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“Austrian musician & composer, curator, label-founder (charhizma), co-founder of the legendary Viennese bar for electronic musc (Rhiz) with many releases/bands/projects over the years, turns 50.
A perfect time for a big multi-variant collection of his unreleased work: solos, duos, special collaborations, groups, for instance with B. Fleischmann, Ken Vandermark, Robert Wyatt Mats Gustafsson, Tony Buck, and many more.
From electronica to avantgarde and improvisation to political chansons.”
Jon Vanderlander Trio
Jon Vanderlander Trio
“The Jon Vanderlander Trio 45, with Jon Fält (drums & percussion), Ken Vandermark (clarinet & baritone saxophone), and Per-Åke Holmlander (tuba). Recorded at Fylkingen, Stockholm, on October 29th, 2006, by Niklas Billström. Features the compositions “Tom Säck,” “Misha,” and “1st.”
Frode Gjerstad Trio + Steve Swell
“Frode Gjerstad’s name can be legendary in Norway and all the European continent, due to the fact that he was practically the only one to contrast himself, from the beginning, to the saxophone style which defined the Scandinavian approach to jazz for 40 years, the one defined by Jan Garbarek, but his trio with Jon Rune Strom and Paal Nilssen-Love is relatively new on the scene. It started in 2011 and there’s only another recording with trombonist Steve Swell as special guest, “At Constellation”, from 2015. Of course, there were some previous cumplicities between these musicians: Nilssen-Love was a member of Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale Orchestra since 1992 and the alto saxophonist and clarinetist played with Swell in several occasions, mostly when visiting the United States. Musically, the quartet proposes a very particular kind of free improvised music with strong connections to the free jazz tradition, reinforced by the participation of the American who collaborated with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon and Anthony Braxton. The energy level is very high, but the delivery isn’t always on the red: lots of dynamics and sudden contrasts keep the group interactions interesting and unpredictable. Frode Gjerstad’s approach to improvisation is distinctive in itself: he’s a melodic player, even if asymetrical, and he prefers the “old school” jazz phrasing to «reed-fueled bric-a-brac», as a music critic once wrote, managing to present it as if it’s a novelty.”
“"Moments Form" does not need time to warm up, it just starts -- a solid stream of invention and drive. Could one expect anything less from free jazz stalwarts, Mars Williams, Tim Daisy and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten? All are experienced and hard hitting improvisors and this consistently engaging album certainly, at the very least, solidifies this perception.”
Ab Baars & Zlatko Kaučič
“Slovenian drummer/percussionist Zlatko Kaucic (Kaučič) was very busy in 2013-2014. The meetup with pianist Milko Lazar for Ena / One took place between November, 2013 and March, 2014. The disc at hand finds Kaucic performing with Dutch reedman Ab Baars, recorded in October, 2014. Baars is well known in the free jazz side of the Dutch scene.
As expected, the music is quite different although the intent is the same: to bring together two free improvisers and see what happens. Recorded at the Alchemia Club in Krakow (no audience), (like the meeting between François Carrier and Rafal Mazur for Unknowable), Kaucic and Baars produced seven tracks that are at once mystifying, intimidating, amazing and a lot of fun.
The Vandermark Quartet
Hi Ball Records
“An old one from the archives here at Catalytic Sound, only 9 original unplayed copies left!”
“It’s not the first time we find Scandinavian and American musicians playing together – some of the bands founded by Ken Vandermark have this characteristic –, but Starlite Motel comes with a different focus than the ones trying to reconnect the techniques and aesthetics of improvisation developed in Europe with its jazz roots in the United States. In “Awosting Falls”, non-idiomatic and idiomatic improv meets with… psychedelic rock. Those procedures and styles are very well known by the mastermind of this new enterprise: Gard Nilssen, the Norwegian drummer of the rock-oriented, electric bands Puma and Bushman’s Revenge, but also of hardcore post- free jazz groups like Acoustic Unity and Cortex. His Nordic companions are also familiar with it, namely saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts, who brought jazz to noise domains with partners like Lasse Marhaug and Maja Ratkje, and bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten (now living in Texas, by the way), a member of the free jazz / free rock band The Thing and leader of the metal / hip-hop / jazz combo The Young Mothers. The American in the quartet is Jamie Saft, one of the most permanent of John Zorn’s collaborators, part of Electric Masada and also the author of “Trouble: The Jamie Saft Trio Plays Bob Dylan” and leader of a band including the jazz mainstream bassist Steve Swallow, The New Standard. The music is puzzling and sensuous, cosmic and groovy at the same time. Now you can dream with a beat.”
Live at Big Apple in Kobe
“"And the music does stay hot for long stretches during the two improvisations that comprise the CD. “Rainbow Elephant” slowly wends its way through passage after passage of astonishing sounds, following a slowly evolving path. There’s a continuous weave of sound—sparkling electronics; saxophone clicks and cries; textured, breathy drones on the trumpet; and subtle prepared piano timbres. The sound expands and contracts, dense one moment, open and airy the next. Fujii plays a long melodic arc with scintillating sounds dancing underneath. Later, Anker starts her own extended melody, supported and embellished by the others. “Yellow Sky” grows more directly from soft electronic flutters and breathy tones on saxophone and trumpet to become progressively darker and more agitated with hot raspy trumpet, rumbling piano, clattering electronics, and wailing saxophone. The album is one of the most sustained abstract performances in the Fujii discography. "”