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Henry Kaiser - Ed Pettersen: We Call All Times Soon

Read "We Call All Times Soon" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Listening to these experimental guitar duets may relegate daily life to an out of sight, out of mind condition. Thus, world-renowned avant-garde guitarist Henry Kaiser is also noted for his TV and film scores. And adventurous genre-hopping artist Ed Pettersen uses an 8-string Weissenborn-style lap steel guitar to help fuse an oscillating soundtrack for one's psyche on this captivating studio effort. Whereas, Kaiser's 19-string harp guitar work generates a constant flow of reverberating soundscapes, as the duo renders a spellbinding ...

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Henry Kaiser: Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets

Read "Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets" reviewed by Roger Farbey

There a real Smörgåsbord of pieces on Henry Kaiser's Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets. They are stylistically varied improvisational vignettes ranging from the eccentric “Three Languages" with Fred Frith to the heavy electric blues of “A Mighty Fire" with Knut Reiersrud. There's also prog(-ish) rock on “Harmony Jam" with Nels Cline and there's a kind of electronic serialism on “All Aboard For Futureseville" with Jim O'Rourke. For sheer sublimity though, “The Distant Thunder" would be hard to beat, Debashish Bhattacharaya ...

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Tania Chen, Henry Kaiser, Wadada Leo Smith, William Winant: Ocean of Storms

Read "Ocean of Storms" reviewed by Troy Dostert

In between stints as a videographer of below-ice underwater regions in Antarctica, guitarist Henry Kaiser maintains a remarkably busy agenda as an improvising musician. Here he's joined by Wadada Leo Smith, an occasional partner going back to their mutual connection with Eugene Chadbourne in the 1970s and later collaboration on their Yo Miles! album from 1998. Pianist Tania Chen and percussionist William Winant, both of whom have recently worked with Kaiser as well (on Megasonic Chapel, from 2015), round out ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics

Read "Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics" reviewed by John Eyles

The Balance Point Acoustics label was set up by double bassist Damon Smith in 2001 to document his own music. In the years since, the label has issued a steady stream of recordings, most featuring Smith. Significantly, the first of the label's releases not to include the bassist was the 2006 Henry Kaiser solo album Domo Arigato Derek-Sensei!, a tribute to Derek Bailey who was recently deceased at the time; Kaiser and Bailey had first recorded together as early as ...

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Henry Kaiser - Damon Smith - Weasel Walter: Plane Crash Two

Read "Plane Crash Two" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This album was created shortly after experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser's large ensemble collaboration with fabled Brit guitarist Ray Russell The Celestial Squid (Cuneiform, 2015), as Plane Crash Two marks the second installment of the trio's unadulterated free improvisation exploits. Here, three longtime associates generate that special synergy required to pull it off. Regardless of tempo or pitch, the musicians expand, contract and generate call and response patterns via microsecond-like reactions amid the ensuing developments. The program is consummated ...

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Henry Kaiser & Ray Russell: The Celestial Squid

Read "The Celestial Squid" reviewed by Troy Collins

The Celestial Squid is an unprecedented summit meeting between two renowned guitarists: legendary British session ace Ray Russell and idiosyncratic Bay Area experimentalist Henry Kaiser. Although best known as a veteran studio musician, Russell's groundbreaking early records revealed a penchant for unbridled free jazz, culminating in his 1971 masterpiece Rites and Rituals (CBS). Since then, Russell has enjoyed a lucrative freelance career, working with artists ranging from Gil Evans to David Bowie, but other than a few recent fusion-oriented endeavors, ...

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Henry Kaiser and Ray Russell: The Celestial Squid

Read "The Celestial Squid" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Jazz fusion guitarist Ray Russell and polystylistic experimentalist Henry Kaiser have never previously recorded together. Kaiser's recorded output is prodigious whereas Russell's is more modest. His debut album Turn Circle(1968) was swiftly followed by a clutch of critically acclaimed but more challenging ones such as Dragon Hill (1969) and Secret Asylum (1973) prior to Russell changing tack to more fusion based recordings. It is these “challenging" works to which The Celestial Squid invites most comparison. “Gutken Limpo" opens ...

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Kiku Day / Henry Kaiser: Zen Kaiju

Read "Zen Kaiju" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Berkeley-based experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser has gained a justified reputation for his eclectic tastes and the way that he fuses his influences into an idiosyncratic guitar style. He began playing the guitar after listening to seminal free-improv guitarist Derek Bailey and has a deep knowledge of the Grateful Dead's musical journeys, as well as the 1970s electric-era of Miles Davis, as documented in the three volumes of his Yo Miles! band with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. He also has a ...

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Henry Kaiser / Charles K. Noyes / Song Won Park: Invite the Spirit 2006

Read "Invite the Spirit 2006" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

What was remarkable about the first Invite the Spirit record by the trio of guitarist Henry Kaiser, percussionist Charles K. Noyes and San Won Park (who plays the Korean kayagum, a twelve-stringed zither-like instrument) was how neatly they subsumed Asian traditions with the Western avant-garde. On the trio's second record, they more or less do the same, but some 23 years have passed and traditions have evolved. And in a sense, it's a misnomer to call it ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Henry Kaiser/Wadada Leo Smith Yo Miles!: Sky Garden

Read "Sky Garden" reviewed by John Kelman

With Miles Davis' electric period finally gaining the credit it deserves, the number of groups recording everything from “music-informed-by" to flat-out tributes is almost too large to count. Everyone from Dave Douglas to George Schuller has, in some shape or form, created works influenced by Miles' electric excursions. But when guitarist Henry Kaiser and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith released Yo Miles! back in '98, it was clear that the bar had been raised. Without losing site of their own distinctive ...


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