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George Spanos: Dreams Beyond

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Drummer George Spanos' exodus from Greece to New York City has resulted in a speedy indoctrination into its fertile nu-jazz scene, performing at The Stone and other popular venues with notables such as electronics wiz Ikue Mori and cellist Erik Friedlander. But Spanos has made the rounds in Europe and Canada, where disparate influences have cultivated his musical persona, evidenced on the rebel rousing and experimental Dreams Beyond, enacted with alternating personnel. The album opens with a trio ...


Jess Rowland: Spambots

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San Francisco-based sound artist, synthesist and commissioned composer Jess Rowland assembles a freaky android-like aural fest via text-to-speech loops, cyclical narrations and perhaps modern era Beat poetry atop supercharged electronics and dissimilar tonalities. Running at LP length, Rowland and drummer Pete Stalsky don't overcook matters. Her overlapping narrations, sometimes built on short phrases and a mélange of effects ride above the drummer's staggered cadences. Yet the duo intersperses crunching distortion and electro-mechanical type sounds into the mix. Rowland ...


Natural Artefacts: California Connection

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Keyboardist Susanna Lindeborg and her Swedish band-mates form a bond with San Francisco Bay Area musicians, percussionist and electronics performer Gino Robair and electronics denizen Tim Perkis on this venturesome set recorded live at UC Berkeley and in the studio. As the Natural Artefacts band originated when Lindeborg and her longtime musical partner, saxophonist Ove Johansson collaborated with fellow countryman, composer and electronics ace Per Anders Nilsson. Many of these pieces are titled after California bridges that underscore ...


Atomic: Lucidity

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There's an inference on this Norwegian ensemble's webpage bio that its blend of free-jazz and dynamic mode of operations is the antithesis to their fellow countrymen's largely quaint or ethereal jazz output evidenced on ECM Records, for example. However, it's not that these innuendos or tenets are viewed as negatives, but the highly respected musicians comprising Atomic have been vigorously pushing the envelope since 2000. They are restless spirits who dish out a horde of cleverly arranged tonal ...


The Urge Trio: Live in Toledo

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Swiss reedman and noted improviser Christopher Erb performs with likeminded Chicago cohorts, cellist Tomeka Reid and reedman Keefe Jackson, captured during the final gig of their 2013 US tour at the Robinwood Concert House in Toledo, OH. Hence, they vibrantly interact and create a predominately stark or perhaps naked soundscape, devised on minimalism, pathos, probing dialogues and bizarre manipulations of their respective instruments. Reid often operates at the mid-point, as Jackson and Erb toggle between bass clarinet and ...


Mikko Innanen with William Parker and Andrew Cyrille: Song For A New Decade

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Finnish multi-reedman Mikko Innanen (Delirium, TUMO) is not short on ideas, here on this bracing 2-CD set recorded in New York with the all-universe rhythm section of bassist William Parker (CD-1 only) and drummer Andrew Cyrille. A fresh voice on the Euro progressive jazz scene, Innanen has imparted his skills amid collaborations with jazz and improvising stalwarts, drummer Han Bennink, saxophonist Frank Gratkowski and a horde of other notables. But young artists often rise to the occasion when performing with ...


Devin Sinha: The Seventh Season

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A resident of Seattle, WA, singer/songwriter Devin Sinha's Midwestern upbringing casts a folkish muse, paralleled by the rustic album cover artwork illustrating a wheat field and weather worn fence. But Sinha incorporates a touch of the forever hip Pacific Northwest Indie rock panorama as he poses an articulate view of life's experiences, here on his second solo outing. Sinha's straight-forward delivery integrated with yearning melodic overtones project an aura that he's lived the life portrayed via the lyrics ...


Rick Wakeman and The English Rock Ensemble: Out Of The Blue

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Rick Wakeman (Yes, Strawbs) and Keith Emerson (The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer) were among the primary catalysts of the infant 70s progressive rock scene and helped elevate the genre into a viable art-form, steeped in multifaceted electro-acoustic components with a concentrated focus on superior musicianship. With dazzling virtuosity and heavy use of Moog synths, complementing his use of acoustic piano, Wakeman continues to apply his magic within various prog-oriented flavors and shapes. Wakeman's symphonic prog rock insignia ...


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