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

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