Don Cherry, John Tchicai, & Irene Schweizer —
Musical Monsters ... CD Intakt (Switzerland), 1980. New Copy ...
An unheard Don Cherry performance from the start of the 80s – and easily one of his most powerful recordings from the time! The vibe here is very free, open, and bold – with Don blowing much sharper notes on trumpet than some of his airier recordings of the 70s – urged on by the sharp-edged alto of John Tchicai, the freewheeling piano lines of Irene Schweizer, and deft drums of Perre Favre – all-star improvisers who work on equal terms with Cherry – in this landmark performance recorded at the Willisau jazz fest in 1980. The album features four long improvisations – based around tunes penned by Tchicai and Pierre Dorge – retitled "Musical Monsters" 1 through 4 for the album. CD
A 50th anniversary tribute to one of the most important groups on the European avant scene in the 70s – one of the first large improvising ensembles, led by pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach – who's still very firmly at the helm in this recent recording! In fact, the orchestra is also filled with many other classic players, plus some younger improvisers too –a lineup that features Evan Parker on tenor, Wolter Weirbos and Christof Thewes on trombone, Gerd Dudek on soprano and flute, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky on alto and clarinet, Henrik Walsdorff on alto, Paul Lovens and Paul Lytton on drums, and Axel Dorner, Tomasz Stanko, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, and Manfred Schoof on trumpets! The album features one long track, which builds in energy just like some of the group's classic recordings – with a very warm sense of sympathy in the ensemble passages, then some very strong resonance between individual instrumental voices. CD
Pianist Aruan Ortiz really blows us away here – working on three long tracks that show a completely unique approach to the piano, but one that's as melodically pleasing as it is experimental! The trio features the great Chad Taylor on drums, and also on a bit of mbira – and Ortiz really seems to have resonance with him, as he plays these piano notes that as rhythmic as they are tuneful – balanced out by some occasional freer elements from bassist Brad Jones, whose mostly a player who has the same sense of deep soul that we love in Taylor's approach. All three musicians are a real revelation, and the long performance also features a bass solo from Jones, and inventive arrangements of slices of Chopin and Ornette Coleman. Wonderful throughout – and the kind of illuminating record that will make us dig for new jazz records until we leave this planet! CD
Great work from a really well-matched trio of players – a group who remind us yet again that age has no limits in the world of improvised music! In fact, it may well be the maturity of these musicians that makes the whole thing work so well – as the balance between individual identity and group creation is perfect – very strong on each instrumental element, yet never with any overstated ego at all – as Parker, Guy, and Lytton showcase their sense of sounds that are sometimes more understated, but as powerful as a bolder blast from each instrument – with Evan Parker on saxes, Barry Guy on acoustic bass, and Paul Lytton on drums. The album features four long pieces – each dedicated to David Mossman. CD
A fantastic combination of players – both musicians who have an incredible ability to be all over their instruments at once, yet always somehow sound completely in control! Drummer Joey Baron's demonstrated this ability for years, but maybe not as strongly as on this recent album with pianist Irene Schweizer – a set that has him matching all the wonderfully dynamic energy we've always loved on her albums for Intakt – sounds that are almost a small separate branch of the European improvising world, because they've got a quality that's so individual and distinct! Irene can keep things surprisingly tuneful, even when free – and Baron opens up the most tuneful side of his percussion talents, really at home in the territory. Titles include "String Fever", "Up The Ladder", "The Open Window", "Saturdays", and "Jungle Beat II". CD
Trio 3 (Oliver Lake/Reggie Workman/Andrew Cyrille) —
Visiting Texture ... CD Intakt (Switzerland), New Copy ...
We really love the Trio 3 – as it seems to allow each of the individual members just the right sort of personal space to open up and unfold – reminding us again what important contributions they've made to jazz over the decades! Saxophonist Oliver Lake is especially strong – open, flowing, and free – but always with an inherent sense of swing and soul, even when the drumwork of Andrew Cyrille hits those beautifully loose modes that he does so well. Reggie Workman's bass is recorded with fantastic tone, and really grounds the whole proceedings – and the whole thing's a fantastic balance between freedom, spirit, and soul. Titles include "Bumper", "Bonu", "A Girl Named Rainbow", "Visiting Texture", "7 For Max", and "Epic Man". CD
Jurg Wickihalder/Barry Guy/Lucas Niggli —
Beyond ... CD Intakt (Switzerland), 2017. New Copy ...
Reedman Jurg Wickihalder is definitely the star of the trio here – really setting the tone with his fast flurry of notes and sounds on soprano, alto, and tenor sax – often blown with a deftness that's amazing, especially when he hews to more tuneful territory! Drummer Lucas Niggli can come on with the right sort of rhythmic boldness when needed, but also can break out to freer passages too – and although Barry Guy may well be the most famous name on the date, his contributions are often much more subtle, and supportive of the dynamic of the other two musicians. That's not to say that he's not there at all – because his sound is, as always, wonderful – and is clearly a key part of the vibe of the album. Titles include "A New One", "Relaxing In The Forest", "The Valley", "Arts & Crafts", "The Last Breath", and "Sing". CD
Trio 3 (Oliver Lake/Reggie Workman/Andrew Cyrille) —
At This Time ... CD Intakt (Switzerland), 2009. Used ...
Out Of Stock
Fred Frith & Hans Koch —
You Are Here ... CD Intakt (Switzerland), 2017. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Stunning duets between two musicians who could been seen as sonic specialists as much as jazz improvisers – guitarist Fred Frith and reedman Hans Koch – both working here together in a set that's awash with unusual textures and tones! The performance is live, and features Frith on electric guitar and various small objects – matched by amazing work from Koch on bass clarinet, tenor, and soprano – often with these unusual sounds that do a surprisingly wonderful job of matching the elements of the electric guitar – but always with a sense of tune, as well – that really special way that Koch can have of opening up a reed instrument to new possibilities, while still retaining its richer tones. Titles include "Strange Is The Night Where Black Stars Rise", "Immagine Prima", "Road Mirror Forest Sea", "Ever Wonder", "Exercises Chronologiques", and "Just A Crack". CD