The Avondale Addition
"…this just hits like an especially robust excursion into the beauty of avant-Chicago...with stretches that roll and even groove; in terms of rhythm (movement) and foundational sturdiness, The Avondale Addition is a substantial ride (that lasts for just over an hour). Everybody plays at a high level, and this [is] splendid stuff. –Joseph Neff (The Vinyl District)"
The Beloved Music
Paul Flaherty & Chris Corsano
"Buoyed by flowing swells of tom skin, The Beloved Music is an aural analog to Clyfford Still's caked oils or Richard Serra's manhandled lead. Flaherty and Corsano make music that is here, and they don't give a shit if you're around to love it or not. -Clifford Allen, Bagatellen"
The Body Imitates the Landscape
Claudio f. Baroni
"The music on this album originates in the interactive sound installation The Body Imitates the Landscape by artist Adi Hollander: she designed a collection of ergonomic objects that are meant to transform music into vibrations felt through the entire body. Hollander was inspired by the Japanese book Karada by Michitaro Tada about the ‘school of the body’. Hollander and Claudio F. Baroni made a live version of the installation where Baroni’s music, performed by Maze, was experienced live by the public. As it was channeled through the objects, the public could at once hear the music in the space and feel it in their bodies."
The Brass City
Joe McPhee & Jeb Bishop
"A wonderful meeting between the great multi-horn master from Poughkeepsie NY (Joe McPhee) and up and coming trombone star of the Vandermark 5, Jeb Bishop."
The Cliff of Time
Akira Sakata / Fred Lonberg-Holm / Ketil Gutvik / Paal Nilssen-Love
"The music here is a rollercoaster of emotions, played by excellent musicians who seem to have great fun. And the sound is transparent and crispy too. -Martin Schray, Free Jazz Blog"
Ken Vandermark & Tim Daisy
"It is free and it funks. It is jazz in it's purest form: two artists enjoying the fun of lyricism interacting with rhythm, conjuring up emotions of happiness, but also of sadness. The subtly is not only in the finesse of the emotional or sonic shadings that you get with lots of new music today, but also in the straightforward improvisation, with the subtlety being fully present in both musicians' maximal use of their skills, with ear-candy to boot."
The Dim Bulb
Steve Baczkowski / Chris Corsano / Paul Flaherty
"Veteran underground alto/tenor saxophonist Paul Flaherty and his much-younger compadre, drummer Chris Corsano, have a bond. As a duo, they most often sound like a thundering herd of elephants, with Corsano cast as the thundering herd and Flaherty as the elephants, or like Indians in an old western charging the cowboys on galloping horseback and in full war cry. The Dim Bulb introduces baritone player Steve Baczkowski, an even farther underground free improviser from Buffalo and the effect is at once overwhelming and exhilarating. The music flickers like electricity in a brownout, straining to sustain itself, then surging to incandescence. -Jeff Stockton"
The Ex at Bimhuis (1991-2015)
"The Ex in 2015 are more rhythmically fluid, but they are still calling out trouble wherever they find it, and the jagged parts aren’t gone, only placed differently. Most importantly, they sound as engaged and vital as ever. —Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine"
The Fat Is Gone
Peter Brötzmann / Mats Gustafsson / Paal Nilssen-Love
"Brötzmann's playing is as dense and as hard as ever, shadowed by a slightly deferential Mats Gustafsson, who strains the upper limits of his baritone and the assaultive, relentless drumming of Paal Nilssen-Love. The players occasionally break the momentum for a series of pops, squeals and general skittering, but the moments of rest only add to the pressurized environment, as you anticipate the next onslaught. -Jeff Stockton, All About Jazz"
The Fire Each Time
DKV Trio + Joe McPhee
"Not Two Records presents, "The Fire Each Time," a 6 CD boxset of recordings from the DKV Trio with Joe McPhee as a guest, and dedicated to James Baldwin. The music was recorded during the quartet's tour in Europe which took place in November of 2017, and at shows in Chicago and Milwaukee from December of that year. These performances are historic in many respects: the DKV Trio (with Hamid Drake [drums], Kent Kessler [bass], and Ken Vandermark [reeds]) has only recorded with other musicians on three occasions in its two decade career (with Joe Morris on "Deep Telling" [Okka Disk, 1999; with Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love and Massimo Pupillo on "Schl8hof" [Trost, 2013], and with The Thing ["Collider," Not Two, 2016]); also, this is the first time all four musicians have worked together as a band; and the material documented over the six concerts included in the collection features performances of Joe McPhee's compositions (like "Nation Time") as well as completely improvised music generated by the participants. "
The Laughing Owl
Terrie Ex & Han Bennink
"The energy level remains quite high on much of this disc; one has the feeling the recording is meant to be played very LOUD. Even the most bird-like scrabbling between these musicians has a sharp, dissonant edge. The Laughing Owl may be about as "out" as today's free improvisation gets, but it retains enough of a conversational aspect that it bears interest upon repeated listenings. -Nils Jacobson, June 2001"
The Lions Have Eaten One of the Guards
Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love
"They’ve tapped into a sound that is eminently listenable and addictive, and it’s exciting to hear them hone their interplay more and more as time passes. I would highly recommend this album to fans of Ken Vandermark’s and Paal Nilssen-Love’s previous duo work, and to any fan of powerful, melodic, but still adventurous music (Derek Stone, The Free Jazz Collective)"
The New Favorite Thing Called Breathing
Ben Hall's Racehorse Names
"After listening to the album I was interested to find out that the improvised pieces were actually open compositions, with each piece seemingly providing a sonic structure or context for the players to explore, whilst apparently providing enough ‘instructions’ (however the ‘composed’ element was written) to keep the group sound wedded to a particular idea. -Chris Haines, Free Jazz Blog"
Paul Lytton / Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori & Ken Vandermark
"Quantity is seldom a per se value, but we have here one hundred and nine minutes of pure, passionate, involving high quality music."