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ALBUM REVIEWS

Otomo Yoshihide Quartet: Allurements of the Ellipsoid

Read "Allurements of the Ellipsoid" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The minimalist improvisation of Otomo Yoshihide's Quartet, assembled for the 2005 Donaueschinger Music Festival, delivers a thoroughly abstract sound that could never be described as obtuse. This coming together of heavyweight improvisers yielded two discs--one, a studio session and the other, a live performance--recorded over three days. Those familiar with the genius of Yoshihide's music can follow his career from the noisy rock of his band Ground Zero to his swinging free jazz recordings for small and large ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Manfred Kniel and his Reduction Quartet: Low Down Music

Read "Low Down Music" reviewed by Nic Jones

Drummer Manfred Kniel has leadership status on this release, and all the compositions are his. But this is also, perhaps, the key to the music's shortcomings, especially when the rhythmic vitality the leader habitually imparts is not matched by some other equally compelling element. His sly and sometimes witty melodic sense seems often to be a mere afterthought, something he feels obliged to tack on so as not to run the risk of creating a musical monoculture. The results feel ...


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