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Stray: Into Darkness

Read "Into Darkness" reviewed by John Sharpe

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 ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 2-2

Read "Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 2-2" reviewed by Barry Witherden

Part 1 | Part 2

The passion and conviction of Osborne's playing was so intense that it almost always came across undiminished on recordings, whether they originated in a pub, club or concert-hall gig, or in a studio as part of a formal session. Some of his most exciting work was captured in front ...

Evan Parker

Read "Evan Parker" reviewed by John Eyles

In his biography of Robert Wyatt, Different Every Time (Serpent's Tail, 2015), author Marcus O'Dair describes Evan Parker as “perhaps the finest British free-jazz saxophonist of his generation." The only words in that phrase that seasoned Parker followers might take issue with are “perhaps," “British" and “free-jazz," preferring just to describe him as the finest improvising ...

Derek Bailey

Read "Derek Bailey" reviewed by John Eyles

Guitarist Derek Bailey was one of the more prominent and influential musicians from the “first generation of free improvisation" that developed in London in the mid-sixties and gradually promoted the music around the world. Although several members of that generation were leaders, Bailey often seemed the de facto leader of the group. Partly, this was a ...

Allan Holdsworth: The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!

Read "Allan Holdsworth: The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!" reviewed by John Kelman

In a time when album sales are a challenge being mitigated, at least to some extent, by the release of deluxe editions and box sets, it's still more necessary than ever to grab potential listeners with imagery and words; the title of a box set can have, especially for those less than intimately familiar with the ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Live From Old York: Laura Jurd, Annie Whitehead, Brooks Williams & Koshka

Read "Live From Old York: Laura Jurd, Annie Whitehead, Brooks Williams & Koshka" reviewed by Martin Longley

Laura Jurd's Dinosaur
National Centre For Early Music
November 11, 2016

Dinosaur are one of the UK's fastest rising new bands, although their recent re-naming hides a few years of history as the Laura Jurd Quartet. The London foursome still look even younger than their actual ages, thus qualifying as ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Emanem Tidies Up

Read "Emanem Tidies Up" reviewed by John Eyles

As well as releasing contemporary recordings of improv, Martin Davidson's Emanem label has played a vital role in documenting the history of the music by releasing, re-releasing or re-curating recordings that are decades old. In the process, Davidson has sometimes worked tirelessly to improve the sound quality of recordings that were never intended for release, and ...

Bobby Bradford, Frode Gjerstad Quartet: The Delaware River

Read "The Delaware River" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

Sono più di trent'anni che le strade di Bobby Bradford e Frode Gjerstad si incrociano continuamente, dall'esordio nei Details di John Stevens per arrivare alla manciata di ottimi CD incisi in trio o in quartetto. Risulta così del tutto normale l'alto grado di intesa che si percepisce tra i due lungo i quaranta minuti scarsi di ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Barry Guy: Ploughs into Swordshares (Part 1)

Read "Barry Guy: Ploughs into Swordshares (Part 1)" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Edgar Varèse's defiant statement in the face of public and critical indifference -"The present day composer refuses to die"--could so easily apply to composer-bassist Barry Guy. He has earned over the years a deep and lasting respect from certain fans and critics, though more so in ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Barry Guy: A Prophet is Not without Honour (Part 2)

Read "Barry Guy: A Prophet is Not without Honour (Part 2)" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Barry Guy has been the artistic director and main composer of the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra throughout its now forty-five year history. Recordings and performances since Ode in 1972 have been sporadic but those forty-five years have resulted in eleven albums (including one with Anthony Braxton) ...