Experiments With a Leaf
John Butcher & Andy Moor
"Experiments with a Leaf is a live recording from October 2013 in Berne, Switzerland, where the duo was playing in a cathedral. The large natural echo in the great space somehow glued the sounds together without the music resorting to a wash of reverberated noise... As a duo, they have no agenda or pre-planned aesthetic: both musicians simply work with their wide and contrasting knowledge of sound and music, and their fine responsiveness to each other and to their surrounding"
Made to Break
"F4 Fake combines fiery free jazz with raw noises and abstract electronics, all accumulating into an interplay, sensual and extreme in its own way, ... that highlights Made to Break in its best."
Face of Tokyo
Sten Sandell Trio
"Released on drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's own PNL label, the trio further consists of Sten Sandell on piano and Johan Berthling on bass. Recorded live in Japan in 2008, the album consists of two tracks: "Face Up", and "Face Down", for twice more than half an hour of quite intense musical explorations. The first track is a high energy work-out, the second starts with counter-rhythmic percussion, full of explosive power and creativity, Berthling joins on bass, first plucked, and when Sandell joins he moves to arco, while the pianist plays some eery chords, gradually driving up the tempo and energy level for again a dense improvisation, that suddenly collapses for some minimalist interaction, with all three musicians exploring the more uncommon aspects of their instruments. In stark contrast to some of the other albums below, the album demonstrates that technical mastery and musical vision make it possible to bring depth and emotional drive even with the most common of all jazz line-ups."
"This is a very exciting and much welcome blast of old school free jazz energy from a collective group featuring Mars Williams on saxophones, Kent Kessler on bass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums. Each has deep experience on the outer fringes of the jazz scene and they make for a very cohesive and potent unit. "
Chalachew Ashenati & Ililta Band
"Chalachew Ashenafi, the legendary Gondar azmari (1966-2012) did some tours with The Ex in recent years. A traditional player, but also forward, funny and stubborn. These are his last recordings ever. Astonishing strong music."
ozemarie Heggen & Terrie Ex
"Two musicians from very different musical backgrounds. Terrie as electric guitarist of The Ex and improviser, and Rozemarie, double bassist, as a performer of contemporary music and improviser. After a shared experience in the Ex Orkest, a further cooperation seemed clear and resulted in this CD. Openness, intuition, intensity, joy are a few of the basic elements which made the special connection that have taken them both to a different level of music-making. Exploring new territory can definitely be heard in their playing. The eleven improvisations on "Fiets" are little stories, experiences you might have while doing a very Dutch thing; making a ride on your bicycle (fiets). Have a good listen!..."
Joe McPhee Trio
"One of the most amazing discoveries is how the band's sound was already well-established from this very first recorded performance, not that they haven't evolved, but the core elements of total freedom, authentic feeling and reverence for tradition are already present. Quiet moments with lots of open space and room for interpretation and excursion by the individual soloists alternate by great moments of energetic explosivity."
Fish & Steel
Fish & Steel
"While Nilssen-Love was never a man of restraint, with two of the world’s most versatile brass improvisers going at it he able to be completely free in his approach. And this playfulness is certainly what makes Fish & Steel’s debut album such an exciting release."
"This date might instantly become the best loved of all. The immaculate recording captures seemingly every breath, fingered key click and note, making it easy to imagine his body language. "Eight Street and Avenue C" opens the affair with the pop and click of keys that must still the audience, as they wait for his music to progress towards breath and extended notes. McPhee displays a total command of the instrument, moving next to the most tender of notes. His repeated patterns develop into vocalizations sung through the horn. At this point, he has the audience eating out of his hand."
"Fluku is a superb album, dynamic, adventurous, colorful and innovative. If you have the chance to see the band live, don’t miss it."
Andy Moor & Yannis Kyriakides
""Folia" is the third CD collaboration of Andy Moor (guitar) and Yannis Kyriakides (computer) created in 2009 and performed in numerous festivals and concerts that year. It is an epic reworking of the famous tune from the 16th and 17th centuries called "La Folia". Fusing influences from this and South American folk music, they create a unique sound world of slowly evolving soundscapes, fluctuating beats, and rich oscillating harmonies."
Ab Baars Trio + Rosewell Rudd
"...If you are accustomed to the eclectic, dissonant and perhaps even sometimes bullying Baars language, then you’ll find some true gems on the album Four. The group interaction and the improvisations are of an exceptionally high level. Rudd fits perfectly with the trio; together they form a real quartet.” Kees Stevens Parool 31/7/2001"
Four Improvisations (Duo) 2007
Joe Morris & Anthony Braxton
"Morris's soft-toned parlando style little guitar sounds seem to have an incredible effect on Braxton who is lyrical as I've seldom heard him. Both musicians listen extremely closely and actually compose on the spot, moving these long improvisations through different moods and musical landscapes, but then of the low and hilly kind, without high peaks or deep chasms. The music is fragile, sensitive, deeply emotional and vibrating with life and musical joy (The Free Jazz Collective)"
Vandermark / Guy / Sanders
"The proof here is the instantaneous manner in which the trio gets down to the business of music-making. This isn't just twiddling and tinkering with instruments; the three, in the classic sax/bass/drums configuration, narrate paths of sound governed by an unwritten set of rules."
Free Jazz Classics Vol. 1 & 2
The Vandermark 5
"The band lovingly works over pieces by many of the pillars in free jazz, from Ornette to Giuffre, Ra to Hemphill. The exciting repertoire remains fresh (these compositions haven't exactly been overexposed) and gives the musicians plenty of room to groove and work their chops...which, by now, these Chicago players certainly have enough of to pull off this tribute project with excellent results."
Free Jazz Classics Vol. 3 & 4
The Vandermark 5
"The two discs are very different in mood and style with the latter being less, intense perhaps, but still looser, riskier, and genial. Bishop's solo on "Black and Crazy Blues," is pure hard bop-blues swinging. Suites Vandermark arranged are wonderful, full of surprise and great humor -- something you wouldn't expect from him, but you did from Kirk. If you didn't have a chance to pick these up on their original release, now's your chance. This set is not to be missed."
From The Discrete To The Particular
Joe Morris • Agustí Fernández • Nate Wooley
"Being perfectly aware that a trio featuring Joe Morris on guitar, Agustí Fernández on piano and Nate Wooley on trumpet can’t be, for an immanent reason connected to the mastery of the musicians, less than rewarding, my attention has instead been caught by the title of the album. Echoing and mixing several philosophical and scientific subjects it is, in my opinion, a brief and inspired description of some tendencies and paths sketched out in the compositions." - Paolo Casertano "Free Jazz Blog"
From Wolves To Whales
"Having crossed paths around the world many times over the years, Nate Wooley and Dave Rempis finally realized their long-time intention of forming a band together in the winter of 2014, with a lineup that can only be described as stellar. Featuring some of the leading lights of both the New York and Chicago improvised music scenes, the four members of this quartet, all internationally acclaimed players in their own right, found a common language as a unit right from the start. This first document of their work was made in the studio following three concerts in Manhattan and Brooklyn in February of 2014, and the inventive and a-typical flow of their improvisations shows a band operating at a higher level of creativity from the get-go. Meanwhile, the broad stylistic range that they tackle, from microcosmic sound pallets to passages bounding with unbridled energy, shows a new group with a myriad of musical possibilities already under its belt. From Wolves To Whales, the debut recording by this quartet, sets the stage for a future of fruitful collaborations to come."