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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Fraser / Kris Davis / Tony Malaby: Zoning

Read "Zoning" reviewed by Jack Bowers

What can be said in a positive vein about Zoning, an essentially inward-leaning and dissonant exercise in avant-garde or “free" jazz by drummer Nick Fraser, pianist Kris Davis and saxophonist Tony Malaby (supported on three numbers by tenor Ingrid Laubrock and trumpeter Lina Allemano). Well, it is music, of a sort—and it is (largely) improvised, or ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rodrigo Amado / Chris Corsano: No Place to Fall

Read "No Place to Fall" reviewed by John Sharpe

Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's early output has been notable for the freewheeling interplay between him and other talented horn players like trombonist Jeb Bishop, trumpeter Peter Evans and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee. It's the quartet he fronts with McPhee which contains the seed for this Lisbon studio date from summer 2014, in that it includes the drummer ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Fraser - Kris Davis - Tony Malaby (with Ingrid Laubrock & Lina Allemano): Zoning

Read "Zoning" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Nate Cross' Astral Spirits imprint has steadily become one of the go-to options for fans of adventurous music. With over a hundred releases in its five-year existence, including well over thirty in 2019 alone, the label has maintained an impressive commitment to both quality and quantity. However, an output this extensive can result in a few ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rodrigo Amado & Chris Corsano: No Place to Fall

Read "No Place to Fall" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Did you know that besides his talents as a saxophonist and composer, Rodrigo Amado is also a professional photographer? His camera captures an instant in time and preserves it for eternity. Now compare his photographs' frozen moments against the seemingly perpetual motion that is this free jazz set with drummer Chris Corsano. This juxtaposition of static ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Burton Greene / Damon Smith / Ra Kalam Bob Moses: Life’s Intense Mystery

Read "Life’s Intense Mystery" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Let's give credit to whomever assembled this swinging free-improvisation trio. Sometimes, no, invariably, all great improvised music results from the reciprocal nature of the musicians: not something done in response to another (although it can be) but by some subconscious agreement made by the players. A fine example is Life's Intense Mystery by the trio of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Thomas/Butcher/Solberg: Fictional Souvenirs

Read "Fictional Souvenirs" reviewed by John Sharpe

Free improvisers favor ephemeral lineups more than most musicians. They keep things fresh and present new challenges. But most improvisers are also fond of particular groupings or connections. That's definitely the case with the British pairing of saxophonist John Butcher, keyboardist and electronicist Pat Thomas and Norwegian drummer Stale Liavik Solberg. They have worked together in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rob Mazurek: Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV

Read "Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On Rob Mazurek's Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and visual artist has woven together esoteric and tangible elements on two extended tracks, with their origins in mysteries of the deep. His frequent objective is to musically capture any number of interactions between humans and nature, the spiritual world, and physical foundations. In that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rob Mazurek: Desert Encrypts Vol. 1

Read "Desert Encrypts Vol. 1" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

It was twenty-five years ago, in 1994, that Rob Mazurek first emerged with Man Facing East (Hep Jazz), a quartet recording solidly positioned in the post/hard bop style. Even in the interpretations of standards, there were clues that the cornetist/composer was a restless soul. In the intervening years, Mazurek has rapidly charted his own dissident destiny ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kuzu: Hiljaisuus

Read "Hiljaisuus" reviewed by John Sharpe

Chicago-based saxophonist Dave Rempis' openness to collaboration yields new partnerships at an astounding rate. He played in separate duos with both guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer Tyler Damon during his 2017 solo tour of the USA. The drummer and guitarist are already an established pairing, so perhaps it was inevitable that Rempis would reunite with both, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Mazzarella Trio: Counterbalance

Read "Counterbalance" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although he is well-accustomed to working in other settings, alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella is perhaps at his strongest in a trio format: specifically, the sax-bass-drums configuration that allows for both maximum harmonic freedom and focused rhythmic interaction. In 2017 his Meridian Trio (featuring bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Jeremy Cunningham) released Triangulum (Clean Feed), an excellent ...


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