CD/LP/Track Review


Frank Lowe: Out Loud

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The year separating Thanksgivings of 2013 and 2014 has abounded in historic reissues and discoveries. There are several from idiosyncratic bandleader Sun Ra in addition to ones from saxophonists John Coltrane, Clifford Jordan and Charles Lloyd. And of course there are such gems as the third volume of trumpeter Miles Davis' Fillmore bootlegs and clarinetist/saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre's New York Concerts on Elemental Music. Among such wealth it would be easy to overlook the limited edition, vinyl only release of saxophonist and flutist Frank Lowe's Out Loud. The never before heard pair of recordings from 1974 features Lowe's working ...


Wooley - Rempis - Niggenkemper - Corsano: From Wolves To Whales

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Heavy-duty improvisers, saxophonist Dave Rempis and trumpeter Nate Wooley comprise a union of Chicago and New York artists who share a similar vision. Thus, From Wolves To Whales marks the quartet's debut album. As anticipated, the musicians delve deep into the outside schema of jazz amid a largely aggressive mode of attack. With hustling cadences, energized soloing and all the customary trimmings, the band acutely morphs the improv platform with semi-structured song-forms. And while the free jazz connotations are intact, there's much more happening under the covers. Hence, the program is not rigidly centered on incessant soloing escapades and asymmetrical ...


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 pianist, Austrian Karin Schistek performs with great focus and precision, letting the piano's resonating sonorities blossom organically to emphasiza a ...


Stefano Leonardi / Stefano Pastor / Fridolin Blumer / Heinz Geisser: Conversations about Thomas Chapin

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American saxophonist and flautist Thomas Chapin left the planet too soon, on February 13th, 1998 after a year-long battle with leukemia, when he was only forty years old. His inspiring spirit lives on, as the heartfelt tribute by Italian flautist Stefano Leonardi proves. Leonardi doesn't attempt to recreate the sorely missed Chapin's sound, or the unique, powerful interplay of his bands, mainly the trio with double bassist Marivo Pavone and drummer Michael Sarin, though it is obvious that Leonardi is well-versed in Chapin's discography, and acknowledges his legacy. Music, for Chapin as well as Leonardi, is about immediate, open communication, ...


Wally Schnalle: Idiot Fish

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For his ninth album as leader, and with over 40 years of experience at the kit, drummer-composer Wally Schnalle has pulled out all the stops. Working sound bytes into delicate infusions of soul, jazz, and electronica, Schnalle nourishes an integrated field of sound that at once evokes seventies nostalgia and progressive futurism. Toward achieving this effect, he employs the skills of a prodigious trio of West Coast musicians. Guitarist Hristo Vitchev, bassist Joe Constantini, and keyboardist Frank Martin make for a formidable combination of fire and cool. “Market Fresh" sets the stage for the album's tasteful ...


Nenad Vasilic: The Art of the Balkan Bass

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Solo playing routinely interrogates virtually every assumption one can have about music and its function. It is also the most demanding discipline in improvised music. Here, none of the well known clichés apply: there are no “dialogues," no “sparring" or contention with a partner, no call and response. So far, there has been a plethora of pianists, keyboardists, guitarists, violinists, harpists who have the wherewithal to accompany themselves, either harmonically and/or rhythmically, and to play countermelodies or contrasting lines. Sometimes solo playing is mere display, sometimes it is a kind of cleansing exercise aimed to rid the music of dependency ...


Fabio Delvò: Rastplatz

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I became aware of Fabio Delvo's music via his recordings with guitarist Jeff Platz. Platz has an ear for first-rate musicianship, and his recordings with lesser-known European musicians such as Delvo, Jan Klare, and Meinrad Kneer have been nothing short of revelatory. The title of Delvo's second album as a leader, Rastplatz, isn't a tribute to the Boston-based plectrist. Instead, it refers to the concept of a highway rest stop. Like a lot of musicians, Delvo travels a lot by car; all over Europe. The bulk of Rastplatz was conceived during these trips, often taken in the ...

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