Canzoni di Primavera
""All pieces consist of composed themes that form the outset for improvisations. There is nothing exceptional in this by itself, but the way both musicians expand on the theme, and the way the other musician then takes this expansion as a basis for further exploration, is exceptional. Even more so, because they are not afraid to use dissonance as a key ingredient of their sound."-Stef Gijssels After their album "Autumn Songs" the Dutch improvising duo of Ab Baars on tenor sax, clarinet and shakuhachi and Ig Henneman on viola, celebrate the music of spring in "Canzoni di Primavera" (Songs of Spring) in 10 vivacious works blending free jazz and chamber music, with subtle use of timbre, dissonance and melody in pieces inspired by poets, composers and artists."
Cash and Carry
The Rempis Percussion Quartet
"On August 31st, 2014, The Rempis Percussion Quartet celebrated its tenth year in existence with an increasingly rare hometown concert at Chicago’s venerable Hungry Brain, a bar whose dark, relaxed, and frequently hard-drinking atmosphere helped to define more than a decade of the Chicago improvised music scene. The band had cut its teeth with regular performances at the Brain in the mid-aughts, but sadly, this would be the last time they hit the stage before the bar’s impending closure at the end of 2014. To up the stakes a bit further, that night also marked the end of the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival. As usual, the multitudes of fans and world class musicians visiting for that event packed in with the Chicago regulars to hear what the local guys might deliver on their home turf. The band didn’t disappoint. The talking ceased immediately as they hit the stage, channeling the significant emotional energy of the evening directly into two sets of fiery music, once again taking the reins as one of the hardest-hitting bands to emerge from the Chicago scene in the past decade. On this document of the night’s festivities, you can hear the group dive in face first, working over every facet of the simple melodies and grooves that form the underlying basis of their extended improvisations, tearing them apart, and reconstructing them in a multitude of new ways."
Catch My Shoe
"The Ex, you see, are No Ordinary Band. Would anyone else not just continue but actually kick off a whole new period of frantic activity having just lost their lead singer a full thirty years after he co-founded the band? Unlikely. Yet that is exactly what The Ex have done, and "Catch My Shoe" is the triumphant result. "
Close Up (For Abbas Kiarostami)
Ken Vandermark & Lasse Marhaug
"While much of Close Up resides in tense spaces of extremity and contrast, there are moments of sudden unity—Vandermark and Marhaug falling into a pulse, nurturing each other’s half-hatched ideas, or stopping short together (Eric McDowell, Free Jazz Blog, December 7, 2016)"