Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Guests
"it is a magnificent melding of cultures. [...] Moa Anbessa is a great introduction to Mekurya for rock fans. The Ex doesn’t cut their intensity a bit – heck, they need it all to keep up with Mekurya, still going strong in his seventies. This is a powerful, rocking record that will thrill even listeners who’ve never bought a “world music” album in their lives."
Momentum 1: Stone
"Each disc on this collection has its own distinct feel, presenting six individual journeys within the whole. All of the musicians are acutely aware of their surroundings, and the inspiration that they drew from one another was palpable (Tim Niland, Music and More)"
Momentum 2 & 3 : Brüllt and Monster Roster
"Both discs of this installment of Momentum offer exciting developments in Vandermark’s discography. Incorporating electronics, composed themes, and free form sections, the arrangements are edgy and captivating throughout. The double disc set contains extensive liner notes by the musician and offers an excellent documentation of his continuing musical evolution." -Paul Acquaro "Free Jazz Blog"
Momentum 4: Consequent Duos 2015>2019
"A collection of duo recordings featuring Ken Vandermark in collaboration with internationally renowned, and critically acclaimed, musicians: Kris Davis, Hamid Drake, Paul Lytton, Ikue Mori, and William Parker. The material is documented on 5 CDs and was recorded during performances at Vandermark’s second Stone residency in New York City during January of 2018, and at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. "
"At this juncture The Thing and its members need little by way of introduction. Individually their output plots a course through much of the territories mapped by contemporary improvised music, shines a light on its more outré reaches, and stretches the wallets of even the most committed listener. Moreover, seeing any of their names affiliated with a project has become a seal of quality, much as the FMP logo did a generation prior."
Claudio F Baroni
""Motum" means motion, and this is a central theme in the 3 pieces by composer Claudio F Baroni on this album. The concept is central to Baroni's work, and is explored musically and formally in his layered, dynamic, sophisticated style. The breathtaking pieces are taking the listener on a meandering path, starting from the origin of sound. Motum is Baroni's second collaboration with Unsounds. With liner notes by Samuel Vriezen."
"The Ex is still growing, maturing, learning and blowing most other bands off the stage. They have a devastating sense of rhythm and a far-reaching lyrical intelligence." "Their most urgent, powerful and exciting release to date. Staggeringly beautiful." "This time they pull up their wall of sound out of pieces of rock, folk and jazz... The Ex got the blues."
Music For Lying Still
"Music For Lying Still is Chicago based composer and percussionist Tim Daisy's latest solo release. Further developing methods and ideas explored by his two previous solo efforts: 'Relucent: music for marimba, radios and turntables' (relay 012), and 'Red Nation 1' (relay 018), MFLS is the first to utilize a multi-track, multi-layered recording process to develop and shape the composition. All the sound making devices were recorded separately and then assembled and edited into one continuous, twenty-five-minute composition. Music for Lying Still is the first in a set of three releases using the studio as an integral component of the music making process. -multi-layered, mystic metaphoric, ambient, experimental low-fi gamelan drone music for people who like to lie still. "
Mutations / Multicellulars Mutations
"Certainly you can tell when Vandermark is playing but you can feel the equality in the contributions. They all have a great instinct to let the silences ring and yet never let a moment get wasted. One of my favorite listens so far this year."
Magda Mayas & Chrstine Abdelnour
"Both have styles that are idiosyncratic and distinctive, their sounds eloquently conveying the physicality of what they do – listening to their music conjures up images of them playing it. The pair interact to create complex yet coherent soundscapes, within which it is usually possible to disentangle individual contributions, as in a multifaceted conversation. Both musicians have a wide enough palette of sounds to keep things from becoming repetitive; on the contrary the pieces unfold and keep the listener engaged completely."
N N N
Made to Break
"The quartet sounds energetic, buzzing with adrenaline and excitement…playing expansive and powerful interpretations of old compositions in entirely different combinations than those explored before (Eyal Hareuveni, The Free Jazz Collective)"
Paal Nilssen-Love & Frode Gjerstad
"Some of the songs are more searching, contemplative and slow moving. Others more passionate, intense and fast. The duo setting provides a peeled off and intimate feeling throughout the album and I can clearly hear both Frode and Paal being fully focused on the task at hand. On some songs Frode is in the lead, and on others Paal provides texture and a scene on which Frode can move freely in, out and across, and on some songs they both travel together tightly interwoven. No holds barred, full throttle and quick twists and turns. One thing is for certain; Frode Gjerstad and Paal Nilssen-Love are two of the most bright shining stars on the free jazz heaven today."
"In the summer of 2013, guitarist Joe Morris decided to thoroughly acquaint himself with the vibrant Chicago creative music scene. Although he’d worked with plenty of Chicago musicians over the years, including regular collaborations with percussionist Hamid Drake and reedist Ken Vandermark, it had been many years since Morris had spent any significant time in the city. So he undertook a series of concerts, organized by Vandermark, which placed him in a number of different contexts alongside many of his Chicago-based counterparts, including this string-heavy date at Elastic Arts. From the start, this ad-hoc quartet took advantage of an unusual instrumentation to produce some austere and starkly beautiful music. Each member contributes quickly interweaving lines that occasionally burst to the fore, but tend more often to wrap themselves into one other, hiding in plain sight amongst the unified whole. Cloaking their individual timbres into a sinewy mass, the result is a tight and fascinating exploration of contrapuntal improvisation."
"This live recording finds the collaborative trio of Rempis, Johnston, and Ochs hard at work in the middle of their first full-on North American tour in May of 2015. Documenting a concert from the landmark venue Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY, the trio follows up on their previous release, 2014’s Spectral, having taken their unique approach to spontaneous composition to the next level through the crucible that only touring can provide. On this new recording they tackle two pieces that are significantly more extended than the ones documented on their earlier release, while still employing the same core strategy that made that recording so compelling; an ability to look far down the road in order to anticipate the larger structures that can emerge from even the slightest gesture. The trio moves with patience, and capitalizes on space, waiting for the appropriate moments to strike, always at the service of the ensemble motion. "
New American Songbooks Vol. 2
Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruán Ortiz, Matthew Shipp
"Last year’s release found three distinctive voices—Mary Halvorson, Ron Miles, and Greg Saunier—working together to arrange works from mass media. Their collaboration, only a few days in total, culminated in a recording that felt equal parts wild and warm; intimate and revolutionary. Volume 2 goes in another direction. While the warmth and intimacy is still very present, thanks in large part to the expert sound at Ryan Streber’s Oktaven Studios, the experience is one-on-one, as the listener is the recipient of four mini-recitals from four of the most profound interpreters on the piano today: Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruán Ortiz, and Matthew Shipp. "