Jazz Newsby Rocco Stilo
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Click here for the Jazz News of 2018
American trombonist Roswell Rudd, New York Art Quartet founder who worked with many jazz giants since '60s, died of cancer on december 22, at 82.
US drummer Sunny Murray, who became famous in Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Albert Ayler lineups, died for a multiple organ failure on december 7, at 81.
Born two years ago, the project Third Coast Ensemble, led by Rob Mazurek, just released for RogueArt Wrecks, a live october 2015 performance, ten pieces composed by the leader and featuring a compromise between jazz and avantgarde. Mazurek, playing cornet, directed the ensemble comprising of 15 members: Christophe Rocher (clarinets), Steve Berry (trombone), Christofer Bjurstrom (piano), Frederic B. Briet (double bass), Philippe Champion (trumpet), Lou Mallozzi and Vincent Raude (electronics), Nicole Mitchell (flutes), Jeff Parker (guitar), Irvin Pierce (tenor sax), Nicolas Pointard and Avreeayl Ra (drums), Nicolas Peoc’h (alto and soprano saxes), Tomeka Reid (cello) and Mazz Swift (violin).
The 4CD boxset Frode Gjerstad With Hamid Drake And William Parker, as the title says, documents a Not Two release featuring the trio of reedist along with rhythm section in four long suites: the four part Ultima (58 min.), Remember To Forget and Forget (CD 2), for 68 minutes, the five-part The Other Side (56 min.), and the three parts of Reade Street (56 min.). Recorded in june 2017.
Not Two releases A Woman’s Work…, an 8CD boxset by Joelle Léandre, featuring quartets, trios, duets and solos performed by the bassist (who also sings) along with: Maggie Nichols (vocals) and Irene Schweizer in Les Diaboliques (CD 1), containing six pieces recorded in october 2015; Mat Maneri on violin, in Duet (CD 2), other six pieces recorded in january 2011; Lauren Newton on vocals in Duet (CD 3), eight pieces recorded in february 2016; Jean-Luc Capozzo on trumpet in Duet (CD 4), containing seven pieces recorded in november 2015; guitarist Fred Frith in Duet (CD 5), three tracks recorded in june 2016; a Solo performance (CD 6), collecting five pieces recorded in june 2005; Zlatko Kaucic (drums, percussion), Evan Parker (tenor sax) and Agusti Fernandez (piano), in a Quartet (CD 7) featuring three pieces recorded in october 2015; the same lineup but as Duos (CD 8), collecting four pieces recorded in the same session. Still by Léandre, Léandre-Minton (Fou, 2017) documents three pieces with the vocalist (notably the 31-minute Si, lence) recorded in october 2016.
Corbett vs. Dempsey delivers Torturing The Saxophone, an old forgotten solo performance by Mats Gustafsson. The reedist, on tenor and baritone saxes, music box and live electronics, recorded in various dates (from april 2008 to june 2011) nine pieces here collected. Eight of them had already previously released in very limited editions (99 copies). Among them, the 22:30-minute Danny’s Dream.
All recorded live in studio in 2016, Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth is the latest Charlie Hunter’s album. The guitarist, accompanied by Kirk Knuffke on cornet, Bobby Previte on drums and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, composed eight new pieces.
The six tracks of Symmetry Through Collapse (ZOND, 2016) document the latest Combat Astronomy’s work. Led as always by Martin Archer, here on sax, clarinet, organ and electronics, the lineup, also featuring James Huggett (bass, elctronics), Pater Fairclough (drums) and Italian Dalila Kayros on vocals, presents an atypical and difficult mix of experimental, avantgarde, jazz and metal rock, also comprising of, as guests, Wesley Ian Booth (violin) and Nick Robinson (guitar).
The vinyl Plainlight (Abduction, 2017) contains three compositions by multi-instrumentalist Eyvind Kang. In this album he plays vielle, tambura, electric guitar and electric organ, along with Timm Mason (synthesizer), Randall Dunn (effects), Steve Moore, the trombonist who worked with Bill Frisell and Sunn O))), Samantha Boshnack (trumpet), and other unknown musicians playing exotic instruments. The music counterpoints classical, folk, world and country with experimental and avantgarde.
Credited to American trumpeter and cornetist Ron Miles, I Am A Man (Enja, 2017) features Bill Frisell (guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass), Brian Blade (drums) and Jason Moran (piano). The lineup studio recorded in december 2016 seven pieces composed by the reedist.
The vinyl Light Never Bright Enough (Otoroku, 2017) documents a collaboration between guitarist Keiji Haino and saxophonist John Butcher, live recorded in july 2016, when they played in a concert from which were extracted two side-long untitled performances, plenty of experimental and avantgarde and large improvisations.
Recorded in july 1974 but released in 1984 only by Incus, Royal documented two long pieces live performed by guitarist Derek Bailey and reedist Anthony Braxton, and was presented as the «Volume One», but no other albums were released. Honest Jon’s label presents now the reissue, expanded to include Volume Two too.
Andrea Centazzo (percussion), Tania Chen (piano) and Henry Kaiser (guitar) recorded Ghidorah (Fractal, 2017). The title comes from a Japanese monster movie from 1964. This album features three 25-minute pieces, mostly improvised.
Available only in digital version, Graphic Scores documents a studio september 2009 Rova Saxophone Quartet session, performed by the “sax lineup” of Steve Adams, Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackely and Larry Ochs. The release collects ten pieces.
Ken Vandermark’s project Made To Break comes back with Trebuchet (Trost, 2017). Recorded in april 2016, The new album features three tracks; the reedist leads his quartet, on which debuted a new bassist, the Dutch Jasper Stadhouders. As always, Christof Kurzmann is on electronics and Tim Daisy on drums.Syncquistic Linear Expositions And Their Geopolitical Outcomes (Nine Winds, 2017) features Vinny Golia on sopranino, soprano & baritone saxes, bass clarinet, kwala (an Egyptian flute), kayzee & gongs, Rova Sax Quartet's Steve Adams on alto sax, Ken Filiano on bass & pedals and Tina Raymond on drums. Recorded in march 2017, it features seven new Golia's pieces mixing avantgarde, bebop and improvisations. From Null Lands Led, Starrily, by Spanish label Anomia, documents the latest Bhob Rainey's work. This ltd ed. CD collects three long pieces. Rainey, on his synthesizer, was accompanied by well known pianist Matt Mitchell, Chris Cooper (on sounds), vocalist Liz Tonne, and James Ilgenfritz (bass). The music features a mixing of experimental and concrete sounds. Throes Are The Only Trouble (ugExplode, 2017) features Michael Foster (tenor & soprano saxes), Steve Swell (trombone), Brandon Lopez (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums). The four pieces, mostly improvised, were recorded in june 2017. Foster and Lopez, above all the latter, are fresh on the stage. The six tracks of Symmetry Through Collapse (ZOND, 2016) document the latest Combat Astronomy's work. Led as always by Martin Archer, here on sax, clarinet, organ and electronics, the lineup, also featuring James Huggett (bass, electronics), Pater Fairclough (drums) and Italian Dalila Kayros on vocals, presents an atypical and difficult mix of experimental, avantgarde, jazz and metal rock, also comprising of, as guests, Wesley Ian Booth (violin) and Nick Robinson (guitar)
The project of large ensemble Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (more of 30 members in his history) was born in 2002, when Evan Parker gathered the first core, comprising at that time of seven saxes, cello, clarinet, cornet, trumpet, two basses, two drums, three flutes, three guitars, two pianos and shakuhachi. Munich And Glasgow, their first album for FMR (six pieces mostly improvised), was recorded in two sessions (september and december 2003). Which Way Did He Go? (two sessions, october 2004 and january 2005) contained other five pieces free improvised. Falkirk (october 2005) was instead a collaboration with bassist Barry Guy, sporting a 16-minute improvisation and a 50-minute suite composed by Guy, and featured Bill Wells on keyboards and classical violinist Maya Homburger. The may 2007 Separately & Together was a 2CD set gathering a collaboration with the London Improvisers Orchestra; the 44-musician ensemble performed thirteen tracks. Poetics (june 2007) features four long pieces, without Evans. The four part suite of Metamorphic Rock, recently re-released, was a collaboration with George Lewis recorded in december 2007. Insects, recorded at Glasgow Jazz Festival 2010, collected two 19-minute free performances. Schweben - Ay, But Can Ye? (march 2009) was their second collaboration with Barry Guy, featuring the 48-minute title-track mixing improvisation, non music moments and spoken words, again with Maya Homburger on violin. The 39-minute namesake suite on Improcherto (live recorded in march 2011) sported the return of Evan Parker and the collaboration of Lol Coxhill on soprano sax. Artificial Life 2007 was their second collaboration with George Lewis (december 2012), featuring the two-part namesake composition by the trombonist and the vocalist Maggie Nicols as guest. The Word For It Now (FMR, 2017), their latest album, sees the new entry of Marilyn Crispell on piano, and contains A Bit in The Air (25 minutes), live recorded in november 2015, plus the two movements of A Peculiar Slumber (30 minutes), recorded live in november 2013.
10Tet (Confront, 2016) documents the namesake project in an october 2013 session between Tetuzi Akiyama (acoustic guitar), veteran Radu Malfatti and Toshihiro Koike (trombone), Masahiko Okura (tube), Klaus Filip (electronics), Nikos Veliotis (cello), Taku Unami (bass), veteran Taku Sugimoto (electric guitar), Kazushige Kinoshita (violin) and Moe Kamura (vocals), featuring un untitled 37-minute track, abstract, experimental and mostly improvised.
Latitude 41.88 (Not Two, 2017) features the last DKV Trio album. Ken Vandermark (reeds), Hamid Drake (drums) and Kent Kessler (bass) performed three long pieces, studio recorded in december 2014, as always free improvised.
The Flinn Lytle Maroney Trio is a debuting project that, as title suggests, gathers Michael Lytle (clarinets), Stephen Flinn (percussion) and the more known Denman Maroney (piano). Their first album, Itinerant (Creative Sources, 2017) was recorded in may 2017 and features four untitled pieces, free improvised. US clarinetist Michael Lytle is a veteran, being on stage since 1979, even if he didn’t recorded much (he began playing with Doctor Nerve). Stephen Flinn instead is a composer on stage since 2003, who also created several self made instruments.
Steve Swell's Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen (Silkheart, 2017) documents the leader on trombone and aerophone, along with Rob Brown (alto sax), Jason Kao Hwang (violin, viola, electronics), Robert Boston (piano, organ), Tomas Ulrich (cello) and Jim Pugliese (drums, percussion) in a live june 2017 session, when the sextet recorded five pieces (notably the 25-minute Opening).
Imaginary Numbers (Clean Feed, 2017) documents Joe McPhee (pocket trumpet and tenor sax) along with Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass) and Stale Liavik Solberg (drums, percussion) in a december 2015 studio session, during which they recorded three long pieces, notably thbe 24-minute I, and the 10-minute A Supreme Love, an obvious tribute to John Coltrane.
Libra releases Fukushima, new album by Satoko Fujii's New York Orchestra, a five-part 1-hour suite inspired by 2011 nuclear disaster composed by the pianist (who here doesnt't play, though). Very notable the ensemble: Oscar Noriega (alto sax), Ellery Eskelin and Tony Malaby (tenor saxes), Andy Laster (baritone sax), Dave Ballou, Herb Robertson and Natsuki Tamura (trumpets), Joey Sellers, Joe Fiedler and Curtis Hasselbring (trombones), Nels Cline (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (bass) and Ches Smith (drums). Premiered in june 2017.
Veteran norwegian reedist Frode Gjerstad (1948) started his career in late ’70 playing clarinet, saxophone and flute, and began his collaboration along with John Stevens since 1981, in the lineup Detail, recording Forwards And Backwards (october 1982), and then, as a duo, Sunshine (march 1984), featuring the namesake three part 1-hour suite, and In Time Was (july 1986), with Bobby Bradford. In 1987, he created his prominent project and the namesake label, the large ensemble of Circulasione Totale Orchestra, which gathered, among others, trumpeter Bobby Bradford, pianist Eivin One Pedersen, drummers Hamid Drake and Paal Nilssen-Love, bassists Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Nick Stephens, again Stevens, percussionists Kevin Norton and Louis Moholo, reedist Sabir Mateen, etc. The ensemble produced until now seven albums: Accent (october 1987), Enten Eller (august 1992), Recycling Grieg (may 1995), that, as title suggests, collects reworkings of Norwegian composer and pianist born in 1843, Borealis (february 1998), Open Port (may 1998), featuring the 48-minute suite Yellow Bass And Silver Cornet, composed in memory of John Stevens, the 3CD set Bandwidth, live recorded at Molde International Jazz Festival (july 2008) that features also electronics for the first time (thanks to Lasse Marhaug), and the 2CD set PhilaOslo, collecting two monumental 70-minute tracks, Phila (january 2010) and Oslo (march 2011). Ism (july 1998) was instead his first and until now only solo album, ten improvisations performed on alto sax. Another project is Calling Signals, that released with the namesake label other six albums: the namesake first album, recorded in november 1996, also featured guitarist Hasse Poulsen and the rhythm section Moholo-Moholo/Nick Stephens; Dreams In Dreams (january 2005) gathered Eivin One Pedersen (accordion), Nick Stephens (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), followed by Live In The UK (august 2005), on which Tony Marsh replaced Nilssen-Love; From Cafe Sting (march 2007), with Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums; the drums-less From Cafe Oto (december 2008), with Lol Coxhill on soprano sax; A Winter's Tour (december 2009), with Jon Corbett on trumpet and trombone. His Trio featured several lineups, initially with Wilber Morris (bass) and Rashid Bakr (drums) in A Sound Sight (september 1997); then the rhythm section of William Parker (bass) and Hamid Drake (drums) in Remember To Forget (october 1997), Ultima (same session) and The Other Side (january 2000); then with Nilssen-Love and Oyvind Storesund, in The Blessing Light (september 2000), Last First (november 1999), Sharp Knives Cut Deeper (december 2001), with Peter Broetzmann as guest, St. Louis (october 2002), Mothers & Fathers & (february 2005), Nothing Is Forever (may 2007). In Mir (september 2010) Storesund was replaced by Jon Rune Strom, followed by East Of West (april 2011), Hide Out (august 2011), Russian Standard (december 2013), Miyazaki (may 2014), At Constellation (november 2014), with Steve Swell as guest, and Steam In The Casa (november 2015). His quartet produced two albums: Ikosa Mura (september 1997), with drummer Pheeroan akLaff, pianist Borah Bergman and trumpetist Bobby Bradford; and Through The Woods (same month and year, but another session). Gjerstad also organized a Cello Quartet with Nilssen-Love and celloists Fred Lonberg-Holm and Amit Sen, recording the namesake album (october 2005). The trio project Instinctual Eye, along with Kevin Norton on vibraphone and Nick Spethens on bass, recorded in november 2005 Born In Brooklyn. In all of these albums, and also in his numeorus collaborations, his sound was always characterized by free and experimental improvisations, but a bit rock-oriented with his Circulasion Totale Orchestra. His latest productions are: The Houdan (FMR, 2017), that documents four tracks (notably the 20-minute title-track) extracted from the concert recorded live in july 2017 on sax with Fred Lonberg Holm (cello and electronics), their second experience as a duo for FMR (the first was the 2011’s Tistel); and Nearby Faraway (PNL, 2017), on which Gjerstad plays alto and bass saxes, Bb and contrabass clarinet, in a collaboration along with Paal Nilssen-Love (asba drums) in a studio september 2016 session that collects nine pieces, mostly brief and free improvised, recorded, say credits, as a tribute to Norwegian accordionist and pianist Eivin One Pedersen, died in 2012.
Ran Do (Clean Feed, 2017) documents a studio may 2015 session by Norwegian saxist Kjetil Moster along with well known guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Josh Abrams and Tortoise’s drummer John Herndon. The quartet pwerformed five pieces mixing jazz, rock and hard, cerebral textures.
Chimeric Stoned Horn (Astral Spirits, 2017) documents a solo album by Rob Mazurek, who studio recorded in june 2017 sixteen mostly brief abstract pieces, playing electronics, voice, bells, synthesizer, sampler and piccolo trumpet.
The label Because present the first reissue of Pascal Comelade's Paralelo, originally recorded in march 1980 and released the same year by the label Parasite. Comelade used an EMS/AKS synthesizer and also played sometimes soprano sax. This album features the “electronic times” of the musician, when he penned minimalistic compositions, plenty of loopings and electronics.
The album entitled @ (Unit, 2017) features the trio of Robert Dick (flutes), Uli Johannes Kieckbusch (piano) and Alfred Zimmerlin (cello) in an until now unissued november 2001 studio session. The twelve pieces, mostly brief, sport the standard contemporary jazz by Dick. Zimmerlin is a veteran classical and jazz celloist on stage since 1980, whereas German Kieckbusch is on stage since 1990.
Immediate Landscapes (Ftarri, 2017) features John Butcher (tenor & soprano saxes) and Japanese Akio Suzuki (pebbles, glass & brass plates, wooden screws, voice analapos, brass plate, cardboard box, wood screws, bamboo stick, metal plate, noise whistle, swizzle sticks), and collect five pieces coming from a studio june 2006 session and the long (27 minutes) piece Night Club, recorded in november 2015. The free improvisations are counterpointed by abstract and experimental sounds, produced by Suzuki and difficult to identify. Suzuki is a veteran musician and instrument builder on stage since late ’70s, which is credited twenty albums to.
The 2CD set Metallic OK (Glass Redux, 2017) features the latest Dead C’s Bruce Russell solo production, an album collecting seven pieces composed over several years from 2010, mixing experimental rock and noise, particularly the 20-minute Back Of A Knife Blues and the 22-minute Excerpt From 'Motorboating'. Russell played guitar, piano, tomahawk, radio, surf beach and electronic devices.
The vinyl Help, Help, The Globolinks! (Finders Keepers, 2017) documents the possibly first music even written by Suzanne Ciani, when she composed avantgarde music playing electronics. Originally written in 1968, this suite (obviously splitted in the vinyl) was world premiered in april 1980. Speaking about it, Suzanne states: “The original production had been in 1968 and I felt that the electronic music component could be more playful and less abrasive than the original production”.
Credited to San Francisco-based bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa, who conducts the very notable ensemble, Glorious Ravage (New World, 2017) features Fay Victor (voice), Nicole Mitchell (flute), Kyle Bruckmann (oboe and English horn), Vinny Golia (alto flute, sopranino saxophone, bass clarinet, contralto clarinet, bass saxophone), Cory Wright (B-flat clarinet, tenor saxophone), Darren Johnston (trumpet), Michael Dessen (trombone), Dina Maccabee (viola, violin), John Finkbeiner (electric guitar;), Mark Dresser (acoustic bass, as the leader), Myra Melford (piano, harmonium), Kjell Nordeson (vibraphone, percussion), Tim Perkis (electronics) and Jordan Glenn (drum set, percussion). The ten-part namesake suite was studio recorded in january 2017.
The self-produced Agrima documents the second album by Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition project, the follow-up of january 2008 Apti. Recorded by the leader on alto sax and electronics, along with Rez Abbasi (guitar, electronics) and Dan Weiss (table, drums). Marked by South Asian influences, the album sports a mixing of jazz improvisations, rock and blues. Premiered in january 2017.
Mostly Other People Do The Killing’s Paint (Hot Cup, 2017) was recorded in march 2017 by the founding member, bassist, and composer Moppa Elliott, pianist Ron Stabinsky and drummer Kevin Shea. Elliott wrote seven of the eight compositions (but the Duke Ellington's cover Blue Goose). The same label also just released the Moppa Elliott’ solo bass Still, Up In The Air, recorded in a cathedral in february 2015, on which we can listen to him eight improvisations.
Little Giant Still Life (Greenleaf, 2017) documents trumpetist Dave Douglas leading a core unit named Westerlies, comprising of Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler (also both on trumpet), Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch (both on trombone;) and Anwar Marshall (drums) in a december 2016 studio session on which the sextet performed twelve pieces inspired by the American painter Stuart Davis. The label, founded by Douglas, presents here the album.
Bounce - Live At The Theatre Gutersloh (Intuition, 2017) features a june 2017 concert by Gunter Hampel, on which the leader plays bass clarinet, vibes, flute and saxophone, along with Johannes Schleiermacher on sax and flute, Bernd Oezsevim on drums, and his daughter Cavana on vocals. From the performance were extracted nine pieces, notably the 23-minute Smiling Energy.
Recorded in may 2017, Blue Maqams (ECM, 2017) features Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem with Dave Holland (double bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums) and Django Bates (piano) in nine lenghty tracks. After their first collaboration 20 years ago on Thimar, recorded in march 1997 also featuring John Surman, the two formed this “one time” notable lineup. Speaking about the album, the leader says: “I simply began in my usual way, letting the ideas come in of their own accord, with no tendency one way or another in terms of style, form or instrumentation, and what emerged first and then really began to take shape was my desire to blend the sounds of the oud and the piano once again, soon followed by my wish to associate this delicate instrumental combination with a real jazz rhythm section.” Among the other “jazzy” albums recorded by the oudist, let’s remember Madar (august 1992) with Jan Garbarek, and Khomsa (september 1994), on which he reworked compositions written for film and theatre with improvisers, including François Couturier, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen. Blue Maqams required seven years in the making (but two of its pieces were composed in 1990). And ECM also just restored Barzakh, the first album by Brahem recorded on oud in september 1990 with Bechir Selmi (violin) and Lassad Hosni (percussion).
Losen just restored Rainbow Band Sessions, a forgotten album by John Surman the label firstly released in 2011, although the sessions were recorded between autumn 2006 and spring 2007. The leader saxophonist, on baritone and soprano, also is listed as “director” of an ensemble comprising of Frode Nymo and Havard Fossum on alto saxes, Stif Hvalrygg on bass, Andreas Bye on drums, Jan Erik Kongshaug on guitar, Erlend Slettevoll on piano, Atle Nymo on tenor sax, Knut Riisnaes on tenor sax and flute, Harald Halvorsen and Jorgen Gjerde on trombones, Marius Haltli and Roy Nikolaisen on trumpets. Eight pieces.
Tzadik, just released Paimon, that features The Book Of Angels Volume 32, i.e. the final John Zorn project after thirteen years in the making and 300 pieces recorded... This final installment presents the last ten unrecorded compositions from Masada Book Two, performed by guitarists Mary Halvorson and Miles Okazaki, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Ten pieces, quite brief.
Together Apart (Fractal, 2017) featuring the guitar duo of Henry Kaiser and Ian Brighton (well known as member of Kontakte Trio, with Trevor Taylor and Steve Beresford). Recorded in july and august 2017, the music also employ devices to rub and bends the strings.
The vinyl Dirty Songs Play Dirty Songs (Audika, 2017) features the Dirty Songs project created by artist Maxime Rossi and comprising of David Toop (bass, guitar, electronics and synthesizer), Phil Minton (voices), Evan Parker (soprano and tenor saxes), Steve Beresford (Farfisa organ, VCS3 synth), Mark Sanders (drums). The music is a mixing of avantgard and experimental jazz-rock, twenty-one pieces very brief.
Doors Of Perception is Raoul Bjorkenheim’s new Cuneiform release, after the december 2012 self-titled and the november 2014 Out Of Blue. Recorded during the spring of 2017, it features the leader on electric 6 and 12 string guitars, along with Pauli Lyytinen (bass, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, wood flute), Jori Huhtala (double bass) and Markku Ounaskari (drums and percussion) in ten quite brief pieces starting with themes quickly evolved in improvisations. Extensively presented here by the label.
Solo (Victoriaville) 2017 (Victo, 2017) documents eight Anthony Braxton’s compositions, plus one jazz cover, live recorded in may 2017. Still by Braxton, Hatology restores now the 4CD box set Willisau (Quartet) 1991, firstly released in 1992, that documents two studio CDs recorded in june 1991, plus other two recorded live the same month. The leader, on various saxes, clarinets and flute, composed twenty pieces leading Mark Dresser (bass), Gerry Hemingway (drums) and Marilyn Crispell (piano).
Leo just released other six new CDs by more and more prolific Ivo Perelman. The 2CD set Live In Brussels documents a live performance along with pianist Matthew Shipp recorded in may 2017, notably the 42-minute Set 2. In Live In Baltimore, instead, the duo is accompanied by drummer Jeff Cosgrove, and sports a 51-minute track, recorded in june 2017. Heptagon, recorded in may 2017, features a quartet again with Shipp, plus bassist William Parker and drummer Bobby Kapp (who played in Gato Barbieri's In Search Of The Mystery), in a seven part suite. Scalene features a ten part suite recorded in june 2017, and sees Perelmans and Shipp with drummer Joe Hertenstein. In Philosopher's Stone we have instead a ten part suite recorded in june 2017 by Perelman and Shipp along with Nate Wooley on trumpet. Octagon sports an eight part suite, recorded in june 2017 by the leader along with Nate Wooley on trumpet, bassist Brandon Lopez and drummer Gerald Cleaver.
Moosicus restores The Jazz Sextett, possibly the first album credited to Albert Mangeldorff he recorded at his Hamburg studio in april 1957, playing trombone along with Gary Peacock (bass), Karl Sanner (drums), Bud Shank (flute) and Bob Cooper (oboe). In the longest track, Yesterdays (21 min.) also plays Tony Scott on clarinet.
Spontaneous Music Orchestra was a different «version» of John Stevens’ Ensemble, born in 1975, on which also played many members of SME. The Orchestra released four albums: SME + = SMO, recorded in january 1975 and rereleased later by Emanem as Plus Equals, along with, among others, Lindsay Cooper (cello), Ian Brighton and Roger Smith (guitars), Trevor Watts and Evan Parker (soprano sax), etc; In Concert, live recorded in may 1981 and later restored as Trio & Triangle, also featuring Lol Coxhill (soprano sax) and Paul Rutherford (trombone), whose re-release added two tracks recorded in november 1978; For You To Share, firstly released in 1973 and restored by Emanem in 1998, gathering material live recorded in january and may 1970; and finally Mouthpiece, gathering other five recordings from 1973 concerts, featuring free improvisations by the ensemble.
Credited to Satoko Fujii, Aspiration (Libra, 2017) features the leader pianist along with Wadada Leo Smith and Naksuki Tamura on trumpets and Ikue Mori on electronics. Recorded in november 2016, the album gathers six lenghty tracks, four by Fujii, one by Tamura and a collective improvisation. Still by Fujii, Live At Jazz Room Cortez (Cortez, 2017) features her quartet along with Keisuke Ohta on violin, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and Takashi Itani on drums & percussion. The disc consists of two long pieces, the 18:30-minute Convection and the 31:30-minute Looking Out The Window, both composed by the pianist. Recorded in december 2016. Again by Fujii, Nu-Jazz Europe restores Cities, an album firstly released in 2009 and featuring the pianist along with Raymond MacDonald on alto & soprano saxes, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, Neil Davidson on electric guitar, the leader on piano and Tom Bancroft on drums. The nine tracks, in pure free jazz, were recorded in april 2005.
Finnish label TUM just released two new albums by Wadada Leo Smith. On Najwa the trumpetist led the guitar quartet of Michael Gregory Jackson, Henry Kaiser, Brandon Ross and Lamar Smith, plus Bill Laswell (electric bass), Pheeroan Aklaff (drums) and Adam Rudolph (percussion). Recorded in march 2014, it features four tracks composed by the trumpetist as tributes: the 16-minute A Resonance Change in the Millennium, in memory of Ornette Coleman; the 14-minute The Master of Kosmic Music and His Spirituality in a Love Supreme, in memory of John Coltrane; the 12-minute Inscriptions of a Rare Beauty, dedicated to Ronald Shannon Jackson; the 10-minute The Empress, Lady Day: In a Rainbow Garden, with Yellow-Gold Hot Springs, Surrounded by Exotic Plants and Flowers, dedicated to Billie Holiday. The fifth brief piece, Najwa, has been dedicated in remembrance of a love lost. Instead, Solo - Reflections And Meditations On Monk (TUM, 2017) is a "solo trumpet" album collecting four classic Thelonious Monk compositions and four new compositions by his own, inspired by the life and music of later lamented pianist. Recorded in two sessions, november 2014 and august 2015, it features: Ruby, My Dear Thelonious Monk (9:20 min.); Monk and His Five Point Ring at the Five Spot Caf‚ (7:47 min.); Reflections 88 min.); Adagio: Monkishness - A Cinematic Vision of Monk Playing Solo Piano Wadada Leo Smith (3:43 min.); Crepuscule with Nellie (6 min.); Adagio: Monk, the Composer in Sepia - A Second Vision (4:38 min.); Monk and Bud Powell at Shea Stadium - A Mystery (8:37 min.); Round Midnight (7:37 min.).
Unfiltered Universe (Whirlwind, 2017) documents guitarist Rez Abbasi, who composed seven new pieces leading a notable lineup: Vijay Iyer (piano), Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto sax), Johannes Weidenmueller (double bass), Dan Weiss (drums) and Elizabeth Mikhael (cello). Studio recorded in february 2016, this album completed the trilogy debuted with Things To Come (january 2009) and followed by Suno Suno (december 2010), exploring, say credits "South Asian elements of Carnatic instrumental music", which Abbasi defines as "creative music with a jazz weighting".
Cochonnerie (Aerophonic, 2017) marks the eighth album by the Dave Rempis Quartet, led by the leader on alto, tenor and baritone saxes along with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), Frank Rosaly and Tim Daisy (both on drums). Recorded in october 2015, it features three pieces mostly free, notably the 33-minute Straggler. But more interesting should be the ambitious Lattice, a solo album by Rempis released by the same label: it collects six pieces recently recorded (april and may 2017), played on alto sax.
Studio recorded in june 2016, Not Bound (ForTune, 2017) features Matthew Shipp quartet, led by the pianist along with Daniel Carter (flute, trumpet, saxes and clarinet), Michael Bisio (contrabass) and veteran Whit Dickey (drums).
Credited to Tomas Fujiwara, Triple Double (Firehouse 12, 2017) documents the drummer along with a notable lineup: Gerald Cleaver (drums), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Brandon Seabrook (guitarist member of Peter Evans Quartet), Ralph Alessi (trumpet) and Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet). The ten pieces were recorded in december 2016.
Borderlands Trio, the Kris Davis' project created by the pianist along with Stephan Crump (acoustic bass) and Eric McPherson (drums) debuted for Intakt with Asteroidea, studio recorded in december 2016 and featuring six avant-garde jazz tracks (notably the 26-minute Borderlands).
Iorram restores Metamorphic Rock, credited to George Lewis and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, recorded in december 2007 and firstly released in 2009 by the same label. The ensemble was comprising of 18 members, including George Burt (acoustic guitar), Raymond MacDonald (alto & soprano sax), plus several less known musicians, among which four reeds, 3 brass, 2 guitars, piano, cello, 3 double basses, 2 drums & voice, plus shakuhachi & laptop. The namesake four part suite (45 minutes) was mostly improvised. Still by Lewis and recorded in august 2016, Assemblage (New World, 2017) features the music collective Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente, comprising of Emma Hospelhorn (flutes), Katie Schoepflin (clarinets), Taimur Sullivan (saxophone), Tarn Travers and Minghuan Xu (violins), Ammie Brod (viola), Chris Wild (cello), Ben Melsky (harp), Winston Choi and Mabel Kwan (piano), John Corkill and Gregory Beyer (percussion), conducted by Michael Lewanski. The four compositions: the 14-minute Mnemosis (composed in 2012) and the 13-minute Hexis (composed in 2013) feature hypnotic and dissonant patterns; the 15-minute Assemblage (composed in 2013) is described by Lewis as "having a feeling of pushing ahead all the time, or turning a wheel"; the 13-minute The Mangle of Practice (composed in 2014) presents repetitions and glissandos between the instruments.
The Interpretation Of Dreams (Tzadik, 2017) features John Zorn three works inspired by Luis Bu¤uel and William Burroughs, two for vibraphone and rhythm section and one by piano quintet Obscure Objects of Desire. The performers are: Sae Hashimoto on vibed, Tyshawn Sorey on drums, Jay Campbell (cello), Stephen Gosling (piano), Chris Otto and Austin Wulliman (violin) and John Pickford Richards (viola). Recorded in april and may 2017.
The Catastrophe Of Minimalism (UgExplode, 2017) documents the trio of John Butcher (soprano and tenor saxes), Damon Smith (bass, electronics and field recordings) and Weasel Walter (percussion) in a live june 2008 performance collecting four avant-garde pieces, among which the 23-minute An Illusionistic Panic. To Walter also is credited his new album by the same label, A Pound of Flesh, a colossal solo work, four CDs for five hours of music, alternating electro-acoustic and solo drumming. Among the fifteen pieces, the 43-minute Manticore, the 32-minute The Inevitable, the 40-minute Half-Death.
The vinyl Simultonality (Eremite, 2017) documents Joshua Abrams along with the project Natural Information Society, comprising of Mikel Avery and Frank Rosaly (both on drums), Emmett Kelly (electric guitar), Lisa Alvarado (organ, harmonium, percussion), Ben Boye (aka Justin Von Beefheart) on pianos and autoharp, and veteran ex AACM member Ari Brown on tenor saxes. The leader, here on guimbri, bass, bells and harp, composed five pieces (recorded in 2014 and 2015) mixing avant-garde jazz, folk and world music. This is the second album with his project, that debuted with Automaginary (Drag City, 2015), a vinyl collecting other five pieces, in the same musical context. The former lineup sees also Rob Frye on flute and clarinet, Cooper Crain on organ and Dan Quinlivan on synthesizer.
Deep Tide is a new Martin Archer's project he leads on saxophone along with Kim Macari (trumpet), Laura Cole (piano) and Walt Shaw (percussion and live electronics). The 2CD set See One, Do One, Teach One (Discus, 2017), studio recorded in may 2017, is their debuting album, comprising of 21 pieces, lenghty and brief, alternating written melodies with large improvisations.
As a 2CD set, Corbett vs. Dempsey restores King Alcohol, a pure free jazz session featuring the trio of Gunter Christmann (trombone), Rudiger Carl (tenor sax) and Detlef Schonenberg (drums). Live recorded in january 1972, and firstly released by FMP the same year, the album is augmented by previously unreleased seven tracks. Rudiger Carl, let's remember, is a German musician and composer born in 1944 and on stage since 1966, when he debuted with Alex Von Schlippenbach on Globe Unity.
Chimeric Stoned Horn (Astral Spirits, 2017) documents a solo Rob Mazurek's album, performed on piccolo trumpet, modular synths, samplers, voice, bells, recorded at a date in 2017, the official follow-up to Vortice Of The Faun. The album collects sixteen tracks, mostly brief, for 40 minutes.
Unearth (Room40, 2017) documents the first solo work by Necks' drummer Tony Buck. The namesake 51-minute suite required several years in the making, featuring a core percussion with guitar, synthesizer and field recordings, alternating drones, melodies and textures.
Recorded live in january 2016, Battle Pieces 2 (Relative Pitch, 2017) documents Nate Wooley on trumpet & composition, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor & soprano sax, Sylvie Courvoisier on piano and Matt Moran on vibes. This is the follow-up of his previous Battle Pieces. The four lenghty pieces feature a chamber avantagarde jazz, with solos and collective moments. Still by Wooley, Legacy Of Ashes (Creative Sources, 2016) documents the trumpetist along with Daniele Martini (saxophone) and Joao Lobo (drums) in a studio april 2011 session, when the trio recorded seven pieces mostly improvised. The final product was out after five years of studio editing.
It Is Dangerous To Lean Out (Monofonus Press, 2016) features Talibam's duo (drummer Kevin Shea and Matt Mottel on synthesizer) along with veteran Alan Wilkinson on alto and baritone saxes. The cassette, comprising of two 20-minute long tracks, was live recorded in august 2013 and in december 2014. Their vinyl Hard Vibe (ESP, 2017) features instead the duo along with Matt Nelson (tenor saxophone, effects, tambourine) and well known Ron Stabinsky on Hammond C3 Organ. The two 20-minute tracks, say credits, were inspired by Herbie Hancock's '70's space-music and long-form repetitive works like Miles Davis' On The Corner. Another Talibam's album, the vinyl Endgame Of The Anthropocene (ESP, 2017) features other eight pieces featuring the duo on mini moog, midi synths, Yamaha cs1x, Roland Juno 1, arp solus (Mottel), and drum set, midi mallet percussion (Shea). Inspired by the Antarctic Treaty System, it is an imaginary soundtrack documenting polyrhythmic electronic drum and synth pads.
The 3 CD set The Lower Depths (Alga Marghen, 2017) features six long previously unreleased unique piano minimalisms by Charlemagne Palestine, a trilogy conceived and recorded in 1977. The first section starts in the middle of the piano keyboard, the second two octaves below, and the third arrives untill the bottom of piano. Ltd edition of 300.
Restored now by Secret, Snakey Wake features a rare studio august 1987 session by Residents, firstly released as a ltd edition by UWEB, the defunct label of fan club Uncle Willie's Eyeball Buddies, and left almost unknown. The disc is a tribute to their collaborator Philip Snakefinger Lithman, and features only a 20-minute piece: Lament, but the Secret vinyl sports also a 22-minute live version.
American guitarist John Abercrombie, well known above all for his jazz fusion projects in '70s and '80s, died on august 22 for a heart failure, at 73.
Studio recorded in may 2016, Shelter (Audiographic, 2017) features the quartet of Ken Vandermark (reeds), Nate Wooley (trumpet), Jasper Stadhouders (electric bass & guitar) and Steve Heather (drums & noise box). Each of them contributed two or three pieces for the nine. An album of a pure free jazz. Still by Vandermark, Escalator (Not Two, 2017) features the leader ontenor sax and clarinet, Mark Tokar (bass) and Klaus Kugel (drums) in five pieces free improvised, and recorded in may 2016.
The "solo" Colin Stetson's All This I Do For Glory (52Hz, 2017) features six original pieces composed and live studio recorded, played without overdubs on alto, tenor and bass saxes and contrabass clarinet. The music is a mixing of rock, classical and experimental jazz.
The posthumous and until now unreleased vinyl Morphometry (Glo Spot, 2017) documents the "sax duo" of Lol Coxhill and Raymond McDonald in a studio july 2008 session, during which they recorded ten pieces on alto and soprano, in pure free jazz.
The 2CD set Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson (Outline, 2017) documents saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom along with Dawn Clement (piano), Mark Helias (bass), Bobby Previte (drums) in a work inspired by writings of American poet Emily Dickinson and commissioned by Chamber Music America in 2015. Some of these fourteen originals also contain spoken words from Dickinson's poetry by vocalist Deborah Rush. Recorded in april 2017.
Scorch Trio's and Krakatau's guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim formed in 2016 his project Triad, comprising of drummer Ilmari Heikinheimo and bassist Ville Rauhala. Beyond, their debuting album, was studio recorded in october 2016 and has been now released by Eclipse. Their nine compositions, mostly brief and collectively composed, feature a pure free jazz.
After Riding The Moment, Denny Zeitlin (acoustic piano, hardware and virtual synthesizers, keyboards) and George Marsh (drums, percussion) come back with the Sunnyside Expedition, that collects thirteen new pieces recorded between 2015 and 2017, with the same approach mixing swing, electroacoustic and improvisation, plus a bit of "orchestra" simulated by his instrumentation.
Vijay Iyer composed ten pieces for his notable sextet, on stage since five years, comprising of Steve Lehman (alto sax), Graham Haynes (cornet, flugelhorn, electronics), Stephan Crump (double bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums) and Mark Shim (tenor sax). The pianist, also here on electric piano, released for ECM their first recording, Far From Over. Crump, let's remember, plays with Iyer since 2008, whereas Mark Shim is on stage since 1995 (worked with Steve Coleman and Hamiett Bluiett). Recorded in april 2017.
Tim Berne's Snakeoil comes back with Incidentals (ECM, 2017). The leader, on alto sax, plays with Oscar Noriega (clarinets), Ryan Ferreira (guitars;), Matt Mitchell (piano), Ches Smith (drums, vibraphone, percussion, timpani) and David Torn (guitar). Recorded in december 2014, it features five pieces, among which the 26-minute Sideshow.
Gary Peacock Trio's Tangents (ECM, 2017) features the leader bassist along with Marc Copland (piano) and Joey Baron (drums). All three band members contribute to compose the pieces, comprising of the 7-minute group improvisation Empty Forest. Recorded in may 2016.
Open Book (Palmetto, 2017) features a solo piano by Fred Hersch, whose seven tracks were recorded in april 2017, but the main piece, the 20-minute mostly improvised Through The Forest, dates back to november 2016. The other six are comprising of The Orb, taken from his theater piece My Coma Dreams, cover reworkings of Benny Golson's Whisper Not, Billy Joel's And So It Goes and Thelonius Monk's Eronel, his unissued Plainsong, and Zingaro, composed by his friend veteran Antonio Carlo Jobim.
Concert Of The Century features a november 1980 live performance realized by Dizzy Gillespie. The trumpetist invited 5 former stars of jazz: Milt Jackson (vibraphone), James Moody (tenor sax and flute), Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). The vinyl bootlegs put on the market quickly disappeared, and the concert became forgotten before this restoring as DoLP (by Justin Time label) and CD (by Nettwerk). Eight were the tracks collected: the 11-minute Blue `n' Boogie, written and recorded by Gillespie and Frank Paparelli (february 1945); the 6-minute If I Should Lose You, composed in 1936 composition by Ralph Rainger and recorded by Parker in november 1949; the 6-minute Darben the Redd Foxx, composed and recorded in august 1959 by James Moody; Vincent Youmans' 8-minute Time On My Hands, firstly recorded in 1930; Harold Arlen's 7-minute Get Happy; the 10-minute The Shadow Of Your Smile, originally composed in 1965 by Johnny Mandel; the 8-minute Bass Solo/Manha de Carnaval/Work Song, a solo performance by Ray Brown; the 4-minute Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust, originally composed in 1956.
Studio recorded in december 2016, the 2CD set In The Shadow Of A Cloud documents the Yelena Eckemoff Quintet, led by the pianist and comprising of Chris Potter (tenor and soprano saxes, flute, bass clarinet), Adam Rogers (electric guitar), Drew Gress (double bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). The fourteen pieces feature the standard classical background by Eckemoff, with melodic themes counterpointed with individual and collective improvisations.
The vinyl Walthamstow Moon ('61 Revisited) (Byrd Out, 2017) documents the trio of Evan Parker (saxes), John Edwards (bass) and John Russell (guitar) in six tracks studio recorded in november 2016, mostly improvised.
Credited to guitarist James Blood Ulmer, but de facto a collaboration with Mats Gustafsson's The Thing, with the leader on tenor and baritone saxes, Ingebrigt Hakerflaten on electric and acoustic basses, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, Baby Talk (Trost, 2017) documents four pieces recorded live at Molde International Jazz Festival in july 2015.
MZM (Infrequent Seams, 2017) features Myra Melford on acoustic & prepared piano, Zeena Parkins on electric harp & electronics and Miya Masaoka on 21-string koto. Recorded in two sessions, march 2014 and january 2016, its ten pieces sports a mixing of noise rock and free improvisations.
Zeena Parkins' Three Harps, Tuning Forks & Electronics (Good Child, 2017) features the harpist also on electronics & composition, along with other three harpists plus guest Ikue Mori on electronics. The six pieces were constructed for choreographer Neil Greenberg in 2008. The music alternates loopings, experimental objects found and concrete ambient, two years in the making, between 2013-2015.
Music For Woodwinds, Strings, Piano And Percussion (pfMentum, 2017) features Vinny Golia (gongs, singing bowls, barra cymbals, kyzee, gyaling, sheng, hulusi, mouthharp, piccolos, flutes, saxes, clarinets, bassett horn, birby), Cathlene Pineda (piano), Ken Filiano (contrabass), plus a string quartet. Studio recorded in march 2017, it features ten pieces.
Credited to American jazz saxophonist Bobby Zankel & The Wonderful Sound 6, Celebrating William Parker @ 65 (NotTwo, 2017) documents the namesake four part suite the reedist studio recorded in january 2017 along with veteran Rashied Ali's brother Muhammad Ali (drums), Dave Burrell (piano), Diane Monroe (violin), William Parker himself on bass, and Steve Swell (trombone).
The same label releases Live In Krakow, a concert performed in december 2016 by Jon Irabagon (tenor and sopranino saxes), Joe Fonda (bass) and Barry Altschul (drums), from which were extracted five lenghty tracks.
The new project Kontakte Trio, comprising of Paul Dunmall' pupil Trevor Taylor (percussion, electronics), veteran ex Spontaneous Music Ensemble Ian Brighton (electric guitar) and Steve Beresford (piano, prepared piano, electronics) debutes with a self-titled studio recorded in february 2017, out now by FMR. Their six pieces feature brief themes quickly expanded in pure free jazz.
The vinyl Seattle Symphony (Kye, 2017) features a solo studio performance by Joe McPhee, who recorded in august 2010 seven new pieces on alto sax and pocket trumpet.
Encantamientos (pfMENTUM, 2017) features the trio of Anne LeBaron (acoustic and electric harp), Andrea Centazzo (percussion and live electronics) and Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano sax), in a seven-movement 40-minute suite studio recorded in january 2012, mostly improvised.
Last Dream Of The Morning (Relative Pitch, 2017) features John Butcher on tenor & soprano saxes, John Edwards on bass and Mark Sanders on drums. Studio recorded in november 2016, it sports five pieces, among which the 18-minute Sand Dance. Another album of free improvisation.
The vinyl Tiger Balm/Amazonia Dreaming/Immersion (Black Truffle, 2017) collects three Annea Lockwood compositions. Tiger Balm (19:17 minutes) was originally released in 1970; the other two works, for percussion and voice, have been unreleased until now. Amazonia Dreaming (4:38 minutes) was composed in 1987, and is here performed by Dominic Donato, with unaccompanied snare drum and voice to evoke the nocturnal soundscape of the Amazon rainforest. Immersion (14:40 minutes) was composed in 1998, and here is performed by Donato and Frank Cassara, on marimba, tam tams and gong.
Live In Tel Aviv (Not Two, 2017) features Peter Broetzmann on tenor & alto saxes, tarogato & clarinet, Steve Swell on trombone and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion. Their third disc together sports two long tracks: the 31-minute The Greasy Grind and the 13-minute Ticklish Pickle, free improvised.
Coming from his still unexplored archive, the vinyl Thunder Of The Gods (Modern Harmonic, 2017) documents unissued studio recordings by Sun Ra and his Arkestra. The three pieces here collected were recorded in 1966 and 1971: the 23:30-minute Calling Planet Earth - We'll Wait For You, the 5:40-minute Moonshots Across The Sky and the 13:30-minute title track. The lineup was the one at the time: Danny Davis, Marshall Allen, Danny Ray Thompson, Ronnie Boykins, John Gilmore, etc. The leader was on synthesizer, organ, strings and drums.
My Undocumented Alien Clarinet (Penultimate Press, 2017) documents Joe McPhee on clarinets and synthesizers, and Bryan Eubanks on electronics. recorded in august 2006, the vinyl captures two 19-minute improvisations recorded in studio, mixing abstract textures with their free jazz.
Highsmith (Tzadik, 2017) features Ikue Mori on electronics and Craig Taborn on piano. The two studio recorded in february 2017 eleven pieces, plenty of improvised textures. Obelisk (Tzadik, 2017), instead, sees Mori’s namesake project Obelisk featuring the leader on electronics, Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, Okkyung Lee on cello and Jim Black on drums. Ten pieces, world premiered in september 2016.
KMBjazz restores as a ltd ed. Dharma, originally released in 2007, that features William Hooker on drums & Sabir Mateen on alto & tenor saxes, flute & clarinet. The performance, almost free improvised, collects seven pieces recorded live in february 2004.
Clean Feed releases Float The Edge, credited to the Angelica Sanchez trio. The pianist studio recorded in july 2016 eight new pieces, five by her and three by the rhythm section of Michael Formanek (double bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). Their brief themes evolve quickly in free improvisations.
Live @ Alchemia (Fundacja Sluchaj, 2017) documents Evan Parker on tenor sax, along with RGG, a Polish trio on stage since 2003, featuring Lukasz Ojdana on piano, Maciej Garbowski on bass and Krzysztof Gradziuk on drums. The quartet composed a four part suite (over 70 minutes), studio recorded in june 2016, mostly improvised.
By the same Polish label, Without Borders features Barry Guy on contrabass, Maya Homburger on baroque violin and Slovenian Zlatko Kaucic on drums, electric zither and home-made instruments. Studio recorded in march 2016, the music starts with composed material by Guy, comprising of a reworking of Steve Lacy’s Art, quickly evolved in improvisations. Among the pieces, the two-part 22-minute Footfalls.
Again by the same Polish label, Celebration Ensemble documents Agusti Fernandez on piano, Mats Gustafsson & Pablo Ledesma on saxes, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Joe Morris on guitar, Francis-Marie Uitti on cello, Ingar Zach & Nurio Andorra on percussion. The album features the 67-minute ten-part suite Celebration, live recorded in july 2015, and edited an year after.
In Backward Times (Emanem, 2017) collects four unissued Paul Rutherford’s concerts. The 22-minute Duet For One documents a november 1979 performance on trombone and electronics along with bassist Barry Guy; the 25-minute Duet For Two sports an august 1988 concert on trombone with another bassist, Paul Rogers; the 18-minute Solo For One presents an october 2004 solo on trombone; the 10-minute Trio Finale documents a may 2007 performance along with Veryan Weston (piano) and Marcio Mattos (cello and electronics).
Still by Emanem, the 2CD set Free For A Minute gathers two very old Steve Lacy’s albums: Disposability (december 1965) and Sortie (february 1966), plus two unissued studio performances: Free Fall, that’s film cues performed on soprano sax along with Enrico Rava (trumpet), Karl Berger (vibraphone and piano), Kent Carter (double bass) and Paul Motian (drum set), recorded in july 1967; other two pieces: The Rush (5 minutes) and The Thing (19 minutes), recorded in march 1972 on soprano sax along with Steve Potts (alto sax), Irene Aebi (cello), Kent Carter (double bass) and Noel McGhie (drum set).
The 2CD set Scattered Thoughts (Einstein, 2009) documents trombonist Jim Staley in seven live performances, recorded in december 2008 (disc 2) and april 2009 (disc 1). The sessions (among which the 37-minute Six Mutes Dancing In The Fog) were recorded with Joey Baron (drums) and bassist William Parker, who also was on electronics.
Verisimilitude (Pi, 2017) Featuring Tyshawn Sorey on drums, percussion and composition, Cory Smythe on piano, toy piano & electronics and Chris Tordini on bass. The title refers to the appearance of being true, not the truth itself but what we think is or might be the truth. The five pieces collected (among which the 31-minute Algid November) feature an avantgarde jazz filled by enigmatic sonorities.
Minneapolis-born in 1970, jazz pianist Craig Taborn started very young his career playing with drummer Gerald Cleaver, and recorded in april 1993 JC On The Set, with the James Cartet Quartet, along with the leader saxophonist and the rhythm section of Jaribu Shahid (bass) and Tani Tabbai (drums), replicating in the same lineup (april 1994) with Jurassic Classics. Still in april 1994 he recorded Craig Taborn Trio, his first credited lineup still the same rhythm section. Moved in New York in 1995, he played in several projects, and recorded Light Made Lighter in another trio, with Gerald Cleaver (drums) and Chris Lightcap (bass). After several collaborations with saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and James Carter, he produced Junk Magic (Thisty Ear, 2004), possibly his most creative album, recorded in a quartet led on piano, keyboards and programming, along with Aaron Stewart (tenor sax), Mat Maneri (viola) and Dave King (drums); the album marked his foray in electronica, featuring avantagarde jazz and minimalisms. The project Hardcell was comprising of Tim Berne (sax) and Tom Rainey (drums), documented in Electric And Acoustic Hard Cell Live (2004) and Feign (may 2005). Triptych (may 2003), Floating Islands (july 2008) and Live At The Loft (june 2005) featured his trio along with Lotte Anker (saxes) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). Avenging Angel, his only piano solo (july 2010) for ECM, collects 13 tracks alternating intimate and minimalistic atmospheres and more intricate and free moments. Farmers By Nature (june 2008) was recorded live with William Parker (bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). The live avant-garde Rocket Science (may 2012) features Sam Pluta on computer, Evan Parker on saxes and Peter Evans on trumpet. Chants (june 2012) documents another trio with veteran Gerald Cleaver and Thomas Morgan, who performed nine mostly improvised pieces. Daylight Ghosts (ECM, 2017), recorded in may 2016, sees the leader on piano and electronics along with Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet), Chris Lightcap (acoustic and electric bass;) and Dave King (drums, electronic percussion).
Live At The Lamp Tavern (MCPS, 2017) was performed in january 2017 by Paul Dunmall on tenor & alto saxes, Sebastiano Dessanay on double bass and Jim Bashford on drums. The album contains three freely improvised tracks for 50 minutes.
2CD set 13 Thirteen documents a collaboration between guitarists Michael Pisaro and Keith Rowe. The two decided before the lenght of the session (140 minutes), then wrote and recorded scores, improvising together along with the pre-recorded elements. Pisaro's score includes four samples from Shostakovich's 13th String Quartet. Rowe, instead, calls his own score Fate, and his half of the improvisation Life (a reference to Russian author Vasily Grossman's novel Life and Fate). Recorded in may 2016.
Platinum On Tap (Intakt, 2017) documents the Chris Speed Trio, on which the leader led on tenor sax Chris Tordini (acoustic bass) and Dave King (drums) in ten pieces live recorded in march 2016.
Knknighgh (Clean Feed, 2017) documents trumpeter Nate Wooley along with Chris Pitsiokos on alto sax, Brandon Lopez on bass, and Dre Hocevar on drums, in five lenghty pieces composed by the leader and based on the poetry of Aram Saroyan, featuring looping and repeating structures, as a minimalistic free jazz. Recorded in studio in october 2016.
By the same label, Rome documents a solo album by Rob Mazurek, played on cornet, piano, prepared piano and electronics. Recorded in november 2014, its four pieces (notably the 17:30-minute Sweet Life In Disrepair) are plenty of etherel overtones.
The vinyl Rhymes With Water (God, 2017) documents two Phill Niblock’s minimalistic compositions (19 and 21 minutes) for flute (played by Erik Drescher) and bass flute and voice (played by Natalia Pschenitschnikowa).
Obscure German label Dossier released in 2002 the last vinyls by Chrome, quickly out of print and mostly unknown. Both recorded in 2001, the former, Angel Of The Clouds (re-released in 2014 by King Of Spades), contained eleven pieces performed by Pierre Roussel and Rodney Dangerous on basses, Damon Edge on drum computers, percussion, vocals and synthesizer, Patrick Imbert and Aleph kali on drums, Nova Cain and Remy Devilla on guitars, Helios Creed on guitar, bass, synthesizer and vocals, Philippe Sautour and Tommy L. Cybo on vocals and synthesizers; the latter, Ghost Machine (re-released just now by Austrian label Klanggaallerie) sports other eleven pieces performed by Rodney Dangerous (bass), Aleph Kali (drums), Nova Cain 8guitar), Tommy L. Cyborg (keyboards and vocals), and the leader Helios Creed (vocals, guitar and synth).
American composer, educator and jazz pianist Geri Allen, who worked with many jazz giants, died on June 27 after a lung cancer at 60.
Kevin Norton's band with Esther Noh (violin), Julia Simoniello (vocals & electric guitar), Angelica Sanchez (piano), Steve LaSpina (bass), and Norton himself on vibraphone, drums, and percussion is documented on Breakfast of Champignon(s) Staten Island: All that is solid melts into air (2017) (september 2016), entirely composed by Norton (except for "Peacock" by Jenna Snyder). Kevin Norton has played with Fred Frith's band Keep the Dog and the Microscopic Septet. He was Anthony Braxton's main percussionist in both the "ghost trance" phase and the "standards" phase. He composed the suites Water and Fire Suite (2006), For Guy Debord for quintet and woodwind soloist (originally Anthony Braxton) based on the texts of the French philosopher, and Change Dance, inspired to political activist Kathy Change. Time-Space Modulator featured Tony Malaby, Dave Ballou and John Lindberg. TiPPLE, formed with Frode Gjerstad and guitarist David Watson released three albums as of 2015.
Sackville restored Live At A Space 1976, recorded in april 1976 by Joseph Bowie (trombone) and Oliver Lake (flute and sax), comprising of five tracks, in pure free jazz.
Four Views Of A Three Sided Garden/Shore To Shore (Bridge Sessions, 2016) features Rob Mazurek on cornet & electronics, Mwata Bowden on clarinet, baritone sax & didgeridoo, Julian Desprez on electric guitar, Matt Lux on electric bass and Mathieu Sourisseasu on acoustic bass, plus guest Douglas Ewart on English horn & bamboo piccolo. The two lenghty tracks were recorded the first (Fourt View, 23 minutes) live and the second (Second Side, 34 minutes) in studio, both on may 2014. The music is avantgarde and free oriented, with massive contribute by electronics, and several solos by the leader.
Martin ArcherÎéÎ÷s project Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere comes back wit 03 (Discus, 2017), a 2CD set collecting twenty pieces recorded between 2015 and 2017 with an ensemble comprising of the leader on keyboards, electronics, saxophones, clarinets, flute, bass recorder, bass harmonica, Chris Bywater (keyboards, electronics, laptop, percussion, voice, violin), Steve Dinsdale (electronic drum kit, keyboards), female songstress Frostlake (voice, electronics and viola), Yvonna Magda (violin, electronics), Walt Shaw (percussion, electronics, voice), Terry Todd (bass guitar), George Murray (trombone), Paul Schatzberger (violin) and Aby Vulliamy (viola). The music sports hypnotic and hard textures, with many improvisations.
After Ears Are Filled With Wonder, Peter Broetzmann and Heither Leigh come back with Sex Tape (Trost, 2018) a live november 2016 performance on which they recorded the namesake 48-minute suite. Broetzmann on tenor and alto sax, tarogato and clarinet, and Leigh on pedal steel guitar, created an album that mixes melodies and solo minimalisms with their collective improvisations.
The 2CD set Meditation/Resurrection (AUM Fidelity, 2017) documents two William Parker's Quartets comprising of the leader bassist along with Hamid Drake (drums, gongs) Rob Brown (alto sax), Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson (trumpet, kalimba) and Cooper-Moore (piano).The thirteen pieces were recorded during a one-day studio session in late 2016, some of them, as Criminals In The White House, having been written longtime before (2001). The label presents here this album.
Credited to the pianist Ran Blake, Something To Live For (Hatology, 2017) documents a trio with Guillermo Gregorio (clarinet) and David Fabris (guitar), that studio recorded in march 1998 a collection of 19 (mostly brief) BlakeÎéÎ÷s originals, half of them being solos piano, the rest duos alternating with the guitarist and the clarinetist.
The 11CD boxset Out Of The Box (Bvhaast, 2017) documents a compilation of Willem Breuker Kollektief by old members Arjen Gorter and Bernard Hunnekink. The set restores unfindable material and unreleased works, comprising of soundtrack for the 1926 silent film Faust and the farewell concert Happy End.
Natal Eclipse, the new Steve Coleman project, released for PI Morphogenesis, the follow-up of Council of Balance's Synovial Joints. With his alto sax, the leader is accompanied by old members Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Maria Grand (tenor sax) and Jen Shyu (vocals), plus Rane Moore (clarinet), Kristin Lee (violin), Matt Mitchell (piano) Greg Chudzik (bass) and Neeraj Mehta (percussion). The nine new pieces were studio recorded in september 2016, featuring a mixing of contemporary classical and jazz.
Live recorded in july 1989, Duets, Dithyramnisch (FMP, 2017) features a very rare 2CD set with Evan Parker on soprano & tenor saxes, Wolfgang Fuchs on sopranino sax, bass & contrabass clarinets, Hans Koch on soprano & tenor sax & bass clarinet and Louis Sclavis soprano sax, clarinet & bass clarinet. Among the pieces, the 22-minut sax duet Parker/Sclavis Pace Lace.
The posthumous 2CD set Live in New York, 2010 (Aum Fidelity, 2017) documents the David Ware Trio in a live october 2010 concert. The leader played a stritch (a Buescher straight alto sax) and tenor sax, with William Parker on contrabass and Warren Smith on drums. Twelve pieces, notably the first, a 15-minute solo WareÎéÎ÷s performance on stritch.
Space Kiss (816 Music, 2016) features seven studio pieces by Uri Caine on piano & compositions with the Lutoslawski String Quartet. The first piece is called "Knucklehead", a term I often use, when
The 2CD set Bells For The South Side (ECM, 2017) documents Roscoe Mitchell (sopranino, soprano, alto and bass saxes, flute, piccolo, bass recorder, percussion) along with James Fei (sopranino and alto saxes, contralto clarinet, electronics), Hugh Ragin (trumpet and piccolo trumpet), Tyshawn Sorey (trombone, piano, drums, percussion), Craig Taborn (piano, organ, electronics), Jaribu Shahid (double bass, bass guitar, percussion), Tani Tabbal and Kikanju Baku (both on drums, percussion) and William Winant (percussion, tubular bells, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, roto toms, cymbals, bass drum, woodblocks, timpani) in ten leghty studio pieces (particularly the 26-minute Red Monn In The Sky/Odwalla). Mitchell draw complex sound textures, alternating solos and collective moments. Recorded in september 2015 at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on the occasion of the AACMÎéÎ÷s 50th anniversary.
Ray Anderson (trombone), Han Bennink (drums), Ernst Glerum (double bass) and Paul Van Kemenade (alto sax) studio recorded in january 2016 Checking Out, a Kemo CD documenting eight their pieces plus a Thelonius MonkÎéÎ÷s cover in pure contemporary jazz.
Still by ECM, Inland Sea features a solo album by Stephan Micus, on which he sings and plays balanzikom, nyckelharpa (a keyed fiddle from Sweden), chord and bass zithers, shakuhachi, steel string guitar and genbri. The ten new pieces, recorded between 2014 and 2016, document in their layer and textures different musical cultures.
John Butcher (saxes, feedback), Thomas Lehn (analogue synthesizer) and Matthew Shipp (piano) recorded live in february 2014 a concert, from which were extracted four pieces for the Fataka release Tangle. The music is plenty of noised improvisations.
Magnetism(s) (RogueArt, 2017) documents a 2CD set consisting of the re-release of january 1999 Magnetism, by Matthew Shipp (piano), Rob Brown (alto sax, flute) and William Parker (double bass) augmented by a live july 2016 performance by the trio, collecting three pieces, particularly the 31-minute Vibration and Magnetism.
Lantern (C.A.M. Jazz, 2017) is the thirtieth OregonÎéÎ÷s album, the new in five years. It features the leader Ralph Towner (classical guitar, piano, synthesizer), the veteran Paul McCandless (oboe, English horn, soprano saxo, bass clarinet), Mark Walker (drums, synthesizer) and Paolino Dalla Porta (double bass). Recorded in spring 2017, it sports ten new pieces.
G(ood)luck features the latest Franz Koglmann album, studio recorded in april 2015 in a trio, with the leader on trumpet and flugelhorn, Mario Arcari on English horn and oboe, and Attila Pasztor on cello. The eleven pieces (among which some homages) features a mixing of avantgard jazz and classical, above all by the celloist.
There is No Love (Confront, 2017) documents David Sylvian on voice, electronics & treatments, Rhodri Davies on lap & table harps, vibes & radio and Mark Wastell tam tam, cracked cymbal, temple bells, singing bowls, tubular bell & concert bass drum. This album sports tubular bells and concert bass drum recorded in 2006, SylvianÎéÎ÷s voice recorded in 2014, whereas the instruments were added in february 2017, plus additional contribution from Toshimaru Nakamura (no-input mixer) recorded in 2012. The result is a one long namesake piece, 30-minute long. SylvianÎéÎ÷s voice alternates with classical and contemporary music.
The New National Anthem (Greenleaf, 2017) features Dave DouglasÎéÎ÷ project Riverside, their second album after the september 2012 namesake CD, with the leader on trumpet, Chet Doxas on clarinet & tenor sax, Steve Swallow on electric bass and Jim Doxas on drums. Recorded in august 2015, the disc is a few a tribute to composer Carla Bley with three of her songs, the other eight having been composed by Douglas.
Amalgam (Northern Spy, 2017) presents Okkyung Lee on cello along with Christian Marclay on turntables. Recorded live in april 2014, this album consists of one long set 36-minute long, with intense and droning improvisations.
Wild Red Yellow (Rogue Art, 2017e) features Larry Ochs on tenor & sopranino saxes, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, Satoko Fujii on piano & synth, Scott Amendola, Matthias Bossi and William Winant on assorted percussion & electronics. Recorded in june 2010 but out only now, it sports three OchsÎéÎ÷ pieces: the 23-minute Omenicity, the 9-minute A SorcererÎéÎ÷s Faith and the 22-minute title-track.
Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets (Fractal, 2017) collects 15 Henry Kaiser's unreleased duet recordings from 1977 to 2017 with many guitar giants, among which: the 8:45-minute Split the Difference (2007), with John Russell; the 11:30-minute The Very Last of the Very Few (1985), with Bill Frisell; the 7:20-minute All Aboard for Futuresville (1991), with Jim OÎéÎ÷Rourke; the 9:30-minute Three Languages (1979), with Fred Frith; the 6:00-minute The Distant Thunder (2017), with Debashish Bhattacharaya. Other brief performances were with Derek Bailey, Nels Cline, Elliott Sharp, Eugene Chadbourne, etc.
Kisaragi (Libra, 2017) documents the sixth duo collaboration between Satoko Fujii (piano) and Natsuki Tamura (trumpet). Recorded in 2015 in several sessions, the disc saw Tamura also playing toys e little squeeze dolls. Remember their sessionography: How Many? (january and november 1996); Clouds (february 2001); Muku (october 2001, but released in 2012 only); In Krakow In November (november 2005); Chun (july 2008).
A Pollock Of Sound (Taping Policies, 2017) isnÎéÎ÷t a disc, but the only documentary about Borbetomagus, by filmmaker Jef Mertens. Don Dietrich, Donald Miller and Jim Sauter tell their story with the help of, among others, drummer Chris Corsano, guitarist Thurston Moore and Switzerland Voice Crack. See here for the trailer.
The triple-disc box-set The Musician documents 10 different bands for a total of 28 musicians performing live in 2011 for Chick Corea's 70th birthday.
The vinyl These (Open Mouth, 2017) documents the trio of Chris Corsano (drums), Paul Flaherty (tenor sax) and Bill Nace (electric guitarist who formed the duo Body/Head with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon). They studio recorded in december 2015 three long pieces, featuring noised improvisations.
Victo restores Songs In The Winds, a long time out of print and forgotten studio album by Roscoe Mitchell, recorded in june and august 1990 and already out in 1991, featuring a quintet with the leader on tenor and soprano saxes, whistle, bells, woodwind, percussion, Richard Davis (bass), Steve Sylvester (bullroarer), Vartan Manoogian (violin) and Vincent Davis (drums). The 13 pieces sport overtones and various polytonalities.
Trost releases I forgot To Breathe, astudio album credited to the project Lean Left, comprising of Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), The Ex’ Terrie Hessels and Andy Moor (both on guitar) and Ken Vandermark (various reeds). Recorded in september 2015, it features six pieces, their first studio experience after their Live At Cafe Oto.
Hatology’s Copenhagen Live 1964 documents an unissued live performance by Albert Ayler Quartet. The tenorist, along with Don Cherry (cornet) Gary Peacock (double bass) and Sunny Murray (drums), played in september 1964 (the same month of Vibrations/Ghost’s studio session) in a concert from which were extracted Spirits (8:45), Vibrations (8:14), Saints (9:00), Mothers (7:42), Children (8:39), and a reprise of Spirits (1:19).
In Concert (firstly released in 1991 and now restored by Victo) features the duo of Dave Burrell (piano) and David Murray (tenor sax) in a live may 1991 performance from which were extracted five pieces. The two, who collaborated together since late ‘70s, present a recording mixing solos and duets, developping freely the starting themes.
And Victo also restores the old out of print Charles Gayle’s Unto I Am, studio recorded in september 1994 by the leader multiinstrumentist (here on bass clarinet, drums, piano, tenor saxophone, voice). The five lenghty pieces collected feature his solo album, obviously with many overdubs.
The DoLP The Ecstatic Music (Luaka Bop, 2017) collects Alice Coltrane’s music recorded since 1982 in her Sai Anantam Ashram outside of Los Angeles, until now released on private cassettes tapes only. The tracks feature solo performances on her harp, small ensembles, eastern percussion, synthesizers, organs and strings, and a 24-piece vocal choir.
Go Straight Round The Square (FMR, 2017) documents Paul Dunmall ( tenor & soprano saxes), Liam Noble (piano), John Edwards (bass) and Mark Sanders (drums) in their second disc, 70 minutes recorded in november 2016. The CD features two very long pieces: the 39-minute title-track and the 37-minute Double Back, in pure free jazz.
This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People (ESP, 2017) gathers the notable trio project Toxic, comprising of Polish Mat Walerian (alto sax, bass & soprano clarinets, flute), Matthew Shipp (piano, organ) and William Parker (double bass, shakuhachi) in a studio december 2015 session, featuring five long pieces (particularly the 20-minute The Breakfast Club Day), basically free jazz.
Shift (FMR, 2017) features the quartet of Australian saxophonist Rob Burke (here on tenor & soprano), George Lewis on trombone & electronics, Paul Grabowsky on piano & snare drum and Mark Helias on acoustic bass. Recorded in july 2016, the album presents 11 pieces in a series of duos, trios and quartets, often shifting from acoustic to electronic sounds, elaborating composed themes for an avantgarde jazz experience.
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich (hatOLOGY, 2017) documents a “solo piano” by Matthew Shipp, collecting eleven pieces (among which a cover) live recorded at Taktlos festival in may 2016.
Intakt presents the guitar trio of Elliott Sharp, Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot in Err Guitar, a collection of twelve studio pieces they composed individually and/or collectively, and recorded in july 2016. The music is plenty of improvisations.
Six Situations (Not Two, 2017) documents a live september 2016 session credited to Joe McPhee (tenor sax, voice), Damon Smith (double bass) and Alvin Fielder (drums), six pieces of pure free jazz. Among them, the 19-minute The Diagonal Of Personal Excstasy and the 24-minute Red & Green Alternatives.
Gato Libre is a project created in 2004 that reunites on accordion Satoko Fujii, on bass Norikatsu Koreyasu, on guitar Kazuhiko Tsumura and on trumpet Natsuki Tamura. Neko, their latest creation, was recorded in august 2016, replacing bassist (who dead recently) with Yasuko Kaneko on trombone. Their music combines folk and religious ambient with jazz. Let’s remember their sessionography: Strange Village (october 2004): accordion (Satoko Fujii), bass (Norikatsu Koreyasu), guitar (Kazuhiko Tsumura), trumpet (Natsuki Tamura); Nomad (march 2006), same lineup; Kuro (may 2007), same lineup; Shiro (august 2009), same lineup; Forever (september 2011), same lineup; Dudu (june 2013), with: Satoko Fujii (accordion), Kazuhiko Tsumura (guitar), Yasuko Kaneko (trombone) and Natsuki Tamura (trumpet). After this recording, guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura dead too.
Playing guimbri, bass, small harp and bells, Joshua Abrams led a septet along with Lisa Alvarado (harmonium, Leslie, percussion), Michael Avery (drums, percussion), Ben Boye (chromatic electric autoharp, piano, Wurlitzer), Ari Brown (tenor sax), Emmett Kelly (electric guitar) and Frank Rosaly (drums, percussion, resonator bells). They recorded the vinyl Simultonality, released now by Eremite after 2014 and 2015 sessions. The four tracks mix patterns, minimalisms, jazz and traditionals.
Another Intakt release is We Know Not What We Do, by the project Amok Amor, reuniting the quartet of Peter Evans (trumpet), Christian Lillinger (drums), Petter Eldh (bass) and
Wanja Slavin (saxophone). Their nine studio tracks were recorded in may 2016.
Mat Maneri (viola), Evan Parker (saxes) and Lucian Ban (piano) recorded in september 2014 for Clean Feed Sounding Tears, of which so speaks Maneri: “It's like Lester Young mixed with something insane; rooted in the past of an alternate universe which may never have existed”. Extensively presented here by the label.
Loneliness Road (RareNoise, 2017) features pianist Jamie Saft along with Steve Swallow (bass), Bobby Previte (drums) and rockstar vocalist Iggy Pop. Recorded in june 2016.
Helter Skelter (Acrobat, 2017) features alto saxophonist Joe Harriott in several rare sessions collecting thirteen pieces, dating back from june 1955 to june 1963, mostly with his quartet comprising of Sammy Stokes (bass), Phil Seamen (drums) and Max Harris (piano).
The posthumous 2CD set Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain (Superior Viaduct, 2017) features an until now unissued studio recording (premiered in march 1972) by Tony Conrad, comprising of film installation and minimalist score for amplified strings. From liner notes: “Ten Years began with image before sound, a row of quadruple projections arranged side-by-side, all the shuffling stripes cascading into each other. Over the next two hours the music throbbed and the projectors incrementally shifted inwards, their beams gradually uniting to form one pulsating, overlapping picture”. The performance saw the leader on violin, Rhys Chatham on «long string drones» (a 6-foot long strip of wood with bass strings, electric pickup, tuning keys, tape, rubber band and metal hardware) and Laurie Spiegel on bass.
Omminggg And Schlomminggg (Important, 2017) is the second release by Charlemagne Palestine and Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra. The DoLP captures a november 2016 session. First three sides document the suite Jazzhouse Kobenhavn. The music, with the leader on piano augmented by electronics and processed strings, electrified harp, viola, bowed mandolin, percussion, tapes, and voice, features an experimental ambient.
The monumental 6CD boxset Elapsed Time (Sonoris, 2017) documents a solo Kevin Drumm work, that collects several studio sessions, from 2012 to 2016. Let’s mention: the 43-minute Mithering The Skiving Gorm, for organ, audio generators, guitar, voice, tape delay; the 21-minute May 1, for sine waves; the 31-minute The Sea Wins, for sine-saw-pulse; the 31-minute Crooked Abode, for computer and electronics; the 41-minute Earrach, for cassette tapes chosen randomly, electronics and computer; the 30-minute February, for bass pedals and tone generators; the 43-minute Bolero Mutter, for audio generators and computer; the 30-minute Middle Of Nothing, etc.
Astral Cube (El Paraiso, 2017) documents Rob Mazurek’s project Black Cube Marriage, that gathers members of his São Paulo Underground and unit Marriage, and special guests Jonathan Horne (guitar, sax) and Steve Jansen (tapes, guitar). Formed in late 2015, this ensemble composed seven new pieces of abstract jazz-rock and post-rock, with instruments heavily manipulated by electronics. Presented here by the label.
Han Bennink Trio, featuring the leader drummer along with Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst and Danish pianist Simon Toldam, debuted in 2009 with Parken, then coming back with the live april 2011 Bennink & Co. Adelante (ICP, 2017) is their third album, with Badenhorst on tenor sax too. Studio recorded in november 2016, this album gathers thirteen pieces quite all improvised.
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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