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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Anna Webber: Simple

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If things aren't just right, listening to complicated music can be like doing your taxes. There has to be chemistry, there has to be a narrative, and--even though you don't know what's coming next--the music's got to be on. The players have to be free to speak in a new language; often one divorced from the world of spang-a-lang and rhythm changes. This is the case on Anna Webber's new recording, Simple. Don't let the title fool you! Ms. Webber, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Variable Density Sound Orchestra: Evolving Strategies

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The constituent parts of guitarist Garrison Fewell's Variable Density Sound Orchestra shifted gradually between its eponymous inception (Creative Nation, 2008) and sophomore effort on Sound Particle 47 (Creative Nation, 2010). Inevitably there will be further changes in the future if the unit continues, as both trumpeter Roy Campbell and reedman John Tchicai have passed on since the session which yielded Evolving Strategies in January 2012. Such losses will make a big difference as the group has developed a distinctive ethos ...

LIVE REVIEWS

ICP Orchestra Plus Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley at FringeArts

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ICP Orchestra FringeArts Ars Nova Workshops Philadelphia, PA January 11, 2015 Despite a cold and damp Sunday night in January, a packed house came to hear a stellar group of musicians from the Netherlands for a performance at the FringeArts Center in the Old City section of town. This collective of seasoned and versatile musicians call themselves the ICP or Instant Composers Pool, and they embody guitarist Jim Hall's broad definition of jazz ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Where Is Home: Janel & Anthony and Palo Colorado Dream: Anthony Pirog

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Modern era guitar heroes such as Nels Cline, Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell are expressive stylists, possessing distinct ways of conveying a narrative amid branded and well-defined stylizations. No need to compare, but from a fundamental standpoint, these gents and other elite craftsmen bear the goods that often transcend the norm or anticipated methods of spinning a tune or two. However, members of the elite are students of more than one genre. They absorb the merits of Americana, classical, jazz, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Timothy Daisy: October Music (Vol. 1) 7 Compositions For Duet

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In 2001 drummer Tim Daisy replaced Tim Mulvenna in Vandermark 5. From that instant, his career has evolved first as a sideman to composer/saxophonist Ken Vandermark in V5, Bridge 61, Resonance Ensemble, The Frame Quartet, and more recently in Audio One and Made To Break. Next he distinguished himself with fellow Chicago musicians in Dave Rempis' Triage, Percussion Quartet and The Engines, Paul Giallorenzo's Trio, Dragons 1976, James Falzone's Klang, and Kyle Bruckmann's Wrack. As a drummer, like ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Edwards: For Rei As A Doe: For piano and computer

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Michael Edwards is a British composer, based in Edinburgh, who developed a range of musical computer techniques ranging from real-time digital instruments to self-contained, algorithmic environments. His composition for piano and computer For Rei As A Doe, was originally written for Japanese pianist Rei Nakamura and reflects long years of practicing the vipassana meditation. It is a slow and quiet piece, in which silence has an equal role to the piano or subtle, minimalist electronics. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

konstruKt and Joe McPhee: Babylon: The First Meeting of Istanbul

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Taken at face value, konstruKt's catchphrase, “Free Jazz from Turkey," seems a tad pedestrian. But, if one considers Turkey's place in the world-literally the crossing point between Asia and Europe-its crazy-quilt ethnic diversity, and its continued religious and political unrest, it's a fitting metaphor. Oddly, most of the band's recorded output features invited guest artists from the US and Europe. In addition to multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, featured here, konstruKt has collaborated with Evan Parker, Marshall Allen, Peter Brotzmann and Eugene ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Akira Sakata, Giovanni Di Domenico, John Edwards, Steve Noble: Live at Cafe Oto

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Recorded in concert at London's Cafe Oto in January 2014, this album features the kind of cosmopolitan ensemble in which the venue specialises. It brings together veteran Japanese reedsman Akira Sataka and Spanish pianist Giovanni Di Domenico with London's own John Edwards and Steve Noble. The latter pair have virtually become the house bassist and drummer at Cafe Oto, appearing with many visiting musicians, some of whom play at the venue for that very reason. It is no exaggeration to ...



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