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 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."
"With drummer-less clarinet trio named after a radical album by a drummerless clarinet trio, you have prolific Ken Vandermark’s latest collaboration, this with Norway’s Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Havard Wiik on piano. Vandermark frequently shines a light on an elder, and this one points to the pioneering Jimmy Giuffre/Paul Bley/Steve Swallow trio. Additionally, Merce Cunningham, Frank O’Hara, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, and Bley in particular get their due on this collection. As with past dedications, the music stands on its own and makes no attempt at imitation."
Galina U (from Ig Henneman Collected)
Queen Mab Trio
"Galina U has been compiled from compositions that Henneman contributed to the Queen Mab Trio albums, See Saw and Thin Air, along with ‘Overtoom’, from a previously unreleased recording session. For See Saw Henneman contributed three tracks: ‘Marilyn L’, ‘Lori F’ and ‘Galina U’. The latter is an evocative ode to the Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya, in which Henneman endeavours to mirror Ustvolskaya’s idiom with ominous, compelling rhythms and piano chords hammered out with full force, and she succeeds in coming unmistakably close while fortunately retaining her own vocabulary. Marilyn Lerner – piano; Lori Freedman – bass clarinet / clarinet Ig Henneman – viola "
Goofy June Bug
Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark
"This pairing is as comfortable as a reunion of grade school classmates. Recorded live at Amsterdam's Bimhuis at tour's end, Goofy June Bug finds both men splitting their time between tenor saxophone and clarinet (backed by Baars' regular rhythm section of Wilbert de Joode and Martin van Duynhoven) and both honor each other's musical traditions: Baars' compositions are as likely to carry a '60s free jazz influence as Vandermark's are to contain European classical elements."
Terrie Ex & Paal Nilssen-Love
"Fourty-two minutes of unadultered sonic violence and energy. Rock? Jazz? Noise? Punk? Paal Nilssen-Love beats the bejeezus out of his trap kit and Terrie Ex throws harsh antagonistic feedback attacks into the process, which have no direction at all, played with the enthusiasm and energy of a garage band of 16-year olds, exploring what they can produce together, equally being surprised at things that work and that don't work, with an audience that shouts and applauds when the volume decreases, thinking the lengthy improvisation is over, but actually it isn't, because neither Paal nor Terrie want to let go, diving back in, sometimes hesitantly, sometimes with renewed power, new attacks, some novel ideas - and it must be said, not all of them are violent - to be further explored, developed or altogether massacred with an attitude of self-destruction, with a loathing of feelings like empathy or sympathy or even apathy, expressing feelings of anger and disgust, as it should be in a punk band."
"This particular recording was made over two nights in December of 2012 live at Chicago’s legendary Green Mill Cocktail Lounge as part of trombonist Jeb Bishop’s 50th birthday celebration, and it does a great job of showing these tactics at work. Although in this context – a packed weekend house at a more traditional “jazz” venue - the band opted to begin each improvisation with one of their tunes, you can hear them employ these arrangement tactics over and over once they make it through the first lap. So although you’ll hear a couple of the same compositions performed from one night to the next, that material is sandwiched in between the other pre-composed material in drastically different ways with no pre-conception or roadmap of what might come next. "
Guy-Gustafsson-Strid Trio with Marilyn Crispell
"Recorded on January 22, 1996 by the Swedish broadcasting corporation, this features an international all-star new jazz/improvising group of Mats Gustafsson-soprano, tenor and baritone saxes, Marilyn Crispell-piano, Barry Guy-double bass and Raymond Strid-drums.."
McPhee / Brötzmann / Kessler / Zerang
"While the players can (and do) perform volatile energy jazz here, their preference is for music that's dissectible enough for the players to be distinguished in parts and direction. The breadth and power of these four players comes through with an exhaustive clarity in this crisp and vigorous live recording."