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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove / Peter Jacquemyn / Damon Smith: Burns Longer

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This unique, ad-hoc trio features Belgian master pianist Fred Van Hove, one of the architects of European free improvised music and close collaborator of influential European improvisers such as German reed man Peter Brötzmann, late bassist Peter Kowald, Dutch drummer Han Bennink, fellow countryman and double bassist (and sculptor) Peter Jacquemyn. Both of them rarely recorded in recent years with prolific American double bassist Damon Smith, who initiated this meeting and is influenced by the European approach to free improvisation. The three dense and conversational improvisations were recorded in L'Archiduc art gallery in Brussels on Easter ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alvin Fielder / David Dove / Jason Jackson / Damon Smith: From-To-From

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This quartet represents a meeting of generations and their approaches to jazz and improvised music. The quartet resembles such early free jazz units as the New York Art Quartet or the Archie Shepp--Roswell Rudd Quartet. Veteran drummer Alvin Fielder--the eldest member, with an encyclopedic knowledge of modern jazz drumming--is known for his extensive collaborations with saxophonist Kidd Jordan, bassist William Parker and trumpeter Dennis González; double bassist Damon Smith studied contemporary music and free improvisation with renowned bass players Lisle Ellis, Bertram Turetzky and Peter Kowald; trombonist David Dove is the director of the Houston--based Nameless Sound educational series, which ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter: Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter

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This uncompromising set of free improvisation challenges the very basic concepts of what music is. As seminal improvising guitarist Henry Kaiser writes in his illuminating liner notes: “forget about melody, harmony and rhythm for the moment and listen to everything else that you can hear going on." And there is much going on in terms of structural, timbral, spatial and conceptual complexity in these eight non-idiomatic, on-the-spot improvisations. Houston-based Sandy Ewen experiments with the electric guitar with various enhancements and preparations, as well as contributing art work to the booklet and cover; prolific improvisers, bassist Damon Smith ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Weasel Walter / Henry Kaiser / Damon Smith: Plane Crash

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Power trio or acoustic sensitives? This album shuffles both manifestations and mostly decides to alternate the settings, allowing torn ears some peace following each eruptive onslaught. Surely this must be guitarist Henry Kaiser's most extreme recording, in terms of decibel achievement? His rabid emissions build a wall of Black Metal doom-chundering, a pinnacle of sludge detrimetalism. Damon Smith's grime-bass traverses the tonal range past cello and even as high as the violin, bowing, dexterously plucking, as if eternally questing for the very nature of string stress magnification, dark powders blooming into the night. Weasel Walter's drum strafes are sympathetically bludgeoning. ...



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