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Album Review

Oliver Schwerdt: Fucking Ballads

Read "Fucking Ballads" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Pianist Oliver Schwerdt's Fucking Ballads is not just an album title; it is a declaration of sonic defiance, a rallying cry for those who dare to challenge the status quo. The juxtaposition of the genteel term “ballads" with the bold expletive “fucking" sets the stage for a musical escapade that is as cheeky as it is profound. From the opening notes of the album, Schwerdt and his ensemble are on a mission to disrupt the conventions of jazz. ...

Album Review

Evan Parker - Barry Guy: So It Goes

Read "So It Goes" reviewed by John Sharpe

Two masters who have invented a (the?) lexicon for their instruments meet on So It Goes. British saxophonist Evan Parker and his compatriot bassist Barry Guy should need no introduction to anyone interested in European free improvisation. Both active since the 1970s, they remain vital forces even with as they both move into their eighth decade. Their association was formalized in 1980 with the inception of the long running trio completed by drummer Paul Lytton. But they have also appeared ...

Album Review

Barry Guy Blue Shroud Band: all this this here

Read "all this this here" reviewed by John Sharpe

Bassist and composer Barry Guy combines a number of his passions on All This This Here in a stunning act of synthesis. For the third major work for his Blue Shroud Band, following its eponymous debut (Intakt, 2016) and Odes And Meditations For Cecil Taylor (Not Two, 2018), Guy sets to music Nobel winning playwright Samuel Beckett's last poem What Is The Word (in two versions, both the original French and the English translation, which bookend the program).

Live Review

Genius Loci 2023

Read "Genius Loci 2023" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Genius Loci 2023 Firenze Complesso Monumentale di Santa Croce 28-30.9.2023 Come ormai accade da sei anni, gli splendidi e suggestivi spazi che circondano la Chiesa fiorentina di Santa Croce --nella quale, come noto, si trovano le spoglie di numerosi artisti e personaggi storici--si sono aperti per ospitare Genius Loci, due giorni di incontri, attività e spettacoli aperti al pubblico, con il contributo, oltre che dell'Opera di Santa Croce, del Comune di Firenze, di associazioni ...

Album Review

Barry Guy: Irvin's Comet

Read "Irvin's Comet" reviewed by John Sharpe

Unaccompanied might just be the best format in which to appreciate British bassist Barry Guy's playing. This way there are no distractions, no other virtuosi vying for attention. That is often an issue. Although his discography contains occasional solo dates, they are far outnumbered by the entries for the trio with saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Paul Lytton, other groups and ad hoc meetings. Irvin's Comet, available as an LP or download, helps reduce the deficit by presenting six solo ...

Album Review

Nate Wooley / Liudas Mockunas / Barry Guy / Arkadijus Gotesmanas: Nox

Read "Nox" reviewed by John Sharpe

Nox presents a four-piece uniting two of Lithuania's finest improvisers, reedman Liudas Mockunas and drummer Arkadijus Gotesmanas, with two world class instrumentalists, trumpeter Nate Wooley and bassist Barry Guy. Recorded at the 2019 Improdimensions Festival in Vilnius, the limited edition LP (also available as a download) contains three collectively sculpted tracks, demonstrating a unity of purpose which belies their off-the-wall genesis. Gotesmanas' spare non-metric clatter and acute punctuation plays a defining role, enabling a transparent sound which ...

Album Review

Oliver Schwerdt with Barry Guy and Günter ‘Baby’ Sommer: One for My Baby and One More for the Bass

Read "One for My Baby and One More for the Bass" reviewed by Troy Dostert

There aren't many musicians who've loomed larger in European free improvisation since the 1970s than bassist Barry Guy and percussionist Günter 'Baby' Sommer. In addition to their own work as leaders (the former having much more of a presence in this regard than the latter, admittedly), each has collaborated with the heavyweights of the free music scene, from Peter Brötzmann to Evan Parker to Cecil Taylor. Yet the two had never performed together, until up-and-coming pianist Oliver Schwerdt invited them ...


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