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Assif Tsahar: In Between the Tumbling a Stillness

Read "In Between the Tumbling a Stillness" reviewed by Mark Corroto

As the saying goes, In Between The Tumbling A Stillness, recorded in 2015 in Tel Aviv, “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Saxophonist Assif Tsahar, who sticks to tenor throughout, opens “In Between" like a lion, if that lion were Albert Ayler. The 35-minute piece draws from the fire music of the 1960s, propelling forward with an energy that is indefatigable. Credit to bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake. The dynamic duo ...

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Assif Tsahar / William Parker / Hamid Drake: In Between the Tumbling a Stillness

Read "In Between the Tumbling a Stillness" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Israeli saxophonist/clarinetist Assif Tsahar has deep roots in the free-jazz genre, having played with Cecil Taylor, Butch Morris, Peter Kowald, Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark, Herb Robertson, Cooper-Moore, and many others. Among his other associations are two albums with bassist William Parker, Sunrise in the Tone World (AUM Fidelity, 1995) and Mass for the Healing of the World (Black Saint, 1998), and a European release with Hamid Drake, Live At Glenn Miller Cafè, Soul Bodies, Vol. 2 (Ayler Records, 2002). Parker ...

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Mark Dresser / Gerry Hemingway / Assif Tsahar: Code Re(a)d

Read "Code Re(a)d" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Code Re(a)d documents the live, free improvised meeting of Israeli saxophonist Assif Tsahar with the massive rhythm section of double bass master Mark Dresser and powerful drummer Gerry Hemingway, recorded at Tshar's home base, the Levontin 7 club in Tel Aviv in May 2011. Dresser and Hemingway began to play together in the legendary Anthony Braxton Quartet (with pianist Marilyn Crispell), almost thirty years ago and continued to play together in various, respective solo projects, developing a unique, telepathic rapport. ...

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Digital Primitives: Lipsomuch & Soul Searchin'

Read "Lipsomuch & Soul Searchin'" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

This is only Digital Primitives' third recording, released four years after Hum Crackle & Pop (Hopscotch), but the trio sounds as if its three members have been playing together for ages. This double disc is comprised of two sets--Lipsomuch and Soul Searchin'. The trio--reed player Assif Tsahar, multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore and drummer Chad Taylor--have created their own aesthetics: concise, collaborative storytelling compositions, respectful for the blues and modern jazz legacies but fascinated by rock, folk and world music, inventive and imaginative ...

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Maya Dunietz / John Edwards / Steve Noble: Cousin It

Read "Cousin It" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

This freely improvised meeting brings together Israeli pianist Maya Dunietz and British master free players, bassist John Edwards and Steve Noble--an experienced and powerful rhythm section. The trio celebrated the release of this recording at a live concert at Cafe OTO in London in December, 2011. Dunietz is one of the leading voices on the Israeli alternative scene, capable of freely improvising on piano and many other instruments, playing in art-rock outfits, and singing and leading choirs. ...

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Yoni Kretzmer Trio: Nevertheless

Read "Nevertheless" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Uprising Israeli-born, Brooklyn-based saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer is a musician well-versed in the rich history of free jazz, without confining himself to any specific genre. In his excellent debut release as a leader, New Dilemma (Earsay, 2009), he featured modern, chamber style compositions. Since than he has led a free-folk quintet in Israel, an Albert Ayler Memorial septet and various free jazz outfits. With this sax-bass-drums trio release, Kretzmer has chosen experienced and powerful partners--bassist Jason Ajemian and ...

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Digital Primitives: Hum Crackle & Pop

Read "Hum Crackle & Pop" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Cooper-Moore remains a fringe figure in contemporary jazz, even in the circles traveled by players of improvised music, by definition the fringe itself. Adding insult to the injury done to his potential for fame is the fact that he seems incapable of making an uninteresting record. Hum Crackle & Pop is the second release by Digital Primitives, with saxophonist Assif Tsahar and drummer Chad Taylor. Cooper-Moore long ago established himself as a master pianist but seems to ...

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Assif Tsahar / Cooper-Moore / Chad Taylor: Digital Primitives

Read "Digital Primitives" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Digital Primitives, with Chad Taylor on drums, expands the sonic landscape Assif Tsahar and Cooper-Moore carved out with drummer Hamid Drake on Lost Brother (Hopscotch, 2006) by removing a few of the typical saxophone trio tracks and replacing them with more in the way of fuzz, distortion and over-modulation. Not that this band is in need of exotic touches, since Cooper-Moore seems to have set aside his piano virtuosity and reapplied it to his own homemade instruments, including the bows ...

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Cooper-Moore / Assif Tsahar / Chad Taylor: Digital Primitives

Read "Digital Primitives" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Take a touch of blues-edged funk, add some free jazz (of both the howling and Eastern-meditative varieties), a dash of African percussion and a sprinkling of didgeridoo, and you may (or may not) begin to get some idea of the musical gumbo served up by Cooper-Moore, Taylor and Tsahar on Digital Primitives.

And if you don't know your Bo Diddley from your diddley bow, then all will become clear on the opening track, “Turn it Up. Cooper-Moore plays ...

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Agusti Fernandez / Peter Kowald: Sea Of Lead

Read "Sea Of Lead" reviewed by Nic Jones

One perhaps perverse thing about free improvisation is that not hearing it on record for a while can make you realise what a vital form it is when that situation ends. And despite the fact that it's now part of a wide soundscape of musical approaches, it still has the ability to surprise.

The late Peter Kowald's bass was a cornerstone in so many ensembles specialising in this form; he was working with the Globe Unity Orchestra as far back ...

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Assif Tsahar / Tatsuya Nakatani / KJLA String 4tet: Solitude

Read "Solitude" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Solitude, a set of fairly free jazz by multi-reeds player Assif Tsahar, unobtrusive percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and string quartet, is surprisingly easy to listen to, but difficult to assess. Each time a group creates a performance like this, they're attempting to create a language from whole cloth. Free jazz is demanding because it's teaching us a language we don't know, using only that language. When it's successful, as in this case, it's strangely beautiful, of course.

Then again, how do ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Cooper-Moore: Outtakes 1978

Read "Outtakes 1978" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

About ten years ago, Cooper-Moore was a bona fide man of mystery. He had a reputation as a formally trained, creatively inspired master improviser who was fluent on just about any instrument he touched (particularly the piano), but he was also in possession of a notoriously maverick heart. It was said he would only perform and record with William Parker, usually with the In Order to Survive quartet. And when he stepped away from the piano, he made his own ...


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