Tremendous work from Joshua Abrams – a set that's very different than some of his other work in recent years, but every bit as great! The set's got a lean group – Abrams on bass, Jeff Parker on guitar, Gerald Cleaver on drums, and the great Ari Brown on tenor – of Awakening fame – a group that delivers a more stripped-down version of some of Josh's more spiritual ideals – but in ways that also touch base with more conventional jazz expression! Make no mistake, there's nothing conventional about this set – the approach is very unique, and very striking – and the presence of the younger musicians really sets Ari Brown on fire, and reminds us of what a great soloist he can be when he's pushed to his limits. Titles include "Collapsing Novelty", "Duke Hill", "Echo Tracer", "In Place Of Memory", and "Coniunctio". CD
Tremendous work from Joshua Abrams – a set that's very different than some of his other work in recent years, but every bit as great! The set's got a lean group – Abrams on bass, Jeff Parker on guitar, Gerald Cleaver on drums, and the great Ari Brown on tenor – of Awakening fame – a group that delivers a more stripped-down version of some of Josh's more spiritual ideals – but in ways that also touch base with more conventional jazz expression! Make no mistake, there's nothing conventional about this set – the approach is very unique, and very striking – and the presence of the younger musicians really sets Ari Brown on fire, and reminds us of what a great soloist he can be when he's pushed to his limits. Titles include "Collapsing Novelty", "Duke Hill", "Echo Tracer", "In Place Of Memory", and "Coniunctio". LP, Vinyl record album
A great reunion of the Jeff Parker/Rob Mazurek duo – a pair who've only continued to grow strongly in the years since their Chicago Underground classics – and who bring all that sense of energy to play in their music! The sounds here represent the deeper, more mature styles that both musicians have hit – a way of almost being more powerful by being less aggressive – especially from Mazurek, who's got this wonderfully gentle touch on his horn at times – wrapped up in these waves of sound that come from Jeff's guitar. Parker also contributes some other effects, which really map out a creative collage of electric shades – but again, without ever being too overpowering – and Rob responds with some very interesting acoustic shades of his own. Titles include "Proton Stolons", "Water Flower Medusa", "T Dorhnii", and "Beauty Hydroid". CD
A solo piano set from the great Matthew Shipp, but one that's got the presence and power of most of his larger group efforts – but delivered with moments of personality and humanity that really set the whole thing apart! Shipp's exploded with new creative energy in the past decade – and this album provides a crystal clear picture of that move forward – an understanding of the piano and its ability to shape sound that we're not sure we ever heard this strongly in his early recordings – played with a mixture of focus and free-thinking that leaves us breathless throughout the entire long four-piece suite! Segments include "Piano Genesis", "The Reward", "Cosmic Clown", "Coherence Demanded", "Deeper Energy", "Angel Whispering", "The Saccharine Principle", "Energy Of Piano's Desire", and "Core Of The Soul". LP, Vinyl record album
Beautiful sounds from two dark-tinged improvisers – coming here together in a performance that's supposedly a tribute to John Coltrane, but which comes across in a spirit that's very much their own! Shipp is able to serve out these effortless clusters of notes with that new sense of imagination that's really marked his growth in the past decade – notes that are always full of brooding energy, but never in a way that's sleepy or sloppy. Parker responds with some of his sharpest, fastest lines in years – blowing both tenor and soprano sax, but never in ways that are Coltrane-like – which is no surprise, as Evan's helped evolve jazz tremendously in the decades since Trane's passing. The CD features one extended improvisation "Leonine Aspects 1", which runs for 51 minutes – and the shorter "Leonine Aspects 2". CD
All Set (Ingrid Laubrock/Stephane Payen/Chris Tordini/Tom Rainey) —
All Set ... CD RogueArt (France), 2021. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Twin saxes, coming together here with a really wonderful sound – the tenor of Ingrid Laubrock and straight alto sax of Stephane Payen – criss-crossing beautifully next to the drums of Tom Rainey and bass of Chris Tordini! There's a really special sort of sound going on here – the reed interplay never sounds too cold or academic, as can sometimes happen – and both players have a very intuitive sense of energy – rising and cresting together, breaking off in individual explorations – and often having this sort of inherent swing, even when things get pretty wild. Titles include "Knock Whack", "Dice", "Evaporating Dew", "The Chant", "Out Of Thin Air", and "Harmonization" – the last of which might be a good title for the album! CD
Ingrid Laubrock/Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman/Tom Rainey —
Tism ... CD RogueArt (France), 2019. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A quartet of musicians that we're not sure we've heard together before, but who instantly seem to find a great way to relate – effortlessly exploring similar sonic territory together, with a sense of sympathy that often makes it difficult to hear what instrument is contributing what sound to the mix! By that, we don't mean that the whole thing is an overly-bombastic, noisy affair – just that the blend of sounds here comes together in really wonderful ways, especially the use of violin by Mark Feldman and the tenor and soprano sax of Ingrid Laubrock – the latter a player we're growing to love more and more with each passing year. Tom Rainey is on drums, and nicely restrained in all the best ways – and Sylvie Courvoisier handles piano, again with a really compelling sense of sound – on titles that include "Tism", "Spectral Sound", "Tooth & Nail", and "Maisons Fragiles". CD
Matthew Shipp Trio with Nicole Mitchell —
All Things Are ... CD RogueArt (France), 2019. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A tremendous pairing of two of the most unique talents in the avant jazz spectrum – pianist Matthew Shipp and flautist Nicole Mitchell – both coming together here in a wonderful way! The cover bills the set as somewhat of a meeting between Mitchell and Shipp's trio with Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums – but the music feels more as if it's resonating strongly between the darkly melodic depths of both Nicole and Matthew – piano and flute working together in ways that are very different than the usual effort of its type – especially from Mitchell, who seems to pull out all these new raspy, earthy tones that are completely wonderful! Nicole plays both alto and standard flute – and Shipp continues his tremendous new rebirth of recent years – on titles that include "Fire & Air", "Void Of Ground", "Elements", "Well Spring", "Water & Earth", "Blossom", and "All Things Are". CD
Matthew Shipp/John Butcher/Thomas Lehn —
Clawed Stone ... CD RogueArt (France), 2020. Used ...
Out Of Stock
The title of this set sounds a bit stark – and that's maybe a good reference to the overall sound – which is spacious, yet powerful – often with a brooding quality that really brings out a strong resonance between all three musicians! The piano of Matthew Shipp is in wonderful form here – maybe the most individual voice of the session – as the tenor and soprano sax of John Butcher are often matched with the electronics of Thomas Lehn – in ways that sometimes makes it difficult to tell what sounds are coming from the reeds and what are coming from the electronics – yet we mean that in the best way possible, as it really reflects the inventiveness of both musicians! Shipp's presence is maybe a more organic balance to the others – in a way that really works well – as the trio moves through a mixture of short and long improvisations, with titles that include "Trippy Revelation", "Off Kilter", "Links On Canvas", "Tastes Of Song", "Stitched Equivalence", and "Blurred & Sewn". CD
Tomeka Reid & Joe Morris —
Combinations ... CD RogueArt (France), 2020. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Stunning combinations of sound – Tomeka Reid on cello and Joe Morris on guitar – each sounding especially wonderful here in the company of each other! It may be our ears, but there seems to be a really special sort of warmth going on here – as Morris drops a bit of his sharper tones to resonate more strongly with the cello – and Reid is maybe more open and human in sound than in some other settings – something a bit hard to explain, but which really comes through in the sound! There's a sensitivity to the performance of both players that's wonderful – especially on some of Tomeka's bowed passages – and titles include "Chicago", "Percussive Play", "Parallax Suite", "Together Yet Always Apart", "New York", "In The Mid Ground", and a nice take on the Billy Bang tune "Rainbow Gladiator". CD
Matthew Shipp & Rob Brown —
Then & Now ... CD RogueArt (France), 2020. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Great work from two players who really seem to find each other very quickly here – improvising freely in a way that creates strong resonance between the piano of Matthew Shipp and the alto of Rob Brown – as both musicians have notes cascading forward in this effortless way, often hitting the sharper sides of their sonic spectrum, yet never in a way that's needlessly flashy or overly aggressive! Instead, there's a simple, basic understanding of the space of free play – and both Brown and Ship step into it with confidence, but mixed with generosity – creating some fantastic sounds together on the eight improvisations on the set. CD
That's Soft Head, not Soft Heap – which is another way of saying that the fantastic music here is yet another strong evolution of the original Soft Machine sound! The quartet features bass from Hugh Hopper and amazing work from Elton Dean on alto and saxello – plus sweet electric piano and electronics from Alan Gowen and drums from Dave Sheen – all spinning out in ways that are right up there with some of the jazziest late work by Soft Machine – no vocals at all, and more than enough free-thinking ideas to have placed the record on the avant jazz label Ogun. Gowen's electric piano is maybe worth the price of the record alone, and Dean is tremendous too – as the group work in a great late flowering of Canterbury ideals, on the titles "Seven Drones", "Seven For Lee", "Remain So", "CRRC", and "One Three Nine". CD features the unissued bonus tracks "C You Again" and "Ranova". CD
Paul Dunmall/Matthew Shipp/Joe Morris/Gerald Cleaver —
Bright Awakening ... CD Rogue (France), 2021. New Copy ...
A bold, bright awakening from this freely improvising quartet – a crack lineup who work nonstop here for 56 minutes, in a performance captured at the Vision Festival 17 in New York! Paul Dunmall is ferocious on tenor, and really seems to set fire to the piano of Matthew Shipp – as Shipp's moving at a pace and intensity that's even stronger than usual, as if he's trying to keep up with the constantly creative energy of the tenor. And both the bass of Joe Morris and drums of Gerald Cleaver complete the intensity – working as two more sides of a very strongly-shaped quadrangle of sound. The set features one long track – "The Bright Awakening". CD