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."
"The intensity comes not from volume, but from the intricate combination of tempos, configurations, and evolving motifs. -Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog"
"There is nothing traditional about the work of this trio, the lack of rhythm and harmonic support leaves a big space for their ideas to grow. -Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog"
""The Jesus Lizard's Duane Denison and Mule's Jim Kimball enlisted reed player Ken Vandermark in their venture. With this album, the three musicians have created a unique hybrid that stands as one of the most successful attempts at bringing rock and jazz together." –All Music"
New American Songbooks Vol. 2
Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruán Ortiz, Matthew Shipp
"Produced by Nate Wooley, New American Songbooks, Volume 2 brings together solo piano tracks from four distinguished modern jazz players, guided by a challenge to use selections that expand the idea of the "American Songbook" canon beyond familiar jazz-standard territory. -Ernie, Paik, Chatanooga Pulse"
New Brazilian Funk
"For the Roskilde project (now to become a steady band) he put together a Norwegian/Brazilian combination that proved to be especially potent: Bass-player Felipe Zenicola is a new figure on the scene of improvised music and is mostly known for his work with Chinese Cookie Poets. Guitarist Kiko Dinucci has been active the last years as a leader and songwriter of the group Metá Metá and has received noticeable recognition in Brazil and Europe. Then there’s percussionist Paulinho Bicolor, a rare figure in the Brazilian music scene, who adds a special ingredient to the stew: the Cuíca – which is actually a friction drum, but mastered by Bicolor in a completely idiosyncratic way. Paulinho is also a frequent guest with Nilssen-Love’s 15-piece band, Large Unit. Rounding off the line-up Nilssen-Love included what is his longest musical parter: Norwegian saxophone player Frode Gjerstad, a legend of Norwegian free improvised music who asked Nilssen-Love to play with him at the age of 16, a collaboration that now has lasted 28 years. The pair usually works in duo and trio constellations, so it’s a rare treat to hear such a solid musical pair as the gravitational center of this project. The “New Brazilian Funk” title can almost be read as tongue-in-cheek, as this really is not just free jazz on top of tropical grooves - this is the sound of five dedicated musicians coming together to make a completely new type of music. The Roskilde gig went down so well that not only is it being released on CD, it also became the birth of a regular group. "
Calle Neumann / Ketil Gutvik / Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / Paal Nilssen-Love
""In 2019 PNL Records released “Events 1998-1999” - a retrospective box-set of the short-lived but eventually legendary The Quintet from the late 90s. That box-set documented the meeting of two generation of Norwegian improvised free music – the older generation Calle Neumann and Bjørnar Andresen engaging with the new emerging talents of the time - Paal Nilssen-Love, Ketil Gutvik and Eivind Opsvik. Since that time Andresen had passed away, but for the release party of the box-set Neumann once again got together with Gutvik and Nilssen-Love. No longer the new blood, it was now a completely different meeting of musical minds, built on experience that didn’t exist 20 years ago. But it was also clearly a reunion of kindred spirits, people that share something special catching up through music. Of course this could not just be a one-off to promote a release, this had to become something more. And one year later the new line-up, now with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on double bass (you don’t need two bass-players with Ingebrigt in the band), making the original quintet a quartet. The self-titled debut album documents their live debut at Victoria Jazz Club in Oslo, recorded in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic in July 2020. The band recorded before the gig with the intent of a studio album, but the gig itself was such a special event, that it became clear that the album needed to document that performance in full. Listening to the recording the identity of the musicians is clearly defined, but the music is full of surprises – going from extended full-on blasts to passages of subtle beauty, all delivered with a sense of adventure and humour that only musicians who are completely at ease with each other can deliver. New Dance is a new band for a new decade. It’s also worth noticing that this is Neumann’s first new recording in more than a decade, which is cause for celebration in itself." - PNL "
"Another energy jump from the iconic noise trio New Monuments. Featuring Borbetomagus's Don Dietrich on saxophone, violinist/vocalist C. Spencer Yeh, and Graveyards drummer Ben Hall. New Earth sounds like someone stepped on a copy of Mahavishnu Orchestra's Birds of Fire, put it on the turntable, loved what they heard, and pressed it into a CD. Pure spontaneous music from three of the heaviest in contemporary music. -Pleasure Of The Text"
New Horse For the White House
"The Territory Band 5's triple-CD A New Horse for the White House (october 2005) featured Fredrik Ljungkvist, Dave Rempis, Axel Doerner, Johannes Bauer, Per-Ake Holmlander, Jim Baker, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Lasse Marhaug, Kent Kessler, Paul Lytton, Paal Nilssen-Love, and offered four lengthy postmodernist games: Fall With A Vengence, Untitled Fiction, Corrosion, Cards. (The third CD includes live versions of the same pieces)."
""Thanks Marker, you’ve just delivered a classic." ***** Gustav Lindquist, The Free Jazz Collective, March 6, 2019 Their third album, New Industries, is a double CD comprised of studio and live versions of a dozen new compositions by Vandermark. The studio album was recorded in Chicago at Experimental Sound Studio on July 15th, 2018, directly after Marker's tour of the Midwest; the live album is a document made of their July 12th performance at Milwaukee's Sugar Maple. The combination of both recordings provides listeners an opportunity to hear the compositional strategies of the music truly come into play. Not only is the music improvised within individual pieces, the spontaneous narrative between each is altered by the way that these compositions are sequenced and layered."
New Japanese Noise
"For the 2018 edition of the Roskilde festival in Denmark Paal Nilssen-Love was asked to put together two special projects. Nilssen-Love chose to put together two groups: The first was a Brazil-based band. The second was a Japan-oriented band, bringing together three giants of Japanese free jazz and noise music for the first time: Saxophone player Akira Sakata is the biggest legend of them all — since the 60s Sakata has left a permanent mark on Japanese music. With more than 200 recording credits to his name Sakata first made his mark with the Yosuke Yamashita Trio, and then over the years has gone on to numerous projects. Noise artist Kohei Gomi is best known for his Pain Jerk project, which since its foundation in the early 1990s perfectly encapsulates the classic Japanese noise sound, but also exhibiting a clearly personal style that has evolved over the years. Toshiji Mikawa has as the leader of his Incapacitants project since the early 80s shown an absolutely uncompromising dedicating the craft of pure noise music. Paralell to this he has been a member of the equally seminal Hijokaidan band. Very few artists in the field of noise music enjoys the kind of respect Mikawa does. To make a link to the other Roskilde project Nilssen-Love also added Brazilian guitarist Kiko Dinucci to the line-up, which of course shows the connection between the two bands, but also is a clear proofs of Nilssen-Love’s method of combining expressions and crossing musicial borders to kick the music forward. And with musicians from three continents it also shows that noise music is a global language. Play loud. "
Jaap Blonk's Retirement Overdue
"When I was about to turn 65, I thought: why not start a new band, and give it a name that asks for consistent challenge: Jaap Blonk’s Retirement Overdue. I am very happy these wonderful younger musicians joined me. And since it is 20 years ago that I last had a regular band that played mostly my pieces, this is a New Start. —Jaap Blonk, March 2020"
New Works for Solo Percussion
"New Works for Solo Percussion, reveal how Daisy has developed his long-standing facility with sonic contrasts into a system for generating and sustaining dramatic tension for 15 minutes at a time. —Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader"
Nine Ways to Read a Bridge
"Bridges are a symbol of bringing people together, of communicating with each other, of connecting ideas. What else could reading bridges in the context of the music we usually talk about here mean but presenting different approaches of making music and trying to understand how communication works? Who else but Ken Vandermark has been constantly presenting such approaches by crossing the borders between hardcore jazz/punk (with The Flying Luttenbachers), noise core (with Zu), free funk (with Made to Break), new classical music and of course with his various free jazz/improv projects (everything from duos to larger ensembles like Audio One or the Resonance Ensemble) – and these are only a few examples! Ken Vandermark is simply one of the great masters of notated music and completely free improvisation."
No One Ever Works Alone
"Sonore is an example of how "free jazz", music that has no repertoire, no standards, relies on the head-on collision of different musical perspectives. Their album, removed as it is from the live performance and hyperbolic description, is less visceral, more cerebral but still a successful entry into the trepiditous realm of the all-saxophone group. Texturally, multi-instrumentalists help the cause— No One Ever Works Alone has 24 possible saxophone combinations multiplied by Peter Brötzmann's indefatigability, Mats Gustafsson's percussive brilliance and Ken Vandermark's synthesis of the entire saxophone tradition."
No Place to Fall
Rodrigo Amado & Chis Corsano
""A new chapter in the tradition of the great tenor-drums duets!" - Ulrich Jonas"
No Queen Rises
""Dew lies on the instruments of straw that you were playing, / The ruts in your empty road are red" Fish-Scale sunrise signals for Baars a broadening spectrum of possibilities for compositions and improvisations. Baars wanted to explore new timbre, dynamics and sounds. He employs for the first time in his ensembles a pianist - Slovenian, Amsterdam-based pianist Kaja Draksler, who collaborated before with Baars in her Octet - introducing a new weight of nuances of timbre and dynamics as well as new harmonic horizons. Canadian, Stockholm-based double bass player Joe Williamson completes this drummer-less format and positions the bass with a unique role. Baars wrote seven compositions and the other two are free-improvisations. -Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz"
Ken Vandermark / Klaus Kugel / Mark Tokar
"Can there be such a thing as straight-ahead free? If so, this disk’s five as-it-happens improvisations would be it. Each achieves something remarkable, a seldom-realized free jazz ideal: the more these players achieve something remarkable, the more these players sacrifice themselves in support of one another, the more our attention is drawn to each’s individual merits. Teasing his solos to climax on the album’s two longest performances, Vandermark shows he knows the difference between repetition and repetitiveness. This might be some of his best playing on records; it’s definitely among his lustiest. Tokar’s “extended” bass technique is astonishing, and worthy of special notice is the way he matches tones with Vandermark when the latter explores the lower reaches of his horn. Kugel is a model drummer, supplying both motion and combustion without so much as implying a steady beat. Only one modifier will do in further categorizing this free jazz: classic. - Francis Davis"