No Queen Rises
""Dew lies on the instruments of straw that you were playing, / The ruts in your empty road are red" Fish-Scale sunrise signals for Baars a broadening spectrum of possibilities for compositions and improvisations. Baars wanted to explore new timbre, dynamics and sounds. He employs for the first time in his ensembles a pianist - Slovenian, Amsterdam-based pianist Kaja Draksler, who collaborated before with Baars in her Octet - introducing a new weight of nuances of timbre and dynamics as well as new harmonic horizons. Canadian, Stockholm-based double bass player Joe Williamson completes this drummer-less format and positions the bass with a unique role. Baars wrote seven compositions and the other two are free-improvisations. -Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz"
Ken Vandermark / Klaus Kugel / Mark Tokar
"Can there be such a thing as straight-ahead free? If so, this disk’s five as-it-happens improvisations would be it. Each achieves something remarkable, a seldom-realized free jazz ideal: the more these players achieve something remarkable, the more these players sacrifice themselves in support of one another, the more our attention is drawn to each’s individual merits. Teasing his solos to climax on the album’s two longest performances, Vandermark shows he knows the difference between repetition and repetitiveness. This might be some of his best playing on records; it’s definitely among his lustiest. Tokar’s “extended” bass technique is astonishing, and worthy of special notice is the way he matches tones with Vandermark when the latter explores the lower reaches of his horn. Kugel is a model drummer, supplying both motion and combustion without so much as implying a steady beat. Only one modifier will do in further categorizing this free jazz: classic. - Francis Davis"
Noise Of Our Time
"It was only during Ken Vandermark's residency at the Jazz club The Stone in January 2016 that Vandermark found himself in the same vicinity as Nate Wooley, Sylvie Courvoisier and Tom Rainey. A year later they went into the studio with nine compositions – three each by Courvoisier, Vandermark and Wooley. These four musicians have well-documented, distinct personalities which, in this context, results in performances full of surprises, rich contrasts and shared responsibilities. The music sounds thoughtful, but never over-wrought. They play by intuition, yet retain a vivid complexity. Their composing is transparent and unclichéd; their improvising provided with a remarkable coherence and openness. And perhaps it is exactly this – a fresh collective unity that keeps their respective personalities and idiosyncrasies intact – that brings them success in this bold and collaborative performance. Art needs to pique and renew your interest, take you on inspiring and surprising journeys and sometimes even confront your own biases. Creating, not reviving as a way to evolve and to keep going forward in all directions. credits "
Nothing Is Forever
Frode Gjerstad Trio
"The trio freely accumulates sonic materials until a pattern emerges and the music then takes off from there, always holding the listener's attention in the process; the music very rarely becomes rises to all-out blowing, keeping the energy flowing through control and careful listening instead. Gjerstad’s phrasing employs wide intervals and a chirping, bird-like sound, and makes a very convincing case for an original and highly original combination of Eric Dolphy's and Albert Ayler's lineages. The different strategies devised by drums and bass in reaction to the unexpected breaks, jumps and timbral microvariations in the reeds' lines make for this listener the most exciting moments in a very successful CD."
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten New York Quartet
"Together, this drummer-less quartet floats differing pulses, favoring interactions such as the conversation between Morris and Flaten on "Pent," and Wooley's fluttering notes against bowed bass on "Knicks." The startling speed of "Giants" represents a heart-pounding four minutes of spontaneous felicity, while Wooley and Flaten open "As If" by setting the table for the quartet's harmonies. McPhee and Morris slide inside this and other pieces, working each track and maintaining the originator's framework. Each brief improvisation—the longest running 9:34 and the shortest a brief 2:13—is a well-woven tapestry of sound."
Nuclear Assembly Hall
Atomic / School Days
"The 3rd release by Ken Vandermark's School Days is a double CD of studio material recorded with the Oslo quintet Atomic. Both bands have the same rhythm section of Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and Ingebrigt HÂker Flaten on bass. The group includes Magnus Broo: trumpet, Jeb Bishop: trombone, Fredrik Liungkvist: reeds, Ken Vandermark: reeds, Hevard Wiik: piano & Kjell Nordeson: vibraphone. 9 new compositions 1 each by all the members (2 by Mr. Liungkvist)."
October Music (Vol 1) 7 Compositions For Duet
"Relay Records is proud to present the latest release in it’s catalog: “October Music (vol 1) 7 Compositions For Duet” (relay 009) documents a set of duet compositions written by Chicago based percussionist Tim Daisy, each piece performed in a duo format, and each written specifically for seven Chicago based musician"
October Music (Volume 3) 7 Compositions For Duet
"Relay Records is proud to present the third volume in it’s October Music catalog: "Tim Daisy October Music (vol 3) 7 Compositions For Duet" (relay 024) documents a set of new compositions written by Chicago based percussionist and composer Tim Daisy; each work performed in a duo format and written specifically for these seven Chicago based musicians. "
Jeb Bishop & Tim Daisy
"Daisy and Bishop eschew the groove-oriented nature of some of their larger groups, namely The Engines and Vandermark 5. Old Shoulders is heavy on smart and playful extended investigations of textures and tones, of atmosphere and mood more than rhythm, aggression or melody."
Details in the Air (Ken Vandermark, Michał Górczyński, Mikołaj Trzaska)
"***** (5 stars) "The results of this superposition/mixture are spectacular! The set starts with a wonderful collective improvisation "Departure of the Birds"... [and the] set closes with "Calling from a Wooden Phone", another masterpiece of triologue. Difficult and complex record, but clearly extremely interesting for any possible fan of this kind of music. -Maciej Lewenstein, December 21, 2018 "
Oto: Steve Noble
"The ADA Trio of saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love performing live at Cafe OTO in London on February 20, 2012, joined by percussionist Steve Noble"