Christoph Erb / Jim Baker / Frank Rosaly – …Don’t Buy Him A Parrot…

(HatOLOGY) From personal experience I know that Werner X. Uehlinger — foreman of Hat Hut, of which HatOLOGY is the “jazz” branch — is a man who, to this day, maintains a pair of wide open ears. Just take a look at the label’s catalog to see what we mean. Granted, you can acknowledge certain names and recordings more than others; it’s only natural. Still, the range of artists who have had efforts published by the Swiss imprint has been consistently impressive, encompassing a considerable number of accomplished players — present and past — in varying combinations. Aside from a … Continue reading Christoph Erb / Jim Baker / Frank Rosaly – …Don’t Buy Him A Parrot…

Thollem / Mazurek – Blind Curves and Box Canyons

(Relative Pitch) Thollem Mcdonas (here featured under his “Thollem Electric” nominal alter ego) and Rob Mazurek need no introduction for those who have followed things just a bit in the last fifteen years or so. Innumerable projects and polymorphic collaborations have pushed both artists to global renown; the former’s special versatility on the keyboards and the latter’s conjunction of visual art with various combinations of brass and electronic instruments have nearly become standards by now. Still, the couple had not met until January 2016. They joined forces for an exhibition of Mazurek’s works, Marfa Loops Shouts And Hollers, held in … Continue reading Thollem / Mazurek – Blind Curves and Box Canyons

Steve Noble / Yoni Silver – Home

(Aural Terrains) Thanos Chrysakis’ Aural Terrains celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Not a minor accomplishment, considering the level of competition — so to speak — distinguishing the sonic field inside which the label operates. Each new AT release attempts to raise the bar in a quest for improved artistic significance while not overlooking the sheer aesthetic attributes of interactions involving sets of players (or more unsocial investigations such as, for example, Edith Alonso’s brilliant Collapse). That said, Home represents a rather engrossing outing. Highlighting the rational consciousness of percussionist Steve Noble and multi-instrumentalist Yoni Silver (here exclusively on bass … Continue reading Steve Noble / Yoni Silver – Home

Martin Archer – Story Tellers

(Discus) Yet another case of jazz-rooted-yet-nearly-impossible-to-categorize release, requiring open-mindedness and dedication (read: time) to ascertain its many values. Reedist and composer Martin Archer was aided by the sympathetic companionship of Mick Somerset on additional wind instruments and percussion, Kim Macari Stone-Lonergan on trumpet, Corey Mwamba on vibraphone, Anton Hunter on guitar and Peter Fairclough on drums. Although every musician is the owner of an excellent CV, this is not the sort of setting urging an audience to single out voices. It’s instead a collective effort of the genuine kind, a man’s idea interpreted with care for the detail and — … Continue reading Martin Archer – Story Tellers

Giuliano d’Angiolini – Cantilena

(Another Timbre) Two crucial phrases excerpted from an interview with Italian composer Giuliano d’Angiolini delineate the gist of his work. The first, “indeterminacy or chance put a brake on our will”; the second, “humans should be more discreet”. As a matter of fact, Cantilena‘s program includes pieces whose spaciousness and measured pace — enhanced by the perceptiveness of the performers — provide a listener with a heartening serenity. In that regard the initial pair of tracks — “Aria Del Flauto Eolico” for superimposed flutes and “Finale” for solo piano — top the whole. However, no risk exists for this music … Continue reading Giuliano d’Angiolini – Cantilena

The Keith Tippett Octet – The Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon

(Discus) The case of Keith Tippett is rather remarkable, in that one seldom finds a musician (mujician, we should say) whose reputation is at the same time grounded on numberless artistic correlations and distinguished by incomparable compositional manners. Aside from a promptly admitted writer’s admiration, perhaps the best compliment we can throw is that whatever type of ensemble he writes for and whoever the performers are, the result is always unquestionably Tippett. Tight arrangements sounding modern but with an eye to the past; right doses of nimble soloism; stirring openings to contemplative vistas (just check “The Dance Of The Intangible … Continue reading The Keith Tippett Octet – The Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon

Bryn Harrison – Receiving the Approaching Memory

(Another Timbre) The accuracy of each gesture in Receiving The Approaching Memory is directly proportional to the feeling of unclouded poetry conveyed by Bryn Harrison’s music, released by Another Timbre for the second time after 2013’s Vessels. This reviewer has been exclusively focusing on the album for days, an unequivocal sign of gratitude for the disclosure of an unpretentious masterpiece. In terms of sheer imagery, the comparison is that of a blackbird singing in front of the placid waters of a lake, the latter somehow mirroring those sounds in a wonderful connection between the bird’s jargon and the environmental reverberations. … Continue reading Bryn Harrison – Receiving the Approaching Memory