Joe Morris Instantiation
"Switches is scored with invented notation that is read in line from right to left. Each player has different pages. The performer assigns value to the notation by making a sound. Players also have additional pages consisting of 13 units of traditional notation. The independent use of the score generates a natural juxtaposition of material. - Joe Morris, liner notes"
"Mohammed 'Jimmy' Mohammed is a phenomenal blind singer from Ethiopia. He has appeared on the Ethiopiques series and this is his debut album. The songs are about love, politics, and the social life of the poor. But there is also wit and charm and plenty of 'Wax & Gold', the typical Ethiopian double meaning. He is accompanied by Mesele Asmamaw on the krar, a 5-string harp and Asnake Gebreyes on the traditional drums."
Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg-Holm / William Parker / Steve Swell
"On the day of the recording, William set the tone by bringing a whole arsenal of instruments including flutes, tuba, cornet and, of course, his bass, while. Fred brought his cello and electronics, Steve, his trombone and some mutes and I brought what I had with me, which was my sax and clarinet. What we created was far from the drummerless free-jazz session I expected. But the great thing about working with good friends is that together we found and delivered something special! I have known these gentlemen for many years, but I never heard them play this way before."
Mats Gustafsson / Barry Guy / Raymond Strid
"The energy swells and recesses, popping circuits off the listeners receptors even in the quietest moments. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
Joelle Leandre / Elisabeth Harnik
"Harnik and Léandre continue to perform as a duo but even on this early phase of their collaboration they already established a profound bond. As Ken Vandermark notes in his liner notes, both bring to this setting their “unique personal creative histories - applying techniques and melodic/textual territories that are distinctly their own, developed in other ensembles and field of endeavors, and brought together through the parallel lines of expression”. -Eyal Hareuveni, Free Jazz Blog"
The Abstract Truth
Rodrigo Amado / Kent Kessler / Paal Nilssen-Love
"Nilssen-Love is a master of propulsion. Be it with his tom-toms or simple sticks on metal, he is always driving, commenting, and chiding his mates. The music, although not scripted, is structured and organized, but not just Kessler's time-keeping bass but all three players. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
The Air Between
""The low rumbles in the last third and the sharp blows that came before them evoke a war-like atmosphere, but that's as far the parallel between text and music can go. Kurzmann has quite a talent for sound organization, but the piece still has a couple of stretches where the mind wanders off because of the narrow sound palette, but overall The Air Between provides a captivating listen." -Francoise Couture, All Music"
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 Bright Awakening
Dunmall / Shipp / Morris / Cleaver
""This recording is a meaningful example of why we all continue to work this way. While we pursue any and all other versions of Free Music that our imaginations allow, the open form collective performance that builds itself on pitch, melody, rhythm, energy and rich, deep expression is an enduring one. We think that this performance adds a new piece to this now classic form. The independence of our playing present here can only happen by knowing the full musical evolution of this idiom of music. It requires an ability to understand how the form presents itself spontaneously in a span of time as short as a second. Identifying structure in sound in the micro to macro sense and deciding how to proceed while doing that is the explanation of our musicianship, our skill set. It requires close listening, the type that remembers what has happened, what is happening, and what can happen throughout the performance. We give out ideas, accept what is offered and allow that with a spirit of agreement held together by a vital force of energy. We ride that energy at different rates of velocity, using different expressions of the pulse, and a myriad of other materials to instigate, provoke, implore, support and encourage each other." - Joe Morris"
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 Covid Tapes
Rempis / Reid / Abrams / Daisy / Damon
"THE COVID TAPES documents the efforts by saxophonist and label founder Dave Rempis to continue his creative output during a pandemic that gutted performance possibilities for artists across the globe. This two-cd set includes pieces from some of the many weekly solo performances he streamed from his broom closet-sized practice space at Unity Lutheran Church in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago from March-September of 2020. Those pieces buttress duo and trio performances mostly from outdoor concerts between July and early November that he organized on Friday evenings at Margate Park, two blocks from his house in the Uptown neighborhood. Those groupings include friends and regular collaborators Tomeka Reid - cello, Joshua Abrams - bass, Tim Daisy - drums, and Tyler Damon – drums. "
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"