vatcher (drums), Ken Vandermark (tenor sax), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Zara Acosta-Chen, Miguel Malla, Ned Rothernberg and Guillermo Gregorio (all on clarinet), Joe Williams and James Ilgenfritz (bass), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and electronics), Tom Buckner (voice), Darius Jones (alto sax) Omar Tamez (guitar), and Jonathan Golove (cello). Credited to Swell who composed the pieces in seven different settings, the set is comprising of: the 31-minute Dragonfly Breath, recorded live in may 2012; Essakane (may 2011); Schemata and Heuristics for Four Clarinets No. 1 (march 2014); News From The Upper West Side (january 2014); Splitting Up is Hard To Do (september 2012); Live at the Hideout, presented in three live performances (august 2012); the 22-minute Composite No. 8 (december 2012).
Saxophonist Larry Ochs and drummer Donald Robinson present their first duo album: The Throne (Not Two, 2015). Studio recorded in july and september 2011 with Ochs on tenor and sopranino, the nine pieces start from melodic themes composed, and progressively developped by the two.
This Is Our Language (Not Two, 2015) features Rodrigo Amado on tenor sax, Joe McPhee on alto sax & pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on double bass and Chris Corsano on drums. The five tracks were studio recorded in december 2012. Portuguese saxist Rodrigo Amado is on stage since early 2000, leader of several bands, he also collaborated with Gerald Cleaver and Taylor Ho Bynum.
New Forecasts From The Third Ear Almanac (Gonzo, 2015) is an unissued and limited edition official tape (but, be careful, not a bootleg) live recorded by the Third Ear Band in january 1989. At that time, the lineup was comprising of Glen Sweeney (drums), Lyn Dobson (flute and alto sax), Mick Carter (guitar) and Ursula Smith (violin). Four lenghty pieces, among which the well known Egyptian Book of the Dead and Third Ear Raga.
Welcome Back (Intakt, 2015), studio recorded in april
2015, features drummer Han Bennink and pianist Irene Schweizer on their
second experience. Ten new mostly brief pieces and some jazz covers
(among which the Thelonius Monk's Eronel), whose themes are quickly outlined to give more space for improvisations.
July 2015: Japanese jazz pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, on stage since 1970 and better known with his nickname Poo, died on july 7, at 75. He worked with Bill Evans, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Woody Herman, Mal Waldron, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Billy Harper, Paul Motian, etc. His last album, Sunrise (ECM, 2012) was recorded in september 2009 with Paul Motian and Thomas Morgan.
Mission In Space (ScienSonic, 2015) features Scott Robinson's lineup Spacetette, with the leader on theremin, clarinets, French horn, tenor sax, etc., veteran (91!) Marshall Allen on alto sax & EVI, Henry Grimes on bass & violin, Pat O'Leary on bass & cello and Kevin Norton on vibes & drums. The label presents it extensively. ? (ScienSonic, 2015) features instead Julian Thayer on basses, Hammond organ & bass marimba and Scott Robinson on tenor & slide saxes, clarinets, vibes, theremin, organ. This is a collection of thirty duets, mostly under four minutes.
Hive1 (Nonesuch, 2015) documents the namesake Tyondai Braxton's project debuted in 2013 with the leader and Ben Vida on sysnthesizers, accompanied by Chris Thompson, Matthew Smallcomb and Yuri Yamashita on percussion. Their performances, described as "part architectural installation and part ensemble performance with five musicians sitting cross-legged atop their own space-age oval pods", were collected in a 42-minute eight movement suite, after over two years of recording live sessions.
Lake Monsters (Balance Point Acoustics, 2015) documents seven electric guitar duets between Henry Kaiser and Sandy Ewen, recorded in a six-hour session of november 2013. Kaiser also was on acoustic guitar. Among the pieces, played with massive use of distortions and improvisations, let's mention the 22-minute Irizima.
Charlie Hunter Trio, featuring the leader on 7-string guitar, Bobby Previte on drums and cymbals, and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, releases Let The Bells Ring On (self-produced, 2015). The album was recorded in february 2015.
At Ad Libitum (ForTune, 2015) features Trevor Watts on alto & soprano saxes and Veryan Weston on piano. Recorded live in october 2013. This is their fourth duo CD, the first one was from 2001.
Encore (ECM, 2015) collects 13 live recordings between 1990/2007 by Eberhard Weber (double bass and keyboards), performed with veteran flugelhornist Ack van Rooyen and then studio mixed and edited.
The trio of John Butcher (acoustic and amplified saxes), Burkhard Beins (amplified 28" concert bass drum, electronics) and Mark Wastell (amplified 32" paiste tam-tam) releases Membrane (Confront, 2014). Recorded in april 2014, it features the namesake 39-minute suite, mostly improvised in a mixing of minimalism, clanging sounds and dark ambient music.
Corbett vs. Dempsey releases 1971, that collects unreleased material by Peter Brotzmann (tenor sax), Fred Van Hove (piano) and Han Bennink (drums, percussion). The three pieces (notably the 26-minute Just For Altena) were recorded in february and june 1971.
Echoic Enchantment (Discus, 2015) documents the namesake Martin Archer's suite composed and recorded between summer 2013 and spring 2015 along with Bo Meson, and also performed with a large ensemble, comprising of four percussionists, a quartet vocals, a string trio, Philip Thomas on prepared piano, Simon H Fell on double bass. The leader, on clarinet, organ and electronics, presents extensively here his work.
Evan Parker (soprano and tenor saxes), Joe Morris (guitar) and Nate Wooley (trumpet) recorded Ninth Square (Clean Feed, 2015). Live recorded in concert in september 2014, it features six pieces collectively improvised, and presented here by the label.
The cassette Vortice O The Faun (Astral Spirits, 2015) documents a 18-piece work by Rob Mazurek, entirely constructed through electro-acoustic means, using hundreds of samples, joined to electronics utilizing oscillators and modules. Mazurek was accompanied by Thomas Rohrer on rabeca (i.e. a Brazilian viola). This multisession work was recorded between 2014 and 2015.
Akra Kampoj (New Atlantis, 2015) documents the guitar duo of Elliott Sharp and Scott Fields. The two created tones and textures from unprocessed electric guitars sounds. The lenghty eight pieces were recorded in july 2014.
Strange Celestial Road (Celestial, 2015) restores and old, ultrarare and forgotten Sun Ra's vinyl, a studio session originally released by Rounder with three long pieces written by the leader and recorded at a date in 1979. The lineup: the leader on keyboards, Richard Williams and Steve Clarke on bass, Luqman Ali and Reg McDonald on drums, Vincent Chancey on French horn, Skeeter McFarland and Taylor Richardson on, Danny Ray Thompson, Eloe Omoe, Hutch Jones, James Jacson, John Gilmore, Kenny Williams, Marshall Allen, Noel Scott and Sylvester Baton all on various saxes, Craig Harris and Tony Bethel on trombone, Curt Pulliam, Michael Ray and Walter Miller on trumpet, Damon Choice and Harry Wilson on vibes. June Tyson and Rhoda Blount on vocals.
Never Were The Way She Was (Constellation, 2015) documents a collaboration between saxophonist Colin Stetson and emergent Canadian violinist Sarah Neufeld. The vinyl sports eight pieces written and performed with no overdubs nor loops by the leader on tenor and bass saxes and contrabass clarinet; Arcade Fire's violinist Sarah Neufeld was also on voice. Extensively presented here by the label.
Taku Sugimoto/Manfred Werder (Slub, 2015) documents a 51-minute performance recorded live in october 2014 by the Japanese guitarist and Swiss pianist and minimalist composer. The two improvised a "solo field recording" composition.
Homage To Sun Ra (Ruby, 2015) features Dick Griffin on trombone, Marshall Allen on alto sax & kora, Bennie Maupin on alto flute, bass clarinet & soprano sax, Danny Ray Thompson on baritone sax, Donald Smith on piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. The release, though, covers just two Sun Ra songs, the rest featuring Griffin's compositions.
Valentines (Confront, 2015) documents the first meeting of Jason Kahn (analogue modular synthesizer, mixing board, radio) and Phil Julian (analogue modular synthesizer, computer), intended to be recorded as material for studio sound compositions, but which was so compelling as improvised work that they chose to release the album as recorded (february 2012). Three improvised and untitled pieces.
Some Places Are Forever Afternoon (Songlines, 2015) features Wayne Horvitz on piano, Hammond organ, electronics & compositions, Ron Miles on cornet, Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon, Peggy Lee on cello, Tim Young on guitar, Keith Lowe on bass and Eric Eagle on drums. With this release Horvitz composed these eleven pieces, paying tribute to Northwest poet Richard Hugo (1923-1982). He organized a fine seven-piece ensemble with musicians he has worked with in the past, time and again. Recorded in january 2015.
Harris Eisenstadt's September, Canada Day IV (Songlines, 2015) was recorded january 2015, with the leader on drums, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Matt Bauder on tenor sax, Chris Dingman on vibraphone and Pascal Niggenkemper on bass. The drummer so speaks about it: "For Canada Day IV I wanted to go deeper into the possibilities of solo, duo, trio and quartet spaces within the ensemble. And rather than have stand-alone small group pieces, I decided to incorporate these different pieces into larger wholes, to keep shifting amounts of sonic information, weight and scope. As for my drumming, I continue to draw inspiration from non-drumset rhythm concepts, polyrhythmic traditions of Africa and the Diaspora, and particularly Cuban bata drumming these last five years".
With Friction (Clean Feed, 2015), cellist Daniel Levin Quartet leads his quartet with Nate Wooley on trumpet, Matt Moran on vibes and Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass. Recorded in april 2015, this album features chamber music compositions with many improvisations.
One Night Stand (Gonzo, 2015) is an album by WMWS (whose name originated by members initials), a short-lived English group formed in spring 1973 by Robert Wyatt (drums & vocals, ), Dave MacRae (electric & acoustic piano), Gary Windo (tenor sax) and Richard Sinclair (bass guitar). The group never recorded studio, playing only a handful of live gigs of totally improvised music. From one april 1973 concert, later mixed and edited studio, was extracted a 48-minute track.
Ornette Coleman, one of the most influential jazz musicians and composers of ever, the father of free jazz, died on june 11 at 85 after a stroke.
American composer, musician and conductor Gunther Schuller died of leukemia on june 21, at 89.
Skullduggery (Clean Feed, 2015) documents a collaboration recorded in june 2014 by Joe McPhee (pocket trumpet and alto sax) and Universal Indians, i.e. the trio consisting of John Dikeman (saxes), Jon Rune Strom (double bass) and Tollef Ostvang (drums). The four lenghty pieces sport a pure free jazz approach. The Dikeman trio debuted on stage with Nihil Is Now, recorded in june 2011.
Shots (Hatology, 2015) is a restored studio vinyl recorded in october 1977 and credited to Steve Lacy trio, comprising of the leader on soprano sax, Masa Kwate on traditional Japanese percussion and Irene Aebi on voice and violin. Originally released by the French Musica label, this album features eight pieces. While Masa Kwate name is otherwise unknown in music, Irene Aebi worked in several other Lacy's albums and projects, among which Tips, originally released by HatHut and recently restored by Corbett vs Dempsey. Tips was a suite of tunes composed by Lacy and recorded in december 1979, also featuring Steve Potts on alto sax.
Alternating Current (Grizzley, 2014) features Jeff Cosgrove on drums, Matthew Shipp on piano and William Parker on bass. The three pieces consists of two improvisations (the title-track and the 39-minute Bridges Of Tomorrow), whose themes was composed by Mr. Cosgrove, and a remake of Paul Motian's Victoria. Recorded in november 2013.
Cocredited with drummer George Marsh (the two worked together since 1975), Denny Zeitlin's Riding the Moment (Sunnyside, 2015) was recorded in 2013 and 2014, featuring Zeitlin also on sythesizer. The duo composed twelve new avantgarde jazz pieces, for 77 minutes.
The 3CD Set Stockholm Connection (Umlaut, 2015) collects unreleased musical collaborations between saxtenorist Swedens Bengt "Frippe" Nordstrom (well known for having recorded the first two Albert Ayler's albums) and accordionist and drummer Sven-Ake Johansson (who also directes an orchestra) in a trio along with pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach. The sessions are comprising of: CD1, recorded in march 1970, that features Rotationer F”r Stor Orkester; CD 2, featuring five pieces (notably the 25-minute Rutig) recorded in november 1977; CD 3, recorded in march 1982, featuring four pieces (notably the 26-minute Eksjo).
Vintage Visionary Vignettes (Ra-Kalam, 2015) is a cassette that collects 17 rare duets and trios, all from the seventies. The five small ensembles feature Bob Moses on drums, percussion & bass clarinet with vocalists Jeanne Lee & Sheila Jordan, John Clark (French horn), Bob Stewart (tuba), David Gross (alto sax), Harvie Swartz (bass) and Daniel Carter (trumpet & alto sax). Among the pieces, a couple of Thelonius Monk's pieces: Monk's Mood and Brilliant Corners.
Autumn (FMR, 2015) features Paul Dunmall on tenor & alto saxes and Tony Bianco on drums. This duo set was recorded in november 2014. Stands out the 27-minute title-track.
After a lot of collaborations as sideman, mainly with Nate Wooley, Peter Evans and Joe Morris, drummer Mike Pride releases finally his first credited "solo" album, Listening Party (Akord, 2015). Recorded at a date in New York after having worked on it since several years, the CD features 18 (mostly brief) pieces with massive use of percussion instruments, studio creations, glockenspiel etudes & drum set improvisations. Pride currently leads modern-jazz quartet From Bacteria To Boys, the 7-drummer installation-band Drummer's Corpse, and the piano trio I Hate Work.
Emanem restores two forgotten albums by Iskra 1903, well known trio comprising of Barry Guy (double bass), Derek Bailey (guitar) and Paul Rutherford (trombone). Buzz Soundtrack was recorded at various dates in 1970 and 1971 for a Michael Grigsby's film. Liner notes by label owner Martin Davidson speak about it as a "not typical Iskra 1903 session". First release dates back to 2002, when Emanem found the tapes. Instead, the 3CD set Chapter One 1970-1972 restores a classic concert and studio performances (Rutherford also played piano on some of them). CD1 collects five improvisations recorded in september 1970, notably the first (21 minutes) and the fifth (25 minutes). CD2 and CD3 mix studio and live performances. The three pieces named Extra on CD3 are studio performances until now unissued, recorded in 1971. The other sessions were held in 1972.
Gomory (Tzadik, 2015) features the 25th Book of Angels, performing Masada compositions by John Zorn. Recorded at a date in 2015, the album collects eleven pieces performed by Mycale, i.e. the cappella vocal quartet of Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Sofia Rei, Sara Serpa and Malika Zarra.
Full Circle Sounding (Kye, 2015) features the new LP by Montreal-based composer, improviser and violinist Malcolm Goldstein. This album sports the complete recording of Goldstein's headline set at the october 2014 Kye Festival: Judson Piece #6 and But One Bird Sang Not and Sheep Meadow (both with improvised violin extensions), plus an additional new studio improvisation, Soundings.
Hello, I Must Be Going (Victo, 2015) was recorded live in may 2014 by Fred Frith (electric guitar) and Evan Parker (tenor and soprano saxes). From the concert the unusual duo held, the label extracted four pieces (three of them above 17 minutes), basically improvised.
The DoLP Magnetoception (Eremite, 2015), credited to Joshua Abrams, features the leader on guimbri, bass, celeste, clarinet, small harp, bells; Hamid Drake on frame drum, tabla, conga, trap kit; Emmett Kelly and Jeff Parker on electric guitars; Lisa Alvarado on harmonium; Ben Boye on chromatic electric autoharp. Live studio recorded in february 2013, this avantgarde jazz album also mixes folk, minimalism and world music.
The 3CD Set A Space Odyssey (Fantastic Voyage, 2015) collects sixty Sun Ra's compositions compiled and annotated by music journalist Kris Needs. CD 1 includes tracks recorded from 1933-1959, CD2 tracks recorded in 1956, CD3 tracks recorded 1958-1961.
ESP restores Iron Path, the forgotten debuting album by Peter Broetzmann's Last Exit. The lineup, formed by the reedist along with Bill Laswell (bass), Roland Shannon Jackson (drums) and Sonny Sharrock (guitar), debuted with a self-titled (february 1986). The same month the group recorded for ITM Koln (released in 1990 only), a mixing of blues, jazz and avantarde, enlightened by the 19-minute Hard School, collectively composed. Then was the time for the live The Noise Of Trouble (october 1986), that also featured Akira Sakata (alto sax) and Herbie Hancock (piano). The ESP reissue of Iron Path was recorded at a date and released in 1988 by Virgin, featuring the original quartet in ten brief themes of hardcore, surf and speed metal, heavily improvised. The quartet disbanded after their live and more free jazz Headfirst Into The Flames, recorded in 1989.
Still Broetzmann. Recorded in september 2012, Mollie's In The Mood is a ltd ed. vinyl autoproduced by the reedist, that documents a collaboration with vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz. The two composed together three pieces (notably the 19-minute title-track), mostly improvised. The reedist is on alto and tenor saxes, clarinet and tarogato.
To Be Continued (Kye, 2015) is a previously unreleased performance, documenting the first meeting of Joe McPhee and John Snyder. Listen to Joe: "On a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1973, a group of mostly non-professional musicians/music lovers, literally friends and neighbors came together to present a concert in a communal ritual, Ancient to the Future, for friends and neighbors at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. The Episcopal order graciously made their facilities available for concerts in 1968 and my first recordings for CJRecords -Underground Railroad in 1968. Just a few months earlier I met John Snyder, who had recently acquired an ARP2600 analog synthesizer and immediately the "what if" scenario of such a musical adventure moved from imagination to reality".
Recorded in may 2014 after five years in composing, The Kandinsky Effect (Warren Walker on sax and effects; Gael Petrina on bass and effects; Caleb Dolister on drums and percussion) released Somnambulist (Cuneiform, 2015) their third album the label extensively presents here.
The Chicago Reed Quartet, a new Ken Vandermark's project, releases Western Automatic (Aerophonic, 2015). The lineup features Nick Mazzarella on alto sax, Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & baritone saxes, Mars Williams on sopranino, soprano, alto & tenor saxes and the leader on clarinets, tenor & baritone saxes. Recorded between june and august 2014, their eight lenghty pieces (each of members composed two of them) feature a strong but also lyrical jazz sound.
Our Lady Of The Flowers (RogueArt, 2015) documents Declared Enemy, i.e. the Matthew Shipp quartet, comprising of the leader pianist along with Sabir Mateen (tenor sax and clarinet), William Parker (double bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). Recorded in june 2013, the nine pieces rarely though are collective, sporting instead mostly solos, duets and trios.
The Rempis Percussion Quartet releases Cash And Carry (Aerophonic, 2015), that celebrates their tenth anniversary with this august 2014 session, comprising of two lengthy pieces (the 39-minute Water Foul Run Amok and the 15-minute Better Than Butter). The music is mostly improvised. Let's remember the lineup: the leader on alto, tenor and baritone saxes; Ingebrigt H†ker Flaten on bass; Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly on drums.
Pellucidar - A Dreamers Fantabula (Tzadik, 2015) is the fifth CD by Marc Ribot's The Dreamers, featuring, as always, the leader on guitar, Jamie Saft (keyboards), Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone), Trevor Dunn (bass), Joey Baron and Cyro Baptista both on drums. This album mixes soul, surf, jazz, minimalism, rumba, tango, samba and more. Recorded in february 2015.
Recorded in october 2014, High Risk (Greenleaf, 2015), by trumpeter Dave Douglas, features Jonathan Maron, on electric and acoustic bass, Mark Guiliana on electric and acoustic drums, and Shigeto on electronics. The seven pieces feature a mix of jazz and electronics.
Radical Empathy (Relative Pitch, 2015) features Thollem McDonas on acoustic piano with effects & modified electric piano, Nels Cline on electric guitar & effects and Michael Wimberly on drums. Recorded in february 2014. Their sound is "thriller" avantagarde and jazz oriented.
Revolutionary Ensemble's drummer Jerome Cooper, the last
surviving member of Leroy Jenkins' trio, died after a lung cancer on may
6, at 68.
One of the most eclectic Polish jazz and avantgarde composers and
musicians, trumpetist Tomasz Stanko
(1942) started very young
his career since late '50s, and then formed in 1962 the group Jazz
Darings (with Adam Matyszkowicz on piano, Jacek Ostaszewski on double
bass and Wiktor Perelemutter on drums), which he never recorded anything
with. Then he recorded in december 1965 his first
vinyl, Krzysztof Komeda (later re-released as Astigmatic), credited to the quintet of pianist Krzysztof Komeda, who dead prematurely at
38, after having composed above all music for soundtracks, among which the
Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Babe. Astigmatic is a transitional album, between post-bop and free jazz, on which stands out the 16-minute of Svantetic, more than the 23-minute title track.
Stanko's style was quite near to Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis. As he
stated in an interview, “I have always been interested in tradition.
With Krzysztof Komeda we would mostly listen to scale music, like Miles
Davies and John Coltrane. This was my inspiration. Ornette Coleman was
important too, of course, but more as an example of a certain attitude
toward art – that of searching and rebellion – than as a specific
musical convention”. In 1969 he
created his quintet, along with Bronislaw Suchanek (bass), Janusz
Stefanski (drums), Zbigniew Seifert (mainly violinist, but here on alto
sax), and Janusz Muniak (tenor sax). Stanko recorded with it in january
1970 Music For K, his first album as leader, four tracks among which stands out the 16-minute title-track,
dedicated to Komeda. More free-jazz oriented, this album keeps though a
main theme on which the musicians develop their inspiration, as also
shown in Infinitely Small. The quintet replicated in may 1972 with Jazzmessage From Poland,
a live album with the same lineup, also sporting Seifert on violin and
Muniak on flute. The vinyl, never re-released, featured three pieces
extracted from the concert. In march 1973, the quintet recorded the four
tracks of their third and last album, Purple Sun (still
unre-released), on which Hans Hartmann replaced Suchanek on bass.
Notable, in this album, the meditative phrasing on trumpet of Flair, evolving in an elegant collective approach, near to Bitches' Brew. A brief experience in a trio with Janusz Stefanski on drums and Stu Martin on synthesizer marked the three pieces of Fish Face (august
1973), his first “electronic” album, released in limited circulation
only for members of Polish Jazz Association. Then Stanko formed a
quartet with Tomasz Szukalski (tenor and soprano saxes, bass clarinet)
Peter Warren (bassist who worked with Jack De Johnette and Don Cherry) and
well known Edvard Vesala (drums). TWET, their first album, was
recorded in april 1974 (and not 1975, as erroneously stated on 2009
re-release), featuring a free-jazz approach developed from themes
composed, among which is worth mentioning the enigmatic Dark Awakening. After having signed for ECM, the quartet came back with Balladyna
(december 1975), re-released in 2008, on which Warren was replaced by
Dave Holland. In this album (based on the 1839 Polish tragedy by Juliusz
Slowacki), the Stanko's sound becomes more intimate and rarefied, even
when the instruments interlace in their counterpoints. After a hiatus,
Stanko recorded again in 1978 with a renowed quartet with Vesala and
Szukalski, on which Palle Danielsson (well known for his collaborations
with Terje Rypdal and Jan Garbarek) replaced Warren on bass. Almost Green,
their new album released by Leo and until never reissued, features six
new pieces; four brief, slow and intimate, plenty of solos, and two
long, more collective. Communist regime doesn't let Stanko go out of
Poland, but in 1980 he may join India, where, in two sessions (february
and march), he records Music From Taj Mahal And Karla Caves
(another Leo album still unrereleased), his most atypical and ambitious
work, that collects 13 solo-trumpet pieces, performed in two famous
temples, whose acoustics Stanko exploits to create evocative echoes: “It
was also a strange recording. It is a criminal story! We were doing
this at night, like rabbits! The security people from the Taj Mahal were
looking for us with lights! We paid them, but we only had one hour”.
Returned in Poland, Stanko repeats this experience recording in april
1982 W Palacu Prymasowskim, from the namesake album, a 19-minute
suite that collects seven solos trumpet, more free oriented. The side A
of album features Flair - Piece For Diana, 26 minutes recorded during Jazz Jamboree '73, with the quintet he created in 1969. Still in april 1982 he records Music 81
(reissued in 2009 by Metal Mind), five pieces performed with pianist
Slawomir Kulpowicz, drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski and bassist Witold
Szczurek. The main musical appeal is in the dialogues piano-trumpet, on
which Stanko goes a bit more away from a free approach. With the same
lineup, in july 1982 Stanko recorded the four tracks of AiJ (reissued in 1997), a more successful and inspired work; Stanko's technique definitively matures, especially in Monady (where his sound remembers the Freddie Hubbard one), also leaving a large space to Kulpowicz's variations, as in the title-track,
the best piece. A different lineup for another acoustic experience
(Jose Torres on percussion, Witold Szczurek on contrabass and gong,
Apostolis Antymos on guitar), recorded in may 1983 the minor C.O.C.X., whose nine pieces feature a latin and soul approach, more easy listening. With the DoLP Freelectronic-Peyotl
(reissued in several editions) Stanko started his new project
Freelectronic, recording a multisession album (between april 1984 and
november 1986), one of his most meaning albums, whose some pieces he
later presented in july 1987 at Montreux Jazz Festival (very notable the
live version of Asmodeus, that features an impressionistic and
jazz-rock). With Freelectronic, Stanko introduced again the synthesizer
(played by Janusz Skowron, who also composed some of pieces), also
giving large space to his alter ego, the trumpetist Andrzej Przybielski.
Another quartet (Witold Szczurek on bass, Apostolis Antymos on guitar
and Tomasz Holuj on percussion) recorded the ten pieces of Lady Go... (june 1984). Reissued in 2009, this album is an arrangement between latin and fusion, but still a bit conventional. Chameleon
(released in 1989, but recorded at a date in 1982) was an album still melodic but
quite natural, performed by a trio with Janusz Skowron (piano,
synthesizer, sampled percussion) and Apostolis Anthimos (electric
guitar, electric bass, drums, percussion, sampled percussion, guitar
synthesizer). Tales For A Girl, 12 (april and october 1991) was
his new studio album in five years, after a serious incident that made
him lose his teeth, replaced by a denture. It was a collection of 13
duets with Janusz Skowron on synthesizer, but in substance is a “solo”
album, Skowron producing only atmospheric backgrounds for a lyrical
jazz, but without the elegiac afflatus of Taj Mahal music. A new trio,
along with bassist Arild Andersen (well known for his collaborations
with Edward Vesala and Jan Garbarek) and drummer Jon Christensen (who
also worked with Ralph Towner and George Russell) recorded Bluish
(october 1991), collecting six pieces by Stanko and three by Andersen.
The album switches from the enigmatic and ethereal two-part If you look enough, to the rhythm section dialogues of Third heavy ballad, and the more free phrasings, with notable solos by Andersen, of Bosanetta, Under the volcano and the title-track. (to be continued)
The vinyl Behold (Mego, 2015) features another collaboration
between Oren Ambarchi (guitar and drums) and Jim O'Rourke (synthesizer
and piano), as the follow-up of their 2011 Indeed. Studio
recorded between 2012 and 2013, the album collects two long-side
compositions (18 and 23 minutes), minimalism and free improvisation
US trumpeter and flugelhornist Clark Terry, well known for his
collaborations in '50s with Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk, and
sideman in several big bands, died for diabetes on february 21, at 94.
Ballister's Worse For The Wear (Aerophonic, 2014) features Dave
Rempis on alto, tenor & baritone saxes, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello &
electronics and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums. This is the third disc from the group, recorded in march
2014. The three extended pieces (especially the 21-minute Fornax) continue the same feeling of previous albums, with many improvisations.
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