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DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Im Pavillon

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Phil Minton / dieb13 Im Pavillon PanRec 2013 The mini DVD feature the complete duo concert of British vocal artist Phil Minton and Austrian turntables master dieb 13 (aka Dieter Kovačič}, filmed at the Music Unlimited Festival 23, Wels in Austria in November 2009. PanRec, a video label that focuses on jazz and improvised music, already dedicated a whole documentary film to the festival, Unlimited 23 (2011). Minton has been a frequent performer in this festival since its beginning and dieb 13 saw him perform for the first time there.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Okkyung Lee & Phil Minton: Anicca

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Following previous Dancing Wayang releases from the duo of John Edwards and Chris Corsano, and a solo release from Mats Gustaffson (with another from Peter Evans in preparation), the label continues its successful series of freely improvised music with this first recorded meeting of vocalist Phil Minton and cellist Okkyung Lee, recorded at Eastcote Studios in May 2009. As always with the label's releases, Anicca is released as a limited edition on 180gram vinyl, in a beautiful, hand screen-printed, wraparound cover--this one based on an intricate paper cut by Lee herself. Lee and Minton are both highly distinctive ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rhodri Davies / Michel Doneda / Louisa Martin / Phil Minton / Lee Patterson: Midhopestones

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This album was recorded in January 2009 in the church of St. James the Lesser, in the village of Midhopestones near Sheffield, South Yorkshire--hence, its intriguingly uplifting title (incidentally, its track titles refer to other villages or features nearby). Maybe that recording location explains the sense of tranquility and beauty that pervades the music here. It seems as if all five players were on their best behavior as they were in church; everyone gets along well together; there is no rowdiness, no arguing, and no outbursts.

The sounds here are rarely predictable, straightforward or unambiguous. Having listened to this album ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Minton: No Doughnuts in Hand

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This album is the third part of an astonishing trilogy, following A Doughnut In Both Hands (1975-1982) (Emanem, 1998) and A Doughnut In One Hand (FMP, 1998). With its title, Minton seems to have heeded the advice he gave as a track title on In Both Hands--Too Many Doughnuts Make You Ill.

Minton himself notes that, “I would prefer to sing with other people and most of the time that's what I do, but it seems every ten years or so I need to sing a few songs on my own." The nature of these songs is as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Minton Quartet: Slur

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This improvising quartet first came together in the mid '90s recording Mouthfull of Ecstasy (Victo, 1996), which was inspired by author James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake. Although, vocalist Phil Minton has for decades performed with individual members of the quartet, and since 1996 has recorded fine duos with all of them, this is only their second release together. In contrast to that first album, which integrated Joyce's words into the music, this one is entirely without words. Minton's extraordinary voice becomes an instrument like the others, conveying a vast array of emotions and meanings through sound alone. As ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Minton Quartet: Slur

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Phil Minton is virtually alone in blazing a trail for the male vocalist in freely improvised music and this is one of his very infrequent outings as a group leader. In his notes for the accompanying booklet he refers to having toyed with the idea of singing words on this disc. The fact that he could apparently see no point in doing so might just be the thing that makes this music so successful, as the intrusion of words might only have rendered earthbound music that occupies a far more nebulous, more intriguing place.

The subversion of the setting of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Minton & Roger Turner: Ammo

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Upon its initial LP release, this 1984 improvising session turned more than a few heads. And it would take a fertile imagination for one to reconcile the duo's rendition of Monk's “'Round About Midnight with the original, for example. Armed with boyish enthusiasm, the artists pursue a wanton spirit through their surrealistic game plan. Of course, British freestyle vocalist Phil Minton is a well-known improviser since the advent of this date with his fellow countryman, percussionist Roger Turner. But this recording still resides as an attention-grabbing document.

At times Minton hisses like a cat, amid gurgling noises and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jaap Blonk/Koichi Makigami/Paul Dutton/Phil Minton/David Moss: Five Men Singing

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It was a match made in heaven, or rather on earth, at last year's 20th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville. Five vocal artists on one stage--Dutch Jaap Blonk, Japanese Koichi Makigami, Canadian sound poet Paul Dutton, Englishman Phil Minton, and German new music singer David Moss--was indeed one of the highlights of the '03 Victoriaville Festival. Only mad vocalist Mike Patton was missing.

These five men had never performed together on one stage, though they have worked with dozens of improvising musicians. Blonk has collaborated with Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Chicagoan percussionist Michael Zerang and performed with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

poire_z + Phil Minton: q

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More than fifty years on from its birth, electronic music still poses problems for listeners, critics and musicians alike. For listeners, how to relate to it? For critics, how to describe it? For musicians, how to develop it? The quartet known as Poire_z eschews the usual studio tinkering for real-time improvisation, and on q it adds vocal experimentalist Phil Minton. The record's two improvisations were recorded live at the Musique Action festival in Vandoeuvre-les-nancy, France. “w oder q” is a forty-minute exploration of juxtaposed silence and simmering, restrained glitch textures, while “q oder z” clocks in at a mere five ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Minton: A Doughnut In Both Hands

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This is a new release from the venerable EMANEM label which, categorically specializes in Free and Improvised music. The legendary Phil Minton has been a mainstay of the British Free Jazz movement for decades. Here, EMANEM has reissued tracks which originally appeared on Minton’s first solo effort for guitarist Fred Frith’s now defunct, “Rift” label and other tracks emanating from the early 1980’s.

Phil Minton gained considerable attention working with the famed Mike Westbrook Band. His unorthodox phrasing, improvisations and abstract vocal inventions were a perfect match for a burgeoning British avant-garde jazz scene. Minton’s second solo recording “A Doughnut ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Minton: A Doughnut in Both Hands: Solo Singing 1975-1982

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A Doughnut in Both Hands is a collection of material recorded in 1975, 1980, 1981, and 1982. The first fifteen tracks were originally released in 1981, as Minton's first solo album; the last six were recorded at the same time or shortly thereafter, but not released until now.

What is this, “Solo Singing 1975-1982"?

Well, I put this disc on, and Phil Minton started yelling at me: “Heheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyooooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeh!" I thought, great. Fifty six-minutes of this? But in a second he was making the slightest, most delicate sound, then going back to the yell, then some lower register sounds, and high ...



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