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A Pride Of Lions: A Pride Of Lions

Read "A Pride Of Lions" reviewed by John Sharpe

Beneath the banner A Pride Of Lions, three American and two French musicians join forces for a cohesive off-the-wall encounter. The outfit merits a name as it's not a one-off. This live recording was culled from a ten-date tour in early 2016, under the auspices of The Bridge, which allowed them to build trust and understanding. Of course, they already had a head start, as multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee and reedman Daunik Lazro have been regular collaborators since 1996 ...

IN PICTURES

Ai Confini Tra Sardegna E Jazz 2018 (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz)

Read "Ai Confini Tra Sardegna E Jazz 2018 (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz)" reviewed by Frank Rubolino

Tucked away near the southern tip of Sardinia about an hour's drive southwest of the island's capital city of Cagliari is the small community of Sant' Anna Arresi, where for the last 33 years, the festival Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz) has presented a striking array of artists performing creative improvised music. This year's fest extended over a nine-day period and featured musicians from Germany, Italy, France, Austria, England, the USA, and ...

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Joe McPhee / Pascal Niggenkemper / Ståle Liavik Solberg: Imaginary Numbers

Read "Imaginary Numbers" reviewed by John Sharpe

Veteran multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee always seems open to encounters with like-minded spirits wherever he finds them. Some of his finest albums have stemmed from his collaborations with groups of younger musicians, such as Spontaneous Combustion (Otoroku, 2015) with Decoy and Skullduggery (Clean Feed, 2015) with Universal Indians. On Imaginary Numbers he teams up with two high-profile European improvisers, New York-based German-French bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and Norwegian drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg. Both are adept at the arcane blend of improv texture ...

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Joe McPhee: From Outer Space

Read "From Outer Space" reviewed by Thad Aerts

Joe McPhee, the 78-year-old multi-instrumentalist dedicated to the saxophone, has a new trio. McPhee on said saxophone with James Keepnews on guitar and laptop, and David Berger on drums make up Plan B. From Outer Space is the trio's inaugural offering. Free in its wandering's, the record is still incredibly cohesive and multi-themed. Recorded as an ode to Sun Ra, the lads execute self-control knowing when, where and how to play. Because of this, the record builds an ...

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Joe McPhee: Flowers

Read "Flowers" reviewed by John Sharpe

Multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee has a long history of solo albums stretching back to Tenor (Hat Hut, 1976). Furthermore he's one of the few improvisers still to regularly perform and record in that format. Flowers, his eleventh unaccompanied release, was recorded at the Jazz ao Centro Festival in Coimbra in 2009 and rescued from obscurity by the Portuguese Cipsela imprint. As he explains during the show, the title is an allusion to McPhee's credo that we should give our heroes their ...

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Joe McPhee: Flowers

Read "Flowers" reviewed by Mark Corroto

For the longest time it was a commonly held belief that solo saxophone performances, especially freely improvised solo saxophone performances, were an acquired taste. Meaning they are things that one has come to like only through experience, but mostly it is a polite way to say you find the music distasteful. Certainly, much of improvised music can be spoken of in this manner, but when an artist performs with the sincerity and genuineness that saxophonist Joe McPhee does every night, ...

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Joe McPhee / Jamie Saft / Joe Morris / Charles Downs: Ticonderoga

Read "Ticonderoga" reviewed by John Sharpe

As the liners explain, this date was inspired by bassist Joe Morris and pianist Jamie Saft's shared love for the seminal John Coltrane Live At The Village Vanguard Again (Impulse, 1966) album. In the subsequent discussion with the other participants, it transpired that reedman Joe McPhee actually witnessed that gig from the center of the front row. The outcome is a sequence of collective inventions very much in the same barnstorming spirit.But the result is not an explicit ...

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Joe McPhee / Jamie Saft / Joe Morris / Charles Downs: Ticonderoga

Read "Ticonderoga" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The premise for this get together commenced with discussions by pianist Jamie Saft and bassist, guitarist Joe Morris who plotted to meld their influences from John Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard Again (Impulse, 1966) album, along with celebrated artists, trumpeter, reedman Joe McPhee and drummer Charles Downs. Moreover, the band moniker Ticonderoga is a Mohawk Indian word that translates into “junction of two waterways," signifying the transition from the artists' collective impressions and groupthink of the Coltrane set with ...

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Joe McPhee / Jamie Saft / Joe Morris / Charles Downs: Ticonderoga

Read "Ticonderoga" reviewed by Troy Collins

Ticonderoga was inspired by a conversation between Joe Morris and Jamie Saft regarding their mutual admiration for John Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard Again (Impulse!, 1966). Paying homage to the historic date, the pair invited free jazz veterans Joe McPhee and Charles Downs to convene for an informal recording session at Saft's studio in the Catskill Mountains, located just down the river from Ticonderoga, a Mohawk word meaning “the junction of two waterways."Lending credence to the album's ...

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Joe McPhee: Solos : The Lost Tapes (1980 – 1981 – 1984)

Read "Solos : The Lost Tapes (1980 – 1981 – 1984)" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The young cats (players thirty years his junior) know Joe. Players who have immersed themselves in free improvisation, like Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Evans, Martin Kuchen, and Mikołaj Trzaska, learned the possibilities of creating a new music from, not thin air, but from listening. They model their approach after Joe McPhee. Born in 1939, he has been a musician's musician since his experiments in solo performance in the 1970s. For years, copies of his infamous Tenor (Hat ...

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Decoy with Joe McPhee: Spontaneous Combustion

Read "Spontaneous Combustion" reviewed by John Sharpe

In spite of its relatively recent vintage, Oto (Bo' Weavil, 2010), the first encounter between Joe McPhee and British improvising trio Decoy, has quickly become one of the veteran multi-instrumentalist 's most popular recordings. By way of follow up Spontaneous Combustion first released as a LP, but now reissued as a double CD with added tracks, documents the second and third concerts by the band during a two night residency at Cafe Oto in October 2011. It's not too fanciful ...

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Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee: Human Encore

Read "Human Encore" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Portugal is one of the most free-jazz friendly countries on the planet, and the innovative Clean Feed label is one of the reasons why. With over two hundred releases thus far, Clean Feed has been documenting the next wave(s) of avant-free music. This includes the mighty Trespass Trio, a powerhouse group of improvisers consisting of Swedish saxophonist Martin Küchen, Norwegian double bassist Per Zanussi, and Swedish drummer Raymond Strid. Clean Feed released Trespass Trio's debut Was There to Illuminate the ...


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