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LIVE REVIEWS

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at the Fillmore Auditorium, Denver

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Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters Fillmore Auditorium Denver October 4, 2014 Robert Plant's new album, Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar (Nonesuch, 2014), is an atmospheric affair; music suitable for horseback riding at twilight in misty woods while on the lookout for the Headless Horseman. Perhaps the Led Zeppelin tune most closely matching the feel for many of the songs on the new album is “No Quarter." So it was entirely appropriate that Plant ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

sPacemoNkey: The Karman Line

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According to Wikipedia, the Kármán Line ..."lies at an altitude of 100 kilometres (62 mi) above the Earth's sea level, and commonly represents the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space." It's as good a name as any for the debut album from sPacemoNkey, a collaboration by two of Norway's most impressive and increasingly influential musicians, despite still being in their early-to-mid thirties: keyboardist Morten Qvenild and drummer Gard Nilssen. Largely the result of spontaneous composition, with just three of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Space F!ght: Sci-Fi

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Question: what inspires a band called Space F!ght to create a recording called Sci-Fi? Answer: the works of classic science fiction writers such as Isaac Asimov. Question: will such inspirations result in music that's worth listening to, music that excites, that bears repeated listening, that's enjoyable? Answer: yes. Radek Rudnicki, Space F!ght's leader, composer and driving force, holds a PhD in digital composition from York University and has collaborated musically with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

sPacemoNkey: The Karman Line

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sPacemoNkey is the duo project of Norwegian keyboards player Morten Qvenild, known from other innovative Norwegian bands as In The Country, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra and by his continuous work with vocalist Solveig Slettahjell, and drummer Gard Nilssen, one of the busiest musicians in the vibrant Norwegian scene, who plays in such outfits as Bushman's Revenge, AstroSonic, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and in the band of vocalist Susanne Sundfør. The two met in the recording of trumpeter Mathias Eick's Skala, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Land Space: Suenos

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The members of Land Space know how to create memorable riffs and compelling solo statements, as demonstrated throughout this all-original program, but that isn't what makes this Barceona-based foursome's music unique. Land Space's ability to create dynamic arcs, with varying degrees of intensity within its well-paced pieces, is what makes this band stand out from the rest. Suenos is a Spanish word for “dreams" and, while this music never gets sleepy, overly ethereal or completely surreal, it ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Free Space / Otherways: Life Amid The Artefacts

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Free Space / OtherwaysLife Amid The ArtefactsEmanem2011 (1973, 1984) 2010-11 has been a fruitful period for releases highlighting London improvisation in the mid-1970s, with Teatime, previously only issued on vinyl on Incus, getting its first CD issue, as well as More 74 (Incus, 2010) featuring recently discovered recordings by guitarist Derek Bailey. The Emanem label is also sitting on a previously unissued concert recording from 1972 by Iskra 1903, but its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Otherways and Free Space: Life Amid the Artefacts

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The music of Otherways and Free Space unfurls throughout Life Among the Artefacts at a consistently high crest of improvisation during unselfconscious, unguarded moments when the musicians were, quite simply, being extensions of their instruments. They were forces of nature and allowed the music to tumble freely, incorporating songs which had internal combustion mechanisms that were all their own. As a result, the library of music was enriched when the literature of music and the linguistics of humanity collided. If ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Prophetz of Time and Space: String Theory

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Steve Vasconcellos sure knows how to pick them. With a core group including legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Jerry Goodman, Weather Report drummer Leon “Ndugu Chancler, in-demand LA saxophone ace Brandon Fields and Miles Davis percussionist Munyungo Jackson, the bassist's five year-old Prophetz of Time and Space has plenty of potential as an approachable but uncompromising contemporary electric jazz group. String Theory meets its promise head-on, and the disc will appeal to those who like their fusion on the lighter side. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fire of Space: Handbasket

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Artfully blending world musics within a jazz context, Jordan McLean has lent his articulate trumpet to ethnic aggregations such as the Sway Machinery and Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. For his first release as a leader, he guides this unique nonet, Fire of Space, through original compositions that alternate funky dance music with open space invocations filling his new Handbasket with plenty of colors. Reeds abound and the nine instruments allow for singular voicings that, along with McLean's horn, include Michael Herbst's ...


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