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Close matches: 37
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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Thollem/Hafez ModirzadehThollem's Astral Traveling Sessions With Hafez Modirzadeh ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $8.99 14.00
A set that's billed as "a sonic Palette of eight re-tuned pitches for piano and saxophone" – and which comes across as a series of beautiful duets between Thollem on piano, and Hafez Modirzadeh on alto and tenor sax! The work often feels more compositional than improvisational – but there's clearly a lot of improvisation going on too – maybe just given a focus based on the tonal directions of each of the album's different tracks, which, together, make listening to the record almost like moving through different colors on a palette! The album moves into more improvised material near the end – and titles include "Facet 28", "Facet 27", "Facet 39/40", "Duo Improvisation I", "Solo Improvisation IV", and "Facet 26". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Thollem's Astral Traveling SessionsThollem's Astral Traveling Sessions With Alex Cline And Susan Alcorn ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. Used ... $9.99
Thollem on piano and synthesizer, Alex Cline on drums and percussion, and Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar. CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Thollem/Avreeayl Ra & Matt Lux/Sunken CagesThollem's Astral Traveling Sessions With Avreeayl Ra & Matt Lux/Sunken Cages ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Two different sessions from the landmark series of recordings that make up the Astral Traveling Sessions of pianist Thollem – part of a series of 25 albums in all! The first half of the set features a recording in Chicago with bassist Matt Lux and drummer Avreeayl Ra – very long, improvised work that has Thollem bringing some of those spacious colors that he can really unlock on the keyboard, and which has Lux maybe sounding stronger in an avant jazz setting than we've heard in awhile. The second half of the set is a Philly recording with Sunken Cages on electronic drums and Thollem on a Waldorf Blofeld synth – very different in sound, as you might expect! Titles include "Thollem Lux Ra 1", "Thollem Lux Ra 2", "Their Eyes Met Only Once", "Secret Language Of Water", "The Unseen", and "Hidden In The Saffron Fields". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Thollem/Susan Alcorn/Alex ClineThollem's Astral Traveling Sessions With Alex Cline & Susan Alcorn ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A pair of Thollem collaborations – back to back on a single CD! First up is a beautiful duet with Susan Alcorn – with a fantastic sound that has Alcorn's groundbreaking work on pedal steel mixing with the well-crafted electronics of Thollem – lines that really seem to find the right resonance with the steel strings, then expand the sound out in ways that are completely unexpected! Alcorn's become one of the most compelling improvisers in recent years – and this set is a good illustration of her growing talents. The other half features Thollem working with drummer Alex Cline – on a set that mostly seems to have Thollem using acoustic piano, but in ways that are very unusual – at times almost with a Charlemagne Palestine sense of minimalism! CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Rodrigo Amado & Chris CorsanoNo Place To Fall ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2019. New Copy ... $8.99
Searing sounds from this excellent duo – Rodrigo Amado on tenor and Chris Corsano on drums – both musicians that have such a clear, tight understanding of each other that they're able to improvised freely in fantastic ways – whether moving at top speed as a duo, or stepping carefully around empty sonic space as they fill things in together! The record is one that really elevates our appreciation of both musicians, and which will have us certainly keeping an ear out for lots more in the future – and Amado especially is really emerging as a bold-toned tenorist with a strong current of soul. Titles include "Don't Take It Too Bad", "Announcement", "We'll Be Here In The Morning", "No Place To Fall", and "Into The Valley". CD
(Limited edition.)

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Artifacts (Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Mike Reed)And Then There's This ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Three really fantastic musicians – working together to turn out one the best records we've ever heard from any of them in years! Make no mistake, we love these guys in all sorts of other settings – but here, there's something really special, and definitely a cut above – this warm sense of spontaneous creation that almost seems to call up an image of the musicians as they work together – Mike Reed on drums, Tomeka Reid on cello, and Nicole Mitchell on flutes and electronics! There's a magic here that really represents the Chicago scene at its finest – the kind of sympathetic, respectful collaboration in which already-strong artists move each other forward together – a magic we hope you'll share on titles that include "AF", "Reflections", "No Side Effects", "JJ", "Soprano Song", "In Response To", and "Blessed". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chicago Underground QuartetGood Days ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2020. New Copy ... $8.99
A fantastic step in the continuing evolution of the "Chicago Underground" project of trumpeter Rob Mazurek and drummer Chad Taylor – soaring out here in a set that's full of spiritual energy and a level of imagination that even surpasses their classic recordings from years ago! Mazurek blows piccolo trumpet, but also adds in some electronics – and Taylor is mindblowing on drums, playing with a style that's open, but always gently swinging – and matched with some synth bass from Josh Johnson, who also plays organ and piano on the set. The mighty guitarist Jeff Parker is the last member of the group – and like Mazurek, he's really come a long way in the past decade, and the quartet work together here at a level that has us falling in love with the Chicago Underground all over again. Moody at times, but never too loose – and titles include "Orgasm", "Good Days", "Batida", "All The Bells", "Unique Spiral", "Lome", "Westview", and "Strange Wing". CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Rob Clearfield & Quin KirchnerConcentric Orbits (green marbled vinyl pressing) ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... $15.99 20.00
There's definitely a sense of concentric orbits taking place here – these long-spun lines that have a nicely cyclical quality – not always as straight in terms of rhythms, but with a pulsating energy that really has both players in constellation with each other! Rob Clearfield plays piano and Quin Kirchner plays percussion – and although the music goes a bit outside at points, the tracks still have this nicely structured sensibility – blocks of sound from both players, pushing past conventional rhythmic modes, yet still finding a way to groove! The album features two side-long tracks – "Orbit 1" and "Orbit 2". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Karl Evangelista/Alexander Hawkins/Louis Moholo-Moholo/Trevor WattsApura ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2020. New Copy 2 CDs ... $13.99 16.99
Maybe the first album we've ever heard from guitarist Karl Evangelista as a leader – and a set that marks a very strong statement, right from the very first note! The set is done in tribute to an older British generation of free jazz – the period which included The Blue Notes and Spontaneous Music Ensemble – and, as part of that effort, the whole thing was recorded in London, by Benedic Lamdin, with a group that features Louis Moholo Moholo on drums, Trevor Watts on alto and soprano, and Alexander Hawkins on piano! While the two older British jazz giants are a very welcome presence, some of the album's most compelling sounds might well come from the mix of Evangelista's guitar and Hawkins' piano – both instruments that have a very compelling way of making sharp sounds together, really finding the right pace and tone, with a sense of sympathy that really makes the album shine. There's a heck of a lot of music on the double-length set – and titles include "FDT", "Siyanga Pala", "I Eat Death For Breakfast", "Totoo Yan", "State Of Emergency", "Consummatum Est", "Warriors", and "Player Piano". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Alvin Fielder/David Dove/Jason Jackson/Damon SmithVery Cup of Trembling ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $8.99 14.00
Beautifully resonant improvisations, recorded in a cathedral in Houston, with a sonic power that's really wonderful – given the space and the depth of the room! The quartet often start out in relatively subtle territory – with the drums of Alvin Fielder or bass of Damon Smith staking out space before the others find their way into the mix – which eventually results in some beautifully bold lines on trombone from David Dove, and all these many unusual soundshapes from Jason Jackson on both tenor and baritone saxes! The titles are all from pieces by poet Fred Moten – and titles include "If Your Sweetheart", "Brushstroke Curvetime", "Othar Or Other", "Lonely Slipper", and "Long Hall". CD

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gordon Grdina & Jim BlackMartian Kitties ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $8.99 14.00
There's a sound here that's a lot more fierce than the "kitties" in the title might make you expect – some nicely freewheeling interplay between the drums of Jim Black and the guitar of Gordon Grdina, who also plays some excellent oud at a few moments too! The tracks are relatively short, and feel almost more like structured duets than complete improvisations – although there's plenty of freedom in the spirit of the music, especially at moments when Jim Black brings in a bit of electronics too. Titles include "Fuzzy Goats", "Abercrombie", "Bear Handler", "Martian Kitties", "Short Scale", "Weird Funk", "Black Lodge", "Social Scene 1", and "Brushes With Death". CD

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Burton Greene/Damon Smith/Ra Kalam Bob MosesLife's Intense Mystery ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2019. New Copy ... $8.99 12.00
Amazing sounds from pianist Burton Greene – a modernist who's been quietly continuing a great legacy of creative music he started in the 60s – still sounding distinct and full of imagination in this well-recorded recent trio performance! The set has Greene working with Damon Smith on bass and Ra Kalam Bob Moses on drums and percussion – both musicians whose overall sense of sound matches the wideness of Burton's scope – which makes the whole thing way way different than any familiar sort of trio recording! Instead, the balance swings easily between each of the three points on the triangle, but with different moments of force that keep things very lively, and very compelling – on titles that include the three part title track "Life's Intense Mystery", plus "Anything That Ain't Yes Get Rid Of It", "Kid Play", and "Perc Waves". CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sven Ake Johansson/Niklas Fite/Joel GripSwinging At Topsi's ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $8.99 14.00
Legendary drummer Sven Ake Johansson is still swinging hard here – but in a way that's very much up to his own legacy in jazz! The set features two very long improvisations, plus two more numbers with more of a song structure – played by Johansson on drums, Niklas Fite on acoustic guitar, and Joel Grip on bass – all acoustic instruments that still manage to have plenty of bite here, especially in the way that Fite can find this really sharp edge along the strings of his guitar! Sven can be spacious at times, but comes on with a full attack when needed – and titles include "Set 1", "Set 2", "Isn't It Romantic", and "Out Of Nowhere". CD

Close matches14
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Kuzu (Dave Rempis/Tashi Dorji/Tyler Damon)Glass Delusion ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $15.99 20.99
Kuzu is fast becoming one of the more compelling settings for the saxophone talents of the great Dave Rempis – as the blend of sounds here really sets things apart from other improvised combos, even though the elements are all very familiar! Tashi Dorji has a way of handling the guitar that creates lots of sharp edges and bold moments – much fiercer than the legacy of improvisers like Derek Bailey or Fred Frith – and really full-on at moments when the drums of Tyler Damon take off! Rempis is as deft at these moments as he is in some of the sparer, more open passages – blowing alto, tenor, and baritone on the two long tracks on the record – "It Simply Becomes Jammed" and "Gnash". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Nick Mazzarella/Ingebrigt Haker Flaten/Avreeayl RaWhat You Seek Is Seeking You ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $8.99 14.00
A really wonderful trio, and working here with results that are even better than we might have guessed from just the names on the date! The alto sax work of Nick Mazzarella is set up beautifully here next to the bass of Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drums of Avreeayl Ra – as all three players here work in spacious, open territory that's often dominated by Nick's tone in the lead, but which features all these subtle sonic elements on the bass and drums that almost lurk in the shadows, but which seem to gain even more power from that perspective! The approach is a bit hard to put in words, but really comes through immediately upon listening – and titles include "Debris", "Longing", "What You Seek Is Seeking You", "setting Out", and "Latter Day Protest Song". CD

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Roscoe Mitchell & Mike ReedRitual & The Dance ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $8.99
A fantastic pairing of players – two Chicago legends, both in the sort of setting that really suits them best! Roscoe Mitchell works here on two long improvisations with drummer Mike Reed – blowing a variety of reed instruments, and really taking us back to the groundbreaking work he did in such formats in the late 60s and 70s – very much in the spirit of his work for both Delmark and Sackville. Reed's a drummer who can present himself in larger arrangements and some very important groups – but a date like this reminds us how great he can be on the kit when improvising freely, with a very sympathetic ear to the still-amazing constant creations of Mitchell on reeds. Mike also brings in a bit of electronics – and titles include "The Ritual" and "The Dance". CD

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jessica PavoneOf Late ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... $8.99 12.99
Viola player Jessica Pavone leads a string trio here – but the result is very different than you might expect, if you're only thinking of music in terms of jazz or more traditional elements – as there's a blend of strings, textures, and tones here that's completely wonderful! In addition to Pavone's viola, the group also features Aimee Neimann on violin, and Abby Swidler on both viola and violin, depending on the track – both musicians who add their voice to one track, along with Jessica – but mostly have this way of finding great sonic resonance together, with a quality that's both abstracting from the original modes of the instruments, yet never too far to make them sound unfamiliar. Titles include "Done & Dusted", "Hidden Voices", "The Pitches & Notated", and "Closeness Unnoticed". CD

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Charlie RumbackSeven Bridges ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... $15.99 20.00
Charlie Rumback once again proves himself to be one of the most enigmatic talents around – working here with a great group of musicians, in a set of tracks that push far beyond the currents of standard jazz – both avant and mainstream! Rumback's the drummer and composer – but the music draws equally from the contributions of Ron Miles on cornet, Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Jim Baker on analog electronics, Greg Ward on alto, Nick Macri and John Tate on bass, Macie Stewart on violin, and John Hughes on electronics – all elements that are used in these ways that are full of color and interesting changes – sometimes with voice added from Stewart, Kyrstle Warren, or Sima Cunningham – although the singers are a relatively small part of the sound. Rumback also plays guitar at points, with a very nice edge – and titles include "Three Ruminations", "Hometown Heroes", "Regina", "Reno Country Blues", "Fall Dog Bombs The Moon", and "Whatever It Takes". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Brandon Seabrook TrioExultations ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2020. New Copy ... $8.99
A record that really comes on with a hell of a lot of power – tight, fast drums from Gerald Cleaver – matched with fuzzy, chromatic work on guitar from Brandon Seabrook – all punctuated with work from Cooper Moore on the diddley bow! The drums and guitar are the driving engine of the record, though – and really come on with a full, pulsating sort of vibe – very kinetic in energy, and served up on a range of shorter tracks that maintain a stronger fire than if the trio were working in longer improvisations. Titles include "Dank Esseintes", "Along Comes Diddley", "Absurdities IN Bondage", "Essential Exultations", "Flexing Fetid & Fecund", and "Dark Bogs". CD

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Strictly MissionaryHeisse Scheisse ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... $15.99 20.00
Over the past few years, the Astral Spirits label has quietly been staging a sonic revolution – really breaking down expectations in the world of avant jazz, and turning our albums that go way past familiar free jazz and improvisation! That's definitely the case here, with a really unique mix of modes from Strictly Missionary – working at a level that maybe takes us back to some our favorite experiments from the NYC downtown scene of the early 80s – that moment where people cared less about labels or genres than they did about mixing together all the different ideas and inspirations that came to mind while in the studio! The lineup here is a mix of acoustic percussion from Nick Neuberg and drums from Kevin Murray – with electric guitar from Wendy Eisenberg, electric bass from Richard Lenz, and alto sax from Chris Pitsiokos – who also adds in electronics, whistle, harmonica, recorder, and even drum samples too! Many tracks have an angular, intense sort of vibe – and titles include "Battle Of Petty Hill", "Noise Disco", "Lapsarian", "Lenz's Law", and "The Shy Song". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
ThollemObstacle Illusion ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... $8.99 12.99
Thollem's recorded a number of collaborative albums in recent years, but this record of solo live recordings may well be the best demonstration of his talents – completely fantastic work on piano, sometimes augmented by electronics and samples – with a mixture of freedom and tunefulness that's completely sublime! There's not much in the way of notes as to the contents of the performances – but the sound of the record is more than enough, and completely hypnotic all the way through – as bold and pulsating at the moments that Thollem is just handling acoustic piano as it is when he's bringing in some of the other sonic elements as well. Almost every track on the album pushes close to the 20 minute mark – and titles include "Assorted Selves", "I Put My Shadow On The Wall", "Cruising The Mystic Whole", and "The Way To The Way To The Way". CD

Close matches22
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Pat Thomas/John Butcher/Stale Liavik SolbergFictional Souvenirs ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2019. New Copy ... $8.99 12.00
One of the most unusual settings we've ever heard for the always-sharp saxophone work of John Butcher – a set that features lots of moogy moments from Pat Thomas, who uses both a theremini and electronics – alongside much more organic sounds on percussion from Stale Liavik Solberg! Butcher's always had this incredible ear for tones and unusual phrasings, but the trio here really brings out that quality even more than before – so much so, it's almost difficult to tell who's handling what elements at times – which is quite a testament to all three improvisers! Titles include "Dust", "Solution", "Threads", "Keys", "The Effort & A Smile", and "Heartaches". CD

Close matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lina Tullgren & Alec Toku WhitingUnfamiliar Ceilings ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... $8.99 12.99
"Unfamiliar" is a good word to use here – as the sounds within are definitely that – some very different elements than you might expect from the violin of Lina Tullgren and koto work of Alec Toku Whiting! There's a lot of resonance in the recording, so that no matter how the stringed instruments are handled, you get a lot of tone, texture, and reverb – which, given the edgey way both instruments are handled, makes for a session that's very different than anything you'd expect to hear from just reading the cover! Some moments get a bit noisy, but those are balanced by more spacious, thoughtful sounds – augmented by work on electronics and pedals on one track from Ted Reichman. Titles include "47", "Polly Chainsaw", and "Every Finger An Eye". CD

Close matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Brodie West QuintetMeadow of Dreams ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... $15.99 20.00
Leader Brodie West plays alto sax here, but he does so in a setting that's rich with textures from all the other members of the group – this sublime blend of bass, drums, piano, and guitar that comes across in a way that's different than anything else we can think of! The group has both a rhythmic flow and a way of building these fluid passages in sound – with bass from Josh Cole, piano from Tania Gill, drums from Nick Fraser, and a mix of drums, guitar, and vibes from Evan Cartwright – the last of whom might well be the most important member of the group in shaping the sound! Brodie's alto has a nicely raspy quality – a good edge that really stands out in the presence of the others – on titles that include "Grotto", "Haunt", "Inhabit 2", "Meadow Of Dreams", and "Entrainment". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Artifacts (Nicole Mitchell/Tomeka Reid/Mike Reed)And Then There's This ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Three really fantastic musicians – working together to turn out one the best records we've ever heard from any of them in years! Make no mistake, we love these guys in all sorts of other settings – but here, there's something really special, and definitely a cut above – this warm sense of spontaneous creation that almost seems to call up an image of the musicians as they work together – Mike Reed on drums, Tomeka Reid on cello, and Nicole Mitchell on flutes and electronics! There's a magic here that really represents the Chicago scene at its finest – the kind of sympathetic, respectful collaboration in which already-strong artists move each other forward together – a magic we hope you'll share on titles that include "AF", "Reflections", "No Side Effects", "JJ", "Soprano Song", "In Response To", and "Blessed". CD

Close matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Icepick (Nate Wooley/Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten/Chris Corsano)Hellraiser ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2020. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A group that comes on with the sharply pointed force of their name – a really powerful presentation of sounds from Nate Wooley on trumpet, Chris Corsano on drums, and Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on bass! All three players are fantastic here – leaping right out of the box with an energy that clearly shows an implicit understanding of each others' strengths, and improvising freely in ways that are really wrapped around each other – not the single expressions of the three different egos in the group, but instead this really unified approach that makes the whole thing even more forceful overall! Haker-Flaten is especially impressive – a player who's always great, but whose fast, rumbling presence here really seems to move mountains – on titles that include "El Bound", "Chicago Deader", and "Blue Line" – all references to the Windy City pedigree of the set. LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches27
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✨✧ Wadada Leo Smith/Douglas Ewart/Mike ReedSun Beans Of Shimmering Light ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Three giants of the Chicago improvised scene, coming together here in an album that recalls the best early recordings from the AACM! There's this open, collaborative spirit going on here – music that moves between structure and freedom, and which stands as a testament to the instant rapport between all three players – trumpet from Wadada Leo Smith, reeds from Douglas Ewart, and drums and percussion from Mike Reed – the last of whom often seems to let his elders set the tone, then find a way to make his own special contributions – at that level that continues to make Reed such a vital part of any group he engages with. Had Delmark issued this album in 1971, it would have gone on to become a classic – but it's an even greater feather in the cap of Astral Spirits – who do a great job here with presentation. Titles include "Super Moon Rising", "Unknown Forces", "Dark Tango", "Constellations & Conjunctional Spaces", and "Sun Beans Of Shimmering Light" CD

Close matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Wadada Leo Smith/Douglas Ewart/Mike ReedSun Beans Of Shimmering Light ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Three giants of the Chicago improvised scene, coming together here in an album that recalls the best early recordings from the AACM! There's this open, collaborative spirit going on here – music that moves between structure and freedom, and which stands as a testament to the instant rapport between all three players – trumpet from Wadada Leo Smith, reeds from Douglas Ewart, and drums and percussion from Mike Reed – the last of whom often seems to let his elders set the tone, then find a way to make his own special contributions – at that level that continues to make Reed such a vital part of any group he engages with. Had Delmark issued this album in 1971, it would have gone on to become a classic – but it's an even greater feather in the cap of Astral Spirits – who do a great job here with presentation. Titles include "Super Moon Rising", "Unknown Forces", "Dark Tango", "Constellations & Conjunctional Spaces", and "Sun Beans Of Shimmering Light" CD

Close matches29
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✨✧ Survival Unit III (Joe McPhee/Fred Longberg-Holm/Michael Zerang)Art Of Flight – For Alvin Fielder ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2022. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Bold sounds from Survival Unit – an improvising trio who really know each other tremendously well – a quality that comes through immediately on this well-done set! All three players have been playing with each other for decades, in various forms – Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Michael Zerang on percussion, and Joe McPhee on tenor and pocket trumpet – all musicians who are used to really pushing the boundaries of their instruments, and but seem to go even farther together! Fred makes sounds on the cello like nobody else, often with the boldness of lines that are matched by McPhee on his two different horns – filled in with sensitive ruminations and more full-on passages from Zerang on percussion. The set features one long improvisation, broken into five sections – recorded live during the Instigation Festival in New Orleans. LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches30
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✨✧ Luke Stewart Exposure QuintetLuke Stewart Exposure Quintet ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2020. New Copy 2LP ... Out Of Stock
Luke Stewart is the bassist and the composer here – but the quintet is a powerhouse at every level – with reed work from Ken Vandermark and Ed Wilkerson, piano from Jim Baker, and drums from Avreeayl Ra – a lineup who do tremendous things with Luke's music! The tracks are all long, and build beautifully in a mixture of core ideas and individual improvisations – with a quality that almost evokes Wilkerson's important work in 8 Bold Souls, but an execution that's more flowingly spiritual overall – a richness in Stewart's music that brings out very different qualities in both Ed and Ken. The whole thing's great – the kind of record that will really establish Stewart as a musician to listen for in years to come – and titles include "The Scene", "Harp & Concrete Silhouette", "Awakening The Masters", and "Brown & Gray". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches31
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✨✧ KVL (Quin Kirchner/Daniel Van Duerm/Matthew Lux)KVL Volume 1 ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2019. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The debut album from a very hip trio – one that features Quin Kirchner on drums and percussion, Daniel Van Duerm on organ and electric piano, and Matt Lux on bass – plus all three members on some sort of electronics! The tunes are instrumental and experimental, but almost always have some sort of structure and rhythmic energy – a quality that maybe nods more towards the work that Lux has done on other sides of the Chicago scene over the years – as he's been one of the most diverse, adaptable, and collaborative bassists we can think of! There's some really great sounds running throughout – a record that's maybe post-jazz, post-rock, and post-improv – with titles that include "North Branch", "Bladewalker", and "Peaceable" – the last of which features guest trumpet from Jaimie Branch. LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches32
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✨✧ J Pavone String EnsembleLost & Found ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2020. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Jessica Pavone plays viola and handles the compositions here – with a group that's less an ensemble than a well-matched trio – with Abby Swidler on viola, and Erica Dicker and Angela Morris on violins! The group's a bit like a string quartet, but with an extra viola instead of a cello – but the sound here is much more in the mode of some of the giants of avant jazz violin from years back – some of the careful textures of Leroy Jenkins, mixed with some of the lower sonic ranges of Phil Wachsmann, and an overall execution that has some of the more complex sonic elements as Roscoe Mitchell's orchestrations for strings. The album features four long tracks, all with a very drawn-out, almost minimalist approach – as the quartet slow-builds their way into tunes that have a very spacious vibe. Titles include "Lost & Found", "Nice & Easy", "Rise & Fall", and "Pros & Cons". CD

Close matches33
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✨✧ Jeremiah Cymerman/Charlie LookerHorizon Made Of Canvas ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Slow-building sonic interplay between the clarinets of Jeremiah Cymerman and the guitars and piano of Charlie Looker – used in very open space that really lets both musicians find each others' sound, then unfold with a mode that's quite beautiful overall! There's certainly a nod here to the ECM legacy of the 70s – but there's also very different handling of the sound than Manfred Eicher would have done – and a really nice sense of depth and subtle sounds that keeps things interesting all the way through. Part of the approach might be the way that Cymerman uses pedals, ostensibly to modify the sound of his clarinet – although at times, the instrument has a straightforward acoustic vibe. Titles include "Speaking Of Dust", "The Ecstasy Of Betrayal", "A Horizon Made Of Canvas", "Samson", and "I'll Show You What You Are". CD
(First pressing limited to 500 copies!)

Close matches34
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Mats Gustafsson & Joachim NordwallShadows of Tomorrow/The Brain Produces Electrical Waves ... 7-inch
Astral Spirits, 2021. New Copy (pic cover)... Out Of Stock
Wild sounds from Mats Gustafsson and Joachim Nordwall – a mix of unusual reed elements and electronics – almost always coming together with these earthy, crispy tones that are really amazing – and quite far beyond the territory of music! Mats is at his most sonic – odd textures and unusual tones – proof that he can get things out of a saxophone that few other folks could even dream of! 7-inch, Vinyl record

Close matches35
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Quin KirchnerOther Side Of Time ... LP
Astral Spirits, 2018. New Copy 2LP Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
A mighty debut from Quin Kirchner – a drummer who's poised to become a key figure on the Chicago scene! Quin works here with help from some more familiar names – including Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Matt Ulery on bass, Nate Lepine on tenor and flute, and Nick Broste on trombone – all working at a level that's strongly spiritual – with rhythm patterns that Kirchner builds beautifully on drums, percussion, and kalimba – occasionally augmented by a few samples here and there, but mostly acoustic overall. Lepine's in great form throughout – as is Stein – and their long reed solos add these currents of personality to the record that really sends the whole thing home! Broste gets in a few powerful passages too – especially at some of the moodier moments – and Ben Boye plays piano on one track too. The whole thing's a double album that really needs the full space for expression – and titles include "Together We Can Explore The Furthers Beyond", "Mumbo Jumbo", "The Ritual", "Crossings", "Ripple", "Self-Portrait In Three Colors", "Drums & Tines (part 2)", "Flutter", "Karina", "Wondrous Eyes", and a version of Sun Ra's "Brainville". LP, Vinyl record album
(Back in print!)

Close matches36
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Phicus (Fages/Revirego/Trilla)Solid ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2020. Used ... Out Of Stock
This Spanish trio has a really amazing blend of guitar, bass, and drums – used in ways that are very different from a conventional jazz combo, and which has this real focus on bottom-end sounds on most of the tracks! The guitar of Ferran Fages has all these unusual tones – not just effects, but weird inflections and other sonic elements that bristle brilliantly alongside the brooding bass of Alex Reiriego, who really sets the tone for most tunes – plumbing a depth that's quickly explored by drummer Vasco Trilla too. Fages has plenty of noise in his guitar, but never hides behind it either – and titles include "Au", "Zn", "Co", "HgCl", "HgO", "Ag", and "HBr". CD

Close matches37
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Charles Rumback/Jim Baker/John TateJune Holiday ... CD
Astral Spirits, 2020. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A sublime trio set from drummer Charles Rumback – a record that has us really appreciating the special touch the leader can bring to a date, as this album may also be one of the best that we've heard from pianist Jim Baker in years! Baker has this great way of sounding soulful and lyrical, yet also moving towards the freer side of his spectrum too – working with the subtle drums of Rumback and the careful bass of John Tate, all with energy that almost takes us back to the groundbreaking Three Waves album by Steve Kuhn – one of our favorite piano dates of all time, which is a hell of a compliment to Baker! The album has an open feel, but one that's also very careful too – not the spaciousness of an ECM record, and instead more intense, but in a very understated way. Brilliant throughout – with titles that include "Here & Now", "Hard Goodbye", "Foglights", "Burning Daylight", "Huh", and "Portrait Of Lorena". CD
 
Possible matches: 1
Possible matches38
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Ken Vandermark's Topology Nonet feat Joe McPheeImpressions Of Po Music ... CD
Okka Disk, 2013. New Copy Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
Ken Vandermark works here in musical modes first proposed by Joe McPhee – his famous concept of Po Music – performed here by a group that also features Joe, and a whole host of great players from the Chicago scene! Vandermark and McPhee have influenced each other a lot in the past few decades – but the approach here is to return to Joe's early Hat Art use of the Po concept – especially the way it presents ideas as provocation – which are then turned into improvisational fire by a group that includes Jason Adasiewicz on vibes, Josh Berman on cornet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Kent Kessler on bass, Dave Rempis on saxes, Tim Daisy on drums, and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics. Both Vandermark and McPhee play tenor – and the music has an intensity that's amazing for such a large group of improvisers – further proof that all players are very well-matched. Titles include "Impressions Of Eroc Tinu", "Impressions Of Knox", "Impressions Of Astral Spirits/Age", and "Impressions Of Sweet Dragon". CD
 
 
 



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