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Carter/Cook/Kowald/LaMaster: Principle Hope

Read "Principle Hope" reviewed by Richton Guy Thomas

Free jazz, like bebop, is complex intense playing with an emphasis on momentum. This is a simple description of the music that occupies a portion of Principle Hope. The venue where this music was performed is Boston's Tremont Theatre, a regular home for no-holds-barred open-ended jazz. The essential component of any free jazz performance is strong communication between each member of the group, which ensures forward motion. The late Peter Kowald lends particularly keen vision to this ensemble, whose credits ...

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Carter-Cook-Kowald-LaMaster: Principle Hope

Read "Principle Hope" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

As skillful a horn player as he is, Daniel Carter isn't much of a conversationalist. He's proficient on sax, flute, clarinet and trumpet, but in general it's best if he's the only one touching the horns. Without speculating as to why, it's safe to say that Carter is best heard solo or backed by strings and percussion. In tandem with another horn, he can, at times, show all the nuance of a tea kettle.

Which is why the projects he's ...

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M3 (Miller x3): Unearthing

Read "Unearthing" reviewed by AAJ Staff

It's Miller Time. M3, a power trio of Millers, launches Unearthing with a frenzied full-on assault reminiscent of the heaviest heavy metal: guitar, bass and drums ablaze. The opening blast on “Crossing Guard" leads through attention-deficit territory, where members of the group regularly waylay themselves in pursuit of sparkling accents and crumbling free cascades. But the musicians always return to the relentless energy of the chorus, which rises like an anthem above the smoke below.

After this grinding three minute ...

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Jon Rose: Strung

Read "Strung" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Jon Rose, the Derek Bailey of the violin, is turning his attention to the possibilities of electronic manipulation of stringed instrument sound. A collaborator with the likes of Eugene Chadbourne, Bob Ostertag, Luc Houtkamp, Otomo Yoshihide, and Wayne Horvitz, Rose is a creative musician with plenty of humor on display.

Strung is a co-conspiracy between Rose and Steve Heather, an electronic and percussive musician. The pair assembled various string players at Amsterdam’s The Hospital in July of 2000 to act/react ...

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Ikue Marclay/Ikue Mori/Elliott Sharp plus sMFA students: Acoustiphobia, Volume 1

Read "Acoustiphobia, Volume 1" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Ironically, free improvisation often turns out to be a visual affair. In a theoretical sense, the idea of improv is purely musical: artists interweave personal threads to yield a mutual fabric of sound. But in practice, the listener often gains substantial understanding and insight from actually observing the musicians at work. Trading leads, reacting, and synergizing all happen in real time, making the concert experience that much richer for one's visual involvement.

The first disc of Acoustiphobia offers a prime ...

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Thurston Moore/Wally Shoup/Toshi Makihara: Hurricane Floyd

Read "Hurricane Floyd" reviewed by AAJ Staff

The title of Hurricane Floyd, as you might imagine, has two meanings. First, it describes the meterological phenomenon ongoing during the performance (yes, hurricanes do actually make it to Boston on occasion). Second, it refers to the intensity of the free improvisation which occurred in the shelter of the church where these three musicians briefly joined forces. Now it must be said up front that not all of this performance falls into the category of 'stormy,' but the most ecstatic ...

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Steffen Basho-Junghans: Song of the Earth

Read "Song of the Earth" reviewed by AAJ Staff

In this striking departure from the free/avant sound of other Sublingual material, guitarist Steffen Basho-Junghans operates his instrument in the continuum extending from Leo Kottke through John Fahey and Ralph Towner. On Song of the Earth, his fourth record and first American release, Junghans plays 6- and 12-string guitars. Using resonance and repetition to achieve an open, airy sound, Junghans explores the dimensions of harmonic space. Don't misunderstand: there's no wild improvised extroversion here, only measured contemplative introspection. Much of ...


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