- The Bad Plus – Hurricane Birds – Never Stop II
- Honest John with Ab Baars – Treem – Treem
- Chris Beck – Teona – The Journey
- Rafael Toral – Porto – Space Quartet
- Patrick Cornelius – Infinite Blue – Infinite Blue
- expEAR with Drew Gress – Blue to Pink – Vesper
- Minji Kim, Drew Gress, Jongkuk Kim – A Big Tree – Every Moment
- The Bad Plus – Salvages – Never Stop II
- Billy Bang – Da Bang – Da Bang!
- Billy Bang, Shoji Hano – Summer – East Meets West, Four Seasons
- Billy Bang, William Parker – Eternal Planet (Dedicated to Leroy Jenkins) – Medicine Buddha
- William Parker Quartets – Some Lake Oliver – Meditation Resurrection
- Oliver Lake – Maasai Moves – Movements, Turns and Switches
- The Bad Plus – Lean in the Archway – Never Stop II
- 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.
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
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
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.