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by John Eyles
Studio-recorded in London in July 2017, Blasphemious Fragments brings together an appealing improvising trio comprising vocalist Phil Minton, saxophonist John Butcher and percussionist Gino Robair. For Butcher, the trio reacquaints him with players he has known for decades; he and Minton recorded Two Concerts (FMP) together as far back as 1995, in a trio with German jazz guitarist Erhard Hirt; the two were half of the Phil Minton Quartet that recorded Mouthfull of Ecstasy (Les Disques Victo, 1996), inspired by ...read more
by Eyal Hareuveni
Composer, ethnomusicologist, educator and saxophonist Andrew Raffo Dewar studied and worked with some of the most forward-thinking and innovative musicians and composers such as Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon and Alvin Lucier. So it is only natural that his work expands on their compositional ideas and focuses on invented forms, experimenting with new sounds and an expansion of a tradition of experimentalism bridging the worlds of free jazz, free improvisation and contemporary music. Raffo's Interactions ...read more
by John Eyles
The partnership of John Butcher and Gino Robair dates back to 1997, their first joint release appearing soon after. It is some years since they released their last duo recording-- New Oakland Burr (Rastascan, 2004)--but Robair was part of Butcher's seven-piece group, which recorded somethingtobesaid (Weight of Wax, 2009) at the Huddersfield Festival in 2008. Now comes Apophenia, a radio recording originating from KFJC, California, in October 2009. That source may explain its relative brevity--it just tops twenty-eight minutes. It ...read more
by Clifford Allen
Percussionist Gino Robair's Rastascan label, based in the Bay Area, has long been a sort of outpost for non-idiomatic improvisation in the US, recording groups like the Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton Trio, German reedman Wolfgang Fuchs, saxophonist John Butcher and guitarist Derek Bailey. Robair studied with AMM percussionist Eddie Prevost in England, as well as composition with Anthony Braxton and Lou Harrison in the United States. In his approach to selected and unselected" drums (to quote drummer Paul Lovens), cymbals ...read more
by Mark Corroto
From the files of what would Miles Davis be doing if he were alive today, and it isn't scratching at the lid of his coffin, comes the mixed/remixed recording from the San Francisco Bay Area band of Dave Barrett, Myles Boisen, and Gino Robair aka The Splatter Trio.
Formed in 1987, The Splatter Trio became the West Coast version of John Zorn's various New York Downtown bands. Freed of the NY sphere of influence, its music ...read more
by AAJ Staff
By Ken Waxman
Part of the accelerating interchange between experimental musicians from Europe and the United States, multi-reedman Wolfgang Fuchs of Berlin has become a regular transatlantic commuter. Known for his leadership of the King Ãœbü Orchestrü and the all-reed Holz Für Europa group, Fuchs heads even further out on Six Fuchs. That's a geographic reference--for the CD was recorded in California's Bay Area during a productive visit by Fuchs in 2003.
On Six Fuchs, the bass clarinetist and sopranino ...read more
by Andrey Henkin
Japanese art’s most famous series is perhaps its “Views of Mount Fuji” by the woodblock artist Hokusai. In the series, he portrays the mountain from various locations in Japan; in certain cases as the prominent subject of the work; in others a distant point in the background of a teahouse or lake scene. One is swept up the beauty of the composition and the importance of context, even to something as large as a mountain. The international ...read more
by Mark Corroto
Musician and producer Gino Robair organized this recording shortly after the 1998 Dreamin’ California Festival in Palermo. The participants assembled in varying duos and trios to record short improvisational pieces, playing everything from traditional instruments to styrofoam and something called ‘The Bug.’
As you can guess, the results are a mixed bag of music making... something for everyone, except maybe Tony Bennett fans.
While the Palermo born saxophonist Gianni Gebbia only plays on seven ...read more
by Mark Corroto
It's never clear how to approach the music of Anthony Braxton. His intellectual compositions with their numbered" names and mechanical drawings often call for Graham Lock's Forces In Motion book (Da Capo 1988) in one hand and a Ouija board in the other. But then Braxton comes at you playing furious piano (in a similar manner as fellow saxophonist Charles Gayle) and logic falls under waves of pure adrenaline. Digging into liner notes penned by the man himself reminds me ...read more
by Robert Spencer
Morphological Echo, the Rova saxophone quartet's twentieth-anniversary release consists of a 1989 New Year's Eve recording and one track from 1992. The 1989 piece is the bravura Maintaining the Web Under Less Than Obvious Circumstances," a six-part meta-suite which takes up 32 of this disc's 47 minutes. Rova's strengths are deployed here to dazzling effect: top-notch instrumentalism, passionate intensity and quiet fire, extraordinarily subtle and skillful ensemble passages. Individual voices emerge, combine with others, separate out again, and melt back ...read more