Birdies for Lulu
Sylvie Courvoisier Mark Feldman Quartet with Scott Colley and Billy Mintz
"This music possesses a striking beauty, even when it appears to be trying for a different effect. This in itself is a remarkable achievement, but that it’s also so damn accessible and easy to connect with just makes it that much more impressive. - Bird is the Worm"
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"
Blonk, Gustafsson & Zerang
Jaap Blonk / Mats Gustafsson / Michael Zerang
"Documenting a complete, unedited session recorded in Stockholm, there is a visceral excitement as each of the eleven cuts of this recording explores the extremes of the avant-garde. Blonk is found here in a startlingly original and totally improvised trio with free music stylists Matts Gustafsson and Michael Zerang. A departure from Blonk's other recordings, this is the first of two stunning interactions with some of the finest free-style musicians on the scene. For this CD, Swedish woodwind whiz Gustafsson brings his full arsenal of soprano, tenor, and baritone saxophones, flute, fluteophone, and french flageolet, while Chicagoan Zerang powerfully and gracefully fills the percussion slot. Blonk's voice is both horn and percussionist, and the three performers seem to enjoy the interactive flow of pings, pops, and scratches. Stimulating and ever-changing, this recording demands close listening, but the rewards are clearly there for the adventuresome. Not to be missed, this version of Improvisors is laced with humor, along with buckets of extraordinary noises/sounds.""
Blonk, Nijdam & Van der Putten
Jaap Blonk, Jan Nijdam en Bart van der Putten
"The trio started playing in 1990. From the beginning the trio was able to create it's own sound world. The musicians understand each other without the need for explanation. Intuitively they switch direction as one, go into fierce discussions, discover idyllic landscapes, play limping rhythms or dive into lyrical pursuits all this in pure sound."
Blonk, Zach & Grydeland
Jaap Blonk, Ingar Zach & Ivar Grydeland
""Fourth record in the Kontrans "improvisors" series, with the seminal design by Melle Hammer""
Blow + Beat
Mats Gustafsson & Alfred Vogel
"the two musicians have been waiting for this since a long time. In summer 2016 they gave it a chance when Gustafsson played on Vogel´s festival BEZAU BEATZ with his power-free-jazz-trio THE THING. After a short holiday weekend Gustafsson was ready to blow and Vogel to beat. "my baritone never sounded any better" claims the reed wizard while Vogel who was also doing the mix seems to be free as a bird can be - way up in the sky and down to earth ..."
"The succinctly titled Blow Horn starts with a shout from the saxes of Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark, with bass and drums (Kent Kessler and Steve Hunt) churning underneath, and thereafter the energy level seldom subsides. This is post-Ayler, Brötzmann-incited freedom, storm centers of agitation and exuberance, with only brief moments of respite (“Biomass”) between onrushing shock waves. But even at such an intense tack they’re able to suggest distinctive rhythmic designs, like the raucous r&b inflections of “Blow Horn for Service” or the slow, taut groove of “Structure a la Malle"."
Blue Chicago Blues
Joe McPhee & Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
"Though willfully abstract in comparison to conventional interpretations, McPhee and Haker Flaten's commitment to the blues is palpable. Blue Chicago Blues is grounded in the same core principles that bequeathed I-IV-V chord progressions and flatted notes, celebrating an enduring tradition in its endless capacity for emotional expression. -Troy Collins, All About Jazz"
Blueprints For A Blackout
"It's caustic. A real burner. (...) While still retaining an all important relevant edge to their musical comment , they've introduced elements of tunesmithing, attack, decay and composition that places them head and shoulders above their contemporaries."
Frode Gjerstad Trio + Steve Swell
"Frode Gjerstad’s name can be legendary in Norway and all the European continent, due to the fact that he was practically the only one to contrast himself, from the beginning, to the saxophone style which defined the Scandinavian approach to jazz for 40 years, the one defined by Jan Garbarek, but his trio with Jon Rune Strom and Paal Nilssen-Love is relatively new on the scene. It started in 2011 and there’s only another recording with trombonist Steve Swell as special guest, “At Constellation”, from 2015. Of course, there were some previous cumplicities between these musicians: Nilssen-Love was a member of Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale Orchestra since 1992 and the alto saxophonist and clarinetist played with Swell in several occasions, mostly when visiting the United States. Musically, the quartet proposes a very particular kind of free improvised music with strong connections to the free jazz tradition, reinforced by the participation of the American who collaborated with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon and Anthony Braxton. The energy level is very high, but the delivery isn’t always on the red: lots of dynamics and sudden contrasts keep the group interactions interesting and unpredictable. Frode Gjerstad’s approach to improvisation is distinctive in itself: he’s a melodic player, even if asymetrical, and he prefers the “old school” jazz phrasing to «reed-fueled bric-a-brac», as a music critic once wrote, managing to present it as if it’s a novelty."
Boss Of The Plains
"The ten pieces presented here float in ruminating glances. The drummer-less trio invites stillness as its fourth member. Rempis delivers with a stoicism, eschewing volume for eloquence. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
Lacerda / Manso / Nilssen-Love / Zenicola
"A live recording of two extended improvisations at Audio Rebel's Quintavant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the quartet of Arthur Lacerda on guitar and electronics, electric bassist Felipe Zenicola, guitarist Eduardo Manso, and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love. "Bota" is a groove-oriented jam, Zenicola and Nilssen-Love carrying the pulse while the guitarists work above, ending with a degenerating electronic display. "Fogo" is the freer of the two, staring quietly and building into a wonderfully driving piece, with Nilssen-Love pulling out the stops with unpredictable and solid rhythmic intensity while Zenicola churns below. A powerful performance from Rio!"
""The earliest recording on CD available of Blonk's work with his trio, Braaxtaal is a wild romp through the sound poet's bizarre and surrealistic world, where one is as likely to be shocked as surprised." -Steve Loewy, AllMusic"
Brace For Impact
Joe McPhee & Mats Gustafsson
"McPhee and Gustafsson liked these recordings so much that they immediately mixed and mastered the proceedings for an unspecified label only to have them collect dust in the vaults for the next decade. Fast forward to the present where CvsD has done this lost session justice with a knockout release emblazoned with artwork by Chicago-based artist Charline von Heyl. -Nick Metzger, Squid Ear"
Breakin The Lab!
Agustí Fernández, Mats Gustafsson, Ramon Prats
"In April of 2013, Agustí Fernández gave a series of concerts at what could be considered the most vital jazz venue in Barcelona, the Jamboree Jazz Club. During a residence that lasted over a month, he invited some of the best improvisers from near and far to participate in the Agustí Fernández Lab Sessions; documented herein we have the session with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson guesting (performing for the first time in Jamboree, curiously enough) alongside Catalan drummer Ramon Prats for what is both an insightful chronicle of the city's improvisational milieu and a keen recording of a kinetic and compelling performance."
Bridges Freeze Before Roads
Fred Lonberg-Holm Quartet
"Four individual voices overlapping in convulsive fragmentations, yet never exceeding the threshold of a barely disturbed imperturbability; even if Lonberg-Holm is indicated as the “leader”, this is pure and simple “anarchic democracy”. The abundant fruits generated by the artistic sensitiveness brought in by Guillermo Gregorio on clarinet, Glenn Kotche on percussion and Jason Roebke on bass are tangible since the very first listen; the development of a common, if atypical language seems to be the only thing that matters for this quartet. -Massimo Ricci"
Bristling Duets (2021)
Vasco Trilla & Tim Daisy
"Duos between chicagoan percussionist and composer, Tim Daisy and Vasco Trilla, one of the most active, versatile, and creative drummers of the Barcelona scene."
Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet Plus Two
""Certainly when, among other things, the double bass line-up with Kent Kessler and William Parker also presents, the drum tandem Hamid Drake-Michael Zerang or the trio brass with Joe McPhee, Jeb Bishop and Roy Campbell. Where the road is so open for focusing on a crushing group sound, the Chicago Tentet opts for a more modest approach. Especially Brötzmann's more than forty-minute 'Stonewater' leaves a lot of room for 'smaller' passages. The Arabic beginning is a striking example of this. With the tumbling hand drum and the eastern singing style of Hamid Drake, on which Brötzmann releases his elaborate, clarinet-like tarogato.""