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ALBUM REVIEWS

Tiger Trio: Unleashed

Read "Unleashed" reviewed by John Sharpe

Three leading exponents of their instruments unite on Unleashed. Since their first collaboration in Vancouver in 2009, French bassist Joëlle Léandre and American flutist Nicole Mitchell have enjoyed a simpatico outlook, as evidenced by a clutch of Rogue Art releases including Before After (2011) and Sisters Where (2014), as well as Flowing Stream (Leo, 2014). Joining them on this occasion, pianist Myra Melford fully buys in to the freewheeling collective approach aired in a Paris gallery in early 2016.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joëlle Léandre: A Woman's Work...

Read "A Woman's Work..." reviewed by Mark Corroto

How do you sum up the career of an improvising artist like Joëlle Léandre? Do you reissue a package of recordings from her 40 years of performance? That is probably not possible, given the multiple labels and the location and ownership of the masters. Besides, free improvisation, almost by definition, dissipates (or probably should dissipate) upon performance. Recordings contain only a fraction of the whole experience. When it comes to Léandre's oeuvre, total immersion in her music is the only ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Hrayr Attarian's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Hrayr Attarian's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Many other writers have submitted superb Best of/End of year lists, so another similar one would be redundant. As women instrumentalists in jazz have been historically underrepresented to great degree and remain a minority even today, below is a list with a feminist bent. These 12 exquisite albums are either by women or prominently feature women. An example of the latter is cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum's Enter the Plustet that showcases, among other masterful improvisers, guitarist Mary Halvorson, cellist Tomeka ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joëlle Léandre - Urs Leimgruber - Fred Frith - Alvin Curran: Oakland/Lisboa

Read "Oakland/Lisboa" reviewed by John Sharpe

Under the moniker MMM Quartet a crew from diverse points of the compass assembled for a concert at the 2014 Jazz Em Agosto in Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal). Three of the four principals have associations with Mills College in Oakland (the MMM acronym improbably stands for Mills Music Mafia), while the Swiss saxophonist Urs Leimgruber is the solitary interloper. With constituent parts like French bassist Joëlle Léandre, English guitarist Fred Frith and veteran American pianist, composer and electronics whizz Alvin Curran, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joëlle Léandre - Urs Leimgruber - Fred Frith - Alvin Curran: Oakland/Lisboa

Read "Oakland/Lisboa" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This multinational dream team's second album was recorded live at a venue in Lisbon, Portugal. MMM stands for Mills Music Mafia, alluding to the respective artists' tenure or residency at Mills College in Oakland, CA. As anticipated, the quartet embarks upon a course of ingenuity that would be difficult to top within global improvisational circuits. Indeed, active minds are on the loose here. They navigate through jarring pathways and even integrate off-center folk into a few choruses; whereas, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Leandre - Delbecq - Houle: 14 rue Paul Forte, Paris

Read "14 rue Paul Forte, Paris" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Leo Records' press release correlates this trio's output to “heavy artillery" music, but it's most assuredly not all about bombast or in-your-face type avant-garde improvisation. Hence, these esteemed improvisers do what they do best in front of a select audience in Paris. Bassist Joelle Léandre and Benoit Delbecq hail from France and like Canadian clarinetist Francois Houle, are among the crème de la crème of global improvisational artisans, and as anticipated, they dutifully get the job done here. The agenda ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Daunik Lazro / Joelle Leandre: Hasparren

Read "Hasparren" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This outing signifies the fifth recording and sole duo pairing by these consummate improvisers, spanning several decades. Recorded at a cultural center in Hasparren, France, the musicians explore the lower register with a profusion of prismatic contrasts as they interrogate and expand upon numerous schematics that at times, seem uncannily composed or sketched out prior to their summit. Of course, the album is totally improvised and the artists' striking intuitiveness is not surprising. The duo engages ...


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