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Christian Weber: 3 Suits & a Violin

Read "3 Suits & a Violin" reviewed by Derek Taylor

One of the unwritten idiomatic tenets of a lot of electro-acoustic improv is the sublimation of the individual for the collective cause. In the process, the sounds of itemized and identifiable instruments are often replaced with more implicit textures and shapes. Bassist Christian Weber is adept at this strategy having worked with some of the leading ...

Smalls Records: Sound Stewardship For US Treasures

Read "Smalls Records: Sound Stewardship For US Treasures" reviewed by Derek Taylor

From trumpeter Bunk Johnson waxing reverential about Buddy Bolden to saxophonist Michael Brecker bowing at the altar of John Coltrane, a strong sense of nostalgia is woven through the history of jazz. The phrase “when giants walked the earth is frequently invoked or implied, and the feeling that the best is already behind us bothers musicians ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Derek Taylor's Best of 2006

Read "Derek Taylor's Best of 2006" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Another year gone and an especially bountiful one for excellent jazz and improvised music. Paring down to a modest number was particularly difficult to accomplish, but here are several handfuls of my favorite releases from 2006.


Thomas Chapin Trio
Ride
(Playscape)
Trio 3
Time ...

David Haney Trio: The Music

Read "The Music" reviewed by Derek Taylor

David Haney has a talent for concocting recondite tune titles. The five-part “Pteradactyl Lunchbox cycle on the pianist's debut CIMP session is only one reflection of a remarkable intellect that revels in both humor and hand-spun absurdism. The disc's title is another, distilling its contents down to a most basic signifier and eschewing any sort of ...

Lucian Ban & Alex Harding: Tuba Project

Read "Tuba Project" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Several years have elapsed since Lucian Ban and Alex Harding's last CIMP collaboration, but their artistic rapport has only deepened in the interim. Their latest project carries a signifier that stresses the novelty of the instrumentation. The duo dispenses with string bass completely. In its stead, Bob Stewarts' bulbous, bell-shaped horn sits as co-resident of the ...

Robert Dick & Ursel Schlicht: Photosphere

Read "Photosphere" reviewed by Derek Taylor

In this age of shoebox-budget labels and shoebox-sized recording technology, the concert stage has swiftly become the new studio. As a result, home listeners are privy to more live music than ever before. This rhyme-ready pairing of flautist Dick and pianist Schlicht illustrates the immediate benefits of the progress with this performance taped in front of ...

Carnival Skin: Carnival Skin

Read "Carnival Skin" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Strong starts do not always ensure steady recording schedules. Jersey-based guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil experienced just such a surcease after a trio of laudable releases for CIMP. This new collective quintet recording on drummer Klaus Kugel's Nemu imprint puts him back in the record shop racks after a hiatus of several years. The band's name is something ...

Saadet T: Urumchi

Read "Urumchi" reviewed by Derek Taylor

The Swiss Intakt imprint has long evinced a stake in stewarding ethnic improvisatory traditions. This new album by Kazakhstani vocalist Saadet Türköz presents one of the most striking distillations of an age-old idiom. Türköz's roots lie in the musical traditions of her forbearers, bred in the windswept steppe lands of what is now Eastern China. As ...

Zentralquartett: 11 Songs - Aus Teutschen Landen

Read "11 Songs - Aus Teutschen Landen" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Attention to tradition is too often mistaken as adherence to conservative orthodoxy. In jazz, the culpability often rests at the feet of the neo-conservative crowd, a frequently demonized assembly whose stock rises and falls with regularity, depending on the body of listeners polled.

The four players who form the Zentralquartett have little time for such meta-musical ...

Bobby Few & Avram Fefer Quartet: Sanctuary

Read "Sanctuary" reviewed by Derek Taylor

A misplaced piano, a dropped soprano and an aurally-intrusive air-conditioning system all conspired to derail this CIMP session by the jointly-led Few-Fefer Quartet. Fortunately, cool heads prevailed and the music persevered. The co-leaders' associations go back to the mid-1990s in Paris, though audio evidence of their collaborations proved slow in surfacing. Boxholder stepped into fill the ...