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"
"Third release from rising stars of the Chicago jazz/improv scene. featuring Dave Rempis (alto & tenor saxophone) -- Jason Ajemian (bass) -- Tim Daisy (drums). Dave Rempis and Tim Daisy are both members of the Vandermark 5. The disc features 6 compositions by Dave Rempis and 2 by Tim Daisy."
Audio One Tour Poster
"A beautiful and well-conditioned poster from Cricket Press for the Audio One tour in the late 00s."
James Blood Ulmer and The Thing
"This is not a James Blood Ulmer album. This is not a The Thing Album. If that’s only what you’re after I can highly recommend the magnificent Blood’ album ‘Tales of Captain Black’ from 1979, or The Thing’s ‘BOOT! from 2013. Furthermore, one simply cannot say what James Blood Ulmer is, as far as genres go. Is he jazz? Is he funk? Is he rock or blues? Is he ‘someone-who-took-Jimi-Hendrix-playing-to-the-next-level’? I’m just going to leave it at this: he’s James Blood Ulmer. He’s a living legend as far as breaking boundaries in cross-genre guitar playing goes. - Gustav Lindqvist"
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."
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. "
Catalytic Record Club: February
"Presenting Catalytic Record Club, where $30 buys your choice of three CDs from a menu of five, each month."
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."
"This is a recording of the quintet’s 6th May 2016 live performance at the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon Festival, Austria."
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"
"The debut record of LUFT – is a two volume album of exceptional explorations within the bagpipe and reed universe —— unknown music of poetic beauty and high energy cascades. Fast moving changes in texture and layers vs static repetitions and alternatives densities and melody treatments! Vol 1 – is focusing on the interaction between the two persons/ instruments – with a huge variety in extended techniques and various ways of treating the instruments – leading to an improvised music never heard of."
"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."
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.” "
Joe McPhee & Hamid Drake
"It's easy to be cynical these days, maybe difficult to imagine that music can change the world, but not for Joe McPhee and Hamid Drake. With Keep Going, they will make the planet a better place for humanity, a place to be humane, to preserve humankind. At 78-years-old, Poughkeepsie multi-instrumentalist McPhee is a national treasure, and he's making more music than ever before, pushing himself to tour incessantly, issuing astonishing new records at a fierce rate. But this release, with legendary Chicago percussionist Drake, is something extremely special in the midst of many special records. The duo first recorded together in 1999, having only played together a limited number of times; the resulting music was issued as Emancipation Proclamation on the Okka Disk label. When the opportunity arose to hit the studio for a second time, McPhee and Drake had two more decades of extensive work together under their belts, as members of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and in many other contexts. But the session somehow consolidated their shared energy in an unexpected way – the drummer's incredible warmth and sense of buoyancy, the saxophonist and trumpeter's preternatural musicality and quest for social justice. The recording started with McPhee reciting words by Harriett Tubman, resulting in the title track; Drake's support was an achingly slow Max Roach-like beat. From this inspired, inspiring starting point, the twosome frolicked through a rich program, McPhee donning tenor and alto saxes, and pocket trumpet, Drake turning momentarily to the frame drum. Each musician contributes an introspective solo track. McPhee at one point plays trumpet into an open gong, which gives him otherworldly overtones, a sort of acoustic version of electric Miles. Drake makes too few records, so anything of his is mandatory; McPhee's been on a roll lately, releasing lots of music, but Keep Going is one not to be missed. "
Lap Dance / Table Solos
"Limited to 200 copies on tasty transparent vinyl. Recorded live at a table in front of an audience of five at Stockholm's Bar Brooklyn a few years ago. There were some people at the bar too. True free jazz lap dance, man."
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"
Made To Break Buenos Aires 2018
"Designed by our very own Federico Peñalva, this poster commemorates Made To Break's 2018 trip to South America!"
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"
" You get all the swing you can imagine, but never in obvious ways, the harmonic constructions are unusually sophisticated, reflecting Bauder’s appreciation of American new music, and the thematic melodies have an elegancy only paralleled by the best pop and folk tunes. Not to mention the improvised interventions, full of drive and spontaneous creativity, precisely what you want from an authentic and committed jazz opus. Yes, you got it: this is a luxury of a record."
"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."
"Two years ago, Gush celebrated 25 year as a group. One of the concerts on the anniversary tour was organized by FRIM/SYD at Inter Arts Center in Malmoe. Konvoj Records were there! Very few things need to be said about Gush. With their abstract compositions, dissonances and free improvisations, they have already found their way into the ears of most of the daring listeners. Gush was a central force in establishing the scene for free improvised music and free jazz in Sweden in the late 80's. The group and its musicians have since continued to strongly affect, mold, deform, develop, embroil and transform both the sound of their music as well as its audience. Konvoj Records are very proud to present a recording of this amazing event in May, 2013! "
The Vandermark Five, Green Mill, 2005
"This beautiful poster from Dan Grzeca is an artifact from The Vandermark Five's two-night stand at the Green Mill in 2005, available in very limited quantities, this incredible poster from an incredible artist is not one to be missed!"
Then & Now
"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."
Mats Gustafsson and Jason Adasiewicz
""From the very beginning the atmosphere brings to mind the soundtracks of French film noir classics. Most of the pieces are incredibly slow, quiet, even tender and surprisingly tuneful. ... At the end of the day the music evokes an alternative kind of tension, one with a different kind of energy, one with less volume, one with a bigger focus on restraint. Gustafsson and Adasiewicz explore more subtle dynamics and moods, which are still full of passion and intensity." - Martin Schray"
Torturing the Saxophone
""The title of the CD comes from Robert Crumb, the famous comics artist and collector of old shellacs. Gustafsson sent the CD to him and Crumb’s puzzled response are the liner notes for the album. (“I was kind of shocked at what a negative, unpleasant experience it was, listening to it. I had to take it off long before it reached the end”). Poor Mr Crumb, how could you listen so hard the wrong way? How could you miss the beauty underneath? But reading his lines notes in which he expresses his confused feelings are just the icing on the cake of a great album." - Martin Schray"