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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone: Vertical

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The moody, complex, witty, playful and abstract music found on Vertical can only result from the combined genius of six talented musicians. And Mario Pavone has assembled just such an ensemble for this release. Pedigree aside, this music explores gentle improvisation and abstractions, a formless within form approach that echoes the work of Anthony Braxton, Dave Holland, and Charles Mingus. All tracks open in clever and interesting ways. Take the initial piece, “Ellipse," with its syncopated bop start. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eve Risser & Kaja Draksler: To Pianos

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It's easy to forget that the piano is a percussion instrument, so hardwired are out brains to expecting tunes you can hum or whistle from its eighty eight keys. In this work commissioned by Jazz Festival Ljubljana and recorded there in 2016 and 2017, pianists Eve Risser (France) and Kaja Draksler (Slovenia) certainly mine the percussive sonorities of their two pianos but they explore so much more besides. Essentially, the duo's aim in these part through-composed, part-improvised pieces is to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cortex: Avant-Garde Party Music

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Why change a winning formula? If Norwegian crew Cortex has considered that question, then the response was likely an unconcerned shrug. Studio session Avant-Garde Party Music continues firmly in the winning vein established by Clean Feed predecessors Live! (2014) and Live In New York (2016), mashing 1960s New Thing tropes with contemporary inside/outside soloing. Trumpeter Thomas Johansson pens all eight pieces in the 38-minute program, for the by now familiar cast list, completed by reedman Kristoffer Berre Alberts. bassist Ola ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonas Cambien / Adrian Myhr: Simiskina

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Since relocating to Oslo in 2008, Belgian pianist Jonas Cambien has immersed himself in the Norwegian scene. As well as his well-received trio which waxed A Zoology Of The Future (Clean Feed, 2016), he's also part of improvising collective Platform (which can be heard on Flux Reflux (Clean Feed, 2017)), and new music ensemble Aksiom. Those influences all play a part in Simiskina, the title of the debut recording by Cambien and double bassist Adrian Myhr, (whose credits include reedman ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chamber 4: City Of Light

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City of Light is the follow up to the excellent eponymous debut by Chamber 4 (FMR, 2015) and presents an unchanged line up. It's also a close relative of For Sale (Clean Feed, 2015), which features three of the same players. Given those connections it shouldn't be a surprise that this live recording from a concert in Paris, the titular metropolis, possesses similar merits. Prime among them is the selflessness of the group aesthetic. Although all four members convince as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Stackenäs: Bricks

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Hailing from Sweden, David Stackenäs (Per Zanussi Ensemble, Lina Nyberg Band) may be one of the best lesser-known global guitarists out there. Active in jazz and experimental ensembles in Europe and beyond, the artist follows up his previous solo acoustic guitar outing Separator (2009, Found You) with a cunning and at times, mesmeric exposition. In the album notes, iconic guitarist Nels Cline extolls glowing praise via his detailed analysis of certain tracks and narratives concerning Stackenäs' striking technical gifts and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mat Maneri: Sounding Tears

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In the wake of Evan Parker's 2013 and 2014 residencies at New York's The Stone, a slew of tremendous recordings has emerged showcasing the British saxophonist's encounters with the luminaries of the downtown scene. Prominent among them are Miller's Tale (Intakt, 2016) with the electronics of Ikue Mori, violinist Mark Feldman and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, Either, Or And (Relative Pitch, 2014) with the same pianist, and Ninth Square (Clean Feed, 2015) with guitarist Joe Morris and trumpeter Nate Wooley. But ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Der Verboten: Der Verboten

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Violist Frantz Loriot and pianist Cedric Piromalli previously joined forces under the German moniker, Treffpunkt. And Der Verboten signifies the new lineup with the addition of saxophonist Antoine Chessex and drummer Christian Wolfarth for a fascinating album captured live at a French venue. And while the lone extended track “Der Dritte Treffpinky," is firmly situated in an experimental school of thought, the artists project cinematic inferences within a storyboard that contains an assortment of highly imaginative interweaving motifs.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gard Nilssen: Live In Europe

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Clocking in at just a minute over two-hours of music, the three CDs (or LPs, if you'd like) that make up Live in Europe provide an audacious excursion into creative music. The drummer, known for his work in multiple groups such as the quartets Cortex and Starlite Motel, Bushman's Revenge, Zanussi Five, and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, previously released Firehouse (Clean Feed, 2015) with his Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity trio. Where the previous title was a studio effort with saxophonist ...