Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Damon Smith: Whatever Is Not Stone Is Light

Read "Whatever Is Not Stone Is Light" reviewed by Mark Corroto


A well-known standing joke instructs a concert goer that the proper time to have a conversation during a performance is to wait for the bass solo. Maybe that joke is funny because it does happen all too often. Try as one might, though, it is impossible to get side-tracked during this solo bass performance by Damon Smith. This COVID-19 virus solo recording follows Smith's previous live solo date Winter Solos for Robert Ryman (Balance Point Acoustics, 2019) and presents an ...

2

Album Review

Henry Kaiser/Steve Parker/Damon Smith/Chris Cogburn: Nearly Extinct

Read "Nearly Extinct" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The title of this improvising free jazz quartet's release Nearly Extinct, is a reference to the current state of instant composing. The cover lists various players (Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane), Bands (ICP Orchestra, SME, AMM, AACM, ISKRA 1903), and refers to differing scenes from San Francisco to London and Wuppertal. That title is certainly a misnomer. If we think of it in terms of popular music, free jazz or free improvisation was a stillborn child back ...

5

Album Review

Fred Van Hove / Peter Jacquemyn / Damon Smith: Burns Longer

Read "Burns Longer" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni


This unique, ad-hoc trio features Belgian master pianist Fred Van Hove, one of the architects of European free improvised music and close collaborator of influential European improvisers such as German reed man Peter Brötzmann, late bassist Peter Kowald, Dutch drummer Han Bennink, fellow countryman and double bassist (and sculptor) Peter Jacquemyn. Both of them rarely recorded in recent years with prolific American double bassist Damon Smith, who initiated this meeting and is influenced by the European approach to free improvisation. ...

5

Album Review

Alvin Fielder / David Dove / Jason Jackson / Damon Smith: From-To-From

Read "From-To-From" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni


This quartet represents a meeting of generations and their approaches to jazz and improvised music. The quartet resembles such early free jazz units as the New York Art Quartet or the Archie Shepp--Roswell Rudd Quartet. Veteran drummer Alvin Fielder--the eldest member, with an encyclopedic knowledge of modern jazz drumming--is known for his extensive collaborations with saxophonist Kidd Jordan, bassist William Parker and trumpeter Dennis González; double bassist Damon Smith studied contemporary music and free improvisation with renowned bass players Lisle ...

124

Album Review

Hartsaw / Aspelin / Smith / Bryerton: Ausfegen. Dedicated To Joseph Beuys

Read "Ausfegen. Dedicated To Joseph Beuys" reviewed by Nic Jones


This is documentation of a never ending story, and it's that the story seems endlessly intriguing which makes for compelling listening. All four musicians are deeply schooled in the rigors of free improvisation, and every note and tone they produce makes that plain. Variety is further aided by the fact that the quartet is broken down into duos and trios on a lot of the pieces, a fact which affords the listener some degree of insight into how the responsiveness ...

183

Album Review

Shibolet / Josephson / Baker / Looney / Smith: Untitled (1959)

Read "Untitled (1959)" reviewed by Nic Jones


All the track titles on this one are also the titles of paintings by Mark Rothko, but presumably the connection between the two ends there. Certainly the accompanying notes make nothing of it and besides which this is music profoundly in the moment, conveyed by acutely skilled free improvisers.

“White, Yellow, Red On Yellow" serves as well as any piece here to indicate how rewarding the lack of preconceived working methods can be. Soprano saxophonist, Ariel Shibolet at times strays ...

162

Album Review

Josephson / Leandre / Smith / Blume: Cruxes

Read "Cruxes" reviewed by Nic Jones


Here's music the realization of truly collective endeavor. Each of the participants is acutely aware of the needs and demands of the moment, and the music they fashion is accordingly free of overt precedents at the same time as it works the seam of free improvisation in trenchant fashion.

The nature of the forces deployed Aurora Josephson's voice, two basses and drums--perhaps pejoratively focuses the attention on the first of these, but Josephson is astute enough to know that non-verbal ...


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