суббота, 26 декабря 2015 г.

Larry Ochs - The Fictive Five (2015)

Larry Ochs - The Fictive Five (Tzadik, 2015)

Personnel:
Larry Ochs: tenor & sopranino saxophones
Nate Wooley: trumpet
Ken Filiano: bass, effects
Pascal Niggenkemper: bass, prepared bass
Harris Eisenstadt: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Similitude (for Wim Wenders)
02 - A Marked Refraction
03 - By Any Other Name (for William Kentridge)
04 -Translucent (for Kelly Reichardt)

I couldn't agree more with Larry Ochs' statement that "if you're looking to understand music, one is approaching it the wrong way", because it is the experience that counts, the total impact of the sound on your own biochemistry, including such bodily reactions as emotion, spiritual delight or goose bumps.

On this phenomenal album, the saxophonist assembled a New York band consisting of Ken Filiano and Pascal Niggenkemper on bass, Nate Wooley on trumpet and Harris Eisenstadt on drums, at the occasion of Ochs' curatorship at The Stone in New York, and these musicians, under Ochs' leadership create that unique experience that escapes rational disection and analysis.

The approach taken here is to create musical imagery, scenic moments that are partly composed, and mostly improvised, as if you can see the music in your mind's eye, and these are mostly abstract landscapes with changing and shifting horizons and colors, with a strong horizontal feeling of flux as the unpredictable sounds move the listener forward on this journey.

The album consists of four tracks, three of which are dedicated to visual artists - Wim Wenders, William Kentridge, Kelly Reichardt - in the same tradition as Steve Lacy, and it are the movies or visual installations by these artists that act as inspiration for the music, even if it is not made to accompany these movies.

One of the most striking features of the sound are the two basses, who lay a great sonic foundation for the music, not rhythmically, but in terms of the overall color of the pieces, acting in concert, or alternately, challenging each other or reinforcing the sound. Yet the entire band is stellar, five musicians who live in their most natural habitat of free flowing sounds, joining the short themes that pop up once in a while, then take off again on different paths but in the same direction.

It's the way I like music, beautifully free, sensitive and deep. [FreeJazzBlog]

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среда, 23 декабря 2015 г.

Hidden Forces Trio - Crows Are Council (2014)

Hidden Forces Trio - Crows Are Council (Knockturne Records, 2014)

Personnel:
Gustavo Domínguez: bass clarinet, clarinet & didgeridoo 
Marco Serrato: double bass 
Borja Díaz: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Invocation / Crows are council
02 - Chalybs
03 - El ejecutor
04 - Thimble Capp
05 - Gĉod
06 - Tender Fisting Blues

Gustavo Domínguez (clarinets), Marco Serrato (double bass) and Borja Díaz (drums) are back. Crows are Council (Knockturne Records / Clamshell Records 2014) is their second record, an album where all their different experiences (from heavy metal to symphonic music, from street standards to free experimentation) collides connecting within themselves for then to start all over again. Because, in order to preserve something, it is necessary to go forward in circles but always looking backwards. Abstract searching (“Gĉod”) or unbridled rage (“Crows are Council”) always go hand in hand with keynotes and the right tempo (“Thimble Capp”, “Chalybs”), even if they are not to be played. A record co-released by Knockturne Records and Clamshell which makes it clear that there is life beyond Orthodox, and where improvisation and structured dark chaos are created mixing elements from free jazz instrumentation with extractions from heavy metal and contemporary music.

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Hidden Forces Trio - Topus (2013)

Hidden Forces Trio - Topus (Bruce's Fingers, 2013)

Personnel:
Gustavo Domínguez: clarinet, bass clarinet 
Marco Serrato: double bass 
Borja Díaz: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Custodia de Canaán
02 - Topus
03 - El hijo secreto, no el bastardo
04 - Porque no llueve, los santos peregrinarán de espaldas
05 - Panza de azufre
06 - Las colinas
07 - La novia del chivo

I sat down to listen to this disc with some trepidation. The Bruce’s Fingers’ June update had described the musicians, from Seville, Spain, as also having “parallel existences in the world of heavy rock, doom metal, gothcore [or whatever the appropriate term is]”. Matters weren’t helped by the painting on the cover – a dental nightmare – or some of the track titles: El hijo secreto, no el bastardo (the secret son, not the bastard) and Panza de azufre (sulphur belly). I was expecting music full of adolescent angst, but it turned out to be rather different. As the adage has it: never judge a book by its cover. 

Gustavo Domínguez (clarinet, bass clarinet), Marco Serrato (double bass) and Borja Díaz (drums), play composed and improvised music. The composed material has a folkish touch, wistful and plangent. After an initial free jazz flurry, the title track is a faintly Moorish melody, over loping bass, which gradually descends into the lower registers, as the bowed bass and bass clarinet explore a darker version of the theme. 

In Porque no llueve, los santos peregrinarán de espaldas (because it doesn’t rain, the saints return to the pilgrimage) an attractive melody is first played gently on bass, repeated on clarinet, and then in outline on drums (but for rather too long). The remainder of the piece is thoughtful – but at times borders on the soporific – and I would have liked to have heard playing with rather more concision, and a touch more gusto. 

On the whole, the improvised material is rather disappointing. El hijo secreto, no el bastardo runs out of steam with an over long and rather aimless drum solo, unreprieved by accompaniment from the bass and later, clarinet. Las colinas (the hills) is somewhat diffuse, and lacking in character. There are some interesting textures, but it sounds a little like improvising by numbers. 

The trio seems to gel in the final track – La novia del chivo (the kid’s girlfriend) – rolling drums and pulsing bass with rather more brio in the clarinet, but it’s short-lived, as the piece comes to a premature close after two minutes. Curious. 

Something of a mixed bag, therefore. Over the album, rather too much of Domínguez’s work on clarinet consists of scalar-like runs and arpeggios, but often not a great deal more. I can’t help but feel that the trio simply needs to play together more, and take a more critical view of its material. Maybe some angst would help. [FreeJazzBlog]

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вторник, 8 декабря 2015 г.

Svenska Kaputt - Suomi (2015)

Svenska Kaputt - Suomi (Moserobie, 2015)
Personnel:
Jonas Kullhammar: saxophones
Reine Fiske: guitar
Torbjörn Zetterberg: bass
Jonas Holmegard: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Mellantillstånd
02 - Paroni 
03 - Nötskalsmusik #1 
04 - Veesaltonen 
05 - Gårdagens Visa\Keijsaren

A brilliant musical project from the Moserobie jazz underground of Sweden – one that brings together four completely wonderful players, but in ways that are very different than most of their work in other settings! The sound here is very open and spacious – not in a mellow way, or an ECM mode – but instead this really introspective approach to the properties of the musicians' individual instruments – almost as if they're using this project as a way to thoughtfully explore things from different sonic angles, sometimes with a surprisingly sensitive vibe. Yet there's also some nice currents of darkness in the music – things are definitely never too sweet – and surprises include some piano from both Jonas Kullhammar and Torbjorn Zetterberg – alongside Zetterberg's more familiar bass (both electric and acoustic), and Kullhamar's music on tenor, flute, baritone, and oboe. Guitarist Reine Fiske also plays piano on one track – and guitar on the others – and the group also features drums from Johan Holmegard. [Dusty Groove]


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воскресенье, 6 декабря 2015 г.

Torbjörn Zetterberg - Och den stora frågan om liv och död (2015)

Torbjörn Zetterberg - Och den stora frågan om liv och död (Moserobie, 2015)

Personnel:
Torbjörn Zetterberg: double bass
Susana Santos Silva: trumpet
Mats Äleklint: trombone
Jonas Kullhammar: tenor sax, flute & braithophone
Alberto Pinton: baritone sax, flute & alto flute
Jon Fält: drums
Everybody: percussion

Tracklisting:
01 - Knut Utan Slut
02 - Vad Är Inte En Metafor
03 - Säkra Tvivel
04 - Saker Överallt
05 - Kontorsmusik
06 - Vad Är Det Som Dör
07 - Innan och Efter 
08 - Springa Runt I Hjul

Over much of the past decade, Swedish bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg has pulled me into his world time and time again. He ostensibly works within jazz, but that category feels inadequate to his creative curiosity and artistic empathy. He's a strong player, but to my ears his writing, arranging, and concepts are even more formidable than his instrumental skills. He recently released two albums whose radically different approaches suggest his range. 

Om Liv & Död (Moserobie), the second record from his working band Den Stora Frågan, alternates between brawny solo bass vignettes and moody, often turbulent sextet arrangements, both of which evoke the visceral, emotive work of Charles Mingus without sounding like it. Zetterberg's killer band—reedists Jonas Kullhammar and Alberto Pinton, drummer Jon Fält, trombonist Mats Äleklint, and Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva—brings an appealing looseness to the arrangements, giving the pieces an impressive lived-in feel with strong rapport and interplay. "Vad Är Inte En Metafor" is a slab of hovering tension, with Zetterberg providing hydroplaning arco lines over which the front-line soloists make unhurried, probing excursions; meanwhile the rest of the group drops airy jabs and feints, both composed and improvised. The short, stop-start pulsing riff in the hard-driving "Säker Tvivel" halts for terse solo statements, then finally opens up with a longer improvised section that features scampering, clattering interactions between Zetterberg and Fält, soon joined by a wonderful gutbucket statement by Äleklint, one of Europe's best and most overlooked trombonists. 

The brief  "Kontorsmusik" sounds like it was recorded an echoing church, with Pinton and Kullhammar's flutes distant from the mikes for a wonderfully spooky vibe. The album concludes with the brooding "Springa Runt I Hjul", whose dark, fluttering horn utterances alternately cascade down and circle the bassist's throbbing bowed dirge. Below you can check out the ruddy, propulsive full-band track "Innan och Efter," which has a melodic sensibility that borrows a bit from Albert Ayler—though Pinton's baritone saxophone sounds more Big Jay McNeely or a bulldozer.

Zetterberg investigates much different terrain on If Nothing Else (Clean Feed), an all-improvised trio effort with Silva and French organist Hampus Lindwall, who's more an experimental musician than a jazz player; he's also the longtime organist at Parisian church Saint-Esprit, where the album was recorded. The music brings to mind wide-open spaces, with Lindwall producing haunting long tones and Silva blowing parched lines and sour blurts; it's all blunted by the acoustics of the space, which give everything a wonderfully washed-out feel, as though the music is arriving from outdoors, or wending its way through a ravine. From track to track the trio appears to takes advantage of varying microphone placement, which not only alters where each instrument is placed in the mix but also the timbral quality of each. On "Atonality," for example, Silva blows her Harmon-muted lines directly into the mike, while Zetterberg's arco surges sneakily around beneath the brass and the tension-loaded organ drones. "Cinematic" is an overused word in music criticism, but these pieces definitely convey a delicious suspense and romantic languor. Below you can hear one of the album's most turbulent pieces, "Stop Chords." [Chicago Reader]

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четверг, 3 декабря 2015 г.

Arnold Hammerschlag - No Face, No Name (2015)

Arnold Hammerschlag - No Face, No Name (Skirl, 2015)

Personnel:
Arnold Hammerschlag: trumpet
Sam Barfeld: violin
Will Holshouser: accordeon
Brian Glassman: bass
Aaron Alexander: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Reflection
02 - Boat Float
03 - No Face No Name
04 - Waiting
05 - Jo
06 - Slow Road
07 - Sailor Song
08 - Picnic House
09 - Bert
10 - The All New Bunny Hop

On his long-awaited second release, No Face, No Name, trumpeter/composer Arnold Hammerschlag blends influences from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America with cinematic scope and wide-ranging jazz invention. The album, out now on Skirl Records, features ten original compositions that offer Hammerschlag’s unique twist on a mash-up of folk traditions, performed by an unconventional ensemble: Sam Bardfeld (violin), Will Holshouser (accordion), Brian Glassman (bass), and Aaron Alexander (drums).


“The idea behind the album is that each composition is like a painting in a museum,” Hammerschlag says. “All together they make up an exhibition – a whole world.”

Hammerschlag originally conceived the project under the title “Songs From Sun, Sand and Stone,” an evocative concept that illustrates the way that his music conjures landscapes. These compositions bring to mind at once the actual places where the trumpeter’s inspirations originated and an imaginary terrain where all of them overlap and dissolve into one another: the vivid Klezmer-meets-rock of “Boat Float,” the title track’s summoning a Middle Eastern crossroads cafe, a bridge between Brahms and Piazzolla on “Jo.”

The unusual quintet was born from Hammerschlag’s experience playing in a wedding band led by Klezmer- jazz pioneer Greg Wall. “In the space of one wedding we would play several different styles of Jewish, Israeli and Yemenite music, along with sets of jazz and rock and roll and top 40,” the trumpeter recalls. No Face, No Name places those sudden shifts in tone within the space of a single composition, often layering one style atop another to create bold and original juxtapositions.

The title No Face, No Name is derived from a Zen Buddhist koan relating to the practice of contemplating one’s face before birth, a spiritual grounding for the blank but richly loaded slate from which Hammerschlag approaches his compositions. It’s also a playful nod at the fresh start provided by the twelve-year wait since his debut CD, Sailing Neptune’s Waters. The mesmerizing piece “Slow Road,” with its suggestion of a mysterious caravan wending its way through an unchanging desert landscape, thus becomes something of a mission statement: “It’s an analogy for a journey that unfolds gradually over time,” Hammerschlag explains. “Most of the things I’m interested in – meditation, composition, tai chi – can’t be hurried. You grow with them over a lifetime.”

Hammerschlag’s journey began in Seattle, where he came of musical age alongside fellow jazz originals like Jim Black, Cuong Vu, Andrew D’Angelo, and Chris Speed. He studied under Jerry Granelli, Julian Priester, Jay Clayton, and Jim Knapp at Cornish College of the Arts, where he co-founded the ahead-of-its-time band Timebone. Hammerschlag arrived in New York City in 1994, where he’s since worked with a host of artists including Greg Wall, Matt Darriau, Michel Gentile, Owen Howard, Pete Epstein, Alex Harding, Tricia Woods, Chris Komer, Brent Arnold, Katie Down and Phil Haynes. [Official site]

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четверг, 26 ноября 2015 г.

Gilbert Holmströms Kvintett ‎– Utan Misstankar (1965, 2010 reissue)

 Gilbert Holmströms Kvintett ‎– Utan Misstankar (Megafon, 1965; Moserobie, 2010)

Personnel:
Gilbert Holmström: tenor saxophone
Arne Larsson: cornet
Hans Löfman: bass
Clas Fehling: piano
Anders Söderling: drums
Åke Johansson: piano (on "Novotec")
Sven Hessle: bass (on "Novotec")

Tracklisting:
01 - Kontrast
02 - Ballad för Max
03 - Modul
04 - Resan till Hellas
05 - Ruby my dear
06 - Tryck på alla knappar
07 - Dissapointment
08 - Novotec

As his first re-release Jonas Kullhammar’s Moserobie choses one of the best Swedish jazz records from the 60s: the Gothenburger Gilbert Holmstrom’s “Utan Misstankar” (“Without Suspicions”), which before cost a pretty penny to lay a hold on and only can be found as an original LP from 1965. It is a fantastic balance of melodic and freer jazz, the latter having just started to form through the work of American musicians such as Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and John Coltrane.
One of the things I associate best with “Utan Misstankar” is its immense drive. Musicians are so strongly bound and constantly strive forward with an equal amount of curiosity and desire. Holmström’s solo in “Modul” is incredibly forward-looking when he spins up the notes in swirls with one note cutting through the others’ fairly soft sound mass. Arne Larsson fills in with his cornet with a warm glowing sound. Improvising at the same time was generally quite unusual at the time. Only a few years earlier John Tchicai, Archie Shepp and Don Cherry of the New York Contemporary Five had waited obediently for each other to finish.
The aforementioned drive is a lot thanks to drummer Anders Soderling, bass player Hans Löfman and pianist Clas Fehling. They play with honour! [Sound of Music]

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понедельник, 16 ноября 2015 г.

The Spanish Donkey - Raoul (2015)

The Spanish Donkey - Raoul (RareRareNoise, 2015)

Personnel: 
Joe Morris: guitar 
Jamie Saft: Hammond organ, Korg organ, MiniMoog, piano
Mike Pride: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Raoul
02 - Behavioral Sink
03 - Dragon fly Jones

The second Spanish Donkey release begins somewhere beyond where the last ended. Joe Morris' seething and scalding guitar is a hot iron pressed again the flesh, and the microtonal keyboard work of Jamie Saft is grinding and eviscerating.

Direct and relentless, the 33 minute epic 'Raoul' begins with Morris' fuzzed-out melody and drummer Mike Pride adding muscle and flair. As Saft creeps in on the organ, the tension rises and Morris begins a wholehearted embrace of the wah-wah pedal. The piece is a tremendous tone poem that could be dedicated to mastodons sinking into tarpits as lava pouring down a volcano ignites the forest around it.

The album is a less about the individual voices as it is the dark and foreboding movement of sound. It's at once sludgy, defiant, nuanced and textured. The shapes of the sounds are as important as the notes themselves which, like on the track 'Behavioral Sink' rises from the slash of Saft's organ and the metallic clang of Morris' guitar.

A hearty listen to say the least! [FreeJazzBlog]

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вторник, 10 ноября 2015 г.

Slobber Pup - Pole Axe (2015)

Slobber Pup - Pole Axe (RareNoiseRecords, 2015)

Personnel:
Mats Gustafsson: saxophone
Jamie Saft: organ, keyboards
Joe Morris: guitars
Balazs Pandi: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Pole of Combustible Memory
02 - Bring Me My Desire and Arrows to Shoot
03 - Incendiary Axe

 There is a certain liquidity found in the stables of RareNoise Records keyboardist Jamie Saft is both everywhere and nowhere, a part of Berserk!, Metallic Taste of Blood, Plymouth, and Saft Swallow, & Previte. But perhaps Saft's most interesting project this that of Slobber Pup: a post-apocalyptic tenor + jazz organ trio, shot full of morphine and uranium, giving off neutron vibes laying waste to all in earshot. When the psalmist wrote of "joyful noise" he or she most certainly had Slobber Pup in mind. The band's inaugural recording, Black Aces (RareNoise, 2013) met with positive reviews. Not satisfied with the crime scene that recording left, Saft and company have returned with Pole Axe, an aural metaphor for what the listener may expect.

Pole Axe is comprised of a scant three pieces. The opening "Pole of Combustible Memory" is a dense half-hour of electric paroxysm introduced by drummer Balazs Pandi, guitarist Joe Morris and saxophonist Matts Gustafsson, in quick succession. Gustafsson picks ups where Archie Shepp left off at New Thing at Newport (Impulse!, 1965) and where Pharaoh Sanders picked up on Karma (Impulse!, 1969), committing chordal genocide at light speed. Morris gets extended solo space to probe with the speed of Shawn Lane and the aural lovechild of James Blood Ulmer and Link Ray. Saft quiets things down to a slow simmer summoning Jon Lord from "Lazy" (Made in Japan (Warner Bros., 1972)) and Garth Hudson's "Genetic Method." Anti-peace is restored at 18 minutes as the band begins its descent into the spasmodic coda of the Cthulhu Mythos.

"Bring Me My Desire and Arrows to Shoot" begins as introspectively as this band is capable, but an immediate anxiety permeates the sonic landscape. Dripping-water motifs punctuated with low reeds growls provides a foreboding backdrop for the cataclysm sure to be around the corner. "Ambient music for the schizophrenic," "Bring Me My Desire and Arrows to Shoot" illustrates, in music the dangers of recreational drug use among amateurs. Things ramp up at 9:00 with an anguished tenor cry, reaching a death crescendo before falling into a Placydil-induced narcosis.

The "straightest" of the three pieces, "Incendiary Axe" recalls the marathon saxophone-drum duets of John Coltrane and Elvin Jones. Critical mass is achieved on this brief, 4-minute piece illustrating that Slobber Pup can command all elements of jazz, rock, and blues since the big band. There is something very appealing about this anarchy of noise that makes this "music" vital. It exists as a wakeup call for all who have been hypnotized into an artificial slumber of safety and contentment, and all the while the wolves are barking to get in... [Allaboutjazz]

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среда, 4 ноября 2015 г.

Joshua Abrams - Magnetoception (2015)

Joshua Abrams - Magnetoception (Eremite, 2015)

Personnel:
Joshua Abrams: Guimbri, Bass, Celesta, Clarinet, Harp [Small], Bells
Hamid Drake: Frame Drum, Tabla, Congas, Drums [Trap Kit]
Emmett Kelly: Electric Guitar
Jeff Parker: Electric Guitar
Lisa Alvarado: Harmonium
Ben Boye: Autoharp [Chromatic Electric Autoharp]

Tracklisting:
01 - By Way Of Odessa
02 - Lore
03 - Of Night
04 - Broom
05 - Translucent
06 - Of Day
07 - Magnetoception
08 - Spiral Up
09 - The Ladder

In a recent Invisible Jukebox interview in The Wire, Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams speaks about “constructing an environment” through his music. “One is creating a space to immerse the listener in sound,” he explains, “and creating room for slowness, for a different rate of attention perhaps.” Magnetoception, Abrams’s third Natural Information Society album for Eremite, demonstrates this concept wonderfully. 

Fans of 2010’s Natural Information and 2012’s Represencing will find themselves in familiar territory here, marked most notably by Abrams’s guimbri (among his other instruments) but also by Emmett Kelly and Jeff Parker’s electric guitars, Lisa Alvarado’s harmonium, and Ben Boye’s autoharp. (Hamid Drake, a new addition to this particular project, plays a variety of hand percussion as well as drum kit.) But as a double LP Magnetoception gives the group a new opportunity to stretch out, breathe, and craft an immersive sound environment.

The album opens with “By Way of Odessa,” a side-long piece whose meditative ambient patience, punctuated by Drake’s frame drum, focuses the listener’s attention not by grabbing it but by creating space for it. Eventually the guimbri picks up, before dying down again. The rise and fall of the track’s energy foreshadows the album’s larger structure, more an organic sinuous movement with multiple climaxes than a simple linear escalation.

One climax comes at the beginning of the third side with “Translucent.” The tune’s odd-meter ostinato, carried by the guitars and Abrams on acoustic bass, keeps us entranced but alert, as if we’re burrowing down towards the heart of something, yet not quite there. That heart might come soon enough with the title track. “Magnetoception” finds the album at its densest and perhaps most dramatic, a tightly woven sonic textile of jittery muted guitar, insistent guimbri, and tireless drumming. The group’s natural, protean interplay is in evidence here too, with Drake wrenching the breakneck 6/8 groove into a shuffle for a few glorious bars at one point. Elsewhere brief solo interludes like “Of Night” (Abrams on clarinet) and “Of Day” (autoharp) provide contrast and help contract the scope of the music before opening out again.

The Ladder” brings things to a close with mid-tempo interlocking guimbri and tabla overlaid by shimmering autoharp and carefully measured guitar lines. This final track leaves us neither too high nor too low, but safely in the middle ground of the album’s dynamic energies. And if Abrams is as inspired by the Gnawa tradition of ritual healing as he is by their use of the guimbri, then “The Ladder” can be said to deliver us out of Magnetoception’s restorative environment better than we entered it. [Free Jazz Blog]

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среда, 5 августа 2015 г.

Curtis Hasselbring - The New Mellow Edwards (2006)

Curtis Hasselbring - The New Mellow Edwards (Skirl, 2006)
Personnel:
Curtis Hasselbring: Keyboards [Casio], Effects, Sounds, Trombone
Chris Speed: Keyboards [Casio], Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Trevor Dunn: Bass
John Hollenbeck: Drums, Melodica, Percussion

Tracklisting:
01 - White Sauce Hot Sauce Boss?
02 - The Infinite Infiniteness Of Infinity
03 - Abcs Of The Future
04 - Plubis Epilogue
05 - Double Negative
06 - (I'm The Annoying Guy Who Always Yells) Freebird
07 - Insaniterrier (The Radio Dog)
08 - Scatology
09 - Ana Black Francis
10 - Far-Away Planet
11 - Mamacita

Сurtis Hasselbring's New Mellow Edwards is a group that was originally formed in 1988. Known back then as the Mellow Edwards, the trio of trombone, electric guitar and drums explored a unique combination of free jazz and heavy rock that was very unique for it's time. Continuing through the 90s as a sextet with a similar musical onus, Hasselbring reformed the group as an acoustic quartet in 2002 and has made the New Mellow Edwards the focal point of his composing and band-leading. Curtis's compositions and the New Mellow Edwards' playing defies traditional jazz conventions and favors primal garage rock-derived grooves, textural explorations and classicaly-influenced structures. The repertiore of the group can be humerous, dark, accessible and exciting, often simultaneously.

The debut album by the ingenius composer\trombonist Сurtis Hasselbring. Сurtis's composing and The New Mellow Edwards' playing defies traditional jazz conventions and and favors primal garage rock-derived groove, textural explorations and classically-influensed structures. Curtis's tweaked version of a modern instrumental supergroup features strong performances from three New York's most innovated musicians, Trevor Dunn (Mr. Brungle, Electric Masada, Melvins), John Hollenbeck (Meredith Monk, Theo Bleckmann, Claudia Quintet), and Chris Speed (Human Feel, Bloodcount, Pachora).

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вторник, 4 августа 2015 г.

Devin Gray - Relative Resonance (2015)

Devin Gray - Relative Resonance (Skirl, 2015)

Personnel:
Devin Gray - drums
Chris Speed - tenor saxophone and clarinet
Kris Davis - piano
Chris Tordini - double-bass

Tracklisting:
1. City Nothing City 
2. In the Cut 
3. Notester 
4. Jungle Design (for Hannah Shaw) 
5. Transatlantic Transitions 
6. Undo the Redo 
7. RelativE ResonancE (for Tadd Dameron) 
8. Search It Up

From the outset, this rhythm section can do Henry Threadgill’s Zooid. Devin Gray (drums) and Chris Tordini (bass) have that thing down pat. Reedman Chris Speed and pianist Kris Davis are mixed in (mostly) separate channels and this works well, as they frequently play counterpoint with each other over the top of the amazing structural base. I wish the soloists were completely isolated in separate channels. In the left channel you'd get something wonderful from a Davis trio – and then cut out the left channel and you could hear an amazing Speed-led group. But we'll just have to be satisfied with the brilliant quartet. I’ll confess that I will check out anything with Kris Davis on it. She’s an incredibly well-rounded player with a real understanding of what makes a composition, a group improvisation, and an arrangement work. She is a perfect fit here. Gray has written arrangements for each instrument that present a balance, not only between composition and improvisation, but between each player's contribution to the overall picture. On “Notester” the Zooid groove disappears, making for a more challenging – but no less enjoyable – listening experience. Tordini and Davis lock especially well here to support Speed's flights. Things get appropriately humid on “Jungle Design,” which also has a house-of-mirrors feel about it. It's the first and only time the “balance” ideal becomes a bit claustrophobic. “Transatlantic Transitions” returns to Zooid funk about two minutes in; and Davis and Speed lead the band through abrupt twists and turns. The written bits – on the entire disc – are intricate and fascinating, like studying the insides of a finely crafted timepiece. Delicate precision is key to the execution of this music. Throw in a wild card like free improvisation and... How do they make this work so well? Nowhere is the tight balancing act more evident that on the title track, which compresses everything that is great about this band - and these songs - into 3.5 minutes of brilliance. The interplay between Gray and Tordini leads the group to ecstatic – and briefly, improvisational - heights. Who knew the avant garde could be so perfectly symmetrical? [Free Jazz Blog]

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среда, 29 июля 2015 г.

Howard Peach - Howard Peach (2015)

Howard Peach - Howard Peach (el NEGOCITO Records, 2015)

Personnel:
Chris Speed - tenor saxophone
Simon Jermyn - electric bass
Lander Gyselinck - drums

Tracklisting:
1. Lausanne
2. Unfortunate Vivisepulture
3. Hidden Word
4. Chris The Crafty Cockney
5. Sycamore Sea
6. Atlantis 1987

 Lander Gyselinck has transformed from an emerging young talent to an
 established and respected name on the Belgian jazz and improvisation scene
 in a relatively short space of time. He derives his inspiration, not only
 behind the drums but also as a composer for his own bands LABtrio and
 STUFF., from contemporary electronic music. His inventive and exploratory
 drumming style has accorded him a broad and individual sound palette that
 is appreciated by a wide range of musical fields. This means he thrives in
 very diverse artistic environments ranging from jazz, contemporary
 electronics to experimental improvised music. He is a member of the Kris
 Defoort Trio, Jazz Plays Europe 2010 and Network of Stoppages. In 2010 he
 won the Toots Thielemans Jazz Award and in 2012 he received the SABAM
 Youth and Music Award at the Ghent Jazz Festival. Lander currently lives
 in New York.

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четверг, 4 июня 2015 г.

The World Heritage - Travelling Silk Road (2012)

The World Heritage - Travelling Silk Road (Magaibutsu, 2012)

Personnel:
Katsui Yuji: violin
Yamamoto Seiichi: guitar
Kido Natsuki: guitar
Nasuno Mitsuru: bass
Yoshida Tatsuya: drums

Tracklisting:
1. Xi-Ang
2. Tongko
3. Theheran
4. Samarkand 
5. Rome
6. Istanbul
7. Bagdad

Live recordings of drummer Yoshida Tatsuya's World Heritage band from Koenji HIGH in 2009, condensing and editing the show into one incredible hour of sophisticated rock improvisation. This is the 4th release for World Heritage band, with Nasuno Mitsuru on bass, the dual guitars of Yamamoto Seichi and Kido Natsuki, and violinist Katsui Yuji. [Squidco]

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Extremelly huge and fantastic record!!!

среда, 29 апреля 2015 г.

Russell / Beresford / Edwards / Liavik Solberg - Will It Float? (2015)

Russell / Beresford / Edwards / Liavik Solberg - Will It Float? (Va Fongool, 2015)

Personnel:
John Russell: guitar
Steve Beresford: objects and electronics
John Edwards: double bass
Ståle Liavik Solberg: drums and percussion

Tracklisting:
01 - Will It Float?
02 - Light Impermeable
03 - Buoyant
04 - The Third Time

The music on "Will It Float?" can best be described as classic British improvisation with an electro-acoustic twist. These are the major elements that run through the recording, creating a soundscape that is both challenging and engaging. The improvisations are freely made, without preparation, and are characterized by an extreme joy in playing and a desire to take chances while maintaining a firm focus on the group's identity. After playing in a successful duo with John Russell for a couple of years, Ståle Liavik Solberg decided to put together a quartet consisting of more musicians from the British improvisation scene. For him it was an easy choice to combine Russell with Steve Beresford and John Edwards, and Liavik Solberg arranged for the quartet to play at St. Mary's Old Church in Stoke Newington, London. Once the idea had taken root for the concert it became obvious they were embarking on something special and the decision was taken to call in renowned recording engineer Dave Hunt to record the music. John Russell, Steve Beresford, and John Edwards have been a part of the free improvisation scene in England and Europe for several decades, and have played together in many different circumstances during this time. Ståle Liavik Solberg is an active free improviser in Norway and is, among other things, a director of the extensive concert series Blow Out! in Oslo. Fred Lonberg-Holm got the task of mixing and mastering the album and Kjetil Tangen made the great cover art. [Forced Exposure]

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понедельник, 27 апреля 2015 г.

Tim Berne's Snakeoil - You've Been Watching Me (2015)

Tim Berne's Snakeoil  - You've Been Watching Me (ECM, 2015)

Personnel:
Tim Berne: alto saxophone
Oscar Noriega: bass, clarinets
Ryan Ferreira: guitars
Matt Mitchell: piano, electronics
Ches Smith: drums, vibraphone, percussion, timpan

Tracklisting:
01 - Lost In Redding
02 - Small World In A Small Town
03 - Embraceable Me
04 - Angles
05 - You've Been Watching Me
06 - Semi-Self Detached
07 - False Impressions

In the course of his long and prolific career, alto saxophonist/composer Tim Berne has been more of a musical agitator than a mediator. While that's a positive characteristic of Berne's creative process, it is also a demanding one for all concerned. Berne's tenure with ECM, however, has been marked by a more pronounced move toward balancing restorative musical properties to juxtapose very complex structures. The result of Berne's continued growth is You've Been Watching Me, a high point of his compositional achievements to date.

As on his two previous ECM leader dates with Snakeoil—the self-titled debut (2012) and Shadow Man (2013)—Berne's cohort includes Oscar Noriega on clarinets, Matt Mitchell on piano and Ches Smith on various and sundry percussion. An addition to the original quartet is guitarist Ryan Ferreira. The Eastman School of Music graduate adds an ethereal, liquid quality that belies his early heavy-metal influences.

"Lost In Redding" opens with all hands on deck, creating a carnival-like atmosphere before abruptly switching gears and turning the proceedings over to Noriega. His bass clarinet solo alternates between single tones and more musical structures, eventually giving way to a series of solos from the rest of the group. Mitchell's keys are augmented by Smith's light but decisive propulsion providing the transition to the reeds retaking the piece, slowly building back to the calamitous level of the opening. "Small World In A Small Town" may be most ambitious composition Berne has created. Beginning as a duet between Berne and Mitchell, the slow pace allows the articulation to stand out clearly. Taking on suite-like qualities, Noriega (at almost ten-minutes in) adds lyrical, classically influenced themes then almost imperceptibly shifts to a subtle Middle-Eastern melody accompanied by a rock beat as the reeds patiently build to a crescendo. The scope of the piece is epic; the music mesmerizing.

"Embraceable Me" and "Angles" are darker in tone, the former beginning as a deep, rumbly free-for-all that is both cinematic and discordant but taking a haunting turn that carries over to the dark, foreboding "Angles." Ghostly intensity and unbalanced harmonies give an aesthetic tension to the music; Ferreira and Mitchell often conjuring color and texture just out of obvious earshot. The set concludes with "False Impressions" and—like "Small World In A Small Town"—changing themes, tempos and modulation create a labyrinth of movements.

Produced and mixed by ECM label-mate and past colleague, guitarist David Torn, You've Been Watching Me represents another forward-looking development for Berne and Snakeoil. The quintet works in various breakout formations adding to the variety of textures and sounds. There's an openness in this setting that adds depth and drama to the improvisations that weave through the arrangements. Berne's music has never been anything less than challenging, but here it is broader and more accessible without sacrificing edginess; You've Been Watching Me is a major achievement in Berne's portfolio. [Allaboutjazz]

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пятница, 27 марта 2015 г.

Karkhana ‎– Live At Metro Al-Madina (2015)

Karkhana ‎– Live At Metro Al-Madina (Sagittarius A-Star, 2015)

Personnel:
Umut Çağlar: Flute, Violin, Percussion
Mazen Kerbaj: Trumpet, Trombone [plastic], Synth [crackle]
Sam Shalabi: Oud, Electric Guitar
Maurice Louca: Organ
Özün Usta: Double Bass
Sharif Sehnaoui: Drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Under The Red Light, Part I
02 -
Under The Red Light, Part II

This is one of the most powerful releases in the combined Qbico and Sagittarius A-Star catalogues. Imagine a cross between Kluster and Taj Mahal Travellers with a Middle Eastern feel (the musicians are from Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon). Their first record was recorded live in Beirut on February 25th, 2014. The musicians are Mazer Kerbat (trumpet, plastic trombone, crackle-synth), Umut Çağlar (flutes, violin, kalimba), Sam Shalabi (electric guitar, oud), Maurice Louca (synth, electronics), Özün Usta (double bass, cura) and Sharif Sehnaoui on drums. The sound that you hear at the end of the second clip it's not a monster's breath. The ticket to the ride. [Shiny Beast]

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четверг, 26 марта 2015 г.

Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers - Rwanda (2005)

Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers - Rwanda (Qbico, 2005)
Personnel:
Faruq Z. Bey: tenor sax, alto sax, Zola Phone
Mike Carey: flute, bass clarinet
Skeeter Shelton: tenor sax
Mike Gilmore: vibes, marimba, dhumbeks, bone guitar
Mike Johnston: bass, shenai, percussion
Nick Ashton: drums

Tracklisting:
1. Rwanda (Johnston)
2. Mamaka II (Bey)
3. Himalayan Footpath (Gilmore)
4. Gogisci [Smoke] (Johnston, Mateen)*
*in CD-version

"There are lions and oribi roaming through the savannah during the opening mystery of this song. Dark birds of prey follow their movements. Mike Gilmore, Nick Ashton and Mike Johnston create a percussive landscape filled with shadow and flashes of light. The flutes of Faruq Z. Bey and Mike Carey begin the journey like winds over the tall grasses and rolling hills, heading toward the volatile waters of Lake Kivu. When the bass of Johnston thunders into being, you are moving across the surface of the lake, feeling each crest and trough of the blue-black waves of Kivu. The flutes are now calling the barefoot fishermen to dance, dreaming of barbel, catfish and tilapia. The Tenor Sax of Bey first, and then Skeeter Shelton, pull you into two worlds: you’re still on that deep and dangerous African lake, but at the same time, you are now viewing the streets of Detroit from the backseat of a slow-moving Buick. It’s late summer and the windows are rolled down. The tires hiss and the streetlights flash across your face. Gilmore’s marimba solo brings you back to that Rwandan plain. Though now you are the lion, stalking the oribi. The saxes come back in, this time with Carey joining the drive and leading the expedition. Finally, your are returned to the opening mystery. The bass and percussion dissolve the water and land into ethereal winds, and those dark raptors rise in widening circles until they disappear into the silence".

"Gorgeous, earthy, unhurried Mother Africa jazz here, deep and dark, mysterious yet reassuring. Sax/flute master Bey leads a superb group of like-minded story-tellers; together they bring forth a kind of ancient knowledge I can’t begin to understand. Long journeys unfold before us… our guides are bass, drums, saxes, flutes, bass clarinet, and vibraphone/marimba. Along the way we meet shenhai, zola phone, and bone guitar. Night comes in and spirits visit and we are at peace" Max Level (KFJC Radio)

"enter Faruq... through my old friend Mike Johnston who used to bid and win in my old jazz auctions... another pillar of qbico records and a unique voice. love their music (such a warm and African sound), their compositions (never get tired of hearing them), their artworks (Mike ltd hand-made covers are among the best on qbico). i finally met Faruq (and of course Mike and the rest of the band) in Detroit for the unite, no words, just shake hands AND looks... Mike told me some deep stories about him from the 60's... a kind of legendary figure, especially in the Detroit area.. in fact they played mostly there for a long time, but fortunatly recently they played Issue Project Room in NYC, thanks to an invitation from my friend Lawrence. Faruq got some health problems, that's why they can't move much... anyway, i did three rockets by Faruq (plus one-sided by the Northwoods), so i really hope the message'll be spread loud and clear, beyond Det." [qbico]

Poll Winners of 2005 honorable mention WEMU Radio.

Out of print!!!

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вторник, 24 марта 2015 г.

Don Cherry - Modern Art (Live in Stockholm, 1977) (2014)

Don Cherry - Modern Art (Live in Stockholm, 1977) (Mellotronen, 2014)
Personnel:
Don Cherry: Trumpet [Pocket Trumpet], Flute, Conch [Conch Shell], Piano, Vocals, Xalam [Doussn' Gouni] 
Bronisław Suchanek: Bass [String Bass]  
Torbjörn Hultkrantz: Bass [String Bass]  
Georg Wadenius: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Voice  
Tommy Koverhult: Flute  
Peter Ek: Rattle [Calabash], Tabla, Zither [Drone Zitther], Claves 
Moki Cherry: Tambura  
Lena Ahlman: Tambura
Per Tjernberg: Drums [Hand-Drums], Percussion

Tracklisting:
01 -
Love Train
02 - Awareness
03 - Meditation
04 - Universal Mother
05 - Que Faser
06 - Eagle Eye
07 - Karmapa Chenno
08 - Mahakali (Excerpt)
09 - Ornettunes
10 - California
11 - Desireless
12 - Marimba, Goddess Of Music
13 - Chenrezig

This limited-edition CD and LP, recorded at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art in 1977, includes selections from trumpeter Don Cherry’s 1977 Hear & Now, a fusion-tinged outing that generated some controversy when it was released. Although it doesn’t quite live up to its billing as “Hear & Now unplugged” (only five of the 13 songs—“Universal Mother,” “Eagle Eyes,” “Karmapa Chenno,” “Mahakali” and “California”—are from that LP), Modern Art provides a rare opportunity to hear Cherry reinterpret that material in a primarily acoustic setting.

Despite its pervasive spirituality, this is no exercise in New Age navel-gazing. Cherry ascends and soars, firing off multi-note fusillades with spitfire ferocity and blatting out tongue-stop-toughened extended phrases. As he did on Hear & Now, though, he also lays out frequently, letting flutist Tommy Koverhult and guitarist Georg “Jojje” Wadenius take the spotlight. According to percussionist Per Tjernberg’s liner notes, Koverhult arrived at the gig late, unfamiliar with most of the material, but he was a longtime Cherry compatriot and fit in seamlessly. Brilliant, full-toned and as improvisationally fearless as Cherry himself, he also summons a powerful rhythmic thrust alongside Tjernberg and fellow percussionists Peter Ek, Moki Cherry (Don’s wife) and Lena Ahlman. Wadenius alternates feathery leads with resonant chording, and he contributes chants, prayers and wordless imprecations throughout the set, seemingly having mastered not just the vocabulary but the rhythmic syntax and vocal timbre of traditional Indian devotional singing.

As is now widely acknowledged, Don Cherry was playing “world music” long before it was called that; even aside from the historical significance of the five Hear & Now offerings, this set gives us an essential glimpse of this facet of his legacy. [Jazz Times]

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