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“If you count The Thing’s collaborations with Joe McPhee, James Blood Ulmer, Ken Vandermark, Neneh Cherry, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Jim O’Rourke, Thurston Moore and DKV Trio too, Again is their 20th album (including the compilation Now and Forever and the split album The Music of Norman Howard with School Days, another Gustafsson project). Literally speaking, The Thing have done it again. After 17 years in the same line-up (Mats Gustafsson on saxes, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on acoustic and electric bass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums) you might think that the band’s music has become predictable, that their mélange of free jazz, blues, rock and noise is actually a cul-de-sac because the musical options are exhausted. However, it isn’t.
Though Again is the well-proved mixture of cover versions and original compositions, this time the focus is rather on jazz. The only cover, Decision in Paradise, is an old, rather conventional Frank Lowe piece. The Thing turn the tempo down considerably and a trumpet provided by Joe McPhee, the guest star on this track, transforms the falling lines of the original’s opening passage into painfully bruised sounds before Gustafsson strips the delicate melody to the bone (doing this, it reminds me of Gershwin’s “Summertime“). Bass, trumpet and saxophone dance around each other in slow motion and only after four minutes Nilssen-Love enters the game in order to give the piece more drive and tension. It’s the band’s typical way to take possession of a composition which is not their own.
- Martin Schray (Free Jazz Blog)
Full review here: www.freejazzblog.org/2018/06/the-thing-again-trost-records-2018.html ”
No Queen Rises
Relative Pitch Records
"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”
Ab Baars / Meinrad Kneer / Bill Elgart
Live At Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf 2012
Relative Pitch Records
“live at konfrontationen nickelsdorf 2012 features baars in a trio, which had quite a few gigs in those days, a co-op with german bassist meinrad kneer and long-time american-in-europe expatriate drummer bill elgart.
for those used to baars’ gentlemanly ellington-affected playing and composing the first sound heard on “nickelsdorf suite #1 part i” may shock. here’s the dutchman skronking harsh aylerian smears from his saxophone. at the same time though baars’ altissimo screams and tonal exaggerations slide securely in place besides the weightlifter-like string pulls that kneer resonates to solidify the rhythm and elgart’s elegant pings and ruffs which moderate the output.
- ken waxman, 11 november 2018, jazzword.com ”
The Young Mothers
Self Sabotage Records
“Then Young Mothers roared out of the gate with fierce, jarring visceral power. Theirs is a dense, multi-layered sound where Ivesian contrapuntal lines often divide the ensemble into competing units -- How fortunate 30 or so of us were that they docked in Deep Ellum last night. I'll be anxiously awaiting their return.” -Ken Shimamoto ”
Joelle Leandre / Elisabeth Harnik
“Two like-minded musicians with a history in compositional and improvised music, pianist and prepared pianist Elisabeth Harnik and double bassist and vocalist Joelle Leandre met at WIST, in Graz, Austria in 2016 to perform and record this live album of insightful and compelling dialog between two masterful musicians full of creativity and virtuosic skill.”
“This collaborative trio featuring three mid-career artists with deep roots in the Chicago improvised music scene puts forth a stunning and austere debut, a chamber-like exploration in which their three voices intertwine seamlessly into one multi-headed unit. Although each member is no doubt comfortable as a soloist, with significant leader credits under each of their belts, here they shirk that approach in favor of a music that is unflinchingly interactive and group-oriented. In this context, solo explorations don’t drive the music, but instead the sum of the three parts together delivers an unstoppable momentum recalling the type of egalitarian interactions pioneered by the trio of Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, and Steve Swallow in the early 1960’s. The resulting pieces, each one a thoroughly unique and cohesive landscape, deliver a strikingly clear example of what’s possible when musicians with broad interests in all types of contemporary musical expression combine their aesthetics in a non-genre and non-stylistically bound approach. Rempis, Reid, and Abrams deliver a wholly original sound on this recording, straddling the intersections of free improvisation, contemporary classical, jazz, and folk musics from around the world, without being contained by the precepts of any one of those influences.”
“This transatlantic trio combines musical sensibilities derived from their experiences in two world capitals of improvised music, Chicago and Amsterdam. Rempis and Rosaly, both longtime staples of the Chicago scene, have partnered for more than 15 years, most significantly in the Rempis Percussion Quartet and Rempis/Rosaly Duo. The two met guitarist/bassist Jasper Stadhouders at the Moers Festival in 2009 where the three shared a stage on the legendary “morning sessions.” Despite being only 18 years old, Stadhouders was a presence to be dealt with, his energy and aesthetic already developed into a cohesive whole. ”
Pleasure Of The Text
“Out this weekend! A new record on Nate Wooley's label, Pleasure of The Text Records from the power trio, New Monuments. Preorder CD and Digital now from Catalytic Sound.”