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Article: Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith / Douglas Ewart / Mike Reed: Sun Beans Of Shimmering Light

Read "Sun Beans Of Shimmering Light" reviewed by John Sharpe


Three significant forces spanning two generations of the forward-thinking Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians meet in a poised recital on Sun Beans Of Shimmering Light. Although recorded in 2015 at drummer Mike Reed's Constellation arts space in Chicago, the concert's genesis lies some five years earlier and 700 miles to the east.

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Article: Album Review

Sam Rivers: Braids

Read "Braids" reviewed by John Sharpe


With the fourth issue in its Sam Rivers archival series, the NoBusiness imprint has unearthed a cracking concert recording of a terrific quartet, completed by bassist Dave Holland, drummer Thurman Barker and tubaist Joe Daley. Very few can match Rivers' breadth of experience, which includes not only with leading lights of the 1960s New Thing like ...

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Article: Album Review

Frank Gratkowski, Achim Kaufmann, Wilbert de Joode, Tony Buck: Flatbosc & Cautery

Read "Flatbosc & Cautery" reviewed by John Sharpe


Adding a new member to a long-established group sometimes reinforces the chemistry, at other times it transforms. With the threesome of reedman Frank Gratkowski, pianist Achim Kaufmann and bassist Wilbert de Joode, a unit since 2002, the co-option of Necks drummer Tony Buck propels the outfit more explicitly towards the high-energy end of the free spectrum, ...

5

Article: Album Review

Ivo Perelman: The Purity of Desire

Read "The Purity of Desire" reviewed by John Sharpe


Tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman prolifically documents his work, his discography growing almost by the week. But he finds new things to say and new ways of saying them, even with his most regular collaborators. Witness the stream of superlative recordings he has made with pianist Matthew Shipp. But, at the same time, the New York-based Brazilian ...

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Article: Album Review

RED Trio & Celebration Band: Suite 10 Years Anniversary

Read "Suite 10 Years Anniversary" reviewed by John Sharpe


Since its inception in 2008 the RED Trio has been one of Portugal's foremost improvising ensembles. Pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, bassist Hernani Faustino and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini stand upon the shoulders of the egalitarian trio legacy of pianists Bill Evans, Paul Bley and Howard Riley; no-one leads, no-one follows, but, paradoxically, all three move as one. To ...

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Article: Album Review

Michael and Peter Formanek: Dyads

Read "Dyads" reviewed by John Sharpe


There can be few instances where a parent-offspring hook-up has proved as potent as Dyads by bassist Michael Formanek and his reedman son Peter. With not a hint of featherbedding, the pair interact as equals on a 72-minute program which alternates six charts penned by both with seven collective inventions. While the bassist has amassed a ...

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Article: Album Review

Paul Dunmall, Percy Pursglove, Olie Brice, Jeff Williams: Palindromes

Read "Palindromes" reviewed by John Sharpe


Bassist Olie Brice had an inkling that it might be worthwhile introducing two of his collaborators who had never played together before, British reed titan Paul Dunmall and American drummer Jeff Williams. It proves devastatingly correct on Palindromes. They unite, together with trumpeter Percy Pursglove, on a collective live album--recorded at London's Cafe Oto, in February ...

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Article: Album Review

Raf Vertessen Quartet: LOI

Read "LOI" reviewed by John Sharpe


Belgian drummer Raf Vertessen's quartet unites a mouth-watering array of talent, and he keeps them busy on his leadership debut LOI. Since arriving in Brooklyn, in 2016, Vertessen has dug in deep, enlisting saxophonist Anna Webber, trumpeter Adam O'Farrill and bassist Nick Dunston, all acclaimed leaders in their own right, to realize his charts in a ...

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Article: Album Review

Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito: Beyond

Read "Beyond" reviewed by John Sharpe


Right from the off, the confluence of grainy flicker and humming drone signals that Beyond won't be like other vibraphone/piano hook ups. Under the moniker Futari, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and her Berlin-based countrywoman vibraphonist Taiko Saito don't so much take the road less traveled as revel in the thickets, brambles and unexpected clearings discovered when ...

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Article: Album Review

In Layers: Pliable

Read "Pliable" reviewed by John Sharpe


Working on-the-fly, improv outfit In Layers collectively orders timbral maneuvers into captivating momentum on Pliable, its second outing following the eponymous debut (FMR, 2016). The cast remains unchanged, the Portuguese pair of guitarist Marcelo Dos Reis and trumpeter Luis Vicente, being supplemented by Dutch drummer Onno Govaert and Amsterdam-based Icelandic pianist Kristjan Martinsson. Dos ...


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