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After the debuting Wislawa, Tomasz Stanko's New York Quartet comes back with December Avenue (ECM, 2017), studio recorded in june 2016. Stanko replaced bassist Thomas Morgan with Reuben Rogers (1974), raised in the Virgin Islands. This album sports twelve new pieces, nine composed by Stanko, and three collectively. More successful compared with the previous Polin, this is one of most intimate Stanko's albums, living above all on dialogues with pianist David Virelles.
Nate Wooley's The Complete Syllables Music (self-produced, 2017) is a 4CD set collecting reissues of the out-of-print 8 Syllables (october 2011) and 9 Syllables (october 2012), and two discs of new material specifically composed as a tribute to American composer Kenneth Gaburo, 150 minutes of solo trumpet, distorted and manipulated by electronics, producing heavy drones.
You Are Here, released now by Intakt, documents Fred Frith (electric guitar, various small objects) and veteran Hans Koch (bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxes, spit) in a studio april 2016 session, when the duo composed and recorded seven new pieces, with large improvisations.
Another Intakt studio release is Beyond, performed by Barry Guy (bass), Jurg Wickihalder (soprano, alto and tenor saxes) and Lucas Niggli (drums). Recorded in november 2016, this album features nine tracks, with a bit more space for the composition of lyrical melodies.
Enfances 8 janv. 1984 (Fou, 2016) documents an unissued live performance recorded at title date by Daunik Lazro (alto sax), Joelle Leandre (double bass, voice) and George Lewis (trombone), featuring seven namesake tracks (notably the 20-minute Enfance 5), mixing solos duets and collective improvisations on themes.
Live In Stockholm October 22nd 1963 (Doxy, 2017) features John Coltrane's classic quartet (McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones), in two live shows recorded in Stockholm and Berlin. The pieces: Spiritual (12:14); Impressions (11:27); I Want To Talk About You (9:51); My Favorite Things (14:00). Live In Berlin November 2nd 1963 (same lineup) features Lonnie's Lament (10:16); Naima (8:03); Chasin' The Trane (5:43); Afro Blue (7:30); Cousin Mary (9:58). And always by the same lineup, Live In France 1965 (Mosaic Contemporary, 2017) features july 1965 live recordings, among which the first (and only public performances?) of Ascension and A Love Supreme.
Mats Gustafsson (saxes) and Alfred Vogel (drums and percussion) studio recorded in august 2016 Blow + Beat (Boomslang, 2017), an album gathering seven pieces they composed together, alternating solos and duets, composition and improvisation.
Recorded in october 2009 and out now for Nessa, Four Ways documents Roscoe Mitchell (here on flute and soprano and alto saxes) along Yuganaut, i.e. the trio of Tom Abbs (double bass, tuba and cello), Stephen Rush (keyboards) and Geoff Mann (drums, cornet and banjo). Rush and Mitchell collaborated together since 20 years. This album sports nine pieces, mostly improvised. The trio of Yuganaut debuted in june 2005 recording This Musicship, an ESP album released though in 2008, followed by Sharks (Engine, 2010), recorded in october 2009, the same month of Four Ways.
Right Up On (Passin' Thru, 2017) features Oliver Lake on alto sax & compositions and the Flux Quartet founded by Tom Chiu in 1996, with the leader and Conrad Harris on violins, Max Mandel on viola and Felix Fan on cello. This album collects seven pieces recorded in concert in april 2002.
Fourth Blood Moon (Yellowbird, 2016) features Elliott Sharp's project Tectonics, he debuted in 1995, here a duo along with vocalist Eric Mingus. Sharp, on E#: guitars, basses, synths, electronics, percussion, drum loops and processing, composed eight new pieces, using drum samples, layers of backwards and prepared guitars. Still by Sharp, Nostalgia For Infinity (Fractal, 2017) is a collection of six ®solos guitar¯, among which the 17-minute title-track, the 18-minute The Ice Wall At New Harbor and the 16-minute Just Guessing Again, performed employing delay devices and drawing hypnotic patterns. Instead, Oceanus Procellarum (Cavity Search, 2017) was recorded at a Music festival in november 2016, with Gareth Davis on bass clarinet and the Hamburg-based 12-piece string ensemble Resonanz, to combine string drones, loopings and rhythmic patterns, counterpointed by melodies.
Relephant (Bocian, 2016) documents Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and electronics) along with Adam Golebiewski, a drummer on stage since several years, who also recorded with Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Evans, Agusti Fernandez, Tim Daisy; they performed a studio may 2013 session, plenty of improvised noised textures.
After their debuting 2012 self-titled, Martin Archer's Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere comes back with ?2, a 2CD set documenting the leader on organ, electric piano, electronics, Eb saxophones, clarinets, voice, VST trumpet, along with: Chris Bywater (organ, synthesizers & electronics, samples, percussion, voice, electric violin); Steve Dinsdale (drums, floor percussion, synthesizer); Frostlake (voice, electronics, glockenspiel); Yvonna Magda (electric violin, loops, electronics); Walt Shaw (percussion, voice, electronics); Terry Todd (bass guitar, effects, voice); Mick Somerset (concert, alto and bamboo flutes, Bb saxophones); Paul Schatzberger and Heather Cordwell (violin); Aby Vulliamy (viola); Angela Rosenfeld (cello), and the choir Juxtavoices. The eleven new pieces (among which the 26-minute The Breaking Of Bonds and The Rearrangement Of Atoms and the 23-minute Potent Lunation) feature a progressive psychedelic rock, almost experimental: indeed, the project started with several live improvisations, and later Archer added composed material, also editing the live one. Speaking about it, Archer says: "I spent a lot of time with this record before writing about it, because it's long, dense, and ultimately very good. Space Smells of Strawberries has a strong Atom Heart Mother flavour that I truly like, and disc 1 as a whole is top notch. Disc 2 features four very long tracks that overstay their welcome, but I was able to appreciate it more when I approached it as a different proposition (i.e. at a different time). Is this one better than their debut? Honestly, that's too hard of a question".
Peter Kuhn Quintet, a lineup led by clarinetist along with Toshinori Kondo (trumpet and alto horn), Arthur Williams (trumpet), William Parker (bass and bells) and Denis Charles (the drummer who recorded in `70s with Billy Bang, Steve Lacy, Roswell Rudd, etc.) recorded only one album, Livin' Right, firstly released by Big City in 1979 and now restored by the same label. Live recorded in december 1978, it features five pieces of pure free jazz.
Buer (Tzadik, 2017) features the Volume 31 of endless John Zorn's The Book Of Angels series, with 16 Masada compositions performed by a trio featuring pianist Brian Marsella, Trevor Dunn (bass) and Kenny Wollesen (drums).
Recorded in january 2016, Blind Curves And Box Canyons (Relative Pitch, 2017) features Rob Mazurek (cornet, modular synth, sampler & voice) and Thollem McDonas (modified electric piano & analog effects). The two created an eclectic album, using distorted sounds by electronics, echo devices and flowing pianisms.
Birdland 1960 (Hi Hat, 2017) features an unissued Bill Evans trio, with the pianist accompanied by bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. The twelve pieces here collected come from live march and april 1960 sessions, a year before LaFaro's death.
Credited to Don Cherry, the vinyl Music, Wisdom, Love 1969 (Cacophonic Cack, 2017) features the original soundtrack for the Jean-No‰l Delamarre namesake film, unissued until now. Recorded in march 1967, the album gathers two 16-minute pieces, featuring Don Cherry and Karl Berger on the first, joined by Anthony Braxton on the second.
Intercommunications - Music For Woodwinds And Percussion (pfMENTUM, 2017) features a solo album by Vinny Golia on piccolos, flutes, bass clarinet, soprano & sopranino saxes, Tibetan trumpets, gyaling (a Tibetan double reed), fujara (a Slovakian overtone flute), Maori bird call, singing bowls and gongs.
Dutch pianist and composer Misha Mengelberg, who started his career as sideman in last Eric Dolphy's album, founding then the ICP Orchestra, died on March 3, at 81, after a long period of dementia.
American composer and saxophonist Arthur Blythe, leader and sideman since late '60 as eclectic musician in many lineups, died on March 27, for Parkinson's disease, at 77, after having been active until 2004.
Craig Taborn (piano and electronics), Chris Speed (tenor sax and clarinet), Chris Lightcap (bass) and Dave King recorded in may 2016 Daylight Ghosts, out now for ECM. Their nine pieces was all composed by Taborn except for Roscoe Mitchell's Jamaican Farewell. This music is presented by the label as a mixing of "dynamism and spectral ambience, acoustic and electric sounds, groove and lingering melody".
Recorded in october 2014 and now released by Libra, Peace - Tribute to Kelly Churko features the fifth album by Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo, a 20-musician ensemble (all reedists plus the rhythm section) with two members of her quartet Kaze. Fujii doesn't play: she composed three of the four pieces gathered here, particularly the 33-minute 2014. The music debuts with several duos, slowly joined by the rest of the ensemble.
Recorded in december 2016, The Garden Of Earthly Delights (Tzadik, 2017) documents ten pieces composed by John Zorn and performed by his Simulacrum ensemble, in their sixth experience: Trevor Dunn (bass), John Medeski (keyboards), Kenny Grohowski (drums), Matt Hollenberg (guitar) and Sara Serpa (voice). They celebrate the 500th anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch's death with an album improvised on the Zorn's themes, spacing from heavy metal to blues, funk, jazz and avantgarde. Instead, There is No More Firmament (Tzadik, 2017) collects nine John Zorn's compositions from 2013-2016, including two works for brass ensembles, a woodwind quintet, jazz piano trio, string trio and two solo pieces for clarinet and trumpet. Let's mention, among the performers, Jay Campbell (cello), Peter Evans (trumpet), Chris Otto (violin), Tyshawn Sorey (drums) and classical virtuoso Marco Blaauw (double-bell trumpet).
The vinyl PEN (Dropa, 2017) documents the trio of Evan Parker (tenor sax), John Edwards (double bass) and Steve Noble (drums, percussion) in a live january 2015 session, from which were extracted two side-long pieces. Still by Evans, the 2CD set City Fall (FSR, 2017) features the saxtenorist always with Edwards and Mikolaj Trzaska (alto sax and bass clarinet) and Mark Sanders (drums). They recorded in september 2014 three pieces, particularly the 43-minute CD-long Hunting Moon, and the 34-minute In Case Of Fire.
Old project Trio 3, featuring Andrew Cyrille (drums), Reggie Workman (bass) and Oliver Lake (sax), comes back with their thirteen release, Visiting Texture (Intakt, 2017). Recorded in july 2016, this album presents seven pieces, composed collectively and/or individually, also with the reworking of A Girl Named Rainbow, an Ornette Coleman's cover. Speaking about it, Andrew Cyrille states: "Improvisation to a large degree is always having an element of surprise; even if we're playing something that's arranged, we want to spark it so that there's always a certain magic happening as the music is being developed".
Burning Below Zero (Trost, 2017) documents the DEK Trio, a new projects gathering Austrians Elisabeth Harnik (piano, coming from London Improvisers Orchestra) and Didi Kern (drums) along with Ken Vandermark (reeds). Their three tracks here collected (particularly the first two, 29 and 25-minute long) were improvised in an october 2014 concert.
Recent Developments (Songlines, 2017) documents the latest project by Harris Eisenstadt. Performed with a nonet comprising of Anna Webber on flute, Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Dan Peck on tuba, Brandon Seabrook on banjo, Eivind Opsvik on bass and Hank Roberts on cello. The suite, recorded in june 2016, is extensively presented here.
Vessel In Orbit (Aum Fidelity, 2017) features the trio of Whit Dickey (drums), Mat Maneri (viola) and Matthew Shipp (piano). Their eight new pieces, quite brief, sport a compromise between melodic themes and improvisations. Recorded in march 2016.
Released by French label Fou, Quod documents the trio of Jean-Marc Foussat (synthesizer, voice), Sylvain Guerineau (tenor sax) and Joe McPhee (soprano sax) in two long pieces (24 and 22 minutes) studio recorded in march 2010, on which Foussat counterpoints with textures and drones the reedists' improvisations.
Leo releases simultaneously seven volumes of The Art Of Perelman-Shipp, that, as title suggests, feature Ivo Perelman (tenor sax) and Matthew Shipp (piano), accompanied by: William Parker (bass) on Vol. 1: Titan (recorded in october 2016); Bobby Kapps (drums) on Vol. 2: Tarvos (october 2016); again Parker and Whit Dickey ( drums) on Vol. 3: Pandora (october 2016); Michael Bisio (bass) on Vol. 4: Hyperion (august 2015); again Bisio and Dickey on Vol. 5: Rhea (august 2016); the two alone on Vol. 6: Saturn (november 2016); Andrew Cyrille (drums) on Vol. 7: Dione (november 2016). All the albums (each of them 1-hour long) are extensively presented here.
Live recorded in may 2011 by Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Beauty And The Beast (Spartacus, 2017) is a 7-part suite written by veteran leader Tommy Smith (he started his career recording his first album at sixteen) for saxophonist Dave Liebman, who though doesn't play in this album. The guest star is Bill Evans, on tenor and soprano saxes. The ensemble also features Martin Kershaw and Paul Towndrow (alto sax), Tommy Smith and Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor sax), Bill Fleming (baritone sax), Ryan Quigley, Ewan Mains, Lorne Cowieson and Tom MacNiven (all on trumpet), Chris Greive, Kevin Garrity, Michael Owers and Lorna McDonald (all on trombone), Andy McCreel (tuba), Steve Hamilton (piano), Kevin Glasgow (electric bass) and Alyn Cosker (drums). Scottish National Jazz Orchestra debuted for Spartacus label in 2002, with a live 2000 concert included in Miles Ahead (with the old arrangements by Gil Evans), followed after a hyatus by Celebration (october 2010) and American Adventure (june 2013).
Blue City (Trost, 2016) documents a live october 1997 performance by Peter Broetzmann (tenor and alto sax, tarogato and clarinet) and Johannes Bauer (trombone). This album, until now unissued, is a tribute Broetzmann decided to pay after the Bauer's death in may 2016. Among the five pieces, notable the 29 minutes of Name That Thing.
Amina Claudine Myers' Sama Rou (in Senegalese: "songs from my soul") released for Olaya in 2016 documents her nine new pieces (among which several negro spirituals and the 20-minute Crossings), she sings accompanied by her piano and rare recitations by Rene McLean.
Two new vinyls by NoBusiness. A Wing Dissolved In Light documents Anemone, a new project with Peter Evans (piccolo trumpet), John Butcher (tenor & soprano saxes), Frederic Blondy (piano), Clayton Thomas (double bass) and Paul Lovens (drums and cymbals). The album sports the two-part namesake suite, recorded live in november 2013.
Instead, the unissued The Conscience features the duo of Paul Rutherford (trombone) and Sabu Toyozumi (drums). This was also recorded live, in october 1999. From the concert, were extracted four pieces, among which the side-long title-track. Toyozumi is a veteran drummer, having been started his career in 1972 playing with Anthony Braxton.
Glare Of The Tiger is the seventh release by Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures (Meta, 2017). Recorded in june 2016, it features eleven pieces composed by the leader (here also on various percussion and glockenspiel), performed along with Alexis Marcelo (Fender Rhodes, electric keyboards, Hammond B3 organ), Damon Banks (electric bas), Graham Hayne (cornet, flugelhorn, electronics), Hamid Drake (drum set, percussion), James Hurt (various percussion, Fender Rhodes, smart phone synthesizer module), Kenny Wessel (electric guitar, electronics) and Ralph M. Jones (flutes, bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxes). As his previous productions, this album switches from jazz to folk, world and country music.
Clean Feed just released several albums. 1) On Parade In Parede features the Harris Eisenstadt Canada Day Quartet in seven new pieces rcorded between april and may 2016. The quartet fetures the leader drummer along with Pascal Niggenkemper (bass), Matt Bauder (tenor sax) and Nate Wooley (trumpet). Presented here by the label. 2) Float The Edge documents the Angelica Sanchez trio formed by the pianist along with veteran bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. The eight pieces Angelica composed were recorded in july 2016, and are extensively presented by the label. 3) Chants And Corners (Clean Feed, 2017), credited to Rob Mazurek, features the leader on modular synth, sampler, cornet & piano, accompanied by Mauricio Takara (drums), Guilherme Granado (keyboards, synth, sampler & electronics), Thomas Rohrer (rabeca, flutes, soprano sax & electronics) and Philip Somervell (piano and prepared piano). The nine pieces, recorded in spring 2016, were all composed by the leader. Speaking about this album, the label says that "the music has a modern psychotropic atmosphere all over it, in the confluence of a large plurality of influences, going from avant-jazz, free improvisation and post-rock to alternative hip-hop and new music".
The posthumous 2CD set Angouleme, 18 Mai 1980 (Fou, 2017) documents the Willem Breuker's Kollektief in an unreleased live performance at title's date. The ensemble, on which the leader was on clarinet, soprano, alto and tenor saxes, also gathered: Bob Driessen (alto and baritone saxes), Arjen Gorter (bass), Rob Verdurmen (drums), Henk de Jonge (piano), Maarten van Norden (tenor sax), Bernard Hunnekink and Willem van Manen (trombone) and Boy Raaymakers (trumpet). The set collects 14 pieces.
Positively Space Music (Fractal, 2017) features Henry Kaiser (acoustic and electric guitar, bass, and electronic percussion), Chris Muir (electric guitar and modular synthesizer) and Bob Bralove (keyboards). The two guitarists have been collaborating together for 40 years, and now produced this 2Cd set for 150 minutes of solos, duos and trios, switching from avantgarde rock to jazz and world music. Kaiser and Bralove already worked together releasing for BLove in 2009 Ultraviolet Licorice, that collects 14 pieces live improvised in studio, with Kaiser on guitars and Bralove on piano and synthesizer.
US guitarist Larry Coryell, well known above all in ’70s for his jazz fusion albums and collaborations with Miles Davis and Gary Burton, died for natural causes on february 19, at 73.
US jazz and R&B singer and ballads interpreter Alwin Lopez Jarreau, better known as Al, died after a brief illness on february 12, at 76.
The self-released ltd ed. 100 Live At The Downtown Music Gallery features Vinny Golia on baritone, sopranino & G-mezzo soprano saxes & piccolo, Oliver Lake on alto sax, Ross Hammond on guitar and Adam Lane on acoustic bass. Recorded october 2012 during a concert from which were extracted two tracks (26 and 15:30 minutes), completely improvised.
Loafer’s Hollow (Hot Cup, 2017) features an expanded Mostly Other People Do The Killing’s lineup, with Jon Irabagon on tenor & sopranino saxes, Steve Bernstein on trumpet & slide trumpet, Dave Taylor on bass trombone, Brandon Seabrook on banjo & electronics, Ron Stabinsky on piano, Moppa Elliott on bass & compositions and Kevin Shea on drums. As known, Peter Evans left the MOPDTK after the recording of Hannover (february 2014), a Jazzwerkstatt album mostly composed by Elliott. The eight pieces, swing-melodic oriented, were recorded in march 2016.
The CDR Four Quartets (Confront, 2016) documents a studio july 2014 recording by Keith Tippett (piano, woodblocks, pebbles, maracas, music box) with a trio of emergent musicians: Tom Jackson (clarinets), Ashley John Long (basses) and Benedict Taylor (viola). Their album features four tracks, two brief and two very long (38 and 26 min.), performed as a pure improvised session.
The vinyl Mother Of All Saints (Puppet On A String) documents an Unrock release featuring violist Eyvind Kang along with Bhutanian guitarist Tashi Dorji, also with sessionmen Krusnedi Sukarwanto (cello) and Yaw Amponsah (percussion). The six pieces (among which a reworking of Albert Ayler’s For Leroy Jenkins) were recorded in various sessions, in 2012 and 2016, and sport a compromise of “jazzed” classical, folk and world music.
The vinyl Molecular Affinity (Roaratorio, 2016) sports the third collaboration between Pauline Oliveros (V accordion), Nels Cline (electric guitars, Dobro, effects) and Thollem McDonas (piano) in a studio album recorded in august 2015, with two side-long pieces, so presented by the later lamented accordionist: «This recording brought us together for an unusual musical conversation. There was no plan or guiding structure. Thus the conversation set the pace between eGuitar, V accordion and piano. Each of us contributing, conversing in response to the other from our own individual perceptions. The music develops as a result of those moments of conversation. As different subjects are triggered or introduced the conversation shifts, turns and integrates making the music». Always by Oliveros, another posthumous: Live At The Stone (Important, 2016), recorded in august 2014 on accordion with the pianist Connie Crothers, a performance documented in a two-part (43 minutes) composition: First Meeting Still Sounding. Let’s remember that Connie Crothers too died (august 2016, three months before Oliveros).
First released in 1952 by Mercury, the restored Bird And Diz (Doxy, 2017) documents a legendary album with Charlie Parker (alto sax), Thelonius Monk (piano), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Buddy Rich (drums) and Curly Russell (bass). This was the final collaborative studio performance with Parker and Gillespie together, originally credited to the Charlie Parker Quintet. The pieces (on first two there was Max Roach on drums) are: Passaport (recorded in march 1949), Visa (may 1949), and the rest was recorded in june 1950: Bloomdido, Relaxing With Lee, Leap Frog, An Oscar For Treadwell and Mohawk. Parker wrote all these tracks, the eighth, Melancholy Baby, being a cover written by Ernie Burnett, George A. Norton and Maybelle E. Watson.
Microscopic Septet comes back with Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play The Blues (Cuneiform, 2017). Recorded in may 2016, the album presents the current lineup, featuring the sax quartet of Phillip Johnston (soprano), Don Davis (alto), Mike Hashim (tenor) and Dave Sewelson (baritone) along with Joel Forrester (piano), Dave Hofstra (bass) and Richard Dworkin (drums). As title suggests, the album, with its thirteen titles, focuses on a “jazzy” blues, also with several solos.
A Quietness Of Water (Not Two, 2017) documents Peter Evans on trumpet, Agusti Fernandez on piano and Mats Gustafsson on saxes. Studio recorded in july 2013, this is their second album together. The trio indulges in extended techniques and “hard” themes, increased by their improvisations.
Detail At Club 7, another Not Two release, features an old, unissued september 1982 performance by Detail, a project created by John Stevens (drums), Johnny Mbizo Dyani (bass), Frode Gjerstad (soprano & tenor saxes, bass clarinet) and Eivin One Pedersen (piano & ARP synth). They composed a five-part 57-minute suite. The project continued with other albums: Backwards And Forwards/Forwards And Backwards, Okhela «To Make A Fire» and First Detail (all recorded in october 1982); the DoLP Ness, when the group was joined by Bobby Bradford on cornet, Courtney Pine on various reeds and Harry Beckett on trumpet (march and july 1986); Way It Goes/Dance Of The Soul (again july 1986); In Time Was (a 46-minute suite recorded in tour always in july 1986, with Bobby Bradford); Less More, with Ken Carter on bass and Billy Bang on violin, recorded between may 1989 and october 1990; and the final, as title suggests, Last Detail - Live At Cafe Sting, recorded in may 1994 but one track, recorded on year after, by the trio Carter-Stevens-Gjerstad.
Un Ideal (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2016) features the project Nous Percons Les Oreilles, created 20 years ago by Jean Derome and Joane Hetu. After the 1998 self-titled, followed by La Vie, C'est Simple (2001) and Shaman (recorded between november 2007 and june 2008), the duo comes back with a studio album recorded in september 2016. Derome (on alto saxe, flute, piano, bass melodica, percussion, objects and voice) and Hetu (on alto sax, voice, melodica and objects) composed nine pieces developping themes with improvisations.
Satoko Fujii’s Invisible Hand (Cortez Sound, 2017) is a 2CD set featuring her live compositions on solo piano, recorded in april 2016, mixing old compositions and new extended themes improvised (above all in disc 1), in a lyrical approach. Instead, June (Circum, 2017) features the pianist wit her new project Trouble Kaze, i.e. her project Kaze with an additional piano and another drummer: Fujii’s piano is doubled by Sophie Agnel’s piano, and with trumpetists Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost play also drummers Didier Lasserre and Peter Orins, for the release of this five part suite, recorded in june 2016. The suite mixes noise, minimalisms, low and intricate sounds.
News by Martin Archer. Sunshine! Quartet (Discus, 2016) features Martin Archer (alto and sopranino saxes), Corey Mwamba (vibraphone), Seth Bennett (double bass) and Peter Fairclough (drums). Recorded in october 2016, it features four long pieces (especially the 20-minute It's Not Finnished). Felicity's Ultimatum, by the same label, sports ten compositions by all four players edited into a continuous sequence of structure and improvisations, melodies and textures: Martin Archer (alto, sopranino and baritone saxes), Graham Clark (violin), Stephen Grew (piano) and Johnny Hunter (drums).
Recorded in august 2015, Planktonic Finales (Intakt, 2017) documents the trio of Stephan Crump (acoustic bass), Ingrid Laubrock (tenor and soprano saxes) and Cory Smythe (piano), who collectively composed eleven pieces, quickly extended in improvisations.
Another Intakt release is Cherry-Sakura, by the duo of Aki Takase (piano) and David Murray (tenor sax and bass clarinet). In april 2016 they recorded seven pieces (four by the pianist and three by the reedist), completed by a reworking of Thelonius Monk’s Let’s Cool One.
Ralph Towner returns to solo guitar in My Foolish Heart (ECM, 2017). Recorded in february 2016, it’s an ideal follow-up of his old Diary, Anthem, Time Line, etc. The twelve compositions (among which the Ned Washington-Victor Young’s title-track, reinterpreted, and two reworkings of his own) were played with the classical and the 12-string guitars.
Judson Trio is a new project created by bassist Joelle Leandre, violist Mat Maneri and drummer Gerald Cleaver. They debuted for Rogueart with the vinyl An Air Of Unreality, a live july 2015 performance, from which were extracted three pieces they collectively composed and mostly improvised.
Recorded live in may 2012, Pleonid (Leo, 2017) is a single-track CD (one hour), with indexes to allow navigation at 7-minute intervals. The work is generated and scored by software which bassist Stuart Popejoy developed between 2007 and 2012, then putting together a band of New York improvisers: Sarah Bernstein (violin), Avram Fefer (alto sax), Steve Swell (trombone) and Kenny Wolleson (vibes and drums).
Five Improvisations (Be! Free, 2017) features an old Marion Brown quartet, with the leader on alto sax, Brandon Ross on guitar, Jack Gregg on bass and Steve McCraven on drums. They performed an old unissued studio performance, recorded in march 1977.
By Cuneiform, A Night Walking Through Mirrors, credited to Chicago/London Underground, a new project by Rob Mazurek gathering the leader (on cornet, sampler, electronics and voice) along with Chad Taylor (drums, mbira and electronics;), Alexander Hawkins (piano) and John Edwards (double bass). Live recorded in april 2016, it sports four extended tracks, featuring a mixing of post-bop, melodic and quite latin themes and dissonant improvisations. The album was created, says Mazurek, with “the only criteria of people who are completely open to anything, no matter how outlandish or crazy the idea is. They just have to be 100 percent into the moment and what we’re doing”.
Piano Song (Thirsty Ear, 2017) documents the Matthew Shipp trio, with the leader pianist, Michael Bisio (bass) and Newman Taylor Baker (drums) in a studio session featuring twelve pieces (with some piano solos), balancing between hypnotic and lyrical themes with intimate improvisations. Recorded in april 2016.
Aereophonic delivers Slag, the sixth album by Ballister trio, comprising of Dave Rempis (alto and tenor saxes), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and electronics) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums). The release documents a live march 2015 concert. Among the three tracks, notable is the 23-minute Fauchard. By the same project, Belgian label Dropa Disc presents Low Level Stink, a ltd ed. vinyl LP documenting another concert, from one night prior Slag, extensively presented here.
Unleashed (RogueArt, 2016) documents the “Tiger Trio”, a new lineup with Myra Melford (piano), Joelle Leandre (double bass) and Nicole Mitchell (flutes and piccolo) in a live march 2016 performance, collecting ten brief tracks.
Creative Construction Set (Mikroton, 2016) documents George Lewis along with the Berlin based Splitter Orchester, a notable 24 musician ensemble, comprising of, among others, Werner Dafeldecker (double bass) and Axel Dorner (trumpet), plus nine reedists, cello, violin, percussion, guitar, two pianos, several constructed instruments, and six computer and electronics, among which the leader, also on trombone. Lewis composed three long pieces, studio recorded in november 2015, that explore several techniques of sounds and textures.<
Masters Of War (Blue Note, 2017) features saxtenorist Charles Lloyd with his Marvels project, comprising of Bill Frisell (guitar), Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums), here joined by singer country-rocker Lucinda Williams. The album reworks extensively the famous Bob Dylan’s cover, recorded live in november 2016. The project, let’s remember, already debuted with another Blue Note release, I Long To See You, recorded in april 2015, collecting ten pieces mostly composed by the leader (who also was on flute). Among the tracks, the 16-minute Barche Lamsel.<
Art Yard releases the vinyl I Roam The Cosmos, featuring an unheard live july 1972 session by Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra, a 18-musician ensemble gathering the historical members (Danny Davis, Marshall Allen, Danny Roy Thompson, John Gilmore, etc.). The album collects two side-long pieces (both 26 minutes).<
The Drawing Center ltd ed. Japanese CD (ZiZo, 2016) features Dave Douglas on trumpet, Bill Laswell on bass & effects and Hideo Yamaki on drums. This disc was recorded in august 2016. The trio already recorded in april 2016 another live performance, from which was extracted the 36-minute Ankoku Kaiju on The Stone, digitally only released by M.O.D., the Laswell’ label.<
Umbrella Weather (RareNoise, 2017) is the latest Led Bib’s album, featuring current lineup as: Mark Holub (drums), Pete Grogan and Chris Williams (alto saxes), Liran Donin (bass) and Toby McLaren (keyboards). This mixing of “jazzed” industrial and heavy rock ,was live in studio recorded in january 2016.<
FMR restores three unissued releases by Amalgam, the lineup founded by drummer John Stevens along with altoist Trevor Watts and bassists Barry Guy and Jeff Clyne. The debuting Prayer For Peace was recorded in may 1969; Another Time dates back to july 1976, with another lineup, comprising of Trevor Watts, Pete Cowling (bass), Liam Genockey (drums) and Steve Hayton (guitar); Deep, featuring Trevor Watts on alto sax, Dave Cole on electric guitar, Harry Miller on contrabass and Liam Genockey on drums, was recorded in november 1977. Amalgam’s sessionography is comprising of ten releases; let’s remember the rest: the live Play Blackwell & Higgins, collecting two performances (march 1972 and january 1973), with Stevens, Clyne and Watts; Innovation (november 1974), with bassists Kent Carter and Lindsay Cooper, pianist Keith Tippett, plus Stevens and Watts; Samanna (january 1977), with Watts, Genockey and Cole, plus bassists Colin McKenzie and Pete Cowling; Mad (recorded in 1977), with McKenzie, Genockey, Watts and dutch Willem Kuhne on electric piano; the live recorded 4LP Wipe Out (november 1979), when guitarist Keith Rowe joined the group, featuring the 39-minute Tribute To Mingus, composed by Watts; the live Over The Rainbow (february 1979), with the same previous lineup; the final Ogun album Closer To You (still unrereleased), recorded in may 1978 with the trio Watts-McKenzie-Genockey.<
Many news by Paul Dunmall. His Deep Whole Trio, after having debuted with That Deep Calling (may 2013), comes back with Paradise Walk (Multikulti, 2016). Recorded in november 2014, it features the same lineup, with the leader on various saxes, Paul Rogers (custom made bass) and Mark Sanders (drums). Among the five pieces, basically improvised, let’s mark the 26-minute title-track. The Dreamtime Suite (FMR, 2016) features his quintet, with the leader on tenor & alto saxes & bagpipes, Percy Pursglove on trumpet & bagpipes, Steve Tromans on piano, Dave Kane on acoustic bass and Hamid Drake on drums. Recorded live in october 2016. With Maha Samadhi (Slam, 2016) Dunmall (here on tenor sax) debuts his Brass Project, featuring and ensemble with trumpetists Aaron Diaz, Alex Astbury and Percy Pursglove, trombonists Dave Sear and Josh Tagg, tubaists Jo Sweet and Josh Palmer, plus Olie Brice (bass) and Tony Bianco (drums). Dunmall composed five lenghty pieces, recorded in june 2016, based on life of spiritual Hindu Shri Ramakrishna. Some music, performed by quite unknown musicians, is conducted by composer Ed Bennett, and features many improvisations, mostly of them being solos.<
Sunnysidse releases The Unknown, two tracks of 45 and 30 minutes live and improvised in concert in february 2016, by the quartet of John Escreet (piano), John Hebert (double bass), Evan Parker (tenor sax) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums).<
Ocean Of Storms (Fractal, 2016) features Tania Chen on piano, Henry Kaiser on guitars, Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet and William Winant on percussion. The five pieces on the album take their titles from geographic features of Earth’s Moon. From liner notes: “Incorporating elements of modern composition, the music is both otherworldly and grounded in the American roots musics of jazz and blues. A day at legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley resulted in this work, one that runs the gamut from whisper-quiet acoustic music at the beginning to a terrifying maelstrom of electric intensity on the final track”. Five lenghty pieces.<
Up And Coming is the first ECM 2017 release, featuring the John Abercrombie Quartet, whose leader guitarist leads Marc Copland (piano), Drew Gress (double bass) and Joey Baron (drums) in their seventh album, the follow-up of april 2013 39 Steps, with the same lineup. Recorded between april and may 2016, the vinyl sports eight tracks (five by the leader, two by Copland, plus a Miles Davis’ reworking), basically lyrical and melodic, with several solos.<
The Ltd 500 edition 6 CD boxset Momentum 1: Stone (Audiographic, 2016) documents 12 different sets of music recorded over 6 days in january 2016 by various Ken Vandermark lineups, among the most stellar ever seen, including in turn pianists Sylvie Courvoisier and Havard Wiik, saxophonists Ingrid Laubrock, Joe McPhee and Ned Rothenberg, drummers Chris Corsano, Paal Nilssen-Love and Tom Rainey, violist Mat Maneri, trumpetist Nate Wooley, celloist Okkyung Lee, bassist William Parker, guitarist Joe Morris, trombonist Steve Swell, plus Ikue Mori, Marina Rosenfeld and Christof Kurzmann on electronics. The reedist presents six 40-minute CDs featuring music mostly improvised.<
Time/Life (Song For The Whales And Other Beings) is an Impulse release documenting the last Liberation Music Orchestra Charlie Haden’s work, left unfinished before his death. Two of the five pieces, the Miles Davis’ reworking of Blue In Green and the leader’s Song For The Whales) were recorded during a Belgium Jazz festival held on august 2011; the other three, alla composed by Carla Bley and unrelead until now by her, were studio recorded in january 2015. A 13-musician ensemble accompanied the bassist: let’s mention, among others, Steve Swallow (bass), veteran Steve Cardenas (guitar), Carla Bley (piano and conduction) and Tony Malaby (tenor sax).<
The DoLP Unfold (Ideologic Ocean, 2016) features brand-new recordings from The Necks, a double LP with four side-length tracks, presented here by Mego.
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