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Joe McPhee: Angels, Devils & Haints

Read "Angels, Devils & Haints" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

Angels, Devils & Haints is a beautifully unusual tribute record. The project was conceived by saxophonist Joe McPhee as a tribute to the great Albert Ayler, but doesn't include any of Ayler's tunes. The lineup--McPhee (tenor and alto saxophones and pocket trumpet) with a quartet of bassists--isn't an instrumentation Ayler ever used. And yet, from the ...


Joe McPhee: Angels, Devils & Haints

Read "Angels, Devils & Haints" reviewed by Lyn Horton

In 1965, Joe McPhee met Donald Ayler by chance in a New York record store. Ayler asked McPhee to join him at a rehearsal where Albert Ayler would be, but unfortunately McPhee was unable to make the rehearsal. That missed opportunity triggered a powerful response in May 2000, when McPhee invited a group of musicians to ...


The C.T. String Quartet: Reqiphoenix Nexus

Read "Reqiphoenix Nexus" reviewed by Lyn Horton

The key difference between the resonance of stringed instruments and the saxophone, to pick one example, is due to the material of the respective instruments. Wood boxes vibrate as a result of the strings being attacked and muted; metal vibrates as a result of embouchure, breath and the opening and shutting of valves. That difference illuminates ...


Michael Bisio / Raymond Boni / Dominic Duval / Joe McPhee: Port of Saints

Read "Port of Saints" reviewed by Lyn Horton

The unvarnished truth about improvised music is that it takes us where we never expect to go. Port of Saints describes an epic journey whose main character is the saxophone. A guitar acts as the saxophone's alter ego. Two basses supply avuncular guide posts for traveling to an unknowable but certain destination. The journey is rife ...


The Slam Trio: In the Stillhouse (Live)

Read "In the Stillhouse (Live)" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

For all his efforts organizing the Sunday night COMA concert series in Manhattan's Lower East Side, saxophonist Blaise Siwula is underdocumented on record. But he did get away long enough in 2004 to do a three-day New England tour with a strong trio alongside bassist Adam Lane and drummer Toshi Makihara. The last night, in Portland ...


Quintet Moderne: WellSprings Suite

Read "WellSprings Suite" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Ken Waxman Made up of two generations of accomplished improvisers, Quintet Moderne is an all-star European Union aggregation that adapts the conventions of so-called jazz and so-called serious music to its own ends. This way, as it shows on this almost seventy-minute recording, it produces a suite of breathtaking force, encompassing musical complexity--yet ...


Steve Swell: Slammin' the Infinite

Read "Slammin' the Infinite" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Ken Waxman A note from New York's Lower East Side underground, this fine session shows that the spirit of experimentation still shines brightly whether the sounds are called avant-garde, the new thing, or ecstatic jazz. Two Little Huey Creative Orchestra members, trombonist Steve Swell and reedist Sabir Mateen, are featured on ...


Steve Swell: Slammin' the Infinite

Read "Slammin' the Infinite" reviewed by Brian P. Lonergan

Trombonist Steve Swell's latest album is an appealing free jazz set, by turns reflective and raucous. Swell's original compositions are brought to life by the animated playing of his quartet, which includes Sabir Mateen on reeds and flute, Matthew Heyner on bass, and Klaus Kugel on drums. The opening track of Slammin' the Infinite, “With the ...


Greene/Silva/Friedman/Winter/Walker: Free Form Improvisation Ensemble

Read "Free Form Improvisation Ensemble" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Calendar dates and the inceptions of musical styles don’t always mix. When was the actual birth of bebop? When was the definitive beginning of fusion? Specific dates are not readily applicable to these historic milestones mainly because musical revolutions rarely transpire in strictly linear progressions. In the absence of absolute dates recordings are often assigned the ...


Tommy Peltier: Live at the Lighthouse 1963-67

Read "Live at the Lighthouse 1963-67" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Rightly or wrongly California has been saddled with a definite stereotype regarding its place in jazz history. Because of the state's distinction as the so-called birthplace of Cool Jazz, other styles of creative improvised music which also took root on its sunny shores have had a tough time gaining both legitimacy and publicity in the history ...


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