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Raymond MacDonald

Raymond MacDonald is a saxophonist, composer and academic whose work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. Much of his recent performing work has been in collaborative free improvisation contexts, however his roots in jazz and pop music are always evident in his playing and writing. MacDonald collaborates widely and has worked with visual artists, dancers, writers and filmmakers and has produced music for film, television, theatre and the concert hall. MacDonald has worked internationally with many of the current pioneers in avant-garde music including the sublime US pianist Marilyn Crispell, German drummer Günter ‘Baby’ Sommer, David Byrne, Damo Suzuki from Can, Nurse with Wound, German trumpeter Axel Dorner, US trombonist and educator George Lewis, Japanese Percussionsist Tatsuya Nakatani, US percussionist Michael Zerang, US cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence: Whirlpool

Read "Whirlpool" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Australian jazz pianist and composer Alister Spence has led his own trio for twenty years, picking up regional ARIA best jazz album nominations for Flux (2003), and Mercury (2006), both on the Rufus label. Spence has led the ensembles Clarion Fracture Zone and Wanderlust and was an early member of the Australian Art Orchestra. He is ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Paul Plimley, Evan Parker & Denis Fournier

Read "Paul Plimley, Evan Parker & Denis Fournier" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

This show marks the one-year anniversary of publishing One Man's Jazz on All About Jazz's radio section, and we're taking a decided dip into the “deep end" of the improvisation pool. There's lots of avant-garde, experimental, free form, free improv on the bill. Is it “noise," is it the future? That's for the listener to decide, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sensaround: Heart/Noise

Read "Heart/Noise" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Sensaround is an electro-acoustic trio of Australian and Scottish lineage, co-led by the familiar names of Alister Spence and Raymond MacDonald and the less recognized Shoeb Ahmed. Heart/Noise is the group's third release following the 2014 Isotropes (hellosQuare recordings). The music defies categorization, combining--as the musicians describe it--"jazz ambience, ghostly dub, and post-punk experiments...." It is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra featuring Marilyn Crispell and Evan Parker: Parallel Moments Unbroken

Read "Parallel Moments Unbroken" reviewed by Matt Parker

For this album, living legends in the world of improvised music Marilyn Crispell and Evan Parker joined the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra as featured soloists in these recordings of two separate live performances of the same composition (hence the duplication of some track titles). Parallel Moments Unbroken was written by GIO founding member Raymond MacDonald, and commissioned ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe: Imagine Meeting You Here

Read "Imagine Meeting You Here" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On the heels of a monthly release year, celebrating her sixtieth birthday, Satoko Fujii takes no break as she dives into a new year. Imagine Meeting You Here is a five-part suite for Fujii's improvising Orchestra Kobe. The compositions are by pianist Alister Spence, who acts as producer and conductor of the fifteen-member ensemble. The suite ...

Parallel Moments Unbroken

Label: FMR Records
Released: 2018
Track listing: Parallel Signs (e); Parallel Signs (f); Interlude; Parallel Loops; Parallel Melbourne; Parallel Moments; Parallel Songs; Parallel Signs (a); Parallel Signs (b); Parallel Signs (c); Parallel Signs (d); Parallel Signs (e); Parallel Signs (f); Interlude; Parallel Loops; Parallel Melbourne; Parallel Moments; Parallel Songs

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii: Intelsat

Read "Intelsat" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Three quarters of the way through Satoko Fujii's year-long celebration of her sixtieth birthday, she once again moves in an unpredictable direction, this time in the company keyboardist Alister Spence. Having met in Australia in 2007, the two went on to record with the Raymond MacDonald International Big Band the following year. Intelsat marks the second ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Running The Bas(s)es

Read "Running The Bas(s)es" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

In baseball parlance, “touch 'em all" refers to hitting a four-bagger, a home run. In this week's episode, we try to “touch" a whole bunch of wonderful contemporary bassists. The following would make up a pretty darn good all-star team of “bass" runners: John Hébert with Marty Ehrlich, Joshua Abrams, Drew Gress in Free Country, Sean ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eamon Dilworth: Viata

Read "Viata" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

From its Romanian orgin, Viata translates to “Life." It is the new, independently produced album from Eamon Dilworth and his nameless quintet. Trumpeter Dilworth is not well-known in the U.S. but has received numerous awards in his native Australia. He has studied with some top brass talent including Lew Soloff, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dave Douglas and Avishai ...


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