Dual Pleasure 2
Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love
"“Dual Pleasure 2” , a complex and grroving piece of independent underground jazz. A clash between the highly influential and innovative Chicago and Scandinavian jazz scenes that started in 2000 when the group "School Days" was formed. One year later they started FME, a trio with bass player Nate McBride. After this it seemed very natural to define a duo. Vandermark and Nilssen-Love use free improvisation as a means to explore all levels of dynamics, density, rhythm, timbre, form and tonality. The results of their work are experienced as intense, exhilarating, and boundary breaking music with a brutal beauty."
Early Bird Gets
"By expanding his pool of collaborative constellations, Chicago reedist Dave Rempis has found a variety of contexts in which to explore his fiery improvisational aesthetic. And there’s no shortage of heat produced on The Early Bird Gets, his first recording with the trio of New York bassist Brandon Lopez and Chicago percussionist Ryan Packard. -Peter Margasak, Down Beat"
East by Northwest
Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley
"What struck me immediately about the show was just how full and vibrant of a sound they were able to create with just the two horns. No doubt a great deal of this had to do with their compositional approach - melodies and counter melodies stretching out the musical fabric between them, creating an atmosphere as much as actual notes and tones - but then toss in the sheer virtuosity of their playing and it is quite an ear opening experience. I picked up the CD at the show and am pleased to report that what I heard from the stage is captured wonderfully on this album (Paul Acquaro, The Free Jazz Collective)"
Een Rondje Holland
The Ex Orkest
"Rock bands and orchestras -- here's a worrisome cliché usually signaling the beginning of the end for a group of musicians getting too full of themselves or already on the nostalgia bandwagon. Of course, none of that applies here, for two main reasons. The first one is the Ex -- not your run-of-the-mill punk band, this Dutch institution has always been keen on collaborating with wide-ranging artists. The second reason is the orchestra convened here: 20 of Amsterdam's finest and most daring experimental musicians, from Palinckx's singer Han Buhrs to members of the ICP Orchestra (and of course all then-current members of the Ex, including Luc Ex). Obviously, Een Rondje Holland is not for every Ex fan, but those fond of the group's previous collaborations with Buhrs, Han Bennink, or Tom Cora will probably find it at least interesting. On the other hand, followers of the Dutch avant-garde scene who are usually put off by the Ex's punk rock but enjoy the ICP Orchestra, Splinks, or even Palinckx should definitely give this album a try."
Either Or And
Evan Parker / Sylvie Courvoisier
""Even though the duo can get confrontational, they also know how to turn their dueling into fun and communicate the pleasure they take in playing with each other." - Alain Drouot, Down Beat"
Joe McPhee & Daunik Lazro
"This duo digs deep into the spirit of a particular night in France and calls out of it the entire improvisational tradition from Duke Ellington (whose “Come Sunday” is featured here) to Steve Lacy (whose “Pearl Street” is played movingly) and the host of time periods in between… This is an astonishing record. Period. -Thom Jurek, All Music"
Elements of Style, Exercises in Surprise
The Vandermark 5
"Seven releases down the road from 1997's Single Piece Flow, Vandermark's flagship quintet continues to serve as a vehicle for his original compositions, which span the range from hard-swinging bop to funk to energy music and the great uncategorizable beyond. The dedicatees on Elements of Style include John Gilmore, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Glenn Gould, and Max Beckmann, to name a few. As might be expected, the connections are not necessarily all that obvious, but not much about what Vandermark does is obvious, anyway."
Rafael Toral / Mars Williams / Tim Daisy
"Chattering, textural free jazz brings to mind a forest of animals slowly coming to life. - J.R. Nelson, Chicago Reader"
Elm City Duets
Joe Morris & Barre Phillips
""Guitarist (and sometimes bassist) Joe Morris has in “Elm City Duets” a new chapter of his ongoing objective to play with his lifetime heroes: after the meeting with the renowned multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton, resulting in a box with 4 CDs released by the label Clean Feed, here is another duo with a veteran of improvisation: Barre Phillips. And what a wonderful encounter this turned to be! What we have here is a vivacious dialogue between two equals, with precious and incisive arguments by both parts. Your record colection will be incomplete without this!" -Clean Feed"
Emancipation Proclamation: A Real Statement Of Freedom
Hamid Drake & Joe McPhee
"The exchange shows both the communication between these two musicians and that they were continuously pushing the music to create something new and more powerful than they had ever done before. This drive for excellence permeates Emancipation Proclamation and the wise listener will imbibe every drop of sound. -Micah Holmquist, All About Jazz"
"The music was recorded in a 12,000-square foot abandoned munitions bunker situated in the northeast corner of San Francisco Bay. The unique space created a natural (and unalterable) reverb which the players had to factor into their performance. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
Ken Vandermark & Paul Lytton
"Vandermark alternates between the more groove based playing that he has made a name for and slightly more abstract and in a "freer" fashion. Lytton runs with these moods through busy work that is attuned to what Vandermark, heard mostly on saxophone, is playing. "
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"
Joe McPhee, John Heward & Joe Giardullo
"The second album in this Catalytic Artist Album fundraising series is Joe McPhee's trio album, "Erotic Winds," which also features Joe Giardullo and John Howard. All donations raised from sales of this recording will go in perpetuity to Black Girls Code, an organization recommended by Sylvie Courvoisier (https://www.blackgirlscode.com)."
Large Unit Fendika
"It could be argued that this is the most accessible recording in the Large Unit catalogue, and there is no doubt that this is the first one you can dance to all the way through."
"In the late 1990s, three young musicians in the Oslo jazz scene – Paal Nilssen-Love, Ketil Gutvik and Eivind Opsvik – hooked up with two legends – Carl Magnus “Calle” Neumann and Bjørnar Andresen. The project was named The Quintet and it was the meeting of two generations, with Neumann and Andresen passing the spirit of the 60s on to three musicians who would make their mark in the 2000s."