Dancing With Penguins
Joe Morris & Greg Oxoby
"Oxoby has never sounded better, his bass sound round, supple, and articulate; and Morris’ signature saxophone-like guitar playing, beautifully articulated and breathlessly paced, is heard here to great effect. A fine document of an important period of time for Calgary’s improvising community. (Notes by Jonathon Ronler) "
"A direct attack on the commercialisation of indie music and the creaky industries that support its mass market consumption. The Ex are still committed naturals in an over exposed and hyped arena."
Decayed - Live at Aketa No Mise
Michiyo Yagi, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten & Paal Nilssen-Love
"1. Cascades [30:14] 2. Low End Brew [18:37] 3. Derek & the Domino Theory [12:50] All music by Yagi (Hotwire Inc.), Håker Flaten (TONO) and Nilssen-Love (TONO/Cien Fuegos) except ttack 3 by Yago, Håker Flaten, Nilssen-Love and Kaiser (Fractal Music/BMI) "
Delicate Paths - Music For Shô
"The music of ‘Delicate Paths’ features acoustic shō solos and group improvisations with Evan Parker, Nilan Perera and Suba Sankaran, electroacoustic works, and highlights unusual approaches to recording the shō... The listening experience is contemplative and sensuous, immersing one in the luminous sound of this traditional instrument, approached in a contemporary way."
Steel Bridge Trio
"Steel Bridge is a new music trio organized by Chicago percussionist Tim Daisy and includes two mainstays of the Bay Area improvising scene: Aram Shelton on alto saxophone and clarinet and Safa Shofrai on bass. The group was formed as a vehicle for Tim’s original compositions and is the first group which has him featured primarily on the vibraphone. Inspired by the pioneering work of the AACM as well as several of innovators working in improvised music including Steve Lacy, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, and Walt Dickerson"
Atomic / School Days
"This is wonderful fun to hear. This is not boundary-shifting music, nor does it aspire to great artistic achievements. But it's a great performance by a band (or is it two bands?) that really starts benefiting from playing a lot together. I would love to see this band perform live."
Disturbing Domestic Peace
"This is prime stuff. It's primitive when compared with their current wide-ranging output, but even then they were embellishing their their scratchy politico-punk with some interesting instrumental touches. Morse code keyboards, a chipped-flint guitar sound, distorted vocals, and the rhythm section's implacable forward motion make this worth a listen even if you don't care what they had to say."
"Now into their third decade as Holland's bravest avant-punk terrorists, the Ex seem incapable of slowing down... Rhythmically there are few who can touch the Ex, and Albini's hand lends these proceedings an especially scalpel-sharp wallop, allowing the band's now-trademarked taut, skittering trapwork, thrusting bass-encounter play and nicked-guitar screech to propel their cleverly refined political/social text with an irrepressible mix of dexterity and abrasiveness... Get in their way at your own risk."
The Rempis/Daisy Duo & Guests
"Dodecahedron, the third duo recording by saxophonist Dave Rempis and percussionist Tim Daisy, celebrates a special mile-marker in the musical history of these long-time partners, as 2018 marks the twentieth anniversary of their duo pairing. These two have formed the backbone of well-known working bands dating back to 1997, when they first met in Chicago, including Triage, The Vandermark Five, The Rempis Percussion Quartet, and The Engines. But that list only scratches the surface, accounting for just a portion of likely more than a thousand gigs they’ve played together over that time. On the first disc of this new two-disc set, recorded live at Elastic Arts in Chicago in October 2017, you can hear every nuance of that two decades of shared experience. Rempis and Daisy have logged far too many hours in the van together to suffer each other’s bullshit, and continue to undermine any whiff of cliché by pushing here, pulling there, and sometimes just outright kicking the chair out from underneath one another. There’s no hiding from family. To further celebrate this special milestone, the duo invited six guests to join them individually for two recording sessions in the summer of 2017, released here on the second disc in this set. Each of these musicians – Jason Adasiewicz, Jim Baker, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Steve Swell, Katie Young, and Aaron Zarzutzki – are friends and colleagues whose distinct personalities and long histories with Rempis and Daisy have helped to shape the duo’s approach as a unit, and as individual musicians. And each of the pieces presented here showcase yet another of the many facets contained within the duo’s complex lexicon. "
Bradford / Gjerstad / Nilssen-Love
"Legendary West Coast cornetist Bobby Bradford meets two Norwegians - drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and multi-reedist Frode Gjerstad - for a live performance at Klub Dragon in Poland. A free outing, the 6 tracks are relatively short, with "Pitaya" the longest at 11 minutes. The dialog is often quite subtle and well informed, using extended techniques and unusual twists and turns that are fascinating to follow. Which isn't to say that the trio doesn't fire up some serious power playing at points, but these three masters find their true language in intelligent interaction, of which there is no end to in these wonderful recordings. Highly recommended."