Vandermark / Guy / Sanders
"The proof here is the instantaneous manner in which the trio gets down to the business of music-making. This isn't just twiddling and tinkering with instruments; the three, in the classic sax/bass/drums configuration, narrate paths of sound governed by an unwritten set of rules."
Fred Anderson / DKV Trio
""Fred Anderson & DKV Trio cannot disappoint any free-jazz fan; with its lyrical beauty, passion, and warmth, it will convert many a jazz enthusiast who thinks "free" means "squalling".""
Free Jazz Classics Vol. 1 & 2
The Vandermark 5
"The band lovingly works over pieces by many of the pillars in free jazz, from Ornette to Giuffre, Ra to Hemphill. The exciting repertoire remains fresh (these compositions haven't exactly been overexposed) and gives the musicians plenty of room to groove and work their chops...which, by now, these Chicago players certainly have enough of to pull off this tribute project with excellent results."
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 The Discrete To The Particular
Joe Morris • Agustí Fernández • Nate Wooley
"Being perfectly aware that a trio featuring Joe Morris on guitar, Agustí Fernández on piano and Nate Wooley on trumpet can’t be, for an immanent reason connected to the mastery of the musicians, less than rewarding, my attention has instead been caught by the title of the album. Echoing and mixing several philosophical and scientific subjects it is, in my opinion, a brief and inspired description of some tendencies and paths sketched out in the compositions." - Paolo Casertano "Free Jazz Blog"
From Wolves To Whales
"Trumpeter Nate Wooley leaves no part of his instrument’s territory unexplored, utilising extended techniques and feedback to transform the horn from its traditional role into a far more alchemical and unclassifiable tool... The fully improvisatory yet traditionally rooted feel of the music has a lot in common with the work of Other Dimensions In Music. There’s a path in for more conservative free jazz listeners, but plenty of wilderness to get lost in, too. -Phil Freeman, The Wire"
"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 "
Magnus Broo & Paal Nilssen-Love
""The 6 tracks are freely improvised, and move us across a broad landscape of jazz expressiveness : from rhythmic and melodic parts to very avant-garde excursions, from slow and bluesy sounds to staccato blasts, with the real focus on the interplay between the two artists. Through Broo's playing, other trumpeters come to mind : Lester Bowie, Don Cherry, Paul Smoker. One of the reason's I like the album a lot is that both musicians demonstrate that it's possible to be creative, innovative, avant-garde, free and still be deeply emotional. Despite the limited possibilities of the duo, they manage to captivate the attention from beginning to end. This is intense, direct and raw music, but beautiful ... Clearly, a very much underpromoted release." –Free Jazz Blog"
Survival Unit III
"It is a dark piece, full of frenzy, yet it is also elegant, beautifully swinging, enrooted in gospel and blues. Another great album of a great artist. -Martin Schray, Free Jazz Blog"
Ab Baars Trio
""The Ab Baars Trio embodies the heights improvisational music can scale. The trio glides effortlessly between delicately detailed and gently intricate work and the geometrically grandiose, but never falls prey to sneering gaudiness. The trio’s creations, when at their peak, are transcendent works created by true soulmates of sound." -Barb Stewart "
Geometry Of Caves
Tomeka Reid, Kyoko Kitamura, Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Morris
"The record also makes plenty of room for each of the musicians' individual strengths to emerge: Bynum is in especially fine form, with movement from lyrical beauty to pure abstraction and noise (just listen to his menacing growls on "Glowworm" as evidence); but Morris is also characteristically exceptional, whether offering prickly fragments or his patented scrapes, as he's continually seeking ways to advance the dialogue. Reid's relentless imagination leads her from chamber-like passages to motion-filled ostinato phrases that always possess compelling rhythmic energy; and Kitamura will be a revelation to those who haven't yet encountered her unique brand of vocal improvisation, turning in an instant from subtle to spasmodic." - Troy Dostert All About Jazz"
Geometry of Distance
Kitamura / Bynum / Morris / Reid
"The four musicians compose as one, weaving a kaleidoscope of unconventional textures and contrapuntal melodies, opening the door to a new sonic universe which only exists in real time composition."
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
"It’s powerful, speedy, chaotic, but with a high degree of interplay and charm. Improvised, yes, but never out of focus. Although the two slow it down at times, they soon build up to the energies described, uncompromising, vibrant, hard, sonic, exploring their noisy palette of sound.” (FREQ)"