Are We In Diego?
Paul Rutherford, Ken Vandermark, Torsten Müller & Dylan van der Schyff
"This recording features the late trombonist, Paul Rutherford, in an outstanding performance from 2004. The band was concluding a West Coast tour and shows both fire and sensitivity, delivering two extended improvisations and four well-focussed miniatures. With Ken Vandermark (reeds), Torsten Müller (contrabass), & Dylan van der Schyff (drums, percussion). "
"The Ex are a regression to the pop of rage. They understand that punk's form of protest was to amplify your alienation and disposession... The Ex are best when they're the sound of a collapsing system, a catastrophic fury that's senseless and unnegotiable. That's their lure in this era of pragmatic reformers"
Back In the Game
"In 1993, a 57-year-old Syl Johnson made a long overdue return to the studio with Back in the Game, his first album since the early '80s. "Inspired" is definitely a word that describes Johnson's performances on this CD, which unites him with the legendary Hi Rhythm Section of the '70s. Joined by drummer Howard "Bulldog" Grimes and the Hodges brothers (guitarist Mabon, bassist Leroy, and organist/pianist Charles), including Ken Vandermark."
Battle Pieces 2
"The second series of Battle Pieces, a compositional system that now consists of roughly 100 short pieces that are manipulated and articulated differently by the members of the band for each performance in order to give one member who is purely improvising a very hard time, is out today on Relative Pitch Records. Beautiful playing all the way around on this live set recorded in Germany last year and featuring Sylvie Courvoisier, Ingrid Laubrock, and Matt Moran. - Nate Wooley"
Be Music, Night
Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet
"First of all there is a great line-up going at this point, with the titanically endowed reed configuration of Brotzmann, Gustafsson, Vandermark and McPhee (the latter on alto sax and trumpet), plus Jeb Bishop on the trombone. Then there is Lonberg-Holm on cello, Kessler on bass, and the duo drum-team of Nilssen-Love and Zerang. Mike Pearson appears in the guise of recitator, since Be Music, Night centers around the poems of Kenneth Patchen and a hommage to his work."
Gustafsson / Russell / Strid
"The trio of Mats Gustafsson (saxophones), John Russell (guitar), and Raymond Strid (drums) play an outstanding live set of improvisation with timbrical richness at Hagen Festen 2011"