A Night in Alchemia
McPhee / Edwards / Kugel
"European, Scandinavian and American avant-garde jazz are gently brought together. That makes an effort to evocative, bright and luminous sound. - Avant Scena"
A Quietness of Water
Peter Evans / Agustí Fernández /Mats Gustafsson
"This is jazz as experience—as pathos. I don’t know if there are aesthetic categories to judge whether the music or the playing are “good” or “bad,” but Evans, Fernandez, and Gustafsson leave me thinking that the music they make is beautiful because of the sublime ways they just make it up. - Rick Joines, The Free Jazz Collective"
Anker / Courvoisier / Mori
"It's music worthy of deep listening. Leaving the everyday, even as it rewards the effort of doing so, the profundity of the moment also reaches exalted status, making for music that's urgently alive even while it's shot through with contemplation. - Nic Jones, All About Jazz"
Birdies for Lulu
Sylvie Courvoisier Mark Feldman Quartet with Scott Colley and Billy Mintz
"This music possesses a striking beauty, even when it appears to be trying for a different effect. This in itself is a remarkable achievement, but that it’s also so damn accessible and easy to connect with just makes it that much more impressive. - Bird is the Worm"
Blacks' Myths II
"On Black Myths, Stewart and Crudup craft evocative, Afro-futuristic grooves, frequently disrupted by eruptions of feedback dissonance or languid soundscapes. - Down Beat Magazine"
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."
Den Signede Dag
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten's Village Songs
"What is the likelihood that hymns from the time of Pietism would resonate with progressive free musicians in Austin, Texas? Particularly when they are sung in a language that feels distant, even to Norwegians. On this album the miraculous happens, in that old texts communicate across centuries and language borders. - Ivar Flaten"
Do Not Slam The Door!
Grenscó Collective Special 5 with Ken Vandermark
"Is there such a thing as coincidence? Perhaps. But in the encounter between István Grencsó and Ken Vandermark some kind of necessity seems to have been at work. If we compare the careers followed by these two artists in the last decade and a half or so, it seems as if their paths have intertwined, with parallels and intersections. This is far from being self-evident, because a fundamental consideration for both of them is constant renewal, and the search for ever newer forms of expression..."
Large Unit Fendika
"It could be argued that this is the most accessible recording in the Large Unit catalogue, and there is no doubt that this is the first one you can dance to all the way through."
Field of Materials
Morris / Pride / Pitsiokos
"Catalytic Artist Album 019, available exclusively to Catalytic Sound members. Become a member to get a new CAA delivered each month, as well as two digital albums of your choice, and free shipping anywhere in the world. https://www.patreon.com/catalyticsound"
Morris / Cancura / Nazary
"Just listening to the absolute basic notion of what a sax trio should sound like, is a true joy. — Stef, The Free Jazz Collective"
Geometry of Distance
Kitamura / Bynum / Morris / Reid
"The four musicians compose as one, weaving a kaleidoscope of unconventional textures and contrapuntal melodies, opening the door to a new sonic universe which only exists in real time composition."
Hôtel du Nord
Sylvie Courvoisier - Mark Feldman Quartet
"It's full of an ethereal, non‑referential lyricism of the players' own – an affirmation of the power of pattern and audibly evolving relationships, even if very little of it resembles songs. - John Fordham, The Guardian"
"With this recording Ivo Perelman introduces a new member into his circle, the great trumpeter Nate Wooley. The original working title of this album was Alchemy. The revised title Philosopher's Stone refers to the mythic material sought by alchemists of the Middle Ages, who fervently believed that it could turn common metals into silver or gold — and, not incidentally, confer immortality. Here, the materials are anything but common. But the music — thanks to the science of recording, and the magic of these empathetic improvisers — will remain long after the moments in which it first took shape."
Known / Unknown
Paul Lytton / Nate Wooley
"As in every other recording we've done, the music turned out to be as close to alien as I've ever heard. This one, especially, pushes the boundaries in every possible way and I'm really incredibly proud of it. - Nate Wooley"
Arto Lindsay / Ken Vandermark / Joe McPhee / Phil Sudderberg
"Approached casually, the late morning bloomed into Largest Afternoon, 15 crackling encountersbetween guitarist Arto Lindsay, saxophonists Joe McPhee and Ken Vandermark, and drummer Phil Sudderberg. No expectations – open minds and creative intent."
Live at Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman
"Even at their most heated, Courvoisier and Feldman always sound as if they're weighing proportions, massaging nuances, and drawing listeners in. - John Fordham, The Guardian"
Courvoisier / Feldman / Mori / Parker
"With little-to-no rhythmic underpinning, and a similar lack of melodic anchors, these group improvisations rely on the ability of the players to emulate conversation - the turn-taking, the constant recycling of old ideas, the unplanned arrival of new ideas, and the strained silences. Miller’s Tale has all of this and more, and it represents some of the finest that free jazz has to offer. - Derek Stone, The Free Jazz Collective"
Morphic Resonance and Other Habits of Nature
Alison Blunt / Elisabeth Harnik
"Playful at times, the delicate complexity of their reciprocity binds together the purity of a spontaneous action with a vague intuition of what lies well beyond our intellectual scope. The unpretentiousness of these atypical resonances, whispered harmonics and merely hinted modulations is an authentic gift. - Massimo Ricci"
Dave Rempis & Lasse Marhaug
"This limited edition, 180-gm vinyl LP features one of Norway’s most renowned noise musicians, and one of Chicago’s most active saxophonists, pitting two like-minded individuals from slightly different worlds together for a deeper exploration of each other’s sonic pallet."
No Time Left for Sadness
Joe McPhee & Fred Lonberg-Holm
"Recalling some of McPhee's landmark records with Marseilles musicians in terms of telepathy and trust, it's an outing whose intensity is measured not in decibels, but in emotional integrity."
"Featuring Christian Wallumrød on piano, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass, and Per Oddvar Johansen on drums."
"This quartet features a new visitor to Planet Ivo, bassist Brandon Lopez; his work illuminates the ensemble playing from within, and his spotlight solo in part 7 bristles with the lithe muscularity that animates Wooley's own quartet. Ivo says: 'I wanted this album to be the classic tenor-trumpet quartet, and I was happy to have used Brandon, because he gives us even more fire, more stimulus. He gives a very special identity to this CD."
Vandermark / Drake / Trovalusci / Ceccarelli
"The music on Open Border defies musical conventions and boundary lines. Instead it focuses on a search for creative ground without categories. It is a recording of improvised music invented at the highest level, spontaneous and timeless, energized and austere, always exhilarating. "
Circulasione Totale Orchestra
"Madness erupts again, with screeching electronics, disrupting every notion of possible comfort, to be altered by steady rhythm and great soloing, "electric Miles"-like at moments. -Stef, The Free Jazz Collective"
Purple Dark Opal
"As Coltrane drew from jazz, gospel, and Eastern music, Kuzu do too, updating their approach with rock, metal and the tools of free jazz. We hear Rempis' patented rip, tear, crunch sound, but also there is a tranquility about this music not found in most free jazz. - Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
Bradford / Gjerstad / Håker Flaten / Nilssen-Love
"Free jazz in the best tradition. And the audience is enthusiastic too. - The Free Jazz Collective"
"A collection of compositions and improvisations combining recent explorations with turntable manipulation, percussion and radio static with his expanding vocabulary as both a composer and improviser on the marimba."
The Shithole Country & Boogie Band
Mats Gustafsson / Wendy Gondeln/ Wolfgang Voigt
"Uncommon bedfellows: disjunct techno and improvised music. But the Shitholes make it work brilliantly, even inviting minimal techno pioneer and co- founder of Cologne's seminal Kompakt label Wolfgang Voigt to edit and remix two of the twisted tracks. - Corbett vs Dempsey"
David Grubbs / Mats Gustafsson / Rob Mazurek
"The Underflow was recorded during a sizzling two-night stand in May 2019. In a series of duets and trios, guitarist David Grubbs, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, and trumpeter Rob Mazurek met headlong for the first time, converging not only their acoustic and electric instruments, but at times submerging themselves in a tangle of electronics, then emerging into shamanic bell-shaking chant or chest-rattling howl. - Corbett vs. Dempsey"
"Recorded live in concert by Iztok Zupan at Tube’s, Graz/Austria on 24th March 2019."
Paal Nilssen-Love / Michiyo Yagi / Peter Brotzmann
"Recorded live at the end of a ten-city Norwegian tour, in the Western fjord town of Volda, and captured beautifully by master sound engineer Audun Strype, all three musicians are in top form. Brötzmann is nuanced and heartfelt and Yagi is all over the koto—producing ripples of plucked and twisted strings—while Nilssen-Love pushes forward with a fluid rhythmic framework."