David Area / Tomás Gris / Ernesto Rodrigues – Chorismos

(Creative Sources) I’ll spare the title’s philosophical implications for another occasion, and get straight to the point. Creative Sources was among the first imprints to present works by artists honestly willing to travel the no man’s land separating sound from silence. For this, Ernesto Rodrigues’ label is respected by this reviewer in spite of the latter’s repudiation of similarly oriented music in recent years. I have spoken at length on the insincerity of certain assumed milestones — in reality, forgettable albums — by composers and/or improvisers who fabricated a trend for exploitable audiences (and, not infrequently, built rewarding careers on … Continue reading David Area / Tomás Gris / Ernesto Rodrigues – Chorismos

Jean Derome – Résistances

(Ambiances Magnétiques) When it comes to naming names in the all-encompassing landscape of contemporary music, Jean Derome’s eminence remains relatively unquoted amidst the sacred cows of the last decades. A first-class reedist and composer, he’s indelibly associated with René Lussier — specifically, in the duo Les Granules — beyond significant proprietary works (random memory selection: 1988’s Confitures de Gagaku, on Victo). Derome has shown time and again that his idiosyncratic creativity, compositional skill and ability to put a theory into artistically fructiferous practice are second to none. In its clever mix of conceptual consistency and stimulating interplay, Résistances clearly explains … Continue reading Jean Derome – Résistances

The Remote Viewers – Last Man In Europe

(Remote Viewers) The Remote Viewers might include throat-cutting improvised sections amidst notated scores, or emit toneless murmurs during long stretches of suspension. Nonetheless, two words that perfectly identify their music are “order” and “intelligibility”. Perhaps I’m slightly influenced by the public image projected by the press pictures showing them neatly attired. However, the sense of lucidity conveyed by a recording like this is not questionable. Following a series of changes in the lineup for the preceding chapters, Last Man In Europe is a trio for two saxophones (Dave Petts and Adrian Northover) and double bass (John Edwards). This reduced version … Continue reading The Remote Viewers – Last Man In Europe

Udo Schindler – Botenstoffe

(Confront) German reedist Udo Schindler was not born for acridness and collision. The owner of a transparent “inner tone” transferred on different species of saxophone and clarinet, Schindler is a firm flag-bearer of that area of improvisation where “balance” is the first commandment. Not exclusively in terms of acoustic weight and artistic relationship; what is looked for is an ideal equality of the existing gradations to be achieved — almost at the molecular level — through a precisely defined emission. This constitutes the starting point of a series of delicate questions to which only a committed player can answer; the … Continue reading Udo Schindler – Botenstoffe

Hans Reichel – Bonobo

(Corbett vs Dempsey) In 1987 or so a much younger embodiment of this disgruntled writer entered the Recommended Records headquarters in London’s Wandsworth Road. Among several rare items he was desperately searching for a copy of Hans Reichel’s Bonobo Beach, at that time practically impossible to score on the Italian territory. The man’s work had been discovered years earlier on Fred Frith’s Guitar Solos compilation, the beginning of an endless love for this overly humble artist. A talented improviser, Reichel was also a builder of nearly utopian tools for self-expression; in addition to innumerable bionic guitars he created the dachsophone … Continue reading Hans Reichel – Bonobo

Daunik Lazro / Jean-Luc Cappozzo / Didier Lasserre – Garden(s)

(Ayler) Beyond any commonplace, “freedom” — especially for drilled musicians endowed with sympathetic aesthesia — represents a possibility of probing tradition and newness through the use of detailed construction in symbiosis with the removal of predigested concepts. Even more frequently, an instrumental unit mixes all those components; that’s when things can get interesting — or plain horrible. How many albums of reinterpreted standards smelling of stale bread must we endure? How come several theoretical “free jazz” recordings flash an “establishment” billboard from the very first notes? Why a player whose beginnings appeared innovative becomes a face pouting from the cover … Continue reading Daunik Lazro / Jean-Luc Cappozzo / Didier Lasserre – Garden(s)

Hamid Drake & Ned Rothenberg – Full Circle – Live in Lodz

(Fundacja Słuchaj) This writer’s nonexistent command of the Polish idiom didn’t prevent him from taking account of the history and scope of the Fundacja Słuchaj organization, whose intriguing discography began flourishing at the very end of 2014. Names such as Joe Morris, Agustì Fernandez, Barry Guy, Frances-Marie Uitti have been enriching a roster comprising both renowned and local talents. Hamid Drake (drums, frame drums and voice) and Ned Rothenberg (clarinet, alto sax, shakuhachi) belong to “that” category of creative entity: one knows in advance that the only requirements are locating a hospitable couch, press play, and spend some quality time … Continue reading Hamid Drake & Ned Rothenberg – Full Circle – Live in Lodz