Rempis/Abrams/Ra + Baker
"This sophomore release by the working trio of Dave Rempis, Joshua Abrams, and Avreeayl Ra shows a band doubling down on the slow, patient approach to improvising that characterized their first release, 2014’s Aphelion. The trio continues to pulsate, expanding ever outwards, yet returning to a central core each time to launch their next adventure. The live sets presented on this new two-disc set document that musical expansion and contraction within the trio, but also take things a step further as the band adds enigmatic keyboardist Jim Baker to the fold as a special guest for disc two. Baker’s a logical choice to meet up with these three; his own trio with Abrams and Ra, although a sporadic grouping, dates back to the early aught’s, and he’s worked with both in countless other contexts across many years. Similarly, a multitude of collaborations between he and Rempis date back to the late 1990’s. On Perihelion, these two overlapping circles spiral seamlessly into focus to demonstrate the gravitational strength of a central core built by decades of shared history."
McPhee • Caloia • Stewart
"Permutations” is a set of colorful expressions, rich musical language, marvelous and brilliant solos and original musical decisions." -AvantScena Art Stew Records – ASR 007"
""The string quartet is an instrumental combination most often heard in many different genres of classical music; in fact, it is one of the standard groupings for this music, whereas it is a more rare enterprise in improvised music. Certainly there are examples of string players getting together to improvise, but the results can not so often be compared favorably with great classical string quartets. The Dutch viola player and composer Henneman is making great progress in this area however, as she has found a regular group of musicians to work with, evidenced by the six-year span of recording dates. The difficult task of integrating composition and improvisation is carried out with aplomb by this group: they actually make it sound easy. A nice combination of male and female energy exists in this group, as well as a combination of Dutch musicians and so-called ex-patriot Americans who have settled in the Netherlands. The players are comfortable working in a traditional, melodic, and harmonic manner but also can and do go way out. Everything that happens makes logical sense, and this is music that reveals rich layers of detail upon repeated listenings." - Eugene Chadbourne (All Music)"
The Rempis Percussion Quartet
"Phalanx, a two-cd set of live concert recordings from 2012, finds them in top form, barnstorming cities on two continents with their propulsive improvisations. This is the second recording of the band featuring its newest member, Norwegian phenom Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and these two hard-charging sets show a band at the peak of its creative force. credits "
Henneman String Quartet
""Spolia" is a term that comes from architecture and refers to construction sites that are repurposed from previous buildings. Similarly, the Dutch violist borrows this term for a title on her sixth album and thus also describes one of her typical methods of working. Musical fragments, on the present album taken mostly from the Italian Renaissance and folklore, are processed into new pieces and serve as the basis for improvisational excursions. This approach pays off numerous times. The tension between composition and improvisation, and between tradition and innovation creates uncommon music in the world of contemporary jazz music.” --Emanuel Wenger Jazz live - magazine for contemporary music February 2002 credits "
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"
Joe McPhee & Paal Nilssen-Love
""Red Sky comes from folk lore of sailorsill and farmers predicting or forecasting weather. I use it here as a metaphor for looking backward and forward at the saem time, remember the past (lest we be doomed to repeat it) but with an eye to the future. [...]" -Joe McPhee, from the liner notes."
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. "