World of Jazz 290

  1. Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Defiant – Vanished Gardens
  2. Henry Threadgill Zooid – White Wednesday Off The Wall – This Brings Us To, Volume I
  3. Strunz & Farah – Butterfly’s Wing – Tales of Two Guitars
  4. Jason Robinson Janus Ensemble – Facing East – Resonant Geographies
  5. Oles Brothers with Christopher Dell – Three Pieces In Old Style – Gorecki Ahead
  6. Mark Nauseef – 13 50 – All In All In All
  7. Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Vanished Gardens – Vanished Gardens
  8. Henry Threadgill Zooid – Chairmaster – This Brings Us To, Volume I
  9. Strunz & Farah – Vision Vine – Tales of Two Guitars
  10. Gordon Grdina’a The Marrow – Telesm – Ejdeha
  11. John Butcher, Martin Blume, Wilbert De Joode – Flowers – Low Yellow
  12. Oles Brothers & Antoni Gralak – Gambetta – Primitivo
  13. Strunz & Farah – Clavo y Canela (Cloves and Cinnamon) – Tales of Two Guitars
  14. Henry Threadgill Zooid – Mirror Mirror The Verb- This Brings Us To, Volume I
  15. Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Monk’s Mood – Vanished Gardens

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Defiant – Vanished Gardens

On June 29th, Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams  released Vanished Gardens, an album that presents the fascinating collaboration between  Lloyd and  Williams. Together they weave several threads of American music (Jazz, Blues, Americana, Country, and Rock) into a   new musical hybrid.  The Marvels are Bill Frisell on guitar, Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar and dobro, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Eric Harland on drums. Vanished Gardens was produced by Lloyd, Dorothy Darr, and Don Was.

Henry Threadgill Zooid – White Wednesday Off The Wall – This Brings Us To, Volume I

This Brings Us To (2009) was the first release from Threadgill since 2001’s Everybodys Mouths a Book (Pi01) and Up Popped the Two Lips (Pi02). He has spent those eight years, the longest time between releases in his career, creating and perfecting a new system of improvisation in a group setting. A zooid is a cell that is able to move independently of the larger organism to which it belongs, an apt description of the musical language that Threadgill has developed for this band. The compositions are organized along a series of interval blocks comprised of three notes, each of which is assigned to a musician, who is free to move around within these intervals, improvising melodies and creating counterpoint to one another. The system provides the framework for open dialogue within the group while encouraging the musicians to seek new ways to improvise, away from a reliance on chord changes, scales or any of the clichés of certain free jazz.

Threadgill has always understood the importance of bringing together musicians who are willing to dedicate themselves to his vision. Each member of Zooid, Threadgill on flute and alto saxophone, Liberty Ellman on acoustic guitar, Jose Davila on trombone and tuba, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums has worked to gain a thorough mastery of Threadgill’s singular musical language. The core of the band has now been together for almost ten years. The one recent addition, Stomu Takeishi, was a member of Threadgill’s earlier band Make a Move, so he is no stranger to his music.

Strunz & Farah – Butterfly’s Wing – Tales of Two Guitars

S&F’s music is perhaps best described as original multi-cultural acoustic instrumental improvisational guitar music, or world jazz. Their music emphasizes and luxuriates in sensuous melody and rhythm with a colorful and passionate expression, and is saturated with their cultural roots. Afro-Caribbean, Latin American folk, flamenco and Middle Eastern music all converge in an essentially jazz context, especially in the sense of improvisation, and is a unique contribution to the diversity of contemporary guitar music.

Tales of Two Guitars – 2018 Selva 20th July – Strunz & Farah’s new studio recording, Tales of Two Guitars, is the latest chapter in the continuing story of the two virtuoso guitarists who have created an original and enduring body of guitar music. Rhythmic and colorful, and recorded with 11 guest musicians, Tales is a musical storybook of a fully evolved style of playing and composing which has been highly influential among guitarists everywhere. The new recording has 13 original pieces, full of contrasts both compositionally and instrumentally, ranging from rhythmic to romantic to jazz, incorporating in varying degrees their classic mix of Latin, Middle Eastern and Jazz influences.

Jason Robinson Janus Ensemble – Facing East – Resonant Geographies

Recorded January 5-6, 2016 at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY

Jason Robinson tenor and soprano saxophone, alto flute
JD Parran alto and contra-alto clarinet, bass flute
Oscar Noriega Bb and bass clarinets, alto saxophone
Marty Ehrlich bass clarinet, alto saxophone, flute
Michael Dessen trombone
Bill Lowe bass trombone, tuba
Marcus Rojas tuba
Liberty Ellman guitar
Drew Gress bass
George Schuller drums
Ches Smith drums, glockenspiel

2018 pfMENTUM PFMCD115

Resonant Geographies is a meditation on place, memory, relationships, and community. Each movement of the suite is inspired by specific places, a canvas of various experiences and memories for me over a number of years. These are not the sounds of places in a narrow sense, but what is contained here might as well be considered a sounding of those places.

Oles Brothers with Christopher Dell – Three Pieces In Old Style – Gorecki Ahead

Recorded August 29-30, 2017 at Studio S4 Polish Radio, Warsaw

Marcin Oles double bass
Bart Oles drums
Christopher Dell vibraphone

2018 Audio Cave ACD-005-2018

Mark Nauseef – 13 50 – All In All In All

Mark Nauseef percussion, electronics
Pat Thomas cassette player, electric keyboads, electronics
Sylvie Courvoisier piano, prepared piano
Arthur Jarvinen glockenspiel, chromatic harmonica, analogue electronics
Miroslav Tadić guitar
Bill Laswell bass
Walter Quintus real time processing
Tony Oxley percussion

2018 Relative Pitch RPR1065

Influenced by rock, jazz, Javanese and Balinese gamelan, NY drummer Mark Nauseef’s career has embraced an inclusive blending of styles, heard in this fantastic new album embracing compositional and ea styles, recorded with previous collaborators including Tony Oxley, Bill Laswell, Walter Quintus, along with Sylvie Courvoisier, Pat Thomas, Miroslav Tadic, & Arthur Jarvinen.

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Vanished Gardens – Vanished Gardens

Henry Threadgill Zooid – Chairmaster – This Brings Us To, Volume I

Strunz & Farah – Vision Vine – Tales of Two Guitars

Gordon Grdina’a The Marrow – Telesm – Ejdeha

Gordon Grdina oud
Mark Helias bass
Hank Roberts cello
Hamin Honari tombak, daf, frame drum

2018 Songlines SGL2409-2

Virtuoso Vancouver oud player Grdina’s new middle eastern/avant jazz ensemble is a quartet featuring illustrious New York collaborators Mark Helias (bass) Hank Roberts (cello) and Hamin Honari on Persian percussion. Grdina’s compositions are mostly based on classical Arabic maqam and Persian dastgah traditions but are performed in a creative jazz context where improvised group interplay is as important as solos and expanded tonality is welcomed. The music is intricate and often delicate with a deep connection to the past while looking forward. It defies categorization but remains comfortably engaging. The compositions cover a lot of ground. There are dark, brooding but frequently exciting excursions on middle eastern modes and vamps, more contrapuntally through-composed works, and two slow, song-like explorations for strings without percussion. The final piece is a vibrant, foot-tapping tribute to west African guitarist Boubacar Traore. This project extends Grdina’s previous fusions involving jazz improvisation and middle eastern music, from Think Like the Waves to East Van Strings and currently his 10-piece band Haram, while also drawing to some extent on his more avant jazz and guitar-based New York projects No Difference (featuring Helias) and Inroads (all on Songlines). But as Grdina points out, The oud has become about 50 per cent of my music…In the last few years it’s starting to feel like the oud playing and the guitar playing are turning into the same thing…It feels like jazz is looking outwards…Indian music, Iraqi music, Arabic stuff, Persian music: they’re all giving jazz another viewpoint on improvising.

John Butcher, Martin Blume, Wilbert De Joode – Flowers – Low Yellow

Recorded live October 28, 2016 at Španski borci ‘Sound Disobedience’ Ljubljana (Slovenia)

John Butcher tenor saxophone
Wilbert De Joode double bass
Martin Blume drums, percussion

2018 Jazzwerkstatt jw184

Oles Brothers & Antoni Gralak – Gambetta – Primitivo

Antoni Gralak trumpet
Marcin Oles double bass
Bartlomiej Oles drums

2016 For Tune 118 (075)

Strunz & Farah – Clavo y Canela (Cloves and Cinnamon) – Tales of Two Guitars

Henry Threadgill Zooid – Mirror Mirror The Verb- This Brings Us To, Volume I

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Monk’s Mood – Vanished Gardens

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World of Jazz 289

  1. John Coltrane – Untitled Original 11386 – Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album
  2. Jin Jim – 7X7X7 – Weiße Schatten
  3. Marty Ehrlich – Dusk – Trio Exaltation
  4. Barker Trio – Avert Your I – Avert Your I
  5. Jamie Saft Quartet – Sweet Lorraine – Blue Dream
  6. Irek Wojtczak Quintet – Weselny – Play Iy Again
  7. Fujii, Fonda, Mimmo – Available Gravity – Triad
  8. Andrew Barker, Daniel Carter – Polyhedron (For Roy Campbell) – Polyhedron
  9. Stone Alliance – King Tut – Stone Alliance
  10. John Coltrane – Impressions – Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album
  11. Marty Ehrlich – Stone – Trio Exaltation
  12. Stephanie Richards – Cerberus – Trio Music
  13. Jamie Saft Quartet – Mysterious Arrangements – Blue Dream
  14. Jin Jim – Duende – Weiße Schatten
  15. Marty Ehrlich – The Arc of the Oar – Trio Exaltation
  16. John Coltrane – Slow Blues- Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album

Concentrating on a handful of new releases this week with one dip into the archive. The centre piece of these new releases is something from John Coltrane

On March 6, 1963, Coltrane and his Classic Quartet—including double bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, and pianist McCoy Tyner—entered Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey and recorded a session that was lost for decades after its master tape was destroyed by Impulse Records to cut down on storage space. The seven tracks making up this album survived as a copy Coltrane gave to his wife.

John Coltrane – Untitled Original 11386 – Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album 

On March 6, 1963, Coltrane and his Classic Quartet—including double bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, and pianist McCoy Tyner—entered Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey and recorded a session that was lost for decades after its master tape was destroyed by Impulse Records to cut down on storage space. The seven tracks making up this album survived as a copy Coltrane gave to his wife.

The standard issue of the album includes one recording of each track and expanded deluxe editions include multiple takes, including several of the title track from Impressions.

The source tape was formerly in the possession of Coltrane’s first wife Juanita Naima. Van Gelder made a separate copy of Coltrane’s sessions for the saxophonist to listen at home. After the Guernsey’s auction house announced plans to sell Coltrane related artefacts in 2005, the record company intervened to prevent the sale of the tapes and acquired them. Coltrane’s son Ravi and studio executive Ken Druker assembled the final album with liner notes written by Sonny Rollins.

Jin Jim – 7X7X7 – Weiße Schatten

“Vertical lift-off” was how broadcaster NDR described Jin Jim’s rise on the German jazz scene. These words are justified, if one considers the relatively short backstory which now culminates in their ACT debut album “Weiße Schatten” (White Shadows).In 2013 Peruvian-born flautist Daniel Manrique-Smith, bassist Ben Tai Trawinski, guitarist Johann May and drummer Nico Stallmann started up Jin Jim. In their first year as a band they were voted through by the public into the finals of the JazzTube Festival in Bonn. In the following year, the quartet won the “Future Sounds” competition at the Leverkusener Jazztage festival out of a field of nearly 200 entrants, and also released their first album “Die Ankunft” (The Arrival). Their meteoric ascent is based on the innovation which they bring to the music. Latin, jazz and rock all blend together (ACT)

Marty Ehrlich – Dusk – Trio Exaltation

Recorded at Namouche Studios, in Lisbon, Portugal, on April 28

2018 Clean Feed CF475CD

“Marty Ehrlich has released his first trio recording in many years, entitled Trio Exaltation. For this new trio concept, Ehrlich has called on bassist John Hébert and drummer Nasheet Waits. All three were members together in the Andrew Hill Point of Departure Sextet, a group which brought Andrew Hill’s music strongly before the public in the last decade of Hill’s life.

This recording features eight new compositions by Marty Ehrlich, one of the most accomplished and celebrated composers and performers in the New Jazz. The one exception is the seminal composition of Andrew Hill entitled “Dusk”, which is also the title of the first Andrew Hill Sextet recording. Ehrlich writes that this is a work of “simple complexity which Andrew was a master of.”

Barker Trio – Avert Your I – Avert Your I

Recorded by Andrew Barker & Dave Polk in Brooklyn, NY on February 23 and 24, 2017

2018 Astral Spirits AS064

Barker, a mainstay on the Brooklyn/NYC free jazz, avant rock, and experimental music scenes since the late 1990s, he is perhaps best known for his work with the Gold Sparkle Band, ensembles led by William Parker, and many collaborations with Charles Waters, Daniel Carter, and other musicians. The Barker Trio also includes up-and-coming saxophonist Michael Foster and bassist Tim Dahl, the latter best known for his noise-rock group Child Abuse. Each of the three brings a tenacity and daring that elevates the visceral experience of the music.

Jamie Saft Quartet – Sweet Lorraine – Blue Dream

Jamie Saft piano
Bill McHenry tenor saxophone
Bradley Christopher Jones bass
Nasheet Waits drums

Jamie Saft’s penetration of acoustic jazz continues with his present quartet recording Blue Dreams. Sonically very like John Coltrane’s  1960’s quartet, circa A Love Supreme.

Irek Wojtczak Quintet – Weselny – Play It Again

Recorded live on September 29, 2015 at the Witold Lutoslawski Polish Radio Concert Hall Studio

Irek Wojtczak tenor, soprano sax; bass clarinet
Tomasz Dobrowski trumpet
Piotr Mania piano
Adam Zuchowski bass
Kuba Staruszkiewicz drums

2018 Fundacja Sluchaj FSR 06|2018

Excellently balanced, precise, playing from a strong line-up

Fujii, Fonda, Mimmo – Available Gravity – Triad

Recorded on October 9, 2017 at Real Sound Studio, in Milano, Italy

Satoko Fujii piano
Joe Fonda double bass, flute
Gianni Mimmo soprano saxophone

2018 Long Song Records LSRCD 142

“The second CD in a series of compelling releases featuring the lady of avant jazz Satoko Fujii and bass giant Joe Fonda, now with the addition of sax soprano master Gianni Mimmo. The result of a totally improvised one day studio session, Triad is a marvellous achievement in daring and spectacular avant jazz music. What better way for pianist-composer Satoko Fujii to celebrate turning 60 than with an album recorded on her birthday.

 

Andrew Barker, Daniel Carter – Polyhedron (For Roy Campbell) – Polyhedron

Recorded by Andrew Barker on January 20th, 2017 in Brooklyn, NY

Andrew Barker, drums, percussion
Daniel Carter alto, tenor, soprano saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, flute

2018 Astral Spirits AS066

“Polyhedron” finds Barker & Carter stretching the classic sax & drums duo into all kinds of wild territories and featuring each of their multi-instrumental talents throughout. Each piece is dedicated to colleagues that they have both worked with in the past & present (Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, William Parker & Charles Water). Both Daniel Carter & Andrew Barker have spent countless years honing their craft, together and individually…two true masters getting intensely deep within this tape. Play loud!

Stone Alliance – King Tut – Stone Alliance

Drums, Congas, Bongos, Bells – Don Alias
Electric Bass, Piano, Producer – Gene Perla
Tenor Saxophone – Steve Grossman
Originally released on PM Records in 1976

Recorded at Red Gate Studio, Kent, New York, June 1975 and June 1976.

“Stone Alliance is a newly formed group of three well-known musicians dedicated to the creative force of music in many styles inclusing Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Rock and Pop”.

John Coltrane – Impressions – Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album 

Marty Ehrlich – Stone – Trio Exaltation

Stephanie Richards – Cerberus – Trio Music

Recorded April 23, 2017 at Conrad Prebys Music Center, UC San Diego

Stephanie Richards trumpet, flugelhorn
Vinny Golia woodwinds, ethnic aerophones
Bert Turetzky contrabass

2018 Ninewinds / PfMentum Records PFMCD117

This record documents a new encounter for Vinny, Steph, and Bert  three improvisors collectively negotiating the edges in a space of vibrant empathy.

Jamie Saft Quartet – Mysterious Arrangements – Blue Dream

Jin Jim – Duende – Weiße Schatten

Marty Ehrlich – The Arc of the Oar – Trio Exaltation

John Coltrane – Slow Blues- Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album 

World of Jazz 288

  1. Kamasi Washington – Can You Hear Him – Heaven and Earth
  2. Daniel Carter, Tobias Wilner, Djibril Toure, Federico Ughi – 125th Street – New York United
  3. No Fast Food – Longer Shorter – Settings For Three
  4. Tonbruket – Sinkadus – Live Salvation
  5. Joachim Kuhn – Die Seerauber-Jenny, Jenny-des-pirates, Pirate Jenny – The Threepenny Opera
  6. Cues Trio Meets David Liebman – Fran Dance – Feel
  7. No Fast Food – El Smoke – Settings For Three
  8. Massimo Manzi Project – Bemsha Swing – Indentita’
  9. Sun Ra – The Magic City – The Magic City
  10. Tonbruket – Vinegar Heart – Live Salvation
  11. No Fast Food – Shramba – Settings For Three
  12. Kamasi Washington – VI Lua VI Sol – Heaven and Earth

 

Kamasi Washington – Can You Hear Him – Heaven and Earth

Los Angeles saxophonist and band leader Kamasi Washington cuts a divisive figure in the jazz world. Some traditionalists consider his sound derivative, but for a new generation the Kendrick Lamar collaborator has catalysed interest in a scene that once felt inaccessible. His second LP, a conceptual double album exploring earth (reality) and heaven (idealisation), is perhaps unlikely to sway the old guard, but it pushes forward with a purposeful vitality that was at times missing from his debut album (Guardian Review)

Young Turks label – The long-awaited follow up to Washington’s debut The Epic, Heaven & Earth is comprised of two halves, which find Washington confronting quotidian realities with cosmic themes. A further investigation of Washington’s world building ideas, the new album explores his reckoning with current global chaos and his vision for the future.

Washington convened his band, The Next Step, as well as members of the long running collective The West Coast Get Down at Henson Studios in Los Angeles to record the 16 tracks on Heaven & Earth. The music was composed, written and arranged by Washington, with new arrangements of jazz and bebop legend Freddie Hubbard’s “Hubtones” and iconic kung fu film theme “Fists of Fury,” as well as one song by bandmate Ryan Porter. Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Cameron Graves, Brandon Coleman, Miles Mosley, Patrice Quinn, Tony Austin and many more contribute to the album.

Daniel Carter, Tobias Wilner, Djibril Toure, Federico Ughi – 125th Street – New York United

Recorded on May 10, 2016 at Tedesco Studio, New Jersey

Daniel Carter alto, tenor saxophones, flute, trumpet
Tobias Wilner electronics, synth, beats
Djibril Toure bass
Federico Ughi drums

2018 577 Records 5803

Legendary downtown music master Daniel Carter meets Tobias Wilner from world-renowned electronic band Blue Foundation. Featuring Wu-Tang Clan bass player Djibril Toure & drum wiz Federico Ughi. As a band, they have played a number of concerts in NYC, including the Forward Festival 2016, and are currently promoting their debut album. This group is the ultimate mix between the classic New York sound of the avant-garde (i.e., John Coltrane & Albert Ayler) combined with electronic manipulation and production.

Although this is the first album they have released as a group, the four musicians have collaborated on different projects for years. To make this recording, they entered the studio without any preconceived plans or written music. They improvised brand new sounds on the spot that were later produced and moulded by Tobias Wilner. The result is four strong and dreamy tracks that showcase the rich sound of the acoustic instruments alongside the power of the electronic beats. This project is being released as a limited edition 12’’ vinyl album plus one bonus track for the digital version.

No Fast Food – Longer Shorter – Settings For Three

Recorded on January 10,2016 at Scholes Street Studio, Brooklyn NY

Drew Gress bass
Phil Haynes drums
David Liebman woodwinds

2018 Corner Store Jazz

Review by GLENN ASTARITA, AAJ

It would be easy enough to cite this trio as a veritable jazz supergroup. And as one would surmise, the musicians give it their best shot. It’s the trio’s third album and first not recorded from a live performance. Here, legendary reedman David Liebman uses various flutes and saxophones, yet this is a democratic engagement where each player serves a crucial role. Indeed, their insightful improv tactics and acute communications rule the roost via sombre ballads and popping funk vamps, amid a tidal wave of bouncy free-bop oeuvres and experimental world music grooves.

Liebman picks up his tenor sax atop Hayne’s sweeping drums patterns, leading to a potent medium-tempo and pulsating journey, sculpted on buoyant flows and alternating currents. However, they chance upon dark corridors due to Gress’ animated bass solo and Haynes’ creaky cymbals treatments, but amp it up with an excitable bop motif that comes to a dead stop. In addition, the crystalline audiophile sound quality is a bonus on this multidimensional program, streaming with prismatic colors and the musicians’ enviable chops, among many other positives.
Tonbruket – Sinkadus – Live Salvation

A superb concert recording „Live Salvation” captures the band’s fluidity as it moves from lulling and sensitive folk through playful and hip jazz, and onwards and outwards to ferocious full-on rock, casting the Swedish quartet in a different light from its award-winning studio recordings.The dovetailing and the interaction between the musicians are immaculate. If no single band member appears to stand out as a soloist, it is because they have a way of all soloing together at the same time. “The team is the star,” wrote the Esslinger Zeitung’s critic in a highly enthusiastic review of the Tonbruket concert at Jazzclub Bix in Stuttgart which is now presented on this CD.

line up
Dan Berglund / double bass
Johan Lindström / guitar, pedal steel
Martin Hederos / piano, synthesizers, violin
Andreas Werliin / drums

Recorded live in concert by Åke Linton
at Bix Jazzclub Stuttgart, November 17, 2016

ACT
Joachim Kuhn – Die Seerauber-Jenny, Jenny-des-pirates, Pirate Jenny – The Threepenny Opera

While the music of Kurt Weill has been frequently recorded by jazz musicians, most of the songs on this trio date, other than the well-known “Mack the Knife,” are not commonly performed in a jazz setting (one early exception was the album by the Sextet of Orchestra, USA).

Pianist Joachim Kuhn is joined by his frequent bandmates, Jean-François Jenny-Clark on bass and drummer Daniel Humair, for this introspective and very entertaining examination of eight songs from Weill’s “The Threepenny Opera”. “Pirate Jenny” is a driving hard bop performance that becomes quite intense  . Fans of post-bop and avant-garde will best appreciate the adventurous music within this highly recommended CD.

Joachim Kühn, Daniel Humair, Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark – Music From The Threepenny Opera

Cues Trio Meets David Liebman – Fran Dance – Feel

Roberto Tarenzi piano
Lucio Terzano acoustic bass
Tony Arco drums
David Liebman saxophones

2002 Abeat Records ABJZ 014

No Fast Food – El Smoke – Settings For Three

The group dedicates this album to the late modern jazz trumpeter, Paul Smoker (1941—2016). The first and lengthiest (10:28) track “El Smoke,” is derived from drummer Phil Haynes’ collective quartet Joint Venture, featuring bassist Drew Gress, saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and Smoker. Therefore, Settings for Three draws inspiration from Smoker’s artistry on this piece that begins with the bassist’s nimble phrasings and Liebman’s high-pitched flute work, offering imagery of a sacred place of worship.

Massimo Manzi Project – Bemsha Swing – Indentita’

Bass – Paolino Dalla Porta
Drums – Massimo Manzi
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Piano – David Liebman
2007 Wide Sound
Sun Ra – The Magic City – The Magic City

Recorded in two sessions in 1965,the record was released on Ra’s own Saturn label in 1966. It was reissued by Impulse! in 1973, and on compact disc by Evidence in 1993. It is part of the Penguin Jazz Guide’s Core Collection of recommendations.

It is notable especially for the title track, on which “the Arkestra’s range of feelings and sound is expressed in a design that’s simply unprecedented in jazz.” While it begins with use of tape echo recalling the experiments on Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow, the key features quickly emerge: Ra’s simultaneous piano and clavioline intertwining with Boykins’s bass as the underpinning for new long-forms of group music-making which draw on varying sub-ensembles from the Arkestra through the course of the piece.

Lindsay Planer writes:

The boundaries of Sun Ra’s self-proclaimed “space jazz” underwent a transformation in the mid-’60s. The Magic City is an aural snapshot of that metamorphic process. Many enthusiasts and scholars consider this to be among Ra’s most definitive studio recordings.

The title Magic City refers to Ra’s home town of Birmingham, Alabama, and to a large metal sign with the words ‘Birmingham, The Magic City’ erected in front of the railway station, Birmingham Terminal Station, in 1926   The cover art, by William White (as noted on the back side), directly references the dome of the station. Ra grew up next to the post office and close to the main station, where, “as a child, Sonny could look out the window and see the big sign over the railroad tracks that greeted visitors to The Magic City”. John F. Szwed explains:

[Birmingham was] the earthly birthplace he steadfastly denied, and in the recording he reimagines the city without its grim, racist, smoke-choked past. By simply pointing to musicians when he wanted them to play, he proved it possible to collectively improvise an entire album on the strength of nothing more than a shared belief.

Sun Ra – piano, clavioline
Pat Patrick – baritone saxophone, flute, tympani
John Gilmore – tenor saxophone
Marshall Allen – alto saxophone, flute, oboe, piccolo
Danny Davis – alto saxophone, flute
Harry Spencer – alto saxophone
Robert Cummings – bass clarinet
Walter Miller – trumpet
Chris Capers – trumpet
Ali Hassan – trombone
Teddy Nance – trombone
Bernard Pettaway – trombone
Roger Blank – Percussion
Ronnie Boykins – bass
Jimhmi Johnson – Percussion
Tonbruket – Vinegar Heart – Live Salvation
No Fast Food – Shramba – Settings For Three
Kamasi Washington – VI Lua VI Sol – Heaven and Earth

 

World of Jazz 287

  1. The Bad Plus – Hurricane Birds – Never Stop II
  2. Honest John with Ab Baars – Treem – Treem
  3. Chris Beck – Teona – The Journey
  4. Rafael Toral – Porto – Space Quartet
  5. Patrick Cornelius – Infinite Blue – Infinite Blue
  6. expEAR with Drew Gress – Blue to Pink – Vesper
  7. Minji Kim, Drew Gress, Jongkuk Kim – A Big Tree – Every Moment
  8. The Bad Plus – Salvages – Never Stop II
  9. Billy Bang – Da Bang – Da Bang!
  10. Billy Bang, Shoji Hano – Summer – East Meets West, Four Seasons
  11. Billy Bang, William Parker – Eternal Planet (Dedicated to Leroy Jenkins) – Medicine Buddha
  12. William Parker Quartets – Some Lake Oliver – Meditation Resurrection
  13. Oliver Lake – Maasai Moves – Movements, Turns and Switches
  14. The Bad Plus – Lean in the Archway – Never Stop II
  15. John Coltrane – Naima – Live At The Village Vanguard Again

 

The Bad Plus – Hurricane Birds – Never Stop II (2018)

The featured album, the first with new pianist Orrin Evans after the departure of their long-time pianist Ethan Iverson.  Back on track with some great compositions and a developing new sound that still reflects the Bad Plus we know and love

Orrin Evans: piano; Reid Anderson: bass; Dave King: drums.

Legbreaker Records
Honest John with Ab Baars – Treem – Treem (2018)

Recorded at Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria, Oslo, Norway, on October 29, 2016

Ole Henrik Moe violin
Kim Johannesen guitar, guitar banjo
Ola Hoyer double bass
Erik Nylander drums, drum machine
Klaus Ellerhusen Holm alto saxophone, Bb clarinet
Ab Baars tenor saxophone, Bb clarinet, shakuhachi

Clean Feed Records

Honest John is a quintet comprised of some of the most active and colourful musicians in the fields of Jazz and Improvisation in Norway. Honest John gathers inspiration from many divergent sources – Dutch Free jazz, Brazilian Jazz and Samba and composers like Webern and Schiarrino. With these different traditions well represented in the band, the result is a vital tonic of energetic compositions, with focused improvisations which issue forth from them.

Chris Beck – Teona – The Journey (2018)

Chris Beck drums
Stacy Dillard saxophone
Terell Stafford trumpet
Anthony Wonsey piano
Eric Wheeler bass

2018 Chris Beck / A.W.M.C. Records

With the release of this his debut album Chris Beck is making a name for himself on the New York scene as a hard-swinging, powerhouse drummer and composer. Beck’s refreshing and soulful vision as an artist is on full display, as is his unique ability to pay homage to the classic straight-ahead style of jazz while infusing elements of his African roots and Gospel upbringing.

Rafael Toral – Porto – Space Quartet (2018)

Recorded on November 2017  Sonoscopia, Porto

Rafael Toral modular feedback circuit, modified MS2 (feedback) and MT10 (bending) amplifiers (L)
Ricardo Webbens modular and network synthesizer (R)
Hugo Antunes double bass
João Pais Filipe drums and percussion

Clean Feed

After the conclusion of the 13-year-long Space Program series, Space Quartet marks a new horizon in Rafael Toral’s ongoing music explorations. Referring both to a record and a band configuration, Space Quartet embodies a maturing moment for the Portuguese musician. As one of the most internationally-recognized figures in the leftfield domains of music, Toral describes the album as “an advanced application of the Space Program principles”: electronic music with a human touch.

Over the years, Toral developed a jazz-like phrasing using abstract electronics. Operating within the context of a typical quartet, Space Quartet features the interplay of two electronic voices, one played by himself, on melodic feedbacks and hacked amplifiers, and one by Ricardo Webbens, on modular synthesizer and other custom stuff; rounding out the quartet is the versatile Hugo Antunes on double bass and the inventive drums of João Pais Filipe, who also plays gongs and bells of his own making.

The electronics are the driving core of the ambitious Space Quartet, setting it apart from many examples of electronics in jazz. Inspired by some of the principles and methods of enigmatic master Sei Miguel, the music develops solely according to the musicians’ free decisions. The result is a sense of flux and ever-renewing forward motion, continuously unfolding into new places, through spirit and matter from jazz-rock to ambient music and “the singing of standards from another planet” (Toral dixit). One thing is for sure: you’ve never heard anything like this before.

Patrick Cornelius – Infinite Blue – Infinite Blue (2013)

Patrick Cornelius alto saxophone
Frank Kimbrough piano
Michael Janisch bass
Jeff Ballard drums
Michael Rodriguez trumpet

2013 Whirlwind Recordings WR4637

Veteran New York saxophonist and composer Patrick Cornelius delivers his fourth album as leader with Infinite Blue, a gem of a recording that sparkles with an A-list of players interpreting eight new originals and one cover tune in one remarkable session of music.

expEAR with Drew Gress – Blue to Pink – Vesper (2017)

Drew Gress bass
Henrik Frisk tenor saxophone
Maggi Olin piano
Peter Nilsson drums

2017 expEAR / Kopasetic Productions

Three Swedish jazz musicians who have played together for decades intentionally leave room for extra members in their group expEAR. The main purpose of this project is to explore the potential openness of contemporary jazz and improvised music and move beyond genre delimitations.
Finding musicians and artists who have a long and particular experience of developing a unique voice in music is part of the quest: who could be better suited to fulfill this role than the phenomenal American bassist Drew Gress?
In nine compositions by Gress, Olin and Frisk, the four musicians play with unconditional sensibility, seeking the soft poetry of Cradle Song as well as the roaring intensity of Zaftig. Blue to Pink allows for melodic beauty and Vesper hard swing, while Removal by Suction shows dark and secret undertones. The dynamic mix between Nilsson’s powerful drumming and Gress’ solid bass lays down a rhythmic foundation for Olin’s harmonic complexity and Frisk’s tenor saxophone.

Minji Kim, Drew Gress, Jongkuk Kim – A Big Tree – Every Moment (2018)

Minji Kim piano
Drew Gress bass
Jongkuk Kim drums
Alan Ferber trombone

2018 Minji Kim / Nabiya Music

The Bad Plus – Salvages – Never Stop II

FEATURED ARTIST – BILLY BANG

Billy Bang (September 20, 1947 – April 11, 2011), born William Vincent Walker, was an American free jazz violinist and composer. He has a remarkable life story, he was a combat veteran from Vietnam, he was politically active, and his music career moved between Sun Ra, and a vast array of jazz musicians from the free improv end of the music.

Billy Bang – Da Bang – Da Bang! (2013)

Billy Bang violin
Dick Griffin trombone
Andrew Bemkey piano
Hilliard Greene double bass
Newman Taylor-Baker drums

2013 TUM Records CD 034

“Da Bang!” was recorded in February 2011, just two months before
Billy Bang succumbed to Lung cancer. In this final session, the Billy Bang Group
featured one extended composition by Bang, “Daydreams,” as well as compositions by
some of Bang´s favourite musicians, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins.  The title track was composed by Barry Altschul.
During his career, Billy Bang recorded almost 30 albums as a leader, another dozen
or so with various co-operative groups and many more as a sideman. In addition to being a beautiful recording in its own right and a stellar addition to his discography, Da Bang! serves as an ample reminder of why Billy Bang was considered a true master of his chosen instrument and one of the undisputed leaders of his generation of improvising musicians.

Billy Bang, Shoji Hano – Summer – East Meets West, Four Seasons (2009)

Recorded at Heart Lord Studio; Nakano Akiku, Hiroshima, Japan, 2008

Billy Bang violin
Shoji Hano drums
2009 Heart Lord Studio HLSCD-0009

Billy Bang, William Parker – Eternal Planet (Dedicated to Leroy Jenkins) – Medicine Buddha (2014)

Recorded Live May 8, 2009 at The Rubin Museum Of Art, New York

Billy Bang violin, thumb piano
William Parker bass, shakuhashi, dousn gouni

2014 NoBusiness Records NBCD 71
William Parker Quartets – Some Lake Oliver – Meditation Resurrection (2017)

In Order To Survive band

William Parker bass
Hamid Drake drums
Rob Brown alto saxophone
Cooper-Moore piano

2017 AUM Fidelity AUM104/105

Oliver Lake – Maasai Moves – Movements, Turns and Switches(1997)

Oliver Lake’s String Project. An unusual but consistently fascinating set, he utilizes a string quartet (violinist Ashley Horne and Sandra Billingslea, Ashley Horne on viola, and cellist Eileen Folson) for five of his six originals, occasionally adding bassist Belden Bullock

The Bad Plus – Lean in the Archway – Never Stop II

John Coltrane – Naima – Live At The Village Vanguard Again (1966)

Recorded in May 1966, the album shows Coltrane playing in the free jazz style that characterized his final recordings.

Out of all the recordings made during the session, only three pieces remain: “Naima”, originally from the album Giant Steps, “My Favorite Things”, from the album of the same name, and a bass solo by Jimmy Garrison entitled, “Introduction to My Favorite Things”. The line up consists of the augmented quartet of the time, featuring Alice Coltrane on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Rashied Ali on drums. Additionally, Pharoah Sanders contributes on flute and tenor saxophone, while Emanuel Rahim plays percussion. Coltrane and Sanders typically solo during the pieces over a whirlwind of percussion. Alice Coltrane can be heard playing in the background but at times is barely audible. Bass player Jimmy Garrison is somewhat hard to hear throughout the recording, except in his six-minute bass solo.

World of Jazz 286

  1. Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – Dirt Part III – Dirt… And More Dirt
  2. Alberto Pinton Noi Siamo – Marion – Opus Facere
  3. Angles 3 – Equality & Death (Mothers, Fathers, Where Are Ye) – Parede
  4. Samo Salamon Sextet -Blue – The Colours Suite
  5. Robert Wyatt – Song for Che – Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard
  6. Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra – This Is Not America – Not In Our Name
  7. Charlie Haden & Gonzalo Rubalcaba – When Will The Blues Leave – Tokyo Adagio
  8. Charlie Haden – The Golden Number – Golden Numbers
  9. Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, featuring Geri Allen – Blues In Motion – Etudes
  10. Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – And More Dirt Parts I to IV – Dirt… And More Dirt
  11. John Coltrane – Transition – Transition
  12. Miles Davis & John Coltrane – All Blues – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6
  13. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew – Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4

NOTES

Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – Dirt Part III – Dirt… And More Dirt (2018)

Bandcamp

Album of the Week

Comprised of two full-length works, “Dirt… and More Dirt,” is composed for Threadgill’s band 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg, which features 15 musicians (guitar, bass, drummers (2), cello, tuba, alto saxophone (3), flute (2), trumpet (2), trombone (2), and piano (2). The works are part of Threadgill’s ongoing exploration for integrating composition with group improvisation, in particular an entirely new system of improvisation based on preconceived series of intervals. They bear the unmistakable stamp of all Threadgill compositions: complex forms, multi-layered counterpoint, rigorous polyphony, and timbral contrasts all wrapped up in a swirl of rhythmic convolution. The use of multiple horns and woodwinds on “Dirt…” vastly expands the music’s harmonic and tonal palette at Threadgill’s disposal, adding a much wider range of color, texture, and weight. At the age of 73, Threadgill remains at the peak of his powers, yet remains completely open to all possibilities in expanding and refining his craft.

Alberto Pinton Noi Siamo – Marion – Opus Facere (2018)

Recorded on March 3, 2017 at Glenn Miller Café Stockholm Sweden

Alberto Pinton baritone, alto saxophone; clarinet, bass clarinet
Niklas Barnö trumpet
Torbjörn Zetterberg bass
Konrad Agnas drums

2018 Clean Feed CF473CD

The Italian, but living in Sweden, saxophonist and clarinetist Alberto Pinton continues to explore the post-bop heritage of the Sixties with his new album, “Opus Facere”, stretching it to include what is coming after free jazz in a non-conformist attitude. The name of his quartet, Noi Siamo (meaning We Are in English) has “This is Our Music” (because of the “This is” part), by Ornette Coleman, as a reference, but musically it brings us to another classic, Eric Dolphy’s “Out to Lunch”, and specially Pinton’s combinations with trumpeter Niklas Barnö (Fire! Orchestra, Je Suis – another allusion), modeled by the ones formed by the ongoing conversations between Dolphy and Freddie Hubbard. In Torbjorn Zetterberg and Konrad Agnas they have the ideal rhythm section to bring tradition to a sort of reinvention of the present. Through all this you have energetic solos and solid structures, everything you wish from an affirmative and audacious band committed to make jazz a music of fire and soul, as the great mavericks wanted to once upon a time. Intense, agile, shape-shifting, full of drive and, yes, swing. –Clean Feed Notes

Angles 3 – Equality & Death (Mothers, Fathers, Where Are Ye) – Parede (2018)

Recorded live November 22-24, 2016 at SMUP, Parede, Portugal

Martin Kuchen tenor, soprano saxophone
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten double bass
Kjell Nordeson drums, percussion

2018 Clean Feed CF483CD

“After concerts and recordings as Angles 10, Angles 9, Angles 8 and Angles 6, here is back the original Angles line-up, Angles 3. It was 2004 and for a gig at the Glenn Miller Cafe it’s mentor and saxophonist, Martin Küchen invited two Scandinavian musicians now living in the United States (respectively, Austin – Texas and San Diego – California), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Kjell Nordeson.

Parede, the title, is a tribute to the Portuguese town near Lisbon where the album was recorded live, at a venue called SMUP which in few years became the equivalent in this Southern European country to The Stone, Cornelia Street Café and Nublu. Most of the compositions, like Küchen’s classics “Satan in Plain Clothes” and “By Way of Deception”, are the same of those other Angles investments, of course with different arrangements. This version functions as a reduction to the essence of the music conceived by the Swedish musician, resulting in an energetic, even brutal, kind of free bop delivered to the ears as if it is punk or metal, echoes of Sonny Rollins and Albert Ayler mixing with something that could come from… The Melvins.” -Clean Feed

Samo Salamon Sextet -Blue – The Colours Suite (2017)

Recorded on June 30, 2016 at Jazz Festival Ljubljana

Samo Salamon guitar
Achille Succi bass clarinet
Julian Arguelles tenor, soprano saxophones
Pascal Niggenkemper bass
Roberto Dani drums
Christian Lillinger drums

2017 Clean Feed CF414CD

Here is one more live recording of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, featuring the Slovenian guitarist, and former John Scofield’s student, who is unanimously pointed out as one of the most defying players today in Europe: Samo Salamon. The Sextet is of transnational constitution, putting together the cream of the European scene, namely a British, Julian Arguelles, two Italians, Achille Succi and Roberto Dani, a French-German, Pascal Niggenkemper, and a German, Christian Lillinger. The presence of two drummers was an old Salamon’s aspiration, as it was the desire to have with him, for the first time, an «amazing» (his own adjective) double bassist like Niggenkemper and to continue to work with Succi, who contributed to another album by the composer of “The Colours Suite”, “Ornethology”. Being each one of the participants specially picked for this project, Samo Salamon wrote the suite thinking about the personalities of these musicians. This was the modus operandi of Duke Ellington, and there’s something of that heritage here, namely the combination of complex harmonic and rhythmic motives with open improvisation, the results giving us the «feel of a living organism». In two words: powerful music, not to be missed. –CF

Robert Wyatt – Song for Che – Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975)

The follow-up to Rock Bottom, for which Wyatt had written all of the music and lyrics, Ruth… consists of Wyatt’s adaptations and arrangements of other people’s music (either friends – Phil Manzanera, Fred Frith, Mongezi Feza, former Wilde Flowers bandmate Brian Hopper – or influences – Charlie Haden) with Wyatt adding his own lyrics in much the same way as he had done on Matching Mole’s Little Red Record. Released on Virgin Records

Gary Windo –   tenor and alto saxophone
Nisar Ahmad “George” Khan – tenor and baritone saxophone
Bill MacCormick – bass guitar
Laurie Allan – drums

ARTIST OF THE WEEK- Charlie Haden

American double bass player, bandleader, composer and educator known for his deep, warm sound, and whose career spanned more than fifty years. In the late 1950s, Haden was an original member of the ground-breaking Ornette Coleman Quartet.

Haden revolutionized the harmonic concept of bass playing in jazz.  Haden played a vital role in a revolutionary new approach, evolving a way of playing the bass that sometimes complemented the soloist and sometimes moved independently. In this respect, as did his predecessors  Jimmy Blanton and Charles Mingus, Haden helped liberate the bassist from a strictly accompanying role to becoming a more direct participant in group improvisation. In 1969, he formed his first band, the Liberation Music Orchestra, featuring arrangements by pianist Carla Bley. In the late 1960s, he became a member of pianist Keith Jarrett’s trio, quartet and quintet. In the 1980s, he formed his band, Quartet West. Haden also often recorded and performed in a duo setting, with musicians including guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Hank Jones.

Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra – This Is Not America – Not In Our Name
Charlie Haden & Gonzalo Rubalcaba – When Will The Blues Leave – Tokyo Adagio
Charlie Haden – The Golden Number – Golden Numbers
Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, featuring Geri Allen – Blues In Motion – Etudes

Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – And More Dirt Parts I to IV – Dirt… And More Dirt

John Coltrane – Transition – Transition (1970)

Recorded in 1965 but released posthumously only in 1970. As its title indicates, Transition was a bridge between classic quartet recordings like A Love Supreme and the more experimental works of Coltrane’s last years. For some reason, Impulse! decided to alter the track listing of the original album on the CD edition, removing “Dear Lord” and replacing it with two pieces originally released on Kulu Sé Mama, both recorded on June 10: “Welcome” and “Vigil”. However, the 2001 Japanese edition restored the original track listing.

Coltrane’s playing alternates between blues idioms and the free jazz that would dominate his final work. Of the four musicians on this album, pianist McCoy Tyner was still the most grounded in traditional jazz. Bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones were finding new ways to approach their instruments, while Coltrane took the lead with a new found musical freedom.

Miles Davis & John Coltrane – All Blues – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 (2018)

Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)

Konserthuset, Stockholm March 1960

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew – Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 (2015)

Recorded October 22, 1971 at the Newport Jazz Festival in Europe, Neue Stadthalle, Dietikon, Switzerland

Miles Davis – electric trumpet with wah-wah
Gary Bartz – soprano saxophone, alto saxophone
Keith Jarrett – electric piano, organ
Michael Henderson – electric bass
Leon “Ndugu” Chancler – drums
Don Alias – percussion
James Mtume Foreman – percussion

 

 

World of Jazz 285

  1. Elephant9 – Way Of Return – Greatest Show On Earth
  2. Horace Tapscott & Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra – Maui – Flight 17
  3. Yves Charuest, Agusti Fernandez, Nicolas Caloia, Peter Valsamis – (Un)Fold V – Stir
  4. Sean Conly – Skippin’ Time (1000 Mile Rule) – Hard Knocks
  5. The Open Secret – Spoon Wink – A Geography For Plays
  6. Steve Tibbets – The Big Wind – Northern Song
  7. Elephant9 – Farmers Secret – Greatest Show On Earth
  8. Terje Rypdal – Bleak House – Bleak House
  9. Terje Rypdal – Innseiling – Descendre
  10. Terje Rypdal – After The Rain – After The Rain
  11. Joelle Leandre, Elisabeth Harnik – Ear Area 1 – Tender Music
  12. Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré – Birth Wish 2 – Birth Wish
  13. Caterina Palazzi Sudoku Killer – Grimilde (From Snow White) – Asperger
  14. Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, Chris Corsano – Legacies – A History of Nothing
  15. Lynn Cassiers – Kapitein Antonio & Toutes Les Gares – Imaginary Band
  16. Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré – Birth Wish – Birth Wish
  17. Elephant9 – Mystery Blend – Greatest Show On Earth

 

Elephant9 – Way Of Return

Greatest Show On Earth (2018)

Album of the week

Elephant9 blends the virtuosic precision of King Crimson and Yes with the jazz-fusion explorations of electric Miles, Weather Report and the Tony Williams Lifetime. Key and time signatures change constantly as the quartet helters and skelters between tightly composed sections, driving kosmische interludes and bucolic Canterbury excursions. Rolling Stone (US)

This sums it up pretty well when it comes to reference points, but it´s also necessary to add that Elephant9 have developed quite a personal and identifiable style – through previous albums, touring and close collaborations with Reine Fiske and Terje Rypdal.
On this, their fifth studio album, they are back to the core trio of their two first albums, with Ståle Storløkken (keyboards), Nikolai Hængsle (bass) and Torstein Lofthus (drums). “The Greatest Show On Earth” displays some truly astonishing playing and is a more dynamic, structured and focused album with all tracks clocking in between five and seven minutes.

Horace Tapscott & Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra – Maui 

Flight 17 (1978)

Other than half an album cut in 1969 for Flying Dutchman (which was shared with the John Carter/Bobby Bradford group), this release was pianist Horace Tapscott’s recording debut as a leader. Tapscott’s Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (consisting of two pianos, six reeds, two trombones, Red Callender on tuba, cello, two basses, a drummer, and a percussionist) had an unusual sound and made three records during 1978-1979. The band performs five group originals; surprisingly none were written by the leader. While there are some individual solos (particularly by Tapscott), it is the dense and frequently exciting ensembles that are most notable in this avant-garde but rhythmic music.

Yves Charuest, Agusti Fernandez, Nicolas Caloia, Peter Valsamis – (Un)Fold V

Stir (2018)

Recorded on June 19, 2014 at Studio Hotel2Tango, Montreal Canada

Yves Charuest alto saxophone
Agusti Fernandez piano
Nicolas Caloia contrabass
Peter Valsamis drums

2017 Tour de Bras TB89021CD

Sean Conly – Skippin’ Time (1000 Mile Rule)  

Hard Knocks

Recorded on August 29, 2017 at Tedesco Studios , Paramus NJ

Sean Conly double bass
Michaël Attias alto saxophone
Satoshi Takeishi drums

2018 Clean Feed CF472CD

In a trio setting with Satoshi Takeishi (drums) and Michaël Attias (alto saxophone), Sean sets out on a musical adventure with his longtime friends and collaborators of roughly 20 years.

The Open Secret – Spoon Wink 

A Geography For Plays (2018)

Recorded November 29, 2014 at RAK Studios, London, UK

John Butcher saxophones, feedback
dieb13 (aka Dieter Kovacic) turntables, computer
Gino Robair energized surfaces, prepared piano, Blippoo Box

 

Butcher and Robair have been making music together for more than 20 years, and this recording documents their trio with Viennese turntablist dieb13.
Moody and dark, The Open Secret goes against  your expectations of improvised music.

Steve Tibbets – The Big Wind

Northern Song (1982)

Recorded October 26-28, 1981, Talent Studio, Oslo

Congas, Bongos, Percussion – Marc Anderson
Guitar [6 String], Twelve-string Guitar, Kalimba, Tape Loops

ECM Records

Steve Tibbets debut with ECM

Elephant9 – Farmers Secret 

Album of the Week

ARTIST OF THE WEEK TERJE RYPDAL

Starting out as a Hank Marvin-influenced rock guitarist with The Vanguards, Rypdal turned towards jazz in 1968 and joined Jan Garbarek’s group and later George Russell’s sextet and orchestra. An important step towards international attention was his participation in the free jazz festival in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1969, where he was part of a band led by Lester Bowie. During his musical studies at Oslo university and conservatory, he led the orchestra of the Norwegian version of the musical Hair. He has often been recorded on the ECM record label, both jazz-oriented material and classical compositions

Terje Rypdal – Bleak House 

Bleak House (1968)

One would think Terje Rypdal’s debut is more psychedelic blues than it is jazz on the basis of the opening track but then it expands into a wide range of other areas presenting a microcosm of the late 60s European transition from jazz-rock into what would become a unique ambient/avant-garde/free jazz hybrid. Rypdal incorporates elements of post-bop, big band, fusion and avant-garde, into a remarkably mature album, given his age.

A large number of musicians are in play most notably Jan Garbarek and Jon Christensen are key players.

A great debut.

Terje Rypdal – Innseiling

Descendre (1980)

Rypdal’s ninth album as a leader. Recorded in 1979 and released the following year. A beautifully understated album with a trio of Rypdal, Palle Mikkelborg and Jon Christensen. The searing sustained guitar works well with Mikkelborg’s bleak trumpet and Christensen adds some interesting colour. Additional keyboards from Rypdal and Mikkelborg make the band sound a lot bigger than a trio.

Terje Rypdal – After The Rain 

After The Rain (1976)

Essentially a solo album with vocals from, his then-wife, Inger Lise Rypdal, the only other contributor. It’s standard ECM output, all ambient and floating, with Terje playing long and sustained solo electric guitar passages over a minimal backing. Rypdal plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer, piano, electric piano, soprano saxophone, flute, bells, and, tubular bells.

Joelle Leandre, Elisabeth Harnik – Ear Area 1 

Tender Music (2018)

Elisabeth Harnik piano
Joelle Leandre bass

2018 Trost records TR172CD

This album is a great opportunity to hear two outstanding jazz masters playing together.

“Tender Music” has evocative, innovative and interesting sound. The improvisations are always changing, they are based on many different styles, manners, expressions and the opposite episodes, which are highly contrasting with each other.

Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré – Birth Wish 2  

Birth Wish (2000)

Effects [Live Treatments], Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Erik Honoré
Piano – Christian Wallumrød
Sampler [Live Sampling], Producer – Jan Bang
Trumpet – Arve Henriksen

Pan M Records

Quietly stunning jazz with ambient electronic elements. According to the liner notes, every noise on the album was originally produced by either piano or trumpet — from there, they’re either left as-is or filtered through a sampler or any number of effects.

Caterina Palazzi Sudoku Killer – Grimilde (From Snow White)  

Asperger (2018)

Recorded August 2017 at LRS Factory Roma Italy

Caterina Palazzi double bass, compositions
Giacomo Ancillotto guitar
Maurizio Chiavaro drums
Sergio Pomante tenor saxophone

2018 Clean Feed CF474CD

Each composition in “Asperger” is a suite inspired by one bad character of the movies produced by Disney, and like the previous “Infanticide” the purpose is to destroy the childhood vision that the good guy always wins, something that reality constantly denies in the adult world.

Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, Chris Corsano – Legacies  

A History of Nothing (2018)

Rodrigo Amado tenor saxophone
Joe McPhee pocket trumpet, soprano saxophone
Kent Kessler double bass
Chris Corsano drums

2018 Trost Records TR170

Lynn Cassiers – Kapitein Antonio & Toutes Les Gares 

Imaginary Band (2018)

Recorded December 9-12, 2017 at Dada Studios, Brussels, Belgium

Lynn Cassiers voice, electronics
Ananta Roosens violin
Sylvain Débaisieux soprano, tenor saxophone
Niels Vermeulen euphonium
Erik Vermeulen piano
Manolo Cabras double bass
Marek Patrman drums

2018 Clean Feed CF484CD

The septet consisting of Lynn Cassiers (compositions, voice, electronics), Sylvain Debaisieux (soprano and tenor saxophone), Ananta Roossens (violin), Niels Van Heertum (euphonium), Erik Vermeulen (piano), Manolo Cabras (double bass) and Marek Patrman (drums) is debuting with the record you hold in your hands, ‘Imaginary Band’. Cassiers’ compositions are dynamic, free, vulnerable and musing. With her dreamy voice and electronic manipulations, Lynn Cassiers knows exactly how to take the audience with her to her own unique and personal universe. Imaginary Band transcends the classical jazz ensemble and sounds fresh and adventurous.

Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré – Birth Wish  

Elephant9 – Mystery Blend 

World of Jazz 284

  • Enemy – Prospect of K – Enemy
  • McCoy Tyner – Shades of Light – Together
  • Till Bronner & Dieter Ilg – A Thousand Kisses Deep – Nightfall
  • Carter, Dukovski, Mihas, Harshbarger, Spanos – Seed – Unanimity
  •  Mike Adcock & Paul Jolly – An Evening of Viennese Cupboardry – Risky Furniture
  • Chris Pitsiokos CP Unit – Once Upon A Time Called Now – Silver Bullet In The Autumn Of Your Years
  • Charles Mingus – Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Silk Blue – Changes Two
  • Charles Mingus Quintet; – Pithecanthropus Erectus: Evolution, Superiority-Complex, Decline, Destruction – Pithecanthropus Erectus
  • Charles Mingus – Hobo Ho – Let My Children Hear Music
  • Enemy – Jinn – Enemy-López, Pursglove, Mazur – Three Women At The Spring = Threehold
  • Steve Reid – Sixth House – Nova
  • Chris Pitsiokos CP Unit – Arthropod – Silver Bullet In The Autumn Of Your Years
  • Enemy – Politix – Enemy

Enemy – Prospect of K (2018)

Album of the week – on Edition Records

ENEMY is the new trio featuring bassist Frans Petter Eldh, pianist Kit Downes and drummer James Maddren. Described as ‘fiercely intense’ and ‘beautifully intricate’, their eponymously titled debut spotlights three brilliant and creative musical minds committed to the exploration of new worlds of performance and music: total music, with each musician contributing equally in an authentic aesthetic display.

As the band explains: “ENEMY is about intensity and complexity – negotiations of cryptic rhythms and wonky beats with light speed intensity and high energy – our music combines in a storm of density and wild freedom, which we write to deliberately push each other to our limits – both creatively and technically.”

McCoy Tyner – Shades of Light (1978)

The relatively overlooked McCoy Tyner album “Together” features a septet of Tyner on piano, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and flugelhorn, Hubert Laws on flutes, Bennie Maupin on tenor sax and bass clarinet, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes and marimba, Stanley Clarke on acoustic bass, Bill Summers on congas and percussion, and the uncredited Jack DeJohnette on drums.

Standard post-bop/modal workouts with some fine interplay between the players plus it’s good to hear Stanley Clarke on an acoustic bass. Tyner is in fine form and it’s a mystery as to why this album did not garner more praise.

Recorded August 31-September 3, 1978 at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley
Milestone Records M-9087. / OJCCD-955-2

Till Bronner & Dieter Ilg – A Thousand Kisses Deep (2018)

From the album “Nightfall”

Till Brönner trumpet, fluglelhorn
Dieter Ilg bass

2018 Till Brönner / Okeh Records

It’s a début album and, at the same time, the fruit of a long and intensive collaboration between two great musicians.

Carter, Dukovski, Mihas, Harshbarger, Spanos – Seed (2018) 

Recorded on September 12th, 2015 at Favela Worldwide, Brooklyn, NY.

Daniel Carter winds
Vasko Dukovski clarinets
Stelios Mihas guitar
Jeff Harshbarger bass
George Spanos drums

Mike Adcock & Paul Jolly – An Evening of Viennese Cupboardry (2018)

Risky Furniture on 33Extreme – Mike Adcock and Paul Jolly have always had a shared interest in improvised music and they bring their experience together on this album of completely improvised pieces. The album features Mike on piano and Paul playing sopranino, soprano and tenor saxophones and bass clarinet.

The Mike Adcock and Paul Jolly collaborations date back to the 1970’s. They have worked together in many different settings over the years, including various rock, folk, blues and jazz bands.

Chris Pitsiokos CP Unit – Once Upon A Time Called Now  (2018)

The album is “Silver Bullet In The Autumn Of Your Years”

Recorded on May 28 and November 6, 2017 at Seizures Palace, Brooklyn, NY

Chris Pitsiokos alto saxophone, wind controller, sampler, analog synthesizer
Sam Lisabeth guitar
Tim Dahl electric bass (4, 6, 9, 10)
Jason Nazary drums and electronics (4, 6, 9, 10)
Henry Fraser electric bass (1-3, 5, 7, 8)
Connor Baker drums (1-3, 5, 7, 8)

2018 Clean Feed CF481CD

Chris Pitsiokos is indeed what everybody says about him: the most representative face of a new generation of musicians committed to change the New York jazz scene. Or the New York rock scene, because he is positioned somewhere among those genres, also incorporating aspects of contemporary classical music in his compositions and improvisations. Here again, we find him expanding the possibilities of his instrument, the alto saxophone, under the influence of Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics, noise music, and the timbral explorations of Stockhausen. The CP Unit includes a regular companion, Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, Pulverize the Sound) and musicians Sam Lisabeth (Samuel Boat, Guerilla Toss), Henry Fraser (The Full Salon, Brandon Seabrook Trio, Brandon Seabrook’s Die Trommel Fatale), Jason Nazary (Little Women, Bear in Heaven) and Connor Baker (No Name, Michael Foster’s The Ghost). While Pitsiokos is firmly rooted in the melodic vocabularies of his forbears Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman, his structural, harmonic and timbral ideas propel him into the future and beyond. Always included are the personal contributions of his partners, opening himself and the music to their visions. The result is astonishing.

Charles Mingus – Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Silk Blue (1975)

Changes Two – It was recorded on 27, 28, and 30 December 1974 at Atlantic Studios in New York City—the same sessions which resulted in Mingus’ album Changes One.,Atlantic Records initially released the record. In 1993, it was issued on CD by Rhino Records.

Charles Mingus – Bass
Jack Walrath – Trumpet
George Adams – Tenor saxophone
Don Pullen – Piano
Dannie Richmond – Drums

Charles Mingus Quintet – Pithecanthropus Erectus: Evolution, Superiority-Complex, Decline, Destruction (1956)

According to Mingus’s liner notes, the title song is a ten-minute tone poem, depicting the rise of man from his hominid roots (Pithecanthropus erectus) to an eventual downfall due to “his own failure to realize the inevitable emancipation of those he sought to enslave, and his greed in attempting to stand on a false security.” The song’s title translates into “Upright Ape-Man”. Released on Atlantic.

Charles Mingus – bass
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
J. R. Monterose – tenor saxophone
Mal Waldron – piano
Willie Jones – drums

Charles. Mingus – Hobo Ho (1972)

From “Let My Children Hear Music” – released by Columbia Records in 1972  produced by Teo Macero. The music is scored for large jazz orchestra and Mingus worked with several arrangers, orchestrators and conductors, most notably Sy Johnson and Alan Raph, to realize some of his most ambitious compositions. In the original liner notes, Mingus described it as “the best album I have ever made”.

Enemy – Jinn 

Album of the week

López, Pursglove, Mazur – Three Women At The Spring (2018)

From an album called Freehold

Recorded May 31, 2017 at B&B Records, Niepolomice, Poland

Ramón López drums
Percy Pursglove trumpet, flugelhorn (7)
Rafal Mazur acoustic bass guitar

2018 Not-Two Records MW 973-2

Steve Reid – Sixth House (1976)

Nova an album by Reid and the Legendary Masters Brotherhood.

A remarkable album by a largely unknown group of musicians who are lead by an artist who has been sadly neglected.  Effortless funky and soulful but also full of surprises from the jazz side of things. It hits the groove hard and stays there, working with James Brown clearly had an effect on Reid’s approach to rhythms.

Chris Pitsiokos CP Unit – Arthropod

Enemy – Politix