A record that announces its difference right from the very first note – then keeps on setting itself apart with each new musical selection! The group's led by pianist Jonas Cambien – who can play both warmly and starkly – and the sound is balanced between the drums and percussion of Andreas Wildhagen, and the reed work of Andre Roligheten – who blows tenor, soprano, bass clarinet, and flute – often with textural tones that fold in nicely alongside the piano and drums! Yet despite that statement, there's also no set style to the group – as they really explore different interpolations of their instruments on every track – often in ways that seem to have an inherent structure, but which are also strikingly new as well – maybe even more powerful because of their tuneful inclinations than if the musicians were more free-minded. Titles include "Creationism", "Swear Like A Bear", "Unlikely Friendship", "Long Long Long", "Sister You Proved Me Right", "Crib", and "Animalism". CD
The title might be a bit goofy, but it's actually a pretty great way to sum up the spirit of this group – as the contemporary Cortex come from avant roots, but also have a vibrancy that makes their music sound more celebratory than confrontational! The quartet features endlessly creative rhythms from the duo of Olya Hoyer on bass and Gard Nilssen on drums – topped by beautiful interplay between the trumpet of Thomas Johansson and saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts – both players who can sometimes be completely in step with each other, sometimes almost at odds, and individually really work to make the whole record soar when it's time for their solos. Titles include "Mac Davis", "Grinder", "Chaos", "Waltz", "Disturbance", "Obverse/Reverse", and "Off Course". LP, Vinyl record album
With a title and cover like this, we had to check the record out – and the sound within doesn't fail to disappoint! The song titles themselves are extremely political, but the music has a very universal appeal in the freer side of the spectrum – almost a poetic take on the world of free improvisation, with as much tunefulness as unbridled sense of exploration in the musicians! Players include Simone Graziano on piano, Gabriele Evangelista on bass, and Francesco Cusa on drums – working with guest Carlo Atti on saxes. Titles include "Delivering A Load Of Musical Boxes To Wall Street", "Adam Smith Counts Every Penny", "Fiscal Regime In The Life Of The New York Taxidriver/Jazzman", "Sun Ra Vs Donald Trump", and "Accelerating From The Global Society To The Foamed Society". CD
Frode Gjerstad Trio with Steve Swell —
Bop Stop ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
The trombone of Steve Swell is a great presence here – balanced alongside the trio of Frode Gjerstad on alto, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Paal Nilssen Love on drums and percussion! Both Swell and Gjerstad have this way of creating flurries of notes that are mindblowing – fast-thinking, quickly-creative tones that fall from their horns with almost an organic sort of energy – blended together in a magical conflagration of high and low and impulses! Strom's bass shifts nicely – sometimes itself a strong engine of sonic nodes – and the drums of Paal Nilssen-Love are sometimes nicely restrained, before coming on with his trademark boundless energy. The set features four long improvisations – "Bop Stop", "Stop Bop", "Pop Bop", and "Post Stop". CD
Three horns, no piano, and plenty of imagination – a triple-length set that really opens up new possibilities for improvisation, by a quintet that features Mats Aleklint on trombone, Martin Kuchen on alto, sopranino, and flute – and Kjetil Moster on tenor and clarinet – alongside Olay Hoyer on bass and Dag Erik Knedal Andersen on drums! The tracks are very long and flowing – almost with the organic quality of spiritual jazz, but maybe a bit more outside too – very open in the way the musicians come together, almost blossoming like individual flowers in the same garden – rather than trying to challenge each other for primacy or time in the light. Titles include "See Don't Tell", "Hear Don't Say", "Towards The Uncool", "A Clandestine Jazz Operation", and "Myriads Of Space (parts 1 to 4)". CD
A really old school trio setting – one that has a loose, open, freely exploratory vibe that really takes us back to the loft jazz generation – as the musicians work in very creative territory that really shows their individual spirits, yet still also come together strongly as a whole! Joe McPhee is great on tenor and trumpet – and really reminds us of those tremendous textures and tones he started developing in the late 70s – and the rest of the trio features Pascal Niggenkemper on bass and Stale Liavik Solberg on drums – both younger musicians, but equally creative in the setting. Titles include "i", "A", and "Zero Supreme Love" – the last of which is dedicated to John Coltrane. CD
Scandinavian jazz, recorded in Bali – in a great shift from previous volumes in this series – as all musicians play a bit of gamelan as well! Make no mistake, the format is definitely freely improvised music with a strong jazz current – with the mighty Jonas Kullhammar on tenor and flute, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass, and Espen Aalberg on drums and percussion – working together as a fantastically cohesive unit, with a bold sense of confidence that really shows the players' understanding of each other. Yet there's also a special vibe here – really marking the album as a special outing from the musicians – even if the gamelan is used sparingly alongside the more familiar instrumentation. Titles include "Irama Berat", "Dewas Dance", "Slow Ostinato", "Suling", and "Ilir Ilir". CD
Rob Mazurek —
Rome ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2017. New Copy ...
An incredible solo record from Rob Mazurek – a wonderful change from some of his larger group and collaborative projects – even though we love those a heck of a lot too! This set's a great reminder of the core improvisational genius that Rob's always had, but which sometimes is overshadowed by the group activity on his other records. Here, Mazurek blows cornet alone, and also plays both standard and prepared piano – and colors things with just a dash of his great electronics – often used in more sparing and subtle ways than some of his group efforts. A really beautiful set from a musician who continues to reward us over the years – with titles that include "Twombly At New Church", "Gazing Through Walls", "King Of Rome", and "Sweet Life In Disrepair". CD
Meridian Trio (Nick Mazzarella/Matt Ulery/Jeremy C —
Triangulum ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2017. New Copy ...
Triangulum – a great title for the wonderful energy of this group – which swings perfectly between the three sharp points of Nick Mazzarella on alto, Matt Ulery on bass, and Jeremy Cunningham on drums! These guys are freewheeling, but always soulful – not just because of Nick's well-shaped sense of tone – which can be arch-modern, yet with a surprisingly warm core – but also because the bass of Ulery has this completely rapt (wrapped?) approach – almost like some deep force watching over the whole proceedings, which then seems to set Cunningham free on drums. The group represents an amazing third (or fourth?) wave in the contemporary avant scene in Chicago – the kind of joyous expression that continues to make us proud to live in a city that can create music this wonderful. Titles include "Ringdown", "Reminiscing", "Witch Hazel", "Rhododendron", "Strange", and "Inflection Point". CD
Kjetil Moster/Jeff Parker/Josh Abrams/John Herndon —
Ran Do ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2017. New Copy ...
Tenorist Kjetil Moster works here with a great trio of musicians from the Chicago scene – Jeff Parker on guitar, Josh Abrams on bass, and John Herndon on drums – the last of whom comes as a bit of a surprise on a date like this! Yet the drums are often a very important part of the sound here – as they're sometimes full-on and rhythmic, other times more muted but a strong part of the structure of the performances – which allows for some especially creative moments from Parker and Moster, who find these really cool ways to bring unusual sounds from their instruments together! Abrams is a delight, as always – definitely much more on the avant side of his spectrum – on titles that include "Dig Me Out", "Orko", "Pajama Jazz", "Anicca", and "Island Life". CD
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 CD 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 CD – and we always love Fred's work on any session, this one included. The final CD 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. CD
A totally cool combination of musical elements – baritone sax and analog electronics – both played here by Jonah Parzen-Johnson with a style that's unlike anything else we can think of! Sure, saxes and electronics have come together before – ever since Richard Tietelbaum and Anthony Braxton first recorded together back in the 70s. But there's also a very different vibe here that comes both from the baritone, and its deeper sonic range – and the way that Jonah uses his electronics, sometimes with flutteringly rhythmic elements that really make the music shimmer, but without overwhelming it at all. He's also not afraid to blow straight and soulfully at times too – which is especially great when the electronics are more abstract – and throughout, the album's full of these revelatory moments that make the whole thing a delight. Titles include "These Shoulders Those Shoulders", "Cabin Pressure", "I Have Questions", "What Do I Do With Sorry", "Guns Make Us Murderers", and "Too Many Dreams". CD
The bass of Eric Revis sounds better than we ever remember – and that's saying a lot, because we've really liked his other records too! Yet here, it almost feels like Revis is out to re-state himself as a musician – coming on strong with a tone that could put him up there with the giants of earlier years – and beautifully matched with drummer Chad Taylor, who's always been an amazing example of that rare quality of being tight and loose at the same time! Ken Vandermark blows tenor and clarinet – but in a way that really seems to respect the path taken by Revis and Taylor – as does the piano of Kris Davis, which punctuates the sound perfectly. Titles include "Sing Me Some Cry", "PT 44", "Good Company", "Rye Eclipse", "Rumples", and "Drunkard's Lullaby". CD
Mattias Risberg —
Stamps ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
A pretty great little album of solo piano – one that not only has a different vibe, given that Mattias Risberg also uses a moog Taurus – but also because the piano here seems to be both normal and "prepared"! Risberg has a great way of pulling out odd sounds that are still surprisingly tuneful – laying them out in progressions that are often quite angular and jagged, but which have a warm quality as well – almost painterly in the way that Mattias handles his music, with a beautifully personal touch. The whole album's played live, without overdubs – and the Taurus is handled with foot pedals, in a subtle but striking way. Titles include "Marine", "Emerald", "Vermillion", "Cobalt", "Sienna", "Viridian", and "Umber". CD
We find ourselves loving the sax work of Tony Malaby more and more as the years go on – and here, he's perfectly situated in a trio with Samo Salamon on guitar and Roberto Dani on drums – a group that really finds the best way to triangulate the efforts of all three players! Unlike other takes on this format, where the tenor might dominate – Malaby's work on that instrument, and a bit of soprano, are bold, but also phrased in ways that resonate beautifully with the drums and guitar – which themselves, especially the latter, take on these elements that are completely captivating – all of which makes for a record that's a lot more inside than you might guess from the cover! Titles include "Breathing", "Traveling Without Motion", "Pedro Is Clean", "Arnold", "Kei's Dream", and "Moving Target". CD
A record as enigmatic as its title – slow-building sounds crafted by the trumpet of Yaw Tembe and percussion of Monseiur Trinite – both musicians we don't know at all, but who really find a special space with this album! The sound is very open and spacious – much more in an ECM legacy than the usual releases on CleanFeed – but also with a sound that's individually its own, and which isn't trying to copy the ECM style at all. Percussion is often very spare and stark – not loud, but striking – and the performance appears to be live, in a space that also allows for lots of room echo to expand the individual elements. Titles include "A Kind Of Jester's Kindness", "Delta", "Trial", "King Before Kings", "Inner Suite Three Magnificent Ride", and "No Body". CD
We love the Trespass Trio – a group that offers up a very fresh setting for some musicians we first discovered in the Moserobie side of the universe – bassist Per Zanussi, drummer Raymond Strid, and reedman Martin Kuchen – who plays baritone, alto, and sopranino saxes on the album! Zanussi can have a deep bass sound at times, but also bows his instrument at points – with this beautiful current of melancholy – and there's a loose, almost ragged quality to the music that we never would have expected from the musicians years before – a mode that's powerful at moments, but maybe even more compelling when it opens up into some bluer currents of sound. Titles include "Sounds & Ruins", "In Tears", "Centers", "The Spirit Of Pitesti", and "Fri Kokko". CD
A record that comes on with the frenzy of an Ornette Coleman Quartet session – and one with a very similar lineup too – given that Nate Wooley is on trumpet, Chris Pitsiokos is on alto, Brandon Lopez is on bass, and Dre Hocevar is on drums! Yet the sound is freer, and bolder too – as the instruments flurry together in clusters, then burst out into incredible sonic territory as the set moves on – with moments that include Wooley blowing fast and tuneful with a mute, like some speed freak Miles Davis – or hitting these popping, punctuated sounds that are really unusual. The record's one that really keeps us on the edge of our seats – and furthers the sense of surprise that can make real jazz improvisation so special! CD
Dark tones and textures from this well-matched quartet – a group led by pianist Benoit Delbecq – and featuring tenor from Mark Turner, bass from John Hebert, and drums from Gerald Cleaver – all musicians who really seem to have a strong sense of each others' role! If you know Turner's ability to slowly shift in moody passages, you'll know some of the energy of this set – although Hebert can often provide this rumbling depth that really wins us, and Delbecq can have more angular, powerful piano lines that occasionally redefine the proceedings. Titles include "Broken World", "Rosemary K", "The Loop Of Chicago", "Spots On Stripes", "Dawn Sounds", "Old Vinyl", and "Dripping Stones". CD
Angles 3 —
Parede ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
An album recorded in Portugal – as you might guess from the title – but featuring a group of real Swedish music heavyweights! The trio features fantastic interplay between the bass of Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, the drums of Kjell Nordeson, and the tenor and soprano sax of Martin Kuchen – the latter of whom wrote most of the music, with a vivid style that's extremely compelling – as rich in fresh ideas as the musicians are free in their interpretation! Kuchen is amazing – really wonderful on both tenor and soprano – and the music here has maybe a looser approach to the sorts of sounds that the Moserobie label first gave us in its early years – with this great interplay between structure and freedom. Titles include "Equality & Death", "Satan In Plain Clothes", "Francisco/By Way Of Deception", and "Don't Ruin Me/Love Flee Thy House". CD
A really fantastic set from this Swedish nine piece ensemble – a record that's overflowing with brash performance and unbridled energy – adventurous, but never totally free – and always given the right sort of focus to make things come across with a tremendous amount of power! The feel is almost like a Moserobie Records take on a Charles Mingus style – and the lineup features Martin Kuchen on alto and tenor – who also composed the album's five long tracks – plus Magnus Broo on trumpet, Matthias Stahl on vibes, Goran Kajfes on cornet, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Eirik Hegdal on baritone, Alexander Zethson on piano, Johan Berthling on bass, and Andreas Werliin on drums. If you know any of those players at all, you can imagine the greatness of the group – on titles that include "Adror", "Equality & Death", "Pacemaker", "Disappeared Behind The Sun", and "Love Flee Thy House". CD
Saxophonist Marty Ehrlich is certainly exalted here – working in a superb trio setting that seems to make for one of his best records in years! The rhythm duo are fantastic – Nasheet Waits on drums and John Hebert on bass – both players who create this brooding sense of power right from the start, which Ehrlich then augments with deftly creative work on alto, clarinet, bass clarinet, and wooden flutes – notes that are sharp and striking, but always incredibly thoughtful too – a really special balance that makes for a hell of a record. Titles include "Stone", "Dance No 5", "Senhor PC", "Yes Yes", "Dusk", "Sometimes", and "The Arc Of The Oar". CD
Friends & Neighbors —
What's Next ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Friends & Neighbors have really deepened their voice for this wonderful album – definitely showing us what's next, as they move past their initial inspiration from Ornette Coleman, and open up in modes that are completely their own! Some of the best passages here have this rich, melodic, almost majestic statement from the trumpet of Thomas Johansson and tenor of Andre Roligheten – beautifully bold yet fluid players together – but also able to crackle with energy when the solo passages open up – driven on nicely by Oscar Gronberg on piano, Jon Rune Strom on bass, and Tollef Ostvang on drums. The bass is especially strong – poised in the structure to really explode the sound – and titles include "Influx", "Headway Heat", "Thorlief's Blues", "Mozart", "Kubrick's Rude", and "WLB". CD
Friends & Neighbors —
What's Wrong? ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2016. Used Gatefold ...
Out Of Stock
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". CD
Fredrik Nordstrom —
Needs ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A really amazing record from saxophonist Fredrik Nordstrom, and a really collaborative one too – given that the album features two different quartets, one in the left channel, one in the right – working together in this fantastic formation of sound! The lineup is filled with top musicians from Nordstrom's scene – including Fredrik Ljungkvist on tenor and clarinet, Niklas Barno on trumpet, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Filip Augustson and Torbjorn Zetterberg on basses, and Fredrik Runkqvist and Christofer Cantillo on drums – many players who've made great music under their own names, and contributed key sounds to albums on both CleanFeed and Moserobie – but maybe finding a completely new level of expression here. Given the structure, there's a sense of cohesion here that's breathtaking – very different than what you might expect – and titles include "Needs", "Fake Face", "Brand New Dollars", "MorningBliss", "Hope", and "Hometown Prophet". CD
Matt Piet & His Disorganization —
Rummage Out ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A strong group statement from Chicago pianist Matt Piet – a newer player on the city's improvising scene, but one who's already making his presence known – lined up here beautifully with heavyweights Josh Berman on cornet, Nick Mazzarella on alto, and Tim Daisy on drums and percussion! The album just features two long tracks – and both of them are maybe more of a nod back at an earlier generation of Chicago improvisers than some of the recent work of the other players – as Piet blocks things out in mood at the start, then builds up a strong energy between all of the players – with Mazzarella sounding especially great in the setting – really coming across with these searing, spiritual tones. Berman is great too – more subtle at times, but also looser and freer too – and titles include "Lost & Found" and "The Last Place You Look". CD
Alberto Pinton & Noi Siamo —
Opus Facere ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Reedman Alberto Pinton works here in a very full-on setting – a strong quartet with Niklas Barno on trumpet, Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass, and Konrad Angnas on drums – all players who can come out of the gate in a very bold way, but then also create these much more introspective moments of musical interplay! Pinton blows a variety of horns on the record – alto, baritone sax, clarinet, and bass clarinet – all of which create different shades of emotion. And, as usual, Zetterberg is tremendous – maybe one of the great under-appreciated bassists of the past 20 years! Titles include "Overthought", "Marion", "The Long View", "Det Vi Vet", and "Unqueitly/Sabbia". CD
Chris Pitsiokos/Susana Santos Silva/Torbjorn Zette —
Child Of Illusion ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Freely improvised sounds from a trio that features bassist Torbjorn Zetterberg and trumpeter Susana Santos Silva – both musicians we've loved together in the past – joined here by alto saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos, who seems to give them a much freer sound overall! The tracks are very open in shape and structure – with especially strong interplay between the trumpet and alto – who sometimes dance around each other, sometimes spar – while Zetterberg really pushes himself, too – and seems to move past his more inherent sense of melody, into territory that we may well never have heard before (and we've listened to – and loved – dozens of his many recordings!) Titles include "Now Then", "I Find Nothing", "What Now", and "Yeah Well". CD
Jacob Sacks —
Fishes ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
We're not sure that we've ever heard pianist Jacob Sacks before – but he makes a really wonderful presence on this album as leader of a quintet that features reed work from Ellery Eskelin on tenor and Tony Malaby on tenor and soprano sax! Both Esklelin and Malaby blow in ways that are very familiar – and which are well-matched together – but Sacks' piano often moves in these different directions, with different phrasing – at a level that we really like a lot, and which adds more dimension to the record that we might expect from other saxophonist. Sacks wrote all the songs, and there's a strong tension between composition and improvisation – by a group that also features Michael Formanek on bass and Dan Weiss on drums. Titles include "Carnegie Kvetches If", "This Is A Song", "Carnegie The Sketcher", "Saloon", "Chopped In", "Ill Blues", and "Five Little Melodies". CD
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