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Album Review

Anna Webber: Shimmer Wince

Read "Shimmer Wince" reviewed by John Sharpe

There is often an underlying rigor to the work of Canadian saxophonist and flautist Anna Webber, be that inspiration from the digital world on Binary (Skirl, 2016), her investigation of multiphonic intervals on Idiom (Pi, 2021) or contemporary classical percussion repertoire on Clockwise (Pi, 2020). On Shimmer Wince, she derives her compositions from her study of Just Intonation, a system which many believe offers a more “pure" way of tuning and allows greater timbral and sonic possibilities ...

Album Review

Trance Map+: Etching the Ether

Read "Etching the Ether" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

"Trance Map+" is a collaborative project involving some incredibly talented musicians exploring the realms of avant-garde jazz and experimental sounds. Etching the Ether features three extended pieces, treated with Matthew Wright's live electronics and sound design. It is a production that embarks on a sonic journey, pushing the boundaries of improvisation and musical exploration.The album delves into intricate soundscapes, where each track is an evolving entity. The musicians known for their prowess in improvisation, create an enticing tapestry ...

Album Review

Sylvie Courvoisier: Chimaera

Read "Chimaera" reviewed by Troy Dostert

It says something about pianist Sylvie Courvoisier's current profile in creative jazz that she could assemble such a distinguished ensemble for her latest release, Chimaera. Augmenting her usual trio of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen are trumpeters Wadada Leo Smith and Nate Wooley, and with the always interesting Christian Fennesz completing the group on guitar and electronics, one would expect extraordinary results. And so they are--worthy of a lengthy, two-CD treatment, in fact. Courvoisier's work with ...

Album Review

Anna Webber: Shimmer Wince

Read "Shimmer Wince" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Some mechanical wristwatches have clear faces which allow the owner to observe the inner workings of the marvelous object. It is a wonder just how the timepiece utilizes its mainspring and gear train to drive the harmonic oscillator which keeps near perfect time. The same can be said of composer, saxophonist and flautist Anna Webber's investigation into unique tunings using the overtone series known as Just Intonation (JI). It is an ancient system based on the natural vibration of physical ...

Album Review

Angelika Niescier, Tomeka Reid and Savannah Harris: Beyond Dragons

Read "Beyond Dragons" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Fans of alto saxophonist Angelika Niescier already know her to be one of the most exciting voices on her instrument--someone who can shift instantly from pensive reveries to tempestuous maelstroms. And she has worked with a growing list of top-shelf partners, including drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Chris Tordini, both of whom appeared on her excellent Berlin Concert (Intakt Records, 2018), and drummer Gerald Cleaver and trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, who joined Tordini and Niescier on her New York Trio (Intakt ...

Album Review

Ingrid Laubrock: Monochromes

Read "Monochromes" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Saxophonist & composer Ingrid Laubrock and her partner, drummer Tom Rainey self-released an ongoing series of spontaneous duets, the Stir Crazy Episodes, recorded during the pandemic lockdown. They were most likely a kind of pressure release mechanism for both artists. With Monochromes, Laubrock heads in the opposite direction by commissioning four musicians to pre-record tape pieces based on her notations, both conventional and graphical; these form the foundations for Laubrock and three different collaborations to improvise over. The single 40-minute ...

Album Review

Evan Parker / Matthew Wright, Trance Map+ with Peter Evans and Mark Nauseef: Etching the Ether

Read "Etching the Ether" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Humans have seemingly always feared new technologies. We're not even talking about AI and ChatGPT. When the first electric light bulb was invented, folks worried it would end civilization as they knew it. Artificial light certainly changed how late one stayed up at night. On the other hand, it also allowed people to find their keys after the sun had set. Any new technology can be either a master or a servant, a tool or a tyrant. The programmable drum ...

Album Review

Andrew Cyrille: Music Delivery / Percussion

Read "Music Delivery / Percussion" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If Andrew Cyrille were a painter, he'd be Georges Seurat. If he were a poet, E. E. Cummings; a Tour de France Champion, Jacque Anqutiel; or a writer, Ian McEwan. The above masters are mentioned because Cyrille shares a command of colors, efficiency, grace, and language with his instrument equal to doyens in other disciplines. His solo outing Music Delivery / Percussion is not his first solo drums and percussion disc. He released What About? (BYG Records, 1960) and The ...

Album Review

Alexander Hawkins Trio With Neil Charles And Stephen Davis: Carnival Celestial

Read "Carnival Celestial" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The laws of probability dictate that if three musicians spend enough time together a trio recording will eventually arise. Pianist Alexander Hawkins, bassist Neil Charles and drummer Stephen Davis have clocked up many a road mile since forming in 2012. They have also recorded together in various settings, notably on the Alexander Hawkins/Elaine Mitchener album UpRoot (Intakt, 2017), with Anthony Braxton on Quartet (Standards) 2020 (New Braxton House, 2021) and on Alexander Hawkins/Mirror Cannon's Break a Vase (Intakt, 2022), which ...

Album Review

Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet: As Things Do

Read "As Things Do" reviewed by Troy Dostert

The Elusion Quartet has become one of bassist Michael Formanek's more formidable ensembles, even if it is a more recent project than his long- standing work with Tomas Fujiwara and Mary Halvorson in Thumbscrew, or the many recordings he has made with prominent saxophonists ranging from Tim Berne to Marty Ehrlich and Ellery Eskelin. Although As Things Do is only the second release by the group, it is a superb album in every respect and a strong contender for year-end ...

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