John Butcher / Tony Buck / Magda Mayas / Burkhard Stangl
"These two high profile trios are all inventiveness, and this is reflected in the way they were formed, as much as in the music itself. There is a tangled web of connections at play between the four improvisers, through a history of past collaborations, one to one or in larger formations, some occasional, some more structural; the trios on this CD were chosen for their potential, for the not-knowing as much as the knowing, and that’s what we hear; accomplished and profoundly involved music in the making, pushed forward by an ever renewed and intense ability to connect."
"The Ex, with 'Pokkeherrie' have produced a masterful killer weapon of raw power that rattles up the spine into numbed pink brain cells and fills the vacuum with social issue"
"This debut release by the working trio Gunwale matches veteran Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis up with two of the brightest up-and-coming stars from the next generation of Chicago improvisers. While Packard is known mostly for his extensive work as a composer and percussionist within the thriving contemporary classical scene in Chicago, Wildeman has achieved notoriety for his meteoric rise from novice instrumentalist to one of the busiest players around after relocating from the Netherlands in 2011 to immerse himself in this city’s broad-shouldered sound. With these varied backgrounds the two contribute noticeably fresh perspectives to the ever-evolving local artistic dialogue. As a trio, their voice is stark, and clear, combining a love for driving blasts of energy with a sensitivity to the smallest details, leading to music that can be a freight train one moment, and an insectoid microcosm the next. These intuitive abilities make sense when one considers the trio’s rare commitment to several months of weekly rehearsals before their first performance in December of 2015, a tradition they still continue when all three members are in town. So while Polynya may document a band in its early stages, its laser-beam focus leaves no doubt that these three know precisely where they’re headed."
Port of Saints
Joe McPhee / Dominic Duval / Michael Bisio / Raymond Boni
"Port of Saints describes an epic journey whose main character is the saxophone. A guitar acts as the saxophone's alter ego. Two basses supply avuncular guide posts for traveling to an unknowable but certain destination. The journey is rife both with fantasy and human spirit"
Made to Break
"If Made to Break’s album “Lacerba” deals with futurism, “Provoke” picks up the thread as to musical structure and philosophical references. Although the music is composed “the material is modular and parts can be combined spontaneously by the various members of the band, so the structure is improvised as well as the solos,” Ken Vandermark said. The three titles of the tracks make up the sentence “Further presentation of the facts” and they are dedicated to influential geniuses of the 20th century – John Cage, Buckminster Fuller and Marshall McLuhan."
"Here, Ken Vandermark is joined by Italian musicians Stefano Ferrian (tenor saxophone), Simone Quatrana (piano), Luca Pissavini (double bass), and SEC_ (Revox tape recorder, instant sound treatment). This album was recorded live on May 5th, 2013, at the Dragon Club in Poland, and it highlights the superb interplay and improvisational skill of the Rara Avis quintet."
"With such a diverse number of projects to his name Vandermark’s output can be kind of intimidating. Proper points of ingress into his work are highly subjective and dependent on what side of Vandermark’s multifarious personality you want to explore. Few if any of his releases capture all of his interests, but this one comes close to showing off all of his major traits as a player and it does so in a highly accessible setting."
Joe Morris / Ken Vandermark / Luther Gray
"One moment will have you holding your breath and the next will spur you to relax and slowly let your breath go. These three players never choose the highways when there are other roads to travel; you never know in which direction they’re going to turn. When the trio arrive at its destination, you’ll want to make the journey again: back to the first track. Another listening, another impression of this detailed recording’s nuances."
Red Nation "1"
"drums.Califones.bells & other objects assembled beats.nonbeats.textures.layers.low fi sounds made in chicago"
Relucent // music for marimba, radios and turntables
"‘Relucent’ is Chicago composer and percussionist Tim Daisy’s latest solo effort. A collection of compositions and improvisations combining recent explorations with turntable manipulation and radio static with his expanding vocabulary as both a composer and improviser on the marimba. Fusing collage and abstraction, the compositions and improvisations on Relucent combine Tim’s multiple influences from the worlds of visual art and sound into a suite of eleven varied and dynamic musical situations. Building on almost two decades worth of experience working with a wide array of musicians and ensembles from both the Chicago and European experimental music scenes, Tim Daisy has created a unique body of work which draws on his past experiences in improvisation and composition, while at the same time forging ahead into new and unknown territory. "
Joe McPhee / Michael Bisio / Raymond Boni / Paul Harding
"The gods were smiling, and Joe McPhee, Michael Bisio, Raymond Boni, and Paul Harding were caught in concert in tip-top shape, revealing the power of sensitive, quality blowing""
Roadwork 1 / Roadwork 2 / Homework 1 (3CD Box Set)
"Where Wired for Sound felt fresh, youthful and surprising in so many aspects, this triple live album is a spectacular snapshot of how this group has progressed together – and is progressing together… On ‘Accordéon’ they are staring down the abyss just like Mats Gustafsson’s Fire, combining a very heavy pulsating groove with fiery improvisation. Another emotion which must be balanced perfectly to not become a cliché, but they pull it off perfectly! On ‘French Dress’ I think Sudderberg brings his performance up at least one level, again together with the band and on ‘B Eiga’ the group performance is fantastically tight. The album ends but I want more! “ - Gustav Lundqvist Free Jazz Blog *****"
"In March of 2018, during guitarist Joe Morris’ stay in Calgary (see bim-75 notes for the full story), he joined the Chris Dadge/Jonathon Wilcke duo on two occasions. The first was a live performance at a tiny and packed room in the Theatre Junction GRAND building in the heart of downtown Calgary. After a stellar set from Laura Reid and Mark Limacher, Morris played a short solo set, Dadge and Wilcke played a short duo set, then the latter three played as a trio; it was their first time playing together. Later that month, the three reconvened in Dadge’s basement studio, fueled by Richard Youngs’ vegetable curry, for this sparkling burst of playing. A relative minority of Bug Incision releases are studio-based affairs, but the added clarity and sonic precision on display here greatly benefits this music, which is chock of full of dense, pointillistic playing. Wilcke’s sax work moves from fluffy free-bop melodicism to strangulated smears of sound, bringing out some inventive comping moves from Morris. Morris strikes an impressive balance between Wilcke’s saxophonic abstractions and the kinetic, tactile playing of Dadge, who is clearly relishing the opportunity to interact with such a spiky playing partner. Bug Incision could not be more pleased to present (along with bim-75) this second fine document of Morris’ Calgary saga. (Notes by Benoit Hughes) "