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Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz

Read "Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

While pop often follows predictable musical patterns, one of the greatest qualities about jazz is its sense of adventurousness and the ability to take the listener on a journey where the destination is unknown. The Astral Spirits label, based in jny: Austin, Texas, and run by musician Nate Cross, truly embraces this quality of jazz.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Burton Greene / Damon Smith / Ra Kalam Bob Moses: Life’s Intense Mystery

Read "Life’s Intense Mystery" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Let's give credit to whomever assembled this swinging free-improvisation trio. Sometimes, no, invariably, all great improvised music results from the reciprocal nature of the musicians: not something done in response to another (although it can be) but by some subconscious agreement made by the players. A fine example is Life's Intense Mystery by the trio of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

A Spirale & Chris Cogburn: Autocannibalism

Read "Autocannibalism" reviewed by John Eyles

The Italian duo A Spirale, comprising electric guitarist Maurizio Argenziano and saxophonist Mario Gabola, was formed in 2002 when it also included drummer Massimo Spezzaferro; the trio version appeared on the ten-disc compilation Musica Improvvisa (die Schactel, 2010). Since then, Spezzaferro has not recorded with A Spirale, and the duo has collaborated with guest players. Autocannibilism ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Burning Ghosts, Alister Spence and More

Read "Burning Ghosts, Alister Spence and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Expat bassist Mike Parker is living in Poland now and making great music with his Trio Theory. This episode kicks off with a pair of tunes from Shiny Objects, Dark Places, his latest album. You'll also hear Burning Ghosts with their musical expression of anger and distaste for the current state of American politics. The second ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Russ Lossing, Jasper Blom and More

Read "Russ Lossing, Jasper Blom and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Sometimes a recording catches you by surprise. Such is the case with Swedish bassist Thomas Markusson's Open. Only one of the musicians was familiar, the pianist Naoko Sakata who moved from Japan to Sweden where she could play the kind of music that wasn't popular in Japan. Sakata definitely found the right company. Markusson is a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

More 2018 Faves, Christoph Irniger Pilgrim & Liberty Ship

Read "More 2018 Faves, Christoph Irniger Pilgrim & Liberty Ship" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

A second week of favourite recordings from 2018 by Scott Clark, Schnell, Jason Robinson, Enrique Haneine, Steve Coleman, Nicole Mitchell and Liberty Ship. This week we also dig into some of the newer releases that have arrived: the Wing Walker Orchestra, Francesco Diodati & Yellow Squeeds, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Christoph Irniger Pilgrim among others. Top it ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dragonfly Breath III: Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus

Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Today's zen koan: why does a watched pot never boil? The answer to that question is found in the music of Dragonfly Breath III: because it is always boiling. The roil we speak of comes from the quartet of saxophonist Paul Flaherty, trombonist Steve Swell, violinist C. Spencer Yeh, and drummer Weasel Walter.

The ...

Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics

Read "Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics" reviewed by John Eyles

The Balance Point Acoustics label was set up by double bassist Damon Smith in 2001 to document his own music. In the years since, the label has issued a steady stream of recordings, most featuring Smith. Significantly, the first of the label's releases not to include the bassist was the 2006 Henry Kaiser solo album Domo ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

Henry Kaiser - Damon Smith - Weasel Walter: Plane Crash Two

Read "Plane Crash Two" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This album was created shortly after experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser's large ensemble collaboration with fabled Brit guitarist Ray Russell The Celestial Squid (Cuneiform, 2015), as Plane Crash Two marks the second installment of the trio's unadulterated free improvisation exploits. Here, three longtime associates generate that special synergy required to pull it off. Regardless of tempo or ...