"1. Masani Cisse ... a rich nobleman, a very important person, close to god. Began very poor, making a living cutting and selling firewood. One day he saw a big dead tree. Long long time ago a rich warrior, a king, stranded at the tree, dying. A ghost promised him to guard the money at the tree. Masani Cisse started to cut. After three times, the ghost appeared and asked what he was doing. "I'm hungry," Masani answered. The ghost answered that he could do anything because the money was there in the spirit of the king. "If you are really hungry, you can take the money. But some things you are not allowed to do with it. You can not seduce women from someone else with it, for example." The story of Masani Cisse runs parallel with the beginning of the kora. The founder of the kora is called: Moussa Boulouge... "
Head Above Water/Feet Out Of The Fire
"This is the power of the Vandermark composition at its finest. He is there, guiding them though the workout of notes on the page, with whistle in mouth just in case. It builds and recedes and lets the smaller dogs sing before the next wave of growling envelops your ears layered over a pretty addictive drum and bass groove."
Terrie Ex & Ab Baars
"In English there's a related idiom: Dutch courage. That's when intoxication makes you fearless. Perhaps a fitting image for Ab Baars and Terrie Ex on their first record of duets, "Hef". I'm not referring to literal drunkenness, of course, but a figurative image of being tanked, a thoroughly internalized sense of dizzy, giddy musical interaction, bravery to try things you'd know you wouldn't/ shouldn't when sober. Ab is creative music's official drunken master (past masters: Ben Webster, Archie Shepp), and the marvelous Mr. Ex is a very worthy drunkboxing partner. In Ab's tenor especially, I hear this approach (keep in mind, Chan only turns to drunken boxing when pushed to do so!) - a loopy, wild, off-kilter phraseology that's precise and imprecise in the right balance, or rather in the right relation. In the twosome's opener, "Oud Over", Ab lurches and sways like a sot. But beware, 'cause just when you think he'll topple over, he turns into a bloodthirsty silver machine, attacking the jugular and slicing in tandem with Terrie's electric chicken-scratch scrapple of strings. Listen on "Stokdutter" as the guitarist's metallic shards combust behind Baars' slow-motion clarinet, unfazed by sudden motion - two temporalities superimposed, the unreality of unitary chronological time for a buzzed man. The drunken master works at his own pace. What's it take to make music like "Hef"? A liter and a half of Dutch courage. –John Corbett, Chicago, January 2000"
Anne-James Chaton / Andy Moor / Thurston Moore
"Heretics is a series of portraits of radical heretical figures found throughout the history of schismatic thinking.Heretics like Caravaggio, William Burroughs, Jose Mujica, Marquis de Sade and Johnny Rotten, fascinated the artists. These influential figures are presented here in the form of poetic texts and catchy melodies combined with experimental noise. - With the addition of ex-Sonic Youth guitarist, singer and songwriter Thurston Moore, Anne-James Chaton and Andy Moor’s more than a decade long collaboration becomes an exciting trio. They researched and created the material for Heretics during a residency in the French port of St Nazaire, in July 2014. They used voice, guitars and electronics in solo, duo or trio, to collaboratively explore their ideas and co-write texts and music."
Hidden In The Stomach
AALY Trio + Ken Vandermark
"Behind the energy and expression, the decades of preparation subsumed into a moment of spontaneous eruption, there's a sensibility at work. A mind. Freedom is a state of mind. Freedom of mind leads to freedom of sound."
Sonic Youth & Mats Gustafsson
"Although the disc is divided into separate tracks, Hidros 3 is really one extended piece, with no gaps whatsoever. Dedicated to Patti Smith, it frequently sounds like improvisation rather than composition. The piece was recorded live at its premiere in 2000. The players were housed in small rooms of the Art museum in Ystad, Sweden, during its KulturBro festival. Jim O'Rourke was in charge of the mixing, the only performer capable of filtering the composite whole. The audience were free to wander from chamber to chamber, experiencing various subjective perspectives of the performance."
Mats Gustafsson Nu Ensemble
"“The NU ensemble is back again! After some years of contemplation, recharging and reforming. In attack mode… in poetry mode… in love mode. A forever-changing beast. From the first installment of the ensemble back in the early 90’s, this ensemble has always been about the now, the instant now. NU. How to deal with and combine both freely improvised music and compositional methods and ideas. In the moment. Nothing radically new in that, but a very important process with lots of new perspectives to explore and joy to be shared!” Mats Gustafsson, from the liner notes"
"KUZU is a hard-charging but patient trio that came together in the fall of 2017, after saxophonist Dave Rempis a stalwart of the Chicago improvised music scene, worked with both Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums) individually as part of a lengthy solo tour of the U.S. that he undertook in the spring of that year. Dorji and Damon’s work as a guitar/percussion duo has become well-known, a highly refined and specific language developed through relentless touring and recording over the last few years, with a sound that straddles improvised music, rock, and any number of as-yet-undefined territories. These two provide an incredibly fresh take on the possibilities inherent to spontaneous composition. Superimposing Rempis into this mix was a logical next step after the relationships they’d forged individually. "
History Is What's Happening
"Musically, they sound like a rather more melodic version of Crass; politically, they are a lot harder and their lyrics are excellent... An unashamed political manifesto."
Hit The Ground Running
"On the traumatic day after the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States on November 8th, 2016, a recording session had been scheduled at Elastic Arts in Chicago for a new trio. Two members of the trio – Dave Rempis and Tim Daisy, had been working together in various contexts in the Chicago improvised music scene for years. They were invited by up-and-coming piano wunderkind Matt Piet to be a part of an ongoing series of first meetings that he’d released on his Amalgam imprint. (This recording soon came out as Cure For The Quotidian) The feeling in the room, in the city of Chicago, and around much of the United States was dark in a way no one had ever before experienced. The music that came out that day was an honest and direct expression of that energy. Afterwards, Piet threw out the idea of a benefit concert to coincide with the new “president’s” inauguration. Daisy spearheaded the charge, and put together a stellar event at Elastic Arts on January 21st, 2017, the same day as the monumental Women’s March that took place around the world. The concert featured a solo set by Darin Gray, the debut of Ken Vandermark’s new quintet Marker, the duo of Ben Lamar Gay and Ayana Contreras, and this trio. The energy of that evening was indescribable – the packed room felt defiant yet loving, angry yet calm, fearful yet fully empowered to take on the new reality of the unimaginable political situation in our country. And the music from each group reflected those feelings in a different and powerful way. "
Homework 1: (For Muhal Richard Abrams, Curtis Mayfield & Dinah Washington)
"As part of the special edition Marker live box set "Roadwork 1 / Roadwork 2 / Homework 1", we are happy to release Systems vs. Artifacts digital album of Homework 1. Recorded by Dave Zuchowski at The Hungry Brain, Chicago on February 18, 2018. Mixed and mastered by Dave Zuchowski at One Room Studio. "
Hoofbeats of the Snorting Swine
"Typical Vandermark in that it feels as if the duo is running (or careering) down composed lines, even as they blow right away from them... A dialogue for two epic sensibilities."
"Jimmy specialized in the songs of Tlahoun Gessesse, the greatest singer ever of Ethiopia. Still, Jimmy always remained true to himself and sang with both depth and passion, but his style was also improvised and swinging. He was physically always really frail, his spirit and mind though, were incredible. He could sleep whole days, almost disappearing. But, when he was singing and performing, he was strong and fit like nothing on earth. The larger the audience, the stronger he seemed to be. We will never forget the classic concerts at the Moers Jazz Festival, the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris, the Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Grand Mix in Tourcoing and almost any other performance he did."
Yong Yandsen / Christian Meaas Svendsen / Paal Nilssen-Love
"Hungry Ghosts are beings who are driven by intense emotional needs, periodically roaming the earth’s surface in search for anything that can satisfy their cravings. Now they are here for you! The omnipotent living legend Paal-Nilssen Love clashes head to head with bass prodigy Christian Meaas Svendsen on bass, playing with 2-3 bows, cheek, voice, hands and feet. In the midst of the battle we find Yong Yandsen, a high- octane Malaysian sax virtuoso who virtually explodes on stage combining the best of Japanese noise and European free-jazz-or-whatever-you- wanna-call-it together with the aforementioned gentlemen. Are they the Hungry Ghosts, or are they here to exorcise them out of you? One thing is sure: Don’t leave the Hungry Ghosts hungry! "
Terrie Ex & Paal Nilssen-Love
"Ex guitarist Terrie and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love met in the Jottem Studio in Wormerveer, NL, to record these 4 extended and rugged improvisations; rhythm vs strings with a skronky temperament."
I Love It When You Snore
Paal Nilssen-Love & Mats Gustafsson
"The music here is purposely directed to be an exploration into new sounds and ideas. With a television playing in the background as the two play “Snarkus Brutal,” they pause as if to giggle at the snoring actor. Fans of Gustafsson’s extended techniques including slap tongue, flutter, and vocalization will offer many revelations, and Nilssen-Love is a perfect foil for Mats’ sounds."