With Jason Ajemian on double bass, Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Angelica Sanchez on piano & Nate Wooley on trumpet. CD
Ilia Belorukov & Gabriel Ferrandini —
Disquiet ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
Duets here between drums and alto sax – the former by Gabriel Ferrandini, the latter by Ilia Belorukov – both handled in ways that really open up both of the instruments into very fresh territory! Ferrandini is free, but often seems to hit melodic elements as much as rhythmic ones – and things are sometimes vice versa for Belorukov – whose sense of improvisation with the drums is really magical, and very different than most other duets of this nature that we can think of. Titles include "The Big Passages", "Fragmented Matter", "Two Notes", "Without Facts", and "Fictions Of An Interlude". CD
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
A fantastic record from saxophonist Martin Kuchen – and a set that has us really reevaluating his talents, with a new sense of soul and spirit we've never heard before! The setting is relatively spare – and Kuchen dominates the proceedings on soprano, alto, and tenor saxes – while Mathias Landaeus plays piano with some analog delay, alongside Johnny Aman on bass and Cornelia Nilsson on drums – both players who follow the lead of Landaeus, and give Kuchen plenty of space to shine in the spotlight! What Martin does with this space is wonderful – blowing with a style that has an edge, borne from the more avant work of the past, but also given this mellower sense of soul that almost has him coming across like an avant Ben Webster – a bit boozy and beaten, but with an undeniable spark that shines through with every note. Brilliant, and unlike anything we think we've heard before – on titles that include "Love Flee Thy House", "Sounds & Ruins", "Sorkifsta", "Mind The Gap Of Silence", and "East Hastings Satian Slow Stomp". CD
Gabriele Mitelli & Rob Mazurek —
Star Splitter ... LP CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
Some of the darkest sounds in years from the great Rob Mazurek – a musician who's matched perfectly on every front by Gabriele Mitelli – who does everything that Rob does on the record, and also throws in a bit of soprano sax as well! The music is all improvised, and in that very deep blend of electronic and acoustic elements that Mazurek has explored over the years – with textures so intense, it's often difficult to figure out what's coming from where – as Rob blows piccolo trumpet, Mitelli blows cornet, and both artists served up a wealth of sounds on electronics, voice, and other objects too. Titles include "Venus", "Mercury", "Mars", and "Uranus". LP, Vinyl record album
Evan Parker & Kinetics —
Chiasm ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
Saxophonist Evan Parker has always been a wonderfully collaborative talent – fantastic on his own, but also very able to improvise at a fantastic level within any sort of group – so that he never dominates, and instead only seems to act as a force that seems to bring out the best in all around him! That's definitely the case here – in a set of improvisations recorded in London and Copenhagen, with a trio that features Jacob Anderskov on piano, Adam Pultz Melbye on bass, and Anders Vestergaard on drums – all younger musicians that, we think, are new to our ears – but who hit a level of spontaneous creation that's really wonderful alongside Parker's tenor. The set features four long tracks, two from each city. CD
Chris Pitsiokos/Susana Santos Silva/Torbjorn Zetterberg —
Child Of Illusion ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2018. New Copy ...
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
Cene Resnik Free Stellar Trio with Rob Mazurek —
Age Of Chaos ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
One long piece, played with searing intensity by the trio of Cene Resnik on tenor, Giorgio Pacorig on piano, and Mark Lasic on drums – joined here by Rob Mazurek on some great pocket trumpet too! The piece builds with this resonant interplay between all four forces in the quartet – and Mazurek sometimes steps back, to wait for his space, then provides just the right punctuation – in a manner that really reminds us of the way that he can be an improviser who's patient, but powerful too! CD
The WHO here is a trio with Michel Wintsch on piano, Gerry Hemingway on drums, and Banz Oester on bass – a trio who make very different music with the songs of Duke Ellington! The vibe is very open and creative – very much in the spirit of Michel's best recordings of the past decade or so – but the real star of the set might be bassist Oester, as he handles his instrument in these really amazing ways – sometimes rhythmic, with qualities that set the pulse for the tunes – but other times with these unusual sounds that sometimes feel as if they're making up for the missing horn players that might have been in larger group recordings, and resonating wonderfully with the looser, freer lines of Wintsch on piano. Drummer Hemingway finds a way to space himself perfectly, and also adds in some really compelling moments on voice – on titles that include "The Mooche", "Black & Tan Fantasy", "Passion Flower", "Angelica", "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing", and "In A Sentimental Mood". CD
Angles 9 —
Beyond Us ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A fantastic group that just seems to get better and better each time we hear them – one comprised of some of our favorite Swedish avant players of the past decade or two – coming together here in a way that's even greater than the sum of its parts! There's a bold energy to the group that seems to take off from the Charles Mingus ensembles of the late 50s and early 60s – that balance of unified message and individual voices – painterly sometimes, swinging at others – with work from Johan Berthling on bass, Magnus Broo on trumpet, Eirik Hegdal on baritone, Goran Kajfes on cornet, Martin Kuchen on alto and tenor, Mattias Stahl on vibes, Andreas Werliin on drums, Alexander Zethson on piano, and Mats Aleklint on trombone. There's a richness here that's undeniable, and which puts these guys in instant-classic territory – at least for avant jazz – on titles that include "Beyond Us", "Mali", "Against The Permanent Revolution", "Samar & The Egyptian Winter", and "U(n)happiez Marriages". CD
Pianist Daniel Bernardes has a lot of percussionists in his group – not just drummer Mario Costa in the core trio with Antonio Augusto Aguiar on bass – but another quartet of musicians, who add in vibes, marimba, glockenspiel, and other percussion – all in a set of tracks based on the compositional ideas of composer Olivier Messiaen! The music is still very strongly in a jazz-based mode – and the percussion is often used lightly, as melodic as it is rhythmic – but there's a great sense of note clusters going on, in ways that make the music inherently rhythmic, even when the drums are taking a back seat to the piano and vibes. Titles include "Globular Clusters", "Sobre Kieslowski I", "Ostinato Interludio E Cancao V", "19", and "Bolero". CD
Avram Fefer —
Testament ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
The alto and tenor of Avram Fefer sound wonderful here next to the guitar of Marc Ribot – a musician who feels more magical here than he has in years – really exploding with a strong sense of color next to the excellent drums of Chad Taylor and bass of Eric Revis! The album's a strong, powerful record from Fefer – a set that has looser elements, but also swings a fair bit too – never too straight, but also never too free – and with this majestic tone that really makes a lot of Ribot's strong sense of chromes, which almost act like splashes of musical paint next to the saxophone lines – further bursting out with a sense of unexpected richness. Titles include "Song For Dyani", "Magic Mountain", "Dean St Hustle", "Essaoura", and "Wishful Thinking". 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
A wonderful wrapping of reeds – the alto of Aram Shelton and tenor and sopranino saxes of Larry Ochs – set up here as a unified spirit in the lead of the group, but always ready to break out with these bold individual moments too! The record's got a mixture of rasp and tunefulness that speaks to the strong legacy of both players – sometimes swinging, sometimes a bit more free – with work from Kjell Nordeson on bass, and either Mark Dresser or Scott Walton on bass, depending on the tracks. Titles include "Continental Drift", "Slat", "Switch", "Another Night", "The Others Dream", and "Test Shots". CD
These guys already had our attention the moment we looked at the cover – and noted that they were playing songs by Phil Cohran, Sun Ra, and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre – then they really won us over once we heard the very first few notes of the set! The group's only a quartet on most tracks, but they've got a sense of majesty to really live up to the music – definitely making magic with the roots they refer to in their name – in a lineup that features Alberto Popolla on clarinet and bass clarinet, Errico De Fabritiis on alto and baritone sax, Gianfranco Tedeschi on bass, and Fabrizio Spera on drums and percussion. There's some nice surprises along the way – harmonica, zither, and "objects" used in the performances – and there's a way of reworking avant traditions that remind us of some of the most innovative sides of the Italian scene at the end of the 80s – on titles that include "When There Is No Sun", "Karen On Monday", "Frankiphone Blues", "Devil Got My Woman", "Humility In The Light Of The Creator", and "A Girl Named Rainbow". CD
Tim Stine —
Knots ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Guitarist Tim Stine is in great Chicago company here – a hip quartet that features Nick Mazzarella on alto, Matt Ullery on bass, and Quin Kirchner on drums – all players who contribute a tremendous amount to the set! There's a nice mix of arrangement and freedom going on here – and Tim's solos have this lean, raspy edge – which is balanced out by some deeper lines coming from Mazzarella's alto – all laid out over these romping rhythms from Ullery and Kirchner – almost harmelodic in thought, but a lot more complex overall! Titles include "SH8", "Ride Wild Rides", "Kjallstert", "Quietus", "Fred Waltzing", and "Trempealeau". CD
A recent evening in Houston from one of the most revolutionary voices in jazz – the legendary Patty Waters, best known for her ESP recordings in the 60s – making a great return to form in more recent years! Waters works here with a group that's maybe as equally legendary as she is – Burton Greene on piano, Barry Altschul on drums, and Mario Pavone on bass – kind of an inversion of the usual energy of a jazz trio accompanying a singer, which is perfect for the way that Waters completely breaks open the form of vocal jazz! Most titles here are familiar, but done in really unique, mindblowingly personal versions – in a lineup that includes "Loverman", "Moon Don't Come Up Tonight", "You're My Thrill", "Lonely Woman", "Strange Fruit", "I Loves You Porgy", and "Off Minor". 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
Nick Millevoi —
Desertion ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2016. Used Gatefold ...
Out Of Stock
Features Nick Millevoi on guitars, Jamie Saft on Hammond & piano, Johnny DeBlase on bass, and Ches Smith on drums – plus guest trombone from Dan Blackberg, who also provides string arrangements. CD
Gabriele Mitelli & Rob Mazurek —
Star Splitter ... CD CleanFeed (Portugal), 2019. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Some of the darkest sounds in years from the great Rob Mazurek – a musician who's matched perfectly on every front by Gabriele Mitelli – who does everything that Rob does on the record, and also throws in a bit of soprano sax as well! The music is all improvised, and in that very deep blend of electronic and acoustic elements that Mazurek has explored over the years – with textures so intense, it's often difficult to figure out what's coming from where – as Rob blows piccolo trumpet, Mitelli blows cornet, and both artists served up a wealth of sounds on electronics, voice, and other objects too. Titles include "Venus", "Mercury", "Mars", and "Uranus". CD
We're not sure we've ever heard from bassist Miles Perkin before, but after this album we'll definitely be keeping an ear out for his music – as the whole thing has a wonderfully fresh, wonderfully vibrant sort of sound – Miles' strong lines on the bass really working magic with a quartet that includes Tom Arthurs on trumpet, Benoit Delbecq on piano, and Jim Black on the drums! The vibe of the music is a bit hard to convey in words – as there's plenty of space for the bass right up front in the mix, but the music is never too airy or quiet either – just the right balance with a group flow that really comes along nicely – structure matched with improvisation, on titles that include "Sdreaming", "What Did You Expect", "The Point In Question", "Blue Cloud", and "Sea Drop". LP, Vinyl record album