One of the headiest Peter Brotzmann albums we've heard in years, thanks to the sound of the Black Bombaim group from Portugal – who play with a guitar-heavy drive that almost takes us back to Brotzmann's Last Exit recordings of the 80s! The group play with a forward energy that takes off right from the start – heavy drums and full-on fuzzy guitar, plus some deep electric bass as well – all of which puts the reedman in a different setting than most of his recent projects, and one that reminds us just how well-suited he can be for such an experience! Some of the performances here really blow our minds all over again – with a tone that's strong, and incredibly clear – sometimes even more focused than on some of Brotzmann's other recent records, but still very free and sharp-edged overall. The album was recorded live in the studio, with a very jamming vibe! LP, Vinyl record album
Friends & Neighbors come on even stronger here than on their previous record – with a blistering array of sharp-edged notes that really live up to the Ornette Coleman legacy that inspired their name! The group's incredibly deft – free, but never unstructured – able to turn on a dime, and draw the best from each individual member – while never making it feel like the quintet is being overshadowed by a larger ego or two. There's a sympathy between the players that you don't always get on records like this – and although the performances are quite free, they have an intrinsic logic that makes them extremely powerful. Group features Andre Roligheten on tenor and clarinet, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums – and titles include "Fool Pay", "Duality", "Nokken", "Melting Snow", "Friends", and "Jaguar". LP, Vinyl record album
Jorgen Mathisen/Christian Meaas Svendsen/Andreas W —
Momentum ... LP CleanFeed (Portugal), 2016. New Copy ...
Layers of sound from this mighty heavy trio – saxophonist Jorgen Mathisen, bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen, and drummer Andreas Wildhagen! Side one features the blistering "Momentum" – a tune that's awash in these sheets of notes and textures from Jorgen on tenor – with maybe a bit of a break in the middle for the bass, before Mathisen then takes on a more pointed, spiritual journey on his horn! Side two features three shorter tracks – "Gaining", "Maintaining", and "Snake Ballad" – which have even more abstract sonic expression from the group! LP, Vinyl record album
A trio of live performances from this excellent trio – material recorded in Oslo, Ljubljana, and the North Sea festival – brought together here in a really wonderful package! The first record features just the trio – Gard Nilssen on some incredibly dynamic drums, working with Petter Eldh on bass and Andre Roligheten on tenor and soprano sax – a group who really find a new way to open things up past the original trio mode of Sonny Rollins in the 50s, but without the oft-trod territory of the familiar avant power trio too. The group is joined by Fredrik Ljungkvist on tenor and clarinet on the second album – and we always love Fred's work on any session, this one included. The final record features a quintet – with the presence of Jorgen Mathisen on tenor and clarinet, and Kristoffer Berre Alberts on alto, tenor, and baritone – which really ups the reed power of the album! A heck of a lot of music in one short space – all free, but nicely structured into songforms too. LP, Vinyl record album
The legendary Pharoah Sanders joins the Chicago/Sao Paulo Underground – and the result is one of the most striking records in years from everyone involved! Pharoah blows with this really open, searching sort of tone – wonderfully concerned with sound texture at points, and not nearly as straight a some of his other sessions in recent decades – definitely drawing strong inspiration from the freewheeling work of Rob Mazurek on cornet, flute, and electronics – with additional electronics from Guilherme Granado. Drummer Chad Taylor provides a firm grounding for the experiments – as does bassist Matt Lux – and the group gets some Sao Paulo touches touches Mauricio Takara, who also plays percussion as well. Tracks are all relatively long – cosmic and open, with a stunning mix of acoustic and electric elements – and titles include "Spiral Mercury", "Primitive Jupiter", "This One's For All Mothers", and "Asasumamehn" – two of which are not on the CD! LP, Vinyl record album
A group who've got a pretty heavy sound for such a poetic name – hardly the lightness you'd expect from the stars – and instead a full-on wave of improvised sound from a mixed electric and acoustic lineup! The group features Kristoffer Berre Alberts on alto and tenor, Jamie Saft on lapsteel and organ, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on electric and acoustic bass, and Gard Nilssen on drums and electronics – all players who use their instruments here more with a sense of sound texture than musicality – sitting in a space between improvised jazz and noise, almost echoing some older New York downtown modes at times. Titles include "A Beautiful Nightmare", "The Art Of Silence", "The Prince Of The Face Of The Bull", "Suspended Veil", and "Minnewaska". LP, Vinyl record album
Tree Ear (Hemmingway/Strinning/Troller) —
Witches Butter ... LP CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy Gatefold ...
The album's got a wild west cover, but a rock solid free jazz pedigree – as the music is performed by the trio of Gerry Hemmingway on drums, Manuel Troller on guitar, and Sebastian Strinning on tenor and bass clarinet! The sounds within are often very spacious and open – sometimes working with a very subtle approach, so that the resonance between each element is so gentle, it's sometimes hard to tell where one instrument ends and the other begins! A few points are a bit more wild – there's certainly a few breakout improvisational moments on the set – but the record's real charm is the careful slow brewing of sonic elements, on titles that include "Kill Button", "Big Blind", "Third Man Walking", "Range Of Hands", and "Reraise". LP, Vinyl record album
Ghostface's second full length – maybe the most worthwhile Wu solo project, and the best of all them since the first wave of the Wu. Ghost's flow is raw as hell, furious and re-energized, and so startlingly poetic that we were completely blown away on the first listen. The guests seem to feed off this huge energy boom, too, with Method Man and Cappadona getting their best verses in a while, and even RZA's misguided Bobby Digital persona kicks some raw dynamite. Also features appearances by Raekwon and Redman, plus a few tracks with beats by the RZA. Tracks include "Nutmeg", "Saturday Nite", "Apollo Kids", "The Grain", "Child's Play", "Malcolm", "Buck 50", and "Cherchez La Ghost". LP, Vinyl record album