Impressions of Jimmy Giuffre
Joe McPhee Trio
"This beautiful set is full of a unique tenderness, and comes out as a very personal statement that should not be missed"
Jaap Blonk / Mats Gustafsson / Michael Zerang
"Documenting a complete, unedited session recorded in Stockholm, there is a visceral excitement as each of the eleven cuts of this recording explores the extremes of the avant-garde. Blonk is found here in a startlingly original and totally improvised trio with free music stylists Matts Gustafsson and Michael Zerang. A departure from Blonk's other recordings, this is the first of two stunning interactions with some of the finest free-style musicians on the scene. For this CD, Swedish woodwind whiz Gustafsson brings his full arsenal of soprano, tenor, and baritone saxophones, flute, fluteophone, and french flageolet, while Chicagoan Zerang powerfully and gracefully fills the percussion slot. Blonk's voice is both horn and percussionist, and the three performers seem to enjoy the interactive flow of pings, pops, and scratches. Stimulating and ever-changing, this recording demands close listening, but the rewards are clearly there for the adventuresome. Not to be missed, this version of Improvisors is laced with humor, along with buckets of extraordinary noises/sounds.""
In Black and White
"When they are "on," the members of Trio X play music that is as good as it gets, and evidence of that is amply abundant here, with some important and exciting interpretations of the emotionally vibrant "God Bless the Child," the Ayler-esque "Goin' Home," and the poignant "'Round Midnight and Later.”... It is the melodies that shed the most light on the group's strategies, which interpret and continually reinterpret the essence of song in a surprisingly and strikingly accessible way (Steve Loewy, allmusic.com)"
Joe McPhee / Matthew Shipp / Dominic Duval
"With its beautiful sound, In Finland captures three master improvisers live and spinnin' takes. Longtime fans of Matthew Shipp who miss his prolonged flights into thundering, gothic creations: this is your fix. With two tracks hovering around the thirty-minute mark, the performances allow Shipp room to stretch and flex. Joe McPhee sticks mainly to a rich-toned soprano sax, although he plays some playful pocket trumpet. A veteran of Mark Whitecage's ensembles as well as a frequent collaborator of McPhee's, bassist Dominic Duval plays rough, his hands exploding with fat, rapid-fire plucking or smeared arco."
Ig Henneman Kwintet
""… Her compositions inspire performances which are anything but ordinary, the collective improvising often breathtaking. The balance between melody and abstraction, rhythmic drive and ballad tones, keep it all sounding brilliantly right. In Grassetto feautures exciting bass clarinet Hein Pijnenburg, with Bart van der Putten's alto, Wilbert de Joode's bass, and Fred van Duynhoven's drums. They execute Henneman's turns magnificently. The leader has an original touch on viola." --Doug Lang CODA Magazine 1999"
In Memory Of Ethiopia?s Greatest Azmari
"Bahru Kegne was a legendary azmari, who was even a private court-player under Haile Selassie, then the ‘free newspaper’ in the communist days and recording some amazing ‘modern’ cassettes in the last years of his life. Deep, hypnotic, trance-like music, and unlike things published before."
Invitation to a Dream
Alcorn / McPhee / Vandermark
"Some matches are made in heaven and can be brought to a studio in Austin, Texas. Baltimore-based pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, Poughkeepsie-based sax and pocket trumpet player Joe McPhee, and Chicagoan reeds player Ken Vandermark player is, no doubt, one of these rare matches. - Eyal Hareuveni, The Free Jazz Collective, 5 star review "
Joe McPhee / Jeb Bishop / Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / Michael Zerang
"Both McPhee and Bishop have played far on the outside but while these pieces are framed as improvisations between the four participants, neither strays too far from their lyrical side. The opener begins with a mournful trombone laying out thematic concepts. McPhee joins in the mourning against Zerang's slow rumble. Then it all gives way, Bishop becoming increasingly percussive, as if trying to match the drummer's off-kilter rhythms before this in turn disintegrates and McPhee, his tone reminding me of Charles Tyler, comes storming in. And so it continues, each track revealing just why they are regarded as amongst the greatest improvisers currently performing. "
"This collaborative trio featuring three mid-career artists with deep roots in the Chicago improvised music scene puts forth a stunning and austere debut, a chamber-like exploration in which their three voices intertwine seamlessly into one multi-headed unit. Although each member is no doubt comfortable as a soloist, with significant leader credits under each of their belts, here they shirk that approach in favor of a music that is unflinchingly interactive and group-oriented. In this context, solo explorations don’t drive the music, but instead the sum of the three parts together delivers an unstoppable momentum recalling the type of egalitarian interactions pioneered by the trio of Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, and Steve Swallow in the early 1960’s. The resulting pieces, each one a thoroughly unique and cohesive landscape, deliver a strikingly clear example of what’s possible when musicians with broad interests in all types of contemporary musical expression combine their aesthetics in a non-genre and non-stylistically bound approach. Rempis, Reid, and Abrams deliver a wholly original sound on this recording, straddling the intersections of free improvisation, contemporary classical, jazz, and folk musics from around the world, without being contained by the precepts of any one of those influences."
"The trio of Scandinavian rhythm section Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Johan Berthling (double bass) hooking up with Japanese free jazz legend Akira Sakata (saxophone/clarinet) started in 2013 at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway. The trio took their name from the legendary 1977 collaborative album by Yosuke Yamashita Trio and dance group Dairakudakan – an album that Sakata was a central part of, that even 40 years later stand solid as a radical and bold musical statement. And this piece of history gives us a clue to where the trio of Nilssen-Love, Berthling and Sakata is aiming for, not by looking back and rethreading what has been done before, but adopting its attitude of kicking the often stale sax/drums/bass-format forward with such force that it feels completely fresh. After its start in 2013 Arashi has been a steady group, doing numerous tours in Europe and Japan, and PNL Records is pleased to release the trio’s third album, “Jikan”, a live recording from the Pit Inn club in Tokyo in September 2017. “Jikan” captures the trio at full force – with Sakata doing almost as much vocals as playing the reeds."
Joe McPhee: One Day...A Lightning Storm
"This very special limited edition release features excerpts from Joe’s conversation with John Corbett and is accompanied by the complete interview in a beautifully designed 20 page booklet. It’s release coincides with the Blank Forms celebration of Joe’s career. "