Cafe Oto / London
"Great work from this heavy heavy trio – a group that features the talents of probably the three greatest living avant saxophonists in the world – Peter Brotzmann on tenor, alto, clarinet, and tarogato, Ken Vandermark on tenor and clarinet, and Mats Gustafsson on baritone sax! The trio have worked together countless times over the past two decades – and together have an affinity that not only results in some of the most amazingly adventurous improvisation you'll ever hear from a reed player – but also a clear continuation of the warm legacy of jazz the three have helped forward together. Titles include "Fragments For An Endgame", "Arms", "Oto", and "Le Chien Perdu""
"PNL solo recording at Festival El Nicho Aural at Centro Cultural España (Cultural Center of Spain) in Mexico City, in May 12th, 2012."
Chordis Et Machina
Ikue Mori / Christian Rønn
"Endless probing that hooks into your neurons, this album leaves sonic organisms floating around you. Even if that's merely an illusion, the alchemy of Mori and Rønn’s hyperactive stew is very real. -Marc Masters"
Creole Gardens (A New Orleans Suite)
Joe McPhee & Michael Zerang
"McPhee's cooption of improvised figures out of which he conjures satisfying creations is best shown on "Crescent City Lullaby" where his a capella alto arpeggios gradually link into a plaintive song, referenced time and again through the ensuing improvisation. -John Sharpe, All About Jazz"
Deeply Discounted II/Sequences of Snow
Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley
"This third offering from Wooley and Vandermark is easy to recommend, especially to the already initiated, but there is something- from the gentler melodies to the fierce runs- to engage all eager ears. -Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog"
The Vandermark Quartet
"An old one from the archives here at Catalytic Sound, only 9 original unplayed copies left!"
En Las Montañas de Excesos
Chris Cogburn//Ingebrigt Håker Flaten//Bob Hoffnar//Henry Kaiser
"En Las Montañas de Excesos is the unease & frisson of scaling a mountain, a trek with long moments to peer over the edge or stare far off into your thoughts. From the collective fingertips & minds of drummer/percussionist Chris Cogburn (SSBT), prolific bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (The Young Mothers; Atomic), composer & pedal steel guitar maestro Bob Hoffnar (The Mood Illusion; Indoor Life) & renowned guitar experimentalist Henry Kaiser, the album is a towering edifice of free rock, fusion and new music. "
The Ex & Brass Unbound
""33 years into their career, Dutch punks the Ex are more interested in expanding the horizons of their music than in repeating their past. Enormous Door is an acrobatic, ferocious record, a welcome burst of electric noise and squealing horns from a group whose power and flexibility keep growing with time." –Pitchfork"
Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More
"Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More by Konrad Smoleński is a sculptural instrument that reproduces, at regular intervals, a music piece written for bronze bells, wide range loudspeakers, and other resonating objects. First presented in the Polish Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, the sound object is primarily based on the manipulation of the sound of toiling bells."
Otomo Yoshihide / Paal Nilssen-Love / Lasse Marhaug
""There are long passages of what I’ve described as beautiful noise – especially the weird psychedelic passage at the beginning of the flipside which sounds like manic early Can. It becomes more interesting the more you listen to it. Structurally, the two Pica albums are alike, seeking direction at the beginning, and increasing loudness and power at the end." -Free Jazz Blog"
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."
""The icing on the cake of the Swedish azz line-up are 79-year-old Holmström himself and 72-year-old trumpet legend Bengt Ernryd. Compared to the original, Swedish azz’s version is much gloomier. Kjell Nordeson’s vibraphone illustrates an insecure atmosphere, then Ernryd’s trumpet in combination with the other reeds increases the tension before the piece turns to a violent free jazz orgy, in which any order seems to have gone overboard. All instruments struggle with each other, there is absolute turmoil. It is interesting that in contrast to other Swedish azz pieces the electronics are hardly audible. All in all, Swedish azz have adopted the structure as well as the focus on the acoustic instrumentation of the original." "
Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit
"I love this album. It’s only two long songs (one 12 minutes and the other almost 9) but any time you listen to a record and it makes you smile, feel intrigued and challenges you is a good thing in my book. -Free Jazz Blog"
Heart of the Ghost II
Heart of the Ghost
"I first saw Heart of the Ghost in Ypsilanti, MI in July of 2018 having heard of them through mutual friend and percussionist Sam Lohman. Immediately, I was floored by their unapologetic, aggressive and bass heavy take on classic free jazz music.Their sound is challenging and cerebral yet contains distinct ebbs and flows of sound that is difficult to ignore. Bassist Luke Stewart is ubiquitous on the Baltimore/DC improvised music scene both as a solo artist and as a member of Trio OOO (with my buddy Sam), New Artists Orchestra, Irreversible Entanglements and others. Luke has already done more in his short time as a performing bassist than most musicians do in entire lifetimes. His thoughtful and challenging approach to stand up bass playing is at once mesmerizing and overwhelming. Multi-instrumentalist Ian McColm graduated from the Oberlin Music Conservatory and experiments with a wide variety of sounds both internationally and in and around the DC area and releases music under his IGM moniker. Ian brings a nuanced set of sounds into an otherwise hulking mountain of sonic chaos. Alto saxophone player Jarrett Gilgore, though unassuming in person, takes a blistering approach to the sax, leaving audiences feeling as if they have been hit with a pot of boiling water. In addition to Heart of the Ghost, he plays in Triage with Noah Jarrett and Kevin Ripley, Anthony Pirog's Body Puzzle, Xenga. Baltimore Afrobeat Society, Chris Pumphrey Sextet, Jaimie Branch's Bombshelter. -Pete Larson (Dagoretti Records) "