Jazz News - 2020

by Rocco Stilo
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December 2020:

US pianist, composer and educator Stanley Cowell, very active in '60s and '70s as sessionman with several prominent jazzists, died for an hypovolemic shock on december 17, at 79. His last notable work was Juneteenth, a piano solo collecting the namesake 31-minute twelve-movements suite, and the 17-minute Recollections, completely improvised. Juneteenth was projected since 2008, but finally recorded only in november 2014, and then released by French label Vision Fugitive. Juneteenth comes from the date June 19th 1865, when African Americans in Texas learned that slavery had been abolished.

The 2CD set Be Bop Live (HatHut, 2020) documents live performances of several Charlie Parker Quintets, recorded between 1945 and 1949. CD1 features sixteen tracks collected from four sessions, two in december 1948, one in january 1949 and one in february 1949, during which Parker led Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Al Haig, Tommy Potter and Max Roach. The fourteen pieces on CD2 (sessions of june 1945, february and december 1949) also feature Roy Haynes and Dizzie Gillespie. Quite all pieces are classical by Parker or Gillespie: Ornithology, A Night in Tunisia, Ko Ko, Bird Of Paradise, Salt Peanuts, Groovin’ High, Be Bop, etc.

The posthumous Rituals Of Transition (Dischi Di Angelica, 2020) documents six solo piano compositions performed by Misha Mengelberg. Three of them feature the three part suite Kiev (20 minutes), recorded at National Philarmonic in november 2005. Amsterdam was recorded in february 2010; Pantin in february 2007; Bologna in may 2002.

Martin Archer's Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere returns with Theta Five (Discus, 2020), fifth album of this project, recorded in two studio sessions (october 2019 and august 2020). The leader, on saxes, clarinet, flute, organ, mellotron, software instruments, voices, was accompanied by Steve Dinsdale (drums, synths), Lorin Halsall (double bass, electric upright bass, electronics), Yvonna Magda (violin, electronics), Andy Peake (rhodes, synths), Walt Shaw (percussion, electronics), Jan Todd (vocals, voices, lyrics, harps, electronics, laptop, midi keys, bowed acoustic bass guitar, glockenspiel, 12 string guitar, Korg wave drum, Idiopan) and Terry Todd (electric bass guitar, acoustic 12 string guitar) in four compositions, notably the 42-minute Pillared Space, always featuring an avantgarde jazz-rock mostly improvised.

The posthumous Being Astral And All Registers - Power Of Two (Discus, 2020) documents a collaboration between Cecil Taylor (piano) and Tony Oxley (drums), coming from a may 2002 concert. Two are the pieces extracted: the 33-minute and the 27-minute title tracks, taken from the Oxley’s personal archives.

The vinyl Dimensional Stardust (IARC, 2020) features the latest Exploding Star Orchestra’s work. Rob Mazurek’s project sports the trumpetist, here also on electronics, who composed ten new pieces, and led the notable lineup, comprising of Damon Locks and Macie Stewart (vocals), Nicole Mitchell (flute), Tomeka Reid (cello), Joel Ross (vibraphone), Jeff Parker (guitar), Jaimie Branch (trumpet), Angelica Sanchez (piano), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), and the percussion trio of Chad Taylor, Mikel Patrick Avery and John Herndon. This multisession album was studio recorded between august 2019 and march 2020. Read here for an extensive presentation.

Studio recorded in august and september 2020, The Turner Etudes (Tzadik, 2020) documents John Zorn, who composed eighteen short pieces for solo piano dedicated to the later sketches of the English painter J.M.W. Turner. Their performer is Stephen Gosling, member of classical ensembles New York New Music and Washington Square. The pieces, as say credits, were inspired by music of Ligeti, Scriabin, Bach, Glass, Busoni, Debussy, Bartok, Berio, Feldman, Xenakis, Cecil Taylor, Schoenberg and more.

After the august 2018 Terra Incognita, the quartet of Rich Halley (tenor sax), Matthew Shipp (piano), Michael Bisio (bass,) and Newman Taylor Baker (drums) comes back with The Shape Of Things (Pine Eagle, 2020). Studio recorded in august 2019, it sports six lenghty tracks.

Mikroton delivers Cher, a vinyl that documents the project Schnee, comprising of Burkhard Stangl (guitars and tapes) and Christof Kurzmann (lloopp, vocals and rubberbands) in four pieces recorded during a september 2018 concert, plenty of avantgarde and experimental electroacoustic improvisations.

The DoLP Ajaeng Ajaeng (Ideologic Organ, 2020) documents Eyvind Kang (here on tanpura and tuba) who led an acoustic ensemble comprising of Lilac Atassi (harpsichord), Yoon Na Geum (so ajaeng, a Korean instrument), Han Lim (dae ajaeng, another Korean instrument), Jessika Kenney (woodblock), Hyeonhee Park and Ches Smith (bass drum), Miguel Frasconi (glass), Janel Leppin (cello), Erica Dicker (violin) and Dan Peck (tuba). Kang composed six new pieces, three of which side-long (notably the 19-minute Tanpura and Harpsichord). Recorded in several 2019 studio sessions. Extensively presented here.

Duophonic Landscape (Klanggalerie, 2020) is a seven movement 50-minute suite recorded in may 2019 by Andrea Centazzo (drums) and Elisabeth Harnik (piano), mostly improvised. On stage since 2004, Austrian composer Harnik (1970) sports three credited albums and several collaborations with many prominent avantgarde jazzists (Joelle Leandre, Ken Vandermark, Dave Rempis, London Improvisers Orchestra).

Appearance (Room40, 2020) is a solo piano album studio recorded by Neck’s Chris Abrahams, who performed in november 2019 two 20-minute improvisations: As A Vehicle, The Dream and Surface Level.

RogueArt’s Leonine Aspects features Evan Parker (tenor & soprano saxes) and Matthew Shipp (piano) in the 55-minute namesake suite, live recorded in august 2017.

From the same label, the vinyl Cloud Script documents the debuting album by the namesake project, led by double bassist Joshua Abrams. The six tracks he composed were studio recorded in september 2016 along with Ari Brown (tenor sax), Jeff Parker (guitar) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). Let’s remember that Brown is a veteran who joined AACM since 1971.

Still RogueArt delivers The Bright Awakening, another live performance (june 2012), during which the quartet of Paul Dunmall (tenor sax), Matthew Shipp (piano), Joe Morris (double bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums), recorded another long piece, the namesake 56-minute suite.

Beat 72 Lost Date (Eargong, 2020) documents an until now unreleased Alvin Curran’s performance, recorded in september 1973 af the famous Teatro Beat in Rome. The composer, here on trumpet, led a mostly Italian lineup, comprising of clarinetist Roberto Laneri, founding member of Prima Materia, trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini, old member of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, bassist Bruno Tommaso, long sessionman with Giorgio Gaslini and Mario Schiano, plus French celloist Frances Marie Uitti, and American composer and guitarist Tony Ackerman from the obscure Suonosfera group. The two long pieces here gathered, mastered from a Revox tape found within the Schiaffini’s archives, both of 24 minutes, feature an avantgarde and experimental jazz.

Studio recorded in july 2020, Togetherness Music (Intakt, 2020) is the latest Alexander Hawkins production. The pianist composed a six-movement suite leading a notable 16-musician ensemble: Evan Parker (soprano sax), Rachel Musson (flute, tenor sax), Percy Pursglove (trumpet), James Arben (flute, bass clarinet), Neil Charles (double bass), Mark Sanders (drums), Matthew Wright (electronics), Benedict Taylor (viola), Hannah Marshall (cello), plus a string quartet conducted by Aaron Holloway-Nahum. Released to celebrate Hawkins' 40th birthday.

Studio recorded in june 2018, the 2CD and also DoLP Cuts Open (RareNoise, 2020) is the fifth release by the trio of Mats Gustafsson (flute, baritone sax, electronics, percussion), Masami Akita aka Merzbow (electronics, percussion) and Balazs Pandi (drums and percussion). The themes of these four side-long pieces were composed by Gustafsson, quickly evolving in long improvisations.

Frequency Disasters (Confront, 2020) documents a studio december 2018 session by the namesake project created by Steve Beresford (here on prepared piano, toys, electronics) and comprising of Valentina Magaletti (drums, percussion) and Pierpaolo Martino (double bass). The eleven pieces the leader composed feature avantgarde rock, noise and jazz improvisations.

The unreleased 3LP/2CD set Rollins In Holland (Resonance, 2020) features the famous saxophonist in three different sessions, the first in studio (may 1967), when Sonny recorded six trio pieces along with Han Bennink (drums) and Ruud Jacobs (bass). The other two are live performances, always from may 1967 and with the same lineup, during which were performed, notably, the 15-minute On Green Dolphin Street/There Will Never Be Another You, the 22-minute Three Little Words and the 20-minute Gershwin's Love Walked In (already present, in two different versions, on the studio session).


November 2020:

American reedist Andrew White, also musicologist and publisher, well known sessionman with Julius Hemphill, McCoy Tyner and the early Weather Report, died after complications for a stroke on november 11, at 78.

816 Music released The Passion Of Octavius Catto, the latest Uri Caine's work. Composed and firstly premiered in 2014, then studio recorded in august 2018, it was conceived as a ten-part oratorio, as Caine says in a long interview, for jazz trio (Barbara Walker on vocals, Mike Boone on bass, Clarence Penn on drums), chamber orchestra (conducted by André Raphel) and gospel choir, dedicated to the 19th Century African-American freedom fighter known for his work as an abolitionist, educator, pioneering baseball player, and civil and voting rights advocate.

The DoLP The Reward (RogueArt, 2020) is a Matthew Shipp's solo piano suite in four movements (one for side), studio recorded in november and december 2015, the first vinyl he produced after his february 1988 Sonic Exploration.

IPY (Tzadik, 2020) documents the trio of Ikue Mori (electronic drum), Phew (voice and synthesizer) and Yoshimi Yokata (aka YoshimiO) in drums, voice and synthesizer. They recorded in november 2019 a concert from which were extracted the six tracks for this CD, plenty of experimental rock and improvisations.

The 2CD set Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt (Intakt, 2020) features a music for chamber orchestra and small ensemble credited to Ingrid Laubrock. The saxophonist, after her orchestral Contemporary Chaos Practices, composed five pieces presented in double version. First CD, with the EOS Chamber Orchestra Cologne conducted by Susanne Blumenthal, sports a quintet led by Laubrock on tenor and soprano saxes: Sam Pluta (electronics), Cory Smythe (piano, quarter-tone keyboard), Robert Landfermann (double bass) and Tom Rainey (drums). CD 2 is performed by a trio: the leader, Sam Pluta and Cory Smythe, plus three guests: Adam Matlock (accordion), Josh Modney (violin) and Zeena Parkins (electric harp). Studio recorded in december 2019.

Swirling (Strut, 2020) documents the first Sun Ra Arkestra studio album in over 20 years, after the 1999 Song For The Sun. Led by Marshall Allen, now 96 years old, the lineup is comprising of the leader on alto sax, the veterans James Stewart (tenor sax, flute), Danny Ray Thompson on baritone sax and flute (let's remember that he died the last march), Michael Ray and Cecil Brooks (trumpet), and the others (french horn, trombone, piano, guitar, violin and rhythm section). The release presents reworkings of old Sun Ra's masterpieces, as for instance Seductive Fantasy. No infos about session dates, possibly ended the last june, but started before the Thompson's death.

Share The Wealth (Blue Note, 2020) documents the Nels Cline Singers, the project the guitarist created in 2001, who, on his electric, leads Skerik (sax), Trevor Dunn (bass), Scott Amendola (drums), Brian Marsella (piano) and Cyro Baptista (percussion). Among the ten pieces, the 17-minute Stump The Panel and the 16-minute A Place On The Moon. Studio recorded in may 2019.

The 2CD set A Love Supreme Electric (Cuneiform, 2020) features the quintet of Vinny Golia (tenor, soprano, & baritone saxes), John Hanrahan (drums), Henry Kaiser (guitar), Wayne Peet (Hammond B3 & Yamaha YC-45D Organs) and Mike Watt (bass) in a february 2019 studio session during which they recorded gigs inspired by John Coltrane's A Love Supreme and Meditation. The two suites take over 100 minutes.

Azoth (Tzadik, 2020) documents five pieces composed between 2015 and 2017 by John Zorn and performed by the quartet of Jay Campbell and Michael Nicolas (both on cello) Jorge Roeder (bass) and Ches Smith (drums). Two of these works are for solo cello two for cello and rhythm section. Recording session: july 2020.

The Sunnyside's 4CD boxset Bremen 1964 & 1975 documents Charles Mingus in two performances respectively recorded in april 1964 and july 1975. First two CDs features the 26-minute Hope So Eric (perhaps more known as So Long, Eric) and the 33-minute classic Fables Of Faubus (CD 1), the 22-minute Parkeriana and the 25-minute Meditations On Integration (CD 2), performed by the bassist with Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute and clarinet), Dannie Richmond (drums), Jaki Byard (piano), Clifford Jordan (tenor sax) and Johnny Coles (trumpet). CD 3 documents the july 1975 session, sporting the 32-minute Sue's Changes; CD 4 (same session) is comprising of, among others, another version of Fables Of Faubus (15:30 min.), Devil Blues and Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love (both 13 min.), all performed with Don Pullen (piano), Jack Walrath (trumpet) and George Adams (tenor sax).

Cryptogramophone restores Time Changes, a collaboration between bassist Mark Dresser and Denman Maroney firstly released in 2005, with sessionman Michael Sarin (drums) and vocalist Alexandra Montano as guest. Studio recorded in two sessions (january 2003 and october 2004), these eleven pieces were played by the leader on his famous hyperpiano.

The vinyl Harmonia Macrocosmia (Smalltown Supersound, 2020) documents the duo of Joe McPhee and Lasse Marhaug, who studio recorded in august 2015 a very atypical album, playing electronics, sounds and vocals, conceived, say the two, as a science fiction inspired work.

The 40-minute Soundpath, released with the namesake CD, documents a suite composed by Muhal Richard Abrams, commissioned, premiered and performed firstly in 2012 by saxophonist Bobby Zankel and his project Warriors of the Wonderful Sound. In october 2018 this ensemble (but without Abrams, dead in the meantime) studio recorded a version now released by Clean Feed. The notable all reeds ensemble was conducted by Marty Ehrlich (also on alto sax); among the performers, let's mention Michael Formanek (bass), Chad Taylor (drums), Steve Swell (trombone), plus other four saxophonists, three trombonists, three trumpetists and Graham Haynes (the son of Roy) on cornet.

The posthumous The Monk Watches The Eagle (Discus, 2020) documents Keith Tippett as composer & conductor (he doesn't play), his wife and vocalist Julie Tippetts, Paul Dunmall (soprano sax), Chris Biscoe (baritone sax), Kevin Figes (alto sax) and Ben Waghorn (tenor sax), plus the Apollo Sax Quartet: Tim Redpath (soprano), Rob Buckland (alto), Andy Scott (tenor) and David Roach (baritone). This work was written by the recently deceased pianist and premiered in may 2004 (the release features the premiere). The 41-minute suite is divided in four movements.

The cassette Lisbon Solo (Notice, 2020) documents a solo studio album recorded in march 2019 by Fred Lonberg-Holm. His ten pieces were composed and performed on cello and on an "unprepared piano".

Prickly Pear Cactus (Not Two, 2020) features Ikue Mori (electronics), Satoko Fujii (piano) and Natsuki Tamura (trumpet) in ten pieces recorded in february 2020. As stated in the credits, the project started with a Zoom session, when Fujii mentioned she was biding her self-quarantine time recording piano solos at home. Mori suggested she send a sound file to him and that's how the collaboration began. Then they asked Tamura to add his trumpet. Satoko Fujii and her husband Natsuki Tamura also released Mantle (Not Two, 2020), a trio with Ramon Lopez on drums. Studio recorded in september 2019, it collects nine pieces (each of the musicians composed three of them) of contemporary jazz.

Slipknots Through a Looking Glass (Pyroclastic, 2020), credited to bassist Eric Revis, documents his collaboration with Kris Davis (piano), Bill McHenry (tenor sax), Darius Jones (alto sax) and Chad Taylor (drums). Their eleven pieces, collectively composed, feature hypnotic textures, melodic approaches and strong improvisations. On stage since late '90s, American composer and bassist Eric Revis (1967) sports six credited recordings and many collaborations, among which in Branford Marsalis Quartet.

Focus And Field (Meta, 2020) features Adam Rudolph on handrumset along with: Sumie Kaneko on koto, shamisen & voice, Kaoru Watanabe on noh kan, shinobue, taiko & percussion, Stephanie Griffin on viola, Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon, Ned Rothenberg on shakuhachi & bass clarinet, gamin on piri & saenghwang, Ivan Barenboim on b-flat & contra-alto clarinets, and Michel Gentile on flutes. Recorded live in march 2020, this album sports chamber music influenced by oriental ethnic.

Stringers And Struts (Aerophonic, 2020) gathered Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & baritone saxes, Jeff Parker on guitar, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass and Jeremy Cunningham on drums. Studio recorded in august 2019, this release collects three pieces: the 20-minute Cutwater, the 25-minute Harmany and the 7-minute Caviste. Basically improvised.


October 2020:

Toshinori Kondo, possibly the most famous Japanese jazz trumpetist, old sessionman with Bill Laswell, John Zorn, Fred Frith and many others, died for a stroke on october 17, at 71.

2CD set Vestigium (Discus, 2020) features a Martin Archer's collaboration (on keyboards, electronics & woodwind) with Julie Driscoll/Tippetts (voice & acoustic guitar), Seth Bennett (double bass), Gary Houghton (lead, rhythm & glissando guitars), Michael Somerset Ward (flutes, & saxes), Kim Macari (trumpet), Lee Hallam (trombone), Chris Bywater (laptop), James Archer (electronics), Michael McMillan (guitar), Heather Cordwell (violin), Aby Vulliamy (viola) and Mick Bardon (cello). Studio recorded between 2013 and 2014, it's comprising of fourteen tracks of avantgarde jazz and improvisations.

The Catch Of A Ghost (Dischi Di Angelica, 2020) features Peter Brötzmann (woodwinds), Hamid Drake (percussion) and the gnawa musician Maalem Moukhtar Gania (guembri, voice). Recorded in may 2019, this performance, that mixes world music and free jazz, sports four pieces, notably the 33-minute title-track.

Two new CDs by Intakt. The 2CD set The Deceptive 4 marks the return of Tim Berne's Snakeoil. The quartet, with the leader on alto sax, Matt Mitchell on piano, Oscar Noriega on clarinets and Ches Smith on drums and percussion, presents on Disc 1 four lenghty pieces from a Snakeoil concert recorded in december 2017; on Disc 2 other four pieces coming from two old unissued studio sessions (november 2009 and june 2010), notably the 21-minute Hemphill. Instead, Slow Pieces For Aki documents a piano solo by Alexander Von Schlippenbach, who gathered twenty-one brief compositions studio recorded in november 2019. Half of them are improvisations. The album is dedicated to his wife Aki Takase.

Recorded, as say credits, "at RAI studios in Rome, Italy in 1976 for the television broadcast Incontro con Don Cherry presented by Franco Fayenz", Om Shanti Om (Black Sweat, 2020) documents a Don Cherry's quartet concert comprising of eight pieces. Playing trumpet, flute and kora, Don Cherry led Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, Italian guitarist and flutist Gian Piero Pramaggiore, and tamburist Moki Cherry, his wife. That concert was plenty of world music and improvisations.

Harmonic Constituent (Playscape, 2020) features the latest Jason Robinson's production. On tenor & soprano saxes & alto flute, he led Joshua White on piano, Drew Gress on contrabass and Ches Smith on drumset & glockenspiel. After having composed new material in april 2018, he reunited the quartet for a studio december 2019 session, during which were recorded thirteen pieces, for a total of 78 minutes. In liner notes, Robinson states: "Each piece on this album is inspired by a technical, and sometimes impressionistic, aspect of the oceanography, tidal dynamics, and geography specific to the coastline between Mendocino and Westport. Harmonic constituent is an oceanographic term that refers to the complex influences of the cyclical motion of the Earth, Sun, and Moon on tides at specific locations. Rather than reveal the details of the various translations of data, sight, smell, geography, and other elements that I used to generate musical structure - that in turn were brought to life in collaboration with my wonderful friends and bandmates - I'd prefer to let the music and our performances stand on their own without too much guidance, to hopefully spark a memory or imaginative coastal scape of your own".

Modern Harmonic restores Celestial Love, a Sun Ra's studio session recorded in september 1982 and firstly released in rare copies by his label El Saturn in 1984. This CD/LP sees Sun Ra on organ, electric & acoustic piano, along with the "usual" sessionmen: Marshall Allen (alto sax, flute), Danny Ray Thompson (baritone sax and flute), John Gilmore (tenor sax), Walter Miller (trumpet), plus various horn players. Sun Ra added also two Duke Ellington famous covers, Sophisticated Lady and Drop Me Off in Harlem. Always by Sun Ra, but also credited to his Arkestra, the same label restored At Inter-Media Arts, April 1991, featuring a concert recorded at the title date. The leader was on keyboards & synth, with John Gilmore (tenor sax & clarinet), Marshall Allen (alto sax & flute), Knoel Scott (alto sax), James Jacson (bassoon & flute), June Tyson (vocals & violin), Charles Davis (baritone sax), Michael Ray, Ahmed Abdullah, Fred Adams & Chris Capers (trumpets), Tyrone Hill (trombone), Jothan Collins (bass) and Buster Smith, Dos Santos Nascimento & Cliff Barbaro (drums). The set features sixteen tracks, mostly from their jazz standards.

With VI (Pyroclastic, 2020), Nate Wooley carries on his Seven Storey Mountain series, started in 2007. The trumpetist presents this time the namesake 45-minute suite, performed along with Samara Lubelski and Spencer Yeh (violin), Chris Corsano, Benjamin Hall and Ryan Sawyer (drums), Susan Alcorn, Julien Desprez and Ava Mendoza (guitars), Isabelle O'Connell and Emily Manzo (keyboards), plus a 21-member female choir. Music was recorded at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Manhattan, in november 2019.

Come And See What There Is To See (The Label, 2020) features a concert recorded in december 2018 by Roscoe Mitchell Quartet. Mitchell, on various saxes, led Junius Paul (double bass), Vincent Davis (drums) and Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) in the three tracks extracted, especially the 58-minute title track.

Budapest Concert (ECM, 2020) documents the live Keith Jarrett's session at Bela Bartok National Concert Hall in july 2016, during which he performed a twelveen-part recital, conceived by the pianist, say credits, as a suite-like structure, completed in this 2CD set by two jazz covers.

Another unissued Sam Rivers' studio album restored by NoBusiness. Braids documents the reedist on tenor and soprano saxes, flute and also piano along with Joe Daley (tuba, euphonium), Dave Holland (bass and cello) and Thurman Barker (drums) in a may 1979 session, during which the quartet recorded the 57-minute suite An Evening In Hamburg, Part One, composed by Rivers. Daley is a veteran tubaist who worked with Gil Evans and Liberation Music Orchestra, Marty Ehrlich and Carla Bly, among others. Barker instead is more known as sessionman with Amina Claudine Myers, Cecil Taylor and Billy Bang.

Iklectik Live One (Matchless, 2020) documents an unreleased performance recorded in november 2016 by John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxes), Eddie Prévost (drums) and London Improvisers Orchestra's Guillaume Viltard (double bass). Among the four pieces collected, the 22-minute Light.

The same label presents Nous, that collects five pieces (notably the 25-minute Impossible Meaning) recorded in february 2020 again by drummer Eddie Prévost, along with Jason Yarde (alto and soprano saxes and electronics) and Nathan O. Moore (electric guitar and effects).

Mikroton delivers the vinyl Cher, produced by the project Schnee, i.e. the duo of Burkhard Stangl (guitars, tapes) and Christof Kurzmann (lloopp, vocals, rubberbands), comprising of four pieces recorded in concert in september 2018. This is the second release by the two in 20 years, after the self-titled Schnee, recorded in december 1999.

Compass Confusion (Pyroclastic, 2020) features the second release of Craig Taborn's project Junk Magic, after the self-titled released in 2004. Taborn, on electric piano, keyboards & compositions, leads a new lineup, comprising of Chris Speed on tenor sax & clarinet, Mat Maneri on viola, Erik Fratzke on electric bass and Dave King on drums. Seven tracks, no credits info about session date.

Forge (Relative Pitch, 2020) features pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Frank Paul Schubert on alto and soprano saxes and Martin Blume on drums. Live recorded in april 2019, it sports above all the 48-minute Merge.

Artlessly Falling (Firehouse 12, 2020) documents the second release by Code Girl, the Mary Halvorson's project she debuted with the december 2016 self-titled. Current lineup sees the leader guitarist along with Amirtha Kidambi (vocals), Adam O'Farrill (trumpet), Maria Grand (sax), Michael Formanek (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), plus Robert Wyatt as guest vocalist in three of eight pieces. Studio recorded in december 2019.

Rainbow Family 1984 (Carrier, 2020) documents an old project by George Lewis, who, along with Douglas Ewart on alto sax, flute & clarinet, Derek Bailey on electric guitar, Joelle Leandre on contrabass and Steve Lacy on soprano sax, recorded in may 1984 six pieces he interactively processed on electronics and computers. The tracks: With Joelle Leandre [7:55], With Derek Bailey [7:47], With Douglas Ewart [11:43], With Steve Lacy [4:38], With Douglas Ewart and Derek Bailey [8:53], and above all With D. Ewart, J. Leandre, D. Bailey, S. Lacy [19:46]. Extensively presented here.

Stretch Woven (Astro Imprint, 2020) features Nels Cline on guitars, loops, effects & megamouth and Scott Amendola on drums, percussion, loops, electronics & mbira, in seven tracks studio recorded in september 2017. Collectively composed, these pieces sport a mixing of avntgarde jazz, rock and electronics, especially the 14-minute Substitute Angels.

Ivo Perelman, in celebration of his 30th recording career anniversary and 100 CDs, releases three new recordigs. The Purity Of Desire ( Not Two, 2020) documents the saxtenorist along with Gordon Grdina (oud) and Hamin Honari (tombak, daf, percussion), featuring eight pieces studio recorded in january 2020. Dust Of Light/Ears Drawings Sounds ( Setola di Maiale, 2020) is a collaboration with Pascal Marzan (who played ten strings microtonal acoustic guitar); their twelve pieces were studio recorded in february 2020. Shamanism (Mahakala, 2020) is a trio with Joe Morris (electric guitar) and Matthew Shipp (piano). They recorded ten pieces in april 2018.


September 2020:

Double bassist Gary Peacock, sessionman since late 50s with many jazz giants (Keith Jarrett, Albert Ayler, Bill Evans, Plaul Bley, etc.) died on september 4 at 85.

Conference Call, the project founded in 1999 by German saxophonist Gebhard Ullmann along with pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and bassist Joe Fonda, comes back with Prism (Not Two, 2020), their new album in twelve years, also featuring Dieter Ulrich on drums. Seven were the new pieces, recorded in two studio sessions (october and november 2016). Sessionography: Final Answer (may 2000), with first drummer Matt Wilson; Variations On A Master Plan (march 2001), with Han Bennink on drums; Spirals, documenting a march 2003 concert with again a new drummer, George Schuller; Live At The Outpost Performance Space, another concert recorded in november 2003, with another drummer, Gerry Hemingway; the two-session Poetry In Motion (september 2005 and september 2006), with the return of Schuller; the 2CD set What About.?, documenting an april 2007 concert; Seven, another live performance (september 2008).

The vinyl Hellraiser (Astral Spirits, 2020) documents the third experience by the trio Icepik, comprising of Nate Wooley (trumpet), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass) and Chris Corsano (drums). Live recorded in february 2018, it features a session of collective improvisations, gathered in three pieces, notably the side-long Blueline.

Martin Archer's project Das Rad, after the self-titled recorded in march 2018, returns with Adios Al Futuro (Discus, 2020). The lineup is the same, with the leader instrumentist (here on woodwind, keyboards, synth bass, electronics) along with Nick Robinson (guitars, keyboards, electronics) and Steve Dinsdale (drums, keyboards, electronics). The new eight pieces, recorded in august 2019, sport an avantgarde jazz-rock plenty of electronics and improvisations.

Ivo Perelman always prolific. The live Strings & Voices Project (Hundred Years Gallery, 2020) documents a january 2020 performance by the saxtenorist with several sessionmen, that also gathered Brazilian celloist Marcio Mattos (worked with Eddie Prevost, Elton Dean, Evan Parker), vocalists Phil Minton and Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, guitarist Pascal Marzan, violist and composer Benedict Taylor, veteran violinist Philipp Wachsmann, and double bassist David Leahy. Among the six pieces collected, the 18-minute improvisastion by the trio Perelman-Minton-Marzan. Instead, Amalgam (Mahakala, 2020) documents a twelve-part suite performed by the reedist along with the pianist Matthew Shipp (no infos about session date).

The vinyl Live At I-And-E (Confront, 2020) gathers two untitled side-long pieces recorded in march 2006 by Keith Rowe (guitar, electronics) and Mark Wastell (amplified textures, electronics). This set, say credits, was "louder and more gestural, taking the audience on a long musically referential journey of theme, statement and variations, seemingly traditional yet using unique strategies".

Intakt releases Free Hoops, studio recorded in december 2019 by the Sylvie Courvoisier Trio, comprising of Drew Gress (bass) and Kenny Wollesen (drums & Wollesonic), led by the pianist who composed nine new pieces, a follow-up of her D'Agala, and so presented by credits: "The music Courvoisier writes is rigorously organized and calls for ensemble precision, as a few thorny unisono heads demonstrate. But the music also harbors a misterioso, dreamlike quality that may surface at any time, induced by a wistful ostinato or moonlit piano arpeggio stubbornly repeated, or by a quiet episode that underscores the depth of the trio's sonic space. They also do that good stuff we prize jazz for - the happy swing-ing, the coming together when they make complex material sing, and the flying apart when the players explore it on their own".

Still by Intakt, It's About Time documents the OM project, i.e. Urs Leimgruber (soprano and tenor saxes), Christy Doran (electric guitar and devices), and the Swiss rhythm section of Bobby Burri (double bass and devices) and Fredy Studer (drums, percussion, bowed metal). The quartet, born in 1972 and returned in 2008 after a long break after 1982, recorded this album in february 2020, producing eight new pieces. OM was created in 1974 by the current lineup, whose sessionography is: Montreux Live & More (Indian, 1975), whose side A, the suite (Fuddler) On The Roof, was recorded live in july 1974 at Montreux Jazz Festival, and side B collects three studio pieces recorded in september 1974; Kirikuki (Japo, 1976; re-released by ECM in 2019), studio recorded in october 1975; Rautionaha (Japo, 1977), recorded in december 1976; With Dom Um Romao (Japo, 1978; re-released by ECM in 2019) recorded in august 1977 with the well known percussionist as guest; Cerberus (Japo, 1980), recorded in january 1980 and now out of print; the live Willisau (Intakt, 2010), recorded in august 2008, that documents a twelve-part improvised session. Their ECM 2006 Retrospective collects tracks from four of their albums.

Iteration (Another Timbre, 2020) sports a collaboration between Werner Dafeldecker (double bass) and Lucio Capece (bass clarinet, slide saxophone, mini speakers with feedback and room amplification) live recorded in may 2019. The two performed the namesake two-part 45-minute suite, mostly improvised.

Scale (Two Rooms, 2020) documents a collaboration between Zeena Parkins (acoustic and electric harps, forks tuned metal, electronics, field recordings) and Chicago sound artist Jeff Kolar (electronics, radio, voice). The six part suite they performed (39 minutes) was commissioned in 2017 and premiered in october 2018.

Satoko Fujii's project Kaze returns with Sand Storm (Libra, 2020), recorded and performed by the pianist (who also composed new seven pieces, notably the 17-minute Kappa) along with Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost (trumpets), Peter Orins (drums), and Ikue Mori on electronics as guest. Recorded in february 2020, it is basically improvised.

Credited to Sangeeta Michael Berardi, an obscure american jazz guitarist, Divine Song, already released in 1980 by New Pulse Artists, and re-released just now by Sunjump, documents his collaboration with Archie Shepp (tenor sax), Roswell Rudd (trombone), Mario Pavone and Eddie Gomez (basses) and Rashied Ali (drums). Recorded between july and october 1979, the Sunjump reissue adds two long pieces, for 30 minutes of more music.

Second Sight has been the forgotten Dave Douglas' project, created by the trumpeter in 1985 along with pianist John Esposito and disbanded after two releases. Flying With The Comet, the first album, was recorded at a date in 1986, and featured the pianist and the trumpetist along with Allen Murphy (bass), Jeff Siegel 8drum), and Jeff Marx (sax). Tiger Tracks, just released by Sunjump, was their second and until now unissued session, adding Frederick Berryhill on percussion. Recorded at a date in 1987, it features nine tracks all composed by Esposito, notably Fu Jow Pai, presented in two alternated takes (12 and 14 minutes).

The self-released Summer Synthesis 1978 documents the first recordings of David Torn, a collaboration with keyboardist and programmer Drew Schlesinger. The CD collects fourteen tracks composed and recorded by the duo in the summer of 1978. Torn (on guitar and synth) and Schlesinger produced a set of experimental and ambient sounds, with massive use of electronics.

Conspiracy is the new Terje Rypdal's album released for ECM in two decades. It features six new pieces composed by the guitarist, here on electric along with Stale Storlokken (keyboards), Endre Hareide Hallre (fretless bass) and veteran Pal Thowsen (drums, percussion). Recorded in february 2019.

It's Morning (RareNoise, 2019) documents the latest Led Bib's album, collecting various sessions from july 2018 and february 2019. It features the new entries of Austrian Susanna Gartmayer (bass clarinet) and Noid (cello), the London based Elliott Galvin (piano and keyboards), and Austrian violinist Irene Kepl. The nine pieces studio performed, whose lyrics were composed by their vocalists Sharron Fortnam and Jack Hues, are a follow-up of their progressive jazz-rock.

The vinyl Bangalore (Mikroton, 2020) presents a collaboration between Guenter Müller (iPods, electronics), Jason Kahn (modular synthesizer, mixer, radio) and Norbert Moeslang (cracked everyday-electronics), recorded in concert during a tour in february 2019. The two side-long pieces performed document a mixing of improvised textures.

Tales From (Fundacja Sluchaj, 2020) gathers six tracks studio recorded in september 2019 by the notable quartet of Frode Gjerstad (alto sax, eb clarinet), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello, electronics), Steve Swell (trombone) and William Parker (bass, tuba, cornet, flutes). From the Gjerstad's liner notes: "What we created was far from the drummerless free-jazz session I expected. But the great thing about working with good friends is that together we found and delivered something special! I have known these gentlemen for many years, but I never heard them play this way before".

The Part 1 of Crimes In High Places (ZOaR, 2020) documents the latest work by Charles K. Noyes, who, on electric guitar, amplified resonator guitar and amplified guqin, recorded and produced a solo album comprising of nine pieces (notably the 19-minute That Trick With Mirrors) plenty of hard textures exploiting sounds generated by his complex instrumentation.

Alles In Allem (Potomak, 2020) is the new studio album produced by Einsturzende Neubauten. Recorded between may 2019 and february 2020, its ten tracks (quiet brief) are a follow-up of their experimental rock. Blixa Bargeld is always the leader and arranger, here on strings, harp, bass and lyrics. Instruments aren't specified in credits, that only tell us the musicians in the current lineup: celloist Jan Tilman Schade, guitarist Alexander Hacke, plus Jochen Arbeit, the cofounder N. U. Unruh (aka Andrew Chudy) and Rudi Moser.

How To Turn The Moon (Pyroclastic, 2020) features the piano duo of Angelica Sanchez and Marilyn Crispell in ten pieces, seven by Sanchez plus three improvisations, recorded in september 2019. Extensively presented here.

Splatter (Dischi Di Angelica, 2020) documents three Roscoe Mitchell's performances, two from Angelica Festival Internazionale di Musica (may 2017), notably the 20-minute Distant Radio Transmission, both with an orchestra conducted by Tonino Battista and music composed by pianist Craig Taborn. The third track, the 49-minute Breath And Pipes, was composed by Mitchell and studio recorded in march 2020. Mitchell, on alto and soprano saxes, was accompanied by Francesco Filidei on organ.


August 2020:

Ancestral Echoes documents the first recording date by Horace Tapscott with his Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra. Released by Dark Tree, it features a 24-musician all acoustic ensemble, led by Tapscott on piano; among them, let’s mention the veteran bassist David Bryant, sessionman with Charlie Mingus and Nat King Cole. The CD sports four lenghty tracks, notably the 27-minute Eternal Egypt Suite, with four alternated solos. Studio recorded in january 1976 (let’s remember that Flight 17 and The Call were recorded later, in april 1978).

The vinyl RoundAgain (Nonesuch, 2020) features the quartet of Joshua Redman (tenor sax), Brian Blade (drums), Brad Mehldau (piano) and Christian McBride (bass) in a studio september 2019 session, during which they recorded seven tracks individually composed (three by Redman, two by Mehldau and one by Blade and McBride).

Tongue In A Bell (Weekertoft, 2020) documents a january 2015 concert held by Peter Broetzmann (various reeds) and Irishman Paul G. Smyth (piano), from which were extracted the 25-minute title track and other two pieces, more brief.

Inland Empire (Clean Feed, 2020) features a live recording (september 2016) by pianist Kris Davis, along with Norwegian rhythm section of bassist Ole Morten Vagan and drummer Oyvind Skarbo, and Swedish reedist Fredrik Ljungkvist, Territory Band-member. They performed six pieces of avantgarde jazz, collectively performed.

The 2CD set Data Lords (Artist Share, 2020) features the Maria Schneider Orchestra she conducted after having composed two CD-long suites: The Digital World (52 minutes) and Our Natural World (43 minutes). The 18-musician ensemble gathered accordion, saxes, clarinets, trumpets, trombone, guitar, piano, flute and a rhythm section. Already premiered in april 2016, the studio session for the release was performed in august and september 2019. The composer speaks about her project here. The sessionography of her Orchestra: Evanescence (september 1992); Coming About (november 1995); the live Days Of Wine And Roses (january 2000); Allegresse (january 2000); Concert In The Garden (march 2004); Sky Blue (january 2007); The Thompson Fields (august 2014).

Telyn Rawn (Amgen, 2020) documents Rhodri Davies on his horsehair harp, technically called as title suggests, created in 13th century in Wales. Studio recorded in january 2020, this work sports eighteen brief improvised pieces. Launching his new label with this CD, Davies states: “All the music on this album is improvised. I designed and built a long forgotten instrument, experimented with wound and pleated horse hair strings, I engaged with historical texts and poetry, learnt the techniques and music from the Robert ap Huw manuscript and researched the importance of the horse and horse cults in Welsh culture. All these interventions were a means to improvise historically informed music and re-evaluate the legacy of the harp in Wales but ultimately served as a jumping off point so as to create new possibilities”.

The vinyl Being & Becoming (More Is More, 2020) is the first release by the namesake project created in 2017 by Peter Evans. Studio recorded in april 2019, this album sees the leader trumpetist leading Joel Ross (vibraphone), Nick Jozwiak (bass) and Savannah Harris (drums) in five new compositions, balancing between chamber textures and improvisations.

The quartet of John Edwards (bass), Mark Sanders (drums), Liam Noble (piano) and Paul Dunmall (tenor and alto saxes) studio recorded in september 2019 The Feeling Principle, just delivered by FMR. The release gathers three long improvisations, notably the 21-minute Full Walking Trance.

News by Mark Helias. Radiolegs delivers four until now unreleased albums by the bassist. Available Light is a “solo contrabass” studio recorded in late 90’s, that gathers his twelve mostly brief performances. Third Proposition documents a february 2000 session during which Helias performed his nine compositions along with Tom Rainey (drums) and Tony Malaby (tenor sax). Roof Rights was recordded live in november 2000, and documents the leader with Australian David Ades (alto sax), Gerald Cleaver (drums), Tony Malaby (tenor sax), Australian James Greening (trombone) and Scott Tinkler (trumpet) in seven pieces extracted from the concert. Sequestered was recorded remotely at four separate locations, and features Helias also on organ, along with Ralph Alessi (trumpets), Jerome Harris (guitars) and Bobby Previte (drums). Speaking about it, Helias states: “I composed the piece years ago, so it isn’t a topical response to the pandemic; it just happened to be the piece that I thought might work remotely. I did guide tracks in the computer which were sent to the participants, along with the score and parts, to let them negotiate the piece as they saw fit. All first takes, all good. In the context of these strange times it was really enlivening to interact with some friends and colleagues at distance. In fact, it was much more fun and fulfilling than I would have imagined”.

Ramboy releases Slips, a CD that documents a march 2019 concert by Michael Moore (alto sax, clarinets and bird whistles), Barre Phillips (bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums, percussion). Among the pieces, mostly improvised, let’s mention the 23-minute Slaps. US reedist Michael Moore, founder of Ramboy label, is on stage since 1982, produced many credited and cocredited albums, and worked as sessionman in many projects (ICP Orchestra, Benoit Delbecq, Franz Koglmann, among others).

The vinyl Lining Out (Hidenbell, 2020) documents two side-long compositions studio recorded in january 2018 by Jason Kahn, who, on voice, drums, cymbals, bells and percussion, interpreted gaelic psalm singing by the Free Churches on the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland, with a lot of improvisation. Still by Kahn, the vinyl Spirits (Editions, 2020) features two side-long compositions performed on voice, lap slide resonator guitar and studio recorded in december 2019 along with Swiss percussionist Christian Wolfarth. Quite totally improvised.

Baphomet (Tzadik, 2020) features the 39-minute namesake suite composed by John Zorn and studio recorded in february 2020 by his project Simulacrum, comprising of John Medeski (clavinet, organ), Kenny Grohowski (drums) and Cleric’s Matt Hollenberg (guitar). The performance balances between improvisation, fusion and death metal.

Django-Shift (Whirlwind, 2020) documents the latest Rez Abbasi’s album, a tribute, as title suggests, to guitarist Django Reinhardt. Accompanied by keyboardist Neil "Nail" Alexander, and drummer Michael Sarin, Abbasi presents on his fretted & fretless acoustic guitars seven reworkings of Reinhardt tunes, plus two covers by Saul Chaplin and Kurt Weill. Recorded in february 2019.

Cadillac restores on a 10 EP vinyl Fela’s First, that collects four tracks by Fela Kuti, the first he ever recorded. He, on trumpet, was accompanied by J.K. Brimah (guitar) and Wolo Bucknor (piano), plus unidentified trumpet, tenor sax and rhythm section. The pieces were recorded in august 1959 for Melodisc, but never released until now.

Wight Of Wax delivers Japanese Duets, seven unreleaased tracks extracted from a 2004 concert held by John Butcher (saxophones) and Rhodri Davies (lever harp, bows, preparations, and e-bows).

Sora (Relative Pitch, 2020) features the latest Tamio Shiraishi’s CD, a solo alto sax, seven tracks recorded in three studio sessions (november 2018, juin and october 2019).

Dark Matrix (Not Two, 2020) features Daniel Carter on alto, tenor & soprano saxes, clarinet & trumpet and Matt Shipp on piano. Studio recorded in october 2019, it sports the 16-minute title-track and the 28-minute The Will To The Form.

UK label Matsuli restores Dudu Pukwana And The Spears, that documents the first recording by the South African reedist and pianist (born in 1938 and dead in 1990), quite unknown because, after having been recorded in 1968, was released in 1969 in South Africa only. The re-release is a DoLP, being paired with another recently discovered session, recorded in 1969 (the story is documented in the DoLP credits). Pukwana, here on saxes and piano, led several musicians, some of which were already famous, as Fairport Convention’s Richard Thompson (guitar), Louis Moholo-Moholo (drums), Chris McGregor (piano), Mongezi Feza (trumpet), Harry Miller (bass). The same lineup recorded later In The Townwhip (november 1973) and Flute Music (october and november 1974), the latter with John Stevens on drums.

Corbett vs Dempsey delivers Black Is The Color, a never isuued set of concerts held by Joe McPhee. These two CDs feature, the first an october 1969 session, with the leader on trumpet, tenor, and soprano sax leading Tyrone Crabb (bass), Ernest Bostic (vibes) and Bruce Thompson (drums), presenting among others a 14-minute improvisation and a 13-minute version of John Coltrane’s Naima. Secon Cd collects two sessions: january 1969 and may 1970, and sports the leader on tenor sax, Mike Kull (piano), Tyrone Crabb (electric bass), Chico Hawkins (drums) and Octavius Graham (vocals). Among the peices, let’s mention a 14-minute version of the traditional title-track and the 15-minute Juju for John Coltrane.


July 2020:

Intersecting Lines (Listen! Foundation, 2020) features Guillermo Gregorio on clarinet, Joe Fonda on contrabass and Ramon Lopez on drums. The session, studio recorded in december 2018 contains three pieces written by Gregorio plus five trio improvisations.

The 3CD set The Consummation Of Right And Wrong (Important, 2020) features the latest work by avantgarde jazz guitarist David First, who, on guitar and harmonica, leads his eight-piece ensemble, The Western Enisphere, comprising of Jeanann Dara (viola), Sam Kulik (trombone), Jeff Tobias (bass clarinet), James Ilgenfritz (upright bass), Danny Tunick (percussion/conductor), Ian Douglas Moore (guitar), William Stanton (laptop). This is a document of "droning music", whoxse music was composed in 2017. Among the pieces, it's worth mentioning the third CD, with the 46-minute Section 2.

The vinyl Suite: April 2020 (Nonesuch, 2020) documents twelve brief songs pianist Brad Mehldau composed at his home at the title date during the Covid-19 pandemia. As pianist says in credits, "Suite: April 2020 is a musical snapshot of life the last month in the world in which we've all found ourselves. I've tried to portray on the piano some experiences and feelings that are both new and common to many of us. In `keeping distance,' for example, I traced the experience of two people social distancing, represented by the left and right hand-how they are unnaturally drawn apart, yet remain linked in some unexplainable, and perhaps illuminating way. As difficult as COVID-19 has been for many of us, there have been moments of revelation along the way. `stopping, listening: hearing' highlights that moment as well". The ltd editions also sports three covers. Still by Mehldau, the same label, previously, released Finding Gabriel, an album inspired by Bible's passages, ten pieces he composed and recorded between march 2017 and october 2018, featuring an electronic jazz, performed on various keyboards, and accompanied by Charles Pillow, Joel Frahm, Chris Cheek (saxes and clarinet), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Lois Martin (viola), Sara Caswell (violin), Michael Thomas (flute), Noah Hoffeld (cello), Mark Giuliana (drums), and several vocalists. Three of the tracks are Mehldau' solos on keyboards.

QuinT5T (Inner Voice, 2020), as title suggests, features the new quintet of David Liebman (saxes), Randy Brecker ( trumpet and flugelhorn), Marc Copland (piano), Drew Gress (bass) and Joey Baron (drums), joined by Ralph Alessi (trumpet) on 2 tracks, in a studio january 2020 session, during which they performed nine tracks of avantgarde jazz.

The Yeo-Neun Quartet, founded in 2016 by celloist Okkyung Lee, debuted with a self-titled vinyl delivered now by Shelter Press. The lineup is comprising of Maeve Gilchrist (harp), Norwegian Eivind Opsvik (bass) and Jacob Sacks (piano). The ten pieces were all composed by the leader and recorded between spring 2018 and early 2019.

The vinyl This Week Is in Two Weeks (ESP, 2020) features Talibam duo of Matt Mottel (piano, synthesizer and three-string guitar) and Kevin Shea (drums), who, along guests Silke Eberhard (alto sax) and Nikolaus Neuser (trumpet), studio recorded two side-long new pieces.

The DoLP Ffroggssichorddd (Staalplaat, 2020) documents a solo album by Charlemagne Palestine, on which he plays a Frogsichord, i.e. a green harpsichord in which the tones are based on the relationship between lengths that pass through similar spaces. This instrument was built based on an idea by the architect John Kormeling, who adapted an harpsichord. The pieces were recorded between april 2015 and april 2019.

Plays Ingrid Laubrock (Tour de Bras, 2019) documents GGRIL (i.e. Grand Groupe Regional D'Improvisation Liberee), a 16-musician improvising Canadian ensemble (harp, accordion, violin, 2 cellos, trumpet, trombone, bari sax, 3 electric guitars, electric & acoustic bassists, two percussionists and) performing, as title suggests, Ingrid Laubrock's new pieces with the reedist herself among the musicians. The three pieces Laubrock composed were studio recorded in november 2018. By the same ensemble, Fa‡ons documents also John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxes) in a 2CD set with the six part suite Local Fixations (43 minutes, premiered in april 2018) he composed, plus the 21-minute the massive droning Organon (premiered in may 2016) by Canadian singer, drummer and composer Isaiah Ceccarelli, and Sur Les Genoux, by French clarinetit Xavier Charles.

After Listening To Pictures, the Vol. 1 of his project Pentimento, Jon Hassell delivers the Vol. 2: Seeing Through Sound (Ndeya, 2020). The trumpetist, along Rick Cox (electric guitar,), John Von Seggern and Christoph Harbonnier (basses), Hugh Marsh (violin), Peter Freeman (bass, electronics), Ralph Cumbers (kongo drum programming), Eivind Aarset (electric guitar, sampling), Kheir-Eddine M'Kachiche (violin, sampler), and Michel Redolfi (electronics), recorded eight tracks mostly in the same sessions of his Vol. 1. Speaking about this release, Hassell states: "I was doing a lot of manipulation of sounds. When I'm in the studio and using 24 tracks, and using the software that's available these days, there is this gigantic library of sounds. That's really where the idea of pentimento caught fire in my imagination. I thought, what else is 24-track recording except pentimento? Layers are scratched off and other layers show through-or you can have a temporal pentimento as Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole, like when Natalie sang a virtual duet with her late father on Unforgettable".

Connect (Gearbox, 2020) is the new Charles Tolliver studio album in thirteen years. The trumpetist here is accompanied by Jesse Davis (sax), Keith brown (piano), Buster Williams (bass), Binker Golding (tenor sax) and Lenny White (drums), in four new pieces recorded in november 2019.

The Anthony Braxton Project (Cuneiform, 2020) presents the Thumbscrew trio project of Mary Halvorson (guitar), Michael Formanek (double bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums and vibraphone) in eleven quiet brief unreleased Braxton's compositions (from n. 14 to n. 274), studio recorded in september 2019.

News from ESP. The Unidentifiable features the Matthew Shipp Trio, who studio recorded in october 2019 eleven new pieces by the pianist along with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, in a lyrical approach.

To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough (Joyful Noise, 2020) documents a concert held in january 2018 by trumpetist Wadada Leo Smith and avantgarde rock band Deerhoof. Their lineup sees always leader and guitarist John Dieterich, along with vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, drummer Greg Saunier and bassist Ed Rodriguez.

Studio recorded in december 2019, Koneko (Libra, 2020) features the latest Gato Libre's work. The Satoko Fujii project currently is a trio (the pianist, who however is on accordion here), trombonist Yasuko Kaneko and trumpetist Natsuki Tamura, who composed the eight new pieces.

Recorded in april and may 2020 during the pandemia, The Lockdown Solos (Hi4Head, 2020) features eight performances (ach of them called I So Elated) by Trevor Watts on alto & soprano saxes, varying over and over the starting theme.

Every Dog Has His Day But It Doesn't Matter Because Fat Cat Is Getting Fatter (ESP, 2020) features the Okuden Quartet, led by reedist Mat Walerian (alto sax, clarinets and flute), and comprising of Matthew Shipp (piano), William Parker (double bass, shakuhachi) and Hamid Drake (drums, percussion). Studio recorded in may 2018, this 2CD set sports eight lenghty tracks, all composed by Walerian.

Still by Shipp, Then Now (RogueArt, 2020) features a collaboration with saxaltoist Rob Brown, recorded in a november 2018 session, during which they performed eight namesake pieces. Always by RogueArt and still with Shipp, The Clawed Stone documents a trio with John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxes) and Thomas Lehn (electronics), other eight pieces studio recorded in october 2017.

Again RogueArt presents Combinations, a collaboration between Joe Morris (guitar) and Tomeka Reid (cello). The eleven pieces they recorded in december 2018 features also two covers by Leroy Jenkins and Billy Bang. From the liner notes: "Joe Morris and Tomeka Reid offer a few new "standards" that are the fulcrum between a set of prepared instrument pieces where it is difficult to recognize either instrument and attention is absorbed by the overall density and character of sound, and a set notable for its sparseness as both Reid and Morris play primarily independent lines. Within that set, the effect, most apparent in the rare moments in which one musician briefly acknowledges the other then shifts onto a new independent line, is a tautness in which the listener's attention wavers from line to line as each musician's line can be foreground or background, solo or accompaniment, to the other's line".

News from Dave Rempis and his label Aerophonic. His project Ballister returns with Znachki Stilyag, performed by the leader on saxes along with Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello & electronics and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion. Recorded in october 2019. Among the pieces, the 38-minute F*ck the Money Changers. The Dave Rempis project Kuzu released his third album, Purple Dark Opal. Rempis, on various saxes, leads Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums) in the 56-minute suite To The Quick, recorded in october 2018. The 2CD set Codes/Myths documents the duo of Dave Rempis (alto, tenor and baritone saxes) and Frank Rosaly (drums and percussion) in four studio tracks recorded in january 2018, notably the 32-minute Aletheia and the 29-minute Patterns In Distance. Finally, the label also released the Vol. 2 of Of Things Beyond Thule, performed, as the Vol. 1, with Tomka Reid (cello), Brandon Lopez (bass), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Joe McPhee (trumpet). Recorded in december 2018 (the same session of Vol. 1), the CD fesatures four lenghty pieces, notably the 18-minute Osel.


June 2020:

British pianist and composer Keith Tippett, on stage since early ’70s as leader and sessionman in many jazz and jazz-rock projects and lineups, died on june 14 after a heart attack, at 72.

Welcome Adventure Vol. 1 (released now by label 577) documents a studio october 2019 session, during which were recorded three pieces (notably the 20-minute Ear-regularities) credited to the quartet of Daniel Carter (tenor sax, trumpet, flute), Matthew Shipp (piano), William Parker (bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums), with a lot of improvisations.

Studio recorded in november 2017, the 8CD boxset Duo (Improv) 2017 features a collaboration between Anthony Braxton (sopranino, soprano, alto, baritone, bass, and contrabass saxes, contrabass clarinet) and Eugene Chadbourne (Gibson Marauder electric, Gibson acoustic, bajo sexto, Deering 5-string banjo, Deering fretless 5-string banjo, Regal 5-string banjo, prepared guitar). The two recorded eight improvisations, almost one hour for each CD.

News from Adam Rudolph. Imaginary Archipelago (Meta, 2020) documents his new project Karuna Trio, along with Ralph M. Jones on assorted reeds & voice and Hamid Drake on percussion & voice, whereas Rudolph is on percussion, drums, overtone singing & electronic processing. Their eleven pieces mix jazz, world, folk and country, studio recorded in september 2018. Previously, the trio produced the CD Karuna (two studio sessions, june 2016 and january 2017), that sports twelve pieces mostly improvised.

Dot Time just released The Duo Sessions, a CD collecting various unreleased studio performances by Lennie Tristano, along with: 1) saxtenorist Lenny Popkin, his old pupil (six tracks Tristano wrote and recorded in october 1970); pianist Connie Crothers (two tracks studio recorded in 1976); drummer Roger Mancuso (eight tracks studio recorded between 1967 and 1968).

The Real Intention (Listen! Foundation, 2020) features the recently created Trevor Watts Quartet, comprising of the leader on alto & soprano saxes, Veryan Weston on piano, John Edwards on bass and Mark Sanders on drums. Their four long pieces (notably the 22-minute Freely Flying and the 18-minutee title-track) were recorded in september 2019, during a session of free improvisation.

The Journey (Ictus, 2020) documents a twelve-part suite performed by Andrea Centazzo (percussion, MalletKat, sampling) along with reedist Perry Robinson (clarinet, micro-ocarina, bird calls). Recorded in may 2015, this work, mostly improvised, was left unreleased until now. Son of Earl Robinson, reedist Perry sported a long career since early ‘70s, and worked with Gunter Hampel and William Parker. He died in 2018.

Hero Trio (Whirlwind, 2020) documents Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto sax), Francois Moutin (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums) in the first album of non-originals by the reedist. Recorded in january 2020, it features free reworkings by Stevie Wonder, Ornette Coleman, Keith Jarrett, Johnny Cash, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker.

The self-produced 3CD boxset Pressure Trilogy documents three CD-long compositions by Kevin Drumm, studio recorded between october and november 2018. A work of pure electronics, mostly improvised. The pieces: the 39-minute Another Odyssey Of Waiting; the 28-minute Murder; the 30-minute Sunday.

Ahoy! (Victo, 2020) documents seven tracks extracted from a may 2019 concert by contrebassist Barre Phillips, then studio mixed the last february. This CD is coupled with Camouflage, an old may 1989 live performance by Phillips. Victo sells the 2CD set under the title Thirty Years In Between.

Three posthumous albums by Cecil Taylor. Poschiavo (Black Sun, 2020) documents an unreleased solo piano concert (let’s remember that Taylor, since late ‘70s, recorded his new albums only “live”) held in may 1999, consisting of an untitled 54-minute piece. Instead, Conversation With Tony Oxley (JazzWerkStatt, 2020), as title suggests, features a duet with the drummer, recorded in february 2008. Berlin Conversations, the piece they performed, is a four part suite, 76-minute long, mostly improvised. Birdland/Neuburg 2011 (Fundacja, 2020) sports another concert with Tony Oxley (november 2011), during which they presented a two-part suite (58 minutes).

Rejoice (World Circuit, 2020) is an album recorded at a date in 2010 and left unreleased until now, credited to Hugh Masekela (who passed in 2018) on flugelhorn and vocals, and Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, pioneer of Afrobeat music and sessionman with Fela Kuti, who died just in april 2020 at 80. The two recorded eight tracks, accompanied by Mutale Chashi and Tom Herbert (bass), Elliot Galvin and Joe Armon-Jones (keyboards), Lekan Babalola (percussion), Steve Williamson (the brother of Jay, on tenor sax) and Lewis Wright (vibraphone).

Swallow Tales (ECM, 2020) documents an album credited to guitarist John Scofield, who recorded in march 2019 nine reworkings by bassist Steve Swallow, performed along with Swallow himself and drummer Bill Stewart.

With the 5CD boxset Not Two… But Twenty, the label celebrated their 20th anniversary with a festival recorded live in the fall 2018 inviting 13 giants of improvisation: Barry Guy, Joelle Leandre and Rafal Mazur (bass), Paal Nilssen-Love and Zlatko Kaucic (drums), Agusti Fernandez (piano), Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, Mikolaj Trzaska and Peter Brotzmann (saxes and various reeds), Steve Swell (trombone), Per Ake Holmlander (tuba) and Maya Homburger (violin). Performing in duets, trios, quartets and quintets, they present several tracks extracted from the concert, notably the trio Peter Brotzmann/Guy/Kaucic (23:30 min.), the trio Leandre/Swell/Fernandez (27 min.), the trio Gustafsson/Mazur/Nilssen-Love (24 min.).

The same label delivers The Center Will Hold, credited to trombonist Steve Swell, who composed six new tracks performed along with Jason Kao Hwang (violin, viola, electronics), Ariel Bart (harmonica), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello, electronics), Robert Boston (piano, organ) and Andrew Cyrille (drums, percussion). Studio recorded in september 2019.

Still by Not Two, A UIS? features the 45-minute namesake suite performed by the Jubileum Quartet, a lineup comprising of Joelle Leandre (acoustic bass), Evan Parker (tenor sax), Agusti Fernandez (piano) and Zlatko Kaucic (drums and objects). Recorded at 23rd Cekno Jazz Festival in may 2018.

Memories Of A Tunicate (Relative Pitch, 2020) documents Peter Broetzmann (tenor sax, woodwinds, clarinet) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and electronics) in a studio june 2019 session, during which they performed seven new pieces that, say credits, “move between lyrical spaciousness and no holds bar flying sparks”.

Recorded in november 2018, De Hondemepper (ICP, 2020) documents a collaboration between the ICP Orchestra and Nieuw Amsterdams Peil. The ensemble was comprising of Michael Moore (alto sax and clarinet), ICP leader, Ernst Glerum (bass), Dorian Cooke (basson), Mick Stirling and Tristan Honsinger (cello), Han Bennink (drums), Patricia Wang (mandolin and panpipes), Bart de Vrees (percussion), Gerard Bouwhuis and Guus Janssen (piano), Tobias Delius (tenor sax), Ab Baars (tenor sax and clarinet), Wolter Wierbos (trombone), Thomas Heberer (trumepot), Heleen Hulst (violin) and Mary Oliver (violin and viola). Read here for the liner notes.

Breaking News, Studio Dan (Ezz-thetics, 2020) features two works commissioned for George Lewis and Cologne-based keyboardist Oxana Omelchuk: the former they composed was recorded in october 2017, and documents As We May Feel, a 25-minute track performed by Sophia Goidinger-Koch (violin), Maiken Beer (cello), Manuel Mayr and Constantin Herzog (basses), Thomas Frey (flutes), Dominik Fuss (trumpet), Daniel Riegler and Matthias Muche (trombones), Mathias Koch (drums), Clemens Salesny (alto sax, clarinets) and Michael Tiefenbacher (piano, synthesizer, sampler). The latter documents the 25-minute Wow And Flutter and was recorded by the same ensemble in february 2018.

Stormy Whispers (Fundacja, 2020) is a live performance recorded in october 2018 by Joelle Leandre (bass), Myra Melford (piano) and Lauren Newton (voice). They performed a set of eight duo and trio improvisations. American vocalist Lauren Amber Newton sports a long career she started in 1982, recording with Jeanne Lee and Urszula Dudziak.


May 2020:

American drummer Jimmy Cobb, legendary last surviving sessionman of Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue, died of a lung cancer on may 24, at 91.

Awoto (FMR, 2020) features a collaboration gathering Paul Dunmall (alto & tenor saxes), Jon Irabagon (alto & swannee saxes, i.e. slide saxes made in the late 1920’s), James Owston (bass) and Tymek Jozwiak (drums). Studio recorded in may 2019, it documents the second session between Paul Dunmall and Jon Irabagon. The quartet performed four long pieces (notably the 23-minute Beyond Distant Jazz), mostly free.

The same label releases A Songbirds Temple, that sees again Paul Dunmall (tenor sax & alto flute) along with Angelica Sanchez (piano) and Mark Sanders (drums). Studio recorded in november 2019, it’s another free jazz exercise in five pieces, especially the 16-minutre title-track.

The vinyl Good Days (Astral Spirits, 2020) documents the new Chicago Underground Quartet release in nineteen years (the Mazurek’s lineup debuted with the december 2000 self-titled). Current lineup features the leader on piccolo trumpet, electronics, bells, Josh Johnson on synth bass, organ and piano, Jeff Parker on electric guitar and Chad Taylor as usually on drums. The new album sports eight new pieces (among which two solos by Mazurek and Taylor), recorded in three sessions, from july 2018 to july 2019.

Joe Morris’ project Instantiation had already three follow-up: Versioning (Glacial Erratic, 2020) features five lenghty pieces free improvised by the guitarist, accompanied by Raef Sengupta (alto sax), Daniel Klingsberg (bass), Michael Sabin (trombone) and Alex Quinn (trumpet), recorded in june 2019. Instead, Locale, by the same label, presents six pieces studio recorded in november 2019 with a different lineup: Allison Burik (alto sax), Ben Halla (percussion), Dan O’Brien (tenor and baritone saxes) and Andria Nicodemou (vibraphone). Finally, Switches (same label) features a trio along with Brad Barrett (cello) and Eric Stilwell (trombone), who recorded in december 2019 five lenghty pieces, “where each part is unique, composed with specific notated and operational components such that it impossible to perform any of them the same way twice”, as say credits.

The vinyl Open Border (Audiographic, 2020) documents the split 35-minute suite, recorded live in october 2018 by Ken Vandermark (various reeds) along with Hamid Drake (drums), Luigi Ceccarelli (electronics) and Gianni Trovalusci (flutes). The music switches from solos to duets, trios and collective.

Problems Are Only Opportunities In Work Clothes (Fractal, 2020) is a solo Henry Kaiser’s work he performed on a Downes 101HB bariton guitar, with no overdubs (“just delays and no looping”, he says), a CD that he provides as a free item to accompany other purchases in the stores, an help during this time of pandemic. The CD features the 50-minute When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. Recorded in february 2020.

The Clawed Stone (RogueArt, 2020) documents the trio of John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxes), Thomas Lehn (electronic) and Matthew Shipp (piano) in eight new pieces studio recorded in october 2017.

Against Empire (MOD Reloaded, 2020) documents four lenghty pieces (between 11 and 18 minutes) composed by Bill Laswell (here on bass and effects) in a lineup comprising of Pharoah Sanders (saxophone), Peter Apfelbaum (saxophone, flute, keyboards), Herbie Hancock (electric piano), and the percussion quintet of Jerry Marotta, Chad Smith, Hideo Yamaki, Satoyasu Shomura and Adam Rudolph. No infos about the recording session.

America At War (Sunnyside, 2020) documents the second large ensemble led by guitarist Joel Harrison, documenting nine pieces composed between 2014 and 2017, then studio recorded in january 2019. Conducted by Matt Holman, his project is comprising of the trumpet quartet of Seneca Black, Dave Smith, Ingrid Jensen and Chris Rogers; Marshal Sealy (French horn), Alan Ferber, Sara Jacovino and Curtis Hasselbring (trombone), Ben Staap (tuba), Ben Kono (English horn, soprano, alto sax & flute), Ken Thomson (alto sax and clarinets), Stacy Dillard (tenor sax), Jon Irabagon (tenor sax, flute), Lisa Parrot (baritone sax & bass clarinet), Daniel Kelly (piano), Gregg August (basses), Jard Schonig (drums), Ned Rothenberg (shakuhachi) and Wilson Torres (vibraphone, timpani, concert bass drum, bongos, bells & shaker). Extensively presented here. Previously, he released for the same label in 2013 Infinite Possibility, credited to the project Joel Harrison 19, a 20-musician lineup comprising of Ned Rothenberg (sax, clarinets and flute), Ben Kono (saxes, oboe, English horn, flute), Andy Laster (baritone sax), Rob Garcia (drums), Kermit Driscoll (bass), Michel Gentile (flute), Daniel Kelly (piano and keyboards) the tenor sax trio of Ben Wendel, Rob Scheps and Donny McCaslin, the trombone trio of Alan Ferber, Curtis Fowlkes and Jacob Garchik, the trumpet quartet of Dave Smith, Justin Mullins, Seneca Black and Taylor Haskins, Ben Stapp /tuba), Joe Daley (euphonium), and James Shipp (vibraphone). This work was inspired by gospel hymns, Appalachian folk melodies and blues. Recorded in december 2012.

NoBusiness still restores unreleased studio compositions by Sam Rivers. Ricochet documents a january 1978 session led by the reedist on tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, piano, accompanied by Dave Holland (bass and cello) and Barry Altschul (drums). The trio performed the 52-minute namesake suite.

Blood Moon (Intakt, 2020) documents a collaboration between Ingrid Laubrock (tenor & soprano saxes) and Kris Davis (piano). The two composed seven new tracks, adding two collective improvisations, recorded in june 2019.

Dizzy Atmosphere - Dizzy Gillespie at Zero Gravity (Greenleaf, 2020) documents a tribute by trumpetist Dave Douglas to the great be-bop musician, studio recorded in september 2019 in a sextet comprising of Dave Adewumi (trumpet), Matt Stevens (guitar), Fabian Almazan (piano), Carmen Rothwell (bass) and Joey Baron (drums). The nine pieces are music Douglas composed including several imaginative arrangements of Gillespie’s compositions.

Calculus (Tzadik, 2020) features two long pieces composed and credited to John Zorn scored for piano trio, performed by Trevor Dunn (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums) and Brian Marsella (piano). Zorn’s music features a mixing of minimalisms, jazz, funk, folk, ambient and noise. Recorded in january 2020.

Cell Walk (Songlines, 2020) is a multisession work recorded in july 2019 by the bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck and the pianist Wayne Horvitz (here also on electronics). Their new seventeen tracks (overdubbed with additional recordings in january 2020), some of which composed together, were created since 2018. Schoenbeck isn’t a new figure in jazz music: she is on stage since early 2000’s, and played with Adam Rudolph, Anthony Braxton, Nels Cline and Vinny Golia, among others. Their CD is extensively presented here by the label.

Home In Motion (Ra-Kalam, 2020) restores a rare 2003 release by this label, that collects six pieces studio recorded in 1979 by Tom Harrell (trumpet), Harold Vick (tenor sax, flute), Richard Perry (tenor & soprano saxes), Barry Rogers (trombone), Howard Johnson (tuba, baritone sax), Joanne Brackeen (piano), Chuck Loeb (guitar), Eddie Gomez (bass), Lincoln Goines (electric bass), Jeanne Lee (voice); Sammy Figueroa (congas & percussion) and Bob Moses (drums), to the album is credited to. A veteran drummer, Moses start playing since late ‘60s, recording as a leader since 1975.

Memory Game (Cantaloupe, 2020) documents Meredith Monk’s selections from her The Games: a Science Fiction Opera she composed in 1983, but never released until now, adding new versions of several pieces from her Do You Be and Impermanence. Performed with her current Vocal Ensemble (Theo Bleckmann, Katie Geissinger and Allison Sniffin) and the Bang On A Can All-Stars lineup (Ashley Bathgate: cello and voice; Robert Black: electric and acoustic bass; Vicky Chow: piano, keyboard and melodica; David Cossin: percussion; Mark Stewart: electric guitar, banjo and voice; Ken Thomson: clarinets and saxophones). The nine tracks: The GamesSpaceship (1983), Gamemaster's Song (featuring a Theo Bleckmann’s solo), Migration, Downfall, Waltz in 5s, Tokyo Cha Cha, Impermanence’s Totentanz, and Do You Be’s Memory Song and Double Fiesta. The work was premiered in march 2020 at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville.


April 2020:

Pioneer in electronic music, keyboardist and composer Richard Teitelbaum, who worked with Anthony Braxton, Alvin Curran, Leroy Jenkins, died for a stroke on april 9, at 80. Symphony 108, his last work, documents the 45-minute composition created with Alvin Curran and Frederic Rzewski, premiered in october 2016 by the three, all on various keyboards and electronics.

US composer altoist Lee Konitz, bebop and cool jazzist on stage since late '40, died on april 15 for pneumonia after having contracted COVID-19, at 92.

US bassist Henry Grimes, who worked in '60s with many jazz giants, died on april 15 at 85 after COVID-19 complications.

US reedist Giuseppi Logan, old sessionman with Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, whose quartet, with Milford Graves and Don Pullen, released in `60s some ESP albums, died on april 17 for COVID-19, at 85.

US pianist Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr, father of the four brothers Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, died on april 1 after having contracted COVID-19, at 86.

Suketchi (Tour De Bras, 2019) documents the acoustic guitar duo of Tetuzi Akiyama and Herve Boghossian, a studio session recorded in october 2017 during which they performed seven brief tracks, all free improvised.

The until now unreleased four tracks on the vinyl Cherry Jam (Gearbox, 2020) document an october 1965 session radio broadcasted by Don Cherry, who, on his trumpet, led the Danish lineup of Mogens Bollerup (tenor sax), Atli Bjorn (piano), Benny Nielsen (bass) and Simon Koppel (drums). Bollerup and Koppel are the most known, having played with John Tchicai.

Beaming (Confront, 2020) features the return of Tony Oxley after ten years of silence. The drummer, this time, leaves his usual instruments to conceive a concept album on electronics, paired with percussionist Stefan Holker. They recorded the six frames of a 50-minute suite in november 2019.

Unseen (Hat Hut, 2020) documents a collaboration between Austrian composer and church organist Klaus Lang along with Polwechsel, the lineup led by bassist Werner Dafeldecker, currently comprising of Michael Moser (cello), Burckhard Beins and Martin Brandlmayr (both on cymbals and percussion). They recorded in an abbey in november 2018 three long pieces (especially Easter Wings and Redeem, both 25-minute long). This is the new Polwechsel work in thirteen years, after the august 2007 Field.

The 2CD set Morph (ECM, 2020) documents two sessions, studio recorded in march and in june 2019, by the trio of Whit Dickey (drums), Matthew Shipp (piano) and Nate Wooley (trumpet). Credited to the drummer, this work collects seventeen pieces. Dickey is on stage since early '90s, and sports a lot of collaborations as sessionman, but very few albums were credited to him, among which Coalescence (february 2003), by his quartet along with Rob Brown, Joe Morris and Roy Campbell jr., and two CDs by his trio, Transonic (january 1998) and Emergence (february 2009).

The Piano Equation (Tao Forms, 2020) is a Matthew Shipp piano solo comprising of eleven tracks, recorded in may 2019 to celebrate his 60th anniversary. This album is the inaugural release by Tao Forms, a label created by Whit Dickey.

The Volume Two of Of Things Beyond Thule (Aerophonic, 2020) documents the follow-up of music performed by the quintet of Joe McPhee (pocket trumpet, tenor sax), Dave Rempis (alto and baritone saxes), Tomeka Reid (cello), Brandon Lopez (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums, percussion). Recorded in december 2018, it features four tracks, notably the 18-minute Osel.

Still by Rempis (on alto, tenor and baritone saxes), the same label also releases the 2CD set Codes/Myths, a collaboration with drummer Frank Rosaly, on which were gathered four pieces recorded in january 2018, among which the 30-minute Patterns In Distance and the 32-minute Aletheia.

News from Not Two. Triple Tube features the trio of Dave Rempis (saxophone), Elisabeth Harnik (piano) and Michael Zerang (drums) that performed three long tracks, extracted from a march 2019 concert. Tribute To Eric And Chris Stern is credited to the new project Pentas, comprising of Natsuki Tamura (trumpet) and his wife Satoko Fujii (piano), who studio recorded eight new pieces in november 2019. That Time, instead, is credited to the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, and presents four old tracks never released until now, two of them (both 17-minute long) recorded in 1972 by a lineup comprising of trumpetists Kenny Wheeler, Harry Beckett, Mark Charig and Dave Holdsworth; trombonists Paul Rutherford, Mike Gibbs and Paul Nieman; tubaist Dick Hart; saxophonists Trevor Watts, Evan Parker, Mike Osborne, Alan Wakeman and Dave White, plus Derek Bailey (guitar), Howard Riley (piano), three bassists (Jeff Clyne, Chris Laurence, Barry Guy) and two percussionists (Tony Oxley and Paul Lytton). The other two tracks (both of 14 minutes) were recorded in 1980 with a lineup a few different: among new entries were Peter Broetzmann (sax), Peter Kowald (bass) and John Stevens (percussion).

The 38-minute suite Transversal Time was composed by Rhodri Davies in 2017, and then premiered in Cardiff (UK) in april 2018, and now released by Confront. Davies, on harp (pedal and electric) led Ryoko Akama (electronics), Sarah Hughes (zither), Sofia Jernberg (vocals), Pia Palme (contrabass recorder), Adam Parkinson (programming), Lucy Railton (cello), Pat Thomas (piano, electronics) and Dafne Vicente-Sandoval (bassoon) in an electro-acoustic improvisation on the main theme.

Option (Feeding Tube, 2020) features the second solo album by Borbetomagus Don Dietrich, uncorrectly documented by the label as his first solo: they forgot the live self-titled recorded in july 2002 and released the year after by the French label Elevage de Poussiere. Option was recorded in 2019 using amplified tenor sax and effects pedals. Edition of 300 LP.

Blue Note will release Just Coolin', a never issued studio performance credited to the quartet of Art Blakey (drums), Hank Mobley (tenor sax), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Bobby Timmons (piano) and Jymie Merritt, the bassist who just died a few days ago at 93. The six pieces, among which two never issued tracks, were recorded in a session of march 1959.

The self-produced Stir Crazy collects four "home recorded" march 2019 sessions by Ingrid Laubrock (sax) and Tom Rainey (drums). It's possible to get for free these pieces through Bandcamp.

The Dukes Of Bedford (Fractal, 2020) features guitarists John Russell, Henry Kaiser and Ray Russell on acoustic & electric guitars and Ollie Brice on double bass. They recently (march 2020) recorded eight new pieces quite totally improvised, inspired by Dukes of Bedford, as title suggests. Pieces feature one quartet, one duo and six trios.

Recorded in october 2019, The Coanda Effect (Relative Pitch, 2020) features Tim Berne on alto sax and Nasheet Waits on drums. They present two pieces (notably the 39-minute long Tensile), mostly improvised starting from themes composed by Berne. American jazz drummer Waits is mostly known as sideman with Stanley Cowell, Steve Lehman, Fred Hersch and Tony Malaby.

Christ Doran's project Sound Fountain returns with Lift The Bar (Between the Lines, 2020), featuring the leader on electric guitar & compositions, Franco Fontanarrosa on electric bass & compositions and Lukas Mantel on drums & percussion. Doran wrote six of the seven pieces. Recorded in may 2019.

Tipple is a project founded by Frode Gjerstad in 2013. The reedist reunited Kevin Norton (drums and vibraphone) and David Watson (electric guitar), and the trio recorded until now three albums. No Sugar On Anything (Circulasione Totale, 2014) was studio recorded in april 2013, and collects nine pieces, quite brief, free improvised. Live At Elastic Arts (FMR, 2017) gathers four pieces (notably Elastic 1, 32-minute long) extracted from a september 2015 concert. Cartoon Heart (Relative Pitch, 2020), studio recorded in september 2018, collects fifteen pieces mostly brief with a large use of smallpipes by Watson, whereas the leader is on sax, clarinet and flute.

Not Fire (Erstwhile, 2020) features the first Dean Robert's album in twelve years. The songwriter recorded two pieces in 2014, and, after having stopped his activity, recorded other seven tracks in 2019, all presented in this new CD. Roberts, on vocals, guitar, piano, bass, percussion, lap steel, led a lineup comprising of eleven musicians: Emanuele Porcinai (feedback guitars, backing vocals), Neck's Chris Abrahams (harpsichord), Jenny Lange (piano, backing vocals), Leighton Craig (reeds), Sandra Selig (vocals, effects), Valerio Tricoli (organ), Lucky Paul Taylor, Andi Stecher and Andrea Belfi (bdrums), Erin Lang (bass, vocals), and Boris Hauf (piano).


March 2020:

Philadelphia-born pianist McCoy Tyner, sessionman in the most famous John Coltrane masterpieces, died at his home on march 6 at 81.

Astonishments (RogueArt, 2020) documents the Steve Swell Quintet in six new pieces composed by the trombonist. With Jemeel Moondoc (alto sax), Dave Burrell (piano), William Parker (double bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums) and vocalist Leena Conquest as special guest, he studio recorded in december 2018 the second work by his project. The vocalist sings two poems written by Swell.

Known/Unknown (Listen! Foundation, 2020) documents a collaboration between Paul Lytton (percussions) and Nate Wooley (trumpet). The two (both also on electronics) studio recorded in january 2018 the both 33-minute title-tracks plus an 11-minute untitled, creating an interactive work plenty of electronics and improvisations.

The same label releases Composition O, a studio july 2017 six-part suite by Swiss Vincent Glanzmann (cymbals, floor tom, percussion, controlled amplification) and Gerry Hemingway (cymbals, percussion, harmonica, voice, controlled amplification). This 37-minute work mixes classical music and avantgarde jazz.

Shards And Constellations (Intakt, 2020) documents a collaboration between Alexander Hawkins (piano) and Tomeka Reid (cello), who studio recorded in april 2019 ten pieces (among which two reworkings by Muhal Richard Abrams and Leroy Jenkins). Their duets alternate their themes composed and improvised variations. Pianist Anthony Davis, who wrote the liner notes, says that "this adventurous music deserves to be heard".

Recorded in august 2019, Without Deception (Dare2, 2020) features Kenny Barron (piano), Dave Holland (bass) and Johnathan Blake (drums) in twelve pieces, some of which are new compositions (four by Barron) plus reworkings of Mulgrew Miller's (Second Thoughts), Duke Ellington (Warm Valley) and Kenny Wheeler (Mabel).

Anthropology Band is the latest Martin Archer's project. His first namesake 2CD set (Discus, 2019) presents each disc with the same 15-part suite, performed with two different ensembles, that recorded two studio sessions, in september 2018 and april 2019. First session was performed with the core septet: the leader and composer on saxes and electronics; the arranger Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet and flugelhorn; Chris Sharkey on guitar and electronics; Pat Thomas on keyboards and electronics; Corey Mwamba on vibraphone; Dave Sturt on bass guitar; Peter Fairclough on drums. On second session the septet was accompanied by a brass nonet: Kim Macari (trumpet), George Murray (trombone), Ben Higham (tuba), Mick Somerset (concert, alto and bass flutes, piccolo), Nathan Bettany (oboe and cor anglais), and the sax quartet of James Mainwaring (soprano), Hannah Brady (alto), Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor) and Alicia Gardener-Trejo (baritone).

Instantiation: Paradoxical (Glacial Erratic, 2019) features the new work by Joe Morris. The guitarist, accompanied by Dan O'Brien (clarinets), Elinor Speirs (violin) and Brad Barrett (bass) recorded in march 2019 three long compositions (especially the 26-minute Type 1). Speaking about them, Morris says: "Paradoxical is one part of my multi-part musical work Instantiation; each part is unique, composed with specific notated and operational components. Due to the way the parts are configured it is impossible to perform any of them the same way twice. Paradoxical mixes disparate materials - some are composed and some are improvised, some are melodic and an emotional color or narrative flow and some are the opposite. There is attention to the value and control of expression, sustain, pitch, sounds, duration, pulse, density, interaction and form as well as to the disregard for a particular employment of any of these properties. Three versions of the pieces are here, sequenced in the order in which we performed them in the studio. My goal with Instantiation is to create unique and rewarding experiences for listeners by synthesizing the meta-properties of Free music in new and creative ways. I rely on the attention to the material and the individual and collective artistry of the ensemble of players to realize a unique result with each performance".

Enja releases Oasis, a collaboration between guitarist Rez Abbasi and harpist Isabelle Olivier (she also on electronics). The two, with percussionists David Paycha and Prabhu Edouard, present ten pieces (among which a reworking of My Favorite Things). This work was conceived in 2018 and then premiered in june 2019.

An Evening In Houston (Clean Feed, 2020) documents the new Patty Waters album in fifteen years, and her studio album after the january 1996 Love Songs (thereafter she released only some rare live albums). The vocalist, with veteran Burton Greene on piano, Mario Pavone on double bass and Barry Altschul on drums recorded in april 2018 twelve pieces, but only one is on her own, moreover already old and known (Moon, Don't Come Up Tonight). The others are jazz reworkings of Ornette Coleman, Thelonius Monk, etc.

AXIS, the duo project created by Martin Archer and Ron Caines, returns with Dream Feathers (Discus, 2019), studio recorded in july 2018, the day after the recording session for Les Oiseaux De Matisse. Archer (bass clarinet, organ, electronics, horn section) and Caines (soprano, alto and tenor saxes) were accompanied by a quintet comprising of Laura Cole (acoustic and electric pianos, harmonium), Herve Perez (field recordings, electronics, sound design, sound processing), Anton Hunter (guitar, electronics), Gus Garside (double bass) and Johnny Hunter (drums) to perform nine new pieces plenty of lyrical textures and improvisations.

Distant Radio Transmission, Nonaah Trio, Cutouts for Woodwind Quintet and 8.8.88 (Wide Hive, 2020) gathers: 1) Distant Radio Transmission, firstly recorded as an improvisation by Roscoe Mitchell, Craig Taborn, and Kikanju Baku in 2013 and released as the third composition on Roscoe Mitchell' Conversations I (september 2013), and here instead transcribed by Stephen P. Harvey in 2016 with further Transcription and Orchestration of air sounds for Strings by John Ivers in 2017, reorchestrated by Mitchell in 2017 and here performed in 2019 by the leader on soprano sax, along the Czech Orchestra Ostravaska Banda; 2) Nonaah Trio, recorded by Mitchell with Canadian pianist Dana Reason, flutist John C Savage and oboist Catherine Lee D. Mus; 3) Cutouts for Woodwind Quintet, rewritten for five instruments and recorded in march 2019; 4) 8/8/88, that consists of three sections Mitchell wrote in august 1988 for piano intended for the great concert pianist Mr. Joseph Kubera. Roscoe spent ten years for the first movement, and in 1998 The Mutable Music Foundation commissioned the other two movements.

The 2CD set The Balderin Sali Variations (Leo, 2019) features Evan Parker on tenor & soprano saxes, Harri Sjoststrom on soprano & sopranino saxes, Sebi Tramontana on trombone, Philipp Wachsmann on violin & electronics, Libero Mureddu on piano, Emilio Gordoa on vibes & percussion, Veli Kojala on quarter-tone trumpet, Matthias Bauer & Teppo Hauta-Aho on basses and Paul Lovens & Dag Magnus Narsvevesen on drums & percussion. It documents a live two-day september 2018 meeting, during which were performed the thirteen pieces here collected. Two pieces are a full ensemble, the other feature duets, trios and quartets, with many improvisations.

FIRE! Orchestra's Actions (Rune Grammafon, 2020) documents an original score by Krzysztof Penderecki re-read and conducted by the leader Mats Gustafsson, commissioned by the Sacrum Profanum festival in Poland in september 2018. The 40-minute-composition was performed by the current lineup of Gustafsson's project, with the leader on baritone and his thirteen sessionmen.

Karacho! (Euphorium, 2019) documents the Big Bad Br”tzmann Quintet, a new project by the reedist (her on tarogato, tenor sax and clarinet) comprising of two double bassists: John Eckhardt and well known John Edwards, Christian Lillinger on drums, and Oliver Schwerdt on grand piano and percussion. They performed in studio the namesake 51-minute suite in october 2017, mostly improvised.

Three (Northern Spy, 2020) documents three 2019 studio improvisations to form the 21th album by Necks. Chris Abrahams (piano), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Tony Buck (drums and percussion) improvised the 21-minute Bloom, the 23-minute Lovelock and the 21-minute Further, starting from brief themes.

News from William Parker. Mahakala releases two news works by the bassist. Garden Party documents six lenghty pieces studio recorded in june 2018 with his new project Dopolarians, comprising of Alvin Fielder (percussion), who dead after in january 2019, Kidd Jordan (tenor sax), Christopher Parker (piano, voice) and Chad Fowler (alto sax, saxello). The session alternated several written parts and the group improvisations. Instead, More Music For A Free World is mainly credited to baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson, who leads Parker, Steve Swell (trombone) and Marvin Bugalu Smith (drums) in another studio session (december 2018), featuring three long tracks, notably the 27-minute Dreams and the 23-minute Memories. Here, the music is totally improvised.

The vinyl Live At San Damiano Mission (Chaikin, 2020) features Zeena Parkins (acoustic harp & electronics on) and Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase (on snare drum & cymbal) in a concert held in august 2018. Among the pieces extracted, four are solos by Chase.

Song Cycle restores the vinyl Wounds, a collaboration between David Toop and Paul Burwell originally released in 1979 by Quartz. The nine tracks were edited from a single performance, completely improvised, in june 1979. Toop played electric guitar, flute, cassette, water, rubbish, explosives, six strings harp, bamboo fiddle, whistle, and Burwell was on harp and several percussion. The two, let's remember, already released Suttle Sculpture, another old vinyl recorded in may 1977 but only in 2018 delivered by Sub Rosa, comprising of two untitled side-long tracks, that mixes jazz, kolk and world music.


February 2020:

Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, very active since early `70s as sessionman in a lot of lineups, with Keith Jarrett, Terje Rypdal, Jan Garbarek, Ralph Towner, and in latest years in Yelena Eckemoff Quartet, died in Oslo on february 18, at 76.

Keyboardist but also a guitarist Lyle Mays, most known as sessionman in Pat Metheny Group, died at 67 on february 10 after a long illness, as announced by Metheny on his website.

And just by Metheny, Nonesuch releases the DoLP From This Place, the first work by the guitarist in six years. This long-time multisession was started in november 2016, and ended in 2019, for ten new pieces he composed and studio performed with pianist Gwilym Simcock, bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Antonio Sanchez, accompanied by some special guests and the Hollywood Studio Symphony, conducted by Joel McNeely. Metheny presents it extensively on his website.

Abstract Logix delivers Is That So?, a CD/LP documenting John McLaughlin (guitar and synthesizers), Indian composer Shankar Mahadevan (vocals) and old Shakti member Zakir Hussain on tablas. Their six tracks, whose sessions began seven years ago and were finished in 2019, feature a mixing of jazz, folk and indian classical music, with many solos. Most of McLaughlin are guitars processed through the synthesizer.

With Prophecy Revisited, HatHut restored the ESP 1975 edition of the live album by Albert Ayler, adding in this re-release other pieces from the same june 1964 concert, for 76 minutes of music. The tracks: Spirits (7 min.), Wizard (8:20.), Ghost first variation (11 min.), Prophecy (6:40), Ghost second variation (7 min.), Saints (10 min.), Ghosts (10 min.), Wizard (6 min.), Children (10 min.), Spirits (the theme only, less than one minute). However, in 1996 German label InRespect already released almost of the same concert in a 2CD set titled Albert Smiles With Sunny, starting from a copy of the master tape by Sunny Murray.

John Butcher's Last Dream Of The Morning, the trio created by the saxophonist in 2016 along with John Edwards (double bass) and Mark Sanders (percussion), after the namesake first album (studio recorded in november 2016) comes back with Crucial Anatomy, featuring three long tracks (notably the 34-minute Curling Vine) extracted from an august 2018 concert.

Studio recorded in may 2019, Life Goes On (ECM, 2020) features pianist Carla Bley who composed three suites performed along with Andy Sheppard (saxophone) and Steve Swallow (electric bass). Bley wrote this music while she was recovering from illness. The trio developped variations over Bley's melodic themes.

Rob Mazurek's Chicago Underground Quartet returns with Good Days (Astral Spirits, 2020), a ltd ed. CD studio recorded in two sessions (july 2018 and july 2019), that gathers eight new pieces, among which two solos by Mazurek (on piccolo trumpet, electronics and bells) and drummer Chad Taylor. The quartet, let's remember, also features Josh Johnson (keyboards) and Jeff Parker (electric guitar).

Expansions, the Dave Liebman's group debuted with Samsara (december 2013) and The Puzzle (may 2015), comes back with Earth, released as always by Whaling City Sound. Preceded by Expansions Live, a 2CD set documenting live recordings through 2014, 2015 and 2016, Earth features the same lineup which alternates themes written and improvisations in an suite with several "solo" interludes. Studio recorded in 2018.

Somebody Special (Ambiances Magntiques, 2019) documents the latest Jean Derome's work, that sees the leader on alto sax, flute and voice, aloing with Karen Young (voice), Alexandre Grogg (piano), Normand Guilbeault (double bass) and Pierre Tanguay (drums) in a studio december 2018 session, when they recorded nine pieces, paying homage to Steve Lacy, with lyrics from Brion Gysin, Lao Tseu, Herman Melville, etc.

1983 (Honest Jon, 2020) sports another unreleased recording by Company, the Derek Bailey's project started in 1976 and disbanded in 1987. This new DoLP gathers music recorded over 1983 by the guitarist along with Evan Parker (tenor sax), Hugh Davies (electronics), Joelle Leandre (bass), Peter Broetzmann (sax), JD Parran (reeds), Vinko Globokar (trombone), Jamie Muir (percussion), John Corbett (trumpet) and Ernst Reijseger (cello). Among the pieces, the side-long La Horda.

Alternative Fox restores Laboratorio Della Quercia, a DoLP (firstly released in 1979 by Italian label Horo) by the "one time" namesake project created by Italian jazzmen, some of them being already very known: Massimo Urbani on alto sax, Tommaso Vittorini on baritone sax, Roberto Bellatalla on cello and bass, Roberto Gatto on drums, Maurizio Giammarco on tenor sax, Danilo Terenzi on trombone, and Alberto Corvini and Enrico Rava both on trumpet. In july 1978, they were joined, for a two-day session on Janiculum at Rome, by a British and American stellar cast: Steve Lacy, Steve Potts and Evan Parker (saxes), Frederic Rzewski and Martin Joseph (pianos), Tristan Honsinger and Irene Aebi (cellos), Kent Carter (bass), Noel McGhee and Paul Lytton (drums), Roswell Rudd (trombone) and Kenny Wheeler (trumpet). This all-acoustic project produced seven pieces, almost improvised, among which the 21-minute collective conceived La Quercia, and the 18-minute The Message From The Maine, composed by Roswell Rudd.

Elliott Sharp's longtime project Terraplane returns with Kick It Six (zOaR, 2020), an all-instrumental album the label presents as "ranged from traditional shuffles to glitch-processed hyperfunk but the music is always rooted in the blues". This time the leader plays all alone: electric guitars, lap steel & console steel guitars, mandola, mandocello, basses and drum programming. Recorded in september 2019.

News from Vinny Golia. Next Outpost (Castor & Pollux, 2019) features the leader on piccolo & alto flutes, sopranino & soprano saxes and B-flat & bass clarinets, along with Steuart Liebig on 6-string fretted & fretless basses and Nathan Hubbard on drums, marimba & percussion. Recorded in march 2019, it sports three long pieces (notably the 32-minute Trees Across Walls), mostly "strong" improvised.

Live recorded in june 2018, The Swiftest Traveler (Trost, 2020) gathers Scandinavian saxophonist Torben Snekkestad (here also on trumpet and clarinet), accompanied by Spanish pianist Agusti Fern ndez, and double bassist Barry Guy. Their seven pieces balance between free improvisation and contemporary classical music. Snekkestad, let's remember, is on stage since late '90s as composer and performer of classical and jazz music, and also as performer of three "solo reeds" albums.

The vinyl God Is A Drummer (Jazzline, 2019) is the new studio album by drummer Trilok Gurtu. Accompanied by Jonathan Cuniado (bass), Sabri Tulug Tirpan (keyboards), Zara (lead vocals), Christophe Schweizer (trombone) and Frederik Koster (trumpet), he composed eleven pieces, alternating solos, vocals and collective counterpoints. As for the title, the leader says: "I named it that because without the drummer, nothing will move. And without movement, the world will stop. The earth rotates, which is movement. The waves in the ocean, the leaves falling from trees, people talking to each other - it's all movement, it's rhythm, it's energy". Non infos were given about the recording session.

The vinyl Parallel Darks (Room40, 2020) features the latest Werner Dafeldecker album, recorded across 2018 and 2019, that features two different editions of the same namesake composition, a specimen of concret electroacoustic music and spatial textures with field recordings.

Virtue (Tzadik, 2020) documents twelve (almost brief) compositions by John Zorn, who conducted the acoustic guitar trio of Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Gyan Riley. This album is the follow-up of the previous Nove Cantici Per Francesco D'Assisi (january 2019), performed by the same guitar trio. Virtue was inspired by anchoress Julian of Norwich, a 14th century abbess.

Solo Guitar Volume 4-1/3 (Feeding Tube, 2020) is the fourth and final LP in a series created by Eugene Chadbourne, documenting the music he composed in the years he lived in Canada. Details about the recordings are, as always in his credits, quite absent: four tracks of improvisational guitar.

Music From The Early 21st Century (RareNoise, 2020) features Bobby Previte on drums, Jamie Saft on Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes & MiniMoog and Nels Cline on electric guitar & effects. Recorded in may 2019, its 76 minutes sport a compromise between avantagarde jazz, experimental music and electronics, with a bit of progressive rock.


January 2020:

German pianist Wolfgang Dauner, well known above all for his eclectic collaborations with many groups of jazz and rock in `70s and for his partnership along with Albert Mangelsdorff, died in Stuttgard after a long illness on january 10, at 84.

The 2CD set Nocturnal Animals (L&H, 2020) documents the latest work by Yelena Eckemoff. The pianist recorded fourteen new pieces along with Arild Andersen (bass), Jon Christensen and Thomas Stronen (both on drums and percussion). Studio recorded in april 2018, its music features the pianist's impressions of animals that rule the night.

Phonon is the new project created by guitarists Elliott Sharp and Alvaro Domene. After their previous january 2019 Expressed By The Circumference, the two were joined by bassist Colin Marston and drummer Weasel Walter, for a july 2019 recording session, documented on Alloy (zOaR, 2019), an album based on improvisations and electronic processings.

In The Arctic Dreamtime (Rune Grammofon, 2019) documents the electric guitar duo of Henry Kaiser and Norvegian composer Ivar Grydeland, in a january 2019 studio session, during which they recorded five pieces performed as a soundtrack for a classic Norwegian silent film: after having played for the entire length of the film without breaks, in the process creating a complete score for the film, they selected five tracks for the release. Grydeland, let's remember, released two solo albums on Hubro label, and worked with David Sylvian, Tony Oxley, Nels Cline and Paul Lovens among others.

Seven years in the planning, the vinyl Gowanus Sessions II, presented here by ESP, documents two side-long compositions recorded in january 2012 by the trio of Nels Cline (electric guitar and effects), Thollem McDonas (piano) and William Parker (bass). This album is the follow-up of Gowanus Sessions I, recorded in the same session and released in april 2012. San Francisco-born (1967) composer, pianist and vocalist Thollem McDonas is on stage since early 2000s, sporting several credited album solos and collaborations in several projects.

Cut Up The Border (re-released now by Rogue Art after several rare editions since 1991) documents one hour of music and sounds out of 33 hours of the namesake film (in english: Step Across the Border) made in 1988-89. The music, recorded in 1990, was composed by Nicolas Humbert and Marc Parisotto and performed by Fred Frith (guitar, bass guitar, organ, piano).

Tim Berne's project Snakeoil returns with The Fantastic Mrs. 10 (Intakt, 2020). Their fourth studio album, recorded in may 2019, features six new pieces by the saxophonist, plus a Julius Hemphill's reworking. Let's remember the lineup: Marc Ducret on guitars, Matt Mitchell on piano and modular synths, Oscar Noriega on clarinets and Ches Smith on drums, vibes, glockenspiel, and Haitian tanbou.

Interpretations Of Beauty (FMR) was studio recorded in june 2019 by Paul Dunmall Nonet, that features the leader on soprano & alto saxes, clarinet & flute, Neil Metcalfe on flute, Philip Gibbs on guitar, Hannah Marshall on cello, Sarah Farmer, Theo May & Alison Blunt on violins & viola, John Edwards on double bass and Trevor Taylor on marimba, vibes & percussion. The six pieces (notably the 21-minute title-track) see Dunmall for the first time playing with a string quartet.

Intakt delivers Collective Calls (Revisited) (Jubilee), studio recorded in march 2019 by Evan Parker (tenor sax) and Paul Lytton (drums). About its eleven tracks, quite totally improvised, liner notes say: "The dynamic of free improvisation and a long personal history documented on this Chicago studio session bears out what Parker told Bailey forty years ago: 'In practice, the closest I would get to a laboratory situation is working with the people I know best. the people I've played with the longest actually offer me the freest situation to work in.' On the basis of this unprecedented music, that assessment has stood the test of time".

News from Eugene Chadbourne. Whats Been Baking (Chadula, 2019) features the guitarist on banjo, various acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars and dobro, along with Steven De Bruyn on harmonica and multi-tracked harmonicas, and Thilo Kuhn on electronics. This set of songs was begun in the fall of 2018 and continued through 2019. Instead, Relative Pitch delivers Wind Crystals: Guitar Duets By Wadada Leo Smith, featuring compositions by the cornetist rearranged and performed by Eugene Chadbourne on acoustic guitar & banjo and Henry Kaiser on acoustic guitar. Among the pieces, two 15 minute-long versions of Wind Crystals, a Leo Smith's piece whose first version was recorded in 1977, and the second in 2017. The DoLP 3 Characters, released by USA label Amish, documents Eugene Chadbourne (acoustic guitar, electrical guitar, banjo, dobro, lead vocals) in a sextet along The Sunwatchers band, comprising of Peter Kerlin (bass), Jim McHugh (electric 6 and 12 string guitars, electric Phin, backing vocals), Jason Robira (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Jeff Tobias (alto and baritone saxes, keyboards, bass clarinet, backing vocals) and and Minutemen's Mike Watt (spiel, labor leader) in a live studio october 2016 session, during which they recorded fifteen pieces, dedicated to the Minutemen.

Studio recorded in april 2019, Solar Winds (Long Song, 2020) documents the latest Raoul Bjorkenheim's work. Accompanied by an Italian jazz trio: Silvia Bolognesi (contrabass), Tiziano Tononi (drums, percussion, gong) and Emanuele Parrini (violin), the electric guitarist presents two new compositions, the other five tracks being a tribute to John Coltrane, improvising on his famous themes.

Tranceportation (Volume 1) (Rare Noise, 2019) documents the latest creation by avantgarde rock group Sonar, along with the collaboration of guitarist David Torn. Live studio recorded in april and may 2019, the four pieces were collectively composed, featuring a mixing of rock, jazz and minimalisms.

The rare Jazz Jamboree 63 (released by Naked Lunch) documents the Krzystof Komeda Quintet in three long tracks recorded live at Jazz Jamboree Festival in october 1963. The vinyl features Komeda on piano, Tomasz Stanko on trumpet, Michal Urbaniak on tenor sax, Maciej Suzin on bass, and Czeslaw Bartowski on drums.

ReR Megacorp releases Under The Void, the latest Tim Hodgkinson's album. Henry Cow's keyboardist presents three long studio compositions: the title-track, composed between 2016 and 2018, scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, bass, piano and percussion, electronic simulated; Then, composed in 2019, for virtual strings, brass, woodwinds, accordion and piano, combined with real Siberian frame drums, gongs, viola, electronics, bowed cymbals, lap steel guitar and Yamaha DX21 keyboard assembled by ear in the studio, unscored; and Ortemchei, composed in 2019, scored and assembled from parts of a live performance by Chris Cutler (percussion), Angharad Davies (violin), Edward Lucas (trombone), Mayah Kadish (violin), Alex Paxton (trombone), Lucy Railton (cello), Gwen Reed (bass), Mark Sanders (percussion), Yoni Silver (bass clarinet) and Otto Willberg (bass). Presented here within the musician's website.

Studio recorded in july 2017, Interpersonal Subjectivities (Astral Spirits, 2019) features Tetuzi Akiyama (electric guitar), Nicolas Field (drums) and Gegor Vidic (tenor sax) in three long pieces basically improvised, with hypnotic iterations.

Beyond Good And Evil (Tzadik, 2020) features the seventh album by John Zorn's Simulacrum project, comprising of John Medeski, Matt Hollenberg and Kenny Grohowski. Live recorded in july 2019, as the previous releases (this project was born as a live concert performances).

Studio recorded in march 2014, but out only now, the 2CD set Conjure (True Sound, 2019) features eight pieces performed by Karl Berger on vibes & piano and Jason Kao Hwang on violin & viola. Their music starts from themes composed, with several variations and counterpoints.

The DoLP Weltformat (by Italian label Die Schachtel, 2019) features the return of the duo Luigi Archetti/Bo Wiget. In these 13 new pieces, Archetti plays guitar, mandolin, and electronics, and Wiget is on cello, electronics, and vocals, alternating modern classical, free improvisation, textures, drones, minimalisms and ambient music.

The vinyl Of Things Beyond Thule Volume 1 (Aerophonic, 2020) documents the notable quintet of Joe McPhee (pocket trumpet, tenor sax), Dave Rempis (alto and baritone saxes), Tomeka Reid (cello), Brandon Lopez (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) in their splitted suite Qanaaq, recorded in december 2018. From the liner notes: "As is often the case, McPhee's love for simple melodies, and a staggeringly gorgeous sound on every instrument he touches, brought this first outing by the quintet into quick focus. While Lopez and Nilssen-Love both have the endless well of energy and technique needed to power a band of any type, listen to them here holding back, riding the wave of tension created by restraint, and only occasionally allowing the flood to burst through. Rempis follows a similar route, wrapping his lines around McPhee's stark melodies to create lush harmonies full of cinematic and pastoral beauty. And while it's more than easy to focus on Reid's prodigious abilities as a soloist, pay attention to how she drives the ensemble music forward everywhere on this record, with subtle actions that spin her bandmates' choices into gold".

The same label releases Purple Dark Opal, by Dave Rempis' project Kuzu, on which the saxophonist leads Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums) to perform the 56-minute suite To The Quick, studio recorded in october 2018, with many improvisations.

Steve Beresford & John Butcher recorded in may 2019 Old Paradise Airs (Illuso, 2020), that documents the former on piano, objects, electronics, and the latter on soprano and tenor saxes in four pieces (notably the 18-minute Next Up), alternating distorted electronic sounds and jazzy counterpointed themes.

The compilation on vinyl Celestial Birds (Karl, 2019) documents the B-sides of Muhal Richard Abrams' albums, that focuse his electronic compositions: The Bird Song (december 1967), in its original version (CD reissue excluded the reverb, the synthesizer compositions Conversations With The Three Of Me (january 1989) and Think All, Focus One (july 1994) and Spihumonesty (july 1979) with a second synthesizer played by George Lewis and Yousef Yancey on theremin.


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