World of Jazz 283

  • Portico Quartet – Index – Untitled (AITAOA #2) (2018)
  • Tim Daisys Fulcrum Ensemble – Corner Counter – Animation (2018)
  • Spectral – Dirt Angels – Empty Castles (2018)
  • Will Vinson – My Shining Hour – It’s Alright With Three (2018)
  • Leroy Jenkins, Rashied Ali – It’s For You – Swift are the WInds of Life (1999)
  • Sun Ra – Images – Space Is The Place (1972)
  • Tim Warfield – Theme For Malcolm – Jazzland (2018)
  • William Hooker – Comes Into View –  Pillars…At The Portal (2018)
  • Portico Quartet – View from a Satellite – Untitled (AITAOA #2) (2018)
  • Joe Henderson – Ask Me Now – An Evening with Joe Henderson (1992)
  • Joe Henderson – Bwaata – Multiple (1973)
  • Joe Henderson, Wayne Darling, Ed Soph – Y Yo La Quiero (And I love her) – Barcelona (1992)
  • Ray Anderson – Intro, i’m a lucky so and so – What Because (1991)
  • Elton Dean Quartet – Nancy (with the laughing face) – They All Be On This Old Road (1977)
  • Henri Texier Strada Sextet – Dance Revolt – (V)ivre (2005)
  • Portico Quartet – Dust – Untitled (AITAOA #2) (2018)


Portico Quartet – Index – Untitled (AITAOA #2) (2018)

In 2017 Portico Quartet released their fourth studio album in a decade, Art in the Age of Automation, on Gondwana Records. Released to a chorus of acclaim, the album marked a triumphant return for the Quartet after a brief hiatus as the three-piece, Portico, and marked a welcome return to the stage for the foursome with sold-out shows across Europe including the Roundhouse, London.

Untitled (AITAOA #2) was largely recorded at the same sessions as Art in the Age of Automation at Fish Factory Studios in London and Portico Quartet’s own studio in East London. Like it’s predecessor, the album was mixed at Voxton in Berlin. It is intended as a companion piece to last year’s AITAOA. But works equally as well as a stand-alone album and explores similar areas of enigmatic, widescreen minimalism alongside the more hard-hitting sounds that have become a notable part of their live shows.

The group consists of Duncan Bellamy (drums and electronics), Jack Wyllie (saxophones and keyboards), Milo Fitzpatrick (electric and double-bass) and Keir Vine (keyboards).

Tim Daisys Fulcrum Ensemble – Corner Counter – Animation (2018)

An experimental music sextet organized by Chicago based percussionist and composer Tim Daisy as i a primary vehicle for his compositional style which mixes intricate orchestration with spirited improvisation.

The three compositions on the group’s latest release “Animation” take inspiration from a range of contemporary musical ideas including: the innovative performance and compositional techniques pioneered by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, structural and textural innovations connected to contemporary composers including Earle Brown, Anthony Braxton and Terry Riley, as well as the energy and spirit generated by the American “free jazz” movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, notably the work of Julius Hemphill, Marion Brown, and Don Cherry.

The intention of the Fulcrum Ensemble’s music lies in the assimilation of these multiple influences with the hopes of creating something new and unique. Utilizing some of the leading lights of today’s improvised music scene, the realization of these compositions would not be possible without the strong personalities, shared experience, good humor, inventiveness and collaborative spirit of the ensemble members.

‘Animation’ is the second recorded document from the Fulcrum Ensemble (formerly called the Celebration Sextet – see relay records 016) and the group has every intention to keep creating these unique collaborative sounds together well into the future.

Recorded August 08, 2017 at Elastic Arts Foundation, Chicago, IL

Tim Daisy drums, marimba, metronomes, califone
Josh Berman cornet
Steve Swell trombone
James Falzone clarinet
Dave Rempis alto, baritone saxophone
Fred Lonberg-Holm cello

Spectral – Dirt Angels – Empty Castles (2018)

2018 Aerophonic Records

Empty Castles is the third document of Spectral, a working horn trio split between the cities of San Francisco and Chicago that’s been active since 2012. As with their previous two releases, 2014’s self-titled debut, and 2016’s digital-only Neutral Nation, this new recording showcases a free improvising band that fully embraces the term “instant composition.” While their performances are known for thoughtful pacing and development, methodically spinning off complex structures from scratch with an unparalleled sense of architecture, the context for this new recording pushes that approach to a new extreme. In this case, setting becomes character, like the spaceship in Alien, or the frozen landscape in Fargo, adding a new dimension to the band’s compositional process.

Bunker A-168 is a 12,000-square foot concrete shell, perched slightly back from the water at the tip of the long peninsula known as Mare Island in Vallejo, CA, at the far northeast corner of San Francisco Bay. This long deserted mammoth, originally a munitions bunker in a former naval station dating back to WWII, is protected behind gates, set back from the road, and unseen through the overgrown grass that surrounds it. Hand-painted numbers in thick black paint on the heavy concrete walls designate each of the roughly fifty stalls originally intended for armaments, with the assistance of gently zig-zagging lines in those same heavy but efficient brush strokes that carve the space up further. They hang on the wall like calligraphic text on a Chinese parchment, providing definition to the sprawling and vacant background. The atmosphere created by these visual remnants combines with the highly charged acoustics of the space to add undeniable gravitas and austerity to these proceedings, such that every note hangs in the air as its own object, a tangible apparition to be thoroughly considered. These three improvisers use the setting to great effect, forced to further distill their sonic decision-making into territory in which every highly exposed gesture contains the gravity of a closing move in a well-matched game of chess. There was nowhere to hide during this recording session, every note staring back at its creators with fearless eyes. And the resulting musical tension is palpable, as the band tosses ideas up into the air between them, and sets them spinning off into the ether, each one on their own unique path

Recorded June 14th, 2017 at Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve in Bunker A-168

Dave Rempis alto, baritone saxophone
Darren Johnston trumpet
Larry Ochs sopranino, tenor saxophone

Will Vinson – My Shining Hour – It’s Alright With Three (2018)

2018 Criss Cross Jazz 1399 CD

For his second Criss Cross leader date, Will Vinson presents one of the most venturesome albums in the label’s long and distinguished catalogue.  Joined by world class partners Antonio Sanchez on drums and Gilad Hekselman on guitar, the alto saxophone master navigates four originals and four pearls from the Great American Songbook with melodic focus, rhythmic legerdemain and an open spirit, matched every step of the way by his ingenious bandmates.  The proceedings will repay multiple listenings.

Recorded September 20, 2017 in Brooklyn, NY

Will Vinson alto, soprano saxophone
Gilad Hekselman guitar
Antonio Sanchez drums, percussion

Leroy Jenkins, Rashied Ali – It’s For You – Swift Are the WInds of Life (1999)

Originally issued on the small Survival label and re-released by Knit Classics in 2000, Swift Are the Winds of Life represents one of the absolute finest examples of Jenkins’ violin playing outside of his Revolutionary Ensemble and arguably one of Rashied Ali’s greatest recordings aside from Interstellar Space, his legendary duo session with John Coltrane. A violin/drums duo may strike some as strange and unwieldy, but these musicians pull it off so well one never even considers any “lack” of depth or richness. Jenkins, more than any other violinist working in the jazz avant-garde, retained the cry of the blues even in his most abstract playing. In the title track, his plaintive, keening attack, from the delicate theme through its complex elaborations, is searing and supremely moving. Ali, in the tradition of Max Roach and Ed Blackwell, draws out the deeply musical tones in his drums, sometimes providing accompaniment for Jenkins, more often nestling in as equal partner. The compositions, all by Jenkins, range from torrid and in-your-face (“The Stomp”) to bluesy to abstract, none of them especially difficult for the new listener. A very fine (if all too short) recording, one of the best to emerge from the New York City “loft jazz” scene of the ’70s.

Sun Ra – Images – Space Is The Place (1972)

Space Is the Place provides an excellent introduction to Sun Ra’s vast and free-form jazz catalog. Typical of many Sun Ra recordings, the program is varied; earthbound songs, like the swing number “Images” and Egyptian exotica piece “Discipline,” fit right in with more space-age cuts, like the tumultuous “Sea of Sounds” and the humorous “Rocket Number Nine.” Sun Ra fuses many of these styles on the sprawling title cut, as interlocking harmonies, African percussion, manic synthesizer lines, and joyous ensemble blowing all jell into some sort of church revival of the cosmos. Throughout the recording, Sun Ra displays his typically wide-ranging talents on space organ and piano, reed players John Gilmore and Marshall Allen contribute incisive and intense solos, and June Tyson masterfully leads the Space Ethnic Voices on dreamy vocal flights. This is a fine recording and a must for Sun Ra fans.

Tim Warfield – Theme For Malcolm – Jazzland (2018)

Recorded September 22, 2017 in Brooklyn, NY

Tim Warfield tenor, soprano saxophone
Terell Stafford trumpet, flugelhorn
Pat Bianchi Hammond B3 Organ
Byron Landham drums
Daniel Sadownick percussion

Criss Cross Jazz 1400 CD

William Hooker – Comes Into View –  Pillars…At The Portal (2018)

Recorded at Funkadelic Studios , New York City

Jon Irabagon tenor, soprano saxophone
James Brandon Lewis tenor saxophone
Luke Stewart bass
Anthony Pirog guitar
William Hooker drums

2018 William Hooker / Mulatta Records

Portico Quartet – View from a Satellite – Untitled (AITAOA #2) (2018)

Featured Album

Featured Artist – Joe Henderson

Joe Henderson (April 24, 1937 – June 30, 2001) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. In a career spanning more than four decades, Henderson played with many of the leading American players of his day and recorded for several prominent labels, including Blue Note.

Joe Henderson – Ask Me Now – An Evening with Joe Henderson (1992)

Recorded in Italy in 1987 and released on the Red label.

Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone
Charlie Haden – bass
Al Foster – drums

A Thelonious Monk cover.

Joe Henderson – Bwaata – Multiple (1973)

Joe Henderson – tenor sax
Larry Willis – electric piano, ring modulator, Echoplex
Dave Holland – bass, electric bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums
Arthur Jenkins – congas, percussion

Joe Henderson, Wayne Darling, Ed Soph – Y Yo La Quiero (And I love her) – Barcelona (1992)

Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone
Wayne Darling – bass
Ed Soph – drums

One of two studio recordings from 1978 in Germany  released on the Enja label.

Ray Anderson – Intro, i’m a lucky so and so – What Because (1991)

RAY ANDERSON trombone, voice

Recorded November 15, 21 & 22, 1989 at A & R Recording Studios, NYC.
Gramavision – GV 79453-2

Elton Dean Quartet – Nancy (with the laughing face) – They All Be On This Old Road (1977)

Alto Saxophone, Saxello – Elton Dean
Bass – Chris Lawrence*
Drums – Louis Moholo
Piano – Keith Tippett

Ogun label

Henri Texier Strada Sextet – Dance Revolt – (V)ivre (2005)

Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – François Corneloup
Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Alto Saxophone – Sébastien Texier
Double Bass – Henri Texier
Drums – Christophe Marguet
Guitar – Manu Codjia
Trombone – Guéorgui Kornazov

Recorded June 6th to June 10th 2004 at Studio Gil Evans, Amiens

Portico Quartet – Dust – Untitled (AITAOA #2) (2018)

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