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ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2018

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23rd Annual Vision Festival
Roulette
New York, NY
May 23-28, 2018

Introduction The Vision Festival somewhat surprisingly but reassuringly stands proud as the longest-lived annually produced jazz festival in New York. While the central plank remains what the Festival terms avant jazz, it's interspersed with poetry, dance, art, and ...

Barre Phillips / Motoharu Yoshizawa: Oh My, Those Boys!

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Expatriate American bassist Barre Phillips is the banner name on another in the Chap Chap series of improvised encounters from Japan issued by the NoBusiness imprint. He boasts an illustrious back-story. His Journal Violone (Opus One,1968) is reputed to be the first solo bass album, while Music From Two Basses (ECM, 1971) with Dave Holland was ...

Matthew Shipp: Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich

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On Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich, echoes of the jazz and classical traditions rub shoulders in a bewitching amalgam of insistent phrases, left hand tumult, undulating abstractions and gossamer melody. “No change there then," you might say when considering this installment of Matthew Shipp's solo oeuvre from May 2016. By this stage in his career the ...

Aruán Ortiz Trio: Live in Zürich

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Cuban pianist Aruán Ortiz just goes from strength to strength on his third release on the Intakt imprint, although it is his twelfth overall. While most of the repertoire on Live In Zurich appears on previous albums, what he does with it here, through dramatically extending and mashing pieces together, is nothing short of remarkable. This ...

Stray: Into Darkness

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Two old masters and two younger pretenders unite to produce Into Darkness. Saxophonist John Butcher and guitarist John Russell were both part of the so-called second generation of improvisers, following in the wake of progenitors such as Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and John Stevens. Joining them in a continuous 51-minute live performance from London's Iklektic in ...

Roscoe Mitchell / Matthew Shipp: Accelerated Projection

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Here's one from the vaults that still retains currency. This duo recital captures pianist Matthew Shipp and reedman Roscoe Mitchell in concert at the 2005 Sant'Anna Arresi festival in Sardinia. Shipp has enjoyed a lengthy association with the veteran Art Ensemble of Chicago founder, documented on This Dance For Steve McCall (Black Saint, 1992) and Nine ...

Jon Rune Strøm Quintet: Fragments

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Norwegian bassist Jon Rune Strøm, subscribes to none of the self-effacement which sometimes manifests itself on dates led by rhythm section mainstays. That is signaled straight away on the first cut of Fragments, where no other instrument is heard for the first six minutes. With bow in hand, he initially duets with fellow bassist Christian Meaas ...

Alexander Hawkins / Elaine Mitchener Quartet: UpRoot

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Adventurous pianist Alexander Hawkins seems intent on exploring as many different avenues of expression as is humanly possible, having already released solo set Song Singular, (Babel, 2013), duo set Leaps In Leicester, (Clean Feed, 2016), trio set Alexander Hawkins Trio, (AHM, 2015), and ensemble set Unit[e], (AHM, 2017), as well as documents of rewarding encounters with ...

Lisa Ullén: Piano Works

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Pianist Lisa Ullén has followed her muse big time with Piano Works, a three-CD box-set of unaccompanied pieces, recorded in 2017. A native of South Korea, Ullén grew up and lives in Sweden, where most of her activity remains centered. She may be best known for her work on Anna Högberg's Attack (Omlott, 2016) and the ...

Peter Kuhn Trio: Intention

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Reedman Peter Kuhn's re-emergence on disc after a 35-year hiatus was one of the more heartening stories of 2016. Kuhn figured on the New York loft jazz scene during the latter half of the 1970s, releasing three LPs under his own leadership, notably Livin' Right, reissued to much acclaim as part of No Coming, No Going ...