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Various Artists: I Never Meta Guitar Three

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Few would be more equipped to produce this series of various guitarists parading their avant-garde stuff other than New York City-based, and world-renown experimental guitar acolyte, Elliot Sharp. This third installment of the ongoing extravaganza showcases the far-flung imaginations of 18 artists, continuously pushing the envelope via a kaleidoscopic presentation sketched with unconventional acoustic-electric tone poems. It's a rousing celebration of oscillating sound designs, fuzz-toned voicings, and startling digressions as each piece tells a distinct story, largely nestled in atypical ...


Mark Wingfield: Proof of Light

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My initial exposure to UK-based guitarist, educator Mark Wingfield occurred via a recommendation to check out Three Windows (Dark Horse Records, 2008), which is an album that demonstrates his astounding virtuosity and unique voice, spanning jazz, fusion and a host of melodious ambient treatments. Many artists and technicians within the perceivable inner circle recognize Wingfield as a force to be reckoned with. Yet with Proof of Light produced by progressive New York City-based Moonjune Records, he should reap the benefits ...


The Pitch: Frozen Orchestra (Amsterdam)

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Frozen Orchestra (Amsterdam) is an appropriate moniker for these two works performed live at an Amsterdam venue by the core Berlin-based quartet The Pitch, with assistance from a combination of six woodwinds and strings performers. With inadvertent semblances to minimalist composer Morton Feldman, the music is largely about ever-so-subtle shifts in sound design and pitch. As a whole, the program is difficult to pigeonhole. Yet the trancelike and undulating attributes tender curiously interesting timbres, abetted by Boris Baltschun's reverberating electric ...


ICP Orchestra: East of the Sun

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The Holland-based Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra has amassed 51 albums since its inception in 1967 and due to health-related issues, legendary co-founder, pianist Misha Mengelberg is unable to perform. But guest artist, pianist Guus Janseen duly integrates his artistry into the orchestra's distinct constitution. And of course inimitable drummer Han Bennink helps support and steer the large ensemble through its perpetually moving currents amid its customary unpredictability and topsy-turvy discourses. As surmised, the artists interconnect free jazz improvisation, folk ...


Jeremy Udden - Nicolas Moreaux: Belleville Project

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While housesitting in France, nascent American jazz saxophonist Jeremy Udden unsuspectingly connected with French bassist Nicolas Moreaux via social media, seeking musicians interested in playing a session. And while Udden has previously blended rock, folk and other genres into his repertoire, the twosome shared a joint interest in amalgamating the jazz vernacular with other idioms. Indeed, the sextet expresses good karma along with splashes of French romanticism and notable inferences toward Americana. Moreover, the program is garnished with the musicians' ...


Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago

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Drummer Jack DeJohnette reunites with his longtime comrades emanating from Chicago's fabled Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founded by pianist Muhal Richard Abrams in 1965. This live outing recorded at Millennium Park in 2013 was part of the Chicago Jazz Festival and signifies the musicians' inaugural performance as a quintet, paralleling the AACM's 50th anniversary. The album as a whole contains the anticipated sensitivities, nu-jazz compositional characterizations and improvisational ingenuity documented or inferred within the ...


James Falzone - The Renga Ensemble: The Room Is

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Enterprising Chicago-based clarinetist James Falzone and a core band of fellow improvisers signal a modern day avant-jazz summit, inspired by the leader's affinity for Renga, which is a Japanese poetic tradition where 2 or more poets work in parallel to produce a new work. Falzone yields dividends by enlisting an ensemble, featuring prominent trailblazers of the modern era's improvising circuit such as Ken Vandermark, Ben Goldberg, Ned Rothenberg and others of note. The performers' inner-workings are implanted within a holistic ...


Odin's Court: Turtles All The Way Down

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Many progressive metal and progressive rock musicians center their thematic underpinnings on interstellar space, Armageddon or social degradation, among other heavy topics. On its 5th release, Maryland-based Odin's Court presents a concept album, relating to a multilateral viewpoint of the universe and a quest for knowledge. Casting similar frameworks undertaken by well-known prog bands such as Dream Theater and Kings X, this unit morphs instances of full throttle metal escapades with melodic overtures. But Odin's Court differentiates its musical persona ...


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