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Bob Downes Open Music: It's A Mystery

Read "It's A Mystery" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Pursuing his self-styled Open Music route, multi-instrumentalist Bob Downes treads a very thin and courageous line between written jazz and total improvisation. Of his many recordings, some funky jazz rock, others wholly extemporized, there are several which involve organised pieces evolving into often lengthy improvisations. It's A Mystery (not to be confused with the pop song ...

The Remote Viewers: Pitfall

Read "Pitfall" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

I love a bit of Remote Viewers in the evening. If it's not in the scarcely busy second to last northbound Victoria Line carriage, I follow their urban drifts while strolling, hands in my pockets, on a straight line: the shortest trajectory from A to home. The things you see while listening to this London-based septet ...

Paolo Angeli: S'û

Read "S'û" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

S'û is the sound of a master musician. The master in question is Paolo Angeli, a virtuoso player of the prepared Sardinian guitar (an instrument he has developed over the past 20 years). Angeli has worked with musicians from many genres--including jazz players such as Pat Metheny, Hamid Drake, Evan Parker and Fred Frith--developing an ever-increasing ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Angeli Drake: Deghe

Read "Deghe" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Sardinian guitarist Paolo Angeli and American percussionist Hamid Drake first performed together in the early 21st century, releasing debut album Uotha (Nubop) in 2005. The duo's second release, Deghe, was recorded live at the 2013 Festival Isole che Parlano in Sardinia. The players each have a long-established reputation in improvisation and free jazz--previous collaborations include Drake's ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Necks: Open

Read "The Necks: Open" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Not many artists would respond favourably to a question on how they felt about audience members falling asleep in one of their performances. The Necks, however, are not like other bands--bass player Lloyd Swanton quipping in a recent interview that “I have no objection to audience members sleeping, as long as they don't snore and wake ...

The Necks: Silverwater

Read "Silverwater" reviewed by Andrey Henkin

A recent conversation brought up the question why anyone would buy a CD by the Australian trio The Necks. The interlocutor wasn't questioning the quality of the band, merely wondering about listening to them any way other than live. The reason is the same why people read Tennessee Williams plays--appreciating genius outside of the visceral experience. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Frith: Nowhere / Sideshow / Thin Air

Read "Nowhere / Sideshow / Thin Air" reviewed by John Kelman

His sixth album of music for dance, Nowhere / Sideshow / Thin Air continues multi-instrumentalist/composer Fred Frith's longstanding collaboration with Carla Kihlstedt. The violinist was heard most recently on Frith's previous dance disc, The Happy End Problem (ReR Megacorp, 2006), and in performance as part of his well-received Art Bears Songbook, with Art Bears percussionist/lyricist/co-founder Chris ...

Nadia Ratsimandresy - Matteo Ramon Arevalos: Messiaen et autour de Messiaen

Read "Messiaen et autour de Messiaen" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Il 2008 è stato l'anno del centenario dalla nascita di Olivier Messiaen. Per ricordare la figura del grande compositore francese, Nadia Ratsimandresy e Matteo Ramon Arevalos (due musicisti che, per quanto giovani, vantano già un curriculum molto nutrito e una solida esperienza concertistica in ambito contemporaneo) hanno dato vita a un duo che ha proposto in concerto, nel corso ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set

Read "The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set" reviewed by John Kelman

While modern recording technology and fast improving online distribution capability are making it easier to appreciate the full extent of today's artists' work, the same cannot be said about relatively short-lived groups from the 1970s. This is especially true of groups that, despite being in some cases remarkably influential, remain cult favorites with a relatively small ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Frith: The Happy End Problem

Read "The Happy End Problem" reviewed by John Kelman

Since emerging in the early 1970s with Henry Cow, multi-instrumentalist Fred Frith has created a large, stylistically diverse body of work and a reputation for being both a fearless improviser and composer--fearless because he has steadfastly avoided any trappings that might lead to predictability, stylistic or otherwise. When he played at the 2008 Festival International de ...